Competitive Innovations in 9th: Codexes Catch On

An article by    Competitive Play Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Welcome once again, seekers of list-based novelty. This weekend’s event profile looks pretty similar to last week’s – a couple of small GTs, and a large number of RTTs. With the new books still at least moderately warm off the presses, I have once again gone hunting through the serried ranks of RTTs to hunt down the freshest army-building technology for Marines and Necrons, which we’ll take a look at below. On my tour, it also didn’t escape my notice that there’s been a significant bump in the number of Adepta Sororitas lists performing strongly at events of this size, and thanks to the significant wargear improvements they received alongside the new books there’s been a bit of a shakeup here as well. With that in mind, I’ve grabbed a couple of successful examples to look at as a bonus at the end of the article.

While these factions are what we’re focusing on right now, they are of course not the only thing being played. Outside of these three, the top tables at RTT seem to be overwhelmingly dominated by:

  • Harlequins
  • Orks
  • Mixed Chaos with Daemons and/or Death Guard

That shouldn’t be a massive surprise to anyone who’s been keeping track of the meta, but just in case you were wondering – yes, they’re all still strong.

The other small thing I feel, at this point, compelled to say – if you’re going to an event with a shiny new book, do double and triple check that you’ve got the points right, and have made sure that all the wargear combinations you’re using are legal with the new datasheets. Both this week and last week I’ve ended up discarding multiple lists with significant errors in them, so if you want a chance for your list to end up in one of these do make sure you get someone else to double check it before submission day. Corrode: Also you should be taking legal lists to your events anyway. It is depressing how many people’s wins need a big asterisk next to them because their list was badly wrong.

Finally, all that remains before we dive into some lists is to once again remind readers that if there are any events you want me to take a look at, drop me a line at contact@goonhammer.com. All lists from the events in this article can be found in Best Coast Pairings, with the exception of Warpstorm XIII where I’ve been sent the lists directly.

Warpstorm XIII

This event was a 20-player 6-round event in New Zealand

Courtney Thomson’s Nurgle – 1st Place

Myphitic Blight-Haulers – Credit Beanith

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [83 PL, -3CP, 1,616pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Plague Company: The Poxmongers
+ Stratagems +
Gifts of Decay (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ +
Daemon Prince of Nurgle [10 PL, 195pts]: 4. Blades of Putrefaction, Hellforged sword, Ironclot Furnace, Wings

+ Troops +
Plague Marines [10 PL, 215pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 2x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 2x Blight Grenades, 2x Boltgun, 2x Krak Grenades, 2x Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Bubotic Axe
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife

+ Elites +
Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 65pts] Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Fugaris’ Helm, Warlord

+ Fast Attack +
Myphitic Blight-haulers [15 PL, 300pts] . Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta
. Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta
. Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta
Myphitic Blight-haulers [15 PL, 300pts] . Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta
. Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta
. Myphitic Blight-hauler: Missile launcher, Multi-melta

+ Heavy Support +
Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Accelerated Entropy, Heavy slugger
Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 160pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +
Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [8 PL, -1CP, 136pts]: Contaminated Monstrosity
. Storm Bolters: 2x Storm bolter

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [14 PL, 10CP, 309pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle
+ HQ +
Poxbringer [4 PL, 75pts]: Fleshy Abundance
+ Troops +
Nurglings [4 PL, 90pts] . 5x Nurgling Swarms: 5x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [4 PL, 90pts] . 5x Nurgling Swarms: 5x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth
75pts Reinforcement Points
++ Total: [97 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Newly empowered Blight Haulers head up a fairly standard Poxmongers shell.
  • Nurglings add some early board control.
  • A Poxbringer and the points to summon another one add some flexibility.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

While Necrons and Marines got a big new overhaul, plenty of existing factions continue to be extremely strong, and the forces of Nurgle rank highly among them. Nothing in this build is going to be a massive surprise to regular readers, as this is a great demonstration of exactly how this archetype fits together – it has early board control from Nurglings, durable, inevitable ranged damage from the Daemon Engines and a single point and click damage bomb in the form of the Plague Marines in a drill. The most notable thing is that this list chose to go heavy on Blight Haulers. That isn’t new, exactly, and there’s been a gentle trend towards going harder on them over time thanks to the value being able to push up the board brings, but they just got massively better thanks to the multi-melta buff and I expect them to be seen in ever greater numbers from here on out.

Not much more to say – these builds aren’t going anywhere, and congratulations to Courtney for a mighty 6-0 showing with the list.

Sam Whitt’s Daemons – 2nd Place

Lord of Change

Credit: Silks

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Daemons) [48 PL, 3CP, 900pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh
+ Stratagems +
Rewards of Chaos (2 Relics) [-3CP]

+ HQ +
Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 230pts]: Living whip, Phantasmagoria, Smite, Snapping claws, Symphony of Pain, The
Forbidden Gem, Witstealer sword
. Exalted Keeper of Secrets: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes
Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 230pts]: Delightful Agonies, Exalted Keeper of Secrets, Hysterical Frenzy, Living whip,
Smite, Snapping claws, Witstealer sword
Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 230pts]: Delightful Agonies, Exalted Keeper of Secrets, Hysterical Frenzy, Living whip,
Smite, Snapping claws, Witstealer sword

+ Troops +
Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws
Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws
Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [54 PL, -2CP, 1,089pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ +
Lord of Change [14 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, Rod of
Sorcery, Smite, Staff of Tzeentch, The Impossible Robe, Warlord
. Exalted Lord of Change: 5. Aura of Mutability
Lord of Change [14 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate, Infernal Gateway, Rod of Sorcery, Smite, Souleater Stave, Staff of Tzeentch
. Exalted Lord of Change: 6. Architect of Deception

+ Troops +
Nurglings [4 PL, 72pts] . 4x Nurgling Swarms: 4x Diseased claws and teeth
Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

+ Elites +
Beasts of Nurgle [10 PL, 175pts] . 5x Beast of Nurgle: 5x Putrid appendages
Flamers [6 PL, 138pts] . 5x Flamer: 5x Flickering flames
. Pyrocaster: Flickering flames

+ Fast Attack +
Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Nurgle
. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws
Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Nurgle
. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws
++ Total: [102 PL, 1CP, 1,989pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Sure, just put five Exalted Greater Daemons in a list, I’m sure that’s fine.
  • Quoth Big Bird – “don’t talk to me and my warp-spawned offspring ever again”.
  • I think this list literally starts most games on 0CP after chucking the Flamers into the warp. King.
  • Furies continue to catch on as a cheap objective/action solution.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Every time I look at a Daemons list and think “surely that’s as far as anyone is going to take this” someone steps up to prove me wrong. Five Greater Daemons, all Exalted and with the maximum number of extra relics scattered around (focused on the Lords of Change who have the more attractive goodies). We’ve seen plenty of lists where Big Bird flaps around behind a brick wall of Beasts of Nurgle or whatever, but apparently that plan is for cowards who don’t enjoy throwing multiple Keepers into their opponent’s faces. Filling out the Slaanesh detachment with Daemonettes allows the big Daemons to operate at full effectiveness, getting to both Advance and Charge and Fight First, meaning they’re an immediate must-answer threat and making it very difficult to engage multiple of them at once. With both Marines and Necrons favouring a mid-board strategy rather than any sort of ranged shooting, being able to absolutely hammer any quality unit that strays even slightly too close is a big upside, and an alternative to relying on having units durable enough to last the game out. There are still a few minor concessions to objective play amidst the hilarious brutality, with Nurglings helping secure early primary and Furies being great for Action play, but overwhelmingly what this list is going to do is put an opponent under absurd pressure out the gate and quickly scything through the unprepared.

Daemons  just go from strength to strength this edition, and it’s cool to see yet another spin on them – well done to Sam for cooking it up.

David Hodgett’s Iron Hands – 3rd Place

Iron Hands Bladeguard Veterans Credit:head58

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Patrol Detachment 0CP
Imperium – Iron Hands
Battle Size: 12 CP
Stratagems: Hero of the Chapter -1 CP
Relic of the Chapter -1CP

HQ:
Captain on Bike * WARLORD 100
Warlord Trait: Master of the Codex
Chapter Master 40
Storm Shield 10
Relic: The Tempered Helm
Thunderhammer 20
Paragon of Iron (-1CP)
Total: 170

TROOPS:
5x Tactical Squad, Power Axe, Storm Bolter 100

NO SLOT
Culexus Assassin x1 100

ELITES
Bladeguard Veteran Squad x3 105

Terminator Assault Squad x5, Thunder hammer/Storm Shield 215

HEAVY SUPPORT
Devastator Squad x 5, Grav cannon x4, Armorium Cherub 135

Eradicator Squad x 3 120

DEDICATED TRANSPORT
Drop Pod, Storm Bolter 70

Patrol Detachment -2CP
Imperium – Iron Hands
HQ:
Lieutenant 70, Warlord Trait: Target Protocols, Jump Pack, Relic:Betrayer’s Bane, Combi-melta 100

TROOPS:
Tactical Squad x 5 90

NO SLOT
Culexus Assassin x1 100

ELITES
Bladeguard Veteran Squad x3 105

Veteran Intercessor Squad x 9, auto bolt rifles, power fist 208

HEAVY SUPPORT
Devastator Squad x 5, Grav cannon x4, Armorium Cherub 135

Devastator Squad x 5, Multi-melta x4, Armorium Cherub 175

DEDICATED TRANSPORT
Drop Pod, Storm Bolter 70
TOTAL ARMY COST 1998

The Standout Features

  • A very out-there build for our first Marine List.
  • Actual Tactical Marines!
  • Rumours of the demise of Grav Devs were apparently unfounded – but some multi-melta ones are here too!
  • 5-model Assault Terminators with shields continuing to grow in popularity as a deep strike troubleshooting threat.
  • A big brick of Veteran Intercessors ready to take advantage of Rapid Fire.
  • Two Assassins on top of everything else.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This list has a whole lot of different stuff going on, to the extent where that’s probably part of why it’s was successful. There are a tonne of different angles that this army can attack on, and much of it can start in some form of deep strike, including two drop pods that can be filled to the brim and come down straight away if needed. Because the drop pods and their contents (which can include a tac squad if needed) don’t count towards the deep strike count, the footprint that this army has to start on the table is tiny, and likely to be very easily hidden on plenty of boards. However, given the first turn it can still immediately slam into big damage action, with Iron Hands being particularly well suited to running pod devs thanks to their doctrine. Grav may not be the absolute terror it was a month ago, but someone on the Goonhammer patron discord raised the good point that in a lot of situations it’s still a heavy bolter but better for the same price, and coming out of an Iron Hands drop pod is definitely one of those situations. For targets that require more brutal attention the grav devs are joined by a single squad of multi-melta devs, ideal if someone is, say, planning to overwhelm you with far too many Greater Daemons. Multi-meltas are absolutely everywhere this week, and seem like they’re going to be a real terror in the new meta. Combined with the fact that the Lt and Captain can get into position to buff the drop units, this list can throw out a horrific amount of early pain, harking back to the Marine lists of old.

What’s frightening about it, considering that, is that after throwing that initial punch this list still has a massive amount of gas in the tank. Even before looking at the other units, all of those drop units are way less glass jawed than they used to be thanks to an extra wound, but there’s a bunch more coming after. Bladeguard and Eradicators are good pretty much everywhere and provide a solid backup to any sort of early pressure, a big brick of Veteran Intercessors can hold ground something fierce, and Assault Terminators and Assassins provide some great mopup utility once the big punch is out of the way.

All things taken together, this list is just mean. It’s almost impossible to avoid taking some heavy damage from it out of the gate, and it’s going to immediately be all over the board while doing so. Pushing back from that initial punch is a huge challenge for a lot of armies, and I think David has unlocked a very interesting concoction here.

Aaron Wilson’s AdMech – 4th Place

Skorpius Disintigrator

Skorpius Disintigrator
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [88 PL, 12CP, 1,610pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Stygies VIII

+ HQ +
Daedalosus [3 PL, 55pts] Tech-Priest Dominus [5 PL, 80pts]: Macrostubber, Relic: Pater Cog-Tooth, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait
(Engine War): Divinations of the Magos
Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 70pts]: Transonic cannon

+ Troops +
Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [10 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [3 PL, 65pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 2x Skitarii Ranger: 2x Galvanic Rifle
. 2x Skitarii Ranger (Transuranic Arquebus): 2x Transuranic Arquebus

Skitarii Rangers [3 PL, 65pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 2x Skitarii Ranger: 2x Galvanic Rifle
. 2x Skitarii Ranger (Transuranic Arquebus): 2x Transuranic Arquebus

+ Fast Attack +
Ironstrider Ballistarii [16 PL, 300pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

+ Heavy Support +
Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber
Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber
Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [20 PL, -4CP, 390pts] ++
+ Configuration +
Detachment CP [-3CP] Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Stygies VIII
+ HQ +
Tech-Priest Enginseer [2 PL, -1CP, 35pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Monitor Malevolus

+ Heavy Support +
Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 120pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Cognis Heavy Stubber, Icarus Array
Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 120pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Cognis Heavy Stubber, Icarus Array
Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 115pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Eradication Beamer
++ Total: [108 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A fairly unsurprising build to close out our first top four – Dunecrawlers, Skorpii and Breachers.
  • With the heavy shooting damage from the tanks and crawlers, Stygies gets the nod over Data Hoard, even on the Breachers..

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

AdMech – very good. Shocking, I realise.

Nothing massively new here – Breachers provide strong mid-board push, and the firepower that the AdMech vehicle contingent can throw out is an absolutely withering back-up to this. AdMech are one of the few armies that can still just about trade on heavy firepower as their main stock-in-trade. They do have to pack something that can pressure the table (Breachers or Electropriests being the main options), but the broad-spectrum high-volume shooting from the Onagers, Ballistarii and Skorpii can blast many foes clean off the board, and with fewer opposing armies packing the tools that can do the same to the tanks at range, they end up with more of a unique niche than they used to. The only issue I forsee for these armies is that an uptick in mobile multi-meltas is probably bad for them – Skorpii do not like to be shot by those. You might see a small shift away from Skorpii in favour of more Onagers and more Kataphrons, but ultimately AdMech as a faction are going nowhere, as Aaron has amply demonstrated.

Impromptu GT

This event was 5-rounds and sported 17 players – but as you’ll see from the names on the list, the field was pretty hardcore.

Colin McDade’s Harlequins- 1st Place

Harlequins Troupe. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [102 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Masque Form: The Soaring Spite: Serpent’s Blood

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Enigmas of the Black Library (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ [14 PL, 261pts, -2CP] +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Miststave, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Smite, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], The Shadowstone, Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion, Webway Dance

Troupe Master [4 PL, 76pts]: Choreographer of War, Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades

Troupe Master [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Choreographer of War, Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Soaring Spite: Skystrider, Stratagem: Pivotal Role [-1CP], The Twilight Fang, Twilight’s Grasp, Warlord

+ Troops [25 PL, 519pts] +

Troupe [5 PL, 95pts] . Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 105pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 107pts] . Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Caress [6pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 107pts] . Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 25pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

Troupe [5 PL, 105pts] . Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 24pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player [1 PL, 19pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades

+ Elites [3 PL, 50pts] +

Death Jester [3 PL, 50pts]: Humbling Cruelty, Shrieker Cannon

+ Fast Attack [40 PL, 770pts] +

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts]

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts]

Skyweavers [10 PL, 220pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts] . Skyweaver [55pts]: Haywire Cannon [15pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [20 PL, 400pts] +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon [20pts]

++ Total: [102 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • It’s the Soaring Spite Harlequin list!

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s the Soaring Spite Harlequin list!

It’s really good – plausibly in contention for best list in the game right now alongside a few others, and notable alongside Daemons as being one of the armies that adapts best to going second. With the Harlequin roster being so small there’s really only so many variants you can build, and five Starweavers is pretty standard right now. The only real point of interest is that, having been running neck and neck for some time, the last month or so has seen Soaring Spite take a heavy lead over Frozen Stars as the build of choice. Just because the list is powerful, of course, doesn’t mean that winning with it in such a strong field is trivial, so congratulations to Colin.

Mark Perry’s Space Wolves – 2nd Place

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Patrol

HQ

Wolf lord on thunderwolf
Thunder hammer
Storm shield
Wl rites of war
Relic armour of indommitus
140

Primaris Chaplin on bike
Master of sanctity
-1 cp wl trait wise orator
-1 cp Relic benediction of fury
Cantical of hate
Mantra of strength
140

Troops

5 bloodclaws
90

Fast Attack

cyber wolf
15
cyber wolf
15

Heavy Support

3 Eliminators bolt carbine
90
3 Eliminators bolt carbine
90

Outrider

HQ

Wolford on thunderwolf
Storm shield
-1 cp relic teeth of terra
-1 cp wl trait imperial sword
120

logan on the santa ride from hell
180

Fast Attack

5 Thunderwolf cavalry
5 storm shields
4 solo lightning claw
270

5 Thunderwolf cavalry
5 storm shields
4 solo lightning claw
270

5 Thunderwolf cavalry
5 storm shields
4 solo lightning claw
270

15 fenris wolves 105

15 fenris wolves 105

14 fenris wolves 98

The Standout Features

  • ObSec Thunderwolf Cavalry continue to look very strong out of the gates.
  • Single lightning claws suddenly looking like a real option with +1A (as we’ll see more of in some later lists)
  • Fenrisian Wolves making a surprise showing just to fill out on fast bodies.
  • Logan’s sled apparently being worth taking in such a target rich environment.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Thunderwolf Cavalry with ObSec looked super mean in the list we looked at last week and they continue to do so here, though tuned slightly differently in terms of their equipment. It turns out that a bonus attack was the special sauce lighting claws were waiting for to suddenly be really great in a wide range of applications, and wolfback was apparently one of them. Backed up by Rites of War, you end up with some very durable units that can rush straight to the mid table and put a very predictable amount of hurt onto almost anything that doesn’t have T8, and near certainly able to scythe through any opposing ObSec units. Once in position, Counter Charge and their sheer speed makes them very tricky to play around, forcing the enemy to attempt the distinctly non-trivial task of blowing them off the board. That’s probably why the list feels it can go in on Sled Logan, who is normally a bit too easy to kill – fundamentally, if an opponent chooses to shoot at him they’re passing up on pointing their guns at the ObSec cavalry, potentially giving up major primary points in pursuit of the flashier kill.

One options opponents might try is to focus down one unit then try to encircle the list, but Fenrisian Wolves act as a very cost-efficient way to make that harder – just by sheer volume they can block out a lot of the board from deep strike, and they can quickly move to take out any skulking flankers like Kommandos as well. No other Marine list gets quite such a cheap tool for zone control, something that may stand the Wolves in good stead going forward. They also, here, help to screen against any opponent leaning on psychic threats, closing off what could otherwise be a weakness.

The only challenge this list might occasionally hit is that it is notably shorter on sheer damage output than a lot of things we’ve seen, and does end up feeling somewhat anemic if an opponent can quickly clear out the Cavalry. I’d be a bit concerned about running it up against the Iron Hands list above, for example – it feels like there’s a real chance of it losing a couple of Cavalry units straight out of the gate then being in real difficulty from there on out. However, with Wolves right at the front of the queue for more goodies, and clearly having some great tools to build around, I have no doubt that players are going to follow in Mark’s footsteps in finding serious success with the army.

Sweet Law’s Blood Angels – 3rd Place

Blood Angels Assault Intercessor

Blood Angels Assault Intercessor. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Blood Angel’s Battalion

2x Extra Relic
2x Extra Trait

HQ

Captain, storm shield, Teeth of Terra, The Imperium’s Sword 95

Primaris Bike Chaplain, Iron Resolve, Benediction of Fury (litany not listed, but I assume Mantra of Strength) 115

Sangunary Priest, Jump Pack, Warlord, The Armour Indomitus, Rites of War 120

No Slot

Vindicare Assassin 100

Troops

5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100
5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100
5 Assault Intercessors, Power Sword 100

Elites

9 Sanguinary Guard, power fists 315
3 Bladeguard 105
3 Bladeguard 105
Judiciar 85

Fast Attack

Outriders 135

Heavy Support

7 Devastators, 4 multi-meltas, cherub 211
3 Eradicators 120
3 Eradicators 120

Dedicated Transport
Drop Pod 70

The Standout Features

  • A neatly balanced list drawing on a nice mix of newer Marine tools. Anyone who bought two Marine halves of Indomitus, this is the build for you right here!
  • One Sanguinary Guard squad provides a big hammer unit.
  • Multi-melta devs make another appearence, here bringing a rather nasty foot captain along for the ride.
  • Another Assassin lurks at the fringes.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

What’s very clear from this list is that the core quality of Marine units remains very high – putting together a fairly sensible combination of units in the roles they’re designed for and adding a bit of codex-specific spice gives you an army that can do serious work on the table. Blood Angels are strongly incentivised to use that basic model right now, as the transition from their Codex/Blood of Baal builds to the new Index has taken away quite a few of the more all-in armies they used to run. With Upon Wings of Fire and Descent of Angels gone, you can’t reliably go all-in on jump pack units any more, but the upside is that all the general high-quality Marine units are especially good thanks to the powerful Chapter Tactic. +1 to wound makes regular marines of pretty much any flavour at least threatening in combat, while turning dedicated combat units like Bladeguard, Assault Intercessors and Sanguinary guard into something extremely nasty. Just like we saw with the pre-codex builds, Eradicators and a single dev drop pod (now multi-meltas rather than grav) let the list pick off any mid-ranged threats that might take out the melee units, then the brutal work of melee can really get going, and an unwary opponent can quickly find themselves on the ropes.

Blood Angels look well placed to continue using this “all-rounder” style of strategy in the immediate future, and we’ll see what their codex holds for them when it’s their turn in December. In the meantime, great job to Sweet for showing that it isn’t just Wolves and Dangles that can go hard in the new environment.

Miller Time’s Astra Militarum – 4th Place

Credit: Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [53 PL, 870pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Regimental Doctrine: Gunnery Experts, Spotter Details

+ Stratagems +

Tank Ace [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Tank Commander [12 PL, 190pts]: Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander [12 PL, 190pts]: Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

Tank Commander [12 PL, 190pts]: Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon

+ Troops +

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 50pts] . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 50pts] . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant: Laspistol

Infantry Squad [3 PL, 50pts] . 9x Guardsman: 9x Lasgun
. Sergeant: Laspistol

+ Heavy Support +

Manticore [8 PL, 150pts]: Full Payload, Heavy Bolter, Hunter-Killer Missile

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [66 PL, 1,120pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Regimental Doctrine: 133rd Lambdan Lions

+ HQ +

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 45pts]: Relic (133rd Lambdan Lions): Refractor Field Generator, Tempestus Command Rod, Warlord, WT (133rd Lambdan Lions): Keys to the Armoury

Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 40pts]: Hot-shot Laspistol

+ Troops +

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 90pts] . 9x Scion: 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 90pts] . 9x Scion: 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 45pts] . 4x Scion: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

Militarum Tempestus Scions [5 PL, 90pts] . 9x Scion: 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Hot-shot Laspistol

+ Dedicated Transport +

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

Taurox Prime [7 PL, 120pts]: Taurox Gatling Cannon, Two Hot-shot Volley Guns

++ Total: [119 PL, 1,990pts, -1CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • An Astra Militarum list in a top four no less!
  • Taurox Prime Spam? What is this, 2017?
  • Demo Tank Commanders still a very competitive unit when you can find the right tools to back them up.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Our last entry in the top four from this event is this very unusual guard build. Guard are one of the factions that face a real uphill struggle in the 9th Edition missions – they’re short on true push threats to go out and take objectives, and bleed secondaries very badly, often giving up both Bring it Down and Thin the Ranks. This list tries a common tactic in the face of adversity – skew hard and hope to push past opponents that can’t deal with your nonsense. Here, while the army does give up both those secondaries still, the road to it is a fairly painful one for opponents – large numbers of Taurox Primes are going to set up with an invuln from the Refractor Field then trundle up the board honking their horns and scything through any objective-holding infantry with their AP-1 gatling cannons. Tank Commanders and a Full Payload Manticore provide some heavier firepower if the opponent’s units are made of sterner stuff, and once you factor those in you have a list that has a more interesting angle of attack than many guard builds we’ve seen. Bluntly, it will still get countered hard sometimes – an opponent that does pack the raw killing power to sweep this off the table will cruise to an easy victory – but it throws enough of a spanner into the operations of some armies that, as we see here, it can make a play for a top four slot. It’s certainly a neat build, so well done to Miller for coming up with it.

RTT Space Marines

Joshua Gonzalez’s White Scars

White Scars Assault Intercessor

White Scars Assault Intercessor Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

This list went 3-1 at a four-round event (we have those now apparently) by Hey Wanna Play in Florida.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

White Scars Battalion

HQ

Primaris Chaplain on Bike- 150
-Master of Sanctity
-Warlord
-Wise Orator
-Plume of the Plainsrunner

Kor’sarro Khan – 110

Reiver LT – 75
-Rites of War (1cp)
-Vox Espiritum (1cp)

Elites

Master Primaris Apothecary – 100
-Selfless Healer (1cp)

Vanguard Veterans – 280
-10 man
-10 lightning claws
-10 Storm Shields
-10 Jump Pack

Bladeguard Veterans – 175
-5 man

Blade Guard Veterans – 140
-4 man

Troops

Assault Intercessors – 100
-5 man
-1 power sword

Assault Intercessors – 100
-5 man
-1 power sword

Incursors – 105
-5 man

Fast Attack
3 Attack Bikes- 165
-3 Multi Meltas

Inceptors – 250
-5 man
-Plasma x5

Inceptors – 250
-5 man
-Plasma x5

The Standout Features

  • White Scars – still good.
  • Plasma Inceptors making a play for the ranged threat of choice out of the gate.
  • The fresh hell of lightning claw/storm shield VanVats looking especially strong in Scars.
  • The multi-melta boost being firmly good enough to get Attack Bikes on the table.
  • Reiver Lt. shows up as a newly powerful utility piece.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I hope you weren’t expecting White Scars to go any where because they, uh, aren’t. A few of the tricks they had access to with the old Marine Codex have been taken away, most notably the double grav rhino (and probably their Litany), but they’re probably the best users of the new top general-purpose shooting unit of Plasma Inceptors, and remain a fantastic shell for Bladeguard thanks to them being able to Advance/Charge and the boost from the Khan. On top of that, they’re definitely the best users of one of the new hotnesses out of the Codex – claw and shield Vanguard Veterans. In any Marine list these are a durable, mobile melee threat, but in White Scars they also amp up to being stone-cold killers once the Assault Doctrine comes online, with D2 boosting them to be able to take out almost anything. That puts your opponent in a tough spot – if they ignore the veterans early then they risk getting rolled over in the late game, but the alternative is getting brutally flayed by the hail of plasma death that the Inceptors put out. Going hard on Inceptors and Bladeguard does, of course, also make the Chief Apothecary especially tasty in this shell, as they’ll very often be picking up a high quality model every turn.

The spread of the multi-melta has, of course, reached this list as well, turning up strapped to some attack bikes. With multi-meltas these are now pretty good shooting platforms in general, and Scars again bring a unique trick to the table with them, letting them Advance and shoot. The other novel tool to make an appearence here is the Reiver Lt, who suddenly packs quite a bit of utility. Because he shares all the abilities and keywords of Reivers, and can have his aura boosted by the Vox Espiritum, he’s adds the ability to spread a -2 Ld bubble (which matters more as Marine players lean towards bigger units and lose morale re-rolls) and to shut down Actions and ObSec (a great counter to Space Wolf nonsense) with Terror Troops. Since the list would absolutely want an Lt anyway to go with all of its plasma, he becomes a fantastic deal, and expect to see more of him as people cotton on.

The White Scars playstyle appears to be alive and well, and expect to continue to see them perform strongly going forward!

Brad Chester’s Salamanders

Salamanders Aggressors

Salamanders Aggressors. Credit: Rockfish

This list took 3-0 at the Death or Glory RTT in Ohio, notable for being very large for an RTT and having a very tough field. The rest of the 3-0 lists were two variants on Deathskulls Orks and a Sisters build we’ll cover below.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Salamanders
9CP

One Battalion:

HQ:
110 Bike Cap powerfist/Stormshield (I noticed Brad) mantle of minus 1 to wound relic/Forge master
150 Primaris Chaplain on bike master of sanctity/benediction/imperium sword/ hate/strength/plus 1 to wound

Troops:
95 5 Assault intercessors
120 5 Infiltrators
120 5 Infiltrators

Elites:
120 3 Flamestorm Aggressors
280 10 Vanguard Vets LC/SS/JP
48 2 Company vets SS
48 2 Company vets SS
105 Primaris Apothecary Chief Apothecary Selfless healer

Fast Attack:
110 2 Multi melta attack bikes
300 6 Liquid hot plasma inceptors
150 3 Liquid hot plasma inceptors

Heavy:
120 3 Eradicators
120 3 Eradicators

The Standout Features

  • Salamanders – also still great!
  • Heavy overlap with the previous list, giving us a strong hint of what some of the best units in the Marine book might be!
  • Cheap Company Vets in the Action reserves role.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Salamanders were vying with White Scars for best pre-Codex core Marines, so it’s not surprising that they’re also still strong in the wake of the new book. What I think is most striking about this list, honestly, is just how much overlap there is in the units taken with the White Scars list. The exact configurations and how they’re likely to be used changes a bit (notably the 6/3 split on Inceptors lets the big unit go ham with Crucible of Battle) but there’s a real sense that players are already homing in on the book’s big winners. This list aims for a slightly more measured advance than the Scars one, packing some Eradicators to leverage the Salamander doctrine in place of the Bladeguard, but still keeps a lot of the same energy, being able to throw out a bunch of mid-range damage out the gate then control the table very effectively afterwards, and packs some Infiltrators to compensate for having fewer things that want to rush straight up the board.

The one other new thing that stands out is the two units of Company Veterans. As I keep hammering on about, small non-Character units you can chuck into strat reserves are great, and with an extra wound and the Storm Shields these are a pretty good choice for this slot, working similarly to Cryptothralls in Necrons. They’re an interesting tech choice, and it’ll be interesting to see if they catch on.

I doubt Salamanders players needed much reassuring that things would still be just fine with the new Codex, but it’s good to have that confirmed. Or, I guess, not good if you’re thoroughly tired of them. Tough break for anyone in that spot.

Brett Wassell’s Dark Angels

Deathwing Knights

Deathwing Knights and a Cataphractii Master. Credit: Greg Chiasson

This list won the Critical Hit RTT in Canada.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [101 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Statagems: Hero of the Chapter(-2CP), Relic of the Chapter(-2CP)

+ HQ +

Interrogator-Chaplain [6 PL, 110pts]: 6. Rites of War, Angels Ambit, Bolt pistol, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate, Canticle of Hate

Ravenwing Talonmaster [9 PL, 160pts]: 3. Outrider, Corvus Oculus, Power sword, Twin assault cannon, Twin heavy bolter, Warlord

Sammael on Corvex [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Incursor Sergeant

. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired Combat Blades, 4x Smoke Grenades

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]: Infiltrator Sergeant

. 4x Infiltrator: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Auxiliary Grenade Launcher, Bolt rifle

. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

. Intercessor Sergeant: Chainsword

+ Elites +

Deathwing Knights [22 PL, 334pts]: Watcher in the Dark

. 6x Deathwing Knight: 6x Mace of Absolution, 6x Storm shield

. Knight Master: Storm shield, Flail of the Unforgiven

Deathwing Terminator Squad [9 PL, 190pts]: Watcher in the Dark

. Deathwing Sergeant: Storm Bolter & Power Sword

. Deathwing Terminator: Chainfist, Storm bolter

. Deathwing Terminator: Chainfist, Storm bolter

. Deathwing Terminator: Power fist, Storm bolter

. Deathwing Terminator: Power fist, Storm bolter

Deathwing Command Squad [9 PL, 170pts]: Watcher in the Dark

. Deathwing Sergeant: Storm Bolter & Power Sword

. Deathwing Terminator: Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

. Deathwing Terminator: Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

. Deathwing Terminator: Power fist, Storm bolter

Ravenwing Apothecary [5 PL, 125pts]: Chief Apothecary, Reliquary of the Repentant, Selfless Healer

. Black Knight Bike: Plasma Talon

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [12 PL, 300pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

+ Heavy Support +

Whirlwind [5 PL, 130pts]: Whirlwind castellan launcher, Hunter Killer Missile

++ Total: [101 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The Deathwing march to war.
  • Dark Angels enjoy being able to put their Chief Apothecary on a bike.
  • Plasma Inceptors are for everyone.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Deathwing have a whole lot of expectations riding on them out of the new Index, and I found not one but two Dark Angels featuring Deathwing Knights sitting pretty at 3-0, suggesting there’s some real promise here. I’ve actually had the dubious pleasure of playing against Deathwing myself since the updates dropped, and let me tell you that perma-transhuman on units that hardcore is no joke.

Of the two lists, this one goes harder on the Deathwing, with all three kinds of non-character terminator making the cut, all specced for melee. To ensure that they can do the maximum work once they come down, this list packs a whole suite of highly mobile buff characters, ensuring they can get into position for the critical turn two and three charges. The Chaplain is packing both Canticle of Hate and Rites of War, boosting the chance of successful charges and making the Terminators ObSec, ensuring they’re even more of a nightmare to deal with. You also have a Ravenwing Apothecary zooming around to put models back into the squads, reduce invulns with the Reliquary of the Repentant and provide a place where the Termis can drop extra close thanks to Combined Assault – turning him into an incredibly flexible and potent utility piece. Being able to bring both biker and terminator apothecaries is certainly a huge plus for the Dark Angels now the Chief Apothecary buff is so good!

Once the Terminators, Characters and mandatory troops are out of the way there aren’t that many points left to spend, and the lion’s share of these go on plasma inceptors. Dark Angels don’t even technically have any plasma buffs right now, they’re just an incredibly good unit for pretty much every Marine army. I dread to think how good to be if something like Weapons of the Dark Age returns in the DA supplement. Finally, we have a Whirlwind, firmly sitting in the “thing you can park on a home objective that isn’t trivial to kill” role. The rest of this list very much wants to be up and around the board causing mischief, so having something like this is well worth it – the lone Intercessor unit is really the only other thing that doesn’t feel a bit wasted if it hangs back.

Growing evidence suggests that we might actually have to write a real Start Competing for Dark Angels this time around, and it’ll be interesting to see if any Deathwing fans manage to make the leap to top table GT success.

Ben Neal’s Dark Angels

This list went 3-0 at an invite-only RTT in Colorado, and will immediately start living rent free in the minds of the ATV doomsayers.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Dark Angels Patrol

HQ

Azrael 170
Warlord: Brilliant Strategist

Troops

10 Stalker Bolter Intercessors 200

Elites

5 Deathwing Knights 240
Watcher in the Dark

5 Deathwing Knights 235

Dark Angels Outrider

HQ

Primaris Chaplain on Bike 140
Master of Sanctity
Hero of the Chapter: Rites of War
Relic: Benediction of Fury
Prayers: Mantra of Strength, Catechism of Fire

Elites

Ravenwing Apothecary 115
Chief Apothecary
Hero of the Chapter: Selfless Healer
Relic: Reliquary of the Repentent

Fast Attack

3 Outriders 135

3 Invader ATVs 255
Multi-Meltas

3 Invader ATVs 255
Multi-Meltas

3 Invader ATVs 255
Multi-Meltas

Total: 2000 points, 8 CP

The Standout Features

  • Welp, I guess someone had to do it.
  • All-in on abusing the ATVs as hard as possible, granting them a 4++ from Azreal and packing a biker Apothecary to revive them.
  • Still, to be clear, also packing a bunch of Deathwing Knights, because they are a hell of a thing now.
  • Range-boosted Stalker Intercessors threaten to do a tonne of turn one damage.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This is the list that the loudest voices on Competitive 40K have been trying to warn you about, right here. Continuing the theme of multi-meltas being exceptionally good, this list maxes out on ATVs packing them, gives them a 4++ via Azreal’s Lion Helm and, of course, packing a Chief Apothecary so that the player can watch the light die in their opponents eyes, round after round. Backing that up you have two units of Deathwing Knights for melee hammer blows and a big unit of Stalker Intercessors to assist the ATVs in racking up some early kills, as combining Azreal’s chapter master boost, increased range from Relentless Hunt and Rapid Fire means they can do a tonne of damage at some serious range out of the gate.

I do, ultimately, thing that as it stands this is closer to a meme list than a major winner – it’s got a lot of power, but I’d expect it to fold hard to Orks or Slaanesh Daemons, as it just doesn’t really have the rate of fire to clear them out. It’ll bully the hell out of other Marines as it stands, however, and there are definitely some ways you can tweak it to improve its current weaker matchups. ATVs are clearly good, now we just need to wait and find out if they’re truly great.

RTT Necrons

John McMahan’s Eternal Expansionists

Canoptek Spyder. Credit: Rockfish

Canoptek Spyder. Credit: Rockfish

This list went 3-0 at the CPPG RTT in Tennessee.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Eternal Conquerors/Relentlessly Expansionist (6” pregame with obsec)

Patrol – 577pts

HQ

Catacomb Command Barge -150
Staff of light/gauss cannon; -1 damage WL trait, voltaic staff -2CP

Troops

Warriors x 10- 130
gauss reapers

Fast Attack

Tomb Blades x9 297
Gauss, shieldvanesx9

Outrider – 935pts

HQ

Chromomancer – 100
Veil of darkness, crypgeometric adjuster

Technomancer 110
Control Node; phylacterine hive

No Slot

Cryptothralls 40

Elites

Spyders x3 225
Gloom prisms, particle beamers

Skorpekh Destroyers x 6 210

Fast Attack

Scarabs x7 105
Scarabs x7 105
Scarabs x5 75

Supreme Command -450

Lord of War
The Silent King 450

The Standout Features

  • The first of the two early standout Necron configurations, ObSec wounds for days.
  • Tomb Blades, Spyders and Scarabs provide huge piles of wounds.
  • Skorpekh (a full squad rather than capping at five) provide some additional shock troops.
  • The Silent King looms over all.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

My current feeling is that there are broadly two directions for the best Necron lists – leaning on Eternal Expansionists and piles of wounds to play board control, or going Novokh for a more flexible damage output. Happily, we have one 3-0 Necron list to show off each, and this one covers the first. You’ve got Scarabs, Tomb Spiders and Tomb Blades (with Gauss this week) lining up to soak damage like champions (and mauling their favoured kinds of targets) and then The Silent King and a full unit of Skorpekh for some bigger hammer blows. Thanks to the pre-game move from the Dynasty trait and the relatively high speeds of a lot of this, the army has incredible flexibility on how it wants to approach the first turn (whether it goes first or second) and is often going to control the early scoring. While the tools it’s using are all very killable, it has some pretty brutal punches to throw as well, and when it builds up an early lead it’s going to be tough for the opponent t come back from.

In terms of those hammer blows, the Silent King is here pretty much as a pure damage dealing piece, with only the Tomb Blades really benefitting from his buff capabilities. Luckily, he’s absolutely fine in this role, being able to do good damage both up close and at a distance, while also still being able to be cagey with the use of Obscuring terrain, since all models in his unit are <18W. The full Skorpekh squad also caught my eye because it’s something I’ve been musing on too – you really need them to kill what they hit, and you kind of really want the second hyperphase reap blade a lot of the time. While adding a sixth model constrains their movement a bit and adds a vulnerability to blast, just that extra reassurance that they’ll kick the crap out of a target is nice to have, and something I’ll likely be trying.

Really, all of this is stuff I want to try, once I start properly clearing down my Necron painting queue. It’s very exciting to see all these units out on the table (especially The Silent King) and it’ll be interesting to see which Necron flavour wins out (or if a surprise third option breaks through).

Marshall Peterson’s Necrons

This list went 3-0 at the Orktober RTT in Utah.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Battalion Detachment 5CP (Necrons) [ 80pl, 1550pts ]

Dynasty : Novokh

-HQ-

Overlord [6pl, 130pts ] Warscythe, Resurrection Orb, Orb of Eternity

Overlord [6pl, 105pts ] Warlord trait Eternal Madness, Warscythe, Tachyon Arrow, Blood Scythe Note: this model needs to lose the Tachyon Arrow, you cannot have an arrow and a warscythe.

Technomancer [4pl, 95pts ] Warlord trait Implacable Conqueror, Canoptek Cloak, Veil of Darkness, Cortical Subjugator Scarabs

-Troops-

Warriors [12pl, 195pts ] x15, Gauss Reaper

Immortals [4pl, 85pts ] x5, Gauss Blaster

Immortals [4pl, 85pts ] x5, Gauss Blaster

-Elites-

Lychguard [14pl, 280pts ] x10, Hyperphase Sword, Dispersion Shield

Skorpekh Destroyers [10pl, 175pts ] x5

-Fast Attack-

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [4pl, 75pts ] x5

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [4pl, 75pts ] x5

Triarch Praetorians [12pl, 250pts ] x10, Rod of Covenant

Supreme Command Detachment 6CP (Necrons) [ 23pl, 450pts ]

-Super Heavy-

The Silent King [23pl, 450pts ]

The Standout Features

  • Neatly shows off the other option – Novokh hammerblows.
  • Lychguard and Triarch Praetorians provide hefty blocks that can throw and take a punch.
  • Silent King acts as both a hammer unit and a force multiplier here.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Aaaaand here’s option two – melee Necrons. As I mentioned in our review, melee seemed to be where the Necrons got the biggests boosts, and here we see several pumped up units hit the table, with the Silent King riding alongside them to push their damage output through the roof. Triarch Praetorians with the rods might be good enough without the Silent King, but with him overseeing them they’re fantastic – mobile, reasonably durable for the cost and deadly both at range and in melee. Despite how strong they are, a unit of Lychguard still get the nod here as well rather than a second squad, providing something that can more thoroughly anchor a position while still being able to put out a lot of pain. They can also benefit from the ministrations of the Orb of Eternity and the Technomancer, meaning that even if they take an initial hammering they can still be dragged back into the game (presumably while the opponent weeps softly). Finally, they can ride the Veil of Darkness and be prodded into melee via the Cortical Subjugator Scarabs. Effectively, while I think the Praetorians are a more powerful unit on raw numbers, the amount of synergy you can deploy on Lychguard thanks to the Dynasty tag makes them worthwhile, especially in Novokh. We do still also see some Scarabs and a unit of Skorpkekh in here which isn’t a surprise, as both are just very good units.

There are a few ways I think you can tune this to be even better. Shamelessly stealing a trick from Siegler, I’d want to get Orikan the Diviner into this list, as being able to give the Triarch a 5++ is extremely valuable, and buffing the Lychguard with a re-roll on their charges before teleporting them will also sometimes be strong. With two uses of My Will be Done from Szarekh, I don’t think you need two Overlords as well, so I’d probably swap the non-orb one out. I’d also look at maybe reformatting the Battalion into two patrols, letting you strip out one Immortal unit, buff up the Warriors to a full blob and free up 20pts either for Orikan and a Plasmacyte or Orikan and splitting one Scarab unit into two units of Cryptothralls to make sure you have enough objective holders. I really like the overall thrust of the list, however, and am even now sighing as I add Lychguard to my shopping list.

RTT Adepta Sororitas

Tim Pinney’s Mortifiers and Exorcists

Credit: Starvolt

This list also went 3-1 at the HWP event in Florida

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [32 PL, 666pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ HQ [3 PL, 50pts] +

Canoness [3 PL, 50pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Relic: Beneficence, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 2. Righteous Rage

+ Troops [4 PL, 55pts] +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister [44pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior [11pts]: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites [7 PL, 161pts] +

Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts] . 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 135pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia [135pts]: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Heavy Support [18 PL, 400pts] +

Mortifiers [12 PL, 240pts] . Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub [10pts] . Retributor Superior [22pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Combi-flamer [10pts], Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] . Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon [32pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts]

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [65 PL, 1,331pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ HQ [10 PL, 195pts] +

Triumph of Saint Katherine [10 PL, 195pts]: 6x Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Relic weapons, The Martyr’s Sword

+ Elites [4 PL, 71pts, -1CP] +

Death Cult Assassins [1 PL, 26pts] . 2x Death Cult Assassins [26pts]: 2x Death Cult power blades

Imagifier [3 PL, 45pts, -1CP]: Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades, Heroine in the Making [-1CP], Tale of the Stoic, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith

+ Heavy Support [51 PL, 1,065pts] +

Exorcist [9 PL, 195pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher [30pts], Heavy bolter [15pts]

Exorcist [9 PL, 195pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher [30pts], Heavy bolter [15pts]

Exorcist [9 PL, 195pts]: Exorcist Missile Launcher [30pts], Heavy bolter [15pts]

Mortifiers [12 PL, 240pts] . Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails

Mortifiers [12 PL, 240pts] . Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers [3 PL, 60pts]: 2x Heavy bolter [30pts], 2x Penitent Flails

++ Total: [97 PL, 8CP, 1,997pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The ultimate heresy of a Sisters list that doesn’t max out on Repentia squads.
  • Mortifiers for days, taking advantage of the heavy bolter buff.
  • Leaning in to vehicles making Exorcists more attractive.
  • Death Cult Assassins getting the nod as the latest “bad” unit to be kind of worth it for Action/objective purposes.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Mortifiers are a really cool unit and one that’s already seen some decent success in the wild, but now that their firepower is perfectly tuned for a Space Marine heavy world they should really come into their own, as Felime predicted in our review of the changes. These things pack a lot of heavy bolter shots at a very appealing price, and are also great in melee, with a profile that will go through hordes and power armour alike. Their only real drawback is that they aren’t that durable, but quantity goes a long way to solving that problem, and this list is going to look pretty fearsome when it’s coming at you. Saturating the board with that kind of threat also makes some list building options that have been losing out to pure Bloody Rose seem a bit more appealing as well – if you’re already giving up Bring it Down and your mid-board units are moderately durable rather than glass cannons, it’s much more reasonable to try Exorcists (backed up with an Imagifier) backing them up, especially as 9th lets them operate at full effect while mobile. The Triumph makes it in too, and taking it all together opponents are going to be rather overwhelmed by all the targets they have to choose from.

A few Bloody Rose elements do still make it in – the smash Canoness and a full squad of Repentia are great value adds, and we can also see that the good news about multi-meltas has reached the Sororitas, as a unit of Retributors makes the cut. I’d guess the Repentia and maybe the Retrubutors go into strat reserves in a lot of games, though Repentia + one Mortifier squad + one Death Cult unit is also a potentially spicy configuration to stash for 2CP at a cool 19PL. As long as there’s somewhere to hide the Retributors that’s probably fine, and once you manage that this list presents very few targets for anti-horde firepower, something that’s definitely in its favour. The list ends up coming together really well, able to contend with almost any kind of threat and pressure the board very effectively.

I’m a big fan of Sisters as an army and it’s really cool to see their formula shaken up a bit, and I hope we continue to see new toys tried out. Speaking of which…

Michelle Mack’s Retributors and Repentia

Sisters of Battle Repentia

Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

This list also took 3-0 at the Death or Glory RTT in Ohio, from which we looked at Brad’s Salamanders above.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Created with BattleScribe (https://battlescribe.net)
++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [78 PL, 1,509pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 65pts]: Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Inferno pistol, Relic: Beneficence, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 2. Righteous Rage

Canoness [3 PL, 65pts]: Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Inferno pistol

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites +

Celestian Squad [4 PL, 95pts] . 2x Celestian: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Combi-melta, Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword
. Celestian w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun
. Celestian w/ Special Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Meltagun

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 75pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 75pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 75pts] . 5x Sisters Repentia: 5x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 100pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols, Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols, Frag & Krak grenades

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 100pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols, Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Combi-flamer, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 150pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 150pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Storm bolter

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Storm bolter

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Storm bolter

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [21 PL, 435pts, -5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Ebon Chalice

+ Stratagems +

Open the Reliquaries [-1CP]: Additional Relics of the Ecclesiarchy

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: Bolt pistol, Brazier of Holy Fire, Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades, Heroine in the Making, Relic: Wrath of The Emperor, Warlord Trait: Terrible Knowledge

+ Heavy Support +

Mortifiers [6 PL, 125pts] . Anchorite: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

Mortifiers [6 PL, 125pts] . Anchorite: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

Mortifiers [6 PL, 125pts] . Anchorite: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

++ Fortification Network 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [3 PL, 55pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment CP: Command Benefit

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Fortification +

Battle Sanctum [3 PL, 55pts]

++ Total: [102 PL, 1,999pts, 7CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Retributors and Repentia in Rhinos. Say that five times really fast.
  • A strong dose of Mortifiers here too, and filling a Spearhead with them allows a low-cost tap in to Ebon Challice.
  • The Battle Sanctum seeing play!

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Welcome to MSU melta hell, the other new angle there’s some chatter about. One unit of multi-melta Retributors? Pah, what about three, riding alongside your choice of Celestians, Repentia or some basic ObSec Sisters as the situation demands. The huge number of different ways this list can configure its transports and reserves lets it adapt very effectively to various opponents, and just like the previous one it can get down to a pretty uniform target profile if needed. The amount of threat it can then present from all angles is a giant headache for opponents, especially once you factor in the constant threat of Acts of Faith locking in powerful auto-damage. Speaking of that, this list also packs some Mortifiers, and partially does so in order to allow it to squeeze in an Ebon Chalice detachment, gaining access to their powerful warlord trait to ensure early access to a six in the miracle pool. Not content with that, the list brings an actual Battle Sanctum, which one unit of Battle Sisters can occupy to keep the miracles flowing.

Ultimately, what this and the last list demonstrate is that the melta and heavy bolter upgrades have substantially broadened the tools Sororitas have to actually do some damage, where before Repentia were there only best-in-class standout in that regard. That didn’t mean they were a weak faction before, as they had a tonne of other stuff to recommend them, but it meant a lot of lists ended up conforming to similar patterns. Now with the limiters thoroughly off, we should see a much bigger selection of the range deployed, and the army having a good chance of breaking through to top tier status.

Wrap Up

See I initially thought this was going to be another pretty quiet week, but thanks to the extra GT from New Zealand we ended up with a bumper crop of lists to look at. I hope you’ve enjoyed this taster of what players are trying around the world (especially the extra dip into the world of Sororitas), and make sure to check back in next week for more! In the meantime, comments, questions, event tips and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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