Belathor Posted September 4, 2021 Share Posted September 4, 2021 (edited) enormous edit: I realized my first post of this was the first draft and not the actual article I’ve submitted. Here’s it fixed. i’ve been posting a lot of articles to warhammercompetitive as “manqobadad” figured it was time to share them with you guys I post an absolute ton of lists on here and I commonly say “they’re like grandmas cookin. You might have the ingredients but you can’t make her cookies quite like she can.” Well with this we’re going to try and understand grandma’s cooking and not feel lost and confused when we look at an event winning list and possibly make our own cookies. We’re going to do this by looking at the ultimate grandma’s cooking list, a beast of chaos list. If you just scroll down and read it and try and comprehend whats going on its going to seem like a complete mess. But when you understand these concepts it will all make sense to you. Building up the levels We all had to learn to paint. If you’re like me it probably started with a much too thick layer of primer from a rattle can with some slopped on base coats finished with a big glug of liquid skill nulin oil. Well now I’m a commission painter who specializes in finishing armies quickly. It used to take me hours to even do just that back in the day but now I achieve a much higher level quicker because of the levels of techniques and skill We all have built over the years. Making an army list is kinda like that. It starts sloppy and basic and grows into this refined process. But just like looking at a golden demon winning painted mini it can be almost impossible to visualize how it got there. Much can be the same for army lists. At lots of tournaments I go to I see people on low tables to mid tables running lists I’ve seen win tournaments. These lists in the right hands go 5-0 but with someone who doesn’t fully comprehend it the list goes 2-3. Its all about understanding why the list is great, Level 0: Your Army 101 The layers to this delicious cake begin. Level 0 would be understanding what your book does. So in the case of Ironjawz you’d understand your army hits things in the face like a wrecking ball made of cabbage when they’re all buffed up. Easy enough. Something like beasts of chaos would be understanding your army is entirely chaff right down to your heroes. And it wouldn’t be playing seraphon and using your weedy little infantry skinks trying to make a hard hitting melee army. Level 1: Three Threats Theory So when you are making your lists you want to make sure you have three big threats someone has to deal with. Unless its archaon if you have only one big threat for someone to deal with, it can be shut down fairly easily by numerous amounts of sources throughout the various books. By simply running three threats you force your opponent to make a decision while you have to do absolutely nothing. This can be as easy as just a megagargant per threat in sons. Or in cities it can be 30 iron drakes 30 ironbreakers with a cohort of casters and a frost phoenix with tome in hallowheart. My 30 iron drakes buffed up will do big damage, my ironbreakers with 4 casters behind them will do a lot of mortal wounds and be an absolute boulder on an objective being hard to move and my phoenix can threaten the back line and scoring by being a hard to kill monster. I’m forcing my opponent to make a decision on what to deal with. It doesn’t always have to be damage or tankiness. It can also look like in khorne a package that really shuts down casters. At nashcon I frequently saw tzeench players wanting to complain to the first person who’d listen about this guy’s khorne list with that cat sized dragon that was giving -6 for them to cast. But we want our three threats to do one thing extremely well. You can also have minor threats that live rent free in your opponents mind like deep strikers but those aren’t included in our three threats. Those are more level 5. Level 2: The Missions. This one is easy most missions in AoS are hold one hold two hold more. You want to design your lists to hold two efficiently and battle over more. Look at your player packs and have a plan for the games you’ll play, what are you going to do if you’re K.O. and you get the vice? What are you going to do on the one with 6 objectives that stack huge points over the game? Sometimes its an easy answer sometimes its not. Level 3: What battle tactics can I achieve? Here we have finally reached the secret sauce to winning games in AoS. What is my plan for battle tactics every turn? Are you taking 3 monsters for the savage advance for that extra point? How are you going to score spearhead where you put two units in their deployment? Do you have enough damage to use bring it down and kill the battle line? Do you have ways to slay the warlord? You need to understand what the tactics are and how can you achieve them easily. If you think simply in this way and play every game to score 5 battle tactics you will win more games. Level 4: what battle tactics am I giving up? So I will use an army I’d never recommend anyone to play, beasts of chaos. They have a serious advantage right now because they have cheap bodies and serious mobility with some good control options with a shaggoth casting hailstorm halving movement and a demon prince halving charges. Whilst they can’t kill anything even if they try, they can put up walls of chaff and slow you down. But you have to think about this, if you just took 80 ungors and shoved them forward and have a 5 wound hero as your general, you easily just gave your opponent 2 free battle tactics slay the warlord and line breaker. Lets say you take 3 ghorgons and run them next to each other so you can get your free point with ferocious advance? That’s great but you just gave your opponent bring it down, and 3 points if they kill them one at a time. So by simply writing your list this way you have given your opponent 3 easy to achieve battle tactics and 3 points for having easy to kill monsters. Even if your opponent is playing at level 0 he’s going to see the play and beat you. Because the strategy you have to work hard to achieve he just gets for free because of you. So how do you build against this? Well in a list like beasts your general could be a dragon ogre shaggoth. Now he’s a very hard to kill piece and a monster so he can help score monstrous takeover. Instead of running weak battle line you could run two units of dragon ogors to push foreward and if you wanted to a cheap unit of gors but all they do is sit in the backfield. If this were Ironjawz we could take Brutes over ardboys to make them tougher. Cities running ironbreakers. So now if you want to achieve kill the battle line you have to kill 30 wounds of tough dragon ogors or ironbreakers. We have now without trying made a hard decision on our opponent by taking away two easy options. We can then buy chaff that aren’t battle line like warhounds and ungor raiders to get in the way without giving up any points. Level 5: What will cause my opponent to make decisions? I’ve mentioned it a few times but lets really get into the importance of decision making. The fewer choices you have to make the more clear your head is for planning out future turns. The more decisions you have to make the more likely you are to make a bad decision. To put all of this into one neatly wrapped observation. Say we are beast of chaos and we take two cheap monsters say cockatrices or if we’re living city hydras and we plan to deepstrike them on the back of the board to our opponents deployment zone turn 3 to score spearhead for 3 points. Our opponent now can deal with them with a lot of firepower but then that firepower is not going to the main objectives. So he may score a point for killing them but we deny him two points for not being able to take an objective this turn. Now this is bad because whats a hydra going to do afterwords the answer is nothing they suck but heres how you can do something like that. This more commonly is used in deepstrike in general. If they know you have 3 annihilators in the sky or 9 stormfiends that can pop up you force your opponent to spread out and zone them off. So them zoning your army makes the rest of what they do inefficient. If you’re going to play like this it helps to have a plan to exploit that. Level 6: What do I have to be worried about in the current meta and whats my answer for it? Be extremely careful with this one. This is the one where you’ll start losing games by outplaying yourself. If you were to look at my meta review and say “lumineth wind spirits are a huge deal how do I deal with this?” And you make this whole package based on catching them and doesn’t do much else then you never play against a lumineth wind spirits player... It can be difficult. You’ll beat 90% of players who aren’t thinking about anything above just by considering them. Here make sure you have answers but things that would also be good against other armies. Gotrek is a serious issue. So you play nurgle and take the sloppity bilepiper and when that ginger missile rockets into a group of plaguebearers you remove everything within 2 of him. And now because he can’t pile in close because of the piper he is effectively pinned there til the piper dies or another unit comes and kills the bearers. Its not a big commitment to take that piece and not allowing pile ins is strong just in general but it is also an answer to a deadly character. An example against this would be khorne taking a package to give -6 to cast every turn and contest every roll. This is amazing against tzeench lumineth hallowheart and any list that relies on little buffs from casts, but what happens if you go against a sons player? What about fyreslayers? Dok? Idoneth? It becomes a bit muddy. Now this is fine to take because in the current meta at a tournament you probably are going to run into a lot of tzeench lumineth and hallowheart players so its not necessarily a bad thing but something to consider. Putting it all together Ok so thats the five levels of what goes into list building and I want to show you a list by @eat_bray_love that when you first look at it looks completely nonsensical, but when you understand these concepts it makes it so much easier to understand you can actually comprehend what you are reading. Allegiance: Beasts of Chaos - Mortal Realm: Ghur - Grand Strategy: - Triumphs: LEADERS Grashrak Fellhoof (150) - Lore of the Twisted Wilds: Tendrils of Atrophy Dragon Ogor Shaggoth (185) - General - Command Trait: Master of Magic - Artefact: Amulet of Destiny - Lore of Dark Storms: Hailstorm Tzaangor Shaman of Beasts of Chaos (135) - Lore of the Twisted Wilds: Tendrils of Atrophy Slaves to Darkness Daemon Prince (210) - Axe - Mark of Chaos: Khorne - Allies UNITS 6 x Dragon Ogors (300) 3 x Dragon Ogors (150) 10 x Ungors (70) - Mauls & Half-Shields 6 x Tzaangor Enlightened on Disc of Beasts of Chaos (360) 10 x Ungor Raiders (90) 10 x Chaos Warhounds (80) 5 x Centigors (90) 3 x Tzaangor Enlightened on Disc of Beasts of Chaos (180) 2 battle regiments this is a 2 drop list Level 0: this list understands its a bunch of chaff Level 1: the three threats are shaggoth demon prince pairing with their cc, 6 dragon ogors and their ability to hold an objective, 6 enlightened for their combat ability and we can deep strike them and force our opponent to play scared Level 2: this list can easily hold two objectives and battle over the third by blocking you turn one in your deployment with warhounds moving 21”. If that unit is double debuffed by the demon prince and the hailstorm a 3 inch charge becomes a 12 inch charge. If anything moves within 9” of the warhounds you can redeploy 1” and turn it into a 16” charge from 4” away pinning a unit and putting you ahead basic objectives for a turn. Level 3: through deepstrike this list can achieve spearhead. Monstrous takeover is freely available. Your chaff will die allowing the opening of conquer and you can do it with a monster. You have so many units ferocious advance is easy. Really the only thing you have to do is find 1 battle tactic throughout the game. Level 4: we made our general and battleline tanky so its hard to give up those, we have enough units on the board to zone deep strikes and make savage spearhead hard to achieve. I went over most of it in the level 4 post. Level 5: Our opponent if they’re a long time player will be terrified of the enlightened and might play scared vs them. Most players will want to smash the herd stone and may all in a monster to do so you can use that to your advantage by leaving it open. I can go on for quite a while here. Level 6: The shaggoth with hailstorm and the demon prince can both shut down the move of a unit like gotrek and morathi severely hurting their ability to get into combat. This isn’t hyper specific and is also great vs things like mortek guard and ironbreakers who wont be able to move onto an objective turn one and because theyre up front most of the time getting slowed means the rest of the units in the deathstar don’t have fly so they’re shut down too. Conclusion When you’re making your list keep this cake concept in mind and slowly add your layers to what you’re comfortable with and as you grow you’ll see yourself perform much better just by understanding these concepts before you even get to the table. Here is the podcast of aos coach and eat_bray_love talking about this list and it finally clicked for me to where I can give a perfect example of what I’ve been trying to talk about when it comes to list building. We all are lucky this guy just plays beasts. If he played a real army he’d be going 5-0 almost every tournament. As always if you have any questions feel free to post them below. https://youtu.be/PU1-7dYWCgw Edited September 5, 2021 by Belathor 11 5 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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