What exactly was your approach in your games? Did you play a hold back strategy and use the 13th spell, Plague, Scorch, and the Warp Lighting Cannon to do damage, then finish off units with combo charges from the Abominations/Doomwheel/ranked units?
I charge forward with the Hell Pits and Slaves, and hang back with most everything else to shoot and go heavy on magic. The Doomwheel is a mobile firing platform. I rarely charge it if possible. Otherwise the HPA's and magic do most of the work, supported by shooting.
What roll did the Storm Vermin play, and do you feel they are making up their extra points over standard clanrats?
I do feel they make up their points. They also hold a magic banner. Usually it is the Storm Banner, but in the finals I am running them with the flaming attacks banner. I5 WS5 is damn good in the new edition.
How did you place your characters? I guess it depends on what you are facing, but with limited units and the danger of facing Dwellers, I’m having trouble deciding how to divide up their placement on the lists I’ve made so far. Did you spread out both the Grey Seers and the BsB if facing that? I also noticed that your second list pulled in the magic resist/ward save combo. Did you have assassination issues with Death Magic in your first round?
It depends on what army. I really only fear Dwellers as far as spreading my characters around. I definitely want my BSB in range of the HPA's and Slaves, but in my finals list my BSB actually has MR3 to protect both Grey Seers (unless I am facing Life magic). I didn't have issues with Death, but better to have and not need than need and not have. I run naked Warlocks in Slave units, and them run them out as redirectors or speedbumps.
Did you use your Gutter Runners for war machine hunting? I have trouble getting excited about them in that roll, considering the earliest you can hope to charge is turn 3. What else did you use them for in your games?
Yes, almost exclusively war machine hunters and monster hunters (they love to kill Eagles). I actually never really charge with them, always keep back and shoot with them and their poisoned slings. They are also great for scouting to block enemy vanguard moves, and killing the fast cavalry.
My rare selections will likely be 2 hellpits, 2 cannons, and 1 Catapult. What did you find the Doomwheel useful for in your games?
I do. It loves to kill monsters and monstrous infantry. I have playtested the PCC a few times and haven't liked it. I like the reliability of the Doomwheel (even if its movement is unreliable, it auto hits 3 times every turn).
I loved the Priest/Furnace in 7th, but have trouble getting excited about it in 8th. In the games I’ve run in 8th, the one use 3+ ward save for the Priest has paid dividends since both he and the Furnace are hit by a single cannon ball. Did you find you had enough other priority targets that kept the Furnace from going down, or did it often die in your second round games?
I had PLENTY of targets with 2 Hell Pits and a Doomwheel, but I am still dropping the Furnace for the finals. It's a whole lot of points. I am replacing it with 6 Rat Ogres who are faster, and I think more killy. Better on the opposite flank of the Doomwheel to assist the Hell Pits.
Did you take the 2 clanrat units specifically to fill out your standards, or did you find another use for them? Slaves just seem like a better investment if you won’t have to face a match needing standards.
Yes for banners, and for units to place my characters. I love using my Slaves to rush forward and tie up units for my HPA's to smash into. I need somewhere safe to store my Grey Seers.
My character setup is close to yours, I’ll just be using Engineers with magic resists to keep all 3 important characters at 3+ ward vs. magic. One will have have MR1 with the general with 4+ base save giving 3+, and the other will have MR2 to add to the BsB and other Seer’s 5+ ward saves for a 3+ total as well.
In my 'Ard Boys finals list I am running my BSB with MR3, and he will be hiding in the second rank of one or both Grey Seer's unit.
I'll be posting up my final round 'Ard Boyz list in the next couple of weeks after I get some more time in play testing the changes I am dreaming up.