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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

Von Shadeseraph,

Tis' been but a short while since we had our latest release, back in November. Back then, a lot of things changed, for several different reasons - the biggest of them being that our young project needs to be able to extend its wings and rise from the ashes of its past - which is a cute way to say that we want to be our own product, even if we still have to carry the past values and feel - a very complex issue indeed.

In this article, my intention is to try to explain some of the rationale behind the changes - as this new version of The Ninth Age comes upon us - in the main rulebook, the paths of magic, and give you a bit of context for the whole release.

A Look To The Past

As I have already mentioned, a lot of the previous efforts were made in order to accomplish three main goals:

1) Set a better framework to control certain builds that benefit too much from spam while also allowing for non-extreme lists a bit more flexibility in list building (for example, to fix the situation where all three elven armies had roughly 1/3 of their unit choices in rare)

2) Tip the game towards a direction that acts in accord with the new background and fluff currently being written, to make this our own, unique game - basically creating a new set of magic paths that work according to the new background, and reworking the options and unit choices to help them better fit their armies characteristics.

3) Unify and streamline the books to make them more organic in design and distribution, and open design space to allow the further development of the game later on, rather than frontload design now.

As the scope of the release was incredibly ambitious, and implied changing several preconceptions both of the team as designers and of the players themselves, it was essentially an experimental release that was intended to give us a bigger view of the effect of the changes at large, to eventually fine tune the system so that everyone could benefit from what we think is the right path to aim for a better game.

So, What's This Release About?

As such, several issues were bound to happen. 1.3 is being released with the explicit intention to improve on the previous version's changes. This has been done through several routes:

1) While the general sentiment within the team is that we don't have enough data to define which builds are problematic at this point, it was already expected that the large changes to warmachines and monsters in the previous versions, as well as the new percentage system, would definitely benefit monster mash armies. Furthermore, some armies were certainly capable of playing lists with nearly 3/4 of their points spent on characters - and while character-based play should be viable, that kind of spending is outside of the desired values. As such, several limits have been imposed to control these kind of extremes, mainly in relation to ridden characters and individually strong monsters, but except for very particular exceptions, monsters at large haven't been touched.
In addition, the game now includes a new tool, available to everyone to fight monster mashes on better grounds.

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Splitting cost between Categories, monster mounts now counts towards character category
Crush attacks, lose clipped wings
Jack's Pickaxe, new magical weapon

2) The new categories proved to be in some cases very restrictive for other characters and for many armies cores. Several armies suffered from this change and others benefitted too much from of it, which was aimed at making sure the army played up to their strengths rather than just "fill core tax". To ease this lack of variety, many armies have seen changes to their allotments, and units that were removed from core have been reinstated - with the condition that the unit itself is played as a unit, rather than as chaff.

3) The changes to characters, while good in the sense that they added survability and flexibility, severely restricted their usage - particularly in those armies that were more dependent on their combat mages and their weaker, cheaper characters. To improve on this, character profiles have been streamlined, several magic items have been reduced in price to make them more accessible to all kinds of characters - and several old toughies like the good ol' soothsayer or the orc shaman, have recovered their strong profiles, though at the cost of their early cheapness.

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Skull Splitter, point drop
King Slayer, point drop
Fencer’s Swords, point drop
Bluffer’s Helm, point increase
Bronze Breastplate, point drop
Obsidian Nullstone, point drop
Obsidian Rock, point drop
Dragonfire Gem, point drop
Wizard’s Hood, point drop
Crown of Autocracy, point drop
Gem of Fortune, point drop

4) In our eternal desire to strive towards a balanced, quality game, we left some of the less-used options in the game stagnate for too long. In this patch, we've focused on fixing this injustice, in order to make some of the options that suffered the most from the multiple changes, or from lack of review, more viable and desirable again.

5) Magic. Magic was one of the main changes of 1.2 - and also most criticized changes of the release. There were three kinds of complaints - those that argued that the new paths detracted heavily from the flavor of the armies themselves, those that argued that magic was rendered useless due to the power level of the new spells, and those that disliked the internal balance between paths - and how it affected the armies themselves. As such, Making Magic Great Again was one of the big points of this release.

Unfortunately, to give magic itself its own character and proper background focus we lost flavour which we intend to re-inject in different ways during the release of the fully reviewed books, later on.

In the same ways, reworking the magic paths from the scratch invariably leads to imbalance between the magic paths. Though, as stated before, we would have liked to have more feedback, we've aimed to balance all the magic paths against the one we think was better designed and worked the best - divination. This path was, roughly, our baseline on what one should expect out of the magic paths' power.

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Crown of scorn, armies with crown of scorn cannot cast spells, not even bound spells
Aether Icon, clarification, point increase

#1 word of iron
Boosted version gives +2 armour save instead of better range

#4 silver spike
S3[6] and -1 casting value

No changes

#0 Altered Sight
-1 casting value

#3 Truth of Time
Adds or remove a full D6 from charge distances

#T Oaken throne
While oaken crown is active, all other spells in the same path have their casting values decreased with 1

#3 Entwining roots
Augment version always decrease WS and BS with -2 (instead of -D3)

#5 stoneskin
-1 casting value

#6 Summer growth
Replace all D3 with 2 for amount of raised wounds

#T Evocation of Souls
12" aura version added.
For non undead target, new effect, target gains fear and gives enemies within 6” -1 Ld

#1 Spectral Blades
Re-roll to wound as basic version. Boosted version gives Lethal Strike. Aura removed

#4 Danse Macabre
-1 casting value

#6 Hasted the Hour
New effect. Now you choose up to 3 different model in the target. Each of these model suffers a wound.

#1 hand of glory
Add amplified version, that gives the wardsave to all models in the target's (caster's) unit

#2 breath of corruption
Add amplified version, which increases range of breath as shooting to 18”

#3 Forbidden knowledge
Add amplified version which allows caster to reroll one dispel roll per phase

#4 the rot within
-1 casting value

Trait spell is changed into an attribute, and number of hits decreased to D3.

#3 Scorching Salvo
24" range

#1 swarm of insects
Additional anti-shooting effect added (if wound caused, -1 BS until the unit has moved)

#2 Chilling Howl
-1 Casting value

#5 break the spirit.
Range changed to to 18" [36"]

#6 Totemic Summon
+1 casting value

Judgement on High
Doesn't work with bound spells.

#2 Cleansing Fire
Clarification for when the D3 is rolled (immediately after successfully casting the spell.)
Boosted version, -1 casting value, and can now only target Characters, Champions and single model units.

#5 Smite the Unbeliever
Effect updated to either -1 Strength or -1 toughness. No other possibilities.

#0 Evil Eye
Turned into an attribute with:
Range 24", Universal
Friendly unit gains +1 Movement. Enemies gains -1 Move, to minimum of 3
A unit cannot be affected by this spell more than twice in the same Magic Phase.

#1 Deceptive Glamour
Is turned into a hex, with range 18" [36"], and the effect:
The target suffers a -1 modifier to hit.

#5 Bewitching Glare
The Ld modifier is applied always, not just the stupidity test.

#6 The wheel turns
Decrease difficulty to 9+ and added boosted version that is Augment at 11+

Final Notes, or What's to Come.

Now, there are several larger scale issues that haven't been addressed due to the scope of this release. Our focus right now is on the next generation of army books, and on ensuring that the core rules are as solid and good possible. Then, settle down and enter a stable period. As such, we have tried avoid, within the realm of possibility, redesigning or changing the core principles on which armies and units work (like reinventing the role of certain units or redesigning items from the scratch) - because the complexity of such endeavor could easily create even larger balance issues and, to be frank, because we believe that right now it's better to direct our manpower to those other, more critical, tasks.

So, sorry - I know many of us wanted our kickass unit of barbarians or spearelves to rule the world, but that will have to wait until the release of the fully reviewed army books. We will strive to make as many of your units and army builds competitive until then - but for now all the books should roughly work on the same premises they've worked on until today.

But in the future, we endeavor towards making an engaging, immersive game full of choice and flavor for all armies - but with our own brand on it - while keeping it relatable.

Get To the Point! I Want My Cool Toys!

Without more preamble, here is a review of what's to come in this release for each army:

Beast Herds
One of the herd's biggest issues, according Army Community Support, was the Soothsayer being a little bit toothless when getting up close and primal. The Rules Team agreed and decided to make him a little more meaty, with a slight price adjustment to reflect this. Since Paths in general are being reworked, swapping out evocation was a no-go, but on the plus side the Jabberwocky got a beastly breath option! The item complaints were deemed valid, but due to time limits must wait. Then the Balancing Team branded their input too by handing out a few succulent buffs like Cyclops no-penalty pivot to encourage him to get some more exercise, making smaller units of Minotaur more attractive instead of the same old beef-bus, Longhorns are very nice value now, and the Razortusk Chariot gets a discount too. However, they also brought the whip: after the incredible popularity of totems in 1.2 there is a limit to spamming the same spell – no more than twice! Core was raised to 20% to reduce skew and encourage biodiversity outside of Monster Mash. Thus hounds and chariots can now count as Core once they reach a critical unit size, but this principle was applied equally to other armies as well.
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Totems, each of the 4 different bound spells is limited to 2 casting attempts/phase, wording clarified
Warhound, units of 8+ counts as core
Raiding chariots, units of 3 counts as core
Cyclop, can pivot and shoot without penalty
Gortach, 0-2 per army
Jabberwocky, 0-2 per army, option for breath weapon
Soothsayer, +1 T, +15pts
Pack Leaders, upgrade now named Greater Totem Bearer to distinguish Totem types
Alpha Bulls, upgrade now named Greater Totem Bearer to distinguish Totem types
Centaur Chieftain, upgrade now named Greater Totem Bearer to distinguish Totem types
Beast axe, clarification
Razortusk Herd, +5ppm
Razortusk Chariot, -10pts
Minotaurs, base cost -15pts, +3ppm
Longhorn Herd base cost -10pts, GW are free

Dread Elves
The Deadly Ones wanted see a return of their hidden rule, but the Rule Team majority favored a more ‘open’ approach to the game for now – although Professional Courtesy was reworded as a cunning compromise. Beastmaster Lash sees a minor boost, but Dagger was deemed too much work for this update. The prayers for an improved Divine Alter were refused due to its current synergy with Lethal Strike. The cavalry limitations were cramping the army style a bit so the Rules Team agreed to increase the Raiders category to 30%, but slapped some tougher restrictions on Raven Cloaks as they were looking quite scary with Repeater Bolt Throwers. The Balancing Team then sneaked in with a whole bunch of discounts for characters, cults, and blades on Nabh. As part of a general trend with all books, characters were also raised to 40%.
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Assassins, Professional Courtesy, added that they may always make way
character mounts counts towards character category
character category, 40%
Raiders, 30%
Raven cloaks, 0-20 models per army
Dagger of Moraec, moved to enchanted item - restricted to wizards
Beastmaster’s Lash, added stomp removal effect for models hit by this
Divine Altar, weapon options are for disciples only
Divine blessing, clarification
Lords of Dread, Manticore -25pts and Pegasus -10pts
Lords of Dread, Fleet commander -20pts
Dread Prince, Cult of Nabh -20pts
Captain, Cult of Nabh -10pts
Cult Priest: -15pts, Manticore -25pts, Pegasus -20pts, Divine Altar +15pts
Blades of Nabh, -1ppm
Medusa, removing obsolete text

Dwarven Holds
From the grumblings of the deep it was clear that bearcavalry the Runic Smith needed attention with his limited budget to buy equipment and actually survive a fight – plus where by the beard of Krom was the dwarfish Crown of Scorn!? Also on the list was demand to demote of the engineer to 2 wounds to fit niche builds and some improved ranged options like Forge Wardens and the Catapult. Most of these went through approval with much opposition, apart from engineer downgrade which produced a punch-up that any dwarf would approve of – and after a few black eyes still got approved. The Balancing Team then brought in their own gems with price-drops on elite infantry and some reworked runes. Especially worth noting is the new Rune of Metal and Shieldwall option for Marksmen. Last but not least, those 'copter pilots got some new spectacles so expect some more accuracy from those steam guns instead of just being overpriced chaff! A last minute change that affects the Dwarfs is the increase in minimum elite unit starting size.
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characters 40%
Engineer, 2 wounds -40pts
Grudge Buster, BS4 and same weapon as steam copters
Steam Copters, BS4
Clans Marksmen, Kingsguard, Miners, rangers, all now have shieldwall
Rangers don't get scoring and skirmishing at the same time
New talismanic rune, corresponding to rulebook item crown of scorn
all battle runes: 0-2 per army
Rune of Metal,+3 Initiative instead of reroll Armour Saves, new name
Rune of Smashing: -30pts, models on foot only
Rune of Crushing: -10pts
Rune of Bronze: -20pts
Rune of Infamy: -10pts
Rune of Harnessing: -25pts
Rune of Grounding: -25pts
Runic Standard of Shielding: -15pts
Runic Smith, -25pts, price per battle rune +10pts
Clan Marksmen, base cost -10pts, -1ppm, shield +1ppm
Deepwatch, base cost +110, +4ppm, +5 starting size, -5 additional models
King's Guard, base cost +100, +2ppm, +5 starting size, -5 additional models
Forge Wardens, base cost -20pts, -2ppm
Catapult, -10pts

Daemonic Legions
The immortal posters of the void were not impressed by the limits on their Greater Daemons, and expected the smiths to reforge some of that otherworldly equipment or find themselves on the top of the next sacrificial bonfire. These requests were deemed reasonable by even higher powers than Gods, and were approved easily - Obsidian Horn, Disolving Touch, Iron Hide, Mirror of Change all got some well-deserved attention. The Balancing Team decided that even more sacrifices were needed and brought in discounts to specific models, most notably the slightly dusty-looking Daemon Prince. The Father of Pestilence is now a lot more accessible along with his Plaguelings, and Alter of Slaughter is also cheaper too. Ambushing hellhounds were deemed just a tad too good for their points, while monogod core was
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raised to 20% like all previous 15% core armies.
God specific categories increased to 50%
Obsidian Horn, streamlined with rulebook crown of scorn (can't use spells if taken)
Monogod core: +5% (20%)
Sky serpents: -15ppm
Dissolving touch: -15pts
Iron hide: -5pts
Portal gem: 12” range and +10pts
mirror of change: -10pts
Daemon Prince: Plate Armor mandatory, total cost 550 pts (-20 compared to now)
Father of pestilence: -40 pts and free flail (-40 pts)
Pestilence beasts: base cost +30, -10ppm
Plaguelings: base cost -20pts and -5ppm
Altar of Slaughter: -20pts
Hellhounds: Ambush +3 ppm.
Blazing Wings: -30 points.

Empire of Sonnestahl
The marshals of the Empire sent letters requesting a greater supply of characters, and more gunpowder to defend the realms of civilization. To answer this the Rules Team consulted the masters of blackpowder and drew inspiration from the DH shooting allotment system. Unfortunately Reiters and Light Infantry received some limitations because the potential volume of S4 shooting was getting scary. However, just when all hope seemed lost, the Balancing Team sent the reinforcements in with Steam Tanks and a whole host of artillery at bargain prices, and brought more efficient characters along with them to add to the 40% boost in general. Orders were also improved in range for petty officers and some magical items like Armor of Volund and Banner of Unity got cheaper. Last but not least, Imperial Guard received a discount on Great Weapons and rangers are looking up too.
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40% characters
Big character mounts counts towards character category
New Imperial Auxiliaries category added, with all non-warmachine shooter in it (excluding steam tank)
Light infantry model cap removed, base price drop by -20 pts
Reiters, max 10 per unit
Orders, +6” range for non-Great tacticians
Banner of the Stallion doesn’t work with stream tank
Artificer, 2 wounds, base price drop by -40 pts, horse price increase by +30 pts
Armour of Volund, price drop by -15 pts
Banner of Unity, price drop by -15 pts
Wizard, Great Griffon point drop by -15 and Arcane Engine point drop by -15, and no longer reserved to wizard masters
Imperial Guards, great weapon price drop by -1 pts/model
Imperial Guard base cost +65, +2ppm, +5 starting size, -5 additional models
Imperial Rangers, price per additional model drop by -3 pts/model
Flagellants, base price drop by -40 pts, price per additional model increase by 2 pts/model
Imperial Rocketeers, point drop by -35 pts
Mortar, point drop by -10 pts
Volley Gun, point drop by -15 pts
Steam Tank, point drop by -20 pts

Highborn Elves
Handwritten in beautiful cursive, the elegant scrolls sof the Highborn Elves politely informed the Rules Team (a dozen times or so) that a little more bow-power would be much appreciated in Core. While a seemly reasonable request, it proved to be a delicate issue, especially when combined with the general availability of flying monsters in the army. In the end though, after some spirited deliberation, it was agreed that a minor boost was not out of the question, but the Prince or Ryma should not be a part of this. Sadly, the brave spearmen of the HbE were robbed during the night and lost their heavy armor, and the peacekeeper elite shooters also dwindled slightly – especially the Queen’s Guard. To help alleviate these loses the Balancing Team reduced the overall cost of spears (who can now be fielded in HUGE buses), flame wardens, knights of Ryma (who keep devastating charge), and Grey Watchers. Smaller character mounts were made more attractive and spear of the blazing dawn suddenly looks very interesting. MSU Swordmasters almost became a diplomatic issue between the various teams involves, but for now they will be left alone in the interest of world peace.
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Drain magic, clarification
Big character mounts counts towards character category
Character category, 40%
Prince of Ryma, allows more monsters and characters (+5% to both), but no peacekeepers (0%)
Elder service, +10%(30%)
Peace keepers, -5%(15%)
Queen's guard moved to elder service, and max 20 models per army
Sword Masters, -5pts, +3ppm, Sword sworn gains +1 to hit instead of ignoring distracting
Daemon hunter helm can be taken on griffons
Lion Guard: Skirmish option added 2ppm, base cost at -10 pts, -1 ppm for additional models
Spear of Blazing Dawn: add “each hit inflicted against monsters and ridden monsters multiplies by 2”.
Cloak of the Stars: change to “Spells targeting the bearer’s unit suffer -2 to their casting roll.” and price at -5p
Lion Chariot Mount: reduce crew to (1)
Lords of the Sea, Reaver Chariot Mount: -10p, Griffon Mount -20pts
Mage, Reaver Chariot Mount: -10p
High Prince, Giant Eagle Mount -20pts
Commander, Giant Eagle Mount -10pts
Grey Watchers base cost -10, -2 ppm for additional models
Citizen Spears: base cost +50p, +5 models starting size, max 30 additional models.
Flame Wardens: base cost drop at -10p and cost per additional model drop by -1pt
Knights of ryma: additional models cost drop by -10ppm
Fleet Officer, Sky sloop mount price -5p

Infernal Dwarfs
Feeling burned by 1.2 the Infernal Dwarfs let their anger be known by exploding a few volcanos – subtle by overlord standards! The Rules Team sympathized with their sorry plight of being boxed into either gunline or monster mash and brought the army into a far more standard line of composition and threw off the shackles of fire! With this freedom also comes cheaper engineers, Chosen of Lugar (who lost some weapon options, but return with volcanic embrace because the background fits), backstabbers, and Tauruks. Then the Balancing Team brought in extra ammo by dropping the price of blunderbusses, some the heavy caliber artillery and giving the Armored Giant some REAL armor! The Ring of Flammability got a limit to foot only - but also cheaper! The Lugars saw an increase in their Great Weapon costs, but overall the infernal forges look set to start pumping out some burning pain even with the hard limit of ONLY 100 Hobgoblin bows. A last minute change also sees immortals with a larger starting size, but at a bargain price.
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Removed dual army organization, all armies now use the same category limits
Adjusting category limits, char 40%, core 25%, 30% hail of gods, 20% bombardment, 35% bound and binders
Big character mounts counts towards character category
Shackles of fire special rule, removed
Besheluk’s Mechanism and Ring of Desiccation updated due to shackles of fire removal
Ring of Desication: On Foot Only. -40 points.
Besheluk’s Mechanism -10pts
Engineer upgrade for prophets, price adjusted and only the cost of the upgrade counts towards bombardment (only the cost of the character itself is paid from bombardment, the remaining costs, like magic items and equipment, count against characters only)
Chosen of Lugar, -30 points, lost some weapon and armour options, regain Volcanic Embrace
Infernal engine, moved to bound and binders, and shrapnel guns makes it count towards bombardment as well
Blunderbuss: -2 ppm.
Hobgoblin Chieftain, Backstabber upgrade price drop
Hobgoblins, backstabbers upgrade price drop
Tauruks : -40 points / -4 ppm, light lance +2 ppm
Immortals, new special rule corresponding to old banner of Nezibkesh
Immortals, base cost +100pts, +2ppm, +5 starting size, -5 additional models
Rocket Battery: -10 points
Titan Mortar: -15 points
Disciples of Lugar, Great Weapons: +2 ppm, regain Volcanic Embrace
Armored Giant : Infernal Armor instead of Heavy Armor
Hobgoblin Bows: max. 100 per Army

Kingdom of Equiataine
The noble knights and their unwashed peasants were NOT amused by their 30% Core requirement and appealed for intervention. The Rules Team majority agreed and sent the dissenter to the dungeons, so it is now more in line with other armies. Infantry Dukes turned out to be a tad too cost efficient for an army which main playstyle is cavalry. At the same time it was felt that Duke and Paladin's on horse were a tad too expensive. So the end package was the warhorses get a little bit cheaper, but that Duke and Paladin on Add to dictionary didn't go up in points. - see how easy balancing is?. Oh, and brigands are back baby - never say never when you have a highly motivated forum! Meanwhile, the Questing Oath has been given a healthy rework. The Balancing Team hath further decreed that warmachines shall be cheaper, but that there shall be much less silly spamming of the cavalry Core with 4 being the magic number. The foot Duke and Paladins are looking a little sad but since the Virtue of Piety is considerably cheaper, it seems to work out slightly in their favor. Knights of the Quest round out with a cheaper Hedge Knight upgrade. Also, it seems the Green Knight is carrying a banner around with him now.
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Big character mounts counts towards character category
Character category, 40%
Core category 25%
Knights of the Realm, 0-4 units per army
Knights Aspirants, 0-4 units per army
Wafers of Penitence, moved to enchanted item but still wizards only
The green knight, counts as a standard bearer
Brigands added as a special unit
Castellan: loses the Front Rank Rule
Nobility, base cost +20pts, Pegasus and Hippogriff -20pts, Barded Warhorse - 25pts
Questing Oath: gain Strider (Forests), must use Great weapons (even R&F), all models gain multiple wounds versus towering presence models
Virtue of Piety: -25p
Peasant Bowmen, max 100 per Army
Armour of Percival: -10p
Trebuchet: -20 points
Scorpion: -15 points
Damsel, Unicorn: -20 points
Hedge-Knights-Upgrade: -2 for Knights of the Quest, same for Knights Forlorn

Ogre Khans
The big guys were most displeased at losing their Marks, but alas, some wishes just cannot be granted. Wildheart Core was brought into the 20% min. like other armies, but Headhunter got cheaper and Axe-Breaker Gauntlet more effective. The Rules Team handed out discounts on Bruisers, Mammoth Hunter, Scratapult, and a tougher, more skilled fighter Shaman should be most delicious. To cut down the Core bus, Tribesmen have been limited to 13 max. and rock aurochs will be limited to 2 (including characters) as it was in the dominating monster box (along with some others). The doggies can now also be stuffed into Core if the unit is large enough, which combines well with the cheaper foot Hunter. All in all, a bit of a mixed bag, but the Daemonheart does include a tasty extra for the extra hungry. Some last minute changes include a cheaper Trolleater and price drop on Fireblessing.
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Scratapults, can pivot and shoot without penalty, price drop (-20 pts)
Thunder Cannon, streamlining the wording for penalty-free pivot
Mammoth hunter, optional base size, 40 or 50mm
Character category, 40%
Big character mounts counts towards character category
Aurochs-mounted mammoth hunter is not light troops
Shaman, +1 WS and T, +30pts
Freezing Aura, clarification
Iron fist, clarification
Rock Auroch mount, stone skin added
Wildheart, +5% minimum core (20%)
Headhunter: -10pts
Axe-Breaker Gauntlet: Destroy Magical item in 3+ instead 4+.
Blind Eye of Nyanggai: -10pts
Daemon Heart, works only on successful casting attempts, induced Miscast have +1 MDU.
Bruisers: base cost -15pts
Bombardiers: -5ppm
Tribesmen: Max 13 models.
Mammoth Hunter, base cost -20pts, both mounts +20 points.
Rock Aurochs: 0-2 (including character mount)
Scrapling Foreman: reduce to 1 Wound
Trolleater, +20pts, Regeneration increased to 4+
Fireblessing, -10pts

All the greenies wanted for Christmas were more monsters, better wyverns, and more spider mounts. The RT agreed, after some discussion of the more arachnophobia-heavy lists seen in the past, that this would see a slight increase offset by the more global army limit on ridden monsters and raising of character limits. Orc weapons got a bit cheaper along with many characters and the humble shaman saw his leadership, strength and attacks all go up by 1 - must be that new goblin cologne! Goblin Riders and Chariots saw some freebies coming in, and most heroes also got cheaper – feral orcs getting a slightly better quality of tattoo. Chariots were discussed briefly, but nothing concrete came of it. Goblin armies will see some limits in Bows, Cave Gnashers, and Mad Gits sadly. The last things to get the love were the Great Green Christmas Tree Idol and splatterer catapults – Ho Ho Ho!
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Big character mounts counts towards character category
character category, 40%
Big ’n Nasty category 30%
Goblins raiders of 8+ models count towards core
Goblins raider, don’t have to buy weapons
Cave Gnasher, 0-3 mounts per army
Orc chariots, mounts protection (5+) and light armour
Iron orcs characters cannot ride chariots
Orc shaman, +1 Ld, S, A, Common +5pts, Feral gains Ward Save (5+) and +15pts
Lucky Boar´s Leg: also affects chariots
Feral Lords of Fightin’, gain Ward Save(5+)
Feral Warlord, +30pts, War Boar -5pts
Feral Chief, +20pts, War Boar -15pts
All Characters, Wyvern: -20pts
Goblins, Up to 100 models with Bow, Max 8 Mad Gits, Nets become an option again (+2 ppm)
Orcs, All basic weapon options -1 ppm.
Mounted Eadbasher, Lance and paired weapons -2ppm, Feral orc upgrade free (-2ppm)
Goblin Wolf Chariot: -20ppm
Greenhide Catapult, Splatterer price dropped by 20pts, 0-2 each Upgrade.
Grotlings, Starting Size +1 model, -1 max additional model, Base price unchanged
Great Green Idol, -60 pts, buffs no longer stackable with themselves

Saurian Ancients
This has proven to be one of the more contentious army books to resolve. There were some very strong opinions all round regarding skinks with poison in Core - but this has now been accepted by the Rule Team as an accepted tradition. The Balancing Team lobbied hard and won some discounts for Sauran totems and spears. One thing is certain, the big dinos are coming back with a healthy 35% limit. And it seems a certain Cube has been given another redesign. Last minute changes include cheaper Raptor Riders, Wisdom of te Ancient rework, a better but slightly more pricey Caiman Ancient and a larger starting size for Temple Guard, but at a good price. Salamanders, Rhamphodon Riders, and Thyyroscutus were also buffed, just to annoy my spell checker...
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Big character mounts counts towards character category
Character category, 40%
Thunder lizards, 35%
Black Cube, +10pts, also adds 1 Magic Dice to the user dispel pool
Wisdom of the Ancient: effect replaced by +1 Learned Spell, +30points.
Caiman Ancient: WS5, 4 Attack. +25 points.
Saurian Warriors -1ppm, Spear -2ppm
Skink braves:
- Can be fielded without shooting weapons
- lose javelin
- gain option for poison javelin for 6ppm, and counts towards jungle guerilla when taking this
- Lose poison on combat
- base cost -30pts, -2ppm
Temple Guard, base cost +100, +2ppm, +5 starting size, -5 max number of additional models
Raptor Riders: -4ppm
Rhamphodon Riders -25pts, -10 ppm
Salamander: Range increased from 6” to 12”
Thyroscutus: Increase Movement to 5.

Sylvan Elves
If you think Elves are all about balance and harmony, then thank the gods that you did not witness the intense debates raging over how best to help this faction - the Rules Team wanted to focus on identity, but the Balancing Team wanted to perfect internal balance. In the end, the only unanimous decision was to give Unseen Arrows a boost to 40%, but with Briar Maidens counting towards it. The BSB is getting cheaper, additional Sentinels, and min. sized units of blade dancers (although they have been moved to Fleet of Foot). Pathfinders and Sentinels were deemed too dangerous combined, so they will share a max.3 units limit. Thicket Beasts can now be scoring, but with some limits to prevent large blocks auto-claiming objectives. The last minute buffs to Forest Rangers, Kestral Knights, and Sentinels should take some of the sting off - and Entwined Roots will be getting a price decrease since they replace Scoring. A very tangled knot to balance indeed.
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Oaken Crown, price for BSB reduced by -50 pts
Tree Father Ancient, options, clarification
Forest prince, +1 bs and +1 I
Big character mounts counts towards character category
character category, 40%
Unseen arrow, max 40%
Pathfinders and sentinels, max 3 units in total
Briar Maiden also count towards unseen arrows
Blade dancers moved to fleet of foot, starting size decreased by -2, starting cost per model increased by +7 pts, price for additional models decreased by -2
Thicket beasts: Scoring. Decreased max size by 4, price for starting unit increased, price for additional models decreased (+20 pts for the starting unit/-15 ppm)
Entwined roots, unit loses scoring, price decrease by -5 ppm
Pathfinder kindred, counts towards unseen arrows and price decrease (-15 ppm)
Shapeshifter kindred. +1 ward save (to max 4+) instead of 5++, and price increase (+20 ppm)
Sentinels, price decrease for additional models (-2 ppm).
Forest Rangers, price decrease (-30 pts for the base unit / -1 pt for additional models)
Kestrel Knights, price decrease (-5 pts for the base unit / -10 pts for additional models)
Amryl's Banner, pridce decrease (-15 pts)

Undying Dynasties
The Masters of the Sands begged to have non-evocating Hierophants,but were denied since the Path is receiving adjustments. Despite this setback, Chariots are looking more interesting with the option to lose Light Troops for greater impact. Monsters and Characters have also gotten respectable gains with the Nomarchs looking a little less fragile. One major wish was to have the Arc of Ages not count towards the Masons Menagerie, upgraded to 35% – and glory be, it doesn’t! On top of that the Bowshabtis have lost that -1S penalty to be replaced with a -1AP modifier, and there are cheaper Catapults, Sphinx, and numerous items. The gods have been generous indeed - Skeleton Cavalry got discount but lose some armor along the way. A last minute change also includes a larger min. size for Necropolis Guards, but at a competitive price.
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Rulers of the undead: when hierophant cast evocation of souls it may raise one wound to a unit within 12”
40% characters
35% Mason's Menagerie
Big character mounts counts towards character category
Ark of ages, -100 points, doesn’t count towards Mason's Menagerie anymore
Nomarch +1W, +20 points
Barding on skeletal horse removed, cost updated (-10 pts)
Skeleton chariots gain scoring, and may chose to lose this and gain light troops
Dread Sphinx: -20 points.
Royal Sphinx. -20 points.
Skeleton Cavalry: +20 points, +3 models in base unit
Pharaoh: -20 points
Charnel Catapult: -40 points.
Sandstorm Cloak: -10 points
Brooch of the Sun: -10 points.
Banner of the Entombed: -30 points.
Casket to Phatep: -30 points
Great Aspen Bow: the Strength penalty is now limited to affect Armour reduction only
Necropolis Guard, base cost +50pts, +3ppm, starting size +5 models, -5 max additional models

Vampire Covenant
Much like their drier brethren the Vampires were finding Evocationa rather juiceless Path, but will see gains with upcoming boosts to certain magics. The Rot Team have addressed this with a new rule "Gates of the Netherworld" for some extra summoning oomph, especially with the new Dark Tome! Many of the buffs have been heavily oriented around noble Bloodlines and Items but the Black Coach has been moved to Special and been made more Bloodline dependant. Gouls can lookforward to a slight drop in points. Red Plate has also been reworked into a helmet, and the Staff of Gerard moved to enchanted items. Oh, and there was one other model that got a significant drop in points: THE TOXIC ZOMBIE DRAGON!
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Big character mounts counts towards character category
Necromancers and nosferatu vampires, new special rule: “Gates of the Netherworld”: When they cast evocation of souls they may raise 1 wound to a unit within 12”
Black coach moved to special
Dark tome for altar of undeath added as option - +2 to cast evocation within 12”, wizards within 12” miscast with 2 extra dice, 60 pts
Staff of Gerhard the Black moved from Arcane to Enchanted Items, price drop (-10 pts)
Red Plate of Gilles de Raux changed from Plate Armor to None(6+), new name
Blade of Red Thirst, gain +1S but cannot heal more than 1 wound to the Vampire, price increase (+15 pts)
BotD Bloodline, price drop (-10 pts)
Lahmia Bloodline, price drop (-20 pts)
Nosferatu Bloodline, free (-20 pts)
Commandment, price drop (-40 pts)
Mask of Innocence, price drop (-10 pts)
Mesmerizing Gaze, price drop (-20 pts)
Court of the Damned, price drop (-20 pts)
Zombie Dragon, price drop (-50 pts), Breath Weapon strength increased to 3 via Toxic Attacks
Colossal Zombie Dragon, price drop (-10 pts)
Ghouls, cost by additional model drop (-2 ppm)
Dark Coach price increase (+40 pts), Blood Ties upgrade price drop (-40 pts)
Shrieking Horror, total of mounted + non-mounted models limited to max. 2 per Army
Barrow Guard, base cost +70pts, +1ppm, starting size +5 models, -5 max additional models

Vermin Swarm
Almost had my leg chewed off for accidentally skipping this faction in the first draf, but the Ratmen can take solace that several goodies are on the way. The Dreadmill has been downgraded in power by the Rules Team but also freed from the Built and Bred category. Sicarra Assassins will also have the improved "professional courtesy" rule, while Jezzails, Slaves, Catapults, Cannons and the Magister on Doom Bell all got points reductions. Fethis Broodmaster has been given a turbo upgrade and Giant Rat units above a certain size will now also count as Core but are a little more expensive. The Vermin and Thunder Hulks, and Hulk Bodyguard look even hulkier with T5, but come with a slight price increase. The last buff goes out to the Vermin Daemon, who, after much debating, is now T6 base and has been allowed 2 upgrades instead of the usual 1 and is cheaper to boot - gods help us all...
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character category, 40%
Big character mounts counts towards character category
Large giant rats units (20+) counts towards core
Dreadmill, made weaker (s5 t5), -50 pts and moved out of BUILT AND BRED category
Sicarra Assassins, Professional Courtesy, added that they may always make way
Vermin hulks, T5, base cost +30pts, +10ppm
Thunder hulks T5, 3W, heavy armour, base price +15 pts, -9 ppm, 0-2 units
Vermin hulk bodyguard, T5, +15 pts
Fetthis Broodmaster, +2 move
Plague flail, clarification
Dark Shard Brew, remove “The bearer can never leave his unit
Tyran, Dark Shard Brew +15pts
Blade of the Swarm, -25pts, bonus against Dwarven Holds removed
Sceptre of the Vermin Valour -20pts
Vermin Daemon, +1T, -25pts, 2 upgrades instead of 1, remove 3 Dark Shards from Schemer
Magister, Doom Bell -25pts
Jezzail: -5 ppm
Catapults: -10 pts
Cannon: -20 pts
Giant rats: +2ppm
Slaves, base cost -10pts

Warriors of the Dark Gods
The Dark Gods have decreed that the WotDG Core will rise to 20%, but that like other factions, it may be filled with warhounds and barbarian horsemen units over a certain size to promote more army variety. The character limit has risen in order to remain a relative army strength and now hovers at 45%, which is something others can only dream of. This is slightly offset by the general ridden monster limits. Daemon Prince, Dragon (sorcerer version), Vortex Fiend, Bloodbeast, and Chimera have all gotten a drop in points (yes, miracles DO happen) and the forgotten magical weapons and gifts of the vault have been given adust off and a very healthy all-round price drop. There is now a limit of max. 2 EDC & Chimera, but this mostly affects larger battles. The Wrath Priest is remarkably good value now - even the Army Community Support whips were pleasantly shocked! Looks like there will be a few extra models fielded by the Wasteland Warriors this holiday season.
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Big character mounts counts towards character category
Characters 45%
Core 20%
Warhounds, units of 8+ count towards core
Marauder horsemen, units of 8+ count towards core
Burning Blade of Chaos, clarification
Wasteland chariot character mount, barding removed (streamlining movement with special unit)
Path of the Fallen, +2 Movement instead of +1.
Wildling Blood, -20pts
Necrotic Miasma, -20 pts
Hellish Grace, -25 pts
Banner of Transmutation, -10 pts
Banner of Temptation, -10 pts
Banner of Fury, -25 pts
Daemonic Idol, -30 pts
Daemon Prince, base price +60pts, Plate Armor mandatory
Sorcerer, base price -15pts, Daemonic Steed -15pts, Manticore -15 pts, Dragon -15 pts
Wrath Priest, base price -40pts, Crusher +20pts
Trolls, base price -15pts, -5ppm
Vortex Fiend, base price -40pts
Bloodbeast, base price -25pts
Chimera, base price -25pts, 0-2 per army
Elder Dragon Centaur, +20pts Halberd, +10pts Paired Weapons, 0-2 per army
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