AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Holy Wars V Preview

Hey all, today I also have another post from Mitch previewing the Holy Wars GT event coming up this weekend. Holy Wars is a great narrative event in the US and is always played on stunning tables, where you are often playing against the table as much as against your opponent.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive. Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

What is Holy Wars?

Holy Wars is a five game Age of Sigmar narrative event held in Yorkville, Illinois. Started in 2014 out of the burning desire of two clubs, Lords of War and Holy Hammers, and their need to play games in the absence of tournaments in the area.  The “narrative” moniker doesn’t quite do Holy Wars its justice. The event, now in its fifth year, is renowned amongst the region for its themed tables, terrain and clever storytelling twists it brings for its players.

Forging a New Tournament

Coverage for Holy Wars starts with two things, tournament organizer Steve Herner and the event’s terrain, hand built by Herner and his sons to outfit fifteen uniquely themed tables that set the backdrop for a weekend of collaborative, battle-centric storytelling.

Herner serves as the TO for Holy Wars and Holy Havoc (the team version.) After receiving some early advice from fellow midwestern tournament organizer Rodge from Waaaghpaca to “run the tournament you personally would want to go to” Herner launched Holy Wars back in 2014 and has continued to facilitate the event since. This advice brought out a passion in Herner for organizing and building Warhammer events, almost literally from scratch.

Terrifying Terrain

Herner has spent substantial amount of time, even part of his own personal hobby streak, towards creating Holy Wars’ renowned terrain tables. He regularly offers his time and advice to community members and aims to create a positive atmosphere for all who attend his events.

Previous Holy Wars have featured large set pieces, all informing the stories being sketched out by opponents during each round. It’s not uncommon to find multi-leveled pieces of scenery, massive signature pieces consuming the battlefield and this year even a Skaven Clan Skryre-themed table built by Herner courtesy of kits donated by @ministomp.

Holy Wars is made out of a love of bringing people together and showcasing their armies. Clever scenarios invented by Herner and top-tier painted models enhance the experience of tournament goers and when combined with the terrain, the stories start flowing with ease. With an eye on sportsmanship and performance on the table, but the primary focus on investment in miniatures and telling a compelling story within each battle, Herner has kept investment high and event tickets disappear as soon as they become available.

Armies being brought to the GT stand out and play off of one another and build across the tournament’s five games.

Floating Island and Serpent Monolith from Khainite table.

The event hosts thirty players across its fifteen tables, each with their own custom built scenario. This in addition to the Holy Wars Twist and Ruse decks that accompany each table and realms were in full effect (with monsters provided for Ghur tables), Herner is more than excited to kick off Holy Wars V.

Weaving the Narrative

Of course, Herner can leave no narrative stone unturned, as he even found a thematic way to determine player matchups at Holy Wars. Draws for opponents are not simply generated using swiss pairings (1st vs 2nd etc) like most Warhammer tournaments. Aside any round one grudges from previous Holy events or player rivalries, matchups and tables will solely be determined randomly. Prior to the beginning of each round, individuals will be picked at random and will select either a table or matchup for that round. Repeating this process until all tables and matchups are set, Herner’s idea is to allow stories and games to evolve organically as the tournament progresses. Players may choose the same table or the same opponent each round should they wish, but no matter what is selected, the journey of every general’s army is priority one.

The Heart of Holy Wars

Holy Wars gives back to the Illinois community in a large way. Holy Wars sends part of its ticket proceeds to Hesed House – a comprehensive Homeless Resource Center – which provides shelter, food and other needs like haircuts and job placement to the local homeless. Herner has incorporated another innovative way for the player community in attendance to give back, via the Holy Wars Re-Roll dice. Players make a $20 donation to Hesed House and are afforded one dice re-roll during each game, even if they wish to re-roll for priority! Raffle winners are gifted selected pieces of Herner’s terrain and model kits, which are likewise donated by attendees.

Numbers & the Narrative

At the end of the day, games demand winners and scoring at Holy Wars breaks down into 74 points across three key categories. Categories are Battle (30 points), Narrative & Event Participation (22 points), and Appearance (22 points).

Battle Points

Each battle round has six points available to players. Two points are scored for every table or terrain objective attached to each round’s scenario. An additional two points are won if players capture special grail tokens that are housed at each table, with the final two points attached to the player selected secret mission and by having the most deployed units surviving the battle. Having various objectives and multiple ways to capture them allows options for players with different armies and play styles to continue their force’s narrative as they see fit.

Narrative & Event Participation

In addition to their 2,000 point army, players are asked to bring 1,000 point battlehosts to have as a sidebar to utilize as scenarios dictate. Points break down in four ways that relate to different participatory elements of the weekend. Eight points are reserved for using at least 400-1000 pts of players’ battlehost sidebar in at least two of their five games. The next set of eight points is dedicated to how cohesively your army reflects the narrative as it relates to composition, paint scheme, basing and custom display boards. Perhaps the most important five points of the tournament are awarded for attendees donating one or more items to the Hesed House charity raffle. The final point in the participation category goes for casting a “favorite army” vote in the first night’s judging.


Appearance is by far the most itemized of all Holy Wars points-earning categories. Army presentation is crucial to the value of the tournament as players are looking to immerse themselves in the experience. Highlights of the painting checklist include that only one point of 22 is granted for the tournament-standard three color minimum, each point following is earned for each additional layer of difficulty or technique. Display board, name plates, painted base rims, 10 or more models having glazes, highlights, blending, shading and details are among the higher tier of points available. For reference, you can view the complete Holy Wars V Paint Check List here.

One of a Kind Winners

No single player can take home more than one of these famed Holy Wars accolades.

  • The Holy Conqueror (most battle points)
  • Favorite Opponent (sports votes)
  • Fan Favorite Army (voted on by peers)
  • Best Battlehost (highest paint score, based on judge votes)
  • The Best Conversion (best converted single model)
  • The Hammer Hobbyist (best cohesive battlehost, based on judges votes)
Trophy work in progress.

An As-Yet Untold Weekend

Narratives have yet to be forged, but Holy Wars shows no signs of stopping. Herner keeps bringing participants back each year and the quality of Holy Wars jumps out at participants, as the loving amount of time and effort is evident in the final product. Should you be eyeing events more on the narrative side, this kind hearted, relaxed weekend tournament is a wise choice. High level hobbyists and competitive players alike are in attendance each year, and are only a fraction of what makes Holy Wars a credit to Warhammer.

WaaaghPaca 2019 Review

Hey all, today I have a guest post by Mitch on the amazing and truly unique WaaaghPaca 2019. WaaaghPaca is an annual Warhammer event held in the frozen north of Waupaca, Wisconsin. Its known for its strong emphasis on enjoyment, collegial atmosphere amongst Midwest gaming clubs, and multiple side events (beer pint hold, feats of strength, moustache content). It is probably best summarised by its motto: “We play. We lose. We play again“.

For more WaaaghPaca coverage, check out Chuck Moore’s blog and reports – including his battles with the “worse-than-the-Arctic” weather.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

WaaaghPaca 2019 Overview

Tucked away in the frostbitten cold of the northern Midwest, USA is the town of Waupaca, Wisconsin and a convention that’s brought tabletop gamers gleefully coming back for the last ten years. Waaaghpaca! is a tabletop gaming tournament held at the end of January each year, originally focusing on Warhammer Fantasy Battle and now is solely centered around Age of Sigmar. Paca, as it is known by tournament-goers, brings in both casual gamers and tournament-ready players from all over the region.

The eccentricities of the tournament don’t stop with the remote location. Clubs travel from all directions to compete in team-centric challenges and the spirit of the event thrives off light-hearted competition. This year’s Waaaghpaca featured 60 players competing in a five-game tournament setting, windchill temperatures below -20 degrees, and even a wedding proposal between two attendees.

Scoring (Tournament)

A well-organized event can make all the difference between players having a disappointing experience and walking out of the event glowing about the weekend regardless of their army’s placement in the standings. Waaaghpaca most certainly falls in the latter category.

For Paca, the event places players having a good time over cut-throat competition, and this is set forward clearly by how the scoring is broken down. First and foremost, you do not need to win all five games to come out on top of the pack. The scoring is broken into quarters: 25% is games won, 25% is attending, 25% painting and the final 25% is sportsmanship.

Soft scores weigh heavily into your final placement at the event, and it is difficult for players to achieve maximum points in both painting and sports categories.

With soft scores such as these weighing so heavily into your final placement at the event, players place more of a premium on having a good time rolling dice than maxing out on competitive point scoring.

Scoring (Team Event)

Leaving out the team aspect of Paca would sorely short change what makes the event something that has become special to those who attend each year. Several Midwest Warhammer clubs traveled to Waaaghpaca to compete together in a separate team event. The scoring for teams begins with a median player score determining initial standings and this year, culminated with the event’s signature beer pint holding competition to determine the champion between the top two clubs. The team with the higher score is allowed a time handicap equal to their score difference – a whopping 36 seconds this year.

Clubs featured over the weekend were the Detroit Warhammers (eventual first place finishers), the Guys from Milwaukee (2nd) as well as Screw City Gamers, Barroom Heroes, Skull Bros and Twisted Troop. Altogether, gaming clubs made up roughly 50% of all tournament attendees and are a large part of why Paca-goers credit the event for having such a friendly atmosphere. As opposed to many gaming events, winning is hardly the spirit of Waaaghpaca.

Most attendees credit the friendly environment and tournament organizer Rodge’s thoughtful and well-executed vision of the event for its continued success and what keeps players coming year after year in harsh winter conditions to Paca. On top of Rodge’s effort, at Paca’s core for its entire existence has been an enigmatic figure known simply as “The Bear,” who, alongside his wife contributes a large portion of the terrain and to the Paca charity raffle to boot. The terrain is always among the top mentioned highlights of Waaaghpaca, and when you see the quality of the two-foot-high dwarven hall or working water wheel feature, it is easy to see why. If that weren’t enough “the Bear” also contributes the tournament’s striking prizes, one year winners took home life size Chaos shields for their efforts. All from scratch and his pure giving nature.

The heart of Paca is perhaps most notably exemplified in the way the congregation brings in players who are unable to attend the event. Regular Paca attendee and founder of the Detroit Warhammer Club, Brad Schwandt (@Rhellion) was memorialized by fellow Waaaghpaca attendees with this image, which presided over the top table all weekend.

Like many others Schwandt was Skyped in for award ceremonies. Others were represented as best as the assembly could muster, like first place winner Ryan Nicol whose stand in was simply a nickel from someone’s pocket change (ED: don’t leave early, unless there is a snowstorm…). Truly, a podium ceremony unlike any other in Warhammer.

Waaghpaca 2019 Awards and Synopsis

Top three placements went to Ryan Nicol and his Khorne army for Best Overall. The Silver Pumpkin (or “The Bridemaids Award”) for Second Place to Donnie Goerlitz running Tzeentch, and Best General (most battle points) to Jake L’Ecuyer with his Legions of Nagash list.

  • Best Overall – Ryan Nicol
  • Best General – Jake L’Ecuyer
  • Silver Pumpkin – Donnie Goerlitz
  • Best Appearance – Domus
  • Best Sportsman – Broeska
  • Best Single Model – Butcher
  • Best Objective – Donnie Goerlitz

Final Scores can be found here.

All in all, Waaaghpaca receives glowing reviews from all involved for its player-first structure, all encompassing location (it helps not to have to leave the hotel venue when it’s below freezing outside), and good-natured play environment.

Next year’s Waaaghpaca plans have already begun and if the last week of January 2020 is free on your calendars, the frigid Wisconsin town of Waupaca would love to have you. Registration starts September 1st, 2019 over at the Waaaghpaca site.

Thank you to @PJSchard, @Hobby_Bear, @STR_hammer and @wiscohorndog for their contributions to the community and this piece.

LVO 2019 – Day 2 Results & Top 8 Shootout!

Hey all, so it has been a rollicking two days for the 125+ players playing Warhammer Age of Sigmar at the Las Vegas Open 2019 (LVO 2019). The first five rounds were held over Friday and Saturday and we have now found our top 8 players to go into Sunday’s knockout elimination! The champion will be the winner of the ITC’s grand finale for the 2018 season and, as it happens, the winner could also finish top of the ITC rankings for the year. Here I’ll wrap up the weekend’s action and preview the top 8 shootout! Check back tomorrow for the full results, awards and accolades.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

LVO 2019 – Age of Sigmar

The Las Vegas Open 2019 ran a truly unique format for competitive Warhammer Age of Sigmar – eight rounds over three days, with the last three rounds only being contested by the top eight players!

The Age of Sigmar tournament was 2,000 points and General’s Handbook 2018. Realms, Realmscape features, Realm Artefacts and Realm Spells were all in play.

The battleplans in play at LVO 2019 were:

  • Round 1: Total Commitment in Shyish
  • Round 2: Border War in Aqshy
  • Round 3: Duality of Death in Ulgu
  • Round 4: Better Part of Valour in Chamon
  • Round 5: Shifting Objectives in Ghyran

You can read my full breakdown of the LVO 2019 pack for more details and you can find all the lists in my lists preview.

LVO 2019 – Day 2 Results

The weekend was dominated (largely) by the members of the Team America ETC team and the two-time defending champion Andrew Standiferd. These guys really showed both their competitive pedigree and their current form.

I spent the weekend following along on the Best Coast Pairings app watching the results come in and the pairings for each round. Having the lists and results for each individual player to hand was fun.

So here is where the day ended:

  1. Bill Souza (Flesh-Eater Courts)
  2. Olivier Gandouet (Idoneth Deepkin)
  3. Alan Bajramovic (Grand Host of Nagash)
  4. Roger Barker (Legion of Sacrament)
  5. Jeff Paynter (Stormcast Eternals)
  6. Matthew Pashby (Idoneth Deepkkin)
  7. Andrew Standiferd (Stromcast Eternals)
  8. Joe Krier (Disciples of Tzeetnch)

A remarkably different field than at last year’s LVO dominated by Changehost and Vanguard Wing lists. You can find the full results and all the scores, pairings and more in the Best Coast Pairings app.

LVO 2019 – Top 8 Shootout

Now, the top 8 players will be going into a straight knockout over three rounds on Sunday. Think March Madness but for Warhammer Age of Sigmar! The Realms and Battleplans are secret and will only be announced to the players just before each round. But let’s run through each player, their list, their route to the top 8 and a bit about each of them.

Bill Souza (Flesh-Eater Courts)

Bill Souza, captain of Team America ETC, currently 2nd in the ITC rankings and 1st after 5 rounds. Bill has been smashing face this year with Flesh-Eater Courts and knows how to play the list really well (who needs a new book?).

Over the weekend, Bill has taken 5 major victories and secured all his secondaries for a perfect score. He faced Gloomspite, Hammers of Sigmar, Sylvaneth, Fyreslayers and Stormcast.

In the top 8, he will be facing Joe Krier and his Disciples of Tzeentch.

Olivier Gandouet (Idoneth Deepkin)

Olivier came 4th at the LVO 20189 with a Mixed Order list but is running Idoneth Deepkin this year. He is taking 24(!) eels backed up by Drycha and a Spelllweaver (for the auto-dispell) – both of those are ally choices you don’t often see in Deepkin lists.

Olivier has 5 major victories but dropped one secondary. He faced Mixed Order, Legion of Sacrament, Hagg Nar, Joe Krier’s Disciples of Tzeentch, and Matt Pashby’s Idoneth Deepkin!

In round 6, he is facing the two-time defending champ Andrew Standiferd and his Stormcast.

Alan Bajramovic (Grand Host of Nagash)

Alan is a Team America ETC player, currently 7th in the ITC rankings and I understand was a convert to Age of Sigmar from competitive 40k. Alan has been running an interesting triple threat Grand Host of Nagash list with Vhordrai, Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon and 30 Grimghast Reapers, with Arkhan for support.

Alan achieved 4 major wins, 5 secondaries and a draw across the weekend. He faced Astral Templars, Celestial Vindicators, Hammers of Sigmar, Legion of Night, and Roger Barker’s Legion of Sacrament.

In Round 6, he has Matthew Pashby and his Idoneth Deepkin.

Roger Barker (Legion of Sacrament)

Roger Barker is another Team America ETC player. He has 90 Grimghast Reapers (but no Nagash, just Arkhan) says it all really.

Roger also had 4 major wins, 5 secondaries and a draw across the weekend. He played against Blades of Khorne, Nighthaunt, Anvils of the Heldenhammer, Grand Host of Nagash x 2.

In Round 6, Roger has Jeff Paynter and his Hammers of Sigmar Surecharge Bomb.

Jeff Paynter (Stormcast Eternals)

Jeff came 9th at LVO 2018 with a Skyfire heavy Disciples of Tzeentch list and now he is back again with the Gavriel Surecharge Stormcast list.

Jeff got 4 major victories, a minor loss and 5 secondaries. He played Beasts of Chaos, Slaanesh (Pretenders), Blades of Khorne (x2) and Idoneth Deepkin (Dhom-Hain).

In Round 6, he has Roger’s Legion of Sacrament.

Matthew Pashby (Idoneth Deepkin)

Matthew Pashby, the only non-Team America or previous top 10 LVO placeholder in the top 8 shootout! Not only that, but he is running a Dhom-Hain list with only 15 eels, as well as Eternal Guard (!) and Heartrenders as allies. Go this guy!

Matt achieved 4 major wins, a major loss and 5 secondaries. He faced Destruction, Beastclaw Raiders, Grand Host of Nagash (x2) and Olivier’s Dhom-Hain in a killer mirror-match in round 5.

Andrew Standiferd (Stromcast Eternals)

Two-time defending champion of the Las Vegas Open, Mr Andrew Standiferd. Andrew is most known for off-the-wall Stormcast lists which exceed all expectations (or maybe he’s just a great player). Andrew is fighting to defend his crown.

Andrew has only dropped points once this weekend and that was against Bill Souza in the final round. Andrew credits it down to a small mistake in his deployment which ultimately proved costly. Will Andrew get revenge and redemption on Sunday?

Andrew faced Seraphon, Blades of Khorne, Mixed Order, Slaanesh (Seekers), and Bill’s Flesh-Eater Courts.

Joe Krier (Disciples of Tzeetnch)

Joe Krier, currently 1st in the ITC rankings, Team America ETC player, and 6th at last year’s LVO is a man on the mission, again with Disciples of Tzeentch.

Joe had 4 major wins, 5 secondaries and one major loss over the weekend. He faced Gloomspite Gitz, Hagg Nar, Pestilens, Olivier’s Deepkin, and Everchosen – what a mixed bag!

So that’s the run down. Check back tomorrow for the full results, awards and wrap-up from the event.

LVO 2019 Lists!

Hey all, this weekend is LVO 2019, or the Las Vegas Open, the first US major Age of Sigmar event for the year. Hosted in Bally’s Casino, Las Vegas, the LVO is a three day, eight round Age of Sigmar event with 130+ players, and a single-day Doubles tournament. You can read all my coverage of the unique event pack here, or read on further for all the lists from the event.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

LVO 2019 Lists

This year, the Las Vegas Open asked for all lists to be submitted in text format via the Best Coast Pairings app. Previously the app relied on photographs of people’s lists, but now a world of possibilities is opened up by having the lists in a standard text format (i.e. Warscroll Builder output). You can find all 130 lists in one PDF here or check out my analysis below.

LVO 2019 Lists – Faction Breakdown

Now thanks to changes to Best Coast Pairings, the Frontline Gaming app for tournaments, and plain text list submission, we can now do easy faction breakdowns and unit analysis. I’m going to have another post this week going into all the new features. But for now, here are the breakdowns:

LVO 2019 Faction Breakdown
“Stormcast Eternals”: 18,
“Nurgle”: 9,
“Grand Host of Nagash”: 8,
“Khorne”: 8,
“Sylvaneth”: 7,
“Gloomspite Gitz”: 7,
“Legion of Sacrament”: 6,
“Beasts of Chaos”: 6,
“Idoneth Deepkin”: 6,
“Daughters of Khaine”: 6,
“Ironjawz”: 5,
“Order”: 5,
“Skryre”: 5,
“Tzeentch”: 4,
“Seraphon”: 3,
“Flesh Eater Courts”: 3,
“Slaanesh”: 3,
“Nighthaunt”: 3,
“Free Peoples”: 3,
“Kharadron Overlords”: 2,
“Beastclaw Raiders”: 2,
“Legion of Night”: 2,
“Fyreslayers”: 2,
“Destruction”: 2,
“Bonesplitterz”: 1,
“Darkling Covens”: 1,
“Legion of Blood”: 1,
“Pestilens”: 1,
“Chaos”: 1,
“Brayherd”: 1,
“Everchosen”: 1

LVO 2019 Unit Analysis

Some quick stats breakdowns from the guys at Best Coast Pairings:

Most common models

  • Witch Aelves 11 units / 260 models
  • Plague Monks, 8/290
  • Chainrasp Horde, 17/300
  • Grimghast Reapers, 18/470
  • Stabbas, 9/480
  • Skeleton Warriors, 15/480

Most common units

  • 27 Necromancers
  • 26 Sequitors
  • 20 Evocators
  • 20 Blightkings

Realm selections per army

  • No Realm selected – 36
  • Ghur – 20
  • Aqshy – 17
  • Hysh – 16
  • Shyish – 14
  • Ulgu – 14
  • Ghyran – 11
  • Chamon – 4

We’ll have more stats breakdowns over the week to come.

LVO 2019 Lists – Who to Watch?

So what are the lists that last year’s top 10 are bringing? Do we think they will repeat their great performance from a year ago?

The LVO 2018 top 10 were:

  • Andrew Standiferd – Vanguard Wing
  • James Thomas – Changehost [Not attending 2019]
  • Tony Moore – Changehost [Not attending 2019]
  • Oliver Gandouet – Mixed Order
  • Michael Burch – Skyfires
  • Joe Krier – Changehost (see Team America below)
  • Bill Souza – Nurgle (see Team America below)
  • Jarrett Zazuetta – “Kroak-nado”
  • Jeff Paynter – Skyfires
  • Mike Scaletti – Gore Pilgrims [Not attending 2019]

So much Disciples of Tzeentch…. Really glad the tournament meta has become more diversified since AoS 2 and General’s Handbook 2018.

Andrew Standiferd

Andrew Standiferd, two-time LVO winner and on for a three-peat? Not often you see the Stardrake in the current Stormcast meta so will be interesting to see how Andrew goes with the list.

Oliver Gandouet

Eels, eels and more eels. Drycha and a Spellweaver (auto-dispel) are interesting and unusual allies choices.

Michael Burch

50 Reapers, a Pallisade, Mortality Glass, Olynder and a Corpse Cart. Interested to see how the synergies play out in this list.

Jarrett Zazuetta

Interesting Grand Host list with Vhodrai, some big skellie blocks and Reapers for punch.

Jeff Paynter

Surecharge bomb.

LVO 2019 Lists – Team America ETC

It is also interesting to see what Team America are bringing to the event in their preparation for the ETC. Some of these lists are competitive practice, while others are more on the fun end of the spectrum.

Alan Bajramovic

Interesting triple threat with Vhodrai, VLOZD, 30 Reapers backed by Arkhan.

Roger Barker

90 Reapers. Says it all.

Greg Goede (Coach)

Daughters of Khaine with a whole load of snakes. Interesting to see the Hag Queen on Cauldron for a point of difference from the usual.

Joe Krier

A Tzeentch list with Acolytes must mean chaff around which the Englighted, Skyfires and Skyfires operate.

Bill Souza (Captain)

Bill has been running the FEC list for a while with success. Looking forward to what he does when the new book comes out too!

Michael Vagenos

Ulster Warlords 2019 – Results & Recap

Hey all, so the Ulster Warlords 2019 team tournament for Warhammer Age of Sigmar was held in Northern Ireland this last weekend. 14 teams of 4 players from across the UK fought it out for gold and glory.

Credit: Malachy McCrudden

You can check out my preview post covering the pack, the pairing process and all the team lists. Also, have a listen to my show with Jack Armstrong, UK #1, about how to compete effectively at team tournaments.

Warlords 2019
Credit: Malachy McCrudden

And, finally, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Ulster Warlords 2019 Results

The Ulster Warlords events had a number of top prizes, trophies and swag up for grabs. The awards are set out below and the full results are here.

  • The Ulster Warlords (1st Place): Bangor Bad Boiz
    • David Robinson (Stormcast)
    • Michael Brough (Beasts of Chaos)
    • Andrew Johnston (Daughters of Khaine)
    • Robby Wright (Grand Host of Nagash)
  • The Ulster Marshalls (2nd Place): Shia Lebeouf
    • Dean McLaughlin (Sylvaneth)
    • Darren Watson (Stormcast)
    • Stephen Mitchell (Legion of Sacrament)
    • Neil Montgomery (Gloomspite Gitz)
  • The Ulster Scions (3rd Place): Balls Deep Brucies
    • Chris Myhill (Idoneth Deepkin)
    • Chris Caves Jr (Grand Host of Nagash)
    • Ric Myhill (Beasts of Chaos)
    • Colin Ruddell (Sylvaneth)
  • The Ulster Minions (Last Place): Plastic Craic
  • Ulster Warlords Jester Award (most sporting votes)
    • Essex Rollin Machines (Jani Szaniszlo, Anthony Lewis, Dan Harston, Mark Carrigher)
  • Ulster Warlords Artists Award (best painted army)
    • Alex Ley with his Ironbark Sylvaneth

Ulster Warlords 2019 Winning Lists

So the lists for the winning team were:

Credit: Malachy McCrudden

And the second place team were:

And third place were:

Credit: Malachy McCrudden

You can check out all the lists for the teams here.

Ulster Warlords 2019 Coverage

So The Honest Wargamer broke new ground this weekend with coverage from all four tables between the top teams simultaneously. You can check back through the coverage on Twitch or YouTube. It’s great to see these innovations and developments in coverage of competitive Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

Oooh lordy— Rufio Symes (@Sixdiceskills) February 2, 2019

Ulster Warlords 2019 Picture Gallery

A selection of pictures of the Ulster Warlords 2019 event.

The Hero’s Journey

Players traveled from across the UK to attend.

Match-ups and Swag

Team events are all about the pairing process, team banter and swag. The event organiser, Bastion Games, and the teams certainly turned it on with tournament books, team gear and match-up cards.

Armies on Display

Photos of the armies out on display.

Game Shots

And the obligatory pics from the tabletops 🙂

LVO 2019 – Las Vegas Open Age of Sigmar Preview

Hey all, today I have the pleasure of previewing the first US major of the 2019 Warhammer Age of Sigmar season, the Las Vegas Open or LVO, which is coming up this weekend (8-10 February). Scott and his team are again putting on a 8 round! 120+ player ITC event in the heart of Las Vegas at Bally’s Casino. The LVO is the showpiece event for Frontline Gaming and the ITC (Independent Tournament Circuit).

In today’s post, I cover the pack and all its unique features. Later this week, I’ll have all the lists and another exciting announcement from the team behind the Best Coast Pairings app. If you want a blast from the past, you can check out my coverage from LVO 2018 here.

And, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

LVO 2019 – Age of Sigmar

The Las Vegas Open 2019 is running a truly unique format for competitive Warhammer Age of Sigmar – eight rounds over three days, with the last three rounds only being contested by the top eight players! Read the full pack for more information, otherwise I’ll take you through the key points below.

The Age of Sigmar tournament is 2,000 points and General’s Handbook 2018. Realms, Realmscape features, Realm Artefacts and Realm Spells are all in play.

Not only is there the two-day individual championships. but there is also a 1 day, three round doubles event for Age of Sigmar too! You can find all the details for the Doubles here.

LVO 2019 – Battleplans

The battleplans in play at LVO 2019 are:

  • Round 1: Total Commitment in Shyish
  • Round 2: Border War in Aqshy
  • Round 3: Duality of Death in Ulgu
  • Round 4: Better Part of Valour in Chamon
  • Round 5: Shifting Objectives in Ghyran

The final three rounds will only be contested between the top 8 players. Battleplans and realm rules will be announced

LVO 2019 – Realm Rules

The LVO team have pre-selected the realm features in play, or possibly in play, for each round. The full realm rules pack is here, but the three shortlisted realmscape feature from which one will be randomly selected for each realm on the day are.

Round 1: Shyish – Death

  • Barren Moorland: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Haunted Realm: Terrain features have the Sinister scenery rule (pg 235), in addition to any other scenery rules that they have
  • Eternal War: Add 1 to the Bravery characteristic of all units.

Round 2: Aqshy – Fire

  • Scorched Landscape: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Clouds of Smoke and Steam: A model cannot see another model if a straight line drawn from the centre of its base to the centre of the other model’s base passes across a terrain feature other than open ground and/or hills.
  • Every Step a League: If a run roll is 6+, or a charge roll is 10+, then you can either say that the unit will not run or charge after all, or you can move the unit but it suffers D3 mortal wounds immediately after the move is completed.

Round 3: Ulgu – Shadow

  • Shrouded Lands: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Darkly Shaded: The maximum range of attacks or spells is 18″.
  • Shadow Realm: At the start of your hero phase, pick one friendly unit that has all of its models within 6″ of any edge of the battlefield. You can remove that unit from the battlefield, and then set it up more than 9″ from any enemy units, and with all models within 6″ of a different edge of the battlefield. Then roll a dice for each model you moved; on a 1 the model being rolled for becomes lost in the shadows and is slain.

Round 4: Chamon – Metal

  • Metallic Hinterlands: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Iron Trees: Worsen the Rend characteristic of a weapon by 1 (to a minimum of ‘-’) if the target has cover from a Citadel Wood or Sylvaneth Wyldwood.
  • Irresistible Force: If a casting roll is a double, after re-rolls but before modifiers are applied (changing a die is a modification), it is successful (even if the roll is less than the casting value of the spell being attempted) and the spell cannot be unbound. After the effects of the spell have been carried out, each unit within 3″ of the caster suffers 1 mortal wound.

Round 5: Ghyran – Life

  • Verdant Landscape: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Lifesprings: Before the battle begins, each player picks a HERO from their army. Add 1 to the Wounds characteristic of the heroes that are picked.
  • Seeds of Hope: If a battleshock roll is an unmodified 1, then no models from the unit will flee. In addition, heal all wounds that are currently allocated to that unit.

Ghur – Beasts

  • Savage Hinterlands: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Hungering Animus: At the start of your hero phase, roll a dice. On a 6+, pick a point anywhere on the battlefield. Roll a dice for each unit within 6″ of that point. On a 4+ the unit being rolled for suffers 1 mortal wound. On a 6+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds instead.
  • Reckless Aggression: Any unit that is within 12″ of an enemy unit at the start of their charge phase suffers 1 mortal wound unless they finish that charge phase within 3″ of an enemy model. In addition, you can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for units that have made a charge move in the same turn.

Hysh – Light

  • Gleaming Vista: This realmscape feature has no effect on the battle.
  • Dazzling Glow: Subtract 1 from hit rolls made for attacks that target units that are in cover.
  • Speed of Light:At the start of your movement phase, roll a dice. On a 6+, you can pick a friendly unit. Remove that unit from the battlefield, and then set up it anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ from any enemy models. This counts as that unit’s move for that movement phase.

LVO 2019 Scoring System

The scoring system in place is:

  • Major Win – 12 points
  • Minor Win – 9 points
  • Draw – 6 points
  • Minor Loss – 3 points
  • Major Loss – 0 points
  • Hidden Objective – 3 points

LVO 2019 – Hidden Agendas

After both armies have set up, but before battle begins, each player secretly selects one of the twelve hidden objectives. Each hidden objective can only be selected once in the event. Once you complete your hidden agenda, you reveal it to your opponent.

SECRET MISSION: You can complete this Hidden Agenda in any battleshock phase if a friendly Hero is wholly within enemy territory, within 1″ of the edge of the battle field, and more than 12″ from friendly territory. You can remove that Hero from play to immediately complete this Hidden Agenda.

ANCIENT HEIRLOOMS: You complete this Hidden Agenda if any friendly Heroes with an artifact of power are on the battlefield at the end of the battle.

TERRIFY: You immediately complete this Hidden Agenda if an enemy unit is destroyed as a result of failing a battleshock test.

INVADE: You complete this Hidden Agenda if a friendly unit with 3 or more models is wholly within your opponent’s territory at the end of the battle.

SEIZE: You complete this Hidden Agenda if you control more objectives than your opponent at the end of the battle (this Hidden Agenda cannot be completed if there are no objectives).

DEFEND: You complete this Hidden Agenda if there are no enemy units wholly within your territory at the end of the battle.

SLAY: You complete this Hidden Agenda if the Hero with the highest points value from your opponent’s starting army has been slain at the end of the battle. If 2 or more Heroes are eligible, slay any of them.

CONSERVE: You complete this Hidden Agenda if at least one-third of the units from your starting army (rounding up) have not been destroyed and are on the battlefield at the end of the battle.

ATTRITION: You complete this Hidden Agenda if at least two-thirds of the units from your opponent’s starting army (rounding up) have been destroyed and/or are not on the battlefield at the end of the battle.

LINEBREAKER: You complete this Hidden Agenda if all of the Battleline units from your opponent’s starting army have been destroyed at the end of the battle, and at least 1 friendly Battleline unit is on the battlefield at the end of the battle.

CENTER GROUND: You complete this Hidden Agenda if you control the objective closest to the center of the battlefield at the end of the battle. If more than 1 objective is eligible, control at least half of them (rounding up). Count Heroes as 10 models when determining control of an objective for this Hidden Agenda.

SACRIFICE: You complete this Hidden Agenda immediately if the Hero with the highest points value from your starting army and that is not your general is slain by an attack made by an enemy Hero or Monster.

I’m really excited to see how this pack plays out over the weekend and can’t wait for the final 8 showdown on the Sunday.

As I said at the beginning, I’ll have further posts up this week with all the lists and some exciting news from Best Coast Pairings.

Ulster Warlords 2019 – Teams Event Preview

The Ulster Warlords 2019 international team event is this weekend! Hosted by Bastion Games in Newtonabbey, Northern Ireland, and live-streamed by the Honest Wargamer, 14 teams from across the UK and Ireland will be fighting it out for Warhammer Age of Sigmar supremacy. In this post, you’ll find all the details of the pack, the lists, draw and where to catch all the coverage live this weekend.

And, finally, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar

Ulster Warlords 2019 Pack

I’ll now run through the details of the Ulster Warlords 2019 pack, which has largely been adapted from the successful event pack for the Blood Tithe International Team Tournament. Check out the Warlords pack, FAQ, and score sheet.

The event is 5 rounds, 2000 points using the General’s Handbook 2018 and all GW FAQs and Errata. Realmscape features, realm spells and realm command abilities are not in play. However, you can select realm artefacts.

Age of Sigmar team list restrictions

Army selections worked as follows:

  • use warscrolls with pitched battle profiles from GHB18, on the GW or Forgeworld websites, in a battletome or the Warhammer Age of Sigmar app
  • duplicate allegiances are allowed in a team
  • warscrolls, endless spells and artefacts may not be duplicated between team members (unless those warscrolls are battleline)
  • Firestorm allegiances and Malign Portents characters are allowed

The Pairing System

Like all team tournaments, a pairings system will be used for the teams to determine individual match-ups within each round.   The aim for each team is to engineer the most favourable match-ups for their team on average (which can often mean some poor team member has to take one for the team in a very hard game).  This is how the pairings system will work:

  • One captain will randomly roll to determine which one of the 18 scenarios will be played on Tables 1 and 2.
  • The other captain will then randomly roll to determine which of the remaining scenarios will be played on tables 3 and 4.
  • Each team will have four cards marked on the reverse with one of with their four armies. For example:
    • Team A – Chaos, Blades of Khorne, Stormcast, Destruction
    • Team B – Death, Order, Fyreslayers, Sylvaneth
  • Team A chooses to put forward Chaos (presented face down)
  • Team B chooses to put forward Order (presented face down)
  • Selections are revealed
  • Each captain then picks two armies from their hand to potentially play the army put forward by the opposing team.
  • Team A chooses to put down Blades of Khorne and Stormcast as options to play against  the Order (presented face down)
  • Team B chooses to put down Death and Sylvaneth as options to play against Chaos (presented face down)
  • Choices revealed 
  • Team A chooses between Death and Sylvaneth as to who Chaos will face, let͛’s say Death.
  • Team B chooses between Blades of Khorne and Stormcast as to who Order will face; let͛’s say Blades of Khorne.
  • Choices are revealed
  • The choice Team A refused faces the remaining card in Team B’s hand – Destruction
  • The choice Team B refused faces the remaining army in Team A’s hand – Fyreslayers
  • Resulting in:
    • Chaos v Death
    • Order v Blades of Khorne
    • Sylvaneth v Destruction
    • Fyreslayers v Stormcast

Secret Missions

As well as the 18 General’s Handbook scenarios, the event also had secondary objectives in play.   Before each game, but after individual pairings, these cards must be divided up within the team before each game with each player receiving a maximum of two and minimum of zero cards.  As is clear from the name, players would keep these missions secret until they were achieved, at which point, they were revealed to their opponents.

  • Slay the Warlords: Kill the enemy general and/or any 2 leaders by the end of battle-round 2.
  • Line Breaker: Finish the game with 2 or more units in enemy territory.
  • Slaughter Them: Destroy any three enemy Battleline units.
  • Against the Odds: Destroy an enemy behemoth with a Battleline unit in the combat phase.

Each secondary objective is worth five tournament points.

Team scoring system

The following scoring system was in play.

  • Major Win: 30
  • Minor Win: 20
  • Draw: 15
  • Minor Loss: 10
  • Major Loss: 5
  • Secret Mission 5 (per mission)

Individual player points were capped at 30 points per round.  Therefore, achieving a major win and your secondary objective is worth 30 points instead of 35 points.

Total team points per round will be capped at 100/50.

  • Tie Breaker 1 – Uncapped TP total.
  • Tie Breaker 2 – Most Secret Missions TPs.
  • Tie Breaker 3 – Overall Margin of Victory Score.

Margin of Victory is worked out as follows and recorded by Team Captains on the results sheet as shown above.

  • Margin of Victory = Number of points you destroyed – the number of points your opponent destroyed (recorded as a + or – on the results sheet)

Points are scored for Units Destroyed, Units that have been placed in reserve and not deployed by the end of the 5th battle-round (or the last completed battle-round). Points are not scored for unused list points, summoned points or endless spells.

For more information, you can find a full copy of the pack here

Ulster Warlords 2019 Team Lists

You can find all the Ulster Warlords 2019 lists here.

Ulster Warlords 2019 First Round Draw

So the first round draw is:

Tables Team v Team
1-4 Peaky Unbinders V Plastic Craic (Nellis)
5-8 Villain Phase V Team Ringer
9-12 Despicable Minions V Hero Phase
13-16 Bangor Bad Boiz V Team Wales
17-20 Last Chancers V Three & ½ Rats
21-24 Team Angel V Shia LeBeouf
25-28 Essex Rollin Machines V Balls Deep Brucies

Ulster Warlords 2019 Coverage

You can find all the coverage from the weekend over at the Honest Wargamer (on Twitch, and YouTube) as well as at Bastion Games (on Twitter, and Facebook).

CanCon 2019 – Full Results

Hey all, just a quick post now the full results for CanCon 2019 have been published – almost 200 players for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. You can check out the awards, my report, Tasman Cup coverage, all the lists, and all the Honest Wargamer stream coverage on Twitch and YouTube. I’ll come back and add some analysis later.

CanCon 2019 Results

Here are some quick stat breakdowns.

The Top 20 comprised a real spread:

  • 4 Stormcast Eternals
  • 2 Grand Hosts of Nagash
  • 1 Daughters of Khaine
  • 1 Kharadron Overlords
  • 1 Legion of Azgorh
  • 1 Legion of Blood
  • 1 Legion of Night
  • 1 Blades of Khorne
  • 1 Beasts of Chaos
  • 1 Destruction
  • 1 Gloomspite Gitz
  • 1 Chaos
  • 1 Nighthaunt
  • 1 Sylvaneth
  • 1 Maggotkin of Nurgle
  • 1 Idoneth Deepkin

The full results can be viewed here.

CanCon 2019 – Report

So CanCon 2019 – what a truly amazing event filled with 200 loud, hospitable, funny and competitive Australian, New Zealand and American gamers in 40 degree heat in a massive tin shed. The pinnacle of Southern Hemisphere Warhammer beamed to the world via the Honest Wargamer. #AussieMeta showing that Kharadron Overlords, Warherds, Beasts of Chaos, Swifthawk Agents, and Mixed Destruction can all outperform the global statistics and defy expectations.

I’m writing this report on the plane back from Sydney to Auckland as I try to personally digest the story of CanCon 2019, while we wait for the full results to be published. You can find all the initial results and awards here and also read my report on the Tasman Cup – the precursor team event between New Zealand and Australia. I will update the post with pictures and videos once I get some time on the ground.

Reflections on CanCon 2019

What struck us visiting Kiwis the most was the warm embrace we received from the Australian Age of Sigmar community. So many people came up to say hello, introduce themselves, show us around and take care of us. The whole long weekend was filled with a common love of the hobby and good vibes. It was the ultimate testament of the health of the Australian Age of Sigmar community!

Friday – set-up, Tasman Cup, and BBQ

Friday was set-up day – over 50 gamers turned out at the EPIC convention centre in Canberra to help Clint and the TO team to help set up 100 tables with mats, board toppers and terrain. Even before the addition of the player terrain, the tables looked great because hobbyists and gaming clubs from around Australia contributed terrain to the cause. The event truly was a group effort from the Australian scene, led by Clint and the Heralds of War team.

Friday afternoon for us was the inaugural Tasman Cup – a team competition between New Zealand and Australia with bragging rights in the line. You can read how that went down in my Tasman Cup report.

Friday evening was the perfect icebreaker – Michael of the Doom and Darkness YouTube channel and the South Australian boys put on a true Aussie BBQ for over 50 gamers at the Carotel. The evening was whiled away with sausages, steaks, banter, goon (wine in a sack), Blue Tinglers (just ask Randy or Nathan), and a certain #SpiderRidah! It was a great way to meet many people that we only knew from conversations online ahead of the weekend’s gaming. I’d highly recommend other destination tournaments think about arranging group Friday night entertainment.

Saturday – unexpected heroes & #AussieMeta

So day 1 of the tournament dawned, 41 degree heat, blazing sun and thousands of gamers gathered outside the three large halls of the EPIC convention centre in order to play 35 different game systems, enter the cosplay competition, attend painting seminars, or shop through the vendor hall. In such conditions, the event organisers arranged for cold water bottles to be distributed to all the players throughout the first day. Great call!

Now before I delve into all the round by round coverage, you can check out all the live-streaming back on the Honest Wargamer twitch and YouTube channels. Tabletop commentary, interviews and my roving reporting from around the whole event.

Round 1 – Three Places of Power

Round 1 was Three Places of Power, fought in Hysh and with the Dazzling Glow realmscape feature.

The first round kicked off and legends started to be made. An Idoneth Deepkin Army with 4 sharks, eels and a turtle kicked off the stream (because #Australia!!!) – sadly that ended as you may predict. However, it was more than made up for around the hall – Swifthawk Agents beat a Murderhost with two Bloodthirsters and scored 1880 kill points! Scourge Privateers beat Gloomspite Gitz and a Vorgorath (1200pt Khorne Dragon) died to clan rats and a Warplock Engineer!!!

The first Gobbapalooza army at a tournament also got a win from teleporting 60 Stabbas across the board, releasing a large unit of Loonsmasha Fanatics and wiping the heart of a Seraphon army off the board. James Moorhouse’s Phoenix Temple army lost its 30 Phoenix Guard for the first time ever, and his three Phoenixes suffered 34 out of 36 wounds, against a Mixed Destruction force but he still held on for the win.

Adam Burt, last year’s winner, got off to a slow start, only able to get a minor victory from a very hard match up for him in this scenario. Morathi held the centre of the board against Adam’s Stormcast and Adam’s Aethervoid Pendulum was not able to do enough to Morathi. Adam’s chances were dented but he wasn’t out.

Round 2 – Better Part of Valour

The second round was Better Part of Valour, in Chamon with the Rust Plague realmscape feature. Given the scenario, there is always a risk of some games finishing early to an alpha rush with objectives being swarmed and burned on turn 1. Now, while we didn’t have any games finish in the first 40 minutes, Skryre, Deepkin, Dreadwood, Murderhost, Spiderfang and other alpha armies were winning through.

My favourite story of this round was Danny Carroll’s Freeguild General on Griffon with Sword of Judgment doing 17 mortal wounds to a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon with Ethereal Amulet in order to take it off in one shot. What a story!

The result of the round would have to have been Paul Grixti’s Swifthawks beating a second Blades of Khorne army. The first two victories for a Swifthawks army at a major tournament!

We also met Dave Broomham this round – a first time tournament player using the Bonesplittas Teef Ruk with 12 Big Stabbas! By this point, Dave had beaten a Gavriel Surecharge Stormcast list and a Maggotkin list (with no monsters)!

The streamed game was Luke’s Scourge Privateers against a Death Army. Sadly this was too hard a match-up for the pirates – which rely on speed, shots and encircling opponents with the Anvilgard rules.

However, we did learn that Pete Bickford, holder of the CanCon 2018 wooden spoon (last place) had won his first two games with Gloomspite and was having a much better 2019.

Round 3 – Border War

The final round for day one was Border War, in Shyish, with the Life Leeching realmscape feature.

By this point, there were still some really interesting match-ups in play. Paul’s Swifthawks flew their way onto the stream and table 16 to play against Bruno’s Sylvaneth army. Bruno was clearly living in the future as he had converted a pram into an army carrying vehicle complete with display board and space for his carry cases. Paul’s Swifthawks again delivered and the shock sensation of day 1 was on 3 major wins!

Other notable match-ups were Eddi MacMichael (DoK) beating Sam Morgan (Mixed Order) on table one, a Gobbapalooza on table two against Gore Pilgrims, a Phoenix Temple vs Stormcast Vanguard army on table three and the Master, Dave Kerr’s Deepkin vs Dreadwood on table four.

Beasts of Chaos were performing well on tables 9 and 14, and Legions of Azgorh were on tables 13 and 15. Dave with his Teef Ruk managed to get Foot of Gork off 7 times in one go to do 28 mortal wounds and turn the game in his favour.

By sheer coincidence, the only two Freeguild armies at the event were drawn against each other on Table 95 and fought out a draw on victory points, with the minor going on kill points. This was a beautiful game as these two armies took first and second in the Best Painted Awards.

Round 4 – Relocating Orb

Day 2 is the day that the top tables start forming and players are pushing for places. So I spent my time focussed on the top 10 tables and who was rising and falling. For rounds 4 to 6 you’ll see the top 10 tables and the results – a bold player name indicates that the player was victorious.

Round 4 was Relocating Orb, in Aqshy, with the realmscape feature, Flaming Missiles, giving extra rend to all shooting over 12″.

Top table, and on the stream, was the reigning Australian Master, the wizard himself, Dave Kerr against the kid, the challenger, Alex Khron with his KO. A combination of the realmscape feature and the Barak Zilfin rules meant that the double Eidolons of the Master were dealt to and we had a massive upset on table one.

  1. Dave Kerr (Deepkin) vs Alex Khron (KO)
  2. Eddi MacMichael (Daughters) vs Sam Morgan (Mixed Order)
  3. Lee Wilmot (Winterleaf) vs Liam Burnett-Blue (Winterleaf)
  4. Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood) vs Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
  5. Nick Gentile (Daughters) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds)
  6. Shaun Bates (Stormcast) vs Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt)
  7. Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin) vs Brod (Maggotkin)
  8. Mick Thomson (Grand Host) vs Paul Grixti (Swifthawks)
  9. Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh) vs Rhys (Legion of Azgorh) – DRAW
  10. Adam Burt (Stormcast) vs Dan Brewer (Tomb Kings/Bye)

Round 5 – Knife to the Heart

Round 5 was Knife to the Heart – the perfect time for this battleplan to act as a separator for the top tables. It can be a real challenge to get the major victory and maximum points in this scenario. This round was fought in Ghyran with the Lifesprings realmscape feature.

  1. Alex Khron (KO) vs Eddi MacMichael (Daughters) – MAJOR
  2. Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds) – MAJOR
  3. Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt) vs Lee Wilmot (Sylvaneth) – MINOR
  4. Mick Thomson (Grand Host) vs Adam Burt (Stormcast) – MINOR
  5. Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin) vs Jesse Perkins (Daughters) – MINOR
  6. Nick Hoen (Daughters) vs Rhys (Legion of Azgorh) -MAJOR
  7. Tim Neal (Legions of Azgorh) vs Charles Black (Dreadwood) – MINOR
  8. Deano Mathews (Mixed Destruction) vs Ethan (Deepkin) – MAJOR
  9. James Morehouse (Phoenix Temple) vs Joel McGrath (Beasts) – MAJOR
  10. Kameron (Deepkin) vs Kent Van’t Schip (Deepkin) – MAJOR

A personal highlight of this round was Alex’s move to win the major victory at the top of turn 3 while snakes were just inches from his lines and home objective. He dropped the Frigate at the bottom of round 2, disembarked the 14 thunderers and khemist from inside, shot off the witch aelves on Eddi’s objective, charged a bloodwrack medusa with cogs, and then retreated immediately out of combat with a run with cogs onto the Daughters of Khaine objectives. Unfortunately the success of the move meant the game ended before he could claim his secondary objective (worth 4 points or the difference between a major and a minor victory).

Round 6 – Focal Points

The final round came down to a battle of Focal Points, in Ghyran with the Hungering Animus Realmscape feature. Top table was Alex’s KO vs Matt Campbell’s Gore Pilgrims – the South Australian wunderkid vs the runner-up at the Australian Masters. Immediately below that table, the battle was equally intense as players fought for podium places and best in alliance awards.

    Alex Khron (KO) vs Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
    Ash McEwan (Nighthaunt) vs Mick Thomson (Grand Host)
    Nick Hoen (Grand Host) vs Ben Camden-Smith (Maggotkin)
    Deano Mathews (Mixed Destruction) vs Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
    Ken Van’t Schip (Deepkin) vs Lee Wilmot (Winterleaf)
    Mick F (Stormcast) vs Chris Tot (Blightkings)
    Nathan Princi (Stormcast – Thundercats!) vs Nick Gentile (Daughters)
    Eddi MacMichael (Daughters/Snakes) vs Luke McFadden (Sacrament)
    Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood) vs Ryan Kirby (Warherds)
    Tim Gunderson (Stormcast) vs Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh)

Matt Campbell defied the odds, stared the KO Barak Zilfin guns in the face with his Gore Pilgrims with Bloodthirsters and seized the day!

CanCon 2019 Final Standings and Awards

    First Place: Matt Campbell (Gore Pilgrims)
    Second Place: Nick Hoen (Grand Host of Nagash)
    Third Place: Michael Thomson (Grand Host of Nagash)
    Fourth: Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
    Fifth: Nathan Princi (Stormcast)
    Sixth: Ken Van’t Schip (Idoneth)
    Seventh: Eddi MacMichael (Daughters)
    Eighth: Chris Tot (Maggotkin)
    Ninth: Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood)
    Tenth: Tim Neal (Legion of Azgorh)
  • Best in Chaos: Joel McGrath (Beasts of Chaos)
  • Best in Death: Matt Tyrell (Legion of Blood)
  • Best in Destruction: Joel Hennessy (Gloomspite – SQUIGS!)
  • Best in Order: Nathan Princi (Stormcast)
  • Best Opponent:
    • Third: Brod McMurdo
    • Second: Seth Cook (Goonboss)
    • First: Josh Best
  • Coolest Army – Player’s Choice:
    • Third: Dan Carroll (Freeguild)
    • Second: Tim Barclay (Sylvaneth)
    • First: Blake Kerwick (FEC)
  • Best Painted Army – Judge’s Choice:
    • Third: James Lynch (Blades of Khorne)
    • Second: Danny Carroll (Freeguild)
    • First: Brent Cers (Freeguild)
  • Best Terrain:
    • Third: Randy (the Tasmanian TombKing)
    • Second: Tim Barclay (Forest Treehouses)
    • First: Ben Spinetti (Deepkin waves)
  • Wooden Spoon: Ashley Marr (Beasts of Chaos)
  • Narrative Prize Winners:
    • “Pat” / Pasquale
    • Tristan Smith
    • Jet
    • Randy
    • Ashley Marr
    • Evie
    • Alex Gordon-Carlyle
    • Tim Barclay
    • Luke Stone
    • Pasquale #2

Some final CanCon 2019 highlights

Well with the round by round coverage done, I just wanted to add some final bullet-points on stories from the weekend.

  • All the events around the main event – Doom and Darkness BBQ at the Carotel, the Measured Gaming crew in the campground on Saturday night, the Sydney lads, the Failed Charge guys and the Dwellers Below crew.
  • Everyone sharing cabins at the Carotel – early morning Roo-spotting with Nathan as Magpies circled.
  • Swifthawks going 3-0 on Day One – the postman was delivering
  • Anvilgard Scourge Privateers showing what speed and shooting can do
  • Warherds pushing hard on the top tables and ending 4-2 at the last hurdle
  • All the mirror matches!!!
  • The two top Legion of Azgorh armies battling to a perfect draw in Relocation Orb – matched on victory points, matched on kill points and both happily fighting over a hill on the battlefield.
  • Spiderfang vs Spiderfang in Knife to the Heart – at one point both players looked like they would swap objectives with the skitterstrands popping up at one end while spider riders swarmed over Grots at the other n
  • The Winterleaf match-up between Liam (Durthu) and Lee (6 eels) one of the most precise and technical games of Warhammer I’ve ever seen
  • Chaos Dragons stomping around the tables – either swinging between removing the entire opposing army or dying to lowly Skaven
  • Deano’s Mixed Destruction on table 4 last round, having earned the place by teleporting the Troll Hag onto the opponent’s objective in Knife to the Heart the previous round.
  • David Broomham at his first tournament smashing face with Bonesplittas,m Teef Ruk and 12 Stabbas!!!
  • The German wunderkid, Alex Krohn, showing that shooting is back with a great display with Kharadron Overlords.
  • Danny Carrol’s Freeguild General on Griffon taking out a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon with the ethereal amulet by doing 17 mortal wounds with the Sword of Judgment.
  • The Freeguild vs Freeguild battle on table 95 played between two amazingly painted armies (the guys took first and second in the best painted competition) on great terrain.

CanCon 2019 – Tasman Cup Team Event

The Tasman Cup was a 5 person team competition between players from Australia and New Zealand on the night before CanCon 2019. The event was held at Jolt Games in Canberra, with five 1v1 games being played in five different battleplans from the CanCon rules pack.

You can find more on the team rules, lists and selection process here. We should also have all the video coverage from the event and post-match interviews from the Honest Wargamer once Rob and the team have made the long trek back to the UK. I’ll embed the videos here once that has happened.

If you are interested in the main event, CanCon 2019, you can read the CanCon awards and results post and the CanCon review post.

But for now, on to the match-ups.

Liam Burnett-Blue (Sylvaneth) vs Seth Cook (Spiderfang)

Liam and Seth were playing in Better Part of Valour in Chamon with the Rust Plague realmscape feature.

Seth’s Spiderfang deployed up on the line of his objectives with the two Skitterstrand Arachnarok’s in reserve. The centre of the Spiderfang line was anchored around 20 Grots and the Loonshrine.

Liam deployed in one go with his heroes on the back board edge to ensure that he could get all his spells off. Once the spells went off, Liam redeployed his Winterleaf battalion to 9″ away from the Spiderfang line and teleported Durthu with Warsinger into the centre of the board. With Warsinger and Cogs boosting charges, Liam had 6″ charges with Durthu, 2 units of 30 dryads and another unit of summoned dryads. Liam swarmed over the objectives and burned all six turn one. Game Over!

0-1 and the early advantage to Team Australia.

Shaun Bates (Anvils of Heldenhammer) vs Paul Grixti (Swifthawk Agents)

Shaun and Paul were playing Border War in Shyish with the Aetherquake Aftershock realmscape feature (+1 to casting rolls). While Paul’s list may have lulled Team NZ into a false sense of security, Paul gave a vision of things to come for the weekend (he went 3-0 on day 1 at CanCon).

Paul demonstrated the sheer speed of a Swifthawk Agents army to score maximum points for the first three rounds of the game to lead 15-4 at the top of turn three. However, Shaun knows how to fight and play out a full five turn game (as demonstrated by his come-back earlier in the day to beat Sam Morgan, who had prematurely declared victory at the top of turn 3).

Shaun scored maximum points in the bottom of turn 3 and in turn 4 and it all came down to the priority roll. Paul rolled a 5. Shaun rolled a 6n (#Facehammerdice). Shaun got the points he needed. Game to Team NZ.

1-1 and parity restored.

Fraser Baker (Maggotkin) vs Anthony Magro (Gloomspite)

Fraser and Anthony, two giants of men, faced off in the third game to finish. These gents played Knife to the Heart in Ghyran with the Seeds of Hope realmscape feature.

The Maggotkin Thricefold Befoulment quickly established magical dominance as the battle lines crashed together. Plaguebearers, manglers and squigs smashed themselves to a stalemate.

The Gloomspite shamans seemed to struggle with a bad batch of mushrooms – Anthony managed to only roll a total of 13″ on 6D6 to have Mork’s Mighty Mushroom land down near his own lines, rather than wrecking destruction in the Maggotkin forces.

The game ended when Fraser was able to fly the Great Unclean One with Thermalrider Cloak over the Gloomspite battleline, summoning 10 plaguebearers and then get a 10″ charge with a re-roll to take Anthony’s home objective and the major victory.

2-1 and for the first time that afternoon, New Zealand was in the lead!

Sam Morgan (Mixed Order) vs Lee Wilmot (Sylvaneth)

Sam and Lee were perfectly matched with two mobile armies in Relocation Orb. The chase to catch the bouncing ball was on. Every step a league.

This match was a typical cagey affair with Lee using all of the precise measurements and redeployment options of a Winterleaf force to defend against Sam’s Mixed Order army, the Pride of Zandri. Sam won the choice of turn in battle round 2 and gave it to Lee. Lee exploited that opportunity to score heavily. Sam surged back and the game stayed in the balance until the very last turn.

It would all come down to the bounce of the orb. The orb bounced and was captured by Sam’s griffon general and Evocators. Win to Australia!

2-2. The Tasman Cup would all come down to the last game still being played.

Dan (Sylvaneth) vs Hayden Walker (Sylvaneth)

The Sylvaneth mirror match was between my Alarielle Winterleaf (the Laurie HW TM list) and Hayden’s Alarielle Gnarlroot list with 5 Endless Spells. The trees were facing off in Hysh with the Dazzling Glow realmscape feature (-1 to hit rolls made for attacks that target units in cover).

I won the priority roll, deployed, took first turn and re-deployed onto all the objectives. The Phoenix seized the centre objective, surrounded by 20 dryads, and dared the Gnarlroot to cast spells within that 24″+ bubble of the centre of the board. My Branchwraith teleported to the side objective,wrapped with 30 dryads, but without scoring that turn. Alarielle held back between the Phoenix and Branchwraith ready to support either.

Then the Gnarlroot magic phase came. Geminids and Metamorphosis took care of the Branchwraith on the objective ensuring no points for me. Hayden then moved the whole weight of his force to the opposite side of the board to seize the other side objective. Hayden got the double, his Alarielle cleared off the side objective and he continued to cast spells outside of the Phoenix bubble. In fact, Hayden spent the game attempting to cast 10 spells a turn and not once did he cast within the Phoenix bubble (denying me any buff to my 5+ armour save).

The battle then turned to the centre objective. My Phoenix versus Hayden’s Treelord Ancient and two large units of dryads. Hayden took full advantage of Alarielle’s command ability (for all Sylvaneth units to re-roll wounds) and some well placed -1 to hit buffs to peel away the dryads protecting my Phoenix. It was looking grim.

This central combat swayed back and forth as we both used Pha’s Protection and the Hysh command ability (allowing units to attack immediately at the start of the combat phase) to try and tip the scales.  Hayden stalled my Scythe Hunters from helping by timing them up with Shackles. It could go either way, and by this point we were both very conscious the outcome of the Tasman Cup rested on the game.

The combat ultimately turned on the Phoenix being able to do enough damage to the Treelord Ancient to lower the impact of its attacks – it helped that I could activate the Phoenix in combat before the Treelord Ancient’s stomp to avoid the -1 to hit. The Phoenix survived long enough for my Alarielle to sweep over from the side objective and take out the Treelord Ancient with a devastating charge.

Game. Set. Match. Team New Zealand had the win.

Tasman Cup 2019 – Victory for New Zealand

So with the final game going to the Kiwis, Team New Zealand won the inaugural Tasman Cup for Age of Sigmar – 3 games to 2. The plucky underdogs and dismissed cousins proved that they could play Warhammer.

Thanks again to Charles Black for organising the event and all the Australian team for playing the games in a wonderful spirit. Every single guy in the Australian team was an absolute gent and the games were great fun.

We look forward to many years of match-ups to come and more Trans-Tasman battles as both our scenes grow further. Notorious GT 2019, Sydney GT 2019, CanCon 2020 here we come!