Tournament Analysis – Alliance Open & Element Grand Slam

An article by    Battle Reports Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Welcome back readers. This week we’re going to do something a little different.

Over the last two weeks I’ve written previews for two ITC majors happening in Europe, the Alliance Open and the Element Games Grand Slam (Eggs). Normally after an event I do a full write up of my games but this time there isn’t a massive amount to say – I took my Wraithknight out again and, while I managed a respectable 3-2, it was extremely clear that many of the games were coming down to who got first turn, and after getting absolutely dunked round one I dodged the Space Marine part of the bracket most of the way through.

I’ll do a very quick recap later in the article, but what we’re going to focus on today is how things went for the other players whose lists featured in the previews. This has been something people have frequently asked about, and coming at the end of an rules “era” with Chapter Approved around the corner it’s nice to look at what seems to be working and what isn’t, and help identify what might be strategies to watch if points changes improve or hurt them.

Both Alliance and Eggs also ran with publicly view-able web-based pairing tools (tabletop.to for Eggs, a custom tool for Alliance) from which we can easily extract a wealth of data, which makes pulling this together a lot easier. Finally, some of the featured players from both Alliance and Eggs have, very kindly, talked to me about how things went, helping to flesh out the detail.

This is a new experiment, so let us know whether you like it, and thanks again to everyone who helped me pull this together. We’ll also be bringing you another meta update soon looking at the latest tournament stats, so make sure to tune into that if you want a more bird’s-eye view of the evolution of the tournament scene.

Without further ado, on to the lists.

Space Marines

At this point pretty much everyone is aware that Marines are the army to beat, with Imperial Fists, Raven Guard and Iron Hands supplements seeming to be the most consistent source of winning lists and Ultramarines and White Scars getting the odd look in. Sorry Salamanders.

We looked at three different Space Marine lists in the previews, as follows:

Alliance - Malik Rubio's Imperial Fists

Malik Amin Rubio
Gaming Club: Dice Down
Total Points: 2000 pts
Total Command Points: 9(3+5(Battalion)+1(Airwing)+1(Spearhead)-1(Siegebreaker Cohort))
ITC Faction: Adeptus Astartes

Battalion Detachment, 5CP, Imperial fists, Siegebreaker Cohort (-1CP Vigilus Detachment) [61PL, 987pts]
HQ: Captain with Jump Pack (93), Chainsword x2 (0), Bolt Pistol (0) [6PL. 93pts] (Warlord)

HQ: Captain (74), Chainsword x2 (0), Bolt Pistol (0), [5PL, 74pts]

TR - 5x Scouts (55), Sergeant, 2xChainsword (0) 4xBolt Pistol(0), 4xCombat Knife 0) - [4PL, 55pts]

TR - 5x Scouts (55), Sergeant, 2xChainsword (0) 4xBolt Pistol(0), 4xCombat Knife 0) - [4PL, 55pts]

TR - 5x Scouts (55), Sergeant, 2xChainsword (0) 4xBolt Pistol(0), 4xCombat Knife 0) - [4PL, 55pts]

Elite: 4x Servitors (4X5), 4x Servo Arms (0) [2PL, 20pts]

Elite: Relic Whirlwind Scorpius (175), Scorpius Multi Launcher (40) [12PL, 215pts]

HS: 6x Devastator Centurions (6x40), Sergeant, 12 Heavy Bolters (10x12), 6 Hurricane Bolters (6x10), - [24PL, 420pts]

Spearhead Detachment, 1CP, Imperial Fists [25Pl, 536pts]
HQ: Chaplain with Jump Pack (90), Boltgun (0), Crozius Arcanum (0), - [5PL, 90pts]

HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Servo-harness, Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5) [4PL, 92pts]

HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Servo-harness, Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5) [4PL, 92pts]

HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Servo-harness, Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5) [4PL, 92pts]

HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind Vengeance launcher (20), [4PL, 85pts]

HS: Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind Vengeance launcher (20), [4PL, 85pts]

Airwing Detachment, 1CP, Imperial Fists [27PL, 477pts]
Flyer: Stormhawk Interceptor (85), 2x Assault cannon (22x2), Icarus stormcannon (10), Skyhammer missile launcher (20) [9PL, 159pts]

Flyer: Stormhawk Interceptor (85), 2x Assault cannon (22x2), Icarus stormcannon (10), Skyhammer missile launcher (20) [9PL, 159pts]

Flyer: Stormhawk Interceptor (85), 2x Assault cannon (22x2), Icarus stormcannon (10), 2x Heavy Bolter (10x2) [9PL, 159pts]

 

Alliance - Ben Schocke's Ultramarines

Benjamin Schocke
Gaming Club: Pathfinders Dortmund
Total Points: 1999 Pts.
Total Command Points: 12 CP
ITC Faction: Adeptus Astartes

Detachment 1: Battalion (Imperium - Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) – 447 pts.
HQ - Chief Librarian Tigurius (130) – [7PL / 130pts]

HQ - Librarian (80), Force Sword (8), Storm Bolter (2) – [5PL / 90pts]

TR – Intercessor Squad (85), 1x Intercessor Sergeant (0), 1x Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (1), 5x Bolt Rifle (0) – [5PL / 86pts]

TR – Intercessor Squad (85), 1x Intercessor Sergeant (0), 1x Auxiliary Grenade Launcher (1), 5x Bolt Rifle (0) – [5PL / 86pts]

TR – Scout Squad (55), Scout Sergeant (0), 1x Chainsword (0), 5x Boltgun (0) – [4PL / 55pts]

Detachment 2: Spearhead Detachment (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) – 1202 pts
HQ – Techmarine (45), 1x Chainsword (0), 1x Servoarm (0), 1x Storm Bolter (2) – [4PL / 45pts]

HS – Eliminator Squad (54), 1x Eliminator Sergeant (0), 3x Camo cloak (9), 2x Bolt Sniper (6), 1x Instigator Bolt Carbine (5) – [4PL / 74pts]

HS – Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (175), 2x Heavy Flamer (28), 2x Storm Cannon Array (100) - [16PL / 303pts]

HS – Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (175), 2x Heavy Flamer (28), 2x Storm Cannon Array (100) - [16PL / 303pts]

HS – Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (175), 2x Heavy Flamer (28), 2x Storm Cannon Array (100) - [16PL / 303pts]

HS – Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Flamer (6), Plasma cutter (5),Bolt Pistol (0), 2x Servo-arm (0) – [4PL / 92pts]

HS – Whirlwind (65), Whirlwind Castellan Launcher (15) – [4PL / 80pts]

Detachment 3: Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperium – Adeptus Astartes – Ultramarines) - 350 pts
WL – Roboute Guilliman (350), Hand of Dominion (0), The Emperor's Sword (0)
WARLORD – [18PL / 350pts]

 

Eggs - Mike Porter's Imperial Fists

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ Player: Mike Porter
+ REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Imperial Fists
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 10 (13-1-2)
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000
+ POWER LEVEL: 110
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Adeptus Astartes
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Imperial Fists [72PL, 1268pts] 5 CP
Specialist Detachment: Siegebreaker Cohort (-1 CP) 

HQ: Chaplain (72), Jump Pack (18), Litany of Hate (0), Canticle of Hate (0) [5PL] 90pts
HQ: Primaris Captain (78) Power sword (4), master-crafted auto bolt rifle (4) [5PL] 86pts
RELIC: VOX ESPIRITUM 
CHAPTER MASTER (-2 CP)

TR: 10 Intercessors (170), Sergeant (0), Stalker bolt rifles (0), Thunder Hammer (16) [10 PL] 176 pts
TR: 10 Intercessors (170), Sergeant (0), Stalker bolt rifles (0), Thunder Hammer (16) [10 PL] 176 pts
TR: 10 Intercessors (170), Sergeant (0), Stalker bolt rifles (0), Thunder Hammer (16) [10 PL] 176 pts

HS: 5 Centurion Devastators (200) sergeant (0), 10 heavy bolters (100) 5 hurricane bolters (50) [24PL] 350pts

HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine gunner (37) [4PL] 92pts
HS: Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine gunner (37) [4PL] 92pts

== Battalion Detachment == Adeptus Astartes, Imperial Fists [38PL, 732pts] 5 CP
HQ: Captain in Phobos Armour (93), master-crafted instigator bolt carbine (6) [5PL] 99pts
HQ: Primaris Lieutenant (65), master-crafted auto bolt rifle (4) [4PL] 69pts

TR: 10 Intercessors (170), Sergeant (0), Stalker bolt rifles (0), Thunder Hammer (16) [10 PL] 176 pts
TR: 10 Intercessors (170), Sergeant (0), Stalker bolt rifles (0), Thunder Hammer (16) [10 PL] 176 pts
TR: 5 Infiltrators (110) sergeant (0) infiltrator comms array (10) [5PL] 120pts

HS: 3 Eliminators (54) sergeant (0) 3 camo cloaks (9) 3 bolt sniper rifles (9) [4PL] 72pts

ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0
ARMY REINFORCEMENT FACTION: NONE

 

Imperial Fists Centurion Devastator Squad

Imperial Fists Centurion Devastator Squad. Credit: Jack Hunter

Malik and Mike’s lists show off the two main “flavour” of Fists that are popular, stalker bolt rifle spam and high-volume heavy firepower. For two armies from the same faction these are actually quite different apart from concurring with each other on Siegebreaker Centurions being a great inclusion, and with pretty much all Marine players and our statistics that Thunderfire Cannons were A Mistake. So how did each get on?

Malik put up a 4-2 record at Alliance, scoring wins against Tau (commander heavy), Space Wolves (Wulfen heavy w/ Guard Battalion), Necrons (standard competitive build) and Space Marines (Simon Priddis’s IH successor build, recently seen cruelly bullying a Wraithknight). His two losses were up against the second and third place finishers, Alex Harrison’s Marines and Simon Oerding’s Tau. We’ll look at Simon’s Tau list in a bit, but Harrison’s is worth showing now because it’s proving one of the best ways to run Marines, putting up multiple excellent results.

Alliance - Alex Harrison's Mixed Successors

Player Name: Alex Harrison
Registration Number: 28
Total Points: 2000
Total CPs: 14
ITC Faction: Adeptus Astartes
ITC Team: Glasshammer

Ravenguard Successor Battalion (+5 CPs, 21PL, 231pts) 

-HQ-

Chaplain (72), Crozius Arcnum (0), Storm Bolter (2)[ [4PL, 74pts]
Lieutenant (60), Storm Bolter (2) and CCW (0) [5PL, 62pts]

-Troops-

5 Scouts (55), Bolt Pistol and CCW (0) [4PL, 55pts]
5 Scouts (55), Bolt Pistol and CCW (0) [4PL, 55pts]
5 Scouts (55), Bolt Pistol and CCW (0) [4PL, 55pts]

Ravenguard Successor Battalion (+5 CPs,71CPs, 1168pts) Stealthy & Long Range Marksman

-HQ-

Chaplain with Jump Pack (90), Crozius Arcnum (0)[5PL, 90pts] WARLORD
Captain with Jump Pack (93), Storm Shield (10) and Thunder Hammer (40) [6PL, 143pts] FREE RELIC: Master Crafted Weapon

-Troops-

5 Scouts (55), Boltguns (0) [4PL, 55pts]
5 Scouts (55), Boltguns (0) [4PL, 55pts]
5 Scouts (55), Boltguns (0) [4PL, 55pts]

-Elites-

5 Assault Centurions (150), 5 Hurricane Bolters (50), Siege Drills (0), 10 Flamers (60) [16PL, 260pts]
5 Assault Centurions (150), 5 Hurricane Bolters (50), Siege Drills (0), 10 Flamers (60) [16PL, 260pts]
5 Assault Centurions (150), 4 Hurricane Bolters (40), Siege Drills (0), 10 Flamers (60) [16PL, 250pts]

Iron Hands Successor Spearhead (+1 CP, 27PL, 531pts) Master Artisans & Long Range Marksman

-HQ-

Chaplain Dread (120), Twin Lascannon (40), Dreadnaught CCW (30), Storm Bolter (2) [11PL, 192pts]

-Heavy Support-

Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5) [4PL, 92pts]
Thunderfire Cannon (55), Techmarine Gunner (26), Flamer (6), Plasma Cutter (5) [4PL, 92pts]
Mortis Dreadnaught (75), Two Twin Lascannons (80) [8PL, 155pts]

 

Both of the lists he lost to were among the tougher matchups for Malik, and clearly being very well piloted on the day given their results! Tau have strong appeal in a Fists-heavy meta – while this style of Fists are pretty great at clearing out Drones, they aren’t so massively better at it compared to other armies as they are at killing well, almost anything else. Once they finish off the Drones, Riptides and Broadsides are both also not the greatest targets for the kind of firepower Malik has. In addition, Tau can deal a strong punch to this list with the first turn. Having chatted to Malik about this, that’s broadly what happened – the Tau went first and did some damage, and also had a good combination of terrain and deployment to hide their drones, minimising the firepower pointed at them early on. A low roll from the Centurions trying to take out drones once they had a line on them was enough to seal the deal, as the Tau had seized board control and could win the attrition war.

 

Raven Guard Chaplain

Raven Guard Chaplain. Credit: Dan Boyd

Alex’s list is tricky for this one for different reasons – basically none of its key stuff is easy to shoot turn one, and that’s what this list is about! Sporting two CHARACTER Dreadnoughts and having three big units of Assault Centurions in reserve, the only real way for Malik to go after this list with the first turn would be to bring the planes right up to try and snipe out the Dreads – and that’s just going to let the Smash Captain (and maybe Smash Chaplain in this matchup) pull one from the sky, not an ideal trade. Alex has more than enough firepower to clear out Malik’s Scout screen, opening the artillery castle wide open for the Centurions to run wild.

In ITC, Alex can reliably control the board and keep Malik on the back foot for long enough that it’s a very uphill game for the Fists to win. In this game, he took the first turn and used his Scouts to push forward, trapping Malik in his deployment zone (on Frontline Warfare) and leaving his artillery as easy prey for the inbound Centurions. On some deployments careful use of planes might have been able to mitigate this, but on this map there’s just too much space to cover, and once the Centurions get into the castle here, that’s pretty much it!

Moving over to the other Fists list, how did Mike do? Well readers, he won, so pretty well. Congratulations to Mike!

Imperial Fists Primaris Intercessors

Imperial Fists Primaris Intercessors. Credit: Jack Hunter

Mike smashed his way through Talos/Ravager Drukhari, Gaz Jones’s Eldar (which have the honour of having run him closest on points), Mark Crombleholme’s new and improved version of his Covens build from Blood and Glory, Quad Knight w/Rusty 17, and a near-mirror match in the final round. A laundry list of top players with strong lists (some decently  tuned for the matchup) came gunning for the boys in yellow, but Mike took them all down. So what makes this list so strong?

Basically, the stalker bolt rifle (SBR) is A Lot in Imperial Fists. With their excellent stratagem support for hunting VEHICLES and a perfect statline for popping enemy Primaris Infantry, pretty much the only thing that scares this on paper is MONSTER heavy lists – and yet Mike smashed two Drukhari builds leaning heavily on Coven monsters on the way to the top, the sheer weight of D2 firepower and ability to pop support characters presumably proving sufficient to swing it.

Killing power isn’t unique to this build, obviously, but where it tells a much more impressive story than some of the other Marine lists is in board control. With tonnes of tough infantry this list can durably occupy a lot of space, and against something like the Raven Guard list above it also has the depth to layer up and only lose its outer forces when enemy Centurions come in, quickly neutralising them after that. Board control is very important in ITC, and this army is also a complete pain to pick secondaries against, further cutting off the opponent’s scoring opportunities and making victory all the more inevitable. Stalker spam is clearly one of the strongest builds out there, and given lead times it seems very unlikely that the SBR will get the 1pt bump it probably needs in Chapter Approved, so look for this strategy to go from strength to strength.

Fists are all the rage, but one of the terrifying things about the Marine codex/supplements is just how deep the well is. The other undefeated list at Eggs was a Scars/Iron Hands build, and we can now come back to our third previewed Marine list, which was something of a wild card. Ben’s list caught my eye because of the sheer brutality of Guilliman bringing three Leviathans along for the ride, but while the dreads are certainly good in Ultramarines thanks to the easy mobility, would they be good enough to put up a good result?

Ultramarines Veteran

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Turns out the answer is yes! Ben put up a fantastic 5-1 record, finishing as the best Space Marine player who brought neither Centurions nor planes. I’m still not quite sure how we’ve ended up in a situation where I’m handing out accolades for the brave choice of bringing Leviathan Dreadnoughts as an honest, down-to-earth off-meta build, but we’re rolling with it.

Ben dropped his first game to an Iron Hands dreadnought list (where I suspect the range advantage of all the lascannons let them pop a Leviathan or two before they closed) but from there smashed through Drukhari, Knights, GSC, Drukhari/Harlequins and Guard/Blood Angels to put up a storming finish. All the lists he faced had some serious teeth, and I’m particularly impressed by the wins in the back half, as all of them have some pretty good answers to Leviathans, be they perpetual wraps, Haywire, or Smash Captains. It is notable that his final game was an outrageously close 21-20, suggesting that the Blood Angels fought hard on the way down. However, the Sons of Macragge triumphed in the end, and I’m delighted to see a relatively out-there list performing. While they’ve lost their crown as “the only good Marine unit”, Leviathans still put out a hail of deadly fire, allowing them to answer most armies. The only reason I’d be worried about trying to replicate the success here is that it feels like the Fist stalker list gives it real trouble – it can kill a lot of stalkers if it goes first and the Leviathans can close to range, but there’s really no need for the Fists to do that, near guaranteeing them a deadly first strike on the Dreads.

That doesn’t take away from the achievement here, however, so congratulations Ben!

 

Imperium

Eggs - Beth Taylor's Imperium

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [21 PL, 1CP, 388pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Detachment CP [1CP]
Forge World Choice. Forge World: Stygies VIII
+ HQ +
Daedalosus [3 PL, 50pts]
+ Heavy Support +
Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber
Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 111pts]: Belleros Energy Cannon, 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber
Skorpius Disintegrator [6 PL, 116pts]: 3x Cognis Heavy Stubber, Ferrumite Cannon
++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Imperium - Adeptus Custodes) [52 PL, 1CP, 959pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Detachment CP [1CP]
+ HQ +
Captain-General Trajann Valoris [10 PL, 185pts]
+ Elites +
Vexillus Praetor [6 PL, 114pts]: Misericordia, Vexilla Magnifica
+ Heavy Support +
Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 220pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon, Twin Lastrum Bolt Cannon
Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 220pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon, Twin Lastrum Bolt Cannon
Caladius Grav-tank [12 PL, 220pts]: Twin Illiastus Accelerator Cannon, Twin Lastrum Bolt Cannon
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Astra Militarum) [47 PL, 7CP, 650pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Battle-forged CP [3CP]
Detachment CP [5CP]
Regimental Doctrine: Regiment: Vostroyan
Vigilus Defiant [-1CP]: Emperor's Fist Tank Company
+ HQ +
Tank Commander [12 PL, 170pts]: Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon
Tank Commander [12 PL, 170pts]: Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Demolisher Siege Cannon
Tank Commander [12 PL, 170pts]: Emperor's Fist, Heavy Bolter, Turret-mounted Punisher Gatling Cannon
+ Troops +
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts]. 9x Guardsman. Sergeant: Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts]. 9x Guardsman. Sergeant: Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 40pts]. 9x Guardsman. Sergeant: Laspistol
+ Elites +
Platoon Commander [2 PL, 20pts]: laspistol,  Warlord
++ Total: [120 PL, 9CP, 1,997pts] ++

 

Alliance - Wayne Envis' Ad Mech

Player name: Wayne Envis
Registration number: 041
Command points: 13 (5 (Battalion) + 5 (Battalion) +3)
Total army points: 2000
ITC faction: Adeptus Mechanicus
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Detachment 1: Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus – Stygies VIII) [48 PL, 764pts]
HQ: Daedalosus [3 PL, 50pts]
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts]: Warlord

TR: 4x Skitarii Rangers (28), Ranger Alpha (7), 5x Galvanic Rifles (0), [4pl, 35pts]

TR: 4x Skitarii Rangers (28), Ranger Alpha (7), 5x Galvanic Rifles (0), [4pl, 35pts]

TR: 4x Skitarii Vanguards (32), Vanguard Alpha (8), 2x Plasma Caliver (22), 3x Radium Carbine (0), [4 PL, 62pts]

HS: Skorpius Disintegrator (91) Belleros Energy Cannon (20), [6 PL, 111pts]

HS: Skorpius Disintegrator (91) Belleros Energy Cannon (20), [6 PL, 111pts]

HS: Skorpius Disintegrator (91) Belleros Energy Cannon (20), [6 PL, 111pts]

DT: Skorpius Dunerider [4 PL, 73pts]
DT: Skorpius Dunerider [4 PL, 73pts]
DT: Skorpius Dunerider [4 PL, 73pts]

Detachment 2: Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperium - Imperial Knights – House Krast) [25 PL, 494pts]
LoW: Knight Crusader (285), Heavy Stubber (2), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Avenger Gatling Cannon w/Heavy Flamer (89), Rapid-Fire Battle Cannon w/ Heavy Stubber (102), [25 PL, 494pts]

Detachment 3: Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus – Stygies VIII) [47 PL, 742pts]
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts]
HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer [3 PL, 30pts]

TR: 4x Skitarii Vanguards (32), Vanguard Alpha (8), 2x Plasma Caliver (22), 3x Radium Carbine (0), [4 PL, 62pts]

TR: 4x Skitarii Vanguards (32), Vanguard Alpha (8), 2x Plasma Caliver (22), 3x Radium Carbine (0), [4 PL, 62pts]

TR: 4x Skitarii Vanguards (32), Vanguard Alpha (8), 2x Plasma Caliver (22), 3x Radium Carbine (0), [4 PL, 62pts]

EL: 10x Fulgurite Electro-priests [8pl, 160pts]

HS: Onager Dunecrawler (70), Broad Spectrum Data-tether (0), Cognis Heavy Stubber (2), Icarus Array (40), [7PL, 112pts]

HS: Onager Dunecrawler (70), Broad Spectrum Data-tether (0), Cognis Heavy Stubber (2), Icarus Array (40), [7PL, 112pts]

HS: Onager Dunecrawler (70), Broad Spectrum Data-tether (0), Cognis Heavy Stubber (2), Icarus Array (40), [7PL, 112pts]

 

Tech Priest Daedalosus

Tech-priest Daedalosus. Credit: Pendulin

At Eggs, Beth beat Knights and Ad Mech, Guard, Knights/Guard/Bangles and Ad Mech, dropping a game to a Fist SBR list and taking a 4-1 finish. Having chatted to Beth about the list, she felt the strengths were the ability to layer screening against Deep Strike with the Guard and the Caladius tanks, and to successfully play with the second turn against most armies thanks to the tough units and hit modifiers from Stygies VIII and the Vexilla. With a clearer picture of just how deadly the SBR Fists are, I would expect her to adapt to using the superior range of some of her tools to control the matchup more effectively and make sure they’re depleted before they hit hard.

The only thing she really felt was missing was some shooting that ignored cover, which is very important for prising Thunderfires hidden in ruins out. I definitely agree that having a plan to take out a few Thunderfires quickly is super important in the Marine games, and it’s a major reason why i’m looking at Masterful Shot Night Spinners for my next list.

Wayne’s Ad Mech at Alliance ended up 3-2-1. He beat another Ad Mech list game one, but lost to Knights/Ad Mech/Assassins game 2. Knights/Marines/Guard also managed to take him out game 3, but from there things went smoother, with a big win against Drukhari, a draw against Chaos Dreads and a win against GSC. This is definitely one of those lists I’d have liked to look at a result against pure Marines with, but it clearly has some potential. From the spread of the results, my guess is that the biggest issue is that when up against other Knight lists they have an incredibly obvious primary target turn one, so if you end up going second having the Knight becomes a real liability, even with the ability to boost its save up high. There’s a degree to which Wayne has already kind of emptied the barrel of Ad Mech options to go in that slot, but something like a big blob of Kataphron Breachers might be an option to mitigate that, and they have a lot to recommend them in SBR land.

No discussion of Imperium in this context would be complete without mentioning that the winner of Alliance had a mixed Imperium build, seen below. It’s a real reminder that even though Space Marines are clearly super hot, there’s still a tonne of power in tools like Knights and Tank Commanders that can take you a long way, especially when you add in some Raven Guard board control!

Alliance - Mikael Christensson's Imperium

Player: Mikael Christensson
Gaming Club: Go Go Harambe Rangers
Total Points: 1999p
Total Command points: 15 CP (3+5(Battalion)+5(Battalion)+3(Super-Heavy Detachment)-1(Specialist Detachment: Emperors Fist Tank Companies)
ITC Faction: Imperium

Detachment 1: Battalion (Imperium - Space Marine - Ancestor:Raven Guard - Successor Chapter Tactics: Born heroes, Master Artisans) - 684

HQ - Chaplain with Jump Pack (90): Stormbolter(2), Frag & krak Grenades(0), Manta of Strength(0) - [5PL, 92pts] WARLORD (The Imperium´s Sword)(Relic: Benediction of fury)
HQ - Captain with Jump Pack (93): Power Fist(9), Frag & krak Grenades(0), Storm Shield(10) - [6PL, 112pts]
HQ - Lieutenant in Phobos Armour (75): Master-Crafted Occulus Bolt Carbine(4),Frag & krak Grenades(0), Grav-chute(2) [5PL, 81pts]

TR - 5x Scout Squad (55): 4x boltgun(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0)
Scout sergeant wargear: boltgun(0), Chainsword(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0) [4PL 55pts]
TR - 5x Scout Squad (55): 4x boltgun(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0)
Scout sergeant wargear: boltgun(0), Chainsword(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0) [4PL 55pts]
TR - 5x Scout Squad (55): 4x boltgun(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0)
Scout sergeant wargear: boltgun(0), Chainsword(0), Frag & krak Grenades(0) [4PL 55pts]

HS - 3x Eliminator Squad (54): 2x Bolt Sniper Rifle(6), 2x Camo Cloak(6), Frag & krak Grenades(0)
Eliminator Sergeant wargear: Bolter Sniper Rifle (3), Camo Cloaks(3), Frag & krak Grenades(0) [4PL, 72pts]

HS - 3x Eliminator Squad (54): 2x Bolt Sniper Rifle(6), 2x Camo Cloak(6), Frag & krak Grenades(0)
Eliminator Sergeant wargear: Bolter Sniper Rifle (3), Camo Cloaks(3), Frag & krak Grenades(0) [4PL, 72pts]

HS - Thunder Fire Cannon & Techarine Gunner (55+26)
Thunderfire Cannon wargear: Thunderfire Cannon(0)
Techmarine Gunner wargear: Servo-Harness(11), Bolt pistol(0) [4PL, 92pts]

Detachment 2: Battalion [Imperium - Astra Militarium - Tallaran - Specialist Detachment: Emperors Fist Tank Companies) - 501

HQ - Tank Commander (142): Executioner Plasma Cannon (15), Sponsours: Plasma Cannons(20), Lasscannon(20) [12PL, 197pts]
HQ - Tank Commander (142): Battle Cannon (22), Lasscannon(20) [12PL, 184pts]
TR - Infantry squad (40): 9x lassgun(0), 9x frag grenades(0)
Sergeant Wargear: Chainsword(0), Laspistol(0) [3PL, 40pts]
TR - Infantry squad (40): 9x lassgun(0), 9x frag grenades(0)
Sergeant Wargear: Chainsword(0), Laspistol(0) [3PL, 40pts]
TR - Infantry squad (40): 9x lassgun(0), 9x frag grenades(0)
Sergeant Wargear: Chainsword(0), Laspistol(0) [3PL, 40pts]

Detachment 3: Super-Heavy Detachment (imperium - Imperial Knights - Krast) - 812

Knight Crusader (285): Avenger gatling cannon & Heavy Flamer(89), Thermal Cannon(76), Iron Storm Missile Pod(16), Heavy Stubber(2), Titanic Feet(0) [PL25, 468pts] (Character)
Armiger Helverin (170): 2x Armiger Autocannon(0), Heavy Stubber(2) [PL9, 172pts]
Armiger Helverin (170): 2x Armiger Autocannon(0), Heavy Stubber(2) [PL9, 172pts]

 

Aeldari

Iyanden Hemlock Wraithfighter

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

Alliance - Tomas Christensson's Alaitoc

Tomas Christensson
Gaming Club: Go Go Harambe Rangers
Total Points: 2000p
Total Command points: 10 CP (3+5(Battalion)+1(Airwing)+1(Spearhead Detachment)
ITC Faction: Asuryani

Detachment 1: Battalion (Asuryani - Craftworlds - Alaitoc) - 718
HQ - Farseer Skyrunner - (130), Witchblade(0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [7PL 132pts] WARLORD (Seer of the
Shifting Vector), Relic (The Phoenix Gem).

HQ - Warlock Skyrunner - (65), Witchblade (0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [4PL 67pts]

HQ - Warlock Skyrunner - (65), Witchblade (0) - Twin Shuriken catapult (2) [4PL 67pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

TR - 5x Rangers (60) - [3PL, 60pts]

FA - 8x Shining Spears (192) 7x Laser lance(56), Twin Shuriken Catapult(14),- Exarch Upgrade(0) Exarth wargear: Laser lance (8), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) Shining Spear Exarch power (Skilled Raider) - [14PL, 272Pts]

Detachment 2: Spearhead (Asuryani - Craftworld - Alaitoc) - 586
HQ - Autarch Skyrunner (95), Banshee Mask(0), Laser lance(8), Twin Shuriken catapult (2) - [6PL, 105pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix(5) - [9PL, 162pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix(5) - [9PL, 162pts]

HS - Fire Prism (155), Twin Shuriken catapult (2) - [9PL, 157pts]

Detachment 3: Air Wing Detachment (Asuryani - Craftworld - Alaitoc) - 693
Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), Two Starcannons(26), Crimson Hunter Exarch power (Hawkeye) [9PL, 161Pts]

Flyer - Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stone(10) - [10PL, 210pts]

 

Eggs - Gaz Jones' Expert Crafters

Player: Gaz Jones
Craftworld Attribute: Asur Brotherhood – Expert Crafters, Masterful Shots
Warlord: Autarch
Warlord Trait: Fate’s Messenger
Warlord Relic: Faolchu’s Wing
Psychic Powers: Warlock Skyrunner #Smite/Destructor #Protect/Jinx

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [43 PL, 677pts] ++

+ HQ [4 PL, 77pts] +

Autarch [4 PL, 77pts]: Forceshield [6pts], Shuriken Pistol, Star Glaive [6pts]

+ Heavy Support [39 PL, 600pts] +

Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
Support Weapons [9 PL, 120pts]: 3x Support Weapon [3 PL, 40pts]: Vibro Cannon [15pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]
War Walkers [4 PL, 80pts] : Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts]

++ Air Wing Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [27 PL, 483pts] ++

+ Flyer [27 PL, 483pts] +

Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye
Crimson Hunter Exarch [9 PL, 161pts]: Two Starcannons [26pts] #Hawkeye

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Aeldari - Craftworlds) [55 PL, 838pts] ++

+ HQ [4 PL, 67pts] +

Warlock Skyrunner [4 PL, 67pts]: Shuriken Pistol, Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts], Witchblade

+ Heavy Support [51 PL, 771pts] +

Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Falcon [9 PL, 132pts]: Aeldari Missile Launcher [20pts], Twin Shuriken Catapult [2pts]
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult
Wraithlord [8 PL, 125pts]: 2x Aeldari Missile Launcher [40pts], Shuriken Catapult, Shuriken Catapult

 

Eggs - Tony Chew's Flyer Spam

PLAYER: ANTHONY CHEW
ARMY FACTION: Craftworlds
TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 6
TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1997
TOTAL POWER LEVEL: 124
ARMY FACTIONS: Craftworld Eldar (Chû and Chü)
TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 3

= Flyer Wing, +1CP, Craftworld Chü: Expert Crafters/Masters of Concealment =

FL1: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons [26], Hawkeye Exarch Power  [161pts][9PL]
FL2: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons [26], Hawkeye Exarch Power  [161pts][9PL]
FL3: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons [26], Hawkeye Exarch Power  [161pts][9PL]
FL4: Crimson Hunter (120), Pulse laser (0), 2 Bright Lances [40] [160pts][8PL]

= Flyer Wing, +1CP, Craftworld Chü: Expert Crafters/Masters of Concealment =
FL5: Nightwing (76) with twin bright lances (40), twin shuriken cannons (17) and a Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [138pts][8PL]
FL6: Nightwing (76) with twin bright lances (40), twin shuriken cannons (17) and a Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [138pts][8PL]
FL7: Nightwing (76) with twin bright lances (40), twin shuriken cannons (17) and a Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [138pts][8PL]

= Spearhead, +1CP, Craftworld Chû: Expert Crafters/Masterful Shots =

HQ1: Farseer Skyrunner (130), twin shuriken catapult (2) [132pts][7PL]
POWERS: Smite, Guide, Doom

HQ2: Warlock Skyrunner (65) twin shuriken catapult (2) [67pts][7PL]
POWERS: Protect/Jinx, Smite
WARLORD: Seer of the Shifting Vector, Phoenix Gem Relic (free)

HS1: Falcon (110), Pulse Laser (0), Starcannon (13), twin shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [130pts][9PL]
HS2: Falcon (110), Pulse Laser (0), Starcannon (13), twin shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [130pts][9PL]
HS3: Falcon (110), Pulse Laser (0), Starcannon (13), twin shuriken catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [130pts][9PL]

HS4: Nightspinner (110) with twin shuriken catapults (2), CTM (5) [117pts][8PL]
HS5: Nightspinner (110) with twin shuriken catapults (2), CTM (5) [117pts][8PL]
HS6: Nightspinner (110) with twin shuriken catapults (2), CTM (5) [117pts][8PL]

 

Tony’s Army. Photo: Wings

For Aeldari we’ll start by looking at the two lists from Eggs. Tony ended up at 3-2, starting off strong by crushing some idiot with a Wraithknight and following through to take out Iron Hands Repulsors. However, he then dropped a game to the SBR Fist list, snapped back up by beating a shooty Raven Guard list but lost again in the last round to Iron Hands flier spam. I asked Tony for some feedback on the list, and the conclusion was that it was about as deadly as you can possibly be against Marines with the first turn, spread over a wide range of threats, but it still can’t afford to go second. Picking up some wins against Marines is still a good sign, but nothing about this reassures me that Eldar’s desperate struggle to break out of the mid tables in the current metagame is coming to an end any time soon.

Although he went 2-2-1, Gaz’s run might be more encouraging in some ways. He did drop a game to Mike Porter’s Fists (though as previously mentioned, ran him closest of any opponent), but beat an Ultramarine and a Raven Guard list. Sadly, he was unlucky enough to run into an army that exploits the weaknesses of his list twice in the form of horde Orks, dropping one game and drawing the other. That’s a bit of a shame, as I think if he’d run into some of the many Knight or Ad Mech lists running around (or maybe even more Marines) he could easily have made it higher up the table.

 

Iyanden Wraithseer with D-Cannon

Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

If the meta solidifies to SBR Fists being the top dog then Wraithlords and Wraithseers get ever more attractive, as they are one of the few units in the game that match up efficiently against them thanks to T8 and being a MONSTER instead of a VEHICLE. I’d wonder about finding space for a couple of units of Swooping Hawks with Suppressing Fire in this list – you don’t have to start them on the board, maintaining the goal of not putting vulnerable infantry on the board, but they can form an extremely wide and tricky to break deep strike screen in the matchups where it really matters.

The best news for Eldar players probably comes when we look at Tomas’s run in Alliance. I said when I reviewed it that this looked like the most powerful Eldar list in the mix and that turned out to be accurate – Tomas took best Aeldari with a 5-1 run, beating Chaos Discos & Dreads, Martijn Versteeg (last seen crushing me with Chaos Knights at the LGT) with White Scars, Iron Hands flier spam, Triptide/Commander Tau, Guard/Blood Angels, and losing round 6 by a single point to eventual winner Mikael Christensson. That’s a fantastic run, so congratulations to Tomas, and is pretty useful data. It suggests that Ghostwalk powered Shining Spears with Expert Rider are the real deal (and it wouldn’t wildly surprise me if a point cut for them was coming in CA), while the Fire Prism’s ability to just reach out and kill something turn one is very valuable in the current meta. Unlike a lot of players, Tomas eschewed custom Craftworlds to stick to Alaitoc, and although Marines heavily mitigate the impact of that with their re-rolls, perhaps you do still need that extra defensive boost even on the lists that go-wide with durable threats. Access to the Alaitoc stratagem on Rangers isn’t irrelevant in a pinch either, allowing them to probably tank at least the first Thunderfire that tries to prise them out of cover.

 

Eldar Rangers

Rangers. Credit: Corrode

I suspect that for as long as Master of Machines from Faith and Fury remains un-nerfed that extra accuracy bump will make Alaitoc worthless in too many matchups, but if it goes away at speed then it’s worth looking at. Either way, this is the list to watch going into Chapter Approved if you’re an Eldar player. Sadly we know CHEs are getting a bump up already, but if other stuff goes down this is a good foundation to build from.

 

Orks

Eggs - Matt Smith's Mega Nobz

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [11 PL, -1CP, 258pts] ++
Clan Kultur: Deathskulls
Specialist Detachment [-1CP]: Dread Waaagh!
+ HQ +
Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Big Killa Boss, Da Souped-up Shokka, Grot Oiler, Shokk Attack Gun, Warlord
Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Grot Oiler, Shokk Attack Gun
+ Troops +
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [37 PL, 812pts] ++
Clan Kultur: Bad Moons
+ HQ +
Big Mek W/ Shokk Attack Gun [4 PL, 84pts]: Grot Oiler, Shokk Attack Gun
Weirdboy [3 PL, 62pts]
+ Troops +
Gretchin [2 PL, 36pts]. 12x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
+ Elites +
Tankbustas [13 PL, 315pts]: 6x Bomb Squig. Boss Nob: Rokkit Launcha. 14x Tankbusta: 14x Rokkit Launcha
+ Heavy Support +
Lootas [13 PL, 255pts]. 15x Loota
++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Orks) [50 PL, -1CP, 930pts] ++
Clan Kultur: Evil Sunz
+ HQ +
Warboss [4 PL, 78pts]: Attack Squig, Power Klaw, Shoota (Index)
Weirdboy [3 PL, 62pts]
+ Troops +
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
Gretchin [1 PL, 30pts]. 10x Gretchin
+ Elites +
Meganobz [20 PL, 350pts]. 10x Meganob W/Power Claw & Kustom Shoota
Meganobz [20 PL, 350pts]. 10x Meganob W/Power Claw & Kustom Shoota
++ Total: [98 PL, -1CP, 2,000pts] 

 

Alliance - Krisztián Vizsy's Orktober Special

+ PLAYER: Krisztián Vizsy
+ FACTION: Deathskulls
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 9
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++ Battalion Detachment (Deathskulls) - Specialist Detachment: Dread Waaaagh! - [42 PL, 4 CP, 821 pts] ++

HQ1: Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun (55): Shokk Attack Gun (25) - WARLORD: Big Killa Boss (Trait), Da Souped-up Shokka (Relic) [4 PL, 80 pts]

HQ2: Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun (55): Shokk Attack Gun (25) [4 PL, 80 pts]

HQ3: Big Mek with Shokk Attack Gun (55): Shokk Attack Gun (25) [4 PL, 80 pts]

TR1: 9x+1x Boyz: Tankbusta Bomb, Boss Nob (7): Choppa, Choppa, 9x Ork Boy: Slugga & Choppa (9x7) [4 PL, 70 pts]

TR2: 9x+1x Boyz: Tankbusta Bomb, Boss Nob (7): Choppa, Choppa, 9x Ork Boy: Slugga & Choppa (9x7) [4 PL, 70 pts]

TR3: 27x Gretchin: [4 PL, 81 pts]

FA1: Shokkjump Dragstas (108): Rokkit Launcha (12) [6 PL, 120 pts]

FA2: Shokkjump Dragstas (108): Rokkit Launcha (12) [6 PL, 120 pts]

FA3: Shokkjump Dragstas (108): Rokkit Launcha (12) [6 PL, 120 pts]

++ Outrider Detachment (Deathskulls) [32 PL, 1 CP, 702 pts] ++
HQ1: Weirdboy (62): Da Jump [3 PL, 62 pts]

FA1: Megatrakk Scrapjet (90): 2x Twin Big Shoota (2x20) [5 PL, 110 pts]

FA2: 2x Megatrakk Scrapjet (2x90): 2x Twin Big Shoota (2x2x20) [2x5 PL, 220 pts]

FA3: 2x Megatrakk Scrapjet (2x90): 2x Twin Big Shoota (2x2x20) [2x5 PL, 220 pts]

HS1: Mek Gun (15): Traktor kannon(30) [2 PL, 45 pts]

HS2: Mek Gun (15): Traktor kannon(30) [2 PL, 45 pts]

++ Air Wing Detachment (Deathskulls) [24 PL, 1 CP, 477 pts] ++

FL1: Wazbom Blastajet (99): 2x Wazbom Mega-Kannons (2x12), Kustom Force Field (20), Smasha Gun (16) [8 PL, 159 pts]

FL2: Wazbom Blastajet (99): 2x Wazbom Mega-Kannons (2x12), Kustom Force Field (20), Smasha Gun (16) [8 PL, 159 pts]

FL3: Wazbom Blastajet (99): 2x Wazbom Mega-Kannons (2x12), Kustom Force Field (20), Smasha Gun (16) [8 PL, 159 pts]

 

In the previews we talked about times being tough for the conventional horde Ork lists, and in both cases picked out examples of lists that were trying something a bit different to beat the metagame.

The good news for Ork players is that they both seem to be on to something – both ended up as Best in Faction for Orks at their respective events, Matt pulling off a 4-1 record at Eggs and Krisztián going 5-1 at Alliance.

 

Meganobz

Meganobz. Photo: Soncaz

Matt lost his first round to  Ad Mech/Bangles/Knights but then smashed through two Chaos Knight players, a Necron list, and an Aeldari player with planes, Shining Spears and Ravagers. It is worth saying that several of those matchups do play to this army’s strengths, but equally several of them can lay down a good amount of D3 shooting, which is very good against this army. From a data gathering point of view it would have been interesting to see how the list fared against Marines – I definitely think it has game but I’d want to see it play out in practice. Hopefully Matt will be trying the list further on the back of the great run at Eggs, because honestly like most people at this point I just really want to watch a large number of Space Marines ripped apart with power klaws.

Krisztián got in touch and has put together his own excellent writeup of the list and event at https://greentitangaming.blogspot.com/2019/11/best-ork-list-and-alliance-open-dutch.html.

He goes into detail about exactly why the list worked so well and caught lots of people out, and just how absurd the damage output from all of the guns turned out to be. A lot of things I really liked about the list (such as redundant threats and board control) seem to have played out really well at an actual event, and I think the fact that Krisztián capped off his excellent run with a final round win against a Fist/Raven Guard Centurion list despite going second really shows how strong this army is. Massive congratulations to Krisztián for pulling this off and belatedly proving a huge number of people wrong about the new buggies.

This list in particular is one to go into the Chapter Approved point changes keeping a real eye on – because no one else has really made the buggies do work I think there’s a good chance they get a point cut, which would make this list even more potent!

 

Top Ork wanted to swing by from our Aeronautica coverage and say “Great Job”.

 

Chaos

Alliance - Wouter Kamps Mech

Player: Wouter Kamps
Gaming Club: Lost Legion Wargaming Amersfoort
Total points: 1999
Total Command points: 7 (3 Battleforged, +1 Airwing, +1 Spearhead, +1 Supreme command , +1 Red Corsairs)
ITC Faction: Chaos Space Marines

Detachment 1: Airwing (Chaos Space Marines – Renegade legion: Crimson Slaughter) – 501
FLYER – Heldrake (9 PL – 130pts), Heldrake Claws (17), Baleflamer (30), Mark of Nurgle – 167
FLYER – Heldrake (9 PL – 130pts), Heldrake Claws (17), Baleflamer (30), Mark of Nurgle – 167
FLYER – Heldrake (9 PL – 130pts), Heldrake Claws (17), Baleflamer (30), Mark of Nurgle – 167

Detachment 2: Spearhead (Chaos Space Marine – Renegade legion: The Purge) – 998
HQ – Sorcerer w/ Jump pack (7 PL – 112 pts), Force Stave (8), Combi Bolter (2), Mark of Nurgle, WARLORD - 122
Elites – Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought (10 PL – 88pts), 2x Butcher Cannon (50), Havoc Launcher (6), Mark of Nurgle – 144
Elites – Hellforged Contemptor Dreadnought (10 PL – 88pts), 2x Butcher Cannon (50), Mark of Nurgle - 138
HS – Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought (14 PL – 120pts), Butcher Cannon Array (40), Greater Havoc Launcher (21), Twin Heavy Bolter (17), Mark of Nurgle – 198
HS – Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought (14 PL – 120pts), Butcher Cannon Array (40), Greater Havoc Launcher (21), Twin Heavy Bolter (17), Mark of Nurgle - 198
HS – Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought (14 PL – 120pts), Butcher Cannon Array (40), Greater Havoc Launcher (21), Twin Heavy Bolter (17), Mark of Nurgle – 198

Detachment 3: Supreme Command Detachment (Chaos Space marines – Renegade legion: Red Corsairs) - 500
HQ – Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL – 150pts), Baleflamer (30), Mark of Nurgle, Impaler Chainglaive (0), Mechatendrils (0), Helstalker w/ Techno-virus injector and Bladed limbs and tails (0) – 180
HQ – Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL – 150pts), Autocannon (10), Mark of Nurgle, Impaler Chainglaive (0), Mechatendrils (0), Helstalker w/ Techno-virus injector and Bladed limbs and tails (0) – 160
HQ – Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL – 150pts), Autocannon (10), Mark of Nurgle, Impaler Chainglaive (0), Mechatendrils (0), Helstalker w/ Techno-virus injector and Bladed limbs and tails (0) – 160

 

Alliance - Erik van Nijnatten's Bash Brothers

Erik van Nijnatten
Gaming Club: Rose Valley Reapers
Registration Nr.: 5
Total Points: 1996
Total Command Points: 8 CP (3 + 5 (Battalion) )
ITC Faction: Heretic Astartes

Detachment 1: Battalion (Death Guard) - 1081pts
HQ - Daemon Prince of Nurgle with Wings (170) - 2x Malefic Talons (10) - [9PL, 180pts] (WARLORD)
HQ - Daemon Prince of Nurgle with Wings (170) - 2x Malefic Talons (10) - [9PL, 180pts]

TR - 11 Poxwalkers - [6PL, 66pts]
TR - 11 Poxwalkers - [6PL, 66pts]
TR - 10 Poxwalkers - [6PL, 66pts]

EL - Foul Blightspawn - [4PL, 77pts]
EL - Foul Blightspawn - [4PL, 77pts]
EL - Foul Blightspawn - [4PL, 77pts]
FA - Foetid Bloat-drone (99), 2x Plaguespitters (34), Plague Probe (25) - [8PL, 158pts]
HS - Plagueburst Crawler (100), Heavy Slugger (6), 2x Plaguespitters (34) - [8PL, 140pts]

Detachment 2: Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Death Guard) - 470pts
SH - Mortarion - [24PL, 470pts]

Detachment 2: Super-heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Thousand Sons) - 445pts
SH - Magnus the Red - [23PL, 445pts]

 

The consensus in Chaos lists at the moment seems to be towards various flavour of gigantic threat, whether it be dreadnoughts, Primarchs, or Knights. We looked at two different Alliance lists trying different flavours of this, both of which ended up with 3-3 records.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

Wouter dropped a couple of rounds to Drukhari Venoms and mixed Imperium, but pulled back with wins against Tau and Orks. He got beaten by Iron Hands in round five but finished with a big win against Space Wolves. There’s definitely still potential in this overall strategy, but I suspect what held it back was not having quite enough stuff to contest the board in some matchups, and I suspect the Drukhari Venom list in particular would have been able to run rings around it. A Dreadnought heavy list with just a bit more board control managed 4-1 at Eggs, and particularly with various new sets of stratagems to consider out of Faith and Fury I’d keep an eye on this.

Eggs - Dan Brooke's Mech

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Player: Dan Brooke                                                                           Army Faction: Chaos Space Marines
Total Command Points:                                           Warlord: Flawless Host Lord Discordant
Total Points: 2000                                                                             Total Power Level: 121
Army Factions Used:  Chaos Space Marines                                 Reinforcement Points: 0

Pre-Game - vigilus detachment on supreme command. Soulforged pack. Field commander master of soul forges = 2cp spent start with 8cp

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

==Battalion Detachment== Chaos Space Marines, The Purge [50 PL, 756pts] 1CP

HQ: Sorcerer in Terminator Armour (90) Bolt pistol (0) Force sword (8) Psychic powers – Prescience, Miasma of Pestilence, Smite - Mark of Nurgle [6 PL] 112pts
HQ: Sorcerer (90) Bolt pistol (0), Force Sword (8), Mark of Nurgle, Diabolic Strength, Warptime [6 PL] 98pts   

TR: Chaos Cultists (50) 9 Chaos Cultists, Cultist Champion, Autogun x10 (0) Mark of Nurgle [3 PL] 50pts
TR: Chaos Cultists (50) 9 Chaos Cultists, Cultist Champion, Autogun x10 (0) Mark of Nurgle [3 PL] 50pts
TR: Chaos Cultists (50) 9 Chaos Cultists, Cultist Champion, Autogun x10 (0) Mark of Nurgle [3 PL] 50pts

HS: Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought (120) Butcher Cannon Array (40) Twin Heavy Bolter (17) Greater Havoc Launcher (21) Mark of Nurgle [14 PL] 198pts
HS: Hellforged Deredeo Dreadnought (120) Butcher Cannon Array (40) Twin Heavy Bolter (17) Greater Havoc Launcher (21) Mark of Nurgle [14 PL] 198pts


==Supreme Command Detachment== Chaos Space Marines, The Flawless Host [27 PL, 480pts] 1CP

HQ: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (150) Autocannon (10), Mark of Slaanesh, Techno-virus injector (0) Impaler Chainglaive (0) Mechatendrils (0) Bladed Limbs & Tail (0) [9 PL] 160pts Field Commander Master of the soulforges
HQ: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (150) Autocannon (10), Mark of Slaanesh, Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0) Impaler Chainglaive (0) Mechatendrils (0) Bladed Limbs & Tail (0) Warlord Ultimate Confidence Relic Intoxicating Elixir [9 PL] 160pts
HQ: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (150) Autocannon (10), Mark of Slaanesh, Techno-virus injector (0) Impaler Chainglaive (0) Mechatendrils (0) Bladed Limbs & Tail (0) [9 PL] 160pts


==Spearhead Detachment== Chaos Space Marines, Alpha Legion [44 PL, 764pts] 1CP

HQ: Chaos Lord (74) Combi Bolter (2), Chainsword (0), Mark of Slaanesh [5 PL] 76pts                                             
HS:  Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought (175) Butcher Cannon Array x2 (80) Hellflamer x2 (34) Mark of Nurgle [16 PL] 289pts     
HS:  Hellforged Leviathan Dreadnought (175) Butcher Cannon Array x2 (80) Hellflamer x2 (34) Mark of Nurgle [16 PL] 289pts    
HS: 5 Havocs (70) Chainsword (0) Bolt Pistol (0) Autocannon x4 (40) Mark of Slaanesh [7 PL] 110pts

 

For Alliance, Erik was kind enough to send me a run-down of all of his games.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

 

In round 1 he faced down a mixed Imperium list with Shield Captains, Guard and Blood Angels. The list had some good melee punch, but not enough ranged weaponry to take down the Primarchs, allowing them to buff up and get some big hits in. While Mortarion was taken down in turn 2, by that point the rest of the Death Guard units had closed to range, and tidied up.

Aberrants

Aberrants. Credit: Soggy

For round 2, he faced off against Danny Evison with Genestealer Cults. This was Erik’s first game against Cults, and my concerns about not being able to screen the Primarchs were apparently well founded – Danny’s big hitters came in and took them off the board, and from there that was pretty much game.

Round 3 was against Drukhari /Harlequins on Hammer and Anvil. That’s always going to be a tough game for this list, as the slower elements are going to struggle to engage for a large chunk of the game, allowing the Drukhari to set the pace and whittle away the Chaos threats. That’s how this game ended up playing out, although Erik was able to salvage a pretty good score (presumably through careful use of his mobile characters like the princes), managing to run this to a 23-28 loss.

Round 4 showcased what is, unfortunately, probably going to keep this list out of the metagame despite my hopes. While it’s actually relatively OK against the popular Marine firepower (especially SBRs), it absolutely doesn’t stand up to the firepower people are bringing to counter Marines. Erik got matched up against Chaos Knights with six Thermal Cannons, went second, and pretty much lost on the spot, with Magnus dying turn 1 and Morty on t2.

 

Seraptek Construct

Seraptek Construct. Credit: Kamichi

Round 5, on the other hand, showed off one of the strengths. Erik went second against a Necron list with a Seraptek and immediately lost Magnus to it on going second. Mortarion got further up and things looked dire – until one of the Foul Blightspawn went absolutely wild and took an 18W chunk out of the Seraptek. That let Erik put it down, while the other spawn killed fliers, and suddenly the game swung his way, and his Daemon Princes were able to tidy up.

In the final round he played mixed Hive Mind, split evenly between a Zoanthrope heavy Tyranid detachment and a GSC detachment. This played a bit more to the army’s strengths, as the Zoanthropes moved up to claim the centre while shielding characters, allowing Erik to bring up his forces, swap Magnus to Death Hex, burn through all the Tyranid denies, then strip away the bugs’ invulnerable save. At that point, most of the Tyranid forces were sitting ducks and a huge proportion got blown away. While Aberrants were able to come in and kill Magnus the next turn, a counterattack with Blightspawn left the Hive Mind very thin on the ground, and Erik was able to clean up.

While currently this list clearly doesn’t quite get there against heavy firepower, there’s some chance it gets a big buff in CA. We already know that, for some reason, Daemon Princes are dropping, and they’re a very effective “second wave” if the big boys go down. Speaking of them – I think there’s every chance they could be in the running for a cut as well. If the core components of this list all drop down far enough for it to be able to incorporate a bit more screening and more redundancy, it could have its day in the sun yet!

Thanks again to Erik for the writeup.

 

Tau

Alliance - Gerard Malipaard's Tau

Gerard Malipaard
Gaming Club: Generals of the West
Total Points: 2000
Command points: 10 (3+5 (Battalion) +1 (Supreme command) +1 (Vanguard))
ITC Faction: Tau

Detachment 1: Battalion [T'au Sept] 548 points
HQ - Cadre Fireblade (39), Markerlight (3), 2 shield drones (20) [3PL, 62pts] Warlord: Through Unity,
Devastation.
HQ - XV86 Coldstar Commander (90), 4 Fusion blaster (72), 2 shield drones (20) [9PL, 182pts]

TR - 4 Strikes (28), Shas'ui (7), Markerlight (3) [2PL, 38pts]
TR - 4 Strikes (28), Shas'ui (7), Markerlight (3) [2PL, 38pts]
TR - 4 Strikes (28), Shas'ui (7), Markerlight (3), 2 shield drones (20) [3PL, 58pts]

FA - 6 Shield Drones (60) [4PL, 60pts]
FA - 6 Shield Drones (60) [4PL, 60pts]
FA - 5 Shield Drones (50) [4PL, 50pts]

Detachment 2: Supreme Command [Mixed sept] 259 Points
HQ - Darkstrider (45) [3PL, 45 pts] [T'au sept]
HQ - Cadre Fireblade (39), Markerlight (3), 2 shield drones (20) [3PL, 62pts] [Sa'cea sept]
HQ - XV8 Crisis Commander (72), Advanced Targeting System (6), 3x Cyclic Ion Blaster (54), 2 shield drones (20) [8PL, 152pts] [Dal'yth sept]

Detachment 3: Vanguard [T'au Sept] 1193 points
HQ - Cadre Fireblade (39), Markerlight (3), 2 shield drones (20) [3PL, 62pts]
HQ - Commander Shadowsun (110), Command link drone (6) [10PL, 116pts]

EL - Riptide (185), Advanced Targeting System (18), Target Lock (12), 2x Smart Missile System (30), Heavy burst cannon (35) [14PL, 280pts]
EL - Riptide (185), Advanced Targeting System (18), Target Lock (12), 2x Smart Missile System (30), Heavy burst cannon (35) [14PL, 280pts]
EL - Riptide (185), Advanced Targeting System (18), Velocity Tracker (10), 2x Smart Missile System (30), Heavy burst cannon (35) [14PL, 278pts]

FA - 4 Pathfinder (20), Shash'ui (5), 5x Markerlight (15), Recon Drone (12), 2 shield drones (20), Pulse Accelerator Drone (8), Grav-inhibitor Drone (8) [6PL, 88pts]
FA - 4 Pathfinder (20), Shash'ui (5), Pulse pistol (1), 5x Markerlight (15), Recon Drone (12), 2 shield drones (20), Pulse Accelerator Drone (8), Grav-inhibitor Drone (8) [6PL, 89pts]

 

Cadre Fireblade

Cadre Fireblade. Credit: Jack Hunter

Last but not least we have the Tau, piloted by Gerard Malipaard, who also sent me a report.

Game one he played GSC and was able to screen them out with layers of drones and then mow them down once they came in.

Game two he played against Malik’s Imperial Fists, didn’t have much defensive terrain, got seized on and… well you’ve seen Malik’s list. Moving on.

Game three he went up against Krisztián’s Ork list. This game was extremely tight, and unfortunately Gerard lost a few minutes of time on the clock by failing to transfer the clock at a key moment, which cost him a turn 6. He reckons he could have tabled him with the last turn (and the points were close) – maybe they’ll face off again and we’ll find out!

Game four he played against a Chaos Monster Mash. With the first turn, he cleverly used his Pathfinders and their drones to move a long way up the board and form a bugnet, keeping the Chaos vehicles from moving too far up and forcing them to either try risky charges into Tau overwatch or get whittled down via attrition. They chose the former, but Tau firepower did what it does best, blasting threats away and letting Gerard mop up.

Game five was another very close game, this time up against Iron Hands Repulsors. This one turned on a Repulsor using Machine Spirit’s Vengeance to blow away a Commander that was millimeters out of the 3″ bubble of some drones (Gerard hadn’t played against the strat before). That let a second Repulsor survive on a single wound, which proved just enough to tip the game in the Iron Hands’ favour.

In the last game Gerard came up against Mark Crombleholme’s Cronos/Grotesque/Harlequin build. Here the durability of the Coven forces allowed them to just control the board for too much of the game, allowing Mark to build up an unassailable lead in the scoring and take the game.

Overall, Gerard’s main takeaway was that (surprisingly) Shadowsun wasn’t worth it, and he would rather have found more points to make her a second Coldstar, which was an absolute weapon. The Daly’th stuff proved to be cute but not, ultimately, necessary.

Thanks to Gerard for letting me know how things went!

Tau Broadside Battlesuit with Missiles

Tau Broadside Battlesuit with Missiles. Credit: Jack Hunter

Tau seem to be in an interesting place, as people are making both Commander heavy builds (which do often eschew Shadowsun) and Missileside builds work. While top American players seem to be leaning towards the Commanders, the bronze medal at Alliance was taken by a very traditional Missileside build piloted by Simon Oerding:

Alliance - Simon Oerding's Tau

Player: Simon Oerding
Registration Number: 82
Gaming Club: Das Triumvirat
Total Points: 2000 pts
Total Command Points: 5 CP (3+1(Outrider)+1(Vanguard))
ITC Faction: Tau
Warlord: Ethereal

Detachment 1: Outrider (Tau – Tau Sept) – 485pts

HQ – Commander Shadowsun (110), MV52 Shield Drone (11), MV62 Command-link Drone (6) - [10 PL, 127pts]
HQ – Ethereal (45), Hover Drone (5), Honour Blade (0), 2xShield Drones (20) - [4 PL, 70pts], Warlord (Through Unity, Devastation)

FA – 7x Tactical Drones: 5xShield Drones (50), 2xMarker Drones (20) - [4 PL, 70pts]
FA – 7x Tactical Drones: 5xShield Drones (50), 2xMarker Drones (20) - [4 PL, 70pts]
FA – 6x Tactical Drones: 4xShield Drones (40), 2xMarker Drones (20) - [4 PL, 60pts]
FA – 5x Pathfinder (25), 4xMarkerlight (12), Shas’ui Upgrade (0) Shas’ui wargear: Markerlight (3), Pulse Accelerator Drone (8), Recon Drone (12), Grav Inhibitor Drone (8), 2xShield Drones (20) - [6 PL, 88pts]

Detachment 2: Vanguard (Tau – Tau Sept) – 1515pts

HQ – XV86 Coldstar Commander (90), 4xFusion Blaster (72), 2xShield Drones (20) - [8 PL, 182pts]
HQ – Cadre Fireblade (39), Markerlight (3), 2xShield Drones (20) - [3 PL, 62pts], Relict (Puretide Engram Neurochip)

EL – Riptide (185), 2xSmart Missile System (30), Heavy Burst Cannon (35), Advanced targeting system (18), Target Lock (12) - [14 PL, 280pts]
EL – Riptide (185), 2xSmart Missile System (30), Heavy Burst Cannon (35), Advanced targeting system (18), Target Lock (12) - [14 PL, 280pts]
EL – Riptide (185), 2xSmart Missile System (30), Heavy Burst Cannon (35), Advanced targeting system (18), Drone Controller (5) - [14 PL, 273pts]

HS – 3x Broadsides (105), 3xAdvanced Targeting System (18), 6xSmart Missile System (90), 6xHigh Yield Missile Pod (150), 3xSeeker Missile (15), 4xShield Drones (40), 2xMarker Drones (20) - [24 PL, 438pts]

 

Other than the Ben Bonar special of working some marker drones into the Shield Drone units, this is a pretty standard Tau list – but it still performed outrageously well.

To be honest, unlike a lot of the factions featured Tau probably  need to be looking at Chapter Approved with mild trepidation – they got a lot of buffs last year and their performance in 2019 suggest that maybe those went too far. I could see Riptides, Shadowsun and Broadsides all being in the firing line, so we’ll have to see where things stand after the point changes – we’ll know soon enough.

 

Recap – Final Thoughts

I want to once again say a huge thank you to everyone who got in touch with me to give feedback on their lists and performance. This article has been great fun to write, and while it’s a lot more work than a standard report, is definitely something we’ll aim to put together again in the future.

As to what it tells us, hopefully for all the factions we’ve looked at you can see some of the things that are working, some that aren’t, and some units that need to be watched closely for where they go in Chapter Approved. We’ll presumably have the full gory details of that at the weekend, and stay tuned to Goonhammer for all the hottest takes just as quickly as we can work out what’s changed over the apparently 55 pages of points values. If you have any feedback, or maybe want to draw my attention to a cool list at a future event, you can reach us at contact@goonhammer.com or via our Facebook Page

 

Bonus One: Meta-Busting Tau List

Kroot Kill Team

A Kroot Kill Team! – Credit: That Gobbo

…an invitation that has been pre-emptively taken up. Some people out there aren’t content to wait for Chapter Approved to try and innovate, and last week I was contacted by my repeated nemesis Michael Costello. Between threatening me with pictures of Chaos Rhinos on his painting table, Michael has let me know that his team, Phantasm, have solved the metagame. He presents the following list which will be throwing down at the South Wales Team Tournament this weekend:

Army List - Click to Expand

Note: 1750pts

Battalion - Sa'Cea
HQ: Cadre Fireblade
HQ: Cadre Fireblade

Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot

Battalion - Sa'Cea
HQ: Ethereal
HQ: Ethereal

Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot
Troop: 20 Kroot

Vanguard - Daly'th
HQ: Cadre Fireblade (Warlord - Gunship Diplomat)

Troop: 15 Kroot
Troop: 15 Kroot
Troop: 14 Kroot

Elite: Dahyak Grekh
Elite: Kroot Shaper
Elite: Kroot Shaper
Elite: Kroot Shaper

Strengths

This army trades on the enormous power that Gunship Diplomat brings to the table. Kroot overwatch might not be powerful in small doses, but this puts nearly 300 Kroot on the table, all in units large enough to daisy chain back to the aura (especially as it’s a massive 12″ bubble) and support one another. Three Shapers also gives good coverage on re-roll 1s to wound, which combined with Sa’cea characters dropping in marker bombs will act as a decent force multiplier on the army’s overall damage output.

It’s also extremely well tuned to the missions. Doubtless the haters are already heading to the comment section to tell me that this loses on kill more all the time, but the event is using unmodified Eternal War missions. In the Chapter Approved 2018 missions in particular, just vomiting an endless horde of bird-lizard men onto objectives is a very strong strategy. Try and imagine how you beat this on Four Pillars or Narrow the Search – that’s right, you can’t! In a team format, you can also hopefully shuffle it away from the kind of matchups that can mow it down off the board, although you need a lot of guns to do that, especially as the army should all have a 6++ from Ethereal auras.

An “Ethereal” being prepared for battle. Photo: Michael Costello

As a final point, this army is an extremely effective spoiler for some popular lists. If this gets the first turn against Genestealer Cults on Dawn of War there’s a serious risk that they just lose on the spot unless they see what’s coming. With a scout move and two turns of moving and advancing, there might just not be anywhere for the Genestealers to go by their second turn, at which point the Kroot presumably have a picnic on the objectives for the rest of the game. Plaguebearer/Prince lists will struggle too – there’s just too much here to go through with psychic output, and they have a vastly superior volume of attacks.

All in all, this is a devious construction, and I look forward to hear about it going completely undefeated.

Weaknesses

None that I can think of. After all, this is a serious metagame-busting list, and definitely not the result of someone losing a bet.

 

Bonus Two: Wraithknight on Tour 2019

In round one we met some horrible planes:

A preview of upcoming Aeronautica Imperialis expansions. (Tony’s army) Photo: Wings

He went first and that turns out to be very bad. Also bad was the decision to apparently pack all of our Wave Serpents full of semtex, which in hindsight caused some avoidable problems.

Things do not go well. Photo: Wings

My Farseer tried to salvage me two precious extra points by charging and killing a Nightwing.

It did not go well.

Yes, those 6s are for the Bright Lances

Fin

Round 2 we got to take some revenge on the concept of things that fly, facing down Imperium with Valkyries, Blood Angels and Shield Captains

Wraithknight vs. the World

Here, putting shields up on the Wraithknight did its job – despite a huge amount of offence being plowed into it it tanked a turn of firepower and melee, and while I had a mild wobble on the subsequent turn, my opponent also failing to one-round a Hemlock gave me enough of a lead to win.

A terrible blasphemy

Game three I met a beautiful Chaos Knight army on very appropriate terrain. He took the first turn, and being loaded up with Infernal Moiraxes that was bad news for me. A good first turn from him and an absolutely abysmal turn one and two from me very quickly put this completely out of reach and I got crushed.

A last stand mid-board

Game four saw sadly one of those games that’s becoming more common in the current meta – one that was 100% down to the first turn, up against Necrons with Doom Scythes and a Seraptek.

I got the first turn, put shields up on my Knight and took out the Seraptek and a Doom Scythe. My opponent did a good job pushing for opportunities to take points off me, but there was only one way the game was ending after that.

We go full castle

The final round, honestly, probably deserves a full write up but this is already nearly 10000 words and I’m out of time. I was up against Guard, and my opponent played a blinder. I went first and had a slightly underwhelming first turn, killing a Tank Commander and a Vulture but missing a second Vulture kill thanks to low rolling damage on a Tank Commander from the Wraithknight (forcing the Hemlock to finish it) and him making some 6+ saves on the plane. I also failed Fortune, allowing his two remaining Tank Commanders and Pask to blow the Knight away thanks to old grudges.

Because we were on Cut to the Heart, he was also able to repeatedly Move Move Move squads onto the centre objective, which combined with me having a slightly weak turn 2 to let him pick up an early lead that he was able to defend by holding more. While I had materiel advantage, it was a real race to see if I could pull back enough points to take the game. In the end, the game came down to the last couple of saves on my Bike Autarch, and I used my last CP (lovingly hoarded) to re-roll a fail to a success and stop him getting kill more and a hold – making it a 27-25 victory for me rather than a draw.

We just about get there.

Overall, I got a respectable 3-2 but the list clearly lives or dies on going first. Given Tony’s result, that might just be true for Eldar in general at the moment, but I’m determined to see if there’s anything that works.

Speaking of which, like any good holiday to a well stocked game store, I came home with souvenirs:

Traditional northern fare

Hope you enjoyed this marathon piece, see you next week!

 

 

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