The ETC Contenders – initial List look
So, I thought I would have a look at the lists of the “big 3” countries at the ETC (Germany, Poland and Denmark), as well as England – who finally broke into podium positions last year. Why bother? Well, why bother with anything other than due to idle curiosity and general boredom!
So join me on a journey to explore the minds of the greatest WFB players in the world…
OK, OK, I couldn't even type that with a straight face.
These lists are, one assumes, the fruits of many hours of pondering, deliberating, foretelling, gambling, espionage and outright theft by 32 dedicated players and their coterie of hangers-on/advisors/cheerleaders and disinterested bar wenches. So what have they come up with for THE event – the thing that shapes their hobby year and fuels an endless cascade of vitriolic online opposition. I was reading an article the other day on the energy consumption of online activity… I would not be surprised to learn that the ETC is responsible for deforestation on an industrial stage in the Amazon – maybe explaining the lack of Brazilian ETC team.
Hmmm this appears to have become somewhat of a digression.
So, what have the venerable bullies of the ETC playground brought with them this year?
Well, first of all, they all took DoC, Empire and VC, for rather obvious reasons.
There was a lot of talk, pre list submission, of the “German DoC List” first seen at the Danish Warm Up Event, and then copied liberally across the 6 Nations event, and now at the main event. Let’s have a closer look:
So, the initial list is, well, brutally solid (personally would go Exalted and Lesser over 2 Greater, but either way, all good).
Team England’s Nick… Well… Oh dear Nick. Buddy. At least change SOMETHING. Anything. Nope? You sure? Oh, ok then. A tiny little piece of me dies inside when I see lists that are EXACT copies of others… *sigh*
Denmark have kept a lot of the same elements, but have made concessions to the expected/perceived meta with the addition of a lvl2 Tzeentch Herald with Metal magic (sensible really – this army does not like 1+ armour after all).
Poland stray furthest from the pack, dropping the potential liability of the lvl4 GUO in favour of a triple Herald list (and 4 levels of metal magic) and more Plague Drones/horror support at the cost of the big unit of Plague Bearers.
All the lists contain a core of obvious choices: a Skull Cannon; Poison Drones; a big unit of Beasts; 2 single Beasts; 2 units of Furies; and at least two units of horrors.
The only real surprise is Poland’s unit of ambushing Flesh Hounds. Be very interest to see how these do – have personally been disappointed by them – but something threatening the flanks/rear of your opponents whilst 2 Drone units and the Beasts advance could have interesting results.
Nothing (other than the Hounds) shocking or all that surprising here. It’s interesting to see where the lists have gone. A large part of it, I am sure, is due to the nerf on Shadow, and more specifically, Death magic (and the general protection from these lores a team match up can give you – saying that, seems like once again Death Magic is here to play this year.
Empire armies are fast becoming amongst the most despised in the UK tournament scene. A combination of very samey lists (the only people that there is massive variation in Empire over here are Empire players, who, in their defence, have managed to delude themselves), 1+ armour saves in every slot, cannons and (often) double high powered banishments is just incredibly dull to play.
So, one assumes more relative copy/paste action on the Empire from the masters of conformity, right?
Hmm. Well, sort of? All have the Steam Tank. All have a cannon (or more). Three of the 4 have a light council pumping out at least s6 banishment. All have 6+ DGKs in some configuration. Half of them have gone for the obvious Heavens magic.
The real interesting things here are firstly in the Poland list, who have declined to take an Altar and instead are taking Death Magic and double Master Engineer, double Hellblaster. Combine with Heavens magic and 10 units costing 200pts or under (and 7 of those under 100) you have the makings of a flat out gunline. No messing around here!
Secondly, something I noticed Dan Heelan running when we played at the 6 Nations – the European concept of BSB Peg captain. I find this intriguing, to say the least, and would be keen to see how this does.
Vampires and their lack of variety in most ETC lists is utterly expected, and now a part of the scenery.
Good to see some things do not change. BIG unit(s) of Crypt Horrors? Check. Terrorgheist if feeling all brave and s**t instead of second unit of Horrors? Check. Lvl4 Vampire Red fury Vampire Lord? Check. Core including 2-3 Zombie units and a skeleton unit with banner of swiftness? ¾ check. 2 Ethereal characters? Check. 2 Necromancers running Death Magic? Check. Backup lvl1 Vampire on lore of Vamps.
Oh, sorry, head fell on keyboard when lists put me to sleep…
Note – should be said I am very aware of difference between boring and good. The lists are good. Just lacking in imagination.
Bits and bobs: A few of the lists stood out somewhat:
Some, such as the Polish Lizard list, because they are a bit weird- solo pseudo party Slann is fine (even on nerfed Death), but packing it with 2 SKrox units I find rather sub optimal. Interesting to see how this does.
The others I have highlighted because they were only ones taking those lists.
Beastmen with 14 levels of magic, +3 magic dice and between +5 and +3 to cast on all their spells due to the Skull I expected to see more of. The extra points makes this threatening in the right matchups. Discipline banner on bsb instead of Bestigor is actually a pretty decent shout too – would have liked to see Banner of Rust on the Bestigor, but still.
Denmark running one of the very few OK lists this year (how the mighty have fallen – if only someone had written about how Ogres were on the downward spiral somewhere….). A simple, by the numbers Ogre army with 2 units, one of them a BullStar. Can see how it works. But meh.
Germany rocking the Dwarfs I almost ignored – assumed it was down to a love of good engineering and strong beard. They have gone for a pseudo (word of the day chaps) MSU anvil Miner/Longbeard list. This could be fun (whisper it!)– and as ever, could really catch someone out.
Poland rocking the Brets I applaud – very decent army in the right matchups (which you can engineer). A classic RAF list, only real thing of note is lack of Heroic Killing Blow.
Russ’s list is noteworthy purely in that it’s the only one in the 4 teams that is a WoC list. This is interesting – have the others correctly predicted that teams will have set out to deal with WoC, and decided it was not worth the risk? Or are they being too clever for their own good? Time will, as they say, tell.
It really will.
Next up – interesting lists of the ETC – coming soon!