Competitive Innovations in 9th: Invasion GT

An article by    Competitive Play Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Strap in kids, this is going to be a good one!

As promised last week and thanks to a handy tip-off from a reader, this week we’re looking at the top lists from Norway’s Invasion GT, which at 58 players is among the largest 9th Edition events yet to fire and gives us the heftiest field we’ve looked at for a while. The top four is also very spicy – for the second week running there are no loyalist Marines to be seen amongst them, and this week even their squishy, plague-ridden Heretic cousins didn’t get a look in. Instead, there’s some real diversity and (happily for the conceit of the series) innovation on show, and we’ll be diving into that momentarily. Just so the “poor” ,”beleagured” Marine players don’t feel too left out we’ll have a quick run through of the rest of the 4-1 lists at the end as well, just to help round out the picture of what the top table metagame looked like.

Just before we get into it, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to the request to flag up any upcoming events in countries less affected by COVID. As predicted, new restrictions on gatherings on my COVID-wracked hell-island have (quite rightly) shut events down again for the foreseeable future, but thanks to some reader tips I’ve got a pretty good schedule set up for these. Further tips are welcome, so do get in touch at contact@goonhammer.com if you’ve got upcoming events for me to look at. Currently on my docket are:

  • Brisbane GT (20th September)
  • New Zealand GT (26th September)
  • Hanseatic GT (3rd October)
  • NØRDCON (10th October)

That should ensure that the content mines don’t run dry for at least another month, so if you’re enjoying this series don’t worry – it isn’t going anywhere any time soon!

With that out the way, on to this week’s lists!

Are Verlo’s Slaanesh Daemons- 1st Place

Syll’Esske. Credit: Brin

The List

Note: This list was submitted as an image, so I have manually transcribed it.

Army List - Click to Expand

Patrol Detachment | Slaanesh Daemons | -2CP

HQ

Syll’Eske, Symphony of Pain, Delightful Agonies – 230

Contorted Epitome, Phantasmagoria, Hysterical Frenzy, The Forbidden Gem – 210

Troops

24 Daemonettes, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos – 193

Elites

Fiend of Slaanesh – 40

Fiend of Slaanesh – 40

Patrol Detachment | Slaanesh Daemons | -3CP

Extra Relic -1CP

Exaltation x2 -2CP

HQ

Exalted Keeper of Secrets with Sinistrous Hand, Hysterical Frenzy, Delightful Agonies, Soulstealer, Warlord, Bewitching Aura, Random Exaltation – 230

Exalted Keeper of Secrets with Sinistrous Hand, Hysterical Frenzy, Delightful Agonies – 230

Troops

24 Daemonettes, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos – 193

Elites

4 Fiends of Slaanesh -160

Fast Attack

20 Seekers of Slaanesh, Daemonic Icon, Instrument of Chaos – 385

Total – 1911pts, 89 Reinforcement Points, 7CP

The Standout Features

  • Pure Slaanesh Daemons winning a GT, why not?
  • An incredibly potent pressure list – fast, deadly threats that’ll get in your face turn one, with defensive tricks to allow it to tie enemies up and hold the field.
  • A whole bunch of nasty tricks that’ll catch an unprepared opponent out in a terminal fashion.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Pure Slaanesh Daemons taking down a GT is my kind of energy. This list is completely wild and I love it, and continues to make all the complaining about 9th being a shooting edition look very silly in hindsight.

This list is clearly descended from Carlson’s Daemon lists towards the end of 8th Edition but shakes up that formula quite a bit, and gets some big boosts from the changes seen in 9th. Two powered up Keepers and a squad of Seekers are still here to act as the tip of the spear, but in place of taking more of the same as in older Slaanesh incarnations have, this list loads up on two big blocks of Daemonettes wrapped around the slower (but still extremely deadly) threat of Syll’Eske to ensure that it can occupy and secure the board behind that first wave.

Seeded amongst all of this you have the deadly traps that are the two solo Fiends. With 9th no longer severely punishing you for taking small units you’re freed up to take these, and thanks to BEASTS now being able to traverse Breachable walls they’re going to be able to lurk in the mid board with a pretty high threat range on most tournament tables. This presents a hideous problem for an opponent, because it means they have to be incredibly careful about putting anything that can’t kill a Fiend in a single round of combat within that range, as if they do it’ll get locked in combat by a Fiend and whatever other horrific nasty the list manages to charge alongside it, keeping elements of this army safe from shooting while scything through the enemy, potentially getting to fight two additional times between the opponent’s fight phase and Hysterical Frenzy. Taking the Sinistrous Hand on the KoSs leans into this, as if they get to stay in combat with a trapped enemy that gives them more opportunities to heal up.

That’s obviously not the only way this list has to trap things, as the Contorted Epitome can do the same, potentially aided and abetted by Phantasmogoria. This also makes the Forbidden Gem slightly more likely to work, and given how powerful big monster characters are proving to be in 9th, it’s yet another serious threat the opponent has to consider when moving their units. Being able to chuck an extra -2 onto enemy Ld in the morale phase from Fiends isn’t irrelevant either – I’d expect this list to get into lots of fights at once, so a well positioned morale bubble can potentially cause quite a bit of attrition to the enemy.

Finally, as long as you can avoid them getting shot to bits (using all the tools already discussed) it’s worth remembering that the big Daemonette blobs are surprisingly durable. I think there’s a good chance one starts off the table, and you can buff them up with Delightful Agonies to increase their durability and use Aura of Acquiesence and the buff from a summoned Masque (which I strongly suspect is what those summon points are for) to make them a real pain to shift in combat – which is exactly where you want them. The Seekers can do all of this and also get -1 to hit when needed thanks to Sinuous Undulation, again making them surprisingly difficult to take down. They’re also obviously a great Warp Surge target as they push up early on.

Daemons have been showing up a lot in soup lists, but it’s fantastic to see the faction successfully standing on its own as well. Congratulations to Are on the event win, and I look forward to seeing more people trying this sort of build out.

Rasmus Valand Fredricksen’s Harlequins – 2nd Place

The Yncarne. Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [107 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Masque Form: The Frozen Stars: Hysterical Fury

+ Stratagems +

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

Mythic Role [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Player of the Twilight, Shards of Light, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role, The Shadowstone, Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion, Warlord

The Yncarne [15 PL, 290pts]: Gaze of Ynnead, Ancestors Grace 

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

+ Troops +

Troupe [6 PL, 114pts]

. 6x Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade

Troupe [5 PL, 95pts]

. 5x Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade

Troupe [5 PL, 95pts]

. 5x Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade

+ Elites +

Death Jester [3 PL, 50pts]: Cegroach’s Lament, Harvester of Torment, Mythic role

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

Death Jester [3 PL, 50pts]: The Jest Inescapable

+ Fast Attack +

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts]

. 5x Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts]

. 5x Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive

Skyweavers [15 PL, 275pts]

. 5x Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive

+ Dedicated Transport +

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

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

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

++ Total: [107 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Harlequins and the Yncarne continue to prove that they’re the pinacle of current elf technology.
  • Frozen Stars gives the list strong clutch melee punch from the bikes.
  • 3×5 Skyweavers and 3x fusion board appear to be the reliable Harlequin core.
  • Shadowseer buffed up such that it can plausibly cover the whole army with defensive buffs early on.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Wherever the forces of Slaanesh go, Cegorach’s agents aren’t far behind, and for our other 5-0 army from this event we have this Harlequin build, which I think does a great job of showing off what’s emerging as the “template” for playing Harlequins in 9th while also adding its own twist via the Yncarne.

Harlequins have done very well out of the structural changes to 9th Edition. The smaller board makes it even harder than it used to be for enemies to hold back from them, and with one fewer game turn to play in tournament formats they’re much less likely to run out of gas towards the end of the game, as while they have some powerful defensive tricks out of their Psychic Awakening they’re still ultimately glass cannons. They’re also very resilient on Secondaries, with Headhunter being the only one this list gives up, and far from easily. The key 9th edition tool they don’t have is any sort of ObSec tarpit unit, so they need to be able to hit hard and fast to take objectives from the enemy rather than being able to take positions early and stay there.

This list leans into that very effectively – Frozen Star Skyweavers are excellent at clearing out high-quality infantry, and are especially great at scything down pretty much all the popular scout deploy options, their D2 glaives murdering both Primaris Marines and Nurglings alike. Fusion boats provide another tool that can throw out some pinpoint damage on demand, and in an emergency shoving one onto a backline objective will usually ensure it stays held until your next turn, especially if you layer a Death Jester behind one, as your opponent then has to kill the boat and kill the passengers with enough shots to spare for the Jester.

This is, of course, further shored by the Yncarne, as it means when you really need an objective to stay held then your opponent has to reserve enough firepower to shoot the Yncarne off on top of all that other stuff. It also makes pushing stuff off mid-board objectives without dedicated melee threats a really dicey prospect, as if you bring a shooting unit close enough to the objective to hold it before shooting some Harlequins off, you’re likely putting yourself in heroic range when the Yncarne bursts onto the scene, and they’re again excellent at cutting down popular units. Thanks to maxing out on Death Jesters and all the threats being super-fast, this list is also going to be all over the board once the mid game hits, at which point the threat the Yncarne presents makes selecting targets a complete nightmare even for a skilled opponent, and ensure that even in games where this list has fallen slightly behind there are tonnes of angles to take the game with a well timed redeploy.  Even if I’m sort of marking my own homework here, I’m confident that the hype is real on the Yncarne, and encourage players of pretty much any Aeldari flavour to give them a go.

The only matchup I might have raised my eyebrows about for this list in 8th was hordes – but thanks to haywire cannons becoming Blast weapons in 9th that gets substantially shored up, as a guaranteed 30 shots from each unit will do a lot of work. Overall, I’m delighted to see Harlequins succeeding and think this build is one of the nastiest I’ve seen – the only thing I don’t like it is the sinking dread that I’m going to end up having to paint more Skyweavers.

Eirik Kiil’s AdMech- 3rd Place

Adeptus Mechanicus - Kastelan Robots and Cybernetica Datasmith

Adeptus Mechanicus – Kastelan Robots and Cybernetica Datasmith
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [96 PL, 1,145pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice
. Custom: Data-Hoard Forge World: Trans-node Power Cores

+ HQ +

Daedalosus [3 PL, 55pts]

Tech-Priest Dominus [7 PL, 85pts]: Eradication Ray, Macrostubber, Relic: Autocaduceus of Arkhan Land, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Engine War): Learnings of the Genetor

+ Troops +

Kataphron Breachers [16 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [16 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [16 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [16 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

Kataphron Breachers [16 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle
. Kataphron Breacher: Arc Claw, Heavy Arc Rifle

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [6 PL, 130pts]: 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Command Uplink

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [41 PL, 853pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +

Belisarius Cawl [13 PL, 200pts]

+ Fast Attack +

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha
. 2x Serberys Raider: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support +

Kastelan Robots [12 PL, 375pts] . Kastelan Robot: Heavy Phosphor Blaster
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster
. Kastelan Robot: Heavy Phosphor Blaster
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster
. Kastelan Robot: Heavy Phosphor Blaster
. . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster

Onager Dunecrawler [7 PL, 115pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Icarus Array

Onager Dunecrawler [7 PL, 115pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Icarus Array

++ Total: [137 PL, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The promise of Engine War is fulfilled and the Breacher Spam list arises.
  • Cawl and a Mars crew provide some additional general-purpose firepower.
  • The Archaeopter Fusilave makes a left-field appearance as the first of the new flyers to see serious success.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This list is satisfying to see because it’s a follow through on something that looked extremely promising out of Engine War, namely spamming Kataphron Breachers with Learnings of the Genetor and Trans-Node Power Cores. That gives you a solid brick of durable, ObSec units with firepower and melee capability that’s at least moderately effective against almost anything, and great against high-quality targets.

That is, obviously, an extremely good place to be in 9th Edition. Against almost any kind of opposing force, this list is very comfortable just gently trundling up the table to the mid board and then staying there, blasting away all the time. The main potential chink in its armour would be running into a pure horde list like Shane’s from last week, but this army has a plan for that in the form of Mars dakkabots, which will blow ample numbers of Boyz or Daemonettes to smithereens, and can now continue blasting even if they get tagged thanks to being VEHICLES. Two Onagers, now easily the most cost-effective shooting platform Admech have, complete the Mars detachment, and in total this army lands in the real sweet spot for a 9th Edition shooting list – it’s sufficiently tooled up to win gunfights, but doesn’t sacrifice the ability to take and hold positions while doing so.

There’s not that much more to say about the core, so the remaining interesting things to flag up are the Fusilave and the small squad of Raiders. Taken as a pair, one important thing these do is give you an option on taking Engage on All Fronts in some matchups, ensuring that reaching all four quarters on the first turn is a reliable prospect.  Beyond that with the Fusilave, given that it’s taken a command uplink (unlocking Electrofilament Countermeasures) I assume the thinking is that it’s cheap enough that the combination of opening up secondary options and blowing a few matchups wide open is enough of a payoff that it doesn’t matter if it’s a bit naff in others. As I talked about in my roundup of how unit roles are changing, force multiplier effects that buff movement and defences are proving more important in 9th than they were in 8th, and the Countermeasures are much more effective at messing with these than they are offensive ones, as your opponent can’t just kill the plane first to switch them off at the point they matter. Going back to the example of Orks, having the threat of switching off a KFF or Mad Dok aura hanging over an opponent’s head is a big deal, and it’s a mild help against Poxmongers relying on the Ironclot Furnace too. Add on the interference capabilities of Seismic Bomb and I think you do have a real utility package for the current metagame. I shall now fold my arms smugly about the fact that I had this unit down as “one to watch for 9th” in my Engine War review, and ask you to politely ignore the fact that it was for entirely the wrong reason.

Given the exceptional power the faction has on paper I’ve been a little surprised not to see more AdMech lists on the top tables, and it’s good to see that corrected in style – this list is durable, deadly and packs a supreme counter to some popular tools – don’t sleep on it.

Bjorn Olsen’s Deathskulls – 4th Place

Credit: SRM

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [97 PL, 3CP, 1,998pts] ++

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Deathskulls

+ Stratagems +

Extra Gubbins (1/3 CP) [-1CP]: 1 Extra Shiny Gubbins

+ HQ +

Deffkilla Wartrike [7 PL, 125pts]: Da Fixer Upperz

Warboss [4 PL, -1CP, 83pts]: Attack Squig, Da Biggest Boss, Da Killa Klaw, Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw, Warlord

+ Elites +

Kommandos [3 PL, 55pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [3 PL, 55pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Power Klaw
. 4x Kommando: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Kustom Boosta Blastas [15 PL, -1CP, 270pts] . Kustom Boosta Blastas
. Kustom Boosta Blastas
. Kustom Boosta Blastas
. Kustom Job: Sizzly Rivets

Megatrakk Scrapjet [10 PL, 220pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota

Megatrakk Scrapjet [15 PL, 330pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota

Megatrakk Scrapjet [15 PL, -1CP, 330pts] . Kustom Job: Korkscrew
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota
. Megatrakk Scrapjet: 2x Twin Big Shoota

Shokkjump Dragstas [15 PL, -1CP, 330pts] . Kustom Job: Gyroscopic Whirligig
. Shokkjump Dragstas: Rokkit Launcha
. Shokkjump Dragstas: Rokkit Launcha
. Shokkjump Dragstas: Rokkit Launcha

+ Heavy Support +

Gunwagon [10 PL, -1CP, 200pts]: 4x Big Shoota, Grot Rigger, Kannon
. Kustom Job: Da Boomer

++ Total: [97 PL, 3CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A winning Ork list that is both completely different and just as Orky as the one we looked at last week.
  • The Mekatrakk Scrapjet continues to secure its position as “best buggy”, but Kustom Boosta Blastas sneak in to add some Mortal output.
  • A Gunwagon leans into the FAQ fix that allows it to double shoot with Da Boomer, summing up to a pretty heavy weight of D2 firepower along with the KBBs.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a buggy-heavy Deathskulls list do well in 9th, but if anything it leans even harder into the bit than the one we covered before. 14 buggies, gloriously adorned in lucky blue paint, just rushing around the board burying stuff under an avalanche of rerolled mutli-damage shots, and no slouch in melee either thanks to going heavy on the Scrapjets.

The biggest change from previous iterations is that it takes Boosta Blastas and the Gunwagon to shore up the horde matchup rather than bikers, and I’m into it – adding on some mortals for their main gun combines with their flamers to make the Boosta Blastas decent general-purpose threats to go alongside the other stuff. I think you do need the Kustom Job to push them over the top, so one squad is the right number, but given they’re also bargain-priced compared to some of the other that one squad looks decent.

The Gunwagon obviously gains a lot from the FAQ allowing its Kustom Job gun to be fired twice, pushing it to the point where it’s pumping out enough shots to do some actual damage. While it’s still eminently killable for the cost, its presence also leans into a general trend that the mission design and shorter games seem to be upping the viability of units that “just die to shooting”. While a motivated opponent can obviously still pop them, the time it takes them to do so is a more valuable resource, and if that’s keeping pressure off your forward threats that are taking and holding objectives then you care vastly less about it. That effect is at its best here where the army has a fairly uniform threat profile – any guns going into the Gunwagon are guns that would be great at popping buggies.

Finishing things off, we have two units of Deathskulls Kommandos. Not too much to say about these other than to reiterate that they’re extremely great – small, Deep Strike ObSec units with re-rollable charges and just enough melee punch to murder mid-weak units are pretty much the perfect harassment unit in 9th, and synergise with the rest of the list by not changing the target profile early on and reactively counteracting ObSec when it matters most.

Orks have a lot of online naysayers right now, but the successes seem to keep rolling in and I’m more and more convinced that, far from being in the doldrums, they’re knocking on the door of breaking into the top tier of early 9th.

The Rest of the Best

With nearly 60 players at the event there’s an additional healthy crop of 4-1 lists, so let’s quickly blast through those.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Narrowly missing the top four we have Magnus Liene’s Chaos Soup in 5th. This was another credibly spicy concoction, featuring Chaos Daemons (Big Bird, Nurglings), Emperor’s Children (a big unit of Noise Marines, Chaos Spawn and a Helldrake) and Magnus the Red himself, jealous of all the action his brother Mortarion has been seeing recently. This list promises to be a gigantic headache for opponents thanks to there being two gigantic winged monstrosities flying around vaporising stuff with their minds, accompanied by a relatively fast (if brittle) early push and a devastating shooting unit ready to strike at the right time. Doubling down on something that’s working is often a good plan, and I’ll be interested to see if more lists go for full-blown psychic supremacy in this fashion.

Regal Skull Inceptors. Credit: Kevin Genson

In 6th and 7th respectively we have Frode Brubakken’s Ultramarines and Tore Eskland’s Salamanders, making sure that no one forgets that Marines remain quite good, actually. While hailing from different chapters, these lists are surprisingly similar – both feature a Whirlwind Scorpius, two Grav Pods and various Gravis armoured backup, with the Ultramarines favouring plasma Inceptors and bolter Aggressors while the Salamanders (unsurprisingly) go with Eradicators and flamestorm Aggressors. Both finish up with some troops, at least some of which can scout deploy. The combination of early board control from said scouting units, powerful pinpoint fire from grav Devs and a Scorpius, and a wave of durable Gravis murder machines lumbering up the board/coming on from reserves continues to be a winning formula, and with more Gravis toys on the horizon, that seems unlikely to change.

Mariusz Wawyzyn’s Harlequins took 8th place. This list has a lot of similarities with Rasmus’ build, with the main notable difference being that it trades out the Yncarne for 2×5 bare-bones troupers and one big squad tooled for melee, and runs as Soaring Spite instead of Frozen Stars. In practical terms, it trades out the horrific psychological tool that is the Yncarne for a squad that can actually properly abuse the horror that is Twilit Encore, and also shores up the backline and Action capabilities with the bare-bone squads. Being Soaring Spite also lets the list operate a bit more cagily when needed, at a cost of having less raw punch if a situation arises where you need to slam all the Skyweavers into combat at once. Both options are (clearly) entirely credible, and the key takeaway for Harlequin players has to be that a core of 3x fusion boats and 3×5 Skyweavers seems to be a reliable thing to build around.

Custodes Vertus Praetors

Custodes Vertus Praetors. Credit: Jack Hunter

in 9th place we have Michael Sæther’s Dread Host Custodes. Mixing it up a bit from the Shadowkeepers and Solar Watch lists we’ve been seeing more commonly, this leans on the hammer-blow potential of the Dread Host stratagem on Allarus Custodians and an Adonimortis axe captain, and backs it up with Sagittarum custodians to hold the field, a Telemon for some heavy dakka, a medium sized bike squad and the absolute nightmare that is an Unstoppable Destroyer bike Captain as the cherry on top. Custodes continue to have the tools to get onto objectives, stay there and then brutally murder anyone who tries to take them off, and it’s great to see another Shield Host get some play.

Thousand Sons Rubric Marine

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

On slightly more familiar territory, Patrick WoodsChaos Soup took 10th place, and quite a few of the hits are here – the core of the list is Poxmonger Plagueburst Crawlers, a big Plague Marine unit and Nurglings, with appropriate character backup. Even here we see something novel, however, as they’re supported by a Thousand Sons patrol from the Cult of Duplicity, with a squad of 10 Rubricae and an Exalted Sorceror ready to pull off some teleporting harrassment/objective scoring/scout deployment. Chaos players rejoice that there’s yet another flavour of candy coating to go with your chewy Nurgle centre (doctors do not advise chewing anything Nurgle related).

Last, but definitely not least, in 11th place we have Inge Marcussen’s Deathskulls. This list is right at the other end from the other Deathskull list here, being somewhat closer to Shane’s list from last week but still very much its own thing. Ghaz is here, presumably with a few blue plates welded to him so he fits in, and he’s leading up 2×30 boyz on foot and 2×20 in ‘ard case bedecked battlewagons (one of which has been upgraded to the Forktress). With these as a mobility option and an army-wide 6++ from being Deathskulls, this list can skimp a bit on some of the support more conventionally seen alongside Ork hordes, not bothering with either a Weirdboy or a KFF Mek, and just focus on indiscriminately slamming Orks and spike-toting wagons into the enemy as fast and hard as possible. I am assured this is good Orky behaviour.

Wrap Up

This weekend looks like a healthy sign for the evolution of 9th, with new factions breaking into a top four and a reasonable spread of contenders nipping at their heels. Hopefully these trends will continue, and check back in next week to see what went down at the Brisbane GT. In the meantime, hit us up with any comments, questions or suggestions at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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