AoS: Upcoming Matched Play Changes

The General’s Handbook has some new tweaks for Match Play and Games Workshop is showcasing them!

Matched Play games are kind of a big deal for Age of Sigmar. When they showed up in the first General’s Handbook it brought some much needed structure to how games would be played. They were a framework that set the base-line of what a game of AoS was to look like and it was a HUGE boon for the game. Now, the 2017 General’s Handbook is taking that framework and updating it for the next year.

via Warhammer Community

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.

These two new Rules of One are pretty good additions in my book. The roll-off for the battle round relying on pure luck (ie, no modifiers) really adds some drama to that roll – no more dice hi-jinks, just roll and let the dice fall where they may!

The 5th Rule of One makes sense as well. Honestly, I never really thought of taking multiples of the same item or weapon in a list as I just assumed they were limited already. This rule just explicitly states that.

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.

I’m glad to know the other rules were not set in stone and this change a good thing for the game in my mind. Rolls of 1 always fail and rolls of 6 always succeed. Simple and effective. (I’m also assuming that is regardless of modifier to the roll – but we’ll have to wait and see the full rule before we cross that bridge.)

The next General’s Handbook also takes a look at the units and re-defines the points in the game. One big change is Massive Regiments. For some units, if you take the max unit size you actually get a discount in points! That could be very useful to fill out the ranks for armies. Is it also a ploy to sell more models? Maybe – but it’s a positive change for the folks who already have massive collections and want to run big units. Now they can and it’s actually cheaper points wise!

There are also new “Battline if …” unit notes for armies. This is a great, thematic way to build-up your force. Plus it rewards you for taking an army of all the same allegiance. I can’t wait to see what moved over into this category!

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.  In [Duality of Death], for example, you’ll need your Heroes and Behemoths to capture objectives, forcing you to risk your most valuable units to win the game.

I love it when GW adds more mission/game types to the game. The variety really helps change things up – and there is no reason you can’t use the old missions, too. It’s just more ways to 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.

As everyone expected, the points for the units got a gut-check as well. Some of them needed to increase and some needed to increase decrease. I think those changes combined with the addition of new “Battleline if…” units should really help some of the under-represented units get to the tabletop and knock down some of the over-used units down to “normal” levels. The idea is that (hopefully) when you re-align the extremes, that resets the pool of units and should create a larger, more diverse group of competitive armies. We won’t know if it works out until after the book hits and the meta game starts, however.

The “Game Changer, Again” comes later this month!

  • Grasshopper

    Nice, now I can field my Stormvermin as Battleline! <3

  • dave long island

    “Some of them needed to increase and some needed to increase”…. Yes. And, yes….

    • Pcm979

      But did some of them need to increase? Please clarify urgently.

      • euansmith

        You wish me to clarify urgently?


        adverb: urgently
        in a way which requires immediate action or attention.”housing is urgently needed”

        in an earnest and persistent manner.”she whispered urgently in my ear”

        • Pcm979

          Thanks! That’s exactly what I was looking for.

          Now please clarify ‘farfegnugen’.

          • euansmith

            I shall pass that question over to my colleagues, Miss Uumellmahaye and Dr. Hfuhruhurr.

          • Grasshopper


            The joy you get from the new General’s Handbook 2017

          • I cant believe I just googled Farfergnugen

  • euansmith

    Fingers crossed this will turn out well, and will be a route followed by 40k.

    • marlowc

      This is definitely a good way to go about evolving the game isn’t it. AoS is a lost cause sadly, but applied to 40K should be fantastic 🙂

      • Grasshopper

        Cadians fights only for lost causes.

      • Vicent Martín Bonet

        You went pretty well until the second sentence, please go away and die.

      • Munn

        8th helped 40k cover a lot of ground but AoS was so ridiculously superior to 7th I’m not sure it was enough to catch up.

      • Richard Mitchell

        That is true, AoS is pretty much a none game since the drop of 8th but it does chart the course for 8th. It’s almost as if when I said most of the “new” players for AoS were GW brand loyalists from 40k who would abandon the game once 8th dropped, I was right. Give it 10 years and AoS will follow the path of WHFB.

  • CloakingDonkey

    Well Rule of 1 nr 4 was certainly needed 😀 That alone should help balance out the meta a little bit.

    Really looking forward to this book. Can’t wait to see all the new allegiance stuff.

    I just hope we won’t have to wait til after Christmas to see the next AoS faction 😉

  • Discounted max size units = free points.

    Why not let summoning go back to being free too.

    Matched play is supposed to be about balance. Not free points.

    • Graymantle

      I see it like this: Multiple minimum sized units tend to present more strategic advantages than one maxed out blob. Therefore, though the blob may have the same number of models as the combined MSUs, it is discounted as it must stay together and act as one unit. Makes sense to me. Also, discounts to big units are not at all like summoning half an army out of thin air…

      • Its similar in that you’re getting free points from both.

        With how things are shaking out now, if I run three 40-model skeleton units I’m getting a fourth free 40-model skeleton unit from the free discounted points.

        Thats like summoning to me. The difference is one summons the unit out of thin air, the other summons the unit onto my excel spreadsheet. Neither required me to pay any points for them.