2020 Generals Handbook Errata Discussion

Howdy Y’all The JTJ here and I have some thoughts on the GHB 2020 Errata.

I have patiently been waiting on the GHB for a few months. I was excited to get my copy and dive into all the changes and updates. In this article I will not be doing a deep dive into all the content in the GHB, I will just be focusing on the Errata changes and missions. On the topic of Errata. I will say I was very disappointed that the book did not contain updates for anything that was release in the last 7 months. I understand about lead time and how long the production cycle takes, and COVID, but I was just disappointed. To be honest the Pitched Battle Profiles booklet is a waist of paper. If they are going to continue to just update everything on the FAQ page then just do that. Also it would have been super awesome to release the Errata update the same day or next day as the GBH. Having to wait a week is just ridicules, getting everything out at one time really helps the community plan for the next event. “yes I know COVID has most of the events canceled, just saying that in a normal scenario it would have been nice to have book and errata on the same weekend.” However other than those issues the GHB was full of awesome changes that I think have evolve the game in a positive direction.

 

Errata and Points changes

I reached out to several people in the community to give me their thoughts on the 2020 GHB/Errata changes. I got some great feedback from those who are much more knowledgeable than me about the specific armies.

Before we get into any army specific changes, possibly the largest change in the game/meta is the removal of all the realm artifacts. Now the artifacts have been moved to one choice per realm. This will have huge effect on the game. Many competitive lists are built around 1 or 2 large monsters that used the realm artifacts to make them a solid choice in competitive play, ‘Vampire on Zombie Dragon, Mawcrusha, Stonehorns, Terrorgheist’. Items such as the Ethereal Amulet, Gryph Feather Charm, and Doppelganger Cloak were staples at tournaments for the last 2 year. I am not sure this was a needed change. I loved the diversity that they gave you in list building and Character load out. I do agree at times that some of the combinations got a little OP, but most of these models needed that boost to make them a competitive choice. Now I feel you are going to see way less large monster on the table.  On the flip side you will start seeing many more of the Battletome artifacts and that in the end could be a good thing.

 

Seraphon

I asked Andrew F. a long time Seraphon player what his thoughts were on the  changes, he said:  “So for my opinion on Seraphon changes, I think 30 points was a harsh increase on salamanders. I think 20 would’ve fine. The Skink chief going down 20 is cool. Old blood carno went down as well. It is funny that Kroak was untouched. I doubt he stays the same points the rest of the year.”

I was looking for a few more changes in the units. I would have liked to see Kroak go up 25-50 points, “Yes that much”. I thought that the Bastiladon should have had a small increase or its rules looked at, they are just so hard to wound. Slann Starmaster could have also used a small bump up.  I disagree with Andrew on the points increase on the Salamanders, they are a very good unit with very good rules. Andrew never spammed them that I saw. I think having them so cheap allowed people to spam them very easy and they can be devastating. For what they did they needed to be over 100 points. All the drops in points are justified because those larger models look great, but are not ran that much on the competitive scene. I really like Seraphon as an army concept and I am glad that they can be a competitive army now, there is nothing better than getting your army eaten by Dinosaur men riding Dinosaurs.

 

Disciples of Tzeentch

Some of you may know that I have been playing and painting Changehost for most of the year. You can see some of my thoughts here, LINK. I have been patiently waiting on the Nerf bat to hit my army hard. I was hoping to get at least 1 GT if not 2 with them this year before any major changes. Thanks to COVID that did not happen. I have a fully painted 2k points with another 500 in summoning, a display board painted and ready to go, only to just sit on my desk and collect dust.

Tzeentch saw several points increases and one rule change. It can be argued that they came out of the errata worse than any other faction. “I think OBR got the short end, but it is close”. I think a few changes were needed to the army. Because of the limited data we have had this year Tzeentch is still feeling the repercussions of dominating all the GTs in January. In my opinion the big issues was already addressed in the emergency errata that took away the ability to teleport 2 units and fixed Destiny Dice. However some points increases were justified for this army and they did not absolutely kill any units.

The first thing to touch on is the Gaunt Summoner change. Dropping the number of Horrors from 10 to 5 is a solid move. 5 Horrors are still 25 wounds, However they cannot cast now and killing off 5 Pinks to they cannot auto 1 and re-spawn is much easier than killing 10. This is one of the better changes that was made this iteration. However a counter point could be made that the Summoner is a bit over-costed at 240 now. I know this will really hurt a few peoples build, but the change is still a “free”, 110 points.

On a side note I was utterly convinced that GW was going to rewrite the rules for Horrors and make them unplayable. Thank goodness that the Pinks only got a point increase, because if they change the way they split they would make them meh. I know they have lots of shots, but they are paper thin and I have found they don’t really do all that much damage.

As for as the points changes 20 is the number. The Changeling, Flamers of Tzeentch and Pink Horrors all got a 20 point bump. The Pinks absolutely needed an increase and I think that 20 is probably the correct amount. 30 would have been a bit much. They needed a bit of adjustment and I think this may be where they stay for a while. I can see why they raised The Changelings points, he cast 2 spells and had a few other tricks. But honestly I don’t think he needed it. Never once have a thought, man this guy is sooo great I can believe he only cost 120 points. I 100% agree if you needed a second HQ he was the go-to choice, and probably still is, but I don’t think anyone was screaming that he was OP. The Flamers also got an expected increase. Their damage output was a little high for their points, so I have no real issue with the added points. However they like the rest of the book are very squishy and die easily. “I still have a dream of building an all flamers list and running it at a tournament, yes I would be that guy”. While no units are totally not payable now, when looking at the changes as a whole Tzeentch was defiantly on the naughty list and had to be taken down a peg.

So while the Errata did not by rules stop Changehost from being competitive, all the points increase have made list building a little harder. My GT list went up 140 points, so now I have to look hard at cutting units. I think you will still see Tzeentch on the competitive scene, but they are not the powerhouse there were at the first of the year.

Kharadron Overlords

I asked James W, to give me some thoughts about Kharadron Overlords. I knew he had been playing them for a while and would have to some good insight into the changes.

“Howdy! My name is James and I’ve been asked to talk about the changes in the General’s Handbook 2020 (GHB) and how they affect everyone’s favorite boat boys, the Kharadron Overlords (KO).

As a bit of background, I started KO early last year as a painting project but since they had their “challenges” I never did much with them and they went into the closet. That changed when the new book came out and I decided to spruce them up and try them out. I was pleasantly surprised with the changes that turned the fairly static army (barring the endrinriggers/skywardens) into an extremely mobile force that was next to impossible to pin down and took skill and proper positioning to maximize your firepower while still being about to hold objectives with your low model count. While the garrison rules are hit or miss, it was a major improvement in the aesthetic of the army and the skyvessels, the most iconic part of the army, got the upgrade they deserved to become rightfully feared. Being that I owned two Arkanaut Ironclads, the madman that I am, I was greatly pleased with these changes and the GHB changes only made them more attractive.

Most things in the KO line got points decreases or were left untouched. The most significant were the changes to the skyvessels. The Ironclad and Frigate both went down thirty points while the Gunhauler went down twenty points. While I question the decision on dropping the points on the Ironclad and the Gunhauler, I’m not complaining as both of these outperform in each of their roles. The Ironclad is a solid firebase and troop transport while the Gunhauler is great for zipping around the board and assassinating targets or harassing objectives while pulling around hitchers for extra punch.

The Frigate could use the change and going to 220pts is significant for the vessel. There’s plenty of builds, especially in Barak Ziflin, which could use multiple skyvessels to ferry around troops and Fly High to harass around the board. I don’t believe this will change much in a meta way- you either used Frigates or you didn’t- but it means the more skyvessels you used, the more you saved on other options, some of which also got discounted.

The other units which received changes were three heroes: The Arkanaut Admiral, Endrinmaster in Dirigible Suit, and Brokk Grungsson. The latter of the changes is underwhelming as Brokk is a melee powerhouse but does too little for his army. You’d almost be better off buying a Frigate or spending the points on the Endrinmaster in Dirigible suit. The points changes on the new Aether War character however are staggering- a thirty point reduction! I personally believe he needed it as he did too little in damage output and his wound characteristic didn’t justify his points. His main draw is making Skywardens and Endrinriggers into battleline, which means if you were already doing this, you can probably squeeze in something else with all the other changes. You might see more of him around now for that price!

As mentioned before, the Arkanaut Admiral also received a points decreased to 120 points. While twenty points doesn’t seem significant, it does make him a decent choice, even if he isn’t your general. If you’re using an Ironclad in your army, and you should, he’s worth using for the force multiplier he provides. Being a beatstick in melee with his rend -2, two damage attacks, he gets even better in combat against Heroes and Monsters since he re-roll’s 1’s to hit and wound against them. His command abilities are hit or miss but with the Proclamator Mask-Hailer you can use one for free each battle round. Who can say no to run and shoot Ironclad? Even better, +1 to hit for him, his ship, and everyone else inside of it on your combat phase. Yes, he made an Ironclad his mount and charging your opponents with your boat only to disengage or fly high out of combat next turn is both hilarious and effective. His 12” aura of no-battleshock is no slouch for your Arkanaut Company either!

The final change in the GHB are the battalions. The Kharadron battalions were very expensive beforehand and provided very little benefit. Let’s not kid ourselves, the Iron Sky Command was a bad battalion, however now at 100 points and some of the items inside it cheaper as well, it’s attractive for the extra artifact, much less drops, and importantly, the extra Great Endrinwork. Remember what I said about charging your Ironclad into combat with your Admiral leading the way? Now imagine you do mortal wounds like a Stonehorn using the Dealbreaker Ram followed immediately by your d3 mortal wounds for bombs. Hilarity ensues. The Grundstock Escort Wing has always been a favorite but with the decreased points on Frigates, don’t overlook the Iron Sky Attack Squadron, especially if you’re playing Barak Mhornar or Barak Zon.

Overall, the changes to the Kharadron Overlords are very welcome and allow you to consider using things you may have considered unreachable, such as the battalions, an Admiral, or perhaps just some more Endrinriggers. I suspect with skyvessels will become attractive again, especially the Ironclad as well as options for using massed Frigates. While I don’t consider myself as a KO savant and only a recent player with a questionable approach to the army, I do enjoy the changes and look forward to raiding the skies with more impunity!”

I personally thought they were in a good spot before the points changes, but now they are even better. I had not had a chance to play James and his KO this year, but as it is I think my Changehost may get shot off the table in short order. I think that over the next few months the KO players are going to have some good success at tournaments. After years at the bottom of the barrel it is time for them to fly high….”see what I did there”.

 

Ossiarch Bonereapers

The Ossiarch Bonereapers also known as OBR, took the biggest Nerf out of all the updates. I have been slowly buying boxes of models for OBR for the last few months. The plan was to build up a Nagash Petrifex Elite Cavalry list. I have played against them many times and understand their strengths and weaknesses. The Petrifex Elite had some of the best army wide rules in the game and it made choosing any of the other Legions difficult from a competitive standpoint. The army wide +1 armor save coupled with Command ability Bludgeion, “-1 rend” made it hard to pass on the Elite. the Command trait and Artifact of Power are both also very strong. There is no doubt that something had to be changed with this Legion. However the change that was made is in my mind lazy. Now the Elite have a universal “Re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks made with melee weapons that target Petrifex Elite Units.” So re-roll 1 for saves, this in itself if not that bad of a deal but it took away one of the biggest reasons to play use Nagash in this Legion. Also Mortek Guard already have the ability to re-roll all failed save with a CP, so this is almost just double dipping. GW seems to have a history of ‘fixing’ broken rules by giving out re-roll 1s. I think at this point Nagash is not worth taking with Petrifex, I would look to take Katakros to make enough Relentless Discipline points to keep spamming Bludgeon and Shieldwall. In the end this massive change to the an army wide mechanic was the most drastic of all the changes in update. I think you will still see people using Petrifex in tournaments, it is not a bad Legion, but it is not the uncrackable nut that it was for the first of the year.

It is not all bad news for the Bonereapers. I was expecting several of their units to go up in cost, Mortek guard and the Harvester seemed they may see an increase. However no unit in the book got a point increase. In fact 4 units dropped in cost. Immortis guard, Stalkers and both Marghast all dropped 20 points per min unit. These changes were needed because the Morghast were very over costed at 210 for 2. I think the Guard and Stalkers saw a drop because out of all the units in the book these see the tabletop the least. They are very cool looking models and both have interesting rules, just they were a bit over costed for what they did.

The Petifex Elite took a massive hit, but are still one of the better Legions to play. I think that GW made some good choices on the points changes. It could have been way worse for OBR and they made it out of this update relatively unscathed. I will look to build my Nagash Cavalry army around the Stalliarch Lords Legion, they have many benefits and his army wide re-roll 1s will not go to waist on the legion.

 

Ogor Mawtribes

I asked Tim F. to give me his thought son the Mawtribes changes and this is what he said:
“The Thundertusk units needed to come down in points to make them playable. I have fought against them per FAQ and they are actually really good if used correctly.  The problem was that the Stonehorns just outperformed them right off the bat.  Now with the points drop, I am sure we will see players take another look at them and find they are pretty good units.
I was disappointed that they did not adjust the foot hero’s any.  My opinion is that they all should have come down about 10 pts.  The battalions as well needed to come down about 10 points.
The biggest loser was the Maneaters not getting battleline or a points drop.  I absolutely love the conversion potential for these models but keeping them up at 180 pts and not battleline will keep them off most players list.  They need to be 160pts and battleline.”
Over the last few months I have played Mawtribes several times. They are a fun solid army to play against and bringing down the Thundertusk was a good move. Also with the removal of the realm Artifacts large monsters needed to come down a bit.

Orruk Warclans

Kyle V. who runs the Hammer Feast GT commented,”The Warclans Ethereal Mawcrusha is gone which now leaves a lot of freedom of items. Go defensive with the realm of metal or stick with book stuff. Changes to Ardboyz was expected. Changes to spell caster was not. All that does is make the Warchanter more appealing. Brutes going down to 130 is solid because now their damage per point rises above Ardboyz a lot rather than slightly. Definitely wouldn’t take more than 1, but it fills that gap in points where you can’t fit more pigs and need more damage than 5 ARDboyz.”

Kyle C. a regular at many of the Texas Masters events added, “Basically nothing but the Ardboys going up 10 and the brutes, savage big boss going down 10 make much sense at all. Like the 2 wizards that got a 10 and 20 point increase. The Ironjaws Weirdnob is the only caster they have, only has one cast per turn and no casting bonuses without artifacts and traits that are almost always better spent on a Megaboss. The 2 things that he really ever does are teleport, which is already an 7 to cast and can be done without a wizard and for free with one of the IJ clans, and damage your own units to get them moving with Mad as Hell or Zog Em, which already has an obvious drawback. Both are very nice to have but not necessary to either Ironjaws or Big Waaagh and really not worth the 50+ percent failure or the self damage for a 120 point model in an army that either needs the bodies or better buffs in IJ, or has better wizards that do more for less in Big Waaagh with BS. And the BS Maniak Weirdnob makes just as little sense going up a full 20 points. He already wasn’t usually taken in multiples or had quite the same uses as either the 2 base casts Wurgog or the spell and prayer Wardokks. His one or two main uses, at least that I ever used him for, is trying to “guarantee” a much needed spell or deny with his once per turn cast or unbind re-roll, and to try to get Arrowboys anywhere close to where they used to be with his innate exploding 6s to hit spell. But he always suffered the same downsides as all of the other BS heroes with a half dozen wounds and a 6 up save so keeping him alive, even when you throw an artifact and trait on him to try to make him just baseline Wurgog level is never easy given that he’s twice as tall and wide as all of the others. Now rather than being directly in between the price point of the Wardokk and Wurgog he’s only 20 behind the latter and coupled with 20 point Idol increase might see him dropped from a few lists. My own personal “Maniak Weirdnob lynchpin” list with a double kunnin rukk managed to squeak by on the 2 savage big bosses getting dropped 10 points to compensate but a lot of my other lists that don’t rely on the Maniak might have to drop him completely. And the other thing that baffles the mind for me personally is that GW elected to increase the price of the idol and Ardboys instead of the Warchanter. Ardboys being increased per 5, I can understand more as they’re already pretty good just by themselves but they got an indirect nerf in Big Waaagh with no stacking after saves, another with the Weirdnob points increase as he was a lot of the mobility options you could give them, and were really only over “broken” when given the free damage buff from a Warchanter. And it’s kind of the same for the idol. Baseline he really isn’t that great for his original price of 400 points, especially now that he also can’t stack after saves. His main and best advantage is having both IJ and BS keywords so that he could get every buff you wanted to throw on him from both sides. But those same buffs either require time and bodies to get from BW points, or cost very literal points in the form of buff heroes and leaves not a crazy amount of room already for bodies on the ground. And I would argue that one of if not the most impactful buffs that he could get were from a single Warchanter babysitting him. A single 110 point Warchanter could give him plus one damage on his 2 weapons for free, adding a potential 12 -2 damage at full health, and pick from a 4up d3 heal, plus one to hit, or 3d6 charge. And if he was in an IJ army, the Warchanter could also throw a mighty destroyers cp on him for good measure. No other buffs you could give him were free or undeniable like the chanters damage and his “prayers” were not only incredibly impactful for the idol, but didn’t cost anything like an artifact and go off on only a 1 higher than the Wardokk prayers. And all for 110 points. In my opinion that’s what made the idol and the Ardboys so good. Yes there were many other buffs that you could get for the idol in BS but they are all at least spells that can be denied, or prayers that can fail. And yes there are other buffs in big waaagh that help both units outperform other but in my opinion those just over magnify the absolute strength of the free Warchanter buff on the unit that gets it. It boggles the mind that GW thought that BS needed a nerf in points with the idol in their own army lists and that the idol needed the points change at all instead of the Warchanter.”

The Kyles makes some really great points. I can say that 2 of my losses at the Texas Masters this year came at the hands of Orruks. One was running a Ethereal Mawcrusha and the other list had 2 Idols. I dont think the changes are earth shattering, however as Kyle C said some lists may have to make adjustments.

Wrath of the Everchosen

Only change was ‘Summoned amount of Horrors from 10 to 5’. Basically the Guant Summonor change as dissuced in the Tzeentch section.

Slaves to Darkness

Bryan L, has been playing Khorne and STD for a few years and is a regular at the Masters Circuit here in Texas. This is what he had to say about the Slave Errata, “As far as rules changes/updates they didn’t get much. Just a few updates to the wording. Marauders did get their second points increase of the year. They started 2020 at 120 points and now they are 160. I understand the thought process behind increasing their points but it will really have little to no effect on Slaves to Darkness list building. Almost all of the core pieces around them got a drop in points rendering their increase moot. What I hear from non-chaos players is the overwhelming feeling of Chaos Marauders being too strong and that just isn’t the case for a stand alone 20 man unit. If there were some adjustments that might actually make a difference to Slaves to darkness players it starts with the Chaos warshrine and sorcerer lords. Those 2 units and the ability to plug and play them inside other Chaos books provides huge diversity to list building but also give the at a glance opinion of marauders being too strong. Another quick change of notice was Sayl being moved to the “legends” section of the book and following the earlier changes made in other GW gaming formats that removes him from matched play which really hurts diversity in list building. He was the only real option that some factions had for any movement/redeployment shenanigans. I think the ability to teleport is a must have in the current meta and that will have the largest impact on Chaos list building. The Sayl impact will far outweigh the marauder points change.Slaves to Darkness is still a strong faction with lots of list building options across all of the Chaos books.”

Marauders going up is good. They are just such a good choice. The Darkfire Daemonrift also went up. The Darkfire is a very overlooked endless spell. Slaves are in such a good place right now. The ability to add them into other Chaos armies or just play them as a stand alone. They have options for just about any playstyle.

Why is Archaon still 800 points. In my opinion he should at least be 850 or what about 880, you know the same cost as Nagash, the guy that he is better than. Thats right Archaon is better than Nagash and 80 points cheaper. You could have argued that Nagash in Petrefix was better, but now there is no argument that Archaon is better. I just Think the person with final say on all the rules changes over the last few years is  like, “did we make Nagash over costed enough? Y’es boss we did’, cool add 10 more points just to be sure!”,  all in a J. Jonah Jameson voice. Ok ok yes I know I am a Nagash fan boy.

 

Conclusion

Many changes for the better in this errata. I think some units were overlooked and there were a few missed opportunities to make the game a bit more balanced. So what do you think? Did GW get it right? What changes would you make?

I want to thank all the people in the community that spent the time to give me their input for this article, without them it would not have happened.

Y’all be good.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.