Navigating the Realms: Shootcast in the Current Meta

As promised, after a brief journey down the Gotrek rabbit hole, I’m back to continue the discussion of where I am going with my competitive AoS list in the post General’s Handbook 2019 world.

Before the release of the 2019 GHB, I was pretty content with my 2000 point tournament list. It would probably have been classified as a “Shootcast” list, and though it did not include the commonly used Vanguard Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows, I believe that it was pretty balanced and had a lot of answers. The basic idea of the list was to provide maximum shooting efficiency along with some mobility, combat punch, and a little bit of mortal wound potential.

This is a rough list of units included and why:

  • Lord-Aquilor (Movement shenanigans and the ability to teleport the Raptors)
  • Lord-Ordinator (Buff Ballistas)
  • Knight-Azyros (Reroll hit rolls of 1 bubble)
  • Three Units of 5 Liberators (Cheap battleline)
  • 4 Celestar Ballistas (High volume high quality shooting)
  • One unit of 9 Vanguard Raptors with Hurricane Crossbows (High volume shooting)
  • One unit of 3 Castigators (Required for battalion)
  • One unit of 6 Akhelian Morrsarr Guard (Good movement, good melee, mortal wounds)
  • One unit of 10 Skinks (Tricky objective grabbers)
  • Hailstorm Battery Warscroll Batallion (For extra relic and CP)

Being able to drop down a large amount of shooting wherever it is needed is a handy ability and something that I am hoping to keep in my list, at least in these early iterations. I am also determined to still include a fast moving melee threat, preferably with the ability to pop some mortal wounds.

At least for now, I’ve decided to stay with Stormcast Eternals as my primary faction. I have had a tendency to jump from faction to faction in the past and I think it will behoove me to stick with what I know to try to improve my skills overall. Along those same lines, I am going to continue to maintain a strong shooting base, not only because I am well versed with the warscrolls, ability ranges, and combos, but also because I think that shooting is in a strong place in the current AoS landscape.

For the last month I have spent a lot of time work-shopping lists and throwing around concepts with other local tournament players. A lot of units and ideas were tossed around, from a large Sequitor bomb to a MSU style Vanguard Hunter list, but what I have settled on ended up fairly similar to my previous list, though many of the units have changed.

As of now, this is where I stand (brief reasons included):

Faction:  Stormcast Eternals (Comfort factor, faction ability to deepstrike half of units)

Realms of Battle: N/A (Originally Hysh to include Aetherquartz Brooch but determined points were better spent elsewhere than on the required battalion to take an additional relic)

Stormhost:  Anvils of the Heldenhammer (For Command Ability to allow a unit to shoot or pile-in and attack in the hero phase)

Extra Command Point:  Yes (Maximize damage in hero phase)

Leaders:

  • Lord-Ordinator (Buff Ballistas, General with mandatory Deathly Aura Command Trait)
  • Knight-Azyros (Reroll hit rolls of 1 bubble, equipped with mandatory Soul Thief artefact)
  • Lord-Castellant (+1 save ability)

Battlelines:

  • Three units of 5 Liberators (Cheap battleline to hold objectives)

Artillery:

  • Three Celestar Ballistas (High volume high quality shooting)

Behemoths:

  • None

Warscroll Battalions:

  • None

Other Units:

  • One unit of 6 Desolators (Fast moving melee unit, good save, lots of attacks, mortal wound output)
  • One unit of 6 Vanguard-Raptors with Longstrike Crossbows (long range high quality shooting with mortal wound potential)

Overall the new list works similarly to the old list, though some sacrifices had to be made. I lose volume of shooting, some speed and movement capability, and the ability to regenerate command points. There are also gains, however. Desolators are very hard to shift, especially when buffed with the +1 save ability from the Lord-Castellant (not to mention their damage output), and the Longstrikes give me the ability to threaten a large portion of the board (especially low wound count ancillary characters). The basic idea is to drop the ballistas and Ordinator in where they can do the most damage while also trying to force opponents to deal with the tanky Desolators and force tough decisions (they can also be dropped in if the opportunity presents itself).

I’m hoping to take the list for a couple of test runs in the next couple of weeks against some real competition. Check back soon for a report on how those games go and for further discussion on other faction options that I am considering (there may be some potential with the new Cities of Sigmar Battletome).

Are there any changes that you would make to this list? Let me know below.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Matt S

Matt is a Midwest based gamer that dabbles in many systems (most often 40K, AoS, and Infinity). He enjoys attending and organizing events and travels to as many tournaments as time allows.

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