With the release of the third edition of Age of Sigmar, players have had to adjust to a lot of rules tweaks and changes. It’s an exciting time for current players and a great point for new players to try out the game. I’ve gotten a chance to play quite a few games of the new edition and these are my biggest take aways from some of the rule changes that everyone will see impacting their matches.
1. Command Abilities and Command Points Restructuring
This is probably one of the most prominent changes to the game. Almost every army now has access to even more command abilities than before and more command points to use them. Not only that but there are specific command abilities you can now use on your opponent’s turn which contributes to more back and forth play. Gone are the days of sitting around until your opponent’s combat phase to actually play the game again. Now you will have to plan and react to your opponent’s movements, shooting, and charging, adding another layer of depth to the game.
2. Heroic Actions
This is a completely new rule that makes your heroes feel even more powerful and impactful. At the start of each player’s hero phase, each player will get to choose one hero to complete a heroic action. These consist of generating a command point, unbinding spells, empowering themselves, or healing wounds. For me, this allowed my heroes to last longer and have a bigger impact on the battlefield.
3. Cohesion rules
This one is going to take a lot of players some time to get used to, especially if your models are on bigger bases. If a unit has 5 or fewer units it can be within 1 inch of another model and be in coherency. If it has more than 5 units, they must be within 1 inch of 2 other models. While most Warhammer players will be generally used to this, I caught myself in some really tough spots that limited my piling in as well as when I had to pull casualties to make sure half of my unit didn’t run off on me at the end of the turn.
4. Unleash Hell and Redeploy
These are two command abilities that I feel are making a big splash in the games I have been playing. Unleash Hell allows your ranged units to shoot at a penalty when an enemy unit charges within a certain distance on your opponent’s turn. This makes your opponent think twice before closing in on your ranged units. The second ability, Redeploy, allows you to move a unit 1 to 6 inches after your opponent moves near you. This could help you close the gap or run further away, making your opponent’s charge more difficult.
5. Terrain Changes
This was a simple but needed tweak with cover and terrain. If you can get smaller units closer to terrain they will benefit from cover, getting bonuses to their save rolls. Again, a minor tweak that mirrors rules for ranged combat in some other games that adds some more practical applications for using terrain.
6. Battle Tactics
A new rule that lets you choose which sort of actions will net you some victory points at the end of your turn. Think of these as mini objectives. They can range from killing opponents’ units in their own territories to taking over an objective marker, to slaying an opponent’s hero. These battle tactics are diverse and really contribute to your score and the fun of the game.
7. Monstrous Rampages
This is another brand-new rule that happens at the end of the charge phase. Players take turns alternating choosing monsters on the battlefield to do a monstrous rampage. This consists of destroying scenery, roaring, stomping, and dueling other monsters. This rule really benefits players for including massive models in their armies and using them aggressively, you know, like how monsters generally act.
8. Core Battalions
Battalions used to consist of special rules you would game for bringing specific units for an army. With the new core battalion system, every army is on the same playing field for matched play. Each core battalion has several slots you can plug a unit into, and you gain benefits from those battalions chosen. This really helps level out the playing field for matched play and helps contribute to how you build your list to bring it to the battlefield.
Artifacts and spells could always be added to your army, but third edition makes a couple of changes. The way to get extra artifacts and spells is to take certain core battalions. When you do get extra enhancements, you can either choose to give an unnamed hero an artifact or take a spell that all wizards in your army will then learn. There are also generic enhancements you can bring which really help the diversity of army builds in the game.
10. Battlefield Size
The regular 2000-point game used to use a 6 foot by 4 foot play space. This has changed to 44 inches by 60 inches. While at first, I didn’t like the change, it eventually grew on me. The action was able to take place faster, shooting units were no longer safe in their corner of the table, and units were able to disengage and reengage in meaningful ways without eating up too much time trekking across the table. Overall, it makes play spaces more accessible and contributes to the game being more dynamic.
So, there you have it. My top ten takeaways from the new rules for Age of Sigmar 3.0. So far, my games have been very close points-wise and sometimes sure victories are snatched away by great strategic decisions on either side of the board. The games have also been a bit longer as well due to the close victory point spread. While it may have put a little more of a learning curve into the game, I have been having a great time with the new edition and hope I see you on the battlefield in the mortal realms!