Not just an eelrush!
This is the list I used to finish 5 th at the 2018 Blood and Glory event in Derby.
Now hearing you’ve got to play an Idoneth list elicits a shudder and fears of mass eels flooding across the board turn one. The Fuethan list certainly does that but I’ve found the psychology factor that the Morrsarr Guard shouldn’t be underestimated. It allows you to play a really tight board control game in the early turns before unleashing the full force of the ocean and not allowing your opponent to sneak back into the game in the final turns.
Make no mistake the Morsarr Guard can take anything in the game off in one combat but they have a strong element of glass cannon about them. A counter charge or overwhelming numbers will see them melt away and your chances of winning as quickly as the retreating tide.
Nightmares, Tides and the elusive Ritual
Forgotten Nightmares – Missile weapons can only target Idoneth if it’s the closet visable unit.
Brilliant for the more vulnerable elements of your army. Ensuring that your support characters can’t be picked off as long as there’s an Idoneth unit between them and the enemy missile weapons means they can stroll up happily behind your lines in relative safely and this is exactly where you’ll want them. Makes them that bot harder to shift from objectives too.
Tides of Death – With my general using his ability to flip the tide order and the Fuethan abilities taken into account it works as follows in this list:
T1 – Idoneth units can run and then either shoot or charge.
T2 – All Idoneth units attack first in the combat phase.
T3 – Idoneth units can run and then either shoot or charge.
T4 – Idoneth units count as in cover.
T5 – Idoneth units can run and then either shoot or charge.
This is the real bread and butter of the list. It’s the potential speed in turns 1,3 and 5 that makes the Morrsarr Guard so dangerous. They have a potential 35’’ from start point to end of charge. This enables them to barrel across the board turn one or have a huge threat range later in the game.
Turn two I use two ways. Firstly and perhaps the most common use is to time the mass Morrsarr swarm so everything fights first. Keep the King close for the re-roll 1s to hit and armies tend to implode. Alternatively you can use turn 2 to trick your opponent into castling up against the inevitable rush across the board while you move your army into an advantageous position around the board to secure objectives and pin them in. When they realise what is happening it’s often to late and you can pick on units at will to attack with the Morrsarr.
Turn four is great as by this point you’re generally commited and the +1 saves all round from cover come in nicely when you’re trying to hold onto objectives.
Isharann Rituals – Two options to choose from here if you can get 10 on 2D6.
Erosion – Enemy units can’t benefit from cover.
Tempest – Enemy units can’t use the fly ability.
The way the list plays the buffs your Isharann can get for proximity to each other and the Gloomtide Shipwreck terrain piece are often counterproductive so it relies on the Tidecaster rolling a 10 (8% chance) or a 9 (11% chance) from the Soulscyer. It’s not to be relied on but is a nice bonus when it comes off.
If the enemy is bunkered up then using the Erosion ability and removing their cover saves helps your Morrsarr smash through nearly any opposition. Generally more useful though is removing the fly ability with the Tempest ability. The game is about movement so anything that restricts this is an advantage that can be jumped on. I have only used the Erosion ability if my opponent doesn’t have models that can fly.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Artefact – Ethereal Amulet on the Akhelian King It makes him ethereal and a tank. He must survive to keep the Morrsarr in the fight so in the style of this list I’m very happy it’s the right choice. It’s the consistency in every turn which gives it the edge over the one use Cloud of Midnight and the immunity that can give for a phase.
Command Trait – Born from Agony on the Tide Bringing the Tidecaster to 7 wounds when she ignores the first suffered each turn gives her a surprising survivability. She’s never died for me. The other options don’t really worker on a vulnerable wizard general so it’s the perfect buff.
Command Abilities – Inspiring Presence is all that matters Yes the Akhelion King can give a unit +1 attack in turn 2 and yes the At the Double to ensure your Morrsarr run 6 and get 20’’ over the table turn one sound great but, and it’s a really big BUT…
You win or lose on the performance of your Morrsarr, command points are at a real premium in this list and a bravery 6 means eels flee almost as efficiently as they rip apart enemy troops. I would always stokepile command points and ensure that every single Morrsarr dies in the fight. They can really grind things out with 4 wounds each and it’s often their ability to hold on and pin the enemy in place that wins games as much as their charge.
The main role of the Tidecaster is to flip the tides and make Reavers battleline. Anything else is really a bonus. In game his Steed of Tides spell allows him or another hero within 6’’ to make a 24’’ jump around the board. This is where she really excels. Move her within dispel range of the enemy, grab an objective or catch up with the Morrsarr so she can use Inspiring Presence on them.
His job is mostly a game of chase with the Morrsarr. He needs to stay within 6’’ to use Inspiring Presence but can tank when required should the fighting come to him. On the charge there is potential to put out some damage but he’s very inconsistent and it’s more a last gasp. Although he has a 3+ ethereal save he’s easily overwhelmed by hordes. He’s best thrown in pinning low attack, high damage characters.
Isharann Soulscryer – Support
Should always be the first drop you make and keep him off the table. The psychology factor here is huge as your opponent will be second guessing and expecting 1-2 of your Morrsarr to be deployed of the board effecting their deployment as a consequence. This then give’s you options. If the enemy is low movement you can then deploy all Morrsarr on the board as I think this gives you greater flexibility. Otherwise but a unit of 6 Morrsarr with the Soulscyer to keep them guessing.
Butcher hordes, hack apart monsters, die to a stiff breeze!
The best thing about Thralls is how often they catch out your opponent; If they get to attack first then they will make a mess. I often use them as a screen turn one to keep fire off the Morrsarr. If you can then get them into position for turn two combat you can overwhelm an enemy an win by end of turn 2. I tend to find they’re what’s left behind to hold objectives in friendly territory and keep them safe.
Race forward and shoot off chaff screens. 8’’ move, run and shooting turns 1, 3 and 5 with 3 shots each within 9’’ gives the list something it’s lacking. Brilliant at chipping 1-2 wounds off characters or removing a couple of models in a unit keeping your Morrsarr pinned in place. Always do something useful in the game.
Akhelian Morrsarr Guard – Super charged hammer
Speed, power and the fly ability is what sets Morrsarr apart. Always remember their speed and try to get charges into the chinks in enemy lines. The +3’’ charge offered by the Soulscryer and re-rollable charges means you can jump them over screens to juicier targets. Look to get within 3’’ of lone characters to use the Biovoltaic Blast ability to mortal wound them off the board while the -2 rend and 2 damage on the riders cuts down swathes of troops or brings down monsters in a turn.
How to play – The Patient Hunter
The army plays in two different ways. It is the enemy army rather than scenario that I’ve found to be the key factor in determining how to decide between:
The Patient Hunter – Dealing with Hordes (Legion of Nagash, Daughters of Khaine, etc)
Lists with 150-200+ wounds or the ability to summon/recycle units fall into this category. They pose the problem of being able to take a charge from the Morrsarr and then swarm them and can effectively shield high priority targets your Morrsarr want to charge in a sea of bodies. Your problem here is attrition and that’s a battle you simply won’t win over 5 turns unless you try to stack the odds. Here psychology is an important factor. Influencing your opponent and then taking advantage of their decisions.
I’ve found that most people will either castle up or try to deploy on the table edge. You can play with this as they’re clearly prepped to take a charge. When you don’t it can lead to confusion, indecision and hopefully mistakes. Time is your friend here if you can secure an equal share of the objectives or gain a small lead it’ll force your opponent to break formation and come towards you. Look for gaps in the ranks or space to jump the front lines. Even if this doesn’t happen look to charge the Morrsarr in turn three with close character support to use Inspiring Presence. Here you’re looking to pen in the enemy so arranging the Morrsarr nose to tail and creating a wall is the preferred formation. With characters ensuring no one runs you’re looking to get far enough ahead in victory points that you can’t be caught. Namarti can be used to attack anyone who manages to break through. By leaving it till turn 3 rather than turn 1 to unleash the charge you restrict the enemies ability to chew through you and rack up points later in the game.
If they rush you it’s game on and you’ll have space to attack, if they sit you’re effectively being given the game right from the off. Remember the threat of the charge is often just as effective if not more so than the charge itself. Keep the victory conditions in your mind at all points. Getting caught trying to wipe out the enemy is the quickest way to lose scenarios.
The Eelrush is outstanding here. Identify the biggest threat and then apply extreme force to it. Sylvaneth are a good example here. Use the Biovoltaic Blast to kill Durthu, Ancients, Allarielle, Hunters and characters ignoring things like Dryads. If you can clear the threats to the Morrsarr early then you’ll clear the table at your leisure in the late game.
If they have Alpha Strike capability then your Namarti become your chaff. So long as the Morrsarr get to charge you’re in a strong position. Consider putting the 2 units of 6 Morrsarr of table with the Scryer in this scenario and shield the 9 for a counter punch. If your opponent goes first you need to ensure they can’t reach your Morrsarr, should you go first weigh up whether you can flood the board and deny them space to Alpha Strike from and play the board control battle. Stormcast are your biggest threat hear as they hit like a train but if you can feed them Namarti the speed of the Morrsarr will give you a huge advantage.
Slay – Kill the most expensive hero in the enemy army.
Easy. Should be a cakewalk but be careful you don’t get stuck chasing Nagash or Archaon in the wrong Realm. An ethereal Nagash is capable of bouncing all 21 Morrsarr and losing you the game big. Against anything smaller you’ll have no trouble.
Sacrifice – Get your most expensive non-general hero killed.
Easy. Find something killy and hurl the King at it. With a bit of luck he’ll hold it up for a couple of turns as well.
Invade – Have a unit with 3 or more models wholly within enemy territory at the end of the battle.
Medium. Use this early in a tournament with an easy matchup to get it out the way early. It
shouldn’t be too hard to achieve if you can clear the enemy out early in the game.
Secret Mission – Get a hero into enemy territory 1’’ from the board edge and 12’’ from friendly territory. Hero can leave the board in the battleshock phase.
Easy. With the Tidecaster’s spell you can achieve this turn one relatively easily but is a good
one to hold until you get a tough match up.
Conserve – Have at least one third of your army left alive at the end of the battle.
Medium. Use this early in a tournament with an easy matchup to get it out the way early or against opponents with limited killing power.