Competitive Innovations in 9th: Iron Halo and Red Rock Exterminatus

An article by    Competitive Play Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Welcome back to the second part of our coverage of what proved to be an extremely busy weekend for the 40K tournament scene, this time turning our attention to two events taking place in the USA, the Iron Halo GT in Oklahoma (which hit major status) and the Red Rock GT in Utah.  As (I think) the biggest event run so far for the edition, Iron Halo has been the focus of a lot of attention and coverage, but there were some spicy lists on display in Utah as well, with some less common factions making strong showings, so there’s plenty to digest from both.

Before diving in, we should cover off Covid disclaimers. Both of these events took place in parts of their states that are assessed to be low risk, and both had good Covid policies in place. Iron Halo, in particular, had a strong policy front and centre on its website, including full refunds for anyone who had to pull out because of covid symptoms and temperature checks on the door, and we have confirmed from attendees that these were carried out as promised. We would, ultimately, still prefer organisers to be very cautious about running events this size, and a number of factors worked in Iron Halo’s favour to allow it to go ahead, most notably the very low case count in the local area. We will continue to review decisions about covering events on a case-by-case basis, and will continue not to cover any events that violate government guidelines (meaning functionally anything in the UK right now is off the menu).

With that out the way, on to the lists!

Iron Halo GT

Iron Halo saw some hotly contested games at the top, and the exact configuration of the final top four was still in question until the very last results were in. In the end, we find ourselves with three lists that sort of look like an end-run for the most successful armies of pre-codex 9th, and one that’s a bit more out there.

John Lennon’s White Scars – 1st Place

The Crimson Khan

The Crimson Khan. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [98 PL, 2,000pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

Detachment CP

+ HQ +

Captain [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Chainsword, Chogorian Storm, Jump Pack, Storm shield, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, Teeth of Terra, The Imperium’s Sword, Warlord

Chaplain [5 PL, 105pts, -2CP]: 5. Recitation of Focus, 6. Canticle of Hate, Bolt pistol, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Stratagem: Master of Sanctity, Strike off the Head, Wise Orator

Kor’sarro Khan [6 PL, 110pts]

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 102pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle, Auxiliary Grenade Launcher
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant

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

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

+ Elites +

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Bladeguard Veteran Sgt
. 2x Bladeguard Veteran: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted Power Sword, 2x Storm Shield

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Bladeguard Veteran Sgt
. 2x Bladeguard Veteran: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted Power Sword, 2x Storm Shield

Judiciar [4 PL, 85pts]

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [17 PL, 300pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

Outrider Squad [6 PL, 135pts]: Outrider Sgt
. 2x Outrider: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Twin Bolt rifle

Outrider Squad [6 PL, 135pts]: Outrider Sgt
. 2x Outrider: 2x Astartes Chainsword, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Twin Bolt rifle

+ Heavy Support +

Devastator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Space Marine Sergeant: Chainsword
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp

Devastator Squad [6 PL, 120pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Space Marine Sergeant: Chainsword
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Grav-cannon and grav-amp

+ Dedicated Transport +

Impulsor [4 PL, 135pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Shield Dome

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]: Heavy bolter

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]: Heavy bolter

Rhino [3 PL, 78pts]: Storm bolter

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

The Standout Features

  • White Scars cap off their exceptional recent run with a major win.
  • Doubling up on grav squads in a Rhino and including a big Inceptor unit gives this army three powerful shooting punches to throw.
  • Land Speeder Storms, Bladeguard and Outriders provide a mobile push into the mid table.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

In some ways there isn’t a huge amount to say about this army, as it represents a confluence of many of the elements that have proved strongest in the opening act of the new edition and that have been exhaustively covered in this column. It’s got grav Devs – two squads of them ensuring that, more often than not, an opponent’s two most precious units get vaporised over turns one and two. It’s got Bladeguard, riding up the board in an Impulsor to slice and dice even the toughest targets once a Chaplain is egging them on. It has Land Speeder Storms, the most cost-efficient tool Marines have for putting something onto an objective and demand the enemy come play on this list’s terms. It’s got plasma Inceptors, eye-wateringly cheap after the Chapter Approved changes and now a real value add to any list that wants some durable, mobile firepower. Finally, Outriders excel here, providing mobile threats that shore up horde matchups and turn into real damage dealers late on.

Bringing it all together is the power of the White Scars chapter tactic and supplement. On the smaller boards of 9th edition, units such as Bladeguard being able to advance and charge lets them bounce from target to target doing their brutal work, while with less ability to backline there’s no space to hide from the early volleys of the grav devs. Finally, the incredible power of the Strike off the Head litany (re-roll melee wounds in an aura) in combination with the chapter doctrine (+1D on the charge in Assault) and Kor’sarro’s +1 to wound aura means that once turn 3 hits every non-vehicle in this list threatens to do spectacular damage to whatever it touches. The durability of a power-armoured force, in combination with the surgical removal of the enemy’s best threats by the grav Devs, tends to ensure that these lists are still a force to be reckoned with by that point – after which they can clean up.

Just because they’re powerful, of course, doesn’t take away from the achievement here – as a movement-focused precision army Scars take a tonne of skill to play to maximum effect, and piloting them through six tough rounds at a major is a massive achievement, so congratulations to John. This list winning definitely feels like a suitable end to act 1 of 9th edition, and I’m sure many eyes will be on how much the new Marine codex shakes it up as we move in to act 2.

Ben Cherwien’s Black Templars- 2nd Place

High Marshall Helbrecht

High Marshall Helbrecht. Credit: SRM

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [99 PL, 1,996pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Crusader Relics [-1CP]

+ HQ [17 PL, 330pts, -2CP] +

High Marshal Helbrecht [8 PL, 155pts, -1CP]: Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP]

Primaris Chaplain [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: 1. Litany of Divine Protection, 5. Fervent Acclamation, Ancient Breviary, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Master of Sanctity [-1CP]

Primaris Lieutenant (Indomitus) [4 PL, 90pts]: The Crusader’s Helm

+ Troops [15 PL, 300pts] +

Assault Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 95pts] . 4x Assault Intercessor [76pts]: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol
. Assault Intercessor Sgt [19pts]: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Incursor Sergeant [21pts] . 4x Incursor [84pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired Combat Blades, 4x Smoke Grenades

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

+ Elites [45 PL, 938pts, -1CP] +

Aggressor Squad [12 PL, 225pts]: 4x Aggressor [160pts], Aggressor Sergeant [40pts] . Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets/Fragstorm Grenade Launcher [25pts]

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Bladeguard Veteran Sgt [35pts] . 2x Bladeguard Veteran [70pts]: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted Power Sword, 2x Storm Shield

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [5 PL, 105pts]: Bladeguard Veteran Sgt [35pts] . 2x Bladeguard Veteran [70pts]: 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 2x Master-crafted Power Sword, 2x Storm Shield

Cenobyte Servitors [1 PL, 18pts] . 3x Cenobyte Servitor [18pts]: 3x Close Combat Weapon

Primaris Apothecary [4 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Chief Apothecary [-1CP], Warlord

Terminator Assault Squad [18 PL, 425pts]: Teleport Homer [5pts] . Terminator Sergeant [42pts] . . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield [19pts]: Storm shield [4pts], Thunder hammer [15pts] . 9x Terminator w/THSS [378pts]: 9x Storm shield [36pts], 9x Thunder hammer [135pts]

+ Heavy Support [18 PL, 360pts] +

Devastator Squad [8 PL, 120pts]: Armorium Cherub [5pts] . Space Marine Sergeant [15pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword
. Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Grav-cannon and grav-amp [10pts] . Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Grav-cannon and grav-amp [10pts] . Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Grav-cannon and grav-amp [10pts] . Space Marine w/Heavy Weapon [25pts]: Grav-cannon and grav-amp [10pts]

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 68pts] +

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

The Standout Features

  • Ben Cherwien’s quest to get Black Templars properly on the map pays off.
  • Buffed up assault Terminators under an avalanche of buffs form one of the nastiest death stars currently available in the game, and are surprisingly mobile to boot.
  • Powerful shooting from the Eradicators and grav Devs allow the rest of the army to get on with what it does best.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I saw Ben trying out Black Templars at the Two Rivers GT back in March but after a promising start he ended up falling short in the later rounds, to much disappointment for fans of what has generally proven one of the weakest chapters. It’s great to see him pulling off such a resounding success this time around. It also does the Emperor’s work by ensuring that we leave pre-codex 9th with every melee-focused Marine army having featured in at least one top four. The army here is distinctly different from other ones we’ve seen, however, being built around a single gigantic death star of a kind that I’m reliably informed gives players of pre-8th editions palpitations.

I think three key things are at play to make this version a significantly bigger threat than the ones that have gone before.

  • The smaller board. Thanks to the various tools BTs have access to (e.g. Devout Push, The Emperor’s Will), the Terminator block is more mobile than it would be in many Marine armies, but in previous editions some lists would still be able to dance around the edges of it and try and score elsewhere. Not so on the more constrained battlefields of 9th. Also…
  • You can’t really ignore them once they’ve taken an objective, especially a central one. Primary scoring in 9th means that the absolute most amount of time you can afford to just give up on contesting mid-board objectives tends to be a single turn (especially against a list like this that bleeds no secondaries), forcing enemies to confront the Terminator menace sooner rather than later. Given their prodigious toughness (thanks to Litany of Divine Protection in addition to the normal tricks) and numerous ways to punish an attacker (Vicious Riposte, Tenacious Assault), there’s a strong chance that’ll end badly for them, and the Terminators are so nasty that the list can commit the rest of its forces to ensuring other parts of the board are just as dangerous.
  • The very pushed shooting options Marines have access to (Eradicators, grav Devs) allow this list to get the ranged output it needs (basically the ability to knock off a key threat or too early) without having to invest too many points or shift its focus away from the brutal core of the Terminators, Aggressors and Bladeguard.

The last point is especially important as it’s been a a big part of the success of melee Marine lists across the board. With options on grav Devs, Eradicators or Plasmaceptors, the level of investment needed to put serious ranged threats on the table is at an all-time low, and all of these will still perform adequately in Marine factions that don’t especially buff them. That allows you to tick off “ranged threat” from your list of roles you need to fill and focus the rest of your build on maximising what the chapters specialise in, and the Terminator death star here is an especially extreme example of how that can work for you.

The Terminators definitely aren’t the only thing going for this army – Tenacious Assault is exceptionally good on Bladeguard as well, as they’re perfectly statted to bump into a valuable enemy unit, lock them in, and then finish them off in the opponent’s turn. With FLY no longer allowing falling back and shooting, using Devout Push to bump things is also more valuable than ever. Finally, Cenobyte Servitors provide a cheeky way to sneak an objective holder at a lower price than other Marines can, while also providing a substantial defensive boon in some matchups. Just like White Scars, once the game starts rolling this army is threatening on a lot of fronts at once, and while it’s not as fast the payoff of having access to a rock-solid tarpit is a big one, making this list another strong Marine army to watch as change rolls upon us.

Congratulations again to Ben on the second place finish – seeing an unfavoured faction succeed is always especially enjoyable, and I’m sure many Black Templar players around the world are very happy this week.

Ryan Snyder’s Custodes – 3rd Place

Custodes Vertus Praetors

Custodes Vertus Praetors. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

ADEPTUS CUSTODES

Shield Company: Shadowkeepers

Patrol Detachment -2/+2

(HQ Warlord) Ryokom and Shynobi – Shield Captain, Dawn eagle jet bike, Salvo launcher, Auric aquilas, Emperor’s companion, Slayer of the unclean -1CP 175pts

(HQ) Orionos – Shield Captain, Allarus terminator armor, Castellan axe, Balistus grenade launcher, Eagle’s Eye -1CP, Lockwarden -1 CP 115pts

(Troops) 3 Custodian Guard, Pyrithite spears 165pts

(Fast Attack) 4 Vertus Praetors, Salvo launchers, Interceptor lances, Dawn eagle jet bikes, 380pts

(Fast Attack) 3 Vertus Praetors, Salvo launchers, Interceptor lances, Dawn eagle jet bikes, 285pts

(Heavy Support) Caladius Grav-Tank, Twin arachnus heavy blaze cannon, Twin lastrum bolt cannon, 225pts

(Heavy Support) Caladius Grav-Tank, Twin iliastus accelerator cannon, Twin lastrum bolt cannon, 225pts

(Flyer) Ares Gunship, Magna blaze cannon, Two arachnus heavy blaze cannons, Two fire bombs, 430pts

Total 2000pts 9 CP

The Standout Features

  • Another end-run here as shooty Shadowkeepers rack up a podium finish for the Custodes.
  • The Ares Gunship rears its giant, golden head once more as the centrepiece of the force, backed up by two Caladius tanks.
  • Two units of Vertus Praetors provide a more mobile element than we saw in the last shooty Custodes iteration.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

At only fifteen models, I can only imagine this list is utterly terrifying to play, as every single time one goes down it’s going to feel like a knife to the gut. What a fifteen models they are though.

With such a small unit count, and an even smaller subset of them that are both targetable and mission-critical (mostly the Praetor squads and the Ares), the gigantic array of different defensive tools that the Custodes have access to really come to the fore . As Shadowkeepers, all three of these units can have a defensive buff at the same time (Grim ResponsibilityArcane Genetic Alchemy, The Emperor’s Auspice), and all of them are a complete nightmare to put down through any of those, with an Ares under The Emperor’s Auspice being especially salt-inducing. Given that all of this stuff will be throwing out serious punishment, and is very difficult to hide from, opponents are going to be under serious threat of losing their key damage dealers before they can make any real dent in this list’s ability to apply pressure. If they enter the lategame in such a state it’s probably curtains for them, and having the two bike units to roam around really cements that compared to spending points on a Telemon (a very common sight in similar armies).

Adding that extra objective seizing ability is smart for an event this size – as I talked about in my tier list article, one of the things that separates the great factions in 9th from the ones that are merely OK is being able to consistently and rapidly react to adverse situations, and I think the choices here really shore up that capability compared to other shooty Custodes iterations. There’s still more than enough mobile firepower to hugely benefit from going first and getting to take the initiative, but it’s way less likely to find itself in a situation where an opponent getting a spike turn leaves it out of options. I also like that it doesn’t bother with Trajann, choosing instead to put as many points as possible in units that can be more mobile around the board (by deep striking in the case of the Allarus Captain). Again the focus seems to be on flexibility, and it’s clear that over the course of six rounds that really paid off for Ryan.

Custodes continue to prove to be a force to be reckoned with, and lists like this are on the list of things you need a plan to beat – deadly killers that present you with no good targets and very little time to make your mark before it’s game over.

Sean Dilley’s Chaos – 4th Place

Poxwalkers. Credit: Rockfish

Poxwalkers. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [103 PL, -5CP, 1,602pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Harbingers

+ Stratagems +

Gifts of Decay (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Lord of Contagion [7 PL, 120pts]: Plaguereaper

Malignant Plaguecaster [6 PL, 100pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Blades of Putrefaction

+ Troops +

Plague Marines [18 PL, 248pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 6x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 6x Blight Grenades, 6x Boltgun, 6x Krak Grenades, 6x Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher
. Plague Marine w/ special weapon: Blight launcher

Poxwalkers [3 PL, 70pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [3 PL, 70pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, -1CP, 65pts]: 6. Arch-Contaminator, Plaguechosen

Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 85pts]

Foul Blightspawn [4 PL, 85pts]

Noxious Blightbringer [4 PL, 60pts]: Plasma pistol, The Daemon’s Toll

Tallyman [4 PL, 60pts]: Plasma pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn [10 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Contaminated Monstrosity

Chaos Spawn [10 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Contaminated Monstrosity

Chaos Spawn [10 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Contaminated Monstrosity

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 160pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [8 PL, 134pts] . 2x Storm Bolters

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [23 PL, -1CP, 388pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ +

Lord of Change [17 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Boon of Change, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, Rod of Sorcery, The Impossible Robe, Warlord
. Exalted Lord of Change: 5. Aura of Mutability

+ Troops +

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

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

++ Total: [126 PL, -6CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Death Guard and Daemons close out the trio of lists from the IH top four that sum up early 9th.
  • With Big Bird lurking behind to deal damage, this list goes hard on the board control side of Death Guard, with Harbingers giving extra flexibility to play the mission.
  • A single Plagueburst Crawler provides a backline objective holder, while the Plague Marine drill bomb provides a key reactive threat.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

As with most of the lists, plenty of what we’re seeing here isn’t new. Contaminated Monstrosity Chaos Spawn backed up by the Daemon’s Toll are easily one of the most cost efficient things you can use to contest the board right now, and the absurd damage potential of Plague Marines in a drill provides you with a reliable way to punish your opponent’s key tarpits or threats in turn. This list does put its own spin on the Death Guard formula, eschewing the common choice of Poxmongers and multiple PBCs to instead pick the Harbingers, allowing the army to put its Poxwalkers into ambush and unlock numerous additional angles to shore up secondary scoring. Again here the goal is reliability – with so many of the top armies tuned to not give up secondaries easily, having a reliable plan to pull off some of the positional secondaries is a huge asset, here clearly valued over raw power.

The army certainly isn’t short of that mind – the Chaos Spawn are nasty combatants, Foul Blightspawn are rat bastards to work around and the Exalted Lord of Change assures the army dominance over the psychic phase in many matchups, but it’s definitely striking that after seeing so many Poxmonger lists over the last few months, this version is the one that ended up on the top of the heap for Chaos at such a large event. It should really hammer home that 9th’s missions are a major test of list building, rewarding players that make sure to have a role for every unit in their army and a plan for matchups where good secondary options are a bit harder to come by. Sean’s finely tuned list came within a hair’s breadth of an undefeated run and making it into second place, losing only to Ryan’s list above by a single point in the final round (having been paired down) and expect to see more players trying out the Harbingers in the wake of his success.

The Rest of the Best

Seven more players at Iron Halo achieved 5-1 finishes, and as usual we’ll quickly skim through them to make sure we aren’t missing out on anything super unique.

In 5th place we have Matthew Runde’s Harlequins.  Mostly this is a pretty down the line Soaring Spite build, with 3×5 Skyweavers, four fusion boats, one big foot squad to deep strike.  A heavily tooled-up Troupe Master using Skystrider to hop out of a boat and butcher stuff with The Twilight Fang and Darkness’ Bite is the only especially nasty surprise lurking amongst them.

Following up in 6th place we encounter Scott Thompson‘s Salamanders, running a bunch of Bladeguard and Eradicators backed up by the horrific power of two Relic Contemptors and a Leviathan dread. Not subtle, but definitely frightening, and clearly very successful on the table.

In 7thJeremiah Petit’s Solar Watch Custodes make use of the Sally Forth warlord trait to push some powerful infantry units (notably a big block of Aquilon Terminators) up the board while not one but two Telemons blast away from the back lines.

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard

Blood Angels Sanguinary Guard. Credit: Jack Hunter

Alexander Kuehn’s Blood Angels take 8th place, with a very aggressive list featuring a whole smorgasbord of melee nasties, including Bladeguard, Outriders, Death Company, Sanguinary Guard, and a unit of hammer/shield VanVets. The latter choice has been popping up in quite a few Marine lists recently, so it’ll be interesting to see how they fare in the upcoming codex. The list is finished up with some Incursors to stake an early claim, and 3×3 Eradicators to shore up the shooting capability. Once again the incredible quality of some of the tools Marines have access to is really on show here.

In 9th, Dan Sammons’ Imperium Soup finds another shell to make various popular tools terrifying by combining Bloody Rose Repentia and Seraphim with Salamanders. Are they two great tastes that taste great together? Certainly looks like it, as it took John Lennon’s White Scars to finally end its run in round 6.

Adeptus Mechanicus - Kataphron Breachers

Adeptus Mechanicus – Kataphron Breachers
Credit: Pendulin

A relatively unusual AdMech list piloted by John Shamp took 10th place. While plenty of familiar tools appear within it, it also features two Fusilaves along with a large squad of Plasma Kataphron Destroyers and two smaller ones of Breachers (backed up by Cawl for re-rolls). Having two Fusilaves around (along with the ubiquitous Raiders) allows it to be a bit more tricky than some other variants, perhaps planning to use their odd movement patterns to position them to run interference for enemy movement, and also open up a reliable early Engage on All Fronts.. This is definitely a list I’d like to see play out on the table, though I guess one thing that occurs is that it’s well positioned to take out Ork hordes – with Blast and the Mars Canticle, the Destroyers will put a huge amount of pain on pretty much any flavour of horde.

Finally, closing out the 5-1 bracket (with some big theatrical boos coming from off-stage) we have the terror of the first few weeks of 9th, Tim Pinney’s Long Ranged Marksmen Salamander Successors, featuring Assault Centurions and flamestorm Aggressors, took 11th place. Backed up by Eradicators, Outriders and a Whirlwind Scorpius, it’s exactly what everyone quickly learnt to fear as people adapted to the missions, and making it to 5-1 shows that it’s still got the power. It is notable that TIm’s VP score was relatively low for 5-1, suggesting that part of the reason people may have moved on to the White Scars is that they more reliably push for max point wins (Note: Tim has let us know that this is largely because one of his games only went three turns before hitting time, which capped his score from it and made a big difference overall)..

Red Rock Exterminatus

If the results from Iron Halo showed off the game’s top factions flossing on the finish line as Space Jam played, the results from Red Rock serve to remind us that there’s a whole host of hungry contenders at every level of the metagame waiting for a chance to make their breakthrough. None of the top four were running factions that I put in my top tier, and three of the four show off units we haven’t really seen perform up till now, starting off with…

Jordan Gledhill’s Adepta Sororitas – 1st Place

Credit: Starvolt

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [38 PL, 10CP, 760pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, -1CP, 55pts]: Chainsword, Heroine in the Making, Inferno pistol, Relic: Beneficence, Warlord Trait: 2. Righteous Rage

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

Imagifier [3 PL, 45pts]: Tale of the Warrior, Warlord, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

Mortifiers [9 PL, 185pts] . Anchorite: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

Mortifiers [9 PL, 185pts] . Anchorite: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails
. Mortifiers: 2x Heavy bolter, 2x Penitent Flails

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [61 PL, -3CP, 1,237pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ No Force Org Slot +

Repentia Superior [2 PL, 40pts]

+ HQ +

Canoness [3 PL, 60pts]: Blessed Blade, Bolt pistol, Relic: Wrath of The Emperor

Celestine [8 PL, 170pts]

+ Elites +

Celestian Squad [7 PL, 138pts] . 6x Celestian: 6x Bolt pistol, 6x Boltgun, 6x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Boltgun, Inferno pistol, Power maul
. Celestian w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Meltagun
. Celestian w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun

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

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

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 120pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 120pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Heavy Support +

Mortifiers [9 PL, 185pts] . Anchorite: 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, 78pts]: Storm bolter

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

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

++ Total: [99 PL, 7CP, 1,997pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Bloody Rose do a good line in pressure, but this list takes it up to 11 with Mortifiers and Celestians joining a huge wedge of Repentia.
  • Going short on Battle Sisters and heavy on Rhinos presents a very durable first turn target profile.
  • Eschews the Triumph in favour of more pressure.
  • Multiple great options for use of Strategic Reserves.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

With it becoming more and more clear that being able to pressure the mid-board is the key to winning in 9th it’s no surprise to see the Bloody Rose leading the charge for the Adepta Sororitas, but the sheer extent to which this list optimises for pressure is a sight to behold, and it’s only going to get better from here. The Mortifiers are obviously the most eye catching novelty here, and they’re extremely well placed in the metagame right now. Hordes are on the rise, and these can sweep those before them while still being a real threat to other units, and on top of that Mortifiers are nimble, at least reasonably durable for their cost and are perfect for sticking in Strategic reserve thanks to being 9PL for three. With their shooting about to jump up to D2, these will shortly be even more exciting, so don’t sleep on them.

The Celestians are the next novelty. These I’m less surprised to see – I went through just how over the top these can get as Bloody Rose in our Faction Focus for Sisters, and I’m glad to see that being put into practice. It turns out that combining abilities that add attacks, strength and AP with full re-rolls is exceedingly good – who’d have thought? More conventional for Bloody Rose lists are, of course, the Repentia. These are one of the best glass cannon melee units in the game, and a giant headache for any list relying on a durable death star, as chances are very high that these can slam into it and make their points back immediately. Add in the ability to stock up the miracle dice for auto-charge out of Strategic Reserves and you have a unit that provides just a bunch of ways to ruin an opponent’s day. Looking at this list (and noting that it has two preachers) my assumption is that the 9-model unit goes into strat reserves with a Preacher while the other two and the Celestians ride the Rhinos, with a few slots free for characters to mount up too.

Having three Rhinos is somewhat unusual in itself – many Sisters lists run one or two as a safety mechanism for on-board Repentia, but going fully mounted is novel. I think it makes a tonne of sense alongside the heavy contingent of Mortifiers, as assuming you can hide the singular Battle Sister squad and put one Repentia squad in reserves, there’s nothing in this list to point “incidental” firepower at turn one, likely limiting how much damage it takes. It also creates tension for the opponent – they have to pick between shooting the Mortifiers, who are the juicier target in the abstract, or the Rhinos that are going to push Repentia into their face. Neither option feels great, and anything that gives opponents a chance to make the wrong call and get punished is a value-add.

That flat target profile, along with wanting to apply lots of pressure, is probably part of why this list cuts out the Triumph of St. Katherine. Ruining the lovely defensive lineup by being extremely T3 and hard to hide would compromise on what the list is trying to achieve, and with Mortifiers being much less able to benefit from it than everything else, I can see why it gets left on the bench here (for all that it’s still extremely strong). Celestine, naturally, is still here as she’s a perfect fit for the list, both being a damage dealer in her own right and combining with the Indomitable Belief Imagifier to make the Repentia way more durable once battle is joined.

I’m a huge fan of Sisters and it’s great to see a spin on them that combines some proven tools with some new elements. This list is only getting better once the weapon changes come in, so if you have the components I highly recommend giving it a whirl.

Evan Stump’s Imperium – 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) [78 PL, 1,525pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
. Categories: Configuration
. House Raven

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

Exalted Court [-1CP]: Exalted Court: 1 Extra Warlord Trait [-1CP] . Categories: Stratagems

Heirlooms of the Household [-1CP]: Heirlooms of the Household: 1 Extra Heirloom [-1CP] . Categories: Stratagems

+ Lord of War [78 PL, 1,525pts, 1CP] +

Knight Castellan [32 PL, 635pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Heirloom: Cawl’s Wrath, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Ion Bulwark
. Categories: Faction: <Household>, Faction: <Questor Allegiance>, Faction: Imperium, Dominus Class, Titanic, Vehicle, Knight Castellan, Lord of War, Faction: Imperial Knights, Character, Warlord, Titanic Warlord
. Two Siegebreaker Cannons and Two Shieldbreaker Missiles [90pts]: 2x Shieldbreaker Missile [20pts], 2x Twin Siegebreaker Cannon [70pts]

Knight Warden [23 PL, 445pts]: Character (Heirloom of the House), Heavy Stubber [5pts], Heirloom: Sanctuary, Ironstorm Missile Pod [15pts], Reaper Chainsword [30pts] . Categories: Faction: <Household>, Faction: Imperium, Lord of War, Titanic, Vehicle, Knight Warden, Faction: <Questor Allegiance>, Questoris Class, Faction: Imperial Knights, Character

Knight Warden [23 PL, 445pts, 1CP]: Character (Exalted Court), Heavy Stubber [5pts], Ironstorm Missile Pod [15pts], Reaper Chainsword [30pts], Warlord Trait: Cunning Commander [1CP] . Categories: Faction: <Household>, Faction: Imperium, Lord of War, Titanic, Vehicle, Knight Warden, Faction: <Questor Allegiance>, Questoris Class, Faction: Imperial Knights, Character

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [20 PL, 472pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration [9CP] +

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

Detachment CP [-3CP] . Categories: Configuration

Forge World Choice
. Categories: Configuration
. Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ [2 PL, 35pts] +

Tech-Priest Enginseer [2 PL, 35pts] . Categories: Tech-Priest, Infantry, Enginseer, Faction: <Forge World>, Faction: Adeptus Mechanicus, Faction: Cult Mechanicus, Character, Faction: Imperium, HQ

+ Fast Attack [18 PL, 437pts] +

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 144pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts] . Categories: Cavalry, Serberys Raiders, Faction: Imperium, Faction: <Forge World>, Faction: Adeptus Mechanicus, Faction: Skitarii, Fast Attack
. 8x Serberys Raider [128pts]: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 144pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts] . Categories: Cavalry, Serberys Raiders, Faction: Imperium, Faction: <Forge World>, Faction: Adeptus Mechanicus, Faction: Skitarii, Fast Attack
. 8x Serberys Raider [128pts]: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts] . Categories: Cavalry, Serberys Raiders, Faction: Imperium, Faction: <Forge World>, Faction: Adeptus Mechanicus, Faction: Skitarii, Fast Attack
. 8x Serberys Raider [128pts]: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

The Standout Features

  • THE CASTELLAN ARISES ONCE MORE.
  • WE DIDN’T DO THE RITUAL RIGHT.
  • I THINK IT’S MAD AT US.
  • IT BROUGHT ANGRY GLOWING DOG FRIENDS.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This is the content I’m here for. After a year and a half languishing at the 700pt mark, the huge discount Chapter Approved granted the Castellan combined with Engine War bringing the perfect unit to complement a Knight strategy puts it back onto the top tables and back to living rent free in many of our heads.

I’m delighted to see this particular shell chosen as the vessel for it’s glorious and terrible return, as Lucius Serberys Raiders were one of my picks as a sleeper hit out of Engine War. It turns out that when you take a unit that’s already brutally undercosted for how all-round good they are and add the ability to apply a 5++ via the Luminescent Blessing they get truly outrageous doh! No, you need a Lucius WL for this. The baseline effect of ignoring AP-1 on them is still very useful. When paired with Knights they really come into their own, as they shore up the key weaknesses of the lords of war, which is getting outmaneuvred on the table or one-rounded by some sort of nasty combat threat. The sheer amount of space Serberys Raiders can occupy, combined with their ability to mess with charges via Tactica Obliqua makes them ideal for this. They can use their pre-game move to get into a mid-board position and ensure a wide screen is in place by the time any melee nasties are coming in, and on some tables might even manage to push a grav pod back out of range of the Castellan, something that’s obviously extremely valuable. With the first turn they can put a reasonable amount of hurt on a lot ot things that like to start mid board, and if you end up going second they’ve very hard to punish. Mobile units that take enough killing that your opponent will have to choose between taking them out or focusing down the Knights are exactly what you want here.

In terms of the Knights themselves, the notable thing is that the build here prioritises mobility and defence. House Raven provides the former – being able to advance and shoot makes a noticeable difference to how quickly the Knights can both push and react on the table, and helps ensure that at least the Wardens are closing into engagement range before the enemy is finished dealing with the Raiders. In terms of defences, along with the mandatory Ion Bulwark on the Castellan one of the Wardens uses an extra relic pick to take Sanctuary rather than the normally ubiquitous Endless Fury. I think that makes sense here, as does picking Cunning Commander over Landstrider. Fundamentally, with a House Raven Castellan in the list, when this army needs something really, really dead it can make it so by spending CP – but in other situations those CP can go into defensive options. Knight of the Cog to extend Shroudpsalm to the super heavies is one obvious option, but having Sanctuary around means that if you really need to slam a Knight into something dangerous in melee you can gamble on a 4++ via Rotate to get you through whatever they have left after your attacks.

Overall, what this list really has going for it is that it has all the upside of a Knight list (an option on staggeringly brutal damage and pressure on demand) with a much, much greater amount of flexibility on the table. If you’ve been paying attention up till now you’ll know that that’s a recipe for success, and this is easily the best Knight list I’ve seen all edition. Good job to Evan for figuring it out.

Timothy Bouta’s Tyranids – 3rd Place

Credit: PierreTheMime

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids) [48 PL, 11CP, 993pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Hive Fleet: Leviathan

+ Stratagems +

Progeny of the Hive [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Neurothrope [5 PL, 95pts]: Power: Psychic Scream, Power: Smite, Warlord

Tyranid Prime [5 PL, 85pts]: Adrenal Glands, Boneswords, Deathspitter

+ Troops +

Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt: 10x Scything Talons

Hormagaunts [3 PL, 60pts] . 10x Hormagaunt: 10x Scything Talons

Termagants [3 PL, 50pts] . 10x Termagant (Fleshborer): 10x Fleshborer

Termagants [3 PL, 50pts] . 10x Termagant (Fleshborer): 10x Fleshborer

Tyranid Warriors [12 PL, 294pts] . Adaptive Physiology: Enhanced Resistance
. Tyranid Warrior: Deathspitter, Scything Talons
. Tyranid Warrior: Boneswords, Deathspitter
. Tyranid Warrior: Boneswords, Deathspitter
. Tyranid Warrior: Boneswords, Deathspitter
. Tyranid Warrior: Boneswords, Deathspitter
. Tyranid Warrior: Boneswords, Deathspitter
. Tyranid Warrior (Bio-cannon): Boneswords, Venom Cannon
. Tyranid Warrior (Bio-cannon): Boneswords, Venom Cannon
. Tyranid Warrior (Bio-cannon): Boneswords, Venom Cannon

+ Elites +

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]: Flesh Hooks, Rending Claws

Lictor [2 PL, 37pts]: Flesh Hooks, Rending Claws

Zoanthropes [10 PL, 225pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Smite
. 5x Zoanthrope: 5x Claws and Teeth

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Tyranids) [50 PL, -2CP, 1,007pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment CP [-2CP]

Hive Fleet: Kronos

+ HQ +

Broodlord [7 PL, 125pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Smite

Neurothrope [5 PL, 95pts]: Power: Smite, Power: Symbiostorm, Resonance Barb

+ Troops +

Genestealers [4 PL, 75pts]: Acid Maw
. 5x Genestealer: 5x Rending Claws

Ripper Swarms [2 PL, 36pts] . 3x Ripper Swarm: 3x Claws and Teeth

Ripper Swarms [2 PL, 36pts] . 3x Ripper Swarm: 3x Claws and Teeth

+ Elites +

Hive Guard [12 PL, 300pts] . 6x Hive Guard (Impaler): 6x Impaler Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Exocrine [9 PL, 170pts] . Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis

Exocrine [9 PL, 170pts]

++ Total: [98 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A “normal” Tyranid list makes a successul play for the top tables.
  • Careful tuning removes most secondary vulnerabilities.
  • Lictors shore up proactive secondary plans.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Who is outside the offices screaming “Tyranids aren’t trash!”? We need to get that sorted out. Anyway.

This list is definitely worth a look, because it does about the best job possible of making a “normal” Tyranid list work in 9th’s missions. It has to cut back on some things you’d dearly like to be able to run (mostly Hive Tyrants) and it has some weaknesses, but it functions and it can clearly win games in the hand of a capable pilot, so let’s figure out why.

The main thing that hurts most attempts at Nid lists is how badly they bleed secondaries. Any configuration that runs Hive Tyrants tends to give up both Bring It Down and Abhor the Witch, while even Eric Lathouras’ Gaunt carpet list gave up 45pts to an opponent who could table it. This list mostly avoids that. Technically it gives up Abhor, but to score it opponents will likely have to chew through enough Zoanthropes to get to the not-especially-soft Neurothrope centre, and that just isn’t going to be a priority in a lot of games. Freed up from the burden of essentially starting the game behind, and with the genuinely excellent Lictors to unlock a myriad of secondary scoring options of its own, it can play the game a bit more its own way, aiming to establish board control via moving the relatively tough to shift thropes and Warriors into position behind an initial Gaunt flak screen. It packs some effective firepower behind them in the form of the Hive Guard and Exocrines, and the hope is that once battle is joined the enemy’s deadliest forces have been blunted, and the large ObSec blob that the Warriors represent can help to close out the game.

It’s a good plan – I’ve seen a few iterations of lists like this bouncing around and this is a particularly good example, but it does have substantial weaknesses. Notably against anything that can quickly swat the screens and then slam a big melee nasty into the Tyranid Warriors, it has real trouble. Anything that throws AP-3 multi-damage attacks at them in the fight phase will go through them like a hot knife, making things like Repentia and Bladeguard a huge problem for them. Unfortunately, armies that are well set up to do this represent some of the strongest in the metagame, and I do think that’s going to make navigating a list like this to an undefeated record a real uphill struggle. As it happened, Timothy picked up his loss against Jordan’s Sisters list above, and I think I’d tap the Sororitas to take that game a good 4 times out of 5 – the tools they have are just too good at countering the gameplan here.

Ultimately, that doesn’t take a way from this being a cleverly designed and innovative list – it takes a struggling faction and makes the right choices to mitigate a lot of the challenges they face, and good job to Timothy on the 4-1 finish.

Jason McKenzie’s AdMech – 4th 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) [77 PL, 11CP, 1,545pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Mars: Dogma: Glory to the Omnissiah

+ HQ [14 PL, -1CP, 270pts] +

Belisarius Cawl [10 PL, -1CP, 200pts]: Arc Scourge, Mechadendrite Hive, Mechanicus Locum [-1CP], Omnissian Axe, Solar Atomiser, Warlord Trait (Mars): Static Psalm-Code

Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 70pts]: Magnarail lance, Mechadendrites, Omnissian Staff, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Engine War): Divinations of the Magos

+ Troops [15 PL, 315pts] +

Kataphron Breachers [5 PL, 105pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]

Kataphron Breachers [5 PL, 105pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]

Kataphron Breachers [5 PL, 105pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Arc Claw [5pts], Heavy Arc Rifle [5pts]

+ Fast Attack [8 PL, 160pts] +

Serberys Raiders [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Serberys Raider [64pts]: 4x Cavalry Sabre, 4x Clawed Limbs, 4x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Serberys Raider [64pts]: 4x Cavalry Sabre, 4x Clawed Limbs, 4x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support [40 PL, 800pts] +

Kastelan Robots [24 PL, 500pts] . Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts] . . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts] . Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts] . . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts] . Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts] . . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts] . Kastelan Robot [125pts]: Heavy Phosphor Blaster [15pts] . . Two Heavy Phosphor Blasters [30pts]: 2x Heavy Phosphor Blaster [30pts]

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon [20pts], Broad Spectrum Data-tether, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber [15pts], Disruptor Missile Launcher

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon [20pts], Broad Spectrum Data-tether, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber [15pts], Disruptor Missile Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [25 PL, -3CP, 453pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment CP [-2CP]

Forge World Choice
. Forge World: Mars: Dogma: Glory to the Omnissiah

+ HQ [2 PL, -1CP, 35pts] +

Tech-Priest Enginseer [2 PL, -1CP, 35pts]: Laspistol, Mechanicus Locum [-1CP], Omnissian Axe, Servo-arm, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Chorister Technis

+ Troops [5 PL, 68pts] +

Skitarii Vanguards [5 PL, 68pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts] . 6x Skitarii Vanguard [54pts]: 6x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha [9pts]: Radium Carbine

+ Fast Attack [4 PL, 80pts] +

Serberys Raiders [4 PL, 80pts] . 4x Serberys Raider [64pts]: 4x Cavalry Sabre, 4x Clawed Limbs, 4x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support [14 PL, 270pts] +

Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 120pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-tether, Cognis Heavy Stubber [5pts], Icarus Array

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 150pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon [20pts], Broad Spectrum Data-tether, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber [15pts], Disruptor Missile Launcher

++ Total: [102 PL, 8CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • An all-rounder AdMech, with a light early push followed by heavy firepower.
  • Takes Kataphron Breachers just on rate without bothering with the various upgrades – a reminder that they’re just strong all round.
  • A huge unit of Kastellan Robots looms over the rest of the army, threatening apocalyptic damage with Wrath of Mars.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s clear at this point that unless something drastically changes after the looming metagame shakeup, AdMech are on their way to tier 1. After being weirdly absent for early 9th, people have clearly finally finished painting up their Serberys Raiders and are hitting the field in earnest, taking top four slots left and right.

We’ve seen all of these units perform already, and they’re all known quantities, but this list does have a slightly different setup than the rest. Where some of the other recent successes have featured lots of Kataphrons, this list runs just enough to trundle forward early, in concert with the Raiders, that the opponent has to do something about them rather than going after the bigger threats at the back. There’s clearly no expectation that they’ll last the game a lot of the time, but this list has a truly monstrous gunline once it lines all its shots up – so buying that time is all it really needs to do. Every unit in this list can pile on the pain, especially once Cawl’s re-rolls get involved, and by the time opponents have defused the early push from the forward elements they might simply not have very much of an army left.

The only real drawback to the list is that it doesn’t have that much in the way of a backup plan if it doesn’t get the better of early exchanges of fire – with fully a quarter of its points invested in slow-moving robots, if it finds itself behind on value while not in position it doesn’t really have a route back into the game. On digging in to where it picked up its loss, it turned out to have fallen victim to Evan’s Knights. The event was using the new BCP scorecards, which helpfully tell me that Evan took the first turn, so I’m assuming that what roughly happened is somewhere in the region of the Castellan immediately blowing two Skorpii to bits (as is its fashion) while hovering out of range of the Robots, and things going distinctly downhill from there.

Definitely a weakness – but equally armies that can just cold-cock two Skorpii at extreme range are much rarer than they once were, and I imagine if the AdMech went first that game could have gone very differently.  While obviously strong AdMech are very much still in the optimisation process, and this is another useful data point for people in to that sort of thing.

The Rest of the Best

Two last lists to go over before we close out this mammoth week.

In 5th place we have a rather unusual list – an Astral Claws confection running as Ultramarines Successors and piloted by Colton Hatch. The goal here seems to be to stuff the list full of stuff that wants to press mid-board in a hurry, notably including three units of bolter Aggressors, and then make use of the substantial power of Lufgt Huron’s re-roll aura and other abilities, in combination with the Seal of Oath to take out a key target. Definitely unusual, and a pretty solid gameplan, though it feels like it’s deeply dead to some kinds of gunline (and sure enough when I checked it was Jason’s AdMech that put it down).

Finally, another interesting appearance in the 6th place Grey Knight list, where Aaron Knafla tries to join the legendary ranks of those who’ve won GTs with Grey Knight Land Raiders (in this case a Redeemer full of Paladins), with two GMDKs and various other Terminators marching alongside. Tragically his efforts were shut down by Jordan’s Sororitas (which yeah is a nightmare for this, they go way too wide and punk the threats way too easily) but the attempt has been well noted, and a 4-1 record is definitely nothing to sniff at.

Wrap Up

…and that’s it. What a week, and congratulations again to all the successful players across this and Monday’s piece. This weekend promises to be a little bit less wild, but we’ve still got a few to look forward to – the Fantasia Fanatic over in Sweden being the biggest on my radar. Check back in next week to see what performed there, and otherwise, hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com if you want to get in touch for any reason.

 

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.