Whether your kids have been asking to play, you’re the one who is itching to jump in, or you’re a longtime player wondering if your kids are old enough, my answer is to any questions will the be the same. Simply play Warhammer Age of Sigmar with your kids. It is worth it.
Need more convincing? I’ve got five reasons for you.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links will be found in this post. I did not receive money or product in exchange for this article, and all opinions expressed are my own.
1. Increase Attention & Critical Thinking Skills
You need to have strategy to play a wargame! While younger children and beginners won’t immediately pick up on all the layers of strategy they’ll need to use while playing Warhammer, it won’t take too many games for you to start seeing those gears turning as they plan out their actions. What units should stay behind? Which enemy should I try to eliminate first? Is it better for me to attack one enemy with several units, or divide and conquer? Each of these decisions gives them practice with critical thinking. Basing their decisions on previous experiences is a bonus skill you’ll be thankful for as they reach the teen years.
When playing with children you may have to take frequent breaks and remind them to start thinking ahead about future moves. Eventually this practice will allow them to focus longer and turn that focus into a habit you may see carried over in other parts of her life as well.
2. Math Practice
Not too long ago my boy Finn and I were making 1000 point armies. I wanted to write everything down so it would be easier to keep track of the numbers. Finn humored me and said I could if I wanted, so I wrote down his first three units, worth 72, 40, and 60 points. I then wondered aloud, “how much do you have left?”
Before I could do the math in my head myself, Finn said, “828.”
Finn is seven years old and much of his math exposure has been via games and real-life. Him and his brother Evander have had a lot of practice doing mental arithmetic playing Warhammer. The entire game is like a giant word problem.
Your Plague Monks are 13 inches away from the Saurus Warriors. You roll a 3 and a 5 on the dice for movement, and you have to stop at least 3 inches away from enemies. Can you move the full movement that you rolled? What will you need to roll when you in order to do a melee attack with a range of 1 inch?
And that brings us to measurement. Your kids will have to measure so much, they’ll be able to eyeball lengths pretty well in no time, and that is a pretty useful skill to have throughout life. Did you know that the distance between the two knuckle joints on your index finger is about an inch? Your kids will figure it out eventually when they need to know where to be in order to destroy your Skink Priest.
3. Patience, Practice, & Fine Motor Skills While Painting
Miniatures need to be assembled and painted. Because of the cost, it might pain you to hand over a mini to a child to paint. Trust me, just let them paint. It will be worth it in time. And, if it helps, they can always be repainted later.
Their first attempts will be horrible. So will their second, third, and fourth attempts. Just let them enjoy the experience and show pride in what they’ve accomplished. Evander and Finn began painting miniatures at around four years old. You can see how they progressed in their abilities over the years.
Eventually they will want to do better. As you paint together explain the techniques you’re using. Watch YouTube videos together. Allow your kids to see you make mistakes and recover from them. They will learn that it takes hours to do a good paint job on a mini, and will practice to be able to do the same, which will further increase their fine motor skills. They will either develop patience, or decide that painting is not something they enjoy. And that is OK, too. Maybe building terrain is more their thing, or maybe they don’t care about the fine details and are more into creating backstories for their armies. The important thing is they are exploring new things and discovering how to practice at something enough to realize whether or not it is what they are interested in. And watching you practice and discover the same things about yourself.
4. You Can Get Started Right Now – For Free
Warhammer: Age of Sigmar rules are free and you can get everything you need at the Games Workshop website. On that same page you’ll find links to the Warscrolls Compendiums. Those, a ruler, some d6s and whatever items you can scrounge up to use as units (Lego, peg people, squares cut from cardstock) and you are good to go!
Eventually you will want to get the miniatures, books, and paints. But you don’t have to get it all right now. We have a large family and there is no way we could outfit each person with their own army. We slowly buy things as we can. Minis make great gifts for holidays and birthdays. Just fill in with other things you have about and use your imagination. Added bonus here is a lesson in saving money and delayed gratification. That, and I always think its cute to play Warhammer with toys.
5. Childhood Memories
Warhammer is more than just a game, it is a hobby. There is so much you can do with it. From building terrain to competitive painting, tournaments to modding miniatures, it is a hobby that can grow and evolve with your family. And hobbies give families something to bond over. That time you spend together, slowly adding to your armies, spending lazy Sunday mornings painting together, will form lifelong memories. It isn’t only about the children, either. There is something special about bringing out a bunch of miniatures painted by your children to play among terrain you spent hours together building. That right there is reason enough for me.
Ready to Get Started?
Games Workshop has made it very easy to get started with Warhammer: Age of Sigmar. The basic rules start off simple so you can jump on in if you’ve never played before. Once you are familiar with those you’ll want to grab yourself the General’s Handbook. The General’s Handbook really opens up the game experience, giving the rules to different styles of play. Whether you prefer doing point-based games, open play, narrative campaigns, or some combination, you will find what you need in this book.
The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Box is a great value for getting started with enough miniatures to get you playing. It retails at $125 and gives you 47 miniatures (Khorne Bloodbound and Stormcast Eternals), the 97-page Age of Sigmar Book, dice, and rulers.
Thunder & Blood: A Warhammer Age of Sigmar Starter Kit is a new boxed set that gets you in at an even better price. For $80 retail you get 44 miniatures split between the Khorne Bloodbound and Stormcast armies, the Age of Sigmar book, painting guides, dice, ruler, and a double-sided playing mat.
If you don’t like the factions that the starter boxes include, or you simply want an efficient way to add miniatures to your collection, the Start Collecting! series is an excellent way to go. Each set retails for $85 and contains between 11 and 22 miniatures. Just choose your favorite, and you have an instant collection. Some you can choose from are: Seraphon, Sylvaneth, Skeleton Horde, Flesh-Eater Courts, Ironjawz, Daemons of Khorne, Greenskinz, Daemons of Nurgle, Skaven Pestilens, Daemons of Tzeentch, Khorne Bloodbound, and Stormcast Eternals.
Paints can get more complicated. If you want a basic beginner set to get you started you can go with the Vallejo Basic Colors Set with 16 different colors. For a step up you can look at The Army Painter Mega Paint set which includes 42 paints plus brushes. Either choice will work great until you know exactly what you are looking for.
P.S. After I was done writing this post I experienced one more reason to add. You’ll never know what adorable painted creature you’ll find one day when looking through your supplies, and it is bound to make you smile. It isn’t a Warhammer mini, but the enjoyment of Warhammer has led into many other creative pursuits. If the above reasons didn’t sway you, perhaps this little guy can: