Australian Masters List Tech, Part Two

I’ve booked the hotel, because I’m gonna be in no state to drive. I’ve painted the army, because I’m taking something new and fun. Next question – is Masters even happening?

By the time this is published we’ll have the answer, but given the COVID outbreak in Queensland and Victorian snap lockdown since my last post, I’m not optimistic. If it gets canned, then hopefully us Victorians can at least do something of our own seeing as we’ve got the venue booked and a squad of players with the weekend clear; so my hope and expectation is that I’ll be putting this army on the table in two weeks’ time one way or another. Let’s see what happens.

So following on from last week’s article, I’ll be diving into the army itself. We’ll kick off with a look at the tech, then rattle through a couple of lists that I’m currently play testing. Interspersed through the article are some Kragnificent minis painted by the community, plus my own Squig-themed Kraggy.

Ready? Let’s go!

The Mini

I wanted two things here: a proper Centaur, and a tie-in with the Squig theme.

So I’ve raided my collection for a suitable head swap and issued him a Squig Hamma:

There are some better-painted Kraggies out there for sure (a few of them in this article), but I’m happy to have something bright, on-theme and unique. I’m really enjoying putting him on the table.

The Tech

The Fundamentals

You’ve got Kraggy running around mercking stuff, with 200 wounds of angry fangs swarming around his ankles. It’s not super fancy, but the two sides of the army do naturally support each other. A 72-wound unit of 36 Squigs is a decent DPS check for anyone, and can hopefully surprise a few people if they underestimate it.

Jaws of Mork is dead, and even a Squig army should go vanilla Gits now. The best thing about Jaws was the Battalion, which really elevated your Boingrots and Hoppers; now that has gone, and your Boingrots are crippled by unit size, they’re just not worth taking. This in turn means you won’t have much (if any) random movement to reroll, so the package is not worth the CT and Artefact tax, and we’ll be moving on.

There is a bit of fun you can have with Gloomspite listbuilding right now though, starting with the Loonshrine. The big things are that you can set it up closer to Objectives and can Garrison it. That gives you a good way to drop your first few units without revealing your hand (especially if you’re running a Battle Regiment), but what else can it do for us?

Credit: Rob Kelly, @roberttpkelly

Garrison Bullshit: Sneaky Bufflers

First up is that as well as protecting them, it gives your buff pieces a huge footprint. Measuring from the Loonshrine adds a lot to the 18″ or 24″ spell auras that are relevant to your wizards, but also to the 12″ range from the Moonface Mommet and your Sneaky Snufflers.

Even better, you can bypass the restriction on moving your Snufflers after they dish out the buff. They can give out the +1 Attacks at the start of the phase, then degarrison at the end of the phase if they need to keep up with your units advancing up the board. Noice.

Garrison Bullshit: Baitshrine

The Loonshrine itself can easily be switched off by Monsters now, which isn’t ideal considering it’s your army’s main allegiance ability (there’s a reason why the other one isn’t called The Good Moon). But you can play around that a little by Garrisoning it, so you at least create a difficult dilemma for your opponent.

Let’s say you have 12 Squigs in there when a monster charges your Shrine, and it’s time for the Monstrous Rampage. What do they do?

If they smash down your Shrine, you’ve lost your summoning and Battleshock protection, but your models can burst up outside of combat range: this means you’ve completely wasted a turn of their output, and can cap the objective for another turn. If they Roar or Stomp instead, so they can actually fight you and contest the Objective this turn, your Shrine itself is safe and sound.

It’s not quite “Heads I win, Tails you lose” – this is still Squigs we’re talking about, so it’s more like “Heads you table me this turn, Tails you table me next turn” – but with correct positioning you can at least create a decision point and trade off for your opponent.

Credit: Jack Davenport, @JDavenpott

Artefact Bullshit: Arcane Tome

There’s a bit of fun you can have with Artefacts too, specifically the Wizard’s hat:

Credit: Games Workshop

A lot of armies are exploring this right now, and Gloomspite has some great uses for it. The beauty of this artefact in our army in particular is that it unlocks some very cool “Moonclan Wizard” Command Traits that were never really seen before, because who the fuck wants to make a 4-wound Madcap Shaman their General?

Slap it on a Loonboss and you have a couple of great options. If you wanted to lean into Kraggy, you could take the Levitate spell and make him fly, but more realistically you’re taking either Squig Lure or Hand of Gorkamorka. This will save you about 90 points on an actual Wizard (points get very tight when you start off by flushing 700 of them down the shitter on a novelty piece), but the real fun is taking Dodgy Character as your CT:

Dodgy Character This slippery shaman is surprisingly difficult to hit.

Re-roll successful hit rolls for attacks that target this general.

In Garrison, this dude is already -1 to hit and +1 to save. That won’t protect him from MW shooting, but that’s where your CT kicks in: good luck banging him off with Bloodstalkers when you’re rerolling all successful hits.

There’s another cool one that bounces back mortal wounds on a 4+, but of the two, it’s Dodgy Character that I’m leaning towards.

Credit: James Field, @JamesFi82729316

The List: 84 Squigs and a Can-Do Attitude

Cos that’s all we need, right?

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

Leaders
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110) in Battle Regiment
 General
 Moon-cutta
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Gloomspite Spell Lore: Squig Lure
Kragnos, The End of Empires (695) in Battle Regiment

Battleline
36 x Squig Herd (480) in Hunters of the Heartlands
 Reinforced x 2
36 x Squig Herd (480) in Hunters of the Heartlands
 Reinforced x 2
12 x Squig Herd (160) in Battle Regiment

Units
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Battle Regiment

Core Battalions
Hunters of the Heartlands
Battle Regiment

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 204

So we’ve managed to squeeze in Kragnos and 204 wounds of Squidgy Delight and any summoning to come on top of that. Your main win condition is swamping your opponents with wounds, while Kraggy prowls around the perimeter picking fights he can win.

We only have one lore spell here, and I’ve chosen Squig Lure for the straight-line speed over the teleport, so you have two unreliable sources of run and charge (the Moon and the spell) backing each other up. I have playtested this list and I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t really miss the teleport: between the +3″ movement Command Ability aura, and the run and charge (which Squigs can natively reroll), you could guarantee a 14″ move on one unit and get close to that on the others. They were getting where they needed to go.

The 36-blocks are in Hunters so they can always take CAs, and the General is a tough nut to crack with his Command Trait. All wrapped up in a 3-drop package.

There is an alternative version where you trim back one of your big blocks to a unit of 24, and spend the points on a wizard and some more Snufflers:

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Leaders
Loonboss on Giant Cave Squig (110) in Warlord
 General
 Command Trait: Dodgy Character
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Lore of the Moonclans: Squig Lure
Madcap Shaman (80) in Warlord
 Artefact: Moonface Mommet
 Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Kragnos, The End of Empires (695) in Warlord

Battleline
36 x Squig Herd (480) in Hunters of the Heartlands
 Reinforced x 2
24 x Squig Herd (320) in Hunters of the Heartlands
 Reinforced x 1
12 x Squig Herd (160) in Hunters of the Heartlands

Units
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Battle Regiment
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Battle Regiment

Core Battalions
Hunters of the Heartlands
Warlord

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 3 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 196

What this gets you is the teleport spell, a second artefact (which is effectively an extra pip of rend where you need it), and what meme value you lose from dropping 12 Squigs you gain back in double-tapping the Snufflers on a single unit to jack up its attacks.

Credit: Painted Orks, @RobWales5

The Other List: Squiggy Stardust

If I decide that I cbf pushing that many models around, there’s also this direction:

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Leaders
Loonboss on Mangler Squigs (310) in Battle Regiment
 General
 Command Trait: Fight Another Day
 Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95) in Battle Regiment
 Lore of the Moonclans: Squig Lure
Kragnos, The End of Empires (695)

Battleline
36 x Squig Herd (480) in Hunters of the Heartlands
 Reinforced x 2
12 x Squig Herd (160) in Hunters of the Heartlands
12 x Squig Herd (160) in Battle Regiment

Units
6 x Sneaky Snufflers (75) in Battle Regiment

Core Battalions
Hunters of the Heartlands
Battle Regiment

Total: 1975 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 166

You’ve got a solid triumph bid and the Loonshrine for Battleshock protection; you can also legitimately run the Wizard’s Hat and Dodgy Character combo on your Mangler Boss. Either way, the Mangler does buff the Squigs quite nicely: his +1 to wound ability is an aura, so he can target the Squigs with All Out Attack too and get them hitting on 3s and wounding on 2s with 90 attacks at rend -1.

You don’t have the high-wound-count safety net that the true Squig spam lists provide, and you lose a bit of the meme value, but two ass-kicking monsters are better than one. Given that this event is primarily a chance to get together with my mates and roll some dice, this list is currently the front runner because it’s a fucking blast to play.

The Highlights

I’ve played a few games with this army now, and I’ve already got some great moments out of it. A few highlights are:

SQUIGS GO WILD

I charged both the 36 Squigs and the Loonboss on Manglers into my mate Jayden’s Gatebreaker: first up, Squiggy Stardust kicked him in the balls then ran away. Good lad. The Gatebreaker stamped on a few Squigs and made them go pop pop pop pop pop, then the Squigs fought back and went chomp chomp chomp chomp chomp. I left the big fella on 2 wounds, but he wasn’t safe just yet: Battleshock time, and 7 of the Squigs flee.

I need two 4+s from 7 dice to bang him off with mortals.

I roll exactly two 4+s from 7 dice. TAKE IT OFF!

Squigs Go Wild: When a Cave Squig decides to flee it snaps at anything that is foolish enough to get in its way.
Roll a dice each time a Cave Squig model from this unit flees, before the model is removed from play. On a 4+ the nearest other unit within 6″ of the fleeing model suffers 1 mortal wound. If two or more such units are equally close, you can pick which suffers the mortal wound.

Charge Roulette

If you want to showcase Kragnos, play him against Sons of Behemat – no screens to get under your feet, no long-ranged mortals to bang him off, just delicious monster charges every time.

First time I charged: 3×1 = 1. Meh.

Second time I charged: 4×3 = 0. Sad face.

Third time I charged: 5×4 = 20 mortals wounds. TAKE IT OFF!

Fingerpoke of Doom

There’s a lonely Mancrusher on one wound, being a pain in the butt on an objective – but don’t worry, the Fungoid is just the lad for the job.

He casts the new Arcane Bolt on himself, and powers up that glowing right hand…in he charges, and BAM the sucker never even saw it coming. D3 mortal wounds at the start of the combat phase, and down he goes. TAKE IT OFF!

It’s worth noting that it wasn’t any better than the old Arcane Bolt in this case; 1 wound was enough to kill him anyway, and all it meant was that I copped a couple of Timber wounds in return. But fuck me, it felt epic.

The Wrap

As I was writing this article, Victoria went back into lockdown, which probably sounds the death knell for this event*. I’m not gonna lie, it’s a huge kick in the balls, but other people are suffering far more than me so it’s chin up and we go again.

Big thank you to everyone who gave permission for their minis to be showcased here – there really are some exceptional works of art on show, so go follow them all on Twitter if you don’t already. And finally, thanks to Ian Spink for the cover image: let’s enjoy it one more time, c’est Kragnifique!

Credit: Ian Spink, @Kanamorf

*And indeed Masters was cancelled, right before this article went live:

The Measured Gaming crew are already making alternative plans for their Victorian-only event “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Masters!” on the same weekend, so here’s hoping we get Kraggy on chums on the table after all.

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