New army…again. Future projects and getting ready for LoneStar GT.

Well as I had talked about in my last post I have moved full in on a new army and new direction. I decided to go with the most hated list/army/battalion in the current meta. The one the only Changehost. I can hear the internet groaning as I write this. I have already made a #newyearnewarmy post on Facebook and the #1 reply was “you know it is going to get nerfed.” First off, yes I know. Second, but how much? That is the questions. It could be that I will be crying in a corner in a few months when the GHB drops. However I have a good feeling that they fixed the primary issues with the mechanics already. The only thing I worry about is them changing how the Horrors work. But all is the book that much more crazy as compared to

I figure I can get 1 to 2 local tournaments and the Lonestar GT out of the army before it is changed. I am prepared to make that happen and hope for the best. On top of that I also feel that even without Changehost the book is very solid and there are several strong builds that a person could go with. Also I wanted an army that I could paint very nicely that would earn me some hobby points at the GTs. AND I don’t own a blue or pink army, so this is a great chance to paint those colors. “Yes I make decisions on things like that sometimes.”

In the end if I do not get a full year of play out of it before it is crushed, that is fine. I do plan on taking a very hard look at Seraphon when they come out this year. So that could be the next army after this one.

My List Design Principles Revisited.

“This is a repost of my Design Principles. It was first posted in 7-29-19. I have add a 6th principles that I have found important over the last few months”

When starting to design a competitive list there ares several factors that I like to take into consideration. These fall in line with a doctrine approach to playing and you may have different ideas on what a list should do or the importance I place on a given factor. Please share any thoughts you may have on the factors I am listing.

The following factors are the primary considerations that I look at when building a list. I have placed these factors in an approximate order of importance, however based on a given army build some may move up or down the list based on unit characteristics.

  1. Damage output “does that army kill its worth every turn”
  2. Staying power “how hard is this army to kill”
  3. Objective holding “is there enough bodies to hold objects”
  4. Board reach “how much of the board can be reached on a given turn”
  5. Board Coverage/Control, “take up space” “inhibit deep strike, block charge lanes, hold bottlenecks”
  6. Number of drops “will I have 1st turn option”

These can be ranked on a 1-10 scale.

1= no ability

5= average ability

10= best in the game/broken

Damage Output

It is killed or be killed in AOS, If you cannot destroy the opponents models you have very little chance of winning the game. Generally these units are referred to as hammer units. They are meant to remove models from the opposing army.  There are a variety of ways that a unit can remove models from the enemy; spells, shooting, volume of attacks, quality of attacks and special abilities.

What I look for in  hammer unit: They should have the ability to deal with hoards, elite unit, and Behemoths with equal ease. They should have some form of survivability; good saves, or large wound pools, or resurrection. And moderate mobility.

Things that can be concerns when looking for hammers: Point cost, is it costed correctly for the job it needs to accomplish. survivability, Glass Cannon? list synergy, do they support or are they easily supported by the rest of the list.

What makes one great: hard hitting, highly survivable, mobile.

Staying Power

How hard is it to remove this unit from the board. A unit can have staying power though shear numbers, great saves, resurrections or buffs. These units are generally referred to as anvils.  Staying power can be as important as killing power in my mind. The game is still objective based and holding them, is what wins games. It is also important from a tactical level when you look at units that you use to hold flanks, the backfield, become speed bumps for your enemies hammer units. In some cases units can fill the roll of hammer and anvil.

What I look for in an anvil unit: Being able to survive, ether through 40+ wound pools, goods saves, ethereal, and resurrection.

Concerns: over costed, army synergy, mobility, requiring spells and other buff mechanics to make them work.

Objective Holding

Winning and losing the game is based on holding objectives. If you can hold all of yours, you will only need to take one from your opponent to win a game. You can ether do this by killing all the enemy, or just having more bodies. Generally speaking hoard armies have an easier time at holding objectives.  Protect what you have then worry about taking more, minor victories are better than loses.

Consideration: What units are holding your back line objectives? Are they strong enough to survive a round of deep strike/alpha strike fighting? Are there enough units to hold all your objectives “some mission you start with 4”. Also are your units fast enough to get out to all the open objectives first turn. In some missions the key to winning is being the first one to the objective and holding onto it for a few turns. So a unit speed is a bit of a factor when looking at objective holding.

In many lists this task it relegated to chaff units. This is not in general a bad tactic, however understanding your opponents capabilities is important. Ask them these questions; do you have anything that deep strikes in, can you bring things on from a board edge, how far can X unit move, how does your summoning placement work. Do you have a unit that ignores the 9 inch rule. Understating the enemy capabilities before you deploy units is an important step in protecting your backfield.

Board Reach

Any army list should have the capability to threaten opponents objectives or quickly displace to assist were needed. Each army should have a way to move quickly around the board in some fashion. In a tournament turns are limited and a unit being able to move 15 plus inches in a turn can be game winning.

There are two type of ways units have broad board reach:

#1 conventional movement. They have a high movement characteristic, or they they have a spell or ability that adds to their movement characteristic on a given turn. These units are used to move quickly and harass flanks, take objectives or move around the anvil to take out support.  Examples of units with good conventional movement are; Zombie dragons “especially with Pinons cast on them” and Morrsarr Guard. Calvary units in many Battletomes excel at filling this role. The Fly keyword is another important consideration when looking at units with convention movement

#2 Unconventional movement: Teleportation, deep striking, summing. Your army can have outstanding board reach with moderately fast or even slow unit if your have movement tricks built into your army. StormCast, Seraphon, and Night Haunts rely heavily on Unconventional movement tricks to threaten back objectives and displace where needed quickly.

“being able to move fast and especially Unconventional continues to be something that want in my list. this is the #1 reason I am running Changehost.”

 

Board Coverage/Control

Denying space on the board to an opponent can benefit you greatly. When you deny space in your territory you are dictating to the opponent where and when they can move units. As was highlighted in The Board Reach factor, many Battletomes rely on being able to teleport around the battlefield and threaten your back line units. However most units in AOS with an unconventional movement ability must be placed 9 inches away from an enemy model. You can use this to your advantage by spacing out models and cutting off board edges and good deep strike zones. If you bubble wrap you back field your opponent will be forced to fight more conventionally with its units or place them in non optimal positions. The more of the Board you can cover the more YOU dictate the battle.

Large model count units work best for this. However MSU can also be used in the same manor. Remember space your models out for maximum effect.

Number of Drops

“after playing in the Masters this year I felt I lost at least 2 games just from having to go second. Mission and match ups dictated this. However I have come to realize the choice to go first or second can win and lose game from the get go.”

How many drops are in your list. I feel that if you can get to 3 or less you will have the ability to pick who goes first in most games. The only way to get your drops to 3 and less is with battalions. Some battletomes do not have access to good battalion and in others your choices can be limited. There is also a school of thought that battalions abilities are never worth it from a points perspective. I can see that some battalions are way better than others, however getting a command point is worth 50 points and how much would you be willing to pay for a relic if you could just buy one? I know I would probably pay at least 25 – 50 points for 1. That being said in some cases the Battalion tax is mostly paid with the command point and relic.

I have found the option to go first or second is very important in a tournament setting. A big reason for this is the limited amount of time/turns in a game. being able to capture points early can be the difference in a close game. It also lets you dictate the chance for the double turn.

The final consideration for this is scoring hidden agendas. In many local tournaments Hidden Agendas are worth half of a win. Example a major victory is 10 points and a completion of a secondary Hidden Agenda is worth 5. Several of these agendas can be completed on the first turn. Just one more reason to have a flexible list and the ability to go first.

Summary

Once again these factors can be moved up and down the list based on play style or Battletome composition. How would you rank these factors? What other considerations would you have?

 

The List

This is what I am starting to build my list around. I will tweak it as I play test it out over the next month or so.

The main thing I want to do with this list is lock a portion of your army down in its deployment zone. Use the speed of the rest of my army to get on points early and start building a lead.

  • Battalion: Changehost [1,980pts]
    • Fateskimmer, Herald of Tzeentch on Burning Chariot [140pts]

      Artefact: Shroud of Warpflame, Magic: Fateskimmer, Spell: Arcane Bolt, Mystic Shield, Treason of Tzeentch, Tzeentch’s Firestorm,

    • Lord of Change

      Artefact: Aspect of Tzeentch, Command Abilities: Beacon of Sorcery, Command Trait: Coruscating Flames, Lord of Change Wounds Suffered: 00-03, 04-06, 07-09, 10-12, 13+, Magic: Lord of Change, Spell: Arcane Bolt, Fold Reality, Infernal Gateway, Mystic Shield,

    • Flamers of Tzeentch  x6
    • Horrors of Tzeentch x10
    • Horrors of Tzeentch x10
    • Horrors of Tzeentch x20
    • Screamers of Tzeentch x3
    • Screamers of Tzeentch x3
    • Screamers of Tzeentch x3

The list is not overly complex. It does what it does. I am interested in seeing if the damage output is adequate. Or will I need to drop the x20 unit of Horrors down to a x10 and add in more flamers.

  1. Damage output: 7, I am interested to see how well the shooting from the Horrors preform.
  2. Staying power: 8, individually the models are rather squishy, however 200 wounds worth of Horrors is nothing to take lightly.
  3. Objective holding: 5-8, on the surface it holds objectives moderately, however once
  4. Board reach: 7, all of the units have above average speed. however the ability to teleport one unit a turn sets this list apart from many others.
  5. Board Coverage/Control: 6, before the pinks start splitting this list has an average amount of board coverage.
  6. Number of drops: 9, cant get much better that 1 drop.

 

Issues I could encounters with this list:

  • Negatives to hit in shooting, will hurt the list.
  • Horrors getting wrapped in combat and not being able to split.
  • only 2 Heroes and both are a bit squishy.
  • Low close combat damage output.
  • Casting is mediocre, don’t expect to summon much with this list.

What I may change going forward:

  • Lowing the x20 Horrors down to x10 and adding in more flamers.
  • I really like the Chaos Lord on Manticore. It has some good damage potential  in a small package.
  • possibly the addition of some Slave of Darkness units to get access to those tasty endless spells.
  • Would also like to try out the Guild of Summoners and Hot Duplicitous Covens.
  • The spell selection could change.

So what do you think? What is the good and bad of the list? What would you change?

 

Painting and Hobby

To be honest I would not have jumped into this new army if I was not able to find a good chunk of it at least built. I had been tracking auctions on Ebay and checking FB marketplace and there was nothing at the price point that I was ready to jump on. Then I remembered one of my oldest Warhammer buddies had a Tzeentch army that he built and painted years ago for a 40k escalation league I ran. I called him up and he was willing to part with his army. Jeremy always tended to build is models nicely, “scraped mold lines, no chunks of glue all over”. The paint job was at a good base coat level. I was happy to jump of the deal. In the lot I was able to get 4o  Pink Horrors, 9 Screamers, 6 flamers, all painted. It also came with some other odds and ends. I needed to rebase all the models they were still on 25mm from years ago. Making this purchase gave me the head start I needed to complete the army by the LoneStar GT. So thanks to Jeremy D for hooking me up.

My next step was to buy a Lord of Change and a Start Collecting. As it stands right now I have them built and waiting to prime. I also ordered 5 boxes of Blue Horrors and they should be in today or tomorrow. Out of all of this Building the Blues and Brimstones are the biggest challenge. I will end up probably contrasting them to get them “battle ready” by the tournament.

Depending on how the book makes it through the GHB 2020, I would like to put a good bit of time into the models to make them a top level painted army. I will end up doing this in phases, because I just need everything base coated right now. I will end up going back and bringing everything up to a high level as the summer goes along. The goal is to have a very nice army and display board by the time Warzone kicks off. Until then I just need everything battle ready.

The main amount of what I got from Jeremy, I already changed the bases:

changehost

Flamers about to get a touch up:

flamers of tzeentch

Screamers have been touched up to battle ready standard, just need to get some paint on the bases:

screamers of tzeentch

 

I have worked out an interesting basing idea that I think will really set the army off. I ordered some florescent paint from Green Stuff world and some crystals. I will put a layers of GW crackle paint over the Blue florescent paint.

Here are some of the basing samples I did:

tzeentch crackle base

 

Conclusion

What do you think, was this a good idea? Will I make it thought the GHB 2020 with a playable army? What do I need to add or change in the list? Let me know always looking for critiques.

 

Y’all be good.

 

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