Top Three AoS Lists for Valleycon 2023

This is the top three AoS lists for Valleycon 2023 that took place in New Zealand on the 22nd and 23rd of April. It involved 26 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5-game tournament.

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The Top Three AoS Lists

Allegiance: Khorne
Slaughterhost: The Bloodlords
– Grand Strategy: The Day is Ours!
-Triumphs: Indomitable

Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (330)**
– Command Trat: Firebrand
– Artefact: Argath the King of Blades
Skarbrand (380)
Realmgore Ritualist (100)*
Prayer: Blood Sacrifice
Herald of Khorne on Blood Throne (160)*
Bloodsecrator (110)*
Aspect of the Champion: Tunnel Master
Bloodmaster, Herald of Khorne (110)**
Artefact: Halo of Blood

30 x Bloodletters (540)**
Gore Drenched icon
10 x Bloodreavers (80**
Reaver Blades
10 x Bloodreavers (80)**
Reaver Blades
10 x Bloodreavers (80)**
Reaver Blades

*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Battle Regiment

TOTAL: 1970/2000

Peter: We’ve corrected this article to say that Bloodlords can be buffed to cause mortals on 5+ and not 4+ as previously stated.

Hero-hammer is alive and well in the land of Khorne. While I think their book was initially overlooked due to the insane rules from Slaanesh, there is a lot of potential in the new Blades of Khorne battletome. They remain a very tech-y army with a moderate to high skill level, but in the right hands they can get a lot of work done.

In this case, Shaun has packed more than half the points for his army in heroes, and a further quarter of his points in a single, massive unit of Bloodletters.

Working from the top of the list, we’ll start with the Fury Thirster. I think you’ll see this unit + command trait combination a lot. The Thirster starts as a great force mulitplier, allowing one unit per round the chance to roll 3D6 for a charge, as well as providing a -1 to hit debuff for enemies within 8″. Giving him Firebrand allows him the ability to chant prayers as well, and Khorne’s Prayer Scriptures are good enough that you’ll want to pack as many priests as possible. He’s also taken Argath, which will cut ward from nearby units, allowing those aura mortals to go through more easily.

He’s followed up by Skarbrand. Skarbrand’s role in the army didn’t change from the last tome. He’s still a massive beatstick character that suffers from some durability issues. Luckily he’s one of the few bracketing units in the game that gets better as he takes damage, so if your opponent happens to leave him standing with only 1 or 2 wounds they are in huge trouble. His damage output became more reliable in this tome, but he lost the ability to increase the number of attacks for Carnage, so you’re banking on that single die. At his bottom bracket that’s a guaranteed 8 mortal wounds, with a potential 16 mortal wound spike, so that one attack can still be very effective if aimed correctly.

I’ll lump the Realmgore Ritualist and Bloodsecrator in the same bucket, as they both have the same goal: time their once-per-game ability well, then die. The blood tithe points gained from their deaths will be 1 shy of summoning an extra GC to the field, and since their attack increases are once per game, it means they can be effective in death. If you don’t have the opportunity to have them killed, you still have two priests running around the field, both of which are GCs, so scoring some late-game battle tactics should be well within your reach.

The Bloodmaster and Herald are both Daemon priests (5 priests in this list!), and serve different purposes. The Herald can move quickly around the battlefield, and carries a healing prayer that can bring back a few of those bloodthirsters as they die, while the bloodmaster buffs them by giving them +1 to wound against an enemy unit. Tie the bloodletters unit near enough to the Bloodthirster to get a 3D6 charge and they’ll fling themselves across the field lightning-fast while setting off the Bloodlords army trait. Give them All-out Attack and you now have a 30-strong unit fighting in two ranks (thanks to their shiny new 2″ weapon range), hitting on 2s, wounding on 2s, with mortal wounds happening on hit rolls of 5+! A large enough squad can reasonably survive most enemy’s Unleash Hell, so you’ve got a very powerful mobile unit that can dish out a ton of damage.

Past there you have three units of Reavers. They are decently cheap battleline, and work well for screens and blood tithe points. Shaun has also taken a Magnificent Command Entourage, bringing an extra artefact on the Bloodmaster, giving it permanent fight-first (note that this also gives the bloodletters fight first due to The Blood Must Flow in a roundabout way).

Congratulations, Shaun, on your first place win! I love to see Khorne come out strong, and I’m sure we will see more Khorne lists in the near future.


Allegiance: Sylvaneth
– Glade: Heartwood
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Warsong Revenant (300)*
– Command Trait: Spellsinger
– Lore of the Deepwood: The Dwellers Below
Treelord Ancient (330)*
Artefact: The Vesperal Gem
– Lore of the Deepwood: Treesong
Arch-Revenant (120)*
Aspect of the Champion: Stubborn as a Rhinox

6 x Kurnoth Hunters with Kurnoth Scythes (500)*
3 x Kurnoth Hunters with Kurnoth Greatbows (230)*
3 x Revenant Seekers (240)*
5 x Tree-Revenants (110)*
10 x Shadow Warriors (120)*

Spiteswarm Hive (40)

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL: 1990/2000

Not the first, nor likely the last time I’ll find myself writing about Lee Wilmot’s Sylvaneth play, I feel it’s worth commenting on a thread of consistency between his Sylvaneth lists that is often glossed over in favour of unit to unit analysis: The kind of list Lee runs, and the reason he is so successful with Sylvaneth vs top factions such as Gitz, KotET, LRL and so forth, is that the lists he makes score well. Lee’s use of things such as the Vesperal Gem on the TLA (automatically cast once per round), tech choices like the Dweller’s below (Sylvaneth’s generic anti-horde spell) and frankly, the inclusion of a TLA at all (to create a tree 3″ away where-ever he wants, once per game) combine to form a picture of consistency. If piloted well, this kind of list will consistently flip objectives each turn and score Battle tactics, building to a trading advantage that allows Take What’s Theirs (the GS) to be scored at the end of the game.

I do have some questions about how this style of list handles some of the new fast – or spell dominant – books like Seraphon, Slaanesh and KO (always KO) so if you see this Lee, please reach out! That said, this list style allows a base formula to be applied each game, with little room to interact for the opponent (unironically a massive positive for tournament play, and the pillar of LRL’s general success) and provides great scope for adjustment on the fly based on battlefield conditions, Revenant Seekers provide mobility and improve consistency by resurrecting Kurnoths that are killed off by Fight On Death or long range chip damage effects while the combination of the pet Shadow Warriors unit and the Tree Revenants allow for objective sitting once the combination of spell damage, ranged damage and Strike and Fading Kurnoth Hunters clear the way. It’s an extremely well structured way to approach list building for the GT environment where a broad range of matchups will be played and a great show of Lee’s system mastery.


Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Gittish Horde: King’s Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Chasing the Moon
– Triumphs: Inspired

Skragrott, The Loonking (210)***
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Dankhold Troggboss (200)**
– Command Trait: Loonskin
– Artefact: Glowy Howzit
Squigboss with Gnasha-squig (100)*
Aspect of the Champion: Tunnel Master
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (90)***
Artefact: Staff of Sneaky Stealin’
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Webspinner Shaman (65)***
– Lore of the Spiderfang: Curse of da Spider God

40 x Moonclan Shootas (250)**
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (160)**
3 x Rockgut Troggoths (160)**
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (320)***
24 x Squig Herd (260)*
5 x Gobbapalooza (160)**
– Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance

Loonskin Scuttletide (0)

*Galletian Command
**Battle Regiment


TOTAL: 1975/2000

Gitz are back baby… although its perhaps more accurate to say that they have arrived for the first time. Sam has brought a ‘soup’ list to 4-1 here and snagged 3rd place. (A soup list in Gitz is one with a few keywords, so in this case Troggs, Squigs, Spiders and Gitz (in the form of the Gobbapalooza))

It’s great to see the Gobbapalooza popping up in lists now that it’s been made into a single warscroll which makes it much easier to understand and – more importantly – stop ‘gotcha’ moments because an opponents forgot which of the 5 scrolls the little green guy was in the last book!

The Webspinner is a fun addition in this list to also represent the Spiderfang, and he’s brought along a free scuttletide (well the Dankhold has!) This makes these three models very good value and we’ll definitely see it in a few more lists before the book has run it’s course.

The main backbone is the Troggs though – hitting like a freight train you’ll need to hit first and hit hard – and then kill them again when they come back from the Loonshrine. It’s a lot of muscle with a small number of attacks but good damage on the Rockguts.

Games Workshop via Wahapedia

They have the ‘elite infantry’ profile of 3+/3+ which routinely means 2+/3+ and have rend 2, damage 3. Sure you don’t get many attacks, but it makes your opponent sweat when they have to take those saving throws. Even Annihilators have cause for (some) concern.

It’s great to see the Gitz getting near the top now and to have so many players dust off their collections after 3 years in the attics. Hopefully I’ll get a game or two in with them soon… getting serious FOMO watching all my fellow Gitz get in the reps!


Final Tournament Placings

One thought on “Top Three AoS Lists for Valleycon 2023”

  1. how does the bloodlords list get the MWs on 4+s?…. I don’t see how it could be better than 5+.

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