Change Is Inevitable: Change Your 40k List Now!

In the Beginning, There Was Daemons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn 40k, things change over time and forces you to adapt what you do or perish. I remember when I first got back into 40k and started a Chaos Daemons army, back when they had to deep strike their entire army and at first things were doing quite well for me. I had actually took a lot of list ideas from Brent at his blog Strictly Average (may it rise from the ashes to begin anew!) as he was doing well with his Daemon force and was writing regularly on BOLS. It was a fun army that I enjoyed as it had a very different play style than anything out there.

4930739614_1ed60cd12e_oI was having fun, learning, and doing pretty good with the army until two things happened. The (then) new Grey Knights book and Dark Eldar book. Warp Quake was a power that was devastating to me. For those that don’t remember Warp Quake put a 12” bubble around the unit that cast the power and any Deep Striking unit that landed in that bubble automatically misshaped. Dark Eldar had their super fun Venom spam that worked over my Daemon’s low invulnerable save. I loved playing against Marines at that time as my army worked very well against them, but when I had to face Dark Eldar or Grey Knights it was over pretty quick.

Change is Inevitable

Those books came out with some good space between them with Dark Eldar being released in  November 2010 and Grey Knights being released in April 2011. That is a six month window between the two books. Now though, we’ve had Daemonkin, Harlequins, Skitarii, Eldar, Assassins, Imperial Knights, and Adeptus Mechanicus all in the space of a few months. That is an insane amount of change.

For the ITC, there was also change with the allowance of going to three sources which mixes things up even further. I know I will be seeing more things that can kill my Centurionstar very quick in more and more games. Things like the Cullexus Assassin, Webway Portal Wraithguard, Drop Podding Skitarii, and more I’m sure I’m not thinking or don’t know about. So I know I need to change the list that took so long and I’ve become accustomed to play. If I don’t, my army will be quickly invalidated by certain matchups and those matchups will surely become more common. I decided not to change too much as I wanted to keep to my philosophy of playing what I know and learning how to play my list in many different circumstances. The Star needs to stay as much as possible and I would like to keep as many of the Dreadknights as I can as they work as good bodyguards for the Star and synergize well.

So my problems as I see it are two-fold. Deep Striking powerful units that can obliterate or hamper the Centruionstar and scoring in my backfield, especially with the increase in the Maelstrom victory condition. Here is the current list I am playing and hope to see how it works out in the latest meta of 40k.

Centurionstar 2 Electric Boogaloo

CenturionSMGrey Knights CAD

Librarian – Mastery Level 3/Daemon Hammer

5 Man Strike Squad – Incinerator

Nemesis Dreadknight – Sword/Incinerator/Psycannon/Teleporter

Nemesis Dreadknight – Hammer/Incinerator/Psycannon/Teleporter

Kaldor Draigo

Allied Red Scorpions Space Marines

Sevrin Loth

5 Scouts

5 Scouts

4 Centurions – Grav Cannons/Omniscope

Inquisitorial Detachment

Inquisitor Coteaz


2 Vengeance Weapons Batteries – Quad Icarus Lascannon

(This still gives me 35 points to play with and flesh out a bit.)

Enter Cocheeze and Vengcheeze

cocheeseCoteaz or “Cocheeze” as I refer to him shores up the deep striking shenanigans I will see as he as the rule, “I’ve Been Expecting You,” which allows me to make an out of sequence shooting attack at an enemy unit that arrives from reserves and is within twelve inches of Coteaz. I can do this as many times as I want in a turn. This is a huge defense for the star against the short ranged deep striking models that will put the hurt on my precious killing unit of doom. He is also a level two psyker which replaces the two levels I lost from taking out a Strike squad and a Dreadknight. Even more he can go for Perfect Timing if the librarian doesn’t get that or Sanctuary if he does, which will make Draigo’s invulnerable save a 2+.

The Vengeance Weapons Batteries do a couple of different things. They allow me to have some scoring units (fortifications as taken as part of your army count as claimed buildings and can therefore score objectives) in my backfield that are hard to crack. They also put out 2 Skyfire/Interceptor/Twin-Linked Lascannon shots each which shores up the lack of anti-air in my list as well.


Unfortunately, you probably can’t play the same list forever and expect to do well. Things are changing so fast that you will be forced to react to them. I think the key is to try to change as little as possible, unless your whole army becomes invalidated by every new release, which I don’t think will happen too much. Either way, look at the new releases that have come out and ask if they have tools that will obliterate what you are doing then think about what you can do to mitigate the impact on your list too much. So there you have my list ruminations about how I’ve decided to handle the big changes that have come down the pipe in recent months.

How have you changed your list or army to adapt to all the craziness GW is throwing at us?

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.

23 Responses to “Change Is Inevitable: Change Your 40k List Now!”

  1. Daryll May 16, 2015 12:22 pm #

    I don’t want to come off as an internet troll here so will be careful not to offend.
    Is it possible to publish this in a better format? the “wall of text crits you for over 9,000” meme seems pretty apt here.

    • CaptainA May 18, 2015 12:05 pm #

      Yeah, sorry about that. I went in on my phone to add a featured image to the blogroll and it somehow reformatted everything. Better now i hope. 🙂

  2. bigpig May 16, 2015 1:29 pm #

    I’m changing to Eldar

    • Julnlecs May 17, 2015 9:39 pm #

      Me too Vince. Me too.

  3. Narfwak May 16, 2015 3:31 pm #

    Bonus cool points for the Beastie Boys reference. I love that video so much.

    That said… did something eat all of the formatting in the post? I have a hard time believe there weren’t supposed to be any line breaks or paragraphs or anything…?

    • CaptainA May 16, 2015 3:33 pm #

      Crap! We’re under attack!

      No, just edited it on my phone and it messed it up. I’m cracking on it now.

  4. fluger May 16, 2015 5:32 pm #

    I fear change.

  5. AbusePuppy May 16, 2015 6:24 pm #

    Remember for Coteaz that while he is allowed to roll on Santic, he will suffer Perils from it just like any normal model (as he doesn’t have the protective rule that GK do.)

    • CaptainA May 16, 2015 7:16 pm #

      Oh, good catch.

  6. westrider May 16, 2015 6:35 pm #

    What’s the second Troops Choice for the GK CAD? I only see one Strike Squad there.

    My Drop Wolves are my competitive list these days, and they’ve been going through all kinds of changes. Different Allies (SM, DA, and INQ so far, and soon to try out Tau, Skitarii, and Assassins), different approaches to Anti-Air, whether or not I’m using Void Claws, whether or not I’ve got Dreads in, adjusting my Special Weapon mix.

    • CaptainA May 16, 2015 7:16 pm #

      Back to the drawing board!

    • CaptainA May 16, 2015 7:18 pm #

      Yeah, I’ll have to run it as a Nemesis Strike Formation.

      • AbusePuppy May 16, 2015 10:06 pm #

        Nemesis is probably preferable anyways- it gives you the DS option if you need it and it’s not like you’re going to have enough models alive at the end of most games for ObSec to matter, unless you’re essentially tabling the other guy already.

    • ZeroWolf May 17, 2015 3:24 pm #

      Do you have an example of a decent Drop Wolves list?

      • WestRider May 18, 2015 12:46 am #

        Still very much a work in progress. Also, it should be noted that, at the moment, I basically just play in local store tournaments, so my baseline for “competitive” isn’t as high as it may be for others. My most recent attempt actually had Ultramarines as the Primary (Cents, StormTalons, and Tiggy as Warlord), and used double CAD (which a number of local Tournaments allow). Went 2-1, lost one Game because I really didn’t have an answer for 170 Orks, and the thought of it threw me enough that I made several errors, as well.

        My next try is going to be something along the lines of:
        Rune Priest, Lvl2, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs, Helm of Durfast
        5 GH, CCW, Meltagun, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs, Drop Pod
        5 GH, CCW, Plasmagun, Combi-Plasma, Meltabombs, Drop Pod
        10 GH, CCW, 2xFlamer, Combi-Flamer, Meltabombs, Drop Pod
        10 GH, CCW, 2xMeltagun, Combi-Melta, Meltabombs, Drop Pod
        10 GH, CCW, 2xPlasmagun, Combi-Plasma, Meltabombs, Drop Pod
        5 GH, Wolf Banner, StormWolf w/MM
        Dread, MM/HF, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon, DeathWind Launcher
        5 WG, 5xCombi-Melta, 3xMeltabombs, Drop Pod, Locator Beacon

        No tournaments coming up in the next few weeks, tho, so it may well mutate further before I get it on the table.

        • fluger May 18, 2015 8:58 am #

          It was 167 Orks. Not 170… 😛

          • WestRider May 19, 2015 9:25 pm

            Rounding. Anyhow, Orks only come in one quantity: too many 😉

  7. iNcontroL May 17, 2015 4:07 pm #

    I really like that the list posted in an article on change actually NEEDS change due to being illegal… WELL MET SIR! 🙂 nice article too!

    • CaptainA May 17, 2015 4:54 pm #

      Thanks! I’m a big deal and I’m smrt.

      I mean smart!

  8. W May 18, 2015 12:45 am #

    Nice article. I personally like things like meta changes and playing in different formats (eternal war, maelstrom, ITC, ETC; NOVA, and so on), because changing my list often allows me to play with a wider variety of my minis!

    • CaptainA May 18, 2015 10:28 am #

      Thanks! I’ve been playing different lists in different venues. Weekly league has been Necrons, Tournies has been tourny list.

  9. bassface7 May 18, 2015 3:25 am #

    Maybe this barrage of releases is genius in disguise. Maybe the risk of running into a hard counter for stars will become so high that people will start running balanced, fun to play against Tac lists.

    A man can dream.

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