AoS: General’s Handbook Q&A



The General’s Handbook is on the way – check out one players impression of the book after spending some time with it!

A few days ago Ben on the TGA forum was showing off this signed edition of the new General’s Handbook.


He was answering some questions in the same thread and he decided to carry that over to his Podcast – The Bad Dice Podcast.


Ben also has a transcribed version on his website that you can read if you can’t listen to or watch the video above. So be sure to check it out! Here is a short excerpt:

“First off, I want to talk a bit about The Generals Handbook itself.  Obviously everyone in my circle of friends, (because I am a hardcore tournament gamer some might say or I used to be, I used to think I used to I suppose) A lot of people are mainly interested in the points but one thing that is really apparent is you get ahold of this book and read through the book, go through all the different aspects of the book, it is actually not just all about that. There is enough stuff in there that if you are not even in the slightest bit interested in points values or any of that, you do not want anyone telling you how to play your games, you want to do what you are doing and have been doing for a long time and carry on that way, then you are just fine. There is plenty in this book for you. I am going to go down some of the key points of the book and then we will come back and readdress and look down in more depth at some of the details of it as well.”

Games Workshop even got in on the action and was sharing the Podcast on their Facebook page as well:

via Games Workshop (Warhammer Age of Sigmar Facebook)


“The General’s Handbook is just around the corner, and we know you guys are all eager for more info on the book.

Well, here you go – take a listen to (or watch – it’s also available as a video review) Ben Curry’s first impression of the book from the Bad Dice podcast.

As well as being a regular podcaster and prolific miniatures painter, Ben also organises some of the UK’s largest Warhammer Age of Sigmar tournaments, and was one of the guys who helped in the development of the Matched Play portion of the book. He knows his stuff, and this is well worth a listen.”


After looking through the transcript and checking out the Podcast I must admit, I’m pretty interested in this book. Again, I’m not just interested in the points (although that’s a big factor) – I’m also interested in the other things like campaign play and things like that. I have a really strong feeling that this is going to get the AoS community really excited and even more players giving it a shot. It hasn’t even been a full year yet but this certainly feels like Age of Sigmar: The Realms Reborn.


Give it a listen and let’em know we sent ya!

  • jasonsation

    At first I didn’t get why a unit of 6 guys would cost as much as a unit of 10, but it is an interesting way to stop min maxing. I’ll be interested to see the book and maybe finally start that Beastman army I’ve been saying I want to start for years now. The funny thing is the new Total War game makes me want to play the old version just because I’m having fun learning how to use units to block other units, charge etc. the old version of the game would’ve been too expensive for me though.

    • Col. Duke Lacrosse

      This! Exactly this! This is why I tried and failed to get into Warhammer Fantasy 3 separate times. The sheer cost, in time, money, and effort to get even a minimal playable army was soul crushing. Let me explain that I play Imp. Guard and ‘Nids in 40k and the thought of painting Tomb Kings or Lizardmen was enough to put me off the game. That and everything about the entire Movement phase, everything!

      I’m loving AoS though. The ability to buy any unit of any size and immediately play with it has been so wonderful and liberating. And if I feel some nostalgia for the Old World, I’ve got Total Warhammer. Best of all, nearly all the hateful minutiae of the Movement Phase is done for me by the computer!

      • blackbloodshaman

        Uhhhm an IG army was way more expensive than most 40k armies, and movement is what made the game better not worse in most peoples opinion

        • Col. Duke Lacrosse

          I know. But here’s the deal. With an IG army I can individualize every model. Each one is an actual little soldier as opposed to merely a representation of a part of a formation. You could not make the rank-and-file models look unique in old Fantasy. I know, I tried. If you modeled the infantry in cool, interesting ways they could not rank up and would a pain to play with.

          And even if everyone on Earth and off it thought the Movement phase was better than sex, I still found it utterly tedious and full of obnoxious, little gotcha moments. “Oh you rotated 3/4 degrees too far to the left? Oh no! Well it looks like you got flank charged! Oh geez! That’s too bad. Well at least your unit can reform at the aaaaaaannnndddd its gone!”

          • Ben_S

            Personally I prefer just being able to push my movement trays forward 4″ rather than having to mess around moving each model individually, worrying about where the command/special weapons are, keeping everything in coherency, etc.

            In other words, I found movement much more straightforward in WFB than 40k (or, probably, AoS – though I have limited experience of that).

          • Xodis

            You wouldn’t be the first to have AoS models on a Rank and File movement trays. Seen it done with IG too, funnily enough. It even makes more sense with the less heroic and “more is better” models.

          • blackbloodshaman

            ” The sheer cost, in time, money, and effort to get even a minimal playable army was soul crushing” I can only discuss what you actually mentioned, but in any case, if individuality and modelling opportunities are your thing then WFB wins by an even larger margin, have you seen some of the unit fillers out there? They look freakin

            The good news is its not too late as KoW also does this (even more actually)

      • Jamie Kelly

        + 1 million. Its the low barrier to entry for a new army that i love. No more core painting/$ tax

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. I’ll have to wait for some results, and some willingness from GW to modify point values or rules based on those results, before I jump on board. After all, 40K has points now, and they’re rather “pointless”.

      • Aezeal

        GW balancing would be ideal but in fantasy most people used comps too.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. Which was fine for the time, because they had to. 40K could honestly use comps now as well. The main reason why im hesitant to accept that as a solution now is because other game systems don’t need them to keep a semblance of balance. AoS, built from the ground up, and this books focus on match play, means we shouldn’t need them for this either. GW has more resources than any other company, if they can’t put forth the effort than I’m not sure they deserve my money. Others may think differently, but things were different back when alternatives were almost non-existant.

          • Axis Mundi

            Did you listen to the review yet? The book covers a lot more than just the Match Play system, and also apparently explicitly encourages players to house rule things to suit their group – one example is that it doesn’t say you have to measure base to base, but it does mention that doing so is a popular choice, and if you prefer to measure base to base, then you should just do that.

            So it sounds like they have produced a very useful set of Match Play rules, and six standard battle plans (like in 8th) that sound like they will work well, but they are still taking great pains to tell people if there is something they dont like, they should change it. Which sounds like this may still be a bit too “fuzzy” for some people.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I guess I’m just praying that if you use all the provided rules and don’t house rule it’s as close to balanced as possible. Not that all these points and balancing factors are basically pointless because if you don’t house rule it will be imbalanced.

          • Axis Mundi

            Well, it’s kinda subjective, but I’ve played basically this version of AoS in three tournaments, and many pickup games, and it’s felt as balanced as any version of WFB I can remember. I’d go further in my praise, but that would definitely be a personal view.

          • ZeeLobby

            That’s very promising to hear. And I’m all for it. I can’t help but be cautious for a while though, as much as I ant to get back out my fantasy models. I still remember when it looked like all 40K codecs were being dropped to Ork/DE/BA levels and then Necrons/Tau/Elder were released and totally blew up what looked to be like a balanced conservative approach. My worry is that this is just a momentary bandaid, and the AoS equivalent of Dweapons is around the corner and will just be thrown into the mix…

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            The general’s handbook rules seem to shore up the basic problems that existed without points and people’s abusive tactics. I am hopeful.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. The first couple of match event results and battle reports will really sell it for me. I don’t want to get into another game where armies fill the top and if you don’t play one you’re relegated to obscurity.

          • blackbloodshaman

            The question is do the people on the sideline care about anything else other than the match play system

    • eldannardo

      I made movement trays for my Elf AoS so i could play Kings of War. Works fine, don’t need zillions of figures and i can still play AoS

      • Koen Cambré

        Isn’t there a size issue with the round bases vs 20mm squares?

        • Shinnentai

          Kings of War works on the footprint of the unit: so as long as the size of the movement tray is equivalent to that number of bases, you’re fine even if model count differs

          (ie a regiment of Elves is usually 20 models on 20mm bases in a 5 x 4 formation, but you can easily make a 100mm x 80mm movement tray and have 12 elves on it to represent the same thing, since models aren’t taken away for casualties).

    • Dan Wilson

      It stops min maxing, and encourages max maxing =P If you’ve had to pay the points for the 11th one, well, you may as well have 20 now instead of just 10…

      I’ll be interested to see how my current armies tot up points wise…

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      It isn’t balanced. GW wants you to buy models and use all of them in a unit.

  • Beefcake the mighty

    Why does it have a chaos space marine on the cover? Are they like daemons and usable in both games now?

    • Captain Bukkake

      Because in the new Age of Sigmar fluff, a renegade World Eaters chaos space marines warband called the Bloodbound entered a warp rift and landed in the Age of Sigmar universe. The Blood Angels were pursuing them and the went through the warp rift as well. When they crash landed in the Sigmar palace in the sky, Sigmar met them at the gates and was like “I’ve been expecting you.” And so the Blood Angels saw how awesome Sigmar was and they renamed themselves the Sigmarines.

      • Beefcake the mighty

        Oh. Seems reasonable enough.

        • alleus

          Oh, honey..

      • Daniel R Weber

        This actually makes better sense than the real AoS storyline.

        • Captain Bukkake

          I think the writers probably snorted some coke and then they thought to themselves “Hey! We destroyed the Warhammer Fantasy fluff, right? That is so totally fab, let’s destroy the Age of Sigmar fluff WHILE we write it! That way we save ourselves the trouble of having to do it later.” Then they went down to the dungeon where they are keeping Matt Ward and they were like “Write it, Ward!”

      • Shinnentai

        And then Sigmar woke up and it was all a dream, right? RIGHT? TELL ME IT WAS ALL A DREAM!

    • Aezeal

      I asked my kids and they saw an evil knight not a space trooper or astronaut in that pic.

      • wibbling

        Some people just like to complain to hear themselves complain.

        • zeno666

          Yeah, so stop complaining about the complainers.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I do what I want.

      • ZeeLobby

        To be honest, all its missing is the backpack. Seen some great 40K conversions and that’s all they really had to do. Looked better than the current 40K zerkers at least.

        • Aezeal

          The fact space marines look like knights doesn’t mean the fantasy knight should not look like knights.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh no doubt. The crossover in aesthetic and design between the two systems is just closer than its ever been.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      It’s a Khorne General.

  • euansmith

    Comment Text Here 😉

  • Shiwan8

    So, since we know for a that GW did not intend to make a points based or otherwise even remotely balanced system out of AoS, does the video explain why did they change the tune instead of sticking with the obvious fail train aproach?

    • Xodis

      GW employees mentioned a balance ruleset for tournament play since prior to AoS release….so there really is no need since its not a drastic change. Also it was always described as a “Living Ruleset” so they could update and change the game as needed to keep it going.

      • Shiwan8

        GW employees think that vanilla 40k is a balanced ruleset for tournament play. It’s not far fetched to draw a conclusion in which GW thought that their base rule set and scenarios in the tomes for AoS would be a balanced ruleset for tournament play. Both would ofc. be their delusions but it’s not the first time that is the case.

        Living rulesets are both free and available online. To say thet AoS has a living ruleset is same as to say that 40k has a living ruleset…which it most certainly does not have.

        • Xodis

          How is AoS not a living ruleset when it’s both free and available online (without piracy) like the standard you described?
          I wont argue that GW can be delusional about what “Balance” is, but that still doesn’t refute this (Points & Tournament play) being a planned addition to the ruleset.

          • Shiwan8

            Scenarios are free, the new point system is free?

            It would refute the claim that point system was their intention from the start.

          • Xodis

            Those are what is called an “Expansion” and not required for gameplay. So yes AoS still qualifies as a Living Ruleset.

            Nothing you said refutes that point systems were part of the initial design system when it comes to Tournament play. We were giving the vague “its something we are looking at doing in the future” meaning that there was already some type of plan at making a balanced ruleset. Im sure they did try and go a different route other than points, and found that points is just better and more simple, so they went that route.

          • Shiwan8

            Do you not see how wrong you really are? So, you are claiming that AoS with basic rules and scrolls = balanced fantasy strategy/tactics game that as it is does not need scenarios or other material to make the game reasonably fun for the competitive crowd (that is everyone as long as a game has a winner and a loser)?

            They still think that fluffy CSM vs. Blood and tears WAAC eldar/sm is balanced. Them aiming to make a balanced system is what leads to vanilla AoS.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            It may be hard to imagine but people do play the game differently than yourself.

          • Shiwan8

            That would be the exact reason why I, unlike “some others”, do not use my style as a standard in my arguments. It is what it is no matter how you, I or some other people play the game.

          • Xodis

            I’m not wrong at all, you’re confusing everything so I’ll break it down for you.

            A- AoS is a balanced game for what it’s designed for (fun skirmish with player control;Non-competitive).
            B- Aos is a living Ruleset as designed (see A)
            C- Scenarios and Tournament rules are an Expansion to the Core Living rule set.
            So in no way did I ever say that the Core living ruleset was balanced for the competitive crowd, read what I actually write and not some twisted interpretation.
            As for what actually IS balanced….we can argue all day about GW levels of balance, but in the end you have an option as to what is more balanced for your group.
            -AoS Core balance where the players decide whats balanced against each other
            -40K/AoS Tournament styled point systems. Where you follow the points.

            I’ve never said that CSM are balanced with any power ‘dex currently, but WHFB was never really balanced either, so are you complaining about AoS or just GW now?

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Because “real players” would not play the lower point games. You know, like the Fantasy Battle guys – in general – preferred big games that required lots of models.

  • SophetDrahas

    This could get me to finally finish my Bretonnian and Tomb King armies!

    Oh, wait…