Art of the List: Preparing for an ITC Event

Author Robert Chandler talks about the importance of preparation before attending an ITC event.

Often competitive players put a lot of stock into list building for a tournament. When someone wins a major event, players will often scramble to find the list and to figure out how they did it. The truth is, top players can win consistently with nearly any decent list, but that is not to say list building isn’t important. It most certainly is. People want to design and build lists that give them the best option to win with their given faction. List building is one of the more important aspects of competitive 40k. So how do you go about designing a winning list?

Know the Missions

The first step in building a list for an event is to review the missions. Most tournaments will provide their players with a set of “primer” missions which will closely match the types of missions you’ll find at their event, or the actual missions that will be featured. ITC missions are set in stone and many events around the country use them, making the process even easier. Let’s take a look and break down the 2016 ITC missions:

– Every single mission in the ITC mission pack uses objectives

– 5 of the missions require some form of interaction with the enemy’s deployment zone for maelstrom

– 5 of the missions require some method of holding your deployment zone for malestrom

– 5 of the missions require you to be able to destroy enemy units for maelstrom

Based on these facts, your army needs to be mobile, durable, be able to capture and hold objectives from your opponent, and be able to drop enemy units quickly. Your army probably won’t be able to do every single thing listed here. In list building, focus on 2 or three of these things to design your list around. The one thing universally you need in your army is the ability to score objective points, which is why Objective Secured is so beneficial in these formats. Tau monster mash is quite killy, but it hasn’t really won anything because it’s ability to interact with objectives is limited in comparison to, for example, a space marines gladius strike force which is full of objective secured units.

Tools to Deal With Multiple Threats

In order for your list to be successful, you need tools within it to deal with multiple threats. Understand also that you’re probably not going to have tools to deal with every single threat type you might face in the game. For example, if your army is grav heavy and you go up against Daemons, it might result in a bad matchup for you. Don’t put all your eggs into a single basket. Grav weapons, for example, are really awesome against a lot of builds, but struggle mightily against many others. It’s impossible to predict what everyone will bring to an event, but if you’re unfamiliar with the meta, you can bank on seeing some imperial knights, wraithknights, riptides, and flyrants. Your army really needs to have some form of answer to these in your list or you’re not going to have a fun time.

Build Around Your Strengths

If the strength of your army is capturing and holding objectives, then design your list around that theme. If you want to build a death star style army, understand that you’re going to have to really start putting in some damage to your opponent by the second turn. Build and play to your strengths and do not try to make up for your shortcomings in the game. Space Marines battle company, for example, doesn’t have much in the means of survivability, but losing a 5 man tac squad, or a drop pod, or a rhino isn’t going to bother them that much because their army is full of units. They will likely play to their strengths which is holding more objectives than you, and will probably forego trying to wipe you out. Don’t try and force your list to do something it’s not capable of in the game. Pick what you want to focus on in the missions and build your list around that.

Synergy and Combos

It’s very important for your army to have synergy. whether it’s the ability to manipulate reserves with a reserve heavy army, or relying heavily on psychic powers with lots of warp charge. Many list designs have built-in synergy, while others require some help from allies or other units in the army. A group of Warp Spiders hitting on 2s is dangerous, but that same group shooting a target with Doom cast on it from a Farseer is deadly. While not a requirement, it’s good to maximize the synergy in your list. You know running a Farseer in an Eldar list is good because they are in all Eldar lists. The reason being they provide a lot of versatility in their ability to buff other friendly units. That said, don’t be completely reliant on these things. Use them to aid your army rather than a crutch to lean on.

In closing, the most important thing you’ll do outside of playing in the event is building your list. It is a crucial step and the first to having success at your tournament. Great players build great lists. Think about how your army can manage the missions, play to your strengths, and build around synergy and before you know it you’ll be winning those RTTs and who knows, maybe even a major one day.

What are some of the ways you prepare for an ITC 40k event?  Anything Robert left off the list? Let us know in the comments!


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.

34 Responses to “Art of the List: Preparing for an ITC Event”

  1. Avatar
    Heldericht August 30, 2016 3:11 pm #

    I love the ITC, but the ITC missions rely way too much on objectives and disproportionately favor obsec. It gives armies like battle company an unfair advantage (free points aside). That combined with counting scoring at the beginning for you next turn means not only do you not get to count objectives for you last turn, you also are going to have a bad time if you don’t bring obsec.

    This is why you see things like Guarddar, because people are obligated to bring obsec troops, and outside of battle company, the best obsec units are jetbikes.

    I feel like we need to take another look at the ITC scenarios. I’m completely fine with favoring MSU over Deathstars and such, but the way things are setup, it is much too favorable towards obsec. This is why Battle company is consistently in the top 5 at ITC tournaments (aside from Eldar… because Eldar.)

    That’s something only a few armies can reliably combat or even bring to the table. It’s not a good balance.

    • Avatar
      tag8833 August 30, 2016 3:44 pm #

      Much of that has to do with bad objective placement rules. In many missions objectives are placed in the deployment zones. Meaning if you have to score Objective 2 and that is in your opponent’s deployment you are SOL unless you have Jetbikes or Demon Summoning.

      If the Objective Placement was fixed or all objectives were in no-mans land it would allow armies with less mobile troops (Guard, Orks) to compete with units like Jetbikes and warp spiders that are hyper mobile. Every time you let a player place an objective beside a wall or on top of a multi-story ruin you are buffing warp spiders and jetbikes. They get enough buffs from GW.

      • Avatar
        Heldericht August 30, 2016 4:29 pm #

        You are right that is a factor is as well. But even if objectives were in no man’s land, not having obsec and scoring points means things like Battle Company will always have the upper hand. How is it fair for, say, a KDK player’s Gorepack’s flesh hound unit, when you have to pop a rhino plus kill every single marine inside to count the objective as contested?

        If every faction had easy access to a battle company style formation, I’d be ok with this, but just favoring marines playing battle company is not good design.

    • Avatar
      Kevin lantz August 30, 2016 3:59 pm #

      You nailed it in one, the marines with on sec on everything and free transports just wrecks the balance for itc. It’s something that overwhelmingly favors marines in itc

      • Avatar
        Kevin lantz August 30, 2016 4:00 pm #

        They are the only non cad formation I know of that even gives on sec

        • Avatar
          Heldericht August 30, 2016 4:25 pm #


        • Avatar
          abusepuppy August 30, 2016 4:56 pm #

          There are actually a fair number of formations that give ObSec; Space Marines have several others, Guard have something like three or so, Tyranids have a couple, etc.

          ObSec is a powerful tool, but it alone isn’t what makes Battle Company good. It’s certainly an extremely powerful formation, but there are lots of other armies that get similarly-powerful effects; sadly, that is simply the state of 7th Edition. Blaming it on ITC is to completely blind oneself to the actual problems facing the game, because in an environment that didn’t use progressive scoring the way ITC does Battle Company would only be _more_ powerful than it is now by virtue of simply Tank Shocking onto every objective on the final turn after spending 2-3 turns off the board.

          • Avatar
            tag8833 August 30, 2016 7:15 pm

            Tyranids have exactly 1. It is Skyblight, and it requires 2 Harpies. That would be like BC requiring 2 max squads of tacticals with no special weapons that can’t take a transport.

            It is good, but not worth comparing to any of the marine formations. There was such a different design philosophy at play.

          • Avatar
            Kevin Lantz August 30, 2016 7:42 pm

            I think when I reflect on all my matches, I find the battle company one just too good for what it does. I play tau pretty exclusively, sons of horus an exception, and it’s just one of those things where to put out fire power I can’t run with ob sec, and the battle company puts comparable fire power, but with better numbers to take casualties, and whose dmg output is quite better.

            My other stumbling block is of course necrons, and that’s the sheer resiliency they have.

            honestly if battle company didn’t give ob sec to the rhino’s/drop pods/razor backs, I’d consider it more balanced than it is… although I’ll always be bitter there’s not a tau formation that grants free transports and obsec to everything within it.

          • Avatar
            Heldericht August 30, 2016 8:31 pm

            Abusepuppy, are you seriously comparing Battlecompany to other formations with obsec? Let’s be real here for the sake of this discussion.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy August 30, 2016 10:44 pm


            No, I’m not saying those other formations are as good as the Battle Company. But the claim that “there are no other non-CAD formations […] that give ObSec” is wholly false, and that fact gives the lie to the idea that the Battle Company is strong just because of the presence of ObSec. It’s a significant factor, of course, but the fact that other formations have ObSec and don’t see use goes to show that it’s only one part of many.

            Indeed, the Demi-Company itself (which is the “real” formation, as the Battle Company is actually just a special rule for the detachment) sees very little use outside of the Battle Company because simply having ObSec on its own is not that big of deal. The main strength of it is in the sheer number of resilient (and potentially-dangerous) models that it puts on the table.

          • Avatar
            Heldericht August 31, 2016 6:22 am

            You are right, Demi company doesnt see as much use. But thats because battle company is already a thing, so no one really bothers. If BC didnt exist, that alone would have a huge affect on the meta as other armies always have to thing about how they’ll deal with obsec spam when list building. It’s also because of the mission design favoring that style of play.

            You are also right in that obsec is not the only problem with battle company. It is a perfect storm of factors which include the free transports, obsec and the lopsided mission design. This is why I am advocating reducing the number of obsec units and/or changing the missions so other armies dont feel obligated to bring obsec to stay relevant unless they are above the power curve themselves (War Convo/Warp Spider Spam)

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy August 30, 2016 4:52 pm #

      You do realize that of the six rulebook missions, five of them are about scoring objectives, right? I’m not sure how ITC’s missions somehow change that balance.

      ITC’s missions certainly change things because of _progressive_ scoring, but that’s to stop the game from coming 100% down to who makes the best last-minute objective grabs; it favors armies with board presence and ongoing effect on the game over armies that simply want to kill every (or nearly every) enemy model or those that try to hide as much of their army as possible in reserves so the enemy can’t affect them. In short, it favors a more interactive game state.

      If you’ve been paying attention to the rankings, Daemons, Tau, and Necrons as well as deathstars have all had strong showings at tournaments in the past year as well, and none of those armies have particularly good ObSec or even scoring presences.

      Also, Guarddar? What? That isn’t a thing and you don’t see it winning tournaments or even placing well.

      • Avatar
        tag8833 August 30, 2016 7:38 pm #

        Take a look at the Nova missions for an idea of how progressive objectives can be handled in an interesting way. They also have good objective placement rules, and better tertiaries.

        They are better in basically every way, and have been for years now. Time for ITC to do an upgrade.

        • Avatar
          tag8833 August 30, 2016 7:39 pm #

          ETA: I know that NOVA will be won by a deathstar. NOVA has an army comp and FAQ that favors deathstars. It doesn’t mean their missions aren’t better.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy August 30, 2016 10:45 pm

            >NOVA has an army comp and FAQ that favors deathstars. It doesn’t mean their missions aren’t better.

            Er… if you KNOW that the format heavily favors one build, why would you consider it better? Do you think that playing against deathstars is inherently more fun than other armies?

          • Avatar
            Vercingatorix August 31, 2016 6:11 am

            He’s saying the missions favor progressive scoring but the ruleset favors deathstar. So basically battlecompany always maxes primary but deathstars have access to full invis and 2+ re-rollable and multiple psychics casting the same power in the same unit. The missions can still be great even if the FAQ rules that the most points effective way of killing people is a giant blob of screw you.

        • Avatar
          Vercingatorix August 30, 2016 8:39 pm #

          I have to agree with you. I absolutely love the NOVA missions. We play NOVA missions with ITC ruleset half the year.

          • Avatar
            tag8833 August 31, 2016 7:36 am

            That is also my preferred way to play.

      • Avatar
        Heldericht August 30, 2016 10:20 pm #

        I really don’t appreciate your condescending tone, Abusepuppy. You do this on pretty much every comment section, where you talk down to people. If you stop and listen for a second you might learn a thing or two that even you might not know. We all follow the tournament scene too.

        Speaking of which, Guard dar is certainly a thing. Placed 6th in the BAO this year. A basic google search would have shown you this. There was an article on this on Frontline Gaming just over a month ago. Just dismissing it without knowing what it is is exactly the kind of attitude that leads to no productive discussions.

        Comparing ITC missions to book missions is disingenuous. ITC exists because GW’s missions and rules were flawed in the first place. Comparing to them is meaningless for balance purposes.

        If by Tau doing well, you mean Riptide Wing, then yes. Other than that there have been sporadic wins with crisis wing, but Tau struggles very much these days. It’s because of a host of reasons like giving up 2 important phases of the game, etc but that’s a whole other discussion. Necrons have only had a strong showing at the LVO earlier this year and then a recent win last month but other than that they have been mostly absent. But I digress.

        There are plenty of really good mission packets out there that we can learn from. Like tag8833 said, Nova is a good example. Even if it favors deathstars, doesn’t mean the mission design is good. We are not advocating just copy pasting it, but learning from their structure.

        Midwest Conquest, this year, used a great mission packet where you CHOSE your primary mission. So for example, if you’re a Deathstar vs Battle Company, the Deathstar can choose kill points, but the BC can still choose objective control. Both sides get missions that play to their army’s strengths instead of trying to control objectives vs two dozen obsec units. It’s not fun design.

        It is willfully ignorant at best and blatantly arrogant at worst to assume that ITC’s missions are perfect. We should strive, as a community to improve constantly. With more people playing in the ITC format than ever, there is more reason to take another pass at our missions and see what we can do better.

        We can always do better.

        I suppose should know better than argue with people in the comments section. But, perhaps naively, I’d like to think that we hold ourselves to a higher standard of discourse here than on other websites at least.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy August 30, 2016 10:57 pm #

          >Placed 6th in the BAO this year.

          Yes, and made essentially no other appearances at any other tournament. A single top eight placing does not an archetype make.

          >Comparing to them is meaningless for balance purposes.

          Then what is the “non-flawed” version of the missions that you are comparing ITC to? It seems like using the rulebook missions as a baseline is the natural starting point, unless you can suggest something more appropriate.

          >It is willfully ignorant at best and blatantly arrogant at worst to assume that ITC’s missions are perfect

          You’re strawmanning my position pretty hard here- I never said ITC missions were perfect, merely that they were better than most of the alternatives that exist.

          >We can always do better.

          Okay, but in order to do that we have to agree on a definition for “better,” otherwise any attempt at progress is meaningless. You say ITC favors objective-based scoring too heavily, but I don’t think that’s at all a given since lots of non-Battle Company armies (and, as I said before, lots of armies with weak scoring presence) have done well at ITC events. To contrast, NOVA was _entirely_ dominated by deathstar armies, with virtually no other presence in the top 8 at all; I don’t think that’s an indicator of good balance at all.

          I’m not familiar with Midwest Conquest, so I can’t comment on their mission pack in any useful way.

          • Avatar
            Cyle August 31, 2016 6:34 am

            Midwest used the Renegade format. Pick your primary (KP/Objectives/Progressive Objectives/Assassinate) and Pick 2 out of 12 Maelstrom objectives every turn with unnerfed D/2++. I am not a fan of it at all. Malestrom is trivial to get every point, and it allows some armies to dodge missions that could be a problem (Kill points for BC, objectives for a deathstar). Also assassinate is stupid and no relic.

            It’s a very deathstar heavy format.

          • Avatar
            Heldericht August 31, 2016 9:36 am

            Guarddar is a symptom, I didn’t make it an archetype. I was just illustrating how important Obsec has become that static armies must find ways to get some fast MSU or not have a chance. That’s not the theme of every army, but they are forced to play as such. It’s also why you see Librarius Conclaves and Psykana divisions summoning demons.

            On the subject of which, the restriction on Come the Apocalypse Allies is also another arbitrary restriction. Because Imperium summons Daemons regularly in the ITC. All it does is bone factions with restrictive allies matrices (Poor poor Nids).

            On topic, we don’t have to compare to any ideal mission packet. There won’t be one. I’m only interested in improving what we have.

            My intent was not to strawman your position. It was more of a general statement about people jumping on anyone who tries to give some constructive criticism about anything ITC related around here. It’s understandable since it’s the FLG website, but still. I can see how it came across as me labeling you. For what it’s worth, my apologies.

            ITC is certainly leagues better than most alternatives and I’m not arguing that. I’m only arguing that we can improve on what we have. The thing with non BC armies doing well in ITC events is that a lot of these events are, in-fact, heavily altered from the standard ITC format. They count for ITC points but they aren’t using the bog standard ITC rules. For example the Alamo GT. I’m going off of events that straight up used the ITC format like the recent Hammer of Wrath GT or BAO and Battle Company certainly dominated (even leaving aside Brandon Grant), along with the usual Eldar lists.

            The only other armies that are batting above average without obsec are War Convo and Daemons, both getting a plethora of free upgrades or free points via summoning. If there was more kill points in the missions, it may be a little more manageable? Perhaps.

          • Avatar
            tag8833 August 31, 2016 4:30 pm

            I wasn’t a fan of the Renegade mission that they used at Midwest Conquest, but the biggest problems at Midwest Conquest was the army comp and FAQ. Neither one was good, and it made games way, way less fun.

            I think the mechanics involved in the Renegade missions are overall better than the mechanics involved in the ITC missions, but the balance was a little out of whack. On day 1, all 3 of my opponents played the same primary against me (Kill Points). I think I won my primaries in 5 of 6 games, the only one I didn’t get my primary was the game I was basically tabled.

            Because most people win the primaries, the secondaries are way more important, and because you can pick them it is fairly easy to list tailor to them a bit.

            Overall I think the renegade missions have many good mechanics. They just need better Primary options that are easier to deny.

        • Avatar
          AngryPanda August 31, 2016 6:16 am #

          I got to admit I never even heard of Guarddar (these names are getting weird..) but ther eis a huge tendency to blame ITC for the crap GW does. Which is only fair since the whole community has a huge “hate the player, not the game” issue and that is the only logical step.

          Yet while ITC can be blamed for a lot of stuff (it is sort of worl famous as “The Space Marine meta” and I think that too) the issues with the Battle Companies are not of their making. A combination fo Maelstrom and End of game scoring is used in tournaments all over the world, including the ETC. The only thing that could be more or less introduced to fix this is kill points, which would hurt Battle Company, minimum units of Eldar Jetbikes/War Spiders etc.

          But even that would just cause another shift (possibly back to Deathstars), the game is just too much of a mess right now to fix imbalance just with missions.

          • Avatar
            Heldericht August 31, 2016 9:47 am

            I’m not blaming the ITC for the problems in the game. They can’t make Dark Eldar suddenly top tier and I’m not saying that.

            But things that the ITC CAN change is giving more army types a chance. This is the original thesis of the ITC ruleset anyway. In the ITC there are some of the most restrictive set of rules in place to reign in Deathstars. They made it happen because it was a problem.

            They can do it for Obsec/MSU spam too. The ruleset can still lean in MSU’s favor, just take it down a notch so other army styles have a chance without having to shoehorn in summoning demons. When every non-bc army has to take bikes or jetbikes or daemon summoning because everything revolves around scoring maelstrom, it’s an issue.

            Adding just 1 or 2 more kill point missions would help a ton, sure.

      • Avatar
        Happy_Inquisitor August 31, 2016 10:38 am #

        Personal opinion – the ITC missions are very single-paced and similar. By which I mean that for the most part a list that is good at one of them will be good at nearly all of them – and the “exception” is the kill point mission which still has a significant progressive objectives element to it. I would love to see far greater variance in the missions.

        This comes back to the topic of the blog; the more all the other variables are set to low variance the more dominant list building becomes as a factor. My experience of ITC tournament play was that the only variant that mattered was my opponents’ lists, the scenarios were highly similar and the terrain functionally identical. A bit too repetitive for me!

  2. Avatar
    Lord Krungharr August 30, 2016 5:09 pm #

    There are soooo many cool missions and deployment setups in the supplements now I’d enjoy a more varied mission grouping. Some with just kill points and zones to occupy and other scoring options besides plain old objectives. Might see more army variety that way.

    • Avatar
      Vercingatorix August 31, 2016 6:14 am #

      I think it’d be nice for a one-off thing but I don’t know if I’d like a brand new mission set every tournament.

      • Avatar
        Vercingatorix August 31, 2016 6:19 am #

        for instance. At one tournament they changed the nova missions where you place objectives and ran it with a different deployment type. Seems simple but what it ended up losing me the game because my opponent had 8 points of objectives in or within 6 inches of his deployment zone and I had 4. It lost the game for me as my game plan was to camp my deployment zone for progressive. There’s a lot more opportunity for wildly unfair missions at a tournament if we swap a lot.

  3. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr August 31, 2016 12:12 am #

    Nice article, some solid points there.

  4. Petey Pab
    Petey Pab August 31, 2016 4:54 pm #

    Hello everyone! I just want to add my two cents in here.

    > Abusepuppy, I love you man, but sometimes you can come off as a bit arrogant and condescending. I have been described the same way, especially when it comes to talking about 40k tournaments. Having said that I think you have the closest opinion here to my own with the exception of one thing. “GuardDar” (a term I will take credit for coining) are important not because of Carlos’ list, and not because of the prevalence of ObSec, but because they represent a scary concept. An overcentralized tournament scene.

    True, Carlos added Eldar to a guard rmy because of their lack of mobility. This kind of list-building is indicative of a competitve term called “splashing”, and not an unhealthy meta. Players will always “splash” things into their lists to make them better. See: Flyrants, Warp Spiders, and Librarius Conclave. The GuardDar list is not unimportant, and certainly not a flash in the pan. Keep an eye on Carlos in the NOVA invitational, I am sure he won’t disappoint.

    We also had a meta where “Come the Apocalypse” allies were allowed. Does anyone remember flyrant spam, O’vesa Star, 6th edition? In tournments which allow CtA allies I want you to count the number of Flyrant allies being used. It will be high, I promise.

    Also, I get where you guys are coming from on ITC criticisms. I personally get a little bored of ITC missions as well, and do enjoy playing different mission formats. On top of that, yes, they are more simplified then NOVA missions and are probably even a little more linear. Now, I can’t speak for Reece here, since I was not around for the ITC’s birth (ew) however it seems to me that the ITC missions were designed this way intentionally. Every day I get emails from grateful TOs telling me that our ITC format boosted their local scene. I think this is in large part due to the simplicity of the ITC missions. They are one page, and outline a very clear simplified version of the missions found in the core rulebook.

    I have no problem with the NOVA format, and do love the complexity and customizability of their missions, but you cannot deny that the ITC missions are a bit easier to pick up. Remember, the vast majority of players that play with ITC missions are more on the casual side, and the ITC has to cater to as many players as possible.

    TL DR: GuardDar = Min/Max Splashing, ITC missions are to NOVA missions, what a cheap beer is to fine wine, and I love you all.

    Also, imagine the outrage if tomorrow GW were to hard nerf the Battle Company? Now imagine how much worst it would be if a third party were to make it unplayable? Remember, Space Marine players make up about a third of the entire 40k community if not more (not an accurate statistic).

    • Avatar
      tag8833 September 1, 2016 9:49 am #

      Petey Pab. Definitely the Nova Missions have a slightly higher learning curve. But I don’t think it is nearly as high as the current challenge of how ITC generates and scores Maelstrom points. I run regular events, and we’ve used Nova Missions, and ITC missions. Sure, people had problems with the Nova missions in round 1, but it is nothing compared to the problems we see regularly with the generating and scoring of ITC maelstrom objectives. The obvious fix was to generate and score on your player turn, but instead it became your next player turn which adds complexity and paperwork the missions don’t need.

      When the ITC Missions were originally created they were modern, and a good attempt to include Maelstrom mechanics into Tourney Missions. The 1st version of them made Maelstrom fairly irrelevant (First Blood + primary wins every mission), and that got fixed via a vote, But then the ITC quit innovating. The mission design is stagnant. From it’s very inception it favored Eldar, and now that so many players have so much experience with ITC missions we see more and more list tailoring towards the things favored by the ITC. Namely, Eldar, Demon Summoning, and Gladius, and to a lesser extent War Convo and Renegades.

      I mentioned earlier the Objective placement rules that reward extreme mobility at the cost of blobbier / more durable armies. Another example can be found in Reece’s Tourney report when he took out his Militarum Tempestus. He gave up the Warlord tertiary in every single mission because MT require their warlord to be squishy and on the frontlines. Every single ITC mission has the warlord tertiary despite it being a tertiary the punishes specific armies (Orks, Astra Militarum, Tyranids, etc) over armies that don’t rely on their warlord for offense (Space Marines, Eldar, Renegades) or can keep their warlord off the table (Demons). This was a design choice to favor certain armies over others. It may not have been apparent at the time, but if you play in 2-3 ITC events you’ll start to recognize it. All of the top players are aware of it, and list tailor to it. It is the same reason that 1st blood is a terrible fixed tertiary.

      RE: Gladius:
      It has been about 6 month’s since I’ve seen a poll on the topic of formations that didn’t end with a majority saying “Ban them All” or “Relegate them to Apoc”. People don’t enjoy Gladius. They don’t enjoy Aspect Host. They don’t enjoy Riptide Wing. Go ahead, ask that question in the next ITC update poll. I dare you.

      I would support fixing individual formations. I even have a WIP proposal for that:

      But you are right that road is more fraught with perils than just fixing the ITC army comp by splitting off Apoc into a separate format, and bringing no-Formation, No-Superheavy 40K back as an alternative format. Yes I have a proposal for that as well:

      I have a specific view of it based on my local meta, despite spending a lot of time on the road this year at other events. In my local meta, there is no tolerance left for the ITC missions or Army Comp. The ITC revitalized our local tourney scene, and has done so much good for our community (especially the part that aren’t Hardcore competitive players), but the failure to adapt, and fix obvious flaws has left us ready to move on. We will stick with the ITC FAQ, which is still the best in the business, but it would be (and almost was) death to our local tourney scene to not improve the army comp and the missions when such a large majority is demanding it. Might be we are unique in the ITC, but based on the conversation surrounding this article or the conversations I have at events with other players, I doubt that is the case.

      It is so weird to think of the ITC as it is now being so resistant to / fearful of change. When it started, the ITC had lots of innovation.

    • Avatar
      Heldericht September 1, 2016 2:10 pm #

      Thanks for your input, Pablo, it’s always great to see you weigh in. I understand your perspective that things should be straightforward. But that is not an excuse for not changing things. We can change AND keep things simple. We already play 40k, which is a pretty complicated game to begin with. I think people can keep track of missions just fine.

      I think Tag8833 hit on a lot of good points already, but I’d just like to add that Gladius being played by Space Marine players is a poor excuse to keep it untouched. We don’t have to directly nerf it, but we do need to change missions that favor it and similar builds with mass msu/obsec. It just isn’t fair to other playstyles.

      Regarding Come the Apocalypse allies, sure you’ll see some more Hive Tyrants on the table, but not nearly as many as you’re thinking. There are tournaments that run without that restriction all the time and I haven’t noticed much of a difference, please correct me if I’m missing a trend somewhere. In any case seeing some more nids on the table would be a good thing. They have all but disappeared these days save being played by the few hardcore. Either way, as long as demon summoning by Imperium is a thing, there is really no justification for denying come the apoc allies.

      I would love the ITC to tackle some of these issues in the next vote. We do need some changes or people will start looking for alternatives.

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