Thursday, December 26, 2019

Age of Sigmar in 2019: A Look Back

2019 is almost over, and what a year it's been! It's amazing to think that Gloomspite Gitz came out at the start of the year. That honestly feels like at least two years ago to me. As the year winds down and the holidays are in full swing, let's take a quick look back at the year that's been.

Remember when a new army would come out over a two to three month period and each system would only get three or four new releases a year? Well, those days are long in the past. In 2019 alone we got 12 different Battletomes for AoS!


The new year kicked off with the most mischievous of armies within the Mortal Realms, the Gloomspite Gitz! This reimagining of the classic goblin from Fantasy brought the Moonclan and Spiderfang together into one book, and most importantly of all introduced the all Troggoth army. This was also the first AoS army to get updates to classic models in the form of the Squigs and Rockgut Troggoths. Typically armies only got brand new units and not updated sculpts for old ones.


This month saw the release of both the Flesh-eater Courts and Skaven Battletomes as well as their combined battlebox. These two battletomes went on to be true powerhouses of the tournament scenes for a couple of month and are still pretty dang powerful. The Flesh-eater Courts book was only the third AoS battletome to get redone besides Stormcast and Khorne. Skaven have always been a fan favorite, and seeing their lore get updated to fit within the Mortal Realms was great. Also, talk about a ton of warscroll options! I think Skaven held the title for most units in a book, until October that is...


Khorne came roaring back into the Mortal Realms for a third time with their updated Blades of Khorne battletome. They now tied Stormcast Eternals for the most re-done battletome. While they didn't get many new models, they did get some Endless Spell equivalents and a terrain piece to put them on par with a lot of the other armies out there. The new Bloodthrister/Hound meta also began to take hold.


Not to be outdone, everyone's favorite fiery tempered and fiery everything else duardin came back swinging with a new Fyreslayer battletome. These scantily clad duardin brought a new forge and some prayers with them. The Hemdar lodge established itself at the top of the food chain and made the Fyreslayers a name to be feared upon the tabletop.


The lost one finally retuned to us in the form of the Hedonites of Slaanesh. Though their god may still be imprisoned by the tricksy aelves, the followers of Slaanesh struck back with a vengeance. Reports of four Keepers of Secrets running amok on tables everywhere filtered back to Azyr and the forces of Order, Destruction, and Death trembled in fear. The new sculpts for this army were amazing as well. I don't think there was a single model that disappointed. The Keeper of Secrets was the true standout for me though. It really exemplified the beauty and terror of Slaanesh. Nagash was not going to be outdone by Chaos during the Soul Wars though, and he unleashed the might of Forbidden Power to combat it. This campaign box had new Endless Spells, a truly enthralling story, and two new army lists, one of which was the Legion of Grief, giving Nighthaunt players everywhere a new way to play their army. I myself ended up tailoring my Nighthaunt collection to fit within the Legion of Grief for a tournament in July and had a ton of fun with it.


As is tradition, June saw the release of the new General's Handbook for 2019. With updated points and a bunch of new narrative content, this was just as solid of a release as past years.


Though there had been a few hiccups and delays, the children of Alleriale finally took root, bringing us the newly updated Sylvaneth battletome. One of the first unique armies within AoS got a set of new Endless Spells and an updated Wyldwood set. Let's not forget the other big release over the summer, Warcry! While technically a separate game from AoS, it's still set within the same universe and uses the same models. Now we had a brand new way to play skirmish games of AoS as well as a bunch of awesome new Chaos models that could be used in both systems. I'm definitely excited for some of the new Warcry releases coming out that have been hinted at in the Tome of Champions, like the cards for the Nurgle faction.


October saw not one, but two new releases for AoS; the Cities of Sigmar and the Orruk Warclans. Cities of Sigmar has to be one of, if not the largest battletome in the game. This effectively replaced the Grand Alliance Order book and brought all of the remaining factions together under one army. The number of options in this are staggering. I think we'll be seeing new army lists from Cities of Sigmar for years to come. The Orruks rejoiced as well as the Ironjawz and Bonesplitterz found common cause under the Warclans book. We also got a new third way to play them in the form of the Big Waaagh! too.


In November the newest creations of Nagash arrived with the Ossiarch Bonereapers. A brand new faction with an entirely new line of models, the Bonereapers quickly carved out a spot for themselves within the hearts of AoS players everywhere. These boney constructs are part Tomb Kings and part something entirely new. The Ogor Mawtribes also barged their way in, updating the Beastclaw Raiders while bringing in their cousins, the Gutbuster Tribes. I've been very tempted to start this army focusing on the Gutbusters. Although most of the models are from 6th edition Fantasy, I think they still hold up against some of the new kits.


Though the month technically isn't over yet, the big release was the Slaves to Darkness. With this Chaotic battletome the final nail was put in the coffin of the Grand Alliance books. Now everything had its own Battletome. The warriors of Archaon also get a brand new Start Collecting box with some of the nicest new Chaos models I've seen.

Whew, that's a lot. 12 new battletomes, the GHB, an expansion, a brand new skirmish game, and four different limited edition battleboxes. That's a lot to fit into one year, and I didn't even go over the Contrast paints and Nightvault/Beastgrave releases. With 2020 on the horizon we've already gotten a sneak peak at the next two releases for AoS in the form of the Disciples of Tzeentch and the Kharadron Overlords. I'm sure I may have missed something in this past year. There was a lot to cover.

What's been your favorite AoS release in 2019 and what are you looking forward to in 2020?

Happy Holidays!

Tyler M.

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