AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar


The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warcoda an unofficial supplement produced by Tyler Emerson (of Warhammer Weekly) and Travis Boysen. It contains four battleplans, all past fan favourites, adapted for AoS 3.0 and chosen to complement the General’s Handbook 2021 missions.

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We are keen to hear your thoughts on the battleplans at events @

April 2022 Update

We have made the following first update to Warcoda, based on the extensive feedback received since its initial release:

  • Battle for the Pass (updated map below): Territories are now split down the middle, with 24″ between players instead of the original 30″. This is designed to do a few things: help slower armies; better orient the Aggressive Expansion battle tactic; and increase the viability of the Savage Spearhead battle tactic. Finally, all four objectives are now prime objectives, which we think improves the battleplan, at least on the margins. After you’ve had a chance to try these changes a few times, we’d love to hear your impressions.
  • Forcing the Hand: The “Vital Ground” rule was not working sufficiently well. After further testing, the new rule is simpler, more meaningful, and better in line with the battleplan’s premise.

We look forward to hearing how you find these changes. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their experiences with Warcoda so far.

Designers’ Notes

Important: Portions of the below have been superseded by the April 2022 update.

Thanks to COVID, not a lot of us got to play – in person – the General’s Handbook 2020 (GHB2020) battleplans. There were some awesome missions in it, including fan favorites like Focal Points and Battle for the Pass, and solid new entries like Forcing the Hand and The Blade’s Edge. Those battleplans, though, were written for a very different edition of Age of Sigmar. 

With that in mind, a number of us in the community banded together to adapt four GHB2020 battleplans for AoS 3.0: Total Conquest, Battle for the Pass, Focal Points, and Forcing the Hand.

We had two teams working on this effort. First, our local group in Missouri, who playtested and refined the battleplans over four months. Second, multiple event organizers, who hosted one-day events to stress test the missions and see how they held up in the competitive scene. 

Here’s some notes on the battleplans, including a little on what we tested and what we would love to get further feedback on from the AoS community, as folks begin to try the missions.

Battle for the Pass 

  • Prime Objectives (☆) – 2 
  • Deployment – Wholly within your territory 
  • Scoring:
    • Control the objective that starts the game on the border of your territory = 1 VP
    • Control any objective that starts the game wholly outside of either player’s territory = 2 VP
    • Control the objective that starts the game on the border of your opponent’s territory = 4 VP
    • Battle tactic = 2 VP (+ any bonuses)
    • Grand strategy = 3 VP

One of the classics of AoS. This battleplan was by far the easiest of the four to translate into 3.0, especially since Savage Gains in GHB2021 provides a clear template.

In that regard, we thought the main question was whether to follow GW’s FAQ for Savage Gains, which ruled that if you control both objectives along the middle, then you score 2 points for each objective (for a max of 4 points), rather than 2 points for any objective (for a max of 2 points). 

After talking with a lot of players, the consensus seemed to be that the FAQ made Savage Gains a little worse by increasing the odds of higher scoring separation (of course, this view wasn’t universal). So, we took the conservative option: holding both objectives along the middle scores you 2 points max, in addition to whatever you score from other objectives, battle tactics, etc.

We also kept Seismic Shift the same as it is in Savage Gains: In round 3, you can’t burn the objectives that border each player’s territory, but you can burn either objective along the middle of the board. 

Finally, all four Warcoda battleplans have been written in a way that minimizes the confusion of Sons of Behemat’s “Get Orf Me Land!” objective-kicking ability. Whenever relevant, we used language that tethers objectives to where they start the game. For example, in Battle for the Pass: “Score 4 victory points if you control the objective that starts the game on the border of your opponent’s territory.”

Did we make the right or wrong call about scoring the objectives in the middle? Should these battleplans have the above language that lessens the impact of kicking objectives? Let us know.

Focal Points 

  • Prime Objectives (☆) – 4 
  • Deployment – Wholly within your territory 
  • Scoring:
    • Control one objective = 1 VP
    • Control two or more objectives = 1 VP
    • Control more objectives than opponent = 1 VP
    • Control objectives one and three or two and four = 1 VP
    • Battle tactic = 2 VP (+ any bonuses)
    • Grand strategy = 3 VP

Another classic, Focal Points has been through three different iterations from GHB2018-GHB2020. One of its fundamental constants, though, has been that it tends to promote play across the entire board. We really wanted to make sure that aspect of it was highlighted in this translation. 

Along those lines, we had a fifth, middle objective during most of the playtesting (a fifth objective had been common in past iterations of Focal Points), but we continually found that that middle objective reduced play across the rest of the board, especially early on in games. 

Another common aspect of past versions of this mission: You could really rack up the points. For example, in GHB2020’s Focal Points, if you controlled objectives one and three, you would score 3 victory points, and if you controlled objectives two and four, you would score another 3 victory points. We tried out various versions of this kind of scoring. In our experience, it just continually led to volatile games with too much scoring separation. We settled ultimately on 1 extra victory point for controlling objectives one and three or two and four – i.e. no doubling up.

We also tried out multiple different deployment-map options. Our starting point was the map for First Blood from GHB2021, which was somewhat reminiscent of the original Focal Points’ map from GHB2018. We kept having the sense, however, that the territories were a little too separated for this particular battleplan, since Focal Points rewards players for taking control of one or more of their opponent’s objectives, while maintaining control of their own. We decided to add an extra “box” of available deployment in the upper-right and lower-left area of the map. This extra space gives players the chance to deploy aggressively and threaten one of their opponent’s objectives right away. 

We’re still not sure whether that extra “box” of deployment space for each player was the best way to go. Once you’ve played the battleplan a few times, we’d love to hear what you think.

Forcing the Hand

  • Prime Objectives (☆) – None
  • Deployment – Wholly within your territory + more than 9” from opponent’s territory
  • Vital Ground – At the start of each player’s turn, the opposing player picks one of the objectives that start the game wholly within their territory to be the vital ground
  • Scoring:
    • Control one objective = 1 VP
    • Control two or more objectives = 1 VP
    • Control more objectives than opponent = 1 VP
    • Control the vital ground. = 1 VP
    • Battle tactic = 2 VP (+ any bonuses)
    • Grand strategy = 3 VP

On the opposite end of our experience with Battle for the Pass, we spent by far the most time on Forcing the Hand, only to end up in a spot not much different from GHB2020’s version.

Some of the things that we tried included:

  • A wide variety of deployment-map layouts
  • Four objectives instead of six
  • No Seismic Shift (i.e. no burning objectives in round 3)
  • Allowing the player going second in round 3 to pick, in both player’s turns in round 3, which objective that starts the game in their respective territory will be the Vital Ground for that turn (that’s a lot of words, and that was part of the problem: it was complicated to explain) 

One of the lessons from playing GHB2020’s Forcing the Hand was that it was often pretty easy to deny your opponent control of the objective that you chose as your vital objective (what our version is calling your vital ground). In GHB2020’s Forcing the Hand, your vital objective is selected at the start of your opponent’s turn, so in most instances, you just chose the objective that you had best defended (unless you had a big-brain play up your sleeve). Given that experience, we were trying to change the mission’s dynamic a little, especially in round 3 for the player going second.

In the end, we kept coming back to the attractive simplicity of the original Forcing the Hand, especially when combined with making all six objectives eligible for Seismic Shift, which can provide considerable benefit to the player going second in round 3. 

Seismic Shift also had the added bonus of working well with the Vital Ground rule (if a player controls their opponent’s vital ground, they gain an extra victory point). Let’s say you’re down to two objectives in your territory, because one of them was burned in round 3 via Seismic Shift. In that situation, it could be harder for you to stop your opponent from controlling the objective that you selected as your vital ground.

We experienced a number of games where it was easy to stop your opponent from controlling your vital ground in rounds 1 and 2. In rounds 3-5, though, it can become challenging, and that’s where that extra victory point can really start to matter. 

A Game of Heroes

  • Prime Objectives (☆) – 2 
  • Deployment – Wholly within your territory + more than 9” from opponent’s territory
  • No Middle Ground – If you control the objective that starts the game wholly within your opponent’s territory, that objective counts as two objectives when scoring victory points at the end of each turn
  • Scoring:
    • Control one objective = 1 VP
    • Control two or more objectives = 1 VP
    • Control more objectives than opponent = 1 VP
    • Have a friendly Leader from your starting army with a Wounds characteristic of 9 or less within 3” of any objective you control, excluding the objective that starts the game within your territory = 1 VP
    • Battle tactic = 2 VP (+ any bonuses)
    • Grand strategy = 3 VP

The starting point for this battleplan was GHB2020’s Total Conquest. We liked Total Conquest’s map and the fact that it had an extra victory point condition for controlling an objective while there is a friendly Leader near it. 

With that as the starting point, it got us thinking about how AoS has always had a relative lack of frontline “foot” heroes – lead-from-the-front badasses with a Wounds characteristic under 10 that are actually worth including in your army. We wanted to do a battleplan that rewarded having those kinds of heroes right in the thick of things. 

At the same time, we didn’t want the special victory point condition – noted above – getting out of hand, so we specified “…any objective you control…,” to prevent doubling up on the bonus scoring.

After initial playtesting, we added the “No Middle Ground” rule as well, designed to incentivize and reward going after your opponent’s objective. Some of the feedback early on led us to believe that there was not enough reward for trying to control your opponent’s objective, so we made it worth the equivalent of two objectives when determining who holds one, two, and more objectives.

Finally, near the end of testing this mission, we decided to make the objectives outside of either player’s territory eligible for Seismic Shift – i.e., eligible to be removed by the player going second in round 3. It would be great to hear feedback on that call in particular. Hopefully it was the right one.

One final concern we have: the increasing prevalence of bodyguard rules. Let’s say you’re playing Soulblight Gravelords, and you go first. You could put, e.g., a Necromancer within 3” of an objective that gives you the bonus point for having a friendly Leader on it with a Wounds characteristic of 9 or less. You could then bring up 40-60 Zombies from a gravesite near that objective and have them surround the Necromancer, who will then pass any potential damage onto those Zombies on a 3+. 

In some matchups, that type of situation could be difficult to deal with, so we’re especially interested in hearing how matchups go when bodyguard rules are in play.


We’d love to hear your thoughts about these battleplans, once you’ve had a chance to give them a try. 

Shoot us an email or reach out on Twitter

If this project turns out to be useful to the community, our current plan is to update the Warcoda supplement annually, along with a round of fine-tuning around six months after each update. 

Hopefully these notes convey that we’ve tried to be thoughtful with the development process. At the same time, I’m sure we’ve missed some things and have plenty of room for improvement. 

We’re grateful to everyone who has helped this effort so far, and everyone yet to contribute.