Your KO Combat Lists – and the April List Building Challenge

Why bother? Why the hell would anyone waste their time making a melee KO list?

I mean, it’s a fair question, but also overstates what we’re doing here. The core premise is lists combining KO and a melee element – it absolutely can be a combined arms list (not pure combat), and in fact it probably should be:

  • One dimensional lists will often come unstuck – good luck shooting off IDK
  • Blending together KO shooting with combat punch can set your opponent a tricky question:
    • Do they hold back and get whittled down?
    • Or step forward and take a smack in the chops?
  • KO do have some decent melee tech of their own that you can incorporate
  • They also have plenty of options for bringing in their Duardin cousins, who are specialists in the field

So maybe you like the KO lore and aesthetic, but don’t like the playstyle of just banging your opponent off the board – the toolbox style could be the answer. And it doesn’t have to be strictly worse than the full-on, face-melting broadside; there will be matchups where you’ll be glad that you’ve given yourself an alternative approach, and hopefully the lists we have here today could hold their own in a reasonably competitive environment.

List of the Month: Stuart “Irongustman” McCowan, Barak Thryng

Stuart is a competitive AOS player and member of the Australian WTC team known for his innovative listbuilding style. In addition to podiuming with his famous Ironguts list, Stuart has achieved a 5-1 result with Yhetee spam – so if you think you’re better than him, I’m afraid you’ll have to prove that by going 6-0 with Yhetee spam. I’ll be waiting right here.

Allegiance: Kharadron Overlords
– Sky Port: Barak Thryng
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Dominating Presence
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Leaders
Endrinmaster with Dirigible Suit (180)*
 General
 Command Trait: Supremely Stubborn
 Artefact: Grudgehammer
Aether-Khemist (90)*
 Artefact: Spell in a Bottle
Runelord (100)**
 Allies
Warden King (100)*
 Mortal Realm: Ghur
 Allies

Battleline
10 x Arkanaut Company (100)**
3 x Endrinriggers (120)**
 1x Skyhooks
 1x Drill Launcher
3 x Endrinriggers (120)**
 1x Skyhooks
 1x Drill Launcher

Units
20 x Hammerers (290)**
 Reinforced x 1
20 x Hammerers (290)**
 Reinforced x 1

Behemoths
Arkanaut Ironclad (490)**
 Main Gun: Great Skyhook
 Great Endrinworks: Zonbarcorp ‘Dealbreaker’ Battle Ram

Endless Spells & Invocations
Soulscream Bridge (70)

Core Battalions
*Command Entourage – Magnificent
**Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1950 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 215 / 400
Wounds: 103
Drops: 4

Thryng is an excellent choice for this challenge, bringing in some proper dedicated punch from the wider Duardin family thanks to their Amendment:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

But it doesn’t stop there:

  • Skyfarers fight in combat when they die on a 4+
  • Your Command Trait bumps that up to a 2+ on your bossman
  • Even your Artefact is geared around whupass:
Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Those Hammerers can leap across the Bridge thanks to Spell in a Bottle, and they will do fat damage with a Runelord buff. The wombo-combo of extra attacks from your Warden King plus Artycle rerolls and Footnote exploding hits should push through plenty of dice at 2s rerolling 1s, which in turn helps to bang out loads of mortal wounds on your wound rolls:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Zoom Zoom

That Skyhook gives us +2 to charge, so we can really jam that Battle Ram where the sun don’t shine:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Unlike Stonehorns, this works off the modified charge roll, so bashing in at +2 and then rolling the modified charge for mortals is quite funny. For you.

Overall this list will be a blast to play: it has loads of interesting interactions to keep your opponent on their toes as it attacks from unusual angles. Love your work, Stuart.


Runner Up: Nigel Weir, Tempest’s Eye

Nigel is a stalwart of the Model Citizens gaming club in Melbourne, one of their dozen or so players who started AOS during lockdown. AOS 3 ruined Nigel’s dream of 12-man Skywarden squads so he’s leaning into Cities for now.

Allegiance: Cities of Sigmar
– City: Tempest’s Eye
– Grand Strategy: Dominating Presence
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Black Ark Fleetmaster (70)***
 General
 Command Trait: Hawk-eyed
 Artefact: Patrician’s Helm
Sorceress (95)***
 City Role: General’s Adjutant
 Lore of Eagles: Strike of Eagles
Doralia ven Denst (115)**
Lord-Relictor (145)***
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Lore of Eagles: Aura of Glory
 Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Celestant-Prime, Hammer of Sigmar (325)**

Battleline
30 x Black Ark Corsairs (255)****
 Vicious Blade & Wicked Cutlass
 Reinforced x 2
30 x Black Ark Corsairs (255)****
 Vicious Blade & Wicked Cutlass
 Reinforced x 2
10 x Dreadspears (90)***
 City Role: Honoured Retinue (Must be 5-20 models)

Units
1 x Gyrocopters (75)**
1 x Gyrocopters (75)**

Behemoths
Arkanaut Frigate (250)*
 Main Gun: Heavy Sky Cannon
Arkanaut Frigate (250)*
 Main Gun: Heavy Sky Cannon

Core Battalions
*Alpha-Beast Pack
**Battle Regiment
***Warlord
****Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 135
Drops: 9

Nigel’s Tempest Eye army has a very cool Sky Pirates theme:

Nigel’s army. Pretty fucking sweet, ay?

Those Corsairs are mean, with the Fleetmaster command ability and Lord Relictor spell combining to jack them up to 3 melee attacks on both profiles. It’s true that their stat lines are universally crap, but throw Curse into the equation and that’s a whole lot of pain!

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

So what are those Frigates bringing?

Previously in this list Nigel has ran an Ironclad with attached Dirigible Endrinmaster and used it as a hyper-mobile hammer, but a single vector of shooting made it too easy to apply All Out Defense. So the double Frigates should provide roughly the same output, with a bit more flexibility to switch targets if the original AOD’s and won’t break.

There are also some shenanigans around Alpha Beast Pack: for example claiming objectives during setup, then before the first battle round they can zip back over to the rest of the army, allowing Nigel to keep the whole 2k in a tight ball if required.

A very cool army that can jam up the board while applying pressure with pace and precision – and it looks great on the table.


My Own Contribution to the Genre

Allegiance: Kharadron Overlords
– Sky Port: Barak Zon
– Grand Strategy: Predator’s Domain
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Leaders
Gotrek Gurnisson (485)**
Endrinmaster with Dirigible Suit (180)*
 General
 Command Trait: Bearer of the Ironstar
 Artefact: Aethersped Hammer
Endrinmaster with Dirigible Suit (180)*

Battleline
6 x Skywardens (210)**
 2x Drill Launcher
 Reinforced x 1
6 x Skywardens (210)**
 2x Drill Launcher
 Reinforced x 1
3 x Endrinriggers (120)*
 1x Drill Launcher

Units
1 x Grundstok Gunhauler (155)*
 Main Gun: Drill Cannon
 Great Endrinworks: Coalbeard’s Collapsible Compartments
1 x Grundstok Gunhauler (155)*
 Main Gun: Drill Cannon
1 x Grundstok Gunhauler (155)*
 Main Gun: Drill Cannon
5 x Grundstok Thunderers (135)*

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Hunters of the Heartlands

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 94
Drops: 4

How come this sudden interest in KO?

Truth is, I’ve always liked the minis and the fluff – I even own a small collection, because I’m yet another flog clearly the first person to have thought of doing a Goblin Sky Pirates army, and I wanted it to be a nice army of looted materiel (i.e. based on actual KO minis, rather than some repurposed counts-as crud).

Star of the show is your boy GROTREK:

GROTREK holds aloft the spinal column and severed head of some anonymous dwarven goon

All you need is a bitz box full of goblinny shizzle, plus a hobby saw and a can-do attitude:

The idea of the list is very, very simple: BOOM HEADSHOT and down goes the priority target under weight of Drill Cannon fire, while GROTREK runs right up the guts. After that you’re creating little death squads of Haulers loaded up with balloons that can spring up wherever your opponent wants them least, including a Collapsible Compartment full of Thunderers who can unload when needed:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

You get an army-wide +1 to hit and wound on the charge, and your General is quite the ass-kicker when rerolling 1s against key targets, backed up by the full Enhancement package:

Go on then, if I must

This list is shit, you can tell you don’t actually play Order armies

Fair.

Alternatives

If you were centring GROTREK you might take Spell in a Bottle (for access to Emerald Lifeswarm), and you’ve also got every Admiral’s dream of a floating gunline in Barak Urbaz, with GROTREK backed up by a whole bunch of Battleline Gunhaulers.

I had ideas for a whole Matched Play campaign around this army that I wouldn’t mind exploring some time – The War of the Iron Dome, set in Chamon. Once the Thondia book lands, and we get a good idea of how campaign-style missions are being handled in 3rd, I might even fire that idea back up.

Credit: Gee Dubs. NGL I’m looking forward to this one

April List Building Challenge: Pepsi Subfactions

Well that’s enough red meat for the Order wankers – in April, let’s take it back to the concrete streets with original beats from real live MCs, and a proper Destruction challenge.

It’s fair to say that each of the Orruk Warclans armies has one standout subfaction that has seen more competitive play by a significant margin:

  • For Ironjawz that’s Bloodtoofs because Battleline Gore Gruntas opens up a highly efficient Alpha Strike playstyle, that many armies just can’t handle
  • For Bonesplitterz that’s Icebone because the mortal wound pipeline is a thing, and it dovetails nicely with their own Battleline pigs who can pregame move and then thrust up the board
  • For Kruleboyz that’s Big Yellers because it unlocks and maximises Boltboyz, in an army where the only other Battleline option is brutally overcosted

What I’m asking you to do today is to move beyond those and take a fresh look at the rest of the book. Your list must come from one of the following subfactions:

  • Ironsunz (Ironjawz)
  • Drakkfoot (Bonesplitterz)
  • Grinnin’ Blades (Kruleboyz)
Why would they come to our concert just to boo us?

But what about Da Choppas / Bonegrinz / whatever the other one in Kruleboyz is called?

Yup, that’s fine too. The spirit of the challenge is really looking beyond the Big Three, and I’ve nominated what I happen to think are the most fruitful alternatives, but I’m definitely open to your ideas from the dark and dusty corners of the book. I was intending to take Bonegrinz to an event myself until I had to drop, so that’s totally in line with what I’m looking for here. Have at it.


Roll of Honour

Before I sign off, I want to take a moment to honour the people who’ve won List of the Month so far:

December 2021 (Kragnos): Jack Davenport https://twitter.com/JDavenpott

January 2022 (Spiderfang): Adam Colgan https://twitter.com/SpiderRiderAdam

February 2022 (Curse): Darren Watson https://twitter.com/PositiveVictim

March 2022 (KO Combat): Stuart McCowan https://twitter.com/SMcCowan3

As a reminder, the prize for List of the Month is a boost to the Epeen as well as the opportunity to set a future list building challenge (if you choose to do so). But mainly the Epeen.

Thanks to everyone who has submitted lists for these challenges, including a big shoutout to all those that haven’t been published. I’ve honestly not seen anything that I wouldn’t be happy to promote but I need to keep these articles punchy, so I can’t choose everything, and it pretty much comes down to a coin flip a lot of the time.

So if you’ve submitted a list and it hasn’t made the article (yet), I really would encourage you to give it another crack.

Have a good weekend ladies and gents, and get working on those Orruk lists! See you on the other side.

https://ko-fi.com/plasticcraic

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