BOOM! The weekend of 13th March is going to be a big one…we’ve got two major events kicking off at the same time in Australia. I’ll be attending the 70-player Victorian GT while over in Adelaide, they’ll be running the 50-player South Australia GT (aka SAGT, aka Saggy T).
We’ll be focussing on Vic GT in this article so in the classic Plastic Craic format I’ll run you through the pack and my own list, then hand you over to our guest writers for their takes on what armies caught their eye.
For Bendigo tournaments I normally shout the Coolest List winners a beer, so if you’re one of the legends named below, come and make yourself known to me at the event and I’ll grab us both a kidney blaster. I’ll be the one in the full Adidas tracksuit pushing orcs around.
Ready? Let’s go.
The field is absolutely stacked with Masters-level players from around the country, so it shapes up to be very competitive on the top tables.
Here are all the lists:
And you can grab the pack right here (shout out to ya boy NC Dave for both):
First thing you’ll notice about the pack is that it skews heavily towards 24″ deployments:
Another key factor to point out is that we’re not using the new books at this one. There was a strict cut-off for the FAQ to be delivered before list submission: no FAQ = no book. I personally think this is the best policy for all events, and it does mean that DOK will be running on their
Balanced Broken Realms rules. Teleporting Snakes FTW.
Speaking of Realms, this event uses the same format at Everwinter, which is to say that you pick your “Home Realm” on your list. This gives you access to the artefact from that Realm (if you want it), but more importantly, access to potentially play in that Realm: there’s a roll off before each game and the winner either gets to choose Realms (which can be either their own Home Realm, or no Realm at all) or choose table sides.
Strength of Schedule will be first tie breaker, followed by Best Opponent votes. Given that I’ve been playing on Table 1, Round 5 in my last two events and been knocked off the podium both times, I fully support Strength of Schedule as first tie breaker! Not that I’m expecting to be in that position this time around, as you’ll see when I cover my own list.
You can follow the event on Tabletop TO at the following link, and maybe even grab a sneaky look at the Round 1 matchups while you’re at it:
My Own List
WAAAGH! Coming at you with classic smooth Ironsunz, I’m aiming for five great games at this one rather than pushing for a podium. Ironjawz are a guaranteed good time.
The counter charge mechanic keeps you thinking on both players’ turns and really gives Ironsunz games a unique feel. Negative 1 to be hit for the whole first Battleround liberates (tempts?) you to unleash the Alpha Strike, which can honestly be your best bet in games where you’re outmatched.
If you sit back, the Warchanters are toast anyway, so often you might as well get one big turn out of them, smash as much as you can, then clench.
Between Mighty Destroyers moves and teleports, the army zooms up the field, and Mad As Hell can give you a whole extra level of movement jank. Ulgu is the chosen Realm, partly to shield our Heroes from shooting, partly to give us a one-off guaranteed teleport.
Screens are surprisingly not that hard to deal with: you can put the damage buffs on the 3x Pigs and 5x or 10x Ardboys, double move the former (with Mighty D) and teleport the latter (who will be charging at +3″), then slam around 40 Damage 2 attacks into their chaff. You’ve now removed their screens without committing too many resources, and we’ve got a big priority roll on our hands.
The list does have its own shortcomings. Nothing in here is particularly hard to deal with: no real mortal wound protection, no amazing saves, no Battleshock immunity. And it has no answer to crazy-gravy 2+ rerollable saves or similar. If you bounce, which you sometimes will, the army can fold pretty quickly.
Nonetheless I’ve taken some decent scalps with this list: I’ve defeated Corey B’s 5-0 Changehost, Rohit Thomas’s Fangs of Sotek and Tristan Smith’s Broken Realms DOK. If I’d lost a few clutch rolls here and there, I was sunk, but even turning those games into a coin flip is a nightmare for people running top tier armies.
Aggressive Ironjawz lists brings the random, whether your opponents like it or not. This is not a top tier list, but it can scare the life out of some that are.
OK now let’s get into it, with one Power Pick and one Coolest List for each Grand Alliance from our guest reviewers. The former is a strong list that should do well, and if you don’t know what a cool list is, then you probably play Aelves.
Ready? Let’s go.
CHAOS: Gabe Hanna, Australia
Gabriel is a legend of Australian wargaming and host of the Runeaxe Radio podcast. Gabe’s work on the Rune Axe Wargaming blog was a big part of what got me started in this game, and although he’s now swapped his keyboard for a microphone, I was delighted to tempt him out of retirement for one last dance.
Power Pick: Dave Kerr, Slaves to Darkness
On the surface, this Knights of the Empty Throne list may not look like much. Slaves to Darkness are widely considered to be a middle-of-the-road army when it comes to competitive strength, but what Dave has created with this army is a force that has an immense amount of board control.
The Untamed Beasts bring a 6″ pregame move that can push back the likes of teleporting Flamers, setting up the Varanguard to run rampant with a 6″ pile in…and you can’t retreat from them. Every spell and ability overlaps, creating some excellent combos, and while you try and withstand the primary onslaught, you also have to contend with Be’Lakor’s sinister machinations and the ever-present threat of raging barbarians launching an assault from an unexpected quarter.
This list has been very successful in the Queensland scene, and Dave has landed multiple podium finishes with it. He’s sure to be pushing for that elusive “Slaves to Darkness” gold at Victoria GT.
Coolest List: Corey Beilharz, Disciples of Tzeentch
It feels like there is a lot of Tzeentch attending Vic GT, and it was difficult not to choose Mat Holt’s Tzeentchian Air Force, but I finally landed on Corey’s Pyrofane Cult, purely based on commitment to a theme!
Archaon remains a fan favourite to join Tzeentch armies for the threat posed by Destiny Dice and the Slayer of Kings, but it was hard to look past the sheer volume of Kairic Acolytes in Corey’s army. The amount of fiery bolts these shredded bookworms bring to the table is impressive on its own, but the imagery of Archaon leading sorcerers-in-training into battle to incinerate their foes is a rule-of-cool peak!
Depending on its match ups, this army could have a grand old time at the event. Time will tell, but win or lose, it’s going to look cool doing it!
DEATH: JP Ganis, United Kingdom
JP is the brains behind Listbot and Metabreakers, and along with LLV is one of the great statisticians making sense of the Mortal Realms. As well as bringing his analytical approach to the meta, JP is a top-table player in the cutthroat UK scene, with recent event wins including Onslaught and Fall of the Old World.
Power Pick: Adam Huey, Nighthaunt
I was tempted to go with one of the OBR lists: we consistently see OBR doing really well with the combination of Mortek Guard and Mortek Crawlers, and I’m sure those lists will perform strongly.
However, I wanna make a bit of a gamble choice and go with a Nighthaunt list, with Adam Huey’s 160 Chainrasps. Battleplans have changed a bit, meaning that board coverage and handling multiple spread objectives is more important than ever. So for that reason I think that with some good Battleplans for him, Adam could really pop off thanks to having SO many Ethereal wounds to chew through.
If he’s ever tempted to run this list in Legion of Grief rather than pure Nighthaunt I could also seeing that being a monster of a list.
Coolest List: Jordan Commons, Nighthaunt
For me, my favourite list here is the easiest pick of my life: Jordan Commons with the triple Black Coach Nighthaunt list.
As if three Coaches wouldn’t have made it the best list we’ve seen in 2021 ALREADY, he’s also got a Mega Gargant in there. I am sad I won’t get to see this list on the actual tabletop, because I’m pretty sure it’s the best list of all time.
DESTRUCTION: Donal Taylor, Northern Ireland
Donal is one of the world‘s most accomplished competitive wargamers. His many achievements include a Top 10 at London GT 2018 with Stoneklaw’s Gutstompa’s Allegiance, and 5-0 at Facehammer GT 2018 with Mixed Destruction. Donal also ruined the Command Ability “I’m Da Boss, Now Stab ‘Em Good” for the rest of us forever, by unleashing Moonclan Grots with a Damage characteristic of 128 per swing on a world that just wasn’t ready.
Power Pick: Martin Brooks, Ogor Mawtribes
There was one standout list to me. Martin “Bloodgullet Gnoblar” Brooks. He’s running Eurbad starring 4×2 Mournfangs, a Butcher, a Frostlord and 20 Gnoblars.
So what does this do, and why do I love this list?
- It’s got Gnoblars for screening and objective grabbing. Gnoblars are a chronically underused unit in Mawtribes, but bodies matter and I think these almost-grots are going to win a game for him.
- Eurlbad and 4×2 Mournfang with clubs offers some great potential for mortal wound output.
- Those of us in the Ogor chat know I’ve been promoting Bloodgullet for the past year (and some say I’m the OG Bloodgullet promoter), but it’s this Tribe that sets this list apart from the other Mawtribes lists. Bloodgullet allows the Frostlord & nearby units to have an extra 3″ on piling in, plus Splatter Cleaver for healing (anytime the mighty Frost Spear does a wound in combat, all friendly Ogor units within 12″ heal D3 wounds). Thats a great way for the Mournfang or Stonehorns to get some wounds back.
- Kudos Martin, do me proud and make sure you come out ahead of the other Boulderhead tryhards.
Coolest List: Cody Howden, Gloomspite Gitz
So my coolest list pick goes to Cody rocking the Jaws of Mork Squigalanche.
Is it the best list in the world? No, it doesn’t have enough grots. But is it cool? Hell yes.
Mr Cody is rocking some Shamans and all the Squigs. I think this list will be a 3-2 (or 2-3), but with the right rolls (for movement) he could see some very fun charges and a hella lot of Squig fun.
So how does the list work? As a low-drop army it will generally get the choice. D3 units can move up to 6″ before the game which means he can effectively move forward if he wants to take first turn, or move back if he’s giving it away.
The Squigs can all reroll movement, he has Cogs to buff movement further, Squig Lure to run and charge and Hand of Gork for teleporting. This list reduces the random movement issues and replaces it with speedy Squiggies.
The Boingrots on the charge can pump out some serious damage, but the Leaders are needed to deliver Inspiring Presence and stop them popping off the board. If they do though, we’ll be praying for that 4+ to see the Boingrots return.
This is a list and a half, so my hats off to you Cody and I hope that you prove me wrong and show that Gitz can do well outside of Grot blobs or Troggs.
Special shout out to Bevan Bond rocking 4 Thundertusks. I would have picked this as my Coolest List but it wastes points on 4 Mournfang when it could have had another Thundertusk. Plus in one of my last reviews I picked Stephen Binek & his 7 Thundertusk list, and my Grot maffs tells me 7>4.
Also to Will Walters: 120 Grots, Squigs, Shamans, a Loonboss and a Mega Gargant. What more could we want? Actually why isn’t this my coolest list and power pick? Peter- I change my mind.
I apologise to the Orruk bretheren, all your lists look the same to me and my beady Grot eyes. But Peter tells me his list is the best and who am I to argue?
ORDER: Theo Jansen, Netherlands
Theo already has over 20 years of Warhammer experience under his belt, transitioning from WHFB to AOS. He also has no fucking idea who the good players are in Australia, so let’s launch straight into the most basic netlist of the lot.
Power Pick: Josh Nightingall, Seraphon
So Peter asked me to pick the best
Order Seraphon list! *throws dart* It’s Josh Nightingall’s Fangs list! Joking aside, I really liked a couple of Deepkin and Lumineth lists as well, but as I don’t really know the players, the more forgiving nature of a Kroak Fangs lists is a safer bet.
I picked Josh’s list because I like the variant with Skink Boltspitter spam. The amount of ranged damage in this list is nuts. Skinks are a nightmare to deal with and offer great board control, that can retreat if you charge them and shoot you in your own charge phase for good measure.
And those MW’s from the bolts… Kroak is just an asshole… Fuck Salamanders too btw… Bound Geminids and Purple sun, ugh… I just wish we had enough data to determine if this list is strong!
But! If you weren’t planning on making friends anyway and you love you some geriatric frogs, you might as well do it right, like Josh did! I’m going to go brush my teeth now, I feel dirty.
Coolest List: Joel McGrath, Fyreslayers
Well, this was easy. I might not know too many Australian players, but I’ve heard of the maniac of a listbuilder that is Joel McGrath. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a “meta” list by this man, and he strikes again. Gotrek and 5 mini-Gotreks!
But do not sleep on this list, this is going to be a nightmare to play against for a lot of armies. These Grimwrath Bezerkers can all swing in a single activation (both players turns!) in 3” groups, for just one CP and a 2+ role. Then they fight again at the end of the combat phase: that’s 40 damage 2 attacks per turn. And if you kill one, they get to fight a third time!
The two additional artefacts brings us to 3 buffed up Bezerkers as well, nothing to sniff at! And a nightmare for shooting armies, requiring to split shots across multiple threats.
Oh and you thought Gotrek was a beast before? How about giving him a Prayer of Ash and a Battalion buff to get him to a 2+ save?! With a 5+ Magic ignore on top, good luck killing this little man! In the Hero Phase this beautiful bastard can attack, for good measure.
Sure, the lists has plenty of weaknesses: it has a mediocre objective game and can easily be speed bumped, but with a skilled boatsman at the helm (fuck, that would have made an excellent KO pun), this list is going to kick some teeth in. At the very least, it looks like bags of fun to play with and against.
Editor’s Choice: Will Walters, Gloomspite Gitz
Oh baby, talk dirty to me! This is very similar to what I wanted to run if I had the models ready (although I was flip flopping between Gloomspite and Bonesplitterz, and more likely with the Kraken Eater Merc). There are zero fucks given about the Mega-G only capping as one model when he has 120 Grots running around his ankles on 25mm bases, and look out for that Loonboss chucking 2 dice at resurrecting units every turn.
Love your work Will, and remember: there’s a beer on me for you and all the other Coolest List winners, so come and say hello at the event.
So there you have it! We’re in a fully licensed venue which means that Friday night is the
piss up set up with a live band playing, and we’ll all be hanging out there on the Saturday night too for prizes and shit talking.
We know how lucky we are to be COVID-free here in sunny Australia and it’s great to see events being scheduled again elsewhere in the world too.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions and analysis, and for all the Destruction players this weekend: May Gork bring you strength, may Mork bring you wisdom.