Wow, outta nowhere Warcom just dropped some big GHB22 Season 2 reveals.
There’s a lot to digest even in such a small article, so let’s dive into some hot-takes – but not before offering up a kudos to GW for continuing the great new trend of accompanying reveals like this with a design interview video, that really helps us see a bit behind the curtain.
The first new rules to sink our hungry teeth into are The Key To Victory and Desperate Action. TKTV was rumoured for a while and is going to bring a lot more small foot heroes – WITHOUT a mount, not unique and under 10 wounds – out to play, for the obvious reason that your 100-150 pt hero, often with a clutch spell or aura was always super vulnerable to being sniped from half a table away by some coward with a good eye, and -1 to hit from Look Out Sir just didn’t cut it. But now, they’re safe in the knowledge that their companions aren’t just going to yell a half-assed warning to them, but they’ll make damn sure they can get the job done – UNLESS, of course (and this is mentioned in the video), your put your sneaky shooters into the Sharpshooter battalion which will allow them to target Galletian Champs as normal. It’s Bounty Hunters vs Expert Conqs all over again – only without one side of the equation being utterly broken and skewing the entire equation!
Desperate Action is an awesome new rule, and for my money represents the best things about AoS. Firstly, it adds a small incentive to whomever wins priority to actually think about taking 2nd instead of just smashing that DOUBLE button, and for the unlucky second-turner, they get an extra responsive action to help balance the odds – and as we move onto the next reveals we’ll see how that can be even more impactful beyond adding a CP chance to your hero heal, etc. Very cool and something I’m really excited to see, on the face of it.
Now these are going to tilt people immediately, but on closer inspection I don’t think it’s anything too scary – and in fact, I think it adds a really cool dimension to the game. Strike at the Opening is mitigated when you consider that the majority of foot heroes in the game are support heroes and therefore don’t hit very hard – with the exceptions being things like the Orruk Megaboss (and this def seems like a stealth Orruk buff).
Lead by Example looks again at first glance to be utterly brutal – but when you read closely you’ll see that not only will you have to be going 2nd to fight with your hero AND unit, but it essentially discourages you from then charging with either later in the turn, uses up both your heroic action slots AND requires that your opponent decided to stay in combat with you – or of course, charged you and didn’t kill you off. So, obviously it has potential but I think it’s really balanced by the timing of the activation, and will offer some good options against pin-type lists that rely on bogging you down and preventing you from scoring at all – and that’s the kind of tactical flexibility that could make this coming season one of the best yet.
Following in the footsteps of the 1-2 hero phase punch is a battalion that does exactly the same thing but in the normal combat phase – you may be familiar with this kind of rule if you’re a Soulblight or OBR player – and it’s not hard to miss the appeal of. I wonder if we’ll see the restriction here being non-reinforced infantry units? Either way, it’s an interesting rule that puts Orruk Brutes back on the menu and will hopefully see another few more recently maligned units get some more table time.
A knee jerk winner from this is Slaves to Darkness. With the way the Lord on Krackerjack works, combined with say, an Exalted (8 attacks, 4/4/1/2) and unit of Chosen in Galletian Command, you could activate four times in a row. I can see Orruk, S2D, Ogor, and SCE doing very well out of this.
Finally, some extra morsels.
These new options unlock fresh tactics and opportunities for devious generals, but they’re just the start. The General’s Handbook also includes a Realm spell for punishing units camping out on objectives, a new command ability to trade piling in for extra attacks, and a stockpile of artefacts and unique Aspect of the Champion enhancements reserved for GALLETIAN CHAMPIONS.Warcom
Fairly self explanatory, but exciting to hear there will be some new, unique ways to kit out our little champs. The article also confirms that the book will merge matched play rules – meaning half the Battle tacs, grand strats and battleplans will return from Season 1 – and surely the new ones will revolve around Galley Champs.
Overall, this means your lesser-seen utility heroes, whether they can also throw a punch or not, will no doubt be crucial to scoring, so should really impact list making. Armies with access to good infantry shooting – think DoK bow snakes, KO, and Ogors, may run rampant with their ability to snipe Galley Champs and prevent extra scoring potentials.
All told, I think this is a hugely exciting preview.
And let me be the first to say (well, probably not, but I’ll say it anyway):
Fuck you Bounty Hunters, and good riddance.