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Age of Sigmar: Big Matched Play List Building Changes Revealed For The New Edition

5 Minute Read
Jun 11 2021
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Games Workshop has revealed some big changes ahead for List Building is Age of Sigmar for Matched Play. Time to shake things up!

There is a new edition on the way for Age of Sigmar and GW has been rolling out teasers all week. Today, we got a look a set of pretty big changes for Matched Play list building restrictions and new requirements. These changes are certainly going to shake-up the meta and will force folks to re-evaluate how they are doing their list building. With that said, let’s dive right in.

via Warhammer Community

“The upcoming edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar retains the three ways to play the game – open, narrative, and matched play. Matched play is used most often for competitive situations, like tournaments. It presents a spread of army building challenges with a focus on balanced army composition and similar victory conditions for both sides. “

Games Workshop has essentially created new formats for all three types of play. There are new Battlepacks that “bundle together a suite of rules” which layout all the options for you games for their respective type of play. For Matched Play, the Battlepack is the called “The Contest of Generals” in the core book.

Matched Play Battlepack – Contest of Generals

GW has listed out various point sized games with their applicable restrictions underneath. For veterans, most of these restrictions will probably look similar to what you’re currently using – but there are some key exceptions.


Recommended Minimum Battlefield Size – these are now in line with the 40k side of things and use the same board footprints. Again, these are Recommended MINIMUM sizes. If you want to keep playing on 6′ x 4′ tables the GW Police aren’t going to come and write you a citation.

Recommended Minimum Number of Terrain Features – This concept isn’t exactly new, but it’s at least spelled out in the restrictions. We also have it on good authority that Faction Terrain is in addition to this limit.

Endless Spells and Invocations – There are now limits on how many you can take.

Reinforced Units – this is a new restriction and is going to take a bit more explaining.

Unit Sizes

“Perhaps you noticed the line from the Contest of Generals battlepack that mentioned reinforced units? These units are simply double the size of the minimum listed in their Pitched Battle profile. If the unit has the Battleline battlefield role, you can reinforce them twice, making them three times the minimum size. Now you can still run large hordes as long as you don’t exceed the available slots for reinforced units. “


This is kind of a big shift for some armies this won’t really change list construction up too much. For those smaller minimum unit sizes (5 or 10 minimum) you won’t have entire hordes now unless they are battleline. But even then you’re limited on a max of 15 or 30 in a unit respectively. If your minimum size was 20 then you’re probably still going to have a massive horde anyhow.

Another rule that was also mentioned in the same section was this note about Command Abilities:

“The new ruleset allows each unit to benefit from only a single command ability at a time, so you’ll see a lot more synergy with multiple units working together, instead of budding generals putting all their eggs in one basket. You won’t feel quite as compelled to ‘max out’ every unit to make them effective. “

Only getting to activate a single command ability on a unit (we’re assuming one per phase here) is another big change. You won’t be able to hit a unit with all the stacking buffs now at once. Interesting move!

Core Battalions

This is another big shift for Matched Play. Core Battalions are being introduced and every army will have access to them.


Cool – so we have a bunch of new Core Battalions, but uh…did we get an icon key or anything? Oh we did.

Great – that’s making a lot of sense. But uh, what about those symbols at the bottom. What do they mean? Oh there’s a key for that, too?

That Unified Battalion ability is going to be a popular one. Why? Because of initiative:

” For example, if you take one Commander and two Troops to complete a Battle Regiment, you get the Unified ability, which grants one-drop deployment for the entire core battalion. This is especially important in a matched play game since the side that finishes deployment first steals the initiative.”

There is one more thing we’re curious about and we’re seen rumors floating around it as well.


“There are now two types of battalions in Warhammer Age of Sigmar. The warscroll battalions you know and love are for units of renown and represent a specific focus, a special leader, or additional training. On the other hand, core battalions are intended to balance out the various units in exchange for distinct abilities. 

Every army in a matched play event will have the same set of core battalions at their disposal, which further evens the playing field. “

So does that mean in Matched Play games/events you won’t get to use your Warscroll Battalions? We think it does. Even playing field, indeed!

These are all very interesting changes to Matched Play and are sure going to shake-up your list building and therefore the meta of AoS. We’ll have to see what else is in store for Matched Play and the future of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar!


What do you think of these changes to Matched Play?


Author: Adam Harrison
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