List-Tech with Petey Pab: A Tale of Two Undefeated Lists

The list-tech segment is a new series of articles designed to focus on unique, competitive lists crafted by established players in the community in order to provide new and experienced players with tactics, tips, and tricks to use in the heat of battle.

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Keep calm and make a list

Hey guys! Petey Pab here debuting a new series everyone will hopefully enjoy. When I first started 40k I always had a really hard time both finding competitive lists online and also getting feedback on how they work or how to use them. So I decided to gather a bunch of lists (mostly from the LVO) and pick the minds of their generals for thoughts and insights into playing and winning games of 40k.

In this first list-tech article I am going to be covering two lists that went undefeated in days 1 & 2 at the Las Vegas Open. One of them won the entire event, and the other is a list that didn’t make the top 8, but still went undefeated with a 4-0-2 record. Both of these lists were piloted by great generals with completely different backgrounds in competitive 40k.

The Questions

  1. Tell us a little bit about your army, why did you go with certain units? Why did you pick this army list in particular? Is there anything special about your army that you want to highlight?
  2. What expectations did you have for the meta? Were there any armies you were worried about? What match-ups did you feel most comfortable with?
  3. Hindsight is 20-20 and looking back on the LVO was there anything you would have changed about your list to better accommodate the meta you experienced?
  4. What are some tips or tricks you have for people who might want to start using your army?


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The First List:

Alex Harrison’s 45 Warp Spiders

Alex Harrison Eldar Warp Spider Spam

Eldar CAD

  • Autarch: Skyrunner 85
  • 3 Scatbikes 81
  • 3 Scatbikes 81
  • 3 Scatbikes (Only 2 scatter lasers) 71

Eldar Pale Court Core

  • Farseer: Skyrunner, 115
  • 5 warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 warp spiders, exarch 105
  • V-wrath Battery, D-cannon 55
  • V-wrath Battery, D-cannon 55

Aspect Host Auxiliary

  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105

Aspect Host Auxiliary

  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105
  • 5 Warp spiders, exarch 105

Wraith Construct Auxiliary

  • WK Skathach, 2x deathshrouds, scatter laser 330

INQ detachment

  • Inquisitor, 2x servo skulls 31

Here it is, the winning list of the LVO and the reason why the not so itsy-bitsy spiders are crossing the pond and dominating tables. One thing I would like to highlight is that there really weren’t a lot of warp spiders in eldar lists at the LVO and now that this list has come out I am really interested to see how top players in the meta are going to counter these kind of lists for the 2016 season. Anyways, here’s the list, and Alex Harrison’s take on the meta, and how his list fits into it.

Question 1) The list itself isnt so unique in terms of design. The Spider spam was developed about 8 months ago by ETC players worldwide, although only a few players really abused them. Since the ETC in 2015, Warp Spider lists have been appearing quite a fair amount in the UK meta. I am unsure on the US meta, but can only assume it is similar. Now having been to LVO, I was suprised to see such a lack of Spider lists, as people assumed they wont be strong with one jump! So onto the units. As you can see there is a large assortion of spider units. What I wanted to do was try and gain as many spider units as needed, whilst still retaining the ITC detachment rules and limitations on more that 2 of the same formation. The release of Doom of Mymeara helped that somewhat with the new Pale Court core choice for the Eldar Decurion. By selecting this, I was able to get more spider units and a farseer, whilst still utilizing the max number of Aspect Hosts that I could. I developed this idea with my friend Matt Robertson from Allies Of Convenience, we spent long hours discussing the best combination for this formation. The end result was 9 units of spiders which gives the army not only firepower and maneuverability, but a massive edge in null-deployment. Not only can it move fast, but deep striking in can catch some opponents off guard when going first or second. (Yes, even if I went first I was putting them in reserve.) As for this army list in particular, I wanted to utilize the MSU approach and play the mission. The ITC missions allow MSU armies to prevail unpunished, which is the opposite with ETC missions (which contains a score of 40% KPs in every mission). ITC does not have this, so an MSU approach to objectives is huge, especially since you could be rolling an objective which is accross the board half the time. The army is fast and flexible to play any mission! The specialty of the list comes from multiple sources, but some I want to highlight:
  • – The D-Cannons! These were nothing more than sacrificial units. They are cheap, small to hide and T7 so fairly durable. I deploy them and 1 or 2 units of BS 4 spiders to stop myself getting tabled turn 1 and wait for the cavalry. The biggest thing about this also is some of the missions were to have 3 units in your deployment zone, so by having 4 it allowed me to get this objective if I rolled it turn one, whilst having a unit of spiders to jump up and get another. This kept me up on maelstrom even though my army was in reserve.
  • – Next is the Wraithknight. People assumed the melta cannons were needed for such an anti-infantry list, but the hellstorm gives you a strong way of dealing with bunched up units and deathstars. Not only this but lets be honest, there’s not much spiders cant deal with (even knights, jumping behind them etc). The hellstorm gave me a huge threat thanks to the ITC invis nerf.
  • – Last is the Spiders & Bikes. The spiders dont need explaining they are the workhorse The Obj Secured Scat bikes are nice to contest/caputure objectives late game and give me some range or angle shots!
Question 2) I knew there would be a fair few deathstars, but I decided against taking a celexus as I would just play the mission. I also knew gladius is popular in the US. In the UK, Gladius doesnt do so well, and spiders, whom kill marines and rhinos like they were nothing, was no concern for the list. As for matchups which I’d struggle against, Daemons of the deathstar variety can be problematic, as all the beams and slash attacks can be very annoying. Daemons + Nids are also frustrating and flyrants are hard to hide from with 1 jump. Comfortable matchups were other eldar (as I didnt see anyone else really spam spiders, but scat-bikes which are easy to deal with) and gladius. I played eldar 3 times on day 1!!!
Question 3) Not at all. The list had been refined over a long period of time, and although I hadnt played the list more than 2 times before hand, I had experience with spiders to know how they work. I’d say the only thing I might have changed would perhaps have been the Inquisitor, but the skulls may always come in handy in that one game you face a fully scouting army!
Question 4) As spammy as the list might be, the list can be wrecked in combat. ALWAYS pre measure each and every unit. This is time consuiming but you need to maximize your chances of staying out of combat. Move the spider unit into 12 inches MAX range, whilst keeping one further forward if you need to put wounds on models further away. Make sure you shoot then run, only run then shoot if you feel the need to.
Utilize the deep strike rule with the Autarch, it was pivitol in most of my games. When I went first vs Sean Nayden, I utilized the -1 to my reserves, keeping most of my army off the board turn 2, to wait for his to turn up! This meant that I could still alpha strike his army even though I was going 1st.
Dont feel like you cant sacrifice a unit of spiders or two, you have 9 units in this army, use them for objectives!
The rest comes down to experience and player ability really! Just play different armies and get a feel for how you should play going first or second. Above all else, make sure you hit the gym. You’ll get major back issues moving those spiders around all day, trust me ;)!
The Second List 
Goatboy’s “We are still relevant!” Space Marines List
Grey Knights Nemesis Strike Force Detachment + Blood Angels CAD + Librarius Conclave Ultramarines Version
GK Nemesis Strike Force
GK Librarian, Lvl 3, Daemon Hammer, Storm Bolter, The Liber Daemonica
Purifiers X 10, Incinerators X 4, Daemon Hammer X 1

Purifiers X 10, Incinerators X 4, Daemon Hammer X 1

Strike Squad X 5, Daemon Hammer X 1
Blood Angels CAD

Tactical Squad X 5, Meltagun, Combi-Melta, Drop Pod

Tactical Squad X 5, Meltagun, Combi-Melta, Drop Pod
Tactical Squad X 5, Meltagun, Combi-Melta, Drop Pod
Drop Pod
Drop Pod
Drop Pod
Ultramarines Librarius Conclave
Chief Librarian Tigurius
Librarian, Lvl 2, Force Axe
Librarian, Lvl 2, Force Sword
This is a really fun list that Thomas AKA “Goatboy” could have made the top 8 with if just a few minor things had gone his way. The list uses a variety of rules from three different marine codexes to make a versatile army that can Deathstar, MSU, Alpha Strike, or just refuse to die. I want to try a list like this in the future and reading Goatboy’s analysis really helps. Also props to goatboy for bringing together three arguably worst Space Marine Chapters in the game right now and making a dominant list with them.
Question 1) Basically my “team” – Team Texas – wanted me to play something that wasn’t Death Star focused.  We have been talking about a GK Purifier list for awhile and this is what I ended up coming up with.  It tries to get around some of the issues with utilizing a ton of Novas, having some anti psyker options (Psych out Grenades) and be a big pain in the butt for Daemons and other armies.  Plus it lets me drop in and set everyone on Fire.  I don’t like to roll to hit and thus I wanted an army to take some of that out of the equation. The Trick is to utilize the Novas of Cleansing Flame.  It hits every unit within 9 inches with a Str 5 Ap 4 Ignore Cover 2d6 hits.  That seems pretty good and lets me hit some of the other bigger named armies out there – like Gladius and War Conclave and hopefully win on the sheer amount of Dice I get to roll.  I can pop a ton of rhinos, hit things hidden in cover, and just be a big pain in the butt.
Through testing I really need 4-5 Cleansing Flame options at most. This let me give the book to the GK Librarian that grants me an extra roll on the Sanctic table. With 4 rolls I had a good shot at getting another.  Plus the added ability to reroll 1’s when trying to cast the powers is a big help.  For those wondering – I combat squaded the Purifiers – which gives me 2 Lvl 2 Mastery level little 5 man blocks.  This let me start on the table with 19-20 WC dice.  The Council lets me get the fixer powers I need to ensure I win a lot of match ups.  
Here is a list of powers I wanted – needed.
  • – Misfortune – With this on and some novas I can take down Knights.  As well as put a ton of wounds through on big units.
  • – Shrouding – This is what wins me games versus Destroyer Cult Necrons as well as give myself a little base with Drop Pods providing me cover.
  • – Endurance – can be helpful to keeping my mini casting group alive
  • – Invisibility – can always be fun.
  • – plus I can always roll for more Sanctic powers to get Vortex for the Necron match up and other things as needed.
Tiggie is a big push as it lets me get my powers pretty reliably.  Plus his extra wound is good when Perils come knocking on his door asking for lunch money.
Question 2) 5 Knights is a pain in the ass.  I have to get lucky a bit – Meph has to go crazy and then I can win.  His ability to go str 10 is a big bonus especially if he gets some extra attacks from Warp Speed.  I took out one knight that way – and if I would have not failed casting it the first time might have gotten more.  He can also easily take out a Wraith Knight with Force and his str 10 attacks. I wanted to play Gladius or Daemons – but they dodged me all day.  I ended up playing versus 3 Necron players and my testing with Ben Mohile helped me beat them up.  Shrouding, force, and Vortex are all things Necrons do not enjoy. Tau feel like a rough match up and I think I have to go big to deal with them.  If any purifiers survive they start to escalate damage pretty quickly with the Novas.  They can clear out so many things that they don’t need to charge that much.  It does help a lot as they normally Castle up.  Plus Force and Hammer hand can easily start to remove Storm Surges if they decide to get to close. Beyond that I did have some issues with Wolf Star but I think testing I could either rein them in. The more Psychic heavy ones are easier as I just throw some grenades on them and force perils on their Librarians.  Once I knock a few of them out – force plus other options should remove them.  It is why I started to add in Daemon Hammers to units in hopes to pop a WGBL or two.
Question 3) I didn’t really think of any changes I needed. There are some FW things that might work well – but then again I would have to start them on the table. The Points are so tight in the list that it is hard to rein it in.  I think removing some Incinerators and getting some Halberds might actually work out better.  They have the +1 to their Strength and adding in HammerHand gives me an option to get through a Knights front armor without Misfortune.  Plus it could help versus other match ups.  You could also look at taking Loth instead of Tiggie as he can just take shrouding – but I think having access to Misfortune is just so strong right in the meta.
Question 4) My advice for anyone playing this list is to figure out what you need spells wise before you start. This way you can figure out your strategy and what you can take out.  You can put out a ton of damage that first turn and cripple your opponent.  Fun tricks is you can move out, cast your Nova and run back in the running phase to hide.  It isn’t nearly as sweet as the Tau but it works.  Pods are a great way to “steer” opponents around and let you get multiple hits off.  Plus they can pile up and take a Vortex to the face.
Spell rolling order
  • GK libbie – All on Sanctic – want Flame or Gate and maybe Vortex
  • Meph – 2 rolls on biomancy
  • Tiggie – Divination for misfortune, then Telepathy for Shrouding/Invis
  • Libbie 1 – Telepathy or Sanctic for Vortex/gate
  • Libbie 2 – Telepathy or Sanctic depending on what the others roll.
got a list
Did you just win an ITC event? Is your list dominating everyone it crosses? Did you just recently do well with a unique list at a large event? I want to hear about it! Just send it to along with the answers to the questions above (in your own context) and it may be analyzed in future articles!
Please do not send your army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

15 Responses to “List-Tech with Petey Pab: A Tale of Two Undefeated Lists”

  1. fluger March 1, 2016 9:56 am #

    This is awesome. Love reading stuff like this. Keep it up!

  2. Reecius
    Reecius March 1, 2016 9:56 am #

    Love Goatboy’s list! That is great to see them doing well in some skilled hands.

  3. CaptainA March 1, 2016 10:23 am #

    Nice article with two very different lists!

  4. Jason Wolfe March 1, 2016 11:03 am #

    The Tabletop Tactics guy said that a true Warp Spider spam list is always going to win in ITC because ITC always has at least two giant line of sight blocking pieces of terrain. As long as there is plenty of LOS hiding terrain around, Spiders don’t have to accept being shot at. The LOS blockers give a big buff to Warp Spiders that other formats with less mandatory LOS blocking don’t give. And of course, Warp Spiders are really good at playing to the mission.

    • Reecius
      Reecius March 1, 2016 12:04 pm #

      Yeah, any unit that can JSJ benefits from LoS blocking terrain. Not all ITC events use that type of terrain, but BAO and LVO do.

      • fluger March 1, 2016 12:11 pm #

        I know I used those big billboard terrain pieces at TSHFT to my advantage with my Trukks and Stormboyz.

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 1, 2016 12:20 pm #

          Yeah, there are ups and downs to LoS blocking terrain but I think that the benefits FAR outweigh the negatives. Yes, it absolutely does give an advantage to any unit that can move twice, but without it you get giant shooting galleries that are no fun at all.

          • abusepuppy March 1, 2016 11:27 pm

            Shooting galleries are no fun, obviously, but having two or four pieces of BLOS terrain on every single table that are 8″-12″ long and NEVER have any windows on the first floor is going to significantly distort the meta.

    • Sheit27 March 1, 2016 12:31 pm #

      I just enough people to spam warp spiders that I can run 24 broadsides and kill them all with SMS spam and not lose to other lists 😀

      • Sheit27 March 1, 2016 12:32 pm #

        really though, I’d like to see what riptide wing + hailfire = 16 TL SMS shots each riptide does to some warp spider spam.

        • Reecius
          Reecius March 1, 2016 1:14 pm #

          Yeah, SMS are a solid counter to Spiders.

          • abusepuppy March 1, 2016 11:28 pm

            Too bad Tau aren’t a real army anymore.

  5. Arrias March 1, 2016 11:09 am #

    Now that is some serious list analysis. Thanks for excellent read guys.

    I love those purifiers, but getting them up field safely without allied pods can be a challenge.

  6. Deuce11 March 3, 2016 5:13 am #

    Ooo h I like this! More please

  7. xTHExCLINCHERx March 4, 2016 6:42 am #

    I’m sorry but anything that has “Spam” in the list name doesn’t exactly get my attention… way to ‘forge the narrative’ there..

    Now, the second list featured here certainly does. Who would have thought that you could put some power armored dudes on the board, sprinkle in a great amount of psychic presence and do well… to be honest, it’s hard to look at that list and immediately understand how it did so well, but after analysis, I love that list!

    Seeing a list like this in the hands of a skilled player is the kind of thing people want to see on a battle report video! It’s not stale (battle company) or predictable (deathstars/spam) and the uniqueness of it has great appeal.

    Great article!

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