Guest Tournament Report: Warhound in Action!

This article comes to us via Abuse Puppy form over at 3++. He relates his experience at an Escalation Tournament he went to with his Warhound Titan. Let us know what you think in the comments section about the dirty D in tournament play. -ed

So, a little while back here I attended the Valentine’s Day Massacre, a two-day tournament in Seattle with the full gamut of 40K options allowed- Forge World, Stronghold, dataslates, etc. The idea was to give some kind of test to the claims of problems with them and see just how things stacked up. While I was reasonably sure what the result would be, I was at least willing to give things a shot and see how it played out in order to have some kind of direct experience with Escalation.

But as it turned out… oh, wait, nevermind, things turned out pretty much exactly as expected. The Escalation units walked over the normal units fairly heavily, and in the end it was a Warhound Titan that came out on top of the scrum.

My List

1750pts Imperial Guard/Inquisition

Inquisitor Coteaz

Lord Commissar (Power Fist)

Infantry Platoon

-Platoon Command (3 Flamer, Boltgun)

-Infantry Squad

-Infantry Squad

-Infantry Squad

-Sabre Platform (Lascannon, Crew)

-Sabre Platform (Lascannon, Crew)

-Sabre Platform (Autocannon, Crew)

-Sabre Platform (Autocannon, Crew)

Veteran Squad (3 Meltagun)



Warhound Scout Titan (2 Turbo-Laser)

Void Shield Generator (2 extra Shields)

In retrospect there are a couple of small changes I would make to the list (mainly giving the Infantry Squads gun upgrades), I consider it pretty close to the “ideal” list for such an environment. Coteaz acts as deep strike defense and mitigates the possibility of the enemy Seizing against me. Vendettas and Sabre Platforms give me some resilience on my scoring units and shut down enemy flyers. The VSG protects me against enemy superheavies, especially Strength D, and insures that when going second I’ll still have most of my army left alive. (It should be noted that the TO had ruled that blast weapons only caused a single hit on the Shields, which was part of the reason I ran it.) And, obviously, the Warhound was the main killing power in the list, eliminating most kinds of targets in short order.

My plan was pretty simple- drop any Void Shields an enemy superheavy had with supporting firepower and then blast it with Str D; against armies without superheavies, Str D large blasts would erase most things in pretty short order. My main concern was an army of FMCs, specifically the Daemonic variant- not only would they be a lot harder to kill with the blasts, but the ability to Puppet Master my titan could easily end up vaporizing a large percentage of my army in short order. Going second against flying circus would probably lose me the game, but since going first would allow me to very nearly wipe them out and since the list was effectively my only major worry, I felt I was about as well-prepared as I could hope to be. A Rune Priest could’ve solidified my game against such an army slightly, but I didn’t really have the points to spare for that sort of inclusion.

Obviously there were other dangers as well, but having covered most of my bases pretty securely, I was reasonably confident that I could take most any list that turned up.

The Tournament

Although turnout was a bit low overall, we still ended up seeing all of the major players make appearances- my Warhound, a Revenant, a Transcendent C’tan, and a Drop Melta list (as well as a half dozen other armies of various stripes), so there definitely was at least a field to compete against. Terrain on the tables ended up being a bit sparse, but with Str D flying around everywhere that almost wasn’t a concern. I knew a couple of the other players from other events, though the tournament was actually the first one that the store had run.

Missions and deployment were using the TSHFT standard, so each round had a primary, secondary, and tertiary mission to play for, with primary being worth 6-14pts, secondary being 0-6, and tertiary 0-2. The primary and secondary missions were both drawn straight from the rulebook, while the tertiary generally related in some way to using or destroying units from a particular FOC slot. Due to attendance being on the low side, we played more rounds than strictly “necessary” to determine a winner, but it didn’t end up being critical.

Painting and sportsmanship were also included in scoring, but were given as separate prizes; if turnout had been larger perhaps we might’ve had a Best Overall award, but as it stood awards were confined to 1st/2nd in battle points, best painted, and love of the game (which was essentially the fluff/sportsmanship prize.)

Round 1

Mission: Crusade (4 objectives)/Relic

Deployment: Dawn of War

Opponent: Orks with Stompa

Objectives were evenly distributed between us and he had a similarly-strong scoring presence, so I knew the battle would essentially come down to killing his Stompa and then grinding down his troop units. He had three full-strength units of Boyz, some Gretchin, a pair of Loota units, and a Big Mek, plus some Deffkoptas. His Mek and one Loota unit were inside the Stompa repairing it (though he didn’t realize you could stick multiple different squads inside a superheavy transport) while the remaining units spread out to hide. Gretchin and Koptas were in normal reserve.

As you can see from the pic above, things did not go well for him- I picked up first turn, and despite Night Fight being active, there was realistically nowhere he could hide that would be out of range of my guns and with no Void Shields to protect him, things ended pretty much before they had begun. My initial volley of Turbo-Laser shots killed the Stompa instantly (with one six-followed-by-a-six doing enough HP to kill it all on its own) and I began wearing down his other units one by one. His Koptas arrived and came in on one flank to do a bit of damage, but were unable to push me off any of my objectives; I eventually move my blob into midfield, claiming the Relic, and keep him off of one of his objectives with some volleys of Turbo-Laser fire followed by some Stomp action. I exit the round with max points.

Round 2


Mission: Scouring/Kill Points(?)

Deployment: Hammer and Anvil

Opponent: Eldar with Revenant

One of the players I knew from earlier events, he and I were both pretty much playing variants on our lists from the other event that utilized Escalation. His Revenant was backed by a Solitaire Autarch, some jetbikes and Rangers, a Hornet with Pulse Lasers, a Nightwing, a Fire Prism, and a pair of War Walkers. Very light on scoring, but he had enough shots to drop my Void Shields and if his Str D got through, I was in major trouble. The matchup would largely come down to the dice- if he rolled well or I rolled poorly, he could easily table me, and vice versa; my Void Shield Generator, multiple flyers, etc, certainly gave me some advantages, but it was by no means a guaranteed thing.

He won the roll-off for first turn and I spread out my deployment to mitigate the damage he could do to me. I made one significant mistake here in placing my VSG, as I allowed him enough space to get inside the bubble with one unit; however, he in turn made a mistake of his own and moved his Hornet (rather than his Revenant) into the gap, being overly-focused on getting rid of my Generator. Which, in fact, he managed to do, scoring a lucky pen against its AV13 and wrecking it immediately; however, the remainder of his army was unable to drop my titan’s own Shields and so he was forced to fire into my Warhound before he was really “ready” to do so. Three of the blasts landed on it, knocking down both Shields and some HP, but without rolling the dreaded six he was unable to take me out in one volley.

My return fire essentially crippled his army straight away- the Warhound landed four blasts on the Revenant, three of them passed Holofields, and that was the end of that. Other shooting did some wounds to the Solitaire (thanks to psychic powers), shook the Hornet, and basically solidified my position. Over the next couple of turns I cleaned up his remaining forces one by one and things were never really in question; we both knew where the game was going, it was just a matter of whether he would be able to score a few points here or there to make the loss not a total disaster. Once again, I end the round with maximum points.

Round 3


Mission: Emperor’s Will/Crusade (3 objectives)

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Opponent: Necrons with C’tan

Though this was easily the most absurd of my games, it really wasn’t all that different from most of them- I certainly got a couple strokes of good luck, but even failing them things still would’ve turned out very similarly. My opponent had built his C’tan without the Str D template, which was rather odd, but again didn’t really matter; beyond that he had an Overlord, several different units of troops, and a pair of Doom Scythes. The large central piece of LOS-blocking terrain would limit each of our ability to target the other, but I knew that my superheavy was MUCH more effective at range, so I really just needed one good volley of shots to finish him off; if he got into melee it would be bad, but I had no reason to think he would be able to do so.

He won the roll to set up first, but I managed to Seize on him and moved my titan around to take some shots, which promptly vaporized his C’tan, since none of their otherwise-formidable defenses have any effect against Str D, and the explosion killed about 2/3 of the remaining models in his army. (Str10 AP2 will tend to do that.) With virtually no firepower left, both his flyers scheduled to die on entry due to Interceptor, and my army still at full strength, he conceded the game six minutes into the first turn.

Round 4


Mission: Crusade/???

Deployment: Dawn of War

Opponent: CSM with Lord of Skulls

At this point it was pretty clear how things were going- I had essentially won all of my matches on day one with the first shot of the first turn, and it wasn’t looking like anything that was coming on day two would change that any. Hoping to bring some vague pretense of balance to things, he asked me to accept a nerf to the Warhound’s guns, making them small blasts instead of large. Since I was already pretty far ahead of the pack, I shrugged and accepted- seemed to rather defeat the point of a no-holds-barred tournament, but he was the TO and all and I wasn’t super-concerned.

My opponent this round was playing basically just for jokeses- his list was the max-price Lord of Skulls (both gun upgrades), a Daemon Prince of Khorne, two tricked-out units of CSM in Rhinos, and that was it. He was here to send a murderbot at the enemy’s face and made no apologies for it- it didn’t hurt any that his army was very nice-looking and the Lord was a very cool model. We laid out dudes, he got first turn, and we went to it. He rushed forward with both his units (the Rhinos were in reserve) and got in my face; shooting from the Lord of Skulls did minimal damage to my guys. I opened up on his Daemon Prince and managed to finish it off with the blob and Sabres, leaving my Warhound to deal with his superheavy. A bad set of rolls on the Destroyer table left it with one HP left, and hilarity ensued.

He charged my Warhound (which had moved to the front of my army in preparation for such an event) and unleashed the maximum number of attacks on me, hitting eleven times and causing an astounding thirty-two HP of damage to me in a single phase. My Warhound did not survive. However, the reactor meltdown also killed his Lord of Skulls, and his explosion took out a bunch of my guys to boot. However, being that his Rhinos had both failed to arrive, that left him with no models on the table and the game was over- of course, even had it gone on I still had a large number of troops as well as plenty of firepower to dispatch his twenty Marines, but it was still fairly spectacular.

Round 5


Mission: Big Guns Never Tire/Crusade(?)

Deployment: Vanguard Strike

Opponent: Drop Marines

My last round of the tournament was also my only loss for the tourney; it was a fairly standard Drop Pod list with a couple of standouts, the most relevant one being Lysander for the HQ. He had miscellaneous other supporting firepower (Lascannon Devs, Rifledread, Thunderfire) and then several Tactical squads and some Sternguard, plus a small unit of Scouts for scoring. The table was an Infinity one, with lots of fairly-large LOS-blocking stuff that we played as ruins.

With Coteaz and board edges limiting his options, he made some risky Deep Strikes half a dozen inches from the table edge and got reasonably lucky, with everyone scattering into (rather than away) from my forces. My Intercept caused a bit of damage, but having actually landed inside the building only a limited number of my models could actually get shots on them. A 4++ and Void Shields mitigated most of the damage, but the one penetration that went through cut off nearly half my HP, which was a bit inconvenient. My return volleys killed all of Lysander’s squad except for the big man himself (putting him on his last wound from one Destroyer hit) and wiped out another combat squad. Knowing the way the wind was blowing, I was forced to charge Lysander, hoping that a good Stomp or failed save would put him in the ground. Sadly, it was not to be, as Lysander’s dice were on fire while mine were rather weak- over the next three turns I never Stomped more than once, never got a 6 to wound him, and he never failed a save against my hits while virtually every one of his attacks was a hit and a penetration. My 4++ managed to slow him down a bit, but in the end his S10 AP1 hammer was too much for me, and to make matters worse the explosion scattered off and did nothing to him.

From there it was a long, downhill grind as I failed a lot of saves and he made every single charge (seriously, he never failed a charge the entire game, even though most of them were 6″-9″ through difficult terrain, including an 11″ one with his Techmarine) and he just kinda ground my units up one by one. His Lascannons- with Prescience from an Inquisitor- also were working on overtime, shooting both my Vendettas down in pretty short order despite my attempts to Jink. By the end of turn 6, he had essentially wiped me out.

Had I been playing “properly” (i.e. using the Warhound as printed, rather than with the small blasts) I almost certainly would’ve won, as that would have meant an additional ~4 Destroyer hits on Lysander’s squad, and I just needed one more wound to finish him off. Without Lysander, my Titan wouldn’t have died (as he was down to only one Meltagun left at that point) and I would’ve rolled over his Devastators and other Sternguard unit pretty easily when they arrived. As it was, I still top place in the tournament due to getting the absolute maximum points in every other round, so I couldn’t feel too bad about it.

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

So for those of you who are still with me, what’s the conclusion from all this? Well, in four of my five matches, the game essentially ended on turn 1 when I killed the enemy superheavy, and I think this is pretty indicative of how Escalation battles will almost always go. One player or the other will kill the other guy’s big thing with a Str D shot and that will be the end of the match, even if dice keep getting rolled for another turn or three as both people go through the motions of finishing things. And as far as players without Lords of War go, none of them managed to place top three and I don’t believe any of them were even in the top half of the rankings- the complaint from them was consistently “I don’t have anything that can deal with that” as the superheavies and GCs just rampaged through their forces, killing everything on 2s and hitting dozens of models at once.

The tournament more or less perfectly replicates what I was expecting to see with Escalation: a handful of superheavy choices dominate the environment, specialized spoiler lists are the only thing that stand a chance against them (but are far from guaranteed to win), and players with “normal” armies are out in the cold. Escalation is bad for the game not just because it makes all other non-Escalation options into also-rans, but because it turns the game into essentially a one-turn joke: either you kill the other guy’s big toy immediately or he kills yours, and therer’s really no strategy or tactics to any of it. Go first or get lucky: that’s how you play Escalation.

Is Escalation fixable, then? Is there anything that can be done to make it more playable? Well the most glaring problems lie in a relatively small number of units- the Revenant, the Warhound, the Transcendent C’tan, and a few other smattered units with access to efficient Str D weapons. If you “fix” these, does it make Escalation playable and good for the game? I’m not convinced it does. Oh, certainly it improves things, but it’s hard to get much more degenerate of an meta than “I go first I win unless I roll six 1s in a row.” If you remove these units- or remove their Str D weapons, or whatever else you decide to do- you are still left with plenty of other problems; there are other Str D weapons around, and there are other problem guns in the game. S10 AP1 Ignores Cover is available on some reasonably-cheap tanks, and there are plenty of other broken things in the superheavy range as well. In trying to fix them all, you’re just playing whack-a-mole; tone down the Str D stuff and other things pop to the fore, etc. I don’t think there is any reasonably-simple fix that makes Escalation balanced with regular play options- perhaps doubling the VP for damaging them as well as making the Seize bonus a 4+ as well as bringing the Str D stuff down in power could do it, but that’s an awful lot of work to use a broken toy.

Now, understand I’m not condemning Escalation per se, only its use in tournaments. For friendly gaming, when two players set up a specific match and agree to specific constraints on their lists in the interest of cooperation, I think it has some amusing possibilities. Some of the superheavies are not particularly problematic at all, or at least no more than other things that can be found in the game. It’s pretty much Babby’s First Apocalypse Game, and in that regard I suppose it’s fine for what it is, even if I’d much rather just play a “real” Apoc game if I want to do something like field a superheavy. But from a competitive perspective, it is an absolute disaster and can’t reasonably be included without completely distorting the play field to the point where it is unrecognizable and not really very fun for anyone.


I’ve made a post here about working on getting some updated FAQ answers. If anyone would like to contribute questions in the game that are still hanging, it would be appreciated.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

37 Responses to “Guest Tournament Report: Warhound in Action!”

  1. Adam
    Adam March 6, 2014 4:42 pm

    Oh boy here we go… I’m going to stay out of this one… Right after I point out that he only lost to a list with no Lords of War or Fortifications, their tournament had a small showing of people who wanted to try their uber units, so the coin-toss games were kind of an obvious result, and finally they didn’t use any Escalation scenarios or Warlord Traits… Back to the Nid posts!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 6, 2014 4:50 pm

      Haha, hey, I think it is good to show first hand experience with this stuff. Especially because his results mirror ours so closely.

      You were right that a pod army could work though, but in fairness, he did get his templates nerfed which is a major blow to his offense.

      I think the important thing to take from this is that D shooting like the Warhound, C’Tan, Rev is just too much for a normal game.

      • Adam
        Adam March 6, 2014 5:00 pm

        Eh, I think that the results can be read a couple different ways.

        First, they were 100% predictable, and totally in line with what I expected to happen. The big question though is with this set as the baseline, what army would you bring to the NEXT event? If you’d still bring a Revenant for a 50/50 chance of winning each game, then you’re not really playing to win, people who want to win events don’t want to rely on winning a coin toss to do it, they want the odds in their favor. This is where creative problem solving comes in and is how meta shifts between events.

        I do agree that dropping right into no bars held Escalation is going to hurt some feelings, especially at smaller events like this one. However, I think that Destroyer weaponry has a place in the game. If you don’t want Warhounds and Revenants out there with 4 shots a turn, you can easily restrict that. A Shadowsword for example though is 450 points and against many things, not all that spectacular for the cost.

        It would have also been interesting to see what the results would be like if they were using Escalation mission objectives (when Lords of War units are present, like I’ve suggested before), as well as Escalation Warlord Traits. But that’s going to have to wait for another time.

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 6, 2014 5:04 pm

          What you do is bring the Baron, Vect and Coteaz to almost ensure you go first every game. You then reliably blow holes through your enemy, with Void Shields up to soak some fire. It’s silly, to me. I fail to see how that type of event is even remotely enjoyable.

          We tried making lists to kill the Rev and it still didn’t work. I am not saying it can’t work, or that these units can’t be killed, I am saying they are not fun.

          • DCannon4Life March 6, 2014 5:24 pm

            ^ This. Coteaz flavored cheese fuh tuh wuh.

          • Black Blow Fly March 6, 2014 5:56 pm

            The Thunderhawk can easily nuke the Revenant and is only around 600 points.

          • Gordy March 6, 2014 6:22 pm

            Plus, there’s a bit of a disconnect with the previous logic. If you see a tournament where every single top army is a Titan, then you think, hey, I’ve got to bring a titan to compete. You don’t think “well, all the titans will just kill each other off and so no one will play them again”, because that’s stupid. Unless you happen to be a drop pod SM player, in which case you can tailor your list for lots of melta, but otherwise, you either bring your own Titan, swap to an army with a better Titan if your army doesn’t have a good one, or play Drop Pod Marines. If you don’t, then you can just bring some lube.

            But even Drop Pod Marines aren’t a guarantee. With a bit of help from Coteaz, all the other armies are great at bubble-wrapping, and then it turns into an uphill battle of attrition. Eldar can take big blocks of Guardians and then Bladestorm drop pod Marines to death. Guardsmen can do the same, and get Saber Defense Platforms and Blobs to kill you with.

      • Black Blow Fly March 6, 2014 5:54 pm

        You’re right Reecius – keep D weapon shooting attacks out of competitive 40k .

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 7, 2014 12:28 pm

          Thanks, brobot. Yeah, I believe that is just too much for competitive play. Casual play? Sure if you want to although I still think it sucks the fun out of the game.

  2. Chaos Reigns March 6, 2014 5:19 pm

    I am of the opinion that in the cases that people do want to play with Lords of War, they should have a cap. This is how FW sets it up in the HH books; that your Lord of War choice cannot be more than 25% of your total army point value. The problem brought up by this, however, is that there are a lot of armies that don’t have a relevant selection of super heavies that will fall under this category. In the end, I am willing to bet that 70% of tournaments will be IG since they have a huge selection of cheap and effective tanks.

    D weapons ‘should’ be removed as they make the game seem quite comical, but they are one of the only answers to the 2++ shenanigans that are dominant in the competitive scene. It’s becoming a very tedious balancing act in my mind. I believe the knight titan is a reasonable example of what type of super heavies should be available in standard 40k. I believe the Revenant is broken in any game type.

    All in all, I think it’s best to just eliminate the Escalation idea from tournaments and save the TOs the headache; leave it for fun games with your buddies. However if this 7th ed nonsensical rumors turn out to be true and they roll all this into standard rules, I have no idea what to do.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 6, 2014 5:50 pm

      You said it well. The Knight seems fine, to me, and a fair way to play.

      Most Lords of War I am fine with, honestly. It is just a few that really suck.

      If 7th does come, and we keep hearing that that rumor is well founded, then we can just say no super heavies or something like that. There are ways around.

      Or we can all choose to play another game, lol!

      • Gordy March 6, 2014 6:23 pm

        Infinity is frikin’ awesome!

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 6, 2014 7:16 pm

          Yeah, it is a lot of fun! I can’t wait to learn it better and try out my Morat.

  3. iNcontroL March 6, 2014 5:49 pm

    really well written and I tend to agree with your final thoughts. Sure as Adam said the game can develop and with problem solving it has it’s own meta but for the most part they are also very restricting. All of a sudden you are balancing your list against 3-4 specific models in the game. That happens to an extent now but almost all of us agree even now that isn’t a good thing so why introduce more of that? Leave LoW to fun games/special events. I want my LoS, terrain and invul saves to matter. 2+/2+ sucks but Str D is the same thing on the other side of the spectrum as far as I am concerned.

    • Gordy March 6, 2014 6:28 pm

      Str D is so overpowering that even if the meta does cycle away from them after a bit, they’ll just come back once people are like “hey, people have stopped spamming Drop Pod Marines/Str D, so if I whip out my Titan again I’ll crush some noobz”.

  4. George Labour March 6, 2014 5:54 pm

    Two things I noticed.

    1) The Revenant. A.K.A the thing that people claim is an auto win button. Lost and lost hard. It’d be interesting to see where that army ended up placing overall since the internet has proclaimed it the harbinger of doom.

    2) For a guy using a Warhound titan with dual turbo lasers in what appears to be an attempt to game the system he sure didn’t show any pictures of one. They might as well have stuck some machine guns in the hands of a barbie doll and done the same thing.

    Thus while perhaps a good example of how bad things can get this makes no real case for disallowing the rules in their entirety. Instead it makes a case for a few common sense standards that’d require little in the way of points fudging or rules bending.

    1) Only one RANGED D weapon in the army.

    2) If you want to use a lord of war have the model for the lord of War.

    The first would drastically cut down on ‘auto win’ things that seem to terrify people so much. The latter is no different from WYSIWYG restrictions already in place.

    That to me seems far more fair minded, gamer friendly, and less difficult to enforce than all the myriad other decisions.

    • Chaos Reigns March 6, 2014 6:10 pm

      The revenant lost due to dice and the fact that he didn’t take advantage of its ridiculously broken 36″ move; had he done that it would have been an easy win for him. However any super heavy that can throw around that many D templates a turn is bad news; the Revenant is specifically ridiculous for that mobility (holo-fields don’t hurt either).

      As for the WYSIWYG statement, I understand what you mean but the modeling aspect of this hobby is massive. A lot of people would rather scratch build models (not just Titans) than shell out hundreds of dollars for one. I’ve seen a lot of really cool custom conversions over the days and I can’t see anyone ever barring them just because it’s not the specific GW sanctioned model.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 6, 2014 6:10 pm

      Yeah, the Rev did get smoked but it was by its parallel unit: the dual Turbo Laser Warhound. Those two are essentially the same, the Rev is faster and has different defense so I think it is better, personally, but that is me. However, the point being that it took it’s equal to destroy it.

      He was using a Leviathan from a 3rd party company, I actually love that model and it is about the same size as a Warhound. Some folks may not care for the aesthetics of it, but I think it is a totally suitable stand-in, personally, and is a lot cheaper. We’ve always taken the stance that you can use substitute models so long as your stand-in is a reasonable approximation. You get into all kinds of issues with only allowing the exact model, especially when they are very expensive models that are also very powerful. People start to argue that you “buy” victory.

      And while I agree that a middle road is probably the best course of action, what shape that takes is going to be a long time in coming. D weapons are just so incredibly OP that it not only dramatically throws balance out of the window but they are also suck the fun out of the game, for me. Melee D is bad enough, honestly, but so much more manageable than ranged D.

      In truth, IMO, Escalation is just a terrible idea for tournaments. After a lot of playing with the rules that is my honest assessment.

      • George Labour March 6, 2014 7:23 pm

        I partially agree on the capacity for Destroyer weapons to cause massive issues of ‘unfunness’ at tournaments. Though I do not believe they’re so over the top that they should be outright disallowed. Hence my earlier comment on a less harsh restriction for them.

        However I will admit that my ideas are just gut feelings and personal desire and lack any real consistent data to prove me correct. But then most of the folks simply saying ‘no super heavies, no D, no..etc. etc’ are themselves simply pointing to a singular incident or their own personal whims as justifications for what they want to see.

        As for the issue of which models should be used…it’s certainly a thorny issue. Obviously I have a strong opinion about it, but understand that encouraging the modelling aspect of this hobby can only be a good thing. However, sometimes my inner pedant rises up and I just have to say ‘yeah no…that annoys me’

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 7, 2014 12:25 pm

          No worries dude, you are not at all alone in the feeling that people should use the exact model. That is pretty common, but as TOs that want to have events that are inclusive and grow, you kind of have to be mellow about counts as models as if you don’t, you alienate a big portion of your potential player base. You shoot yourself in the foot for the sake of aesthetics.

          But, I really like Super Heavies and want to use them, honestly. I just think a lot of them are ultra disruptive to the game. If you are going to use them, you need to restrict some of them or some types of weapons like ranged D weapons. Even melee D on units like a Haridan is bonkers as they are so stupidly hard to kill and fast. That model will wreck your entire army.

  5. Oadius March 6, 2014 9:26 pm

    “We’ve always taken the stance that you can use substitute models so long as your stand-in is a reasonable approximation. You get into all kinds of issues with only allowing the exact model, especially when they are very expensive models that are also very powerful. People start to argue that you “buy” victory.”

    Very logical compromise, well said.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 7, 2014 12:29 pm

      Thank you, sir.

  6. Grabula March 6, 2014 11:18 pm

    “Is Escalation fixable, then?”

    yep, play bigger games, don’t play ‘Escalation Tournemants’. Fixed.

    If you need a little more, accept the fact 40K is not meant for competitive play and move on.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 7, 2014 12:31 pm

      Le sigh, arguments like this really don’t do much to advance the discussion. You are trying to over-simplify a complex topic.

      These are a part of the game now, but they are really bad rules. We have to decide how to use them in the type of 40K we want to play. And yeah, you are right that 40K is not written for competitive play, that is clear. However, lol, we like playing it competitively so we have to wade through the mud and figure out as a group how to do that. It isn’t as simple as just saying fuck it and moving on, really. We all love the game.

    • Gordy March 7, 2014 2:34 pm

      So people are only allowed to play the game the way that you specifically think it should be played?

  7. Anderas March 6, 2014 11:39 pm

    You nerfed 2+ rerollable and everybody was lucky with it. Why not changing all D shooting Weapons to heavy1, D.
    No blast marker, no multishot. Only one of these weapons allowed per Army.

    Plus, if you like, change all battle brothers to allies of convenience.

    Problems solved! What do you think?

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 7, 2014 12:32 pm

      Yeah, we will have to do something for D weapons in some way. Not sure yet, exactly how to do it.

  8. RyanL March 7, 2014 2:44 am

    Halved the size of the D mid-tournament? That’s kinda bad form.

    Whilst I appreciate this is more of a review, I would like to know the full results of the event!

    I’m not sure if I’ve missed it in the article, but who won? What list did they have? How many were at the tournament?

    The article gives the impression that this was a handful of people with rather undeveloped lists.

    Definitely interesting but I still think there’s a long way to go before I’ve really seen enough to convince me either way.

    Although I support the use of Escalation and Stronghold assault in general this is only because I think the rules need to be used 100% in their entirety before starting to apply house/comp rules.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 7, 2014 12:37 pm

      The Warhound player won the event.

      We have been trying the unedited versions of Escalation and Stronghold extensively and our results are almost identical to those found in the tournament above. They are incredibly unbalanced.

      • RyanL March 7, 2014 1:03 pm

        People have talked about changing D weapons from D to S10, AP1, Ignores cover. Unfortunately that doesn’t “fix” the issue of Deathstars.

        So, how about “D” replaced with S10, AP1, Ignores Invulnerable saves?

        A slightly further stretch, could they be S12? I know 10 is the stat cap in the BRB but it’s easy to implement and understand as all the normal Strength based mechanics apply.

        I like this as a solution because it still allows these weapons to counter the nigh invulnerable deathstars but also allows everyone a chance of survival. It turns D weapons from the ultimate solution in to a useful tool at range and only slightly harms the already “ok” melee D weapons.

        I’m sure there are cover based deathstars out there but the prevalence of Ignores Cover weapons elsewhere wouldn’t make them as overwhelming as current deathstars.

        What do you think?

  9. Morollan March 7, 2014 3:26 am

    Abuse Puppy won the tournament with the list that he gives at the start of the post.

    I’m of the opinion that super-heavies are not the problem. I have no issue with people bringing out these models that they’ve spent time and money on. The issue is that the rules for using them in ‘normal’ games are completely unsuitable and just a lazy copy+paste from the Apocalypse rules. More specifically, D-weapons, Apocalypse-sized templates and the Catastrophic Damage table are utterly ridiculous in normal games. Those things were intended to speed up HUGE games of 40k where you would have several thousand points worth of models on each side. They simply DO NO WORK in ‘normal’ size games. Anyone who thinks that removing 50%+ of your opponents army in a single turn with no saves of any kind is in any way balanced frankly needs a check-up from the neck up!

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 7, 2014 12:34 pm

      I agree with you, Morollan. We want to use the models, but not the rules! lol

  10. Chaos Reigns March 7, 2014 1:50 pm

    What if you were to revert to 5th edition D weapon rules? It’s something my local circle has been considering just to balance out the ridiculous damage the D does; even in apocalypse scenario. This coupled with a nerf on the rerollable 2++ may yield a more balanced meta.

    • ChaosReigns March 7, 2014 3:36 pm

      For any that don’t recall:
      Ignores armor and cover, Instant Death, additional +1 on the damage chart, automatically penetrates vehicles.

      Benefits to this: normal tanks aren’t laughably useless as most D weapons are AP2 so it’s the same as a melta. Invuln saves remaining means a lot of the popular death stars can still be utilized effectively. The removal of the whole D3+1/D6+6 means two super heavies can go toe to toe for more than a turn. One template hit isn’t a ridiculously catastrophic event.

      I think that is the best way of coping with D in normal play, but I also would not argue against the removal of ranged D weapons. I like that it is becoming feasible to play the biggest and coolest models in your collection more often, but damn do 6th ed D weapon rules suck lol.

  11. Captaincrud March 7, 2014 5:06 pm

    Okay here is the problem with saying no shooting D-weapons what do you do when chaos gets a knight with a shooting D-weapon or this or that. If we start to pick and choice what models can be used it will hurt the hobby and TO’s will just start changing the power from one codex to the next and you will drop into the problem we have in the video game world of nerf wars were what ever seems the best at the time has to be fixed (weakened). I wouldn’t be surprised to see D weapons in the next IG codex.

    The best ways to deal with this issue for TO’s In my mind are one of the following.
    A.) No supper heavy’s for anyone.
    B.) Don’t worry about it and the meta will slowly fix itself. (It always has in the 20 years I have been playing)
    C.) Run two heats at the GT’s a heat with Supper heavy’s and a Heat with out supper heavy’s

    People over react to problems for instance dealing with baron with farseers on bike all a player has to do is block his own line of sight from barron and shoot rest of the squad to kill off farseer to end the 2++ reroll its not that hard. Also you dont half to have a fire fight with the Lords of war hide units all over out of LOS and kill what he has left and they cant score.

  12. Ryan March 8, 2014 7:22 am

    My confusion set in when he said he would have hit Lysander 4 more times with Destroyer weapons if they had been proper size. Dual Double Barrel Turbo Laser Warhounds only have 4 templates total. So was it a typo or was he using the Reaver profile?

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 8, 2014 9:52 am

      I think he meant that he would have gotten 4 more hits on the unit which would have all gone on Lysander as he was the last model left.