After-Action Report: Eldau at the TSHFT Open 2015

This past weekend a bunch of folks from Corvallis and I drove up to Seattle for TSHFT (The Seattle Heart of Fire Tournament), one of the northwest’s largest 40K events. I’ve been to quite a few of them in the past and most always had a good time, so I was looking forward to it. Since TSHFT recently switched over to the ITC format, it was also good practice for LVO and I had been preparing for them both for a while now. Apparently all of that practice paid off, as I came away from things with first place in the tournament and a ticket to the Cruisehammer even happening next year.

Details on my list, the format, opponents, etc, after the break.

The Event
TSHFT is an event usually run in the Seattle area (this time it was in Bellevue, but it bounces around different places depending on availability and cost of venues) for quite a number of years now; typically 2-3 TSHFTs are held each year, although once again it varies depending on the organizer’s schedule and other factors. It’s typically fairly large and draws 50+ people, with this year clocking in at I believe just over sixty 40K players, twenty Fantasy players, and twenty X-Wing players. The event was five rounds (unfortunately not enough for a “perfect” winner) and 1850pts with the usual ITC restrictions on detachments, Lords of War, etc.

We Corvallians brought up a crew of seven people for things and a lot of other folks came traveling as well- Team Zero Comp brought in eight-ish members from SoCal and a lot of other big names from the Pacific Northwest made their appearances as well. The TSHFT folks have always been very friendly and very rarely have I had a bad opponent in a game there. Like with a lot of tournaments the tables were sadly rather light on terrain, but apparently this is someething that they will be working on going forward so hopefully by the next event this year they’ll have picked things up a bit and it will have improved.

Armies present at the list were… something of a surprise, to be quite honest. I had expected something like I saw at the Harvester, but instead there was an absolute deluge of Tyranids- a full TEN players there that I counted, I believe every single one of them running the Barbed Heirodule and most of them with multiple Flyrants. Only one player that I know of had the Adamantine Lance, although there were a scatting of other Knights in ones and twos. None of the 7th Edition codices made strong appearances, although there were a small handful of Space Wolf and Ork players; other than that, it was mostly the usual suspects, with a good number of Eldar, Tau, Space Marines, and quite a fair number of Necrons.

My List
The list I ended up bringing was one I had been toying with in various forms for quite a while now, essentially since mid-6th Edition; I played at the Harvester of Souls with a similar type of list as well as two Guardian Cups, with varying degrees of success. However, I think this time I’ve really found something that has crystalized- it might be a bit much to call it perfect, but it’s certainly quite brutal against most of the armies in the field today.

1850pts Eldar/Tau
1 Farseer (Jetbike, Mantle of the Laughing God, Spirit Stone of Anlathan; Warlord)
5 Fire Dragons (Wave Serpent w/TLScatter Laser, Holofields, Shuriken Cannon)
5 Fire Dragons (Wave Serpent w/TLScatter Laser, Holofields, Shuriken Cannon)
5 Dire Avengers (Wave Serpent w/TLScatter Laser, Holofields, Shuriken Cannon)
5 Dire Avengers (Wave Serpent w/TLScatter Laser, Shuriken Cannon)
1 Hornet (2 Pulse Lasers)
1 Hornet (2 Pulse Lasers)

1 Riptide (Ion Accelerator, Smart Missiles, Early Warning)
3 Broadsides (High-Yield Missiles, Early Warning)
3 Broadsides (High-Yield Missiles, 2 Early Warnings)

It’s a firepower army, pure and simple- it throws down an insane number of shots (with average Serpent Shield rolls and sitting at 24″ from the enemy, it puts down 109 shots of S5 or higher) and can add in even more firepower from the embarked units in a pinch. Most all of those shots are twin-linked, many of them ignore cover, and half of them are BS4, not to even mention the bonuses from Tank Hunter, Preferred Enemy, etc. Moreover, the army also has a good number of low-AP shots (19 AP2 or better ones, and that’s discounting any bonuses from Bladestorm) as well as excellent mobility and resilience (2+ armor, 3+ cover on the tanks.)

In short, it’s a list designed to hit the other guy so hard that they don’t really have a chance to fight back in a meaningful way. It has the right kinds of guns to down Knights, AV13, hordes, transports, and Bikes and can deal with many of the other alternative lists you’ll see at a tournament these days as well. It has the speed to avoid slower armies as well as pick up Maelstrom objectives as needed and does not easily give up Slay the Warlord or First Blood even in non-ideal situations. While not perfect against flying targets, the masses of twin-linked shots mean that it’s more than capable of doing so when needed.

I’ll have another post in the near future talking about the army some more, but suffice to say that I doubt I’ll be making any changes in the near future, as I think it’s reach its culminative state. However, that’s probably enough preening about my army- onto the tournament reports.


Round 1
OPPONENT: Tau/Tyranids
MISSION: Emperor’s Will, Dawn of War deployment

The guy this round (apologies for forgetting your name if you’re reading, sir, I forgot to write it down :\ ) had a very unusual list- he was running a Fireblade Cadre (his primary detachment) on the Tau side, pretty much identical to my own, and on the Tyranid side he had two Flyrants, a Heirodule, a Malanthrope, and two units of Rippers. Very, very low model count overall, but surprisingly resilient. His Tyranids were modeled to be “controlled” by the Tau via implants and the Heirodule in particular actually had a pair of railguns for its main cannons.

I knew going into the mission that I had both a firepower and scoring advantage over him as well as a range advantage on most of my weapons. Though the Heirodule would present a significant threat with its twelve S10 shots, the low accuracy would be a major hindrance for it and I would be using Jink pretty freely due to needing to shoot at air targets anyways. I got the first turn (which I think he gave to me? I don’t remember) and set up centrally to maximize where my Broadsides could reach to; he put his Tyranids centered on one flank and the Tau on the opposite, with the ‘Nids largely out of range of my 36″ guns and the Tau within reach.

I started out shooting hard, downing the Malanthrope on the first turn thanks to Serpent Shields and punking out one of the Broadsides with some AP2 as well as forcing a squad to hit the dirt. My Summoning failed this turn but I set myself up to be largely immune to his shooting, with few good targets due to his very conservative deployments. His firing back took down a Hornet and did some minimal other damage, but otherwise was unimpressive. Turn 2 my Farseer jetted forward to drop a unit of Daemonettes into midfield, who then Ran to within a pretty close distance of his two Broadside units. As his two Flyrants had pushed forward along with his Riptide I opened up on them, dealing a couple of wounds to each and managing to ground one as well as causing more casualties on the Broadsides with AP2 weapons. His own turn 2 put the grounded Flyrant into combat with my Riptide and his Riptide into combat with a Broadside unit. He managed to inflict non-trivial damage on both units but couldn’t get in enough to Sweep me and I managed to inflict yet more damage back onto him, grinding him down. His Heirodule was still deep in his backfield at this point, contributing only minimally to the battle.

By the late half of the game I had things solidly in hand- we were inflicting roughly equal damage in the combats, which was killing his units first due to the earlier shooting damage I had inflicted. Turn 3 also got rid of most all of his remaining fire support thanks to an assault from the Daemonettes (enabled by one of his XV-88 teams being forced to Go to Ground, allowing me to charge largely unimpeded) and on his own turn a Perils result grounded the last flyrant right next to most of my remaining army. While I was down a Serpent, a Broadside unit, a Riptide, and both Hornets, he was left with only the Heirodule and the Rippers at the bottom of three and we both knew where things were going to go. He did pop my HQ with a lucky S10 shot despite my 2+ rerollable save (not the first nor the last time that very thing had happened to me, as Heirodules seem to be the absolute bane of my Farseer’s existence) but it hardly mattered as I came out of the round with 10/10 possible points.


Round 2
OPPONENT: Eldar/Space Wolves
MISSION: Purge the Alien, Vanguard Strike deployment

The first of my matchups against Team Zero Comp, I was up against Grant and his very deathstar/anti-deathstar list. Sadly I didn’t manage to get a good picture of it, but it consistent of a Lynx with Pulsar, a Skyshield Landing Pad for it to sit on, two Farseers and their attendant unit of Warlocks on Jetbikes, two minimum units of Jetbike troops, and then Space Furry allies with a minimal Rune Priest and two units of Blood Claws in Stormwolves. Grant is a good player and a very enthusiastic guy, although sadly most every game I’ve watched him play he’s gotten seriously screwed over by something or other- at BAO it was forgetting a critical psychic phase against my buddy, this time around it was really bad dice.

He put his Skyshield over in one corner of the field, since Vanguard Strike doesn’t really give you a lot of options for where something that big can go. He ended up getting pretty good power selection overall- Invisibility on one Farseer, Fortune on another, Horrify on one of the Warlocks to go with Shriek and Terrify on the Farseer, etc. I got the first turn and due to the Skyshield knew pretty much exactly where he had to put his big ol’ skimmer, so I managed to get both Broadside units in range and everything else stationed around ready to shoot at it. He put the Lynx as far back as he could manage, which wasn’t really far enough for most things, and hid his Seer Council out of LoS behind some terrain, with everything else in reserve. I opened up on it and while Night Fighting was annoying (giving him a 3+ cover save against many guns due to obscurement), his being stationary and the Lynx’s weak Armor Value/Hull Points meant that I was able to blast it down without too much difficulty. Nothing unexpected so far, really. On his own turn his Council moved up, cast their buffs, and got off a few powers to put some damage on me (forcing a Broadside unit to fall back and doing a wound or two to the Riptide, I believe.) He Turbo’d deep into my deployment zone, ready to go for assaults and everything next turn and prepared to endure the storm.

However, his dice refused to cooperate at all. Even with Invisibility up and middling Serpent Shield rolls in many cases, I managed to kill one Farseer entirely and drop six members of Council even despite Fortune- Grant was simply rolling nonstop 2s on almost everything. On his own turn he got into assault with the Broadsides and Riptide, a combat that continued on for four or so more combat phases as we both ground each other down slowly. He eventually killed them off, but was down to nothing but a wounded Farseer and I quickly blasted it off the table. In the interim his Stormwolves arrived, one at a time of course, and were hammered by the other units in my army that had nothing else to do and I tabled him fairly shortly after as he got a few token maelstrom points.

I felt really bad for Grant because this could’ve been a much more interesting matchup if his dice hadn’t been such a mess, but sadly that is a risk you take when investing almost 800pts into twelve models. With any luck I’ll be able to get a better game in against him in the future, perhaps at LVO, but as it was I walked away with another 10/10 victory and a lot of time to spare before the next round.

Round 3
(Sorry, I missed getting a picture for this one.)
OPPONENT: Tyranids
MISSION: The Relic, Hammer/Anvil depoyment

Another Team Zero Comp player was my last opponent of the first day, and actually one I had been up against before. About two weeks prior to the event I had traveled up to Portland to get in some practice games at the excellent Guardian Games and had played Geoff and his Tyranid army, which seemed to be the template for rather a lot of the Tyranids that were making their rounds this day. That version of my list was near-identical but had an Autarch in place of the Farseer, a concession to the need for a close-in melee defense unit of some kind when I couldn’t afford a Wraithknight; after a sound beating from Geoff, he suggested that a Farseer using Summoning would fill the role better, which ended up being something of a “eureka!” moment for me and prompted the final changes to the army I had made. (I had run with a Farseer in the past, and had played around with summoning with such a Farseer in other lists, but for whatever reason I’d been completely blind to the idea of doing so in this particular army.) With one loss to him under my belt already I was a little nervous about the game, but knew I had the tools to handle him better this time around as well as more experience against his list and how he played it. In particular, he was running the Hive Fleet Leviathan detachment with a Tyranid CAD, allowing him to bring three Flyrants, the Heirodule, the Swarmlord (to buff the Heirodule and provide melee support against things like Wraithknights), a Malanthrope, four Mucolids, and two Rippers.

Geoff won the rolloff for first and gave me the top of the turn, as he is wont to deploy in a big cluster on his end of the field where few weapons can reach him and Hammer/Anvil is just about perfect for this strategy. I took positions full forward and readied to hit his Malanthrope as hard as I could in that initial turn- while the Flyrants were obviously targets I needed to handle, it was the 2+ cover save on his big monsters I most needed to worry about and so it took priority. I also managed to place my Farseer such that her 12″ move would get her in contact with the Relic, allowing me to drag it away with Turbo-Boost moves and keep it as far separated from the Heirodule as possible while hiding behind a small piece of blocking terrain during the first turn. My shooting did manage to kill the Malanthrope and even put a couple of wounds on other models to boot, which was honestly as good as I could’ve expected; he downed a Hornet on his own first turn and began moving forward much more aggressively than my previous Tyranid opponent. I backed up and threw bullets into his Tyrants, slaying one and wounding another while keeping him from getting rear arcs on any of my vehicles; he destroyed the other Hornet in turn and began raining down Mucolids on me, forcing me to divert Interceptor shots to ensure they couldn’t charge me on ensuing turns and cause severe damage, though middling rolls meant several of them survived to be a problem. I had the Relic well into my own deployment zone at this point and while the Heirodule was still an issue, I was quickly whittling down his other models. He did some damage to Serpents and Broadsides as well as bringing in Rippers on opposite ends of the field (to hold his own maelstrom objective and threaten mine), but still hadn’t done anything really critical to my army in terms of eliminating its threats. He did, however, explode my Farseer instantly again (having done so to the Autarch in our practice game as well) with a volley of shots from the Heirodule, preventing me from Summoning into his backfield or tying him up with Daemonettes.

I eventually downed the second Tyrant and wounded the third, grounding it, as well as killing all of the Mucilids and getting into combat with the Rippers with some derpy elves, but an assault from the downed Tyrant killed a unit of Broadsides. I erased the Tyrant and then began hammering the Heirodule, with my Riptide standing guard over the Relic as it tried to get out of range of assaults. However, the big dude finally caught up with him and obliterated him in a flurry of attacks, though not before taking one more hit in retaliation. With the Heirodule down to its last couple of wounds and my combat with the Rippers finally finished, I hammered it with the full force of all my Wave Serpents (none of which had died at this point) and all the subsidiary firepower I could muster, eventually bringing it down. The game ended with only his stranded Swarmlord and Rippers left on the field and my getting another 10/10 victory.


Round 4
OPPONENT: Space Wolves/Assassins
MISSION: The Scouring, Hammer/Anvil deployment

With my first match of the day all but certain already, I knew what I was up against: the big man of Frontline Gaming himself, Reece Robins. I hadn’t gotten to play Reece before despite seeing him in several different tournaments, so this was definitely a high point for me; as I’d already been up against two of his teammates already, I took the chance to throw down the gauntlet and issue a challenge match for a spot on Team Zero Comp so I could at least read all of the nasty things they were saying about me on their top-secret website forums and internet dungeons. Reece obliged, and the contest was on. He had brought a new list he had been working on, with a huge unit of Fenrisian Wolves led by Battle Leader and an Iron Priest, two Stormwolves with Blood Claws (one minimum size, one maximum with Ulrik attached), a Siege Dreadnought in a Lucius Pod, a Sicaran with all of the anti-tank fixin’s, an empty Rhino (for utility, I guess?), and a Culexus assassin for anti-psyker shenanigans. Reece won the roll for first turn and with some visible trepidation deployed to keep his small squads safe for the early turn, the Sicaran out of range of my Broadsides, and eventually slipped the Culexus up on one flank where he would be useful. I hid Serpents behind all of the cover I could find (it was Night Fight), outflanked both Hornets, hid the Farseer out of sight on a flank, and put all of the Tau inside a large building with some decent fire arcs towards his army and in the oncoming path of his Puppystar.

Reece’s first turn was both good and bad; he put his Pod in a risky spot near the board edge and managed to land it almost exactly on target, flaming two wounds off of my HQ in the first go (with Interceptor doing essentially nothing to the Pod), but his Sicaran failed to kill the Serpent it shot at due to Night Fighting. From there on out things slid downhill and Reece never quite managed to catch the breaks he needed- as he said at the time, it was a tough matchup for him going in and the dice were just never good enough. My Broadsides carved wounds off his Puppystar like it wasn’t even a thing and I methodically blasted his other units to pieces one at a time- the Lucius Pod, the Sicaran (via Hornets), the Dreadnought (via Meltaguns), the rest of the Puppystar and its attendant characters, the Culexus, each of the Stormwolves one at a time, etc. His luck was never atrocious, but it was never good enough to get what he really needed done and my luck never took enough of a nose-dive to give him a strong opportunity. By the end of the game he’d done a significant amount of damage to me (one Broadside unit, the Riptide, a Serpent, both Hornets, etc) but I had essentially wiped him off the field. I came out with 10/10 again and went on to the final match of the tournament.


Round 5
OPPONENT: White Scars
MISSION: Big Guns, Vanguard Strike deployment

Jeremy the French Overlord again, just like at the Harvester; history repeats itself. My list was fairly different, dumping the Necrons for Eldar, but his was the same and the essential details were still pretty much identical- he was going to try and assault me with his deathstar and I was going to throw high-Strength shots at him and hope he failed saves. He had Khan, a decked-out Chapter Master, three units of seven bikes with Grav, two units of six bikes with Melta (but no Attack Bikes), a Wolf Lord with lots of toys and two Iron Priests, all on Thunderwolves. I won the roll to deploy first and lined up across the board and he did the same, avoiding his mistake in our last game of trying to reserve heavily against an Interceptor army. I also won the roll to Scout first, allowing me to push one Hornet forward and hold back his deathstar (the other one was outflanking to force him to protect his backfield or risk losing the Maelstrom mission.) He brought up both flanks as far as he could and I began the shooting.

I killed almost two full units of bikes and an Iron Priest in the first turn despite Night Fighting; on his own turn, his deathstar moved forward , his other squads shot ineffectually at my Hornet (unable to charge because of having Scouted) and he held onto several of his own objectives for Maelstrom points. He succeeded a nigh-miraculous 11″ charge with his deathstar, slaughtering my Riptide and putting him well back in the running for the game as now I had two full units of bikes on top of my army that I had to deal with, and one of them had sixteen FNP wounds, many of them with 2+ armor. I unloaded from my transports and opened up on him with every single unit I had, although the terrain on my side of the board prevented me from making full use of the infantry to screen my tanks. His saves for the turn were rather mediocre as I wiped out one squad and did a lot of damage to the deathstar, though I didn’t actually kill any of the characters in it. On his own turn he made a massive multicharge and hit a unit each of Broadsides, Fire Dragons, Dire Avengers, and a Wave Serpent, destroying them all in a flurry of attacks. However, with his deathstar out of combat, I continued focusing fire on it and whittled it down to a single Apothecary as well as killing off one of his two remaining Bike units, leaving only one full-strength squad in the backfield and an Iron Priest on my side of things. The Priest killed my other Broadside squad on his turn, but it wasn’t even close to enough- despite a series of excellent saves on his own turn coming far too late in the game to save him, I managed to go on and chop down his last few units and eventually tabled him for another 10/10 victory.

Conclusion
I had a great time at TSHFT as always and it was really good to get to see the Team Zero Comp guys as well as many of the usual suspects- Aaron from the Guardian Cup, Nick from Blood of Kittens, Ben Cromwell, etc, etc. Zen himself even came in for a bit to talk with folks despite having mostly stepped back from running the event due to having an actual life and kids and job and school and stuff. I’m obviously quite happy with my performance at the event as a whole and I’m looking forward to getting to play Warhams on a cruise ship essentially for free; with any luck, I’ll have at least something close to a repeat of my success here when I head down to LVO in another month, so I’m crossing my fingers.

EDIT:
http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/631018.page
jy2 was kind enough to post a bunch of good pics of the various armies. Enjoy.

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222 responses to After-Action Report: Eldau at the TSHFT Open 2015

Good Write up AP but I wanted to list some things from our game you seem to have forgotten.

A) Most TSHFT tables had no LOS pieces on tables giving your list free 360degree firelanes.

B) In our game you won everyroll pre turn 1. You got to pick the deployment corner, you got +1 Seize warlord trait, you got Night Fight for your skimmer which helps you much more than my bikes when facing 4 serpents and Blacksun filters, you won the die to go first and the roll to scout first.

C) You didnt nearly kill 2 units of bikes on turn 1, you exactly killed 2 units and an Iron Priest. I lost 5 of 7 bikers to 1 unit of Broadsides in 1turn.

D) I did make a high charge on turn 1, it was 9 inches not 11.

E) Failed to mention that 2 of my 5 charges that game rolled snake eyes causing my tabling on turn 5

F) You also managed to kill the deathstar on turn 3 with only a total of 8 serpents shooting and the broadsides only shooting once and your transport infantry only shooting 1.5 times.

Lets play that game, you can write up that bat rep and I am pretty sure you might not forget that game πŸ˜‰

A) Absolutely so. I had the one piece of blocking terrain on my side of the table, which basically meant you couldn't hide anything even if you tried. I mentioned this in passing earlier in the article.

B) I did win all the roll-offs, yeah; that, more than anything, was what tipped the game in my favor (although obviously other stuff helped as well.) If you had won the roll for first turn, we would've been playing a very different game. I would argue that Night Fight benefits you more than me, though, since your army actually does very little shooting whereas the ability to pass cover saves on a 2 (even if it's not against all my guns) helps you out significantly.

C) I thought there was one bike on the left side (my left side) squad near the hornet that was still alive? I could be wrong.

D) I know it was double digits on that charge, might've been 10" rather than 11". In either case, it was pretty far.

E) I didn't mention it because of the three 2" charges you rolled, two of them succeeded. πŸ˜› But really, being tabled as opposed to be left with 1-2 models on the board before rolling to see if the game would've gone on wasn't exactly a huge difference. I had the primary for certain, I had warlord/linebreaker/first blood, and I probably could've taken the secondary as well if it came down to it. hell, if the game went on I could've just tabled you next turn with regular old shooting anyways.

F) "Only" taking fire from eight Serpents' worth of shots is not exactly trivial, and even less so when you add in the other stuff. On average, the shots from the Serpents, one Broadside unit, two Dragon units, two Avengers units, and the Hornet should've killed all the guys in the squad anyways (even assuming Jink and FNP it kills off all the Runic/Artificer characters and is enough to do seven more unsaved wounds to the other guys), and that's ignoring any potential damage from overwatch, my Riptide swinging at you, etc. Your luck was subpar, but not astoundingly so- I think you're just underestimating how much damage my army does with its shooting.

I'm not pretending I didn't get lucky there- the setup was good for you, but the dice were better for me. Even with things as they were, if any of a couple rolls had gone differently (staying locked in with my units during the assault turn 2, etc) had been different you could easily have won that matchup. You've got a strong list, you're a very good player, and in the end it just came down to whoever rolled better, and that ended up being me.

Seeing as several of us at the tournament complained about that very issue, it seems rather silly to blame us for what we didn't want to happen and had no control over.

Im with Weedy on this. You'll also notice that daylight hours are shorter and cancer STILL hasn't been cured. Come on AB, what the hell are you playing at?

Curses, my evil sun-plot is foiled again!

NEXT TIME, GADGET. NEXT TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIME!!!!!

To be fair, you can't fault the man for knowing his battlefield and building his strategy accordingly.

On a table with no LOS-blocking terrain, yes. Maximizing your shooting under such conditions is the best strategy.

All I know is AB has been playing pretty much the same list since BAO 2014 and he has basically won two events in a row and placed really well in a few others. It is time to give him some credit for good list design and good play. Sure he had luck and sure the tables helped him a lot, but these type of situations happen all the time. I am only annoyed and whined a bit about him beating all my good friends, the bastard!

Keep it going Mr. Morgan!

Thanks, Tasty. I meant to get a chat in with you while you were there, but there were so many people around I never really got a chance. I suppose maybe at LVO, if you'll be making it to that?

Turn 2 my Farseer jetted forward to drop a unit of Daemonettes into midfield, who then Ran to within a pretty close distance of his two Broadside units.

OMG fluff is dead, this is why I need to stop reading WH40K as well as playing it.

It's a good thing you know my army's fluff so well that you can tell me what they would or wouldn't do.

Ah, but his army may be Fluffy Eldar who summon Wraith Spirits who have high initivate (as dead Eldar) and Rending attacks, that are simply best represented by Daemonettes.

I doubt it, but it's certainly possible.

As a matter of fact yes, it does. I mean, it's not like the Eldar, a desperate and dying race with the technology to manipulate the warp would ever pit the greatest weapon they ever (accidentally) created against their other foes, hopefully weakening them both. That sort of sneaky, double-crossing, both-ends-against-the-middle strategy is just totally beyond such a fair and upstanding race as the Eldar, right?

But no, go ahead and keep being self-righteous about what sort of plastic spacemen other people use. I'm sure when GW wrote that any army can use Maelific powers, what they ACTUALLY meant was "any army except all of the armies that aren't Chaos."

i'm just curious… did the farseer learn that in training? like in those crazy old educational runes for the path of the seer? or did they just make that up on the fly? i always assumed that even the crazy farseers were careful enough to not even try to summon the potential of a warp rift, but i guess this assumption was incorrect.

and you'll have to excuse me, i'm not entirely familiar with eldar gear… do all farseers have to wear gear specifically for warding off chaos daemons when tapping the warp for powers? i thought "the path" was pretty clear about that but i guess i was incorrect again.

to just take your scenario one step farther in the timeline… are all the other eldar under command of that farseer cool with seeing her summon daemons? i think your explanation could probably convince a lot of those aspect warriors that everything is 100% cool.

"just go ahead and wipe those remaining daemons i summoned after the battle, k?"

"sir, they killed bill."

"uhhhhhh for the greater good?"

" do all farseers have to"

There's nothing 'all farseers' are, have done or have to do other than to be an Eldar – for all we know, there's a Craftworld that actively supports the use of Slaanesh Daemons. I mean, there are Radical Inquisitors – why not radical Farseers/Autarchs?

"for all we know, there's a Craftworld that actively supports the use of Slaanesh Daemons"

you 100% missed the point of the path.

"I don't expect you're familiar with my Craftworld's fluff because unless you snooped onto my hard drive, there's no way you would have seen it yet."

so just stop pussyfooting around and share it so we can understand fully!

"screaming about how "unfluffy" the army is makes no sense when you know nothing about it."

screaming, lol. i guess asking questions in lower case letters is screaming? such an accusatory tone in your comments, like american republican blogger level.

but more on topic, i like how you ignored 100% of my points.

"Being that the Aspect Warriors on the army are all from the same Craftworld as her, it's not exactly a stretch."

sooooo your farseer summons daemons on a regular basis and the craftworld isn't in shambles? please, go on. seriously, share your fluff from your hidden webway hard drive so we can eliminate all this confusion.

>did the farseer learn that in training

A TLI points out below, I didn't realize there was a Galactic Farseer Training School that all Farseers went to to learn their abilities. But, to answer your question less flippantly: no, she didn't. However, the Black Library does sorta contain metric shitloads of information on that sort of thing, so it's entirely plausible that any Eldar psyker could learn the necessary spells in a "safe" (using that in the most nonspecific of ways) manner.

>i thought "the path" was pretty clear about that but i guess i was incorrect again.

See, that's the thing: my Craftworld explicitly follows an aberrant version of the Paths. Maybe you didn't know that; I don't expect you're familiar with my Craftworld's fluff because unless you snooped onto my hard drive, there's no way you would have seen it yet. But that's exactly my point: screaming about how "unfluffy" the army is makes no sense when you know nothing about it.

>i think your explanation could probably convince a lot of those aspect warriors that everything is 100% cool.

Being that the Aspect Warriors on the army are all from the same Craftworld as her, it's not exactly a stretch. "Dang, now that those daemons have wiped out all of the world-eating monstrosities/destroyed the Space Marine task force sent to kill us/etc we have to deal with a handful of daemons whose true names we already know oh wait problem solved."

Ummm…
Hai, Puppy!

Just thought I'd dtop by and see what was goin' on.
'Grats on the wins, man. Sounds like a real tough event fer sure!

You are a tournament player.
You don't care about fluff. Slaanesh deamons with eldar?!
You don't care about painting.
You don't care about converting. (Your broadsides are build the way they are because it the cheapest option)
You don't care about factions. (You don't play eldtau because you love the factions, but because they are most powerful)
You don't care about being a good sportsman. (0 points at tshft)

You are a hardcore competitive gamer, and there is nothing wrong with that!
But why 40k?
Why would a hardcore competitive gamer use the singular worst wargame for competitive gaming???
I don't get it.
Are you scared that you might not go 5/5 if you start a serious wargame?
You know one that was made for competitive gaming.

Given how GW freely chop and change the fluff nowadays based on what they're currently trying to sell – Im amazed there are any fluff trolls left

Eldar/Tau summoning Daemons to fight off Tau/Tyranid butt buddies.

Suddenly, Fantasy Bubblehammer doesn't sound so silly.

"His Tyranids were modeled to be “controlled” by the Tau via implants and the Heirodule in particular actually had a pair of railguns for its main cannons."

see? this is why GW should just do away with the allies matrix. you can easily justify any kind of team up.

id love to see a close up of that malathrope conversion too. congrats on the games AP!

Sadly I can't provide the pic of the Malanthrope, although you might be able to find some better pics of it once the TSHFT photos go up on their site. From what I recall, it is a Toxicrene head, a Carnifex body, and a Hive Tyrant (or something similar) tail.

The Malanthrope appears to be the Carnifex head that used to represent the Enhanced Senses biomorph, a Carnifex body, the Toxicrene's tentacles (arms?) stuck into the socket that the fex's legs usually go, with some additional thicker tendrils that I can't source. I'd love to see how the joint between the torso and the tentacles (legs?) is done though.

Something I've noticed is that people tend to forget all the weirdness that should happen when you play allies that aren't Battle Brothers.

what weirdness? every army has legit mind control abilities, so theres at least one canon reason for every possible 'alliance,' no matter how short, fragile or cruel

That's one thing that WMH does that 40k doesn't; provide handy justification for what units can be used in which other armies. From the very beginning, it sorted out the difference between "Friendly Models" and "Friendly Faction Models", and likewise has the ability for the former to be treated as the latter with the correct tier/ranking officers. Add in "Ally Units" which are interchangeably Mercenary/Faction units for irregulars that nonetheless are more often-than-not associated with one Kingdom.

The way GW is doing it, it's either "One and a half FoCs" for 40k, or "smash the armybooks together" for Fantasy (which leads to silly overlap, like "Take this Warhound unit rather than that Warhound unit"), is…I don't *blame* them because it should have been a more gradual process to begin with, but the implementation is still eh.

TL;dr fan-wish (homebrew derpery):
-Allies & Mercenaries book. Rules for: Human "Desperadoes" (aka guns-for-hire), Kroot Mercs, Ork Freebootaz, Eldar Outcasts (Rangers with non-sniper weapons, etc), etc.
-Rules for "When including a mercenary in this army". Ex: Mercenaries in a Tyranid army *must* take the Genestealer Hybrid template. Mercenaries in a Chaos Army may take a Mark.
-Rules for "When this Mercenary unit is included in an army." For example: Kroot Shapers may choose weapon options from the armory of the codex they're selected for. Orks may take a Dedicated Transport of the army they're included for, though it automatically has the "Don't Press Dat" rules.

It's fan-wishlisting, but having some crunch behind the "reason" for alliance feels more entertaining overall.

its not the system i find a fault with, its the players that says "oh, tau shouldnt ally with tyranids because X"

hell yeah tyranids can ally with anyone, because tyranids have massively powerful psykers that can easily do mind control, or they have facehugger style brainbugs.
Necrons? theyre controlling their 'allies' with mindshackle scarabs
Chaos? the allies are possessed
Eldar? fiendish machinations!

my point is, every army has an excuse that will allow them to ally with any other army, but nobody said anything about an alliance being an equal agreement between the two armies

No offense, AP, but this was an -incredibly- boring writeup. You took an army tweaked to the cheesiest extremes, played on tables with little to no LOS-blocking terrain, against opponents who always seemed to fail critical dice rolls while your luck was always just above average at least, and four out of five times got first turn. Every battle, 10/10, and most of them either tablings or near-tablings. Yawn.

>You took an army tweaked to the cheesiest extremes

Why would I bring a subpar list when I'm trying to win? Do you not know what this site is, or what we write about here? C'mon, man.

>played on tables with little to no LOS-blocking terrain

And this is my fault in any way how? (It's also not actually true, as my Round 4 table actually had quite a few large LOS-blockers, enough for him to hide a Sicaran and a 20-model blob behind and for me to hide two Serpents, my HQ, and a Hornet on my side.)

>against opponents who always seemed to fail critical dice rolls while your luck was always just above average at least

My win against Grant round 2 I can't take any real credit for- he had horrible luck there, but that was exacerbated by his army's low model count. Against Jeremy in round 5, he likewise had some below-average rolls, but that's just the way the dice fall- there were also lots of times I had some mediocre rolls that I never talked about because between rerolls, sheer number of shots, and the resilience of the army it didn't end up mattering. That's half the point- the army was designed to be resistant to bad luck because it's a thing that everyone has to deal with. One example: in all of my games, the whole weekend, I cast Summoning a grand total of five times. My Farseer was alive until at least turn 4, and usually the end of the game, in most every game and I attempted the spell nearly every turn AND I had the Spirit Stone to drop it to WC2, but I still failed it using 5+ dice about 80% of the time. I also failed Psychic Shriek on 3-4 dice more than a dozen times during the tournament. Is that "above average luck"? The hell it is. But it didn't end up mattering, because the rest of the army could compensate for things- I wasn't reliant on one unit doing all the work for me.

>and four out of five times got first turn

Round 1 and Round 3 my opponents won the roll for first turn and gave it to me; Round 2 and Round 5 I won the roll for first turn and took it myself. Round 4 my opponent won the roll and took it. I don't see how that's particularly lucky or unusual.

"Why would I bring a subpar list when I'm trying to win? Do you not know what this site is, or what we write about here? C'mon, man."

That's fine, you were playing to win, but the fact remains it was the most hardcore min-maxing available and didn't in any particular way look like any of your opponents' armies, who presumably were also 'trying to win', and that in the end, 'trying to win' to that extent just leads to really boring writeups. Seriously, at no point does it sound like you particularly struggled with any of your matches; by the end it was basically just a foregone conclusion, at least the way I was reading it.

Really, all this does is make me wonder if comp is really such a bad thing after all, since your army is so clearly superior to all others that it suggests the game is simply broken at any kind of high level.

"And this is my fault in any way how?"

Did I say it was your fault?

"I don't see how that's particularly lucky or unusual."

I didn't say it was lucky or unusual, I simply said it contributed to a boring series of writeups. A point I stand by, since every one of them is basically "I shot them until they were all dead, 10/10".

>and didn't in any particular way look like any of your opponents' armies

I'm not sure what you mean by this. Most all of the other people I played also brought very hard lists; TSHFT has always had a strong competitive component to it and many very skilled players attend it. Reece's list was probably what I would call the least-competitive of them, but that's more because he is a big fan of trying out weird stuff than because he was intentionally bringing anything weak.

>Seriously, at no point does it sound like you particularly struggled with any of your matches

Mmm. You can read it that way, if you want; I was never in a "fuck panic mode I'm gonna lose" situation, but especially against Geoff in round 3 and Jeremy in round 5 there were some distinct failure points where the entire game could've tipped on a handful of dice.

>since your army is so clearly superior to all others that it suggests the game is simply broken at any kind of high level.

I guess I'm glad you think so highly of it. Comp, as we've said many times in the past, won't fix that problem, though- it'll just mean that a different army takes its place.

>since every one of them is basically "I shot them until they were all dead, 10/10".

Well, what did you expect from a writeup about a strong shooting army? Without photos and a lot more specifics, I can't really talk about exactly how the battles played out. Broad overviews by definition don't tend to be overflowing with detailed information.

"I'm not sure what you mean by this."

What I mean is, if everyone at the tournament was 'trying to win', then it's odd that you faced lists containing anything but Tau/Eldar, and perhaps Necrons; certainly the fact that you ran into Space Wolves so often, and a pure biker SM army, suggests that strict minmaxing wasn't the only thing on peoples' minds. Yes, the rest of them were -trying- to win, because you always are whenever you're playing a game, but your list seems more like you were trying to -win-.

"You can read it that way, if you want"

I'm reading it the way you wrote it. There's almost an indication in round 5 of you running into trouble, but it's glossed over so quickly, and so immediately returns to you near-tabling yet another opponent for a perfect game to round out your perfect tournament, it's kind of hard to get any sense of drama from it.

"Well, what did you expect from a writeup about a strong shooting army?"

Some indication that your games were anything but a casual cakewalk would have been nice, though between your going all-shooting, tables lacking much in the way of LOS-blocking terrain and half your opponents curiously deciding to give an army just begging for a chance to alpha strike first turn I suppose that was a bit much to hope for. My fault, really.

>then it's odd that you faced lists containing anything but Tau/Eldar

Not everyone has the same opinion of what is strongest. And, if you haven't noticed, Tau and Eldar are actually not very popular as a combination on the tournament circut since 7E started, since everyone seems to think that the loss of the ability to buff the space commies with elf spells makes them worthless. Obviously I disagree.

>you ran into Space Wolves so often, and a pure biker SM army

Well, the two SW players I played were both on Team Zero Comp and from the same area, so it's not surprise they shared a lot of list-building thoughts. The "pure" bike list was actually mixed with SW as well, remember, and that list was NOT built to be soft. Space Marine bikes are, in my opinion, the second-strongest army in the game right now.

>it's kind of hard to get any sense of drama from it

Well, yeah, the drama was pretty limited. As I said, it's not supposed to be a battle report.

>half your opponents curiously deciding to give an army just begging for a chance to alpha strike first turn

Keep in mind that, for both those Tyranid players, the ONLY thing I actually killed on the first turn was a single Malanthrope, and under the ITC system going second can be a very major advantage in terms of actually winning the missions. I don't think Geoff was wrong to do so; the Tau/Nids player, I am less sure about.

>Some indication that your games were anything but a casual cakewalk would have been nice

Well, okay, then I'll straight-up say it: with the exception of my match against Grant, where the dice absolutely hated him, none of these were easy matches. Yes, in many cases my firepower did enough work that by turn 3 I had a clear advantage, but those early turns can be critical in ANY game, not just a game with a shooting army. Against Geoff's Tyranids, the Barbed Heirodule was on top of the relic on turn 4 and he had several of my units locked in combat (admittedly just with Rippers, but even so.) If I had rolled worse on to-wound or he had rolled better on saves/FNP he still could've won that match even with only five models left on the field.

"Not everyone has the same opinion of what is strongest."

Then apparently those other people are wrong, since from the evidence you presented here your army appears to be an absolutely perfect opponent-smashing machine. 10/10.

"Well, okay, then I'll straight-up say it…"

And if you'd said similar when composing your writeups, I wouldn't have had a complaint to begin with. Perhaps something to keep in mind for next time, a little constructive criticism on keeping the readership engaged when detailing your flawless tournament-wide victories. ^_~

Really, 5 games are 100% indicative in your mind?

You should go research the numbers Mike and the rest have been generating. I think the results would surprise you.

No, you're right, taking an army mostly composed of what are widely regarded as some of the strongest options in the entire game (Wave Serpents, Firebase Cadre) and scoring perfect 10/10 matches every time was just a consistent two-day statistical fluke. Nothing you could draw any conclusions from there, nosiree! I'm sure next time it'll all turn right around on AP, those tricksy dice, just you watch!

Since NOVA, BAO, Adepticon, and many of the other big tournaments were won by armies that look very different from mine, I think you're exaggerating.

There is a book called Play to Win, it is about a competitive Street Fighter player/designer. The book talks about the preconceived notions of cheap tactics, gimmicks, and glitches. Basically saying everyone is playing the same game, with the same options. When you go to a tournament with a intent to win the only thing that matters are the rules of the game. You can apply a lot of the same notions in the book to 40k, or any game that is played on a competitive level.

Someone stating that a unit/formation/army is overpowered and that they will never run such cheese is imposing a false rule on themselves which has no barring on the game in general. _Garnet_ vs abusepuppy conversation seems to be related to some of the principals described in the book; which abusepuppy did a fantastic job of creating a list that performs well.

As for 40k, the game can be played competitively but the game is not balanced. Although due to the lack of balance does not mean you should never play competitively. Are games more interesting if you have to claw tooth and nail for a victory? Sure, but if you are going to a big event you play a army that you are comfortable with that has performed well vs many armies and you let the dice fall where they may.

Abusepuppy, I really like your list. The write ups would be better with pictures and descriptions of start, the noting of potential swing turns/moves, and the end result. I do not hold this against you, I know exactly how difficult it is to remember pictures in the middle of win streaks.

I guess in the end haters gonna hate.

David Sirlin is the name of the man you refer to. He also has some insightful thoughts on game design as well. I would venture a guess that he would probably have a few issues with table top games namely how much terrain effects the games and how none seem to have a standard for it.

While I did say that AP's army was tweaked to the cheesiest, everyone seems to have ignored the fact that that was a single component of my explanation as to why I found THIS WRITEUP BORING. I put that in all caps because people keep wanting to make this a thing about me hating, or judging, or whatever, but it's not. I know tournament 40K is all about being the most munchkiny minmaxer, that's why I personally don't attend the big tournaments in my area, but I don't hold it against people who go, it's just not a style I personally enjoy playing.

My point originally, and I think pretty consistently (save for perhaps the odd digression) was simply that these writeups were dully drama-free seemingly-flawless curbstomps.

I hope that you will one day understand that 40k is horrible for tournaments.
You are wasting your talent with this game AP.

Yeah, sure sounded like to me that everyone there had a miserable time.

I don't know why people insist on bitterness when approaching life.

Im not bitter. I never said it is not fun.
Im only said that competitive 40k is pointless.
There are almost no "tactics" involved.
40k is a game of listbuilding. You play it long enough to know that.
Do you belive someone can win a tournament with nothing like mutilators and warptalons?
No you can't, because the list is not good enough.

"Im not bitter. I never said it is not fun.
Im only said that competitive 40k is pointless. "

But if the point of a GAME is to have fun (I know that's weird concept but let's speak in hypotheticals at the moment), and if you never said it's not fun – that implies that it is fun (as the article suggests), and it therefore fulfils it's raison d'etre which is to have fun.

It might be fun to some.
To clear this up. Im not against competitive gaming in general.
40k is the most broken, list driven, imbalanced, randomised tabletop wargame on the market.
Hence it's horrible for any kind of serious competition.

I think AP would agree with this.
Kirby found that out a long time ago. Thats the reason he playing primary other games right now.

>>40k is a game of listbuilding. You play it long enough to know that.

Bullocks. I've been playing it for north of 15 years, and it's just the tips of the ice berg of strategy games I've been playing for close to 30, and I think there is definitively a solid bit of strategy in the game.

Even with the coalescent tendencies of list building, we still see quite similar lists with strongly divergent final placement. You also see some unorthodox lists still do quite well, because of good tactics and strategy. I'm willing to be Reecius finished well with his list.

Well how much is attributed to tactic and how much is listbuilding.
My guess would be 70% listbuilding 30% tactics.
If player skill and luck are roughly equal, the serpent spam will win 98% of the time against mutilator spam.
Saying 40k is the tip of the Iceberg of strategie games is just wrong.
Do you really belive that 40k is the most tactial tabletop game out there?
Have you ever tried well…any other wargame?
Or is your response only contributed to your hurt ego, because I said competitve 40k is
Pointless?

Take any competitive game. Then pick one of the top 1% of units/cards/models/decks/whatever. Then pick one of the weakest 1% of whatever in the game, but make sure it's also of a type that is generally at a significant disadvantage against the first whatever.

You will probably find a similar disparity between the head on results between those two things, even allowing for both players having exactly even skill and luck.

To take the example of MtG, which people often seem to tout as a great competitive game, what would you expect if you pitted a tournament winning deck against a deck just randomly thrown together with duff cards?

>My guess would be 70% listbuilding 30% tactics.

Well my guess is that it's 2000% listbuilding and 5000% tactics. Since both of our guesses are wholly unsupported by any basis in provable fact, there's no way to tell which is right.

I don't know anything about MTG.
I do know a few things about Infinity.
I do know a lot about Dropzone Commander.
Both of those games have units that could be considered "good" and units that are "bad".
Only 40k has units with such a power disparity.
I mean there are units that are utterly worthless.
And there are units that are insanely powerful.
Point cost should balance this, but it really doesn't.

2++ reroll
Invisibility
Death stars
The whole concept of alpha strikes

All these are reasons why 40k is horrible for competitive gaming.

I mean we don't have to argue about the fact that 40k has a horrible balance do we?
So why on earth would this particular game be suited for competitive gameplay?

There is no game on earth you can play where someone won't take issue with what you're doing. I could switch to MtG, or Infinity, or Warmahordes, or chess, or any other game and no matter what I decided to do with it SOMEONE would scream about how I was wasting my time playing casually/competitively/etc.

Also, I find it pretty hilarious that you seem to think that other games are perfect models of balance. Have you ever heard of Combo Winter? Mirrodin Block? Jace? MtG has practically been _defined_ by periods of insanely broken cards. You think 40K is bad? There have been times where 60%+ players at a tournament were playing essentially THE EXACT SAME DECK. No matter what your complaints about 40K, it's never reached anything like those levels of imbalance. I haven't explored Infinity or DZC sufficiently to say for sure, but my intuition is that they have their problems as well (I mean, Infinity just released an entirely new edition to fix some of the ongoing problems, so…)

Yeah, exactly. Hearthstone might be one of the better games built from the ground up to come out in the last year, and even it has deck tendencies that tend to transcend all Heroes in a similar way as 40K and codexes. Some cards, like Bloodmage Thalnos or Rag can be fit in virtually every deck.

Every strategic game that also allows you to modify what you bring to the table pregame is going to show at least some tendencies on what is brought at the highest levels.

Pff what a joke!
You do know that listbuilding is more important then in game tactics.
I mean what did you do during the tournament?
Target priority! Thats fucking it! Shoot them to pieces!

You do know how to build strong lists. No doubt about that.
Well you have "mastered" 40k! Good job!
Would it not be time to look for new challanges?

You're right. Literally anyone could play my list on autopilot, that's why I literally never lose with it and you've seen dozens of identical lists winning tournaments everywhere. The army that won BAO? Eldau. NOVA? Eldau. Adepticon? Eldau/ Harvester? Eldau. Every other GT anywhere in the country? Eldau.

"against opponents who always seemed to fail critical dice rolls while your luck was always just above average at least"

how is this AP's fault? does he control probability now?

Ever notice that when people say "No offence but…" they're usually about to say something really offensive? πŸ™‚

Alright, fine; all offense meant, your army is cheesy and your tournament battles make for boring reading because they're so pointlessly easy, a fact I personally judge you as being a bad person for. Is that more to your liking? ; p

Oh snap, you have started it now! I'm going off to tell Fox News about how I, as a straight white male, am the victim of the TRUE oppression in our society!

I was about to dispute this before I remembered you're in the USA – here in Britain, it's the total opposite. 'I'm not a racist/sexist/ageist/cisgender/patriarch-propogator but' is the recognised and correct introduction to every sentence.

Ha ha, yeah, some of the Zero Comp guys were joking that I should keep my list a secret and refuse to tell anyone about it so I could be Grand King Warham. πŸ˜›

Nice write up AB. How you liking those Hornets? I'm thinking of adding them to my DE army (allies of course). Are the holo fields worth the 15 point upgrade?

Oh my god Hornets are amazing. They provide the army with some much-needed AP2, the can Scout to hold back fast armies (as they did for me in Round 5), they can come into the enemy backfield reliably (since they also have Acute Senses), and they're cheap as chips.

I wouldn't bother with Holofields, since the base Hornet is so cheap anyways.

What's the Darkshroud conversion in the picture of Jeremy's army? It looks like an interesting model, but I'm also intrigued as to what it was in-game.

He doesn't actually make any use of it in the game, it's just there as a pretty centerpiece for his army. I think at one point it was actually used as a Darkshroud, but not anymore.

Yeah thats my "Church of Khan" the army is 15 years old and has gone through 5 codex and 1 White Dwarf iteration. That Speeder was a Darkshroud when I played them as Ravenwing. I could not fit my 24 by 36 inch display board for the trip sadly.

Wow, I didn't realize you'd had them that long; I think the first time I saw you bust them out was when the DA codex dropped with 6E, although admittedly I only knew you somewhat in passing at that point.

I'm guessing painting was optional? Armies anymore at these "big events" just seem to be so half assed…. there are still some that do show a love for the hobby but just unimpressive by these photos. That event looks and sounds like a waste of money, no terrain so armies like Tau and Eldar can just arm chair their way to wins. Just looking at the photos you posted 3 unpainted or seriously poorly painted (read poorly as not finished or bare minimum just to make a passing grade) and two painted….. wont be looking to make time for this event in the future. If more events start going this direction I seriously don't see the reason to paint anything just grab the current most broken stuff and give a kid 3 cans of colored primer and call it a day.

No, painting was required (3-color minimum), it just didn't contribute to the Best General score. Three prizes were given out to the players based on their armies: Best General (for the person with the best record), Best Army (for the person with the best painted/most thematic army), and Favorite Opponent (for the person with the best sportsmanship score.) As the prizes for all three awards were the same, I find it hard to stand with your view of the event.

Grant's army isn't terribly impressive looking, but not everyone wants to put that kind of work into things. It's his choice, and you getting all preachy about things is hardly going to change his mind. Reece started his army… what, three weeks ago? He has multiple very large and nicely-painted armies and runs a friggin' painting service, so I find your condemnation of this particular one of his armies to be absolutely hilarious. The TauNids were painted to a very respectable standard and while not excessively detailed, were well-converted and had very clean lines and even coats, a solid paint job in my book. Geoff's force, which I didn't get a picture of, is extremely well-painted and well-based. And Jeremy's White Scars are an AMAZING-looking army and while my picture may not do them justice, they've won painting awards at several other events.

In short, you're spouting whiney nonsense and self-righteous bile about something you have absolutely no knowledge about. There were dozens of beautiful armies there and they got all the respect they deserve for the work their creators put into them. I'm glad you don't want to go, because if you're going to act like this then I think TSHFT is better off without you- we have a strong community of players and in the many times I've gone I've had almost nothing but excellent games against very enjoyable people. Most competitive players are extremely friendly and engaging and want just as much as anyone for people to have a great time at an event.

I'll stick up for TSHFT too, I've had a great time every time I've attended.

Also I'm amused by your assertion that terrain makes any difference to the two armies that have ready access to lots of Ignores Cover. Unless you have some huge LoS-blocking pieces in the center of the board, I promise you, Wave Serpents give zero fucks about terrain. Their speed makes positioning yourself such that a serpent has no chance of shooting you not really feasible unless the table is deliberately set up to cockblock shooty armies.

This is just the way the game is played at the competitive level. If you don't want to play it this way, you are correct in avoiding tournaments.

Mmmm. I'm not really sure that's an answerable question- I mean, obviously my list was really important; the list you bring to a tournament determines the types of tools you have available to use, and developing a list is a huge part of doing well in a tournament. A lot of people tend to take the view that good lists are self-evident, but I've never believed that; if they were, you'd see WAY more people bringing the same list, which typically isn't the case. There was only one other Eldar/Tau player there (and he had a completely different list than me) and even the other Eldar players- while obviously sharing the Wave Serpents- had pretty different components than mine.

At the same time, a list alone isn't enough. A good player makes a list come alive and can use it to do things a weaker general might not expect or understand; it's absolutely possible for someone with a "weaker" list to use it to outplay someone with a "stronger" army. And we've seen the same few names consistently showing up as the top players in big events time and time again, which I think lends pretty strong support to the fact that their wins are more than just a fluke- Tony Kopach especially comes to mind here, as he's had strong showings at NOVA every time.

At the end of the day, I'd say I'm probably a better list-writer than I am player; I doubt I could beat Tony (or other guys like him) in a match of pure generalship. It's quite possible that some of the people at TSHFT are better players than me in an absolute sense, although that's always hard to say for sure. But writing and bringing a strong list is a skill all its own, so I don't feel terribly apologetic about winning- it took me the better part of a year to hammer this list into its final shape, so the idea that it's just "durr spam good units im WINNAR" is kind of pathetic.

Honestly if the tournament circuit just flat out said "no eldar or tau" i bet it would be way more interesting and balanced.

probably so, but there would also be more to tactics, movement and charges and I think the game would be much more healthy from a competitive standpoint. Any army that just bunkers down and only fires is static and only hurts competitive 40k, not to belittle your strategy or player ability, but a lot of people could take a list like this and just play it and win as it mainly just needs to hold still and fire, at least that was the synopsis I gathered from your article.

Even though youre right that space marines, necrons and knights would probably be top dogs, there would be more strategy in the fights and victories involved therein, and no matter what theres always going to be some armies that are top dog, but if those armies are more dynamic and succeed through skill and not just strong guns and number of dice I think we can all agree that is better in the long run. And the meta would definitely shift to reflect this. Im not saying its the end all be all solution, just an interesting thought experiment. It would create a vastly different game, one I think I and many others would be more interested in playing competitively.

"Any army that just bunkers down and only fires is static"

I don't think you know how this list works. Or, indeed, how a lot of lists work, because I can tell you that static Eldar or Tau that don't move or use combat to their advantage are actually pretty bad.

Not really. The best SM, Necron, or Knight lists are, if not quite as nasty as AP's list, still really nasty. They'll still curb-stomp anything that's not an optimized tournament list.

White Scars lists against a lot of opponents just go "scout forward and shoot them with grav/melta until they die". There might be a deathstar in there, but deathstars are another thing people bitch about in competitive play, yes?

Knights just run forward and either kill you or die. They're similar to wave serpents in that the majority of units in the game can't meaningfully threaten them. They just do the killing in melee instead of at range.

Necrons have annihilation barges, catacomb command barges, and good fliers. If you think serpents take no skill, annihilation barges are shorter ranged, differently durable serpents. They both spam S7 at you until you die, and they're both pains in the ass to kill.

Comping the strongest builds just means the next strongest builds take over. 40k right now has a very very large gap between the best builds and the "this is a typical army composed of units I like" style armies people used to bring to tournaments. That will continue to be the case unless 8th edition drops allies and formations and we all have to go back to using a single book for our armies.

Which I seriously doubt will happen. GW's not doing great financially, but I suspect the current state of affairs in the competitive world is to their liking: the rapid release of new books and the constantly changing meta oblige players to continually buy more stuff to stay current.

I'm not sure removing Allies would really help balance all that much. Eldar, Necrons, Tau, Knights, and SM are all pretty damn strong even on their own, and would probably curbstomp fluffy lists plenty badly even without Allies.

Removing limits to detachments lets armies play to their strengths. Tyranids, for example, really come into their own when they can field 3+ detachments.

Removing limits to detachments creates a whole other set of issues. Tyranids work just fine with two detachments, they don't actually really need any more than that- hell, most of the Tyranids I faced at the tournament weren't even coming anywhere close to maxing out their two detachments, even on the "good" stuff.

Well, when people use things outside of their intended purposes, yeah, they're not as good. I'd only play Fantasy tournaments if there were any good tournaments around here that I could easily get to, because competitive 40k is technically possible but it's not really meant to be played in a tournament fashion.

Feels worth just adding 'In my opinion' to this – I mean, ultimately, Shadar summed it up brilliantly above.

If people enjoy it, who am I to say that they're wrong?

Yeah, the good ol' days of "almost everything is sitting inside a transport 99% of the time." Because no one had any problems with THAT. *eyeroll*

Sure, that was the meme of the time, but we both know that wasn't actually the truth. Loganwing, Blood Rodeo, hybrid builds, etc were all very much viable.

On its worst day, the imbalances of 5th are nothing to the imbalances of today.

But going back to 5th edition would mean we'd have at least one 'Grey Knights are so OP' in every comments section on every article, relevant or not, and I don't know if I could take that

I don't know, during 5th you had stretches where as many as half of the codexes were incredibly difficult to bring into a tournament. Orcs, Necrons (pre-dex), Tau, Eldar, Chaos all struggled mightly in the uni build MSU in boxes days.

Now, because of the availability of formations and allies and such, just about every codex has something interesting it can bring to the table enough to established a solid central CAD.

Honestly, I don't have any time to play it at all, sadly. However, from what I've seen on the competitive tables to the more casual battle reports its one of the most diverse fields ever.

The Gap to the bottom has never been lower, I guess is what I'm saying.

"Chaos all struggled mightly in the uni build MSU in boxes days. "

B-but muh Lash, Shadar! Plague Marines! 9 Obliterators!

Oh for the days of zero effort list-building.

I will take 6th/7th over 5th any day for the introduction of hull points alone. Watching psyflemen dreadnoughts get glanced and shaken two or three times a turn, then just shrug it off and keep firing at full effect, for the entire damn game, all because you literally could not destroy them without AP1 weaponry on that glance chart was the worst.

The HP system is one of the best things GW's come up with in ages. I have way too many bad memories of just Shaking Rhinos or Chimerae over and over to no real effect.

I dunno, I'll take Psydreads over Knights, 2++ rerollable, O'vestastar, Centstar, Eldar summoning Daemons, Skyblight, etc.

HPs were a good idea, but the pendulum just swung too hard the other way. Nowadays, single shot low AP weapons are virtually useless compared to medium S, high RoF weaponry.

C'mon man, how are you gonna complain about the various deathstars in 6th/7th like 5th didn't bring us Draigowing/paladin deathstars, Loganwing, and Nob bikerz playing wound allocation shenanigans all game long? 6th/7th didn't introduce the deathstar, it just introduced different ones.

Killer army, I personally would hate to go up against it just because of how tough it would be to beat.

I think it’s fairly dumb when people say things like no “eldar or tau should be in tourneys”. At my FLGS they rarely allow formations, knights, forgeworld or really anything beyond a 5th edition FOC and an ally. It’s frustrating as it really limits the game and GW has offered so many options its a waste to purposefully ignore them. I just feel really irritated when people actually want these types of restrictions.

AP your army is great, very intense but if you’re going to a tournament of course you would bring what you think will win.

I feel your pain – it also shuts a lot of doors. If my LGS said you can only run one Combined Arms and an Allied detachment, I'd probably just sell my GK (well, I would if I played at my LGS; as it is I have a good circle of 40k-playing friends, but the point still stands).

Honestly? I think allies and formations were both bad for the game as whole. However, I'm not the one running this mess, so if people are getting angry about the state of the game, pointing the finger at the players is the wrong direction to be looking.

Serious hard-core tournament list. I sortta feel your Harvester list was more balanced on paper, having more answers for CC, AA and Av14, but I guess sheer weight of shots makes up for it…

The Harvester list definitely had better AA and the CC solutions were very helpful to have, but it also had some weaknesses- worse scoring, problems against Knight armies, and issues dealing with Daemons. I obviously wouldn't call it weak, but I felt this army was better overall. (I actually had wanted to bring Eld/Tau to the Harvester, but didn't have the Hornets or Fire Dragons finished at that point, nor one of the Serpents painted at all.)

Screw the haters. Seriously. Congrats AP, you beat out some seriously skilled players to win this.

OF COURSE the game is going to come down to luck, this is a dice-based game, and at the highest levels, there isn't much margin for error, the best generals are going to meet and it's going to come down to who gets the good roll and who doesn't.

As an aside, I'm so glad TSHFT is getting national attention. I'm just sad it's happening now that I don't get to play anymore. πŸ™

Thanks, mang. I really hope you can start making it out to TSHFT again- I've definitely missed seeing you there. Maybe when May rolls around, with any luck?

I should. My life situation has stabilized a lot more, so it shouldn't be as big of an issue. I miss seeing all the friendly faces. πŸ˜€ I also miss being decent at this game! πŸ˜€

Diz playa amz dildos and hiz army amz dildos and hiz paintz amx dildos.

You noz playz the 40ks likes I likes and I am hates you for it.

Seriously. Looks at dat doochenbag.

Should be called Douchekitten not Abusepuppy.

I'm awarding the 'Most Pathetic Attempt At Humour' award early this year, in January 2015, for this post.

I'm not sure you guys realize that this poster knows AP personally and is trying to defend him. Oh well. πŸ˜€

Oh, in which case my sides are splitting because that truly was the epitome of clever and effective satire. My mistake.

Yeah, she's a model and she's super-hot and you probably don't know her. Probably don't.

She's from Canada.

Any chance in the future you could get a shot of deployment right before the game begins? I feel that helps these kind of reports be interesting more then anything. Well at least for me. I know that is hard to do in the tourney setting. but maybe an assistant or event organizer could help?

And to all those "ug competitive warhams looks alful" almost every tabletop strategy game ends up looking unfluffy and unrealistic at the competitive level.

Mmmm. I try to, but it's actually difficult due to time constraints at tournaments- while not a lot of my matches ended on time at this tournament, it's certainly something that happens and I'd feel bad being the cause of it. I may try and get better pics in the future.

Just wanted to drop in and say thank you for writing a report, and sorry for the trolls. From an onlookers point of view, it seems like 40k is suffering.. alot. Much of that is due to decreased net presence and tournament reporting, so posting tournament reports is huge for my 40k morale. Thanks!

I'll probably be doing some more video batreps here in the near future as well, so you'll have that to look forward to. And I definitely agree, finding good battle reports is hard to find. :\

Ditto. Nice to see he's finally walking the walk. Like I said above, you can't fault him for knowing his battlefield and strategizing accordingly.

Grats on the win dude. You know I love you.

BUT

Reading this was painful. 40k is such a fucking trainwreck. It makes me so very sad.

I'm in the same boat. Props to AP for kicking ass. Well played. That's one of the nastiest lists that I've seen.

I'm, well, disappointed in the number of people holding the current state of the game against AP as if it's somehow his fault that the rules enable this approach to list building.

The modern game of 40k just bears almost no resemblance to the one I've played for 10+ years, and while I'm glad some people enjoy it the way it is now, I don't much care for it. I don't really see a solution short of an abrupt reverse-course from GW.

Comp is both unworkable and won't actually solve the problem, for reasons discussed above, and GW keeps making it both possible and desirable to cherry-pick codices and dataslates for the top-tier units while minimizing or eliminating the points spent on things like or HQs. Lists built that way are just so much stronger than lists built the old way.

Like I said. I get how people could find this fun, sort of. I'm glad people are having fun with 40k as it is now. It just doesn't hold much appeal for me personally.

Actually, Maelstrom games pretty much solve most of these problems from the get-go. Playing to score points from turn 1 really puts the fun back in 40k.

My list does Maelstrom about as well as any army can expect to. I mean, the secondary mission in every single game was Maelstrom, so…

There's a difference between Maelstrom as secondary and playing the Maelstrom missions. In Maelstrom you need to start scoring on turn one, and that means you can't move for optimum efficiency in killing the other guy; I find Wave Serpents and the like need to stick their necks out to start the scoring, and that's where they're vulnerable – both in terms of rear-armour shooting and charges.

It depends on where objectives are located and such and who draws what objectives. It's absolutely possible (and not even terribly unlikely) that a player simply won't score any points on the first turn, especially in Maelstrom missions that start you out with a small number of cards. And many armies can't really take good advantage of the Serpents moving in closer to them, either because they deployed defensively or because they lack the melee elements to punish them for doing so. Also, keep in mind that the list has the Riptide and Farseer, both of which are mobile (and tough) enough to claim midfield objectives fairly well.

The players determine where the objectives are located, and there's an entire Warlord trait table that helps players manipulate their starting Tactical Objectives. Neither the Riptide nor the Farseer can infiltrate onto midfield objectives (really the only objectives unless either you or your opponent don't understand how objective markers work in Maelstrom), which means they'll have to close. I'll agree with you though, Eternal War-optimized armies don't work well in Maelstrom.

>The players determine where the objectives are located

Yes, both players do. So half of the objectives will be where the Serpent player wants them, and thus likely won't be disadvantageous for them to move onto.

>Neither the Riptide nor the Farseer can infiltrate onto midfield objectives

So what? With 12" +36", pretty much the entire board is within the Farseer's reach turn 1, if you're willing to move there.

>I'll agree with you though, Eternal War-optimized armies don't work well in Maelstrom.

Except that isn't what I was saying. Most "standard" armies will do similarly-well at Maelstrom also, though there are exceptions. Serpent armies, however, are not one of those exceptions- it's not at all unusual for them to move into midfield during the intervening stages of the game.

How so? Wave Serpent-dar lists love maelstrom. Fast moving, superlatively durable skimmers, some of which have OS? That can tank shock?

Wave Serpents are better than you at everything.

Nomeny mentions it above already but: almost everything in the game is either S4 base, or comes with krak grenades (or the equivalent). When a wave serpent moves into the midfield, rather than sitting back at 36" and firing away with all the TL S7 ever, it becomes vulnerable to being charged and punched in the AV10 rear armor. 10 krak grenades have about a 70% chance to pop a serpent through hullpoint attrition.

Broadsides are of limited effectiveness in Maelstrom as they're really only functional as an (admittedly large) area denial unit. Asking a 200 point unit of broadsides to actually move to get on an objective means that unit isn't firing for a turn.

Farsight enclave tau are still very well equipped to deal with maelstrom – to the point that I'm not sure allying eldar really is advantageous, but ultimately all maelstrom does is force players to actually move significant portions of their army into the mid-field early in the game.

> it becomes vulnerable to being charged and punched in the AV10 rear armor.

Wave Serpents are really vulnerable to melee, it's true, but not all armies have the melee strength to do this and/or want to close in like that. (Moving towards the Serpents probably means moving off objectives, remember.)

>Broadsides are of limited effectiveness in Maelstrom

Just start them within 3" of an objective and kill anything that comes in range. That's not exactly a hard plan to enact right there. Hell, sit them not on an objective and use them to bludgeon all enemy units to death that try and take whatever objectives they can see- that works just fine, too. Not EVERY unit in an entire Maelstrom list needs to be constantly jetting to the other side of the field. Firepower still has value for denying the enemy objectives, cutting down units that are threatening your own objectives, scoring the non-objective related cards, etc, etc.

As I mention, most armies bring either S4, S3 rending, or krak grenades. All marines are 4 base, and bring krak; daemons are either S4 or have rending; nids can bring furious charge and are S4+ on anything that isn't a gant, tau don't need to punch things since they bring the S7 shooting in spades, even eldar troops come with plasma (S4) Grenades… guardsmen are about the only army left out in the cold…

Since you only get to place 1/2 of the objectives in any maelstrom game, I can place my half such that I can mitigate your effectiveness if you do that – having ~400 points of your list placed static & hoping to claim 2 objectives if you get good draws isn't a great plan if 3 or 4 of the other objectives are hidden on the other side of BLOS terrain or even better simply out of range.

Whoa.. A very powerful list indeed. Been wracking my brain on how to come up against it and I feel like you'd have to tailor somewhat to beat this list.

Abusepuppy, what do you think this list is countered by? 2++ rerollable cc units? Transcendent C'tan?

Just curious

It depends a lot on what sort of restrictions your environment is using. If it's completely wide open, you're a fool not to take the Transcencent C'tan whether 2++ rerollables exist or not- nothing else even comes close to its power level. If you're playing under ITC rules, the 2+/4+ nerf means that it's a lot more possible just to torrent such units down with weight of fire (which is my list's typical plan.) Other types of restrictions will create different best solutions.

One other big thing to consider is that the only 2++ rerollable unit in the game (Screamerstar) is actually very weak to much of the field and is reliant on a specific set of circumstances. It needs Fateweaver around to make the 2++ reliable (and Fatey can be shot down, as he's not actually that tough.) It needs a model with the Grimoire, which can potentially be sniped out via Barrage weapons or other methods- remember, the model carrying the Grimoire NEVER benefits from the bonus to its save. Finally, it needs to successfully activate its buffs, so if it fails the roll, loses the source model, is out of range, or gets hit before it has a chance to do so, you can seriously cripple the army. Also remember that, unlike some earlier deathstars, Seerstar/Screamerstar these days do NOT have Hit and Run and can thus be locked up by a big blob of models (Guard, Orks, etc) and simply grind away while the rest of your army does its thing.

Maybe sit 3 ruakan LR achiles with techmarines & ironstone ina corner and see what gives first πŸ™‚ I always wanted to try that…

Good points all around. Makes sense. Is there anything you're really worried about outside of the C'Tan? Assuming no restrictions of course.

In a completely wide-open world? Assuming no outside FAQs, only the Games Workshop ones? Pretty much all of the below:

-Transcendent C'tan
-Warhound/Phantom/Reaver Titan
-Hellhammer/Stormsword/Typhon/etc
– 2+ rerollable deathstars (unreliable, but all but untouchable when they work.)
-Command Barges joined to units of Wraiths.
-Unbound firepower spam in general (if you think my list is bad, you could EASILY boost the shooting by 50% via Unbound.)

I'm sure there's more I could come up with if I really thought on it, but those are the offenders that immediately jump to mind.

How about a heavy AV 13/14. Like a Necron List with like 24+ HPs across 8 or 9 Hulls. Seems like something like that could at least keep the game interesting late, particularly if it could disable your Dragons early.

It's a great list, though. It definitely contains many of the units and mechanics one needs to bench mark against in todays meta.

I imagine that'd probably be the way to do it – 2 Combined Arms as your two allowed detachments, 2 Command Barges, 6 Annihilation Barges, Warriors with Crypteks in Night Scythes.

Well, that, or some oddball list that someone comes up with that nobody else thought of (what was that tournament recently, where the guy won it with Deathleaper and a huge pile of Lictors that everyone thought was a joke?). Surprising how many times I've seen people flouting their 'my list is the greatest evar', and then they get beaten by some weird army because they just don't really know how to counter it. Admittedly, Puppy is good enough and experienced enough at the game that it's not super-likely to spring something on him that he'll have *no* idea how to deal with, but nobody is ever immune to a curveball.

The LictorShame win at the 11th Company tournament was also helped by the fact that the list played into the scenarios they were using very strongly, and that the local meta is weak on the kind of MSU builds that can clear out the Lictors relatively quickly. The dude didn't tailor for specific opponents, but he did tailor to the expected environment, and did it very well.

In a "pure" meta, I think this is what I'd run these days:

1 Overlord (Command Barge, Scythe, Semp, Shifter)
2 Stormteks
5 Warriors (Night Scythe)
5 Warriors (Night Scythe)
6 Wraiths (3 Whip Coils)
1 Anni Barge
1 Anni Barge
1 Anni Barge
1 Transcendent C'tan (Wave of Withering x2, Seismic)

You've got a Str D shooting superheavy, quite a bit of S7 firepower, Overlord + Wraith unit racing forward to cause havoc, and some supplemental other units.

take the same list & go first.

Seriously. It is basically THE optimized list. It brings enough S7 firepower that whatever walks into range will be eliminated unless it has AV14, but then there's enough ability to remove that as well. This is the current rendition of the leaf blower list & really the only way to succeed is to (a) bring a hell of a lot of invisibility, (b) bring the same list & play a game of brinksmanship – who'll expose themselves first??? or (c) to play on a table with a sufficient volume of LOS blocking terrain that you can engage the army piecemeal. Unfortunately, options (a) & (b) offer incredibly boring games which are decided, generally, by dice instead of actual generalship, and (c) is also generally not possible at tournaments.

It's not as bad as you make out- aggressive lists (Knights, Bikers) can put enough pressure on the army early on to make things difficult for it, especially when it's going second. Attrition-based armies, such as IG with Ignores Cover blobs, can also put a lot of hurt on it due to longer range and greater resilience. The mirror match is actually more a matter of proper positioning and use of terrain more so than the first turn. I've played it on tables with significant LOS-blocking terrain and while it obviously is more difficult in some ways, the army is maneuverable enough (and has enough LOS-ignoring shots) that it still ends up being in a pretty good position- it turns out Eldar skimmers are also good at taking advantage of that sort of thing, so unless you're playing with a truly absurd amount of terrain on the table (50%+) it does just fine.

Are there any Drop Pod lists that you feel could put enough pressure on like that, or do you think you could usually absorb enough of that initial hit and get clear to leave the main drop stranded?

Podding in with Grav or Plasma would probably be bad new for the Riptide and Broadsides, but I don't think that any Pod unit is realistically going to crack the Serpents; Jink plus Serpent Shields (I keep forgetting that they're not just guns, but they're actually pretty powerful when you're not firing them too) means that Melta (the most frequent Pod-based anti-tank I've seen) is very inefficient.

I was thinking more of a mixed shooting/assault approach. Come in strong with Plasma and Grav to go for the Suits, but also try to A) drop enough bodies that there are likely to still be a bunch of dudes there on your next Turn and B) spread out enough that it's going to be hard for the Wave Serpents to get out of Charge Range without Turbo-Boosting, so I can hopefully maintain a credible threat of Charges with Krak/Meltabombs to keep the Serpents on the back foot and maybe create opportunities for my second wave Pods.

It costs five points per model to give everything in that Tau detachment interceptor. Just try podding in to two clusters of 12 twin-linked S7 shots (plus two more sets of 12 twin-linked S5 shots, depending on local rule interpretations) and a S8 AP2 large blast, all with Preferred Enemy: Space Marines. They won't kill all the marines, of course, but they'll maul a couple of squads quite badly, to the point where the Tau units stand a pretty good chance of coming through the survivors' firepower with acceptable losses.

In this specific case, tho, only half the Broadsides have EWO. I'm not actually too worried about the RipTide. The way you can spread out on landing from a pod, I find a Large Blast usually only nails 3-4 Models, tops. And at BS3, it's got a non-negligible chance of scattering off completely.

Ah, it read like the one Squad just had one EWO, not all of them. That does change things a bit. By my math, that still only works out to a dozen or so MEq down even when you add in the RipTide, tho.

Eh, maybe we'll get to try it out on the table sometime. Drop Wolves are my competitive Army for the foreseeable future and I'm trying to make more Tournaments.

A dozen dead Marines is not nothing, that's three full-strength squads badly mauled, or something like a specialist all-melta Sternguard squad shot entirely off the table before they get to fire a single shot. And if you tear holes in a wide enough cross-section of units, if you force enough break tests, even Marine squads will likely start to find their post-Interceptor shooting ability tapering off, since ATSKNF doesn't kick in again until the start of their following movement phase.

It's certainly not nothing, but I've come back from similar hits plenty of times. I build lists and play with the understanding that I'm gonna take a couple of good kicks in the face and I still need to come back swinging after.

Sure, but the key part is that it happens before their Psychic or Shooting phases happen- in short, I always, always get the alpha strike on such an army. A typical Drop Pod list in 1850 is bringing down ~5 pods on turn 1 with 25-30 Marines inside of them. In killing off half of those bodies before they are even allowed to do anything, I am putting some serious hurt on them. Moreover, I'm not just killing off the chump bodies, I'm hitting the HQs and special weapons in those squads a lot of the time (as Garnet noted, Sternguard and similar units are often a mainstay of their firepower.) Those are casualties they can't really afford to be taking.

I guess I just build Drop Lists differently to most. Usually all about the Grey Hunters for me. Like I said, hopefully someday here, we'll get a chance to try it out on the table, see who pulls it out. I'm gonna try to make it down for the next Guardian Cup, but with my luck, something will go horribly wrong up here again before and I'll have to bail again.

I haven't seen a GH-spam Drop Pod list at any tournament anywhere since 7E dropped. It's not impossible to see one, but they have a lot of weaknesses (Wraithknights, Command Barges, and Flyrants, just to name a few) and not all that many strengths. I mean, yeah, it's a bunch of MEQ bodies, but that doesn't really carry you all that far.

Also, my question wasn't "do most Drop Lists worry you?", it was "Are there any Drop Lists that worry you?"

Not pure Drop lists, no. Some sort of hybrid Bikes/Pods army could be inconvenient, but even that I dunno about- I can't say I've seen any builds that could really do that better than Bikes could do alone. It really comes back around to the masses of Interceptor fire- you need to bring a lot of bodies to weather that, but armies that invest heavily in the bodies they need there really don't have the tools to combat the other parts of the list. Even if you assume they get super-lucky and eliminate the Riptide and one of the Broadside squads on the fall, they still have four Wave Serpents and two Hornets (plus all the contents and anything I summon up) to deal with.

Going after the Tau on the drop feels like the wrong choice to me. They've already used up (most of) this Turn's shooting, and they're the least able to run away from an Assault by whatever I've got left next Turn. I'd reckon hitting the Wave Serpents and/or Hornets that I can reach, at least forcing as many of them as possible to Jink, is my best bet there.

Some of it also does come down to things like whether or not I can get Perfect Timing on one of my Rune Priests. That basically triples my damage from one Squad against a Serpent.

I'm just gonna leave it at this: I'm confident enough in it that, if I get the chance, I will happily go up against this with my Drop Wolves (or however they mutate with Allies now that I'm getting my Crimson Thunder built back up again).

The problem is that you're really, REALLY unlikely to do any damage to the Serpents with your shooting. If you have a squad with a Rune Priest, a Meltagun, and two Combimeltas (which is the best you can do) and even if you assume I am a big dumb idiot and don't shoot any guns at all at that unit so it stands unharmed, and even if you assume that you got Perfect Timing and cast it successfully, you STILL aren't going to kill a Wave Serpent in all likelihood.

You can bring a lot of bodies along- it's very possible to have 60 GH and 15-30 more guys along if that's all you want. But that's a fantastically unbalanced army that has no way at all to deal with a Wraithknight or Command Barge or the like. You're essentially building a list that ONLY stands a chance against my army and a handful of others there, and even then it's not guaranteed (since I can easily kill 20-30 Marines before you can declare a charge, which is most of your initial force.)

Since I'm curious: roughly what would be your list? How many guys are you putting down on the table Turn 1? What sort of guns do you have to kill the Serpents? (I would much rather aim Ignore Cover Melta/Plasma at the Broadsides than the Serpents, since the former have a much stronger output of damage against many targets.)

In my admittedly limited experience with the matchup, the key has been less about killing Serpents right off the bat, and like I said, more about getting as many of them as possible to Jink, cutting the return firepower by about 2/3. A Pack with Perfect Timing would be saved to fire last, going for a Serpent that had already lost a Hull Point.

My 1850 list at the moment is basically my Elvensword list minus the Predator and Whirlwind, and plus a bunch of meltabombs. Rune Priest, two big and two small packs of GH plus Murderfang in Pods, Void Claws with a Cyclone and Arjac for Reserves Control, CC punch, and another Turn 1 Unit, and then a small Blood Claw pack in a StormWolf and a Lone Wolf.

That's definitely changing, tho. Looking at Allying in Tigurius and some Cents in a FA Pod, probably also bringing a StormTalon for some Anti-Air, and dropping the StormWolf and some other stuff to cover it.

So turn 1, you're bringing down something like 20 GH, Murderfang, and the Void Claws, yeah? The Rune Priest's squad probably dies to Broadsides + Riptide shooting them, and then Murderfang likely eats the other Broadside unit. So you've got two Cyclone shots and ~3 Meltagun shots at me the first turn… and you think I'm gonna bother Jinking? I can probably wipe out every non-Drop Pod model you have threatening me on my own turn and you have to focus everything on one Serpent to even have a reasonable chance of downing it- how can you possibly expect to significantly cut down my firepower?

Even presuming all of my Interceptor does jack and squat to you and you take zero casualties, your odds of actually forcing my Serpents into a "Jink or die" situation is pretty low. You just don't have that many tank-killing guns.

Like I said, neither of us seems likely to budge on this via theory-hammer. If we ever get a chance, we can see how it works out on the table.

*shrug* Sure. But you have to admit, just from a purely statistical perspective, that my Interceptor is going to an amazing amount of damage to your guys on the drop, and your raw number of guns to shoot down my Serpents just isn't that high. There's more factors to the matchup than that, of course, but if your plan is to force me to Jink to cut my firepower then I think those are both pretty relevant factors.

When I run the math, I don't get as much damage out of the Interceptor shots as you seem to be assuming. Not by a huge margin, but enough that it makes a difference. Also, as I said, this list is going to be changing as I get regular Marines painted up to Ally in. This weekend is probably going to be its last hurrah.

The plan for the next incarnation is to kick it up to a 9 Pod list, with ~30 MEqs in 4 Pods plus a Pod full of DevCents (probably with Tigurius) coming down Turn 1.

Are you remembering the Preferred Enemy? Those rerolls add up pretty fast when you're shooting Space Marines.

With regards to Tiggy, is there a specific reason you're taking him over Sevrin Loth? Mixing disciplines would be one potential one, I suppose.

Yes, I included the PE Re-rolls. I even rounded them slightly in your favour.

Tiggy over Loth because I have a hard copy of the Rules for Tiggy, because Ultramarines Chapter Tactics will let me Twin-Link a chunk of my Melta for one Turn, because he gets re-rolls on Psychic Tests, and because he provides re-rolls for any UM Pods I leave in Reserves.

Well, to show the math: 28 SMS shots = 21 hits = ~16 wounds. 24 HYMP shots = 18 hits = ~18 wounds. That's eleven dead MEQs right there, ignoring the Ion.

That's assuming you leave Murderfang untouched (you said you'd drop him as well, and I was including that in the calculations, reducing the damage to Marines), and also one more EWO than you've actually got in the list.

True, but as I said it's completely ignoring the Ion (which is probably 3-5 casualties.) So call it 10 dead MEQs from the armor saves and three dead from the AP2- that's still half your landing force, and it's not like I'm gonna have any trouble dealing with Murderfang with 18 S8 AP2/1 shots and the potential to get into rear armor.

In my experience, unless I get totally screwed by Terrain or a really bad Scatter, I can hold Large Blasts to 3 Hits each, and can usually find or arrange cover.

I find that five hits with a pie plate is pretty standard unless a squad is in Maximum Spread formation, which can be hard to achieve when disembarking and wanting to get into terrain and wanting to put yourself in Melta range.

I've usually been able to manage that full spread. Unless, like I said, I get a really bad scatter into a cramped area or roll 2" for my DT movement or something.

I also like Tiggy for the third Wound and excellent Warlord Trait if I'm running SM CAD+Wolves Unleashed.

Loth and the Red Scorpions are definitely worth considering if I end up going more heavily SM, tho. I've got a buttload of Apothecaries, and FNP on much of my initial drop would be pretty nice.

Just in case it was missed…. this exact conversation is why _Garnet_ is actually correct about the state of "competitive" 40K…

A formation from Champions of Fenris. 5+ WG Terminators, all with Wolf Claws. Deep Strikes Turn 1, re-rolls Scatter, provides re-rolls for your Reserves as long as at least one of them is on the Board.

With the Riptide and 5/6 of the Broadsides with Interceptor, I'm generally not worried about anything coming in from reserve. Even a full Drop Pod army is likely to lose a large portion of their effective shooting before it gets to act. And, as noted above, they're gonna do basically zero damage to my Serpents, which lets me disembark guys and then tear them to pieces with AP1/2 shots.

Drop Pods just don't have the capacity to affect enough targets per turn, or weather enough firepower, to present much of a threat to this list.

assuming only one weapon for interceptor, which do you usually fire with the broadsides? The SMS or HYMP?

ITC allows two guns on Interceptor, so usually not a limitation. It's fairly common for me to only fire one gun so as to hold the other back for a different, more efficient, target through. SMS almost always gets used because there's not a lot of things I want to Intercept that it can't hurt, but HYMP is valuable enough I don't always fire it.

I know this is probably idiotic but, which powers do u usually aim for with the Farseer?

I get hat one is the basic from summoning, but what do u aim for most often? Why?

Congratulations for the win btw

No, that's actually a pretty relevant question and one I tried a couple different solutions to at different times. My current method is typically something like: one roll on Maelific (almost always trading out for Summoning, since the other powers are typically mediocre.) One roll on Telepathy, keeping Shrouding/Terrify/Invis and trading anything else for Psychic Shriek. Last roll is the variable one- most commonly it's on Telepathy again (and if I didn't take Shriek earlier the third one will always be to get it), but against Knights, Tyranids, and certain other armies I'll roll on Runes of Fate trying to get something there- Doom, Eldritch Storm, Fortune, and Guide are all useful powers there.

Thanks for the responde abuse.

U love the list. Is similar to one I run but way improved. I allways trΓ­es to ASF a WK.

About sumoning. Do u allways higor daemonnetes? Why?

I wanted to fit a Wraithknight in, but there just wasn't enough points for it, so he had to stay out.

Daemonettes are my default choice because of their speed, ability to kill big targets (especially monstrous/gargantuan creatures as well as light vehicles), and general overall functionality. They're just sort of generically useful.

Bloodletters are typically my second choice, since they are very good against Marines (including bikes) as well as a few other types of targets. Plaguebearers are typically only really useful when I'm worried about Knights (since they are the only summonable thing that can hurt a Knight). Pink Horrors are good when you want to "build" into a stronger late game, but I find that deploying threats early in the form of other daemons is usually a better option- however, that is specific to my list. Other lists will have different priorities for Summoning.

I can't find a comment on it (I got tired to digging and finding nothing but salty/tearful comments), but the list you have up there is 1950 points? Did I math wrong or is there an extra something somewhere on your list?