Competitive Innovations in 9th: Objective Secured Perth GT

The Christmas break is officially over, and tabletop hostilities can commence once more. This past weekend saw a big event fire off down under, a massive seven-round major hosted by the fine folks at Objective Secured. 80 players fighting it out over three days would already give us a bunch of great lists and information to pore over, but the news is even better than that – the new rules updates landed just before the event’s cutoff, so all of the point, rule and mission changes were in play. You really couldn’t ask for anything more to usher in a revised format, so let’s dive right in and find out how things are shaking out in the new metagame.

After seven rounds of play one player reigned supreme, a clear runner up had been crowned and three more players had achieved 6-1 records. Given the size and length of the event, I’ve decided to expand out the normal format by one place and look at the top five lists – especially because the players in 4th and 5th place ended up on the exact same number of total victory points, with only strength of schedule dividing them. Hopefully you’ll forgive me for the terrible crime of giving you one extra list to pore over this week!

You can find all the lists for this event over on Down Under Pairings.

Mitch Byrne – Slaanesh – 1st Place

Emperor’s Children Noise Marines. Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Daemon Patrol Detachment ( 2CP –  ) SUB-FACTION: Slaanesh 

HQ1 Kanathara, Whose Hooves Shatter Mountains and Whose Voice Lulls the Sun Keeper of Secrets (230) Living whip (0)=230
PSYCHIC POWERS: Hysterical Frenzy, Pavane of Slaanesh
STRATAGEMS: Exalted Keeper Of Secrets

HQ2 Shalaxi Helbane (240) Shining aegis(10) =250
PSYCHIC POWERS: Hysterical Frenzy, Symphony of Pain

TROOPS1 Daemonettes (145)
1x Alluress
19x Daemonette 1x instrument (10)

TROOPS 2
Daemonettes (145)
1x Alluress
19x Daemonette 1x instrument (10)

TROOPS 3
Daemonettes (145)
1x Alluress
19x Daemonette 1x instrument (10)

ELITES 1 Fiends (80)
2x Fiend

ELITES 2 Fiends (80)
2x Fiend

FAST ATTACK1
Furies (45)
5x Fury

Heretic Astartes Battalion Detachment ( 3CP -) SUB-FACTION: Emperor’s Children 

HQ 1 Haxamel Bericosian, Conductor of the Dicident Durge
WARLORD: Dark Apostle (80)
TRAITS: Faultless Duellist
PRAYERS: Blissful Devotion, Warp-sight Plea
RELICS: Remnant of the Maraviglia

HQ2 Telemachon Lyras, 4th of the Ezekarion, Lord of the Shrieking Masquerade, The Masked Prince 
Lucius the Eternal (95)

HQ3 Teloss, the Seeker of Pleasures Sorcerer (90) Force Sword (0) bolter (0)
PSYCHIC POWERS: Prescience, Warptime

TROOPS 1 Chaos Cultists (96)
1x Cultist Champion: autogun
15x Chaos Cultist: autoguns (0)

TROOPS 2 Chaos Cultists (60)
1x Cultist Champion: Autogun
9x Chaos Cultist: Autogun

TROOPS 3 Noise Marines
1x Noise Champion (16): Sonic blaster (5) Chainsword (0)
1x Noise Marine(16): Sonic blaster (5), Icon of Excess (10)
2x Noise Marine(32): Blastmaster (20)
15x Noise Marine(240): Sonic blaster (75)
=419

NON FORCE ORG
Dark Disciples (10)
2x Dark Disciple

Total Command Points: 9/12
Reinforcement Points: 2
Total Points: 1998/2000

The Standout Features

  • Slaanesh Daemons still standing tall after the changes, but they’re not alone…
  • A full brick of Noise Marines provides a devastating shooting threat, backed up by all the relevant buffs.
  • Two Keepers provide a terrifying hammer blow.
  • Daemonettes and Fiends fill out the board control and finesse elements.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Well, I’m afraid if you were hoping for Slaanesh Daemons to somehow go away after the changes, I have bad news. One of 9th’s most powerful rosters remains exceptionally potent, but this list does mix up the standard formula via the incorporation of an Emperor’s Children detachment, going hard on the power of rock and roll. Noise Marines didn’t see any change in the recent update but they’ve been aggressively priced all edition, and their extremely broad-spectrum firepower is a great pairing with the Daemons. Even with lots of points invested in the Marines, there are enough fast, deadly killers in the Daemon contingent that opponents are going to have to be wary about overextending early on, giving the Noise Marines a chance to either rush to a firing position via Warptime or come on from Strategic Reserves to unleash hell. Between PrescienceExcruciating Frequencies, and the Remnant of the Maraviglia pretty much whatever they point at (or several things) is going to evaporate in a spectacular hail of guitar solos, and even if the opponent starts killing them back then Music of the Apocalypse is going to let them take some of the enemy with them.

That kind of big damage and attrition is going to be something many opponents can ill afford. Taking down multiple Keepers is no easy feat, and though Daemonettes are pretty squishy they’re reasonably numerous in this list, and have access to stratagems like Aura of Acquiescence to make it harder to chew through them in the fight phase. While dealing with the Daemonettes and dodging the Keepers, the opponent also has to watch out for the Fiends. The event was playing with WTC style terrain, which means lots of L-block ruins, and because BEASTS can move through Breachable walls in 9th this makes them great hunting grounds for the Fiends. An unwary opponent is going to suddenly find a key shooting unit has been locked in combat, reducing their ability to deal with the pounding bass emanating from the Noise Marine lines and likely sealing their doom.

The list fills out with plenty of tools for Actions – Cultists that can either cheaply sit on home objectives or, in a pinch, bip across the table with Tide of Traitors, while Furies further shore up that capability. Overall, this list comes together with an extremely strong plan, which is to keep the enemy confused and locked down with the Daemons while the Noise Marines wipe them off the board, and given that it’s got plenty of ways to score secondaries (and even gets boosted out of the changes by no longer bleeding full Abhor the Witch points) it’s going to be very difficult for opponents to overcome. In the event, no one managed that over seven rounds of play, so congratulations to Mitch for pulling off the win at the year’s first Major.

Dave Horne – Aeldari – 2nd Place

Harlequins Solitaire
Harlequins Solitaire by Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Harlequins Frozen Stars battallion

HQ

HQ – Troupe master (65) harlequins blade, shuriken pistol relic: the twilight fang
Pivotal role – choreographer of war 65pts

HQ – shadowseer (115) miststave, hallucinogan grenade launcher, shuriken pistol
Relic: The shadowstone (extra relic -1cp)
Warlord: player of the twilight
Powers – smite, webway dance, twilight pathways

-1 cp extra Pivotal role – veil of illusion, shield from harm 115pts

Troops

Troop: 10 players (140) 2 caress (12) 2 embrace (10) 1 kiss (6), 5 harlequin blades, shuriken pistol 168pts

Troop: 10 players (140) 2 caress (12) 2 embrace (10) 1 kiss (6), 5 harlequin blades, shuriken pistol 168pts

Troop: 9 players (126) 1 caress (6) 3 embrace (15) 1 kiss (6), 4 harlequin blades, shuriken pistol 153pts

Troop: 9 players (126) 1 caress (12) 2 embrace (10) 1 kiss (6), 5 harlequin blades, shuriken pistol 148pts

Troop: 5 players (70), 5 fusion pistol (25) 1 caress (6) 4 blades 101pts

Troop: 5 players (70), 5 fusion pistol (25) 1 embrace (5) 4 blades 100pts

Elites

Elite: solitaire (90) kiss (6) caress (6)

Pivotal role – blitz 102pts

Fast Attack

Fast attack: 5 skyweavers (175) 5 haywire cannon (75) 5 zephyrglaive (25) 275pts

Fast attack: 2 skyweavers (70) 2 haywire cannon(30) star bolas 100pts

Dedicated Transport

Dedicated transport: starweaver (60) 2 shuriken cannons (20) 80pts

Dedicated transport: starweaver (60) 2 shuriken cannons (20) 80pts

1655pts

Drukhari Outrider Detachment of Red Grief (-3CP)

HQ

HQ: Succubus (60) blast pistol, archite glaive
Relic: Blood Glaive (-1CP)
Combat Drug: Grave Lotus (+1S) 60pts

Fast Attack

Fast Attack: 9 Reavers (90) 3 grav talon (15) 3 Blasters (45)
Combat drug: Painbringer (+1T) 150pts

Fast Attack: 9 Reavers (90) 3 grav talon (15)
Combat drug: Adrenalight (+1A) 105pts

Fast Attack: 3 Reavers (30)
Combat Drug: Hypex (+2 Move) 30pts

345pts

Cp: 12-3-1-1-1 = 6

2000 pts

The Standout Features

  • Another familiar face (well, blank mirror mask) in the form of Harlequins.
  • Once again some friends are along for the ride, here in the form of Reavers celebrating their, uh, “aggressive” price tag.
  • Frozen Stars and foot troops given the node over Soaring Spite thanks to Reavers locking down the mobile threat angle.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Much like Slaanesh Daemons, Harlequins came through the FAQ nearly unscathed and as one of the dominant forces in the metagame already, it’s no surprise to see them performing strongly. The exact Harlequin loadout here, however, might look a bit surprising, being substantially shorter on Jetbikes or transports than you might expect, but if you read to the end it makes sense, because they’re not alone. With a screech of engines, a frankly upsetting number of Reaver Jetbikes are revved up to burst from the webway alongside the Harlequins, with two full bike blocks and one smaller unit. Of the two larger units, one is specced for more mid-board play via taking the Painbringer combat drug for extra toughness and some blasters, while the second is all-in on slamming straight into the enemy, packing bonus attacks from Adrenalight and Grav Talons for some mortal wound output. Both these units are exceptionally effective, and thanks to being Red Grief have a near unavoidable charge range out of the gate, causing absolute nightmares for opponents that can’t counterpunch them effectively. The Red Grief also get the fun of packing the murder-Succubus with the Blood Glaive, who ends up as an extremely nasty roving killer for her cost.

Similar to how the Slaanesh list works out, the Reavers forcing early caution from the opponent allows the rest of this army to set up for the kill, in this case by moving the foot Harlequin units up the table into mid-board ruins, ready to dance out and brutalise anything that gets too close after escaping from the jetbike onslaught. Opponents simply aren’t going to be able to afford to turn their fire on the Harlequins while the bikes are still harrassing them, and might also press the enemy back far enough that Veil of Illusion means they can’t draw range onto the clowns even if they want to. It’s extremely unlikely the opponent is going to exit their struggle with the Reavers either unscathed or ahead on points, and having to then face down what is mostly still a full strength Harlequin army after that is going to be insurmountable for a lot of opponents (which only Mitch’s Slaanesh force pulling it off).

Now I do feel obliged to sound a note of caution about anyone planning to immediately buy 27 Reavers that the current price does look like a mistake to me – or is indicative of a major upcoming change in the Drukhari codex, similar to Death Guard cultists going down in cost but losing ObSec. They’re certainly not indestructible and there are plenty of armies that can cut them down (I imagine if the Noise Marines got to shoot they just evaporated all 18 of the forward squads without really breaking a sweat), but even in a world of Serberys Raiders their current price feels like a bit much. Hopefully all will become clear soon, and in the meantime congratulations to Dave on the runner up finish and for building some Drukhari hype.

Jordan Berresford – Imperium – 3rd Place

Battle Sisters Squad

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Death Korps of Krieg) [33 PL, 675pts, -3CP]

Regimental Doctrine: Death Korps of Krieg

HQ

Death Rider Squadron Commander [3 PL, 45pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol (-1cp kurovs Aquila)

Death Rider Squadron Commander [3 PL, 45pts]: Chainsword, Laspistol

Fast Attack

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Command Squadron [3 PL, 60pts] . 4x Death Rider Veterans: 4x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 4x Laspistol, 4x Savage claws

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Death Rider Squadron [6 PL, 135pts] . 8x Death Korps Death Riders: 8x Death Rider Hunting Lance, 8x Frag & Krak grenades, 8x Laspistol, 8x Savage claws
. Ridemaster: Death Rider Hunting Lance, Laspistol

Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [64 PL, 1,325pts]

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

HQ

Canoness [3 PL, 65pts]: Blessed Blade, Inferno pistol, (Relic: Mantle of Ophelia ), Warlord, (trait: rightoues Rage)

Celestine [8 PL, 170pts]

Troops

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Battle Sister Squad [4 PL, 65pts] (the flethel slayers)
. 2x Battle Sister: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Boltgun, 2x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Battle Sister w/ Flamer (5)
. Sister Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, chainsword

Elites

Celestian Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . 3x Celestian: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword
. Celestian w/ Multi-melta(20)

Celestian Squad [4 PL, 80pts] . 3x Celestian: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Celestian Superior: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Chainsword
. Celestian w/ Multi-melta (20)

Imagifier [3 PL, 45pts]: (-1cp Heroine in the Making), (-1cp Relic: Book of St. Lucius), Tale of the Stoic, (-1cp Trait: Indomitable Belief)

Heavy Support

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Retributor Squad [6 PL, 160pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. Retributor Superior: Bolt pistol, boltgun, chainsword
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta
. Retributor w/ Multi-melta

Dedicated Transport

Sororitas Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Storm bolter

Total: [97 PL, 2000pts]

The Standout Features

  • The much hyped Death Korps Pony Club list makes good.
  • Forty-three blessed robot horses gum up the table while the brutal shooting of Retributors reduces the opposition to ashes.
  • Flamer Battle Sisters provide a potent anvil to fill out the remainder of the board and ward off any hordes trying to lap around the edges.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

There’s a real theme in the strategy employed by the top three armies here – all are working on some variant of using efficient pressure units to box the opponent in while powerful threats set up for the blowout from the backfield. In third place, it’s the turn of the Krieg/Sororitas army that’s been hyped pretty heavily online and can, apparently, put up the results to back that up (with another copy in the 5-2 bracket). How it works isn’t too complicated – Death Riders and Death Rider Command squads aren’t quite as deadly as Reaver Jetbikes but are arguably more durable scaled for cost, and when you use Celestine’s aura to give them all a 6++ that becomes even more true. Able to use Move Move Move! to power up the board at speed, the sheer number present here can soak up a truly outrageous amount of firepower, acting as a massive speedbump for the opponent and heavily pressuring the early primary scoring.

That’s bad news for the opponent, as while they’re dealing with the horses they’re going to be getting pummelled by melta fire, both from the Retributors and Celestians. Retributors caught a point increase but are still one of the best shooting units in the game after that, with the ability to stack multiple Cherubs on top of their considerable baseline (and use Acts of Faith) letting them do some truly horrific stuff in the early turns, and rack up plenty of damage over the course of the game beyond that. Because they’re here running as Valorous Heart with Tale of the Stoic up the opponent is also going to have to point their big guns at them to take them down, reducing the rate at which they can chew through the wall of ponies. Getting to them in melee is going to be extremely hard without access to flying threats, and the list even techs against lightly armoured FLY (or equivalent) infantry like Stormboyz or Harlequin Troupes by loading up the five backline Sisters units with flamers. That lets the list build a tough to charge wall around the Retributors and quickly clear out any encroaching hordes, ensuring that even if something does break past the horses, this list will likely hold on to board control.

Even more than the first two armies, this list really will just take over the table, given half a chance. It’s got the models to fan out across its own territory, and its equine legions will be in the opponent’s face before they know what’s happening. Once that’s in place, it’s substantially harder for an opponent to counter-charge out of than against the Reavers because of the extra wounds and FNP the horses pack, and while not great in combat they’ll certainly rack up a bit of chip damage. The melta Retribs don’t really need much help in the DPS role, and this list is going to grind many of its opponents out of the game. Expect to see the Krieg contingent out and about a lot, and congratulations to Jordan for taking it to a top finish.

Ben Leeper – Tyranids – 4th Place

Credit: PierreTheMime

(yes I know it’s technically the wrong kind of Hierodule, work with us here)

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Tyranid Battalion – Hive Fleet Jormungandr

HQ

The Swarmlord w/ Powers: Catalyst, Onslaught – 270 points, 14 PL

Malanthrope w/ Warlord, WT: Insidious Threat, Relic: The Ymgarl Factor – 150 points, 8PL

Troops

30 Termagaunts (150) w/ Devourers (60) – 210 points, 9PL

3 Tyranid Warriors (51) w/ 2 Scything Talons (0), Adrenal Glands (3) – 54 points, 4 PL

3 Tyranid Warriors (51) w/ 2 Scything Talons (0), Adrenal Glands (3) – 54 points, 4 PL

10 Hormagaunts – 60 points, 3PL

3 Ripper Swarms – 36 points, 2PL

Elites

Maleceptor w/ Power: Lurking Maws – 170 points, 9PL

Lictor – 37 points, 2PL

Lictor – 37 points, 2PL

Lictor – 37 points, 2PL

Fast Attack

3 Raveners (60) w/ 2 Scything Talons (0) – 60 points, 3PL

Heavy Support

Barbed Heirodule w/ Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis (Progeny of the Hive -1 CP) – 275 points, 14 PL

Barbed Heiordule – 275 points, 14PL

Barbed Heiordule – 275 points, 14PL

Total Points: 2000

Starting CP: 11

The Standout Features

  • Oh lawd, they coming.
  • Three Barbed Hierodules provides a fantastic mix of blunt force and shooting, shielded by a Malanthrope and Maleceptor.
  • Newly discounted Tyranid Warriors plus the already popular Lictors give the list great board control and objective tools.
  • Raveners let the devourer Gaunt squad pop in close and personal thanks to The Enemy Below.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Tyranids may just have had some of the biggest shakeups of any faction that didn’t get a new book over the last few months – and all in a positive direction. They picked up some absolutely standout Forge World options in the new Compendium, saw some notable point cuts in the field manual update and are up there among the biggest winners from the Secondary changes.

All this means that things are looking brighter for the bugs than they have at any point in the edition so far, and this early finish by Ben proves they mean business. Obviously the most eye catching thing about the list out of the gate is the presence of three Barbed Hierodules in the heavy support section. These behemoths provide a balanced mix of ranged threat and melee crunch, racking up a hefty toll at a distance (especially if you use Pathogenic Slime on one) and still being able to gradually chew through elite forces in a fight. They’re also tough to kill, their already impressive T8 and 2+ save here being supplemented by a Malanthrope providing Shrouding Spores, a Maleceptor pushing out Encephalic Diffusion and cover in the open from Tunnel Networks. While recent releases have, of course, redefined the true meaning of tough, these giant beasts are going to be up there in terms of resilience, with even the dreaded Retributors reduced to wounding on 5s and still granting a 5+ armour save. Able to melt the opposition back in kind, these are a great anchor for the army, and are going to be really tough for most opponents to work through.

What they’re most vulnerable to is, ironically, being swarmed, and this list draws on another powerful new option to mitigate that. With the significant point cut to devourers the devilgaunts of old are back on the table as an option, able to put out as many as 180 shots a phase thanks to Single Minded Annihiliation. That’s a lot of dakka, and will go through lightly armoured targets like a hot knife. Thanks to the Jormungandr stratagem, these can also deep strike along with the Raveners (who also got a neat point cut), making it very difficult for opponents that want to go wide on the table to avoid them, and letting you set them up in your own lines to counterattack if needed. With the option on full hit re-rolls against their priority target via Lurking Maws when needed, they’re a super spicy addition to the list.

Finishing things up here, we have the Swarmlord at the head and a bunch of small troops units and Lictors to finish. The Swarmlord is slightly surprising in the list because there isn’t anything that immediately obviously benefits from his ability, but my guess is that on tables with lots of L-blocks there are going to be frequent situations where one of the the fairly ponderous Hierodules can’t get a bead on a target in a turn. Because they’ve got enough wounds to be shot at through windows in Obscuring terrain, when that situation arises it’s going to be helpful to be able to get one of them hustling, reducing the amount of time they’re inactive for at a cost of a shooting phase they already weren’t using. It also opens up options for objective dashes from the Warriors or Hormagaunts, and I strongly suspect it proved worthwhile over the course of the event. Warriors are also worth a highlight in general because they’re super aggressively costed now – small units like this are a genuine melee threat to other chaff and give you a healthy number of ObSec wounds for your points, and big units also continue to have play. Lictors haven’t changed, but their Secondary game is still on point, and the changes to 5th turn primary scoring also means you’re rewarded as the second player if you have random models kicking about the board to optimise your final scoring (something else that Hive Commander can help with).

This list is awesome, and I hope it heralds a great year for the bugs – congratulations to Ben.

Matthew Kelly – Black Templars – 5th Place

High Marshall Helbrecht
High Marshall Helbrecht. Credit: SRM

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Black Templars) [96 PL, 9CP, 1,997pts] ++

+ Stratagems +

Crusader Relics [-1CP]

+ HQ +

High Marshal Helbrecht [8 PL, 155pts]: Warlord

Primaris Chaplain on Bike [7 PL, -1CP, 140pts]: 1. Litany of Divine Protection, 4. Fires of Devotion, Ancient Breviary, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Litany of Hate, Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

+ Troops +

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

Crusader Squad [5 PL, 75pts] . 4x Initiate w/ Chainsword: 4x Astartes Chainsword, 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sword Brother: Astartes Chainsword, Bolt pistol

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

+ Elites +

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

Company Veterans [3 PL, 54pts] . Company Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Company Veterans [3 PL, 51pts] . Company Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Company Veteran Sergeant: Lightning Claw, Storm shield

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, -1CP, 95pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Crusader’s Helm

Terminator Assault Squad [18 PL, 380pts]:
. Assault Terminator Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. 4x Assault Terminator w/THSS: 4x Storm shield, 4x Thunder hammer
. 5x Assault Terminator w/x2LC: 5x Lightning Claw (Pair)

Vanguard Veteran Squad [14 PL, 279pts]: 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: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Lightning Claw, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran Sergeant: 2x Lightning Claw

+ Fast Attack +

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Attack Bike Squad [4 PL, 110pts] . Attack Bike: Multi-melta
. Attack Bike: Multi-melta

Inceptor Squad [14 PL, 330pts]: 5x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant, Plasma Exterminator x2

++ Total: [96 PL, 9CP, 1,997pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Space Marines close out the top five, with a strong showing from the Black Templars
  • A big Terminator block anchors the board while Vanguard Veterans and mid-ranged shooting cuts through the enemy.
  • A Bike Chaplain shields the Terminators and soups up other units.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

For my money, one of the big stories of this event is how low the Space Marine representation is on the top tables. Aside from Matthew’s list, only a single other Marine build made it into the 5-2 or better bracket, a far cry from the dominance we saw a few months ago before their book landed. As this list shows, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t tangle with the best of them, and even after some minor nerfs the solid core of the Marine roster continues to provide a powerful foundation to build upon.

Matthew has picked the Black Templars as his spice of choice, and that ends up looking like a pretty good choice for the top table metagame. Several of the top builds are looking to gum up the table with cost-efficient units while reaping a toll at range or a second wave thrust, but that’s going to be a risky plan against this list. Especially with the Chaplain and Helbrecht around, the Terminators can rock into pretty much anything, able to pick up both hordes and high-wound models thanks to their mixed weaponry (which also keeps the cost down). What’s more, with access to Devout Push the opponent can’t afford to keep multiple lines of blocking units right up in their face, because they get huge consolidation reach and can pile in from outside of combat in either turn. That threatens to turn them into a nightmare Katamari of death, and even if the opponent is cagey the fact they’ll have ObSec via Rites of War helps even up the Primary scoring against lists trying to steal an early lead. With the Vanguard Veterans providing another lethal combat threat, being close to this army is wildly unsafe, and that helps to counteract quite a few meta darlings.

It’s also plenty deadly at mid-range. Melta Attack Bikes are super efficient tank hunters and plasma Inceptors are still extremely efficient killers, especially alongside a Chapter Master. Marines also get some great tools for objective play in the form of Company Veterans and durable troops, and Black Templars currently (though like with the Reavers, maybe don’t go all-in on this just yet) get the most efficient Troops of any chapter, being able to take what are essentially Tactical Marines at 15pts each. That helps ensure that even with lots of points invested in the alpha units and buff characters the army still has plenty of models to occupy space and objectives with, giving it a real leg up on scoring.

It’s honestly impressive how well Black Templars continue to perform considering they currrently have one of the smallest rules sets of any chapter. What makes them so effective is their unparalleled support for Terminator blocks and being very flexible once battle is joined. Devout Push lets you tinker with positioning, The Emperor’s Will gives you a surprise burst of distance, applying buffs from Helbrecht and Fires of Devotion lets you soup up multiple different units at once, and your opponent has to be constantly mindful of the threat of Tenacious Assault once you get into their infantry. Taken together it’s a formidable combination, and it’s also nice to see it demonstrated that it isn’t just Ben Cherwien who can win with them – so congratulations to Matthew for rounding out the top five.

The Rest of the Best

With a big field in competition, there’s a whole slew of lists that ended up on the next score bracket down, achieving a 5-2 record, with plenty of food for thought for fans of all sorts of factions. They were:

  • 6th Place – Craig Sumpton – Necrons: A Novokh list featuring the Silent King, two full blocks of Warriors and hangers on, plus a first showing for the newly discounted Canoptek Reanimator.
  • 7th Place – Travis Kirke – Chaos Daemons: A mixed Daemons list with plenty of the usual suspects like Big Bird, Nurglings and Keepers but a more unusual (and looking it it, powerful) choice in the form of Be’lakor, providing re-roll 1s for all!
  • 8th Place – Andrew Hortin – Aeldari: A Soaring Spite bikes and boats core backed up by 3×5 Hunters/Crafters Shining Spears.
  • 9th Place – Nathan Bailey – Chaos Daemons: Another mixed Daemon list, this time with three Keepers, Big Bird and large blocks of Bloodletters and Horrors.
  • 10th Place – Courtney Hill – Necrons: Courtney strikes back once again with their double C’tan/Skorpekh extravaganza.
  • 11th Place – Lachlan Rigg – Imperium: The full pony club makes another showing, with maxed out Death Riders backed up by Sisters, though this time of the Bloody Rose flavour with some melee threats as well as Retributors.
  • 12th Place – Sebastian Zalek – Necrons: A Necron build unlike any we’ve seen thus far, putting together a shooty Mephrit build out of Doomsdays, Annihilation Barges and Triarch Stalkers. Very likely to find itself copied into SC: Necrons as an example of a shooty list just as soon as I’ve got time to write it up!
  • 13th Place – Daniel Norrish – Drukhari: Flayed Skull Ravagers and Venom spam backed up by a single large squad of tooled up Reavers.
  • 14th Place – Erik Tritt – Necrons: The Tesseract Vault arises from its competitive slumber, backed up by lots of warriors and a few shooty elements.
  • 15th Place – Aaron Thompson – Adepta Sororitas: A fairly traditional Bloody Rose hammer/Valorous Heart anvil Sisters list, featuring the discounted Zephyrim in the former contingent, and the Triumph holding everything together.
  • 16th Place – Robert Hortin – Deathwatch: Spectrus Kill Teams and Redemptor Dreadnoughts are backed up by Plasma Inceptors to produce a very deadly, if quite elite, force.
  • 17th Place – Peter Platell – Adepta Sororitas: Another Bloody Rose/Valorous Heart list, trading out the Triumph for more bodies.
  • 18th Place – Luke Ney – Adepta Sororitas: Another Bloody Rose/Valorous Heart list, this one having an unusually small BR component and going much heavier on bodies in the Valorous Heart bit, notably bringing some spare models in the Retributor squads for ablative wounds.

What I’m taking away from this, in combination with the top five lists, is that Sisters and Daemons are exceptionally strong right now, and Necrons are definitely nibbling at the edges, waiting for someone to find the perfect configuration that can break through to the top of the standings consistently.

Wrap Up

That’s it for this week, and what a fantastic event to start another year of coverage with. Australia isn’t going to let up on doing their bit to keep us entertained either, and next weekend brings us another major in the form of the Adelaide Uprising event, with 96 players registered to throw down. That means we’ll have another big Innovations for you next Wednesday, and if you’re hungry for competitive content in the meantime, don’t forget to check out our daily list previews for the LVO Nopen. Any comments, questions or suggestions hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com, and we’ll see you next week.