Jump to content
Welcome Guest!

Join us now to get access to all our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, and so, so much more. It's also quick and totally free, so what are you waiting for?

  • entries
  • comments
  • views

About this blog

This is my corner of the community where I share all things Warhammer hobby related including current news and rumors, my armies, Youtube videos, and even tips, tactics and hobby tricks.

Entries in this blog

Thomas Lyons

Heya friends!  As many know, this past weekend was the Holy Wars 2018 narrative event in the Chicago-area.  Holy Wars is the premier narrative hobby event in North America that miraculously balances the highest levels of hobby with the highest levels of competitive play.  This year was certainly no different.  I've posted some photos at the end of the page with stand out armies at this year's event.  Photos of @Holy Hammer Hern's beautiful tables can be found in my Holy Wars 2017 posts from last here (found here, here, and here). 

Vince and I have done a lot of coverage thus far so I don't see a reason to repeat those details here.  On the drive home from the event, Vince and I covered each of our games in a blow by blow coverage over the course of two videos.  On Wednesday, we had Steve Herner (@Holy Hammer Hern), who is the creator and driver behind this event along with his club the Holy Hammers,  on to Warhammer Weekly where we talked all things Holy Wars and his experiences as a ringer for the event.  Finally, last night we @Rob Symes's Honest Wargamer show where we talked about the event and our experiences (Apologies to David Griffin for getting our score wrong on Rob's show; it was 14-6, not 20-0).  The links to all of this coverage can be found below:





While I didn't perform as well in the games as I would have liked, I was honored with the Hobby Hammerist Award for a second year in a row.   I was super honored by it as there was such stiff competition at the event in the hobby categories.  



Thanks for such a great weekend everyone who attended and participated!  Now enjoy a handful of the awesome looking armies that were present at the event!



Thomas Lyons

Reinforcements have arrived for the Kharadrong Raiders! Previously, the younger element of the remnants of the Grimharaz lodge were represented in the predominately Kharadron core of the army. With this new flight, more of the whole spectrum of the lodge is represented.  Let's take a look!

The traditionalists of the lodge, still adamantly aligned with Runefather Zharrik, are represented in the Fyreslayer Vulkite Berzerker and Auric Runesmiter units.  Take note of the protective ur-gold runes flaring up and covering their upper torso in a magma-like crust to protect them from the blows of their enemies!  This patterning is all freehand work.  The Auric Runesmiter can be seen holding his Forge Key aloft as the molten crust parts before him and he emerges from the magma tunnels.   This Runesmiter is converted from from WHQ Doomseeker and is appropriately equipped with both his Forge Key as well as his smoldering Latch-Axe.






 The younger generation, those aligned with Runeson Thrundrik and who more fully adopted the way of the sky fleets,  are reinforced with the arrival of Thrundrik's very own Flagship, the Gorog Varrbarag ("Party Boat!").  You can see one of the crew as imbibed a tad too much and lays flaked out on the deck.


And still, there are still other remnants of the broken lodge that have returned after their long exile.  Some, like the Runelord Agrhun, have continued to practice a variant forms of rune magic although it has been decades since many shaped Ur-gold as the lodge's Runemasters once did.  


Others, jaded by age and broken dreams, have forsaken the traditions of runic empowerment and taken up the finest arms and armor in all the Mortal Realms.  These grumbling Longbeards take every opportunity to remind the Shattered Lodge of what was lost.  


While still others, particularly the youngest and progressive of Thrundrik's followers who have spent a significant amount of time amongst the cities of the Firestorm Plateau, have worked to bridge the gap between technology and the magic of the Mortal Realms.  The young upstart Hazgal, foremost student of this emerging discipline,  has learned to harness the very energies of Hysh through rune craft.  


The culmination of his experimentation is found in an endrin-powered Luminark, a prototype war machine  that Hazgal has managed to build and hopes to reproduce to reinforce Barak-Zharr and the remnants of the Grimharaz lodge.  



Such experimentation is looked askance by the traditionalists and only heightens the tensions present amongst the reunited lodge. Only time will tell if the remnant will survive.  

Thomas Lyons

With the start of the new year, I figured it was time to formally introduce the world to my newest army and current project: The Kharadrong Raiders.  No, I didn't spell their name wrong. This post will cover their conception as an army, the initial round of photography and finally the background lore I've whipped up for them.

Putting the Pieces Together

So, what are the Kharadrong Raiders?  The Kharadrong Raiders are obviously my take on the Kharadon Overlords.  When this army was first previewed last April, I was torn.  A year prior I had been working on a Dispossessed force during the PMP's Budget of Sigmar Contest and I desperately shared my desire for a dwarven airship.  Jokingly I said during a Warhammer Weekly: "Make it happen GW!" Little did I realize that we would have not only a Dwarven airship,but an entire faction a little over a year later.  But as I said, I was torn.  Despite wanting this army so badly, there was something to be desired with their aesthetic.  Don't get me wrong, I like metal.  I'm a dwarf player, of course I do.  But I also like beards and a little bit of skin.  I wanted a connection to more traditional dwarves and Barak Thryng seemed like such a rejection of this (given that is is like 1% of the total KO population).  So I was on the fence and the Monopoly-man head of Brokk just pushed me over the edge with initially rejecting the army.  

Then I felt a little bit guilty, as one might anticipate given my prior intense desire for an army just like this.  I mean, how often does GW deliver just what someone asks for?1 So, I sat down and tried to figure out how I could remedy this and make these guys work.  I had also long been interested in a Fyreslayers project, and as I mused on what this could look like, Sigmar's inspiration struck!  What if I reimagined what Long Drong's Slayers might look like if they were modernized and brought into the current AOS aesthetic.  For those who don't know Long Drong's Slayers, Long Drong was a slayer pirate who captained his own ship and led a Dogs of War mercenary company in the Old World.  I realized this project allowed all the pieces to fit together!  I could do my Airship fleet of KO, have the hair I was looking for even with closed faced helms (because of the Slayer mohawks), and I could have definite ties/homages to the Old World while still being firmly seated in the Mortal Realms.  I could even do a Aqysh-based force with orange glow effects (which I had been experimenting on with the Phoenix Temple models).  

The only challenge standing in the way of this project was cost.  Fyreslayer mohawks are understandably in-demand on the secondary market, which meant that I was going to likely have to buy a whole host of Fyreslayer boxes.  I lucked out when I found out that 14 mohawks came per box of 10 Vulkites.  That said, to make a base 10 infantry troops for my army, we're talking about $105 MSRP retail.  So I mused on it for a week or so.  It was such an awesome concept that I realized I also couldn't not do it.  So, I tightened my belt and got to work with an initial test model last May. 


Things came together better than I could have imagined.  The mohawks weren't difficult to line up.  Weapon conversions were pretty much snip and glue. The Bases weren't difficult to produce.  And the color scheme popped! Thus I committed to the project and pulled the trigger my new army....


I've designed the project to come together in multiple flights and I use events to plan my projects.  The first event on the docket was Holy Havok, the team event put on in Chicago at the beginning of November of each year.  The Holy events, put on by @Holy Hammer Hern and the Holy Hammer club differ from standard tournaments in that they have a more narrative focus (not unlike RAW in the U.K.) and the Holy events are the premier Hobby events in the U.S.  Steve's tables are lovingly assembled and customized to the various mortal realms.  This event was a highly competitive hobby environment and the perfect place to premier the Kharadrong.  My co-host @Vincent Venturella rose to the challenge and assembled his own force to pair with mine.  I'll cover this event and the results of that event in a later post.  

Assembling A Sky Fleet

So I set about finishing the first round of models.  Here are the results of these first models:



In the midst of this work, I experienced a setback.  Literally days after I completed my second full unit, the GHB2017 dropped with the "adjustments" to Thunderers which made my unit (that I had converted to all have different poses) unplayable.  It wasn't just that they got their power adjusted down; the unit I had painted was literally illegal under the new rules.  The changes also threw into question the competitive viability of the whole project.  To see this thing through, I would be hobbying on it for the entire year and there was a chance I would be taking a sub-par army to these events.  The prospect was less than enticing and I considered scrapping the whole project.  Luckily, I didn't.  I loved the concept of this enough that I resolved to see it through, even if it was sub-optimal in competitive play.  The silver lining was that Fyreslayers under the new system were highly competitive and their aesthetic was baked into my forces.  The allies system dovetailed perfectly with the hybrid lists I was already considering.  If the KO thing was a dud, I could always redirect my work to pure Fyreslayers.  

So I pushed through and here is what I came up with: 









Background Lore

Now I needed a story to launch these pirate slayers into the AOS world.  This is what I've initially come up with:  

Kharadrong’s Raiders are a mercenary band made up of the remnants of the Grimharaz Lodge, who’ve recently retaken their ancestral hold of Barak-Zharr.  Their name is honorific of an ancient mythical hero, Long Drong, who similarly led a band of slayer mercenary pirates on sailing vessels to plunder and to victory.  As a Dogs of War force, the Kharadrong’s Raiders have found common cause with Trapjaw’s Barnyard Busters in the mutual pursuit of gold and glory. 

The origin of the Kharadrong’s Raiders is a long and tragic story.  Decades ago, the Grimharaz lodge came under assault by Tzeentch daemon hordes in what would later become known as the War of the Wyrdquartz.  While many of the lodges held their ground, Grimharaz was at the heart of the conflict and sustained heavy losses.  Despite the intervention of Kharadron Overlord fleets, the lodge’s hold of Barak-Zharr was lost under the press of daemon flesh.  The remnants of Grimharaz, now homeless and hopeless, disseminated amongst the Baraks of the Kharadon Overlords and picked up work where they could find it while the Grimharaz’s Runefather, Zharrik, went into a self imposed exile. 

For years the remnants of the Grimharaz lodge toiled amongst the Overlords, and many served aboard Overlord vessels as mercenaries. Over time, the sons of Grimharaz adopted the means and methods of the Kharadron. They learned to sail the aethersphere under the skilled guidance of Zilfin navigators and distill the essence of aethergold from the Khemists of Urbaz.  Despite their exile amongst the Overlords, the Runeson Thrundrik never forgot the halls of Barak-Zharr.  Thrundrik and his trusted brother-in-arms Varag set about re-gathering the lodge with the goal of reclaiming Barak-Zharr.  Even in these early stages of re-formation, Thrundrik saw that many of the younger generation had assimilated to the ways of the Overlords, while the older longbeards held strong to the ancient traditions of the lodge.  To help bridge this division, Thrundrik sought out Runefather Zharrik and reunited the lodge under Zharrik, knowing full well that the tension between the new and the old could not be maintained indefinitely.  But the unity held and the combined arms of young and old, aethermatics and ur-gold runes side by side, retook Barak-Zharr.

Years have passed and the lodge persists amidst the tensions.  New and old have found an odd peace in the firescorched halls of Barak-Zharr as ancient stoneworks have been restored and aethergold furnaces installed.  The Grimharaz lodge has found unlikely allies with a neighboring Ironjawz warband led by Trapjaw but the take is good and the Orruks (or at least their lust for gold) is trustworthy enough. 

Recently, Thrundrik has caught wind of large remaining deposits of Wyrdquartz nearby and has sent a joint force led by his brother-in-arms Varag and Trapjaw to investigate.  It was Tzeentch’s desire for Wyrdquartz that led to the loss of the Hold the last time around and Thrundrik refuses to let it happen again.  He hopes that Varag and Trapjaw can get in front of this situation and maybe even make some profit while doing so. 

Final Descent

With everything else in place and putting the final touches on my last couple units, I needed to finally bring the legendary Barak-Zharr to life.  I spent most of the month of October hobbying away on my board for Holy Havok.  Ultimately, I think things came together fairly well, but I'll let you judge.  


And the rest of the finished units in the first round of models:



I hope you enjoyed this introduction to my current passion project.   In future posts, I'll provide some behind the scenes glimpses while various stuff was WIP, as well as detailing Vince and I's Holy Havok 2017 experience, and I, of course, have new additions to this force I've completed in the meantime.  I mean, Holy Wars 2018 is indeed coming next month! :D



1: In no way do I actually think that GW designed the KO for me or at my suggestion. The timing is simply humorous.  


Thomas Lyons

Hey folks, I've obviously been radio silent on this blog and on this project for awhile.  The long and the short of the project is that Vince and I have around 35 pages written and we were in the testing phase when I put a pause on the project.  Two things essentially brought the project to grounding halt.

The first was the realization that the underlying mechanics of the established Skirmish system kept essentially getting in the way.  The base warband composition rules lended itself to spamming Unit Champions.  This was coupled with the fact that some units were simply not balanced with this game in mind (i.e. Pink Horrors, Knight Azyros, etc.).  This, coupled with the fairly flat progression and easy access to your larger Grand Alliance (which often created diversely homogeneous warbands, i.e. One Pink Horror Champion, One Blight King Champion, etc.)  cause all kinds of developmental and balance hurtles.  Ultimately, I was finding that our design was fighting against the underlying mechanics of the core game and it was a losing battle.

The second was me finally taking the time to read through the updated Path to Glory rules and book and realizing that what we were designing fit as part of the Path to Glory system much better than the Skirmish system.  Much of our design for this expansion was ported over from Vince and I's prior Mordheim AOS project from Fall 2015, right after AOS launched.  For anyone that is familiar with our Mordheim project, if you've read the updated Path to Glory rules, you'll notice that GW's Path to Glory warband composition bears a striking resemblance to our own warband composition rules from Mordheim (namely a hero leader and 4 "unit" choices, where additional heroes or more heroes take up one or more of these four choices).  Accordingly, I guess it shouldn't be surprising that our rules from Mordheim seems to port so seamlessly over to GW's Path to Glory system given how the design intent between the two is so similar.  This, I think, is good news for the next steps.

My hope is for us tighten what we have created and make it a free community Path to Glory expansion for exploring the ruins of Shadespire with your forces.  In the mean time, I'll be posting snippets of what we did complete for Skirmish, for those that are still playing Skirmish and want some fun content.  These rules and tables are not complete, but they should be mostly usable.  The first of these Skirmish tables is a rewards chart for exploring the Scrimshaw Mines region of Shadespire.  


2d6 Roll

Scrimshaw Mines


Secret Tunnel Network: It was long rumored that Shadespire was underpinned by a massive series of tunnels. You find an entrance into part of those legendary tunnels. During your next engagement, you may hold any number of units in reserve. During your hero phase on turn 2 and every turn after that, you may attempt to have those units sneak up into the battlefield.

  Roll a dice for each model you want to come up that turn, if you roll a 1, that warrior is lost and does not participate in this battle, but is otherwise uninjured. If you roll a 2+, you may place that warrior anywhere on the battlefield at least 9” away from all enemies. This warrior may not move or run this turn, but may otherwise act normally.


Abandoned Ur-gold Stash: Gain a Fyreslayer mercenary, regardless of allegiance.  Leaves after the first permanent injury.


Vein of Shade-ore: You find a vein of the precious shade ore. The refinement process to produce shade glass is lost, but the raw material is still highly valued for all manner of arcane rituals. You gain 1d3 additional renown.


Wiped Out Dispossessed Camp: You find the remnants of a Duardin camp.  It is clear there was a fight hear but there are no bodies.  Their equipment and stores look surprisingly untouched. Roll a dice:

       1-2: Ale Store: You find a full store of dwarven ale, enough to last for months. Your warriors may imbibe the hearty brew before battle to gain +1 bravery.

       3-4: Magical Artifact

       5: Ancestor Shield: Increase the armor save of the warrior by 1 to a maximum of 3+, save against mortal wounds on a 6+)

       6: Great Rune Weapon: As per the Dwarf Lord warscroll (3A, 3+ to Hit, 3+ to wound, -2 rend, 3D, may not use a shield or other close combat attacks when this weapon is used).


Mining Tools: You find well worn but still useful tools for mining. The next time your scenario is played in the Scrimshaw Mines, you may choose both your deployment area and what player has the first turn.


Bottomless Pit: weird huh?


Sheltered Oasis: You find a peaceful and secure oasis hidden in the caves. Shelter from the blistering sands and roving warbands of shadespire. You may replace 1d3 injury rolls with a roll of 45 on the table.


Derelict Slave Tenements: You find abandoned slave tenements from the miners that worked tirelessly to pull the shade ore from the depths of the mine. They were allowed to keep little of value, but many hid the precious gems that were of less value to the Katophranes. You receive 1d3 additional renown.


Undying Laborers: You find a section of the mine being worked by eternal undying laborers. Skeletons set to a task millennia ago that have never stopped or rested from their only reason for existence. Their mining has revealed little of true value other than massive piles of rocks, but they have built up at least one cart of precious metals. You receive 1d3+1 additional renown. If you are a Death alliance warband, you may also add 1d3 skeleton warriors to your warband.


Skaven Nest: You find a nest of skaven clan rats, burrowing into the city. You can attempt to barter with them for information on the mines. Roll a dice, on a 1-3, they reject your offer and drive you from the mines as they swarm en masse. On a 4-6, they are willing to trade information with you and allow you passage through their tunnels. If they do, you may choose your deployment area in the next scenario as well as who goes first.


Forbidden Laboratory: Deep within the shadows and twisting tunnels of the mines, you find an old laboratory where someone was attempting to recreate the secret of Shade Glass. There is no sign of what became of the arcanist, but the research and everything else in the lab remains curiously intact. You may choose to steal the research. If you do, roll a dice. On a 2+, you gain 1d6 additional renown. On the roll of a 1, you have incurred the wrath of Nagash and you must roll once on the Mental Injury table for each hero in your warband.  


Enjoy and keep rolling those dice!

Thomas Lyons

Hey folks, Vince and I have finally went public on a community project we're working on for Warhammer Skirmish.  For those familiar with our AOS Mordheim we wrote back in 2015, this will be using much of the same content and bringing it forward to be compatible with AOS Skirmish.  Many of the subsystems/elements will be modular so that people can use what they want and ignore what they don't.  The first version will be rules and text as we'll be looking for play testing and feedback; a more refined version will come down the road.


Thomas Lyons

I just got back from Adepticon and what a weekend it was!  While I went to ACON not expecting to play in the GT, I ended up being cajoled into playing in the GT and did surprisingly well. I surprisingly found myself sitting on Table 2 in Game 5 and ended finishing 10th overall after losing in that final game to the individual who finished 1st.  I’ve had a lot of people ask questions about my list, so I figured I would do a blog about it and then follow that up with a couple battle reports from my games.

I’ve long been tinkering with Nurgle Mortal lists looking for that magic formula.  For competitive play, there is an entire suite of capabilities you want to have access to (high mobility, durability, chaff, etc) and Nurgle has to work really hard for some of those (i.e. Mobility).  I finally settled on a list that had most of these capabilities, but since I didn’t plan on playing in the GT at ACON, I didn’t finish painting up the models for my optimal version of this list.  So, I slightly modified my ideal list with what you see below:

  • 140  Harbinger (Cunning Deciver Trait, Chaos Talisman)
  • 120  Mounted Chaos Sorcerer (Crown of Conquest)   
  • 540  28 Chaos Warriors
  • 60  10 Marauders
  • 60  10 Marauders
  • 60  10 Marauders
  • 180  5 Blightkings  
  • 180  5 Blightkings  
  • 140  Plaguetouched Warband        
  • 240  Belakor
  • 160  Sayl
  • 120  Reinforcement Points (Options Below)
    • 10 Plaguebearers (100)
    • 10 Chaos Furies (120)

This list looks ridiculously mundane at first glance.  Even when it drops on the table, most will look at it and go, “…ok?”  Dan Heelan very confusingly looked over at me at the start of Round 5 from Table 1 this weekend and asked how I got there with this list.  I take this as a compliment and proof of how very deceptive this list is on paper to how it performs in the game.



The list is a 3 drop inverted alpha strike list that involves flying the 28 Chaos Warriors up, stretching them out 1" apart (with a tail leading back to your line), and charging the enemy's units on the line on turn 1 (with only needing a 5 on the charge from the +1 charge on the chaos warriors against anything on the line). 

The rest of the list does a variety of supporting functions.  Most of the heroes stay in the backfield spread out to zone the back edge from setups.  While I rarely ended up doing a full zoning spread, the following image gives you an idea of what that might have looked like after turn 1 (with still another unit of Blightkings omitted from this deployment):


Regarding Individual Unit Functions:

  • Be'lakor serves as the safety for anything that flies over the front line, dealing with anything that needs rend (6 attacks, 3+/3+/-2/2 dmg), tanking any huge beasties I don't want on that front line (4+, ignores rend, can be mystic shielded with reroll 1's from Oracular visions), and can summon into their backfield when he is near the front line to steal objectives.  His spell is counterintuitive to the list but luckily he has other spells to cast.
  • The Marauders are largely present for taking objectives and zoning out areas of the board to prevent people coming on from table edges or being able to be summoned.  
  • The Blightkings provide the extra punch against soft units where bodies were needed to be cleared off objectives in the enemy territory.  I hadn't planned on taking 2 units originally but it ended up being the exact number I needed in many of my matchups.


The synergy is rather straight forward once you get started.  Chaos Warriors get buffed up with Daemonic Power from the Sorc (reroll 1s to hit, wounds, and saves) and battleshock immunity from the Crown of Conquest, Mystic Shield from Be'lekor, a 5++ ward from the Harbinger (who is ideally safe in your back line).  This ultra buffed anvil unit then gets thrown forward with Sayl to establish the front line and grind down anything it touches.    

The real magic of this combo comes from two things.  First, the Warriors are -2 to hit in melee that entire first combat turn (-1 from plague touched, -1 from cunning deceiver).  Even the best units will struggle to put significant wounds on a 3+ (reroll 1s), 5++, 5++ (against mortal wounds only) unit when they have a -2 to hit that unit.  

Secondly, and more importantly, when you deploy in multiples of 7 with this battalion, every time the enemy rolls a 6+ to wound that unit in the Combat phase, the attacking enemy unit takes a mortal wound back.  Now, since this is triggering on their wound roll of 6+, I can still negate the actual damage with all the Warrior's defenses while still kicking back mortal wounds as the enemy grinds on the Chaos Warriors. This is doubly (or even triply) effective against Tomb Kings, Pestilens, and Destruction Battle Brew/Wild Fury who are bringing their own bonuses to wound, since it causes the mortal wounds to trigger more frequently (as my 4th opponent so painfully discovered with his double Stonehorns).  Once you have the front line locked, if they don't have movement shenanigans, you can pull models from anywhere in the line and break coherency (as long as you aren't going to pile in at all).  There were points where I had a single chaos warrior back in back field (to receive buffs), with the next closest Chaos warrior in his unit 24 inches away grinding on the remains of their front line.  If I ever needed to reform, I could cast Sayl fly on the back warrior and retreat the unit with an 18" fly move back into coherency.  


The matchups I was most concerned about were coming against a Kunnin Rukk or the Beastclaw Thundertusk/Stonehorn mix, each for different reasons.  The Kunnin Rukk could potentially overwhelm the warriors with hundreds and hundreds of attacks, while threatening or killing any of my support units with bad positioning.  The Beastclaw mix on the other hand could potentially just shatter the front line with overwhelming power and pick off support units with Snowballs.  I didn’t have a chance to play either of these lists coming into ACON, especially since I was still finalizing this Friday night at 11:30 PM.  Despite proverbially building this plane in the air, it performed remarkably well.  My matchups were Kunnin Rukk, Bloodbound, Phoenix Temple, Beastclaw mixed-Destruction, and the winning Tzeentch 18 Skyfire/Loc/Kairos list (on a table where almost all the terrain gave +1 to hit).  I didn't see any SCE or Sylvaneth in my matches, although I would have changed tactics accordingly and bubble-wrapped/zoned with the Warriors as well.  Nico helped me think about some of these matchups before hand, which helped tremendously in piloting my list.  To that I am greatly appreciative.         


Final Thoughts on the List

Immediately after I finished the final game on Table 2 with Kaleb (who won the event), Kaleb interrupted my congratulations and informed me that my list was the hardest list he's played all weekend (I believe including the other AOS events he was in) and not just harder, but at least twice as hard as anything else he had faced.  All of his other opponents he had tabled with an hour or more to spare.  In our game, I led the points (he was in fact shut out) until the bottom of our very last turn.  The structure of the scenario definitely raises some design questions but that is a post for another time.  

The reality is that this list differs quite a bit from most of the other popular lists in the game currently.  Instead of having easily recognized power centers (most lists have 2-3), the power base of the list is diffuse.  This lack of obvious power bases (besides the front line) can often confuse opponents as to what is the best unit to attack and force them to play their list in a way that they’ve never had to, which will often also cause people to make mistakes.  In fact, many opponents will have no idea what they are looking at when you drop it until you fly the Chaos Warriors forward in their flying "T" formation and even then most will think they can just slam against the warriors and break the line.  This confusion on target priority and tactics is one of the strongest assets of this list; I'm not sure how well it will fair if it becomes a well-known quantity down the road.  

I'm doing a video about this list later this week with MC1Gamer based on the one trial "game" we played.  Here's a glimpse of that game during my turn at the top of 1:



In the posts that follow, I’ll go over each of my five matchups and a brief battle report of each game. 

Thomas Lyons

It is rare to have a score so disproportionately reflect the thrashing one receieves from their opponent and yet this was one of those games.  After my big win against Walter, I was pushed up to the top tables where I squared off against Domus’ beautiful Ironjawz, whose images have been making the rounds these past weeks on social media.

The objective for the Skaven Hunger Games table was fairly straightforward.  The main table objective was a sinking Belltower that needed to be garrisoned in order have auxiliary (read “imaginary”) troops raid the food stores.  The problem was that the bell tower sank each round and caused ever-increasing unpreventable wounds to those inside.  The other problematic element on this table were the copious toxic pools, which were an amplified version of dangerous terrain: any model who moved in or ended their move on the pool rolled a dice and on a one was instantly removed as a casualty.  The fact that the Belltower was in one of these pools and could only be garrisoned if you were up against the door at the start of the movement phase only compounded the deadliness and complexity of fulfilling the table objective.  It also didn’t help that all three of the Grail Objectives that you had to control with 5+ models within 6” were also within these toxic pools of death.  Fun times. 

I knew I was in trouble when I sat down across from Domus.  I was staring down an exceedingly fast, hard-hitting army that I didn’t have obvious solutions for key pieces.  He was running a 15 block of brutes (whos big boss was his general), a Megaboss on Mawcrusha, a Megaboss on foot, a Warchanter, a Weirdnob Shaman, 10 Ardboyz, and two packs of 3 Goregruntas, with all the non-hero units unsurprisingly in the Ironfist battalion.


After a long bit of deliberation, I decided to drop my normal deployment:

  • 140 Harbinger of Decay
  • 240 Be’lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince

  • 160 Sayl the Faithless

  • 120 Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Chaos Steed (Nurgle)

  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings

  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings

  • 120 20 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 60 10 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 100 10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
  • 300 Hellcannon

  • 180 Plagueclaw Catapult
  • 200 Reinforcement Points


I knew he would be in my siege’s face turn one but I needed the rend and mortal wounds to punch through that overwhelming 4+ I was staring down.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to deal with the Mawcrusha or the 15 block of Brutes but I chose the best chokepoints on the battlefield on my side (given that Domus got to pick his side).



It became obvious very quickly what his tactics would be.  He set up his Ardboyz supported by the Megaboss on foot right on the line to double hero phase move up to the tower so he could garrison it at the top of Turn 1 (which he would take because he finished dropping before I did).   The set up the Pigs on the front line to charge ahead and potentially split off onto flanks, and the Brute block to charge in behind them, right up the middle.  He rightly knew there was little in my army that was going to stop 15 Brutes backed by a Warchanter.  On his far flank he set up his Mawcrusha, likely hoping to pick off my 10 marauders I had set up to run after his Grail objective, and his Weirdnob Shaman, who had a direct line to the Warlock House, a terrain piece that would double the range of all his spells and let him rain death down on my back lines and my vulnerable Hellcannon crew.  Given the multitude of the threats, I knew that if those Aardboyz made it into the Belltower, I would likely automatically lose the main objective because I wouldn’t be able to shift them out quick enough.  Given this, I chose them for Belakor’s Dark Master ability and hoped it would gum them up on Turn 1 and give me a chance to contest that point.


Turn 1 played out mostly how I expected.  He moved on the tower but the Belakor’d Ardboyz couldn’t make it all the way to the door and thus stopped at the toxic pool edge.  On the other flank, his Mawcrusha moved up to threaten my flank and guard his Weirdnob shaman who was moving on the Warlock tower (but didn’t make it in Turn 1).  In the middle, everything else rushed up quick and hard.  The Gorerguntas made a charge so he pulled them way out and around, hitting my Blightkings on my left flank and killing a couple.  Because of this, he had a longer charge on his Brutes into my Marauder front line, which he failed.  If Domus made any mistake this game, it was not sending the Goregruntas directly into my 20 Marauders at the top of Turn 1 and battleshocking them off the table.  




Bottom of turn 1 rolled around and I knew two things: 1) this game was going to be ugly, and 2) if I was going to not be tabled, I was going to have to make some desperate gambits.  After my standard round of buffing, I moved my 10 Plaguebearers towards the Bell Tower, while sending a Sayl’d unit of Blightkings out to his Weirdnob Shaman.  I aimed to accomplish two things with this move: 1) kill the Shaman who could rain death down upon my back lines with double range spells and 2) bait the Mawcrusha far away from the primary combat.  I didn’t have a solution for him so he needed to not be in the fight.  The Blightkings made it into the shaman, surrounded him, and proceeded to kill him with tons of exploding attacks.  Yay, a morale victory.  Belakor assisted the closer Blightkings with the engaged Goregruntas.  My artillery rained down on the Ardboyz, killed a few, and the rest of my units prepared for the ugly fight that was about to happen. 


The bloodshed the came with turn 2 was expected yet still somehow surprising.  He got into the marauders and cut them down to a handful of models, despite being in a chokepoint.  His lone Goregrunta died to Belakor and remaining Blightking while the other group of Goregruntas looped around and pinned my 10  Marauders in the other chokepoint on my opposite flank.  Domus rolled really poorly on the Ardboyz so he wasn’t going to be able to hero phase move them up to the door, so he decided to keep them out of the swamp for another turn.  His mawcrusha took the bait and unsurprisingly charged in and destroyed those Blightkings on the far side of the table.  By the end of his turn 2, my lines had almost all but collapsed.  I was pressed on basically every side, and realized something drastic had to happen.

Looking at the remains of my force, I knew that I had a resource that Domus definitely didn’t have: cheap bodies.  Those toxic pools were ultimately a lot more dangerous to him than they were to myself so I decided to capitalize on this.  I realized I needed to get Sayl across towards the Belltower since Domus had been delayed and hadn’t garrisoned it yet.  The plaguebearers at the Bell Tower piled in on that Grail Objective, thus outnumbering Domus’ remaining forces there and taking control of the objective.  Sayl also flew out to that now open left flank to be able to support it next turn.  I knew my marauders on the opposite side wouldn’t be able to break for his Grail Objective, especially with a Mawcrusha between them and it, so those remaining marauders retreated into the toxic pool on that flank around the Grail token.  My remaining primary marauder line retreated and reformed since I wanted to fight as few combats with that Brute line as possible on them.


But that Brute line still needed to be stopped.  It was at this point that I heard my cohost’s voice in my head (I promise this doesn’t happen often): “If you want to win big, you have to risk big; sometimes you have to roll the hard 6.”  Hardly believing what I was doing, I mystic shielded and reroll 1’s buffed Belakor up and charged him into the deadly swamp on the Brute’s flank, pinning them from the side in combat with Belakor.  In prior games, I’ve sung the praises of Belakor, but those performances are nothing compared to seeing the First Daemon Prince with a 2+ reollable save that is immune to Rend lock down a unit of 15 Brutes, all the while being forced to make a roll at the end of each movement phase and risk instantly dying on a 1. Did I mention that I had already blown my tournament reroll die when I decided on this plan of action?  "Go big or go home," right?


So Belakor heroically tanked those Brutes, and held them pinned there for the rest of the game, slowly whittling them down and taking zero damage.  Domus’ Mawcrusha even came charging in on Belakor’s back in the final round but, other than a couple mortal wounds that Belakor regen’d from my own fleeing Marauders, Belakor held firm. 


At the Belltower, in my next Hero phase, I dropped 20 plaguebearers down near the door from a 3-diced summon from Sayl (although I would still have to spend a round getting up to the door).  Anticipating what I was doing, Domus tried to rush the door and garrison it with both his lone Aardboy and Megaboss, but both rolled 1’s and were instantly killed, all the while 25+ plaguebearers looked on from the midst of the filth completely unaffected by their surroundings.


And so the game ended, with me locking down the scenario objective (7), the grail objective (6), and having the most remaining units on the table (3).  Never have I gotten my proverbial teeth kicked in so hard and yet still walked away with the major victory.   It was almost a crime how the score so minimally represented the actual game that was played on the table. 

Despite the unfairness of the score on Domus’ behalf, I would experience the flip side of this encounter in my next game against Sean Troy, one of the best players in the Midwest and the other opponent we three-way tied with at Holy Havok.  I’ll cover this game next.            


Thomas Lyons

I was fortunate to draw Walter for my Game 2 on Bugman’s Grudge because I was harboring a bit of a grudge against Walter myself.  During Holy Havok this last fall, Vince and I three way tied for Best Overall with Walter’s team and Sean Troy’s team (who I got to play in Game 4; more on this later).  Walter was playing his Ogre’s again, who had handly blown up (well, severely crippled) an unbuffed, 30 strong Chaos Warrior block at the top of turn 1 during our last showdown at Holy Havok.  I was happy to take another shot at his army. 

Walter brought 3 blocks of Ogres, a block of Ironguts and a block of Leadbelchers (all in packs of 6), backed by a Butcher, another hero (maybe a second Butcher), and a pair of Ironjawz heroes (Megaboss and Weirdnob Shaman).  Unfortunately for Walter, the main scenario was a model feeder scenario where you threw your model’s into Bugman’s and started drinking.  Every turn, there was a chance your models would pass out and be removed from play.  Units from both players could garrison Bugman’s but they couldn’t attack each other (they were too busy drinking together).  Any enemies near enough to the tavern on the outside could be attacked on the other hand.  The Grail Objective involved sending your troops into the mountains off the starting zone and searching for the Grail token.  The first to find it (5+) would lock it into place atop at their Mountain Entrance and have to hold it in order to accumulate points each turn. 

Knowing I had the model count on him, I went with the following list: 

  • 140 Harbinger of Decay 
  • 240 Be’lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince

  • 160 Sayl the Faithless

  • 120 Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Chaos Steed (Nurgle)

  • 180 10 Warriors of Chaos (Nurgle) w/Full Command – Handweapon/Shield
  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings

  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings

  • 120 20 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 60 10 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 100 10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
  • 300 Hellcannon

  • 200 Reinforcement Points


I arrayed my forced defensively around the mountain entrance, and planned on sending the small unit of 10 Chaos Marauders into the mountain looking for the objective.  I knew getting into the tavern was going to be hard because you had to start your movement phase up within 6” of the door and I didn’t have off-turn movement.  I also deployed my Hellcannon on top of the mountain because 1) he was cool with it, 2) it was a legal place to drop, and 3) it looked cinematically awesome.  I double-checked with him to make sure he was cool with it and he encouraged me to do so (knowing full-well he would have the range with the Balewind to shoot my crew off with Arcane Bolt).


Given what both of us dropped, I was grabbing to grab first turn as he handed off turn one to me, which I gladly obliged.  Rather than waiting to the very end as I had last game, at the top of turn one, I had Sayl 3-dice a summon Plaguebearers and dropped 20 of them on the door (which would allow me to enter during the movement phase of turn 1).  I got lucky and, after entering the Mountain, immediately found the Grail Token on a 5+, which meant that it locked in my starting zone.  The Hellcannon immediately started putting wounds on the Weirdnob shaman, the Plaguebearers went in for a drink (3 passed out immeadiately, woohoo!), and the rest of my line did what they do best, set up a bunker around the Grail Objective.  


On his turn, he charged forward He moved his Ironguts up to the side (my right) of the building and his Leadbelcher to the opposite side.  The Ogres went straight for the tavern.  His extra destruction move really helped him close this distance.  I had Belakor’d the Weirdnob (knowing the threat the Hellcannon was facing) and it ended up paying off.  He successfully summoned the Balewind on the Weirdnob but Belakor’s Dark Master shut the rest of his casting down in Turn 1.  I was fortunate to make those Plaguebearers immune to Battleshock because Walter’s rebuttal was swift, nearly clearing the tavern of the 20 Plaguebearers at the bottom of turn 1.  


On my turn, my Hellcannon shot down his Weirdnob, and I continued to shift my lines around, preparing for the inevitable bloodbath when he made it to me.  I moved a unit of Blightkings along each tavern flank to meet his two elite units head on, as other units moved up to the door to try get into the tavern.  Even though they had been buffed with Lord of War (+1 to hit, thus exploding hits on 5+), I don’t think either of us was expecting much from the 5 Blightkings against his 6 Ironguts when they rolled up.  Well, that was until Unpredictable Destruction dropped on them, adding another +1 to hit, making their attacks explode on a 4+).  Twenty six confirmed wounds later and his Irongut unit has been cut in half by the lowly Blightkings. 



This turn of events was symptomatic of the game as a whole.  Just as the dice fell my way with the Grail Token and the Blightkings, so too would it continue as the turns progressed.  My models continued to pile into the tavern each turn as the two units of five Blightkings went toe to toe with his Leadbelchers and Ironguts.  Even when the Blightkings on the Ironguts were cut down, Belakor moved up on that flank and made short work of the remaining Irongut, as well as the Ironjawz Megaboss that charged in.   Did I mention how good Belakor is?

The reality is that Walter’s Ogres never actually made it to my side of the tavern.  Those in the tavern took heavy hits from the Hellcannon and my adjacent attacking units whittled down the wounds round by round.  When the grind was all said and done, I walked away with a 20 – 0 win, including my secret objective to kill his highest pointed hero or monster.  Despite the big win, it was really the table combined with bad rolling that was to blame for his loss.  He played fantastically given the circumstances.  I look forward to (and dread a little bit) our next game where things will be a little bit more evenly matched.

Thomas Lyons

At the prompting of my Warhammer Weekly cohost, I was grudged for my first game by one of our viewers.  I picked the Endless Desert table because of my love of Tomb Kings, although this was a bad move given Justin’s force.  Justin brought a regenerating ghoul-heavy Ghoul Patrol Flesheater force to a board whose primary objective was shoving the most bodies into an endless pit.  It also had a split deployment and a random placement for the secondary objective, which was a difficult setup for my bubble-wrapped artillery heavy Nurgle infantry force.  Good times. 

Despite the uphill battle, I gambled with my placement bunkering into a back corner of the board and planned on sending out Sayl’d infantry blocks into the swirling endless pit of sand while Be’lakor and a token force screened one of his Crypt Horror blocks and three heroes on the far end of the table.  My deployment was: 

  • 140 Harbinger of Decay - Harbinger Gulgath the Pustulant

  • 240 Be’lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince

  • 160 Sayl the Faithless

  • 120 Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Chaos Steed (Nurgle)

  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings

  • 180 5 Putrid Blightkings
  • 120 20 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 60 10 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 100 10 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
  • 300 Hellcannon

  • 180 Plagueclaw
  • 200 Reinforcement Pool (20 Plaguebearers and 10 Chaos Furies as possibilities)


Justin smartly took first turn, with an opening 9” charge, crashed a 30 strong unit of ghouls into my front line of unbuffed and quite surprised marauders.  After suffering some significant casualties I responded by Sayl-ing (face it, it’s a verb now) that block of marauders, which I retreated out of combat and shoved them into the swirling sands at the center, quite surprisingly (to Justin) leaving my artillery sparsely defended.  When a unit touched the sands, a die was rolled for each model.  On a 6, they were removed and scored a point, on 1 they were killed.  Remaining models were set up 9” away from the enemy on a portion of the table based on another roll.   I noticed that rolls of 2 and 5 allowed you to be set up in the panel with the storm, so you could literally reset up again the sandstorm and start the process all over again.  To the surprise of both Justin and myself, I rolled three 2 and/or 5s in a row, so I kept throwing this unit (which I had made battleshock immune) into the sands.  What popped out the other side was me scoring 4 points (from the 12ish marauders I threw in there) and one guy remaining standing.  I charged my 10 Plaguebearers into the gap with the remaining Ghouls and they held firm. 

On the other flank of my artillery, my 5 blightkings charged in and blew up a small unit of 10 ghouls while Belakor and his Blightkings moved to intercept the Crypt Horror plus hero pack on the other side of the table.  Be’lakor was able to sit on terrain for this combat, which helped in significantly in the rounds to come. The Hellcannon put some wounds on the enemy Varghulf Courtier general. 



I was able to kill Justin’s general in turn 2 with the Hellcannon, and despite an initial weak showing, Be’lakor was able to lock down the enemy unit on the far end for two more turns of combat, including killing his Crypt Haunter Courtier in single combat (while being swarmed by Crypt Ghouls).  I had Be’lakor’d (also now a verb) his second block of 30 ghouls with Dark Master so that stopped their ability to move towards the swirling sands in turn two.  My plaguebearers plus the nearby Blightkings easily cleared out the 30-ghoul unit near my artillery.



I caught another break when the secondary grail objective dropped in an adjacent portion of the board to my bunker, right on top of his other six Crypt Horror unit.  This provided him incentive to hold his unit on that objective so that the Grail Objective didn’t move to another quadrant.  While the rest of his troops were locked down or trying to get into the sands, I was able to move my remaining infantry forces up towards the objective threatening it about 9” out (while scoring was only 6” out).  Justin had to make a hard decision at this point.  If he stayed on the point, I would simply move up on the objective in the last turn and claim it with more models.  If he went first, he wouldn’t even have the chance of killing any of my troops.  If he charged, he would have to leave the objective bubble itself and risk not scoring it as well.  He made the bold decision to charge forward, try to kill my somewhat sparse force (5 Blightkings, Harbinger of Decay, Mounted Sorcerer Lord, and the one remaining marauder from the prior 20 block).



This was of course a trap.  By luring his horrors out, he moved off the point enough so that I was able to have Sayl (who was sitting on Arcane terrain 10” back from this front line) triple-diced a Summon Plaguebearers, dropping 20 Plaguebearers, which conga-lined behind his line and onto the objective.  The remains of his 30 block of Ghouls did drop into that quadrant after entering the sands a second time but it was too little too late to shift the 20 plaguebearers off the point.

It was a hard fought game with him unsurprisingly grabbing the primary objective (7 points) and with myself accomplishing the secondary grail objective (6 points), my secret objective (Killing more heroes than he did, 4 points), and ending the game with more units still deployed than he did (3 points).  Game 2 was against Walter Duncan (who Vince and I three-way tied him and his teammate for best overall at Holy Havok) and his ogres in a drinking contest on Bugman's table.  

Thomas Lyons

In this post I'm simply posting the beautiful collection of armies that were on display at Holy Wars this year.  Holy Wars is a somewhat unique event in that only 2 awards having anything to do with gameplay (best general & best sportsmanship).  The other 4 awards granted have to do with the hobby, including a Best Unit Champion award, a Player's Choice pick of favorite army award, Best Army award (from the judge's standpoint), and the Hobby Hammerist award, which is the highest honor offered and given to the army that epitomizes everything the event is about (i.e. hobbying, narrative aspects of army composition, etc).  Each army can only win one of these awards once, so if you bring the same army back in subsequent years you don't qualify to compete for the awards you previously won (which was certainly fortunate for me).

Unfortunately, I didn't get all of the armies present (but I got most of them).  Regardless, on to the armies! 



And then finally, my army:


In the next post, I'll cover my first match-up with Justin Smith.

IMG_5744 2.JPG

Thomas Lyons

Pre-Event Warm-Up – Kenny Lull of Combat Phase podcast – Invasion of Ghyran [Table 1]


I opened the event weekend on the night before the official event with a warm-up game with Kenny Lull of Combat Phase podcast fame.   Kenny has been playing straight Fyreslayers since last year and was on track to get his 100th game of pure Fyreslayers during the weekend event.  Kenny was also giving the new Fyreslayer points a test so I jumped at the opportunity to help him get to 100 games and try the new points out!

We played on Table 1, which was the beautiful Invasion of Ghyran table with the stunning Tree of Life.  Order was tasked with defending the Tree from my nurgly Horned Legion.  The objective was to end the game with more models next to the tree at the end of turn 5 while there was a secondary objective of accumulating points from three grail objectives.  


The foot slog across the whole length of the table was a long walk for Nurgle.  Luckily the siege was able to keep pressure on his force and continue to clear off the secondary grail objectives near him. 


He had two tunneling units of 25 Vulkites but I was running enough units that I was able to spread out and stop them from deploying anywhere behind my front lines.  He wisely brought them up in turn three because I think I could have continued to spread my 30 man units out and potentially deny him the ability to bring either unit up at all. 


We had a pretty straight-forward clash right under the boughs of the tree but there wasn’t enough time to really widdle the Fyreslayers down enough, especially with 50+ battleshock-immune models with a ward save popping up late during turn 3.  The game ended with a win for Kenny after a grueling fight. 


While I think some of the Fyreslayer point adjustments were needed, my suspicions about the new Vulkite costs were confirmed.  I think 60 points is too low for 5 of those models.  They should have stayed at 80 for 5, or only dropped to 70 for 5.  While 70 would be unusual, Plaguemonks are at 70 points per unit for example.  At 120 for 10, you would be getting the arguably best generic Battleline unit in the game with a potential 4+/4++ saves, 2 attacks per model, 4+/4+/-1/1, 5 mortal wounds on the charge, and the ability to deepstrike with a hero (for 80 points) that also grants wound rerolls.  Oh, and they get to reroll one of their charge dice to land that 9-inch charge after dropping.  Oh, and they have a short range ranged attack on all of this for a couple extra wounds per round.  This is a discussion though for another post.

The game was a blast and Kenny was a great opponent.  I’m glad I was able to help him in his push to 100 games with pure Fyreslayers (right at almost the 1 year anniversary of the army nonetheless)!  If these new points stick, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m heavily considering a FS army, or at least a meaty contingent for battleline. 




Thomas Lyons

In this post, we finish our survey of the stunning tables of Holy Wars 2017, including the floating earth motes of Azyr and the scorched crust of Aqshy.  

Table 11 –The Upside Down

Battling in the warped reality of Tzeentch is ever changing and swirling in tremendous power. The Great Eye of Tzeentch is ever watching over the upside down.


The main objective in this scenario is a series of take and holds of pillars strewn throughout the table, some pink, some standard.  The pink points netted you 2 points per turn instead of the standard’s 1 point, but also did unpreventable wounds to your unit.  The player at the end of the game with  the most points won this objective.  The grail objective was an escort style mission where players carried Grail tokens from the Black Pit of Tzeentch to the Eye of Tzeentch.  The player to deliver the most tokens (there were three total) to the Eye wins. 


Table 12 –Death, The Next Step

The devoted to Vlad still seek his power and leadership in the Age of Sigmar. His sacrifice during End Times has not been forgotten by his followers.


This scenario was a take and hold of a central objective.  Those garrisoning this objective, the tower of Vlad, could invoke the power of Vlad to do unpreventable damage to their enemies.  The player who caused the most wounds wins this objective.  The Grail Token objective was a trio of grail tokens spread throughout the table and controlling them accumulated points each round.  This was a new board for Holy Wars 2017 and the zombie chapel was inspired!

Table 13—Skaven-Hunger Games

The Skaven unquenchable hunger continues in the new age.


This scenario involved the raiding of the Windmill Grain Mill for resources but in order to do so, one had to first take a and hold the Clock tower and then their auxiliary (imaginary) troops would gather resources from the Grain Mill.  The problem for the take-and-holding player is that this Windmill was sinking into the mire each turn doing unpreventable wounds to the garrisoning unit.  To make matters worse, all of the pools across the table were an augmented version of deadly terrain that required a d6 roll if you moved or ended movement on them at all, with a 1 causing the automatic death of that model.  The grail tokens, unsurprisingly, were strewn throughout this board in these toxic pools of death.  Fun times for all.


Table 14—Aqshy, Realm of Fire & Ice

Chaos seeks to dominate the Realm of Aqshy and the powers of the Shifting Monolith ravages all.


This scenario involved the manipulation of a Shifting Monolith.  Players could control the direction of the monolith although the distance traveled was variable.  As this shifting monolith traveled over units, it did unpreventable wounds to units it traveled over (including your own!).  The player who accumulated the most wounds done in this way won this objective.  Those near this objective did indeed gain a +1 to saves, which could certainly be significant in some cases.  The Grail Token objective for this board were again a trio of tokens spread throughout the table and controlling them accumulated points each round.  This was a new board for Holy Wars 2017 and what a beauty it was!


Table 15—Azyr, the Realm of Heavens

Those who seek the knowledge of Sigmar must brave the perils of a quest that will test their resolve as never before.


Despite the wonderful detail of the Aqshy board by Herner, the real new gem in this event was the new Azyr board.  This board was composed of a number of floating earth motes with Sigmar’s Occulus on the central floating island.  Those near this objective could call Sigmar’s lightning down on nearby units.  The player who did the most wounds in this way won the objective.  The Grail Token objective for this board were again a trio of tokens spread across the table, underneath the earthmotes! The player controlling them accumulated points each round.  This was the real gem of Holy Wars 2017 and people were clamoring to play on it. 


In the next set of posts, I’ll go over my individual matchups with a brief battle report on each. 

Thomas Lyons

In this post, we continue our survey of the tables of Holy Wars 2017.

Table 6 –Nurgle-Drink the Wyrm

Otto and devious sorcerer Ethrac, riding to battle on the shoulders of their brother Ghurk, quest for more blessings from Nurgle as they look to harness the power of the mighty Wyrmrid Reaches.



This table had as its primary objective a kill-quest scenario where each player was looking to do more wounds to the resident monster, the Wyrmrid Reaches, than the opposing player.  I provided feedback on it Friday night, and after some testing by some helpful attendees, it ended up being toned down from its 2+ save against shooting and 3+ against combat to a straight 4+.  There were also 3 Grail Token objectives that head to be held: 1 in each of the starting zones and the final one within reach of the Wyrm.  This of course was significant because every round the Wyrm did unpreventable wounds to all units within 8 inches based on how wounded it was, starting at a d3 wounds and scaling all the way to d6+3 wounds to all units.


Table 7—The Great Maw Challenge

Harbingers of dark months and dead seasons, the ogor tribes continue their assaults on the mortal realms. They fight not to conquer or dominate, but for sustenance - they are led by their bellies to their battles, and the victims of their slaughter are consumed, staving off the hunger briefly before the hunt begins anew.



The primary table objective is a fight around a terrain piece with the army causing the most amount of wounds within an ever growing larger radius wins the objective.  The scenario has three fixed Grail tokens in bonfires spread across the field (one in each starter zone and the last in a contested middle area away from the stone.  Those too close to the bonfire similarly suffered unpreventable wounds.


Table 8 –A Tangled Web

The Arachnarok Spiders lumbering monsters of chitin and dripping fangs are scattered throughout the mortals. Death comes to those foolish to wander too closely.



Deployment on this board is staggered with the terrain objective on the far end, outside of both deployments.  The player with the largest number of models within 6” of the Idol of Mork/Gork gains the ability to call upon Gork and Mork, calling down either Gork’s foot or Mork’s gaze upon the enemy.  The player that does the most amount of damage with these prayers wins the table objective.  The Grail Tokens were miscellaneously scattered around the Arachnarok hole, where a sneaky Arachanrok would chew on nearby units camping the tokens. 


Table 9 – Lair of the Astromancer

Celestial Order, continues to study the heavens to harness the magical power in the mortal realms.


This board offered a unique take and hold scenario that included at least 6 buildings.  One of the buildings was the primary table objective.  All of the other buildings had the possibility of a Grail Token being hidden away in their depths, but this wouldn’t be discovered until after the game ended.  The goal was to take and garrison as many buildings as possible, including the terrain objective.  The roads on this board were muddy and greatly hindered movement as well.


Table 10 –Tomb Kings’ Endless Desert

The endless dessert continues to expand across the mortal realms. Heat and sand consume all that stand in it’s path.


The main objective on this board was a model-feeder scenario where you dumped troops into the swirling sands at the center of the board in pursuit of the hidden city.  When units touched the swirling sand a dice was rolled for each model: on a 6, they were removed from play and arrived at the secret city; on a 1, the model was slain.  Surviving models teleported to a random quadrant of the board to set up again.    This objective coupled with split deployment (each player got 2 opposing 1’ x 1’ squares in each corner) made for very interesting play.  Additionally, at the end of the second turn, the Grail Token would randomly appear in one of the six panels of the board and, if claimed, would lock into place for the rest of the game.  This was a very fun and strategically challenging board to play on.

The full scenario rules can be found here, and the full table maps and terrain features (with rules) can be found here.  In the next part, I'll cover tables 11-15.   

Thomas Lyons

By far the most stunning thing about Holy Wars are the event’s tables.  From the Endless Deserts of Shyish to the verdant forests of Ghyran, you feel like you’ve stepped into the Mortal Realms when you sit down at a table.  No detail has been ignored in the crafting of these scenarios.  While many stock terrain pieces are present on these tables, most elements of these tables are handcrafted by Steve Herner and the love and care he lavished on their composition is obvious.  There is not a single table that doesn’t entice you to want to explore it.

            Almost as enticing as the tables are the scenarios tied to the tables themselves.  For this event, every single table had its own unique scenario.  Some were attack and defend, while others were about slaying terrible terrors present on the board.  No matter what table you were on, you could be assured that the table would be playing the game as much as either you or your human opponent were. 

For the hardcore competitive types, this event would surely be a problem because it was so very hard to plan things out in advance.  Each game had 4 objectives: (1) a table objective [7 points], (2) a grail objective [6 points], (3) a secret objective [4 points], and (4) most-units-surviving objective [3 points].  Each table objective often had to do with a strategic piece of terrain that needed to be fought over.  Every table also had Grail objectives that included 1-3 Grail Tokens that needed to be protected.   These Grail objectives all also generated a buff within 6” that buffed all units (allied and enemy like) with things like bonuses to rend or attacks.  For the secret objectives, there were five secret objectives and each player had to choose one before each game.  Additionally, each player could only choose each one throughout the entire event so you had to make your selections wisely in any given matchup because you didn’t know what your next matchup would look like.  The final objective was to have the most surviving units at the end of each game.  So, on any given table, there were 10 moving parts, between scenarios, table effects, and your opponent.  It was almost impossible to come into this event with a  preplanned list/strategy because of all the moving parts.


The Tables and Scenarios

We’ll now briefly turn to each of the 15(!) tables and their associated scenarios.  

Table 1 – Invasion of Ghyran

The Oak of the Ages has always been the heart of the forest and in the Mortal Realms the seeds sprout new life. Armies across the mortal realms seek to harvest the great power of the acorns.


This is an attack and defend scenario with one of the forces attacking the tree and the other serving as defender.  The defender of the tree got benefits (battleshock immunity and reroll all saves of 1) when immediately around the tree, which was certainly a huge perk for being forced to be stationary.  The Grail Tokens on this table were spread around the tree in a triangle, one in the path of the attack and one on each of the north and south sides of the tree.  This provided interesting cross-incentives because it pulled the defender away from the tree in order to gain points and it help the attack back from the tree as they would leave some troops to defend it on their advance.


Table 2 –Temple of Khaine

The search for the Sacrificial Dagger continues and blood will flow as armies seek to harness the dark power of Khaine.


This scenario was a take and hold scenario with the Temple of Khaine in the center.  The individual holding the temple could only gain points by sacrificing (unpreventable) wounds from their own units every round.  The Grail Tokens on this table were likewise in a triangular pattern around the temple with one in each of the starting zones and another in the center of the table right near the entrance of the temple. 

Table 3 – Bugman’s Grudge

Bugman’s Brew lives on in the new age fueling those who seek to gain power and knowledge from this legendary elixir.


This scenario was a model-feeder scenario where you dumped troops into Bugman’s tavern to get rip-roaring drunk.  Units from both sides could garrison the tavern but they couldn’t fight one another because they were too busy drinking, although they could in fact attack any units outside of the tavern.  This led to people piling units into the tavern while hold units outside of the tavern to attack enemy units.  Each turn there was a 50% change that 1d3 of your models in the tavern would pass out and be removed as casualties (could be selected from any of your units; these losses were total, not for each unit).  The goal was to have the most amount of model loss to drinking at the end of the game. 

            The Grail Token objective was hidden away in the mountains surrounding the tavern.  Each player could send a unit into the mountains to search for the token.  The first player to roll a 5+ find the grail token and it gets locked at the entrance of their mountain.  This objective would quickly become a hold and defend objective once the token was found.


Table 4 – Aelf, the Shrine of the Phoenix

Anointed still wander the realms in the Age of Sigmar. A great power from ages past still holds power in the new age.


This scenario was a take and hold very similar to Table 2 (Altar of Khaine), although instead of doing wounds to your own troops, a hero garrisoning the shrine would burn their enemies with the Phoenix Gaze spell (granted by garrisoning).  The player who inflicted the most amount of wounds with the Phoenix Gaze spell would win the primary objective.  There were three Grail tokens on this table as well, although I am not sure exactly where they were as I did not get a chance to play on this table.


Table 5 –Favor of Sotek

Lord Kroak ancient and venerable still seeks the power and blesssings of the mighty Sotek.


This scenario was interesting because it set the table objective, which was a take and hold that caused wounds (or healing!) to your own troops, against the Grail Token objective, which was also a singular Token of take and hold.  To make matters worse, each of these objectives were in one of the starting zones, so with each one a player would literally start on top of one while having to travel the length of the table to get to the other.  So starting side was important, as was mobility.

The full scenario rules can be found here, and the full table maps and terrain features (with rules) can be found here.  In the next part, I'll cover tables 6-10.   

Thomas Lyons

I’m finally back from Holy Wars 2017 and what an experience it was.  My birthday was on the Friday leading into the event so I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate it than spending a couple days rolling dice on beautiful tables.   I’ll be doing a series of blog posts over the next couple days regarding the event, the armies, and the tables/scenarios.  In this first blog, I’ll cover my own force and briefly discuss the event.  

When I decided to go to Holy Wars this year, I wanted to lean more into the hobby/narrative aspect  (which is what the event is really about) and less into the competitive aspect.  Vince and I took a hard-as-nails list to Holy Havok 2016 team event (where we tied for best overall) and I wanted to do something a bit different.  So, for this event, I built my list out of models that were narratively compelling or aesthetically pleasing in my Horned Legion force rather than necessarily strictly competitive.  For example, while I initially considered including a third set of 5 Blightkings in my force sideboard with my last 200 points, I decided to instead go with my converted Nurgle Warshrine.  It is a fantastic aesthetic centerpiece to an otherwise heavy infantry force and it exudes the character of Ghur where the Blighted Legion is stationed in their keep of Mireguard.

Each player was told to bring 2500 points although each game was only 2000 points.  This gave me quite a bit of flexibility in deployment to customize my army to what I was staring down.  This ended up being a much greater boon than I had anticipated.  So the list I ended up bringing was as follows…

  • 140 Harbinger of Decay - Harbinger Gulgath the Pustulant

  • 240 Be’lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince

  • 160 Sayl the Faithless

  • 120 Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Chaos Steed (Nurgle)

  • 180 10 Warriors of Chaos (Nurgle) w/Full Command – Handweapon/Shield
  • 360 10 Putrid Blightkings

  • 180 30 Chaos Marauders (Nurgle) w/Full Command and Icon – Axe/Shield
  • 300 30 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
  • 300 Hellcannon

  • 180 Plagueclaw
  • 200 Chaos Warshrine (Nurgle)
  • 120 10 Chaos Furies (Nurgle)

My standard deployment would be my four heroes (560 points), 10 Putrid Blightkings (360 points, either in two 5s or one 10), Hellcannon (300), Plagueclaw (180), and 20 Marauders (120), 10 Marauders (60), and 10 Plaguebearers (100) for battleline.  This would leave 200 points for summoning either the remaining 20 Plaguebearers, Chaos Furies, or a mix of Plaguebearers and Chaos Furies.   


I ended up doing surprisingly well with this force in the matched play although my focus on the narrative/hobby aspect paid off as I was privileged to receive the event’s highest honors, the Hammer Hobbyist award, which is given to the player who embodies the hobby and everything the event is about (painting, narrative, etc.).

It was a fantastic experience overall, and in the immortal words of anonymous Yelp! reviewer #87: "Five Stars - would do agin".  In future posts I’ll do some brief game summaries, provide shots of all the tables/scenarios, and the attending armies.   


Thomas Lyons

Daemonic reinforcements have arrived to the corrupted spires of the Mireguard, with still more on the way.  Joining the ranks of the Horned Legion are the maliciously adorable Nurgle Chaos Furies (kitbashed) and the pustulant plague bearer horde.



Keep your eyes open in the coming weeks.  More is on the way in the coming weeks as well!

Thomas Lyons

This week we are joined by the one and only Rob Symes, 50% of the WarhammerTV Twitch Live Stream team and the Chief Pigmentation Dispersal Officer for Games Workshop and we are talking all things Warhammer Community. We talk through the progress made by Games Workshop in the past year, the live shows, twitch and some of the best moments so far as well as what we can look forward to in the future.


Thomas Lyons

I had the opportunity to go on MC1Gamer's channel this evening and do an overview discussion of the new Disciples of Tzeentch book.  You can check it out here: 

If you aren't a subscriber of his, I'd encourage you to subscribe to his channel.  For those of you who watch Warhammer Weekly, we'll be having a special guest on Wednesday: Rob of Warhammer TV!  We'll be talking about the Warhammer community on the show.  You can see it live at 5pm EST on Weds or I'll be posting it here after we record it.  Happy Gaming!

Thomas Lyons

For those that missed it, here was last week's year-end mega episode where we hosted a roundtable discussion of the most recent FAQ released.  So come join us for a panel discussion of the Age of Sigmar FAQ that Games Workshop dropped before the holiday break. We talk through the changes and figure out what is good and bad - and what is still leaving us with questions.



Thomas Lyons

I'm honored to have been nominated in two categories for the Warhammer Youtubers 2016 Awards and I need your vote!  I've been nominated in the Best Painted and the Best Conversion categories and would love your support.  

My Glottkin was nominated for Best Painted.






Similarly, my Chaos Warshrine of Nurgle was likewise nominated.



You can see the other nominees here.  I'd certainly welcome any support by voting in the survey here!