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Open play is the default setting for games of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. It allows you to set up and play a game with the minimum amount of fuss and preparation, while still providing you with almost limitless options and flexibility.


The easiest way to play an open play game is to select a battleplan from a Warhammer Age of Sigmar publication and then play that battleplan using whatever Citadel Miniatures you have in your collection. All you need to discuss with your opponent beforehand is which battleplan you want to play. There are no restrictions on how many models you include in your army, on what allegiance your army has, or what kind of models your army is made up of. For example, you can field an army consisting entirely of MONSTERS, or one that contains only HEROES. If your collection comprises Stormcast Eternals and Ironjawz, you can field them all together. Your army can be as large or as small as you like, and take on any form you want – the main thing is to have fun!

While the essence of open play is as simple as that, there are things you can do to add an extra dimension to your games if you wish. Included in this section are tools you can use in your open play games, from the Open War battleplan generator that creates exciting games in an instant, to rules for multiplayer clashes in which teams of players go head-tohead for the glory of their coalition. You can organise a simple ladder campaign to determine who in your gaming group is the ultimate champion, or even devise your own rules and scenarios to play.

The contents of this section are just the beginning. The beauty of open play is that it’s a format limited only by your imagination. Using these tools as your inspiration, you can explore the near-infinite wonders of the Mortal Realms on the tabletop, and collect any of the amazing miniatures in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar range that you desire. Most importantly of all, you now have everything you need to start fighting battles right away.

 

Open Play Battleplans

One of the great advantages of open play is that you don’t have to follow any particular rules other than those laid out in the core rules. While it’s quick and easy to pick up a readymade battleplan, it’s great fun and highly rewarding to put together your own battleplans for your open play games. Here you will find some easy-to-follow instructions on how to do so.

Before you start writing your own battleplan, you will need to make sure your opponent is happy to play it. While many players are open to trying out homemade rules, it’s always a good idea to check that what you have in mind will suit everyone involved. Discuss the rules you aim to include in the battleplan to make sure it appeals to all. You can even write a battleplan collaboratively with your opponent, so that you both have input on the rules that are included. You’ll also need to ensure that your battleplan provides an equal opportunity for both sides to win, as fighting a losing battle is no fun at all!

We recommend that you take an existing battleplan, such as First Blood, and use it as a template. To start with, try making small changes and seeing how they work. As you become more experienced at adapting battleplans, you will be able to customise them more and more.

Each battleplan should answer the following questions:
  1. What, if any, restrictions are there on the models each player can include in their army?
  2. What is each player’s goal in the battle?
  3. What does the battlefield look like?
  4. What size and shape is each player’s territory?
  5. What, if any, special rules are in effect, and how do they work?
  6. How are the armies set up at the start of the game?
  7. Which player takes the first turn?
  8. How long does the game last?
  9. How is the winner decided?
Write down the answer to each of these questions and you will have a solid foundation for your battleplan.

Armies

In open play games, the default is that you can field any models you like. If a battleplan does not specify any restrictions on army composition, then simply follow the instructions in the core rules – essentially, your army can be made up of any units in your collection. However, for your own battleplan you might wish to impose certain limitations. You can tailor it to your and your opponent’s collections; for example, if you have an army of Stormcast Eternals and they have an army of Ironjawz, you can make the battleplan specifically for those units.

Alternatively, you can incorporate a narrative element that calls for the presence of certain models on the battlefield; maybe Alarielle is leading an army of Sylvaneth against the Glottkin during the War of Life. You can even incorporate some matched play mechanics to balance out the armies; perhaps each player can take five units with a combined Wounds characteristic of no more than 100, or you can use Pitched Battle profiles to set a points limit for each army. Remember that the more units you include in each army, the longer the game is likely to last.

Goals

The goals are what each side is trying to achieve in the battle. They help determine the tactics each player will use, and can also be used to help decide who wins (see Glorious Victory). The most common goal is simply to defeat the opposing army, but there are plenty of other options. For example, you might say the battle is being fought for control of an ancient monument, and whoever achieves this will be the winner. You can decide that achieving certain goals will award victory points, which is an easy way to keep track of how well each player is doing in a game. If you get stuck coming up with exciting goals, then the stories and scenarios we publish provide plenty of inspiration.

The Battlefield

You don’t need any terrain at all to play Warhammer Age of Sigmar, but every battlefield looks better if it includes at least some terrain features. The more time and effort you put into creating an attractive battlefield, the more interesting your battles will be.

Your battleplan can use the core rules for setting up terrain, or it can provide its own guidelines. A popular method is for one player to set up the terrain features and for the other to decide which side of the table they will claim as their territory (see Territories, next). This method ensures that the terrain is laid out in as even-handed a manner as possible, and it means that terrain can be set up in advance by the player hosting the game. An alternative is for players to collaborate on setting up the terrain features, and then roll off to see who will pick the territories.

A more competitive method of placing terrain features is for the players to first decide their territories, and then take it in turns to place terrain features upon the battlefield. The players keep on adding terrain features to the tabletop until a pre-determined total is reached – we’ve found that about six pieces is right for a 6' by 4' table. This method allows the players to create a battlefield where the terrain features help their own army or hinder their opponent’s.

If you wish, you can set up the terrain so that it represents the battlefield from a famous fight. The tales of the Mortal Realms are often replete with descriptions of the local landscape, and Realm of Battle rules are ideal for recreating the various regions of the Mortal Realms.

Territories

Once the battlefield has been created, each player’s territory must be established. For most games, we recommend you simply divide the table in half down its length, and set up the armies in the opposite halves of the table more than 12" from the dividing line. Alternatively, you can divide the table in half across its width, or diagonally, or by any other method you prefer.

Sometimes, however, the goals you have chosen will require a different or more elaborate deployment for the armies. For example, the goal might be for one side to ambush the other as it marches along a road, in which case one army will need to deploy along the road, and the other in hidden ambush positions. Once again, the background and scenarios published for Warhammer Age of Sigmar provide excellent examples of the different ways that armies can deploy.

Special Rules

Many battleplans don’t have any special rules, allowing you to proceed with battle forthwith! At other times one or two special rules can do a lot to make a game unique and interesting.

Special rules cover certain situations, tactics or abilities that you feel need to be represented in your battle. For example, if you are fighting a battle set in frozen wastelands, you might want to include special rules for things like snowdrifts, blizzards and hazardous footing.

Sometimes the scenario might require that certain special rules are used; in the ambush game mentioned above, you could add a rule that allows the ambushing unit to remain hidden from the enemy until they start attacking, or until a specific battle round is reached. This helps to make the situation feel more realistic as you play.

Setting Up Armies

The method players must use to set up their armies may well be dictated by the goals and territories decided upon earlier. Most commonly, one player will set up their entire army and then their opponent will set up theirs, or the players will alternate setting up units, one at a time. Some players like to place a screen across the centre of the table so that the two armies can deploy in secret, or have the side that will set up second draw a map showing where they plan to deploy their units, and so on. Sometimes you might want to make it so that several units are set up in reserve, arriving at a certain point during the battle to reinforce their allies or achieve a certain goal.

First Turn

You can determine who takes the first turn in the first battle round based on whoever finishes setting up first, or the players can roll off. Maybe the scenario will require one player to take the first turn – for example, if one army is on the offensive.

Game Duration

There are a number of ways to determine when a battle will end. You can play until the main goal is achieved, when the battle ends immediately and the successful player is crowned the winner, or you can set an upper limit on the number of battle rounds you will play, at which point the player that has best achieved the goal of the battle is named the winner. Remember when setting a time limit that the larger the game the more time you will need to reach a satisfying conclusion.

Glorious Victory

The player that has best achieved the goals of the battle is the winner. More often than not the winner will be obvious. Sometimes the game will be a draw, such as if both sides have accrued the same number of victory points. If you must finish a game before a natural conclusion is reached, then decide between you who has done the most to achieve the goals – that player is the winner.

 

Example of an Open Play Battleplan

Robin and Stu are arranging to play their regular game of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. A couple of days beforehand, they meet up to discuss the format of the game, and agree to fight an open play battle using the following rules.

The Armies

Stu will use all of the painted models he has ready for his Khorne Bloodbound army. Robin will use his Stormcast Eternals army – including the Celestant-Prime, which he’s been working on for weeks. They know that their armies are reasonably well balanced against each other, though the Celestant-Prime may give Robin a slight edge.

The Goal

Robin and Stu decide that the goal for their game will be to capture the terrain feature closest to the centre of the table by controlling it for an entire battle round. The player with the most models on or touching the terrain feature at the end of each turn controls it – if a player controls it at the end of one battle round, and continues to control it until the end of the next round, then they capture it and win the battle.

The Battlefield

Stu is hosting the game, so he will set up the terrain and Robin will choose which half of the table he wants to set up his army in. Stu will make sure that a suitably impressive terrain feature is set up at the centre of the battlefield for the two sides to fight over.

Set-up & First Turn

Armies will be set up in opposite halves of the table, more than 12" from the centre line.

Stu will set up first and take the first turn in the first battle round, which will allow him to have his army set up and everything ready by the time Robin arrives for the game. Robin will set up second and take the second turn in the first battle round.

Special Rules

A ‘Reserves’ special rule will be used. During set-up, each player will be allowed to keep up to D3 units in reserve (each player rolls their D3 separately). Reserve units enter play in their movement phase, measuring their first move from the battlefield edge. The unit may enter play from the long table edge of the player’s territory starting from the second battle round, or from either of the short table edges in their territory starting from the third battle round.

Game Duration

Robin and Stu decide that battle will start at 7.30 pm, and last for two and a half hours, or until the goal is achieved. This will allow them to pack everything away after the game and discuss the outcome.

Glorious Victory

The winner will be the player that captures the terrain feature. If neither player wins outright by capturing the terrain feature, each player adds up the Wounds characteristic of any enemy units that have been destroyed during the battle (excluding any new units that were added to the armies after the battle started). If one player has a higher total, they are the winner.

 

Open War Battleplan Generator

The Open War battleplan generator tables are designed for players that like the ease and simplicity of open play games, and are looking for as much variety as possible. If you use them, no two games will ever be exactly the same.

Instead of picking a battleplan from a Warhammer Age of Sigmar publication, you can generate your own. This battleplan generator is made up of five tables, which are used to determine how the armies are set up (the Map table), what the players must do in order to win the battle (the Objective and Sudden Death tables), and if any special rules apply to the battle (the Ruse and Twist tables).

The Generator Tables

Pick armies and set up terrain as described in the core rules. Then roll on the Map, Objective, Twist, Ruse and Sudden Death generator tables as described below.

Map

One player rolls a dice and looks up the result on the Map table. This is the map for this battle.

Objectives

One player rolls a dice and looks up the result on the Objective table. This is the objective for this battle. Sometimes the Objective table will require the player to set up one or more objectives on the battlefield. If both players are required to set up objectives, roll off, and then alternate setting the objectives up starting with the player that won the roll-off.

Twist

One player rolls a dice and looks up the result on the Twist table. The resulting special rule applies for the duration of the battle.

Ruses & Sudden Death Victory Conditions

Each player must add up the Wounds characteristics of all of the models in their army. If one army has a total that is greater than the other, then the player with the lower total is allowed to roll on the Ruse table. That ruse can only be used by the player that rolled it. If one army has a total that is at least double the other, then the player with the lower total is allowed to roll on the Sudden Death table as well. That victory condition applies only to the player that rolled it.

Set-up

The players roll off and the winner decides which territory each side will use. After doing so, the players alternate setting up units wholly within their own territory, one at a time, starting with the player that won the roll-off to pick territories.

Glorious Victory

In order to win a major victory a player must either achieve the victory conditions rolled on the Objective table, or the one they rolled on the Sudden Death table. Any other result is a draw.

Map Table

D6Map
1-2
3-4
5-6


Objective Table

D6Objective
1-2Field of Glory: Place one objective in the centre of the battlefield, then the players roll off. Starting with the winner, each player sets up one objective in their territory, more than 6" from any battlefield edge. At the end of the fifth battle round, the player that controls the most objectives wins a major victory. You win a major victory immediately if you control all three objectives at the end of your turn. 
3-4War of Attrition: Add up the Wounds characteristics of all enemy models that your army slays. At the end of the fifth battle round the player with the highest total wins a major victory (even if their own army has been wiped out!). 
5-6Drawn & Quartered: The players roll off. Starting with the winner, take it in turns to set up two objectives each, more than 12" from the centre of the battlefield, more than 6" from any battlefield edge, and more than 18" from any other objectives. At the end of each of your turns, score 1 victory point for each objective you control. The player with the most victory points at the end of the fifth battle round wins a major victory

Twist Table

D6Twist
1No Twist: No special rules apply in the battle. 
2Dead of Night: The maximum range of any attack or spell is 12". Roll a dice at the start of each battle round after the first. Each time you roll a 4+, add 6" to the maximum range allowed for attacks and spells. 
3Lighting Strikes: Each player must roll 3 dice at the start of each of their hero phases. For each 6, they can pick a different enemy unit and inflict D3 mortal wounds upon it. 
4Eager for Battle: Add 2" to the Move characteristic of all models, and add 1 to all run and charge rolls. 
5Healing Winds: Each player can pick a friendly model at the start of each of their hero phases. Heal D3 wounds that have been allocated to that model. 
6Grudge Match: Players do not have to take battleshock tests in this battle. 

Ruse Table

D6Ruse
1-2Ambush: During set-up, up to three of your units can be set up anywhere that is not in the enemy’s territory and that is more than 9" from any enemy models. 
3-4Reinforcements: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, pick a friendly unit from which all of the models have been slain. You can set up the unit again, wholly within 9" of the edge of the battlefield and more than 9" from any enemy models. This counts as the unit’s move for that movement phase. 
5-6Outflank: Pick a friendly unit. Instead of setting this unit up on the battlefield, you can place it to one side and say that it is outflanking. You must set it up at the end of either your first or second movement phase, wholly within 9" of the edge of the battlefield and more than 9" from any enemy models. This counts as the unit’s move for that movement phase. 

Sudden Death Table

D6Sudden Death Victory Condition
1-2Assassinate: You immediately win a major victory if you slay an enemy HERO or MONSTER that has a higher Wounds characteristic than any other enemy model that is currently on the battlefield. 
3-4Blunt: You immediately win a major victory if you have slain at least half of the models that your opponent had in their army at the start of the battle. 
5-6Endure: You immediately win a major victory if you have at least one model still on the battlefield at the end of the fifth battle round

 

Coalition of Death

The Mortal Realms are inhabited by myriad diverse races and factions, each with their own agendas, alliances and enmities. Multiplayer games help tap into this incredible variety and invite exciting, radically different styles of battle to boot.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar games are conventionally played between two people, but battling it out with several players lends the game a somewhat different dynamic, and requires only a few easy modifications to the core rules. Gathering around a tabletop in the thick of the action makes for a great shared experience, and including more players offers a host of practical benefits.

One of the quickest ways to arrange a multiplayer game is for two or more players to join up and fight as a team. The Age of Sigmar is, after all, an age of grand alliances, and the Coalition of Death rules in this section are a great representation of this. Every new alliance brings with it a host of fresh challenges, from making the most of army composition by selecting complementary forces, to seeing that the armies fight in a mutually supportive manner.

Coalition games can also be a boon for new players or those thinking about collecting a new army. Teaming up with a skilled veteran is a great way to learn the nuances of tabletop wargaming, while those dabbling with a new force can see how it might fare in a larger game.

Coalition of Death Rules

A Coalition of Death battle is fought between two sides, each consisting of a team of players. All of the players in the same team combine their models and units into a single force, and must try to defeat the opposing team’s combined army.

To play a Coalition of Death game, you must have three or more players. The battle can be fought using any of the battleplans for Warhammer Age of Sigmar – all you need to do is split the players into teams, with each team taking one side in the forthcoming battle. We have also included three battleplans on the following pages that are designed for use with these Coalition of Death rules.

The Armies

Split the players into two teams, using any method you prefer. The two teams can be made up of different numbers of players. Each of the players then chooses an army as described in the core rules.

Each player commands the models they have provided to the coalition, and is allowed to decide what they do, how they move and so on, and they make all of the dice rolls for their own units. Any command abilities a player uses will only affect the units in their own army, not the rest of the coalition. Despite this, the armies belonging to the players on the same team are treated as a combined force during set-up and during the battle.

Generals and Warlords

Each player picks a general for their army as normal. You must also pick one player from each coalition to be the warlord. This is often the player fielding the largest force. If, at any time during the game, the coalition cannot decide in what order to carry out actions, then the warlord has final say on the order of events.

In addition, if a dice needs to be rolled for the whole team, the warlord makes that dice roll. Finally, any victory conditions from a battleplan that apply to an army general only apply to the warlord’s general unless specifically noted otherwise.

Fighting the Battle

Instead of each player taking a turn during a Coalition of Death game, each team takes a turn. The teams’ warlords roll off against each other to see which team has the first turn each round.

Where individual players would normally alternate taking actions, the teams alternate taking actions, with each player in the team being allowed to carry out their actions. For example, in the combat phase, each player on one team can attack with one of their units, then each player on the other team, and so on.

The same principle applies during set-up. For example, if you are fighting a battle where the players take it in turns to set up units, then in a Coalition of Death battle, the teams would take turns to set up, with each player in a coalition setting up a unit when it is their side’s turn to do so.

Finally, it is worth noting that attempts to unbind a spell are limited to one attempt per team, rather than one attempt for each player on the team. There is only ever one chance to unbind a successfully cast spell!

 

Battleplan

Race to Destruction

Two armies stumble across each other. The side able to organise an attack the fastest will be able to strike before their opponents are fully prepared.

COALITION OF DEATH
This is a battle for three or more players. Use the Coalition of Death rules.

SET-UP
Both warlords secretly bid (and write down) the amount of time they want to take setting up. Bids must be in whole minutes. The bids are then revealed, and the amount bid is the time that coalition will have to set up their armies. The side that bids lowest picks a territory and sets up first, within the time period they bid. Their warlord decides who has the first turn in the first battle round. Once the first coalition has been set up, the opposing side does likewise, within the time period they bid. In the case of a tied bid, the bids must be made again.

Units must be set up wholly within their territory more than 9" from enemy territory. Any units that are not set up within the time limit are placed in reserve instead of being set up on the battlefield. If a coalition’s bid was twice as much or more than their opponent’s bid, then the players from that coalition must roll a dice before they set up a unit on the battlefield; on a roll of 1 or 2 that unit must start in reserve (HEROES only have to be placed in reserve on a roll of 1).

Reserve units can enter play in any of their team’s movement phases starting from the second battle round. All of the models in the unit must be set up in their coalition’s starting territory, within 3" of the table edge, and more than 9" from any enemy units. This counts as their move for that movement phase.

Objectives
This battle is fought to control four objectives. The objectives are located at the centre of each quarter of the battlefield, as shown on the map.

GLORIOUS VICTORY
The coalition that has scored the most victory points (see below) at the end of the fifth battle round wins a major victory. In the case of a tie, both coalitions win a minor victory.

Victory Points
Victory points are scored as follows: 1 victory point is scored each time a coalition slays an enemy model that has a Wounds characteristic of 10 or more.

1 victory point is scored if a coalition slays an enemy general. 1 additional victory point is scored if the general was the enemy warlord’s general.

Each objective is worth 1 victory point to the coalition that controls it at end of battle rounds one or two, 2 victory points to the coalition that controls it at the end of battle rounds three or four, and 3 victory points to the coalition that controls it at the end of battle round five.


Battleplan

Night March

A battlefield is a confusing place at night, when it is not uncommon to be unsure of where other friendly forces are located, let alone the enemy.

COALITION OF DEATH
This is a battle for three or more players. Use the Coalition of Death rules.

SET-UP
Each coalition must be split into three contingents, each with roughly one-third of the units from the coalition. Contingents from the same side do not need to be exactly the same size, as long as none contains more than twice as many units as any other.

Both warlords roll off. The winning team sets up one contingent. All units from that contingent must be set up wholly within one of the six territories shown on the map below. The opposing team sets up one of their contingents in the same manner, and then the first team sets up a second contingent, and so on until all contingents have been set up.

Units must be set up more than 9" from any enemy units. Each contingent must be set up wholly within a different territory, which then counts as their coalition’s territory for the rest of the battle.

If a player desires, they may place any of their units in reserve instead of setting them up on the battlefield. Reserve units can enter play in any of their team’s movement phases starting from the second battle round. All of the models in the unit must be set up in the same territory as the rest of their contingent, within 3" of the table edge, and more than 9" from any enemy units. This counts as their move for that movement phase.

Objectives
This battle is fought to control six objectives. One objective is located at the centre of each territory (see map).

Ill Met by Moonlight
In the first battle round, the range of any missile weapons or spells is limited to 12". Roll a dice at the start of the second battle round. On a roll of 1-3 this rule ends immediately, and on a roll of 4 or more it continues until the end of the second battle round, and then ends.

GLORIOUS VICTORY
The coalition that has scored the most victory points (see below) at the end of the fifth battle round wins a major victory. In the case of a tie, both coalitions win a minor victory.

Victory Points
Victory points are scored as follows:

1 victory point is scored each time a coalition slays an enemy model that has a Wounds characteristic of 10 or more.

1 victory point is scored if a coalition slays an enemy general. 1 additional victory point is scored if the general was the enemy warlord’s general.

Each objective is worth 1 victory point to the coalition that controls it at the end of their turn if it is located in their own territory, and D3 victory points if it is located in enemy territory.


Battleplan

Changing Priorities

Often the goals for a battle will shift and change, forcing an army to first attack in one direction and then another, or to stubbornly defend an objective at one moment and launch an all-out assault the next.

COALITION OF DEATH
This is a battle for three or more players. Use the Coalition of Death rules.

SET-UP
Both warlords roll off, and the winning team must pick a territory and set up first. The opposing team then sets up their army in the remaining territory. Units must be set up wholly within their own territory more than 9" from enemy territory.

If a player desires, they may place any of their units in reserve instead of setting them up on the battlefield. Reserve units can enter play in any of their team’s movement phases starting from the second battle round. All of the models in the unit must be set up in their coalition’s starting territory, within 3" of the table edge, and more than 9" from any enemy units. This counts as their move for that movement phase.

Objectives
This battle is fought to control two objectives, one in each side’s territory. However, the locations of the two objectives may change each battle round.

At the start of each battle round, each warlord rolls a dice. The objectives are located in each warlord’s territory at the centre of the area shown on the map that corresponds to their dice roll.

GLORIOUS VICTORY
The coalition that has scored the most victory points (see below) at the end of the fifth battle round wins a major victory. In the case of a tie, both coalitions win a minor victory.

Victory Points
Victory points are scored as follows:

1 victory point is scored each time a coalition slays an enemy model that has a Wounds characteristic of 10 or more.

1 victory point is scored if a coalition slays an enemy general. 1 additional victory point is scored if the general was the enemy warlord’s general.

Each objective is worth D3 victory points to the coalition that controls it at end of their turn if it is located in their own territory, and D6 victory points if it is located in enemy territory.


Ladder Campaign

Taking you beyond basic one-off battles, campaigns add a new dimension to your gaming. Essentially, they link the battles you fight together, so that the result of each battle will be affected by the one that went before and influence the one that comes after.

This is the ladder from our own Warhammer Age of Sigmar ladder campaign. Numerous battles have been fought as part of this campaign. At the time this picture was taken, Ben Johnson’s Stormcast Eternals were in the top spot, Pete Foley’s Disciples of Tzeentch were in second place, and Robin Cruddace’s Stormcast Eternals were in third place but coming on strong. Some players have fought games almost every day, while others have only played now and then, but great fun is being had by all however frequently they take part in the campaign. This ability to dip in and out of a ladder campaign is one of its great strengths, and can give it incredible longevity – the campaign shown above has already been going on for several months, and continues to this day!
If battles are exciting short stories, then campaigns are epic novels, packed with plot twists and cliffhangers. In essence, a campaign is simply a series of battles that are linked together in some way. Ladder campaigns offer a simple, straightforward and highly enjoyable campaign structure, that will let you settle old rivalries and make brand new ones – all in the name of friendly competition, of course! Here you’ll learn how to fight your way to the top, one rung at a time.

In its simplest form, a ladder campaign involves participants attempting to battle their way to the top of the ‘ladder’ by defeating their fellows. The more battles you win, the higher up the ladder you will climb.

The concept sounds simple, but there can be a great deal of strategy involved. Pick your opponents wisely, as your next battle might propel you into top position – or send you right to the bottom! The trickiest part about scaling the ladder’s giddy heights is staying at the top. The champion’s position is the most precarious, as every other player will be vying to depose them.

You can use any of the rules presented in this and other Warhammer Age of Sigmar publications when fighting your battles, but ladder campaigns are particularly well-suited to open play gaming. On the following page you will find an example ladder campaign that you can play – or use as inspiration for creating your own – as well as some hints and tips for making your campaigns even more exciting.

Ladder of Command

A Warhammer Age of Sigmar ladder campaign is a great way to organise a series of open play games. Players challenge each other in battle with the view of climbing the ladder, and whoever is at the top is considered the current reigning champion.

The concept of a ladder campaign is really very simple. A list of all of the players taking part is made, with the first player to join being number one, the second player to join number two and so on. As new players join the ladder, they add their name to the end of the list and take the next number.

So a ladder with six players would have a list of six names numbered from one to six. If two players later joined the ladder, they would be given positions seven and eight, and so on.

When players on the ladder fight a battle, the result will affect their position on the ladder as described in the rules that follow. To play a ladder game, all you need to do is choose a willing opponent from the ladder and arrange to fight a battle!

Climbing the Ladder
If the winner of a battle is the lower of the two players on the ladder, they swap places with their opponent. If the winner is higher up the ladder, they swap places with the player that is directly above them, unless they are at the very top, in which case the loser drops a rung on the ladder. In the case of a tie, the players remain in their current positions.

For example, if player five defeats player three in battle, they swap places. But if player three is victorious over player five, player three swaps places with player two.

In addition to the above, anyone who doesn’t play a game for a month drops to the bottom of the ladder, falling below any players who have played games in the last month.

The player at the top of the ladder is the current reigning champion!

Hints & Tips
Ladders are a great way to run a simple league, and are very easy to modify if you want to add more detail or complexity.

For example, you can stipulate that players use certain Realm of Battle rules in their games. Alternatively, you could say that they must use the Open War battleplan generator tables for the games they play.

Although ladder campaigns work really well with open play games, you can use them for any other format too. For example, you can get players to pick their armies using the Pitched Battle rules.

Last, but far from least, you can tie in special games and events that take place at your club or gaming group to the ladder. Perhaps at the end of each month there is a special multiplayer battle fought between the top players (see Triumph & Treachery! rules). Or, at the end of the year, you could hand out trophies and certificates to players for their achievements, such as holding the top place for the longest period of time, fighting the most battles, advancing the most rungs in a single month, and so on.
Roll-offs
Sometimes a rule may require the players to make a roll-off. When this is the case, each of the players rolls a dice, and whoever rolls highest wins the roll-off. If there is a tie for the highest roll, make the roll-off again. Neither player is allowed to re-roll or modify any of the dice when making a roll-off.
Mortal Wounds
Some attacks, spells and abilities inflict mortal wounds. Do not make hit, wound or save rolls for mortal wounds. Instead, the damage inflicted on the target is equal to the number of mortal wounds that were suffered. Allocate any mortal wounds that are caused while a unit is attacking at the same time as any other wounds caused by the unit’s attacks, after all of the unit’s attacks have been completed. Mortal wounds caused at other times are allocated to models in the target unit as soon as they occur, in the same manner as wounds caused by damage from an attack.

After they have been allocated, a mortal wound is treated in the same manner as any other wound for all rules purposes.
Running
When you pick a unit to make a normal move, you can declare that it will run. Make a run roll for the unit by rolling a dice. Add the result of the run roll to the Move characteristic of all models in the unit for that movement phase. The unit can then move up to that distance in inches. Models in a unit that runs can’t shoot or charge later in the same turn.
Healing Wounds
Some abilities allow wounds that have been allocated to a model to be healed. For each wound that is healed, remove one of the wounds that have been allocated to the model. You can’t heal wounds on a model that has been slain.
Command Abilities
If you have any HEROES in your army, you can use command abilities. Some command abilities are available to all armies, like the three on the right, while others are specific to certain models and appear on their warscroll. Some of these command abilities can only be used if that model is your general; when this is the case, it will be noted in the rules for the command ability.

In order to use any command ability you must spend 1 command point. You start the battle with 1 command point for each warscroll battalion you have in your army. In addition, you receive 1 command point at the start of each of your hero phases. You can use the same command ability several times in the same phase as long as you have enough command points to do so. Any command points you do not use can be used in a future turn. A command ability will usually specify when it is used; if it does not, it is used in your hero phase.
Casting and Unbinding Spells
A WIZARD can attempt to cast spells in its own hero phase. You cannot attempt to cast the same spell more than once in the same turn (even with a different wizard).

In order to cast a spell, first say which spell the wizard is going to attempt to use (it must be one they know). To cast the spell, roll 2D6. If the total is equal to or greater than the casting value of the spell, the spell is successfully cast.

If a spell is cast, the opposing player can choose one of their WIZARDS that is within 30" of the caster to attempt to unbind the spell before its effects are applied. To unbind a spell, roll 2D6. If the roll beats the roll used to cast the spell, then the spell is not successfully cast. Only one attempt can be made to unbind a spell.
Reserves
Reserves are units that are part of your army, but which have an ability that allows you to set them up in a location other than on the battlefield and deploy them later once the battle has begun. Setting up a reserve unit is not considered a move for the unit, but it may restrict a unit’s ability to move in the same turn. Any reserves that have not been set up when the battle ends are treated as if they had been slain when you are working out which side won the battle.
© Vyacheslav Maltsev 2013-2019