Captain A’s LVO Experience

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAh, Vegas. Now home of one of if not the largest 40k tournaments in the country. How did little ol’ me get into the top 8, vying for the finals? A lot of luck, practice, some skill, and the willingness to see it till the end. Let’s take a look at my road to the LVO, my games, thoughts of the event, and plans for the future.

List Building 101

I knew going into this event that I needed a strong list. I’d played a bit with Centurions, running them just bare with Tigurius and found their lack of range, no invul save, and speed to be not worth the cost. I didn’t do too well at BAO and really wanted to amp up my list. I admire people like Darkwynn and Reecius with their ability to take odd lists and make them work, but I (and I think like many others) may not have the tactical chops to pull those kinds of lists off on a regular basis. I know I needed something…dirty and since I had a lot of the pieces for the Centurionstar already, decided to give it a shot.

I didn’t do this alone. I consulted other players for their ideas who I respected in the 40k community and my area. Guys like Dr. Insanotron and the French Overlord gave me a lot of good advice to tool my list as tight as it could, making it a fine cutting blade.

Practice Makes Perfect

Repetition builds memory and when it comes to 40k, playing as much as you can will usually yield better play over time. I played my list, or a very close version many many times in the past six months before the LVO. I felt it helped me learn a lot about the Centurionstar, their powers, what I wanted, as well as what to do when I didn’t get what I want. With my setup of Loth, GK Librarian, and Draigo I was guaranteed Gate of Infinity, Prescience, and Invisibility. All of these were good powers to base a strategy off of. I could rarely get more than three powers off reliably so I had to pick and choose depending upon the situation. I actually tried not to use Gate as I could then cast other powers such as Sancutary to keep my Dreadknights alive and Force or Hammerhand to bring down other foes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really feel that by practicing my list until I was comfortable with it, I was able to make better tactical decisions when I was tired and fatigued through the weekend. I met and know people that took completely new lists or made big changes right before and I know that for me that wouldn’t be very wise as I tend to make big mistakes at the beginning of play and while I learn from those mistakes, the biggest tournament of the year is not the place to do that.

I also took some advice in that I plan to continue to use the Centurionstar at tournaments, but play different armies in the off times like at our weekly league to keep things fresh.

My Games

Game One – My first round saw my first bit of luck. I played Dexter, a great guy with a Tau list. Problem was, it was geared for flyers and FMC’s. He saw my list and let out a sigh and a curse as my list was the paper to his rock. I took first turn, powered up and went in deep, killing a set of Pathfinders, his unit of Broadsides, and a Skyray as well. Next turn I killed both Riptides (one Ion one Burst Cannon) and pushed forward to seal the deal. He took it all in stride and by the end I had maxed out my points.

Game Two – Next bit of luck VS a Necron Decurion Detachment. It was Kill points and I know firsthand how resilient the Necrons can be as they are my other more competitive army. He was running the Reclamation Legion, Canoptek Harvest, and Obelisk formation with a Monolith. I was slated to go second, but his LOW gave me the +1 to seize and I got the 5 to go first. I went right after the Spyder in the Canoptek formation and took it low. The next few turns saw him repositioning and sniping at my Dreadknights, as well as trying to rapid fire into the Star to get some wounds on it. The Obelisk came in and misshaped leaving the Monolith vulnerable to my Centurions Grav weapons. When that beast came in next turn though, woof, the Obelisk can put out 15 strength 7 Tesla shots in the right angle and killed one Dreadknight in one stunning volley. I only put a few hull points on it the next turn and it almost killed another Dreadknight. By the end though, the Centurionstar took out the Spyder, Monolith, Obelisk and others as well. With the Dreadknights running amok, I mounted up Kill points and took away 9 points for the win.

Game Three – My next opponents list had me worried a bit. Nurgle FMC’s with summoning. My opponent, EJ, brought over three or four trays of extra daemons, just ya know… case. I hadn’t played against a true summoning list so was worried how that was going to shape up. He had 17 power dice I think and outweighed me there as well. One thing I know about FMC lists is that they function a lot like mine. A few very strong models and some support units. When those strong units die, you feel it. I went for first blood and was able to take out one of his FMC’s and most if not all of a horror squad. He surged forward and, as luck would have it, failed to make his charges into my Knights and took some wounds as well coming in. We went back and forth and I was able to whittle down his other FMC’s and Great unclean one. There was a chance near the end that it could be a tie as we were playing the Relic, but the game continued into later turns and I was able to put in the final blows. 10 Points.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGame Four – Day two and I was 3-0. Not to shabby. To be honest, I was hoping for 4-2 so I needed one more win to make my personal goal. This game though I would meet the paper to MY rock. Brandon went on to take best Dark Angels player and also had five wins over the weekend. He had an unusual list with two 30 man conscripts, two 20 man platoons, two platoon command squads, three drop pods with twenty five marines to go along with it, as well as some Leman Russ backup. He had 11 objective secured units to my three and we were playing the Scouring. A perfect storm of difficulty.

I went first and went after Pask and one of his conscript squads. I took out one of the tanks, but not Pask. I should have gone after his Warlord conscript squad, but that was my first mistake. Later turns saw his drop pods coming into clear me off of my back objectives and me trying to in turn to clear them back off. There was a ring of the 2-3 point objectives that I had a good shot of taking, but made my biggest mistake later in the game. When my Centurionstar was locked in combat and failed Gate, I charged my last two Dreadknights into combat. Big mistake as his Librarian had a PFG and his priests were casting reroll saves making it way too hard to clean them up. Too little too late and I couldn’t get to the other objectives in time. It was my closest game and actually one of my favorites. 1 point for me.

Game Five – This time I was facing one of the top Space Marine players in Trevor Van Cleave. He had a really cool list with Salamanders and Legion of the Damned. He had Vulkan in a Command Squad with Meltas and Storm Shields and a Techmarine as his Warlord. He also had 2 Sicarans and the fast artillery that was strength 8 ap3. He also had one or two more tactical squads and three Legion of the Damned brimming with melta.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI went first and tore into his Sicarans, killing them both. The next turns had me trying to nail his command squad, but barely making a dent and missing an opportunity to kill his artillery. He cleaned me off of my back objective with it, nailing my Scout and Strike squads in one volley. It was and epic cleanse. I also failed to kill a squad of five marines, even with two or three Centurions gating over and failing to wipe them out. My big break was when his Legion came down and failed to kill either Dreadknight with him rolling poorly and me rolling hot on my saves. Those Dreadknights went on to clean up the Legion and off of the middle objectives. He had a chance to take some point from me on turn five, but the game went on to seven and I cleared him of everything save his warlord. 9 points for me.

Game Six – My last game saw another Tau list, but this time with a lot more AP2. I made the mistake of letting him go first and we both had the infiltrate special warlord trait. We infiltrated towards each other and I decided to seize….and rolled the six. What transpired next was probably some of the worst rolling I had ever seen in a game. He couldn’t roll anything he wanted. Pretty much everything collapsed in on him and my Dreadknights and Star had a heyday mopping up. I felt bad, but thems the breaks as they say. I know I’ve been on the receiving end of that and there isn’t much you can do. 10 Points.

So after two days I was 5-1 with 49 battle points. I went with my wife and we had planned on hanging out in Vegas Sunday and Monday. I had told her before that if by some chance I get to the finals well my hands would be tied. Lo and behold I had made it in by one point.

Game Seven – Down the Finals! I pulled Nick “Darkwynn-Leafblower-BOLS Troll (in a good way)-Out of Retiremen- Mohiles Successor-Killing it with Scouts” Rose. It was a great game and I got to play on Internet TV on the top table. I went for the glory in the last turns as many of you saw on the Twitch account by putting my Centurionstar in the corner to clear off an objective and try to go for the win. This brought about my only mishap all weekend as I played it safe with my Star at all times. What was my mishap roll? The dreaded “1” that sealed my fate. I think in hindsight, I really lost it in deployment. I should have either stayed in my corner for two turns and kept up my defenses, or better yet make Nick go first and reserve all my Dreadknights, Strikes and Scouts, hoping his Centurions could come in and not do enough damage so my Dreadknights could mop up the Scouts. I regret nothing and it was a real jewel in the crown moment for me.

The Fluttering Flamingo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was my first time in Vegas so I didn’t know what to expect. It’s an odd town, with millions and millions dumped into the sole purpose of making money. Its kind of dirty, smelly, skeevy, but also a lot of fun. I’m not much of a drinker, so it was good that I didn’t discover the slurpee infused drinks that are all around. That’s my kind of drink, no taste of alcohol to be found. I fear when I go back next year I’m going to be in trouble.

My biggest complaint was how expensive just about everything was. Everything costs money. Internet was $14 a day even as a guest of the hotel for one device! Simple meals were overpriced and that was difficult to swallow sometimes. I have plans on taking along some snacks and drinks in my other luggage to keep down costs for things like breakfast and energy drinks to keep me going. Or try to find a supermarket (I hear there is a Walgreens on the strip) to get some cheap eats and cut down on costs. I’m a teacher by trade and the sole provider of income for my family of four, so things are tight!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a whole the hotel was not too bad, the event was superbly run, I had a great time, went on to the finals, and met some new people. I don’t think I could have asked for a better experience overall. It’s funny to me that as the newest member of Team0Comp I went the farthest (I had just made it onto the team the weekend before). Insert big cheesy grin. On top of that I won best Grey Knights at the event and won a gift certificate to play for free in any events at the LVO next year! I’m gonna game so much its going to hurt.

Well that is my experience in a nutshell. I consider myself like a lot of other normal guys that play 40k and think if there is anything you can learn it’s to practice your list a lot, make it strong by seeking advice, and it surely doesn’t help to have luck on your side to boot. See you on the table!

About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

32 Responses to “Captain A’s LVO Experience”

  1. 21stPrimarch February 28, 2015 10:15 am #

    Congrats CaptainA, wish you were eastcoast, could kearn alot about Grey Kaniggits from you

    • CaptainA February 28, 2015 11:01 am #

      Feel free to email me or post on the forums!

      • Pointless February 28, 2015 10:32 pm #

        Wow! A cent star with invisibility!
        You really tried to do something different right?

        • CaptainA March 1, 2015 12:51 pm #

          Humanity is a bell curve. As a teacher of young kids (2nd Grade and before that 4th) I see this every year. There are people at the bottom of the spectrum in abilities, people at the top of the spectrum of abilities, and a larger amount of people in between those polar opposites. I think of myself in the middle or maybe a little above average when it comes to 40k. I know the rules well, play pretty decent, but have a hard time coming up with crazy synergistic lists. At times I felt bad for taking and playing a Centruionstar, but after going to the LVO, I don’t feel really bad at all. Is it a powerful ist? You betcha! Is it the best list in the world? Nope. It takes a lot of finesse in the depoyment, movement and psychic phase to do well with. I tried to make it as strong as I could, because in all honesty, I do need some help there. I’m just trying to retell my experiences and encourage others in what might help them become better players in this wild west of a game that is 7th edition. How about you? 🙂

          • Ghost Valley March 1, 2015 4:33 pm

            Well said. I went to LVO with 50 scouts and had a lot of similar units to Nick Rose’s list (unintentionally. I was naive enough to think I’d have the only scout list there).

            While we shared a lot of similar units, he made choices to optimize his list with centurions and the second unit of devs. My losses taught me that those units would have helped me, so I plan to include them in my next version of a list. I didn’t come up with it on my own, but I’m going to use some of his choices. That being said, I could play an identical list to his and I wouldn’t do as well, because I’m not as strong a player. I need the help. I won’t feel bad about borrowing ideas. I will still bring my own ideas and tactics to lists and games, but I would be doing myself a disservice to not look at what top players are doing with similar lists to my own.

            I don’t think anyone needs to feel bad about playing any unit in the game. And I feel like I learned a lot watching your game against Nick, Captain A. Congrats on a great tournament.

          • fluger March 2, 2015 7:25 am

            Don’t take the high road! smh

  2. 21stPrimarch February 28, 2015 10:15 am #

    This just in, Learn is now spelled with a K

  3. dr.insanotron February 28, 2015 10:52 am #

    Good stuff buddy. It was awesome to see you make the top 8

    • CaptainA February 28, 2015 11:01 am #


    • CaptainA March 1, 2015 12:52 pm #

      And thanks again for the list help!

  4. WarmstrHorus February 28, 2015 4:55 pm #

    If you had Draigo you also had a LOW and shouldnt of siezed on a 5?

    • CaptainA March 1, 2015 6:36 pm #

      Character LOW don’t count for that.

  5. iNcontroL February 28, 2015 6:56 pm #

    Pretty awesome that you worked hard and then got results! Congrats bro <3

    • CaptainA March 1, 2015 12:52 pm #

      Thanks for that practice game at Xmas. I learned a lot!

  6. jadedknight February 28, 2015 8:58 pm #

    Thanks for all the blog posts and information. I watched your seventh round match and my conclusion was you lost due to movement in the top of turn 2. (Although I’d have likely made the same mistake in effort to preserve shunt moves)

    In hindsight it’s clear to me that Nick needed to kill all of your dreadknights ASAP, they were your best weapon to clear out his hoard of scouts. Basically you needed to not lose two DKs in turn 2. The best way to prevent this from happening was:

    A) Spread-out, you can’t avoid his centurion devs but you can ensure they can only fire on one unit
    B) Stay away from his command squad, his other unit kitted to deal with them

    Deployment in the corner basically gave you limited options to accomplish the above. I think leaving one deep in the corner, jumping one to where you put all three, and shunting the third towards his objective would have been optimal.


    • CaptainA March 1, 2015 12:53 pm #

      Oh yeah, that would have been sound as well for sure.I hadn’t gotten to play a tone against drop pods, but I learned a lot in that game with Nick. I hope to apply it to future games. Try to think ahead about what is coming and what to do to mitigate it.

      Thanks for the response!

  7. TrueKnight March 1, 2015 8:58 am #

    Sounds like a great time! Yeah that Walgreens is absolutely clutch. It’s always my first stop once I get to Vegas… Its right by the venetian

  8. Reecius March 1, 2015 5:24 pm #

    Well done, buddy! You did great and the team was super proud of you!

    • CaptainA March 1, 2015 6:36 pm #

      Thanks! I was pleased to represent!

  9. dex March 1, 2015 8:48 pm #

    Cpt. A. It was a blast playing you, this blog post has gotten a kick out of our squad here. Your list is tight and you played it well.

    PS He is a good guy to play against we sort of knew the result of the game in the first turn but he bought some me a bloody expensive beer and we had a good time of it.

    PSS I agree on the flamingo being really damned expensive.

    • CaptainA March 2, 2015 7:12 am #

      Thanks Dex, you took it in stride man! Play you any time.

  10. fluger March 2, 2015 7:26 am #

    Thanks for posting this! Do you forsee any changes to your list going forward, or just practice practice?

    • CaptainA March 2, 2015 7:37 am #

      I’m wondering about dropping 2 dreadknights, making the SM a CAD and the GK’s a Nemesis.

      This would change:

      Knight Archeron
      2 Scouts in Land Speeder Storms

      1 Strike Squad

      • fluger March 2, 2015 8:27 am #

        I see why on the scouts in storms (fast ob sec), but why the Knight Acheron? Just wanting a bit more big muscle in the list? Seems like you’d lose heavy hitter mobility for a heavier hitter and more little mobility.

        Interesting idea though.

        • CaptainA March 2, 2015 8:50 am #

          I don’t know, some more fast moving scoring obsec and a cool beatstick. We’ll see. I at least want to test itout.

          • fluger March 2, 2015 2:32 pm

            I’m wondering if it’s an overcorrection from seeing Nick Rose’s army…

  11. Tom March 2, 2015 10:24 am #

    Ok Captain now with the 500lb gorrilla in the room question. What was the deal with Nick Rose on that controversial turn because we couldn’t hear clearly because the broadcasters were also talking at the same time. I for one really want to know because when I play, seems theres always someone stretching that inch or swearing the dice was one thing when it wasn’t and you appeared to be 100% sure of something he did wrong.

    • CaptainA March 2, 2015 11:42 am #

      Heh, more of a simple misunderstanding. He took his models out of a ruin to move them in range of my dreadknight. The ruin was cramped and hard to get models in/out of. From my angle it look like he was moving 6-8 inches from where I though they were and measured them. He was measuring from the Dreadknight to see if they would be in range and to me that looked way off. I also thought they were in a different place but apparently they weren’t. We were able to work it out. I think tiredness added a lot to that.

      One thing I have learned though is to not give these guys (by these guys I mean very strong tournament players) an inch. If you think they are wrong on a rule, call them on it. If you think they are wrong in movement, ask them about it. Don’t be a jerk, but don’t let them walk over you, especially when you know they are wrong on something. That happened a lot that weekend (not necessarily by Nick). Not that anyone was cheating, more just that they were confident in their rules knowledge, which happened to be wrong a lot. 🙂

      • Tom March 2, 2015 4:02 pm #

        Seems like you handled it like a champ. We are always saying it’s just a game and to just have fun, but there are times when in order to have fun you have to lay down the law and stop letting small things slide. I appreciate you discussing the no so fun aspects of the game because we all know there are many tense moments in this game we love so much.

      • Tom March 2, 2015 4:10 pm #

        I’ve been testing out a similar list but the problem I have is gating and deepstriking without misshaping with the Dreadknights and Cents. Have you considered adding a few inquisitors to put skulls maybe halfway up the board to reduce scatter. I added an iron hands chaptmaster with the gated unit to break off and break up stuff as well. Hopefully you can do some batreps and keep us updated on your various changes if any. Thanks.

        • CaptainA March 2, 2015 7:57 pm #

          Will do on the batreps.

          I’d love inquisition, but most ITC events (where I will play this) only have 2 detachments, and it is taken up with the SM and DK.

          Hrm…Censtar and Bikes……maybe. 🙂

          • WestRider March 3, 2015 2:17 am

            If you go with the Scouts in LS Storms, can’t you give them Locator Beacons? That could be fun.

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