Casual to Competitive: Mugginns’ Age of Sigmar Journey to the Michigan GT

For this year’s Michigan GT (at the time of writing there are five tickets left to the AOS championship) I decided I want to learn to play Age of Sigmar better – move from a casual level to a more competitive level where I learn the scenarios, battle tactics, deployment, and enemy army rules the best I can. I have no illusions of going 4-1 or 5-0 with a podium finish, I just want to learn the game well enough that I could have some close games and really participate in some of the higher level game discussion out there.

I’ve been a BoC player since they were Beastmen in 7th edition WHFB – I took some time off when AOS came out, then once Beasts of Chaos got a Battletome I dove in. I wrote up my thoughts on the new(ish) Battletome here.

Beasts of Chaos Herdstone and Shaggoth. Credit: Mugginns

Today I wanted to go through the list that I’m using and go over why I’m taking something, what the purpose of it is, and how my experience with them in test games has been. I will say that I am taking a few things that are less meta-friendly right now mostly because I just think they’re neat. I know the best way to spend points is on Tzaangor Enlightened – and I have a bunch of those – but I still love me gors, simple as.

Here’s my overall list:

Army List - Click to Expand


Allegiance: Beasts of Chaos
– Subfaction: Allherd
– Grand Strategy: Protect the Herdstone
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty
LEADERS
Beastlord (140)*
– Artefacts of Power: Brayblast Trumpet
Doombull (180)*
– General
– Command Traits: Bestial Cunning
– Artefacts of Power: Slitherwrack Helm
Grashrak Fellhoof (180)*
BATTLELINE
Gors (220)
– Foe-render
– Paired Hacking Blades
– 2 x Banner Bearer
– 2 x Brayhorn Blower
Gors (220)
– Foe-render
– Paired Hacking Blades
– 2 x Brayhorn Blower
– 2 x Banner Bearer
Bullgors (420)*
– Bloodkine
– Paired Cleaving Axes
– 2 x Warheard Banner Bearer
– 2 x Warheard Drummer
OTHER
Beasts of Chaos Tzaangor Enlightened (90)
Ungor Raiders (260)
Beasts of Chaos Tzaangor Enlightened (90)
Beasts of Chaos Tzaangor Enlightened (90)
Beasts of Chaos Tzaangor Enlightened (90)
Grashrak’s Despoilers (180)
TERRAIN
1 x Herdstone (0)
CORE BATTALIONS
*Warlord
TOTAL POINTS: 1980/2000
Created with Warhammer Age of Sigmar: The App

Allegiance, Army Options, Etc.

I really like Allherd. It’s easy for me to play, with a straightforward goal – bring smaller dudes so they can come back after they’ve been killed. I bring larger herds of dudes to stay on the board longer with this Greatfray ability. To be super honest, the other Greatfrays are a little more niche and I feel like I’d screw them up.

Beasts of Chaos Ghorgon. Credit: Mugginns

I chose Protect the Herdstone as my Grand Strategy – it’s super straightforward, again, and from what I’ve seen most BoC players choose it. Basically I keep the enemy from destroying my Herdstone or being within 9″ of it at the end of the game. I screen it and put it way in a corner where it is harder to get to from monsters etc. There is no radius on it’s ability so you just try to keep it away.

I’m 20 points under, so if I do happen to get my Bloodthirsty Triumph, I get to re-roll a charge once per game. I often forget about these – so I definitely need to write it on my hand or something. I did end up grabbing a Warlord Battalion to give myself another artefact. I don’t see myself using any other battalions, really.

The new Beastlord model. Credit: Mugginns

Leaders

I’ll be honest – the Beastlord is not the best choice here, but I really love the model and his abilities. If he can get into a hero near some Gors then he’ll grant them +1 to hit and +1 to wound, which is great. He does decent damage in combat and has a decent save. Some of his utility is being a Brayblast Trumpet blower, bringing on another unit of dudes to hold an objective.

Doombulls are very popular right now, and for good reason. The Bullgor missile is a very potent alpha tool that helps take down big enemy targets, and the Doombull helps them get there with his off-turn charge. He’s carrying the Slitherwrack Helm to make enemies fight last on a 2+, hopefully getting into combat on the same target with the bullgors, making them safer. He nominates the Bullgors with the 7″ ambush pop-up thingy.

I wanted at least one wizard and waffled hard but ended up with Grashrak, from Underworlds. I love that his spell is further range, at 18″, than most of our other spells. +1 to hit in melee is amazing – you target a unit you want to burn down with some Gors and go to town. He also has one more wound than a regular Bray Shaman and has built-in Ritual of Ruin targets in his unit.

Beasts of Chaos Grashrak’s Despoilers. Credit: Mugginns

Battleline

I have two big units of Gors for my battleline units. Gors have always been my favorite dudes – just wild goats running across the field with a lot of axes. I feel that they get a worse rep than they deserve right now. While the loss of Galletian Veterans hurts for sure (they only have 1″ melee range), I think they can still do work.

I take them in big 20 goat blocks so that I can try to guarantee not only that I outnumber the enemy for their ability (they make the enemy strike last on a 3+ if they outnumber the enemy), but they stick around longer and take advantage of the Allherd ability to return D3+3 dudes in each Battleshock phase. They can sit on objectives and do pretty good damage, especially once the Herdstone effects start kicking in. They’re also important because one of our Battle Tactics requires you use a unit with 10 or more dudes – so they can take a hit and still achieve it.

The biggest challenge I’ve had with them so far is actually fitting them on the board from ambush in places that I want them. Mine are all built with two hand weapons instead of a shield, so that’s what I use. Shields would definitely help them be a better tarpit.

Beasts of Chaos Tzaangor Skyfires. Credit: Mugginns

The Bullgors unit that I’m taking is fairly standard right now in BoC competitive lists. They are very expensive, points-wise, for a 5+ save with only four wounds, but they do so much damage that you hope they get through something and into another enemy. If the Doombull is able to get into combat with them he can make their target fight last, which protects them somewhat. These dudes get targeted by the Doombull’s Bestial Cunning so that they can pop up closer to enemies and get a better charge.

Beasts of Chaos Bullgors. Credit: Mugginns

Other Units

I resisted the Tzaangor Enlightened train for a little bit when the Battletome came out not because I don’t like the models, but because I just didn’t have any on foot at the time. At 90 points for three 3 wound models with a 4+ save they’re a bargain. They’re all in min units, which is not my favorite, but I already reinforced the Bullgors, Ungors, and Gors. They should be a bit more nimble in smaller units to get through terrain and enemies to get to what they want to hit.

Overall they’re really good and the math works well for them. Having four units of them makes them a little expendable – you can push them into an enemy to try to take wounds off and not worry about losing them as much. With the Herdstone buff they’re pretty crazy, especially in late game – I had one unit pull Skarbrand off the field last week.

Beasts of Chaos Ungor Raiders. Credit: Mugginns

The unit I’ve been waffling on most has been the Ungor Raiders. I know they’re popular, and I know they took a points hit in the last warscroll update. I like the threat they pose with one turn of shooting from off-board and then shooting again that turn when they make it on the board. If I spike some damage I can take out some screens or annoying war machines. I’ve committed to taking them to the GT now. At the very least they’ll help guard the Herdstone or hold objectives.

The Plan

I don’t have a hard and fast set plan, to be honest. I feel weird doing a full null-deploy with all the dudes ambushing off the board because I’m afraid of being caught out where I can’t deploy stuff, or letting my opponent having full run of the board and making it hard for me to position. Right now I’m thinking about it like this:

  • Grashrak + Despoilers
  • Tzaangor Enlightened x3
  • Tzaangor Enlightened x3
  • Tzaangor Enlightened x3

Beasts of Chaos Bestigors. Credit: Mugginns

These units might start on the board, in cover or near objectives, to make sure I can take them and also have the ability to unbind spells and cast during my first turn. These units start off the board:

  • Beastlord
  • Doombull
  • Gors x20
  • Gors x20
  • Ungor Raiders x20
  • Bullgors x6
  • Tzaangor Enlightened x3
  • Gors x10 (from Brayblast Trumpet)

Doomy and the Bullgors go into my biggest target, hopefully with screens softened up by a Ritual of Ruin / Ungor Raider shooting. One unit of Gors and the Beastlord will try to take on a bigger unit that needs to be swamped, while the other Gors will take an objective / run over another unit. Raiders focus on shooting and holding terrain / objectives. One or two units of Enlightened are there to missile into tougher enemy targets that I think will try to use commands. Getting that initial charge with the Bullgors is pretty important – they need to break something fast so that the enemy is on their back foot.

Sometimes I’ll hold a unit off until turn two so I can make space for them or they can go for an objective maybe I wasn’t planning for. The Gors and Enlightened can do this.

Beasts of Chaos Dragon Ogors. Credit: Mugginns

There are eight Battle Tactics from the GHB / Battletome that I think I can complete in a game, some being more situational.

  • Rampaging Beastherd: I have to take an objective from my opponent that is contested with a unit that has 10 or more models. Probably easiest on turn two, another reason to hold back a unit in Ambush.
  • Reduced to Savagery: This one is more situational – I have to kill a unit that was the target of a Ritual of Ruin. I could pull a unit toward me then hammer it, or hit it with mortal wounds then remove it. Doesn’t have to be in melee, so the Ungies can help out here.
  • Aid of the Wilderness: This one is usually pretty easy for me – two of my units have to be wholly on a terrain feature outside of my territory. Usually fodder for turn two or three.
  • Intimidate the Invaders: This GHB tactic is again easier for me – I just have to have more units outside of my territory than in it. I ambush stuff so they’re going to be on other parts of the battlefield.
  • Magical Dominance: Definitely not a no-brainer as my shaman doesn’t have any bonuses or anything to spells – but maybe with a primal dice he can get one off and make it hard to unbind.
  • Bait and Trap: I do have a bunch of units, and my Ungies don’t want to be in combat, so this one isn’t necessarily a must-have but it’s doable depending on the circumstances.
  • Led into the Maelstrom: I’m not a huge fan of this one as one enemy has to be still around at the end of your turn, but it’s an option for me.
  • Surround and Destroy: This one is a pretty easy one for most BoC commanders to get with our Ambush ability.

Beasts of Chaos Cygors. Credit: Mugginns

The Hobby Stuff

Most of my stuff is finished. I have to finish six Tzaangor Enlightened and some extra stuff for a display board in the next month. The Enlightened really aren’t all that complicated, so I’m not worried.

I hope to do well – at least a few wins would be nice – but really I’m mostly just excited to get some games in at a higher level with the army that I love. See you all after the GT in early October with an event report on how I did!