BLUNDERDOME 2 LISTS: Leagues of Votann and Iron Hands

Welcome back, Dear Reader, to the sacred battlegrounds of the second BLUNDERDOME. For those of you who missed yesterday’s announcement on this year’s Blunderdome, you can find the article with more info on the event here. The short version is, this second Blunderdome is going super casual: We’re building 8 lists with none of the nonsense or complications caused by things like “FAQs,” “Balance Dataslates,” or “Points updates.” Just books used exactly as printed, for the most fun, casual 40k experience possible.

For this event, we’ve had our murderer’s row of competitive sickos build lists for our casual funhavers to play with. Each two-person group constitutes a team for the purposes of winning this team, and each competitive player is on the hook for teaching their casual how to play the list. In this article – and the next three – we’re going to cover the eight lists in this BLUNDERDOME two at a time, along with notes on the lists and the documents handed off to their pilots.

Leagues of Votann. Credit: Rockfish
Leagues of Votann. Credit: Rockfish

Leagues of Votann

The new kids on the block and arguably the faction that started this whole mess, with a book that was insanely busted right out of the gate. The Votann boast incredible durability and some of the game’s best shooting, along with mechanics that all but guarantee anything in their sightlines will be destroyed. On top of that, they can be highly mobile thanks to bikes and transports, and their units are some of the game’s most efficient purely from a points-per-value standpoint.

In that regard, Danny P was perhaps one of the players most vocally on the side of “Votann are overrated” before the nerfs, and said as much in our roundtable. As someone who had played a large number of games with them pre-nerf, he was on board for building a degenerate list with them, knowing it’d be going into some of the most heinous lists ever conceived.

Generally speaking, Votann don’t need some of the boosts that come with this format – their stratagems all seem costed for Nephilim as opposed to the early days of 12 CP lists from Eternal War. And they may struggle on the GW terrain layouts which tend to limit line of sight to 24″ in a lot of cases. That said, one of their biggest problems – mediocre secondaries – will be fixed by having access to the Eternal War missions, where mission secondaries can compliment the wildly unbalanced secondary objectives in the Eternal War book. In particular, a model-based To the Last, Domination, and Bring it Down are all what you might consider “good eating” in this format.

The List

Player: Rocco the Magnarail
Factions used: League’s of Brokann
Army Points: 1998
Reinforcement Points: 0
Number of Units / Killpoints: 11

Pre Game Stratagems: 2x Warlord Trait, 1x Relic
Starting Command Points: 3

Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 74 (8VP)
Bring it Down: 9
Assasination: 7
Abhor the Witch: 0

== Leagues of Votann – Greater Thaurian League – Battalion = -3CP, [104PL 1996pts] ==

HQ1: Uthar = [7PL, 140pts] (Warlord)
– – – Warlord Trait – Experienced Eye, Ancestral Bearings (-1CP)
HQ2: Brokhyr Ironmaster [4PL, 105pts] Forge-master
– – – Warlord Trait – Master Armourer

TR1: Hearthkyn Warriors [7PL, 144pts] 10x Ion Blaster, Magna-rail Rifle, Medipack
TR1: Hearthkyn Warriors [7PL, 144pts] 10x Ion Blaster, Magna-rail Rifle, Medipack
TR1: Hearthkyn Warriors [7PL, 139pts] 10x Ion Blaster, Magna-rail Rifle

EL1: Cthonian Beserkers [10PL, 176pts] 8x Concussion Maul
EL2: Einhyr Hearthguard = [18PL, 350pts] 10x Volkanite Disintegrator, 10x Plasma blade gauntlet
– – – Relic: Warpstryke (-1CP)

FA1: Hernkyn Pioneers = [5PL, 110pts] – HYLas Rotary Cannon, Spectral Scanner, Rolibar Searchlight

TS1: Hekaton Land Fortress [13PL, 230pts] Magna-rail
TS2: Hekaton Land Fortress [13PL, 230pts] Magna-rail
TS3: Hekaton Land Fortress [13PL, 230pts] Magna-rail


Danny P’s Notes


  • TTL
  • then whatever other secondaries you want

Other Play Notes:

  • Simply throw Land fortresses onto objectives and pewpew with the magnarails – they will kill anything you look at.
  • GTL is about stacking to 2 tokens on as many units as possible, Uthar needs to sit near land fortresses with decent “firing lanes” so he can see units and give them tokens. Spend 1 CP every turn as well to give 1 unit 2 tokens at the start. You don’t ever need 3.
  • Einhyr just throw on chapter master re-rolls and watch their volkite decimate anything, and their grenade launchers.your beserkers are for anti charge only
    Play a passive game, don’t over extend
  • The bikes can give 1 Judgement Token onto a unit they shot for 1 CP


  • Uthar – turns a hit, wound, damage, or save into a 6 – this can be really good for a magna rail to auto wound, or to hit with a magna rail in Overwatch, or simply to ignore a failed d3+3 damage save etc. Always use on land fortresses
  • Brokhyr – can turn a failed save into 0 damage, use for things like meltas etc. He can also do advance & actions, or actions & shoot, good for things like banners
  • Brokhyr – can heal a fortress for 4 wounds in the movement phase
  • Brokhyr – can make a wargear strat -1CP for a unit within 6″, very good for ion storm with the hearthkyn nearby, or the auspex strat for the land fortress
  • Einhyr – can get a free teleport, great “get of jail free card” out of combat etc, or for a turn 1 aggressive push

The Casual Player: Rocco

Helming this list is Rocco, who you may remember from the occasional Yu-Gi-Oh article he’s written for the site. Normally Rocco plays space marines, and was an active uh, participant, and team captain in the Goonhammer Open Narrative event earlier this year. Rocco has never played Votann, but is eager to kill things with magna rails.

A unit of 5 Iron Hands Incursors standing around, doing nothing
Credit: head58

Iron Hands

On the other, more ferrous hand, we have the Iron Hands, who haven’t been particularly relevant since 9th edition dropped but have a few nasty surprises waiting in store. While yes, they aren’t the faction they used to be when they could sit in Devastator Doctrine all game, their 8th edition supplement still has a number of nasty tricks it can pull that have since been nerfed substantially. Being able to halve incoming damage on dreadnoughts and reduce damage by 1 in a 6″ aura with the Ironstone are both nasty abilities, and being able to hand them off to nearby marines can lead to some very silly outcomes, even when Magna-Rails are involved.

On the whole marines fare pretty decently when they get to use the Codex version of Oaths of Moment, and while the army doesn’t have a ton of damage output, what it does have is the ability to just not die and hopefully deliver a haymaker in response to an opponent trying to kill it off objectives.

Here we’ve tapped John Lennon from The Art of War to step in and build a list that modernizes the “Broviathan” builds of old. John’s as good as 40k players get, and very much misses when it was possible to play non-Blood Angel marines and win events. The Iron Hands get a lot of mileage out of the extra CP allotment in Eternal War missions, and can put it to good use.

The List

+++ Iron Hands Battalion Detachment 

HQ: Iron Father Ferrous 110
HQ: Primaris Chaplain on Bike (Master of Sanctity, The Ironstone, Litany of Faith, Canticle of Hate) 140
HQ: Lieutenant 70

EL: Leviathan Dreadnaught (2x Storm Cannons, 2x twin Volkite Calivers, 3x Hunter Killer Missiles, March of the Ancients, Warlord, All Flesh is Weakness, Merciless Logic) 255

EL: Redemptor Dreadnaught (Plasma, Onslaught, Storm bolters, Icarus rocket pod, March of the Ancients) 185

EL: Redemptor Dreadnaught (Plasma, Onslaught, Storm bolters, Icarus rocket pod, March of the Ancients) 185

EL: Redemptor Dreadnaught (Plasma, Onslaught, Storm bolters, Icarus rocket pod, March of the Ancients) 185

EL: Relic Contemptor Dreadnaught (twin Volkite Culverin, Dreadnaught combat weapon, Cyclone Missile Launcher, March of the Ancients) 170

EL: Relic Contemptor Dreadnaught (twin Volkite Culverin, Dreadnaught Combat Weapon, Cyclone Missile Launcher, March of the Ancients) 170

Troops: 10x Tactical Marines (Lightning Claw) 185
Troops: 10x Tactical Marines (Lightning Claw) 185
Troops: 5x Incursors 105

FA: Land Speeder Storm 55

John Lennon’s Notes


  • Raise the Banners High
  • Domination
  • While We Stand, We Fight (leviathan, 2x Redemptors)

In true “Art of War Coaching” fashion, Lennon had more of a coaching convo with Condit, so I’ve transcribed chunks of that into the bullet points you see below.

  • Generally you want to put a pile of dreads near each tac squad and keep enough CP for martyrdom in the clutch
  • The -2 damage aura off the chaplain is hilarious for dreads because ironstone stacks with innate reduction and his 5+ against mortals helps against the Martyrdom shrugs for some reason.
  • You also have pretty good choices of While we stand targets with the redemptors in addition to the Leviathan.
  • I would recommend taking banners and stranglehold in most situations so you can score a ton of passive points while pointing guns downfield and daring people to come out.
  • You should have enough CP to fuel a few martyrdoms and a wisdom of the ancients on the critical shooting turn, as well as to shift people into dev doctrine. But being stingy with CP will probably be beneficial as you mainly want to keep dreads alive well past any reasonable point and then murder people.
  • A very important thing to note with the as-written Martyrdom is that the 2+ to pass off blanks an entire attack, not damage. So if someone does 8 damage to you with a railgun, one 2+ blanks the whole thing
  • All the dreads are just kinda accidentally +1 attack because it’s funny, and you will be an impossible pain in the ass to shift with shooting.
  • If people get to shoot the Tac marines for free, it does drop off, unfortunately. But, they should buy you two shooting phases easily, and with Incursors and Ferrous you can use the strat again late game if necessary. Plus, ferrous can double heal with the old IH strat so fixing 6 damage is free if you take a little more than you wanted.
  • You will need to be fairly aggressive because you’re slower, it benefits you to make your opponent come out and fight.
  • Sticking tacticals behind walls and dreads in front for critical turns also helps.
  • The bike chaplain has a very large base, which helps extend the 3″ Ironstone aura to a large number of dreadnoughts at once. The Contemptors don’t need it early because they are 9 wounds and can’t be shot. Chap can cover the front few dreads while the back two can’t be shot at.

OK so something you have to know about our Discord is that we rename each other all the time

The Casual Player: Condit

Piloting this list is Condit, our resident Iron Hands player who is also very, very bad at 40k. It’s a perfect pairing, in the sense that he’s one of the three people on the planet who actually likes Iron Hands and knows enough about their lore to tell you the difference between their stupid houses/clans. He’s also one of the sharper minds in the Blunderdome, in that his brain has the requisite number of wrinkles to understand how the dreadnought wound handoff mechanics work.


Next Time: Drukhari and T’au

That wraps up our look at the first two Blunderdome lists, but check back in tomorrow for another pair of war crimes, along with notes on how to play them. We’ll be doing this all week, then talking about the games next week. In the meantime, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at