Competitive Innovations in 9th: Northern Front and New Books

An article by    Competitive Play Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

The past weekend was another relatively quiet one on the scene in terms of big events, with just a single GT to look at, but smaller events are still churning on and with new books just having come out RTTs are suddenly a great place to be looking. Large events often run with a long enough rules cutoff period that new books don’t become legal the weekend after release, and that was the case for the one we’ll be looking at today, but most RTTs take a far more relaxed attitude. If people are doing things with the new books that’s where we’ll find them. With that in mind, I have once again activated the dread Goonhammer Panopticon and swept its gaze across all the nations of the earth, hunting for the tell-tale glint of Necrons marching onto the battlefield. Space Marines too I guess. I definitely care about them nearly as much. As ever – a list winning an RTT doesn’t necessarily mean that it has the chops to go all the way at a GT, but especially when new books have just release, they’re great places to see what strong players feel is worth testing out and getting some reps in with.

Because they’re the new hotness, we’ll take a look at the Marine/Necron lists from the RTTs first, then have a glance at the Northern Front top four. I’ve gone through a lot of events to pick out the featured lists, so I’m afraid that this week I don’t quite have the time to feature all the names from all of them (and as a 30-ish player event Northern Front conveniently has all the 4-1s in the top four). The only oddity I’d like to quickly highlight is that there are a surprising number of people out there 3-0ing RTTs with Chaos Space Marine lists of various flavours. Big shout out to everyone managing that, especially Victor Sjöberg in Sweden pulling off the alarming feat of winning multiple games using multiple units of Mutilators. Go off king.

Once again please do get in touch at contact@goonhammer.com if you have any events upcoming, and with that out the way, on to some lists.

Space Marines

I guess we’ll get these big jerks out the way first so I don’t get bored. Ugh.

Lee Dignam’s Iron Hands

Credit: Head58

This list went 3-0 at Into the Breach 2 in Malta.

Note: I’ve made a minor correction to one of the end-of-line totals in the list compared to the version in BCP, but I’ve confirmed that everything adds up.

The List

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Iron Hands) [97 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

  • Configuration +

Chapter Selection: Iron Hands

  • Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Iron Father Feirros [7 PL, 140pts]

Librarian in Phobos Armour [5 PL, 135pts) Blessing of the Machine God, 2) Objuration Mechanicum, 4) Psysteel Armor, Camo cloak, Psychic Mastery (Trait), Chief Librarian (35pts), The Gorgon’s Chain (Relic), Warlord

Primaris Lieutenant (Indomitus) [4 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Rites of War (Trait), Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Tempered Helm (Relic)

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Chainsword

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Chainsword

Intercessor Squad [10 PL, 210pts]: Bolt rifle
. 9x Intercessor: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Power fist

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 100pts]: Stalker Bolt Rifle
. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Intercessor Sergeant: Chainsword

+ Elites +

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [8 PL, 160pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy bolter, Incendium cannon, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [8 PL, 160pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy bolter, Incendium cannon, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber

Invictor Tactical Warsuit [8 PL, 160pts]: Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, Heavy bolter, Incendium cannon, 2x Ironhail Heavy Stubber

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 185pts]: 2x Fragstorm Grenade Launchers, Icarus Rocket Pod, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 90pts] . Eliminator Sergeant: Bolt sniper rifle, Camo cloak
. Eliminator with Bolt Sniper: Camo cloak
. Eliminator with Bolt Sniper: Camo cloak

++ Total: [97 PL, 2,000pts, 10CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • It brings me no pleasure to announce that Iron Hands remain good.
  • On the other hand Redemptor Dreadnoughts – finally good now and this is genuinely cool!
  • Invictor Tactical Warsuits – still good, and notably featuring with the Incendium cannon to work around not being CORE and thus missing out on re-rolls.
  • Intercessors and Feirros still a very strong core, and a full-size unit showing up to make good use of new and improved Rapid Fire stratagem.
  • Chief Librarian first out of the gates for a chapter command upgrade. Spoiler – it won’t be the last.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The age of the Redemptor, and the plasma Redemptor in particular, is finally here – good news for anyone who’s had them sitting sadly in their collection since the heady days of 2017, and extremely bad news for anyone trying to draw together conspiracy theories about selling new kits. The double whammy of always-on Duty Eternal and the Plasma Incinerator going up a point of damage on both profiles makes them one of the biggest winners in the new book, and a great tool to attack a metagame where 2 and 3W bodies with 3+ saves are going to continue to be a big player. Buddying alongside them we see Invictors, one of the few non-Dreadnought vehicles to come out of the new book without taking a severe hit. Not being CORE isn’t great, but being able to deploy multiple units of this threat level right in your opponent’s face is such a unique and powerful trait that they’re still very valuable. The fact that you can now follow your wave of Invictors with a wave of Redemptors helps them by osmosis – they let you put your opponent under heavy pressure and keep them there.

While that’s going on, the always reliable Iron Hands core of a bunch of Intercessors and Feirros can stomp up the field and take hold of the objectives, and by the time the opponent has extricated themselves from the robot punch fest that is their early game, they might not have time to pull back on the Primary. Infantry-based Marine strategies still look extremely strong going forward, and it’s also worth bearing in mind that this list doesn’t even have access to Heavy Intercessors, which there’s a good chance it wants, yet – so it may have even more room to grow. The big squad of regular Intercessors are big winners from Rapid Fire being hugely improved mind, as it becoming a “standard” end of phase double shoot makes it massively more flexible, and very powerful against hordes. Buff the unit up with Feirros’ Signum and go wild if you ask me.

It’s also worth calling out the singleton Eliminator Squad as a representation of a growing trend in list design – for pressure/mid-board lists, include exactly one reasonably durable shooting threat that can sit back on a home objective, as you don’t want to end up having to pull back your pressure units for this (though admittedly one Intercessor unit can be spared here). On any map where they can be in cover while holding an objective, the Librarian can get them to a cool 0+ effective save with Psysteel Armour if needed, at which point most opponents will be hard pressed to bother.

Finally, let’s talk about that Librarian – the Chapter Command upgrades are everywhere in early lists and for good reason – no longer needing to use CP both for the upgrade and for their special warlord trait makes them way easier to slot in, and many of the abilities are really, really good. Here it lets the list include the more situational power of Objuration Mechanicum, which is devastating against a few targets but frequently dead. When you can take an extra power, you can take your two reliable ones then afford a slot for a more niche option, and I expect that extra flexibility to increase the number of Librarians we see (they’re currently a bit rare as lists aim for Abhor the Witch capability).

Marine infantry continue to be flexible, durable and cost efficient, and that descriptor now applies to their Dreadnought brothers as well. Expect to see plenty of lists built around this core early on, as it’s still a reliable way to challenge opponents on the table.

Alberto López’s Imperial Fists

Imperial Fists Redemptor Dreadnought

Imperial Fists Redemptor Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter

This list went 3-0 at an RTT in San Juan Teacalco in Mexico.

Note: Warlord traits and relics weren’t listed – I’m working on the assumption that the Chaplain and Apothecary have their specific traits (which is basically the objectively correct choice), and I’d guess Hand of Dorn and either Siege Master or Master of the Codex on the Chapter Master, with the Eye of Hypnoth as their relic.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Imperial Fists) [10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Imperial Fists

–HQ–
Primaris Chapter Master 130 pts (-1 cp Sentinel of Terra)
Primaris Master of Sanctity 110 pts (-1 cp Warlord Trait)
–Troops–
Intercessor x10 Bolt Rifle Power Fist 210 pts
Intercessor x10 Bolt Rifle Power Fist 210 pts
Intercessor x10 Stalker Bolt Rifle Chainsword 200 pts
Infiltrator x5 120 pts
Infiltrator x5 120 pts
–Elite–
Primaris Chief Apothecary 95 pts (-1 cp Warlord Trait)
Redemptor Dreadnought +Icarus Rocket Pod 180 pts
Redemptor Dreadnought +Icarus Rocket Pod 180 pts
Redemptor Dreadnought 175 pts
–Heavy Support–
Whirlwind +Whirlwind vengeance launcher 135 pts
Whirlwind +Whirlwind vengeance launcher 135 pts

The Standout Features

  • Speaking of which – another Intercessor/Redemptor list!
  • This flavour leans into being Fists and goes even heavier on the Intercessors, squeezing the maximum benefit from the Fist chapter tactic.
  • Infiltrators provide some early board control.
  • Whirlwind Vengeances add some strong turn one firepower that still benefits from the Doctrine.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I mean to a large extent, see above – Redemptors are exceptional now, and Intercessors are still great – arguably even more great if you’re Fists because of their exploding 6s. Plasmademptors are also one of the few bright spots for Fists after the nerf to their Doctrine – appropriately buffed, one of these now has a pretty decent chance of straight up cold-cocking most vehicles without an invuln as Fists, they’re fast enough to get into good firing positions straight away, and they’re crucially still just very good for the rest of the game. The Whirlwind Vengeance is one of the other remaining tools the army has to put down high rate-of-fire shots that benefit from the Doctrine, and with multi-wound models continuing to be everywhere they’ll also still be strong game-long. They also solve the “sitting back on objectives” challenge we discussed before, still contributing while doing so.

Elsewhere, this list is the first to show off the hideous power of the Chief Apothecary – I’ve had the misfortune to play against one of these already and let me tell you they are no joke. This list I feel definitely wants a full block of Heavy Intercessors in it once they’re on the table, and I could see doing something like dropping one Whirlwind to a unit of Eliminators and changing the Infiltrators to Incursors to free the points to make one of the two bolt rifle squads into a Heavy Intercessor squad. We’ll see how those changes play out as time goes on.

Not massively much more to say right now beyond reassuring Marine players not to panic – your armies core units continue to do work.

William Backhurst’s Space Wolves

Credit: Starvolt

This list went 3-0 at an event in Ontario. I have transcribed it from a jpg of a hand written army list because I love my readers very much.

Couple of notes on this one:

  • It assumes the 25pt cost for Master of Sanctity is correct. It has also overcosted a few things, however, so would be below 2K even with the higher price.
  • The Assault Terminator squad is listed as being “Wolf Guard Terminators”, who can’t take a teleport homer. However, the squad loadout is legal for plain old Assault Terminators who can take the homer and still gain the WOLF GUARD Keyword, there’s no additional upside that I can see to the Wolf Guard Terminator Datasheet, and I can’t see anything saying you can’t still take the vanilla Assault Terminator datasheet in Space Wolves so…I think this evens out to being fine? Watch out for this one when building lists SW players.

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Space Wolves Battalion

1 Extra Relic -1CP
1 Extra WL Trait -1CP

HQ

Primaris Chaplain on Bike, Master of Sanctity, Warlord, Wise Orator, Benediction of Fury, Canticle of Hate, Mantra of Strength – 140

Canis Wolfborn – 120

Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf, Hero of the Chapter, Rites of War, Teeth of Terra 110 (listed as 120 in the list, maybe supposed to have a storm shield?)

Troops

5 Infiltrators  120

5 Incursors – 105

5 Incursors with haywire mine 115

Elites

Invictor with incendium cannon 160

Invictor with incendium cannon 160

5 Assault Terminators with thunder hammer/storm shield, teleport homer 220

Fast Attack

5 Thunderwolf cavalry, 5 storm shields, 1 thunder hammer, 3 power fists, 1 chainsword 295

5 Thunderwolf cavalry, 5 storm shields, 1 thunder hammer, 3 power fists, 1 chainsword 295

Heavy Support

3 Eradicators, 2 heavy melta rifles, 1 multi-melta 140

1980pts, 10CP

The Standout Features

  • …and then there’s something completely different – the pressure list from hell.
  • Thunderwolf Cavalry – back in a big way.
  • Assault Terminators provide a frankly terrifying mop-up squad thanks to being net winners from the Storm Shield change.
  • One Eradicator squad provides a point and click tank removal tool

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Now I realise that the phrase “X is back baby. It’s good again, Awooo” has been used a lot since it was coined by the internet’s foremost prophet, but I really can’t think of a better time to pull it out than to talk about how much better Thunderwolf Cavalry are in the new Space Marine index. I guess if we were going deep on memes we could also have Bugs Bunny tearing down a sign saying “Wulfen Season”, revealing one saying “Thunderwolf Season”?

Anyway they’re uh, real good. They have received the time-honoured treatment of being a weak unit that’s received three substantial buffs at the same time, something that has historically never gone wrong at all. Gaining an extra wound, built-in Advance and Charge, and receiving the CORE keyword, the latter of which generally works out as a buff for anything that isn’t INFANTRY or BIKER, because many effects that used to affect those two keywords have been changed to CORE. Here it ensures they can fully benefit from the Chaplain (who loves being able to keep up with them on his bike), Wolf Lord and, horrifically, the new and improved Rites of War Warlord Trait, giving them ObSec. Further augmented by Canis Wolfborn souping up their mounts, these squads become hideous general purpose killers and are one of the most reliable tools we’ve yet seen for stealing mid-table objectives when the list goes second, something that hugely improves an army’s go-second win rate, especially when backing up units like Invictors and Infiltrators that will force an opponent to come party mid-table in order not to fall behind.

It also makes using any sort of scout-deployed units very risky for opponents – if this list goes first, the cavalry have the reach to slam into pretty much anything in no-man’s land and wipe them off the table, then leaving them well positioned to roll into anything else your opponent commits. ObSec melee units that combine this level of deadliness, durability and threat range are among the best things you can have in your army in 9th, as they make it very tricky for an opponent not to play the game on your terms. Oh, and they can Heroic too, so have fun with that!

Pulling up the rear, we have two “troubleshooting” units – some Eradicators to blow up one big target (perhaps using Steady Advance to help get into position without racking up penalties) and some Terminators to drop in and deal with anything that slips past the wolves. The storm shield change ends up as a nerf for quite a few prolific former users of them (such as Wulfen) but on Terminators it feels like a definite buff, as being able to completely ignore AP-1 is a huge upside.

This list honestly looks totally horrific, and given that I’d be astonished if Wolves lost anything in their soon-to-come new book, times look good for Fenris fans.

Necrons

Dekker’s Eternal Expansionists

Canoptek Wraiths. Credit: Rockfish

Canoptek Wraiths. Credit: Rockfish

This list went 3-0 at an RTT in Catalunya. I have translated it for your convenience

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Outrider Detachment – Eternal Conquerors/Relentlessly Expansionist

HQ

Catacomb Command Barge, Voltaic Staff, Gauss Cannon, Warlord, Enduring Will 150
Technomancer, Canoptek Control Node, Fail-safe overcharger, Veil of Darkness (extra relic) 120

Fast Attack

5 Wraiths 175
5 Wraiths 175
8 Scarabs 120
8 Scarabs 120
9 Tomb Blades with particle beamers, 2 shieldvanes 231
8 Tomb Blades with particle beamers, 1 shieldvanes 203

Elites

3 Canoptek Spyders, 6 particle beamers, 1 gloom prism 215
Triarch Stalker, heat ray 140

Auxiliary Support Detachment

C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer, transdimensional thunderbolt 350

1999pts, 6CP

The Standout Features

  • Eternal Conquerors and Relentless Expansionist show off their strength in early results.
  • Fast, cost-effective wounds for days, to gain maximum ObSec value.
  • Particle beamer Tomb Blades show that they could be a sleeper hit.
  • The Nightbringer looming ominously over affairs.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

If you’ve been following our Necron coverage it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that this style of build is being heavily trialed, but it’s good to see that it’s at least good enough to put up strong RTT performances. The Eternal Expansionist dynasty combo (we’re calling it that, I’m an Influencer, you have to do what I say) is one of the most powerful custom traits it’s ever been possible to build, and this list leverages it to the full, loading up on all the various units that come out of the codex looking very aggressively costed for their wound count. We’ve got Wraiths, we’ve got lots of Scarabs and we have Tomb Blades – here toting the particle beamer. This is a surprise winner from the book, trading a 6″ range reduction for double the shots, an exceptionally good trade on a fast unit like Tomb Blades. On top of that, it’s five points cheaper than their other two gun options, which when you’re planning to slap 17 of them on the table suddenly starts being “nearly a whole extra unit in the list” level of savings, extremely good. Maths-wise, it also now has the same expected output as Tesla unbuffed with a higher strength rating. I’ve got three boxes of these waiting in my backlog because I was waiting for the book to find out which of Tesla or Gauss was better now, and I’ll freely admit that “neither of the above” maybe being the answer wasn’t a twist I expected. You do still have to contend with the lack of AP, but you can at least lean on Solar Pulse to strip light cover off Marines in terrain when needed.

Outside the fast attack slot we see a couple more big winners – Canoptek Spyders (also big beneficiaries of the particle beamer improvement) and a Triarch Stalker to throw around some hit re-rolls when a target really has to die. The Spyders provide a hefty emergency melee punch you can throw thanks to the Fail-Safe Overcharger. They’re a great unit all round, with their only mild issue being that they’ll potentially end up a bit anemic if Marines end up continuing to be heavy on Dreadnoughts, as Duty Eternal messes up their damage output something fierce. The Stalker is fine, though I’d be tempted to look for a substitute that allowed you to bring the Nightbringer into the main detachment, saving some CP for shenanigans. I might consider flattening out to a unit of Cryptothralls (who’d be slotless) and one unit of Immortals, as that gives you some stuff to hold on a home objective, and also allows you to take While We Stand We Fight on the two characters and the Nightbringer.

The NIghtbringer does, of course, complete the list. They are one of the very nastiest melee threats in the game, and backing up a list like this that can really flood the board with objective holders they can help put your opponent under a terminal amount of pressure. If they get over the hump of killing off the hordes it might be too late to remove the Nightbringer, and if they get bogged down in fighting the NIghtbringer early on they’ll get overwhelmed by the hordes. Giving your opponent no good answers is a great way to win games, and the fact that this list forces opponents to come play on mid-board objectives ensures victims are lured within the threat range of the C’tan, pretty much their only weakness.

Necrons are super exciting, and lists in this style are one of the hottest potential ways to play them out of the gate. It’ll be super interesting to see what happens once players start iterating on it.

Jonas Olsson’s Nihilakh

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Necrons Patrol Detachment
Nihilakh Dynasty.

Dynastic Heirlooms -1cp
Rarefied Nobility -1cp

HQ
Catacomb Command barge, (WL)
Gauss cannon, Warscythe 155p
Eternal Madness, Voidreaper

Skorpekh Lord 130p
Enduring Will
Nanoscarab Casket

Troops
10 Warriors 130p
10 Warriors 130p

Dedicated Transports
Ghost Ark 145p
Ghost Ark 145p

Elites
10 Deathmarks 180p
Nightbringer 350p

Fast Attack
5 Scarabs 75p
5 Scarabs 75p

Heavy Support
5 Lokhust Destroyers 275p
3 Lokhust Heavy Destroyers 210p

Total 2000p (10cp)

The Standout Features

  • Nihilakh makes a surprise showing, despite being one of the apparently weaker dynasties.
  • Lokhust Destroyers of both flavours provide some ranged threat.
  • Deathmarks seriously oppress your opponent’s deep strike options.
  • Ghost Arks and Scarabs leverage the ObSec trait.
  • The Nightbringer is here too. Oh yes.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

While I stand by my assertion that Nihilakh is ultimately going to have its thunder stolen by Eternal Expansionists, this list has a great go at making the best of the unique tools it provides, something that’s always admirable. Over and above the ObSec, Nihilakh get to ignore AP-1 while they’re in their deployment zone and let you shoot while performing Activities, and this list packs multiple INFANTRY units that are happy to chill out in the home field in cover while racking up value. Heavy Lokhusts are a weird glass cannon that I’m still slightly unsure about – they’re way too fragile for their cost, but also horrific when pointed at any sort of vehicle that lacks an invuln, and if every Marine list is going to be packing Invictors and Redemptors they could just about have a real place. They’re very easy to hide, and if they can pop out of cover and have a chance of immediately making back 75%+ of their points, often while hanging out of range of some forms of reprisal, there’s maybe a place for them? Being able to sit in cover on a 2+ and ignore AP-1 certainly won’t hurt their chances I guess! We see some basic Lokhusts here as well, who are in a similar spot of being probably too pricy but also very good when they get the first swing, and again benefitting substantially in this list if they can counterattack from their own deployment zone. The only thing I might consider would be whether you can find the spare 15pts to upgrade one to another heavy, because it helps them a whole bunch if they get D3 firepower thrown at them, and here also provides you with one extra shot you could use with Techno-oracular targeting to finish off a target the main heavy squad had swung at and narrowly missed.

The other unit here that really leans in to Nihilakh is the Deathmarks. These, again, can chill out in the home deployment zone quite happily doing some damage through their regular shooting and Aetheric Interception, though they’re slightly at the mercy of how much terrain there is on the table. On a light board they’re a bit of a terror, but with a heavier table they may struggle to find enough targets. They are a cool unit though, and distinctively feel like they’re nearly there, so maybe?

Any list in 9th does, of course, need stuff that can go out and contest objectives, and here ObSec Ghost Arks packed with Warriors do that. Having the transport itself be ObSec is very valuable, as it means your opponent doesn’t have any out for shifting them with non-ObSec units other than completely wiping the board and everything inside. Packing Arks also lets this list be very durable if it goes second – it can stack up the Protocol of the Eternal Guardian first, and most of the stuff in the army that can’t trivially hide is then on a 2+ ignoring AP-1 out the gate. Being able to go second safely is great in general, and when you’re running the Nightbringer it also increases the chance that something will come in strike range turn one, letting them rack up the body count. Did I mention the Nightbringer is here again? They are. Realistically, although I am one of the people high on them I’m not going to claim their presence in lists is conclusive just yet, as they’re an incredibly hyped model and thus going to turn up in most lists. I think they’ve got what it takes to put up serious results, but we’ll have to see if they’re still in lots of lists after a few months of trial.

ObSec is such a very powerful ability to apply to units that don’t normally benefit that Nihilakh does still have its appeal. This list doesn’t, ultimately, change my mind that the Eternal Expansionist build is better, but it’s cool to see Nihilakh being tried (as they definitely are the coolest colour scheme).

Northern Front GT

Gord Weppler’s Adeptus Custodes – 1st Place

Adeptus Custodes Custodian Guard by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [96 PL, 1,996pts, 11CP] ++
Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +
Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts] Shield Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [6 PL, 118pts, -1CP]: Captain-Commander, Castellan Axe, Eagle’s Eye, Misericordia, Strategic Mastermind, Superior Creation, Warlord

+ Troops +
Custodian Guard Squad [8 PL, 168pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
Custodian Guard Squad [8 PL, 168pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

+ Elites +
Allarus Custodians [24 PL, 584pts] . Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. Allarus Custodian: Castellan Axe, Misericordia

Vexillus Praetor [6 PL, 128pts]: Misericordia, Storm Shield, Vexilla Magnifica

+ Fast Attack +
Pallas Grav-Attack [6 PL, 105pts] Pallas Grav-Attack [6 PL, 105pts]

+ Flyer +
Ares Gunship [22 PL, 430pts] ++ Total: [96 PL, 11CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The nigh-indestructible Shadowkeeper Ares may not fit in some deployment zones, but it sure is hard to kill.
  • A full unit of Allarus gives you another incredibly hard to shift bomb that can lean on different strats than the Ares.
  • Pallas and small Custodian units take care of ensuring ground can be covered

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

What you’re going to find as we blast through the top four is that, with the exception of the fourth place list, we’re kind of playing the hits at this point (which means the new books have hit just at the right time. We know Custodes are strong in a number of configurations, and Shadowkeepers packing a couple of big “bomb” units, whether a large squad or an Ares is one of them. You end up with a critical mass of defensive stratagems such that you won’t run out of protective tools when your opponent changes targets part-way through the phase. With The Emperor’s Auspice for the Ares and Auramite and Adamantium for the Allarus, very few ranged threats are going to be able to pop them off while you still have CP to play with, meaning that you’re going to get at least a few turns of use out of them. Given how absurdly dangerous they are, that’s good news for you and very bad news for anyone up against you. It does have the one drawback, as you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention to The Discourse in the last few days, that on 1/3 maps the Ares will have to skip the first turn (either hanging back on the board edge or in strat reserves) but it’s deadly and tough enough that you can wear it, especially with a few other mobile units kicking about.

If you’re getting low on CP here you do also have the option of blowing Unleash the Lions, releasing a whole host of Allarus to roam around the board giving your opponents headaches, nullifying their ability to concentrate firepower in a single place and nuke stuff. Given they’re all ObSec, it’s a powerful final play for board control, and can give you an angle to get back on top of a game that’s slipping away.

People seem to be growing a bit less hot on Custodes over time as people learn to counterplay against them, and that might be why variants like this are on the rise – counterplay still exists against them, but if an opponent finds themselves literally unable to dent this army they’re still going to have an uphill struggle in some games even if they know all the moves. It’s good to get a timely reminder that Custodes are still an army you need a plan to beat, and congratulations to Gord on the win.

Ozzie Meloche’s White Scars – 2nd Place

The Crimson Khan

The Crimson Khan. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – White Scars) [100 PL, 8CP, 1,993pts] ++

**Chapter Selection**: White Scars

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

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

+ HQ [18 PL, -3CP, 365pts] +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: Chogorian Storm, Hunter’s Instincts, Master-Crafted Weapon, Storm shield [10pts], Stratagem: Tempered by Wisdom [-1CP], Thunder hammer [40pts], Warlord

Chaplain [6 PL, -2CP, 105pts]: 2. Catechism of Fire, 5. Recitation of Focus, Bolt pistol, Jump Pack [1 PL, 25pts], Litany of Hate, Plume of the Plainsrunner, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter [-1CP], Stratagem: Master of Sanctity [-1CP], Strike off the Head, Wise Orator

Kor’sarro Khan [6 PL, 110pts]

+ Troops [14 PL, 270pts] +

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

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

Scout Squad [4 PL, 70pts] . . Scout Sergeant [14pts]: Bolt pistol, Combat knife
. . 4x Scout w/Combat Knife [56pts]: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Combat knife, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elites [42 PL, 798pts] +

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

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

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

Centurion Assault Squad [18 PL, 280pts] . . Centurion [70pts]: Hurricane bolter [15pts] . . . . Flamers [10pts]: 2x Flamer [10pts] . . Centurion [70pts]: Hurricane bolter [15pts] . . . . Flamers [10pts]: 2x Flamer [10pts] . . Centurion [70pts]: Hurricane bolter [15pts] . . . . Flamers [10pts]: 2x Flamer [10pts] . . Centurion Sergeant [70pts]: Hurricane bolter [15pts] . . . . Flamers [10pts]: 2x Flamer [10pts]

Relic Contemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 203pts]: Cyclone missile launcher [25pts] . . Dreadnought melee weapon [33pts]: Dreadnought chainfist [30pts], Storm bolter [3pts] . . Twin lascannon [40pts]

+ Fast Attack [16 PL, 320pts] +

Land Speeder Tempest [12 PL, 240pts] . . Land Speeder Tempest [4 PL, 80pts]: Assault cannon [20pts] . . Land Speeder Tempest [4 PL, 80pts]: Assault cannon [20pts] . . Land Speeder Tempest [4 PL, 80pts]: Assault cannon [20pts]

Land Speeder Tempest [4 PL, 80pts] . . Land Speeder Tempest [4 PL, 80pts]: Assault cannon [20pts]

+ Heavy Support [10 PL, 240pts] +

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

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

The Standout Features

  • A final hurrah for pre-codex White Scars

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Realistically, there’s not that much that’s worth us going deep on here – this is probably the last pre-Codex Marine list we’ll look at, and there’s enough upheaval in the book (plus the Forge World units being in limbo) that we can’t glean too much from it. Is some of this stuff still good? Absolutely – Bladeguard aren’t going anywhere, Kor’sarro is still great and Eradicators are still strong (though take a sizable hit in White Scars specifically thanks to not being able to Advance and double shoot). The rest? Jury’s out. A Chaplain will almost certainly still feature in most lists, probably in bike form, but if (as we’re currently assuming) the Chapter Litanies do go away, it becomes merely a great unit rather than a god-tier nightmare. The Forge World stuff could stay good as ever, or it could change completely – and given what just happened to the Space Wolf fliers I’d be surprised if the Land Speeder Tempest made it through the update either as undercosted or as weird as it currently is. Finally, Centurions. On the plus side, if they’re still good anywhere it probably still is in Scars – Wind Swift, Plume of the Plainsrunner and the inherent Advance and Charge does help them get into combat, but losing re-rolls from almost all sources is a big blow. Still, they have gotten 5pts cheaper each, so maybe, with 12″ flamers, chucking a unit of them into strategic reserves to come on for some mid-game day-ruining is something. We’ll see! In the meantime, good job to Ozzie on the second place, and I look forward to seeing what lists you come up with post-book.

Darren Jac’s Goffs – 3rd Place

Credit: Possibly_nerdy_rob

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Battalion Detachment 12CP (Orks) [99 PL, 2,000pts]

Clan Kultur:Goffs

+Hq+

Big Mek in Mega Armour [123pts, 6pl]: Da Killa Klaw, Da Kleverest Boss [-1CP], Follow Me, Ladz! [1CP], Grot Oiler, Kustom Force Field , Kustom Shoota , Warlord
Ghazghkull Thraka [300pts, 15pl] Weirdboy [75pts, 4 PL]: 2. Warpath, 3. Da Jump, Warphead [-1CP]

+Troops+

Boyz [255pts, 12 PL]: Skarboyz [-1CP], 3x Tankbusta Bombs,. Boss Nob: Killsaw , Killsaw ,. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa
Boyz [255pts, 12 PL]: Skarboyz [-1CP], 3x Tankbusta Bombs,. Boss Nob: Killsaw , Killsaw ,. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa
Boyz [255pts, 12 PL]: Skarboyz [-1CP], 3x Tankbusta Bombs,. Boss Nob: Killsaw , Killsaw ,. 29x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa
Boyz [247pts, 12 PL]: Skarboyz [-1CP], 2x Tankbusta Bombs,. Boss Nob: Killsaw , Killsaw ,. 28x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa

+Elites+
Note: a small change is needed here – Kommando Nobs *have* to have a power claw, so these units either need to find 10 extra points or turn the Nob into a regular (which you can do).

Kommandos [45pts, 3 PL]: Tankbusta Bombs. Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga, 4x Kommando 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga,
Kommandos [45pts, 3 PL]: Tankbusta Bombs. Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga, 4x Kommando 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga,
Kommandos [45pts, 3 PL]: Tankbusta Bombs. Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga, 4x Kommando 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga,
Painboy [65pts, 3 PL]: ‘Urty Syringe, Power Klaw
Tankbustas [170pts, 8 PL] Boss Nob: Rokkit Launcha, Tankbusta Bombs 9x Tankbusta 9x Rokkit Launcha, 9x Tankbusta Bombs

+Fast Attack+

Stormboyz [60pts, 3 PL] Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga, 4x Stormboy 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga,
Stormboyz [60pts, 3 PL] Boss Nob: Choppa, Slugga, 4x Stormboy 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga,

The Standout Features

  • The Goffs are at it again.
  • Some Tankbusters why not.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Yeah so this is very much on the roster of lists that regular readers are well aware of by now – since our boy Shane led the way with his Ghaz/Skarboy list at the YHP GT it’s seen plenty of play and plenty of success. It’s got bodies for days, enough attacks at S5 to chew through most stuff, and the wrecking ball of Ghaz to throw into anything nasty (though I guess from next week we need to qualify that with “that isn’t the Nightbringer”). The “core” of these lists is pretty consistent, and you only end up with a few hundred points to flex with, and here the choice is Tankbusters, and sure why not – they can be cheaply thrown into strat reserves, have a good chance of popping one key target the turn they arrive, and can crack a few targets that the Boyz might struggle with. I think I still prefer the Meganob-ferrying Trukks in general, but it’s a perfectly reasonable option and clearly worked out here. If I had to re-do my tier list at this point Orks would comfortably get a top tier spot and lists like this are a big part of why – we’ll see if they adapt to the changing metagame, and good job Darren for getting them another showing before everything shuffled up.

Barrett Gibb’s Slaanesh – 4th Place

Emperor's Children Sonic Dreadnought

Emperor’s Children Sonic Dreadnought Credit: That Gobbo

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [90 PL, 11CP, 1,784pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Legion: Emperor’s Children

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord [7 PL, 155pts]: 6. Loathsome Grace, Combi-melta, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Raiment Repulsive, Thunder hammer, Warlord

Daemon Prince with Wings [10 PL, 205pts]: Intoxicating Elixir, Malefic talon, Warp bolter, Warptime, Wings
. Slaanesh

Sorcerer [6 PL, 115pts]: Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force stave, Jump pack, Mark of Slaanesh, Prescience

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 60pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Noise Marines [10 PL, 221pts] . 2x Marine w/ blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Sonic Blaster
. Noise Champion: Chainaxe, Sonic blaster

Noise Marines [10 PL, 221pts] . 2x Marine w/ blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster, 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. 7x Marine w/ sonic blaster: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Frag & Krak grenades, 7x Sonic Blaster
. Noise Champion: Chainaxe, Sonic blaster

+ Elites +

Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 113pts]: 2 x Blastmaster
. Helbrute fist: Combi-bolter

Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 113pts]: 2 x Blastmaster
. Helbrute fist: Combi-bolter

Sonic Dreadnought [7 PL, 110pts]: 2 x Blastmaster, Helbrute fist

+ Heavy Support +

Obliterators [15 PL, 315pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 3x Obliterator: 3x Crushing fists, 3x Fleshmetal guns

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Mark of Slaanesh

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [11 PL, -3CP, 215pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Slaanesh

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Herald of Slaanesh [3 PL, 55pts]: Phantasmagoria, The Forbidden Gem

+ Troops +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws

Furies [2 PL, 45pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 5x Fury: 5x Daemonic claws

++ Total: [101 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A big old curveball to close us out – Sonic Dreadnoughts and Noise Marines out of left field.
  • Obliterators too – really just all the niftiest Slaanesh shooting threats.
  • Chaos Daemon detachment provides Furies for actions and a powerful relic.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s nice that even nearly three months of tournament play into the edition we’re still seeing curveballs like this thrown up – it is fully part of the joy of writing this series. Faith and Fury’s powerful selection of tools for the various legions mean that CSM lists perpetually lurk on the periphery of good enough. As I discovered on my wider trawl this week they take down a lot of RTTs, but GT top fours are much rarer so it’s nice to see one punch through. Or, I guess, in this case blast through a plate-glass window with an epic guitar solo while fireworks explode everywhere (that’s how the Emperor’s Children do things, don’t @ me).

Noise Marines got a good deal out of Chapter Approved, now being very healthily priced for how much damage they can do when under Excruciating Frequencies and also having the ever-desirable trait of being pretty good against almost any target thanks to the mixture of high shot count and good damage. I must admit I’m a little surprised not to see a Dark Apostle with the Remnant of the Maraviglia in the list, but my guess is that the plan is to strat reserve at least once squad some of the time, making it harder to set up that aura. It may also just be that the army doesn’t really need it – with a full squad of Obliterators as well (able to unleash Endless Cacophony for massive damage) there are very few targets it can’t take down at range, with packing melee threat being the place it needs help.

The answer here is somewhat unconventional – alongside two smash characters (all pretty normal) it’s running three Sonic Dreadnoughts, and I would like to take this opportunity to curse Barrett for making me look up what these actually do. Having looked…yeah I think they’re pretty reasonable – they hit that spot so commonly seen in Forge World units where they were on the knife edge of being undercosted, and a small boost (here Blast being added to their guns) was enough to get them across the line. They aren’t going to win any games by themselves, but they’re very cheap for something that’ll throw out some good shooting and ruin the day of some Gravis models in melee if allowed to. Their presence ensures the list has just enough pressure to push onto objectives once the shooting has done its work.

Finally, we see something that’s increasingly common in successful lists – some units essentially dedicated to ensuring that Deploy Scramblers is on lockdown. Cheap, fast INFANTRY are what you want for this, and Chaos Furies sure do get that done, also providing a space for a Forbidden Gem herald to tag along and ruin one or two opponents’ days per event. People have quickly learnt that you need to have a real good reason to open yourself up to a kill secondary, and thus having Scramblers in your back pocket is a huge boost to your chances of winning an event, as it minimises the frequency with which you’ll hit a game without enough good choices to fill out. Whether it be Furies, Lictors or Cryptothralls, units that help with this at a cheap price are your friends.

I honestly have no idea if Sonic Dreadnoughts are likely to make the cut for the new FW book or not, so this could be their last hurrah. If so, congratulations to Barrett for giving them a good send off.

Wrap Up

That brings us to the end of another week’s results, and (I suspect) bids a final farewell to pre-Codex 9th Edition. I’ll be going on another deep dive through RTT results next week so that we can see what people cook up (and I’ve got at least a few “deluxe” RTTs on my radar), so make sure to tune back in if you want to see how to either get the most out of your Necrons/Space Marines or work out what you’re going to need to beat at your next event. As ever, comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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