ITC Quarterly Results, a Rawdogger Rumination

Hello all,

Rawdogger here to ruminate on the recent quarterly update poll for the ITC tournament circuit and give my thoughts on the changes.  Ruminate is a big word for me.  I actually had to look it up to see if I was using the word correctly, and it turns out my expensive private university degree in English has FINALLY paid for itself.   While I may not be the best tournament player at Frontline Gaming, I do like to follow along with what is going on with the scene and how things are going with the ITC in particular (because Reece pays me money).  Though I am an employee of Frontline Gaming I do sometimes disagree with what is said and done with the ITC and Reece and Frankie are always kind when I call them  brown out drunk at 3 in the morning asking why a Wraithknight with a toe in ruins gets a 4+ cover save.   Anyways, the following are the lists of changes this quarter to the ITC official rules and why I think they are a good and bad thing for this tournament season.  If you would like to look at the official page where the results are discussed in a more constructive manner, you can do so here.

 Note these are my paraphrased questions and do not include any followup questions.  These are also my personal opinions regarding the results.  If my opinions enrage you to the point that you begin to sweat and cannot type your abusive comments due to the amount of sweat on your fingers you may want to visit a personal physician.  

1.  Should we lift the restrictions on duplicate detachments?  YES

I think this was a mistake, to be honest.  While it is a good thing for Tyranid players who have absolutely no access to multiple flying monstrous creates, the rest of us are going to be LOVING the duplicate Fire Base Cadres and Skyhammer detachments.   Who in particular was asking for this change other than people looking for yet ANOTHER way to add rocks to their tournament lists?   Maybe Reece was being inundated with emails from Harlequin players wanting to take multiple detachments?  Who knows.

 2Can an army ally with itself? NO

I’m not sure why the community decided to draw the line in the sand HERE, but I’m glad they did.  With the ITC now allowing duplicate detachments we are one step closer to unbound play which I completely abhor so if this ruling is the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dam at least we have THAT stopping us from just letting people take whatever they want so they are not challenged in the slightest when playing Warhammer 40k.

3. Should we increase the amount of detachments allowed in the ITC? NO

Again, I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the vote go no on this one.   If you’ve read my article this far without having a heart attack you may have picked up on my personal abhorrence to the ‘anything goes’ type attitude towards game play.  I like rules and I like structure, which might be due to my slight OCD (IM WORKING ON IT MA!).  You might say you want the freedom to take what you want in an army, I say that you are looking for anything to game the system and find ways to play around your weaknesses instead of learning how to overcome them.

4. Should we ban Battle Companies and War Convocations? NO

I guess there are a lot more Battle Company and War Convocation players voting than Dark Eldar ones.  I think both (or any Decurion type detachment which was the actual wording in the poll) are bad for the hobby and just play into the hands of Games Workshop’s marketing department but what do I even know?

5. Should we change the ITC D Weapon Table?  NO

This one is up for contention since the question was apparently confusing for some people so that one is up for a vote again.  I personally say that we should keep the D weapons as written in the rule book *gasp*.   With all the crazy stuff out there on the tables right now and people wanting to game the system all over your face why not just allow it in?  Just my two cents.

 6. Should we stop punishing Wraithknight and Imperial Knight players?  NO

 Grumpy Cat

 7. Should we allow Forge World army lists? YES

Why this is even a question in the age of Eldar and Battle Companies is beyond me.  Why not let these players bring their FW army lists so they too can get blasted off the table by Eldar or play against an opponent with 500 more points than them because fuck you that’s why.

8. Should we stop punishing Daemonkin armies?  YES

This was one of the only questions I thought should be in a poll like this and I was happy to see the community come together and say that Games Workshop should remember their own rules when writing a codex.  The fact that per the rules of the game a summoned Bloodthirster has to spend two turns changing flight modes then charging is ridiculous.

 9. Did Games Workshop forget to edit the Dark Angels codex?  YES

Someone fell asleep at the old computer when writing the Dark Angels codex and forgot to give characters the Ravenwing special rule when on a bike which then completely invalidates the Ravenwing formation.  Oops!  Oh well they already printed the books and they don’t care enough to write Erratas or FAQs anymore.  Sorry BRUHS.

 10. Something about Tyrannocites, whatever those things are.  YES

They can now shoot or something.  Great news for anyone who bought that kit for something other than Mucolid Spores to cast.

11. Man I forgot how many questions there were.  This was a poor choice for an article

 12. Can Blood Angels have one viable tournament list? YES

Great news for the Dark Angels of 2015.  For a codex that has been relegated to carrying Geoff Robinson’s Cult Mechanicum army into battle this actually gives them something that can catch an opponent off guard if they don’t know what’s coming.  Still not a great list against a seasoned player but at least it’s SOMETHING.


What a hunk


So there you have it!  Another ITC quarterly update on things that rile people up for some reason!  So what are your thoughts on the results? Was the community spot on in their voting or is everyone wrong in this world except you?  

About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

55 Responses to “ITC Quarterly Results, a Rawdogger Rumination”

  1. Petey Pab
    Pablo August 13, 2015 1:01 am #

    haha I loved this quick read article.

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    Hedzer August 13, 2015 2:51 am #

    Great article, I lolled.

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    Jet August 13, 2015 5:39 am #

    I lost it at the grumpy cat, then again at number 11. Good stuff.

  4. jy2
    jy2 August 13, 2015 6:54 am #

    I’m confused. I think you should write a follow-up report on your ruminations, you know, just to clarify things. So why do you think the dude in the pic is a “hunk” and would it have been better to A) use an older picture of him or B) use a more current photo?

    • Avatar
      masos August 13, 2015 7:28 am #


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    Plains of War GT August 13, 2015 8:32 am #

    Simple, to the point, and a few little chuckles along the way! nice post

  6. Reecius
    Reecius August 13, 2015 8:36 am #

    You kill me, bro!

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    Mike August 13, 2015 8:44 am #

    Totally agreed on duping detachments. I feel like that’s a little more loose than I’d like to play. Like you I also enjoy structure and having at least some lines to color inside rather than just a blank sheet. I’ve been chatting with some other tourney players I know and their lists in response to the new rules really sport LESS variety on the table than before. Tau with dual fire base, decurion with double canoptek harvest, elder double CAD with tons of 3 man bike squads, and marines with double sky hammer are all things I’m looking at playing against in the near future.
    I love the itc in general so this rule is like coming home to find out my favorite pet forgot his toilet training.

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      Hotsauceman1 August 13, 2015 8:51 am #

      Yeah, This is where they dropped the ball I think. This was just bad. Not to mention I have talked to several people who all voted on these things multiple times under different emails.
      I still feel an open poll is a bad Idea for just this. Reece, plese considering making these polls a guideline and not “This is how it has to be”
      duel Firebase. Skyhammer, Wraith_Shit on yo face formation, is not good for the game.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 12:56 pm #

      I felt the same way at first, but now I actually don’t think it will be much of an issue. Double Firebase Cadre is indeed going to be very powerful, but it isn’t THAT much crazier than what could already have been done. It is slightly better, yes, but at the cost of a big points sink and a detachment slot. Double Skyhammer I honestly don’t think will even be a thing. It’s a very overrated Formation, IMO. Having played against and with it multiple times I think it is good, but not broken. Same with Canoptek Harvest, I was worried about that one, but having played it a bunch, it honestly isn’t that crazy. Again, good, but not OP, IMO.

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        Mike August 13, 2015 2:20 pm #

        I think the issue with skyhammer being overrated is that people on batreps seem to be playing skyhammer + something that doesn’t synergize well with it. (I have yet to see a batrep where someone combines a skyhammer with a pod army, for example.)
        Skyhammer, on the other hand, synergizes SUPER well with more skyhammer.
        Thankfully, it seems people who actually own a ton of pods are pretty rare.

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          AbusePuppy August 13, 2015 3:10 pm #

          The problem with doubling down on Skyhammer is that it leaves you with exactly one option: go for the alpha strike. You’re putting ~1000pts (maybe more, maybe less) into a bunch of MEQs that aren’t particularly durable or good at scoring- and yeah, they hit hard, but that isn’t everything. You can’t just expect to table every opponent you play, especially against stuff like Necrons or Tyranids that is extremely resilient to the kinds of firepower Skyhammer brings.

          I’ve played against 7 Drop Pods + Skyhammer (the Battle Company version, no less.) Is it a good list? Sure. But it’s not really any scarier than a lot of the other things you can expect to face in the game these days. I doubt double-Skyhammer plus aggro (in the form of Pods, Bikes, Knights, or whatever) is going to be much better. I’m with Reece on this one.

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            Mike August 13, 2015 4:28 pm

            With two hammers you actually don’t have to go for an alpha. Since you can choose to wait til turn 2 thanks to the formation, you can beta at the bottom of 2 after their reserves come in (assuming you won the roll to go 2nd.)
            You can fit double hammer + 4-5 pods full of stuff in a 3rd detachment, making (let’s say 5) a turn 1 strike of the 4 asm squads and 7 pods, or just tossing 3 early pods on objectives in prep for the 2nd turn mess. You could have the passengers of those pods as scouts so they can outflank instead of being in the pod to even further contribute on t2, and leave their pods empty.

            No I never said it and the other power formations being duplicated would break the game. (I don’t think anything can anymore.) There’s a ton of variation in the top lists, and despite what most people think, the top players aren’t all rich enough to change their tourney list to “the new op thing” every week. I just think variety will go down a little. I estimate at just about any event of 30+ people, you will see at least one double choice in the top 3, and probably at least 4 in the top 10.

          • Avatar
            AbusePuppy August 14, 2015 1:04 am

            >you can beta at the bottom of 2 after their reserves come in

            Practically speaking, dropping the Skyhammer on turn 2 is going to work out pretty poorly for an army that brings other aggressive elements with it, as you suggested. (It works better when supporting something else as a gap-filler, but that’s not really relevant to the discussion of multiples of formations.)

            It’s certainly possible to run double-Skyhammer plus other stuff, but you’re missing the point: it’s not really that good of an idea to. The environment, as you say, is very diverse right now and there are lots of radically different sorts of lists you need to be able to match. Bringing more of the same might win you the game against some lists, but I think it will also mean that you will find that other lists just roll over you like a boulder. How does a Skyhammer list deal with Tyranids? Mostly, it just doesn’t. How does it deal with Summoning Circus? Again, rather poorly. Khorne Dogs? Decurion? These are all relevant, potentially tournament-winning lists that it has no real solutions to.

            Bottom line, duplicating formations just isn’t that scary of an option (and really, it never was.)

            > I estimate at just about any event of 30+ people, you will see at least one double choice in the top 3, and probably at least 4 in the top 10.

            I disagree; I think duplicated CADs will be the most common result, if anything, with a handful of other cheap formations/detachments (like Allied, Canoptek Harvest, Inquisition, etc) popping up, but for the most part very few armies will make much use of it. There’s simply too many strong options to over-invest into a single one of them.

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 13, 2015 4:21 pm #

          We played a Pod Army + Skyhammer, with like, 7 or something pods turn 1, it was nuts! I played Astra Militarum vs it and won quite handily, actually. You can find it in the Tactics Corner.

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    Hotsauceman1 August 13, 2015 8:49 am #

    How have you not have a stroke with how salty this article is?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 10:49 am #

      It’s tongue in cheek, Hotsauce =P

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        Hotsauceman1 August 13, 2015 11:31 am #

        I know. I just wanted to make a joke. Some does ring true, like the forgeworld list. Btw, does those include space marine vanquard list and dread mob.

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 13, 2015 11:43 am #

          No, those are really old.

          • Avatar
            Hotsauceman1 August 13, 2015 11:52 am

            But there arw pdfs on fw thar update them.

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    Lex August 13, 2015 8:52 am #

    I find the last sentence of # 3 interesting given that the premise of the poll is to change rules. Isn’t “find a way to play around it ” what all the anti-comp people say?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 10:50 am #

      You understand that this is a joke article, right, Lex? Raw Dogger is just being himself and cracking jokes.

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        Jural August 13, 2015 12:02 pm #

        The article is hilarious and a good read, but I took that part to be serious (perhaps in error) RawDogger prefers a game with more restrictions, and would rather players learned to play their armies within those restrictions rather then just adding in a formation/ally/CAD which removes the weaknesses.

        Not my opinion, but also certainly a reasonable position to take.

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 13, 2015 4:22 pm #

          Fair play. I read it as just joking, but that doesn’t mean that’s what Raw Dogger meant.

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            Jural August 13, 2015 10:59 pm

            Seriously, reading RawDoggers tea leaves is prolly not worth it, that way madness lies and all

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        Lex August 13, 2015 2:36 pm #

        No need to defend the joke or him. I wasn’t attacking. I just found the language used interesting, regardless of the purpose or target.

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    RobGuyDay August 13, 2015 8:58 am #

    Better get this “rawdogger” Chap to write more articles!

    Hmm Hmmm Hmmmmmm

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    AbusePuppy August 13, 2015 9:06 am #

    >the rest of us are going to be LOVING the duplicate Fire Base Cadres and Skyhammer detachments

    See, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. Most of the “good” formations are expensive enough- and specialized enough- that you don’t typically want to duplicate them. Can you run double-Firebase now? Sure you can, and that 1200pts nets you a grand total of fourteen models on the table (and static ones at that.) The much more likely effect on the game will come from the ability to take a pair of CADs, but as most 7E armies had ways around that already (via special detachments, etc) it’s not actually all that huge.

    >I say that you are looking for anything to game the system and find ways to play around your weaknesses instead of learning how to overcome them.

    True or not, I don’t think detachment limits are the big factor that is holding anyone back at this point. Also, the implication that gameplay is the “proper” way to win while list-writing is “taking advantage” of the rules strikes me as rather silly. They’re two sides of the same coin.

    >Someone fell asleep at the old computer when writing the Dark Angels codex and forgot to give characters the Ravenwing special rule

    See, from a thematic perspective I totally agree with you, and from an editing/game design perspective I’m mostly with you as well; it’s a pretty clear fuck-up on GW’s part. And even from a personal perspective, I’m happy to see it because it opens up options other than taking Sammael (who is still rather overpriced for a 3+/W3 character with mediocre offense.) However, we’ll have to see how it plays out from a gameplay perspective.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 4:31 pm #

      I agree with you AP, that the duplicate detachment issue won’t be as big of a deal as people think. I could be wrong of course, but after a great deal of thought, we determined it really wasn’t that much different than what we’ve got, now.

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        Jural August 13, 2015 11:00 pm #

        The biggest change will be double CAD; obviously good for Nids, but also awesome for Chaos… Finally 6 Heldrakes and 6 Maulerfiends!

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          AbusePuppy August 14, 2015 1:05 am #

          Meh, Nids already have CAD+Leviathan, double-CAD probably isn’t very attractive to them. You _might_ see double-Leviathan so they can take six Flyrants instead of five, but I’m not sure that’s actually better.

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    CaptainA August 13, 2015 9:28 am #

    Nice one Bruh! I’m just sad you didn’t use my picture as the hunk….

    • Avatar
      Raw Dogger August 13, 2015 9:37 am #

      But i have your picture by the side of my bed

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        CaptainA August 13, 2015 3:29 pm #


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          AbusePuppy August 14, 2015 1:05 am #


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    fluger August 13, 2015 9:36 am #

    You are the 40k Grumpy Cat.

    In the Grim Darkness of the Future there is only NO.

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    DCannon4Life August 13, 2015 9:43 am #

    2 Aspect Host Formations filled with 3×7 units of Warp Spiders (so, 42 Warp Spiders at +1 BS, etc.): 858 points. I’m sure I can find something ‘good’ to spend the other ~1000 points on.

    Of all the things that are OP about Eldar, the ‘any combination’ clause for the Aspect Host stands out to me as the most liable to abuse. Now Eldar players get to double down on it. Monty Burns style: Ehxcellent.

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      fluger August 13, 2015 10:04 am #

      I admit that that was the first thing I considered using with this stipulation removed.

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      Lex August 13, 2015 10:24 am #

      They could already put 42 Warp Spiders on the table with a CAD and Aspect Host. Do you think it’s the fact that not all of them could be BS 5 that stopped them?

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      White925 August 13, 2015 11:30 am #

      I don’t know if it will really be that much worse than what we had, and, is it worth the third detachment slot? It’s good sure, but I don’t think it it THAT much better than what we had.

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      Raw Dogger August 13, 2015 2:28 pm #

      I really think the only thing stopping people from doing that is the sheer amount of money that would take to get 42 Warp Spiders. If you go directly though GW that is close to $400.

      • Avatar
        AbusePuppy August 14, 2015 1:08 am #

        Money rarely stops the upper echelons of of 40K players; delays, sometimes, but there are people who spend a LOT on this hobby and dropping $400 can be a drop in the bucket for them.

        The reason why we haven’t seen 6×5 (or 6×7) Warp Spiders is very simple: it’s just not that good. They’re good units, sure, and the Aspect Host is a good formation, but they have a lot of weaknesses and Scatter Bikes do most of what they do for cheaper with more shots and ObSec at triple the range.

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    CharlieThottle August 13, 2015 12:19 pm #

    Might have to start assembling more Coven units finally.

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    Ibushi August 13, 2015 12:42 pm #

    Nice salty article, got me to laugh at my desk.

    Looking forward to seeing what the new detachment double-dipping will do..

    Personally I don’t think a ton will change.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 4:23 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t think much will change, either.

  17. jy2
    jy2 August 13, 2015 1:33 pm #

    I’m going to have to start doubling down on pyrovores and skyslasher swarms for my bugs and Possessed for my Daemonkin. Ah, the possibilities are endless!

  18. Avatar
    Mike August 13, 2015 1:40 pm #

    Things I’d still like to see addressed:

    -wraithknight base .000001 inches on a ruins area terrain getting awesome cover.

    -army with 1 archon as warlord, 2 DE warrior squads, and the other 90% of the army as eldar is still technically a dark eldar army for faction grouping.

    -“roll to go second.” Reece SAYS they see more wins from going first, but I think he’s letting roflstomp games like high-tier-eldar-guy vs. bob-who-showed-up-just-for-best-painted-and-best-sportsman skew his analysis. It obviously doesn’t matter who goes first in that game. In fact the stronger list would be happy to go first just to make sure bob doesn’t pull off some lucky turn 1 damage or take first blood away denying eldar guy a perfect score. In any closely matched game, it’s all about that 2nd turn.

    -I still like strength of schedule/opponent win % as a better tiebreaker than mission points. I think SoS is more relevant.

    That being said, that’s not a lot of issues to have with a format, so all in all things are going pretty well.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 13, 2015 4:26 pm #

      We have actual data from ITC games played showing that 51% of games played in the format result in a win for the player going first. It’s not just anecdotal or my opinion, actually. We got that from the LVO, measuring every game played (like, 1,200+ games logged).

      GC and FMC toe in cover should be addressed, I agree.

      The majority army list issue is something we are looking at for the ITC 2016 season. It’s just tough to accurately measure.

      Measuring SoS is tough to do for folks that don’t know how to calculate it. It’s not something readily available to everyone in the ITC.

      Glad you like the format in general terms, though!

      • Avatar
        Mike August 13, 2015 5:44 pm #

        Oh I’m not saying I doubt the statistic. I just have the hypothesis that if a measurement were taken from say…only the top 20% of tables after round 3 or so, (after those tables have started to really become representative of the top ranks,) then the statistic would be different from the overall one. My secondary hypothesis being that it would favor going 2nd. Perhaps you could measure that at a few events?

        Maybe I’m wrong and playing battle co has just gotten me used to the idea that going 2nd = a win. 😀

        • Avatar
          westrider August 13, 2015 7:10 pm #

          I have to say my experience has been much the same. There are some Armies with a very strong Alpha Strike out there, but for the most part, I’ve found I do far better in ITC Missions when going second.

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            AbusePuppy August 14, 2015 1:12 am

            I think it depends on a wide variety of factors, including army list and terrain. BAO heavily favored going second because both the primary and secondary objectives rewarded it while the exceedingly-dense BLOS terrain made it possibly to deploy virtually any army 100% out of sight of the enemy, no matter the table you were on. Contrawise, TSHFT favored alpha strikes due to its comparatively-light terrain last year; this year, who knows?

            Different armies will also weight things, as some armies (like Drop Pods) do much better on the bottom of the turn, while others (such as Seerstar) function more effectively when on the top.

  19. Avatar
    Alex Yuen August 14, 2015 11:02 am #

    this is so good.

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