Competitive Innovations in 9th: Rumblings Down Under

After last week’s frankly excessive amount of 40K events the US tournament scene appears to be taking a week off, but luckily the redoubtable denizens of Australia and New Zealand have stepped up to the plate to give us more results to cover, keeping our hunger for hot 40k tech sated until another blowout schedule of GTs and majors this weekend coming.

Today, we’ll be zooming in on the Geelong Town Open in Australia and the Call to Arms event (a 5-round RTT) in NZ. The big story in the US last week was the rise of AdMech – will that be reflected on the other side of the Pacific? Let’s dive in and find out.

Geelong Town Open

All the lists for this event can be found in Down Under Pairings.

Sam Dutney – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [57 PL, 1,108pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

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

Stratagem: Mechanicus Locum [-2CP]: 2x Mechanicus Locum

+ HQ +

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

+ Troops +

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 Ruststalkers [4 PL, 85pts].
. Ruststalker Princeps (Razor)
. 4x Sicarian Ruststalker (Razor/Chordclaw): 4x Chordclaw, 4x Transonic Razor

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: Command Uplink

+ Dedicated Transport +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [27 PL, 541pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

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

+ Troops +

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [18 PL, 350pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ HQ +

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 110pts]: Logi, Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Transonic cannon, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ Troops +

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

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

+ Flyer +

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [8 PL, 160pts]: Command Uplink

+ Total: [102 PL, 5CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • AdMech flyer spam provides yet another horrifying curveball for the metagame.
  • Masses of small units provide strong objective play.
  • Double Skitarii marshalls provides extremely cheap access to Warlord Traits

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

If you were hoping that we’d be seeing some different factions dominant down under, I’m afraid you’re going to be rather disappointed, as AdMech made some excellent showings, accounting for half the total top four slots we’re looking at. The silver lining, on some level, is that there’s some real variety on show – it isn’t just copy pastes of the Lucius horde builds that dominated last weekend. That suggests that the book has quite a bit of depth to play with (a good thing) but also that, just like Drukhari, AdMech have plenty of angles to adapt to potential counters and nerfs.

Up first and with the biggest win of the weekend we do see a Lucius build, but instead of going hard on Skitarii (just one big block for Enriched Rounds) this list loads up on planes – five of the things. Plane spam lists had seen some use pre-Codex so it’s not a massive surprise to see them on show with the new rules, as they largely changed for the better. The Fusilave’s bombs and the Stratoraptor’s main guns got better and both picked up enhanced abilities to throw out chip damage from extra shots on their Cognis Heavy Stubbers. Losing access to Canticles (outside of Mars) and aura re-rolls also doesn’t affect them nearly as much as it does the more traditional gunline tanks, and they also get big benefits from Bulwark and Protector Doctrinas. Finally, Lucius provides some helpful additional protection against chip damage, especially against any opponents whose plan for vehicles is to load up on rate of fire weapons and re-rolls.

Going heavy on planes also allows this list to set itself up pretty effectively for the AdMech mirror. Against opposing lists that are heavy on Skitarii, the amount of non-VEHICLE targets the army exposes is minimal – all the small units of Rangers can pack into the two Duneriders, and the big block can go into a Legio Teleportarium. That leaves only the Serberys Raiders (who are pretty disposable) as early targets for early volleys from enemy AdMech, and will sometimes overwhelm the amount of anti-tank other builds are bringing. That’s especially true if it gets the first turn, as it can use Electrofilament Countermeasures to stop the biggest unit of Ironstriders in the opposing list benefitting from auras, which when they’re usually getting RR1s on hits and wounds from a Skitarii Marshall is a considerable knock to their reliability.

All told, that makes this build one that feels extremely well aimed at the metagame. It’s still going to do appaling damage when gifted the first turn (and is harder to hide from on heavy boards), but has a decent shot at weathering the storm if the roll-off goes against it. It doesn’t sacrifice that much to pull this off, and overall it’s a vicious and clever build. Congratulations to Sam.

 

Rhys Cunningham – Adeptus Mechanicus – 2nd Place

Onager Dunecrawler - Icarus Array. Credit: Rockfish
Onager Dunecrawler – Icarus Array. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Note: The Warlord trait for this list is incorrectly listed in BCP, I’ve corrected it here after confirming with the TO.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [87 PL, 9CP, 1,638pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ Stratagems [-3CP] +

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

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

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

+ HQ [7 PL, 120pts] +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity

Tech-Priest Dominus [4 PL, 75pts]: Macrostubber, Omnissian Axe, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Necromechanic

+ Troops [10 PL, 168pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 48pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 5x Skitarii Ranger [40pts]: 5x 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

+ Fast Attack [36 PL, 715pts] +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [16 PL, 300pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

Ironstrider Ballistarii [12 PL, 225pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts]

Pteraxii Sterylizors [8 PL, 190pts] . 9x Pteraxii Sterylizor [171pts]: 9x Phosphor torch, 9x Pteraxii Talons
. Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha [19pts]: Flechette Blaster, Pteraxii Talons, Taser Goad

+ Heavy Support [20 PL, 375pts] +

Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 115pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-Tether, Twin Onager Heavy Phosphor Blaster

Onager Dunecrawler [6 PL, 115pts]: Broad Spectrum Data-Tether, Twin Onager Heavy Phosphor Blaster

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Disruptor Missile Launcher

+ Flyer [14 PL, 260pts] +

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Command Uplink

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts]: 4x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Command Uplink

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [19 PL, -2CP, 358pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ [3 PL, 45pts] +

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

+ Troops [2 PL, 40pts] +

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

+ Fast Attack [6 PL, 128pts] +

Serberys Raiders [2 PL, 48pts] . 2x Serberys Raider [32pts]: 2x Cavalry Sabre, 2x Clawed Limbs, 2x Galvanic Carbine
. Serberys Raider Alpha [16pts]: Archeo-revolver, Cavalry Sabre, Clawed Limbs, Galvanic Carbine

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

+ Heavy Support [8 PL, 145pts] +

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Disruptor Missile Launcher

++ Total: [106 PL, 7CP, 1,996pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The forces of Mars show off what they can do.
  • Small units and Skitarii galore to squeeze maximum value from the Dogma.
  • Pteraxii Sterylizors pull double duty as a Wrath of Mars platform and a scoring unit.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Amidst all the hype about Lucius it’s easy to forget that the Mars Forge World Dogma is terrifying, and this list is here to remind us of that. Applying Canticles and a hit re-roll per turn to all Skitarii units is pretty game changing for the gunline vehicles, which were otherwise fairly big losers from the Codex. Not being able to benefit from re-roll auras doesn’t matter nearly as much when you’re getting to re-roll a miss every time you shoot and have access to a spectacular alpha turn when you switch on Benediction of the Omnissiah. In matchups that are very skewed towards the first turn, it also lets you surpass the durability Lucius has against shooting by switching on both Bulwark Doctrina and Shroudpsalm. This lets your tanks and Ironstriders roll 4+ saves even against enemy Cognis Lascannons, which just like the previous build ensures that the army has at least some angle to weather the storm in the mirror (and it’s worth saying the armies managed to dodge each other through the event, so we don’t know whose plan would have come out on top). Even after the mild nerf it took in the Codex the belleros cannon on the Skorpius is still an extremely attractive gun, and being D2 and Blast makes it another strong tool for the mirror. It’s also nice to see Onagers sporting the improved twin heavy phosphor blaster, as it was essentially a non-choice in the previous edition. While AdMech don’t really need any help, better internal balance within books is always great to see.

Elsewhere we see two Fusilaves once more (unsurprising given how all-round great they are as value pieces) and a last ride for one of the big bugbears from the new book in the form of a full block of Sterylizors. These got slammed with the FAQ hammer on Monday, but prior to that being able to drop in, flame or Action, then leap out with impunity at EOT thanks to Booster Thrust makes these a complete nightmare to deal with, and they’re at their nastiest in Mars thanks to the existence of Wrath of Mars. Thirty-odd flamer shots on average should get you most of the way to the six MW cap each time they use this, letting them deal hefty damage to almost anything, even opposing Lucius Skitarii (though they do need to watch out for Infoslave Skull there). Given that this list largely foregoes big Skitarii blocks, it’s also going to have an easier time affording the 2CP a turn to fully power this unit than some builds would. As a final screw you to opponents, the Pteraxii are one of the army’s To the Last choices alongside the two bulked-out Ironstrider blocks, and stopping this list scoring on that front would have been extremely challenging for melee-based builds in particular.

AdMech’s rise to metagame dominance is really rammed home by the fact that we’re already seeing the builds on top be the ones who’ve turned up with a plan for the mirror, and this list’s heavy contingent of VEHICLES that are loaded with massed D2 shots gives it an excellent plan for taking Lucius off the table. Bit of a “whoever wins, we lose” situation for everyone else, but good to see some of the classic chassis on the table alongside endless Skitarii. Strong work from Rhys.

 

Boyd Morall – Necrons – 3rd Place

Nightbringer. Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Necrons) [100 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Dynasty Choice: Circumstance of Awakening: Relentlessly Expansionist, Dynastic Tradition: Eternal Conquerors, Dynasty: <Custom>

+ HQ +

Chronomancer [4 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Dynastic Heirlooms, Entropic Lance, Relic: Veil of Darkness

Overlord [6 PL, 110pts, -1CP]: Dynastic Heirlooms, Relic: Sempiternal Weave, Voidscythe, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 2): Eternal Madness

Skorpekh Lord [7 PL, 130pts, -1CP]: Rarefied Nobility, Relic: Nanoscarab Casket, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Enduring Will

+ Troops +

Immortals [8 PL, 170pts]: Gauss Blaster, 10x Immortal

Immortals [4 PL, 85pts]: Gauss Blaster, 5x Immortal

Immortals [4 PL, 85pts]: 5x Immortal, Tesla Carbine

+ Elites +

C’tan Shard of the Nightbringer [19 PL, 370pts]: Power of the C’tan: Antimatter Meteor

Lychguard [14 PL, 280pts]: 10x Lychguard
. Hyperphase Sword and Dispersion Shield

Skorpekh Destroyers [10 PL, 210pts] . 2x Skorpekh Destroyer (Reap-Blade): 2x Hyperphase Reap-Blade
. 4x Skorpekh Destroyer (Thresher): 4x Hyperphase Threshers

+ Fast Attack +

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 3x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Scarab Swarms [2 PL, 45pts] . 3x Canoptek Scarab Swarm: 3x Feeder Mandibles

Canoptek Wraiths [10 PL, 210pts] . 6x Canoptek Wraith (Claws): 6x Vicious Claws

+ Heavy Support +

Doomsday Ark [10 PL, 170pts]

++ Total: [100 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Big objective pressure gets Necrons a top four slot.
  • Big warrior blocks foregone in favour of easier to hide units.
  • Nightbringer looking pretty hot against some of the big meta nasties.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

In a terrifying world of AdMech and Drukhari conventional Necron tools aren’t really efficient enough to compete, but they’ve got a couple of strong assets that they can make use of and this build shows them off very effectively. First up of course is the Eternal Expansionists Dynastic Code, still one of the most unique and powerful printed this edition even after the latest clutch of Codexes. Pre-game movement and army-side ObSec gives Necrons a unique ability to pressure the mid-board out of the gate, and the pre-game move aspect comes into its own even more when the metagame skews towards shooting rather than melee. Letting you deploy aggressively then pull back to cover if you lose the roll-off, or even move forward to position behind mid-table Obscuring pieces, is tremendously valuable against many of the big players, especially coming without massive CP expenditure. It works particularly well with smaller footprint units, and that’s borne out by this army’s choice to eschew Necron Warriors in favour of more elite choices, who are much more reliably able to position themselves behind whatever walls are handy. A few months ago skipping Warriors would have hurt, but right now they’re a really tough sell, as either flavour of Skitarii block with the Manipulus buff and the relevant strat can often one-shot them out of the Solar Flare. This is not ideal for a unit that costs 260pts in the classic configuration, and that encourages Necron players to either look to cheaper, more disposable Immortal units or Warriors in Ghost Arks.

Here, Boyd has gone for the cheaper Immortal option so as to keep back a hefty chunk of points for Necrons other unique draw – a C’tan. Both of the metagames top predators are noted for lacking a psychic phase, leaving them with fewer angles to quickly burst the Nightbringer out of the game. Drukhari also rely heavily on their souped up characters being able to trade profitably into key enemy targets, but no matter how many ridiculous relics and traits you stack on a Succubus, she’s still going to bounce off Necrondermis and get sliced in half. You do have to watch out for a few mortal wound tricks against AdMech (the buffed anti-monster capabilities of the Fusilave being able to plausibly drop three on the Nightbringer in movement is a big one), but the metagame is reasonably welcoming to C’tan right now. They should absolutely be a bit cheaper now we’ve got the newer books to baseline against, but they remain super cool and very skill testing to play against.

Elsewhere this list is very much one that’s after my own heart, taking a flexible mix of different melee threats that let it deploy mobility (Wraiths), durability (Lychguard) or raw killing power (Skorpekh) where it’s needed, hopefully maximising the value. These units are also all very capable of using the terrain, either bing INFANTRY or phasing straight through walls, helping them stay in contention for objective control for the long haul. To finish up, a couple of Scarab units provide easy to hide backfield holders/ObSec harrassment, a single Doomsday Ark at the new price tag provides a good value gun platform, and an extremely tanked up Skorpekh Lord joins the character contingent as a wrecking ball/tarpit. Being ObSec makes the reslience stacked on this guy extra valuable, and helps cling to objectives when things come down to the wire,  as realistically running out of stuff is the big threat to this list.

I’m assuming that’s what happened in the loss it picked up against the winning AdMech build (and having limited tools for plane killing probably didn’t help), though even there it put up a pretty impressive 70pts on the way to the loss. Eternal Expansionist builds generally have a very high score floor as one of their upsides, and the flexible toolkit here gives this army lots of angles to convert that into wins. More than most factions Necrons really struggle in a metagame full of hyper-efficient threats, so it’s good to see people continuing to find innovative ways to keep them serviceable, so great job Boyd.

 

Leigh El Toro – Heretic Astartes – 4th Place

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

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Detachment 1: Patrol < Emperor’s Children >

HQ:

– Sorcerer (90) – 5PL
– Equipment: Astartes Chainsword, Force Sword
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Psychic Powers: Prescience, Warptime
– Warlord Trait: Warp Lord

Troops:

Noise Marines (220) – 10PL
– 10 Noise marines
– Equipment: 7 with Sonic Blasters, 2 with Blastmasters, Champion with Sonic blaster and Astartes Chainsword

Elites:

Chosen (195) – 12PL
– 10 Chosen
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Icon of Excess
– Equipment: 5 with Lightning Claw, Boltgun and Bolt Pistol, 4 with dual Lightning Claws, Champion with Dual Lightning Claws

Terminators (300) – 16PL
– 10 Terminators
– Icon of Excess
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Equipment: 2 with Lightning Claw and Reaper Autocannon, 7 with Lightning Claw and Combi-Bolter, Champion with Lightning Claw and Combi-Bolter

Fast Attack:

Bikers (142) – 9PL
– 4 Bikers
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Equipment: 1 with Astartes Chainsword and Combi-Bolter, 2 with Astartes Chainsword, Combi-Bolter and Meltagun, Champion with Combi-Melta and Combi-Bolter

Dreadclaw (115) – 6PL
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >

Detachment 2: Spearhead < Heretic Astartes >

No Force Org Slot:

Dark Disciples (10) – 1PL < Emperor’s Children >
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >

HQ:

Dark Apostle (80) – 4PL < Emperor’s Children >
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Dark Prayers: Warp-Sight Plea, Blissful Devotion
– Relic: Remnant of the Maraviglia

Elites:

Terminators (208) – 16PL < Emperor’s Children >
– 6 Terminators
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >
– Icon of Excess
– Equipment: 5 with Lightning Claw and Combi-Melta, Champion with Lightning Claw and Combi-Melta

Fast Attack:

Dreadclaw (115) – 6PL < Emperor’s Children >
– Allegiance: < Mark of Slaanesh >

Heavy Support:

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun
– Plague Company: < Big D Bulls Inc. >

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun
– Plague Company: < Big D Bulls Inc. >

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Rothail volley gun
– Plague Company: < Big D Bulls Inc. >

Total: 2000, 9CP

The Standout Features

  • Fun with Dreadclaws intensifies.
  • Chosen provide a cheap wrecking ball to fire from aforementioned Dreadclaws.
  • Plaguebursts sneak in via the Heretic Astartes keyword to provide ranged firepower that doesn’t need babysitting.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The Dreadclaw Drop Pod finally becoming a real boy in the latest FAQs continues to make some moderate waves in the world of Chaos Space Marines, particularly the Emperor’s Children. Noise Marines are great, but they’re serious glass cannons, meaning the value of being able to deploy them from orbit right out of the gate is extreme, especially in the current metagame. They’re not the only unit riding the Dreadclaw here, as one of the big innovations on show here is the presence of lightning claw Chosen. The Emperor’s Children have some fantastic stratagems for melee deep strikers, but previously you’ve had to go without getting value from them turn one, as claw Terminators were your only real delivery mechanism. Not any more – Chosen in a Dreadclaw can slam down right out of the gate and rip something apart when needed, or await a better window as the situation demands. They’re not a cheap unit, so it can sometimes be hard for them to find a way to trade up, but this list provides a lot of ways to pull off a big alpha turn one, and taking out enough of the opposition can mitigate their response. The Dreadclaw Noise Marines are one part of this, ready to unleash Excruciating Frequencies galore, but there’s a disgusting surprise in the second detachment here to help out.

A define mark against Chaos Space Marines right now is that many of their gunline choices can’t hack it – you’ve basically got Relic Contemptors and Decimators, and the former can be a little fragile while the latter need to be run as Iron Warriors with Daemonsmith to hit their full potential. Both of these are also just flat out hard to purchase right now, as Forge World is struggling to keep up with demand for the metageme-relevant gun options. This list solves all of those problems by using the Heretic Astartes faction keyword to bring in Plagueburst Crawlers. These are a complete pain to shift with anything other than the heaviest firepower, and are very threatening against the mixed horde/Ironstrider builds that AdMech like to put down once loaded with Entropy Cannons. Going to BS3+ in their codex makes taking these in a soup build way more realistic than it once was, and they’re an excellent anchor for the rest of this army to work around. Bringing them in does mean losing the Emperor’s Children trait on the units in the spearhead, but they don’t really care – the Terminator unit in this detachment is a point-and-click Endless Cacophony platform, the Dreadclaw can’t benefit anyway and the Dark Apostle doesn’t really care. All extremely survivable.

All told, this list hits vastly harder out of the gate than CSM can usually muster and has a very solid conventional game plan to segue onto. It’s great to see that the Dreadclaw has really given Chaos fans something to work with and brought some new units into viability, and it’s an impressive showing from Leigh all-round.

 

The Rest of the Best

  • 5th ✪ – Jason Chevalier – Death Guard: Jason continues to fly the rotten flag of the Terminus Est Assault force, this time levelling up even further by going into round 5 in a TiWP. A gigantic horde of Poxwalkers provides an intimidating first wave, with large blocks of Terminators following up to extinguish whatever hope the opponent has left after clearing those out.
  • 6th – Jason Horne – Tyranids: A double Dimachaeron list that by all appearences has successfully ridden out the nerfs, with a few small tweaks to adapt for the metagame. Notably, the large infantry units these lists have conventionally run has been dialed back a bit (as these are easy prey for Skitarii or Wyches) and a second Exocrine has joined the party, providing shooting that’s strong in most top tier matchups right now. Did still drop a game against the Mars AdMech list, however.
  • 7th – Terence Drew – Deathwatch: Another entry in the sudden surprise Deathwatch renaissance, with a list centred around three Redemptors and three Proteus Kill Teams, but with the unusual choices of a small Centurion unit (presumably as a Teleportarium threat) and a Corvus Blackstar, for which Shroud Field feels particularly good in the current meta.

 

Call to Arms

All the lists for this event can be found in Down Under Pairings.

Courtney Thomson – Adepta Sororitas – 1st Place

Adepta Sororitas Sister Superior
Adepta Sororitas Sister Superior. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adepta Sororitas) [100 PL, 9CP, 1,998pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Order Convictions: Order: Valorous Heart

+ HQ +

Canoness [4 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Plasma pistol, Power sword, Relic: Mantle of Ophelia, Rod of Office, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: Impervious to Pain
. The Emperor’s Grace

Morvenn Vahl [13 PL, 265pts]: Warlord

+ Troops +

Battle Sister Squad [12 PL, 245pts]: Incensor Cherub
. 15x Battle Sister: 15x Bolt pistol, 15x Boltgun, 15x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Sister Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [6 PL, 120pts] . 7x Battle Sister: 7x Bolt pistol, 7x Boltgun, 7x Frag & Krak grenades
. Battle Sister w/ Special or Heavy Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Battle Sister w/ Special Weapon: Artificier-crafted storm bolter
. Sister Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

Battle Sister Squad [3 PL, 60pts]: Incensor Cherub
. 4x Battle Sister: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades
. Sister Superior
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun

+ 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]: 6. Catechism of Repugnance

Hospitaller [3 PL, 50pts]

Repentia Superior [2 PL, -1CP, 40pts]: Bolt pistol, Stratagem: Saint in the Making, Warlord Trait: 5. Indomitable Belief

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 126pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

Sisters Repentia [6 PL, 126pts] . 9x Sisters Repentia: 9x Penitent Eviscerator

+ Fast Attack +

Zephyrim Squad [8 PL, -1CP, 175pts] . 9x Zephyrim: 9x Bolt pistol, 9x Frag & Krak grenades, 9x Power sword
. Zephyrim Superior: Bolt pistol, Relic: Blessings of Sebastian Thor, Stratagem: A Sacred Burden, Zephyrim Pennant

+ Heavy Support +

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

Penitent Engines [9 PL, 165pts] . Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades
. Penitent Engine: 2x Penitent buzz-blades

Retributor Squad [9 PL, 146pts]: 2x Armourium Cherub
. 3x Retributor: 3x Bolt pistol, 3x Boltgun, 3x Frag & Krak grenades
. Retributor Superior: Chainsword
. . Bolt Pistol & Boltgun
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter
. Retributor w/ Heavy Weapon: Heavy bolter

++ Total: [100 PL, 9CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Morvenn Vahl leads the Valourous Heart to glorious victory.
  • Massive Battle Sister unit provides a durable central anchor and Mortal Wound threat.
  • Tarpit Canoness creates one of the game’s most annoying models to kill.
  • Mortifiers and Retributors provide some high-rate shooting backup.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

All of the chaos caused by the arrival of the AdMech book has rather marked the fact that the new Sisters codex seems to be a real slam dunk, with lots of different viable builds, great internal balance between subfactions, and a healthy flattening of where different datasheets sit on the power curve so that there’s reasons to take most things in moderation. All of that makes it a blast to build lists for, and the power level of the resulting creations appears to be high without being oppressive – exactly what we want to see.

This list is a great example of that. While Valorous Heart lost their inbuilt 6+++ and can’t stack their defences to completely ignore AP-2 any more, their AP reduction applying at baseline to AP-1 or AP-2 means you aren’t constrained to trying to bubble around an Imagifier any more, and you can purchase a Hospitaller to apply the ignore wounds effect to your most critical unit. That ends up standing them in pretty good stead – with the dominance of AdMech, AP-1 and AP-2 weaponry is especially prevalent, and ticking its impact down by a point has a huge impact on durability, especially starting from the strong 3+ (or 2+ for Sacresants) baseline that Sororitas have. It’s not quite Lucius, but has some of the same energy, and helps the infantry in this list (of which there’s a decent amount) die hard. The 5+++ Valorous Heart now gives against Mortal Wounds is also far from irrelevant, and it lets you build an especially spicy character that we’ll take a look at later. Finally, now that Retributors don’t ignore move/shoot at baseline it’s handy to have access to Blind Faith to power one unit (as this army does).

Speaking of units, there’s a really nice diverse set on show here. Vahl is obviously present in her hyper-powered capacity, but most eye-catching beyond that is definitely the full 20-model Sisters squad with Storm Bolters. We were pretty hot on this in our review, and here it is on the table – Blessed Bolts makes this a very reliable platform for throwing out Mortal Wounds, while Catechism of Repugnance makes just the weight of vanilla bolter shots scary, especially when you apply Morvenn Vahl’s buff. Add the ability to make the models count twice for objectives via the Dogmata and you have an extremely high value unit, and one that’s very much worth exploring in any list that has access to this kind of support. Elsewhere for shooting you’ve got Retributors packing heavy bolters rather than multi-meltas, a fairly unusual choice. The high shot count these throw out is definitely good with Vahl, and the unit comes in much cheaper at base, meaning you can spring for some ablative models to soak up chip damage. The list packs in even more heavy bolters thanks to a unit of Mortifiers, and overall has at least decent ranged output, if not quite as splashy as some lists we’ve seen.

Melee is where the real damage dealers are here, with four dedicated units. I’m guessing that one unit of Repentia goes into strategic reserves (maybe with the Penitent Engines too), while the other aims to set up in cover to provide a nasty Advance/Charge threat thanks to the buff from the Superior. The Zephyrim are another strong deep strike threat, and they make great use of the Blessings of Sebastian Thor, allowing them to be in The Passion and Hand of the Emperor whatever you choose for the rest of the army, making it easier to get them in and more lethal when they do. Last up we have Sacresants, here loaded with what I think is the correct choice of the Halberds. You want durable melee units to be able to engage pretty much any target, and outside of Bloody Rose the AP-1 on the maces is a little too much of a drawback from that. With the option of applying Vahl’s buff, the halberds let you reliably chip through pretty much anything, making staying in combat with you a real risk. Having a baseline 2+ also combines with the Valorous Heart buff to give these exceptional staying power against most incoming firepower, and a great place to use the Hospitaller’s Rites of Restoration to revive models.

The Mortifiers can obviously pitch in on the melee front as well, being horde-clearing specialists, while a unit of Penitent Engines mixes up being able to mulch crunchier targets in a fight with being able to smoke hordes straight out of Strategic Reserves via Cleansed by Fire. Even Lucius Skitarii don’t like the deep strike surprise these represent, and a unit that combines such high initial impact with enduring threat is extremely valuable.

The last big thing to highlight, and I should say that Courtney wrote in to tip us off about this, is the Valorous Heart tarpit Canoness. The Mantle of Ophelia got an incredibly cool glow-up in the new book, getting the very unique ability to reduce the damage of all incoming attacks to 1. This combines very, very effectively with the Impervious to Pain warlord trait from Valorous Heart, as a 5+++ is extremely impactful when you’re only ever taking damage one point at a time. That’s not all though – taking damage one point at a time also makes the healing half of this trait super handy, as if you’re down to your last wound you can just use an act of faith to both pass your next save and tick a wound back up. Survive through to your turn, and the Emperor’s Grace heals you up. Nothing short of a massive volley of single damage attacks will reliably cut through these defences, and the first time the opponent does you can just revive with Divine Intervention. Essentially, this loadout means that once you’ve used your turn of the Miraculous half of Grace you can send this model off to make an enormous nuisance of herself by charging into shooting units and fighting for objectives, and it’ll take substantial commitment to take her out. Great fun.

Really, great fun describes this list as a whole, as it shows off a wide range of units and tricks, has plenty of flexibility on the table, and clearly wants to play an interactive and enjoyable game. Great work from Courtney as always.

 

Aaron Wilson – Adeptus Mechanicus – 2nd Place

Kataphron Destroyers. Credit: Rockfish
Kataphron Destroyers. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Note: I believe this list should be down 1CP, as in order to take the Solar Flare the Warlord would need to be in the Lucius detachment.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [84 PL, 12CP, 1,565pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ [10 PL, 180pts] +

Daedalosus [3 PL, 55pts]: Eradication pistol, Servo-arc claw

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Control Stave, Radium Serpenta, Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity

Tech-Priest Dominus [4 PL, 80pts]: Omnissian Axe, Phosphor Serpenta [5pts], Relic: Phosphoenix, Volkite Blaster, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Cartogrammatist

+ Troops [32 PL, 515pts] +

Kataphron Breachers [6 PL, 105pts].
. 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 Breachers [6 PL, 105pts].
. 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 Breachers [6 PL, 105pts].
. 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 Destroyers [14 PL, 200pts].
. Kataphron Destroyer [40pts]: Heavy Grav-Cannon, Phosphor Blaster
. Kataphron Destroyer [40pts]: Heavy Grav-Cannon, Phosphor Blaster
. Kataphron Destroyer [40pts]: Heavy Grav-Cannon, Phosphor Blaster
. Kataphron Destroyer [40pts]: Heavy Grav-Cannon, Phosphor Blaster
. Kataphron Destroyer [40pts]: Heavy Grav-Cannon, Phosphor Blaster

+ Elites [18 PL, 420pts] +

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 135pts].
. 9x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest [135pts]: 9x Electrostatic Gauntlets

Corpuscarii Electro-Priests [6 PL, 135pts].
. 9x Corpuscarii Electro-Priest [135pts]: 9x Electrostatic Gauntlets

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [6 PL, 150pts].
. 10x Fulgurite Electro-Priest [150pts]: 10x Electroleech Stave

+ Fast Attack [24 PL, 450pts] +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 150pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius [4 PL, 75pts]: Twin Cognis Lascannon [10pts].

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [22 PL, -5CP, 435pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems [-3CP] +

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

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

+ HQ [6 PL, 105pts] +

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

+ Troops [16 PL, 330pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex [5pts].
. Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [8 PL, 165pts]: Omnispex [5pts].
. 19x Skitarii Vanguard [152pts]: 19x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha [8pts]: Radium Carbine

++ Total: [106 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Mars and Lucius team up to terrorize the metagame.
  • Mars Kataphrons with Daedalosus provide a durable, deadly core.
  • Heavily optimised Lucius detachment packs in a bunch of the power into only 435pts.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Strong variety from the AdMech players this week continues here with another distinct set of tools. Coming to the fore this time is Daedalosus, alongside Mars Kataphrons. Daedalosus is in a weird spot right now, as some places are treating him as being fully replaced by the Technoarchaeologist datasheet, but he does still have a cost in the MFM so others are letting him be run. Where he is permitted, he acts as a huge boost to Kataphrons, and we can see the results of that here. Kataphrons feel a little hard done by in the AdMech book, as they’re not compatible with most of the buffs, but Daedy still works on them and running as Mars gives them valuable re-rolls. With that extra nudge, Breachers remain pretty attrative, and the extremely improved Hydraulic Claw makes tangling with them up close a really nerve-wracking experience. Destroyers got a big boost from the addition of a base 3+ as well, which makes them very tough under Shroudpsalm, and grav is one of the very rare weapons out there that provides very high rate of fire high-AP shooting, good in the mirror. Add in 3×2 Ironstriders sitting next to a Marshall for tank popping and you’ve got crunchy firepower sorted. Two units of Corpuscarii and some Fulgurites round out the Mars detachment, and I’m assuming the latter is where the Cartogrammatist buff is going here, as there aren’t really any other mobility options for them visible. Drop them in on the turn you’ve got Invocation of Machine Vengeance up and they’re pretty likely to make the charge, and will do big damage when they do.

Mars may comprise the bulk of this list, but one of the things this build shows off is the power of Forge World mixing. AdMech aren’t really punished for this beyond auras not overlapping, and the Lucius detachment here is incredibly nasty. One big block of each type of Skitarii with access to the Solar Flare and Legio Teleportarium means you can start whichever unit is most valuable in the matchup on the table for a redeploy alpha strike (with Luminescent Blessing and the Logi holy order heavily mitigating the swing back), while the otherwaits in reserve for a second turn gut punch. Combined with the pressure that the Kataphrons apply, that makes this list particularly vice-like in how it seizes control of the game, and very difficult to push through. The Kataphrons are something you’d normally want to counterattack hard into, but when you do here you’re risking catching the combined force of the Fulgurites and a Skitarii block in the face. It’s lethal stuff and some impressive work from Aaron.

 

Simon Smith – Adeptus Mechanicus – 3rd Place

Kastelan Robots with Cybernetica Datasmith. Credit: Rockfish
Kastelan Robots with Cybernetica Datasmith. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [107 PL, 9CP, 1,995pts] ++

+ 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

+ No Force Org Slot +

Cybernetica Datasmith [4 PL, 75pts]: Logi, Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

+ HQ +

Skitarii Marshal [3 PL, 45pts]: Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity, Warlord, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache

Tech-Priest Manipulus [4 PL, 75pts]: Transonic cannon

+ Troops +

Kataphron Breachers [12 PL, 140pts].
. Kataphron Breacher: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw
. Kataphron Breacher: Heavy Arc Rifle, Hydraulic Claw

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 85pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 9x Skitarii Ranger: 9x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [4 PL, 85pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle
. 9x Skitarii Ranger: 9x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Vanguards [4 PL, 85pts]: Omnispex
. 9x Skitarii Vanguard: 9x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Host of the Intermediary, Radium Carbine, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex

Skitarii Vanguards [4 PL, 85pts]: Omnispex
. 9x Skitarii Vanguard: 9x 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 Ruststalkers [4 PL, 85pts].
. Ruststalker Princeps (Blades)
. 4x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 4x Transonic Blades

+ Fast Attack +

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

Ironstrider Ballistarii [8 PL, 130pts].
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon

+ Heavy Support +

Kastelan Robots [20 PL, 420pts].
. Kastelan Robot: Incendine Combustor, Kastelan Fist, Kastelan Phosphor Blaster
. Kastelan Robot: Incendine Combustor, Kastelan Fist, Kastelan Phosphor Blaster
. Kastelan Robot: Incendine Combustor, Kastelan Fist, Kastelan Phosphor Blaster
. Kastelan Robot: Incendine Combustor, Kastelan Fist, Kastelan Phosphor Blaster

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator [8 PL, 145pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon

++ Total: [107 PL, 9CP, 1,995pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Teleporting Robots gives this list a unique punch to throw.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Our final AdMech list for today shows off another unique trick available to Lucius – teleporting Transhuman Robots. With the Cybernetica Datasmith babysitting them, the Kataphrons are eligible choices for all of the the Luminescent Blessing, Logi and the Solar Flare, allowing you to teleport them right into your opponent’s face with rock-solid defences locked and loaded. This lets you take advantage of their new mixed loadout, which ensures they’ll comfortably roll through almost any opposition given time – which the stacked defences should buy you. It’s good to see the boosts these got in the book paying off, and they clearly reward dynamic play a lot more now.

Elsewhere, this is mostly stuff we’ve seen in the other builds. With the Solar Flare on robot duty the rest of the list doesn’t invest in big Skitarii blocks, going for more flexible ten model units instead. I’d probably still choose to combine two of the Rangers squads into a 20-model unit to go in a Teleportarium, but splitting up does make you less vulnerable to big alpha swings from the opponent. The Skorpii provide a backline anchor while the rest of the list operates, and the Breachers go some way towards back-filling the role of a big unit of objective-holding Skitarii. Like some of the others, Simon’s list here really shows off the depth of choices AdMech have to work with, and if any sort of nerf does end up coming rolling down the track it’ll be interesting to see which of them end up favoured.

 

Jeremy Webster – Asuryani – 4th Place

Hemlock Wraithfighter. Credit: Rockfish
Hemlock Wraithfighter. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [100 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute

. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Hunters of Ancient Relics

+ Stratagems +

Treasures of the Craftworld (1 Relic) [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Farseer [6 PL, 115pts]: 2. Doom, 3. Fortune, 5. Focus Will, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

Farseer Skyrunner [7 PL, 135pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Executioner, 6. Mind War, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade
. The Phoenix Gem

Spiritseer [3 PL, 60pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, 6: Seer of the Shifting Vector, Shuriken Pistol, Warlord
. Faolchu’s Wing

+ Troops +

Dire Avengers [2 PL, 55pts].
. 4x Dire Avenger: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 4x Plasma Grenades
. Dire Avenger Exarch: Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults
. . Exarch Power: Bladestorm

Dire Avengers [2 PL, 55pts].
. 4x Dire Avenger: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 4x Plasma Grenades
. Dire Avenger Exarch: Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults
. . Exarch Power: Bladestorm

Dire Avengers [2 PL, 55pts].
. 4x Dire Avenger: 4x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 4x Plasma Grenades
. Dire Avenger Exarch: Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults
. . Exarch Power: Bladestorm

+ Elites +

Fire Dragons [6 PL, 100pts].
. 4x Fire Dragon: 4x Fusion Gun, 4x Melta Bombs
. Fire Dragon Exarch: Fusion Gun
. . Exarch Power: Swiftstep

Wraithblades [10 PL, 185pts]: Ghostaxe and Forceshield, 5x Wraithblade

Wraithblades [10 PL, 185pts]: Ghostaxe and Forceshield, 5x Wraithblade

+ Fast Attack +

Vypers [3 PL, 55pts].
. Vyper: Starcannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Vypers [3 PL, 60pts].
. Vyper: Bright Lance, Twin Shuriken Catapult

+ Heavy Support +

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 3. Enhance/Drain, D-cannon

Wraithseer [8 PL, 170pts]: 0. Smite, 4. Protect/Jinx, D-cannon

+ Flyer +

Hemlock Wraithfighter [12 PL, 240pts]: 0. Smite, 2. Embolden/Horrify

+ Dedicated Transport +

Wave Serpent [9 PL, 180pts]: Spirit Stones, Twin Bright Lance, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Wave Serpent [9 PL, 180pts]: Spirit Stones, Twin Bright Lance, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Total: [100 PL, 11CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Very skewed defensive profile, with minimal early attack surface.
  • Two (presumably Webway Striking) units of Wraithblades provide a central anchor.
  • Hefty Psychic firepower punishes any opponents who can’t push through the wall of Wraithblades.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Always nice to see Asuryani sneaking into a top four, because even at a smaller event it’s an uphill struggle to pull off. Generally, to do well with Craftworlds you need to put some sort of unique challenge in the way of your opponents, and this list does that via it’s relatively flat target profile (if both units of Wraithblades go into Webway Strike then everything that can be shot turn 1 is a hull with a 3+), and some serious psychic might. Two Farseers, one of whom is toting the old-school trick of Mind War, are backed by a pair of Wraithseers, a Hemlock and a Spiritseer, all of which adds up to a lot of Mortal Wound output. The Mind War trick is particularly cute in the current metagame, because AdMech characters in particular are fairly vulnerable to it since they only start on Ld 8. Put the Hemlock nearby and you’ve got at least a sporting chance of spiking one out, and it can also combo with other powers or Serpent Shields to repel Drukhari murder characters from your lines.

Elsewhere, the list focuses (as most do) on squeezing value from Expert Crafters – lots of powerful low shot weapons, all of which are suited to tank hunting, means that the list has at least something of a gameplan against AdMech if it goes first, namely “kill all the Ironstriders then try and grind things out”. Taking Hunters of Ancient Relics as the second half helps the Wraithblades punch up in a grindier game, and also means that anyone coming to charge a lurking Wraithseer is likely to have a bad time.

Do I think this is going to turn the Asuryani’s fortunes around? Sadly not – it’s still very brittle and will have a terrible time going second against some lists. However, you work with what you’ve got, and there’s some cool ideas here, so good job Jeremy.

 

Wrap Up

Next week looks like another blowout, so we’ll either have another teamup edition or a main article and a lightning round, depending on how things shake out. We’re also expecting to update the Goonhammer Tier List in the next few weeks, and will be finalising the rankings and starting the writeup once the results from next weekend roll in. It’s all happening right now, so stay tuned to Goonhammer for all the latest competitive news and analysis! Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.