GH23-1: Using Galletian Veterans In Your Lists

Only a Sith Deals in absolutes

~ Obi Wan Kenobi, himself dealing in absolutes

Well by now we’ve all seen the leaks, reveals and reviews, and GH23 has smashed the doors of this game wide open. What we have before us is a brand new list building puzzle, with a lot of moving parts. We’re all going to have to relearn this game, and you gloss over the complexities at your peril.

I’ve already seen a lot crap spouted online along the lines of “You don’t want the Galletian Veterans keyword” or “GW has made Battleline bad in the Battleline season”. While we patiently await the torrent of revisionist history after that take is proven to be bollocks, I’m here today to explore how I’ll be structuring my own lists in the early stages of this Season. The Executive Summary is that you absolutely want to include GV units in most lists – and within reason.

Credit: Games Workshop

Why the long face?

The big impact comes from the new Core Battalions. Both of these possess potentially game-warping power, but it’s the new Hunters in particular that has got people fired up:

Credit: Games Workshop

An extra pip of damage is utterly brutal, and it means you’ll go through your opponent’s troops quicker than the points can plummet in a BOC list.

When people saw this, they rapidly went through the following stages of thought:

  • LOL my pet unit is gonna do so much damage to everyone else. To the Tweets!
  • Oh shit, my opponent’s units are gonna that much damage to me too
  • ABORT ABORT ABORT

At this point a whole bunch of players declared that they will be opting out of the whole GV keyword, and either running (mounted) Battleline that are too big to qualify, or spending the bare minimum on Battleline tax. Get revenge on the world by skulking off to your bedroom and slamming the door, that’ll teach ‘em!

While it’s a fact that we’ll be playing Rocket Tag with each other’s core units – and that is not to be taken lightly – the truth is, there are structural factors pulling you in different directions here, and you’re not helping yourself if you leap to conclusions based on one alone.

Grand Strategy and Battle Tactics

Two of the six Grand Strategies hinge on the Galletian Veterans keyword. One of these (Demonstration of Strength) looks really, really hard for most armies to complete unless you table your opponent; the other (Show of Dominance) can be achieved by having a single base in the centre of the table. That’s not a bad option to have.

Taking a lot of Battleline units and / or investing in reinforcements and screens for them can indirectly help to deny your opponent No Place for the Weak too. Overall this batch of Grand Strategies tends heavily towards “win more”, and they seem to be geared up towards separating the pack at a tournament rather than keeping individual games close and maybe flipping the result. But within that context, Galletian Veterans do make a minor positive contribution to your options.

As for Battle Tactics, it’s very much a mixed bag. Head-to-Head is specifically a GV-on-GV hit job, so it’s one little nudge towards having a GV unit of your own that can mix it up – given that Battle Tactics have generally gotten harder, access to a highly achievable one like this is no small matter.

On the flipside, having GV units on an objective gives your opponent access to Outmuscle, and you would occasionally be better off if you could claim the point with a non-GV unit. So that’s a mark against them, although even here you can have agency by screening the GVs or stepping them off the objective if needed.

What’s more, GV keyword helps to deny your opponent Against the Odds, and there’s an extra VP up for grabs on the (easy) Barge Through. All in all, it’s fair to say Galletian Veterans have more upside than down in their contributions to Grand Strats and Battle Tactics.

Objectives still matter

In a typical Battleplan, you’ll have around 12 to 15 points available on objectives, and 13+ points on secondaries (being 5x Battle Tactics and a Grand Strat) – so close enough to a 50:50 split. But given that you can no longer bank on racking up 5 easy Battle Tactics*, playing the mission is still a big part of consistently winning games.

Your GV units are an ace in the hole for those objective VPs:

– Capping as 3 models each with chaff-volumes of bases is massive. We are back to the days where a couple of puny Grots could scramble onto an Objective and steal it from Archaon, and I’m here for it

– On one objective per turn, your Battleline count as fifty bajillion models each for capping because they have ultra obsec

So while it’s true that your opponent will absolutely detonate your GV if they get their hands on them, that doesn’t mean you should chuck in the towel completely. We’re stepping into a world of wild mismatches, in objective scoring as much as in combat. And crucially, I do mean in combat – Hunters delivers its payload in melee only, so your opponent can’t just point at your scoring units and remove them (or at least not any easier than before). Grots are still a bullet sponge, and if your opponent wants to hammer them with Hunters then they’ll have to get there the hard way.

The upshot of all this is that it’s your job to engineer those mismatches in your favour, while protecting your scoring units like the asset that they are. If your key combat units are GVs, and you throw them right into the lion’s den, then of course they are going to go down like a sack of shit to the counterpunch. But that’s an argument for playing smarter, not an argument for leaving GVs out of your list entirely.

The new Battalions might be overrated

…or at least overused in the early days. Killing shit and capping objectives is the name of the game, and these two Battalions excel at it. But there’s still a lot to be said for out-dropping your opponent, controlling who’s on for the double and / or pinning them in their deployment zone. There’s nothing** I’ve seen in any of the updates that’s telling me that Nurgle Flies will stop being a top-tier competitive army, and low drop armies centred around a Battle Regiment will grab their share of podiums.

This is important because you could tech your army to minimise the impact of Hunters, only to find that your opponent hasn’t invested in it as much as you expected. This is what’s so exciting about the new season – we just don’t know where things will land. If you’re playing an event next weekend then it’s a safe bet that people will want to give the new Hunters a hit out, but my prediction is that very quickly there will be a percentage of people who move on from it in favour of chasing lower drops.

Galletian Veteran units in the scoring Battalion, to dominate objectives. Hammers in the Hunters Battalion, to eviscerate your opponent’s scoring units. Screens to protect your own GVs from opposing Hunters. This is the basic starting point for most of my lists right now.

Chaff: Battleline, or non-Battleline?

So if Battleline chaff are vulnerable to Hunters units, should we be taking non-Battleline units as our chaff screens? This is something you can control to a large extent, by taking Allied units instead of your own, or by grabbing a conditional Battleline unit in the “wrong” subfaction or without the Keyworded General.

Well, maybe. Anybody who gives you a single, neat answer to that is on a massive blag because it’s going to vary from one list to the next. So the key question I’m currently asking myself is: Will there be a major difference in durability?

For example one popular screening unit in my armies is Hobgrots. These will auto-die to anything that goes near them, so it’s largely irrelevant whether or not your opponent has the giga-damage Battalion. In this case, you might as well take them as Battleline wherever possible, so they can score the Proving Grounds objectives and contribute to Battle Tactics; the boosted objective scoring is pretty much upside.

Credit: Games Workshop

An asterisk against this is whether the event pack includes The Mighty And The Cunning. Battleline units really are lambs to the slaughter in this one, so you’d be looking to make sure that any chaff screens you run have non-Battleline status or else you’ve given yourself a massive hill to climb.

Make no mistake, the inclusion (or otherwise) of that mission will heavily influence your list construction. We don’t mind these goons dying – that’s what they’re there for – but bleeding out multiple VPs every time is just an insult. I know some TOs have already declared that they won’t be running this mission at their events because it’s just too much, which I think is a sensible move while the game is already in so much flux – but I could see it working its way into event packs later in this Battlepack’s life cycle, when things have stabilised and it’s time to throw a spanner in the works.

How I see this playing out in practice is that you have a reinforced unit (or two) of Battleline unit that you invest in buffing up, and which has enough meat on the bones to survive being shot at or to tank a turn on an objective; and perched in front of them, an onion ring of chaff screens to make sure they engage on their own terms. Every army is different but this is the basic prototype that I’ll be applying to my early list building efforts.

Case Study: Troggoths

My mate NC Dave has enjoyed running an Allied unit of Troggs in his Kruleboyz army (with a 4-1 to his name), and they have a lot of appeal as an independent hammer that doesn’t compete for any of your army’s buffs. They can just slot right into that Hunters Battalion and get pimped out damage against your opponent’s GVs.

Within their natural habitat in a Gloomspite army, you have a decision to make. Do you want them to be Battleline, so you can rezz them through the Shrine and make them Galletian Veterans? Or are they better off not being GV, so they can be thrown into the crucible as an Anvil unit without drawing in hyperdamage on the counterpunch?

In this case, I’m leaning to the latter, and putting them in Hunters as a non-GV damage dealer. Given the 4++ Rally on Moonclan units, and their larger number of models on smaller bases, I feel like Grots and Squigs make more natural screening and scoring units, so that’s where context is king.

As time goes on and my lists are refined, I might conclude that there are more advantages to going low-drop than to bumping their damage up further; but either way, I’ll be focussing on using Grots and Squigs as Galletian Veterans, and keeping my Troggoths rugged (as well as saving myself 240 points on the Derphold Taxboss) by denying them Battleline status.

Sample Lists

With so much going on, we’ll all have to relearn this game to some extent, and I’m happy to invest in myself by learning the new season before I try to break it.

So the first Gits list I run will:

  • Embrace the new Battalions
  • Run multiple Galletian Veteran units
  • Keep my Troggs outside of GV status
  • Enjoy the new rules that Gloomspite got in the FAQ

All of these factors are pushing me towards classic mixed Gloomspite.

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)***
 General
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Madcap Shaman (80)***
 Artefact: Moonface Mommet
 Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Wurrgog Prophet (150)***
 Allies

Battleline
20 x Shootas (140)**
20 x Shootas (140)**
20 x Shootas (140)**

Units
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (290)*
 Reinforced x 1
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (290)*
 Reinforced x 1
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (290)*
 Reinforced x 1
3 x Rippa’s Snarlfangs (70)***
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)***
 Allies
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)

Endless Spells & Invocations
Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

Core Battalions
*Bounty Hunters
**Expert Conquerors
***Battle Regiment

Total: 1985 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 3 / 4
Allies: 300 / 400
Wounds: 175
Drops: 8

Let’s be honest, 18 Troggs is overkill and as this list gets refined, that’s probably the fat that gets trimmed. But while it’s not cutting edge competitive, this is a list that I’d be happy to run for my first half-dozen games under the new Battlepack with a view to refining it from there.

Shoutout to AOS List Lab for pushing the Allied Totem: in a Troggoth-heavy list, you need a good source of Command Abilities, and their 18” CA range can have a huge footprint when garrisoned in the Loonshrine. Sam is a big advocate for the Megaboss as a tough counter-puncher with a 2+ save in Garrison, but I’ll be running with my boy Starey McLaserface to start with at least.

Credit: mini by GW, meme by Plastic Craic

You’ve got 60 Grots scurrying around and capping as 180 models, while Rezzing on a 4+ near the Shrine; you’ve got the Mommet – Purple Sun one-two punch for the dream of Rend -4 Damage 4 Rockguts; and you’ve got redundancy in Hand of Gork while the Wurrgog attempts the Mystic Shield + Levitate double buff package early game, before switching to staring out infinite numbers of mortal wounds.

Now I love Troggs more than most, and if you’re about to tell me that’s not a proper Troggoth army – I hear ya. So what would a list look like if we wanted to run Battleline Troggs?

In this case, we’ve got to give strong consideration to what happens next after our big units get slapped down by our opponent’s Hunters. This list factors that in through a few different tools:

  • MSU Fellwaters are still the great slaughterers of chaff, so we start off by throwing them forward to blow up screens (with the reinvigorated Jaws to help too)
  • If and when we lose the Fells early, it’s no biggy and we’ve got all game to get two of them back through the Shrine
  • Meanwhile we have plenty of screens to ensure that our Rockguts don’t get bum-rushed
  • This means we can skirmish our way forwards, as we build to a crescendo of violence and bust them open with a whole bunch of angry Rockguts

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Gloomspite Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Show of Dominance
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Dankhold Troggboss (240)*
 General
 Command Trait: Mighty Blow
 Artefact: Glowy Howzit
Madcap Shaman (80)*
 Artefact: Moonface Mommet
 Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Orruk Megaboss (140)*
 Allies

Battleline
9 x Rockgut Troggoths (435)**
 Reinforced x 2
9 x Rockgut Troggoths (435)**
 Reinforced x 2
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (155)**

Units
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)*
 Allies

5 x Spider Riders (100)
5 x Spider Riders (100)
5 x Spider Riders (100)

Endless Spells & Invocations
Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws (60)

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Bounty Hunters

Additional Enhancements
Artefact

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 290 / 400
Wounds: 149
Drops: 10

There might be other times where you launch your Rockguts aggressively forward to seize the opportunity against a key piece, and give yourself all game to summon back 5 through the shrine; but that’s Plan A, anyway.

Again we’ve got plenty of rend, a surprising amount of shooting output to get rid of annoying Censer Bearers outside of combat and screens front and back to cover any cheeky Lauchoned Thanquols. The 5++ Ward gives Rockguts inherent protection from shooting and the screens keep them nice when Hunters are prowling around. So while I do think Troggs are better in a mixed Gloomspite army, hopefully this list has given itself the tools to compete in the meta and demonstrates how a similar core can flex in different directions around Galletian Veterans.

As a side note, the Gloomspite WhatsApp group is absolutely buzzing right now and you love to see it. I know that Lachlan McLean has been hard at work figuring out Loonshrine placement on various maps – and the good news is that they can usually be placed prominently to give great board coverage.

Bringing it home

Hopefully all of this goes to show my thought process a little when I say that it’s a little more nuanced than “GV good” or “GV bad”. I would argue that GV is very good, but only when applied with thought and to the right units in the right Battalions.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know by now that if I don’t like something, I’ll say so. But what I like best thing about this update is how impactful it is: there are no right answers currently and we all just need to get out there and play some games. Everything is up for grabs and you’ll have all kinds of weird situations coming up in games, like using your combat units to screen your chaff.

Can’t wait.


*Unless you play DOK, whose bespoke Battle Tactics are so wildly incongruous with the direction of travel that they might get the whole concept of Battletome BTs binned in event packs – I know at least one early event pack has gone down that route:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13_RA1O1BOuKiRulGggLMKniH0rVrTIJp/view?usp=sharing,

**Well, not quite nothing…there’s the small matter of Bonesplitterz being rejuvenated. It’s fair to say that Nurgle might not love coming up against Big Stabbas in Drakkfoot


Credit for the cover image to Games Workshop

https://ko-fi.com/plasticcraic

4 thoughts on “GH23-1: Using Galletian Veterans In Your Lists

  1. I’m playing with Troggoths in a tournament next weekend and this has me… concerned about the direction I’ve picked. I’d likely try to pivot to your second list suggestion, if I had time to paint up 15 spider riders this week…

    Like

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