Competitive Innovations in 9th: Too Little Warhammer, Not Quite Often Enough

After the chaos of the last few weeks, it was oddly quiet out there over the weekend just gone with just three GTs to report on. A lot of events seem to have struggled to make numbers or had higher than usual numbers of drops; hard to know if people looked at the Tau and Custodes meta and the incoming Aeldari book and decided enough was enough, or if it’s just one of those occasional weekends where not much 40k happens. Either way, we’ve got the Glasshammer GT #7 for you from the UK, the Scorched Earth Open at the Arizona Game Fair and Blood & Iron from the northern realm of Canada. Glasshammer and Blood & Iron both had the new Aeldari book legal, as did quite a few of the smaller events.

For what it’s worth, given that the ITC is no longer enforcing a strict player number cutoff for GT status we’ll probably look at doing the same for inclusion in this column on a case-by-case basis in the future, but aren’t going to make any hard and fast rules about it and aren’t going to start this week because:

  1. The odd quieter week is frankly welcome right now.
  2. Elden Ring isn’t going to play itself.
  3. One of the events that just missed the GT cutoff is one where I came third, and breaking prior rules just so I can highlight my own success doesn’t sound super ethical.

On that last point, however, I have included a bonus section at the end talking about my list, because I got to take pure Craftworlds out with the new book and had a blast.

Finally, eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that Liam “Corrode” Royle is now listed as a co-author on the column, and he’s going to be regularly helping out and contributing going forward. While this week is quiet the average number of events has been ratcheting ever upwards since I started the column, and we want to make sure we can continue to highlight as many cool lists and strong performances as possible. It also means you can now blame both of us when we miss out your very special super secret tech.

With that out the way onwards to some lists! As always, a ✪ next to a placing indicates that the player in question was undefeated going into the final round.

Glasshammer GT #7

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission: Secure Missing Artefacts

Jonathan Clarke – T’au Empire – Farsight Enclaves with three sets of Crisis Suits, a double helping of Stealth Suits to ensure the Homing Beacon turn 1 arrival, and six Broadsides.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [114 PL, 1,998pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves, Show Sept Tenets rule

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Commander in Coldstar Battlesuit [8 PL, 160pts, -1CP]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Burst Cannon, High-output Burst Cannon, Onager Gauntlet, Plasma Rifle, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, T’au Flamer, Thermoneutronic Projector

Commander in Crisis Battlesuit [10 PL, 186pts]: 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Dominator Fragmentation Launcher, Iridium battlesuit, Puretide Engram Neurochip, Target Lock, Warlord
. 2x Gun Drone: 4x Pulse Carbine

+ 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 [23 PL, 386pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Iridium battlesuit, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’ui: Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer
. Crisis Shas’vre: Early Warning Override, Plasma Rifle, Sensory Negation Countermeasures, T’au Flamer, T’au Flamer
. 8x Shield Drone: 8x Shield Generator

Crisis Battlesuits [10 PL, 165pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Burst Cannon, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’vre: Burst Cannon, DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Target Lock

Stealth Battlesuits [9 PL, 124pts]
. 2x Shield Drone: 2x Shield Generator
. 3x Stealth Shas’ui w/ Burst Cannon: 3x Burst Cannon
. Stealth Shas’vre: Burst Cannon

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 +

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

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

+ Heavy Support +

Broadside Battlesuits [16 PL, 294pts]
. 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
. 2x Shield Drone: 2x Shield Generator

Broadside Battlesuits [16 PL, 294pts]
. 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
. 2x Shield Drone: 2x Shield Generator

++ Total: [114 PL, 1,998pts, 10CP] ++

vs.

Jack Tite – Adeptus Custodes – Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff, a little heavier on Sagittarum than normal and with a Caladius along for the ride.

Army List - Click to Expand

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

+ Configuration +

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

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Inquisitor [4 PL, 60pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword, Hereticus – Scourging, Hot-Shot Lasgun, Ordo Hereticus, Psyker

+ HQ +

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 +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 140pts]
. 2x Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia: 2x Guardian Spear, 2x Misericordia
. Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield: Praesidium Shield

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia

+ Elites +

Contemptor-Achillus Dreadnought [9 PL, -1CP, 160pts]: 2x Lastrum Storm Bolter, Stratagem: Eternal Penitent

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

Vexilus Praetor in Allarus Terminator Armor [6 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: 4. Impregnable Mind, Misericordia, Praetorian Plate, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, 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

+ Heavy Support +

Caladius Grav-tank [11 PL, 205pts]: Twin Iliastus Accelerator Cannon

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

Thoughts

Our regularly scheduled clash of the current titans here, with the Farsight Enclaves facing down the mighty forces of the Emperor’s Chosen. With two units of Broadsides on top of the Crisis teams and Commanders there’s a spectacular amount of damage on the Tau side of the table, but if anyone can soak that up it’s the Custodes, particularly on the good quantities of obscuring terrain that tend to grace Glasshammer’s tables.

Emperor’s Auspice is always going to be clutch into Farsight because of how strong it is against Drop Zone Clear, but that looks even more true here than normal – there’s only one “big” Crisis unit available and it’s loaded with short ranged flamers. That means that with careful positioning the Custodes can probably minimise the impact from this unit coming down, and if they can combine that with using the terrain to keep the Broadsides from getting to really unload then they’re in a good spot, especially as the other Crisis Team is low on defences, so reliant on keeping enough distance that Strike and Fade can keep them safely out of salvo launcher range. There only being one big “tanky” Crisis Team is also good for the Custodes on this mission, as it means that the Tau are going to struggle to really fortify more than one mid-table objective at once.

The Tau do have the upside that they’ve got access to some strong “static” Secondaries in To the Last and Aerospace Relays – the Custodes will have to take some pretty big risks to ever reach the Broadsides here, making a minimum of ten very likely on the former, and at least three ticks of Relays also seems plausible. They also have far more sacrificial units to chase after the alternative Primary option here, and if they win the Attacker/Defender rolloff and can pull the Custodes top objective out to somewhere that the Broadsides or sniping Crisis Teams can get a line then they can make the Custodes life quite difficult.

All that said, the presence of all those Kroot and Stealth Suits on this mission, plus the Custodes having an Inquisitor, does end up giving them a fairly direct and uncomplicated plan to aim at here – they can just take StrangleholdGrind and Interrogation or Ritual, make sure they’re slamming the mission Primary every turn and pressuring Tau off objectives where possible, and lean on the fact that this Tau list doesn’t quite have a way of reaching out and badly punishing them to ride through to victory. The Tau scored strongly too, but the Custodes did end up triumphant.

Result

Adeptus Custodes Victory – 93-82

Jack Tite – 1st Place

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Jack’s previous appearences in this column have been at the head of his mighty Speed Mob, but it looks like he’s finally gotten bored of his buggies getting blown to bits by Custodes and decided to join the extremely bright side.

Nothing wildly surprising in this list other than the re-appearance of the Caladius Tank. This is pretty nifty for stripping away drones and blocking out space in your backfield, and they’ve historically been extremely good at shooting Eldar stuff off the table, so it seems like a good option right now. Jack did take out Vik Vijay’s vicious looking Harlequin/Craftworld build in round four, so if you’re looking for a Custodes build with good game into the looming new threat, this looks like an excellent army to pick up. Congratulations to Jack for triumphing in the nightmare shark tank that the Glasshammer events always attract!

The Rest of the Best

Five players finished 4-1 at this event. They were:

  • 2nd – Christopher Radford – Space Wolves: Space Wolves making a rare top 4 appearance, in the form of a Minotaurs-tagged Born Heroes/Whirlwind of Rage Successors list with Hecaton Aiakos and a ton of jump-packing Wolf Guard, plus 15 Wulfen.
  • 3rd – Ben Jones – Harlequins: Veteran Aeldari player Ben brings his Harlequins back out to play, with 6 Starwavers and 6 Voidweavers taking the field in the Light Saedath.
  • 4th ✪ – Jonathan Clarke – T’au Empire: See Showdown.
  • 5th – Vik Vijay – Aeldari: Speaking of Aeldari veterans, Vik is also rocking 6 Voidweavers, plus a healthy contingent of Asuryani featuring 26 Dire Avengers, some Scorpions, and Baharroth.
  • 6th – Ben Hocking – Tyranids: Crusher Stampede with the twist of including a Haruspex and Tyrannofex.

Scorched Earth Open

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

For this event, there were two tables where both players were 4-0 going into round 5, and I’ve taken the editorial decision to cover table two, as table one was Crusher vs. Custodes, which we’ve already had several times at this point.

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission: Death and Zeal

Tyler Heppler – Tyranids – Crusher Stampede with five Hierodules (three Scythed, two Barbed) and a Maleceptor/Malanthrope combo to maximise their survival.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Tyranids) [103 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Army of Renown – Crusher Stampede

Hive Fleet: Leviathan

+ Stratagems +

Bounty of the Hive Fleet [-1CP]: 1 Extra Bio-artefact

Progeny of the Hive [-1CP]

+ HQ +

Malanthrope [8 PL, -1CP, 150pts]: Relic: Adaptive Neural Lobe, Stratagem: Alpha Leader-Beast, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Gestalt Commander, Warlord Trait: Strategic Adaptation

The Swarmlord [12 PL, 240pts]: Power: Infused Energies, Power: Smite, Power: Synaptic Barrier

+ Elites +

Maleceptor [9 PL, 170pts]: Power: Catalyst, Power: Smite

+ Heavy Support +

Barbed Hierodule [14 PL, 275pts]

Barbed Hierodule [14 PL, 275pts]

Scythed Hierodule [12 PL, 235pts]

Scythed Hierodule [12 PL, 235pts]

Scythed Hierodule [12 PL, 235pts]

Trygon Prime [10 PL, 185pts]: Biostatic Rattle, Relic: Biomorphic Carapace, Toxin Sacs
. Adaptive Physiology: Murderous Size

++ Total: [103 PL, 6CP, 2,000pts] ++

vs.

Derek Page – Dark Angels – Deathwing for days with support characters.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels) [95 PL, 1,998pts, 7CP] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selector**: Dark Angels

Deathwing Vanguard Detachment [3CP]

Detachment Command Cost [-3CP]

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Interrogator-Chaplain [7 PL, 135pts, -1CP]: 1-3. Watched, 4. Mantra of Strength, 6. Canticle of Hate (Aura), Astartes Chainsword, Chapter Command: Master of Sanctity, Jump Pack, Litany of Hate, Stratagem: Paragon of the Chapter, Teeth of Terra, The Imperium’s Sword, Warlord

Ravenwing Talonmaster [9 PL, 175pts]: Arbiter’s Gaze

+ Elites +

Deathwing Command Squad [10 PL, 135pts]
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer

Deathwing Knights [22 PL, 423pts]: Knight Master
. 8x Deathwing Knight: 8x Mace of Absolution, 8x Storm shield

Deathwing Terminator Squad [18 PL, 455pts]: Watcher in the Dark
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist: Chainfist, Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist: Chainfist, Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist

Deathwing Terminator Squad [18 PL, 455pts]: Watcher in the Dark
. Deathwing Sergeant
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield: Thunder hammer
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist: Chainfist, Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Cyclone Missile Launcher, Storm Bolter, Chainfist: Chainfist, Cyclone missile launcher
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist
. Deathwing Terminator
. . Storm Bolter & Chainfist: Chainfist

Ravenwing Apothecary [6 PL, 135pts, -1CP]: Chapter Command: Chief Apothecary, Selfless Healer, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter
. Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

Ravenwing Champion [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: Blade of Triumph, Chapter Command: Chapter Champion, Martial Exemplar, Stratagem: Hero of the Chapter
. Black Knight Bike: Astartes grenade launcher

++ Total: [95 PL, 7CP, 1,998pts] ++

Thoughts

Everyone loves watching an unstoppable force meet an immovable object (preferably filmed with high speed cameras and put on YouTube) and that’s just what this is. Hierodules have been gaining more and more popularity in the face of an increasinly violent meta because of just how tough they are, especially in combination with the Maleceptor, but this list takes that even further than we’ve seen in the past with five of the damned things. Most armies have to put in real work to down more than one in a turn, and will quickly get rolled over if they ever fall behind on the clock there, and with the Swarmlord hurling the first forward at speed when needed, they’re going to be quickly scrambling for purchase.

Most armies, that is. These Dark Angels absolutely cannot kill the big beasts at range, but also don’t really need to – a single one of these monsters charging isn’t going to take out a Terminator unit, even with all of the Crusher nonsense stacked up, and probably will die in return as the mean old Terminators gang up on them with Maces/Hammers. That makes the Dark Angels fortification pretty tough to crack, and their normal plan would be to take To the Last and Stubborn Defiance and reasonably expect to land them. Even without a Harpy, however, the risk of Synaptic Imperative managing to break the Defiance chain is a huge pressure element, and makes this route seem a bit dicey. That plan also struggles for a third option.

The Tyranids are no slouches in the Secondary department either, and the particular setup here creates a To The Last that’s even more insurmountable than what the Dark Angels have – the Barbed Hierodules and Swarmlord are just not dying in this game if the Nid player doesn’t want them to, especially if the Dark Angels stay passive. They also have a pretty plausible line on Stranglehold, as they can afford to be a big more muscular with their threats than the Dark Angels can, and a Psychic option is probably good for 12pts as a third, though they need to be careful to plan around Watched preventing one tick of whatever they choose.

The Tyranids having such good secondary options in combination with their alpha units  not all being their TTL picks mean that the Dark Angels actually can’t afford to go for their defensive plan, and have to go out hunting. Rather than staying static, go for OathsStranglehold and Bring it Down and try and roll through the centre, punching out Monsters for big points as you go. The problem with taking To The Last here is that the Terminators would have to gradually shrink back as attrition damage took its toll – acid sprays and bio cannons will eventually chip a unit down enough that a big charge would finish the job, at which point it would have to run. Taking more proactive choices and attempting to roll the centre makes the Tyranid’s job much harder, and lets the Terminators be spent judiciously to kill stuff when the time is right. I’ve got to assume something like that did get picked, as the Dark Angels put in a way higher score than you’d expect from a gradually crumbling castle – but still not quite enough to stop the swarming menace.

Result

Tyranid Victory – 93-91

Lee Harris – Adeptus Custodes – 1st Place

Adeptus Custodes Sagittarum Guard by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

Note: My assumption for why this adds up to 2027pts is that a small number of events have been ruling that the designer’s commentary on Warhammer Community and the non-Forge World page of Custodes points in the MFM saying “Misericordias are free now “applies to Sagittarum as well, even though they still have a cost listed. I cannot find this in the event pack for this tournament, but given that the list just straight up says 2027pts at the top, I figure that has to be it. 

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [97 PL, 2,027pts, 10CP] ++

+ Configuration [12CP] +

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

+ Stratagems [-1CP] +

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

+ HQ [17 PL, 325pts, -1CP] +

Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike [9 PL, 165pts, -2CP]: 3. Superior Creation, 5. Radiant Mantle, Auric Aquilas, Interceptor Lance, Salvo Launcher [5pts], Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes [-1CP], Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games [-1CP]

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

+ Troops [28 PL, 622pts] +

Custodian Guard Squad [7 PL, 145pts]
. Custodian w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia [45pts]: Guardian Spear, Misericordia
. 2x Custodian w/ Sentinel Blade & Praesidium Shield [100pts]: 2x Praesidium Shield [10pts], 2x Sentinel Blade

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia [159pts]: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia [9pts]

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia [159pts]: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia [9pts]

Sagittarum Custodians [7 PL, 159pts]
. 3x Sagittarum w/ Misericordia [159pts]: 3x Adrastus Bolt Caliver, 3x Misericordia [9pts]

+ Elites [16 PL, 315pts] +

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

Custodian Wardens [7 PL, 150pts]
. Warden w/ Castellan Axe & Misericordia [50pts]: Castellan Axe, Misericordia
. 2x Warden w/ Guardian Spear & Misericordia [100pts]: 2x Guardian Spear, 2x Misericordia

Vexilus Praetor [6 PL, 105pts]: Castellan Axe, Castellan’s Mark, Vexilla Magnifica

+ Fast Attack [36 PL, 765pts] +

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia [12 PL, 255pts]: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher [15pts]

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia [12 PL, 255pts]: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher [15pts]

Vertus Praetors [12 PL, 255pts]
. 3x Praetor w/ Salvo Launcher & Misericordia [12 PL, 255pts]: 3x Interceptor Lance, 3x Misericordia, 3x Salvo Launcher [15pts]

++ Total: [97 PL, 10CP, 2,027pts] ++

Archetype

Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I can confirm that Custodes do, in fact, become even better when you get free upgrades for them. Shocking, I know. Anyway, the other notable feature here is the inclusion of one basic Guard squad with some Praesidium shields, and that’s something that’s going up in value in a world full of smart missile systems – having a unit that can sit on a key point at a key moment and still take a 2+ against indirect fire can be clutch. Going a bit wider can also help against Crusher, as it forces them to split their threats more, and since Lee won an incredibly close table one game against them to take the trophy, I imagine that felt well worth it!

Tyler Heppler – Tyranids – 2nd Place

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Crusher Hierodule Spam

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

Whoops all Hierodules, what a world we live in. This list is hilarious, and I’m sure it was a blast to play. There’s definitely also method to the silliness – as covered in the Showdown, the particular suite of monsters used gives the list a very favourable To The Last setup if, for some reason, Grind isn’t appropriate, and the sheer pressure three Scythed Hierodules puts people under is a sight to behold. I also really like the Trygon Prime as a troubleshooting unit, helping to deal with one of the few possible problems the list could have, which is getting flanked. A particularly cool spin on a top build, and a well-deserved second place undefeated finish.

The Rest of the Best

6 players went 4-1 at this event. Placings are weirdly messed up on BCP for some reason, so I’ve ordered based on battle points – apologies to the players if it was meant to be PtV.

  • 3rd – Donovan Sailo – Tau: Outer Enclaves with upsetting amounts of Airbursts and Shadowsun.
  • 4th – Apollo Chang – Tau: Tau Sept goodstuff with Longstrike, five Broadsides and a bunch of Crisis Suits.
  • 5th ✪ – Ally Huang – Tyranids: A less top-heavy Crusher build going with some Hive Guard, Tyranid Warriors and Venomthropes alongside the staple couple of Scythed Hierodules, a Harpy and some Hive Tyrants.
  • 6th – Terek Haehl – Orks: Goff pressure, with Ghaz, a couple of loaded Kill Rigs and a big unit of Meganobz in a Battlewagon.
  • 7th ✪ – Derek Page – Dark Angels: See showdown.
  • 8th – Robert Herr – Adeptus Custodes: Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff, downgrading one unit of bikes to bolters but adding an extra model to another, and backing them up with some Wardens and Sagittarum.

Blood and Iron

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

The Showdown

Matchup & Mission: Data Scry Salvage

Jordan Hovey – Tau – Outer Enclaves with a Riptide and lots of Crisis.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (T’au Empire) [69 PL, 1,243pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment Command Cost

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves Allied World

+ HQ +

Commander in Crisis Battlesuit [9 PL, 185pts]: 1. Precision of the Hunter, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Iridium battlesuit, Shield Generator, T’au Flamer, The Be’gel Hunter’s Plate, Thermoneutronic Projector, Warlord
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [5 PL, 85pts]
. 9x Breacher Fire Warrior: 9x Pulse Blaster, 9x Pulse Pistol

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

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [10 PL, 182pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Velocity Tracker
. Crisis Shas’vre: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Velocity Tracker
. Marker Drone
. Shield Drone

Crisis Battlesuits [21 PL, 346pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Early Warning Override, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’ui: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator
. Crisis Shas’vre: Cyclic Ion Blaster, Iridium battlesuit, Missile Pod, Plasma Rifle, Shield Generator, Stimm Injectors
. 3x Shield Drone: 3x Shield Generator

+ Heavy Support +

Riptide Battlesuit [15 PL, 280pts]: 2x Plasma Rifle, Counterfire Defence System, Early Warning Override, Ion Accelerator, Velocity Tracker
. 2x Shielded Missile Drone: 2x Missile Pod, 2x Shield Generator

+ Dedicated Transport +

Devilfish [6 PL, 105pts]: 2x Smart Missile System

++ Patrol Detachment -2CP (T’au Empire) [45 PL, 757pts, 6CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Sept Choice: Farsight Enclaves Allied World

+ Stratagems +

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

+ HQ +

Commander in Coldstar Battlesuit [8 PL, 165pts, -1CP]: 6. Exemplar of the Mont’ka, Burst Cannon, DW-02 Advanced Burst Cannon, High-output Burst Cannon, Plasma Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Solid-image Projection Unit, Stratagem: Promising Pupil

Ethereal [5 PL, 85pts, -1CP]: 2. Sense of Stone, 4. Through Boldness, Victory, 6. Wisdom of the Guides, Hover Drone, Stratagem: Promising Pupil, The Humble Stave
. 2x Marker Drone: 2x Markerlight

+ Troops +

Breacher Team [5 PL, 85pts]
. 9x Breacher Fire Warrior: 9x Pulse Blaster, 9x Pulse Pistol

+ Elites +

Crisis Battlesuits [10 PL, 147pts]
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Multi-tracker, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’ui: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Multi-tracker, Target Lock
. Crisis Shas’vre: Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Airbursting Fragmentation Projector, Multi-tracker, Target Lock
. Shield Drone

Stealth Battlesuits [9 PL, 122pts]
. Marker Drone
. Shield Drone
. 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

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

+ Dedicated Transport +

Devilfish [6 PL, 105pts]: 2x Smart Missile System

++ Total: [114 PL, 2,000pts, 6CP] ++

vs.

Zachary Prinsloo – Adeptus Custodes –  Dreadnought-free Emperor’s Chosen goodstuff with an Eversor Assassin in tow.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [98 PL, 1,995pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

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

+ Stratagems +

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

+ Agents of the Imperium +

Eversor Assassin [5 PL, 100pts]

+ HQ +

Shield-Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [7 PL, 125pts, -2CP]: 3. Superior Creation, 5. Radiant Mantle, Castellan Axe, Misericordia, Praetorian Plate, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, Stratagem: Victor of the Blood Games, Unstoppable Destroyer

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

+ Troops +

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

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

+ Elites +

Allarus Custodians [9 PL, 180pts]
. 3x Allarus w/ Castellan Axe & Misericordia: 3x Balistus Grenade Launcher, 3x Castellan Axe, 3x Misericordia

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 [6 PL, 105pts, -1CP]: 4. Impregnable Mind, Castellan Axe, Castellan’s Mark, Stratagem: The Emperor’s Heroes, 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: [98 PL, 1,995pts, 9CP] ++

Thoughts

Another Tau vs. Custodes game, and another one where one factor in particular seems to really tell against the Tau, which is only having a single Crisis team specced for durability. On a mission like Data Scry Salvage that’s a pretty big problem – the Riptide can maybe back-fill a little, as it’s tricky to put down in one go, but it’s also only three models so can easily have an objective flipped off it by the bikes. Worse on that front, the Custodes actually have quite a few things they can send boldly onto objectives here – they’ve got two units of Guard with Shields that can shrug off the air frags and SMS, and the Allarus unit can split up to cover more ground in a pinch, all in all far more objective grabbing units than you might expect. All the Custodes toys (Eversor included) are quite likely to win a punchup on an objective as well, and there’s a real risk for the Tau that their various chaff just becomes a scoring liability on Grind or whatever.

I feel like here that means the Tau need to play a much more cautious game than they’d naturally like to. The big prize as I see it would be to pull the Custodes into a position where you can bait out Auspice with one of the big units then use Breachers with Breach and Clear to pick up one of the infantry squads, actually converting them into real value and then maybe leaving the Custodes a bit thin on the ground. You’d definitely rather have your points in another hardcore Crisis deathstar here, but absent that you need to find a way to make sure the utility units in the list aren’t just a pure liability, and a well timed post-move disembark into a big play on a flank on turn two or three feels like the most likely route to that, hopefully followed up by making up ground on scoring via the mission primary. The big risk even with that is that an even faintly underwhelming attempt is going to allow the Custodes to absolutely tank the Tau’s Primary score well into the mid game, and that factor in general here makes the battle uphill for them – this just is not the mission to be trying to play into a three Bike unit Custodes list. The result shows that the Tau made an actual credible attempt here – when a game goes badly south on Data Scry you tend to get some extremely low scores for the loser, and 67 is pretty respectable to the point where I could believe they’d actually ended up ahead on material by the late game and started to pull some points back – but the Custodes had enough points to take the win.

Result

Adeptus Custodes Victory – 83-67

Zachary Prinsloo – 1st Place

Custodian Guards
Custodian Guards. Credit: Pendulin

The List

See Showdown.

Archetype

Emperor’s Chosen Goodstuff

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

The main notable here is that this build looks especially well adapted for the missions that want you to go wide, as the Showdown appears to have borne out. An Eversor is an interesting choice for an Assassin (I’ve always been a Calidus fan myself) but is another thing like the Caladius tank that’s suddenly in more of a target rich environment with the advent of Aeldari, because tearing up fragile elite infantry is what these are best at. Beyond that, it’s very effective business as usual, and congratulations to Zachery on steering it to the win.

The Rest of the Best

The next few placings had a mix of scores as there appear to have been more draws than normal at this event. However, covering down to fourth ticks off most of what we need here – two more players on 4-1 or better, and Jordan on 3.5-1.5 after getting paired up in the final.

  • 2nd – Billy Backhurst – Harlequins: Dark Saedath getting a runaround here, sporting three big foot Troupes and three units in boats all backed up by an eye-watering eight Voidweavers shielded by a Mirror Architect Shadowseer and then a Troupe Master and Solitaire specced for melee murder.
  • 3rd – Michael McEachern – Tau: Tau Sept goodstuff with Longstrike, Shadowsun and a big unit each of Broadsides and Crisis Suits.
  • 4th – Jordan Hovey – Tau: See Showdown.

What I Did On My Weekend – Craftworld Thoughts

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The times when most of what I wrote for this website were fortnightly updates on my Aeldari exploits are long past, but since the new book has landed and I got to take it out for a spin at the weekend, we’re having a very brief taste of that once more, as a treat.

I haven’t had time to do much painting since the book arrived (see above re: Elden Ring), and I also wanted to try something pretty “normal” to get a feel for how the book played out in the real world before going too far down the rabbit hole of weird and wonderful builds. One of the highlights of the new book for me is that Biel-Tan (which all my stuff is painted as) looks pretty cool, and with that in mind, and a long history of playing Mechdar in 8th, this is what I threw together from my collection:

Army List - Click to Expand

== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Biel-Tan [ 111PL, 1999pts] -3CP

HQ: Farseer Skyrunner (120), Warlord, Spirit Stones of Anath’lan, Seer of the Shifting Vector, Guide, Doom, Will of Asuryan [6PL] 120pts
HQ: Autarch Skyrunner (100), Laser Lance, Sunstorm (1CP), Fate’s Messenger (1CP) [5PL, -2CP] 100pts

TR: 5 Rangers (65), Wireweave Net (5) [4PL] 70pts
TR: 5 Rangers (65) [4PL] 65pts
TR: 10 Guardian Defenders (90) [4PL] 90pts

EL: 10 Dire Avengers (120), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 120pts
EL: 6 Dire Avengers (72), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 72pts
EL: 6 Dire Avengers (72), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 72pts
EL: 5 Striking Scorpions (85), Exarch, Biting Blade (5), Crushing Blow (15) [5PL] 105pts
EL: 5 Howling Banshees (90), Exarch, Executioner (5), Piercing Strikes (15) [5PL] 110pts
EL: Warlock Skyrunner (60), No Force Slot, Protect/Jinx [3PL] 60pts

FA: 4 Shining Spears (140), Exarch, Shuriken Cannon, Khaine’s Lance (0.5CP) [10PL, 0.5CP] 140pts
FA: 5 Warp Spiders (100), Exarch, Powerblades (10), Additional Death Spinner (0), Surprise Assault (15), Spider’s Bite (0.5CP) [6PL, 0.5CP] 125pts

HS: Falcon (140), 2 Shuriken Cannons (10) [9PL] 150pts
HS: Night Spinner (140) [8PL] 140pts
HS: Night Spinner (140) [8PL] 140pts

DT: Wave Serpent (140), Twin Bright Lance (20) [8PL] 160pts
DT: Wave Serpent (140), Twin Bright Lance (20) [8PL] 160pts

ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 1
ARMY REINFORCEMENT FACTION: NONE
STRATAGEMS USED: Champion of the Aeldari x1, Treasures of the Aeldari x1, Relics of the Shrines x1

The basic plan here is to pressure the opponent, bait them into having to commit units to fight back, then annihilate them out of deep strike. The big Dire Avenger unit went into Webway Strike every game, and the Warp Spiders and a Falcon full of Avengers usually joined them (with the exception of one Tau game where the Banshees went in it). Classic Aeldari counterattack play.

The event I went to was War of the Dark Prince hosted by Twisted Dice, and it went pretty well for me – I ended up 5-1 and in third place, behind Tau and Harlequins in first and second (both also on 5-1). I played against:

  • Round 1 – Death Guard: A fairly low-to-the ground build designed to still allow the Plagueburst Crawlers to be the TTL targets (though that secondary wasn’t used in the game). I started very strong, but got a bit overconfident and made a couple of mistakes, and my opponent was able to capitalise with a well-executed pushback, coming within a hair of taking the game back, but it still ended with an 85-84 Victory. Really enjoyable start to the weekend, and educational about how reslient the army is once you’ve really committed (i.e. not very).
  • Round 2 – Tyranids: Crusher Stampede with a Hierophant. Here I was able to use my much higher unit count to work around Crusher’s monsters, and Doom plus a massive amount of shots to take down the big beasty over a few turns. 94-53 Victory.
  • Round 3 – Orks: Buggy-heavy Blood Axes. This was a game where we both really wanted first turn and I got it, allowing me to do a lot of damage out the gate while also rolling up his infiltrators, a huge swing on Data Scry Salvage. I was able to sustain the momentum and mostly take the Orks off the table, though the Deffkilla Trike and some surviving buggies got to take out a moderate number of my units on one flank, but he was never able to meaningfully start scoring. 97-24 Victory.
  • Round 4 – Tau: Borkan with two units of Broadsides and a Hammerhead. I went second against this on Abandoned Sanctuaries and got hit hard – not hard enough that I was totally out of it, but definitely painful. Unfortunately, my first turn counterattack whiffed a bit, and on his second turn he was able to just strip away all the LoSir protection around my Farseer then smart missile him to death, meaning that although he was pretty boxed up at that point, the game was over – my deep strikers couldn’t do enough damage to keep me on the board without buffs. 36-95 Loss.
  • Round 5 – Tau: Borkan again, but with a loadout that my list was a bit better tooled to deal with, and I got first turn. While the actual damage I did out the gate wasn’t spectacular, I was able to tie up one of his Crisis Teams and hinder his mobility significantly, meaning that he was enough on the back foot when my big swings came in turn two for me to keep him boxed up. He did do some serious damage back, and was able to stay on the board till the end while killing a significant number of my units, but because I’d stripped out most of his mobile units early on, pulling back on scoring was never possible. 95-49 Victory.
  • Round 6 – Craftworlds: A Wraithknight and some Ulthwe buddies. While I am, obviously, obliged to admire the use of such a majestic construct, his list wasn’t able to meaningfully deal with the fact that I had transports to stage a counterattack from or soak firepower, and didn’t have enough screening to block my deep strikers, so I was able to gradually roll the army up. 89-55 Victory.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

My takeaways from playing with the list were as follows:

The Good

  • Strands of Fate absolutely rules. Not surprising, but just how potent it is on the table (except when you don’t roll 6s – don’t do that) really takes some getting used do. It was notable that it became particularly good when the opponent’s number of threats started low or I was able to declaw some, which makes sense – if they only have a few big punches to throw then being able to pull a clutch save against one of them, or guarantee a big hit, was amazing.
  • Biel Tan felt good. You could definitely try the same list as Ulthwe for an invuln on more of the tanks, but with Strands as a factor the hit re-rolls on the tanks are better than wounds would be – it reliably gets you to a place where you could spend a five from strands, and when you do there’s less variance still in play afterwards. The Spirit Stone of Anath’lan is also amazing, as Will of Asuryan definitely isn’t a power you need to cast every turn but definitely was clutch at the points where I needed it (and I would have lost the Death Guard game without being able to fall back on it when things went a bit south). Wrath of the Shrines was also consistently excellent, especially on…
  • The Warp Spiders. Good lord. You will prise this unit out of my cold, dead hands. Did they frequently die after doing their job? Yes. Were they still worth it? Absolutely – that amount of damage from Deep Strike in a fairly tiny footprint is unbelievably good, and was very much what let me put the boot in and take the lead on several occasions.
  • Falcon with 6 Dire Avengers in it was an exceptional utility unit, essentially guaranteeing a quarter for RND while giving some huge flexibility to either turn on the gas or play cautiously as needed. The option to stick the Banshees in for the Tau game if they have a mobile Crisis unit is also very relevant.
  • The Sunstorm Autarch ruled, and Fate’s Messenger substantially overperformed my rough expectations in that context. The combination of that, Strands as the Autarch’s ability to let you CP re-roll twice a phase means that if the opponent undercommits to taking him out even slightly, they suddenly find they’ve swung and missed and left you in control of a critical objective. Strong recommend here.
  • Lance Wave Serpents were definitely worth it – they mess up To the Last but this list isn’t really playing for that anyway, and I don’t think losing them to aim at that would have been a good trade.
  • Banshees are very useful.

The OK

  • Scorpions were fine, but maybe a bit less good than I expected. The Exarch’s damage is wild, but not game ending, and I did find having them in the army committed me to Phantasm sometimes more than I’d like.
  • The Guardian Defenders were OK. I didn’t love having them, but they weren’t totally horrible either.
  • Battle Focus was merely kind of OK? It did give me some guaranteed reach to get to objectives a few times, which is a perfectly fine thing for an ability to do, but it does feel like you need to lean into specific units to get the most out of it.
  • The Night Spinners were a solid B+, and I think in this meta you need at least one, but they definitely weren’t suddenly the best unit ever or anything.

The Bad

  • The Shining Spears sucked, and were easily the weakest link in my army. Breaks my heart, but it’s true – this metagame is just absurdly hostile to them. Three runner games against armies where they’re pushed to D1, followed by two where they died before they could get anywhere meaningful – not great.

Taking all that together, the list feels like it has real legs – given it wasn’t hyper-tuned it felt substantially more powerful and effective on the tabletop than I’d been expecting, and I’m keen for round two. Based on my games and some results from elsewhere, this is what I’m planning for the next outing:

Army List - Click to Expand

== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Biel-Tan [ 109PL, 1999pts] -3CP

HQ: Farseer Skyrunner (120), Warlord, Spirit Stones of Anath’lan, Seer of the Shifting Vector, Guide, Doom, Will of Asuryan [6PL] 120pts
HQ: Autarch Skyrunner (100), Laser Lance, Sunstorm (1CP), Fate’s Messenger (1CP) [5PL, -2CP] 100pts
HQ: Baharroth [7PL, 140pts]

TR: 5 Rangers (65), Wireweave Net (5) [4PL] 70pts
TR: 5 Rangers (65) [4PL] 65pts
TR: 10 Guardian Defenders (90) [4PL] 90pts

EL: 10 Dire Avengers (120), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 120pts
EL: 6 Dire Avengers (72), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 72pts
EL: 6 Dire Avengers (72), Exarch, Extra Avenger Shuriken Catapult (0) [6PL] 72pts
EL: 5 Howling Banshees (90), Exarch, Mirrorswords (0), Nerve-shredding Shriek (10), Cronescream (0.5CP) [5PL] 100pts
EL: 5 Howling Banshees (90), Exarch, Mirrorswords (0), Piercing Strikes (15) [5PL] 105pts
EL: Warlock Skyrunner (60), No Force Slot, Protect/Jinx [3PL] 60pts

FA: 5 Warp Spiders (100), Exarch, Powerblades (10), Additional Death Spinner (0), Surprise Assault (15), Spider’s Bite (0.5CP) [6PL, 0.5CP] 125pts

HS: Falcon (140), 2 Shuriken Cannons (10) [9PL] 150pts
HS: Falcon (140), 2 Shuriken Cannons (10) [9PL] 150pts
HS: Night Spinner (140) [8PL] 140pts

DT: Wave Serpent (140), Twin Bright Lance (20) [8PL] 160pts
DT: Wave Serpent (140), Twin Bright Lance (20) [8PL] 160pts

ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 1
ARMY REINFORCEMENT FACTION: NONE
STRATAGEMS USED: Champion of the Aeldari x1, Treasures of the Aeldari x1, Relics of the Shrines x1

My big takeaway is that a second Falcon would have helped hugely in the first Tau game, and since that’s almost certainly the toughest matchup that’s something to value very highly. With a second Falcon around I think dropping the Scorpions makes sense – Banshees are a pretty versatile threat and specifically threaten aforesaid Tau players as a counterpunch, so a second unit comes in. I want Mirrorswords on both (not having the model yet was the only reason I didn’t have them this time), and to make sure the second unit has a bit of extra punch without Piercing Strikes I’ll double stack some mortals with Cronescream and Nerve-Shredding Shriek (the latter of which you also want just for the better statline). Spider’s Bite stays as the second Aspect Relic – it only came up once across my games on the weekend, but that once was a Spider Exarch putting my opponent’s Warlord in the bin, so I’m willing to give it a second outing when I want Cronescream as well.

Credit: Greg Narro

The other notable change is bringing in Baharroth instead of the Spears. The main thing I got out of them was being able to chuck them onto an objective and sit there soaking up firepower, and Baharroth is even better at that, while also bringing back some of the attrition firepower that losing a Night Spinner gives. Tau being unable to Smart Missile him off a point in a single turn looks like a huge deal from where I’m sitting, and he seems just generally good. I also like that he can Raise the Banners High – I had a couple of games where I wanted to consider that Secondary, but felt I couldn’t justify it in the face of enemy indirect fire. Baharroth helps with all of this stuff, and is just generally another great tricky model you can play around with, so he gets the nod for the next outing. I will, of course, report back from field testing.

Wrap Up

That’s it for another week, and it looks like we’ll have plenty more to talk about next time, with a good scattering of GTs across the globe to cover. That’ll give us the buildup for the absolute blowout weekend that falls on the 26th/27th where we’ll have supermajors on both sides of the pond, with the Manchester UKTC event over here and Adepticon in the states. Lots to look forward to, so see you in the next few editions. Comments, questions and suggestions to contact@goonhammer.com.