Tag Archives: Miniature wargaming

Write My Tournament Army – Series Finale

Originally this tournament army was going to be played at the ‘Age of the Dark Gods‘ tournament organised by Savage Hammer Gaming on 24th September. However, due to not enough interest in the event, I was invited instead to attend their event on 25th June ‘The Battle of the God-Kings‘. This is being held in Harrold, near Bedford. For those interested, there are still tickets available.

Last time we had one last vote and that was to decide on whether to keep the Warlord Battalion or change it to another Battle Regiment. The results are in!

Write my tournament army - vote result

With the overwhelming response being to change to the battle regiment, we’ve changed our list to a 3 drop. This should give me a good chance of deciding whether to go first or second.

The Final Tournament Army List

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
Army Type: Kruleboyz
– Subfaction: Big Yellers
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumph: Inspired

LEADERS
Breaka-boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)
Mount Traits: Fast ’Un
Gobsprakk (280)*
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
Spells: Nasty Hex
Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast (315)**
General
– Command Traits: Supa Sneaky
– Artefacts of Power: Mork’s Eye Pebble
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)**
Spells: Choking Mist

BATTLELINE
Man-skewer Boltboyz (360)*
Boltboy Boss
Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)*
Boltboy Boss
Man-skewer Boltboyz (120)*
Boltboy Boss
Gutrippaz (180)**
Gutrippa Banner Bearer
– Gutrippa Drummer
– Gutrippa Boss
– Wicked Stikka

OTHER
Hobgrot Slittaz (80)**
– Scrap Totem Bearer
– Noise-maker
– Hobgrot Boss

CORE BATTALIONS
*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1965/2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 118
Drops: 3

That should do it! Now just to paint the last few models and then roll some dice. I hope I get to play some of my fellow Woehammerers, Ed, Declan and Rhys are all attending the event. I’ll let you know how I get on.

Age of Sigmar – Sylvaneth Battletome Review

Limited Edition Sylvaneth Battletome
Limited Edition Sylvaneth Battletome

Sylvaneth have been a troubled faction for a while in Age of Sigmar – a beautiful but relatively small model range, endlessly tweaked faction terrain rules (and let’s not get started on transporting those wyldwoods) and almost all competitive lists lists built around the dominant ‘Warsong Bomb’ combo.

In no uncertain terms, the new book changes everything. That’s almost literally true. So without this review becoming a novel-length guide to the entire faction, I’m going to try and focus on the biggest changes and offer a broad perspective on what it looks like Sylvaneth are now, in terms of play-style, predicted strength overall, and the biggest winners/losers from the Tome.

A quick note on ordering, based on some learnings from our last Tome review. And we feel it actually makes sense to start with army abilities and sub-faction rules, before diving into units, then tackling Enhancements (so you can understand who they make sense on) before finishing up with the Grand Strategies and Battle Tactics.

QUICK LINKS

ARMY RULES

Sylvaneth strike from the trees

There’s a crazy amount of synergy in this book, and it all starts with and revolves around Places of Power.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

Start of a battle you pick 3 terrain features wholly outside enemy territory and they become ‘overgrown terrain features’. By default, each Sylvaneth unit within 9″ can regen 1 wound. Where it gets interesting is how this combines with all sorts of rules – but the next army rule is From The Woodland Depths, which has two main effects.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

The first is essentially the same as the old Walk the Hidden Paths allowing one unit wholly within 9″ to teleport to within 9″ either an overgrown terrain or wyldwood – with two provisos. Standard teleport rules apply (not within 9 of an enemy unit) and crucially, the terrain piece can’t be in engagement range of an enemy unit.

For the rest of the review we’ll refer to these combined teleporting restrictions as ‘Walking the Paths restrictions’. And we’ll use the shorthand ‘within terrain range’ to mean ‘wholly within 9″ of an overgrown terrain or awakened wyldwood’.

Overall this is more flexible than before but does mean a clever opponent can limit your teleporting options by careful positioning.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

The second effect is Strike and Fade, which is potentially huge, even if it requires some careful set up – once per turn, a Sylvaneth unit that has fought can immediately teleport, with Walking the Paths restrictions. This is potentially very tasty, allowing glass-hammer units to fight with impunity, or as a way to radically reposition a tanky slow unit, etc etc – I expect we’ll all be having lots of fun with this one.

Finally, Verdant Blessing remains, unchanged – a cast 6, 18″ spell to summon a wyldwood outside of 3″ of the usual objects.

A really tactical and interesting new addition are Seasons of War, which you can essentially think of as modifiers to the terrain rules, and therefore apply to units wholly within 9″ unless stated otherwise. These are added to your list, and you obviously just pick the one.

The Burgeoning gives units that didn’t charge a Ward of 6. Can’t complain. The Reaping adds 3″ to the terrain effect range – probably really useful given the average big base size of sylvaneth units, and allows you a bit more latitude. In many ways I can see this being my go to, as being slightly outside of ‘wholly within’ could ruin a whole turn’s worth of shenanigans.

The Dwindling allows for a hero phase re-roll of 1 cast, 1 unbindand 1 dispel – as in, 1 of each. Obviously strong given how good Sylvaneth magic is. Lastly, Everdusk reduces terrain effect range by 3″ but in exchange you get exploding 6s to hit in melee. I feel like the 6″ range is going to be too restrictive for this to be reliable, but you’ll see that there are a few ways to make certain units count as overgrown, which does make this more flexible than it appears at first glance.

Overall, I love these rules, they’re easy to remember, are all upside, and give you a meaningful tactical layer.

GLADES

Glades return (obviously) but follow the 3rd edition paradigm of being streamlined and fluffy. And good!

Oakenbrow makes Treelords battleline and for bracketing purposes you halve the damage taken by all of the biggest trees – so also Treelord Ancient and Durthus. Durthi? In the new GHB meta, this is an interesting option to avoid giving up extra damage against your battleline units and allows you to lean into a tanky Ent list, which is awesome for obvious reasons.

Gnarlroot remains the magic pick of choice, allowing a once per turn cast on 3d6 removing one dice while in terrain range. Given some of our spells get better with higher values, this combined with the potential re-roll from Dwindling could be very nice.

Heartwood sees a big change – now it makes Kurnoth battleline, and allows you to pick 3 enemy units that your whole army gets +1 to hit against. This is a great CP saver and even though, as you’ll see, I’m not totally sold on Kurnoth Bows, it means they could make sense as MSU in this Glade.

Ironbark now gives you a command ability usable on a unit in engagement range of an enemy that has charged – on a 2+ that unit suffers d3 mws. A nice punishment for daring to charge your lovely stickmen – and here’s the kicker – it can be used multiple times, but not on the same enemy unit. Obviously fairly useless against horde units but the chance to kill a mid-wound model and deny its attacks could add up over the course of the game – overall, I think this is too niche to be taken competitively.

Winterleaf leans intro a control playstyle, and prevents enemy units from falling back. And if combined with Everdusk (which is a cool combo, and kind of a shame the others don’t offer a combined effect) that unit also can’t be removed – as in, they can’t be teleported somehow away either. Teleporting shenanigans are becoming more prevalent in the game so this is (situationally) more useful than it first appears.

Dreadwood plays clearly into Spite-revenants – making them battleline and allowing you to use Walk the Paths and/or Strike and Fade twice but with the proviso that one of those times it must be Spite-revs. I can’t really think of a reason this isn’t the weakest Glade going, but, y’know, if you really love Spite-revs and want to play more of a horde Sylvaneth, this is how you do it.

Harvestboon allows EACH unit of the new flying cavalry to make a pre-game move of 12″ – and they’re battleline in it. You will see that Spite-riders have a strike first effect, meaning if you can fit into a one drop, this Glade allows you to set up an alpha strike of as many bug cavalry as you want, all fighting before any enemy unit can retaliate. Risky but potentially hilarious!

SPELLS

Sylvaneth are a faction who’ve always had a pretty great time with magic, and it’s better than ever now.

Throne of Vines (casting value 9) heals 1 wound to the caster at the end of each phase until next hero phase – so a minimum of 6 and a max of 12! It’s a ‘heal over time’ so you trade immediacy for reliability. At CV 9 it’s a great candidate for using the Vesperal Gem on (more on that below).

Regrowth (18″ – cv 5) heals d6.

Dwellers Below (12″ cv 7) rolls a dice per model in a unit and does mws on a 5+. Could be fun now we’re more likely to see more, bigger units in general. As you will see, there are similar spells you can combo this with to potentially decimate big units – although part of me would like to see a little variation in effects, and something more targeted towards smaller units.

Deadly Harvest (3″, cv 6) does d3 mws to each unit in range. Not amazing but fine for combat-casters, of which we have a couple.

Image taken from Warhammer Community

Verduous Harmony (18″, cv 7) brings back a model to a unit, or d3 models to tree/spite revs or dryads. See a healing theme emerging yet?

Treesong (16″, cv 7) is a great new spell that gives any unit in terrain range but specifically of wyldwoods an extra rend. Shame it’s not any terrain, but still potentially very strong, as in the right situations you could improve the rend of multiple units at once with this.

Overall, it’s a useful, fluffy and powerfully lore with some fun effects. At first glance it seems like it wants you to lean into big, tanky, multi-wound units to make the most from it.

ENDLESS SPELLS

I’m over the moon with what GHB22 is doing for endless spells in general and Sylvaneth’s fall in line, offering some excellent, highly synergistic effects at a new bargain price that means *gasp* you will actually use them.

Spiteswarm Hive (40 pts) got brought in line with 3e rules but still rocks – you choose between two effects, each applying to one unit wholly within 9″ in the hero phase – +3″ to move and charge or reduce rend by 1. Buut both go off on a 2+, annoyingly again – you’ve already paid the points, summoned the spell…and it can still fail on you? Bogus!

Gladwyrm (50 pts) is the same but well costed now – d3 mws on a 3+ to owt within 1″ AND heals d6 on a 3+. Get that in the mix and it will add tonnes of value to a melee.

Skullroot (60 pts), one of the damn coolest looking endless spells in the game, adds d3 units to a failed battleshock test AND, when it flies (8″) over an enemy unit, and any unit within 1″ of the tree, it does d3 on a 2+, or d6 if that unit is within 6″ of a wyldwood. There are plenty of opportunities for enemies to be near wyldwoods, but even if they’re not, this has clear and obvious value.

I mean, you’d be tempted to take all 3 right?

Sylvaneth Battletome Review
Sylvaneth Lady of Vines

UNITS

Heck, there’s an awful lot to cover here. Lots of varied stat lines, abilities, and huge changes to the old book. Again, we’ll keep this high-level – don’t want to miss the wood for the trees – (SORRY I HAD TO) in the interests of not just transcribing the entire book.

Let’s start the A-mama herself, the Beetle-Queen, Ol’ Thunder Thighs, Alarielle. She’s good now – potentially really good – but with provisos. Talon of the Dwindling, Swirling Glowspites and her spell, Metamorphosis remain the same, but Lifebloom has seen a crucial glow up – now, after she’s been killed, she comes back on a 6+battle round number, but you only get one attempt so choose when to try it wisely. She’s got a great 1 shot 2/2/-2/6 bracketing shooting attack, and the beetle horns are decent in melee.

Alarielle the Everqueen

Sylvaneth Battletome Review
Alarielle the Everqueen

The other great new addition to her scroll is a once per game ‘turn everything into Overgrown’, which obviously has big synergy implications.

Basically, Alarielle does a little bit of everything now, and seems very viable to me as a lynchpin piece that operates in all phases. If she gets shot off turn 1 by pesky Stormfiends or what have you, at least she can now come back to play in the later rounds.

A big investment at 840 – but if you subtract the cost of the best unit she can summon, that’s more like 590. You’ll need to build your list around her, but a very pleasing glow up from her previous incarnation. Difficult to gauge whether she’ll be competitively viable – 16 wounds on a 3+ with no built-in after-save can still be liquified by plenty of things without too much effort – but I think with careful use she can contribute meaningfully to a list.

Sylvaneth Lady of Vines 

Sylvaneth Battletome Review
The Lady of Vines

Her (strong independent literally used to be her)right hand – The Lady of Vines – is an exciting alternative. A good, tanky wizard who can chip damage at range and hold her own against smaller stuff in melee, her main incentives are a once per game Dryad summon – although it’s super frustrating to me that it goes off on a 2+ and is therefore guaranteed to fail when you really need it – and a 12″, CV 7 spell to give an aura of a 5+++, which is potentially huge. She also counts as Overgrown terrain but with a 9″ range, allowing her to be a mobile, much-cheaper alternative to her ‘mum’.

Drycha remains largely unchanged, functioning as a harassment piece who buffs spite-revenants with a +1 to their wound rolls. But I still don’t see why you’d ever really want to run them even with that. She still offers plenty on her own merits, as a mixed range, 1 cast wizard with a super swingy warscroll spell that does MWs based on the difference between your roll and their leadership. Her notable strength is the ability to double either her melee or ranged output to 20 attacks, and fish for mws on 6s, which means flexibility, good horde clearing potential, and a potentially great Unleash Hell candidate. Hard to see how the tree-mech competes with the more specialised Big Trees, but her versatility and speed (9″) does mean she’s nice and flexible.

Warsong Revenant also remains pretty much the same, losing his knowledge of the whole lore but remaining a very potent wizard (the only straight source of +1 to cast) with 2 casts and his great warscroll spell, rolling dice equal to the casting roll and doing mws on 5+. The 4 up ward will keep him hanging around, and as you will see, there are plenty of Enhancements that will find a great home in him. He also has a 12″ +1 bravery to friendlies and -1 to enemies aura which, weirdly, kinda combos well with Drycha’s warscroll spell – and also the Skullroot. Bravery buffs are always welcome too as a way to just avoid having to use Inspiring Presence.

The Arch Revenant gained a huge ability, and nothing else on his scroll is worth a damn, including his melee output – but it doesn’t matter. He now gives +1 wound to Kurnoth (ANY attack) within 12″, and has a CA to give one unit of them +1 attack. If you take any Kurnoth – who, spiler alert, are now amazing – you’d be mad not to bring him too. A fantastic buff piece now with another 4+ ward to help him survive sniping attempts.

Durthu remains a beat-stick – in the truest sense of the term! Well, more of a beat-wood but that has its own problems…. anyway, he’s the big melee hero. The main change to him is that his ‘fight last’ ability now counts as a unique monstrous action BUT goes off on a 3 now. So less swingy, but unfortunately means you can no longer try to do it twice with two Durthus. Still great overall as he dishes out the damage, walks the spirit paths himself (so freeing up the generic version) and gets an extra attack for being in terrain range.

Sylvaneth Battletome Review

The Treelord Ancient is basically unchanged, which isn’t exciting, but his once per game auto-wyldwood has bigger implications before due to our improve army rules, and he’s the tankiest wizard yet – bar Alarielle – who is no slouch in melee with a few -1 d2 and 2 -2 rend 3d attacks.

The generic Treelord is also largely the same, buuuut has one really cool new ability called ‘Lash and Tangle’ – if he hits something in melee, it can’t pile in. So, charge him into the ‘end’ of an enemy unit so only one of them is in weapon range of him, fight, dish out a fair bit of hurt – and boom, only 1 or 2 can slap back. Against a bigger unit, this is potentially HUGE if you position him right.

The Branchwych remains unremarkable save for having the Warsong’s spell and basically being our cheapest wizard. Which isn’t a bad thing to be in such an elite army – unexciting but fills a role, so can’t complain.

Gossamids! Much has been made of their d3 mortals on 6s to hit ability but, with 2 shots each, that’s 2 mws on average and not much else on top given they have no rend. They exist, frankly, to be an annoying screen, with their ability to fly away on a 2+ after Unleashing Hell – again, guaranteeing them to hover in place when you most need them to buzz away. They’re also flimsy, and will die to almost anything with so much as a rock to throw. I’m not saying they’re bad – against predominantly melee armies, the ability to fly up, do a few lucky MWs, move-block and fly ‘safely’ away once charged could be very annoying. But at 220…it seems like a big risk to me.

Sylvaneth Gossamids

Sylvaneth Battletome

OK, let’s talk ‘true’ battleline: Tree Revenants, and their woodier counterparts, the Drayds. The Revs have 2 wounds each now but still die to a mean look. Their Tree cousins teleport still (which is always useful and a great scoring vector) and get a free All Out A/D which is fine. Dryads picked up a -1 to hit and -1 wound while within terrain range, which is kinda funny and could make for a frustrating screen, but they do literally nothing else other than hope for cold rolls from your opponent. And require careful positioning – a big blob could be nice but fitting it wholly within terrain range makes it much less appealing.

Spite Revenants, if you were paying attention in the Glades section, are no longer ‘true’ battleline. And they still don’t excite me, with 6s to hit doing a mortal and 3 attacks each, that’s 2 MWs (and again, not much else) per activation. Now, there are ways to situationally buff them a fair bit by adding rend while near a terrain, but in all honesty, the amount of set up required to make them put out meaningful stats is going to be too difficult or unfavourable in the vast majority of circumstances. They’re kinda cheap though and worth running if you want lots of little bodies accompanying Drycha. Maybe.

Sylvaneth Spite Revenants

Kurnoth of all variety fare much better, and frankly are going to be hard not to take. Scythes points went up to match swords at 250, and do -3(!) rend for 2D. Swords get -1 but do their 2d on 6s to hit. Bows, bafflingly, still hit on 4s but have flat 2 damage and are slightly cheaper. So you have some tactical decisions to make – for my points, bows are out in the cold at the moment as you’re paying a large premium for how tanky they are – which is great for swords/scythes who are also standing there on objectives dishing out pain. But statistically the bows do very little without some buffing and support – and while useful for MAYBE sniping out a support hero, there are just much better ways in the book to do that.

Also, all flavours of ‘Noth have an updated ‘Envoys’ ability – when the ‘Noth is contesting an objective, they make friendly units in objective range also count as being within 6″ of terrain. More mobile synergy!

The new Bug Cavalry are also wonderful. Tanky, fast, and they hit hard with a good number of attacks, -2 for both with the Seekers having d2. The main difference is the Spite-Riders have fight first, while the Seekers can revive something with up to 5 wounds on a 2+. So yep, chances are they can bring back a Kurnoth model per turn, per unit. Both flavours heal their own models back to full health if they kill a model, have a 6″ pile in and rally on a 5+. So they’re survivable, flexible, hit decently hard and fill a niche Sylvaneth were otherwise sorely lacking. Very impressive unit.

Sylvaneth Bug Cavalry

Sylvaneth Battletome Review

Overall, a huge glow up, which was expected. There’s speed, tankiness, some good reliable output and a number of fun plays. There are some outright swings and misses – Spite Revs, Dryads – and some situationally good but too costly (and therefore risky), like Gossamids and maaaaaaybe Alarielle – or that require maybe too much set up (Dryads…again) and potentially Treelords. But I think overall there’s multiple viable lists in here.

COMMAND TRAITS

Gnarled Warrior makes your save unable to be modified, up or down. Obviously application on a 3+ Durthu or such! Lord of Spites reduces a unit’s attacks by 1 if it finishes a pile in within engagement of the hero – another great way to boost survivability. They’re both good, but Warsinger might be even better – adding 3″ to units within 12″ of the hero at the start of movement phase. Combine with Spiteswarm for 11″ move Kurnoth with a 10″ average charge, don’t mind if I do.

Wizard traits also run hot – Nurtured by Magic heals a unit d3 wounds within 18″ on a successful cast. Certainly not a bad incidental source of healing. Potentially HUGE is Warsinger, allowing a wyldwood to be where you measure the effect of a spell from – yeah, any wyldwood. This allows you to potentially be in spell range from turn 1, punish people trying to block your teleports, and all sorts – really interesting plays available here. Radiant Spirit ignores spell effects on a 4+, which seems more niche to me but is still a good counter to magic heavy armies if you pop this on a Treelord Ancient or you really want to ensure your Warsong remains alive and kicking, etc.

Hero wizards get Acorn of the Ages for an auto-wood within 12″. Luneth Lamp gives a wizard the option to banish an invocation with +2 to the roll – this is massively niche! Why you would ever take this unless you’re playing a casual grudge match against your invocation loving friend, I don’t know. Unless it’s a sign we’re somehow entering an invocation meta…. Preventing this page from being a complete waste of a dryad is the returning Vesperal Gem, allowing a once per turn auto-cast that can’t be unbound, but a 1 on a d6 roll does d3 mws to the user.

ARTEFACTS

Sylvaneth artefact, Luneth's Lamp. Add 2 to the roll when the bearer attempts to unbind an endless spell.

Other heroes can choose from Greenwood Gladius, which adds d3 attacks to a melee weapon. I can the whispers of ‘Durthu’ on the wind…. Crown of Fell Bowers picks a unit within 6″ and gives all units +1 wound against it. This would be decent if it was just the hero, but all units? Nice! Seed of Rebirth rolls a d6 when the hero dies – on a 2+ they survive with d3 wounds and all other damage negated. With all the healing Sylvaneth has access to, this could be huge on a chonky hero.

MATCHED PLAY RULES

Topline, most of these are unfortunately a bust, which is frustrating given the design space and the fact the forthcoming GHB Tactics all seem harder to pull off on average. Factor in the book’s lack of good Galletian Vet candidates and it feels like Sylvaneth have been a bit short changed in terms of scoring potential, at least in the short term.

Grand Strategy wise, it’s tempting to just write ‘bin’ and move on, but in the interests of being thorough… Chorus of the Woodlands asks you to complete 4 battle tactics from the Sylvaneth list. You’ll see why I don’t think that’s very doable shortly. Vengeance and Spite wants you to kill the enemy general with an Outcasts keyword unit – so, Spite-revenants or Drycha. Urm. That’s not going to be terribly easy. Drycha could do it, but if the general is any kind of monster, she’s not doing it alone, which means a big game as you will have to soften it just the right amount with other units for her to finish it off.

Baffling that they’d hinge a whole Strategy on a keyword only two units have. Baffling and aggravating. Roots of victory tasks you with having a wyldwood in each corner of the board, and there being no enemy units with 6″ of them. This feels more doable but also like a huge win-more strategy, as it basically implies you will have almost complete board control. Thematic but hugely risky for so many obvious reasoons.

Massive let down.

Battle tactics fare slightly better. Eradicate Trespassers wants an enemy unit within 6″ of a wyldwood to die. With good positioning, there should be plenty of times in a game the enemy can’t help but be in range for this, so overall it’s nearly as bankable as ‘bring it down’ or ‘broken ranks’ used to be, perhaps better in some ways as it’s any kind of unit.

Harness the Spirit Paths requires a unit to use From The Woodland Depths (i.e. teleport to a terrain piece) and successfully make a charge. Now, charges of 9″ are far too risky, so I don’t like it – unless you have a Spiteswarm Hive set up, in which case your charge is now a re-rollable 6″ – much more doable.

Balance the Cycle wants you to kill a unit within 12″ of a terrain piece by a unit added to your army that turn – which basically means you’ll need Alarielle to summon Kurnoth or a Treelord, and for them to make a 9 incher – in this instance Spiteswarm doesn’t help because it picks a unit end of hero phase and Alarielle summons end of movement. I guess you could summon in 3 bow hunters and plink the last couple of wounds off a weak unit – otherwise this is a massive gamble.

March of the Forest Lords is, thank god, another sensible one. Kill an enemy monster with one of your Big Trees. All of which are good – but Durthu is obviously a beast, so this one goes some way to making amends for the others.

Unleash Ghyran’s Wrath needs a wizard you pick to kill a unit with a spell or endless spell. Given, as I mentioned before, that none of the Sylvaneth spells are really reliable single-target damage, this isn’t super bankable. However, plenty of our wizards have casting bonuses and multi-casts – so Warsong using Unleash Spites, having a Gladewyrm or Skullroot kicking around from the last turn and another spell/Arcane Bolt means you may have a few chances to finish off the last few wounds needed to score this.

FINAL THOUGHTS

There’s a lot to take in here. Having noodled on it all for a few days, I think the book’s strengths lie in tanky, reliable damage units that have surprising mobility – but the best combos in the book require a lot of careful positioning and over-lapping failable effects – i.e. there’s a risk one part of your plan falls through and ruins the synergy.

It’s also a really expensive book – and even though on average the costs are fair, it makes list-building a challenge because of not many smaller costs that can slot into the gaps between 300+ models/units.

A corollary of that is it’s another highly elite army. Heartwood offers the chance to take battleline that doesn’t give up additional damage against them from the new GHB Bounty Hunters battalion, but it also means it doesn’t place super nicely with some of the keyword scoring opportunities. And in general, if you wanted to run a more horde or infantry based list, in light of GHB 22, your options are severely limited – in competitive reality, I’d go so far as to say, limited to zero.

However, I’m bullish on the book in the long term. It’s flexible and non-linear – Enhancements seem varied and have plenty of candidates for them, the book can lean into magic dominance, pure anvil lists, hyper-mobility and alpha strikes, or leafy, synergistic death stars.

If nothing else, for existing Sylvaneth players, it feels like the first time in many years the faction feels like it should. And I woodn’t trade that for the world.

What do you think of the Tome? Got any thoughts on combinations that we may have missed? How will the Sylvaneth slot into the current meta?

Top Three AoS Lists from Rise of the Everchosen

Rise of the Everchosen took place in Emgilia-Romagna on 18th and 19th June. It involved 32 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.

1st Place, Maggotkin of Nurgle

Army Faction: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Army Subfaction: Drowned Men
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

LEADER
Bloab Rotspawned (300)
Spells: Rancid Visitations
Lord of Afflictions (210)*
General
– Command Traits: Overpowering Stench
– Artefacts: The Splithorn Helm
Orghotts Daemonspew (300)*

BATTLELINE
10 Plaguebearers (150)*
10 Plaguebearers (150)*
4 Pusgoyle Blightlords (440)**
2 Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)**
2 Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)**

TERRAIN
Feculent Gnarlmaw (0)

CORE BATTALIONS:
*Battle Regiment
**Hunters of the Heartlands

TOTAL POINTS: 1990/2000

Declan: Ah Nurgle… the new hotness and it’s easy to see why (it may not be; I had it explained to me over the weekend). I have now played a similar list and this is just great into the meta. Large numbers of low damage attacks means Seraphon Thunder Lizard don’t benefit from their allegiance and any debuffs (-1 attack etc…) have no benefit either.

Added to that they are lightning quick with a pre-game move and the Overpowering Stench stops command abilities being used nearby. So no all-out-defense or inspiring presence. It’s a great army which we are seeing a lot of at the moment.

Advertisements
2nd Place, Maggotkin of Nurgle

Army Faction: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Army Subfaction: Drowned Men
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

LEADER
Lord of Afflictions (210)*
General
– Command Traits: Overpowering Stench
– Dolorous Tocsin
– Incubatch
– Artefacts: The Splithorn Helm
Lord of Afflictions (210)*

BATTLELINE
1 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (440)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*
Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*

CORE BATTALIONS:
*Rotbringer Cyst

TOTAL POINTS: (1960/2000)

Declan: I should have looked ahead. Sorry; but there’s not a lot different here – just more of the same because the same is good. When a player spends 1,540 points on one warscroll it may show a problem… but not for GW model selling.

There’s no criticism of the players though – it’s a good army and gives a good shot at 4-1s and 5-0s. If that’s your aim why wouldn’t you want to take one of the best armies available?

Advertisements
3rd place, Slaves to Darkness

Army Faction: Slaves to Darkness
Army Type: Knights of the Empty Throne
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumph: Inspired

LEADERS
Varanguard (560)*
General
– Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Command Traits: Inescapable Doom
– Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield
– Artefacts of Power: Grasping Plate
Varanguard (560)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Daemonforged Blade and Warpsteel Shield
Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Manticore (270)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Spells: Mask of Darkness

BATTLELINE
Iron Golems (75)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Iron Golems (75)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Untamed Beasts (70)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Untamed Beasts (70)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
Iron Golems (75)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch

BEHEMOTH
Chaos Warshrine (215)*
Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
– Prayers: Heal

CORE BATTALIONS
– *Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1970/2000

Declan: Ah Varanguard – hard as nails; hit like freight trains and are leaders so they can do great work into some of the missions as well. It’s great to see StD doing well though – this is not a net-list that is smashing up the tournament scene and a 4-1-0 result is impressive.

The Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Manticore is often substituted by a Chaos Sorcerer Lord on Foot, but the Manticore allows him to keep up with the Varanguard – and ensure the army hits like a freight train – all at the same time.

The Battleline choices are also cheap as chips (as a Gitz player I would kill for Battleline this cheap) and they are not bad. Great addition for screening so Manuelle can chose who goes first or second with his 1 drop.

Advertisements
14th Place, Blades of Khorne

Army Faction: Blades of Khorne
Army Type: Baleful Lords
– Grand Strategy: Beastmaster
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty

LEADERS
Bloodsecrator (125)*
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (295)*
General
– Command Trait: Thirst for Carnage
– Artefact: Black Brass Crown
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage (280)
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage (280)
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage (280)
Skarbrand (380)

BATTLELINE
10 Blood Reavers (80)*
10 Blood Reavers (80)*
10 Blood Reavers (80)*
1 Slaves to Darkness Chaos Spawn (55)*
Mark of Chaos: Khorne
1 Slaves to Darkness Chaos Spawn (55)*
Mark of Chaos: Khorne

CORE BATTALIONS
*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 1990/2000

Declan: Ah Khorne… a fighting force in a game of fighting – they’ll be smashing up the tables right. Unfortunately not – GW struggle with making Khorne good enough that they can reliably kill but not so that they win everything… and they’ve got the balance wrong so often.

The Bloodthirsters are only 280 points so are really throw away models (a Mangler Squig Loonboss is 290) so don’t expect too much from them – in this force is Skarbrand who does the work. 6″ pile in; and fighting well if he didn’t fight in the last battleround. Unfortunately most people know this now and either kill or avoid him – poor chap!

Final Tournament Placings

For the full tournament details visit: https://tabletop.to/rise-of-the-everchosen-finale-lega-caos-2022/ladder

Start Collecting: Slaves to Darkness – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

What’s in the box……!?

1 Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk
5 Chaos Knights
10 Chaos Warriors
16 miniatures, including a mounted hero and five cavalry

One of the best things about the Start Collecting! boxes are the savings, which are usually great. In this case, (as of 18/06/22 in GBP) the box is £65… What do you save, you may ask…. Well, that’s a bit of a complicated question, the Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk isn’t available in any other way and the newer knight and warrior models are also only available in this set…. Oof.

Aside from this, these sculpts are push-fit and the two units do not include options for either banners or standard bearers which you will want. This means that, in order to have units working at their full potential some conversion is needed, which isn’t brilliant for a starter set presumably aimed at beginners.

There are some minor options available – two head options for the Karkadrak Lord and head options for the warriors (male and female which is cool). There’s also the option to build a Doom Knight champion, with a Doom Flail, for the Chaos Knights to give extra Doom.

Unfortunately, the nature of the kit does mean that only one of the four potential Chaos Warrior option weapon fits is available, as these are hand weapon and shield warriors only. In addition, only the lance option is available for the Knights (other than the aforementioned Doom Knight option).

The push-fit nature of the sculpts does also present a bit of a tricky painting problem as there are some hard to reach bits and sub-assembly may be a bit fiddly.

These sculpts are excellent though, very dynamic but close enough to the originals to fit nicely in in with the rest of the range. They also don’t have markings for any specific god so can be painted to suit your taste in appalling extra-dimensional overlord or overlords. A great update to classic sculpts.

As mentioned, the Chaos Lord on Karkadrak sadly isn’t available in any other set and so there really isn’t any way to give yourself much variety if you wished to run more than one…. though I don’t know why you would.

A separate Chaos Warrior regiment set, with the older sculpts, is available direct from GW at £35 for sixteen(!) warriors. The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that this isn’t a good number as the minimum unit size is ten, so you will have more hotdogs than buns. On the flip-side, whilst these are older and more static sculpts, which were designed to rank up for Warhammer Fantasy, they are multipart and do have banner and musician options.

This older kit can be built with either shields or two hand weapons but if you want halberds or great weapons you will need to spend a bit of money. GW used to make upgrade kits for these options but have discontinued them, sad to say. It is possible to make some quite convincing halberdiers though by using the spears from the separate Chaos Knight kit, if you choose to build your Knights with Ensorcelled Weapons.

For separate Chaos Knights, with the older sculpts, you will need to find £36 for ten. YMMV on this but I don’t think this is terrible value though I do really like the aesthetic of the kits. This multipart offers all of the build and command options and fits in reasonably well alongside the Start Collecting! knights, though perhaps not so well aesthetically as the warriors.

Who or What are Slaves to Darkness then?

The Chaos Gods are the ‘Big Bad’ of the setting and have had a huge trove of lore written about them over decades, so please forgive the rough edges of what follows…..

These are extra-dimensional representations of mortal drives and emotions become self-aware and turned up to eleven. These ‘Gods’ destroyed the Old World (does this mean GW is actually Chaos Undivided?) and are intent on corrupting the Mortal Realms and doing it all again. The Chaos Gods are reflections of mortal drives and emotions and seek to drive mortals further and further down the path of dedicating themselves to those drives and emotions. There are separate books for those purely aligned to a single God and their Daemonic footsoldiers. The Slaves to Darkness book is more for those who are still holding their cards close to their chest before playing a hand they can’t win. Chaos Undivided is the worship of all of the Chaos Gods, if you enjoy buffet food for some reason then this may be the option for you.

Slaves to Darkness are the (largely) mortal worshippers of Chaos Gods who are still sampling the buffet and have not yet dedicated themselves (entirely) to a single God, though they may have a Mark which bestows some Godly favours.

Unit Review

Chaos Lord on Karkadrakk

This got a slight points drop after the book was released from a slightly bonkers 250 to a slightly less bonkers 225.

Our Karkadrak can move 9″ and comes on a 90 by 52mm base which can be useful in blocking off an enemy move and generally being a bit annoying.

At 9 wounds Look Out Sir! is available, with a 3+ save and a 5+ mortal wound save this is moderately survivable but can’t stand with any serious melee threats for too long.
Your healing options in Slaves are limited so be aware that, if focused, this Lord will go down quick. This is a sad truth of Slaves, in my opinion, your generic Lords are not the melee terrors they were in The World That Was and if you try to use them like they are you will suffer.

The Karkadrak does have a plethora of attack profiles though – five with a total of 13 attacks!

These aren’t great though, most are zero rend with six at -1. Your Karkadrak does have a heal effect with their axe, if it slays an enemy with the weapon it can heal D3. On the charge the Karkadrak can deal D3 damage to each enemy unit within 1″ on a 2+

The Karkadrak may be best described as a moderate utility buff hero and not an anvil or a beat stick. What buffs though….? Well, Slaves units receive buffs from nearby heroes with the same Mark. Plus, the Karkadrakk has a Command Ability which buffs Chaos Knights and Chariots wholly within 18″ giving them reroll charges and +1 to hit. This means that, if you wish to lean into Knights and Chariots, the Karkadrak can be a fun addition.

Chaos Knights

These are currently 170 points for a five and sadly often used more like semi-survivable chaff rather than delivering the hammerstrike you may be wishing for, I am afraid you need to look to Varanguard for that.

Knights have a 10″ move which is OK for cavalry and a 75 by 42mm base. Knights also have a 4+ save and a 5+ mortal wound save with 3 wounds. Their big bases are helpful for screening but again they won’t survive prolonged attention.

Command options include a champion, standard bearer and musician. The Doom Knight champion gets an extra attack and can take a flail with a 2″ range and D6 attacks. IMHO both the Ensorcelled Weapons and Cursed Lances outclass this but YMMV.

The Standard Bearer (1 in 5) adds plus one bravery giving a potential bravery 8, it’s free so you take it but I do usually find this unit is either OK or just blows up….

The Hornblower musician (1 in 5) adds plus 1 to run and charge rolls, which is always a great buff.

Knights are apparently scary *cough*, so their Horrifying ability subtracts one Bravery from enemy units with a model within 1″…. ahem.

Are they actually scary though? Well, with Ensorcelled Weapons they’re putting out 3 3+ 3+ -1 rend 1 D attacks…. plus the 2 4+ 4+ – 1 D attacks from the horses. We have the lance variant from the Start Collecting box though which gives us buffs on the charge (2 damage and -2 rend) but is less effective in a prolonged melee grind with only 2 attacks and hitting on 4s.

Knights sadly don’t do great damage and can’t really take a punch.

Chaos Warriors

These clock in at a whopping 200 points for ten. They do have 2 wounds though and taking mark of Tzeentch can help their resilience, which really spikes in units of ten or more though (+1 to save taking them to 3+) so if you are looking for that you will need to pile in 400 points or lose it quickly.As mentioned, Warriors have a range of weapon options – Hand weapon and shield, Great Weapon, dual hand weapon, halberd and dual wield.

We all know dual wield should be the correct option, with a dove fly-by, but sadly only giving reroll hits and losing the mortal wound repelling ability of the shield (5+ MW ignore) simply isn’t worth it.

Great Weapons are another cool choice but again the loss of the shield is a huge blow, though the pip of rend is nice.

Halberds give us a 2″ reach, compensating for the 32mm girth, with the trade off of a 4+ rather than 3+ to wound and may be a nice option for a large block of warriors, allowing more to attack.

The only option in our start collecting box though is hand weapon and shield, giving 2 3+ 3+ 0 rend 1 D attacks, I haven’t found Warriors very killy in any variation but they can do some work against light armour and can be considered an OK anvil.

As mentioned, Warriors have a range of weapon options – Hand weapon and shield, Great Weapon, dual hand weapon, halberd and dual wield.

Points mean prizes

At the time of writing the Start Collecing! box clocks in at a fairly respectable 595 points and immediately fills our core requirements for a 1k game of a hero and two battleline.

Should you buy multiples of this set?

Well, in the current meta definitely not (and possibly not even one….). They are fantastic models though and really give the heavy metal theme of Slaves to your army. You will have a bit of a samey feel to your army though due to the lack of variety in poses and will need to do some work to create your command models.

So, a 1K army list might look like this:

Allegiance: Slaves to Darkness
Damned Legion: Ravagers
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:
Chaos Lord on Karkadrak (225)
General
– Artefact: Mark of the High-favoured
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Ravagers Command Trait: Master of Deception
Chaos Sorcerer Lord (135)
Ravagers Command Trait: Bolstered by Hate
– Spell: Mask of Darkness
10 x Chaos Warriors (200)
Hand Weapon & Shield
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
5 x Chaos Knights (170)
Cursed Lance
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
10 x Chaos Warriors (200)
– Hand Weapon & Shield
– Mark of Chaos: Tzeentch
9 x Untamed Beasts (70)
Mark of Chaos: Khorne

Total: 1000 / 1000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200
Wounds: 78
Drops: 6

Battalions to taste.

Chaos Sorcerer Lord

This makes good use of our box and adds in a wizard with a teleport and an extra couple of wounds, courtesy of Bolstered by Hate. Our Karkadrak Lord now has an 18″ range on their Aura of Chaos and so can buff your Khorne units from further away, in addition Master of Deception subtracts 1 from hit rolls of melee attacks directed their way.

An extra block of warriors gives our wizard a body guard and a nice target for their teleport spell to go objective grabbing. Untamed Beasts round out our points and are a good cheap screen with a cheeky pre-game move.

Untamed Beasts

A nice trick in Ravagers is the ability to summon in models via the General which you can rotate through your heroes. This summoning is more impactful in smaller games and the ability to bring in ten marauders is very nice. You will need to pick these up though to effectively round out your list (I would suggest twenty marauders) but these models will be useful as you expand to 2000 points.

All in all I think this is a nice fluffy list which will be fun and meets our heavy metal theme from the Start Collecting! box.

What will it cost?

SetGBP £USD $EUR €AUD $
Start Collecting: Slaves to Darkness£65$110€85$165
Battletome: Slaves to Darkness (2nd Ed)£27.50$45€35$70
Chaos Sorcerer Lord £11$16.50€13.25$22
Chaos Warriors £35$60€45$75
Untamed Beasts£42.50$70€55$110
Total£181$301.50€233.25$442

With the above you’ll end up with 10 additional Warriors for when you look to expand to 2,000 points. You’ll also have a Warcry warband, which is nice. As always, shop around. You’ll be able to find retailers who’ll offer 15-20% off the prices above. If you live in the UK sign up to SCN Hobby World and join their mailing list, with them you’ll receive 25% off GW prices!

If you want pure metal though, buy a second Start Collecting! and use everything from both, excepting the second Karkadrak….. I am not saying it’s great on the table but you can turn the volume up to eleven and headbang your way to a 0-5.

So, is it a buy?

Overall, I would say yes…. it was a buy for me. I picked one of these up and use all of the units in most of my Slaves to Darkness lists. They look cool, especially if you like the heavy metal aesthetic and are a truly great reimagining of classic Warhammer Fantasy units. They do currently lack a bit of juice on the tabletop but who knows what a new book and a shaken up meta might bring……

Speaking of which, with a new Battletome coming for them later this year, it’s likely they’ll also receive a new Vanguard boxed set much like the other factions.

But, until then prepare your claim for whiplash injuries and bellow to the uncaring skies “For The Everchosen”!

Vanguard: Nighthaunt – Is it Worth it?

Nighthaunt: Vanguard – First Impressions Review

On the weekend Games Workshop finally announced new Vanguard sets, 3 in total, Skaven, Daughters of Khaine and Nighthaunt. Ahead of the weekend pre-orders, we at Woehammer thought reviewing it would be a good idea and spent some time deciding if it offered a good way to begin a Nighthaunt army.

What’s in the box?

SlotUnit
LeaderKnight of Shrouds
Battleline20 x Chainrasps
Battleline10 x Grimghast Reapers
Battleline3 x Spirit Hosts
Vanguard: Nighthaunt

34 Miniatures with one small Hero (HQ), and 33 melee troops all of which are battleline coming to a total of 645 points.

Purchased individually these models would be AUD$320 without discount, and all indications are that it will be priced at AUD$190, which makes it great value.

SetGBP £USD $EUR €AUD $
Knight of Shrouds£21$35€27$55
Chainrasps£52$84€68$140
Grimghast Reapers£30$50€40$77
Spirit Hosts£18$32€23$48
Total£121$201€158$320
Vanguard: Nighthaunt£80$130€105$190

This set has the battlelines to meet requirements for 750, 1000 or 2000 point games (not recommended) and best of all you could buy multiple copies. Except for the Knight of Shrouds these are staple units you would see in many competitive lists.

With the Chainrasps to act as anvil and the Grimghast to provide the hammer the 2 work well together and also compliment the Knight of Shrouds ability to allow sequential activation. Combined with Nighthaunt’s allegiance ability to fall back and charge every turn it’s very easy to supercharge the Grimghast with a 3rd attack creating a serious threat.

The Spirit Host offer good value through their number of attacks, 6s autowound for Nighthaunt giving 3 autowounds per attack on average. They also serve as a bodyguard granting a hero within 3” a 3+ ward with the Spirit Hosts taking the damage. This is essential if you are going to use the Knight of Shrouds ability

The choice of hero for the box is the biggest issue. The Knight of Shrouds abilities don’t really work well with the other units, his warscroll includes free Redeploy and Unleash Hell. For an army with almost no ranged damage. Nighthaunt live and die with their wizards and the Guardian of Souls would have been a better choice. His mounted brother, the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, is superior; granting an All out Attack for free. Compared to the Grey Seer included in the Vanguard:Skaven set it seems like a weaker choice.

Other criticism are minor, the units are more old school Nighthaunt and really only work well in 2 processions (Sub factions) – Emerald Host and Grieving Legion. Bladegheist Revenants would have had more options than the Grimghast. None of the new scuplts (Craventhrone Guard, Scriptor Mortis or Awlach the Drowner) are included and as a direct match up, it is weaker than the other Vanguard boxes released on the same schedule. That said this box is more of an option for multiple copies than the other 2 (although 2 Warpfire Cannons might not be terrible).

Overall this is a solid basis for a Nighthaunt Army. All it needs is your choice of heroes and it’s time to assert Nagash’s claim to the realm.

Top Three AoS Lists from Mawtribes Massacre: Annihilation

Mawtribes Massacre: Annihilation took place in England, UK on 11th and 12th June. It involved 30 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: Stormcast Eternals
Stormhost: Hammers of Sigmar (Scions of the Storm)
– Grand Strategy: Pillars of Belief
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Lord-Relictor (145)*
General
– Command Trait: High Priest
– Artefact: Mirrorshield
– Prayer: Translocation
Lord-Commander Bastian Carthalos (300)*

Battleline
5 x Liberators (115)*
Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield
– 1x Grandweapons
5 x Vindictors (130)*
5 x Vindictors (130)*

Units
6 x Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (480)*
Reinforced x 1
4 x Stormdrake Guard (680)*
Drakerider’s Warblade
– Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Holy Command: Thunderbolt Volley

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 92
Drops: 1

Danny: Longstrikes go brrr. Dragons go raaawr. Relictor flings them around and Bastion is a distraction carnifex that’s also a beat-stick. It’s been done before and it will be very interesting to see if lists like this still function in the forthcoming GHB meta. I kinda hope not, just for a change!

Advertisements

Allegiance: Ironjawz
Warclan: Ironsunz
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumphs:

Leaders
Orruk Megaboss (140)**
Artefact: Destroyer
Orruk Warchanter (115)* Fixing beat
Orruk Warchanter (115)* Get em beat
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)**
General
– Command Trait: Master of Magic
– Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)**
Boss Choppa and Rip-roof Fist
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
– Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Battleline
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
1x Gorkamorka Glyph Bearers- 1x Drummer- 2x Shields- champ
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
1x Gorkamorka Glyph Bearers- 1x Drummer- 2x Shields- champ
10 x Orruk Brutes (320)***
Jagged Gore-hackas- champ w/ boss klaw and brute smasha
2x Gore Choppas
– Reinforced x 1

Units
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)***
Jagged Gore-hackas- champ
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
Jagged Gore-hackas- champ
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)*
Jagged Gore-hackas- champ

Endless Spells & Invocations
Emerald Lifeswarm (60)

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

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 138
Drops: 7

Danny: The tried and tested core of 2 Warchanters, a murder-cabbage, and loads of feral hogs (with an added Megaboss on foot and a nice big blob of killy battleline Brutes) make for a great early pressure list. A cheeky emerald lifeswarm makes an unusual appearance but it’s a great endless spell, so why the hell not? Another list archetype that in light of the forthcoming battleline rules will likely want to put way more points into battleline blobs (and Brutes stonks definitely go up due to their ability to steal objectives of n number of 1 wound infantry).

Advertisements

Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
Subfaction: Drowned Men
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Bloab Rotspawned (300)**
Lore of Malignance: Rancid Visitations
– Lore of Malignance: Magnificent Buboes
Festus the Leechlord (150)**
Lore of Malignance: Gift of Disease
– Lore of Malignance: Cloying Quagmire
Lord of Afflictions (210)**
General
– Command Trait: Overpowering Stench
– Artefact: The Splithorn Helm
Orghotts Daemonspew (300)**

Battleline
20 x Plaguebearers (300)**
Reinforced x 1
2 x Pusgoyle Blightlords (220)*
5 x Putrid Blightkings (250)*
5 x Putrid Blightkings (250)*

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord

Additional Enhancements
Spell

Total: 1980 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 137
Drops: 8

Danny: Nurgle, but they’re tried to avoid spam, bless ’em, by running the full gamut of battleline options and two giant walking filth piles. The usual Drowned Men sub-faction allows for pre-game movement to accelerate the hurt and pressure they can pile on. Blightking stonks – given they’re supremely tanky infantry models – are about to go WAY up.

Advertisements

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
Lodge: Greyfyrd
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

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 Runemaster (125)*
Artefact: Volatile Brazier
– Universal Prayer Scripture: Heal
Auric Flamekeeper (90)*
Auric Runeson (80)*
Ancestral War-axe
– Artefact: Axe of Grimnir
Battlesmith (150)*
Artefact: Nulsidian Icon

Battleline
10 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (320)**
Broadaxes
– Reinforced x 1
15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (480)**
Poleaxes
– Reinforced x 2
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)**
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Fyresteel Handaxes (170)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Runic Fyrewall (55)

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact – Warlord
Artefact – Greyfyrd (non-mounted hero only)
Artefact – Greyfyrd (non-mounted hero only)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 3 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 127
Drops: 9

Danny: Good to see Fyreslayers continue to find their bare, sooty, blood-stained feet, with a list here mixing up bezerkers with go-wide Vulkites. Hoo boy is THIS kinda list about to get a lot scarier with the new 1/2″ double rank rule. The single ‘Droth will always be a great option, and the suite of Fyreslayer heroes throw out a panoply of buffs that keep the swathes of battleline very much alive, and frenziedly kicking (and chopping)!

Final Tournament Placings (Top 10)

PlayerFactionSubfactionResult
Pete BrizioStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar5/0/0
Matt MuscottIronjawIronsunz4/0/1
Matt Croughton Maggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4/0/1
Russell TaylorSeraphonThunder Lizard 4/0/1
Joshua Raine FyreslayersGreyfyrd 4/0/1
Seb DuckBeasts of Chaos Gavespawn3/1/1
Tom Marshall Daughters of Khaine Hagg Nar3/0/2
James ColeStormcast Eternals Hallowed Knights 3/0/2
Pete OxfordLegion of the First Prince3/0/2
Waynr GummerSoulblight Gravelords Vyrkos Dynasty3/0/2

AoS Meta Stats (w/e 12th June 2022)

On Reddit Warhammer 40k has the Meta Mondays posted by the brilliant u/JCMS85 on r/WarhammerCompetitive. So why can’t we have one for AoS? Well we can….

Here are the stats for all the Grand Tournaments that have taken place between Monday 6th June and Sunday 12th 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 10 Grand Tournaments last week, however only 9 had data available to analyse. Valleycon 2022 was a 26 player tournament but no lists were available at the time of publishing these stats.

Advertisements

Grand Tournaments

Ranked from largest to smallest.

US Open San Diego – California/USA
74 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonThunder Lizard5-0-0
2ndCities of SigmarLiving City5-0-0
3rdCities of SigmarLiving City5-0-0
4thBonesplitterzDrakkfoot4-0-1
5thBlades of KhorneReapers of Vengeance4-0-1
6thLumineth Realm-LordsZaitrec4-0-1
7thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
8thLegion of the First Prince4-0-1
9thBeasts of ChaosGavespawn4-0-1
10thSeraphonThunder Lizard4-0-1
San Diego Open

Atlantic City Open – New Jersey/USA
73 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men5-0-0
2ndSoulblight GravelordsLegion of Blood5-0-0
3rdMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
4thIdoneth DeepkinNautilar4-0-1
5thSkaventide4-0-1
6thDaughters of KhaineKhailebron4-0-1
7thDaughters of KhaineHagg Nar4-0-1
8thSons of BehematBreaker Tribe4-0-1
9thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
10thLegion of the First Prince4-0-1
Atlantic City Open

GT de CAT – Catalunya/Spain
30 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonThunder Lizard5-0-0
2ndSeraphonThunder Lizard4-0-1
3rdLegion of the First Prince4-0-1
4thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
5thSeraphonThunder Lizard4-0-1
6thNighthauntReikenor’s Condemned3-0-2
7thSylvaneth3-0-2
8thDaughters of KhaineKhailebron3-0-2
9thDisciples of TzeentchHosts Duplicitous3-0-2
10thKharadon OverlordsBarak-Zilfin3-0-2
GT de CAT

Mawtribes Massacre: Annihilation – England/UK
30 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar4-0-1
2ndIronjawzIronsunz4-0-1
3rdMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men4-0-1
4thSeraphonThunder Lizard4-0-1
5thFyreslayersGreyfyrd3-1-1
6thBeasts of ChaosGavespawn3-0-2
7thDaughters of KhaineHagg Nar3-0-2
8thStormcast EternalsHallowed Knights3-0-2
9thLegion of the First Prince3-0-2
10thSoulblight GravelordsVyrkos Dynasty3-0-2
Mawtribes Massacre: Annihilation

Sunshine Coast Open – England/UK
27 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stSeraphonDracothion’s Tail5-0-0
2ndNighthauntScarlet Doom4-1-0
3rdIdoneth DeepkinIonrach4-0-1
4thSeraphonThunder Lizard3-1-1
5thSons of BehematTaker Tribe3-1-1
6thNighthauntEmerald Host3-0-2
7thLumineth Realm-LordsAlumnia3-0-2
8thCities of SigmarTempest’s Eye3-0-2
9thBeasts of ChaosGavespawn3-0-2
10thGloomspite GitzGlogg’s Megamob3-0-2
Sunshine Coast Open

Wargames for Warriors – Utah/USA
22 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stLegion of the First Prince4-0-1
2ndDaughters of KhaineKhelt Nar4-0-1
3rdNighthauntEmerald Host4-0-1
4thSoulblight GravelordsKastelai Dynasty4-0-1
5thDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai3-0-2
6thSlaves to DarknessRavagers3-0-2
7thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar3-0-2
8thMaggotkin of NurgleBefouling Host3-0-2
9thSoulblight GravelordsKastelai Dynasty3-0-2
10thSoulblight GravelordsKastelai Dynasty3-0-2
Wargames for Warriors

Justice Series – England/UK
18 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stMaggotkin of NurgleBefouling Host5-0-0
2ndDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai4-0-1
3rdCities of SigmarTempest’s Eye4-0-1
4thNighthauntScarlet Doom3-0-2
5thMaggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men3-0-2
6thSoulblight GravelordsVyrkos Dynasty3-0-2
7thSons of BehematBreaker Tribe3-0-2
8thDaughters of KhaineZainthar Kai3-0-2
9thKruleboyzBig Yellers3-0-2
10thStormcast EternalsTempest Lords2-0-3
Justice Series

Game Knight AoS GT – Ontario/Canada
12 Players

PositionFactionSubfactionResult
1stIdoneth DeepkinMor’Phann5-0-0
2ndSons of BehematBreaker Tribe3-0-2
3rdOgor MawtribesBoulderhead3-0-2
4thStormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar3-0-2
5thMaggotkin of NurgleMunificent Wanderers3-0-2
6thBonesplitterzIcebone3-0-0
7thLegion of the First Prince2-0-3
8thLumineth Realm-LordsZaitrec2-0-3
9thOssiarch BonereapersPetrifex Elite2-0-3
10thBlades of KhorneBaleful Lords2-0-3
Game Knight AoS GT
Advertisements

Grand Alliance Stats

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

Grand AllianceWin RateArmies% Share of Armies5-0 Wins4+ Wins
Chaos54.5%5619.6%213
Order51.0%11941.6%622
Death46.6%4816.8%17
Destruction46.1%5622.0%05

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
Seraphon66.2%132.27%31
Legion of the First Prince65.0%81.40%00
Maggotkin of Nurgle58.6%213.67%20
Idoneth Deepkin58.5%111.92%10
Soulblight Gravelords57.7%132.27%10
Cities of Sigmar57.0%101.75%20
Daughters of Khaine56.4%142.45%01
Lumineth Realm-Lords52.1%101.75%00
Ironjawz50.8%132.27%00
Sons of Behemat48.5%142.45%01
Ogor Mawtribes47.2%111.92%00
Nighthaunt46.7%213.67%02
Stormcast Eternals45.0%437.52%03
Kruleboyz44.3%111.92%01
Sylvaneth40.0%50.87%01
Hedonites of Slaanesh38.3%61.05%00
Skaventide37.9%71.22%00
Fyreslayers34.4%91.57%01
Ossiarch Bonereapers31.1%111.92%01
Gloomspite Gitz30.0%61.05%01

Despite Nighthaunt and Daughters of Khaine being released now for a couple of weeks, we still see Seraphon, Legion of the First Prince and Maggotkin of Nurgle topping the win rates. On top of that Seraphon managed to grab three 5-0 results this week.

As a rough guide factions should have win rates of between 45-55% to ensure the game is roughly balance (true balance being impossible). The above shows that 7 factions have exceeded this band (including the new Daughters of Khaine) with Seraphon and Legion of the First Prince have exceeded the 60% win rate barrier. There are also seven factions below this ideal range, including one of the new battletomes for 3rd Edition (Fyreslayers). While Stormcast Eternals have a win rate of 45% we have to bear in mind that this is the most popular faction and is often the ones new players use when first playing Age of Sigmar, so the range of skill of the players inside this faction will vary widely, while many of the other faction will have a dedicated fan base or have tournament players looking for a faction that provides them the best chance at good results.

Advertisements

Subfaction Stats

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

FactionSubfactionWin RateArmies5-0 Wins0-5 Losses
SeraphonThunder Lizard67.3%1121
Maggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men65.5%1110
Legion of the First Prince65.0%800
Lumineth Realm-LordsZaitrec60.9%500
Idoneth DeepkinNautilar58.6%600
Cities of SigmarLiving City58.3%620
NighthauntScarlet Doom54.3%700
Daughters of KhaineZainthar Kai54.3%700
Soulblight GravelordsVyrkos Dynasty53.3%600
Sons of BehematBreaker Tribe53.1%1000
Stormcast EternalsAstral Templars50.0%600
Stormcast EternalsHammers of Sigmar49.1%2301
IronjawzBloodtoofs44.2%900
KruleboyzBig Yellers43.4%801
Hedonites of SlaaneshLurid Haze42.0%500
NighthauntEmerald Host41.5%1302
FyreslayersGreyfyrd38.6%700
Skaventide37.9%700
Stormcast EternalsHallowed Knights35.6%901
Ossiarch BonereapersPetrifex Elite32.3%1001
Gloomspite Gitz24.0%501

The faction stats are pretty much replicated above with Lumineth Realm-Lords/Zaitrec joining the +60% club this week. Meanwhile despite Anthony Trentanelli’s heroics with Skaven recently (claiming two GT’s and going 4-1 this week) they still sit below 45% with a miserable 37.9% win rate. Will their new battletome and the Generals Handbook see a change in this though? A new tome can’t come soon enough for Gloomspite Gitz and Ossiarch Bonereapers….

Start Collecting: Sons of Behemat – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

As part of our Start Collecting series looking a beginner armies, I’ve drawn the short straw and been ‘given’ Sons of Behemat. Maybe this has something to do with the fact I actually own an army of them, or just because I’ve upset Peter! Either way it’ll be fun, so join me on perhaps the strangest ‘Start Collecting’ article on Woehammer.

Sons of Behemat are the Gargants (Giants) of Warhammer Age of Sigmar. If you play 40k, then think about the Chaos Knights or Imperial Knights Codices and you’ll get the right idea… in fact it is very likely that the success of the Knight kit encourages GW to try making a Mega-Gargant kit.

Upon the release of their book, they were a very popular army but with new armies coming on the scene, extra points for killing them, and the difficulty in piloting them 5-0 they have seen less representation in AoS3. They also suffer a bit from being one dimensional! Sit on an objective; don’t die – can often be a tactic that’ll get you 2-3 at a tournament.

From The Honest Wargamer, State of the Meta Stats

Despite the stop of popularity (10% to 3.3%), they remain a 3-2 army and the best Destruction army (statistically… check out more on The Honest Wargamer website).

The first thing you’ll notice with this army is that there are 4 warscrolls, and no allies (we’ll discuss this below), so there’s not many options available for a 1,000 point force. The second thing you’ll notice is that there is no Start Collecting box… what a surprise; so we’ll have to forge our own path.

1,000 points or working towards 2,000 points

<updated after article released>. We had a great comment on one of the social media thingys that Peter pays attention to. Thanks to Dead Pheonix for pointing out that the below isn’t allowed in matched play 1,000 points ‘Contest of Generals’ because the Gatebreaker is over 50% of the army… so do I rewrite the article, or just change it’s premise! Change of course.

If you want to play 1,000 points open play then the below list is fine, if you’re playing 1,000 matched play then you’ll need Kraken Eater & Warmstomper or 2 Kraken-Eaters. The list below is a great stepping stone to a 2,000 point list though, so have fun with it…!

Gatebreaker or Kraken-Eater?

Your first question will be whether you want a Gatebreaker or whether a Kraken Eater is ‘good enough’ for what you want. The advantages of the Kraken Eater are the additional model count on objectives (30 rather than 20 for the Mega-Gargants) and additional Artefacts if you want them. The disadvantage is – although they look good on paper – the low rend makes them do a lot less damage that you’d think.

The Gatekeeper is definitely a beat-stick and able to take down some of the biggest enemies in Age of Sigmar, but he comes with a problem at 1,000 points… he costs 525 so you can’t have two of him. This makes him a target alongside the Warstomper you’ll be bringing along to keep him company. If you can only kill one of them, you aim for the Gatebreaker.

And why not just grab a Warstomper and 3 Gargants… well you can if you want, but the Gargants only come in 2s, so you’re buying one you don’t need and at 1,000 points then the 2 Mega Gargants are a great start – and a chunk of cash!

Games Workshop’s Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant

You’ll also need a copy of the Battletome as well.

Because we want an army with some variety, and you don’t want to paint two identical models, we’ll go Gatebreaker and Warstomper for our 1,000 point army. Of course, you’ll need the Battletome as well… so this is an expensive start!

The Cost

Remember that if you sign up with SCN Hobby World you can get all these boxes at 25% off the Games Workshop price.

SetGW PriceSCN Price
Mega-Gargant – Gatebreaker £120.00£90.00
Mega-Gargant – Warstomper£120.00£90.00
Battletome: Sons of Behemat£27.50£20.63
Total£267.50£200.63
What it costs

The Army List

Gatekeeper (General) 525
Warstomper 470

So… that was simple. The artefacts are really entirely up to you. I prefer ones which improve killing power, but Arcane Tome is a fan favourite to allow Flaming Weapon and a dispel opportunity. Sure it won’t help against Teclis and Kroak, but if you’re against a mid-tier army it may stop the key spell.

Allies

On the face of it, the Sons of Behemat cannot have allies, but as the army expands, it is possible to take Kragnos to get a little more hitty power – but although he has a 2+ save he can be a weak link against shooting mortal wounds. The other option is of course a Thondia Incarnate… but I don’t know how many of these we’ll see in competitive play given their narrative background and the expense of book and model.

Where next?

Now you’ve got to 1,000 points where to next. Well there are two ways to play if you ignore the Kragnos option. One is to get another 2 Mega-Gargants and take along 4 models to a tournament. It’ll give you a lot of time to view other games as everything is so quick with this option. It also allows you to try out the Kraken Eater.

Mancrusher Gargants from Games Workshop

The other option is lots of small Mancrusher Gargants. These are better than their Gitz cousins (Aleguzzlers) in the Gloomspite Gitz book. They can’t fall over and their damage table doesn’t reduce movement (because you can take them in units). The disadvantage if that they are expensive for an old kit (£80 RRP for a pair), and if you need more than 3 of them they become somewhat mono-pose. They are so bad, even I have converted a few.

The good news about the Mancrusher Gargants is that if you aren’t playing at a specific GW event you can bring Proxies… and there’s loads of great models out there – don’t overlook 3D printed toys either.

So that’s it – is 1,000 points good? Well strangely yes. A lot of opponents won’t have the tools to deal with 2 monsters and the Mightier Makes Rightier rule for objective capturing makes it difficult to take objectives off the Sons of Behemat if they are still alive. Just don’t bank on having too many Most Sporting votes. If you’re playing against a regular opponent, you may want to agree an adjustment in points for them as well – especially if they don’t have access to much shooting.

— Declan

AoS Chaos Stats – May

Following on from yesterday’s article about the Grand Alliance stats for May, I bring you the first of the Alliance ‘dives’. Where better to start than the main baddies themselves, Chaos?

Faction Stats – Match Win Rates

I bet you all thought Maggotkin and Legion would be leading this table didn’t you? Well you’re half right. But the recent results which saw Trentanelli take two GT’s using Skaven (an under used faction) has seen them climb to 2nd here. With win rates of 63.83% and 62.00% they are two of three factions that have rates that exceed the ‘balanced range’.

Many players state that for the game to be balanced, then all factions are required to have a win rate of between 45-55%. Legion and Skaven both vastly exceed that range this month. While Nurgle only just creep over at 55.29%. be aware though, that this is the faction as a whole, there are subfactions within Nurgle and others that both exceed this range and fall below this range.

Subfaction Win Rates

These are the subfactions ranked by their win rates. Only armies that have been represented five times or more have been included.

FactionSubfactionWin Rate# of Players
Maggotkin of NurgleDrowned Men64.29%21
Legion of the First Prince 63.83%19
Skaventide62.00%10
Blades of KhorneReapers of Vengeance54.35%5
Maggotkin of NurgleBefouling Host53.18%22
Beasts of ChaosGavespawn50.00%14
Maggotkin of NurgleBlessed Sons46.00%5
Maggotkin of NurgleDroning Guard38.33%6

Subfactions Not Represented

The below list shows factions who were completely overlooked in the month of May and not represented at any GT.

FactionSubfaction
Slaves to DarknessRavagers
Slaves to DarknessCabalists
Slaves to DarknessIdolators
Blades of KhorneGoretide
Blades of KhorneSkullfiend Tribe
Maggotkin of NurgleFilthbringers
Hedonites of SlaaneshInvaders
Hedonites of SlaaneshScarlet Cavalcade
Disciples of TzeentchHosts Duplicitous
Disciples of TzeentchCult of the Transient Form
Disciples of TzeentchPyrofane Cult

News – Horus Heresy Pre-Orders

It’s finally arrived the first (real) starter set for Horus Heresy, set in the 31st Millennium and featuring Space Marines against Space Marines before too many of them succumb to the changes wrought by Chaos.

If you’ve been living under a rock these last few weeks, or somehow managed to miss the Warhammer Community Articles this is the contents of the box:

Horus Heresy Starter Box – Games Workshop

The great thing about this starter set is that – although the models are painted as two opposing armies – you can paint them all as one with the addition of some transfers or, if you are feeling patient, some moulded shoulder pads which are surely on the way.

I’m of the age to remember RTB001 and the original Beakies. In fact the only complete Space Marine army I have (that is one that has been to a tournament), is a Blood Angel with most of the models from RTB001… so I am *that* old!

Whilst I don’t know anyone locally who plays, my weekly painting group do play and we’re meeting up in October so I hope to have a small force painted by then so I can give them a game or two.

That means this set hits the nostalgia button right in the middle and so I have ordered a copy through Sarah at SCN Hobby, and hope to pick it up on my way to Nottingham on the weekend of release!.

At £180- less your FLGS’s discount I think this is a great set. I am also picking up a Heavy Weapons set to go with it, and also picked some ‘Seriously Red’ spray from TT Combat which seems to be a reasonable base for the Blood Angels – perhaps with some Nuln Oil for the recesses.

TT Combat colours – picked up at UK Games Expo!

I plan to treat these as a separate Wargamer’s pledge much like the Warlord Napoleonics I have, and only get more once I’ve painted the starter!

I may need to pick up some transfers direct from GW as well, just to help finish off the army… (and so it starts)!

— Declan