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.
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!