Games Workshop spruced up their fantasy battle wargame series – Warhammer – with the adding of “Warhammer: Age of Sigmar”. Now more than half a decade later, Gasket Games brings us ” Age of Sigmar Storm Ground”, which represents the Warhammer franchise’s first major foray into the video gaming arena.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Storm Ground is a turn-based tactical combat game that – as the name suggests – plays out in Warhammer’s fantasy world. This comes on the back of other Warhammer video games – digital card games and auto battles – that were not well received. So right out of the gate, Storm Ground has a lot of convincing to do.
The plot & the gameplay?
The game is set in a time of conflict between three gods who’s hoards of loyal followers are sent to battle it out on their crusades. The factions that partake in the hostilities are the Stormcast – the followers of Sigmar, the Nighthaunt – who serve the Nagash the Lord of Undeath and, the Maggotkin – servants of the plague god Nurgle.
After picking a faction, players are met with roguelike gameplay where they’ll assume control of a champion character with a band of followers in tow and guide them through grinding out new items, gathering loot, increasing skills, recruiting new members and tactical turn-based combat encounters.
Though not without its own flaws, battles themselves are probably the best executed and most pleasant part of playing Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Storm Ground. The turn-based combat follows simplistic rules and mechanics that maintain fairness without being rigid. The result is a predictable rhythm to the gameplay that anybody can get used to.
At the beginning of each round, players are allocated “power” resources – represented by a power meter – which is used to summon units. Any power which isn’t spent on summoning is then automatically converted to Aether, the in-game currency that is used to activate your units special abilities.
As each round passes and a new round begins, the power bar is refilled and will expand slightly, allowing players to requisition more expensive units as the battle draws on – giving Storm Ground’s combat system a sense of natural escalation.
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Storm Ground comes with PvP, player v AI skirmishes and a roguelike campaign. The latter of which is the most disappointing. It turns an activity that is meant to be fun into a tedious task, not to mention that progress from the campaign is separate from the other modes.
The game is visually pleasing enough and the simplistic approach to tactical turn-based combat makes Warhammer: Age of Sigmar Storm Ground an easy game for anyone to appreciate. There is also sufficient variety between the different playable factions.
A number of aspects of both the campaign mode and the single-player need to be reconsidered, like the insane amount of time that is spent grinding.
Another letdown is in the rules, through brilliantly simple there are a few inconsistencies to how they work – especially when it comes to how traps are triggered. Lastly, it is littered with bugs that make playing an irritating experience at some points.