The Goldensprue Cup V Tournament Report


Warning: may contain tournament format pontificating.

We had another great time running the Goldensprue Cup last weekend. The players were awesome and the competition was fierce. At 20 players, this was the largest 40k event our club has run yet and I hope we can continue to host great events in the future. We have a few opportunities for improvement, as always, but overall I’m declaring this one a success.

The List Format

You can find the full list format on the Grimfoe events blog. In a nutshell, the lists are a Modified Highlander where many of the similar units are grouped into single selections (all Dreadnoughts count as “Dreadnought”, for example) and some dedicated transports have a 0-2, 0-3, or 0-4 restriction instead of 0-1. Additionally, there are no source, ally, or detachment restrictions.

When I polled the players on whether they prefer having the additional Dedicated Transports, they all agreed that it was a good move. It is my opinion that Dedicated Transports are like Troops in that they are part of the backbone to any army. Also, they make the game more fun and and grant mobility to some units which pale in comparison to units like Bikes and Beasts. This will be staying for the next singles event.

I am considering lifting the counts-as restriction. All of the list mistakes we had were due to confusion over that restriction. List mistakes do happen, but it does seem to be a signal that this rule is just too confusing. Also, it may actually be too restrictive and impede on some of the fun. Why not take multiple kinds of Dreadnought? Additionally, keeping up on which units count as other units is a huge logistical challenge, particularly when you start to include Forge World. I’m pretty much all but convinced that I’ll be removing this and restricting on unit entry only. Yes, that means some players will have additional Land Raiders and additional Chapter Masters with the use of Named Characters, but I think this is the right call.

In addition, the players were very pleased with the Modified Highlander in general, and that will also be remaining for the time being.

The Mission Format

You can find the full Mission Format on the Grimfoe events blog. In short, we use 3 basic missions for our primary and secondary missions: Hold Objectives, Purge, and Tactical Objectives. In Hold Objectives, you score for holding objectives at the end of the game. Purge is the same as Purge the Alien, but bonus points are rolled in for destroying Superheavy units.

Tactical Objectives was introduced as a way to speed up our games. Fitting 4 games in order to have a definitive winner at the end of the day was really tight. Generating Tactical Objectives every turn just took way too much time. So, instead I used a mission similar to one of the missions from Da Boyz GT 2014 and, I believe, the “Mission Catalog”.  This mission, starting on Turn 2, granted one TacO point at the end of your turn for each Objective you were holding and for each unit you killed.

It was a very simple and clear way to go about doing it and pretty much had the same effect on the game results: rewarding bold players and punishing craven ones. The big difference was that all of the players seemed to agree that the games went far smoother than when they were generating specific TacOs every turn. This version of Tactical Objectives will be staying for the next tournament. 

One criticism of the missions was that there was a lot of focus on kill points with the actual Purge mission and kill points in the Tactical Objectives. I will review whether or not this is a bad thing. MSU armies are fun and effective right now, but it is nice to have mission objectives which counter this. Also, it is a great balance against summoning armies and, if I’m removing the counts-as restriction to list building, this will become even more important as armies will have more Warp Charges at their disposal.

The Lists

You can view most of the lists here:

As you can see, and as I mentioned, at least two of the players have list errors (one extra Librarian in one list and one extra Dreadnought in another list). I doubt this played a huge part in the overall results. The 1st-3rd Place in both Overall and General all absolutely deserved their place. However, it does stress how convoluted that particular restriction is and that it needs to be removed.

The Results

Because we had 20 players, we had 2 undefeated players, but we used strict Battle Points as the tiebreaker. Pairings were mostly done swiss style, with some re-arrangement if folks ended up paired a second time. Note that the Ringer is not listed here and that I’m waiting on some confirmation of how to do the math for the ITC points before releasing those calculations.


Players Armies Wins BP Overall
Todd Silber Daemons 4 100 132
Charissa Sinclair Daemons 4 59 79
Jason Bargender Grey Knights/Ultramarines 3 79 119
Francis Paplosis Orks 3 65 101
Kevin Munn Sisters of Battle 3 59 87
Mark Gottlieb Grey Knights/Wolves 2 72 90
Harley Jelis Daemons and Heretics 2 71 88
Curtis Bargender Eldar 2 56 98
Jason Bentley Dragoons (Blood Angels) 2 54 88
Justin Malkemus Red Scorpions/Space Wolves 2 52 74
William Bloom Tau/Assassins 2 40 77
Conor Sheehy Blood Ravens (White Scars)/Imperial Knights 2 29 45
Matt Brown (drop) Necrons 2 27 46
Scott Baldwin Blood Angels/Dark Angels 1 41 64
Jason Mitchell Space Wolves/Red Scorpions 1 39 80
Brandon Batch Raptors/Assassins/Cypher 1 39 73
Jarad Hartman Salamanders 1 26 48
Tiboch Chaos Space Marines 1 25 49
Rob Meade Tyranids 1 17 47
Luna Fox (drop) Eldar/Tau 0 2 13


Charissa’s Daemon Princes and summoning ruled her tables, but at the end of the day, she didn’t score as many Battle Points as Todd.Todd’s super-fast ground-based Daemons list was a monster! It was a blur on the battlefield and nary a unit could hide from its ferocity. Todd’s list clearly doesn’t care about what mission it is playing; it is capable of tabling army after army, particularly in a Highlander format which is unlikely to have an over-abundance of units they can’t kill in assault.

The rest of the field, particularly the top 25%, really shows the variety which a Highlander format brings to bear.  In all cases, it was the armies and players which played aggressively (but smartly) who topped out over the crowd, and that’s something I like to see.


We had an extremely good time. I’ve already summarized the reactions to the format and how we’re going to adjust things in the future. What matters the most is that folks had a great time at the event and want to come back again for another go. The next event will be a Team Tournament, though. I’m not 100 percent certain on the exact format it will shape out to be. Folks have enjoyed the Modified Highlander so much that I’m almost tempted to run it with that in mind. We’ll see; expect an announcement in the coming weeks.

You can check out the Facebook album for more pictures of the event.

Check out my blog post for some pro-quality pics of all the armies that Harley was kind enough to take with his badass camera and camera skills!


About adam Fasoldt

Loopy (Adam) has only been playing 40k since 2010, but is an active member of the community. He is a host of the Masters of the Forge podcast and also a moderator of the Independent Characters forums. He also belongs to gaming clubs at Grimfoe Games in East Greenbush, NY and Dirty Goblin Games in Queensbury, NY.

16 Responses to “The Goldensprue Cup V Tournament Report”

  1. CaptainA March 9, 2015 6:45 am #

    Love the Goldensprue cup! That’s an instant classic!

  2. winterman March 9, 2015 8:24 am #

    Was daemon summoning restricted to highlander? e.g. no spamming daemonettes/horrors? Have seen that restriction at other events and it makes some sense.

    Also like the idea of tactical objectives. While it does make KP more of a focus for a 3 game event having it in 1 of 5 or 6 missions seems fine. Also a heavy KP army should be better at collecting points from objectives too. Might need some tweaks though to really balance it, like rewarding holding multiple objectives or extra points for killing a monster star. Just spitballing ideas.

    • Loopy March 9, 2015 9:31 am #

      Thanks for the input. I’m very interested in making my missions better while maintaining simplicity. I think another article of mine will be released before too long here about the Big Game Hunter tertiary mission which I used to replace First Blood.

    • Loopy March 9, 2015 9:38 am #

      I placed no restrictions on summoning, so I don’t think anyone self-restricted. Good thought, though. Ill ponder it.

  3. iNcontroL March 9, 2015 9:07 am #

    Looks nice! Thanks for the very detailed report.

    That said as a dedicated Nid player I always look on these events with a slight chip on my shoulder. I really don’t think Nids can be that successful in a highlander setting.. I know that sounds whiny but I feel like results back me up on that. So hard to imagine a Nid army that doesn’t include FW/LoW but is 0-1 outside of troops.. they really suffer!

    Surprised Eldar didn’t do better.. nice win to the Daemons <3

    • Loopy March 9, 2015 9:36 am #

      I hear you. I kind of felt the same way about Orks at first. For my format, Forgeworld is allowed (and I believe our nid player brought at least one of those units) and I allowed 0-2 Tyrannocites. I think, for most armies, the restrictions seem really restrictive when you build your list, but then you compare it to the other armies and it’s not quite so bad.

    • winterman March 9, 2015 11:25 am #

      Tyranids don’t suffer as badly though since the meta is different. Would help if flying Tyrant was treated separate from a walkrant/swarmlord, since frankly our HQ options are so damn limited.

      What highlander does do is force you to re-evaluate units you’d otherwise ignore. Like say a tyranid prime and devgants in a pod in highlander is worth a look, while they are all but ignored in a regular format. Stealer shock or tervi-spam could actually work in highlander. Also the biovore/exocrine formation fits into highlander so there’s a reason to pull it off the shelf.

  4. DCannon4Life March 9, 2015 9:57 am #

    A ‘Nid player finds something new to whinge about! /smirk I’m being regularly, convincingly trounced by a 3 FMC, 1 Tyrannocyte (Zoeys!) list. They’re fine, both in ‘classic’ missions and in Maelstrom (or ‘maelstrom-like’). I have faced the ‘Nids with an Eldar list (sporting 3 Hornets) and a CSM list (bolstered by IA13 vehicles).

    This past Thursday, I faced a Highlander-style Green Tide vs. my CSM (Big Guns with 4 objectives) and lost, not because I was wiped off the table, but because I couldn’t get to the objectives that the Tide WASN’T holding! Table control ftw, enh?

  5. fluger March 9, 2015 10:46 am #

    Thanks for the very detailed report. It was interesting perusing all the lists and such.

  6. Kartr March 9, 2015 12:08 pm #

    demons won? “I can only have one dp? Ok I’ll just summon more during the game” *tables opponent with 3-4 DPs*

    Highlander just doesn’t sound fun to me. I like building my list around 3+ 10 Marine squads in rhinos. A platoon essentially, having to find other transports and trade a squad of tacticals for a squad of scouts? No thank you!

    • Loopy March 9, 2015 2:05 pm #

      Hello Kartr. You’ll note that the winner of the tournament summoned zero Daemons and starred Seekers and Khorne Hounds.

      Also, You’ll also note that I allow extra dedicated transports in my format if you have a look. My players and I feel it’s a lot of fun the way we do it.

  7. Kartr March 9, 2015 3:35 pm #

    Love your podcast loopy been listening to it everyday for the last week trying to get caught up from the beginning. You guys are inspirations to anyone who’s interested in narrative and “fluff.”

    Under your format can I take 3 Rhinos and no other dedicated transports? Because my list is based around the concept of a platoon, covinni in the Chapter’s terminology, of Marines. 2 tactical squads in Rhinos, a Sternguard squad in a Rhino, a lieutenant (counts as a captain and command squad in a Razorback, with a 2xHB and 2xMissile launcher Devastator squad as attachments. This simulates a real world Marine Platoon with attachments. Then I fill out the rest of the list. For more competitive settings I tweak the core a little (trade the command squad for another tactical squad in a Rhino and the captain for a Librarian).

    That’s my biggest problem with Highlander, it makes it very difficult to create a cohesive military themed list. Since you need a drop pod and a Razorback before you can take another Rhino. That’s tough enough if you just want two rhinos, but if you want a third?

    • Loopy March 9, 2015 6:44 pm #

      I agree with you completely. I think that Dedicated Transports form the backbone of any army much in the way Troops do. For this reason, in my format, all dedicated transports have a 0-X number. I believe Rhinos are 0-4. Also, there is NO restriction forcing you to take every troop choice.

      I hate cookie-cutter armies.

      It is true, however, that this tournament format doesn’t allow for many fluffy lists because, sometimes, spam is the fluffy choice. When it comes to casual games and narrative games, we play whatever we want, but the group loves this Modified Highlander format because it creates a competitive environment which at least somewhat levels the playing field and generates far fewer moments where your army is incinerated by turn 3.

      There are lots of ways to play the game. For competitive play, we like this way. 🙂

      Thanks so much for being a listener, Kartr. I appreciate your input.

      • Kartr March 10, 2015 6:25 am #

        I think I might like your modified highlander because it sounds like I could play my regular army 😀

        I’m listening to episode… 15? Today. Would love another episode on writing lore for your own custom army/chapter.

  8. Todd March 10, 2015 7:24 am #

    As the Daemon player who won first place. I did not summon anything at all, in any of my 4 games. So put the argument of daemon summoning to bed already.

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