The main aspect that separates matched play from open play
and narrative play
is the focus on balanced army composition and identical victory conditions for both players. Matched play games allow players to pick armies of equal power and face each other in battleplans
designed to encourage tactical mastery and a good knowledge of the rules.
The emphasis of matched play is on planning, so it is the perfect format for those who consider themselves accomplished strategists and savvy commanders. While narrative and open play games can vary greatly in scope and content, presenting you with all manner of scenarios to battle through, matched play games are all about you and your army, the models you select and the tactics you use. They are driven by every player’s desire for a satisfying and well-earned victory.
Matched Play Armies
As you will see, there are a number of ways to choose an army for a matched play game. On this page you will find the Contest of Generals battlepack
, which can be used to pit your matched play army against those of fellow players. This battlepack introduces restrictions on the type of units you can include in your army, as well as intriguing ‘battle tactics
’ for your army to accomplish throughout the game and ‘grand strategies
’ that will define how your army approaches each battle.
By using these rules, you and your opponent can assemble your armies based on a prearranged points total to ensure that your forces are as equally matched as possible. Also included in this section are three battleplans
for use with the Contest of Generals battlepack, and which have been designed to provide players with different sets of tactical challenges to overcome.
One of the most interesting challenges of matched play is how to select the units in your army. Do you spend a lot of points on one high-powered model and risk being overrun by a larger force? Or do you allocate your points evenly on a versatile fighting force? Your knowledge of the units available to you will be pivotal in this selection process, and knowledge of your opponent’s force is just as vital. These choices may be hard to make at first, but once you’ve found the perfect balance, you’ll be able to use the same formula again and again to great effect, and this in turn can guide you when it comes to expanding your collection.
Matched Play Battleplans
In order to create a fair and balanced battle, matched play games have a fixed method of setting up terrain, deploying armies and determining the winner that is as even as possible for both sides. Because of this desire to establish an even contest, matched play battleplans tend tobe quick to pick up but difficult to master, and each army will usually be set up in a territory near one battlefield edge.
Victory conditions in a matched play battleplan are almost always the same for both sides. Two common victory conditions include determining which side has slain the most enemy units after a certain number of battle rounds, and awarding victory points to players who take control of objectives
that were set up before the battle began. The Contest of Generals battleplans
you’ll find later in this section use a combination of these two methods. However the winner of the battleplan is determined, the aim is always to create as even a match as possible between the two armies.
Gaming Clubs and Events
The Contest of Generals battlepack
on this page is great for gaming clubs and events. It is the ideal battlepack for ‘pick-up’ games between players who might not have met or played each other before. You can just select an army in advance according to the rules in the battlepack, turn up at the club or event, find an opponent who has done the same and then play, knowing that the game will be as fair as possible.
Pitched Battle Tournaments
Throughout the wargaming world, matched play tournaments using the Pitched Battles battlepack take place virtually every weekend. Wherever you live, you’re likely to find a Pitched Battle tournament you can reach, and they’re well worth attending. Not only will you get to meet up with a warm and welcoming community of fellow hobbyists, but you’ll get to play some great games and see some truly amazing armies. And, of course, there are usually prizes on offer in the form of certificates, trophies and, sometimes, exclusive gaming aids! In Pitched Battle tournaments, special ‘house rules’ will often have been created for the event, which means no two tournaments are likely to be the same.
The players must first agree on a points limit for the battle. The points limit can be any number up to 3000 and determines the number of points you have available to spend on your army. No more than half of your points can be spent on a single unit. The points limit also determines other restrictions that apply to the players’ armies, as well as the recommended minimum battlefield size and recommended minimum number of terrain features
for the battle, as shown in the table below.
|CONTEST OF GENERALS|
|Endless Spells and Invocations||0-1||0-2||0-2||0-3||0-4|
|Understrength Units||0-1 of each type of unit|
|Recommended Minimum Battlefield Size||30" x 44"||44" x 60"||44” x 90"|
|Recommended Minimum Number of Terrain Features||4||8||12|
|A unit that has both the Leader and Behemoth battlefield roles counts as 1 Leader and 1 Behemoth if you include it in your army.|
All of the units in your army must be from a single faction
The Contest of Generals table lists the minimum number of Leader and Battleline units you must include in your starting army, and the maximum number of Leader, Behemoth and Artillery units you can include in your starting army.
|A player’s starting army is made up of the units from the army that were set up before the first battle round, including any reserve units. Units that are added to a player’s army after the battle has begun are not included, and neither are units that have been destroyed and subsequently returned to play.|
Endless Spells and Invocations
The Contest of Generals table lists the maximum number of endless spells
you can include in your army. You cannot include the same endless spell or invocation more than once in your army.
Understrength and Reinforced Units
The Contest of Generals table lists how many understrength units
and reinforced units
you can include in your army. Only Battleline units can be reinforced twice.
The maximum number of points that you can spend on allies
from your points allowance is shown on the Contest of Generals table. Allied units do not count towards the number of Battleline units in your army. However, they do count towards the maximum number of Leader, Behemoth and Artillery units in your army.
Faction TerrainFaction terrain features
must be set up more than 3" from all other terrain features and more than 3" from all objectives
. These restrictions are in addition to the set-up rules in the battletome in which they appear. If it is impossible for a faction terrain feature to be set up, then it is not used.
|Faction terrain features are in addition to the recommended number of terrain features for the battle.|
You can include core battalions
in your army but you cannot include warscroll battalions
The following special rules apply to the battle:
Stealing the Initiative
Do not roll off
to determine who has priority
in the first battle round. Instead, the player who finished deploying their army first has priority in the first battle round.
After you have picked your army, you must pick 1 grand strategy
from the list below and record it on your army roster.
|Sever the Head: When the battle ends, you complete this grand strategy if there are no HEROES from your opponent’s starting army on the battlefield.|
Vendetta: When the battle ends, you complete this grand strategy if the model chosen to be your opponent’s general has been slain and the model chosen to be your general has not been slain.
Hold the Line: When the battle ends, you complete this grand strategy if there are any Battleline units from your starting army on the battlefield.
|At the end of the battle, if you completed your grand strategy, you score 3 additional victory points.|
At the start of your hero phase
, you must pick 1 battle tactic
from the list below. You must reveal your choice to your opponent, and if your battle tactic instructs you to pick something, you must tell your opponent what you pick. You have until the end of that turn to complete the battle tactic. You cannot pick the same battle tactic more than once per battle.
|Break their Spirit: Pick 1 enemy unit wholly within your opponent’s territory. You complete this tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn.|
Broken Ranks: Pick 1 unit from your opponent’s starting army that is on the battlefield. You complete this tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn.
Conquer: Pick 1 objective marker on the battlefield that your opponent controls. You complete this tactic if you control that objective marker at the end of this turn.
Repel: Pick 1 enemy unit wholly or partially within your territory. You complete this tactic if that unit is destroyed during this turn.
Seize the Centre: You complete this tactic if there are more friendly than enemy models within 6" of the centre of the battlefield at the end of this turn.
Slay the Warlord: You complete this tactic if the model chosen to be your opponent’s general is slain during this turn.
|At the end of your turn, after determining control of objectives, you score 2 victory points if you completed your battle tactic.|
Contest of Generals Battleplans
One player rolls on the following table to determine which battleplan
is used for the game.