The General’s Handbook is almost upon us – and all this week, we’re previewing just what this year’s essential guide for gamers means for YOU. We’re kicking off with a look at Mercenary Companies – a new system primarily for narrative games (but available for any battles you like!) that lets you add fun and thematic units to your army regardless of Grand Alliance…
How They Work
Mercenary companies are added to your army like allies – if you’re playing a Pitched Battle, you’ll be taking them from the same pool of points. Unlike allies, there are no restrictions on which armies can take which mercenary company.
A mercenary company consists of a small selection of thematic units, representing one of the myriad groups of sellswords who ply their trade across the Mortal Realms. Mercenary companies each have a special rule of their own and the Mercenary keyword, differentiating them from the ‘normal’ versions of these units and giving them all a distinct feel on the battlefield.
Mercenaries are brilliant for narrative play in particular, allowing you to broaden the roster of units you’re drawing your collection from without having to break your Grand Alliance. You’re free to use these rules to represent the mercenaries as they are in the lore, or just use them as an excuse for some awesome conversions. Ever wanted to make a Khornate Gyrocopter? Or an undead Gargant? This is your chance!
There’s only one downside – include Mercenary units in your army, and you’ll miss out on the first command point you receive in the game, narratively representing the disruptive effect outsiders have on any given general’s grand strategy.
The Mercenary Companies
The General’s Handbook 2019 contains rules for 10 mercenary companies, including the Greyfyrd Lodge Fyreslayers and the Tenebrous Court Flesh-eater Courts from Forbidden Power. Each has their own unique flavour, and opportunities for both new tactics and unusual hobby projects alike…
Sons of the Lichemaster
The Sons of the Lichemaster let you add a Necromancer plus some Zombies, Skeleton Warriors and a Corpse Cart to any army. While in the lore these represent a particularly sinister band of miscreants, combined with a Freeguild force, they’d be a great way to flesh out (no pun intended) an army hailing from the Realm of Death, where the living and the dead in some townships are known to fight alongside each other!
What’s more, Skeleton Warriors and Zombies in this mercenary company get an additional attack while they’re near their Necromancer, making them particularly deadly in combat.
Aleguzzler Gargants are not well known for their grasp of politics or grand histories, and are perfectly willing to lend their massive strength to anyone willing to supply them with booze!
The Grugg Brothers allows you to add up to three Aleguzzler Gargants to any army – perfect if you’re looking for a behemoth, or if you converted one to match your Warhammer collection back when it was first released! This mercenary company gets stronger the more gargants you include, allowing you to make full use of their deadly ‘Eadbutt and Mighty Kick attacks.
Order of the Blood-drenched Rose
Vampires are among the most independent servants of Death, so it’s not surprising that some would lend their services as a mercenary company! The Order of the Blood-drenched Rose are a formation of Blood Knights led by a Vampire Lord on Nightmare Steed who give any army the option to take some heavy cavalry.
As an added bonus, these guys are immune to battleshock tests, making they very hard to break.
Sure, most humans fight for Order – but some just battle for cold, hard coin. The forces of disgraced Freeguild General Otto Nimyard now work as mercenaries across the realms, lending their services as scouts and raiders to any who can afford them.
Consisting of at least one unit of pistoliers, with the option for Outriders and a Freeguild General, this mercenary company lets you add some fast-moving firepower to any force. Their Eyes and Ears ability is great for launching deadly ambushes or grabbing key objectives, too!
The Blacksmoke Battery
The Blacksmoke Battery are a mercenary company famed for the dour demeanour of their duardin gunners – as well as their brutal effectiveness on the battlefield.
Looking for a solution to enemy monsters? Just want to shred your foes at range? This mercenary company is for you! Consisting of 1-3 Cannons or Organ Guns, with options for a Cogsmith and a Gyrocopter, it’s cracking for any collection in need of some Artillery. Keep the Gyrocopter close to your enemy for the best possible results…
The Chaos gargant known as Skroug is the owner of one of the Mortal Realms’ most unconventional mercenary companies, hiring himself out alongside a menagerie of bizarre chaos beasts.
This mercenary company is perfect for narrative gamers looking to make their army a little bit more grimdark. Or perhaps you’re looking for an excuse to use the fancy new Furies in your army when Warcry comes out! For gamers, this mercenary company lets you get more out of your units by allowing Skroug to act like a Hero with access to a range of command abilities.
These Darkoath exiles aren’t particularly picky about who they fight for, rampaging across the realms for pay – and the Dark Gods, of course!
Made up of 1-3 units of Marauders, with the option for a Darkoath Warqueen or Darkoath Chieftain, these guys are perfect if you’ve been looking to add some classic barbarians to your force! You could use them to represent one of the countless brutal tribes that inhabit the Mortal Realms, or take advantage of their nifty On The Rampage rule to seize ground early in the battle.
Maneaters have long been famed as mercenaries in the lore, but there’s never really been a way to represent that on the tabletop – until now!
The Gutstuffers are a mercenary company consisting of 1-3 units of Maneaters and 1 Firebelly. Thematic uses aside, Maneaters are really, really tough and make a fantastic shock assault unit to complement ranged armies, while Firebellies combine the utility of a Wizard with some deadly close-combat prowess. As an added bonus, they’ll all get to re-roll their charges, too!
Let us know which Mercenary Company you’ll be adding to your army on the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Facebook page – and check back soon for more previews of the General’s Handbook 2019.