Monday, November 14, 2016

Wellington Warhost 2016 Results

It was a fantastic weekend of wargaming in Aro Valley, Wellington. Fourteen players, 2,500 point armies, and four games each made for an impressive spectacle.

The final results were as follows:

1st Place: James Page (Tomb Kings)
2nd Place: Tim Lind (Deathlords)
3rd Place: Matthew Britton (Beastclaw Raiders)

Best Painted Army: Tim Lind
Best Opponent: Aiden Nicol

Congratulations to the above! Standout armies also included Shaun T's Khorne, who were unbeaten until the last round against TK for first place, Shaun B's Stormcast Retributor bomb, and Ron G's Ironjawz, who all performed very well.

Deathlords strike a pose
I personally had a much better result than anticipated, in no small part due to some epic luck in my last two games. The first was against Ron's Ironjawz, where Curse of Years triggered full death mode against 20 'Ard Boys and then again on the Maw Crusha, allowing me to secure the win. The second was against Shaun's Retributor list, where the teleporting unit of 15 Retributors failed to kill Nagash, and then me winning the double turn to summon some troops and capture all four objectives at the top of turn 3 (Blood and Glory Scenario).

As for my top pics - Shaun and Hayden were my two choices that didn't make it into the top 5. Had I not won my last two games it may have been pretty much spot on. Matt's army proved the stronger of the two Beastclaw Lists, the Magma Dragon proving a bit too much for some of his opponents to deal with.

I filmed most of my games on my phone, so will edit that up and produce a YouTube video sometime soon. The last two were especially exciting. In the meantime, check out some of the pictures from the weekend below.

MASSIVE THANKS to the generous sponsors who provided prizes. Without you the weekend would not have been so special. Thank you for helping to grow this wonderful game.
  • Games Workshop Wellington
  • Mighty Ape
  • Nathan Smith
  • James McPherson
  • James Page
  • Ron Golds
Thanks also to the ringer players. We had a bit of uncertainty in the build up to the event due to various health concerns, and had a cadre of gamers on standby to fill in. I hope you enjoyed the games you played and look forward to seeing you again!
  • Fraser Baker
  • Austin Ronald
  • Thomas Lissington
Full Results

Picture from the multiplayer game from Saturday night - 8 players over two tables with a Realmgate connecting them!

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Wellington Warhost 2016 - List Overview

New Zealand's first 2,500 point tournament is coming up on November 12th and 13th. With 14 players, it is also going to be the best attended so far in our small but growing community of Warhammer: Age of Sigmar players.

The army lists were released today, so I wanted to have a look at each and give my thoughts, as well as my pick for the top five.

The player's pack can be found here, and you can follow all our event chatter on the Age of Sigmar New Zealand community or tournament groups.

Additionally, we are hoping to provide a live stream of the top tables on Twitch, so follow my Twitter or Facebook feed if you are interested.

Without further ado, let's look at the first list.

Ron's Ironjawz
Ron won the GuardCon 2016 tournament for the 2,000 point event this year, and can play his list very well. Free to bulk up to 2.5k, Ron has added more Brutes and more Pigs, essentially scaling up his army based on his existing formula. He will be using the extra speed afforded to Destruction armies to neutralise key threats early, and will likely look to the 'Ardboyz as fodder against the Beastclaw pain train.

James P's Tomb Kings
James is so far unbeaten in the Age of Sigmar, and that includes tournament wins at the NICON, Call to Arms and Skull Keep events this year. His list has remained consistent over those events in taking six Necropolis Knights, buffed by Settra Himself, and a Liche Priest for extra attacks. In this bigger game format, he has added a Tomb King, Necrotect and Necromancer to buff the unit beyond insanity. And it gets worse. The Tomb Guard are just as good as the Necro Knights. He is also running Arkhan, who can benefit from any buffs that effect Skeletons. The rest are 'just' chaff, but they perform better than throwaway units from most other armies. I think you'd have to play your guts out and get a bit of luck to beat it, and we can only hope that Jim becomes bored with TK eventually...

David's Stormcast Eternals and Extremis Chamber
I like this list. Not least because I am also building one around the Warrior Brotherhood battallion and the Knight-Azyros' ability to drop them closer to the enemy. Interestingly, David is taking the new Lord Veritant, obviously anticipating a bit of magic to nullify. Concussors and Fulminators provide a very good hammer blow to this force. One thing I thought that could improve it would be to have the Azyros as part of the battallion, as there is a risk David could lose the model before he gets to use its synergy for the inevitable alpha strike. He is entitled for a few more Starsoul Maces too, but these are hard to obtain for those who picked up the starter set. Love the list concept, looking forward to seeing how it goes for when my own Storm Chamber takes the field!

Bo's Aelven Host
Bo's bringing back the shooting! Certainly there's a lot of it here. As we discovered at Call to Arms, it is not infallible, despite the core rules allowing shooting into and out of combat. With Destruction rampaging through the metagame with their Turn One charges, Bo has several unfavourable matchups to plan around. It's great to see Tyrion on the table, and I think opponents may get caught short with the Ellyrian Reavers and their movement rules. Overall, solid MSU pew-pew that will provide a counterpoint to the 'deathstars' and low model count armies.

Shaun B's Stormcast Eternals and Free Guild
Shaun has the (dubious) honour of fielding the first Retributor Bomb ever witnessed on NZ soil. This is going to catch opponents off-guard. The combo involves the Knight-Vexillor using the Pennant of the Stormbringer to teleport a unit of 15(!) Retributors into a unit of his choice, possibly also buffed up by the mages. The small mercy is that he is taking two-less Starsoul Maces than he is entitled to, although how much of a difference that will make is debatable. He has some chaff to help compete against Alpha Strike lists, and some back-line damage from the Hurricanum. A very good list being wielded by a wily player.

Hayden's Beastclaw Raiders
Hayden is famous in the AOS community for his incredibly quick painting. He painted two full armies in the time it takes me to do a single warscroll. The worst part? The army looks great. The Jorlbad Battalion allows those units to run and charge, which is amazing when combo'd with the Destruction ability that allows units to move a bit in the Hero phase. Only having two heroes will mean he has to play mindfully on certain scenarios, but the Mournfang Cavalry will be able to cover any gaps in his battleline. Beastclaw Raiders are known for one thing - Turn One charging with big monsters. There will be those who are ready for it, and those who are not.

Matthew's Destruction Warhost
The main goal of Matt's army is similar to the other Beastclaw list. Get the monsters into the face of his opponent. I played against Matt at Call to Arms, and he came the closest out of everyone of being able to kill Nagash. Matt has brought along a bit more diversity into his list this time. Grots, for objectives and chaff-related tasks, is a good move, allowing him to add a few more options to his strategy. I am interested to see the Magma Dragon in action! The shooting attack in particular almost guarantees that a Hero will die each turn. What a beast! It turns out Matt has grudged me for round one...

Aiden's Clan Pestilens
I have no idea what we are up against here. I haven't read or have access to the Warscroll Battalions, which scares me - something I will get on to between now and the event. The Virulent Procession is made of of two Congregations of Filth. And a Foulrain Convocation to lay down some damage from a distance. I'll bet there are a heap of synergies there, so I'm going to guess that killing heroes is the way to go about taking it down. There are a decent amount of bodies on the table, so if he's careful he can insulate his catapults against the Alpha strike lists while taking out key targets. I'm a fan of lists that take loads of synergies, so looking forward to this one.

James M's Clan Pestilens
Another Pestilens army! It's rare enough to see one, so cool to have two. James played at the now famous Warlords event at Warhammer World, and has thrown himself into the NZ AOS scene. He also very generously brought us back a few exclusive goodies from WHW to use as prizes, so I hope everyone buys him a drink next weekend!

His army looks amazing, and while he has seen somewhat tempered competitive success, the swarm army is always wielded skillfully. The army is similar to Aiden's, but he is making use of different Warscroll battalions. Again, I don't have access to these to know what the key differences are, but Skrolk is present to provide hit roll debuffs, which are key to some enemy strategies.

Shaun T's Khornate Warhost
Of all the lists, this one is my favourite. A core of Khorne daemons, supported by Wrathmongers and Be'lakor! The Flamers of Tzeentch are obviously lost and have fallen in with the wrong crowd. The big trick with this list is the Warscroll Battalion granting up to three units an extra attack in the Hero Phase. And so many models... This will make it hard to compete against when playing for scenarios. Because do you really want to get close to Khorne models? Wrathmongers will be Shaun's hard counter to the crazy monsters out there that his Bloodthirsters cannot deal with by themselves. Be'lakor's Dark Master ability will win games. I'm calling it now.

Nicholas's Darkling Coven
One imagines that the poor Free Guild and Duardin present in this list are in fact enslaved to the will of the Sorceress, so spare a thought for them as they rain fiery death upon you. Quite an infantry-heavy list, Nick has supplemented the choppiness with some Demigyph Cavalry and some Ironweld artillery. It's solid, and it looks like a ton of fun. The Thrall Warhost battalion will give a huge movement and combat bonus, allowing a free charge and round of attack in the Hero phase. My guess is this will focus around the Executioners. A scary proposition for any unit he will come against.

Tim's Deathlords
So this is my list. It seems to be generating a disproportionate level of anxiety, but I think it's far from unbeatable. Since the General's Handbook came out I have wanted to field Morghast as Battleline, and I am almost there with the painting side. This means I get to summon up to 300 points of reinforcements. Had I left Arkhan out, I would be looking at Mourngul and more Grave Guard, but Curse of Years is such a fun spell that I have a hard time leaving him behind. Noone will believe I took this army for fluff reasons (that is my story though, and I am sticking to it), so let's talk about what it does. I have to rely on these few models to do the damage up front, which means Nagash and Arkhan need to make their points back on the front lines. They can do this admirably, and some lists may not have an answer to them. But some lists are making me quite anxious indeed. Morghast effectiveness is improved a lot by Nagash's command ability, so this will need to be enough to compete with those top lists. The flexibility afforded to me by summoning should allow me to compete for objectives or utilise chaff as required.

Ken's Bonesplitterz
This one is all about the synergies. The various buffs and special rules will allow the Arrowboys to make up to 120 shots per turn, which is too much for most things to withstand. Those armies unable to take down his heroes early are going to suffer big time. The other stunning stat from this army is the sheer number of wounds - 251! With objective play this will be very forgiving for Kenny, and is going to be a tall order for his opponents, where one or two smashy units might just not be enough to get through it all.

Top Five Picks

  1. James - Tomb Kings - No brainer (ba dum PISH).
  2. Shaun  - Stormcast - Retributor bomb will be key to victory.
  3. Ron - Ironjawz - Placing a good deal of value on Ron's generalship.
  4. Hayden - Beastclaw Raiders - Too fast, too strong. Should do well.
  5. Tim - Deathlords - Going to back myself, as I've seen Nagash turn games around. 
The last few are very match-up dependent. I could see Kenny's Bonesplitters and  Matt's Beastclaw list doing really well. As always with AOS, you cannot fully discount any army, so I am sure I will be proved wrong!

So, do you agree/disagree? Who are your picks?

Massive thanks to our event sponsor Mighty Ape - do check out their excellent hobby section!