Category Archives: Seraphon

Interview: Mike Stewart – AoS World Number 1

This week I had the pleasure of talking to Mike Stewart the current UK and World number 1 according to the TSN Player Rankings.

In the last year alone Mike has gone 5-0 at Bloodshed in the Shires, BOBO Heat 2, Leicester City AoS GT and War in the Heartlands with his Seraphon lists. This on top of a large number of 4-1 results has seen Mike climb to the top of the TSN Player Rankings.

image taken from thehonestwargamer.com

For those unaware, Mike will be invited to two tournaments organised by the Honest Wargamer, the UK top 16 and the World top 16.

I interviewed Mike asking him what he thought about this along with this thoughts on how he approaches a tournament and his thoughts on the meta as it stands.

Peter: When did you start wargaming and what drew you in?

Mike: First started when I was about 12 years old. A friend should me Warhammer 40k and got hooked. Played it for a couple of years until I went college and uni. Then once I finished uni and started my first job I met a couple of guys that played, which got me back into it. Mainly 40k at first but started playing fantasy as well. Started AoS about a year or 2 into it, once points were back in, and then started playing it much more competitively and left 40k behind. Found AoS to be a much for fun, enjoyable and all round better game to play. Plus I’ve always liked the old world fantasy setting, with big armies fighting on the battlefield.

Peter: So will Old World be enticing you back then once that gets released?

Mike: Not currently, I like AoS and enjoy the lore of it as well so there’s plenty there still.

Peter: You’re well known for playing Seraphon, but are there any other armies you have a soft spot for or own?

Mike: Throughout 2nd edition I mostly played Fyreslayers. I’ve always been a fan of dwarf armies but usually stick to Order armies in general. When I played fantasy, I had both a Tomb Kings and a Bretonnian Knights army so would probably do an OBR army too.

Some of Mike’s Bastiladon’s

Peter: So you’re currently ranked number 1 worldwide and in UK! Congratulations! That’s got to feel great! Are you planning on attending the Masters?

Mike: Thank you and it does! At the start of this season I just wanted to get my 5-0 at a big event. To have managed 4 of them at events with 70+ players is way more than I could have hoped. Yes, really hyped about them and I plan to get to both the UK and the World event.

Peter: Having scanned through the other players in both the top 16 Worldwide and the UK, a lot of them seem to switch between armies. Are there any faction matchups you’d prefer to avoid? Declan has mentioned in the past that Seraphon has a great ‘toolkit’ which can deal with virtually anything.

Mike: Seraphon do have the tools to take on most armies but their main weakness is probably Mortal Wounds. Thunder Lizards is currently really strong in the meta, with army-wide -1 damage being the main reason but the others have play too. The heavy Pusgoyle Blightlords list is probably one of the tougher match-ups, given that they can pin you in, deal MWs and do a lot of 1 damage attacks.

Mike following his victory at War in the Heartlands

Peter: Do you plan out your battles with the opponent’s list in mind before you begin?

Mike: In a tournament, I’ll try to have a look at the opponents list first and have a game plan. Best way to learn is to play games against different armies so that when you go into an event then you already know how to play best against an army if you face them.

Peter: How do you approach a Sunday where you’re going into it 3-0 after the first day?

Mike: In most cases you’ll know your opponent the night before so do a little read up on their list but it does often change so can’t rely on the pairings being right. Mainly just take the next game as it comes and know that it’ll be a tough match-up, whoever it is.

Peter: Is there any particular Battleplan you prefer in a tournament? And any you’d rather avoid?

Mike: Generally prefer battleplans with fewer objectives, particularly when playing armies like Seraphon where you castle up and move forward in a strong defensive block. There’s a few less favourable missions, such as the ones with 6 objectives, but none that I really want to avoid.

Peter: What do you consider Seraphon’s best unit? Are there any hidden gems in the Battletome?

Mike: Very difficult to say, they are so many that have great utility and work well on synergy with the others. The Skink Priest is probably up there at just 80pts. The amount you get from them at that cost is too good. The Bastiladon is great too and can be used as a tank to hold up tough enemies. As for hidden gems, I think most have been found out now. I found combat skinks to fall into that category but now a lot of people are running them as a good substitute for the Salamanders since the Battlescroll was released.

Mike’s Yndrasta

Peter: Yes, many lists I’ve seen run perhaps two or three Starpriests and Bastiladons. Any tips for those who have to fight against Seraphon?

Mike: Try to take out the support characters early on if you have the tools to do so. If you’re playing against Thunder Lizards then bravery is low so can look to target multiple units to make them battleshock. Having access to MWs is always useful against them, as only really have the 6+ Ward from mystical.

Peter: What is the one most important thing you should do every game?

Mike: Play the mission and keep scoring points where you can. You can still be in the game until the end if you manage to keep securing objectives and completing those battle tactics.

Peter: If you could change one thing about AoS 3rd edition what would it be?

Mike: Currently, I would change Battle Regiment to try to get rid of the 1 drop or make it a roll off for who gets the choice.

Peter: An awful lot seem to be unhappy with the state of the meta at present and that armies like StD or Gloomspite can’t get near the top tables. What’s your opinion on the meta at the moment? I would point out that in my opinion AoS seems a lot more balanced than 40k. But it does need some work to allow all armies a fair shot.

Mike’s Celestial Hurricanum for his Dwarf army

Mike: I think the meta has been fairly solid in AoS3. There’s been a few armies that see more win ratio than others but I don’t think it’s in a bad place. They’ll always be some armies that aren’t quite as good as others but it will change. I’m sure the new GHB will change it up slightly too.

Peter: What would your advice be for someone looking to go to their first tournament?

Mike: Have fun and don’t be upset/frustrated if you don’t win many games. Tournament AoS is a lot different from games down your local club but they’re the best way to learn and get better at the game. And as I said before, just play the mission.

Peter: Thanks for your time Mike and good luck for the Masters! We’ll be routing for you!

Top Three AoS Lists from US Open (Seattle)

The US Open (Seattle) took place in……. Seattle… USA on 7th and 8th May. It involved 64 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.

1st Place – Matt Beasley

Matt won all five games over the weekend. Along the way he beat Idoneth Deepkin/Mor’Phann in round 1, Stormcast Eternals/Hammers of Sigmar in round 2, Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in round 3, Maggotkin of Nurgle/Drowned Men in round 4 and Soulblight Gravelords/Kastelai Dynasty in Round 5.

Army Faction: Legion of the First Prince
Grand Strategy: Beast Master
Triumphs: Inspired

LEADER
Be’lakor (360)
Spells: The Master’s Command
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage (280)
General
– Command Traits: Ruinous Aura
– Artefacts: Armour of the Pact
– Bonding: Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur
Kairos Fateweaver (435)*
Spells: The Master’s Command

BATTLELINE
Flesh Hounds (105)*
Bloodletters (115)*
Plaguebearers (150)*

BEHEMOTH
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)*

ENDLESS SPELL
Umbral Spellportal (70)
Emerald Lifeswarm (60)

CORE BATTALIONS
*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (1975/2000)

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2nd Place – Matthias Krushel

Matthias also managed five wins over the two days. Beating Sylvaneth/Gnarlroot in round 1, Stormcast Eternals/Hammers of Sigmar in round 2, Nighthaunt/Reikenor’s Comdemned in round 3, Ironjawz/Ironsuns in round 4, and Soulblight Gravelords/Vyrkos Dynasty in the final round.

Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Subfaction: Droning Guard
Mortal Realm: Ghur
Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Leaders
The Glottkin (700)
Lore of Malignance: Gift of Disease
Harbinger of Decay (140)**
General
– Command Trait: Overpowering Stench
– Artefact: The Splithorn Helm

Units
10 x Putrid Blightkings (500)*
Reinforced x 1
3 x Plague Drones (200)*
3 x Plague Drones (200)*
3 x Nurglings (105)**
3 x Nurglings (105)**

Endless Spells
The Burning Head (20)

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Vanguard

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 121
Drops: 7

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3rd Place – Roger Barker

Roger finished the weekend with one loss and four wins. His path saw him beat 4th placed Thomas in round 1, then Soulblight Gravelords/Vyrkos Dynasty in round 2, Lumineth Realm-Lords/Alumnia in round 3, Legion of the First Prince in round 4 before eventually losing to 1st place Max in round 5.

Army Faction: Soulblight Gravelords
Army Type: Kastelai Dynasty
Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
Triumphs: Indomitable

LEADER
Gorslav the Gravekeeper (75)**
Mannfred Von Carstein (380)**
Spells: Amethystine Pinions, Overwhelming Dread
Necromancer (125)**
General
– Command Traits: Master of Magic
– Artefacts: Grave-sand Shard
– Spells: Fading Vigour, Invigorating Aura, Prison of Grief
Neferata (365)**
Spells: Amethystine Pinions, Decrepify

BATTLELINE
1 x Blood Knights (390)*
1 x Deadwalker Zombies (230)*
1 x Deadwalker Zombies (230)*
Deadwalker Zombies (115)**
Deathrattle Skeletons (85)**

CORE BATTALIONS:
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord

TOTAL POINTS: (1995/2000)

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4th Place – Thomas Guan

Thomas won four games and lost one. Along the way he lost to Soulblight Gravelords/Kastelai Dynasty in round 1, then beat Lumineth Realm-Lords/Ziatrec in round 2, Ironjawz/Bloodtoofs in round 3, Daughters of Khaine/Khailebron in round 4 and Ironjawz/Ironsunz in round 5.

Army Faction: Seraphon
Army Type: Coalesced
Army Subfaction: Thunder Lizard
Grand Strategy: Beast Master
Triumphs: Inspired

LEADER
Skink Starpriest (130)
Spells: Hand of Glory
Terradon Chief (80)
Artefacts: Fusil of Conflagration
Slann Starmaster (265)**
General
– Command Traits: Arcane Might
– Spells: Stellar Tempest
Skink Priest (80)**
Prayers: Heal
Skink Priest (80)**
Prayers: Curse
Engine of the Gods (265)***
Artefacts: Cloak of Feathers
– Mount Traits: Beastmaster
– Prayers: Curse

BATTLELINE
2 x Skinks (225)*
Boltspitter and Moonstone Club
Saurus Knights (110)*
Celestite Blade and Powerful Jaws
Saurus Knights (110)**
Celestite Blade and Powerful Jaws

BEHEMOTH
Bastiladon with Ark of Sotek (165)***
Bastiladon with Solar Engine (250)***

TERRAIN
Realmshaper Engine (0)

OTHER
1 x Terradon Riders (210)*
Sunleech Bolas

CORE BATTALIONS:
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord
***Linebreaker

TOTAL POINTS: (1970/2000)

Final Tournament Placings (Top 20)

Top Three AoS Lists from Rum and Rumble

The Rum and Rumble took place in Nottingham, UK on 7th and 8th May. It involved 16 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.

TSportsNetwork on Twitch were live all weekend showing games as they happened. You can watch these back with a subscription, which I highly recommend!

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.

1st Place – Matthew Gouldesbrough

Matthew won all five games over the weekend. Along the way he beat Blades of Khorne/Baleful Lords in round 1, Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in round 2, Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in round 3, Maggotkin of Nurgle/Drowned Men in round 4 and Cities of Sigmar/Living City in Round 5.

Allegiance: Seraphon
Constellation: Thunder Lizard
Grand Strategy: Pillars of Belief
Triumphs: Inspired

LEADERS
Engine of the Gods (265)*
General
– Command Trait: Prime Warbeast
– Artefact: Cloak of Feathers
– Mount Trait: Beastmaster
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Slann Starmaster (265)*
Artefact: Itxi Grubs
– Spell: Celestial Equilibrium
Skink Starpriest (130)*
Artefact: Fusil of Conflagration
– Spell: Hand of Glory
Skink Starpriest (130)**
Spell: Hand of Glory
Skink Priest (80)**
Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Skink Priest (80)**
Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse

BATTLELINE
30 x Skinks (225)***
Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs
– Reinforced x 2
30 x Skinks (225)***
Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs
– Reinforced x 2
10 x Skinks (75)*
Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs

BEHEMOTHS
Bastiladon with Solar Engine (250)****
Bastiladon with Solar Engine (250)****

BATTALIONS
*Warlord
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Hunters of the Heartlands
****Alpha-Beast Pack

TERRAIN
Realmshaper Engine

ADDITIONAL ENHANCEMENTS
Artefact, Artefact

TOTAL: 1975/2000
WOUNDS: 125
LEADERS: 6/6
ALLIES: 0/400
REINFORCED UNITS: 4/4

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2nd Place – Daniel Elkington

Daniel managed four wins and a loss over the two days. Beating Ogor Mawtribes/Bloodgullet in round 1, then losing against 1st placed Matthew and his Seraphon/Thunder Lizard list in round 2, then beating Idoneth Deepkin/Nautilar in round 3, Seraphon/Thunder Lizard in round 4, and Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in the final round.

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

LEADERS
Kragnos (720)
Gatebreaker (525)*
General
– Command Traits: Monstrously Tough
– Artefacts of Power: Enchanted Portcullis
– Bonding: Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur

BATTLELINE
Mancrusher Gargant (170)*
Mancrusher Gargant (170)*

BEHEMOTH
Krondspine Incarnate of Ghur (400)

CORE BATTALIONS
– *Footsloggas

TOTAL POINTS: 1985/2000

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3rd Place – Tavi Gane

Tavi also won three games and lost two. Along the way he lost to Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in round 1, beat Hedonites of Slaanesh/Godseekers Host in round 2, Gloomspite Gitz/Glogg’s Megamob in round 3. He then lost against Sons of Behemat/Breaker Tribe in round 4 before beating Stormcast Eternals/Hammers of Sigmar in round 5.

Allegiance: Seraphon
Constellation: Thunder Lizard
Grand Strategy: Beast Master
Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Engine of the Gods (265)**
General
– Command Trait: Prime Warbeast
– Artefact: Cloak of Feathers
– Mount Trait: Beastmaster
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Slann Starmaster (265)**
Spell: Stellar Tempest
Skink Starpriest (130)*
Artefact: Fusil of Conflaguration
– Spell: Hand of Glory
Skink Priest (80)**
Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal

Battleline
5 x Saurus Knights (110)*
Lances
5 x Saurus Knights (110)*
Lances
30 x Skinks (225)*
Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
– Reinforced x 2

Units
5 x Chameleon Skinks (115)**
3 x Kroxigor (150)*
2 x Salamander Hunting Pack (280)*
Reinforced x 1

Behemoths
Bastiladon with Solar Engine (250)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Warlord

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 3 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 116
Drops: 5

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Wildcard – John Armstrong

John finished the weekend with one draw and four losses. But, check out his army, I love it!His path saw him lose against Maggotkin of Nurgle/Befouling Host in round 1, then Seraphon/Thunder Lizard in round 2, drew against Gloomspite Gitz in round 3, and then lost against Blades of Khorne/Baleful Lords in round 4 and Ogor Mawtribes/Bloodgullet in round 5.

Allegiance: Slaanesh
Host: Godseekers Host
Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
Triumphs:

Leaders
Lord of Pain (155)**
General
– Command Trait: Speed-chaser
– Artefact: Enrapturing Circlet
Sigvald, Prince of Slaanesh (265)
Shardspeaker of Slaanesh (150)

Battleline
11 x Blissbarb Archers (170)**
11 x Blissbarb Archers (170)**
5 x Myrmidesh Painbringers (145)*
5 x Myrmidesh Painbringers (145)*

Units
5 x Blissbarb Seekers (220)**
5 x Slickblade Seekers (230)*
5 x Blissbarb Seekers (220)**
3 x Slaangor Fiendbloods (130)**

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Battle Regiment

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 127
Drops: 6

Final Tournament Placings