Matt S. brings us a guest editorial on Meeting Engagements in Age of Sigmar and how they play.
The Age of Sigmar General’s Handbook 2019 has been in the wild for a while now, and it brought with it many changes to the game. From updated point costs, to refreshed scenarios, to new allegiance abilities, the book has a bit of everything. One item that not many people are talking about, however, is the new way to play that Games Workshop introduced in the 2019 handbook, meeting engagements.
Meeting engagements are 1000 point, four battle round games, played on smaller battlefields (30-36” by 40-48”). Meeting engagements use matched play rules but include a few key twists that make it a much different gaming experience than standard matched play games.
For starters, each army is divided into three sections (known as the spearhead, the main body, and the rearguard). There are no point restrictions on any of the segments, but there are limitations on unit size and battlefield roles allowed (note that each contingent must contain at least one unit). Each warscroll may only be included a maximum of twice per army.
The spearhead, which starts on the table in most scenarios, can include 0-1 leader, 0-1 battleline, and 0-2 other units. It cannot include any behemoths or artillery, and no unit can be greater than minimum size.
The main body, which most often enters the board at the end of each players’ first turn, has restrictions of 1-2 leaders, 0-1 behemoths, and 1+ battleline. For this portion of the army, artillery and other units are not allowed and only battleline units may be double the minimum model count allowed per each warscroll (all other units must be minimum size).
The rearguard, which usually enters the table at the end of each player turn two, may contain 0-1 leader, 0-1 behemoth, 0-2 artillery, 0-2 battleline, 0-2 other units, and any unit may be double its minimum size.
These restrictions, coupled with the piecemeal fashion in which units enter the battle, can make for some interesting (and sometimes frustrating) army interactions.
The handbook also includes six battleplans created specifically for meeting engagements. Each scenario has both an objective component and a kill point component. The number of objectives varies from one to four, with some scenarios utilizing either the razing objective or shifting objective mechanics found in standard matched play scenarios. Each scenario also specifies the turn number and table location in which contingents enter the game. Deployment zones are 3” from the designated board edge (if a model or unit cannot fit within the 3” area, it must hang off the table edge).
The rules for meeting engagements also include a procedure for placing terrain. Each player is required to bring two pieces of terrain chosen from a table included within the ruleset. Before the battle begins players roll off and alternate placing the terrain (scenery rules are used). There are restrictions on terrain size and placement (be sure to consult the most recent FAQ for up to date placement rules).
Meeting Engagements are certainly not the most balanced way to play Age of Sigmar. The army construction rules and the system in which units enter the battlefield make games inherently swingy. What the format does do is force players to think quickly on their feet and make the most of what they have on the battlefield at any given time. These challenges make the meeting engagement format worth taking for a spin.
Check back soon for a report on a local meeting engagement tournament that I organized and participated in, including my list and strategy, as well as opponent list breakdowns and results!
Matt is a Midwest based gamer that dabbles in many systems (most often 40K, AoS, and Infinity). He enjoys attending and organizing events and attends as many tournaments as time allows.
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