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Top Three AoS Lists for Nashcon GT 2022

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This is the Top Three AoS Lists for the Nashcon GT that took place in the USA on 20th and 21st August. It involved 32 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.

The format for this event was slightly different, in that every player built two lists and chose which of their lists to use based on the opponent before the round began. To keep this article short, we’re analysing their first lists only and the opponent’s first list has been used when showing their path through the tournament.

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The Top Three AoS Lists

Allegiance: Seraphon
Constellation: Fangs of Sotek
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Slann Starmaster (265)***
General
– Command Trait: Arcane Might
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Spell: Stellar Tempest
Skink Starpriest (130)*
Spell: Hand of Glory
Skink Priest (90)*
Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)*
Artefact: Serpent God Dagger

Battleline
10 x Skinks (75)**
Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (75)**
Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
30 x Skinks (225)**
Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs
– Reinforced x 2
5 x Saurus Guard (115)*

Units
2 x Salamander Hunting Pack (280)***
Reinforced x 1
2 x Salamander Hunting Pack (280)***
Reinforced x 1

Behemoths
Bastiladon with Ark of Sotek (165)***

Endless Spells & Invocations
Purple Sun of Shyish (70)
Horrorghast (40)

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Expert Conquerors
***Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1950 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 116
Drops: 8

Danny: Who can stop Ridge Hanna? The Season of War vet is a died in the wool Seraphon expert, and his Fangs of Sotek list is the one to beat.

We’ve covered it before, and no doubt we’ll be forced to cover it again… but on the off-chance you’re new to it, here’s how it works.

Unlike Thunder Lizard, who’re all about big beasties and Scaly Skin for the -1 damage, Fangs is all about tricksy movement and summoning. Units are able to come down from reserves near a Slann, and one unit per turn can teleport – this makes the Salamanders – free from giving up extra points since the latest GHB – a tactical nuke who can safely materialise near an enemy threat and nuke them. God forbid if they make the charge too.

Meanwhile, all the skinks have a small pre-game move for grabbing objectives, and can run away after unleashing hell on a 4+ once charged, meaning most of the time they’re incredibly hard to pin down – and with the buffs the various Skink heroes can throw out, they can end up doing serious damage too.

The reason the Slann has Arcane Tome is because of the Coalesced summoning mechanic – using up a spell slot grants an additional d3 summoning points, so the Tome allows him to rack those up and still use his super valuable normal spells into the bargain. On average, Ridge should be able to summon two more salamanders into the fray, or if, for some reason, he’s struggling with objective, a whole load more skinks.

A techy, frustrating to pin down list with some real teeth that proves Seraphon are far from a one trick-dinopony.

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Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Subfaction: Blessed Sons
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Lord of Afflictions (210)*
General
– Command Trait: Overpowering Stench
– Artefact: Arcane Tome
– Lore of Malignance: Rancid Visitations
Bloab Rotspawned (300)*
Lore of Malignance: Gift of Disease
Orghotts Daemonspew (300)

Battleline
10 x Plaguebearers (150)**
10 x Plaguebearers (150)**
5 x Putrid Blightkings (250)**
2 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)***
1x Dolorous Tocsin

Units
3 x Plague Drones (200)***
1 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (110)*
1 x Mindstealer Sphiranx (95)*
Allies

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

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 95 / 400
Wounds: 143
Drops: 7

Ethan: Writing analysis of this feels a bit like cheating. For those not in the know, Tyler Emerson is one of the illustrious regular guests of Vince Venturella of Warhammer Weekly and “being considerably better than ok at painting” fame. Tyler spoke about his list on their most recent show, make sure to check it out if you’re after a more in-depth dive!

Getting to it, there are a fair few elements of this list setting it apart from the drone spam we’ve all come over time to know and resent. Blessed sons provides a nice platform for a mixed arms list employing more of Nurgle’s toolkit than we’re perhaps used to. The Lord of afflictions eschews the usual splithorn helm, sacrificing some resilience in exchange for rancid visitations, one of the best anti-horde spells in the game though, without other casting support, this is by no means consistent. The two Maggoth lords are incredibly strong pieces, providing all the usual benefits of behemoth-lords with Nurgle resilience and a small amount of spell-dom play, or great combat play. Combined these two give the list a capacity to play broadly across the map with the core of the list holding one flank while the creatively named heroes hold the other.

Plaguebearers and Blightkings form a durable core for holding objectives and placing them in Expert Conquerors makes retaking objectives a real commitment from the opponent while the Plague drones and Pusgoyles in a Bounty Hunter Battalion provide a mobile cav hammer which hits hard and takes a hit well in return. The two really interesting pieces of tech taken by Tyler in this list are the Mindstealer Sphiranx which has an ability to make enemies fight last, winning him at least one game singlehandedly, per his view. The other is his Battalions, he’s taken an “all the toys” approach to his regular units but has eschewed the usually accompanying Command Entourage/Warlord in favour of a Battle regiment to lower his drops. This isn’t going to give him priority vs anyone taking a Battle Regiment+ setup but does ensure he outdrops anyone taking the abovementioned Entourage or Warlord. Very clever decision making here.

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Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Procession: Scarlet Doom
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs:

Leaders
Guardian of Souls (150)*
Artefact: Midnight Tome
– Lore of the Underworlds: Seal of Shyish
Krulghast Cruciator (150)*
Spirit Torment (115)*
Spirit Torment (115)
General
– Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Underworlds: Shademist

Units
20 x Bladegheist Revenants (350)**
Reinforced x 1
20 x Bladegheist Revenants (350)**
Reinforced x 1
9 x Spirit Hosts (375)***
– Reinforced x 2
10 x Chainrasps (110)***
10 x Chainrasps (110)***
4 x Myrmourn Banshees (105)**

Endless Spells
Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Bounty Hunters
***Expert Conquerors

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 112
Drops: 10

Ethan: Nate Trentanelli has proven he can win with a variety of armies and so it is only fitting that he see success with current meta darling, Nighthaunt. This list relies on a central castle built around the Krulghast Cruciator and it’s aura of -1 damage. Throw in Shademist (-1 to wound) and Seal of Shyish (5+ ward save) and all of a sudden your charge-heavy, mortal wound spamming Nighthaunt units are a brick that the opponent will struggle to displace. This kind of list sees great success in the current GHB as it has the versatility to play for multiple areas of the board or, as many current battleplans demand, meet your opponent in the middle and win the brawl for objective scoring. Nate has run the increasingly prevalent triple battalion of Expert Conquerors, Bounty Hunters and Command Entourage meaning he’s capturing better than you with his durable units, hitting hard on your units designed to do the same, and has access to the tools required to build and maintain this kind of board presence.

Also worth noting in this list is the Midnight tome – Purple Sun combination, guaranteeing the purple sun will come out for the Nighthaunt. Nighthaunt don’t mind losing a ghost or two when they’re bringing back d6 + d3 per round and their unmodifiable saves form a perfect combination with the sun. Myrmournes provide a brutal capstone on this, giving an additional chance to unbind any spell or endless spell affecting the area nearby. In combination, your opponent is far less likely to affect the board state with their magic while you have utter certainty that your sun is coming out at a crucial moment, creating a brutal momentum swing.

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Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Coven Throne (290)
General
– Command Trait: Rousing Commander
– Artefact: Fragment of the Keep
– Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Neferata, Mortarch of Blood (365)*
Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
Vampire Lord (140)*
Artefact: Grave-sand Shard
Watch Captain Halgrim (80)*

Battleline
10 x Blood Knights (390)***
Reinforced x 1
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (80)**
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (80)**
10 x Deathrattle Skeletons (80)**

Units
5 x Black Knights (100)
5 x Black Knights (100)*
20 x Grave Guard (280)***
Great Wight Blades
– Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Expert Conquerors
***Bounty Hunters

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 134
Drops: 11

Danny: Soulblight are slowly settling into their new competitive bracket of ‘close but no cigar’, it seems – the cool thing is, the breadth and relative internal balance of the book means that there’s plenty of variety between contenders.

This list is a nice, thematic looking balance of stuff, wrapped in Kastelai, which is edging out the others as Lineage of choice due to the strong selection of artifacts/command traits, the ability to make the excellent Blood Knights battleline, and the sub-faction trait that gives vampire units permanent, stacking buffs depending on what kind of unit they kill.

The Coven Throne is often a lynchpin of Kastelai lists, mainly due to its command ability, offering one unit +1 hit, wound _and_ save. Pretty bonkers value for 1CP although you are paying a fair whack of points for it, given it doesn’t do a huge amount else. Neferata is also starting to challenge Mannfred as Mortarch of choice due to her spell to make a unit unrendable – dicey in the current magic-dominance meta, but when it does go off, combined with the above…you can imagine the shenanigans. She’s also a decent, mobile beatstick in her own right and has a dagger with a chance to auto-kill a unit if it inflicts wounds that aren’t saved, so she’s an excellent mind-warfare pick.

Watch Captain Halgrim might look like an odd and rare pick, and he is – but he offers up to 3 skellies (and the list takes all 3, conveniently) a 4″ ‘auto-run’ for 1 CP, which is a good way of guaranteeing they get up the board together.

Outside of that is standard but useful fair – the currently ever-present 20 Graveguard brick who are also an excellent recipient of the Coven Throne’s CA, and 2 units of Black Knights who are cheap, fast, and summonable – meaning they can start in grave sites.

A nicely mostly-mounted list with a few tricks up its raggedy sleeves that clearly works!

Final Tournament Placings (Top 32)

Playing Fyreslayers

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By Kevin Lathers

I’m Kevin Lathers, known Duardin enthusiast. I play Fyreslayers nearly exclusively, with a little bit of SCE and KO on the side. I found the new book to be a significant improvement, even if it upended the “old ways.” I’ll be discussing the faction and how I believe it can notch wins. Keep in mind that every player has their own playstyle, so some of this may sound off to people with radically different styles to my own.

This guide will involve a quick overview of each part of their rule set – though honestly you can find most of that elsewhere – and then a look at tactics I’ve seen and used to good effect. This is being written with regards to GHB2022-23.

My Vaporwave Magmadroth

Table of Contents

Theme and Playstyle Overview

Theme

Thematically, Fyreslayers are an army about three things: Grimnir, nearly-naked dwarfs with axes, and big fire lizards. If you like any, or all, of these things then this faction will be for you.

Fyreslayers are mercenaries for ur-gold. Ur-gold is alleged to be the pieces of their dead god, Grimnir – and possibly Vulcatrix, whom he died fighting. They believe ur-gold’s use will bring their ancestral god back to the mortal realms. To use ur-gold they pound it into their flesh which imbues them with godly might – but also greed and visions of Grimnir’s battle with vulcatrix. So, they take merc. jobs to acquire more ur-gold. They exist as a faction of religious zealots who live to fight for their god’s resurrection.

Playstyle

Fyreslayers are generally a combat army that can lean into: blocks of slow moving, but hard-hitting, infantry; or multiple faster mean monsters. They can make use of invocations (not endless spells!) to affect battlefield control and punish less-godly armies.

While Fyreslayers have these two main archetypes, within those archetypes exist a variances, so there’s no hard rule to list-building. I personally lean harder into a control playstyle where I want to frustrate my opponent’s gameplans. So this guide is written with that in mind.

What Are Their Rules?

Battle Traits

Fierce Counter-Attack: This is a command ability that can be used at the start of the opponent’s combat phase. The combat phase part is important. It can only be used on infantry (i.e. hearthguard and vulkites) when an enemy has finished a charge move within 3” of the unit and no other enemy units which have not made charge moves that turn are within 3” of the unit. Each unit can only be issued the command once.

This ability is VERY useful and will often make your opponents seriously consider a charge into lines of berserkers.

Grimwrath Oaths: This is basically the old warscroll ability for Grimwrath Berserkers which was upgraded a little and put as a battle trait. Very useful if you take Grimwrath Berserkers, but useless otherwise. Still, if you are taking them, then it’s great for its flexibility. Two oaths are quite strong: Run + Charge (best one, really) and the 6++/5++ ward oath. But don’t sleep on the allied unit oath if you’re bringing one.

Ur-Gold Runes: This is the main battle trait. The one that makes the army. This is what your army will succeed or fail on. These runes give army-wide buffs which are further enhanced on a roll of 6. Rune selection is extremely important. Selecting the right rune for the right time is a skill that takes practice as it must consider what runes you will use in later rounds as well as what runes will bring the most effect in the current turn and the opponent’s turn, possibly two turns.

Picking runes to play into a possible double turn can be extremely important. Sometimes a rune might not make a huge difference on your own turn, but if your opponent is going to get two turns, then it could be critical to your choice. Good examples are the Rune of Fury to improve a Fierce Counter-Attack or Fiery Determination to make the army survive.

There’s no set order for rune selection, nor should there be as it would take away from the flexibility of the ability. The three most important runes are: Rune of Awakened Steel; Rune of Searing Heat; and Rune of Relentless Zeal.

Blaze of Fury: Once per game in your hero phase each hero can use a special heroic action which gives them the benefit of the enhanced effect of the activated rune this phase. Sometimes having another additional rend or an additional attack can make or break a hero’s combat phase, this ability is for that.

Lodges (Sub-Factions)

There are three effective lodges: Vostarg, Greyfyrd, and Lofnir have all seen some good tournament representation. Hermdar, the fourth lodge, has failed to see a lot of play and, to my knowledge, doesn’t have any strong lists.

Greyfyrd: The “foot hero” lodge. All your unmounted heroes gain an additional wound and can take two additional artefacts. Considering the faction’s artefacts are quite good, this is a strong effect.

Vostarg: The Vulkite Berserker lodge. Vulkites gain +1 to hit and wound rolls until the end of turn on a charge. This is extremely powerful when paired with Axe Vulkites and Auric Flamekeepers. On paper, Axe Vulkites don’t seem impressive, but with synergizing buffs they can kill anything in the game.

Lofnir: The magmadroth lodge: Two additional wounds on magmadroth, two additional mount traits (i.e. all 3), and runesons on magmadroths become battleline. The two additional wounds are nice, but DrothSons being battleline is extremely powerful; being able to forgo the usual battleline tax is fantastic. Plus, all three mount traits are great.

Hermdar: By far the worst lodge. If someone has figured out how to make it work then I have not seen it. Hermdar’s ability is that it halves the number of models running from battleshock (rounding up) and Auric Hearthguard become battleline units.

The conditional battleline is only useful if you want to have both Hearthguard types as battleline. But both are low model count elite units with high bravery, the exact opposite of what benefits from the subfaction ability.

Further, no units actually get combat buffs or extra enhancements unlike the other 3 subfactions which get something buffing a unit or hero type.

Hermdar is astoundingly bad in an otherwise well-internally balanced book. For a remedy it would need to include something else, such as buffs to Hearthguard (both Auric and Berserkers). Hearthguard are the only units with no subfaction doing anything for them, so this would be appropriate. I don’t have a list to show for this lodge because there is no list I have seen use it to good effect.

Command Traits

I will be rating these command traits (and artefacts), but it’s not a hard rating. Most things (except the ring) have a use in the army. There’s a place for most things if you want there to be or your local meta calls for it.

  • Runefather and Runeson can take:
    • Fury of the Fyreslayers (B): +1 charge is always good in an army that wants into combat. The aura range is large as well. This could be good in basically any subfaction where you have a father as your general. On vulkites this gives them a base +2 charge!
    • Spirit of Grimnir (B): The normal chance of an enhanced rune is 1 in 6. Making it 1 in 3 is literally doubling your chance. On average this gets you an enhanced rune 1 to 2 times a game instead of 0 to 1. Considering certain enhanced runes – particularly Awakened Steel’s extra rend or Fury’s +1 attack characteristic – can swing games in your favor, this is very nice. Still, it is up to chance, so it’s not an auto-take.
    • Blood of the Berzerker (A): This lets you build a “death star” magmadroth. Combined with the artefacts discussed later, this can make a Runefather or Runeson on Magmadroth turn into a wrecking ball that can alter the flow of the game by killing nearly anything. Add in the right rune at the right time and this is an important CT to consider.
    • Leader of the Duardrazhal (D): The Duardin allies Fyreslayers need to fill their holes, such as Irondrakes or Runelords, who really don’t benefit from the runes. Gotrek doesn’t need any but the movement rune. If this gave allies the Fyreslayers keyword it would be a bit better, but it doesn’t.
  • Priest generals can take:
    • Ash-Beard (F): Two prayers? Wow, that’s cool, I guess. Honestly, this should allow a priest to chant two prayers. Now that would be useful, even if not top tier. Being able to summon two invocations would be great! But sadly it’s just two prayers, which you could just do with a battalion giving additional enhancements, except that would be to all your priests.
    • Master Priest (A): You can activate a single rune twice in a game. Amazingly good. This makes the army significantly more flexible. Do you need more rend? Do you need more mortal wounds (against nighthaunt)? Do you need to use that movement rune one more time? The world is your oyster. This is nearly always an instant take if a priest is your general and can be the reason to make a priest your general if they weren’t before.
    • Avatar of Vulcatrix (D): It’s fun and flavorful. It could have some interesting play as it disincentivizes killing your general. Personally, I used it on a Runesmiter Magmadroth a couple times and it was good fun to just throw them into the fray. But it wasn’t super effective to trade a magmadroth for molten infernoth. Also could be useful on a deepstriking Runesmiter where you could now dump an infernoth in their backlines if they kill him. But losing your general means losing CP and that hurts.

Artefacts

  • Runefathers and Sons can take:
    • Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve (C): A 3+ ward for one phase? Built for magmadroths and it’s pretty amazing against certain armies and units, such as Kragnos or Maw-Krushas. But due to it being just one phase there is too much play around it to make it amazing. There no longer being a “Slay the Warlord” battle tactic also makes it less desirable.
    • Magnetised Runes (C): +2 to charge. Some interesting play here on both magmadroths and foot heroes. A retinued hero getting left behind by their unit could be deadly, but this can ensure they also make the charge. It also means deepstriking a runeson on magmadroth becomes a real idea. It’s good, but situational.
    • The Fiery Ring (F): No. Don’t you dare take this piece of trash. Even without a roll it would be bad. But the fact it’s only 6” and requires a roll makes it truly awful. Almost any artefact is better in any situation.
    • The Axe of Grimnir (A): +1 rend and damage. Uh, yes.
  • Priests can take:
    • Ash-Cloud Rune (C): This is an odd one. Once per game it produces a 12” aura where units wholly within are not visible to spells. Note that this is not friendly units, but any units. This means you could block the opponent’s buffing spells, too. Its range makes it situationally good, but the effect is strong. It also isn’t useful against certain armies, but with intelligent use could definitely hurt others: think about blocking a mind razor, ogor butcher cast, or night haunt model revive.
    • Volatile Brazier (A): Invocations are good. Re-rolling their chanting roll and throwing them double range makes them amazing. This can ensure your fyrewall is going to ruin someone’s day or the molten infernoth is going to kill some support heroes.
    • Droth-Helm (D): In magmadroth heavy lists it could be nice. But it’s only to the claws’ attack and nothing else. That really limits its utility and damage boost. The damage boost it gives is usually not worth it unless you are getting multiple magmadroths in range of it in combat. Its aura range is low so you have to keep your magmadroths grouped together, limiting flexibility.
  • Battlesmiths can take:
    • Nulsidian Icon (A): Ignoring offensive spells/endless spells on a 4+ is so obviously good there isn’t a lot to say. The biggest downside is that if the battlesmith dies, it does as well. In a world of purple suns this is going to be a near auto-take.
  • Anyone can take:
    • Draught of Magmalt Ale (A): Did you like blood of the berserker? Well this makes it incredible. Giving a Runefather 8 swings, potentially 9, with his axe is fantastic. Giving him 16-18 is downright crazy. This also can turn a Grimwrath Berserker into a grim reaper that picks one unit to die.
    • The Daemon Slayer (B): This allows attacks to ignore ward saves. Most armies don’t have great wards, but the ones that do rely heavily on them (e.g. Nurgle) really rely on them. Ignoring wards can break certain units and that can’t be underestimated. Still, it doesn’t actually buff attacks and so sometimes it will just fall flat or see limited usefulness.

Mount Traits

  • Flame-Scale Youngblood (B): Stomps do an additional 3 mortal wounds. Now that Hunters of the Heartland is gone this is fantastic. Nothing better than stomping a warboss to death or stomping a charging blood knight into the dirt.
  • Lava-Tongue Adult (C): This caps your breath attack lower limit at 5 instead of 1. Not amazing, but it does make it useful against heroes. Getting a few extra wounds on a hero is nice, even if it’s not game changing. If this was always 10 shots instead of 5, it would be top tier.
  • Coal-Heart Ancient (A): Lower damage dealt by melee attacks by 1. Yep, this is the one you take if not Lofnir. Making your droth live longer is always worth it.

Prayers

All the prayers are good in their own way. All should be considered depending on time and list.

  • Prayer of Ash: -1 to wound rolls against a unit. The range is wholly within 18” which isn’t bad, either. This is an amazing prayer.
  • Prayer of Grimnir’s Fury: An unmounted hero can fight in the hero phase. While not something you use often, it can be devastating. This ability combos well with Runic Empowerment. It is very situational and list dependent, but when it goes off it can be game changing. Limiting it to unmounted heroes is a real kick in the ur-gold by GW, though.
  • Ember Storm: This lets infantry units run and charge. This prayer often makes or breaks Vostarg lists. Its use with Hearthguard units is limited, but still there. With Hearthguard you can often run both the hero and Hearthguard to keep their ward up, and while the hero can’t charge, the unit can. It also can allow them to keep up with a Magmadroth if that is the “escort” for them. Its use with Vulkite Berserkers is key, where having your threat range increase from 4” + charge to 10” + charge is incredible.
  • Wrath of Vulcatrix: Another very situational prayer: you need both a magmadroth and the need to keep it at top bracket at the expense of other prayers. Its use in the hero phase does mean your Mamgadroth gets to return to the top bracket on movement and shooting as well, so that’s pretty dang nice.
  • Runic Empowerment – Runesmiter Warscroll: +1 to wound rolls for a unit. That’s shooting and melee attacks. Hard not to like or find useful. Can make AHG shoot harder and unleash hell harder. It makes your heroes wound on 2s. Makes your Broadaxes more potent. Putting this on a hero frees up their heroic action from finest hour to Blaze of Fury and that’s a very strong combo. For example: with this you can make a Grimwrath Berserker wound on 2s, and the blaze of fury for -4 rend instead of -2. Eight attacks (or 16 or 18) at -4 rend sounds a lot more worrisome to opponents than at -3.
  • Volcano’s Call – Runemaster Warscroll: It turns a piece of terrain into wyldwood and does mortal wounds to each model within 1” of it. Rarely useful for its damage unless it was used on a garrison. This prayer is situationally useful for blocking line of sight. When you do need it you’ll be glad you have it. It would be much more useful if the damage or range was much higher. Further, the terrain feature has to be wholly within range for the prayer, which is a bit weak for the type of effect it is causing. This reads to me like Games Workshop didn’t want it to be used often and that holds true. Luckily, the Runemaster knows all the prayers, so you’ll rarely rely on this and often find even Bless or Smite are preferable.

Invocations

All of these are useful and have their own uses. These can be incredibly clutch in the army. The lack of priests in most factions means that it’s rare a fyrewall or flame-spitter will be dispelled. The infernoth being dispelled isn’t really an issue normally as you can just chant for it in your next phase. They are all worth their cost.

  • Runic Fyrewall: A low chanting roll (3) and it blocks movement, plus can give a ward to nearby units.You can use this to block units like Kragnos and Mega-Gargants (yes, it even blocks their movement). But its size is useful even for blocking large-based flying units like Morathi and Maw-Krushas. The ward is more limited in usefulness. A 6++ is just a nicety to have, but the 4++ is amazing. The better ward just comes at the cost of the wall disappearing and sometimes that means it’s better not to roll at all.
  • Molten Infernoth: You roll two dice and move it the sum. After its move, roll 12 dice for each unit within 3” and for each 6 it does a mortal wound. If you roll doubles on the move it does d3 mortal wounds on 6’s and then is removed. That can be a ton of damage (2 or 4 mortal wounds on average to each unit). The chanting cost of this prayer is higher (4), but with a Volatile Brazier and the forge that’s a rerollable 3 at double the range (24” from 12”). It can also be used like a poor-man’s Fyrewall to block movement of models by placing it where they want to go. Overall, that’s quite useful and I highly recommend it.
  • Zarrghrom Flame-Spitter: If there’s a [Fyreslayers] priest within 6” of it (not wholly within), then you can activate this. Select a unit within 24” of it (note: this does not specify it needs line of sight) and roll 12 dice. It does a mortal wound for each 6. If there’s 10 models in the unit then it’s for each 5+, and 20 models make it on 4+. Useful ranged damage that can ping down support heroes, finish off big things, or just thin infantry. Its damage isn’t high but it’s consistent and can spike. Like other invocations, units cannot end a move on it. This means you can position priests such that fast units or deepstrikes may fail charges if they can’t get their base in the right spot.

Battle Tactics

  • Settle a Grudge: A book of grudges. Destroy an opposing unit that has killed one of your units. This is similar to Eye for an Eye from the GHB, but not quite the same. It’s a good tactic, though situational, and one where your opponent can often attempt to mitigate the response through things like redeploy, unleash hell, and heroic actions. It’s nice to have.
  • An Honorable Death: Pick a friendly hero, it must be slain this turn and also slay at least one model. This is difficult to complete because it requires you to kill an opponent’s model, but not enough of them that they can’t kill you. It’s quite good on something like a Grimwrath which fights on death, but even that is a big gamble. The opponent can also do things like choosing not to pile-in in combat to not kill the hero, thus causing you to fail the tactic. This is not an easy tactic in most cases.
  • Beastslayer: Pick an enemy monster and a friendly hero, that monster must be slain by that hero this turn. Pretty good, though another situational one. Best in Greyfyrd or Lofnir lists which make use of hard-hitting heroes and your opponent has to have a monster to kill.
  • Seize by Force: If you control fewer objectives than your opponent, you can choose this and complete if you control more at the end of the turn. The easiest tactic by a huge margin. Most games have times where your opponent will get hold one, hold two, hold more, and then on your turn you can flip an objective to your side. When you know this will happen you can complete this one. This is the only “gimme” tactic, I would say. Almost all games will see a time when you can complete this.
  • Grimnir Knows No Mercy: Have all your vulkites on the battlefield within 3” of an enemy at the end of the turn. Easiest if you have only a couple vulkites, and if they are shields. The difficulty here is the units they are in combat with dying or killing off your last vulkite unit. Generally good in Vostarg lists or other lists running some shield vulkites, but definitely not a guaranteed tactic.
  • An Ignominious Death: Pick an enemy hero, complete this if it dies to throwing axes. Exceptionally hard to complete, like ridiculously so. Best used in lists with high amounts of throwing axes (Vostarg/Greyfyrd) and on enemy heroes that are already down to 1 or 2 wounds. The fact this doesn’t give an extra point, even if the killing blow is from a hero, is criminal.

Grand Strategies

  • Guarded Lineage: Keep one Runefather (and it means ONE, not one or more) and one or more runesons alive. Sure, it’s not super great, but it could happen in some lists.
  • Oath-Takers and Skull-Breakers: You have to complete 4 battle tactics and all tactics chosen have to be from the faction tactics list here. If you manage to do this then you’ve won Age of Sigmar! Congratulations!
  • Defend The Lodge: No enemy units wholly within your territory. Battlemap dependent and rather difficult against multiple armies. Not recommended at all, but sure, you can try. It’s a worse version of the GHB2022 tactic, though.
  • Masters of the Forge: End the game with at least one invocation under your control. Extremely good. Ridiculously so. Few armies have priests and fewer still take multiple priests willing to throw a prayer away to attempt a banish they might fail. This is nearly always an auto-complete in any list with more than one invocation. I’ve been completely tabled but my flamespitter or fyrewall still nabbed me three points.

Units

  • Fjul-Grimnir & The Chosen Axes: Great proxy models. That’s it.
  • Auric Runefather: A lynchpin of any foot-hero heavy Greyfyrd list. He hits hard, harder with a draught of magmalt ale or axe of grimnir. His retinue ability means Hearthguard Berserkers or Auric Hearthguard make him go from a squishy target to an absolute tank; the retinue also allows the unit to fight immediately after him making any charge he gets off with his retinue very potent, though it does have some anti-synergy with Fierce Counter-Attack. His once per game ability gives all units wholly within 12” a +1 to attack characteristic in your combat phase. If used at the right time his ability aids in crushing any opponent. Don’t sleep on his 3” reach either. He can hit over multiple lines of infantry or tag a pesky lumineth wind spirit that wants to lock you down completely.
  • Auric Runeson: The budget runefather. He still includes the retinue. His damage is roughly the same with the war axe option, but he loses the aura and ability to make Hearthguard Berserkers battleline. However, he does mortal wounds to monsters on hit rolls of 6. The javelin has less damage but gets a throw, an additional rend, and a 2” reach. Not a bad tradeoff. After using both I’ve found both weapons to be good. The additional rend of the javelin is hard to discount and while the throw isn’t amazing, it’s nice to fish for 6s on monsters.The increased reach is useful quite often, at least it has been for me. Still, the war axe does more damage so should be taken the majority of the time. If the javelin hit on 3’s it would probably see more use.
  • Magmadroths in general: The magmadroth mount is the same across all the riders. A relatively fast monster with a mediocre tank, they can be a potent leader or even main battleline. Their breath attacks and tail swip can ping down higher model count units (though, don’t discount tail attacks on heroes), and with buffs can hit far outside their price. For each melee damage dealt to a droth you roll a dice and deal a mortal wound on a 4+. This is absolutely amazing. On average a single magmadroth will bleed back 8-9 mortal wounds. That means if a Maw-krusha kills a magmadroth it will half-health itself before anything else fights back against it. The Heal prayer means you can often get much more out of this ability. The 4+ save however does leave them very susceptible to shooting.
  • Auric Runefather on Magmadroth: The runefather himself is identical sans retinue. Now he has a magmadroth! Okay, that’s pretty awesome. This increases the range of his auras (Fury of the Fyreslayers and his warscroll ability) due to the increased base size. With blood of the berserker this unit can be a real wrecking ball.
  • Auric Runeson on Magmadroth: The runeson is the same minus retinue. Sadly, his Vying for Glory ability does not affect magmadroths. In Lofnir he becomes a battleline which really makes the subfaction shine.
  • Auric Runesmiter: This priest only gets one prayer and its warscroll prayer. He’s very squishy with low wounds. But his warscroll prayer is amazing (outlined above) and he can deep-strike a unit with him. You take him for his ability to deep strike which adds a very useful tool the Fyreslayer toolbox. Deepstriking shield vulkites onto an objective, a runeson on magmadroth with magentised runes, or auric hearthguard are all fantastic choices. But just having him in your list will make opponents consider the deepstrike which is important for deployment mind games.
  • Auric Runesmiter on Magmadroth: The runesmiter without deepstriking, but with a magmadroth. A great option if you want Master Priest on a tanky priest to add support to other magmadroths or even blocks of units. He can be a tanky curse platform in Vostarg or Runic Empowerment platform for your other magmadroths and auric hearthguard. Don’t discount the mount’s ability to pump out damage, too, it’s still a magmadroth.
  • Auric Flamekeeeper: A totem that has a dice which counts up to 6 from 1 for each fyreslayer model that dies within 12” of it. Upon it reaching 6 you can give to a unit wholly within 12: a 6+ ward; models fight on death if they have not fought yet in that turn (this can allow a vulkite model that hasn’t fought to fight twice on death); +1 damage to melee attacks; or charge at the start of the combat phase (your opponents as well). This is a must have in any Vostarg list. Oftentimes you will be intentionally getting vulkites thrown into combat to die to feed other vulkites a damage buff. This also means that if vulkites die to impact charges or shooting you can then buff them in combat. The combat charge is actually amazing and can ruin an opponent’s plans. At 90 points he is cheap and quite useful. As an aside, his melee profile isn’t awful and you can often catch an opponent off guard with his 4/3+/3+/-1/2 profile (1 rend off the Grimwrath). Nothing feels better than killing some harpies which thought they would get free reign on your priests.
  • Auric Runemaster: If he is near (or is selected to be) the general you get an extra CP on your turn, this instantly makes him near auto-take. CP is good, more CP is better. He knows all prayers allowing him to freely take Heal or Curse. He is the ultimate in support-hero technology. He can take a hit occasionally with a 4+ save and 6 wounds (7 in Greyfyrd). He won’t stand up to any focus, but a stray shot or hit won’t always take him down.
  • Battlesmith: A bit pricey at 150 points (as of writing). But, all units within 12” get a 6+ ward aura that, once per game until your next hero phase, can be a 5+ ward. This makes him extremely important to standing up to a double turn. The smith can also issue the rally command on a 4+ rather than a 6+, which is strong in Vostarg and Greyfyrd lists. But even on Lofnir supporting infantry it can be clutch. The ward is extremely important for weathering alpha-strike armies or a double turn. He’s also the only one who can take the nulsidian icon, which is maybe one of the best artefacts in the army. This hero is extremely useful and should be considered in most lists.
  • Grimwrath Berserker: A hero, but not a leader, which is something to consider. This means he can go in the Bounty Hunter battalion. As the target of an allegiance ability (battle trait) you would think he would be more important than he is, but he’s mostly relegated to Greyfyrd lists. Still, with a draught of magmalt ale or a daemon slayer he can hit extremely hard. His profile is 4/3+/3+/-2/2, which seems lackluster until you realize he fights a second time on a 2+ or on death. A fully buffed Grimwrath with an oath allowing him to run and charge while carrying a magmalt ale can auto-run 10” with a rerollable charge. He then swings 16 times in combat – with all-out attack and a prayer or finest hour, hitting on 2+ and wounding on 2+, a rend rune adding more rend – makes a missile of a unit. This 105 point unit can put a dent in the tankiest units in the game once you put all the pieces together.
  • Doomseeker: Did you like the Grimwrath berserker? Well, we made him worse. There’s almost always a better use of points than a doomseeker. At 85 points he is too redundant of a unit. If you need hard hitting speed in a single model, the Grimwrath does it. If you want hard hitting in a cheaper chassis then the runeson can do it while getting a retinue. This model falls between both and ends up being as good as neither. It’s nearly always better to take two invocations instead.
  • Hearthguard Berzerkers: In AoS 2.0 this was THE unit of the army. However, after substantial price increases and a slight nerf they have fallen quite far. There are two variants: the broadaxe and poleaxe. I won’t get into which is the best beyond: they are both good. They have a 4+ ward if wholly within 9” of a friendly fyreslayers hero. They also can be the target of a retinue ability from the runeson or runefather. This unit can be extremely strong, but with a 5+ save, a 4” move, and being tied to a hero they are quite pricey at 160 points for 5. Still, any opponent will think twice before charging into a line of these with their ward up and counterattack ready. They make extremely good supporting units in a Lofnir army.
  • Auric Hearthguard: The cheapest batteline option (with priest general) at 125 points for five. These are the shooting units of the army. The shooting seems lackluster on the surface, (2 attacks, 4+/3+/-1/1), but when combined with buffs like Rune of Searing Heat, these can pump out fairly decent damage at range. More importantly, on a 6 to hit they slow an enemy unit by 1” per 6 to a minimum of half their move characteristic. This is incredibly powerful against units like Incarnates or Kragnos who need to get into your lines. These can function as a “control” option in the army to dictate engagements and punish support heroes. They also can function as the much needed scalpel for the army killing opponents’ supporting heroes or ranged options. In either case, their use can be very important to disrupt your opponents.
  • Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes: The hammer vulkites. When they charge they get an extra attack per model. Three attacks each means the Rune of Searing Heat is likely to get some mortal wounds in. This also pairs well with Vostarg and Auric Flamekeepers to turn a single unit of Handaxes into a terror. With two flamekeeper buffs (3 damage per swing), they can basically kill anything in the game.
  • Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields: The anvil vulkites. They do mortal wounds on charge (roll dice equal to models in the vulkite unit, 6s do a MW), which is nice, but nothing to write home about. Their main use is screening or holding objectives. The 4+ instead of 5+ save is a lot more extra tank. Their damage isn’t great, but it also shouldn’t be underestimated. With the same buffs as the axes the shields can still tie on some wounds.
  • Magmic Battleforge: It’s the faction terrain. You’ll very rarely activate its 6+ ward. But hey, +1 to chanting rolls to all priests in 18” is great!
  • Invocations: See above.

Allies

Some allies are more useful than others. I will go over a few of the more useful ones.

Kharadron Overlords

  • Aetheric Navigator is a strong choice. He brings an important unbind to the army. But more importantly he can halve the movement of flying units. For his cost this is very useful. Many of the most important units an opponent will have are flying units.
  • Gunboat: This can add some great movement the army lacks. This frees you up to accomplish tactics like Desecrate Their Lands as well as put shots on support heroes. Back-capping objectives is always a strong ability on a teleporting unit.
  • Balloon Boys: They go with the Gunboat. This includes any of ‘em, heroes or infantry. The can tag along with the gunboat to add even more speed to the army.
  • Arkonauts: Super cheap GV unit. Give them expert conquerors and they can hold some points down for you while maybe occasionally doing a wound here or there. Great screening unit.

Stormcast Eternals

  • Lord Relictor: He has a built in +1 to chanting meaning he can cast Fyreslayer invocations as well as they can. He also is significantly tankier than Fyreslayer priests and has a warscroll prayer that does mortal wounds on top of debuffing an opponent. He’s a great pick, even if he’s a bit pricey.
  • Knight Incantor: Auto-unbind is nice. He’s got an unbind and can debuff opponents.
  • Stormdrakes: They are fast, they are monsters, they hit like a ton of bricks. These are a strong pick in any army and bring a lot to Fyreslayers who lack mobility and flying.
  • Stormstrike Chariot: You can use it to clear screens very nicely with its high impact potential. It’s also relatively quick to keep up with magmadroths at a budget price-point.
  • Celestant-Prime: A very strong warscroll that can deepstrike himself to wreak havoc. Very useful in any army.

Cities of Sigmar

  • Irondrakes: Very strong shooting in an army that has mediocre shooting. Add in the Command Trait Leader of the Duardrazhal to make them punch harder.
  • Runelord: Maybe the best ally for the army. He can still chant for the fyreslayer invocations, but he can also get a +2 to unbind, all in a 95 point package. With Heroic Willpower you can get two unbinds with +2. This will pay for itself the first time you dispel a purple sun or unbind mind razor.
  • Freeguild Guard: Super cheap GV which can hold a point down when you need it to. They also make a fantastic screen.
  • Freeguild Crossbowmen: A good screen or a solid inclusion for some long range shooting (24”).

How Does This All Come Together?

Example Lists from others:

I won’t put words in other players’ mouths. So I won’t comment on how these lists play, but they are a good starting point for people looking to build a competitive army. You can find one of each of the three main sub-factions here.

Garth Scannell took this list to a 4-1 and 2nd place finish at the Salt City GT. This list has a Runefather Droth leading two blocks of Hearthguard Berserkers around.

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
– Lodge: Greyfyrd
– Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge
– Triumphs: Inspired


Leaders
Auric Runefather on Magmadroth (360)**
General
– Command Trait: Blood of the Berzerker
– Artefact: Axe of Grimnir
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient

Auric Runemaster (125)**
Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse

Battlesmith (150)**
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon
Auric Runesmiter (135)**
Forge Key
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Universal Spell Lore: Ghost-mist
– Prayer: Prayer of Ash


Battleline
15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers
(480)*
Broadaxes
– Reinforced x 2

15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (480)*
Broadaxes
– Reinforced x 2

10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Molten Infernoth (40)
Runic Fyrewall (40)

Core Battalions
*Expert Conquerors
**Command Entourage – Magnificent

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 112
Drops: 7

“Kozokus” took this next list to 5-0 in a tournament in Bordeaux. His commentary on it can be found here. It’s vulkites with flamekeepers so it’s hard to go wrong here.

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
– Lodge: Vostarg
– Mortal Realm: Aqshy
– Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge
– Triumphs:


Leaders
Auric Runefather on Magmadroth
(360)**
General
– Command Trait: Blood of the Berzerker
– Artefact: Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient

Auric Flamekeeper (90)**
Auric Flamekeeper (90)**
Battlesmith (150)***
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon
Auric Runesmiter (135)***
Forge Key
– Prayer: Ember Storm

Auric Runemaster (125)***
Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse


Battleline
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields
(160)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)*
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)*
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)*

Invocations
Molten Infernoth (40)

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Command Entourage – Magnificent
****Expert Conquerors

Artefact
Artefact

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 162
Drops: 12

Bill Souza took this list to an amazing 5-0 at the Steel City GT. He took first place!

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
Lodge: Lofnir
– Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty


Leaders
Auric Runefather
(125)**
General
– Command Trait: Spirit of Grimnir

Auric Runesmiter (135)**
Runic Iron
– Prayer: Prayer of Ash

Runelord (95)**
Allies

Battleline
10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers
(320)***
Broadaxes
– Reinforced x 1

10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)***
Broadaxes
– Reinforced x 1

Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)*
Ancestral War-axe
– Artefact: Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve
– Magmadroth Trait: Flame-scale Youngblood

Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)*
Ancestral War-axe
– Artefact: Axe of Grimnir
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient

Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)*
Ancestral War-axe
– Magmadroth Trait: Lava-tongue Adult


Endless Spells & Invocations
Runic Fyrewall (40)

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Expert Conquerors

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 95 / 400
Wounds: 104
Drops: 8

My Lists and Tactics:

I will cover two of my lists as examples: A Lofnir list I went 4-1 with at Southern Fried Gaming Expo; and a modification of a Vostarg list I went 4-1 at a local team tournament (our team also went 4-1).

Then I will go into some tactics that Fyreslayers should consider using in general, regardless of the list. It’s impossible to give tactics for every situation, army, and position, but hopefully the ideas presented will give a strong foundation.

Lofnir

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
Lodge: Lofnir
– Grand Strategy: Masters of the Forge
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Auric Runemaster (125)*
General
– Command Trait: Master Priest
– Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Auric Runesmiter (135)*
Runic Iron
– Prayer: Prayer of Ash
Battlesmith (150)
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon
Auric Runesmiter on Magmadroth (340)
Runic Iron
– Magmadroth Trait: Lava-tongue Adult
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Runelord (95)*
Allies

Battleline
15 x Auric Hearthguard (375)**
Reinforced x 2
Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)**
Ancestral War-axe
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient
Auric Runeson on Magmadroth (320)**
Wyrmslayer Javelins
– Magmadroth Trait: Flame-scale Youngblood

Endless Spells & Invocations
Molten Infernoth (40)
Runic Fyrewall (40)
Zharrgron Flame-spitter (50)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Bounty Hunters

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 95 / 400
Wounds: 105
Drops: 8

This list plays as a control-style lofnir list. Knowing your matchup is important as you will be attempting to pick apart their army while stopping them from accomplishing their goals. You must slow and/or stop your opponent’s key units with the Auric Hearthguard and Invocations while pushing forward with your three Magmadroths.

I don’t take many pictures of games, but here are two examples of this denial:

Tournament Game: Win against DoK, top of turn 2 shown

This game shows the use of invocations against flying units and the importance of target selection and drop location for the Auric Hearthguard.

I was given the top turn. It was his choice, so I deployed far back so that he would gain not benefit from going first other than positioning. This means taking first accomplishes little for him and gives the fear of me getting a double turn. Combined with choosing a proving ground and objective activation means he ended up giving me the first turn.

The Shadow Queen can move exceptionally far, but her base is massive. By placing the Runic Fyrewall in the center you can cut her movement significantly back, forcing her to the sides if she wants maximum movement. You can also see the forge was placed in the center with priests behind it, making any attempts at slaying support heroes likely to fail. I then split the Runesons to each side forcing her to choose which she would chase, leaving the Smiterdroth far back to wait. I dropped the Auric Hearthguard to the side and shot the spear snakes to slow them and kill some. Even if I am double turned, his Spear Snakes and Morathi wouldn’t get into combat until his second turn.

Fortuitously, I won priority, which he needed to get any of his units into combat. Instead my magmadroth looped around The Shadow Queen on the right while the others pushed the middle and left, wiping his entire army from the board. It was basically over here. By abusing the AHG slow and the Fyrewall blocking ability, I ensured my safety at the bottom of 1 so that I could punish him hard in my second turn whether I went first or second. The rune of searing heat allows high damage from my Auric Hearthguard and magmadroth breath, and was a very useful rune in this game on turn 1 and 2 (due to Master Priest CT).

Casual Game: Win against Ironjawz

This game shows the use of invocations against armies with things such as Maw-krusha or Kragnos. It is also effective against any army with an Incarnate.

I deployed such that only his Maw-Krusha could get into combat if he takes the top of 1. The opponent knows I have lavablood and guesses correctly that his maw-krusha will die if he brings it in alone between blood and having to fight two magmadroths – the droths positioned such that barring extremely careful placement and a very far charge he has to bring two into combat. I put my army off to one side so that his boars can push but they can’t get into combat. He instead gives me the top of 1.

I measure out the distance such that I can drop my AHG directly behind the wall and shoot the Maw-Krusha. Between bracketing it and the slow, it can now only move 6”. I then bookend the AHG with droths and terrain so that any charges require fighting magmadroths after an unleash hell. He has to choose which units he wants to get into combat.

He double moves his Maw-Krusha just to go 12” but fails the charge: the large base requires 10” just to get past the fyrewall (I redeployed after this photo 2” and moved the AHG back a bit). The pigs charge on the right putting some damage into the Magmadroth on the right, and while they do heavy damage to the Magmadroth they die to it.

He gets the double turn, but his Maw-krusha remains controlled and can only charge the left or right, unable to get around the army. His pigs on the far right can and do charge the back, but that’s okay since they have to deal with a Smiterdroth in their quest to maybe kill a battlesmith. The important thing here is that he has to choose either of the Maw-krusha or the pigs on one side, he can’t have both due to the fyrewall and slow from AHG. This is when the power of controlling movement shines: the opponent can’t do what they like because of the AHG and Fyrewall.

The key in both examples, and as a whole, is to punish opponents by forcing them to accomplish nothing until their turn 2. This makes it extremely effective against lists that rely on one big unit getting into combat like Kragnos or Infernoths.

This also highlights the big weakness of this list: extremely hard ranged alpha armies like Skaven Stormfiends and Lumineth Realm Lords. They don’t care about any of the things you do and will pick you apart. Still, the AHG, flamespitter and infernoth do a lot of work to help mitigate this by punishing support heroes and/or ranged units. But you still will find these matchups to be an uphill battle.

Vostarg

This is a slight modification on a list I took 4-1 in the previous GHB2021-22 but have had good success with outside of tournaments in the GHB2022-23.

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
Lodge: Vostarg
– Grand Strategy: Master of the Forge
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Auric Runesmiter on Magmadroth (340)*
General
– Runic Iron
– Command Trait: Master Priest
– Magmadroth Trait: Coal-heart Ancient
– Prayer: Prayer of Ash
Auric Runemaster (125)*
Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Auric Runesmiter (135)*
Runic Iron
– Prayer: Ember Storm
Auric Flamekeeper (90)**
Auric Flamekeeper (90)**
Battlesmith (150)**
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon

Battleline
20 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (340)****
Reinforced x 1
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)****
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)***
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields (160)***

Endless Spells & Invocations
Molten Infernoth (40)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Expert Conquerors
****Bounty Hunters

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 162
Drops: 11

I could not find any pictures of this exact list in play.This list relies on a very important combo: Auric Flamekeepers pumping the 20x Vulkite Axes into a feeding frenzy of death. The Vulkites will do some damage with no buffs, so opponents still always have to worry about them a little, especially with the awakened steel or searing heat runes. Everything else is facilitating this combination in order to A) hold objectives and B) table the opponent.

Generally, you run it reactively: screen your large block of vulkites with your smaller block. Deepstriking a group of shields or axes to either punish an opponent who didn’t deploy correctly to protect support heroes (axes) or hold an objective (shields) is important here. Ember Storm being on 2 different priests means you likely will have the option to chant for it when you need it.

The auric flamekeeper combo will keep opponents who know of it wary and focused on the flamekeepers. For opponents who are not worrying about it, you may wipe them out. The flamekeepers soaking up an opponent’s focus will often leave your vulkites open for free reign on the field. The lists I found this struggling into were ones that could kill all my support heroes in a single turn if I either mess up deployment or the battlemap favors it. Certain Seraphon, Lumineth, and KO lists come to mind.

A key thing with this Vostarg list is positioning of your own units in relation to each other. It’s extremely important that the flamekeepers are receiving the benefit of deaths and able to pass that to the vulkites, even if those vulkites charge. It will be tedious, but ensure you are measuring out ranges ahead of time before making moves or charges. Similarly, maintaining all vulkites within the 12” bubble of a battlesmith for his ward and the 18” bubble for his rally command is incredibly important. The 6+ ward adds up, with the 5+ ward being incredibly handy early on, and the rally command can often win games.

Don’t be afraid to back out of combat with your vulkites and set up for a hero phase rally on the next turn, no matter whose turn it is. Keeping 2 or 3 vulkites in combat isn’t worth it over potentially rallying them back to 6 or 7. On the large vulkite blocks I have had rallies bring it back from 4 remaining to 16. That’s the equivalent of getting back over 170 points in models.

Tactics

The basic tactics of the Fyreslayers rely heavily on positioning. The army is overall slow, and often not very beefy. Understanding your opponents threat ranges and your own is the most important skill you can learn as a Fyreslayers player. The games will often unfold like a game of chess where you are vying with your opponent for the right position to make your charges. To this end I will say that the movement phase is one of the most important phases for any Fyreslayers army; positioning will make or break your games.

Consider the abilities at your disposal: first strike and fight on death (vulkites, flamekeeper). On the surface these seem great for baiting opponents into charging your lines, but a good opponent will not charge you if they don’t have to. They will not take the bait, and even if they do, they’ll often still wipe the units out.

No, instead these abilities are useful as tactical pieces to force bad decisions after you have already charged an opponent and killed their units or when you can lure them into a trap. With that in mind, we can boil down all the games’ decision making process into positioning with regards to threat ranges. That makes deployment and turn 1 incredibly important.

Deployment and Turn 1

In most of my lists the opponent can choose who takes the top of round 1. Most opponents – excepting Ironjawz and LRL – will choose to let you go first. Seraphon will only usually take the top of 1 if they see they can alpha strike your key pieces immediately, for example. When facing such armies, give them as little as possible to alpha on the top of 1; deployment is the key here. If you can deploy correctly and get the top of two, the win can often be yours, if you don’t you’ll still be in a good spot. The two examples below are armies I see frequently. It’s difficult to give examples based on every single army and every single list, so two will have to suffice.

Example 1: Nighthaunt on Prize of Gallet

Consider playing an opponent on a 22” battleplan, such as Prize of Gallet. You know that your effective range of Magmadroths is 12” + charge. Your vulkites have an effective range of 4” + charge or 10” + charge (with ember storm). The movement rune adds 2” to all threat ranges. You also likely have at least one deepstriking unit.

For exemplary purposes, your opponent is playing nighthaunt in a Scarlet Doom list heavy on Bladegheists. Mostly they have a 8” + charge threat range plus up to three deepstriking units.
If you take the top of 1 and move forward it’s very unlikely you will make charges (8” to 10” charges if they are on the line). You will take the objective, certainly, and then you will be charged on the bottom of two. This will likely see your opponent gaining a significant advantage.

Instead it is best to move or deepstrike one unit as far back as possible to tag an objective or run a unit to barely tag one. Put up a combat rune of some type, usually searing heat or fury are good, pop your Battlesmith’s once per game ward, and position such that the only units that can be charged is the one barely touching an objective and any from deepstrikes – which becomes a gamble for the opponent. Fyrewall and Molten Infernoth can block movements to further disrupt any plans they originally had here and can often ensure no one can charge except deepstriking units..

Now, you know that in their first turn they will be accomplishing little except for playing for a double turn. But if they do that and fail to get it they will be in a truly awful position. It becomes very risky for them to play for the double. Further, with a likely 5+ ward aura (battlesmith) and a combat rune up, it’s now even riskier for them to just charge your lines. You should be set up such that only some small number of their units – that are not deepstriking – can even get in to fight. If they get the double and charge your lines, your screens and once per game abilities allow you to weather it and play into a potential double on them. If you get the turn they will be in an awful spot for you to immediately charge their key units with a combat rune up and all of your abilities you can muster. Because of this the opponent now has to make an awful decision: play for the double or hold back and get what they can.

Nighthaunt players can deepstrike units, but often their units work best under the auras of heroes and with getting multiple charged into a single unit. They want to stack their debuffs to wipe you out. If you make them lean into the deepstriked units for this they are likely to fail some or all of their charges leaving them caught out. Still, remember they can do this and position accordingly. Do not leave units like battlesmiths standing alone or unshielded. Remember to always check the 9” bubble around your units.

If they take the top of 1 they will not be able to get any units onto your army effectively which leaves your turn to mop them up. If they play very cautiously then treat your bottom of 1 like it’s a top of 1 unless you really want to bank on the double turn. Even if you do, be sure to screen against their charges as best you can or play with ranges to cause most of their charges to block each other. Your opponent will likely try to abuse threat ranges in a similar manner, but with Auric Hearthguard and Molten Infernoth you can ALWAYS put in some work and position with the assumption they will get the top of 2. If they don’t you have a strong chance of winning with your double.

This is an example of how important measuring ranges and positioning is. By positioning correctly in turn 1 you have set out an entire game path that puts your opponent on their back foot.

Example 2: Seraphon on Head-On Collision

This map begins with an 18” separation. The objectives cannot be controlled in round 1. Your opponent is Seraphon. They are running a “meta” list of Thunderlizards with Bastiladons and Engines. This is an exceptionally difficult matchup for basically everyone judging by Seraphon win rates.

Right away we know Bastiladons have an effective range of 29” (5” +24” range). The stegadon with skink chief has an effective range of 32”. Salamanders have an effective range of 20”. With that in mind, it’s unlikely any one of these can kill a magmadroth or kill an entire unit of Vulkites on a single round of shooting without ample help from spellcasting (e.g. comets call).
Thus, we can choose our deployment here to minimize damage from their turn 1. Deploy such that if they take the top of one, at maximum a single bastiladon can only shoot a single unit. The skink chief may get shots in, but that’s generally fine as it means they are pushing within 24” of your front line at minimum.

Seraphon players not being able to capitalize on a top of 1 turn and wanting the double turn more than anything to abuse their over-tuned shooting will give you the top of one. You will need to make the best with what you have here. Firstly, may god have mercy on your soul if you do not have a nulsidian icon. Secondly, you need to spread out, perhaps lightly tagging the objective with a GV, but ensuring shots cannot be focused on any one unit without the Seraphon player leaving the other side open. The only reason to even tag with a GV is in case you are given the bottom of round two you can proving grounds the middle objective if they had not already. This means measuring their ranges carefully and moving just outside them for turn 1. Make them have to move in different directions or split fire. Consider their GV situation and proving grounds usage carefully.

Here, your turn 1 runes should be either the ward rune if you have no openings for combat, or a combat rune if they’ve left something open to be deepstriked by Auric Hearthguard or Vulkites. Your battlesmith is hopefully well hidden out of LoS while still keeping units within a 5+ ward aura. But even if he’s not, he needs to be in a place where he hopefully will be able to be shot by as few units as possible. Abuse that 12” range as much as you can. We will assume the Seraphon player did not place all their important pieces right on the 18” line with no screens right in front of your magmadroths so it’s unlikely a movement rune is useful here.

In these instances invocations and auric hearthguard are absolutely key to disabling opponents. A runic fyrewall can block bastiladon movement, keeping their threat range low. A molten infernoth can accomplish this as well while it puts wounds on opponents; woe unto a Seraphon player letting the infernoth tear into its pyramid garrison. Flamespitter can thin key things on the opponents line: even bracketing a basti only takes 3 wounds, forcing them to use heals or roll on an engine.

Auric Hearthguard can be absolutely clutch here. If your opponent has left openings then you can likely use a Searing Heat rune to kill un-bodyguarded Slann or skink priests; killing a priest can greatly kneecap certain abilities (Seraphon want Run + Shoot). But a key use is reducing movement of things like Skink Chiefs and Bastiladons. A 5” reduction means even a 6” running bastiladon is going 7.5”. With this in mind, Auric Hearthguard and Invocations are not always about pure damage, but about making your opponent fail to accomplish their goals. Killing a skink priest or forcing it to use a prayer to attempt a banish only makes this better.

If your opponent does take the top of 1 then you should be sufficiently spaced that they will inflict minimal damage on your units setting you up for the counterstrike into a possible double turn. They will have to move up to tag objectives and land shots on your front lines. The need to tag objectives will likely bring them within your magmadroth or emberstorm threat ranges, this is when it’s best to punish them either with a combat rune or a movement rune, depending on where they moved. Auric Hearthguard and Invocations can hit key units, softening them for combat. Don’t be afraid to bracket a bastiladon or soften a skink chief for a charge from a droth or vulkite block. If you’re lucky they will have powered up Auric Flamekeepers by shooting vulkites which you can run forward to super power a unit, be sure to measure the ranges carefully here. It does take two flamekeeper buffs to get extra damage on Seraphon monsters, but you can also use Auric Flamekeepers to charge vulkites in the combat phase which allows you to avoid unleash hell or to get an extra fight on death with a unit.

Now when your opponent takes their first turn they should accomplish little, and with good placement of invocations, may even fail to cap the middle objective if they take the bottom of two. If they get the double they will still punish you, they are Seraphon after all, but hopefully it is mitigated significantly. If you get the top of two you should be in a fantastic position to capitalize with more infernoth punishment, more flamespitter rounds, and push up with ember storm or magmadroths to punch them in the face whether you went first or second in round 1. The key was the turn 1 positioning for this setup.

Basic Tactics Round 2+

Things become more difficult to sum up post round 1. The board state has infinite variation and how your opponent reacts to what you’re doing is going to completely change between people, armies, and lists.

But here’s a few tricks to use:

The movement rune can surprise opponents. They will bank on your 4” or 12” moves and not consider the additional range most times. While it can be used in round one occasionally, often these later round uses will allow you to capture objectives opponents considered safe or attack units they had unintentionally left open. Occasionally it allows you to retreat out of a combat you may not have been able to previously.

Retreating is an important tactical decision with Fyreslayers under the 18” bubble of a Battlesmith. While this won’t aid Magmadroths, it can often completely alter the flow of games with infantry. The rally command is issued at the start of the hero phase, any hero phase. This means you can retreat from combat and then rally in the next hero phase, whether that is yours or not. Many times this will allow you to lock down objectives or tie up units much longer than the opponent intended. If you do get the double this can lead to a much more combat-ready unit now charging into an opponent who did not expect this.

Auric Flamekeepers have multiple abilities, not just +1 damage. You can make the most of them in various ways.

  • Fighting on death with the Auric Flamekeeper allows a unit that does not get to fight to fight twice on death. With two flamekeepers this with +1 damage will often do more than +2 damage and a single fight on death.
  • Combat charges are extremely potent to enemies which want to retreat out of combat or on opponents who are attempting to hold an objective but not be in combat. It also means you can often bring in a second unit when your opponent only wants to fight one. A rarer use is for it to give you a third chance at a charge roll if you failed the first two (reroll). It sucks to use the dice up this way, but it’s sometimes needed. Also, don’t forget that combat turn charges avoid unleash hell which is very important against things like sentinels or bow snakes.
  • Their buff range is 12” but charges may take units outside of this. However, you can often finish a charge within a ½” of the opponent, within buff range, receive the benefit, then pile-in outside the 12”. Further, the 12” range on dice count is only within for a model, not wholly within, so pulling from the back is likely to allow the dice to count up. This means you can often have him in a cycle of constant counting up.

Magmadroth breath is strong. Aside from the mount trait allowing it to do more damage to single targets, it can also be used to unleash hell quite effectively to pick off some models on things like Witch Aelves and Nighthaunt. Most Fyreslayers players seldom use unleash hell, but especially under the Rune of Searing Heat it can be quite potent. Keep in mind if you have not shot with the breath then its unleash hell gains the -3 rend.

Throwing Axes do more damage than you think. Keep in mind Auric Hearthguard can throw axes, too, even during unleash hell. While on average the damage from an entire 10-man vulkite unit will be low it’s still important. Make sure you remember to use them at every opportunity and select good targets with them. You never know when the dice will spike (or their rolls will tank) and you’ll slip through more damage than you think.

Invocations block models from landing on them. This means Flamespitter can often be used to block deepstrike charges into your back line units. Combined with a forge and you can often lock off any type of charge your opponent might want from behind, or at the very least, minimize models they can get in. The molten infernoth can also be used to split up an opponent’s lines and movements, destroying some of their plans or aura ranges.

Deepstriking Runesmiters do not need to be adjacent to the unit. The unit just has to be wholly within 12” of the smiter. This means you can often position them to tag multiple things or keep the smiter well outside threat ranges. Deepstriking in general makes opponents deploy differently and move differently. Even if you think there’s no point for it in that game, sometimes that alone will justify putting the smiter in the tunnels.

The Heroic Action, Blaze of Fury, can be used for more than the rend rune, though that is often a great use. Aside from the ward rune, it also can see very good use with the movement rune. Gaining +2 to on the charge, especially if you have fury of the fyreslayers making it +3 and/or magnetised rune making it +4 or +5, can make your magmadroth cover considerable distance. A 14” move into a +2 to +5 charge is very strong and you can often get places your opponent would not have expected.

First Strike requires the use of a command being issued and received. This means you cannot issue All-out Attack to that unit. The Rune of Fury is the perfect remedy to this. This is a key rune to use if you believe your opponent will be charging into you in any phase, giving you the +1 to hit without the need for a command.

Auric Hearthguard are a useful tool in controlling opponents. Their damage with all out attack, +1 to wound (triumph or prayer), and the rune of searing heat is quite nice, but that’s not all they are. Their movement reduction can completely kneecap an opponent’s gameplan; a group of 15 AHG slows a unit by an average 5”. To this end it’s often a good idea to shoot a unit that you may not kill but that is instead important to the opponent’s gameplan. As examples, an opponent’s Kragnos is moving 5” or their zombies are only running 5” maximum rather than 10”. Also, do not underestimate the damage of unleashing hell into first strike with them. If charged, especially if they are buffed, they can often put in a good bit of damage on an opponent before they can even fight. Remember, don’t target units based on what you can kill or based on points every time, focus units that are important to your opponents gameplans. Sometimes this means shooting Gardus to keep his aura in place rather than the big scary dragon.

Terrain is extremely important to Fyreslayers. Aside from cover bonuses for most heroes and units that are not Magmadroths, Wyldwood terrain can hide your heroes. Also, due to their small size, oftentimes heroes can be completely obstructed from LoS against armies like Kruleboyz and Seraphon who otherwise would kill them quickly. If given the chance to set up terrain, ensure you set up “lanes” where you can hide heroes, but also where the Runic Fyrewall can completely shut out opponents. If done right there can be choke points with impassable terrain and the Fyrewall where things like Megagargants cannot stop or where units like Kragnos and Stonehorns have to go the extremely long way around. Consider your terrain placement VERY carefully.

Conclusion

Fyreslayers may get some hate, but they have a strong theme and some strong play. I hope some of these tactics and notes help you in your future list builds and games.

AoS Meta Stats (w/e 19th June 2022)

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Here are the AoS Meta Stats for all the Grand Tournaments that have taken place between Monday 13th June and Sunday 19th June 2022. These are all the GT’s that I can locate on Tabletop.to or BestCoastPairing, if you know of any others please send me a link and I’ll add them.

There was a total of 3 Grand Tournaments last week, a quiet week! That being said, one of them was the awesome UK tSports Champions, which our very own Declan was invited to take part in. You can read up on his prep here.

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Grand Tournaments

Ranked from largest to smallest.

Pyrehammer 2022 – Wielkopolskie/Poland
40 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
2ndStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
3rdBeasts of Chaos5-0-0
4thSylvaneth4-0-1
5thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
6thLumineth Realm-LordsSyar3-1-1
7thKharadron OverlordsBarak-Zilfin3-1-1
8thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men3-0-2
9thStormcast EternalsHallowed Knights4-0-1
10thMaggotkin of NurlgeDrowned Men3-1-1
Pyrehammer AoS GT

Rise of the Everchosen – Emilia Romagna/Italy
32 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men5-0-0
2ndMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-1-0
3rdSlaves to DarknessKnights of the Empty Throne4-1-0
4thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
5thFyreslayersLofnir4-0-1
6thSeraphonThunder Lizard3-0-2
7thSeraphonThunder Lizard3-0-2
8thSons of BehematStomper Tribe3-0-2
9thStormcast EternalsKnights Excelsior3-0-2
10thCities of SigmarLiving City3-0-2
Rise of the Everchosen AoS GT

UK tSports Champions – England/UK
16 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stBeasts of ChaosAllherd5-0-0
2ndMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
3rdMaggotkin of NurgleDroning Guard3-0-2
4thFyreslayersLofnir3-0-2
5thCities of SigmarTempest’s Eye3-1-1
6thIdoneth DeepkinMor’Phann2-0-3
7thSeraphonThunder Lizard3-0-2
8thNighthauntEmerald Host2-0-3
9thNighthauntScarlet Doom3-0-2
10thCities of SigmarHallowheart3-0-2
UK tSports Champions AoS GT
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Grand Alliance Stats

286 players took part in 10 GT’s over the last week.

Grand AllianceWin RateArmies% Share of Armies5-0 Wins4+ Wins
Chaos64.7%1921.59%37
Order49.2%4955.68%05
Destruction43.8%89.09%01
Death34.2%1213.64%00

Faction Stats

The below stat show the results for those factions represented by 5 armies or more only.

FactionWin RateArmies% Share of Armies5-0 Wins0-5 Losses
Maggotkin of Nurgle66.0%1011.36%14
Cities of Sigmar58.6%77.95%00
Stormcast Eternals54.0%1011.36%03
Idoneth Deepkin46.0%55.68%00
Seraphon43.0%1011.36%00
Fyrselayers40.0%77.95%01
Soulblight Gravelords33.3%66.82%00

Maggotkin of Nurgle top the charts this week in a very small data set. With a win rate of 66.0% Followed closely by Cities of Sigmar with a win rate of 58.6%. Seraphon, Fyreslayers and Soulblight Gravelords all struggling to make that magical 45% mark with Soulblight Gravelords being the only faction below 40%.

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Subfaction Stats

Only Seraphon/Thunder Lizard and Maggotkin of Nurgle/Drowned Men made the requirement for this table (min 5 armies represented). Thunder Lizard managed a win rate of 43% while Drowned Men achieved 72.5%……

Top Three AoS Lists from Wargames for Warriors

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Our second guest commentator this week is Boondocksgame, also from our Discord chat.

Wargames for Warriors took place in Utah, USA on 11th and 12th June. It involved 22 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.

Before I jump into the Top Three, I wanted to remind everyone of our friendly Discord server where you can join in the conversation with the Woehammer crew and suggest articles or series for the website.

Also if there’s a one day or two day tournament you’d like us to cover drop us a comment on this post and we’ll have a look at it for you.

Allegiance: Legion of the First Prince
Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs:

Leaders
Be’Lakor, the Dark Master (360)**
General
– Lore of Ruinous Sorcery: The Master’s Command
Slaves to Darkness Daemon Prince (210)**
Axe
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
The Contorted Epitome (255)**
Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon
– Artifact: Fourfold Blade
Kairos Fateweaver (435)
Lore of Ruinous Sorcery: The Master’s Command

Battleline
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (250)*
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (250)*
5 x Flesh Hounds (105)**

Endless Spells & Invocations
Emerald Lifeswarm (60)
Umbral Spellportal (70)

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 73
Drops: 7

Boon: Ah yes. The Be’Lakor/Kairos/Khorne Daemon Prince combo. About as close as you can get to playing a blue deck in Age of Sigmar. With Be’Lakor shutting down the big threat on the board with what I call his ‘No’ ability, Kairos telling mages no and then eating any endless spells that get through, and the Daemon prince reducing charges by half it is hard to get into the army to deal damage. And lets not forget about the massive tarpit that are Horrors. Knocking out a large chunk in one swing only for your opponent to put down double the amount of models that you just killed is really something on morale. Glad I didn’t have to play this list.

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Army Faction: Daughters of Khaine
Subfaction: Khelt Nar
– Grand Strategy: Bloodthirsty Zealots
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty

LEADERS
The Shadow Queen (680)
Melusai Ironscale (115)*
General
– Command Traits: Zealous Orator
– Artefacts of Power: Crown of Woe
Morathi-Khaine (680)*
Hag Queen on Cauldron of Blood (270)*
Prayers: Sacrament of Blood

BATTLELINE
Witch Aelves (115)*
Paired Sciansá
Blood Stalkers (540)*
Blood Sisters (280)*

CORE BATTALIONS
– *Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 2000/2000

Boon: It’s really hard to take someone seriously when they push around a cart that has someone T-posing on it. Little bit easier when they rain down arrows on you and then a giant snake lady who is at the same time not a giant snake lady is beating your face in. Blood Stalkers dealing Mortals from range with Melusia and Blood Sisters dealing with melee. Getting a little of the best of both worlds with this list and in a terrifying yet oddly arousing way. Morathi call me sometime.

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Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Procession: Emerald Host
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Leaders
Guardian of Souls (150)*
General
– Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Underworlds: Seal of Shyish
Krulghast Cruciator (150)*
Artefact: Lightshard of the Harvest Moon
Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief (340)*
Lore of the Underworlds: Shademist
Spirit Torment (115)***

Battleline
3 x Spirit Hosts (125)***
3 x Spirit Hosts (125)***
20 x Grimghast Reapers (320)**
Reinforced x 1
20 x Grimghast Reapers (320)**
Reinforced x 1

Units
10 x Dreadscythe Harridans (160)**
2 x Chainghasts (95)***

Endless Spells & Invocations
Mortalis Terminexus (85)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Hunters of the Heartlands
***Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1985/ 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 95
Drops: 7

Boon: Spooky ghosts are back… AND THEY”RE PISSED!!! Glad to see Nighthaunt up at the top with their new book. A LOT of auras being thrown around, or I guess floated around, and frankly I find them even more terrifying than the fact that they are ghosts. Gonna have to call someone if they get too close to me…

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Allegiance: Slaves to Darkness
Damned Legion: Ravagers
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Archaon the Everchosen (860)*
Aura of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Ravagers Command Trait: Master of Deception
– Spell: Ruinous Vigour
– Spell: Binding Damnation
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)**
General
– Command Trait: Unquestioned Resolve
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Ravagers Command Trait: Unquestioned Resolve
– Spell: Binding Damnation
– Spell: Mask of Darkness
Gaunt Summoner on Disc of Tzeentch (230)*
Ravagers Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Spell: Whispers of Chaos
– Universal Spell Lore: Ghost-mist
Darkoath Chieftain (85)**
Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Ravagers Command Trait: Skilled Leader
Bloodsecrator (125)**
Allies
Bloodstoker (85)*
Allies

Battleline
16 x Iron Golems (150)**
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Reinforced x 1
8 x Scions of the Flame (75)**
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
1 x Chaos Chariots (100)**
Greatblades
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne

Units
10 x Splintered Fang (75)**
Mark of Chaos: Khorne
10 x Splintered Fang (75)**
Mark of Chaos: Khorne

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Spell

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 210 / 400
Wounds: 97
Drops: 4

Boon: The absolute massive chaos lad comes in at a respectable 6th. Having Be’Lakor come higher than him might put a damper on his ‘Notice me senpais’ competition he’s in for the favor of the chaos gods but like it’ll be ok, probably. A tough as nails hero to take down with a good supporting cast to back him up it’ll be no time before he’s winning his ‘friendly’ competition with Be’Lakor.

Final Tournament Placings

Top Three AoS Lists from Game Knight AoS GT

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Peter: Today we’re doing something a little different with out top three. I invited members of our Discord chat to take part and we had a few victims, I mean volunteers. First up is fellow Chump member Kieron Bailey.

Before I jump into the Top Three, I wanted to remind everyone of our friendly Discord server where you can join in the conversation with the Woehammer crew and suggest articles or series for the website.

Also if there’s a one day or two day tournament you’d like us to cover drop us a comment on this post and we’ll have a look at it for you.

The Game Knight GT was held in Ontario, Canada on the 11th and 12th June, nestled snuggly between the Great Lakes of Huron and Erie and the great cities of Detroit and Toronto. It was a 12 person event with two undefeated armies, but only one 5-0.

Army Faction: Idoneth Deepkin
Subfaction: Mor’phann

LEADERS
Isharann Soulrender (120)
General
– Command Traits: Teachings of the Túrscoll
Isharann Soulscryer (150)
Artefacts of Power: Rune of the Surging Gloomtide
– Prayers: Curse
– Bonding: Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur
Lotann (115)

BATTLELINE
1x Namarti Reavers (340)
2x Namarti Thralls (390)
Namarti Reavers (170)
Namarti Thralls (130)
Namarti Reavers (170)

BEHEMOTH
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)

TERRAIN
1 x Gloomtide Shipwreck (0)
1 x Gloomtide Shipwreck (0)

TOTAL POINTS: 1985/2000

Kieron: That 5-0 belongs to Jordan Duncan of Season of War fame (not to be confused with *Seasons* of War, the new Sylvaneth sub-sub faction). The early games with the new Idoneth book on his channel featured a range of options from the new book, going to a pure Mor’phann list earned his first clean sweep with the new book. Along the way, Jordan amassed quite a trophy cabinet, defeating Kragnos twice, Sons of Behemat, a full dragon list and Legion best pals, Be’lakor and Kairos.

Jordan left his sharks and turtles in the ocean for this one, leaning heavily into Namarti with 20 Reavers, a frankly terrifying 30 Thralls, a pair of 10 Reavers and then 10 Thralls to round off the troops.

While the sharks and turtles may have been left at home, a Krondspire Incarnate joined the raiding party. The army was led by a trifecta of buffing characters with an Ishrann Soulrender, an Ishrann Soulscryer and Lotann, with these three leaders bringing the army together.

The Soulrender uses his Lurelight ability in the battleshock phase to bring D3 models back to those big units of Thralls or Reavers, but with an additional 3 on top because the army is Mor’phann. The Soulrender also has the Teachings of Turscroll as their artefact, allowing the order of the tides to be reversed, crucially meaning that the whole IDK army gets to fight first in turn 2 instead of having to wait until turn 3 for that honour. This gives Jordan the option to step on the gas early on if he wants to.

But how do those 50 Namarti get across the board – with the help of the Soulscryer, of course. The Soulscryer can drop in (or should that be surface?) anywhere outside of 9″ of an enemy unit and he can take two friends/units with them. They can also casually toss out a second Gloomtide Shipwreck down with the Rune of Surging, giving a second potential garrison for the smaller units of Reavers to pepper the enemy with, while giving any Deepkin unit a 5+ ward if they are wholly within 6″.

The third leader of the raiding party is Lotann, doing solid work adding +1 to wound in melee and allowing a ritual to be taken, probably either the 5+ ward on Namarti to still have that protection further away from the shipwrecks or +1 to run and charge, probably depending on whether the tides are reversed or not.

Other aspects of the list to take note of is the Thralls Warscroll ability to do +1 damage on each of their attacks when the enemy has a wound characteristic of 3 or more…which was everything Jordan faced from round 3 onwards! In addition, possibly in place of a Smash King or another unit, we have an Incarnate. Apart from being an incredibly tough monster that can go toe-to-toe with Kragnos (and probably did for at least a turn!), it keeps Jordan as a one-drop, controlling when a potentially devastating double turn can take place. The Krondspire Incarnate also prevents enemies from retreating too, so there’s no escaping the relentless advance of the Idoneth High Tide.

All in all, a great showing for Jordan and his list.

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Army Faction: Sons of Behemat
Army Type: Breaker Tribe
– Grand Strategy: Beast Master
– Triumphs: Inspired

LEADER
Kragnos (720)
Gatebreaker (525)*
General
– Command Traits: Monstrously Tough
– Artefacts: Enchanted Portcullis
Gatebreaker (525)*
Artefacts: Amulet of Destiny

BATTLELINE
Mancrusher Gargant (170)

CORE BATTALIONS:
*Bosses of the Stomp

TOTAL POINTS: (1940/2000)

Kieron: Next up is Patrick Allen’s Sons of Behemat list and while Jordan was busy manoeuvring around close to a hundred IDK, Patrick was moving his four models around: Kragnos, two Gatebreakers and a Mancrusher in a Breaker Tribe force. He went 3-2 overall, with his only losses coming to Zach’s third place Ogor Mawtribes in round 1 and then Jordan’s Deepkin round 4. Spare a thought for James Henderson and his OBR who, after facing Jordan in the first round, ran into Patrick’s Sons the game two!

With both Gatebreakers being pretty (and appropriately) destructive anyway, Patrick seems to have leant into survivability with his big boys, with the general being Monstrously Tough to take him up to 40 wounds and also taking the Enchanted Portcullis for a 6+ ward, making him closer to 45-50 wounds. His fellow Gatebreaker also has a ward save, in the form of the Amulet of Destiny. While the premium 5+ ward Amulets were taken off the shelves several months back, a 6+ ward is nothing to be sniffed at on a model with so many wounds, making the second Gatebreaker have an effective 40 wounds for an opponent to have to chew through. While Kragnos has a lot fewer wounds, he also has a much better armour save along with a 6+ ward and protection against enemy spells. With these three together, there are well over 100 wounds to try and get through with Kragnos and the Gatebreakers counting for 30 (at full wounds) and 20 models on an objective meaning that you can’t just sneak one away from them.

Finally, the Mancrusher is running around being by far the least threatening unit Patrick had (and the easiest to kill) while still being dangerous in its own right. You can’t really focus on the Mancrusher as then there’s no way you will have enough damage output to attempt to at least severely wound one of the big three. If you don’t as The End of Empires has justifiably drawn your attention, then the Mancrusher can be grabbing objectives and bashing battleline.

While Sons are nowhere near as common as they used to be, Patrick showing that they can still take down podiums at least.

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Allegiance: Ogor Mawtribes
Mawtribe: Boulderhead
– Grand Strategy: Beast Master
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Leaders
Kragnos, The End of Empires (720)*
Frostlord on Stonehorn (430)
Artefact: Brand of the Svard
– Mount Trait: Metalcruncher
Icebrow Hunter (125)*
General
– Command Trait: Lord of Beasts
Firebelly (125)*
Lore of the Sun-Eater: Billowing Ash
Frostlord on Stonehorn (430)**
Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mount Trait: Old Granitetooth
– Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Battleline
2 x Frost Sabres (55)**
2 x Frost Sabres (55)**
2 x Frost Sabres (55)**

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 70
Drops: 5

Kieron: As mentioned above, Zach Ahrens came in third with an interesting tweak to a Beastclaw Raiders list that, while taking some Mawtribes units, allows the list to squeeze in two Frostlords on Stonetooths along with Kragnos for some mortal wound on the charge insanity. Zach went 3-2 also, beating Patrick in round one, but losing to Mike’s Bonesplitters (see below) in round two with the second loss coming to Jordan in the final round.

Starting with the general, Zach went with an Icebrow Hunter with the Boulderhead compulsory Command Trait Lord of Beasts, but more importantly, allowing Zach to take Frost Sabres as really cheap battleline. He also featured a Firebelly with Billowing Ash, a really cool model that, while tricky to get off, creates an aura of -1 to hit within 12″ of him. By keeping the cost down on these units, Zach could pour all of those points into the big three threats of this list, Kragnos and two Frostlords.

Each of Kragnos and the Frostlords are decent threats on their own (easily scoring bonus points for being monsters too) but it is when they synergise together that the magic happens. On the charge, Ogors roll a dice for each inch of charge they roll on the dice, with a 6+ causing a mortal wound. If you’re a monster, and the Frostlords are, this improves to a 4+. The Granitetooth Frostlord adds 1 to charge rolls (while also taking the Arcane Tome to get their spears up to damage 4) and Frostlords have a command ability where you can re-roll the charge for other Beastclaw Raiders units, in this case, both Frostlords. Then add Kragnos into the mix and you can roll 3D6 for those charges to decide how many dice you roll for mortal wounds. In addition, the general’s mount trait is Metalcruncher, which does an additional D6 mortal wounds if the enemy unit has an armour save of 4+ or better and then he could stomp on top of that too. Combined, you’d probably expect 18MWs in the charge phase with the two Frostlords combined, but the general on his own could do as many as 28MWs! With Kragnos himself doing up to 36 MWs against monsters, it’s no surprise that Zach was able to defeat Patrick’s Sons of Behemat army and Jordan Siler’s Dragon list.

All in all, a really well thought-out list that allows the most powerful units available to work together well.

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Allegiance: Bonesplitterz
Warclan: Icebone
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:

Leaders
Wurrgog Prophet (150)*
Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Glowy Green Tusks
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Power of the Were-boar
Maniak Weirdnob (100)*
Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Glowy Green Tusks
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Power of the Were-boar
Savage Big Boss (65)*
General
– Command Trait: Great Hunter
Savage Big Boss (65)**
Savage Big Boss (65)**
Savage Big Boss (65)**
Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry
– Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Battleline
10 x Savage Boarboys (280)***
Stikkas
– Reinforced x 1
5 x Savage Boarboys (140)*
Stikkas
5 x Savage Boarboys (140)**
Stikkas

Units
10 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (290)***
Reinforced x 1
10 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (290)***
Reinforced x 1
4 x Savage Big Stabbas (160)
Reinforced x 1
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)*
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)**

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Warlord
***Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Spell
Artefact

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 189
Drops: 14

Kieron: The fourth list we’re looking at today is Mike Simeon’s Bonesplitters list, which also went undefeated, but Mike sadly couldn’t make the second day. It’s a shame as you may have seen Mike on Bulldog Hammer’s battle reports and he recently defeated Jordan’s Sylvaneth on Season of War using the exact same list he took to this tournament.

Not many Bonesplitters armies are out there at the moment, with them making up less than 1% of AoS 3.2 meta according to the excellent Honest Wargamer stats from Ziggy and Rob, but with a very healthy win rate of 56%, albeit from a very small sample size.

The list revolves around putting too many wounds on the table with 189 wounds to get through BEFORE the 6+ ward the whole army has that can be increased to a 4+ ward whole army once per battle for the whole phase. You’ll need to be able to do over 200 damage to table this army.

It will also be coming at you quite fast with 40 pigs coming high speed at you, with the option for half of the Bonesplitters units to make a pre-game move of 8″, thanks to the general’s Great Hunter ability that increases the standard pre-game move from 5″. The bigger units of boarboys (of both types) both have Hunters of the Heartlands so that All-out Attack can go off, increasing the number of hits they get in order to maximise the Icebone sub-faction ability to do mortal wounds on 6s to wound. The stabbas can also do work, with the larger unit doing 12 attacks that hit and wound on 3s with -2 rend and 2 damage, which is no joke. That can be increased by Power of the Were-boar to give an extra attack and increase run and charge. The other support spells can increase the rend on all the boarboy tusks and making an enemy fight last via Gorkamorka’s War Cry that is inscribed in the Arcane Tome of the Savage Ork Boss that is carrying it (though probably more pictures than words!).

The Savage Ork Bosses also have a neat trick in that after fighting, they can nominate another unit to fight before the enemy…which could be another Savage Ork Boss! Combined with the fight last from Gorkamorka’s War Cry, all four Bosses could fight and two units of boarboys before the enemy gets to attack back.

The best has been left until last and that is, of course, the Wurrgog Prophet, often the only Bonesplitters representative in a Big Waaagh, who can decide not to cast spells, but go full on Paddington Bear and do a ‘hard stare’ at the enemy. Essentially, you choose an enemy unit within 12″ and, on a 3+ you do D3 mortal wounds. At this stage you could stop, but where’s the fun in that! Instead, you can roll the dice again and do D3 mortal wounds on a 3+ BUT D6 mortal wounds to yourself on a 1-2. You can keep doing this until one of the following is true: the enemy unit is dead; you decide to stop; the Wurrgog blows his head up with the staring! To help with the third one, you usually see the prophet with Glowin’ Tattooz to increase his ward save to 4+, giving you an effective 14 wounds to try and do infinite mortals wounds to an enemy!

And that’s the list. Very different, with lots of fun combos to pull off and, with mounted battleline being what seems to be the Holy Grail of list creation going into the new GHB, could be a sneaky contender to be one of the winners of the new book. Great trailblazing, Mike!

Final Tournament Placings

BloodBowl 3 Beta – a review

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When the new version of BB was announced, both the board game and computer version, I was apprehensive. My amateur knowledge of 40k and Sigmar made me wary as every new version seemed to add additional features and generally seemed to make the playing style just a little bit more complicated.

I was a huge fan of Football Manager over the years but when it got to the point where you could choose how long you wanted the grass and how wide the parking spaces were in the players car park, I lost interest. To me there’s a fine balance between playability and complication.

As an example, Skyrim is a superb game on PC or console, in as much as it’s huge but it can be played relatively easily. Grab a huge sword, some health potions and wander into any cave and vanquish your foes. Elder Scrolls on the other hand, was based in the same arena but just added in too many complications so I found it was far less enjoyable.

BloodBowl 2 on the console was the definition of playable. The style of play was straight forward, with lots of double clicking if you wanted something confirmed, throwing and catching were easy and visually there wasn’t too much going on at any one time to confuse my simple mind. That said, the AI teams were far too easy to beat regularly and there always appeared to be an algorithm that resulted in far too many 1’s being rolled in one half of the game, only to be reversed with a plethora of 6’s in the other. I liked the levelling up and the team selection, but with my football manager hat on I would have really liked to have been able to develop my team further and add in special players etc, which I never achieved.

BB3 is still in development with (at the date of this article) no confirmed launch date, with the targeted date already moving on a few times, it seems we could be in for a launch just in time for Christmas 2022.

First up, visually it is stunning. The opening graphics, introducing a goblin who is taking his first steps towards a BB career is smooth and entertaining (and a little bit humorous). The look and feel lets you know you’re still playing the same game but it just looks more modern with the stadium graphics (of which there are a few new ones to choose) bigger and better and the match environment much more pleasing to the eye.

The way you create your teams is similar, but better, with it feeling as though I was really in control of the kit choices, colours and overall customisations (although I can see GW having plenty of opportunities to take are well earned coin through additional options – new balls anyone?).

The special characters have a bigger role to play, but it was limited in the Beta version as you can add them into your team but they cost gold. You could do this in BB2 I know but it just feels like they’re more front and centre in BB3, with the special characters and journeymen being linked separately rather than one big pile of choices.

 The playing options in Beta are limited to single matches v AI, hotseat or online. I played v AI.

The game play was very similar to BB2, but the views available of the pitch are slightly easier to customise, however the screen is cluttered. There is far more detail available on the screen and whereas previously a Blitz could be made by selecting a character and then double clicking on the target, you now need to choose action “2” beforehand. Similarly with throwing, rather than choosing your player with the ball and double clicking on someone to receive it, you now need to choose action “5” and carry out the actions. Look, it’s not World shattering, but it’s a little frustrating. Some of the indicators to “follow up” after a block are less easy to identify than previous. A few of these things may be PC reliant and may well be different on a console but they were frustrating.

The matches themselves are better v AI. In the previous version I don’t think I ever had a team throw a pass against me, so setting myself up for this with a high pressing defence caused me a loss against the free passing elves (pointy eared prima donnas). The AI tactics seemed to change as the match went on so I’m hopeful.

I had a couple of screen freezes and a few odd things happened, but I put this down to the game still being in development rather than a fault to be concerned about. Also, a large screen notification telling me of a death, appeared slightly earlier than necessary so I was aware my Black Orc had been killed by a Halfling (short arsed fool) before the actions had been completed, again hopefully nothing more than a bug that’ll be fixed.

All in all, I enjoyed it, but BloodBowl, for me, works in BB2 and the game play is fairly straightforward. Except for the rules change, the way to play the game is the same now as it was. Snooker has tried to reinvent itself numerous times to appeal to a newer younger market, but ultimately it’s still a game that goes on forever in relative silence.

BloodBowl is the same (not the silence and length of play; you know what I mean). Where you click in BB3 to do anything is different, the gameplay screens are laid out differently, the graphics and scenery is far better, but it’s still just playing BB.

From the earliest versions to this new reincarnation. The matches themselves are unchanged. The matter of playing BloodBowl has basically remained unchanged for years, and BB3 is no different.

It looks better, feels better and the interaction is superb, but ultimately will I buy it?

Assuming it sells for around £40. Does it offer enough new features to justify the expense?

No.

As I play against AI mostly, will I be needing any of the new online features?

No.

Will the ability to use Special Characters impact my style of play?

No.

Will I buy it?

Of course I will, and I think you probably will too.

Horus Heresy 2nd Edition: Which Legion are you?

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A few of us at Woehammer are getting a little hyped for the new Horus Heresy edition. As such, we decided to do the choose your legion series of questions on theHorusHeresy.com

Peter

I’m a massive Blood Angels fan and have been ever since I first got into the hobby. However, since reading the first few books in the Horus Heresy series I developed a love of the Luna Wolves.

That being said, the Luna Wolves were renamed the Sons of Horus by the time of the Horus Heresy. So how would I go about creating an army in this style? There’s two options here, the first is to simply say that loyalist Sons of Horus somehow survived Horus’s purge and turned their back on the Primarch by returning their colours to that of the Luna Wolves. The second option is to claim that these particular Luna Wolves were left as a standing guard to ensure compliance of a particular planet and were somehow forgotten by their brethren. I’m more inclined by the second option as it leaves a question mark as to whether they are loyal or traitor….

Luna Wolves by Taleofpainters.com

Steve

An easy choice for me, my 40k chapter of choice and the one that I am currently painting and playing with is the Crimson Fists. Therefore, a Horus Heresy project would have to be based on a force commanded by Alexis Polox, the Crimson Fist, first Chapter master of the Crimson Fists. During the Great Crusade, Polux became one of Rogal Dorn’s most senior captains, rising to his advisory council, the “Stone Men.”

Captain Polox led primarch Dorn’s Retribution Fleet at the Battle of the Phall system against the Iron warriors. After the battle Polox with the remains of his company found themselves at Macragge.

After the Heresy, and the splitting of the Legions, Polox was the chapter master of the newly formed Crimson Fists chapter and led them for 800 years,

My HH force would be based around Captain Polox and his Imperial Fists Legion’s 405th Company.

Dave

I am a terrible hobby butterfly, so this was a bit trickier for me. I have previously played both Space Wolves and Ultramarines in 40K and (briefly) started an Imperial Fists army when I got back into 9th Edition. I took the big quiz and realised it was fairly clear it was going to end up with either Imperial Fists or Iron Warriors but did I really want to dive back into Imperial Fists again….?

Imperial Fists were tempting because the main thing which had put me off in 40k was the fact that my favourite units tended to be a bit (OK, a lot) pants, this could be remedied in Horus Heresy because I really liked the older marine sculpts. Then I remembered “Storm of Iron”. It’s an absolute classic in the 40K literature from Graham McNeill, with Iron Warriors and lots of cannon fodder Traitor Guard besieging an Imperial fortress. I shan’t properly review it here or give spoilers but it’s great fun and 100% worth a read. Well, I now have a Renegades and Heretics army for 40K and I could happily recreate a late Heresy army with them and some nice new Iron Warrior friends (aaahhh friend…..I’m hoping the rules will allow this sort of mixing).

Bonus points being if Pete and Steve are playing Loyalists I will relish having a bit of banter, especially with Steve and his Fists. I think I will enjoy playing the bad guy and truly hope there’s some sort of special rule which allows me to shell my own troops for the lulz.

So, it’s time to set up a direct debit for Iron Warriors paint, develop some fairly serious daddy-issues and prepare my crusade to liberate the galaxy from the scourge of the False-Emperor.

Iron Within, Iron Without!

Declan

Blood Angels for me all the way – they were my first chapter – and not at all picked because they were all red – but I’ve never not liked them as I began to read around the fluff I liked them even more.

One of the first White Dwarf’s I ever bought has the iconic black and white drawing of Horus & the Emperor facing off and Sanguinius dead and their feet, have inflicted the damage that would be Horus’ downfall. And that is how I see the Blood Angels. Perfect… flawed and willing to die for the right of the Imperium — and kill anything that stands up to it.

I’ve painted a few armies in my time but I don’t play 40k anymore so pictures are more limited – and all the models packed away. If you’re nice to Peter in the future maybe he’ll get me to show you some photos… I even have an army mostly made up of RTB001 models — yes I am that old!

Like what we do? Why not buy us a Kofi?

Tale of Painters – February 21′

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February is out of the way already, so it’s time to look at how we’ve all got on at Woehammer with our respective goals and painting pledges this month.

In alphabetical order let’s start with…..

Dave (@hamsfan)

Peter: Dave’s smashed another one of the harder to get ones with Scenery piece for Age of Sigmar. What a piece, absolutely love the dark stone look with this one. Who doesn’t love some heavy weapons team, Lovely mix of two mortars and an Autocannon here, they look just like they’re in the thick of the action.

Declan: Dave has managed to do what I really struggle with – actually getting paint on Imperial Guard / Astra Miliatarum. These guys look like they’ve been in a fight… until you zoom in and get a suprise! The scenery is lovely and dark with lots of blood included. Dave has managed to walk the tight-rope between scenery that looks good, but won’t overshadow the toy-soldiers.

Dave: Some quick and dirty painting on the Guard, I’ve many to do but I’m pleased to get these done. I’ll definitely be using these in a lot of my lists in one form or another. I had the terrain for ages, it’s painted simply but will be great for AoS games. Happy with my progress so far, I’m working on my Minotaur this month but might do a bit of AoS for a break too.

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
A4Unit of 2+ Models (Warhammer 40K)Heavy Weapons Team
C2Vehicle of Monster (Warhammer 40K)Basilisk
E3Fortification of Scenery (Age of Sigmar)Temple

So that brings Dave up to 30 points for the year with all three at the Expert Level.

Declan (@declanandeeyore)

Peter: You’ve been very busy this month Declan! Three units finished and I love your kitbashed Big Stabbas. Your Termagaunts really stand out and you have got the orange and blue scheme down to perfection now, have you got a hivefleet name for them?

Declan: Cheers for the kind words Peter; I hadn’t considered a Hive Fleet name as they were painted for Kill Team but it’s a great call. I’ll do some reading to get some inspiration. Although I haven’t finished a lot of models this month, I’ve still managed to get three Hobby boxes finished including the ‘Kitbashed’ one which I struggling to think what to do. Fortunately the Big Stabbas for my Big Waaagh came to my rescue. 4 out of 25 in 2 months also puts me roughly on target so looking good although there’s some larger units and even some Behemoths to go… so lots to do still!

March will hopefully see me finishing some Napoleonic British and keeping my hand in on my Tyranid / Genestealer colour scheme. I’ve also got a Warmaster Tournament and I may get some Squigs painted to augment my Goblin army.

Dave: Great to see the Bonesplitterz, they look excellent too. As Pete says, the kitbashed ones are really fun. You’ve timed the Tyranids beautifully if you’re planning on picking up the new 40k codex! 

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
B1Fortification or Scenery (Warhammer 40K)Sector Mechanicus
B2Unit of 2+ Models (Age of Sigmar)Big Stabba
C4Unit of 5+ Models (Kill Team)Termagaunts
D1Kitbashed Model (Age of Sigmar)Big Stabba

This brings Declan to 40 points and all at Expert Level.

Peter (@woehammer)

MonthModels Painted/SoldModels Acquired/BoughtMonths Total
Jan638+32 Unpainted
Feb2513-12 Unpainted

Peter: This is the first month in a while where I’ve managed to paint more than I’ve bought! This includes 10 Necron Warriors that I sold on fleabay this month. I’m over the moon at my progress and have never painted this much in a month before.

Declan: Wow… wow… wow! Peter’s still on fire and whilst he couldn’t get to our small tournament recently he’s definitely on target for the weekend shortly. His Kruleboyz are going to be shooting the enemy to another life. I really like the scheme here – dark and dank models are difficult to do and Peter’s really nailed it. I can’t wait to see the finished Kruleboyz army in the flesh.

Dave: You’ve got loads done! These will look great as you pick them up off the table at Burning Skies  🙂 I’m a pretty slow painter, I’m very impressed with the speed and quality you’ve achieved.

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
A3Unit of 10+ Models (AoS)Hobgrots
B2Unit of 2+ Models (AoS)Man-Skewer Boltboyz
B4Vehicle or Monster (AoS)Swampboss Skummdrekk
C1Hero or Character (AoS)Swampcalla Shaman
C3Any Model (Any System)Beast-Skewer Killbow
D2Unit of 2+ Models (Underworlds)Rippa’s Snarlfangs
E4Hero or Character (Warhammer 40K)Marneus Calgar

That brings me to 70 points and 7 Expert Level goals completed.

Other Members

This month we’ve also included some of the other guys who were willing to of share some of their pictures.

Steve

Peter: Steve just joined the crew this last month and has been sharing some of his pictures of his Crimson Fists. He’s building an entire company of them, and they look absolutely awesome!

Declan: How many Weapons does this Impulsor Tank need? It’s got them all and a neat and tidy base to finish it off. The Crimson fists colours obviously work together (I love red & blue armies), and this is no exception. The blue on the Plasma is also nicely done, and something I struggled with last year on the Thermic Generators.

Dave: Almost a great Ultramarine tank but you slipped a bit with the red. Seriously, this is really well done and cleanly painted.

Tony

Peter: Like Steve, Tony is a new member of the Woehammer crew and back in January painted these stunning Stormcast flappy birds! The skin on these alone must have taken hours upon hours. True talent on display both with Steve and Tony.

Declan: Dragons… but not the small ones – Tony has gone for the big guys here. Krondys (blue) and Karazai (Red) are looking great in traditional dragon poses. The wings are painted in a more realistic tone than is ususally shown, which matches nicely with the chests and really ties these together – they definitely belong in the same army.

Dave: Skar and Mufasa are both great models and Tony has done a brilliant job on them. Hopefully he and Steve will start bingo cards too!

Tips for Starting Out in Wargaming

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All of us at Woehammer have been playing wargames in various forms for around 30 years now. So we thought it may be a good idea to go through what we think are some of the best things to do as a beginner who is just starting out with miniature wargaming as a hobby.

William – I would definitely recommend anyone new to the hobby to get whatever hobby bits they need and to start small with a basic box of troops/battle line, and just practice techniques and colour themes so that the money invested is small and you get a basic grip on things. Like undercoating, base coats, washes, highlights, dry brushing, learning to thin paints and building a good foundation. Then when you do buy that starter box, whole army or whatever, you are more confident and not so overwhelmed by everything.

Peter – So much to say and so little time! Firstly, you may have been attracted to the hobby by all the beautifully painted miniatures you’ve seen online, in a shop window or magazine. My first tip is never to compare your own work to these, especially when you’re just starting out. Much of the time the beautifully painted minis you see will have been painted by professionals or someone who has been painting minis for decades. Always compare to your past self, if you see improvement and you like your work then that is all that matters. Looking at those minis is great for inspiration, but that’s all I would use them for.

The Citadel Colour Website has a number of fantastic painting tutorials for the beginner explaining many of the basic techniques as well as how to paint some of their miniatures. These are a great start for those just starting out in miniature painting.

Three of the painting tutorials found on citadelcolour.com

Don’t necessarily buy your miniatures straight from the manufacturers like Games Workshop. If you shop around you can often find retailers who offer a 20% or like our friends at SCN Hobby World a 25% discount on the models and paints you want. If you’re just starting out and just want to test some colour schemes then eBay may be your best option to find second hand models to practice on.

Start small, plan ahead. Make sure you like both the aesthetic of an army and their play style before you dive right in. Once you find an army you like, start with a small force of perhaps 500 points and paint that up.

Every wargamer ends up with a large backlog of miniatures, IF this is something you want to avoid then try and restrict yourself to buying new units only once you have cleared your current backlog.

When it comes to painting, many of us have moved away from Games Workshop spray paints (£12.99) and use Halfords (£8.99) paints instead. Just as good and a fraction of the price.

Though the above are metallic, you’ll find tonnes of black primer and white primer there too.

DeclanMost important advice I’ve had… “your Hobby, your way”. There’s so many options with collecting, assembling, painting, playing and loads of companies that produce toys including some great smaller ones. Don’t be put off by others or what you see on social media – 99.9% of gamers are welcoming to new players and happy to share wisdom. I’m more into playing, so with that in mind:

Find a local club if you can – social media is great for this – and if you can’t don’t be afraid to start a small club and see what happens. Shop locally where possible as your Freindly Local Games Store (FLGS) – you don’t need to buy directly from Games Workshop or the other manufacturers, and your local shops will often have places to play or small events that you can dip your toe into. These smaller local events often are okay if you bring unpainted models so you can get into the gaming straight away.

Hull’s Angels Wargaming Club

If you do want to go to avents check out the Tournament calendars available in your area, and let the organiser know you are new.

Don’t worry about Hobby slumps – they happen to us all – just find something you enjoy and paint / play / read around that.

And finally – there is no requirement to play Games Workshop games or use their miniatures – there are so many great manufacturers and game systems out there; you will likely find a niche and you’ll be surprised how many people will play it… sometimes all a community needs is for someone to go first.

A Game of Black Seas by Waerlord Games

DaveBuy items like snippers and tape measures from your local hardware store rather than places like Games Workshop. As a comparison, a Games Workshop tape measure costs £5.50 whereas an equivalent from Screwfix will cost £3.99.

Likewise with Brushes – you can get cheap brushes by the dozen from Amazon and sometimes good deals in wilko etc.

Paints, the obvious place to start is GW as these are likely your first exposure and most of the tutorials you find and free lessons in store will be with their paints. It’s worth trying out contrast and shades as a beginner. You can great bang for your buck with Vallejo though and these will last you longer for less.

Vallejo Model Colour Set

Glues, lots of cheap options are available, you need a polystyrene cement for plastics, superglue for resins or the rarer metal miniatures.

Very First minis – GW stores if I remember correctly will give you a free mini for an introductory painting session. Maybe ask a buddy if they have a spare mini if you want to find out how you feel about painting.

But ask yourself, are you Painting minis or starting an army?

If you enjoy painting and want to pursue that, you might start with something relatively simple like Stormcast or space marines. It’s worth thinking about what you want to do though, something like ogres has lots of different textures and can help you learn new techniques to deal with furs, flatter panels, skin and faces on a relatively forgiving model. Choose a model with a relatively open pose if you see one you like, brush control is not easy and accidentally catching something you already painted can be frustrating. Most of all, though, choose a mini which excites you.

GW paint Starter Set with Space Marine Miniatures

Starting an army.

Find a faction you like and read up on their lore, ask anybody you know who plays them about how they play. See if you can get a few games with a borrowed army and see if you enjoy them. Be a bit self-aware, if you aren’t the sort of person who can face painting hundreds of termagants, or whatever, then that’s probably not the army composition for you.

Here’s what you probably should do and nobody actually does – choose the minimum ’legal’ army and build and paint that while playing to learn the game and your army. Don’t be tempted to buy a big army box or a dozen units as it can be disheartening and you could end up with models you don’t really want. Path to Glory/Crusade can be an option here if you’re playing one of those games. For smaller skirmish games this is less of an issue but do finish your base gang before moving on.

If you aren’t playing Path to Glory, or similar, consider building your army up in blocks of a playable amount. E.g. get some 500 point games and after you have finished your first block of models then collect another 500 and play 1k etc.

500 points of Orks for Warhammer 40,000

Stickwithitness….. there will be times when you’ll get frustrated or disheartened. I think it’s worth trying to have a mix of units insofar as you can to avoid that. E.g. if your first army is for AoS and you’re looking at a couple of battleline and a leader, try and get two different battleline which build a bit differently and paint a bit differently to give yourself variety.

Give yourself ‘rewards’ if that works for you e.g. painted your battleline unit then treat yourself with a monster, a character or a tank.

Perfect is the enemy of the good. Get your minis painted and on the table, don’t be intimidated just get paint on them.

There you go, all our sagely advice written down for prosperity. Hopefully it helps!

Tale of Painters – January 21′

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The first month of the year is out of the way already, so it’s time to look at how we’ve all got on at Woehammer with our respective goals and painting pledges this month.

In alphabetical order let’s start with…..

Dave (@hamsfan)

It’s because of Dave that both Declan and I are doing the hobby bingo this year. Dave has started out with a large model in the form of a Basilisk for his Renegades & Heretics army.

Peter: I love the webbing on this miniature and the weathering overall. It really looks like its been based near the front for some time now.

Declan: There’s some great work here – first it’s a lovely cleanly painted tank, and with the addition of the netting and the weathering on the barrels this is a great addition to any Astra Militarum army!

Dave: Thanks guys, unfortunately being painted didn’t make it shoot any better in my last game! I’m umming and aahing on my next bingo square so I guess we will see!

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
C2Vehicle or Monster (Warhammer 40k)Basilisk

So that’s 10 points for Dave right off the bat, and one of the larger models/boxes ticked off already!

Declan (@declanandeeyore)

Declan also has managed to get one of the harder boxes out of the way, ticking off his scenery for Warhammer 40k. Declan had a number of other goals he was also hoping to complete this year. How is he doing?

Peter: Declan is one of those hobbyists I’ll always be jealous off! He can crank out painted miniatures at a fantastic rate and they look great when they’re finished! Something like this would have taken me a couple of months to do!

Declan: Cheers to Peter for his kind words… I love this kit and have written a full article on it already! As Peter has aluded to above I have some other Hobby Goals as well. The good news (for me) is that I’ve managed to tick off 50% of one of the aims already – I’ve finished 4-1 in my first tournament of the year. One of my aims was to get two 4-1s so thats a great start. I’ve also got 3 games of Warmaster played… so a great start to the year and the Hobby. I’ll need to get going to get more of the Bingo sheet completed though.

Dave: I’m not sure if this 40k or part of Declan’s homebrew kit but I like it. I’ve just started playing ninth edition so it’s all a bit confusing for me but this looks cool.

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
B1Fortification or Scenery (Warhammer 40K)Sector Mechanicus

Also 10 points and an Expert Level goal ticked off for Declan.

Peter (@woehammer)

I’ve been hard at work this month trying to get my Kruleboyz force painted up in time for Burning Skies on March 26th. So I’ve managed to produce Rippa’s Snarlfangs and the Swampcalla Shaman for that. I also managed to finish off my first Rogue Trader model in the form of Marneus Calgar.

As an added goal this year, I wanted to try and reduce the number of unpainted models in my collection. So my months summary is:

Models Painted/SoldModels Acquired/BoughtMonths Total
638+32 Unpainted

Plus Dave has mentioned that he has some old Dwarfs he’s looking to sell……

Peter: I’m quite proud that I was able to get this lot finished this month, it meant reducing the quality of the Snarlfangs slightly, but I can always revisit them in the future if I need to.

Declan: Peter’s leaving us all in his shadow here with 3 boxes ticked off and the lovely Rogue Trader diamora finished. I’ll take credit for Rippa’s being in his Kruleboyz list and wish Peter luck in finishing off an army. It’ll be great to see it all finished. I think the yellow on the Kruleboyz is a great call and the Shaman and Pot Grot are looking like real killers!

Dave: Pete’s diorama looks excellent and I’m pleased to see him painting the best marines there are, especially as it’s Marneus Calgar – the spiritual liege of all marines everywhere. Rippa and the snarlfangs may sound like an awful college punk band but they look great. I actually disliked the Kruleboyz when they came out but I like what Pete has done with them.

CellExpert Level Goal:Miniature Painted
C1Hero or Character (AoS)Swampcalla Shaman
D2Unit of 2+ Models (Underworlds)Rippa’s Snarlfangs
E4Hero or Character (Warhammer 40K)Marneus Calgar

That brings me to 30 points and 3 Expert Level goals completed.

Hopefully we’ll continue this each month to let you know how we do with our goals.