The Greatest 40K Player in the World on Adepticon and the State of the Meta.


Hello everyone, Frankie here to talk to you all about Adepticon.

So everyone knows that Adepticon is one of the largest–if not the largest–40k tournament in the world. That means: prepare yourself for glory! For many, this means bring the most absurdly powerful list you can. For others it means bring what you have and have fun playing 40k and interacting with your friends from all over the world.

The best part of Adepticon hands down for me, is seeing everyone you only see there and playing games with people you never would have met otherwise. The second best part for me is trying to become the champion of Adepticon by winning the 40k Championships. The championships have around 256 players, all varying in skill and lists. This year, however, the list part was a little like looking at a bunch of people that hit ctrl+c. A lot of the top skilled players were guilty of this with the Seer Councils, Beaststars, Oh’vesastars, Centurianstars and the Flying Circus. The good thing about this year however was that at least there were a lot of codex’s being used opposed to past years where it felt like 60% of the field was Grey knights.  I was happy to see that no one list was dominating the field and that all these stars were having challenging games against each other. The downside was that if you did not bring one of these “meta” lists than your chances of winning were very slim. Also, disclaimer: not all the lists were the same they all take different units but the concept of the lists was the same: either hyper durable defense or hyper powerful offense through a combination of allies and stacked USRs.


In the finals we had a lot of the same shooters we always see, which is expected. But a lot of these players were playing these overpowering lists with re-rolling saves/ wound rolls/ignores cover/armor/etc. units. It was sad to see a lot of players who I view as top notch competition to my title of “Greatest 40k Player in the World” selling out to these lists that are an easy button. Don’t get me wrong, these lists have their own problems and if they don’t get the right powers require someone with a lot of skill to pull out that W. A big shout out to Nick Nanavati, who won with a counter “meta” list, the Flying Circus. That’s two years in a row for that guy, and that is a feat.

So a quick fix I believe in order to get some more variation in lists would be to allow Imperial Knights and Formations into tournaments. Along with gearing the missions to at least use all the missions in the rulebook once and not have one mission over and over again. I believe with allowing the above, that the top tier players will have to adjust their lists to Skyblight Formation Tyranids and Knights and lots of different mission types. It will be interesting to see what happens at future events but a few tactics against these lists for those of you out there who aren’t the Greatest 40K Player in the World: always play for the objectives and often, leave the Deathstar alone. Build a list that can alpha strike one of these units and take out the main characters before they get powered up. Lastly, don’t get disheartened by playing one of these lists, just play the game and maybe something crazy will happen and you can laugh about it when your 9 point Kabalite warrior kills a Riptide in overwatch! Thanks for reading guys and gals, Monday I will get you an article on my games at Adepticon.


About Reecius

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

37 Responses to “The Greatest 40K Player in the World on Adepticon and the State of the Meta.”

  1. z3n1st April 7, 2014 1:42 pm #

    Well said Frankie

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:45 am #

      Thanks brotha.

  2. Nuln-Oil April 7, 2014 2:18 pm #

    I would like to see tournaments that limit armies based upon force organization charts. Such as requiring that a primary detachment not duplicate any unit, except troops (which have to be alternated between at least two types of troops), and requiring that you use at least one unit in each slot before being able to select two from, for example, heavy. So in order to have two units from heavy, you would have to have used one heavy, two troops, one HQ, one fast, and one elite. A limitation on allied detachments, where you can’t take one without taking at least two units in each slot. And a restriction on battle brothers joining units.

    Of course, this wouldn’t fix Daemons flying circus.

    • Cameron April 7, 2014 2:38 pm #

      I’ve thought about this idea too, and would like to see what sort of lists it produces.

      I think it would fix Daemon flying circus, right? Most of that list is tied up in heavy slots, so you wouldn’t be able to take as many MCs if you were forced to take fast attack and elite choices.

    • TinBane April 7, 2014 2:55 pm #

      You have to define duplication of course.
      If you have different min sized troops in a wave serpent, is that duplication?
      If you have different equipment is that duplication?
      Does it mean I have to take chaos space marines, because 2 x cultists is OP?

      Part of the problem is that for some lists, duplication is a necessity to compete, for others it’s not.

      It would certainly be interesting though! If a tournament near me ran this format, I’d give it a go.

      • z3n1st April 7, 2014 3:42 pm #

        TinBane sums up one of the visible issues rightaway, some codices have 1 or two options for troops, others have more, and then you also completely strip away some themed armies altogether: Chaos themed – khorne, slaanesh, etc, or bike armies like Saim Hainn/White Scars. Nice in concept but certainly not weighted evenly for all codices.

        • z3n1st April 7, 2014 3:45 pm #

          A better option would probably be percentage of force based on FO chart.

          10% HQ
          10% FA
          10% Elite
          10% Heavy
          50% Troop
          +10% to any of the above

          Allows any codex to compete and to an extent specialize in one particular area

          • Nuln-Oil April 7, 2014 6:26 pm

            I think these are all solid points. But I would point out that part of the problem is people not wanting to use bad units (which is completely understandable). But what happens is that people then saturate good units, and then other people are forced to do the same. And then you end up with the same problem there is now with all the lists having a very similar flavor. It gets boring, and it scares away a lot of people.

      • Nuln-Oil April 7, 2014 6:31 pm #

        As far as defining “duplicate,” I think I would start by just saying a unit, with whatever modifications cannot be duplicated even with different modifications. So one daemon prince of nurgle means nor more daemon princes, even if it is khorne. Or a predator with twin linked las means no more predators, even if they are autocannon with heavy bolters. As far as transports go, I limit it to one transport.

        The only army I see having problems with the this game format is the knights. Everyone would have to deal with some suckiness, but that just the way it goes.

    • Gordon April 7, 2014 4:14 pm #

      It wouldn’t fix most of the deathstars, other than the Battle Brothers part. Only Riptides and Wave Serpents and maybe SM Bikers are spam problems, really. Some people get annoyed facing spam, but spam is really not a balance issue.

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:47 am #

      @nuln That would for sure fix a lot of problems but a lot of armies dont have great choices in every slot where as some armies have something really good in every slot haha. Things like this really hurt a lot of the bottom tier armies.

  3. Oldschoolnate April 7, 2014 4:06 pm #

    I can’t find any spelling errors…..
    Tell the truth, Reese typed this out for you.

    • Reecius April 7, 2014 4:18 pm #

      Lol, edited =)

      • Hotsauceman1 April 7, 2014 5:41 pm #

        You missed something its O’vesa not Oh’vesa.
        Some english major you are 😛

        • Reecius April 7, 2014 6:33 pm #

          Haha, zing!

          Although I don’t think we ever covered the proper spelling of Tau Battlesuit Pilots in English class =P

  4. AbaddonAZ April 7, 2014 4:16 pm #

    This is where I agree with the WHFB composition, by giving a % for each slot. I can see that giving the game a real needed tweak.

    • Reecius April 8, 2014 7:28 am #

      Might be worth a try.

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:49 am #

      But then a lot of codex’s have lower priced units like IG, and Eldar to where the percentages really dont take a large effect on them.

  5. Oldschoolnate April 7, 2014 4:39 pm #

    All joking aside, I know and trust you guys will keep our ( tournament gamers) best intentions in mind when working on the current meta issues. I for one am glad your on my side of the country and work so hard on giving us great venues for our hobby.

  6. Dash2021 April 7, 2014 6:27 pm #

    40k used to have the % comp system as well. Putting a % restriction on slots would solve some of the issues, but create new problems. Seer council would cease to be, but then a LOT of special characters become unplayable (e.g. Fateweaver is > 15% of a 1850 list).

    I think the idea in the other thread of modifying D weapons to Age of Darkness (minus Instant Death) would probably go a long way to dealing with these invulnerable deathstar issues. Even if you keep 2++, you have to save (average) 3 times (50% fail rate, due to canceling out re-roll), and S10 ensures you ID any “star” model. ID has to be removed from the rules to prevent D weapons becoming too brutal to MC’s, but other than that the rules seem to be much more reasonable than GW’s initial “Lolololoolol D wepnz kill stuf” rules.

  7. Krieg XXIX April 7, 2014 7:51 pm #

    My suggestion is to not allow battle brother IC’s to join units from the Primary (or Allied) detachment similar to Chaos. That should cut down on some of these. I am willing to forgo Inquisitors in my IG platoons to make this happen.

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:51 am #

      Yeah the Independent characters are the problem right now but making them not join each others units I think is a little harsh.

  8. Bodazoka April 8, 2014 12:14 am #

    Like your views on the game mate, I agree with pretty much everything you say in terms of what people should do to help the meta. Interesting that the best thing to do is to let in those things that GW want us to play with and which we put up barriers against.

    I’m likely going to get flamed for this but I honestly believe Sky blight and the D weapon on the knight was “designed” to fix these death star problems. The timing just leads me to believe so.

    Adepticon lists next year if these things are included will be very interesting!

    • Reecius April 8, 2014 7:30 am #

      I agree that some of these things definitely help. I just think we need some limitations so that all the lists don’t look the same.

  9. Chuckles April 8, 2014 2:59 am #

    The only reliable way to fix this problem is for GW to bring out more stuff which can compete, or scale back the power of the stuff they’ve released. Until either the Daemon, Tau and Eldar books (and Heldrakes to be fair) are re-released with the overpowered stuff altered, or they admit that the genie is out of the bottle and bring the rest of the factions into line with them, you’re always going to see this kind of thing at competitive events.

    Or simply ban the worst offending units, like how Wizards banned Jace the Mind-Sculptor and Stoneforge Mystic from Standard events 3 years back. I doubt that would go down well though.

  10. Dorner April 8, 2014 5:54 am #

    Agree that death stars and some of the other nasty variants needs to be toned down.

    I have been thinking of an alternative to the complex comp systems (that only moves the problem), which is max 50% of troop value are allowed to be spent on HQ, Elite, Fast or Heavy. Eg 600 points of troops allows up to 300 points on HQ and up to 300 points on Elite and so on.

    This would stop seer council, beast star, screamer council and basicaly promote playing with loads of troops. Are there any of the stars that are not caught by this simple rule?

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:52 am #

      With this break down though you see more eldar players than we already see as there troops are amazing.

  11. Marius Xerxes April 8, 2014 6:23 am #

    I think Knights were only disallowed this year at A-con because the book came out after their new dex cutoff date. So I imagine its going to be allowed next year.

    Not champs related, but kind of eyebrow raising to me, was the allowance of Forgeworld units and Chapter Tactics in the Team Tournament but the not allowing the use of Dataslates.

    So no Be’Lakor, Cypher, Tyranic War vets etc. But FW special characters, chapters and units (non super heavy) were all ok? Was kind of mind boggling to me they can go through all the FW material and list what is allowed, but can’t go through the handful of dataslates and just disallow formations (which is what I think the intent was aimed at anyway).

    • Reecius April 8, 2014 12:34 pm #

      Yeah, Knights were because they were too soon. The digital stuff took a while to sink in for everyone and Adepticon had to make a call earlier on in the year so people could plan.

  12. RyanL April 8, 2014 7:48 am #

    I’m personally not a fan of the Fantasy percentage based limitations. It’s frustrating when you’ve got plenty of points left in the army but can’t squeeze in that last small item or the character you want just because you’re at your 25% allocation.

    In general I think that spending points on HQ/Troops is self balancing, i.e. putting all your points into one character and taking minimal troops has its risks. It’s only with the Death Star characters/units that it becomes an issue because these specific models are excessively points efficient.

    Also, the percentage based system would impact all armies in a similar way. This isn’t a good thing – all it means is that Eldar will take more Wave Serpents and Jet Bikes whilst CSMs have to take hundreds of Cultists or other sub-par Troop choices.

  13. Smurfalypse April 8, 2014 7:48 am #

    This is a well written and well said article.
    Personally I have found that I really enjoy playing against Death-Stars, they are intensely challenging and make for good games.

    Though I do get sick of seeing them at my local events, seems to be about half the field will have some sort of Death-Star but after seeing previous editions where half the field would have the same army list within 50pts of each other I would much rather play against this type of META. That is a personal preference though.

    Forgive typing errors, I did this from my phone.

    • white925 April 8, 2014 10:58 am #

      I agree with you that it is fun to play challenging games and I honestly have no problem with the deathstars. My problem is that if you are not a good player and you have to play against the deathstars then it is not fun and you lose interest in the game.

      • Smurfalypse April 8, 2014 11:57 am #

        Yeah, I can completely dig that.

        The opposite side of the coin would be that Death-Stars have been around since 3rd ed, Dragowing dominated an entire edition hands down. People would show up to a 250 man tournament and literally half the people were running Dragonwing with a 50pt variation between most lists.

        I would almost prefer a comp system of some sort to be honest, and this is coming from a dude who plays in a fair amount of events 😛

  14. Egge April 8, 2014 12:07 pm #

    It is quite sad actually. 40k has more different units now, special characters locks up cool combinations and allies double the possible units in the armies. The armies feels more boring than ever! I have stopped playing the game because this is tiring and it feels like even less variation than before. Everybody seems to suggest that there should be more units available in tournaments like data slates and all that but I the best way is to limit units. Remove data slates. Remove special characters. Use only pure codex. Don’t allow any doubles other than troops and max three small transports. Then make all re-rolls for to hit, to wound, saves, cover and feel no pain only working on maximum 5+ for the second roll. No matter what. People will wine about limiting the armies but after the three or four mandatory units people will need to pick new units and then i think we will see much more different chosen units than today.

  15. DevianID April 8, 2014 8:04 pm #

    Hey Frankie, glad we got to play round 4, we dodged each other at tof. I really like your article, and want to emphasize your point that the meta was pretty balanced in terms of armies that were winning, unlike in years past. While death stars are clearly awesome Death Star versus Death Star is fairly balanced, leaving player skill and luck the prime determinate in victory, as it should be.

    My desired fix would be to make all allies convenience level, opening the door for nids with Ork combos and closing it for sm/sm/inq super friends combos. I don’t think anyone lamented tau/nids at the team event being op for example, no nid allies are clearly not a balance issue.

  16. Swistak April 9, 2014 1:25 am #

    What are Centurianstars? Can someone give an example list?

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