Your New Improved Lists – and the December Listbuilding Challenge

As soon as I saw the points drops for Gits, I was pumped, because it was targeted at units you take anyway – or at least the units I already liked taking.  It was unabashedly pitched at externally balancing the army upwards, and quite rightly too – we can worry about internal balance once our house is no longer burning down.

Well unlike me, the author of our winning list this month went beyond just thinking “how nice for Gits” while painitng up some Ironblasters; no, this chad had the balls to back himself by taking the army to a two-dayer and winning the damn thing

As a reminder, all of these lists come from factions that got recent points drops (pretty baffling in the case of Annihilators, but points drops nonetheless) and they would all have been illegal just a few weeks ago. Let’s see what these armies can do now with their glow up.

List of the Month: Dom Stonebridge, Gloomspite Gits

Dom ( has been kicking ass, taking names and chewing gum with his Gits and at times single-handedly keeping the flame alive for competitive Gloomspite in 3rd Edition.  This culminated in a sensational 5-0 result for Dom shortly after the Battlescroll landed, so let’s celebrate his achievement here today.  Take it away, Maestro.

The Deep Marsh Dankhold

Allegiance: Gloomspite Gitz
– Option: Grimscuttle Tribes
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumphs: Inspired

Dankhold Troggboss (220)**** – Trev the Troggboss
– General
– Command Trait: Alpha Trogg
– Artefact: Glowy Howitz
Fungoid Cave-Shaman (95)**** – Freddie the Fungoid
– Lore of the Moonclans: The Hand of Gork
Madcap Shaman (80)**** – Madcap Max
– Artefact: Moonface Mommet
– Lore of the Moonclans: Itchy Nuisance
Breaka-Boss on Mirebrute Troggoth (180)* – The Celestant Slime
– Allies

6 x Rockgut Troggoths (290)***
– Reinforced x 1
6 x Rockgut Troggoths (290)***
– Reinforced x 1
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (155)**
3 x Fellwater Troggoths (155)**

5 x Spider Riders (90)*
3 x Rippa’s Snarlfangs (70)*
1 x Marshcrawla Sloggoth (150)* – Drummer Dave

Skitterstrand Arachnarok (160)* – Big Bert & Nipper

Endless Spells & Invocations
The Burning Head (20) – Steve the Swamp Trogg
Mork’s Mighty Mushroom (40) – Marv the Misunderstood

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Bounty Hunters
***Expert Conquerors
****Command Entourage – Magnificent

Additional Enhancements

Total: 1995 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 330 / 400
Wounds: 146
Drops: 8

Firstly, I’ve chosen to go for Grimscuttle Tribes as a subfaction as, given the absence of any Spiderfang heroes, there’s no need to take the subfaction artefact or command trait so it’s a nice bit of free real estate on the spiders in the list – in the form of a 5+ spell ignore and the Skitterstrand rerolling hits vs Wizards and Priests. 

The general, Dankhold Troggboss, got a nice little points drop and is kitted out with Alpha Trogg to give all friendly Gitz wholly within 18” +2 bravery, to try to keep them around vs Nighthaunt, Horrorghast and other bravery shenanigans. He’s also got Glowy Howzit to make him less appealing as a target for shooting due to a 4+ ward…until you roll a 1 and he eats it! 

His main tech though is in his command ability: at the start of every combat phase you spend a CP and all friendly Troggoths (including the Kruleboyz) can reroll hit rolls of 1 wholly within 18″. This pairs beautifully with the Marschcrawla +1 to hit effectively putting all the Troggoth units onto 2s rerolling 1s to hit! Incredibly reliable for damage output. 

When you pair the above with the Moonface Mommet on the Madcap Shaman, which gives -1 to save at the start of each combat phase to an enemy unit within 12” (no line of sight needed!) the army has incredible damage output. The Rockguts suddenly become 12 attacks, 2s rerolling 1s, 3s, -3, 3…with the Fells coming in with the same attack profile but ending on -2 (rend + Mommet) and 2 damage or 3 into GV. The Mirebrute acts similarly, getting up to 10 attacks if he yanks his chain right, but with a finest hour he can also get on 2s to wound….10 attacks at 2s rerolling 1s, 2s, -3, 3 damage…for 180 points! He’s taken out a full health Kragnos and Nagash in previous heroics. 

The spiders (receiving a nice point drop) and Rippas Snarlfangs all act as cheap screens, or early/late game objective stealers. But the 6” pile in of the Rippas is a great piece of tech, as you’re able to run and use it effectively giving them an 18” threat range. They can do OK in combat too with 6 jaws attacks at 2 damage each, taking out a shooting unit or small hero. 

The Skitterstrand’s points drop was a great change as he’s now the most viable Monster in the group, who can also deepstrike! He can grab you an easy Desecrate early, or team up for a Barge whilst grabbing objectives or threatening a weak flank. At 160 he can trade really well and guarantees you some points from battle tactics which can be hard to come by for Gitz. 

The Expert Conquerors on your Rockguts, who are typically behind two screens, forces your opponent to come to you to try and take objectives, whilst your Fells are getting +1 damage (taking them to 3). Along with the Mommet to put your opponent on -2 save, this effectively makes them mini Fulminators ! These guys trade incredibly well.

Finally, the Endless Spells…I love Mork’s Mighty Mushroom which gets space to come in given the points drop, and I think it’s a bargain at 40 points. EVERY shooting phase EVERY model with 8” takes a mortal on a 5+. It can be quite devastating into hordes chalking up over 40 MWs for me into Kruleboyz recently. The Burning Head is then there for chip damage, to get yourself out of an annoying combat in the Hero Phase or even take 3 wounds off Morathi! 

The Loonshrine changes and Bad Moon changes at the start of this edition I think are fantastic:

  • Benefiting from the Moon wholly within 12″ of the Shrine
  • Being immune to Battleshock
  • This also means your spells are a lot more reliable at +1 cast
  • Your Troggs are harder to kill at +1 save
  • And you’re getting a free CP on your own turn!

Given the disappearance of the Monster spell, in some games you can throw this thing right up the board depending on deployment (and of course the absence of a Monster in their list)! 

All in all, it’s a castle army with the ability to spring out and steal objectives and give out lots of damage. There’s teleports for movement, Fight Last for being able to go for multiple combats per turn and the ability to bring back dead units on a 4+. It’s got loads of tech but what I love most is that it’s got plenty of outs!  

Runner Up: Kruleboyz, Fabien Barbusse

Fabien (@FabienBarbusse on Twitter) is French but living and playing in the US. Having started playing competitively at NoVa in September (with Sylvaneth), Fabien has been on an exceptional run since then (10W/1D/2L) that he will be aiming to confirm at LVO in January. List building is his favorite part of the game. 

Allegiance: Kruleboyz
– Warclan: Grinnin’ Blades
– Grand Strategy: Waaagh!
– Triumphs: Indomitable

Swampboss Skumdrekk (290)*
Swampcalla Shaman with Pot-grot (105)*
– Lore of the Swamp: Choking Mist
Swampcalla Shaman with Pot-grot (105)*
– Lore of the Swamp: Sneaky Miasma
Killaboss on Corpse-Rippa Vulcha (220)**
– General
– Command Trait: Supa Sneaky
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Mount Trait: Fast ‘Un
– Lore of the Swamp: Nasty Hex

10 x Gutrippaz (160)*
10 x Gutrippaz (160)*
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)**
10 x Hobgrot Slittaz (80)**
20 x Shootas (120)*

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

Beast-skewer Killbow (110)*

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

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

Total: 1970 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 150
Drops: 2

Fabien’s thoughts on his list

  • Grinnin’ Blades because ranged attacks and spells just destroy Boltboyz and Kruleboyz in general 
  • No Mirebrute Troggoth because 2 drops is the maximum acceptable for Kruleboyz (unfortunately)
  • Double Shaman since they can cast now, and the lore is great (as is their Warscroll spell)
  • Nasty Hex is on the Killaboss so he can move in hero phase with Sneaky Miasma or Fast ‘Un to get in range of important targets with a good ward 
  • Supa Sneaky command trait because that can win you games on its own sometimes
  • Killaboss is the General because with his extra mobility it’s easier to use the Waaagh! and secure the Grand Strategy
  • Skumdrekk instead of generic Sludgeraker Beast because if you don’t add any enhancements, he is just better
  • 2 MSU Gutrippaz because they still aren’t good and just a Battleline tax
  • 1 unit of Shootas for an effective and cheap screen (probably replaced by the new Gitz on wolves soon if they’re not too bad)
  • Ravenak’s Gnashing Jaws because it’s just a good Endless Spell, but can be replaced by Rippa’s Snarlfangs
  • Killbow is there for a psychological threat and area denial, but it will sometimes win you games if you can roll well against the big monsters you find in most lists
  • Indomitable triumph because there is no other option for Kruleboyz (1970pts is a healthy place to be to get the triumph)
  • 2*6 Boltboyz because you have 2 Shamans and you need to do some range damage, otherwise you’d play Ironjawz

I don’t think Kruleboyz are a top tier army still, but the changes over the past months made them definitely more playable.

Third Place: Xander Bennett, Stormcast Eternals

Xander ( recently moved to the Midwest, where they take Warhammer very seriously. He started playing events a year ago and currently has about a 50% win rate, which means he’s a perfectly balanced player. That’s how it works, right?

– Army Faction: Stormcast Eternals
– Army Type: Scions of the Storm
– Subfaction: Knights Excelsior
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumph: Inspired
Lord-Imperatant (175)
– General
– Command Traits: Shock and Awe
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Celestial Blades
Karazai the Scarred (550)
Yndrasta (280)
Annihilators (360)
– Annihilator-Prime
Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers (240)
– Annihilator-Prime
Vanquishers (220)
– Vanquisher-Prime
– Storm‑forged Icon Bearer
– Vanquisher Herald
Praetors (145)
– Praetor-Prime
TOTAL POINTS: 1970/2000

The gameplan is smooth-brain simple: Run Karazai forward, drop the Praetors down behind to bodyguard him. Drop the shield Annihilators from the sky onto whatever you want to tie up (hopefully for a few turns) while Yndrasta and Big K go hunting. On Turn 2, drop down and annihilate something with the hammer bros.

The only real tech comes into play when Karazai is locked in combat and about to die. Then you pull out Final Thunderstrike and roll 18 dice doing mortals on 5+ against whoever hurt your big dragon boy.

Honourable mention goes to Nathan Maurer for his Rule of Cool Anvilgard list guest starring Krondys along with two Black Dragons, a whole bunch of War Hydras and a hit squad of 30 Executioners.  Really cool army and I’d love to see it on the table some time, so please send in a photo if it happens!

Some very cool lists in there this month and I really respect GW for opening up the throttle and moving from 5 point increments to far chunkier and more impactful 20 point changes.  It’s a real shame they nuked Bonesplitterz from orbit – if the goal was to kill the army stone dead, congratulations, you nailed the brief – and I just hope that Order factions like Seraphon and DOK get a similar touch up next time around. I wait with baited breath.

The December Lisbtuilding Challenge

Anyway.  Moving on to the December challenge, and I’ve got another one that cuts across all GAs for you: we’re playing Herohammer!

The Tyrant will still be part of plenty of Ogors lists, but it did make me think back to the Little Big Man. Real ones remember the Great Gutgouger single handedly taking down centrepiece models in earlier editions, and there were a few versions of how you could load him out, but my favourite was Wild Fury, Battle Brew (later Ghyrstrike) and Brawlerguts.

One swing and off comes their head.

“I didn’t expect that to happen…”

“…Well I did.”

Those were the days.

Point is, small foot heroes are under represented in AOS generally.  Or more accurately you do see them a lot, but almost always as buff pieces rather than units meant to do work in their own right.  While I do get why – put them on the back of their pet and they get an instant boost to movement, armour saves and output – on the rare occasions that you do see someone leaning into it, the army scores instant cool points.

So your Challenge for December is:

  • Armies must star one or more small heroes
  • Small heroes are defined as having a wounds characteristic of 9 or less and no mount (although Companions are OK)
  • The design of the army must centre those heroes in some way
  • The more small heroes the better; or rather the fewer you have, the more I expect to see them teched up to be the star of the show
  • Named characters are allowed, although your own bespoke builds are going to be more interesting than Oops Gotrek. So make it something special if you’re running with the Ginger Ninja, Eltharion or Sigvald
  • We’ll have two categories: competitive and narrative, so tell me what you’re pitching at

Huh? Narrative?

Yup, I loved hearing about the adventures of Megaboss Krunk on the Black Sun podcast back in the day. I acknowledge that’s a somewhat bad example because Chris Tomlin was playing the army competitively, but the point remains – naming your wee man is a big part of the hobby for some people, it’s a bit of fun and something I could definitely get behind. My own Overtyrant has a really big Big Name, but some people take it to a whole other level and that’s what I’m here to celebrate.

The rules can support this angle too – for example Orruk Warclans often hints at wanting you to run a warband led by a plucky Weridnob Shaman. I’ve you’ve extensively converted your leader, if you’ve named them, if you’ve written a backstory for them, if you’ve had some great adventures on the tabletop with them and if you’ve built your list around them, I want to hear about it. Just make sure you tell me what’s going on so I don’t think I’m looking at a shit competitive army.

What defines “centring” the heroes themselves? 

I will leave this up to your interpretation but for illustration, handing out a Warchanter buff to a Maw Krusha is not centring the Warchanter.  A bunch of Megabosses in Da Choppas running around breaking heads, on the other hand, would very much be what I’m looking for.

I know this is quite open-ended, so feel free to ask me for feedback on any ideas you have.  But really it’s just a matter of making one or more little guys a big focus of your list. 

Best way to send in your entries is to email me at, and bonus points if you include any photos of your army.  Congrats one last time to Dom who is welcome to set a future challenge if he so chooses, and I look forward to seeing all your Herohammer lists slamming into my inbox.

Have a good weekend everyone – see you on the other side.

Credit for the cover image to Dom S


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