Woehammer’s Competitive View – September ’22

This article was released to our Patreons on 4th October before any real news around the Sons of Behemat or Lumineth Realm-Lords had been released.

Peter: So this month it feels like DoK have been ruling the roost near the back end with at least 2 GT wins. Ethan narrowly missed out on a GT win to them. Then we had the new DoT review by Danny and Patrick where you both agreed it would probably shake out just beneath Nurgle and Seraphon competitively.

Ethan: While I do think there are elements of this where players are getting bored of running the same old tricks, rather than relying on the tried and true power of Seraphon and Nurgle, it makes for some thrilling list tech in the lead-up to our next battlescroll. In a GHB with so many battleplans leading to the centre, it’s no surprise that durability is at a premium at the moment.

Danny: Yep, we’ve seen a big week for DoK but an even bigger month for the Spinedog – and with Metawatch hinting at ‘generic enhancements’ being massively over-indexed, all eyes are on the forthcoming (SoonTM) battlescroll in case of a big nerf to it, which will have big ripple effects. We’ve also seen Soulblight finally adapting to the season and putting up some great results with varied lists, and OBR Stalker/Immortis Guard heavy lists have made a serious splash, spearheaded by the inimitable Bill Souza. It’s been another awesome month for variety and almost every army has done well in some part of the world!

Peter: So taking all that into account is there a particular list that has stood out to you all this month?

Ethan: My pick for this is Lasse Kalberg’s list from OsloHammer:

Allegiance: Daughters of Khaine
Temple: Khailebron
– Grand Strategy: Bloodthirsty Zealots
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Melusai Ironscale (115)*
– Command Trait: Zealous Orator
– Artefact: Crown of Woe
Morathi-Khaine (340)*
Lore of Shadows: Mindrazor
The Shadow Queen (340)*

15 x Blood Stalkers (540)*
Reinforced x 2
9 x Khainite Shadowstalkers (150)*
9 x Khainite Shadowstalkers (150)*
20 x Phoenix Guard (350)*
Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 3 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 92
Drops: 1

This DoK list is an exemplary example of what a great place AoS is in currently. Most people know the standard meta pick of Morathi and the Bowsnakes but we’ve hit a point where a level of refinement is hitting list building. Enough games are being played and enough experience being gained that players are able to understand what an army needs, in this case a healthy anvil unit, and find combinations to support that. Zealous Orator rallying on a 4+ for allies is filthy in this case, forming an immovable brick of a unit for opponents to crash on while the bowsnakes get to work. There is space in the current game for some players (Bill Souza and Thomas Guan come to mind) to completely find new archetypes while others iterate and refine what’s existing with both leading to success. It’s encouraging for the game’s longevity!

Peter: This is my choice. Purely for the reason that this was 4 for 4 going into round 5 at the London GT of 70+ players. It highlights for me, what a great place AoS is in that Soulblight Gravelords still on a 2nd edition Tome came so close to winning the whole thing!

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
Lineage: Legion of Night
– Mortal Realm: Shyish
– Grand Strategy: Vampiric Conquerors
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Mannfred von Carstein, Mortarch of Night (380)*
Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify
Necromancer (125)*
– Command Trait: Unbending Will
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
Vampire Lord (140)*
Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions

30 x Deathrattle Skeletons (240)**
Reinforced x 2
10 x Dire Wolves (135)**
10 x Dire Wolves (135)**

5 x Blood Knights (195)*
1 x Corpse Cart with Balefire Brazier (80)*
20 x Grave Guard (280)*
Great Wight Blades
– Reinforced x 1
20 x Grave Guard (280)*
Great Wight Blades
– Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Expert Conquerors

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 153
Drops: 4

The poor guy ended 10th despite these heroics!

Patrick: I think September provided an excellent view of the meta at large. Ignoring outliers like the tried and true Fly spam or ThunderKroak lists, there is a great showing of balance across the game. If you take a moment to scroll through our Top 3 archive for September, you’re not going to see the same 2 or 3 armies pull out 5 wins at every event. The majority of factions are currently sitting comfortably in the “happy meta” zone (win rates between 45 and 55%).

As an Idoneth player, I tend to focus on those lists when they pop up in an article. I want to keep an eye out for what units are doing well v. what isn’t showing up in lists. With that army that’s a very difficult proposition, since no two lists are the same. This is a trend that we’re seeing in a lot of armies, as well, which is an indicator of largely healthy internal balance within each battletome. The armies that are having issues with internal balance will likely be hit by the upcoming balance dataslate. I just hope that the dataslate spends time uplifting the armies that are underperforming rather than just punishing the armies that are overperforming.

Danny: Dataslate? HEATHEN


Army Faction: Idoneth Deepkin
Army Subfaction: Mor’phann
– Grand Strategy: The Creeping Gloomtide
– Triumphs: Inspired

1 x Akhelian King (250)
– Command Traits: Unstoppable Fury
– Bladed Polearm and Falchion
– Artefacts: Arcane Tome
– Mount Traits: Voidchill Darkness
1 x Isharann Soulrender (120)
1 x Isharann Soulrender (120)

30 x Namarti Reavers (510)
Icon Bearer
30 x Namarti Thralls (390)
Icon Bearer
3 x Akhelian Ishlaen Guard (195)
3 x Akhelian Morrsarr Guard (195)
3 x Akhelian Ishlaen Guard (195)

1 x Gloomtide Shipwreck (0)

TOTAL POINTS: (1975/2000)

Here is a perfect example. In 2e, Idoneth lists only saw success if they were throwing as many eels as possible on the table. While this list still features 9 eels, we’re seeing a much bigger focus on infantry. Reuben Parker, who came in third with this list at Game Knight GT, placed 60 Namarti on the table, with an even blend of ranged and melee threats.

Danny: I’m gonna have to go with Arongelion’s winning and undefeated Big Waagh List:

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
Army Type: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty

Orruk Warchanter (115)*
Wurrgog Prophet (150)*
Artefacts of Power: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Spells: Gorkamorka’s War Cry
Killaboss on Corpse-rippa Vulcha (240)*
– Command Traits: Supa Sneaky
– Artefacts of Power: Mork’s Eye Pebble
– Mount Traits: Fast ’Un
Orruk Warchanter (115)****
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)****
Spells: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork

Orruk Ardboys (85)*
Gorkamorka Glyph Bearer
– Ardboy Boss
– Waaagh! Drummer
– 2 x Orruk-forged Shield
Orruk Ardboys (255)***
Ardboy Boss
– 3 x Gorkamorka Glyph Bearer
– 3 x Waaagh! Drummer
– 6 x Orruk-forged Shield
Orruk Ardboys (85)***
Ardboy Boss
– 2 x Orruk-forged Shield
Orruk Ardboys (85)***
Ardboy Boss
– Waaagh! Drummer
– Gorkamorka Glyph Bearer
– 2 x Orruk-forged Shield

Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
Gore-grunta Boss
– Jagged Gore-hacka
Morgok’s Krushas (90)**
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)****
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)****

Core Battalions
**Bounty Hunters
***Expert Conquerors
****Battle Regiment

Points: 1960/2000

For a few reasons. First of all, it’s got the Vulcha in there – it’s also a metric gork-tonne of Ardboyz, which I imagine looked awesome – a proper green tide (well, underneath their armour…). The two 6 man units of Boltboyz combo with the Vulture for a potential double unleash hell, as well as offering some serious ranged MW punch. Having Supa Sneaky on the Vulcha also allows for a switcheroo with one boltboy blob, or another key unit, depending on deployment – this list is all kinds of sneaky – AND it delivered, big time.

This is a great example of a relatively belabored book still coming up with the goods, with an off-meta (even by Big Waagh terms) adaptation to the season – inventive and not even cheesy.

Peter: It also speaks volumes that each of our lists is from a different faction

Danny: It’s clear from anecdotal evidence and tournament results that – while some factions have to work a lot harder for it – almost anything can compete at a high level…this season. But what more can we ask for right now? Now is truly the time to simply play your favourite army, at whatever level, and have a blast!

Peter: All I would say, is that I think it was a shame Sons have their tome before Gitz. GW have known Gitz have been struggling for 12+ months now.

Patrick: I think to a degree that Gitz players are banking on pluckiness. They may not win games, but they get to roll more dice in the movement phase than anyone else. 😂

Ethan: It’s going to be quite the ride to see how the game responds to the upcoming Battlescroll. We’ve not seen such list diversity before and the GHB schedule, with a new book every 6 months and a new balance update halfway through each, the pace at which the game stands to change will either be the work of a swiftly sharpening knife or a dizzying process where players barely have time to find their feet before finding the ground shifts beneath them. Depending on how GW approach balance – buffing or nerfing – we may see some of the lists currently dominating, if sufficiently hit, remove limiters on tier 2 lists, allowing them to dominate the meta in their stead.

Peter: Ben (a Patreon) asked a few good questions of us; how has the war in gallet shaped up after all the tournaments. What’s been good, what’s been unused. Do people cast the spell? What battleplans are loved or loathed? Do people skew galvets or bounty hunters? Has the extra points from scoring with a galvet been something people have aimed for? Etc etc

From what I’ve seen there’s a two or three disliked Battleplans. Namely Battlelines Drawn or the Mighty and the Cunning

Danny: Personally I dislike most of the battleplans. I find there’s either too much book-keeping and/or they hugely favour certain armies. Realmstone Cache’s tiny deployment means you have no way to screen out KO for example, which I’ve experienced personally – as did my club-mate at the London GT against the 2nd place KO player who essentially ended the game in the first turn.

Others – such as Nidus Paths, just have rules that in reality are a boring tax. Each time i’ve played it, each general just parks a cheap unit to screen out the teleport – so it’s really a case of ‘whoever has the cheaper screening unit gains an advantage’. The rest just seem to incentivise huge krumps in the middle over a tiny amount of objectives.

I like that they’ve tried to mix up the deployment zones in general though, but I can’t say I actually think any of the missions are good, and the majority aren’t even particularly fair in tournament play.

Peter: With new tomes for Disciples, Lumineth and Sons, as well as the Battlescroll update is anyone willing to give any predictions for the next month?

Ethan: I’ll go out on a limb here and say that if Lumineth follow the rumours and sons see a resurgence DPS checks will return to the meta. If your army can’t deal with Gargants or 4+ ward Stoneguard you won’t score a primary point for the next few months.

Danny: Yeah the 4+++ on objectives from Stoneguard, probably with a -1 to be hit aura from Avalenor, plus whatever other spells, with ignoring -2 rend if Ymetrica remains the same, in Expert Conqs….a blob of 10 will be an absolute nightmare to shift. And as Ethan says, good luck scoring against that. LRL have always been a janky army – even though they’re not actually strong, weirdly, right now – the new book has the potential to break them again this season. What worries me is this synergy is not exactly hidden away – I semi-predict a slew of Stoneguard spam lists doing well almost as soon as the book drops.

Tzeentch, my gut says is well balanced. As our review said, I can’t see any totally broken combos yet, and I’m excited to get my first games in against their new book in a few days. Gargants having Mightier Makes Rightier bracket will give many armies much more play into them in this season and beyond, so I’m looking forward to their new book, even if Brodd looks fairly terrifying.

Patrick: I’m hoping that both tomes follow Tzeentch’s example. As Danny said, the tome looks fairly balanced, and while I think it will perform well, I don’t think it’s going to dominate. Ward saves are a good way of dealing with the current meta lists, and likely LRL will have a bump in their win rate, but I’m hoping that we see some balancing factors.

Ethan: I do have some concerns about DoT however when things start to shake out. Their Battle Tactics and Grand Strategies seem trivially easy to achieve, something we’ve seen become subtly problematic in both Fyreslayers and DoK over the course of this season.

Peter: Yes Battle Tactics are an issue, but I think they’re something that can be easily fixed for other factions with a White Dwarf article. Whether that happens or not…… battlescroll is just over the next hill, and the next one, and the next… Interesting to see how it will all shake out.

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