Salt City Gladiator Games 40k Championships Recap


Say “Hello” to one of ITC’s Newest GT Level Events!

Hello, folks! Captain Morgan from Forge the Narrative here to poke some fun at all those haters that say that 40k is dying out.

Salt City Gladiator Games is Now Utah’s ONLY 40k Grand Tournament!

Salt City Gladiator Games (SCGG) started in 2014 as an attempt to bring the convention experience to Utah. Not dedicated just to 40k, we also hosted the Utah Cup for Warmachine, and had several events for Infinity, Guild Ball, and Malifaux, as well as the Salty Dwarf painting competition. In the first event, we had about 14 people at the 40k event, and since then it’s been encouraging to see the 40k competitive scene grow in Utah. With steady growth each event since then, we were able to reach that 28 person benchmark and reached GT status with our event this year. Our 40k Narrative Event has also only grown since it started. Considering that we were sharing a weekend with the Bay Area Open, I tip my hat and bow to all the players who showed up and brought their game to the SCGG this year and helped us put on the best competitive 40k tournament we have had yet!


40k Tournament Army Composition Recap

I have to say that I was more surprised by the army composition at this tournament than I was for any other that I have run in the past. The fact that despite breaking records for attendance, we did not have a single Codex: Space Marines (SM) primary faction – yep you read that right: ZERO SPACE MARINE PLAYERS were at the SCGG in 2016 (Though our best Utah SM player and top SM in ITC Thomas Hegstrom Oakey was stolen by the BAO so maybe that’s where they all went). So, instead we had a very strong showing of Chaos and Xenos players. Here’s the breakdown for primary detachments:

Chaos Demons: 3

Imperial Knights:  1

Eldar: 6

Chaos Space Marines: 3

Necrons: 3

Chaos Renegades: 1

Orks: 1

Tau Empire: 3

Cult Mechanicus: 1

Space Wolves: 1

Dark Angels: 1

Grey Knights: 1

Dark Eldar: 1

Astra Militarum: 1

Harlequins: 1

Tyranids: 1


Player Standings and Tournament Results

As one would expect, Eldar made a very strong showing, especially in an environment where their “nemesis” (read: Space Marines) was very absent. With the ITC vote for GW’s FAQ to be held off until official, you’d better believe that there were copious amounts of Void Shield Generators present as well. Due to a local player preference and the timing of the ITC votes, Death From the Skies was being used in the event (no dogfight, but with air superiority). We were also using unmodified Space Marine psychic powers, though there were not many Space Marines around to make use of them. It was cool to see players adapt and use the new rules, especially as it’s something that we’ll have to get used to seeing more of as time goes on. Here’s the breakdown of placings (first to last from top to bottom):

First Name

Last Name Club Primary Detachment
Dustin Chesmer Chaos Daemons
Ryan Polson Imperial Knights
Adrian Sanders T&T Eldar
Russ Tanner Gitz & Gutz Eldar
Ben Cromwell Team Zero Comp Eldar
Matt Johansen Team Zero Comp Eldar
Ryan Burwell Gitz & Gutz Chaos Space Marines
Trent Baxter Necrons
Caden Humpherys Gamer’s Enclave Necrons
Seth Rourk Demises Renegades
Rich Kilton Double Dutch Rudder Orks
Christopher Talley Tau Empire
Sean Yeates T&T Cult Mechanicus
Bryan Gordon Space Wolves
Aaron Fyffe Eldar
Ben Gabbert Gamer’s Enclave Dark Angels
Deron Gross Grey Knights
Wes Hall Chaos Daemons
Dallin Burns Dark Eldar
Micah Merkley Chaos Daemons
Eric Peterson Eldar
Zach Gill Necrons
Bryan Humpherys Gamer’s Enclave Tau Empire
Ash Palmer Tau Empire
Caitlin Hawker Chaos Space Marines
Zac Johnson Chaos Space Marines
Borf Cline Astra Militarum
Mark Vachon Harlequins
Shawn Gately Tyranids


Congratulations to all of the attendees! We had some great games and some nailbiters during the course of the rounds. We’ve got a full album of action shots and mid-round gameplay updates on the SCGG Facebook page (also via live videos) that you can see too for some highlights. You just have to pay the price of looking at my ugly mug for a few minutes as I walk between tables…

Hobby on Display

I’ve always held the opinion that you can’t say you’re good at 40k with an unpainted army – it doesn’t have to be an expert paint job or even painted by you, but by having a painted army you are showing respect to your opponent. We have always tried to maintain our emphasis on a strong hobby showing as part of the games, and this year the players did not disappoint! Over the years the players have been improving their hobby showing, which is only a good thing for everyone who participates. We had some EXCELLENTLY painted models and armies on display here. Here are some of the photos of the armies as they were set up for paint judging:

























To the Winners go the Spoils…

We had some excellent prize support at SCGG (over $1,000 worth of prizes for 40k alone!), courtesy of our many sponsors – including Frontline Gaming who graciously provided 2 F.A.T. Mats as prize support for our event. We were also able to hand out some custom-made plaques to the winners. Prizes were awarded based on the ITC criteria, meaning that they had to meet the minimum paint requirements to take home trophies and prize support. Take some time to congratulate the winners on being a part of the best Gladiator Games that we have had yet!


Renaissance Man – Ryan Polson


Best General – Adrian Sanders


Best of Show – Ryan Burwell

Another Year to Prepare for More Carnage…

With SCGG’s continued growth, you can count on the event picking up even more steam as time goes by! We are committed to delivering the ultimate 40k experience, so keep your eyes peeled for announcements for next year’s events! Keep track of the announcements on the Facebook page and watch for more new content on, and you can message us there or on the Facebook page (linked above) with questions. 40k and ITC is only growing from here, so be sure to get your piece of the action at the burgeoning home of 40k in Utah as we set our sights on becoming the go-to Tabletop gaming destination in the Rocky Mountain area.

Meph Head
Captain Morgan

About Chris Morgan

Chief Librarian of Forge the Narrative, Blood Angel enthusiast, and slayer of traitors and heretics, he'd rather be playing 30k right now. Follow him @sanguine_morgan on twitter and you can be twits together!

13 Responses to “Salt City Gladiator Games 40k Championships Recap”

  1. Drachnyen July 27, 2016 3:42 am

    Good Stuff Chris!

    Seeing how the ITC community was quick to remove Death From the Skies in the last vote, I am glad that some events (like yours and ATC) have begun using it.

    What was your impression of using death from the skies? Did it change the meta much? A lot of folks (including Reece) spoke very negatively about it and how it would negatively affect flyers.

    My personal opinion is that we should embrace change, adapt to changing times and updated rule sets

    • ryan July 27, 2016 8:59 am

      not hating, because your opinion is just as valid as mine, but you refer to “we” in your last paragraph and how “we” should accept change… can feel free to play whatever ruleset you want at your club/store, but people voted on this and voted it down. This should be a non issue until the next vote and we can see where people stand on it than. Till than, play a ruleset that makes you happy.

    • Chris Morgan
      Chris Morgan July 27, 2016 10:44 am

      Hey Drach, thanks for the question! DFTS actually didn’t have a large impact on the games played. What I liked about it was the list diversity it brought with it. I saw armies with flyers that wouldn’t have had flyers otherwise bring them for Air Superiority and flyer wing buffs. Anything that shakes the status quo is good. I was admittedly very disappointed in the community vote this time around. Luckily ITC is flexible enough that you can adjust the format to suit your local player base and allows some TO discretion.

      I definitely think it’s good for the game. Flyers aren’t a real problem in 40k. Even looking at ATC, there was an entire team of flyer spam players and they did not get very far despite the pseudo-uproar their list composition caused.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 27, 2016 4:26 pm

        You should have been at ATC Chris, might have changed your outlook on it a bit when you see DftS taken to the extreme, lol. It’s not about how well they do per se, but about the play experience it provides. Non-interactivity is not positive for organized play in whatever form it takes.

        • Drachnyen July 27, 2016 7:41 pm

          Well the good news is we can now see it in action.

          Next time there is a vote, let’s find the correct way to balance this supplement instead of banning it outright.

        • Chris Morgan
          Chris Morgan July 28, 2016 12:13 pm

          There’s a bit more to what you are saying there. Saying “taken to the extreme” is the key part of what you just said. Everything in 40k can be taken to the extreme. I will say it’s very strange to hear you give flyers your usual Death Star criticism. When it comes right down to it, *anything* taken to the extreme will create those kinds of experiences.

          I’ve talked to the FTN crew and some of the others I know who were there – like the General Staff team who matched up against Chicago in the first round – and the general opinion is that it added something new to the game and adjusted list composition, and not that it was overly broken or un-fun. The bigger complaints that I heard had to do with players manipulating the system or judges to their advantage. Teams slow playing or calling judges to boost other teams. That had little to do with flyers.

          But lets give your point a fair consideration – an army list consisting of pure flyers or excessive numbers of flyers will kick around the middle tables and frustrate people. Certainly catering to those folks and acknowledging a concern is completely valid. Of course, a death star does the exact same thing, but it’s not been banned. The idea hasn’t even been approached in the same vein as the DFTS supplement. Now we have rules for the FW flyers, which was a part of what influenced that vote in the first place, but that is no longer a concern. Death Star lists show up in the top and middle tables and provide that same sort of experience, but no vote to ban them has been afforded to the community (i.e. banning Battle Brothers). Honestly I think that is the right move – the banhammer should only be used in the most necessary circumstances – and that in the name of greater list diversity, we should look at things less with a hammer and more with a scalpel in the first place.

          Take the wraithknight. The only reason that SHV bans exist in ITC and several other formats is because of the points-efficiency of a wraithknight. However, we put a blanket out there that prevents people from bringing more than one SHV/GMC instead of addressing the one model that is causing the concern. Hammer vs. Scalpel. The scalpel solution would be to ban more than 1 wraithknight, or even better to be brave and say it costs 100 more points in ITC (or at least provide that as a vote option). Instead we have the ban and then when things like IK or Stormsurges come up we write specific exceptions for them to allow for more than one in a game.

          If the concern is over multiple super heavies causing a bad game experience, then why are writing exceptions to the rule? Because we are only really worried about the one. You remember adepticon? It was like a ballroom dance of Eldar WK’s and Stormsurges.

          What I’m basically trying to say is that a sweeping ban in the name of player experience is bad for the game and bad for list diversity. A Death Star can’t engage with a flyer wing much in the same way that every other list can’t engage with a death star. But, we are only banning one. Let’s be surgical – address the concern in a way that still encourages list diversity.

          The argument that “the rules are too good” when talking about flyer wing benefits is a bit of a stretch as well. When you’ve got something like the Optimized Stealth Cadre, which ignores arc and cover at a bonus to ballistic skill just “because” and requires no positioning (not to mention it may as well be flying because you can force whatever is targeting you to shoot snap-shots), and then compare it to a flight pattern, which requires skill-based positioning (which can be mitigated if not blocked by clever opponent unit positioning and anticipation) then there’s a very inconsistent thought process involved with that assertion. I would rather see something that is more skill-based than something that is automatic and requires very little thought to accomplish.

          Is 12 flyers too much? Some would agree. It obviously didn’t help Chicago win games, which means that fewer people are going to try and game the system like that, but if you are worried about the game experience then put a sensible limit on flyer wings instead. Say two flyer wings or less, or even one flyer wing/wing formation. It’s a fair compromise that I would be open to, though in general I agree with less restrictions and limitations and encourage people to roll with the changes which won’t stop coming.

          I’m addressing this to you, Reece, not because you are able to arbitrarily change things, but because you and Frankie are involved in selecting the questions that the community votes on. You may not control the votes but you do determine the topics. ATC’s format is not ITC’s format, and I think it’d be a mistake to base a 1v1 tournament off of a 5v5 team tournament with pairings system and whatnot like ATC’s. I also wouldn’t emphasize too much the role of a team who tried (and failed) to game the system for a win as a standard on which the majority of middle-table players to be judged by.

          We can safely assume that we all know the “play the format that you like” conversation is had. Naturally, you know that I’ll continue to support your efforts to build the community at large. I would be remiss if I did not at least provide some perspective on what is going on. Not everyone is brave enough (or willing to do the work) to modify or adjust a format like ITC once its adopted. It’s certainly much easier to do it the “vanilla” way than to write exceptions.

          My apologies for being verbose 🙂

  2. Dasbeets July 27, 2016 5:22 am

    that play space looks awesome. So much room for activities!

  3. bassface7 July 27, 2016 7:43 am

    Am i misreading that or were there no Space Marine players at this event? That seems nuts – i don’t think i’ve ever heard of an event this size without a single Space Marine player! (Though i suppose 1 Wolf, 1 DA, 1 GK sort of count)

    • Chris Morgan
      Chris Morgan July 27, 2016 10:47 am

      You’re reading that correctly. I was astounded as well. If we had the “average” number of SM players then I would have potentially run out of space. I’m already working on securing more terrain and tables for next year. There’s real potential for further growth. I’d love to see this become party central for 40k in the Rocky Mountains.

  4. fluger July 27, 2016 9:19 am

    Well done! Keep up the good work and the event should keep growing!

    • Chris Morgan
      Chris Morgan July 27, 2016 10:47 am

      Thanks! That is the plan 🙂

  5. Lord Krungharr July 27, 2016 6:44 pm

    I like the looks of the Death from the Skies flyer formations and coherent arrangement bonuses, but don’t much like the looks of any of the other stuff. That might be a good compromise to use those elements?

    I agree with Reece, having a player do a bunch of crap without the other interacting at all on it is pretty much plain non-fun. Kinda why I don’t like Kings of War now too, no answer required from the enemy at all during my turn.

    • Chris Morgan
      Chris Morgan July 28, 2016 12:36 pm

      I’d certainly rather see reasonable compromise than an outright ban, but the non-interactivity of flyers is the asian soda size in comparison to the US Trucker 100oz problem that is death stars. Not sure it makes sense to limit the smaller problem.