Wednesday, May 31, 2017

NICON 2017 - Grand Alliance: Chaos List Overview

The final list overview post for NICON. This was hard work, but I hope it has proved useful. I will be doing the draw this week and emailing the participants. Over the weekend I will do some Facebook Live videos on the Age of Sigmar New Zealand Community, so go join if you want to see the action!

Previous list overviews can be found here:


Getting right into it then. I saved this Grand Alliance for last because it is arguably the most complicated. I would like to state again that I am not looking at the Allegiance abilities, but I may add some hints along the way, as some of the lists heavily lean on them for their tricks.


Grand Alliance: Chaos


Adam P - Daemons of Khorne

The General
Bloodthirster of Insensate Rage - the one with the big axe. Command ability allows any unit within 8" to re-roll charge rolls. If the axe attack rolls 6 to wound, it will dish out mortal wounds to those nearby. He can re-roll hit rolls of 1 if he charged that turn.

The Battalions
  • Council of Blood - Contains the three Bloodthirsters that are not his general. In each Hero phase, one of them gets to pile in and attack. If he kills a hero or monster or wipes out a unit as part of this attack, a second Bloodthirster gets to pile in and attack. If the same thing happens, the third Bloodthirster gets to attack. This is nasty, as he can attack with these guys as normal in the combat phase. Be careful what they get into - if they can wipe them out in one turn, the damage output is going to be amazing. In addition, each Bloodthirster can use their command abilities!
  • Blood Host of Khorne - Contains the rest of the army. In each of his own hero phases, D3 units  that are near the enemy can pile in and attack with one weapon. So between these two battalions, that's a lot of double rounds of combat. This is particularly nasty on Skarbrand...
The Army
Taking Skarbrand and four other Bloodthirsters is quite an investment, but Adam can still field 40 Bloodletters and 10 Flesh Hounds. Whittling the rank and file down might be an option to prevent objective victories, but you're going to need to think about how to manage those big choppy guys that can get multiple rounds of combat in. Looks like a fun army to play with! This atrmy also has the Bloodtithe mechanic, where every unit that gets wiped out will give Adam 'currency' with which to activate more and more powerful abilities and rules.



Aiden N - Nurgle, with a side of Skreech

The General
The Glottkin -  hard to kill and big. He heals, reduces hit rolls, deals mortal wounds when they charge, and most importantly have a spell that adds 1 to the wounds characteristic of all models in a unit. Crucially, this can be cast on any friendly unit, not just daemons. His command ability gives Nurgle units extra attacks in a 14" radius. A suspiciously Khorne-like ability, but one that will serve him well.

The Battalions
  • Foulrain Congergation - Consists of a Plague Priest and three Plagueclaws. The Priest adds 1 to the wound rolls for the Plagueclaws in the shooting phase as long as they are within 13". The Plagueclaws Starting stats hit on 3+, wound on 3+, rend -2 with D6 damage. So, yeah, these are potent. What's more, if one of the Plagueclaws hits an enemy unit, the other catapults get to re-roll failed hit rolls against the same target.
  • Congregation of Filth - Consists of a Plague Furnace and two units of 20 Plague Monks. So long as the Plague Monks have the full 20 models and are within 13" of the Plague Furnace, they can re-roll charge rolls. The Monks also get a special save on a 6+ when they suffer a wound or mortal wound near the Furnace.
The Army
Skreetch has  some great rules. Each turn he can pick one of the Skaven Clans, and gains a special ability depending on which one he picks. These effects include making him harder to shoot at, healing him, bonuses to wound rolls, extra weapon damage, bonuses to hit rolls, and bonuses to casting rolls. He has access to the Dreaded Thirteenth spell, which targets a unit within 13". He rolls 13 dice, and each roll of a 4 does a mortal wound. As there are no Reinforcement Points in this list, the ability to then set up a new Verminus unit nearby will not apply. Plague Monks which fight better than you would think for rats with diseases. Plaguebearer daemons, which reduce incoming hit rolls and have a special save on a 5", with re-rolled save rolls when near the Glottkin. Four units of 10 will take a bit more than usual to clear. Especially with the Glottkin spell on them. As the only player running Nurgle at NICON, I don't really know what this says about him. Or us, for enabling him. I hope he makes a speedy recovery, and wish him the best of health.





Byron A - Khorne

The General
Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury - it's the one with the whip and the axe. Other abilities involve killing things in various ways. The only proven counter to a daemon of fire and shadow with a whip is to lure him onto a bridge and then crack it with your staff, plunging both it and you into the abyss. You could always attempt to fetter its fury instead, but either no-one's tried it or it doesn't work, so YMMV.

The Battalions
  • Dark Feast - A battalion with background fluff that is kind of yuck (in a Hannibal Lector kind of way), and that shouldn't have any effect on Deathrattle or Nighthaunt units in my opinion.
  • Gore Pilgrims - All I know about pilgrims is that they like to tell each other stories on the way to their destinations (look it up, people). I assume the "Gore" part refers to their concerns over climate change, which might not be of much help in game, but you might learn a thing or two along the way.
The Army
Maxing out at 8 heroes, we have Skarbrand, the Blirster, a Bloodsecrator, a Slaughterpriest, a Bloodstoker, another Slaughterpriest, Valkia the Bloody, and another Slaughterpriest. Two units of Blood Warriors, a total of 50 Bloodreavers, 2 Khorgoraths, and 5 Wrathmongers. All names that indicate to me that they are really nice guys looking to make lifelong friends. However long you would like to define 'life'.





Dan M - Daemons of Khorne

The General
Wrath of Khorne Bloodthirster - Bloodflail guy. His command ability allows Khorne Daemons nearby to run and charge in the same turn and add 1 to charge rolls. A movement buff - keep an eye out for these, I'll come back to them. There are a couple of mid range shooting attacks to watch out for. He is extra good at attacking monsters, and has a good unbind roll.

The Battalions
  • Blood Hunt - Contains the general, Bloodcrushers and Flesh Hounds. An enemy hero gets picked out, and this battalion gets a free move towards that hero. They also get +1 to wound rolls against heroes, and if the unit has not lost any models, can re-roll failed wound rolls as well. So, another movement buff.
  • Murderhost (x3) - Each one contains one of the Bloodletter heroes and some of the Bloodletters. Allows all units near the hero to move 2D6" after set up. Another movement buff! Seeing the pattern?
  • The Reapers of Vengeance - Contains all the other battalions and anything else in the list that doesn't fit in (Daemon Prince I think). Remember the ability in the Blood Hunt that lets it's models extra movement towards an enemy hero? Now the whole army has it.Also gives the Bloodcrushers some impact damage when they charge on a 2+ instead of the usual 4+. And they will be charging.
The Army
Movement buffs and a one-drop deployment means it is likely Dan will turn-one charge you. You can either stand up to it and counter attack, or you will not. Either way, a nice quick game!



Finn D - Chaos (Tzeentch, Khorne, and some Stormfriends)

The General
Lord of Change - Command ability allows Tzeentch daemon wizards nearby to add one to casting and unbinding. This includes the Tzaangor Shamans. Infernal Gateway is the spell, and can potentially deal heaps of mortal wounds. As a wizard he gets bonuses to magic as you'd expect, and can steal spells. 

The Battalions
  • N/A
The Army
Honorary Swiss Cheese list of the tournament! Finn has selected the finest hot units and thrown them together. The Bloodsecrator adds attacks to the Bloodreavers and Bloodletters, his battleline units. Sayl the Faithless will allow a unit to move real fast and fly.Shamans can reroll casting dice. the Skyfires are the elite unit that can deal massive damage at a great range, and will wreck in combat as well. You will need to deal with these. quickly. The Stormfiends again can do a lot of damage, and are commonly paired with Sayl's spell to get them within range to do some good shooting damage. His army does take up a lot of board space with the 32 and 40 mm bases, so ranged threats will work well against him, as will anything that can neutralise his magic. If you can't avoid or withstand his shooting attacks or have to go for him early, you are going to fare less well.




James P - Tzeentch Arcanites

The General
Lord of Change - As per Finn's list, but this army has the Tzeentch allegiance, and access to some great allegiance abilities and spells. Jim will have some flexibility about what he takes, and it will depend on your own army. So watch out I guess. 

The Battalions
  • Arcanite Cabal - Contains three Tzaangor Shamans. One of them becomes a master. It allows this model to generate a new Destiny Dice every time he spends one on a 4+. When all three are near each other, each gets to cast an extra spell. So that's two spells each.
  • Skyshoal Coven - Contains the Enlightened and Skyfire units. These units can move 9" in the Hero phase, making absolutely sure that you can never escape them. To add insult to injury, if they fly over one of your units there is a change they can drop change-bombs on you dealing mortal wounds.
  • Changehost - Contains the rest of the daemons in his army. This is tricksy. Each hero phase Jim can swap two of these units around. They just swap places. And then he can do it again because he has nine units. Take a moment to consider the possibilities. He can move things in and out of combat, reform sneakily to get things within spell range, take objectives, etc etc.
The Army
I've seen it in action. Large screening units of Horrors, which can shoot and cast magic, and swap places with each other. Skyfires will waste you from afar and Enlightened will waste you up close. They will reach you because they are fast. Possible the greatest trick is Jim's ability to regenerate Destiny Dice. I've seen him spend 30 destiny dice within the first two turns. Once he gets to zero he's in trouble, but that's enough to make some very safe risks and manipulate the game to suit his plans. It's likely you're going to have to just take it as it comes, but if you can stop his magic, take out the heroes, take out the Tzaangor in one round, you might get him on the back foot.






John C - Legion of Azgorh

The General
Bull Centaur Taur'uk - Command ability allows bull centaur units nearby to run and charge in the same turn. Does extra damage when he charges. I hope this army makes you as happy as it makes me. I'm not sure our nation has ever seen a Bull Centaur-based army in a tournament!

The Battalions
  • N/A
The Army
Two Taur'uks, Shar'tor the Executioner himself, This guy is a bug version of his race. He can buff charge rolls. There is a Daemonsmith for a bit of magic, a spell that can reduce enemy shooting and movement. No less than nine Bull centaur renders whose role is fairly straightforward. Battleline is in the form of Chaos Marauders, who are essentially slaves to the will of their dark, bovine masters. The evil Duardin supplement the bulls with a Skullcracker war engine and two Hellcannons. These last ones will hurt. Take them out as quick as you can.



Julien L - Mixed Chaos

The General
Tzaangor Shaman - A low-key choice considering the other epic creatures in his list, I wonder if there are allegiance abilities and artefacts Julien has in mind to use on him...

The Battalions
  • N/A
The Army
So, one at a time. Skarbrand, for the angry, he will kill stuff. Lord of Change, he will magic. The Changeling, he will be set up in your deployment zone potentially and can slow down your army. This will be really useful against some of those alpha strike armies. You can reveal the Changeling by moving a hero within 3". Deathmaster Snikch, back from the Old World with a new kill contract.He will be hiding in one of the Gutter Runner units, and has a few bonuses when attacking heroes. Sayl the Faithless, to help deliver Skarbrand to his targets most likely. Daemon Prince of Nurgle, not to be underestimated - solid fighter with a good save. Rank and file include Bloodletters, Pink Horrors (who can cast), Marauders (great value chaff), Stormfiends (dakkapew), Skyfires (ranged threat that will hurt a bunch) and Gutter Runners. The assassin rats are going to be objective threats, able to come on the board where you least expect them. I lost a tournament due to these guys, grabbing an objective on the last turn. Julien is a renonwed 40k player who won his first tournament at Equinox, so he has a wiley plan!



Nick H - Mixed Chaos

The General
Verminlord Deceiver - the big assassin rat daemon. Allows Eshin models (just himself) to re-roll failed wound rolls. The Skitterleap wont be of use, as there are no Skaven heroes to swap places with. Does some good bonus damage against units with more than 10 models.

The Battalions
  • N/A
The Army
Some big names in this army! Sayl, making his third appearance in a NICON list. Kairos Fateweaver, who can change a single dice roll to whatever he wants, is good at casting. The Glottkin, who has been mentioned in Aiden's list. Clanrats and Plaguebearers make up the battleline, with a big unit of Stormfiends a big investment, for Sayl to teleport within range of targets. A big unit of Warhounds to get across the board or flank if needed, and a Warp Lightning cannon, which can help target hey models. An interesting army that will rely on all the pieces working in tandem, as mixed arms armies do.




Sam W - Tzeentch Arcanites

The General
Lord of Change - he's been covered a few times, but bear in mind that as Sam has the Tzeentch allegiance, this gives him access to the Destiny Dice and extra spells and allegiance abilities. This means Sam can be adaptible depending on his opponent.

The Battalions
  • Multitudinous Host - Contains a Herald of Tzeentch and Horrors of a variety of shapes and sizes. In each of his hero phases, he can add D6 Pink/Blue Horrorss and D3 Brimstone Horrors back to each unit! This will work in the same way as the Skeleton unit standards. He won't be able to increase them passed the starting size, but it will make sure the units are much more durable, forcing his opponent to focus fire. Not always possible with the other nasties in his list!
The Army
Really good variety in this list. Kairos, because awesome. A Gaunt Summoner, who has a spell that deals mortal wounds to each model in a unit on a 4+. Spells like this in previous editions of Warhammer were very powerful, and this will be very effective in some of the horde armies. A Tzaangor Shaman adds even more magic dominance, made even more potent by the inclusion of a Balewind Vortex doubling the range of one of their spells. There are almost 100 Horrors in the list, who will form very effective and durable screens. 6 Skyfires will provide some good shooting support and for taking down key targets. 20 Tzaangors, eight of them with paired weapons. Battleshock will be an issue for them. However, the do get bonuses to wound, and hit, and extra attacks, and extra saves in different situations, so they can pump out some damage too. Going to be a great army to see on the table!



Shaun T - Daemons of Khorne

The General
Bloodsecrator - Just how this guy managed to steal the top job from Archaon, Destroyer of Worlds, Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse, is a mystery. We can only assume that Shaun has a dark purpose hidden within the new allegiance abilities his army has access too. This is a good time to look at this model though. He can add attacks to all nearby Khorne units. Which is all of them pretty much. That's nasty, because Khorne units already have lots of attacks that do lots of damage. Archaon himself gets an extra attack to all of his weapons!

The Battalions
  • Murderhost - Contains a Herald of Khorne, the Bloodcrushers, Bloodletters, and Flesh Hounds. Allows these units to move 2D6 before the battle and in each Hero Phase. Because there was no way Khorne was going to let you escape.
The Army
So, Archaon! He is quite expensive, and has some great abilities. Magic doesn't work too well against him, and if he rolls well he can do some damage. He has a good armour save too. Either pin him down or avoid him. His biggest weakness is his large base size. By placing your units sensibly you can stop him landing in key areas. For the rest of it, well it's Khorne. He will come at you, so you can try to shoot him and slow him down, or survive enough to counter attack. try to take out the Priest, the Stoker and the Secrator, as their buffs will make already formidable units very efficient indeed.


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That's all the lists done! Here is the draw. I will be doing some updates for the event over on the AOS NZ Facebook group so feel free to join us.