TO’d by the legends that are Doom and Matthew “Wildform” Weiss, South Australia Grand Tournament GT, aka SAGT, aka Saggy T, is already established as one of the highlights of the Australian calendar.
Last year we had a strong contingent travelling from Victoria, and the weekend starts as it means to go on with everyone meeting at the venue on the Friday night for the piss-up…sorry, I mean set-up. Nah, I actually mean piss-up. Catching up with friends from around the country and sharing war stories and beers before the big show is one of the great things about playing competitive Age of Sigmar.
It genuinely reminds me of that Christmas Eve atmosphere when you were in your late teens or early 20s. Everyone had moved away for Uni or jobs, but still came home to their parents for Christmas, and when you went into your local pub the night before, you knew everyone was gonna be in there. It’s that sort of feeling, and that sort of event.
Like last year, we’ve got a lot of the top players from around Australia bringing the filth and playing for keeps; we’ve got some top generals using unique, anti-meta or experimental builds, and we’ve got some straight up insanity that is asking for Five Great Games, no more, no less.
You can check out the full set of lists here:
It’s the perfect field for a capped-out 50 player event, and with the tight timeline until the tournament, I’ll be making the selections for each GA myself this time around; so let’s get into it.
Grand Alliance: Order
Power Pick: Michael Creighton, Idoneth Deepkin
Everyone knows what it does, nobody knows what to do about it. Michael Creighton is a lover and a fighter, an officer and a gentleman, a top table wargamer and a top table drinker. Last year he drank me under the table on the Friday night, then smashed me off the table on the Saturday afternoon, on his way to a 5-0 performance in what was my personal Game of the Year 2019.
Dhom-Hain is suddenly everywhere, and with no restrictions, Michael has filled his boots with Cloud of Midnight as his artefact. Artefacts of the Realms quite often displace book artefacts, because they are straight up better; but here’s an example where the opposite is true. I’m a huge fan of The Ragged Cloak for keeping a key Hero (helloooo, Warchanter) alive, but this thing pisses all over the Ragged Cloak.
High drops? Who cares. As a great man once said:
Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.
Michael can start a fuckload of his key pieces off the board, including both Allied units; good look zapping them with Flamers.
And when he hits that big red button, boy are you in trouble. On comes the cavalry, charging where it wants to charge, with extra attacks all round and rerolling hits because Dhom-Hain. If you’ve never worn an Idoneth charge to the face, you have no idea what you’re in for: with the Mortal Wound zaps and rend -2, they will blast their way through anything.
This army is fast, hard-hitting and slippery when wet. I’d love to get the opportunity for revenge against Michael, but I’ll settle for the opportunity to get pissed up together again. Good luck mate.
Coolest List: Luke Stone , Cities of Sigmar
Luke has never been afraid to back himself with some lesser-seen choices, and last year at this event he took the scalp of Hagg Narr with his Scourge Privateers; this year he’s shown he has the balls to leave the Soulscream Bridge at home, so good on him for that.
Demigryph Knights are an excellent unit that jumped off the page when the book came out, but have been squeezed out of a lot of power builds that load up on magic and dakka. Coupled with Drakespawn Knights, he has some highly mobile bludgeons that can project power where needed, and deliver a world of pain on the charge.
We have the classic solid, useful Cities Battleline with good buff pieces around them; and best of all a Dreadlord on Black Dragon, which I can’t wait to see on the table. It’s no secret that Luke will want to charge you early and often with his combat units, so anyone who can tag them in combat will deprive them of a lot of their bonuses, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Luke can do with some really solid units that deserve more table time.
Grand Alliance: Chaos
Power Pick: Tyson Gleeson, Disciples of Tzeentch
Tyson has hit the ground running with the new Tzeentch book, following up a 5-1 showing at Cancon 2020 by playing up on Table 2 in the final round of Summer Smash 2020. The scary thing is that his list seems to have only gotten better in the meantime – it looks like Tyson has been busy painting up more Flamers, the ruthless bastard. Expect to see him blasting people off the board on a top table near you soon.
I’m sure that Tyson with Tzeentch is a 5-0 waiting to happen, and this could be just the right moment for him to deliver.
Coolest List: Wayne Buck, Skaventide
Remember when this book came out, and everyone had a chuckle and said how much fun it was going to be playing against Doomwheels? But then it was all Screaming Bells, Warp Lightening Vortices and Plaguemonks for fucking days? Well not in Wayne’s world.
Old mate Wayne has embraced the insanity and spammed the fuckers, and playing against this list will be nothing if not memorable. Look past the madness and it’s secretly quite good, with the jacked-up Acolytes guaranteed to wreak havoc, and I don’t think there’ll be many of Wayne’s games that go the distance one way or another.
Grand Alliance: Death
Power Pick: Corey Beilharz, Ossiarch Bonereapers
This list asks questions of your army. Questions like:
- Can you chew through 20 Mortek Guard with a 3+ rerollable save?
- Can you chew through 20 Mortek Guard with a 3+ rerollable save again?
- Can you chew through 20 Mortek Guard with a 3+ rerollable save again?
- How about if my catapult shoots off your key buffing Hero, can you chew through 20 Mortek Guard with a 3+ rerollable save now?
With three big blocks scoring objectives on those 25mm bases, backed up by Arkhan fun times, Corey has got a lot of reps in with OBR and this could be his time to shine.
Coolest List: Jason Tipping, Nighthaunt
You had me at Allegiance: Nighthaunt. Anyone who brings the spooky ghosts currently is making a statement, and that statement is: I have a fucking massive pair of balls, and I will win games on Hard Mode, thank you very much.
You have to be either in love with this army, up for the challenge, or both; and my feeling is that in Jason’s case, it’s both. That Dreadblade Harrow will be zipping all over the board and putting D3 Spirit Hosts back into that unit; he and Lady O will troll the fuck out of you with their spells; and if your army really, really needs that CP every turn, Kurdoss will break your heart and break your army.
Jason has worked all the fun, cool stuff from the whole faction into a single build, and the more the internet has tried to tell him they’re overcosted and uncompetitive, the harder he’s looked to find a way to make it all work.
There are a lot of subtle touches in here that give this list a low skill floor and high skill ceiling. It’s a challenge all right, but I’m backing Jason to pull a rabbit out the hat and win games out of nowhere with this army. I do hope so, because it’s fucking baller.
Grand Alliance: Destruction
Power Pick: Joel Graham, Big Waaagh!
Yep, Joel is running Dalton’s list. And who’d blame him? This army has it all. The Prophet has one of the best anti-horde spells in the business, and if that’s not enough Hero Phase output, Pebbles can always take a Warchanter buff and a Mighty D activation and knock something on the head.
The Prophet will be casting at anywhere from +2 (artefact and Pebbles) to +5 (Waaagh bonus and Wardokk dance), so that 10+ horde spell suddenly looks easy to cast, and so very, very hard to unbind.
With +2 to save stacking on the Savage Orruks or Pebbles, and the Breath of Gorkamorka + Mighty Destroyers ultramobility combo on the Rogue Idol, Joel’s opponents will have so much to deal with. And that’s before we even consider the highly efficient Gore Gruntas, and shooting from the Arrow Boys.
I actually wrote a very similar list myself back in November, but I think this version is the ultimate expression of the Rogue Idol build and strictly better than my own. Every Battleline unit contributes something significant to the army, and every Hero has multiple roles as the situation requires. One vulnerability is the lack of a Turn Zero CP (leaving those low-bravery horde units exposed early on), but this list gives you tools to compete with most opponents on most Battleplans.
There’s a lot of decisions to be made here, and a lot of overlapping ranges to manage, so this list won’t turn a bad General good. But Joel is just the lad to pull it off, believe me. Would you bet against him going back-to-back after winning Summer Smash? I know I wouldn’t.
Coolest List: Andrew Frankhuisen, Ironjawz
Bam! Andrew’s starting off with an Ethereal Maw Krusha. Nothing unusual there, but it’s a fun and effective start to any army.
Bam! Bam! Now he’s coming at you hard with a Kill Krusha. Rend -3 to rip the heart out of your best unit, and Mean Un for extra damage. Now you’re talking.
Bam! Bam! Bam! And there it is…when a Double Krusha list isn’t crazy enough, you slam Pebbles in there to seal the deal.
He’s also somehow managed to fit in a Battalion: with both Brutish Cunning and an Ironfist, Andrew is going to be going where he wants, when he wants. And in the unlikely event you survive a round of combat with any of his units, don’t get too excited, because everything is going to be fighting in the Hero Phase too.
Now when I say “somehow”, what I actually mean is “oops, where did the Warchanters go?” But support heroes are for wimps, right? There is a green avalanche rolling into town, and Andrew is going to be pushing it forward at maximum speed, and having the best fucking time doing it.
So there you have it! The stage is set for a rippa event. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Doom’s full list review right here, where he rudely and accurately describes how to beat my own army. Let me tell you though, I did win Best Destruction at this one last year, and I won’t be giving it up without a fight:
I can’t wait to see all the guys and girls again, I can’t wait to roll dice, I can’t wait to see some of these amazing lists on the table and I can’t wait to report back on how it all went.
Until then: May Gork bring you strength, may Mork bring you wisdom.