Friday, 25 July 2014

Midlands GT- Predictions!

It’s that time of year again!
No, not ETC. We all know the ETC is coming – it hangs over the scene like a London smog, exciting a vigorous minority and reducing as many to grumble about why the Europeans don’t just play “Proper Warhammer”. I expect somewhere in the States people are complaining about how the team was selected – come to think of it am surprised there has not been another thread about the States getting more than one team when the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland gets to field four. Still time for that, but someone had better step up, time is running out, and traditions are important!

Though speaking of ETC traditions, the build up, in the UK at least, has been rather muted – a  product, I am sure, of the fact that fewer podcasters are attending, and that Mr Curry has taken a break from podcasting on some spurious “having a baby” grounds.  Mark likes to waffle on about two colour blending, and as we all know painting is the devil’s hobby, we can ignore that.

But anyway, this is not about the ETC, but rather, that other great Summer tradition – me missing the Midlands GT.

I have been to this event twice, and each time it has, for various reasons, it has been one of my favourite events of the year (it was the birthplace of the Best Vermin Lord icon!). And then I decided to get married within a week of it and missed a year. Little did I consider that the whole concept of “anniversaries” would impact future events – I should really have read the marriage event pack.

Not everyone is as ‘blessed’ as I though, and the tournament, despite some key personnel changes, is boasting a full field – plenty of ETC players getting some last minute practice in, plenty of gamers with no concerns about an upcoming weekend of deploying in opposite corners and shaking on a 10-10 ready to smash some face. All in all, it looks set to be another good event.

The organisers did something I really like – they released the closed lists for the event. This allows for the much loved pouring over lists and the fun and games that brings with it – apart from those going to the ETC of course, who are, generally speaking, by now completely over the “fun” of list reading.

The event itself is the now sort-of-standard Battle line + Missions type affair. I like this, and if taken seriously (as it should be!) it has its own pseudo-comping effect on some lists.

I thought we should try something a bit different this time. Assembling a crack team of Warhammerers I thought (well, it was Mikey’s idea really, but I am taking the credit, I’m sneaky like that) it would be fun to get their predictions on the field. More specifically, with a focus on Best in Race – which is where the real fun always is. If the “A Team” is anything to go by, the key to assembling a crack team is knowing how to find them, though thankfully due to twitter this wasn’t all that hard a challenge.

The Team:

Jake Corteen (not attending): Long term friend of the blog, all round Warhammer brain who taught me pretty much all I know about Lizardmen (mainly that lots of naked Skink Chiefs are not > Warhammer), now off dabbling in the far more enticing depravities of Dark Elves. Known by various names, none of which are (yet): Pusher Of Kroak, Lamenter Of Raf’s Lists, Scourge Of Sheffield, 40k Dabbler (shush with with boos and hisses, we are all friends here!) and a fully blown Doctor of something technical or other.

Hristo Nikolov: Captain Bulgaria, friend of the blog (and chief nagger when I don’t post for a while), Commander of the Corner and, as a long time Dwarf player, someone who has watched a lot of people play Warhammer for years. Has recently been spotted stretching himself, using all those hours of watching Warhammer into practice and using other armies. Let’s not talk about #InsectGate.

Craig Johnson: The #FatCraig himself. Top ranked player in the UK (…) who stormed to the top of the rankings using a whole range of armies (podium-ing  with Skaven, High Elves and, as he may mention on occasion, was the very first person to win a 60+ player event with the new Lizardmen) – until we made him take Dark Elves to the ETC and told him to, well, practice not rolling misfires on his Purple Suns. Bastiladon wrangler extraordinaire.

Mikey Newman: Chaos Dwarf Uberfuhrer (though nowadays playing a, well, Real, army), astonishingly good painter with a painting studio and everything (check out ), top player who is at least partially responsible for the Elven filth we see everywhere, and, despite all that, is a thoroughly nice guy (though he is friends with #FatCraig AND Tom Mawdsley… so not sure what that says about him).

Terry Pike: Tzeentch’s Bridesmaid. Ranked number 2 in the rankings, *almost* UK Master this year and a master of all the flexible nuances provided by the Daemon book (sometimes he takes Kairos, sometimes he doesn’t). Goes to far too many tournaments for his own good (yes, I am bitterly jealous) and always expected to be there or thereabout at the business end of events. Like Hristo, his Daemonic gun line has allowed him to watch a lot of people play Warhammer over the years, so he should know what he is talking about.

So, without too much further waffling, the Best in Race predictions – in their own words*
*Any offense or litigation arising from what they say should be directed at them!


JAKE: Got to give this one to Luke Tranter, just because odd list or not, he knows exactly what he is doing with it.
HRISTO: Luke Tranter. Razorgors rule! Not sure why there is no Level 4, but the rest of that list is awesome, and can pick up the scenarios to boot. Plus the only competition is running jank monsters, so yeah.
MIKEY: Will Francis - for me the strength of the Beastmen book is in the big blocks + Wildform, Luke's, Razorgor is a decent list but really lacks something with no lvl4/Beast magic IMO
CRAIG: Luke Tranter. The Razorgor man himself, 21 Razorgor looks rubbish, but he's used it a lot, so obviously knows something we all don't. That, and double Beastlord. We all know Beastlords are OP right?
TERRY: Luke Tranter - Always seems to do well with his off the wall random Beast lists, missions should be easy with all the units.


JAKE: Goes to Jak Spedding, especially if he plays Tom Mawdsley at some point. I do like Paul Whitehead’s list though, no trebs or not.
HRISTO: Neil Littlewood. Good well-rounded list, have seen similar in action and they are underrated. The other two lists are either missing trebuchets, or gimmicky 3-lord affairs.
MIKEY: Jak Spedding - I find Brets easy to manage in today's avoidance/MSU Warhammer, Jack’s extra units pose a challenge to this style of lists.
CRAIG: Neil Littleword. DWELLERS! And he's not Jak Spedding. Therefore he has my vote. [Raf: there is a logic to this…]
TERRY: Neil Littlewood - Has Life, Dwellers the world! [Raf: noticing a theme here…]

Chaos Dwarfs

JAKE: Will Goodwin takes this – Death magic is just stronger than Hashut in most lists, and his has a lot more flexibility and options than the more one-dimensional offerings of the other players.
HRISTO: Will Goodwin. Yawnfest of a list, but the competition is weird though, relying on templates and Iron Deamons, both wrong for the meta IMO. Option B: not giving a crap who wins this, because its #NotARealArmy [Raf: could not have put it better myself]
MIKEY: Will Goodwin - has everything I look for in a CD list, rockets, Hellcannon, Kdaii, Tauruk, no Iron Daemons, Chaff, etc
CRAIG: Kieran Showell. I know the other two. They're both rubbish. That, and magma cannons are getting super popular at the minute. And I want to know why.
TERRY: Will Goodwin - Strong list, may struggle with the missions though

Daemons of Chaos

JAKE: A tight call here with several strong contenders. BenJ knows exactly what he is doing with that MSU build. Barrie Norman’s list looks consistent and strong. I’ve played against Luke Morton’s list enough to know just how hard it is, and he and I wrote something similar to Terry’s list and seriously considered taking it to something – the Exalted Flamers are very very good. I’m going to tip Luke here as he’ll be sad at me otherwise [Raf: can’t argue with that], but it’s ultra-close between him and Terry.
HRISTO: Terry Pike. What the f is an exalted flamer? It must be bent for him to be taking 3 [Raf: agreed!]. It probably casts Dwellers as abound spell on a 3+ #NotARealUnit
MIKEY: Luke Morton - only 1 skill cannon and no flies! But a big Nurgle block with 3 heralds is hard to shift + Fate Weaver!
CRAIG:  Purely on list - Gaz Taylor. That list is awesome against quite a few armies around, but I think Luke's Kairos and luck could see him through in this too.
TERRY: Luke Morton - Kairos + Wall of Nurgle, no one will get points out of it unless they have Sun/Pit

Dark Elves

JAKE: Lots of similar lists here, the comp really pushed the Dark Elves in one particular direction. I reckon Craig’s list is the most consistent, but Brian Carmicheal’s MSU could if it gets a good run be a surprise contender, and Tim Joss’ offering is also very solid indeed. I’m going to give it to Craig.
HRISTO: Marcus Lake. Running something pretty near to his ideal uncomped list I believe, plus modified to take the scenarios into account. And he wrecked people at the 6 Nations with something similar, so clearly better than the other ETC Dark Elf tryhards as a player :P I didn't even read the other lists.
MIKEY: Marcus Lake. Double Warlocks. 3 pegs. Steed lvl4 Death +Dreadlord! Good Core. Best list here for me. Plus he's got a turkey.
CRAIG: Me. ‘Cos I'm awesome. That, or Andy Potter who's taking that list to ETC and will have played a ton of games with it. Yeah, let's go with the Master. Andy Potter.
TERRY: Marcus Lake - Marcus will get drunk and then do well, as he always does lol


JAKE: I reckon David Seago’s list does what Dwarfs (dwarves? [Raf: don’t get this started!]) do best – score some points with artillery then not go anywhere, standing up to whatever opponents can throw at them combat wise. The other lists are tricksier, but give up points more easily. David has it.
HRISTO: Rupert Read. With Midlands Dwarf comp, everybody is a loser in this category :( but this list takes a good shot at it. David Seago's is actually probably better in games (big fan of the dual lord!), but it makes no attempt at the scenarios, flushing lots of TPs down the drain; the third list has no war machines and footslogging across at M3 is bad times.
MIKEY: Andrew Smith. 4 big Dwarf blocks, and 6 chaff units. No war machines! But if he has plenty of vanguard, played right this could pose a big problem to a lot of armies
CRAIG: "Who has the most war machines?" David Seago to pip Rupert Read [Raf: logical, I like it].
TERRY: Andrew Smith. Looks like all those will be vanguarding up, should do well in missions, Dwarf combat will catch people out

High Elves

JAKE: Mike Newman’s list is well-known to be strong, and will do well. Lots of respect for Lee Madeley for that list. I think the front runners here are Oliver Rowan and Tom Mawdsley, and Tom’s list is just that little bit more finely tuned, so Tom gets my vote (unless he plays Jak Spedding).
HRISTO: Mike Newman. Light council, with a Loremaster for flexibility, in a probably-bannered-white-lions-unit, and chaff. Light beats the new meta (magic missiles > elves) and the old meta (banishment > DoC / WoC).
MIKEY: Josh Heald - really like the idea of massive BoTWD WL unit with characters, backed up by Star Dragon, Frosties and couple of RBTs - plus plenty of archers and Reavers
CRAIG: Alex Read has read the ETC lists evidently...but I'm going to back Tom Mawdsley's Star Dragon to go fecking nuts and win at Warhammer, but finish one place behind Mikey Newman [Raf: lol :)].
TEERY: Mike Newman - Light Council, WL Bus, rounded list, should be able to do the missions and get big points


JAKE: Kim Hughes, Matt Hinton and Nav Hussein all get respect for their lists – once again the ‘boring’ book produces more list variety than many. This said, the tried and tested formula probably is better, and I reckon Adam Daly has the strongest example of it.  Dan Heelan and Jonathon Chester also have good lists, but I don’t hugely rate the Saurus personally, preferring the Skink Cohorts in core. Adam has my vote.
HRISTO: Dan Heelan. 4 Slaan lists, of which this is the only one with Deliberations (and Saurus!) and is therefore the best one; bastilladon is nice as well. Bus and Special Character gimmicks are interesting, but not as effective.
MIKEY: Adam Daly. He's got more Skinks, more Temple Guard and Tetto [Raf: I literally can't argue with that]
CRAIG: Why are Basties still so unpopular?!? I'm going to back the man Dan Heelan for being the only one totting one of my favourite laser beam carrying monsters.
TERRY: Nav Hussain - Quadra Steg + Life, love it

Ogre Kingdoms

JAKE: Adam Jones has the strongest list here – two big blocks that are hard to shift and few easy points to score. A close second to Mark Borland. Lots of Leadbelchers about, but I reckon they’ll give up points too easily to dedicated hunter units.
HRISTO: Mark Boreland. Not much variety here, although Mr Boreland probably has the (by a very small margin) best version of the more or less standard list, and is a contender for being the best Ogre player there.
MIKEY: Hristo. Think the leadbelchers make a big difference vs Elves. Add in double Ironblaster and big Mournfang unit and think he has all bases covered
CRAIG: Where have they all come from?!? [Raf: I know, right?! It’s madness!] Love Hristo's list. Let's go with him.
TERRY: Donal Taylor - Played this list at the pillage, hard to get points from if you don't have the right magic or your cannons do 0 wounds! [Raf: beware his Hellhearts, that’s all I’m saying!]

Orcs & Goblins

JAKE: Wow, some unusual stuff here for once – not the expected green dwarfs at all! I’m going to pick Zack Martin, whose army is probably less fragile than some of the others.
HRISTO: Patrick O'Sullivan. O&G players generally went for Special Character abuse (completely negating the fact their lists were quite cool otherwise), so as a SC hater, I hope the all lose! Paddy didn't mess around and went for standard filth.
MIKEY: Zack Martin. One unit of 50 orcs, 3 units of trolls, Gorbad - try killing all that quickly! Just need to keep Gorbad alive....
CRAIG: Dave Sweeting. It's a proper O&G list. Good lad [Raf: stunning army as well, for what that’s worth (nothing)].
TERRY: Andi Avery - Will be hard to get points from this list, can do missions well, solid player


JAKE: Three very similar builds from Mark Wildman, Matt Sewell and Simon Clifford. I think Mark’s is marginally stronger, and he has the form, so gets my vote.
HRISTO: Rob Smith. Vermin Lord comp allowing you to ignore other restrictions is a goldmine, so kudos to Rob being the only filthmonger to take double HPA - with a combat list to run behind the pair! Even if this goes down, it will submarine right back up as it wrecks the low tables.
MIKEY: Andrew Tunnadine - yes he's got a Vermin Lord. But he's also got 2 Doomwheels, an Abomb and 20 gutter runners!!
CRAIG: Mark Wildman. I love him. He's my hero. Him and Matt Sewell copying one another to almost identical lists, it's between those two.
TERRY: Mark Wildman - Mark will ride the luck train all weekend! Unless he gets distracted by all the fake gays

The Empire

JAKE: I like Kev Weaver’s approach the best – balanced, sticks to what is known to work, has a relentless magic phase. Stuart Hawkins’ build is in a way similar, but I prefer the Life/Light Lv4 pair to the Altar+Heavens approach Stuart has taken. Kev has it (ban him! [Raf: we keep trying, he keeps turning up anyway!]).
HRISTO: Olly Walters. Double Tank Yo. And some other stuff, but mostly double Tank. How only one person took a pair I'll never know
MIKEY: Kev Weaver. Lvl4+light council, 2 units of Demi's, Cannon, Stank, Hellblaster - hits all the right notes for me
CRAIG: As much as I love Kieran Lambert's list, and I think Kev Weaver's list is solid, I think Olly Walters with the double Steam Tank will pretend he's playing 40k with his tanks and finish above the others.
TERRY: Dom Pemberton - See him on the top tables a lot at the moment, appears to play better when drunk, should get 20-0 win game 3 easily

Tomb Kings

JAKE: I actually don’t like any of the TK builds much [Raf: ouch!]. Ed Symons’ list is probably the best of a dubious bunch.
HRISTO: Adrian Downey. Arkhan the Black, with Light council advisers. Adrian fit more snakes in than the other guys, so he wins.
MIKEY: Ed Symons. Arkan and light council, plenty of chaff/cheap units and big Necroknight and Tomb Guard blocks. Seems solid, only 2 catapults across 3 TK armies though?
CRAIG: A list with Arkhan will defo win. I think Ed Symons has a bit more chaff,  and his list is a tiny bit more solid, but missing the catapults of Nick's. I'll stick with Ed though.
TERRY: Ed Symons.  lvl5 death + light council, should just pewpew the world off, also has a Daemon chump first round for a free win

Vampire Counts

JAKE: An odd bunch again – I’ve not added the points up but wonder if Ieuan Morrigan’s list is missing a cav unit. Russ Harris and Andrew Whelan are the frontrunners – I think I’m going to give it to Whelan, with Russ’ lack of magic, and lack of a great weapon on the vamplord, likely to cost him.
HRISTO: Andrew Wheelan. Manfred + double TG being a big gaping comp loophole, and the only other Manfred riding on a nightmare for some reason, means Andrew wins the list race.
MIKEY: Adam Lake - blender lord (I assume) in Black Knight bus, double Hexwraiths and Terroghiest + all the chaff in the world (well 12 units) means this will be quite the headache for his opponent
CRAIG: Andrew Whelan. There's 2 Manfred double T-Gheist lists, and his is slightly better in my opinion! And special characters are OP.
TERRY: Dan Broxholme - Don't really like any of the vamp lists, but Dan is a solid player and should be able to do the missions with his list

Warriors of Chaos

JAKE: Some real love for the Mark of Slaanesh on show here. I reckon this one falls down to Chris Legg vs Chris Appleford, and I think Leggy can fight through the waves of High Elves better.
HRITO: Chris Legg. Almost gave this to the Slaanesh hellstrider star, before I realised they it has no wizard levels whatsoever. Shame, if the non-BSB hero was a sorcerer, it would have had my vote by far. From the rest of the boring pile, Leggy will probably come out on top.
MIKEY: Chris Appleford. Double Hellcannon, double Chimera, Daemon Prince - does what it says on the tin.
CRAIG: Chris Legg. I've heard he's proper good at Warhammer, and his list looks mediocre.
TERRY: Chris Legg - Smash people off the table list and play style, think he'll struggle with missions though only having 1 scoring unit

Wood Elves

JAKE: Shahrul Azmi has the strongest list there, with a good mix of firepower, mobility, magical output and combat punch, and should come top wood elf.
HRISTO: Shahrul Azmi. I'd like to say I gave this to Shahrul, because he has a nasty teleporting Sister-star with 6 levels of death magic, backed up by lots of shooting, and 3 nasty units of 6 wild riders to charge and evaporate things - but, whilst this is all true, it was all retrospective. I just removed everyone who had a forest spirit in their list, and Shahrul was the only one left standing.
MIKEY: Joshua Townley. Strength of the book is in Shadow (has a lvl4) Moonstone (in his 27 eternal guard?) Wildriders (2x6) and Waywatchers (2x9)
CRIAG: If any form of trees = no.  Which only leaves Shahrul Azmi [Raf: Simple, brutal, and correct].
TERRY: Sharul Azmi - Teleporting Death Sister Bus, will retain points well, breeze through most missions, loads of shooting for the 18 HE players

So there we have it, some of the greatest minds in Warhammer available and their thoughts on the best in race. Summarised the predictions on below – lots of pressure on the clear favourites – will they live up to the challenge?!

Only time, skill, dice and hangovers will tell. The event kicks off tomorrow, so will be interesting to see who, if any, got their predictions right.

On a side note, some of the team put together some top 3 predictions – for what they are worth!

1 – Chris Legg will just keep on grinding his way to the top.
2 – Tom Mawdsley’s fast-moving aggression should see him do well.
3 – Kev Weaver’s Empire just has a lot of answers for metagame problems.
(4-5 – one of Luke and Terry ought to be in the top few with those horrid Daemons.)

1st: Marcus Lake, because his army breaks the comp and he knows how to play it.
2nd: Terry Pike, because he somehow wins things
3rd: Dan Heelan, because Saurus

Top 3. I think it's going to come from Dark Elves, Wood Elves and High Elves. Just to prove that elves are super OP. So here's my predictions...

1st - Andy Potter
2nd - Shahrul Azmi
3rd - Tom Mawdsley
(Which means Mikey Newman is 4th according to my predictions).
Top 3 in no particular order:

Mike Newman - has everything needed in the list: buffs, missiles, shooting, combat, scoring units. Strong player with a well-rounded list, would be surprised if Mike didn't finish top 10.

Sharul Azmi - has scoring units, avoidance, shooting, death. Shouldn't give up to many points while the Sister bus ports around everywhere purple sunning the world and sniping out characters, the 3 units of wild riders should mow through most units getting the big points as well.

Luke Morton - has units to complete missions, Wall of Nurgle, Kairos, won't give up many points at all, should be able to grind through anything with the buffs Kairos can hand out. If he plays anyone with Death/Shadow he will struggle, initiative 1 on Kairos makes him a 5/6 dice priority on Sun/Pit every turn.

Good luck to everyone involved!

Until next time…


Monday, 21 July 2014

Micro 3 - Wood Elves at the ETC

So, that time of year rapidly draws near – the time of year when far too many gamers for anyone’s good descend upon the beautiful people of Serbia and unleash their drinking, gamesmanship, slow playing, prearranged draws and dice-fu upon each other in the struggle to be crowned ETC Champions.

The best of the best* will slog it out in the rather gentle arena of 2 games per day for 3 days. Ahead of this arduous challenge the various countries and principalities involved have been focused on one thing – the lists.
*other views are available.

To paraphrase one podcaster out there, list building within a comp system is akin to solving a mathematical problem. The much bemoaned (by me at least) fact that the comp this year is very similar to last year’s means that there is a simply extraordinary degree of similarity in most lists across teams. Now, this could mean that it will all be a fairer way of establishing the victors – but by that logic the ETC organisers could publish 3 potential builds for each army for countries to choose from. And, most importantly for that curious breed of Warhammerer, the “ETC Observer”, it makes for dull list writing.

But let us not spend too long beating that drum. We all knew it was coming (and there are some true gems in amongst the, well, beigeness of it all – we’ll look at those some other times (just like dessert, there is something to be said for keeping the best till last). There was one army I was keen to see what the greatest minds of the game* would come up with. One of the newest of the books to be released, and arguably the first in a very long time that involved updating an old book that used to be awesome, but that accepted wisdom told us had been all but destroyed by the two game editions since its release. Why is the once-upon-a-time power important? Because, gamers being gamers, it meant that a lot of people who have played this game for more than ten years would own armies, so they could end up being popular. The interest is that there has been far less time for people to ‘break’ their comp.
*once again, other views are available.

So… How did the Wood Elves end up looking like?

As expected, their popularity was confirmed (not to ‘good old days’ Ogre/Dark Elf levels, but still), with over a third of all teams (including some expecting to do well at the event) rocking up with the ex-hippies (their current background is a tad weird, but it does seem clear that they no longer want to be hippies, much like a child of the sixties who, having travelled the world seeking enlightenment, has now gone back home to run the family business – a neckless of beads the only indicator of their old lives).

Having played a lot with the new Wood Elf book myself, there were some things I was expecting from the off:
Death/Shadow Magic
BSB to rock the Hail of Fail arrow
Core to be predominantly filled with True Flight-totting Glade Guard
At least 2 units of Wild Riders
Two units of Way Watchers
Two Eagles

Now, the one thing that has stood out above all else using the Wood Elf book is just how expensive everything is, so if armies took the above there would be a limited amount they could bring to make the lists ‘different’ from each other.
So let’s hope I was wrong.

I shall also assign them utterly arbitrary scores on power and originality. Based on absolutely nothing much, and for no other reason than I am human, and humans have this thing about wanting to rank things in some sort of order. Maybe it is a quest to make sense out of chaos that is life and the universe. Maybe it is because we get bored easily.

In team-alphabetical order, the representatives of the in-no-way-cuddly-tree-loving-elves are:

Nick "Father of Lies" Hoen, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lvl 4, Death, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispel Scroll, 310
Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Asrai Spear, Starfire Shafts, Hail of Doom Arrow, Enchanted Shield, Dragonbane Gem, 156
3x 10 Glade Guard: Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 3x 160
5 Glade Riders: Starfire Shafts, Musician, 125
8 Wild Riders: Shields, 224
7 Wild Riders: Shields, 196
6 Wild Riders: 156
7 Sisters of the Thorn: Standard of Discipline, Standard Bearer, 207
3 Warhawk Riders: Windrider, 145
8 Waywatchers: 160
7 Waywatchers: 140
2x 1 Great Eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2399

Nick, fresh from entertaining us all on one of the very best podcasts out there, has turned up to the party (much like the rest of his Australian team mates), with an eminently sensible list. It ticks all the boxes I thought we would see – though he has gone for the Sister bunker, a very powerful choice in the right matchups. Manoeuvrable Death magic is always brilliant. My only concern, having tried this list out a couple of times, if that there are too many Wild Riders (yes, I think you can have too much of a good thing), at the cost of more shots in the list – personally would have been tempted by 3x5 and then move some points around for another Glade Guard unit, but can see why he didn’t – the larger units keeps them combat effective for longer. Good list.
Power: 8/10 Originality: 5/10

Patrick Ebner, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lvl 4, Shadow, Obsidian Lodestone, Power Scroll, 320
Spellweaver on Elven Steed: Lvl 4, Death, Dragonbane Gem, Dispel Scroll, 270
Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Asrai Spear, Starfire Shafts, Charmed Shield, 121
14 Glade Guard: Champion, Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 230
2x 11 Glade Guard: Champion, Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 185
13 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Standard of Discipline, Shields, 389
7 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame, Shields, 216
5 Wild Riders: Shields, 140
2x 6 Waywatchers: 120
2x Great Eagle: 50
Total: 2396

Patrick, I thought upon reading the magic lores, has been drinking from the same coolaid as me. But no. This man has big balls (to put it delicately). Shadow and Death are in many ways the “obvious” lores for this army. Bunkering them in Wild Riders is just, quite simply, hard-core. It’s not just that they are a lightly armoured combat unit, or that the wizards themselves have no ward saves, it is also the simple fact that they can’t flee. That being said, if not facing cannons/stone throwers there is no reason the mages can’t hand out with the archers or something. Despite the, well, weirdness of that, it is in all other respects a normalish list.
Power: 8/10 Originality: 6/10

Vincent van Es, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Elvensteed: magic level 4, lore of High Magic, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispell Scroll, 310
Spellweaver on Elvensteed: magic level 4, lore of Death Magic, Dragonbane Gem, Power Scroll, 280, General
Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Bow of Loren, Hail of DOOM Arrow, Asrai Spear, Shield, 164
2x 12 Glade Guard: Musican, True Flight Arrows, 2x 190
14 Glade Guard: Musican, Starfire Arrows, 234
6 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Shields, Banner of eternal flame, 198
8 Wild Riders: Shields, 224
7 Sisters of the Thorn: FCG, Standard of Discipline, 227
8 Way Watchers: 160
6 Way Watchers: 120
2x 1 Great Eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2397

Another list featuring all the expected components. The interesting thing here is the High magic, which is great for the list in a few ways, including increasing shooting effectiveness, enhanced mobility and making the bunker that much harder to kill. Other than being yet another rocking the mounted wizard bunker (which has proved to be more popular than expected), everything else is, quite simply, as expected.
Power: 6/10 Originality: 5/10

Anastasia Deliyska, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Unicorn: General, Level 4 High, Talisman of Preservation, Dispell Scroll, 350
Glade Captain on Great Eagle: Spear, Shield, Helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom, 179
2x 10 Glade Guard: Musician, Hagbane, 2x 160
13 Glade Guard: Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame, 186
2x 5 Glade Riders, 2x 95
2x 5 Sisters of Thorn: 2x 130
2x 5 Wild Riders: Shields, 2x 140
3 Warhawk Riders: 135
2x 10 Waywatchers: 2x 200
2x Great Eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2400

I love Bulgaria. I mean, I have never been there, but if I did go I am sure I would love them. They have brought something a bit different to the ETC party, and this Wood Elf list is by no means an exception! Yes, that’s right, the general is a lvl4 on a UNICORN (insert joke about girls loving unicorns if you must, I am far too high brow to do so myself). Interestingly enough of course, that wizard is actually an utter pain to kill. Given wards and High Magic protection, it could be a frankly annoying pain in the posterior. Another touch of brilliance (I assume that’s what it is, because I don’t get it), Anastasia has decided that Battle Standard Bearers are for chumps. What you really want is a Helm of the Hunt instead. Yup. So there. Oh, and Trueflight is passé. Other than that there is a sh*t storm of chaff – would hate to be the person tasked with getting 15+ points off this list!
Power: 6/10 (factoring in nuisance value) Originality: 8/10

Olli Mikkanen, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on elven steed: general, lvl 4 death, dispel scroll, talisman of endurance, 295
Glade captain on elven steed: BSB, starfire shaft, obsidian lodestone, 159
10 Glade riders: hagbane tips, standard, gleaming pennant, 235
10 Glade riders: hagbane tips, 220
7 Glade riders: starfire shafts, 161
7 Sisters of the thorn: standard, standard of discipline, 207
7 Wild riders: shields, 196
8 Wild riders: shield, standard, banner of eternal flame, 244
3 Warhawk riders: 135
8 Deepwood scouts: trueflight arrows, 128
2x 8 Waywatchers: 2x 160
2x 1 Great eagle: 2x 50
Total 2400

There is a widely held belief that the days of infantry are behind us. Olli clearly agrees, and who am I to disagree? Another thing that is clearly old fashioned is the concept of deploying somewhere. Of the 13 hypothetical deployments in this list, 6 do not deploy (3 scouts, 3 ambushers) and 5 of the remainder get to vanguard before the game starts. Only the ‘Great’ Eagles let the side down. If Olli’s captain is able to draw this list against a combat army, this list could be one hell of a spoiler.
Power: 5/10 (8/10 as spoiler), Originality: 8/10

Thomas Huglo, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on elven steed: general, Lvl 4, Heaven, Asrai longbow, Obsidian amulet, dispel scroll, moonstone of the hidden ways, 340
Glade captain on elven steed: BSB, light armor, Asrai longbow, Asrai spear, Starfire shafts, Hail of doom arrow, talisman of protection, charmed shield, 166
5 Glade riders: Starfire shafts 115
5x 5 Glade riders : Hagbane Tips 5x 110
9 Sisters of the thorn : standard, musician, standard of discipline 269
3x 5 Wild riders : Shield 3x 140
3x 5 Deepwood Scouts : Hagbane Tips 3x 80
2x 5 Waywatcher: 2x 100
2x 1 Eagle 2x 50
Total: 2400

If you have ever played Poker, I you know that sinking feeling when you’re supposedly winning hand is causally blown out of the park by the player across from you. Olli knows this feeling, with Thomas, quite simply, raining all over his parade. 18 deployments, of which only two (those ‘Great’ Eagles again) behave as they should in the deployment phase. Six ambushing units, Five scouting units, Four vanguarding units (and yes, quite possibly a partridge in the pear tree). I really like the Lore of Heavens in this list too – comet, thunderbolt, chain lightning and iceshard are all great spells to hurt and annoy your opponent, and comet is peerless for affecting your opponent’s magic phase. Of course, in the wrong matchup the list is largely useless, and will then rely on its speed to simply hide if at all possible.
Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10

Dimitrios “Jimbouz” Bouzoukis, WOOD ELVES
Spellweaver L4 on elven steed, General, Lore of Heaven, Asrai Longbow, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispel Scroll, 315
Spellsinger L2 on elven steed, Lore of Fire, Asrai Longbow, Scroll of Shielding, 145
Glade Captain on elven steed, Asrai Longbow, Light Armour, BSB, Starfire Shafts, Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, 149
8 Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips, 176
4x5 Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips, 4x110
2x5 Wild Riders, shields , 2x140
2x3 Warhawk Riders, 2x135
10 Sisters of the Thorn, Standard, Standard of Discipline, Shield of Thorns, Curse of Anraheir 285
2x8 Waywatchers, Sentinel, 2x170
Total: 2400

The Greeks were clearly pioneers in deciding that ‘Great’ Eagles really hampered the coolness of silly deployment lists and have led the way (as with so much else over the years) in quite simply getting rid of them (feel free to insert a socio-economic joke about selling the eagles, but that’s tasteless, and makes you a bad person for even thinking it). Rocking a big sisters is a bit ‘meh’ in my eyes, but I like the addition of Fire Magic in the list.
Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10

Alan "Woody" Woods-Conway - Woody's Woodies
Spellweaver General, Obsidian Lodestone, Elven Steed, High Magic, Level 4 @285
Spellweaver Moonstone of the Hidden Ways, Dispel Scroll, Level 4 ,Lore of Shadow @285
Glade Captain, BSB, Hail of Doom Arrow, Asrai Longbow, Hand Weapon, Light Armor, Starfire Shafts @134
10 x Glade Guard @120
2x 10 x Glade Guard, Trueflight Arrows, @2x 150
15 x Glade Guard, Musician, @190
7 x Sisters of the Thorn, Musician @192
8 x Wild Riders, Musician, @218
6 x Wild Riders, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame @176
2x Great Eagle @2x 50
2x 10 x Waywatchers @2x 200
Total 2400

This list ‘feels right’. Not only because I would not want to upset Woody by saying anything else. Nope. That’s not close to a factor. The opportunity cost of double lvl4 is clear here, with the large Glade Guard unit forgetting the arrows that set the internet a-buzzing at home, relying instead on High and Shadow magic to do its thing. Not the worse idea in the world.
Power: 6/10 Originality 6/10

Tomasz "Tutajec" Tutaj, Wood Elves
Spellweaver: General, Lvl 4, High Magic, Moonstone of Hidden Ways, Power Scroll, 295
Spellweaver: Lvl 4, Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon, Obsidian Lodestone, 295
Glade Captain: BSB, Asrai Longbow, Light Armour, 2nd weapon, Hail of Doom Arrow, 132
Waystalker: 2nd weapon, Asrai Longbow, 90
Waystalker: 2nd weapon, Asrai Longbow, 90
15 Glade Guards: Musician, Swiftshiver Shards, 250
21 Glafe Guards: Musician, Standard, Banner of Swiftness, Trueflight Arrows, 350
7 Sisters of Thorn: Standard, Banner of Eternal flame, 202
6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168
6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168
13 Waywatchers: 260
2x Great Eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2400

I like this list. Firstly, there are Waystalkers, which are great for screwing with your opponent’s head, even if they rarely do all that much – though when they do, they DO. Then you have larger units of both Glade Guard and Waywatchers, ideal for making the most of magical buffs. Does make it a very small list of course, and can’t help thinking the points on the sisters could be spent on something else (given the apparent lack of steeds for the characters), but still. I like it. A lot – this is one of the lists that feels like it could actually pump out firepower worthy of the name.
Power: 8/10 Originality 7/10

Bogdan Obradović, Wood Elves
Spellweaver: General, Lvl 4, Light, Elven Steed, Moonstone of the Hidden Ways,Talisman of Presevation, Scroll of Shielding, 340
Glade Captain: BSB, Elven Steed, Asrai Longbow, Light Armor, Great Weapon, Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, 149
Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, Obsidian Amulet, 120
Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, Dispel Scroll, 115
Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, 90
12 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, Standard, Gleaming Pendant, 279
3x 5 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, 3x 110
9 Sisters of the Thorn: Musician, Standard, Standard of Discipline, 269
7 Wild Riders: Shields, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame, 216
2x 7 Wild Riders: Shields, 2x 196
2x Great Eagle, 2x 50
Total: 2400

There had to be one. Allow an army to take Light Magic and someone will rock out a banishment list. It’s a mathematical certainty. Nothing wrong with that of course, S7 banishment is equivalent of a lot of skill after all! What is unusual if that this is an uber avoidance Light Council list, which is incredibly rare (not actually sure if I have ever seen it before). That makes it pretty cool really, so kudos to Bogdan!
Power 8/10 Originality 8/10

Siniša Stojadinović, Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Elf Steed: general, lvl4, Shadow, Moonstone of the hidden ways, Obsidian Amulet, Dispell Scroll, 335
Glade captain on Elf Steed: BSB, shield, Light armour, Asrai Longbow, Hail of doom arrows, 142
Spellsinger on Elf Steed: lvl2, Death, Power stone , 145
10 Glade guard: Musician, Hagbane Tips, 160
10 Glade guard: Musician, Hagbane Tips, 160
10 Glade guard: Musician, Starfire Shafts, 170
5 Glade riders: Hagbane Tips, 110
8 Sisters of the Thorn: Standard, Stadard of Discipline, 233
6 Wild riders: Standard, Shields, Banner of Eternal Flame, 188
6 Wild riders: Shields, 168
6 Wild riders: Shields, 168
1 Great eagle, 50
1 Great eagle, 50
8 Waywatchers, 160
8 Waywatchers, 160
Total: 2399

Sinisa (am afraid I have no idea how to make the little symbol over the s) has gone for a basic, middle of the road list. That sounds like a negative, but it isn’t. Three Wild Rider units, good. Sister bunker, good. Double Waywatcher, good. Shadow magic, good. Death magic, good. So, in short, it’s pretty good.
Power: 7/10 Originality 8/10

Antonio "Abirras" Lopez - Wood Elves
Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lv4, High, Obsidian Amulet, Shielding Scroll, 285
Spellweaver on Elven Steed: Lv4, Death, Dispel Scroll, 265
Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, SwiftShiver Shards, Charmed Shield, Hail of Doom Arrow, 149
2x 10 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, 220
7 Glade Riders: Starfire Arrows, 161
7 Sisters of the Thorn: Banner, Standard of Discipline, 207
3 Warhawk Riders: 135
6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168
5 Wild Riders: Shield, 140
2x 10 Waywatchers: 200
Great Eagle: 50

It is unfortunate for Antonio (though I am sure he will get over it) that I have read the other lists ahead of this. That changes things from “cool, a fast cav list” to “yawn, another fast cav list”. Swiftshiver on the BSB is a bit weird, but ok, may as well make use of high BS.  It’s a good list. Nothing really stands out as awesome, but nicely solid.
Power: 6/10 Originality 7/10

Dennis Palmkvist, Wood elves
Spellweaver on Elven steed: General, level 4, lore of high magic, Obsidian loadstone, Dispel scroll, 310
Glade captain on elven steed: battle standard bearer, Asrai long bow, light armour, hail of doom arrow, dragonbane gem, starfire shafts, 149
4x Waystalker: 2nd hand weapon, asrai longbow, 4x 90
13 Gladeguard: musicant, starfire shafts, 218
13 gladeguard: musicant, standard, starfire shafts, gleaming pendant, 233
13 Gladeguard: musicant, 166
11 Wildriders: Standard, standard of disiplin, 333
2x 5 Deepwood scouts: 2x 65
2x 10 Waywatchers: 2x 200
2x 1 Great eagle: 2x 50
Total: 2399

Now we are talking! FOUR waystalkers + High magic to make them more accurate. Be interesting to see what impact this has had on matchup scores vs it. Of course, my experience is that there is every chance they do nothing. But it makes you think doesn’t it? To top it off these assassins are backed up by a nicely solid gunline, more static than a lot of the other lists, but concentrating on that Wood Elves are meant to do, namely shoot things. Not sure I am a massive fan of the lvl4 in the Wild Rider unit, but it can get pretty handy once the High Magic attribute tokens start adding up. All in all, a list to fear (well, depending on what your list fears, anyway).
Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10

So, there we have it. My favourite list? It may well be the Greeks – I really like the idea of Heavens magic Wood Elves, but on the other hand Bulgaria have a unicorn, and Dennis is rocking four Waystalkers, so how on earth can you expect anyone to choose between them?

One thing of note though…. Not a single Treeman, Branchwraith, Treekin or Dryad to be seen anywhere.

Missing In Action

Nope… did not think that would surprise anyone…