Tournament Preview – Three Cool Lists From the London Open

An article by    Gaming Tactics        0

Who am I kidding I love this.

A month on from the Bristol City Open, it’s finally time for me to hit the tournament tables again this weekend at the London Open. I haven’t been totally idle gaming-wise – I TOed an RTT for our local club, and also got in a playtest game this past weekend against our own Corrode, trying out the NOVA mission pack because TheChirurgeon has tricked me into writing him a personal guide to the missions (for an event I can’t make it to) by claiming that “it would make good content”.
TheChirurgeon’s Note: This isn’t about me. It’s about you, writing my mission guide, dammit! 

So this seemed like a good chance to get my London Open list out, and the good news is that the army performed. Frustratingly, the NOVA pack hadn’t quite been finalised when we played our test game, but we still came away with some good lessons which you can look forward to reading about soon. We also captured peak 8th edition on camera for posterity. Elf haters look away now.

This is peak performance. Photo: Mine. Models: Mine and Corrode’s

Normally when i have time before an event I write a tournament preview outlining my list and strategy, but honestly there’s not that much new to say. I’ve made a couple of small optimisations to the list I had at the end of the last report, but it’s largely unchanged, being as follows:

Army List - Click to Expand

+ ARMY FACTION: Asuryani
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 13
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1999pts
+ POWER LEVEL: 118
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Asuryani, Alaitoc
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: N/A
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


== Battalion Detachment == Alaitoc [72PL, 1104pts] +5CP
HQ: Farseer (110), Witchblade (0), Remnant of Glory Faolchu’s Wing [6PL] [110pts]
HQ: Spiritseer (65) [3PL] [65pts]

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: 15 Guardian Defenders (120), Heavy Weapon Platform (5), Scatter Laser (7) [9PL] [132pts]

HS: Night Spinner (110), Twin Shuriken Catapult (2), Crystal Targeting Matrix (5) [8PL] [117pts]
HS: 3 War Walkers (120), 6 Scatter Lasers (42) [12PL] [162pts]

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 == Alaitoc [18PL, 349pts] +5CP - Specialist Detachment - Windrider Host -1CP
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), WARLORD - Seer of the Shifting Vector [4PL] [67pts]

TR: 5 Dire Avengers (40), Exarch (0), 5 Avenger Shuriken catapults (15) [3PL] [55pts]
TR: 5 Rangers [3PL] [60pts]
TR: 8 Storm Guardians (48), 2 Chainswords (0), 6 Aeldari Blades (0) [3PL] [48pts]

== Air Wing Detachment == Alaitoc [28PL, 546pts] +1CP
Flyer: Hemlock Wraithfighter (200), Spirit Stones (10) [10PL] [210pts]
Flyer: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Bright Lances (40) [9PL] [175pts]
Flyer: Crimson Hunter Exarch (135), 2 Starcannons (26) [9PL] [161pts]

The changes since the first draft are:

  • Swapped the two bike characters into the same detachment and made it a Windrider Host. With the amount of CP I’ve got, using the “Nimble Escape” stratagem to hit and run with the Autarch is an option worth having.
  • Swapped the Flamers and a Dire Avenger Exarch gun out to upgrade one of the two Crimson Hunters to have Bright Lances. I’ve found my ability to reach out and kill T7 targets hiding out of Doom range to be a bit lacking at times, and this gives it a little extra boost. They’re also extremely good against enemy Wave Serpents and the new hotness that is the Repulsor Executioner.

That’s…kind of it. The list is great, and I have high hopes for it, but there’s not really an article here. You’ll get to read about how it does next week, but I was honestly a bit at a loss as to what to put in this slot.

Luckily for me (and you) the lists for the tournament have been released, so what we’re instead going to do is examine three lists that stood out to me as I went through them. The full roster is available on Best Coast Pairings, for those who want to scan the wider field. One quick note for anyone who does go away and do that – the London Open has (sensibly in my opinion, fight me Reddit) banned the beta Custodes datasheets, so the Caladius Grav-tank is off the menu.

RIP. Photo: Mine. Models: Konrad B

One person seems to have missed the memo on that, but I would assume that’s going to change. Basically, if you’re wondering why they’re weirdly absent from all the Imperium lists, yes there’s a good reason!

With that out of the way, let’s look at some lists. I haven’t gone in and grabbed what I think are the best three – the field is pretty strong considering it’s ETC weekend, and there’s plenty of “boring but effective” lists in there (including mine, if we’re brutally honest). Instead, I’ve picked out three that are all a bit unusual and caught my eye as I went through, and I felt merited a closer examination.

The final bit of context we need to do that is the tournament format: we’re playing ITC missions 1-5 in order, but with fixed deployment maps. There’s also a fixed terrain layout, which I cunningly photographed when I played in the Bad Moon Series:

Photo: Mine

This should look extremely familiar to anyone used to standardised layouts, as they’re all pretty much variations on this sort of theme. Yes I know the hills are in the corner in the NOVA pack. It’s still variations on a theme. Anyway, before I start any more fights with hypothetical internet commentators, on to some lists.

AdMech – Bethany T

Model & Photo: Pendulin

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

++ Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment (Imperium - Imperial Knights) [25 PL, 497pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Household Choice: Questor Mechanicus . House Krast

+ Lord of War +
Knight Crusader [25 PL, 497pts]: Heavy Stubber, Stormspear Rocket Pod, Thermal Cannon . Avenger Gatling Cannon w/ Heavy Flamer: Avenger Gatling Cannon, Heavy Flamer

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [98 PL, 8CP, 880pts] 
++ + No Force Org Slot +
Battle-forged CP [3CP]
Detachment CP [5CP]
Forge World Choice . Forge World: Mars

+ HQ +
Belisarius Cawl [13 PL, 190pts]
Tech-Priest Manipulus [5 PL, 90pts]: Transonic cannon, Warlord 

+ Troops +
4x Kataphron Breachers w/Arc Claw + Heavy Arc Rifle - 120pts
4x Kataphron Breachers w/Arc Claw + Heavy Arc Rifle - 120pts
4x Kataphron Breachers w/Arc Claw + Heavy Arc Rifle - 120pts
4x Kataphron Breachers w/Arc Claw + Heavy Arc Rifle - 120pts


++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium - Adeptus Mechanicus) [42 PL, 5CP, 620pts] 
++ + No Force Org Slot +
Detachment CP [5CP]
Forge World Choice . Forge World: Stygies VIII

+ HQ +
Tech Priest Enginseer - 35pts
Tech Priest Enginseer - 35pts

+ Troops +

5x Rangers w/2 Transuranic Arquebus - 65pts
5x Rangers w/2 Transuranic Arquebus - 65pts
5x Rangers w/2 Transuranic Arquebus - 65pts
5x Rangers w/2 Transuranic Arquebus - 65pts

+ Fast Attack +

5x Ironstrider Ballistarii w/Twin Cognis Autocannon - 300pts

Bethany has been tearing up the UK tournament scene this year (you can read an interview she did with Frontline Gaming here), and I’ve not been spared in her reign of destruction – she absolutely crushed me at the BIG GT with her Admech/House Raven list, in one of the most one-sided tournament games I’ve ever played.

This is not a game that is going well. Photo: Mine. Models: Mine & Bethany T’s

This weekend she has a vicious looking AdMech/Knights (which still counts as AdMech for ITC purposes) list that eschews some of the newer toys we’ve covered recently in favour of some more unusual choices.

How It Works

Like a lot of AdMech lists, a core part of the strategy here is building a shooty castle around Belisarius Cawl. As one of the units in the game that gives a “full” re-roll aura (and until recently the only one that let you re-roll “modified” misses), Cawl is a gigantic force multiplier that turbo charges other Mars units around him (frequently used to great effect by our own Naramyth). Common choices to go with Cawl are Kastelan Robots, Dunecrawlers and (more recently) Skorpius Disintegrators.

This list eschews those more common choices in favour of a hidden gem that got a big point cut in Chapter Approved – arc rifle-toting Kataphron Breachers. These went from 47 points all the way to 30, which allows this list to squeeze in 20 of them. This gives a relatively tough to shift (thanks to T5 and 3W per model) core that throws out 40 heavy arc rifle shots a turn, with Cawl mitigating the poor accuracy of the Kataphrons. Thanks to their ability to deal D6 damage per shot to vehicles, this will absolutely ruin tank heavy lists, and will also do extremely effective work against any sort of elite infantry or bikers. Filling out the Mars Battalion, the Tech Priest Manipulus helps increase the reach of this core castle or to hustle it a bit if it needs to move.

We are aware these are Destroyers, not Breachers. Imagine these, but good. Photo & Models: Corrode

Backing this up, we have a Stygies Battalion loaded with sniper Rangers (ready to strike the fear of the Omnissiah into enemy characters), who can sit on objectives shooting and being a pain to shift, backed up by a large squad of Ironstriders. These are less commonly seen than their Dragoon cousins, but here close a crucial weakness. Thanks to Cawl giving “good” re-rolls, the Kataphrons stay reasonably “live” even against things with -2 to hit, but against anything with -3 they straight up can’t land a shot. Ironstriders are ideal for picking off such sneaky threats, as via the “Protector Doctrine Imperative” stratagem they can give themselves +2 to hit, meaning even against a hypothetical -3 to hit plane they still land their many Autocannon shots on 4s. They also provide a much more mobile shooty element, as thanks to the same strat they can move and shoot with effective impunity against things that don’t have hit mods.

Last, but definitely not least, we have the Krastsader, here even more potent than normal thanks to having access to Cawl-buffed Canticles via the “Knight of the Cog” stratagem. There’s not a huge amount new to be said about this model – it’s one of the most effective all-round units in the game, able to easily adapt to different matchups via choice of Relic and Warlord Trait.

Strengths

What I like about this list is that everything is threatening, and everything is at least a moderate pain to shift. That puts some real pressure onto an opponent’s target priority – they need to be taking out as much of this as possible as quickly as possible, and if they mis-calculate what they can realistically achieve and aim at the wrong thing, it’s probably game over for them. I also like how the somewhat unusual choice of the Ironstriders mitigates the weaknesses of the Kataphrons (backed up by the option of taking “Endless Fury” on the Crusader, another good anti-air choice).

I would expect this to excel against any elite or vehicle-heavy list – the sheer volume of accurate D2 or Dd3 shooting is going to absolutely ruin other armies leaning on powerful multi-wound models like Custodes Jetbikes, while vehicles are going to get fried by the arc rifles. That also gives it at least modest game against the current bete noire of the metagame, the Vesal Daemon list, as “lots and lots of accurate S5+ D2+” shooting is what you need to shift the Plaguebearer blobs, and there are also enough snipers to be a serious threat to the characters that typically lurk in the middle. Lack of efficient Smite screening is a big weakness against that list though, which will balance out the matchup somewhat.

Weaknesses

A lot of stuff in this army really doesn’t want to get charged, and while I’m assuming that the Rangers will come forward to act as a screen in matchups where it matters, there aren’t a huge number of them and using them like this takes away a lot of their own survivability. With that in mind, I’d expect this to have a tougher time against horde armies with powerful deep strike/redeploy elements like Genestealer Cult and Orks. The big bases on a lot of the models make them very vulnerable to wrap and traps as well, which those armies are well-tuned to exploit. Having to be wary of charges might also force this list to hang back against some armies, risking conceding Hold More against mobile armies (though the Krastsader and Ironstriders help mitigate this).

The terrain also doesn’t massively favour the list – the big central LOS blockers are a problem for a relatively slow-moving castle.

None of these are insurmountable problems in the hands of a skilled general, and I expect to see this list heading towards the top tables at speed come Saturday.

Blood Angels – Paul W

Photo: Jack Hunter

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

+ REPORTED ARMY FACTION: Blood Angels
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 14CP
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1915
+ POWER LEVEL: 128
+ ARMY FACTIONS USED: Blood Angels
+ TOTAL REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 85 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

== Battalion == Blood Angels , Blood Angels [ 34 PL, 577 pts ] 5 CP
HQ: Captain (74), Thunder Hammer (21), Storm shield (10), Jump Pack (19), Bolt pistol (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) WARLORD [6 PL] [124 pts]
HQ: Sanguinary Priest (69), Chainsword x 2 (0), Jump Pack (17), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [5 PL] [86 pts]

TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Combat knives x 5 (0), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [57 pts]
TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Combat knives x 5 (0), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [57 pts]
TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Combat knives x 5 (0), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [57 pts]

FA: 1 Attack bike (25), Twin boltgun (2), Heavy bolter (10), Bolt pistol x 2 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [3 PL] [37 pts]
TR: 3 Scout bikes (63), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Twin boltgun x 3 (6), Astartes shotgun x 3 (0), Combat knife x 3 (0) Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [71 pts]
TR: 3 Scout bikes (63), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Twin boltgun x 3 (6), Astartes shotgun x 3 (0), Combat knife x 3 (0) Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [71 pts]

== Battalion == Blood Angels , Blood Angels [ 27 PL, 405 pts ] 5 CP
HQ: Astorath (105), The executioner's axe (0), Jump pack (0), Bolt pistol (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [8 PL] [105 pts]
HQ: Librarian (88), Force axe (10), Jump pack (24), Inferno pistol (7), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [7 PL] [129 pts]

TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Chainsword x 1 (0), Boltguns x 4 (0), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [57 pts]
TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Chainsword x 1 (0), Boltguns x 4 (0), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [57 pts]
TR: 5 Scout squad (55), Sergeant (0), Storm bolter (2), Chainsword x 1 (0), Boltguns x 3 (0), Heavy bolter x 1 (10), Bolt pistol x 4 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [4 PL] [67 pts]

== Vanguard == Blood Angels , Blood Angels [ 67 PL, 932 pts ] 1 CP
HQ: The Sanguinor (150), Encarmine broadsword (0), Jump pack (0), Death mask (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [9 PL] [150 pts]

EL: Sanguinary Ancient (64), Encarmine sword (12), Angelus boltgun (3), Death mask (2), Jump pack (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [6 PL] [81 pts]
EL: 6 Sanguinary Guard (120) Angelus boltgun x 6 (18), Encarmine sword x 3 (36), Power fist x 3 (27), Jump pack x 6 (0), Frag & Krak grenades (0) [20 PL] [201 pts]
EL: 10 Vanguard Veterans (140), Sergeant (0), Storm shield x 10 (20), Thunder hammer x 4 (64), 6 x Chainsword (0), 10 x Jump pack (30) Frag & Krak grenades (0) [16 PL] [254 pts]
EL: 10 Vanguard Veterans (140), Sergeant (0), Storm shield x 10 (20), Thunder hammer x 4 (64), 6 x Chainsword (0), 10 x Jump pack (30) Frag & Krak grenades (0) [16 PL] [254 pts]
ARMY REINFORCEMENT POINTS: 85

We have a lot of Blood Angels fans in our community, and given that some feedback I got from a previous report was “I liked your write up, but did you manage to talk to the Blood Angels player on 4-1?” I get the impression that lots of readers out there love them too. With that in mind, I thought this would be a good list to review.

How It Works

This list uses some classic Blood Angels-specific choices like Sanguinary Guard in combination with the more efficient screening/board control elements from the standard Marines range to build a list with the completely opposite plan to the previous one – it wants to get out there and push peoples faces in. One of the things I like about the ITC missions is that they allow armies that would probably lose a battle of attrition to win games if they make a strong enough push for early board control, build an early primary lead and make sure to maximise their secondaries. To my eyes, that looks like the plan here.

None of this stuff is exactly squishy, but it doesn’t have the kind of resilience to weather protracted fire from a list like the one above – but if played right, it won’t need to. With six squads of Scouts (and ample cover to deploy them in on the terrain setup) opponents are going to start at least somewhat boxed in – the Scouts probably aren’t lasting through the end of turn 2, but they’re going to give most opponents a real uphill struggle not to concede “hold more” in the first battle round. Opponents aren’t going to have long  to try and deal with them unmolested either, because this army has 3 different powerful jump-pack squads to throw into the fray, plus 2 hardcore melee characters, each of which is going to take some serious killing.

Thanks to the corner ruin blocks, and the hiding space behind the big crate hill it’s reliably going to be pretty safe to set one of the large Vanguard Veteran squads up on the board, making them a live threat to redeploy via “Upon Wings of Fire” on turn 1, followed by crashing in with Descent of Angels. The second squad presumably starts in Deep Strike to rock in on turn 2, with the Sanguinary Guard and characters potentially joining them. Each big squad has a healthy mix of chainswords and thunder hammers, allowing them to tangle effectively with hordes and vehicles even at their baseline, and once the Sanguinor, Astorath and the Ancient join the fray they are going to blitz through most stuff. Knights or other expensive vehicles also need to be afraid of the ever popular Smash Captain, here in his fully-fledged Warlord form and thus likely to be packing Overwatch suppression and a D4 Thunder Hammer.

Pictured – not a situation where that is strictly needed. Photo: Mine. Models: Mine & Neil P

That’s a heck of a one-two punch over the first few turns assuming it can get into melee, and like the previous list it’s got some tools to deal with situations averse to its plan, namely getting screened out. Six squads of bolter Scouts blazing away from cover will take out quite a few chaff models, while Scout Bikes are horde-clearers par excellence. If there isn’t a gap in the enemy lines they can hopefully make one, and if not then they can control space and take a hefty lead on objectives.

Finally, unlike the previous Imperium list, this one has kept back the points for an Assassin. I think that’s a great call – either the character-threat of a Vindicare or the CP tax of a Callidus will help with keeping the opponent on the back foot in the early turns, and if it comes up against an unusually large horde an Eversor is also a good pick.

Strengths

I like the fact that this list is both brutal and cunning (Mork would be proud). While it looks a lot like that’s about to change, pure Marines have struggled for a while, and this list optimises the tools they do have access to into something that does one thing really well, namely knock an opponent so hard onto the back foot that they hopefully stay there all game. Sometimes that initial punch just isn’t going to land, and this list will fold up pretty quick, but whenever it does it’s heading into the mid game with a healthy lead, and the elements such as the Scouts help to tip the scales in favour of that early blow landing.

This list is going to crush anyone with inadequate screening, and the fact that people have less of that about (or it’s tuned to dealing with non-flying deep strikers) means there’s much more prey out there for this kind of army than there once was. I breathed a sigh of relief that my Storm Guardians and Rangers are back in my army when I read this – if I match up against Paul their existence is likely to be brief but extremely productive. It should also do pretty well against Deep Strike horde armies because of just how much space it controls  – Orks and Genestealer Cults are potentially going to have to charge some of their good stuff into Scouts, after which a counter charge is going to tear them to pieces. All told, the metagame is probably healthier for this kind of army than it’s been for a while.

Unlike the previous army, this army is also helped a ton by the terrain, as it affords it a safe place to deploy one of the jump pack squads so it can “Upon Wings of Fire” turn 1, and lots of LOS blocking in the mid-board that don’t affect the mobility of most of this

Weaknesses

Even more so than most Marine armies this is going to struggle against mortal wounds, and I think the elephant in the room is that this will have a tough time against the Nurgle/Tsons abomination. Their screen isn’t going to be easily pierced by bolters and shotguns, and tends to be a moving mass rather than a static line. That means the Vanguard Veterans are going to have trouble getting to the good stuff, while the volley of mortal wounds coming out of the bubble is going to cause difficulties.

A potential problem. Photo: Mine. Models: David H

With that having been said, having multiple powerful melee characters does give a few options, because thanks to “Honour the Chapter” and “Only in Death Does Duty End”, a well placed push by one of the Blood Angel characters can potentially put down multiple sinister wizards in quick succession, heavily blunting the damage output of the Chaos forces.

It also gets wrecked pretty hard by anything that switches off or reduces invulns, which would leave the key Vanguard Veteran squads high and dry.

Once again though – these are problems that can be worked around, and the list has a clear and powerful plan to push through to victory.

Also, if it’s good now, imagine how good it’s going to be with the Marine stuff we’ve seen so far.

Yikes.

Chaos – Michael C

Photo & Models: TheChirurgeon

The Army

Army List - Click to Expand

Army Total: 2000pts
Total CP: 11
Faction: Chaos Space Marines; Red Corsairs Faction: Chaos Knights
Battalion Detachment +5CP [Chaos Space Marines] [Red Corsairs: +3CP]
Specialist Detachment: Soulforged Pack [-1CP] Field Commander [-1CP]
HQ1: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Tzeentch, FIELD COMMANDER: Master of the Soulforges [160pts]
HQ2: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Tzeentch [160pts]
HQ3: Lord Discordant on Helstalker (9 PL, 150pts): Autocannon (10), , Helstalker: Techno-virus injector (0), Mechatendrils (0) Mark of Slaanesh [160pts]
Troops1: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts): 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0)Mark of Slaanesh [65pts]
Troops2: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts): 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0)Mark of Slaanesh [65pts]
Troops3: Chaos Space Marines x4(4 PL, 52pts):, 4x Boltgun (0), 4x Bolt Pistol (0), Aspiring Champion (13): Boltgun (0), Chainsword (0), Frag & Krak Grenades (0) Mark of Slaanesh,[65pts]

HS1: Maulerfiend (7 PL, 130pts): Lasher tendrils (12), Maulerfiend Fists (0), Mark of Slaanesh [132pts]
HS2: Maulerfiend (7 PL, 130pts): Lasher tendrils (12), Maulerfiend Fists (0), Mark of Tzeentch [132pts]

Supreme Command Detachmen +1CP [Chaos Space Marines] [Red Corsairs: +1CP]

HQ4: Daemon Prince with Wings (9 PL, 170pts): Malefic talon (10), Malefic Talon (0), Warp Bolter (3), Slaanesh, Psychic Powers: Smite +1 Hereticus Power [183pts]
HQ5: Daemon Prince with Wings (9 PL, 170pts): Malefic talon (10), Malefic Talon (0), Warp Bolter (3), Tzeentch, Psychic Powers: Smite +1 Hereticus Power [183pts]
HQ6: Master of Possession (5 PL, 90pts): Force stave (8), Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Mark of Tzeentch, Psychic Powers: Smite +2 Malefic Powers. WARLORD [98pts]
HQ7: Chaos Hellwright (4 PL, 90pts): Soulburner pistol (0), Flamer (6), Voidcutter (0), Infernal axe (0), Mechatendrils (0) Frag & Krak Grenades (0), Mark of Slaanesh [96pts]

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment [Chaos Knights] [Infernal]
Knight Despoiler (25PL, 275pts): 2x Avenger Gatling Cannon (170), 2x Heavy Flamer (38), Heavy Stubber (2), Ironstorm Missile Pod (16), Dreadblade [501pts]
Battleforged CP: +3CP Army Total: 2000
CP Total: 11

Our final spotlighted force is this monstrosity.

I love this army.

How It Works

So, you know how the Blood Angels list we just discussed wants to land a hefty punch, but with a bit of finesse and setup?

This army is just going straight for the haymaker. Three (!) Lords Discordant, all of whom get a move boost and can Advance and Charge (thanks to now getting Chapter Tactics), backed up by a couple of Maulerfiends (one of whom can join the A&C train) represents a hell of a spearhead to fire straight at an opponent, and is sufficiently tough that unless they’ve got some serious firepower they’re gonna have to run away or get charged, hopefully allowing this army to dominate the board and pull ahead on points. Both the Lords and the Maulers have high numbers of attacks too, meaning that bogging them down with hordes isn’t nearly as viable an option as it would be against other large melee threats – these things can just go straight through them.

Photo & Model: WhiteOutMouse

What that stuff doesn’t really bring to the table is shooting threat, but “luckily” a dual avenger gatling cannon Knight is here to graciously play that role. Much like the Krastsader, this can be customised for a few different matchups via relics and traits, and this player has come to the same conclusion we did in our review, which is that you may as well be a Dreadblade for access to additional choices. The only thing that initially caught my eye is the choice to make it Infernal rather than Iconoclast. The latter gets more customisation choices via Vows, but having mulled it over I think I understand the Infernal choice here and agree with it. Because all the threats in this army are rock hard, there’s a good argument that plenty of forces should go after the Knight first to try and put it down – especially mobile ones like might that might be able to mount a successful fighting retreat against the melee threat. The “Pact with the Dark Gods” stratagem (i.e. “Stand back up on a 4+”) makes that option look extremely sketchy in ITC unless you’ve got an easy way to rack up another kill turn 1, and this army doesn’t expose many easy targets.

The Red Corsair Marines are closest, but even they aren’t easy to pick off in cover, probably forcing someone to divert weaponry they’d rather point at the Knight and thus making it harder to kill. All things considered, an opponent is often going to be forced to target the “redundant” threads (i.e. the Lords and the Maulers) early on rather than take out the Knight, allowing this army to maintain its shooting capability longer.

The Red Corsairs also bring delicious CP for the Knight to feast on, another useful trick option we covered when we looked at the book (and always nice to see these things tried in the wild).

Finally, we have some characters. I’m honestly a little less sold on these – Daemon Princes are quite squishy for their cost without screening, and while they can hide behind the threats there isn’t really enough coverage to screen them from all angles, and they may find themselves having problems in some matchups.

Strengths

This army asks a simple question of opponents. Can they either:

  • Take out a Knight that has a 60-something% chance of standing back up the first time it dies.
  • Repel 60 wounds of fast mechanised melee threat in short order.

If the answer to both of these questions is no, then they’re going to have to either give ground hard or start feeding sacrifices into the maw of the melee monstrosities, neither of which is great for their chances of winning. This army is threat saturation at its best – everything an opponent can shoot has similar defensive profiles, and everything is absurdly dangerous left unchecked.

Weaknesses

Lacking screening, this army might have a real problem with stuff that can just come out of Deep Strike or hiding and take out the big threats. GSC Acolyte units with rock saws are a common manifestation of this, and the Blood Angels list above would also give it a headache. The Knight having access to the Rune of Nak’tagra and the resurrection strat does help mitigate this a bit – a melee invuln helps against AP-4 rock saws, and the ability to usually get at least one round of dual gatling action back at the horde after you die the first time does help. However, the general lack of screening is going to hurt the Lords and Fiends as well, as the same types of units can just blast in and pick them off. Effectively, this army is great if your opponent wants nothing to do with fighting its push elements in melee, but looks a bit awkward if that’s their plan all along!

I’m also, as mentioned, not wholly sold on the Daemon Princes, but equally they’re never a bad unit to have around, and mobile sources of re-roll 1 bubbles help take the already absurd damage potential of the Lord Discordants to even greater extremes. They also act as a source of Warptime, because really what the Lords needed was to be even faster. The master of Possession I’m definitely shakier on, as I just don’t think he can keep up with the rest of this stuff in enough games.

It is a very cool model though. Photo & Model: Alfredo

Finally, the terrain is a mixed bag for this one. Against shooty armies it obviously helps it, letting it hide its melee threats, but the centre of the board is very difficult to maneuver large non-flying vehicles in, and is full of channels (down the centre, between the buildings and hills) where a single infantry squad spread out can block the way for a turn. That potentially gives mobile armies with ready sacrificial units some powerful outs.

Overall, I can definitely see that there are some less favourable matchups for this, but it’s so shockingly brutal that I think it’s got game almost anywhere. I’m excited to see it in action…

…On Which Note

Are you excited to see the above list in action? Well you’re in luck, because what I didn’t mention before is that along with the lists being revealed pairings with up, and would you like to guess who has two thumbs and is the poor sucker facing down the Chaos menace in round 1?

Sadly, it’s me.

TheChirurgeon, pictured shortly after hearing about this.

Not sadly really – the game promises to be an absolute blast and I’m very hyped for it. If you want to hear how it goes down, check back in next week as I do my event write up.

As ever, if you want to get in touch you can reach us on our Facebook page or at contact@goonhammer.com. We always love receiving your feedback, and we’d be interested in whether this style of list review is something people would like more of.

 

 

 

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