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Blood and Glory - Mostly Grots II - Battle Reports


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So Rob, Alex Clark, Max @grunnlockand I headed up to Blood & Glory on the Friday. We arrived in waves, I did the AoS 500 and the AoS 1000 on the Friday with Fyreslayers (I'll discuss them separately), Max and Rob did the 1,000. Alex arrived as the cavalry late on the Friday night. 

The highlight for the four of us was Max winning the final top table game on the Livestream and coming 3rd overall. He picked up another trophy on the Friday as well. Massively well done! I cannot wait to actually watch the two games he was up there. Max's army was a triumph of list-building and min-maxing (although it could have been worse e.g. with 50% netters and different weapon options); and rolled over a few opponents without them having a hope. We'd all played against it over the last few months and embarrassed ourselves.





Only my Nagash plus Coven Throne plus Tomb King regen filth list seemed like a possible hard counter since the Mortal Wounds from the 3 Thundertusks will not kill him outright and as soon as Nagash got into Beguile range against the Stonelord it would have been over ( 3 D6 dice to get over 10 is average and the Coven Throne has a reroll once per game). However, I never got to try this against Max and instead took on @Bowlzee instead.

Anyway - Max conquered pretty much everything before him - making it three trophies from his last and only (?) 2 events as well as more GW Novels than his baggage allowance to Australia will permit.

The players, armies, organisation, buzz, atmosphere, Tweeting, Friday night kebab and even the weather were all great! Plus there was catching up with friends and making new ones. Plus there was #Mousetrap.

Mostly Grots II - the list

Meanwhile I was having a whale of a time across 6 games of AoS, which were full of drama, cliffhangers, amazing turnarounds and bizarre moments - mostly involving Gordrakk derping or making tactical retreats to score objectives rather than YOLOing.


This was the list:

Gordrakk The Fist of Gork (700)
Goblin Warboss (60)
 Git Cutta & Git Shield
- Artefact: Talisman of Protection
Gitmob Grot Shaman (80)
Moonclan Grot Shaman (60)
 Artefact: Talisman of Protection

Grot Wolf Riders x 10 (200)
Gitmob Grots x 20 (100)
Gitmob Grots x 20 (100)
Gitmob Grots x 20 (100)
Nasty Skulkers x 12 (160)
Nasty Skulkers x 12 (160)
Nasty Skulkers x 12 (160)


War Machines

Great GitMob (100)

Total: 1980/2000


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The Combo - the Grot Bomb

I had a lightbulb moment when I was thinking through options for this list. I'd looked at the Nasty Skulkers and seen that they were a solid option and fairly economical at 160 points for 12.

While they melt under the slightest touch (6+, Bravery 4) and their basic profile is terrible 5+, 5+, -1 rend, mortal wounds on a 6 - with the Great Gitmob (+1 to hit if you outnumber target, +1 to wound if 2-1 outnumbered (melee and shooting both) also; their ability to deal a deadly assassin blow using Surprise! either in my combat phase (as an alpha strike) or the opponent's combat phase (as a defence - similar to, but not as good as, Fanatics would be useful).

By way of example, if 12 Nasty Skulkers in the Great Gitmob popped out in an enemy combat phase to defend against 10 Paladins, I would outnumber them 12-10, so mortal wounds on 5+. This would yield a tasty 8 mortal wounds from 24 attacks and a few wounds at -1 rend. Above all else, all of this damage would occur before the enemy could lift a finger.

Just as a Moonclan player can deploy one of Fanatics, attempt to charge; then deploy another unit, attempt to charge in a magical window of time called the start of the charge phase; and thereby block either multiple units or one key hero from charging before they can do anything in that phase; a Gitmob player can do the equivalent in the window called the start of the combat phase. I would get to attack with all 3 Nasty Skulkers before my enemy could lift a finger (if I chose to deploy and use them all).

Putting buffs on units that aren't on the table in the hero phase is hard, you either need an aura buff or something else special. Sneaky Stabbing isn't going to work. There is a buff aura which works quite well, but it's on Grom, who is both compendium and not very tough for the kinds of lists I would face. He would be Snowball bait, Judicator bait.  

Enter the Fist of Croydon

Thankfully, I realised that Gordrakk was the perfect combo. His command ability is unique in that it only requires a unit to be in the Battalion and for it to be the combat phase (of which a subset is the start of the combat phase). He has a 3+ save. He would wreck face (he actually does more damage on average than a Stonelord with Battlebrew to a 4+ save by 3 wounds on the charge). It's also effectively infinite range, since I could use it on the Gitmob Shaman and it would affect the Wolf Riders and the Nasty Skulkers on the other corner of the table. I could (shock horror) leave Gordrakk behind as a sweeper behind the Grot Bomb. On average, provided that the 12 Skulkers outnumber the target, they would be 48 attacks inflicting 16 mortal wounds, with a further 8 hits, wounding on either 5+ or 4+, -1 rend.

Godrakk's buff only lasts for one turn not battleround (so it would only combo with an alpha strike use of Skulkers rather than a defensive one). However, I figured that I would want to let some armies take the first turn against me if they didn't have alpha strikes or exceptional pew pew. Ironjawz were (I'm sad to say) my dream match up. I would leave a few lines of worthless Grots as bait, make them go first (I'm only 3 drops). Hope they lob everything forward, then the Skulkers take out 3 of their best units (12 should kill Gordrakk or a Cabbage without the Talisman of Protection, let alone Brutes and the like). 

Deployment rule and congaing

The Skulkers are on 25mm rounds and so they could double rank. The rule that unleashes them Surprise! requires that they be deployed (so it's not a move, so no 3 inch rule), be coherent and that the Nasty Skulkers be within 1 inch of the host unit - this means the unit of Nasty Skulkers not every model (cf. Fanatics congaing, which plenty of others do). This means that you can conga the Skulkers out of the host unit (even if the host fails its charge) you can conga over lines of enemy units, pile in and attack with that unit, then you can (if you wrote it down that way) conga another unit of 12 Skulkers out of the first, pile them in and attack and then potentially do the same with the third unit out of either the host or the first or second unit of Skulkers (who were colour coded Green, Blue and Red for this reason by daggers).

Did I mention that it also gives the whole battalion a 3D6 charge declaring within 18? This meant that Wolves were very likely to make a charge of 24 inches away turn one (unless I derped the initial roll). Chariots would have been a more reliable (run and charge) but more expensive option cash wise (you need 5 models with the Gitmob and Grot keywords to be a host unit).

Don't forget you can use it on Gordrakk too

Finally, The Fist of Croydon had the YOLO option of using his command ability on himself if he needed to go delete Archaon on Nagash or Alarielle, 7 attacks with Smasha, 7 with Kunning, 7 -2 rend, 3 damage attacks from Big Teef, and a few more. This would also be the option if I derped and the host unit got killed while still carrying its cargo. What could possibly go wrong?


I was relieved when the army actually fit into 2,000 points with 80 or so points to spare. I went for the extra Moonclan Shaman to provide cheap mystic shield (and originally the aoe Curse of Da Bad Moon bomb with a free Balewind until the recent change).

Playing Destruction, I obviously didn't go small fry - I maxed out on Skulkers (spanked the money on new metal heavy ones direct from GW) and got painting.

I road tested the list to death (theory hammer); and wrote a lengthy 3-page explanation/reference of the rules and the FAQ answers and other points (in case of dispute). I'm pleased to say that this never needed to be used (except as an aide memoire for me). The only rules dispute related to something that my first opponent Craig Chester (not unreasonably) thought that he could do on 3 Places of Power. i suspect a good percentage of players get this point wrong too.

@Bowlzee Craig was my unlucky first victim in a practice game at the South London Legion. Thank you very much man! I ate his Ancient and a fair few hunters with the Grot Bomb out of the Wolves. 

Simultaneous Abilities

The important point for me was in relation to the Hints and Tips on simultaneous abilities and start of a phase. In my turn, I can activate all of my Skulker's Surprise! abilities before Craig could use Treelord Stomp (or Quicksilver potion), then in the body of the combat phase (once all of the start of the combat phase stuff has been done) I make my selection of a unit to pile in and attack. This would typically be the Wolf Riders (who are amazing! for their cost in units of 10 or more, especially with bows and shields and with Sneaky Stabbing).  

Vice versa - in Craig's turn, he could do all his stomps in an order of his choice, then he could use a (hypothetical) Quicksilver potion, then I would finally get to use my units with Surprise!; then he would get to do the first selection.  

I also got to play against @Leonardas with his Khorne force the week before. Thanks again - vital preparation for us both.

We kept both games under wraps for maximum Surprise! value. This was also vital when I thought that the legend that is Mediocre Joe (@ThereIsOnlyJoe on Twitter of the inestimable Bravery One Podcast) had grudged me using his Clan Skryre filth (which was probably going to be a straight coin flip game on the initiative roll unless Joe made a mistake, or if I made a mistake in deployment or if we got Escalation first).

@Sarkazim  I've been theory hammering this army against you - that's why I cared so much about your Assassin army - I was interested that no-one objected to anything you were proposing.

That said, to be clear, I did not and would not have used your (literal but extremely bold) interpretation to allow the Nasty Skulkers to pile in and attack in the start of the combat phase (which I agree is not a "selection" for the reasons discussed); and then be "selected" to pile in and attack in the body of the combat phase - attacking twice.

I read the you cannot be selected to pile in and attack rule more than once in the rules purposively (emphasis on attack, not on selected), to mean don't attack twice unless there's something that is Maniak Boarboyz or Vanhels Danse Macabre level specific allowing you to attack more than once. 

As for the worst match ups, body count would be a problem against me as I lose the +1 to hit buff for the Skulkers and the Grots. Blocks of 20 Chaos Warriors with Runeshields would grind me down or 20 Plaguebearers. I didn't want to face the Kunning Rukk either and Beastclaw are always a threat to Gordrakk.

Anyway, the Fist of Croydon wouldn't appreciate the amount of theory hammering going on, so let's get to the smashin and the stabbin! I'm very happy to discuss the list or Gordrakk, Gitmob or Destruction at length.

Overview of the Games

If you said to someone that you would be going to be facing the following armies before the event:

  • Mourngul list (with a Bravery 4 army);
  • Beastclaw Raiders plus Kunning Rukk;
  • Beastclaw Raiders plus Kunning Rukk, plus Moonclan; plus Spiderfang (kudos to South London Legion clubmate Alex Clark on fitting that into 2,000 points);
  • Nurgle Tallyband;
  • Beastclaw Raiders plus Moonclan plus Gitmob on Take and Hold (160 Grots vs my 109);
  • Beastclaw Raiders plus Kunning Rukk

they would probably run for the hills. In fact, every game was phenomenal - normally I find that at least one game is predictable from the outset, but all of these were cliff hangers - rested on good decisions or mistakes by opponents or me. Great opponents all of you (Craig Chester, the Godfather of Beastclaw himself Paul Whitehead, South London Legion's own Alex Clark and @Leonardas; Darran Palmer and Paul Haley)! I think you all enjoyed seeing what the Nasty Skulkers could do and how Gordrakk hits like a cabbage/pillow.

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Game One - Fist of Croydon vs The Mourngul

Lists and Battleplan

Nothing like a game against a Mourngul for an easy start to a tournament. I was less than thrilled given the whole army is bravery 4 (or at least 6 or less) bar The Fist of Croydon. Nevertheless, I had a plan. 

Craig Chester was good fun to play against and he's very welcome to come to the South London Legion for a game.

  • VLoZD General Red Fury, Ring
  • Arkhan
  • Mourngul
  • 5 Blood Knights
  • 5 Blood Knights
  • 10 Zombros
  • 10 Zombros
  • 10 Zombros

Summoning pool of 100?

With the choice of Red Fury over the ward save (just don't do it, it's not a worthwhile trade off, especially not on the VloZD instead of the GKoTG), I felt I had a chance. If he had kept a 5+ Ward save over all his toys, the maths would have really worked against my Grot Bomb.

The Battleplan was 3 Places of Power - well at least the Mourngul isn't a hero....


Craig used movement trays for 30 models in total, which seemed like overkill. It also meant that the Zombros looked incoherent (more than one inch) but (a) I didn't want to start with a dispute and (b) fine, I'll just thread the Skulkers through the gap.

Arkhan was at the back defended by the Blood Knights; and the VLoZD was in the middle (interestingly in front of the Zombros rather than behind. I decided to take out Arkhan first and the left unit of Blood Knights, since the VLoZD had the ring and once Arkhan died it wouldn't be auto-mystic shield on the Mourngul. In retrospect this was probably a mistake. 

Two units of Skulkers would be enough, so I put two into the Wolves on my left and one into the Grots with spears on my right (vs Arkhan). I held back Gordrakk to react to the Mourngul.

After tinkering with the Meteoric Hammerblade, I eventually opted for the Talisman of Protection on both the Goblin Warboss and on the Shaman for durability. I would frequently lob the former forward as if he was in any way valuable. I was hoping that opponents would try to snipe him (best of all with mortal wounds). In particular I was going to feed him to Stormfiends if I faced Skryre.



Battleround 1

I had far fewer drops and so I let Craig go first. I was pretty sure he couldn't alpha strike me except with an 11 charge on the VLoZD onto Grots. He played it fairly cautiously. One of the first things he did was to summon a Cairn Wraith onto my right objective. Having faced this problem before (a set up is not a move - 3 places of power requires you to move to an objective in order to tag it and score) and in particular the day before with a Runesmiter - I had to challenge it. Not ideal having a rules dispute within 3 minutes of the game starting, but the ruling from Ben agreed with me. Pleased to say it was the only one and it was a perfectly reasonably mistake for Craig to make (yet another reason why Death summoning is pretty meh).

Nevertheless, it still made sense for Craig to summon the scythe dude to threaten the objective, which Arkhan did like clockwork. He also put mystic shield on the Mourngul like clockwork throughout the game (which I realised was phenomenally valuable by itself). I've really re-evaluated him since this game.

The Zombros merged. 

Craig wisely didn't move up very much, since he needed to get a charge off with Blood Knights for maximum impact.

Score 0-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Time for the little Nasty Skulkers to do their thing. I shouted Fist of Croydon and Waaaagh!  as I unleashed Godrakk's command ability. Everything went forward a decent distance in the hero phase except the important Wolf Riders, who didn't get far. In the middle the Gitmob shaman grabbed the objective, while on the right the Warboss grabbed that one. On the left I forgot to do the hero Destruction Move for the Moonclan Shaman, which cost me a point! I failed Sneaky Stabbing on a 7 on the Wolves. However, I did get mystic shield off on Gordrakk, so he was on a 2+.

I did some shooting with the wolves to whittle down the horde of Zombros (I was confident that the Blood Knights were toast). 

The Wolves needed a pretty high charge to make it in and did so, while on the right, the Grots made it into the Blood Knights and more importantly Arkhan, carefully keeping 3 inches away from the Mourngul.... The central Grots also tagged the Blood Knights with one model, but stayed in the centre to keep the VLoZD away from the scoring Shaman. He of the Big Base waddled about behind, carefully sitting between two piece of mystical terrain and out of range of both (Craig won the roll and gave me this side of the table I recall).

Start of the combat phase - Surprise!!! Out came the Skulkers from their host Grots. I unleashed 12 against Arkhan first, going straight through the large gap in the defence and surrounding him. The Grots licked their blades ready to strike when out of the corner of their narrow eyes, they beheld a Mourngul within 6 inches (not 3).... Disaster - I'd confused the distances of the Cursed Book and the Mourngul. That teaches me for building and painting two Mournguls and then leaving them unused on my shelf for 5 months instead of terrorising my club mates. #onlythefilthful With -2 to hit, they did 1 wound to Arkhan. It felt like game over after two significant and easily avoidable positioning mistakes.


On the left flank thing went a lot better. The Skulkers came out and wiped the 5 Blood Knights off (it was close with the 6+ ward). I kept the third unit in the host unit (the Wolves). I was then able to select a unit in the body of the combat phase. I must have chosen the Wolves (and forgotten that they can pile in 6 inches) since the 20 Grots on the right (even with 60 attacks) were hitting on 6s thanks to Mr Mourngul. They dented the Zombros (not outnumbering them doesn't help.


The other Blood Knights rolled badly and didn't kill many Grots. Arkhan with some help from the Knights deleted the entire unit of Skulkers (with Battleshock). I scored 2 points (should have been an easy 3). Not quite the crippling blow I was counting on, but still in the running, particularly if I won the double turn, in which case, Gordrakk could hunt Arkhan if he moved well or the VLoZD if he moved poorly and the final Skulkers would hit the VLoZD, meanwhile my heroes would pick up 5 points.

I lost the roll.

Score 2-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Battleround 2

Craig failed to capitalise on my mistake - he lobbed the Mourngul at Gordrakk rather than at the Wolves and the existing Skulkers on my left (which he could have completely shut down with -2 to hit). Arkhan did mystic shield on the MG and Curse of Years on my soon to be long suffering Warboss, which did a lot of damage (3 wounds after Talisman). Arkhan and the Cairn Wraith went over to claim the right objective. The VLoZD flapped about in the middle and charged the Grots. The Zombros were pinned on one end so they just sat there.


The Mourngul needed a charge of a 10 and made it into Gordrakk. I wasn't too scared although Craig got a lot of extra attacks. When all was said and done he only did 2 wounds to Gordrakk thanks to Mystic Shield. I selected the Warboss (probably) in a vain attempt to damage the Cairn Wraith. The Grots and Blood Knights were both pretty ineffectual. The Warboss went down to Arkhan (so he grabbed the objective). 


Gordrakk managed to do 2 wounds to the 2+ rend immune save on the Mourngul. Not awful, but not great either. At least there's no regen if no models die.

The VLoZD managed to delete the central Grots with Red Fury. However, the Shaman was safe and would score again next turn.



Score 2-1

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

In my turn, I did the natural thing for Gordrakk. Retreat. I think I must have rolled well for the Destruction Move, since Gordrakk got out of combat with the Mourngul in the hero phase and then ran in the movement phase. I got mystic shield on him again and he put inspiring presence on the Arrer Grots (who also failed a mystical test during the game).

The Arrer Grots replaced their Spear Brethren in the middle guarding the Shaman. The Moonclan Shaman on the right got firmly onto the objective this time.

On the right the Grots retreated and formed a line to get in the way of the Blood Knights. The Wolves and Skulkers retreated from the Zombros to go and threaten the VLoZD (surely I was due a double turn). I was aware that if I killed the VLoZD, then he might reappear next to my shaman on the left and attack him. If things turned out well the Wolves would go and crush Arkhan if I got that double turn (provided Sneaky Stabbing went off). 

Shooting chipped some wounds off the Zombros again from memory (I didn't have Sneaky Stabbing so no point going for the VLoZD). In the start of the combat phase, I disgorged the final 12 Skulkers who did about 7 wounds to the VLoZD before he healed back one. At least he was slowed down. He ate them in response. I don't think there was any other combat.

I scored 2 in the middle and 1 on the left.

Now to win that initiative roll!

Score 5-1

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Battleround 3

Having won the initiative, Gordrakk was free of the Mourngul and lined up a charge on Arkhan and the Cairn Wraith to delete them both. All he had to do was pass the mystical test. I play it that if you are ever within 3" of mystical during the phase, then you have to roll, but can do so at any time in the phase. Up came a 1. There he sat - all 700 points of him. The Wolves made it into Arkhan and started denting him. The Grots made it into the Cairn Wraith and did a wound. The Skulkers guarded the Gitmob Shaman in the middle.

What mattered was that the Grot Shaman still controlled the objective in the middle (outright - it's not contested, first one there gets it until he moves away or dies - we may have played this wrong in Craig's favour during the game). He scored 3 points by himself. The Moonclan Shaman added another 2 points (should have been 3 bar derping).

Score 10-1

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Given the score line, it was pretty much over for Craig and he was playing for kill points.

He would only get 2 from Arkhan this turn and another 1 from the VLoZD in the middle when he killed the Shaman. I would then score 3 more points with the left Shaman in Round 4. Also Gordrakk might finally do something. We ran out of time, due to a factor external to the game. I think Arkhan did Curse of Years again on Gordrakk and started melting him. Mystic Shield again on the MG. Craig's VLoZD hit the Grots in the middle and chomped through them with Red Fury.  The Zombros got some models back. The Blood Knights charged the Grots again. Gordrakk held on.

Craig seemed happy, he'd played it well, made fewer mistakes and had trounced me on kill points.

Final Score 10-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points



Hopping onto the objectives with cheap heroes and delaying his heroes and big toys proved the route to a major victory and a pitiful tally of kill points for me. The Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index remained on a big round zero. 

The strength of the list and some quality retreating (to get away from the Zombros and Mourngul) got me a hard fought win. The only thing I killed was the Blood Knights - 260 points. Craig got about 4 times as much. I have to say that even after my two early mistakes, Craig was pretty lucky not to have been crushed. He had to win the first initiative roll to prevent Gordrakk from killing Arkhan or the VLoZD, then when I got the double turn back, Gordrakk failed mystical (I didn't have any leeway to stay out of the two piece stuck in my half completely. 

His list was very susceptible to Skulkers and Gordrakk - especially since both Arkhan and the VLoZD will trigger Kunning (about 7 mortal wounds to a wizard by itself plus some extra damage). Despite the Mourngul, with his low model count, I was nearly a hard counter to his army.

My faith in the list was strengthened in some ways - that it was resilient to mistakes.  I also hadn't gone all out. I kept one unit of Skulkers in reserve with a view to taking out the VLoZD. If I had had both units in the right Grot host, the second unit could have come out (avoiding the Mourngul this time and deleted the Blood Knights on that flank. However, my strategy of hounding his heroes paid dividends.

Thanks a lot Craig - enjoy your stag do weekend at SCGT 2017 I think you said it would be!

I checked with the Rob, Alex and Max to find that we were all on majors! A good start for the Legion!


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Game Two - Grot Bomb vs the Godfather of Beastclaw

After a major, but a dismal haul of kill points, I was hoping for a solid but not #onlythefilthful opponent list for game two, to help steady the ship - perhaps a few 5 wound heroes for Gordrakk to snack on.

Instead I got drawn against Paul Whitehead. My favourite game at the SCGT 2016 was against Paul. I'd taken Settra with a low subtlety Righteous Smiting plus Vanhels plus 6 Necropolis Knights (post soft nerf to Righteous, but pre hard nerf). Paul had taken 3 Stonehorns and 3 Thundertusks which somehow fit into the pools. I took the first turn and killed 3.5 of them. Paul took it on the chin, took a deep breath, double turned me back and fought incredibly well, only for me to table him all bar one Gorger who clung on due to a failed charge by a derpy Tomb King - I lost by a point on the objective. A classic game of AoS.

This was the first game when I saw how incredible multiple Thundertusks were (amplified by Rufio's genius list that took it out made good use of Thundertusks too along with the Spiderfang Battalion). This was before they could heal and before Stonelords with a 3+ save and before Battle Brew. Now you couldn't walk 10 feet without seeing a Thundertusk. Max and Alex had brought 4 between them.

Paul is an absolute gentleman and great fun to play against and chat to. He'd commiserated over the Fyreslayers performance the day before (at the very tasty kebab shop). The game was even more exciting as his 14 year old son (going to be the next Russ Veal) was on the top table at the time against Max (unless that was round 3...).

Lists and Battleplan

Paul had only two Beastclaw monsters. Were the others being loaned out to other players I wonder? He tacked on 3 lots of Savage Orruks for Battleline and of course the Kunning Rukk with Arrer Boyz. Truly a horrific prospect. The army looked great.


I took a few minutes while Paul was away from the table to come up with a plan. Even without the movement of pure Bonesplitterz (Hand of Broken), the damage output was still horrific (especially to Gordrakk) and killing the unit would be virtually impossible (the Skulkers were of course outnumbered as units). I could try YOLOing Gordrakk into the unit before he put inspiring presence on them, but even this wasn't guaranteed to work and then the Stonehorn would kill him in turn. 

However, this was my favourite Battleplan - Border War (Ghoul Patrol).  Paul knew I had fewer drops, so he would probably expect me to play for the double turn, so he would expect to go first and would probably put the monsters on the 12 inch line to attack my chaff.  If I took the first, turn, buffed the Wolves and lobbed them into the two monsters and dumped all the Skulkers I ought to be able to take them both out (about 48 wounds even with the -1 to hit from the Thundertusk) for minimal losses and also score 4 points round one for Paul's home objective, by flooding it with small bodies.

To improve my chances, I created a Gordrakk shaped dummy bunker using a ring of Grots, was pleased when the Arrer Boyz came down on one side and then I deployed Gordrakk diagonally opposite them in a corner.



Nothing going on here... All quiet

Battleround 1

I prayed to Croydon Gork and went for it. Waaaagh!

Sneaky Stabbing cast! The Wolves rolled a 2 for their Destruction Move - I was terrified. The Wolves split their fire between the two monsters, trying to get exactly one wound through on the Stonelord, which they did. I made the charge - The Skulkers came out, chopping away with 4 attacks each. Then I could select the Wolves to attack, but only one of them was in contact with the Stonelord. Again I'd forgotten the 6 inch pile in (although this only mattered for smacking the regular Orruks. 

When it was all over, the Stonelord clung on with one wound left (I'd rolled badly).


What the hell?

The Warboss YOLOed into the other end of the Arrer Boyz hoping to contribute to a Battleshock test. He didn't do much.


Gordrakk stayed in his corner. The rest of my army advanced on the other objectives, with 20 dudes to hold my home objective.

In response (after the Wolves attacked), the Stonelord deleted two units of Skulkers with Battleshock. The Orruks and Arrer Boyz smacked away, but did little.

I held the key objective by a fair margin of bodies - 4 points to me. If the Stonelord had died then it would have been ever worse for Paul as I would have another 10 models there to deal with. 



Paul commented on the inventiveness of my lists. 

Score 9-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Paul's response was brutal. Some arrows were fired, a lot of 3+ save cavalry died. However, the Champion of the Unit, undeterred by the weight of numbers and Gordrakk's send in the pawns while defending the corner approach bravely swung at the monster dripping from dagger wounds all over. The Wolf ripped its throat out and it collapsed into a smouldering pile. The Champion then recovered his senses and fled!


Score 9-1

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points


Battleround 2

I won the initiative and remained very cautious, knowing that a single round of shooting would easily kill Gordrakk and that I needed to build up an insurmountable lead. On the other hand, if Gordrakk could hit the big block, he would probably do 40 wounds to it (just a 6+ save that isn't a ward), which might be enough. I played for the objectives, rather than going for the kill points.

I put mystic shield on Gordrakk and moved him up gingerly with the Moonclan Grot Shaman. I lobbed the Archers down my right flank (I think they failed a mystical test) but scored the objective again nevertheless. I put some spear Grots in the middle to block the Arrer Boyz advance. 


I scored a further 5 points

Score 14-1

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Paul advanced his horde and went towards Gordrakk (rather than the right objective). I think he may have conceded that he wasn't going to get the major at this point and was going for the glory of scalping the Fist of Croydon.

He lobbed his 10 Boyz on the left onto the objective (but not in combat) to outnumber Gordrakk and score 2 there.

Score 14-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 0 points

Battleround 3

I must have won the initiative. On the right my Bow Grotz kept chipping away at the Savage Orruks Arrerboyz. Gordrakk failed his pew pew wound roll, but DELETED A 100 POINT UNIT IN COMBAT - hooray. This got me this objective back. I think I threw yet another unit in front of the Arrer Boyz. I scored 5 again and it was all over on the major.

Score 19-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points

Paul took a turn and deleted a unit of Grots, he kept advancing towards Gordrakk. It was pretty much over at this stage. 

Final Score 19-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points

As befits the Godfather of Beastclaw he still managed a very respectable haul of kill points (the Skulkers are worth 540 points by themselves and the Wolves 200). Paul went on to do very well overall! As did his son (despite a defeat by Max @grunnlock).

We chatted a lot once the games were done. We're now 1:1 at tournaments, so a decider would be grand.

This put me on two majors and a slightly less dismal amount of kill points. Surely I would get an Ironjawz, Khorne or Stormcast opponent to smash next?


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I'll be brief because of time. (Also wanted to comment so I can track this)

THANK YOU again for keeping me in mind as you play.  I'll have to look at Destruction stuff more when I get a chance.  I didn't even know they had an Assassin type unit until now. At first glance they're not impressive, but they're backed by Destruction and Git Mob bonuses.  I don't know what these are, but I'll look into it. 

A brief glance at the Skulkers again shows that the Dark Aelf Assassin is overcosted/underpowered for what it does, by either interpretation.  For the same 80 points you get 12 Attacks, compared to my 6. You get one more wound by comparison, but it's a fair trade as Battleshock affects them.  They're not that great before bonuses, but even they Rend, and can inflict Mortal Wounds.  Conga line is a touchy subject, but since I can't abuse it, I'll leave that alone.

Again, more related to me choosing a Legacy army that I hope will be updated.  Having a voice of 'Reasonable Objection' has been great for all of the discussion on it.  For that reason, I'll probably post a reply over on the Shadowblades thread, so I don't hijack yours and have all the material relevant to me in one place.

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Conga line is a touchy subject, but since I can't abuse it, I'll leave that alone.

Again, more related to me choosing a Legacy army that I hope will be updated.  Having a voice of 'Reasonable Objection' has been great for all of the discussion on it.  For that reason, I'll probably post a reply over on the Shadowblades thread, so I don't hijack yours and have all the material relevant to me in one place.

Thanks for your comments, especially the final paragraph. That's very good of you.

I had anticipated pushback on conga more than any other issue, but it never happened. Most people were familiar with Fanatics congaing (at least one had done it to me in the phase immediately before I congaed them back). Stormcast can do much the same trickery (putting models adjacent to your own so that Fanatics are defeated). It's ironclad that it's setting up the unit and not the models within 1 inch of the host unit. I guess it has a bad reputation from the early days when summoning was overpowered.

It's worth me noting that most opponents - having seen the list - realised that the answer was to bubble wrap their valuable targets with a wall of models that stops the Nasty Skulkers getting adjacent to them. What doesn't work is the conventional thin lines of chaff some distance in front of the valuable stuff (what you do vs a 3 inch range Necrosphinx etc.). Do the bubble wrapping and my list doesn't work (or at least has to wait until later in the game, amplifying the risk that the host unit goes down the tubes). It's definitely reliant on surprise. For this reason, this list probably will not come out in that form for some time.

A more balanced list can definitely benefit from having a unit of 40+ Gitmob Archers with 6-12 Nasty Skulkers in it and a Gitmob Shaman for 440 points as a self contained, self-buffing block of troops. Then another Moonclan unit with single units of Fanatics to block charges. 


THANK YOU again for keeping me in mind as you play.  I'll have to look at Destruction stuff more when I get a chance.  I didn't even know they had an Assassin type unit until now. 

You weren't alone.

I hadn't thought about them at all previously. Gitmob are deceptively better than Moonclan in many ways (sorry Nathan Prescott - I take it back - don't crush me Hooded Villain) - there's more too them than just the War Machines. Someone did use Nasty Skulkers at Clash vs Mediocre Joe! I heard it on Bravery One.

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Game 3 - The AoS Question you never want to hear



This put me on two majors and a slightly less dismal amount of kill points. Surely I would get an Ironjawz, Khorne or Stormcast opponent to smash next?


Not a chance - I ended up against club mate and all round gentleman Alex Clark - who may have been using a combo of Beastclaw, Kunning Rukk, Spiderfang and Moonclan. While I hadn't played against his list, I'd seen other club mates (Ben's Kunning Rukk) taking it on and knew what the four limbs of the army did - 3 broken and undercosted beatsticks and the Fanatics to block opponent alpha strikes. I would have to play my socks off to win this one. Once again Gordrakk would likely be doing his cower with fear routine against the Kunning Rukk. 

Alex knew about my list in outline, knew it could do a powerful alpha strike, but hadn't seen it in action.

So, following an unfortunate delay, here's the next Battle Report.

Lists and Battleplan

Alex had something like this:

  • Stonelord (Battlebrew)
  • Huskard on Thundertusk
  • Arachnorok (Battlebrew)
  • 20 Moonclan Grots
  • Some Fanatics
  • Kunning Rukk
  • Savage Big Boss
  • Wardokk
  • 30 Arrer Boyz
  • 10 Savage Orruks
  • 10 Savage Orruks

Whoever the General was, it had Bellowing Shout to turn the Arrer Boyz into 4+ to hit.

The damage output from either the Arachnorok or the Stonelord would be off the charts. Obviously the Kunning Rukk would delete anything in range. 

However, I had managed to beat two limbs of Alex's army in the previous game against Paul Whitehead, so hope lived.

It was Gift from the Heavens which suited me as I could just ignore the battleplan for Battleround one and try to take out the key threats with an alpha strike. If I did anything else, I felt I was guaranteed to lose and be tabled. Barring obscenely bad luck for Alex of course - but the problem is that while a Stonelord will fail a 3 inch charge quite often (1 in 36 times), a Kunning Rukk even of only 30 Arrer Boyz will easily delete Gordrakk (probably even with a 2+ save) in a single turn very reliably- please correct me if I'm wrong - I haven't cranked the maths).



I had far fewer drops so I knew I could control who went first.

From memory Alex won the roll for sides (maybe he got some Damned Terrain to cheese up his Kunning Rukk - I had some for my Wolves) and put down his Arachnorok first on my left flank with a building separating them from . I did the dummy bunker in the middle which had worked well against Paul in the previous game.


Alex put his Thundertusk on my right, I faced off against that with the Gitmob Archers and the distraction piece Warboss on Wolf (whose Talisman of Protection might waste some of the effort of the Thundertusk). More importantly, the Arrer Boyz were loaded with one unit of 12 Skulkers.


Another unit of Skulkers (let's say Green) were in the Wolves which I put opposite the Stonelord; and the final unit (Blue) were hidden within Green. I had a Kunnin Plan.

Towards the end of deployment, I asked the fateful question that is referred to in the title of this game:

"Is that [Arachnorok] on the 12 inch line?"

To which the answer was "yes". At this point Alex knew that he had made a mistake in deployment (as he later mentioned). I lobbed down Gordrakk on the 12 inch line directly opposite the Arachnorok. If I did win the game, it would have been a direct result of deployment.

"Ere we go, ere we go, ere we go".








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Battleround 1 - the Kunnin Plan unfolds

I took the first turn and unleashed The Fist of Croydon's command ability as my first step (perhaps too hastily - but I didn't have a lot of choice). The Kunnin Plan was for the Wolves to take the Damned buff, receive Sneaky Stabbing, storm forward, shoot a few wounds off the Stonelord (even doing one damage is a big deal due to the halving mechanic) and shoot up the Moonclan or the Savage Orruks before they got battleshock immunity. They would then charge into the Moonclan (depending on what the Fanatics did) and disgorge their devastating cargo on the Stonelord). On the right flank, the Grot Archers would storm forward - start chipping wounds off the Arach, get a bit of luck to make the charge and dump the 12 Skulkers to take out the Thundertusk. Meanwhile, thanks to Alex's mistake in deploying the Arach undefended on the 12 inch line with a building to one side and a sizable gap from the Grots (with their fanatics), Gordrakk would YOLO towards it (make a charge), I would then activate Gordrakk after all the Skulkers were done. Did I mention what Kunning (his axe) does to Wizards.... If you can roll 5 2+ s to hit, it's 10 mortal wounds by itself plus a bit more regular damage. Basically Gordrakk could probably kill 2.5 Arachnoroks if he got the drop on them. I was salivating at the prospect of taking out both monsters and the Arach in one turn.

In return, Alex would kill Gordrakk with the Kunning Rukk, but hopefully the rest of my army could carry on piling into them (particularly if Alex didn't get the double turn), start scoring points when the comets came down and win a major. Simples!

The plan started ominously. Gordrakk rolled a 2 for his Rampaging Destroyers move (Rampage). I was not thrilled - Alex had made a big mistake and I wasn't able to capitalise on it. I thought about it for a minute and then decided not to play for the chance of rolling a 10 on the charge (he doesn't get a 3 D6 charge like everything else).  I hid Gordrakk behind some Grots instead.


After losing a model to Damned terrain in exchange for +1 to hit, I failed the casting roll on Sneaky Stabbing, so they weren't fully buffed wolves. I did get mystic shield on them. They then rolled a 1 for Rampage. This was looking ominous already. On the right flank, the Archer Grots zoomed forward 5 inches and were well placed to take on the Thundertusk. The rest of the Grots in the middle also hoped to make a charge.

The Warboss advanced on the Grot Shaman atop the pyramid. Next time - lava themed terrain hopefully.

After some thought, I realised that the Wolves wouldn't do much to the filth banners Moonclan Grots (4+ save against shooting and +2 bravery if I didn't get into combat). Nor would it do much to the 30 Arrer Boyz (since they outnumbered my 9 Wolves and I hadn't gotten Sneaky Stabbing off). The Warboss was out of range (bad Rampage roll). I dumped all the shots into the Stonelord and chipped 2 or so wounds off after halving.

Start of the Charge Phase 

Out popped a Fanatic (one of only 2 Alex had from memory). It made a charge of 7 or 8 (had it failed it might have cancelled out the effects of the misfiring buffs I'd had so far). Oh well.

In the charge phase proper, the Arrer Boyz made contact with the Orruks guarding the Thundertusk. The Wolves obviously had to stay put. The spear grots failed their charge in the middle. Gordrakk fumed at the back. The Warboss also failed his charge.

Start of the Combat Phase 

On the right flank, 12 Red Nasty Skulkers popped out and swiftly ended the Thudnertusk (even with its -1 to hit debuff). A decent start.



Now to the centre. I deployed the Green unit out of the right end of the Wolves as a conga line, straight towards and over the thin line of Grots (I went over the gap, but Alex's Grots have sub 1 inch bases, so you can go over a model too). 6 of the models formed up in ranks 2 deep beside the Stonelord so that they were in range. They piled in and attacked. 24 attacks on the 3+ save Stonelord should have resulted in 8 mortal wounds and 1 regular wound - so after halving this would be 5 more wounds inflicted (on top of the damage from pew pew): 



The dice rolled and it was below average. Alex was clinging on.

Now for the best bit, the Blue Nasty Skulkers popped out next to the Stonelord - 48 attacks - a frenzy of Stabbing. This should have been a full 16 mortal wounds and 2 regular wounds, so 18 goes to 9 damage. The rolls were bad, Alex clung on with 2 wounds remaining.


Just the 18 Skulkers alone that made it into combat should have done 16 wounds to the 13 wound model after halving. Gordrakk started pummeling the Daemon Prince under Big Teef's claws in wild rage.

Alex was nevertheless visibly shocked. He knew that I could now kill his Stonelord if I won the first initiative roll.

I activated the Wolves in the combat phase proper to kill off the Fanatic. Alex clubbed away at the Skulkers around the frozen corpse of the Thundertusk. The Grot Archers smacked away with 3 attacks each but did little. The should have been off the table Stonelord proceeded to wipe out both units of Skulkers with Battleshock.


Where things stood at the end of my turn. The Stonelord had 2 wounds remaining.

Whilst I remember - the reason why we ran out of time was that we took various breaks for going to the bar and Alex having to step outside briefly.

Score 0-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points

Alex began his turn.


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Alex buffed up the Kunning Rukk with +1 to hit (and presumably reroll 1s to hit), inspiring presence or exploding attacks on a 6 to hit. He attempted Curse of Da Bad Moon on the right flank, but failed to cast. I think Alex put mystic shield and the Spider buff on the Arach.

The Kunning Rukk shot off some wolves in the hero phase (they aren't quite as horrific against 3+ save cavalry (mystic shield). They weren't able to get into range to attack Gordrakk at least.

The Stonehorn stayed at the back, crippled.

The Savage Orruks went to work chomping down the Grots and Nasty Skulkers on my right.


The Arachnorok surged forward, facing off against the thin line of Grots.


The Savage Orruks chipped off more wounds off the Wolves and thinned down the Grot line in front of Gordrakk, some of them shot at Big Teef as well and did some damage. The Wolves and Moonclan Grots slugged it out in the middle. The Wolves inflicting heavy casualties.

The Arach failed a long bomb charge to try to go around the Grots and hit Gordrakk. He might have needed an 11 or so. 


Battleshock cleared off the rest of the wall protecting Gordrakk, so this was the scene when the initiative roll was to be made. Gordrakk was hurt (one of his true virtues is that his damage output barely drops at all when hurt -  a hit roll slowly descends from 2+), but the rest of his forces had crumbled (largely because the Stonelord clung on). The Warboss on his wolf was lurking in the hedgerows, preparing to pounce on the Shaman. The Wolves lost a few models to Battleshock, but stood firm and readied their bows, waiting for the Gitmob Shaman to lend them magical assistance against the crippled Stonelord.

The scene was set for a massive initiative roll. If I won, Gordrakk would wedge himself between the Spider and the 6+ save Arrer Boyz. Between the Shooting attack, the mortal wound impact hits and the nearly 8 mortal wounds from Kunning alone, I had a decent chance of dropping the Arach. That would have left Smasha (horrific) and the Fists beyond horrific and the tail to delete as many 6+ (not a ward save) Arrer Boyz as possible and get them below 20 models. If sneaky stabbing went off the Stonelord was toast as well from the pew pew from the Wolves.  

Conversely if Alex won the initiative it was all over with even more certainty. If the Arrer Boyz didn't kill Gordrakk, then the Arach would have double downed and obliterated him.

Apparently there might be objectives in the next battleround as well. Who'd have thunk it?

Score 0-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points


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Battleround 2 - The Kunnin Plan Unravels

In time honoured tradition I think we both rolled a five, before Alex beat me on the reroll. That was the minor lost for certain. 

The Arrer Boyz destroyed Gordrakk - traitors! Second time he had died. The Arach went for the Wolves. The Stonelord waddled forward with 2 wounds remaining - relieved.

Oh yeah - the comet came down where Alex's shaman was standing on the Pyramid.

The Savage Orruks surrounded the Warboss (trolling with a 4+ save rerollable in cover). He killed a few back and another couple fled.


However, my Shamen were untouched....

The clock was running out fast (as discussed - not down to my fault).

Score 0-2

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points

My turn began. if the comet came down in a favourable spot I could nab it and score 2 points back. Meanwhile the Wolfboss could retreat out of combat and go and context Alex's objective. If I won the double turn then I might even score more points there by killing the Shaman. Dreams of victory resurfaced.

Unfortunately the comet came down in a tough spot. Even with hero moves, I couldn't get the Shaman onto it to score uncontested. 

As a result, Alex would win a major and it was only consolation prizes for me, namely nailing that lucky Stonehorn. The Shaman lobbed Curse of Da Bad Moon and then Arcane Bolt at it. Alex unbound the Curse, but Arcane Bolt went through - on a 5 or a 6 it would be 3 mortal wounds - halving to the exact 2 that I needed.

A 3! Sad times.

The Stonelord clung on with one wound remaining. Losing out on the seriously large wedge of kill points wasn't ideal! 


The Arachnorok feasted on Gordrakk's remains.

Final Score - Major Victory to Alex Clark

Score 0-2

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points



Alex played it well after his initial mistake on deployment. Presumably he thought I would give him the first turn and I would play for the double turn (as did other opponents). He didn't give up after seeing one of his big toys melt and another one reduced to 2 wounds, although he was quite despondent after my first turn (which illustrates one of the many reasons why AoS is amazing - come backs are possible, things can look much bleaker than they really are). 

The dice saved him, if either Gordrakk had made it into the Arach, I think Alex would have more or less given up. I needed to roll a 12 on 3 dice - so slightly above average 10.5) or the Stonelord had died in turn one (if sneaky Stabbing went off, it was toast, if the Skulkers rolled average it was dead, if the Wolves had rolled a 5 for their Rampage move to get more Skulkers into contact, it was dead. The Arrer Boyz would have had to waste time shooting the Skulkers or shoot Gordrakk (he would have been on a 2+) and then try to kill them in melee (so the Wolves would still have been in play, etc.). 

From my perspective, I was pleased with how the game had gone - it's a bad match up and yet I'd managed to give myself numerous opportunities to win the game outright with a brutal knockout punch (which Alex had had a pretty good idea about). Even with some good fortune, Alex still needed to win the initiative roll to win the game.  The strength of the combo had proven itself in three games now (even against filth in all 3 games and notwithstanding the lucky Stonehorn). The power of Nasty Skulkers as a hard counter to Fanatics was also apparent.

Gordrakk had so far killed 100 points of units - the list was sufficiently strong that this hadn't mattered that much.

This game brought home just how utterly broken the Kunning Rukk is. Even without the Hand of Gork and ward save from taking the Bonesplitterz Allegiance, it's still incredibly hard to cripple the unit of Arrerboyz. It shouldn't complement a mixed Destruction army as well as it does (if Bellowing Shout didn't exist then it wouldn't work) - providing a lethal and incredibly tough shooting platform plus two undercosted melee chaff battleline units to boot. 

Even with only 30 of them, you need a fair amount of shooting to kill 11 of them (22 wounds) and get them below 20. They need to be comped into the ground (I've suggested increasing the cost of the Arrer Boyz models AND capping the unit size of the Arrer Boyz at 20, this solves the problem while preserving the Kunning Rukk as a melee army component. Battlebrew could also be toned down (although the real god of Beastclaw is the Huskard on Thundertusk).

This was the end of day one - reconvening with club mates, @Leonardas, Alex himself and Max @grunnlock I was thrilled to hear that as a club we were undefeated except against other members of the club - Alex had beaten Rob just before me.... A good accolade - could we keep it going on the next day. 

Day one results

Major Win

Major Win

Major Loss

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points



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I am loving this list and your reports.

The way you describe the game shows how sigmar is won or lost in a game of movement, space, and positioning, coupled with properly evaluating output of units and timing of objectives. Have a reason for going into combat. Very dynamic. 

These reports also show how good movement abilities, out of phase abilities, and opponent's phase abilities are. 

I have on question related to the list.  Earlier you wrote that the Nasties could conga out from the host unit (I agree, and they do not need to obey the 3" rule as it is not a move, same with death adding models in hero phase).

Then you claim that another unit of Nasties could conga out from the edge of the first unit of Nasties.  I do not understand how this works from the text on Surprise! Can you explain? 

( I see you didn't do this in the Battle Reports posted this far but remain curious)

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Thanks so much for those kind words.


The way you describe the game shows how sigmar is won or lost in a game of movement, space, and positioning, coupled with properly evaluating output of units and timing of objectives. Have a reason for going into combat. Very dynamic. 

These reports also show how good movement abilities, out of phase abilities, and opponent's phase abilities are

Exactly. All 6 games were dynamic and couldn't be further removed from the AoS detractors' horror stories about all pile into the middle and grindfest or beer & pretzels.

Just you wait until game 5....


Then you claim that another unit of Nasties could conga out from the edge of the first unit of Nasties.  I do not understand how this works from the text on Surprise! Can you explain? 

The Nasty Skulkers can pop out of a unit with both the Grot and Gitmob keywords (provided that unit also has 5 or more models) - this includes: all 3 units of Grots, the 10 Wolves and each unit of 12 Nasty Skulkers - the keywords for all of these units are identical.

The same principle applies to Fanatics which can hide within other units of Fanatics (as they have both Moonclan and Grot keywords) - although the value of this is less obvious. You could potentially go long with a Gordrakk plus the Great Moonclan plus 3 units of 12 Fanatics within each other for some incredible 3D6 chains of charges (but you would have to activate the Fanatics in the body of the combat phase, not all simultaneously in the start of the combat phase (which gives Nasty Skulkers the edge) and the melt is real when Fanatics take any kind of damage in return.

Not directed at you, but in case of any objections from others - the Surprise! rule specifies keywords because (a) it's a keywords game; and (b) they are in bold text denoting keywords; and for completeness (c) the unit name of the Grots is actually "Grots" - not "Gitmob Grots". 

Hoping to get the rest of the reports done soon.


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Ahh.  I did not read them as keywords.  That's wonderful.

Now I realize that I can hide fanatics inside of a Mangler Squig.

This is very thematic for the sneaky gobos.  Another reason this game is so good.  All the armies play differently and the types of decisions you make and strategic and tactical potentials are tied up deeply with the army lore.  This cohesion is wonderful.  Theme through play.  

In the case of the grots, the mindgame of not knowing where you put the fanatics or nasties is something to exploit.  Amazing.  I wish the models were plastic and readily available.

With no intent to offend anyone, I feel Age of Sigmar is more MOBA than wargame.  At the very least it is everything I liked from a MOBA.

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Now I realize that I can hide fanatics inside of a Mangler Squig. 

Not quite - you need the keywords and the unit of at least 5 models - Mangler is defined as a single model.

Wolves are a good delivery mechanism for Skulkers. Chariots are better still, but 5 of them cost a lot cash wise.


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Non-dramatic interlude

Nothing too dramatic overnight - I was suitably wrecked/Ill after 2 solid days of Awesome Wargaming - so I relied on the incalculable medicinal properties of ribs and chicken wings at Franky & Benny's (tasty enough for Gordrakk) rather than the gorgeous large Shish of the Friday night. Max @grunnlock joined me, while Alex and Rob @Leonardas chilled out.

Rob and I had discussed the possibility that we would be drawn against each other as we were both on 2 Majors and a (Minor) Loss; and our kill points were both dismal. Since the soft scores added onto the points from major/minor/loss this wasn't necessarily fatal to our prospects (kill points were only a tie breaker). With a big win and some luck I might Sneak (and Stab) my way onto the Warhammer TV Livestream for game 5 (particularly if they were picking which games to put there based on interesting match ups rather than just the top two players at that particular stage (I wasn't sure how they were doing it).

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Day 2 - Game 4 - Schrodinger's Grot

Yes a wargamer is about to make a physics joke. Brace yourselves.

So a new day and new start. Rob @Leonardas and I were indeed drawn together.  

Lists and Battleplan

This was interesting - Rob (shirt says Papa not least due to his love of Papa Nurgle) had soundly beaten me in my very first tournament game at the home of the South London Legion - which led me on the path towards joining their ranks. We both knew each other's lists well and play style. I've played against his Nurgle and other Nurgle often. Rob had been hoping to bring out his Khorne for B&G but the clock ran out for him.

Rob is a better player than I am with far more experience - he taught me a lot. I taught him the Joy of Retreating in return.

It was also interesting because it was Escalation. While I hadn't planned the list for this Battleplan (this is a good idea in general, you don't want to find yourself with an 9 unit army - going 3, 3, 3 instead of a 10 unit army 4, 4, 2) it would definitely suit my list well. I could hold back a horrendous second wave to obliterate the enemy. Of course, as anyone who read about my Order army's attempts at Honour & Glory, obliterate and Nurgle rarely happen together. The games will swing on how many ward saves they can pass in a given game - one outlier roll on a key unit that should have died twice over can swing the game their way.

Rob had:

  • The Tallyband
  • Epi-pen (I don't even know why we call him that).
  • A GUO (general)
  • Another GUO
  • 6 Flies
  • 3 Flies
  • 20 Plaguebearers
  • 10 Plaguebearers
  • 10 Plaguebearers
  • A Plagueclaw Catapult.

In theory - the Plagueclaw Catapult could do wonders for the Tally vs Gitmob Grots and get Rob the buffs from Epi-pen.

I knew that the battalion meant a lot of regeneration, so entire units needed to pop. Thankfully the Flies don't get whole models back. That said, all bar Rob's 20 Plaguebearers were outnumbered by my units of 12 Nasty Skulkers, which would suit me. I knew that if Rob lost one model from the 20 Plaguebearers, then he would also lose the -1 to hit in melee (which is huge).


Rob's big problem was that his first wave would be just the Plaguebearers (he may have had exactly 9 units - Tzeentch number not Nurgle...); and you cannot score in Battleround One of Escalation, so they are just sitting there being slow.

Conversely my list came in at 11 units* (close to optimal) - 4, 4, 3 - this meant that I had the following waves in mind:

Wave One

  • 20 Grots
  • 20 Grots
  • 20 Grots
  • 12 Nasty Skulkers (Green)

Wave Two

  • Gordrakk
  • Wolves
  • 12 Nasty Skulkers (Blue)
  • 12 Nasty Skulkers (Red)

Wave Three

  • Stuff I didn't care about (both Shamen and the Grot Warboss).

As I had discussed with Max the day before (the same issue arises with Fanatics), the combination of Escalation and the writing down of which units the Nasty Skulkers are in (before battleround one) creates the situation where a given Nasty Skulker is both in a unit and not in the unit; and it is only possible to find out whether it is or not by testing it - Schrodinger's Grot**.

More specifically:

  • The first unit (Green) I deployed as part of wave one was definitely in a unit, but it could be in a unit within Wave 2 or it could be within one of the units of 20 Grots on the table.
  • Blue only came into existence in Battleround 2, but could be in Green or even in Red, or in any of the 20 Grot Units (it could not be in itself). Had Rob tested it by approaching one of the Grot units, then he would have found that Blue wasn't in that unit yet....     

*I find it better to avoid talking about drops in this context, as a Runesmiter and 30 Vulkites are two units, but one drop.

**I did a Physics degree a while back - memories fade and science advances.

It sounds more complicated than it is. In fact, I deployed Green within the Wolves, Blue within Green and Red within the Grot Archers in my centre. I had one unit of Grots for each objective in effect.

Rob elected to cede the right objective to me (it was on a distant pyramid). He put his 20 Plaguebearers in the centre and the other two 10s on my left with a large building near the objective.


Thin green line vs thicker green line.


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Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points

Battleround 1

Rob finished deploying first and elected to go first (I think he wanted to grab the objectives; and knew that there was no advantage to me if I went first in the second Battleround as I'd have nothing worth stabbing with my Skulkers). He waddled the Plaguebearers onto the objectives in the middle (20 and one of the 10s) and on my left.

In response my Grots plodded forward (shooting was either forgotten entirely or missed entirely with -2 to hit from the 20 Plaguebearers). I got them all into cover around the Magewrath Throne on my left.

Neither player can score in Battleround One of Escalation.

Score 0-0

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points




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Battleround 2

I won the initiative and made Rob go first. We both knew that this was bad news for him. He opted to pile everything onto my left and use the building as an obstacle. His second wave included both GUOs and 6 Flies.

They proceeded to vomit over and generally abuse the poor 20 Grots on the left. He tried to get mystic shield off but it may have failed.


Only one of the GUOs made his charge though, which gave me some hope. However, the whole unit ended up popping with Battleshock.

Rob had a firm hold on this objective.



In the middle, the 20 Plaguebearers and 10 backup Plaguebearers engaged the Grot Archers (on my side of the mid-line, so Rob scored the objective. The fighting was embarrassing on both sides.

Score 0-2

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points


My turn started with an "Ere we go, ere we go, ere we go!" from the Fist of Croydon.

The deploy all models within 3 inches of an edge is quite awkward. My wolves snaked along the edge carrying Green Nasty Skulkers, while the Blue Nasty Skulkers skulked within Green.

On the left side the other 20 Grots got themselves onto the Pyramid where the objective was and sat there in Mystical terrain....

In a second howler (after Mourngul range memory fail in game 1) I may have forgotten to shoot with the Wolves (they are pretty good even without Sneaky stabbing provided you outnumber the enemy). 

Gordrakk rolled below par for his Rampaging Destroyers rule in the hero phase and made the charge into the Flies (but not into the Plaguebearers around the other side as I'd hoped. Big Teef's bulk squished one of the Flies a tad.

On to the start of the combat phase and I decided to unleash the Red Skulkers onto the 10 Plaguebearers in the middle first. The Skulkers should have done 16 mortal wounds, dropping to about 11 after Ward Saves. From memory they all died/popped from Battleshock. Meanwhile the Archer Grots would continue to block the larger unit of Plaguebearers from doing too much damage to the Nasty Skulkers. 



Turning to the main event on the left, due to the constrained space, it took a while to find space for the first 12 Green Skulkers such that Blue would also likely fit in. Thankfully between Green and Blue, they performed decently and killed perhaps 5 of the Flies. Rob Kunningly removed the casualties from in front of Gordrakk, so that he couldn't do anything and would get angry!

The combat phase proper began and I activated the Wolves, who took out the final Fly - job done!


Gordrakk trying to smash up an inanimate statue.

Rob could only respond with the 20 Plaguebearers who took a fair sized chunk out of the Grot Archers.

Judging from the photo I scored a point on my left objective by a small margin of models and another one from the pyramid. Gordrakk failed to add to his dismal haul of killpoints.

Score 2-2

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points


Rob knew it was curtains if I won the initiative again.




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Battleround 3

Rob won the initiative. I felt pleased for him inside as it meant that we had a game on, rather than a landslide. Although my inner Gordrakk wanted the kill points! It's a strange feeling playing against a club mate. It might be a good idea for TOs to indicate what if anything they are happy to do regarding club mates playing each other - at least in the first round and maybe further along the event. I think one of the podcasters, it might even have been @Ben, mentioned that it's hard to come up with a rule as some people really want to play clubmates (since they don't actually get to play them that often), while others don't want to do it because they did a practice game literally the week/night before with the same armies and it's not the same as playing someone neutral with a different army.

On came Epi-Pen (this is a terrible battleplan for him since his Tally doesn't even start counting until he's on the table); 3 more flies; and the Catapult.


Rob proceeded to smash some face.

The Catapult lobbed at the middle Grots and killed a good few of them (8?) and the Tally started ticking. Rob thought about going for the Pyramid ones but went for the middle. Probably a good move as I could have lobbed on a Shaman and Rampaged, Moved and Ran in my next turn to score it again.


My centre collapsed. 6+ saves folding under a wave of filth (the other kind). One Skulker remained against a full unit of 20 Plaguebearers.

On the left, the GUOs lobbed various unpleasantries at the Wolves, killing a few. I think i conspired to fail a Battleshock test so i had only 6 Wolves left at the end of Rob's turn. I can see a Wolf Rider heavy army being a serious threat. 

The Skulkers reverted to chaff mode. Both units popped, although I may have done some decent damage to a Fly in return (3 wounds).

Gordrakk feels like he needs a Skarbrand-type mechanic where he does odd things if he isn't in combat for a while (e.g. on a roll of a 1 he attacks one of his own units and then gets to charge again....).



Rob still held the middle and had retaken the left to score 2 points. The Tally had soared to the point where Rob was getting +1 save across the board.


Score 2-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 100 points


A Dilemma?

My turn, bottom of the third battleround, Gordrakk poised to slam into the wall of Nurgle that had made swift work of the Skulkers. Surely the Fist of Croydon could squash these flies by himself. The great axe Smasha started pulling Gordrakk left, while Kunnin' pulled him towards the middle. "You'll crush dem lesser Daemons, then get the double turn and smash da rest" shouted Smasha, while Kunnin' whispered mischievously "I know I eat hero wizards for breakfast like those GUOs, but you're losing on points, remember the battleplan, what if you roll like a muppet again pull back from those slow Daemons and take back the middle and you'll score two points and get level, if you then win a double turn you'll have an insurmountable lead, don't YOLO it!"

Somehow, Kunnin' prevailed. I still don't know how - I guess it was the morning. Frankly both strategies should have worked (the pew pew attack, 4 mortal wounds to the General GUO on the charge, 8 more mortal wounds from Kunnin by itself, more damage from Kunnin, shedloads more damage from Smasha against a 3+ save, shedloads more from the Fists and yet more from the tail) but the Kunnin' one was a lot safer. The Chaos Talisman gave a 6+ ward against regular wounds only (not mortal wounds), but Gordrakk should have been able to delete the General in one turn and then grind out the others (I did manage to cast mystic shield, but in the event I put it on the Wolves instead).

The Shamen came on and the Warboss on Wolf in the middle. Gordrakk reluctantly followed the pull of Kunnin' towards the 20 Plaguebearers in the middle.

My Rampage moves were decent. The Wolves just managed to get out of combat by retreating using the Rampage move (I think i rolled a 5 - it was close). The Wolves get a fat buff to running as well, so they zoomed towards the objective on a healthy 3+ save. The forces of Nurgle would struggle to close the distance.

Gordrakk needed a 3 to make the pivotal charge. Mork rewarded Gordrakk for making the right decision - see the box:


The Warboss on Wolf got into scoring distance.


Against 4+ save Plaguebearers, Gordrakk deleted 18 or so. The unit would definitely pop unless Rob rolled a 1 and if he rolled a 1 we'd need to think about it*. The dice rolled, and they popped. Gordrakk claimed 200 Kill Points - he had tripled his personal tally and was nearly halfway to recovering his cost having played 3.5 games. Woop woop! What a mighty hero he is. 

I scored the middle and the pyramid to level the scores.

Score 4-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 300 points


*From memory, there's nothing that indicates that rolling a 1 on a Battleshock test is a "pass" such that no models flee (in general). I also think that this wouldn't be a good thing for the game (as it adds an unnecessary component of luck into the game and would also buff Savage Orruks and Destruction in general quite a lot). 

The Icon rule is also silent on the point and could be interpreted either way.

This then leads into the complicated question of what happens if D6 models come back but 8 models flee. I hadn't thought about it much at the time, but having commented on the Quicksilver Potion thread a few hours ago, it seems that these are also probably simultaneous abilities/effects, so the person whose turn it is would decide the order in which they happen. As it was my turn I would choose for the 8 models to flee and that would be that, the unit is gone, so the banner doesn't get a chance to kick in.

If it was Rob's turn and let's say hypothetically 5 would flee but D6 came up as 6 coming back, then he would add 6 before taking away 5, so the unit would survive and gain a model on net. Alternatively you could just net off the two effects and see if that comes to zero models remaining (as a house rule or agreement between the players). It does seem doubtful that you could reduce the unit from 2 models to zero (Battleshock); and then add back 6 models from a non-existent unit from the D6. Seems like an area for agree with opponent/dice off if you cannot agree etc.. I'm not aware of an FAQ on it. Thoughts anyone?    







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Battleround 4

I won the initiative and elected to go first. At this point the major win was probably a certainty for me as I would pick up two points in this turn, Rob would only get one from the left objective in return. Then in the final battleround I would have too many bodies in the middle for him to get there (assuming that he could even make it speed wise).

Angered by Gordrakk's cowardice earlier, Smasha raged into his ear "GO and smash that Epi-Pen into da ground." and yanked Gordrakk back towards the left. 

The Wolves rampaged and moved to take a solid and distant position on the central objective. The Shamen did the same. I failed mystic shield on Gordrakk. The Wolf Warboss went for the Catapult. Pew pew from the Wolves also went at the Catapult.

Gordrakk lumbered forward towards Epi-Pen.


He failed the wound roll on the pew pew attack. He made the charge, rolled badly for bulk. Carried on rolling badly for Kunning. Ward Saves were flying! Carried on rolling badly for Smasha, then the Fists, then the Tail.... Epi-pen clung on with one wound left and a full tally. Rob was jubilant at this! To add insult to injury, Epi-Pen managed to do 2 wounds back to Gordrakk....


The Wolf Boss started to chip away at the Catapult.

It looks like Kunnin' had been right all along!

Nevertheless, I scored 2 points and Rob was out of time to claw back the points. We were now playing for kill points.

Score 6-4

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 300 points

In his turn, Rob started power vomming at Gordrakk. The wounds started flying off. Epi-Pen wisely retreated. The Two GUOs and the Flies all advanced and pew pew took even more wounds off. The Catapult had a pop at the Fist of Croydon too. Underlining the value of a reliable Mystic Shielder, Gordrakk went down in melee (before he even got to attack back if memory serves). The full tally  and Epi-Pen's lust for life obviously helped.



So for the second time Gordrakk bit the dust.




Rob scored one point. That was pretty much it. I may have killed the Catapult as a consolation prize.

Final Score 8-6

Major Victory to me

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 300 points








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Rob's inspired tactical use of scenery to slow me down and frustrate Gordrakk; some remarkable dice rolls; one good decision on my part (Gordrakk needs to move away from the main event and go hunt objectives...); the initiative rolls falling the exact way they did; and the spectacular derping of Gordrakk combined to turn what could well have been either a one-sided game or a predictable grindfest into a dynamic and exciting game. The magic of AoS strikes again.

I could well have lost the game had Gordrakk YOLOed into the Nurgle wall during Battleround 3 and rolled as badly as he did later on). I caught Rob on his worst battleplan with one of my better ones (I think Border War is the best for my list) and still had to play well to get a narrow win.

Really fun game for us both! Rob got Gordrakk's head as a trophy and a mountain of kill points as a consolation prize. I cannot point to any mistakes Rob made, he had to bunker on one objective and the left one was optimal for him. The middle would have been open season for Gordrakk.

Gordrakk should have killed Epidemius fairly comfortably, that was definitely an aberration.  


So after Round 4, I was on:

  • Major
  • Major
  • Loss
  • Major

With pitiful kill points both generally and for Gordrakk.

Gordrakk Cumulative Kill Index = 300 points

The Livestream was definitely out of the window for Battleround 5, but surely I was due a softer game when I could get a major and some kill points in the bag. Perhaps some Stormcast to teleport into Nasty Skulker to the face....

I believe Alex lost his fourth game, such that our record of only losing to club mates was broken. However, he was still very much in the running.

Max won another game - I think he was on 4 Major victories at this point - storming ahead and flying the flag of the South London Legion!



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