Martin Goes to the GT – Part 2: Writing the List
A couple weeks ago, we met up with Martin as he started planning his army for the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Grand Tournament. We caught up with him today to see how his progress is coming along, and he was hard at work finishing his army list. Here’s what he had to say:
Martin: Having decided to go with Stormcast Eternals, the next step was to work out what I wanted in my list.
The first part was to choose some Battleline units, as they are compulsory. I think there are two ways to approach incorporating Battleline units into your list. The first way is to take the cheapest Battleline units available to your faction, spending about 200 points, and then pick the army you want on top of that. This will usually mean having a few small units that can be used for disruption or as emergency objective holders. Alternatively, you can take larger Battleline units, investing a sizeable portion of your points in them, and build your force around supporting them. I decided to do the latter.
Stormcasts have some of the best Battleline units in the game, in the form of Liberators and Judicators. Liberators are perfect objective holders with a good save and plenty of armour. They are excellent value at 100 points, giving you 10 wounds with a 4+ save. They are no slouches in combat either, and can put up a good fight should their objective be threatened. Judicators are my favourite Battleline unit in the game. For a mere 160 points, you get the same base save and wounds as the Liberators, with the added ranged threat of Skybolt Bows or Boltstorm Crossbows. For my army, I wanted multiple units of each. My broad plan is to use Judicators to hold objectives in my half of the table (so I will be arming them with the bows) while using the Liberators to hold seized objectives in my opponent’s half.
I also like to have at least two big, hard-hitting units in any army. It gives your opponent multiple things to worry about and gives you more options. My first choice was easy: ten Retributors with four Starsoul Maces. This would give me a solid unit with 30 wounds and a 4+ save. They also deal out a lot of damage, because when they roll 6’s to hit, they inflict two mortal wounds on top of the D3 mortal wounds coming from each of the maces. They are rightly one of the most feared units in Age of Sigmar.
However, I was a little worried, because some armies have abilities that could make my units -1 to hit in combat. This would really diminish the damage potential of my Retributors, so my next choice was a second unit of Paladins. I was conflicted about whether to go with Protectors or Decimators. While Decimators are great against hordes, they are less so against elite units and characters. Protectors are consistent in damage output and have a bonus against Monsters, so I went with a unit of ten of them carrying a few more of the awesome Starsoul Maces.
It was finally time to pick some characters and maybe a Warscroll Battalion. This was where I wanted to add some mobility to my army. I took a look at the Battalions available to Stormcasts, with something like the units I had already chosen, and found the excellent Warrior Brotherhood*. It is very expensive, at 140 points, which is almost enough for another unit of Judicators, but it would allow me to deploy all of my army from the Celestial Realm and Lightning Strike them into battle – just like in all the stories. The Battalion is quite specific, and can be an army in itself. The core of three units of Liberators and two of Judicators suited me just fine, and my two units of Paladins fit in as well, but I would need to add a unit of Protectors.
In my last post, I talked about having the ability to do damage at range, so as to pick off models and clear the last wounds off units. With only two units providing that ranged threat in the army so far, I decided to go for the Prosecutors with Javelins. For the same points as a unit of Judicators, I could have six of these guys and double up on the Stormsurge Tridents. They are also very fast moving and might be able to seize an objective towards the end of a game, if necessary, or even pick off a character or blocking unit in combat.
With all that included, I was left with only 240 points. I had a very solid army so far, and all that was left was for me to decide which characters to take. Luckily, there is a list of what characters can be in the formation, which made it easy. My first choice was a Knight-Azyros, which would allow me to Ride the Lightning inside of the usual 9″ limit when I deploy the army. That would mean I could land just outside of 3″ of an enemy with my Paladins and complete a charge on a 3+. This can be boosted further by using one of the Order command traits, but we’ll go over that more next time. At 100 points, this guy is a fantastic choice for any army that Lightning Strikes.
With 140 points left, I was torn between three characters. Firstly, the Knight-Venator would add a great deal to my ranged threat with his Realmhunter’s Bow; it has the potential to take out an enemy character in one shot. The Lord-Celestant would boost my whole army with his command ability that grants +1 to hit in the combat phase for Stormcast Eternal units within 9″. He also brings a mortal wound ranged threat. The final option was a second Knight-Azyros, who would give me the ability to spread out and deploy more accurately over two locations or even two turns. For now, I feel a second Knight-Azyros is the best choice, but can’t help feeling it may leave me lacking a little in diversity. I will go for two Knights-Azyros leading the way for now, but I want to play a few practice games and see how I feel after that.
With that, I had finished my army selection:
Knight-Azyros – 100
Knight-Azyros – 100
2x units of 5 Liberators with Warhammers and Shields including a Grandhammer – 200
1x unit of 5 Liberators with Warblades and Shields including a Grandblade – 100
2x units of 5 Judicators with Skybolt Bows including a Shockbolt Bow – 320
1x unit or 6 Prosecutors with Stormcall Javelins including two Stormsurge Tridents – 160
1x unit of 10 Retributors including 4 Starsoul Maces – 440
1x unit of 10 Protectors including 4 Starsoul Maces – 400
Warrior Brotherhood Warscroll Battalion – 140
That brought my force to a total of 1960 points and met all the criteria I had set for my self in my previous post. I would even almost certainly gain a triumph which could be a welcome boon mid game. With that decided I ordered the rest of the models to make the army. My next step would be to get it all assembled and sprayed gold for starters so I could get some practise games in.
Join me next time as I review the command traits and relics available to order armies and decide which to use for my army.
*The awesomeness of this formation is no secret. I was inspired to consider a competitive Stormcast army by Sam Davies after his success at the Facehammer Grand Tournament. Since I started writing this series a similar army used by Russ Veal won the Clash of Swords event in Cardiff (he beat me on table one in the last game to win, I’ll get you Russ!) and our very own Ben Johnson won the Blood and Glory event, covered by Warhammer TV, with the same formation. I think it must be good.