Your MSU Lists – and the October Listbuilding Challenge

I know, I know. It’s been a while. The articles came out thick and fast over the last few weeks – none of which were your entries for the Listbuilding Challenge. But don’t worry, we’re going to circle back round and jump into them today. As reminder of the challenge for August September, I was looking for your MSU Lists:

The gist of it being that I wanted to see one Warscroll used at least 5 times in your army, and at least 3 of those had to be in the minimum size for that unit. And as a further reminder, the prize for winning these challenges (beyond the unimaginable kudos of seeing your name in lights) is the opportunity to set a future challenge of your own for the community. Only if you feel like it. Most people don’t bother to be honest, but the offer is always there.

List of the Month: The Big Yhetee Strike First Castle, by Aaron Burns Lees

Yhetees have always been a big favourite of mine – when I first got into the game back in 2015, I was blown away that all the coolest stuff was in one big tent. There was this big army called Mixed Destruction and not only was it centred around orcs, it also got Fimir (for the HeroQuest nostalgia hit), Giants (which I wanted as a kid but couldn’t afford those big models), they had yetis running around smashing stuff and you could still use Grom the Paunch as a Boss on Wolf Chariot.

Granted, the models for yhetees always felt like having jagged Finecast rammed directly into your eyeballs, but they’d get new sculpts soon enough. Right? RIGHT?

Mark my words, 3D printing will never take off as long as GW is publishing these beautiful sculpts, and at such a reasonable price too

They’ve always been an underrated little unit, between their rend -1 damage 2 attack profile and the OG 6″ pile in. They’re cool thematically and have decent rules, so if you can ignore their looks and price tag they’re perfect, at least for the admittedly niche market of blind billionaires who play Destruction.

Sidebar: 6″ Pile Ins

Experienced players can skip this section, but I do still encounter people who don’t get why this rule is so valuable:

  • It’s good in its own right, as a way to tag more enemy units in combat and therefore dictate what they can shoot at next turn (Priority Roll mitigation), stop them Rallying and so on
  • It effectively prevents you being tagged yourself: you can get into combat without charging, so you can retreat up the board and then pile back in to another unit at your leisure
  • You can cover some serious ground by running up the table before piling in from 6″ away. Yhetees are already fast, so in their case it’s potentially 9″ move + 6″ run + 6″ pile in + 1″ reach= 22″ Threat range without needing to roll a charge
  • It allows sequential pile ins:
    • For example you charge one flank with a Stonehorn, and run a bunch of Yhetees up on the other side so they are 3.1″ away from enemy models
    • In combat you activate the Stonehorn first and (naturally) wipe the enemy unit
    • At this point, your opponent has no models that are eligible to fight because they are not within 3″ of your Yhetees
    • So then you pile in your Yhetees and swing with them too – if managed properly, it can be like a cascade of Fights First crashing across the table

Yhetee-specific Tech

Now that applies to all 6″ pile ins, but Yhetees specifically have even more tech going on. First up, they can get a massive 9″ pile in when taken in Bloodgullets:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

And secondly (and directly relevant to Aaron’s list) they can run and charge with a Thundertusk nearby:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Why would you want to do that, when we’ve just been banging on about the long pile ins? In a word: Redeploy. You run up the board to finish 3.1″ away from your opponent, and there’s a real risk they can Redeploy out of your pile in range to leave you high and dry; that’s where this ability comes in. Make what is probably still a short charge, and badda bing you’re still in there splitting skulls. Heads I win, Tails you lose.

Similarly, this army has the Winterbite subfaction Command Ability to make Yhetees fight first that may initially seem redundant:

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

Again, why would you need this when you can pile in sequentially from outside of normal combat range? Well first of all, it gets you swinging on your opponent’s turn (when they charge you), which is hugely important for a glass hammer unit like this. And secondly, it dovetails with the fact that you might sometimes need to charge one unit that your opponent has Redeployed away from (see above), so that’s the unit you use the CA on.

Howl at the unit of Yhetees who charged, so they fight at the start of combat. Then select the Frostlord as your first unit to fight in the main part of the combat phase. Then you pile in with all your other units of Yhetees one by one, and effectively fight first with your entire army despite your opponent’s best efforts. See how it’s all coming together?

Winterbite leans into Yhetees in a couple of other ways too: you get +1 to pray a Yhetee back into the unit with Call of the Blizzard, and your Command Trait gives them +1 to wound in a 12″ bubble around your General. 3s and 2s with All Out Attack and a decent volume of dice is pretty serious business.


Aaron’s idea is that you castle all your guys, and if your opponent charges you then you’re going to be able to pile in basically all the big units with the 6″ pile in and strike first.

With Gally Vet reach rules, you get a tonne of attacks with Yhetees. Meanwhile the Stonehorn can go off on its own to grab objectives with just a 3 man unit or two to screen.


Aaron has identified that you might want to tweak the Battalions based on play testing: the current version of the list is pitching for 4 drops (which is a major tipping point vs 5 drops), meaning that Aaron only has one of the units in Bounty Hunters currently. That’s something that you’d have to make your own call on. The list could also just be two drops instead which may suit your local meta.

If I’m sticking my oar in here, I’d be nervous about the troops being slaughtered en masse by any Bounty Hunters that do get to swing – you could avoid making them Gally Vets, but Ogors have no cheap Battleline options so spending a quarter of your points on Mournfang completely ruins the character of the list. For that reason, I would consider working in a couple of Gnoblar screens, although I do get that most people who love this army aren’t here for the Gnoblars. And that’s fair enough.

The list has severe fragilities, no doubt about it: Yhetees fold quickly to Bounty Hunters, the Winterbite shooting protection is not fit for purpose and there’s a general lack of heavy rend or mortal wounds beyond the Frostlord. Nonetheless this is a very cool list, with plenty of room for subtle play patterns that will allow a good player to overcome the pitfalls in most matchups and really make it sing. Keen to hear how you get on if you take this to an event!

Honourable Mention 1: Joel McGrath, Stormcast Eternals

Joel is one of the game’s great list writers and a regular here on the Listbuilding challenge. He’s built a global name for himself by wracking up podiums with his own unique builds, and I know this one is an army he is planning on putting on the table. Can’t wait to see it.

Credit: Games Workshop

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals

– Stormhost: Celestial Warbringers (Scions of the Storm)

– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak

– Triumphs: Inspired


Knight-Judicator with Gryph-Hounds (205)*

– General

– Command Trait: Skilled Leader

– Artefact: Luckstone

Knight-Judicator with Gryph-Hounds (205)*

Knight-Vexillor (120)**

– Meteoric Standard

Knight-Vexillor (120)**

– Meteoric Standard


5 x Liberators (115)**

– Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

– 1x Grandweapons

5 x Liberators (115)**

– Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

– 1x Grandweapons

5 x Liberators (115)**

– Heavens-wrought Weapon and Shield

– 1x Grandweapons


1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)*

1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)*

1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)*

1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)*

1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)*

1 x Stormstrike Chariot (165)**

Core Battalions

*Battle Regiment

**Battle Regiment

Additional Enhancements

Holy Command: Call for Aid

Total: 1985 / 2000

Reinforced Units: 0 / 4

Allies: 0 / 400

Wounds: 126

Drops: 2

Bam Bam Bam! Stormcast Chariots pack the Stonehorn charge mortals at a fraction of the price, and while they were outshone by a couple of outlier units at the book’s launch, there’s definitely a list there. You love to see it.

How it Works

This list brings a lot more than run forward and smash: Scions of the Storm means deepstriking, which is great for early game Battle Tactics and objective grabbing with the Liberators. The Celestial Warbringers bring rerolls once per phase, which is highly efficient for an army like this with a decent amount of shooting to complement their combat output.

Credit: Games Workshop via Wahapedia

The General’s Command Trait gives you a CP on a 5+, which isn’t critical to the list but the best option when there are no really good choices here. His Artefact however can be clutch: once per game you get to do a Destiny Dice and force a roll to whatever you want.

The hero package really supports what the army is trying to do: all four of them can drop a 12″ pie-plate of Mortal Wounds on top of your enemy’s bunker. The difference between pinging out D3 Mortal wounds and what this army can do is like night and day. That critical mass of ranged mortals makes the difference between leaving an enemy support hero alive or removing them from the game entirely, which is a huge deal when the bulk of your forces are launching a full-frontal assault and a whole extra dimension to the list.

The Vexillors even bring a 12″ aura for reroll charges, so you can go fishing for those devastating burst mortals from your Chariots (which will be -1 to hit in combat too). Add in those free extra 4 Gryph Hounds for backfield zoning and objective sitting, and you’ve got an army ready to go out there and win a lot of games.

Honourable Mention 2: Luke Roberts, Stormcast Eternals


Credit: Games Workshop


Stormhost: Hammers of Sigmar

Holy Command: Call For Aid

Triumph: Indomitable

GENERAL: Knight Vexillor w/Meteoric Standard

Command Trait: Envoy of the Heavens

Artifact: Mirrorshield 120 ♧

Battleline: 5 Liberators 115 ♧

Allies: 10 Skinks 75 ♧

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ♧

Battleline: 5 Liberators 115 ♧

Battleline: 5 Liberators 115 ♧

Allies: 10 Skinks 75 ♤

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ♤

3 Aetherwings 65 ♤

3 Aetherwings 65 ♤

Allies: 10 Skinks 75 ♤

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ♤

Farstriders 90 ♡

Steelhearts 90 ♡

Allies: 10 Skinks 75 ♡

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ♡

3 Aetherwings 65 ♡

3 Aetherwings 65 ♡

Allies: 10 Skinks 75 ◇

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ◇

3 Aetherwings 65 ◇

3 Aetherwings 65 ◇

6 Gryph Hounds 110 ◇

Coalition: 10 Flaggellants 80 ◇

Total = 2,000pts

Allies = 350/400

Reinforcements = 0/4

Wounds = 205

♧ Battle Regiment 

♤ Redemption Brotherhood 

♡ Redemption Brotherhood 

◇ Redemption Brotherhood

Drops = 4

How it Works

205 wounds in a Stormcast army, baby! Luke (also known online as Watch Tower) has built an army here that will be a massive pain the arse to get through.

With Stormkeep adding to the already-huge bravery on the Redeemers units, this army isn’t running anywhere. So 205 wounds means doing 205 damage at a minimum; in practice you’ll end up having to day way more, because those units of Flagellants and Aetherwings are designed to get massively overkilled and waste huge amounts of overspill damage.

Loads of staggered movement and a few teleports blended in there allows Luke to set up a checkboard of irritations right across the table. As Luke says, who the heck 4-drops 24 units? This army represents a really unique challenge and if anyone has some cheap Aetherwings going spare, hit Luke up so he can get it on the table!

Further Reading

There’s loads you can do in this space, and I would consider it an excellent “What if?” exercise to run through with any new book you’re getting to grips with. Let me point you back to Joel’s Gorger spam as a great example of something really neat you can do with MSU units: bring down a bunch of Gorgers with their native deepstriking, and fish for those Ogor charge mortals on 3D6 with Kragnos. Glorious.

Big Stabbas are certainly getting spammed to shit right now, and no doubt the incoming Battlescroll will have something to say about that. My own Bonesplitterz list is about as balanced as you can possible get in an army made from two kits:

  • 440 points in Heroes and Endless Spells for them to cast
  • 465 points in Battleline
  • 400 points in Big Stabbas
  • 290 points in cavalry
  • 400 points in a ring-in Monster

Whether that’s enough to spare it a battering from the looming nerfhammer is anyone’s guess, but it does fit the criteria for this challenge with 5 units of Big Stabbas, so go check it out if you haven’t already:

October Listbuilding Challenge: Gnomad Feastmasters

How the hell did that happen? October is here already, and in Australia that means switching gears from stressing about how much the heating is jacking up my gas bill, to stressing about how much the aircon is jacking up my electricity bill. First world problems for sure, but problems affecting a lot of us right now.

Anyway. No doubt you’re all well aware of the launch of Darren Watson’s magnum opus, Battletome: Gnomad Feastmasters:

Well the challenge for October is quite simply to show me your Gnomads lists!

Literally any Gnomads list is welcome for consideration, but remembering that the book is currently in Beta I’ll be especially keen to see the most broken bullshit you can cook up, and it will all be fed back to Darren for his final draft. The one thing I would ask for is a few notes on how the list works – with Gnomads being brand new, I won’t be able to tell just from looking at it, so please do give me a few pointers.

Finally, I’ve also set up a dedicated email address for these listbuilding challenges at:

You’re still welcome to DM me on Twitter or via the FB page, but this might make it a little bit easier to keep things in one place.

Thanks for all those MSU lists – there was a lot of buzz about that one – and I’ve already got a cracker in mind for November that cuts across all GAs. So have a good weekend, nerds – see you on the other side.

3 thoughts on “Your MSU Lists – and the October Listbuilding Challenge

  1. Love these List Challenges! I’ll have to pay more attention…just came up with my next Fyreslayers list which is a Runefather, Runeson, Runemaster, Runesmiter x2, Battlesmith, 3×5 HGBs w Broadaxes, and 8 Grimwrath Berzerkers, plus all the invocations. Could definitely trade out the Runic Fyrewall and a few Grimwraths and maybe a Runesmiter for Gotrek. Now to make 8 unique Grimwrath conversions…..


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