Competitive Innovations in 9th: The Three Ursine Hypothesis

We’ve had too much 40k, and not enough 40k, and now we appear to have come to the third ursine and had just the right amount of 40k. More weekends like this, please.

We have one major for you this week and 6 GTs, plus one that was very nearly there and we decided to scope in because we’re nice like that. The events are:

  • Free State GT (major)
  • PCG Hosts Lightly Salted Spring GT
  • The Calm Before the Storm, Haven GT
  • The Clumsy Orc GT
  • Battlefield Birmingham
  • Last of the Summer Winehammer
  • Copenhammer GT
  • Confrontation Redemption

As always, lists that either finished undefeated (but didn’t win) or entered the final round undefeated are marked with a ✪. In addition, this week the Aeldari players have started to hit their stride, and we’ve made the decision that we’ll label lists using Travelling Players to bring a Harlequin Patrol as either “Asuryani & Harlequins” or “Drukhari & Harlequins” as appropriate, rather than sticking to ITC faction rules. We think this gives more clarity as to what’s performing best, and helps players who are looking for list inspiration for a specific flavour find the right ones to use, and those who just want to see how best to abuse the Voidweaver scroll to the Harlequin mixes.

Free State GT

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Data Scry Salvage

Dan Sammons – Aeldari – Ulthwe utility and artillery, backed with Harlequin objective units and Voidweavers. Wraithlords provide a bit of mid-board crunch.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [71 PL, -3CP, 1,294pts] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Craftworld Attribute: Ulthwe: Foresight of the Damned

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [15 PL, 285pts] +

Baharroth [7 PL, 140pts]: Fury of the Tempest, The Shining Blade

Eldrad Ulthran [8 PL, 145pts]: 1. Guide, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Shuriken Pistol, Staff of Ulthamar, Ulthwe: Fate Reader, Witchblade

+ Elites [33 PL, 644pts] +

Dire Avengers [6 PL, 94pts]: Defence Tactics
. 6x Dire Avenger [72pts]: 6x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 6x Plasma Grenades
. Dire Avenger Exarch [22pts]: Plasma Grenades, Stand Firm [10pts], Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults

Howling Banshees [4 PL, 105pts]
. 4x Howling Banshee [72pts]: 4x Banshee Blade, 4x Shuriken Pistol
. Howling Banshee Exarch [33pts]: Piercing Strikes [15pts], Shuriken Pistol & Banshee Blade

Striking Scorpions [4 PL, 105pts]: Mandiblasters, Plasma Grenades
. 4x Striking Scorpion [68pts]: 4x Scorpion Chainsword, 4x Shuriken Pistol
. Striking Scorpion Exarch [37pts]: Biting Blade [5pts], Crushing Blows [15pts]

Warlock Skyrunners [3 PL, 60pts]: 5. Quicken/Restrain, 6: Seer of the Shifting Vector
. Sunstorm: Treasures of the Aeldari Relic
. Warlock Skyrunner [60pts]: Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult, Witchblade

Wraithlord [8 PL, 140pts]: Bright Lance [20pts], Ghostglaive [15pts], Scatter Laser [5pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult, Wraithbone Fists

Wraithlord [8 PL, 140pts]: Bright Lance [20pts], Ghostglaive [15pts], Scatter Laser [5pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult, Wraithbone Fists

+ Heavy Support [15 PL, 225pts] +

Support Weapons [9 PL, 135pts]
. Support Weapon [3 PL, 45pts]: Shadow Weaver, Shuriken Catapult
. Support Weapon [3 PL, 45pts]: Shadow Weaver, Shuriken Catapult
. Support Weapon [3 PL, 45pts]: Shadow Weaver, Shuriken Catapult

Support Weapons [6 PL, 90pts]
. Support Weapon [3 PL, 45pts]: Shadow Weaver, Shuriken Catapult
. Support Weapon [3 PL, 45pts]: Shadow Weaver, Shuriken Catapult

+ Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 140pts] +

Wave Serpent [8 PL, 140pts]: Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [17 PL, 12CP, 705pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

Detachment Command Cost

Saedath Characterisation: Light: Blaze of Light

+ HQ [5 PL, 125pts] +

Shadowseer [5 PL, 125pts]: 3. Mirror of Minds (Witchfire), 3: A Foot in the Future, 6. Webway Dance (Aura) (Blessing), Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Mirror Architect [25pts], Miststave, Shuriken Pistol, Smite, Warlord

+ Troops [8 PL, 140pts] +

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player [18pts]: Harlequin’s Kiss [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade [39pts]: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Embrace [18pts]: Harlequin’s Embrace [5pts], Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [4 PL, 65pts]
. Lead Player [13pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player w/ Blade [52pts]: 4x Harlequin’s Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shuriken Pistol

+ Heavy Support [360pts] +

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver [90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon
. Voidweaver [90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon
. Voidweaver [90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon

Voidweavers [90pts]
. Voidweaver [90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon

+ Dedicated Transport [4 PL, 80pts] +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]: 2x Shuriken Cannon

++ Total: [88 PL, 7CP, 1,999pts] ++

vs.

Ryan Olsen – Asuryani – Mech Ulthwe

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [47 PL, 800pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute: Ulthwe: Foresight of the Damned

+ HQ +

Eldrad Ulthran [8 PL, 145pts]: 1. Guide, 2. Doom, 4. Executioner, Ulthwe: Fate Reader, Warlord

+ Troops +

Rangers [4 PL, 65pts]
5x Ranger: 5x Ranger Long Rifle, 5x Shuriken Pistol

+ Elites +

Warlock Skyrunners [3 PL, 60pts, -1CP]: 4. Protect/Jinx, 6: Seer of the Shifting Vector, Stratagem: Champion of the Aeldari
Sunstorm
Warlock Skyrunner: Shuriken Pistol, Witchblade

+ Fast Attack +

Warp Spiders [6 PL, 125pts]
4x Warp Spider: 4x Death Spinner
Warp Spider Exarch: Surprise Assault, Two Death Spinners & Powerblades

Windriders [8 PL, 125pts]
5x Windrider – Scatter Laser: 5x Scatter Laser

+ Heavy Support +

Falcon [9 PL, 140pts]: Scatter Laser, Twin Shuriken Catapult

Falcon [9 PL, 140pts]: Scatter Laser, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Aeldari – Craftworlds) [70 PL, 1,199pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Craftworld Attribute: Ulthwe: Foresight of the Damned

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Baharroth [7 PL, 140pts]

+ Elites +

Dire Avengers [7 PL, 82pts]
5x Dire Avenger: 5x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 5x Plasma Grenades
Dire Avenger Exarch: Stand Firm, Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults

Dire Avengers [6 PL, 72pts]
5x Dire Avenger: 5x Avenger Shuriken Catapult, 5x Plasma Grenades
Dire Avenger Exarch: Two Avenger Shuriken Catapults

Howling Banshees [5 PL, 105pts]
4x Howling Banshee: 4x Banshee Blade, 4x Shuriken Pistol
Howling Banshee Exarch: Mirrorswords, Piercing Strikes

Striking Scorpions [5 PL, 105pts]
4x Striking Scorpion: 4x Mandiblasters, 4x Scorpion Chainsword, 4x Shuriken Pistol
Striking Scorpion Exarch: Biting Blade, Crushing Blows

Wraithlord [8 PL, 140pts]: Bright Lance, Ghostglaive, Scatter Laser, Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult

Wraithlord [8 PL, 135pts]: Bright Lance, Ghostglaive, Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult

+ Heavy Support +

Night Spinner [8 PL, 140pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

Night Spinner [8 PL, 140pts]: Twin Shuriken Catapult

+ Dedicated Transport +

Wave Serpent [8 PL, 140pts]: Twin Shuriken Cannon, Twin Shuriken Catapult

++ Total: [117 PL, 1,999pts, 8CP] ++

Thoughts

Two flavours of Aeldari to kick us off here – the early breakout powerhouse of mixed Craftworlds and Harlequins up against a pure Asuryani mech build. Both make use of the Ulthwe Craftworld, probably the biggest standout of the available options (with Biel Tan a respectable but pretty clear second) and have a reasonable amount of overlap in some of their core, but then a pretty clear divergence when it comes to adding some power units to make the list sing.

In terms of what’s shared, both armies set up for powerful To The Last suites by keeping most of their costs low. This allows both to select Eldrad and Baharroth as two of their picks, then a third hard-to-deal-with choice for the last – the Voidweavers in Dan’s list and a broad range of choices in Ryan’s (probably a Night Spinner most of the time, but some matchups might change that). Starting strong on To The Last forces opponents to play a pro-active game into the Aeldari, which they’re usually well set up to exploit, so is a good move, and Baharroth is really standing out as one of the meanest TTL character picks out there. Going with Eldrad and Baharroth as two of your Character picks is also a way to address how CP hungry the Asuryani are – neither needs a relic added to function, so you can use those points to buy a detachment and tool up other units instead. On that note, both armies have a Warlock Skyrunner on Sunstorm with Seer of the Shifting Vector – the former can be an incredible emergency ObSec button, and the latter is essentially a no brainer if you have a place it can go, as the investment of 1CP usually gets paid back. A super speedy Warlock is also a great Psychic Action caster, though probably not in this matchup as the risk of denial would be high in both directions.

Back to punishing an opponent who commits – both lists are packing some melee Aspect Warriors and Wraithlords. Crushing Blow and Piercing Strikes ensure that your first unit each of Banshees and Scorpions is really good, and you’ll see these exact units in many lists. They’re perfect for the job here, as they can trade up into a lot of stuff, which is exactly what you want when forcing the opponent to play your game. Providing a more solid anchor we have Wraithlords, who are a bit more of an Ulthwe-specific thing. Adding a 6+ invulnerable save and mortal resistance to these really pushes them over the top, as adding the ability to auto-save with Strands against big shots makes a world of difference to their durability. They also add some pretty substantial punch – a few extra bright lance shots never go amiss, and opponent sending high value units too close to them are going to regret it. Them being CORE does also make slapping a random scatter laser on them far more high value than they are on most tanks, as you can combine it with Doom for full re-rolls.

The last thing both lists have is some indirect fire – Shadow Weavers for Dan, Night Spinners for Ryan. Aeldari indirect fire is not as oppressive as Tau’s, but it’s certainly pretty good, and again plays into that requirement to force the opponent to do something – keep them bleeding, force them to make the first move, punish them in response.

That’s the overlap, and it’s pretty clear from the extent of it what some of the real Craftworld standouts are. For their final third or so, both lists go different ways, however. Dan includes a Harlequin Patrol gaining access to the incredibly powerful Voidweavers, some Troupes for objective play and a Shadowseer as an additional potential Action caster and some psychic firepower. Ryan, on the other hand, sticks to Craftworlds, going for one of my favourite setups from the book in the form of two Falcons packed with Dire Avengers, then a unit each of scatter bikes and Warp Spiders for some powerful volume firepower. Six Avengers in a Falcon is one of the very best RND setups available right now and feels incredibly good to use, and having Falcons in the list also gives some flexibility about how you deploy the melee aspects if the matchup calls for it, which can be very useful into Tau. Spiders, meanwhile, are a vicious sucker punch out of the warp, and Scatter Bikes can hammer out a lot of shots while using Battle Focus (perhaps with Matchless Agility) to stay reasonably safe. They can, also, take a swing at RND in an emergency, and it’s definitely noticeable that both armies here have invested pretty heavily in making that feasible – unsurprising since the Asuryani Codex Secondaries are merely OK.

Two spins on elves then – how do they stack up? In this mission, Dan’s list ends up with the edge and he ended up taking the game – though it was pretty high scoring on both sides. There’s few reasons for this, but the key ones are:

  • Dan’s To The Last looks a bit more reliable – the Night Spinners could maybe grind down the big Voidweaver unit (which will presumably be staying safe with Fire and Fade) over the course of the game if they do nothing else – but if they try that the Voidweavers can just bug out into Strategic Reserves until the final turn with Virtuosos of the Webway. In contrast, whatever Ryan chooses as his final pick is going to be a bit more vulnerable.
  • Dan has a bit of an easier time racking up value from his artillery – the Windriders are a juicy target, as are the Dire Avengers once they do their thing.
  • Warp Spiders have it pretty rough in this matchup – Mirror Architect no-sells them into the key Harlequin stuff, and if they drop anywhere within 18″ of the big Shadow Weaver unit they’re getting a one way trip to Forewarned town.
  • For this mission in particular, the throwaway Starweaver is an extremely useful asset to have to just park on an objective.

That’s not to say this was a foregone conclusion, as the Dire Avengers Falcon drops are a very neat way of cleaning up any of Dan’s infantry that have got out to do something, and you do also have the option of dropping the Falcon and not disembarking to create some pressure, which will be welcome here. Ryan’s army can really put most opponents under brutal multi-pronged pressure, but the sneaky tricks of the Harlequins are enough to let them roll with this, and they ended up on top.

Result

Asuryani & Harlequins Victory – 96-78

Dan Sammons – Asuryani & Harlequins – 1st Place

Harlequins Troupe and Starweaver. Credit: Corrode

The List

See Showdown.

The Standout Features

  • Lots of Ulthwe Shadow Weavers punish opponents that hide.
  • Great punches to throw from the Banshee and Scorpion units.
  • Wraithlords provide cost efficient crunch, especially with an invuln for Strands of Fate.
  • Voidweavers show off why they’re a breakout unit from Harlequins.
  • A very tricky to deal with To The Last trio of Baharroth, Eldrad and the Voidweavers.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Pretty much as discussed above – the best Asuryani units meet some of the best Harlequin ones for a deadly combo. Outside the context of an Eldar mirror, it’s worth highlighting that Baharroth is really good into Tau, as he can sit tight on a far-flung objective with ObSec up for two and sometimes three (thanks to The Phoenix Reborn) solid turns even if they throw a bunch of smart missiles at him, and that this list is really good at Psychic Secondaries between a Shadowseer and a super-speed Bike Warlock. Congratulations to Dan for leading the Aeldari charge.

Zaak Kerstetter – Drukhari & Harlequins – 2nd ✪ Place

Credit: Wings

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Drukhari) [60 PL, 12CP, 990pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Obsession
. *Custom Coven*: Artists of the Flesh (All-Consuming)

+ HQ +

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

Haemonculus [5 PL, 90pts]: As Detachment (Coven), Poisoner’s Ampule
. Alchemical Maestro (Custom): Alchemical Maestro

+ Troops +

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

Wracks [3 PL, 40pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Acothyst: Wrack Blade
. 4x Wracks: 4x Wrack Blade

+ Elites +

Grotesques [10 PL, 140pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver

Grotesques [10 PL, 140pts]: As Detachment (Coven)
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver
. Grotesque w/ Monstrous Cleaver

Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

Incubi [4 PL, 90pts]
. 4x Incubi: 4x Klaive
. Klaivex: Demiklaives

+ Dedicated Transport +

Raider [6 PL, 100pts]: Disintegrator Cannon, Kabal of the Black Heart

Venom [4 PL, 75pts]: Kabal of the Black Heart, Splinter Cannon, Twin splinter rifle

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [21 PL, -2CP, 1,010pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Saedath Characterisation: Light: Blaze of Light

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [5 PL, 125pts]: 2. Fog of Dreams (Blessing), 6. Webway Dance (Aura) (Blessing), Mirror Architect, Shuriken Pistol

+ Troops +

Troupe [4 PL, 70pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player w/ Blade: 4x Harlequin’s Blade, 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shuriken Pistol

+ Fast Attack +

Skyweavers [12 PL, 275pts]
. Skyweaver: Skyweaver Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Skyweaver Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Skyweaver Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Skyweaver Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive
. Skyweaver: Skyweaver Haywire Cannon, Zephyrglaive

+ Heavy Support +

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon

++ Total: [81 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Grotesques play speed bump for a Harlequin flying wing.
  • Drukhari counterattack units punish opponents that try to close on the clowns.
  • Another incredibly difficult to deal with To The Last configuration.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s an all-Aeldari top three here, and the second build shows off how you can really lean in to To The Last with Harlequins. Light Saedath Voidweavers are bad enough, but the Skyweavers are even worse – drop Fog of Dreams on them and the opponent often can’t shoot them at all, while if their plan is to take them out in melee then Capricious Reflections means their work will be cut out for them. Add that to enough Grotesques to slow the enemy down and some Incubi and Drazhar to trade up into the first good things the enemy sends to the fight and you have another super strong build that well deserved its undefeated finish. Cheap Wracks for objective play is also a big asset you get when mixing in Drukhari that the Asuryani don’t enjoy. Cool stuff overall from Zaak.

Ryan Olson – Asuryani – 3rd ✪ Place

Credit: Wings

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

  • Mech Ulthwe with lots of speed and lots of volume punch.
  • Wraithlords again provide an anchor.
  • Falcons with Dire Avengers provide incredibly reliable RND.
  • Warp Spiders and scatter bikes provide big numbers for emergencies.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Pretty much discussed in the showdown, though as with that there’s a few nuances that come up in non-mirrors. Mostly, here, it’s that I think if you want to run Mech you need two Falcons as here, as the extra configurability and immediate counter-threat they give you against Tau is absolutely vital for giving you a fighting chance in that matchup. I’ve enjoyed playing mechdar so far with the new book, and if my Biel Tan dreams don’t work out this is definitely where I’m pivoting next, so thanks to Ryan for the list inspiration and congratulations on third.

Matt Neeley – Tau – 4th Place

XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Team. Credit: Rockfish
XV8 Crisis Battlesuit Team. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (T’au Empire) [24 PL, 440pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Emergency Dispensation [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Commander in Enforcer Battlesuit [9 PL, 170pts]: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Burst Cannon, DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon, Puretide Engram Neurochip, Shield Generator

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [9 PL, 150pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’vre: Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer, Target Lock

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [91 PL, 1,557pts, 11CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves

+ HQ +

Commander Farsight [7 PL, 130pts]: Warlord

Commander in Coldstar Battlesuit [8 PL, 145pts, -1CP]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Burst Cannon, Onager Gauntlet, Positional Relay, Shield Generator, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, T’au Flamer, Thermoneutronic Projector

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [9 PL, 165pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’vre: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer

Crisis Battlesuits [9 PL, 150pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’vre: Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Target Lock

Crisis Bodyguards [12 PL, 135pts]
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock

+ Fast Attack +

Tactical Drones [2 PL, 40pts]
. 4x Marker Drone: 4x Markerlight

Vespid Stingwings [5 PL, 72pts]
. 5x Vespid Stingwing: 5x Neutron Blaster, 5x Stingwing Claws
. Vespid Strain Leader

+ Heavy Support +

Broadside Battlesuits [15 PL, 270pts]
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System
. Broadside Shas’vre: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System

Broadside Battlesuits [15 PL, 270pts]
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System
. Broadside Shas’vre: Heavy Rail Rifle, Stabilised Optics, Twin Smart Missile System

++ Total: [115 PL, 1,997pts, 8CP] ++

Archetype

Farsight Enclaves

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

You should probably not just immediately skim past here, because while this is, obviously, a Tau list it does have a notable difference to some of the builds we’ve seen previously. Rather than going in on big Crisis bombs with lots of Drones, this list instead goes wide on smaller, more fragile units, and keeps the cost low enough that one of the Commanders ends up as the third TTL pick. I’m guessing that’s tech for Aeldari – Doom and some of the brutal melee Aspect setups lets Aeldari lists concentrate pain on one big unit very effectively, so being muscular with even a heavily tooled Crisis unit can be risky. Setting up the army like this does have costs in other games where you want that big unit which can take a hefty punch (this feels like it would be weaker than the standard setup into Custodes, for example), but could plausibly work out against some flavours of Eldar. It also has a large number of Kroot to fan out and block out deep strikes, definitely helpful.

It did pick up a win into Mech Ulthwe, but was defeated by Zaak’s build in round four. That particular build definitely makes this army’s job tough – the Voidweavers or bikes can plausibly tank a round of Broadside shooting, and brutally punish them for being in the open without Drones. I’d probably switch in ATS on the Broadsides to try and improve that matchup – you want the option of keeping the Broadsides entirely out of sight and chipping away at stuff when needed.

I’m definitely not complaining about seeing a Tau build where there’s actually stuff to talk about rounding out the top four, so great work from Matt.

The Rest of the Best

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

  • 5th – Scott Thompson – Tau: Outer Enclaves with two big Crisis units and lots of smaller ones.
  • 6th ✪ – Nathaniel Bjorge – Adeptus Custodes: Emissaries Imperatus Sagittarum spam with some dreads and a single unit of bikes to go Into the Darkness. Notably will get a whole extra 45pts to play with after the Sagittarum change.
  • 7th – Jeremiah Petit – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen with a lot of Forge World toys – two Telemons and two units of Aquilon Terminators.
  • 8th – Tim Royers – Asuryani: A different spin on mech Ulthwe, packing tooled up lance serpents, a unit of D-cannons and a block of Wraithblades to anchor the board. Various Aspect Warrior trade units similar to the top four lists too.
  • 9th – Robert Moreland – Adeptus Custodes: More Emissaries Imperatus (presumably everyone’s planning to gun for the Aeldari!) with a more conventional suite of units (lots of bikes and an Achillus).
  • 10th – Cam Wageman – Harlequins: Heavily mechanised Dark Saedath with one big troupe, murder characters, lots of packed Starweavers and four Voidweavers split into two units.
  • 11th – Kyle Doeschot – Tau: Borkan triple Stormsurge.

PCG Hosts Lightly Salted Spring GT

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission: Secure Missing Artefacts

Derek Holder – Adeptus Custodes – Shadowkeepers Custodes

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [101 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Type / Shield Host: Adeptus Custodes, Shadowkeepers

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Open the Vaults [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [7 PL, 115pts]: Balistus Grenade Launcher, Castellan Axe, Praetorian Plate

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [10 PL, -2CP, 180pts]: (Shadowkeepers): Lockwarden, (Shadowkeepers): Statis Oubliette, 3. Superior Creation, Interceptor Lance, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games, Tip of the Spear

Trajann Valoris [9 PL, 1CP, 160pts]: Misericordia, Watcher’s Axe
. Warlord: 1. Master of Martial Strategy, 2. Champion of the Imperium

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 135pts]
. 3x Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: 3x Guardian Spear, 3x Misericordia

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]
. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun
. Prosecutor Sister Superior: Boltgun

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Sagittarum: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver

+ Elites +

Allarus Custodians [3 PL, 60pts]
. Allarus w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Balistus Grenade Launcher, Guardian Spear, Misericordia

Allarus Custodians [3 PL, 60pts]
. Allarus w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Balistus Grenade Launcher, Guardian Spear, Misericordia

Allarus Custodians [3 PL, 60pts]
. Allarus w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Balistus Grenade Launcher, Guardian Spear, Misericordia

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Twin Adrathic Destructor

Custodian Wardens [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Warden w/ Castellan Axe & Misericordia: 3x Castellan Axe, 3x Misericordia

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

++ Total: [101 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

vs.

Richard Kilton – Orks – Deathskulls with a mass of Meganobz.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [84 PL, 11CP, 1,525pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Clan Kultur: Deathskulls

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ [13 PL, -1CP, 240pts] +

Big Mek in Mega Armour [7 PL, -1CP, 125pts]: Extra-Kustom Weapon [1 PL, 10pts], Kustom Force Field [30pts], Kustom Mega-Blasta, Opportunist (Deathskullz), Power Klaw, Stratagem: Big Boss [-1CP]

Warboss in Mega Armour [6 PL, 115pts]: ‘Uge Choppa, 3. ‘Ard as Nails, Big Shoota, Da Krushin’ Armour, Warlord

+ Troops [15 PL, 315pts] +

Beast Snagga Boyz [5 PL, 110pts]
. 9x Beast Snagga Boy [99pts]: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga
. Beast Snagga Nob [11pts]: Power Snappa, Slugga

Beast Snagga Boyz [5 PL, 110pts]
. 9x Beast Snagga Boy [99pts]: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga
. Beast Snagga Nob [11pts]: Power Snappa, Slugga

Boyz [5 PL, 95pts]: Trukk Boyz
. Boss Nob [14pts]: Big Choppa [5pts], Choppa, Stikkbombs
. 9x Ork Boy w/ Slugga & Choppa [81pts]: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

+ Elites [30 PL, 520pts] +

Meganobz [12 PL, 200pts]
. Boss Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs

Meganobz [12 PL, 200pts]
. Boss Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs

Meganobz [6 PL, 120pts]
. Boss Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs
. Meganob [40pts]: Kombi-skorcha [10pts], Power Klaw, Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [9 PL, 165pts] +

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts]
. Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts]
. Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [3 PL, 55pts]
. Boss Nob [11pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Stormboy [44pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Heavy Support [9 PL, 145pts] +

Battlewagon [9 PL, 145pts]: Deff Rolla [15pts], Fortress on Wheels [1 PL, 20pts], Kannon [5pts]

+ Dedicated Transport [8 PL, 140pts] +

Trukk [4 PL, 70pts]: Big Shoota

Trukk [4 PL, 70pts]: Big Shoota

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Orks) [26 PL, -4CP, 475pts] ++

+ Configuration [-2CP] +

Clan Kultur: Deathskulls

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ [5 PL, -2CP, 105pts] +

Warboss [5 PL, -2CP, 105pts]: 4. Brutal but Kunnin, Attack Squig [5pts], Da Killa Klaw, Kombi-skorcha, Power Klaw [10pts], 2x Slugga, Stikkbombs, Stratagem: Big Boss [-1CP], Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz [-1CP]

+ Troops [5 PL, 100pts] +

Boyz [5 PL, 100pts]: Trukk Boyz
. Boss Nob [19pts]: Choppa, Power Klaw [10pts], Stikkbombs
. 9x Ork Boy w/ Slugga & Choppa [81pts]: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga, 9x Stikkbombs

+ Elites [8 PL, 135pts] +

Kommandos [4 PL, 65pts]
. Boss Nob [17pts]: Power Klaw [5pts], Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando [48pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Painboy [4 PL, 70pts]: ‘Urty Syringe, Power Klaw

+ Fast Attack [8 PL, 135pts] +

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [8 PL, 135pts]: Nitro Squigs [2 PL, 25pts]
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [6 PL, 110pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

++ Total: [110 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

We saw it in the Streamhouse RTT and here it is again – there may not be anything else in this game quite as tragic as a poor Ork player with a pretty cool list running face first into Shadowkeeper Custodes. This Ork list is really cool – it uses Meganobz and a newly discounted Battlewagon as a first wave, then leans on the formidibly durable ObSec Infantry characters that Deathskulls can build plus a whole bunch of fast utility units to lock in a Primary-driven victory. It’s neat, it’s nice to see the Deathskulls tricks still getting a workout now they can’t be paired with Goffs (which was generally where you saw this before) and definitely deserved a spot in the finals.

Unfortunately, Shadowkeepers are very nearly a hard counter to this kind of game plan. The Orks ObSec characters are a definite asset, as they make it a little harder for the bikes to just reach out and grab positions, but Custodes are so lethal that you essentially have to be planning to severely deplete their forces to take a win against them, and the Orks just can’t here thanks to the Shadowkepers Fighting Style. As Goffs, a big unit of Meganobz can maybe push enough damage to still register an impact, but without access to Unbridled Carnage their impact is just going to get shrugged off, and they’re likely to be dispatched for minimal losses. The Orks do have a lot of stuff, and maybe on a mission like Data Scry Salvage they might be able to leverage that to force the Custodes to go wider than they want and edge ahead on Primary, but on Secure Missing Artefacts that feels like a non-starter – the Custodes can play a very comfortable, very linear Stranglehold/Grind/Auric Mortalis (it’s the Meganobz, so a trivial 10pts at least) gameplan and there isn’t much the Orks can do. They did register a respectable score, with Rich (a very experienced Warboss) clearly eking out every point he could from his units, but in the end the Custodes took the day.

Result

Adeptus Custodes Victory – 86-59

Derek Holder – Adeptus Custodes – 1st Place

Trajann Valoris
Trajann Valoris. Credit: Pendulin

The List

See Showdown.

The Standout Features/Archetype

Shadowkeepers Custodes

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Shadowkeepers is a bit of a rarer choice at the moment with Tau such a big part of the metagame, but as seen in the showdown it can be incredibly powerful in some matchups, and can definitely take the edge off some Aeldari toys too. In addition to that, it makes the individual Allarus a bit better (as they’re tough to take down in melee for small units), Lockwarden is great into Harlequin and Craftworld Characters, and Emperor’s Chosen is somewhat weak into Harlequins because many of their units stop them re-rolling a hit, so if psychic firepower doesn’t end up as a big part of Eldar gameplans, we could see more of this. An excellent win from Derek.

The Rest of the Best

Three more players finished on 5-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Marshall Peterson – Necrons: A custom dynasty with Eternal Conquerors paired with Arise Against the Interlopers, MSU Immortals backed by both Anrakyr and Szeras, and Flayed Ones and Skorpekh ready to rip and tear.
  • 3rd – Nicholas Wenker – Death Guard: Mortarion’s Anvil with a big block of Blightlords and a mass of Plague Marines.
  • 4th – Richard Kilton – Orks: See Showdown.

The Calm Before The Storm, Haven 40k Grand Tournament

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Unknown

Mitchell Hunter – Adeptus Custodes: Emerperor’s Chosen goodstuff with a Telemon and Knight-Centura, and Coteaz along as the Psychic Interrogation platform.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [101 PL, 8CP, 1,998pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Type / Shield Host: Adeptus Custodes, Emperor’s Chosen

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Open the Vaults [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Inquisitor Coteaz [5 PL, 95pts]

+ HQ +

Knight-Centura [3 PL, -1CP, 50pts]: 3. Mistress of Persecution (Aura), Excruciatus Flamer, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Witchseeker Flamer

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [10 PL, -2CP, 180pts]: (Emperor’s Chosen): Auric Exemplar, 3. Superior Creation, Castellan’s Mark, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games, Tip of the Spear

Trajann Valoris [8 PL, 1CP, 160pts]

+ Troops +

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Prosecutor Sister Superior
. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Prosecutor Sister Superior
. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia

+ Fast Attack +.

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Witchseekers [6 PL, 98pts]: Witchseeker Sister Superior
. 6x Witchseeker: 6x Witchseeker Flamer

+ Heavy Support +

Telemon Heavy Dreadnought [14 PL, -1CP, 260pts]: Stratagem: Eternal Penitent
. Telemon Caestus
. Telemon Caestus

+ Dedicated Transport +

Anathema Psykana Rhino [4 PL, 75pts]

++ Total: [101 PL, 8CP, 1,998pts]

vs.

Matthew Bodnarchuk – Harlequins: Matthew bucks some recent trends with a pile of foot Troupes and a whole heap of Skyweaver Jetbikes.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [106 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Saedath Characterisation: Light: Blaze of Light

Use Beta Rules

+ Stratagems [-2CP] +

Stratagem: Treasures of the Aeldari [-1CP]

Stratagem: Treasures of the Aeldari [-1CP]

+ HQ [9 PL, 220pts] +

Shadowseer [5 PL, 130pts]: 2. Fog of Dreams (Blessing), 6. Webway Dance (Aura) (Blessing), Hallucinogen Grenade Launcher, Mirror Architect [25pts], Miststave, Neuro Disruptor [5pts], Smite
. Shadow Stone: Treasures of the Aeldari Relic

Troupe Master [4 PL, 90pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [10pts], Plasma Grenades, Player of the Light, Warlord
. Cegorach’s Rose: Treasures of the Aeldari Relic

+ Troops [45 PL, 705pts] +

Troupe [9 PL, 185pts]
. Lead Player [18pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Kiss [23pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Caress [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Embrace [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Embrace [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player w/ Harlequin’s Kiss [72pts]: 4x Harlequin’s Kiss [20pts], 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [9 PL, 185pts]
. Lead Player [18pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Kiss [23pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Caress [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Embrace [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Embrace [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player w/ Harlequin’s Kiss [72pts]: 4x Harlequin’s Kiss [20pts], 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [9 PL, 185pts]
. Lead Player [18pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Kiss [23pts]: Fusion Pistol [5pts], Harlequin’s Kiss [5pts], Plasma Grenades
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Caress [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Harlequin’s Embrace [36pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Embrace [10pts], 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 4x Player w/ Harlequin’s Kiss [72pts]: 4x Harlequin’s Kiss [20pts], 4x Plasma Grenades, 4x Shuriken Pistol

Troupe [9 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player [13pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Blade [26pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Blade, 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Fusion Pistol [36pts]: 2x Fusion Pistol [10pts], 2x Harlequin’s Blade, 2x Plasma Grenades

Troupe [9 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player [13pts]: Harlequin’s Blade, Plasma Grenades, Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Blade [26pts]: 2x Harlequin’s Blade, 2x Plasma Grenades, 2x Shuriken Pistol
. 2x Player w/ Fusion Pistol [36pts]: 2x Fusion Pistol [10pts], 2x Harlequin’s Blade, 2x Plasma Grenades

+ Elites [6 PL, 145pts, -1CP] +

Death Jester [3 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: 1: Favour of Cegorach, Harvester of Torment [15pts], Jester’s Blade, Shrieker Cannon, Stratagem: Champion of the Aeldari [-1CP]

Death Jester [3 PL, 75pts]: Jester’s Blade, Lord of Crystal Bones [20pts], Shrieker Cannon
. The Laughing God’s Eye: Treasures of the Aeldari Relic

+ Fast Attack [36 PL, 750pts] +

Skyweavers [12 PL, 250pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]

Skyweavers [12 PL, 250pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]

Skyweavers [12 PL, 250pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]
. Skyweaver [50pts]: Shuriken Cannon, Zephyrglaive [5pts]

+ Heavy Support [10 PL, 180pts] +

Voidweavers [5 PL, 90pts]
. Voidweaver [5 PL, 90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon

Voidweavers [5 PL, 90pts]
. Voidweaver [5 PL, 90pts]: Prismatic Cannon, 2x Shuriken Cannon

++ Total: [106 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

Our first pure Harlequin build of the day goes up against the might of the Emperor’s Chosen, and both lists buck trends a fair bit.

You might be surprised that Harlequins have trends already, but it turns out a unit as undercosted as the Voidweaver will do that for you. This list largely eschews those in favour of loads of Skyweavers, bringing back some serious early 9th energy, and leaning on just how hard they are to shift as Light Saedath and the fact that the shuriken cannon is actually a serious gun now. Both large bike units and full Voidweavers squads unloading with Bladestorm is serious business, and if you want a very shooty squad the star bolas is actually decent now too (though this build sticks to melee). Combining those with three big foot Troupes gives this army tremendous ability to do damage in melee, and allows it to be in a lot of places at once, all pretty durably thanks to Light Saedath and Luck of the Laughing God to re-roll saves endlessly. The Foot Troupes are also absolutely lethal users of both the various Harlequin weapon stratagems, and the Light Saedath’s ultimate troll combo of using Capricious Reflections then Dramatic Entrance to move 6″ away from one unit then heroic 6″ into another, thoroughly ruining someone’s day.

The list rounds out with some spicy characters – a Troupe Master with Player of the Light and Cegorach’s Rose is yet another deadly, tricky threat that opponents have to worry about, and the two Death Jesters are going to ruin lots of days. Of particular note here is the Harvester of Torment and Favour of Cegorach combo – it turns out that being able to turn your first miss into a six that becomes four hits total is uh, quite good, and means that many characters (particularly squishy elf ones in mirrors) are at genuine risk of getting punked out by this guy, especially as he has a partner in clown crime to add a few final shots. All in all, this looks like a nightmare to play against, being able to get all around the table at speed and do horrendous things wherever it appears, with the only crack in its armour being that it’s a little low on ways to reach out and eliminate a droned up Broadside unit.

Here that’s not a concern for it. The Custodes list does have some unique additions, one of which is extremely cute – a unit or Witchseekers in a Rhino ready to ride out and roast some elves, with a Mistress of Persecution overseeing them to provide a bit of extra range (helping counteract Mirror Architect). That’s very funny and honestly decent in this matchup – it stops the Troupes from operating with complete impunity as they’ll take a big chunk out of one. An all-melee Telemon is a pretty decent battering ram too – all together it looks like this Custodes list wants to have tools for a bit more of a rapid early punch, which may catch people only ready to deal with the bikes by surprise. It also has Coteaz, who is always a cool choice for Inquisitorial accompaniment, though here the Death Jesters are a big issue for him as he’s only T3 so at risk of going down hard (plus all the Characters except the Shadowseer can hide in boats).

How does this stack up then? Definitely feels like advantage Harlequins. With Light Saedath and Luck of the Laughing God online the clowns are going to be able to largely weather what the Custodes can do at range unless they get very unlucky, and while they’re not doing massive damage in return, the number of shuriken cannon shots they have will add up, and the Custodes really can’t afford to lose many units here before they’ll get overwhelmed on the table. Secondaries are also pretty challenging from the Custodes side of the table – Warpcraft ones are risky because of snipers and a Shadowseer, Grind is honestly looking a bit dicey, and Stranglehold risks playing into the Harlequin hands. Given their lack of reach, there might be an argument for switching to To The Last and trying to make them come get the bikes (since lack of shooting reach is their only real weakness), but the issue with that is that the clowns can take TTL in turn, and have a much safer path to Stranglehold/Take Your Places and an OK plan for Psychic scoring with Weave Veil (as long as they focus on removing the Sisters of Silence promptly).

The alternate is to go completely the other way, trust in the Emperor’s Auspice and hope that the Harlequins bounce off the bike units and they get to go on a bit or a rampage, but that feels like it goes badly wrong reasonably often – the Custodes do have a few more expendable things to initiate battle with, so it’s probably worth leaning on those, trying to deplete the Harlequins a bit and hope that they can’t carve through the Bikes and Telemon after that.

Given that it looks pretty uphill for the Custodes this was pretty close, and unfortunately I don’t have the details of the mission for any extra insight as to why. The Harlequins did end up taking it, but the Custodes score indicates a competitive game, so they must have balanced their resources pretty well. It’s certainly true that a well-timed counterattack from both bike units and the bike Captain could at least temporarily overwhelm the Harlequins ability to do damage, so perhaps that’s how things played out. Regardless, looks like this was a tightly fought game, and as ever just bringing some more unusual units as Mitchell has here can throw opposing plans off, so commiserations to him and well done to Matthew.

Result

Harlequins Victory – 83-69

Matthew Bodnarchuk – Harlequins – 1st Place

Credit: Arranon

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Light Saedath Bikes

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Mostly because it clearly demonstrates that it isn’t just Voidweavers pushing Harlequin success – there’s plenty of power in everything else too! This list can be everywhere, hits like a truck in melee, is challenging to shift without very high volume of firepower and is extremely well placed to make use of the strong Secondary selection Harlequins get access to. If you’ve still got 15 Skyweavers kicking around from the start of the Edition, get snapping off those haywire cannons, I guess, and great job to Luke for racking up our first (but not last) pure Harlequin win of the week.

The Rest of the Best

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

  • 2nd – Danny McDevitt – T’au Empire: Farsight Enclaves with a pile of Crisis and three single Broadsides.
  • 3rd – Don Maddock – Orks: Ghazgkull leads from the front in an MSU Goffs list.
  • 4th – Mitchell Hunter – Adeptus Custodes: See Showdown.
  • 5th – Chris Bailey – Adeptus Custodes: Shadowkeepers goodstuff.
  • 6th – Nicolas Hendrix – Aeldari: 6 Voidweavers take the field backed up by Ulthwe artillery.

The Clumsy Orc GT 1

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission: Tide of Conviction

Mark “Waz” Harrison – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen goodstuff.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 10CP, 1,990pts] ++

Detachment Type / Shield Host: Adeptus Custodes, Emperor’s Chosen

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [10 PL, -2CP, 180pts]: (Emperor’s Chosen): Auric Exemplar, 3. Superior Creation, Auric Aquilas, Interceptor Lance, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games, Tip of the Spear

Trajann Valoris [8 PL, 1CP, 160pts]: Misericordia, Watcher’s Axe . Warlord: 1. Master of Martial Strategy, 2. Champion of the Imperium

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 145pts] . Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Guardian Spear, Misericordia . 2x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: 2x Praesidium Shield, 2x Sentinel Blade

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 145pts] . Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Guardian Spear, Misericordia . 2x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: 2x Praesidium Shield, 2x Sentinel Blade

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 145pts] . Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: Guardian Spear, Misericordia . 2x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: 2x Praesidium Shield, 2x Sentinel Blade

+ Elites +

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, 180pts]: Achillus Dreadspear, 2x Infernus Incinerator

Contemptor-Galatus Dreadnought [9 PL, -1CP, 170pts]: Galatus Warblade, Stratagem: Eternal Penitent

Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armor [6 PL, 115pts]: Balistus Grenade Launcher, Misericordia, Vexilla Defensor

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 240pts] . 3x Praetor w/ Hurricane Bolter & Misericordia: 3x Hurricane Bolter, 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts] . 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts] . 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

++ Total: [99 PL, 10CP, 1,990pts] ++

vs.

Matt Ellwood – T’au Empire: T’au Sept Crisis Spam.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [67 PL, 1,216pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: T’au Sept

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Emergency Dispensation [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Commander in Enforcer Battlesuit [10 PL, 192pts]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, T’au Flamer, The Be’gel Hunter’s Plate, Thermoneutronic Projector, Warlord
. Marker Drone: Markerlight
. Shield Drone: Shield Generator

Ethereal [4 PL, 65pts, -1CP]: 2. Sense of Stone, 4. Through Boldness, Victory, 6. Wisdom of the Guides, Honour Blade, Hover Drone, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, The Humble Stave

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [22 PL, 371pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’vre: Iridium battlesuit, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Stimm Injectors
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight
. 3x Shield Drone: 3x Shield Generator

Stealth Battlesuits [5 PL, 100pts]: Homing Beacon
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight
. 2x Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: 2x Burst Cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst Cannon

+ Heavy Support +

Broadside Battlesuits [17 PL, 318pts]
. Broadside Shas’ui: Crushing Bulk, Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. Broadside Shas’ui: Crushing Bulk, Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. Broadside Shas’vre: Crushing Bulk, Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. 4x Shield Drone: 4x Shield Generator

Broadside Battlesuits [6 PL, 110pts]
. Broadside Shas’vre: Crushing Bulk, Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (T’au Empire) [45 PL, 783pts, -3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Sept Choice: T’au Sept

+ No Force Org Slot +

Crisis Bodyguards [7 PL, 112pts]
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Target Lock
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Target Lock
. Shield Drone: Shield Generator

+ HQ +

Commander in Crisis Battlesuit [8 PL, 167pts, -1CP]: (T’au): Vectored Manoeuvring Thrusters, 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Iridium battlesuit, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Stratagem: Promising Pupil
. Marker Drone: Markerlight
. Shield Drone: Shield Generator

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [21 PL, 320pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, T’au Flamer, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Iridium battlesuit, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer
. 5x Shield Drone: 5x Shield Generator

Stealth Battlesuits [5 PL, 100pts]: Homing Beacon
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight
. 2x Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: 2x Burst Cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst Cannon

+ Fast Attack +

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts]
. 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

++ Total: [112 PL, 1,999pts, 6CP] ++

Thoughts

We’ve definitely had this matchup already and we might even have had this matchup on this mission, so there’s not too much novelty to cover here. My basic process for assessing an individual Tau/Custodes game at this point is to look at how heavily the mission wants the Tau to get an objective foothold (quite a lot, in Tide of Conviction), whether any of Tau’s specific choices are underwhelming in the game (here yes, the airburst unit isn’t ideal into a wall of Bikes and Custodes with some ablative shields), and whether the Custodes have brought the suite of pressure tools needed to execute a victory (here yes).

That does point to a Custodes victory, and they did in fact get one, but there are a couple of factors that do help the Tau make a fight of it. The Vexila Defensor is underwhelming here, as all the airbursts have a Target Lock and the bigger guns are going to bypass it, and while the big airburst Crisis team is going to underperform offensively, because the Tau have an Enforcer Commander they can still serve a real purpose in the game by picking up ObSec and holding onto an objective for dear life. They’ve got the numbers to soak up an initial assault from the Custodes while doing that, and means that the Tau do have a route to some sort of scoring foothold in this game, which this Custodes list could certainly deny some Tau armies. That does open up a narrow route to victory for them – bait the Custodes into trying to clear the big unit, blow up whatever they sent with the Broadsides, and use the plasma rifle squad to try and pick up the Custodes infantry and maybe that does enough damage that the Tau can eke a win via the other Crisis unit stepping up to the ObSec plate and the Commanders going on a rampage? It clearly didn’t happen, but my calibration (backed by good, solid data) for what a “good” losing score looks like in this mission suggest the Tau made a fight of it.

Result

Adeptus Custodes Victory – 78-57

Mark “Waz” Harrison – Adeptus Custodes – 1st Place

Custodes Vertus Praetors
Custodes Vertus Praetors. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

See Showdown.

The Standout Features/Archetype

Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

There’s literally nothing to say about this list that hasn’t already been said in this article, never mind the last month’s worth of CIs. I guess it’s novel to have three bikes with bolters instead of missiles – it feels like that genuinely shores up the Aeldari/Harlequin game because you want some volume shooting to clear out Aspects or Troupes when they commit.

No shade on Mark, who fought through a brutal field packed with other T’au and Custodes lists to claim the top spot.

The Rest of the Best

Two more players went 4-1 at this event (with a further two drawing with each other to take themselves down to 3.5 wins, and out of the article. Sorry lads – if you want to make the list, you have to get the W). They were:

  • 2nd – Jack D4nger – T’au Empire: Mr Dfournger brings some down the line T’au Sept Crisis spam.
  • 3rd – Daniel Grant – Black Templars: The latest and greatest Space Marines claim a top spot, with double Chaplains and Helbrecht leading up a rainbow of zealous maniacs – well done to Daniel for pulling off the third place without a single repeated datasheet.

Battlefield Birmingham

All the lists for this event can be found in a box at the back of Harry’s shed, presumably. UK stalwart Battlefield Birmingham returns to its traditional March weekend after two years of Covid and its venue burning down, and it hasn’t changed a bit – including sticking with 20-0, as you’ll see in the Showdown result.

The Showdown

(Yes, I have already beseeched TheChirurgeon for more Elf options on these, don’t you worry).

Matchup & Mission: Death & Zeal

Mani Cheema – Harlequins: Mani makes good on his threat to play all of the Voidweavers it’s possible to play.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [122 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++
+ Configuration +
Saedath Characterisation: Light: Blaze of Light
+ Stratagems +
Stratagem: Treasures of the Aeldari [-1CP]
Stratagem: Treasures of the Aeldari [-1CP]
+ HQ +
Shadowseer [5 PL, 130pts, -1CP]: 2: Fractal Storm, 3. Mirror of Minds (Witchfire), 6. Webway Dance (Aura) (Blessing), Mirror Architect, Neuro Disruptor, Stratagem: Champion of the Aeldari
. Shadow Stone
Troupe Master [4 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: 3: A Foot in the Future, Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Kiss, Player of the Light, Stratagem: Favoured of the Laughing God, Warlord
. Cegorach’s Rose
+ Troops +
Troupe [9 PL, 100pts]
. Lead Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Embrace
. Player w/ Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Caress: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor: Neuro Disruptor, Blade
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor & Kiss: Harlequin’s Kiss, Neuro Disruptor
Troupe [9 PL, 100pts]
. Lead Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Embrace
. Player w/ Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Caress: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor: Neuro Disruptor, Blade
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor & Kiss: Harlequin’s Kiss, Neuro Disruptor
Troupe [9 PL, 100pts]
. Lead Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Embrace
. Player w/ Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Caress: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor: Neuro Disruptor, Blade
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor & Kiss: Harlequin’s Kiss, Neuro Disruptor
Troupe [9 PL, 100pts]
. Lead Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Embrace
. Player w/ Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Caress: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor: Neuro Disruptor, Blade
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor & Kiss: Harlequin’s Kiss, Neuro Disruptor
Troupe [9 PL, 100pts]
. Lead Player: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Embrace
. Player w/ Blade, Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Fusion Pistol & Caress: Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Caress
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor: Neuro Disruptor, Blade
. Player w/ Neuro Disruptor & Kiss: Harlequin’s Kiss, Neuro Disruptor
+ Elites +
Death Jester [3 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: 1: Favour of Cegorach, Harvester of Torment, Stratagem: Champion of the Aeldari
. The Laughing God’s Eye
+ Heavy Support +
Voidweavers [15 PL, 270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
Voidweavers [15 PL, 270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
Voidweavers [15 PL, 270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
+ Dedicated Transport +
Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]
Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]
Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]
Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]
Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]
++ Total: [122 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

vs.

Luke Richards – Aeldari – Ulthwe Characters and melee aspects alongside a fairly balanced Dark Saedath Harlequin detachment:

Army List - Click to Expand

Eldar
Ulthwe vanguard -3cp (1030)
Hq
Baharroth 140
Eldrad 145 (warlord)
Powers fateful divergence, Guide, executioner
Elites
5 Howling banshee exarch mirror swords piercing strike 105
5 Howling banshee exarch mirror swords
Nerve shredding shriek 100
5 Striking scorpions exarch biting blade crushing blows 105
5 Striking scorpions exarch biting blade 90
Fast
6 warpspiders exarch web of deceit 135
Heavy
Wraithseer D-cannon 170
Power protect/jinx
Transport
Wave serpent 140
Harlequins dark sadath
Patrol -2cp (970)
Hq
Troop master, kiss, queen of shards fusion 115
A foot in the future -1 cp
Ceograghs rose -1 cp
Troops
5 players 2 kiss 2 embrace 1 caress 2 fusion 1 nero pistol 105
5 players 2 kiss 2 embrace 1 caress 2 fusion 100
5 players 2 kiss 2 embrace 1 caress 2 fusion 100
Elites
Solitaire thirsting darkness 130
Heavy
Void weaver 90
Void weaver 90
Transport
Star weaver 80
Star weaver 80
Star weaver 80
Army total 2000

Thoughts

Another all-elf top table, but with a subtly different setup this time – pure Harlequins vs Asuryani/Harlequin mix. On the clown side of things, Mani continues his Arthurian quest to get every undercosted unit summarily nerfed by jumping straight onto the nine Voidweaver train, backing it up with a heady suite of lethal characters and five Starweavers with tooled-up Troupes inside. The one notable thing compared to the lists preceding it is that Mani is actually running neuro disruptors as well as fusion pistols on his boat squads, maximising the damage they can deal during drive-bys, and generally suggesting the plan is to keep them aboard and scoring objectives for at least the early part of the game.

On Luke’s side of the table, we see another Harlequin/Ulthwe list build for To The Last (Eldrad/Baharroth/Wraithseer) but using the Harlequins as much more of a balanced component of the force. Starweavers with Troupes in are honestly just an efficient unit for playing objectives in 40K, and running as Dark Saedath has some real attractions against other Aeldari lists, as it means melee aspects and enemy Troupes can’t take yours out without getting taken down by the Fight on Death. Teaming up with lots of melee aspect warriors (including possible Phantasming Scorpions) here means that when this list wants to it can play a pretty muscular game, putting the opponent hard enough on the back foot and dealing a savage enough blow that they’ll struggle to ever push through and take out the TTL choices or build up board control. Warp Spiders with Web of Deceit add to that as well, able to come out from cover for a key turn then bug out to safety.

I like the Aeldari build in general, but here it’s got a tough challenge in front of it. Mani’s list starts with more mobile threats that he’s willing to commit onto objectives out of the gate, and from his side of the board he can just focus on taking out Luke’s Starweavers, after which he’s facing down powerful but relatively brittle melee units without much to anchor them, and pulling ahead on Primary becomes relatively safe. Capricious Reflections is also an absolute all-star here – while Banshees coming out of a Transport can get right up to the Harlequins faces and probably still catch them with a Strands charge, it puts a real failure chance on pretty much any of the other units, and since Luke is already likely to end up a bit behind on mobile stuff, losing something to a mishap is something the Aeldari can ill-afford. Dark Saedath also isn’t going to come up that much – Mani just doesn’t need to take the Dark Troupes out in melee, and can always use A Deadly Embrace to take out half the unit in the charge phase and substantially soften the blow.

Realistically, add Luck of the Laughing God to all of that (which feels like it does quite a bit more than Strands in this game) and the Harlequins have a very strong edge here, and so it proved as the game played out.

Result

Harlequins Victory – 16-4

Mani Cheema – Harlequins – 1st Place

Credit: Docsucram

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Light Saedath Voidweaver Spam

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

That sure is a lot of Voidweavers. We are already composing the request for them to get a points hike in our heads.

More seriously, as alluded to above what stands out about this list compared to the other Harlequin builds is that it really leans in to the attrition angle that Light Saedath opens up. Between Blaze of LightLuck of the Laughing God and Capricious Reflections, pinning down and killing Light Saedath transports is a nightmare, and this list packs in tools to ensure that it’s dealing as much damage as possible while it’s doing that – the extra guns in the boats, Mirror of Minds on the Shadowseer, the Favour/Harvester Death Jester – this list is set up so that just being in its vicinity is incredibly painful, and with the durability it has across the board and sheer speed, it’s ready to capitalise once the opponent has tired itself out.

Whoops nine Voidweavers is, of course, another Mani classic, but there’s also quite a bit more going on here once you dig in. Another well-deserved GT trophy for the Glasshammer cabinet.

The Rest of the Best

Unfortunately we’ve not been able to track down the third place list, so

  • 2nd – Dan Bates – Tau: Farsight Enclaves, taking two big units of Crisis Suits then spamming Breachers in Devilfish (five in total) to provide a shocking amount of early punch and the volume anti-infantry to ruin the days of elves everywhere.
  • 3rd – Mark Green – Unknown.
  • 4th – Luke Richards – Aeldari: See Showdown.

Copenhammer GT III

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Abandoned Sanctuaries

Alexander Dzougov – Harlequins – Mechanised Light Saedath with seven Voidweavers and a big foot Troupe.

Army List - Click to Expand

Harlequin Light Batallion Detachment (0+3 CP)

HQ: Troupe Master (75), Harlequin’s Kiss (10), Fusion Pistol (5), Free Relic: C’s Rose  Warlord: A Foot in the Future, Ex. WT (1 CP): Player of the light [90]

HQ: Shadowseer (100), PV: Mirror Architect (25), Ex. Relic (1 CP): Shadow Stone (+3″), PP: Fog of Dreams, Webeway Dance (6+++)  [125]

Tr: 5xTroupe (65), 2 Fusion Pistols (10), 1 Kiss (5), 1 Embrace (5)                  [85]

Tr: 5xTroupe (65), 2 Fusion Pistols (10), 1 Kiss (5), 1 Embrace (5)                  [85]

Tr: 5xTroupe (65), 2 Fusion Pistols (10), 1 Kiss (5), 1 Embrace (5)                  [85]

Tr: 5xTroupe (65), 2 Fusion Pistols (10), 1 Kiss (5), 1 Embrace (5)                  [85]

Tr: 5xTroupe (65), 2 Fusion Pistols (10), 1 Kiss (5)                   [80]

Tr: 12 x Troupe (156), 3 x Fusion Pistols (15), 1xKiss (5), Embrace (5), 1xCaress (5)             [186]

El: Deathjester (55), Harvester of Torment (15), Ex. WT (1 CP): Favour of Cegorach           [70]

El: Deathjester (55), Lord of Crystal Bones (20)                        [75]

HS: 3 X Voidweavers (270), Primatic cannon (0)                      [270]

HS: 2 X Voidweavers (180), Primatic cannon (0)                      [180]

HS: 2 X Voidweavers (180), Primatic cannon (0)                      [180]

DT: Starweaver (80)                  [80]

DT: Starweaver (80)                  [80]

DT: Starweaver (80)                  [80]

DT: Starweaver (80)                  [80]

DT: Starweaver (80)                  [80]

Total                   1996

vs.

Dusty Justy – Tau – Outer Enclaves

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [78 PL, 11CP, 1,329pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves Allied World

+ No Force Org Slot +

Crisis Bodyguards [12 PL, 155pts]
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Target Lock
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Iridium battlesuit, Target Lock
. Crisis Bodyguard Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Target Lock

+ HQ +

Commander in Enforcer Battlesuit [10 PL, 195pts]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, T’au Flamer, Thermoneutronic Projector, Warlord
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

Ethereal [5 PL, -1CP, 85pts]: 2. Sense of Stone, 5. Exemplar of the Kauyon, 6. Wisdom of the Guides, Hover Drone, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, The Humble Stave
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [21 PL, 363pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’vre: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Iridium battlesuit, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Stimm Injectors
. 4x Shield Drone: 4x Shield Generator

Stealth Battlesuits [9 PL, 129pts]: Homing Beacon
. 2x Shield Drone: 2x Shield Generator
. 3x Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: 3x Burst Cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst Cannon

+ Fast Attack +

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts]
. 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

+ Heavy Support +

Broadside Battlesuits [17 PL, 318pts]
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. Broadside Shas’ui: Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. Broadside Shas’vre: Heavy Rail Rifle, Twin Smart Missile System, Velocity Tracker
. 4x Shield Drone: 4x Shield Generator

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (T’au Empire) [38 PL, -3CP, 671pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves Allied World

+ HQ +

Commander in Crisis Battlesuit [9 PL, -1CP, 155pts]: 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Burst Cannon, DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, Target Lock
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Kroot Carnivores [3 PL, 60pts]
. 10x Kroot: 10x Kroot Rifle, 10x Quill Grenades

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [20 PL, 328pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Iridium battlesuit, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Velocity Tracker
. 4x Shield Drone: 4x Shield Generator

Stealth Battlesuits [5 PL, 104pts]: Homing Beacon
. 2x Shield Drone: 2x Shield Generator
. 2x Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: 2x Burst Cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst Cannon

+ Fast Attack +

Kroot Hounds [1 PL, 24pts]
. 4x Kroot Hound: 4x Ripping Fangs

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

Thoughts

The new hotness faces one of the current champions – can Tau hold on to their crown? Neither of these lists really needs any explaining at this point – Tau are gonna do what they’re gonna do, and the Harlequins build is fairly similar to Mani’s albeit with a few Voidweavers cut for a large Foot Troupe. It is fair to say that this is definitely the right Tau list to take a real shot at this matchup (and looks pretty carefully tailored for it). The Farsight Enclaves Sept Tenet helps mitigate some of what Harlequisn have going on, and Drop Zone Clear on that big Airburst unit is still a legitimate threat – the hit re-rolls probably aren’t going to do anything, but Harlies can’t switch off the wound re-rolls, and that many Airburst and CIB shots with wound re-rolls is still going to smoke some stuff. Velocity tracker Broadsides are good too, providing some chip damage into boats and helping ensure any clown whose foot hits the floor isn’t going to stay alive long, and having the Enforcer Commander around is an absolute godsend – both because he can hand ObSec to one of the Crisis Teams an because he can legitimately rampage through the Harlequin’s stuff in melee with relative inpunity.

The mission is also something of a help for the Tau, I think – not being able to scout deploy Stealth Suits is a mild pain, but the Harlequins don’t have any Skyweavers to go for a first turn charge to really exploit it, and once battle is joined the mission Primary works in Tau’s favour – they can focus on holding two every turn, ensure they nail two points for the mission, then try to grind enough of the Harlequin’s stuff into the dust that they can secure the 5VP endgame reward. This might also be that rarest of games where they actually want to go for Kauyon too – extra AP does nothing in this matchup, and they don’t need to go super fast early on, and being able to take Decisive Action and not worry about Battlefield Supremacy till turn three seems plausibly quite good. Grind/Decisive/Bring It Down means they aren’t going to get a max points game, but lets them focus almost exclusively on not getting blown out early and maximising damage for two turns before they have to worry about anything else, which seems like a very plausible plan here.

The small obstacle there is, of course, that Harlequins are incredibly strong, and have both the mobility advantage and quite a bit of damage of their own here – there are lots or shuriken cannons in this list, and if those strip away the Drones before the majority of the Voidweavers are down then the prismatic cannons are going to make short work of the Crisis Teams. It does feel like quite a bit hinges on whether the Foot Troupe makes it into combat – against this much indirect they presumably have to start in Webway Strike or get Phantasmed off the board if the Harlequins go second, so there is some risk that they fail to do anything when they turn up and get erased in short order, but if they do get in they hit for big damage then make a huge nuisance of themselves with Cegorach’s Jest. It does feel like the precise mission here makes the mobility advantages of the Harlequins matter less than they normally do, but they’re still formidible. Their Secondaries are also fine here – it feels like Stranglehold/A Deadly Performance/Mental Interrogation gives them plenty to work with.

That leaves this very close as a game to call, and if you’d pinned me down I’d have probably narrowly tapped the Harlequins – it feels like there are just slightly too many failure cases for the Tau when their best plan likely involves ceding control of a lot of the table for quite a bit of the game. However, the Greater Good held strong against the upstarts this time, with Tau claiming an incredibly close victory.

Result

Tau Victory – 79-77

Dusty Justy – Tau- 1st Place

Tau Broadside Battlesuit with Railgun
Tau Broadside Battlesuit with Railgun. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Outer Enclaves

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Mostly just because it’s extremely well tuned for the oncoming wave of Harlequins, as it proved in the final! Congratulations to Dusty.

The Rest of the Best

Seven players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd ✪ – Killi Paaske – Asuryani: Ulthwe with some powerful aspect Warrior melee units, two lance-toting Serpents, a D-cannon battery and a Crimson Hunter to provide formidible shooting power, then the Avatar of Khaine to anchor the board. The Avatar looks pretty strong into a lot of builds, but struggles into Tau, and that seems to have played out in the last round here.
  • 3rd – Alexander Dzougov – Harlequins: See showdown.
  • 4th – Henrik Davison – Tau: Outer Enclaves with loads of Crisis Suits.
  • 5th – Sebastian Ilfeldt – Harlequins: Light Saedath with two big foot troupes alongside Voidweavers, Starweavers and Characters.
  • 6th – Andreas Drachmann – Orks: Freebooterz Speed Mob with plenty of Deffkoptas and some planes.
  • 7th – Christian Kolding – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen with bikes and Sagittarum.
  • 8th – Morten Wedel – Tau: Outer Enclaves with lots of Crisis Suits and a couple of Breacher-filled Devilfish.

Last of the Summer Winehammer

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Tide of Conviction

Paul Martin – Orks – Blood Axes with a mix of buggies and lots of kunnin’ utility units, plus Squighog Boyz for counterpunch.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks) [54 PL, 824pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Blood Axes

+ No Force Org Slot +

Nob on Smasha Squig [4 PL, 65pts, -2CP]: 2. BeastGob (Aura) (Beast Snagga), Fight Detecta (Blood Axes), Stratagem: Big Boss, Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz

+ HQ +

Beastboss on Squigosaur [9 PL, 175pts]: 3. ‘Ard as Nails, Beasthide Mantle, Warlord

Wurrboy [4 PL, 70pts]: 1. Roar of Mork, 4. Spirit of Gork

+ Troops +

Beast Snagga Boyz [5 PL, 110pts]
. 9x Beast Snagga Boy: 9x Choppa, 9x Slugga
. Beast Snagga Nob

+ Elites +

Kommandos [8 PL, 72pts]
. Boss Nob: Choppa
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [8 PL, 72pts]
. Boss Nob: Choppa
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack +

Squighog Boyz [8 PL, 130pts]: Bomb Squig
. 5x Squighog Boy: 5x Saddlegit Weapons, 5x Squighog Jaws, 5x Stikka

Squighog Boyz [8 PL, 130pts]: Bomb Squig
. 5x Squighog Boy: 5x Saddlegit Weapons, 5x Squighog Jaws, 5x Stikka

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks) [71 PL, 1,172pts, -5CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Blood Axes

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ +

Weirdboy [4 PL, 70pts, -2CP]: 2. Warpath, 4. Fists of Gork, I’ve Got A Plan, Ladz! (Blood Axes), Morgog’s Finkin’ Cap (Blood Axes), Stratagem: Big Boss, Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz

+ Elites +

Meganobz [12 PL, 150pts]
. Boss Meganob: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw
. Meganob: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw
. Meganob: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw
. Meganob: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw
. Meganob: Kustom Shoota, Power Klaw

+ Fast Attack +

DeffKoptas [8 PL, 150pts]
. DeffKopta
. DeffKopta
. DeffKopta

Megatrakk Scrapjets [15 PL, 300pts]
. Megatrakk Scrapjet
. Megatrakk Scrapjet
. Megatrakk Scrapjet

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [12 PL, 220pts]
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy

Stormboyz [6 PL, 66pts]
. Boss Nob: Choppa
. 5x Stormboy: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Stormboyz [6 PL, 66pts]
. Boss Nob: Choppa
. 5x Stormboy: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Warbikers [8 PL, 150pts]
. Boss Nob
. 5x Warbiker: 10x Dakkagun

++ Total: [125 PL, 1,996pts, 5CP] ++

vs.

Mike Porter – Harlequins – Full mech Light Saedath with 3×3 Voidweavers.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Aeldari – Harlequins) [58 PL, 2,000pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Saedath Characterisation: Light: Blaze of Light

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Treasures of the Aeldari [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Shadowseer [5 PL, 125pts]: 1. Twilight Pathways (Blessing), 3. Mirror of Minds (Witchfire), Mirror Architect, Shuriken Pistol
. Shadow Stone

Troupe Master [4 PL, 90pts, -1CP]: 3: A Foot in the Future, Fusion Pistol, Harlequin’s Kiss, Player of the Light, Stratagem: Favoured of the Laughing God, Warlord
. Cegorach’s Rose

+ Troops +

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress: Harlequin’s Caress

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress: Harlequin’s Caress

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress: Harlequin’s Caress

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress: Harlequin’s Caress

Troupe [4 PL, 75pts]
. Lead Player: Harlequin’s Kiss, Shuriken Pistol
. 3x Player w/ Blade: 3x Harlequin’s Blade, 3x Plasma Grenades, 3x Shuriken Pistol
. Player w/ Harlequin’s Caress: Harlequin’s Caress

+ Elites +

Death Jester [3 PL, 70pts, -1CP]: 1: Favour of Cegorach, Harvester of Torment, Stratagem: Champion of the Aeldari

Solitaire [6 PL, 130pts]: Prince of Sins

+ Heavy Support +

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon

Voidweavers [270pts]
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon
. Voidweaver: Prismatic Cannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

Starweaver [4 PL, 80pts]

++ Total: [58 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

Another nine Voidweaver Light Saedath list, and sadly this time there’s not that much the army on the other side of the table can do about it. Between range reduction, hit penalties and Capricious Reflections it’s incredibly hard for the Orks to make a meaningful impact on the Harlequins at all, and they’re going to get few enough “good” hits through that Mike can quite plausibly make a Luck of the Laughing God re-roll against every single failed save against a weapon with a damage higher than 1. In response, the prismatic cannons are going to absolutely evaporate the buggies, shuriken cannons cut down all the regular units, and the Death Jester probably kills the Wurrboy and Weirdboy the first time each shows their face. All this in a mission where you need to stay on objectives and ensure you stay on the table till the end of the game and yeahhhh this is just not pretty at all, especially with Mike, a very experienced Aeldari player and regular CI fixture, at the helm of the Harlequins. Hellstorm Wargaming streamed this game, and it looks like the Orks did their best to do some damage, but got badly blunted and taken off the table on Mikes fourth turn.

Result

Harlequin Victory – 98-28

Mike Porter – Harlequins – 1st Place

A Solitaire
A Solitaire. Photo: Corrode

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Light Saedath Mech

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Sadly, Mike has the unenviable position of being the third person on a similar build today, so I’m out of stuff to say about it. I guess the Prince of Sins Solitaire is a very cool little unit that hasn’t had a specific mention earlier? Anyway, great stuff as ever from Mike.

The Rest of the Best

Nine players finished up on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Matt Robertson – Harlequins: Pretty much the same as Mike’s list.
  • 3rd – Kyle Grundy – Tau: Outer Enclaves with loads of Crisis Suits.
  • 4th – Isaac Wright – Chaos Daemons: Slaanesh Monster Mash with four Keepers and Be’lakor, then plenty of Fiends to fill out and trap stuff in melee.
  • 5th – Stuart Manks – Tyranids: Hefty Crusher Stampede with three Hierodules and a Maleceptor.
  • 6th – Michael Duff – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff with some Pallas Grav Attacks added.
  • 7th – Markus Hinson – Tau: Tau Sept Goodstuff with a couple of Riptides.
  • 8th ✪ – Paul Martin – Orks: See Showdown.
  • 9th ✪ – Dylan Usher – Drukhari & Harlequins: Prophets of Flesh Wracks running interference for lots of Light Saedath Voidweavers.
  • 10th – Ed Paszek – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff with an Inquisitor.

Confrontation Redemption

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission – Tide of Conviction

Jamie Balcombe – Adeptus Custodes – Emperor’s Chosen with lots of infantry and both Shield Captains, plus Kyria Draxus.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Type / Shield Host: Adeptus Custodes, Emperor’s Chosen

+ Stratagems +

Stratagem: Open the Vaults [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus [5 PL, 85pts]: Xenos – Psychic Veil

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [7 PL, -2CP, 125pts]: 3. Superior Creation, 4. Impregnable Mind, Castellan Axe, Misericordia, Praetorian Plate, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games, Unstoppable Destroyer

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [10 PL, -1CP, 180pts]: (Emperor’s Chosen): Auric Exemplar, Castellan’s Mark, Misericordia, Salvo Launcher, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Tip of the Spear

Trajann Valoris [8 PL, 1CP, 160pts]

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: 3x Praesidium Shield, 3x Sentinel Blade

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: 3x Praesidium Shield, 3x Sentinel Blade

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Prosecutor Sister Superior
. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun

+ Elites +

Allarus Custodians [3 PL, 60pts]
. Allarus w/ Castellan Axe & Misericordia

Custodian Wardens [7 PL, 150pts]
. 3x Warden w/ Castellan Axe & Misericordia: 3x Castellan Axe, 3x Misericordia

Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armor [6 PL, 115pts]: Misericordia, Obliteratum, Vexilla Magnifica

+ Fast Attack +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher

++ Total: [99 PL, 8CP, 2,000pts] ++

vs.

Eric Hoerger – Genestealer Cult – melee-heavy Twisted Helix with two big blocks of Aberrants.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Tyranids – Genestealer Cults – 2022) [113 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cult Creeds: The Twisted Helix

Detachment Command Cost

+ No Force Org Slot +

Biophagus [3 PL, 55pts]: Alchemist Supreme

Kelermorph [4 PL, -1CP, 80pts]: Gene-Sire’s Gifts, Wyrmtooth Rounds

+ HQ +

Magus [4 PL, -1CP, 90pts]: Familiar, Gene-Sire’s Gifts, Power: Might From Beyond, Power: Mutagenic Deviation, Power: Psychic Stimulus, The Crouchling

Patriarch [7 PL, 150pts]: Familiar, Power: Mass Hypnosis, Power: Mind Control, Power: Mutagenic Deviation, The Unwilling Orb, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Bio-alchemist

+ Troops +

Acolyte Hybrids [4 PL, 65pts]: Lying in Wait
. 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades
. Acolyte Leader: Cult Claws and Knife, Cult Lash Whip

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 45pts]
. 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades
. Acolyte Leader: Cult Claws and Knife, Cult Lash Whip

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 45pts]
. 4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades
. Acolyte Leader: Cult Claws and Knife, Cult Lash Whip

Acolyte Hybrids [3 PL, 54pts]
. Acolyte Hybrid
. 3x Acolyte Hybrid w/ Hand Flamer: 3x Blasting Charges, 3x Cult Claws and Knife, 3x Frag Grenades, 3x Hand Flamer
. Acolyte Leader: Cult Claws and Knife, Cult Lash Whip

+ Elites +

Aberrants [16 PL, 315pts]: Enhanced Resilience, Our Time is Nigh
. 9x Aberrant: 9x Heavy Power Weapon
. Hypermorph: Heavy Power Weapon

Aberrants [15 PL, 270pts]
. 8x Aberrant: 8x Heavy Power Weapon
. Hypermorph: Heavy Power Weapon

Hybrid Metamorphs [7 PL, 135pts]: A Trap Sprung
. 9x Hybrid Metamorph: 9x Autopistol, 9x Blasting Charges, 9x Frag Grenades, 9x Metamorph Mutations
. Metamorph Leader: Cult Lash Whip, Metamorph Mutations

Purestrain Genestealers [8 PL, 150pts]: 10x Purestrain Genestealer, They Came From Below

Purestrain Genestealers [7 PL, 140pts]: 10x Purestrain Genestealer

+ Fast Attack +

Atalan Jackals [6 PL, 48pts]
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Leader: Atalan Small Arms

Atalan Jackals [6 PL, 48pts]
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Jackal: Atalan Small Arms
. Atalan Leader: Atalan Small Arms

+ Heavy Support +

Goliath Rockgrinder [6 PL, 110pts]: Heavy Seismic Cannon

Goliath Rockgrinder [6 PL, 110pts]: Heavy Seismic Cannon

+ Dedicated Transport +

Goliath Truck [5 PL, 90pts]

++ Total: [113 PL, 10CP, 2,000pts] ++

Thoughts

For our final showdown of the day we have the Genestealer Cults squaring off against the Adeptus Custodes, bringing a Twisted Helix build with a bit of heft to it. Aberrants got a bit of a cold reception when the book landed, but word on the street (and evidence in front of us) is that Genestealer Cult players have been warming to them, especially in Twisted Helix – they give you a unit that can actually soak up a Custodes charge pretty handily once you’ve applied Enhanced Resilience, and being shot with a shuriken cannon is also substantially less terminal for them than the rest of the faction. Big units give you more value from Monstrous Vigour, and ensure you have the number of attacks to punish anything that tries to bully charge you off an objective, so while they could probably stand to be a bit more pushed, they do have a role. Having a more durable second wave is also good for locking in any gains made by early Purestrain pushes, and if you need to switch gears and play for To The Last they’re extremely tough to dig out of hiding.

Mighty though the Twisted Helix are, they face a formidible foe here in the Custodes, and Jamie is a hugely experienced master of the Golden host. The mission is also pretty naff for the cult in this matchup – they’d be happy with it against a shooty list, but against Custodes it’s just going to force them onto the spears of the bikes. However, the good news for them is that their Secondary picks are very safe here – Broodswarm and RND are very difficult for the Custodes to do anything about, and various Psychic Options or To The Last can do real work too – if the Custodes are set the task of coming and getting the Aberrants, they’re probably not going to succeed. Custodes can certainly push for Stranglehold and Grind, but from the GSC point of view that at least provides potential counterattack windows.

Jamie was kind enough to send me some details of how the game went down, and started out with another cool trick Eric was able to use. With the threat of the TTL pick of 2x Aberrants and the Patriarch, Clandestine Goals becomes very good, because it can do either or both of forcing the opponent to assume they might need to wipe these units or conceal a different Secondary till its set up. Here Eric used it to hide Pierce the Veil until he was surrounding the Custodes with a bunch of deployments from Underground on turn two, and also at the point where he’d successfully taken out Kyria with a Kelermorph, capping Jamie’s Psychic Interrogation at a mere 3VP.

That’s definitely a good way to start this game for the cult, but the brute force the Custodes have available in a pinch (plus good use of Ka’tahs and Shield Host swapping with Esteemed Amalgalm) was enough to allow the Custodes to push the cult back. The terrain apparently helped the Custodes too – there were plenty of Obscuring pieces, but they were rock columns and the like, providing good protection against fire coming from the opponent’s half of the table, but not from units sweeping round the sides, as bikes are wont to do. It also meant that Eric needed to keep quite a bit of his army off the table turn one, which meant they didn’t get too badly mauled when Jamie went first, but added an extra delay in being able to properly establish a scoring foothold. That’s a tall enough order on this mission for the Cult already that the Custodes were able to pull substantially ahead in Primary and take victory despite the Cult’s decent Secondary work (though Pierce did get capped at 8VP as the Psykers got taken out).

Result

Adeptus Custodes Victory – 82-53

Jamie Balcombe – Adeptus Custodes – 1st Place

Custodes Wardens by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Emperor’s Chosen

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

More Custodes! I definitely like the Praesidium Shields right now, as they’re good for soaking up airbursts and aeldari artillery, but beyond that this is business as usual. Great stuff from Jamie.

The Rest of the Best

Five players finished on 4-1 records. They were:

  • 2nd – Adam Merrett – Hive Mind: Twisted Helix Acolytes, Purestrains and utility units are backed up by Hive Guard and devilgaunts.
  • 3rd ✪ – Eric Hoerger – Genestealer Cult: See Showdown.
  • 4th – Ryan Garrett – Necrons: Fully brutal melee with maximum Skorpekh, the Nightbringer and the Silent King.
  • 5th – Lee Badcock – Dark Angels: Deathwing Bladeguard riding around in a Repulsor and a RepEx like absolute heroes, with a couple of Redemptor Dreadnoughts in tow, all upgraded to be Deathwing.
  • 6th – Alex Powell – Orks: Goff pressure with GHaz and a bunch of Trukk Boyz Meganobz.

Wrap Up

The 40K world is about to immediately and flagrantly ignore our suggestions regarding the right amount of Warhammer, because we’ve got the double header of Adepticon and the Manchester UKTC event. Which lists will rise to the top as hundreds of players clash? Come back next week and find out! Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.