The rules and 'Codexes', now known as 'Warscrolls' are available to download free on the GW website, which is an improvement over the ridiculous sums being charged for 40K material. GW have followed Mantic in another regard in that the AoS is hugely simplified compared to Warhammer. The core rules are a mere four pages long.
However, in every other way Age of Sigmar is a poor competitor to Kings of War.
Players start a game by dividing the player area into two - they each own half the territory except for a 24" neutral zone in the centre.
Players then alternate in setting up their armies one unit at a time. They continue this until (i) they run out of units to plonk down, (ii) they run out of space to plonk them in, or (iii) they lose the will to live. If your opponent tires first it doesn't matter You can still drop additional units onto the table for as long as you like or as long as you've got more to unload from the boot of your car.
There are no points. I'll say that again: there are no points!
So what constitutes a unit? Weeeel, it could be a single figure such as Nagash or it could be a regiment of troops such as Skeleton Warriors. There are minimum regiment sizes, usually five to ten models but there are no upper limits.
I'll say that again: there are no upper limits on the size of a regiment.
Want sixty Blood Knights? Well go ahead my son. The only limitation is how much cash you are willing to spend down at your
By now you have probably grasped that there is no such thing as balance in the armies deployed. The concept just don't exist in Age of Sigmar. There's no balance in the victory conditions either. You fight until one side is completely eliminated: there's no army morale. If you are in danger of dieing of boredom you can just stop and the loser is the one who has lost the highest percentage of his army as measured by models removed.
All models count the same for victory purposes! I'll, no on second thoughts I won't repeat that. I'm sure you get the picture.
Nagash is no more valuable than a skeleton warrior for purposes of victory.
There is a Sudden Death victory table that seems to be an attempt to balance the system for games with unequal armies - and they will all be unequal - BUT IT WON'T WORK.
If one player has a third more models in his army than the other, the outnumbered player can choose a sudden death objective such as 'get any model to within 3 inches of a specified terrain feature by turn 4'.
Note: all models count the same for army size purposes. Again, Nagash is no more valuable than a skeleton warrior.
So I choose an army of ten super heroes, one of which flies. I am inferior to your modest force of troops so I get the sudden death victory condition on account of my army's inferiority (ho ho). On turn 4 I fly my badass hero to the specified terrain feature and thumb my nose at you. Want another game?
Then we get onto bases. They've changed the bases from square to round(ish) but to incorporate the old models you no longer measure from the base but from a 'point on the model' - like a spear point. This has all sorts of practical issues as melee weapons have a range, believe it or not. WHY? One inch in the case of swords, which may make it very difficult for a swordsman to engage Nagash on his large square base.
Forget your ranked troops fighting mighty battles. The close combat system is bit 40K-like with loose groups of troops that only fight as individuals when they get within striking distance of an enemy model.
I just don't know what to say about this. I can't make up my mind whether it's simply a cunning cynical plan to sell large, expensive, high-profit margin models like Nagash or just gross incompetence.
No name is attached to the rules as a credit, just the corporate copyright. And to be fair it does read like a piece of complete corporate drek without a scintilla of wit or creative spark.
You can download the rules for nothing, and that's about what they're worth. If this is the answer to the decline of Warhammer then GW have framed the wrong question.