Cancon List Review: Power Picks and Coolest Lists

Well here we go! This weekend will see the biggest AOS Tournament in the world…ever. Hats off to Clint and the team, because it’s a great achievement, and the annual buzz around this event has played a huge part in kickstarting the fantastic AOS scene we are all enjoying here in Australia.

Coverage on the Warhammer Community site has been absent, which is a shame given the magnitude of the event, but the good news is that THWG will again be travelling out to provide a Livestream, so don’t miss out!

You can see the event pack and Battleplans here, but a couple of things to point out are:

  • Realm of Life will be used, so expect to see a lot of Nagash and the Emerald Lifeswarm
  • The new Tzeentch book is in despite the FAQ not being released, so expect to see a lot of their bullshit on the top tables

We will be following the format we used for our BBBB List Analysis last September; speaking of which, I still owe Joel Hennessy a beer for being top tipster at that event. All 3 of Joel’s picks were in the top 8 at the event, including the overall winner – well done Joel!

Where is my own list?

So I don’t do Cancon. I have done it in the past, but not for a couple of years now. There are a few factors in play: Cancon is in an awkward location for me, the event takes place on the same weekend as my wife’s birthday, and we normally go on a family beach holiday around then.

Ultimately, though, moving to a 6-game format killed it for me, because it turned a 2-day tournament into a 4-day tournament. I realistically need to travel up the day before, and back the day after, and that’s just that bit too much for me on that specific weekend.

The event does seem to be managing to struggle on without me, and I fully understand why they needed to make the jump to 6 rounds, but that’s the reason why I personally will be missing out on the fun.

Now let’s get into it.

Michael Thomson – Queensland

Michael is the founder of The Savage Northmen, a gaming group based in and around Cairns, Queensland. A specialist in Death armies, Michael went 6-0 at Cancon 2019 with his Nagash list, securing a podium at the world’s largest Age of Sigmar event to date.

Some food for thought when reading the selections I’ve made: there are 220+ lists, playing 6 games, with a possible 10 secondaries to choose from. Picking the winner is quite hard when there are so many moving parts, but assuming a good run and decent dice rolls, here we are.

Power Pick: Joshua Nightingall, Big WAAAGH

To me, Big Waaagh is the most powerful thing in the game at the moment.  In Josh’s list he is all but certain to be +1 to hit and wound by turn 2. Throw in Get ’em Beat (so that on a 4+ he gets 3d6 to charge), and a possible +1 to Hit with Kill ’em Beat (to smooth out the bumps until his Allegiance buffs kick in), and you have a list that can mince most things without breaking sweat.

Josh has taken an Ardfist Battalion, which now only furnishes you with the one chance to roll that crucial 4+, but like I said if the dice are with you then you’re all good. Nobody ever won a 200-player event without making a clutch roll along the way!

Josh’s opponents will need to kill the Warchanters, but even then you have to beware the 20 Ardboys and 30 Arrowboys. This list is not without its counters, but for me it’s a really solid army. Good luck Josh

Coolest List: Paul Grixti, Swifthawk Agents

This one goes to a gentleman that almost made THWG break the internet… Paul Grixti, who is bringing the Swifthawk Agents.

For those who don’t know Paul, he is one of nicest and most genuine guys in the hobby. I had the pleasure of playing Paul in Round 4 last year, but I will be glad if I don’t see his army across the table this year. 60 shots homing in on my Mortek Guard has me scared, and the Everblaze Comet with its mortal wound output is a nice tool to throw in amongst the enemy.

With the Skywardens flying around and Shadow Warriors popping up, this list has versatility and Paul will know all of its functionality inside and out.

Frank DeLoach – USA

Frank is co-founder of the We Slay Dragons wargaming club in California, USA: WSD are regulars on the top tables of the ITC competitive scene. Frank’s videos are legendary in the Gloomspite Gits WhatsApp group, and also kinda NSFW.

Oi!!! What’s up me Ladz! Big Boss Frank ‘ere…Let’s do da talk’n ’bout dese CanCon army lists!

Power Pick No. 1: Ethan MacDonald, Fyreslayers

Pros: Fyreslayers are super sturdy, have great combat output and solid control of board space. Lords of the Lodge allows one unit of Hearthguard Brezerkers to fight twice, turning that unit into a tarpit thst just blends through enemies.

Cons: Heroes, although sturdy they’re small, and kinda move slow. So hero missions is where I see this army struggling.

Why do I like it?: Well, in general I’m a control type player, so Fyreslayers are a natural joy for me. To see the introduction of two Gun Haulers (which got a nice solid book in the KO release) gives the list more flex. These boats can sit around, shoot away at support pieces, charge a unit and fly high to shoot again. I think it’s is a super smart decision.

Power Pick No. 2: Wayne Buck, Skaventide

Pros: Bodies, lots and lots of battleshock immune bodies. Do they die easily? Sure, but with all of those warpfire throwers and 30 (YES 30!) Acolytes behind them, that’s a lot of heavy lifting mortal wound dakka.

Cons: I’d worry about this playing the mirror match a bit, if the opponent is rocking lots of Verminlords or Stormfiends. Although the list is fairly balanced, I almost wish some points were shaved for Monks or Fiends. But this isn’t really a con, I like the control approach.

Why do I like it?: Because it’s nice to see a player play a Skaven list with underused units. Acolytes are bonkers good and I think it being a cost prohibitive issue you just don’t see them. I’ve personally had success with adding a Warpfire thrower into Clanrat units, and I’m surprised you don’t see more of it.

Coolest List: Cameron Taylor, Cities of Sigmar

Pros: This is going to come at you fast, hit like a truck, fight twice and has nice little ranged support from the Hurricanum. The Incantor being on disc means it can be in the mix or scoring a key Hero objective easily, while the opponent’s army is being smashed around by the Griffon who is not required to baby sit an objective.

Cons: This is a low model count list, and I think that if it goes up against a horde army like say Bonesplitterz or some Skaven lists, it could struggle. But it should have the punch to help with this.

Why do I like it?: Cause it’s an awesome themed Cities list that isn’t Hallowheart, and actually has real competitive wings (bird joke, geddit?). I like seeing lists like this, and it shows that with a good pilot, more than just the usual suspects are viable.

HONORABLE MENTION LIST: Hayden Walker, Ogor Mawtribes

Ok, let’s all be honest here. While I feel like an all-Stonehorn list is a great team event list, I do worry about it a bit in singles. But, with the right matchups when navigating the jungle in rounds 1-3, Hayden can maybe play himself into a 5-1 and possible podium.

That’s how hard this list hits, not to mention the 60 effective models on objectives. I think Stonehorn-focused lists are the best Mawtribes can offer (which in some ways is a shame), but I worry about the lack of Gnoblars here.


Joel McGrath – Victoria

Joel followed up an 8th place finish at Cancon 2018 with a 4th place at Cancon 2019, and will be aiming to go even further with his ass-kicking Double Maw Krusha list this year. Joel’s other achievements include hosting the Bush Radio podcast, full of drunk people who swear a lot, where he is the drunkest person who swears the most.

Power pick: Mat Watkinson, Tzeentch

What the fucking fuck? Ya know, I’ve said it publicly before that allowing Tzeentch into an event without an FAQ is fucking dumb, and this list proves it.

Watto (I’m not sure if that’s your nickname but if it isn’t, congratulations. You now have one), is packing all the bells and whistles a competitive army should never have access to in one list. All jokes aside, old mate Watto is going to carve shit up and let me tell you why.

Tzeentch allegiance for starters. They do the same shit that everyone is already familiar with. Access to destiny dice, spells galore, dumb looking birds, the list goes on!
Tzeentch now have access to some pretty awesome ‘Hosts’ and the one he’s picked is my personal favourite, The Eternal Conflagration.

To sum it up briefly, all of his Horror and Flamer units get plus one to their rend characteristic. 12-18” missile weapons which now have even more chance of killing stuff. If you didn’t think that was enough of a buff, big bird and friendlies wholly within 12” of him are minus 1 to hit. Not to mention a situational command ability that reduces bravery if you get shot at… To quote the drunken frat boys who clearly wrote this book, “Dude, that’s totally AWESOME!”

What makes this list start to shine is the dreaded Changehost battalion, whose rules have been cleaned up somewhat to make it a less shitty play experience for the opponent. Or so you’d think!

The Changehost also received a couple of buffs, as it totally needed it (AWESOME!). Instead of swapping units around the table, you simply get to redeploy 2 units 9”away if that big fucking chicken is on the table. AWESOME!

As you start to work through the list, you start to see the combo’s. Mainly Watto (you sick bastard) will be redeploying 2 units of Flamers turn 1 in your face because he can, paired up with KFC bucket’s artefact of a +1 to wound bubble and blow you off the table turn 1 with 2/3s and 2s -1 d3 flamers (AWESOME!).

I would critique his choice for MSU Flamers if he was really aiming to go balls deep into the alpha, although I don’t think he is specifically leaning into that. He has however given himself the choice to do so if he wishes. What MSU Flamers does allow him to do is play smarter on the top tables instead of just running a noob stomping Changehost list.

I wish you all the best at Cancon mate, your list is solid as a rock and I’d hate to vs it with my Ironjawz!

Coolest List – Jye Callanan, Slaanesh

Who doesn’t love a good all mounted list?

Jye gets a big thumbs up from me, not only is he running Slaanesh, but an all lawnmower Slaanesh list.

The reason why this is so cool is because the Seeker Chariots and all their cousins are fucking awesome. Their fluff is gruesome, the rules are solid and the models are an absolute nightmare to put together. You have to respect someone who has laboured for 5 years and 6 days assembling 12 of the fuckers.

I think Jye is going to shock some people on the table by not being able to deploy his army entirely, and when he does, he will shock them with a crazy amount of mortal wounds. He will also frustrate his opponents to tears because of the overhang of every single model in his army.

If you don’t know what an Exalted Chariot does, do yourself a favour and go look it up. While the mortal wounds inflicted won’t generate any depravity, they do have 10 wounds each and 23 attacks base. My new buddy Jye will be pumping out summons really quickly.

Asides from that, there’s not a whole lot going on. Seeker host gives the Seeker Chariots battleline status, and you have an army wide +1 to charge. On the spell front he is looking to reduce the shit out of your bravery and make you pay for it with mortal wounds.

I really don’t understand why he’s only at 1860 pts with no extra CP, maybe a cut and paste error? Maybe there should be another chariot in the list? Anyway, it doesn’t fucking matter because this list is dope and I can’t wait to see it on the tables literally carving shit up!

Peter Atkinson – Victoria

Go on then, I’ll have a crack myself. I’m rapt to see Destro well-represent again at this year’s event, so let’s take a look at a couple of Gork’s finest.

Power Pick: Dalton Copeland, Ironjawz

The first time I played Dalton was at Badgacon 2017, when we lined up opposite each other in a mirror match…an exact mirror match. Two identical Mixed Destruction armies down to the same Command Traits and Artefacts. Literally the same army in every aspect.

We still have a habit of thinking in the same way about list design, as proven by this list which is strikingly similar to the final list I drew up in my Big Waaagh! Review, but which I know Dalton arrived at independently.

I got the win on that day way back in 2017, but having lost to this list last weekend I believe it is just a better version of my current build, and probably the best and most refined iteration of the combined arms approach to Big Waaagh that I’ve seen so far.

With movement shenanigans, punishing combat damage (ranging from high volume output to supreme quality attacks), substantial out of phase damage in the Hero, Shooting and Charge phases, chaff screens with strong saves, an army-wide aftersave and the thick end of 200-wounds of Green Delight to chew through, this is possibly the best toolkit army at the event, and gives Dalton everything he needs to compete up there on the top tables.

Don’t fuck it up!

Coolest List: Hayden Walker, Ogor Mawtribes

Hayden is living the absolute fucking dream. All killer, no filler.

With armies of this nature, if you just send a single unit left instead of right, that can put you in a cripplingly bad position that it’s impossible to recover from. But if there’s anyone who can make this work, Hayden is just the lad to do it.

Beastclaw Monsters capping as 10 is the kind of thing you need to be screwed over by to appreciate. As players, many of us are so ingrained into looking at the table in a certain way that it takes a jolt to realise that actually, those objectives are not safe, and will be in no way safe as long as there are 4 angry murdercows rampaging around the backfield.

With 5 Blood Vultures plus the damage on the charge, the Mortal Wounds start to rack up really quick in this build before we even get onto the Thundertusk shooting…and then you’ve still got the combat phase to come.

Speaking of Mortals on the charge, Hayden will be squeezing every drop of juice from that Frostlord Command Ability: pop a single CP, and go fishing for big charges on all 4 Stonehorns. It’s not like he needs them for Battleshock, right?

And if you’re going to try and Alpha him, for the love of Gork, don’t fuck it up; Hayden has healing out the wahzoo. Between the Mawpot, two Thundertusks and the Splattercleaver, he can go from 1 wound to maxing out his profile again, and again, and again. Chip a few wounds off these guys, and you better believe they’re coming back at you harder than ever.

Hayden is also a sneaky bastard, going for what on paper looks like a Gutbusters Tribe instead of Boulderhead. As well as doubling down on the healing, I’ll be watching out for a slick manouevre where he combo-charges a screen off the board, then piles in 6″ to the juicy meat behind. With 2″ reach on all their main weapons, that Frostlord will have 8″ reach in the combat phase alone.

I can’t be the only person hoping to see this one tearing it up on the stream – good luck Hayden.

Thanks again to all involved, and here’s looking forward to a rippa of an event!

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