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Prepare for weaker unit stats in Age of Sigmar 4e, says GW

For Age of Sigmar 4e, Games Workshop has run a mass-rebalancing, so if your favorite model seems nerfed, don't fret - it may be an illusion.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition balance units weaker - Games workshop image of the new Skaven Rat Ogor model plus a graphic showing the new unit stat archetypes, overlaid on a battle photo

Don’t be surprised if your favorite Warhammer Age of Sigmar units don’t seem to pack such a punch when their stats are revealed in the coming days, Games Workshop has warned. The company is rebalancing the entire game, and says “you’ll undoubtedly see things that don’t look as powerful as they were in the previous edition.”

According to a WarCom article published on May 20, Games Workshop wanted to make sure the rules for each Age of Sigmar army reflected the reality of the setting, “ensuring that characteristics are consistently applied, reflecting the lore and the look of the miniature.”

To establish this, the designers have come up with new guidelines for what a baseline human looks like stats-wise, as well as baseline aelf, orruk, grot, horse, and monster.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition balance units weaker - Games workshop graphic showing the new model stat archetypes, including basic to hit and to wound rolls for humans, aelves, orruks, grots, monsters, and horses

It seems like the appearance of a mini has played quite a significant role in differentiating one unit from another, and in the case of determining HP and armor, GW says it literally lined up hundreds of minis to visually compare their volumes and how much protective clothing they wore.

It sounds like this could easily devolve into playground-style debates about whose toys could beat up whose, but the Warhammer-maker’s goal seems noble at least: to “ensure that every unit had its own role to play on the battlefield.”

Warhammer age of sigmar army

According to the article, a key focus in Age of Sigmar 4e’s design philosophy is giving everything a niche. And that’s why it says the Rend ability (which reduces saves) has been toned down significantly. Instead of throwing around Rend like confetti, it appears GW will be giving units situational rend, to make them best-suited for taking out specific types of units or countering specific tactics.

Warhammer age of sigmar weapon rules explanation

As for your favorite models looking weaker, GW says you mustn’t despair. “Don’t take these in isolation – literally everything has been refactored”, it explains.

“If a particular unit seems weaker, the chances are that similar units have experienced comparable changes, or its niche has become more valuable.”

For more fantasy miniatures, check out the recent, rat-infested Age of Sigmar 4th edition launch box Skaventide, now properly revealed and priced up. And check out our guide to the best Age of Sigmar starter sets, if Skaven don’t suit you, and you’re looking for another jumping off point.