Hello everyone !!
General Handbook is available to everyone since Saturday but having received the GW sample on the same day I still wanted to write a short review of the book.
I am going to focus on Matched play part of the book as it is the most interesting part for me at this time.
2 Parts in this review: Pitched battle 2019 rules change and meeting engagement the 1000 pts new format.
Let's get started with Pitched battle in 2019-2020 Season.
The mains changes to Pitched Battle are :
Extra Command Point
There are quite a few changes in this new season. First, the rule about extra command points was changed, before it was 50 pts for 1 extra commands points with no limit to the number of them. In the General Handbook 2019, the rule is 50 points for 1 command points but no more than 1. It's not a big deal for the main army, but Tomb king for example just joined the General Handbook and they have no Warscroll Battalion options and they can buy only one at the start now :( (sad)
Army Specific Terrain Placement
The second change is hotly debated Army specific terrain placement. In the 2018 editions of the General Handbook, there was no mention of them but in the 2019 edition there is a new block on how to place Army terrains.
Harsh !!! Games Workshop spent the year selling us these new terrains and now a new restriction enters the fray. And it's completely intended that some terrain placement prevent them to be used.
Terrains Selection and Placement
The third big change is the Battlefield generation procedure. Now it's specified that Pitched battles are fought on a 48" by 72", that each player picks 5 terrain pieces, 3 from the Primary list and 2 from the Secondary and take turn placing them. As for Army Specific terrain, you must place them more than 6" from an edge, other terrains and 3" from objectives.
As you can see the new scenery line is well represented in this list ^^
New Scenery Table
The fourth change is the scenery table, now there are 2 tables but you only roll on the scenery tables if the terrain piece is a unique terrain feature or doesn't have a warscroll. If there is a warscroll available you must use the warscroll rules.
generic Command Abilities
Fifth change: Command Abilities, Pitched battle add 3 more Command abilities to the 3 from the core rules.
All out attack: Target unit reroll 1 to hit for this melee phase
All out defence: Target unit reroll to save for this melee phase
Volley Fire: Target unit reroll 1 to hit during this shooting phase.
Ok, these are pretty vanilla, but still, some army are going to benefit from these especially in the end game when the only hero left is a shaman hiding behind an Herdstone ^^
2018 Optional Battleplan
Sixth concern the Battleplans, now the book include the option to play with the 2018 version if you have General Handbook 2018 (it make no sense to me but whatever). Also, some Battleplans were improved (allegedly)
Upgraded Triumph table
Last Change is for the Triumph table, I know it's not used by everyone, but in a Pitched battle under the rules of the General Handbook 2019. The army with the fewer points spent earn a roll on the new table :
Honestly, the Triumphs are all super strong even if once per battle only and totally worth 15/30 pts. Also, I am not sure with the new wording if buying a command point is counted in army selection or not? (need FaQ)
That's it for the Pitched Battle 2019 Editions. Now let's take a quick look at the most interesting feature of this new General handbook: Meeting Engagement.
This is the new Kitchen Table format !! The promise is 1000 points, 90Minutes No spam or huge Infantry Block.
The army selection rules and how the army come into the game are different from the Pitched Battle version.
Limitation to army selection
-1000 points limit
-No more than twice the same warscroll
-1 Endless Spell limit
-1 ally unit limit
-Minimum sized unit
-1 warscroll Battalion limit
-Only 1 Extra command point for 50 pt (it's the same as Pitched battle 2019)
-The Army has to be split into 3 Contingents.
From the get-go, i really like this ruleset for small game size. It's clearly intended at the new players that don't possess huge blob of 30 infantry ^^. In this game mode, you can only pick unit a starting force or double force (but with restriction.) And no more than twice the same warscroll. It's going to reduce the bad side of 1k games where the top list is frequently a big boss + 1 maxed unit with synergy+ support.
The three wave
Your army has to be split into 3 waves, each wave has it's own limitation and restriction and must have at least one unit.
-Spearhead (wave 1) start the game on the table
-Main force(wave 2) arrives at the end of the first turn
-Rearguard (wave 3)arrives at the end of the second turn.
Battles stop at the end of the fourth round.
Only base sized unit in Spearhead, one battleline in Main force can be double sized and any rear guard can be double sized.
Arrival of new units
Each mission proposes a diagram showing from where enter reserve. Models must be placed 3" from reserve edge (even if they are too big to fit).
Also, Enemy arrival edge counts as enemy models and prevent them to be deployed within 9".
Reserve units cannot be deployed until their contingent is eligible for deployment.
Missions have 2 Victory conditions, 1 for kill points and 1 for objectives.
The kill points are super interesting because they are counted each turn
That means you need to deal damage each turn to earn VP while still holding an objective. Forcing you to commit a unit from the start of the game. Also, considering the game last 4 turns, there is no time to sleep.
Having 1-4 more VP than the opponent is Minor Victory, 5+ is Major, rest result in a draw.
On the paper I really like Meeting Engagement, I am playing tomorrow (Monday). Will do a report on how the game(s) went!