Age of Sigmar: Battlescroll July 2023 Part 1 – Rules Updates

As expected, every General’s Handbook is going to be followed by the Battlescroll and Point Changes. The past few months have released with some battle tomes that can generously be described as…overtuned. On the other hand, a lot of older books are showing their age (Almost 2 years old!). So naturally this is going to demand a few changes to hope fully bring things back into line.

First we’ll cover the Battlescroll rules changes here, and then points will come in a separate article immediately after. All the previous battlescroll changes that were in the last one are still in effect, so Rally is still capped at 10 wounds and so on.

These can be found on the Warhammer Community website as a free PDF.

Core Rules


Coherency has been changed so now units of 2-6 can be within an inch of just one other model, instead of 5. This opens up the way for the all too common units of 3 to be reinforced without reducing combat effectiveness.

Bair: This is huge. Gore Gruntas and Varanguard are the first two that spring to mind, being able to all hit combat and attack is going to be game changing. Pusgoyle Blightlords, when battleline and reinforced twice, become an option now to fly down a flank. A great change for the game, just wish it’d had been implemented sooner! 

RagnarokAngel: While I wish this also came with the return of the Galletian Veterans fight in two ranks ability as Core, this is something. The high number of units with 3 models meant reinforcing often resulted in worse damage output than splitting them up, all over just one model. Good change.

Chimp: This is the single best change they’ve made all edition. Some units will likely over-benefit from this and need some adjustment further down the line, but it’s an incredible quality of life change for how the game actually gets played on the table.

Look Out, Sir!

If a foot hero is within 3” of a unit with 3 or more models, they cannot be hit with missile weapons if they are more than 12” away, otherwise they still retain the -1 to hit they always did. 

RagnarokAngel: Games Workshop has expressed reservations about implementing a 40k style look out sir, under the belief that shooting wasn’t as common as in 40k. This is technically true but the abundance of mortal wounds on 6s to hit means that really only tells half the truth. Limiting it to more than 12” away is a fair compromise.

Michael O “Mugginns”: I really like that they looked out how Galletian Champions worked in Matched Play and adapted it here. Characters aren’t totally invulnerable but do have more survivability than just in the Core Rules. Super common sense ruling here that will make the game better.

Bair: This is such a positive change to Look Out, Sir. The -1 to hit on its own for so long has felt nearly meaningless most of the time, hardly protecting foot heroes from ranged attacks. As a Fyreslayer player I’m pretty biased on this, but losing a 150 point foot hero with 4+ save and 6+ ward turn 1 sucks. After Galletian Champions I’m glad to see a modified version come into play for the game moving forwards.

Ellarr: It just made sense to keep this protection in the game in some fashion, and I’m glad for it. Being able to bypass it by getting within 12″ also means there’s a bit more counterplay to it than previously, which is healthy.

Arcane Tome

The bearer is now only allowed to cast Arcane Bolt, Mystic Shield, or to summon endless spells instead of knowing these spells. 

Bair: This is just a minor change in wording, really. This clears up some confusion for armies like Soulblight where units are handed a free spell just for being a wizard and confirms they do not gain the ability to cast those spells.

Archmage Teclis and Celennar, Spirit of Hysh. Credit: Rich Nutter


Lumineth Realm-lords

This changes the omnipresent Great Nation Helon ability from +1 attack on missile weapons to targets within 6” to +1 to hit and wound.

Chimp: It’s still a fantastic buff, and really good on the Kangaroos this Great Nation is theoretically supposed to build around, but is no longer free additional mortal wounds for Sentinels. This should make Teclis and all his friends with guns a bit less punchy.

Ellarr: The original rule for Helon was just backbreakingly efficient when used aggressively and brutal on the defensive thanks to Unleash Hell. It won’t kill sentinel style lists but this is the first time in a while that there’s been real incentive to properly dig into the rest of the book (helped along by recent points drops…).


Blades of Khorne

The first blood tithe ability, Murderlust has been changed to only be one unit moving D6” instead of 3.

RagnarokAngel: Really should have been this from the start and most called that this was pretty bullshit since the book came out. Either raising the cost or reducing the number of units would have been fine, but raising the cost means replacing it with something else, so this was easier.

Chimp: This is a good change – if you’re trying to do Some Bullshit you can still do it on the cheap, but shuffling around multiple units now costs you. It’s still an amazing ability, especially given you can still use it to slide into combat in your opponent’s hero phase. 

Ellarr: You can still move up to 3, but you’ll have to pay a Blood Tithe point for each.


Soulblight Gravelords

 As you might expect from an army that’s rocketed to the very top of the AoS meta, there’s some hefty nerfs on the table here. First up a change to Endless Legions – the ability that lets you recycle destroyed summonable units. The distance you can set the unit up again now varies depending on whose turn it is. In your own turn, it’s still that incredibly powerful 3” away from enemy units, but if you use Endless Legions in your opponent’s turn it’s now the standard 9” away from enemy units.

Chimp: This is a big change to a headline ability for the army, and massively limits the utility of Endless Legions in your opponent’s turn as it’s much easier to block the summon. 

Ellarr: This ability flat out sucked to play against, as you could find objectives flipping on your turn as it was almost impossible to zone out the board unless you were running hordes. Great change.

The Zombie build also cops a second nerf with a change to their warscroll ability Dragged Down and Torn Apart which now requires the slain model to be within 3” of the attacking unit to proc the chance of doing damage.

Chimp: A pretty sensible change, and it will hit the damage output of zombies a fair amount. 

Squig Herd
Credit: Raf Cordero


Gloomspite Gitz

Squig Herd has had Squigs Gone Wild nerfed a fair bit. It now only does mortal wounds when a model flees on a 3+ instead of a 2+ and it must target the nearest enemy unit.

RagnarokAngel: Errataing the ability to not allow you to intentionally break coherency to force models to flee wasn’t quite enough. Due to their low bravery, it was quite easy to make them flee and snipe out an enemy hero that was 9” away, even hidden behind their troops. Clearly not the intended use case, so focusing on the closest unit feels like a fair enough compromise.

Orruk Warclans

Two new battle tactics:

  • Sneak Up – Every Kruleboyz unit is within 3” of a terrain feature and not in combat.
  • Dat’s Our Turf Now! – 2 or More Ironjawz units are within 3” of the Center

RagnarokAngel: One of the biggest things dragging down Orruk Warclans is how the battle tactics are split. They only get 6 like anyone else but have to split them amongst 4 different armies – and one requires Kragnos. This not only gives Kruleboyz and Ironjawz an easy opening Battle Tactic (on most maps), it also aids Big Waaagh!, since sneak up would only require one Kruleboyz unit to succeed.

Ellarr: I’m in love. This is a huge shot in the arm for Big Waaagh builds who now have three very achievable battle tactics that don’t even necessarily require interaction with your opponent. Both Kruleboyz and Ironjawz players have reasons to celebrate too obviously, but BW are the clear winners.

Sons of Behemat

Both sons of Behemat core battalions now give both buffs instead of either, meaning Bosses of the Stomp get both an enhancement as a battalion. Footsloggas is less exciting to get Unified and Swift but hey, it’s the first time anyone ever took Swift.

RagnarokAngel: Sons of Behemat hasn’t been doing so hot on the W-L ratio, especially lately so I guess it’s fair. This upcoming season is going to be positively brutal to them anyway so give them what they can get.

Up Next – Point Changes

A bit surprising to not see any changes to Slaanesh, Seraphon or Ossiarch Bonereapers here, especially for Seraphon going into the new season. It’s possible they’re waiting a bit longer before making some decisions there and hope some point adjustments might make up the difference.

Speaking of, next up we got the points changes! So stick around!