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Age of Sigmar: These New Command Abilities Are Game Changers

5 Minute Read
Jun 9 2021

There are some more generic Command Abilities coming to Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and they are really going to shake things up. Let’s chat.

This week, we’ve gotten more and more details about the new edition and a few of the army updates and changes. But now, we’re going to take a moment to discuss the new Command Abilities and a few other rules that have popped-up. These are going to be a bit of a game changer for folks – so get ready to update your tactics with these rules.

Command Ability: Rally

Rally is going to allow anyone who can spend CP to bring back models to a unit. This could have some big impacts to the two extremes of unit types. If you’re running a massive unit of say 40 troopers and you get nailed by something and lose say 2o of them, that’s 20 chances to roll 6s and bring models back to the unit! Conversely, if you’re got a small, elite unit but they are packing a bunch of wounds, each one you happen to get back could be a huge boon to whatever unit that is – imagine getting back a Chaos Knight or two – or something like a new Stormcast Annihilator.

Maybe not the most efficient use of the roll – but if you DO manage to get a couple back it could swing the tide.

As a player who plays a faction with these recusion mechanics already (Hi, I play Death armies) I know how those extra models can really extend the combat effectiveness of a unit. It can buy you an extra round or maybe even a game turn on an objective – or as a speed bump. I’m looking forward to having access to Rally.

Command Ability: Unleash Hell

This one is for those shooty-types out there. If you’ve noticed a proliferation in shooting in Age of Sigmar get ready to have even more evidence with Unleash Hell. This new ability is basically the equvenent of a mechanic from 40k – Overwatch. However, there are some differences and the biggest one is that it’s only a -1 to hit penalty. It basically allows a unit to fire at a unit that has charged them. I know lots of folks are thinking about gunlines and those types of units – but I’m wondering about bigger things, like artillery or monsters.


One other big thing to note is that this shot happens in the charge phase – not the shooting or the fight phase.  So any abilities or bonuses that trigger in those phases don’t apply to this extra shooting attack. At least, that’s what we’re assuming based on the current edition rules and these teasers…

Command Abilities: All-Out Attack, All-Out Defence

These abilities aren’t exactly new – but now everyone has access to them. The option to add 1 to all your hit rolls and the other option to add 1 to save rolls is HUGE. Let’s talk about those hit rolls first because it’s pretty straight forward.

All-Out Attack is usable in both the shooting or fight phase. So it’s going to benefit both your ranged units and your hard charging melee units, too. I don’t think this requires any other explanation because a simple +1 to hit is just plain good.

All-Out Defence is also usable in either the shooting or combat phase. And its going to be fantastic for a lot of units. If you have a unit that already has a solid save, say a 4+, this is going to bump them up to essentially a 3+ save. If you’ve ever played Space Marines (or any other army with a 3+ save for that matter) you know how durable this makes them. If you can manage to get a re-roll of some type on them too…yeah.

But, if you toss this on something that already has an amazing save – like a +2 for example – uhh…it’s Tanky-time. If nothing else, it helps mitigate Rend -1 attacks on those super tanky units. Only failing on a natural 1 is pretty darn good. If you can toss on a re-roll (which most armies can find a way) then good luck to your opponent taking that unit out.

Let’s see…2+ save base, and I can add 1 to my save rolls. This could get silly. Hope you brought more rend.


Grand Strategy: Hold The Line

Finally, we get a new preview of rules. This is a new Grand Strategy: Hold The Line. This basically an objective that you can score at the end of the battle. As long as ANY of your Battleline units are still alive, you can get 3 additional victory points. That’s a nice bonus for matched play for sure – but let’s talk implications really quick.

Obviously, this can’t be the only Grand Strategy in the game. GW probably has a few more they have cooked-up for the new edition. These new Grand Strategies could help modify overall game plans and the victory conditions for the battleplans. I this could be huge.

For example, let’s say you were playing Places Of Power and you and your opponent were going back and forth but by the last round of the game they had a 1 point lead on you. Let’s also say that you didn’t have a way to unseat them. In most cases, that would mean calling the game right there as you really don’t have a way to win. But now, with these Grand Strategies, you might actually be able to snag a win. If you’ve got a Battleline unit alive, that’s 3 VPs which could swing the tide. You’d still have to account for their Grand Strategies (and still play the objectives) but these do allow for a more dramatic come-from-behind win.

What do you think of these new Command Abilities and the hints of The Grand Strategy?


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