KRAGS: Unending Battlelines 2019
This coming weekend, on the 6th of April 2019, a club located in the Southern metro area of Perth called KRAGS (Kwinana & Rockingham Armchair General Society) is holding an annual event called Unending Battlelines. I don't know how long it has been running for but I remember attending this event during 8th edition Warhammer prior to the old world being destroyed. KRAGS has a weekly club night and is one of two clubs that I know of in the Perth area (the other being Outpost 6030).
This year's version of Unending Battlelines is a 4 game event, with 2000 point matched play armies. It will be held over 1 day, so another long day, but given that I don't really play other than at events I'm okay with this! I'm going to be taking my Nurgle and I'm going to be experimenting with a Pestilens contingent within the Nurgle allegience. My list is as follows:
This list is very much an amalgamation of my old 2000pt list and the two 1000pt lists that Sam and I took to Ultramates. It's very character heavy (exactly 1000 points are spent on the leaders) but each of them has a purpose:
- The Verminlord Corruptor provides anti-horde and anti-behemoth options;
- The GUO boosts my magic defence and makes things move more quickly;
- The Plague Furnace provides battleshock immunity to the Plague Monks; and
- The Lord of Afflictions lets the Pusgoyles be Battleline, and provides me with a mobile piece for summoning and to support the offensive elements of the list.
I always find list-writing an enjoyable experience. It can be approached in different ways (ie. with a theme, or looking for certain combos), or it can involve using the core of a previous army and playing with the periphery. What I find particularly interesting is the decision making behind those decisions, and the effect that small changes can have on the way a list plays (ie. artefacts, command traits and spells).
When I write lists, I like to include little strike forces that can carry out a job on their own. In this list the strike forces are the Plague Furnace and Monks, the Lord of Afflictions and the Pusgoyle Blightlords, and the block of 30 Plaguebearers. Each of these forces can act independently of the others (the Plaguebearers and the Pestilens in particular) and I can task them with certain roles in deployment. I find this approach clarifies my in-game goals more clearly and I can adapt my opponents armies more easily.
I started off writing the list with 30 Plaguebearers. I find at 2000 points that a full unit of 30 gives be a clear choice when defending my own objectives. At 30 they inherently come with -1 to hit in combat, and they don't need support from any other part of my army to maintain that resilience; they are a unit that can maintain their defensive power independently to the rest of the army.
I knew that I wanted to include a Skaven contingent in this list; I'm enjoying playing with the Corruptor and I have always liked Plague Monks so those both went straight in. I had a fair bit of deliberation about how big or small I should make the Plague Monk units - I thought about 10/10/20, 30/10, 20/20 and one unit of 40. I also consider having 60 but ended up dropping some to put other things in.
In deciding to take two units of 20, my reasoning was:
1. Monks in Nurgle don't get bonus for the unit size in the same way that Monks in Skaventide do; there isn't the same incentive to max out the unit.
2. If I wanted to get all the banners I would need to take a unit of 40. My worry about a unit of 40 was that I would struggle to keep it wholly within the Furnace bubble. I also don't think that 40 models worth of Monk attacks is always necessary, and is sometimes overkill.
3. By splitting them into two units of 20, it means that I can afford to be sacrificial with one unit and will still retain a combat threat after the other unit perishes. I have found that sword Monks are better for this role as they provide their own re-rolls to hit and don't need support from the Corruptor.
4. I don't want to leave the Furnace stranded. It was a common problem at Ultramates that the Monks with the Furnace would charge off and then there were no monks nearby. Hopefully I can avoid this by having two smaller units.
By deciding that I was having two units, that made a Furnace more necessary to protect against battleshock. Overall, I'm not yet sold on the Furnace. I could have pushed one unit to 40 and added another 10 Monks instead, but I want to give the Furnace a good run before I come to a decision on that. I'm also dreaming of taking off a small hero with the Great Plague Censer and want to achieve that before I take it out.
The Verminlord Corruptor was a stand out at Ultramates for its versatility, so I wanted to keep playing around with that. An essential part of this was the Sword of Judgment and the Umbral Spellportal. I think the Spellportal is going to be particularly useful in this list. Plague Wind, Favoured Poxes, Glorious Afflictions and Dreaded Plague are all excellent spells to put through the portal, and it will give me a great deal of versatility in games - I'm really excited to try this. Putting the Sword of Judgment on the Corruptor was a more difficult decision. Both Places of Arcane Power and The Relocation Orb are scenarios in this tournament, and having the Rustfang on the Lord of Afflictions has worked well for me in the past and would have given me a third option for capturing in both those scenarios. However, I ultimately decided that I want to keep testing the Corruptor and so the Sword of Judgment is in, though I may regret it.
With these choices made, I still needed two Battleline units. For me, the next choice was the Pusgoyle Blightlords. The Blightlords are a unit I really like, but I'm not certain yet whether I am better off taking another unit of 20 Plaguebearers instead. What I like about the Blightlords is that they fly, they can be very fast if I want them to be, and they benefit greatly from the GUO command ability. They give me a medium sized option to fight middle level monsters, or to tag the corner of units without losing too much power. I'm also a big fan of the Lord of Afflictions, so by making him my general I can get the Blightlords as Battleline and I don't need to take more units of Plaguebearers. This decision is probably partly motivated by lack of Blightkings; I don't own any (shock! horror! A Nurgle player that doesn't own Blightkings!). I'll fix this eventually but at the moment they don't exist for me.
So by this point we are starting to run out of points. It is almost second nature for me to take a support Great Unclean One now; he is a two cast wizard with a movement buff and improved casting and dispelling. Eventually I will need to try a list without him and see how the Corruptor does instead, but this is not that time. The list is then rounded out by a unit of 10 Plaguebearers to act as chaff and to be my third Battleline unit.
The hardest part I find about list building is that I don't yet think I have a good grasp on what is needed (or not needed) in a list. I think (hope) this is a skill learnt through experience, but I think this list has some good options in it. It has defensive units and offensive units, I have ways to debuff or slow down offensive armies and I have speed and range to tackle defensive armies. I'm not sure how well I will deal with shooting armies but hopefully I can find an answer on the day.
If anyone has any thoughts on list-building, or takes a different view on the units I have chosen, I would love to know. I'll otherwise post up reports on Unending Battlelines once I have finished up my coverage on Ultramates. Thanks for reading!