The 9th Age

Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age

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Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age is an independent table top miniature wargame set in a fantasy world, in which players take control of armies and set them upon one another in conflicts ranging from minor skirmishes to mighty battles with hundreds of models.

The game and all of its rules are completely free to download and use, and consist of a main rulebook and over fifteen army documents, ranging from stoic men and noble elves to the feral orcs and dread worshipers of the dark gods. You can easily assemble your own army using appropriate 28mm miniatures from any manufacturer.

Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age has been created by a group of experienced wargamers, a large supportive staff and continuous input from the wargaming community. We aim to provide a competitive, balanced and fun game, with updates and new rules to be released regularly.

We’ve created 16 unique armies from the Dread Elves in the west to the Ogre Khans in the east. Each army has different units and playstyles and can be represented by models from any 28mm model company. People said it was impossible, but we have created a game that is both balanced and fun. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourselves.

Happy wargaming.

Next planned release is not before September 2016

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  • New

    Come one, come all…  Listen to the musings and meanderings of Waldorf and Statler as they "do it to the 9th Age".  In this series, the old farts wax on about the different Paths of Magic, like only senile old coots can do…  Interested?  Check out the their geezing on Wargaming from the Balcony on Youtube.  Don’t worry if you don’t enjoy it, it’s just important for surly old guys to think people are listing to them!

    This is the final installment of the Paths of Magic, covering the Paths of Disease, Lust, and Change.

    [Read More]
  • New

    Throughout my wargaming history, I’ve witness brutal combinations pop up. The 9th Age is no different. I’ve faced some seriously nasty Sylvan Elf and Empire of Sonnstahl lists. Hell, we even have a player around these parts that, despite being new the fantasy wargaming, has been racking up a reputation as a solid player using Warriors of the Dark Gods.

    Sometimes I feel that this is in response to the starting lists of Snorri and myself. We were the two people to begin playing 9th Age in our local scene, and since, it has really taken on a life of its own. The reason why Snorri and I share the blame and derision to the competitive (read: brutal) meta that we are currently in is that we spent a great deal of time with one army and shifted our lists game-to-game accordingly.

    In the end, my ever-infamous Mono-Change Flying Circus became a thing of nightmares to most new opponents. What they never seemed to realize, initially, is that Snorri usually beat me. Add that in with some new players giving him a run for his money, and many have started to “get it”.

    What the hell do I mean by “get it”?

    The beauty of the 9th Age project is the, overall, toning down of many combos and auto-includes from previous fantasy wargames. I feel there are very few completely useless options anymore; everything has a role to play.

    Whether that role fits into your list, and specifically, against your opponent, is something that is entirely situational. I have a predilection for playing a fast, maneuverable, shooty, magic-y MSU list; something that, for instance, our local Vermin player absolutely detested. In similar fashion, one of our Saurian Ancients players has had a hell of a time taking down anything more than horrors in my list.

    That changed. Their lists changed.

    Despite some worries from our community about power levels, many have adapted through trial and error. Net-listing is something that is heavily discouraged around these parts, not because of any stigma, but due to the nature of what net-listing is, in and of itself: taking someone else’s square peg and trying to jam it into your own cylindrical slot….(Omarcomin’ is going to have a field day with that one).

    One of the real joys is the post-game breakdown (usually with beer). Many new players in our scene have had to ask themselves the following questions:

    1. Why did I lose/win?
    2. How much was luck involved?
    3. Was this just a bad match-up for my list?
    4. If so, how can I shift to a more “take on all” approach?
    5. Am I too reliant on one or two particular aspects of my army?
    6. Is this, sadly, the wrong army for my preferred playstyle?
    7. If I answer “maybe” to #6… am I just not using the units that would be optimized for how I like to play?

    This has, pretty much, become a survey for a lot of new players after their first few games of 9th. Incredibly, no one has given an unequivocal “YES” to question #6. That said, we’ve seen a lot of #7. The vast alterations in lists we see from the “learning phase” to the “competent” way of being is quite something to behold. It seems to take about 5-10 games to go from one to the other, but once its reach, you can always tell. Because they show up the next weekend with an entirely different build. And, usually, something no one had expected to see.

    Some examples of this:

    • Wrath/Lust List turning into a Mono-Change Flying Circus *raises hand*, that’s actually gotten away from MSU, a bit!
    • Standard combined Arms Empire eliminating heavy cav. and becoming a skirmish-heavy, pistol heavy, dance partner backed up by some cheap scoring blocks.
    • “Grab-bag” style WotDG army turned into an MSU, ambushing, vanguarding nightmare.
    • Infantry-centric UD becoming a really threatening Monster Mash list.
    • All Cav. Empire…well… actually, that one stayed about the same… and is still quite good.
    • Another Daemon player shifting from standard Poly to a crazy-fast Lust/Change flanking list. This one honestly worries the heck out of me.
    • My own KoE going from classic multi-Lance formation, double-treb etc list… and becoming an army filled with Skirmishers, Vanguarding, Fast Cav and a couple of massive Peasant Levy blocks for scoring.

    I actually have about another half dozen examples… but I think the point, overall, is as follows:

    No army book is perfect. There will always be balancing issues for as long as there are players to find ways to break books. But, overall, adapting to your meta and the tools you’ve been given is possible with, in my opinion, any of the books.

    Some will be easier than others to work with, some will be frustrating as all hell. That’s fine. In fact, that’s half the fun.

    And remember, Net-Lists are like knickers; they may feel and look good on one person, but they certainly shouldn’t be worn by all. [Read More]
  • New

    GAME 3 – Undying Dynasties

    The last game of the tourney was against Serge, a veteran gamer who brought a small yet very efficient list:

    Serge wrote:


    Pharaoh, Commander of Terracotta army, Vanquisher Eternal, Mask of Teput

    Death Cult Hierarch, Level 3 Path of Sands, Book of the Dead, Soul Conduit

    Death Cult Acolyte, Level 1 Path of Sands, Dispel Scroll

    Tomb Harbinger, BSB, War Banner

    Tomb Architect


    6 Chariots, Full Command, Flaming Banner

    4 Chariots, Full Command


    Battle Sphinx, Breath Weapon

    Battle Sphinx, Breath Weapon

    27 Necropolis Guard, Halberds, Full Command, Stalker’s Standard

    I had never faced a Terracotta Necropolis Guard Deathstar (TNGD for short), but I’d heard enough stories to know that this unit cannot be underestimated. It didn’t help that the last game of the day would be played without a secondary objective, meaning that I’d have to actually kill some undead to get points!

    The good news were that the TNGD is slow, and that there were only 20 bow shots in the army. So the battle plan was simple: outdeploy, outmaneuver, kill everything around the deathstar and then (eventually) move in for the kill. That last part is where I expected my plan to blow up in my face, as has happened countless times before. An important detail of the plan was to isolate units, and pull them out of formation. The only way I’d be able to commit would be by making sure that the NG wouldn’t be able to countercharge me in return.

    Magic: Dryad Matriarch got 0,3 (Wilderness), Druid got 0,1 (White), Hierarch got 4,5,6 (Sands) and Acolyte got 1 (Sands)

    So the good news was that there were no movement spells for the UD: redirecting the deathstar becomes a lot more difficult when you’ve got two movement spells to dispel per turn.

    Deployment resulted in me outdeploying the UD, which pitted two units of Kestrels and the Forest Guard against the small chariot unit, the Briar Maidens, Heath Riders and Wild Huntsmen against the two sphinx and the NG, while in the centre the Thicket Beasts squared off against the chariots, with all the small and squishy units more than 32” away from the chariot shooting. My opponent decided to take the first turn, and battle was joined!

    TURN 1 – Undying Dynasties

    The undead battle line moved up in unison, no surprises there. Magic started with a particularly high casting roll of boosted divine judgment on the Briar Maidens. I used up all my dice to dispel that, letting everything else through, including Shifting Sands on the Briar Maidens. Shooting put a wound on the leftmost Kestrels.

    TURN 1 – Sylvan Elves

    The left flank redeployed a bit, with the Briar Maidens staying more than 18” away from the sphinx (for fear of the Breath Weapon), and the Wild Huntsmen relocating more centrally. The Kestrels moved up towards the small chariot unit, as did the Forest Guard. The Thicket Beasts entered the charge zone of the big chariots, tempting them to charge.

    Magic opened with the phoenix rises healing the wound off the kestrels and putting a White token on the Thicket Beasts, then all my attempts to hurt the big chariots from afar were ineffective (Redwood shaft failed to cast and the Curse of the wildwood was dispelled). Shooting proved to be equally ineffective, not a single wound was scored by the Sylvan Archers.

    TURN 2 – Undying Dynasties

    The chariots took the bait and fell into the Thicket Beasts, while the sphinx and NG continued their slog towards my lines. The small chariots tried to swift reform, but failed its Ld and reformed instead, keeping the kestrels in their front arc. Magic saw me use my scroll to stop yet another Divine Judgment, then I used my dice to stop the Ancient Glory, letting through the Cursed Blades on the chariots.

    The impact hits of the chariots proved to be quite ineffective: 9 of them were dealt, but between rolls to wound, armour and ward saves, all of them were ignored. In retaliation, the thicket beasts dealt 11 wounds on the chariots and received a single wound back. The chariots were disintegrated, allowing my Thicket Beasts to pivot to face the sphinx’s flank.

    TURN 2 – Sylvan Elves

    Seizing the opportunity, thicket beasts and a unit of Wild Huntsmen tag-teamed on the rightmost sphinx. The Kestrels and the second unit of Wild Huntsmen moved into position to flank the smaller chariot unit on the following turn, with the Forest Guard offering themselves as bait. The Briar Maidens spotted a blind corner in the sphinx’s charge arc, so moved in for some poisoned shots. Finally, the skirmishing part of the army moved about to create threatening situations, while the Heath Riders were shoved right in front of the Sphinx and NG to stall them a bit.

    Magic was yet again ineffective, but shooting succeeded in putting two wounds on the unengaged sphinx!

    In combat the combined efforts of the Wild Huntsmen and the Thicket beasts made short work of… [Read More]
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