Competitive Innovations in 9th: Eternal Grind pt.1

My hopes that this week would be a bit of a ramp down have, it’s fair to say, not entirely played out – we’ve got eight events to cover spanning the whole globe, as players everywhere grind out a few more reps before the last few Supermajors of the season in January.

The forces of the Votann are on the rise, presumably as more players get their armies painted, and sadly after last week’s breakout performances from Orks and Custodes, they’ve rather fallen back down. However, there’s still a healthy number of more unusual lists to take a look at, especially in our first Showdown, and it’s encouraging that even this deep into a season, we’re getting some twists and turns.

Today, we’ll be looking at:

  • Winter Assault at the Everwinter Convention (Major)
  • Grimdark 10
  • Krumpmus Klaws Brawl at Mythicos Studios
  • Münsterland Encounter

On Friday we will be covering:

  • Da Winter Waaagh
  • GT Mallorca
  • The FIGHT before XMAS
  • Grinning Demon Series GT

This week’s three showdowns, voted for by the Goonhammer Patrons, will be:

  • Twisted Helix Genestealer Cults vs. Ynnari at Winter Assault
  • Ymyr Votann vs Farsight Enclaves at Da Winter Waaagh (Friday)
  • Blood Angels vs Blood Angels at the Grinning Demon Series GT (Friday)

As promised, that means we’ve got a pretty spicy one to kick things off, so here we go!

Winter Assault at the Everwinter Convention

86-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Boston, MA, United States on December 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Tear Down Their Icons

Robin Roberts – Genestealer Cult: Twisted Helix Cult with lots of nasty melee threats, including the full 30 Purestrains.
Army List - Click to Expand


++ New Roster (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [103 PL, 3CP, 2,000pts] +++

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids – Genestealer Cults) ++
Rules: Brood Brothers

+ Configuration +

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

Cult Creed: The Twisted Helix

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

+ Stratagems +

Gene-sire’s Gifts: 3x Extra Relic

+ No Force Org Slot +

Biophagus: Alchemicus Familiar, Proficient Planning: Alchemist Supreme
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty

Nexos: Relic: Cranial Inlay
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty

+ HQ +

Acolyte Iconward
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty

Magus: Power: Might From Beyond, Power: Mutagenic Deviation, Power: Psychic Stimulus, Relic: The Unwilling Orb
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty

Primus: Proficient Planning: Exacting Planner, Warlord
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty

+ Troops +

Acolyte Hybrids: Proficient Planning: Lying in Wait
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty
4x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades, 4x Hand Flamer
Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Cult Claws and Knife

Acolyte Hybrids
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty
5x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 5x Blasting Charges, 5x Cult Claws and Knife, 5x Frag Grenades, 5x Hand Flamer
Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Heavy Rock Drill
Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Heavy Rock Drill
Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Heavy Rock Drill
Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Heavy Rock Drill
Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Cult Claws and Knife

Acolyte Hybrids
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty
4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades
Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Cult Claws and Knife

+ Elites +

Hybrid Metamorphs
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty
9x Hybrid Metamorph (Hand Flamer): 9x Blasting Charges, 9x Frag Grenades, 9x Hand Flamer, 9x Metamorph Mutations
Metamorph Leader: Hand Flamer, Metamorph Mutations

Kelermorph: Proficient Planning: A Perfect Ambush, Relic: Wyrmtooth Rounds
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty

Purestrain Genestealers: Proficient Planning: They Came From Below
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty
10x Purestrain Genestealer: 10x Cult Claws and Talons

Purestrain Genestealers
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty
10x Purestrain Genestealer: 10x Cult Claws and Talons

Purestrain Genestealers
Rules: Conceal, Unquestioning Loyalty
10x Purestrain Genestealer: 10x Cult Claws and Talons

+ Fast Attack +

Achilles Ridgerunners: Proficient Planning: From Every Angle
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire
Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser
Achilles Ridgerunner: Heavy Mining Laser, Spotter
Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser

Atalan Jackals: 3x Atalan Power Weapon, 3x Demolition Charge
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire, Unquestioning Loyalty
7x Atalan Jackal (Small Arms): 7x Atalan Small Arms, 7x Blasting Charges
Atalan Leader: Atalan Small Arms
2x Atalan Wolfquad (Stubber): 2x Atalan Small Arms, 2x Blasting Charges, 2x Heavy Stubber

+ Dedicated Transport +

Goliath Truck: Cache of Demolition Charges
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire

Goliath Truck
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire

Goliath Truck
Rules: Conceal, Crossfire

vs.

Daniel Wohlmuth – Ynnari: A neatly balanced Ynnari force with lots of trade-focused Aspects, a big Troupe as a hammer, and volume shooting from Hawks and Windriders. Also includes Baharroth and a Webway Gate to improve the Secondary Game (the event was ruling that Ynnari can use Craftworld Secondaries, which I strongly support).
Army List - Click to Expand


Battalion Detachment 0CP (Asuryani) [89pl, 1760pts]
Craftworld: Ynnari

+No Force Org+
Warlock Skyrunner [3pl, 60pts] x1, Power: Embolden/Horrify, Relic(-1CP):Sunstorm

+HQ+
The Yncarne [13pl, 260pts]
Farseer Skyrunner [6pl, 125pts]: Powers: Fateful Divergence, Ghostwalk, Warlord(-1CP):Mark of the Incomparable Hunter, Relic(-1CP):Kurnous Bow

+TROOPS+
Rangers [4pl, 65pts] x5
Rangers [4pl, 65pts] x5
Troupe [9pl, 160pts] x10, Caress x1, Embrace x1, Kiss x3
Wyches [3pl, 55pts] x5, Hypex

+ELITES+
Striking Scorpions [5pl, 110pts] x5, Biting Blade, Crushing Blows
Howling Banshees [5pl, 110pts] x5, Mirrorswords, Piercing Strikes
Howling Banshees [4pl, 95pts] x5, Mirrorswords, Shrine Relic(-1CP): Cronescream
Warlock Skyrunners [5pl, 105pts] x3, Powers: Protect/Jinx, Conceal/Reveal
Warlocks [2pl, 40pts] x2, Power: Quicken/Restrain

+FAST ATTACK+
Windriders [6pl, 150pts] x5, Scatter Laser x5
Swooping Hawks [8pl, 180pts] x9, Lasblaster x9
Shining Spears [6pl, 130pts] x3, Shuriken Cannon, Paragon Saber, Shimmershield, Heartstrike, Shrine Relic: Khaines Lance

+HEAVY SUPPORT+
War Walker [5pl, 55pts] x1, Scatter Laser x2

Auxiliary Support Detachment -2CP (Asuryani) [7pl, 160pts]
+HQ+
Baharoth [7pl, 160pts]

Fortification Network 0CP (Asuryani) [4pl, 80pts]
+FORTIFICATION+
Webway Gate [4pl, 80pts]

Totals: 0 CP, 17 Units
Assassinate: 13VP (4 Characters), Bring it Down: 3VP (2 Targets), No Prisoners: 9VP (87 Wounds)

Thoughts

This is a hilarious matchup, one of those ones that’s going to be on a complete knife-edge all the time. Both sides here have some tools that are absolutely horrendous for the opponent if they get to do their thing, but have to be absurdly cautious about positioning to avoid getting destroyed in response. It’s high-mobility glass cannons vs. high-mobility glass cannons, so who wins?

Having rotated this matchup in my mind to try and delve into the heart of it, I think the dividing line here is that the Cults have the advantage of having a bit more stuff they can afford to be muscular with, and a distinct asset in having Transports to stage in, but the Ynnari have the best individual units for dominating the game in the form of the Hawks and the Yncarne, and do a better job of picking off Cult units without a cost to themselves if they’re controlling how fights happen. The Ynnari having Fight First across the list is also very strong – Cult can unpick this a bit with some Fight Last tools, but probably not enough, and

Their route to do this is via Secondaries, where it feels like they are in a surprisingly advantageous position. The Webway Gate version of Hidden Path is very good when you have Baharroth and an opposing army with limited ways to reach him outside of the Fight phase, and being able to zap the Yncarne over to whatever was bubble wrapping him when they die can very much scupper melee plans unless the spicier toys are in play. They can also comfortably tick off a Warpcraft option, and rack up a respectable score on either No Prisoners or Wrath of Khaine depending on how brave they’re feeling (No Prisoners is lower scoring here than is normal for GSC, but a safer route to an acceptable score). The Cult, on the other hand, can happily do Banners and Broodswarm (though have to work a little harder at this one than normal), but are a bit starved for a third, probably having to take Ambush and really work at it.

That plus their slightly greater volume of units probably all forces the Cults to try and play on the front foot – but at that point, Ynnari’s Fight First trait and the looming threat of the Hawks and Yncarne probably put enough obstacles in their way to favour the Ynnari. It’s certainly not a sure thing – the drill Acolyte unit or some Purestrains getting to go sicko mode on the Yncarne could flip things quickly, failing to protect the Hawks from the Kelermorph or some hand flamers could remove that tool (though if you’re the Eldar here, you are ideally keeping 2CP in the bank and the Farseer in Forewarned distance of thema t all times), but I think when it gets right down to it the Cults ideally need the Ynnari to make a mistake. Given that both these armies are extreme finesse lists and facing off in the finals, you’ve got to expect both players to use them extremely well, and in the end although the Cults put in a strong score, the Ynnari overcame them.

Result

Ynnari Victory – 94 – 78

Daniel Wohlmuth – Ynnari – 1st Place

Credit: Keewa

The List

See Showdown

Archetype

Balanced Ynnari

Thoughts

So, with the caveat that it does lean on the Ynnari getting Eldar Secondaries (which again, they should in my opinion), I really like this list – it has a strong, dependable Secondary plan (as Wrath of Khaine will be good in many matchups), plenty of tools to cause opponents big headaches (a classic Eldar passtime), and really maximises the advantage of having the Yncarne by generally forcing the opponent to go on the offensive. Great stuff from Daniel!

Casey Glynn – Blood Angels – 2nd Place (Undefeated)

Blood Angels Chaplain Lemartes
Blood Angels Chaplain Lemartes. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Blood Angels) [80 PL, 1,110pts, -5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Blood Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Lemartes [6 PL, 120pts]: 4. Mantra of Strength, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Litany of Hate

+ Elites +

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 130pts]: Jump Pack
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power sword
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power sword
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power sword
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power sword
. Death Company Marine: Bolt pistol, Power sword

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 180pts]: Jump Pack
. 5x Death Company Marine w/ thunder hammer: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Thunder hammer

Sanguinary Ancient [7 PL, 110pts, -2CP]: 3. Soulwarden, Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Stratagem: Relic, Wrath of Baal

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 150pts]
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 210pts]
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine axe

Sanguinary Guard [17 PL, 210pts]
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword
. Sanguinary Guard: Angelus boltgun, Encarmine sword

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Blood Angels) [46 PL, 890pts, 6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Blood Angels

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

+ HQ +

Commander Dante [9 PL, 165pts, 1CP]: Warlord

Sanguinary Priest [6 PL, 120pts, -1CP]: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Jump Pack, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

+ Troops +

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]
. 4x Incursor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. Incursor Sergeant

+ Elites +

Death Company Marines [8 PL, 180pts]: Jump Pack
. 5x Death Company Marine w/ thunder hammer: 5x Frag & Krak grenades, 5x Thunder hammer

Scout Squad [4 PL, 70pts]
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. 4x Scout w/Boltgun: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 75pts]: Las Fusil
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine
. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

Whirlwind [7 PL, 125pts]: Whirlwind castellan launcher

+ Dedicated Transport +

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 50pts]

++ Total: [126 PL, 1CP, 2,000pts] ++

Archetype

Go-wide Blood Angels

Thoughts

A fantastic performance from Casey here, taking Blood Angels to an undefeated (and actually highest scoring, but the event was placing on OGW%) finish at a Major. The list firmly follows the recent successful Blood Angels formula of going wide, taking three units of Death Company and a Death Company Character (here Lemartes) to make Fury of the Lost very difficult to stop (and a great combo with Relentless Assault), and also minimising the amount it can lose at once to Flamers (though Sanguinary Guard in cover are already pretty durable to them, which helps). The list also further prepares for possible Daemon games by adding a bit of extra screening from some Scouts in a Storm, and taking a Whirlwind to hand out Fight Last/no Overwatch as needed. Both feel like great choices, and this list looks like one of the best hopes for Marines in the current environment.

Sam O’Brien – T’au Empire – 3rd Place (Undefeated with a Draw)

Credit: Kevin Stillman

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [69 PL, 3CP, 1,322pts] ++
+ Configuration + Battle Size [6CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) Detachment Command Cost Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ No Force Org Slot +
Crisis Bodyguards [6 PL, 110pts] .
Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Target Lock .
Crisis Bodyguard Shas’vre: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Target Lock

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts] . 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

Kroot Shaper [2 PL, -1CP, 25pts]: Advanced EM Scrambler, Ritual Blade, Shaper Kroot Rifle, Stratagem: Emergency Dispensation

+ HQ +
Commander Farsight [7 PL, -1CP, 130pts]: 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Warlord

Commander in Coldstar Battlesuit [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Burst Cannon, DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon, High-output Burst Cannon, Stratagem: Promising Pupil

+ Troops +
Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +
Crisis Battlesuits [22 PL, 420pts] .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’vre: Burst Cannon, Iridium battlesuit, Cyclic Ion Blaster , Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Stimm Injectors . Marker Drone . 4x Shield Drone: 4x Shield Generator

+ Fast Attack +
Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts] . 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts] . 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

+ Flyer +
Sun Shark Bomber [9 PL, 165pts]: 2x Missile Pod . 2x Interceptor Drone: 4x Ion Rifle

Sun Shark Bomber [9 PL, 165pts]: 2x Missile Pod . 2x Interceptor Drone: 4x Ion Rifle

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (T’au Empire) [33 PL, -3CP, 675pts] ++ + Configuration + Detachment Command Cost [-2CP] Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ HQ +
Commander in Enforcer Battlesuit [10 PL, -1CP, 195pts]: 5. Exemplar of the Kauyon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, T’au Flamer, Thermoneutronic Projector . 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [10 PL, 210pts] .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’vre: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock . Shield Drone

Crisis Battlesuits [10 PL, 210pts] .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock .
Crisis Shas’vre: Burst Cannon, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock . Shield Drone
++ Total: [102 PL, 1,997pts, 0CP] ++

Archetype

Farsight Crisis Suits

Thoughts

It’s Farsight Tau, it goes fast and kills things, you know this. There are a few things here that look like smart adaptations for the (fairly heavy, but quite mixed in style) terrain pack taking Crisis Teams that are big enough to do damage but small enough to trade rather than Riptides in some of the damage dealing slots, where the INFANTRY keyword makes it easier for them to chase enemies down if needed, and can benefit from cover in turn. I do also like the use of a couple of air frags on the Precision Commander, giving you just a smattering of indirect fire to plink away at stragglers you don’t want to commit a full unit to (though admittedly being a bit of a risk in a Votann-heavy metagame, as they’re pretty dead in that matchup). All seems to have come together very well for Sam, delivering a fantastic podium finish.

Dean Gianotti – Tyranids – 4th Place (Undefeated with a Draw)

Tyrannofex. Credit: Rockfish
Tyrannofex. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Tyranids) [60 PL, 2CP, 1,155pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

Hive Fleet: (Lurk) Territorial Instincts, Jormungandr

+ Stratagems +

Hive Predator [-1CP]: Extra Warlord Trait

Rarefied Enhancements [-1CP]: Extra Bio-artefact

+ No Force Org Slot +

Tyrant Guard [8 PL, 120pts]
. 3x Tyrant Guard (Lash/Sword): 3x Lash Whip and Bonecleaver, 3x Two Rending Claws

Zoanthropes [7 PL, 150pts]: Power: Lurking Maws, Power: Neuroparasite, Power: Smite, 3x Zoanthrope

+ HQ +

Neurothrope [5 PL, 100pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Lurking Maws, Power: Onslaught, Power: Smite, Warlord Trait: Synaptic Tendrils

Winged Hive Tyrant [11 PL, 225pts]: Adrenal Glands, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Power: Lurking Maws, Power: Paroxysm, Power: Psychic Scream, Power: Smite, Relic: The Reaper of Obilterax

+ Troops +

Tyranid Warriors [8 PL, 165pts]: Adrenal Glands
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords

+ Heavy Support +

Tyrannofex [11 PL, 205pts]: Acid Spray, Adaptive Physiology: Voracious Ammunition

Tyrannofex [10 PL, 190pts]: Acid Spray

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [44 PL, -1CP, 845pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Hive Fleet: (Lurk) Territorial Instincts, Jormungandr

+ Stratagems +

Relic [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Hive Tyrant [9 PL, 195pts]: Heavy Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Power: Catalyst, Power: Lurking Maws, Power: Onslaught, Power: Smite, Relic: Shardgullet, Warlord

+ Troops +

Tyranid Warriors [8 PL, 165pts]: Adrenal Glands
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords

+ Elites +

Genestealers [5 PL, 80pts]
. 5x Genestealer: 5x Genestealer Claws and Talons

+ Fast Attack +

Mawloc [8 PL, 135pts]: Adaptive Physiology: Synaptic Enhancement, Biostatic Rattle

+ Heavy Support +

Carnifexes [7 PL, 135pts]
. Carnifex: Enhanced Senses, Heavy Venom Cannon, Two Carnifex Scything Talons

Carnifexes [7 PL, 135pts]
. Carnifex: Enhanced Senses, Heavy Venom Cannon, Two Carnifex Scything Talons

++ Total: [104 PL, 1CP, 2,000pts] ++

Archetype

Jormungandr ObSec Monster Mash

Thoughts

To round out the top four, we have a spicy Jormungandr list, whose (clearly quite effective) answer to the metagame is to slam an avalanche of ObSec muscle into the mid-board and demand that opponents do something about it while being mauled by acid sprays and Venom Cannons. Running as Jormungandr also helps it avoid getting blasted too badly if it goes second, and allows the Warriors to be put into Deep Strike as an extra power play, and the total package here looks extremely frightening. The acid spray is pretty excellent into a lot of the current meta nasties (Thousand Sons, Votann and Chaos Space Marines all have excellent targets), and there’s really only so far you can go wrong with ObSec Carnifexes, and the army you end up with here is very intimidating one to play against – getting anywhere near it is absurdly dangerous, and even a single stumble on wiping out a monster on an objective can result in a huge Primary swing. Big fan of Dean’s list here.

The Best of the Rest

There were 13 more players on 4-1 records. Buckle up. They were:

  • 5th – Robin Roberts – Genestealer Cults: See Showdown.
  • 6th – Drew Salzborn – Tau: An unusual Tau Sept hull spam build, taking three each of Sky Rays and Hammerheads with lots of Kroot chaff to push for positions.
  • 7th – Brian Lang – Grey Knights: Preservers with a full unit of Paladins to seize the mid board, and a trio of Dreadknights in support.
  • 8th – Alex Ing – Adepta Sororitas: Bloody Rose Goodstuff with some Paragons.
  • 9th – Jeffrey Colpitts – Adeptus Custodes: Emissaries Imperatus with lots of Bikes.
  • 10th – William York – Tyranids: ObSec Behemoth with a huge unit of Warriors to buff up and slam into stuff, lots of Zoanthropes, and some Screamer-killers as wrecking balls.
  • 11th – Zachary Shields – Death Guard: Ferrymen focused on the heavy hitters, with a full Blightlord squad backed by VolCons and PBCs.
  • 12th – Ian Power – Ynnari: Melee Ynnari with two big Troupes and two squads each of Banshees and Scorps, all helped into battle by a Webway Gate.
  • 13th – Sherbrooke Andrews – Daemonic Dogwalker: Herpetrax, Abaddon, a squad of Flamers and utility Daemons to fill.
  • 14th – Thomas Pelletier – Black Templars: Primaris Crusaders holding the flanks of a big unit of buffed-up Assault Centurions, with Eradicators to provide long-ranged firepower in support.
  • 15th – Jared Vail – Harlequins: Light Saedath with a lot of shooty Bikes (4/4/2) alongside the normal Troupes/Boats/Characters.
  • 16th – Daniel Axe – Tyranids: ObSec Behemoth with four Screamer Killers and some Harpies.
  • 17th – Stephen Bourque – Thousand Sons: Sneaking in at the end here, we have a first (I think?) appearence of the Warpmeld Pact Army of Renown. 90 Tzaangors, 15 Chaos Spawn and one big unit of Scarab Occults – certainly pretty imposing to try and shift.

Grimdark 10: The Grand Tournament

46-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Stockholms län, SE on December 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

Jacob Holmström – Tyranids – 1st Place

Hive Tyrant. Credit: Rockfish
Hive Tyrant. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [33 PL, 635pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Hive Fleet: (Lurk) Territorial Instincts, Jormungandr

+ Stratagems +

Hive Predator [-1CP]: Extra Warlord Trait

Rarefied Enhancements [-2CP]: 2x Extra Bio-artefact

+ No Force Org Slot +

Tyrant Guard [8 PL, 120pts]
. 3x Tyrant Guard (Scything): 3x Two Rending Claws, 3x Two Scything Talons

+ HQ +

Hive Tyrant [9 PL, 195pts]: Heavy Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Power: Catalyst, Power: Psychic Scream, Relic: Shardgullet, Warlord

Neurothrope [5 PL, 100pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Onslaught

+ Troops +

Termagants [4 PL, 70pts]: Fleshborer, 10x Termagant

+ Elites +

Zoanthropes [7 PL, 150pts]: Power: Neuroparasite, 3x Zoanthrope

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Tyranids) [65 PL, 1,265pts, 3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

Hive Fleet: (Lurk) Territorial Instincts, Jormungandr

+ Stratagems +

Hive Predator [-1CP]: Extra Warlord Trait

+ HQ +

Hive Tyrant [9 PL, 195pts]: Heavy Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, Power: Neuroparasite, Power: Paroxysm

Tervigon [11 PL, 215pts]: Massive Scything Talons, Power: Onslaught, Relic: The Maw-claws of Thyrax, Warlord Trait: Adaptive Biology

+ Troops +

Termagants [4 PL, 70pts]: Fleshborer, 10x Termagant

+ Fast Attack +

Mawloc [9 PL, 150pts]: Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis, Biostatic Rattle

Parasite of Mortrex [4 PL, 80pts]: Warlord Trait: Alien Cunning

+ Heavy Support +

Biovores [9 PL, 135pts]
. 3x Biovore: 3x Chitin-barbed Fists, 3x Spore Mine Launcher

+ Flyer +

Harpy [10 PL, 215pts]: 2x Heavy Venom Cannon, Adaptive Physiology: Synaptic Enhancement

Harpy [9 PL, 205pts]: 2x Heavy Venom Cannon

++ Fortification Network 0CP (Tyranids) [6 PL, 95pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost: Command Benefit

Hive Fleet: (Lurk) Territorial Instincts, Jormungandr

+ Fortification +

Sporocyst [6 PL, 95pts]: 5x Deathspitter

++ Total: [104 PL, 1,995pts] ++

Archetype

Jormungandr ObSec Board Control

Final Round Matchup

10 – 10 Draw against Daniel Tercha – Leagues of Votann.

Thoughts

…OK apparently it’s ObSec Jormungandr season suddenly. Neat. Grinding the enemy down while they slam into various crunchy ObSec beasties is still the basic plan here, but the tools used are different. Rather than overwhelming the enemy with Carnifexes and Tyrannofexes going Godzilla mode in the middle, Jacob relies on a Tervigon and a couple of Hive Tyrants to hold the line, and large numbers of Spore Mine generators (including a Sporocyst) plus the shooting reach of Harpies to obliterate the opponent’s forces. Both routes have their merits – I’d say that the previous build has the advantage that it’s better able to just flatly overwhelm some opponents, while this one has more flexibility in the plans it can play, at a potential cost of giving more opponents an actual chance to play the game and maybe gain a foothold, especially if they have a way to alpha strike the Harpies. Dealer’s choice as to which you favour – both plans have plenty of merit, as evidenced by Jacob making this a second 4.5-0.5 finish for the Hive Fleet this week.

Daniel Tercha – Leagues of Votann – 2nd Place

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Leagues of Votann) [93 PL, 5CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

League: Ymyr Conglomerate

+ HQ +

Grimnyr [4 PL, 90pts]: Interface Echo, Null Vortex
. 2x CORV: 2x Autoch-pattern bolter

High Kâhl [6 PL, -1CP, 120pts]: A Long List, Forgewrought plasma axe, High Kâhl, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Teleport crest, Volkanite disintegrator, Warlord

+ Troops +

Hearthkyn Warriors w/ bolters [7 PL, 150pts]
. Theyn: Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, Autoch-pattern bolter
. 6x Warrior: 6x Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, 6x Autoch-pattern bolter, 6x Gravitic concussion grenades
. Warrior w/ heavy weapon: Magna-rail rifle
. Warrior w/ medipack: Medipack
. Warrior w/ scanner: Pan spectral scanner

Hearthkyn Warriors w/ bolters [7 PL, 150pts]
. Theyn: Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, Autoch-pattern bolter
. 6x Warrior: 6x Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, 6x Autoch-pattern bolter, 6x Gravitic concussion grenades
. Warrior w/ heavy weapon: Magna-rail rifle
. Warrior w/ medipack: Medipack
. Warrior w/ scanner: Pan spectral scanner

Hearthkyn Warriors w/ bolters [7 PL, 150pts]
. Theyn: Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, Autoch-pattern bolter
. 6x Warrior: 6x Autoch-pattern bolt pistol, 6x Autoch-pattern bolter, 6x Gravitic concussion grenades
. Warrior w/ heavy weapon: Magna-rail rifle
. Warrior w/ medipack: Medipack
. Warrior w/ scanner: Pan spectral scanner

+ Elites +

Cthonian Berserks w/ heavy plasma axes [5 PL, 150pts]
. 5x Berserk: 5x Heavy plasma axe

Cthonian Berserks w/ heavy plasma axes [5 PL, 150pts]
. 5x Berserk: 5x Heavy plasma axe

Hearthguard w/ disintegrators and plasma blade gauntlets [9 PL, 225pts]: Hearthguard, Hearthguard, Hearthguard, Hearthguard
. Hesyr: Plasma blade gauntlet, Teleport crest

Hearthguard w/ disintegrators and plasma blade gauntlets [9 PL, 225pts]: Hearthguard, Hearthguard, Hearthguard, Hearthguard
. Hesyr: Plasma blade gauntlet, Teleport crest

+ Fast Attack +

Hernkyn Pioneers [10 PL, 165pts]
. Pioneer w/ comms array: Multiwave comms array
. Pioneer w/ HYLas rotary cannon: HYLas rotary cannon
. Pioneer w/ scanner: Pan spectral scanner
. Pioneer w/ searchlight: Rollbar searchlight

Hernkyn Pioneers [10 PL, 165pts]
. Pioneer w/ comms array: Multiwave comms array
. Pioneer w/ HYLas rotary cannon: HYLas rotary cannon
. Pioneer w/ scanner: Pan spectral scanner
. Pioneer w/ searchlight: Rollbar searchlight

Sagitaur Squadron [14 PL, 260pts]
. Sagitaur: MATR autocannon
. Sagitaur: MATR autocannon

++ Total: [93 PL, 5CP, 2,000pts] ++

Archetype

Ymyr Infantry & Bikes

Thoughts

This list is remarkably innocuous-looking, but that speaks to the core strengths of the Votann, especially as Ymyr. They’re extremely reliable at racking up damage over time, and always take that much more killing in response than opponents are expecting, allowing them to excel in a grindy Primary game. This list’s ability to threaten any opponents who leave a gap in their forces helps with that – you’ve got two units of Beserks that can stage in Sagitaurs, and have a pretty broad target profile thanks to wielding axes (at the cost of having less absurd trade-up power into big targets, I’d probably go one unit of each), and two small units of Hearthguard that can take High Kahl re-rolls then teleport across the table to do some mischief. With bikes to provide durable ObSec and pressure to kick things off as well, you end up with a powerful combo which took on all comers except for being fought to a draw in the finals by Jacob.

The Best of the Rest

There were 5 more players on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 3rd – Axel Rydén – Asuryani: Swift Strikes Craftworlds with lots of Swooping Hawks and trade-focused Aspect Warriors.
  • 4th – Jonas Axelsson – Necrons: ObSec Necrons but with unusual tools – three Tesseract Arks and lots of Flayed Ones.
  • 5th – Bilbo Göransson – Genestealer Cult: Industrial Cult spamming lots of 10-model Neophyte units, and using Deep Supplies as the second half to hand out lots of re-rolls.
  • 6th – Johan Nicolaisen – Chaos Daemons: The standout big monster trio (Be’lakor, Bloodthirster, Big Bird) with lots of Flamers in support.
  • 7th – Alexander Molin – Thousand Sons & Daemons: Your standard one-Scarab unit version of the Duplicity & Daemons build, going for the maximum 18 Flamers rather than spending points on utility stuff.

Krumpmus Klaws Brawl Warhammer 40,000 Grand Tournament at Mythicos Studios Mahwah

44-player, 6-round Grand Tournament in Mahwah, NJ, US on December 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings.

TJ Lanigan – Thousand Sons – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [88 PL, 3CP, 16 Cabal Points, 1,481pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Duplicity

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

+ HQ +

Ahriman [8 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 160pts]: 12. Twist of Fate, 21. Presage, 22. Weaver of Fates

Exalted Sorcerer [8 PL, -1CP, 3 Cabal Points, 145pts]: 11. Gaze of Hate, 11. Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Athenaean Scrolls, Disc of Tzeentch, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Rehati, Stratagem: Sorcerous Arcana

Infernal Master [5 PL, -1CP, 2 Cabal Points, 90pts]: 13. Doombolt, 5. Glimpse of Eternity, 6. Malefic Maelstrom, Stratagem: Relic, Umbralefic Crystal

+ Troops +

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 110pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 31. Empyric Guidance, Plasma pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [12 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 131pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 23. Temporal Surge, Plasma pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 4x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Thousand Sons Cultists [2 PL, 50pts]
. Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Cultist w/ autogun: 9x Autogun

Thousand Sons Cultists [2 PL, 50pts]
. Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Cultist w/ autogun: 9x Autogun

+ Elites +

Scarab Occult Terminators [21 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 340pts]: Hellfyre missile rack
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, 23. Temporal Surge, Inferno combi-bolter, Protégé
. 6x Terminator: 6x Inferno combi-bolter, 6x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon

Scarab Occult Terminators [20 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 335pts]: Hellfyre missile rack
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer: 23. Temporal Surge, Inferno combi-bolter
. 6x Terminator: 6x Inferno combi-bolter, 6x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon

Tzaangor Shaman [4 PL, -1CP, 2 Cabal Points, 70pts]: 2. Seeker After Shadows, 33. Perplex, Stratagem: Warlord Trait, Warlord

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Daemons) [28 PL, -3CP, 515pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Tzeentch

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Fluxmaster [6 PL, 115pts]: Infernal Flames, Infernal Gateway, Staff of change

+ Elites +

Exalted Flamer [4 PL, 75pts]

Flamers [6 PL, 125pts]: Pyrocaster
. 4x Flamer: 4x Flickering flames

Flamers [6 PL, 100pts]: Pyrocaster
. 3x Flamer: 3x Flickering flames

Flamers [6 PL, 100pts]: Pyrocaster
. 3x Flamer: 3x Flickering flames

++ Total: [116 PL, 16 Cabal Points, 1,996pts] ++

Archetype

Duplicity & Daemons

Final Round Matchup

88 – 82 Victory against Derek Apsche – Grey Knights.

Thoughts

This Archetype is very much into the phase where it’s micro-tuning around the edges that sets the various versions apart, and TJ’s diabolical list-building alchemy here has allowed him to squeeze a surprising number of utility/buff Characters in despite having two units of Scarabs (albeit 8-model rather than 10). My guess is that the calculus supporting it is that slightly reduced units of Flamers and Scarabs are still good enough at their jobs for you not to notice most of the time, and in the matchups where you really are wishing for a full ten Scarab brick or a unit of six Flamers, having extra flexibility and utility options in the pocket will give you a way to work around it. Seems to have worked out here, with TJ taking down the event, though the Grey Knights did manage to run him pretty close in the final!

The Best of the Rest

There were 4 more players on 5-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Derek Apsche – Grey Knights: All-rounder Prescient Brethren with lots of Interceptors, a couple of Dreadknights and Strikes/small units to fill, all lead up by Draigo and the indestructible psychic murder-Librarian. Came very close to winning the whole thing, only narrowly falling to the Tzeentchian nemesis in the last round, which is very impressive given that things are a bit tough for Grey Knights right now.
  • 3rd – Innes Wilson – Tyranids: Innes heads to America and terrorizes the eastern seaboard with a double Flyrant Kraken list, backing them with lots of mid-tier gribblies like Tyrant Guard, Raveners and Zoanthropes.
  • 4th – Sean Nayden – Orks: Goff pressure focusing on more classic tools rather than these new-fangled Beast Snaggas, sporting a big Trukk Boyz Nob unit, a trio of Deff Dreads, and a couple of Battlewagons. A few Snaggas do sneak in in the form of Squighogs and a Squigboss.
  • 5th – Anthony Vanella – Creations of Bile: A Bile list that cuts Terminators to go extra-hard on Possessed, sporting two units of nine, plus also squeezing in both of the monstrous Characters that Bile armies tend to pick between.

Münsterland Encounter

35-player, 5-round Grand Tournament in Horstmar, NRW, DE on December 10 2022. All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. The event was using an experimental hybrid of Path to Victory and 20-0 scoring to determine placings – games were scored 20-0, and then the winner of each game got extra points depending on the round – 12 for round 1, 9 for round 2, down to 0 for round 5. This means chaining wins in the early rounds is a big help to winning overall, but a loss in, say, round 2 doesn’t guarantee you’ll fall a long way down the pack.

Grischa Gerwert – Chaos Daemons – 1st Place

Credit: Liebot – https://instagram.com/liebot_pics

The List

Army List - Click to Expand


++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [98 PL, 2,000pts, 3CP] ++

+ Configuration [6CP] +

Battle Size [6CP]: 3. Strike Force (101-200 Total PL / 1001-2000 Points) [6CP]

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

Game Type: 4. Chapter Approved: War Zone Nephilim

Use Beta Rules

+ No Force Org Slot [9 PL, 150pts] +

Fateskimmer [9 PL, 150pts]: Gaze of Fate, Infernal Flames, Retinue of Horrors [5pts], Screamer bites, Smite, Staff of change [5pts]

+ HQ [39 PL, 760pts, -3CP] +

Bloodthirster [18 PL, 350pts, -1CP]: A’rgath, the King of Blades, Great axe of Khorne, Hellfire breath, Indomitable Onslaught [2 PL, 40pts], Relics of the Brass Citadel [-1CP]

Lord of Change [17 PL, 340pts, -2CP]: Baleful sword [10pts], Bolt of Change, Boon of Change, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, Master Mutator [2 PL, 30pts], Relics of the Impossible Fortress [-1CP], Smite, Staff of Tzeentch, Stratagem: Warlord Trait [-1CP], The Impossible Robe, Warlord

Tranceweaver [4 PL, 70pts]: Ravaging claws, Smite, Symphony of Pain

+ Troops [31 PL, 660pts] +

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper: Hellblade

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper: Hellblade

Bloodletters [6 PL, 130pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. 9x Bloodletter: 9x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper: Hellblade

Daemonettes [6 PL, 120pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. Alluress: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette: 9x Piercing claws

Pink Horrors [7 PL, 150pts]: Daemonic icon, Instrument of Chaos
. Iridescent Horror: Coruscating flames
. 9x Pink Horror: 9x Coruscating flames

+ Elites [19 PL, 430pts] +

Beasts of Nurgle [4 PL, 80pts]
. Beast of Nurgle [4 PL, 80pts]: Putrid appendages

Flamers [6 PL, 150pts]
. 5x Flamer [125pts]: 5x Flickering flames
. Pyrocaster [25pts]: Flickering flames

Flamers [6 PL, 125pts]
. 4x Flamer [100pts]: 4x Flickering flames
. Pyrocaster [25pts]: Flickering flames

Flamers [3 PL, 75pts]
. 2x Flamer [50pts]: 2x Flickering flames
. Pyrocaster [25pts]: Flickering flames

++ Total: [98 PL, 3CP, 2,000pts] ++

Archetype

Daemon Board Control

Final Round Matchup

12 – 8 Victory against Adrian Willruth – Necrons.

Thoughts

This strikes me as a very mission-focused Daemon list. Rather than going fully down the monster mash road, it sticks to the two Greater Daemon builds that are hardest to alpha strike (and in the case of the Bloodthirster, can put in a powerful speed bump turn on demand), and then fills out with lots of infantry, casters and Flamers. That gives you plenty of assets to tick off Reality Rebels and a Warpcraft secondary, and you’ve got Pink Horrors or the Tranceweaver as a way to chew through Despoilers of Reality that are pretty hard to stop (at least not without opening yourself up to a big Flamer counterattack). Has to play pretty carefully against very shooty builds, but has a very consistent plan for how it’s going to go for the big points, which is really good in differential scoring formats, and well rewarded with victory here.

The Best of the Rest

There were N more players on X-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Malte Höfs – Iron Warriors: An extremely fluffy Iron Warriors list. Or, I guess not fluffy – incredibly dense and solid. Decimators, Discolords and two Land Raiders stuffed with Khorne Beserkers and Rubricae. Hilarious, and also pretty tricky to deal with out the gate for a lot of opponents.
  • 3rd – Artur Güttler – T’au Empire: Hull-heavy Farsight Enclaves, leaving most of the normal tools on the shelf in favour of Hammerheads and Ghostkeels.
  • 4th – Adrian Willruth – Necrons: Double C’tan, Double Doom Scythe Expansionists, forgoing the Silent King to make space..
  • 5th – Ruben Paul Goldmann – Creations of Bile: Extra, extra monstrous Creations of Bile, maxing out on 30 Possessed and bringing Abaddon, two Discolords and a Daemon Prince along for the ride. Can’t fit much else but often isn’t going to need it.

Wrap Up

We’ll be back on Friday for more exciting Showdowns, including the first mirror match we’ve had for a while and the ultimate gunfight, so make sure not to miss that. Also I swear to god if enough events fire this weekend that I have to do another two-parter next week…