While competitive tournaments and Matched Play is where many players will spend most of their time playing Age of Sigmar 3.0, the new edition of the fantasy tabletop wargame also comes with a new system for narrative campaign play called Path to Glory.
Path to Glory has existed before in the history of Age of Sigmar, but never as such a rewarding and deep system as the one in 3.0.
This is a great new addition to the game, but perhaps also a daunting one to players new to the system. In this guide, we go through all the aspects of playing a Path to Glory campaign, with examples from my own Kharadron Overlords Path to Glory army.
A note on rules in Age of Sigmar 3.0: In this and other articles, we take an in-depth look at how Age of Sigmar 3.0 is played. In doing this, we often refer to the Core Rules of the game. Those rules are available as a free download from the Age of Sigmar website here.
What is Path to Glory?
Path to Glory is a campaign system for narrative play in Age of Sigmar 3.0. This means that it is a way of connecting a number of battles with the same faction into a coherent story where your army grows, faces victories and defeats, and gain renown and rewards. It is a great way to start a new army, since you can begin the campaign with only a handful of units, and then play with those and learn to play the army while slowly adding new units as the campaign progresses.
A Path to Glory campaign differs from regular Matched Play in the sense that each game you play has consequences for the next game you play: Each of your units can gain new abilities or sustain injuries that affect how they play in future battles, and you can complete various quests across several battles.
Many other gaming systems have campaigns like this, but usually they require you to play the campaign with other gamers, so there can be a lot of coordination and planning involved, and it might not be suitable for people who don’t have many other players in their local area. The great thing about Path to Glory (as well of other Games Workshop campaign systems that work in similar ways) is that you can progress in your campaign by playing with people who are not playing in your campaign.
A matched play battle at a gaming store or a big 5 game tournament can also help you progress – you just have to have a Path to Glory army that is able to fulfil the requirements of that battle/tournament, and you can’t use your Path to Glory rewards and upgrades while playing that game. This means that no matter what games you’re playing with your army in Age of Sigmar, you might as well also have a Path to Glory campaign running for that army.
This doesn’t mean that a Path to Glory campaign isn’t great for playing with friends! The progression system makes for a lot of fun rivalry and competition as you try to avenge your fallen units by taking out one your opponent’s monsters the next time you meet, and the feeling of building an epic story together by playing games is one of the best feelings in the hobby.
Building a Path to Glory Army
To build a Path to Glory army, you need to fill out a Path to Glory Roster. There’s one available for photocopying in the Age of Sigmar Core Book, but the blogger casualhammerer has made a nice fillable PDF version you can download here as well.
The rules for building and playing Path to Glory armies can be found on pages 304-335 in the Age of Sigmar Core Book, so while we go through many aspects of the game here, you definitely still need the Core Book to play your campaign. Here, we will mostly demonstrate what it is like to go through all the steps of creating an army, which will hopefully clear up some of the questions that might arise from just reading the rules.
While we only have the basic Path to Glory rules in the Core Book at the moment, each battletome that’s released for Age of Sigmar 3.0 will have bespoke Path to Glory rules for the battletome’s faction, so there will be many more options than the ones mentioned here further down the line. You can check our AoS army overview to see an update on what armies have updated army books. But lets go through how I’ve built my Kharadron Overlords Army in Path to Glory step by step.
1. Faction and Realm
First, I chose the Kharadron Overlords as my faction, since those are the miniatures I wanted to play with, and Barak Urbaz as my subfaction, since my background story for my flying duardin revolves around them being an Urbaz sky-whaling expedition.
Then, I chose Ghur as my Realm, since a) that’s where I think the biggest sky-whales can be found and b) that’s the setting for the current season of Age of Sigmar 3.0.
I wrote down my faction, subfaction, my name and the name of my army, and my starting realm in my Path to Glory Roster, and I also opened a list in Warscroll Builder on the Warhammer Community site and selected my faction, subfaction and realm there, to make sure I was also building towards a legal matched play list for games against other players, so you might want to do that as well.
2. Starting Size and Territories
There are four starting sizes to choose from for your Path to Glory army. Each size determines how many territories you start with, how many points your army is allowed to cost, how many units you can choose and how many Glory Points you start with.
For my army, I chose the Vanguard size, which is the best for starting a brand new army from only a few boxes of miniatures. I noted this in the Path to Glory Roster, as well as my 5 starting Glory Points.
Then, you have to pick a Starting Territory.
Each Starting Territory influences the rules for which units you can take in your army. I chose the Small Settlement, which increases the Reinforced Units limit by 1. I did this to be able to take a big unit of Grundstok Thunderers, as we will see below. I noted down the Small Settlement in the roster, as well as my name for it, the Beastsea Wharf.
I then noted down the name of my Stronghold, Hearth & Harpoon, since there’s no choices you have to make about the Stronghold when you first start your Path to Glory campaign – it can be upgraded later.
3. Order of Battle
The next step is to add units to your army list, which is called an Order of Battle. To be able to do this, you first have to write down your Order of Battle Limits in the appropriate boxes on your Order of Battle.
Most of them are related to specific keywords on the warscrolls of your units, such as HERO, MONSTER, WAR MACHINE and so on, and most of them start with a limit of 1, except Heroes, of which you can bring three. I noted all of these down, and made sure to write 2 instead of 1 in the box for reinforced units, since my Starting Territory, the Small Settlement, allowed me to take an extra one of those.
At last, it is time to choose your first unit, which must be your warlord, who will always be the general of your army (for as long as he/she/it survives).
Be mindful of the restrictions here:
It has to have the HERO keyword, but it also has to have the Leader role in its Pitched Battle Profile. You can see if it has this in the Pitched Battle Profiles 2021 booklet that comes with the General’s Handbook 2021, or in your battletome if it was released after the handbook. It has to be from your chosen faction, of course, but it also cannot be Unique, which means all Named Characters are prohibited. No Gotreks or Nagashes as warlords for your Path to Glory Army (thank Sigmar for that).
For my army, I chose an Arkanaut Admiral, and added him to my Order of Battle under the name of Bjarni “Redbeard” Brakkson. Choosing names for everything might seem strange to you if you’re normally a Matched Play gamer, but as soon as you realise how much your units are going to develop over the course of your campaign, I think you’ll want to name them as well, and the game encourages it by providing spaces for it on your Order of Battle. I also picked him in my Warscroll Builder list.
I then added my Aether-Khemist Bardur Reyksson, the 10 Arkanaut Company called the 49th Whalers and the 10 Grundstok Thunderers (reinforced once) called Steinar’s Guard to the Order of Battle for a total of 585 points. Note that I don’t have to take stuff like Battleline unit limits into account here, as I’m not building a Matched Play army.
The next thing you can add is a warscroll battalion or core battalion (check out our guide to battalions here). Since I know I want to add an Arkanaut Ironclad later, I chose the Battle Regiment Core Battalion, in which you can take one of those.
The units I have taken so far fill the Commander slot of the battalion, one Sub-commander slot and two Troops slots, so there’s room to add more. I made sure to add the battalion to my Warscroll Builder list, as well as assign my units to it, as well as noting down the battalion in my Vault on the Path to Glory roster (so not on the Order of Battle).
4. Core Enhancements
Then you have to add core enhancements to your army.
These can be command traits, spell lores, prayer scriptures, triumphs, mount traits and artefacts of power, as detailed in the core rules.
For my Kharadron force, the only ones really relevant to the units I have in my Order of Battle are command traits and artefacts of power, I picked the Grudgebearer command trait from my Kharadron Overlords battletome for my Admiral (it lets you do double damage with your general against one selected enemy Hero, which is fun for narrative battles) and the artifact Hammer of Aetheric Might for him as well, which gives him a chance to do mortal wounds with one of his weapons.
I noted down both enhancements in my Order of Battle. I also noted down Indomitable as my Triumph in the Vault of my Path to Glory Roster.
5. Your First Quest
Finally, the last thing I had to pick was my first Quest. I picked the quest Search for the Artefact for my army, and chose the Aether-Khemist artefact Spell In A Bottle as my reward (it lets me pick an Endless Spell to add to my army and cast in every battle). I noted down the quest in my Path to Glory roster, and I was finally ready to start my campaign!
My Path to Glory Roster, Order of Battle and Warscroll Builder List ended up looking like this:
Playing a Path to Glory Campaign
When you’re ready start playing games for your Path to Glory campaign, there are two ways to do so:
- Play against another Path to Glory Player. If you’re both on a Path to Glory Campaign, the Tiers of Battle system helps you balance your armies to allow for a fun game. After all, your opponent might not have played as many games in her campaign as you have, so the Tiers of Battle system determines how many bonus enhancements earned from completing quests and spending Glory Points you are both allowed to take. The state of your Stronghold (which can be upgraded over the course of your campaign) determines which Tiers of Battle you can participate in.
There are too many rules for balancing Path to Glory armies against each other to go through them all here, but suffice to say that this isn’t one of those campaign systems where one player can completely steamroll the other just because they’ve played more games or earned more rewards. Having earned many rewards does give you an advantage, but when it comes to enhancements, having more usually just means you have more options when picking your army than if you hadn’t completed any quests.
- Play against a player who’s not playing Path to Glory. To do this, simply play by the rules of the battlepack you want to play (most often some sort of Matched Play game), but only use those of your enhancements that are allowed in such a game. The Path to Glory section of the Core Book has a good long list of rules to make sure that you’re not benefiting from your Path to Glory progress in an unfair way when playing such a game.
All of this means that if you can find anyone to play a game with, you can also progress in your Path to Glory campaign! That’s great, because the progression system is where Path to Glory really shines. Path to Glory battles aren’t all that different from other game modes, but what happens after a game is quite different.
The Aftermath Sequence
The Aftermath Sequence is what follows every Path to Glory battle, where you sustain injuries, gain rewards and spend resources. We’re not going to go through all of it here, as everything is quite clearly explained in the Core Book, but if you’re still not sure if Path to Glory is something you would enjoy, here’s a short walkthrough of all the different ways your army evolves after every battle:
- You earn Glory Points. Glory Points are used to purchase, reinforce and heal units, as well as various other upgrades and quest goals. You gain Glory Points just for fighting a battle, so you never walk away from a gaming table empty-handed, but you gain even more by winning games.
- You roll Injury and Casualty Rolls. A Campaign system needs some sort of continuity and consequence, but it would be a very expensive campaign indeed if you had to remove a unit from your army every time it died in a game. Instead, you roll Injury Rolls for dead heroes and single model units, and Casualty Rolls for units that lost models during the last game. Injury Rolls can have effects ranging from your hero/single model permanently dying (even your Warlord can die!) to it actually gaining Renown Points (see below), while Casualty Rolls permanently remove models from a unit for each roll of 1 when you roll a dice for each model from that unit you lost in the last game. Note that you don’t use these rules when you’re playing against someone who isn’t playing Path to Glory.
- You gain Renown Points. Every unit that wasn’t destroyed in a battle gains a Renown Point (and you can gain more through battleplan objectives and in other ways), which can be used to gain ranks. Units that aren’t Heroes can gain 3 ranks, and for each rank, that unit gets a new ability. This is one of the things that makes Path to Glory battles stand out from regular games of Age of Sigmar, since you can actually upgrade your units to work in quite different ways than what they do with just their warscroll: They can become harder to kill, do Mortal Wounds on a charge, or become better at wounding enemy units. Heroes also gain Renown, and when they’ve gained enough, they can gain a Command Trait, even though they’re not your general.
- You can complete Quests. You can gain rewards from quests you’ve completed over the course of your last game, or give up on a Quest and choose a new one if it’s not working out for you.
- You manage your Stronghold. Your Stronghold determines how many Territories you can control (see below), and how many Barracks you can have. Each Barracks you buy lets you raise the unit limit of your army by 2. Your Stronghold also determines how many Outposts you can control, which is a feature that’s not been revealed yet, but the Core Book states that it’s coming in future Path to Glory Battlepacks. So there’s expansions coming! If you have enough Glory Points (the first upgrade starts at 30 Glory Points), you can upgrade your Stronghold to increase its capacity.
- You can make Exploration Rolls to gain New Territories and upgrade existing ones. For this feature, Path to Glory brings in a beloved narrative gaming favourite: the D66 table. You roll two six-sided dice one at a time and consult the D66 table to see what new Territory you gain. So, if you roll a 2 and a 1, you have to look up entry 21, and so on. You can add the Territory you get to your Path to Glory Roster if you’re not above your Territory limit. There are all sorts of bonuses to gain from these Territories, including Starting Territories, and there is even a small chance to gain a Faction Territory, which is something that’s coming in future Age of Sigmar 3.0 battletomes.
- Finally, you can add, reinforce and recuperate units. This is where you use Glory Points to expand your army. Recuperating is the cheapest, and it allows you to roll a dice to bring back models to a unit that has had some unfortunate Casualty Rolls earlier in the campaign. Adding a unit costs a number of Glory Points corresponding to that unit’s points cost. I haven’t been through all the Pitched Battle Profiles for all armies, but I am a bit worried that the table for adding units for Glory Points caps out at 400+ points for 10 Glory Points, which means that a Skaven Thanquol on Boneripper costs the same amount of Glory Points as godlike characters such as Archaon and Nagash. You still have to pay the points for them to field them in your army, of course, but I don’t understand why there’s not a, let’s say, 800+ bracket as well.
As you can see, there are many, many interacting systems that make up your progress in Path to Glory, and this is just the stuff that’s in the standard rules for the campaign. Every battletome released in Age of Sigmar 3.0 will have bespoke Path to Glory rules for the army in question.
The Path to Glory Battlepack
So far, Path to Glory has one dedicated Battlepack (the collection of rules and battleplans that lay the foundation for any kind of game in Age of Sigmar 3.0) with rules for terrain, battlemap size and 6 battleplans with special rewards for Path to Glory campaigns. They distinguish themselves from the Pitched Battles battleplans most Age of Sigmar 3.0 players will be used to playing by often being asymmetrical, so that one player might be surrounded by the army of the other, or have their forces split up at the beginning of the game.
I do hope, however, that more Battlepacks are coming soon, as this one is pretty limited if you want to run an entire campaign all the way to a 2000+ point army within it. It does have two nice rules included, though, that I hope will remain in future Battlepacks: Warrior of Renown, which gives a free use of a command ability to the Hero with the highest Renown on the battlefield, and the option to withdraw from battle if you want to avoid rolling too many Casualty Rolls in the Aftermath Sequence.
Final Verdict on Path to Glory
Path to Glory is an even more complex campaign system than I had expected it to be. There is a lot going on – and that’s fantastic. If you’re a gamer who likes to play narrative, interconnected games, Path to Glory is a great framework for that.
I am a bit hesitant to wholeheartedly recommend it right now, though, for one reason:
It looks like it’s going to be much, much better when it begins to get integrated into battletomes so that each army will have more bespoke rules that fit its lore and playstyle. I think this is especially true for the Quest system, which is a little bland at the moment, and for the upgrades you can give your Veteran units.
I still believe it’s going to be one of the best things about Age of Sigmar 3.0, and the option to progress in your campaign by playing any kind of game with your army is such a good feature. It opens up campaign play to the many (especially new) players in the Age of Sigmar community who have just purchased a few boxes for their new army, and who now have a reason to go to the local gaming store to pick up a game, even if they’re not ready to go to tournaments or play at a full 2000 points.
If the expansions and battletome rules for Path to Glory will turn out to be really good, I’m sure it has the potential to shift the balance between Narrative and Matched Play in many gaming communities.