Bay Area Open 2017 Top 8 Players, Factions and Awards

Another year, another exciting Bay Area Open conclusion. After a grueling 6 rounds we have crowned a champion, named a Renaissance man, and even have pictures of the best painted armies! Thank you to everyone who attended. You all made this awesome event possible.

There were too many things to talk about and each of us have our own stories and recollections. So, if you want more of an event summary tune into Signals from the Frontline, and my competitive 40k podcast Chapter Tactics this weekend for more BAO coverage! You can also get your tournament coverage fix by going to our page on Facebook and looking at the archive of streamed games from this year’s BAO. While you’re at it download the BCP Player app for your Android or iOS device to view all of the submitted lists for this year’s event with a paid subscription. Also, as a reminder, you can also view lists for all sponsored events for free for 72 hours. So that you can follow along with all the happenings while the event is going on!

Without any further ado, I present your Top 8 best players: 

#1) Brandon Grant (Astra Militarum): This year’s defending champion managed to shake things up with a repeat performance with a brand new style of army, in a brand new edition. With the first ever repeat victory at the BAO under his belt and a top-notch competitive 40k team to help him practice expect Brandon to continue his momentum going into the rest of 8th edition and the the season.

#2) Mitch Pelham (Astra Militarum): Mitch represented the Mugu Legion well, by being the only other 6-0 player at the event. Though he fell short of the title by 9 points he submarined through out the event with a low point day 1 showing and finished strong, beating his final round opponent by 1 (!) point. His Astra Militarum play was truly top notch, and the travel to the bay area turned out to be well worth his time.

#3) Doug Johnson (Adeptus Astartes): “Warboss Dugg” proved he wasn’t retired yet and showed exactly what kind of list Space Marine players should bring in an exceptionally balanced list that saw not a single non-troop unit being picked twice. As if doing well with a highlander list wasn’t enough Dugg also picked up the best overall score and went 2-1 over day 2 with victories over Geoff “Incontrol” and 5-1 Aaron Hayden from the same team as Brandon Grant. Oh, and he also lost to Brandon Grant in round 5. Not bad for someone who still forgets what edition he is playing (joking, of course).

#4) Paul McKelvey (Tau): BCP app master, Left Coast Corsairs team member, and Greater Good advocating are just some of Paul’s many past times. Paul piloted a Tau list with just 4 Tau commanders (Trust me, it’s a good thing) and proved you don’t need just drones, Tau commanders, and an Y’Vhara to win with the boys in blue. Look at Paul to make many mroe statement performances as he optimizes his Tau list while also adding his own unique flair.

#5) Adam Gati (Ynnari Eldar): Adam almost proved me right in my prediction on last week’s Chapter Tactics  when I said I predicted Aeldari in some fashion would win this year’s Bay Area Open. Obviously I predicted incorrectly, though that still doesn’t take away from Adam’s performance. He was 1 point (come on Adam! ONE POINT) away from beating Mitch and going 6-0. Though he would still unlikely not win the entire event going 6-0 would have been nice for a player who is always flirting with a top tier tournament performance. His strength of schedule didn’t help either. He had the hardest schedule out of anyone in the top 8 with his opponent’s going a combined 27-9 through out all 6 rounds.

#6) Domagoj Mitrovic (Chaos Daemons): The Croatian Chaos Czar himself, took some time from his busy schedule of crushing scrubs, and painting amazing freehand murals on models to show us Americans how to properly run the boys in the warp. Like Adam Gati he was also 1 point away from going 6-0 and had a very real chance at taking away the belt from Brandon. Dom was a true gentleman and master of the game and I hope we see more of him out of these west coast events.

#7) Michael Snider (Genestealer Cult): The second player from Relentless D to make the top 8, Michael Snider repeated his previous top 8 appearance with another strong top 8 finish. Like Brandon Grant, he switched armies completely and finished strong in a new edition. Look out for more from Relentless D. They are currently sitting at the number 2 best ITC team, with plenty of season left.

#8) Kyle Watson (Dark Angels): Rounding out the top 8 is Kyle Watson with an interesting Dark Angels list. Of course he brought every Caliban lover’s Space Marine Hearth throb Azrael, as well as bringing in a healthy dose of Venerable Dreadnoughts and 2 Fire Raptors. He had the 2nd hardest strength of schedule in the top 8 and like most of the players who went 5-1 had a legitimate shot and winning everything and getting his name etched into the coveted Belt of Russ.

Best Painted Armies and BAO Photo Dump

Michael Fox and his amazing Ork army won best painted. Michael also had a strong showing going 4-1-1 proving not all painters are terrible at the game.

Steve Sisk and his Ultramarines 2nd Company came in 3rd best painted. As a former Belt of Russ winner, it’s nice to Steve back in the competitive scene after a 1 year hiatus.

That’s all folks! Thank you to everyone who attended and everyone who watched my Facebook live streams and supported me. I truly love this community and can’t wait to see it grow in this brand new edition. 

(Photo Dump Below)

Don’t forget to buy your SoCal open tickets!


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.

109 Responses to “Bay Area Open 2017 Top 8 Players, Factions and Awards”

  1. Lardus July 31, 2017 11:34 pm #

    Nice! Thank you for the report 🙂

  2. Adam N August 1, 2017 12:05 am #

    Pablo is not sure what your looking at but Paul’s list had 5 commander and was pretty much just them drones and a Y’vahra lol

    • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 8:49 am #

      Adam, check the facebook live stream. Also, yeah, he had more than 4 commanders. I forgot about the ones in his detachments. No Y’vahra in sight though. Only half right. Get it together man. 🙂

      • mortetvie August 1, 2017 10:32 am #

        Maybe I am not as tech savvy as my Aeldari but how exactly do I do that (check the facebook live stream), and what would I be looking for? lol… =)

        • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 12:43 pm #

          Lol, don’t feel too bad. Aeldari are masters of the webway after all. All you have to do is follow the link in the article above. Second paragraph.

  3. Arabviking August 1, 2017 1:05 am #

    Thanks for the report guys, would it be possible to have the pictures in a gallery-album style? I have two click two links to see one picture :v

    • rvd1ofakind August 1, 2017 5:47 am #


    • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 8:47 am #

      They are in Word Press’s gallery style. Otherwise it would take an hour to scroll to the comments, and I would still be uploading and editing pictures.

  4. Alex August 1, 2017 5:53 am #

    The most burning question I have right now is the role of having first turn in competetive 40K. How many of those who went first did end up winning the game?

    • Subclavian Steel August 1, 2017 7:15 am #

      I know Michael and Brandon both built their lists to survive going second and each had second turn multiple games while still winning. Paul’s list would also do well going second since he just needs to survive one turn then can beta strike his commanders.

      • Reecius August 1, 2017 11:15 am #

        Exactly, the lists that went the distance were not alpha strike lists.

    • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 8:50 am #

      People who built their lists to go first lost or won their games very quickly. Going first mattered in a lot of games, though I think it came down to list building more than the edition.

    • Reecius August 1, 2017 3:06 pm #

      It is far too early to make that call. We weren’t using even a single codex.

  5. Jimmy August 1, 2017 6:12 am #

    Paul McKelvey had six commanders and two units of tactical drones and nothing that resembles a unique Tau flair.

    • happy_inquisitor August 1, 2017 12:58 pm #

      Stealth Team with Homing Beacon used to drop a close-range Crisis team in your face. Paul has been playing ninja style Tau for years now, no reason why he should change. It is a valid and flavorful approach to Tau play.

      His list does seem to have more Commanders every time I see it, looks like tuning his list mostly means adding Commanders 😉

      • Matt August 2, 2017 11:46 am #

        Yeah, it’s just a shame that the only way to play a competitive battlesuit list right now is by spamming commanders.

  6. Threllen August 1, 2017 7:30 am #

    I’m surprised Domagoj’s list was the first time I’ve seen someone else use a blue. Most of the time you hear about brims on the internet people don’t mention the fact they’re even more amazing if you take a single blue horror within the squad. You’re paying an extra 3 points for the fact you can just nominate him as the caster of smite so you don’t lose a brim every turn just due to casting powers.

    • Venkarel August 1, 2017 10:27 am #

      This is not the first time this tactic was used. There are two veins of thought on this. Per Justin Curtis (team Happy), why bother with the blue just use the points for more brims, as they often do not cast every turn. Or per a few daemon players I know, pay the extra and get the blue to cast. ATC and ETC list were split between the two.

      • Reecius August 1, 2017 11:21 am #

        Yeah, most Brim units had a Blue.

      • Threllen August 1, 2017 11:27 am #

        I’m a fan of the “include a blue” strain of thinking unless you absolutely cannot spare the extra 3 pts. Are you going to cast a spell every turn? Probably not. But all it takes is two casts over the entire game and it’s worth the extra 3 points.

        • Venkarel August 1, 2017 1:14 pm #

          To be fair if you have 10 squads of 10 horrors the extra three points adds up to 15 extra brims, but I like the the blue.

  7. jadedknight August 1, 2017 7:34 am #

    You can’t see the lists in the BCP unless you pay them at this point. Is it really your intent that people have to pay for BCP to see the BAO lists?!

    • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 8:52 am #

      You do have to be subscribed now to view the BAO lists, as the event period has already passed.

      Also, they are providing a service to us. Not saying you should pay or send them your money, but it does make it convenient for all of us and I, for one, am very grateful.

    • AbusePuppy August 1, 2017 9:47 am #

      The list-viewing part is sometimes a little glitchy, but it should work for anyone (paid or not, registered for the event or not.)

      • Reecius August 1, 2017 3:02 pm #

        The lists are only viable for 72 hours to non subscribers.

    • BCP_Casey August 1, 2017 11:41 am #

      Our Sponsorship (lists to non-players )and free event history lasts 72 hours, to allow friends/family/teammates to follow along with live events.

    • Reecius August 1, 2017 3:05 pm #

      Yes that is the intent. The BCP app is the result of over a year of work from 4 dedicated professionals. In order for them to continue to bust their butts giving us a good product, they need to have something that makes it worth their time, which is income. So, if you want access to that part of the service then they ask you pay a very reasonable fee. It is a fair exchange.

      • Vercingatorix August 2, 2017 6:20 am #

        I’d be more wiling to pay if I could see lists from more than just sponsored events. I’d also be more willing to upload my list if it was worth ITC points.

        Just an idea!

        • BCP_Casey August 2, 2017 7:06 am #

          We’ve had similar ideas. ITC points are off the table but, other incentives are possible, just not in the current timeline with things like 8th edition changes, Nova coming up, and the things we can’t talk about, yet.

          In the meantime, do you know about the discount coupons available? We offer some points of our own to subscribers that are redeemable for 5% and 10% coupons in Frontline Gaming’s online store and tickets to any event that is using us for sales.

          Depending on your purchase and play habits it’s not unreasonable to end up with our subscription costing you half the ‘sticker price’ or even paying for itself.

          • jadedknight August 2, 2017 4:50 pm

            This is a business strategy mistake for you guys. You want as many casual users of your app as possible and convert them with features. Free and centralized access to tourney lists is a big draw and most casual users won’t pay $60 just for information. That’s not a ‘feature’, feels like a mugging. Just because frontline backed you here doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

  8. Requizen August 1, 2017 7:47 am #

    Awesome to see a good mix! Looks like it was a lot of fun!

    I can’t find the event on the BCP app, I think it’s too far back or something? Want to see the lists if possible 😛

    • Requizen August 1, 2017 9:04 am #

      It’s listed on the site as 7/29 but isn’t showing on the app.

      • BCP_Casey August 1, 2017 11:53 am #

        Event started on the 29th so it is outside the non-subscriber window this morning.

  9. Bluthusten August 1, 2017 7:52 am #

    Where can i see the lists?

    • Threllen August 1, 2017 8:40 am #

      BCP app but you have to pay a subscription fee in order to view full lists and search past events. It’s $4 – $5 per month depending on how long of a subscription.

    • Threllen August 1, 2017 10:10 am #

      Except that the main “event” list only shows events back to the 29th and BAO is listed as the 28th. You can’t actually see the event unless you go to the “event search” but that feature is stuck behind the pay wall. I was not able to see the event unless I subscribed to the app.

      • Petey Pab August 1, 2017 12:39 pm #

        Ah, I misunderstood. The events are only available for a limited time. As Casey pointed out earlier in this post. Sorry for the confusion! The subscription is totally worth it though, the BCP guys put a lot of effort into that App to make tournament coverage more readily available for everyone.

    • Larit Mage August 1, 2017 11:18 am #

      Can you upload the lists here so those of us without the app can view them?

  10. B.Raven August 1, 2017 8:20 am #

    Hopefully GW will quickly realize that because of the change in game play mechanics, classically weak units are much closer in power to regular units and the points need to reflect this. Conscripts and Brimstone horrors both need to double in price to correctly reflect their value or the meta will continue to be dominated by them.

    • AbusePuppy August 1, 2017 9:48 am #

      So Conscripts should cost _more_ than a standard Guardsman, is what you’re saying?

      • Threllen August 1, 2017 10:08 am #

        Both regular guard and Conscripts could stand to get a 1ppm increase.

        I’m looking at Chaos Cultists in the Chaos index. Exact same statline except WORSE leadership than guard infantry and they don’t get access to as many different special weapons. Yet somehow guard infantry are the ones that are cheaper than Cultists? In what world does that make sense. Conscripts should be 4ppm and standard infantry squads 5ppm

        • Threllen August 1, 2017 10:14 am #

          Just having mass bodies is a lot more powerful than GW seems to think it is. When I can get 4 1/3 conscripts per Space Marine it doesn’t really matter if I can kill them all or not because there is no way in hell he has the firepower to kill me in return.

          Armies that have access to things like Conscripts or Brimstones can easily fulfill any troops requirement by spending a few hundred points to plop 100+ bodies onto the table. A meager investment for the board control it gives you.

          • Flourescent Alpaca August 1, 2017 10:24 am

            Speaking as an IG player… Conscripts don’t need to have their points increased, as you get what you pay for @ 3 points a model

            What they need is for the Infantry platoon format to be re-introduced. I believe re-introducing some form of X number of infantry squads unlocks 1 conscript squad would be fairly balancing.

            Or another option would be simply that conscripts cannot fill any “required troops slots” in a force org chart, which would force people to take different stuff if they want the battalion

            I don’t see a problem, again maybe biased, with what concripts are costed at, just that maybe they need to change the requirements to take them

          • Threllen August 1, 2017 11:11 am

            I disagree with that. 3 points is a paltry sum regardless of whether you try to hide it behind a pay wall or not. All that is, is an admission “hey I know these guys are so cheap everyone just wants to spam hundreds of them. So instead of making them more expensive lets just try to make people take ‘tax’ units in order to field them.”

            At the end of the day you’re still basically still saying that Conscripts need to be more expensive. Only you’re making them more expensive by forcing a player to field unwanted ‘tax’ units rather than hitting the problem unit itself. Unless a model is basically T1 with no save and no weapons – nothing should be cheaper than 4ppm. Brims and Conscripts included. It’s too many bodies for too little investment.

          • Jural August 1, 2017 1:10 pm

            its being cheap and being immune (effectively) to morale that is the problem. For the most part, Cultists suffer massive battle shock (I think Huron or Abaddon can negate?)

            Cultists shouldn’t cost 5 points compared to 3 for a Conscript if you have to kill conscripts down to a man but not Cultists.

            This all assumes I remember right and commisars can be used on conscripts.

          • Reecius August 1, 2017 2:53 pm

            Abby makes them straight up Fearless, even better than the Commissar (who does work on Conscripts).

            Again, wait for the AM Codex before really judging.

          • Venkarel August 1, 2017 1:25 pm

            It is not just the cheap bodies is is the abundant cheap guns, vehicles, and pertinent auras that come with the bodies. IG does this combo so well. Although it is still early and there should be ways to deal with this.
            The same idea applies to Michael’s list (which I like alot) he just adds in an alpha/beta strike with the genestealers and drop plasma.
            Brims are a different problem, they are cheap very durable units that can but out .666 smite wounds a turn (1/3 cast*D3average=.6666) and every once in a blue moon kill something in hand to hand. They have a 4++ and when combined with the Changling (which should only work for shooting) they becoming ludicrously durable for their points. The two things Thoms Reddy said he wished he had at the end of the tourney were more brims and a unit or two to reach out and get something.

          • AbusePuppy August 1, 2017 10:33 pm

            Reece, I get that the codex may improve things, but for those of us playing the game live that is an unknown future an unknown amount of time off. “Just accept that the it totally sucks and is obnoxious right now” isn’t really much of a mantra if we’re going to see 3-6 more months of this sort of thing.

          • jadedknight August 2, 2017 4:53 pm

            I think GW should change the blast rules to counter this. D3/D6 per 5 men in squad for all ‘blast’ weapons. That’s point of artillery, handling massed infrantry.

      • Alex August 1, 2017 10:08 am #

        A little 40K theorycrafting on my behalf:

        1. I think there are broadly three tiers of models/units: hordes, elites, monsters/tanks. (elites are defined by having higher touchness, better saves and/or more wounds, etc. than horde models).
        2. An all-comers list must be able to defeat all three.
        3. High ROF S5/S6 is more or less useful against all tiers. (Although you arguably want to supplement it with stuff like Hurricane Bolters and/or Lascannons). See the weapon tables on, especially the Gravcannon.
        4. By bringing exclusively one tier of models. I am denying the effectiveness of weapons that are built towards defeating other tiers. Most importantly is anti-horde usually not great versus tanks and vice versa. Elites are always caught a bit in the middle.

        In total, it seems to me that the best lists (in theory!!!) are composed of entirely hordes or entirely tanks/monsters and (if this combination is even possible) spamming lots of S5/S6 plus some auxiliary anti-horde/tank weaponry.

        If there is at least SOME truth to this train of thought, then this raises the question if the extremes (hordes/tank spam) are priced appropriately in 8E.

        • AbusePuppy August 1, 2017 10:35 pm #

          Except that examining the lists that won (or placed highly at BAO), the theory there is fundamentally flawed. Spamming one “type” of unit will leave you without solutions to one or more types of enemy units, which makes your list into an R/P/S sort of dilemma. If you want to win five or six rounds of games in a row, you can’t afford to roll over and die to an entire class of army.

          • Alex August 2, 2017 1:26 am

            Well, you have to admit that I included the caveat “if this combination is even possible”. And I would submit that the Stormraven spam lists we saw before are partially validating that theory. It was a type of list that spammed a particular tier only and which had the firepower to deal with all three tiers (even if it didnt just spam S5/S6 firepower). Being hard to hit and not getting tarpitted in melee helped a lot too.

            There’s no doubt that going all mech makes the enemy’s anti-horde firepower relatively ineffective and vice versa. And that elite infantry/light vehicles are stuck in the middle with everything being somewhat effective against them. But obviously that isn’t the only factor in 40K, as things such as mobility, the interplay of buffs, going first/# of drops, etc. also factor in.

            So I agree that it’s all theorizing and the actual truth lies on the 6×4.

          • AbusePuppy August 2, 2017 8:12 am

            Yeah, for sure. But I think the evidence of BAO supports what a number of people have been saying: Knight/flyer armies aren’t nearly as strong as everyone seems to think. They can win smaller events, but they will struggle in larger ones, especially with the FAQ changes.

        • Vercingatorix August 2, 2017 6:24 am #

          This is pretty much my thought process exactly. This is exactly what keeps winning with some minor adjustments and will continue. Sometimes it’s worth losing defense by mixing horde and vehicle if the offensive output increases with it.

    • Flourescent Alpaca August 1, 2017 9:56 am #

      Speaking as an IG player… Conscripts don’t need to have their points increased, as you get what you pay for @ 3 points a model

      What they need is for the Infantry platoon format to be re-introduced. I believe re-introducing some form of X number of infantry squads unlocks 1 conscript squad would be fairly balancing.

      Or another option would be simply that conscripts cannot fill any “required troops slots” in a force org chart, which would force people to take different stuff if they want the battalion

      I don’t see a problem, again maybe biased, with what concripts are costed at, just that maybe they need to change the requirements to take them

      • Flourescent Alpaca August 1, 2017 10:09 am #

        And the lack of the “combined squad” special rule really disincentivizes an IG player from taking them compared to conscripts, and given that there are only 2 troop choices as of right now,

        And a units “value to the meta” in this instance is entirely to the fact that it only costs 3 points per model, and can thus be fielded en-masse and actually do something on the table.

        Doubling their cost wouldn’t just “make the unit less dominant” it would destroy the value of that unit and its place in lists currently

      • winterman August 1, 2017 11:53 am #

        Conscripts shouldn’t reflect training or discipline of the rest of the guard so shouldn’t benefit from orders and IG moral mitigation should be less effective on them. Then leave them same price and give players a reason to look at regular squads again.

        • Flourescent Alpaca August 1, 2017 12:06 pm #

          Well previously they functioned that way with LD5 to pass leadership tests for orders

          In reality the problem isn’t conscripts, it’s commissars. the leadership/moral buffing is really good when you have 50 man squads

          • Sanchezsam2w August 1, 2017 2:45 pm

            I’m in the camp of removing orders.
            Requiring worse units as tax is a bad 7th edition design that needs to rarely be used.
            Removing orders nueters 2 major issues with conscripts. Frf srf which makes thier lasguns more efficient in large blobs than most specials (plasmagun not included) and get back in the fight makes them basically assault immune as they can still fall back and shoot.
            If you remove order conscripts are still a great cheap tarpit but not worth spamming. Sure commissars make them more resilient however he is still susceptible to sniping and if conscripts are still an issue lower the unit size. I think at 3ppm once you remove orders you severely cut down thier offense which is s huge issue.

    • happy_inquisitor August 1, 2017 12:50 pm #

      Conscripts are a little much but personally I would just rather them lose the keyword to reflect their lack of induction and training. Being able to use orders like proper Guardsmen makes them a little bit too good IMO and renders those proper Guardsmen redundant.

      On the other hand I quite like that the unbeaten lists both look like balanced forces as you might imagine them on the war-torn worlds of the 41st millennium. Masses of barely untrained cannon fodder, big artillery and some elite storm-troopers to put the hurt on. It is all slightly on the cheap side in matched play and I hope GW is keeping an eye to see whether it becomes too dominant over time but at least it looks like a proper army is doing well.

      • AbusePuppy August 1, 2017 10:38 pm #

        Orders aren’t the problem for Conscripts most of the time, Commissars are. Being able to ignore morale at a trivial cost removes their major limiting factor.

        • Alex August 2, 2017 1:31 am #

          I agree somewhat. If more conscripts would be lost due to morale, it would be more fun to see them melt. HOWEVER, I would like to maintain the relevance of snipers/assassins going after commissars as a mini-game of sorts.

          • Michael Corr August 2, 2017 3:00 am

            In some ways I agree, but not every army has access to sniper units or the Assassin. This means you need to chew through the blog to get to the character in most cases. I’ve tried running a Vindicare in my Deathwatch list, but he is not really effective at killing most characters, requiring 2-3 turns even for a Commissar-type model.

          • Michael Corr August 2, 2017 3:00 am

            In some ways I agree, but not every army has access to sniper units or the Assassin. This means you need to chew through the blog to get to the character in most cases. I’ve tried running a Vindicare in my Deathwatch list, but he is not really effective at killing most characters, requiring 2-3 turns even for a Commissar-type model.

          • Michael Corr August 2, 2017 3:00 am

            In some ways I agree, but not every army has access to sniper units or the Assassin. This means you need to chew through the blob to get to the character in most cases. I’ve tried running a Vindicare in my Deathwatch list, but he is not really effective at killing most characters, requiring 2-3 turns even for a Commissar-type model.

          • Pingor August 2, 2017 3:14 am

            The only problem is that Snipers seems barely effective at killing something like yarrick. You have to put so much points into Snipers just to counter him that its not worth it and he can also hide behind LOS and still buff congascripts. To take him down behind the line is a huge effort and his place can be filled by another 30 Point model which takes another one or two rounds to take down leaving the conscripts to what they do best block everything.

            I think the problem with guard is that their Characters are badly priced. They are priced without the synergy they really provided. Take for example the tau kroot char or the firesight marksman. Both have equal stats to company commanders and comissars – yet their buffing ability is subpar. Take Space Marine characters which easily cost 3 times the points cost for a little more durability (Making snipers effort also quite questionable) and also kinda subpar buffs – Orders are amazing and a force multiplier which is nowhere priced in points and the same goes for the fearless bubble.

            If commissars would just give LD 9/10 to the roops the would be good and cut alot of battle shock wounds or if they would have the battle shock losses they would still be good but blobs would be killable and the effect on platoons would be nearly as before.

          • Alex August 2, 2017 5:54 am

            I run 10 Sniper Scouts in 2 LSS, a Vindicare and a Jump Pack Librarian with Psychic Scourge. If killing enemy characters isn’t crucial and/or the enemy has deepstrikers, they can get deployed outside of the LSS and act as screening units instead. Doesn’t seem too much of a waste and this combo scares any but the toughest enemy characters.

            And since I have other nasty deepstrikers (Kantor, Gravcannons, Tactical Terminators) he has no time to shift other commissars, the replacement dude needs to already be in place the turn I come down.

          • Pingor August 2, 2017 5:59 am

            Thats a lot of points for not that much buddies which are quite ineffective for the points at killing anyhing (Even characters – just amek a calculation for yarrick. 1 round will most likely not be enough.)

            Also there are other Races like Eldar which pay 20 ppm or races that don’t even have any sniper.

          • Alex August 2, 2017 8:06 am

            The Jump Pack Librarian is arguably a decent HQ choice.

            The Scouts are much needed in the army composition anyway for screening. And unlike other configurations the Snipers can threaten chars and put some long-range wounds on vehicles/monsters, which can be highly relevant if they have degrading profiles.

            The Vindicare can threaten characters or be used against expensive Elites with invul saves. He possibly also draws expensive long-range firepower away first turn. He’s the only choice of the 3 that is basically optional.

            As for Yarrick: 1 wound from the snipers, 2 from the Vindicare, 1 from the librarian isn’t an unrealistic expenctancy. And that’s from a single round of combat. Even if he survives, he’ll remain in mortal danger. Even before that round… the enemy knows he can’t let him roam freely. He will keep him out of the field of fire of the Vindicare in all likelihood. And that limits the movement of any attached units.

          • Alex August 2, 2017 8:09 am

            Addendum: As for the effectiveness of the Vindicare, lets just ask Reece. :DDDD (Sorry, man!)

          • Reecius August 2, 2017 5:52 pm


          • AbusePuppy August 2, 2017 8:17 am


            I’m not saying that Commissars shouldn’t exist at all; I’m fine with IG having a morale-mitigating unit in their lineup, just like other factions. The problem is that Commissars are too cheap and too good at what they do; in combination, this means that it is a trivial number of points to invest in one and it completely negates the meaningfulness of the Morale phase for one or more units.

            So if Commissars just gave out Ld10 to nearby units, that would be fine- you could still fail a morale check with that, you just wouldn’t lose as many guys. Or if Commissars were more expensive (like the anti-morale tools of other factions, like Abaddon) it also wouldn’t be a problem because you couldn’t simply blanket the table with them. But in combination, it’s problematic, and only multiplies issues with IG otherwise being dominant due to powerful reserve elements, Orders in general being extremely strong, highly-damaging artillery units for cheap, arguably the best transport in the game, abundant access to Imperial allies, etc.

          • Alex August 2, 2017 11:12 am

            I kinda agree! I think it would be best if Conscripts would still be (albeit slowly) eaten away by morale with a Commissar nearby. And if the enemy had a way to kill off the Commissar off, well, we kinda know what happens to Conscripts under current rules then.

  11. Jonathan Ciscon August 1, 2017 9:44 am #

    Petey/Reecius: Have you guys had a chance to run the data on the importance first turn? There is a lot of concern right now in ze community that T1 alpha strikes typically win the game/are crippling so I’m wondering if the data backs that up.

    Theoretically it that was a problem you could fix it by either making night-fight a more universal strategem or adding an alternating activation strategem (on turn 1) for shooting like there is for fight.

    Something like:

    2CP, counter shooting offensive

    This Strategem is used in the first battle round right after an enemy unit has
    made a shooting attack. Select one of your own units that has not yet made a
    shooting attack this battle around and make a shooting attack with it next. The
    unit cannot make a shooting attack again in this battle round.

    That way you get alternating activation for a single unit before it dies and balance out the power of alpha strike.

    It doesnt necessarily help assault armies so ideally you’d also have the night-fight optional strategem too but yeah. Again, id love to know what the data said.

    • mortetvie August 1, 2017 10:36 am #

      I went second in all of my games and did alright, almost going 6-0… Maybe I am just old-school and still like to have the last say on objectives, though?

    • Reecius August 1, 2017 11:23 am #

      Going first is not as a big a deal as people make it out to be with the recent changes. Brandon Grant–Best General of the event–went second frequently and nearly maxed all his games.

      • pleasantnoodles August 1, 2017 12:12 pm #

        The problem there is we’ve seen one type of army build be able to play second just fine, horde guard. What about harlequins? What about nids? What about tau? What about admech? The top places at BAO were as such:

        1. Horde and large amount of army in reserve
        2. Horde and large amount of army in reserve
        3. Horde and large amount of army in transport
        4. Transports and large amount of army in reserve.
        5. Transports and flyers.

        So where does that leave the armies without transports or reserve capabilities. We can’t just stick stuff in reserve at will anymore, any units that either aren’t numerous enough to survive that alpha strike or be in reserve to mitigate it are relegated to secondary choice. There’s also a distinct pattern for winning with who has bubblewrap and who doesn’t. Not every army has decent bubblewrap.

        • Reecius August 1, 2017 12:25 pm #

          I think you are very much over simplifying things. The top 8 at the BAO indicates only which players and their armies made the top 8 at the BAO, not what the state of the game in general is. As he stated, Mortetvie has a tiny elite army and went second almost every game and went 5-1. Nids go second just fine, I do it all the time. They can keep large amounts of their army off of the table.

          Reserve manipulation right now is difficult for some armies yes, but again, wait for Codexes before passing final judgement. They’re coming out rapid fire.

          And as we have been saying over and again, you need LoS blocking terrain this edition to hide.

          • pleasantnoodles August 1, 2017 1:26 pm

            So we agree that it comes down to being able to keep large amounts of your army off the table? (which transports effectively do as a meatshield that one has to get through first).

            We can’t have it both ways, waiting for codices and just let things stay as is but also changing fundamental things like determining who goes first, so which is it? Let things stand or change things? Because it sounds here like you want to let things be and let the codices handle balance, but that already hasn’t been happening.

            Yes, the +1 to finish deploying for first turn choice was a BAO only decision, but a precedent has now been set, one many other events are utilizing because they hold the ITC to be the gold standard. If we’re going to change the game, then change it, but don’t go halfway and leave a muddled mess.

          • Reecius August 1, 2017 2:51 pm

            +1 to go first for deploying first was not only for BAO, it was for all ITC events and has been in the ITC guidelines for a while, now. The only BAO only change was the Power Level 31+ cap which however, may apply to the SoCal Open.

          • pleasantnoodles August 1, 2017 6:01 pm

            Does that mean that we won’t be voting on Deploy First Go First? I thought we voted on major rule changes in the ITC…

          • Reecius August 1, 2017 6:36 pm

            Typically, yes but in this instance, no. And the reason why will become clear in the future. You’re just going to have to trust us on this one.

          • pleasantnoodles August 1, 2017 7:22 pm

            You realize that this flies in the face of not only what sold the ITC changes to people, but also the discussions that have cropped up in the wake of BAO, yes? People want to have a say in the ITC rule base and saying that this rule will stay this way because we should trust you is dangerously close to taking that agency away from the rest of us.

          • Sanchezsam2 August 1, 2017 7:24 pm

            You should raise the PL cap to 33.
            Fw fixed the greater brass scorpion and the other units in that range are all manageable as well.
            It’s above the limit you get to the truly super heavy tanks that become a bit overwhelming and unfun.

          • Jonathan Ciscon August 1, 2017 8:02 pm

            So if I’m reading in between the lines here Reecius what ur saying is I need to glue all my conscripts together to form conscript voltron.

            In all seriousness though fine fine, we’ll wait for the codicies. We’re just a bit Verunica Extra-Salt in wanting all the things and the final big picture.

        • Venkarel August 1, 2017 1:31 pm #

          To be fair Adams army was hiding in spirit stoned and vectored engined (I think) wave serpents, a veeery durable unit.

          • mortetvie August 1, 2017 8:47 pm

            My army was not hiding, it was lying in wait…. Listening to the great, ancient and noble ballad you Mon-Keigh know as “low rider”.

          • Venkarel August 2, 2017 4:33 am


          • Venkarel August 2, 2017 10:10 am

            I play Eldar…errrr Aeldari..errrr.. Ynnari… and I often hide…lay in waiting….my entire army, except Shadow Spectres and the Yncarne inside Wave Serpents.

      • Alex August 2, 2017 6:04 am #

        As a Crimson Fist, I would like more terrain types that provide cover bonus though. 😉

      • Gordon Danke August 2, 2017 2:48 pm #

        In several of my games, I found it was better to go second and that I could still semi-null deploy, hiding a few units in cover and deepstriking everything else.

    • Beau August 1, 2017 11:33 am #

      I think alpha strikes mostly just punish certain types of list (glass cannon style lists). My ynarri opponents like to try to alpha strike so I just spam more good/durable units to cope with the losses.

    • Reecius August 1, 2017 3:03 pm #

      We will need more data before making that call. Plus, the Codexes change the meta a LOT. I would advise playing and observing more.

      • Jonathan Ciscon August 1, 2017 8:07 pm #

        So here’s what you need to do. You need to get together with the GW guys and make a giant 40k universe puzzle hunt that promises codex leaks at the end of it.

        That way we’ll be so busy trying to decode the puzzles we’ll stop bugging you.

        You’re like any Star Wars/Marvel/DC actor now whom everyone bugs for leaks, except we’re also telling you that ur wrong and the movie is really about Jar Jar Binks and everything is going to be terrible.

    • Alex August 2, 2017 1:35 am #

      I have had the same idea but I have come to the conclusion that it’s a crutch. Negating the alpha strike should be a matter of having cover rules that can be used efficiently, ie without setting up my units in cover (and have them sufficiently protected) but so far away from objectives that I am struggling midgame. That is what deployment should be about for the player who presumably goes second.

      I am not quite sure the cover rules deliver at this point.

  12. BCP_Casey August 1, 2017 12:05 pm #

    Shout outs to the players who took home the ‘House Favorite’ awards from Game Kastle and Best Coast Pairings. Some great looking armies with consistent theme throughout

    John McCool with ALL THE STORMBOYS and that gravity defying display board

    Gordon Danke – Grey Knights smashing on Daemons

    and… I’ve forgotten your name but the Hello Kitty Sisters are burned into my mind.

    • Joshua August 1, 2017 9:36 pm #

      Seriously? Hello Kitty Sisters? That sounds amazing does anyone have good pictures of that army?

      • Threllen August 2, 2017 5:53 am #

        There are some pictures in this gallery. It is… umm…. something lol

  13. SharpDeadFace August 1, 2017 4:08 pm #

    Any idea on the composition of the GSC 7th place list?

    • Venkarel August 1, 2017 5:10 pm #

      MIchaels list was GSC, Nids and IG allied together. Nids for Malenthrope and biovores( I think), GSC for big daddy Pats and genestealers and IG for conscripts, mortars and earthshakers (I think).

      • Reecius August 1, 2017 6:37 pm #

        I’m sure we could get him to swing by and comment.

  14. Horton August 2, 2017 3:28 am #

    Sounds like it was a great event! I hope to attend one day.

  15. Don Tomaso August 2, 2017 9:32 am #

    That hello kitty soccer ball launcher was best.

    • BCP_Casey August 2, 2017 1:44 pm #

      I think that was the stand-in for me as well. The rest was good but, the Manticore? was best.

  16. Matt August 2, 2017 11:45 am #

    FYI Paul McKelvey had six commanders, not four. His Outrider and Vanguard detachments were also led by commanders.

  17. SacTownBrian August 3, 2017 6:07 am #

    Looks like a great time had by all. Congratulations Grant on your win. There should be something special for you for repeating with a new edition!. I am curious. Was Grant struggling to get in five rounds per game? I would struggle. That many models and dice to roll would make me really slow.

  18. Lorenzo August 4, 2017 5:40 am #

    Looks like Adam’s list was illegal as he didn’t pay the 20pts for spirit stones on his hemlocks.

    An easy mistake to make though, and I doubt it made a huge difference to his games

    • Threllen August 4, 2017 6:07 am #

      It seems to be a common mistake among Eldar players regarding spirit stones and the force shield (forget if that’s it’s real name).

      Not sure why GW didn’t also put it in the wargear section rather than just down in the “abilities.” I think people would be much less prone to error if that were the case. 99% of the time you don’t pay extra for stuff down in the abilities section unless it has a corresponding entry in wargear.

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