The Battle For Ravenhall: Ones To Watch

Well what have we got here! There’s a cheeky 27-player event in Melbourne this weekend – it’s one that I’ll be skipping unfortunately, due to Day 2 clashing with Mother’s Day, but there’s a bloody good field of players in attendance. Good on TO Jason Brown for giving it a crack with his first 2-dayer.

The Pack

The full pack is right here, and they’ll be rocking the following Battleplans:

Round 1: Scorched Earth

Round 2: Shifting Objectives

Round 3: Focal Points

Round 4: Places of Arcane Power

Round 5: Total Commitment

Although they might not individually be my own favourite missions, what they do as a group is that they ask questions of your list. I’ll always advocate for Battle for the Pass in any pack (probably ahead of Places of Arcane Power), but as a curated challenge it’s bang on the money.

You’ve got Scorched Earth stretching the board, and Shifting Objectives smashing it up in the middle; you’ve got Leaders shining on Places, and Behemoths owning Focal Points; and with anywhere between 3 and 8 objectives to fight over, this is a really difficult pack to list-tailor towards.

You can check out all the lists over on DUP, and what we’ll be looking at today is the selected highlights from Round 1. We’ve got some top players and some very cool lists, so let’s dive into it.


Lachlan McLean vs Joel McGrath

Credit: Lachlan McLean

Fresh from taking out Vic GT, Lachlan is running his filthy, filthy lizards and shooting for the back-to-back:

Lachlan McLean

Allegiance: Seraphon
– Constellation: Fangs of Sotek
Mortal Realm: Chamon 

Leaders
Lord Kroak (320)
 General
 Spell: Stellar Tempest
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)
 Artefact: Serpent God Dagger
Skink Starpriest (120)
 Spell: Hand of Glory
Skink Priest (70)
Celestant-Prime (300)
 Allies

Battleline
40 x Skinks (240)
 Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
 Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers
10 x Skinks (60)
 Boltspitters Celestite Daggers & Star Bucklers

Units
3 x Salamander Hunting Pack (330)
10 x Chameleon Skinks (180)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Balewind Vortex (40)
Bound Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (70)
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 1980 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 300 / 400
Wounds: 117

I’d encourage you read up on Lachlan’s list right here, to fuel my endless thirst for clicks because he’s a great guy.

And across the table we have Joel’s Stormcast:

Joel McGrath

I’ve got 99 problems but my wounds ain’t one

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals
Mortal Realm: Chamon

Leaders
Lord-Celestant on Stardrake (500)
 General
 Celestine Hammer
 Command Trait: Staunch Defender
 Artefact: Armor of Silvered Sigmarite
 Mount Trait: Storm-winged
Lord-Castellant (120)
 Mystic Light (Artefact): Lantern of the Tempest
Lord-Arcanum on Tauralon (280)
 Spell: Chain Lightning
 Mount Trait: Steel Pinions
Lord-Exorcist (90)
 Spell: Azyrite Halo
Knight-Incantor (120)
 Spell: Stormcaller
Knight-Incantor (120)
 Spell: Lightning Blast

Battleline
10 x Liberators (180)
 Warhammer & Shield
 2x Grandhammers
5 x Liberators (90)
 Warhammer & Shield
 1x Grandhammers
5 x Liberators (90)
 Warblade & Shield
 1x Grandblades

Units
3 x Aetherwings (40)
3 x Aetherwings (40)

Battalions
Grand Convocation (130)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Everblaze Comet (100)
Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (60)
Celestian Vortex (30)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 99

You could be tempted to take one look at this and think, Stormcast?

10 Libs – 5 Libs – 5 Libs?

Lol, keep scrolling.

That would be a mistake. Joel has stacked in a huge amount of precision-delivered mortal wounds:

  • You’ve got Rain of Starts pounding down
  • Prime Time can be used as mortal wound artillery in his own right
  • The Comet brings devastation in a huge bubble
  • Geminids will be prowling around
  • Stormcaller, Chain Lightning and Lightning Blast are all damage spells

Yes, a lot of those are spell casts attempting to get through buffed unbinds – but to stop them you have to get lucky every time, and he only has to get lucky once or twice. In conjunction with the non-magic mortals, he’ll be slapping down D3 after D3 after D3 and those little heroes will go POP POP POP POP POP. Once they’re gone, unbuffed Skinks are just a rabble waiting to be cut down.

Those Incantors bring guaranteed early unbinds and then sprint in, rip out the pin and detonate blocks of Skinks or any second-wave heroes that have been summoned on. Meanwhile the monsters are more than capable of chewing through fields of chaff.

This list is aimed squarely at taking on the meta. Will it succeed? If it wasn’t against Lachlan, I’d say yes. Joel has given himself all the right tools, but Lachlan knows his army inside and out, and has ice in his veins.

I’m backing Lachlan to get up here, but it’ll be an absolute classic with loads of big moments.

Prediction: It all comes down to a clutch Round 4 Parting Shot. Lachlan nails the 4+ to retreat, and a handful of Skinks step to the back of the objective to ice the game. Lachlan goes on to win the event after having one of his hardest and most exciting games in Round 1.

Prove me right, brother.


Tyson Gleeson vs Sam Sims-Bailey

Credit: @AussieWargamer

Simsy has been doing consistently well with his Changehost for a while now:

Sam Sims-Bailey

Allegiance: Tzeentch
– Change Coven: Ethernal Conflagration
Mortal Realm: Chamon

Leaders
Changecaster, Herald of Tzeentch (110)
– Artefact: Shroud of Warpflame  
– Lore of Change: Treason of Tzeentch
Lord of Change (380)
– General
– Command Trait: Coruscating Flames  
– Artefact: Aura of Mutability  
– Lore of Change: Fold Reality

Battleline
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (220)
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (220)
10 x Pink Horrors of Tzeentch (220)

Other
6 x Flamers of Tzeentch (280)
1 x Exalted Flamers of Tzeentch (100)
3 x Flamers of Tzeentch (140)
3 x Flamers of Tzeentch (140)

Changehost (180)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 77

Horrors, Horrors, Horrors.

Flamers, Flamers, Flamers.

Blah, Blah, Blah.

You all know what this list does by now – Sam’s opponent Tyson certainly does, because he’s ran Changehost himself in the past. But not today:

Tyson Gleeson

Allegiance: Seraphon
– Constellation: Fangs of Sotek
Mortal Realm: Chamon

Leaders
Lord Kroak (320)
 Spell: Celestial Equilibrium
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)
 Artefact: Serpent God Dagger
Skink Priest (70)
Skink Priest (70)
Skink Starpriest (120)
 Spell: Fiery Convocation
Skink Starpriest (120)
 Spell: Hand of Glory

Battleline
5 x Saurus Guard (100)
40 x Skinks (240)
 Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs
40 x Skinks (240)
 Boltspitters & Moonstone Clubs

Units
3 x Salamander Hunting Pack (330)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Balewind Vortex (40)
Bound Geminids of Uhl-Gysh (70)
Bound Purple Sun of Shyish (60)
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 1970 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 137

Urgh, I feel like I need a shower. I’ve got no fucking idea who’ll win this one, but there’s guaranteed to be a blue, and I’d love to be a fly on the wall (or a nosey git on an adjacent table).

Prediction: TO Jason spends 2 hours straight refereeing at this table, getting increasingly frazzled as Tyson and Simsy yell at each other. Whoever wins goes on to podium.


Jason Spinks vs Ethan Moon

Credit: Diredin

Jason is a good mate of mine, and a fucking legendary Troggboss. He’s been running Troggs for a couple of years now, usually achieving excellent 3-2 results, and his hard work and dedication was rewarded with a 4-1 at Summer Smash this year:

Jason Spinks (aka Spanky)

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
Mortal Realm: Chamon

Leaders
Dankhold Troggboss (250)
 General
 Command Trait: Sheperd of Idiotic Destruction
 Artefact: Aetherquartz-studded Hide
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (90)
 Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Madcap Shaman (80)
 Artefact: Moonface Mommet
 Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance

Battleline
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (280)
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (280)
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (280)
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (280)
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (150)
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (150)

Battalions
Stomping Megamob (160)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 140

Goooooo Spanky! I do play Troggs a bit myself, and I might have been tempted to bump those Rockies up to a few 9s in order to summon back some 5s over the course of the event, but Jason doesn’t need advice from me.

A very nice 3-drop package, with two excellent artefacts, people will underestimate TROGG POWER at their peril.

Now I play a lot of tournaments around Victoria, and I don’t know Ethan, so I’m going to take the liberty of assuming he’s a shameless netlister seeking a shortcut to the top tables:

Allegiance: Kharadron Overlords
– Sky Port: Barak Zilfin
Mortal Realm: Chamon

Leaders
Aether-Khemist (90)
 Artefact: Spell in a Bottle  
Arkanaut Admiral (120)
 General
 Command Trait: Master Commander  
 Artefact: Staff of Ocular Optimisation  

Battleline
10 x Arkanaut Company (90)
 1x Light Skyhooks
10 x Arkanaut Company (90)
 1x Light Skyhooks
10 x Arkanaut Company (90)
 1x Light Skyhooks
Arkanaut Frigate (220)
 Main Gun: Heavy Sky Cannon

Units
1 x Grundstok Gunhauler (130)
 Main Gun: Drill Cannon
 Great Endrinworks: Zonbarcorp ‘Debtsettler’ Spar Torpedo
1 x Grundstok Gunhauler (130)
 Main Gun: Drill Cannon
 Great Endrinworks: Coalbeard’s Collapsible Compartments
15 x Grundstok Thunderers (360)
 1x Decksweepers
 1x Aethercannons
 1x Grundstok Mortars

Behemoths
Arkanaut Ironclad (480)
 Main Gun: Great Sky Cannon
 Great Endrinworks: The Last Word

Battalions
Grundstok Escort Wing (120)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Warp Lightning Vortex (80)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 123

He’ll have to be, because if Ethan plays this list well, Spanky is in deep doo-doo. On a mission with 8 objectives, those teleporting Gunhaulers will be money, and The Last Word on an Ironclad is brutally punishing to combat armies.

Hopefully Ethan makes a series of cataclysmic mistakes and Spanky executes him. Unless Ethan turns out to be built like a brick shithouse, in which case I salute your creative listbuilding and swashbuckling innovation, good sir.

Prediction: Warhammer will be the winner. Or if not, Kharadron will.


Subplot: Pat Nevan vs Sam Morgan

Credit: @HarrySherwin

Pat and Sam may not be facing each other Round One, but I’m very interested to see which of these GA Death lists comes out on top. For anyone not aware, these are two of the very best players in Victoria (and therefore Australia, and therefore the world), so don’t be fooled by the novelty allegiance: they’re not fucking around.

Smorgan recently podiumed with his Mixed Death at Saggy T:

Sam Morgan

Allegiance: Death

Realm: Hysh

Leaders

Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern (130)
 General
 Command Trait: Master of the Black Arts
 Artefact: Cloak of Mists and Shadows
Necromancer (130)
 Artefact: Blade of Dark Summons
Vampire Lord (140)
 Mount: Nightmare

Battleline
10 x Zombies (60)
10 x Zombies (60)
10 x Zombies (60)

Other
20 x Hexwraiths (520)
5 x Hexwraiths (130)
5 x Hexwraiths (130)
Mortek Crawler (200)
Mortek Crawler (200)

The Dolorous Guard (120)

Extra Command Point (50)
The Burning Head (30)

Total: 1960 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 129

Sam has changed up his Saggy T list mainly by subbing out a heap of Bladegheists for those Mortek Crawlers. And if you’re not aware of what those two artefacts do, I suggest you read up on them, because it might be the best 1-2 combo of artefacts in the game right now.

Urgh you lazy motherfucker, OK I’ll tell you what they do. Cloak of Mist and Shadows lets you redeploy at the start of the combat phase (i.e. on both players’ turns). So if you charge Sam, he can phase away before you get to swing; or Sam can charge into Unit A, teleport to 3.1″ away from Unit B, then pile into Unit B at his leisure because he charged earlier that turn.

This is busted on a beatstick like Settra (I enjoyed shooting that bastard off the table with Gitmob archers, believe me), but on a tech piece like the Guardian of Souls it means you can put him wherever he needs to be for issuing those buff auras and Command Abilities. And you don’t want to be on the wrong side of those Hexwraiths: they can put out a surreal amount of attacks, fishing for mortal wounds.

Blade of Dark Summons allows you to bring 2D6 wounds of summonable units onto the table, and there are some really spicy 1 wound options out there: Myrwourm Banshees and Bladegheist Revenants spring to mind.

Meanwhile Pat has blatantly stolen the tech been inspired by Sam’s list and came up with this:

Allegiance: Death
Mortal Realm: Ghur

Leaders
Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist (420)
 Artefact: Cloak of Mists and Shadows
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (440)
 General
 Deathlance & Shield & Chalice
 Command Trait: Red Fury
 Artefact: Blade of Dark Summons
Necromancer (130)

Battleline
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
10 x Chainrasp Horde (80)
10 x Chainrasp Horde (80)

Units
10 x Hexwraiths (260)
10 x Hexwraiths (260)

Battalions
The Dolorous Guard (120)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 113

To be fair to Pat he has gone down a very different path, and his heroes will let their fists do the talking. He’s got the same two (superb) artefacts, so he’ll be putting that Terrorgheist wherever you don’t want it, and Red Fury can get his Vampire Lord fighting twice. Pat’s list has Chainrasps as superior chaff (well, superior to Zombies at least) and those two trademark melee beatsticks. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.

I’m very interested to see which of these two finishes higher at the event – if any of their opponents sees GA Death Allegiance and thinks they’re in for an easy ride, boy are they in for a shock.

Prediction: Pat to get blasted off the table by a shooting army on Day Two, triggering a bellow of rage that will echo through history.


So there you have it! Very sad that I can’t be there this weekend, but I hope it’s a roaring success, and becomes an annual fixture – but hopefully not clashing with Mother’s Day next year.

Good luck ladies and gents, it will be a rippa.

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