Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Writing an 'Ard list for Fantasy

I've been playing quite a few list variations lately, both to get ready for this years 2010 Warhammer Fantasy 'Ard Boyz and to also get used to the different units in the Skaven army in 8th Edition. There are still no scenarios released for the event (less than 2 weeks away), so any of the list speculation can drastically change based on the scenarios. A fortitude scenario could require the addition of more units with standards, where some severe magic restricted scenarios may change my list's outlook.

Here is a look at my current list and some of the ideas that went into it.

310 Grey Seer (G), lvl 4 plague and ruin, talisman of preservation, dispel scroll
305 Grey Seer, lvl 4 plague and ruin, foul pendant, power scroll

115 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1 ruin, doomrocket, warp-energy condenser
100 Warlock Engineer, lvl 1 ruin, forbidden rod
122 Chieftain, bsb, shield, armor of destiny

250 30 Storm Vermin, full command, lichebone pennant
235 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields, spears, poison wind mortar
155 30 Clan Rats, full command, shields
066 32 Slaves, musician
066 32 Slaves, musician
023 5 Giants Rats, 1 packmaster
023 5 Giants Rats, 1 packmaster

250 25 Plague Monks, full command, storm banner
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks
090 5 Gutter Runners, slings, poisoned attacks

235 Hell Pit Abomination
235 Hell Pit Abomination
150 Doomwheel
090 Warp Lightning Cannon

21% Lord - 615
11% Hero - 337
26% Core - 772 (818)
17% Spec - 520
24% Rare - 710

First off, 2 Grey Seers. I believe level 4's are almost mandatory in 8th Edition. +4 to cast, +4 to dispel. So what is better than 1? 2 of course. Both Grey Seers will have the 13th Spell in case something unfortunate happens to one or the other. My "suicide" Seer will Power Scroll away and throw 6 dice at the 13th Spell and Plague with reckless abandon, while my General will reserve his Ruin spells for situational needs. There may be some times where I can even throw 2 Dreaded 13th Spell's in the same turn.

My Hero selection is mainly to support my Lord's spell casting. 2 more channel rolls, another 5+ channel roll, and a suicide Warlock that will add d6 power dice once per game. If I remember to use it, the Doomrocket is devastating. Every army in 8th Edition needs a BSB, and I prefer mine to be protected rather than to have an expensive banner.

My Core choice is pretty standard for my army. With the Storm Vermin, I went with the Lichebone Pennant to give the Grey Seer General another small protection in the magic phase. Hopefully a 3+ ward vs Death magic is enough (4+ ward plus MR 1). I only had enough points to fit in one poison wind mortar, but it is the best weapon team if I can only have one, imo. My Slaves are 30 strong for both Steadfast, but also maneuverability. I'd rather have 2 units of 30 than one unit of 60. The Giant Rat darts are little flank runners, Fanatic activation units, and extra deployment buffers.

Special choices are my utility units. I wouldn't prefer Plague Monks when trying to maximize every unit's potential, but they get the Storm Banner into my list. I think the Storm Banner will be essential vs Dragons, Terradons, Great Eagles, and Empire and Dwarf gunlines that I know will make some sort of appearance. The Gutter Runners are the other part of the defense against those units. 1 or 2 units max will Scout, and the rest (1 or probably 2) will deploy as Sneaky infiltrators. Maybe even all 3 infiltrating to try to guarantee a unit of poisoned slings firing on enemy war machines turn 2.

My Rare choices are the big guns of the army. The Warp Lightning Cannon is the best effectiveness per points cost unit I think, but I only have 1 of them. The Doomwheel is a straight up Monster killer, and I expect to see lots of them. And the Hell Pit Abomination, while I think slightly weaker in 8th, is still one of the best Monsters in the game. Maybe use one as a distraction up the middle, and the other as a support unit, they dish out a ton of damage. I thought about dropping one for more war machines, but for now I don't have the models.

We'll have to wait another 2 weeks or so to see what the scenarios have in store for my finalized list, but for now I am leaning towards this strategy for the first 8th Edition 'Ard Boyz.


  1. Without knowing the scenarios, the only comment that I would make is that instead of 2 WLEs, you may want to run a plague priest to help ensure you get all of the spells you want.

    I am planning on running 2 Seers, a Lvl. 2 WLE and a Lvl. 2 Priest, just to be sure I have every spell that I need.

    I am also planning on running a cheap Engineer with the Doomrocket and a pistol so that I can skitter leap him into the back field for some T1 or T2 fun.

    I will say though that if one of the scenarios is Watchtower, Skaven are in deep trouble.

  2. If one scenario is watchtower, I am definitely taking a Bell and rolling to get Crack's Call. I think that will be alright. I doubt they would do such a one-sided scenario though, but we will see.

  3. I'm going to rethink a PP though. Plague and Wither are 2 spells I will really want.

  4. I will be honest, if one of the scenarios is Watchtower, you will want to make a WLE a lvl. 2 which gives you a little better than a 6/7 chance of getting Crack's Call on the Grey Seer (roll the WLE first, the only bad roll is 2 and 6). Then you will want to drop the StormVermin to 20 man so they can start in the building and give them the +1 Ld banner.

    I am not sure the Bell would be a great move, I do not think it will work in my list, but it might work in yours, you already have 3 big targets, so adding a 4th doesn't make it too vulnerable.

    Wither is awesome, especially if you had a Catapult. But even so, it is useful so that you can start wounding T4 reliably.

  5. I'm quite new to the game and don't understand the magic when you say "2 more channel rolls, another 5+ channel roll". I was thinking having too many wizards would be a waste as there are only a Max of 12 power dice, usually far less, and so will.normally use those all up with one or.maybe two wizards trying to cast stuff, but I have a strong suspicion I'm missing a key rule in the magic!