This week I take a look at summoning and the potentials of it in Age of Sigmar 2! Firstly, the idea of summoning is cool, being able to bring additional units and models onto the board by means of magic and arcane ways is so thematic to Warhammer now. In most of the stories and lore it details very frequently armies raising from the grave or teleporting down to the Realms, or beasts being summoned from the surrounding areas to aid (or not aid) factions and alliances. If Games Workshop get this right, it will be a massive plus for the game, if they get it wrong, well..
Now which armies can summon?
So far we have had some Faction Focus articles and Facebook posts showing what armies will have this ability...
If this is all, then I believe the game will go out of balance as some armies will be at a disadvantage. However, I don't think this is all we will see, think about all them warscrolls that have abilities of summoning or appearing again. I am, from a personal point of view thinking about the Great Bray Shaman who can summon Mosters or the Flame Phoenix who can resurrect from the ashes, if these remain unchanged they could be powerful, but i am sure GW have thought of all these too. I really don't think they would make this much of a drastic change without really thinking of the consequences.
Of course all of the above is for Matched Play thinkers, the more Narrative amongst you will probably already have been thinking of amazing stories that this new mechanic could produce.
So how does summoning work now?
'Rather than summoning units through magical spells, every army that could summon units before now has a unique resource that allows them to bring fresh reinforcements onto the tabletop that fits with their army’s background – if you’ve got the Maggotkin of Nurgle or Legions of Nagash, you’ll have played with rules like this already.'
This is taken from the summoning article on Warhammer Community site, it is looking more and more like mechanics rather than magic will be the main ways in which armies can summon, Khorne though Bloodtithe, Maggotkin through Gnarlmaws, Seraphon through Celestial Conjuration, Death through Gravesites etc. Again this begs the question how they will deal with abilities on Warscrolls but it does look like they are addressing that too with an extract from the Flesh Eater Court Faction Focus..
'For those of you not familiar with the Flesh-eater Courts, allow us to explain. The army is designed around a collection of lower-level Heroes, known as Courtiers, each of which can bolster nearby units with new models. These Courtiers are led by Abhorrant Ghoul Kings, each of which has a command ability that lets them set up entirely new units with their command abilities.
These abilities now cost no reinforcement points and have been tweaked so they work once per Ghoul King. In short, this means that every Ghoul King essentially comes with a free unit, while your Courtiers will ensure they stay in the fight.'
Changing warscrolls slightly could be the key. Again going back to my Brayherd army and the GBS (Great Bray Shaman) and his Savage Dominion Spell, we could see it change from being Chaos Monster, basically allowing you to summon Archaon on a 9+ to a more generic Monsters of Chaos (don't forget they changed the warscrolls of many Monsters to have this keyword not long ago). They could also make this a Once per Game ability. All this is of course assuming they don't just delete the spell.. 👎
So, my opinion, I cant wait! Whatever happens AoS looks to becoming a much more fantastistical game and for the narrative little me, it can only be a winner!