Age of Sigmar Tournament Report: War in the Mortal Realms XIX

 

War in the Mortal Realms is a semi-regular one-day 18 player Age of Sigmar tournament put on by Bad Moon Cafe in London. It’s a great one-dayer and this is the second one I’ve managed to get a ticket to and attend. 

The Format

This is very straight forward, and even a bit more relaxed than a lot of events! The armies are 2,000 points using latest General’s Handbook and there’s no requirements for being painted or points attached to your score for it. There are 3 games with a 2.5 hour time limit each, plenty for the vast majority of games but a couple did run it up to the last minute during the day. Mysterious terrain was used unless both players agreed to skip it, we used it in my first game, promptly forgot most of the effects, and then didn’t really use it in the second or third game.

The Battleplans were all from the 2021 General’s Handbook, using the full realm rules in it and normal restrictions on core battalions etc. The battleplans used were:

  • Feral Foray
  • The Vice
  • Tectonic Interference

What is fun though and I’d like to see is that all Legends models and army rules are allowed, which is not normally the case for events, so someone could rock up with a full Tomb Kings army and play through the event. Legends armies are probably not very good, but it’d be cool.

My Army

I took my Fyreslayers. While fully painted isn’t a requirement I’m proud of how they look and prefer to field painted armies when I’m able to. I was playing slayers a lot in 3rd edition before the new book came out with a Magmadroth and lots of Hearthguard but with the new book my list is now all foot heroes, no monsters, and less units too because of the points increases. I had 70 points spare in my list so slotted in the Magmic Invocation, which has never done much for me.

I’d only had a few practice games with the new book and this list but have really been enjoying it! It can definitely struggle with 6 objective battleplans with lack of units so one idea here would be to swap the Invocation and Grimwrath for another block of Vulkites, which could be good, but the Grimwrath can put out so much damage it’s a hard model to give up!

My list - Click to Expand

Allegiance: Fyreslayers
– Lodge: Greyfyrd
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:

Leaders
Auric Runefather (125)*
 General
 Command Trait: Spirit of Grimnir
 Artefact: Master Rune of Unbreakable Resolve
Auric Flamekeeper (90)*
Auric Runemaster (125)*
 Artefact: Volatile Brazier
 Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse
Auric Runeson (80)**
 Ancestral War-axe
 Artefact: Axe of Grimnir
Battlesmith (150)**
 Artefact: Nulsidian Icon
Auric Runesmiter (135)
 Forge Key
Grimwrath Berzerker (105)***
 Artefact: Draught of Magmalt Ale

Battleline
15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (480)***
 Broadaxes
 Reinforced x 2
15 x Hearthguard Berzerkers (480)***
 Broadaxes
 Reinforced x 2
10 x Vulkite Berzerkers with Bladed Slingshields (160)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Molten Infernoth (70)

Core Battalions
*Warlord
**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Hunters of the Heartlands

Additional Enhancements
Artefact
Artefact

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 4 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 118
Drops: 10

That’s a lot of heroes. And artefacts. Running the list as Greyfyrd gives me 2 additional artefacts on non-magmadroth heroes and gives +1 wound to all of my heroes as well (since they’re not on magmadroths) making them just a touch tougher.

My Runefather takes the Master Rune for protection for when my opponent chooses Slay the Warlord. The 3+ ward for the phase is as effective as passing wounds off to a retinue (if you fail to pass a wound to retinue he does not get a ward after) keeping the Hearthguard nearby safer as well but also doesn’t require them to be close in case he gets caught out on his own. In my games it has denied the Slay the Warlord tactic every time, and while that’s due in part to some luck, those 2 points can make a massive difference.

The Grimwrath Berzerker generally takes the ability to run and charge and also re-roll both run and charge rolls. The only game I didn’t take this was the second because against another combat-heavy army that is coming towards you (because of the battleplan as much as anything else) where I took the one to have a 6+ ward, or 5+ while in combat.

Fyreslayers can still suffer a lot against armies with lots of ranged threats. You really have to hope you can close the gap in time.

The Games

Game 1 – Feral Foray

First up was John’s Lumineth Realmlords in a one-drop with:

  • Teclis
  • Cathaller
  • 30 Sentinels
  • 3 units of 10 Wardens
  • Spellportal
  • Endless Lifeswarm

This was going to be an uphill battle from the start, a 6 objective battleplan. This is difficult for my army to score against an opponent with a lot of shooting, can shut down my orders, and causes massive debuffs to my Bravery. Stacking Bravery debuffs onto Hearthguard means that having a 4+ ward means very little when half a dozen or more run after losing just 1 model.

Turn 1 after my movement phase, can see the Lumineth deployment and the few casualties caused by my Infernoth.

My first mistake here was probably not deepstriking the unit of Vulkites with the Runesmiter and trying to run them down the table. They would have been more of a threat had they tunnelled onto a back objective in the first turn considering how castled up the enemy army was. As expected I was made to go first, popped the extra move rune (didn’t get the extra charge range) and ran everything up the table, sadly rolling a lot of 1 or 2″ Advances.

The Runemaster summoned in an Infernoth, at double range thanks to his artefact, causing a few wounds to the unit of Wardens but trying to do enough chip damage to the Cathaller to remove it after a few passes, which was stopped due to solid Heroic Recovery rolls. Overall the Infernoth didn’t do anything to write home about this game.


Because of the Cathallar’s spell my Hearthguard had a hard time making it across the table while being reduced to Bravery 5 through magic and aetherquartz making it easy for them to not be able to move, throw axes, or pile in and fight (stopping them from attacking entirely in the picture above near Teclis, which would have made a massive difference).

Nulsidian Icon really put in the work this game, denying Searing White Light numerous times from hitting my units. The game overall was actually really close up until turn 5, we were even on identical scores until turn 5 but I lost the roll for priority, was doubled against and that sealed my fate-losing by 4 points in the end.

Game 1 – Lumineth Victory 24-28

Game 2 – The Vice

Next up was Jack’s Ironjawz which leaned extremely hard into Ardboyz. It was awesome. For those interested it was also ruled that Aggressive Expansion could not be scored turn 1 using the objectives in your territory. There’s an argument for them not being wholly in your territory since 3/4 of the objective are off the table, so it was nice to see this ruled in the pack beforehand so everyone knew what to expect!

  • Warboss on Mawcrusha
  • 40 total Ardboyz between a unit of 5, 2 units of 10 and a unit of 15
  • 2 units of 3 Gore Gruntas
  • 5 Brutes
  • 2 Warchanters
  • Weirdnob Shaman

We set up all of the objectives for ease to be used from turn 2 onwards, with the final becoming the only active one from turn 4. Also, ignore that one lone Hearthguard in front of the rest of his unit, I took the pic before fixing it and didn’t take one after, sue me.

It was a lot of bodies on the table for Ironjawz with some very hard-hitting units. Thankfully thanks to the battleplan it would ultimately end up as a big scrap in the middle of the table, which is where Fyreslayers really want to be and can do well.

The first turn was each of us getting some buffs up and rushing towards the middle to make sure we had objectives. The only tricksy thing that happened was a teleport of the unit of 5 Ardboyz back onto one of my objectives, taking it from me and scoring an early Conquer.

Grimwrath Berzerker really came out in his own here destroying a unit of 3 Gore Gruntas across both attacks in the same phase after chugging some Magmalt Ale and going on to take out a few Ardboyz as well before finally being taken down.

I gained an all new appreciation for the Moltern Infernoth here. Across two turns it killed a Warchanter on its own and the Weirdnob Shaman as well turn 3 after rolling a double for its move. As well as killing off some Ardboyz (which were soon rallied back on 4’s) and 2 Brutes. Definitely made more than its points back this game and something that I don’t mind taking any more, probably. I definitely rolled hot for it and that’s not a normal amount of damage for it to do.

The score really started to tilt in my favour turn 3 after Jack failed to score Slay the Warlord (thank you, Master Rune!) and from there I was able to keep hold of the centre objective for turn 4 and 5, even scoring An Ignominious Death against a Warchanter with 1 wound left and only 2 throwing axes in range!

Game 2 end – Fyreslayer Victory 23-12

Game 3 – Tectonic Interference

Last game of the day and event and I got to play against a completely off-meta Stormcast army, which was incredibly cool to see. Dom brought his Celestial Warbringers in the form of:

  • Lord Imperitant
  • Knight Judicator
  • Celestant Prime
  • 5 Vindictors
  • 2 units of 5 Liberators
  • 10 Protectors
  • 2 units of 3 Grandhammer Annihilators
  • Call for Aid Holy Command

Not a dragon or longstrike in sight. But a lot of deepstriking and Annihilators that can make 7″ charges after dropping with re-rolls and very hard hitting weapons. I forgot to take any pics early on unfortunately so don’t have one of set up or even of a broad overview. Call for Aid is a great Holy Command to take in this force to bring back Redeemers after they’ve died once per game for

Tectonic Intereference favours Fyreslayers massively. Get to 3 objectives, hold them, kill other stuff off them. Simple, especially when you have a lot of wards and damage 2 attacks to hit back with!

 

Moltern Infernoth turned out strong again, first turn killing the Gryph Hounds with the Knight Judicator, wounding the Lord Imperitant and killing a Vindictor and keep doing damage the turns after, killing the Knight Judicator turn 3. He did kill one of my units of Hearthguard down to only 3 models from 15 but I retreated and moved my Battlesmith in range to rally back in the following Hero phase, bringing 8 models back to the unit which is where the game really was over in my favour.

After killing the unit of Protectors, Annihilators, Celestant Prime and most of the Redeemer units by the end of my 4th turn we called the game there and didn’t worry about keeping score after that since it didn’t effect placing for the event. A solid army but a poor matchup for this Stormcast with this battleplan.

Game 3 end – Fyreslayer Victory

Event Winning List

The two places actually were both Nurgle armies and the only two players that won all 3 games. One of them won however based on strength of schedule scoring.

Philip’s Winning Maggotkin of Nurgle

Allegiance: Maggotkin of Nurgle
– Subfaction: Befouling Host
– Grand Strategy: Beast Master
– Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Bloab Rotspawned (300)
 Lore of Malignance: Gift of Disease
Orghotts Daemonspew (300)
Great Unclean One (495)*
 General
 Plague Flail & Doomsday Bell
 Command Trait: Master of Magic
 Artefact: The Witherstave
 Lore of Virulence: Fleshy Abundance

Battleline
20 x Plaguebearers (300)
 Reinforced x 1
1 x Beasts of Nurgle (110)*
1 x Beasts of Nurgle (110)*
1 x Beasts of Nurgle (110)*
1 x Beasts of Nurgle (110)

Units
3 x Nurglings (105)*

Endless Spells & Invocations
Emerald Lifeswarm (60)

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 129
Drops: 5

 

It’s a very cool list. Befouling Host gives a second Feculant Gnarlmaw with a daemon General (the Great Unclean One) which gives an extra summoning point per turn, the Nurglings deepstrike in the enemy territory turn one for more summoning points from turn 2 if they’re still alive, and the Great Unclean One’s Bell gives extra summoning points as well. These all start to add up pretty quickly, allowing him to summon in units or heroes as needed, like a Bilepiper pretty reliably turn 1 to buff up the Plaguebearer unit.

Fleshy Abundance boosting the Plaguebearer unit up to 3 wounds a piece makes them incredibly hard to shift as well going from an overall 40 to 60 wounds in the unit without many things in the game able to clear through that quickly, given their 5+ ward.

Beasts of Nurgle have been showing up a lot in event lists so it’s not much of a shock to see them here either, the sub-faction makes them Battleline too. They’re not able to order themselves but they do run and charge, cause mortal wounds on the charge, and hit surprisingly hard with enough attacks to give some extra disease points too.

Maggoth Lords have seen an incredible update with the latest book going from being just-ok to being absolute powerhouses. With the ward making them more survivable and a much better melee profile on their mount they can get stuck in remove key enemies.

Closing Throughts

One day events are great, especially when they’re so local and easy to get to. Going to an event can be a real hassle and very costly, making them completely inaccessible. Needing to book accommodation, a way to get there (for those like me that don’t drive) and food while away are all costs that really add up. It’s great to have something so close!

I really enjoyed taking my Fyreslayers out again, they’re a really fun army to play with that aren’t seen nearly as often as other forces and really can do well. Ranged armies can be a real downer though but thanks to the newer retinue rule does at least make it a bit easier to keep some heroes alive. Generally speaking I think shooting is just too strong in Age of Sigmar, the fantasy game that should be more about combat and making the right moves instead of being able to sit back 30-36″ away and shoot whatever you like, dealing mortal wounds too. With the newer smaller table I’d really like to see shooting ranges max out between 20-24″ at most so there’s at least some play into them and limit mortal wound output too.

I’d like to try a list next with a Magmadroth but it’s hard to know what to drop and what to change exactly at the same time, having one might have helped close the gap in my first game, but just as likely could have been shot down pretty quickly before even being able to! Would definitely be fun to try though.

The Flamekeeper continues to do more than I expect, only getting to use the buff really once per game so far but at a crucial point to buff Hearthguard up to damage 3 or making a charge with a unit that my opponent did not want in combat is huge. Molten Infernoth has gained a whole new level of respect from me too now and actually I’ll probably run it a lot more often, if placed well it can block of points of movement too. Models can move through it freely but can’t end on it which can still be very good to force enemies through certain points while also taking damage.

Overall I’m now in the mood to play even more 3rd edition with Fyreslayers!

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