New General’s Handbook Pitched Battles 2022-23 Season 2 and Battlescroll : Galletian Champions Review
With the new year comes a new season of Warhammer Age of Sigmar matched play in the form of a new Generals Handbook (2022-23 Season 2) and Battlescroll update Galletian Champions.
First of, thank you to Games Workshop for sending Sprues and Brews a free copy of the Generals Handbook 2022-23 season 2 free for review purposes.
For those new to Age of Sigmar the generals handbook is the quarterly update to matched play games that Games Workshop releases to update the game, it contains all the matched play battle plans you will need to play matched play games as well as unique realm rules, battalions, grand strategies and battle tactics for the season. Needless to say if you enjoy playing matched play games this book is a must buy….
You can pick up a copy from Element Games to save yourself some money and support us at the same time.
So lets jump into the heart of Gallet in this season’s generals handbook.
This is where the big changes come in, every season there is a theme that this section builds on and in the new season the focus has moved to small heroes.
Any hero with a wounds characteristic of less than 10 gains the Galletian Champion keyword which gives them access to unique heroic actions, enhancements and more, the big bonus these champion models get is they cannot be targeted by missile weapons if they are within an 1″ of a battleline (The Key to Victory) unit making these heroes very survivable. I can’t but help think that this is a trial run for the next edition as this should always be the case in my opinion as there have been too many games where my 5 wound heroes have been shot off the board.
If you go second in a battle round now you can pick 2 heroic actions instead of just 1 which doesn’t sound that great until I explain the 2 new heroic actions …….
Strike at the opening : Pick 1 Galletian Champion model that is within 1″ of an enemy unit and that hero can immediately fight however that hero gains the strike last effect until the end of the turn. This helps increase the damage output of these small heroes which is great but in order to do this action you need to be in combat already which is where these low wound heroes die and there are very few heroes that are that scary in combat and with the strike last effect lasting until the end of the turn your hero will be fighting last in the following combat phase meaning you will have to think very hard when to use this heroic action.
Lead by example : This action allows a Galletian Champion who has performed the Strike at the opening action to let a bodyguard unit (a unit selected from a battalion) that is wholly within 6″ to fight immediately after the hero fights in the hero phase but again that unit also gains the strike last effect until the end of the turn.
These in combination are powerful actions but you will have to go second in the battle round in order to take advantage of them.
We also get a new realm spell Grinding Teeth of Gallet which every wizard gets access to, it has a casting value of 6 and a range of 12″ which explodes an objective marker in range to do D6 mortal wounds to units within 6″ of the objective marker on a roll of 4+, that is a lot of potential damage and with the game focusing on controlling these objectives I could see players casting this spell which is great as most realm spells are forgotten about although you roll a dice for every unit on the objective not just your opponents so again cast it wisely.
Like previous seasons we get a realm command that while being a bit wordy is pretty solid, to put it simply at the start of the combat phase you can pick a unit that is not a Monster, Hero or a unit that made a charge this turn and is within 3″ of an enemy unit. The unit that receives this command cannot pile in but receives +1 attack in combat, while this takes some set up to do for some units like Chaos Chosen who have a good reach in melee and a solid stat line this command really does add a lot to a unit, with that said there are better commands that require less set up but this realm command ability is still a very useful tool to have access to and is worth remembering.
There are 3 new core battalions in this seasons Generals handbook which I have mixed feelings on, each season they bring in a new theme that encourages certain units so small low wound heroes in this season and then the battalions encourage those units…… or counter them.
The first new battalion we get is called Galletian Command that requires 1 galleria champion and one unit that has 4 or less wounds and is on foot, this allows the unit to fight immediately after the hero has fought in combat if the unit is wholly within 6″. This is nice when you think about the heroic actions you get access to if you go second (Strike at the opening and Lead by example) as you can use the actions to fight in your opponents turn and in your turn fight with 2 units before your opponent. The issue with this is it encourages you to take a large unit with your champion as you will be loosing models before you get to take advantage of either of these abilities most of the time however the wholly within 6″ limitation does tone that down so it will be interesting to see what units and heroes get put in this battalion.
Galletian Sharpshooters is the new battalion that directly counters the Galletian champion rule (The Key to Victory) as units in this battalion (Units with 4 or less wounds that are not Leader, Artillery, behemoths or that have mounts) can target Galletian champion units with missile weapons…. it does require 3 and only 3 units so it is a good portion of your army but considering how strong this battalion is in matched play at the minute any army that can take advantage of this will do. Which leads me to think what is the point of the Key to Victory rule as any army that doesn’t have shooting couldn’t shoot galletian champions anyway and those that do have shooting will just take this battalion and can shoot them anyway which is bad game design in my opinion.
The last of the new battalions is a throwback to the previous seasons handbook, it’s called Galletian Veterans and requires 2-4 units with 4 or less wounds that do not have mounts and the battalion allows units in it to fight if they are within half an inch of a model that is within half an inch of an enemy model which is great for units on 32mm bases with a 1″ reach.
Artefacts of Power
This new seasons handbook brings with it 3 new artefacts of power that only Galletian Champions ave access to, they are interesting but sadly one stands out above the others, the Nightflyer Cloak allows the bearer to be put into reserve during deployment and then appear on the board at the end of you movement phase within an 1″ of a battline unit and not within 9″ of the enemy. In some of the new missions only Galletian Champions can score if they are on objectives giving this artefact a lot of potential.
The other artefacts give the bearer an Ogor charge effect allowing them to do mortal wounds after they charge which is not worth the artefact in my opinion (Tuskhelm) and the last artefact gives the bearer a 5+ ward save which is pretty nice but considering it will be on a 5 wound hero most of the time there might be better choices in your battletome still not bad though.
One of the new additions to this seasons handbook is the unique enhancements section which gives us 4 extra artefacts specifically for Galletian Champions. The really nice bit about this is the first one is free !!! Thats right the first Aspect of the Champion enhancement is just like other enhancements the first is free, if you take a battalion that grants you a second enhancement then you can take another as that choice but the limit of only having 1 artefact per hero still remains.
- Tunnel Master = Once per game instead of making a normal move you can teleport the hero anywhere on the board outside of 9″ of enemy units….. really good artefact.
- Fuelled by Ghoulish Rage =Once per battle when the bearer is killed you roll a dice on a 3+ it stays alive and heals D3 wounds while all additional damage is discarded.
- Stubborn as a Rhinox = The Galletian Champion counts as 10 models for contesting objectives while there is no other Galletian Champion on that objective.
- Leadership of the Alpha = Once per game the Galletian Champion with this Artefact can issue the same command 3 times in a phase nd only have to spend 1 command point to do so. This is slightly limited in the commands you can use (rally, all out attack /defence or redeploy ) and it will take some set up to get 3 units close to your hero at the right time.
Overall not a bad one in the group which is great to see I only wish we could say the same for grand strategies and battle tactics….
There are six grand strategies in this seasons handbook of which 3 require Galletian Champions ( a sad day if you play an army without any Galletian Champions ….) in order to complete.
- Tame the Land = Control all objectives out side your territory.
- Defend What’s Ours = no enemy units wholly in your territory at the end of the game.
- Take Whats Theirs = Have more friendly units in your opponents territory then enemy units at the end of the game.
- Stake a Claim = Have 3 Galletian Champion models wholly in your opponents territory.
- Survivors Instinct = If your general is a Galletian Champion have them contest an objective outside of your territory at the end of the game.
- The Day is Ours = Have more Galletian Champions alive from your starting army than your opponent at the end of the game.
The battle tactics in the new handbook are a mixed bag of previous ones from last season which are all pretty solid, Gianing Momentum, An Eye for an Eye, Desecrate their Lands, and This Ones Mine are all from the previous season and are pretty solid tactics to try and do, so what are the new ones.
- A Matter of Honour = Pick an enemy Galletian Champion or Sworn Bodyguard unit and kill that unit with 1 of your Galletian Champion units or a friendly Sworn Bodyguard unit.
- Lead the Assault = Control 2 objectives in enemy territory with Galletian Champions.
- United Offence = Pick an objective your opponent controls and capture that objective and have 2 Galletian Champions on the objective.
- Cunning Manoeuvre = Pick a Galletian Champion that is not within 3″ on the enemy and complete this tactic if it controls an objective at the end of the turn outside of your territory and is still not within 3″ of the enemy.
Upon first reading these battle tactics seemed moderately hard to do and they are in my opinion but when you throw in the unique enhancements that you get access to for free like Tunnel Master then getting your Galletian Champions around the battlefield quickly is not as hard as it seems.
With each new handbook we get new battle plans as well as some returning from the previous handbook to make the total, 12 battle plans !!! The first six like I said are from the previous handbook and are relatively generic in terms of who can score objectives taking them good for any army and without the proving ground realm rule from the last handbook should make for some fun games.
The returning missions are below :
- The Prize of Gallet
- The Realmstone Cache
- Battlelines drawn
- The Lurkers Below
- In the Presence of Idols
- The Nihdus Paths
Now to the new battle plans which really emphasise how important Galletian Champions are this season.
- Only the Worthy : There are 4 objectives in this battleplan with the standard scoring of control 1,2 and more objectives than your opponent with one big exception, if there is a Galletian Champion contesting an objective that Champion controls the objective regardless of how many models are on the objective.
- Path of a Champion : Similar to the previous battleplan there is 4 objectives with standard scoring, the big twist in this game is that if you have a Galletian Champion contesting an objective outside of your deployment zone ( there are two outside of both players zones ) then you can select 2 !!!! battle tactics to do instead of just one.
- The Jaws of Gallet : This battleplan sounds awesome so to start of with there are 5 objectives and from the second turn onwards whoever is going second can remove one of the objectives from the table….. goodbye double turn in this battleplan.
- Ours for the Taking : This is another interesting battleplan, there are 3 objectives spread diagonally across the map with the closest being your home objective, you score 1 for controlling your home objective, 1 for controlling the centre and 2 points for control your opponents home objective with an extra 1 point if you contest the centre objective with a Galletian Champion.
- Twists and Turns : Well this battleplan lives up to the name, there are 3 objectives and again they are spread out diagonally across the board, the twist being that at the beginning of the game they are all active but at the end of each players turn you roll a dice (adding 1 if there is a Galletian Champion on the objective) for each objective you control and on a 1-3 the objective becomes inactive and can’t be scored. At the start of your hero phase though you roll a dice for each inactive objective you control and on a 4+ it becomes active (again modifying the dice if a Champion is on the point), other than that the battleplan uses standard scoring. This mission feels fun but could be very swingy if the dice betray you.
- Position Over Power : This might be my least favourite of the new battle plans, there are 4 objectives on the board 2 are located in the heart of each players territory with the other 2 being on the small board edges and when I mean on the small board edges they are literally half off the table, you use standard scoring with the flank objectives disappearing in the fourth battle round and if you have a Galletian Champion on the flanks you score an extra point. I think the Tunnel Master artefact is a must if you play this mission as most Galletian Champions will be slow and you do not want your opponent gaining an early lead if they have that artefact and you don’t.
Endless Spells + Core Rules
The endless spells in the new handbook haven’t really changed, annoyingly the Purple Sun is still the previous version before the previous battle scroll update which i’ll talk about below. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to change the war scroll but sadly it has not.
The core rules are thankfully still included in the handbook and seem to have been changed as far as I can tell to the updated version of the previous FAQ which is great to see.
Battlescroll : Galletian Champions
Overall this update is quite small which is good in my opinion with the majority of changes being points changes, you can check out the full update over on Warhammer Community.
The only big change to any army apart from points changes is to the Daughters of Khaine which changes two of their battle tactics from their battletome (Clash of Arms and Tide of Blades) which used to award an extra point for completing with certain units and now they do not, simple but important change as it could give Daughters of Khaine armies an unfair advantage which no one else can do.
On to the points changes, now as there are a lot I’m only going to cover the ones that to me are impactful to the game with the point change first and then the new points second.
- Akhelian Leviadon -40 / 460 points
- Eidolon of Mathlann Aspect of the Storm -35 / 320
- Vanguard Raptors with Hurricane Crossbows -30 / 200
- The Lady of Vines -35 / 290
- Blood Warriors – 30 / 160
- Shalaxi Helbane -40 / 350
- The Glotkin -50/650
- Rotigus -35/460
- Nagash -55 /900
- Black Coach -45/290
- Katakros -20/430
- Ironblaster +30/200
- Gnoblars +20/120
- Gordrakk -40/500
- Beast Smasher Mega Gargant -20/500
- King Brodd -30/550
- Big Drogg Fort Kicka -30/490
- Bunda Whalebiter -30/460
- Odd Godswallow -50/470
- One – Eyed Grunnock -30/420
Well that is a lot to digest, the Generals handbook usually changes the state of the game and I like the changes it has done in this latest version for the most part, I like the importance and at the same time subtlety of having Galletian Champions in your armies. The new missions make having Galletian Champions a must but the number that are included in your army might not change that much.
Adding in the new unique enhancements that are designed around the new missions also makes them a great addition especially as they are in addition to and not instead of your normal allotment of enhancements.The battalions are great with the exception of the Sharpshooters battalion which I feel some armies will get a lot of use out of while most can just simply ignore it, which brings me onto a some issues I have.
A lot of this handbook you can ignore, what I mean by that is if your opponent plays Soulblight Gravelords for example then you aren’t worried about them shooting at your heroes anyway and they won’t have any units that can take advantage of the Sharpshooters battalion, the Galletian Command battalion only benefits you until your opponent kills the one unit or the hero they are protecting at which point the battalion and one of the unique heroic actions (Lead by Example) are rendered pointless as well. It will be interesting to see how important these things are in game and I am super excited to jump into this new handbook and start playing games.
Unfortunately there is one more thing that I feel I need to address, Sons of Behemet.
I have spent the last… almost 2 years playing Sons of Behemet and this seasons handbook has not been kind to the point where I think taking them even to friendly games you are massively handicapping yourself and giving your opponent a much easier game, they do not benefit from any of the new changes, can’t score any points for having Galletian Champions on objectives and can’t easily deal with Galletian Champions with shooting if your opponent decides to put 40 Grots in front of them which I would, it just gives me major feels bads that the army I love playing is massively handicapped to the point of not being fun to play.
The Battlescroll : Galletian Champions does address issues like the Ironblaster spam that we saw coming from the new Ogor battletome which is great to see but apart from that does not do much else, with that said that is also a good thing as I think it’s important to let the game settle into the new seasons handbook before making some big major changes.
Overall apart from the issues with Sons of Behemet I really do like this new seasons handbook and like I said I really want to play some games with this seasons Generals Handbook.
Once again thank you to Games Workshop for sending Sprues and Brews a free copy of the Generals Handbook 2022-23 season 2 free for review purposes.
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