Goonhammer Hot Take: General’s Handbook 2020 and Lumineth FAQs

Games Workshop has blessed us with another unceremonious drop of FAQs. Not a ton of them this time, just the two most recent releases: General’s Handbook 2020 and Lumineth Realmlords. There’s not a ton here but it does matter so lets take a brief look at the changes

AoS Death Necromancer
Necromancer with Green OSL

General’s Handbook 2020

Point Changes

Just a few point changes here, most are pretty boring. In the process of changing the Morghasts in Ossiarch Bonereapers to 190 points per 2 models, they forgot to update the cost in Legions of Nagash and so it has now seen its points decreased to the same amount. Similarly, Hexwraiths got a 10 point for 5 model drop in Nighthaunts, and so they have been given the same thing here in Legions of Nagash. Will this matter? Probably not. These aren’t very popular units for LoN and the point drop isnt likely to change people’s minds.

Now it’s important to note I did say most are pretty boring. There is one notable point increase Games Workshop must have left out in the point changes, I assume because its essentially a Seraphon model even if it’s sequestered off into Forge World’s “Monstrous Arcanum” section, it got lost in the shuffle. The Dread Saurian has been raised a hefty 90 points, bringing its total cost to 510, over a quarter of your list. The Dread Saurian is pretty damn good, enough so that people would find modestly priced Tyrannosaurus toys to proxy with instead. It was still pretty expensive point wise and required some list building around it to make it work, and the increase in cost is by no means small and will likely have an impact on its perceived value.

Pitched Battle

Most of the changes come from developer’s commentary on pitched battle. There is a small bit in Anvil of Apotheosis about how if a keyword you need is missing (MARINE in Kharadron Overlords being the given example) you can feel free to fudge it. Narrative play isn’t matched play so this is a pretty fair compromise to be making in this specific instance.

The rest of the changes involve clarifying pitched battle rules to be more clear. There are a number of them and have variable levels of usefulness to your average player so rather than examine them all I’m going to highlight which ones I found most interesting:

  1. You can use previous material (If your opponent allows it) – The question asked was if you can use previous material from other General’s Handbooks, such as the mercenary companies or use models with warscrolls that aren’t listed in Pitched Battle (2020). This feels obvious but sometimes people want an official word on the matter. In Tournament play its obvious that battalions and units without a point cost just wont fly, but among friends you can always negotiate what is allowed. This does seem to indirectly state that Mercenary Companies are gone though, if they specifically called them out as something that can be houseruled in. I don’t think anyone will be too upset.
  2. Terrain Warscrolls are out – In Pitched Battles for 2020 the rule was changed to have you roll the terrain feature for every piece of terrain, even if it has a warscroll. This clarifies that the terrain feature replaces the warscroll rather than in addition to it. I think this is probably a good change because there has been a lot of terrain with warscrolls released, mostly in the early days of AOS and most people don’t know them off the top of their head. Having all terrain simply follow the terrain features people were using anyway is a lot more intuitive and will speed up play.
  3. Clarifying Auxiliary Objectives – Auxiliary objectives were used in a lot of tournaments and General’s Handbook 2020 helped codify them into something official for the game. In general they don’t win games, they are tie breakers, and contribute to your overall tournament score rather than help decide whether you won the game or not. Some questions here are asking for clarification. All that matters is these mostly matter for organized events and in a casual game likely will not come up as often. GW is making a decision to move away from “kill count” as a tie breaker and that’s a good move.
  4. Battlefield Role Confusion – 2 points of confusion on Battlefield roles are covered here:
    1. Allies count as their desired role – Some battle plans give bonus points if theyre captured by a specific battlefield role, such as a Leader. The book clarifies that if you allied in another force, they still count as that battlefield role for purposes of capturing objectives
    2. If it was a battleline at the start, it stays that way – Some units, such as Pink Horrors, can have very stringent requirements to count as battleline. For example Pink Horrors need to contain no blue or brimstone horrors to count as battleline. The FAQ clarifies that just because they no longer fit that requirement, e.g. if the pink horrors split into 2 blues, they still count as battleline for all purposes. If they had a role at the start, that doesn’t change.
    3. Units entering after the battle do not count toward the cap – You can only host a certain number of each role in a list, but the FAQ clarifies that if you summon another unit in over the course of the game they do not count toward the cap.

Most of these changes probably only matter to tournament organizers, and cover some niche cases but I agree with the rulings here and think they made some good calls. The only think I’m still not sure on is if the realm spells in Malign Sorcery still apply. The General’s Handbook does say realm relics are out but I’m not sure of any firm indication that the realm spells are gone.

One last change is the allies to Seraphon. Seraphon can now take Sylvaneth allies in addition to Stormcast Eternals. I don’t think there’s anything Sylaneth could give the Seraphon they didn’t have, but no one will balk at more options.

Credit: Silks

Lumineth Realm Lords

The Lumineth book came out in June so by all accounts it was due for an FAQ by now anyway, though I must admit I find it very peculiar to see FAQs for models that aren’t even out yet. When I reviewed the book upon release I found it sloppy and rife with a lot of errors and confusing rules interactions. Seems I wasn’t the only one because most of the FAQs are clearing up these rules interactions. Again I’m going to group the interesting ones together rather than going down the entire list.

  1. Light of Eltharion is definitely not a spellcaster – Much confusion was found when the Lore of Hysh mentioned Light of Eltharion could cast spells from it, as he is not a wizard in his warscroll. It wasn’t clear if this was an accident or he could be given a spell in case he somehow earned a way to cast it. The FAQ clear it up, striking Light of Eltharion from the list of casters who can learn a spell from the discipline. It was also clarified that Magical Insight can not be used to cast a spell if the character is not a wizard, which pretty much puts that to bed.
  2. Teclis Archmage Ability is Confusing – Hoo boy there are a lot of rule clarifications around Teclis’ archmage ability. None of it is an explicit nerf or buff, but a lot of the issues stem from making it an auto cast ability, which has some weird rule interactions. Starting at the baseline, there was a subtle change that Teclis’ Archmage ability, if used to cast one spell is an automatic 12 instead of just “auto cast”. In most day to day interactions this actually doesn’t matter, because the spell still cannot be dispelled, re-rolled or modified in any way even if you are being forced to, but it does matter for the spells that generate an extra effect if you roll high. He also cannot gain the ability to cast more spells, whatever number of spells you choose to cast, that’s it, extra spells are simply ignored.
  3. Syar can use Aetherquartz in the same phase – Rule change allows Syar to now use aetherquartz ability in the same phase instead of just the same turn, which does make it a bit more powerful. It was also clarified that you also can have a unit use the same ability twice, which is nice.
  4. Ilithia cannot re-roll for the whole game guys – The book did not clarify when the Iliatha ability ended. You could make a good argument it was until the end of the turn, so if there was any confusion, its until the end of the phase now.
  5. Crippling Vertigo and Darkness of the Soul stack – Both spells require a 2D6-beat-bravery roll to act, the former being only movement and the latter being basically any action. The FAQ clarifies that in the movement phase a unit would need to make two 2D6 rolls to successfully move. This makes Cathallar’s potentially more deadly (When they are actually available) to effectively lock down an opponent.
  6. Shining Companies cannot be reformed – So this isn’t a change, more that it was easy to interpret incorrectly, but the ability to form Shining Companies by pushing a Vanari unit together into a phalanx is only done at set up and once it is disrupted, cannot be reformed. This makes it even more important to be cautious about how the unit is set up and which models are removed.
  7. Endless Spell Clarity – The final two interesting bits are just some rules clarifications around endless spells. The first is Hyshian Twinstones, which the trust of the question seems to be if one draws from the power of the twinstones to cast a spell (resetting the counter to 1) and is successful, can they still add a charge to the counter. The answer is yes! It will reset the counter to 1 (to draw from it), and then bump it up by 1 for the successful casting. Very nice. The other is the Sanctum of Amyntok and if a group of casters can use it. The answer seems to be yes, if they can fit. It doesn’t look terribly big so it likely would require a small group. A unit of multiple models cannot take advantage of the reduction to hits and the buff to saves, but can still deal mortal wounds to the attacker.

All in all it feels weird to get such an extensive FAQ for an army that isn’t even really out yet. I did note that the book felt sloppy and would need some clarifications but it looks like it covered all the questions I did have (and even some I didn’t but are good to know). With the Realm-Lords set to release officially next month, we won’t have to wait much longer to use this information.

Have any questions or feedback? hit us up in the comments below or email us at or on social media!