Your Pepsi Subfaction Lists – and the May Listbuilding Challenge

Well I hope that everyone who had a crack at this one enjoyed it as much as I did – I’m a firm believer that exploring the diverse subfactions is a big part of mastering any given book, and what’s more it can really freshen things up. If you want to use your favourite army and minis in a casual setting (without going full tournament-mode on someone’s ass), it can be a practical way to moderate the power of your army; and from a competitive perspective, having a good working knowledge of the half-forgotten corners of your book can reveal anti-meta gems that are just waiting for their time to shine.

I think there are some really cool armies here this month that look beyond the most obvious and popular subfactions within Orruk Warclans, to play to their own strengths and ask their own questions.

Ready? Let’s go.

List of the Month: Joel McGrath, Kruleboyz (Grinnin’ Blades)

Credit: NC Dave

Allegiance: Kruleboyz
– Warclan: Grinnin’ Blades
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Snatchaboss on Sludgeraker Beast (315)*
 General
 Command Trait: Supa Sneaky
 Artefact: Mork’s Eye Pebble
 Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
Swampcalla Shaman with Pot-grot (105)*
 Lore of the Swamp: Choking Mist
Killaboss with Stab-grot (110)*

Battleline
30 x Gutrippaz (540)*
 Reinforced x 2
20 x Gutrippaz (360)*
 Reinforced x 1
10 x Gutrippaz (180)*
20 x Shootas (140)*

Units
6 x Man-skewer Boltboyz (240)*
 Reinforced x 1

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 1990 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 178
Drops: 1

Remember that whole anti-meta thing we were talking about? Joel has characteristically attacked the state of play with this Grinnin’ Blades list that packs multiple layers of anti-shooting fuckery.

First thing to point out is the army-wide shooting protection for the crucial first round:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Despite being wrapped in a one-drop package, this list has plenty of disposable units that can perch 3.1″ in front of the your main forces, pushing deepstriking units 12.1″ back (and ready to Rally straight back up if they’re not brought into combat).

For the second volley (or if your opponent is packing Sentinels) you can really draw the sting with Mork’s Eye Pebble:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

And if the Battleplan makes it impractical to castle up completely, you can always apply Covered in Mud to those isolated units that are out on a limb:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

You are just as likely, however, to choose Disappearin’ Act as your Dirty Trick to yeet your opponent’s chaff off the board, and Supa Sneaky a big block of dudes right up in their business. The Croc zips up there in support with Fast Un, ready to buff their output and take a fucking big chomp himself, while the dakka either pings off another screen or (better still) one support hero per turn.

Do you shelter around the Croc, casting Choking Mist to engage on your own terms? Or do you go for the jugular from turn 1 and rip the guts out of your enemy? I do believe that Kruleboyz are a lot better than their raw stats and win rate are currently showing, and this could be just the army to prove it – unlike the standard Big Yellerz builds, it actively relishes the Stormcast matchup. But it won’t happen without getting the reps in – this list demands a series of huge and consequential decisions from its pilot from Turn Zero onwards; but in the hands of someone with a deep understanding of what’s across the table from them, it’s dynamite.

The best thing of all is that this list is nicely future-proofed. Kruleboyz in general and Gutrippaz in particular have failed to set the meta alight since their release, and could hopefully be set for a meaningful points drop in the upcoming GH22. Chuck a whole bunch of extra points into this list and it’s looking even better. 178 wounds with more to come – this army is ready for war.

Ironjawz: Aaron Burns-Lees, Ironsunz

Credit: jsedof

Allegiance: Ironjawz
– Warclan: Ironsunz
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Kragnos, The End of Empires (720)
Megaboss on Maw-Krusha (480)**
 Boss Choppa and Rip-tooth fist
 Artefact: Destroyer
 Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
Orruk Warchanter (115)**
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
 Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
Orruk Warchanter (115)**
 Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat

Battleline
5 x Orruk Brutes (160)*
 Jagged Gore-hackas
5 x Orruk Brutes (160)*
 Jagged Gore-hackas
5 x Orruk Brutes (160)*
 Jagged Gore-hackas
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)**

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Warlord

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 103
Drops: 8

The signature ability for Ironsunz is their countercharge mechanic that completely alters the flow of the game, and Aaron‘s list really showcases this:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Aaron is really leaning into it by bringing Kraggalicious for the 3D6″ countercharge, as well as packing a heap of Battleline Brutes who do most of their movement outside of the Movement phase. Getting those guys zipping around with long bomb charges can really transform them as a unit, and don’t forget the IronJank.

Charge with Mighty D in the hero phase, retreat in the movement phase and then pile back in at your leisure from 3.1″ away (because they completed a charge earlier in the same turn). It’s a great way to get even more sneaky movement by using your opponent’s units as a springboard, and it can also help to maximize MSU Brutes by letting them pile in sequentially if you’re not confident of keeping those long Smashing and Bashing chains going.

The Kragnos bubble means that your Warchanters can double up on Fixin’ Beat for redundancy, and you’ve got a rerollable Hand of Gork for the classic Ironjawz Pop ‘n’ Slide (teleport 12″ away rather than the minimum 9″, then Mighty D in for a close range charge).

Violence. Speed. Momentum. I recently ran something very similar myself and can confirm that it was a good time – highly recommended.

Bonesplitterz: Dale Penberthy, Bonegrinz

Well out of all the Orruk tribes, Bonesplitterz was the most hotly contested this month. I could happily publish a whole article just on the Savages, but I have committed to keeping these articles punchy so I will reluctantly limit myself to a couple of shout outs in addition to the one list below:

  • Big up legendary Big Boss Will Potter for his double Rogue Idol list in Drakkfoot, rocking the army-wide ignores wards. The idea is throw two boulders up in their grill with a bunch of healing from Wardokks and Lifeswarm. By the time your opponent breaks through they are well behind on points and have to push forward, hitting the Morboy screens with the lazers primed. Glrorious.
  • S-Tier list writer Orkmann submitted a cracking No Monsters Bonegrinz list with a blend of large, buffworthy Arrowblocks and smaller 10-man screens. These would be assigned to two battlegroups (each with Wurrgogs perched behind), with a block of Maniaks prowling around looking for the counterpunch. Special mention to Orkmann’s list tech of using Geminids as an indirect way to buff Arrow Boyz – love your work, mate!
  • And last but not least we have Mateusz Matysasik with his Kragnos Bonegrinz list. This one combines the same sexy list tech of shooty screens (that are happy to ping away from right in front of the Wurrogs) with the BDE (Big Drogrukh Energy) of taking Vendetta as his Grand Strategy. Levitate pops up on multiple wizards too – we’re coming for you, baby! Very competitive list this one, and something I’d happily run at a GT tomorrow.

Any of the above would be a deserved outright winner of most months’ challenges, but the Splitterz list we’re going with for April 2022 is Dale Penberthy‘s MSU Drakkfoot:

Allegiance: Bonesplitterz
– Warclan: Drakkfoot
– Grand Strategy: Get Dem Bones!
– Triumphs: Nope

Leaders
Wurrgog Prophet (150)**
 Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
 Lore of the Savage Beast: Glowy Green Tusks
Savage Big Boss (65)***
 General
 Command Trait: Great Hunter
Savage Big Boss (65)****
Savage Big Boss (65)*****
Savage Big Boss (65)******

Battleline
10 x Savage Orruk Morboys (155)*
10 x Savage Orruk Morboys (155)*
10 x Savage Orruk Morboys (155)*

Units
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)**
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)***
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)****
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)*****
5 x Savage Boarboy Maniaks (145)******
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)**
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)***
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)****
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)*****
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)******

Core Battalions
*Hunters of the Heartlands
**Bonesplitterz Rukk
***Bonesplitterz Rukk
****Bonesplitterz Rukk
*****Bonesplitterz Rukk
******Bonesplitterz Rukk

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 0 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 206
Drops: 18

This one is worth a special mention because it’s proven in battle: shortly after Dale submitted his list (and I have the timestamp to prove it), something similar went 4-1 at a 100+ player event in the hands of Conor Gardner. Well done to Conor too if he reads this article – it’s a cracking achievement, and hilarious to see the same idea suddenly pop up out of nowhere in two places at once.

Timestamp to Dale’s list submission

A common feature in Drakkfoot lists is the widespread use of Big Stabbas, as a unit with a decent punch that can benefit meaningfully from the whole switching-off-wards thing:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Coming as they do on small cav bases, and at a reasonable 10 points per wound, they can fulfill a dual purpose as screens if needed, and that’s where the whole MSU thing comes into play: you can set up a little checkerboard of sideways bases that controls space while denying your opponent any kind of meaningful target.

If you’re wondering what those Battalions do, they each give you a free “Swift”:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Sadly the FAQ confirms that you can still only use each of these Command Abilities once per phase, but it does mean you can use them every phase without worrying about running out, and coupled with a whopping nine pregame moves (each of 8″ thanks to Great Hunter) you’re certainly not lacking in early board control:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

206 wounds with a blend of 4++ and 6++ wards is a real heavyweight army. If your opponent doesn’t have elite armour saves you can drown them in dice; if they do, you’re switching gears to a more controlled playstyle and giving the Wurggog his chance to go off. While it does have some bad matchups of its own, it’s going to cause a real conundrum for a lot of armies out there; either in its own right or as an intriguing component at a teams event. Great stuff, Dale.

My own contribution to the genre: Drakkfoot

I’ve had a bit of fun with Drakkfoot under this Battletome already, and it’s only getting stronger with Nurgle’s new book:

A few of the familiar elements are there: plenty of screens to give your masks the opportunity to go off, plenty of Big Stabbas to hit over the top and dish out a bit of punch. I have played a few games with this one, and although I’ve had my head turned by Big Waaagh it does have legs.

Further Reading

If you rate Joel’s list don’t forget to check out the Measured Gaming YouTube channel, where Joel and the rest of the Measured crew regularly post up batreps with unique, competitive lists:

https://www.youtube.com/c/MeasuredGaming

And for more in the written word, let me point you towards a classic post from Strengthammer:

https://www.strengthhammer.net/2019/05/battletome-banter-daughters-of-khaine.html

Chuck loves Witch Aelves like they were as cool as Orruks or something, and his exploration of the various Temples in this article from a couple of years back left a lasting impression. So Chuck – if you read this – it would be great to see an update when the new DOK book lands.

May Listbuilding Challenge: Serafun

As I reminded everyone in last month’s challenge, previous winners get to set a future challenge of their own if they can be bothered have something interesting to explore.

Enter our hero Darren Watson and his Seraphon challenge. Now when Darren got in touch, he was way too cool to point out that he’d just won a competitive event with a wildly unorthodox Seraphon list, and far be it from me to bang that drum on his behalf:

Competitive Innovations in the Mortal Realms: April 13th, 2022

But yeah. Darren’s challenge, which flowed from an idea of Matthew Hinton’s, is for all you wonderful people to write the worst Seraphon list possible. The aim here is to stress-test the theory that the book is so utterly cooked that any autocomplete grab bag of units will be OP, so for May your parameters are:

  • The list must be Seraphon affiliated
  • It must be as bad as you can possibly make it

Bear in mind that spamming a huge volume of a crap unit rarely makes an actively bad army; it can be quite forgiving in some ways, and lend itself to the art of Stuffhammer. Now I’m not telling you how to write a bad list – that’s your job this month – but if your starting point is “I don’t rate Saurus Knights, here’s 85 of them,” then the list might not be as bad as you think.

I’ll also leave you a little bit of leeway in terms of how you interpret writing a bad list. It could be proactively bad, taking all the worst units and Enhancements you can possibly identify; or it could be a turd-polishing exercise, where you take the least-seen elements of this army and try to craft them into something sneakily quite good as proof that even SeraBad is SeraGood, without allowing yourself any obvious choices at all. I’ll review each list on its own merits so please do include a little explanation of what you’re shooting for.

And just for fun – once I’ve picked the winner, if anyone is up for the extra challenge of taking that list to a one-dayer to try to achieve a 2-1 (or better), there’s a packet of Tim Tams in it for you, posted anywhere in the world. So get busy!

https://ko-fi.com/plasticcraic

2 thoughts on “Your Pepsi Subfaction Lists – and the May Listbuilding Challenge

  1. So I’ve been playing KB since launch and think the list shown is really really interesting. I use to think that the stats for KB were too low relative to the army. However, two of the last three books destroy them (fyreslayers/Nurgle) and nighthaunt, with the ability to drop outside of 9 inches, will likely present similar problems.

    It’s clear that many of the items taken in later books were made as a first draft with KB and the rules team tuned and refined them as part of the later books.

    My hope is that the new GHB helps them out as I want to continue playing them. I love the models, love the potential in the play style, but think they’re correctly at or near the bottom because of the lack of movement and weird power distributions on the warscrolls.

    Grinnin’ Blades have a really neat trick, that looks incredibly powerful, until you test it out against mid and above armies. The number of armies that don’t care, or can put something inside of 12 inches on the first turn to invalidate the ability are extremely high. Some of the other items, like covered in mud, don’t allow you to hold points and make it very restrictive with a small number of units to compete on objectives.

    KB also have a lack of MW protection, are extremely slow, and don’t have the ability to move around quickly after the initial super sneaky.

    However, I think that a ~33% winrate is pretty much in line with the army in the current meta.

    Like

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