Jump to content

The Generals Handbook


Recommended Posts


Bad Dice Podcast episode 131 - The Generals Handbook - Our experiences visiting Games Workshop.

In this episode I team up with Dan and Wayne from Heelanhammer and Russ from Facehammer podcast to talk about the scenes play testing at Games Workshop we were invited to take part in.

The episode is 30mins long and I have never been so happy about one of my podcast releases.


The Generals Handbook is an awesome new release from games workshop that includes 3 new ways to play Age of Sigmar including Open, Narrative and Matched play.

Open play is pretty much Age of Sigmar as we know it now, Narrative is story driven along the line of the realm gate wars books and the 3rd version is Matched play which includes a FULL POINTS SYSTEM for all Warscrolls in the Age of Sigmar.

Ben Curry (Bad Dice Podcast), Dan Heelan (Heelanhammer), Wayne Kemp and Russ Veal (Facehammer) were invited into games workshop to, and i quote, "Help make it great"

This episode is our experiences on this fantastic weekend and a first look at what is coming in the Generals Handbook.

In the show, in addition to talking about the fantastic time we had meeting Jervis Johnson and other members of the studio, and getting to play stet some of the ideas and scenarios in the book and we also release more information about the contents of the book.

* First thing, its a book and will be release in the summer. *
* There are 5 new campaigns including path to glory,
* 22 new battle plans from small games all the way up to epic battles between the games biggest characters. *
* 6 new 'Pitched Battle' scenarios
* Multi-player and team play and of course,
* full points values for every Warscroll in Age of Sigmar.

Listen to the full episode for more information

Check it out at baddice.co.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 70
  • Created
  • Last Reply

More ways to play is always more fun! Narrative play sounds great fun, also looking forward to see what they do with the points system. I love the clash and scgt pool system as I think it allows the values to flow and move with the meta. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be very happy if the Narrative Play section was beefy enough that we could play once a week at the club and have a campaign almost manage itself, without needing an especially keen organizer managing and keeping track of everything.  Something on the order of Path to Glory, but open enough to start from almost any faction.


I'd also like the Matched Play section to either be so good that we don't need the other comps any more, or to be so bad that we just ignore it and keep on with the other comps (SCGT is just working SO WELL for us right now...).  I don't want it to be in the middle where we sort of like it OK, but it's not the greatest.  :P


ETA:  That came out more negative/cynical than I mean to be.  I hope it's awesome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the things I've enjoyed most about AOS up to now was not feeling the pressure to optimise my army. There will always be a unit that performs better than others for its points value, hence the rise of 'net lists'. It's been great to focus on the background on my army and choose units based on 'fluff', or the coolness value, and just focus on the game on the table.

But that said, the lack of points was a massive deterrent to some of my favourite gaming buddies. It would be great to see some of them come back to the fold. And it will be nice to see the game run at more events. And I might even still be able to rope people into Open Play on occasion!

Despite these announcements there still seems to be a bit of animosity towards the game round here from the previous tournament regulars. Speaking personally, the 8th ed tournament scene almost broke my love for the hobby, and the upside to the old scene is moving into other games is that the new folks that I have played AOS with so far are absolutely lovely guys, and we are having a great time. 

So bring it on!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like AoS as it is already fulfills most if not all of my narrative and fluff needs from a game. They have done such a good job at it so anything more is just icing on the cake for me.

Maybe a stronger rewards system built into the narrative mode of play. Kind of like what's in the Time of Wars now but with a little more structure to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As long is we keep the current open element of AoS I am happy with anything GW present to us to be Honest!

More options means the demographic of the game will expand!

i'm interested to see how they put a points value on various units.

optimising lists can't be avoided but from a marketing point GW need to make sure they don't make certain wars rolls obsolete and thus the future culling of more models!

i love AoS as it is because every war scroll is viable!

that aside I can't wait for more AoS awesome!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the record, I don't need anything more than has been provided by GW and the community. But I'm excited for what else GW has in store and I do hope these new additions help those that do feel there is something lacking in the mix. So below are just some ideas that could be cool. A bit of a soap box on one or two.


  1. give us story hooks & story motivations for players to pick from that give bonuses
  2. different win conditions that could serve an imbalanced set of armies
  3. thematic scenarios that give us battleplans that tell us whether an army should be built to be fast, slow, high output, high durabilty, summoning, non-summoning.
  4. linked rewards
  5. some mordheim-esque character management/customization
  6. campaigns that start with small warbands and grow to apocolyptic all out war - or at least a mix of scenarios where you send different types of armies after different objectives.
  7. A GM guide to help users create their own linked scenarios for narrative events
  8. team rewards


  1. Skeptical that points can bring real balance, clearly communicate that the benefit is in the list building and finding optimized groups of units.
  2. points influenced by combinations of choices - perhaps that means formation points. But 10 skeletons vs 20 skeletons vs 20 skeletons with hero near by should have nuanced points. 
  3. points that make the big characters and monsters more favorable so everyone uses their biggest stuff. 
  4. point variations where certain unit types are discounted based on the type of game you're playing (Bad Dice episode reference)
  5. Limit the kill-models objective in favor of other objectives that reward speed, durability, variety, quantity of units, quality of units, etc. all units need to bring value and points alone is unlikely to achieve that.


  1. a Reserves mechanic that allows a player who is losing to summon/reinforce/discover additional units to 'adjust balance' mid game.
  2. a couple scenarios (monster mash, hero hammer, troop stomp) that gives players a few army formations for non-point games (i.e. Starter Formation: one hero, 2 units with 5 or more models, a monster, one warmachine) 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ben said:

Fun poll.  

What would you love to see in this book? 


I really want to see rules for ALL of the realms - just general stuff would be nice as opposed to the kind of "zoomed in" view we get with the Times of War.  Just general rules for each realm.  And I really want to see balanced points, so that there is no (or as little as possible) min/maxing and net listing.  A character creation mechanic for warlords of each army would be awesome too, but that is just wish listing.  Really, just realm rules and as much balance as we can get.  The community has done amazing at balancing the game so far, it would be a shame to see them muck it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very, very excited for this book. An official points system of some kind will do a lot to quell the scoffing that I hear at my (UN-)FLGS every time I play AOS with my buddies.

But I am really curious to know how the points will work. I get that there will be some sort of Force Org. Chart similar to that used in 40k, but will the book include printed points for every unit? If so, won't it be out of date just one month later, when GW releases new models? Or, will they drop the book and put up some sort of PDF listing points values on the website at the time of release? Or, will they put points on the warscrolls themselves? The latter would run counter to their plan to make all play styles viable, since kids would likely not opt for open play if the units were clearly mismatched in terms of points (i.e. 20 goblins vs Nagash)

I'm sure it will work out well, but I'm just struggling to wrap my head around the mechanics of the change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping they just use that app. Printed list in the book, but app is updated with a "matched play" section, which has an army builder and a up-to-date point scheme.


Anything less would be a step back IMO. They've done great to use modern tools in AoS. The app, free rules, multiple purchase options etc. It's a shame if they regress from that now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm dead excited by the prospect of narrative play. I just hope there is something where I can build my own Waaagh! with units I love, rather than the standard "you must take this model, and this unit, and this other stuff".

I'm a big fan of D&D so narrative gaming where I have an element of control over what I choose to put on the table in a narrative setting is a big thing for me. 

I'll use the matched play system if I ever play someone who isn't interested in narrative gaming, but I'm hoping to make as many of my games narrative ones as possible!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, Ben Johnson said:


Bet you a pound it's not ?

Oh you tease, you GW guys are getting really good at this recently ;) #LikeItALot Building hype is also one of your strong sides too :) At least finally one thing we can moan is the fact that we need to wait a little bit longer for new releases. So GW, stop teasing and start printing those books :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...