Tabletop wargaming is my generation’s model train. I grew up going to train conventions with my dad, collected Warhammer 40,000 models in middle school, and admired Warhammer Fantasy from afar for years. It wasn’t until the 2020’s pandemic that I took another look at my miniature collection and regained a love for tabletop wargaming. After a year and a half of learning Warhammer 40k’s 9th edition, I purchased an Age of Sigmar Dominion box and fell head over heels for the modern fantasy equivalent of Games Workshop’s most popular tabletop wargame.
For context, Age of Sigmar is not Warhammer Fantasy—it is a brand reset for the fantasy version of Warhammer and presents a totally new product despite similar models being used in both games. While Warhammer 40,000 has the baggage of decades of legacy mechanics and rules, Age of Sigmar strips back the bloat and attempts wild and flavorful approaches to traditional wargaming tropes as opposed to the strict interpretations of the 41st millennium.
The core rules for Age of Sigmar are relatively simple compared to its contemporaries and help engage the players in the cooperative storytelling that makes for fun gaming sessions. Mortals of the various realms face off against terrifying daemons, horrifying beasts, and followers of chaos alike.
Without a ton of rules bloat to lull your brain to sleep (or boredom), Sigmar relies heavily on universal mechanics that all players can take advantage of. The more flavorful abilities are left for specific factions to utilize, but they rarely take center stage in a game primarily around statistics and predictability. This creates a game flow that helps players build up knowledge and familiarity with the game regardless of which force they select to field (the exception being OCR).
After growing up with old metal models and janky instructions, assembling the models from the Age of Sigmar Dominion box was a breeze! Not only are the models pegged for easy, no-glue-required assembly, but their design is sleek and elegant enough to allow for more experienced builders to trim the pegs off and work with or kitbash the plastic to their heart’s content. If you like the honorable Stormcast Eternals or the slimy Kruleboyz, both armies are a steal at ~$60 each.
If you’re interested in getting into tabletop wargaming but don’t know where to start, consider picking up the Age of Sigmar Dominion box (they currently sell for around $120 USD) to gain access to two 1,000-point armies that can be played after assembly. If you’d rather try something smaller scale, there’s always Age of Sigmar: Warcry to test your mettle against opposing warbands instead of opposing armies.