Competitive Innovations in 9th: Skitarii Super Sunday

An article by    Competitive Play Goonhammer Tactics        0

It’s a short introduction from me today – we’ve had another blowout weekend with five GT+ events to cover, and there’s lots to talk about, so after one quick note we’re going to dive straight in.

That quick note is – yes AdMech cleaned up, taking the first place slot at all four event they were present at, and yes I think something needs to be done about it. Come back tomorrow for another Competitive Innovations editorial looking at what I think GW should be looking at changing.

Let’s go!

Show Me Showdown

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. The Adeptus Mechanicus FAQ released last week was not in play at this event, so Pteraxii could still jump out at EOT.

Ben Cherwien – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+++ Ad-mech (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [100 PL, 7CP, 1,990pts] +++

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [100 PL, 1,990pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems [-5CP] +

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

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-2CP]: 2x Host of the Intermediary [-2CP]

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

+ HQ [14 PL, 240pts] +

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

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans [1 PL, 25pts], Magnarail lance, Mechanicus Locum, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare, Warlord Trait (Lucius): Luminescent Blessings

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 100pts]: Magi [2 PL, 30pts], Magnarail lance, Relic: Raiment of the Technomartyr

+ Troops [32 PL, 680pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

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

+ Elites [12 PL, 240pts] +

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [6 PL, 120pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest [120pts]: 8x Electroleech Stave

Fulgurite Electro-Priests [6 PL, 120pts] . 8x Fulgurite Electro-Priest [120pts]: 8x Electroleech Stave

+ Fast Attack [32 PL, 640pts] +

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]

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]: Pteraxii Sterylizor Alpha [19pts] . 9x Pteraxii Sterylizor [171pts]: 9x Phosphor torch, 9x Pteraxii Talons

+ Dedicated Transport [10 PL, 190pts] +

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

Skorpius Dunerider [5 PL, 95pts]

The Standout Features

  • 80 Lucius Infantry provide near un-shiftable board control.
  • Ironstiders with a Marshall provide top-tier anti-tank.
  • Electro-priests in Duneriders await the perfect moment to slam in as a counter-charge threat.
  • Pteraxii get a final, busted outing.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s AdMech’s world now, we just live in it. On some level there’s not a tonne to say about list that we didn’t already cover in our deep dive into the winning Lucius lists two weeks back. The Solar Blessing Dogma is one of the most powerful defensive traits ever printed, and combines with AdMech’s other sources of armour save manipulation to make taking lists like this off the table nearly impossible. Combine that with the absurd deadliness that Skitarii bring to bear thanks to the Enriched Rounds and Galvanic Volley Fire stratagems,  mobility that the Solar Flare and Legio Teleportarium provide them, and angles to Fall Back/Shoot and ignore morale and you’re left with a core that only builds heavy on T8 hulls with fairly unusual weapon loadouts can meaningfully engage with. Unfortunately for lists built around those, lascannon Ironstriders will blow them to pieces without breaking a sweat, generally leaving your path to victory against these builds as “go first, get a great start, don’t make even the tiniest mistake for the rest of the game”.

The majority of successful AdMech builds have very quickly coalesced around the core of 60-80 Skitarii, 6+ Ironstiders, 2 Manipulii and a Marshall, so the main point of interest when focusing on each individual one is what they choose to spend the remaining flex points on. Here, they’ve been invested in a big block of Pteraxii and two units of Electro-priests in Duneriders. The Pteraxii are likely on their way out – with the loss of their ability to jump out on the turn they arrive they go from being an outrageously busted unit to a merely good one, and merely good probably doesn’t cut it in a book of AdMech’s quality (especially in contention with Sicarian Infiltrators). Electro-priests and Duneriders helps this list tech for objective play in the mirror – the Priests ability to drop a bunch of mortals into opposing Skitarii blocks circumvents the defences of Lucius and Bulwark Doctrina, making a move to the centre much higher risk for the opponent. Thanks to Lucius making Duneriders very resilient to chip damage, they’ll need real firepower (probably from Ironstriders) pointed at them to get them off the table, and any shots that go at them are shots that aren’t going into the list’s own Ironstriders, helping win the damage race. Finally, when things get crunchy in the mid/late game, having the option to mount a depleted unit of Skitarii into one of these to provide a more durable hold on an objective can squeeze out a few extra VP when it really matters. The fact that this list was extremely successful on the biggest stage of the weekend is a definite point in this particular setup’s favour, but we’ll see if the potential temptation of Veteran Cohort Infiltrators or Serberys Raiders steals the points away in a future iteration.

At this point, all indications are that AdMech tend to need a bit more skill and finesse to use to good effect than Drukhari, but in practiced hands are even more potent. Congratulations to Ben for bringing effective tech for the mirror and riding it to a first place finish.

Charlie Andre – Dark Angels – 2nd Place

Dark Angels. Credit: Greg Chiasson

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

1 Battalion Detachment, 13cp
Hq

(170p) Azrael
Wl: brilliant strategist
+2 cp for warlord

(150) Sammael

Troops

(130)5 Infiltrators with helix
(95) 5 Assault Intercessors
(95) 5 Assault Intercessors

Elites

(345) 10 Relic Terminators with lightning claw and storm bolter, with grenade launcher on the sergeant
(85) Bladeguard Ancient
Wl: Rites of War
Artifact: Pennant of Remembrance
(105) 3 Bladeguard
(105) 3 Bladeguard
(105) 3 Bladeguard

Heavy support
(330) Hellblasters w/assault plasma incinerators

Fast attack
(95) Bikes with sergeant with lightning claw
(95) Bikes with sergeant with lightning claw
(95) Bikes with sergeant with lightning claw

The Standout Features

  • Charlie Andre’s balanced Dark Angels finally earns its podium finish.
  • Bike and Bladeguard MSUs squeeze maximum value out of Deathwing and Ravenwing buffs.
  • Maxed-out Hellblaster and Relic Terminator blocks provide a supreme hammer and anvil.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Charlie Andre has been threatening to break through to a spectacular finish for a while now, just missing a featured spot with a previous version of this list at the Atlantic City Open with a 5th place finish. That was into the teeth of pre-nerf Drukhari, no less, and landing second place here with AdMech running amok has a tonne of the same energy.

What’s so cool about this list is that it’s very different to most other Dark Angels builds out there, and still clearly packed with power. Foregoing the Ravenwing or Deathwing detachments that are the norm elsewhere, this army focuses on cramming as much Dark Angels synergy as possible into a Battalion. Azrael leads the charge, bringing Chapter Master re-rolls plus bonus CP to power the army’s nonsense and gifting every unit in it that doesn’t have one already a 4++ if they stay close enough. Getting a 4++ without needing to buy Storm Shields allows this army to leverage the powerful option of Relic Deathwing Terminators. These can take the exceptionally flexible claw/bolter build that’s normally only seen in Chaos, and stack the Pennant of Remembrance on top of their inbuilt Deathwing Transhuman and 4++ from Azrael. That sums up to one of the toughest units in the game to shift, and with Rites of War from the Ancient allowing it to really maximise its value. Good stuff, and very, very far from harmless as well.

Sometimes, of course, you need more killing power than these can bring to the table, and that’s where the Assault Hellblasters come in. Weapons from the Dark Age plus Chapter Master on these gives you a humungous damage spike potential into anything smaller than a Knight, and they’re one of the few units out there that can cleanly exterminate Lucius Skitarii blocks, as even on turn 1 you can chuck them into Tactical for  a cheap 1CP with Tactical Appraisal then throw 30 S6 AP-5 shots at the mechanical hordes, which will give them something to think about. That they don’t need to supercharge to do this makes bringing them on from Strategic Reserves turn 2 if you can’t hide them against AdMech a real consideration as well – as long as they can step onto the board in Azrael or Samael’s RR1 aura you’re still going to wipe most of a unit.

That covers off the two big blocks, which take advantage of how well Dark Angels can support some categories of big unit. The rest of the list goes in the other direction entirely, taking thee MSUs each of Bladeguard and Bikes. These draw on the in-built strength provided by Inner Circle and Jink. Bladeguard are a pain to kill at the best of times, and something that it’s never safe to ignore – add perma-Transhuman to them and they’re a bargain at 35pts each (and also give the list some options for Actions). Also a bargain are basic Bikers – T5 and 3W each with a 5++ is a great price-tag for board control/objective grabbing units, and adding a single lightning claw onto each sergeant ensures that they’re not totally harmless if they need to pick off enemy stragglers. Having Samael around helps these small units, as he can flit to wherever he’s needed most while Azrael stays with the crunchier core, bringing re-rolls and some extra melee punch to bear. Cheap troops finish things out, and Infiltrators give the list some vital ability to control where a Solar Flare unit can arrive turn 1.

This list is a real demonstration that, even though we’ve swerved slightly towards hyper-efficient murder builds again, balanced army design is very valuable in 9th. This army can do lots of different things well, and will always be furnished with plenty of options when operating on the table. Congratulations to Charlie for taking that all the way to second place.

Stewart Reed – Drukhari – 3rd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [67 PL, 1,074pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 104pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

Raider [6 PL, 100pts]: Dark Lance, Grisly Trophies, Kabal

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

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

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

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [20 PL, 305pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: The Prophets of Flesh: Connoisseurs of Pain

+ HQ +

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [6 PL, 80pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 9x Wracks: 9x Wrack Blade

Wracks [6 PL, 80pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 9x Wracks: 9x Wrack Blade

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [30 PL, 620pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Dark Lotus Toxin, Precision Blows, Razorflails, Warlord

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 115pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Blast Pistol, Hekatarii Blade
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

Wyches [3 PL, 50pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [11 PL, 255pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 14x Hellion: 14x Hellglaive, 14x Splinter Pods

++ Total: [117 PL, 1,999pts, 4CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Drukhari return to the top spots with all the hits and a few new tricks.
  • A mini-Court can ride tandem with an ObSec unit or Incubi.
  • Prophets Wracks provide sturdier objective holders.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Drukhari had a bit of a wobble on AdMech’s first big weekend, landing zero top four spots, but the win rate stayed strong and that looks like it was just a blip. While AdMech are indisputably on top, Drukhari swept up a handy crop of top four placings this weekend, cementing the fact that they’re still in a strong second place power-wise.

With the departure of the Technomancer Wrack mainstay, there are two main options to blow the spare points and detachment and this build shows off the first, which is to double down on the high-mobility, murderous playstyle that Drukhari encourages with more Wych Cult flex units and sometimes a few extra nods to objective play. For the former here, we’ve got a second tooled-up Succubus and a big unit of Hellions. A second Succubus seems to be pretty much universal at this point, which is not hugely surprising given that the razorflails/Lotus/Precision build is looking better than ever in a Lucius horde metagame. Hellions are a bit more high-risk, high reward, as they can be tricky to use safely against AdMech thanks to their vulnerability to teleporting Enriched Rounds volleys or Infoslave Skull if they try and come in from Webway Ambush. With fifteen in the squad, however, they can reasonably expect to tank the Infoslave volley from Rangers and keep an appreciable number of models, so you do have ways of making them do work, and they’re excellent if you’re up against opposing Drukhari with Cronos (the other big current option), as they can just smoke a unit in melee no questions asked (after shutting down overwatch with Flawless Approach). Finally, one musn’t forget that as long as they’re on the board the opponent has to be very, very worried about Eviscerating Fly-by, letting the unit pull off massive damage against enemy infantry when unmolested, or sometimes pick up a key buff character.

Over in objective play land, this list has two innovations:

  • A six-model Court of the Archon, which compared to the traditional 8 allows it to mount up and ride tandem with a five model squad of something else, either a cheap ObSec unit or Incubi for murderousness as needed. Forcing the opponent to split their firepower after popping a boat makes it much more challenging for them to reliably take all the passengers off an objective.
  • Prophets of Flesh Wracks. The Prophets Obsession took a big knock in the new codex, but the defences on Wracks make them quite a lot better at standing up to AdMech for their cost than any of the other basic Drukhari units, so they’re another route to maximising the chance of clinging on to a position.

Taking all that together, this build retains some spectacular killing power, but dials back a little on Drukhari’s normal diet of forward objective play units like Mandrakes and Scourges to favour a more durable grip on whatever positions it seizes. In general, pivoting to slightly more durable units seems to be the trend for Drukhari players trying to weather the Skitarii storm, and while in this case it didn’t 100% pay off (as Stewart’s one loss was to AdMech) it still feels like the right call. All-in-all, it’s good to see that Drukhari haven’t vanished entirely, and there are a few cool tricks on show here – strong work from Stewart.

James “Boon” Kelling – Drukhari – 4th Place

Drukhari Mandrakes. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [37 PL, 12CP, 665pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Haemonculus [4 PL, 80pts]

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [12 PL, 235pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe, Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos

Cronos [12 PL, 230pts] . Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [66 PL, -2CP, 1,075pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

Court of the Archon [10 PL, 100pts] . Sslyth
. Sslyth
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul
. Ur-Ghul

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Kabalite Trueborn [8 PL, 135pts] . 6x Kabalite Trueborn: 6x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Heavy Weapon: Dark Lance
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Kabalite Trueborn w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Trueborn Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 50pts] . 3x Kabalite Warrior: 3x Splinter Rifle
. Kabalite Warrior w/ Special Weapon: Blaster
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

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

Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal, Shock Prow

Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: Chain-snares, Dark Lance, Kabal, Shock Prow

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

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [13 PL, -2CP, 260pts] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, The Triptych Whip, Warlord
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

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

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

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

++ Total: [116 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Boon shows off the other big Drukhari flavour of the month – Cronos.
  • Shock Prows shoot up in value in a Skitarii world.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Our very own Boon continues his rampage across the major scene with his latest spin on Drukhari. This time around he’s left the Poisoned Tongue on the bench in favour of Dark Technomancer Cronos. These were already on the rise before the Drukhari nerfs, and while they’re pretty vulnerable to Enriched Rounds (what non-VEHICLE isn’t?) they still look pretty hot thanks to their extreme efficiency. At only 70pts a piece (or 80 with the Vortex) they’re one of the few units out there that challenges Ironstriders for the crown of best model in the medium weight class, and both their offences and defences are well tuned to the meta. On the defensive, the big AdMech volleys are mostly coming in at AP-1 or AP-2, meaning these get to enjoy a layered armour save and 5+++ that means that even the aforementioned Vanguard Volley has some chance of not popping a whole unit. “Only” losing 150-160pts of models when the Vanguard shoot may not sound like the most exciting thing in the world, but it’s more manageable than a lot of armies get, and thanks to bringing the Black Heart an extra CP tax can be slammed on additional attempts with Agents of Vect. Offensively things look spicy, too – these can still smash the Technomancers button all the time on their auto-hit gun, pushing some critical wounds past Lucius defences, and with two vortexes in each squad you can turn up the heat when needed without ever risking the loss of a whole model if you roll atrociously. The other handy thing about these is that they operate very effectively out of Strategic Reserves, as they don’t rely on any sort of support characters to do their thing, so on tables where they can’t be hidden from the early AdMech fury, that can be a strong choice.

Outside the Cronos, this is all stuff we’ve seen before. The new six-model Court tech makes an appearence here as well (with spare Kabalites or Wracks to ride shotgun) and a pretty standard character loadout. The only other big thing to highlight is the investment in Shock Prows on a couple of the Raiders – these are absurdly good against basic Skitarii, as the huge size of the Raider lets you drift park so that lots of their tiny bases are engagement range, and roll a big pile of dice for easy Mortals. You absolutely want any tools you can get against the Skitarii menace right now, so make sure to try and squeeze at least one of these into your armies if you can.

All these neat tricks allowed Boon to put up an even record against AdMech over the event, losing to Ben’s 1st place build but taking a game against them round 6. Both angles on Drukhari got some more representation elsewhere, so it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see which variant wins out in robot hell. In the meantime, congratulations to Boon on some more fine work.

The Rest of the Best

  • 5th – Robert Moreland – Adeptus Mechanicus: More Lucius nastiness, with the same core as Ben but some different flex choices, combining Corpuscarii priests (presumably Strat Reserve or Teleportariuming), a squad of Infiltrators and a big brick of Serberys Raiders.
  • 6th – Dan Sammons – Imperium: An intriuging build combining a bunch of MSU hits from the new Sisters build with the Ultramarine/Invictor Warsuit synergy. Being able to forward deploy Invictors then yank them to safety if you lose the roll allows the army to threaten incredible early pressure at minimum risk, while Morven Vahl combines with a whole host of Argent Shroud MSUs to provide lots of damage-dealing angles, most notably from Blessed Bolts and a Retributor squad loaded for Holy Trinity.
  • 7th – Connor Haugen – Drukhari: Mobile Drukhari put another player in the 5-1 bracket, with a 10-model Hellion squad and some extra Mandrakes being the main flex choices here.
  • 8th ✪ – Scott Thompson – Adeptus Mechanicus: Our first example of another Lucius option that’s doing the rounds, which is dumping all points past the Character/Ironstrider/Skitarii core into Infiltrators and Ruststalkers. These are super efficient with the Lucius defences up, and the Infiltrators in particular can put your opponent under huge pressure straight away, while Ruststalkers provide the kind of volume melee that can scythe through models in the mirror.
  • 9th – Patrick McAneeny – White Scars: No big surprises from White Scars – two big, splittable VanVet units, two VolCons (more important than ever in a Lucius World) and supporting units to taste, with the big novelty being the spread of Suppressors to this chapter.
  • 10th – Colin McDade – Adepta Sororitas: Morvenn Vahl leads a whole host of Bloody Rose nasties to war, with two big units each of Zephyrim, Sacresants and Repentia, plus Retributors in fire support. Compared to almost any other army, all of these represent a terminal threat to Lucius units if they connect, and can make quick and dirty work of Infiltrators, and this list feels decently positioned for the meta (though notably didn’t get tested in the AdMech matchup at the event).
  • 11th ✪ – Jason Rogers – Death Guard: A very skewed Death Guard list combines Mortarion with a bunch of Dreadnoughts to give a pretty uniform defensive profile. Runs the risk of getting the Primarch blasted apart by Enriched Rounds in the AdMech matchup (which it also managed to dodge) but poses a real headache to anything else.
  • 12th – Nick Anderson – Space Wolf Successors: A Dreadnought/Wolf Guard special here, going for a Master Artisans/Whirlwind of Rage trait combo for maximum damage.

Maul in the Mall

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. The way the player numbers at this event hashed out meant that everyone who went into the final round 4-1 had a theoretical chance to win outright, as there was only one 5-0 player at the time. In the event, that player won out to a clean 6-0, but technically everyone listed here could have the TiWP star (✪), making actually putting it in redundant.

Major Jouret – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Skitarii Vanguard. Credit: Rockfish

Skitarii Vanguard. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [102 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

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

Stratagem: Artefactotum [-1CP]: Artefactotum

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-2CP]: 2x Host of the Intermediary

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

+ HQ +

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

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

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

+ Troops +

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

Skitarii Rangers [2 PL, 40pts] . Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 1): Multitasking Cortex
. 4x Skitarii Ranger: 4x Galvanic Rifle

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

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

+ Elites +

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

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

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 170pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades): Artefactotum, Relic: Temporcopia
. 9x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 9x 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 [12 PL, 215pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon

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

+ Flyer +

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

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

++ Total: [102 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Archaeopter Fusilaves and Ruststalkers show off more Lucius nastiness.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The one upside for me of factions consolidating around broken stuff is that it lets me focus in on just what’s different from each list. Here, two units stand out that we haven’t seen anywhere else, which are Fusilaves and Ruststalkers. Fusilaves are one of the best units in the AdMech book, as the change to make their bomb twice as effective against single-model vehicle and monster units has essentially removed any situation where they would have been useless from a damage perspective. Now, a pair of them can clip off a reasonable number of wounds from a single model (and are especially cruel against CHARACTER VEHICLE/MONSTER units like Morvenn Vahl and Catacomb Command Barges), while also being devastating to hordes or enemy Ironstrider units alike. Putting a Chaff Launcher on them as Lucius also means that the only really good answer to them is heavy firepower – while that combo doesn’t “work” the way some AdMech players optimistically hoped it might, it still means that neither D1 chip firepower or D2 mid-quality shots are efficient at killing them, forcing the opponent to commit the big guns they’d rather be pointing at Ironstriders.

Sicarians are the other thing on show here, with both flavours featured. Infiltrators are just an absurdly pushed all-rounder unit, while Ruststalkers provide the more specific ability to scythe through hordes of pretty much any size in melee, especially once boosted with the Assassin Constructs stratagem and Machine Superiority (which here gets the unit to the important S6 breakpoint thanks to packing the Blades). A big unit also provides a flexible threat throughout the game thanks to Circuitous Assassins, and finally the choice to stick the Temporcopia on the Princeps makes these wildly unsafe to charge for melee-focused lists, allowing you to really press the advantage if you can burst down the enemy’s best ranged units (not hard for AdMech).

All in all, an excellent demonstration of two more of the horrifying things the AdMech book can put on the table, and well piloted by major to an impressive 6-0 finish.

Jeremy Stan – Adeptus Custodes – 2nd Place

Custodes Telemon Dreadnought

Custodes Telemon Dreadnought. Credit: CrabStuffedMushrooms

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [98 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

List Stratagems

Shield Host: Emissaries Imperatus

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -1CP, 178pts]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander, Indomitable Constitution, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Superior Creation, Warlord

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 156pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 153pts]: Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 153pts]: Sagittarum Custodian, Sagittarum Custodian
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

+ Fast Attack +

Venatari Custodians [16 PL, 330pts] . Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler
. Venatari Custodian
. . Kinetic Destroyer and Tarsus Buckler

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Eternal Penitent, Iliastus Accelerator Culverin
. Telemon Caestus

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Eternal Penitent, Iliastus Accelerator Culverin
. Telemon Caestus

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, -1CP, 280pts]: Eternal Penitent, Iliastus Accelerator Culverin
. Telemon Caestus

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

The Standout Features

  • Emissaries Imperiatus ensure that double-shooting Venatari can do maximum damage when they arrive.
  • Triple Telemon – still fine, thanks for asking.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

A big, bold skew play on show here – conventionally the Shadowkeepers shield host is the dominant choice for any Custodes list that’s packing Telemons, as it provides you with another tool to shut down incoming firepower. However, Telemons are one of the very, very few things that don’t really care about any of the offensive combos that Skitarii can throw out, as they’re all wounding on 6s anyway. In addition, Grim Responsibility does nothing against an Enriched Rounds volley coming in on basic Custodes, leaving it just that bit less valuable overall in the current meta. With that in mind, the call seems to have been that the list could risk skimping on this to take the Emissaries Imperiatus host instead, granting access to the The Emperor’s Hand instead. Layering the ability to ignore pretty much all negative modifiers on top of the doubled shots from Superior Fire Patterns sets up the other centrepiece unit in this list, the Venatari, to do some spectacular damage when they arrive from Deep Strike. Combined with the incredibly steadfast mobile bastion the Telemons provide, the plan seems to be to soften up the enemy turn 1, then throw an incredible sucker punch turn two that tilts the game in the Custodes direction and roll out to seize the board from there. Some other classics like the super Shield Captain and an MSU of Shield Custodians round things out, and taken as a whole this build showcases just how consistently strong Custodes’ options have been this edition. Great job to Jeremy for highlighting a new trick in that context.

Steven Crawley – Drukhari – 3rd Place

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [61 PL, 1,030pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ Stratagems +

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

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

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: Blast Pistol, Hatred Eternal, Huskblade, Overlord, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

Kabalite Warriors [3 PL, 40pts] . 4x Kabalite Warrior: 4x Splinter Rifle
. Sybarite: Splinter Rifle

+ Elites +

Incubi [8 PL, 160pts] . 9x Incubi: 9x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

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

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

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

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

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

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [35 PL, 785pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

+ HQ +

Succubus [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive

+ Troops +

Wyches [6 PL, 125pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Blast Pistol, Power sword
. 7x Wych: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Hydra Gauntlets: Hydra Gauntlets
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

Wyches [6 PL, 125pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Blast Pistol, Power sword
. 7x Wych: 7x Hekatarii Blade, 7x Plasma Grenades, 7x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Hydra Gauntlets: Hydra Gauntlets
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [7 PL, 170pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

Reavers [9 PL, 225pts]: *Random x 2* (Combat Drug), 3x Grav-talon
. Arena Champion: Splinter Rifle
. 5x Reaver: 5x Bladevanes, 5x Splinter Pistol, 5x Splinter Rifle
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Heat Lance
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Heat Lance
. Reaver with special weapon (up to 1 for 3 models): Heat Lance

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [10 PL, 185pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Cult of Strife: The Spectacle of Murder

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Dark Lotus Toxin, Precision Blows, Razorflails, Warlord
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Wyches [3 PL, 55pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Power sword, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [3 PL, 55pts]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Power sword, Splinter Pistol
. 4x Wych: 4x Hekatarii Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Splinter Pistol

++ Total: [106 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Speedy Drukhari on full show.
  • Heat lance Reavers give a good tool to reach out and drop damage on Ironstriders

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The “fast” flavour of Drukhari racks up another podium finish here, with an extra big unit of Wyches (meaning an second shardnet to potentially trap key AdMech units with), a 10-model Hellion squad and the heat lance Reaver unit as the standouts. As long as you’re confident of there being a good amount of Obscuring terrain around the Reavers are a strong choice right now – their speed and the ability to use Never Stationary to flit back behind terrain gives you some anti-tank firepower that will actually stick around, a rare asset in the AdMech matchup that ensures attrition from Ironstriders isn’t all one way. As soon as Power From Pain ticks up to two they also continuously threaten to flit to any part of the board, dump some mortals with Fly-by and charge in for some more thanks to their grav talons. Great all-rounder unit that continues to be a strong option in the overall Drukhari toolbox, and here takes the place of the more conventional Trueborn. That swap, plus going a bit harder on Incubi and Wyches than normal, means that if this list decides to go all in on a big melee turn it can hit astoundingly hard, providing an angle to trip up opponents used to slightly cagier Drukhari play. Appropriately vicious work from Steven.

Mark Perry – Chaos – 4th Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [109 PL, -3CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Legion: Emperor’s Children

+ Stratagems +

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

+ No Force Org Slot +

Dark Disciples [1 PL, 10pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 2x Dark Disciple: 2x Close combat weapon

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord [7 PL, 115pts]: 2. Flames of Spite, Jump pack, 2x Lightning Claw, Mark of Slaanesh, The Rapacious Talons, Warlord

Dark Apostle [4 PL, 80pts]: Blissful Devotion, Illusory Supplication, Mark of Slaanesh, Remnant of the Maraviglia

Sorcerer [5 PL, 90pts]: Bolt pistol, Delightful Agonies, Force sword, Mark of Slaanesh, Prescience

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Noise Marines [10 PL, 173pts] . Marine w/ blastmaster: Blastmaster
. 6x Marine w/ sonic blaster: 6x Bolt pistol, 6x Frag & Krak grenades, 6x Sonic Blaster
. Noise Champion: Astartes chainsword, Sonic blaster

+ Elites +

Chaos Contemptor Dreadnought [8 PL, -1CP, 145pts]: Combi-bolter, Hellforged Dreadnought chainfist, Hellforged heavy plasma cannon, Mark of Slaanesh

Chaos Leviathan Dreadnought [13 PL, -1CP, 240pts]: Cyclonic melta-lance, Leviathan siege drill and meltagun, Mark of Slaanesh
. Two twin volkite calivers

Chosen [6 PL, 82pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen
. Chosen Champion: Boltgun, Lightning Claw

Chosen [6 PL, 85pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen: Lightning Claw
. Chosen Champion: Boltgun, Lightning Claw

+ Fast Attack +

Dreadclaw Drop Pod [6 PL, 115pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

Dreadclaw Drop Pod [6 PL, 115pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

Dreadclaw Drop Pod [6 PL, 115pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

+ Heavy Support +

Havocs [7 PL, 145pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Aspiring Champion: Combi-plasma, Plasma gun
. 4x Havoc w/ autocannon: 4x Autocannon, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Havocs [7 PL, 145pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Aspiring Champion: Combi-plasma, Plasma gun
. 4x Havoc w/ autocannon: 4x Autocannon, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Havocs [7 PL, 165pts]: Mark of Slaanesh
. Aspiring Champion: Astartes chainsword, Boltgun
. 4x Havoc w/ reaper chaincannon: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Reaper chaincannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]: Mark of Slaanesh

++ Total: [109 PL, -3CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Fun with Dreadclaws continues to lead the way for Chaos Space Marines
  • Minimal on-board targets out of the gate make it tough for lists skewed to the first turn to exploit it.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It continues to be wild just how much a single unit change has levelled up the Chaos Space Marine faction. They’re not suddenly top tier or anything, but the addition of proper drop pod rules to the Dreadclaw seems to have given the army (the Emperor’s Children version of it at least) just enough of a shot in the arm that people can have some real fun with it again. That’s great! The more armies have at least something they can put on the table and do well with the better for the health of the metagame.

This build leans even harder on the Dreadclaws than previous versions we’ve seen, taking the maximum of three and stuffing them with a heady mix of Havocs, lightning claw Chosen and Noise Marines, with a spare on-board Rhino to pack whoever can’t fit in the claws in (presumably chosen depending on matchup). Other than the Rhino, the only things starting out on the board are (maybe) some characters, Cultists and two Dreadnoughts (unless the Contemptor rides a pod like an absolute mad lad), giving the army a pretty small footprint and maximising the chance of it being able to hide the majority of the units behind Obscuring terrain. That’s made even easier by access to Tactical Perfection, as with only three key units on the table you’re happy to spend the CP to redeploy all of them when it really matters.

That (plus having a solid half of its points in the sky) allows this list to both maximise its own first turn punch (by deploying aggressively with the dreads then pulling them if needed) and largely weather whatever the opponent might try and do if the roll goes against it. Chaos Units have plenty of avenues to do some big damage (especially with the ability to dump a whole army into the Remnant of the Maraviglia‘s bubble), but brittleness for the price is a real headache, so this kind of setup is ideal. It’s also cute to see the use of autocannons on the Havocs, leaning hard into a metagame where these are particularly effective. All in all, a very neat list from a well known Chaos master, and really great to see the servants of the dark gods making a splash.

The Rest of the Best

One more player finished the event with a 5-1 record, and here i’ve also included the top 4-2 player, as they got paired up into Major’s AdMech in the final round, so went into it with a great chance at winning the event.

  • 5th – Collin Watts – Imperium: Mostly another Custodes list here, going in on a mixture of Sagittarum, Venatari and Caladius tanks, but with the unique spin of an honest to goodness Inquisition Vanguard, with three Daemonhosts accompanying an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor. Apart from providing some CP farming via Esoteric Lore, this gives the army some extremely cheap single models to keep on objectives behind terrain, and allows some wonky screening trickery with Clandestine Deployment and/or Psychic Veil, essentially allowing the timely sacrifice of the models in question to thwart either first turn redeploys or deep strike charges.
  • 6th – Mark Aescht – Daemons: A bold return of the quad-Keeper lists (three plus Shalxi), with a Lord of Change also in tow, that made it all the way to the finals before eventually being obliterated by Major’s AdMech. A Contorted Epitome also features, and that feels like a near mandatory choice right now as trapping the opponent in combat at a key moment is a big angle for a surprise win.

R&R GT

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

Jake Nelson – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Adeptus Mechanicus - Tech-Priest Manipulus

Adeptus Mechanicus – Tech-Priest Manipulus
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [100 PL, 1,998pts, 6CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems [-6CP] +

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

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

Stratagem: Host of the Intermediary [-2CP]: 2x Host of the Intermediary [-2CP]

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

+ HQ [14 PL, 245pts] +

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

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

Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 95pts]: Artisans [1 PL, 25pts], Magnarail lance, Manipulus Mechadendrites, Omnissian Staff, Relic (Lucius): The Solar Flare

+ Troops [32 PL, 680pts] +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 170pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether [5pts], Omnispex [5pts] . Ranger Alpha [8pts]: Galvanic Rifle
. 19x Skitarii Ranger [152pts]: 19x Galvanic Rifle

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

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

+ Elites [16 PL, 323pts] +

Sicarian Infiltrators [8 PL, 153pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Stub/Sword) [17pts]: Artefactotum, Host of the Intermediary, Power Sword, Relic: The Omniscient Mask, Stubcarbine, Warlord Trait (Codex 4): Archived Engagements
. 8x Sicarian Infiltrator (Flechette/Taser) [136pts]: 8x Flechette Blaster, 8x Taser Goad

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Stub/Sword) [17pts]: Power Sword, Stubcarbine
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Stub/Sword) [68pts]: 4x Power Sword, 4x Stubcarbine

Sicarian Infiltrators [4 PL, 85pts] . Infiltrator Princeps (Stub/Sword) [17pts]: Power Sword, Stubcarbine
. 4x Sicarian Infiltrator (Stub/Sword) [68pts]: 4x Power Sword, 4x Stubcarbine

+ 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]

+ Flyer [14 PL, 300pts] +

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

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

++ Total: [100 PL, 6CP, 1,998pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Perhaps the sleekest of all the AdMech builds on show – incredibly down the line maximisation of the best datasheets in the book.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

For my money, this is the single most archetypal example of the top AdMech builds we’ve yet seen. No messing around, just seven of the best datasheets in the game arranged into a lethal, nigh unstoppable killing machine. The only notable unit we haven’t talked about yet is a big Infiltrator squad, here stacking the Omniscient Mask and Archived Engagements so that it can throw a devastating and reliable punch straight out of the gate while Skitarii, Ironstriders and Fusilaves kick off the ranged damage. We’ve talked about everything else here already, and if you want a list to thrust into the hands of your playtest partner to see if your army has any chance against AdMech, this is the one to use. Congratulations to Jake for, like any good Tech Priest, achieving superior mechanical optimisation.

Treynor Wolfe – Adeptus Mechanicus – 2nd Place

Sicarian Infiltrators. Credit: Rockfish

Sicarian Infiltrators. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [46 PL, 8CP, 886pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Lucius

+ Stratagems +

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

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

+ HQ +

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

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

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

+ Troops +

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

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

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

+ Elites +

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

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

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

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [55 PL, -3CP, 1,113pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +

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

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

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

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 8x Serberys Raider: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 8x Serberys Raider: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

++ Total: [101 PL, 5CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Oh hi Mars!
  • Shroudpsalm/Bulwark Serberys Raiders provide rock-solid early screening.
  • Raiders and the large Infiltrator squad provide great Wrath of Mars targets.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s easy to forget with just how dominant Lucius is that Mars also has an outrageously powerful Dogma and Stratagem, and a few people are giving it a successful go, either paired up with Lucius for their Skitarii core or even on its own (as we’ll see later). Mars has strong inherant synergy with Ironstriders, as the re-rolls from both the Dogma and (on one turn) Benediction of the OmnissiahLayered on top of the (near mandatory) Skitarii Marshall, it makes these killing machines even more ultra reliable. Vicious stuff.

The other top tricks the red planet brings to the table are good defensive support for 2W models, and the exceptional Wrath of Mars stratagem. While Lucius is totally fine on things like Infiltrators and Serberys Raiders, if your opponent has any massed D2 firepower it’s definitely going to be pointed at these units, cutting through the Lucius bonus and potentially wracking up quite a bit of value. Mars has a much more foolproof plan for protection out of the gate – if your opponent has the tools to really go for these units, activate Shroudpsalm and Bulwark Doctrina and hey presto, they’re all at +2 to their save (your Ironstriders too, and getting to roll a 4+ against opposing Cognis Las in the mirror is definitely not nothing). That sorts out the defences, and then Wrath of Mars prepares them to go on the attack. A full Infiltrator squad is one of the most reliable ways to max this, hitting a solid 5-6MW on average dice, and as already discussed Infiltrators are hardly something you’re sad to have around anyway. More subtly, you can also just pop this on Serberys Raiders, who can character snipe with their Galvanic Carbines. They get far fewer shots, but at that point you’re getting two mortals for every six to wound, giving you a strong chance of just flattening a key victim outright, which can be gamechanging. Thanks to their pre-game move (which you can handily order before activating Bulwark Doctrina) it’s very difficult to stay out of range of this, so your opponent either has to deploy cautiously or risk starting the game down a key character.

All pretty horrible – good job Treynor for showcasing yet more of the horrendous delights available in this book.

William Saunders – Salamanders – 3rd ✪ Place

Salamanders Judiciar. Credit: Rockfish

Salamanders Judiciar. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Salamanders) [104 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Salamanders

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Captain on Bike [6 PL, -1CP, 130pts]: Forge Master, Storm of Fire, Storm shield, Stratagem: Exemplar of the Promethean Creed, The Salamander’s Mantle, Thunder hammer, Warlord

Lieutenants [5 PL, 90pts] . Primaris Lieutenant
. . Neo-volkite pistol, Master-crafted power sword and Storm Shield: Neo-volkite pistol

Primaris Librarian [5 PL, 95pts]: 3) Null Zone (Aura), 4) Drakeskin, 6) Psychic Fortress (Aura), Tome of Vel’cona

+ 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

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

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 +

Aggressor Squad [12 PL, 200pts]: 2x Flamestorm Gauntlets, 4x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant

Aggressor Squad [6 PL, 120pts]: 2x Flamestorm Gauntlets, 2x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant

Bladeguard Veteran Squad [10 PL, 175pts] . 4x Bladeguard Veteran: 4x Frag & Krak grenades, 4x Heavy Bolt Pistol, 4x Master-crafted power sword, 4x Storm Shield
. Bladeguard Veteran Sergeant: Heavy Bolt Pistol

Judiciar [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: Rites of War, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter

Primaris Apothecary [5 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Vox Espiritum

+ Fast Attack +

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

+ Heavy Support +

Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 135pts]: Melta rifle
. 2x Eradicator: 2x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt

Eradicator Squad [7 PL, 135pts]: Melta rifle
. 2x Eradicator: 2x Bolt pistol
. Eradicator Sgt

+ Dedicated Transport +

Impulsor [7 PL, 125pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Shield Dome

++ Total: [104 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • A second TiWP running for a Salamander mastermind.
  • Inceptors in for maximum horde sweeping.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

We looked at William’s previous Salamanders list just two weeks ago, where he picked up 3rd place (and another TiWP) at the Hammerhead major. This time around he came even closer to taking the trophy, comfortably taking out Traynor’s AdMech in round three putting up an extremely respectable 90-72VP fight in the final against Jake’s Lucius list in the final, really showing how well positioned the Chapter tactic and the build he’s landed on is.

There have been a few changes since last time, with an Eradicator squad, Aggressor and the Heavy Intercessors departing to free up points for a chunky five-model Inceptor unit. These ain’t cheap these days, but are a huge asset against AdMech lists, as the ability to drop in and unleash 30 Blast shots at AP-5 lets them sweep hordes before them in a similar fashion to the Assault Hellblasters from the Andre Dark Angels list, but with the deep strike built in and more mobility once they’re on the table, and can also reach out to easily vaporise units like Ironstriders if you choose to pop Crucible of Battle. Drop them into the RR1s aura, pop the strat and split fire and I think these smoke four Ironstriders on average dice, immediately making their points back – not nothing! Having access to Drakeskin and Unyielding in the Face of the Foe also means this unit is far from trivial to shift once they’re down, especially if they can pop several Ironstriders right away. Not cheap, but they seem to be the tool that’s needed right now.

Elsewhere, things all run as previous – Aggressors give you some great durable anti-horde tools (with an option on emergency mortals and charge interference thanks to Born Protectors), Bladeguard are strong melee shock troops and Heavy Eradicators will make a brutal mess of any Fusilaves that fly too close out of the gate. Most players on Marines right now are sticking to Dark Angels, Space Wolves and Deathwatch, but as William keeps showing, Salamanders have a bunch to offer as well.

Matthew Melton – Adeptus Custodes – 4th Place

Custodes Vertus Praetors

Custodes Vertus Praetors. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [104 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Shield Host Note: not listed

+ HQ +

Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 190pts]

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, -1CP, 175pts]: Auric Aquilas, Captain-Commander, Indomitable Constitution, Radiant Mantle, Salvo Launcher, Warlord

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [18 PL, 298pts] . Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Guardian Spear
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield
. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

Sagittarum Custodians [10 PL, 212pts] . Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts] . Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia
. Sagittarum Custodian: Misericordia

+ Elites +

Prosecutors [6 PL, 84pts]: Sister Superior
. 6x Prosecutor: 6x Boltgun, 6x Psyk-Out Grenades

Vexilus Praetor [6 PL, 118pts]: Misericordia, Storm Shield, Vexilla Imperius

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 264pts] . Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia
. Vertus Praetor: Hurricane Bolter, Misericordia

+ Heavy Support +

Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 205pts]: Twin Arachnus Heavy Blaze Cannon

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, -1CP, 295pts]: Arachnus Storm Cannon, Eternal Penitent
. Telemon Caestus

++ Total: [104 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Remember Vertus Praetors? They’re real cheap now. Just thought you should know.
  • Extra-hefty core Custodian unit to maximise buffs.
  • Vexila Imperius gives good counter-charge potential from the Sagitarrum

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Again showcasing that Custodes are just all-round high quality, this is very much a “goodstuff” list. All the units are basically just good at their job, with the one notable standout we haven’t seen for a while being the Vertus Praetors. These have gradually racked up some healthy price cuts, and 85pts each is honestly a bit of a steal (and would look more like one if Ironstriders didn’t, you know, exist). They bring a tasty mix of fairly high damage firepower and some flying melee threats that you’re happy starting on the board, discouraging early pushes from enemy Fusilaves and letting you effectively counter-charge into early enemy pushes. Finally, since this build looks pretty well set up for assembling a glorious golden battle pile, their presence means your opponent has to be constantly afraid of a Stooping Dive countercharge if they get too close, helping compensate for Custodes low model count by controlling a lot of space.

The battlepile makes some rather neat choices. A six model Custodian squad with four storm shields is a great place to drop Emperor’s Auspice to really tank on a position, properly maximising the benefit of any defensive stratagems, while bringing a Vexila Imperius along rather than the more conventional Magnifica combines very effectively with buying misericordias for all the Sagitarrum. These are suddenly throwing 5 S5 AP-2 attacks each, with good re-roll support from Trajann, which turns them into a serious melee threat on top of their ranged potential, great for dealing with any upstart elves that get into the lines and helping further increase the army’s flexibility. Round out with some Prosecutors for cheap objective holders, a Telemon as a giant anvil and a Caladius as a backfield ranged threat and you’ve got a list that can operate effectively on lots of different angles. Good clean stuff from Matthew.

The Rest of the Best

Three more players finished with 4-1 records:

  • 5th – Jeremy Newswander – Adeptus Custodes: An overlapping but ultimately different spin on Custodes goodstuff, sporting a pair of Achillus dreads for more robot fun and a big unit of Venatari plus a bulked up bike squad in place of a battle pile.
  • 6th – Cyrus Azari – Drukhari: This was listed as Kabal of the Black Heart in BCP and it actually genuinely is – the list is entirely built from four datasheets, featuring two Archons, 5×10 Kabalites with a Dark Lance, a Trueborn unit, three Ravagers and seven Raiders. Full on yacht club, a beautiful sight (unless you’ve skimped on anti-tank, in which case I guess it’s less beautiful).
  • 7th – Jesse Kunz – Chaos: Supreme psychic firepower on show here, with Magnus, a Lord of Change and Ahriman all packed into the same Chaos Soup list, with a bunch of Horrors and Nurglings to screen and a Thousand Sons Leviathan as a fun bit of extra heft.

Tables and Towers Summer GT

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. Same deal as the Maul in the Mall – only one player went into the final round undefeated, and then went on to win out, which means that all the other lists shown could theoretically have taken 1st place, so no TiWP stars.

Stephen Fore – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Adeptus Mechanicus - Ironstrider Ballistarii

Adeptus Mechanicus – Ironstrider Ballistarii
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [100 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

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

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

+ Troops +

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 157pts]: Omnispex
. Ranger Alpha: Galvanic Rifle, Host of the Intermediary, Warlord Trait (Codex 5): Firepoint Telemetry Cache
. 18x Skitarii Ranger: 18x Galvanic Rifle

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

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Ironstrider Ballistarii [20 PL, 365pts] . Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Autocannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon
. Ironstrider Ballistarius: Twin Cognis Lascannon

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

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

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 8x Serberys Raider: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [4 PL, 96pts]: Serberys Raider Alpha
. 5x Serberys Raider: 5x Cavalry Sabre, 5x Clawed Limbs, 5x Galvanic Carbine

Serberys Raiders [6 PL, 149pts]: Enhanced Data-Tether, Serberys Raider Alpha
. 8x Serberys Raider: 8x Cavalry Sabre, 8x Clawed Limbs, 8x Galvanic Carbine

+ Heavy Support +

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

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

+ Flyer +

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

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

++ Total: [100 PL, 8CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The other big Mars trick on show – making Skorpii still worth it.
  • Heavy spamming of Raiders and Pteraxii really takes advantage of Canticle/Doctrina combos.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The only Lucius free AdMech list on show this week makes the predicatable choice to go all-in on Mars. Quite a few of the same factors as discussed above are at play here – being able to double boost the save army-wide for a turn is incredibly good in a lot of matchups, especially the mirror, and while it doesn’t give you the game-long durability of Lucius, when you lose the roll-off having some reliable defenes to throw up can be golden. Lots of re-rolls also helps ensure that Skorpius Disintegrators are still a good value-add, and Blast on a D2 no-LOS weapon is also very valuable right now.

No Infiltrators for Wrath of Mars on show here, but there are plenty of units that can pull that duty, most notably the larger Pteraxii block, who also hit 5+ mortals on average dice, making the already considerable annoyance they represent even worse. I suspect that post-FAQ they’d become an Inilftrator unit. Because they could still jump out here, including them makes sense, as this list has lots of CP to play with and slightly fewer Infantry to pull of Actions than some other builds, so a unit that reliably doesn’t die while doing so is premium (also presumably why a Servitor squad has been hustled in).

The other scary and unique thing about this list is that it’s near-100% ready to be upgraded to a Veteran Cohort. With far fewer basic Skitarii than the other lists, and only one Manipulusjust cutting the Servitors and changing the Pteraxii to Infiltrators harvests all of the points you need and unlocks a heady host of exciting new tricks. Once the Pteraxii are Infiltrators, a bit more tinkering probablys get this to a Battalion, giving you a bucket of CP to play with and letting you fit a second Marshall for the Cohort relic. Will opponents enjoy the Ironstrider block being in permanent Bulwark/Firepoint? Probably not, but they’re going to have to cope.

Being the only soul brave enough to leave Lucius on the touchlines make this the most innovative AdMech list on show here by default, so congratulations to Stephen and I guess we can all look forward to finding out whether a veteran Cohort does, in fact, await future victims.

Jesse Melvin – Death Guard – 2nd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

This list is a terribly blurry screenshot of a Battlescribe list in BCP  with no costs, so this is my best attempt at transcription.

Army List - Click to Expand

Supreme Command Detachment

Mortarion, Warlord

Vanguard Detachment – The Inexorable

HQ

Lord of Contagion, Plaguereaper, Explosive Outbreak, Plague Skull of Glothila

Troops

5 Plague Marines, Daemonic Plague Blade

Elites

Contemptor, Volkite, Missiles

6 Deathshrouds, Sergeant has extra gauntlet and Unstable Sickness

Foul Blightspawn, Revolting Stench Vats, Viscous Death

Tallyman, Tollkeeper

Fast Attack

Foetid Bloat Drone, fleshmower

Foetid Bloat Drone, fleshmower

Heavy Support

Plagueburst Crawler, entropy cannons

Plagueburst Crawler, entropy cannons

The Standout Features

  • A skewed Death Guard list gives up very few soft targets.
  • Mortarion still decides to brave the AdMech infested metagame.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Death Guard’s continued infestation of top fours means I’m kind of running out of things to say about them. All the stuff here has a strong pedigree, and the defensive profiles of the army (outside the Plague Marines) are extremely uniform – high toughness, good invulns, damage reduction. That gives the opponent few easy targets to shoot at, and potentially overwhelms their anti-tank tools. That’s especially true if the army puts Mortarion into Strategic Reserves, and I think realistically it has to do that a lot of the time against AdMech in particular. The list has tonnes of CP spare, so can very much afford the cost, and the issue if it doesn’t is that it opens up a massive vulnerability to the Solar Flare/Enriched Rounds combo that it’s otherwise pretty sturdy against (Deathshrouds getting a 3+ against it helps them a lot). Taking Mortarion out of the picture for a turn means that everything else is either a VEHICLE or easy to hide, significantly mitigating likely early losses against the biggest nasties of the metagame, while not being too shabby in terms of early damage output once it starts rolling out. That helps this list do what Death Guard does best – take a punch and roll with it, then grind the opponent down gradually.

Just Death Guard things, basically. It’s neat to see Mortarion still out and about, and I think the key takeaway from this list is that if you are going to run him, go a bit lighter on traits and relics so you’ve got the CP to reserve him in the games where it matters. Death Guard players continue to truck along effectively in brutally hostile metagames, so well done to Jesse for keeping standards up.

Anthony Vanella – Drukhari – 3rd Place

Drazhar, the Master of Blades. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [35 PL, 615pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

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

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [12 PL, 215pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe
. Cronos
. Cronos

Cronos [12 PL, 215pts] . Cronos: Spirit Probe
. Cronos
. Cronos

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [23 PL, 465pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

Raiding Forces – CP Refund

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 135pts, -1CP]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael
. 8x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Hekatrix Bloodbride w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

+ Elites +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [7 PL, 175pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive, Phantasm Grenade Launcher
. 9x Hellion: 9x Hellglaive, 9x Splinter Pods

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [54 PL, 919pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Black Heart: Thirst for Power

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Black Heart): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

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

+ Elites +

Incubi [8 PL, 144pts] . 8x Incubi: 8x Klaive
. Klaivex: Klaive

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 105pts]: Dark Lance, Kabal, Splinter racks

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

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

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

++ Total: [112 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • A brutal tour through all the best Drukhari units

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The bullet point says it all here – pretty much all the Drukhari units that are getting premium airtime are crammed into this list, and it’s a vicious, flexible nightmare as a result, able to go hunting with the boat-mounted melee or tank on a point with the Cronos as the situation requires, and with the Hellions as a constant threat to any opponent who makes a poor choice about where to commit. It doesn’t really have anything we haven’t already talked about, with the only notable thing we haven’t seen in the other lists being the presence of Morvaine’s Agoniser on the Wyches, really doubling down on ways to trap opponents in a fight so that this squad can get a bit more mileage over the game. Beyond that, we’ve seen Anthony in these top fours enough to be sure that he really knows his way around the faction, so it’s no surprise to see him racking up another podium finish.

Conor Lobb – Drukhari – 4th Place

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [32 PL, 570pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

+ HQ +

Succubus [4 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug), Competitive Edge, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Triptych Whip
. Agoniser & Archite Glaive
. Show Stealer (Strife): Show Stealer

+ Troops +

Hekatrix Bloodbrides [8 PL, 125pts, -1CP]: 2 – Grave Lotus (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Agoniser, Morvaines’s Agoniser, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Hekatrix of the Crucibael
. 9x Hekatrix Bloodbride: 9x Hekatarii Blade, 9x Plasma Grenades, 9x Splinter Pistol

Wyches [6 PL, 110pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol
. Wych w/ Shardnet and Impaler: Shardnet and Impaler

Wyches [6 PL, 90pts]: 3 – Hypex (Combat Drug)
. Hekatrix: Hekatarii Blade, Splinter Pistol
. 8x Wych: 8x Hekatarii Blade, 8x Plasma Grenades, 8x Splinter Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [16 PL, 285pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession: Kabal of the Obsidian Rose: Flawless Workmanship

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Archon [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Ancient Evil, Huskblade, Overlord, Splinter Pistol, Stratagem: Tolerated Ambition, The Djin Blade
. Splintered Genius (Obsidian Rose): Splintered Genius

+ Troops +

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

+ Fast Attack +

Reavers [3 PL, 60pts]: 4 – Painbringer (Combat Drug)
. Arena Champion: Splinter Rifle
. 2x Reaver: 2x Bladevanes, 2x Splinter Pistol, 2x Splinter Rifle

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [65 PL, 1,145pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

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

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts] . Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

Hellions [4 PL, 85pts]: 1 – Adrenalight (Combat Drug)
. Helliarch: Hellglaive
. 4x Hellion: 4x Hellglaive, 4x Splinter Pods

+ Heavy Support +

Cronos [12 PL, 240pts] . Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex
. Cronos: Spirit Vortex

+ Dedicated Transport +

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

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

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

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

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

++ Total: [113 PL, -4CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • MSU Hellions and plenty of Wyches.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Once again I’m running out of things to say about Drukhari, so let’s focus in on what’s unique – MSU Hellions, the full three squads worth. This seems like a decent call – they hit like a truck even in pretty small unit sizes, are a constant headache while they’re alive, and taking them in multiple smaller squads trades out the option of Eviscerating Fly-By for making it far, far harder to lose them all at once, a perpetual risk with a large unit. As incrediby unlikely INFANTRY they’re also going to catch at least one opponent per event by finishing off a key Action at the right moment. Our own Corrode has been selling me on the virtues of these recently, so it’s not wildly surprising to see them in a top list, and if you’re a Drukhari player who wants to inject some additional explosive threats into your list, consider following Conor’s example.

The Rest of the Best

Once again, as in the previous event the top ranked X-2 player got paired up then lost in the final, so was in contention for 1st place and is thus included.

  • 5th – Jack McCall – Astra Militarum: Tank Commanders, Full Payload Manticores and a whole lot of Infantry Squads and Bullgryn push a Guard list to an impressively strong showing. Two big blocks of thicc, shield-toting abhumans allow this list to roll to the centre and really demand an answer, and that was enough to shut out four of its five opponents.
  • 6th – TJ Lanigan – Nurgle: An highly durable build here that combines a forward contingent of Nurgle Daemons with Plagueburst Crawlers at the back.  Great Unclean One feels a little optimistic into Enriched Rounds, even with Revoltingly Resilient, and this build did end up going down to the winning list in the final – but only by 5VP, suggesting there’s a bit more here than first meets the eye.

Dicehammer Open

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

Would it shock you to hear that only one player went into the last round of this event on X-0, and then won out, meaning that the majority of the lists featured here were in contention for first place going into the final round? Well that totally happened. Again. Honestly, you try to be helpful. In this case I have still put the stars in, because this was a 37 player event with six rounds, so some players who make it onto the list only went into the final round on 3-2, so weren’t in contention for the win.

The other notable thing about this event was that there were 0 AdMech players at it, hence their conspicuous absence from the top four.

Kyle Parry – Aeldari – 1st Place

A group of Death Jesters

A group of Harlequins Death Jesters. Credit: Corrode

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [78 PL, 1,405pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Masque Form: The Dreaming Shadow: Sombre Sentinels

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [6 PL, 115pts, -1CP]: Shield From Harm, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role, The Shadowstone, Twilight Pathways, Veil of Illusion, Webway Dance

Troupe Master [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Choreographer of War, Darkness’ Bite, Power sword, Shuriken Pistol, Stratagem: Pivotal Role

+ Troops +

Troupe [10 PL, 170pts] . Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [10 PL, 170pts] . Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Caress, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 90pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 90pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [5 PL, 90pts] . Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Blade
. Player: Harlequin’s Blade, Shuriken Pistol

+ Elites +

Death Jester [3 PL, 50pts]: 1: Luck of the Laughing God, Curtainfall, The Jest Inescapable, Warlord

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

+ Fast Attack +

Skyweavers [15 PL, 270pts] . Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Haywire Cannon, Star Bolas

+ Dedicated Transport +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [34 PL, 595pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute
. *Custom Craftworld*: Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ +

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

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 65pts]: 2. Embolden/Horrify, 5. Focus Will, Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Troops +

Rangers [3 PL, 65pts] . 5x Ranger: 5x Ranger Long Rifle, 5x Shuriken Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Warp Spiders [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Warp Spider: 4x Death Spinner
. Warp Spider Exarch: Two Death Spinners
. . Exarch Power: Web of Deceit

Warp Spiders [4 PL, 90pts] . 4x Warp Spider: 4x Death Spinner
. Warp Spider Exarch: Two Death Spinners
. . Exarch Power: Web of Deceit

+ Heavy Support +

Support Weapons [8 PL, 100pts] . Support Weapon: Shadow Weaver
. Support Weapon: Shadow Weaver

Support Weapons [4 PL, 50pts] . Support Weapon: Shadow Weaver

++ Total: [112 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Harlequins and Craftrworlds team up to make enemy CHARACTERs very, very sad.
  • Big foot troupes can provide exceptional board control.
  • Multiple Warp Spider squads lock down ROD.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

We’ve seen a bit less from the classic Harlequin/Craftworlds combo recently, as most players who owe their allegiance to Aeldari as a whole have been lured into playing Drukhari, but every now and then someone picks it up, and here it managed to take down an event. Inlcuding a few foot Troupes feel like they’ve got to be the play right now – everything in Harlequins dies like tissue paper to the metagame’s big hitters, but at least with the big Troupes if you do manage to get them into a fight they can quickly start taking over the game. They’ve got the damage output to take huge chunks out of enemy hordes, and can extremely reliably trap enemies in combat thanks to Twilit Encore – though I guess you need to watch you for opposing AdMech pulling the 300 IQ play of activating Aggressor Imperative to give their models the movement to get out of dodge. I generally like the balance that’s used here – all-in on foot Troupes feels like it’s a bit too high risk, but a pair of squads should have places to hide on most boards while giving you the coverage to threaten lots of the board. It also means you can still pack in a decent handful of fusion boats and the single squad of Skyweaver’s that’s pretty much the norm since you can no longer double up on Prismatic Blur. That ensures you’ve got the standard set of tools for reaching out and taking chunks out of the opponent, and being Dreaming Shadow allows you to rack up just that little bit of extra value when things go bad.

The other thing Dreaming Shadow switches on is the little sub-theme here of Character harrassment. Combining a Farseer with Embolden-backed Mind War with a Death Jester with Curtainfall, hit/wound RR1s from Luck of the Laughing God and access to An Example Made suddenly makes the board a pretty hostile place for the kind of squishy characters that are powering the AdMech builds (and really anyone else who doesn’t want to suddenly die). As mentioned above this experiment didn’t get a test against AdMech, but it’s equally relevant for singling out and removing key pieces from Sororitas or Death Guard – foot Troupes are much, much happier if the Stench Vat toting Blight Spawn has a tragic accident in the Psychic and Shooting Phases, and incorporating this kind of trick can provide lists with a new angle to take on challenging matchups, always worth consideration.

The rest of the Craftworlds detachment here focuses firmly on handling objective play – Shadow Weavers are ideal for sitting on home ones or behind a wall occupying a quarter for Engage, while Warp Spiders with Web of Deceit are still pretty much the best Action unit in the game, and having them allows the rest of the list to get on with things without really worrying.

Overall, this list mixes up some tried and true tools with some refreshing new tricks and comes out looking very spicy. Great work flying the Aeldari flag from Kyle.

Danny Romo – Deathwatch – 2nd ✪ Place

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Deathwatch) [118 PL, 1,999pts, 6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chapter Selection: Deathwatch

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Lieutenants [4 PL, 75pts] . Lieutenant in Reiver Armour: Vhorkan-Pattern Auspicator

Primaris Captain [5 PL, 105pts, -1CP]: 3. Nowhere to Hide (Aura), Dominus Aegis, Rites of War, Stratagem: A Vigil Unmatched, Warlord
. Heavy bolt pistol, Master-crafted power sword and Relic shield: Master-crafted power sword, Relic Shield

Primaris Techmarine [5 PL, 100pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Master of the Forge, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter, The Tome of Ectoclades
. 2. Paragon of their Chapter: Dark Angels: Brilliant Strategist

+ Troops +

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 265pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Astartes Chainsword
. Veteran Biker: Power sword
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 247pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Shotgun
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Shotgun

Proteus Kill Team [18 PL, 262pts]: Jump Packs
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun
. Deathwatch Veteran: Deathwatch Boltgun
. Vanguard Veteran: Storm shield, Thunder hammer
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Vanguard Veteran: Astartes Chainsword, Storm shield
. Watch Sergeant: Deathwatch Boltgun, Storm shield

+ Elites +

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

Redemptor Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: 2x Storm Bolters, Macro Plasma Incinerator, Onslaught Gatling Cannon

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

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

Servitors [2 PL, 30pts]: 4x Servo-arm

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [5 PL, 75pts]: Bolt sniper rifle
. Eliminator Sergeant: Instigator Bolt Carbine
. 2x Eliminators: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

++ Total: [118 PL, 6CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Kill Teams and Dreadnoughts continue the Deathwing Renaissance.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Nothing too surprising here if you’ve been keeping up with recent editions of this column, as Deathwatch have suddenly found themselves in the right place to hit a really good patch. Redemptors sitting in a Dominus Aegis aura are ideally suited to the metagame, as are Volkite Contemptors with access to a variety of sources of re-rolls when going after enemy troops. The Vhorkan-Pattern Auspicator and Nowhere to Hide are also specifically great at helping to cut through targets in the two biggest matchups in the metagame right now.

On top of that, you also get to layer the substantial flexibility of Kill Teams to fill out your list however you see fit on a given day. Here, with all the Dreadnoughts available for massive damage output, the clear focus is on objective play from the teams, with all three set up so a mobile, durable ObSec unit can Combat Squad out. The biker unit from the first gives you a big pool of wallhacking wounds to push into the most dangerous parts of the table, while the two mini VanVet squads are ideal for lurking in ruins on a 1+ save from their storm shields, and packing a single thunder hammer in each means they’re never going to be totally safe to engage up close. The other halves of each of these give you a couple of units for sitting on objectives (with the shields) and one with shotguns that probably goes into a Teleportarium for a bit of an extra damage spike or some Actions when really needed.

We’re big Deathwatch fans here at Goonhammer, and it’s been delightful to see them finally making some waves. Long may it continue, and great work from Danny.

Joseph Escobar – Iron Warriors – 3rd ✪ Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Detachment -6CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [73 PL, 1,465pts, -6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-6CP]

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ Lord of War +

Greater Brass Scorpion [27 PL, 525pts]: Demolisher cannon, Hellcrusher claws, 2x Hellmaw flame cannon, Scorpion cannon

Khorne Lord of Skulls [23 PL, 470pts]: Gorestorm cannon, Great cleaver of Khorne, Hades gatling cannon

Khorne Lord of Skulls [23 PL, 470pts]: Gorestorm cannon, Great cleaver of Khorne, Hades gatling cannon

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [29 PL, 535pts, 12CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Legion: Iron Warriors

+ HQ +

Lord Discordant on Helstalker [10 PL, 200pts]: 2. Daemonsmith, Baleflamer, Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Impaler chainglaive, Mark of Khorne, Mechatendrils, Talisman of Burning Blood, Warlord
. Helstalker: Bladed limbs and tail, Techno-virus injector

Master of Possession [5 PL, 95pts]: Bolt pistol, Cursed Earth, Force stave, Frag & Krak grenades, Infernal Power, Mark of Tzeentch, Smite

Warpsmith [4 PL, 70pts]: Bolt pistol, Flamer, Frag & Krak grenades, Mark of Khorne, Mechatendrils, Meltagun, Power axe

+ Troops +

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: Mark of Khorne
. 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun
. Cultist Champion: Autogun

Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 70pts]: Mark of Khorne
. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun, Frag & Krak grenades
. 4x Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

++ Total: [102 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Lol, said the Brass Scorpion, lmao.
  • Seriously though, this is certainly one way to just ignore whatever basic Skitarii are getting up to.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Amazing. Triple Lord of Skulls had a bit of a moment at the tail end of 8th, but largely vanished in the transition to 9th. Well they’re back, or at least two are – for the third this build goes one better and packs a Greater Brass Scorpion, throwing down a spectacular trio of Daemonic killing machines, with all the bufff character trimmings in tow.

Honestly? I’m into it. This build is all-in enough that I don’t think you’d be able to rely on crushing events with it consistently, but both Drukhari and AdMech can struggle a little with T8 vehicles, more so if they have a good invuln (and all of the ones here can get up to 4++ from Cursed Earth). With a Warpsmith and access to Unholy Vigor you can also claw back some of the wounds the opponent does drop on you, and using Iron Within, Iron Without can significantly mitigate some flavours of chip damage.

On the offence things are pretty brutal, too. You’ve got re-rolls for days from Infernal Power, really quite a lot of D2 AP-2 shots out of the two Lords of Skulls, extra hits all around from Daemonsmith and some truly brutal melee capabilities. If your opponent takes the full brunt of what this list can do in either offensive phase they’re going to quickly find themselves missing a substantial portion army before they really know what’s happening, and the assembled buffs and the nature of the weapons involved means that the drop-off in effectiveness from these models as they take wounds is minimal. Only taking one fully off the board is good enough, and not every list is built for that these days. Ironstriders will, sadly, usually manage it, but if this list goes first it can pick up quite a lot of them with two buffed gatling cannons, and Iron Warriors inbuilt ignore cover circumvents some flavours of defences that might be in the way.

The summary I’m trying to get across is that while this looks like a meme list there genuinely is some power here, and you underestimate it at your peril. Because all of the big boys are lethal in melee as well, if you fall behind against it you’ll quickly find yourself cut out of the game, as you won’t be able to contest objectives without being rent apart by giant pinchy claws. Such is the will of Khorne. Congratulations Joseph on easily the spiciest list of the week.

Daniel Reddehase – Nurgle – 4th Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Chaos – Daemons) [26 PL, 495pts, -2CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle

+ HQ +

Daemon Prince of Chaos [10 PL, 185pts]: Hellforged sword, Malefic talon, Wings
. Nurgle: Fleshy Abundance, Smite

+ Troops +

Nurglings [6 PL, 88pts] . 4x Nurgling Swarms: 4x Diseased claws and teeth

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

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

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [78 PL, 1,505pts, 5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Plague Company: The Inexorable

+ HQ +

Typhus [9 PL, 165pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Putrescent Vitality, Blight grenades, Master-crafted manreaper, Smite

+ Troops +

Poxwalkers [5 PL, 100pts] . 20x Poxwalker: 20x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 65pts]: 4. Arch-Contaminator, Hyper blight grenades, Injector pistol, Krak grenades, Plague knife, Warlord

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

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

Deathshroud Terminators [15 PL, 270pts, -1CP] . Deathshroud Champion: Champion of Disease, Manreaper, Plague Skull of Glothila, Plaguespurt gauntlet, Virulent Fever
. 4x Deathshroud Terminator: 4x Manreaper, 4x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Tallyman [4 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: Blight grenades, Ferric Blight, Krak grenades, Plaguechosen, Plasma pistol, Tollkeeper

+ Fast Attack +

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

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

Plagueburst Crawler [9 PL, 175pts]: 2x Entropy cannon, Heavy slugger, Plagueburst Mortar

++ Total: [104 PL, 3CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Daemons and Poxwalkers provide a wide screen for a fetid Death Guard Core.
  • Typhus brings his extra psychic value to the table.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Nothing too complicated to finish up this mammoth edition. The Death Guard shooting core protected by Deathshrouds is showing up time and time again in successful builds, and this list takes that and adds a twist by packing a Nurgle Daemon detachment. That brings three things to the table – Nurglings to fan out during deployment, preventing nasty early pushes from opposing scout deploy units and shutting down turn 1 redeploy options, Furies for far cheaper and more effective Action units than Death Guard have natively and a Daemon Prince to provide hit re-rolls for the Plagueburst Crawlers, allowing the firebase here to operate even more effectively than normal. With a Bloat Drone ready to deploy Flash Outbreaked Ferric Blight to a key position on demand, this list can grind its way through targets if given enough time, and combining the Nurgling screen with a big unit of Poxwalkers means that it can buy itself that even more effectively than the average Death Guard build. I like this list a lot – every unit in the Daemons detachment has a very clear purpose and you can see how they build things into a greater whole. Well done to Daniel on the final top four slot for the week.

The Rest of the Best

Six more players finished the event on 4-2 records. They were:

  • 5th ✪ – Lucas Stines – Drukhari: Some spicy novelty here in the form of a Cronos-toting Realspace Raid, also packing in a decent number of Cursed Blade Wyches (foregoing the normal Cult of Strife when their supplement stratagems aren’t on the table).
  • 6th – Jeremy Salgado – Necrons: It’s a tough time to be a Xenos robot, and like most Necron builds that are currently succeeding this is pretty skewed, going with the always reliable Eternal Expansionist combo to maximise objective play and mitigate being unable to keep up with modern damage outputs.
  • 7th ✪ – Nikolaus Zufall – Adepta Sororitas: Morvenn Vahl leads up a mix of MSU Argent Shroud (loaded up to exploit as many powerful stratagems as possible) and Bloody Rose melee killers.
  • 8th – Brick Taylor – Adepta Sororitas: Something completely new here in the form of a pure Sacred Rose build, packing in a wide range of units and a tonne of characters, also featuring the Triumph of St. Katherine to provide a steady stream of Miracle Dice to go with the Order Conviction.
  • 9th ✪ – Jordan Roach – Adeptus Custodes: Everyone seems to have remembered the bikes exist at once, because this list also features a unit of Vertus Praetors. Here the plan seems to be a sneaky one – using From Golden Light They Come on the Praetors, alongside the natural deep strike of its big Venatari unit, allows this build to get everything that isn’t a Dreadnought or carrying a storm shield off the table at game start, minimising incoming damage from many sources and letting it pull a big turn two counterattack.
  • 10th – Eloy Oakley – Harlequins: Extremely by-the-numbers Soaring Spite Bikes and Boats.

Wrap Up

Sometimes I wonder “what if tournaments, but too much?” but then I remember that there’s really no such thing. It’s late enough as I’m finishing this that I haven’t done my normal trawl of next week’s calendar, so what’s on the docket for next week’s column is a mystery surprise for me as much as it is for you. Make sure to tune back in tomorrow for an AdMech editorial, and next week for another regular edition covering whatever the weekend brings.

 

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