Holy Wars - Big Thoughts

Well, Holy Wars V has come and gone and I had a lot of fun.  This blog post is releasing in tandem with the first show of the month so you can download that episode to hear Chuck and I go over our games and scenario’s specifically, while this post is going to talk more about the short comings of my lists that I took as I saw it.

My entire inspiration for Holy Wars this year was to completely ignore winning games and purely go just for fun and to use a bunch of models that I really enjoy pushing around the table.  For me, that meant Giants, and lots of them.  My primary list had 3, and my sideboard was comprised of 2 Bonegrinders.  In total, my available 3,000 points of models at Holy Wars consisted of only 23 total models.  That’s not much.  Certainly not in a game designed around claiming objectives like Age of Sigmar.  Luckily, I wasn’t completely out of the running of winning games.  Many of the Holy Wars Scenarios focus on interaction with their tables central terrain pieces and this means that number of models was not always a determining factor.

The secondary objectives were just like a normal game of AoS though so you needed bodies to claim them and then you had secondary points available from a tertiary objective of your choice (a secret mission) and then also by having more deployed units alive at the end of the game.  Knowing almost every game that I was both going to lose the secondary objective and the most units alive I would have to concentrate on the primary and tertiary objectives.  My list would at the most have 15 Ogres and then a handful of characters and Giants.  This generally didn’t go too bad.  I would universally run the giants at the enemy to give them something to concentrate on while I attempted to go and work on objective points with the small numbers of Ogre models I had.  People see Giants and for some reason or another highly overestimate what they can do.

Let me quickly just mention the outcome of games and their high/low points.

Game 1: The primary was something that we could both easily contest/obtain and it would be decided on dice rolls.  The secondary was something where we each controlled 1 objective and the final one was fought over.  I managed to do well in this game and obtain that 3rd objective as well as my secret mission and retaining the most alive units.  The opponent split his army too much in my opinion.

Game2: The table had two hellpit abominations on it with each of us controlling one.  The opponent was a Daughters blender list and it did exactly what it was meant to do.  I will say that he rolled extremely well on his fanatical saves often reducing good damage output to a meager few wounds.  I was tabled.  I did my best to get the objective points but just couldn’t get around the giant blobs of witches.

Game 3: The table consisted of three massive pieces of blocking terrain which forced the opponent to come piecemeal at me.  He tried ambushing with a large unit of Grimgast Reapers but I rolled extremely well with everything back and destroyed the unit in two rounds which was a major setback for him.   I managed to take all the objectives in this game.  I attribute this to terrain primarily but also that one massive swing of combat.

Game 4: This was played on an extremely open table against a Stormcast list with four ballista.  He had more in his list, but the ballista can basically tell you how this game went regardless of what else he had.  I was thoroughly tabled and in short order, never able to really contest the objectives.

Game 5: The voluntary slaughter.  Me and Kenny chose to fight the Giants against the Slayers.  A fight I knew that I would not win with their mortal wound output, but it was a fun game that we played for fun.  No jokes or anything I ran directly at him and combat ensued on turn 1.  While I did manage to eventually destroy one of the large mobs of slayers they in turn took down almost 90% of my army with them.  A poor deployment on my part gave Kenny an early win on the primary objective and I could not contest the secondary’s as I didn’t have enough loose models to go out and contest them.  I did manage my secret mission here though and clearly didn’t get the more units deployed alive.

In the end, my takeaway is this.  Against horde armies with single wound models and a good round or two of combat I can really pack the punch in as long as I get to swing.  Against Daughters that didn’t happen, he just vaporized me on contact, but the reaper horde left too much alive.  I can’t survive against shooting (not that I was surprised by that fact).  It is possible to win, but the giants (both kinds) are very fragile and of course very random which many times lead to underwhelming combats that I feel should’ve gone better.

Was I happy with the army?  Yes.  Could it be better, of course.  Could I have played better?  I have no doubt.  Was it fun.  Absolutely.  I really enjoyed the army as a whole and would happily play it again.  Even in this more narrative environment I ran into a couple of very optimized lists that just ripped me apart, and I don’t know that it would ever be worth spending the time and money to take something like this to Adepticon, but for a fun weekend it was an absolute gas.