Age of Sigmar September Battlescroll – The Goonhammer Hot Take

Finally! September is here and during arguably one of the most tumultuous times in the Age of Sigmar meta (at least during this edition) our Battlescroll has come.

Age of Sigmar GTs right now are infested with zombie spawn, krondspine feasting on a buffet of endless spells and unkillable, respawning Immortis Guard. Frankly? It sucks to put up with, even you likely will “only” see it at top tables nobody likes going to a tournament knowing that could be their first round opponent.

Games Workshop has been aware of this problem, but will they be able to fix it? Let’s break down the battlescroll piece by piece.

Core Rules

Quick FAQ, you cannot use a Ward after a bodyguard rule (e.g. Saurus Guard’s ‘Selfless Protectors’ ability or the Necromancer’s ‘Undead Minions’ ability) unless it says otherwise. There was some confusion about the timing of “allocating wounds” that made people unclear in those situations.

General’s Handbook

Many of the bugbears impacting the current season needed to be adjusted at the top level, rather than individually so there are a lot of changes to the core season rules.

First, the two problem spells of the Primal Frost lore: Rupture and Merciless Blizzard. Rupture allowed the caster to break the bond between a caster and their endless spell or Incarnate. While virtually useless for Endless Spells (letting them go wild only has negligible impact on their effectiveness in most cases), the Krondspine is where the problem really showed up – but not the enemy.

Games Workshop seemed to believe a Krondspine going wild was a downside, after all now it could charge and hurt your own guys. In reality, it’s more of a boon as long as your guys aren’t standing within 3″ of it when it goes wild. Free +1 to hit and run and charge in exchange for just making sure you stay far away from it so it won’t charge you? Easy trade.

So what would generally happen is players would Rupture their own Krondspine and now that it counts as an enemy unit, it could eat their own Endless Spells. So the Krondspine could charge into the enemy and keep the buffet of endless spells going to keep it at level 3. Since you can’t retreat from it, it was either going to kill you eventually or waste your time on your tankiest unit for 5 turns.

So the solution was to change it so it could only be used on enemy Incarnates and endless spells. As a consolation it now does D3 mortals to the enemy wizard it was bonded to and either drops the level of the Krondspine (in addition to going wild) or dispel the Endless Spell as appropriate.

This is…interesting. Even with the additional effects the spell becomes very niche. If you get paired into the right matchup you’ll be glad you had it, but its still really only useful to counter a Krondspine. D3 mortal wounds isn’t worth a CV spell when you can unbind the old fashioned way easier. It’s possible it may make people shy to bring the Krondspine, if they do encounter it.

The change to Merciless Blizzard is much simpler and feels targeted, even. You can’t use it if you teleported or moved this turn, the end. The design is very deliberate, since Legion of Night could teleport a Vampire Lord out 9″ away from the enemy, cast the spell and then teleport on their opponent’s turn, no risk required. Other factions with teleports could do this too, but Legion of Night specifically offered a no-risk version. The spell is probably going to still see play – it’s too good not to – but will be used more like how GW intended it.

Next, Malevolent Maelstrom has been changed to only explode on a 6, like it used to work. I had assumed it’d just go up in cost but frankly guaranteed D3 Mortals at least 7″ out was too good. In its current state it likely will go back on the shelf – it simply requires too much setup for the payoff and can be unbinded without fear now.

Umbral Spellportal also got a surprise change, if an endless spell passes through a portal it cannot move after and doesn’t count as having been moved. This exists both to keep it from moving across the entire field in one go and from dropping whatever effect it does on whatever stands on the other side.

Finally one minor change is that the mission No Reward Without Risk now specifically says Wizard heroes can explode, a change that largely impacts Tzeentch and Lumineth and their Heroes as units.

Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur. Credit: Michael O “mugginns”

Beasts of Chaos

One FAQ change that you might have missed. The exact timing of heroic actions is a tad murky, especially the Rituals of Ruin. The FAQ clarifies you must do these at the beginning of the turn, so your opponent can respond with heroic recovery after if you hit them with Warping Curse.

Hedonites of Slaanesh

Just some point changes which won’t shock very many people. Blissbarb Archers, Blissbarb and Slickblade Seekers, and the Masque each went up 10 points while the Contored Epitome went up 20. Absolutely fair and expected.

Slaangors, Fiends and Painbringers went down, which probably won’t help their case much, unfortunately.

Idoneth Deepkin

Points changes and rules changes for Idoneth. The text for Fuethán has been simplified so that all of your Bloodthirsty Shiver sharks now always have exploding 6s rather than just one unit, at the expense of not being able to get double exploding 6s anymore. By itself this is a decent change, as you generally want to have as many of your sharks in melee as possible anyway, and not needing to remember a trigger for an ability is always good. Do note another change to the rule here that may be an error, in that the exploding 6s used to only be for the ferocious bite attacks and now it is for “an attack”, so this will include the riders on the back and the shooting profile. It’s not a lot of extra damage in the grand scheme of things, but if you’re spamming sharks it will add up.

The points changes are quite chunky again, after getting hefty drops in the last scroll, and this does reflect Deepkin continuing to trend pretty poorly. Last battlescroll the turtle came down and we said it needed to come down again, and it has. At 400 points we’re about where it ought to be, and a cool 100 points cheaper than its launch cost. Otherwise, the King and Volturnos both come down by 20, the former is a pretty consistent inclusion in Deepkin armies anyway. Finally a bunch of -10 changes that include both varities of Namarti. Not a huge deal in isolation, but you’ll find over the course of these changes a lot of Deepkin armies will be creeping up on about 100 extra points to play with.Rejoice,

Maggotkin of Nurgle

A brand new Battle Tactic Don’t Squabble, Children which requires a Daemon unit and a Rotbringer (So a sorcerer or Fecula Flyblown) to capture an objective wholly outside their territory. Not a great tactic, depending on list composition, but Nurgle has some tricky tactics to fulfill so it’s still something.

The Harbinger went up a whopping 50 points, which is a bit surprising but it may have been priced incorrectly, 140 points was quite cheap. Otherwise it’s a fire sale on many Nurgle units. The reliable Plaguebearers and Blightkings both went down, as did two of the Maggoth Lords (Morbidex and Bloab). The more niche Sorcerer, Great Unclean One and Rotigus also went down. Shockingly, the Glottkin went down again for those who like their big boy.

In short, the point drops touch on a wide variety of less optimized meta lists, leaving the Lord of Affliction and Pusgoyles untouched for those who prefer them.


Fright or Flight was rewritten to include a rider that a unit must be contesting an objective, since previously rules as written it was possible to just leave all the objectives and complete it, so you have to at least be holding something.

You also got some point cuts – but appreciated ones. Rather than focus on unused units like last update, they acknowledge that even with their best stuff, Nighthaunt are struggling. So Bladegheist Revenants and Dreadscythe Harridans both went down 20 points. Very nice!

Hexwraiths going down 10 and Olynder a whopping 40 is also welcome. Hexwraiths saw some play, and were quite viable before so this does help them a bit. Olynder may finally be reaching playable, with bodyguard support.

Credit: Silks

Ossiarch Bonereapers

Oh boy, this one’s gonna hurt. Let’s get the big change out of the way, a targeted attack on Immortis Guard’s recursion (Stalkers as well, on a more minor note). Katakros, Arkhan the Black and Mortisan Boneshaper share a similar ability to heal 3 wounds from a unit, or if an Immortis Guard or Stalker unit had no wounds, a model could be returned on a 3+. This meant under ideal conditions with the Boneshaper’s artefact to do it twice and with no wounds allocated to a unit, you could bring back 4 models to a unit (multiple units even, with Arkhan and Katakros able to target 3 units).

The new change involves how they come back, if there are no wounds allocated they still come back on a 3+ but with 4 wounds allocated. This means under those same ideal conditions you could bring back 2 models – and the second would have 4 wounds on them. This is…rough. I’m not going to say it’s not unwarranted, but it drastically changes the resiliance of these units. They are still pretty tanky, so it’s going to become more vital to avoid taking too many hits.

It’s hard to say exactly what this means for the future of OBR lists in the meta. I’m sure there’s still room here, but relying on a 6 man block of Immortis Guard to do the majority of the lifting for your army may no longer be the answer.

As for points changes, Immortis Guard and Stalkers were left untouched, probably so see how the change affects their effectiveness before changing the cost. Kavalos Deathriders – another deadly unit – went up by 10 points. They’re probably still quite viable, as they are one of the rare sources of Mortal Wounds for OBR. Katakros went up a whopping 50 points. Probably fair but that’s likely going to cause some re-evaluation on how he fits into some lists.

The Gothizzar Harvester and Mortek Guard both went down 20 points, as they probably should have after the Harvester nerf harmed both of them. The Mortek feel priced approriately now, but the Harvester is going to need a rework on its scroll to be useful again. The 20 point drop in the Crawler is also badly needed, though it may still cost a bit too much.


Slann Starmaster went up 15 points. That’s it. Probably to dissuade Kroak/Slann dual lists. They took a pretty big hit losing the Krondspine exploit so they probably don’t need many changes right now.


A few nice quality of life changes. Skaven, notorious for having some of the most difficult battle tactics in the game due to them being so compartmentalized by clan got a new generic one anyone can use, Flee-flee!. It works like an anti-Into the Maelstrom, retreat with a hero and battleline unit, a very common scenario.

Another small change that Skaven players are probably breathing a sigh of relief over, the Screaming Bell and Plague Furnace no longer require escorts to move. While I understand why they did that, a fluffy legacy rule from Fantasy, it was often more frustrating in practice. Especially when Daughters of Khaine didn’t need it for their altars.

There’s also a slew of point drops, some of them pleasantly surprising. The screaming bell got 20 points off to go with its new buff. The Hellpit Abomination drops by 20 as well for Moulder players, which gets it to about where it should be. Deathmaster badly needed a drop and at 110 it’s a pretty good spot for it. Finally the Clan Skryre arsenal gets a drop with Warp Lightning Cannons and Jezzails. WLC still feel a bit overcosted for such variable performance, but 110 for Jezzails is a good add with leftover points.

Slaves to Darkness

Quick note for Cabalist players, Draw on Power can now only be passed to Eye of the Gods heroes instead, so no Archaon or Gaunt Summoners. Why they felt this is necessary, I’m not entirely sure but it likely won’t impact you too much.

That said this does come with a number of very nice point drops. Drops to Chosen, Varanguard and Warriors are great, nobody ever said no to drops on a unit they were using anyway. Theridons and the Chaos Lord on Karkadrak are less big but still appreciated, bringing both into a much better cost range.

Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night. Credit: Mike ‘Ellarr’ Chadderton

Soulblight Gravelords

Like OBR buckle up this is a rough one.

As stated above during the nerf to Merciless Blizzard hurts Legion of Night lists more than any other army in the game so there is that. Next the other gnarly Soulblight spell Spirit Gale took a hit, instead of doing 1 mortal wound to every enemy unit it does it to 3 units. The improved casting value 9 version now hits 6 units for 1, instead of 2 mortals. Pretty badly needed, generally it was far too reliable on top of the other MW output the army had it could do a lot of damage over 5 rounds.

As for the point changes, c’mon we all saw this coming. 30 points for zombies is the big stand out, at 150 for 20 that’s going to add up pretty quickly. That alone wouldn’t be enough to change how the army works, but nearly everything in the army went up another 10-20 points and sometimes more.

It’s hard to say exactly how this is going to shake out. It’s probably going to continue to be viable to stand on circles with your 60 zombies but some of the fat used to screen is going to get cut, which could change the dynamics of the army. It’s probably my bias talking but this ultimately feels like less of a hit than Ossiarch, but I’m willing to eat my hat if I’m wrong.

Stormcast Eternals

Like the Skaven, notoriously shitty Battle Tactic having Stormcast got a freebie. Secure the Battlefield, if there is a unit in each quarter of the battlefield that is more than 6″ from enemy units you achieve it. Very easy early to mid game for Scions of the Storm, and a possible late game tactic for the ones walking.

As for points, check if your FLGS still has a Dominion box because they’re probably still trying to clear out stock. Everything from that box got a discount, and while most of it is pretty mediocre, Vindictors are still the Battleline of choice in most lists. The Lord-Imperitant going down 20 points plays nice with the Annihilators also dropping in cost. While the Meteoric Grandhammer versions aren’t in the Dominion box, they’re pretty legit at 200 points so give them a shot if you haven’t.


It’s…tough to say how this is going to hash out. The Ossiarch nerfs feel targeted in such a way that they will be easier to defeat, and the Krondspine exploit is dead (Tzeentch will have to go back to the old way of Arcane Sacrificing themself to death instead). Soulblight I’m…less sure on, but it’s possible with fewer units they will be easier to carve through. Time will tell.