Tournament Preview – Three Cool Lists from Seeds of Destruction

An article by    Gaming Tactics Warhammer 40k        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

Tournament season is back! For whatever reason, the months of October and November are extremely densely packed with events in the UK calendar, so just like last year it’s time for a wild ride of events through to Christmas, starting with Seeds of Destruction this weekend.

Seeds is an almost entirely “down the line” 2K point ITC event, and the rules cutoff was just after the release of the Iron Hands and Raven Guard books, so it’s a great time to peer in and see what people are trying out. As always with this series, we’ll have a quick look at my list then move on to examine three others that caught my eye while going through the list doc.

My List

First then, your regularly scheduled elf update. How are the elves? What are they up to? How can we make them go away?

Army List - Click to Expand

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+ PLAYER NAME: James Grover
+ ARMY FACTION: Aeldari
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1999pts
+ POWER LEVEL: 112
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Aeldari, Alaitoc, Kabal of the Black Heart
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: N/A
+ FREE RELIC: THE PARASITE’S KISS
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


== Battalion Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [65PL, 1132pts] 5CP
HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0) [6PL] [110pts]
HQ: Autarch Skyrunner (95), Laser Lance (8), Fusion Gun (14), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Banshee Mask (0) [6PL] [119pts]
HQ: Warlock Skyrunner (65), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2),  Witchblade (0), [4PL] [67pts]

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3) [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15), Exarch Additional Avenger Shuriken Catapult (3) [3PL] [58pts]
TR: 8 Storm Guardians (48), 2 Chainswords (0), 6 Aeldari Blades (0) [48pts]

HS: 8 Dark Reapers (96), Exarch (0), 7 Reaper Launchers (154), Aeldari Missile Launcher (20) [13PL] [270pts]

DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Scatter Laser (12), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [134pts]
DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Scatter Laser (12), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [134pts]
DT: Wave Serpent (120), Twin Scatter Laser (12), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2) [9PL] [134pts]

== Battalion Detachment == Drukhari, Kabal of the Black Heart [19PL, 335pts] 5CP 

HQ: Archon (70), Splinter Pistol (0), Venom Blade (2), WARLORD [4PL] [72pts]
HQ: Archon (70), The Parasite’s Kiss (free), Huskblade (6) [4PL] [76pts]

TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0), Shredder (8) [2PL] [38pts]
TR: 5 Kabalite Warriors (30), Sybarite (0) [2PL] [30pts]

DT: Raider (65), Disintegrator Cannon (15), Shock Prow (1) [5PL] [81pts]

== Air Wing Detachment == Asuryani, Alaitoc [28PL, 532pts] 1CP
FL: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] [210pts]
FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons (26) [9PL] [161pts]
FL: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons (26) [9PL] [161pts]

The astute may notice that this is not the list that I was planning a few weeks ago. Unusually, that’s not because I had a harebrained idea immediately after committing the previous list to paper and shot off in a completely different direction. On the comments from my last report someone flagged that the Vale Renegades (who are running Seeds) rule the interaction of putting Yvraine into a Black Heart detachment as stopping you getting Vect access. While it’s not how most TOs have ruled it, it’s a plausible interpretation of the RAW, so it was back to the drawing board.

Dark Reapers

Dark Reapers. Credit: Wings

I knew I wanted to mix things up and try at least one new element after the LGT, but also that I definitely wanted to have access to Vect in the list. After trying out a few things, Dark Reapers are what I’ve landed on. In a post-Ynnari world they’re definitely a bit overcosted, but they’re still pretty ferocious if you can keep them safe, and line up well against some currently popular choices. They’re obviously the original Primaris killers, will take a sizeable chunk out of a plane once guided up and, unlike some of my other options, aren’t totally horrible at taking out a Repulsor Executioner under the Ironstone’s buff. Flat 3 damage has a lot more game than the flat 2 a lot of options provide, and in this list I have the option of using Vect to push a Doom or Jinx through the Souls of Iron stratagem. It’s a little bit dicey, but this army taking out an Ironstone Repulsor on turn 1 is just about plausible, especially as giving the Dark Reaper Exarch a missile launcher lets him pop Starhawk Missile as a hail mary if I’m running out of firepower and a RepEx is lingering on the edge of death.

My main concern with them is whether the terrain will provide the kind of cover they need to operate properly. With a big Reaper squad you need to be using Fire and Fade to hide them after shooting, and my memory from the last time I played at Firestorm (the venue for Seeds) is that the terrain is good, but doesn’t provide the kind of consistent guaranteed place to hide a squad like the LGT setup did. I’m actually slightly kicking myself for not considering Reapers for that event – they would have been extremely good in pretty much every game I played.

That’s enough about elves for now. I also need to write a few army lists up for the Glasshammer Open – the submission deadline is midnight on the Sunday Seeds finishes, so I’ll probably be getting a slightly tweaked version of this list (no index options at Glasshammer) and at least one other ready to submit depending on how the Reapers play. Find out next week what i decided on I guess.

So. What about everyone else? Well, I hear the stomping sound of a large metaphorical pachyderm rampaging around the metagame, so that’s probably where we should start.

Jamie Connelly’s Iron Hands

Iron Hands Intercessor by Booley

Iron Hands Intercessor. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

primary itc army faction: iron hands

total command points: 9

total army points: 1999pts

power level: 99pl

free relic: the ironstone

battalion detachment, iron hands (36pl) (680pts) +5cp

hq: iron father feirros (6pl) (110pts)

hq: captain in phobos armour, camo cloak 3pts, master-crafted bolt carbine 6pts (5pl) (99pts)-WARLORD

tr: 4x Intercessors, intercessor sergeant, 5x stalker bolt rifle 0pts (5pl) (85pts)

tr: 4x intercessors, intercessor sergeant, 5x stalker bolt rifle 0pts (5pl) (85pts)

tr: 4x intercessors, intercessor sergeant, 5x stalker bolt rifle 0pts (5pl) (85pts)

hs: repulsor executioner, macro plasma Incinerator 31pts, heavy onslaught gatling cannon 30pts, 2x fragstorm grenade launcher 8pts, 2x storm bolter 4pts, twin heavy bolter 17pts, twin icarus ironhail heavy stubber 10pts (15pl) (315pts)


spearhead detachment, iron hands (63pl) (1319pts) +1cp

hq: librarian in Phobos armour, camo cloak 3pts, force sword 8pts, blessing of the machine god, reforge (5pl) (101pts)

elites: redemptor dreadnaught, macro plasma Incinerator 31pts,onslaught gatling cannon 16pts, 2x storm bolters 4pts, redemptor  fist 0pts (7pl) (156pts)

hs: relic leviathan dreadnaught, 2x hunter-killer missiles 12pts, 2x storm cannon array 100pts, 2x heavy flamer 28pts (16pl) (315pts)

hs: repulsor executioner, heavy laser destroyer 40pts, 2x fragstorm grenade launcher 8pts, heavy onslaught gatling cannon 30pts, 2x storm bolter 4pts, twin heavy bolter 17pts, twin icarus ironhail heavy stubber 10pts (15pl) (324pts)

hs: repulsor executioner, heavy laser destroyer 40pts, 2x fragstorm grenade launcher 8pts, heavy onslaught gatling cannon 30pts, 2x storm bolter 4pts, twin heavy bolter 17pts, twin icarus ironhail heavy stubber 10pts  (15pl) (324pts)

How it Works

It’s here, and early indications are that it’s potentially just as bad as everyone was afraid. I was expecting to find something like this in here, but I must admit that the revelation that the list can fit the mandatory characters, three RepExes, a Leviathan Dread and a random Redemptor (presumably to be a slightly more mobile push threat) made me throw up slightly in my mouth.

Basically, this list puts down an nigh-indestructible gunline with firepower that can delete pretty much any kind of opposition. Repulsors have long suffered the problem of having too damn many guns, meaning that their price tag has to be hefty, but not being the toughest things in the world, leaving them a somewhat risky inclusion. They’re seeing success across the Marine spectrum since the release of the new books, but Iron Hands take them to their peak because the Ironstone almost completely nullifies their main weakness, letting their strength (devastating firepower) shine all the more.

This list has a fairly uncomplicated plan – delete most of the opponent’s army over 2-3 turns, maxing out Kill More, then cruise out to hold objectives in the mid-late game, racking up big scores. The unusual element of the list compared to the “stock” version is the Redemptor Dreadnought, which I assume is there to act as a roadblock or “distraction Carnifex”, pushing outwards to interfere with the plans of any list that wants to try and rush the main firebase. It demands to be dealt with, and using Duty Eternal it can make itself pretty hard to take down, and given that the news on the grapevine is that rushing this list in melee is one of the better ways to beat it, I can definitely see the appeal.

Strengths

I don’t think you need me to explain this to you. While this list can struggle to control the board, that would only be a crippling weakness against lists that it couldn’t blow off the board in about half the duration of the game, and it turns out they’re very few and far between. Big vehicles? Eight heavy laser destroyer and 3d6 macro plasma incinerator shots should see to that. Planes? New chapter master and Blessing of the Machine God combined with a Leviathan dreadnought laughs at your so-called planes. Plaguebearers? Buddy do you know how many shots three RepExes and a Leviathan put out?

Imperial Fists Repulsor Executioner

Imperial Fists Repulsor Executioner. Credit: Jack Hunter

This list is an extreme blunt instrument, but a viciously effective one, and as we covered in our round table you really have to go quite deep on specific counters to try and take it down.

This isn’t the only Iron Hands list at the event, but it’s the purest example of the metagame boogeyman in the field, and we’ll see if it performs as well as it should.

Weaknesses

While most people seem to be despairing slightly at how to beat these lists, it can be done. The theory of how to beat it is to control the board and out-do it on objectives, and from his reporting on Twitter, it seems like Innes Wilson might have found the best way of pulling this off using his White Scars list. A lot of board control lists have the problem against this army that they rely on large, tough units which are theoretically tough to delete, but the Repulsors will just blow them off the board. A “go wide” Marines list where every unit is tough enough that it doesn’t reliably melt the first time you put some firepower into it, but no single unit represents a game ending problem if it gets torn apart, seems like an excellent way to try and attack the weaknesses here.

I’m also not super convinced by the absence of a Lieutenant. I realise it’s the trade to make it possible to take the Redemptor, but a Lt massively flattens out the chance of a critical low-roll against other mechanised lists, and certainly from the point of view of my army I’d much rather play against a version without the Lt and with the dread than the other way round. However, it may be that my army has such a rough matchup against this anyway that the calculation is that you can afford to slightly weaken that matchup in order to provide a countercharge threat.

Alternatively, as we’ve been extensively told in response to the content we’ve put out about Iron Hands, what if you just snipe the characters? Well, let’s go from one Space Marines list to another and examine an army that might be able to do just that.

Robert Jones’ Raven Guard

Raven Guard Phobos Captain

Raven Guard Phobos Captain Credit: Dan Boyd

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

PLAYER: ROBERT JONES

PRIMARY ITC ARMY FACTION: ADEPTUS ASTARTES

TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14

TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 2000

POWER LEVEL: 106

TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: NOT APPLICABLE

FREE RELIC: RAVEN'S FURY



Battalion Detachment, Adeptus Astartes  [60 Power Points] [1158 Points] +5CP

HQ: Captain in Phobos Armour (99)

[5pls] [99pts] 

HQ: Lieutenant in Phobos Armour (81)

[5pls] [81pts]

TR: 5x Infiltrators (110)

[5pls] [110pts]

TR: 10x Intercessors (170), 10x Auto Bolt Rifle (10), 1x Thunder Hammer 

[10pls] [196pts]

TR: 5x Intercessors (85), 5x Stalker Bolt Rifle (0), 1x Chainsword (0), 1x Auxillary Grenade Launcher (1)

[5pls] [86pts]

EL: 6x Aggresors (126), 6 x auto Boltstorm Gauntlets and Fragstorm Grenade Launchers (96)

[10pls] [222pts]

EL: 4x Assault Centurions (120), 8x Meltaguns (112), 4x Hurrican Bolters (40)

[16pls] [272pts]

HS: 1x Thunderfire Cannon (55), 1 x Techmarine Gunner (26), 1x Flamer (6), 1x Plasma Cutter (5)

[4pls] [92pts] 



Battalion Detachment, Adeptus Astartes,  [24 Power Points] [402 Points] +5CP

HQ: Chaplain with a Jump Pack (90) Crosius Arcanum (0), Bolt Pistol(0)

[5pls] [90pts]

HQ: Librarian in Terminator Armour (100), Force stave (8), Storm bolter (2)

[6pls] [110pts]

TR: 5x Intercessors (85), 5x Bolt rifles (0), 1x Auxillary Grenade Launcher (1), 1x Power Sword (4)

[5pls] [90pts]

TR: 5x Scouts (55), 4x Boltgun (0), 1x Storm Bolter (2), 1x Combat Knife (0)

[4pls] [57pts]

TR: 5x Scouts (55), 4x Combat Knives rifles (0) 1x Chainsword (0), 1x Astartes Shotgun (0)

[4pls] [55pts]



Spearhead Detachment, Adeptus Astartes,  [22 Power Points] [440 Points] +1CP

HQ: Captain with a Jump Pack (90), Storm Shield (10), Thunder Hammer (40)

[6pls] [143pts] - WARLORD

HQ: Primaris Chaplain (77)

[4pls] [77pts]

HS: 3x Eliminators (54pts), 3x Camo Cloak (9), 2x Bolt Sniper Rifle (6), 1x Instigator Bolt Carbine (5)

[4pls] [74pts] 

HS: 3x Eliminators (54pts), 3x Camo Cloak (9), 2x Bolt Sniper Rifle (6), 1x Instigator Bolt Carbine (5)

[4pls] [74pts]

HS: 3x Eliminators (54pts), 3x Camo Cloak (9), 3x Bolt Sniper Rifle (9)

[4pls] [72pts]

To be clear – unless there’s something he’s not telling me, this is not our Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones. The lack of Kytans packed with semtex is a good hint.

How It Works

I’m super keen to see how this one plays out in the real world, because it combines a lot of elements I was very high on in our review and am hoping to include in the Raven Guard army I’m working on.

Basically, this list should be able to throw an early punch via redeploying either the Aggressors or the Centurions with Master of Ambush, then use all of the tricks Raven Guard have in their arsenal to ensure that the opponent never recovers. If I had to guess, the fact that the Centurions are a four squad with meltas means the intention is probably to generally put these and the 10-model Intercessor squad (probably upgraded to Veterans) into deep strike with Strike from the Shadows and use the Aggressors as the redeploy threat. If this army takes the first turn then they’re likely to push relatively far forward with the redeploy and delete some sort of infantry squad (or even a light-medium vehicle, at >100 average shots they’re not super picky as to what they kill). If they’ve been put into cover then they’re a real pain to shift. The opponent then has to deal with them without opening themselves up to getting destroyed by the next wave of deep strike threats, and also accounting for the possibility of the smash captain advancing and charging out of nowhere thanks to the Raven’s Fury.

Raven Guard Aggressors

Raven Guard Aggressors. Credit: Dan Boyd

All the while the opponent is dealing with this, they’ve got three squads of Eliminators and the Phobos characters trying to pick off their characters, going from somewhat scary turn one to being a complete nightmare turn 2 once the Raven Guard doctrine switches on. Plenty of armies (mine and the above Iron Hands list included) lean heavily on their characters to make them work, and if this army can pick a few key ones off it can heavily blunt the enemy’s ability to re-assert control of the game once they recover from the initial onslaught.

That’s going to be key to its ultimate success – I think the way this army wins games is forcing the opponent onto the defensive early-on via its tricksy abilities and capacity to go wide, then using surgical strikes to eliminate enough of the enemy’s key assets that they simply don’t have the strength to accomplish the (not inconsiderable) feat of pushing a bunch of Raven Guard Primaris Marines off the objectives they’ve taken up positions on.

Strengths

This army has excellent tools for taking on any sort of horde list, and threatens to beat armies like go-wide Orks at their own game – a full squad of Aggressors creates a very nasty no-go zone for an army like Orks, as if they come too close they get deleted, they risk losing a substantial number of models to overwatch and the subsequent combat if they charge, and if they try and come in via Da Jump they get obliterated by Auspex Scan. GSC have a better time of it simply because they have some overwatch suppression options, can counter the intercept stratagem and regularly include units that can actually cut through an Aggressor squad in a round of combat most of the time, but if the Raven Guard player is smart they just switch gears and play a more cautious game, with the Scouts and Infiltrators pushing out a bubble where the big units can’t land, allowing the Aggressors to do their dirty work once the targets finally pop up. GSC also hate dealing with counter-punch units out of deep strike from their opponents, and the Intercessor squad fulfils that role nicely, having the firepower to rock in and use Boltstorm to functionally wipe out a 20-model Acolyte squad once tactical doctrine goes up. This army should also give the metagame’s final notable horde, Plaguebearers, absolute fits as it has both the firepower to delete PB units and snipers to take out characters hiding in the bubble, stripping the army of its teeth.

It’s also made sure it has tools to deal with at least some amount of heavy armour. As long as the Centurions can make combat their drills should comfortably deal with a character Knight, and in this matchup I’m sort of assuming the intent is for the jump chaplain to reposition (or be Shadowstepped) in to provide +2″ charge, combining with The Raven’s Blade to make landing the assault out of Deep Strike pretty reliable. The ever reliable smash captain can also help out.

Finally, of course, if LOS-blocking terrain is sparse then it might be able to pull off an upset against the above Hands list. The really distressing thing about the Hands stuff is that even when you manage to land sniper shots on their characters they don’t die easy – I’m assuming the Iron Hands Phobos Captain is going to be holding the Ironstone, and if he’s in cover then he’s getting 3+ saves against mortis rounds once the move to tactical is done. Still, if all three squads can line up shots on him he’s going to be under real threat, and a couple of turns of plinking might down him. More likely, the Librarian gets the bullet first, then the army focuses on picking up the Iron Hands infantry so that it can’t hold the board, and wins in a similar fashion to the putative White Scars game plan.

Weaknesses

This army has some concessions to anti-tank, but is potentially going to struggle against plane spam lists or other Eldar options that spam highly mobile mechanised stuff. Against this army I think I’d be giving serious thought to trying to counter push and not get boxed in, and being careful about how/when I deployed my characters from their transports, and using my Dark Reapers to whittle away his stuff, I’d hope to have some pretty reasonable game. Plane spam is the real problem though, especially the variants that bring Wave Serpents to hold the ground – this army doesn’t have great tools for killing them that don’t rely on deep-striking in pretty close, and the planes can probably prevent that.

Planes

Planes. Credit: Wings & Corrode

The other place where its volume of anti-vehicle capability might fall down is against tank-heavy Guard lists. I’m pretty comfortable that the Smash Captain and the Centurions cover the bases against Knights, as each should be comfortably trade for a dead Knight, but against a Guard list that can just go super wide on Russ commanders and other vehicles while screening with infantry squads it might actually find itself somewhat blunted. Tau sometimes play similarly to this but I think they’re less of a problem, as bringing in the Aggressors and melting all the drones should then let the snipers pick apart their plans.

The final, very minor thing I’m not wild about is that including both the Aggressor squad and the Centurion squad takes you over the line of giving up full Gangbusters in a list that’s otherwise a rat bastard to pick secondaries against. Having said that, I can’t immediately think of anything else that could sit in that slot – the same points spent on, for example, thunder hammer Terminators just won’t kill a Knight with the same reliability, and doesn’t have the dual function of adding anti-horde via the hurricane bolters.

There are definitely more ways to try and play against this than the Hands list, which is more a mark of Raven Guard being a much better design than Hands than anything else, so whether people can figure this army out and counter it will be a big test.

Doug Hart’s Imperial Knights

Imperial Knight

Imperial Knight. Credit: Jack Hunter

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

PRIMARY ITC ARMY FACTION: Imperial Knights

SECONDARY FACTIONS: Adeptus Mechanicus, Assassins

TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14

TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1994

POWER LEVEL: 118PL

TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 0

FREE RELIC: Pater Cog-Tooth (on the warlord) 

Super-Heavy Detachment, Imperial Knights, Questor Mechanicus, House Taranis [75PL][1404pts] +6 CP

LoW: Knight Crusader: Heavy Stubber [2pts], Ironstorm Missile Pod [16pts], Thermal Cannon [76pts] . Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer [89pts]: Avenger Gatling Cannon [75pts], Heavy Flamer [14pts] - Character

[25 PL, 468pts] 

LoW: Knight Crusader: Heavy Stubber [2pts], Ironstorm Missile Pod [16pts], Thermal Cannon [76pts] . Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer [89pts]: Avenger Gatling Cannon [75pts], Heavy Flamer [14pts] 

[25 PL, 468pts] 
 
LoW: Knight Crusader: Heavy Stubber [2pts], Ironstorm Missile Pod [16pts], Thermal Cannon [76pts] . Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer [89pts]: Avenger Gatling Cannon [75pts], Heavy Flamer [14pts] 

[25 PL, 468pts] 
 

Battalion Detachment, Adeptus Mechanicus, Graia[18PL][165pts] +5 CP


HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer (30), Omnissian axe (0), Servo-arm (0)

[3 PL, 30pts] – Warlord – Necromechanic, Relic – Pater Cog-Tooth

HQ: Tech-Priest Enginseer (30), Omnissian axe (0), Servo-arm (0)

[3 PL, 30pts]

TR: 5x Skitarii Rangers (35), 5x galvanic rifles (0)

[4 PL, 35pts]

TR: 5x Skitarii Rangers (35), 5x galvanic rifles (0)

[4 PL, 35pts]

TR: 5x Skitarii Rangers (35), 5x galvanic rifles (0)

[4 PL, 35pts]

 
Vanguard Detachment, Imperial Assassins [25PL][425pts] +0 CP
 

Elite: Callidus Assassin

[5 PL, 85pts]

Elite: Eversor Assassin

[5 PL, 85pts]

Elite: Eversor Assassin

[5 PL, 85pts]

Elite: Vindicare Assassin

[5 PL, 85pts]

Elite: Vindicare Assassin

[5 PL, 85pts]

How It Works

Hopefully anyone familiar with the tournament scene has a basic understanding of why stomping around with three Taranis Crusaders is a good thing – they bring hefty and diverse firepower to the table, can be configured via relics to have game against most enemies and are a pain to kill even by the standards of other Knights. To me, this looks pretty clearly like a knight list designed for an Iron Hands metagame.

Strengths

The Taranis build is almost certainly the best against the Repulsor castle – even with three heavy laser destroyers firing you’re really only looking at one Knight going down each turn, and you can afford to reserve your CP to ensure that each one bounces up the first time that happens. It then gets an additional turn of acting on full before being properly removed. The Thermal Cannons are also very handy, as they’re one of the better bits of weaponry for just overwhelming the defences of an ironstoned Repulsor, as they can close into range to claim the melta bonus pretty fast, at which point you’re still looking at three damage going through per unsaved hit. While the Hands castle probably still wins the gunfight overall (especially as if the Knights narrowly miss a kill the tank gets bumped up by ~8W), it will definitely at least do some damage before that happens, and will trivially sweep away whatever infantry the Hands have brought with their avenger gatling cannons.

Callidus Assassin attacking an Imperial Noble

Callidus Assassin. Credit: Corrode

That’s where the second neat element of the list comes in – the assassins. Two Vindicares, two Eversors and a Callidus is a very nice suite against pretty much anyone – the CP drain of the Callidus is a nightmare for Tau, GSC and Eldar (and a serious threat to the characters of the latter two), while Eversors shore up anti-horde capabilities and two Vindicares threaten to pop any character that lifts their head above the metaphorical parapet. Against Iron Hands in particular though, they give a board control element that can’t be removed until the Knights have been fully dealt with, and one that is very capable of hiding even once they are, delaying or perhaps preventing the Hands from taking objective control. Just like the Raven Guard snipers, the Vindicares also threaten to do a number on the characters if they are forced to be visible, and can even plink some extra mortals into a Repulsor in an emergency with Turbo-penetrator Round.

All in all, I like this army as I think it shows off how you can adapt to a potentially hostile metagame – it’s one of the best possible Knight configurations to take up against Iron Hands.

Weaknesses

For all that the assassins are pretty good at killing them, I’d worry a lot about running this into Genestealer Cult. Where the single model, character nature of the Assassins is an asset against Iron Hands, being desperately short of ways to screen the Knights is going to be a big old problem when the Acolyte Hybrids come calling, and if this list gets two Knights alpha-striked to death in a single phase on turn 2 it’s in a lot of trouble, and I’m just not sure it has the models to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Against armies like plane spam it also, conversely, can’t easily screen the assassins once they’re down on the board, and the Eversor and Callidus are pretty vulnerable to a swooping drive-by. However, against Eldar I can say from personal experience that the presence of lots of assassins is a giant headache for the opponent, so it’s more of a tradeoff then a straight downside.

Neophyte Hybrids

Genestealer Cults Neophyte Hybrids. Credit: Corrode

It does also give up secondaries very handily, allowing your opponent to rack up a maximum score on them just by tabling you (Headhunter, Kingslayer, Titanslayers). Whether that’s always a wise choice for them is slightly up in the air but I can absolutely see, say, Tau looking at this, shrugging their shoulders, then deleting it straight off the board.

I do like that there’s clearly a trade at play here – I think this is a Knight army extremely well designed on the assumption that there will be a heavy Space Marine/Iron Hands presence in the meta (and there is), but it does amplify some of Knights’ weaknesses in other matchups to get there.

Wrap Up

That’s all for today. Next week there will be some sort of write-up of the Seeds event, but a.) I have another tournament to preview the weekend after and b.) as I’ve been putting the finishing touches to this GW have just announced Psychic Awakening is going up for pre-order next weekend, so i expect to be frantically trying to evaluate and review news coming out from that as well.

Hopefully some sort of path through this will emerge and we will be able to bring you all the elf-themed content you crave. In the meantime, you can reach us at contact@goonhammer.com or via our Facebook Page.

 

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