All posts by Woehammer_Kieron

Orruk Warclans Battletome Review Part 1: Kruleboyz

Allegiance Abilities

Woehammer Winner:
No question here, it has to be the faction-defining ability that is Venom Encrusted Weapons. If the unmodified hit roll of an attack is 6, that attack does a number of mortal wounds equal to the damage characteristic of the weapon. A Shaman can change the unmodified hit roll to a 5 and if a unit is wholly within 12” of a Sludgeraker, then 6s (not 5s) are an extra mortal wound on top. If you lean as hard as possible into this with 9 Big Yellers Boltboyz then with your 19 shots, you can expect 15 mortal wounds straight off before you even get to the damage stage.

Honourable Mention:
Synergising well with Venom Encrusted Weapons is the Kruleboyz Waaagh. For all the output that this army has, it cannot take a punch at all with Gutrippas only having a 5+ save and Boltboyz only having a 6+. This is where the Kruleboyz Waaagh can help as you can call it once per game when you general is chosen to fight and two other friendly units can fight with your general in the order of your choice. Potentially this means that you can move towards your enemy, fire off a volley with two units of Boltboyz that are getting buffs on the Venom Encrusted Weapons from the Shaman and the Sludgeraker and then charge these two units along with the Sludgeraker. Even in combat, 6 Boltboyz have 12 attacks that should do 6 more mortal wounds on top of whatever they did in shooting. Add in the pretty great combat of the Sludgeraker on top and topping 30 mortal wounds from those three units in two phases is very realistic.

Warclans

Woehammer Winner:
A few months ago, the winner would have been Big Yellers by a mile, but the simple deletion of the five words, “During the first battle round…” in the Grinnin’ Blades Warclan ability to take it from okay to great. It’s a total game-changer as it means that the Boltboyz can’t be sniped out by the enemy before getting to shoot. Now, with good screening, Boltboyz will be able to shoot back at (and probably cripple) anything moving close enough to attack the screen.

Honourable Mention:
In second place is Skulbugz…not really, they’re hopeless. Before Grinnin’ Blades, Big Yellers was the Big Dog due to two main features: Boltboyz can be battleline, removing the Troops tax of 540 points that Kruleboyz generals had to pay and, therefore, allowing Boltboyz to be taken in units of 9 so as to maximise the effectiveness of, for example, Unleash Hell. If there’s no shooting in your meta, then maybe Big Yellers is still the way to go, but with Daughters of Khaine Bowsnakes, Idoneth Turtles and Sharks and with Lumineth and Tzeentch coming shortly as of writing, my vote still goes with Grinnin’ Blades.

Command Traits

Woehammer Winner:


It’s a shame you can only take one command trait as all three of the Kruleboyz ones are pretty decent, with the winner being Supa Sneaky. Supa Sneaky allows you to infiltrate one Kruleboyz unit 9” away from an enemy unit immediately before determining who has first turn. A great combo with this command trait is a Breakaboss on Mirebrute Troggoth with the Fast ‘Un mount trait as you can place the Breakaboss 9” away and then move 5” in the hero phase (so no redeploy is possible) and smash face T1. This works best if you can outdrop your opponent, obviously, but even placing a screening unit of Hobgrots in your enemy’s face can really mess with their plans, especially to scupper plans of using Ironjawz Mighty Destroyer command ability (see below). Final point to make is that you can infiltrate but you don’t have to. Sometimes it’s best just to stay in your castle.

Honourable Mention:
A close second for command traits is Egomaniak, which allows the general to pass off wounds to a friendly unit on a 4+. While having quite a bit of output, the Sludgeraker isn’t the most robust hero ever, so being able to pass off wounds can help him last a bit longer, especially with the Smelly ‘Un mount trait to make him harder to hit. The recipient of these wounds can be any friendly unit, be it Hobgrots, Shootas allied in from Gitz or, for extra jank, into an Incarnate who will just soak those wounds up.

Artefacts

Woehammer Winner:
Sadly, it’s the Arcane Tome. Not only does this give an extra deny in a meta with lots of (Endless) spells, but the utility of a mystic shield on the Sludgeraker or the cast of Choking Mist to slow down your opponent can be key. You can even give it to the Breakaboss to put on Flaming Weapons on their clubs (this has been FAQd to be allowed).

Honourable Mention:
If you are going to take a faction-specific artefact, you’re probably taking Mork’s Eye Pebble for the once per game (really, GW?!) 5+ ward against shooting only for units wholly with 12” for the phase. With Grinnin’ Blades on the rise, this is less useful that what it was but if you’re taking a Mirebrute in a Command Entourage or a Warlord detachment (as you’re definitely taking a Sludgeraker in the commander slot of a Battle Regiment) then you may as well.

Mount Traits

Woehammer Winner:
With how slow the rest of the army is, Fast ‘Un is a great choice of mount trait, particularly in conjunction with your Sludgeraker moving into position for This One’s Mine as it is a hero phase move that prevents redeploys from your opponent. If you combine Fast ‘Un with Sneaky Miasma then that’s a 16” move in the hero phase that gives a threat range of 36” when considering the movement phase and charges. The only issue may be that your screens might be blocking your hero phase moves if you’ve gone with a Sludgeraker, so a Vulcha can get around this by flying over it.

Honourable Mention:
Smelly ‘Un is not only very appropriate from a lore perspective, but also combos very well with the command trait Egomaniak. If you manage to get off the Skareshields debuff from Gutrippas as well, add in Mystic Shield, Their Finest Hour and All out Defense, a pretty flimsy character is now -1 to hit from Smelly ‘Un and -1 to hit from Skareshields, meaning that All out Attack does nothing. They are on a 3+ save, ignoring up to Rend -2 due to the +3 to saves and anything that does go through can be passed off to a nearby unit on a 4+. If you really want to, you could also throw in an Amulet of Destiny for a 6+ ward as well before wounds are passed off.

Spell Lore

Woehammer Winner:


There are five good options for Kruleboyz, which is frustrating as most of the time it’s more efficient for Shamans to be giving out poison rather than casting and there are no casting bonuses available without making too big of a concession elsewhere. The winner is Sneaky Miasma, which allows a Kruleboyz monster (probably a Sludgeraker and/or a Rogue Idol) to move in the hero phase. Combined with Fast ‘Un and a normal move, even the relatively sedate Sludgeraker can move 24” and then charge another 12” or run another 6”. With the Grand Strategy picks below, this speed can be useful. If you go for a KillaBoss on Vulcha, this could be a whopping 42” before charging or running!

Honourable Mention:
With Nighthaunt on the rise and Daughters of Khaine being able to get to a 5+ ward then Nasty Hex is very handy. It can be particularly useful by the time a Shaman or a unit that would receive a buff is in combat as poisons or elixirs can’t be given out or received by units in combat. While the output if lower than with poison, taking away that ward save mostly balances that out.

Grand Strategies

Woehammer Winner:
If book Strategies and Battle Tactics are being used, then Waaagh! can be a potential winner as you just need to have your general or a friendly Battleline unit in your enemy’s territory at the end of the game. If you have Fast ‘Un on your general and Sneaky Miasma on a caster, one command point for auto-run can result in a 30” move by a Sludgeraker, which should be more than enough to cover the distance needed.

Honourable Mention:
If it’s GHB only for Strategies and Battle Tactics then Defend What’s Ours is a good choice as Kruleboyz are a castle army, even if you do need to be, to some extent, a (slow) mobile castle. Some battleplans are harder to do this with than others but at least half are do-able and your enemy can’t be in your territory if they’re dead!

Battle Tactics

Woehammer Winner:
Again, there is one good option in the book, which is Take Dat, Ya Suckers! This is achieved if you force your opponent to allocate 10 wounds or mortal wounds (i.e. after ward saves) and you allocate fewer than 10. If you’re not in combat and you have Boltboyz, this should be relatively straight forward and is a good choice for one of the first three rounds along with Against The Odds and Desecrate Lands.

Honourable Mention:
If you have chosen Big Yellers, then Boltboyz will be Battleline and Galletian Veterans, making Head-to-Head fairly straightforward, but assuming you’ve taken my advice and chosen Grinnin’ Blades, then Gaining Momentum is a good choice. Not only is killing a unit relatively straightforward with all of your output, the need to control more objectives will help encourage you forward as it’s very easy to hold back, stay in the castle, table your opponent…and lose as you only took objectives turn 4 or 5.

Warscrolls

Woehammer Winner:

There is only one winner here and it’s not Boltboyz but the Swamp Donkey Derek himself, the Sludgeraker. From a combat perspective, the Sludgeraker is the gift that keeps on giving, with my opponents often looking aghast as the pile of mortal wounds builds up. If you double-down on the combat potential and give the Sludgeraker the Shaman poison buff then he’ll really go off. You can probably expect 10 mortal wounds across the attacks, with typical Kruleboyz spikes doing up to 15 mortal wounds from the first three attacks (if Flaming Weapons is also used). Some lists have been successful with 3 Sludgerakers and an Incarnate for literally monstrous output. However, on top of that, the Sludgeraker adds one to the number of mortal wounds caused on 6s whenever a unit attacks wholly within 12”, making it an auto-take for every Kruleboyz army.

Honourable Mention:
This is going to be Boltboyz isn’t it? Actually not! Maybe I’m being a little obtuse here as Boltboyz are really key units, but the next most important unit for winning games (not necessarily for killing your enemy) are Hobgrots. At 80 points each for ten grenades that hit on 4s, wound on 3s have rend -1 for 1 damage, they’re a bargain. They even roll a huge amount of dice in combat, even if they don’t end up doing much more than a wound on most occasions. The reason they are so good is that they die cheaply. Yes, Gutrippas have 2 wounds each and a 5+ save compared to 1 wound and a 6+ save, but on the table, two units of Hobgrots for 160 points are much more of a speed bump to an enemy that a single unit of Gutrippas for 180 points. They can also be in more places at once for scoring objectives.

Final Thoughts

At the time of writing, Kruleboyz are among the lowest performing three factions in the game with the other two (Gitz and Ogor Mawtribes) both due a 3rd edition book relatively soon. It does feel like there’s more to the model and unit range to come, e.g. where’s the light cavalry harassment unit that would fit well with the lore and what the hell is with Gutrippas being 180 points when Phoenix Guard are 170?! However, they do have a lot of tricks and are fun to play, particularly when the stars (or should that be swamps?) align and you spike the 6s with your Boltboyz, removing threats like Nagash or Alarielle or even Archaon in one phase or even one activation.

Next up will be Part 2 of 4 of the Orruks book, Kruleboyz bigger, meaner and more successful older brothers: Ironjawz.

Tournament Review – Quest of Champions Heat 4

Article by Kieron Bailey

I attended the Warrior Lodge Quest of Champions Heat 4 on August 6th/7th. Heat 2 had been my first ever AoS tournament so I knew it would be a great bunch of people and some beautiful armies. The venue, The Sanctuary in Sutton-in-Ashfield, is a great venue with plenty of space, nice and cool in the summer months and has epic doughnuts for sale! It also has the Quest of Champions signature feature: a wheel that is spun each round to decide the battleplan. More on that later.

My aim for the weekend was to definitely get one win, aim for two and hopefully get three to put me in with a shot of qualifying for the Quest of Champions Finals in October.

My List

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
Army Type: Kruleboyz
– Subfaction: Grinnin’ Blades
– Grand Strategy: Defend What’s Ours
– Triumph: Inspired

LEADERS
Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast (315)**
General
– Command Traits: Master of Magic
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Mount Traits: Fast ’Un
– Spells: Choking Mist
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
Spells: Sneaky Miasma
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
Spells: Nasty Hex
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)***
Spells: Da Black Pit

BATTLELINE
Hobgrot Slittaz (80)*
Scrap Totem Bearer
– Noise-maker
– Hobgrot Boss
Hobgrot Slittaz (80)*
Scrap Totem Bearer
– Noise-maker
– Hobgrot Boss
Gutrippaz (180)**
Gutrippa Banner Bearer
– Gutrippa Drummer
– Gutrippa Boss
– Wicked Hacka
Gutrippaz (180)**
Gutrippa Banner Bearer
– Gutrippa Drummer
– Gutrippa Boss
– Wicked Hacka

OTHER
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)**
Boltboy Boss
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)**
Boltboy Boss
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)**
Boltboy Boss
Rippa’s Snarlfangs (70)***

ENDLESS SPELLS & INVOCATIONS
1 x Soulsnare Shackles (50)

CORE BATTALIONS
*Expert Conquerors
**Battle Regiment
***Vanguard

TOTAL POINTS: 1990/2000

Game 1: Nidus Paths – Archaon and Varanguard

A fun, interesting game to begin with, against an army I’d not faced before, Archaon and Hosts of the Everchosen. It was my first encounter with the ‘priority in a cup’ mechanic, though it’s not too mysterious when Archaon advances at you Turn 1!

What Went Well
I had planned my screening very carefully to try and negate my opponent’s numerous opportunities to pile in and fight twice and while there were a couple of times when he did fight twice, it was always into the same screen not two different ones.

Even Better If
I redeployed a unit of 6 Boltboyz to better Unleash Hell, but then a Sorcerer charged first instead of the Varanguard, taking 20 mortal wounds that would have eliminated the Varanguard. Instead, I had moved two units close enough together that they could both be attacked by the same unit, losing both.

Clutch Play
Coming into Turn 4, I had two tactics that I could achieve, Barge Through and This One’s Mine. I could also really do with getting on a third objective for Hold More. I managed to get Sneaky Miasma off on my Sludgeraker and the once per battle hero phase move from Fast ‘Un to be 4″ away from some Cultists who the Sludgeraker dealt with quite easily, once he’d closed the distance.

Result: 25-21 Win

Game 2: In The Presence of Idols – Sentinels and Foxes

I was not looking forward to this one as it was an army that I had not faced, with mortal wound shooting that is a) longer ranged than my own and b) could ignore cover and therefore my Grinnin’ Blades sub-faction ability. In addition, 3 Foxes can easily get within 12″ to shoot whatever they like. My plan was to try and rush the Sentinels by running at them, hoping for the double and going from there.

What Went Well
My initial plan didn’t come off at all because the Sentinels were untouched all game, however, several other things did go well. Firstly, as I’d forced him to take first even though I didn’t have priority through placement of the Boltboyz, I managed to get Sevireth T1. In addition, I could make the centre point a Proving Ground, allowing one Expert Conqueror Hobgrot to steal the objective from 2 Foxes and a Warden.

Even Better If
I’m really struggling with this one. I’m sure I didn’t play a perfect game but nothing stands out as being a poor choice that cost me points.

Clutch Play
Sevireth going down to only 3 Boltboyz was big but there was also an exciting cameo from some Hobgrots who had been hiding all game in the furthest corner from the battle. His Grand Strategy was to kill my battleline and my Grand Strategy was to have no enemy in my territory. The last remaining Fox, with one wound left, charged the Hobgrots…who Unleashed Hell, chipping that last one off, scoring my Grand Strategy and denying his for a 6 point swing.

Result: 26-17 Win

Game 3: Head-to-Head – Nagash and Scarlet Doom Nighthaunt

Spoiler alert: this one still hurts days later. Had a real chance to go 3-0 the first day with Kruleboyz and that doesn’t happen often and, long story short, I fluffed it.

What Went Well
Target priority into the Nighthaunt totally removed 2 units before attempts could be made to bring a significant number back and screening mostly was successful.

Even Better If
Screening wasn’t totally effective and let Nagash in and it was only through some luck that he didn’t tear apart my army. Poor choices made T4/5 combined with some swingy dice rolls against me and in favour of my opponent threw the game away.

Clutch Play(s)
1) Forgot to use the Sludgeraker to ‘eat’ the Spirit Torment who went on to score 6 points on his own in T5.
2) Chose to claim the enemy objective for 4 points instead of killing 2 chainghasts off the middle objective. Claiming the middle would have scored the 4 points anyway as my opponent could not have scored it AND denied a battle tactic for Barge Through.
3) Even after all this, if I had moved my Boltboyz and Shaman 2″ onto the objective, my opponent can’t claim my objective T5, a 4 point swing. I didn’t move them as I wanted to avoid a redeploy, but it was the wrong decision.

Result: 28-26 Loss

Game 4: The Mighty and The Cunning – Nurgle Flies/Beast of Nurgle with no Galletian Veterans…

So was looking for try and bounce back after my most painful defeat and, while Nurgle is a top army, I had a plan of what I could do…Then the Wheel of Doom that is the unique part of Warrior Lodge events spun up The Mighty and The Cunning. For those of you who don’t know, what this meant was that my list composition gave up 12 bonus points vs. 0 bonus points that my opponent gave up. Essentially, my opponent could fail all of his battle tactics and still win. I understand that the Warrior Lodge wants to keep their unique wheel and I’m more than happy for them too…just don’t include The Mighty and The Cunning! It’s just too much of a skew against a list where there are some strong armies that can avoid Gallet Vets entirely (Nurgle, IDK and Sylvaneth) and some already very weak armies that can’t avoid them, including in this case, Kruleboyz.

What Went Well
I did try and play for the win rather than just limiting the scale of defeat and the first turn went as I wanted, scoring objectives with Shamans, stopping running with Choking Mist and making charges from deepstriking flies 10″ instead of 9″ and screening my Galletian Veterans with my Boltboyz…

Even Better If
…Which was probably a bad idea! It wasn’t disastrous, but sticking with my game plan of a nornal mission and just seeing how things went was probably the better option, despite the 12 bonus points available. Also put some Hobgrots on an objective to score Hold More, only for them to promptly be killed on an objective for a Bonus point! Better off screening better with that unit rather than trying for an extra point.

Clutch Play
The Wheel choosing The Mighty and The Cunning.

Result: 39-14 Loss

Game 5: The Realmstone Cache – Cities of Sigmar Phoenix Guard

So from 2-0 to 2-2 vs 60 wounds of 4+ ward vs Mortal Wounds being run by one of the most prolific and successful CoS players in the country! I was outdropped again so I played to force the first turn again successfully and hoped for the double.

What Went Well
I did get to go second T1, allowing me to dictate the Proving Ground, choose Outmuscle as a battle tactic and to have the chance of a double…

Even Better If
I had not pushed up so aggressively for the double and stayed out of 2″ of the front line that the Phoenix Guard can attack from.

Clutch Play
Priority into T2 was massive. If I had won that, I could have finished off the rest of a damaged Phoenix Guard unit, wiped out an undamaged one and reset my screens.

Result: 26-8 Loss

Final Result: 2-3

Overall Reflections

Before the tournament started, if you would have offered me 2-3, being on stream for the first time and really making a member of the Team Wales AoS team (and eventual winner) sweat quite a bit, I would have taken it. However, where I ended up after the first 14 turns is a real heartbreaker and I’ll remember this one for a long time. The match up I would have had in the next round was significantly more favourable to me if I had just held on in Game 3 and then being 4-0 going into Game 5, anything could have happened!

Key Lessons Learned
The games I won and lost came down to screening, so if I can focus on that more, more wins should come. Similarly, I need to be more mindful of what my opponent can score in their turn when considering my scoring. My list is going to change slightly, adding in more Hobgrots and going for only one battleline squad of Hobgrots so that I’m only giving up 9 points on The Mighty and The Cunning.

It’s over a month now until my next tournament, so I’m going to try and get more reps in with the new list on TTS to try and maximise the lessons learned here. It can’t come soon enough for me to take another shot at breaking 4 wins with Kruleboyz or even going all the way.

If anyone is up for a game online at all, please feel free to contact me on Twitter @yeliabnoreik or to leave a comment below.

Bringing a Man-Skewer Crossbow to a Gunfight (Sticking with an Underperforming Army)

2022 was the year that I hung up my inferno combi-bolters (at least for the time being) and decided to give AoS a go. I found an army I liked the aesthetic of, a way of painting them that worked for me (thank you Slap-chop) and got some tournaments booked in.

As I learned more about AoS, I discovered that my chosen army, Kruleboyz, were not exactly setting things alight on the tournament scene, but I had already got cracking on the painting and had most of the army I needed, so I decided to persevere.

This short blog is about the benefits of sticking with an underperforming army, aka bringing a Man-skewer Crossbow to a gunfight.

1) Lots of cheap models on eBay! While there may not be a start collecting box for Kruleboyz, I managed to pick up lots of models extremely cheaply on eBay, despite the sculpts being great (should have wondered more about that in retrospect!).

10 Gutrippaz can be found on eBay for just £6.50

2) You can never be called ‘That Guy’ with an underperforming army. It can make the social interaction of pickup games and/or tournaments quite straightforward if your opponent is less nervous as they know they aren’t about to be ROFLstomped by the latest hotness.

3) You can catch your opponent unawares. I’m not talking gotcha moments here, but people tend not to build towards defeating your underpowered army because a) their meta representation is quite low and b) to be frank, they probably don’t have to! This can mean that sometimes you’ll have a shot against someone who expects to beat you as soon as they pair into you.

4) Knowing your army. This goes for all armies really, but while the temptation might be strong to switch (and Big Waaagh has been buying me drinks all night), sticking with your army means you know how to get the most out of it.

5) The pressure is off in tournaments. If your army is languishing in the 30% win range, 2 wins in a 5 round tournament is you over-achieving! Well done, you! The same number of wins for an army at the absolute top of the meta, however, might be disappointing.

So there we have it: five reasons for sticking with an army that can seem to be hard work at times. And remember, once you’ve hit bottom, there’s only one way up and just imagine how match-fit you’ll be after receiving a balance update or White Dwarf glow-up!

Any more reasons for sticking with a struggling army? Pop them in the comments below.