So I've had a demo game of Age of Sigmar recently and I can't say I'm too impressed.
The set-up was simple since it was a demo with the Empire vs Chaos. I had a steam tank, some spearmen, some peasant archers, a cannon and an empire general vs a chaos lord, chaos knights, chaos marauders and some funny guys with flails.
Now the good part of Age of Sigmar is that it's amazingly easy to pick up and learn. Amazingly easy. Some would in fact say that it's too easy. There are only a few things you need to learn to do. That is move, shoot, charge, fight. You move your movement speed or you run which is movement + d6. You shoot, which is basically just rolling dice to see if you hit and then you can charge into combat after shooting, which is rolling 2d6 and seeing if it's equal to the distance between you and the charge target. Then you fight, which is again, rolling dice to see if the guy dies. There's no flanking bonuses, no aiming bonuses and no penalties for shooting and then charging. In fact, you can EVEN shoot into combat without any issues.
With that being said, the game feels like it has the tactical depth of tic-tac-toe at times. Once I was in combat, there was no reason for me to get out of combat at which point it became a dice-rolling game to see who could get more successes. Maybe it changes when you have some special rules or synergies that makes getting out of combat more useful but considering that when you retreat from combat, you can't shoot or charge later, you might as well just stay in combat since the opponent will just engage you again. That or you're constantly trying to run away to survive but I believe in the old adage, a good offense is the best defense.
And that's before the random crap such as the fact that there's no point balancing system in the game and players are encouraged to play whatever they want without worrying about balance. In other words, I could bring 200 troops to fight 5 infantry and it would be perfectly legit. A dick move but still perfectly legit.
GW has also outdone itself with
Overall, I find the gameplay meh-ish at best. And the aesthetics of the main Sigmarine models are unappealing to me.
I think it's the fact that they look so amazingly similar to Space Marines (and it's even more similar from the back) and the fact that they have those stupid deathmask helmets and the halo around their heads. It's mostly the deathmask + halo that really turns me off these models.
With that being said, there are some pretty good models in the new Sigmarine line. Just not the default ones.
This is a pretty sweet model at the very least. And since the guy is wearing a helmet, you can easily paint his face flesh-colored and pretend it's a normal human face and the lightning-bolt halo is just attached to his helmet. The flying dudes included in the starter aren't bad either.
Overall, I probably wouldn't play Age of Sigmar because it's a bit too simple and I find the normal infantry to be pretty unappealing. However, I wouldn't mind using some of the special characters or infantry as conversions in other games.