Dadhammering continues! Last time around I talked about prepping for and playing in some team events. If you missed that instalment, click here to check it out. This time around I’m working on hobby progress and prepping to travel to another event.
This editions hobby progress is going to introduce the Thunder Lizards, an original space marine chapter that my son is painting up. They are Green, Gold, and Blue and were regular people that became Space Marines after finding a chest with the armor in the attic. Everyone who wanted a shield was able to get them. If they aren’t wearing a helmet the head will be brown or peach colored. They can say “Thunder Strike” and lizards will appear and attack the armor of the bad guys. This, and about another dozen headcannon thoughts, just flowed as we put on the base coat. While I’m not a lore guy I doubt this chapter will be codex compliant.
During this session I taught him to thin his paint, not get paint in the ferrule of the brush,and not worry too much if you get coverage on the first coat as we’re going to go over everything again. Earlier painting typically had four or five colors brought out that always ended in a muddy brown. As he was younger it was more about picking out paint, using the mixer, and pushing around the paint on a random model. Now that he’s a little older we’re going to do a pretty standard “Base/Wash” system and throw in a few additional highlights. As we were getting ready for bed he was talking about a second army. As some said in the patron discord “One of Us.”
In addition to corrupting the next generation I’ve made some real hobby progress. I’ve made certain transactions to reduce my backlog and painted up at least 55 models with another 15 almost finished. I also decided that my unpainted sylvaneth army no longer sparked, or would spark, joy and I’ve gotten rid of them models. For me, unpainted models are stressful and shameful and I think that just keeping models around “that you might paint one day” isn’t good for me. Getting rid of these unpainted models is starting to leave me with nothing but ambitious projects and conversions. Unlike Hobgrots #41-#60 I want my converted Ynastra/Mawcrusher to at least look like I spent some time on it.
Additionally, I’m painting up 15 Boingrot Bounders that I acquired in a trade last year. I don’t need them and I’m trying to take some time with them and try out some different highlighting so they can look uniform if I run them together but also be distinct if I run them as a smaller unit.
Our Next Challenge
Batch painting a few different units has been a great experience and I”m getting ready to focus on some of my larger model projects, including my first conversion, that I’ve been avoiding since last year. With 60 unpainted models and 33 units left I’m going to make a real push to finish them off before the end of the year. That being said my next project should probably be Trugg, the new troll master and a great looking model that I’ve built. However, I was asked a question that makes me consider what I should do next:
“Do you want to have a positive win rate at LVO or not?”
It’s a simple question that I didn’t, and still don’t, have an answer to. Two years ago I went to my first travel event, LVO, and played a Grinnin’ Blades Kruleboyz list with Kragnos that wasn’t optimized in any way. This was a time of dragons, giants, and of simpler battle tactics like “Hold Hands and Run”. In my first game at a travel event I got to play against a top ranked Soulblight Deathlords player who had a familiar voice and put down a chess clock without saying anything about it. I made a choice to not touch, interact, or question the clock and was a little bit suspicious of my opponent. About halfway through the match I recognized that I knew his voice from listening to a podcast about how to play soulblight. Alex Gonzalez was a great opponent and steamrolled me in the first round on the way to getting 10th at the event. A great thing about events is the accessibility of people that are considered top players and getting to see they’re pretty much just the same as people at home once the dice start to roll.
I ended up going 2-3 despite having little to no practice games due to Covid and a list that was built on “Fit on a plane” instead of being built to win. I got to spend some hot tub time with several people who would become the Georgia Warband and I enjoyed all of my games. That LVO really set me down a path of going to events in 2022 including Cherokee Open, Nashcon, the Chicago Open, Southern Fried, Nova, and the Outlaw Open. I think that the most generous thing that I could say was “I tried”.
I had a much worse experience at LVO this year compared to last year. I took a weird Kruleboyz list that was focused on sitting on objectives. This year my famous opponent and I had played against each other at a GT 11 months prior and he was recognized by a player at the table next to ours. Unfortunately, it was one of the few horrible games of Age of Sigmar I’ve had where a player asked to take back multiple moves while rushing for no real reason. If I hadn’t had multiple experiences playing Age of Sigmar at events, and this would have been my only exposure to a highly ranked player it might have soured me to the entire experience of going to events. During my last game I got pretty drunk next to our esteemed editor and proudly told my opponent, who played a beautifully painted sylvaneth army, that he was going to win after pinning me in my deployment zone for two turns and just slowly removing my units without losing any of his. Somewhere between the fifth and seventh drink of the game I looked in horror that I might win the game as he left his Durthu in combat instead of his Alarielle, who would die and come back. Fortunately for both of us we found a way for him to win and I ended up finishing 2-3. You can’t joke with somebody for 70 minutes that you’re going to lose and then end up winning. Between those two games, a work project, and a nasty case of Covid I never got to share in my adventure.
I haven’t travelled to an event since February and I haven’t been focused on getting better at the game or playing a good army. My solution to playing most non-OBR meta armies has been “to lose quickly” and move on and that isn’t an attitude one can have going to events to win. Despite having 20 thunderers and a few KO boats I couldn’t even be bothered to pick up the newest battletome and play them. So with three months out I’ve got to decided if I want to try to get a positive win rate at LVO or not.
What Goes Into Planning For A Travel Event
When you fly to an event you get the joy of all the logistics of air travel combined with taking strange fragile objects through security. It’s not the worst experience with TSA and I have an extremely easy time as a CIS white dude with short hair. I’ve travelled with a plastic GW box that had foam in it, a tacticool travel case from a company that is dedicated to propping up masculinity, and even checked a centerpiece model for a flight to Chicago. None of those experiences have been good and I’m much less likely to want to take an army that won’t fit into my case. I don’t know how Sylvaneth players do it.
In the next few weeks I’m going to have to rank the importance of playability, competitiveness, and encumbrance of the list. I’m also going to have to figure out how many practice games I’ll be able to get in.
What Could I Take:
I think Khorne is the in the best place of any army in the meta right now. I think the army has one of the highest skill ceilings and blood tithe/ summoning give it a huge number of options against the current and future top meta armies. Taking away the prayers that make your opponent move it has units with pregame move, herophase move, summoning, the ability to unbind spells, and the ability to shut off wards. Even with new rules coming in the next few books I think that Khorne is one of the best and most adaptable armies in this current edition.
This issue is that despite having a 60 model backlog and hundreds of completed models I have a total of zero (0) Khorne models in my possession. Additionally, I’ve played zero (0) games with the army and despite my praise of the ceiling and how well it plays into the current meta Khorne has a very low skill floor. Additionally, you might be stuck explaining things to people who haven’t played the army or think they have but don’t understand what you’re doing specifically. Having to explain rules is the least fun part of any event especially when you haven’t played the army a lot.
Another negative is that you’re gonna need A LOT of space to pack summoning models. For a fun event, or event one you drive, packing up every single summon isn’t a requirement. If, however, you’re trying to prepare for the largest event in the world and want to have all your options you’re leaving some underwear at home for that third block of bloodletters.
I’ve been playing trolls since April and the models travel extremely well. The list itself is pretty simple to move, pretty simple to explain, and pretty simple to play. If I wanted to travel a few thousand miles, party, and have fun with friends bringing 20 trolls and the Loonshrine would be the right move. We know that there are many gitz players who paint, travel, and play the army in good times and bad. I suspect that there will be an overrepresentation of gitz and within that subset and overrepresentation of trolls because they are so easy to travel and play with. I think a lot of people are going to get in practice games with trolls and discover some of the weaknesses in the army and how to exploit them.
I can’t think of a more appealing way to play at a travel event where I may or may not be hung over than the Trogg’s Truggherd. We’re talking 20-25 models with limited special rules, some extremely simple battle tactics, and warscrolls that are strong enough to overpower some armies. The lack of little andtorian locus wizards and spellcasting in general isn’t great but having an army full of rend-2 attacks that do a lot of damage is pretty nice.
Another benefit of taking trolls is that I’d be able to go over and repaint some of my earlier models with the benefit of 3+ years of painting experience. My Felwater trolls were my first experience with contrast paint and they don’t look great at this point. Being able to fix and repaint them would be an interesting project over the holidays.
This is the choice of a true masochist who doesn’t want to have fun and wants to make sure nobody else has fun. I think a really good gloomspite gitz list is taking lots and lots of goblins. They’re incredibly difficult to kill and sit on points extremely nicely. With the Clammy Hand and the Loonshrine. For 360 point a unit of 60 shootas is going to do ~10 damage against a 4+ save. Add in all out attack and a bit of rend from the Gobblepalooza and we’re up to 17 damage against that target. Deep down every goblin player wants to push around little guys and pretend to be Sauroman explaining that, yes, there is such a force and this would let me do that.
Goblins would also force me to learn how to use a chess clock – a device that I would be bringing for my own protection. Often times people see a lot of models and assume that you’re going to play the game pretty slow, or that it won’t get to time. However, horde armies often have a pretty simple turn structure of sitting on points and doing nothing with the majority of interactions occurring when they are attacked – rolling saves and being forced to fight back.
The travel, the mustering, the setup, the physical playing of the game just won’t be fun. There isn’t anything that can convince me that moving around 250+ models in a competitive environment with a time limit against five strangers.
Once again I am begging you to take me seriously when I say that Kruleboyz are a valid option in the current meta. We have something that is pretty close to a meta list – a two drop with Gobsprakk that attempts to prevent easy first turn battle tactics. There have even been a few 5-0 finishes and the Grinnin’ Blades ability has really helped in the magic heavy meta. Despite this they are still Kruleboyz and have one of the lower win-rates in the game. However, they’ve improved enough to not be the complete dumpster fire they have been since release.
However, I found out that during a test game Gobsprakk/Killaboss on Vulture isn’t going to fit into my carry on bag as is. This is a tacticool bag that has fit a Megaboss on Mawcrusher, Kragnos, and a big spider. However, there is something about the wingspan/height that keeps it from fitting securely. I also played a test game and really felt the difference between a early third edition book and the most recent battle tomes. A 5+ save isn’t doing the job it once did and gutrippaz at 150 points somehow feel overcosted.
In January of 2022 I was painting a unit of gutrippaz for LVO. In January of 2023 I was painting a unit of gutrippaz for LVO. Continuing the cycle in 2024 would basically establish a tradition and habit that can’t be ignored.
Ultimately my choice is going to come down to how I answer “Do you want to have a positive win rate at LVO or not?” and if I come into some money so I can quit my job and become one of those full-time warhammer players who subsidies playing by
selling feet pics to older lonely men coaching.
After Southern Fried and the Georgia Masters I wanted to take a goblin heavy list to a 1 day event and cleanse my palette after playing spiders and trolls for so long. While I went 1-2 it was a lot of fun to throw out a bunch of endless spells and have my goblins sit on a point. Rolling a lot of dice for useless attacks isn’t fun for anyone and I actually failed some easy battle tactics because I was so out of practice with moving this many models around.
Moonclan Madness- click to expand – Army Faction: Gloomspite Gitz
– Subfaction: Kings Gitz
– Grand Strategy: Chasing the Moon
– Triumph: Indomitable
Madcap Shaman (70)*
– Artefacts of Power: Staff of Sneaky Stealin’
– Spells: Hoarfrost
Webspinner Shaman (65)*
– Spells: Curse of da Spider God
Webspinner Shaman (65)*
– Spells: Merciless Blizzard
– Command Traits: The Clammy Hand
Skragrott, the Loonking (230)***
Moonclan Stabbas (240)***
– Moonclan Boss
– Pokin’ Spear
– 2 x Bad Moon Icon Bearer
– 2 x Gong Basher
– 2 x 3 Barbed Nets
Moonclan Shootas (120)***
– Moonclan Boss
– Bad Moon Icon Bearer
– Gong Basher
– 3 Barbed Nets
Moonclan Stabbas (120)***
– Moonclan Boss
– Bad Moon Icon Bearer
– Gong Basher
– 3 Barbed Nets
Mangler Squigs (260)**
Loonsmasha Fanatics (110)**
Loonsmasha Fanatics (110)**
– Spells: The Hand of Gork
Sneaky Snufflers (140)***
ENDLESS SPELLS & INVOCATIONS
1 x Scuttletide (80)
1 x Mork’s Mighty Mushroom (80)
1 x Aethervoid Pendulum (40)
**Wizard-finders of Andtor
TOTAL POINTS: 1990/2000
– Army Faction: Gloomspite Gitz
The best part of my list was the $11 hat I bought that I would put on before declaring that my wizard finders would go on a wizard hunt. I have no idea how my opponents felt but I had a great time. None of my games finished in the 2:45 minute time limit and I noticed that having a lot of weird models caused both me and my opponents to get bogged down in making decisions. I would describe most of my units as “kinda bad” and unlike my Gal Pals I can’t point to anything that would be a danger.
One of the best parts of the event was getting seven (7) fun dice through a combination of
hot rolls and conservative spell casting. My opponent had six and we were locked and loaded for a while casting turn. This GHB has been good at creating interactive and fun scenarios since release and is the best example of how the rules team has evolved and taken feedback from the player base.
Embracing the rules and playing with a large number of endless spells and throwing out multiple spells that could be a danger (fight last, teleport, mortal wounds from Skraggy, blizzard) is a lot of fun and fits thematically with the rules and the missions.
In a way it was a test for taking a goblin heavy list to LVO and while I found the list did many interesting things playing trolls is just so easy. I feel a little trapped into playing a simple list where I can finish games instead of trying to make a better use of my models or expand what I’m doing and it. This, and my test game where I couldn’t fit a kruleboyz army on a plane, makes trolls that much more appealing.
I further refine some concepts for playing Age of Sigmar at LVO and paint some more models.
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