Competitive Innovations in 9th: The Warp Stirs pt.1

A new challenger approaches. As foretold by our expert statistical prognosticars, this weekend saw Grey Knights hit the metagame in a big way, with a couple of event wins (including a major) and plenty of other decent showings. Their nemeses in the Thousand Sons haven’t been idle either, also taking down a GT and putting up good showings at several other events. All of that combines with a bit of a slow weekend for Drukhari to give us our most diverse suite of top fours in ages, good news for meta watchers who want a bit of novelty!

This week was another big one, so I’m once again splitting the column into a two-parter, especially as I couldn’t start work on it as early as normal due to being at an event myself on Sunday. With that in mind, today we’ll be looking at the following events:

  • Iron Halo (Major)
  • The Normal Blokes GT
  • Twisted Onslaught: Devastation

Tomorrow we’ll round out proceedings with:

  • Matthammer
  • FactoruM September GT
  • Carnage – ‘Ere We Go Again Ladz
  • A bonus look at the Polish Team Championships

Let’s go!

Iron Halo (Major)

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

Ben Cherwien – Grey Knights – 1st Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+++ We gotta go! (Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition) [106 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] +++

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [40 PL, 795pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Brotherhood: Swordbearers

Detachment Command Cost

+ HQ [16 PL, 315pts] +

Brotherhood Techmarine [5 PL, 80pts]: 5: Warp Shaping, Boltgun, Omnissian Power Axe
. Servo Arms

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [11 PL, 235pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 2: Empyric Amplification, 3: Unyielding Anvil, Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter [10pts], Gatling Psilencer [20pts], Heavy Psycannon [20pts], Nemesis Greatsword [15pts], Servant of the Throne [1 PL, 20pts], Sigil of Exigence, Warlord

+ Troops [6 PL, 110pts] +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Halberd) [88pts]: 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar [22pts] . . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Heavy Support [18 PL, 370pts] +

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter [10pts], Gatling Psilencer [20pts], Heavy Psycannon [20pts], Nemesis Greatsword [15pts]

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter [10pts], Gatling Psilencer [20pts], Heavy Psycannon [20pts], Nemesis Greatsword [15pts]

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (Imperium – Grey Knights) [66 PL, 1,205pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration [10CP] +

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

Brotherhood: Blades of Victory

Detachment Command Cost [-2CP]

+ HQ [17 PL, 320pts, -1CP] +

Brotherhood Techmarine [5 PL, 80pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, Boltgun, Omnissian Power Axe
. Servo Arms

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [12 PL, 240pts, -1CP]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 2: Empyric Amplification, Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter [10pts], Foretelling of Locus [2 PL, 30pts], Gatling Psilencer [20pts], Heavy Psycannon [20pts], Nemesis Daemon Greathammer [10pts], Shield of Humanity [-1CP], Vanguard Aggression

+ Troops [12 PL, 220pts] +

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Halberd) [88pts]: 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar [22pts] . . Nemesis Force Halberd

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] . 4x Grey Knight (Halberd) [88pts]: 4x Nemesis Force Halberd, 4x Storm Bolter
. Grey Knight Justicar [22pts] . . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Fast Attack [28 PL, 480pts] +

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] . 9x Interceptor (Halberd) [216pts]: 9x Nemesis Force Halberd, 9x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar [24pts] . . Nemesis Force Halberd

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] . 9x Interceptor (Halberd) [216pts]: 9x Nemesis Force Halberd, 9x Storm Bolter
. Interceptor Justicar [24pts] . . Nemesis Force Halberd

+ Heavy Support [9 PL, 185pts] +

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 185pts]: Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter [10pts], Gatling Psilencer [20pts], Heavy Psycannon [20pts], Nemesis Greatsword [15pts]

The Standout Features

  • Ultra pressure Grey Knights take down a major.
  • Super-powered Swordbearer Dreadknights smash everything in their path.
  • Pre-game moves from the Blades of Victory plus Foretelling of Locus give the army an exceptional ability to adapt to the first-turn roll and apply pressure.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

There’s a new hotness in town, and it comes from a teleportarium clad in glorious silver armour. Grey Knights and Thousand Sons have both had a pretty impressive weekend now that players have had a chance to get to grips with them and refine some builds, but of the two Grey Knights are starting slightly stronger, picking up two undefeated runs including this major win.

Helpfully for your humble correspondent, almost all the lists use the same rough set of units, just in slightly different configurations and with different sets of Brotherhoods, so we can cover off the core of what’s driving their success once, then focus on what makes each individual build unique. Overwhelmingly, the lists are built from Grand Masters in Nemesis Dreadknights, regular Dreadknights, Strike Squads and Interceptors, with Kaldor Draigo, Techmarines, Librarians, Servitors and Rhinos generally filling things out. Ben’s build goes hard on the Dreadknight plan, taking the maximum number possible for a two-detachment list, which is not massively surprising given that these things are just straight up nasty. Handing a 4+ invulnerable save to the regular flavour, giving the sword a sweep attack, unlocking powerful movement strats with the Dreadknight Teleporter and letting them focus fire targets down via Empyric Amplification makes these incredibly strong, durable all-rounders, and the regular versions being CORE as well is just gravy, as it allows them to benefit from re-rolls and Unyielding Anvil. Running at least one GMDK and two regulars as Swordbearers is a choice most builds make thanks to this letting you power them up even further, but you basically don’t seem to be able to go wrong with these at all, though scientists recommend that you stick Servant of the Throne and Sigil of Exigence on your favourite Grand Master one, because why not?

Backing these up in this list, as in most, is a swarm of Interceptors. These are super fast, hit like Incubi, take punches like Space Marines and can pull off all sorts of janky movement shenanigans with Ethereal Castigation. Having two big units that can Combat Squad as here also gives this list an exceptional Secondary plan on most missions, as taking Stranglehold and Purifying Ritual then fanning out around the flanks (especially combined with the extra pressure from Blades of Victory as we’ll get to in a second) puts you ahead on Secondaries immediately, and any opponent planning to come tangle with you better be really sure they can win that fight. Strike Marines are just as good stats wise but lack the mobility, and at only two points less they’re mostly relegated to filling out Troops slots – but that doesn’t mean they’re bad, still being ultra strong all-rounders for the price. In this list, the only other datasheet used is the Techmarine, providing a cheap additional source of Purifying Ritual/Dominus discipline casts while also let you do some field repairs on the Dreadknights, why not?

What makes this list stand out compared to the other builds is the use of the Blades of Victory rather than the Rapiers for the Interceptor-heavy detachment. The Rapiers ability to buff up their units is definitely strong (and they appear in some other winning lists) but it’s notable that one combo with them that got lots of hype, using a Chaplain Words of Power to drop a gigantic mortal bomb, shows up in none of the top four builds – it looks like Grey Knights don’t really need the help hitting hard enough. Ben extends that theory to the Rapiers as a whole, and taking Blades of Victory provides access to a powerful Warlord trait that makes this flavour uniquely rough to face down. Vanguard Aggression lets the Warlord and a friendly CORE unit (so here potentially the BoV GMDK and a DK) make a 6″ pre-game move, helping them get up the table and ensure they’re in range with their shooting straight away, or to hunker up behind a wall mid-board. Combine that with Foretelling of Locus to potentially redeploy units right to the front or to safety as needed, and this list can adapt its deployment to a terrifying degree after the roll-off. Given the first turn, it can use this to put outrageous pressure on the opponent – the Blades of Victory DKs can pre-game move, one can get Gate of Infinityed and one can use Teleportation Shunt, so the opponent has to account for up to four giant robots moving further than they have any business doing right there on the first turn, all while teleporting miscreants zip around the board stealing objectives.

That’s a tough thing to work against, and makes this build of Grey Knights extremely nasty, especially if you’re not ready for what it can do. Honestly? That’s actually nice to see – it’s a very good build but probably not as oppressive as the best Drukhari or AdMech ones were out of the gate, and it adds some new angles of attack and spice to the top metagame. That’s always great to see, so congratulations to Ben for being at the tip of the spear as this new book hits the meta.

Colin McDade – Orks – 2nd ✪ Place

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy. Credit: Rockfish
Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks 2021) [41 PL, 675pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

+ HQ [7 PL, 135pts] +

Deffkilla Wartrike [7 PL, 135pts]: 1. Roadkilla (Speed Freeks), Da Badskull Banner, Killa Jet, Shokka Hull [1 PL, 15pts], Snagga Klaw, 3x Twin Boomstick, Warlord

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [4 PL, 50pts] +

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] . Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [6 PL, 110pts] +

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 [6 PL, 90pts] +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

+ Flyer [16 PL, 240pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks 2021) [74 PL, 1,325pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration [9CP] +

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

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ HQ [6 PL, 115pts, -2CP] +

Warboss on Warbike [6 PL, 115pts, -2CP]: 4. Brutal but Kunnin, Da Killa Klaw, 2x Dakkagun, Power Klaw, Stratagem: Big Boss [-1CP], Stratagem: Extra Gubbinz [-1CP]

+ Fast Attack [47 PL, 835pts] +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [15 PL, 270pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Megatrakk Scrapjets [5 PL, 90pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Megatrakk Scrapjets [5 PL, 90pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [7 PL, 115pts]: Nitro Squigs [2 PL, 25pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [5 PL, 90pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

+ Heavy Support [3 PL, 45pts] +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

+ Flyer [18 PL, 330pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

Wazbom Blastajet [10 PL, 210pts]: 2x Tellyport Mega-Blastas [20pts], Blastajet Force Field [20pts], Smasha Gun

++ Total: [115 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • One of the most brutal damage-dealing lists in the business picks up an undefeated run.
  • Wazbom Blastajet adds some extra nightmarish threat for enemy tanks and protects the Dakkajets out the gate.
  • Classic Killa Claw Bikeboss returns, upgraded with new-fangled Brutal But Kunnin’ technology.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

With Grey Knights adding another army that’s capable of rapid, brutal pressure to the mix, the metagame is bending ever more towards lists that can throw shockingly violent early punches, and as we’ve now seen several times Freebooterz are extremely ready to play that game. The incredible army-wise boost that their clan Kultur provides, especially when combined with Speedwaaagh and Dakkajets, allows them to unleash truly appaling amounts of damage straight away, and with the incredible resilience Ramshackle gives them except against top-quality anti-tank, they’re very likely to be able to strip away all their opponent’s answers and run away with the game. Add in the powerful objective trickery provided by the Badskull Banner and Get Da Loot and you’ve got an army that can compete with the very best in the game on multiple angles. Colin hasn’t been idle in the innovation stakes either – he’s added a Wazbom Blastajet to his spin on the list, which provides substantial extra resiliance to the orkish airforce if the opponent gets first turn via the Blastajet Force Field, plus some exceptional extra killing power that’s pretty much perfect for hitting Dreadknights via the tellyport mega-blastas. While you can get the same 5+ invulnerable by investing in a Big Mek and blowing Force Field Boosta, going this route reduces CP spend and lets the air force suck up a punch back in your opponent’s first turn if they swing and miss at a key target.

Last week I called Freebooterz the best build of Orks (at least with the current available kits), and nothing I’m seeing here is dissuading me – the sheer brutality of what this army can do with first turn is a sight to behold, and it’s way more resilient than you’d expect even when it doesn’t have it. Congratulations to Colin for adding the extra bit of Blastajet spice to fire them to a 6-0 run.

Dan Sammons – Orks – 3rd Place

Credit: Greg “Greggles” Hess

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Orks 2021) [57 PL, 12CP, 1,030pts] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

+ HQ [6 PL, 120pts] +

Deffkilla Wartrike [6 PL, 120pts]: 3. ‘Ard as Nails, Da Badskull Banner, Killa Jet, Snagga Klaw, 3x Twin Boomstick, Warlord

+ Troops [2 PL, 50pts] +

Gretchin [2 PL, 50pts] . 10x Gretchin [50pts]: 10x Grot Blaster

+ Elites [8 PL, 140pts] +

Kommandos [4 PL, 50pts] . Boss Nob [10pts]: Choppa, Slugga, Stikkbombs
. 4x Kommando [40pts]: 4x Choppa, 4x Slugga, 4x Stikkbombs

Tankbustas [4 PL, 90pts]: Bomb Squig [5pts] . Boss Nob [17pts]: Rokkit Launcha
. 4x Tankbusta [68pts]: 4x Rokkit Launcha

+ Fast Attack [20 PL, 360pts] +

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

Rukkatrukk Squigbuggies [10 PL, 180pts] . Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs
. Rukkatrukk Squigbuggy [5 PL, 90pts]: Heavy Squig Launcha, Saw Blades, Sawn-off Shotgun, Squig Launcha, Squig Mine, Stikkbombs

+ Heavy Support [6 PL, 90pts] +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

+ Flyer [15 PL, 270pts] +

Burna-bommer [7 PL, 150pts]: 2x Burna Bomb, Skorcha Missiles [15pts], 2x Supa Shoota, Twin Big Shoota

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

++ Outrider Detachment -3CP (Orks 2021) [57 PL, -3CP, 970pts] ++

+ Configuration [-3CP] +

Clan Kultur: Freebooterz

+ HQ [5 PL, 85pts] +

Big Mek w/ Kustom Force Field [5 PL, 85pts]: Choppa, Kustom Force Field, Slugga, Stikkbombs

+ Fast Attack [33 PL, 600pts] +

Megatrakk Scrapjets [15 PL, 270pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles
. Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

Megatrakk Scrapjets [5 PL, 90pts] . Megatrakk Scrapjet [5 PL, 90pts]: Nose Drill, Rokkit Cannon, 2x Twin Big Shoota, Wing Missiles

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

Warbikers [4 PL, 75pts] . Boss Nob [25pts]: 2x Dakkagun
. 2x Warbiker [50pts]: 4x Dakkagun

+ Heavy Support [3 PL, 45pts] +

Mek Gunz [3 PL, 45pts] . Mek Gun [3 PL, 45pts]: Kustom Mega Kannon

+ Flyer [16 PL, 240pts] +

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

Dakkajet [8 PL, 120pts]: 2x Additional Supa Shoota [20pts], 4x Supa Shoota

++ Total: [114 PL, 9CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • More Freebooterz from an early pioneer of the archetype.
  • Truly eye-watering winning scores.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Dan Sammons has already featured in one of these at the helm of Freebooterz so it’s no surprise to seem him rack up another podium finish with the list. His build has a slightly wider breadth of utility tools compared to Colin at the expense of not having the free plane protection/extra punch of the Blastajet (though he’s got a Kustom Force Field that he can Force Field Boosta to get the same). While not having the extra anti-tank does plausibly look like it could have cost Dan in the game he lost, the extra attention to objective play secured a truly incredible run of scores in his games, with 100pt finishes in half his games and high 90s in two more, to the point where he was only 6VP shy of Ben’s total, suggesting that this build can utterly dominate the table even more than Colin’s. Dan is now in the very happy position of having one of the highest counts of tournament games under his belt with an army that is rapidly carving out a spot among the metagame greats, so I’m sure we’ll be seeing him back soon. Congratulations!

Tim Royers – Imperium – 4th ✪ Place

Imperial Knight Castellan
Imperial Knight Castellan. Credit: Jack Hunter

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Mechanicus) [73 PL, 12CP, 1,362pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Forge World Choice: Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +

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

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

Tech-Priest Manipulus [6 PL, 100pts]: Magi, Magnarail lance

+ Troops +

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

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

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

Skitarii Vanguards [4 PL, 80pts] . 9x Skitarii Vanguard: 9x Radium Carbine
. Vanguard Alpha: Radium Carbine

+ Elites +

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

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

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

Sicarian Ruststalkers [8 PL, 119pts] . Ruststalker Princeps (Blades)
. 6x Sicarian Ruststalker (Blades): 6x Transonic Blades

+ Fast Attack +

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

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

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Imperial Knights) [32 PL, -5CP, 635pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus
. House Raven

+ Stratagems +

Exalted Court [-1CP]: Exalted Court: 1 Extra Warlord Trait

Heirlooms of the Household [-1CP]: Heirlooms of the Household: 1 Extra Heirloom

+ Lord of War +

Knight Castellan [32 PL, 635pts]: Character (Exalted Court), Character (Heirloom of the House), Heirloom: Cawl’s Wrath, Knight of the Cog, Warlord Trait: Ion Bulwark
. Two Siegebreaker Cannons and Two Shieldbreaker Missiles: 2x Twin Siegebreaker Cannon

++ Total: [105 PL, 7CP, 1,997pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Modern problems require classic solutions – just blow them all into tiny pieces with your giant robot.
  • Infiltrators and Skitarii Rangers provide fantastic bubble-wrap and anti-horde to support the Castellan.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Many aspects of the Adeptus Mechanicus book have been thoroughly explored at this point, but one that’s mostly been left by the wayside is the option to bring a single Knight along as a Knight of the Cog without breaking Doctrinas or Canticles. That changes here, as with a significant uptick in the number of powerful Vehicle-based lists kicking around in the metagame their old nemesis the House Raven Castellan has awoken from its long slumber and is ready to blow them to bits. Buggies? Redemptors? Dreadknights? The Castellan cares not, all of them will be reduced to slag, and with a 4+ invulnerable save from Ion Bulwark, trying to take it out is never going to be a certain prospect.

We have, to be fair, seen the odd Castellan out in Knight lists, but with the arrival of two new psychic powerhouses in the metagame the attraction of bringing one alongside a horde of Mars Skitarii is higher than ever. Chewing through 40+ of these is tough at the best of times, and as Mars they can throw up Incantation of the Iron Soul for Mortal defence on a key turn, making it tough to pierce the bubble wrap with Psychic might alone. Skitarii Rangers are also, of course, highly lethal on the offence thanks to Wrath of Mars and Galvanic Volley Fire, and ensures that drowning the Castellan in a horde isn’t really an answer either. Add in Sicarian Infiltrators as one of the best scouting units in the game to push back drop pods and redeploys, and Ironstriders to make really, really sure that any list packing monsters or hulls regrets its life choices and you’ve got an extremely strong concoction that can really dominate the shooting phase (to the point where it managed to take down Freebooterz), while having a vastly better plan for playing Primary and Secondary objectives than most pure Knight builds.

Tim did get taken down by Ben’s Grey Knights in the final, but even against that build with its absurd objective pressure he managed to put up a decent score, and this build looks extremely legit. If current metagame trends continue, I’d be very unsurprised to see more people bringing the AdMech/Castellan combo out of retirement, so congratulations to Tim for showing what it can do.

The Rest of the Best

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

  • 5th – Aaron Cook – Adeptus Custodes: Extra shooty Shadowkeeper Custodes, going for double Telemon, all Sagittarum in the troops slot and a couple of Pallas Grav-Attacks.
  • 6th – Tyler Devries – Grey Knights: Rapiers/Swordbearers in this one, dropping down to two vanilla Dreadknights (still two GMDKs) and packing an additional squad of Interceptors instead.
  • 7th – Kyle McCord – Imperium: An updated version of the three-way Imperium soup that Kyle ran way back in the Spring Up GT, still bringing Dark Angels and Tank Commanders, but changing the AdMech tools to a much more utility congfiguration, with a block of Vanguard for anti-horde and Sicarian Infiltrators for screening.
  • 8th – Connor Mac Cormick – Drukhari: A Drukhari build focusing on heft, packing two units of Cronos and two large-ish Hellion blocks alongside normal goodstuff tools.
  • 9th – BamBam Hunter – Grey Knights: Swordbearers/Rapiers Dreadknights/Interceptors again, only taking one GMDK and bringing Draigo and a Librarian for utility in the Rapier HQ slots instead.

The Normal Blokes GT

All the pairings for this event can be found in Down Under Pairings. Similar to some other recent Aussie events, partial win-path placing was in place, with the player losing on table 1 in the last round guaranteed second place.

Liam Hackett – Thousand Sons – 1st ✪ Place

Thousand Sons Rubric Marine
Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

+ HQ1+
Ahriman [10 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 180pts]:
– Powers: tzeentchs firestorm, doombolt, gaze of hate
– Disc of Tzeentch

+HQ2+
Exalted Sorcerer [7 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 115pts]:
– Powers: Glamour of Tzeentch, Weaver of Fates
– WARLORD: Trait= Immaterial Echo.
– Legion command: Paradigm of Change
– Relic: Umbralefic Crystal

+TROOP1+
10 Rubric Marines [12 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 220pts] – Aspiring Sorcerer: Inferno Bolt Pistol.
– power: temporal surge
– 8x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 8x Inferno boltgun
– Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+TROOP2+
10 Rubric Marines [12 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 220pts] – Aspiring Sorcerer: Inferno Bolt Pistol.
– power: temporal surge
– 8x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 8x Inferno boltgun
– Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+TROOP3+
10 Rubric Marines [12 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 220pts] – Aspiring Sorcerer: Inferno Bolt Pistol.
– power: temporal surge
– 8x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 8x Inferno boltgun
– Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+TROOP4+
10 Rubric Marines [12 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 220pts] – Aspiring Sorcerer: Inferno Bolt Pistol.
– power: temporal surge
– 8x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 8x Inferno boltgun
– Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+TROOP5+
10 Rubric Marines [12 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 220pts] – Aspiring Sorcerer: Inferno Bolt Pistol.
– power: temporal surge
– 8x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 8x Inferno boltgun
– Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+ELITE1+
10 Scarab Occult Terminators [21 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 445pts]:
– aspiring sorcerer: inferno combi bolter, force staff. Power = temporal surge
– legion command: rites of coalescence
– 2x terminators with soulreaper cannons and kopesh and hellfyre missiles
– 2x terminator w inferno combi bolters and kopesh
– 5x terminator w inferno combi bolters and kopesh

+TRANSPORT1+
Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

+TRANSPORT2+
Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 80pts] 2000 total PTS

The Standout Features

  • Sixty durable ObSec bodies throwing down psychic powers, double-moving and coming back from the dead, all while throwing out grindy pain.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Moving onto our second event brings us to the greatest triumph for the Thousand Sons from the weekend, and with easily the most unusual of their lists. Many of the successful builds are trying lots of different techy combinations of units but not this one. As befits an inexorable legion of identical, soulless automata, this army just throws five identical full-sized Rubricae units onto the table, all with the Temporal Surge power (the new Tsons name for Warptime) and a single soulreaper cannon. A couple of units can ride forward in Rhinos for some early protection against enemy mortals or guns, there’s a full-sized Scarab Occult unit to act as a central anchor (leaning on Unwavering Phalanx to soak shooting) and a couple of characters hiding behind them throwing out pain (from Ahriman) and buffs (from the Sorceror) and that’s it!

So how does it function? Well, with a combination of grinding damage and durability and mobile ObSec everywhere. Thanks to being Cult of Time, this army has access to two different ways to stick models back into its units (Warped Regeneration and Time Flux), both of which are particularly great when deployed on Scarab Occult Terminators in particular. Recognising that, the Terminator squad is set up with the Rites of Coalescence upgrade to ensure that in the window where Regeneration can be used, they’re never going to have a wounded model and thus always get a whole one back. Taking down this squad in one go is extremely difficult, especially with Glamour and Weaver applied, and if you fail the squad will almost always bring back two full models, as they can rack the smite Warp Charge up to 9 then use a Cabalistic Ritual to auto-cast at the threshold needed for the Stratagem, while a friendly caster applies Flux. If the opponent (probably sensibly) decides to shoot somewhere else? There are going to be casualties somewhere, so this army is going to pick up huge value from these abilities regardless, which on top of just being straight up good defensively makes it a pain to shift.

It’s not idle on the offence while that’s happening either – Mortal Wounds and D1 shots with AP will kill anything eventually, and this army has lots of both. All these durable, grindy units are also ObSec (including the Scarabs) and have some mobility tools as a final trick to help them dominate the game – Risen Rubricae to start a unit in some sort of safe spot mid-table out the gate, Temporal Surge everywhere for extra movement, and the Umbralific Crystal when more drastic measures are needed, or there’s a flank that’s just going to crumble in the face of the Scarabs.

All told, this list is far, far nastier than you might think if you haven’t yet re-adjusted your evaluation of Rubricae, and has a bunch of tricks up its sleeve to really get the most out of them. It’s also notable that Liam took it to first place by beating Grey Knights in the final, as currently 40Kstats has Grey Knights as heavily favoured in that matchup. With the Knights of Titan making the slightly bigger metagame splash, a Thousand Sons build that can push back against them is going to be extra valuable, so congratulations to Liam for his success with probably the most unique build out of any we’re looking at this week.

Josh Engelke – Grey Knights – 2nd ✪ Place

Grey Knight - Justicar
Grey Knight – Justicar
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Detachment 1: Swordbearers Patrol Detachment 0CP

(Imperium – Grey Knights) [41 PL, 770pts]

HQ

Brotherhood Techmarine [7 PL, 110pts]: 3: Unyielding Anvil, 5: Warp Shaping, Aetheric Conduit, Foretelling of Locus, Warlord

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [10 PL, 200pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 2: Empyric Amplification, Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Daemon Greathammer

Troops

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] x5 w Nemesis Force Swords

Heavy Support

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 175pts]: Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Nemesis Dreadknight [9 PL, 175pts]: Dreadfist, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword

Detachment 2: Rapiers Patrol Detachment -2CP

(Imperium – Grey Knights) [67 PL, -3CP, 1,230pts]

HQ

Brotherhood Librarian [6 PL, 105pts]: 1: Gate of Infinity, 3: Sanctuary, Nemesis Force Sword

Grand Master in Nemesis Dreadknight [11 PL, -1CP, 235pts]: 2: Empyric Amplification, 4: First to the Fray, 4: Vortex of Doom, Dreadfist, Dreadknight teleporter, Gatling Psilencer, Heavy Psycannon, Nemesis Greatsword, Servant of the Throne, Shield of Humanity, Sigil of Exigence

Troops

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] x5 w Nemesis Force Swords

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] x5 w Nemesis Force Halberds

Strike Squad [6 PL, 110pts] x5 w Nemesis Force Halberds

Fast Attack

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] x10 w Nemesis Force Halberds

Interceptor Squad [14 PL, 240pts] x10 w Nemesis Force Halberds

Dedicated Transport

Rhino [4 PL, 80pts]

Total: [108 PL, 2000pts]

The Standout Features

  • Grey Knights with Rapiers as the Infantry Detachment.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Our second Grey Knight build of the week, and in line with what I’m going to be saying a lot about this faction, it’s pretty similar to the first, with the major differences being the choice of the Rapiers brotherhood instead of the Blades of Victory, and squeezing in a Librarian for an extra cast instead of a Techmarine. The main difference this makes to the army’s capabilities is to mildly tone down the sheer amount of pressure it can present out of the gate, but in exchange it picks up the ability to spike up the melee capabilities of its Infantry at a moment’s notice. Both are clearly excellent options given the results put up, and which comes out on top is likely to be down to a combination of player preferences and how the metagame shakes out. For my money, as things currently stand I’d guess the extra pressure from the Blades of Victory wins out, but I’m very willing to be proven wrong about that, and congratulations to Josh for introducing the second spin on this new force to the metagame thunderdome.

Erik Lathouras – Tyranids – 3rd Place

Tyranid Warrior
Tyranid Warrior
Credit: Pendulin

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Batallion Detachment: Custom Hivefleet (Hivefleet Chad) – Bio Metallic Cysts + Pack Hunters 

HQ:
Hive Tyrant – Wings (205)
– Lash Whip + sword, Monstrous Rending Claws, adrenal glands, toxin sacs
– Reaper of Obliterax
– Warlord: (warlord trait: Alien Cunning)
– (-1cp) Hivefleet adaptaion – Murderous size
– Onslaught, Paroxysm

Tyranid Prime (78)
– Lash Whip + Bonesword + Scything Talons

Troops:

7x Tyranid Warriors (119)
– 2x sets scything talons

7x Tyranid Warriors (119)
– 2x sets scything talons

7x Tyranid Warriors (119)
– 2x sets scything talons

7x Tyranid Warriors (119)
– 2x sets scything talons

5x Tyranid Warriors (85)
– 2x sets scything talons

Elites:

The Red Terror (55) (Mr. Craig)
Lictor (37)
3x Tyrant Guard, Lash Whip + sword, Adrenal Glands (123)

Fast Attack:

8x Raveners (160)
– 2x scything talons

8x Raveners (160)
– 2x scything talons

8x Raveners (160)
– 2x scything talons

Heavy Support:

Trygon Prime (180) (Mr. Bombard)
– Adrenal Glands, Toxin Spike

1x Biovore (50)
1x Biovore (50)

Patrol Detachment: Gorgon

HQ:
Broodlord (125)
– Poisonous Influence

Troops:
5x Genestealers (65)
– 1x acid maw

The Standout Features

  • Randomly generated Tyranids put up a shockingly good result.
  • Lots of ObSec board control.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

If you’re looking at this list and thinking that it looks extremely weird you’d be correct, and that’s down to the fact that it was at least partially generated by rolling dice in a choose-your-own adventure fashion on the Art of War Down Under stream. I confess that I have not had time to find/watch the video to identify exactly how it was done, but the end result is in front of us and managed to go 4-1-0, so clearly the dice gods (and/or whatever decisions Erik was allowed to make to adapt to their whims) have produced something at least playable, so how does it work?

Happily, it’s not too complicated – the list packs a whole bunch of multi-wound brawlers, many of which are ObSec, and stacks up lots of scything talons attacks between them. Normally relying on massed AP0 would be asking to get bowled over in an unwinnable matchup at least once, but thanks to the combination of Bio-Metalic CystsPack Hunters and the Gorgon power of Poisonous Influence (which isn’t keyword locked) they can climb all the way to AP-3 in the right situation, and at that point the lists’s hefty wall of wounds can make enough of a dent in whatever comes to tangle with it mid-table that it’s got a (clearly reasonably effective) route to victory. The buffed up Hive Tyrant and the Trygon Prime can fill a role as troubleshooters, either taking down a key target or pressuring a flank, and there are some biovores to sit on home objectives and contribute spore mines, and putting all of that together gives you a reasonably capable overall package. Given the random nature of its inception I’m not going to dig into it too deeply beyond that, but it does show off an interesting lesson – you’d basically never take scything talon Raveners or Tyranids Warriors in a brawler role normally, but leaning in on them as hard as is humanlyalienly possible and fielding them in a critical mass allows them to perform way beyond standard parameters. Educational as ever from the Art of War team.

Dan Savage – Adeptus Mechanicus – 4th Place

Skorpius Dunerider. Credit: Rockfish
Skorpius Dunerider. Credit: Rockfish

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Dan Savage
Faction : Ad Mech

Brigade Detachment – Forge World -METALICA – 12CP
SKITARII VETERAN COHORT
Archeotech Specialist -1CP
Artefactotum -1CP
Mechanicus Locum -1CP

HQ
Skitarii Marshal, 45
Mechanicus Locum: Firepoint Telemetry
Relic1 – Metalican Lung

Skitarii Marshal, 45
Warlord – Calculate without Diversion
Relic2 – Cantic Thrallnet

Tech-Priest Manipulus 105
Holy Order- Logi
Magnarail Lance

TROOPS

5x Skitari Veteran Rangers 50
5 x Galvanic Rifle

5x Skitari Veteran Rangers 50
5 x Galvanic Rifle

5x Skitari Veteran Rangers 50
5 x Galvanic Rifle

5x Skitari Veteran Rangers 50
5 x Galvanic Rifle

5x Skitarii Veteran Vanguards 50
5x radium carbines

5x Skitarii Veteran Vanguards 50
5x radium carbines

ELITES

5x Sicarian Infiltrators 85
5x sword & Stubcarbine

5x Sicarian Infiltrators 85
5x sword & Stubcarbine

Sicarian Ruststalkers 85
Alpha – Transonic Blades, Chordclaw
4 x transonic blades

FAST ATTACK

7 x Pteraxii Sterylizors 133
7x Phosphor Torch, 7x Pteraxii Talons

7 x Pteraxii Sterylizors 133
7x Phosphor Torch, 7x Pteraxii Talons

9 x Serberys Raiders 144
Alpha, Artefactotum: The Skull of Elder Nikola, 1x archeo-revolver
9 x sabres, 9x Galvanic carbines, 9x clawed limbs

7x Serberys Raiders 117
Alpha, archeo-revolver, Enhanced Data Tether
7 x sabres, 7x Galvanic Carbines, 7x Clawed Limbs

HEAVY SUPPORT

Skorpius Disintegrator 145
Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator 145
Energy Cannon

Skorpius Disintegrator 145
Energy Cannon

DEDICATED TRANSPORT

Skorpius Dunerider 95
2 x cognis stubber, 1 x twin cognis stubber

Skorpius Dunerider 95
2 x cognis stubber, 1 x twin cognis stubber

Skorpius Dunerider 95
2 x cognis stubber, 1 x twin cognis stubber

Forgeworld – Metalica PTS – 1997 CP – 9

The Standout Features

  • Metalica Veteran Cohort brings an AdMech spin on high pressure board control to the table.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

While Mars/Lucius looks increasingly dominant, AdMech lists focused more on board control and pressure are still putting in work too, and this Metalica build decidedly falls into that category. With Infiltrators, lots of Serberys Raiders and plenty of Duneriders, this army gets up the table fast, at which point it can take advantage of all the close-range tricks the Army of Renown and Forge World bring to bear. You’ve got Blaring Glory and Deafening Assault as powerful disruption tools, March to War and Expedited Purge Protocol for lightning strikes, and Aggression Override and Order in Anarchy to amp up the damage. All of this is especially spicy on the full unit of Serberys Raiders, which will also be unleashing Mortals on all nearby vehicles, and with the speed at which everything is operating the opponent is often going to be left scrambling to respond. While they’re on the back foot, the reliable damage output of the Skorpii will rack up a terrible toll, and can unleash particular pain on anything that either hunkers down in terrain (thanks to Extinction Order) or allows the Metalican Lung to get too close.

Finish up with the Cantic Thrallnet for unparalleled Skitarii configurability and you’ve got a list that can and will systematically dominate the table, showing off a side of AdMech that many aren’t going to be prepared for, and with a uniquely broad array of tricks. Very cool from Dan.

The Rest of the Best

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

  • 5th – Alex Terrasson – Orks: Pretty standard Freebooter stuff – a bunch of buggies, Dakkajets and cheap, speedy infantry, all lead up by a Deffkilla trike.
  • 6th – Hayden Walduck – Adepta Sororitas: A new pairing here, with the Bloody Rose joined by the Order of Our Martyred Lady, bringing the comedy Blade of Sacrifice murder combo and a bunch of shooting to punish the opponent with via A Martyr’s Duty and Rejoice the Fallen.
  • 7th – Braedon Kilby-Francis – Dark Angels: Deathwing crunch with Talonmaster/VolCon backup.
  • 8th – Dineeth Liyanagama – Deathwatch: The standard core of pushy Kill Teams and Redemptors with some more unusual flex choices of a big Spectrus Team (including the payoff of a four-model Eliminator squad with a Helix Gauntlet) and a small Centurion Assault Squad for Teleportarium-based bullying.

Twisted Onslaught – Devastation

All the lists for this event can be found in Best Coast Pairings. There were no undefeated players other than Mani going into the final round, so no fancy stars.

Mani Cheema – Adeptus Mechanicus – 1st Place

Skitarii Rangers
Skitarii Rangers. Credit: PierreTheMime

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Patrol Detachment -3CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [46 PL, 985pts]

Forge World: Lucius

-HQ-

Techpriest Manipulus [6 PL, 105pts, -1CP] Holy Order Logi, Warlord, Warlord Trait:Luminescent Blessing, Archeotech Specialists: The Solar Flare

-Troop-

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts, -1CP] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha, Host of the Intermediary: Firepoint Telemetry Cache
Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts, -1CP] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha, Host of the Intermediary: Multi-Tasking Cortex
Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 190pts] x20, Galvanic Rifles x18, Plasma Caliver x2, Enhanced Data-Tether, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

-Flyer-

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher
Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x4, Command Uplink

Patrol Detachment -3CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [25 PL, 456pts]

Forge World: Lucius

-HQ-

Skitarii Marshall [3 PL, 45pts, -1CP] Mechanicus Locum: Programmed Retreat, Free Relic: Exemplar’s Eternity

-Troop-

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 151pts] x17, Galvanic Rifles x16, Plasma Caliver x1, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

-Flyer-

Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x4, Command Uplink
Archaeopter Fusilave [7 PL, 130pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x4, Command Uplink

Patrol Detachment -3CP (Adeptus Mechanicus) [29 PL, 556pts]

Forge World: Mars

-HQ-

Skitarii Marshall [3 PL, 45pts, -1CP] Archeotech Specialists: Raiment of the Technomartyr

-Troop-

Skitarii Rangers [8 PL, 151pts] x17, Galvanic Rifles x16, Plasma Caliver x1, Omnispex, Ranger Alpha

-Flyer-

Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher
Archaeopter Stratoraptor [9 PL, 180pts] Cognis Heavy Stubber x2, Heavy Phosphor Blaster x2, Twin Cognis Lascannon, Chaff Launcher

The Standout Features

  • Mani warms up for the LGT in style by dropping a mere 5 victory points in six rounds.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

This list is mostly the same as what we saw when covering the LGT Invitational last week, with the only major change being that an Enginseer, a few Skitarii and the special weapons have been harvested from various squads to squeeze in a whole additional Fusilave, providing even more bombing and mobility to ruin the opponent’s day. Both versions of the list have incredible durability and damage, able to both immediately take the opponent out of the game with a plane attack run and overwhelm them on the ground with hordes of quality infantry scything people down from all angles. Compared to the invitational version, this build stacks up even more of a no-holds-barred punch out the gate, at the cost of being a fraction less flexible and thus more subject to getting a bad beat. That makes sense, because this version is what Mani is taking in the LGT main event, where as discussed last in the article linked above, sacrificing a few percentage points of overall win rate for the tools to win every game hard is the right call if you want the trophy. Given that the scores Mani picked up this week were five 100s and a disastrous 95 in the last round, I’d say he’s in with a great chance of doing just that.

Chris Woods – Thousand Sons – 2nd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [23 PL, 450pts] ++

Magnus the Red [23 PL, 450pts]: 1. Arrogance of Aeons, 3. Undying Form, 4. Lord of Forbidden Lore, Smite, The Blade of Magnus, Warlord

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [85 PL, 1,550pts, -1CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Duplicity

+ HQ [21 PL, 375pts, -1CP] +

Exalted Sorcerer [6 PL, 100pts]: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, 22. Weaver of Fates, 23. Temporal Surge, Force stave, Frag & Krak grenades, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Smite, Blade Disc

Sorcerer [5 PL, 90pts]: 12. Twist of Fate, 13. Doombolt, Force sword, Frag & Krak grenades, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Smite

Daemon Prince [10 PL, 185pts, -1CP]: 12. Twist of Fate, 22. Swelled by the Warp, Conniving Plate, Hellforged sword [10pts], High Acolytes [-1CP], Malefic talon, Master Misinformator, Smite, Wings [10 PL, 185pts, -1CP]

+ Troops [18 PL, 315pts] +

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer [21pts]: 31. Cacodaemonic Curse, Force stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Smite
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun [84pts]: 4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer [21pts]: 13. Doombolt, Force stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Smite
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun [84pts]: 4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 105pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer [21pts]: 13. Doombolt, Force stave, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Smite
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun [84pts]: 4x Inferno boltgun

+ Elites [20 PL, 370pts] +

Scarab Occult Terminators [20 PL, 370pts]: Hellfyre missile rack [10pts] . Scarab Occult Sorcerer [40pts]: 21. Presage, Force stave, Inferno combi-bolter, Smite
. 8x Terminator [320pts]: 8x Inferno combi-bolter, 8x Prosperine khopesh

+ Heavy Support [8 PL, 160pts] +

Forgefiend [8 PL, 160pts]: 2x Heavy Hades autocannons, Ectoplasma cannon [50pts], Forgefiend jaws

+ Flyer [18 PL, 330pts] +

Heldrake [9 PL, 165pts]: Hades autocannon, Heldrake claws

Heldrake [9 PL, 165pts]: Hades autocannon, Heldrake claws

++ Total: [16PL, 2,000pts, -1CP] ++

The Standout Features

  • Magnus and Cult of Duplicity buddies secure a strong finish for the Thousand Sons.
  • New and improved Daemon Engines make a strong showing.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Our second showing for the Thousand Sons introduces an element that’s common to most of their list outside of the unique Australian take – the Cult of Duplicity. Being able to teleport any of your Rubric units at any time with Sorcerous Facade is another way to mitigate their low mobility, and keeping the opponent under constant threat from this is going to constrain their options game-long. It’s also a spicy combo with Magnus and the Warp Sight Cabalistic Ritual, as it allows you to deploy his (often heavily amplified) psychic powers pretty much wherever needed. Finally, the Master Misinformator warlord trait is just great, and now that it’s been FAQed to let you combo it with effects like Risen Rubricae it’s even better. The flexibility provided by this Cult means that a core of 3x Rubricae, asome powerful HQs and a big Scarab Occult block drawn from their ranks is a pretty reliable template to start a Thousand Sons army with.

That doesn’t cover all your points, of course, and what makes each list unique is what they choose to bring beyond that. For our first contender here, the answer is Magnus and some Daemon Engines, most notably a pair of Heldrakes. That makes sense to me – Heldrakes look strong, with a notable downside of being hard to hide, but when you’re running them alongside Magnus the attention of your opponent’s biggest guns is definitely going to be elsewhere out of the gate, as Magnus is very much a must-answer threat thanks to the heavy damage he throws out both in the psychic phase and in melee. Now, fair warning – Falcon from 40kstats tells me that Magnus lists currently have a substantially lower win rate than builds without him, so you should think carefully about the metagame/terrain context you’re going to be playing him before throwing him into a list, but Chris bucked that trend with a good record and I do think the combos with the Heldrake and access to sorcerous delivery from the Cult of Duplicity are some of the better ways to use the Crimson King. At his current price, I think the liability he represents against shootier lists will lead to lists without him being favoured, but he’s iconic and exciting enough that you probably do need to figure out what your plan is against him. Good stuff from Chris showing off some of the fun new toys.

Lee Jones – Thousand Sons – 3rd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [99 PL, 7CP, 1,996pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Duplicity

+ Stratagems +

Sorcerous Arcana [-2CP]: 2x Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Ahriman [10 PL, 180pts]: 13. Doombolt, 23. Baleful Devolution, 23. Temporal Surge, Disc of Tzeentch

Exalted Sorcerer [9 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: 11. Gaze of Hate, 11. Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Athenaean Scrolls, Dilettante, Disc of Tzeentch, High Acolytes, Inferno Bolt Pistol, Master Misinformator, Umbralefic Crystal

Infernal Master [5 PL, 90pts]: 21. Presage, 5. Glimpse of Eternity, 6. Malefic Maelstrom, Egleighen’s Orrery

+ Troops +

Rubric Marines [6 PL,130pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 31. Empyric Guidance, Warpflame pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL,125pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 31. Empyric Guidance, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 115pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 4x Inferno boltgun

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 115pts]: Icon of Flame
. Aspiring Sorcerer: 12. Glamour of Tzeentch, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 4x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 4x Inferno boltgun

Thousand Sons Cultists [2 PL, 50pts] . Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Cultist w/ autogun: 9x Autogun

Thousand Sons Cultists [2 PL, 50pts] . Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Cultist w/ autogun: 9x Autogun

+ Elites +

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

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

Scarab Occult Terminators [21 PL, 445pts]: 2x Hellfyre missile rack
. Scarab Occult Sorcerer: 22. Weaver of Fates, Inferno combi-bolter, Rites of Coalescence
. 7x Terminator: 7x Inferno combi-bolter, 7x Prosperine khopesh
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon
. Terminator w/ Heavy Weapon: Soulreaper cannon

Tzaangor Shaman [4 PL, 70pts]: 2. Seeker After Shadows, 22. Weaver of Fates, Thrydderghyre, Warlord

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn [1 PL, 23pts]: Chaos Spawn

Chaos Spawn [1 PL, 23pts]: Chaos Spawn

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, 95pts]: Havoc launcher, Inferno combi-melta

1,996pts

The Standout Features

  • A balanced Thousand Sons list with plenty of the top tools

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Give or take a Daemon Prince I’d say this is pretty close to a “standard” spin on Thousand Sons list that you 100% need a plan for. You’ve got the same core of Cult of Duplicity Rubrics/Scarabs and powerful HQ casters (here including Ahriman), a couple of VolCons (great with Ensorcelled Infusion) to shore up the relatively weak native shooting of the faction (particularly helpful in the Drukhari matchup, where popping boats is vital), and some tools dedicated to objective play in the form of lone Chaos Spawn (great for Engage) and some Cultists. This list can take a punch while grinding the opponent down, and has excellent secondary capabilities especially in a matchup where any opposing Psykers exist, and thus the Wrath of Magnus is on the table. A wall of automata marches up the table, any gaps in opposing defences are rapidly exploited with Sorcerous Facade, and any lists relying on their armour to see them through the battle will crumble into ashes as a brutal hail of sorcery is unleashed. Cool stuff – a nice showcase from Lee.

Franco McDonnell – Chaos – 4th Place

Plagueburst Crawler – Credit Beanith

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [47 PL, 9CP, 8 Cabal Points, 890pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Cults of the Legion: Cult of Duplicity

+ Stratagems +

Sorcerous Arcana [-1CP]: Additional Relics

+ HQ +

Exalted Sorcerer [8 PL, 3 Cabal Points, 155pts]: 11. Tzeentch’s Firestorm, 13. Doombolt, 23. Temporal Surge, 4. Lord of Forbidden Lore, Athenaean Scrolls, Disc of Tzeentch, Plasma pistol, Rehati, Warlord

Infernal Master [5 PL, 2 Cabal Points, 90pts]: 21. Presage, 5. Glimpse of Eternity, 6. Malefic Maelstrom, Egleighen’s Orrery

+ Troops +

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 115pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer: 22. Weaver of Fates, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 115pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer: 33. Perplex, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

Rubric Marines [6 PL, 1 Cabal Points, 115pts] . Aspiring Sorcerer: 12. Twist of Fate, Inferno Bolt Pistol
. 3x Rubric Marine w/ inferno boltgun: 3x Inferno boltgun
. Rubric Marine w/ soulreaper cannon: Soulreaper cannon

+ Elites +

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

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

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [55 PL, -3CP, 1,110pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

Plague Company: Mortarion’s Anvil

+ HQ +

Death Guard Daemon Prince [10 PL, 185pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, Foetid Wings, Hellforged sword

+ Troops +

Death Guard Cultists [2 PL, 50pts] . Death Guard Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Death Guard Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun

Death Guard Cultists [2 PL, 50pts] . Death Guard Cultist Champion: Autogun
. 9x Death Guard Cultist w/ Autogun: 9x Autogun

+ Elites +

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

Deathshroud Terminators [7 PL, 150pts] . Deathshroud Champion: Plaguespurt gauntlet
. 2x Deathshroud Terminator: 2x Manreaper, 2x Plaguespurt gauntlet

+ Heavy Support +

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

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

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

++ Total: [102 PL, 6CP, 8 Cabal Points, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The legions combine their power to grind opponents out at all ranges.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

A triple threat for the Thousand Sons in the top four here, but in this list they’ve got some help. As mentioned above, other than the strong combo between VolCons and Ensorcelled Infusion Thousand Sons are pretty weak on the shooting front, but the same is not true of Death Guard thanks to access to the enduringly excellent Plagueburst Crawler. Death Guard can do long-ranged grindy firepower and position holding very effectively, but they’re not so great at projecting threat outwards or reaching out and taking objectives. Luckily, Cult of Duplicity powered Rubrics are great at that, and if you line all these considerations up you’ve got a promising recipe for an army that put in a good showing in Franco’s hands. The Rubricae in the list take the place of the outer layer of Poxwalkers you might see in a more conventional Death Guard build, and help give the list a more broadly durable target profile and decent adaptability on the fly, as well as adding significant additional psychic firepower. They also potentially open up some Secondary choices you wouldn’t normally take in Death Guard, but given they come at the cost of having access to either set of faction Secondaries that’s more of a sidegrade.

What this list has made me realise is that pressure not to soup Thousand Sons is unusually minimal – Cabalistic Rituals are their pure army bonus, but because of how they work you’d already not be getting that much value out of them in a mixed list anyway, so the loss is minimal. The core this build showcases of three Duplicity Rubricae squads and some characters is an extremely potent bolt-on that I could imagine testing in many shells, and the fact that you can use the re-roll from Glimpse of Eternity across the whole army is just gravy. I like the combo here, and I like the possibilities that the Thousand Sons half potentially unlocks – proper innovation from Franco!

The Rest of the Best

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

  • 5th – Chris Tull – Adeptus Mechanicus: Another plane-heavy build (two of each here), this time all Mars, sporting some board control utility from Infiltrators and Serberys Raiders to complement the winged menaces.
  • 6th – Brodie Middleton – Aeldari: The classic Craftworlds/Harlequins combo, backing up boat-riding Troupes with Dark Reapers a Night Spinner and a few units of Shining Spears for extra mobile threats.
  • 7th – David McGeever – Grey Knights: Maximum dedication to the Dreadknight bit here, going taking three detachments so that the full six can be brought to bear, alongside the expected Strikes and Interceptors.
  • 8th – Leigh Churchward – Chaos Space Marines: Emperor’s Children with a bunch of Terminators, VolCons and Dreadclaw Noise Marines.
  • 9th – Tom Lowman – Drukhari: Some slightly unusual stuff amongst the normal tools here – Talos and Red Grief Cult units join the fray, giving both some core melee crunch and some speedy outriders.

Wrap Up

That’s it for part 1, make sure to tune back in tomorrow for more lists, including more Grey Knights and some strong showings for Imperial Knights and Deathwatch. See you then, comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.

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