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GW hints at seven big Age of Sigmar 4th edition rules changes

The new edition of Warhammer Age of Sigmar will rebuild the game from the ground up - and details are emerging of the form it may take.

Games Workshop has released teaser information about the next edition of Age of Sigmar, outlining the key areas where the game’s rules will change. The firm has revealed seven main Age of Sigmar 4th edition rules changes we can expect, though details are still extremely scant.

With Age of Sigmar 4th edition announced at Adepticon last week, we can expect Games Workshop to release a steady trickle of information until the game finally launches – or the firm releases the rules early, as it did for Warhammer 40k 10th edition.

It’s likely that these seven topics from Monday’s Warhammer Community post, and its embedded video, will be expanded on in future Age of Sigmar articles from Warhammer Community.

Age of Sigmar 4th edition rules - a treeperson lord of the Sylvaneth riding on a giant insect

Modular rules

According to GW’s video, “a new modular approach to the rules means you only have to learn the rules you need, when you need them”. A commitment to simplicity is certainly welcome: Age of Sigmar third edition’s rules are obnoxiously legalistic, even though the game is fairly simple at its core.

Take more actions during your opponents’ turn

Fourth edition will have “opportunities to cast spells or even charge in your opponents’ turn”. Perhaps these will be additional commands, similar to Redeploy and Unleash Hell, which let players spend a Command point to react to an opponent’s actions – or maybe there’s something new in the wings.

Double turns will come with more of a cost

According to the WarCom video, “changes to priority mean you’ll pay a heavy cost to take that tempting double turn”. This sounds like more of the same kind of adjustment to double turns that was made in second and third edition AoS. Still, perhaps the designers have found the perfect balance, and this edition will prove our Age of Sigmar double turn critique to be misjudged.

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More impactful battlefield terrain

Age of Sigmar has always had an odd relationship with terrain, starting in the first edition when terrain properties were randomly generated from a D6 list. Terrain certainly matters, but it’s not like Warhammer 40k or Warhammer: The Old World where, with massed shooting and incredibly restrictive movement, respectively, terrain can be utterly game changing. The promise of “more impactful battlefield terrain” is enticing, but will that also mean more complexity?

Streamlined army list building

The video mentions streamlined army list building, which will bring the complexity of army building in Age of Sigmar full circle. First edition had literally no limitations on list building: third edition has limits on certain types of unit, limits on reinforcements, bonuses for forming your army into battalions, and so on. A nip and tuck to that system is welcome.

Age of Sigmar 4th edition rules - an Orruk horde crashes through the doors of a citadel, led by an Orruk riding a giant pig

More reactive command system

The WarCom article says “the turn structure is so much more reactive – you’ll be hoarding precious Command points to respond at the most crucial moments”, and the embedded video mentions “a more reactive command system”. That sounds pretty much the same as acting during your opponents’ turn, but GW mentions it separately in the video, so we assume that it deserves its own bullet point.

A new underdog mechanic

GW mentions “a new underdog mechanic” in the latest edition. While this could be some kind of power boost for a losing player, GW games tend to give losing players alternative victory conditions. First edition Age of Sigmar offered a losing player the chance to claim a Sudden Death victory, while Warhammer 40k 10th edition lets players swap the main mission objective out for a do-or-die Gambit.

Whatever happens in this new edition, the Wargamer team members are looking over their piles of plastic potential to get new Age of Sigmar armies ready. My Oldhammer Cities of Sigmar army fell apart when the army list got updated (though much of it has found a home in an Old World Dwarfs army), but I’m feeling the call of the new Age of Sigmar Skaven

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