Australian Masters List Tech, Part One

Part One? PART FUCKING ONE? How much does one self-involved flog need to bang on about his own army?

Don’t worry, we’ll be keeping it punchy; this isn’t going to be a Lumineth Hero Phase of an article. Today I’ll run you through my road to Masters and talk about the kind of army I’ll be running, and we’ll follow up on that next week with a proper look at the List Tech.

See? Punchy!

The event

Well I officially got the call up, and Australian Masters will be just up the road in Bendigo this year, so I’m rapt to be part of my hometown Olympics.

Fuck knows whether it’ll actually happen – it’s slated for the weekend of 21st and 22nd August, so we’ve basically got one week for the great state of Victoria to lift remaining restrictions, and give people time to commit. COVID already screwed me out of my ETC adventure last year, when I was supposed to travel to Luxembourg as part of the Australian team, so fingers crossed this one happens.

Credit: Yury S, @Bulldog_Hammer

Here comes the hubris

You can now have the pleasure of listening to me rattle off a few personal highlights from the last season, because hey, that’s the benefit of having your own little soap box right?:

  • I never lost more than one game at an event all year
  • Played on Table 1, Final Round twice
  • Grabbed a Podium
  • Constantly ran nothing but Destruction through thick and thin
  • Ranked inside the Top 10 overall for the year

Now you might think that’s a fancy way of saying “won fuck all”, but I reckon I’ve done great! Repping Destro on top tables, never dropping more than 1 game at an event and regularly trading blows with the S-Tier netlists was a lot of fun. Well done me.

The overall rankings are hosted below, and mad props in particular to Corey Papp and Joel G, who were both turbo bastards and barely dropped a game all year between them:

I legit hope one of them picks up the big prize next month, because they’ve been superb all year.

Credit: Tom Lees, @FuneralDinosaur

Word is bond

Masters was meant to be a 2nd Ed tournament, based on consensus of what the top players wanted. We all qualified under 2nd Ed, and it would be the culmination of that season – you dance with the one who brung ya.

Then 3rd Ed dropped, everyone lost all interest in playing a dead game, and the consensus was to switch over. Fair enough, and well done to the state reps for actively seeking out the opinions of the competitive player base – your communication has been exceptional, so thanks to Clarkey and the crew for all your work.

The me-problem here is that in between times, I put out this Tweet:

Now you may look at the timing – 11.02pm on a Friday night – and assume that when I wrote it, I was both drunk and looking at Squigs. I couldn’t possibly comment.

Squigs were below-the-radar good in late 2nd edition though, and I would have backed myself to do quite well with them:

  • The list was built around multiple units of 15 Boingrots (which are gone in 3rd Ed)
  • Running them in the Battalion for the rend -1 damage 2 (which is gone in 3rd Ed)
  • The army attacks in waves, with flying Boingrots pouncing out from behind your screens to just fucking merck stuff
  • Key buffs from the Moonface Mommet (on your Madcap Shammy) and the Sneaky Snufflers required no dice rolling
  • A single unit was thrusting out 90 attacks at rend -2 damage 2, guaranteed
  • Plus a lazy 8 Mortal Wounds on the charge, to boing off a hero before you pile in and eviscerate a unit
  • Meanwhile your Manglers are zipping around at the speed of light, and blowing shit up with precision and ease
  • From mid-game onwards, you are rezzing back useful units of 8 Boingrots for your final wave and that last big push

People would have underestimated this army at their peril – I played a couple of practice games and although I was still getting to grips with it, it definitely had some legs. Loads of big decisions about when to hold and when to push that big red button, loads of big exciting moments when you’re trying to summon back units on a 4+, entire units exploding into a horrible mess on every turn. Glorious.

Switching to 3rd changes everything, but after making such a big fucking hoop-lah about running Squigs, I decided to stick with them and honour my word. I do love ’em, and I was committed, so Squigs it is.

The army I was halfway through painting was completely dead – it is now equal parts dogshit and illegal – so what the fuck do I do next?

Damn right I start painting Kragnos!

Credit: Dan George, @Broccoliboy4

Hang on, didn’t you say Kragnos was DOA?

That’s right, my opinion was (and is) that he’s been viciously ruined by a complete absence of keywords. His charging gimmick is fun, but that’s where the fun ends.

700 points is an absolute disgrace, and the only thing this useless motherfucker has in common with actual god-level models like Archaon is a similar points cost.

260 points more than Gotrek! TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY POINTS MORE THAN FUCKING GOTREK! Holy shit. Well I know that Kragnos can’t consistently win high-level games, so why would I bother running him?

My aims for the event

Because I’m here to get on the beers and have a ball. I’m going to spend a weekend merrily scuffling around the bottom tables – honestly, I’d be happy with 1-4 when every opponent is a top player bringing their A-Game. It’s not like a normal event where you can work your way through the peloton and pick up a couple of wins against slightly crap armies – every game here is a Day 2 game, and my army will be heavily outmatched.

So my targets on the tabletop are pretty modest:

  • I’m aiming to win one game (which is no small achievement with a novelty list in a Masters field)
  • I want to take a decent scalp with Kragnos

OK, he’s not rolling box cars on the charge every time; and in any given game he’s more likely to get zapped off the board (or bogged down in Pink Horrors) than he is to get an opportunity to charge a Monster.

But just once, surely, across a 2-day event…is that too much to ask? One single moment of joy from this 700-point piece of shit?

Almost certainly: yes, it is too much to ask. But that’s what targets are for, so we’ll have a bloody good crack at it.

What I’m bringing here is a party list, and my true goals for the event are in line with that:

  • I’m gonna be so drunk, Pat Nevan will be looking sexy
  • I’m gonna be so drunk, the price of the Mega Gargant kit will seem reasonable
  • I’m gonna be so drunk, Tristan Smith might beat me
  • I’m gonna be so drunk, I’ll tell Jason Brown he has a really strong neck
  • I’m gonna be so drunk, Nine Toes will think I’m playing too aggressively

Masters is taking place in a fully-licensed venue, and I’ll be bringing a fully-licensed list – so let’s get on the beers.

I will be celebrating a great final season of AOS 2, embracing AOS 3 and having a fucking awesome weekend.

Can’t wait.

Credit for the Kraggnificent cover image goes to David Blenner – and I’ve received a fantastic response to my request for painted Kraggies to showcase, so we’ll be showing loads of them off in the next article.

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