analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

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MrScotty
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analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby MrScotty » Thu May 03, 2018 9:41 am

I looked through a (slightly older) version of this massive google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QuV ... LgQU8/edit

350-ish army lists for the upcoming London Grand Tournament. I looked through a 280-list version from a couple days ago, doing a little analysis on which armies were present and what kinds of lists were being taken.

I scrolled through the lists, just to see which factions appeared most often. If a faction appeared at all, I gave them an "ally" tick, and if the list contained 1500 points or more of that one faction, I gave it a "pure" tick.

Ranked from least to most popular, we had:

Deathwatch/Harlequins: Goose egg, baby. The only factions to not appear at all in 260 pages of lists.

Space Wolves: 1 pure, 1 ally. Someone call the baja men, the dogs are stuck inside and they're probably scratching at the door to be let out, ten minutes from doing a gak on the carpet. indexes are bad, m'kay.

Orks: 4 pure. Despite the favorable ruling on Da Jump, seems orks have run out of steam despite good showings throughout the Index Era.

Assassinorum/Inquisition: 6 ally. Surprising nobody, the ally faction is only allied in, and the FAQ made that extra awkward.

Genestealer Cult: 6 Ally. Not a lot of nids players taking advantage of the nids' post faq deep strike abilities. surprising, IMO. You can definitely see these lists are designed for post-FAQ play.

Grey Knights: 4 pure, 3 ally. The perennial loser Codex, surprises nobody to see them at the bottom of the codex bucket yet again.

Ynnari: 8 ally. Oh how the mighty has fallen. We saw an absolutely staggering number of pure DE/CWE lists and not just with small allied contingents, with NO allies. Ynnari, it seems, have greatly fallen off in their effectiveness. ALso worth noting: Only ONE of these ynnari detachments was Drukhari - the rest were CWE using the predictable reapers and Shining Spears.

Imperial Knights: 2 Pure, 6 Ally. Worth noting that in most of their ally appearances, it was not just one knight - people seem to like the Warglaives ability to supply 3CP off a cheap super-heavy detachment.

Death Guard: 1 Pure, 13 Ally. Did NOT expect only one list to have over 1500pts of Death Guard, but here we are. Edged out in fact by the ol' sisters of battle. Death Guard most commonly featured in super-soupy chaos lists, splitting evenly with Daemons, THousand Sons, or other Heretic astartes.

Sisters of Battle: 1 pure, 14 Ally. Sisters continue a strong showing on the backs of dominions, celestine, cheap basic battle sisters and seraphim. Best index showing by far.

Note: Here in the mid tiers, I'm ranking based on my overall feeling about how MANY units tended to feature in allied contingents, how many lists were pure. numbers may get a bit funky here.

Dark Angels: 6 pure, 4 ally. Putting them here because typically those allly detachments were VERY Small, though they did have some dedicated pure players.

Blood Angels: 8 pure, 8 ally. Oddly, the FAQ didnt seem to blunt the popularity of the blood angels, though there are relatively few Guard/Bangle pairings (Supplanted almost entirely by the now massively popular Guard/Custode teamup, which we'll get to). the blood angels pure lists were also quite refreshingly varied, without a whole lot of spamminess and without being totally copy/pastes of each other. Seems like people are experimenting and interested in the blood angels, in contrast to the DA and GK who both had nearly identical showings.

Thousand Sons: 8 Pure, 12 Ally. Thousand sons were popular, and interestingly the FAQ change to move after deep strike totaly changed the ball game for them. Smite Spam is the name of the game here, with Ahriman and Daemon princes appearing in nearly every list, and Magnus in many.Rubrics, interestingly, make a non-trivial showing, outnumbering the number of units of basic Tzaangors. The times they are a-changing for the Sons, it seems.

Admech: 7 pure, 11 ally. Deceptive number alert: Many of the ally lists were 1300-1450 points of admech paired with a single knight, which was enough to make it a double-ally soup list by my rubric, rather than a Pure list. this is why im ranking admech over Thousand Sons here: People like Admech, and we're now seeing a LOT of stygies compared to Mars. This opens up nearly every unit in the codex, besides Balistari and the battle servitors. Everything else makes solid appearances, encouraging for htis previously troubled faction. The FAQ really seems to have helped.

Necrons: 10 pure. Upper mid tier showing for the necrons, despite their brand new codex it seems like lack of ally options is making it tough for the metal boiz. lists seem to be either super-heavy focused, or destroyer-focused.

Chaos Space Marines: 7 pure, 18 ally. Hoo boy lots of small allied CSM contingents. It seems like people are quickly popping in to CSm to get the small detachments of stuff like oblits, alpha zerkers, abbadon, etc to tack on to their mostly daemon soup lists.

Chaos Daemons: 7 pure, 21 ally. Can you tell that lots of chaos lists are soupy yet? Nurgle is the MASSIVE MASSIVE majority of all these lists, with zero slaanesh outside a couple DPs, almost no khorne outside a couple letterbombs, and little tzeentch. Interestingly, only two players paired thousand sons and tzeentch daemons. Lots of 50/50 nurgle daemon/DG splits, unsurprisingly.

Tyranids: 17 pure, 2 ally. very few nid players opted to use their ability to ally in GSC and through them the ever-popular Guard, almost every list either had tiny GSC detachments or no allies. Lots of shooting lists, but it's about a 50-50 split between shooting focused and melee focused - that's just notable for the usually melee focused nids.

Space Marines: 18 pure, 6 ally. Big jump. Interestingly, almost all the pure lists are PURE lists, no allies at all. Very few people are pairing marines with guard battalions for bodies/screening. Ultramarines take the lion's share as usual, with a couple ally showings being just Robert Gillman, but we also see Imp Fists, Salamanders, and Raven Guard appearing. Also worth noting that several other Ultra characters seem to be pushing people towards the boys in blue, such as Sgt Chronus, Tiggy and Telion. For those keeping score: more pure marine lists in attendance than pure Craftworld lists, Custode lists, Drukhari lists, or nid lists.

Craftworld Eldar: 11 pure, 12 Ally. Ranking them higher than marines because they had sizable showings in a lot of the ally lists, being that many of them were "effectively" pure lists, because they contianed one Ynnari model making a huge chunk of the list "count as" ynnari. Almost all Alaitoc, unsurprisingly, with the same units you're used to seeing. Despite the nerfs, it seems eldar are forging on with the same strategy, despite dropping in popularity to around the bottom of the top tier.

to be replaced by

Drukhari: 17 pure, 8 ally. A challenger approaches! Ranking them higher than CWE here because of the 17 pure DE lists, all but 1 was completely pure drukhari. It's the faction that makes its own soup baby! Lots of Black Heart, Prophets of Flesh, and Red Grief here, with a huge spread of units from the codex.

Tau: 19 pure. I will almost always rank a faction with more different units/strategies higher than a faction with similar numbers but much more cookie cutter strategies, which is why Tau here are above Marines and CWE. Lots of tau players but more importnatly lots of units and lots of subfactions being tried.

Adeptus Custards: 9 pure, 19 ally. "Oh, scotty, what are you doing, ranking the golden bananas so high with only 9 pure detachments?" Look, strawman complaining guy, if there's a meta for right now, here it is. Guard and Custodes. Astrastodians. Custotarium. Or as I like to call them, Custard. I know I just got finished talking about Variety in Strategy, but when you see 20-odd copies of VERY similar lists, you can safely call that a "meta to beat". And that meta is custode bikers or biker captains+Astra miliarum screening infantry. Interestingly, it's usually not Astra Miliatarum heavy guns doing the killing - custodes typically make up the lions share and gunsier Astra lists tend to be pure AM or taking cheaper allies. Pure custode lists tend to be a bit more "take more things in the custode codex" but when they're allies, it's 1000 points-ish of big fat bananabikes.

Astra Militarum: 23 pure, 38 ally. Oh look, the current tournament meta mirrors the 40k universe fluff in that HOLY CRAP LOOK AT HOW MANY SOLDIERS THE IMPERIUM HAS. Not only are they seeing a bunch of pure armies, and I mean PURE pure armies with no allies, the variety is staggering. EVERY subfaction appears in these lists, the only codex with subfactions in it to even come close besides the Dark Eldar and Tau. Tons of different units make appearances, and I'm guessing you can figure out which ones. Those ally numbers, however, are greatly overstated - after seeing the initial numbers, I went through and checked over the average point value of an astra militarum ally detachment when they aren't a Pure list...it's under 400 points - even counting lists that are like 1400 points of guard+allies. A couple company commander+3 infantry squads is incredibly common as a screening force.

Now, a bit of overall analysis questions:

1) are we seeing a Gunline Meta?

I'm going to say "no" here. No because if you prep your list only to prey on gunlines, you're likely to have a bad time - many lists have significant or primarily melee focused units. We are DEFINITELY seeing a lot of shooting lists - but many of them are mid/short range, mixed shooting/assault, and superheavy-focused as well as what you'd think of as a real "gunline" sitting in the deployment zone and shooting downrange and relying on killing you before you get to them.

2) is alpha strike dead with the FAQ?

It's definitely diminished, but Fast Assault is definitely a thing people are doing, especially Drukhari, Ynnari, Blood Angels and Custodes. We have seen a huge resurgence from factions that were nearly dead or diminished in the previous meta havng been preyed on by heavy alpha strike (see: Admech, Knights, Astra militarum)

3) Can you run non-fast assault units? Is assault in general dead?

is your name "Nurgle Daemons", "Adeptus Custodes", "Haemonculus Covens" or "nids"? If so, it seems, do it to it. it is worth noting that of the major factions sitting in index, 4 of 6 (orks, SW, GSC, Harlequins) are heavily assault focused, so as we drop those assault factions back into the meta, we'll probably see more assault. Slow Assault Marines is definitely not a thing, and you rarely see slow assault units popped into other lists without stratagems that make them fast (Stygies raven guard etc)
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby The Last Acton Hero » Thu May 03, 2018 12:28 pm

Thanks for the writeup! Really interested to see how this goes (being the first big tournament post-faq)
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby Ascion » Thu May 03, 2018 2:30 pm

Wow this is really cool, thanks for pulling this together and for the analysis!
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby smbarne » Thu May 03, 2018 7:54 pm

Small notes on areas I'm interested in:

- Not a single pure Raven Guard list :(. Though it is to be expected at a tournament of this level.
- Almost every Raven Guard list has at least 9 Aggressors for the Strike from the Shadows bubble wrap clearance. It appears our chapter has an official gimmick now.
- The mixtures are generally Guard gunline or the good 'ole 3 shield captains to do CC better than Space Marines
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby Darth Hoodie » Fri May 04, 2018 8:07 am

MrScotty wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 9:41 am
Slow Assault Marines is definitely not a thing...
YAY BOTTOM OF THE BARREL!!!
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby Connman234 » Fri May 04, 2018 8:33 am

After looking at the list and analyzing the Necron lists, there is one constant recurring theme... EXTRA AP-1 IS EVERYWHERE! Of the 20ish lists, about 17 of them were all at least running a battalion of Mephrit. They also pretty much had a "healthy" number of destroyers. And about 1/2 were running the deceiver. So in short, they were running the list I posted in the forums a few days ago with tweaks.
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby Azarash » Fri May 04, 2018 11:17 am

Anyone else having problems opening the Google docs file on phone?
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby Indy » Fri May 04, 2018 11:24 am

Great post.

"the blood angels pure lists were also quite refreshingly varied, without a whole lot of spamminess and without being totally copy/pastes of each other. Seems like people are experimenting and interested in the blood angels, in contrast to the DA and GK who both had nearly identical showings. "
--I can heartily attest to this. The games I've actually got to play have all featured different lists because--while there's some central themes for sure--there are so many slight variations and combos to what the BA can do right now. Still plenty for me to gripe about when it comes to my Boys from Baal (as anyone who's done battle beers can attest), but overall this is the most fun I've had with them since I first got into 40k 4 years back.

0 surprise about Custards. Even less surprise that Custodian bikes are everywhere.

I knew Guard would be pretty high up there, but still surprised to see it that high. My how the times have changed.

Somebody say lots of Mephrit Destroyers?
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I'm predicting a new FAQ that effects -1 To Hit traits in someway. That's definitely a common theme. I'm guessing it will either be treated like FNP/after-saves where you can only get one source of it (so no -3 To Hit shenanigans) and/or where it does not effect things like overcharged plasma...a a 2 To Hit still becomes a 1 (thus missing), but they specifically state that the firing model does not overheat or some such.

Thanks, Scott!
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby MrScotty » Fri May 04, 2018 11:34 am

Yeah, there were definitely less BA lists than Marine lists, and about as many BA lists as DA lists, but I'd definitely rate BA as healthier overall because of the variety you saw. It seemed like there were less auto-choices and more options available.

Even among the higher tier armies there's obvious signs of army health. Looking at CWE vs DE, for example, all but two subfactions (the Haemonculus Coven ones that weren't Prophets of Flesh) made at least one appearance, wheras there was only 1-2 non alaitoc CWE lists. similarly I saw all but a couple dark eldar units making some kind of appearance, and all the CWE lists relied extremely heavily on a few choices...even after those choices have started seeing nerfs. That's a sign of a very brittle member of the upper tier, just like the heavy reliance on Ultramarines for basic marines and Destroyers for Necrons. One balancing action from GW, bam, there goes the list, whereas with the factions like Guard, Nids, Dark Eldar...you've got plenty of tools and toys to adapt with.
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Re: analysis of army lists for 40k London Grand Tournament

Postby The cosmic serpent » Fri May 04, 2018 1:24 pm

“the CWE lists relied extremely heavily on a few choices...even after those choices have started seeing nerfs. That's a sign of a very brittle member of the upper tier, just like the heavy reliance on Ultramarines for basic marines and Destroyers for Necrons. One balancing action from GW, bam, there goes the list, whereas with the factions like Guard, Nids, Dark Eldar...you've got plenty of tools and toys to adapt with.“


This is why I haven’t been giving much attention to CWE since their codex was released. The codex does not have flexibility compared to other factions. On paper all the cool rules and fluff for the units looks and sounds good but on the tabletop its a different story. They have always been a finesse army but I think that's been dialed up to 11. The units can’t stand on their own merits and require stratagems and psychic powers to come close to being competitive. It sky rockets points costs which is why you see the few same units taken as its the most efficient way to utilize CP and psychic powers. Sure banshees can become pretty lethal with the right support and ideal conditions but spending 300 -400 points to buff up a squad of t3 4+ saves is a one trick pony that is sure to get obliterated next turn. The -1 is widely used because it is the closest thing Eldar have to negating T3. Eldar cant fill the tables with bodies, its two IG to every guardian. So yes Eldar are locked in to a few “strong” builds and I suspect will be middle tier not long from now. The build most likely to be seen going forward will be serpent spam, back to 6th edition for the pointy ears.