Competitive Innovations in 9th: Drukhari Endgame

An article by    Competitive Play Goonhammer Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

A huge weekend for competitive play is now lodged firmly in the books, with two majors and a GT bringing us both the denouement of the pre-nerf Drukhari era and the first sight of what the world might look like after the avalanche of recent changes. We’ve got three events to cover today – the Atlantic City Open supermajor and Terracon, which were not using the new FAQs and missions (though Terracon did have new AdMech live) and the Utah Gamer’s Alliance Open, a GT with a much more aggressive rules cutoff where all recent additions except Sisters were live.

As you might have noticed, this week is a pretty busy one on Goonhammer with the arrival of the new edition of AoS, and I’m both painting and writing a few things for that, so let’s dive straight into it by looking at the Atlantic City Open.

Edit: I have also added a lightning bonus section at the end blasting through the lists that went X-1 or better at the Branson Brawl – I managed to miss this when collating events for the week because it got double entered in BCP and I looked at the skeleton record first. Sorry about that!

Atlantic City Open

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. New FAQs, missions and AdMech rules were not live for this event.

Brad Chester – Drukhari – 1st Place

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [33 PL, 14CP, 655pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Battle Size [12CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points)

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Dark Lotus Toxin, Precision Blows, Razorflails, Warlord

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 110pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

Wyches [6 PL, 105pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Splinter Pistol
. 9x Wych: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [7 PL, 170pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [29 PL, -1CP, 600pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, -1CP, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug),quicksilver fighter, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition The Glaive Exquisite
Blast pistol and archite glaive

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier Gun: Liquifier Gun

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [41 PL, -2CP, 745pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, -1CP, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Coven, Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Coven, Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Coven, Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Coven, Dark Lance

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Coven, Dark Lance

++ Total: [103 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Brad caps his recent Drukhari run with a big win on a big stage.
  • A relic Archite Glaive finally gets a look in, withe the Glaive Exquisite

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

There really isn’t that much to say here that we didn’t already cover last week – Brad’s list is almost entirely unchanged, with the only modification being finding a third Cult of Strife Succubus build to account for the way ACO ended up ruling Warlords and subfaction relics. The choice of the Glaive Exquisite and Quicksilver Fighter makes plenty of sense in a Drukhari-heavy world, as when slamming into opposing characters and Incubi you’re going to be rolling out 9 attacks that hit and wound on 2s with all the AP you can possibly handle, very spicy. Look for this combo to get even more airtime now the Razorflails build has been toned down a bit (though not the variant Brad is running).

Beyond that, the other key takeaway is the reminder that Hellions feel very strong in the Drukhari mirror and are only going to get better now there aren’t opposing Liquifier guns to worry about. Their strike range is exceptional, and they’re very good for detonating larger single units when you stack a bunch of Strife stratagems on them, which is going to be highly relevant as Cronos get more prevalent. Ultimately, however, it isn’t just the list that counts, because while Drukhari are super powerful they also have a dizzying array of options in any given situation, meaning they’re only at their best in the hands of a true master. Big congratulations to Brad for taking down the supermajor.

Nick Nanavati – Drukhari – 2nd Place

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [59 PL, 986pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 136pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 270pts, 1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder (Restricted)

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, The Triptych Whip, Warlord
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [37 PL, 740pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Haemonculus [4 PL, 80pts, -1CP]: Master Regenerist, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Helm of Spite

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [12 PL, 240pts] . Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex

Cronos [12 PL, 240pts] . Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex

++ Total: [112 PL, 9CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Cronos float menacingly onto the top tables in ever greater numbers.
  • Court of the Archon continues to provide a powerful tarpit/WWSWF choice.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Really, you all know in your hearts of hearts that an all Drukhari final was the only way this could end, and so it proved, with Nick making it a double header for the Art of War team at the last. Refreshingly, however, his build is very different from Brads, showing off the new (and likely continuing) hotness that is Cronos. As we’ve talked about a few times now, these are very aggressively priced for how durable they are, and draw massive benefits from Dark Technomancers thanks to their mixture of auto-hitting and high shot count weaponry. They’ve got the wound count and defences, to tank shooting, they’re extremely challenging to charge unless you can disable overwatch (something which is going to push the value of Cult of Strife Hellions as an alternative Drukhari angle as seen in Brad’s list), and their stratagem is extremely good when deployed at the right time, both when boosting themselves or augmenting another unit. Here I assume they’d mostly be self-buffing, as the Court of the Archon is already going to be one tick ahead thanks to being Black Heart, but if an unwary opponent lets that unit pull off a turn 1 or 2 kill then switching on a 5++ a turn early is going to significantly boost their already considerable defences. Cronos look like the future, and the only question is whether Wracks kick around with them or shrink down to a minimal contingent. Ossefactors and hexrifles are still pretty spicy with Technomancers, so I wouldn’t rule out 3×5 kicking around, but we’ll have to wait and see.

The rest of this doesn’t need that much explaining – you’ve got some tried and tested murder characters, the giant infantry tarpit that is the Court, Trueborn for reliable ranged murder and a bunch of Wyches and Incubi for trading. Assuming it trades down a bit on Wracks this list isn’t going to have to find too many more points to keep its current complement of units, and there’s likely a pretty strong core here to be iterated on going forward. Congratulations to Nick on the second place finish, and I look forward to being shown exactly what new horrors Drukhari have waiting for us once the AoW team have re-armed.

Thomas Ogden – Dark Angels – 3rd Place

Dark Angels HQs

Credit: Greg Chiasson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [67 PL, 1,465pts, -7CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Dark Angels

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Relics of the Chapter [-2CP]: 2x Number of Extra Relics

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [16 PL, 320pts, -1CP] . Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze
. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Sammael [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Reliquary of the Repentant, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter
. Black Knight Bike: Plasma Talon

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 165pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Bike Squad [7 PL, 145pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Biker Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword
. 2x Space Marine Biker w/Chainsword: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Twin boltgun

Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance [6 PL, 120pts]: Heavy bolter

Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance [6 PL, 120pts]: Heavy bolter

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [27 PL, 535pts, 14CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Dark Angels

Deathwing Vanguard Detachment [3CP]

+ HQ +

Azrael [8 PL, 170pts, 2CP]: 1. Brilliant Strategist, Warlord

Ezekiel [7 PL, 125pts]: 1) Mind Worm, 5) Engulfing Fear, 6) Mind Wipe

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

++ Total: [94 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • The nightmare Dark Angels list that took down Red River GT returns with even more of the Inner Circle at the helm.
  • Heavy investment in shooty Characters and Deathwing Command Squads create a list that’s an incredible pain to meaningfully degrade.
  • Reasonably badly hit by point changes, but what a way to go out.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Another returning player here – and an extremely well deserved finish. When I looked at Thomas’s list before I thought it was one of the nastiest Dark Angels builds I’d yet seen and well suited for play in a Drukhari meta, and so it seems to have proven. Thomas was, to be fair, eventually taken out by Brad Chester (both in the Swiss and top 8) but smashed through multiple other elf lists on the way, and ran Brad extremely close in the final Swiss round (90-88). Everything else Thomas faced fell victim to the uniquely vicious threat setup this list has.

Deathwing Command Squads are great anyway, being extremely cheap and hard to shift objective utility units, but this list fully leverages their bodyguard capabilities as well. By making the Talonmasters, Sammy and the two foot characters untargetable, and easily able to do so while hiding behind a wall or whatever, they allow this army to safely go way heavier on Characters than you’d normally get away with outside of a faction like Daemons, and for Dark Angels that’s good news. Talonmasters are fantastic shooting threats if they can operate uncontested, and even nastier when you’ve got both Samael and Azrael to apply Chapter Master hype to them. Azrael also ensures that the main thing that opponents can actually shoot, the Attack Bikes, are always on a 4++ out of the gate and can stay that way if they need to stay in position for a turn.

Factor in an Apothecary and the fact that the Speeders can grab a 4++ on demand as well with High Speed Focus and you’ve got a list that’s just a nightmare to engage with. Your only shooting targets are Speeders and Bikes with T5+, a good invuln and (for the latter) the prospect of revival, your stuff is going to be getting mown down or blown to bits, and if you do get right in the army’s face you’ve got a counter-charge coming from a gaggle of deadly melee characters, one of which can drop Fight Last on you first with Mind Worm. This list fully showcases exactly what Dark Angels can do, and has the results to prove it.

Unfortunately, it does also get kind of slammed by the point changes, racking up a cool 100pts of increases. On some level it isn’t hugely surprising given that the list’s entire schtick was finding ways to avoid spending any points on “glue” and just doubling down on the most efficient killers, but it’s undeniably going to hurt. Dropping an entire Vengeance is probably the play, and it says a lot about how strong the list is that I think it’s far from unplayable after that, but I could also see a decision made to shave one of the Attack bike units down to another biker squad, especially if the number of Raiders falls off a bit.

I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough – a player cunning enough to come up with this nightmare is unlikely to be derailed for long by a few point changes. Congratulations to Thomas.

Richard Siegler – Tau – 4th Place

Credit: Zuul the Cat

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [100 PL, 9CP, 1,999pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ Stratagems +

Emergency Dispensation (1 Relic) [-1CP]

Veteran Cadre (4+ models) [-2CP]

+ HQ +

Commander Farsight [7 PL, 130pts]: Dawn blade, High-intensity plasma rifle

Commander in XV86 Coldstar Battlesuit [9 PL, 180pts]: 2. Through Unity, Devastation, Advanced targeting system, 3x Missile pod, Warlord
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [3 PL, 65pts]: MV36 Guardian Drone
. Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

Breacher Team [2 PL, 45pts] . Fire Warrior Shas’ui: Photon grenades, Pulse blaster, Pulse pistol
. 4x Fire Warrior w/ Pulse Pistol: 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse blaster, 4x Pulse pistol

+ Elites +

XV104 Riptide Battlesuit [19 PL, 335pts]: 2x Fusion blaster, Amplified ion accelerator, Drone controller, Ion accelerator, Velocity tracker
. 2x MV84 Shielded Missile Drone: 2x Missile pod, 2x Shield generator

XV8 Crisis Bodyguards [28 PL, 613pts]: Reactive countermeasures, Veteran Cadre
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, Airbursting fragmentation projector, Shield generator, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod, XV8-02 Crisis Iridium battlesuit
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. Crisis Bodyguard: Advanced targeting system, 2x Missile pod
. MV7 Marker Drone: Markerlight

+ Fast Attack +

Pathfinder Team [5 PL, 80pts]: MV33 Grav-inhibitor Drone
. MB3 Recon Drone: Burst cannon
. 4x Pathfinder: 4x Markerlight, 4x Photon grenades, 4x Pulse carbine
. Pathfinder Shas’ui: Markerlight, Photon grenades, Pulse carbine, Pulse pistol

Vespid Stingwings [2 PL, 56pts] . 3x Vespid Stingwing: 3x Neutron blaster
. Vespid Strain Leader: Neutron blaster

+ Flyer +

DX-6 Remora Stealth Drones [3 PL, 60pts] . DX-6 Remora Stealth Drone: 2x Long-barrelled burst cannon, Markerlight, 2x Remora seeker missile

DX-6 Remora Stealth Drones [3 PL, 60pts] . DX-6 Remora Stealth Drone: 2x Long-barrelled burst cannon, Markerlight, 2x Remora seeker missile

+ Dedicated Transport +

TY7 Devilfish [5 PL, 90pts]: Burst cannon
. 2x MV1 Gun Drone: 4x Pulse carbine

TY7 Devilfish [5 PL, 90pts]: Burst cannon
. 2x MV1 Gun Drone: 4x Pulse carbine

++ Total: [100 PL, 9CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Farsight and friends continue the glorious Tau fightback under Siegler’s masterful command.
  • Missile pods for days on a huge Crisis team gives maximum flexibility, especially with Through Unity Devastation.
  • Mostly passes up on a big drone contingent to squeeze in a few more bodies.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

In some ways this both is and isn’t surprising. On the one hand, it’s a refreshing surprise that we’re finally seeing the occasional Tau list do well, even in the hardest contests. On the other, if anyone was going to take Tau undefeated through the Swiss of a supermajor, it was Siegler.

We’re slightly pre-primed on the core here as there’s a reasonable amount of overlap with the list that came sixth at Bugeater, but this build is even nastier. At the heart are two alpha units – the massive brick of Crisis Battlesuits, loaded to the gills with missile pods and defensive buffs (including a model with Reactive Countermeasures), and a single Riptide with the Amplified Ion and a set of Missile Drones. Thanks to applying Veteran Cadre and bringing Through Unity Devastation along for the ride, the Crisis Team are incredibly broad spectrum killing machines, packing a high volume of S7 mid-damage shots that can re-roll hits and/or wounds as needed, ignore cover and further boost output with Coordinated Engagement, and can spike enough shots up to AP-2 that they aren’t going to be dead if they come up against a list with a lot of 2+ saves. The unit is also a huge pain to kill – the list makes the (I think smart) decision not to try and lean on drones too hard, but there are enough kicking around to eat a few Dark Lance shots out of the gate, ensuring that the unit is likely to get to operate for at least a turn against the metagame’s top predator (and they can explode a lot of Raiders, hoo boy). Once battle is closed, judicious choice of when to start allocting hits to the Reactive Countermeasure model, plus use of Defence in Numbers can massively slow the rate of attrition on the unit, and crucially Countermeasures can (or could, I guess, RIP liquifiers) successfully soak up Dark Technomancer Liquifier shots as long as the model is still there. It’s a tough unit to crack is what I’m saying, and putting out extreme damage for as long as it’s on the board.

The Riptide is a lot less complicated, but still very potent, able to cheerfully sit on a 3++ all game by constantly Nova Charging the shield, and not having to worry about losing output while doing so thanks to the Ion having inbuilt overcharge. Having this gun around helps if you suddenly need to crack one more substantial target, and also adds to the weight of FTGG against any chargers who haven’t brought some kind of Overwatch suppression. The final big damage dealer is the Coldstar Commander, and yeah these are just good as ever, able to plink away with missile pods all game and then zoom for a last minute objective grab as things wrap up, something that’s been especially strong since the change to final turn scoring.

The rest of this build is devoted to ensuring that there’s a plan for objective play going on around this nightmare death star. Wave after wave of sacrificial Breachers and Vespid are ready to push forward onto objectves or into table quarters, and a pair of Remoras provide early Engage fodder (and a place to drop the Firestorm strat if the situation ever calls for it). Devilfish provide slightly sturdier bastions that can be sticky on objectives by dismounting either Drones or Breachers. Finally, Farsight ensures that the big damage dealers can bug out of combat on demand and still shoot (ACO was already ruling that this worked pre-FAQ), reducing the number of ways the army can get totally blown out.

Taking it all together, the list has the right combination of firepower and board presence to push through some of Tau’s drawbacks in the right hands (which it was obviously in). It’s far from an easy build to use, requiring you to both take significant care to never lose the Crisis Team early (because if you do that’s pretty much the game) and to make very finely tuned decisions about how many objective utility units to ration out each turn, but this list means serious business, and scythed through a whole collection of Drukhari and Dark Angels players before finally being taken down by Nick in the semis. My only slight reservation about it going forward is that the Crisis loadout seems like it might struggle against the next hotness of Skitarii spam, as the big strat-powered Vanguard blast threatens to do extremely mean things to either a Riptide or the Crisis team (assuming the AdMech player can find a way around the Countermeasures model) and ignoring up to AP-2 in turn means it could struggle to shift the ObSec blobs. We’ll have to see what the optimised versions of builds from that book end up looking like, but until then, huge kudos to Richard for giving Tau players some glimmers of hope!

The Rest of the Best

This event had a cut to a top 8, so let’s check in on the lists that made up the rest of that. I’ve ranked them based on their losing score in the first knockout round.

  • 5th – Charlie Andre – Dark Angels: Relative newcomer Charlie puts in an absolutely stonking performance with a very different spin on Dark Angels, building an infantry-heavy single Battalion build around Azrael. The eye-catching units are a big brick of bolter/claw Relic Terminators buffed up by the Pennant of Rememberance, providing an incredibly durable all-round core, and a maxed-out unit of Assault Hellblasters ready to pour Azrael’s extra CP into Weapons from the Dark Age. The list fills out with a few more characters, 3×3 Bladeguard, some troops and Attack Bikes, and the result is something very distinct from other successful DA builds – but still with the power to finish up second after the event’s swiss portion.
  • 6th – Sean Nayden – Aeldari: Sean deployed his latest spin on a Drukhar/Craftworlds combo, this time leaving the Ynnari contingent at home in favour of a chunkier Drukhari character setup (including Drazhar), a few Cronos and an entire flock of Scourges packing a mix of Shredders and Dark Lances. Technomancer Wracks still provide the core to stich it all together, and the result looks like a complete nightmare to play against. We’ll see what Sean re-tools to as his central anchor in the new metagame era.
  • 7th – Anthony Vanella – Drukhari: Anthony was packing a relatively down-the-line version of the Black Heart/Strife/Technomancers core, with a block each of Reavers and Hellions as the flex choices, and a Raider-riding Grotesque unit providing extra firepower.
  • 8th – Sascha Edelkraut – Black Templars: Sascha continues to make a splash with his Black Templars, improving on his already respectable performance at the Maryland Open by finishing second and undefeated in the swiss section here. His list continues to be a powerful goodstuff concoction – a mix of powerful all-rounder and melee units held together by the Black Templars ability to take two double-Litany chaplains and the enormous power of their stratagem sheet. Everything in the army except the lone Whirlwind can push for the mid-table, and once it does the opponent is going to be under continuous, brutal pressure for the rest of the game.

Terracon

All the army lists for this event can be found in Down Under Pairings. New FAQs and missions were not live for this event, but new AdMech were.

Adam Napier – Drukhari – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [34 PL, 685pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession

. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Mandrakes [3 PL, 75pts] . 4x Mandrake: 4x Baleblast, 4x Glimmersteel Blade
. Nightfiend

+ Heavy Support +

Talos [6 PL, 125pts] . Talos: Macro-scalpel, Twin liquifier gun
. . Two heat lances

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [45 PL, 775pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: Labyrinthine Cunning, Overlord, Power sword, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Animus Vitae

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +

Scourges [5 PL, 80pts] . Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Solarite: Shardcarbine

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [5 PL, 85pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [27 PL, 540pts, ] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Blood Dancer, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Dark Lotus Toxin, Razorflails, Warlord

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [11 PL, 255pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 14x Hellion: 14x Hellglaive, 14x Splinter Pods

++ Total: [106 PL, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Down the line Drukhari with Hellions

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

You know the score by now – just like ACO, Terracon saw Drukhari put in a wild final weekend of celebrations before the nerf hangover arrived, and once the dust settled, Adam’s list was on top. There aren’t really any surprises in the loadout (though I like the use of Blood Dancer with the Tryptych whip, where it outperforms Quicksilver on average), but it is worth noting once again that in a top table meta absolutely stacked with evil space elves, the build with Hellions came out on top. That suggests they were the right call for the metagame that was, and we’ll have to see if AdMech shift the calculus there significantly (they definitely could if autocannon Ironstriders or the infantry blocks go big). That’s for the future though – for this final glorious/nefarious weekend, congratulations to Adam.

Gabe DellOlio – Drukhari – 2nd Place

Drukhari Wracks. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+++ DE (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [111 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] +++

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [44 PL, -1CP, 785pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: The Dark Creed: Distillers of Fear

+ HQ +

Haemonculus [5 PL, -1CP, 100pts]: Fear Incarnate, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition
. Alchemical Maestro (Dark Creed): Alchemical Maestro

+ Troops +

Haemoxytes [8 PL, 120pts] . 7x Haemoxyte: 7x Wrack Blade
. Haemoxyte Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Hexrifle
. Haemoxyte w/ Special Weapon: Ossefactor
. Haemoxyte w/ Special Weapon: Ossefactor

Wracks [3 PL, 55pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Hexrifle
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Ossefactor
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 55pts] . Acothyst: Electrocorrosive Whip, Hexrifle
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Ossefactor
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [12 PL, 200pts] . Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Venom [4 PL, 80pts]: Coven, Grisly Trophies, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

Venom [4 PL, 80pts]: Coven, Grisly Trophies, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, -3CP, 310pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Blood Dancer, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 115pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Morvaine’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

Wyches [6 PL, 120pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Power sword, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [51 PL, 14CP, 905pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ HQ +

Archon [4 PL, 65pts]: Labyrinthine Cunning, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, The Animus Vitae, Venom Blade, Warlord

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Fast Attack +

Scourges [5 PL, 80pts] . Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Scourge with Special / Heavy weapon: Shredder
. Solarite: Shardcarbine

+ Heavy Support +

Ravager [8 PL, 140pts]: 3x Dark Lance

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Shock Prow

Raider [5 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher, Shock Prow

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

The Standout Features

  • A Drukhari build that goes off-piste and survies the changes better than most as a result.
  • Dark Creed leadership shenanigans let Incubi and phantasm grenades punch above their weight.
  • A brick of Grotessques provides some proper crunch for the mid board.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

A bunch of Drukhari players are about to be casting around for new builds to try, so seeing at least some players out ahead of the curve on new things gives us some idea of where they might go. It says a lot about the Drukhari book’s quality that the Dark Creed (favourite of our own Condit) have one of the best leadership manipulation faction traits out there and people have been barely using them outside the odd small contingent. That ends here, with a sizeable force ready to strike terror into the hearts of pretty much anything. Stacking the Dark Creed Obsession and grisly trophies puts the enemy at a cool -3Ld and -1 to combat attrition. WIth that applied, they’re easy prey for Phantasm Grenade launchers, very likely to Fight Last if they try and engage the Incubi, and at risk of taking substantial attrition from any casualties. Tanking opposing Ld also means that the Grotesques will be hitting on 2+ early a lot of the time, and that makes them hit like freight trains. They can always throw up full wound re-rolls with Torturer’s Craft, and if any models have been chipped off the opposing unit with one of the many PGLs kicking around can put up Prey on the Weak as well for RR1s on the hit. That’s effectively full re-rolls on hits and wounds for a unit sporting a good mid-ranged profile off their cleavers, and that can pivot to mortals from the Flesh Gauntlets against unusual targets. Crucially, there’s almost nothing that they won’t hit hard enough to force a heavily debuffed morale test, and from there things get nasty.

The other sneaky thing the Dark Creed brings to the table is the clutch option of blowing An Esoteric Kill on the Haemoxcytes. With a couple of hexrifle shots from the other squad, occasionally chucking two ossefactors into the mix is going to be enough to punk an enemy character not sporting an invuln, which can be incredibly clutch in some matchups. Expensive enough that it isn’t plan A, but nice to have in the back pocket.

The rest of what’s here is all pretty common stuff. The Kabal contingent is a tad lighter than normal, just bringing enough units to get some Black Heart Raiders in, while the Wych units bulk out a bit more, helping amp up the melee crunch here, but that’s all mostly just sliding some dials up and down a bit. Showcasing the Dark Creed is the main novelty here and it’s great fun to see, so well done to Gabe. As to updating the list, it needs to find 50pts which is pretty easy – I imagine it just cuts one Kabalite squad and scavenges some model upgrades elsewhere.

Keiryn Lee Magazin – Aeldari – 3rd Place

Night Spinner

Night Spinner. Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [55 PL, 12CP, 1,025pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession

. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 75pts]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, blast Pistol, The Djin Blade, Warlord

Drazhar [7 PL, 135pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 60pts] . Acothyst: Liquifier Gun, Wrack Blade
. Wrack w/ Special Weapon: Liquifier Gun
. 3x Wracks: 3x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun

Grotesques [6 PL, 135pts] . Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun
. Grotesque w/ Liquifier gun

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [5 PL, 95pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Phantasm Grenade Launcher

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

Raider [5 PL, 90pts]: Coven, Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [14 PL, -6CP, 285pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [0CP]

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Prizes from the Dark City [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug), Precision Blows, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive, . shadow stealer (strife)

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

Incubi [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [33 PL, -3CP, 685pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute

. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

+ HQ +

Warlock [3 PL, 50pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Heavy Support +

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 115pts]

. 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: tempest launcher
. . Exarch Power: rain of death

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 115pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: tempest launcher
. . Exarch Power: rain of death

Dark Reapers [5 PL, 115pts] . 2x Dark Reaper: 2x Reaper Launcher
. Dark Reaper Exarch: tempest launcher
. . Exarch Power: rain of death

Night Spinner [8 PL, 145pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 145pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Total: [108 PL, 1,995pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Craftworld shooting/Drukhari close engagement performs once again.
  • Tempest Launchers on the Reapers provide strong saturation of no-LOS shooting.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Nothing too surprising here with one exception. This Craftworld shooting package was popularised by Sean Nayden and has been popping up all over the place, but there’s some fine-tuning on show in this build. Rather than the Rapid Shot option, Keiryn has gone for Tempest Launchers with Rain of Death, which clock in at a higher price but give you a lot more flexibility in how you use the units throughout the game. If something absolutely needs to die right now you can still bring the squads out for  volley, but if your opponent hasn’t exposed any great targets you can setting for some chip damage instead. With two Night Spinners as well, that puts a substantial amount of pressure on opponents to act, as staying hidden is going to result in some real attrition, and that’s exactly what you want out of the units in this sort of setup – pressure to force the opponent onto the Drukhari’s blades and close-range shooting.

The nature of that Drukhari contingent is obviously going to have to change substantially before this list goes out again, as it’s leaning heavily on Technomancer liquifiers right now, but there are plenty of other setups that could be tested, be it packing in some Trueborn, going even harder on Incubi or maybe looking at Cronos (though losing Power from Pain in soup is really bad for them. The overall list style is going nowhere, however, so we’ll see what Keiryn and its other fans cook up in the future. For now, congratulations on an impressive showing with one of the game’s coolest faction combos.

Matthew Cross – Adepta Sororitas – 4th Place

Sisters of Battle Imagifier. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [54 PL, 1,063pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ HQ +

Celestine [8 PL, 170pts]: Warlord, Warlord Trait: 4. Beacon of Faith

Triumph of Saint Katherine [10 PL, 195pts]

+ Troops +

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

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 58pts] . 3x Battle Sister: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 68pts] . 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Storm bolter
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ Elites +

Crusaders [1 PL, 32pts] . 2x Crusaders: 2x Power sword

Hospitaller [2 PL, 40pts]

Imagifier [3 PL, 45pts]: Relic: Book of St. Lucius

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [7 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [45 PL, 937pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 50pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Relic: Beneficence

+ Elites +

Preacher [2 PL, 35pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 144pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 144pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

Zephyrim Squad [8 PL, 149pts] . 7x Zephyrim: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Zephyrim Pennant

+ Fast Attack +

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 95pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols

+ Heavy Support +

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [99 PL, 2,000pts, -3CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • A last Triumphant hurrah for old school Sisters.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

We close out the top four with another build that’s on the way out, a very classic Bloody Rose/Valorous Heart Sisters combo. Lists like this have terrorised the entire edition, with Valorous Heart’s extremely sticky infantry providing a durable core and the vicious melee threat of the Bloody Rose wiping the floor with anything that dares challenge them, and two potent Named Characters at the helm in the Triumph and Celestine. For anyone who’s followed this column at all this doesn’t need too much explaining – everything in the list is just very good at what it does, the Triumph turbo-charges everything around it even further, and rounding things out with the Mortifiers gives you a very efficient and very independent troubleshooting unit that can act as the tip of the spear on demand.

The new Sisters book represents a huge shift for armies like this, as a lot of the best current tools (as seen here) took a bit of a knock (or are at least more dependent on appropriate support), and Celestine gets a major overhaul to become much more of a brawler than a support tool. It’s not all one way, of course, and new tools like Morvenn Vahl and Sacresants will likely start showing up just as soon as players can paint them, and with a few loadout swaps plenty of the stuff here still has a place. We’re in one of the biggest periods of upheaval we’ve had thus far in the edition, with three top tier armies all getting major shifts at the same time alongside mission and FAQ changes, so the future could bring almost anything. Until it arrives, congratulations to Matthew for providing a major top four sendoff for one of early 9th’s most iconic builds.

The Rest of the Best

Three more players finished on a 5-1 record:

  • 5th – Shane Condie – Tyranids: A spin on the Kraken/Kronos Swarmlord/double Dimachaeron lists that runs a Dermic Symbiosis Scythed Hierodule instead of the second Dima, alongside the expected quotient of gaunts, Hive Guard and an Exocrine. It’s a tried and true combination that puts an opponent under immediate pressure, and has enough firepower and bodies behind it to grind out the game. Using the Hierodule stands this particular build in good stead going forward too, as the cost increase on one Dima gets cancelled out by the discount on Swarmy.
  • 6th – Josh Fenwick – Drukhari: A sight we’re likely to see more going forward here – a Realspace Raid. Granted, it was still leaning heavily on Dark Technomancer Wracks, so expect that to change, but did also feature a squad of melee Grotesques, one of many units in the Drukhari book that have a good shot at breaking through now the most obvious choices have been flattened out a bit.
  • 7th – Shane Miller – Adeptus Mechanicus: A first showing for a post-Codex AdMech build here, going with one of the highly talked about builds – Lucius Skitarii spam. Three big bricks of those form the core (two Vanguard, one Rangers), but are far from all thats on display. A big Ironstrider squad makes an unsurprising showing, mixing las and autocannons, while a large squad of Pteraxii Sterylizors is ready to make the opponent miserable with Thruster Boost, alongside a forward unit of Serberys Raiders. Two crunchier units round the list out – a massive block of Fulgurites (able to be teleported with the Solar Flare if needed) and six Breachers with a scary mix of weapons and guns. You might think that sounds like a lot of stuff and it is – the final important factor on show here is how cheap you can go on HQs, with a Holy Order Manipulus and two Skitarii Marshalls (one carrying the super powerful Exemplar’s Eternity) providing a massive amount of utility at a sub 200pt total cost. It all looks nasty as hell, and it’s a strong opening performance.

Utah Gamer’s Alliance Open

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

Rich Kilton – Orks – 1st Place

Credit: Tom Alexander

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [82 PL, -1CP, 1,508pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Deathskulls

+ HQ [14 PL, -1CP, 273pts] +

Warboss [4 PL, 83pts]: Attack Squig, Kustom Shoota [3pts], Power Klaw [10pts], 2x Slugga, Stikkbombs

Warboss on Warbike [6 PL, 115pts]: Brutal but Kunnin, Da Killa Klaw, 2x Dakkagun, Power Klaw, Warlord

Weirdboy [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 4. Fists of Gork, Deathskulls: Maniacal Seizure, Warphead [-1CP], Weirdboy Staff

+ Troops [34 PL, 680pts] +

Boyz [12 PL, 245pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob [13pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa, Stikkbombs
. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa [232pts]: 29x Choppa, 29x Slugga, 29x Stikkbombs

Boyz [4 PL, 85pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob [13pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa, Stikkbombs
. 9x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa [72pts]: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

Boyz [12 PL, 245pts]: 3x Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob [13pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa, Stikkbombs
. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa [232pts]: 29x Choppa, 29x Slugga, 29x Stikkbombs

Gretchin [6 PL, 105pts] . 21x Gretchin [105pts]: 21x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [9 PL, 155pts] +

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando [45pts]: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [3 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando [45pts]: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Painboy [3 PL, 65pts]: ‘Urty Syringe, Power Klaw

+ Fast Attack [6 PL, 135pts] +

Stormboyz [3 PL, 70pts] . Boss Nob [22pts]: Choppa, Killsaw [10pts], Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [48pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [3 PL, 65pts] . Boss Nob [17pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [48pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Heavy Support [15 PL, 200pts] +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 40pts] . Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 40pts] . Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun

Mek Gunz [9 PL, 120pts] . Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun
. Gun [3 PL, 40pts]: Smasha Gun

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 65pts] +

Trukk [4 PL, 65pts]: Big Shoota

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Orks) [24 PL, -3CP, 490pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Goffs

+ HQ [19 PL, -1CP, 375pts] +

Ghazghkull Thraka [15 PL, 300pts]: Gork’s Klaw, Mork’s Roar, Stikkbombs

Weirdboy [4 PL, -1CP, 75pts]: 2. Warpath, 3. Da Jump, Warphead [-1CP], Weirdboy Staff

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [3 PL, 65pts] +

Painboy [3 PL, 65pts]: ‘Urty Syringe, Power Klaw

++ Total: [106 PL, -4CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Ghaz and da Boyz remind everyone that Orks is never, ever beaten.
  • Trukk Boyz as early pawns and plenty of Deathskull Kommandos and Stormboyz ensure the list is fully ready for mission play.
  • An unusual buff Weirdboy provides a neat angle to take down spicier targets.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

One of the nice things about Orks as a faction is that they have some incredibly dedicated and experienced fans who are always ready to seize the moment and blast their way onto the top tables, and from what I hear Rich Kilton is definitely among them. His spin on the classic Ghaz and Boyz strategy earned him the impressively shiny crown of first post-update GT win (defeating Drukhari in the final no less), and when you dig into it, it’s clearly well deserved.

This list is very well balanced for all-round play – it doesn’t go as hard on any one thing as some variants, but commits hard enough to everything it’s trying to do to ensure that it can exploit whatever weaknesses the opponent’s army has. First up, you’ve got two big blocks of thirty Boyz and Ghaz, a tried and true push contingent that is more than adequate to bowl over anyone who’s skimped on their anti-horde options. The threat of Da Jump as long as these are on the board still forces extreme caution from most opponents out of the gate, and failing to kill a full unit of thirty (not trivial through the 6++ of the Deathskullz and the Painboy) is still a catastrophic disaster a lot of the time thanks to Green Tide. Alongside these, the list has plenty of units dedicated to objective play – a smaller Boyz unit ina Trukk that can push for a mid-table objective as bait, and lots of ObSec deep strikers in the Deathskull detachment to steal objectives and ensure the list is fully set up for Retrieve Octarius Data. If an opponent isn’t careful, they’re going to quickly find themselves with the board carpeted with green and blue, giving them nowhere to deploy their own deep strikers and very few ways to score the primary, making it extremely tough to claw the game back.

Outside of that core Boyz plan, the list has two other plans of attack. A quintet of Smasha Gunz might not look like that much, but they’re an extremely swingy weapon that will sometimes immediately annihilate whatever you point them at, meaning they’re a huge headache as long as they’re alive on the board (and also provide something tough and cheap to sit on home objectives. Over in character land, Ghaz is joined in the murder department by a Killa Klaw bike boss, and the presence of a Weirdboy with Fist of Gork means that whichever of Ghaz or this dude is getting stuck in on any given turn is going to hit like a freight train. I mean they already do that I guess, but even more so. Not pretty. The Weirdboy also has the even more unusual choice of the Deathskullz Maniacal Seizure power attached, and honestly once you dig in it looks like a good choice – dropping it on whatever you’re going to slam your boyz into doubles their damage output if the target is on a 2+, and adds another layer of falloff for your opponent’s damage output in turn.

Choices like that let this army squeeze that much more out of the alpha units it has, letting it invest more heavily in the objective play tools that helps ensure it comes out on top. I really like the choices here and am delighted to see the forces of the Waaagh back on top, so hugely well done to Rich.

Adam Baker – Imperial Knights – 2nd Place

Imperial Knight Castellan

Imperial Knight Castellan. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [101 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
. House Raven

+ Stratagems +

Exalted Court [-1CP]: Exalted Court: 1 Extra Warlord Trait

Heirlooms of the Household [-3CP]: Heirlooms of the Household: 2 Extra Heirlooms

+ Lord of War +

Armiger Warglaives [14 PL, 270pts] . Armiger Warglaive: Heavy Stubber
. Armiger Warglaive: Heavy Stubber

Armiger Warglaives [7 PL, 135pts] . Armiger Warglaive: Heavy Stubber

Knight Castellan [32 PL, 635pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Heirloom: Cawl’s Wrath, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Mechanicus): Cold Eradication
. Two Siegebreaker Cannons and Two Shieldbreaker Missiles: 2x Twin Siegebreaker Cannon

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts, 1CP]: Character (Exalted Court), Character (Heirloom of the House), Heirloom: Armour of the Sainted Ion, Warlord Trait: Cunning Commander
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts]: Character (Heirloom of the House), Heirloom (Raven): Spirit of Kolossi
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser

++ Total: [101 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • A first outing for the House Raven supplement puts a Castellan back into the top four.
  • The expected combination of hyper-cheap Warglaives and hyper-efficient Magaeras provide an exceptional supporting cast.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

All around the world on Sunday, players who were active in 2018-2019 felt a great disturbance in the force. A great and terrible force, once thought cast into the abyss of unplayability, had strode forth once more and reaped a terrible toll.

Good. One of the worst things in this game is when a unit flies too close to the sun and gets banished to the balance shadow realm for all eternity, and the Raven Castellan’s original run was very much an example of how not to handle balance passes (avoid fixing the core problem for ages, then nerf it hard three ways at once). The Castellan’s reign sucked in 8th, but 9th is a very different beast. Knights in general have a way tougher time of it, and there are far more angles to play around an opponent who’s planning on trying to wipe you off the board. GW have recognised this with a series of fairly generous point cuts on some key Knight units, and you see two of the biggest beneficiaries on show here in Warglaives and the aforementioned Castellan.

Those point changes aren’t actually new, of course, but what is is the House Raven Supplement that landed in the Book of Rust, which here has helped the Castellan back onto the table, gloriously adorned in classic mechanicus red. Raven does, of course, bring some classic buffs to the table for a Castellan (Order of Companions to send their damage to the moon, Advance/Shoot for substantially boosted mobility), but I think four strats out of the new book stand out as adding some additional power. Kolossi Eternal doesn’t look like much for most Knight lists, as paying 3CP for a triple rotate that can be busted through by killing one of the models doesn’t sound great. However, Rotate costs a Castellan 3CP anyway and normally runs the risk of your opponent changing targets to something squishier once you put it up, so in the specific situation that you’re running a Dominus class model, the new trick suddenly looks way better. Also, while you have to choose a non-Armiger as the “main” model for the strat, one or both of the other models shielded can be an Armiger, so planning for this doesn’t lock you into setting up all three of the big Knights in the same place. Just make sure your opponent can’t easily pop the smaller Knight to knock the shields down.

The other three options help mitigate some of Knights weaknesses, which are being taken out in melee and board control. Shadow’s Reach gives you the niche but powerful ability to extend the Engagement Range around a big Knight in the opponent’s movement phase, allowing you to prevent them advancing within 3″ of an objective you’re hovering on top of and potentially cutting off sections of the table to non-fliers. Opponents can still charge in to try and take objectives, of course, but the fight phase is where the last two abilities come to the fore. Crimson Wall gives you an automatic six on a save, which lets you shrug off a finishing blow up to AP-3 on the Castellan or anything on the Magaeras thanks to their melee invuln. For opponents that prefer to try and take you down with a thousand cuts, Horrors at Bay stops opposing models fighting in multiple ranks, substantially reducing the damage you can expect to take from, say, a horde of Boyz.

All of these are at least somewhat situational, but an arsenal of extra situational tricks is a huge help to the faction, and the melee focus in particular goes well with the rest of what’s here. Warglaives are just a straight up efficient model at this point, and the Magaera continues to outclass all other Questoris class models by a lot. The combination of a flexible main gun, D3 smash attack and built-in melee invuln makes them the only serious choice for at least two of your three big Knight slots, and I’m sure they didn’t disappoint here. One of them is also sporting the new Spirit of Kolossi, providing a whole bunch of extra re-roll value that’s super strong on a model planning to be active in multiple phases.

Fun stuff, and just like with the Orks you love to see some old favourites performing once again. Great job to Adam, and we’ll see if anyone else can follow in his thundering footprints.

Nicolas Wenker – Death Guard – 3rd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: Mortarion’s Anvil

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Decay [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 3. Plague Wind, 5. Curse of the Leper

Typhus [9 PL, 165pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Putrescent Vitality

+ Troops +

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Blightlord Terminators [20 PL, -1CP, 410pts] . Blightlord Champion: Bubotic Axe, Champion of Disease, Combi-bolter, Plague Skull of Glothila
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Reaper autocannon
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Reaper autocannon
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter
. Blightlord Terminator: Bubotic Axe, Combi-bolter

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, -1CP, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Champion of Disease, Plaguespurt gauntlet, Reaper of Glorious Entropy
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Gloaming Bloat, Plaguechosen, Revolting Stench-vats, Viscous Death

Tallyman [4 PL, 70pts]: 4. Arch-Contaminator, Tollkeeper, Warlord

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun

++ Total: [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Death Guard boiled down to its purest form.
  • Typhus shows off his new ability to party with anyone.
  • Terminators. So many Terminators.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

If you had to put together a list to showcase the foulest, most distilled essence of what Death Guard are, you could do worse than the above. 19 absurdly tough Terminators, three PBCs, a screen of poxwalkers and character support. That’s it, that’s the list, and the fact that it was still clearly enormously effective shows off yet again what a slam dunk Death Guard are design wise. The list is very flavourful, inarguably looks like something that should work if the book is delivering on its promises, and like the many other spins that have been bubbling around the top tables recently, it does!

So, why? Fundamentally, because it lets you rack the durability so sky high that the idea of playing a slow but inexorable list actually works. With T5, a 4++ and damage reduction (plus newly improved abilities to crash through trees and craters), Death Guard Terminators take a lot of killing at whatever distance you’re engaging them at. That means they almost always get their chance to lumber into the mid board, and at that point you hit the issue that if killing them at a distance is hard, killing them in melee is a nightmare. Between the Gloaming Bloat and Revolting Stench Vats, the amount of oopmh needed to charge this army and not get absolutely pasted for your troubles is immense.

Unless you have the firepower needed to quickly blow up PBCs (which many don’t), neither is staying at a distance. Souped up entropy cannons and newly accurate mortars will cheerfully grind down most things, and the T8 plus invuln combination makes these particularly resilient to the scattering of Dark Lances that Drukhari tend to rely on. PBCs have been generically good pretty much since they were first created, and while seeing one or two in lists is now a bit more common than three, this army demonstrates that if you do love just chucking the full trio down, you very much can.

Buff characters and the Poxwalker screen complete the recipe here. Poxwalkers are just fine chaff. That’s it, it’s all you need from them, but the price is right so why not. In character land, the Plaguecaster and Tallyman provide some fairly standard buff support, but “new” in this sort of configuration is Typhus, taking advantage of an updated rule for joining any detachment that actually works. And hey, why not? For not that many points more than a Lord of Contagion, you get improved damage, some mortal wounds and another caster while keeping everything the non-named variant supplies. Seems like a good deal to me!

Death Guard seem to be reliably cracking top fours right now, and with plenty of other factions suffering varying degrees of shakeups there’s plausibly even space for them to creep even higher. That is, to be fair, slightly pending seeing which flavour of AdMech ends up dominant, as some of those come with problems for Death Guard, but they’ve weathered every other storm that’s hit them since their book landed. Great job to Nicholas for adding to Nurgle’s top four tally.

Scott Rumple – Space Wolves – 4th Place

Credit: Starvolt

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Space Wolves) [102 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

**Chapter Selector**: Born Heroes , Custom Chapter, Space Wolves Successor, Whirlwind of Rage

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

A Trophy Bestowed [-1CP]

Relics of the Chapter [-1CP]: Number of Extra Relics [-1CP]

+ HQ [20 PL, 385pts] +

Chapter Master [8 PL, 155pts]: Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chapter Master [2 PL, 40pts], Frag & Krak grenades, Frost Weapon, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts], Lightning Claw (Pair) [5pts], Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP]

Librarian [5 PL, 90pts]: 2. Murderous Hurricane, 4. Instincts Awoken, Boltgun, Force axe, Frag & Krak grenades, Smite

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Absolver Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity [1 PL, 25pts], Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Hunter, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Warrior of Legend [-1CP], The Armour of Russ, Twin Bolt rifle, Warlord, Wise Orator

+ Troops [17 PL, 340pts] +

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] –
. 4x Infiltrator [96pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Marksman bolt carbine

Infiltrator Squad [6 PL, 120pts] –
. 4x Infiltrator [96pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Marksman bolt carbine
. Infiltrator Sergeant [24pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Marksman bolt carbine

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 [47 PL, 900pts, -1CP] +

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, 150pts, -1CP]: 2x Twin volkite culverin [10pts]

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 140pts]: Jump Pack [1 PL, 10pts] –
. Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard Pack Leader [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts]

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 140pts]: Jump Pack [1 PL, 10pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard Pack Leader [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts]

Wolf Guard [7 PL, 140pts]: Jump Pack [1 PL, 10pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . Wolf Guard Pack Leader [26pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts]

Wolf Guard Terminators [9 PL, 165pts] . Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Terminator Pack Leader [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Wolf Guard Terminators [9 PL, 165pts] . Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard in Terminator Armour [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Wolf Guard Terminator Pack Leader [33pts]: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack [7 PL, 130pts] +

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts] –
. Cyberwolf [15pts]: Teeth and claws

Cyberwolves [1 PL, 15pts] –
. Cyberwolf [15pts]: Teeth and claws

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts] –
. 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Suppressor Sergeant: Accelerator autocannon, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Heavy Support [7 PL, 175pts] +

Long Fangs [7 PL, 175pts]: Armorium Cherub [5pts] –
. Long Fang [38pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] –
. Long Fang [38pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] –
. Long Fang [38pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] –
. Long Fang [38pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Multi-melta [20pts] –
. Long Fang Pack Leader [18pts]: Astartes Chainsword, Frag & Krak grenades
. . Boltgun and Bolt Pistol: Bolt pistol, Boltgun

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 70pts] +

Drop Pod [4 PL, 70pts]: Storm bolter

++ Total: [102 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Go-wide wolves racks up another top four.
  • Suppressors provide some objective play flexibility and another place to drop Keen Senses.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Scott makes it back-to-back Utah top fours with a minor iteration on the Space Wolves list he used to win the Salty Alliance GT. The only changes from that build seems to be cutting back on the thunder hammers from one VanVet squad to upgrade the ATV to a squad of Suppressors, and Incursors to more Infiltrators.

That means the overall plan here is the same – go wide with melee units that are all durable and deadly enough to need real answers, but that don’t put too many points in any one basket. Wolves were already uniquely capable of pulling this off pre-FAQ, thanks to their powerful force multipliaction tricks and access to storm shield/lightning claw Terminators, but in the new world they stand out even more because Wolf Guard stayed point neutral while regular VanVets went up 2PPM for jump pack/claw models.

That mass of claw/shield models combined with various wolf tricks allow this army to dominate the mid-board to an incredible degree. Any one of these units can pop off a 6″ heroic with Counter Charge and then buff up with Savage Strike to mow down whatever they’re facing. If something deadly needs to be ganked, Murderous Hurricane lets you drop Fight Last on them to ensure you don’t get counter-offensived, and Instincts Awoken lets one unit get fully amped up for murder early game. It’s all nasty stuff, and while all the units are valuble losing the first few isn’t a disaster, ensuring there’s going to be a sustained brawl in the middle of the table.

That can be exploited by the shooting components here. A VolCon stands ready to blow Raiders and low save chaff to bits, while Keen Senses Long Fangs in a pod provide pinpoint annihiliation. Firepower is also shored up by the one major newcomer here, the Suppressors. These provide quite a bit of utility – their guns are perfectly decent fired into a Raider, they can switch off any nasty flavours of overwatch, and in the new world of ROD they add another speedy infantry unit that you can dedicate to ticking off a final table quarter late in the game. This unit’s stock has been on the rise already, and I think ROD might well push them over the top to being a fairly consistent one-of. I definitely like the choice here!

Right now if you want to play Marines it seems like the Lion or the Wolf are your premium options, and I assume this result has the assembled Sons of Russ high fiving and shouting “SCOREBOARD” at the tops of their voices once again. More strong work from Scott.

The Rest of the Best

Five more players achieved 4-1 records at this event. They were:

  • 5th – Cody Jiru – Drukhari: Utah managed a Drukhari-free top four to inaugurate the post-FAQ era, but only just (and there was an awkward moment on Sunday morning where it looked like Drukhari players might still take two or three of the slots). Cody’s list goes in one of the most obvious directions for post-FAQ Drukhari, which is cutting out the Technomancers and going a bit heavier on the Blades for Hire and Cult flex units, packing three squads each of Mandrakes and Incubi, a 15-model Hellion blob, plus a Ravager for some shooting support, dialing back the number of Raiders slightly to pay for it. The resulting list is still an extremely potent all-rounder build, with plenty of deadly trade units, objective grabbers and nasty characters, plus the hammer blow of the Hellions to deploy once per game.
  • 6th – Dustin Lane – Drukhari: Dustin’s list, on the other hand, is still very much all-in on the power of the Raider, still packing six of the things and filling them with an even heftier dose of Incubi, bulking the squads out beyond the minimum. Backing them up are the pretty much mandatory Trueborn, then a couple of Wych units and a double Succubus loadout. Note: I’ve confirmed that the Raiders in this list weren’t actually equipped with the vehicle upgrades, they were just put on to make them come out to the new cost of 95pts for calculation purposes.
  • 7th – Evan Stump – White Scars: 3×5 Bladeguard and two VolCons are the brutal core of this list, with plenty of objective grabbing troops and powerful buff characters to go with. A bulked up Eradicator Squad with heavy melta rifles (presumably planning on using Hunter’s Fusilade) rounds the list out with some point and click devastation.
  • 8th – Andrew Macias – Tau: Some real 8th Edition flashbacks here, with three units of Broadsides all surrounding Shadowsun, all protected by a bunch of Shield Drones, ready to evaporate unprepared opponents. Is it skewed as hell? Absolutely. Will it blow some armies back to the stone age? Also absolutely.
  • 9th – Charles Metts – Drukhari: Dark Technomancers sticks around for our final build, reverting to buffing the more traditional Ossefactors and vehicle weapons, plus a squad of three Cronos. Poisoned Tongue Trueborn and some Cult of Strife units complete the recipe, creating a list with lots of vicious tricks up its sleeve.

Bonus Lightning Round – Branson Brawl

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. My understanding is that the new FAQs were in effect, but points changes (except Drukhari, because they were in the FAQ) and new missions weren’t.

One player finished this event undefeated, and six more ended up on 4-1 records.

  • 1st – Jony Velazquez – Death Guard: Jony pulls off another undefeated finish with his Inexorable list, continuing his run as perhaps the premier standard bearer for the forces of the Death Guard. The list is (as far as I can tell) unchanged from the build that took him to second at the Alamo GT, sporting a heady mix of firepower from VolCons, durability from Deathshrouds and mobility from Bloat Drones. It’s the complete package, and at this point his results speak for themselves!
  • 2nd – Jason Rogers – Death Guard: A Death Guard double header, but a very different build here sporting a much smaller number of much nastier units. Mortarion floats ominously to war at the head, and he’s backed up by bulked up Deathshroud units and a Hellforged Leviathan for some high end all-round firepower, with multiple PBCs backing it up. The footprint is small but the power is there, and only his fellow Death Guard player was able to keep Jason from the top spot.
  • 3rd – Mark Cimmerian – Drukhari: One of the possible post-FAQ routes for Drukhari is on show front and centre here – Hellion spam. Three full units zoom to war here as the Cult of the Cursed Blade, and all packing Painbringer so they’re operating at both S and T5. That turns them into some pretty hefty bricks of wounds and a daunting prospect for many lists to deal with – expect to see more of this sort of thing.
  • 4th – Stephen Henderson – Imperium: Another spin on the formula of taking one nasty Knight (here an Atropos), two Magaeras and some backup. Here the latter is pre-codex AdMech, so you’d likely be looking for a different set of backup post-book, but the choice of Taranis for even more durability on the big robots (plus a wealth of defensive relics/traits) is potentially a very valid one.
  • 5th – Jason Merten – Adepta Sororitas: Another fairly classic pre-book Sisters build here, again combining Valuorous Heart, Bloody Rose and Named Characters. This variant is a bit more skewed in the Valourous Heart direction, going for an Exorcist and some Celestians alongside the conventional triple Retributor setup. Very powerful as was, likely in need of a complete re-do going forward.
  • 6th – Josh Stuart – Drukhari: Another post-nerf option on display here in double Trueborn Raider Spam, with the Cult of Strife and plenty of Incubi in support. It’s a nightmare to face without enough Raider-cracking tools and extremely effective at all ranges, and demonstrates exactly why Drukhari will remain a force to be reckoned with.
  • 7th – Salamanders – Kevin Ryan: A nice, balanced all-rounder Marine list to finish off, reminding us that Salamanders do have a very nice suite of tools to support that kind of gameplay. Lots of different Gravis units on display, and a squad of Missile Launcher Devs and some Attack Bikes in support.

Wrap Up

We’ve got a quieter weekend coming up, with just one event firing in Florida, but it should give us another taste of the new metagame, with FAQs, points and mission updates (plus AdMech) all in play. We’ll be back to a full blown avalanche of content the week after with more GTs than I can be bothered to count plus a major on the weekend of a 26th, which should give us our first big chunk of data about what the future holds. For now, it’s time for me to paint some more Stormcast. Questions, comments and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com as ever.

 

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