Age of Sigmar: Fourth Edition Explained, April 8th Update

Since we last looked at Age of Sigmar’s new edition there has been a lot of news. While only showing one set of models for the new edition Games Workshop has spent the last week making a large number of announcements. Two, the removal of models and the preview of the new Warscroll, will get dedicated articles to provide them the attention they deserve.

What We Learned – Models:

The new Liberator looks like a Vindicator who picked up a hammer. Your feeling on the Thunderstrike army is likely going to determine how you feel about this resculpt and without additional models to review this sculpt isn’t a huge surprise or insight into what other 4th edition Stormcast will look like.

Credit – Games Workshop

Having a basic troop choice like Liberators be simple to paint isn’t a bad thing. The real test is going to be the showpiece and centerpiece models that are released. 3rd edition had a great number of incredible models (dragons) that really caught people’s eyes and attention.

What We Learned – Indexing:

It was confirmed that every battletome will be replaced and factions should get index rules at, or close to, launch. The hope would be all of the mainline factions would receive index rules at launch and some of the Armies of Renown receive rules in the first few weeks. Warcom also confirmed that subfactions will still exist and that the free rules will include enhancements and spell lores. As with everything it doesn’t make sense to assume that any of these terms have the same meaning as they do now.

What We Learned – Rules:

Here are some things that were confirmed:

Credit- Games Workshop

  • New Warscroll – There is almost too much in the new warscroll to go over and we will have a more detailed discussion once we have additional information. Above, we see Nagash as he appears in the Ossiarch Bone Reapers army. There has been some justified concern that a simplified warscroll with a set text space might not include all of the complexity we love, but there’s still a lot there. An example of the ease of use is that multiple friends of mine pointed out that Nagash is now able to continue casting after a miscast even though this wasn’t highlighted in the article. Another change that several people pointed out is that the nine books of Nagash now allows him to cast nine times. From my perspective the warscroll looks familiar enough and learning how to scan for Crit(Mortal) instead of “If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with a Stormspear is 6, the target suffers 1 mortal wound and the attack sequence ends (do not make a wound or save roll).” Hopefully the rules govern what happens when a damage characteristic is increased, or when a unit improves when crit rolls are made.
  • The new Liberator scroll also simplified weapon options. While it is too early to make a judgement I wouldn’t be upset if the majority of models with different weapons would allow them to become a single profile letting me use the rule of cool for selecting models. The definitive best kit in the game, Rockgut Troggoths, have a single profile but a bunch of different fun melee options. Age of Sigmar hasn’t been able to decide if weapon options are so impactful that they need a new warscroll (Vulkite Bezerkers with Handaxes vs. Slingshields) or so inconsequential that the only difference is a inch of range and a slightly better wound roll.
  • There will be seven universal special rules for weapons with one of them being mortal wounds on a 6.
  • Objectives will now be 40mm objectives that will be contested by models within 3″. Additionally, with the release of the warscroll above we can confirm that there is a control stat that can be modified.
  • Bravery, like battleshock, has been removed and has been replaced with control and functions as a measure of how a unit is able to hold an objective. As a concept, control already exists in Age of Sigmar with models having 4 or fewer wounds counting as one, those with more than 5 counting as two, and monsters counting as five on a point. Certain factions, like Sons of Behemat or Ogors, counting as many more. If control appears on a warscroll we no longer will be asking, “Is this a monster?” throughout games.
  • There are significant changes to what things are called. Health has replaced wounds on the warscroll. Wounds that have been done to a unit is now called damage.
  • Everything is now an ability with a declare step and an effect step. Currently, there are a lot of really weird potential interactions that occur when using rules as written. Many of these rely on ignoring the FAQ that says that “after” and “immediately after” are synonymous in the game. Others are honest readings of rules as written following the “specific abilities trump general rules” principle. For example, unleash hell and additional shooting attacks with KO’s Army of Renown, some orders in Cities of Sigmar, and the Zephyrspites ability for Gossamid Archers all have problematic sequencing. Simplifying everything to resolving after the declare should be good and intuitive and I hope that 4th edition cleans these issues up. Looking on the warscroll for Nagash there is a clear cause and effect.
  • There are also passive rules that are “always on” but may only impact a specific phase.
  • Modular rules are confirmed; what is not yet confirmed is what that means. The roll-out of this concept has not been ideal so far. I’m sensitive to the fact that you can’t really show the modularity of the rules without showing the entire core rules. Introducing modularity by suggesting that a new GHB might be a better fix compared to an online errata is a completely self-inflicted wound. I sincerely hope, and expect, that core rules will be updated for balance throughout the edition. If modularity means a more elegant rewrite of the core rules that prevents flipping between three or four sections to figure out a single interaction, they will be good. If it means unlocking the most recent core rules by putting a code in the app they will be bad. The way that terrain was changed for the Dawnbringers V book was an example of lots and lots of weird interactions coming from what sounds like a simple change in letting people shoot and fight buildings.
  • The double turn is staying. In the new edition if you go second in the prior round and choose to take the first turn you won’t get a battle tactic. This is a big change as the race for drops caused players to give away first turn so the might have the option for a double from 2-3. Now, all you would be doing is putting yourself in a position to lose a battle tactic early in the game. Additionally, turn five has always been extremely swingy in close games as it is the only turn that doesn’t have any future turns to set up in. Various missions and battle packs have attempted to change rules based on who is going first or second to various degrees of success.
  • Army construction is changing significantly. This is a big one. First, battlefield roles are going away. They mostly served as a limiting factor for getting to a one drop army. Now, armies will have at least one hero that is supported by up to three units that consist of a drop (four if the hero is the general) . Additionally, these units can only be reinforced once, but there is no limit on the number of reinforcements. Units that can be taken in a regiment are determined by the hero and may include other heroes. Finally, auxiliary units outside of the hero’s roster of picks can be added to a regiment and if you have fewer auxiliary units you will receive a command point. Right now there is a big binary of “Low Drops” and “Getting Toys” from battalions. Overall, except for the additional enhancement for magnificent, or some GHB battalions, battalions have been pretty useless. Getting all-out attack once per game at the cost of three drops? No thank you.
  • Turn order was released. While the “Start of Turn” and “End of Turn” are technically new phases we conceptually have had them for a good bit of time. As anyone who has played 3rd edition knows each part of the turn is divided into several parts, the start, the turn, and the end of turn, that each player could have abilities trigger in.

Credit – Games Workshop

  • There are now seven types of abilities dealing with the mundane (offensive and defensive) to the new (control) with a catch-all “special ability” that could cover just about anything. Many parts of 3rd edition have extremely convoluted wordings when trying prevent specific outcomes like ignoring battleshock or rally. It would be pretty nice if in the future you could say “XYZ prevents all defensive abilities until the end of phase.”

Models Being Removed

This is a topic that we are exploring and will be exploring in more detail in the future. First: if you play, collect, or enjoy Bonesplitterz and Beasts of Chaos, I am sorry and it sucks. There has been a lot of debate in the Goonhammer discord, social media, and basically every group chat since the announcement over the fact that so many models are going to be removed. There is no good way to hear that your army is being removed from the game. It sucks, and it is okay to grieve the loss of something that you put time, effort, love, and care into.

Sticking with just the facts: Beasts of Chaos and Bonesplitterz will receive downloadable rules before being sent to legends in July 2025. Beasts of Chaos will later join The Old World.

Separately, all of the prior seasons’ Warcry units in the Slaves to Darkness range will be removed with the exception of the Darkoath Savagers who are to be joined by several new Savagers soon, and Chaos Legionaries, a unit devoted to Belakor. The underworld warband Khagra’s Ravagers will also be removed.

A few random units (Madcap Shaman, Scuttleboss on Gigantic Spider, Valkia the Bloody, Scyla Anfingrim, Saurus Eternity Warden, Mistweaver Saih, and the Sylvaneth Branchwraith) are being removed as well. Given that the Branchwraith was already removed in the 3.0 Sylvaneth book and the Scuttleboss on Gigantic Spider is not correctly named in the article.

Finally, the two release armies for the fourth edition release box are seeing significant cutbacks in the model ranges. However, with only a single unit (Liberators) being shown so far we don’t know what a true removal vs. what is being replaced with an updated models.

For Skaven, sixteen warscrolls in all are being removed, ranging from really specific models like the warpstone grinder and Doom Flayer to basic models like clan rats, Stormvermin, Rat Ogors, and Warlock Engineers. For those of you who like old things, Night Runners will still be around based on the article. Some of these models are still metal and are difficult to find.

Stormcast are losing 23 warscrolls and, even if no new models are added in fourth edition, would still have the largest collection of warscrolls in Age of Sigmar. However, we know that many new models will be released at the beginning of the edition. Unlike Skaven, every single one of these kits are new, plastic, and were made specifically for Age of Sigmar. Basically, every single Sacrosanct and multiple members of the Warrior chamber are being removed. Some of these models, like Liberators or Prosecutors, appear in the opening trailer for the new edition.

There is a lot to be said about what the removal of models and armies means for a game and if there are better ways to accomplish their stated goals than axing a bunch of stuff. On one hand, Games Workshop is a company like any other and a majority of the kits being removed are older. On the other hand, nobody forced them to create so many Stormcast models over the past few years and I’m not sure I see what role the Celestar Ballista is overlapping in the Stormcast army.


Most of the job for the lore was doing the heavy lifting explaining why some Stormcast are sticking around.

What Actions Need To Be Taken?

We haven’t seen a robust set of models, gotten information on Spearhead, or started to even see how an index might look. Since the edition is being completely rewritten anything could basically change from what we understand.  If you don’t have any Age of Sigmar models right now you don’t NEED to do anything. I say again, and with emphasis: You don’t need to do anything right now. Painting your unfinished models, excluding those that will not be in 4th edition, is all you need to focus on right now.

For those who had Bonesplitterz and Beast of Chaos armies, we are very sorry. Enjoy the last year of matched play.

For Skaven and Stormcast players it is an interesting time. I’m sure there will be a large number of models shown over time.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop us a note in the Comments below or email us at That’s also the best way to suggest topics for future articles. And if you want regular updates in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.