Editorial: Stop Thinking – How to Experience Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition Marketing

You are allowed to let it go. All of the assumptions, all of the thoughts and fears, all of the knowledge you’ve build up about third edition Age of Sigmar. A new edition is being built from the ground up and inexorable marketing machine at Games Workshop continues to provide a large number of truths designed to just grab you by the short hairs.

The most important thing to remember is that this is an edition being built from the ground up and several of the reading heuristics that you’ve come to rely on no longer apply. It is a mistake to just throw around logic from third edition rules and apply it to fourth edition Age of Sigmar. For example, with the release of commands, I saw several people try to use the current logic and wording for charges and apply the new command for charge.

Credit: Games Workshop

As we’ve been told, everything is an ability. We don’t know the mechanics of how an ability works yet.

In third edition the current wording/orders for performing a charge are as follows:

Core Rules 11.0 – “In your charge phase, you can pick a friendly unit that is within 12″ of an enemy unit to attempt a charge. You can then pick another friendly unit within 12″ of an enemy unit to attempt a charge and so, until you have attempted a charge with many units as you wish. A unit cannot attempt a charge move than once in the same phase.”
Core Rules 11.1 – “When you attempt a charge with a unit, make a charge roll for the unit by rolling 2D6. You can then make a charge move with each model in that unit by moving the model a distance in inches that is equal to or less than the charge roll. The first model you move in a unit attempting a charge must finish the move within 1/2″ of an enemy unit. If this is impossible no models in the unit can make a charge move.”
Core Rules 11.2 – “Forward to Victory – Nothing will stop these ferocious warriors from reaching combat. You can use this command ability after you make a charge roll for a friendly unit. That unit must receive the command. You can re-roll the charge roll for that unit.”

We get a whole lot from this: Who can charge; how often they can charge in a phase; where they have to reach to make a move. But for fourth edition, we know that every ability has each of the three steps listed above. For the charge ability, we know an effect that can occur on the reaction step, but don’t have any idea what the declare step or the resolution step say. Our knowledge of charges is:

credit: Games Workshop

That is what we know, nothing more, nothing less at this time. Mashing together this rule with what we know about charges in third edition we would need to attempt to declare “Forward To Victory” prior to rolling the dice. in third edition we pick a unit to charge and roll the dice and if we fail we use the command ability to reroll a charge. Since we’re missing how we Declare a charge and the Effect we don’t know the sequencing of when the reaction command Forward to Victory is used.

We have seen the timing of command abilities in Age of Sigmar change before. In the change from second edition to third edition the way commands were used to adjust run rolls changed. In second edition you could roll the dice, see the result, and then issue a command to modify the run if needed. In third edition you have to issue the command before rolling the dice. The switch from second edition to third edition rewired our brains in the same way the switch from third edition to fourth edition will require.

Have we gotten any clues to what these steps look like? Maybe. Once again, our good friend Nagash and his resplendent Ossiarch Bonereapers warscroll has an active ability, the spell Invocation of Nagash, that most takes place in the Hero Phase and has a clearly shown Declare and Effect step.

Credit- Games Workshop

Let’s look at the Declare and Effect steps in a little more detail. We already know that there will be core rules governing spells, but the wording on Invocation of Nagash is pretty interesting. During the Declare step we see that you are picking a visible unit wholly within 18″ and then making a casting roll of 2D6. There is a little 7 with a bit of an art project on the corner. I’m tempted to say that is how much the spell will cost but the mechanics are unknown. Third edition rules that determine spell casting are as follows:

Core Rules 19.1 Casting Spells – “In your hero phase, you can attempt to cast spells with friendly Wizards. You cannot attempt to cast the same spell more than once in the same hero phase, even with a different Wizard. In order to attempt to cast a spell, pick a friendly Wizard, say which of the spells that they know will be attempted, and then make a casting roll by rolling 2D6. If the casting roll is equal to or greater than the casting value of the spell, the spell is successfully cast.

So how is this different from what we currently see? First, every spell in third edition has you pick a target after being successfully cast. This leads to a little tactical game where the unbind is selected before a target is picked. Additionally, this rules interaction allowed for counter intuitive actions like ‘casting into air’ to generate destiny dice. Could there be an a similar ability in fourth edition? We don’t know. The spell as presented on Nagash’s warscroll wouldn’t allow use to roll the dice if we couldn’t pick a target. The Declare step specifies that the spell is cast on a casting roll of 2D6.

It’s time to leave our knowledge of third edition behind and stop trying to use something we know to interpret something we don’t know. At Goonhammer we’re going to continue to share what we know about the new edition of Age of Sigmar and try to point out what we’re seeing.

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