Fantastic Lists and Where to Find Them: Chapter One
This particular series of articles explores unique lists and trends developing in the competitive Warhammer 40k meta. The focus is on interesting lists that performed unusually well and/or being played unexpectedly by top level players.
Over the last weekend a few remaining large events took place before the Las Vegas Open, showing us a possible peak into the post Chapter Approved meta and what the top players are soon to be taking. While not much changed at the tippy top of the meta, major changes are happening just below. One such change is the inclusion of Deathwatch being added to the mix, or at the very least the focal point of Imperial Soup lists.
Three such Deathwatch heavy lists went 4-1 in two different tournaments over the weekend showcasing the new possibilities for that codex, fascinating still is two out of the three Deathwatch lists included Sisters of Battle.
The 1st list is brought to us from the Last Chance Open and Konrad Bartkiewicz 4-1 5th place finisher.
You have to look closely to see the all the intricacies for the units at play. Deathwatch excel with a basic Troop that can be anything you want, in Konrad’s case he went the durability route of Terminators to tank wounds while the rest of the unit does the killing, you have Bikes to string things out creating surprising board control, all with Deep Strike as needed. Since all the Deathwatch Vets get special issue ammunition you have a unit with tactical flexibility against almost anything. The Watch Master means you are re-rolling all hits and special ammo you are wounding most things on 2+.
While the Deathwatch are the spear for objective grabbing, the Sisters on the other hand sit back and project the backfield with resilience and tons of high strength Exorcist shooting to handle all types of threats. On top of that with the Eternal Flame relic has Sisters able to deny tons of psychic powers at will. The Missionary gives the Sisters a Catachan level of melee attacks when needed as well. The strangest part of the list is the Arco-Flagellants, which bring some close combat goodness, probably getting away with a lot, as a low target priority unit on the surface. As it should be noted with the Missionary around you have a possibility of 9 strength 5 attacks each one of these little buggers.
The Knight is for tank and titanic hunting and will take up the bulk of fire from your opponent while the more important elements from the army really eat you alive.
The 2nd list is brought to us again from the Last Chance Open and 8th place Tim Dagnall, who didn’t lose his only game until the 4th round.
This list has similar Deathwatch units to Konrad, but with the added bonus of Aggressor based unit. This list uses a common Deathwatch trick of bringing Aggressors real close with the help of the Beacon Angelis, which I believe not counting as a move so the Aggressors stay stationary (could be wrong) when shooting. This unit can also fall back and shoot normally thanks to the Inceptors, this is a ton of Bolter shots with many being -1 AP at least.
The Blood Angel element is intriguing with your classic Smash Captain, but the Libby Dread is an interesting touch, easily hideable and helped immensely by a point reduction in Chapter Approved.
The Ad-Mech component is a slight mystery with the Dunecrawlers, to suck up damage mostly and hope for some lucky rolls, all the while being repaired by anyone committed to waste resources on them. Skitarii Rangers are a solid Troop choice in any list.
This list looks like it can easily handle any horde army, but would struggle against Knights, unless you can bring all the Smash type melee units to bare.
The final Deathwatch list comes from the Hammer in the New Year 2019, which features the best East Coast players. Coming in 4th place was NovaOpen 2018 winner Andrew Gonyo losing his first round against Tau, going undefeated after.
This list has tons of Veterans on the cheap, really taking advantage of the Chapter Approved point reductions. This list again like the previous lists really focuses on tons of S4 shots of various kinds to deal the hurt. The Sisters portion of the list is completely different than the Konrad’s list with Flaming Melta Flying Seraphim taking the lead.
This list features 12 Hand Flamers, with the express purpose of being stuck in close combat to repeatedly burn the enemy (Orks) down. Guilliman seems like the odd duck of the whole thing with the +1 advance and charge seeming like a fringe benefit for this list, but I am sure in the hands of Gonyo has some nefarious purpose.
All these lists show off Deathwatch as rising star for the power armour crowd and with LVO less than a month away, you have to wonder if Deathwatch will make an appearance in the Top 8.
Finally, I want to throw in another list, a Necron one, just because Necrons need love at the moment. It won’t need any explaining as you will see quickly why it was effective, going 4-1 as well at the Last Change Open 2019.
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