With the release of the Battlescroll: Galletian Reinforcements I’ve been able to go back through the data from the release of the General’s Handbook and tidy everything up. In doing so, I though it may be cool to give you a run-down of how each faction performed under the current General’s Handbook until the Battlescroll took effect.
The data used for analysing these results was taken from 110 Grand Tournaments between 3rd July 2022 and 6th November 2022.
Region Comparison – Popularity
Flesh-eater Courts saw their highest popularity in Oceania with 3.7% of players choosing the faction for tournament play, while at the opposite end of the world the uptake was only 1.8% in Europe.
Region Comparison – Win Rates
The win rates across all the regions were fairly solid at around 50%. However, the only exception was Scandinavia where this dipped to 35.0%
North America was the location of the Flesh-eater Courts only 5-0 result.
Although Hollowmourne appears to have the most successful win rate, they were by far not the most popular faction, with the majority of players choosing between Feast Day and Blosterskin as their go to.
Top 10 Flesh-eater Courts Players
You may notice that some players have a better World/Nation ranking than players above them in this table. This is due to players playing with multiple factions. These players have been ranked on their top Flesh-eater Courts results only.
This is the Top Three AoS Lists for the Leicester City AoS GT that took place in the UK on 3rd and 4th December. It involved 28 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.
Before I jump into the Top Three AoS Lists, 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.
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I thought I’d add a bit about the meta at the event before we jump into the meat of the article. If this is popular I’ll continue doing this on future top three articles.
Below shows the players already ranked in our Woehammer rankings form events before the Leicester GT.
Of the 28 players, 21 Players had already taken part in at least 1 GT before this event, with the highest ranked player (Phil Marshall) being 1st in the UK and currently 2nd in the World. Remember these rankings are based on our own handicapped rankings system explained here.
The Leicester GT had a fairly close representation of the current meta with a few notable exceptions. No Sylvaneth armies where present despite this currently being the 2nd favourite faction with players. Like wise there was also no representation of Ogor Mawtribes or Kharadron Overlords at this event.
The Top Three AoS Lists
Allegiance: Slaves to Darkness – Damned Legion: Knights of the Empty Throne – Mortal Realm: Ghur – Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance – Triumphs: Inspired
Leaders Knights of the Empty Throne Varanguard x 6 (560)* – General – Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield – Command Trait: Inescapable Doom – Artefact: Grasping Plate – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch Knights of the Empty Throne Varanguard x 6 (560)** – Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield – Artefact: Corrupted Nullstone – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Spell: Mask of Darkness Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)** – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Spell: Mask of Darkness
Battleline 8 x Iron Golems (75)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch 8 x Iron Golems (75)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Units 1 x Mindstealer Sphiranx (95)*
Behemoths Chaos Warshrine (215)* – Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch – Prayer1: Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Phil Marshall: Knights of the Empty Throne – How does it work? In Knights of the Empty Throne, you are able to take Varanguard as Heroes, the first unit which is your general has Inescapable Doom and Grasping plate, meaning it can pile 6 inches and you cant retreat from this unit, the other unit has Corrupted Nullstone which is an auto unbind.
The list is designed around two units of six Varanguard with the Mark of Tzeentch which allows the re-rolls of 1s to armour saves and gives units a 5+ spell ignore. Then you’ll look to really capitalise on these mechanics with other buff pieces in the army, which include two Sorcerer lords. Sorcerer lords have a built in mechanic called Orcular Visions which gives a unit +1 to save (this ability can stack), they are also wizards so offer the ability to cast mystic shield, demonic power (re-roll all hits and wounds) and mask of darkness (teleport).
The final buff piece is the Warshrine, the prayer for Tzeentch is +1 save and a 4+ spell ignore, the only other prayer that may be used is Undivided which allows a unit to re-roll all hits and wounds. On top of this the Warshrine has an aura of 6+ ward which degrades as it takes damage. With all of these buff pieces it allows you to essentially make an unkillable unit (or two) of Varanguard. You can get +6 to your save re-rolling 1s once per game (oracular visions twice, mystic shield, Tzeentch Prayer, all out defence and finest hour), on top of this you can have a 4+ 5+ 5+ spell ignore as the Varanguard have a warscroll ability for spell ignore, mark of tzeentch grants spell ignore and then an additional spell ignore from the warshrine.
As a result there are very few things that can deal with these units once they have the buffs on, you need to be able to do mass mortal wounds in the shooting and combat phase, otherwise there is a strong likelihood that you will never do any damage to this unit. I tend to evaluate the main threats of my opponents army and see how they have deployed, if I can capatalise on getting my general into the bulk of it and keeping them locked in combat for as long as possible. The rest of the list is designed to be very hard to kill with four units of iron golems who get +1 to their save if they havent made a normal move, meaning before rend they will be a 3+ re-rolling 1s.
Allegiance: Disciples of Tzeentch – Change Coven: Hosts Arcanum – Grand Strategy: Master of Destiny – Triumphs: Indomitable
Leaders Curseling, Eye of Tzeentch (180)* – General – Command Trait: Cult Demagogue – Lore of Fate: Arcane Suggestion Kairos Fateweaver (435) Lord of Change (400)* – Artefact: The Eternal Shroud – Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon Fluxmaster, Herald of Tzeentch on Disc (170)* – Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact) – Universal Spell Lore: Ghost-mist
Battleline 10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (250)** 10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (250)** 10 x Kairic Acolytes (120)**
Kieron: Ryan is the captain of Team Malta and a combination of one of the finest Tzeentch players in the world and one of the nicest people you’re ever likely to meet. Speaking to him at the event about his list writing and tactics, he explained that he’s very confident in his approach and then plays the list repeatedly – around 350 reps with the current iteration, losing very few games along the way. The only downside – headaches after each match due to the mental load of channelling the will of The Changer of Ways. Malta has a relatively small AoS scene and there’s only so many times a person can take a beat down from Ryan, no matter how charming he while doing so, and games on TTS don’t really allow for the precision of measurements that cause aforementioned headaches.
Onto the list itself and it has somewhat of a retro charm about it with two big birds: a combo that, while clearly effective in the right hands, is seen less frequently due to Kairos and the Lord of Change sharing the same warscroll spell now instead of Kairos having his own spell. The Lord of Change offers a good amount of shooting with the Rod of Sorcery and can do some work with a damage 3 Staff of Tzeentch thanks to the Flaming Weapon buff. Together, they give everything within range +1 to cast each, meaning that Ryan can afford to leave Cogs at home in favour of Horrorghast.
The list can also expect to generate over the magic number of 10 fate points a turn, meaning that 10 blue horrors should be summoned every turn. When talking to Ryan about Screamers, I explained I was excited about how fast they could go and his response was that a Fluxmaster moving 22” and then summoning 9” away is even faster!
The final little wrinkle for this list (valid for the next month or so at least) is the fact that all Ryan’s battleline are Expert Conquerors – annoying enough for the 10 Kairics to count as 30, but absolutely infuriating on the Pink Horrors that start off counting as 30, but peak at counting as 60 until the 31st wound is done to the unit, at which point it starts the slow decline back to counting as 3 and then counting as dead!
It clearly worked, with Ryan achieving the maximum possible differential on Day One, with the only loss being into the event’s eventual winner, Phil Marshall, and a tonne of 2+ re-rerolling 1s saving throws and an equally hefty amount of spell ignores and wards.
Kieron: And so on to the third placed army, piloted by the very dry Toby Resnick, including the named units “An Undercosted Priest”, “Kroak’s Ablative Wounds” and the “Raveshaper Engine”, which is like a “Realmshaper Engine” but with flashy LEDs that are operated by remote control depending on who wins priority. I almost felt sorry for the Seraphon player on the table next to us at Leicester as they jealously eyed up the craziest terrain piece you’ll ever see!
The list itself has a couple of lovely converted chariots that are really good at zipping around the board early game while one of the Engine of the Gods or the Bastiladon is double activating with one of the 5+ CP Toby generally has to play with each turn. Cogs consolidates Kroak’s absolute magical supremacy with a double miscast pretty much being the only way that Kroak fails a spell and, usually, the unbind required when a spell does go off is double figures or flat out impossible. “Big Frog Goes Ribbit Ribbit” indeed.
All the other buffs that Seraphon players can dish out are also present here, with re-rolling 1s, run and shoot, +1 to hit in addition to the normal All out Attack etc. buffs that can be added. Skinks running about the place, doing all the dirty jobs that score the points while the bigger immediate threats (particularly the resurrecting Engine of the Gods – 50% of the time, it comes back with full wounds every time) draw the enemy’s attention away.
I’m sure once Ryan had finished with the paracetamol, Toby was ready for some with the number of rules he has to keep in his head, even with more tokens than models to help him keep track. While one of the Order Battletomes from the latest Roadmap is probably another Lumineth book (maybe two!), it would be great to have a Seraphon book to combine some of these into the Warscrolls themselves and make it so players like Toby can fly their Dino Flag and not feel a bit guilty about it.
Allegiance: Flesh-eater Courts – Grand Court: Morgaunt – Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs – Triumphs: Indomitable
Leaders Abhorrant Archregent (245)** – Artefact: The Dermal Robe – Lore of Madness: Spectral Host Abhorrant Archregent (245)** – Lore of Madness: DerangedTransformation Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Zombie Dragon (430)* – General – Command Trait: Savage Chivalry – Artefact: Decrepit Coronet – Mount Trait: Razor-clawed – Lore of Madness: Miasmal Shroud Varghulf Courtier (160)**
Battleline 20 x Crypt Ghouls (170)* – Reinforced x 1 20 x Crypt Ghouls (170)* – Reinforced x 1 20 x Crypt Ghouls (170)* – Reinforced x 1
Units 6 x Crypt Flayers (360)* – Reinforced x 1
Endless Spells & Invocations Chalice of Ushoran (50)
Brett: Flesh eater courts is still centred around their heros and lean on their summoning and buffs to make their other units dangerous. They reward a patient player who is happy to screen the heroes and summon more models early game before striking out. 3 Abhorrants (one mounted and 2 foot) and the Varghulf at the heart of the list and maybe a little unusually 3 x 20 Crypt Ghouls. Bounty Hunters can tear through these quickly and a lot of lists have minimised them. 3 Wizards granting fly to 1 to 3 units (Spectral Host) however if they can fly (like the dragon) then granting run and charge, additional movement (Deranged Transformation) and lastly a small MW spell with the chance of affecting opposing hit and wound rolls (Miasmal Shroud).
Spectral Host on the Zombie Dragon gives up to 20″ of movement + a charge at the top of first turn if they go first. Try not to leave room for it to land near something important early game. Then there is the summoning, a Serf unit is Crypt Ghouls, Knight is 3 Crypt Flayers/Horrors and a Courtier is a Varghulf Courtier. Each Archreagent can summon 20 Serfs or 3 Knights or a Courtier every turn. The Ghoul King can only summon Courtiers. This is a command ability so forcing them to use CP can help but it is done at the end of the movement phase. The Courtiers are both mobile threat and healers rolling 6 dice and healing Serfs on a 2+ and Knights on a 5+ within 10″ (as well as themselves if they kill a model).
As a Morguant host the Serfs can return once destroyed at full strength (4+). It’s a 50% chance that you can kill a screen and achieve very little. All of this is just to build the scene, the army can afford to wait but with the ability to snipe something with either the Flayers or the Zombie Dragon. If they get their buffs off it’s possible for most of the army to reroll 1s to hit if they are close to the Serfs. And those serfs, while they don’t hit hard, can easily get to 3 attacks each making them a reasonable threat to anything with a 4+ save. They’re cheap and trade really well. Castling though means they can struggle to score well in early rounds if you don’t feed them units and tactics. Shooting obviously is a weakness as are ranged Mortal Wounds from spells (they have a lot of denies though). Stretching them out and making them react to you is a good tactic as well.
Simon lost to a Soulblight army with a lot of mobility (Blood Knights, Dire Wolves) and Grave Guard. They were able to hold Simon scoreless. The other loss was to a Seraphon Thunder Lizard with Kroak. Kroak can deny pretty much all of their magic while the Solar Engine Bastiladon tears big holes. Seraphon are a hard counter to the army and very difficult to deal with.