So, Lamoron, great Danish Cryx player posted his review of the WTC's Cryx lists over at The Overseer, and I thought that would be sth that should be done with the Khadoran lists as well - especially since both Jamie P. and Trent D., perceived Paragons of the Khador faction, have abandoned it for the WTC, and you hear the argument that Khador, even after Butcher 3, isn't being feared.
Keeping that in mind - I think there are too many people playing Khador for that to be a valid statement (thirty, to be precise). I'll judge the list by the following colour chart - and a number of KMIs (key model indicators) that'll reveal itself throughout the essay), and give my reasoning later.
That professional, objective research right there! But since I'm the scientist, I set the parameters by which the data is analysed - so let's bring it on!
For safety reasons: I'm not judging the lists to be "done well" or "done badly", I'm merely going by how much reading the lists makes me want to see it played.
Prefrontal Note: All the lists can be found HERE. Also, I originally started with the last team in the alphabet, so I'm presenting my thoughts in inverted order. So if some things sounds/look/appear strange to you - that may be why.
Australia Gold - Christopher Davies
I had thought Australia as a whole had abandoned Khador, but no, that was only one player, it seems. This gentleman here fields Irusk2 in a dudespam-"brick" (it has no MoWs, thus the "") and there's a Ternion there, too, which is kinda unexpected. The other list is Sorscha2 with ... double Pressgangers and a few key pirate models. Spoilers: You're not going to see that particular build again in this article. But hopefully, he'll see a good amount of success with that.
Austria Red - Stefan Riegler
An Irusk1 Iron Fang "spam" coupled with Sorscha's 18. Not... totally groundbreaking, even though that Irusk list isn't exactly repeated among the other lists. And apparently, Alten Ashley is a thing in Sorscha's 18.
Belgium Heron - Wout Maerschalk
Definitely not interesting. Fun fact: Wout's list/type of list are played exactly three times among all the teams. His Butcher2 list is prominent due to usage of the Berserker, and probably more Doom Reavers than everyone else - 55 (including Fenris) to be precise (Actually, not everyone else. Tatu Purhonen (Finland White, see below) and Christpohe Dirkx rock the very same build). His Butcher3 list is the (uninspiring yet undeniably effective) bog standard double dragons build (also featured in Team Czech Republic and Team Germany Black).
Belgium Otter - Christophe Dirckx
One of the few countries that has the balls to do it, Belgium has two Khador players in their teams. Interestingly enough: his Butcher2 list is exactly the same as Wout's (see above). The other list is a Vlad1 gunline. I'm slightly confused as to why Kovnik Joe is in there - I know that combos well against high DEF (which, as we will see, would be not a bad idea), but with no Stealth mitigation, I can't really see why it needs Joe (except for, maybe, the fact that the other list does not need him, so why not).
Canada 1 - Tyler
Okay, another Butcher3 list - which, setting it apart from the rest, runs double Eliminators and Boomhowlers. That can be considered a saving grace. I was quick to dismiss the Sorscha1 list as another Sorscha's 18, but he actually runs Croe's Cutthroats instead of Nyss, and TAC+Valachev, which is interesting - a little.
Czech Republic - Daniel Bogdanoski
Okay, I see a Butcher3 double dragon list which's only interesting element is the choice of Alexia2. It's not that I think it wouldn't work, it's just that she is widely considered "not necessary". The other list is a combined arms Irusk list. I'd generally consider the amount of light infantry in the list a weakness, but if you look at it - all the hard targets are in one list, and all the high DEF/ low ARM in the other. If that's intentional, I hope it causes the all conundrums it can. Also, Kayazy Assassins and Greylord Ternion!
China.1 - Liang Yan
His Butcher1 list appears a little jumbled together (which, by Khadoran standards, means it still kills), kinda like a best-of show, and the Vlad1 list is kinda gunline-ish (Conquest & Riflecorps) with a rather small footprint on the board. This one also has Kovnik Joe, but no anti-stealth, so I guess there's some sort of tech I'm missing out on (or it's just the bare-bones ridiculousness of Joe).
China.2 - Ran Tao
Go go Team China for putting two Khador player in one team. Seriously, if they fare well, that'll really rub it in for all of those that discarded Khador out of fear of bad matchups (Yes, England & Lower-Half-of-the-Globe-England, I'm looking at you). Here we have one of the few Old Witch players who apparently runs a pretty regular Old Witch list that simply swaps Assassins for Black Dragons, and a Sorscha2 all-rounder. I say all-rounder because it can assassinate (Boundless Charge + Redlined Beast / Sorscha, Assassins, Winterguard), it can control (Sylys + Sorscha) and it can crack armour (Juggernaut, Beast, Malakov, Sorscha, Black Dragons). Not totally excited overall, though.
Denmark White - Mikkel Ernst
This is officially the only player rocking two Vlads, which is more interesting than double Butcher from the get-go to me. Vlad1 appears more generalist (even though that Gun Carriage tends to indicate a PoM drop), and it should be noted that the IFP UA is the regular UA! Way to go. The Vlad2 list looks definitely skewed towards the feat (double Doomies, double Eliminators, Drakhun), and like sth I'd run myself.
Finland White - Tatu Purhonen
The only thing that sets his Butcher2 list apart from most the others is that he also goes "full retard". But, good God I love that Butcher3 list, just because it's so different with all the heavy clams. I saw it played last year (see also Netherlands Blue below), and I think it rocks. Some players spark my interest, but this one will have my attention. I'd love to see this outperform all the other B3 lists, but... the format itself makes comparison hard, so even if it does, that would say it's a better build than the others.
France 2 - Pierre Arnaud de S?ze [sic]
An Irusk dudespam comes along with a general Vlad1 li... wait... it has a Greylord Ternion, and Black Dragons, and Orin, so... maybe not as general as I was about to dismiss it. One thing is certain though - awesome paintjobs are to be expected.
Germany Black - Christian Metz
I had a very brief chat with him at ClogCon'14 after I managed to enter the
Hungary Green - Gábor Wolf
I was about to yawn at the Mad Dogs of War list - until I saw that it was tier 4, not 3. He fields two 'Jacks, thusly, those two being Conquest and a Spriggan. He has only three units of Doom Reavers in turn, all with UA (not surprisingly). The performance of that very list will be very interesting to me. The other list is Butcher3 and... goodness gracious. Man-o-War. Okay, it's just one unit of Shocktroopers, but there's also Battle Mechanics with Officer - and there's a Gun Carriage. This build is completely different from the others I remember, and it'll be very interesting to see how they work out.
Hungary Red - Ferenc Venczel
Another one of the few players bold enough to play Irusk2 - with a Gun Carriage. Yup, you got that right. That's a serious bonus. It also has Orin Midwinter, so I suspect it'd be the Butcher3 drop. The other list rocks Vlad2, which I'm a fan of. It appears to be fairly standard (built with the Assassination in mind, indicators being Kayazy, Drakhun, Manhunter), though. Props to Hungary for allowing a Khadoran on each of it's teams.
Latvia - Areinikus
Okay, Mad Dogs of War. Nothing to see, move right along. This is paired with a Vlad1 gunline featuring Malakov with Behemoth, but nothing that'd really make you go "Oh!".
Malta Prime - Stephen Schembri
He brought two lists I'd simply consider "classic". Nothing fancy new, Butcher1 dudespam and Irusk1 Conquest/dudespam, Kayazy two times... I predict that he'll not fare too well, since both lists look to have serious overlap, making list choice for the opponent rather simple. It'll speak for his skill if that does not come true.
Netherlands Blue - Niek v. Slagmaat
Initially, I was really stoked for his lists, having seen the APDS (Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot = 4x Clams to limo Butcher3) in action, I thought it was a well-working list that'd score just by being different (a hella different). But apparently, somebody (totally not pointing fingers here) got himself peer pressured into the apparently regular Butcher3/Sorscha's18 pairing. Okay, B3 has double Doomies, which is refreshing, but COME ON. Such a let down. Let's just hope he's not going to make any terrible mistakesTM. ;-)
Netherlands Orange - Tom Starren
He runs Butcher1 Claws of the Dragon (making him the only one doing that), and the triple dragon + Uhlans set-up to boot, which is... well, kinda stale, but still has me more interested than Butcher3. And, look, it's Sorscha's 18... or is it? Has Alten Ashley, minimum Outriders, and Alexia2? Certainly not your "classic" approach to the list, it'll be interesting to see his performance.
Northern Ireland - John Foster
The Butcher3 list sports only one model I wasn't expecting, and that's... Reinholdt. Also, Kayazy Assassins instead of Black Dragons, but still, Butcher3. Interestingly enough, he's being paired with Old Witch with a more modern style of list (Sylys, Outriders). Still not too excited.
Norway Red - Terje
Apparently, Butcher3 double dragon is nothing fancied by top-end players. Good news. Two Juggernauts? No IFPs at all? Boomhowlers? Double Juggernaut? Goodness gracious! To top that off even, he's rocking an Irusk2 dudespam that looks really solid, and scores just by the grace of being Irusk2.
Poland Reckless - Martin Mycek
*yawn*, Mad Dogs of War. What, no Fenris? Huh, sb's absolutely sure about his ability/necessity to stop Berserking - which is fine. The other list, though, is Karchev - making him the only player with Karchev. Bonus points! And it's not even last year's AK-matchup-hate-victim-list. It can go gunboat, it threatens far with Malakov+Spriggan... may Karchev lead this man to victory. Just to put shame unto all discrediting Karchev.
Portugal Kult - Alberto Santos
Not interesting - Butcher 3 again paired with Sorscha's 18. Yay.
Russia 2 - Viktor Nelipovich
This is one of the few players running Old Witch, which is an instant bonus. However, the Old Witch list is really standard for her types of lists, like... a list right out of the past from around 2012. The other list is a 'Jack heavy (Beast, Drago, Conquest) Vlad1 list, which is sth you really see because relying on the 'Jacks to do the work drains so much focus, you might not have enough left for S&P. It's also really small in footprint.
Scotland - Michael Dick
So he's running Butcher3 and Sorscha1. The Sorscha1 list looks like an Sorscha's 18, with just WGI swapped in for Nyss Hunters. Those are always interesting to see, it's said to be really good, but I never played it. The surprising thing is... Butcher3. No Black Dragons. Three 'Jacks. Torch, for God's sake! Wowzers.
Sweden Epic - Olof Winroth
Okay, so his Sorscha2 list is... bog standard, nothing striking. Interestingly, though, his Vlad2 list sports IFP - vanilla IFP, to be precise. That's not a common choice, and pretty much tells you that it's not built around the feat as much as it can be sporting Uhlans, Doom Reavers, and a Drakhun. Still, regular IFP with Vlad2. Nice.
Sweden Prime - Joakim Rapp
Sweden actually gets the prize for being the only country that puts it's faith in Khador in more than one team. May the Motherland bless their play. So he plays Butcher1 with a mixed-arms approach which fairly standard and allround-ish, but what surprised is the pairing with Vlad3 ... who has Conquest. And a sniper squad of WM, Eiryss1(!), and Kell, in addition to the obligatory Uhlans & Outriders. Also, no Sylys in sight. Huh. That'll be worth watching.
Switzerland White - Tudor Stanescu
Oh, it's Mad Dogs of War. *yawn* The other list is Butcher3, which has only one unit of Black Dragons, but that is pretty much all there is to innovation...
Ukraine.1 - Golitsyn Oleksandr
The Butcher 3 (being a pretty standard set-up) is a downer, even when paired with Vlad2 (whom I like). Too bad the Vlad list is also a rather regular threat-spam (and very light on ARM besides the Uhlans and Demolisher)
Ukraine.2 - Gorbachyk Oleksii
Yes, Team Ukraine is the only other team that has two Khador players. He pairs Butcher1 with Irusk1, and both lists have Kayazy Assassins w/ Underboss, which gets my interest quickly, but both appear to be dude-spams
USA Stripes - Kurt Hindman
I'll be looking forward to how he does, because not only does he pair Butcher1 and Sorscha1, the Butcher list is a mixed arms list that also has Kayazy Assassins - and the Sorscha list contains a Destroyer. They are both more "classical" in their approach - Butcher is a dude-spam with high damage output and high DEF skew, and Sorscha has enough Arcing Fire to do Pop&Drop - which would generally be considered boring, but with the way the meta appears to have shifted, it'll be good to see how far that can still take him. Also, neither of the lists has Sylys. Or the WGIDS.
- Wrapping it up, here are (again) the teams that I'll be watching the most: Finland White, Hungary Green, Norway Red, Scotland.
- Kayazy Assassins are appearing way more often than expected. You might say that, for a unit that is allegedly past it's zenith, a lot of people are putting their faith in them. Kayazys not dead!
- Butcher3 is as omnipresent as was to be feared. Thankfully, there is no apparent top partner for him (yet).
- The list of 'Casters used extends to all Khadoran 'Casters except three: Harkevich, Strakhov, Zerkova. If I had the chance to attend the event (as I jokingly say "as a member of Team Germany Gold"), we'd be even more complete.
- As far as I can see, only MoW Democorps, MoW Bombardiers, MoW Kovnik, Assault Kommandos and Kossites were not used. That's not surprising at all, though I might be missing out on a few others.
If you made it this far: Thanks for reading and sticking with us! If you have anything to say - your opinions on those lists, especially - why not do so in the comments?
And until next time, farewell.