Tag Archives: Tournament Preparation

The Battle of Burning Skies Preview

This weekend I’m taking part in my first AoS tournament, Battle of Burning Skies is run by the legends at Savage Hammer Gaming and Greetings from the Warp, and is sponsored by none other than fellow Woehammerer Sarah and SCN Hobbies.

This is my first tournament of any kind since 1999 (yes, I’m that old). All the lists are available on Best Coast Pairing if you have a subscription so I thought I would cover three of the lists which I believe have the potential to win.

Savage Hammer Gaming have a number of events upcoming this year all based in Bedford, for both 40k and AoS. So if you want to keep updated on them or want to come along to an event why not check them out on Eventbrite.

Favourite Declan Waters – Big Waaagh!

Declan has come off the back of two tournament tournament wins and a second place, being undefeated in all three. A win at Dazmaul Wargaming and the Chumpionship tournament, and a second place at Raging Rivers so its hard to ignore his potential to make it three wins on the trot. Declan is running his favourite Big Waaagh! once more which suits his punch second gaming style.

Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:

Megaboss on Maw-Krusha
– General
– Boss Choppa and Rip-tooth fist
– Command Trait: Touched by the Waaagh!
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
– Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork

Wurrgog Prophet (150)*
– Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Orruk Warchanter (115)*
– Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat

Orruk Warchanter (115)*
– Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat

10 x Orruk Brutes
– Jagged Gore-hackas
– 2x Gore Choppas
– Reinforced x 1

10 x Orruk Brutes (320)**
– Jagged Gore-hackas
– 2x Gore Choppas
– Reinforced x 1

5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
– 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers

5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
– 1x Gorkamorka Banner Bearers

4 x Ironskull’s Boyz
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)**
– Jagged Gore-hackas

2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)*

Core Battalions
**Hunters of the Heartlands
***Ironjawz Fist

Additional Enhancements


Christine Coram – Ironjaws

After starting the year playing Daughters of Khaine, Christine swapped to her old favourites Ironjaws for the Chumpionship, and boy what a swap! Christine finished 2nd in the event to Declan with her Ironjaws list and I’ve no doubt her list has the potential for three wins this weekend. WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL? IS IT KRAGNOS, IS IT KRAGNOOOOSSSS?! Lots of big stompy monsters here, with a recently upgraded Kragnos who can do a lot of heavy lifting alongside the ubiquitous Maw-Krusha. This list is bound to crush face.

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
– Army Type: Ironjawz
Army Subfaction: Bloodtoofs
– Grand Strategy: Beast Master
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty


Kragnos (720)

Megaboss on Maw-krusha (480)*
– General
– Command Traits: Mega Bossy
– Boss Gore-hacka and Choppa
– Artefacts: Destroyer
– Mount Traits: Loud ’Un

Orruk Warchanter (115)*
Orruk Weirdnob Shaman (90)*

3x Orruk Gore-gruntas
5x Orruk Ardboys (85)*
5x Orruk Brutes (160)*
5x Orruk Brutes (160)*

*Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: (1980/2000)


Christian Moore – Legion of the First Prince

We’ve seen versions of Christian’s list on many top 3’s recently so it’s hard to ignore the potential for him to place high up in the rankings this weekend. Christian is a seasoned pro and went 5-0 at Blackout V with his Soulblight Dynasty he has swapped them this time around for Legion and I think he has the potential to push Declan to the end on this one.

Army Faction: Legion of the First Prince
– Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
– Triumph: Inspired

Kairos Fateweaver
– Spells: The Master’s Command

Be’lakor (360)*
– Spells: The Master’s Command

Slaves to Darkness Daemon Prince (210)*
– General
– Mark of Chaos: Khorne
– Command Traits: Ruinous Aura
– Daemonic Axe and Malefic Talons
– Artefacts of Power: Armour of the Pact

The Contorted Epitome (255)*
– Artefacts of Power: Fourfold Blade
– Spells: Flaming Weapon, The Master’s Command

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

1 x Emerald Lifeswarm (60)
1 x Umbral Spellportal (70)

– *Command Entourage
– **Hunters of the Heartlands

TOTAL POINTS: 1995/2000


As for me…. I’m running Kruleboyz

I in no way believe my list is a contender for any of the top tables and I’ll be happy to walk away with one win this weekend. I have already made one mistake with this list, Levitate! What was I thinking!!!!

Army Faction: Orruk Warclans
Army Type: Kruleboyz
– Subfaction: Big Yellers
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumph: Inspired

Gobsprakk (280)
– Spells: Choking Mist

Swampboss Skumdrekk (320)*
– General

Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105)*
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Levitate

9 x Man-skewer Boltboyz
– Reinforced: Twice
6 x Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)*
– Reinforced: Once
10 x Gutrippaz (180)*
– Wicked Stikka

1 x Beast-skewer Killbow

3 x Rippa’s Snarlfangs
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (155)
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)*
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)*

– *Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 2000/2000

All the Entries this Weekend

Andrew Hartwell Ironjawz/Bloodtoofs
Andy Zielinski Gloomspite Gitz
Ash Coleman Lumineth Realm-Lords/Syar
Billy Burrows Maggotkin of Nurgle
Christian Moore Legion of the First Prince
Christine Coram Ironjawz/Bloodtoofs
Dan Wright Maggotkin of Nurgle
Declan Waters Big Waaagh!
Iain Carsberg Disciples of Tzeentch/Pyrofane Cult
Joel Cooper Skaventide
Jon Keightley Ironjawz/Ironsunz
Jonathon Quinn Flesh-eater Courts/Blisterskin
Kat Binley Sons of Behemay/Taker Tribe
Mark Cullen Ogor Mawtribes/Bloodgullet
Matthew Tyler Daughters of Khaine/Hagg Nar
Max Barton Stormcast Eternals/Hammers of Sigmar
Paul Coram Idoneth Deepkin/Fuethan
Peter Holland Kruleboyz/Big Yellers
Rhys Syllabanks Flesh-eater Courts/Gristlegore
Ross Brace Idoneth Deekin/Dhom-Hain
Tom Meaker Bonesplitterz/Icebone
Wayne Cooper Seraphon/Thunder Lizard
Will Holley Kharadron Overlords/Barak-Mhornar

Battle of the Burning Skies

So I’m biting the bullet and diving into my first tournament since 1999….. Yes I’m that old.

I’m attending the Battle of the Burning Skies in Northamptonshire on 26th March. Tickets for which are available here. The tournament has been organised jointly between the fantastic peeps at both Savage Hammer Gaming and Greetings from the Warp.

It’s a 2,000 point the day event of AoS.

I’m a little rusty with AoS having only played one game against my A.I. ruleset in 3rd. One game in 2nd and a few in the first edition. Time to get some practice in.

I own three armies for AoS, Cities of Sigmar, Kharadron Overlords and Kruleboyz. I’m going to go with Kruleboyz as they’re probably the most competitive out of the three and I don’t want to be spanked in every game by taking my pure old school Dispossessed list.

So my list?

Well this is my first draft after some consultation with @rightangle79. And will in all likelihood get changed as the tournament draws closer.

Allegiance : Orruk Warclans
Subfaction : Big Yellers
Army Type : Kruleboyz
Grand Strategy : Hold the Line
Triumphs : Inspired

Gobsprakk (General) (300 pts)
– Spell: Choking Mist
Swampcalla Shaman and Pot-grot (105 pts)
– Artefact: Eye-biter Ash
– Spell: Nasty Hex
Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast (315 pts)
Killaboss with Stab-Grot (110 pts)

Man-skewer Boltboyz (120 pts)
Man-skewer Boltboyz (360 pts)
– Reinforced: Twice
Gutrippaz (180 pts)
Gutrippaz (180 pts)

Rippa’s Snarlfangs (Ally) (70 pts)

Beast-skewer Killbow (130 pts)
Beast-skewer Killbow (130 pts)

Total Points : 2000 pts

We’ll see how the practice games go…..

War in the Heartlands – Day 2 Summary

So it’s come to a close, War in the Heartlands touted by many present to be the best Age of Sigmar tournament this year.

The touches that have gone into the event is plain to see even for those of us following on twitch and Twitter. From the handouts, the food and the celebrity video intros to each round.

I’ve included a number of tweets from various Twitter users that have been posted throughout the weekend.

Our very own Declan managed a fourth win

Tournament Preparation – Facehammer 2021

Orange Ben and @rightangle79 (Declan) are both off to the Facehammer Grand Tournament this weekend (11th & 12th September 2021). I thought it would be a great time to interview them about their tournament lists and their past glories…..

Ok. So you’ve both been to tournaments before, what do you enjoy the most about them?

Ben: For me it’s mainly seeing friends and looking at cool armies. But mainly this:

Declan: Seeing friends, having a beer and chatting about Warhammer. It also means I have a deadline for painting toys… which I almost always need. For most tournaments I include something new to paint.

So which armies are you taking to Facehammer this year? Care to share your lists?

Ben’s Kharadron Overlords (Ghostlords)

Declan’s List

  • Loonboss – Clammy Hand
  • Fungoid Cave Shaman – Hand of Gork
  • Madcap Shaman – Hand of Gork & Moonface Mommet
  • Webspinner on Arachnarok Spider – Curse of da Spider God & Amulet of Destiny
  • 60 Shootas
  • 20 Shootas
  • 40 Stabbas
  • 2 x 20 Stabbas
  • 2 x Sneaky Snufflers
  • Rippa’s Snarlfangs
  • Scuttletide
  • Scrapskuttle’s Arachacauldron
  • Emerald Lifeswarm
  • 2120 points; 214 wounds; Warlord; Hunters of the Heartlands; Vanguard

This is my favourite at the moment. Other option is full squigs.

Do you have battle plans or tactics in mind for when you make it to the tournaments?

Ben: To a certain extent, you know you need to claim objectives so you need units that can do that.

Declan: Gloomspite outside Troggs can struggle to kill things so I need to play like Gargants – get on objectives early and start scoring. Hand of Gork (movement spell) is critical in the list as it means people can’t leave objectives unguarded. I have the Spider to get Monstrous Takeover early and get the option of broken ranks with him. Although I need to protect him or lose him on my turn to prevent him giving 1 point away. 2nd turn is normally Ferocious Advance with Loonboss and both Fungoids (who spend most of their time hiding behind the Loonshrine). Finally I don’t mind losing units because I want as many opportunities as possible to get them back – hence Clammy Hand (Roll twice for reinforcements from Loonshrine).

Ben’s Ghostrek

Ben, I notice you have the dreaded Gotrek! Facehammer have slightly adjusted rules for him now, how do you think he’ll do?

Ben: He is still super smashy, he is there to kill gargants!

Declan, Sounds like a thorough plan. I love the Arachnarok unit, I’ve seen people include more than one, you weren’t tempted to do this?

Declan: I want to try a horde army because its my normal playstyle and is against the meta with reinforcement points and no horde discount. Unfortunately points are too high normally, but with an extra 150 it’s worth a go. I also want GW to see that people will take armies which are rubbish if they get small boosts. GG effectively have c8% reaction in points at facehammer which is what they need before the book. Unfortunately 60 Grots went from 360 to 450 which is criminal for a low power level book.

Have you ever crossed swords with each other in a tournament, if so how did that go?

Declan: I think we played Ogor v GG didn’t we? On the way in people were complaining about your list being too good and I said it was fine… then gummed you up with Grots?

Ben: Yeah it was the cows Throwing snowball list, I told everybody it was rubbish but no one believed me and then I got grotted!

Declan: Ah yes… you forgot the Stonehorns!! I did have 180 Grots in your defense.

Ben: 2+ I do six mortal wounds, cool, there are 54 left.

Declan: Yeah… no where near enough damage.

Whats your most memorable moment at a tournament?

Ben: Played a chap called Laurie who Declan will know, with a shooty stormcast list, and turn one took off his archaon off turn one, was crazy good.

Declan: I was playing GG with allied Gitmob grots at Sheffield Slaughter against Nurgle with their first book. It was against a GW employee who I won’t name as they get enough grief! His Great Unclean One had a -1 to hit within 12″ bubble. My shaman cast a spell on 60 Gitmob archers, who walked into the 12″ range, fired at the GUO and took it off! He was a little shocked but took it very well!

Ben’s Ghostlords Army

For someone looking to go to their first tournament, what advice would you give?

Declan: Definitely take the plunge. Let the TO and your opponents know it’s your first tournament. Take an army you know (don’t go for LRL net-list). Limit your warscrolls where possible. If you can bring 6 or fewer it gives you a chance of remembering the rules. Play the objectives!

Ben: Agreed

Looking at each others list, how would you try and defeat them?

Ben: You can’t ask us that we might play each other! But the short answer is throw Gotrek at him and shoot him a lot.

Declan: I think I probably have the advantage due to numbers here. If I can get on the objectives early it’s difficult to get me off them. Especially as Ben’s units flying in the boats don’t count as on the objective. I also just played Will with his KO and the grots can actually damage the units with shooting, and in combat. That said no doubt we’ll play now and Ben will rightly beat me!

Thanks for your time, good luck at Facehammer!

War On A Smaller Scale

The Warmaster’s Road to the London GT

You may think that the subheading suggests I’m attending the London GT at the end of September, but it is a cunning ruse to get more clicks… in fact I am playing Warmaster – a 10mm scale game of fantasy battles set in the Warhammer ‘World that Was’.

Written by Rick Priestley & … it was a game from the ‘Specialist Game’ arm of Games Workshop which unfortunately was squatted when they stopped supporting these games. Subsequently some have come back, but Warmaster is still a rulebook available to the community.

The tournament is played using the Warmaster Revolution ruleset, and there are some great resources available including the rules & armies and an army builder.

I have been playing Empire since the game was released so when COVID restricted all movement I decided it was time for a new army and there was only possibility for me – Goblins. They are a fan made army list, but are accepted at tournaments… but they are not considered one of the best armies – so it would be a challenge as well.

I’ll showcase some of the army in a future article, but before talking about it I needed some practice and a fellow Warmaster kindly offered my two games this weekend.

Game 1 v Skaven

Jim’s Skaven army using Indus inspired models

Skaven are also considered to be a weaker army so it was to be the battle at the bottom! I used my horde version of the Goblin list with no artillery, and no Giant

  • Goblin Warboss
  • 4 x Goblin Heroes (one on Wyvern)
  • 4 x Goblin Wizards
  • 18 x Goblin Units
  • 6 x Squig Units
  • 8 x Wolf Rider Units
  • 3 x Troll Units

Units in Warmaster normally consist of 3 bases of models with a suitable number of miniatures on them. This is a very broad definition to allow people to chose their own options. The important this is each base is 40mm x 20mm.

The Skaven started very well, and passed most of their first turn command (movement) checks and were getting across the board quickly. In response the Goblins also advanced, but in a less organised fashion leaving some units behind – this created a sort of maniple or checkerboard set-up, but that did leave me with units to counter charge. Goblins are fortunate in their magic and I managed to cause the Screaming Bell to move away from the rest of the army – this was especially good because a Screaming Bell can’t move on it’s own and a unit had to go back and ‘collect’ it!

Skaven swarmed over a hill to my left, whilst they worked around some terrain on my right, and my army approached – again a bit piecemeal. The Goblin army does have some very short range shooting, but this didn’t do much.

After a few turns, we were ready to charge, and I moved to within 20cm (the movement of intantry), but couldn’t move further… in response the Skaven charged!

The Goblin’s short range shooting causes confusion across most of the Skaven army

They had some success against my units killing 4 Goblin units, and doing significant damage to some Wolf Riders (including killing a whole unit (3 stands) with Rat Swarms), but they didn’t break through. Skaven Clanrats are slightly better than Goblins, but not by much.

I counterattacked across much of my lines using initiative where possible – units close to enemies can charge or move away without their generals needing to roll dice. My wolf riders on the right killed some rat swarms and then fell back, whilst in the centre Squigs and trolls killed the Stormvermin, although failed to kill a Doomwheel.

The left was the big impact though with Goblins charging into combat to rescue some Wolf Riders who had been outclassed in the previous turn… with some great rolling (or skill as the Goblins insisted on calling it!) They drove off the Skaven and they retreated from the battlefield.

Game 2 v Dogs of War

Jim’s amazing Dogs of War Army

My opponent very kindly fought me with another low tier army. Dogs of War have access to cannon, which are very good, but they have shorter range than normal (40cm), and they have to take Pike. This is a unit that is very difficult to make work in Warmaster as it is good whilst on the defensive, but not against the large heavy cavalry in the game … fortunately for the Dogs of War my Goblins had none of this. However, I did take the opportunity to change my list into one containing a bit of everything (mostly)

  • Goblin Warboss
  • 4 x Goblin Heroes (one on Wyvern)
  • 4 x Goblin Wizards
  • 10 x Goblin Units
  • 6 x Squig Units
  • 6 x Wolf Rider Units
  • 3 x Troll Units
  • 1 x Pump Wagon
  • 1 x Giant
  • 2 x Spear Chukka Units

My plan for this game was to learn how to use some of these additional units, and see if they were good enough to include in the tournament army for London.

The Goblins started this game, and the first turn went well, with Goblins appearing out of the forests at the edge of my board, and some Wolf Riders being sent on a flanking march on my right. They didn’t get very far, but cavalry move further than infantry (30cm), so they were my most advanced unit. My Giant did fail his command (order), meaning you roll on a random table (Giants only!) and he turned around and charged a unit of Goblins, killing one stand. This was my concern with Giants, that due to the low command of Goblins this would happen more often.

The Dogs of War advanced slowly, hampered by a hill just outside their deployment, still their units were safe from my Spear Chukkas – if my general could ever pass the command check to move them!

After a few turns of slowly advancing on each other and cannon shot from the Dogs of War hitting some of my brigades (collection of units), I managed to get 2 orders onto a unit of Wolf Riders (rare for Goblins), putting them deep into my opponent’s deployment zone. Despite shooting at them with a single cannon, these two units would cause a lot of trouble in the game, and require him to move a Phalanx unit and 1 cannon to deal with them – very good value for 60 points for the Wolf Rider unit.

Whilst the Galloper Guns fire at the centre, the Goblins continue to attempt their encircling tactic

Whilst both armies looked at each other through the smoke of cannon fire, the Giant failed another order … but this time rolled a 6 and charged into a unit of swordsmen hiding in a village… a 6 means that the Giant’s attacks are doubled (to 16!) making him a monster in combat. The unit died, but the Giant couldn’t go further.

On the left meanwhile my other Wolf Riders had made an equally daring move and flanked a unit of crossbows and pikes. The crossbows turned, but the pike had to face forward or be charged by the Goblin units. I charged… killed a unit of pike and sent another running before me – but I pursued (keeping the units in combat).

It was my opponent’s Giant’s turn to roll the 6 and he barrelled into the Wolf Riders, killing them… however the damage had been done and another failure by Ogres to kill my Trolls on my right meant the Dogs of War were in a perilous position… the paymaster called the retreat and it was another win for the Goblins!


  • Goblin magic is very good – there is a spell called ‘Geroff’ which forces an opponent’s unit to move backwards if I roll a 5+ on 1D6. However with 4 wizards this happened more often than not. Learning point – definitely need the 4 wizards.
  • Wyvern is very good because he causes terror – but expensive. Definitely need 1, but not sure about a second
  • Goblins are able to take a surprising amount of damage, because there are so many of them… care is needed and it will be more difficult against the better armies, but not to be written off
  • Wolf Riders are great – we were using some trial rules which will be used in London GT – Fast Cavalry – which gives them a little more autonomy … plus they shoot.
  • Spear Chukkas made my opponent think – I don’t think I need more than 2 (the army can have 4 at 2,000 points), but I like the additional troops.
  • I’m not sold on Giants – they can scare opponents, but with a very low command even on my general, they will fail a lot of orders and may attack my own army

More Warmaster?

Definitely… I love this game – the sweeping advances, the look of the battlefield and the simplicity of the rules make it my favourite regiment game.

Want to know more?

There are some great resources available, but two of my favourites are: