Competitive Innovations in 9th: Brisbane GT

An article by    Competitive Play Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

From within the terrible Panopticon we recently had installed in the Goonhammer offices we have once more cast our gazes far and wide to continue bringing you week-by-week updates on the exciting new builds players are trying out in 9th Edition. This week and next our focus turns to lands down under, with the Brisbane GT having run the weekend just past, and the New Zealand GT coming up this week, both two-day events with a healthy 40+ players. In terms of bringing us the spicy lists that we do so desire, the New Zealand GT is going to have a lot to live up to, because the field at the Brisbane GT was packed full of innovative lists and that’s well reflected in the top four, with a first time entrant here to immediately challenge my precious Tier List, and some new units and options on show within the other lists.

If you want to check out the details of the full field, the event was run in Down Under Pairings, and can be found here. The New Zealand GT is also running in DUP, so if you want to look ahead, check it out here. Thanks to a reader giving us a heads up, next week we’ll also be taking a look at some lists from an Ironman 5-round GT being run in Australia. This event is being run as a charity fundraiser on behalf of a member of the community whose son has been diagnosed with Leukaemia, and the organisers are running a raffle as part of the event, and have included a donate link on their page, so if you think you might be able to help out in any way, do check out the post from the event organisers here or the fundraiser page direct here.

All that remains to be said before we kick off is another big thank you to everyone who’s been sending me events to cover, and a reminder that if you know of a larger event that’s coming up in a Covid-safe country, especially if it’s being run outside BCP or DUP, give me a shout at contact@goonhammer.com. With that out of the way, on to the lists.

Dan Savage’s Chaos Daemons – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [104 PL, 1,999pts, -3CP] 

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

HQ [36 PL, 700pts, -2CP] +

Great Unclean One [14 PL, 270pts, -1CP]: Bileblade, Doomsday bell [10pts], Fleshy Abundance, Miasma of Pestilence, Nurglings, Smite

. Exalted Great Unclean One [-1CP]: 2. Revoltingly Resilient

Horticulus Slimux [8 PL, 160pts]: Lopping Shears, Mulch

Lord of Change [14 PL, 270pts, -1CP]: Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, Smite, Staff of Tzeentch, The Impossible Robe, Warlord

. Exalted Lord of Change [-1CP]: 5. Aura of Mutability

Troops [26 PL, 554pts, -1CP] +

Bloodletters [8 PL, 185pts, -1CP]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts]

. 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade

. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade

Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts]

. 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts]

. 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts]

. 3x Nurgling Swarms [54pts]: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

Plaguebearers [12 PL, 207pts]

. 22x Plaguebearer [198pts]: 22x Plaguesword

. Plagueridden [9pts]: Plaguesword

+ Elites [42 PL, 745pts] +

Beasts of Nurgle [10 PL, 175pts]

. 5x Beast of Nurgle [10 PL, 175pts]: 5x Putrid appendages

Beasts of Nurgle [10 PL, 175pts]

. 5x Beast of Nurgle [10 PL, 175pts]: 5x Putrid appendages

Beasts of Nurgle [16 PL, 280pts]

. 8x Beast of Nurgle [16 PL, 280pts]: 8x Putrid appendages

Flamers [6 PL, 115pts]

. 4x Flamer [92pts]: 4x Flickering flames

. Pyrocaster [23pts]: Flickering flames

Total: [104 PL, -3CP, 1,999pts] 

The Standout Features

  • Taking “going hard on Beasts of Nurgle” to new heights by bringing Slimux to buff them up…
  • …and a Great Unclean One with the bell to revive them, doing additional duties as a leadership boost and yet another pile of hard to shift wounds thanks to Revoltingly Resilient.
  • A block of Plaguebearers to stay on home objectives.
  • Bloodletters turning up in a “shock troop” role that similar lists have filled with soup.
  • Filled out with rest of the usual suspects in the form of Big Bird, Nurglings and the relatively common flex choice of a single Flamer unit.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Daemons continue their upward trajectory with a first-place finish for the second week running. This one is a great complement to the Slaanesh list we looked at last time, as it helpfully shows off the second viable Daemon build, which is a “goodstuff” build centred around the staying power of Nurglings or Beasts of Nurgle and the psychic supremacy and stickiness of the Exalted Lord of Change. We’ve seen a few builds like this in top fours already, some pure Daemons and some soup, but this one adds some great new twists on it.

Beasts of Nurgle are, at this point, a proven force in 9th, but this list asks a very important question – can we make them do even more? With something of a swing towards horde lists, the Beasts offensive profile looks increasingly relevant despite the lack of AP, so adding +1 to their hit rolls via Slimux is actually seriously relevant, while charge re-rolls help get them where they need to be ASAP. Taking things even further than that, and showing a serious dedication towards drowning his opponents under a wall of flesh, bringing a Revoltingly Resilient GUO to sit near them helps ensure that they don’t get whittled down by some unlucky morale tests, and forces an opponent to make sure they’re wiping entire units or risk getting absolutely soul-crushed when the bell starts reviving models. Seriously. I have played some tilting games of Warhammer 40K, but I’m contemplating a turn where the stars align for this list and it revives three Beasts at once, and I don’t think anything I’ve experienced would quite compare.

The last big piece of novelty here is the Bloodletters. I was kind of surprised we hadn’t seen them anywhere up till now, as they have a reasonable amount going for them, and they’re a good fit for the shell here as you don’t need mono-god detachments. While lists like this probably can tank the damage output of most armies for a whole game, it’s handy to have one decent damage spike in your back pocket to remove something that’s chewing through your forces faster than you’d like. Here, having that threat be a big deep strike bomb is even better, as it forces your opponent to be cautious with their maneuvering, hampering any attempt to finesse their way to positional advantage (already a challenge when so many objective holders can heroic). With the option of holding the Flamers over an opponent’s head as well, the massive headache that this list already presents to try and deal with only gets worse, and it allows you to fill that slot without reaching outside the codex for something like drill-riding Plague Marines.

Daemons seem to be one of the factions to watch right now, and I’ll be delighted if by the time I refresh my tier list in a few months, they’ve firmly claimed a Tier 1 spot!

Hayden Walduck’s Imperial Fist Successors – 2nd Place

Imperial Fists Primaris Eradicators

Imperial Fists Primaris Eradicators. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Note 1: This list was missing CP spend for the Eye of Hypnoth in DUP (-1 for the extra relic, -1 for Champion of Blades). I have confirmed with the organisers that it was fixed on the day, so I have added the appropriate spend.

Note 2: Shadow Assignment doesn’t currently work RAW. The event issued a pre-event FAQ stating that this could be used during step 10 of the pre-game to swap an Assassin if desired.

Edit – Note 3: An eagle eyed commenter has pointed out that as of War of the Spider, you have to have a Patrol, Battalion or Brigade to take an Assassin. However, another commenter has pointed out that this list could just be split down the middle into two Patrols and still be legal and have more CP. In conclusion, I guess it was very naughty of Hayden to shortchange himself 1CP and a technically legal list, and he should think about what he’s done. Stop trusting Battlescribe, kids, it lies.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -5CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Imperial Fists successor)

[85 PL, 9CP, 1,998pts] ++ + Configuration [12CP] +

**Chapter Selection**: Imperial Fists successors, master artisans, stealthy

Agents of the Imperium [5 PL, 100pts] + Callidus Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]: Neural Shredder, Phase Sword, Poison Blades

+ HQ [10 PL, -3CP, 190pts] +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: Adamantine Mantle, Frag & Krak grenades, Hand of Dorn, Storm shield [10pts], Stratagem: Sentinel of Terra [-1CP] – Stubborn Heroism, Thunder hammer [40pts], Twin boltgun, Warlord

Techmarine [4 PL, -2CP, 40pts]: Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Master of the Machine, Servo-arm, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP], Stratagem: Master of the Forge [-1CP], The Eye of Hypnoth, Stratagem: Champion of Blades [-1CP], Stratagem: Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]

+ Troops [10 PL, 200pts] +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle . 4x Intercessor [80pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades . Intercessor Sergeant [20pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle . 4x Intercessor [80pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades . Intercessor Sergeant [20pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites [12 PL, 330pts] +

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [6 PL, 165pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Heavy bolter [15pts], Invictor fist, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber [10pts], Twin ironhail autocannon

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [6 PL, 165pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher [5pts], Heavy bolter [15pts], Invictor fist, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber [10pts], Twin ironhail autocannon

+ Heavy Support [20 PL, 500pts] +

Devastator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]: Armorium Cherub [5pts] Space Marine Sergeant [15pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades
4x Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Grav-cannon and grav-amp [10pts] .

Eradicator Squad [5 PL, 120pts] . 2x Eradicator [80pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Melta rifle . Eradicator Sgt [40pts]: Bolt pistol, Melta rifle

Eradicator Squad [5 PL, 120pts] . 2x Eradicator [80pts]: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Melta rifle . Eradicator Sgt [40pts]: Bolt pistol, Melta rifle

Thunderfire Cannon [4 PL, 140pts]: Thunderfire Cannon . Techmarine Gunner [55pts]: Bolt pistol . . Servo-harness [10pts]: Flamer [5pts], Plasma cutter [5pts], 2x Servo-arm

+ Flyer [16 PL, 370pts] +

Stormtalon Gunship [8 PL, 185pts]: Twin assault cannon [40pts], Typhoon missile launcher [40pts]

Stormtalon Gunship [8 PL, 185pts]: Twin assault cannon [40pts], Typhoon missile launcher [40pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [12 PL, 308pts]+

Drop Pod [4 PL, 68pts]: Storm bolter [3pts]

Impulsor [4 PL, 120pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers [10pts], Ironhail Heavy Stubber [5pts], Ironhail Skytalon Array [5pts]

Impulsor [4 PL, 120pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers [10pts], Ironhail Heavy Stubber [5pts], Ironhail Skytalon Array [5pts]

++ Total: [85 PL, 9CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The Fists book puts in a 9th Edition top 4 debut.
  • Stormtalon Gunships and Invictor Warsuits like it’s late 2019 or something.
  • Impulsors with something other than shield domes on top.
  • A Callidus Assassin lurking in the wings.
  • A murderous bike captain making a non-Salamander showing.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

We’ve seen lots of Marine action on the top tables, but having been an absolute nightmare at the Marine book’s height Imperial Fists have been showing up substantially less since. They got hit extremely hard by the change to Doctrines, and there was a degree to which the exceptional power of the Legacy of Dorn super Doctrine masked the fact that the supplement was otherwise considerably more one-dimensional than the others. Without being able to stay in high damage mode for most of the game, it’s much tougher to squeeze the value out of it, making Fists a harder sell than a lot of Marines, especially with the advent of Obscuring terrain to hide their prey.

This list goes deep on making sure that it can bring Heavy firepower to bear on the opponent from the word go, aiming to land a brutal knockout blow while seizing the mid-board that leaves the enemy struggling to recover. Between the Stormtalons, Ironhail-toting Impulsors, Invictors, Grav Pod and the Thunderfire, the majority of this list is carrying high rate-of-fire heavy weapons that have the mobility to ensure they’re drawing a bead on the enemy turn one. Most of these also gain hugely from not taking the move/shoot penalty in 9th, again allowing them to aggressively get in the opponent’s face.

By ensuring that it can land that initial high-damage blow on VEHICLE heavy lists, this army ensures that it has a plan for most matchups. Armies relying on hulls are going to find themselves short at least a few of them right out of the gate (especially disastrous if they were planning to use transports to grab objectives) while against horde matchups the fact that most of this weaponry packs a high number of shots means it has a very real chance of just grinding the enemy down. The extra anti-horde from tooling up the Impulsors is an especially interesting call, as conventional wisdom is that the shield dome is pretty much always the way, but here I think it makes sense – there are a number of other much higher priority targets for the enemy, and it’ll often be far enough back to benefit from Stealthy, at which point the dome would only be a marginal durability boost in many cases. The planes also feel well placed in the metagame right now, as we’re seeing an uptick in lists that are heavy on bodies and short on shooting. In those situations, they’re solid gold, because if they get to spend the entire game blasting away (especially near the Eye of Hypnoth) then they’ll rack up a huge body count. They’re also decent against Harlequins, being able to hang back from threat in deployment and do some serious damage out of the gate.

Finally, an Assassin. While the event did issue a ruling making the swap strat actually work, the Callidus is a pretty great addition to this list for most matchups. A lot of the tools here are tuned to absolutely sucker-punching an opponent from the word go, and racking up some extra cost on any stratagems they try to use to mitigate that is a real value-add. Her ability to come in close to targets later on can also help pry out any enemies that have contrived to hide from the army’s firepower, or skulking characters. I can imagine matchups where she gets swapped, but my guess was that she got deployed as-is most of the time.

At their peak, Fists lists were pretty infamous for the atrocious amount of damage they could throw out in the early turns, and this list adapts to the obstacles that have been placed in the way of that game plan, reclaiming the ability to smash an opponent so hard out of the gate they’ll struggle to get a foothold in the game, especially faced with a wall of 2+ toting hulls and bodies. For anyone who has all the cool toys that were popular at the Marine peak to hand, this is a great way to get them back on the table.

Eric Lathouras’ Hive Mind – 3rd Place

Tyranid Hormagaunts

Tyranid Hormagaunts
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Tyranids battalion: hivefleet (adaptive exoskeleton, shrewd predators)

HQ

Broodlord (warlord) – mind eater, resonance barb, psychic scream 125

Broodlord, onslaught 125

Broodlord, catalyst 125

Troops

24x termagants 120

24x termagants 120

24x termagants 120

10x hormagaunts 60

10x hormagaunts 60

Tyranids patrol, hivefleet same as above

HQ

Old one eye

Troops

25x termagants 125

25x termagants 125

25x termagants 125

Elites

3x venomthropes 99

1x lictor 37

Genestealer cult patrol: twisted helix

HQ

Patriarch, mental onslaught, mind control 135

Troops

8x accolytes, hand flamers 80

10x accolytes, 4 rocksaws, cult icon 130

Elites

Sanctus, bio dagger 60 , -1cp dagger of swift sacrifice

The Standout Features

  • The Hive Mind successfully lands a top four finish with a perfect example of how to use a skew list to uplift a weaker faction.
  • Gaunts. So many gaunts. Just so. Many. Gaunts.
  • Genestealer Cults provide some troubleshooters.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Well, if anyone was going to immediately dunk on me calling the Hive Mind trash tier it was probably going to be Eric, previously infamous for pulling off a GT win with a pre-Ritual of the Damned Grey Knights list featuring two Land Raiders of all things. I did know this list was looking strong as I was putting the finishing touches to that article, but I figured it was more interesting to stick to my guns then talk about why this list has managed to do what no other Tyranid player at an event we’ve covered and crack into a top four.

The answer is quite simple – this list does exactly what you should do if you’re determined to win the game with a weaker faction, which is to look for any unique angle of attack it provides you. If your faction’s “normal” lists look a bit anemic, can you throw something out a skew build that asks questions some opponents simply aren’t going to be able to answer? Here the answer is a clear yes. Erik takes something that Tyranids can do uniquely well (put a huge amount of mobile, ObSec, Fearless bodies with a 6++ down) and leans into it as hard as possible. All the crucial Synapse characters the list runs are small enough to hide within the Gaunt horde, but tasty enough to lunge out and menace an unsuspecting enemy CHARACTER or elite squad. Adding Shrewd Predators gives the Gaunts the ability to tune the number of bodies on an objective during the opponent’s turn in a horde vs. horde match, or punish an incautious charge with some surprise repositioning. Venomthropes probably won’t last long once battle is joined, but can almost certainly set up to provide first turn protection for the gaunts against most opponents, helping ensure it’s got decent numbers for the crucial early game. Finally, a small smattering of troubleshooters waits in the wings to try and unpick any threat that’s tilting the rate of attrition.

Essentially, when you’re faced with this list you’re being asked a question. Can you do one of two things:

  • Kill 50+ Gaunts a turn.
  • Put enough ObSec bodies onto mid-board objectives to physically stop the Gaunts taking them.

If the answer to both of those is no, then you’re very often just going to lose to this army in the 9th missions, similar to how the extreme Plaguebearer skew lists operated in ETC 8th. Plenty of lists will make a credible dent in this army by the end of the game, but with only five turns on the clock you just don’t have that much time to work on removing its forces, and once they get up in your face they’re happy to die in droves as long as it keeps them on the objective – and it will. Thanks to Old One Eye and the various GSC pieces, the army does also have a couple of aces in its pocket to deploy when it needs to remove something that’s bleeding it dry too quickly – the Acolytes in particular fulfil a very similar role here to the Bloodletters in Dan’s list.

Tyranid Lictor

Tyranid Lictor
Credit: Pendulin

These utility tools also help ensure there’s always a Secondary plan in the back pocket, and I want to particularly flag the Lictor here – as non-CHARACTER single model INFANTRY units that deep strike, these are incredible for ensuring you always have some options to pick from and can max them once you do. Anyone dedicated to the hive mind should be thinking about packing a few – shoring up the secondary game really helps the army.

The downside of a list like this, of course, is that if you live by the skew you die by it as well. While it’s got some outs and flexibility to try and counteract enemy plans, sometimes a list like this is going to run face first into an army that can actually deal with the nonsense it’s putting out and get rocked. The Imperial Fist list above is an example of one that can have a really good go at just blowing this army off the table – hover the two planes near the Captain and Techmarine and they’re picking up 15 Gaunts each a turn through the -1 before you even get started on the rest of the list, and this army has very little it can do about them. Horde Orks is another one that could prove challenging, as Boyz can evaporate the gaunts and actually threaten to flood the objectives on their own terms. Hordes (or at least armies packing slabs of wounds) are on the rise in general, so as the metagame adapts the window for this army to really thrive might close.

In the meantime though, picking up two of the weakest factions in the game and running them through to a podium finish is an exceptional accomplishment, and provides at least some succor to the devotees of the Hive Mind in these trying times.

Joshua McGowan’s AdMech – 4th Place

Pteraxii Sterylizor

Pteraxii Sterylizor. Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Adeptus Mechanicus Battalion 0cp

Data Horde Forge World Primary= Magnabonded Alloys, Secondary=Trans-Node Power Cores

HQ

1. Manipulus (70), omnissian staff (0), Magnarail lance(0), mechadendrites(o)=70pts

2. Manipulus (70), omnissian staff (0), Magnarail lance(0), mechadendrites(o)=70pts

Extra wl trait (-1cp) Prime Hermeticon

3. Dominus(75), Omnissian axe(0), Volkite Blaster(5), Phosphor serpent(2)=82pts

(warlord, WL trait Learning of the Genetor). Relic: Raimnet of the technomancy

Troops

5x breachers(125), 5x heavy arc rifle(25),5x arc claw(25)=175pts

5x breachers(125), 5x heavy arc rifle(25),5x arc claw(25)=175pts

5x breachers(125), 5x heavy arc rifle(25),5x arc claw(25)=175pts

5x breachers(125), 5x heavy arc rifle(25),5x arc claw(25)=175pts

5x breachers(125), 5x heavy arc rifle(25),5x arc claw(25)=175pts

Heavy Support

Skorpius Disintegrator(115), 3x cognis heavy stubbers(15), Belleros Energy Cannon(20),Disrupter missile launcher(0), broad spectrum data tether(0)=150pts

Skorpius Disintegrator(115), 3x cognis heavy stubbers(15), Belleros Energy Cannon(20),Disrupter missile launcher(0), broad spectrum data tether(0)=150pts

Skorpius Disintegrator(115), 3x cognis heavy stubbers(15), Belleros Energy Cannon(20),Disrupter missile launcher(0), broad spectrum data tether(0)=150pts

Adeptus Mechanicus Outrider Detachment -3cp

Forge World: Stygies VIII

HQ

Daedalosus=55pts

Fast Attack

4x Serberys raiders (64), 4x cavalry sabre(0), 4x Galvanic carbine(0), 4x Clawed limbs(0), 1x archeo-revolver(0)=64pts

4x Serberys raiders (64), 4x cavalry sabre(0), 4x Galvanic carbine(0), 4x Clawed limbs(0), 1x archeo-revolver(0)=64pts

4x Serberys raiders (64), 4x cavalry sabre(0), 4x Galvanic carbine(0), 4x Clawed limbs(0), 1x archeo-revolver(0)=64pts

5x Pteraxii Sterylizors(100), 4x phosphor torch(0), 4x Pteraxii talons(0), 1x taser goad(0), 1x Fletchette Blaster(0)=100pts

5x Pteraxii Sterylizors(100), 4x phosphor torch(0), 4x Pteraxii talons(0), 1x taser goad(0), 1x Fletchette Blaster(0)=100pts

Total 1994pts 8cp

The Standout Features

  • The same Kataphron core we saw last week, but here souped up with Manipuli to help them get into position.
  • A different set of backup firepower, with Skorpius Disintegrators showing up despite their point hike.
  • A selection of the mobile options from Engine War completing the list, adding potent objective scoring and harrassment capabilities.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Having been surprisingly quiet up till now, given the clear power of the tools they have available, AdMech make a top four showing for the second week running. Just like the list we saw last time, the core of the army is a heftily sized brick of Kataphron Breachers loaded up with Trans-Node Power Cores and protected by Learnings of the Genetor. This is a great block to build around in 9th, as it’s durable, ObSec, not bad in melee and has strong ranged output against most kind of targets. This list makes sure to bring a Tech Priest Manipulus (in fact, several) to speed them up on getting into position, helping to deal with one of their few drawbacks, and I would definitely recommend including at least one of these if you’re planning on using this build. I assume the second here is to boost up the range on the Skorpii so they can threaten that much more of the board with their big guns. Adding Prime Hermeticon to the one moving up with the Kataphrons is also a really smart move – because their claws generate exploding hits on 5s and 6s, getting a full re-roll in melee is going to let them do some serious work when clearing out hordes. This list is the one that managed to take down Eric’s Tyranids, and if I had to guess the fact that the Kataphron bricks combine being very resilient to being chipped away by Gaunts with actually being able to scythe through them at speed in the fight phase might have been the deciding factor (the game was very close).

I’m sure the vicious firepower of three Skorpy Ds helped too – when Blast turns on these throw out an appalling number of shots and they’re obviously no slouches against the rest of the field either. It’s honestly kind of eye-watering that a unit that went up by more than 30% in cost in the transition from 8th is apparently still just fine performing on the top tables but there you go – I guess un-spike these out of the trash and quietly pretend that never happened.

That covers old favourites – but here we also see new friends, with Serberys Raiders finally showing themselves in moderate numbers, and Pteraxii Sterylizors making their debut. The quality of the Raiders basically speaks for itself at this point – they’re way too cheap for how fast and durable they are, and they aren’t even totally irrelevant when you chuck them into combat in an emergency, able to at least take out a few horde units. The Pteraxii add more of the same – the threat of a bunch of heavy flamer shots coming out of deep strike would be something opponents had to worry about anyway, but the fact that they also carry the additional threat of locking something in combat via Deeply Sunk Talons means that they are extra scary while they’re being held in reserve, and can be very annoying popping out from cover at a clutch moment. Add in the fact that as deep-striking INFANTRY they’re another strong action-performer, and you have a unit that’s a good all-round package in the edition.

Honestly, you could do worse than “good all-round package” to describe AdMech right now – they’ve got strong units filling most of the roles you want on the table, many of which are priced to move. A lot of people feeding back on the Tier List thought AdMech should be Tier 1, and honestly the only reason they weren’t is that they’ve been absent from the top tables thus far (perhaps because people are still pivoting to the new parts of the range). If they keep their current performance up, that’ll be an easy move when we push out the next iteration!

The Rest of the Best

Out of a field of 41 players, an additional four managed to achieve 4-1 records. Just like last week, we’ll finish off by taking a brief look at each.

In 5th place we have Brian Lakeland’s Harlequins. No massive surprised here – the only major difference from the “stock” setup we’ve been seeing recently is that one of the three bike squads is cut down to two models to free up points for two 10-model foot units with special weapons. With Dramatic Entrance these can do a massive amount of damage, especially as Frozen Stars, and also help shore up the horde matchup if you’re worried Blast Haywire Cannons aren’t going to do enough.

Valhallan Imperial Guard. Credit: SRM

In 6th place we have Liam Hackett’s Guard. Guard are another somewhat weaker faction, so successful lists are definitely worth casting a keen eye over The larger detachment here shows off what’s pretty much emerging as the “stock” core for 9th edition builds – Gunnery Experts/Spotter Details with 3x Demo Tank Commanders, 2x Full Payload Manticores and Scions. Where it differs from the norm is on choosing Valhallans to provide the infantry/space holding contingent that accompanies this. With their increased resilience to Morale, this makes them slightly more durable if they’re round the board piecemeal, but the presence of the unusual choice of shotgun/flamer wielding veterans makes me assume they’re here as a counter against hordes either multi-wrapping or tagging the tanks. Being able to fire into combat when ordered, and adding AP via Experienced Eye can help out if you’re being harassed by 30-50 feral Gaunts. The list also packs in 3x plasma command squads, which are great  when you can fit them because their PL is low enough that you can Tactical Reserve all three for a single CP, and they’re cheap enough that they’re often able to immediately trade up when they come on. With the upcoming changes to flamer range, the flamer vets will also be able to get in on this action, and it wouldn’t totally surprise me if the shotgun/flamer squads here started turning up more widely, especially if hordes stay good.

In 7th we have Brent Piggott’s Nurgle, featuring Plagueburst Crawlers and Blight Haulers as Poxmongers and a Nurgle Daemon patrol supplying a Poxbringer for extra buffs and Nurglings for early objective control. Nothing too surprising here – Death Guard are a top-tier faction, and you need to have a plan to beat this style of list.

Finally for this week, in 8th we have Luke Pearce’s Grey Knights. This list is a bit of a mixture of a few different builds we’ve seen, featuring Grand Master Dreadknights, Venerable Dreads and a big tarpit unit. The unusual thing it does is uses basic Terminators rather than Paladins for the main Tarpit squad, trading in some durability for being ObSec and a lot cheaper. I’m in to it, honestly – quite a few of the lists we’ve been seeing recently favour durability or numbers over raw killing power, and in those matchups the ObSec can be a bigger deal than being somewhat harder to take down. Just taking the Gaunt list above as an example, not losing control of an objective because one measly gaunt manages to hold on through a fight phase is a massive deal, and terminators still don’t give half a damn about Gaunt offence. The extra 100pts it frees up is really felt by the rest of the list too – this army feels noticeably less sparse on the board than some of the other post-CA Grey Knight builds feel. Definitely worth a look for all you Grey Knight players out there.

Wrap Up

Another great set of lists in the books, and another week where we see people finding new ways to make several factions work. Next week’s article promises to be another bumper crop, so make sure to tune back in then, and otherwise if you have any comments, questions or suggestions give me a shout at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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