Competitive Innovations in 9th: Machine Superiority

No more quiet weeks, it would appear. For the second week running we’ve got five events to cover, and another blowout this weekend coming up, which sees both the Lone Star Open and the first weekend in the UK post the full lifting of lockdown restrictions. Big summer blowout? Big summer blowout!

Just before we dive into the events, I’ve got a couple of quick followup thought from last week’s AdMech Editorial, so let’s get through those then blast on into the lists.

AdMech Followups

Skitarii Marshal
Skitarii Marshal. Credit: Pendulin

Last week I talked about some suggested changes to AdMech to deal with their exceptional strength and rapid dominance of the tournament scene. That dominance hasn’t really changed this week – as we’ll get to, AdMech took three out of five first place finishes over the weekend, plus a second place spot that represented a fourth undefeated run. In addition to this, the win rate has risen higher as more players converge/complete the models required for the top builds. All nasty stuff.

With that in mind, I absolutely still think the nerfs are required, and just wanted to highlight a couple of additional suggestions I’ve either been sent or seen in commentary:

  • Rook8875, moderator of the very active AdMech subreddit, highlighted a couple of alternative options for Lucius. An alternative route with the Solar Blessing would be to make it only work against ranged weaponry. This has the upside of giving a clear counter to Lucius builds, which is rushing them down with volume melee, though a downside of leaving it tough for armies that rely on volume firepower to shift the blocks. It’s definitely an option that’s worth having in the mix, as it may be that creating a specific weakness or counter does more to shake up the metagame than incremental advantages for lots of armies. The other change for Lucius would be to stop Luminescent Blessing working on VEHICLES, as currently it allows Ironstriders to be turned into even more of a nightmare to shift than they already are. Finally, they pointed out an extremely upsetting oversight with the Veteran Cohort, which is that currently the power level increases for Skitarii units are shown as “+1 per 10 models”  rather than “+1 for 10 models, +2 for 11-20”. This allows a 19-model unit to sit at 9PL, so get the cheaper mode of a bunch of stratagems. Hopefully this is just a mistake, and will get quickly fixed.
  • Dan Sammons on the Flying Monkey Podcast had a different spin on Enriched Rounds, which is that rather than the strat boosting Radium’s effectiveness against targets it can already hit, it should instead allow the automatic wounds on 6s to apply when shooting at VEHICLES. This would enable Vanguard to meaningfully hurt vehicles without unlocking the current absurd skew against hordes or MONSTERS. Honestly? This is just a better suggestion, as even in the nerfed form I suggested the stratagem is hugely warping. This changes things so it’s not a waste of space, but is no longer breaking the game. The other big point Dan raised was that Infiltrators probably need to go up by more than 2pts. I think that’s a reasonable argument, as if you really sit down and compare them to equivalents they look a bit silly, and getting such a high quality unit for even 95pts really starts pushing the game back to the absurdly packed lists we had at the end of 8th. 3-4pts is probably fairer depending on how hard you go on everything else.

All interesting food for thought, and in general thanks to the community for some very constructive engagement on this one – and let’s home some changes are in the pipeline.

Gibraltar Grand Tournament

You can find all the lists for this event in Best Coast Pairings.

This event had some unusual army composition rules (notably that all lists had to be mono-codex and only use one <subfaction>, with some exceptions such as Drukhari), and an extremely early submission cutoff, so the new AdMech FAQ was not in effect.

Mani Cheema – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Adeptus Mechanicus - Serberys Raiders
Adeptus Mechanicus – Serberys Raiders
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [76 PL, 1,564pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-1CP]: Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts]: Logi, Magnarail lance, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 2): Battle-Sphere Uplink
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

+ Elites +

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 120pts] . 8x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest: 8x Electrostatic Gauntlets

+ Fast Attack +

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [21 PL, 435pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans, Magnarail lance

+ Troops +

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

++ Total: [97 PL, 6CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Who needs Ironstriders anyway?
  • Endless Skitarii and all the traits needed to get them moving.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

We’ve got some European events this week, for the first time in a while, and leading the charge we’ve got this nightmarish abomination. Mani has a track record of taking nightmarish builds to their logical conclusion (see also his horrifying LVO 2020 list) and this army is that for the Lucius AdMech armies. Sure you could buy Ironstriders to provide some ranged anti-tank, but why bother? Essentially no-one is going to be able to feasibly take 140 Skitarii and 24 Raiders off the table, and going all-in on this route denies opponents any juicier targets for their anti-tank weaponry, while providing you with near-insurmountable levels of board control. Having three units of Raiders and focusing on Rangers among the Skitarii units gives you a lot of pre-game movement to work with, allowing the list to seize control immediately and never really let go.

Adding in a trio of Skitarii Warlord traits (including the slightly less commonly seen Battle-Sphere Uplink and Multitasking Cortex) plus the ever-present Solar Flare ensures that the list can stay mobile and tick off any Action objectives it chooses to take, and the horrific damage that Manipulus-buffed Skitarii can do will ensure that the opponent loses units at quite a pace as well.

This build is a complete nightmare and among the nastiest things 9th Edition has thrown up – and really cements by view that Lucius and the Skitarii strats have to get some sort of balance look (alongside any point changes). Congratulations to Mani, and with the UK opening up properly from this coming weekend, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more from him soon.

Ruud Steenbakkers – Drukhari – 2nd Place

Scourges with shardcarbines. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [71 PL, 1,151pts, 10CP] ++

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

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

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 80pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Overlord, Power sword, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 140pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Blast Pistol

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 95pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [23 PL, 445pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]: Hatred Eternal, Warlord

+ Troops +

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

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

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

+ Elites +

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

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

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [20 PL, 400pts, -3CP] ++

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

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Dark Lotus Toxin, Precision Blows, Razorflails, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 110pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Razorflails: Razorflails

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

++ Total: [114 PL, 1,996pts, 7CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Maximum flexibility on show with lots of MSUs

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Drukhari doesn’t need that much explanation at this point – while AdMech is definitely top dog right now, Drukhari are a strong second with plenty of lists still performing. The main thing to look at each time one comes up is what flex options they’re choosing to include, highlighting different strategies people are trying to use to adapt to the presence of a bigger metagame fish.

Ruud’s list appears to aim to maximise the headache of taking it off the board, and to optimise for objective control. There are huge numbers of pesty MSUs in the army, meaning there are going to be evil elves all around the table, forcing the opponent to engage on more fronts than they might choose, and increasing the change of them wasting firepower by over/undercommitting at a key moment. Because Drukhari still have access to some atrociously deadly and speedy trade pieces, forcing the opponent to spread out maximises the chance of them leaving an opening for a Succubus, squad of Incubi or one of the increasingly popular Hellion MSUs to dart in and make a big dent in the enemy forces.

It’s all classic Drukhari stuff, and still something you need to be practiced and ready for. Can it overcome a list like Mani’s? Probably not – there are just too many Skitarii bodies that need to die, and the damage this build inflicts just isn’t up to the job. Against anyone else? You bet. Great work from Ruud.

Malik Amin Rubio – Adeptus Mechanicus – 3rd Place

Pteraxii Sterylizor
Pteraxii Sterylizor. Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [44 PL, 958pts, -4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts]: Logi, Magnarail lance

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

+ Fast Attack +

Pteraxii Sterylizors [8 PL, 190pts]: Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha
. 9x Pteraxii Sterylizor: 9x Phosphor torch, 9x Pteraxii Talons

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 180pts]: Chaff Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [29 PL, 582pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ Stratagems +

List Stratagems: [Reference] Core Stratagems

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 162pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 75pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 150pts]: Chaff Launcher

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 150pts]: Chaff Launcher

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [24 PL, 460pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [4 PL, 75pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 150pts]: Chaff Launcher

++ Total: [97 PL, 2,000pts, 6CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Mars attacks with a lethal AdMech airforce.
  • Rangers, Raiders and Pteraxii lock in control of the ground.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This top four shows off a perfect microcosm of AdMech – Lucius may be the best build, but Mars absolutely has tournament-winning lists available to it, and can make arguably better use of hyper-efficient powerhouses like Ironstriders and the planes, and what this list has in spades is reach. Stratoraptors and the bombs from the Fusilave can drop pain pretty much anywhere on the table, and as soon as any valuable targets poke their noses out of cover, Benediction of the Omnissiah can be switched on and the Ironstriders can emerge to delete it. It’s obviously not just hard targets this army can take down – the planes pack plenty of anti-infantry firepower as well, and the bombs are great even into opposing Lucius hordes. While not as fully loaded on Skitarii as Mani’s build, two Manipulus-powered Ranger blobs do also represent some pretty spectacular anti-horde capabilities, especially if you choose to combine Wrath of Mars and Galvanic Volley Fire. Finally, Raiders and (pre-nerf) Pteraxii are kicking around to do their thing, giving the list flexibility and ways to mess with the opponent.

Defensively, this build also poses a real challenge to any potential challengers. While having Lucius on all the time tends to be better defensively for infantry than the Mars option, for the vehicles being able to stack Shroudpsalm and Bulwark Doctrina on the same turn (especially turn 1) gives superior protection against anything that can’t ignore cover. Putting a Chaff Launcher on every plane also really stretches the opponents “proper” anti-tank weapons – combined with the turn(s) of save boosts, you’re going to take minimal damage from any mid-tier weaponry, demanding a level of big guns that many armies just aren’t packing (and exploiting a weakness of anyone who’s leant towards anti-horde to beat Lucius). -1D effects tend to get better the more of your things they’re on, and having them on all of the easy-to-target planes avoids creating any obvious weakspots.

In the end, the only build that could defeat this one was Mani’s, with every other challenger failing to survive the hail of punishment Mars brings. Malik is another player we’re bound to see more to finishes from as UK events spin up, so congratulations on this one and we look forward to seeing what horrible build comes next.

Zachathustra – Dark Angels – 4th Place

Progress over time, via Deathwing Terminators. Credit: Greg Chiasson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [41 PL, 9CP, 910pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Deathwing Vanguard Detachment

+ HQ +

Librarian [5 PL, 100pts]: 3) Righteous Repugnance, 5) Engulfing Fear, Combi-plasma, Force sword

+ Elites +

Deathwing Knights [11 PL, 235pts]: Knight Master
. 4x Deathwing Knight: 4x Mace of Absolution, 4x Storm shield

Deathwing Knights [11 PL, 235pts]: Knight Master
. 4x Deathwing Knight: 4x Mace of Absolution, 4x Storm shield

Deathwing Terminator Squad [9 PL, 240pts] . Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Cyclone Missile Launcher, Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield: Cyclone missile launcher
. . . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer

Ravenwing Apothecary [5 PL, 100pts] . Black Knight Bike: Plasma Talon

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [52 PL, , 1,090pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Ravenwing Outrider Detachment [3CP]

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [8 PL, 175pts] . Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze, Rites of War, Warlord

Sammael [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Black Knights [12 PL, 225pts] . Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Huntmaster: Corvus Hammer

Ravenwing Black Knights [12 PL, 180pts] . Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Black Knight: Corvus Hammer
. Ravenwing Huntmaster: Corvus Hammer

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 120pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

++ Total: [93 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A highly aggressive brawling build from the Dark Angels.
  • Deathwing Knights bring a strong save and excellent horde clearence from the Master to the table.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The Dark Angels supplement is doing a lot of work to keep Marines as a real presence right now, so in that context it’s refreshing to see some quite different tools at play here, with some of the normal stalwarts joined by Deathwing Knights and Black Knights. Deathwing Knights had a brief period of being in vogue immediately after the supplement landed but have mostly fallen off in favour of various builds of regular Terminators. However, I can definitely see an argument that the rise of Lucius makes them a bit more valuable again. Starting on a 1+ save is important, because it means you actually have a shot at shrugging off an Enriched Rounds volley with Manipulus backing, while the flail of the unforgiven the Knight Master packs is ideal for dealing with pesty Skitarii hordes. It hits and wounds on 2s, and the damage stat at the point the save is made is 2, so no Lucius bonus applies, but once the save fails the excess damage spills over. Get a captain and Lieutenant in position (easy here thanks to Samael and a Talonmaster) and you’ll be sweeping 6+ Skitarii off the table from the squad leader alone, along with appreciable damage from the rest of the unit. There’s basically nothing this unit can’t kill in combat, and it’s well tuned to current threats, so why not?

Black Knights have always been a bit more fringe, and what gets them over the line in this build is the fact that they push the army to a critical mass of brawling capability. The three Terminator units hit like trucks in the centre, while the Black Knights can lap round the sides picking off medium targets (or even something crunchy if you drop Righteous Repugnance on them). They’re a little squishier than you’d like for the price, but this build puts a lot of pressure on the opponent and they’re not always going to be able to afford to target the Black Knights while the Deathwing are operating.

Buff characters and Attack Bikes finish things off, with the latter still being tremendously efficient in Dark Angels, and ensuring the list has the tools needed to eliminate higher value targets like opposing planes, or open up enemy Raiders. Drukhari did account for this build’s one loss and that largely makes sense, as its main weakness is low model count. Drukhari are so good at trading up that it’ll be tough to stop them picking off crucial parts of this army and dominating the table, though even that game was far from a blowout score-wise. Great to see something different out of a popular book, great to see something other than the top dogs making it through a tough field, and congratulations to Zachathustra for rounding out the top four.

The Rest of the Best

Four more players finished either 5-1 or 4-1-1 at the event, and the 4-1-1 players went into the final round in a position to plausibly win the event, so are included.

  • 5th – Eduardo Muñoz – Drukhari: Mostly a pretty standard Drukhari build, with the one standout of including some liquifier Wracks. No more Technomancers, obviously – instead they’re given the Enhanced Sensory Organ custom trait to ignore cover, providing some reliable tools to try and prise hordes out of defensive positions.
  • 6th – Terroxer Luis – Thousand Sons: A pretty wild list that has a large, presumably forward-deploying Rubric blob as its plan A and some psychic firepower and a big reserve of summoning points as a plan B. It’s very different, I’ll give it that, and looks like it requires some serious finess to play. Sadly, Malik’s brutal hammer of a list thoroughly took it off the table in round 2, making me a bit shaky as to whether there’s a reliable strategy here in a high-threat metagame.
  • 7th ✪ – Dusty Justy – Adeptus Mechanicus: A third AdMech strategy on show, going in on one of the choices that’s been hyped for the mirror, Stygies. Bringing two large Ironstrider units and the Veiled Hunter warlord trait lets you pull them into strat reserves if you win the roll-off, allowing you to tilt some of the most crucial early-game trades in your favour. This is also tremendously handy against Drukhari, and Dusty defeated no fewer than three lists from that faction (also drawing with Lawrence) on the way to the top table, where Mani ended up triumphant.
  • 8th ✪ – Lawrence Baker – Drukhari: Finishing out the top brackets we have well-known Drukhari mastermind Lawrence Baker, packing a full blown Raider spam list. No less than 9 of the boats take to the skies, packed with Blaster Kabalite MSUs, Wyches and a trio of Incubi units. Any opponent who hasn’t brought the anti-tank they need to open up the boats is going to have an extremely bad time against this army, and it’s got a massive crop of re-rollable anti-tank of it’s own, meaning that overall it asks some really tough questions of opponents.

Alliance Summer Showdown

Lists for this event can be found here.

Dick van der Harst – Necrons – 1st Place

Catacomb Command Barge
Catacomb Command Barge. Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

== Primary Detachment – Necrons <Eternal Conquerors, Relentlessly Expansionist> Batallion 0CP [2000, 102PL].

NOFORCEORG: Chronomancer with Entropic Lance (10) [90pts, 4PL].

HQ: Chronomancer (80) Entropic Lance (10) relic: Veil of Darkness [90pts, 4PL].
HQ: Catacomb Command Barge (155), gauss cannon (5), resurrection orb (30), warscythe (5) Rarified Nobility (-1CP): Eternal Madness warlord trait, Dynastic Heirlooms (-1CP): Orb of Eternity (195pts, 9PL, -2CP].
HQ: Catacomb Command Barge (155), gauss cannon (5), resurrection orb (30), staff of light (0) Warlord, Enduring Will warlord trait, Dynastic Heirlooms (-1CP): Voltaic Staff [190pts, 9PL, -1CP] WARLORD (Enduring Will)

TR: Necron warriors (20×13) with gauss reapers (20×0) [260pts, 12PL].
TR: Necron warriors (20×13) with gauss reapers (20×0) [260pts, 12PL].
TR: Necron warriors (10×13) with gauss reapers (10×0) [130pts, 6PL].

EL: Canoptek reanimator (80) [80pts, 4PL].

FA: Canoptek Wraiths (5×35) all with Vicious Claws (5×0) [175pts, 10PL].
FA: Canoptek Wraiths (5×35) all with Vicious Claws (5×0) [175pts, 10PL].
FA: Canoptek Wraiths (5×35) all with Vicious Claws (5×0) [175pts, 10PL].

HS: Lokhust Heavy Destroyers (1×60) with Gauss Destructor (1×0) [60pts, 4PL].
HS: Lokhust Heavy Destroyers (1×60) with Gauss Destructor (1×0) [60pts, 4PL].
HS: Lokhust Heavy Destroyers (1×60) with Gauss Destructor (1×0) [60pts, 4PL].

The Standout Features

  • Maximum grindy objective play secures a win for the Necrons.
  • Individual Lokhust Heavies looking a bit more appealing after a price cut.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Objective pressure seems to be the only valid route for Necrons to take right now, and this week Dick has taken that all the way to the trophy at our second European event. The game plan here isn’t particularly complex but can still be challenging to play against – a lot of ObSec wounds are heading straight for the centre of the table as soon as the game kicks off, and with a Chronomancer for each unit plus a Reanimator to lurk behind walls and switch on Reanimation Prioritisation as soon as the shooting kicks off when needed, shifting this list is a formidible challenge for pretty much anything except the Lucius Horde builds. The list has also got some pretty nasty punishes built in – three units or Wraiths are more than ready to pounce on anything that overcommits when going after the warriors, while having two Resurrection Orbs around (one of which is the Orb of Eternity) means that anything less than a full removal of one of the Warrior blobs has the potential to go catastrophically wrong for the opponent. Finally, the Veil of Darkness remains the OG way to teleport 20 annoying infantry into the opponent’s face, and while not quite as dumb as the strat-stacked Skitarii, 20 Gauss Reapers with My Will Be Done on is still a pretty vicious punch to throw.

In terms of the rest of what’s here, the Catacomb Command Barges are obviously more than just great delivery mechanisms for Orbs – they work extremely well with Eternal Conquerors, as they’re very tough to shift, can’t be shot until the infantry bubblewrap is removed, and get ObSec like everyone else. They help the list double down on seizing control of objectives, which since it’s pretty much the only plan is very important! The only concession made to doing some damage at range is a trio of individual Lokhust Heavy Destroyers, who provide just a little bit of emergency anti-tank while also being reasonably priced bodies to sit at the back and hold objectives. Because they’re also ObSec, the opponent can’t just charge them with outnumbering scouting units or whatever, they need to commit some Troops of their own or actually remvoe them, which adds up with their ability to spike something down to make these pretty worthwhile. Even at their new price tag they look a bit mediocre compared to the horror of Ironstriders, but you work with what you’ve got.

That’s the Necron way in general, honestly, so huge congratulations to Dick for pushing through an adverse metagame to the top spot.

Jort Kassies – Adeptus Custodes – 2nd Place

Shadowkeeper Allarus Custodes. Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Total command points: 9
Total army points: 1999
Power level: ​102
ITC Faction: Adeptus Custodes

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [102 PL, 9CP, 1,999pts] ++
Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

Stratagems:
Ten Thousand Heroes 1cp
Captain Commander 1 cp
Eternal Pentient 1 CP

+ HQ +
Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]: Misericordia, Watcher’s Axe

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hurricane Bolter, Interceptor Lance, Warlord
Warlord trait: Superior Creation
Relic: Auric Aquilas
Stratagem: Captain-Commander: Unstoppable Destroyer

+ Troops +
Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 142pts] 2x Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade [ 2pts], Storm Shield [5pts]

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 142pts] 2x Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade [ 2pts], Storm Shield [5pts]

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 135pts] 3x Custodian: Guardian Spear

+ Elites +
Allarus Custodians [15 PL, 375pts] 5x Allarus Custodian: Ballistus Grenade Launcher, Castellan Axe [5pts]

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, -1CP, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor [20pts] Stratagem: Eternal Penitent

Vexilus Praetor [6 PL, -1CP, 110pts]: Guardian Spear [5pts], Vexilla Imperius
Stratagem: Ten Thousand Heroes: WL trait: Impregnable Mind

+ Fast Attack +
Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 275pts] 5x Venatari Custodian: Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler

Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 275pts] 5x Venatari Custodian: Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler: Kinetic Destroyer, Tarsus Buckler

++ Total: [102 PL, 9CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Multiple Venatari squads give lots of flexibility.
  • Allarus Custodians provide an anvil and the ability to fan out in emergencies.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Custodes are having a pretty good run right now, and this list just hammers home further that Venatari are pretty much the must-have unit. As long as you’ve got at least one unit of these powerhouses to drop on the opponents head, you seem to be able to pull together pretty much any combination of the Custodes other strong units and make a real impact.

Here we see them accompanied by another outing for the Vexilla Imperius Praetor, good both with the stuff that starts on the table and the Venatari themselves, plus a big unit of Allarus Terminators. These are the only must-protect unit that the list starts on the table, so it can dump all of the assembled defensive strats on them if needed, and having access to Unleash the Lions for the mid-late game lets this list claw back some mobility if things start to go south on the board control front, always a bit of a risk with smaller armies like Custodes. That means it’s got a good plan out of the gate (dominate the table with the Venatari and assembled units) and a decent fallback option, letting it hopefully ride out whatever challenges it faces. Like the Dark Angels list from the Gibraltar GT, the build that cracked through that build was a Drukhari list, again emphasising how strong they are against elite armies, but that didn’t stop Jort making it to a second place finish, so congratulations.

Bas Riemens – Harlequins – 3rd Place

Harlequins Troupe Master. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [98 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

Masque Form: The Soaring Spite: Serpent’s Blood

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts]: Shards of Light, Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, The Shadowstone, Webway Dance

Troupe Master [4 PL, 65pts, -3CP]: Choreographer of War, Darkness’ Bite, Great Harlequin, Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol, Soaring Spite: Skystrider, Stratagem: Pivotal Role, The Twilight Fang, Warlord

+ Troops +

Troupe [6 PL, 150pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].

Troupe [6 PL, 150pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].

Troupe [6 PL, 150pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].

Troupe [6 PL, 150pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].

Troupe [6 PL, 150pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].

Troupe [5 PL, 125pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts].
. Player:[14pts] Fusion Pistol [5pts] , Harlequin’s Kiss [6pts]

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

+ Fast Attack +

Skyweavers [10 PL, 165pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].

Skyweavers [10 PL, 165pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].

Skyweavers [10 PL, 165pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].
. Skyweaver: [45pts ] Haywire Cannon [5pts], Zephyrglaive [5pts].

+ Dedicated Transport +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Total: [98 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts]

The Standout Features

  • Consider – bikes, yet also boats.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Harlequins have fallen from their heights, but the servants of the Laughing God aren’t going to go entirely quietly into the long night. This build is clearly working off the classic Soaring Spite Bikes and Boats template, but does make a few changes from what we used to see a few months back. Notably, all the Troupe units are both bulked out to six models (except one to leave a space for the Troupe Master), and are packing melee weapons as well as fusions. That’s presumably a concession to the fact that high-volume Harlequin blade attacks will do a big fat nothing to Lucius Skitarii, whereas the multi-damage (and S4) kisses are still able to make much more of a dent, and are also going to allow the units to smoke things like Sicarian Infiltrators. It’s vital for this list to be able to do enough damage to whatever it charges that it doesn’t start losing excessive models to random swings back, and if it can’t reliably punish scout deployed opposing squads then it really struggles to merit a place in the meta. Shoring up the power of the units helps offset that, as does investing in Great Harlequin. Were I playing it I’d probably want to gamble on one Foot Troupe just for the havoc it can cause with Twilit Encore, but going this route avoids exposing any targets to a Solar Flare swing out the gate, so I can certainly see why you’d make the choice not to.

The other change from the old versions is a cut down and more split up bike contingent. The days of running 3×5 are gone, and 2×5 looks way less attractive now that you can’t use multiple Prismatic Blur procs in a turn. Going 3×3 is an interesting call, and probably not a bad one – it maximises your ability to reach out and disrupt the opponent with them while not investing too many points in any one basket for Enriched Rounds to take off the table. While not able to rock in to serious targets, they’re also still sporting enough attacks to pick up a weaker character like a Skitarii Marshall, forcing opponents to be cautious as long as they’re operational.

The other thing to remember about this build, of course, is that the entire thing is stupidly mobile – the army can rocket right into the opponents face straight out the gate if the situation calls for it, and launch devastating counterattacks at any moment while it still has units. As the meta shifts, you’re going to find more  and more players who’ve forgotten or never had the misfortune to learn just how vicious Harlequins can be, creating a window for lists tuned just right to punch above their theoretical position. Strong play from Bas to pull that off.

James Brayford – Death Guard – 4th Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [98 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Gifts of Decay [-1CP]: Additional Relics [-1CP]

+ No Force Org Slot [5 PL, 85pts] +
(does not take up an elit slot – Part of foetid virion )
Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]: Blight grenades [0pts], Krak grenades [0pts], Plague sprayer [0pts] – Upgraded Viscous Death [1 PL, 10pts], Revolting Stench-vats, Unholy death’s head grenade [0pts]

+ HQ [12 PL, 235pts] +

Lord of Virulence [7 PL, 140pts]: Blight grenades [0pts], Ferric Blight, Krak grenades [0pts], Plague claw [0pts], Twin plague spewer [0pts] – Upgraded Virulent Fever [1 PL, 20pts], Warlord

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 5. Curse of the Leper, Blight grenades [0pts], Bolt pistol [0pts], Corrupted staff [0pts], Krak grenades [0pts], Smite

+ Troops [9 PL, 195pts] +

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker [50pts]: 10x Improvised weapon [0pts]

Poxwalkers [5 PL, 95pts] . 19x Poxwalker [95pts]: 19x Improvised weapon [0pts]

Poxwalkers [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Poxwalker [50pts]: 10x Improvised weapon [0pts]

+ Elites [54 PL, -5CP, 1,135pts] +

10x Blightlord Terminators [20 PL, -1CP, 410pts].
. Blightlord Champion [-1CP, 40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Champion of Disease [-1CP], Combi-bolter [0pts], Plague Skull of Glothila
. Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Reaper autocannon [5pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [45pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Reaper autocannon [5pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].
. Blightlord Terminator [40pts]: Bubotic Axe [0pts], Combi-bolter [0pts].

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher [25pts], 2x Twin volkite culverin [10pts]

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Hellforged cyclone missile launcher [25pts], 2x Twin volkite culverin [10pts]

3x Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, -1CP, 155pts] . Deathshroud Champion [-1CP, 55pts]: Champion of Disease [-1CP], Manreaper [0pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet [5pts], Reaper of Glorious Entropy
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator [100pts]: 2x Manreaper [0pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet [0pts]

3x Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion [50pts]: Manreaper, Plaguespurt gauntlet [0pts] . 2x Deathshroud Terminator [100pts]: 2x Manreaper [0pts], 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet [0pts]

Tallyman [4 PL, -1CP, 70pts]: 4. Arch-Contaminator, Blight grenades [0pts], Krak grenades [0pts], Plaguechosen [-1CP], Plasma pistol [0pts], Tollkeeper

+ Heavy Support [18 PL, 350pts] +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon [10pts], Plagueburst Mortar [0pts], Rothail volley gun [0pts]

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon [10pts], Plagueburst Mortar [0pts], Rothail volley gun [0pts]

++ Total: [98 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Pretty much the archetypal Inexorable plan of a Terminator Anvil with VolCon and PBC shooting backup.
  • Lord of Virulence, a Tallyman and the Blightlord block unlock some extra anti-horde firepower.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Death Guard are another faction that’s pretty reliably nipping at the heels of the metagame top dogs, and a lot of the classics that are powering that are on show here. Two Volkite Contemptors and two PBCs provide some strong firepower that can punish opponents who’ve skimped on anti-tank or ant to hang back, and bringing a Tollkeeper Tallyman plus a Lord of Virulence further amps up the already considerable damage output of the dreads. Backing up the VolCons, the one unit in this list that’s been a bit out of fashion is the full Blightlord blob. Once you’ve invested in the CORE buffs (and have Ferric Blight for AP) these definitely start to look a bit more exciting, and while not cheap the fact that you do have the option of using Cloud of Flies to stop them getting dinged by either of the big Skitarii stratagem bombs is very important. With the Poxwalkers to fan out and stop anything teleporting within twelve, and also very tough Deathshrouds to stand slightly closer to the enemy, you can keep this massive brick waiting at full health to launch a devastating counter-punch once the opponent commits.

Being able to ensure you have that big, blowout unit ready for when things get rough is a huge upside, and as well as giving you something to work with against AdMech is hugely valuable against Drukhari too – Incubi and Hellions hate dealing with -1D, and the ever-present Revolting Stench Vats Blightspawn ensure that attempting a multi-unit gank is never going to be truly safe. It was a vicious Drukhari build that eventually took this down, but it defeated AdMech and some other strong contenders along the way, making it a worthy way to round out this second top four.

The Rest of the Best

Three more players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 5th – Guillaume Dussausois – Adepta Sororitas: A showing for what’s looking like the emerging Sororitas hotness in fifth, which is a combo of Argent Shroud MSUs and Bloody Rose melee, with Morvenn Vahl overseeing things. The Argent Shroud detachment packs lots of storm bolter Dominions (ready for Blessed Bolts and with Rhinos to pull forward pre-game) and melta Retributors to annihilate most flavours of targets at range, while the Bloody Rose is ready to do its standard thing with a neat mix of Repentia, Sacresants and Zephyrim.
  • 6th ✪ – Tom Adriany – Drukhari: As is always the way, this list took out several of the top four on the way to the top table, but fell to the unyielding Necron horde in the end. The build is a pretty standard Drukhari concoction that invests in a Ravager for a bit of extra anti-tank with its flex points, and is also on the new MSU Hellion hotness.
  • 7th – Gerard Malipaard – Adeptus Mechanicus: No escaping the 4-1 bracket without at least one AdMech list. Lots of Ironstriders and a relatively balanced suite of units in support, all running as Lucius. That choice is slightly surprising – honestly this looks a bit more like a Mars build, as it has lots of the Skitarii vehicles that benefit strongly from that Dogma, and relatively few Infantry. Still, having the Solar Flare Vanguard Bomb alongside a very durable set of units allows the army to combine the single biggest threat that Lucius presents with a very tough to shift army, and one that will brutally punish opponents who’ve gone in on anti-horde.

Victorian Throwdown

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

Thomas Ogden – Dark Angels – 1st Place

Dark Angels HQs
Your two good special characters. Credit: Greg Chiasson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [31 PL, 585pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

+ HQ +

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

Ezekiel [7 PL, 125pts]

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 70pts].
. Deathwing Sergeant: Lightning Claw (Pair)
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

Deathwing Command Squad [4 PL, 70pts].
. Deathwing Sergeant: Lightning Claw (Pair)
. Deathwing Terminator: Lightning Claw (Pair)

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

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [60 PL, 1,415pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [16 PL, 350pts].
. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Rites of War
. Ravenwing Talonmaster: Arbiter’s Gaze

Sammael [8 PL, 150pts]

+ Elites +

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, 135pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer
. Black Knight Bike: Plasma Talon

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts].
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts].
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts].
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

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

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

++ Total: [91 PL, 2,000pts, -5CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Character-heavy Dark Angels seals a third appeareance.
  • Command Squads relegated fully to standing behind walls providing Bodyguard protection.
  • No compromise on damage output despite point changes

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Thomas Ogden shows no sign of slowing down with his particular spin on Dark Angels, racking up a third top four showing and second event win. We talked a lot about how this list functions the last two times it showed up, but the key interaction is that, as long as you can hide the Deathwing Command Squads behind a wall or something, the Talonmasters and/or Samael can sit on the other side of it with complete impunity and blast away at opposing hordes. Meanwhile, any heavier targets are going to find themselves prey for three units of Attack Bikes, two of which can have Chapter Master re-rolls at any one time, and the Land Speeder Vengeances look better than ever as a flexible way of rounding out the list, behing strong into both Lucius hordes and mid-high quality opposing units.

The main point of interst, given we’ve seen a previous version of this, is how things have changes, as since last time it’s been hit with a point hike on Talonmasters and Attack Bikes. Notably, they’re all still here, with the major cut to the army being one of the Deathwing Command Squads and a unit of basic bikes. In addition, where previously the Command Squads had a shield so they could plausibly wander around the table, in the scary world of Ironstriders that’s clearly been deemed too risky, so the models are dialed back to just having claws. That means they’re going to need to find places to hide, but on good tables that should be fine. All this, plus investing in a VolCon, means that the list sacrifices none of its killing power, meaning its still one of the most appalling killing machines on the market. In an AdMech and Drukhari world, it feels like we’ve swung back a bit to the game being about front-loaded damage potential rather than trying to outlast the opponent on objectives (except for armies dedicated to that like Death Guard), and the way this army has evolved definitely reflects that – raw firepower is favoured above objective finesse.

When I first saw this army I thought it was the best Dark Angels build I’d seen and nothing about the way it keeps winning tournaments is doing anything to disabuse me of that notion. Controversial, I realise. Anyway, huge congratulations to Thomas for entirely taking the point hikes in his stride and making a third fantastic finish.

Alexander Schifko – Adeptus Mechanicus – 2nd ✪ Place

Tech-Priest Manipulus. Credit: Rockfish
Tech-Priest Manipulus. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [77 PL, 9CP, 1,510pts].
Forge World Choice: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-1CP]: Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts]: Logi, Magnarail lance, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 2): Battle-Sphere Uplink
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts].
. Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts].
. Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts].
. Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 225pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 225pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [26 PL, -4CP, 489pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-1CP]: Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ No Force Org Slot +

Servitors [2 PL, 28pts]: 4x Servo-arm

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans, Magnarail lance, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

+ Elites +

Servitors [2 PL, 28pts]: 4x Servo-arm

Servitors [2 PL, 28pts]: 4x Servo-arm

+ Fast Attack +

Pteraxii Sterylizors [4 PL, 95pts]: Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha
. 4x Pteraxii Sterylizor: 4x Phosphor torch, 4x Pteraxii Talons

++ Total: [103 PL, 5CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • That sure is a Lucius list.
  • Small Pteraxii unit suggests they’ve still got some small roles to play once you’ve maxed out on Infiltrators.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Look, I’m not about to go full JONK mode or anything, but what do you want me to say – it’s the standard Lucius build, it does all the Lucius things, and it’s going to keep doing them and going undefeated at events until something changes. The only major things to note here are the presence of some cheapo Servitors to hold home positions, and a 5-model Pteraxii unit even after their nerf. For the latter, I’m firm in my belief that you pretty much always want to max out on Infiltrator MSUs before investing in them, but since this build has then sure, why not – in combination with the Servitors, this list has Actions sewn up, and they’re handy if you find yourself struggling to land a turn of Uncharted Sequencing or want to Deeply Sunk Talons something. Congratulations to Alexander for cranking the already impressive Lucius reliability even higher and going 5-0 as a result.

Joe Ramunni – White Scars – 3rd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [101 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: White Scars

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Khan on Bike [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: Chapter Command: Chapter Master, Chogorian Storm, Rites of War, Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom, The Armour Indomitus, Warlord

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, Wise Orator

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 135pts]: Astartes Grenade Launcher, Auto Bolt Rifle
. 5x Intercessor: 5x Bolt pistol, 5x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Power fist

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 110pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Power fist

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 110pts]: Auto Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Power fist

+ Elites +

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

Ancient in Terminator Armour [6 PL, -1CP, 120pts]: Banner of the Eagle, Chapter Command: Chapter Ancient, Steadfast Example, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter
. Powerfist and Storm Bolter

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 282pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Power fist, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Relic blade, Storm shield

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 247pts]: Jump Pack
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: Relic blade, Storm shield

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [6 PL, 180pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 300pts]: 4x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Total: [101 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Hefty killing power from the Scars secures a podium finish.
  • Chapter Ancient and Rites of War provide two bonus ObSec options.
  • Inceptors look spicy in a Lucius world.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Remember White Scars? They still exist, it turns, out, and in common with Harlequins are very ready to remind anyone who fails to adequately respect them why they were once top dogs. This build is lightning fast and exceptionally deadly both at range and in melee – the VanVet units will happily evaporate anything they touch in the fight phase, while Inceptors are pricy, but well positioned for the current metagame, as their Blast plasma is one of the few things that will cleanly cut through Lucius’ hordes, even without overcharging thanks to being AP-4 when Tactical Doctrine is up (or using Adaptive Strategy). That combines with their consistent capacity to absolutely ruin the day of enemy elite infantry, and being great into Ironstriders to make them extremely valuable once again, even at their high price point. Being able to drop Unyielding in the Face of the Foe to try and weather a response only amplifies this, and having an Ancient in this list also gives you an angle to squeeze a bit of extra value out of them when the opponent does finally take them down. That also helps the rarely seen bolter Aggressors, another big beneficiary of Blast suddenly mattering as it means their attached fragstorm launchers throw out a whole pile of shots. The list is probably going to want to Adaptive Strategy some of the time in the AdMech matchup, as right now you need some AP to meaningfully hurt the Lucius builds, but against anything else they’ll cheerfully rack up plenty of chip damage at range, and are an additional strong combat unit.

They also benefit from the Ancient having been upgraded to a Chapter Ancient with the Steadfast Exemplar warlord trait, which means that they can be handed ObSec in one part of the board while the Rites of War Khan hands it out to VanVets elsewhere. Add in the three units of Intercessors and this army has a lot of ObSec to work with, forcing the opponent to be pretty judicious with where they commit their troops. Particularly with the Aggressors to evaporate anything hordes other than the most durable, opponents might struggle to consistently contest the primary against this build, forcing the kind of overcommit that Scars are ever ready to punish.

The list came the closest of anyone to taking a game off the winning Dark Angels build, and it’s always nice to see the classics out for a spin, so great job Joe.

Jeffrey Dojcsak – Death Guard – 4th ✪ Place

Foetid Bloat-drone – Credit Beanith

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [51 PL, 970pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Lord of Virulence [6 PL, 120pts]: Ferric Blight, Warlord

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts, -1CP]: 2. Living Plague, 5. Curse of the Leper, 6. Gift of Plagues, Bolt pistol, Fugaris’ Helm, Plaguechosen

+ Troops +

Plague Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plague knife
. 4x Plague Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Blight grenades, 4x Boltgun, 4x Krak grenades, 4x Plague knife

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

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

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

++ Outrider Detachment -5CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [53 PL, 1,030pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, 95pts, -1 CP]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 3. Plague Wind, Bolt pistol, Plague Skull of Glothila

+ Elites +

Tallyman [4 PL, 70pts, -1 CP]: Tollkeeper

+ Fast Attack +

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

Foetid Bloat-drone [7 PL, 135pts]: Fleshmower

Myphitic Blight-haulers [7 PL, 140pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler

Myphitic Blight-haulers [7 PL, 140pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler

Myphitic Blight-haulers [7 PL, 140pts]: Myphitic Blight-hauler

+ Heavy Support +

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

++ Total: [104 PL, -8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Daemon Engine Skew blunts many opposing tools.
  • Bloat-drones ready to bring the gift of Ferric Blight wherever it’s most needed.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Another pretty familiar looking list to round out the top four – Daemon Engine Death Guard has seen a big surge of popularity since Drukhari landed, as skewing hard towards a very uniform target profile loaded down with damage reduction and invulnerable saves tends to blunt their damage output. All of those same factors can come into play against some of the AdMech builds too, and while this list didn’t end up facing any of them, it feels like it has a reasonable amount to offer in the matchup, especially with the inclusion of Tollkeeper-backed VolCons to give it the numbers to chew through the hordes. Death Guard have got a lot to offer in the metagame and this list and some of the ones above combine to show a couple of different spins on why, so great work from Jeffrey broadening the field.

The Rest of the Best

One more player finished with a 4-1 record:

  • 5th – Allan Hernandez – Chaos: Thousand Sons (including a surprising trio of Defilers) and Chaos Knights team up to give something that’s definitely greater than the sum of its parts. Lots of Mortal Wounds from Magnus, Ahriman and some Cult of Magic characters, lots of hulls to protect them, and autocannon War Dogs with Warpsight to provide some meta-appropriate ranged killing power.

Bold City Freedom Fisticuffs

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

Dan Monsalve – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Sicarian Infiltrators. Credit: Rockfish
Sicarian Infiltrators. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [35 PL, 705pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Dominus [6 PL, 110pts]: Logi, Macrostubber, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans, Magnarail lance, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger: 19x Galvanic Rifle

+ Elites +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser)
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [67 PL, 1,291pts, 4CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-2CP]: 2x Archeotech Specialist

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Mechanicus Locum, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

+ Troops +

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

Sicarian Infiltrators [8 PL, 170pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser): Artefactotum, Relic: The Omniscient Mask
. 9x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser): 9x Flechette Blaster, 9x Taser Goad

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 133pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 7x Serberys Raider: 7x Cavalry Sabre, 7x Clawed Limbs, 7x Galvanic Carbine

++ Total: [102 PL, 4CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • It’s the Lucius build, doing Lucius things.
  • Large Infiltrator unit and lots of Raiders increase the early melee threat.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s Lucius, y’all can see that. It says so right at the top of the army list. This particular build invests a bit more heavily in early mid-board pressure – the full unit of Infiltrators are just itching to double up on melee strats and evaporate an enemy unit, while Serberys Raiders hit just that bit harder than some opponents will be expecting. That sums up to give this list a bit more early pressure at the expensive of opening up a slightly bigger vulnerability to massed D2 firepower, which will efficiently make a mess of them. Clearly it worked out here – congratulations Dan.

Jack Harpster – Adepta Sororitas – 2nd Place

Celestine. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [44 PL, 859pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Order Convictions: Order: Bloody Rose

+ No Force Org Slot +

Repentia Superior [2 PL, 40pts]

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Inquisitor [4 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 1) Terrify, 6) Castigation, Blackshroud, Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Malleus – Psychic Mastery, Ordo Malleus, Psyker, Stratagem: Arbiter of the Emperor’s Will

+ HQ +

Morvenn Vahl [13 PL, 265pts]: Warlord

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 55pts] . 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

+ Elites +

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 112pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 112pts] . 8x Sisters Repentia: 8x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Zephyrim Squad [4 PL, 85pts] . 4x Zephyrim: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 130pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor
. Retributor Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Multi-melta

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [56 PL, 1,140pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Order Convictions: Order: Ebon Chalice

+ HQ +

Celestine and Geminae Superia [10 PL, 200pts] . 2x Geminae Superia: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, 2x Power sword

+ Elites +

Celestian Sacresants [6 PL, 145pts] . 9x Celestian Sacresants (Anointed Halberd): 9x Anointed Halberd, 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sacresant Superior: Bolt pistol, Spear of the Faithful

Dogmata [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: 4. Litany of Enduring Faith, 5. Verse of Holy Piety, Relic: The Sigil Ecclesiasticus, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: Terrible Knowledge

+ Fast Attack +

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter

Dominion Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . Dominion Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Dominion w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 90pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Ministorum Hand Flamers
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Ministorum Hand Flamers

Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 90pts] . 2x Seraphim: 4x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Ministorum Hand Flamers
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Ministorum Hand Flamers

+ Heavy Support +

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 115pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Ministorum Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 115pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Ministorum Hand Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Ministorum Heavy Flamer

+ Dedicated Transport +

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [100 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Ebon Chalice show off their flamer prowess.
  • Celestine, Vahl and the Bloody Rose provide some serious pressure.
  • An Inquisitor ensures that Repentia can push past Overwatch.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Amidst all of the AdMech excitement it’s nice to be reminded that they’re not the only new book out recently – the new Sororitas codex is a delight, with great internal balance and a power level that seems much more appropriately pitched to make it a top contender, but not outrageously dominant.

This list goes in hard on some cool new tricks. The Ebon Chalice were largely relegated to tiny support detachments for the Warlord trait in 8th, but they got a spicy set of improvements in 9th that makes them much more appealing. Terrible Knowledge is still extremely good, but you now also have the draw of mortal wounds out of flame weapons, a great combo with Seraphim or Retributors as seen here. Their units also get to benefit from a second Sacred Rite, and that lets you do some clever stuff here. The Bloody Rose units are going to want to be in The Passion a lot of time, and choosing that as your first applies it to the Sacresants in the Ebon Chalice detachment as well (who are presumably there because the supporting Dogmata is the only non-named Character, so needs to be EC for the trait), while still leaving you free to flex pick your second choice for maximum benefit, whether Divine Guidance to sneak a little extra AP on some of your hits or Aegis of the Emperor to punish opposing Psykers in the right matchup.

Add in multiple Dominion squads ready to pop Blessed Bolts for even more Mortals, and Vahl ready to drop her buff wherever needed, this list racks up some surprisingly decent mid-ranged firepower (with good reach as it’s bundled into Rhinos that can move pre-game), increasing to spectacular once it hits combat. Repentia still hit like monster trucks, and this list can get them into combat reliably by banking their Terrible Knowledge Miracle Dice for an auto-charge and ensure they can push past dangerous overwatch via Terrify. They’ll still detonate whatever they touch, and Celestine provides handy mobile backup for them while being a real pain to kill in her new incarnation. Once she reaches the fray, Vahl’s considerable might will also often be enough to finish the job here.

The Sisters book is really, really cool and this build definitely illustrates why – there’s some old standbys and power pieces here, but also some choices that have been given a big infusion of viability in the new book, which you seem to be able to do a nicely varied set of things with. Great work from Jack.

Benjamin Cromer – Ultramarine Successors – 3rd Place

Blood Ravens Incursors. Credit – Soggy

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+++ Ultra memeing no more (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [98 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] +++

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) [98 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

**Chapter Selector**: Custom Chapter, Master Artisans, Ultramarines Successor, Whirlwind of Rage
. . Categories: PC: UM, Configuration

+ No Force Org Slot [3 PL, 54pts] +

Company Veterans [3 PL, 54pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Company Veterans, Faction: Imperium, Infantry, Command Squad, Core, No Force Org Slot
. . Company Veteran [27pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts].
. . Company Veteran Sergeant [27pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts]

+ HQ [21 PL, -3CP, 415pts] +

Captain on Bike [8 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: Adept of the Codex, Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Chapter Master [2 PL, 40pts], Frag & Krak grenades, Rites of War, Seal of Oath, Stratagem: Exemplar of the Chapter [-1CP], Thunder hammer [20pts], Twin boltgun, Warlord
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Character, Faction: Imperium, Captain, Biker, HQ, Chapter Master, Warlord

Librarian [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: 2) Might of Heroes, 3) Null Zone (Aura), 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura), Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chief Librarian [1 PL, 25pts], Force axe, Frag & Krak grenades, Psychic Mastery, Smite, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP].
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Character, Faction: Imperium, Infantry, Psyker, Librarian, HQ, Chief Librarian

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: 3. Exhortation of Rage, 5. Recitation of Focus, Absolver Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity [1 PL, 25pts], Crozius arcanum, Frag & Krak grenades, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP], Twin Bolt rifle, Wise Orator
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Character, Chaplain, Faction: Imperium, Primaris, Priest, Biker, HQ, Master of Sanctity

+ Troops [20 PL, 430pts] +

Incursor Squad [10 PL, 220pts]: Haywire Mine [10pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Infantry, Phobos, Smokescreen, Incursor Squad, Core, Primaris, Troops
. . 9x Incursor [189pts]: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Occulus bolt carbine, 9x Paired combat blades
. . Incursor Sergeant [21pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Infantry, Phobos, Smokescreen, Incursor Squad, Core, Primaris, Troops
. . 4x Incursor [84pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. . Incursor Sergeant [21pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

Incursor Squad [5 PL, 105pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Infantry, Phobos, Smokescreen, Incursor Squad, Core, Primaris, Troops
. . 4x Incursor [84pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Occulus bolt carbine, 4x Paired combat blades
. . Incursor Sergeant [21pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Occulus bolt carbine, Paired combat blades

+ Elites [38 PL, 791pts] +

Company Veterans [3 PL, 54pts] . . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Company Veterans, Faction: Imperium, Infantry, Command Squad, Core, Elites
. . Company Veteran [27pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts] . . Company Veteran Sergeant [27pts]: Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [3pts], Storm shield [4pts]

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod [5pts], Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon [5pts], Redemptor Fist
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Dreadnought, Faction: Imperium, Redemptor Dreadnought, Vehicle, Core, Elites

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod [5pts], Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon [5pts], Redemptor Fist
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Dreadnought, Faction: Imperium, Redemptor Dreadnought, Vehicle, Core, Elites

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Icarus Rocket Pod [5pts], Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon [5pts], Redemptor Fist
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Dreadnought, Faction: Imperium, Redemptor Dreadnought, Vehicle, Core, Elites

Scout Squad [4 PL, 92pts]: Camo cloak [2pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Infantry, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Scout, Scout Squad, Core, Smokescreen, Elites
. . Scout Sergeant [19pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [5pts].
. . 3x Scout w/Boltgun [42pts]: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. . Scout w/Heavy weapon [29pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Missile launcher [15pts].

Scout Squad [4 PL, 90pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Infantry, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Scout, Scout Squad, Core, Smokescreen, Elites
. . Scout Sergeant [19pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Lightning Claw [5pts].
. . 3x Scout w/Boltgun [42pts]: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. . Scout w/Heavy weapon [29pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Missile launcher [15pts].

+ Fast Attack [10 PL, 200pts] +

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]/
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Infantry, Jump Pack, Primaris, Fly, Suppressor Squad, Fast Attack, Core, Smokescreen
. . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. . Suppressor Sergeant: Accelerator autocannon, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Suppressor Squad [5 PL, 100pts].
. . Categories: Faction: Imperium, Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Infantry, Jump Pack, Primaris, Fly, Suppressor Squad, Fast Attack, Core, Smokescreen
. . 2x Suppressor: 2x Accelerator autocannon, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. . Suppressor Sergeant: Accelerator autocannon, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Dedicated Transport [6 PL, 110pts] +

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]: Cerberus launcher, Heavy bolter
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Fly, Land Speeder, Land Speeder Storm, Scout, Transport, Vehicle, Faction: Imperium, Dedicated Transport

Land Speeder Storm [3 PL, 55pts]: Cerberus launcher, Heavy bolter
. . Categories: Faction: Adeptus Astartes, Fly, Land Speeder, Land Speeder Storm, Scout, Transport, Vehicle, Faction: Imperium, Dedicated Transport

The Standout Features

  • Pressure and reliability take a top four slot for the Ultramarines
  • Rocket launcher land speeder drive-bys, just saying.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

While Dark Angels are the big news for Marines at the moment, both Deathwatch and Ultramarine Successors have been having a little mini-renaissance, and this list leans into the strengths of the latter very effectively. Whirlwind of Rage/Master Artisans is pretty much the peak force multiplication Chapter Tactic, and plenty of the units here enjoy using it. Redemptors are just good and giving them access to these both these buffs and the Seal of Oath for an early knockout blow makes them even better. Elsewhere, Suppressors are a classic choice for this kind of build, as they benefit from the re-rolls and the superdoctrine, which turns them into super mobile and very reliable threats, with guns perfectly tuned for the current meta. More out there are the two units of scouts loaded with a missile launcher each and riding around in Land Speeder Storms, and honesly? Sure – seems neat. An actual relevant gun will need to be pointed there way to get them out of the transports, and until that happens they get an actual relevant shot to throw out.

The other primary strength of Ultramarines is the interaction between Phobos units and Rapid Redeployment. This lets you deploy extremely aggressively if the game calls for it or you have opposing infiltrators to screen out, then pull the units back to safety if you lose the roll-off or don’t want to go for a quick blitz. We’ve seen this a lot with Invictors, but this build chooses Incursors instead, presumably intending to lean as hard as posisble on the ability to screen out parts of the board with this move, and also to squeeze more benefit from buffs like Psychic Fortress down the line. As more players cotten on to just how busted AdMech Inifltrators in particular are, having that big ten model squad to throw down early is going to be pretty valuable, so it’s a nice move (especially with plenty of crunch already available from the Redemptors).

All told, what Benjamin has brought here is a reminder that while Marines have been left behind somewhat by the march of recent books, if you lean in hard to what each supplement does best you do still get strong builds out of them. Great work.

Brian Jones – Imperial Knights – 4th ✪ Place

Cerastus Lancer. Credit – Lupe

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [101 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Household Choice: Freeblade Lance, Questor Allegiance <Mixed>

+ Stratagems +

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

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

+ Lord of War +

Armiger Warglaives [7 PL, 135pts] . Armiger Warglaive: Freeblade, Heavy Stubber
. . Qualities and Burdens
. . . Chosen Burdens: Burden: Driven to Slaughter, Burden: Impetuous Nature
. . . Chosen Qualities: Quality: Peerless Warrior

Cerastus Knight Lancer [22 PL, 440pts]: Character (Knight Lance), Freeblade, Heirloom: Helm of the Nameless Warrior, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Ion Bulwark
. Qualities and Burdens (Legendary Knight): Burden: Impetuous Nature, Quality: Legendary Hero, Quality: Sworn to a Quest

Knight Moiraxes [24 PL, 465pts] . Knight Moirax: Freeblade, 2x Volkite Veuglaire
. . Qualities and Burdens
. . . Chosen Burdens: Burden: Exiled in Shame, Burden: Haunted by Failure
. . . Chosen Qualities: Quality: Indomitable
. Knight Moirax: Freeblade, 2x Lightning Lock
. . Qualities and Burdens: Random Burdens
. . . Chosen Qualities: Quality: Sworn to a Quest
. Knight Moirax: Freeblade, 2x Lightning Lock
. . Qualities and Burdens
. . . Chosen Burdens: Burden: Obsessed with Vengeance, Burden: Weary Machine Spirit
. . . Chosen Qualities: Quality: Last of their Line

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts]: Character (Exalted Court), Freeblade
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser
. Qualities and Burdens (Legendary Knight): Burden: Exiled in Shame, Quality: Mysterious Guardian, Quality: Sworn to a Quest
. Warlord Trait (Freeblade): Echoes from the Past: Household Tradition: Cold Fury

Questoris Knight Magaera [24 PL, 480pts, -2CP]: Character (Heirloom of the House), Favoured Knight, Freeblade, Heirloom: Armour of the Sainted Ion, Heirloom: Banner of Macharius Triumphant
. Hekaton Siege Claw and Twin Rad-Cleanser
. Qualities and Burdens (Legendary Knight): Burden: Exiled in Shame, Quality: Legendary Hero, Quality: Mysterious Guardian

++ Total: [101 PL, 2,000pts, 8CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Hell yeah Freeblades!
  • Oh noooooooooo I have to work out what all the Freeblades do.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This is an extremely cool surprise to find in a top four – compared to the power of the Cult of Strife the Freeblade Lance didn’t get much airtime, but as I dug into when we reviewed the book there are some moderately interesting things you can do with the enormously powered-up version of Qualities and Burdens they get. I wasn’t convinced it would break through into competitive play, but I love being proved wrong on this kind of army, so lets get into it.

First things first, obviously, this build is complicated. Being freed to pick Freeblade traits on every model and getting two Qualities on the big Knights and having to obey rules about when you can take a trait a second time creates an army you need a spreadsheet to assign rules to. Happily, the outcome that’s been selected broadly tracks to what you’d expect – the list packs in three occurences of Sworn to a Quest (ObSec), putting it on two of the big Knights and one of the Moiraxes to sit at home. The third big Knight is handed the Armour of Sainted Ion and (via Favoured Knight) the Banner of Macharius Triumphant so that it has both a 2+ save ObSec as well (plus minimising the chance of Burden troubles), giving the army vastly improved objective control capabilities compared to the Imperial standard. Using that relic also shows off another cool Freeblade only thing this list is doing – mixing up Imperialis and Mechanicus in the same detachment, getting access to a broader selection of relics and stratagems. The Lancer and one Magaera take cool Imperialis relics (plus gain access to Valiant Last Stand), while the second Magaera is presumably Mechanicus, ensuring they can use Machine Spirit Resurgent to stay fully in the fight to the last. That second Magaera also just happens to be the most board-control oriented of all, with the exceptionally powerful Krast faction trait added by the unique Echoes from the Past combining with Mysterious Guardian for a 6″ Heroic. That turns this monster into a must-answer mid-table nightmare, and makes getting back into the game if this list pulls ahead an incredibly steep prospect.

Add in the fact that all three big Knights have build-in melee invulns, and two have the force multiplication of Legendary Hero and you have a Knight list that really does go that much harder than most of those out there, which we love to see. Awesome, awesome performance.

The Rest of the Best

Two more players finished on 4-1 records:

  • 5th – Gabriel Rocheleau – Imperial Knights: More Knights! A much more conventional Krast three Magaera/four Warglaive build, but still a huge handful for the unprepared.
  • 6th – Ruben I Fernandez – Aeldari: Drukhari (mostly strife, a few Black Heart units) team up with a Craftworlds shooting contingent that maxes out on Shadow Weavers, presumably intenting to leverage all the Blast shots in the world. Certainly an option and hey, nicely ready for T5 Boyz.

Chaos Storm GT

Matt Estrada – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Adeptus Mechanicus - Kataphron Breachers
Adeptus Mechanicus – Kataphron Breachers
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [105 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems [-5CP] +

Stratagem: Archeotech Specialist [-2CP]: 2x Archeotech Specialist [-2CP]

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactorum [-1CP]

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]: Host of the Intermediary [-1CP]

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]: Mechanicus Locum [-1CP]

+ HQ [14 PL, 245pts] +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Mechanicus Locum, Radium Serpenta, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord Trait (Codex 3): Programmed Retreat

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans [1 PL, 25pts], Magnarail lance, Manipulus Mechadendrites, Omnissian Staff, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts]: Logi [2 PL, 35pts], Magnarail lance, Manipulus Mechadendrites, Omnissian Staff, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops [32 PL, 590pts] +

Kataphron Breachers [12 PL, 175pts] . Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher [35pts]: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw

Skitarii Rangers [6 PL, 125pts]: Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 14x Skitarii Ranger [112pts]: 14x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [32pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [32pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 4x Skitarii Ranger [32pts]: 4x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . 19x Skitarii Vanguard [152pts]: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha [8pts]: Radium Carbine

+ Elites [16 PL, 340pts] +

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser) [17pts]: Flechette Blaster, Taser Goad
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser) [68pts]: 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Flechette/Taser) [17pts]: Flechette Blaster, Taser Goad
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser) [68pts]: 4x Flechette Blaster, 4x Taser Goad

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 170pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades) [17pts]: Artefactotum, Chordclaw, Relic: The Omniscient Mask, Transonic Blades
. 9x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades) [153pts]: 9x Transonic Blades

+ Fast Attack [24 PL, 430pts] +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 65pts]: Twin Cognis Autocannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 65pts]: Twin Cognis Autocannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

+ Flyer [14 PL, 300pts] +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 150pts]: Chaff Launcher [20pts], 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 150pts]: Chaff Launcher [20pts], 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber

+ Dedicated Transport [5 PL, 95pts] +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]: 2x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Twin Cognis Heavy Stubber

++ Total: [105 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A Ruststalker bomb and some Fusilaves slightly shake up the Lucius template.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Fundamentally, we can still rack up another win for Lucius here, but this list does break the mold a bit compared to a pure horde build like Mani’s. Archaeopter Fusilaves are super great and give the list plenty of mortal wound output, while Ruststalkers (with the option to ride in the Dunerider) provide an exceptionally strong volume melee counterpunch for the list can throw into enemy horde lists. The build takes that tilt towards melee a bit further with the inclusion of the Kataphron Breachers, who are another great beneficiary from the Lucius dogma and give some melee power that can take out heftier targets like Knights. It’s worth highlighting that the choice to run a single unit the makes heavy use of Canticles gives you a huge amount of flexibility as to when to deploy them, and Breachers, who are able to benefit from a lot of the choices on the list, derive especially high value from this. Not being compatible with all the CORE buffs means that most players will probably still end up going for more Skitarii, but their inclusion definitely has upsides and it’s an interesting (and clearly successful) spin.

Otherwise? The big hits are here and it’s ready to do horrible Lucius things. Congratulations to Matt on the first place finish.

Aaron Towler – Dark Angels – 2nd ✪ Place

Dark Angels. Credit: Greg Chiasson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels)

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Lieutenant(s) [4 PL, 70pts] . Lieutenant: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Master-crafted boltgun

+ Troops +

Tactical Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . 4x Space Marine: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Space Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites +

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Absolver Bolt pistol, Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Frag & Krak grenades, Reductor Pistol, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Scout Squad [8 PL, 140pts] . Scout Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Astartes shotgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. 9x Scout w/Shotgun: 9x Astartes shotgun, 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [2 PL, 50pts] . Attack Bike: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy bolter, Twin boltgun

Attack Bike Squad [2 PL, 50pts] . Attack Bike: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy bolter, Twin boltgun

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts]: 3x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

+ Heavy Support +

Devastator Squad [8 PL, 135pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Heavy bolter
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Grav-cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Grav-cannon

Devastator Squad [8 PL, 155pts]: Armorium Cherub
. Devastator Marine Sergeant: Astartes Chainsword, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma cannon
. Devastator Marine w/Heavy Weapon: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Plasma cannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Land Speeder Storm [5 PL, 55pts]: Cerberus launcher, Heavy bolter

Rhino w/storm bolter [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [53 PL, 816pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Azrael [8 PL, 170pts, 2CP]: 1. Brilliant Strategist, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Sword of Secrets, Warlord
. Lion’s Wrath: Lion’s Wrath – Master-crafted boltgun, Lion’s Wrath – Master-crafted Plasma gun

+ Elites +

Deathwing Ancient [5 PL, 100pts]: 1-3. Watched, Pennant of Remembrance, Warlord
. Powerfist and Storm Bolter: Power fist, Storm bolter

Deathwing Terminator Squad [18 PL, 238pts]: Watcher in the Dark
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist, Storm bolter

Deathwing Terminator Squad [18 PL, 238pts]: Watcher in the Dark
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Power Fist: Power fist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist, Storm bolter
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist, Storm bolter

Ravenwing Champion [4 PL, 70pts]: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Master-crafted power sword, Reliquary of the Repentant
. Black Knight Bike: Plasma Talon

++ Total: [118 PL, 7CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Devastators and Inceptors bring plasma death to the table.
  • Actual honest to goodness Scouts.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Flipped script from the Victorian GT here, with Dark Angels and AdMech once again taking the two undefeated slots, but the other way round. This build showcases even more interesting things you can do with Dark Angels, and just how deep their pool of options is. Alongside the stalwart forces of the Deathwing to hold the line, this list opts to pack in some shooting options who can hover in Azrael’s bubble rather than more mobile Ravenwing units. Plasma Inceptors and plasma cannon devs can burn through Azrael’s bonus XP blasting away with Weapons from the Dark Age, while a grav cannon squad provides a nifty way to punish Skitarii for bulking up to a 3+ with Bulwark Doctrina (as that does actually change their save characteristic). Bringing a single heavy bolter in that unit also opens up Hellfire Shell for emergencies, and all of this adds up to a fairly tasty amount of dakka once you factor in the re-roll auras, combining very well with the tarpit capabilities of the Deathwing (especially with the Pennant).

What’s left to fill out after that is board control and objective play, and for that this list makes the unusual and spicy choice to take scouts. I must admit I had an initial moment of confusion at seeing a full 10-model unit, but of course the plan is to Combat Squad them, stick one unit in outflank and mount the other in the Land Speeder Storm. That gives you quite a few ways to tick off Actions when needed while still squeezing into the available detachment slots. Add in a bare bones Tactical Marine unit and a few singleton attack bikes and that’s plenty of ways to screen out the board, and the Tacticals also provide an easy angle on Stubborn Defiance if the terrain favours it.

As seeing so many different flavours of them in top fours should tell you, Dark Angels really are the place to be right now – between Azrael, the unique units and the Ravenwing/Deathwing buffs there’s a whole bunch of different ways you can take them, so we’re going to keep on seeing players like Aaron performing with their personalised spin on things. Great work.

Justin Curtis – Daemons – 3rd ✪ Place

Bloodletters of Khorne
Bloodletters of Khorne. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [39 PL, -3CP, 750pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ [23 PL, -1CP, 440pts] +

Contorted Epitome [11 PL, 210pts]: Coiled tentacles, Hysterical Frenzy, Phantasmagoria, Ravaging claws

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, -1CP, 230pts]: Pavane of Slaanesh, Ritual knife, Smite, Snapping claws, Symphony of Pain, Witstealer sword
. Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP]: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes

+ Troops [4 PL, 70pts] +

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing claws

+ Elites [12 PL, 240pts] +

Fiends [6 PL, 120pts] . 3x Fiend [6 PL, 120pts]: 3x Dissecting claws, 3x Vicious barbed tail

Fiends [6 PL, 120pts] . 3x Fiend [6 PL, 120pts]: 3x Dissecting claws, 3x Vicious barbed tail

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [53 PL, -3CP, 1,122pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ [19 PL, -1CP, 380pts] +

Changecaster [5 PL, 85pts]: Flickering Flames, Gaze of Fate, Ritual dagger, Smite

Lord of Change [14 PL, -1CP, 295pts]: Baleful sword [5pts], Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, Smite, Staff of Tzeentch, The Impossible Robe, Warlord
. Exalted Lord of Change [-1CP]: 5. Aura of Mutability

+ Troops [34 PL, -2CP, 742pts] +

Bloodletters [8 PL, -1CP, 185pts]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts] . 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade

Bloodletters [8 PL, -1CP, 185pts]: Banner of Blood [-1CP], Daemonic Icon [15pts], Instrument of Chaos [10pts] . 19x Bloodletter [152pts]: 19x Hellblade
. Bloodreaper [8pts]: Hellblade

Horrors [12 PL, 240pts]: Smite
. 30x Pink Horror [240pts]: 30x Coruscating flames

Nurglings [3 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms [66pts]: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

Nurglings [3 PL, 66pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms [66pts]: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

++ Total: [92 PL, -6CP, 1,872pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Tonnes of anti-horde and tonnes of ways to trap things bring Daemons back to a top four.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Another old favourite (at least if you consider early 9th “old” at this point) returns here, with Daemons taking back to the field tuned for a hostile world. Plenty of the classics like the super Lord of Change (who notably does actually have a real shot of tanking Enriched Rounds, clearly very handy) Nurglings and a Keeper return, but this build has clearly been updated to take account of where the meta is. Bloodletters provide a big, swinging threat that you can hide off the board till you’re ready, and their AP-3 attacks will still happily carve through Lucius hordes. Meanwhile, a full brick of Horrors provides both some surprisingly stern anti-horde shooting, but more importantly something that can weather appaling amounts of incoming firepower thanks to the healthy pool of Reinforcement Points the list is sporting. Sometimes you really, really need to be able to stay solid in a position, and while it’s not cheap to power, this unit will reliably pull that off, and the fact that it’s ObSec only increases the value.

Even with that, however, this build probably wouldn’t be able to stand up to some of the ranged lists out there, and the major upgrade seen here to try and minimise that risk is the presence of multiple ways to trap the opponent in combat. Two units of Fiends can enjoy bursting out from ruins and charging stuff down, while the Contorted Epitome’s presence means that every unit is a potential snare for an incautious opponent. That’s obviously especially great with the large horror block, and can also help the Bloodletters roll from combat to combat without getting blown to bits (as they die to a stiff breeze). While AdMech can pull one unit out with Solar Flare, if this list can make sure to tag each trapping unit into multiple things at once that gives it real staying power and a chance to just roll through opponents. Thanks to all the Troops it will also be very difficult for the opponent to pull ahead on primary while this is going on, so even if the opponent manages to recover after a few turns the damage might well be done. Justin did get taken out by the winning AdMech list but the scoreline reflects how strong this build is at fighting for primary, an extremely high 91-86.

Similar to Harlequins, amidst all the horrors of the current metagame some people may have lost touch with what Daemons can do, and this list stands ready and waiting to punish them for their foolishness. Excellet design from Justin here.

Kevin Leonard – Daemons – 4th Place

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

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [48 PL, 920pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

Rewards of Chaos (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ [36 PL, 710pts, -3CP] +

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 230pts, -1CP]: Cacophonic Choir, Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP], Pavane of Slaanesh, Sinistrous hand, Smite, Snapping claws, Soulstealer, Witstealer sword

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 240pts, -1CP]: Bewitching Aura, Pavane of Slaanesh, Shining aegis [10pts], Smite, Snapping claws, Symphony of Pain, The Forbidden Gem, Warlord, Witstealer sword
. Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP]: 2. Quicksilver Reflexes

Keeper of Secrets [12 PL, 240pts, -1CP]: Cacophonic Choir, Shining aegis [10pts], Smite, Snapping claws, Symphony of Pain, Witstealer sword
. Exalted Keeper of Secrets [-1CP]: 3. Blessing of the Dark Prince

+ Troops [12 PL, 210pts] +

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing claws

Daemonettes [4 PL, 70pts] . Alluress [7pts]: Piercing claws
. 9x Daemonette [63pts]: 9x Piercing claws

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Daemons) [55 PL, 1,080pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [25 PL, 480pts] +

Shalaxi Helbane [13 PL, 250pts]: Delightful Agonies, Hysterical Frenzy, Shining aegis [10pts], Snapping claws, Soulpiercer

Syll’Esske, the Vengeful Allegiance [12 PL, 230pts]: Axe of Dominion, Delightful Agonies, Hysterical Frenzy, Scourging whip, Smite

+ Elites [30 PL, 600pts] +

Fiends [10 PL, 200pts] . 5x Fiend [10 PL, 200pts]: 5x Dissecting claws, 5x Vicious barbed tail

Fiends [10 PL, 200pts] . 5x Fiend [10 PL, 200pts]: 5x Dissecting claws, 5x Vicious barbed tail

Fiends [10 PL, 200pts] . 5x Fiend [10 PL, 200pts]: 5x Dissecting claws, 5x Vicious barbed tail

++ Total: [103 PL, 5CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Pure Slaanesh also gets a look-in with the classic Quad-Keeper configuration and added Fiends.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

You wait for a Daemon list to show up, and then two show up at once! This is another update to a classic build, in this case the pure Slaanesh brawler lists that also saw dominance early in the edition. Like the previous one, some changes have been made. Unlike Horrors or Bloodletters, it’s much trickier to make  efficient use of Daemonettes right now, so this list doesn’t bother with the large blocks of them (or Seekers) that the older verions used to sport. Instead, just like the mixed build above those points are plowed into some units that can trap, here just three larger Fiend units. Five models gives them them ground coverage, maximising the possibility of a multi-trap, and the goal here is clearly to tag them and the big nasties into the same targets to shut things down. It definitely helps to give the build a fighting chance, but the heavy dependence on the big monsters does open up a bigger vulnerability to AdMech than the previous build, and Kevin also went down to the Lucius menace with a less close scoreline.

Still, if you want to update this style of build for the Summer 2021 metagame this is clearly the right way to do it, and this is yet another army where people will have grown complacent in its absence. Congratulations to Kevin for rounding out the top four and putting the fear of Slaanesh back into his opponents.

The Rest of the Best

Four more players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 5th – Joseph Wright – Iron Hands: Increasingly convinced that what we had here was some kind of time portal situation, because Iron Hands are back too, sporting a Land Raider Achilles and a whole bunch of Dreadnoughts (three Redemptors, a VolCon and a Leviathan). That’s honestly checks out – one of the biggest draws of Iron Hands is that if you want to do some sort of nonsense with tanks or Dreads they provide fantastic support. RIght now, skewing hard towards hulls can partially shield you from some of the worst excesses of the metagame, so this build putting in a showing isn’t quite as surprising as you might initially thing.
  • 6th – Aaron Sheppard – Iron Hands: …or make that two showings, because this is the same list. It is worth saying that even the hull skew wasn’t enough to save it from the AdMech menace when this player faced down the event’s winner.
  • 7th – Scott Ferguson – Dark Angels: More Dark Angels fun, with a Character/Command Squad build that looks very similar to the previous version of the Ogden list.
  • 8th – Brandon White – Aeldari: A classic Harlequin/Craftworlds team-up here, with plenty of fusion boats and a bike squad supported by a trio each of Night Spinners and Dark Reaper MSUs.

Wrap Up

Another week down, and we’ll be back with lots more next wednesday, including me preparing for my (!) first in-person tournament since lockdown started! We’ll also have Lone Star Open results to pore over, and multiple UK six-rounders, so don’t miss it! Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com as ever.