Matched Play: 1,000 Points

The General’s Handbook has been in circulation (if not full release) for a couple of weeks now, and minds are gradually being bent towards points-led play in Age of Sigmar.


It is going to be a while before anyone can claim to be anything like an expert in Matched Play, but that is not going to stop people from trying to put together the most lethal combinations they can find. This has some relevance to me, as I will be attending The Seeds of Hope event at Warhammer World next month – this is the final event of the summer campaign (and free, so I hope to see you there if you can travel to Nottingham!), and will be using the Matched Play rules with 1,000 point armies.

So, my mind has started turning… Just what can you get for 1,000 points.

Note, I am not going to even try for the foul/nasty/’unbeatable’ combos, so if you are looking for a gamebreaker, I am afraid you will have to try another blog. What I am going to do here is just put together a few ideas that may lead to some ‘robust’ armies – those that are strong and can be ‘competitive’ but will not leave you looking like a complete twerp with no friends.

I will also be concentrating on the models I have in my collection and those I am prepared to put together over the next few weeks, so if you are looking for tips with Bretonnians, I am afraid (again) you’ll have to look elsewhere.

At 1,000 points, you need 2 Battleline units with a Leader, and can have up to four Leaders, and two each of Artillery and Behemoths. It should also be noted that the Matched Play Battleplans are primarily objective-based (with the usual caveat that if you table your opponent, you usually won’t have to care about the objectives).



When I started considering 1,000 point armies, my mind immediately went straight to the Deathlords. If you go Deathlord-only as your allegiance, Morghasts become Battleline, and I know just how nasty they can be. So, my first idea was:

Neferata, Mortarch of Blood
Morghast Archai x 2
Morghast Archai x 2

For a total of 920 points. We could also be a bit cheeky and have a summoning pool of 80 points, with the intention of dropping in something like Skeleton Warriors, Zombies , or a Tomb Banshee during the game.

The Morghasts in this force are, frankly, just plain rude. There may only be four of them, but they have three attacks each (3+/3+ n hit and wound), Rend -2 and Damage 3 – whether they are hacking their way through a massive horde or attacking a brute like Archaon, they are going to get noticed. Despite being very few in number (only five models starting on the table with this force!), their Armour 4+ is… okay for a front line unit, but their 6 Wounds and ability to resist mortal wounds will see them sticking around a fair bit. A Mystic Shield will help out here which, incidentally, they give Neferata a bonus to casting.

As for the Mortarch herself, she is nasty as hell. While not desperate to go in the front line of battle, her Command Ability (which reduces the hit rolls of all nearby enemies) means she provides an effective shield over the Morghasts and also takes away some special abilities, such as Retributors getting mortal wounds if they roll a 6 – without a suitable buff, they cannot roll a 6 near her.

She won’t be turning any enemy Heroes into vampires in Matched Play (sorry guys, but that is a new unit, and so would have to come out of the summoning pool!), but she can readily heal herself, and her unique spell ignores enemy Rend. Putting that on a Morghast unit with Mystic Shield (she can cast – and unbind – two spells per turn) will create a seriously robust unit that will hold an objective all day.

I would think thus a nice, strong force – vulnerable to massed missile fire, though it can close range quickly enough, and mortal wounds will always be an issue with so few models. However, a strong B+, I think.



Sticking with the Death theme at the moment, this one is inspired by some Imperial Guard armies in 40k, going with the idea that if you can flood the table with miniatures, there is no way the enemy will be able to kill them all, meaning you can overwhelm objectives and anyone holding them, utterly heedless of casualties.

Wight King
Skeleton Warriors x 40
Skeleton Warriors x 40
Skeleton Warriors x 30

Over 100 models in a 1,000 point game (and units that effectively regenerate casualties as well). That would be a tall order.

Skeletons are not the finest warriors on the battlefield by any means. However, in these numbers, and supported by the Wight King, they are hitting on 3’s (4’s with spears – which may be a decent option, given how many models there are as you will want as many in combat as possible) and have 3 attacks each! They have a 5+ save against ‘normal’ weaponry and, as I say, return D6 slain models back to their units every round. With the Wight King, one of those units is going to be making four attacks per model…

They are not amazingly durable, true, but their high Bravery will make Battleshock tests a lot easier to cope with.

There are variations on this theme, of course. The obvious choice is to go for Zombies to get even more models on the table, though you will likely go with a Necromancer to lead them (giving them Mystic Shield too), but you will also want to sink points (less zombies!) into a Corpse Cart…

The other obvious choices are either Grots or Skaven – they can certainly be played this way, but be aware that their low Bravery will become a factor. Inspiring Presence will be your friend!


Spiderfang Grots

Speaking of Grots, I was giving some serious thought to this little force:

Grot Big Boss on Gigantic Spider
Arachnarok Spider
Grot Spider Riders x 10
Grot Spider Riders x 10
Grot Spider Riders x 10

The temptation here is to cut back on the Spider Riders further and have another Arachnarok, but I think that would leave this army way too weak.

If you can keep this force tight, the Big Boss is going to ensure mortal wounds come dripping out of your units, meaning individual attacks do not have to be that significant (you just need to get the hits in).

The Grots themselves are never going to be amazingly awesome, but the two Wounds a piece will help with their durability (effectively doubling resilience to Battleshock tests, which will hurt this army a lot), and while their bow fire is wildly inaccurate, two shots a piece will nibble away at enemy units. The real stars among them though are the spiders they are riding – with two attacks a piece with their fangs, you can begin to stack mortal wounds up very quickly (especially if the boss is nearby).

Then we come to the Arachnarok (we’ll presume it will carry a Shaman). It is a nice Wound sink, and its attacks are reasonable, if not brilliant. The Shaman will provide nice magical support and a Mystic Shield here and there will not go amiss – not that you will ever cast it, of course, as the Shaman’s own spell allows you to double the mortal wounds all your close by spiders are kicking out. Now this army becomes proper scary, even to the likes of Arcahon and co (not that he is likely to appear in a 1,000 point game – and you can be sure the players at such an event will have a plan to tackle the likes of him and the Glottkin anyway…).


Daughters of Khaine

Now, this one is not mine, but is a force being seriously considered by someone else in my group (and yes, he will be attending the event too!):

Death Hag
Cauldron of Blood
Bloodwrack Medusa
Witch Aelves x 20
Witch Aelves x 20
Bloodwrack Sisterhood

This force is all about the sheer number of attacks – even of your opponent is rocking a 2+ save, there are going to be enough attacks getting through to shake even the toughest unit.

The Witch Aelves are the core, though they need to be supported. As a quick run down though, each of these girls will:

  • Have three attacks (3+/4+) if they are within 14″ of the Death Hag or Cauldron.
  • Re-roll all hit rolls of 1 (they will actually re-roll all misses until they take a casualty).
  • A unit close to the Death Hag or Cauldron will also re-roll wound tolls of a 1, and be immune to Battleshock.
  • A unit close to the Cauldron will be able to pile-in twice in the combat phase, and all units have a chance of piling-in during the hero phase (rare, but it will happen at least once during a game).
  • At first glance, Witch Aelves have no armour, but those close to the Cauldron will save all wounds and mortal wounds on a 5+

This force is vulnerable to sustained missile fire and it also has to remain fairly compact (sticking the Witch Aelves close to the Cauldron and Hag) to get the full effect, meaning it may have issues as it starts to spread out and go for objectives – however, the point of this force, really, is to go straight for the enemy’s throat. As I said earlier, if you wipe the enemy pout, objectives become somewhat less important…



The lizards are certainly worth a look at 1,000 points, centred around my favourite Battalion:

Skink Priest with Priestly Trappings
Eternity Warden
Saurus Guard x 10
Saurus Guard x 10
Saurus Guard x 10
Eternal Starhost
Skinks (or maybe a Razordon, haven’t decided yet)

This one is surprisingly brutal. Forget the Skinks at the moment, they will just be trying not to get killed as they go fir an objective (and the Razordon will help slow any enemy assaults). The key to this force is the Eternal Starhost.

With the Eternity Warden close by, those thirty Saurus Guard will:

  • Make three attacks each with their Celestial Polearms (that is 3+/3+ at -1, not too shabby at all). Their jaws are just the icing on the cake.
  • Ignore Rend -1.
  • Have a 2+ Armour save, even if they are not in cover. If they are in cover and your opponent comes at your with Rend -2, they still save on a 3+.
  • Keep that Skink Priest around. He will ensure those 2+ saves are re-rollable.
  • If they have not moved, those Celestial Polearms that you are attacking three times each with will change from Damage 1 to Damage D3.

See where I am going with this? Get these units onto a couple of objectives and they will be the absolute devil to shift. If an enemy is foolish enough to charge them, they will give anything a serious smack, from buffed up Bloodreavers to Alarielle herself.

The downside? Mortal wounds. And on this, I speak from experience. An army kicking out large numbers of mortal wounds (especially if they are at range) will easily wear this force down in 5-6 rounds.

However… that is probably the only downside, and I would imagine a force very similar to this will form the core of a lot of Seraphon armies at 2,000 points.


So, those are just my initial thoughts, they will no doubt be refined over time and with a few more battles under my belt.

I would love to hear what you all think!



5 Responses to “Matched Play: 1,000 Points”

  1. Nessaiy Says:

    Could you make a 1000 points Slaanesh Daemon based army? I am new in AoS and have no really idea, what I can use.

  2. Circus of Paint Says:

    Depending on how long my enthusiasm lasts, I’m considering a mixture of Sylvaneth Outcasts, Scourge Privateers and / or Shadowblades.

    When the Silver Tower points get FAQ’d then I’ll certainly also chuck in the Tenebrael Shard too!

  3. Peter Fraser Says:

    Why would you use the Necromancer to cast mystic shield on zombies? It adds 1 tof all their save rolls, which they don’t get to make as their save is nothing. You don’t change the target number, but modify the roll.

    Also, van Hels danse macabre is one of the best spells in the game. Allowing a unit to pile in and attack twice is awesome on both zombies and skeletons. Pile in and attack twice with 40 skeletons with swords buffed by the Wight king is SCARY good. I’m not sure what survives that if you can get them there in one piece. Even if only 15 are close enough to hit that’s 120 attacks… 3+ to hit 4+ to wound.

  4. sinscaptain Says:

    My friend has been running a list similar to the Deathlords list you mention. For a 2000 Point game it includes Nagash, Arkhan, 2 units of (2) Archai, 1 unit of (2) Harbringers. After playing 4-5 games with that list for the campaign against various opponents, he’s lost once to new Syvaneth by a single objective point, and he has lost a Nagash exactly once. Its an extremely tough list to play against, but its perfectly fluffy to me. Pain to play against though.

  5. Chris Says:

    Hello I saw your site due to a dakkadakka report you put up. Great report with skarbrand btw. Anyway with the skeleton list you can give even more durability if you give the wight king an internal standard. Then for each model they kill you roll and on a 6 the model lives.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: