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NOVA Open 2016 Competetive Tournament


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I headed out to NOVA Open and, rather than hope for some pickup games, I rather impulsively entered the Competetive Tournament.


(Those who are interested can check out tournament packet here)

This was a hastily put-together list that isn't nearly as painted as I had hoped, but you gotta go to war with the army you've got. So here's the report of 'Kunnin'' Gazrud Rat-stompa and his motley crew of lads.


My overall strategy was to maximize my alpha strike ability by taking the Greenskinz Bigmob with a 20-strong unit of choppa boyz. The Rampaging Destroyer battle trait of Destruction armies combined with the warscroll battalion ability to run and charge in the same turn makes first-turn charges fairly consistent. However, this requires me to get into battle quickly and in proximity to my warboss to maximize the Waaagh! command trait (or the Big Waaagh! warscroll battalion command trait). If my momentum gets lost, then the relative fragility of the choppa boyz means that they lose a massive amount of punch after their initial charge.

ROUND 1: Putrid Blightkings (Or: "Whot's dat smell?")

The First round was against a warband of the Plague Lord's less-than-hygenic servants. Having never played against them before, I didn't really appreciate how bloody difficult to injure they are. 


The objective was to get the Ward as close to the opponent's table edge as possible while under your control. The further you got it in, the more points it was worth. My initial plan was to have my boar boyz swing around the right flank and my choppa boyz crash in to the left while my ardboyz grabbed the ward and escorted it to whichever flank looked weaker. Cue laughter.

Because I could set the entire bigmob down in one go, I finished setup first, and I gave my opponent the first turn. He advanced and I proceeded to have my ardboyz pick up the ward in the first turn. By the second turn, the battle was joined and my gore gruntas charged in with their 8" bonus (huh huh). They did a lot of damage. The Kill Kommittee (my choppa boyz unit) bore down on the left flank the Chargerz (boars) on the right. What I hadn't counted on was the Harbinger of Decay's command ability as well as the Putrid Blightkings inflicting a flat -1 to hit. Suffice it to say, I unloaded the attacks, but very little of it stuck.


This was compounded by them using Nurgle's Rot to heal the damage they did take.

Throughout the battle, my grot spear chukka valiantly tried to snipe the Harbinger in an effort to get rid of his command bubble which, until this point, had taken the Blightkings durability of "Really 'ard" to the level of "Don't bovver". Surprisingly, the little gobbos managed to get him down to his last few wounds. Alas, it wasn't enough and, in the end Gazrud had to admit that his kunnin plan was just a bit too kunnin and had to go back and re-think his outlook. Of course, to do that, he'd need to see the next sunrise. So with a final Inspiring shout to the grot crew to show dem smelly blighters whot for, he executed a tactical withdrawal.


(The real tragedy was that he didn't witness the moral victory of the grots managing to actually take down one of Blightkings before being ground up into paste.)

Result: 2 - 24

GAZRUD'S VERDICT: "Sometimes ya get stomped, but if yer runs, yer gets a chance for anovver go. So run!"


ROUND 2: Bonesplitterz and Troggoths (Or: "Oi! Put some clothes on ya uncivilized gits!")

My second opponent was running some amazingly-painted savage orruks and river troggoths.


Seriously, they looked amazing and, at the end of the event, he took home the Best Painted award. My phone's camera isn't high-resolution enough to do it justice.



The second battle plan required us to seize objectives which, at turns 3 and 5, might turn out to be useless and force us to go look for other objectives. Early on, I had my shaman snag the objective in my table zone. Apart from a few mortal wounds delivered by the Gaze of Mork, that was about the extent of his contribution. The spear chukka did good and knocked a lot of wounds down on the mangler squigs. With -2 rend and d3 damage, it's awfully killy for such an unobtrusive model.

I elected to send the Kill Kommittee against the troggoths and hit them hard and early. By giving my opponent the first turn, I was able to get a first-turn charge after activating the Big Waaagh! ability of the warscroll battalion. Combined with the Mob Rule bonus for having 20 models, I was able to roll a great charge and surround the troggoths and unload with 60 (sixty) attacks!


The Kill Kommittee's valiant efforts killed two troggoths and wounded a third, and they weathered the retaliation surprisingly well. When it came time for battleshock, a whopping three troggoths decided to go back to the river and take a bath.

I won the roll off for second round and took a back-to-back turn. Fizz, head of the Kill Kommittee, remembered boss Gazrud's Kunnin' plan and, while it reeked of un-orruk thinking, he had to follow the orders lest he get a good krumping after the battle. He called to his ladz and signalled... a retreat? I took a retreat move toward the enemy lines where a mob of bonesplitters were holding an objective. The remaining Troggoth blinked in slight confusion before settling its slimy gaze on phase two of the kunnin' plan: Ronjarmy and da Krimson Skull Skwad.


The ardboyz engaged the remaining troggoth, thus keeping it away from the objective. In the mid board, Grotstomp's mob got stuck in with a chariot and dismantled it, after which they were charged by bonesplitterz and a boss waving a giant bone totem.


The opposing grot shamans called down their spells but didn't do a whole lot of damage. One of them snagged an objective on the right flank and called down the Curse of the Bad Moon on the ardboyz, but in the process, actually managed to hurt himself. Bad Moon, indeed!

While Turdag's Stickas were trying to shoot down enemies, they failed to take note of a single Bonesplitter charging them until it was too late. Turdag himself got about as far as "Ready! Ai-" before a big stone axe split his skull (and everyone else's)


At the very end Kunnin Gazrud thought it would be a good idea to remind the lot that while he was indeed Kunnin, he was also Brutal. So in that light, he moved around the bluff where the objective was and proceeded to beat the grot shaman into submission with just his banner. With more wounds within 6" of the objective, that moved it to two objectives under my control and none for my opponent.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that the dice utterly abandoned my opponent. His troggoths failed to do significant damage and he had more of them run away than anything. The mangler squid failed a 4" charge (thank Mork) and generally didn't do much until the last turn when it took out my boarboyz. Honestly, he should have done better, but he was a great sport and we had a great game.

Result: 23 - 7

GAZRUD SEZ: "A good scrap. Honestly, I fink dat it came down to wearin' pants. Maybe. Ah, who cares, it was fun. Whot's next?"


ROUND 3: Ironjawz (Or: "Gork's teef... dat's a big'un")

The third and final match up was against a rolling tide of green skin and black pig iron. My opponent was lead by a megaboss on a maw-krusha who, no lie, was kind of intimidating.

Because of the special rules, ranged attacks were pretty useless. So the spear chukka's contribution was pretty minimal. The objective was to have a Priest or Wizard within 6" of the objective marker on your side of the table. At the end of the round, each model would generate 1 point. My opponent and I both had 1 wizard (my Great Shaman and his Grot Shaman). My plan was to have the ardboyz and the boarboyz form a defensive line at the objective to keep my shaman safe. However, my strategy of putting my entire bigmob down here worked against me. After I'd finished setting up my opponent put the maw-krusha down opposite my shaman and I belatedly realized that I'd deployed my gore gruntas and the Kill Kommittee (the primary source of my damage) on the other flank.

Never let it be said that 'Ardboyz don't try to live up to their name. They formed a good wall of metal and gristle between the shaman and the maw-krusha that held up for two whole turns of combat.


On the left flank, the Kill Kommittee did what they did best and charged into the opposing gore gruntas, and dogpiled them unmerciful. My opponent was a bit surprised that I gave him the first turn but, upon getting the turn-one charge, realized my strategy. I must also confess that the dice also told this opponent to take a hike, and the gore grunta's return attacks did only one wound.


Meanwhile, the brutes in the center took a surprisingly long time to beat down Grotstomp's Mob, but they saw them off as well as taking down Throk Wheel-Breaka and Snorty, my warboss with choppas and a warboar. Up until this point, he'd been doing super well with the Battle Brew and I don't feel bad about him being taken down by an elite mob.

On the right flank, on turn 3, the maw-krusha finished off the ardboyz and charged down my shaman, pretty much flattening him right away. This moved my score from 2 to -1 (you immediately got docked 3 points if you lost a Priest or Wizard). Now I was trailing and we had about 20 minutes left in the game before time expired. Thinking quickly, Gazrud shouted for his Big Waaagh! for the game, which empowered Turdag's Stickaz. He also used his Bellowing Tyrant command trait to tell them to get with the program or else. My plan was to rush them forward with the combination of Rampaging destroyer and their warscroll battalion ability to run and shoot. My goal was the opposing grot shaman who was hiding behind cover. After measuring though, only about 3 of the boyz would have been able to get a shot off. So I figured, ****** it, go for the Hail Mary pass. All this time I wondered why I bothered to keep a drummer in an archer unit, but boy was I glad I did. Instead of running and shooting, I ran and charged with the archer boyz and they got into combat with the grot shaman. Under the effect of the Big Waagh! ability, they had 3 attacks apiece and, due to the Bellowing Tyrant ability, they hit on 3+.

Behind the scrap-building, a lone Grot Shaman grinned while he channeled power from the node of magical energy to open the realmgate. Too late did he realize that the shouting wasn't coming from his own Ironjaw allies, but from the enemy greenskinz holding nasty cuttas. He had time for a single panicked yelp before Turdag cut him up.

(Man do I wish I had a picture of this battle, but I was in a rush to get the turn done before the time limit expired)

With the death of his Wizard, my opponent's score went from 2 to -1, tying the game up. Emboldened by their side's progress (and blissfully unaware of the maw-krusha on the other side of the board) the Kill Kommittee saw off the last of the gore gruntas in an epic battle scene with gratuitous collateral damage worthy of Zack Snyder.



In the end we tied on the objective, and both of us had an equal amount of table quarters and seized terrain pieces, so neither of us were able to claim any bonus objectives except for having the warlord survive (which both of us did). So, that's about as much a tie as you can get!

Result: 12 - 12

GAZRUD'S ASSESSMENT: "Tied down da middle! So... we still fightin?"

Final Result: 1/1/1

Not bad for being my first AoS tournament ever. I learned some lessons about deployment, and I'm thinking that in the future, I might make my warlord not a part of the Greenskinz Bigmob, but instead make my boar boss the head of it so that he can use a Big Waagh! ability from further afield while the warlord can use his Waaagh! command ability from elsewhere in the battlefield. Also, I need to get more boyz in the Kill Kommittee to provide a cushion against casualties.

NOVA Open was great, and I think next year I'll be making a full weekend out of it and taking part in the Narrative Tournament.



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Glad people are liking it. It was a really fun experience, if a bit exhausting to get there early enough to find parking and get registered ("It's a local con! Only 30 minutes away! No need to get a room at the hotel!") and then play three two-hour games. So part of the learning experience is to fish or cut bait: if I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go for the whole weekend and get a room there.

The best general was a player from my local GW store who ran a skeleton army that was, in his own words, "pure filth". I forget the specifics, but he had stacked up his warscroll battalions and artefacts such that everyone was looking at somewhere between a -2 to -4 to hit his units. Apparently nobody could do much damage so his units went untouched for the most part.

What I was surprised by was the number of Destruction armies there. Mostly ironjawz and bonesplitterz with a few beastclaws and a spiderkin army. Chaos took up the second most common, being mostly khorne bloodbound and the blightkings that drubbed me so hard in the first round. Death was third and I think I only counted a lone stormcast army for Order.

I'm planning on having a better setup for the next event I go to. At the very least, I want my army to be fully painted. Perhaps invest in an actual digital camera.

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It also occurs to me that I'm tossing out a lot of names that might not mean anything in context, so here's the list that I ran with:

GAZRUD'S LOT (Greenskinz Bigmob) 100

'Kunnin'' Gazrud Rat-stompa (Orruk Warboss - Warlord) 140

  • Great Waaagh! Banner
  • Command Trait: Bellowing Tyrant
  • Artefact: Talisman of Protection

'Weird' Waznab (Orruk Great Shaman) 140

Wonk's Chargerz (Orruk Boarboyz x5) 100

  • Choppas, Shields, Musician, Banner

Grotstomp's Mob (Orruk Boyz x10 - Battleline) 100

  • Choppa, Shield, Musician, Banner

Fizz an da Kill Kommittee (Orruk Boyz x20 - Battleline) 200

  • Dual Choppas, Musician, Banner

Turdag's Stickaz (Orruk Boyz x10 - Battleline) 100

  • Bows, Cuttas, Musician, Skull Icon

Other tag-alongs

Throk Wheel-Breaka (Orruk Warboss) 140

  • Dual Choppas, War Boar
  • Artefact: Battle Brew

Ronjarmy an da Krimson Skull Skwad (Ardboyz x 10) 180

  • Various sharp and pointy things, Skull Icon, Musician

GERROUDADAWAY (Gore Gruntas x 3) 180

  • Pig-iron Choppas

"Oi, you gits" (Grot Spear Chukka) 120

Total: 1500 points, 109 wounds

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The winning army had Neferata and a Mourngul and... something else I can't remember now. I was secretly rooting for one of the narrative players with his army of Dragon Princes (he painted in a week) during the third round at table #1, but it was clearly not meant to be. I've got a pic of your first game I snapped, and it's cool to see those 3rd game pics with the Spirit Krushas army, belonging to another key narrative player. The Maw Krushas were well represented! BTW, what's your local GW store?

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