Battlescroll: Galletian Veterans is out and we would like to thank GW for providing us advanced access in order to have the write up and analysis ready to go for you dear reader. The quick rundown here is:
- BoC, Seraphon, Nurgle, Bonesplitters and the Incarnate all took varying degrees of nerfs
- Gitz and Kruleboyz received expected buffs, but OBR and Stormcast also made out like bandits.
What’s not here is:
- Any changes to Universal Enhancements, GW seemed to only acknowledge this issue very recently so it might take a minute before any balance changes happen to those. Haters of the Arcane Tome can keep on hatin’.
- Adjustments to how Bounty Hunters and Galletian Veterans work – not terribly surprising considering how they’re a cornerstone of this season and it’s harder to adjust points for factions while also effectively resetting the metagame if they were to touch them. Plus they may be gone in 2-3 months when a new season hits.
Enough pre-amble? Yeah we thought so. Let’s get to it.
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur
Ellarr: Everybody’s favourite bag of bones takes its first nerf here; with a hefty 80 points increase bringing it to 480. Certain armies will still happily pay that to give their army an element it’s otherwise missing, but this is a good start that may curtail how many of them we’re seeing at top tables.
RagnarokAngel: I’m not convinced this is enough. I think to fix it they would need to mechanically change it so it comes in at level 1 instead of 2. Would this make it useless in most armies? Probably, but there is a very thin margin where you can realistically raise its point cost.
Cities of Sigmar
Ellarr: All points drops here; with the Kharibdyss (-20) and War-Hydra (-20) likely requiring CoS players to open their battletomes to even remember what they did… before closing them again as the warscrolls are still just a random assortment of rules that add up to a unit that doesn’t do anything. Both flavours of Black Dragon also received a points drop of 20, which get a little closer to being interesting (the Dreadlord is at least a cheapish beatstick).
Rounding out the changes, Executioners (-20) saw a boost that makes them a little bit spicy – 110 points for 20 attacks that do MW on 6s makes them feel rather like a budget Lumineth Warden unit. Overall though, these changes feel more like playing around in the margins of relevance than anything… which is fine as CoS were in a pretty healthy place already.
Ellarr: GW have taken another crack at bringing Seraphon in line with other armies, with a range of nerfs and a few buffs. Irrational haters of Skink clergy rejoice – the Skink Priest finally saw an adjustment in line with its performance (+30). Other mainstays like the Astrolith Bearer (+15), Engine of the Gods (+20) receive nerfs, as do the Slanns (Kroak and Starmaster both +20) – representing as significant a nerf to Skink based builds that we’ve seen in quite some time.
As for buffs, the Saurus Oldblood on Carnosaur went down 20 points, with the Skink Oracle on Troglodon receiving the same adjustment. The former still feels worse than its Scar Vet equivalent and is still more expensive; and the latter is… well it’s just a bad warscroll.
All in all, your traditional Seraphon list probably saw an increase in points by about 80-100; which may prompt a few changes but will remain largely the same. The biggest change is obviously to the Skink Priest, where armies taking two may be forced to rethink their approach. A light touch overall but probably the right one; as they’re not the dominant force they once were.
Ellarr: The good news is that it’s all buffs for the golden boys, with a variety of buffs to Warscrolls that were either fringe played or just straight up ignored over better options within the book. Let’s lead off with Vanquishers (-15), who have had the metagame shift around them (Bounty Hunters existence, prevalence of horde armies like Nighthaunt and Daughters of Khaine) such that they’re all of a sudden quite a compelling choice. Why? Well at 110 they’re suddenly the cheapest unconditional Battleline Stormcast have, which is of value in and of itself. Will they be taken over Liberators? Potentially, as depending on the meta you expect to face they can be a significant damage dealer in their own right, something Liberators are largely incapable of. Moving on.
Aventis the Goat rider (-40) warrants a serious look in now at 270, as a cheap, sturdy and mobile utility piece that seems like a big winner here. The humble Knight-Relictor (-20) is now cheap enough to have more use cases to take over it’s big brother the Lord-Relictor, which is nice. Keeping on the wagon of overlooked Dominion units we have Yndrasta, who gets a whopping 40 points price cut and is immediately priced to move into that budding Gardus/Yndrasta/Vanquisher list I can already see the Stormcast players building in their heads as they read this.
Both big boy Dragons (Karazai and Krondys) are now 50 points cheaper, and the bodyguard unit they were typically seen with the Praetors (-20) also saw a discount; so big boy fans rejoice… just please stop talking about Wards for a hot minute please. I didn’t want to end on a stinker so the second to last change is for the Vigilors (-20) who just are doomed to obscurity because they’re a multipurpose unit that just kind of suck at everything. Finally, the shield toting Annihilators (-20) are cheaper, probably warranted when they’re slightly less appealing than their hammer cousins; and at 180 they’re pretty appealing as a 2+ save anvil to drop in front of your opponents lines.
Overall, all good in Azyr it looks like; with enough changes here to revitalise Stormcast list building a little bit. Will it pull people away from Dragon builds? Probably not entirely, but Stormcast were already in a pretty healthy place and more variety was what they needed.
Beasts of Chaos
Ellarr: 3 Nerfs here – first of all to their Primordial Roar Monstrous Rampage, which has gone from 2-5 1 PC point and a 6 netting you 3 PC to: on a 3+, receive 1 PC point. This is a subtle but notable change, as this will reduce the ceiling of the number of Primordial Call points it’s possible to generate over the course of the game, and it’s unreliability also means players can’t gameplan for a certain number of PC points on a certain turn.
As for points, Cockatrices (+15) and Dragon Ogors (+20) took a nerf; though I won’t go as far as to say they’re unplayable – they’re still very good units in their own right; they were just absurdly undercosted before.
Overall; this feels like more of a light slap on the wrist for Beastmen players than anything, as many tournament crushing lists were already going light on Dragon Ogors or skipping them altogether. They’ll remain in the upper echelon of competitive play.
Hedonites of Slaanesh
Ellarr: Slaangors got a price drop!!! (-20) You’re still never taking them. In more relevant news, Daemonettes (-20) are a very cheap source of screening for the army if you wanted to stay pure Slaanesh rather than bringing in allies. Glutos (-30) inches closer to relevancy if you fancied a big boy; though he may struggle to see inclusion just because expensive centrepiece models have to offer a lot of utility on top of power to see play. Finally, Fiends (-20) are an interesting option to consider now they’re effectively 40 points cheaper to get a unit of 6, which is the size you want to unlock the useful -1 to wound debuff.
Overall, not a ton here as such but they’ve been steadily receiving buffs pretty much every chance GW gets, and this looks about right to keep them solidly in the mid tier.
Maggotkin of Nurgle
GW said they had their eye on Nurgle, and they’ve seen enough. The Pusgoyle spamlist has taken a significant nerf (+30 per 2, +15 for 1), meaning they’re finally something approaching reasonable in terms of cost to efficiency ratio. They weren’t finished there though, as the LoA, Bloab Rotspawned and Orghotts Daemonspew all went up 20 – all of which were mainstays in all Nurgle lists.
So what does this mean in practice? A quick browse of recent tournament lists suggests your average fly spam list is about 90-120 points more expensive now. It’ll likely mean a more balanced approach going forward; with efficient and interesting units like Rotmire, Beasts of Nurgle, and Plague Drones waiting in the wings to get a second look. It does represent a significant kick in the teeth to what was considered one of the most powerfully and simultaneously dull armies to play against on the table.
Chimp: A few chunky points drops for Skaven but nothing revolutionary. The Doomwheel coming down 20 is quite nice, and probably is about the right points value for the scroll. What will continue to hole the Doomwheel back, if anything, is the behemoth battlefield role in an army with plenty of appealing behemoths.
Speaking of behemoths, three flavours of verminlord have all had points drops: the Corruptor, Warpseer and Lord Skreech. The first two are a mild -10 that are unlikely to affect whether you take them or not but is nice to have, Screech coming down -25 brings him into the realm where you might give him a go.
Finally the lovely new Deathmaster model has come down -20 points – it’s probably still too expensive to slot one into a list for what they offer, but a full Eshin build will appreciate it as it eases a bit of the tax to unlock the full allegiance ability. Vermintide at 40 points is now not competing in the same price bracket as spells like swords and jaws, making the large base but low damage spell more attractive as a board control piece. The biggest news for Skaven is that there’s no news on Thanquol surfing into battle. Lauchon caught a points increase but no change to the way it interacts with the caster.
Chimp: Flesh-eaters need more help than a few points changes, as the book is creaking along with mechanics that don’t quite work in third edition. What we’ve got are points drops to the unmounted Terrorgheist and Zombie dragon, warscrolls that everyone keeps saying are fine and good but nobody ever actually takes. You might need to take them now, as the changes to the Gatebreaker and points increase on the Incarnate are the recent changes that will likely have the biggest effect on FEC, as they were scrolls heavily leaned on by the army to stay afloat. I wish GW had been a little more brave with the drops here, as this is an army that desperately needs help if Bounty Hunters rotates out and the Crypt Horror/Flayer builds become significantly worse.
Chimp: A strange selection of changes for Bonereapers. Necropolis Stalkers (-10) were already a bit of a rising star unit for the faction and if Bounty Hunters rotates out I can imagine a world of large roving units of battleline Stalkers doing very well for themselves. The Harvester (-15) and Crawler (-15) both return to tradition at 200 points in a most welcome manner. Crawlers have fallen out of favour with OBR players of late but they still possess the ability to reach out and touch things in your opponents army that the faction is otherwise lacking, and a points drop might nudge people to experiment with one or two again.
Both flavours of Morghast both dropped to finally being cheaper than Stalkers, which is a nice internal balance change if nothing else. At 160 the 3d6” charge on Harbingers might get them back on the table. Immortis Guard (-25) came down a good deal but still feel like a case of throwing good points after bad. No changes at all to the armies unconditional battleline or heroes, which probably means that the horsies just lose out too much in comparison to Stalkers. It would have been nice to see a small change to Arkhan’s warscroll to bring him in line with the Soulblight Mortarchs in defensive stats, but I guess he did get chopped up by the Light of Eltharion.
OBR players were often left in a place where they had too many leftover points to feel happy leaving as a triumph bid, but too few to afford one more unit in the list. The points drops here should be just enough to get them one more unit in their lists, which is significant in and of itself in such an elite army.
Chimp: The Gravelords versions of the Terrorgheist and Zombie Dragon both caught the same -20 points drop that the FEC versions did, and will likely continue to not see much play – the drops aren’t quite enough to affect how many of them you can take in an Anvegorii monster mash army.
Both flavours of Wight King came down a nice chunk. Realistically you are taking these as either cheap command trait/artefact buff carriers or to unlock battleline Grave Guard. If we see a new GHB changing up the lethality of the game for battleline infantry, this build starts to look more exciting.
Double Mortarch was an archetype that already saw play for Gravelords so Neferata coming down -20 points is a welcome surprise. She definitely suffers by comparison to Mannfred, but 345 feels like a good price point for her utility. Finally if you’re a fan of spending 250 points on a warscroll that does nothing, that’s how much the Bloodseeker Palanquin costs now.
Chimp: Battleline Arachnaroks* folks, the army’s fixed now. As you might have expected there are a plethora of points drops across the army. Shootas, Skragrott, Manglers, the Webspinner Shaman on Arachnarok and Squig Herd all got healthy points drops. Slight drops on Stabbas and Spider Riders help with battleline tax as well. Trogg players will have to contend with just a -20 drop on the Dankhold Troggboss which is nice for a tax piece, but the regular Dankhold Trogg has been inexplicably left alone. Did GW forget it existed? It’s terrible.
*with a spider general, and only the Arachnarok with Spiderfang Warparty.
Breaking these up, but a lot of the changes are focused mostly on Kruleboyz and Bonesplitterz who haven gotten a lot of attention in the meta for very different reasons.
Ellarr: Received substantial points changes as well as a much requested usability boost to the Swampcalla Shaman. Said Shaman no longer gives up spellcasting in order to hand out Poisons or Elixirs, making them effectively twice as useful as suddenly it was realistic to make use of their fantastic spell lore without bringing Gobsprakk.
Speaking of Gobsprakk, he and the other monsters in the army received reasonable points drops (ranging from 20-30), making the idea of taking multiple Sludgerakers and/or a Vulcha suddenly a lot more compelling.
Okay let’s stop fucking around – Gutrippaz dropped 20, making our mandatory battleline a lot more palatable as the basis for an army. Yes, they’re still made of tissue paper, but they can hit hard with a Sludgeraker and Poison buffs; so they’ve got a much better chance of trading upwards in points value in combat. Rounding out the buffs; Killbows and the Gnashtoof Killaboss both received a 20 points discount. The former is now finally cheaper than their Boltboyz cousins, which makes sense considering they were a much more niche unit. As for the Killaboss, at 150 he’s a cheap and cheerful tanky piece that the army otherwise struggles to put on the table, the question is simply would you rather bring him or try and squeeze in a second or third Sludgeraker?
So where does this leave them? Well most lists will have dropped anywhere from 60-100 points; and you could really lean into the savings by doubling down on some of these discount units. The biggest impact here has got to be on the Gutrippaz, Sludgeraker (-25!) and the utility buff to the Swampcalla Shaman. Several of its natural predators have taken significant nerfs in this battlescroll; and there may be just enough here to get them into the healthy 50% win rate range.
Chimp: Flying too close to the sun, our favourite nude boyz have clocked a pretty brutal series of points increases. Wurrgogs going up 20 points is fine, and pretty much what we would have expected, making armies spamming 5 of them really feel the squeeze. Big stabbas going up was also probably expected but here the +20 points is harsh, bumping them from 80 to 100 points. GW obviously saw the ‘spam’ armies of these as a problem, which is fair enough, but even more balanced armies are going to take a huge hit here. Big stabbas are how you push damage through in a Bonesplitterz army, for the most part. Just for fun, Boarboy Maniaks also got +10 points added to them.
The reality for Bonesplitterz here is that your ‘typical’ Drakkfoot army is going to go up by 200+ points in a way that just isn’t sustainable. Poor saves but high wound count is what keeps splitterz in the game over 5 rounds, dropping the wound count isn’t just affecting damage output. With Nurgle also taking a hit the meta case for Drakkfoot is probably gone and it’s likely that if you’re going to compete with Bonesplitterz going forward the answer is Boarboy spam in Icebone. Sorry GW, there’s only so many warscrolls, we’re going to have to spam something.
Ellarr: Just a note here as though there are no changes to their allegiance abilities, they are affected by the above points changes significantly. The Wurgogg took a minor (and deserved) hit, but the utility buff to Shamans opens up a lot of list building possibilities by itself. What do we mean? Access to Nasty Hex is easier than it’s ever been considering how most core competitive lists were running a Shaman and 6 Boltboyz *anyway*, and there’s definitely scope here to make a much more Kruleboyz orientated BW list that won’t embarrass you on the tabletop.
The quick errata to the Purple sun was added to the battlescroll officially, so it looks like it’s here to stay in its current form. If you missed that, its now 90 points, and does not cause Instant Death on models over 9 wounds, instead causing D6+6 (Which, ironically, makes it better than it was against Gargants). The range of the insta death aura was reduced from 3″ to 1″, as well.
Cogs (+30), Lauchon (+20) and Spellportal (+10) all have taken a knock on the head. Cogs was absurdly undercosted at 40 after its update so makes sense; with Lauchon and Spellportal taking hits more because of fringe builds. In reality, both Endless Spells are important enough to the armies that take them that they’ll make adjustments elsewhere to ensure they can fit it in.
So what does this mean going forward? Beasts of Chaos got off a little lighter than some might expect, which we think speaks to how their strong allegiance abilities and the Herdstone enable many of their warscrolls so they can adjust and move on. The biggest shake up we can see is that they’ve made concerted efforts to lift up the weaker armies than hitting the top tier stuff *that* hard, which is a healthy approach to take if their intent is to try to get everyone up to a healthy 50% winrate.
The Incarnate got the expected nerf and may depress their numbers at tournament top tables, setting the table for a healthy mixup of the metagame. Perhaps the most surprising thing here was to see a significant number of points changes; something we haven’t seen in large numbers in a Battlescroll before – perhaps a nod to how the Hunt warscroll was received previously.