The NZ Masters is almost upon us and will feature a dozen of the top WHFB players duking it out this weekend in classic style. In the home pad of Hobbitses, Wellywood there won't be any friendly hairy feet but contestants hobnailed boots ready to Orc stomp with some very robust lists. Every one has brought a contender list and even though there has been talk of the Elves bringing tooth picks to a gun fight I think there will be very little chance of lop sided results this year, bar a choke or two. Lists can be found here.
I'm going to split the twelve competitors into three Categories for my take on how the lists and generals will do this weekend. From the guys who just came for the pies and coke, the guys who brought their iron underwear but just missed with the last sword thrust, to the Glory getters who proved that the dice gods were with them and rolling double 6's is a breeze.
So with no further ado let's get down to the chess grater. We'll start with the marshmallow centre and the potential podiums in no particular order.
Skaven ( the Pete edition). With the prescribed grumbling about the best warhammer army aside this list is a cheese connoisseurs dream. Packed with the tools to do the business and with a seasoned general to run the back line. Already with heaped expectation from around the world on Skaven performance, I can't see this army not doing well. With one well documented choking incident already, I'd assume that this Skaven general has spared no expense and would be seeing the same sports psyche the AB's went to pre 2011. Hiccups aside this will be the army and general to beat if you want the Masters crown.
High Elves (Peter W.) This army has been written off already from the masses. I'm a little astounded as I play Elves and can see exactly how this army has been designed to do. As long as the general remembers the battle plan I can see that this list will be up there for the awards. Just because it doesn't have the internet double Whitelions, it's got the punch where it needs it. I've already backed this army with a few rounds of xmas ale.
Bretonnians (Antony Gouda Master). The reining NZ Master has forgotten to bring the cheese and instead has brought a whole lot of tin cans. Don't let this fool you as Bretonnians are another internet underrated army. The list is tough as nails and as long as the 5's & 6's keep on getting rolled expect to see the Bret list prove IT warriors wrong again and again. Not a genuine block of prime Gouda but I'll pick this to make the podiums even if I'm bias and have leant the army its second trebuchet.
Vampires (Rory). Having seen the results first hand of this in your face list, it's sure got the impetuous to do well. The army has done it's extensive field testing, so no situation should be a surprise. I would rate this amongst one of the top lists coming for head on exchanges. It however does have a disadvantage that maybe exposed from the experienced field at the event. As long as it just smashes face it should do fine.
And now we go to the section "Steel drawers were not quite enough". On another battlefield these armies would of had an easy run to the podium but this is the Masters. An unexpected roll of a 1 or a stubbed finger nail could swing results. These are the armies that will come close and on their day will sneak up to the top quadrant.
Orc & Gob (Sam). Really fun party time list to play and field I'd imagine. With that mob it will be hard to handle for most armies backed up by the Gobbo artillery and warmachines. Everything to handle all the phases but still at the back of my mind it's just a tad behind from some of the lists in the combined field. Will be happy to be proved wrong and if anyone Sam will be the general to do it. So wildcard but currently just on the outskirts.
Tomb Kings (Tim). Tomb kings have taken the silverware in quite a few events in NZ by Tim. The army should be very familiar by now and the shooting gallery will be hard work for low T and AS armies. Having a look at the list I can't help but notice that there is a few easy points left for people to get and even though it's solid I think having just the one casket may have released too much pressure on his opponents.
Warriors (Neil). Thats one potentially tough as nails list. Bar getting every shot in from the Hell Cannons and not having any unusual mishaps this list should find it's way to the top half of the field easily. Even without a gateway... oh wait it doesn't have gateway. It ends up second teir unfortunately in this tough testing environment.
Skaven (the Locky edition). You can't write off any Skaven list at any event with a seasoned general and this army is in no doubt that it has a chance to win. I can only guess by it's design that it'll miscast once too often and even the warlord's leadership won'y hold off a couple of close games. Still with the potential to cause a few surprises and even top the other skaven list in the results.
So having finally found out it's on this weekend I thought I'd wish everyone good luck and great fun. I had originally thought it was the second weekend of December so had to declined my invite. I would have been able to make the 1st weekend of December, doh! For all those lists that I didn't mention, take no offence. I would have enjoyed catching a few cokes and pies with you too if I was in Welly this weekend.