Interview with Thomas Byrd after LVO 2020

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The Worthiest Adversary attended LVO 2020, the season finale of 2019 and largest Warhammer 40K tournament to date. The Adversary attended alongside the champions of the ITC, testament to their accomplishments all year long, and the venue and staff did an amazing job hosting all of us. One of those was Thomas Byrd, who almost made it to the top tables at Adepticon 2019, and then went 5-1 at LVO, his first time attending. Fortunately, Thomas was able to take a little of his time to share his experience.

THOMAS BYRD: Space Marines <IRON HANDS> at LVO 2020

BRIGADE
143 HQ1 Captain w/Jump Pack + TH/SS
110 HQ2 Iron Father Feirros
98 HQ3 Primaris Librarian
60 HQ4 Lieutenant
85 TROOP1 Intercessors (5) – stalker, sgt w/chainsword
85 TROOP2 Intercessors (5) – stalker, sgt w/chainsword
85 TROOP3 Intercessors (5) – stalker, sgt w/chainsword
85 TROOP4 Intercessors (5) – stalker, sgt w/chainsword
85 TROOP5 Intercessors (5) – stalker, sgt w/chainsword
65 TROOP6 Scouts (5) – sniper rifles
156 ELITE1 Assault Centurions (3) w/Hurricane + flamer
60 ELITE2 Primaris Apothecary
214 ELITE3 Relic Contemptor: CML, TL-las, chainfist <WARLORD>
90 FAST1 Suppressors (3)
90 FAST2 Suppressors (3)
90 FAST3 Suppressors (3)
92 HEAVY1 Thunderfire cannon
92 HEAVY2 Thunderfire cannon
150 HEAVY3 Devastators w/grav (4) + cherub
65 DT Drop pod w/SB

2000 15CP

2020-02-07

TWA: Quick introduction:

TB: Hello! I am Thomas Byrd and I got into hobby just after college in 2000. I did not play my actual first game until 2 years later. It was such a terrible experience, I guess I put it my mind that I did not want anyone I played to have that sort of game ever if I could help it.

My first love was Ultramarines and I still am well known in my area for running those boys in blue even when the rules were not as hot as they are now. I do have an extensive collection and own fully painted armies of every imperial faction including many different marine factions. I am a bit of a purist when it comes to that. I am the guy with 15 different colored drop pods to match all the armies. There are no ‘counts as’ here. When I first started the hobby, I was interested in the gaming only and could care less about painting. But now, I enjoy all aspects and it really has become one of the biggest takers of my free time.

Nowadays, the social piece is one of my favorite aspects. Trying to weave the competitive component of the game into a game that is fun not only for me but also for my opponent is one those really rewarding things that is hard to explain. If you have ever had your opponent tell you that was the best game of 40k they ever had even though they may have lost, you will know what I am talking about.

TWA: Short- and long-term goals for 40k?

TB: My short-term goal is to get this Tau commander painted up for my People’s Champion bet from the Atlanta Open! With my last-minute switch to Iron Hands for LVO, he got bumped down on my painting projects.

Longer term, I am working with the ProTabletop team to really bring some new and exciting things to 40k this year. We have made some acquisitions and are in talks about coming to some big events near you soon. Hopefully more exciting news to come soon!

TWA: How was your most recent GT/Major? Anything stand out? 

TB: My most recent Major event in this new year was Las Vegas Open. This was the first year I was able to make it out to attend LVO and overall, it was great! Not only did I have high drama switching my list from Ultramarines to Iron Hands at the 11th hour (literally at time of list submission), I had to live with that decision that by switching to Iron hands, I now had a 2000pt army to paint in 8 days! Many sleepless nights later, I got the army done to a high standard and went out to compete.

The thing that stood out at the event was the size and scale of the singles event. I make it out to Adepticon, and I am part of the crew that runs Warzone Atlanta, so I am not new to big tourneys, but having a singles event that large is quite a task! Many thanks to all those involved who set it up, run it and break it down afterward!

LVO

TWA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general?

TB: Usually, I spend a lot of time crafting a unique list that I have iterated, and play tested over hundreds of games. In this case, it was quite the opposite. With the new iron hands and imperial fists, I really struggled to tweak my Ultramarine list to be all comers in the ITC format. A few other people were pushing me to go to Iron Hands and I finally relented. The list itself is a Brigade. The core of it revolve around a single dreadnought (not a leviathan!) and a bunch of intercessors castling up and being difficult to give up secondaries. The list functions primarily by being passive in early turns forcing the opponent to attack me. That leaves openings for the grav drop pod and suppressors to drop in the flanks and cause havoc. The army has a lot of counterattack built in with a chain fist equipped relic contemptor, a smash captain, and a unit of fighty centurions. If the opponent wants to castle up themselves, this army has range and durability to push up and engage if it has too. It is a fun list to play since it has so many tools and options to deal with every scenario.

TWA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

TB: Up until the last few weeks before the event, I was madly tweaking my Ultramarine list to face Iron hands, Imperial Fists, Eldar and Chaos as I knew those were the primary lists I expected to face. I ran a ton of practice games vs most of the lists trying to work through the marine problem. The problem I saw, was while I was able to win most of the games, those games were uphill the entire game and really put me in difficult positions from the outset. The more I would tweak my list vs one weakness against say imperial fists, the more I would see the hole I just opened up vs Iron Hands. It was a vicious circle. I played a proxy game with the Iron Hands brigade to see if I could change my perspective. It was an eye-opening experience and prompted me to finally consider swapping even at that late juncture.

I fully expected to see Iron Hands leviathans and intercessors, Iron Hands planes, Imperial Fist artillery bombs, ravenguard and/or white scars centurions, Eldar seer councils with night spinner artillery and/or DE grotesques. I expected to see chaos possessed bombs. LVO did not disappoint in that regard. Those armies were there in force. We always do some predictions amongst our group on how we think we are going to do and how we think all our friends are going to fair. Going in, I would be happy with 4-2 but I put in an aspirational goal of 5-1. I did not think I could go undefeated with as few reps I had with my new list. This Iron Hands list plays completely differently than my old tried and true Ultramarines list and I was making too many micro mistakes in my limited practice sessions to really feel comfortable playing error free the entire tournament, especially one as large and as stacked as LVO.

TWA: Anything come up that you had not anticipated?

TB: I would not say there was anything unexpected from a faction perspective, but it was interesting to see how others built their Iron Hands, Ultramarines, or Imperial Fist lists. As the marine guy around my parts and more specifically THE Ultramarine guy, I took great interest in seeing what others took and I had a chance to play vs Ultramarines in my round 4 matchup.

TWA: First match up, against who and what army? Who won and what was the score? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

TB: My first matchup was vs a Death Guard army piloted by Luc Jessik. It had Mortarion, a big unit of Blight lord Terminators, a large unit of Death shroud terminators to look wounds out, some support characters, 3x Plague burst crawlers and 4 units of pox walkers. We have a few death guard players in our area, so I was very well versed in how to manage Morty. Luc was an absolute gentleman and a great opponent for the first round.

I went first vs Luc and tremor shelled his death shroud terminators and forced his hand on whether he wanted to move Morty up on his own or hang back with his meat shield. He elected to stay back, and I repeated this until he decided he was moving up turn 3 without them and would rely on his deep striking terminators to give him support. Unfortunately, the terminators failed their 9″ charge and Morty came in on his own. With my screening and liberal hitting of 5+ FNPs, he was only able to kill one squad of intercessors and died the next turn from shooting and combat. It is rare you can say your army is more durable than death guard, but the Iron Hands won that round with a final score of 35 – 9.

TWA: Second match up?

TB: My second-round opponent was Jay Jones running Eldar. He had a seer council backed up by 3xnight spinners and 3×3 Vibro cannon artillery.

I had played exactly one game vs the seer council and had a plan for them. Unfortunately for me, I was so caught up in what secondaries to take that I totally forgot to implement that plan! I spent 5minutes precisely measuring my librarian to be out of range of Jay’s farseer, yet in range of his seer council so I could cast Null Zone and effectively (in my mind anyway) finish the game. I proudly announced my intent and Jay politely reminds me that I did not take Null Zone as one of my powers! Hahaha talk about the laughs and the groans that ensued. Between that and botching the secondaries… (I had picked gangbusters on the bikes! and not butcher’s bill on the vibro cannons?!), I was between a rock and a hard place! The dice really turned on for me and at one point, I think I had Jay pulling out his hair when I forced him to shoot at a unit of scouts that simply would not die. I think by the end of it, Jay was forced to spend seven of his nine vibro cannons AND both night spinners to pick up five devastators and five scouts. He ignores cover, and he is rolling 3 shots for every d3 on those vibro cannons. My scout simply was not having it. This scout was seen making three (Yes THREE in a row) box car 6+ FNP rolls on damage 2 weapons. This forced Jay to fire yet another weapon at him to get kill more. It took nearly his entire army of artillery to finish him quite literally on the on the last volley. Cannot beat those dragons attacking! (If you have not played vs me, I use dice with dragon symbols for the 6). Jay went first, but I was able to prevail and pull out a come from behind victory of 20-17 on the bottom of turn 4 before time ran out. I had to charge that seer council 3 times before some finally died! This was my only game to not finish. Jay was a great opponent and placed higher than me overall with the same record so congratulations to him! I would play that game again, this time I would remember to take Null Zone and pick some different secondaries!

dragon dice

TWA: Third match up?

TB: Round 3 was against Matthew Bodnarchuk. He was running a nasty Imperial Fist list. It had thunder fires, 2xwhirlwinds, a lascannon predator, a leviathan, 2xHeavy Bolter Rapier batteries, a sicaran punisher, and a fire raptor.

We were running late on the final game due to some pairing issues at the event, so we were both pretty exhausted going into round 3. His list is super alpha strike heavy and his previous two matches did not get past round 2. He had a fire raptor popping the double explode strat! That front gun is a ‘bolt’ weapon! Man, that is a lot of shots!! I knew I had to go first, or I may just auto lose. Well… I did not go first, and Matt laid it on strong and left me reeling. After turn 1, I had lost both thunder fire cannons, the unit of centurions, 2 units intercessors, and 4 more split across 2 squads. Quite honestly, it was looking bleak, but I did not want to give Matt a boring game, so I started formulating a plan to try and claw a few points. Even now, I could recount the whole game here as it was one of my favorites of the tourney. “Ok, here are the 12 things I need to go right this turn for me to be in… yippee, all 12 achieved!!” Rinse and repeat. Between making an unbelievable amount of FNPs and hitting all three of my 9″ charges from deep strike on my T1 and T2, I was able to not only claw a few points back, I was able to turn the table and come from behind. Matt was also a great opponent and he really put me to the test in that game. Final score was a win for me, 30-21.

TWA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning? 

TB: At the end of day 1, I was riding high retelling my improbable win vs Matt’s vicious Imperial Fist list. With the way pairings went down and some game 3s being played in the morning, I was not certain which opponent I was going to play. I looked over 5 or so lists within striking distance from me, but was so exhausted, I just wanted to eat something and go to sleep. I was excited about being 3-0, still on track for my prediction, but knew the real challenge lay ahead.

TWA: Day two, fourth match up?

TB: Out of all the lists I looked at, I did not expect to get the Ultramarine list in round 4! Talk about excited! I love me some Ultramarines! Also, it let me take somewhat of a relaxed approach to the army since I know exactly how that army functions to a T. You would think, marines are marines, but I could spend an hour telling you how you are both right and wrong. My opponent was Allen Marshall. The thing that caught my eye was Allen was running Calgar! Oh, how I have tried and tried to take out Guilliman for budget Calgar and I can tell you, that never lasted long. I was excited to see how he would run it, but after facing this Iron Hands list against my Ultra list, I felt like I had a big advantage going into this round. Allen had 2x Invictus war suits, a leviathan, 2x relic contemptors with double las, 2xeliminator squads, Cassius, Tigurius, a lieutenant, a thunder fire, one big unit of 5 or 6 fighty centurions, one intercessor squad and 2 units of scouts.

This was a full deploy mission and Allen ‘lost the roll’ so got to set up and go first. He deployed his Invictus suits very aggressively forcing me to really hide and castle t1 to cause him to think about how he used those suits. I did not seize, and he opted to move back, and shoot vs run up and assault. I was able to withstand his shooting and did not lose a single unit denying him both Kill one and Kill more as well as Old School secondary first strike. I used my drop pod devastators and suppressors to advantageous effect in early turns to pick off small pieces of his army while tremor shelling and blocking out his leviathan and centurions before finally charging in later turns to finish him off. Allen was another great and fun opponent and I was honored to play against some Ultramarines and face a lot of heckling from my friends for not running Ultras myself! Final score for Iron Hands was 37-11.

Nowadays, the social piece is one of my favorite aspects. Trying to weave the competitive component of the game into a game that is fun not only for me but also for my opponent is one those really rewarding things that is hard to explain. If you have ever had your opponent tell you that was the best game of 40k they ever had even though they may have lost, you will know what I am talking about.

TWA: Fifth match up?

TB: Round 5 was vs Elliot Levy. I have seen him many times, but this was my first time officially meeting him. At this point, we are both 4-0 and sitting high in the standings. He is playing Raven Guard centurions. I was very aware what this list could do, but I did not have a practice game vs them. Centurions attacking your face, got it. Or… so I thought. My only advice pre-game, was Raven Guard centurions? Go first. Ok, well, I will get right on that! Elliot was running 2 big units of fighty cents and 1 big unit of grav cents backed up by 3 units of eliminators, Issadon, a smash captain and chaplain, an apothecary, one thunder fire cannon and 3 or 4 units of scouts, some with snipers.

I spent an inordinate amount of time screening and hoorah, I got to go first! I used my suppressors to screen thinking with FLY, they would not make an inviting target for his centurions to wrap and trap when he came in from reserve since they could jump out and expose him. What that did was make him hold back in his deployment zone hiding while chipping away with eliminators and his thunder fire cannon. He debated each turn arriving from reserves whether he should commit to the assault and ultimately, it became clear to both of us on t3, that if he just deployed all of his centurions back behind his wall in his deployment zone, he would deny me kills and the gangbusters secondary and win the game. With me deployed so defensively, I did not have much play at the end to come back. It was a very tactical game with little real shooting that really came down to deployment mistakes. I needed those suppressors to be in reserve to threaten his backfield and to present a more inviting option for his charge with my intercessors. A game I think that would have been much better had I played it even a single time prior to the tourney. A great win for Elliot. Final score in the loss was 13-21.

TWA: Last round, final match up?

TB: Round 6 was vs Tim Royers playing another Imperial Fist list. He had a whirlwind scorpius, a regular whirlwind, a leviathan, a thunder fire cannon, a smash captain, a regular captain upgraded to chapter master, a chaplain dread, and a mortis contemptor with double heavy bolters, a grav drop pod and several squads of intercessors and a couple of scout squads.

I went first against Tim and took out some screening scouts. He deployed well enough to screen my pod, so I opted to hold it out T1. He dropped it center board to grab an objective to snag hold more, but it allowed me an easy option for my centurions to charge and touch for a late turn 3 charge into his castle. My centurions did make it into combat but between losing one to overwatch and splitting my attacks, they flubbed and killed nothing. It did shut down his artillery shooting from both the scorpius and the thunder fire cannon for one turn, but I failed to kill either one. Late game it because a grab for the center, could his leviathan do work, and could his characters thin do some damage and I was able to fend off the attack. Iron Hands are so durable! Tim was a great opponent for my last game rounding out the whole show, 6 for 6 with great people playing great games. I think I was delirious and exhausted in that last round and I know I quite literally could not add up my final score. Simple math was beyond me. Tim, if you read this, sorry about that and thanks for the game! Final score was 29-20.

TWA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

TB: Whew! Final roll up, 5-1! I played 4 of 6 marines but no mirror iron hands match. I faced:

  1. Death Guard
    2. Eldar
    3. Imperial Fists
    4. Ultramarines
    5. Ravenguard
    6. Imperial Fists

I achieved my goal of 5-1 and feel like if I was better prepared, I could have played that one loss a heck of a lot better. Cannot feel bad about that! I learned a lot and got to meet a ton of nice people. It was a long long weekend, but I certainly look forward to next time. I finished 60th overall. I was in the running for top ITC Space marine player for most of the season, but with the new marines out and me missing some of the last big majors of the year, I was not able to hold on. I did, however, snag best ITC Hobby Track for Adeptus Astartes and as a big hobby guy, which is a great one to win! Next time, I will say no to painting an entirely new army one week before LVO even if it is better, but I guess I cannot argue with the results!

TWA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

TB: Matt’s fire raptor combo was monstrous. It’s not exactly an auto include as it’s a lot of eggs in that basket, but the 2 for 1 exploding 6 strat for imperial fists combined with its 1 million ignore cover high AP shots is a heinous first turn alpha strike from just that one unit! Obviously, a big shout out goes to Elliot running his ravenguard. It went against everything he wanted to do but deciding NOT to come out of his ruin with all 17 centurions won him the game. I think the only thing he shot with his grav cents was my drop pod and occupants on turn 2. I do not think it occurred to either of us that could be an option that wins, much to my chagrin! Kudos to my opponent for the cagey tactical match!

TWA: What did you think of the mission sets?

Certainly, if you are playing 40k these days, you must know about ITC and their missions. I live in Warzone country so am partial to those missions, but ITC seems to be the defacto standard these days and they are fun. The design of ITC missions certainly has an impact on list choices and in game target priority. That is an interesting thread to pull on and adapt to when you are used to other things. It can wear on you a bit having the missions be so similar and repetitive after a while and I think with all the new meta and updates we are seeing, the missions could probably do with a little tweaking to keep up.

TWA: What are you planning to change in your list?

TB: Ha, ever the list tinkerer, I have already singled out some mild tweaks. Everyone is waiting anxiously to see if Iron Hands or marines in general get hit with a nerf bat or if ForgeWorld units take a bath. Also, with 9th edition looming, who can say where this great game of ours is going, but with that said, I have already tweaked a minor 10points in my list. 10points you say?!! That is huge in Thomas Byrd land, let any of my friends tell you. Hahaha, I can spend an hour agonizing over the last 10 points. The change: In most of my games, the Smash Captain (Jump Pack Captain with Thunder hammer and storm shield) almost never needs his 3++ storm shield. He usually is safely hidden by screening units or he is all in on combat and wants to die so he can swing again in death. If I drop that 10 points for the shield, I can do two things. 1) I can give him a chains word instead which gives him an extra attack and optionally allows him to take the teeth of terra relic in certain matchups where that is a better weapon vs the thunder hammer. HELLO Possessed! The freed-up points allow me to upgrade my normal lieutenant to a primaris lieutenant and give him a master-crafted stalker rifle. An extra shot at -3, 3 damage is better than nothing, so I think it is a double win. Minor stuff to be sure, but I do like those little options when you need them.

TWA: What major events are you attending in the future?

TB: With my work with ProTableTop, it is a real question if I will be showing up as Thomas the player, or Thomas the shout caster. I do think we have a few events locally here in February that I am going to try to attend including the 2-day Alpha Strike GT which is at the end of the month at our awesome local gaming store Gigabytes.

TWA: What are some of your thoughts on the 40k meta? What are some things you like and do not like currently?

TB: As a marine player, it is hard for me to complain about marines since it is the faction I am using. Especially after playing them for 2+ years when they were at or near the bottom of armies played competitively. However, I do see a lot of what is going on for marines, specifically Iron Hands and Imperial Fists, which really make it hard to have fun games. Those are challenging times indeed as a player when you are either end of that match-up. How do you make it fun? How do you keep your opponent engaged? What if by rules alone, your opponent has little or no chance despite player skill based on army selection or deployment? No one likes those one-sided games and I hope with all the psychic awakenings or 9th edition updates, we will get to a state where it is more even across the board.

I think you need to look at your mindset when you go into these types of games because it can absolutely color your perspective and your own personal engagement when playing. When I face a ‘broken combo’ or an ‘unbeatable’ list, my first reaction is game on! I embrace the challenge of adapting and evolving my chosen faction’s list options, because what greater sweetness is beating the superpowers with an inferior list. I try to avoid the negativity associated with complaining about the problem and focus all my energy on finding that magical combo, that super tactic, or that just one in game moment that can turn the game. Sometimes it works out great and sometimes not so much, but you always end up with a remarkable story to tell afterward. Be sure to ask Jay Jones about how some scout made triple box cars to stay alive. I am sure he will remember!

TWA: Any preferences on tournament format (mission sets, point limits, etc.)?

TB: Warzone missions are still my fave. I will not be caught dead playing 1500pts, give me 2K all day long.

TWA: Any advice or suggestions for other 40k players?

TB: My biggest advice for 40k players, whether you play at a high level or just for fun in your basement (I do both!), is to make sure you remember that this is a game and we play that game to have fun! If you can make it fun for your opponent, you cannot help but have fun along the way and that is what it is all about. It IS possible to do this and still play competitively. I think you do yourself a disservice if you forget that! Good luck my fellow gamers and may your dice always come up dragons!

Iron Hands

 

Interview with Mark Perry

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In February, after the titanic clash of the Las Vegas Open, the 2018 ITC season came to an end and like the snake eating its own tail, the 2019 ITC season began. Comix City hosted the Warhammer 40k Bar Brawl 2019 in Nashville, TN at the Tennessee Brew Works. While the Adversary was still recovering from the epic battle at LVO, 29 brave souls threw themselves into the fray once more! From them rose their champion, Mark Perry!


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++ Battalion Detachment +5CP
HQ
Ahriman [7 PL, 131pts]
Sorcerer in Terminator Armor [8 PL, 122pts]: Familiar, Force sword, Inferno Combi-bolter Sorcerer in Terminator Armor [8 PL, 122pts]: Familiar, Force sword, Inferno Combi-bolter +
Troops
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 50pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Auto gun. Cultist Champion: Auto gun
Tzaangors [7 PL, 150pts]: Bray horn, 19x Tzaangor w/ Tzaangor Blades. Twist bray: Tzaangor blades
Tzaangors [7 PL, 150pts]: Bray horn, 19x Tzaangor w/ Tzaangor Blades. Twist bray: Tzaangor blades ++

Battalion Detachment +5CP
HQ
Blood thirster of Insensate Rage [17 PL, 260pts]: Armor of Scorn, Warlord
Herald of Slaanesh [4 PL, 60pts] +
Troops
Horrors [4 PL, 30pts]: 10x Pair of Brimstone Horrors
Horrors [4 PL, 30pts]: 10x Pair of Brimstone Horrors
Nurglings [3 PL, 54pts]: 3x Nurgling Swarms ++

Supreme Command Detachment +1CP
HQ
Pox bringer [4 PL, 70pts]
Pox bringer [4 PL, 70pts]
Warp smith [4 PL, 75pts]: Combi-melta, Flamer, Mark of Nurgle, Melta gun, Power axe +
Elites
Death shroud Terminators [11 PL, 156pts]. Death shroud Champion: Man reaper, Plague spurt gauntlets. 2x Death shroud Terminator: 2x Man reaper +
Lord of War
Mortarion [24 PL, 470pts]

MP: My name is Mark Perry and I am from Hattiesburg MS, but I play from Florida to Texas to North Carolina. My focus is Warhammer 40k, but I also play Magic and I offer a painting service called Dark an’ Grungy. Check out my Facebook for any and all painting you may need.

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

MP: I took Best Overall and 2nd in Battle Points at Warzone Gigabytes August 2018. I am the Chaos in 8th Edition

With the release of Vigilus Ablaze I am drowning in new list ideas so expect to see me running something new and weird.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

MP: My most recent was Warzone Gigabytes 2019 where I took 7th place going 4-1

WA: What did you think of the event in Nashville overall? What was your placing?

MP: It was a great event. We had all the Alcohol we needed, and the food was amazing. I was 1st place and Best Overall.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event?

MP: I was honestly expecting Horde, Guard, and Orks, that style of army but that was not the case at all.

WA: Expectations of missions and opposing lists?

MP: I knew the Missions as they were ITC Champion and I play that regularly, and I was not worried about any list going in to the event

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not expected?

MP: There were 19 Knight players out of 34 overall players. I was not expecting that.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general?

MP: My first match was against Mono- Custodes. JT Kemer- 2 Callidus Grav Tanks, no bikes which was surprising, just Terminators, Wardens and Custodian Guard. I won with 36-20. He went first. It went about how I expected. It was Spearhead Assault deployment and he spread out, so I was able to claim the bonus and chip away at his army throughout the game

WA: Second match up?

MP: My second match was against Mono- Deathwatch. Jacob Engle- 4 or 5 Veteran units, some bike squad and a random dreadnaught. I won with 34-21. I went first. It was Hammer and Anvil deployment. He left a bike squad and a Veteran unit where I could charge. So, I DMC a unit of 20 Tzaangor, Charged and killed the Veteran Squad with Tzaangor and surrounded the Bike squad so Mortarion and Tzaangor could not be shot in his turn 1. I then repeated this tactic each following turn

I was planning to play it like Chess as I knew I had more Pawns but he had more big monsters, so I needed to make good trade to win the game.

WA: Third match up?

MP: My third match was against Castellan and 2 FW Knights backed by Valhallan Guard run by Daniel Hester; I lost this round with 24-27. He went first. It was Vanguard deployment. He moved both FW Knights and was able to charge with one. The Castellan split fire to both Mortarion and the Blood thirster, he did not kill either, but he removed my Death shroud Bodyguards and put some Wounds on both. The FW knight charged some Brimstones and the Blood thirster. I used the Forbidden Gem on the FW Knight so he could not activate and was out of range of the Blood thirster. On my turn 1 Mortarion jumped both Knights, the Blood thirster prepared to charge both FW Knights. I DMC some Tzaangor to hold more Objectives. Mortarion took the Overwatch, the Blood thirster charged both, killed 1 piled in but was not in range for the other to swing. Then I activated the Blood thirster again and he killed the second knight. Going in his turn the Castellan killed Mortarion and took Wounds of the Blood thirster. On my turn the Blood thirster failed his charge on the Castellan and I focused my Tzaangor on the Castellan but did not kill it. This was my mistake as I should have used the Tzaangor to kill the last few Guardsmen and keep him from holding any Objectives

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning?

MP: Even with a loss I was still confident as there were few undefeated and I still had a chance to be in the top three or even win if there were no undefeated by the end.

WA: Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

MP: I was planning to play it like Chess as I knew I had more Pawns but he had more big monsters, so I needed to make good trade to win the game.

WA: Fourth match up?

MP: Chaos Mirror Match with Mark Aescht. He had Dual Primarch and Fate Weaver. I won with 48-18. He went first. I knew I was going to have to bait him into overextending his monsters as he had more than me. I knew that if I lost one first, he could bully me and pressure me into Submission. Turn 1 I castled with both units of Tzaangor on the board knowing I had more Pawns. Turn 1 he moved up cast some powers but left Fate Weaver where I could kill him. My turn 1 I Warp timed my Tzaangor charged Fate Weaver and got the bonus. I left my Blood thirster for his Mortarion to charge which he did but he did not kill my Blood thirster, then I Heroically intervened with a Herald of Slaanesh and the two of them killed Mortarion. Then killed Fate Weaver in my turn 2 and that was game

WA: Fifth match up?

MP: Tau run by Brad White- 2 Riptides, 1 Y’vahra, 1 unit of 3 Broadsides and an assortment of small units and Characters. I won 39-25. I went first. It was Front Line Assault deployment with 4 Objectives in the center of each table quarter. The only unit I worried about was the Y’vahra but he played it defensively. Mortarion took 14 Wounds in Overwatch but I managed to make the charge to the Riptide. His turn 1 he killed Mortarion and the Blood thirster, but I had too many units in his face by that point and in my turn 2 I managed to touch his Broadside unit and that was effectively game.

WA: Final roll up and placing?

MP: I was 1st place and Best Overall.

WA: Having reviewed everything, what are your thoughts now?

MP: I may have been able to play differently in my loss and have pulled out a win but overall that was a close game that I really enjoyed

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

MP: I saw three Necron Doom Scythes take 3rd and that was shocking. Looking back now I would not want to play that not fully grasping the Stratagem that goes with it as I place all my Characters in a bubble

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

MP: They are the Bread and Butter ITC Champion missions

WA: What are you planning to change in your list?

MP: With the release of Vigilus Ablaze I am drowning in new list ideas so expect to see me running something new and weird.

WA: What is next on your schedule?

MP: Barnyard Brawl April 26, 2019

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

MP: I love you all and git gud


The Worthiest Adversary is not about any singular individual specifically. It’s about those warriors that tread victorious across the various battlefields out there. The Worthiest Adversary is humbled by those that participate and share their stories so that others might witness what is accomplished wide and far. The hope and goal is that other warriors might read these acts of glory and are inspired to commit their own to history! Mark Perry is an excellent warrior, both on and off the field, and the Adversary appreciated the opportunity to meet with him recently. This outstanding victory for Mark is one of many that he continues to realize and the Adversary looks forward to seeing him fight throughout the ongoing war!

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Interview with Matthew Allee

The Dallas Open 2019 Major happened this last weekend with 123 players in attendance at the Grapevine Convention Center. Some amazing, world renown players faced off and as the dust settled, Matthew Allee stood victorious atop the rest. The Worthiest Adversary was fortunate enough that our victor could take the time to share with us the exploits of his conquest!

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Thousand Sons Battalion

Demon Prince – Warp Bolter, Wings, Talons
Exalted Sorcerer – 2x Power Swords, Warpflame Pistol

5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol
5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol
5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol

Thousand Sons Battalion

Terminator Sorcerer, Stave, Combi-Bolter
Terminator Sorcerer, Stave, Combi-Bolter

5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol
5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol
5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol

Thousand Sons Battalion

Ahriman
Demon Prince – Warp Bolter, Wings, Talons

5x Rubric Marines, Warpflame Pistol
30x Tzaangors
28x Tzaangors

“Follow your fluffy 40k dreams and bring a butt load of your favorite awful units!”

WA: Quick introduction (name, stomping grounds, started playing 40k, other hobbies or points of interest)

MA: Matthew Allee; Texas; Garage-hammer for about a decade; Video games, DnD, and anime

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

MA: Quarter Finals at LVO this year is best in my mind. Ynarri with flyers. 8th.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

MA: Dallas Open GT Best overall/General; Top 10 LVO 2019

WA: What did you think of that event overall?

MA: Good Event and Fantastic LOS terrain

WA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general?

MA: List works by generally “attempting” to make only 1 buffed Tzaangor unit as the only valid shooting target each turn. Rubrics are just there to troll and hide out of LOS and make getting angles on the character blob impossible. There are definitely better options for the Rubrics but It was more for the laughs that I took them and aiming for Pure Thousand Sons.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

MA: I was preparing to go 3-2 or 4-1 at best honestly. It was not expected to win every game and outscore Nick Rose but I will take it lol

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not anticipated?

MA: I didn’t see any of “THE LIST”. That was very surprising.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

MA: 3 shooty Knights + assassins. I won by a large margin. Forgot. Knights couldn’t chew through the buffed up Tzaangors before being dropped by smites and random chip damage. Culexus died to Tzaangors immediately as did the other assassins that got near them. Nothing specific

WA: Second match up?

MA: Very similar game with 1 Castellan + 3 gallants + assassins. I won by a large margin. Knights decided to go first. Knights couldn’t chew through the buffed up Tzaangors before being dropped by smites and random chip damage. Culexus died to Tzaangors immediately as did the other assassins that got near them. Nothing specific

WA: Third match up?

MA: Pure Custodes all loaded into the Orion Failboat…. no assassins. I won by an a very large margin. Custodes Decided to go first. It went about as expected for Pure Custodes running into a smite spam. He was a great sport about it though.

“My 3-2 troll army became a 5-0 army because of a glorious amount of LOS terrain in the middle of each board, and I was able to outplay/out luck my bad match ups.”

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

MA: Amazed I went 3-0 with 35 rubrics, and also, based on rankings, scared that I had 50% chance of playing Nick Rose playing a list that all but hard countered mine (GSC with all the character assignation tricks)

WA: Fourth match up?

MA: Deathwatch + 3 Onagers + Crusader + Culexus. I won by a good margin. I decided to go second as Hold more objectives was important in the matchup and he could easily delete anything in LOS. He did a poor job of positioning and the game slowly went in my favor. Deathwatch died to Smites as he didn’t bother to screen them, and I screened out teleporting shenanigans with rubrics. Culexus attempted to solo 10 rubrics on backfield objective but didn’t account for the 4++ and they sat there the rest of the game together in melee. Once the Deathwatch were all but dead there wasn’t anything left to stop a 30 man Tzaangor unit from cleaning up everything. Overall I only won due to very good use of LOS tricks as his firepower was insane.

WA: Fifth match up?

MA: 5 Flyers + double Ynarri spears. Very close game, but I greatly outscored them in the end. This was actually a very poor match up for me as the spears can easily end my entire army in a single turn, and it is extremely hard to screen out AND protect against the flyers. I decided to go first as they deployed 2 flyers within smite range and I really needed to take out his killing power ASAP. I also had to pretty much go for a 50-50 bait/risk. I gave my Warlord Daemon Prince 3++ invul, -1 hit, -1 damage taken Warlord trait, and baited a unit of spear into him. Between doom etc it was about a 50-50 shot to survive, but I had to do it as I needed the spears stuck in the middle of my army to kill them. Worked out with 1 wound remaining!

My second turn was not so lucky and I failed almost every power, and had to throw all 60 tzaangors down at once into chaff as positioning wise it was the only way to survive the 2nd spears and also force them to engage into my smites. Every tzaangor died next turn due to Vect and Morale but it let me pick up the second spear unit as they were stuck in the middle of my army.

It ended up with mostly just a few characters alive on both side in the end. He didn’t make any mistakes beyond getting into the 50-50 bait that he probably thought was a 95-5 his favor.

WA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

MA: Best Overall and Best General. My 3-2 troll army became a 5-0 army because of a glorious amount of LOS terrain in the middle of each board, and I was able to outplay/out luck my bad match ups.

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

MA: Mine lol. Hide 700 points of Rubrics in buildings for profit! Everything I played against was pretty standard so I wasn’t wowed by anything specific.

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

MA: Same old ITC stuff. Engineers is really nice when you opponents game the system and you can’t pick any secondaries against them. 10 rubrics is hard to dislodge hiding out of LOS.

WA: What are you planning on changing in your list?

MA: Dropping 20 rubrics to add another Daemon Prince + 30 Tzaangors at some point if I want it to be reasonably competitive instead of a troll list. But that would mean I have to paint 30 more Tzaangors and that sounds awful >.>

WA: What’s next on your schedule?

MA: Alamo GT in Texas

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

MA: Follow your fluffy 40k dreams and bring a butt load of your favorite awful units! Maybe you lose but at least you got to play with your favorite models, or maybe you end up winning and get people to go “WTF is this dumpster list!?”. Have to say stealing Nick Rose’s win out from under him with 35 rubrics makes for a great story! 😀


Matthew Allee stood victorious, having gone undefeated in five rounds with a total of 169 battle points; only two higher than Nick Rose who also went undefeated! The margin of victory matters only so much, then congratulations to Matthew Allee on first place! Philip Junghans also went undefeated with 160 battle points. The list of opponents from there on contains several other heavy hitters from across the United States that arrived last weekend to fight it out. The Dallas Open, while viewed from afar by the Worthiest Adversary, appears to have been quite the memorable event at which many have made recurring attendance. Congratulations to Matthew Allee again on his stellar performance and look forward to more from the Worthiest Adversary as champions of Warhammer 40k continue to arise with every major conflict!

“Pain is temporary; Honor is forever!”

thousand-sons-occult-horz

Interview with Stephen Mitchell

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Warzone: Atlanta is a widely recognized event that has occurred in the Southeast for several years, operating with its own competitive format, and known for “the biggest party in 40k.” Warzone: Gigabites occurred in mid-August at the Gigabites Tabletop Gaming Cafe in Marietta, GA. This event was a primer for the major event in November and out of 63 players and five intense rounds, one player was reigned Best General. WZ: GB also awarded Best Painted, Best Sport, and Best Overall, but the Worthiest Adversary was fortunate enough to take the time of the Best General, Stephen Mitchell.

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++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Chaos – Chaos Space Marines) [72 PL, ++ 1273pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Gifts of Chaos (1 Relic)
Legion: Alpha Legion

+ HQ +
Chaos Lord [5 PL, 81pts]: Axe of Blind Fury, Combi-bolter, Mark of Khorne, Power axe
Sorcerer [6 PL, 102pts]: Combi-bolter, Delightful Agonies, Diabolic Strength, Force axe, Mark of Slaanesh

+ Troops +
Chaos Cultists [12 PL, 148pts]: 36x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Tzeentch . Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Slaanesh . Cultist Champion: Autogun
Chaos Cultists [3 PL, 40pts]: 9x Chaos Cultist w/ Autogun, Mark of Slaanesh . Cultist Champion: Autogun

+ Elites +
Noise Marines [19 PL, 417pts]. 2x Marine w/ Blastmaster: 2x Blastmaster . 17x Marine w/ Sonic blaster: 17x Sonic Blaster . Noise Champion: Power axe, Sonic blaster

+ Heavy Support +
Havocs [7 PL, 125pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon
Havocs [7 PL, 125pts]: Mark of Slaanesh. Aspiring Champion: Bolt pistol, Boltgun . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon . Havoc w/ heavy weapon: Autocannon
Obliterators [10 PL, 195pts]: Mark of Slaanesh, 3x Obliterator

++ Spearhead Detachment +1CP (Chaos – Renegades & Heretics) [21 PL,++ 349pts] ++

+ HQ +
Renegade Commander [3 PL, 25pts]: Brutal Assault weapon, Lasgun

+ Heavy Support +
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter
Basilisks [6 PL, 108pts]. Basilisk: Heavy Bolter

++ Supreme Command Detachment +1CP (Chaos – Thousand Sons) [21 PL,++ 378pts] ++

+ HQ +
Ahriman [7 PL, 131pts]: Prescience, Tzeentch’s Firestorm, Warptime
Sorcerer [6 PL, 107pts]: Combi-bolter, Force axe, Helm of the Third Eye, Infernal Gaze, Weaver of Fates
Sorcerer in Terminator Armour [8 PL, 140pts]: 6. High Magister, Death Hex, Doombolt, Familiar, Force stave, Inferno Combi-bolter, Warlord

++ Total: [114 PL, 2000pts] ++

“I tried to make a list that functions in every phase of the game turn without being too mediocre in all of them. The majority of its power comes from shooting but it can put out a fair bit of damage in the psychic phase and isn’t helpless in the fight phase.”

WA: Quick introduction (name, stomping grounds, started playing 40k, other hobbies or points of interest)

SM: Hi, my name is Stephen Mitchell. I play here in Atlanta GA. I started playing 40k when I was 13 back in 3rd ed. I took a 5-6 year break to play warmachine/hordes during the 6th ed and most of the 7th ed years. If I’m not playing or painting in my free time, it’s usually spent watching GA sports teams almost win it all and community theater.

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

Most of my bigger tournament placings has come since I got back into 40k at the tail end of 7th. Last year I took best overall at the Crucible Major in Orlando.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

SM: This year I was fortunate enough to have a great group of guys on my team at ATC, we took fifth which I’m really proud of.

WA: What did you think of that event overall?

SM: Kelly Wallace and the General Staff as a whole put on great events very consistently. I was very impressed with the speed of match turnover and the quality of the mission design.

WA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general? (Short summary, in-depth not required unless you want to)

SM: I tried to make a list that functions in every phase of the game turn without being too mediocre in all of them. The majority of its power comes from shooting but it can put out a fair bit of damage in the psychic phase and isn’t helpless in the fight phase.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

SM: I was very aware of how common ynnari soup and imperial CP factory might be. That said, I was trying to make the list as TAC as possible. So tailoring the list didn’t really feel like an option. You can’t beat all the eldar if you get caught by a random ork list in the first round.

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not anticipated?

SM: I saw less demon lists than I expected. and way more BA/Guard combos. prior to this event I had not played that combo, despite the popularity online.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

SM: Andrew Gardenhire
BA/Custodes/Guard battery

I won 33/0. I went first. Not a lot to say about this game, He conceded top 2 and I had plenty of turns to snag every objective. the alpha first turn was harsh and he didn’t think it was salvageable.

WA: Second match up?

SM: Collin Watts
Thousand sons/Alpha legion

I won 26/9. I went first. This game was heavily swayed by the fact that I got first and rolled first drop on my infiltrators. it gave me a massive lead and put Collin in a hole he wasn’t ever able to fully climb out of. It was a tough game against a strong opponent. I look forward to the rematch.

WA: Third match up? 

SM: Charles Pugh
Nurgle daemons/Thousand sons/alpha legion

I won 24/11 IIRC. Charles went first. This game was the grind of all grinds. His alpha dropped my cultist blob and tied up several of my shooty units but I was able to muster and drop his cultist blob as well as most of the bearers before they made it to my lines. The game ended with about a dozen models on the field clinging to objectives. a very close fun game.

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

SM: Fairly excited to be at the top spot, even if my attempts to submarine were failing. I spent a bit of time looking through my round 4 opponent’s list and discussed it with my friends. I felt like if I had first turn I had the game.

WA: Fourth match up? 

SM: John McMahon
Blood angels/Guard/knights

I won 26/12. John went first. Well, I was right, and going first was a big advantage in this game. He took out nearly a quarter of my list top of turn 1. Two things pulled the victory here. A ruin that allowed me to hide my noise marines from the alpha and john’s complete inability to roll 5s on his CP recursion. He probably got 5 -7 CPs back the whole game, playing an army that routinely uses 8-12 CPs a round. Ultimately John had scored a huge lead on the primary with progressive points. I had to take every remaining end of game objective to score a 1 point lead to win. John was probably my favorite game this weekend.

WA: Fifth match up?

SM: Mike Sanchez
Blood Angels/Guard

I won 31-7. I went first. So many mortars…so many captains…this field would have been perfect for a more typical gun line matchup. Huge LOS blocking terrain, table quarter deployment. The problem is this army fires almost entirely ignoring LOS, with the mortars, manticore and basilisk. And the stuff that doesn’t are 3 vultures that have the maneuverability to bypass the terrain. First turn was going to be devastation for either player. Both of us set up fairly aggressively and I took first. That’s exactly what happened. The noise marines and cultists killed almost every troop choice.

Ultimately this ground down to an attrition and I took a fair lead early on. The game ended on 5. I had the majority of my back field support and a few characters on objectives. Mike was a great player and had he gone first, This probably would have been a different story.

WA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

SM: I took 1st in Battle points, 3rd overall. The Atlanta meta is strong but not the most diverse. I need way more practice vs the more popular army lists.

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

SM: The castellan comboing with the large amount of CP that Guard bring could be very strong. The guard/BA combo is as rough as I expected it to be, but not insurmountable.

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

SM: I think these missions are the best the Kelly Wallace has come up with to date and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for WZ:ATL.

WA: What are you planning on changing in your list?

SM: I have been playing predominantly CSM for the better part of a year now. I’d like to go back to daemons.

WA: What’s next on your schedule?

SM: Likely WZ:ATL, I purchased a new house recently so my Tournament attendance may suffer in the coming months.

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

SM: See everyone at WZ: ATL!

 


 

Some of the best players in the South East from multiple factions to include the General Staff, ETA, Borderlands Gaming, GCWA, Dangli Boyz, and others were represented. Stephen Mitchell topped it all as the Best General and was one of two players that went undefeated in a battle point determined tournament. The Worthiest Adversary greatly appreciates the time taken by Stephen Mitchell to share his experience and victories for the benefit of the audience and community as a whole. If WZ:GB was only the pre-cursor, the Worthiest Adversary cannot wait to see what awaits come November with WZA!

“The Imperium is a weak old man, ready and waiting to be broken apart by his vengeful sons.” – Lufgt Huron, The Tyrant of Badab

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Interview with Aaron Aleong

MAGS Championship banner

GENCON was a massive event. It was the Worthiest Adversary’s first time in attendance and the experience was overwhelming in the most positive regard. Eddie Draper and the team managing the GT did an amazing job running a GT amidst one of the largest conventions in the country! Some amazing competitors came to show at the Mid America Gaming Series Championship GT but only one of them would go undefeated. The Worthiest Adversary was fortunate enough to have the time to speak with that champion, Aaron Aleong.


++ Brigade Detachment +12CP (Imperium – Astra Militarum) [56 PL, 934pts] ++
+ No Force Org Slot +
Regimental Doctrine: Cadian
+ HQ +
Company Commander [2 PL, 31pts]:[/b] Boltgun, Chainsword, Grand Strategist, Kurov’s Aquila, Warlord
Primaris Psyker [2 PL, 46pts]:[/b] Force Stave, Mental Fortitude, Psychic Barrier
Primaris Psyker [2 PL, 46pts]:[/b] Force Stave, Mental Fortitude, Nightshroud
Tempestor Prime [3 PL, 45pts]:[/b] Chainsword, Tempestus Command Rod

+ Troops +
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol
Infantry Squad [3 PL, 45pts]
. 7x Guardsman
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Sergeant: Chainsword, Laspistol
Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 78pts]
. 2x Scion: 2x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Plasma gun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Plasma pistol
Militarum Tempestus Scions [3 PL, 86pts]
. 2x Scion: 2x Hot-shot Lasgun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Scion w/ Special Weapon: Meltagun
. Tempestor: Chainsword, Plasma pistol

+ Elites +
Militarum Tempestus Command Squad [3 PL, 88pts]
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
. Tempestus Scion: Plasma gun
Ogryn Bodyguard [4 PL, 55pts]:[/b] Ripper Gun, Slabshield, The Deathmask of Ollanius
Platoon Commander [2 PL, 20pts]:[/b] Chainsword, Laspistol
Platoon Commander [2 PL, 20pts]:[/b] Chainsword, Laspistol

+ Fast Attack +
Rough Riders [3 PL, 50pts]
. 4x Rough Rider: 4x Hunting Lance
. Rough Rider Sergeant: Chainsword, Hunting Lance, Laspistol
Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 45pts]
. Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser
Scout Sentinels [3 PL, 45pts]
. Scout Sentinel: Multi-laser

+ Heavy Support +
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
Heavy Weapons Squad [3 PL, 33pts]
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar
. Heavy Weapon Team: Mortar

++ Outrider Detachment +1CP (Imperium – Adeptus Ministorum) [34 PL, 627pts] ++
+ HQ +
Canoness [4 PL, 59pts]: Eviscerator, Storm bolter
Celestine [8 PL, 200pts]: Celestine

+ Elites +
Imagifier [2 PL, 40pts]

+ Fast Attack +
Seraphim Squad [8 PL, 124pts]
. 5x Seraphim
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
Seraphim Squad [8 PL, 113pts]
. 4x Seraphim
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
Seraphim Squad [4 PL, 91pts]
. 2x Seraphim
. Seraphim Superior: Bolt pistol, Bolt pistol
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols
. Seraphim w/ Special Weapons: 2x Inferno Pistols

++ Battalion Detachment +5CP (Imperium – Blood Angels) [26 PL, 439pts] ++
+ HQ +
Captain [6 PL, 129pts]: Jump Pack, Storm shield, Thunder hammer
Chief Librarian Mephiston [8 PL, 145pts]

+ Troops +
Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Boltgun
. Scout: Boltgun
. Scout: Boltgun
. Scout: Boltgun
. Scout Sergeant: Boltgun, Combat knife
Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Combat knife
Scout Squad [4 PL, 55pts]
. Scout: Combat knife
. Scout: Boltgun
. Scout: Astartes shotgun
. Scout: Astartes shotgun
. Scout Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Combat knife

++ Total: [116 PL, 2000pts] ++


 

WA: Quick introduction (name, stomping grounds, started playing 40k, other hobbies or points of interest)

AA: *Aaron Aleong
*Indianapolis, Indiana (Now southern Arkansas)
*End of 4th
*Love playing my kids and 40k

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

AA: Major GT wins
*Adepticon 2016
*Nova GT 2015
*Nova Invite 2011, 2013, 2015
*ATC 2015, 2016, 2017
*Michigan GT 2015
*Renegade Open 2017
*Adepticon teams 2012, 2013

Team USA 2015, 2016
Mostly all imperial armies.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

AA: Gencon

WA: What did you think of that event overall?

AA: Fun event and well ran. they handled the minor drama well. Kept things on time for the most part. Didn’t like the change to ITC ruins. 😀

WA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general?

AA: My list is a board control, asphalt style list. Most people don’t realize it until its too late. I control 50% of the board on my turn 1 whether I go 1st or 2nd. All units in my lists always have the ability to synergize with each other. I build multiple areas of force multipliers in the list.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

AA: I try to build my list for missions primarily and the top 10% of player/list combo second. I always expect to be in contention to play for the win. With ITC, you play the mission first and the opponent list 2nd. It’s a good idea to always build your list to the mission style, then make adjustments for meta. My list in scores ITC very well and also is tough to choose against in ITC.

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not anticipated?

AA: I was not expecting as many Knights that we saw.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

AA: Played versus Genestealer Cult. Great guy out of Kentucky. Frank Thomas. I have played him before and he is pretty good. I got first turn but he seized. I won by 7 pts. Unfortunately I clogged up the board and it caused Frank to slow down drastically. I let him play his game and carefully mentioned his 2nd turn took 35 minutes. we got to turn 3 unfortunately. On my turn 1 I had 60% of the board blocked off so he had no room to bring in his cult ambush.

WA: Second match up?

AA: Some guy named Red. He had necrons with lots of destroyers, a vault, ctan, and destroyer lord, and cryptek. I got first turn but he seized on me…. sigh. I deployed where he couldn’t redeploy anywhere with my scouts and using my scout sentinels. He moved up, killed all my scouts, some IG. I beta striked with Mephiston, psykers, and seraphim and killed his vault turn 1. That was a tough blow for him. I then got lucky and was able to blow up his c’tan on his turn 2 when he killed Mephiston in CC. Red played very well with target priority and keeping his destroyers coming back. At the end of my turn 2 I had 70% or the board under control and was able to pinch him in slowly killing his crons that kept getting back up. Great game.

VIP for Red destroyer lord.. I did over 20 wounds to the jerk

WA: Third match up?

AA: Played versus Admech, BA, IG. He had 3 units of priests in the Admech drill pods. An IG CP battery, And 3 smash captains with 3 Scouts. Really good list. This game I won by 2 points. he got 1st turn and made it a game. Priests killed scouts and became super. I killed them and scored maelstrom points waiting for him to move. If we went further It would have been more exciting. I had more bodies so won they attrition. Smite for the win vs smash captains.

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

AA: I was tired Had been a few weeks since I played. I figured I would hit knights day 2 since they where all above me or around me in the standings.

WA: Fourth match up? 

AA: Round 4, played 4 knights. Two of the new gigantic ones. He played very well. When 12 of my melta shots on turn 2 failed to wound, I was in trouble. I had to play really right to get a 1 point win off the player. This was also my 1st time playing against the new knights. I used all the techniques I had to beat him. Including locking a knight in combat 1 turn with a big blob of IG.

WA: Fifth match up?

AA: Steven Schuler: Game wasnt that close. He has a BA, IG battery, and 3 knights. He got 1st turn. He played well, but I maneuvered him to send his knights where I wanted. He sent his smash captains where I wanted and they died pretty fast. He ended up in 2nd so did very well, but his list wasnt built to sustain the close combat and shooting I had.

WA: Sixth match up? 

AA: Josh Death. Josh had a unique list. 3 LoW IG flyers that where pretty good and 3 knights. Unfortunately for him, I have over 110 models with heavy objectives and the terrain board was amazingly in my favor. I could hide all my seraphim and characters without him being able to see them. We rolled some dice. I got my side, and we barely played 1 turn. He couldn’t escape with the deployment map and  couldnt block out my assault elements or my melta/plasma onslaught. It was called early. Basically I kill 1/2 his army in my turn 1. Then he has 3 models left.

WA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

AA: 1st place. Fun event. I feel the list works great against any army to include Eldar. I added the Ogryn Bodyguard with slab shield and mask to counter the knights special kill-a-character missiles. I also dropped 2 squads if infantry for drop scions for anti knight. They both made me play faster and I’m happy about that.

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

AA: I loved the destroyer lord+cryptek

BA+ IG battery + Mechanicus strats

Knight strats are stupid good.

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

AA: I like ITC, they need to update tho. And didn’t like change to ITC ruins rule at event. Made knights too good.

WA: What are you planning on changing in your list?

AA: Nothing. It hasn’t changed much in all of 8th.

WA: What’s next on your schedule?

AA: Rest. Concentrate on the new job and family in new place. May surprise some people at some events. 😉

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

AA: 40k is fun. I know we all want to win. It’s ok to lose. Often people get labeled certain ways for certain reasons. Just because we lose, doesn’t mean we should try to find an excuse why we lost that may just be, someone played better than us that day. I hate to see anyone given a bad name because someone fabricates a narrative. We are all people paying lots of money to play this game. We all deserve respect and dignity. I know I am an intense player on the table top. I have worked for years to improve and try and take into consideration my opponent also deserves to have a good time. There is a difference between a mistake and deliberately cheating. I will always give every person the benefit of the doubt until I see for myself.

I only hope my game with Red will show as one of the many examples over the last few years when I humbly speak to my opponents after the game and ask them how our game was, they respond something like, “Man that was nothing like I was lead to believe”. I truly want to help grow our hobby. I help a lot of people with lists, game theory, etc. I am always available for free to help.


Aaron was an exceptional opponent and a great time was had across the board. The Worthiest Adversary appreciates the time and effort that was taken on Aaron’s behalf to bring the audience the play by play of his victory from GENCON. The event and the competition were amazing and it will no doubt continue to occur for years to come. The Worthiest Adversary hopes that everyone can get a chance to attend GENCON and face off with serious competition. Iron sharpens iron, and playing with Aaron Aleong was a great experience for the Worthiest Adversary.

“Titans? They’re just like anything else. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” – Captain Miklos Furnow, Hydrae 15th Guard Regiment

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The Chicago Open GT (SEP 8-9)

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Chicago Open Facebook Page

Chicago Open Mission Packet

Chicago Open Event Packet

Chicago Open BCP Link

Over the last few months, the Worthiest Adversary has encountered several amazing players along the war path. Every engagement introduces more great players and more awesome battlefields. Jeremy Applebaum is one such player, who is the Tournament Organizer for the Chicago Open 40K GT, and one of the voices to the Command Points Podcast. The event occurs next week at Grognard Games & Hobbies and is a two day tournament. Continue reading for the introduction from Jeremy himself!

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My name is Jeremy Applebaum and I’m the head TO for the Chicago Open. I’ve been playing 40k for about 5-6 years at this point. My army of choice is Sisters of Battle! As of right now I think I’ve TO’d at least 30 events as well as the same event last year.

The Chicago Open is a 2 day, 2,000 point, ITC event. It is going to be on September 8th and 9th at Grongard Games and Hobbies in Roselle IL. One quick twist of the format though is that we are doing pure battle points instead of the W-L-D that is commonly seen in that mission format. What that means is that if you lose a game, then you can still win the event and we are hoping it encourages people to play fast and finish all their games as you are leaving points on the table!

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What I like about this adapted format is that you can lose a close game and still win the event or do really well. In typical W-L-D events, people will drop after losing a game because they are “out”. Well, not here as every point counts!

I think some expected points of contention among players is really just finishing games. We will have chess clocks on hand and require the top 3 tables to use them after round 1 with the option for anyone else to use them if they so desire. Hopefully that will get every game to come to a natural or at least turn 5 conclusion. Nothing worse than losing a game because you didn’t finish it.

As for the Meta – I expect a lot of Imperial Soup and Chaos as those are the two most popular factions around these parts.

This is the second year for this event and we hope to make it a yearly or possibly bi-yearly event! Thanks for reading! I hope to see you guys make it out!


The Worthiest Adversary hopes everyone available can make it to the Chicago Open! This is an interesting time for the 40K Community as the meta is very dynamic for several armies and the shadow of a FAQ looms in hushed whispers and rumors. We all know to expect Chapter Approved in mid-November and with it, a Beta-codex for Sisters of Battle, of which the Adversary is sure that Jeremy cannot wait to get his hands on. Furthermore, if you have not been to a 40K GT or have just started, the Worthiest Adversary encourages everyone to get out and try their best because the only way a player is going to get better is if they learn! Consider every engagement a learning experience, win or lose, and thank the volunteer efforts of every TO and helping hand out there that provides these great environments for all of the players!

“These heretics refute the Emperor’s holy right to rule. Let them argue with the barrel of a gun.” – Canoness Sabine of the Order of Our Martyred Lady

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Interview with Devin Swann

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Battles occur across the expanse and some of us only glimpse at the very edge of the War’s vastness.  The Toronto Gaming Expo 40k GT occurred over a week ago now and from it rose their champion. Devin Swann took first place, the only undefeated contender. The Worthiest Adversary congratulates Devin for his success and appreciates the time he took with us to respond.

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+ PLAYER: Devin Swann
+ ARMY FACTION: Ynnari, Craftworlds, Drukhari
+ TOTAL COMMAND POINTS: 13
+ TOTAL ARMY POINTS: 1998 pts
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== Battalion Detachment == Ynnari [1024 points] +5 CP
HQ1: Yvraine (132) WARLORD
HQ2: Spiritseer (65), Spirit Stone of Anath’lan (0) – [65pts] <Biel-Tan>

Troop1: 10 Guardian Defenders (10×8) – [80pts] <Alaitoc>
Troop2: 10 Guardian Defenders (10×8) – [80pts] <Alaitoc>
Troop3: 10 Guardian Defenders (10×8) – [80pts] <Alaitoc>

FA1: 8 Shining Spears (8×18), 8 Twin Shiriken Catapults (8×5), 8 Laser Lances (8×8) Exarch (18), Twin Shiriken Catapult (5), Star Lance (10) – [281pts] <Biel-Tan>
HS1: 8 Dark Reapers (8×12), 8 Reaper Launchers (8×22), Exarch (12), Reaper Launcher (22) – [306pts] <Alaitoc>

== Battalion Detachment == Alaitoc [872 points] +5 CP
HQ1: Farseer (110)
HQ2: Warlock (55)
HQ3: Spiritseer (65)

Troop1: 5 Rangers (5×12) – [60pts]
Troop2: 5 Rangers (5×12) – [60pts]
Troop3: 5 Rangers (5×12) – [60pts]

DT1: Wave Serpent (107), Shiriken Cannon (10), Twin Shiriken Cannon (17), Spirit Stones (10), Vectored Engines (10) – [154pts]
DT2: Wave Serpent (107), Shiriken Cannon (10), Twin Shiriken Cannon (17), Spirit Stones (10), Vectored Engines (10) – [154pts]
DT3: Wave Serpent (107), Shiriken Cannon (10), Twin Shiriken Cannon (17), Spirit Stones (10), Vectored Engines (10) – [154pts]

== Patrol Detachment == Kabal of the Black Heart [102 points] +0 CP
HQ1: Archon (70), Venom Blade (2) – [72 pts]
Troop1: 5 Kabalite Warriors (5×6) – [30pts]


WA: Quick introduction (name, stomping grounds, started playing 40k, other hobbies or points of interest)

DS: My name is Devin Swann and I’ve been playing 40k since 2004, my first army was Blood Angels. I live and mainly play in Toronto, Ontario. I also play 30k on occasion as well.

WA: Best placings at a GT and/or Majors event? Playing what army and in what edition?

DS: My first big tournament win was at Warmaster’s Challenge (which sadly no longer exists) back in 2013. I was a bracket champion at NOVA 2016, best general at the Barrie Bash 2016 and 2018, best general at the Basement Collective GT in June and my team came in 2nd at the CanHammer Team Tournament this year.

WA: Most recent GT or Majors event attended and placing?

DS: Aside from the Barrie Bash, Basement Collective GT and CanHammer Team Tournament I got 4th at the Beef & Wing Brawl in Buffalo back in June.

WA: What did you think of that event overall?

DS: The event is in its 2nd year and has nearly doubled in size and it ran very smoothly. The T.O. Ridvan (from SkaredCast) also runs the Barrie Bash and does an excellent job at both. I’d highly recommend checking both of them and other events in Ontario as well, they’re all very well run.

WA: Break down your list, how does it work and function in general? (Short summary, in-depth not required unless you want to)

DS: My list is basically the classic Ynnari Dark Reaper/Shining Spear list that’s been around since LVO this year. The idea is that I can use the Ynnari rules and Eldar stratagems and Wave Serpents to keep my heavy hitters (the Reapers and Spears) alive while they kill the opponent’s army. The Spears are Biel-Tan for the Court of the Young King stratagem, which gives them a 7 inch charge out of deep strike to help offset not being able to quicken them anymore. My favorite trick with the Spears is to soulburst for movement after killing a unit in combat. As the souburst movement and post combat pile in happen simultaneously I can choose to resolve the movement first, go anywhere up to 22 inches then pile in to surround another unit in combat, preventing my spears from being shot. Out of reserve you can do the same thing (not as reliably though) with the soulburst charge. The reapers often start in a Serpent or behind a wall and move-shoot-move with fire and fade. The Dark Eldar patrol is there for Vect and everything else just sits on objectives mostly.

WA: What were you preparing for going into the event? Expectations regarding missions and opposing lists?

DS: I was expecting a lot of Imperial Knights and Eldar/Dark Eldar armies mostly, with a number of other meta lists thrown in (Vaults, Shadowswords and whatnot). The missions were standard ITC Champions missions which is pretty much what everyone in my local area plays anyway.

I think good movement and clever use of stratagems are the hallmarks of a good player these days.

WA: Once you got there, what was new or different that you saw but had not anticipated?

DS: There were a few Knight and Custodes armies that had shadowswords in them and a few Guilliman lists as well. Magnus and Morty were also popular, either with Knights or Daemon Princes.

WA: First match up? Against who and what army? Who won and by what margin? Who went first? How did the game play out in general? Anything specific stand out?

DS: Round 1 was against Mike Bucci who was playing AdMech with a robot shooting unit, Cawl and a Knight Crusader. I was able to jump the Spears from unit to unit with soulbursts to keep them in combat and the Reapers did the rest. Final score was 41-4 for me.

WA: Second match up?

DS: Round 2 was against Kevin Armitage (who runs the Basement Collective YouTube channel and GT) who was playing Magnus and Morty with 3 Knight Gallants. I got really lucky on 2 counts, first by getting Hammer and Anvil deployment and second by seizing. I hid in a corner, killed Magnus with the Reapers turn 1 and forced the rest of Kevin’s army to run at me through Reaper fire. Final score was 39-15 for me.

WA: Third match up?

DS: Round 3 was against my friend Diogo Pita who was playing basically the same list as me. The mirror match (especially a Ynnari one) is always interesting because it often comes down to who makes the first mistake or gets a lucky break. I got first turn, was able to quicken my Spears into his Spears and kill them, which removed the biggest check against my Reapers. After that I was able to eliminate his Reapers with shooting and a charge from the Spears which sealed the win for me. Final score was 39-23.

WA: How did you feel at the end of day one, given your positioning? Anything specific you had planned out for your next opponent that morning?

DS: I felt confident for day 2. The hardest matchup for me is the mirror match which I got out of the way round 3 and many of the other good players I was worried about had gotten paired up against each other and been knocked out. My round 4 opponent was a Guilliman gunline so assuming I got a table with good terrain it’s a favorable matchup for me.

WA: Fourth match up? 

DS: Round 4 was against another friend of mine, Thomas Collier. He had Guilliman with Devastators parked around the relic banner and 2 Leviathan dreads. Luckily the table had a huge ruin in the middle which I could hide behind, and we got table quarters deployment which meant I was starting close to him. Spears made a charge turn 1 which killed most his Devs, Hellblasters and Tigerius and were able to soulburst behind the ruin to avoid return fire from the Leviathans. Guilliman tried a long charge on the Spears (and failed) and died in my turn (I Vect’d the reroll on the get back up). After that it was cleanup with the Reapers and Spears. Final score was 40-11 for me.

WA: Fifth match up? 

DS: Round 5 was against Joey Deng. He was playing a Plaguebearer horde with Plagueburst Crawlers and Bloat Drone support. We had Dawn of War deployment which was disadvantageous to me. I did get first turn thankfully, which gave me more shooting before he hit my lines. Plaguebearers are tough and I knew I couldn’t rely on the Spears killing a whole unit with shooting and combat, so I picked off his PBCs and Bloat Drones with the Reapers and Spear hit and runs while charging the Plaguebearers with Serpents to lock them in combat. Eventually I was able to remove his key threats while not taking losses on my important units which sealed the win for me. Final score was 28-19.

WA: Final roll up and placing? Having rehashed everything, what are your thoughts now?

DS: I was the only undefeated player at the end. I played some good players and all of my games were fun and enjoyable. I do feel I got a bit lucky on pairings as many of the players I was worried about got paired up early and knocked each other out.

WA: What were some of the best tactics and combos that you saw at the event?

DS: I think good movement and clever use of stratagems are the hallmarks of a good player these days. In round 3 against Diogo we both deployed valuable units far forward as bait with the intention of using the Phastasm stratagem on them if we didn’t get first turn. There’s also the Ynnari soulburst movement then pile in after combat trick which I think is underused.

WA: What did you think of the mission sets?

DS: They were ITC champions missions. I like them.

WA: What are you planning on changing in your list?

DS: I can’t think of anything to change in the list as it is now. I might look at expanding the Dark Eldar part of it but that’s about it.

WA: What’s next on your schedule?

DS: Next up is Capital City Bloodbath in Ottawa, Ontario in August then nothing big until Da Boyz in November.

WA: Any parting thoughts for the audience?

DS: Check out the SkaredCast page on Facebook for some pictures of the armies and the event. Its run by the T.O. of this event and the Barrie Bash.


Devin’s Eldar seized the weekend and he took them to a flawless but hard fought victory. The Worthiest Adversary salutes Devin and all of his opponents and the other attendants of the TGX 40k GT for their efforts that by all accounts led to a great second year for the GT.

The storm continues to rage, with the Bay Area Open and the Barnyard Brawl’s having just occurred and ETC and GENCON on the horizon. The Worthiest Adversary continues to report so standby for more from the very front of our favorite major conflicts.

Butcher your enemy’s warriors without mercy. Crush his armies and leave none alive. But do not stop there. Burn his cities. Bomb his worlds from orbit. Slaughter everything and everyone until he kneels in the ashes of those he sought to protect. Only then will he understand the true fury of the Dark Gods.
– Haakor of the Black Legion

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