Games Workshop has shown off the Core Rules and we’ve got the BRB and there are still lots of unanswered questions for AoS 3.0.
After the big reveals and combing through the Rulebook for the changes, we still have lots of questions about Warhammer: Age of Sigmar 3.0. Players are hoping there will be an FAQ right alongside the new release and also along side the General’s Handbook 2021 release. One of those players is a friend on mine here locally and he’s managed to try out a game of AoS 3.0 using the new rules. Was it perfect? Probably not – but at this point, there is enough info out there to try it with your current battletomes just to see how it works and what issue need to be addressed. He wrote up his thoughts and I agree with him on lots of this stuff – so here’s what he had to say.
With the Core Rules available online, a lot of the teasers from AoS 3.0 are starting to come together and provide a clearer picture of the game for the next couple years. While it’s tempting to start declaring winners and losers right away, one of the big lessons from watching 40k 9e was that some parts will seem off until we have the whole system in front of us at once. What I can say from playing a game out of the core rules is that my first impression was that the new rules are fun and create a lot of interesting decisions, but they don’t address some of the balance fixes I’d hoped to see – if anything, shooting and strong casters stand to be even better off than they were before. And that’s why it’s important to take stock of what else is still on the way, and might address some of those concerns.
Rules interacting with Core Battalions (Battlepacks? Mission specific?)
The core rules show a handful of core battalions, including both required and optional slots for each. But why even fill an optional slot for some of them? The warlord battalion for example grants an enhancement and a once-per-game extra command point. Why go over the minimum requirements for that battalion? It’s worth recalling the bonus victory points for various battlefield roles in some GHB2020 missions. Perhaps keep an eye out for bonus points relating to core battalions?
The Games Workshop teaser this week pointed out that the realm of Ghur will allow one player to remove an objective on the third battle round. That’s a fairly significant realm rule, not to mention the additional core battalions and spells listed. While GHB2020 set a precedent for realm artifacts to be less attractive than previously, that trend could just as easily reverse. This opens up a variety of options for list building, or potential concerns that need to be addressed at list construction.
There’s a long list of rules that clearly appear dated in the new edition. As written, Ossiarch Bonereapers don’t get bonus Relentless Discipline Points for core battalions, can only use shield wall once per phase, and miss out on all the new interesting command abilities. Flesh Eater Courts still require a hero within 12” of a unit to issue it an order for feeding frenzy, instead of using longer command ranges (or in-squad champions). Flamers of Tzeentch don’t know what to do with their +3 to hit against large units while near an Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch. Kharadron Overlords have lost three of their core offensive and defensive mechanics with the change to the triumphs table. Some of these will go unaddressed, some won’t. These changes will make significant shifts regarding who gets a spot in 3.0 lists.
Unit Size Changes
There’s already been some gossip about potential base unit size changes to bring things in line with the reinforcement system. A few units might be due for a smaller starting size (marauders) while others have problems using their own core rules unless they become battleline (plague monks). Shifting a unit size of 20 to 10 or vice versa could have some serious impact on those units’ utility!
Endless Spell Updates
We know from the core rules that endless spells move in both players’ hero phases, which makes anything that triggers during or after moving twice as effective as it was previously. This means either effects need to come down or point costs need to go up… or you’d better hope you play an army with good wizards. It’s worth mentioning that there’s twice as many options to dispel these endless spells as well, but that may not be much comfort if you don’t have a bonus to cast/unbind/dispel somewhere in your list!
If the point values in Kragnos are any indicator, everyone’s on the way up. If your battletome doesn’t have things in multiples of 5, expect some big shifts. Increasing the prices for wizards, heroes, and monsters seems like it’s fairly inevitable given the price points for Alarielle, Kragnos, the Treesong Revenant, and even Kroak. It would not be surprising to see everything else go up 10-20% alongside them, to make up for the points gained by removing battalions (and shrink the game a bit for the smaller board size).
Perhaps even more important than points changes are the actual battleplans. More role bonuses like we saw for Focal Points 2020 or role mandates like Places of Arcane Power 2020 or Better Part of Valor 2020 will seriously impact list writing. Also, the three core missions all have an 18” no-mans-land. If games start with both players closer together, top of 1 charges and alpha strikes will be an option fairly often – and deploying further back may be a significant sacrifice depending on objective locations. Missions are a fairly major tuning point to the game, even if they’re a bit less direct than something like points updates.
What the Community Adopts
Most tournament organizers choose rules to omit from their event, often skipping realm rules, terrain setup, or mysterious terrain tables entirely. At the end of the day, it’s worth remembering that although Games Workshop publishes the game, they’re quite open about the fact that you, the player, can play it however you want – and if the community decides Games Workshop put in a rule that’s no fun or too much bookkeeping, well… we’ll just play without it, or TOs will omit it from their packs.
I think the overall point is that it’s still early. We don’t have all the pieces yet and there are lots of armies and strange interactions we just don’t know how GW will make them work. If anything, I’m just hoping GW has considered this stuff for an FAQ when the game does relaunch. We’ve seen them put out a ton of FAQs day 1 before and that type of stuff is needed as a bridge to the new edition. Here’s hoping they have all this stuff sorted out.
Do you agree or disagree? What other questions and issues are you discovering with your particular army?