Tournament Report: Labor Day GT

Hello there readers! Shane again with another tournament report, the first one in a while. Firstly I hope this article finds you safe and in good health in these crazy times. I cannot stress enough how much I wish good things for everyone, normally I would leave notions like this unsaid, but with the current pandemic conditions I can’t help wanting to reach out and let you know.

I recently attended the Labor Day GT, a 37-player event with stringent safety rules. Masks were required at all times along with physical distancing. The event made sure that the tables were spread out and that hand sanitizer was available at every couple of tables (I brought my own out of habit). This event was fairly stacked competitively, attracting some of the top local players (Virginia / Maryland) and some from the Carolinas, which makes for a pretty good barometer of the current meta, such as it is.

Without further ado, let’s get into what I brought to this event. Wings already talked about the top four in his Competitive Innovations article yesterday so today we’re going to dive deep into my Orks list.

The Beast’s Invasion (Pure Goff list)

Goff Battalion, 2000 points, 7CP starting

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

Ghazghkull Thraka

Weirdboy: 2. Warpath, 3. Da Jump, Warphead

29 Boyz: Skarboyz, all boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with 2x Killsaw, Tankbusta Bombs

29 Boyz: Skarboyz, all boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with 2x Killsaw, Tankbusta Bombs

29 Boyz: Skarboyz, all boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with 2x Killsaw, Tankbusta Bombs

28 Boyz: Skarboyz, all boyz with Slugga/Choppa, Nob with Big Choppa/Choppa, Tankbusta Bombs

5 Kommandos: Tankbusta Bombs
5 Kommandos: Tankbusta Bombs

3 Meganobz: all with 2x Killsaws
3 Meganobz: all with 2x Killsaws

Painboy: Power Klaw

Trukk: Big Shoota
Trukk: Big Shoota

So why Orks? It really boils down to hearing people say that they were a bottom-tier army, and since I disagreed, I decided to try and prove them wrong (Editor’s Note: Somewhere, Chase is nodding vigorously). Early on I decided I wanted to make a list using Ghaz, because he is really good at messing up an opponent’s plan. He can easily tie up a high damage output unit on his own (Mortarion) or run around bullying enemy units. Additionally he grants re-roll 1s to hit in the fight phase to Goff units within 6″, and when you combine that with his other 6″ aura of +1A to ORK INFANTRY units that charged (which is something I certainly want) you get some crazy amounts of attacks.

To highlight these Goff benefits with Ghaz, I am going to break down the stacking abilities real quickly:

+ Goffs Trait No Mukkin’ About: Unmod 6s to hit with a melee weapon, generate an additional attack with that weapon. (Additional attacks don’t generate more, like usual.)

+ Goffs unique 1CP Stratagem Skarboyz: Use pre-game on a unit of BOYZ, increase the Strength Characteristic of that unit to 5, it gains the SKARBOYZ keyword and can only Mob Up with other SKARBOYZ.

+ Ghaz’s Great Waaagh! aura: +1A to ORK INFANTRY units within 6″ if they made a charge move.

+ Ghaz’s Goffs is da Best: reroll 1s to hit with melee weapons in friendly GOFF ORK units within 6″.

= This all stacks up to make a unit of 20+ Boyz with Choppas, rocking 5 attacks each (2 base, +1 for Choppa, +1 for 20+ models in the unit, +1 for charging and being within 6″ of Ghaz) at Strength 5, rerolling 1s to hit, and 6s to hit generating extra attacks. That means 20 Boyz are throwing 100 attacks, with a rough average of 90 hits after rerolls and extra attacks, at Strength 5 (which one would imagine with the popularity of Marines at Toughness 4, makes a slight difference).

This isn’t even taking the Psychic Power Warpath into account for another +1A on a unit, or if I had a Waaagh Banner for +1 to hit with melee weapons.

As for the rest of the list, I knew that the inclusion of some small units popping out of reserve to score secondaries would have a big impact (Deploy Scramblers, Engage, etc) and 2 squads of 5 Kommandos does the trick on the cheap. The Meganobz offer some more semi durable units that can punch elites/vehicles/monsters fairly hard and the Trukks are there to ferry them around the table. With an extra Killsaw only costing 5 points to grant an extra AP-4 2D attack, it seemed super worth it on both the Nobz in the Boyz squads and the Meganobz, with all the Primaris Marines running around. The Weirdboy and Painboy are fairly self explanatory, they both boost the army up and make it more effective.

Lastly one of my favorite units in the list, the Big Mek. With the inclusion of the Kleverest Boss stratagem from Saga of the Beast, you can boost a Big Mek in Mega Armor to have almost the same stats as a Warboss (2+WS, 4As, 6Ws). If you give him the Follow Me, Ladz! Warlord Trait, he gains the abilities granted by a Warboss as well as giving 1CP (which offsets the 1CP spent on the Kleverest Boss). When you tack this onto a Big Mek in Mega Armor, you get basically get a Warboss in Mega Armor back which is pretty cool (take that Legends!) and the Mek can take Da Killa Klaw (which is money). Add on a Kustom Force Field, and suddenly you have 1 HQ model that does the job of 2. With the premium on HQ slots in 9th edition, this adds extra value in my opinion.


Game 1 vs David Field’s Ultramarines

David's List - Click to expand

Ultramarines Battalion
Phobos Cap – Soldiers Blade, Imperium’s Sword
Cassius – Catachism of Fire, Recitation of Focus
Primaris LT (Indomitus) – WL, Adept of the Codex, Seal of Oath
5 Infiltrators
5 Scouts
5 Scouts
6 Bolt Aggressors
6 Plasma Inceptors
Leviathan w/ 2x storm cannon
5 Grav Devs
Drop Pod

Mission: Battle Lines

My Secondaries: Engage on all Fronts, Deploy Scramblers, Psychic Ritual

His Secondaries: Assassinate, Engage on all Fronts, Grind them Down

Credit: Jonathon Reynolds

David’s list has a TON of bullets and rerolls, so I had some concerns, but I did win the roll off and chose to go first. I had deployed the Boyz centrally (a theme that persists because of only one KFF and a ton of bodies), with 1 trukk with 3 Meganobz inside on each flank, and Ghaz also on a flank. The Kommandos stayed in reserve where they need to be. My first turn saw me scream both trukks forward along with Ghaz, with the boyz surging out from my deployment zone (one squad hung back to Deploy a Scrambler), while the Weirdboy moved to the center to Summon the GREAT WAAAGH. Ghaz, a Boyz squad, and a trukk got first turn charges (there was 2 forward deployed scout units). His turn 1 shooting saw the majority of a boyz squad get obliterated (UM Aggressors, ouch). To speed through the next 2 turns, I was able to kill the Invictors, Inceptors, Aggressors and the majority of his characters. An Invictor died to a tankbusta bomb, exploded and shaved off Ghaz’s last 4 wounds, much to my dismay (since he was about to secure a charge into his backfield). Both the Kommandos and the Weirdboy were able to achieve their objectives. The remainder of his forces, led by the Leviathan, wereable to clean up nearly all of the remaining Orks. Going into turn 5, only the Big Mek was alive, who hunkered down out of LoS, waiting for the Waaagh Ritual to summon more Goffs to the planet.

This game was super hard fought and I certainly made some positioning errors (I had a Kommando unit I forgot to move/use for 2 turns), ending in a win 76-68.


Game 2 vs Tyler Wimer’s Blood Angels

Tyler's List - Click to expand

Blood Angels Battalion
Slam Cap – Death Visions, Artisan of War
Sanguinary Priest – Icon of the Angel
5 Infiltrators
5 Infiltrators
5 Scouts
10 Death Company w/jump packs, 2xhammer, 4xfist
Sanguinary Ancient – WL, Soulwarden, Standard of Sacrifice, fist
8 Sanguinary Guard w/ 2xfist, 6xsword
3 Outriders

Blood Angels Patrol
The Sanguinor
5 Scouts

Mission: The Scouring

My Secondaries: Assassinate, Domination, Deploy Scramblers

His Secondaries: Assassinate, Engage on all Fronts, Thin Their Ranks

Blood Angels Assault Intercessor
Blood Angels Assault Intercessor. Credit: Jack Hunter

Tyler has a punchy list like mine, but with quite a bit more shooting haha (Marines eh?). He chose to start his Sanguinary Guard, Sanguinary Priest, Sanguinary Ancient, and the Sanguinor all in reserve. I deployed mostly the same as the first game. He won the roll off and chose to go first. On turn 1 he pushed the Death Company (Lemartes failed his charge) into Ghaz (thunder hammers) and the front boyz squad, his slam cap went into the other flank’s trukk and the boyz nearby. His DC mulched a bunch of boyz and took off 4 wounds from Ghaz, but they died for it. The slam cap killed the trukk and survived getting attacked by the boyz (terrain made it hard to get very many boyz into combat). Now free to wreak havoc, the boyz, Ghaz, and the remaining trukk moved up onto objectives and to continue the punchin-ing. The boyz tangling with the slam cap hung out where they were, and the nearby newly stranded meganobz wandered off to go make friends. At this point I had control of the board and had taken minimal damage (Ghaz got healed 3 wounds by the Painboy using the Medi-Squig Stratagem), I killed the Slam cap and the Redemptor and left the Invictor with 2 wounds remaining. His turn 2 the Sanguinary Bomb arrived near where their Captain had fallen and nearly deleted the nearby Boyz in retribution. In revenge the remaining boyz and Big Mek rolled over their shiny golden armor in a tide of green, leaving only 2 Sanguinary Guard and the 3 characters remaining with the Sanguinary Ancient left on 1 wound. Ghaz and the Meganobz took care of the rest of the battlefield. At the end of my turn 2, only the 2 wound Invictor, the 2 Sang Guard and 3 characters remain of the Blood Angels forces. I tabled him turn 3.

I think going 2nd here actually benefited me (which is blowing my mind), simply because I could deal important damage turn 1 and still take over the objectives. Ends in a win 95-63.


Game 3 vs Anthony Birdsong’s Custodes

Anthony's List - Click to expand

Custodes Patrol (Shadowkeepers)
Vexilla w/ magnifica, axe – WL, Superior Creation, Eagle Eye
3 Saggitarum Guard
6 Aquilon w/ bolters, fists
7 Bikes w/ hurricane
Telemon w/ 2xarachnus


Mission: Overrun

My Secondaries: Raise the Banners, Engage on all Fronts, Assassinate

His Secondaries: Raise the Banners, Engage on all Fronts, While We Stand We Fight

Adeptus Custodes - Custodian Guard
Adeptus Custodes – Custodian Guard
Credit: Pendulin

Let’s start this recap with a little background, Anthony is a friend and has beautiful armies, his main army is Orks and he has been interested in playing Custodes lately. Once he found out I wanted to show that Orks could be good in 9th edition, he offered to let me use his army (which looks much better than my Orks) and was looking forward to bringing Custodes to an event since I wasn’t going to. He had been trying to figure out which Custodes list to run, so I had recommended he run the list I had been running.

So in an amusing twist, we ended up being matched in a game where both lists were lists I wrote and both armies belonged to Anthony.

Anthony had deployed fairly centrally, with his Saggitarum positioned on a side objective. I deployed centrally again, but with both trukks on one flank and Ghaz on the other (Both Kommandos on deployed on the table this time, to raise some banners). I won the roll off, and chose to go first. The Trukks advanced close to the Saggitarum, while Ghaz advanced up the other flank, with the boyz pushing up the middle (2 Kommando units and 1 non advancing Boyz squad raised banners). His first turn, the Vindicare nearly killed the Painboy, taking him down to 1 wound. The Telemon aced a Trukk and the rest started taking down Boyz and Meganobz with shooting. My turn 2 the first wave crashed into his lines, led by Ghaz himself. I killed the terminators, but had to sacrifice my meganobs into the bikes to prevent Anthony being able to use Stooping Dive. At this point Anthony was swamped in bodies and was never really able to claw his way back out.

Getting to get the board state advantage by going first here mattered a lot. Win 94-71.


Game 4 vs Stephen Henry’s Custodes

Stephens's List - Click to expand

Custodes Patrol (Shadowkeepers)
Shield Captain in Allarus armor w/ spear – WL, Superior Creation, Eagle Eye, Indomitable Constitution
3 Custodian Guard w/ 1xshield, 2xspear
5 Prosecutors (SoS)
5 Prosecutors (SoS)

Custodes Spearhead (Shadowkeepers)
4 Aquilon w/ bolters, fists
Caladius w/ iliastus
Caladius w/ iliastus
Caladius w/ iliastus

Mission: Sweep and Clear

My Secondaries: Domination, Psychic Ritual, Direct Assault (Mission specific, hold middle objective or the one in your opponents deployment at the end of your turn = 3pts, hold both = 5pts)

His Secondaries: Engage on all Fronts, Deploy Scramblers, Thin Their Ranks

Credit: Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

Stephen’s list has a ton of range and mobility, so I knew it would be hard to pin anything down, especially so since charges from reserves are very unreliable (-2 to charge the Caladius, -D6 to charge from Tanglefoot Grenade Stratagem used by a Custodes Infantry unit within 12″). It was Search and Destroy deployment, which is weird for deploying 115 Boyz, so I was kind of centrally deployed with them again, but I messed up by putting both Trukks and Ghaz on my right flank. Stephen is slightly castled up, the Shield Captain and Sisters of Silence are in reserve.

Stephen won the roll off and opted to go first (apparently he went first in every round at the event, though I’m not sure if he won every roll off). The Ares jumps into my back corner and bombs a Boyz squad (20 dice at 4+ to deal 1 Mortal Wound each) and only deals 6 mortals. His Custodian Guard Deploy Scramblers in his deployment zone. Both Trukks get destroyed and only 4 Meganobz survive. Ghaz takes his once per phase 4 damage and the rest of the shots go into Boyz. (I fail every save and 6+++ for the Boyz.) He kills roughly 25 boyz across 3 squads.

When he moved the Ares, he measured out the one place he could move to while not hovering (because of turn radius and minimum movement), so I ensured that I throw some Boyz there to force him either to go to Hover or leave the table. Everything advances forward (with the 4 Meganobz doing their best to get out of a forest, another mistake on my part), the Weirdboy starts to summon the Great Waaagh. His turn 2, one SoS squad comes on and Deploys Scramblers in the no mans land, the Shield Captain drops in behind my Boyz on my home objective. The Ares goes to hover and bombs again, this time deals 14 mortals (averages out from the first bad roll). The shooting eliminates 3 meganobs, a ton more Boyz, and deals 4 more damage to Ghaz (who got healed for 2 in my turn 1). My turn 2, I pop green tide on a unit with 4 models remaining, and bring it in behind the Shield Captain (who failed his charge the turn before) Ghaz moves closer to a Caladius, which is right next to the Ares. The closest squad of Boyz advances close to the Ares and the Big Mek comes along for the ride. The Weirdboy continues the chant. I land the charges with the Boyz on the Ares, Ghaz on the Caladius, and the Mek on both. The Boyz shave some wounds off the Ares, Ghaz somehow doesn’t kill the Caladius, so the Big Mek picks up the Caladius and deals some more damage to the Ares (should have not worried about the Caladius since it can’t fall back and shoot anymore, but I didn’t think of that.) The Caladius auto explodes and deals 3 mortals to Ghaz, 2 to the Mek and 2 to the Boyz. I choose to fight again with the Mek, hoping to shave off the last 5 wounds from the Ares, but I only take it down to 2.

And then I notice I didn’t charge with the Green tide’d unit into the Shield Captain, FML.

At this point the game goes mega sideways: All the vehicles back up, the last SoS squad comes in (I had blocked it being able to come into my deployzone this turn so he’d have to scramblers another turn), and the Shield Cap charges the Boyz standing around picking their noses. By the end of his turn, Ghaz, the Big Mek, the last meganob, and most of the Boyz are dead. I start scrabbling for points, the Weirdboy finishes his chant, and my Boyz squad starts the slap fight with the Shield Cap and at least holds onto the objective. At the end, I have 10ish Boyz fighting a Shield Captain with 1 wound remaining and thats it. All I killed was a Caladius, took the Ares to 2 wounds, the Shield Cap to 1 wound, and killed 3 SoS. A slaughter for certain.

My biggest take away from this was that I grossly mispostioned the Trukks and Ghaz; had they been on the other flank, they would have been in position to ensure that side’s objective and since holding 3 was basically all my points, I messed that up pretty good hah. I made some mistakes that really cost me, like forgetting to charge with 30 Boyz, but it was a good game and Stephen played it well. Loss 73-84.


Game 5 vs Brian Delgado’s Imperium

Brian's List - Click to expand

Stygies Patrol
5 Rangers
10 Fulgurite
10 Fulgurite

Salamander Successor Patrol (Long Range, Stealthy)
Captain w/ relic blade, storm shield
5 Scouts
5 Grav Devs
Drop Pod

Blood Angels Patrol
Astorath – Litany of Faith, Mantra of Strength
Slam Cap – WL, Gift of Foresight, Angel’s Wing
5 Scouts
10 Death Company w/ 10x hammer
Death Company Dread

Mission: Priority Target

My Secondaries: Domination, Deploy Scramblers, Priority Targets (Mission specific, control either of the Priority objectives at the end of your turn, score 3VP, control both score 5VP)

His Secondaries: Teleport Homer, Engage on all Fronts, Priority Targets

Adeptus Mechanicus - Fulgurite Electro-Priests
Adeptus Mechanicus – Fulgurite Electro-Priests
Credit: Pendulin

CPT Delgado is fellow member of the 40k team for U.S. Army Esports and this was the first time we had met in person. It was cool to be able to not only meet him for the first time, but also get a game in! His list was apparently whatever he could find that was cohesive (he had just moved), but the list has two very aggressive combat elements backed up with some good shooting even with  the moving handicap.

I went back to my mostly default deployment of center Boyz, one Trukk on each flank, Ghaz on a flank (but a little more centered this time), and the Kommandos in reserve (as they do). Brian forward deployed his scouts, and front lined the drills and Blood Angels. I won the roll off, and chose to go second, I had a theory to test at this point. He pushes the drills forward with pre-game moves, which allows them to crack in some turn 1 charges (along with their electropriests) and the drop pod comes down on an objective dropping the Captain and Grav Devs onto it. The grav devs crack the Trukk closest to them and the charges begin. Both electropriests get into my 2 front Boyz squads, and 1 drill charges the other Trukk, the second drill tries to charge Ghaz and fails. The first electropriests squad goes and carves out a decent chunk of Boyz, but then I interrupt and annihilate the second electropriest squad with the Boyz. The drill pops the Trukk and piles into the Boyz nearby. The Meganobz who lost their ride to grav, advance directly towards the Grav devs (even though a drop pod is in the way), Ghaz moves up to the drill that wanted to be friends, the boyz shift up and onto objectives. At the end of my turn 1 combat both drills are dead, all the electropriests are dead, the scouts on the nearest objective are dead, and the meganobz blew up the drop pod and piled into the grav devs. His turn 2, the Blood Angels leap into the fray, the Death Company goes into a boyz squad holding an objective and the Slam Cap flies off to hunt my Big Mek. The Death Company rip through the Boyz and Astorath murders the Big Mek, the Captain with the grav devs wades into the Meganobz and can’t quite do the job. At the end of my turn 2 only the Culexus, some rangers, and the Captain hanging out with my Meganobz are left. The game more or less ends after that, just clean up.

From my game vs Tyler’s Blood Angels in game 2, I noticed that if a melee opponent went all-in initially, not only did I come out on top, but I ended up with the objectives anyway. So that is why I decided to try going 2nd in this match up, which apparently worked again. Don’t try this at home kids!? Anywho, it was a good game with CPT Delgado and I glad we got a chance to meet. Ends with a win 92-69.

Taking home the Bolt Pistol Trophy


I made this list to show that Orks were strong with the current 9th edition GT pack, and so far that is proving true. I came in 2nd place at the event and had the highest battle points. I don’t think this is the only good Ork list – I am fairly certain there are many, you just need to make sure that your battle plan lines up with the mission objectives. So keep at it and stay safe out there!

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