AoS: Testing The General’s Handbook II

GeneralsHandbook 2

The Games Workshop design team is hard at work putting the General’s Handbook II through it’s paces.

We had confirmation Tuesday that GW was creating a new General’s Handbook and we got a sneak peek at some of the points adjustments. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Today, the Warhammer Community team pulled the covers back and showed off just how they go about creating and testing out those changes:

via Warhammer Community

We heard on Tuesday that development on the successor to the General’s Handbook is already well underway, and we got an early look at what some of the changes to unit’s points might be. Today, we hear from Ben Johnson from the Warhammer Age of Sigmar studio team , who takes us behind the scenes to look at some of the playtesting that has already gone into the new book.

GW Testing AoS 1

Ben: Around Christmas time, we were able to gather five keen Warhammer Age of Sigmar hobbyists from far and wide here at Warhammer World to help us make the next iteration of the General’s Handbook.

Friday night was spent in Bugman’s Bar chatting about all things Warhammer, and then they were led blindfolded to a back room* to see some very exciting, upcoming products for Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

After the excitement of Friday night had worn off, the hard work began. The first task was to look at every Pitched Battle profile in the game and identify any changes we wanted to make. Some points went up, some went down; you’ll have to wait until the book is released to see the the full fruits of our labor.

GW Testing AoS Jervis

The guys worked into the night, led by Jervis Johnson himself, looking at list after list of numbers in conjunction with feedback from all over the Warhammer Age of Sigmar community including thousands of Facebook comments – from when we asked what you’d like to see changed – as well as hundreds of emails from players and tournament organisers from all over the world.

GW Testing AoS playtest

The following day, it was time to see how their hard work actually played out on the table top. There was more coffee and a bit of breakfast, and then out came the models, and the dice started to fly. Some more adjustments were made and many notes were taken to be hammered out during the design and editing part of the process.

This is just one test and feedback session of many. If you’d like to learn more about the process you can read the full article HERE.

It’s good to know that not only are they (the GW Designers) working hard on the General’s Handbook II themselves, they are also reaching out to hobbyists, not only inviting them to come check out the process and be a part of it. They are also going to mounds of feedback from players all over the world via Facebook and email – so yes, it really does work to contact them. I’m loving this amount of designer-player interaction and I’m positive that this approach is going to pay off big when the General’s Handbook II hits shelves.

It’s a great time to check out Age of Sigmar. I know at least one 40k convert that is having a blast (well, besides me of course).

 

Anyone else looking forward to the General’s Handbook II? I know I can’t wait!

  • ZeeLobby

    Big fan of this. It’d be cool to have some full statistics to go along with it (number of sessions, number of invited players, etc.) but it’s a huge change from the past process employed by GW of release rules and hope for the best.

    C’mon Commissar’s Dataslate!

    • TenDM

      Even just talking about it is miles ahead of where GW used to be. I know they’re still far from perfect, the FAQs had some serious WTF moments, but it’s miles ahead of where they were pre-Age of Sigmar.

      • rtheom

        Agreed. It feels like they’ve gone from a company that just expected us to buy anything they made because they made it, into a company that feels like it is actually trying to earn our purchases and make us feel like they actually want us as loyal customers.

        Doing all of this transparency stuff is annoying as all get out and eats up a lot more of their time, I’m sure, but it is definitely appreciated.

        • ZeeLobby

          Eh. Dunno about the second part of your comment. Transparency usually requires little effort. You usually just need someone capable of taking pictures and writing blog posts. They honestly probably spent more time and resources trying to keep everything hidden before.

          Still gonna wait and see what these weekend sessions produce, as I’m still hesitant to believe that anyone would truly voice concerns or opinions contrary to Jervis, but it makes me hopeful.

          • euansmith

            “Er… Jervis… mate… about the Squats…”

      • ZeeLobby

        Too true. Another couple miles (wanna see how the GH2 looks and see if they implement the same in 40K) and I’ll be back on board.

  • Christie Bryden

    aye its a good thing they will be regularly checking if things seem underpowered or over powered as the game progresses, its still early days so things that come out will make massive shifts in power.

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. I hope they take that into consideration rather than hinging everything on post-release fixes. Otherwise it’ll just be yearly power creep cycles.

      • Aezeal

        I’ll settle for that. Otehrwise the book you buy will be worthless to quick

        • ZeeLobby

          huh? Yearly post-release fixes results in new books becoming worthless quick. It would mean the first book each year would be quickly out-shadowed by book 2. Taking no prior-release consideration also makes it likely that the new release will be dismal. A year of having a dismal faction is no fun either.

          The point is to track lessons learned, and use them to create balanced releases on release day, and not just say, meh, we’ll fix it in next years book.

          • Aezeal

            Ow you meant something different than I understood in your post. Yeah taking future releases into account with balancing if a good idea of course.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I probably worded it horribly. My bad, haha.

  • Steven S.

    This is awesome! I am loving the way that the new GW initiatives are heavily involving the community and relying on customer feedback. I just hope that more people chime in and it’s not just a representation of the loud majorities who are outliers in most experiences.

    • ZeeLobby

      In most cases, when this is done right, you look for commonalities between complaints from multiple faction players. If all factions (including parent) mention that one model has issues, it’s usually a good sign that it does. You’ll never get the majority feedback in most cases, but you’ll at least see the trends. Hopefully this is the same practice GW is using.

  • Michael Garrett

    square bases in formation AND something really big and reddish with maybe wings in the back table

    • ZeeLobby

      :O :O :O :O. Do you think they’re bringing back ranked combat??? I’d sign on in a heartbeat. I’d always hoped AoS would be ranked combat w/ round bases in trays, and then skirmish play without.

      • Michael Garrett

        ive played since the beginning, and if there is one thing i can tell you about GW is that they commit. round bases and skirmish with simple rules is the direction they are going in. im sure that there is a viseo somewhere of the new CEO going office space on the square base molds.

        • ZeeLobby

          Right. I didn’t say square bases. Just ranked combat coming back would be awesome. I mean what ARE they doing back there otherwise?

          • Michael Garrett

            Back in the 90’s i went to a GT in Delaware that had a store attached that carried GF9 stuff. when i saw the round base trays for 40k i didn’t understand why everyone didn’t use those. i went home and made some for my demonhunters. if they do trays, im in otherwise it will just get messy.

          • ZeeLobby

            Definitely. It’d be suicidal to expect someone to move an army around one model at a time reassembling ranks. It does look like they’re play-testing something. Either that or they just posed it that way as a joke (which is possible as well).

            Ranked combat was really the only thing that got me into playing both WHFB and 40K. Without it I can’t see myself playing both, especially once 40K is made more like AoS.

    • Michael Garrett

      on second look they look round on the left but the right ones look square. that big reddish winged thing in the back is something i have never seen. bone wings maybe? conversion? kinda reminds me of the pose of the old (old) zombie dragon.

      • Nyyppä

        The winged thing is a some sort of eagle separate from the red thing that looks like a huge treeman.

        • Michael Garrett

          You are right! still nothing i know! can you make anything out of the other side? looks skaven. the eagle thing is too big for any current ones, i think.

    • BaronSnakPak

      They’re not using square bases. They’re on round bases, but bunched up tight.

  • Nyyppä

    I hope they are doing a better job than the FAQ writers. I mean, come on. This is just one example but the Death artifact Ring of Immortality (or something like that) which returns a killed character in to life for d3 wounds costs the amount of points the unit itself costs. So, should I take a Ghoul King on a terrorgheist and the ring or just 2 of the unit itself. Hmmmm… I think I’ll double my use for the points instead and skip the ring.

    • ZeeLobby

      a discount would definitely be required to make sense.

      • Nyyppä

        It has to be free. Even then there are plenty of better options.

        • Munn

          That happened specifically because people were taking vampire lords on zombie dragons and giving him the ring. So you could have him come back with 9(max) wounds and heal a few more off of a chaff unit for free. It was a heavy handed patch to an exploit. They should have thought it through better than they did but it was definitely an issue.

          • Nyyppä

            No issue there. It’s a combination of things of which the ring is the lesser problem.

          • Munn

            The issue is that every hero they make for death for the rest of eternity has to be balanced around that ring.

          • Nyyppä

            Still nope. There is a sword that has on average a better effect than that ring. It’s free.

          • EnTyme

            I personally would have preferred they released an Errata to the ring stating it couldn’t be used on a hero with the Monster keyword.

          • Nyyppä

            Let’s compare it to some of the other things in this game. Destruction has this funny 2d6 extra move pretty much every turn which combined at least with ironjaws results to a wipe of FEC, for example. That’s not even an item, it’s an inherent ability + what ever the name for the warlord trait equivalents are in AoS. Would I rather get that for my Death than +d3 wounds on a single model once per game? Absolutely.
            Order (sigmarines) has this funny unit combo which results to 2+ rerollable save while 6s heal wounds. Granted, it’s not cheap, but it will hold most things in place effectlively until those things die. Would I want to have that rather than the ring even if the ring was free? All day, every day. That’s not even the best thing they (Order) have.

            Chaos has something like that too, though I’ve gone through their stuff only once and can’t apparently remember the details.

            The point is that there are “op” things like that for every faction and the ring is weakest of them all by a huge margin. The ring has one place it can be potentially powerful once per game for one unit if combined with the units own one use ability and that’s 100% depending on a roll. It could be 2 wounds just as likely as it is 9 wounds. On average rolls for the wounds sigmarines with bolters could just shoot it to death in one turn. Those sigmarines with bolters are not exactly awesome.

            One should not look at these things without comparing them to others like them. It is obvious that the comparing process was skipped when this ring was given a cost. Hell, even FEC, which seems to be very weak at the moment, has a unit that does a better job with regenerating wounds than that combo just by existing and literally not one player has complained about it being op. This unit is the Ghoul King on Terrorgheist. D3 wounds back every turn vs. d3 wounds back once per game.

          • EnTyme

            Kind of comparing apples to oranges there, aren’t you? How does the ring compare with the artifacts from the other allegiances or even the others from the Death allegiance? If there ring could bring back a 12-wound model for free, it would be by far the most powerful artifact that I am aware of.

  • Does anyone know if the digital editions will update (like kill team( or do we have to buy again?

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Probably buy again.

    • crcovar

      I’d say it really depends on how much of the book changes. If it’s mostly new content for all three modes of play and more of a volume 2 then a 2nd edition then it makes sense to be a new purchase. If they just update the handful of pages in the back for new points then its hopefully an update.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Do I see rank and file models…!?

    • BaronSnakPak

      Look closely at the front of the unit blobs, they’re round bases, just bunched up tight.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Thank god.

        • Karru

          I’d like for GW to consider making War of the Ring style expansion for AoS at some point. Round bases, but now with Rank & File combat. Would be a smart move by GW in my opinion.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            I don’t think the game needs it.

          • Matthew Pomeroy

            needs, no….but a good number of folks want.

          • Karru

            Precisely. I don’t understand what would be the harm. It wouldn’t be a rule overwrite, it would just be an expansion that can be used or not. Since the movement trays and the like would support round bases, you could just take them off to play regular AoS.

          • ZeeLobby

            It wouldn’t shock me. I honestly think they are surprised with the amount of support 9th age and Kings of War have gotten when they abbandoned rank and file.

          • ZeeLobby

            Probably don’t need. But my entire crew would def want. It’d get them buying fantasy again at least. Right now they see little reason to play 40K and AoS. A lot of people seem to be jumping ship to AoS from 40K because of their care over actual rules, if they do the same to 40K, I imagine many will be coming back.

  • Randy Randalman

    If they keep up the consistent FAQ’s, absorb the customer and tournament feedback, and update the GHB once per year, it’s worth $25 each time.

    • TenDM

      Yep. It’s not that much for the books in the big picture, and you don’t have to use the latest. We played 2nd Edition 40k well into 3rd.
      Honestly I don’t have that much faith in GW doing it properly, but at the very least we’ll see a yearly shake up of the broken aspects.

  • Nwttp

    Of course they are. New rule books every 35 seconds.

  • euansmith

    Agh! I was just going to pick up the General’s Handbook for points costs and Battlescrolls for AoS Hinterlands… now I’m going to have to wait for the new one.