Dojo Time: Morghoul 1 for Casual Games

A preface here - so much of the time we spend “in the dojo” is to make a killer, cutthroat, competitive list or pairing that has as few holes as possible and is designed for play in tournaments.

Such lists are almost always unsuitable for casual play against players that are returning, new, or just not interested in tournaments. I’ve been doing a great deal of thought about this as the area around me has a couple of people returning to the game after a long hiatus, and I realized that I have not, in years, spent time thinking about lists that would be fun, potent, but not killer.

With that in mind, I’m putting together some lists for more casual play that I think are fun, tricky, and not overwhelmingly potent in any significant way. Also, I would like there to be some kind of weakness in the list so that I have to think about engaging with the game to overcome it.

Here’s the first one I’ve come up with:

Morghoul 1 (Imperial Warhost):
- Aptimus Marketh (free)
- Agonizer (free)
- Basilisk Krea (free)
- Aradus Soldier
- Bronzeback Titan
- Bronzeback Titan
- Titan Gladiator

Tyrant Zaadesh
- Aradus Soldier
- Titan Gladiator

Beast Handlers (min)

Let’s break the list down a bit.

Morghoul:

Morghoul has two main things going for him - Abuse and Admonition. Abuse when combined with Rush is a +4 threat range swing and when combined with Enrage your Gladiators are hitting at PS 20 and Aradus Soldiers are hitting at PS 22/19/19.

Admonition plus steady and dodge makes him really hard to assassinate, or can keep a heavy alive in the trade.

He has an interesting Feat in that it makes his army really hard to kill by enemy heavies AND it can randomly give you some cute assassination runs by making your opponent unable to transfer to their beasts (my build doesn’t have guns, so that assassination run is somewhat dubious but…still).

Torment is a very corner case kind of spell, but having it and Marketh means that occasionally you can prevent an enemy Warlock from transferring and kill them. Likely I will deliberately not go down this line of play against a new player, but it’s certainly something to think about.

Cute Tricks:

Having two Bronzebacks lets you cast Rush on a Gladiator and then dump two fury thanks to the Leadership ability they have, which means you can be a little more judicious with their output.

Sacrificial Pawn on Zaadesh into an Aradus Soldier makes him virtually unkillable by guns, and Tag Team plus Abuse plus Enrage makes his two beasts into absolute monsters in melee.

You can put out three Abuses per turn with Morghoul pumping out two and Marketh putting out a third. Combined with two “free” Rushes, you’re pretty fury efficient and you threat really far for speed 3 and 4 models.

Weaknesses:

Boy is this list pretty garbage on Scenario. I’ve got a 10 inch control range for 4 heavies and an 8 inch control range for 2 others. I only have 4 Beast Handlers, so I can’t really handle Fury overloads, and I’ve got no guns except Torment and throws to handle solo scalpeling.

I have super static threat ranges which are easy to predict (Titans threat 12, Aradus also threat 12), and my caster is pretty squish.

Weaponmaster infantry should shred this. High POW infantry should explode this as well. This might win the heavy trade, but it can’t handle almost anything else out there without clever positioning or good dice.

Conclusion:

This was a really fun little exercise, and I am very excited to play this list later this week. Is it top tier competitive? Heck no! Is it going to be a blast to run a bunch of elephants at my friends? Oh yeah.

What do you think? What casual style lists have you been brewing up to play? I think this is an important aspect of the game that often gets ignored and I’m excited to develop some more lists in this vein.