Desc440’s NEW 2000 pts Tournament List

Greetings, fellow future Soylent Green ingredients! Today, I’m going to discuss the new 2000 points tournament list I’m working on.

Indeed, after the rather… disappointing performance at the last tournament I attended, it became clear that something was not working (beyond my tactics, which I have to admit were partly at fault). One part of the problem became pretty obvious very quickly: the huge amount of Tacticals I had just weren’t pulling their weight (a point I’ve covered in depth already).

That said, other issues eventually became difficult to ignore…

  • The Stormraven, while dealing enormous damage, is just too many points tied into a single target; this is doubly true if you actually use it as a transport and not just a gunboat. As soon as your opponent has a reasonable amount of anti-tank, it’s a dead bird flying. Now that it has had its points increased in Chapter Approved, I see no reason to keep the two I have in my list.
  • Complete lack of pressure units to mess with my opponent’s battleplan. This is something I realised more while playing “casual” games against my regular Eldar opponent, who used Warp Spiders to great effect against my backfield, whereas his Dark Reapers were free to provide deadly firesupport undisrupted.
  • Lack of Reserves. Having everything on the board has 2 negative consequences: first, it makes my battleplan easier to read and second it makes it harder to have everything out of LOS/in cover.
  • Absence of Guilliman. Let’s face it: if you’re playing Ultramarines and you don’t take him, you’re more than likely hindering yourself. The paltry 25 points in cost increase post-Chapter Approved has really done very little to diminish his awesomeness.

With that, I set out to craft my new list.


First, out went the 30 Tacticals and in went 15 naked Bolter Scouts. These little guys are great: they are cheap(ish) and their ability to deploy in forward positions allows them to effectively screen my force like nobody’s business, and if screens are not needed, they can squirrel unto objectives and hide – an extremely useful ability in ITC missions .

Next, I grabbed some Assassins. These bad mothers are a cheap and efficient way to add pressure units to an Imperial list. Unlike things such as Vanguard Veterans or Assault Terminators, Officio Assassinorum operatives can very reliably get the charge off when popping out of Reserves, thanks to Polymorphine for the Callidus and Frenzon for the Eversor. I am taking two Eversors for general mayhem duty and a single Callidus for her Reign of Confusion ability and Warlord-eating Phase Sword and Neural Shredder.

With the Assassins included, I added Guilliman, 2 units of Gravastators and 2 Assbacks (to carry the Devs) to the list. While Grav looks pretty good on its own on paper, it is very unreliable at doing anything but killing T4-and-under models; the same can be said of Assault Cannons, really. With Guilly’s rerolls, however, they frikking SHRED tanks and monsters. I had my opponent’s Land Raider come into range of the Devs during my first (and so far only) test game – it did not end well for the Raider… The Assbacks got a not-unnoticeable bump in price in Chapter Approved, but so far I think it merely scaled them back from “broken” to “good” – they are still probably the most efficient light-infantry shredders in the Marine codex. And insofar as Guilliman himself is concerned, the fact that the forward-deployed Scouts can now stop my opponent from shooting at him even if they are out of LOS is just lol-silly, but oh well! I don’t make the rules 😛

To provide some long range firepower and a backfield presence, I’m taking my customary Venerable Dreadnoughts (both in Twin Las/Twin Autocannon config), a Lieutenant and a Chronus-ridden Predator Annihilator (or Quad-Las Pred, as it is more commonly known). Because the Dreads and Chronus all hit on 2s, I can use Wisdom of the Ancients to give them all full rerolls to hit, and the Lascannons will be extra reliable thanks to the Lieutenant’s rerolls. I’m going to give the Lieutenant the Teeth of Terra so that he can help deal with any opponent skirmishers that would seek to create a mess in my deployment zone. I’m not super enthused at using my Relic allocation thusly but I’m having an even harder time cutting something like an Eversor or a Scout Squad to fit a Company Ancient in the list (for the Relic standard, of course).

While I could fit all of that in a Battallion, the Assassins would make me lose ObSec on my Scouts and the Ultramarine Chapter Tactic, which may come in handy for my Dreads and Devs. Therefore, I’m going to bite the bullet and shove them into a Vanguard Detachment with Chronus as the HQ (since he doesn’t really have anything to lose from not having the Ultra CT).

And so I give you my list:

Ultramarines Spearhead Detachment:

  • LieutenantThe Teeth of Terra, 2 Bolt Pistols
  • Venerable Dreadnought – Twin Lascannon, Twin Autocannon
  • Venerable Dreadnought – Twin Lascannon, Twin Autocannon
  • 5 Scouts – Boltguns, Sergeant with Boltgun & Chainsword
  • 5 Scouts – Boltguns, Sergeant with Boltgun & Chainsword
  • 5 Scouts – Boltguns, Sergeant with Boltgun & Chainsword
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons w/ Grav Amps, Armorium Cherub, Sergeant with Boltgun & Chainsword
  • 5 Devastators – 4 Gravcannons w/ Grav Amps, Armorium Cherub, Sergeant with Boltgun & Chainsword
  • Predator – Twin Lascannon, 2 Lascannons
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons, Storm Bolter
  • Razorback – Twin Assault Cannons

Imperium Vanguard Detachment:

  • Sergeant Chronus*
  • Callidus Assassin
  • Eversor Assassin
  • Eversor Assassin

Ultramarines Superheavy Auxiliary Detachment:

  • Roboute Guilliman

*Before anyone jumps on the fact that Chronus doesn’t appear to have his own tank, please note that Battlescribe actually has this wrong – you don’t buy Chronus his own tank as an HQ; you put him in a tank you have in your army in its own slot.

Alternative Idea

While I think my list is pretty good, I’m pondering doing things a bit differently. For starters, I’m considering dropping both Razorbacks and putting the Devastators in a Drop Pod (*gasp!* a Drop Pod!) and also grabbing a unit of Dakkaceptors to mitigate the loss of the Razors’ anti-chaff output. This would allow me to be more flexible in my battleplan while also avoiding instances of having the Razors and Devs getting alpha’ed off the table and leaving more room for my Pred and Dreads to be deployed out of LoS. The flipside to this is that naturally, Inceptors are nowhere near as tough as Razorbacks, point for point, and that the Grav Devs will have to deploy within Guilliman’s aura to be effective, which kinda mitigates the surprise factor to a certain extent.

Nevertheless, going the pod/’ceptor route leaves me enough points to grab an Inquisitorial Acolyte and a unit of Cenobyte Servitors to add to my backfield screen/free up some Scouts to deploy forward, which is an idea I like. Alternatively, I could upgrade one Eversor to a Culexus to screw with Psychic armies.

Also, an idea that just popped into my head as I was putting the final edits in: what about replacing a single Eversor with Sly Marbo? Hmm…


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30 responses to Desc440’s NEW 2000 pts Tournament List

So… the Primarch is leading a squad and a half of rookies, flanked by couple squad of guys carrying dangerously temperamental and irreplaceably valuable archeotech… and not one, not two, but _three_ of the Imperium’s “one man army” ultra-super-uber-ninjas have also decided to help out.

Yes, this list is perfectly legal, but I do hope you aren’t going to try to justify it as making any kind of sense.

No, but come on – the Lord Commander of the Imperium is leading this. If Guilliman decides that Cawl’s sole purpose going forward was to serve him tea and biscuits at 4 o’clock, who’s going to say no? Ergo, whatever nonsense list that feature Bobby G can be justified by “Guilliman’s orders, brah!”

Yeah there's no way you would get Ghillieman, Celestine, and Cawl all together in the same place leading a ragtag army of whoever they could get. Certainly not in an official publication detailing an expansive storyline.

What silly idea will you come up with next? Is Cawl ten thousand years old and has worked on the same science project this whole time?

Wtf…chronus entry and i am reading straight from the codex says "A single (insert vehicle name) in your army can take sergeant chronus as an UPGRADE". Furthermore his power rating unlike everything else in the codex is written out as +2.

To me that is HIGHLY indicative that you can't just buy him as an HQ choice since he is quite literally an UPGRADE. The only way this could be wrong is if it got FAQed and GW said fuck logic and the english language, go ahead and take him as an HQ.

So which is it gonna be?

The proof is literaly in the passage you quoted. One vehicle IN YOUR ARMY can take Chronus as an UPGRADE. Ergo, you select a vehicle somewhere in your army (doesn’t even have to be in the same detachment) and then you can take Chronus as an upgrade to it. Don’t have a suitable vehicle in your roster already? Then you can’t take Chronus. Simple as that.

I assume the contention is around battlefield roles. An "upgrade", in the sense most people understand it, would be part of the vehicle's entry, not in addition to it. It therefore seems strange that the "tank with Chronus upgrade" is taking up both an HQ and a Heavy Support slot, for example. It feels like it should be one or the other – either the Chronus upgrade is part of the tank in its regular slot, or adding Chronus makes the tank an HQ. Chronus' entry doesn't give any clear indication how this should be handled.

Storm Raven is still good, even with points increase (my version went up 32 pts, which honestly doesn't feel punishing). It matters what you're doing with it, of course (I think GK need it more) and it also matters if you have something else there to draw fire. It never could and never will be able to be your sole important gun-platform AND transport…..of course that's going to get shot.

(commenting separately on separate subjects for separate threads)

I really can't comment on GK but but for Marines I would rather invest in some Stormhawks if I'm not using the transport capacity.

I see no reason not to shove in one more HQ, even another throw away lieutenant, to make the Spearhead a Battalion. That's 2 extra CP!

I say lascannons>grav cannons particularly when they're on a devatastor that would rather not move.

The battalion is a possibility, though I think what I'll end up doing is putting Chronus with the rest of the Marines, turn the det into a Battalion and have Marbo replacing Chronus as the HQ of the Vanguard while dumping one Eversor and grabbing the Cenobyte Servitors.

Las dev are great but I prefer the grav here to be more flexible. Otherwise the entirety of my anti-infantry is concentrated in 2 razors and the assassins.

take a Guard (AM) HQ Officer, with the recycle command points relics/warlord traits to get the most out of the bonus points Guiilman gives…
(make sure to hide him in a building though so he cant be targeted.

It seems weird and questionable to take Chronus in a non-SM detachment and have him crew a vehicle from a different detachment altogether. Really not sure that's legal. Is the resulting model part of a SM detachment, or the Imperial Soup detachment? Who knows? Seriously, I understand what you said, still not sure it's legal, and if it is legal, it's dumb.

Just switch the lieutenant and Chronus. You can still make the lieutenant your warlord, give him relics, none of that changes, it is must less questionable. You will lose chapter tactics on the lieutenant, that's all.

Also, Smurfs with Rebuttal Guillotine is easy mode 40k. (and simple and lazy) There, I said it, we were all thinking it.

Chronus' rules says he can crew a SM vehicle in your army. It doesn't specify it must be from the same detachment. In any case, if I go the Marbo route, the whole thing becomes moot.

As for Gulliman, I do not care a wit. The people who go to tournaments in my neck of the woods are quite competitive and bring their own cheese, so it's not like I'll be clubbing seals with this list.

I read the dataslate same as you. And, in fact, rereading it, I think you're jsut wrong….it says "as an upgrade". Even if the other detachment was an SM detachment (it's not) who thinks you can take an "upgrade" that's in a different detachment? What you were trying to do is not legal, definitely not by RAI and probably not by RAW, and allowing you do so would be stupid. Just do the other thing, and you don't have to worry at other people calling you a cheese monkey.

And I said RG was "easy mode", not an "I win" button. I just find him lame.

We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one, though it will likely be a moot point anyways.

Believe me, I feel much the same. If only the internal balance of the Marine book wasn't such a mess…

Yes but I already thought the raven was already verging on too expensive pre CA, whereas I considered Assbacks as being a bit too good.

I'm surprised someone who champions points efficiency and wounds/damage per point as much as you is using so many grav cannons. It's incredibly overpriced compared to the HB for anti-infantry, and your list isn't short on anti-tank with a bunch of buffed lascannons. The HB does 1.111 wounds to GEQ, and 0.667 to MEQ compared to the Grav Cannons 1.778 to GEQ and 1.481 to MEQ, but the Grav cannon costs 3 times as much and has a much shorter range. It's so much more efficient to have HB's to take out bubble wrap/chaff and real anti tank guns for the tanks rather than the Grav Cannon being overpriced for anti infantry work, and pretty lacklustre against tanks.

You may be surprised to learn that the gravcannon actually outperforms the lascannon as an antitank weapon when Guilliman is providing them rerolls. That said, the inclusion is more a factor of not having a great deal of other things to build my list from. But you are right that I may be a bit antitank-heavy so I was thinking of replacing the twin las on the dreads for twin autos and have the dreads move up with Guilliman instead of staying back. I'd also replace the Lt for a Techmarine with Beamer if I go that route. I could also drop one grav per squad in favour of a heavy bolter to make the squad a bit less expensive overall.

The Grav Cannon is great- when it's in range. But it often won't be close enough to the things you want to shoot it at, which is awkward.

Can't say it's been too much of an issue when I've used them, but still, that further reinforces my suspicion that perhaps a drop pod for these guys might not be a bad idea.

I'm not a big fan of devastators.The damage output is fine but you are going to be moving them constantly to get into range and they die way too easily.
I would be dropping them for Ven dreads.
The assassins are great but taking them reduces the uses of girlyman and you are forced to take an extra HQ (lieutenant) that you really don't need. I've had good success with intercessors.
Anyway, food for thought.

I like Ven Dreads but I only have the 2 currently featured here. Though in the future, a Dread-heavy list with Guilliman is likely where I will be heading.

Assassins fulfil an important function that is not easily filled by SM units.

Intercessors do some to be better than Tacticals but its hard to beat Scouts for sheer utility.


Maybe you should see if you can find the points to give your scouts Heavy bolters. Upgrade them from speed bumps to something a bit more dangerous.

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