AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar Second Edition Matched Play Preview Video

Hi all, today I’m lucky enough to be able to bring you an initial preview video  of Age of Sigmar Second Edition – the Core Book and Malign Sorcery.  In this video, I cover the new things that we learn about Age of Sigmar matched play from the Soul Wars Core Book and Malign Sorcery – what’s changed, what books do you need to pre-order etc.  

There are two initial provisos to give important context to the video:

  • this video was recorded on Friday 15 June and is based on the Core Book and Malign Sorcery.  I do not have a copy of General’s Handbook 2018 – which is obviously a vital tool for Matched Play.  However, there is still lots of good new information on Age of Sigmar matched play in the Core Book and Malign Sorcery;
  • there has been a deluge of content from Games Workshop, and the community, over the last few days in particular.  I couldn’t possibly cover it all in a (relatively) short video.  For a full run-down of all the key changes with Age of Sigmar Second Edition, check out my compilation page and the Facehammer podcast’s Core Rules review.

I recorded the preview at Vagabond Games in Auckland, New Zealand.  If you are a local player, check out Vagabond at, and in their central city store for all your Age of Sigmar Second Edition needs.

Given this was my first video recorded on location, there is a little bit of rustle and background noise about two minutes from the end of the video., but hopefully its not dramatic  The winds of magic must have started stirring with all the talk of Malign Sorcery.  Enjoy and let me know any feedback you have, either through the website or at @AoS_Shorts on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Initial impressions on Age of Sigmar Second Edition and Malign Sorcery

Before I dive in, I do want to give my overall impressions:

  • Aesthetic and design choice
    • Clean – removing exceptions to rules, streamlining, clarity of thought with rules
    • Maturity – coming of age – confidence

What is in the Age of Sigmar Second Edition books?

  • Core Book
    • Rules for Open Play, Narrative Play, and Matched Play Rules
    • 18 page Core Rules (also in separate book in box and available free online)
    • Battle Strategies – add VPs
    • Conquest Unbound
      • Allegiance abilities for the four Grand Alliances
      • Realms of Battle Rules for seven of the Realms – Aqshy, Chamon, Ghur, Ghyran, Hysh, Shyish and Ulgu
      • Endless Spells
  • Malign Sorcery
    • Endless Spells
    • Skirmish at the Realm’s Edge and Path to Glory at the Realm’s Edge
    • Spells of the Realms
    • Artefacts of the Realms
    • Two new pitched battle battleplans
  • General’s Handbook 2018
    • Points (although on Warscroll Builder)
    • Warscroll changes – Gaunt Summoner, Horrors, Great Bray, vortex beast, Lord Skreech, Screaming Bell, Everqueen, branchwraith etc
    • Summoning rules
    • 6 new matched play battleplans
    • 6 reprinted and tweaked GHB2017 matched play battleplans
  • Errata
    • Errata online at day 1 covering warscroll changes.

So what books do you need for Age of SIgmar Second Edition?

  • Probably all three – if you aren’t using realm rules, then you won’t need Malign Sorcery for realm spells, but you could still need it for artefacts (subject to the house rules of any event and General’s Handbook 2018).
  • Folded some in, but still a bit of a missed opportunity

The Realms – How they impact games of Age of Sigmar Second Edition

  • Realms of Battle Rules are Optional – You can pick a realm for the battle – if you are using
  • If you can’t agree, roll-off and winner decides
  • Realms also contain Regions of War (sub-areas which may have unique rules)

Realm of Battle Rules

  • Realmsphere Magic – each wizard knows an additional realm-specific spell (different from the spell lores in Malign Sorcery).
  • Realm Commands – each HERO can use the realm command abilities in addition to the command abilities they are not normally allowed to use.
  • Realmscape Features – the person who chose the realm can roll a D6 to generate the realmscape feature

Malign Sorcery Realm Rules

  • Realm Artefacts
    • After choosing the allegiance for your army, you can decide it is from a specific realm – if you do, you can select any of your artefacts from either list – THEREFORE allied heroes can’t be given a realm artefact.
  • Spell Lores
    • IF you are in a Realm, each wizard knows ALL of the appropriate realm spells!

Core Rules

  • What’s inside?
    • Rounds
    • Attacking
    • Wizards
    • Triumphs
    • Terrain (including obstacles and garrisons)
    • Rules about battleplans – OBJECTIVES
    • Warscrolls rules – characteristics, saves of -, abilities (rules of one for exploding attacks folded in)
    • Warscroll battalions
    • Realm of Battle Rules
    • Allegiance Abilities
      • Battle Traits
      • Command Traits
      • Artefacts of Power
      • Spell Lores
      • Unique Abilities
  • Rules of one folded into core rules – if you get an extra attack on a 6, you don’t generate another attack after that.
  • 6” vertical coherency
  • Cover – no cover for monsters or war machines with wounds characteristic higher than 8

Writing a list in Age of SIgmar Second Edition

  • Pitched battle chart the same.
  • Everything goes on the list.
  • Can’t nominate a new general if general dies during game.
  • Battalions
    • set up some or all at the same time – now clearer than before, but no restriction on how you drop – could drip feed and then drop all in one go.
  • Artefacts – rule of one built in.
  • Allies – clarification
  • References to 1 in 4 units vs 25%
  • Cant be general and cannot use or benefit from allegiance abilities 
  • Reinforcements can be allies
  • Mixed faction battalions – the units count as allies, but do not count against the allies limits.  So now you can’t rely on a liberator unit in a shadowhammer force as a battleline unit?  We will see.

Hero Phase

  • Command abilities – allies can use.  No limit on multiple of the same ability (unless new rule of one in GHB).


  • Magic – rule of one for spells now in core rules
  • Dynamic of dispelling and unbinding now real

Endless Spells – how do they work?

  • How paid for?
    • All wizards know the spell
    • Matched Play – Can’t have two of the same Endless Spell
  • How cast and unbound?
    • One Endless Spell cast per wizard per turn
    • If you can’t set it up it doesn’t work.
    • Can’t be affected by abilities
  • How many can you have at once on the table?
    • One of each per side
  • How dispelled in subsequent turns?
    • Dispell – no modifiers, just beat casting value – 8 for Purple Sun
    • Cross a battlefield edge
    • A method on warscroll is used to remove it from play (not all of them have a way)
    • Can you dispel yourself and cast again?
  • If dispelled can it be recast without paying points?
    • Yes
  • How do they move?
    • Start of battleround, alternate players choosing
  • Comment
    • Impact on Bravery debuff lists – LoN, Endless, Spell portals
    • Blob to protect your heros – with LoS and with spells


  • Shooting – chaffing up and shoot order is important
  • Multiple weapons – controlling player chooses order – used to be roll all at once but occurred at the same time – now is that you resolve separately

Combat Phase

  • Combat
    • Pile in – tagging on both sides and then can’t move
    • Pick or Pass
      • Pick or pass (can’t pass if eligible unit able to fight – i.e. is within 3” or made a charge – no more refusing to fight)
      • If pass – do nothing and option goes back to opponent
      • If both players pass then phase ends
    • Passing? Indicating abilities in future?
      • Hypothetically, let’s say there is a unit that has a special rule “retaliating strike”
      • They can choose to trigger it after they have been chosen as the target of an attack in the combat phase
      • the rule might say ” once per game, after the enemies attacks have been resolved, the unit can choose to immidiately attack back”
      • So having a mechanic where players need to pass makes sense
      • That is how some of the shadespire units play, and it could indicate abilities in the pipeline.

Battleshock Phase

  • Battleshock – split units – at end of turn must remove models out of coherency – go go Stardrakes and Treelords
  • New Inspiring Presence  impacts – in battleshock phase (nice tweak that doesn’t change target priority), fine for bravery effects outside of the battleshock phase.

Further Age of Sigmar Second Edition coverage



Leave a Reply