You may have noticed that some people don't like the Age of Sigmar game from GW. I'm pretty sure you will have noticed since those people really, really want you to know they think it's stupid and you're stupid for liking it. With the hobby community online becoming such a hotbed of unrest lately I take a look at where you can find some positive and happy attitudes.
It's no secret that the internet is a hostile place, and in the wake of the Age of Sigmar launch it seems almost impossible to find a comment section, Twitter feed, forum topic, or Facebook wall that doesn't contain some sort of hate thrown at the new game. While emotions can run high, and it's understandable for some people to be upset over the loss of the Old World, at this point, more then a month later, a lot of it has become stale, and quite frankly annoying. I'm sure it's just a small group of people who are being so openly vocal about their dislike of the game and everything and everyone associated with it, but being the internet, they manage to scream the loudest and most frequently.
I can understand if skirmish isn't your thing and you prefer ranks and flanks, that's all fine, the issue comes when you feel the need to pop up in every discussion just to throw a hate grenade before slinking back to the safety of your computer chair. Belittling a game and the people who enjoy it does absolutely no good for anyone. There is nothing constructive coming from that. I do not spend my free time browsing through articles about Warmachine or Infinity and leaving nasty comments to try and put down that player base. I would expect the same respect from others. I could go on and on about the almost intolerable rising level of bile and toxicity that seems to be infesting the online gaming community, and I almost did write a whole article on it. That solves nothing though, so after taking a deep breath, I decided to do something constructive with my efforts instead. Nothing good comes from fighting fire with fire, in the end that just leaves everyone burnt. So, instead, here are a collection of articles, websites, and podcasts I have found that I feel are doing a good job at staying positive with Age of Sigmar.
Heelanhammer is a very entertaining podcast based out of England that focuses exclusively on Warhammer Fantasy, and now Age of Sigmar (AoS). They are currently up to episode 134, so they aren't newcomers to the scene. They were around all through 8th edition and were clearly fans of their square based armies. With the coming of AoS they have transitioned seamlessly with the same level of enthusiasm they displayed before. This doesn't mean they think AoS is a perfect game, as they do have a few criticisms of the rules, but they seem to be enjoying the games they have played so far. They also seem to be fans of the new lore and the newest army to join the scene, the Stormcast Eternals. They so far have had three episodes that cover AoS, ranging from initial thoughts, to the new lore, to the best way to play the game and what tactics to use. If you want to hear a positive, enthusiastic, but still fairly balanced take on the game then Heelanhammer is right up your alley.
Garagehammer is yet another podcast that has been trying out AoS. They are not quite as enthusiastic about it as others, but still seem to have a genuinely positive attitude about it overall. If you want to hear some great AoS coverage, but still have the "hobby wobbles" that a lot of people feel discussed then this is for you. They are also the absolute best at covering lore and books. If you don't believe me go back and listen to their coverage of the End Times series. Each book is discussed in depth with musical accompaniment and dramatic readings. I'm seriously looking forward to when they cover the lore from AoS. They also cover other games such as Infinity and Kings of War, or basically whatever they think is interesting and worth talking about, so it's also great for learning about gaming systems you may not be familiar with.
I know, I know, another podcast, but they really seem to be a great source of content. Tabled is a relatively newcomer to the scene, as well a newcomer to my repertoire of podcasts. They are only up to episode eight at this point, and only one of those episodes covers AoS so far. Despite this they seem to have a real fondness for the new game and have delved in with gusto. Their latest episode covers all of the new lore that had been released up to that point as well as their general musings on the game. One of the member is a huge fan of the new Stormcast and also a staunch believer in using the word "lore" instead of "fluff", which I support as well. Fluff is just filler. Lore is the background to an entire world. They also seem to update their website with whatever hobby project they are working on as well as any news and rumors. Tabled covers a wide swathe of tabletop games, so I wouldn't expect every episode to pertain to Warhammer, but I wouldn't be surprised if it features at least a little bit in all future episodes.
The Independent Characters
Now the Independent Characters is a 40k exclusive podcast, so you may be wondering why I've included it in my list of AoS material. I am including it here for just one episode actually. It recently ended its run, going off the air after five years, but in their farewell episode (#127) they touched upon the advent of AoS. Pretty much everyone they talked to chimed in with their own thoughts on it, but there was one segment in particular that I liked. They discuss an article on how to deal with change. It basically boils down to you having three options. You can accept that change and go with the flow (AoS), you can continue hanging on to the old way or find a replacement (keep playing 8th or try Kings of War, etc.), or you can continue hanging on to your feelings of anger and rage against the world. Spoiler, only two of those solutions actually help anyone.
The Independent Characters
Are you tactically minded? Do you enjoy finding the best strategies to win? Then Hobbykiller is definitely for you. This blog is updated very frequently with the authors musings on various tactical situations and army optimization. He also delves into rules questions and event coverage. Having read through the site I have already come across a few ideas I hadn't thought of my self. It's all very well presented and easy to understand. Some of the articles even have diagrams to further help clarify his point. There's no negativity here and it's great to see a more tournament minded player embrace AoS.
Guerrilla Miniature Games
Guerrilla Miniature Games is a relatively new YouTube channel created by Ash, formally of miniwargaming. It doesn't focus exclusively on Warhammer or GW games, but he seems to be embracing AoS. He already has a couple of battle report videos up there, mostly featuring the Stormcast Eternals vs the Orruks (+1 for using the new race names), which are interesting to watch and fun. Everything seems to be of a really high production value, and the armies look great. If you enjoy watching battle report videos I would give it a shot. Miniwargaming also has some AoS battle reports, but the comment sections on those seem to have been a toxic mess right from the get go. For whatever reason the negative people appeared to have stayed put over there, with a generally positive attitude on the Guerrilla Miniature Games comments.
Guerrilla Miniature Games
This one may seem obvious, but for those not in the know there's Warhammer TV, GW's official YouTube channel. Beyond the promotional videos that come out for each release they also have a bunch of absolutely amazing painting tutorial videos. These are all taught by Duncan Rhodes and usually coincide with a new release. The last batch to get released covered every single model from the AoS starter set. These videos have the best production values out there and are extremely easy to follow and understand. I find them to be extremely entertaining and tend to watch each one, even if it's not for a model I own. You never know when you may pick up a new technique you hadn't thought of before.
Twitter is a great place to find positive attitudes and constructive feedback on AoS. I only started using it about a year ago, but I find tons of great hobby projects and general positiveness on there. Now there are of course people who rage on it just like anywhere else, but they tend to be much more level headed and more reasonable people. It probably has something to do with your Twitter account being yours as opposed to just an anonymous user name in a comment section or forum. Regardless, I have found it a great place to find inspiration and have constructive conversations about the game. Unsure about a rule? Pop a question up on Twitter and you will more then likely find plenty of people willing to help you and discuss it, not just ridicule you and the game. If there is someone who is just being plain out rude, simple unfollow them and save yourself the headache. I'll leave a link to my own Twitter page to get you started, but start branching out and finding new people to follow if you haven't already, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Just like Twitter, there are plenty of people on Facebook that are enjoying the AoS game, the models, or both! There are a multitude of Facebook groups out there for Games Workshop games that you can join. My favorite at the moment is the 'Eavier Metal group which is all about painting. It has some serious heavy hitters amongst its members, but anyone can join and anyone can post in it! Want some feedback on your latest model, pop it up in the group. I have seen some absolutely gorgeous AoS models in there lately. Everyone is very friendly and cordial, and all of the criticism is constructive. Mengel Miniatures even has it's own Facebook page you can Like, as does pretty much every other site I have mentioned on here.
Mengel Miniatures and the Mengel Miniatures Forum
Last but not least I have my own site. You may have noticed I'm definitely in the positive camp about AoS and like to share my thoughts and hobby projects pertaining to it. I am also trying to build up the forum into a place where people can feel safe about posting AoS related projects and get some good feedback on it.
Mengel Miniatures Forum
If anyone else has any good suggestions for some positive and constructive websites for the Age of Sigmar community please drop it in the comments below. I would hate for someone new to get into this hobby, come online, and find mostly hate and ridicule. Let's try and build the best community we can. Just like the Old World, our community has been shaken and torn down around us, now it's time to rebuild it.
Until next time,