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Von Bugman,

Hello Community,

Today sees a large landmark erected in the course of The 9th Age history, for today, after many months of hard work by staff and community alike, we can officially announce our ruleset is "Gold".

Before you jump to the links, just a few words on how we got here and what lies ahead.

It has been close to four years since a group of likeminded gamers got together and said "We can do this". Exactly what "this" was could be easily defined, a balanced game set in fantasy world, free of corporate pushes and pulls and concentrated solely on the game. The "how" turned out to be a little trickier as not only did the project want balance, but also stable foundation that could be built upon moving forwards. The project wanted to retain the feel of wargaming that had become so familiar to us all but also wanted to carve out its own path, allowing the project to develop new dynamics and different ways of playing, yet still retaining that great wargaming familiar feeling.

It would be impossible to list every person who has worked on this project, for not only do we have all the staff members but also the continuously growing community. None of this could have been done without your help, and for that, the project would like to say a very big thank you!

The project will also be the first to admit, it hasn't been all smooth sailing and as we progress forwards, we will continue to listen and ask more of our community.

Looking to the outside, it’s worth clearing up a few misunderstandings the project has seen crop up over its time. The first of, this is a not-for-profit organisation. None of our staff (from top to bottom) are ever paid for their work. In addition, the ruleset, in full, will always be free to download and/or print off now and in the future. Within our licence however, we do allow other companies to print off and sell the rulebooks if they keep the rules untouched, which is why you will see "kick starters" or other such "community backings" going on. This is a great way to support the growing number of companies that are actively supporting The 9th Age with new miniatures and accessories to help you enjoy gaming. You can find out more of these companies by going in the Company Showcase.

All of the money in these backings is for these companies to produce the materials and miniatures and none of it comes back to The 9th Age, unless they pledge to donate like anyone can do. Yes, you can support The 9th Age directly by donating to us as we still have costs like the web server etc. We hope to feature more ways to actively support The 9th Age soon and you should keep your eyes on the news to hear about these in the new year.

This is a community project and over the last few years, the numbers of players who are playing the game have risen dramatically, which for a community project is simply amazing. There will always be naysayers but in our experience, many don't understand that this game is made by gamers for gamers.

Talking about the wider community, we now have multiple translations of our rules as this truly is a worldwide game. Over the last three years, we have seen the number of tournaments grow almost exponentially with some countries hosting a 9th Age tournament weekly. The number of countries data is now pooled from (i.e. has enough viably large tournaments) has risen 20% in the last year alone with countries like the USA whom many had decreed as dying area now actively breaking into the top 5, a truly remarkable effort given the increasing data those top 5 continue to generate. Even with these amazing figures, we haven’t even talked about that the ETC entrusted us in 2015 or the ever-increasing number of games being played at home, at friends or down at local clubs and game stores. We know we still have much work to do to help raise the profile of the game, but we now have a stable ruleset, allowing those individuals that have been waiting for the stability of a non-changing ruleset to embrace the game.

To help bring new people into the game, our Quick Starter ruleset is being released, updated for the 2nd Edition, allowing a gentler way to encourage new people into the game by providing a clear, easy to understand rulebook, as well as small pre-set balanced forces. In 2019 some of our supporting companies will even be producing Quick Starter Sets with rules and miniatures, outstanding!

Its not just all large miniatures though. Did you know you can play The Ninth Age in many different ways? For instance, you can play it all digitally from the comfort of your couch via Universal Battle, a free (for now) app for your mobile/tablet or downloaded for your PC. Alternatively, 2D and 3D paper models are becoming available, or for real portability / cost sweet spot, you can join the growing trend of gaming in 10mm where a table is 3ft by 2ft and your miniatures can be packed into a simple sandwich box! Obviously, there is still the 28mm scale which is growing every day as more and more companies pledge to support the Ninth Age, along with the associated terrain and accessories. Some professional painters offer their service online so there is really many ways to get the army you want.

Not only does the project provide an amazing ruleset and 16 different playable armies, but did you know that additional armies like Åsklanders and soon Makhran are available to download? Originally presented as auxiliary armies, the project is now seeing more and more of these being allowed in local tournaments as well as seeing some truly inspiring model armies. There is additional supplements like the Scenario Supplement and we have many plans for many more.

Does any of this wet your appetite and induce you to think you could assist? The project is constantly looking for staff to help with the project so why not drop us a line? You can do that by clicking on your avatar picture and finding which "User Groups" fits you. Additionally, if you don’t think you have time to give every week but want to help us shape the future, join up to the community and get involved with your faction. Each faction has several community support staff members whose job is to take ideas, information and feedback from our community (you!) to our staff and additionally seek out advice from our community, so let them know your thoughts and ideas!


So here we are at the end of my speech, let’s see what Gold truly means:

Gold Core Rules, Slim Edition
Along with the Arcane Compendium and your favorite Army Book, this rulebook contains all you need to know and understand to get gaming in The 9th Age. This can be downloaded as a PDF which you can either store electronically or print out at home or use one of the many online printers to produce a physically copy for you.

Gold Core Rules, Legendary Edition
This rulebook will contain all the rules of the Slim Edition, but also background and many amazing pictures drawn by our talented Art Team. This book takes a little more time to create and polish off, and we will be looking to release this around March 2019, fingers crossed.

Gold Arcane Compendium, Slim & Legendary Editions
This book, necessary to play the game, contains all the spells and special items common to most factions. This can be downloaded as a PDF which you can either store electronically or print out at home or use one of the many online printers to produce a physically copy for you. The Legendary Edition, like the Core Rules above, will contain more background and the stunning artwork to match. Again, it will have an expected release date in or around March 2019.

Gold Army Books
Each army book is up to date and ready to download and print if required.
It is delivered in the Slim Edition, as it has existed so far.
In a more or less distant future, each of them will get simultaneously a Legendary Edition and a full overhaul.

What about updates?
Some people wonder if we will be updating every 5 minutes like before.

Over the last couple of years, updating the rules, magic and army books has allowed the game to reach the amazing external balance that we enjoy now. To allow a clear understanding of how we plan to update, please see below:

Core Rules Updates - not anymore!
Worth noting here that Gold Core Rules means Gold Core Rules. No change for these Core Rules is expected for the several years to come as we turn our attention to producing all the Army Books and still having excess time after this. Spelling mistakes aside, unless a unbelievable ground-breaking earth shattering problem is found for which the rules team reserve the right to alter, the Core Rules will now remain untouched. Given the huge amount of testing that has already gone on, we see this as highly unlikely.

Arcane Compendium Updates -
Some may ask why these are split out from the Core Rules. In working towards the goal of having a stable ruleset, we realised that if anything might need changing, it may be a spell casting value or a special item cost. By placing these as separate documents, any changes would not impact the main rule set.

Gold Slim Edition Army Book Updates -
As it stands, the update schedule for these has not been set yet, as the project looks at everything from every 6 months to bi-yearly, however once it is, this will be openly communicated to the community. Also note, only pricing changes are expected. No redesigns or rule changes are expected as we turn to focus on creating new army books.

Army books in BETA -
Those books which are in BETA (currently only the Daemon Legions) can expect changes to occur as we explore new army wide rules, new units and pricing changes. Final changes to award gold status for Warriors of the Dark Gods should be completed in new year.

So, there we have it, four years of blood, sweat and toil neatly condensed down to being the most balanced fantasy wargame for gamers by gamers.

So without further ado, here are the downloads and if you wish to join in this discussion, you can do over here

In addition, discuss this release here

:release: The Ninth Age Main Rulebook v2.0
:black magic: Arcane Compendium v2.0
:WDG_bw: Warriors of the Darkness Gods v2.0
:VS: Vermin Swarm v2.0
:UD_bw: Undying Dynasties v2.0
:SA: Saurian Ancients v2.0
:VC: Vampire Covenant v2.0
:O&G: Orc & Goblins v2.0
:KoE: Knights Of Equitaine v2.0
:HE: Highborn Elves v2.0
:EoS: Empire of Sonnstahl v2.0
:DL: Daemon Legions v0.205.2
:BH: Beast Herds v2.0
:ID: Infernal Dwarves v2.0
:OK: Ogre Khans v2.0
:DE: Dread Elves v2.0
:DH: Dwarven Holds v2.0
:SE_bw: Sylvan Elves v2.0

See you on the amazing Battlefield that is The 9th Age

T9A Team
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