Games Workshop promised that the newer battletomes that have been released in the last few months would receive their own FAQs instead of changes in the General’s Handbook.
These just released and can be found here
Cities of Sigmar
As you know from our recent Getting Started article this is a big book with a lot of synergies. Sadly, there were some very obvious lists which ignored that and just crammed in as many Steam Tanks as possible…
Ironbreakers decreased by 20 points
Longbeards decreased by 10 points
Steamtank down by 20 points
Battlemage up by 20 points
Warden King down by 10 points
Steamtank with commander down by 20 points
Blackguard down 20 points
Executioners down by 10 points
Greatswords down by 20 points
Scourgerunner Chariots up by 20 points
Silks: I’m not thrilled about Steamtanks getting cheaper to be honest. But the rest of the changes look like they might help highlight some of the rest of the book. I especially like the Greatswords reduction as they’re one of my favourite units in the game.
Ellarr: Battlemage and Scourgerunner Chariots took the expected hike, but otherwise top performers dodged any price hikes which is a win for them. Longbeards getting cheaper is interesting as they were already extremely inefficient for what they did, and I expect we may see more freeguild Greatswords as they’re pretty juicy for their cost now.
SRM: The biggest surprise here is Steam Tanks getting cheaper. I didn’t think they were having trouble, but as a Steam Tank Haver, I’m happy to see it. Battlemages going up makes sense (thanks, Hallowheart!) and I think they’re still worth taking at 110. This balance pass brings the costs of a lot of Duardin units down, which was much needed. The whole Battletome hinges around taking equivalent units with different flavor (Greatswords vs. Hammerers vs. Executioners etc.) and bringing their points in line with each other is a big improvement. The price drop on Drakespawn Knights will hopefully encourage more cool cavalry armies or more fast moving elements in what can very easily be a static defensive force. I like the price increase on Scourgerunner Chariots, which may have been too cheap before, and now Drakespawn Chariots are not as obviously the better choice. This whole points adjustment was a win for internal balance.
Disciples of Tzeentch
The big baddies of the meta before the world shut down everyone was expecting a fairly large nerf bat for this army.
Gaunt Summoner – restricted to only summoning 5 horrors
Horrors increased by 20 points
Flamers increased by 20 points
Changeling increased by 20 points
Silks: These are pretty good changes which hit the nastiest offenders without making the army worthless. Seems like roughly an 80 point increase to most Flamehost lists.
Ellarr: Changeling, Horrors and Flamers represented major components of the extremely effective Changehost list. It remains to be seen how much this will affect the faction overall, but this incremental nerf may help alleviate some of the oppressive qualities of Tzeentch at the top tables
RagnarokAngel: I had noted how odd it was that Tzeentch didnt get any price hikes in GH2020 so I guess they forgot to add them during the layout process and so we got them here. I’m not confident this is enough but best to start with an incremental change.
One of the newer books that I genuinely forgot was a new book since they didn’t make much of an impact.
Frigate decreased by 30 points
Gunhauler decreased by 20 points
Ironclad decreased by 20 points
Admiral decreased by 20 points
Flymaster decreased by 30 points
All Battalions decreased by 20 points
Silks: After chatting to my gaming group the consensus is that KO were actually a pretty good dark horse book before this and now they have the potential to start winning tournaments. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out but currently it’s looking quite promising for them.
Ellarr: Kharadron Overlords needed a boost in a bad way as they struggled to make effective trades due to how inefficient many of their units are. Luckily this is a problem that can be helped with price drops and boy howdy did they receive a boatload (ha!) of them. I think the realistic impact of these drops is suddenly players have room in their lists for more Arkanauts and infantry to actually sit on objectives, and fans should be excited to start playtesting.
Nothing radical here in terms of rules but they did get some point drops on less used units. Huskard and Frostlord on Thundertusks got a notable 40 point drop while Thundertusk Beastriders went down by 30. Stonehorns were always noticeably better than the Thundertusks so giving some incentive to mix it up was probably the goal here.
Couple point changes that could be huge. Some things went up, the Weirdboy Shaman and Maniak Weirdnob went up 10 and 20 points respectively. The Megaboss and Savage Big Boss went down 10 points so while the wizards got more expensive the bosses got cheaper to compensate. The more notable point change is that Ardboyz went up 10 while Brutes went down 20. Which has repercussions for ironjawz and Big Waaagh lists.
RagnarokAngel: Ardboyz were always way more popular while Brutes struggled to justify their cost. In a Big Waagh list I think we might see a slight shift in how the army distribution is focused.
The most notable change here is that Petrifix Elite’s faction ability has been rewritten: Instead of a blanket +1 to saves it’s now a reroll 1s to saves, which mathematically is a lot worse. In another army this would be fine except OBR already have a Discipline Ability to reroll failed saves so at this point the only thing it gets you is a chance to do it in edge cases for free.
Seemingly as a counter-balance, some of the elite units (Necropolis Stalkers, Immortis Guard and the two Morghasts) dropped 20 points a piece. Immortis Guard are fairly popular so this should help them a lot, but I don’t think the others will see any more use.
RagnarokAngel: Nerfing Petrifix Elite has been the change everyone had been clamoring for since the army premiered and this change is probably the best way they could have gone about it to preserve the army’s general tactic while not outright removing it. Its a lot less obvious now who the winning faction is and this will let others crowd the field a bit more. A good change.
The point changes for the elite stuff is pretty substantial at 20 points but I’m not sure they’ll see more use outside the already sometimes used Immortis guard.
Ellarr: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA get fucked Petrifex.
Mostly point drops to some mounted options: Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur (Down 20), Stegadon with Skink Chief (20) and Skink Oracle on Troglodon(40!). Salamander Hunting Packs went up a whopping 30 points for 4 as well.
RagnarokAngel: I think GW is trying to incentivize bigger units as thats a running trend here, and one I support.
Ellarr: Salamanders going up 30 feels a little heavy handed, but I think they still warrant discussion at 110 so it feels roughly right. They were a slam dunk must take unit at 80 points and feel beteter now. Skink Oracles on Troglodons went down 40 (!) but its a bad unit in a crowded spot so meh. Stegadon with free Skink got a price drop and that’s pretty nice, they’re a fairly good beat stick. Mostly a restrained update for a faction that felt appropriate (though no hike for Kroak? really?)
Slaves to Darkness
Like Disciples of Tzeentch, Gaunt Summoners are updated to only summon 5 horrors. Otherwise, there’s a few point changes. The general trend is that Marauders got more expensive while warriors/knights got cheaper. Marauders got a 10 point price hike while warriors lost 10 points. Similarly, Marauder Horsemen went up 20 points while Chaos Knights went down 20. A nice little surprise is Varanguard went down 20 points, for you Host of the Everchosen players.
The Endless spell Darkfire Rift got a really heavy increase of 30 points on an already 50 point model. Yikes!
RagnarokAngel: Marauders were definitely way too cheap, so I applaud GW for raising their price ever so slightly while also bringing down Warriors and Knights to compensate. The new models are really cool I want to see more of them!
Ellarr: Daves to Darkness can largely rejoice, as some of their most iconic units (Warriors, Knights and Varanguard) all got a discount, meaning we’ll be seeing more boys in plate in Slaves list. To help encourage this, Marauders went up 10 and Horsemen 20, which feels fair and needless overkill respectively – Marauder Horsemen are not going to get taken at 110, its simply too much for what you get. The Karkadark Lord also coming down in price opens up the possibility of cavalry heavy armies, as I can see an argument being made for putting a ton of knights on the table and creating a surgical strike force.
SRM: I’m happy to see the supposed stars of the show – Chaos Knights and Warriors of Chaos – getting some points drops. They’ve been overcosted compared to Marauders since Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and it’s good to see those costs massaged into something a bit more reasonable. Marauders going up also makes the Warcry warbands slightly more attractive, but I still think the majority of them are some combination of overcosted and underpowered. I agree with Ellar that Marauder Horsemen definitely got hit a little too hard though, as 100 points is sort of the sweet spot for fast harassment cavalry, like Pistoliers or Outriders in a Cities of Sigmar army. I think Sorcerer Lords could have stood to go up a few points since they’re such no-brainers, but I’m happy to see the Karkadrak Lord go down a few. The points adjustments largely serve to make the Start Collecting! box even more appealing.
RagnarokAngel: I noted during the General’s Handbook point analysis I felt like some of the point changes felt too barren or non-existent. It’s entirely possible due to COVID that not every point change was able to get to the printer on time and so here we are. I like the changes in general, the nerfs to OBR and DoT are needed and outside of those two there seems to be a general trend toward pushing bigger mounted creatures (Which I am all for by the way). Good stuff, no complaints here.