The Captain A LVO Experience and Review!

Greetings 40k and gaming denizens, it is I, Captain A, returned from Vegas with scars, stories, and thoughts about the largest 40k event in the world. Join me in going down the path of memory, glory, and battles fueled by caffeine and sheer force of will. I had a great time overall at Vegas this year and although my wallet is lighter my life is perhaps fuller and I look forward to a new year of events and fun with friends created on this crazy journey that is the 40k tournament circuit.


The LVO List

Here again is my list for LVO:

LVO 2018 – Stag Boyz

1998 Points – 3 Detachments – Chaos Space Marines/Chaos Daemons

Alpha Legion Battalion


  • Sorcerer with Jump Pack – Force Sword, Mark of Slaanesh, Delightful Agonies, Prescience
  • Sorcerer with Jump Pack – Force Sword, Mark of Slaanesh, Delightful Agonies, Warptime


  • 40 Cultists – 4 Flamers, Autoguns, Mark of Slaanesh
  • 10 Cultists – CCW/Autopistol Mark of Slaanesh
  • 10 Cultists – CCW/Autopistol Mark of Slaanesh


  • 7 Noise Marines – 6 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster
  • 7 Noise Marines – 6 Sonic Blasters, 1 Blastmaster

Alpha Legion Spearhead


  • Chaos Lord with Jump Pack – WARLORD, Power Fist, Mark of Khorne, Talisman of Burning Blood (Relic), I am Alpharious (Warlord Trait)


  • 3 Obliterators Mark of Slaanesh
  • 3 Obliterators Mark of Slaanesh
  • 3 Obliterators Mark of Slaanesh

Chaos Daemons Battalion


  • Fluxmaster – Staff of Change, Gaze of Fate, Bolt of Change
  • Poxbringers – Fleshy Abundance


  • 19 Bloodletters
  • 3 Nurglings
  • 3 Nurglings
  • 3 Nurglings

I had practiced quite a bit with it, but one thing I wish I had was some sort of indirect fire. Reapers hiding in buildings turn one is something that will continue to be a problem until at least March (fingers crossed) and stinks that I didn’t think sooner to find a way to make that happen. I felt the list was solid though and it did catch a few people by surprise.

My Games

Day 1

Round 1

Round 1 saw me face my greatest fear – Dark Reaper spam. Pretty standard list with character support, rangers, guardians, swooping hawks, etc. I went first and should have been much more aggressive with my cultists and bloodletters, but instead focused on clearing screens, which my opponent used to deepstrike a second screen down and block my path. Things deteriorated quickly from there and I got smoked. Round 1 Loss.

Round 2

Round 2 saw a different spam, in the form of flyer spam. IG Vultures, and the like backed up with artillery made a hard fought game. I made a huge mistake in the last round (we got to a quick last round 3) and I forgot to bring in my bloodletters, which would have most likely given me the win as I could have scored the bonus, got more objectives, linebreaker, and perhaps a big game hunter point all in one go. Round 2 Loss.

Round 3

This time I faced off against a Tyranid player with Double Trygon/Devilgaunt bombs, Swarmlord, Genestealers, and some other psychic support. This game I just could not finish of Swarmlord or Old One Eye. Had I done so I might have gotten a win. We ended in a tie which is better than a loss and made us both not ultimate losers. Round 3 Tie.

So day 1 was quite a disappointment in my performance, but not in my players as a whole. Good guys and good games. Shouldn’t complain too much except in my performance and decisions that day.

Day 2

Round 4

Round 4 was against a chaos player so it was Civil War! Alpha Legion Vs Black Legion. My round one was pretty devastating and the only thing that made it a game was when my cultists failed to charge his artillery batteries and would have locked them in combat the rest of the game and shut down his main shooting. Hellforged Rapiers are pretty funny with 24 Heavy bolter shots each. I scored all my Reaper points, First Strike, and Recon that game so it was pretty one sided from the get go. My opponent was classy and kept it in stride though and I pulled out a win. Round 4 win.

Round 5

Round 5 saw my first foray into Tau Commander suit Spam (kind of). It was maximized in spamminess as a true spam list could have 12 commander suits bouncing around. I see why people gravitate towards that as those guys are very good. My opponent was great, but made a critical mistake in not finishing off my Cultist bomb which I had used to seal off the table going from one side to the next and even up in buildings, blocking off a lot of his first turn deep strikes. His first turn was pretty terribad and he only scored one point. My successive turns saw a bit better and secured me the win. Round 5 win.

Round 6

Last round saw me against the Magmaborn (Salamanders). My opponent Dallin was a great guy with a list that was surprising, but a bit undertooled for hordes. Again he didn’t kill of the cultists and next round had to inform him of the Tide of Traitors stratagem. He was a bit sad, but kept up good spirits and ended up boxed into the corner. I tried to go for a funsy move and sent my Chaos Lord to challenge his warlord, but my guy got ganked by a thunderhammer and thus wasn’t able to secure Slay the Warlord. Still a fun game and he took things in stride. Round 6 win

Game Thoughts

So I think had I pushed some things and worked faster I may have done better, but I beat my goal with 3 wins, 2 losses, and 1 tie. I placed 155 out of about 480 players so finishing in the top third was fine by me. I stayed in it when I could have dropped and was pleased with my opponents and games as a whole. It was a great weekend of gaming and I went away satisfied. I ended the season at 236 in the ITC and 22nd in CSM.


BCP did well on the whole, which some hiccups along the way, all on Friday. There were two issues, one that cost 30 minutes and one that cost an hour. I believe one was an update error and one was a user error (the longer of the two). Still though, an event like this is near impossible without software and the other days were flawless. In hearing from BCP, they are using these as learning experiences as on Friday there was the 40k champs, everyone checking in, all the other events, and even a large one in Australia. They saw the error and it is fixed which is good to hear. The other days were flawless.


Terrain is a big thing for events. Without proper terrain,gunlines pretty much reign supreme and certain armies are not viable. I think tables should be shooting for a lot more terrain than in 7th edition as things are more deadly and certain armies must have proper terrain to have a chance to compete. I know I want to see variety of lists and good terrain will help that for sure. I’m glad to say that most of the tables had pretty good terrain with some tables being great. My table round 5 was, in my opinion, quite poor, with 2 L shaped buildings in two opposite corners, and long beer can terrain in the center and a ton of knee height area type terrain scattered around elsewhere. Besides that, most of my tables were strong and many tables had a great amount of terrain. Good job on that. Hopefully al the tables will be to an even higher standard next year as I was impressed with how well it was given the increase in numbers from last year.

Event Layout

The event layout this year was excellent and I was pleased with where things were. The 40k champs was in the back and you had to walk by the vendor tables, demo tables, other events, and hobby classes to get there. This was a good thing as it gave some areas more exposure and allowed you to dawdle through the vendors should you choose. Vendor support is extremely important as these are the guys donating a ton of stuff to the different events and they spend a lot of money for their space.

Speaking of vendors, I was really glad to see Hammerhead Games there with their very cool line of laser cut products. I have a custom etched carrying tray with our team logo and used it as a display board as well putting in a piece of foam that was carved to look like my bases. The carrying tray is super great and I love it. I also was able to pick up their latest tac template that has 9”, 6”, 3”, and 2” markings on it making it the ultimate tool for deep striking and checking that 9” range. It was awesome! I really like Tony and his crew as they have that small business, entrepreneurial spirit I love to see and they are good guys too.

They had a lot of other great vendors such as the FLG second hand shop, the used vendor from Adepticon, other hobby game stores, Battle Foam, Shapeways, and Forge World! I tried to get some Plague Toads but those had already gotten scooped up, but I did get something for a friend. It was a nice selection as a whole and vendors add a great extra thing to an event like the LVO.

High Rollers Package

I did the high rollers package this year and was pleased. The biggest thing was avoiding the giant line Friday morning, think I saved an hour! At first look it didn’t look like much, but in counting things up FLG was true to their word with over double the cost of the ticket.


One of the great things about Vegas is all the unique food places to go to. Last time I had a very pleasurable experience and this time was pretty good as well. Know you are paying a lot more than you would in your local area, but there are always ways to get around that if you really needed or wanted to. I’ve recently been doing Keto (and have lost 21 pounds) but all bets were off in this carb laden arena of gluttony. The following are the places I went to, what I had, how much they were, and my overall feeling about them.

  • Wolfgang Pucks (MGM) – Had his “famous” prime hamburger burger and fries. About $20. Kinda Meh to be honest.
  • Pan Asian Express (Balley’s Food Court) – Ginger Chicken, Mixed Vegetables, and Beef and Broccoli. About $15. Terrible. Food had to be there for hours. Mixed veggies were all those little corn thingies and zucchini. Blech.
  • Sbarro (Balley’s Food Court) – Pepperoni Pizza. About $10 for 2 slices. About what you can expect. Hit the 2am need for pizza after Fremont street.
  • Hash House a Go Go (Linq) – Tractor Farm Platter of a giant pancake, sausage, eggs, and home fried potatoes. About $20. Really pretty good! Huge servings and tons of different options.
  • LVO Food Vendor (Balleys) – Hamburger and Fries. $12. Kinda meh cafeteria food. Nice that it was quick.
  • Hoffbrauhaus (Off Strip) – Schnitzel and other things. About $20. Good food and hilarious shenanigans abound. If you get a shot you get a swat…I got two! VICTORIA!!! My but still hurts.
  • Bachanal Buffet (Ceasers) – $50 per person. One of the better buffets and the bbq pork buns were really good. If you like crab legs and seafood (not my fav) then you will probably like it. Not bad but I would probably pass on it again. I was glad to actually go as I’ve heard so much about these places.
  • Spice Market Buffet (Planet Hollywood) – About $27. Crap. Honestly. Except for the bbq pork buns, at least the ones that were not hard. You had to dig to the back of the tray to get those. Deserts were ok though.
  • Craeperie (Paris) – About $10 per crepe. I’d avoid the savory crepes and go for the fruit or sweet. Nutella and Banana was to die for. Their béchamel sauce was not good.
  • Coca Cola Factory (Strip) – $10 for 20 flavors. Fun and some were wierd!


This is a topic I think I am going to write a whole article about, but there was some behavior in the top players and in the top tables that was unacceptable in my opinion. You have already probably heard a lot about it, gentlemen’s agreements being broken, top 8 players taking 1 hour long turns, shouting matches, judges having to babysit tables, etc. It was pretty sad to see in my opinion. I realize that about eight grand was on the line, but this speaks bad for the hobby on the whole and keeps people away from attending events. Events are built upon the bottom 80-90 percent of us that aren’t top players. We play for fun, personal goals, and the chance to be in such a grand spectacle. Without us, events will not succeed and grow. If players want those big prizes, who is paying for it? We the everyday players going out to events to see friends, have fun, and try to win some games. If more and more people see the poor sportsmanlike play happening on a large platform like Twitch, it will drive away players and we will not grow like we could because of it. Its sad and something needs to be done. I think a contract at least for the top 8 and better guidelines for regular play should be in effect.

Final Thoughts

Whew! What a doozy. I had a great time this year at LVO and got to hang out with people from all over and that I rarely get to see. I ate some good food, played some great people, and in general had a blast. It was a bit spendy overall but my wife and I had an excellent vacation away from responsibilities like family and jobs and it was very good for us to be together like that. Thanks to the LVO crew for all the hard work in putting this together.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About CaptainA

Aaron is a longtime gamer of many systems. He is an avid community builder of 40k and after running many 40k events in Portland, Oregon, has recently moved to Boise, Idaho and continues to host and run leagues and events. He has also recently expanded his repertoire and entered the second hand Warhammer business. Check out his website at to see how he can help you get rid off your old and unused models.

19 Responses to “The Captain A LVO Experience and Review!”

  1. Greg Swanson February 2, 2018 2:13 am

    Comes down to having money on the line. I hope next year they get rid of the cash prize. All it does is encourage asshattery. That kind of behavior does hurt the tournament scene and the game overall.

    • black mage February 2, 2018 2:29 am

      agree when u monetize something called hobby wrong things happen

    • Garry Leonard February 2, 2018 7:44 am

      Many players don’t know thidbhut as some one who played compwtively back in the day and in mtg. If you do really well you can sometimes pick up sponsorships or job offers strictly off of that. So doing well even if no money is given by the tournament is always gonna have cash involved.

      For instance one of the Brit aos champs got a job with framework shop from being a cool guy and a really good competive player. Other folks at the tournament might get some small battle foam sponsorship just to have then run away with all the battle foam swag.

    • Reecius
      Reecius February 2, 2018 10:37 am

      I really have not found that to be the case unless the cash prize is massive. People say that a lot but as someone who has played for cash many times, I have not actually seen it have that big of an impact. IME the truly competitive players do it for the thrill and for the desire to be the best. The money is awesome but not the primary motivator.

      If/when we get up to very large purses, then yes, I could totally see that but as of now, I don’t agree that it is a primary motivator of behavior.

      • abusepuppy February 2, 2018 11:58 am

        Yeah, let’s be honest here: none of the players are earning money doing this, certainly not at this stage in the game. Even for the people who are competing for the largest prizes possible (such as LVO and the ITC overall), the amount of time and money that they have to invest into them to even have a shot at the top spots is absurd. You’re looking at going to 3-5 major events (clocking in at a conservative $600 each) as well as anything from four to twenty smaller events (which we’ll ballpark at say $100 a piece)- and that’s before you even get started on investing in armies. Because if you want to play at the top level of the game, you’re going to need to have several armies available with a large collection in each to adapt to the meta- and easy $3K to 10K or more, depending on how broad you cast your net.

        Compared to all of that, even the $4000 prize for winning LVO is hardly going to make you your investment back, and anything smaller is only going to be a drop in the bucket. Money isn’t what drives people to play competitively; if it was, they’d be off playing X-Wing or Magic or esports instead.

        • Reecius
          Reecius February 2, 2018 12:48 pm

          Yeah, exactly. It largely offsets the cost of going to events and having fun playing in them.

          • CaptainA February 3, 2018 10:27 am

            I don’t know, I’ve seen players behaving badly over a few hundred dollars.

  2. black mage February 2, 2018 2:30 am

    after your LVO experience what u would change in your list? u think it’s still good like u built? thanks

    • CaptainA February 2, 2018 7:55 am

      Overall I still think it is solid. One thing I am looking into is some kind of indirect fire. This is something you want in ITC and LVO that are using the ITC terrain as a good chunk of it is enclosed buildings. Of course I have reapers in mind and am thinking about a renegade detachment. But I’m also double downing on my daemons so we will see what happens.

      • abusepuppy February 2, 2018 11:59 am

        Solid assault units can often fill some of the same roles indirect fire weapons do, though obviously not in all situations. A battery of Quad Mortars or the like might work, but I wonder if some melee units might not do you better.

  3. CWDub February 2, 2018 6:07 am

    Nice writeup, Cap’n A. And thanks for the detailed writeup on the venue; I’ve been to Bally’s for work before and am scheming on a way to bank wifey points to attend a LVO in the future.

    PS. Keto is awesome. I’m @ 30 lbs lost and dropping. Keep it up!

    • CaptainA February 2, 2018 7:56 am

      Good job! I’m trying to get back on the horse as it were. If you bring your wife, the ladies/so’s have a great time together and we get to hang out together at night so it is a lot of fun. Great bonding time.

      • NoahD February 2, 2018 11:55 am

        Thanks for the write up and congrats on keto! I just got done on a three month cycle with having lost 19 pounds. I’m back to bulking for three months and then I’ll cycle back to keto.

  4. Beau February 2, 2018 6:24 am

    Did you cry my name though as you smited some dark reapers?

    • CaptainA February 2, 2018 7:56 am

      More like cried when the reapers reaped me!

      • Dbiesto February 2, 2018 9:41 am

        Reapers are extremely Reapey right now. Its the main reason why I switched to chaos renegades legion. Main problem with chaos is they get out shot by shooting armies and out assaulted by assault armies against the stronger players. The mobility of Renegades lets me hit like a truck woth things that normally move slower. You can even throw bikes across the table and still charge. Now the reapers are in the main lists to beat, you cant just shoot at Alaitoc the whole game.

        • Styro-J February 2, 2018 12:20 pm

          I have to say, that is the right way to look at it. My games vs Renegades really surprised me with how fast they latched into my lines. Reapers that don’t reap twice a turn have a bad time when Chaos comes knocking that fast.

        • Beau February 2, 2018 7:01 pm

          Nice, I have been thinking about running 5 renegade DP’s in my Daemon list next time. That might be enough of them to move advance charge some reapers!

          • Dbiesto February 3, 2018 12:22 am

            If you are going for character spam, squeeze in a nurgle daemon prince with fleshy abundance along with 1+ squad of nurgle obliterators. So double dragon, 4+ csm prince renegade nurgle daemon, 1-2 chaos daemon princes of nurgle, 2-3 helldrakes, and 1+ obliterators and 1+ bike squad. Bikes can take a few lascannons and then respawn for 2 cp, helldrakes heal from fleshy abundance. Will be at all 3 FLg Gts this year if work permits it.