Posted 04/08/2017

Keeping Order in the General’s Handbook 2017

The Order Grand Alliance is the biggest in Warhammer Age of Sigmar, and in the General’s Handbook 2017, there’s something for every faction.

The new Allies system is a great way to recreate classic alliances from the Age of Sigmar. The forces of the Free Cities are often made up of an eclectic collection of aelves, duardin, humans and Stormcast Eternals, and you’ll be able to build an army like this without losing access to your powerful new allegiance abilities. Each faction has its own allies table – the Wanderers, for example, can fight alongside their ancestral kindred the Sylvaneth, while the Stormcast Eternals can lend their strength to any Order faction.

On the tabletop, this is going to make for some powerful combinations. If your army didn’t have a Wizard before, you’ll most likely have access to one now, and a Wizard of the Collegiate Arcane (or even a Luminark of Hysh or Celestial Hurricanum) provides much-needed coverage from Mystic Shield on your key units as well as helping dispel dangerous enemy magic. Armies without Behemoths like the Dispossessed and the Free People will be able to add an indomitable Steam Tank to their forces, providing them with a durable juggernaut that’s capable of dealing with Monsters or just blitzing enemy infantry with a huge array of ranged weapons.

The Seraphon are one of the most improved armies in the new General’s Handbook, with new allegiance abilities, warlord traits, artefacts and two Warscroll battalions. The most powerful of these is the Lords of Space and Time allegiance ability –  which lets you remove a unit and replace it anywhere on the battlefield more than 9″ from the enemy. One of the best units to combine this with is a Troglodon, which – with its increased charge range thanks to Drawn to the Screams – should be more than able to make the 9″ charge move.

There are loads of other tactical uses for this ability too; you could use it to drop a Massive Regiment of Saurus Warriors on top of a key objective or to reposition a valuable support unit like an Engine of the Gods away from a dangerous group of enemies.

The Wanderers are a fast-moving ranged army, capable of disappearing off of table edges then reappearing – combine this with Melt Away, and you’ll be able to lead powerful melee units on a merry chase around the tabletop while peppering them with deadly ranged fire. The best way to take advantage of this is with Sisters of the Watch – by forcing the enemy to charge you repeatedly, they’re going to have to deal with multiple attacks from Loose to the Last, which allows the Sisters of the Watch to shoot at incoming units.

If you’re a fan of old-school duardin, the Dispossessed are the army for you. Thanks to Stubborn to the End, Dispossessed units are nearly impossible to shift and you’ll be able to safely take huge units of them.

A Massive Regiment of 30 Ironbreakers will make for a great core to build any Dispossessed army around. While this unit might be slow, you can overcome this with the Ancestral Pickaxe Artefact and drop an ironclad duardin speed bump right in front of your opponent’s deadliest units.

If you prefer ur-gold over gromril, now’s a great time to get stuck in with a Fyreslayers army thanks to a host of new rules in the Generals Handbook 2017. During the course of the game, you can activate powerful ur-gold runes to swing events in your favour:

Coupled with two new Warscroll Battalions and a recently-released Start Collecting! boxed set, and a reduction in points for matched play games, there’s never been a better time to get started with Fyreslayers.

Finally,* your Order army is going to be stronger even if it doesn’t have an allegiance ability of its own. Defiant Avengers has been changed so you always get re-rolls to your Battleshock tests, even when you’re not near your general. This is a great defensive ability and one that makes large sized units of elite models more viable than ever. This is great in the Order Serpentis, and you’ll want to field large units of Drakespawn Knights or Drakespawn Chariots (which are now “battleline-if”**) as the core of your armies.

We’ve only scratched the surface of it, and there’s loads more content for Order players to get their teeth into with the new General’s Handbook – let us know what you’re most excited about on our Warhammer Age of Sigmar Facebook page.

* The Darkling Covens and the Free Peoples are also getting some special attention in the Generals Handbook 2017, and we thought they both deserved a closer look, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for our in-depth preview of these factions.
** 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 allegiance, you get stronger and more unusual core choices to reward you for focused list-building. For example, ranged Judicators can be chosen as Battleline units IF the force is made only of Stormcast Eternals.

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