How To Get Started With Age of Sigmar 4th Edition Spearhead

Want to know how to get started with the new Spearhead game mode for Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition? We've got you covered!

Published: June 25, 2024 5:11 PM /


An image from our Age of Sigmar guide to getting started with Spearhead, featuring the Skaventide box set.

Age of Sigmar 4th Edition, the latest edition of Games Workshops fantasy wargame, is releasing soon with the Skaventide box (you can check out our review of it here). With the arrival of the new edition, comes a brand new way to play, Spearhead.

In this article, we'll have a look at what Spearhead is, what you need to play it, and how you can progress to full Age of Sigmar games from Spearhead.

A game of Age of Sigmar Spearhead in progress.
A game of Age of Sigmar Spearhead, with the 2 Skaventide Spearhead forces battling it out [Photo: WarhammerComunity].

What Is Spearhead?

Age of Sigmar 4th Edition Spearhead is a brand new way to play Age of Sigmar. It's very similar to Combat Patrol, which was introduced to Warhammer 40K (the sci-fi wargame from Games Workshop) when it launched 10th edition last year. Spearhead uses the same Core Rules as Age of Sigmar 4th edition, but without the advanced rules, a smaller battlefield and fixed armies. The fixed armies also come in Spearhead-boxed sets for a single purchase.

This means that games are very easy to pick up and start playing for new players, and great for quick games for experienced players who are short on time, or who want to play with lots of different factions easily. 

Age of Sigmar Spearhead components.
Most of the Age of Sigmar Spearhead components are included in the new Skaventide box, all you need to add are dice and a measuring tool [Photo: WarhammerComunity].

What Do I Need To Play Age Of Sigmar Spearhead?

In order to play Age of Sigmar Spearhead, you need the following:

  • Age of Sigmar Spearhead: Fire and Jade book
  • A spearhead force for you and your opponents
  • A battlefield and 4 pieces of scenery (2 large and 2 small)
  • Battle tactics and Twist card decks
  • 6 sided-dice and a measuring tool

The Age of Sigmar Spearhead: Fire and Jade rulebook contains the core Age of Sigmar rules that you need to play Spearhead, along with the Spearhead set-up instructions, and the army lists and stat cards for 25 different spearhead forces.

If you've picked up the Skaventide box, you will have all of the above, ready to play Spearhead, including 2 different Spearhead forces, the Stormcast Eternals Vigilant Brotherhood, and the Skaven Gnawfeast Clawpack, along with the game board, card decks and 4 terrain pieces. All you will need to add are the dice and measuring tool.

How Are Spearhead Games Different From Standard Age Of Sigmar Games?

Standard games of Age of Sigmar use the full rulebook of core rules (which Spearhead uses) and the advanced rules, which add some extra depth and complexity to games. Rules like commands, full terrain rules, magic, and army constructions are all streamlined in Spearhead to make it quicker to get into and play. You can play smaller games of Age of Sigmar, using the full rules and constructing your own armies, but they are less beginner friendly and army composition can have a big impact, whereas the Spearhead forces have been balanced against each other.

This does mean that the stat cards used in Spearhead for the different units, known as Warscrolls, will be slightly different between Spearhead and other Age of Simgar game types. This is to accommodate the rules without the advanced rules and to balance the forces.

The Age of Sigmar Skaventide box set components.
The Skaventide box allows you to go from 2 player games of Spearhead to full-sized games of Age of Sigmar with a single box [Photo: WarhammerComunity].

How Easy Is It To Go From Spearhead To Full Age Of Sigmar Games?

Once you've played a few games of Spearhead, going into full Age of Sigmar games is incredibly easy. You might not even need to buy any new miniatures and may be able to use your Spearhead force straight away. You will need a copy of the Core Rulebook, and the full warscrolls for your units (which will be different from those presented in the Spearhead rules). You will need to work out your army using the army composition rules, adding in what's required to make it a legal force, and then you can begin playing straight away.

Depending on the size of your game, larger Age of Simgar games require bigger battlefields and more terrain, which are all listed in the Core Rulebook, but you will be able to play using the Matched Play rules (which used balanced forces and game setups) and Path to Glory rules (which allowed your forces to head out on a narrative campaign, grow and gain experience).

Age of Sigmar Spearhead forces.
Age of Sigmar Spearhead forces come in a single box, allowing you to get playing easily [Photo: WarhammerComunity].

Which Factions Can I Play In Age of Sigmar 4th Edition Spearhead?

All Age of Sigmar factions have Spearhead forces, some even have 2, and if Warhammer 40K's Combat Patrol is anything to go by, more will be introduced.

The full list of Spearhead forces is as follows:

  • Stormcast Eternals Vigilant Brotherhood
  • Stormcast Eternals Yndrasta's Spearhead
  • Cities of Sigmar Castelite Company
  • Seraphon Starscale Warhost
  • Lumineth Realm Lords Glittering Phalanx
  • Daughters of Khaine Heartflayer Troupe
  • Idoneth Deepkin Soulraid Hunt
  • Sylvaneth Bitterbark Copse
  • Kharadron Overlords Skyhammer Task Force
  • Fyreslayers Saga Axeband
  • Skaven Gnawfeast Clawpack
  • Skaven Warpspark Clawpack
  • Slaves to Darkness Bloodwind Legion
  • Blades of Khorne Bloodbound Fore Pilgrims
  • Disciples of Tzeentch Fluxblade Coven
  • Maggotkin of Nurgle Bleak Host
  • Headonites of Slaanesh Blades of the Lurid Dream
  • Ossiarch Bonereapers Tithe-Reaper Echelon
  • Soulblight Gravelords Bloodcrave Hunt
  • Nighthaunt Slasher Host
  • Flesh-Eater Courts Carrion Retainers
  • Orruk Warclans Swampskulka Gang
  • Gloomspite Gitz Bad Moon Madmob
  • Ogor Mawtribes Tyrant's Bellow
  • Sons of Behemat Wallsmasher Stomp

Each Spearhead force also has different options for regiment abilities and enhancements, so there will be some variety when playing different games, even with the same forces.

Age of Sigmar Vanguard boxed sets.
You might see some Age of Sigmar Vanguard boxed sets available, these are being rebranded as Spearhead, but they are still the same boxes and can be used for Spearhead games.

What Are Our Thoughts On Age Of Sigmar 4th Edition Spearhead?

Spearhead, like Combat Patrol before it, is an incredible system. The ease at which you can start playing games is fantastic, and the single purchase boxes allow you to easily try out different factions to get a feel for them, before taking them into larger games of Age of Sigmar or moving on to the next Spearhead box to try out.

Games are also fast and easy to play, which means you can fit a couple into a game night, and easily play several games over a day in a tournament.

The Age of Sigmar Products used to produce this feature were provided by Games Workshop.


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A Potts TechRaptor
| Senior Tabletop Writer

Adam is a Tabletop Specialist for TechRaptor. He started writing for TechRaptor in 2017 and took over as Tabletop Editor in 2019 and has since stood down… More about Adam