GH20 Review Part 2: Anvil of Apotheosis

Everybody loves the Anvil. Seriously, everybody loves the Anvil. And I love everything about it.

I love the limitless hobby opportunities it presents. I love the cool, thematic characters you can create. And I love breaking it, and coming up with batshit-crazy, underpointed bullshit.

To celebrate the Anvil in all of its wonderful insanity, I’ve invited a couple of legends to contribute their creations and showcase all aspects of the hobby.

Before we jump into that, I’d invite you to enjoy the excellent Malign Portents short story on the Anvil itself, what it is and how it works. The Anvil of Apotheosis is where Stormcast warriors are forged and reforged, and this story really is a superb insight into it.

Does the Anvil belong in Matched Play?

Matched Play – sure.

Tournament play specifically? Honestly – maybe not.

As much fun as I’m having with it, I don’t think competitive tournament play is its natural home.

We’ve got plans afoot to run a local campaign using homebrew heroes, and I think the most likely format for that will be a series of linked Matched Play games (claiming territory on a map) leading to an ultimate winner, with Anvil allowed right out of the book.

If Anvil was going to be part of a competitive 2-day event, there’s a couple of ways you could go: either heavily restrict it, which is a huge burden for TOs to police, or let it all hang out and making it the focus of the event to change things up.

What things would be on the priority list for reigning it in, if we did go down that path?

Do we need minimum / maximum base sizes?

Someone could declare a Gnoblar on a 25mm base to be a Monster and give it 18 wounds!

Someone could put a small buff character in the middle of a pie-plate base!

Eh, I guess they could, but any TO worth their salt is going to tell them to go fuck themselves. For most of its lifespan, AOS has worked competitively without any official base sizes at all.

“Don’t be a dick” coupled with TO discretion is arguably more effective than imposing rules around minimum / maximum base sizes, because as soon as you set parameters, everything jumps to the extreme of those parameters. Setting limits just gives people permission to go to the edge of those limits with no shame.

Let it ride.

Should the Command Abilities be spammable?

No they should not, and I can’t believe I’m having to write this again, but please, for the love of Gork, can GW start checking every Command Ability for spammability before they hit print?

This comes up again and again and again and again. It’s getting wearisome.

Anyway. Give it an Erratum, or enjoy my 1+ Save Gloomspite Gits. Either way works for me.

Should Ethereal be house-ruled out?

Nope. If you can’t deal with one model on 15 wounds and a 3+ save, you need to take a look at what you’re doing.

If you can’t handle this, you can’t handle Nagash, or Archaon, or Bastilodons, or Hearthguard, or Blight Kings, or OBR in general, or Nurgle in general, or Lumineth in general, or Savage Orruks, or debuff Grots, or Hagg Nar, or … do you want me to keep going?

Now I would argue that 4 DP is undercosted – any Monster you build is going to want to ignore all rend at that price point – but only in isolation. The 400 point Monsters overall don’t end up too far out of whack, and in a world where 20 Hearthguard costs the same as 20 Spider Riders, you are just going to have to learn to deal with it, my friend.


So other than maybe an Erratum for spamming the CAs (seriously, how many more times?), my own preference would be to just run with it, in Glorious Technicolor. Everyone is on the same page, everyone has this huge toolkit available to them, and everyone knows what they’re getting themselves into.

I don’t actually mind if these things never see competitive tournament play, because I’ll be able to enjoy it just fine in a local campaign, but at the same time I would certainly go to an event where they were allowed.

Honestly, I’m happy to just have some fun with this thing and see where it takes us.


Heywoah Twitch: Ogor Mawtribes

Heywoah was straight onto the Anvil when it dropped, and has weighed in with three awesome creations today. Check out his YouTube show, check out his Twitter feed, and check out his handiwork below with awe.

Diamondhorn (400 Points)

What’s the scoop?

Monsters are automatically good in Mawtribes, and this cheeky sausage qualifies for most of the Boulderhead and Mawtribes abilities:

  • Counts as 10 models for capturing objectives
  • Gains +2″ to move when Hungry and +1″ to move from the Boulderhead Command Trait
  • Can crack out D3 MWs thanks to the Everwinter
  • Gains one extra wound in Boulderhead
  • Can take the Brand of the Svard Artefact
  • Can access that sweet, sweet Boulderhead Command Ability to operate on his top tier even when damaged

We all know he’s a Frostlord on Stonehorn, but he won’t have those keywords, so he can’t access any Command Traits or Artefacts outside of the subfactions (since they are hard keyword locked) – but that’s ok, he fits fine in Boulderhead, and we’re golden. Unfortunately he also won’t get a Mount Trait, but hey, he does have his own charms, right?

As Heywoah put it: sometimes the obvious thing is fun.

Boss Glutton (120 Points)

What’s the scoop?

The Boss Glutton can have whichever Command Ability, since they’re both crazy-gravy, and either way he makes for a nice hero that effectively makes Ogors Battleshock immune without spending a CP: Bravery 14 (11 + “Eating” + the Banner) means you have to virtually wipe the unit before you even need to roll.

Gaining a 4+ Armour save (or more until they fix it) on Gluttons (or 3+ Ironguts) is great, as is hitting on 2s without having to roll on a stupid 1-in-3 table with a 12″ wholly-within range.

Meatlord (120 Points)

What’s the scoop?

The Meatlord illustrates a few things: firstly that the most effective way to go isn’t necessarily pumping points into Ethereal; in fact a bare-bones, cheap-ass hero with an amazing Command Ability is arguably the most competitive thing you can build. Some races can have a 30-point hero with an incredible, spammable Command Ability. He won’t be particularly survivable, but who gives a shit? He’s 30 points.

Secondly, it’s worth highlighting that you can essentially buy an extra CP now. CP purchasing was capped at 1, presumably for a reason (looking at you, FEC and Bonesplitterz), but Consummate Commander lets you get around that.

Thirdly, it emphasises that Punches and Kicks are a joke. The only zero-point Weapon option, presumably intended to represent a feeble Grot flailing away pathetically with his bare, puny hands, is chillingly close to the actual attack profile enjoyed by Frostlords, Huskards and Beastriders.

Heywoah’s view: Other races can make far cheaper “Bare Bones Command Ability Holders” since Ogors start at 7 DP, but these two at 120 points are arguably better than any of the Gutbuster heroes anyway, so we’ll call it a win.


Ollie Grimwood: Olrog “Badkop” Ironead

Ollie is a true legend of the hobby, and his superb Twitter feed throws up a constant stream of delights. Ollie has helped me turn that frown upside down when I’ve hit a flat spot with the hobby over the years, and he taught me the wonders of sticking Ork heads on other models, which is a never-ending source of hobby joy.

Olrog “Badkop” Ironead, Beast of Colarcanium and Incarncate of the Waaagh

A Warboss of infamous renown, Olrog is rising fast through the ranks of Orrukdom through the dint of low cunning, and a devastating head butt.

Plying his trade as a petty mercenary, Olrog found religion at the culmination of the Realm Hoppers crisis. Convinced he was Gorkamorka’s true Prophet of the Waaagh, Olrog cut a swathe through the Realms, growing in power with each victory.  

Olrog’s prejudice almost proved his undoing, as his hatred of Aelves drew him into an ambush by an alliance of the Daughters of Khaine and Stormcast Eternals. However, far from proving to be his destruction, that defeat began his apotheosis. His acolytes styled themselves as Da Faifful and secured his rebirth as the physical Incarnation of the Waaagh. Thus has Olrog Ironead returned alongside his Waaaghcast Eturnals and Da Faifful to bring Gorkamorka’s true judgement to the Mortal Realms.

What’s the scoop?

Olrog is definitely a Conqueror, so I’ve taken the full 40 DP to create a character of suitable power. This is how we’re loading him up:

  • Ironjaw 5DP
  • Grandhammer 2 DP
  • Gargantuan Beast 15 DP
  • Vicious Charge 1DP
  • Savage ferocity 1 DP
  • 3x Savage Frenzy 3 DP
  • 2x Extra Armour 4 DP
  • Ward 3 DP
  • Mighty Weapon 2 DP
  • Weapon master 2 DP
  • Ferocity 2 DP

In terms of Matched Play, Olrog costs 400pts and is both Leader and Behemoth. As the Incarnate of the Waaagh, Olrog is a suitably powerful character and a whirlwind of violence, akin to a monster such as the Rogue Idol.  

We kick off with an Ironjaw ancestry, armed with a great hammer. An extra attack, damage and a bonus to hit has been added to represent Olrog’s trademark Iron shod ‘Eadbutt which provides his “Ironead” title. A Commander archetype gives him the ability to inspire friendly units. The Gargantuan Beast companion is used to convert Olrog’s base ancestry into a monster. The Claws will be used for his Axe, and the Maw his Hammer. Two extra attacks are added to the Axe, along with a bonus to its to hit value, and he deserves no less. An extra attack has been added to the Hammer, because of course it has.

Vicious charge (Stampede) nicely illustrates destructive impact of a charge from a Bloodthirster-sized Orruk. This mountain of muscle and bone, barreling into you at full-tilt, is going to leave a dent!

Defensively, two bonuses to Olrog’s Save give him some staying power.  The Ward (Waaaagh Incarnate) ability represents Olrog having transcended the status of a mere mortal, being a creature of the primordial power of the Greenskinz.  

All that’s needed now is some Aelves to smack around, who’s bought some Lumineth?


Peter Atkinson: Overtyrant on Great Maw

I’ve been having a great time running my Stonehorns recently, and they’re lead by an Overtyrant on Great Maw that I modelled up. I was keen to get some use out of my Dread Maw, which happens to be on the same base size as a Stonehorn, and you can quite easily imagine an Ogor tribe who worships this thing as a direct descendant of the Great Maw itself.

So although he’s already seen action using the Stonehorn’s Warscroll, this seems like a perfect opportunity to give him something bespoke. If we were going completely free reign, I would make him an Underguts Hero. They’re all about bursting up out of the ground and banging away with black powder, so I’d have to give him some kind of hand cannon, but I’d also tie that in with an aura that buffs Leadbelchers significantly.

Their shooting is honestly quite tragic for a cannon to the face at point blank range, so I think it would be pretty reasonable to give that army a decent lift. But for the purposes of what we’re doing here, I’m happy just to work within the parameters of Anvil as it stands, and make his Wyrm as good as I can.

What Narrative Wankery Is This?

Do you know what the capital of Thailand is called?

I’ll give you a clue – it’s not Bangkok.

No, the full honorific name is:

The city of angels, the great city, the eternal jewel city, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarma

A Tyrant also needs a name. A Big Name. And mine is called Bollgo.

And if that doesn’t seem very big, well don’t worry, because Bollgo was just a plucky Ogor making his way in the world: as his conquests have grown, so has his name.

Across the eight games I’ve played with Bollgo (<cough> 8-0 <cough>), he’s earned the following titles:

OpponentCommentBig Name
Khorne Slaves to DarknessBollgo the Edgelord Eater
SkavenFeaturing two Warp Lightning CannonsBollgo, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater
Kharadron OverlordsBollgo Skysnacks, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater
StormcastNarrative Battleplan where you had to sack their holy relicsBollgo Skysnacks, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater, Devourer of Ancestors
FyreslayersBollgo Skysnacks, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater, Devourer of Ancestors and Quencher of the Flame
Cities of SigmarArmy with 202 bodies and no BattleshockBollgo Skysnacks the Everhungry, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater, Devourer of Ancestors and Quencher of the Flame
IronjawzIronsunzBollgo Skysnacks the Everhungry, the Unzappable Edgelord Eater, Dakkbad’s Ruin, Devourer of Ancestors and Quencher of the Flame
Big WaaaghFeaturing 30 buffed Arrow BoysBollgo Skysnacks the Everhungry, the Unzappable Dakkaproof Edgelord Eater, Dakkbad’s Ruin, Devourer of Ancestors and Quencher of the Flame

See how much fun you can have with this shit?

The Rules

His Warscroll would be a pretty standard Good Monster Build, leaning towards slippery over killy. I mean look at that thing: if there’s something standing between it and where it wants to go, it’ll just tunnel right over there and burst up out of the ground. So that’s where Run + Charge, and “Fly” come from.

Ethereal in this case represents its tough, scaly hide deflecting even the sharpest blades (replacing the 4++ DPR that the Dread Maw used to enjoy), and the rest of the points go towards making it respectably killy. And I had to put that nom nom attack in there, because look at it.

As with Heywoah’s contribution, this rude boy gets all the benefits of being an Ogor Mawtribes Monster, although not those of being a Stonehorn.

Rules fit for an Overtyrant, and clocking in at 400 points on the nose.


What else ya got?

Honestly, my mind is popping with ideas for this.

I want to do a Grot Wizard with Troggoth bodyguard as his Mount – reposed, so he’s standing in the background menacingly, cracking his knuckles.

I want to do something with Grom the Paunch, to get him rampaging around the Mortal Realms and doing impact Mortal Wounds with his triple-wolf chariot.

I want to do something with Johan and his pet Bonegrinder as the Mount, and all the points go into making Johan a one-man wrecking ball.

Let me know what you’re all cooking up: the sky’s the limit, people. This is going to be a lot of fun.


Overall Grade

Of course there’s some insane stuff in here – there was always going to be, and that’s fine with me.

I love it, and I love the wave of creativity that is crashing through the hobby right nowthanks to the Anvil.

Bravo, GW, bravo.

Grade: A+, show some joie de vivre and join in the fun!

One thought on “GH20 Review Part 2: Anvil of Apotheosis

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