Posted 31/07/2017

Balanced, Diverse, Fun – Matched Play in the General’s Handbook 2017

Matched play is a key cornerstone of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and the General’s Handbook 2017 will be making this style of play better than ever. From tweaks to balance, to the new allies system and new ways to build your army, the General’s Handbook 2017 promises to revolutionise competitive Warhammer Age of Sigmar gaming and test your skills more than ever before.

There are two new Rules of One for matched play games. Firstly, the roll for priority at the beginning of each battle round cannot be modified or re-rolled – if you’re fishing for a double turn, you’re going to have to rely on good old fashioned luck to get it. Secondly, no artefact of power can be taken more than once in the same army and so if you’re using multiple artefacts, you’ll now have to be creative and branch out. With tonnes of new allegiance-specific artefacts available, this shouldn’t be too hard.

Some of the existing Rules of One have had a few adjustments as well. For example, as well as a roll of 1 always failing to hit or wound, a roll of a 6 will now always succeed. This means that no matter how huge, scary and tough your opponent may be, you’ve always got at least a slim chance to hurt them.*

Another exciting new change is Massive Regiments. Several units are now discounted in points when taken at their maximum strength, making large units much more appealing choices. A full-sized regiment of Clanrats, for example, is 40 points cheaper than before, allowing you to take full advantage of Strength in Numbers. Fill out your Battleline slots in a 200 point Verminous army like this and you’ll have saved enough points for an allied Deathrunner.

There are loads more ‘Battleline-if’** units for matched play armies, allowing for some unusual new lists. We’ll be looking more closely at these in our Grand Alliance previews, but there are some that really stand out. For example, the bloodthirsty Daughters of Khaine can now fill out their Battleline slots with Doomfire Warlocks and/or Sisters of Slaughter.

Once change that’ll affect every matched play gamer is the new Battleplans. There are six new Pitched Battles designed to test the tactical skills of players in a variety of situations. Some of these are refreshed versions of classic missions – Knife to the Heart, for instance, is similar to Take and Hold but features new objective placement and deployment. Others, like Duality of Death are radically different and force players to make new considerations when writing their competitive army lists. In this scenario, for example, you’ll need your Heroes and Behemoths to capture objectives, forcing you to risk your most valuable units to win the game. The Warhammer Age of Sigmar competitive scene is stronger than ever, and these new Battleplans promise to reward not just strong list-building but careful and considered play.

Finally, the General’s Handbook 2017 has a few tweaks to matched play to help balance out games. Many units have had their points updated. The costs of some units have been reduced to ensure they are just as appealing as other choices, while the costs of others have been increased to make sure they are not overrepresented.

Matched play in the General’s Handbook will be better than ever – there are loads of new ways to build your armies and tightly balanced new Battleplans to test them in. If you’re a competitive gamer, the General’s Handbook 2017 means that your battles will be diverse, deep and, most importantly, fun!  

Remember, the General’s Handbook will be out very soon, so now is a great time to seek out events in your local area*** in the coming months to try your skills at battle. There’s never been a better time to get started with Warhammer Age of Sigmar matched play. Come back on Friday, when we’ll be taking a look at the Order Grand Alliance and what the new book means for these stalwart defenders of civilisation.

* Stab ‘em in the knee!
**If you’re not familiar with Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Battleline units are the units that make up the core of any matched play force – for example, in a 1000 point game, you need two Battleline units. By choosing your units exclusively from one alliance, you get powerful “Battleline-if” units that reward you for focused list-building by allowing for stronger and more unusual core choices. For example, a dedicated Stormcast Eternals force can take ranged Judicators in place of melee-focused Liberators as a Battleline unit.

*** We can recommend a visit to Warhammer World if you’re on this side of the Atlantic, and the NOVA Open and LVO are great events for those of you in North America.


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