There can be only one!

Hello everyone Frankie here to talk a little bit about Highlander.

 Most interesting man in 40k

In my local league here in San Diego, the format for this season is Highlander. I was less than thrilled to hear the news as I like to get a lot of practice with tournament lists especially right at the beginning of tournament season. But, I figured I’d give it a shot plus it’s a lot of fun to play games and hang out with friends on Wednesday nights.


Anyways into the Highlander format. In Highlander each unit becomes 0-1 as in you can only take one captain, or chapter master, or librarian this includes the named characters. So you wouldn’t be able to take Khan and another Captain. The only units that can take more than one is troops but you must first take every troop option before taking a double. So in Dark Eldar you would have to take 1 unit of Kabalite Warriors and 1 unit of Wyches before you could take another unit of Kabalite Warriors. This 0-1 also includes dedicated transports which makes list building very difficult especially for certain armies.

Here is the list I am using:

Unit Description Size Cost
Haemonculus Webway Portal 1 105
Kabalite Warrior Syrabite (Warlord) 15 130
Wyches 5 45
Venom Splinter Cannon 1 65
Fast Attack
Razorwing Jetfighter Two Dark Lances, Splinter Cannon 1 150
Heavy Support
Ravager 1 125
Tantaluos Night shields 1 225
Corpse Claw Thief Talosx 5, Ichor Injector x5 5 650
Totals 30 1495


My first game with the list went pretty well but, wow, it is difficult to play with those kind of restrictions on your list. I would shoot a unit and expect another unit to be there to finish the job but unfortunately that unit wasn’t there. The Talos formation was tearing things apart due to my opponents army being restricted on units as well. Necrons and Eldar seem to be doing really well at Highlander. The Necrons are really strong and have great units in all the slots but I think that is a talk for another article.


My second game in the league didn’t go as well, unfortunately, I learned that my lack of support units for the Talos really made my list fall apart. The Talos got locked in combat with Khorne hounds for four turns and I was not able to recover. I still tried to make it a game but just was not able to bring it back with just the Talos.

talos pet

My overall perspective on Highlander is it’s fun. I don’t think I would go to an event to just play Highlander, but that is just my outlook on it. Plus, I really like to spam things which you are not able to do in Highlander, haha. A lot of people in the league however are loving it and talking about running more Highlander events in the area. Let me know what you guys think about Highlander if you have played it or if it sounds like fun to you.


About White925

Frankie is the greatest 40K player on the planet. Nuff Said.

33 Responses to “There can be only one!”

  1. Wintertalon March 9, 2015 11:45 am #

    Personally love the idea of highlander.

    It really make ou have to play the units in the codex. Most list come down to just a few units in the codex being used. Spamming to say.

    Highlander makes you play Codex Tyranid or Tau. Not Codex Flyrant, Venom spam, or Codex riptide.

    Eldar are really good cause they have great unit beside wave serpents and wraith knights. Necrons are really well balanced and the formation they have makes them very good a Highlander. It’s like they where almost built for it.

    • White925 March 9, 2015 4:58 pm #

      I for sure agree. You really do get to see the whole codex in Highlander. And its neat to learn what other units do that you normally wouldnt see otherwise.

  2. Maelstorm March 9, 2015 12:01 pm #

    Locally, all of our tournaments have been using the Highlander for the past 6th months.

    For the Las Vegas Open (LVO) I brought Highlander lists for 1,850 and 2,000 points. Playing against opponents who used “normal” lists with “normal” Deathstars and Spam, and tabled all 8 opponents. It is a lot more fun to build and play with Highlander lists – It forces you to think rather than just spam, point and click.

    • Nova star March 9, 2015 12:25 pm #

      If you tables all 8 opponents why didn’t you win the event?

      • Cuddles March 9, 2015 1:37 pm #


        • Simon March 9, 2015 3:17 pm #

          Lol x2

          • Maelstorm March 9, 2015 4:22 pm

            The 40K Friendly and Beerhammer scoring gave you 3 additional points (13 points vs a max of 10 points) for killing a super heavy. I didn’t face any superheavies and the gent who won faced and killed 2 – and his paint score was also 2 above mine…

            LVO was the most fun 40k event I’ve ever attended!

          • Reecius March 9, 2015 4:55 pm

            Really happy you enjoyed it!

      • Nova star March 9, 2015 5:18 pm #


    • White925 March 9, 2015 4:59 pm #

      Thats awesome Im glad you had a good time. And with a highlander list! What army were you playing?

      • Maelstorm March 10, 2015 3:45 am #

        I’m normally a Necron player but didn’t want to try to learn the new codex and wanted to try my hand at something new – Eldar. It was a very fast list with lots of AP2 shooting.

  3. z3n1st March 9, 2015 12:02 pm #

    I like Highlander for what it represents, an alternative method to run an army that requires more than spam to win. It requires synergy and in many cases more tactical play. Is it better than the standard formats? Meh, its different. A lot of people like it though, as you don’t get that sense of being overwhelmed by the power gamer net lists.

    • white925 March 9, 2015 5:01 pm #

      Yeah tactics really seem to play a bigger part in the Highlander games. At least the ones ive played so far.

  4. Kartr March 9, 2015 12:24 pm #

    it doesn’t let you build proper military units as you can’t focus on your basic infantryman, or give them the ability to support either with consistent mobility. How are you supposed to establish a proper maneuver element if only one squad can take a transport!?

    • white925 March 9, 2015 5:02 pm #

      The lack of transports is a big turn off for me as well.

      • Nova star March 9, 2015 5:21 pm #

        That’s just the universe telling you to play with less venoms lol

        • Kartr Kana March 10, 2015 7:02 pm #

          What about my Rhinos?

  5. TinBane March 9, 2015 3:01 pm #

    Highlander is a nice antidote to spam. But it heavily favours lists with great internal balance.

    Eldar, Necrons, and Space Marines all fair pretty well in highlander.

    • Hotsauceman1 March 9, 2015 4:07 pm #

      I tried to make a list with Guard and SM, but I couldnt

      • white925 March 9, 2015 5:03 pm #

        Well hotsauce try harder haha jk. I hope college is going well buddy we missed you at the LVO

        • Hotsauceman1 March 9, 2015 5:48 pm #

          Looking like maybe an A in both classes. And a pass on the internship.
          The hardest problem I’m facing in highlander for IG is overkill. Yeah I can bring a unit of two plasmacutioners. But that is overkill. Same with 3 wyverns. If I want some good stuff, I have to squad them, leaving them to overkill and wasted points.

  6. Archon-Kalafex March 9, 2015 5:45 pm #

    I like Highlander format mostly. As a Dark Eldar player I would take advantage of our awesome and numerous FA options, taking 1 of each choice. A Unit of Talos, a Ravager, and a Voidraven would fill the Heavy slots pretty well too and you would have 2 flyers which in this kind of format could be an advantage.

  7. iNcontroL March 9, 2015 7:00 pm #

    nice writeup frankie!

  8. CaptainA March 10, 2015 7:40 am #

    I love the concept of Highlander. My problem was that when I made a possible list for LVO off of my Centurionstar list, I only needed to drop two Dreadknights and fill in the rest.

    I also played a Nemesis strike force against an Eldar Highlander list. My Grey Knights didn’t have a chance as since most every choice in the Eldar codex is good, it didn’t matter that he was playing Highlander, it only seemed to make his list better against mine. I need some spam to make my list viable and armies like Eldar (if you can say there is another army like Eldar) don’t suffer from the restrictions like others.

  9. Wischfulthinking March 10, 2015 8:30 am #

    Highlander takes more skill to win & imo will have more balanced games. More units become viable in highlander. My 1 beef with the highlander format is I beleive it should be single source, no formations. Also it will be a lot better when daemons, tau, & elder get toned down. Really I think formations should be banned from tournaments in general unless they are required to field a particular codex (ie inquisition).

    • greggles March 10, 2015 9:14 am #

      Though I have no issue with formations in the GT, I do think they should not be allowed in highlander. It helps counter the point of highlander, by allowing you to take more units then you’d normally be able to take.

      • Wischfulthinking March 10, 2015 10:51 am #

        Will you have a problem when there are hundreds of formations & power level is dictated not by your codex but by what formations or specialized detachments you take? Because we are getting to that point already. The CAD is becoming pointless. The only reason formations were unbanned is because of tyranids & with all the extra releases they have (which should of been in the codex) they don’t need it any more. With come apoc allies we may as well just go unbound. Once eldar tau & daemons get redone it will be a case of the haves & have nots with formations & specialized detachments.

  10. Clover362 March 10, 2015 10:18 am #

    Highlander is a fun format to mix in with more traditional formats. Just like any format it really effects the game a lot.

    Generally speaking 40K is as closed to balanced as it ever was from a pure codex to codex perspective. IMO As of today they only true outliers out of the codexs as far as power level is Eldar on one end and CSM on the other. In highlander Eldar and necrons are top dogs but there isn’t a huge gap. Pretty much everyone is good at highlander except CSM who still have all the same problems.

    Around where I live when you play highlander it extends to summoning. Meaning you cannot summon a unit if it would violate the highlander rules on the table. Do you guys play it the same way?

    • Wischfulthinking March 10, 2015 11:01 am #

      That is a good idea, tho I hate summoning & thing it needs to die the death of 1,000,000 screams.

      “I got an idea to make $$ guys, let’s give everyone the ability to summon hundreds of points worth of free units with very little downside & it will be near impossible to deny since it’s not targeting the enemy. Then whoever has enough money can just buy all the daemons they want & play a bunch of unequal point games within the rules. Genius!”

  11. Wintertalon March 11, 2015 12:08 pm #

    I see only two formations that seam to get people upset. One is the Ad-lance. The other is the fire cade for tau. Both formations turn up the level to a high degree. The Tyranid ones are not that over whelming by any means. I can’t really think of any that scrams OP to me beyond them.

    I don’t like the summoning thing either. There should be a big draw back to summoning the Big things. Something like minus the wounds taken already on the summoner or something on the new model.

    • Wischfulthinking March 11, 2015 12:59 pm #

      3x flyrants w 3 mucolids. I played against this in 1/2 my games at LVO.

    • Reecius March 11, 2015 3:29 pm #

      The Leviathon Tyranids formations are pretty ubiquitous and cause some ire, but the list of really upsetting formations is quite small.

  12. westrider March 12, 2015 8:40 am #

    I think Highlander is a fun idea for a bit of a changeup, but it’s terrible as a form of Comp. It hurts Armies that have few decent selections (The reason you see Dakka Flyrants all the time? Most of the rest of the Nid Dex kind of sucks.), kills off a huge range of fun fluffy lists (Mech, Drop, SM 1/2 Company, basically all the iconic Ork builds), and does nothing to restrict most DeathStar lists.

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