The Road to Masters 2019

Welcome back to the annual Masters writeup! As usual this is my pre event build-up and thoughts, you can expect a tournament report at some point afterwards.

This year has witnessed an explosion of activity on our community page in the lead up, with a ridiculous volume of memes flying back and forth and attracting a fair amount of interest from non-tournament players and international visitors alike. I was bemused, but rather flattered, at the sheer volume that included yours truly.

A few of the more amusing ones. I get the sense I may be getting a little hyped, probably too much…

It’s been a while between drinks, I haven’t contributed anything to the blog since last year’s report! My painting in that time has been sporadic, with a primary focus on adding occasional models to existing armies and painting up a Seraphon force after being dragged into Age of Sigmar. However at the end of last year I did paint up a substantial Angmar force, an infantry army, marking a departure from the cavalry only mantra I’ve espoused. I thoroughly enjoyed the play style though, lots of little detachments of orcs and Wights, and claimed a victory for Evil at Wrath and Ruin. I’ve also been definitively noncompetitive at local events since the new year, running lists like the Three Trolls and the Fellowship (I suspect much to the relief of some players). I’ve been enjoying taking some diverse lists with narrow win conditions and taking big unnecessary risks in my games, and am yet to podium from 4 local events.

In the two interstate events I’ve attended the reverse is true. I traveled down to Canberra for Cancon on the January long weekend with a Rohan army and pulled out a joint first place. The Rohan choice was fairly spur of the moment, I thought it was a nice fit for the points level and I thought it’d be good to show interstater’s the all mounted playstyle. With the release of the Gondor at War book that weekend and the Legendary Legions the seeds were planted. The Riders of Theoden was quite powerful, really fun and right up my alley of play with lots of agency and a million might. I brought them to Clash of the Titans 2019 and enjoyed an undefeated run and a second place finish. I love the list so much, you have options of skirmishing if you need to, and you hit like a sledgehammer, then keep on hitting with the might synergy and sheer volume of heroes you have access to. If your opponent runs out of might and your heroes are still kicking, it usually does not bode well for them. This is a long winded way of saying that I’ll be playing them again at Masters for 2019. I was tempted both by the thought of a Angmar list with 5(!) Barrow Wights and the Grey Company Legion but ultimately settled back on the horse.

 

Inspirational Movie Quotes

The Riders of Theoden

Theoden, King of Rohan – Armoured Horse, Heavy Armour, Shield

2 Riders of Rohan
2 Royal Guard- Horse
Eomer, Marshal of the Riddermark – Armoured Horse, Shield

2 Riders of Rohan
1 Royal Guard- Horse

Dernhelm

2 Riders of Rohan
1 Royal Guard- Horse

Deorwine, Chief of the King’s Knights –Horse

2 Riders of Rohan
1 Royal Guard- Horse

Gamling, Captain of Rohan – Horse, Royal Standard of Rohan

2 Riders of Rohan
1 Royal Guard- Horse

Elfhelm, Captain of Rohan – Horse

800 Points

6 (technically 7) heroes, 22 models and more might than you can swing a sword at.

Some adjustments have been made from my Clash composition. I’ve opted for a Royal Guard contingent, as I have an intuition that there will be a bunch of terror causing armies between Cirdan, Army of the Dead,Angmar and big scary things (I was right!). Fellow blogger Ian has kindly agreed to lend me his Royal Guard for the weekend. Fight Value 5 on the charge will be nice as well. 10 shots from the bows should be enough considering the only shooting wars a cavalry army takes are the ones it can win and there was not a single game at Clash I skirmished for more than a turn or two.

There are lots of interesting little tricks and interactions in this list you can pull off, which hopefully I will detail pulling off in the tournament report (just in case any of my opponents are reading).

I have debating back and forth about the inclusion of throwing spears, but I’m on an even number for break point and I’m expecting the heroes to do the leg work. Plus it means organising all the right models and who wants to go to that kind of effort! I know I am going to regret it if I run into a mirror match up though, and there are a few Rohan players floating around..

The lists for Masters have been released, so I’m going to do a brief(!) run through of them all, you can find them as a file on the Australian Middle-earth SBG Community Facebook page. An obvious disclaimer before I start, as much as I might wish otherwise these are just my opinions rather than objective truth, so take them with as many pinches of salt as you’d like to season your reading. Do remember that almost any list in SBG can win in the hands of a seasoned player, with the right matchups and missions nearly every list here has the opportunity to take it.
Got all that? Good, here we go!

List One
Riders Of Theoden : Legendary Legion

List One

Someone has excellent taste in army choice. The same list as the one I’m bringing, but they’ve opted for a second banner and throwing spears. I was debating doing the same. Enough said. Would be nervous about the mirror match-up because of the throwing spears, but it comes down to who knows the list better and can play out the mission.


List Two:

Smaug Desolator of the North

Ringwraith with horse, 2 might, 10 will and 1 fate.

If you come up against Smaug, you play to the mission. Any objective based game is winnable, he can’t kill everything before the game ends (usually). Whoever the poor bastard who faces him in Contest of Champions is, I wish them good luck in killing Smaug (and the wraith) for a wipeout victory! If I come up against him, I’m hoping to win some strike offs or it will go downhill very quickly!


List Three:

Moria

Durburz
1x Warg Marauders
1x Bat Swarm
5x Goblins w/ Shield
4x Goblins w/ Spear
2x Goblins w/ Bow

Groblog
1x Warg Marauders
1x Bat Swarm
4x Goblins w/ Shield
3x Goblins w/ Spear
2x Goblins w/ Bow

Moria Shaman
3x Goblins w/ Shield
2x Goblins w/ Spear

Gundabad Shaman
3x Goblins w/ Shield

2x Goblins w/ Spear

Gundabad Shaman
3x Goblins w/ Shield
2x Goblins w/ Spear

Watcher

I have a suspicion I know whose list this is considering they asked to borrow a Gundabad Shaman from me. I’m a fan of the double gundabad shaman, they can incredibly destructive. The large amount of heroes and the deep strike capability of the Watcher are going to help it fare well in a lot of the missions. I’m usually thrilled to see rivers on the board, but not against this army! Enemy heroes are going to have to be very careful how they position, because between the shatters and the Watcher kidnap into a batswarm, there’s a lot of unpleasant things waiting for them here. I’m curious to see if the Watcher ever takes the risk to come up to split a spear wall in half and trap the front line between it and the goblins to trigger the army bonus. I would have liked to have seen some prowlers make an appearance, they synergise so well with that combo and Groblog.


List Four:

Kingdom Of Moria

Balin
2 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf Bow
1 Dwarf Warrior with Shield
1 Dwarf Warrior with Banner and shield
3 Khazard Guard
1 Vault Warden Team

Floi Stonehand
3 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf Bow
2 Dwarf Warriors with Shield
2 Khazard Guard
3 Dwarf Rangers with Longbows and throwing axes

Gimli
2 Dwarf Warriors with Shield
5 Iron Guard
4 Dwarf Rangers with Dwarf long bow and throwing axes.

Dwarf Ballista with Flaming ammunition and 1 additional crew.

Dwarf Ballista with Flaming ammunition and 1 additional crew.

The double Dwarf ballista will certainly give people pause. There’s a good model count and a surprising lethal amount of firepower with all the throwing axes and bows on top of the ballistas, definitely intimidating. I’m a little surprised at the inclusion of flaming ammunition because it rarely is going to see use and that’s 3 more dwarves in your army, but if Smaug is on the table he’s definitely going to feel it. It retains the inherent mobility drawbacks of a dwarven force but Balin does have march if needed. Quite a fan of this one, it may take some people off guard. Perhaps a little less forgiving than other dwarf lists with the lowered defense.


List Five:

Misty Mountains/Thorin’s Company/Radaghast’s Alliance

Gwaihir
Great Eagle
Great Eagle

Radagast /w Sebastian and Sleigh

Beorn

Balin w/ pony

The Eagles are coming! And they need to make sure they hit hard and fast and don’t get bogged down. Lots of destructive potential in this list against cavalry with all the knockdowns and hurls.


List Six

Barad-Dur / Moria

Sauron

Balrog.

Ever wanted to play against two raid bosses at the same time? Here’s your chance! Make sure to try and split them so you kill one whilst you stave off the other. Or just play the mission. Whichever floats your boat more.


List Seven:

Return Of The King : Legendary Legion

Aragorn
4x Army of the dead with shields

King of the Dead
4x AotD, 4 shields, 1 banner

Gimli
3x Riders of the Dead

Legolas

Herald of the Dead

This force has very low numbers at 16 models, but it is very difficult to kill with all the terror, fate and high defense and boasts great heroes. If forced to separate it may get picked off and struggle somewhat but a close knit core of might and death is a tough nut to crack. Free heroic marches every time should ensure its mobile when it needs to be. Again not the most forgiving list, but probably one of the front runners to drop Smaug.


List Eight:

Army of Gothmog : Legendary legion

Gothmog, with Warg and shield
8x Morannon Orcs with shields and spear
3x Morannon Orcs with shield
1x Morannon Orc with shield spear and banner
Orc Drummer

Goroth
7x Morannon Orcs with shields and spear
3x Morannon Orcs with shield
1x Morannon Orc with shield spear and banner

Guritz, Master of Reserves
7x Morannon Orcs with shields and spear
3x Morannon Orcs with shield

Gothmogs Enforcer
7x Morannon Orc with shield and spear
3x Morannon orcs with shields.

I do not want to face this army. One of the best line infantry set ups you can get with nice hero support and special rules, in addition to being very forgiving to play. Really good mobility with the drum and marches as well. It’s not the flashiest of armies, but it grinds you down in the tar pit with brutal efficiency. The killing potential it boasts against my army of men is something I encountered at Cancon, and I am not keen to repeat the experience. It’s very possible to lose half your force of cavalry in a single turn! It is not particularly great at shutting down multiple big heroes though, and there are quite a few of them coming…


List 9

The Easterlings

List 9

A pretty standard Easterling list. Decent range of options with the warpriest and the drum, this is one of I might have liked to see the Wraith on a horse, or indeed traded in for a second Dragon Knight, but that’s a playstyle preference. Those heroes will need to be leveraging those elven blades and hunting together for enemy heroes to kill. Amdur is particularly dangerous as a Valour tier hero with Heroic Challenge, copying enemy heroes strikes and the Elven weapon.


List Ten:

Rohan / Lothlorien

Theoden w/ Armoured Horse, Heavy Armour, shield
3 Riders of Rohan, 1 banner
3 Rohan Royal Guard /w 3 horse, and 3 throwing spear.

Eomer, /w horse, shield
6 Riders of Rohan, 4 throwing spears.

Celeborn with elven blade, heavy armour and shield
8 Guards of the Galadrim Court

Rumil
4 Galadrhim Warriors with bow.

An interesting alliance between Rohan and Lothlorien with a hammer and anvil set up. The elves with the two heroes in the front back up by pikes can stall for a very long time and hold objectives whilst the riders do their thing.  I am debating heavily over whether the banner is better served with the elves or the riders, it’s a tough call because they both make good use it of it. This list is well served against the more elite lists but I do worry a little how this might fare faced up against some of the armies with high model counts. It will not enjoy being entirely surrounded.


List Eleven

Minas Tirith

Aragon King Elessar /w armoured horse
6x Knights of MT with shield
5x Warriors of Minas Tirith
5x Warriors of MT with spear and shield

Boromir Captain of Gondor /w banner and shield
4x Fountain Court /w shield
5x Warriors of MT with shield
3x Warriors of MT with Spear and shield

Avenger Bolt Thrower with swift reload.

Lore breaking time travel shenanigans aside, there are two of the biggest beat-sticks in the game here. They’ll be needing to do most of the work, which is why I personally would have mounted Boromir up to improve the killing power of the army. With the Bolt Thrower as the only shooting, they’ll probably have to be moving as well. One of them going down early could spell trouble.


List Twelve

Rangers of Ithilien : Legendary Legion

Faramir Captain of Gondor, armour, sword and bow

Frodo Baggins, sting, Mithril Coat, Elven Cloak

Samwise Gamgee with Cloak
6x Rangers of Gondor with bow
7x Ranger of Gondor with bow and spear.

Madril
12x Rangers of Gondor with bow

Damrod
6x Rangers of Gondor with bow

Captain of Minas Tirith /w Heavy armour, sword and shield
6x WoMT with shield
3x Rangers  with bow and spear

Captain of MT with shield and sword
4x WoMT with shield
3x Rangers with bow and spear.

I personally love the flavor of this legendary legion and have played it at a doubles event earlier this year. I am disappointed by the absence of Gollum, but Sam and Frodo are unexpectedly capable, Sam teamed up with another hero is a great enabler for free combats and Frodo is likewise good in tandem to shut down a big enemy hero. It may have been worth placing them in their own warband for the extra drop and to place them opposing the biggest threat so they don’t have to spend multiple turn waddling there on their short legs. The list can struggle in capturing objectives and against the large line infantry blocks, but you can mitigate that with good skirmishing and maneuvering (just like in reality, who would have thought?).  It’s a very cool and fun list, I look forward to seeing how it does.


List Thirteen

Rivendell / Lothlorien

Gilgalad /w armoured horse and shield
9 Kingsguard, /w 8 shields|
4 rivendell knights /w 4 shields

Celeborn /w sword, heavy armour and shield
3x Gladrim Knights /w shield

Galadriel
3x Knights with 2 bows and banner, 3x shields.

A very elite cavalry heavy force with an infantry core. It will struggle in a protracted skirmish but it has great maneuverability with the ability to ignore woods with the Galadhrim, as well forcing opponents towards it with the blinding light. It’s not going to be a very forgiving force with most of its eggs in the Gilgalad basket so mistakes will be costly! Picking the moment to engage is key, I’d be quite concerned if it started getting surrounded.


List Fourteen

Kingdom of Khazad-Dum

List 14

The lack of Heroic March is a little concerning for the stout dwarves and they are inconvenienced in this iteration by the lack of spear supports, but they have a solid model count, are never going to run with so much bodyguard, and are tough as nails. The heroes backed up by that many hearth guard are going to rip through just about anything. If they can catch him, I’d rate their chances going up against Smaug.


List Fifteen

Isengard

List 15

A fairly stereotypical Isengard list at this points level, model count on the low end because of the inclusion of both Saruman and the troll. A decent balance of the different options in the list means it’s solid at doing everything whilst not being best in class at any of them. Shooting, mobility, staying power and killing power all present. It’s going to stick around to the bitter end as well with Isengard’s army bonus and Saruman’s 12 inch stand fast. I hope to see Grima pull off some extra special tricks being mounted on the horse.


List Sixteen

Rivendell

Gil-Galad /w Horse, shield
3 High Elf Warriors /w Elf bow
14 Kings Guard with spear, shield
1 Kings Guard with Banner, spear, shield

Cirdan
4 High elf warriors with shield
3 High Elf warriors with bow

High Elf Captain with Horse, Lance and Shield
3 High Elf warriors with shield
3 high elf warriors with elf bow
3 Rivendell Knights with shield

Our first Cirdan/Kingsguard list. I rate this combination very highly.  Terror, F6 and blinding light means your options taking on these elves dwindle alarmingly quickly because there are few setups with a good answer to all three of those things. It was my expectation of these lists that had me sneaking in some Royal Guard. Good shooting, 37 Elves (that’s a lot), two mounted heroes and a Calvary contingent. Two big thumbs up from me on this list, it can do everything.


List Seventeen:

Rivendell / Numenor

Gil Galad (Horse, Shield)
9x King’s Guard (KG Upgrade, Spear, Shield)
2x Rivendell Knight (Shield)
1x Rivendell Knight (Shield, Banner)

Cirdan
2x Rivendell Knight (Shield)

Elendil (Horse, Shield)
6x Warrior of Numenor (Spear, Shield)
2x Warrior of Numenor (Spear, Shield, Bow)
1x Warrior of Numenor (Shield, Bow)

A list similar to the previous one, but we’ve got some Numenor in the mix. Our numbers have been tangibly reduced, but we’ve now got strength 4 for our infantry and two monstrous heroes. A little less forgiving than the last list but a larger cavalry contingent and more killing power. Is going to die faster, but will do the same to the opponent.


List Eighteen

The Black Gate Opens : Legendary Legion

Mordor Troll Chieftain (Greatest of the trolls) 140
7 Morannon orcs w/-shield 56
7 Morannon orcs w/-shield -spear 63
1 Orc warrior w/-banner 31

The Mouth of Sauron w/-armoured horse 85
1 Mordor Troll 100
7 Morannon orcs w/-shield 56
7 Morannon orcs w/-shield -spear 63

Mordor orc captain w/-orc bow 45
8 Orc warriors w/-orc bow 48

Mordor orc captain w/-shield 45
2 Orc warriors w/-shield 12
2 Orc warriors w/-two handed weapon 12
7 Orc warriors w/-spear 42

I am assuming that this list is using the Black Gate Legendary Legion. There’s a lot of bodies in this one at 51 models. The trolls will be supplying the stopping power of the list whilst the orcs grind away and attempt to bury the opponent with numbers so they can utilise the wounding bonus. It’s going to be a difficult force to push off objectives and should do well against other infantry forces but it might encounter some difficulties against the terror causing armies that are coming. I’d have liked to see a drum on the mordor troll possibly for the added mobility advantage as well but I rate the the list  highly overall.


List Nineteen

The Easterlings

Amdur, Lord of Blades (armoured horse)
1 Easterling Black Dragon Kataphract (war drum)
6 Easterling Black Dragon Kataphracts

Easterling Dragon Knight (armoured horse)
6 Easterling Black Dragon Kataphracts

Easterling Dragon Knight (armoured horse)
6 Easterling Black Dragon Kataphracts

Easterling Dragon Knight(armoured horse)
6 Easterling Black Dragon Kataphracts

Love this list. Absolutely love it. If it was possible to horde cavalry, this is it. 28 models is equaling some of the lists we’ve reviewed already! Easterling cavalry is probably the most durable in the game with their high defense, armoured horses and shieldwall rule. When you’ve got this many cavalry, you can very easily set it up to have 3 waves of charges. That means you aren’t as invested in the heroic move roll offs as most cavlary armies are because you’ve got the additional wave. Pairing up heroes with a combat and a strike to hunt enemy heroes with your elven made weapons is going to be very dangerous for an opponent. Amdur is also able to shine and keep big nasty heroes away from your cavalry. Plus I think it’s just going to look so damn cool. Can’t wait to see it in person.


List Twenty

Dark Powers Of Dol-Guldur

The Necromancer of Dol Guldur – 250 (Leader) (Hero of Legend)
4 Mirkwood Spiders – 80
Castellan of Dol Guldur – 40
+ Morgul Blade – 5

Yazneg – 45 + Fell Warg – 10+ Lance – 5
1 Hunter Orc – 8
3 Hunter Orcs (24) + Two-handed Weapons (3) – 27
4 Hunter Orcs (32) + Orc Bows (4) – 36
1 Hunter Orc (8) + Orc Bow (1) Banner (25) – 34

Narzug – 50 + Fell Warg – 10
4 Hunter Orcs – 32
4 Hunter Orcs (32) + Orc Bows (4) – 36

Fimbul – 50 + Fell Warg 10
4 Hunter Orcs – 32
4 Hunter Orcs (32) + Orc Bows (4) – 36

Hunters Orcs kill things quickly, and die quickly. The key to winning with them is making the former happen and not the latter, games with them can snowball in either direction. There’s a healthy model count and voulme of shooting that can stay competitive with most other lists. There’s also a sneaky amount of hero shutdown cloistered in this list with the Castellan, 4 paralyses from the Mirkwood Spiders and the Necromancer dropping a shroud of shadows on something. The Necromancer is tricky to access and makes for a good leader in lots of the missions, it’s a pretty thematic list with a lot to like. It also has a good shot at taking down Smaug with the Necromancer’s chill touch and Castellan’s morgul blade. I am a little concerned at how it will fare going up against the heavy shooting and terror causing lists but I have good reason to believe that it will be overcome by the person playing it.


List Twenty One

Kingdom Of Khazad-Dum

Durin, King of Khazard-Dûm
14 x Khazâd Guard /w Hearthguard
2x Vault Warden team

Dwarf Captain /w shield and throwing weapon
4 x Dwarf Ranger w/ longbows and throwing weapons.
2x Dwarf Warrior /w Bow

King’s Champion
2x Dwarf Warrior /w bow
8 x Iron Guard

Similar flavour to our earlier Durin’s Halls list with a mountain of Hearthguard. This one boasts a heavy throwing weapon contingent at the expense of defense, also has a captain to call the marches as needed. A casual 8 Iron Guard on top of the 14 Hearthguard makes up for the absence of the King’s Champion and should strike fear into the heart of any spearwall. Underestimate the stunties at your peril, this amount of strength 4 dwarves is dangerous.


List Twenty Two

Rivendell

Elrond, Master of Rivendell; with Horse & Heavy Armour
8x Rivendell Knight; with Shield
1x Rivendell Knight; with Shield & Banner

Glorfindel, Lord of the West; with Armour of Gondolin & Asfaloth
9x Rivendell Knight; with Shield

The all mounted Rivendell Knight classic. What’s not to like? My personal preference is for less knights and more heroes, but that cuts into your model count incredibly fast and it’s low to begin with, so it’s always nice to have a bit more forgiveness in the list. If however the enemy isn’t dead by the time everyone is committed I think it might become a little hairy with only 6 might available, but that many lances will do wonders to any problem. I’d expect the opponent’s forces to be naturally whittled down with a bunch of shooting by that point anyway in most cases. It’s biggest struggle may in fact be against the other elven armies, which match many of its advantages with a greater model count.


List Twenty Three:

Dark Denizens of Mirkwood / Moria / Mordor

List 23

I have lots of respect for the spider list. It’s really difficult to run well because you are punished so hard for mistakes but has lots of clever tricks you can pull, dropping down broodlings behind a line, going over walls with ease, enraging unexpected targets and other sneaky plays. I wouldn’t have minded seeing a goblin detachment to hold objectives or provide some semblance of a frontline, but the spider play style is so all in if it works you can probably come away with the win anyway. You win or lose the game depending on how much damage you’ve inflicted when or if you break. Enemy heroes beware, all your phobias are about to come to life in the worst possible way. Funnily enough, that can flow on to some of your opponents. The psychological game when playing spiders is second to none.


List Twenty Four:

List 24

If this list seems familiar then good, you’ve been paying attention! This list is mine. Moving on!


List Twenty Five

Army of Thror / Garrison Of Dale

List 25

Another dwarf list with powerful shooting, it’s an interesting trend I’m seeing. This army is also a large one with 49 models. It lacks the same level of punch as our Durin’s Halls lists but it compensates in being even more difficult to kill. This list is going to be very very good in terrain heavy boards with 14 throwing weapons. It struggles a little in answering the big heroes but it covers most other facets of the game well.


List Twenty Six

Lothlorien / Mirkwood

List 26

List 26 pt2

A Lothlorien list comprising of all the mid tier heroes they have to offer with a few more thrown in for good measure. This list is quite interesting because there’s no definitive disparities between these heroes, which makes target selection really contextual and will push the opponents decision making. There’s some potent shooting and a solid cavalry portion with plenty of might. Whilst it lacks the explosive potential of the big heroes, there are plenty of tactical options with mobility and models on the board as far as elves are concerned. A well rounded list.


List Twenty Seven

Azog’s Legion

Bolg /w Fell Warg
6 Gundabad Beserkers
1 Ogre
1 Warbat

Gundabad Captain /w shield
3 Gundabad Orcs w/ shield
4 Gundabad Orcs w/ shield and spear
1 Gunadabad Orc with shield, spear and banner
1 Orge
1 Warbat

Narzug /w Fell Warg
2 Fell Wargs
2 Hunter Orcs with Fellwarg
1 Hunter Orc with Fellwarg and bow
2 Hunter orcs
3 Hunter orcs /w orc bow
1 Hunter orc with warhorn and orc bow.

Lots of close combat killing potential in this one with hunter orcs, ogres and berserkers all piling in alongside Bolg. The inclusion of a Gundabad warband is a really good call to give yourself a front line and buy time as needed. Also glad to see the inclusion of the warhorn to help with courage, a good choice. Bolg with Master of Battle is going to help him in an army with a limited supply of might as the only big hero in the list (until he hits Mighty Hero!). The War Bats are an option I haven’t seen much of yet, mainly because they are yet to get a model, but I think they’re a versatile option to open up gaps in a line and skirmish, there’s the opportunity to do some clever things with them.


 

In Review

So that’s our lists! Breaking it down we’ve got noticeably more Good lists than Evil at 16 to 11, with Dwarves and Elves the most popular with 4 and 5 submissions respectively, followed by Rohan with 3. There are also only 5 hobbit era armies. There’s a nice diversity in composition overall, with some armies opting for numbers, others for heroes, others for shooting. Some are going to very hard to kill, others will be rather squishy. I am please to see that the Rohan lists boast the most might! Almost all the lists with a couple of notable time travelling exceptions are either mono lists or historical allies with lots of theme in them. Clearly the army bonuses are encouraging cool fluff!

My favourite list has to be the Easterling Kataphracti, with the first Cirdan list being the most well rounded competitive force. Are there any lists I’m afraid to face? I’ve never had the privilege of facing Smaug so I don’t quite know what its like yet. The eagles could potentially wreak some havoc on me, and the army of Gothmog will cut through me like butter, but the horselords are ready to face any and all challengers.

 

Predictions

Lastly, as is tradition it’s time to nominate my tournament favorites. Jeremy of the Green Dragon Podcast ended Victoria’s Masters drought last year pulling ahead of me for the win. However he’s not in attendance, neither is Kylie, who pulled ahead of me in Clash in Feburary. The only reason she hasn’t won a Masters event yet is because she’s been running the thing!

The memes seem to be now predicting me winning with one arm tied behind my back, but that’s not particularly realistic, and I’ve never been in the habit of including myself in these predictions anyway, too much bias!

My top 3 for this year are:

3 Joshua Colman – Aside from his excellent taste in surnames, he’s a veteran player and he’s bringing an army both he and I are intimately familiar with in the Rivendell Knghts. If he plays his cards right he’ll be winning lots of games, and possibly a painting award along the way.

2 Matthew Todd – The ever dependable Mr Todd, it is becoming something of an expectation to face him at some point if we’re both at an event. They consistently prove to be challenging and hard fought games with a pretty even record between the two of us. Mr Consistent is due for another interstate podium placing with his fellow Green Dragon Podcast members out of the way.

1 Andreas Cavanna – Let the memes flow thick and fast, he’s my favorite to take it! I have unwittingly played the role of a bridge too far for him, denying him so many tournament victories over the years, but those losses have forged him into a very good player. It gets a little harder every time to shut him down in the pressure moments of a high stakes game and I am going to get what’s coming for me sooner or later. But rest assured worried readers, I will doing my usual best to crush his spirit with a cheerful smile!

As I say every year, I am of course doing a disservice to all the other excellent players who will be there and consequently wipe the table against me for not mentioning them, but there are only so many spaces on a podium and you don’t have the burden of expectation to weigh you down!

If you’ve made it thus far trudging through the past 5000 words, thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, for anyone attending Masters I hope you took something away from it.

Look forward to a battle report on each of my games in a future blog post.

Masters has never had a repeat winner. Will the trend continue?

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