Battleline Units are coming to Age of Sigmar – but is this the return of the “Core Tax?”
Games Workshop is teasing bits about the new General’s Handbook for Age of Sigmar: Battleline Units! It appears they are adding in some more structure to the army composition aspect of the game after-all:
via Game Workshop AoS (Facebook)
“*So, what’s a Battleline unit?
We’re glad you asked!
This is something from the upcoming General’s Handbook.
Our gamers are building a force they can use in any style of game, and when playing the more competitive Matched Play format, your army must include a minimum number of Battleline units, depending on the size of game. (We’ll have more on how this works, and the other types of units soon…)
The Crypt Flayers and Brutes are actually not Batteline[sic] units, unless the whole force has the Flesh-Eater Courts and Ironjawz keywords respectively, but this is what both generals plan to do. This is one of the advantages in Matched Play of sticking within a single themed force.”
So one of the biggest complaints many gamers had about AoS (besides the lack of point values) was the lack of any real “Force Organization” or Army Construction Guidelines. There was nothing stopping a player from taking 10 Maw-krushas as their entire list. It’s an extreme case but that’s what happens when you throw-out any structure for list building.
The General’s Handbook appears to be a return to some type of structure, which IMHO, a good thing. All we can really tell thus far is that your Army must include a minimum number of Battleline units based on the size of the game. The question I have is “how do we determine the size of the game without a points system?” Is this going to be a ratio based on the number of Warscrolls in the armies?
For example a “Small Game” could be 1-5 Warscolls. Does that mean for every 5 Warscolls your army must consist of 1 Battleline unit? We don’t know yet! But we do see that you get a bonus for taking armies of the type or “themed force” like all Flesh-Eater Court units or Ironjawz units. We also can see that Battleline units aren’t the only type of units that the Generals Handbook will have. But we don’t even know how many other “unit types” they will add.
One of the downsides is that this sounds very similar to what Fantasy Players called “the core tax” which was the minimum number of Troop units an army had to take. Some players didn’t like it because it meant less points for “the good stuff” but others viewed it as a necessary evil for balancing of armies. (If you’re a 40K player this is the same as the old school force org with 2 troops and 1 HQ minimums). How limiting this “core tax” could be was based off of how efficient your core troops were.
As far as I’m concerned, I think this is a move in the right direction for Age of Sigmar, but it’s still way to early to tell. All we have is a Facebook post and some deduction & speculation on what it means. This is only a small piece of the General’s Handbook puzzle – there is a much larger picture we’re not all seeing, yet…
So what do you think? Are you looking forward to seeing some type of Army Construction guidelines or are you the type that doesn’t want to be restricted at all?