So it was with great excitement that I took my Sylvaneels to Bloodshed in The Shires - a one-dayer at
My list was a development of Winterleaf taking advantage of their new ally option Idoneth Derpkin:
Basically, one uses the Order Unit in Winterleaf as 9 Morrsarr Guard (aka Eels, hence Sylvaneels) - which don’t count towards either cap on Allies - and then ally in the Soulscryer for deepstrike and charge buff. The list has built in CP for the inevitable reroll of a 6” charge and Inspo on Bravery 6 Eels.
The TOs and organisation
The TOs Dan George and Steve Curtis has clearly put a lot of thought and preparation into the event. It was particularly noteworthy as the first event of the Bucks Wargaming Collective and no doubt the first of many.
Dan in particular was very helpful and understanding when the trains/replacement buses did their best to delay the arrival of players including me. The second game vs Hugh was one of my most enjoyable in a long time partly as Dan and Steve, Hugh and others had some quality banter (mostly about Hugh’s dice sock and Derpu’s derping). This was typical of the lively atmosphere in the event. Despite that, the game vs Hugh and his Freeguild bunker was careful and tactical.
The scenery was high quality for a one-dayer and everything went smoothly (bar the trains😜). The pre-ordered Pizzas were an inspired choice. I could have ordered another it was so good 🍕.
The attendees were mostly a healthy mix of Bucks Wargaming Collective and South London Legionaries - a great crowd overall - a real variety of experience levels from first time event all the way to @Age of The Erstwood
Game One vs Clinton Liem (Ironjawz)
(To be completed)
Game 2 vs Hugh Halligan
It was with great excitement that 7 Legionaries stormed the battlements of Warhammer World. Ben Raven (Quad Flappies) and James Grant (Kroaknado) had brought the infamous Battle Wagon to stay in.... Rob brought Dronestrike and a pounding hangover from a football game/beerfest the day before. Hugh had Griffon Spam Freeguild. Max had his well painted Nurgle and jumped on the Livestream game one. Tom brought some Mixed Order filth. That leaves Archaon:
The List - Archaon Fatesworn
After a year of experimentation with Mortal Tzeentch and much contemptuous laughter towards my use of Chariots from Rob, I had integrated Archaon into Fatesworn.
The basic idea was that Archaon with Infusion Arcanum was pretty choppy (and autokilled big heroes) and also very tanky with Mystic Shield, Shield of Fate and Eye of Ed Sheeran. I filled the 10 Units in the Battalion with chaff - who also benefit significantly from the rend provided by the Battalion - Maras and Chaos Spawn. Any Daemons Summoner with Command Abilities would also have success to their command abilities - Double Pile in on Archaon or +1 to cast and unbind.
An early prototype tanked at Heat One (terrible dice throughout), but the list benefitted from some tweaks particularly the addition of a second Gaunt Summoner for redundancy/more magic. In this form, the list carried me to a first place trophy (and a first ever trophy) at Winter Waagh after a hard fought game vs John’s Khorne (also using a Gaunt).
Final tweaks were made by adding a fourth Chaos Spawn to bulk the summoning pool up to 580 (enough to summon the Chicken and the Keeper!). With some reluctance I dropped the Chaos Sorc Lord - even though his rerolls Spell makes Archaon vaguely reliable rather than derptastic, his 160 cost is brutal.
Gaunt (Shield of Fate, Wellspring)
Gaunt (Glimpse, Soul Draught)
3 x 10 Maras
4 X 1 Spawn
580 reinforcements pool
Wellspring is particularly useful for guaranteeing spells and saving on DD. Typically I would use (say) a 3 DD to cast Mystic Shield - adding one from the Gaunt’s Blot and then rolling the other casting dice and rerolling a 1. If it was a 1 I would usually burn a 2 or another 3. The 9” bubble usually catches Archaon and the other Gaunt.
The default summoning option would be the Balewind, Chicken, backed by 10 Pinks splitting into 10 Blues for 570.
Game 1: Chris’s Ironjawz - Starstrike
Chris had opted to max out his allies choices with 4 Rock Lobbas (which I’d also considered in the past). These posed a major threat to the Gaunt Summoners, which forced me to go first with some reluctance - as against a more melee oriented list I could have played for the double.
I deployed Archaon slightly off to the left. Chris’s army was heavy on Ardboyz and Pigs and lacked a cabbage. He cleverly deployed away from Archaon.
Fixating on the bonanza available from sniping off low bravery crew, I made a painful error by miscalculating my summons in turn one. Having brought on the LoC, Herald and Pinks - I lacked the points for the Balewind. This cost me the chance to deplete the Ardboyz before they engaged and to lob in a cheeky Battalion Arcane Bolt.
Things got rapidly worse as the LoC failed the Gateway casting roll, which would have threatened the Megaboss. My spells killed one crew outright, but only chipped off the odd crewmen from the others.
Archaon went left - my thinking being that he could mop up the low damage Pigs and secure the entire left flank before turning inwards.
I advanced a line of Maras, who shielded the punchier Spawns.
Shooting failed to kill any more crewmen. I had just enough DD to charge the LoC (fortified with Mystic Shield and Shield of Fate) into the Megaboss. He bounced pitifully - doing 2 wounds. In response, the Megaboss derped his own attacks.
All the Battleshock tests were passed and I was in a grim mood already.
Chris responded by throwing his Ardboyz forward, advancing the Pigs on my left.
Shooting chipped wounds off one of the Gaunts.
The Chicken clung on.
The Ardboyz split their attacks too thinly so the Pinks survived. The Chicken survived the Megaboss’s attacks and was able to hit back - dropping him to 2 wounds. The Pigs cleared up elsewhere, the Maras melted wholesale. Battleshock returned some Pinks.
The comet landed by the left Pigs. Chris won the initiative, which cost me a round of spells with the Chicken. Things went bad to worse. The Ardboyz were delayed by the Pinks, but the Pigs rammed into my centre clearing out the Marauders and a Gaunt Summoner.
Chris scored 2 points.
My remaining Gaunt Summoner blasted the Ardboyz. Meanwhile Archaon managed to get in combat with both units of Pigs and wiped them both out including Battleshock, which was enough to score back 2 points.
The other comets dropped - my one central and Chris’s one in the far right. Chris won the initiative again. This cut off my last chance as Chris mopped up my remnants. A Major loss to start against Ironjawz. Truly grim!
With hindsight I should probably have just lobbed in Archaon with the double pile in and outfought/tanked the Ironjawz in the centre. Chris lacked rend other than the Catapults. The failure to allow points for the Balewind had been costly and I wouldn’t allow that to happen again.
My club mates had had mixed fortunes. Max had been robbed by the constellations on the livestream - the stars landing on the Toads of the talented painter Adam Elford. Rob had also lost - not helped by his booming hangover. Hugh didn’t start well either. Ben, Tom and James had fared better.
I’m excited by the new frequent FAQ schedule published at LVO and the rapid Errata after each Battletome. The Nurgle Battletome is very good incidentally (and not a lot needs clarifying there). It's worth emphasising that the previous FAQs accompanying the GHB 2017 were excellent, with plenty of welcome changes and responsiveness to the Community. Frequent FAQs will help refresh the meta fresh and can sometimes breathe life into long forgotten Warscrolls or even whole armies.
Here are my hopes for the FAQ. Much of this is informed by recent tournament results, playing a lot of different armies at recent events and the experience and theory hammering of the South London Legion (and perhaps the occasional WhatsApp message in a mere handful of chatrooms).
Previous nerfs have hit them hard (3 Kurnoth Hunters or 14 wounds of Pusgoyles or 3 Skyfires and 20 points....); and every new faction since they emerged has been either a direct hammer blow (DoT mortal woundage) or has stolen their thunder (KO and Raptors outshooting Kurnoth Hunters with -2 rend and better buffs and now Nurgle...). Hopefully they will get a new genetic hero or new unit at some point in the next year or so, but some buffs via the FAQ could revive the trees in the interim. Their near disappearance from the tournament scene and meta is worrying.
Alarielle’s Amphorae is ambiguous as to when it functions (both players’ hero phases or just one). The summoning option would actually be useable if it works in both phases. She’s not efficient at present for her cost. Ultimately the way to beat Alarielle is to focus fire and kill her in one turn or chaff her up - extra healing would not affect this principle in a negative way.
Drycha would benefit from an FAQ allowing her to choose her weapon in the first Hero Phase irrevocably (I’ve just realised that Battlemages cannot choose spells on setup as the wording is the same as Chaos Marks - thanks Tom!).
Amend the buff providing for extra shots if the unit is 20+ models. This is the heart of the problem with “Ork Sniperz” - my pet hate as the most implausible, fun destroying* and most overpowered unit in the game (Skyfires plus Shaman having been nerfed sufficiently). This is a 50% Damage buff which would be on the high side for a melee unit, let alone a ranged unit.
The list is still overperforming at tournaments (e.g. at Heat One).
*At least when KO Table you in 40 mins, the Kharadron Code stipulates taking you to the bar for consolation. I’ve had to aggressively help my opponent roll dice (e.g. coming round to their side of the table and rolling their dice for saves when I’m entitled to make them count and use my dice) to get 5 turns done vs 90 Arrers (my opponent was great even if his army was boredom personified filth).
They are still the best army in the game (even though they are the very limited in the number of viable strategies - it's really down to preference as to more or fewer Riggers vs Skywardens). They make most Tzeentch lists into 90%-10% losses for the Tzeentch player for a start. They are frequently responsible for 40 minute tablings against a variety of armies. It's worth emphaising that the nerf to Thunderers is essentially irrelevant balance wise - the army may even have become stronger as a result as the 2 drop list is in such a sweet spot (and the 1 drop option is still there) - especially since Tzeentch armies are classically 3 drops - Changehost, Gaunt Summoner, Kairos/Skyfires for example.
It will be interesting to see whether KO are nerfed. They are a glass cannon balanced on a slender reed - even a small tweak to how Zilfin works could have big unintended consequences. Buffing other Sky Fleets (except Urbaz) would be welcome, but would not compensate for the problem that a surrounded ship turn one is usually game over (especially if the ship cannot even retreat out of the ring of death) and generally opponent going first is pretty terrible for KO in terms of zoning off or killing squishy 5+ save models with Bravery 6.
Fleetmaster might get nerfed or replaced as its main purpose seems to be to deceive and frustrate (or even troll) your opponent. I cannot see this kind of activity winning KO players many friends or garnering any sympathy.
The Tzeentch army has a bit of an image problem. It's still the most complicated army, with the most complicated rules and the most movement tricks. However, Tzeentch is emphatically not the best army any more:
It's very predictable in terms of the lists.
The armies are generally glass cannons with some critical points of failure like the Gaunt Summoner or the Lord of Change of the Changehost.
The army is generally reliant on going first, but is generally at a 3 drop minimum without making some sacrifices.
As good as the Gaunt Summoner is - he barely scratches 30 Arrerboyz or 30 Tzaangor. Sometimes units of 20 are preferable as this mitigates the Battleshock aspect (e.g. 20 Ardboyz may be less badly hurt than 30 - similar for 20 Dryads). He is dead turn one against many one drop opponents and obviously easy to kill in general.
Points increases have removed flexibility while not doing anything to make things like Flamers or Arcanite Battalions or Acolytes viable in tournaments. KO
Wisely the rules limit their allies (e.g. to prevent the Changeling casting Nurgle spells), but this doesn't bode well for their ability to respond to changes in the meta (this also hurts Sylvaneth).
This has meant that many people who don't play Tzeentch themselves haven't fully digested the page of FAQs and errata specific to Tzeentch in the previous FAQ. The nerfs are numerous and some of them are very substantial. With hindsight allowing DD to be used for D6 mortal wounds (which didn't last very long) was a mistake and made people hate Tzeentch a lot.
KO Clown Car is a 90%-10% hard counter.
The Changehost is a lot weaker than it was (you cannot cast a spell with the Changeling before he swaps or cast a spell onto the Lord of Change before he swaps, as both swaps happen in the start of the hero phase subphase), You can no longer summon a Balewind with one wizard, cast a spell with it and then swap another wizard onto it and have it cast another spell within a single turn. Furthermore, the distance to where you can swap is now limited to 9" away from the first swapped model, so that prevents 30 Brimstones from immediately getting in the way.
As predicted about a month after the DoT book came out (when people were realising that the melee damage of Skyfires was off the charts), Skyfires have poisoned peoples minds towards Tzeentch (oh look the Magic based army has the game's best melee unit by far and it moves 16" and is deceptively durable).
DD are also a mechanic that can inflame hatred as sometimes you roll a load of sixes. However, sometimes you lose the game on the DD roll, [spoilers] like I did against Craig Namvar at Heat One (not having a single 5 is devastating, in that game I would have won without a shadow of a doubt if I'd had a single 6):
Some Tzeentch players did themselves no favours in the long run by ignoring the obvious purpose of the first amendment to the Balewind (to stop monsters getting on top of the Balewind), by taking advantage of the unfortunately narrow way in which this prohibition had been drafted (that monsters didn't know the spell summon the Balewind rather than being unable to be be set up on one in any way (the new position after the last FAQ)). This also allowed Nagash and Arkhan to ride the Balewind, which clearly wasn't the intention behind the change.
Split is the lifeblood of Tzeentch, it is the best rule in the army by far. It has already been nerfed significantly (and this nerf is very poorly understood). Several other posters on TGA were unaware of the nerfs. It appears to be the case that if you wipe the unit of 10 Pinks out within a single hero, shooting or combat phase (note that it doesn't work at all in the charge phase), then the Tzeentch player has to either split immediately or not at all (whereas if you lost 4 models, you could wait until the end of said phase and then decide whether to split and create up to 8 Blues). This is a significant nerf as it means that you can clear out Horrors much more quickly as one unit can wipe the Pinks, then a second unit can wipe the Blues and another can wipe the Brimstones all within a single phase (particularly in the shooting phase for obvious reasons). This gives the Tzeentch player an interesting and challenging decision to make as to whether it's even worth splitting.
People usually lose badly to split (when they shoot a unit of Pinks that they were planning to charge and then find that they cannot charge it). They usually only make this mistake once or twice. I played against a 90 Tzaangor player at Heat One who hadn't realised the implications of Split - he did some throwaway Brimstone shooting into my Pinks (which he didn't have to do) and this should have cost him the game. He ultimately recovered and I lose two initiative rolls in a row.
Any additional nerf to Split would be be actively bad for balance. It is an iconic ability and the rule accurately represents the lore of what is happening. Not allowing splitting within 3" of the enemy is the worst balance suggestion I've heard in a year.
The top up to 10 models only FAQ was sensible and very much appreciated.
I've hated this unit since day one (the models are ace). I'm converting mine to Enlightened having never used them in an AoS game. The ludicrous melee damage (think Neo in the Matrix) is both poisonous to balance and jarring from a narrative perspective. Making them better at shooting but vastly weaker in melee would be one option.
On reflection and having seen how they underperformed in recent events, the combined nerf to the Skyfire cost and the Shaman may mean that they are reasonably balanced. On the other hand, if something in Tzeentch has to be nerfed, then make it Skyfires.
The Balewind Vortex
It has already been nerfed several times.
One of the worst possible changes would be a points increase, as this would reduce list flexibility even more and would mean that other armies like Nurgle (and even Ironjawz) would not have the option of trying their luck in using a Balewind. The Balewind would become the exclusive preserve of Tzeentch.
Removing the push away mechanic removes a tactical option (what was called Nudging the Beetle in the days when Sylvaneth were more prevalent) and has been used to good effect by Byron and others; and creates issues as to what to do with the models.
I would have no problem with units (or just flying units) being able to charge the Wizard on top of the Balewind if people are determined to nerf it. This would still preserve its offensive abilities, but would make the Wizard even more of a sitting duck.
Fundamentally spells have bad ranges in AoS compared to shooting (very few extend above 18" (= 2 x 9" for Lore reasons presumably) and many below this), which sits strangely given that in 40K you can move (very fast if you have a Jump Pack or wings) and then cast spells! This is most painful for debuff spells, which are fighting an uphill battle against buff spells and automatic buffs (Warchanter, command abilities, Lord Castellant). Debuffs should reward a player for taking them and act as a guard against Deathstars and stacked up mega heroes. The Balewind goes some way to redress the balance. Lobbing D6 mortal wound spells can result in a string of derpy 1s and 2s of damage just as Raptors occasionally roll 1s to hit. I remain convinced that shooting is the bigger danger to balance (although I'm not keen on changes to the core mechanics there - rather vigilance about new shooting units - "how about a Battleline unit with a 24" range weapon which has -2 rend - I know let's give it a buff against heroes and monsters too".
Small buffs to Tzeentch?
One nice change would be to adjust the Hosts Duplicitous requirements to keyword LORD OF CHANGE (so that Kairos can be the second Lord of Change in that Battalion) - this would provide another option. Removing the requirement that it include 3 Horror Heroes would also help. I doubt whether the Changehost itself would ever broaden out to keyword LORD OF CHANGE, but you never know.
Keyword LORD OF CHANGE would also be good for the underused Exalted Conflagration (along with removal of the huge minimum requirement of 6 Exalted Flamers (720 points) and a clarification that the rules work on the FLAMER keyword).
Another positive change would be if the Ogroid could go into the Arcanite Cabal Battalion. He is a cool model, I've only ever seen my own one in lists/events.
All of the minimum size unit requirements for the Arcanite Battalions would need to disappear. At the moment, these are narrative Battalions essentially, which is a shame - again the Acolytes are brilliant models, but rarely seen.
Bringing the Warchanter and the Command Ability of the Cabbage/Megaboss in line with other buffs that last until your next hero phase would be a small buff.
Ironsunz working on a 2+ instead of a 3+ would be great and might help push them up to the bottom end of Tier One.
Strength from Victory is discussed below. No-one objected at Heat One (which I discussed with opponents) to playing it as suggested.
Pig impact damage could be buffed of course.
Strength from Victory and Triple Headed Monstrosity
This relates to these two abilities which trigger if a particular weapon slays one or more models.
This wording sits uneasily with how melee attacks work in the game. While dice for different weapons of the same hero (e.g. the Mighty Fists, Smasha and Kunnin’ or the Heads, Slayer of Kings and Tails) are rolled sequentially, for all purposes they take place simultaneously (e.g. you measure all ranges and allocate all attacks before rolling any dice and casualties are removed only after all attacks have been resolved - so sensibly casualty removal from weapon one doesn’t pull a second weapon out of range and if the target reacts when damaged or slain, then this doesn’t happen until all the attacks have been done).
Furthermore the defending player does damage allocation after the total damage has been added up.
Hence, if multiple weapons caused damage to a target model and that model died, it’s difficult to say that a particular weapon slew the model; and so it’s hard to say whether the buff is triggered.
Having discussed this on the TGA forum and at our club, it doesn’t seem reasonable for the defending player to misallocate wounds to the target model so that (say) the Fists caused the final wound - this is artificial and would make these abilities significantly weaker. Nor is it sensible for the Gordrakk/Megaboss/Archaon player to roll one attack at a time (as it is entitled to do) to ensure that the last wound comes off from a particular weapon - this is an time sink. The practical solution we came up with is to say that if the relevant weapon (Smasha, Kunnin’ or Three Heads) contributed at least one point of damage to the model during the overall attack; and the model is slain during that overall attack, then the buff is triggered. People on TGA acknowledged the issue and seemed happy with this solution.
For Gordrakk a further point would be that only one of Smasha or Kunnin’ would get the buff (from a given slain model - not both weapons!), so if both of them contributed at least one point of damage, then roll a dice to determine which one gets the buff randomly.
For completeness, the same point arises for other Warscrolls.
Specific FAQs suggested by the South London Legion
Q: Is a unit set up using Wandering Wend does it have to deploy more than 9” from any models?
Commentary. The Wandering Wend rule modifies another rule (Realm Wanderers) so it may inherit the 9” restriction from that rule or it may be intended to be self-contained. I suspect that the more aggressive interpretations of this rule are going to be curbed in the FAQ based on recent tournament rulings.
Q: If a rule sets up a unit and says that this is its move for the movement phase or counts for its move for the movement phase is it both a setup and a move and so subject to the 3” rule?
A: No. Any set up rule is a set up and never also a move and never subject to the 3”.
Commentary. The initial FAQ (which defines set ups and moves) drew a bright line between set ups and moves, which was great as it simplified the rules for new players and was so clear. A recent FAQ that clarified that a setup is not a retreat (unless it specifies otherwise i.e. it says this counts as a retreat) was another step in the right direction.
However, in between there has been a lot of argument over whether certain rules (which are obviously set up rules in nature - i.e. models appear on the table for the first time or are taken off and set up in a completely new position) are or are not moves as well. Much of this was motivated by trying to tone down the Warrior Brotherhood (which was understandable).
However to explain to these distinctions to a someone and particularly a new player is rarely practical and could provoke more argument/discussion as the distinctions look arbitrary - there are distinctions between Lightning Chariot (not a move), Astral Compass (could be a move), Vexillor (not a move) and all Summoning spells (not a move) for example. Given that Warrior Brotherhood has been nerfed, there is a small impact on balance from making such a change. For example - Hammerstrike Force (even when given the benefit of the doubt - treated not a move) is not overpowered.
As you'll appreciate, this isn’t an issue for the Vanguard Wing - as the wording is a pure set up. I’ve previously suggested a modest nerf to this combo - just bring the unit cap back down to 20 Liberators (still a formidable 40 wounds, but fewer Grand Hammers). This is strongly preferable to rewriting the scroll or changing the mechanics of setting up models. Alternatively, just increase the cost of the Battalion by (say) 60 points.
Some combination of nerfs is on the cards for Vanguard Wing. Personally I would try to maintain the pure setup rule for this Battalion, but nerf the other aspects of it. Vanguard Wing should remain an option but not the only option!
Q: Drycha has a choice between Squirmlings and Flitterfuries. This isn’t specified as a weapon choice in Scrollbuilder, so you cannot select in on your list. Can she select this when you set her up rather than before the Battle on the list?
Commentary: Drycha is a named character - from a Lore perspective she could decide to fill herself with the respective Squirmlings or Flitterfuries with an eye to the next battle.
From a balance perspective Drycha is on the weak side without this flexibility - she is a good horde killer with Squirmlings but that ability is very weak against non-hordes - Stormcast that aren't using Vanguard Wing, most Tzeentch armies (lots of units of 10 models - maybe the odd unit of 20 Blues), KO, many Ironjawz lists, Beastclaw etc..
The buff to Flitterfuries was welcome (not affecting herself/friendly models), but it is worth nothing if Drycha can only be taken with Squirmlings for an entire tournament (which is what you would be forced to do if you took her in a list and had to pick).
Her cost of 280 is on the high side without this flexibility - bearing in mind that she is potentially costing you an artefact (as her non-named "equivalents" the TLA or Spirit of Durthu could take an artefact, Sylvaneth have spectacular artefacts that go very well on those two heroes; and Sylvaneth rarely have the points to take 3 heroes and Drycha following earlier point increases).
Disciples of Tzeentch
Page 81 Arcane Suggestion - Drop Your Weapons and Turn Around
‘Until your next hero phase, subtract 1 from hit and wound rolls for that unit.’
‘Until your next hero phase, subtract 1 from save rolls for the unit.’
I suspect this one isn’t getting changed and will remain useless (or to be generous - an incredibly situational gamble). It was a costly waste at Heat One for me - the worst thing in my list - I took it as a partial answer to Vanguard Wing. Rightly - I’ve never seen other Tzeentch players take it for competitive lists. Nurgle have a near copy of this spell, which lasts until the start of the next hero phase as normal.
In general, debuffs are at a significant disadvantage to buffs as buffs can or will be in range turn one, whereas debuffs are not. For this reason debuffs need to be stronger than buffs to make them viable. For example Festus’s -1 to armour debuff is for the rest of the game or the Daemonsmith’s debuff is a -2 to hit (so double the typical buff) and has extra range.
All other equivalent debuffs and most buffs (except the Warchanter) last until your next hero phase. A debuff to enemy hit and wound rolls for your turn only is of limited value as it is only relevant to melee attacks (in general) and you could just not charge into that unit instead or retreat out of combat. It cannot debuff shooting which is the often the key thing you need to debuff (Skyfires, Arrer Boyz, Kharadron Overlords).
Furthermore the casting value of 7 is high for a debuff (Hand of Glory is on a 5 and featured in Byron Orde’s list which has just won the GT Finals and other recent events).
Finally the spell has a random effect and so cannot be relied upon.
As a result, this spell is scarcely seen in lists even though Tzeentch are a popular choice. Tzeentch’s other debuff - Scintillating Simulacra - is very strong but extremely expensive requiring you to take a somewhat redundant second Lord of Change and an expensive second Battalion. It barely fits in 2,000 Points.
The proposed changes would bring this spell back into line with other debuff spells and it should find some use on the table.
(5) Measure to unit
Change the following rules so that they affect units within the specified distance rather than models within the specified distance.
Cauldron of Blood - Blood Shield
Chaos Warshrine - Protection of the Dark Gods
Gaunt Summoner and Chaos Familiars - Slop
Aether Khemist - Atmospheric Isolation
Grots - Netters
In addition Blood Shield no longer stacks with itself. Change to “any DAUGHTERS OF KHAINE units from your army within the range from any Cauldrons of Blood are granted protection....” The Harbinger's 5++ ward save bubble should not stack with itself either to fend off the most boring Nurgle list possible.
Commentary: The overwhelming majority of rules in AoS target units rather than models (both by default and for good reason) - only a handful of rules truly need to be measure to model (the likes of Hand of Dust, Cavernous Jaws, Stuff in Bag).
Many of the rules listed above create a problem insofar as saves/Ward saves are rolled on a unit not model-by-model basis and damage is allocated by the owning player after all attacks were made. For example if only some of the models in a unit have a ward save, then it is not clear whether you can roll at all nor is it clear whether you have to remove models that were within range. People have had to use house rules or use hand waving to resolve this. While sone of these would be buffs to the abilities, these are not unreasonable. People don't take the Khemist for Atmospheric Isolation - it's an ancillary debuff; and the Bloodshield buff is coupled to a nerf to stop it stacking (the triple 5++ Ward Save is one of the most boring lists since the invincible Settra, 4 Tomb Heralds and Heinrich Kemmler - which was (rightly) nerfed severely).
Other rules simply create a time sink in the flow of the game as players have to micromanage the positioning of models and then count models and roll hit rolls or saves separately. They also create an issue as to whether to remind a player as to the distance of the buff in question at the time or capitalise on forgetfulness/sloppiness. For example I’ve measured 3” from a model to keep mine out of range of a debuff (explaining that I was doing so) only for my opponent to tell me afterwards that it’s a 6” debuff when I started rolling hit rolls. That was not against a club mate I’m pleased to say.
Noting some recent new Warscrolls, it’s worth saying that “if all models are within X” rules are probably better than “only models within” auras.
Archaon and the Lord Celestant on Stardrake
Few people would be upset if an errata tweaked these Warscrolls to give them -2 rend on Dorghar's claws (not the Slayer of Kings) and the Stardrake's melee attack. Archaon does seem steep at 700. The LCoSD will be significantly less useful for his cost if the Vanguard Wing is nerfed. Their melee attacks (even taking into account their special rules) are pretty underwhelming for such awesome models. We know Nagash isn't getting a better melee profile, which is also a shame. Gordrakk remains the one demigod who actually lives up to his reputation in terms of melee damage. Alarielle on a good day can do good work.
Just a quick note to say I’m excited to be appearing on AusHammer later today at 10:00 UK in the morning for a List Off against the formidable Clint Mallet (that’s a great name too) I’ll be discussing my Fatesworn Warband from the GT Finals, booties and several major digressions.
You can find AusHammer on YouTube.
Six Legionaries are hitting AngelCore today (Declan, Leo, James, Ben Murphy, Simon and me) and another four (John if he defeats his hangover, Ben Savva, Nick and Hugh) for Honour & Glory (both effectively local events). I enjoyed H&G last year, even if Fulminators derped.
I’ve been a tad quiet on the blog. Real life has been eventful and I’ve not been to an event since The Finals. Hobby wise I settled on a Fyreslayer list for Angelcore and painted the few models I needed.
I opted to avoid taking a Battalion (although the controversial Kinband Battalion is very cheap in conjunction with the extra 8” range Rune).
Runemaster (Battleshock Immunity bubble.) General
3 Runesmiters (1 with auto unbind artefact)
Runesmiter on Magmadroth
I also took the Runemaster as general - he is pretty throwaway - does very little unless you’re opponent puts a load of Dryads in a Wyldwood and he makes it erupt.
He does have 6 wounds and most importantly he unlocks Aurics as Battleline. He can put a quasi Deadly rule on terrain, which could be fun vs Stonehorns. He gives your opponent a buff to one of their units of reroll wounds of one (their choice), but if he gets close to that unit he can give all your army +1 attacks against it for the rest of the game including pew pew! Unfortunately it is often used on Cannons and other long range stuff.
I took the Runesmiter on Magmadroth as he has the invaluable reroll wounds buff bubble, which plugs the gap when you tunnel up your forces (as the tunnel happens in the movement phase after the 3 normal Runesmiters would apply their buff). It’s particularly good as the timing is the same as Kairos: “Once per battle” so you can fire it off in the enemy turn or when he is about to die, rather than just in your own hero phase. He is very cheap for the cost, but super squishy and has an abysmal melee attack.
Other than that, the Battleline of the army is 2 x 30 Vulkites with Picks and Shields, plus 30 Aurics. All of these have an accompanying Runesmiter which allows them to pop up 9” away.
The picks provide -1 rend, which goes to -2 or even -3 if you get lucky with the rend Rune.
The Aurics are costly, but are a really good hammer or counterpunch unit. If the target is within 5” of a hero, then you can really melt it.
As for Allies, I needed to take some ranged threat to threaten 5 Wound heroes or artillery. Longstrike Raptors seemed perfect and could also use Aetherwings to block charges in the enemy charge phase - invaluable vs Murderhost on Scorched Earth or Ironjawz.
Much of the army was painted over a year ago for Blood & Glory’s Friday night events. Due to my worst ever bout of #CraigRolls I lost every game (even a Fyreslayer off). Back then, the army cost a fortune, so I converted a few metal slayers into Fyreslayers. They are still very characterful models.
Overall the plastic models are a joy to paint. The hair looks pretty good with a thin coat of Vallejo Dwarf Skin, then Orange Fire, then wash Carroburg, then Drybrush Basic Skin, wash Seraphim Sepia, Drybrush Ivory, wash Reikland Flesh, Shade the roots Carroburg. The gun barrels use Badger Minitaire Ghost Tints wet blended.
I’ve improved my skin painting as the army went along. Lots of thin glazed highlights alternating with washes.
Raptors and Aetherwings are excellent kits and I was able to practise a painting scheme that I might use if I ever get round to my Raptors (coincidence) 40K army.
So after Kairos's defeat at the hands of colour coded Bloodletter Spam and 21 Skyfires - there was only one possible solution! A bigger summoning pool!
The new list jacks it up to 780 points. I keep the Fatesworn Warband. Nemo the Ogroid steps up to replace the role filled by the Sorc on Manticore. The Curseling is General.
Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch (140)
- Command Trait : Magical Supremacy - Lore of Fate : Shield of Fate
Ogroid Thaumaturge (160)
- Artefact : Paradoxical Shield
- Lore of Fate : Treacherous Bond
Gaunt Summoner and Chaos Familiars (120)
- Artefact : Souldraught
- Lore of Change : Arcane Transformation
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (160)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
- Lore of Fate : Glimpse the Future
The Blue Scribes (120)
- Lore of Change : Tzeentch's Firestorm
5 x Chaos Warriors (90)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
10 x Chaos Marauders (60)
-Axes & Shields
- Damned Icon
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
10 x Chaos Marauders (60)
-Axes & Shields
- Damned Icon
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Spawn (50)
1 x Chaos Chariots (80)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Chariots (80)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
Fatesworn Warband (100)
Reinforcement Points (780)
Total: 2000 / 2000
Allies: 0 / 400
Leaders: 5/6 Battlelines: 5 (3+) Behemoths: 0/4 Artillery: 0/4
Per the FAQ the Marauders have both Banners and per the GHB the Maras cannot be units of 9 for the 6++ as Battleline cannot be under minimum size.
The Bloodletters are right at the bottom of the summoning pool. They have been joined by the Exalted Greater Daemons of Tzeentch and Nurgle along with a Sword wielding LoC.
Off to Warhammer World now for some practice games.
Ben Savva is also heading up from the South London Legion with a beautifully converted Ad Mech Skryre army.
I've consistently enjoyed @Chris Tomlin 's events and this was to be no exception. The laboratory doors under the South London Legion were sundered as five of us made the journey west to sunny Cardiff - Rob Bradley @leonardas , Alex Clark, Tom Lambert, Ben Savva and I. Two Tzeentch armies, Stormcast, Darkling Covens and Clan Skryre made quite a concoction.
There were 80 odd opponents and we had the new GHB 2017 to sink our teeth into. I was happy as my list had actually gotten cheaper - Acolytes, Sorc on Manticore and Fatesworn, as well as some of my summoning options like Plague Toads. 20 Bloodletters had unfortunately gone up to 220.
We would be playing the new Battleplans. Talk of the forums and amongst us was about the horrific quadruple Warshrine stacking 4 5++ ward saves on 90 Bodies. Fortunately our fears proved to be somewhat overblown.
Kairos and Fatesworn Friends
Rather than going down the well-trodden paths of the Changehost and Skyfire Spam, I decided to blow the dust off that long-forgotten mechanic of summoning - which Tzeentch excel at. I took a 390 summoning pool!
Allegiance: Tzeentch Leaders
Kairos Fateweaver (340)
- Lore of Change : Arcane Transformation
The Blue Scribes (120)
- Lore of Change : Tzeentch's Firestorm
Gaunt Summoner and Chaos Familiars (120)
- Lore of Fate : Arcane Suggestion
Ogroid Thaumaturge (160)
- Artefact : Timeslip Pendant
- Lore of Fate : Infusion Arcanum
Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch (140)
- Lore of Fate : Shield of Fate
Chaos Sorcerer Lord On Manticore (200)
- Command Trait : Illusionist
- Artefact : Paradoxical Shield
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
- Lore of Fate : Treacherous Bond
10 x Kairic Acolytes (100)
10 x Chaos Marauders (60)
-Axes & Shields
- Damned Icon
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
10 x Chaos Marauders (60)
-Axes & Shields
- Damned Icon
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Chariots (80)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Chariots (80)
- Mark of Chaos : Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Spawn (50)
Fatesworn Warband (100)
Total: 1610/ 2000 Points
Leaders: 6/6 Battlelines: 5 (3+) Behemoths: 2/4 Artillery: 0/4
Summoning Pool 390
Fatesworn rend turns the mediocre Slaves to Derping into semi-decent combat units (they would have been better had I remembered that Marauders get +1 to hit on a 4+ and +1 to wound on a 6+ roll!). The requirement for 10 units is painful - I would much prefer smaller bigger units.
Chariots (despite @Leonardas 's objections - represent exceptional value at 80 points for 7 wounds (near the Liberator 10:1 ratio) - having models that only die if they take 7 wounds is really helpful. Also both chariots get to be champions.
Significantly, Battleline units are not allowed to be under minimum size - which means I cannot get the Ward save on any of the units - this is a shame. Acolytes are and remain utter garbage - 1 attack, 4+ 4+ in both melee and ranged is terrible as is their armour save. I will swap them out for 5 Warriors in future.
The particular combo my list relied on was between Kairos and the MantiSorc. The Mantisorc was very tanky - reroll saves of 1, 4, 5 and 6, then a 2+ save with Paradoxical Shield and Oracular Visions plus -1 to hit him with pew pew from Illusionist. He also carried around the Treacherous Bond spell for Kairos to know off him (like a waterboy). Kairos could also cast the Mantisorc's own spell - Wind of Chaos, which was a more random Infernal Gateway. The standard strategy was for someone (probably the Gaunt Summoner due to +1 to cast with Blot) to summon 3 Plague Toads. Kairos would then Treacherous Bond to them. Kairos would then thrown himself forward with a shoot me sign on his front and get in the way. Once it was my turn again, he would keep up Treacherous Bond and lash out with Wind of Chaos.
I had hoped that the Ogroid would go down in cost, but he didn't - he remains useful as a source of -2 rend melee. He is a beatstick with Infusion Arcanum, but sadly the Windthief was nerfed into obliteration (thanks to Skyfire players - now we have two non-garbage artefacts down from 3) - it should have been amended to only work in our hero phase. I took the double pile in instead, which would be good if he survived a round of combat.
Another theoretical combo was using Arcane Suggestion and Kairos's Oracle of Eternity to guarantee -1 armour save for my turn (it should plainly be until the next Battleround - it's a really bad spell in general due to the random effect).
The Blue Scrubs were quintessential to this list and frankly any Tzeentch list (bar Skyfire Spam). Definitely the MVP.
The other reason for taking Kairos is that after summoning 20 Bloodletter, he could near-guarantee that they make a successful charge with Oracle of Eternity, which was pretty sweet I thought.
I'm glad to say I was way ahead of the pack on #ToadMeta. These are a chore to summon on an 11!
More conventional options were Pinks and Blues, a Daemon Prince and a Herald of Tzeentch - who does the sniper role.
Kairos and Fatesworn Buddies
Daemon Buddies showed up out of nowhere
Hobby-wise, this is my best painted army. I was pleased with how Kairos had turned out in particular with his actual clock face floating on 4 disks as a base; and the summoning out of magic water over my traditional lava bases seemed to work. It's certainly a riot of colour. The water effects do take a while and are painful when they go wrong #FloodASaurusRex. I'd used a combination of Glazing, Loaded Brush and Drybrushing on different models. Part way through the army I obtained Vellejo Metal Colours, which are truly a revelation.
There are quite a few conversions other than Kairos - the MantiSorc is a greenstuffed amalgam of a Daemon Prince and a Gorebeast, the Chariots are a kitbash of the Burning Chariots and bits from regular Chariots. The Marauders all have weapon swaps and Tzeentch Shields.
So the dust is still up in the air, but I'm going to venture forth with some initial thoughts and reactions.
The death of alpha strike?
One consistent theme is the nerfing/elimination of many of the mobile burst damage combos in the game - KO Khemist stacking, Tretch + Skaven Warlords stacking, Sayl + X alpha strike, Stonelord alpha strike and even Cloak of Mists and Shadows on the Ghoul King on Terrorgheist. There are only a handful of really strong alpha strikes/burst damage melee combos left that spring to mind: Murderhost, Shock Gauntlet Storm Fiends with Packmasters, very expensive Tomb Kings and Warherd, Executioners with the Hurricanum, Skyborne Slayers and Hammerstrike Force.
The question this raises is whether the move towards hordes and away from alpha strike means that the meta shifts back towards bunkers (and specifically Order Funlines). I'm concerned about Freeguild getting even more stand and shoot with their units giving out +1 to hit buffs like candy (already a powerful mechanic). The nerf to the Hurricanum is very necessary now.
Battalion changes and Hordes
Some good news for Death - almost all Battalions got jacked up in cost. This really changes the calculations for listbuilding - now you really have to pay a lot for that second artefact, rather than getting 3 easily. Single drop armies will be much rarer and there is a real trade off between models and battalions. In some cases, the cost increases are offset by cheaper battleline and/or volume discounts on hordes - best example being Sylvaneth.
The Big Losers
Mixed Destruction - headshots to the Kunning Rukk and a multi-pronged attack on the Stonelord (points vs other big monsters, halving wounds nerfed, Talisman nerfed and possibly the Battlebrew not affecting the mount - this depends on how explicit the reference to the mount should be).
Mixed Death - the removal of the 5++ is devastating to Death's survivability. Death still don't have any credible way to reach out at range - indeed they have lost the Cloak teleport too (and Little Mannfred on a Balewind). The only good news for mixed Death is their non-reliance on Battalions, while everyone else is paying significantly more for these.
Inherent Battleline - as they don't count as Battleline if they are allies. Effectively only used for Order, Death, Destruction, Chaos allegiance armies.
Brayherd - the only positive is cheap as chips Bestigor spam, but the command ability of the general (absent named characters) is dire. They might be able to spam bodies in your face, but not as well as other armies.
Kharadron Overlords - death by a thousand cuts for one of the most overpowered armies - the Thunderers are now rifle spam units, who are still decent output for the amount of ship capacity they occupy. Drill cannons have been nerfed by a third. Khemists don't stack and are 40 points more expensive. The Navigator lost his 3D6 unbind (which was a bizarre change). No cost reductions at all is painful (Gunhauler and Frigate).
Bow Hunters - just not worth the points. They can at least move out of combat using Navigate Realmroots and still shoot (not a retreat).
Crypt Horrors - seem like a bad choice compared to their flying mortal wounding, rending Crypt Flayer cousins.
Mannderp - cannot be an ally - still Derpy Mcderp.
Skyfires - I still feel 220 would be right - 3 Flies are 220.
The Big Winners
Daughters of Khaine A big point reduction on 30 Witch Aelves together with the lack of a ban on stacking buffs means 90 bodies with a quadruple 5++ Ward Save is now a thing - that's 80% of damage protected. Even just for the first Battleround this is meta-breaking. They can also spam Battleshock immunity and other buffs.
Fyreslayers - the change from the truly dire Order Allegiance pack is immense. The Rune mechanic is exceptional - especially the across the board rend - I also like the extra throwing axe range, since this will buff the damage of 30 Vulkites and 30 Aurics popping up to say hi. Some of the cost reductions have been rolled back, but they are still cheap. The Vostarg Lodge is a win as it means that all your units will definitely be able to fight in melee for a battleround. The other battalion feels like a miss as it neglects the fact that the army can deepstrike with Runesmiters. Battleshock Immunity Bubble is nice. Artefacts aren't great.
Freeguild - what was already a decent army has moved from the terrible Order allegiance to an exceptional new Allegiance pack. The battle trait expands stand and shoot options, which is already an infuriating mechanic (small models that can fly can partially mitigate this). They have a carbon copy of the Stormcast's incredibly strong Staunch Defender trait (called Indomitable - only it stacks with cover!) as well as solid artefacts - Armour of Meteoric Iron is a straight +1 save and Writ of Dominion is a once per game aoe wound buff). They also gained a cost reduction to their Griffon, which was already amazing value for 300.
Legion of Azgorth - lots of subtle buffs. Cost reduction for the Bull Centaur Renders is strong - 60 wounds worth for 640 points with -2 rend, 2 damage. Take a Sorceror Lord as an ally and buff with reroll 1s to hit, wound and save.
Slaanesh - so exciting - the triple general trait looks very tasty (e.g. take Archaon as one, but you still get a battle trait) or take two traits on your new shiny Exalted Greater Daemon of Slaanesh. The traits look strong too - especially the copy the Yhettee ability - you can stand out of combat at 4" away until the end of the combat phase (rather than charging), then pile in 6" and smash face. Supremely Vain is also a nice buff. Icon of Infinite Excess is a situational but amazing once per game aoe buff +1 attacks to all models including enemies - or summoned Bloodletters! Breathtaker looks good as a quasi-Forest Dragon toy.
Ironjawz - I would defer to @Chris Tomlin 's superior knowledge here and excellent write up here - They have a copy of the (nerfed) Destruction move (a good change as it's much quicker than rolling for a Warmachine, rolling for its crew....), two sweet Battalions, the ability to chain activations if they wipe out enemy units (which creates a good tension between MSU and big units for both you and your opponent). Lastly there are material cost reductions for the Cabbages and Pigs (how are they less than 10 points per model!).
Seraphon - look very nasty - can teleport Kroak into the front of your army and then Balewind and aoe spam against them. Same trick with Razordons (which got cheaper). Solid traits and artefacts.
Stormcast - the nerf to all the overpowered mixed Chaos, Death and Destruction traits is a big plus for them. The availability of 2+ rerollable saves is a big advantage given the nerfs to burst damage discussed above. The Lord Celestant on Star Drake got a points reduction despite being a popular choice. They benefit the most from allies given their freedom to choose. Prayers appear to work on Allies (unlike Khorne Prayers....) which seems purposively wrong and isn't likely to survive long.
Sylvaneth - As discussed, the nerfs to alpha strikes/burst damage melee combos mean that Sylvaneth's traditional grind, chip away and heal modus operandi should be viable (notwithstanding the nerfs to Hunters). Extra Battleline choices make Dreadwood viable.
Wanderers - nice board edge mobility with their pew pew. Have a trait called Myst Walker which basically imports the 40K cannot shoot a character rule for your general. The Forget-me-knot allows you to incapacitate a charging Stonelord in the combat phase, which is hilarious. The Viridescent Shawl is decent for -1 to hit vs pew pew and a buff to nearby wizards.
Tamurkhan's Horde - have a battalion which isn't pricey. Some units cheaper.
Everchosen - source of cheap Battalions and Varanguard cost reduction. However, Archaon not any cheaper.
Elite infantry in general - Stormvermin (and the costed the same White Lions!), Phoenix Guard, Bestigor, even Chosen.
Jabberslythes - how can they be so cheap!
The Rogue Idol - so good you can buy two in a box now. Obvious ally choice. Synergies better with Ironjawz now (Orruks).
Troll Hag - cheaper and very solid - good spell!
Freeguild General on Griffon - so cheap!
The humble Treelord - cheaper.
Drycha - got a buff to her aoe ability, so it no longer affects friendly units or here. Also good option vs hordes. Seems like you can pick which weapon she has before the game (e.g. it's not something you select on Scrollbuilder) - logically being a named character she does have the ability to do either and pick for each battle.
Spite Revenants - might finally see the table now they are cheaper and battleline.
Settra - now generic so trolling with the new Ring of Immortality - still a horrific amount of points.
Neferata - now an ally choice. Cheaper.
Arkhan - an immensely good wizard and troll.
The Exalted Greater Daemons - with the nerf to pew pew and some subtle buffs to their scrolls, these are a real thing now.
Mannderp - no longer costing you the 5++ Ward Save if you take as general. His Command Ability is great.
I'm ambivalent about Pestilens and Skryre. I think they will find hard counters in the form of rerollable saves; and hordes respectively. The cost increase to Tunnelling Skryre is very welcome.
I'm not convinced by Nighthaunt or FEC. The deepstrike ability for Nighthaunt in too risky and not so helpful for non-pew pew units. To be fair the Lightshard is an amazing buff on Spirit Hosts - as they only hit on 5+
Defenders of the Realm Delusion is decent to mitigate pew pew. I think Dark Wizardry is the only decent command trait - as their all important buffs are spells. The artefacts are pretty meh too - probably the gamble on the Chalice for healing D6 wounds. You can bring in a Necbromancer as an ally for Vanhels.
As for Soulblight - the fly is nice. Their spells aren't good enough to warrant taking the buff to that (Blood Boil - sigh...). The Saccharine Goblet is a quasi battle brew - probably doesn't buff the mount sadly. The traits aren't great - retreat and charge might be the winner. Mannderp and Neferata aren't soulblight, which sucks.
I had an intriguing practice game at the South London Legion against the ever formidable @Leonardas
I had played Rob's HDuplicitous before and built lists using it. I knew that even if I could pick off a few casters, their remnants could still wreck me (especially the Gaunt Summoner against a 20 Block of Arkanauts).
My list isn't the classic clown car. Instead I fill the Ironclad with 20 Arkanauts and a Khemist and a Navigator (the General) and put it on the board. It then moves up in the hero phase using Zilfin, deploys the dudes and then acts as a shield. I found in a practice game that it's harder than I expected to get full value here. The movement penalty is brutal - going to movement 6" for just 2 extra models really hurts. I'm pondering running the unit as an 18 to prevent this. The ships moves 6", then the Skyhooks can stand 3" away (back edge of base) then the models can move 4" and shoot 24" or 12" for Pistols.
The Ironsky Command Battalion gives a 5++ to the heroes as they offload damage onto the Arks. This was a big deal as we were doing Duality of Death - the new Battleplan which resembles 3 Places of Power.
The real power in the list comes from the Frigate - packed with 10 Cannon Thunderers and a Khemist and 3 of each Balloonist.
The Ironclad ventures out and does some damage, then tries to bait the enemy, then in a later turn, the Frigate arrives as a brutal counterpunch.
In an earlier practice game I found that the Last Word plus the bombs from the Ironclad are horrific vs MSU charges (as you can use them each time an enemy unit charges it).
I bunkered with the Ironclad well out of the 36" range of a Balewind. Two lines of 10 Arks shielded me against a possible charge. Rob elected not to put the Changeling in my deployment zone. He did his normal square box bunker with heroes well back. He rolled like a boss for DD.
I also put my Khemist on the table so that I could buff one unit of Arks if Rob gave me first turn, which he duly did. Ultimately however the plan was to sit back and hope Rob overexposed himself or that I won initiative so I could give Rob the turn and then play for a double.
I shot off a pitiful 2 Pink Horrors with6 Skyhook shoots.... I gave Rob the turn. Rob buffed up and put the LoC onto the Balewind via swaps (this needs to be banned in the next FAQ). He killed 9 Arks with Battleshock. His Pinks shuffled toward a fair way as did the Changeling. Rob won the initiative and gave me the turn.
In response I buffed the other unit and shot off the Changeling. The lone Ark also derped. Rob advanced the Pinks again and deleted the 10 Arks.
Rob won the initiative again and made me go first. I did some ineffectual shooting.
However this time I won the initiative and gave it to Rob. Lock and load! Rob took 8 wounds off the Ironclad with spells. Rob still had zero points.
In response I moved the Ironclad up and dumped its lethal cargo. Inspiring presence went on. The shooting deleted both units of Pinks outright. Rob deployed the Blues at the end of the shooting, but kept them well back so I couldn't make charges (and didn't want to walk into zap range either).
On my left I brought on the Frigate and chipped 2 wounds off the General LoC with a Khemist buffed Drill Cannon (knowing that buffing the Aethercannons would be overkill) plus the Volley Gun. Typically the Thunderers derped and barely scratched the Pinks, but the other units cleared up. I left most of the Brims alive so the Riggers could charge, chainsaw and then reach the General if I won the double.
I scored one point as my Navigator edged onto the objective.
Rob's turn was complex. He knew my Navigator had a 3D6 unbind and that He needed to cast Infernal Flames on the full strength unit of Arks. This was a Mexican Standoff within a Mexican Standoff.
Rob used the Herald to chip wounds off the Navigator (which took the Arks down to 14 models). I then forgot which hero he was targeting and didn't even use the unbind before he died. What Rob could have done was zap the Navigator with the LoC on the Balewind and then use Infernal Flames. On the left flank, the LoC used the final DD to charge onto the objective - flying over the Riggers. He derped and only killed 2 of them. However the champion was suffering from Scintillating Simulacra. Nevertheless he lucked out and did 3 wounds.
Rob scored 2 points so 1-2 to him.
In my turn (bottom of the 4th) I shot up the LoC on the left objective after moving the Frigate onto it. By luck rather than design the killing blow came from the Frigate (so it immediately grabbed the objective). Had it not done so, then Plan B was to charge the Brims and use the back of the base to clip the objective on a move. The scoring always seems a bit fiddly on this Battleplan (e.g. Summoned heroes cannot score as they haven't moved).
On the right flank, I shot off the Gaunt Summoner and then charged the Ironclad into the blues to score.
This gave me an unassailable lead going into the final Battleround.
All in all a real pleasure of a game. My cagey strategy paid dividends this time.
So I was fortunate enough to snap up a last minute ticket to Heat 3. As my DoT are about 1/3 painted (and I hadn't then settled on a list - I have now) and my KO were just a collection of unopened boxes - I was going to have to take an army for the second time to an event. I thought about taking a Fyreslayer plus Stormcast combo, but the news that Fyreslayers would be getting an allegiance pack made me pause.
Instead I dug out my Skaven for Archaon's Furry Friends. After some practice games (I ultimately lost all 3 of these including to Bryan Carmichael's Host Duplicitous on the Friday before Heat 3), I tweaked the list, so that the cannonball units would be 40 Clanrats, 20 Stormvermin and 10 Stormvermin, rather than the original 40 Clanrats, 30 Clanrats and 30 Stormvermin. This made the army a bit less exposed to Battleshock; and retained 3 units that could still basically delete multiple enemy units using the buff stack of +2 attacks, reroll 1s, rend and double damage on 6+ to wound that had worked pretty well for me at The Warlords:
This also left space for a very efficient 120 points of summoning for either a Balewind (to nudge forward a unit largely and snipe crew) or a Herald of Tzeentch, who could reliably pump out 5 mortal wounds on the turn it is summoned at 36" effective range. The hope was that this would give me an answer to Savage Orruk Big Bosses and the like.
While I've not been pumping out painted armies like I did last year, I did manage to convert and paint up my Kairos/Loc:
The first conversion was attaching the flames from an Exalted Flamer to his outstretched paw for some Pink Fire action.
The second conversion was building a set of 5 disks which would constitute a giant clock for Kairos to perch upon and having this clock suspended above a pool of magic water emerging from the lava fields of Chamon.
I used spare bits from the exalted chariots to create the framework of 4 disks. I created the water effect by following @Vincent Venturella 's technique for bright ocean water.
I tried to use Vince's technique to make metallics pop like NMM, which showed some progress.
The final element was using an actual bronze clock face and using the spare sword as the hand of the clock. Guess what time it is?
Game 3 was against the Bristol Big Uns.
It was the third game of the day and against a Grot/Ironjawz force. However, my game had the distinction of being the only game of AoS that I didn't enjoy in any way. A truly dismal mixture of arguments about everything (whether Fanatics count as a drop when deployed for example), slow playing, chatting to a third party during the game to further slow things down and my opponent's ignorance of the basic stats of his general (movement 4 Megaboss).
Ben got an 11-9 win, but James and Tom were defeated. I got a 16-4 victory.
Sadly, this meant that our team lost 32-48 overall.
I made a small error in deployment, such that Settra was out of range of the Tomb King, which made my turn one alpha strike less brutal. Nevertheless, the Necropolis Knights rocked up to 3" away from the Moonclan Grots in a spread out line. The Fanatics came out to play, but rolling a 2-2 for a charge meant that one died and his buddy didn't make it in, while the other Fanatic only pinned one snake. The first pile in smacked into his forces and did brutal damage. The second pile in added to the first.
The counter attack was painful, following a double turn I went down to just one snake remaining. However, thanks to the 1" bases of the Grots surrounding the last Knight, I was able to reach over and restore a model behind the Grots (there was another argument about this) and then another 2 Knights popped up. I ultimately took down the Megaboss and was well into crushing his right flank. On the left his general and buddies made some progress. A unit of 10 Zombros managed to not die to the attacks from a Megaboss which tipped the major victory to me. Had we gotten five turns it might have been a tabling.
16-4 to me and a disappointing 32-48 overall. I was completely shattered by this point.
Once again I engineered the draw so that I might get the chance to take on the Sylvaneth Gnarlroot player and once again this option was presented to me and I took advantage of it. Game 2 ended up being a remarkable carbon copy of Game 1. We were playing the WWW team, which had had some drop outs (I think Paddy dropped out from memory). Ben @Thanatos Ares ended up stomping 19-1 on the poor Claire (who was pretty new to the game). It was a friendly affair though, with the players having a good chat afterwards. James went down to Chaos Warriors I seem to recall, while Mick (who deserves kudos for flying in that morning while wasted to make the event) brutalised our Tom 20-0 using the Changehost battalion (this was pre-DoT - it's an old battalion).
In my game, the Sylvaneth went first again, popped out some Wyldwoods and sent forward Durthu and Kurnoths. Then in my first turn, a buffed up Arkhan deleted Durthu and possibly the Ancient as well in the same turn, while the Krell Bomb wreaked havoc. This time I don't think my opponent John actually had an Order Wizard in the list, which was odd. After that it was mopping up from the Necropolis Knights. I got a 19-1 victory.
Totting it up, we edged it 42-38!
The South London Legion is running a Hinterlands Campaign under the guiding hand of @Bowlzee. I wanted to share the narrative I've cooked up.
Thanks to @bottle for generally being a hobby legend and creating Hinterlands.
Mercenary Captain James Delaney (Runesmiter) - General (Reckless) 40
Quartermaster Horace Delaney (Battlesmith) 40
Mercenary Lieutenant Keziah Delaney (Hearthguard Berserker Champion) 16
Corporal Nootka (Hearthguard Berserker) 16
Corporal Musgrove (Hearthguard Berserker) 16
Sergeant Carlsbad (Auric Hearthguard) 16
James Delaney forged an unusual career. He was born to Valerie Delaney at the height of the siege of the Azul Lodge by Gruzlit's fleet of Grotbag Scuttlers. Valerie was entranced by his glowing eyes - a sure sign of Grimnir's blessing.
Whether by coincidence or divine hand, the eruption of the long dormant volcano, Drakesmaw, decimated Gruzlit's ragtag fleet - plumes of magma swallowing up the Grots' rickety contraptions. Forced to fight on the ground, the Grots fell in droves to the counterattack of the Vulkite Berserkers. Gruzlit attempted to fall back - only to find the Forge Brethren rise out of a pool of molten rock - Magmapikes blazing.
His minions scrambling to escape, Gruzlit narrowly dodged the arc of a Grandaxe and swiped his cutta into the neck of Cindermaw Runefather Azjol's Magmadroth. Gruzlit was dead kunning, but should have known better. A spray of magma vaporised the left half of his face. Cindermaw roared and clambered to its full height, but then the Manticore venom kicked in - sending the great beast into spasms. Cindermaw toppled down a slope taking Azjol with it. Momentarily stunned by the fall of their leader, the Vulkites watched as a charred Grot Scuttlebag swooped down. Gruzlit's bodyguard of Nasty Skulkers picked up there crippled leader and unceremoniously dumped him onto the vessel. A hail of Fyresteel Axes dented the armour plates of the Scuttlebag, but it limped off into the distance - disappearing into the sulphurous clouds.
With their leader escaped, the Grots courage buckled and the Fyreslayers took bloody vengeance - wiping them out down to the last Grot. That last Grot was the Shaman Rizzik, who coughed up the whereabouts of Gruzlit's fortress in the Yhorn Mountains. While the Azul Lodge had withstood the siege, the Fyreslayers had suffered brutal losses including James's father Harold Delaney - his spine split by the a Skulker's cruel Back Stabba. It would be many years before the Lodge could venture forth to hunt for Ur-Gold or take on a contract.
Valerie brought him up to be a priest - a Runesmiter rather than a Vulkite - with hope of him avoiding Harold's fate. James took to this naturally becoming a skilled manipulator of metals - molten or otherwise. Like all inhabitants of the Azul Lodge he held a burning hatred of all Greenskinz and longed to raze Gruzlit's fortress to the ground. Following his initiation into the priesthood at the Lodge, he resolved that he would not devote his time to studying the books of grudges or tinkering at length with alchemical recipes - he wanted action - he wanted revenge. Craving power He began to dabble in forbidden rituals - carving tainted and curvaceous runes into his flesh from a dusty tome he had found in the Lodge's library written in pink ink. Other Runesmiters took note of his unusual progress and gossiped behind his back.
His power increased twofold as did his appetites. James and his two younger brothers Horace and Keziah could demolish a keg of ale between them. Half drunk on power, half drunk on ale, James found himself drawn to his sister Zilpha in his dreams. Zilpha was already married at the tender age of 19 to the Battlesmith Zenit. Zilpha too began to see visions of James arising out of the ground and enveloping her in fuming magma. She was captivated. She resisted James's advances at first with disgust, but eventually succumbed to his advances after he infused a runic tattoo on her thigh with Ur-Gold. Neither of them knew that Selene - an emissary of the Dark Prince was manipulating them both for unknown ends.
As luck would have it, The Honourable East Azyr Company - a swift Sky Fleet from Barak Zilfin - docked that winter at the Azul Lodge. Admiral Thaddeus was looking for keen adventurers to join his expedition to the Yhorn Mountains. James was attuned to the breath of Grungni in their Aethermatic weapons and gleaming Endrins.
Normally so calm, he felt a rush of blood to his head. Before nightfall, James had signed up (in triplicate) the voluminous contract of The Honourable East Azyr Company. With his mother dead, it was Zilpha, who saw him off at the dock with an unusually passionate kiss for a sibling. He mounted a Frigate, which glided off into the clouds.
Years of raiding in the lava fields of Moltania followed. James found his formidable prayers complemented the more direct approach of the Arkanauts. His fellow Arkanauts shuddered when James carried out grisly rituals on enemy corpses and living captives. His power continued to grow. Whispers of cannibalism followed him. Nevertheless, he impressed Admiral Thaddeus and promotion to Captain followed on the heels of his heroism against the fearsome Megaboss Krumbler.
I had a sobering experience yesterday down at the South London Legion - it was my fifth game with my Sylvaneth and my fourth defeat. Admittedly none of these were in a tournament setting. I played against the new Shinies - Blades of Khorne - wielded by John @Gitli
I took this list:
Leaders Treelord Ancient (300) - General - Artefact: Briarsheath - Deepwood Spell: Verdant Blessing Treelord Ancient (300) - Artefact: Moonstone of the Hidden Ways - Deepwood Spell: Regrowth
Battleline 10 x Dryads (120) 5 x Tree-Revenants (100) - Sylvaneth Battleline 5 x Tree-Revenants (100) - Sylvaneth Battleline
Units 5 x Spite-Revenants (100) 5 x Spite-Revenants (100) 5 x Spite-Revenants (100) 5 x Spite-Revenants (100) 6 x Kurnoth Hunters (360) - Scythes 3 x Kurnoth Hunters (180) - Greatbows
Battalions Dreadwood Wargrove (100) Outcasts (40)
The Battleplan from the SCGT pack favoured me as I needed to use generals to score diagonally opposite objectives (failing which more models scored). John had deployed quite aggressively on my right to attack my objective. John's general and a ring of 10 Maras were on my left.
I deployed my Wyldwood on his objective as a Les Martin Cluster. I figured that John probably wouldn't swap sides and I would be able to do some damage with
I was aware of the availability of Brazen Runes which would be a once per game auto-unbind with infinite range. These were a horrible prospect for an army as Magic Dependent as Sylvaneth.
The basic plan was to use Ambush to redeploy the Scythe Hunters to come and smash John's general, then hopefully the rest of his army would get in the way of itself as it tried to react.
I rolled up 3 abilities on the D3 - so I could use all 3 abilities. You need to plan on the basis of one such ability.
On reflection, the unbinding is either an ability or a form of "casting spells" point discussed above should have meant that he couldn't use the auto unbinds as they were capped to a 12" range by Hidden Attackers (although this is ambiguous).
I also used Sneak Attack, although following the FAQ to decapitate the Free Spirits - this ability appears to be almost useless due to the low movement speed of Sylvaneth and the ability to use Navigate Realmroots instead. The exceptions would be Alarielle and possibly Drycha, as she would be able to move 9" and then 9" and then use Flitterfuries to hit much of an enemy bunker. Another use would be if you had no Wyldwood in the middle and wanted to lob forward a line of 20 Dryads to act as a shield - as they could move 7" plus a further 7" and a run in the movement phase.
I took turn one and used Awakening on the Wyldwood - this bounced off the 2++ ward vs spells that the Brazen Rune also provides until expended and killed a few Reavers. I realised with dismay that the Wyldwoods generated by the Ancient cannot be used that turn for the purposes of Navigate Realmroots (as they have to be more than 3" from any model) - Verdant Blessing is different. Luckily I cast Verdant Blessing and popped another Wyldwood down near my general and the rest of my forces.
I used a combination of Navigate Realmroots and
I left the Dryads in reserve (probably a mistake). I figured that some Bravery debuffs would really hurt the Khorne forces so I moved in with them.
I shot up the 30 Blood Reavers with the Kurnoth Hunters - killing 12 - This prompted me to charge in with the Tree Revenants and 5 Spite Revenants. The hope was that the unit would pop, but that I would be able to block the Warriors and the Wrathbros behind in John's next turn . However, as I only just made the charges the Spites were behind the Revenants when I would have preferred the opposite.
On the left, I killed 8 Bloodreavers of the 10 ringing the Mighty Lord. However, when it came to charge I found that John has legally broken coherency in order to block the gaps between the tree stumps. This meant that only 3 of the Kurnoths got into range and only the Champion against the Mighty Lord. Had I spotted this beforehand I would have gone into the Khorgoraths full throttle and hopefully dropped the unit of 3 (I had taken the Damned buff in exchange for 3 wounds). The non-general Ancient failed a long charge as the Bloodreavers near the Lord who had been 9" away were all dead as did the right Tree Revenants. The general one say back a little on John's objective behind a screen of 5 Spite Revenants.
What happened next was horrific. 3 of the Scythe Hunters were out of combat even with a 2" reach. The Champion bounced off the Mighty Lord (not that surprisingly. However, John passed 2 out of 4 saves on sixes for his Blood Warriors, so the total damage inflicted was 1.5 Blood Warriors and 2 Blood Reavers from my hammer unit. I'd completely thrown away the game turn one it seemed.
John attacked back with the depleted Blood Reavers, who were only 2 attacks each at the moment. They killed 3 Tree Revenants but no Spites. In response I activated the Spite Revenants who had also charged the Mighty Lord - they actually did a wound before the Mighty Lord deleted them.
Then came the Khorgis at 3+, 3+, -1 rend, 2 damage. All 3 managed to get in and John rolled up 8 wounds. I proceeded to fail 6 of the saves - which came to 12 wounds plus the 3 earlier ones - 3 Dead Kurnoth Hunters in my turn! Plus this activated a Bravery debuff.
The Spites and Tree Revenants did poorly. It's inexplicable to me that Tree Revenants aren't 3+ to hit (considering the army has no buffs to hit rolls whatsoever) and these chaps are the same cost per model as Phoenix Guard and Temple Guard. Battleshock meant that all bar 2 of the Blood Reavers popped.
However, the tragic news was to come as I rolled badly for the Kurnoths and a further 2 models fled. 5 dead in my turn! Perhaps my worst first turn ever in AoS. I also lost the Tree Revenants even with the reroll - I think they are awful for 100 points - they should be 90 at most.
I was considering whether to concede at this point. I was at least on a 3-0 lead and I wanted to see what the BoK could do.
In short John moved his Wrathbros towards my general and the Mighty Lord came out to try to get him as well with the Reality Splitting Axe. This time the Les Martin Cluster worked in my favour as the fat base of the MLoK together with the remaining Spite Revenants meant that he had to go a long way round or waste a turn on the Spites. The Blood Warriors on the left went into the other Ancient, who had done nothing so far. The Moonstone was a complete waste of space on this. The plan had been to have him up with the Kurnoths unleashing the stomps to help keep them alive, but due to my bad positioning, he had ended up in the wrong place and out of combat.
The Blood Warriors chomped up the Ancient, while the Khorgis thankfully failed a mid range charge. John cleared up my front line on the right flank.
John won the initiative and got his General and the Wrathbros into my Ancient.
I skillfully forgot about Gnarled Warrior for some reason, so John chipped away some wounds. An elaborate multi turn dance began whereby the Ancient with extra attacks from the Wrathbros hoped to do serious damage to the Mighty Lord only for it to pass its saves or its 5++ vs melee attacks (new trait)! John got to roll on the Reality Splitting Axe (now it kicks in immediately rather than at the end of the phase, which resolves the previous rules query as to whether you still have to roll if the MLoK is dead - Rule of Cool said yes!). However, he failed.
Several turns later I still had a lead of 4-0, but in the pivotal combat, the MLoK took D6 damage from my Branch attacks, only for me to roll 2 wounds and then for him to save both of them with the Ward. Then the 2 Talon attacks (still one Wrathbro) hit him and again the ward save held!. John responded as only Khorne could - splitting my reality. I promptly conceded
The positives were that despite the bad start, the army was still able to stand up to the Khorne forces for some time. The stars were the 10 Dryads who alone managed to hold up 10 Blood Warriors for 2 turns.
The negatives were the Spite Revenants the Tree Revenants, the Bow Hunters and the Battalion itself. The Spites only seem to function in a scenario where they enemy are coming towards you and you're hiding in Wyldwoods. This jars with the Dreadwood Battalion itself which seems to operate as an alpha strike list (although it could be used as a bunker perhaps).
The Tree Revanants melted so easily and even when they were able to pounce on the Bloodsecrator in my second turn, they didn't achieve much. Managing 2 wounds (admittedly against a 3+ save) over 2 turns of combat.
I simply don't understand the supposed power of Bow Hunters, the 4+ to hit just puts them in mediocre or swingy land to me - the range is great, but I'm more impressed by Raptors (let alone Skyfires). I resorted to taking the Damned buff (even without Regrowth as John unbound it automatically), but they still underwhelmed.
The Khorne Book looks solid. The Pilgrims with the rerollable saves and the autounbinds were huge. John rapidly got to 8 Blood Tithe (good work Spite Revenants....sigh) and used the 7 ability.
I'm going to tear up the list - a paid of Ancients seems like a complete fail.
On the plus side, I then got to go and be a guest a few hours later on Warhammer Weekly with @Vincent Venturella and @Thomas Lyons, which was epico! #MostlyGrots
Last year's event
Firestorm Fours last year was a fantastic event. I was brought in as a mercenary by captain Rob (Rufio!) Symes. After nearly breaking WhatsApp in the lead up to the event, Rob, Nathan Prescott (#LongLiveTheHoodedVillain) and Rob Crouchley arrived for what turned out to be an epic event. The atmosphere and all 6 games were exceptional.
I got kerbstomped hard by Terry Pike game one - nothing like drawing the Facehammer Team for the first round of an event - learned a lot from talking to him - chatted about the TeleThanquol combo - Double Deceiver plus Thanquol - they were awesome. I avenged our defeat in part by beating @Lez at The Warlords.
In the final game, I had the pleasure of facing @Dan.Ford, the godfather of Tomb Kings and a truly formidable opponent. He opened my eyes to the possibilities of alpha strike lists, extreme movement and Tomb Kings in particular. He used a very effective strategy of sitting well back and lobbing in an expendable unit each turn that had been buffed up to the maximum. In this case, it was an obscenely fast unit of 3 Chariots, which would receive at least +2 to hit, +1 to wound and Righteous Smiting. The game was surprisingly close, Dan committed to killing my Verminlord Deceiver (who I had left on the backline by himself outside of my bunker, thinking that he was safe from rendless chariots).
While it's fairly obvious (especially almost a year later), I believe I was the first person to use Vanhels Danse Macabre on top of Settra's buff and two Tomb King Buffs on a unit of Necropolis Knights at SCGT (as part of @Vincent Venturella's last March of the Tomb Kings. This made them even more brutal with the double pile-in. I put these to good effect, but was outplayed in some games along the way - nothing like seeing the Necrosphinx's 10 mortal wounds special bonus rule come off turn one - against your own Necrosphinx - sigh....
After SCGT, I was determined to build armies for the other two Grand Alliances - the results being Mostly Grots (how can you not run 5 Forgeworld Monsters and 23 Grots in one list); a mixed Order force, which continues to grow; and Mostly Grots II. The Tomb Kings lurked on my shelf for some time waiting for their chance to return to the fore!
Overall - I cannot recommend team events highly enough - especially if you're a less experienced player - as your team mates can support you (or viciously blame you for dragging down their otherwise perfect scores - joking). Mo's scoring system works really well for team events and ensures that it's always worth fighting a losing battle just to pick up a point here or deny a point there. The setting - Cardiff - and the venue - Firestorm Games - are both superb!
Firestorm Fours 2017
I had high expectations for how fun the event would be this year and was not disappointed. The South London Legion was out in force. I was leading a team of Ben Raven @Thanatos Ares, Tom Lambert and James Grant (all club mates), while @Tom Loyn was captaining Team Wales. We rocked up on the Friday and managed a practice game - which helped us to chill out and gel as a team. As a practical bit of advice if you can take a day, a few days or ideally a week off before a tournament, then do so, it makes such a huge difference to how your perform, your enjoyment of the games, your resilience when things go wrong or you have a draining 3 hour game at the end of the first day. We'd not had much preparation time for this one - due to real life commitments; and this was the first tournament of any kind for Ben.
The lists were very unusual for those familiar with the GH as we were using Mo's Clash Comp. The salient points were that heroes and single models could never score, but there was also no hero cap. This has a huge effect on the game - last year the emphasis had been on remorselessly killing the scoring units while completely ignoring everything else. Riderless Monsters and Artillery (cf. units of Kurnoth Hunters) are generally garbage under this pack. DoT were not allowed at the event, although the book was out and one spectacularly drunk player had brought a Changehost (it's an old Battalion).
@Thanatos Ares took his Flappies with a sideboard of Ghouls.
James Grant took a combination of the Skyborne Slayers and the Hammerstrike Force (mixing it up compared to the usual Warrior Brotherhood ) with a Drakesworn Templar as a sideboard.
Tom was taking his deceptively killy Dark Aelves - the Thrall Warhost, Witch Aelves, plus a Black Dragon as the sideboard (@Paul Buckler might be interested in this). The secret weapon was Volkmar the Broken Grim (100 points well spent - I suspect @Thomas Lyonswould agree). His army was the best painted of our team and had a really striking scheme.
The Krell Bomb
The Krell Bomb was something I've been pondering for a long time. I had the model already, but at some point it clicked in my mind that despite having only movement 4, Krell could be used as a devastating and cheap cannonball. Furthermore his small base size would allow him to get into spaces that 6 Necropolis Knights couldn't fit into. Finally, Krell is surprisingly durable, with a 3+ save and halving wounds mechanic.
Krell starts off at 4 attacks 3+, 3+, -1, D3 damage. However, his special rules also mean that he gets +1 to hit vs Heroes and if he inflicts any wounds on an enemy model, then he can roll a dice and try to beat the number of wounds remaining for an autokill!
The +1 to hit was huge as it synergised with Tomb Kings key synergy. Krell is also both a Skeleton and Deathrattle. As a result, by taking Settra, a Necbromancer, a Liche Priest, a Tomb King (or two), a Vampire Lord on Abyssal Terror, a Necrotect and Krell, I could unleash the following:
Movement goes from 4 to 8 (Hellish Vigour only working on the movement statistic itself), then adding 3 to 11 and then doubled to 22.
4 Attacks, hitting on 2s, exploding on 3s against heroes, then 4s, then 5s, then 6s (under the SCGT partial nerf to exploding attacks), 2+ to wound, rerolling ones, -1 rend, D3 damage. If Krell survived the opponent's activation (3+ save, halving wounds taken), then he could move a further 3" (even if there was no enemy unit within 3" as he had charged this turn) and keep on chopping!
I converted the VLoAT from a Gorebeast and a Daemon Prince with some greenstuff (it's my Twitter profile photo). it will soon be a Tzeentch Lord on Manticore. However, I never found an opportunity to unleash the Krell Bomb. His mysterious absence from the General's Handbook put an end to such plans - hopefully he's going to be an epic new model for a brand new Death faction. "Lord of despair rules the rime-frozen Helspoint, the lord is said to be far older than the age of myth."
Another concern was the unreliability of relying on casting 3 spells to get a combo off the ground, one of which was vital. Even if the cast rolls were 5, 6, 6, this isn't trivial.
I came up with these FAQs for London's #Calling - a 2,000 point AoS tournament using 5 of the 6 SCGT Battleplans.
All comments are welcome.
FAQs for London's Calling 2017
We're going to apply the following FAQs at London's Calling 2017. These FAQs supplement and add to the official GW FAQs (the December ones with the Magenta amendments on them); and the House Rules of the SCGT pack. Most of these are clarifications of specific rules, particularly new rules from the latest Battletomes, rather than changes to core mechanics which would have broader effects. They have been developed independently from the SCGT pack to address issues that are frequently discussed on TGA. The TOs at the SCGT may decide the answers differently. We've done a fair number of practice games on the DoT side of things in particular (stretching back to my Fatesworn Warband of summer 2016) and a lot of theoryhammering.
We would welcome any feedback on these FAQ answers (from attendees or otherwise) both before and after the event. We may make further tweaks to these prior to the event.
Q: Can I use pointed Battalions in the General's Handbook (e.g. Warrior Brotherhood, Skyborne Slayers, Wardens of the Realmgate) even though they are not on the Stormcast Eternals Battletome?
Q: Is the Baleful Realmgate included within the cost of the Wardens of the Realmgate?
A: Yes (please note that this was ruled the same way at The Warlords and Heat One).
Q: Do Aetherwings have the option of using Watchful Guardians to make a charge?
A: Yes. This rule allows for a move in the start of your opponent's charge phase. Interpreted purposively this can be a charge but doesn't needto be a charge (you can but need not end the move within 3" of an enemy model). For simplicity's sake, any buffs to charge moves (e.g. reroll charge rolls) will affect any move using Watchful Guardians. If your opponent has any ability that activates at the start of the charge phase (e.g. Fanatics), then the opponent can choose the order in which these "simultaneous" abilities take place, as it is necessarily the opponent's turn (see the Hints and Tips in each Battletome).
Q: How does the Shockbolt Bow (D6 wound rolls on a hit) work with the Vanguard Wing battalion's Bearers of the Storm ability (6 or higher to hit "make two wound rolls rather than one"); and the prayer Bless Weapons (6 or more to hit generates another attack)?
A: If you roll a 6+ to hit, then the initial attack will cause D6+1 wound rolls (so the abilities do synergise but by addition, rather than multiplication - so it's not 2D6 wound rolls). Furthermore, you will also get to roll an additional attack with the Shockbolt Bow (which would lead to another D6 wound rolls if it hits).
It's worth noting that the Lord Celestant's Furious Retribution Command Ability only works in the combat phase.
Q: How does the Tanglethorn Thicket ability of Kurnoth Hunters work?
A: Tanglethorn Thicket can be activated at the start of any charge phase and lasts until the end of that turn! This means that it never works during any shooting phase (as shooting phase precedes the charge phase). Furthermore, as it happens at the start of the charge phase - the Kurnoth Hunters can never charge after using Tanglethorn Thicket (as a charge is a type of move - see the FAQ for The Rules - the table of types of move in magenta text).
Q: How does the core rule "re-rolls happen before modifiers to the roll (if any) are applied." interact with rerolling failed saves from Tanglethorn Thicket?
A: The reroll can only happen before the modifier takes place - so you must decide whether to reroll the failed saves on the basis of theunmodified rolls. The difficulty is that you cannot say whether the save would be successful until after the modifier has been applied. This means that - irrespective of the rend, cover, mystic shield or other modifiers) - only natural rolls of 1, 2 or 3 can be "failed" saves (as a 4+ is a "successful" save).
In practical terms:
As the rule is discretionary (not mandatory), if the Kurnoth Hunters are in cover against rend "-", then you can choose not to reroll a natural roll of 3 (as you know that you will pass the save once the modifier (cover) is applied.
The situation where the result differs from the oversimplified "3+ rerollable save" is against rend. If the Kurnoth Hunters are in cover but against -2 rend, then the modifier is -2+1= -1. Here, a natural roll of 4 cannot be rerolled (as it's not a "failed" save - see above). However, once the modifiers are applied, the 4 becomes a 3 and hence that save does indeed fail.
This is a small nerf to Kurnoth Hunters as it makes them more susceptible to rend. However, it is also an application of the core rules.
See below regarding the Paradoxical Shield.
Q: Does each unit of Fanatics need to be deployed as a "drop"? What is the effect of the FAQ answer on including several independent units of Fanatics within one unit of Moonclan Grots?
A: Yes - each unit has to be deployed as a drop.
Our understanding is that the purpose of the FAQ answer was to stop players deploying a unit of (say) 6 Fanatics within one host unit of Moonclan Grots and then releasing the Fanatic models individually as ones or twos - in order to reduce the number of drops on the army and gain an unfair advantage of flexibility (as small units being to block charges in the opponent's turn or as large units for offence in the Moonclan player's turn).
Hence, you can still deploy (say) a unit of 6 Fanatics and a unit of 2 Fanatics within one host unit of Moonclan Grots (which would be two drops - three if you include the host unit of Moonclan Grots) and choose to release one Fanatic unit but not the other at the start of any charge phase (or you could choose to release both).
Disciples of Tzeentch
Q: If a Warscroll is a Wizard and has Mortal and Daemon can I take a spell from both the Lore of Fate and the Lore of Change?
A: No - you can choose one spell total from either the Lore of Fate or the Lore of Change (not both).
Q: Is "Flamer"/"Flamers" a keyword both times that it appears in the text of The Exalted Conflagration (rather than a unit name, i.e. intended to refer to Flamers of Tzeentch - a unit name)?
A: Yes. It is a keyword both times (despite not being in bold - this appears to be a typo).
Q: How do Changehost swaps work?
A: You can swap different pairs of units, so a given unit can be in two or more different pairs of unit (provided that the exact pair is not swapped twice or more).
If you have sufficient units in the Battalion (9, 18 etc.) for multiple swaps in the hero phase, then each swap is an independent ability; and there is no requirement to do the swaps simultaneously or one after another.
Q: Can I use Changehost swaps to swap a Lord of Change or other wizard with another Hero Wizard in the Changehost battalion which is on the upper platform of a Balewind Vortex?
While very inventive, this is just going to provoke controversy.
The same would apply to Skitterleap.
Q: How can I deploy The Changeling?
The wording as regards timing is ambiguous (it doesn't say "after set-up is complete" for example, which would be a defined point in the core rules).
We've interpreted this as requiring that the Changeling deploy as a "drop" as normal along with your other units (rather than deploying after set-up is complete).
The wording as regards location is also ambiguous.
We've interpreted this as allowing The Changeling to deploy in the enemy territory (rather than only in the deployment zone as specified by the Battleplan).
Please note that the first ruling is a nerf to The Changeling while the latter is a buff to The Changeling - the overall effect is broadly neutral. However, the opponent cannot simply bubble wrap the Changeling with chaff models during deployment as a trivial counter.
The first sentence of Arch-Deceiver is optional ("you can set up"), so you can still deploy the Changeling in your own deployment zone as specified by the Battleplan instead (and the rest of the Arch Deceiver rule applies as normal, i.e. enemy units will still treat it as part of their army).
Q: Are Mortal Wounds considered to be "damage" e.g. for the purposes of substituting a Destiny Dice for a "Damage roll" or for adding up the damage inflicted by a unit of Bloodletters attacking a Stonehorn in melee before halving?
Q: Assuming that you have the available reinforcement points is it mandatory to use Split and Split Again?
A: No. In general, the use of any rule that requires reinforcement points is at the discretion of the player (other examples include Neferata's Mortarch of Blood ability.
Q: In Matched play, how do I deal with "undersized" units (e.g. when creating 6 Blue Horrors from using Split from 3 Pink Horrors or when I summon 2 D6 Dryads)?
A: On the basis of "you get what you pay for" and to avoid excessive bookkeeping, when a new unit is created using such rules - you must decide how many reinforcement points you are subtracting from your pool. The points subtracted then determine the maximum size of the unit. You can top up the number of models to that maximum size even if the unit was summoned/set up initially below that size.
For example, a Branchwraith can summon a unit of 8 Dryads after the player decides to subtract 120 points from the pool of reinforcement points. A Gnarlroot Wizard can then top up the unit by D3 models using Verdurous Harmony. However, if the result is that 3 models are added, then only 2 can be added as the player has only paid for 10 models (not 20 or 30).
After 3 Pink Horrors die in the shooting phase, a player can subtract 50 points for a unit of 10 Blue Horrors, but only gets to deploy 6 models at the end of that phase. If 4 more Pink Horrors die in the Combat Phase, the player can top up the 6 Blues to 10 models (but not more) without paying reinforcement points (as normal); and optionally create another unit of 10 Blue Horrors (for a further 50 points), but only gets to deploy 4 models.
If 8 Blue Horrors die on the combat phase, then the player can choose to spend 40, 80 or 120 points for a unit of 10, 20 or 30 Brimstone Horrors, but only gets to deploy 8 models at the end of that phase (in all 3 cases). These can then be topped up subsequently to the maximum size paid for (i.e. 10, 20 or 30).
Q: Is a summoned Wizard a "Wizard in a Tzeentch Army" and hence entitled to choose a spell from the appropriate Lore?
Q: Can I choose to deploy a unit of 10 Chaos Warriors as 9 models within the Fatesworn Warband even though the minimum unit size of the unit in the General's Handbook is 10 models?
Q: How does the core rule "re-rolls happen before modifiers to the roll (if any) are applied." interact with rerolling successful saves from the Paradoxical Shield?
A: The reroll can only happen before the modifier takes place - so you must (it's mandatory) reroll the successful saves on the basis of theunmodified rolls.
The difficulty is that you cannot say whether the save would be successful until after the modifier has been applied. This means that for a 4+ save - irrespective of the +2 to save modifier from Paradoxical Shield, rend, cover, mystic shield or other modifiers) - only natural rolls of 4, 5 and 6 can be "successful" saves (as a 4+ is a "successful" save) - these must be rerolled. Meanwhile, natural rolls of 2 or 3 aren't "successful"saves and don't have to
A few notes by way of explanation (bearing the name of the shield in mind):
"If this was interpreted literally for a 4+ save, then it would lead to the absurdity (and literally a paradox) that rolls of 2 and 3 would be unsuccessful saves, so they wouldn't be saved, but then you would add 2, so they would then be successful (which is a paradox or a contradiction as the saves are both successful and not successful)."
"On reflection, maybe that was what they intended. I'm starting to doubt myself - damn you Kairos - sowing doubts in frail mortal minds!"
"the point here may be that it really is intended to cause a paradox/mess with your minds, as that's very Tzeentchy."
Q: I have painted Slambo and want to include him in my army, what can I do?
A: We of the South London Legion believe that one can never have too much Slambo. Slambo is so awesome that any Chaos army would welcome him with open axes. Accordingly Slambo can be included in any Chaos army (for his points cost) and can assume any allegiance - i.e. be taken without affecting/breaking allegiance (however, he does not gain any keywords during the game as a result). For example Slambo can be taken in a Tzeentch Allegiance army or a Moulder Allegiance army.
Q: Can I wear a Slambo outfit?
Q: Do I need to subtract reinforcement points from my pool in order to use Skarr Bloodwrath's The Slaughterborn, Vlad Von Carstein's Carstein Ring or the Flamespyre Phoenix?
The FAQ answer regarding the Ring of Immortality (subtracting reinforcement points for this) was a specific nerf to that ability, when it could readily have been stated as a general principle. These abilities (which aren't automatic - especially the 4+ for the Flamespyre Phoenix) are baked into the costs of these Warscrolls.
Q: If I dismiss a Balewind Vortex at the start of my hero phase using the Held Aloft ability, can I summon it back again later in the game (in a different position and optionally using a different Wizard casting the spell Summon Balewind Vortex) without subtracting an additional 100 reinforcement points from my pool?
Yes. You've already paid for it. The words "until it is summoned again" suggest that you can bring it back after dismissing it.
You still have to attempt to cast the Summon Balewind Vortex spell again when you summon it in the new position.
You do not regain the reinforcement points when you dismiss the Balewind, so you cannot for example choose to dismiss the Balewind Vortex and then summon 10 Bloodletters instead using the same reinforcement points. The reinforcement points have been committed to the Balewind Vortex.
If the Wizard on top of the upper platform is slain, then the Balewind Vortex is removed and your opponent is credited with kill points for killing the Balewind Vortex equal to the reinforcement points subtracted to summon it.
Q: How do I work out the Allegiance of my army?
A: It's basically a two step process:
List building: You write the list for the army on the basis of any Allegiance that you can satisfy.
Choice of Allegiance pack: Then you pick the Allegiance pack based on any allegiance that you can satisfy.
Significantly you don't then redo step 1 after doing step 2.
The best example is Ironjawz, who have no inherent Battleline units and no allegiance pack of their own. They build a list using the fact that some of their units become Battleline if you satisfy Ironjawz Allegiance. Then they choose the Destruction Allegiance pack (invariably) - this doesn't stop their Brutes from being Battleline.
Further important points:
A unit within a Battalion can gain the Allegiance stamped on that Battalion.
However, Battalions by themselves don't break allegiance, so "A Battalion can still be part of any allegiance that all its units have on their warscrolls." This is a new rule in the DoT book (page 95, point 4).
A good example of point 2, is that 10 units (including at least one hero) with the Slaves to Darkness and Tzeentch keywords in the Everchosen Battalion the Fatesworn Warband satisfy the following 4 Allegiances: Chaos, Tzeentch, Slaves to Darkness and Everchosen. This means that you can take Knights and Marauder Cavalry as Battleline for list building purposes and still choose Tzeentch allegiance.
Q: Can I garrison a building if there is an enemy unit within 3" of that building or within 3" of my unit at the start of the movement phase (which is the only time when you can garrison according to the Warscroll for the Skull Keep)?
A: No to both questions.
Do First of the Mortarchs, the Balewind Vortex and the Astrolith Bearer affect all ranges of spells?
Yes - they affect unit-to-unit ranges, all models/units within a range from a unit type ranges; and any other types of ranges within a spell.
Slaying heroes/monsters with special weapons
Q: How do weapons which have a special rule if they "kill" an enemy hero/monster work given that the opponent has the right to allocate damage from your unit when you attack with multiple weapons (e.g. Mortarch of Blood, Archaon's Triple Headed Monstrosity and Gordrakk's Strength from Victory).
A: To avoid the opponent rigging this (choosing damage to another weapon as the final wound to allocate - assuming that this is even possible) or you having to roll attacks one at a time, if the weapon in question contributes any damage to the target hero/monster which then dies from the attacking unit's melee attacks (all in the course of the same pile in and attack), then the buff triggers. For Gordrakk, you can pick which of Smasha or Kunnin' gets the buff (not both weapons from a single slain hero).
I'm sure you're all itching to know whether or not Gordrakk got his 700 points cost back over my 6 games at Blood & Glory.
The first five battle reports are here:
After five games, the list had proved its mettle against some rather tough lists (3 Mixed Destruction filth lists, Mourngul death list.
My Nasty Skulkers had shredded 2 Stonelords in game one; a Husktusk and nearly killed a Stonelord in game 3; and a Stonelord and another Stonelord and Husktusk in game 5 - not bad going. The big man (Gordrakk) however, had only managed to kill 300 points in 5 games:
Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 300 points
Game 5 against Darran Palmer had represented my last chance to turn it around and sneak up to the podium - I gambled on an initiative roll and didn't get it (rather than retreating for a guaranteed minor on Take and Hold). Gordrakk rather fittingly was killed by other Gitmob Grots.
Day 2 - Game 6 - Gordrakk YOLO
I was in a great mood though, as the game against Darran Palmer had been so awesome. I went across to the new table and burst out laughing when I saw that yet again I was up against a Mixed Destruction filth list commanded by Paul Haley. The list was quite similar to Paul Whitehead's list from game 2, something like:
Thundertusk (with riders)
Thundertusk (with riders)
40 Arrers within Kunning Rukk
Ominously, there were two pieces of Damned Terrain on one half of the table and Paul won the roll off for sides and naturally chose that side. I concluded that with the double Damned Buff plus Bellowing Shout, plus Destruction Move, anything in range (which is colossal) would be deleted by a single volley of pew pew.
I decided that YOLO was the only answer.
I knew I would be able to determine who went first. Paul thankfully put down his Battalion first, so I knew where the Arrer Boyz would be. He put the regular Boyz in front of them, but I reckoned that Gordrakk could probably get within range of the Arrers with a charge. I plonked him down in the centre.
This time I put the Green Nasty Skulkers in the Wolf Riders, the Blues in the Greens and the Reds in the Blues so that I could snake behind Paul's lines and stab his Big Boss to death to take out the Kunning Rukk buff. The Wolves faced off directly against his Stonelord and Thundertusk, who were chilling behind some more regular Savage Orruks.
It was the usual drill. I fired off Gordrakk's Command Ability on the Battalion. I think I managed to cast Mystic Shield on Gordrakk, but failed Sneaky Stabbing on the Wolves. The Wolves sauntered up and fired some shots into the Stonelord, chipping away the first wound. The Grots advanced, determined to YOLO as did the Wolfboss who took on the right Thundertusk.
Gordrakk didn't get very far with his Destruction Move and I was left with an 8" charge. Gordrakk failed the charge. Sad times.
The stabbing went a bit better, the Thundertusk on the left went down, however I grossly overestimated how many Nasty Skulkers were needed to kill the Big Boss (only has a 6+ save apparently). He died 3 times over, while the Stonelord clung on with a few wounds left. Only one of the Grot Units and the Wolfboss made it into combat on the right and did some damage to the other Thundertusk.
The Stonelord decimated the Green Skulkers in response.
Then it was Paul's turn.
Paul double Damned the Boyz (I believe that the Champion was the general and he added a further +1 to hit with Bellowing Shout for a cumulative +3 to hit and made them immune to Battleshock). There was no hero phase shooting with the big boss dead, but that didn't matter a jot with 40 Arrerboyz. With the extra rend vs Monsters, Gordrakk was decimated along with the Wolf Riders. It was complete carnage.
I limped on, but it was all over from that point. Paul got the Major. We had a good chat afterwards! Paul Whitehead was on the adjacent table and they knew each other well. Word spread that club mate Max was winning against Terry Pike on the top table - which was awesome news (especially since this was his second AoS tournament).
It was an ignominous finish for Gordrakk, but I was still pumped from the event. If I haven't said already, the atmosphere was buzzing.
Welcome to my lab - a place for innovative list design, hobby, wild experimentation and sporadic humour.
A little about me - I returned to the hobby at the outset of AoS and have focussed on innovative list design since then. I try to find new combos and unearth hidden gems from the more obscure Warscrolls and Battalions. I figured that it's hardest to catch up with the accumulated experience of the best players and so listbuilding and preparation for events are the best way to compete. I'm pleased to say that my opponents generally like to see something fresh on the table as well.
I've also learned a great deal from playing and watching better opponents - probably most of all from @Dan.Ford who led the way with Tomb Kings from the very start.
I have been known to post on TGA on occasion and sometimes even to put up a lengthy response or two.
The Lab is situated in one of the Silver Towers within The South London Legion and has a conveniently located Hellpit. The Legion as a whole has been responsible for spawning some pretty strong lists - the best example was Maxime's @grunnlockTriple Husktusk plus Moonclan list (Undefeated and 3rd Place at Blood & Glory - the sold models went on to win Heat One in Craig Namvar's capable hands). It was a joy to roadtest (it demolished my attempts to counter it and those of @Bowlzee and @Thanatos Ares. You can read about those games and find out more about the Legion here:
To broaden my experience I wanted to play all 4 Grand Alliances and take all 4 to tournaments, which I eventually succeeded in doing. I've amassed quite a few armies along the way: Skaven, Nurgle, Khorne, DoT, Brayherd; Stormcast, Sylvaneth, Fyreslayers, Darkling Covens, Daughters of Khaine; Ironjawz, Gitmob, Monstrous Arcanum (4 of these) and Spiderfang, Deathlords, TK, Nighthaunt and FEC; as well as components of future projects (a Luminark, a Prayermobile - War Altar and even Morghur).
I've had some success and some disasters at tournaments (I've done least well with Order for some reason), I'm still aiming for that elusive podium (4th place is my best so far). I'll recap on previous lists: Mostly Grots, Archaon's Furry Friends, Mostly Grots II, Casinostrike and most recently the "Krell-Bomb", which I'll come to.
Along the way, I've been improving my painting and hobby skills - mostly down to Vince @Vincent Venturella and his irreplaceable Hobby Cheating series (below). I'll be looking to provide updates here on painting projects as well as on the Google+ Painters Motivating Painters Community (which is a source of great inspiration, feedback and support).