Competitive Innovations Special: Piotr Zawiła-Niedźwiecki Talks Playing Drukhari at the WTC

The World Team Championships returned and concluded three weeks ago, with Team Australia taking home the gold. This week we’re talking with some of the players from the event about their experiences, with an assist from the Art of War team. Today we’re joined by Piotr Zawiła-Niedźwiecki, who played Drukhari for Team Poland.

Before we dig in, it’s important to note a few things:

  1. The WTC is a teams event. If you’re unfamiliar, you can find a primer on team 40k events here.
  2. WTC used a pods system similar to FIFA for pairings, where teams were placed into pods for early matchups, with pod winners advancing.
  3. WTC uses differential scoring (also referred to as “20-0”), where a player scores points for their team based on the difference between their VP score and the opponent’s at the end of the game. A margin of victory of 50+ VP awards 20 points for the victor and 0 for the loser, while a game with a differential of 5 VP or fewer will award both players 10 points.
  4. The WTC uses its own terrain setups, which are uniquely dense compared to many other layouts you frequently see at other events.

WTC Terrain Example

Piotr’s Recap

Hi, I’m Piotr Zawiła-Niedźwiecki (don’t even bother trying to pronounce it :D) more known in the community as ‘Typhus’. I’m a long standing ETC/WTC veteran, with exactly a decade of experience passing this year (as a captain, player, or a referee). Since 2012 I’ve managed to podium with the Polish team 6 times (including winning in 2014), and for 2022 my sights were set on winning once again.

For those who don’t listen to the Contact Lost podcast, you should know that Poland is very serious when it comes to WTC and team tournaments in general. Each year the whole community is mostly preparing for this one event, we solely play WTC terrain packs, and 20-0 format to get as many reps in as possible. This results in our small community (the biggest singles event held in Poland had 80 players) being highly competitive. Nearly half of our tournaments are some form of team events, and we go for team events across Europe to get experience playing on the international scene. All of this comes with a pressure at WTC, as you feel the weight of the whole community behind you, thus making this year’s ‘40k Olympics’ both a dreaded and joyful prospect for me. Why joyful? That’s due to COVID and WTC not happening for two consecutive years – I missed the feeling of a family that this event brings, and I’ve also missed seeing all these familiar faces and friends which I met yearly for the past decade. But those two years also meant that we had a huge rotation in the Polish player base, with the inception of TTS, new faces surfaced that didn’t have that much international experience.

Around two years ago I set myself a goal to upskill and familiarize those new players with the 8vs8 experience, so we’ve played plenty of scrims on TTS and prepared harder than ever for this event. This resulted in me taking a role of a non-playing captain, to be able to take off the pressure of all the non-game related stuff surrounding the WTC, allowing the players to focus solely on the game. I will not exaggerate when I say we’ve spent jointly thousands of hours on polishing team composition, making meta calls, adjusting to Nephilim, playtesting niche pairings (to give you perspective – some of the players played 50+ games between Nephilim and the event itself). All of that was meant to culminate in 3 days of play, but on Wednesday 2 days before the event we were struck with a tragedy, as one of our players got tested positive for Covid. We had to be quick on our toes thus resulting in me taking over his army and changing my role from non-playing captain to very much playing captain. Most of the plans I’ve had as a captain needed to be scrapped, and more responsibilities were pushed onto our coaches (which by the way is a thankless and not visible job, so at this point I want to thank once more Danny and Misza for doing god’s work throughout the event <3).

My List

Before we get into the games it is worth it to give you a quick rundown of my list:

Piotr's Drukhari - Click to Expand

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== Drukhari – Artists of the Flesh – Patrol Detachment = -1CP, [41PL, 635pts] ==

HQ1: Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts]:
Warlord trait (-1CP): Hatred Eternal

TR1: 5 Wracks, Acothyst [3 PL, 40pts]

TR2: 5 Wracks, Acothyst [3 PL, 40pts]

E1: 5 Grotesques [12 PL, 175pts]

E2: 5 Grotesques [12 PL, 175pts]

FA1: 3x Reavers, Arena Champion [3PL, 60pts]
Combat drugs: Hypex

== Drukhari – Cursed Blade – Patrol Detachment = -1CP, [37PL, 745pts] ==

HQ2: Succubus [3 PL, 80pts]:
Combat Drug: Adrenalight;
Relic (-1CP): The Triptych Whip;

TR3: 5 Wracks, Acothyst [3 PL, 40pts]

F2: 3x Reavers, Arena Champion [3PL, 60pts]
Combat drugs: Hypex

FA3: 10x Hellion, Helliarch, [170, 8PL]
Combat Drugs:Adrenalight

EL3: 5x Incubi, klaveix with demiklaves [90, 4PL]

Transport1: Venom [75, 4PL]
Transport2: Raider,[115,6PL] Splinter racks
Transport3: Raider,[115,6PL] Splinter racks

== Drukhari – Artists of the Flesh – Patrol Detachment = -2CP, [34PL, 620pts] ==

HQ3: Archon [4 PL, 75pts]:
Husk blade
Prizes from the Dark City(-1CP):The Animatous Vitae;
Tolerated Ambition(-1CP): Ancient Evil;

TR4: 5 Wracks, Acothyst [3 PL, 40pts]

TR5: 10x Corsairs Voidreavers, Voidreaver Felarch [135, 6PL] 2x blaster, 1x wraithcannon, 7 shuriken rifles

TR6: 10x Corsairs Voidreavers,Voidreaver Felarch [135, 6PL] 2x blaster, 1x wraithcannon, 7 shuriken rifles

El4: 5 Grotesques [12 PL, 175pts]

FA5: 3x Reavers, Arena Champion [3PL, 60pts]

Combat drugs: Hypex

END OF ROSTER

Thankfully most of the work was already done. We prepared estimation tables for around 20 teams, I’ve done over 100 simulated pairings into most top teams to find out what traps can lie ahead in the pairings, we’ve tested the most common list archetypes. What I knew is that I would have to play and that meant that I would not be able to focus only on pairings; this is where my two teammates, Majson and Pumba, came in handy – throughout the event we ran the pairings ideas through each other. But we weren’t the only ones prepared – as for day one this year there was a so-called ‘Pod phase’, where 4 teams played each other, resulting in a grueling 14hrs of 40k on Friday. This allowed other teams to prep for us specifically, and one of those was…

 

Round 1 – Belgium United, Mission 13

Guillame's Adepta Sororitas - click to expand

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+ TEAM: Belgium
+ PLAYER 4 : Dusaussois Guillaume
+ FACTION USED: Adepta Sororitas, Bloody Rose
+ ARMY POINTS: 1996
+ NUMBER OF UNITS/KILL POINTS: 18
+ PRE GAME STRATAGEMS: Relic (1CP) 2x saint in the making (2CP)
+ STARTING COMMAND POINTS : 3CP
+SACRED RITES: The Passion
+WARLORD: Morvenn Vahl
+ SECONDARY OBJECTIVES INFORMATIONS:
No Prisoners: 77 wounds, 8 points
Assassination: 5 characters, 16 points
Bring It Down: 2 vehicles, 3 points
Abhor The Witch: /
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== DETACHEMENT Bataillon : Adepta Sororitas : Bloody Rose (0 CP) [107PL, 1996pts] ==

No slot: Repentia Superior[40 pts, 2 PL]
HQ 1 : Canoness : Rod of Office, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword [105 pts, 5 PL, ]
– – – saint in the making (1CP): Blazing Ire,
– – – relic (1CP): Mina’s Wrath,
– – – Word Of The Emperor (40)
HQ 2 : WARLORD : Morvenn Vahl [280 pts] [14 PP]
HQ3: Celestine & Geminae Superia [200 pts] [10 PP]

TR1 : 5 Battle Sister Squad,[55 pts] [3 PP] bolt Pistol, Boltgun, sister superior: Boltgun, chainsword
TR2 : 5 Battle Sister Squad,[55 pts] [3 PP] bolt Pistol, Boltgun, sister superior: Boltgun, chainsword
TR3 : 5 Battle Sister Squad,[55 pts] [3 PP] bolt Pistol, Boltgun, sister superior: Boltgun, chainsword

EL1 : 5 Celestian Sacresants [3 PL, 75pts], 4 anointed Hallebard, superior: Spear of the Faithfull (5)
EL2: 8 Sisters Repentia: [112 pts, 6 PL]
EL3: 5 Sisters Repentia: [70 pts, 6 PL]
EL4: 7 Sisters Repentia: [98 pts, 6 PL]
EL5: Dogmata [65 pts, 4 PL, ]
– – -Verse of Holy Piety, – – – saint in the making (1CP): Beacon of Faith

FA1: 8 Zephyrim Squad [125 pts, 8 PL], zephyrim pennant (5pts):
FA2: 5 Zephyrim Squad: [75 pts, 4 PL]
FA3: 6 Zephyrim Squad: [90 pts, 8 PL]

HS1: 9 Retributor Squad [208 pts, 9 PL]: Retributor Superior: Boltgun, Chainsword 4xRetributor: Multi-melta, 2 Armourium Cherub
HS2: 9 Retributor Squad [208 pts, 9 PL]: Retributor Superior: Boltgun, Chainsword 4xRetributor: Multi-melta, 2 Armourium Cherub

DT1: Sororitas Rhino: Storm bolter [80 pts, 4 PL]

From different podcasts, forums, discord chats I knew Liam VSL (one of the best players to surface during the TTS era) lived and breathed this matchup against us for the last month. He solely played mission 13, and tested most of our lists. Belgium United had one goal – to take us down. Which, spoiler alert, they kind of succeeded in 😉. This matchup we were prepared for, but during pairings we based the whole process on the fact that our T’au could play Blood Angels when T’au chooses the table. This was a crucial mistake in our assumptions as we had mostly good matchups into BA within our team, so this mistake cost us both in our T’au losing, but also us not scoring high on the AoC menace. Knowing this one we would’ve done the whole process differently, but lesson learned, we adjusted our estimations after the round was done.

My main goal was to not lose. Drukhari is in a rough spot in the metagame, but when played correctly it’s almost impossible to win more than 14-6 against it. Our build had few meta calls in it – 3 squads of Reavers for easy Behind Enemy Lines, 10 Hellions from Cursed Blade to have any arguments against T’au/Drukhari/Tyranid flyers, and 2×10 Corsairs for the fire support and additional obsec bodies. It’s also worth mentioning their bad matchups coincided with bad matchups for the rest of the team, so throughout the event I’d take something that some armies didn’t want to play to open up pairings later.

Against Belgium United I was the first defender, but they surprised us during pairings giving me the possibility to play against Sisters of Battle. It was one of those matchups I was confident in, and conversely to what most teams thought, I knew this is one of the best matchups for Drukhari in the game.

I will not delve into the ins and outs of the game itself. I’ve chosen a table where I had a great ruin in the mid board allowing me to control 3 objectives myself, and I had aggressive access to all my opponent’s objectives. The game was won purely on primary game, as I continued to contest objectives with wracks, corsairs, and hellions, getting my opponent to I think 14 primary points total over the course of the game.

Game score: 15-5. Team score: 79-81 Draw

Our team had a slight morale issue after this draw, but we rallied and decided that it’s time to show the world that we are historically top ranked for a reason.

 

Round 2 – Denmark, Mission 11

Killi's List - click to expand

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Player 1: Killi Paaske
Team: Denmark
Factions Used: Tyranids, Leviathan, Hive Tendril
Army Points: 2000 / 99 PL
Reinforcement Points: 0
Number of Units / Killpoints: 15
Pre Game Stratagems: Rarefied Enhancements [-2CP], 2 Hive Predator [-2CP]
Starting Command Points: 2
Warlord & Trait: HQ2: Winged Hive Tyrant (no Trait)
Army Trait: SYNAPTIC IMPERATIVES
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners Tally: 7 pts (68 wounds)
Assassination: 10 pts
Abhor The Witch: 13 pts
Bring it down: 12 pts
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Battalion Detachment – Tyranids – Leviathan – = -4CP, [99PL 2000 pts] ==
— SYNAPTIC CONTROL, Adaptive

HQ1: Neurothrope [5PL, 100 pts]
— Relic: Resonance Barb (0) (-1CP)
— WL Trait: Synaptic Tendrils (-1CP)
— Psychic Powers: [Smite, Hive Nexus, Catalyst, Onslaught, Neuroparasite]
HQ2: Winged Hive Tyrant [Warlord] [11 PL, 225 pts] (Warlord)
— Relic: Reaper of Obliterax (-1CP)
— Adrenal Glands (15)
— Psychic Powers: [Smite, Catalyst, Hive Nexus, Paroxysm, Psychic Scream]
HQ3: Broodlord [6 PL, 120 pts]
— Warlord Trait: Alien Cunning (-1CP)
— Psychic Powers: [Smite, Hive Nexus, Catalyst]

TR1: 10 Gargoyles [4 PL, 80 pts]
TR2: 10 Gargoyles [4 PL, 80 pts]
TR3: 10 Hormagaunts [4 PL, 80 pts]

EL1: 5 Genestealers [5 PL, 80 pts]
EL2: Maleceptor [9 PL, 220 pts]
— Psychic Powers: [Smite, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite, Psychic Scream]
EL3: 3 Tyrant Guard [8 PL, 120 pts]:
— 3 Tyrant Guard (Lash/Sword) w/ Lash Whip and Bonecleaver
EL4: 3 Zoanthropes [7 PL, 150 pts]
— Psychic Powers: [Smite, Hive Nexus, Neuroparasite]
EL5: 1 Pyrovore [2 PL, 40 pts]

HE1: Biovores [3 PL, 45 pts]
HE2: Exocrine: Adaptive Physiology: Voracious Ammunition [10 PL, 215 pts]
FL1: Harpy: 2x Heavy Venom Cannon, Adaptive Physiology: Dermic Symbiosis [11 PL, 230 pts]
FL2: Harpy: 2x Heavy Venom Cannon, Adaptive Physiology: Synaptic Enhancement [10 PL 215 pts]
END OF ROSTER
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Another team that historically had decent scores. We’ve continued with the pairings as planned. I was first defender once again, and by the team’s decision I was supposed to play against Leviathan Tyranids with 2 harpies. I’ve chosen a decent table where I could play defensively. I think the Danish team made plenty of mistakes in the pairings, giving us a chance for a huge victory.

Fun fact from the game – my opponent took Interrogation, so my 3 characters hopped from one transport to another without being in action at all. I’ve tried getting some points from my secondaries, killing 2 harpies in close combat with Hellions (I even got to use Deadly Rivals stratagem for once!) to score 6 points from Take Them Alive. And late game, pushing more units into my opponent’s deployment, to score 12 from Primary and get more points from Take Them Alive. I played the whole game very cagey as I knew my opponent had No Prisoners, so I didn’t want to risk anything as I knew our other pairings are going well.

Game score: 10-10. Team score: 125-35 Win.

 

Round 3 – Switzerland, Mission 23

Tristan's List - click to expand

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Player 2: Tristan “Titi” Bourdeau
Team: Switzerland
Factions used: Adeptus Astartes- Dark Angels
Army Points: 1999
Reinforcement Points: 1
Number of Units / Killpoints: 8-11
Pre Game Stratagems: 2x Hero of the Chapter, Relics of the Chapter, Warlord, Relic
Starting Command Points: 1
Warlord & Trait: Interrogator Chaplain – Wise Orator
Army Trait: Sons of the Lion- 1st Company
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 114
Bring it Down: 0
Assasination: 13
Abhor the Witch: 3
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Adeptus Astartes – Dark Angels – Vanguard (-5CP), [97PL, 1999pts] == Chapter Tactic: Grim resolve

HQ: Ezekiel [7PL, 115pts]
– – – Psychic powers : Mind worm, Aversion, Righteous repugnance
HQ: Interrogator-Chaplain [6PL, 110pts] (WARLORD) Master of Sanctity
– – -Warlord Trait: Wise Orator (-1CP)
– – – Litanies of Battle : Canticle of Hate, Litany of Faith

EL: Ravenwing Apothecary [6PL, 135pts] Chief Apothecary
– – -Hero of the Chapter: Selfless Healer (-1CP)
– – – Relic : The Honour Vehement (-1CP)
EL: Bladeguard Ancient [6PL, 105pts] Chapter Ancient
– – -Hero of the Chapter: Steadfast Example (-1CP)
– – – Relic of the Chapter: Pennant of Remembrance (-1CP)
EL: 8 Terminator Deathwing Squad [18PL, 304pts]
— Deathwing Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield,
— 3 Deathwing Terminators with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
— 4 Deathwing Terminators with 2 Lightning Claws
EL: 10 Terminator Deathwing Squad [18PL, 445pts]
— Deathwing Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
— 1 Deathwing Terminators with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
— 6 Deathwing Terminators with Power Fist and Storm Bolter
— 2 Deathwing Terminators with Power Fist, Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher
— Watcher in the Dark
EL: 10 Terminator Deathwing Squad [18PL, 445pts]
— Deathwing Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
— 1 Deathwing Terminators with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield
— 6 Deathwing Terminators with Power Fist and Storm Bolter
— 2 Deathwing Terminators with Power Fist, Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher
— Watcher in the Dark
EL: 10 Relic Terminator Squad [18PL, 340pts]
— Relic Terminator Sergeant with Combi-bolter and power sword
— 9 Relic Terminator with Combi-bolter and Lightning Claw

END OF ROSTER

After 9 hours of 40k already, we had a 3rd game upon us. The adrenaline rush was starting to wear out, and during pairings we decided I don’t need to be the first defender this time, as we expected them to defend with Deathwing. On this mission we knew Drukhari were one of the best attackers into it, as I couldn’t score high points against anything else anyway, and their cock blocking me won’t hurt the rest of the squad. Pairings again went very well with one sacrifice made where our Renegade Knights played against T’au.

My opponent chose a horrible table for our matchup, allowing me to hold the middle objective with a Raider that he couldn’t kill or charge as there were containers in the way. Whole game revolved around me focusing most of my army on one of the two objectives my opponent had near his deployment. We fought nearly the whole game on that one, which ended with a perfect No Prisoners point draw of 69 to 69. Nice.

Game was rather boring, as are nearly all of the games played against Deathwing.

Game score: 12-8. Team score: 115-45 Win.

 

After the first day I was completely knackered. I left the venue around 11PM, got to our hotel by 11.30PM and got information that we’re playing against Germany in the morning. We prepared for an hour, adjusted our estimations, and went to sleep, because the next round started at 8.30AM, and as a Captain you need to be there earlier…

In the morning I woke up with a massive headache. Thankfully by the time we started our games painkillers kicked in, but during pairing I was still nonfunctional. That’s where Pumba and Majson took the reins.

 

Round 4 – Germany, Mission 33

Fred's list - click to expand

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Player 8: Frederik Otto
Team: Germany
Faction Used: Drukhari
Army Points: 2000
Reinforcement Points: 0
Number of Units/Killpoints: 17
Pre Game Stratagems: Warlord Trait, Relic, Tolerated Ambition
Starting Commandpoints: 3
Warlord & Trait: Drahzar: Hatred Eternal
Army Trait: Power from Pain
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 30
Bring it down: 19
Assassination: 7
Abhor the Witch: 0
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Drukhari – Kabal of the Black Heart – Patrol Detachment = -1 CP, [56 PL, 1,020pts == Obsession: Thirst for Power

HQ: Drazhar [8 PL, 145pts] (WARLORD)
—Warlord Trait: Hatred Eternal (-1CP)

TR: 5 Kabalite warriors [3 PL, 50pts] Blaster
TR: 5 Kabalite warriors [3 PL, 50pts] Blaster
TR: 5 Kabalite warriors [3 PL, 50pts] Blaster

HS: Ravager [8 PL, 135pts] Shock Prow
HS: Ravager [8 PL, 135pts] Shock Prow

DT: Venom [5 PL, 75pts]

FL: Voidraven Bomber [9 PL, 190pts] Voidraven missiles
FL: Voidraven Bomber [9 PL, 190pts] Voidraven missiles

== Drukhari – Custom Coven: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming) – Patrol Detachment = -2CP, [50 PL, 980pts] == Obsession: Dark Technomancers (All-Consuming)

HQ: Succubus [5 PL, 95pts] Show Stealer <Wych Cult of Strife>
—Combat Drug: Hypex
—Tolerated Ambition: Precision Blows (-1CP)
—Relic: The Triptych Whip (-1CP)

TR: 5 Wracks [3 PL, 55pts] Ossefactor, electrocorrosive whip and hexrifle
TR: 5 Wracks [3 PL, 55pts] Ossefactor, electrocorrosive whip and hexrifle
TR: 5 Wracks [3 PL, 55pts] Ossefactor, electrocorrosive whip and hexrifle

HS: 3 Cronos [12 PL, 255pts] 3 Spirit Vortex
HS: 3 Cronos [12 PL, 255pts] 3 Spirit Vortex

DT: Raider [6 PL, 105pts] Disintegrator Cannon, Shock Prow
DT: Raider [6 PL, 105pts] Disintegrator Cannon, Shock Prow

END OF ROSTER

We knew Germany was good, and they also changed their whole team so they’re no longer perceived as the ‘bad guys’ of the WTC. We’ve played some 8vs8 scrims against them via TTS so we expected this game to be tough. I was a sacrificial lamb once again in the pairings. But this round our opponents were first to make a crucial mistake in the process – they defended with CWE, and when attacked with CK and Harlequins they took Harlequins. Our Harlies player playtested this matchup many times and was a dedicated space elves killer, which will be a common story for the rest of the event. This round I think our pairing estimations are vastly different on both sides, but it turned out ours were more accurate.

My game I played against Fred (another phenomenal player that we’ve met thanks to TTS) and I was really happy about it as we’ve talked plenty on Discord during Covid times. The game unfortunately was very hectic, as I was the last one to get to the tables as the captain, my table being one of those which didn’t had deployment zones marked, and the terrain wasn’t setup properly. So we burned a lot of time pregame which left us with less than 2.5hrs for the game after deployment. At around the 20 minutes mark I think Fred ran out of time, but knowing from coaches of both teams that we’ve won all the other games, and myself not willing to weaponize the clock ever, we’ve shared the time and hastily finished the game to not get penalized for slow play. I’m sad we didn’t have those 20-30 minutes more that we’ve had to spend pre-game, and that the game had to end in such way ☹.

Game score: 8-12. Team score: 106-54 win.

 

Round 5 – France, Mission 32

Olivier's List - click to expand

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Player 7: Olivier WEISS aka Père Kstor (Father Beather)
Team: FRANCE
Factions used: Adeptus Astartes
Army Points: 1996
Reinforcement Points: 4
Number of Units / Killpoints: 13
Pre Game Stratagems: Hero of the Chapter, Exemplar of the Promethean Creed, Warlord Trait, Relic
Starting Command Points: 2
Warlord & Trait: Librarian in Jump Pack, Rite of War & Never Give Up
Army Trait: Combat Doctrines, Promethean Cult
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 115
Bring it Down: 2
Assasination: 10
Abhor the Witch: 3
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Adeptus Astartes – Salamanders – Battalion Detachment = -4CP, [99PL, 1996pts] == Chapter Tactic: Forged in Battle
HQ: Librarian [6PL, 115pts] [Warlord] Jump Pack, Boltgun, Force Sword
– – – Psychic powers : Null Zone, Veil of Time
– – – Warlord Trait : Rite of War (-1CP)
– – – Exemplar of the Promethean Creed : Never Give Up (-1CP)
– – – Relic : The Armor Indomitus (-1CP)
HQ: Vulkan He’stan [7PL, 120pts]

TR: 5 Assault Intercessor Squad [5PL, 95pts]
TR: 5 Incursor Squad [5PL, 105pts]
TR: 5 Incursor Squad [5PL, 105pts]

EL: 10 Vanguard Veteran [14PL, 268pts] Jump Packs, Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Astartes Chainsword, 1 Vanguard with Thunder Hammer and Astartes Chainsword, 8 Vanguard with Lighting Claw and Astartes Chainsword
EL: 10 Vanguard Veteran [14PL, 268pts] Jump Packs, Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Astartes Chainsword, 1 Vanguard with Thunder Hammer and Astartes Chainsword, 8 Vanguard with Lighting Claw and Astartes Chainsword
EL: 6 Aggressor Squad [12PL, 240pts] 2×6 Flamesorm Gauntlets
EL: 3 Aggressor Squad [6PL, 120pts] 2×3 Flamesorm Gauntlets
EL: Apothecary [5PL, 110pts] Chief Apothecary
– – – Hero of The Chapter : Selfless Healer (-1CP)

FA: 1 Land Speeders [3PL, 70pts] Multi-melta
FA: 1 Land Speeders [3PL, 70pts] Multi-melta
HS: 6 Eradicator Squad [14PL, 310pts] Sergent with Heavy melta rifle, 2 Eradicators with Multi-melta, 3 Eradicators with Heavy melta rifle

END OF ROSTER

Another team we’ve played multiple times on TTS. One of those that managed to beat us there. We again knew it’s going to be a challenging match, but during the pairings it turned out we had better estimations. I was put as a first defender and presented with Oliver Weiss aka Pere Kstor and his Salamanders as my opponent. Few of our armies didn’t want to play against this list, so I was designated to take this matchup. Worth noting is that the French team knew that CWE doesn’t want Harlies and they’ve chosen our Chaos Knights in the pairing process.

I’d say this was a decent match up for me. Historically Drukhari were good into marines. But knowing our pairings went, very well I decided to not risk the game at all, and play it safe, as aggressive play with Drukhari can backfire very hard. This game was my favorite of the event by far when it came to weird tactical decisions. When Pere took his secondaries, I realized that with his Shock Assault in place and this mission’s secondary objective I could not interact with him nearly at all, give him 45 from Primary, and then just limit his secondary scoring whilst scoring mine, and holding 2 objectives. The game was very not interactive for the first 3 turns, until Oliviers coach told him they needed points, and he pushed. This resulted in him denying me more primaries, but also losing nearly all his army in one turn.

To give you perspective on how wacky this game was, he’d spend CP so one Aggressor would shoot 12 flamer shots onto the raider, dealing mortals on 4+. I for one would decide to shoot with only 4 poison shots into Librarian, as he had 5 wounds and if he activated his Indomitus armor, he could take those shots onto the invul and die from shooting. Therefore, denying me Take Them Alive points. One turn I would think for 3 minutes whether I want to send 5 Incubi to kill 5 marines on the objective and then consolidate from it to deny potential shock assault. All in all, a great game, where I think I could have won it by a higher margin due to the table and matchup but my team didn’t need any risks.

Game score: 9-11. Team score: 114-46 win.

 

Our team morale was in a great place after the second day. We finally felt validated, as the teams that we played on even fields on TTS proved to be beatable IRL. We knew that in the next round we’d play Team USA, aka Art of War and Co. and we wanted to prove that they might not be the best in the world as they claim online 😉. We spent around 3 hours in the evening talking through EVERY matchup, going through their previous games, finding where they tried to get points in the pairings. Even though morale was high, during this process you could see some doubts creeping in. A lot of the estimations went down, and you could feel pressure getting to some players.

 

Game 6 – USA. Mission 12

Anthony's List - click to expand

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Player #: 8
Anthony Vanella
Team: USA
Factions Used: Tyranids
Army Points: 2000
Reinforcement Points: 0
Number of Units / Killpoints: 11
Pre Game Stratagems: Relic, Hive Predator, Rarified Enhancements
Starting Command Points: 1
Warlord & Trait: Hive Tyrant.
Army Trait: synaptic imperatives
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 139 Wounds, 15 Points.
Bring it Down: 4
Assasination: 10
Abhor the Witch: 13
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Leviathan ((Hunt) Augmented Ferocity) Battalion Detachment == -2 CP, 1565 pts, 69 PL

HQ1: Hive Tyrant: Heavy Venom Cannon, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword,, Warlord [195 pts, 9 PL]
– – – Power: Catalyst, Paroxysm,
– – – Relic: The Maw-claws of Thyrax -1cp

HQ2: Neurothrope: [100 pts, 5 PL]
– – – Power: Catalyst, Onslaught
– – – Hive Predator: Direct Guidance -1cp

TR1: Tyranid Warriors: Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, 3xTyranid Warrior (Dual Boneswords, Venom Cannon), 6xTyranid Warrior (Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords) [315 pts, 12 PL]

TR2: Tyranid Warriors: Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, Toxin Sacs, 2xTyranid Warrior (Dual Boneswords, Venom Cannon), 4xTyranid Warrior (Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords) [220 pts, 8 PL]

TR3: Tyranid Warriors: Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, 2xTyranid Warrior (Dual Boneswords, Venom Cannon), 4xTyranid Warrior (Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords) [210 pts, 8 PL]

EL1: Tyrant Guard: 3xTyrant Guard (Scything Talons) [120 pts, 8 PL]
EL2: Venomthropes: 3xVenomthrope [105 pts, 5 PL]
EL3: Zoanthropes: Power: Hive Nexus, 3xZoanthrope [150 pts, 7 PL]
– – – Power: Neuroparasite, Power: Smite,
EL4: Zoanthropes: Power: Hive Nexus, 3xZoanthrope [150 pts, 7 PL]
– – – Power: Neuroparasite, Power: Smite,

== Leviathan ((Hunt) Augmented Ferocity) Patrol Detachment == -3 CP, 435 pts, 19 PL

HQ1: Winged Hive Tyrant: Adrenal Glands, Lash Whip and Monstrous Bonesword, [225 pts, 11 PL]
– – – Power: Hive Nexus, Onslaught, Psychic Scream,
– – – Rarefied Enhancements: The Reaper of Obilterax -1cp

TR1: Tyranid Warriors: Adrenal Glands, Flesh Hooks, 2xTyranid Warrior (Dual Boneswords, Venom Cannon), 4xTyranid Warrior (Deathspitter, Dual Boneswords) [210 pts, 8 PL]

END OF ROSTER

When going through the hall before the pairings we were approached by nearly every other team from Europe, and we felt immense support. As if our whole continent wanted us to prove that giants can bleed as well. I remember a similar feeling back in 2014, when we won against Germany and started shouting from happiness, that the whole hall applauded us. During pairings I was the first defender, and I was thrown under the Anthony “Chocolate” Vanella bus. Notably, the USA made the same mistake as Germany, and Brad chose to play against our CWE slayers – Harlequins. During the pairings we were forced to sacrifice both of our knight players as we anticipated as the US team composition clearly wanted to prey on the knights.

From the very start and first conversation with Anthony I knew we would have a chill and very enjoyable game. Early in the game he asked his coach what he needed to bring from this matchup, and he was told that small win should be sufficient, so he played for small win and held back a little instead of full pushing. Few charges with bikes allowed me to limit Anthony’s primaries, and I tried my luck at killing his Walkrant, but this skillful bastard passed all 4+ invuls from my lances and blasters, leaving my Succubus to dry.

We finished the game quite early, and I started roaming the tables. When our penultimate table submitted the score I knew we’d already won and I screamed from happiness. I was electrified as beating US was one of the three goals we’ve set for ourselves this year. From the estimates I wasn’t sure we would win though. I thought if we were to win it would be a very narrow victory, but our IK player pulled through against Jack Harpster and somehow won against T’au, 15-5.

Game score: 8-12. Team score: 95-65 win.

 

Our happiness from this victory might have also been our downfall. We knew we were guaranteed a podium, and we knew that we’ve also beaten THE team to beat. Now it’s only one team left, and they barely drew against the US, right?

 

Game 7 – Australia, Mission 22.

Matt's List - click to expand

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Player #7: Matt Jackson
Team: Australia
Factions Used: Imperial Knights
Army Points:1985
Reinforcement Points:15
Number of Units / Killpoints: 9
Pre Game Stratagems: Warlord Trait (-1CP) , Relic (-1CP), 2x Heirlooms of the Household (-2 CP), 2x Knight Baron (-2 CP)
Starting Command Points: 0
Warlord & Trait: Knight Errant: Cunning Commander
Army Trait: ==Chivalric Oath: Oath: Defend the Realm, Oath: Refuse No Challenge
Secondary Objectives Information
No Prisoners: 0 wounds
Bring it Down: 22
Assasination: 13
Abhor the Witch: 0
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
== Imperial Knights – Custom Household – Super-Heavy Detachment = 0CP, [104 PL, 1985pts]
<Questor Allegiance: Custom, Martial Tradition: Strike and Shield>, Questor Imperialis
LOW: 2 Armiger Helverins [16 PL, -2CP, 310pts]
– Armiger Helverin: Knight Baron (-1CP), Questor Ironhail Heavy Stubber,
Warlord Trait: Blessed by the Sacristans
– Armiger Helverin: Heirlooms of the Household (-1CP),Questor Ironhail Heavy Stubber
– Heirloom: The Bastard’s Helm,
LOW: Knight Errant: Character (Knight Lance), Questor Ironhail Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chainsword, – Relic (-1CP), Warlord (-1CP),
– Exalted Court: Herald
– Heirloom: The Helm Dominatus
– Warlord Trait: Cunning Commander [24 PL, -2CP, 445pts]
LOW: 3x Knight Moiraxes: All with 2x Siege Claw w/ Rad-Cleanser: 2x Rad-Cleanser, 2x Siege Claw [24 PL, 465pts]
LOW: 2x Knight Moiraxes: All with 2x Siege Claw w/ Rad-Cleanser: 2x Rad-Cleanser, 2x Siege Claw [16 PL, 310pts]
LOW: Knight Preceptor:Knight Baron (-1CP), Questor Ironhail Heavy Stubber, Reaper Chainsword [24 PL, -2CP, 455pts]
– Exalted Court: Monarchsward,
– Heirlooms of the Household (-1CP), Heirloom: Mentor’s Seal,
– Warlord Trait: Ion Bulwark [24 PL, -2CP, 455pts]
– Knightly Teachings: The Folly of Mercy, The Knights Faith, The Virtue of Courage, The Wisdom of Nobility,

END OF ROSTER

Knowing that we only needed a draw against Aussies we approached the next round a little bit sloppily and paired more conservatively which in hindsight was a mistake. But at the same time, we’ve paired according to our tables, and from the pairings and our estimations we should have won this matchup. Aussies were another team that for some reason decided their CWE wanted to play our harlies. At this point you could have at least scouted that this doesn’t work 😉. During the pairings we’ve had a talk with them that no matter who wins we’re both happy as we’ve both worked very hard for this one.

I got to play Matt and his Imperial Knights. An army that my Drukhari had no way to deal with. Game was rather boring. I dealt a total of 5 wounds to his knights throughout the whole game, sacrificing units for Linebreaker and RnD, and not pushing any multi wound models to not give away no prisoners. In one turn I had to roll a 4+ on one of 3 advance rolls to block his way onto my objective, but my Drukhari were as tired as I were, I guess and hadn’t pulled through on this one. We’ve finished the game with nearly 2 hours left on our clocks and I told my coaches that I’m not gonna stand by our tables because it will only make me more stressed as I can’t help in any way at this point. I used those 2 hours to spend some time and talk with more people I didn’t have a chance the previous day, where we used evenings for more prep instead of socialization. After 2 hours I came back to the Aussies shouting as they won against us. I made sure to approach every single one of them and give them a hug whilst congratulating them on their well-deserved victory.

Game score: 6-14. Team score: 68-92 loss.

 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to our result, I was initially happy about it. After all the obstacles we’d encountered, and for the 5 new players in our team, being a vice champion is a success still leaving space for more. But for me when the dust settled, I only felt disappointed, as it was another year where we failed in the final stretch. Especially that winning as a captain is the only thing that’s missing in my personal record books. For the past weeks I’ve been replaying the last matchup in my mind countless times finding what to fix, so that next year we won’t make the same mistakes again and come even more prepared.

That doesn’t mean I’m not proud of my team, and our community. We’ve had players that didn’t get into the team helping us out figuring opponents lists, throughout the event we’ve had so much support from the guys back in Poland that I’m happy that this event bonded our community even more. Boys in the team put massive effort themselves, some even taking weeks off at their work to get more games in. Thank you for your insane work guys – Crazyman, Danny, Duda, Gyto, Lesiu, Majson, Misza, Pumba, Skark, Wiśnia. It was a pleasure to play with you and to be your captain. I would also like to thank all of the teams we faced, every game was very sportsmanlike and enjoyable, choosing the friendliest opponent was truly a difficult task this year :).

Having all of that in mind I’d say the event was great. There were some hiccups on the road that organizers are aware of, but they were greatly overshadowed by the fact that you could meet up with your worldwide 40k family. Truly there’s nothing like it, and this event is always a highlight of my year despite how gruesome and tiring the preparation process can be for everyone involved.

At this point I’d like to encourage everyone to try out big team events themselves. Point differentials and 8-man teams allow for many different army and list choices. Armies that wouldn’t work on normal events can excel here (like my Drukhari), and you can create quirky lists that are tailored into specific matchups (like German Tyranids and Drukhari). I do think in the era of ‘Flavor of the Month’, team events truly show competitiveness as there’s way more depth and decision making compared to singles – which is perfectly visible in the lists and fraction variety in top5 teams.

The WTC might have ended, but for us preparations for next year are well underway already.

Piotr “Typhus” Zawiła-Niedźwiecki.

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