Thoughts from a Terrible 40k Gamer – The Centstar

Hello all!

Rawdogger here to talk about the best way to go about losing with a winning army list.   This past weekend I was fortunate enough to have timed my once a year visit to my parents in Southern California with a cool team style tournament put on at Game Empire in San Diego where Reece and Frankie would be throwing dice.  I put together what I thought was a nasty Centstar list and got ready to smile smugly at my opponents while gating around the table blasting jabronies in the face with accurate and devastating grav weaponry.  What I got instead was a lesson in humility as I was torn to shreds by three able and skilled opponents while Reece looked on in disappointment at having picking me as his teammate for the event.  Throughout the event as I became increasingly desperate to not only prove myself to my teammate but to prove to my opponents how dominating my list was (at least on paper) I began to think of all the pitfalls a finesse list like the Centstar has for a low skilled player.  While a very powerful list in theory, there are several shortcomings the list has and I wanted to talk a little about those today.


First up, THE LIST.


3x 10 Scout Squads with Combi-Grav

4x Centurions with 3 Grav Cannons and 1 Twin Linked Lascannon and Omniscope

Imperial Bunker with Escape Hatch


Grey Knight Librarian Lv.3

5x Grey Knight Terminators with Heavy Incinerator

1x Dreadknight with Personal Teleporter, Heavy Grav Cannon and Heavy Incinerator, Hammer



Inquisitor Coteaz

Inquisitor with Psycotrope (sp?) grenades and Servo Skulls


So now that you’ve see the hunky and brilliant list above, here are some of the shortcomings of the list that I felt were the obvious causes of my losses and not my skill level at all.  Like, in any way.



Needs more Loth – If you are going to do a CentStar list you really, really need to take Sevrin Loth.  At the tournament I rolled on the Telepathy power 18 times and did not roll a single 5 to get the all-important Invisibility power in my first two games.  Let that sink in for a second.  When you strip down the Centstar to it’s basic components it’s actually fairly lackluster and VERY easy to take out.  2+ armor with no invulnerable save is not necessarily hard to counter and you can’t wrap Draigo ‘round that whole sumbitch.


Completely Dependent on Psychic Powers – As stated above, I had to go two games without Invisibility, and the fact that I am complaining about that makes me a bigger asshole than the guy who takes Cult Mechanicum with Blood Angel Drop Pods.  If you do not roll key powers or if you get shut down in the psychic phase by Daemons and their 40 warp charge dice you will have a really rough day.  You have so many points wrapped up in a unit that CANNOT miss a turn of action.  In my second game I failed to get Gate of Infinity off only needing one 4+ on 5 dice.  That right there cost me the game.  It’s hard to say that with a straight face but it’s true.  Not getting the power off meant that I not only could not execute my plan on taking out Pask and friend and causing his Baneblade to have to re-direct towards the new threat but it meant I spent a full turn trudging forward behind a hill and letting my opponent realize how much peril he was in and re-positioning his force to counter my assault.


Too Many Points not Enough Bodies – With the battlefields of the 41st millennium covered with free objective secured Space Marine transports and fast as shit Eldar hover bikes it’s hard to make a big impression with your 6 units on the table.  Yes, your Centstar when completely hulked up and invisible can nuke damn near any unit on the board, that is just one of perhaps 20 you will have to get through on the road to victory.  I brought 30 scouts in my list but to be honest they can’t do too much and get shot to hell fairly easily.  The name of the game in tournament play is and always will be scoring objectives.  It’s great and all that your super unit can kill anything just by looking at them but all the while your opponent is laughing all the way to the objective secured bank and wracking up them maelstrom points.



No Real Close Combat – Draigo himself is a beast, let’s not fool ourselves here.  He keeps his pimp hand strong and takes no lip from the jabronies of the 41st millennium.  Other than that? Nah.  Yes I usually take along a Dreadknight but to be honest he’s only really good at shooting and really he is just a T6 Terminator with 4 wounds and with the amount of Grav and massed strength 6+ shooting on the field he usually doesn’t last too long.   There really should be special place in hell for taking a Centstar list and complaining about the amount of grav on the field.


So there you have it.  I think I’m done with trying to make the Centstar work for the time being and will be heading back to my one and only love, the Imperial Guard (I’ll never forget their name) and let CaptainA be the undisputed master of the Centstar list.

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.

39 Responses to “Thoughts from a Terrible 40k Gamer – The Centstar”

  1. Cavalier August 27, 2015 4:37 am

    Dang Jason, sorry things went so poorly for you. You know from watching bat-reps with you I’ve noticed you always seem to take low model count armies, with big expensive units as the center-piece. Its so easy for things to go wrong with those type of lists, and very hard to recover when they do because you have so few models to begin with. I think IG is the way to go because of the sheer number of bodies, high versatility, crazy firepower and ease of working allies into your force. Anyway good luck buddy I’m rooting for you!

    • fluger August 27, 2015 7:22 am

      Yeah, and if you go with IG, don’t bring a f***ing Lord of War!

      Just swamp them with bodies.

      Seriously, I know I’ve said it before and you’re probably sick of reading it, but hordes are much more relaxing to play in that you aren’t expecting them to do as much.

      If your one blob fails, use the other. If that also fails, shoot it with tanks. If the tanks fail, at least you’re holding objectives…

  2. Plains of War GT August 27, 2015 4:42 am

    LOL.. Loved the Images you used!

    I personally thing the Centstar is over rated right now due to exactly what you touched on which is the mass amount of Obsec units on the board and just simply being out numbered.

    What kind of Guard list will you plan on going with?

    • Rawdogger August 27, 2015 7:15 am

      You know I think I’m heading back to my boy Steven Seagal aka The Stormlord. I like to load it up with preferred enemy heavy weapon squads and then flood the field with fearless blobs. Not the most effective but fun to play and really ‘feels’ like a guard army.

      • fluger August 27, 2015 7:24 am

        I was posting my reply advocating not using the Stormlord as you were posting. However, I’ve changed my mind because you named it Steven Seagal. Carry on.

  3. AChastain August 27, 2015 5:50 am

    SL allows you to cherry pick list power, but, how would you tweak this list participating in RTs that don’t allow FW? I’m curious.

    • jy2
      jy2 August 27, 2015 8:41 am

      Run Tigurius or the Conclave instead?

  4. jy2
    jy2 August 27, 2015 6:50 am

    Well, it’s a good thing that the #1 Grey Knight player in the ITC, or rather, centstar player, is flying under the radar. I’l let CaptainA take the spotlight. 😉

    I’ve long given up on those dreadknights. They just die to anything who even sneezes at them. As for ObSec, well, fight ObSec with ObSec. Currently I am running 4×5 scouts in land speeder storms. You know how to make them live, besides reserving them? Shroud from Loth + jink = 2+ cover.

    As for psychic powers, I’ve got 2 philosophies on that:

    1) Either make them really reliable to cast (i.e. via the Librarius Conclave w/Tigurius) or

    2) Try to minimize the need for them as much as you can (i.e. via Cypher for Hit-&-Run and Shroud) to take away some of the randomness factor.

    • Rawdogger August 27, 2015 7:14 am

      Oh you’re a Tyranid player at heart, Jim. The difference is CaptainA goes with Space Marines as his primary and you go Grey Knights so I thought of him first. Good points, though.

      • CaptainA August 27, 2015 8:52 am

        No way baby, I’m Grey Knights Primary all the way! And I’m coming for yah Jim! Just wait for those scores to get entered.

    • abusepuppy August 27, 2015 12:43 pm

      >They just die to anything that sneezes at them.

      Uh, I hadn’t realized T6/W4/2+/4++ was considered “fragile” these days. Two units of Scatter Bikes causing a single wound doesn’t seem THAT bad…

      I think you hit the nail on the head with psychic powers, although Cypher is a mediocre solution because of his inability to join with most units turn 1.

      • jy2
        Jy2 August 27, 2015 1:10 pm

        It’s not that they are fragile. It’s just that when they are standing wobbly on a hill and my opponent walks over to them and then sneezes, they literally fall down. So now I don’t run dread knights anymore unless they are on 200mm bases.

        • abusepuppy August 27, 2015 3:12 pm

          Ha ha, fair enough.

          • Thisisnotpancho August 28, 2015 6:19 am

            And Abusepuppy, you can join cypher with units during deployment, even though you have to infiltrate him. Reread the rules for infiltrate and ICs joining units during deployment. I think the major rules are:
            Infiltrators are deployed last, but still deployed. And ICs can join a unit by deploying within coherency during deployment. So as long as you infiltrate within 2″ of the unit, you can join them during deployment

          • IndigoJack August 28, 2015 10:32 am

            You might want to check out the FAQ from earlier this year. It says ICs with infiltrators can’t join units without infiltrate. The only way to join them is to be within 2″ at the start of your movement phase.

  5. fluger August 27, 2015 7:24 am

    As a Vikings fan living in Seattle, I find the image choices hilarious.

  6. Bellerah August 27, 2015 7:54 am

    Poor Reece, did you at least refund his entry fee? Losing yourself is all well and good, but having losing thrust upon you is just sad 🙁

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 27, 2015 9:03 pm

      Haha, I admired his warrior spirit! The Orks though, went 2-1, carrying the team =P

  7. Jural August 27, 2015 9:42 am

    At the end of the day, you would have done better if you had just rolled all 6’s.

    • fluger August 27, 2015 10:06 am

      I always give people the advice to roll better. They rarely listen.

      • Jural August 27, 2015 11:23 am

        People can be so stubborn, dice moreso.

    • Rawdogger August 27, 2015 10:48 am

      I really need to work on making those 2’s into 5’s on my dice. THEN you will have something to fear from the ol Rawdogg

      • Bellerah August 27, 2015 11:00 am

        This would work, as this would just bring you up from significantly below average to just below average as a roller, so it would be harder to catch on

      • Jural August 27, 2015 11:22 am

        I say go with the one all 5 dice, so you know you have Invis. Then make sure to leave it on the table all battle and forget to put it away.

        • Rawdogger August 27, 2015 12:27 pm

          My luck a judge would walk by and start playing with it and then notice it never rolled 2’s.

          • abusepuppy August 27, 2015 12:44 pm

            Just tell him you bought it off the internet and didn’t know.

          • Jural August 27, 2015 1:56 pm

            As long as you also have a dice with all 1’s, a dice with all 2’s, etc, it will all balance out in the end (under certain assumptions)

  8. Joshua Taylor August 27, 2015 12:40 pm

    As the originator of the Cent Star. I will say that I abandoned my brain child with the onset of 7th edition maelstrom missions. But man was that army sweet back in the glory days of only eternal war.

    • Joshua Taylor August 27, 2015 12:58 pm

      For those of you who are wondering the original list was as follows:

      Farsight Enclaves,

      Commander Farsight
      Tau Commander (target Lock, Weps of choice)
      Commander Torchstar
      3x Crisis team with some upgrades (points depending)
      4x single crisis suits (upgrades optional)

      Space Marines,
      10 Scouts
      6 centurions with grav and missiles / omni-scope

      Inquisitor (book that lets you scout, and 3 servo skulls)

  9. DCannon4Life August 27, 2015 8:28 pm

    “…the fact that I am complaining about it makes me a bigger a$$hole than the guy who takes Cult Mechanicum in Blood Angel Drop Pods.” I have read, and enjoyed, your posts for well over a year now. This is the best. I owe you a drink, if ever we should meet. 🙂

  10. Asmeralda August 27, 2015 8:54 pm

    Rawdogger the thing I like most about your posts is your brutal honesty with yourself. Many players in many games will blame all things under the sun for their losses. But you will doggedly (pun intended) look and see where the weakness in a list lies. Good luck on the move back to your beloved guard. Hope things go better for you in future tourneys.

  11. Reecius
    Reecius August 27, 2015 9:04 pm

    Steven Segal is coming back, yes!!! Hard to kill, baby!

  12. IndigoJack August 27, 2015 9:16 pm

    Here’s a crazy thought, what if you put the centurions inside the stormlord?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 27, 2015 9:26 pm

      Er Mur Gurd….

    • Kartr_Kana August 28, 2015 4:23 am

      Is the Stormlord the one that gives embarked troops Relentless? If so then don’t bother with Centurions, use grav Devastators! 210 points gives 4 grav guns, that can overwatch, only take up 5 transport points and can still shoot full range/shots (If it’s the one that counts as standing still for embarked units shooting).

      • Lord Krungharr August 28, 2015 6:33 am

        I think the storm lord is an assault vehicle or open topped, but I don’t think it makes the passengers relentless. Cool tank though. But it ideally stays still to fire twice the bullets from its Vulcan guns.

  13. Nightman August 27, 2015 11:02 pm

    You need a Rough Rider star with invis and the works.

  14. iNcontroL August 28, 2015 8:44 am

    good article. Horrible pictures.


  15. Jural August 28, 2015 11:46 am

    I like that an unspoken assumption in this article is that Pete Carrol is the guy who takes an overpowered list to a local even which is very fluffy, then loses in the last game when he makes a cocky mistake… Probably to a Sisters player who isn’t even aware he can ally.