Competitive Innovations in 9th: YHP GT

An article by    Competitive Play Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Another week and, in the end, another GT for us to review lists from. With the US enjoying Labor day weekend, a decent scattering of RTTs fired across the nation, but among them were a few larger events, one of which was the Your Hobby Place GT, with 37 players battling it out over five rounds. As the weeks go on, we’re seeing a gradual decrease in the surprises in the lists we cover but this event still managed to throw up a few – most notably that there were no Space Marines in the top four.

While you recover from the shock of that, lets cover off the admin – masks were mandated for the event, the store has sensible Covid provisions in place and our very own Shane Watts was on the ground and able to confirm that good practice was stuck to. You should be hearing more from Shane about the event in the next few days, as he’s planning to put together a tournament report.

On that subject, as relatively breaking news the Coronavirus restrictions in the UK have just been revised, and that means that we do not expect to be able to cover UK events for the forseeable future. We will need to see the new guidance before we can finally confirm that, and will take a final decision once it’s in the wild and smarter people than us have told us what it means. For next week, we have the Invasion GT in Norway (which like most of Scandinavia, has a very low caseload) lined up, but beyond that these slots might get harder to fill. If you’re a fan of the series and are planning to attend an event in one of the countries that currently has the situation more under control do let us know at contact@goonhammer.com (and thanks to the person who highlighted the Invasion GT to us).

On to the fun stuff!

Stephen Henry’s Custodes – 1st Place

Adeptus Custodes Custodian Guard by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Adeptus Custodes Custodian Guard by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

The List

Note: Some things are missing from this on BCP, and the detachment formatting is messed up. We have corrected it to what we understand to have been used on the day.

Army List - Click to Expand

 ++ Patrol Detachment -1CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [16 PL, 264pts, 0CP] ++

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +

Shield Captain in Allarus Terminator Armor [8 PL, 110pts, -1CP]: Guardian Spear, Eagle Eye, warlord, Superior Creation, Captain Commander: Indomitable Constitution

+ Troops +

Custodian Guard Squad [8 PL, 154pts]

. Custodian: Sentinel Blade, Storm Shield

. Custodian: Guardian Spear

. Custodian: Guardian Spear

+ Elites +

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Sister Superior

. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun, 4x Psyk-Out Grenades

Prosecutors [3 PL, 60pts]: Sister Superior

. 4x Prosecutor: 4x Boltgun, 4x Psyk-Out Grenades

++ Spearhead Detachment -3CP (Imperium – Adeptus Custodes) [84 PL, 1,615pts, -3CP] ++

Shield Host: Shadowkeepers

+ HQ +

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

+ Elites +

Aquilon Custodians [17 PL, 320pts]

. Aquilon Custodian: Lastrum Storm Bolter, Solarite power Gauntlet

. Aquilon Custodian: Lastrum Storm Bolter, Solarite power Gauntlet

. Aquilon Custodian: Lastrum Storm Bolter, Solarite power Gauntlet

. Aquilon Custodian: Lastrum Storm Bolter, Solarite power Gauntlet

+ Heavy Support +

Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 225pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon

Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 225pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon

Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 225pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon

+ Flyer +

Ares Gunship [21 PL, 430pts]

++ Total: [106 PL, -4CP, 1,999pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • The greatest hits of the Forge World Custodes vehicles out and about once more.
  • Aquilon Custodians favoured over Allarus for a slightly punchier unit.
  • Sisters of Silence showing up as objective holders.
  • An incredibly ripped Shield Captain able to show up and cause some trouble where needed.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

I mean really this was inevitable – Custodes in general and the Caladius specifically getting very small point increases ensured that lists like this were bound to come back at some point, and here it is. I had the dubious pleasure of playing against a list like this in 8th and the firepower that an Ares and three Caladius tanks can put out together is absolutely wild. Combined with their exceptional mobility, when this army goes first it will inflict catastrophic damage on any non-horde list, and even against those it has the rate of fire to make a real dent. It could be a bit one-dimensional, and could get outplayed on objectives, but was definitely potent.

War of the Spider provides the tools to amp this version up to 11. The Aquilon and Custodian squads provide two highly durable units that can fight for objectives mid-board, shielded with strats as needed, while cheap Sisters of Silence provide inexpensive models for holding the back. The Allarus Captain is a highly effective solo operator with ObSec, and forces an opponent to be way more cautious about spreading out from their backlines, as he can comfortably turn up and fight even moderately tough stuff off an objective.

All of that’s nice, and having a much more coherent plan for board control than the old versions is going to be part of why this worked, but the other key thing to highlight is the extent to which having access to The Emperor’s Auspice closes off a key weakness of the 8th Edition builds – losing the Ares straight away when it went second. The gunship is no slouch defensively, but any army that could reliably pop a knight could take one down as well, and it was impossible to hide. Without re-rolls, however, and with many lists skimping a bit on front-loaded firepower, that’s much, much less likely to happen, and being Shadowkeepers lets the army layer Grim Responsibility on top as well. With both of those up, there are very few lists that are going to pull off the kill, substantially reducing the risk of losing to a string of bad rolloffs. It also lets you be a bit more muscular about pushing the Ares into the opponent’s lines to use its bomb, as many of the short ranged tools that punish it at close range lean on re-rolls. It crosses the threshold to where many armies are just going to have to ignore it (beyond maybe baiting out the stratagem) and focus on other things, allowing it to spend the entire game raining fire down on their forces, which will leave a lot of armies in pretty bad shape. Pushing Custodes Terminators off an objective is hard enough when your forces are in good shape, never mind once you’re losing several of your elite units a turn.

This list looks like a total nightmare to play against, and I am forced to once again rue the day the hateful abominations that are the Caladius and the Ares came into being. Look at me here GW. Rueing.

Shane Watts’ Orks- 2nd Place

Credit: Tom Alexander

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment 0CP (Orks) [92 PL, 2,000pts, 7CP] ++

Clan Kultur / Specialist Mobs: Goffs

+ HQ +

Big Mek in Mega Armour [6 PL, 130pts]: Da Killa Klaw, Da Kleverest Boss, Follow Me, Ladz!, Grot Oiler, Kustom Force Field, Kustom Mega-blasta, Power Klaw, Warlord

Ghazghkull Thraka [14 PL, 300pts]

Weirdboy [3 PL, 75pts, -1CP]: 2. Warpath, 3. Da Jump, Warphead

+ Troops +

Boyz [11 PL, 247pts, -1CP]: Skarboyz, Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Killsaw, Killsaw
. 28x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 28x Choppa, 28x Slugga, 28x Stikkbombs

Boyz [11 PL, 247pts, -1CP]: Skarboyz, Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Killsaw, Killsaw
. 28x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 28x Choppa, 28x Slugga, 28x Stikkbombs

Boyz [11 PL, 247pts, -1CP]: Skarboyz, Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Killsaw, Killsaw
. 28x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 28x Choppa, 28x Slugga, 28x Stikkbombs

Boyz [11 PL, 229pts, -1CP]: Skarboyz, Tankbusta Bombs
. Boss Nob: Big Choppa, Choppa
. 27x Ork Boy W/ Slugga & Choppa: 27x Choppa, 27x Slugga, 27x Stikkbombs

+ Elites +

Kommandos [2 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Kommandos [2 PL, 45pts]: Tankbusta Bombs
. 5x Kommando: 5x Choppa, 5x Slugga, 5x Stikkbombs

Meganobz [6 PL, 120pts] . Boss Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)

Meganobz [6 PL, 120pts] . Boss Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)
. Meganob w/ Saws: Killsaws (Pair)

Painboy [3 PL, 65pts]: Power Klaw

+ Dedicated Transport +

Trukk [3 PL, 65pts]: Big Shoota

Trukk [3 PL, 65pts]: Big Shoota

++ Total: [92 PL, 7CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Boyz Boyz Boyz – the one horde that isn’t dead.
  • Ghaz being enough of a draw to make Goffs actually work.
  • Trukk Nobz for early pressure

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

As ever, Shane is extremely reliable at upholding Goonhammer honour and this exceptionally brutal list piloted him to second place. Since Shane will be putting together his own report on proceedings I don’t want to steal his thunder too much, but we should hit the key points. First up, Ghaz continues to prove that he’s really, really good in 9th Edition – when we put together the Ork faction focus we’d seen a few people have some success with him both with and without Goff backup, but it says a lot about just how powerful he is that taking Goffs becomes a serious option, having been barely relevant in 8th. Taking one turn off the game makes his damage prevention ability even better than it already was, and just like with the Orion in the previous list he’s going to be a thorn in your opponent’s side for a lot of the game. He is, also, the ultimate trump card in any sort of monster mash, given he literally can’t lose a melee ruck in the first round.

This army fully leans into the Goff lyfe by upgrading all four units of Boyz to Skarboyz. The extra point of Strength combined with the force multiplication Ghaz provides makes these units even more dangerous than they normally are, and making the individual attacks more threatening helps to make up for it being harder to maneuvre lots of models into melee thanks to the new coherency and melee range rules. Huge hordes of Boyz with amped up numbers of attacks and strength are a very good counter to the Nurgle nonsense that’s been popular thus far, being one of the best tools for pushing through large wound sacks like Beasts and Chaos Spawn, which combined with them being Obsec lets this army counter that plan extremely well.

Ghaz and Da Boyz are obviously the focus of the list, and the rest of it appears to focus on making sure there’s a clear plan for the early game. Big Nobz in trukks (which can set up within a KFF bubble) provide a tool to push onto a mid board objective without exposing the Boyz to getting charged first by other high volume lists, and the Big Mek’s warlord trait ensures there’s coverage of ‘Ere We Go on turn 1 if Ghaz goes in a Tellyporta. Finally, a Weirdboy means the opponent has to operate under the ever-present threat of getting bowled over by a Da Jumping squad (and Unstoppable Green Tide also needs to be watched out for).

This list is a mean, green killing machine, and very much an army that you need to have some sort of plan to deal with, as I suspect it’ll only get more popular as time goes on.

Charles Craig’s Chaos – 3rd Place

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

The List

Note: Once again, this is messed up in BCP. We have been able to confirm that the player was correctly not using any benefits from the Poxmonger’s plague host on the main detachment, and wasn’t using Alpha Legion strats. I am also assuming that the Chaos Lord and Possessed are both DEATH GUARD, as they don’t list a mark so have likely been generated from the Death Guard entries in Battlescribe. Gonna put out a plea here people – if you’re going to an event and planning to try and win it, please, please, please take a look and make sure everything is correct and unambiguous before you hit that submit button. Even if the thought of making my life slightly harder amuses you, it’ll protect you from internet drama!

It should also be pointed out that the Troops in the main detachment do not get Objective Secured.

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Battalion Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [70 PL, 1,415pts, 9CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Legion: Alpha Legion

Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ HQ +

Chaos Lord [5 PL, 80pts]: Bolt pistol, Chainsword

Sorcerer [6 PL, 115pts]: Bolt pistol, Force stave, Jump pack, Mark of Nurgle, Prescience, Warptime

+ Troops +

Chaos Space Marines [4 PL, 70pts]: No Chaos Mark
. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun
. 4x Marine w/ boltgun: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Boltgun, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

Poxwalkers [3 PL, 70pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [3 PL, 70pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

Poxwalkers [3 PL, 70pts] . 10x Poxwalker: 10x Improvised weapon

+ Elites +

Possessed [15 PL, 300pts] . 15x Possessed: 15x Horrifying Mutations

Possessed [15 PL, 300pts] . 15x Possessed: 15x Horrifying Mutations

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

++ Supreme Command Detachment +3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [25 PL, 490pts, 3CP] ++

+ Configuration +

Detachment CP [3CP]

Plague Company: The Poxmongers

+ Primarch | Daemon Primarch | Supreme Commander +

Mortarion [25 PL, 490pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 5. Putrescent Vitality, Warlord

++ Fortification Network 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [5 PL, 95pts] ++

+ Configuration +

Chaos Allegiance: Nurgle

Detachment CP: Command Benefit

+ Fortification +

Feculent Gnarlmaws [5 PL, 95pts]: Feculent Gnarlmaw

++ Total: [100 PL, 12CP, 2,000pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • Nurgle Possessed and the Feculent Gnarlmaw team to give this list some powerful flexibility out of the gate.
  • Plagueburst Crawlers continuing to be one of the best units in 9th.
  • Mortarion flexibly able to deploy on-board with Warptime or wander in from Tactical Reserves if the matchup requires it.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

It’s always cool to spot a new combo out in the wild and go “huh, neat”. 9th hasn’t been massively kind to Possessed, as they’ve lost access to the Daemonkin Ritualists detachment and are very vulnerable to blast weapons. Combining them with a Feculent Gnarlmaw is an interesting new angle but actually makes a tonne of sense – while it’ll be a bit of a squeeze, the two units can probably bundle in around it and that makes them both much more durable (going to a 1+ save) and also providing extreme reach – as long as they start their turn within the aura, they can advance and charge, so with Warptime that lets one squad reach out a huge distance on the first turn, likely closing in on and engaging whatever the opponent has mid-board. While surprisingly few of the War of the Spider strats can affect Possessed, they can pick up an AP boost if needed, and just like with the Boyz from the previous list they’re well positioned against many targets in the metagame. Frankly, a lot of opponents aren’t going to ask enough questions about what the Gnarlmaw actually does and get caught out by how rapidly the first possessed unit is going to be down their throat.

Trying to clear two units of Possessed out of the mid-board is going to occupy the attention of most opponents enough such that the Plagueburstt Crawlers can rack up some damage unmolested, and Morty can strike at the right time to do maximum damage. In late 8th, people had figured out that the best way to use Morty was to hold him behind L-blocks as a mid-late game asset, and Tactical Reserves provides an even safer, more reliable way to do that (and this list has plenty of CP so it doesn’t need to worry about the cost). An opponent that’s already suffered the losses inherent in trying to contest the mid board against lots of Possessed is unlikely to be in a great position to deal with another tough, flexible threat, and some opponents are just going to be overwhelmed by this.

The only thing I’d change about this list is cutting the Poxwalkers – without Obsec they’re just not worth it in my opinion, and by dropping them and freeing up another 20pts somewhere (which you could do by swapping the PBCs to entropy cannons) you can have two full Contaminated Monstrosity Chaos Spawn squads and make the detachment a patrol. That does a much better job of doubling down on what the list is trying to do, giving you even more tough threats to fire at the mid-board. Even as it is, however, the list is still extremely dangerous, and it’ll be interesting to see if more people try the Gnarlmaw/Possessed combo now it’s been spotted (as it’s doable with CSM Possessed too).

Aidan Barkley’s Chaos – 4th Place

Credit: TheChirurgeon

The List

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Vanguard Detachment -3CP (Chaos – Death Guard) [79 PL, -7CP, 1,521pts] ++

Plague Company: Mortarion’s Anvil

+ HQ +

Malignant Plaguecaster [5 PL, -1CP, 100pts]: 1. Miasma of Pestilence, 4. Blades of Putrefaction, 6. Arch-Contaminator, Plaguechosen

+ Troops +

Plague Marines [6 PL, 120pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plaguesword
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption

Plague Marines [6 PL, 120pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plaguesword
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption

Plague Marines [10 PL, 192pts] . Plague Champion: Boltgun, Plaguesword
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: Flail of Corruption
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife
. Plague Marine w/ melee weapons: 2nd Plague knife

+ Elites +

Biologus Putrifier [4 PL, 65pts]

Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]

Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]

Foul Blightspawn [5 PL, 85pts]

+ Fast Attack +

Chaos Spawn [5 PL, -1CP, 115pts]: Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Chaos Spawn, Contaminated Monstrosity

+ Heavy Support +

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

Plagueburst Crawler [8 PL, 170pts]: 2x Plaguespitter, Heavy slugger

+ Dedicated Transport +

Chaos Rhino [4 PL, -1CP, 78pts]: Combi-bolter, Contaminated Monstrosity

Terrax-Pattern Termite Assault Drill [8 PL, -1CP, 136pts]: Contaminated Monstrosity
. Storm Bolters: 2x Storm bolter

++ Patrol Detachment 0CP (Chaos – Daemons) [22 PL, -1CP, 473pts] ++

Chaos Allegiance: Chaos Undivided

+ HQ +

Lord of Change [14 PL, -1CP, 275pts]: Baleful sword, Bolt of Change, Gaze of Fate, Incorporeal Form, Infernal Gateway, The Impossible Robe, Warlord
. Exalted Lord of Change: 5. Aura of Mutability

+ Troops +

Nurglings [4 PL, 90pts] . 5x Nurgling Swarms: 5x Diseased claws and teeth

Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

Nurglings [2 PL, 54pts] . 3x Nurgling Swarms: 3x Diseased claws and teeth

++ Total: [101 PL, -8CP, 1,994pts] ++

The Standout Features

  • After some artistic differences with The Beasts, Big Bird returns backed up by the Blight Bois.
  • Another Plague Company shows up, with Mortarion’s Anvil letting the melee-specced Plague Marines heroic on demand.
  • Drill-transported Blight Bomb provides a deadly point-and-click answer.

Why it’s Interesting in 9th

So, after a month of writing these we’re finally getting to a point where we’ve very nearly seen all the pieces that make this work before. We know the super Lord of Change is good, we know Nurglings are good, and we’ve seen Plague Marines performing already, including in the Blight Bomb Drill.

Even then, there are still some new things here. Among its many, many treasures (seriously, what a wild book) War of the Spider provided some quite hefty boosts for melee Plague Marines, and given that the roles the units are likely to play here are 2x midboard objective holder and one push unit in the drill, I like the choice to load them up as melee killers, as when it matters it’ll probably be more relevant than the random shots would be at other times. Giving them the ability to intervene also makes them especially good at holding onto objectives, as it prevents something like a guard squad nosing on and temporarily contesting the position.

Elsewhere, the other notable difference from similar lists is that this one goes all-in on the Foul Blightspawn. That’s particularly effective with the super Lord of Change, as it provides them a reliable LoSir provider who will be chilling out mid-board where they want to be a lot of the time, also being able to cover them when they reposition.

That’s kind of it – the novelty from the melee PMs is cool, but ultimately by this point you know the tools this list leans on are extremely powerful, and you need to have a plan to beat it.

Wrap Up

That brings us to the end of another fine crop, and as mentioned we should have some tasty treats to look at next week as well thanks to the Invasion GT. Check back in with us then, and in the meantime if you have any comments, questions or suggestions hit us up at contact@goonhammer.com.

 

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