Hi everyone. I’m the guy who won the Osaka GT last weekend with a Barak-Mhornar list. I’ve been lurking this thread for a long time and it’s given me loads of ideas, so to give something back I thought I could post a little about my experiences at the tournament. Apologies in advance for the massive post!
The event itself was fantastic - very well organised, with amazing tables and prize support. Impressive since it was the first AoS tournament in Japan as far as I know. Shoutout to Champi and his team for a job well done. There were twenty-two players, which will hopefully rise for next year. The vibe was friendly and relaxed, and it was fantastic to just hang out and chat with a bunch of great like-minded people. If you fancy a holiday in Japan, I recommend timing it to coincide with next year’s tournament in September 2019!
As for the rules, it was basically everything. All the Realm of Battle stuff, including the realm rules and all the extra realm spells. As a KO player, I was worried about this ahead of time, but as it turned out, I was basically able to ignore all those spells apart from when my opponent was casting them. One less thing to think about for me! There were also plenty of official terrain pieces, for which the warscrolls were used.
My list was posted earlier in the thread, but here it is again for reference:
This is my first AoS army and I’ve not been playing too long so I’m not actually that experienced a player. In my practice games, I was mainly playing a Death list that I just can’t beat, along with a Nurgle list, so I was expecting to get smashed to be honest. I probably won more games of AoS at the tournament than I had in total up to that point! So take any insight from me with a hefty pinch or two of salt (but hopefully not the usual Kharadron kind!).
A quick explanation of some of my choices:
I went with the Navigator as my general for the 3-up save as it’d be a blow to lose the Opportunistic Privateers ability early on. That was also the thinking behind his artefact. A 4-up mortal wound save sounds good, but for some reason he was never targeted early doors and never had a single mortal wound to save!
I took the block of thirty Arkanaut Company because I felt it was the best way to get a strong ranged threat. With the rerolls to hit from the general and a buff from the Aether-Khemist, they can put a serious dent in just about anything. With their twenty-four inch range, they can sit back and force the opponent into having to make a decision on how to deal with them. They were often screened with at least one of the other smaller units of Company.
To be honest, Brokk is mainly there because he looks cool, though he does often distract from the real threat, the Endrinriggers. Plus he’s fast, no slouch in combat and can give out the first turn run and charge, which is great coupled with Barak-Mhornar’s first turn run and shoot.
The Endrinriggers did a lot of damage over the five games. I often got them stuck into a key threat early and they would generally delete or at least severely weaken it before their inevitable demise. I’d usually put the Khemist buff on them first turn if they were going to be in the thick of it. The two grapnels didn’t do much at all, apart from possibly altering the way my opponents positioned due to the threat of them. I don’t actually think I used them once. They were all I had painted, and I probably would’ve swapped them out for two more saws if I could have.
The Ironclad was a great blocker to protect the Arkanaut Company. I’d often jam it in the middle of the board, which often held up the opponent’s units long enough for me to kill them or at least take objectives.
I would have loved to take a second Khemist. Buffing the Company and the Riggers in the same turn would be strong, but I just couldn’t find the points.
I’ll try and keep the descriptions of each game brief. I didn’t take notes and it was a full-on weekend, so I might be misremembering some things, particularly after Saturday night’s refreshments...
Game One vs Nighthaunt
Border War in Chamon (Rust Plague)
I’d never played against Nighthaunt before and expected them to be really hard to kill. Turns out weight of fire does the trick against rend-ignoring ghosties (the Arkanaut Company pistols especially did major work). My opponent had Lady Olynder, a group of Chainrasps, two units of Hexwraiths, two units of six Spirit Hosts, four Tomb Banshees, a unit of eight Myrmourn Banshees and a Mourngul.
Just after my opponent’s first turn.
I gave my opponent the first turn. He brought his two units of Spirit Haunts and several Tomb Banshees from off the board to threaten my big unit of Arkanaut Company, which was positioned behind the Ironclad. The only place he could put the Mourngul was in my right-hand corner of the board. The two units of Hexwraiths took the two middle objectives. Although I usually put Brokk and the Endrinriggers on the boat to start, I didn’t this time because I was worried about his deepstriking units zoning them out. He put his Myrmourn Banshees nine inches from the Riggers. And by some miracle, the only charge he got off was the Myrmourn. If the Spirit Hosts and the Mourngul had made their charges, the match might have gone very differently. Huge slice of luck, that. The Myrmourn did a little damage, but then the Endrinriggers and Brokk slaughtered them.
In my first turn, the Riggers and Brokk went to contest the centre objective to my right. They killed most of the Hexwraiths there and managed to take that objective. The Arkanaut Company wiped out one unit of six Spirit Hosts. I then got the double turn - another stroke of luck - and got the second unit too. The Thunderers moved away from the Mourngul so he didn’t do much until the third turn, when he smashed Brokk in one combat. By then, the Riggers had run off to contest the Nighthaunts’ back objective. I managed to kill Lady Olynder and then my opponent had so few things left - and not enough VPs - that it was just a case of mop-up from there.
I’d also like to mention that my opponent had come all the way from New York - most impressive!
Result: Major Victory
Brokk about to die.
Game Two vs Nighthaunt
Total Commitment in Aqshy (Geysers of Boiling Blood)
Nighthaunt again! This time, my opponent brought three of the big heroes, Olynder, Kurdoss and Reikenor, along with a Spirit Torment and a Guardian of Souls. For troops, he’d brought two blocks of Grimghast Reapers, a block of Bladegheist Revenants and a unit of three Spirit Hosts.
I deployed the Thunderers on the objective to my left, most of my force to the right and Brokk and the Riggers in the centre. He had Kurdoss and a big unit in the centre, and one other big unit on either flank. Sorry, but I don’t remember which was placed where.
I gave my opponent the first turn. Since the scenario forbids the use of reserves, he had everything on the board, which proved a massive disadvantage to him. He moved up and then I basically shot the unit on my right flank to pieces with the big block of Company, one other unit and the Ironclad. The last unit was out of range behind a hill, securing the objective. The Riggers got buffed by the Khemist and raced with Brokk towards the block of spooks on my left flank. I just ignored the big block in the centre as they weren’t threatening any objectives. The riggers and Brokk got some ranged damage off but they couldn’t charge because I’d foolishly forgotten to use Brokk’s command ability.
The luck was still with me as I got the first turn in the second round. I wiped out most of the things on both flanks, including Reikenor, and got the Riggers on the far-left objective. At that point it was basically game over, and my opponent conceded soon after. I wish I’d remembered to take photos because the Nighthaunt army was really nicely painted in a cool black-red scheme.
Result: Major Victory
Game Three vs Beastclaw
Take and Hold in Shyish (Life Leeching)
This was a hard Battleplan for my opponent as he’d need at least five models on each of the two objectives to get the major victory. A pretty tall order when his army consisted of fifteen models in total...
As in my first two matches, I gave the opponent first turn. I’d deployed quite far back so he couldn’t quite reach me. In my first turn, I shot off one of his three big models and nearly killed his general. Brokk killed a Yhetee or two but the Riggers failed their charge.
I got the second turn (again!). I used Who Strikes First, Strikes Hardest to clear the Yhetees so Brokk could shoot and then charge the last big model, which was lurking nearby. The Endrinriggers and Brokk managed to kill it, but not before the Arkanaut Company had finished off the general. After that, Brokk and the Riggers both got crushed but the damage had been done and my opponent conceded. It can’t have been fun being shot off like that but he (like my second opponent) was very gracious in defeat, and fun to play the whole time.
Result: Major Victory
Game Four vs Idoneth Deepkin
Three Places of Power in Hyish (No effect)
I was really worried about this one against the Deepkin. Not being able to choose our ranged targets really hinders us. And my opponent was a really strong, sharp player. Again, I got properly lucky on priority rolls. I think I won every single one.
The Deepkin army had three of the two types of eel, the casty Eidolon, Volturnos, a Tidecaster, a Soulscryer, ten Namarti Thralls and a Leviadon.
My opponent deployed most of his force (except for his defensive eels and the shark) quite far back. This made me decide to take the first turn. I rushed the Khemist onto my leftmost objective. Brokk took the one in the middle, and I ignored the one on the right, which was only covered by the Thunderers. I used Brokk’s command ability to allow the Riggers to charge but I think they failed it (this was Sunday morningso I don’t recall exactly...). I didn’t do much damage that turn, but I had got control of two of the objectives and jammed the Riggers and the Ironclad in a position that would make it hard for my opponent to wrest at least the left-hand side objective back in the next turn.
In my opponent’s turn, the Eidolon got moved into range of Brokk by some spell or something. It used one of the realm spells, Banishment, to hurl Brokk off the central objective. I chose the far right-hand side of the board as his destination, with the idea that he could take the objective over there in the next turn. The Deepkin player got the Thralls and the shark into the Riggers. Something charged the Ironclad - maybe the eels? (Again, not sure on this.) A little damage was done on each side.
In the second battleround, I took first turn again. The Riggers were still in range of the Khemist’s buff so I used that and then Who Strikes First, Strikes Hardest on them to clear out the Thralls. The shark and one of the smaller heroes then got shot to pieces, which allowed me to charge the Riggers into the other small Idoneth hero. It was right next to the Leviadon and Volturnos so it was a bit of a suicide run, but well worth it to limit the number of models that could score objectives. The offensive eels also got shot off in that turn or maybe in turn three (I think - this match is the least clear in my memory, sorry!) so my opponent only had the Eidolon, Volturnos and the Leviadon left. Brokk also ran onto the right-hand objective in this turn, and because it was smack-bang next to a Citadel Wood, the Eidolon couldn’t couldn’t see Brokk to use Banishment on him in his next turn.
After that, I was lucky yet again to get the third turn priority roll. This enabled me to get another five points on the board. It also meant I was only in combat for the Idoneth’s third battleround blitz for his turn and not mine, which was great. What remained of the Idoneth army absolutely shredded my little sky pirates in his third turn, including the Khemist and the Navigator, but I was basically too far ahead on Victory Points by this point. (Also, Brokk survived with one wound left after tussling with the Eidolon so he could pick up points in the next turn. If he hadn’t, it would have been closer.)
It was a tough, well-fought match. I really thought the Deepkin were going to make a comeback at the end, and I needed a lot of luck to carry this one.
Result: Major Victory
Game Five vs Maggotkin of Nurgle
Knife to the Heart in Ghur (No effect)
The luck ran out here, a bit. My opponent had the Glottkin, four other Nurgle heroes including the tentacled one that can deepstrike in itself and one other unit in the first battleround, five units of five Blightkings and the battalion that gives said Blightkings rend -1. I should also note that we didn’t use any beasts for this (it was optional and not many people brought one, myself included).
My opponent outdropped me and chose to go first. There was a Citadel Wood right in the centre of the board, so that provided cover for most of his advancing forces. On my turn, I shot off a unit of Blightkings (it may have taken two turns, not totally sure). The Endrinriggers missed their charge and then got smashed in the next round. This was the only match they didn’t kill much in. My shooting took out quite a few of the units of Blightkings as they advanced. By the end of the third turn, the Ironclad had exploded but most of the Blightkings were gone. There were only about five minutes left, and he had killed 900 points worth of my units to the 860 I’d destroyed of his. My opponent won the roll-off and we called it there, agreeing that if we were able to play it through, it was likely he’d do some serious damage with the Glottkin and his other advancing heroes, but not enough to get the major.
This was a well-fought match against a great opponent. I was knackered by this point but enjoyed the game nonetheless.
Result: Minor Loss
And that was that! I ended up going 4-1 and that was just enough to win the tournament. I was definitely very fortunate at key points, but the list worked well for me and I had five very enjoyable games against some great opponents. I do think KO aren’t the strongest army right now, and you need a chunk of luck to do well, but it is possible to, in a smallish tournament at least.
I hope this wasn’t too arduous a read - it ended up way longer than I’d intended.
I wish I’d taken more photos, but for anyone who’d like to see my army, most of it is on my Instagram, soka_paint
Thanks for reading!