As we approach the halfway point of the current GHB, it’s natural to think about what might be coming next season. But instead of just a new GHB, we’re expecting to see 4th Edition Age of Sigmar and all that brings. Will Malerion and Umbraneth make an appearance? Will Armies of Renown continue to be a thing? And will Bonesplitters actually make it to 4th edition at all?
I don’t have the answers to any of those questions, but get your tinfoil hats at the ready as I take a deepish dive into what the lovechild of 3rd Edition Age of Sigmar and 10th Edition 40k might look like, at least in terms of how you win games.
While the games of 40k I have played so far in 10th have convinced me that AoS is by far the more fun, better balanced and cooler way to play Warhammer, I have really enjoyed the randomness of drawing cards for secondary objectives and the gameplay that goes along with that. Big Waaagh is currently undergoing a Renaissance at the moment because of how easy it is to build into scoring 5 battle tactics, but what might AoS look like with cards for battle tactics that are drawn each round?
As a ‘Greatest Hits’ of sorts, I went back to the battle tactics for previous GHBs, dumped Endless Expropriation for being rubbish, and the result was 24 battle tactics, 9 focused on killing and the other 15 focused on manoeuvring:
|Gaining Momentum||Pick 1 enemy unit of the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn and you control more objectives that your opponent at the end of this turn.|
|An Eye for an Eye||You complete this battle tactic if 1 or more friendly units were destroyed in the previous tun and 1 or more enemy units are destroyed during this turn.|
|Desecrate their Lands||Pick 1 terrain feature or faction terrain feature that is partially or wholly within enemy territory. You complete this battle tactic if you control that terrain feature at the end of that turn.|
|This One’s Mine||Pick 1 enemy unit on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn by an attack made by the model picked to be your general.|
|A Matter of Honour||Pick 1 enemy 9 wound or less hero on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn by an attack made by a friendly 9 wound or less hero.|
|Lead the Assault||You complete this battle tactic if at least 2 of the objectives you control are in enemy territory and are each contested by a friendly 9 wound or less hero.|
|United Offence||Pick 1 objective controlled by your opponent. You complete this battle tactic if you control that objective and 2 or more friendly 9 wound or less heroes are contesting that objective at the end of the turn.|
|Cunning Manoeuvre||Pick 1 friendly 9 wound or less hero on the battlefield that is more than 3” from all enemy units. You complete this battle tactic if, at the end of the turn, that 9 wound or less hero is more than 3” from all enemy units and is contesting an objective you control that is wholly outside your territory.|
|Intimidate the Invaders||You complete this battle tactic at the end of your turn if there are more friendly units wholly outside your territory than there are friendly units within your territory.|
|Reprisal||You complete this battle tactic if an enemy unit that destroyed a friendly general earlier in the battle is destroyed in this turn.|
|Magical Dominance||You complete this battle tactic at the end of your turn if a friendly Wizard unit successfully casts 1 or more spells and none of the spells cast by any units in your army were unbound.|
|Magical Mayhem||Pick 1 enemy unit on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that unit is destroyed by damage inflicted by a spell or the abilities of an endless spell.|
|Bait and Trap||You complete this battle tactic if 2 or more friendly units retreated this turn and 2 or more different friendly units made a charge move this turn.|
|Led into the Maelstrom||You complete this battle tactic if 1 or more friendly Heroes and 1 or more friendly Battleline units each made a charge move this turn and at least 1 of those units is within 3” of an enemy unit at the end of their turn.|
|Surround and Destroy||Pick 3 different friendly units on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic at the end of your turn if each of those units is wholly within 6” of a different battlefield edge and 2 or more of those units are wholly outside your territory.|
|Barge Through Enemy Lines||You complete this battle tactic if there are 2 or more units from your starting army wholly within your opponent’s territory at the end of this turn.|
|Broken Ranks||Pick 1 Battleline unit from your opponent’s starting army on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that unit was destroyed during this turn by a Monster.|
|Conquer||Pick 1 objective marker on the battlefield that your opponent controls. You complete this battle tactic if you control that objective marker at the end of this turn.|
|Slay the Warlord||You complete this battle tactic if the model chosen to be your opponent’s general is slain during this turn or was slain on a previous turn.|
|Ferocious Advance||Pick 3 different units from your starting army on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if all of the units you picked run in the following movement phase and finish that run within 3” of each other.|
|Bring It Down!||Pick 1 enemy Monster on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that enemy unit is destroyed during this turn.|
|Aggressive Expansion||Pick 2 objective markers that are not wholly within your territory. You complete this battle tactic if you control both objective markers are the end of this turn.|
|Monstrous Takeover||Pick 1 Monster from your starting army on the battlefield. You complete this battle tactic if that Monster is contesting an objective marker that you control at the end of this turn and that objective marker is not contested by an enemy Monster.|
|Savage Spearhead||You complete this battle tactic if there are 2 or more Monster wholly within your opponent’s territory at the end of this turn.|
In addition to these, the Faction Specific battle tactics would also be added for a ‘deck’ of 30 battle tactics that could be drawn.
As with 40k, you would draw three in your first hero phase and at the start of any hero phase where you had less than three. You would be able to spend a CP OR a heroic action to redraw one card at the start of the hero phase. Any tactics scored from the above list would score you two points; any Faction tactic would score you one point. At the end of your turn, you would be able to discard any or all of your cards for a single CP and could hold on to any cards that you wanted. If you could complete all 3 battle tactics drawn every turn, that would result in 30 secondary points, but the cap would be 25 points. For the primary scoring, we could use the standard Hold 1, Hold 2, Hold More, Kill 1, Kill More, for a maximum of 25 points. The maximum score in each game, therefore, could be 50 points…or would it?
One of the mechanics 10th Edition 40k has introduced is the idea of a Gambit – an all or nothing play to turn around a one-sided battle. Now Sigmar already has a similar mechanic built in – the potential double turn – but I think that Gambits could work in AoS too.
As with 40k, a player could choose at the end of turn 3 to forgo scoring any more points on the primary and instead, try to score their Gambit for 15 points. Building on the rules already in place, the Gambit would require the player to choose two Faction Grand Strategies and achieve both at the end of the game. If they do, then their maximum score is 55 as there are 5 more points available to a Gambit than 2 more turns of maximum primary points. The situations where players may choose to do this is if they are down on the primary or secondary scoring or, if they may be even, but can see that their opponent will start to dominate the board as the game goes on and would rather risk 15 points for the Gambit rather than maybe only eke out another 6 or so points through turns 4 and 5.
But what if you don’t want to rely on drawing cards and want to know what tactics you want to play at the start of the matchup? Instead, you could choose two tactics from either your Faction tactics or the standard pack and aim to try and achieve them each turn for 2 points each to a maximum of 20. This does mean that you cannot score as highly as if you’re willing to take a gamble but you are more in control of these. A Skaven friend of mine suggested that he would have 3 Plague Priests run in a circle holding hands for five turns (i.e. Ferocious Advance) while constantly chanting at each other (Crescendo of the Diseased Choir) to get the full 20 points available. And while hilarious and quite on brand for those crazy Pestilens rats, you would only need to kill one of those Priests to stop both tactics being scored.
I’ve decided to hijack Kieron’s article with some of the rumours I’ve heard as well. Why not go all in on the salt now….
Essentially, the starter box next year may be Stormcast against Skaven and will also be in conjunction with a range refresh for Skaven ala Seraphon, Cities and Flesh-eater style. Perhaps we’ll finally get those plastic Gutter Runners? Part of me suspects they’ll change the style slightly to perhaps differentiate from any Old World Skaven, much like we’ve seen with Kharadron and Fyreslayers. But like I said, Salt.
Chorfs (Chaos Duardin/Dwarf) could well see their little fat feet stamp into the Realms next edition as well. Perhaps not near release, but maybe a year or so into the edition.
So there we are. The possible future for AoS or a fever dream of nonsense that not even tin-foil hats can keep you safe from? Let us know in the comments below!