Nashcon 2022 was one of the most fun and incredibly well-designed tournaments I have had the pleasure to take part in. The consensus from many first-time attendees that I talked to was that the two-list format, something that Nashcon has historically done, was a great change of pace for everyone involved. Despite taking a pair of skewed and weird lists I found all of my games engaging and feel like I gave my opponents a good time win or lose. You can read Goonhammer’s coverage of the top lists here (thanks Mike), but this will be a table level view of the mid-tables.
In addition to the Age of Sigmar event there was a Warhammer Fantasy Battle tournament, multiple historical battles, Marvel Crisis Protocol, and I pirate game that I immediately regretted not dressing up for and participating in during the weekend. There is a high chance I will go in the future and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to travel for an event or is local to Nashville.
Coming off two 1-win events with my Kruleboyz I wasn’t inspired to play them without more intentional practice. With the exception of 1 team event, I’ve exclusivity played Kruleboyz and Gitz at events since starting to play Age of Sigmar and none of the lists I could make with my on-hand models appealed to me.
Without hope or inspiration, I did something that every player worth their salt fears, rightly so, though few know why or care to ask. I read the tournament pack. Traditionally, TOs hate when players read the organizing document for a 70+ person event in anticipation of the event. They aren’t putting on these events to be left alone. Nothing brings a TO greater joy and personal satisfaction then to answer a question that is so frequently asked by players and participants alike they anticipated and wrote down the answer beforehand. They want to joy of answering complex multifacet questions related to the game like “When is lunch?” or “What mission are we playing?” or “What time do we start on Sunday?” or “My opponent didn’t declare a target for her charge – can you card her?”. Real players don’t need to concern themselves with things like rules or packs, they come to the table ready to roll dice. My informal survey of my housemates confirmed that I was the Only person out of eight to read the pack prior to the event.
Nashcon’s pack was well designed and provided some detailed rulings well in advance of the GW official FAQ. Two of the tweaks from the standard event pack are worth mentioning. First, each player was to bring two lists from the same allegiance, but not necessarily the same sub faction. Players would be able to review the opponents lists and choose what list they wanted to use at the table. Each list must be used at least once over the course of five games. Second, there are no book or white dwarf grand strategies and tactics.
The TOs did a great job in providing a score sheet for every round with standard language and references. This was the first event where both players in all of my games filled out a score sheet after talking about points and I’d highly recommend other TOs steal this format. Players still entered match results into Best Coast Pairings so this sheet was used for tracking things like proving grounds and what battle tactics were used during the match.
Reading the awards section, I saw a potentially achievable aware -“Indomitable – Player with the most Galletian Veteran units alive at the end of their games that does not win Best Overall or Best in Grand Alliance. Ties decided by TPs.” What a nice and weird award to include. Other awards exist for completing the most battle tactics and not winning another award, or killing the most generals, or killing the most Galletian Veteran units with bounty hunters.
My goal was to have a two simple lists without a lot to remember or explain. Events can be long and having to discuss lists to prevent a “gotcha” moment takes up valuable time in play. As a hobbyist with an active pile of shame I also used the deadline to finish painting 51 orcs that were in various states of WIP prior to the event.
I didn’t have the opportunity to practice with either of these lists but had a pretty simple gameplan to stand around on points with the lads, teleport a unit around, use the Wurrgog prophet on a single major threat. The simplicity of my lists extended into making sure each was 2000 points (no triumph), all the heros having the same loadout, and never ever having priority in turn one. I intentionally didn’t include an Ironjawz Fist(s) because who wants to remember all that? In a nod to efficiency, I painted a single line of difference colors on each of my MSU Ardboy units so I could quickly tell them apart in a scrum.
I do not recommend taking lists like this to an event without the expectation that you will pick up a lot of models. I did design them with some considerations to the current meta in mind – namely that the purple sun does not matter and that I’m almost guaranteed to get my grand strategy if not tabled. The large number of MSU units makes it difficult for opponents to get several grand strategies (No Place for the Weak, Defend What’s Ours, Take What’s Theirs) as well.
In looking at other lists there was a strong concentration of Stormcast, Nighthaunt, Ironjaws, Fyreslayers, and Ogors in the meta. I was the lone Big Waagh! player at the event.
List One - Click to Expand
List Two- Click to Expand
Allegiance: Big Waaagh!
– Grand Strategy: Demonstration of Strength
Wurrgog Prophet (150)***
– Artefact: Glowin’ Tattooz
– Lore of the Savage Beast: Gorkamorka’s War Cry
Orruk Warchanter (115)***
– Warbeat: Fixin’ Beat
Orruk Megaboss (140)***
– Command Trait: Touched by the Waaagh!
– Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
– Lore of the Weird: Da Great Big Green Hand of Gork
10 x Savage Orruks (165)**
10 x Savage Orruks (165)**
10 x Savage Orruks (165)**
15 x Orruk Ardboys (255)*
– Reinforced x 2
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)***
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
5 x Orruk Ardboys (85)
3 x Orruk Gore-gruntas (170)*
– Jagged Gore-hackas
2 x Savage Big Stabbas (80)*
Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
A Note On Hobby-
I’m not a hobby guy or able to judge painting beyond “it looked dope” but I did take a few pictures of some of the display boards and other armies. As always, some of the best paint jobs made me want to throw my minis in the trash.
Hobby Examples- Click to Expand
Game 1 – Close to the Chest vs. Cities of Sigmar (Hammerhal)
While setting up my opponent and I went through our potential lists. On the table he had a beautifully converted cities army with a chicken/halfling theme that was incredible to look at. He told me that not many people play Hammerhal (a real cities of sigmar subfaction that I confirmed prior to this article), and I said I’ve never played it. We both went over our tricks (Laser eye prophet and teleport vs. Hammerhal command ability to fight twice/immune to battleshock) and went through deployment.
The list he picked was a mix of shooting with a unit of reinforced Phoenix Guard in bounty hunters, a Celestial Hurricanum, and two chickens. I went with my 18-drop list and planned to just overwhelm the points as needed and win on the primary points. As he outdropped me he gave me first turn and I moved to cover four of the points, get a BT, and prepare for his attack. My opponent was gracious enough to allow me to deploy two units in my zone that I had forgotten so I placed them in the back. A moment of grace prior to 3 turns of death, destruction, and halfling bloodlust that will long live in my mind.
On his turn he shot at a few of my orcs, made a few charges with chickens, and did some mortal wounds with his Hurricanum. He asked if “Fight twice” allowed him to pile in and I said yes but that I didn’t know how the cities rule was worded. As his demigriff fought a second time I felt pretty good about my position. Between 2-3 units of orruks were killed in that turn I thought I was going to be able hold enough points and gave away priority 1-2 to avoid getting doubled 2-3. I had some buffs up on my units, could select a point as a proving ground and thought I might have enough bodies to handle a double turn.
In my mind I misheard “Fight twice with a unit wholly within a 12″ of a hero and wholly within the opponent’s territory” as “Fight twice with a hero” and didn’t really suspect that his unkillable bounty hunter unit would get the opportunity to fight 8 more times in the game. When he selected his Phoenix Guard unit to fight a second time in round two, I understood I was going to lose this game. That turn the Phoenix guard took out 3-4 of my units in each half of the battle round and my center had crumbled. On my turn I was able to hold an equal number of points, laser eye a chicken, and kill a second chicken but it returned with two wounds. I attempted to take the top right objective but was never able to touch his 40-50 shooting models with my reduced force.
He won priority into three and chewed through my remaining units and tabled me. After the match he told me that he thought this map, with its deployment and territories, was tailormade for his army. All I know is that my orcs will forever fear a small hairy foot smashing them again and again.
In preparing for this, or any event, I never would have thought to play against Hammerhal so I’m grateful for the chance. In discussing the match he said that this deployment was great for him and I should have treated his Phoenix Guard like a Terrorgiest.
I lost 31-13 and only achieved 3 battle tactics.
Game 2 – Prize of Gallet vs Nighthaunt (Scarlet Doom)
If the first game was an army/battleplan that I should have feared and didn’t this was a combination that I felt my army was perfectly designed for. Without any rend in my army and a huge number of bodies I’m well set up to counter several of Nighthaunts best abilities. Prize of Gallet also made the value of my expert conquerors even more pronounced as I could position them on objectives prior to having them activated. I picked my first list and faced off against an extremely nice opponent who played a scarlet doom list with a unit of Bladegheist Revenants, a unit of reinforced Bladegheist Revenants, Reikenor the Grimhailer, Lady Olynder, and some spirit hosts along with a purple sun.
Deployment was pretty simple and I was given first turn. I used the turn to claim the active objective, screen out some units to protect my Expert Conquerors, and teleport a unit of Ardboyz with mystic shield and violent fury to a terrain piece in the back. I wanted to set up both a potential barge though enemy lines and desecrate their lands and felt lucky to get off both spells. My opponent was unable to dislodge me from the active central left objective in the first turn and wasn’t able to damage my Ardboyz located in his territory with Reikenor in his turn.
Going into the second turn I won priority but gave away the turn. I felt that I was in a pretty good position to absorb the mortal wounds from the Bladegheist and wanted to keep the buffs on my unit of Ardboyz in his territory as long as possible. Being able to choose to activate my home objective was far too tempting to pass up and I didn’t have a target for my Wurrgog Prophet. My opponent brought out the dreaded Purple Sun but was only able to threaten to eat a few Ardboyz and Savage Orruks. My strategy of taking low value units paid off as I can’t even remember if I lost any models to the sun. My teleported unit of Ardboyz only lost two models and while I lost the active left center point I was able to keep my opponent from scoring both active primary objectives.
I choose to desecrate his lands after measuring to make sure that I could retreat from Reikenor and have my 3 models nearby. I had the only poor roll of the game where my Wuzzwug prophet only did 5 mortal wounds before blowing himself up through a combination of 6+ wards made by my opponent and failed wards on my end. It was a disappointing outcome, but I had an INCREDIBLE charge phase where at least 7 of my orc units charged giving me nearly a fully charged Waagh! and multiple combats against his units of Bladegheist. My combat phase saw me completely eliminate one of his Bladegheist units and bring another the larger one down to 5 or so models. At this point I was far ahead on the primary and had two additional units racing towards his back line to score Barge in the following turn.
I won priority again going into 3 and instead of doubling I again decided that I was in a stronger position to select the active point and picked a center objective where I had a large number of units. I unbound the purple sun with the help of a +1 from the power of the Waagh! but my opponent was able to nearly get his 20-man Bladegheist unit nearly back to full strength using a once per game artifact and some spells. Athis point I was too far ahead on primary points and had too many models to lose any of the primary objectives. 8 or so units of Ardboyz with 16 total attacks, with a 3/2/-/1 is just too much for single wound models that require a 4+ save and I used the weight of dice to destroy his unit of bladegheist on my turn. I did fail my battle tactic but I was so far ahead on primary points and well on my way to gaining my grand strategy that it didn’t matter too much.
Turn 4 and 5 saw us both scramble to maximize points as I had too many units to move off points while he had enough mobility to focus on battle tactics like Barge and desecrate their lands during the final turns of the game.
I was EXTREMELY lucky in my dice rolls this game and made 6 or 7 charges in the second turn that gave me too much momentum to overcome. In any dice game luck can be extremely fickle and I was happy to be in a position to take advantage of it. I’ve played against new Nighthaunt A LOT and a mass of bodies with efficient attacks is one of the best counters to them in the game. Why would a pink orc, who is terrified of small feet, ever fear a ghost?
I won 26-16 with four battle tactics and achieved my grand strategy.
Game 3 – Nidus Paths vs. Ogor Mawtribes (Bloodgullet)
In setting up both my opponent and I decided before the game to pick our second lists. Since Nashcon required that each list be played at least once we both wanted to have the flexibility to play either list day two and we were both 1-1. I was extremely scared of being pinned in by a list that consisted of a unit of gluttons, a reinforced unit of gluttons, a unit of Ironguts, and a Frostlord on Stonehorn and two smaller hero Ogors. A fast and hard-hitting army is one of the weaknesses of my list but I hoped to use my double reinforced unit of Ardboyz and Gore-gruntas to hit back hard against his Galletian Veteran units. I was in the defenders position.
After seeing the positioning of the Frostlord on the right side of the board I conceded the neutral point near him in the first turn. I positioned two of my Ardboyz units near the pathway at the rear of my forces and had a unit near my pigs to cover off the neutral teleport. He placed a unit of Gluttons near the top neutral point and I decided to take the bait. Due to my cowardly deployment, I was given first turn and attempted to lift up his smaller unit of Gluttons with my Gore-Gruntas. I was able to hold more points the primary and accomplish my battle tactic of desecrate their lands. What I wasn’t able to do was lift up his bait unit of gluttons. I knew that he wanted me to charge and attack them to be in a more vulnerable position for his larger unit of Gluttons. What I didn’t know is that he was also hoping to fail a battleshock test to buff up his ironguts (older janky books, we love you).
During his turn he was able to destroy my unit of Gore-gruntas and he was left with only 1 glutton remaining. He had advanced his Ironguts towards the center of the field and used his Frostlord to hold the lower neutral point.
Going into the second round I lost priority and got ready for a big beefy fist to smash into my army. In this turn he was able to eliminate the majority of my screens and starting to pin me in my deployment zone. His Ironguts had extra attacks from a spell and his Frostlord lifted up both units it was in combat with while securing desecrate their lands as a battle tactic. I was pressed in my deployment with his reinforced gluttons, Ironguts, and Frostlord all within range of my Wurrgog Prophet.
I picked the Stonehorn to stare at. With a 3+/5+ save and my Goregruntas lost it was clear that his larger model would simply eat my all my remaining smaller models if it survived and I lacked the firepower to take it down in combat. On a simple math level the correct answers is to always continue to stare. However, around stare 12 my prophet had 1 wound remaining and I paused to think if it was worth it to try to do the final 3 wounds.
Any destruction player worth her salt knows that I continued to stare and eliminated the Frostlord after 5 more rounds of staring. All told, not including warded damage, I did 19 wounds between the two of us with a 150-point model.
During this turn I was able to eliminate his reinforced Glutton unit with my double reinforced unit of bounty hunter Ardboyz did 42 damage after being buffed by violent fury. This lead to a pretty fun collaborative math problem as we counted and warded buckets of dice due to several of his models being near mystical terrain.
I set up my remaining orcs to absorb an attack from his Ironguts and moved through the neutral nidus path in the hopes of capturing three objectives next turn. I had turned around getting doubled and stabilized using my numeric advantage to spread out against his four remaining units. The score was even going into turn three.
I lost priority in turn 3 and was charged by his Ironguts who eliminated any unit they touched. Since I had my Expert Conquerors on my home objective I was able to prevent him from capturing it this turn but I didn’t have the juice to stand up to his Ironguts in battle. My opponent smartly used his lone remaining Glutton to get a VP bonus point for Barge Through Enemy Lines. During my turn I decided to teleport out my 15-man block of Ardboyz to his home objective in hopes of clearing his Firebelly and creating an escape route through the Nidus Path. I was able to get the teleport and charge off and eliminated his wizard ogor. With the pathway cleared I was able to spread out and cover too many points for him to kill enough units in turn 4 and 5 to prevent me from getting my grand strategy and outscored him on the primary objectives.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would have lost the game had his Stonehorn lived into turn 3. This was a great game between two destruction armies that involved buckets of dice and quick deadly combats where the outcome turned on dice rolls.
I was able to win 28-21 and achieve all of my battle tactics and grand strategy.
Game 4 Sons Of Behemet (with Kragnos) vs. The Silksteel Nests
Going into Nashcon I felt that the matchups I wanted to dodge the most were Ironjaws, Sylvaneth, Slannesh, and Sons of Behemet. I also thought that this map, with eight objectives, would play well to my “flood the board” strategy with my MSU units being able to advance on points or be teleported into the backfield.
This matchup and map combination was a NIGHTMARE for me. I was against a Gatebreaker, Krakeneater, Kragnos, and a Mancrusher. I likely made a mistake in deploying a large part of my army near my General in the hopes of teleporting out individual units to take points while I had two layers of screens protecting my prophet who was backed up as far to the back of the board edge as possible.
My opponent wisely went first and kicked an objective toward my zone. He moved forward with his big units and was able to threaten charges. He put a few shots into my screens and got a charge 16 in charge with Kragnos. Long story short, after all of the mortals from charging and attacks from his other Megas Kragnos was just able to pile in 3″ with a 3″ reach weapon and kill my Wurrgog Prophet. I had hoped to bait him into 12″ without taking damage but in a game of dice these things happen.
It didn’t help that during my turn, at +3 to cast, I rolled a 3 on my casting roll to teleport preventing me from tossing a unit into his backfield to stem the tide on the primary points. I lost priority going into the second round and he took another five units off the field. Just imagine a big pair of krakenskin sandals smashing your face over and over again for three rounds as you pull models.
Over the next two rounds he would throw, charge, and swing into my units with his megas and Kragnos while I would retreat, attempt to keep them off the points, and try to teleport a unit into his backfield. I think I did about 9 damage to his entire army during the course of the game before being tabled in turn 3. I decided to concede after failing to get a single 6 to prevent my unit of Savage Orruks from dying completely. It was pretty easy for him to tally up his score.
I got tabled (again) and lost 35-15 and was only able to achieve 3 battle tactics. In addition to small hairy feet my Orruks will fear big hairy feet.
Game 5 – Head-On Collision vs. Beast of Chaos
This was likely my favorite game to play, and I found out that this was my opponents first event. My opponent had driven down from Pittsburgh with my first opponent so we were able to share some jokes about halflings and getting tabled. I hoped to get the chance to get a winning record at Nashcon with my weird little orc list. I picked my second list that had some high damage and mobility potential with the Gore-Gruntas.
In deployment I wanted to keep his ambushing units as far away as possible from my units. With no way to destroy his Herdstone that generated additional rend and helped him rally on a 4+ I wanted needed to sacrifice my units to keep him from engaging in combat. I had a large piece of impassible terrain between me and the center objective that kept me from fully spreading out but created a few natural chokepoints that helped me avoid losing all of my units.
I was given the first turn and attempted to teleport a unit into an exposed territory but miscast after doing 3 damage to a unit of Ardboyz. I spent the rest of my turn moving some units to screen out a bit and positioned my Gore-Gruntas to be able to charge the middle objective in turn two. My opponent brought in some ambushed units and cleared out a unit of a unit of Ardboyz, another unit to screen out his back objective, and advanced towards me.
Going into two I lost priority and my Gore-gruntas to a reinforced unit of Bestigors. We had both gambled and positioned so that whoever won priority would have cleared out the left side of the defenders territory. On my turn I started a process where I scarified a small unit of Ardboyz by putting them 3″ away from the Bestigors and forcing a charge in the next turn. More importantly I was able to teleport a unit of Ardboyz and charge them into his back objective and kill enough goats to get 6 primary points that turn.
Losing priority into 3 allowed a reinforced unit of Bullgors to charge to just outside of my point. I had lost most of my screens at the center of the board but still had a 15-man unit of Ardboys that could damage a low-save unit. I considered it a fair trade to get them within range of my Wurrgog Prophet. During my third turn I was able to laser eye and entire unit of bullgors, leaving my prophet on 1 wound again, and teleport a unit of Savage Orks in expert conquerors to his back objective. For the first time all weekend I called a Waaagh! and eliminated a group of his summoned bestigors before they could swing back at rend 2. I was able to score 6 primary points again but had a very precarious hold on his back objective.
It was about this time that TOs came around and asked us to roll off for a dominion box. I won, by losing the roll, and don’t have any additional Kruleboyz or Stormcast models to paint.
This was the first time all game that I thought I had a chance to win – if I doubled going into 4 I would be able to score enough points to put myself ahead and likely been able to win the game. Sadly (for me) I lost priority and had to watch a number of my essential units get lifted by his heroic beasts in honorable combat in the mortal realms. While his bestigors were finally on my back objective I was able to keep my remaining savage orruks out of combat and count as 30 models on the point.
One of the great parts of the AoS community is the collaborative nature of the game. During the fourth round we were running short on time and decided to skip some dice rolls. We had gone through the exercise showing that 20 bestigors at rend 3 will have no trouble lifting a unit of 5 Ardboyz and rolling buckets of dice wasn’t going to change that outcome. By winning priority into turn 4 and forcing combats my opponent put me in an impossible spot where I wasn’t able to secure his back objective in turn 4 or 5. I made sure to get enough of my units away from any key combat to achieve my grand strategy but he was able to capture my back objective and was too far ahead on points for it to matter.
I lost 33 to 22 and achieved 3 battle tactics and my grand strategy.
In getting tabled twice I likely missed out on getting the indominable award by a few units. Outside of a few minor positioning changes the only game I would have replayed significantly differently was my first game against a Cities of Sigmar. I can’t speak highly enough about the thoughtful pack and incredible prize support and most of the people I talked to seemed to be having a great time. In addition, Nashcon was a hobby treat with nearly 20 display boards and a large number of lovingly crafted armies. While I think it’s incredibly premature to not allow book tactics and grand strategies when we don’t have data on how the game is being played, I fully supported it in the context of Nashcon. By providing a two-list format and a great scoresheet the TOs showed some additional thoughtfulness that justified the removing these additional rules.
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