The next edition of the General’s Handbook for Warhammer: Age of Sigmar is coming next weekend to pre-order and GW wants to bring multiplayer games back – but how?
Hopefully you saw that GW is going to release a new General’s Handbook 2020 very soon. That’s great news for AoS fans because it’s going to brings points changes to help rebalance armies. I hope they take a hard look at not just the “overperforming armies” but also some of the ones on the bottom. It’s going to be a lot of points tweaks/changes and those can take a while to process and also to impact the tournament scene.
But what we are going to focus on today is something they mentioned in their announcement article:
“…this year’s General’s Handbook is chock full of ways to play games with more than 2 players…”
At first this may not seem like that big of a deal. “Multiplayer games – sure, whatever…” but you’re skimming over a pretty big issue/question within AoS: How will turn priority work? Yeah. Think about that for a second.
For those of you who don’t know, AoS uses a different turn priority than say Warhammer 40,000. Players roll off at the start of new battle round to determine who’s going first. This can lead to the dreaded “double-turn” – personally, I think this mechanic is fantastic as it adds a new layer to the game as you have to plan for both scenarios. It adds a lot more drama to those rolls for priority, too.
Unless you’re Archaon…but that’s another topic.
The mechanic works great for games with two sides. As you can still roll off to see which side gets the priority for the turn. I’ve even played in team situations (2v2 games) where we’ve just had all four players roll and add their dice to their respective sides to come up with the total to see who goes first.
But what about a multiplayer game? In a 3-player fight (1v1v1) do you just roll off again? Before you say “sure” think about that for a moment. Let’s say you won the first round so you’re going first. On the next turn you lose the roll off and are going last. That means there are basically 4 player turns before you can act again. It would look like this
Players A, B, and C are playing a Free-For-All game. A wins turn one, B goes second, and C goes third. On Round Two, it flips. C goes first, B still goes second, and A goes last: A-B-C-C-B-A.
That’s a LONG time to wait to have a turn. Now, I understand that’s part of the confines of a Tabletop Game. But if you’re player A, unless you’re getting attacked, you’re going to be sitting out for a bit. That’s just how it’s going to be. On the flip side, it’s not like you’re completely defenseless, either. Many abilities and in-game effects last until your next Hero Phase. So if you’ve got your buffs rolling, this can be a huge boon.
Now let’s toss in a fourth player and, well, you get the idea. Now you have a “A-B-C-D-D-C-B-A” scenario and player A has to wait 6 player turns before they get to be the active player…
Again, that might not be super likely – but it’s also not going to be super rare either. Multiplayer games in AoS with multiple sides can be a ton of fun, but I’m not sure if GW new Multiplayer rules are going to address the turn priority or change the way it functions. Maybe AoS doesn’t need to. Perhaps it could actually work to the game’s favor. The top of every turn would be a pretty important roll-off after-all!
I’m looking forward to at least trying out whatever multiplayer rules GW has cooked up. I really like multiplayer games with more than 2 sides as it adds something extra to the game. If nothing else, it’s a chance to chat with a buddy while we wait for our turn(s) to happen. If GW makes a tweak to the turn priority or not, I’d still say to folks to give it a try. Who knows, it might be your new favorite way to play!
Do you think GW will keep the turn priority the same or make a change for Multiplayer games of Age of Sigmar?