This weekend just gone was the South Coast GT in Portsmouth in the UK and I was there with my Tzeentch Disciples (clearly the new powerhouse) so I thought I would give a quick rundown of how the army performed in the different games and what I thought of the list and the battalion. So first up I took 27 Skyfires and.....
Actually I didn't do this!
Instead I based my list around the Omniscient Oracles battalion, which for those that don't know is Kairos and three more Lords of Change. The battalion gives you reroll 1's for hits, wounds, saves, as well as charging and running. The Lords of Change will hence forth be known ad the Red One, the Yellow One, the Green One, and Kairos.
Originally I picked the list as I was inspired by @Ben Johnson and the 5 Star Drakes that he took last year and I wanted to be the one with the cool monster mash build. However Ben one upped me by taking five blood thirsters this year
Obviously this was the majority of the list, but it was rounded out with two 10's of marauders and 10 pink horrors which was the battlleline element, and then, because I had the points for it I was able to add in 6 sky fires and a tzangor shaman, just to add a little punch!
Artefacts and Traits
I used the 27" Dispell as the command trait on my general (the red one) and this was brilliant. I often find that being in range to dispel is tricky playing AoS as a lot of the spell casters tend to sit towards the back, allowing them to buff their army whilst being safely outside dispel range. With the extra 9" range as well as +1 its quite easy with the Lord of Change to shut down an average magic phase.
For Artefacts I took a Phantasmal Weapon on the green one so that I had an extra attack with the sword. This gave me some real punch and when needed I used the destiny dice to ensure something got hit when I had to clear things out. As my second artefact I took the Well of Arcane Might to give all my spell casters re roll 1's when in range of the yellow ones. This was mostly useful for some of the buff spells when I didn't want to use destiny dice to ensure that the spell would go off. for example getting an Arcane bolt off I only needed a 2 (with the +1 ability) so having the re roll 1's just mitigates that annoying roll of three or four.
I used these a lot for ensuring spells went off. 3's and 4's were pretty much exclusively used for this. I tended to use 5's and 6's to ensure successful charges or armour saves when needed. as sometimes big rend or damage weapons (like Durthu) could really frustrate opponents if you save them on the destiny dice.
The magical output from the army is quite frankly bonkers! However you have to be in range as the magic is pretty short range and there is no chance of sitting a LoC on a bale wind vortex. I spent the majority of the games having to make a decision about what to do in terms of sitting back and seeing what will happen or running forward to get into range. The army allowed me to take all the Lore of Change spells if I wanted to, although I swapped one out for the Destiny Dice shield from the Lore of Fate. If i ran the army again I would definitely not bother with this as I don't think I used it to any great effect as generally by the time I was really needing a boosted armour save I had used the majority of the destiny dice for damaging my opponent.
Mike with the Blades of Khorne
Mike had put together a BoK list from the models he had available and I think was enjoying the experience of testing the new rules. We only made it through three turns, but as he moved towards me he suffered the full wrath of Tzeentch's magical output. The game looked like it was going to ending tie however, until I managed to move a Lord of Change into position to break through on one flank. In the end I had to make a 5" charge to get onto the objective and kill the hero there. However I failed the charge, and my Kairos dice had been used up earlier. Luckily I had another Lord of Change 10" away, and through blind luck I rolled the 11 to get in which gave me the minor win. I had managed to get my objective as well though, which pushed me to the major win. Some of the things I learnt was that with good dice rolling the Lord of Change with the sword could be a real monster as he killed a unit of thirty blood letters in a single round by himself through magic and combat.
Chris with the Pheonix Council
Chris had borrowed Martin's Phoenix Legion army and worryingly for me it contained 3 units of 20 sword masters. We were playing the Silver Tower scenario which required units to be close to the silver tower. You could also put units into the tower so I knew I was going to struggle to win this. Chris ran forward to get into the tower early which meant I was able to put the full brunt of the magic, sky fire shooting and combat into a single sword master unit. Unsurprisingly I was able to smash through the unit and then move on to the next one. I was also able to focus enough magic onto the two dragons to bring them down as well. After three turns I had eliminated all of the Aaelf forces, but the Silver Tower decided to stay where it was for a turn meaning that despite the fact that I killed all of the opposing force I still lost on the scenario. I did manage to do my hidden agenda though which pulled the game from a major loss to a minor loss.
Jon with Sylvaneth
Jon is a fabulous hobbyists and he had a really stellar Gnarlroot Wargrove Sylvaneth army. As well as being a terrific painter Jon is a pretty stand out player, so this game came down to my superior mortal wound out put vs his better generalship. Jon pressed one flank hard and managed to make my general retreat off which gave him an early lead that looked like it was going to secure him the game, but as the game progressed I was able to push my army across to his objective, leaving models in woods as I went to stop him teleporting the tree lord ancient away from his objective. In turn four I was able to kill him off and secure the two points that pulled it back to a win to me. However Jon forgot about, or didn't see, some Kurnoth hunters that were behind a large piece of terrain and they could have had a big impact on the game, so although I got the win I don't feel like to was a true reflection of how the game could have gone. Hopefully we will get a chance for a rematch as I'm sure Jon feels like he could get a win against my force.
Jay with Mixed Order
Mr Hopkinson turned up with a mixed order gunline that was really four hellstorm rocket batteries, a hurricanum on a balewind vortex and 'stuff.' He also had some really well 'themed' line of sight blocking terrain that he could sit the rocket batteries behind as they don't need line of sight. All in all, I knew this was going to be a tough game. Fortunately Jay is a top dude to play, and we've known each other for quite a while so it was also going to be fun. In the end it turned into the best game of the weekend from a tactical perspective. The key error I made was not using a Destiny Dice to blast OxyOttll (or whatever he's called) turn one with Gateway (I rolled and failed to cast ), which allowed him to teleport round and score points all game. I tried a cunning plan by burning my agenda to run a lord of change across the board and charge, but Jay burnt his to stop me. This was the right choice as I think had I gotten into his rocket battery I would have been able to secure the win. As it was Jay outscored me, the game went 5 turns and I came away with my second minor loss of the weekend.
Ian with Bonesplitterz
Ian is a bit of a character - he is one of the Cheltenham Warchiefs and plays a pure Bonesplitterz army with all the different Rukks, and lots of supporting magic. I've never played the army before so I had no real idea about what pieces needed to be removed and Ian played the game very well. I think he was excited to play a monster army so that he could go Big Game Hunting. Ian pushed forward hard with the Boar Boys which I took off over a couple of turns, but this allowed Ian to bring up the harder hitting parts of his army and begin surgically removing my army. I pushed forward piecemeal which wasn't the right tactic I think, and eventually the Kunnin Ruk got involved along with some Big Stabbas and they were able to clean up my army. I didn't achieve my agenda and Ian managed his which gave him the comprehensive 30-0 win.
Matt with Sylvaneth
I've known Matt for a few years now, but never had the pleasure of playing him so it was great to get a game in at the end of the tournament. Matt had the pretty standard Gnarlroot wargrove so I felt quite confident in this scenario as I had 5 heroes to his 3 and mine are generally tougher in the match up because of the mortal wound output and the fact that the Sky Fires can out range the Kurnoth Hunters. Also the scenario played into the hands of my army as I could stand all five heroes in the box and outscore Matt, which forced him to come forwards. In the end I'm not sure I played very well. I lost two Lords of Change as well as the Tzangor Shaman to a cheeky 11" charge from some Tree Revenants. However Matt and I did a lot of fighting in the centre of the board with all our units, and the Kurnoth Hunters with Scythes made a real mess of my Green Lord of change (the combat one)! Once again the mortal wound output from the magic dispatched a Treelord Ancient, Kurnoths and Durthu which gave me a big 30-0 to finish and propel me to the heady heights of 46th overall.