We just held our first Grand Tournament and indecently the first large-scale 40K GT in London since Games Workshop left the scene almost a decade ago.
The first London40kGT was a great success; attracting some of the finest gamers in the country. Well known faces, ETC team players and this year’s UKGT champion battled it out on the table top alongside newcomers to the tournament community rolling dice at their first GT.
The LGT2016 was held over two days and each player had five games. The rules for army composition were a maximum of two detachments totalling no more than 1850pts, with a restriction of one super heavy or gargantuan monstrous creature. It was hoped this would lead to more ‘traditional’ armies on the table top and fewer Wraithknights wondering around making mischief.
In addition to some wonderful prize support offered from the likes of Frontline Gaming, Kromlech, Mantic, and Secret Weapon; Siege Studios, in partnership with the London40kGT, hosted the first annual Iron Skull painting competition. Tournament entrants – as well as the general public – got to compete on who had the prettiest models as well as the most deadly.
Featured below is the winning list, played by Konrad Bartkiewicz and a short interview with the man himself on the LGT and how to build a winning list. This is the first in a series of posts delving deeper into the rankings, the lists that did well and those that surprisingly did not. Enjoy!
PLAYER: Konrad Bartkiewicz
PRIMARY DETACHMENT FACTION: Craftworld Eldar
FORMATION: Aspect Host, Craftworld Eldar
FA1: 5 Warp Spiders (95), Exarch (10) [WARLORD] 
FA2: 5 Warp Spiders (95), Exarch (10) 
FA3: 5 Warp Spiders (95), Exarch (10) 
COMBINED ARMS DETACHMENT: Craftworld Eldar
HQ1: Farseer (100), Skyrunner (15) 
Troop1: 3 Windriders (51), 3 Scatter Lasers (30) 
Troop2: 3 Windriders (51), 3 Scatter Lasers (30) 
Troop3: 3 Windriders (51), 3 Scatter Lasers (30) 
FA1: 2 Hornets (140), 4 Pulse Lasers (20) 
FA2: 2 Hornets (140), 4 Pulse Lasers (20) 
FA3: 2 Hornets (140), 4 Pulse Lasers (20) 
HS1: Warp Hunter 
HS2: Warp Hunter 
LOW: Wraithknight (295), 2 Scatter Lasers (30), 2 Heavy Wraithcannon (0) 
List total: 1848pts
It was a blast! 5 fun competitive games against 5 great opponents in a massive hall in London just down the road – can’t complain at all. I will definitely be returning next year and hope the event grows year on year.
The army is basically very fast, versatile and has an extremely high damage output. It puts out 30 S6 rending, 44 S6, 24 S8AP2, 2 destroyer and 2D3+2 destroyer-1 shots turn one. I took a CAD with a Farseer, 9 Scatbikes, 6 Hornets, 2 Warp Hunters and a shooty Wraithknight with an Aspect Host formation of 15 Warp Spiders. The main obvious difference is the addition of the powerful Forgeworld units, which add another level of speed and range to the army. The Hornets and Warp Hunters allow me to outrange most opponents whilst still dishing out insane firepower. They always get more than their points back in killing stuff whilst maintaining durability, speed and versatility. I think Warp Hunters are incredible cheap for what they do. I also wasn’t relying on just Warp Spiders which meant my games weren’t too one-dimensional.
I designed the list based on the LGT format and what I thought the meta would include. The event allowed unlimited Forgeworld with a single LOW without a points limit. This meant Supremacy suits, Revenant titans, Knights, Stormsurges and other nasties would be very popular, and the un-nerfed ranged D also meant everyone would bring their Forgeworld toys. Also, the fact that the tournament was 2-sources meant that you were unlikely to see powerful, unkillable deathstars, as most rely on 3-4 detachments and multiple librarius conclaves. I felt that, based on these reasons, a Forgeworld-heavy Eldar list would be very powerful, as the amount of ranged D from Warp Hunters as well as high strength shots from the Hornets would easily dismantle opposing LOW choices and there wasn’t much of a fear of coming up against an invincible deathstar.
I settled on a list which mixed the best of both worlds – powerful Forgeworld units and fast, mobile codex units which gave me a hand in the objective game. The 15 spiders are invaluable as they allow you to null deploy and then come in turn 2 with outflanking hornets, warp hunters and jetbikes for a massive beta-strike (this happened in 4 out of my 5 games). The BS5 of Spiders and their nearly-unkillable nature is amazing. The Spiders did so much damage every game and were very hard to deal with – it’s easy to see why some players use 45+. I was comfortable going against any titan/super-heavy/gargantuan the tournament could throw at me, as well as against any MSU or other Eldar army. I had a great match-up against all other LOWs and a game against every other list – if I went first I was confident I could gain a huge advantage due to massacring units left and right with the silly damage output of the army and even going second the army has a great beta-strike and reserves game.
The jetbikes were jetbikes – essential in every Eldar army for the obsec, insane dakka and speed. I actually wanted to take more than 9 but the other units in the army were more essential in the LGT format, as S6 scatter-shots don’t really threaten Supremacy suits, Riptides or Wraithknights too much.
The army is essentially a versatile combination of units with huge damage output without too many points invested in any one place. Each unit could also take down way more than its own worth in points and was fast, playing well with maelstrom. Making the Exarch the warlord was great as he never died.
I think the hardest match-up is either Battle Company lists just because they always destroy you on objectives, or the 45-60 warp spider list (despite the barrage on warp hunters).
I played against a Nemesis Strike Force with 2 Dreadknights, 20 Terminators and a Knight Lancer round one. He went first so I reserved everything except the Wraithknight and Warp Spiders to avoid his alpha strike. I only lost a couple of warp spiders thanks to flicker-jumps turn one and then destroyed his Lancer in my turn. The rest of his army came in turn two and killed a squad of warp spiders as well as taking out a few members from the other squads. In my turn, the rest of my army came on and cleaned up, as the Warp Hunters and Hornets just deleted units with their AP2 shooting.
Round two I faced a very good player piloting a Lion’s Blade Strike Force with the Ravenwing Support Squadron. He had first turn so again I only deployed the Wraithknight and Warp Spiders. I was able to take his alpha strike and the Knight survived with a wound remaining. I plugged him into combat as soon as possible on my turn so as to avoid getting shot to death. This was a very difficult and cagey game as he had so many objective secured units and was ahead of me on maelstrom by 10+ points the entire game. It came down to the last turn where I had to peal him off as many objectives as possible. I was set to lose this one 11-9 but the last shot of the game I managed to get a lucky 6 with a heavy wraithcannon and exploded a razorback which was sitting on an objective. This ended up winning me the game 11-9. The Warp Spiders were incredibly key this game as they survived almost everything that shot at them thanks to flicker-jumps and they killed a lot of space marines.
Round three I played against an interesting Dark Eldar list which contained a number of Venoms, Raiders, Ravagers and two Archons with webway portals along with two units of Blaster Trueborn. He also had some allied Corsairs with Scatbikes and a Prince. My high strength shooting was key here as I destroyed multiple transports turn one however my opponent came back on his turn two with all his reserves coming in and forced almost my entire army to jink. However, I turbo-boosted everything out of range of what he had left and was able to deal a finishing blow turn three with the Warp Hunters flattening the rest of his vehicles and troops.
Round four I played against a Tau Hunter Contingent list with a Stormsurge, 2 Riptides, a big Marker Drone unit with a Commander, some Fire Warriors and an Optimised Stealth Cadre with 3 Ghostkeels. I managed to get first turn this time and the Warp Hunters and Hornets did work; I managed to kill his Stormsurge and a Riptide turn one which gave me a large advantage from the outset, and left him no immediate answer to my Wraithknight. I was careful to keep my vehicles away from his cover-ignoring unit of Ghostkeels. From there, I basically just kept racking up points whilst murdering what was left of his army with the Warp Hunters, Spiders and Hornets. He eventually managed to kill the Wraithknight by combining fire with the Stealth Cadre, a Riptide and most of his Fire Warriors but it was too little too late and I tabled him turn 4. Psychic shriek was extremely key this game, stripping huge amounts of wounds from the semi-invisible and 2+ cover save Ghostkeel unit.
Round five I played against a Tau Supremacy suit and a Riptide Wing of 6 Riptides piloted by my brother! I already knew how I was going to play this game as my list actually plays well against multiple MCs so long as I don’t get alpha struck too hard. I knew the Warp Hunters were going to be huge. He managed to get first turn as well as the infiltrate warlord trait which wasn’t good! I deployed the Wraithknight and 3 units of Spiders again – I just needed not to get tabled. He killed the Wraithknight turn one but had to use most of his Riptides to do it, as I luckily had the conqueror of cities warlord trait. 5 Spiders then managed to survive his turn two, so I was in the game! My turn two, I outflanked the hornets in the edges of the board, outside of range of most of the riptides but brought in a unit of Scatbikes close. The Warp Hunters also came on the very edge of the board. He intercepted the unit of bait Scatbikes and the Hornets remained untouched. The Warp Hunters then brought pain on the Supremacy Armour doing 7 wounds in a round of shooting! The Hornets and Scatbikes managed to take down a 1 and a half Riptides. In his turn he struck back hard and killed all but one of the Hornets and killed another unit of bikes and all but one spider. He failed a critical charge with the Supremacy into the last Hornet, however. It was starting to get really close at this point. In my turn a Warp Hunter easily finished the Supremacy suit and then the other killed a Riptide. In the psychic phase my Farseer went super-saiyan and rolled a 15 on psychic shriek, killing a unit of 2 riptides! After this, he was left with a unit of 2 Riptides who were both wounded and 3 separate Crisis suits. He basically had to jump his Riptides as far away as possible from the Warp Hunters to avoid a tabling but didn’t roll far enough on the jet pack move to escape one of them. On my turn the Warp Hunter and the last Hornet finished the 2 Riptides and the rest of the army killed the Crisis suits, tabling my opponent. A very close and brutal game but a solid win. This game really displayed the insane power of Warp Hunters, with the ability to throw down 4 D-barrage templates and do a possible total of 12 wounds on a Gargantuan creature!
I think the only thing I would’ve definitely changed would be removing a scatter laser on the Wraithknight and adding a Spirit Stone to the Farseer.
The main point would be to design the list to fit the format and meta of the tournament. Drastically different lists will do better at different numbers of detachments and the caps on Forgeworld/LOW definitely change things. Think about what other players will bring based on the format and design the list to counter those armies and also to play well at the missions whilst taking advantage of what you’re allowed to bring. For example, deathstars would’ve been far more prominent if the tournament had allowed 4 or more detachments so then you would have to start thinking about allying in Culexus assassins etc. You should also try and be prepared for what the best, most brutal lists will be and have a game plan ready for all these lists and understand the role of each unit in your army is. I think in 7th you always need some heavy-hitting units to stay in the game or have an alternate way to massively out-score your opponent.