Thursday, 18 July 2013

ETC 2013 Lists - The People's Champion

So, we’ve had a quick look at what some of the “big teams” are bringing – and absolutely no disrespect to countries who have every bit as legitimate a shot at winning the ETC, but there really is a limit to how many identikit lists one can look at without going insane and start blathering about the awesome power of Treekin or some such rubbish.

So, that chore is out the way.

Every year, like the first budding of daffodils on a dreary spring morning, there are the odd lists that stand out from the madding crowd, make you take note, tell your friends, toast them with your drink and shout about until the gods themselves have heard (well, ok, the last one is most likely to happen if you are one of those annoyingly overly excitable people who would probably be really annoying to be around. Sorry to break it to you like this, but it’s true. Really. Ask around).

Last year there was a truly epic Beastmen list (that seems to so have flummoxed this year’s that they comped that possibility out of consideration).
So, what has 2013 delivered to the eager spectator, and which team shall be crowned the People’s Champion? (Ok, it’s a new invention of mine, but go with it!).

Well, at first look, there are quite a few lists with stuff that one does not see in the English-language land of the min-maxed netlist that encourages such overwhelming homogeneousness. To paraphrase a certain shouty gentleman, the mailed fist of Wales with a well-spoken podcast (over there somewhere à), thank Zeus, Odin, God and, to a certain extent, Ra for that!

Well over a dozen lists stand out as different enough to comment, and honourable mentioned should definitely go to:

Hungary’s DoC. Looks like Peter thinks this is 2012 all over again, busting out almost 700pts in Bloodletters and associated Herald. Of course, these days that buys you less than 30 of the blighters… Wait till he hears they now have armour! To his infinite credit, he appears to be one of the only people to bring some Khorne buddies for his Skullcannon to play with, which is nice.

Scotland, Ukraine, Spain, France and Hungary answer the question that has plagued WFB scholars down the years  where have all the Grand Masters gone?! Like deadbeat dads never coming back from picking up a packet of smokes from the local garage, these heartless bastards have left their orphaned Knightly Orders behind to cope for themselves. Scotland and Ukraine are even worse, their Grandmasters clearly mugging their local Elector Counts for their Runefangs (in all seriousness though, respect for that!). Luckily for them, given the tidal wave of 1+ armour save we wade through on a daily basis, they seem to be doing ok. In their defence, maybe there is a perfectly understandable reason – maybe they want DemiGriffs of their own dammit, and have been searching in whatever mysterious woods the most recent Empire army book author pulled them out of.
Clearly I need some coffee.

Some good‘ol fashioned buses here – even a good old fashioned 2 unit army (with a bunch of pedestrian plebs running around). The REAL man however, is Richard from Hungary (again!). Not for him cowling dudes in cloaks summoning the winds of magic to brutalise the opposition. Nay, level 4 wizards are for the weak. He is happy with a lvl2 fire weirdo hanging out in some dirty peasants with bows whilst the Grand Master and his buddies ride around with massive balls in a massive unit of knights and gets the job done. What. A. Man.

Talking of buses, Malta get a shout out for their Silver Helm Star. A Prince, a Book, a Flag and their 15 Elven buddies, with a couple of pussies following behind (sounds a bit like the start of a story that could go so very wrong..). Good on Daniele. Loses “cred” for totting 5 bolt throwers though.

Probably enjoying the sun right now – I tell you, it seems no one is at work in Norway in July - Martin Andre brings some Scandinavian pain with my second (you’ll have to wait for the first) favourite single model in this entire event – a full on Party Heavens Slann! And on top of that he is rocking the Itxi grubs. 470pts of HERO. Frogs want to be him. Frogettes want to be with him.

Hollering over from the (allegedly) BBQ-strewn beaches of Australia is Chris, whose WoC army contains a couple of things I absolutely love. WoC heroes are great. Breaking news I know! What makes me like these, however, is that they are on Steeds of Slaanesh. Mobile and freakishly fast, the little blighters are something to look out for. The fact they don’t get a Look Out Sir in this list makes me like them all the more!

Forsaken are the underused jewels of the WoC book (probably due to their abysmal models in all honesty). When they are seen, it tends to be in small darts – 100ish points of throw away nuisance. Not so if you are Chris. If you are (this would be news to Chris, so you should probably tell him) you don’t double down on Forsaken, you go all in. 20 of Slaanesh. Boom. Next.
Cue casual violence.

The Magnificent 7
Part one – Close, But No Cigar:

So, after all that foreplay, what list have risen the dizzying heights of list nirvana?

Bringing up with rear, Spain’s offering to the baying masses:

The coolness is up to you Eduardo

Now, in all honesty, this could be very dully. But used as the basis for 7
th edition ShadeStar and it becomes epically fun! Of course, I have now been told 15 Shades are not enough for a ShadeStar. Which just sounds greedy. Combat skirmishers are all sorts of cool. End of. I want to see 3 characters and 2 Assassins in that unit (which would actually be a complete pain to kill), otherwise Eduardo loses all sorts of Internet Man Points. And no one wants that. 

Next up we have some brutal Eastern European efficiency with an absolutely no nonsense Lizardmen list.


What’s better than Temple Guard? (ok, ok, the list of things better than temple guard is far too long to even start thinking about, but let’s humour Ondrej) DOUBLE TEMPLE GUARD (and a big-ass unit of SKrox). Extra movement and extra charge means the whole army can push forward at combat speed. Light makes sense. 5 Heavens Spells is always good. The utter lack of miscast protection on the Slanns is literally begging to dice gods to decimate Temple Guard by the bucket load. Still, could be effective – think may try this one out in the coming week – good to relax and push stuff forward (without lowering yourself to collecting either Ogres or WoC).

The Valleys breed their own kind of mind-set, and this year, in the midst of perfectly normal (and boring) ETC lists, is has brought this offering to the table


A 19 unit DoC army. Other lists have been designed to smash, to cower, to make opponents either quit or sleep. This one, I think, is designed to see if Joel can figure out what to do with all the units he has – I think there is a betting pool on.
Could also do surprisingly well in some (very selective) matchups…. Maybe…

The Land Down Under is the last place containing people who rate two very different things. One is Vegemite, the other is Wood Elves. One just has to listen to the brilliant Dwellers Below (once again, over à somewhere) to hear them wax lyrical about the awesome powers of tree hippies. Can they once again make Wood Elves the BEST ARMY AT THE ETC™ like last year?

Machine Gun Cowboy

All joking aside, I understand taking Wood Elves under ETC. You can hide some stuff. Get extra points, lose fewer points. All fine. Protect from some matchups and all good. This list though, is bizarre. Adam obviously knows Wood Elves far better than I do (an impressive boast really).  It is, however, damn cool. General with a machine gun, a horse and nowhere to hide? Check. Wardancers? Check. Wild Riders? Why the hell not?! 3 Treekin? Ok… It then loses all its cool points by having 63 Glade Guard. Bad Adam. Bad. 


The moment we have all been waiting for (or could have scrolled to at any time)! The 3 most epic lists of this whole event. Drumroll please….

There is something refreshing about a straightforward approach to Warhammer. “I am going to take this brick and ruin your day with it”. Cool. Sod magic, take a Fellblade to the face!
Enter (assuming he has not dropped out) Craig:

Fully Operational Death Star

[insert a long and rambling point, slightly insulting but mostly humorous, that at great length explains that this is not Craig’s idea, but actually he copied if off some faceless chap at the SCGT… J ]
In all seriousness, this is a nicely different list. Sure, it’s still Skaven, and therefore a) dull and b) boring – but other than that, its brilliant. When first saw this it was a real de ja vu moment – some friends and I designed almost this exact list for a laugh close to 3 years ago, just never had the balls to do it. This is, quite simply, a brilliant Death Star list. Careful positioning of characters etc make this much better in real life than it looks like on paper. And he has two Stormvermin units. One of my major gripes with the current state of Skaven (mostly since the rise of the Bell lists) is that people don’t run Stormvermin as good old fashioned combat units – they are insanely good for their points, and core.
In short, it’s a great list.

Clearly living in a country where the country itself seems to want to kill you makes people take batpoo insane lists, and makes us like them, even if the beer they export from over there is frankly terrible.
8th edition, and the Tomb King book, is a few years old now. By now we know what to expect. Double snakes and magical overload in the UK, Sphinxes in the US (I do so love generalisations, especially incorrect ones J ). The ETC comp is nice and helpful to these builds.
And then Nick comes along.

It cam from below... and no one knew what it was....

Nick (one of the new generation of internet celebs-in-the-making due to Dwellers Below (still over à somewhere)) is one of my new WFB heroes. 2 lvl4s, a couple of archer units (bigger than I normally see, but fine), a warrior unit, a couple of catapults and a casket. Sounds all good. Chosen Death over Light, but I get that. 
And then the lack of ozone layer protection in Australia struck with the might of a hungry overheated salty.
5 Necropolis Knights? Standard. Wait. He’s bought Entombed Beneath the Sands upgrade? Maybe he had 25 points and could be arsed to paint more skeletons? Sounds lazy, but from what I hear these Australians take their painting seriously. So maybe... Let’s move on. 2 Chariots units? More unorthodox nonsense. I am starting to really think this Nick chap has not attended the Internet School of Warhammer or something.
Sepulchral Stalkers.
3 whole units.
9 of them.
What. A. Hero.

So, lets recap. He has taken 500pts of a unit I have only ever seen used as a unit filler, and a unit of Knights that can entomb. If he entombs everything that can be entombed I will buy him a beer (may get warm in transit, but that’s the way the locals over here like their beer).

So, this journey has thrown up some odd, if not necessarily ugly (some of those too, it must be said) ducklings.
What would be a suitable finale to this voyage of discovery?

The chap with the most scorned list on the internet this week. Mr Balls-O-Steel, Aaron

He has a Dragon, and is not afraid to use it

HEs are the newest book at the ETC, so I was expecting some serious variation as people broke the list. And I have been disappointed (no more so than by Denmark and their 83 White Lions – shame on you!). I don’t like me when I am disappointed. Its interesting what you notice first when you look at a list. I looked at Aaron’s list and my brain told me:

Archmage/Death/50 shots/4 RBTS

And I move on. Something made me look back. DRAGON MAGE?! Hell’s yeah! And that’s not enough. Nope. This is the one that keeps on giving. The Archmage is on a damn Dragon. I LOVE IT. One major disappointment to me is that the eagle-mounted BSB is not carrying the Banner of World Dragon (think would have been a far better shout). But overall, what is there not to love about this?
The beauty of this is that I can actually see it being pretty decent in ETC line of sight. You have a fire base of shooting to make a lot of armies have to come at you. And then you have 3 flying monsters to jump up and down on stuff.

Aaron wins this purely for having my favourite single model at the event. Archmage on Moon Dragon. Just yes.

The problem with the ETC comp pack being, in large part, similar to last year’s is that for most armies there has been little need to change anything. It has been a case of fine tuning the lists that have been used for over a year now (obviously not for the new books out since then). This has led to more and more convergence on the centre. Very good, very solid lists (ideal for the tournament) with fewer and fewer strange things.

Good to see that some people are keeping the fires of ingenuity and madness alive and well.

After all that, the team that wins the honour of being the PEOPLE’s CHAMPION ETC 2013 is, without a doubt, and notwithstanding some Hungarian nutters:


Which is nice.
Only thing they are going to win this year after all…


  1. Closing line is pure gold, I had a nice little snigger to myself.

  2. Please don't judge us on fosters beer. We cringe when we see it in foreign pubs.

    We are guaranteed another prize, top wood elf of the etc :)

  3. Us Aussies clearly play Warhammer on hard mode unlike you European folk.

    The team did me and my pet kangaroo named vegemite proud.