Chapter Tactics #54: Fixing Slow Play, and Analyzing the Most-Used LVO 40k Factions

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today PeteyPab, Val, and Incontrol go over there LVO experience and have some choice words for combating slow play in the 41st millenium. Also, PeteyPab breaks down the Faction Usage Stats for the LVO, and Australia’s largest 40k tournament ever and also looks at the most interesting lists from both tournaments.

Show Notes:

  • Wondering where to find live coverage of the LVO? Click here for a comprehensive guide!
  • I would like to thank the sponsors of today’s episode, The guys from the Flying Monkey Con and the gents who run the Barrie Bash. Check them out if you want more of your tabletop gaming fix!
  • Want to advertise on Chapter Tactics? Email me! I offer standard industry rates, with a special rate discount for TO’s and event organizers who want to promote their events to a larger audience.
  • Click here for a link for information on downloading best coast pairings app where you can find lists for most of the events I mentioned.
  • Chapter Tactics is back! With Weekly episodes and a lot of tactical insight, this is your place for all things 40k in 8th edition.
  • Check out the last episode of Chapter Tactics here. Or, click here for a link to a full archive of all of my episodes.
  • Want more tactical information about the new edition? Check out our 8th Edition article archive to help get a leg up on the competition!
  • Commercial music by Music by:
  • Intro by: Justin Mahar


The Barrie Bash is only a month away! Get your tickets now before it’s too late. Click here for more information.

got a list

Need help with a list idea? Got a rules question? Want to talk tactics? Then email me at… 

Please do not send an army list in a format such as Army Builder, send them in an easy to read, typed format. Thanks!


About Petey Pab

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

43 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #54: Fixing Slow Play, and Analyzing the Most-Used LVO 40k Factions”

  1. iNcontroL February 5, 2018 11:31 am #

    I WAS RIGHT. I predicted the Eldar overlords in top8! 🙂

    • abusepuppy February 5, 2018 1:27 pm #

      I mean, I think it was pretty clear to a lot of top players that Eldar were a very strong army.

  2. Dbiesto February 5, 2018 11:38 am #

    I’ve actually run into 4+ opponents who will flat out say they wont let me use the official GW dice app because it doesnt factor in actual randomness on rolls. The first turn is always the longest and after the deployment, warlord traits, psychic powers, and secondaries, I think it averages to about 2 hours 10 minutes of actual play.

    On average I finish only 4 turns, because the first 2 games in most tournaments players have to keep double checking rules, strength, damages. I usually play local, but I have noticed a lot of players in the GTs since the BAO most people still don’t learn their statlines and dont have homemade data slates.

    When GW released the datacards I expected the srats of units to be in there. Instead, its tactical objectives and psychic powers only so I take photos/ use battlescribe data slates and then crop and fit 2-3 statlines per page. My turns take about 1/2 as long as opponents when the home made data slates are ready and they allow use of the dice app.

  3. FunkyGroove February 5, 2018 12:57 pm #

    Great episode guys! I attended the LVO and I am guilty of being a slow player. (not on purpose of course) However, I was lucky enough to talk with inControl at the beginning of day 2 who offered great advice on how to play faster, such as sharing dice for armor saves and limiting myself to 15 minutes a turn. This was my first time playing 8th edition in a competitive sense and with an army style I was unfamiliar with. While it was a great time all around, I felt bad for my day1 opponents, especially my first opponent, as we only made it to round 2 (The rest of the games made it to turn 4)

    This episode really lays down some nice guidelines on how to behave and how to perform in which I will take to heart and incorporate into future events. Planning ahead of time on what to do in the deployment phase will definitely allow games to go faster, as I felt that phase of the game took longer than needed. As for the commercial in the podcast, it felt fine. It was 40k related, short, and made the transition from group talk to solo talk smooth.

    • iNcontroL February 5, 2018 2:35 pm #

      Thanks man and I am glad to hear the advice helped!

  4. DaRoyalKing February 5, 2018 1:40 pm #

    Does anyone have a link to Incontrol article that is mention on the pod?

    • iNcontroL February 5, 2018 2:35 pm #

      It’s like 3-4 down from this post on the flg page my man.

  5. Peter de Florio February 5, 2018 2:20 pm #

    You really should give partial points for unplayed turns… Or we should do the overall points being played.

    It would cut down on all blatant cheating going on around players trying to get points for turns not played.

    I had a couple opponents literally get mad at me for not giving / taking points for unplayed turns. It happened to me at Dragonfall as well, and came up in several conversations at LVO.

    So it’s a pretty rampant problem.

    • zero-charisma February 5, 2018 2:44 pm #

      Well…right now you only get points for the turns you play. Unless the opponent conceeds or gets tabled… so that is already built into the system now.

      • Peter de Florio February 6, 2018 11:08 am #

        I understand how it’s supposed to work, but that not what’s happening.

        Games are going to turn 3 and players are scoring it as if it will went 5 turns.

        I can’t be the only one that seeing this every tournament and is being pulled into point fixing conversations after games….

        It’s happening a lot in ITC events, and it’s an ITC problem because you score as you go as opposed to scoring differential or w/l/d (ie systems that fix this problem).

        So both players are leaving points in the board if they don’t finish, so rules basically encourage point collusion (ie cheating).

        Giving points for unplayed turns fixes the problem and gives the TOs and real view into click management. Very few games actually get finished at tournies at the moment.

        It also appears to address some other issues, like the point gap between massacres and unfinished games.

  6. Rob Butcher February 5, 2018 2:21 pm #

    An interesting round-up of the situation and the ways that could resolve it. I was intrigued to hear that both team-mates played painfully slowly to get to the final. That needs addressing by Reece and co as T.O. to prevent a future occurrence.

    One suggestion is to have everyone attend a certain number of events with the same army as they will use at a big tournament. Then they should be used to using it. Backed up with data-cards for each army.

    Another would be to have one of the secondaries as a point for each battle round played.

    I liked the idea of the dice app, where can we find it ? It sounds much better than chess clocks.

  7. Petey Pab February 5, 2018 3:21 pm #

    I think I agree with Geoff primarily. I think the slow play problem can only be fixed by the community, and a mindset shift.

  8. DaRoyalKing February 5, 2018 3:31 pm #

    IMO The only solution to slow play issue at major events such as the LVO is chess clocks. It is the most fair system with both players having equal amount of time to play their games. You will no longer need TO’s to police players into speeding up, no feel bad moments of having to be a dick asking opponent to speed up, judges are freed up to make other decision/calls, both players know exactly how much time they have and are able to better plan their turns.

    Major events should have no issue buying chess clocks in bulk and in reality this is only a small one time cost compared to the hundreds of dollars already on the table. I am all for paying extra to have chess clock at my table. It is extremely frustrating spending countless hours building and painting your army, taking time off from work/family/friends, and spending hundreds on travel costs just to have it all go to waste by only getting to turn 3 in one of your game (if your a competitive player). Since it only takes one game to take you out of the runnings and the odds are you will have that one game during your tournament were you get slow played.

    • Petey Pab February 5, 2018 4:15 pm #

      Purchasing 250+ Chess clocks, with the batteries required, and replacing the ones that go missing every year from general theft/misplacement is something a lot of major events can NOT do.

      Please don’t take my response as a condescending remark. There is a lot of things about running conventions and events that make it so that TOs rarely break even, and have to go “the extra step” to turn over any sort of profit. I understand from the outside looking in how it can look like a minor expense, but trust me. If it was financially easy to do, then tournaments would have done it by now.

      • Laurence February 5, 2018 10:42 pm #

        It’s also incredibly difficult to implement. What do you do if one player sincerely forgets to start their chess clock? What do you do if your opponent takes a long time to roll their saves?

        • Schmuvness February 6, 2018 3:24 am #

          Of course the players buy their own clocks. No TO is required to do that.
          A regular chess clock costs about 20 dollars.

          You have one clock per table and the players remind each other to press their button.
          If your opponent has to ake a lot of saves you can press the button while he decides which models are gonna take the first wound and so on, once he’s done, you press the button for him again and keep doing your own stuff. It’s really easy to do and incredibly helpful.
          Just at the last tournament I had one game in which my opponent used up more than half an hour of playtime than me. My turns 3 and 4 consisted of 10 minutes in which I only did the most important stuff and had to race through everything or i wouldnt have had them at all. In the end i was very glad that i could show the TOs my chess clock and that my opponent was sanctioned and lost some points that i received in return.

        • Shas’O February 6, 2018 3:30 am #

          We’ve implemented chess clocks at my local store. The way it works is each player gets an hour. Whenever one player is taking actions, his clock is running. It doesn’t go by turns. For example, my clock is running in my shooting phase. I roll 6 wounds, hit the clock. My opponents clock is running while he/she takes saves and removes models. When they are done and it’s time for me to do something again, he hits the clock and my time starts running.

          It is a challenge for hordes, but overall forces players to pay attention, plan ahead, and be quick about things. We almost always finish now!

        • DaRoyalKing February 6, 2018 1:34 pm #

          Other miniature game systems have implemented chess clocks just fine. Of course it wont be easy and the missions/rules would have to be adjusted to work for 40k. It will also take some getting used to for players, however its the only solution I can see.

          Slow playing has always plagued 40k as long as I can remember. TO’s have tried all the recommend solutions expect chess clocks. I think its time to atleast try this solution at major event.

          I understand that the cost will be rough for TOs but it is a easy cost to build in to the price of the ticket. They could even require people to use smartphones or tablets to play on in this day of age. Then offer rentals of chess clocks for a fee for players to rent out if they don’t have the means to supply their own.

  9. Danny McDevitt February 5, 2018 4:14 pm #

    I felt like the tables were pretty good, except for a few. I definitely played on one table with 0 LoS blocking terrain in the middle, which was unfortunate.

    Slow play is tough. I feel like I play pretty fast, but none of my games got past T4 (in fact, all my games only went to 3 bar one) at LVO. There’s got to be a better way to make sure that people are playing at a good pace, and I can’t think of a better way to do without a chess clock. I feel like maybe having a block of time set aside for deployment might make a difference? Like when the game time starts, that’s when dice get rolled. Also, generating things like deployment zone and everything else seem to take quite a bit of time as well. So, for big events, it might be worth it to assign these zones before the event rather than have them generated at the table.

    Tony was within his rights to make the call that he did – this is the very pinnacle of 40k. Making a mistake like that (placing a deep striking model before moving your other models)…people should be held accountable, especially at the top tables. I usually give people one take back per game, but I feel like I’m a pretty generous person in that regard.

    • Petey Pab February 5, 2018 4:17 pm #

      I agree with you. I think he definitely pulled a dick move on Alex, but ultimately (as Alex stated) he was in the right. Sure, we can improve as sportsman in general as a community, but Tony isn’t the pinnacle of the worst our community has to offer, and he certainly doesn’t deserve to be told to quit the game, and go kill himself. Or to be banned.

      • Laurence February 5, 2018 10:45 pm #

        But the point that Geoff was making was that it WASNT a mistake by Alex. It was quite obviously intended to save time that Tony had wasted. I’m not asking for Tonys head, but taking an hour for your first turn at his level is an absolute disgrace

  10. Schmuvness February 5, 2018 4:23 pm #

    Hello there,

    here in Germany, we play at least 3 hours per match even up to 3,5 hours. Tournament days strt at 9h and nobody is complaining about that. Still there are huge problems about slow playing and games not coming to a natural conclusion (turns 5-7).

    We now have an official ‘Code of Conduct’ which clarifies that if one player wants use a chess clock, it is to be used. with the chess clock you can easily see which player used up which amount of time and we have clear rules for sanctioning players who used up all of their time. This Sanctioning comes only into play if the game didnt at least run for 5 turns.

    I can only recommend establishing play with chess clocks. They’re easy to handle and if both players remind each other to press the button there are no hick ups. A regular chess clock costs about 20 dollars.
    The chess clock itself makes people play way faster, at first because of fear of repercussions and later because they have practised to do so.

    • Reecius February 5, 2018 5:02 pm #

      Yeah, we keep taking about chess clocks but haven’t implemented them, yet.

      • zero-charisma February 5, 2018 10:33 pm #

        Please don’t. It sounds horribly unfun.

        • Shas’O February 6, 2018 3:36 am #

          We use chess clocks. After a couple games you get used to them and it’s not a pain at all. They force folks to pay attention, plan ahead, and be quick about things.

      • V1234 February 7, 2018 1:23 pm #

        Probably only need them for serious matches, not every single one, so once you get to the upper bracket and latter rounds where stakes are higher

  11. Darthdiggler February 5, 2018 4:34 pm #

    Slow play has been part of the higher levels of the game for a long time, long time. It is a weapon incorporated into your army build to be used against certain list types. Battle points only helps mitigate it a little, but then so many people want wins to be wins and tabling shouldn’t be better than a squeaker. I get that. I was always a big proponent of that in the mid 2000’s. But now more people are seeing how powerful the slow play weapon can be.

    If you want to eliminate slow play as a weapon you have to hit both players where it hurts. A win to completion (turn 5 or tabling) nets the winner 1 point win and the loser a 0 point lose. A win that results from a game that does not finish… the winner gets 0.75 points in wins and the loser gets -0.25 points in wins. A negative lose. Aaron and Tony (teammates from Chicago who learn a lot of the same tricks together) won’t be so satisfied to take their 3 turn victory if it is not going to count in full.

    Both players will have to take the hit in order to ensure they both have a vested interest in the game finishing to completion. Obvious slow play can still be brought to the attention of the judge, who I agree in the podcast should transition to a referee.

    The effect of this separation will have chronically slow players congealed to the lowest brackets together, lower than faster players who just lose their games. Slow winners will find themselves on the outside looking into the top tables with a better chance to bust into the top 8 than a player who has taken a draw (0.5 points), but the lower win score will serve as a warning that you had better speed up in the future.

    • Dbiesto February 5, 2018 9:26 pm #

      Awarding people negative points and lower points for not completing games would turn a lot of players off. Players would stop actually playing past turn 1 and just start estimating everything, so instead of a game where you interaft, after the first turn you negotiate what will die and what will live and where points will be awarded each turn.

      Give the game 2:45 or even 3 hours with players having to bring their own chess clocks and the games would finish for the most part. Horde players: use movement trays or most wont get to turn 3.

      High dice players: get ready to talk to TO to have the dice app approved so a player cant turn down the use of a tool to speed up gMe play.

      • Peter de Florio February 6, 2018 11:12 am #

        Awarding partial points for unplayed turns is a far more elegant solution.

        It’s real simple.

        Circle unfinished turns you each get 2 points per turn.

        It fixed a lot of issues.

        • Reecius February 6, 2018 3:13 pm #

          How does that stop players form colluding on their scores? It is still less points than they could have gotten. It mitigates an issue and actually provides a reward to players for not finishing games from a certain perspective.

          Collusion is rare, not as common as folks would think. It can happen in any format and if caught, both players would be expelled from the event so hardly worth it.

          • Peter de Florio February 7, 2018 10:22 am

            Because you give a “legal” path for valuing an entire games worth of points.

            It’s a carrot, not a stick approach.

            Players still want to play faster to get more “possible” points, but it reduces “the need”, impact and reward for cheating.

            Statistically, the gap between “games scored in entirety” vs partial games is enormous from a percentage of scored points perspective. Big enough that you run into one pox Walker or Ork list and even if you win your tourny is over. I estimate I never even got to play turns for ~140 possible points in the championship tourny (not including secondaries or bonus). How is that competitive 40k?

            As for frequency of collusion. You know me well enough that I wouldn’t be bringing this up if it wasn’t an issue.

            I can talk about my own experience. It happened to me at EVERY game at LVO but 1 and that includes the RTT. It happened to me at every game but one at Dragonfall as well, which is the last ITC tourny where I completed. Plus I heard it happening over and over and over again on the tables scoring around me. In short, for me it’s not “rare”. It was the norm.

            I can’t be the only one uncomfortably having these conversations after my games constantly.

            Plus. I play quickly. I pre sort colored dice piles. My armies are on movement trays. My armies are organized for rapid deployment. I practice games and know the missions before tournies. I pre plan deployments. I run armies that hardly deploy and start largely in reserves. And still its rare to truly finish a game at 2k against a lot of opponents / lists.

            Ultimately this cheating is a derivative of a much larger ITC scoring issue. This doesn’t happen in W/l/d for point differential scoring format GTs. At least not on this scale.

          • Reecius February 7, 2018 1:32 pm

            If you have enough rounds for a Swiss winner then the degree you win by is lagrely irrelevant. The only time it matters is if you don’t have enough rounds to determine a Swiss winner. And in that case, if players at top tables are simply giving themselves more rounds for more points it would be pretty far fetched that no one would notice. That is like the players simply saying they got more points than they did which can happen in any format but is highly unethical.

            If collusion is the norm where you live, I don’t know what to tell you but in the many, many games I have observed it assuredly is not. And judging by the scores that came in, if they were colluding they were doing a poor job of it as there were many scores that were low, indicating turns not finished. If you’re going to cheat, why run the risk for a low return? And again, at the LVO, it didn’t matter. You’d have to be poignant of how the system actually worked, a win was over 20x more valuable than the points earned in the game. If someone did give themselves extra points it had very little impact on the event. In the Sunday RTT it was totally pointless, lol, as it is a winner takes all format. You gain nothing by getting more points there if you lost the game.

            So I understand the argument you’re making but it is not actually very relevant to the current scoring structure, particularly not at the LVO. Players can collude in any format. I have seen players give their opponent objectives they didn’t earn after beating them many, many times just to be nice as it doesn’t change the outcome of their game. It’s not an ITC thing specifically, it is just a possible (but rare) occurrence in the types of games we play.

          • Peter de Florio February 7, 2018 10:40 am

            Another way to look at it is this.

            Time is about to end. It’s bottom of round 3.

            I say. I don’t move. I don’t shoot. Your turn.

            My opponent says the same.

            We fly through turn 4, 5, 6 in 2 minutes…

            We have “legally” finished the game.

            We both probably have 6 to 9 points more… Which is probably an extra 25 to 50% percent of points scored in 3 turns.

            All I’m saying is you basically should formalize something like that process.

          • Reecius February 7, 2018 1:34 pm

            Yeah, you can add verbiage to that effect but there are times (albeit rarely) when doing nothing or extremely little is the smart play in 40k. You don’t want to make that play illegal.

  12. iNcontroL February 5, 2018 6:22 pm #

    I personally would like tourneys to be 2:45 OR 3 hours AND implement a dual point loss if a game doesn’t get to turn 4 in that time. Has incentive and gives more time to play.. 2.5 hours is SHORT even with both guys trying to play fast. If ONE of them has a horde army or a “every phase of the game” army like Eldar it gets rough. With Tau coming up it’s only gonna get worse (my guess).

    The other part is everyone addressing their own issue with playing leisurely. Play fast! Talk/socialize after.

    • Laurence February 5, 2018 10:52 pm #

      I know I keep harking on about the UK scene, but again we’ve had measures in place for these issues for years.

      1) if both players don’t get 4 turns, the game is a draw

      2) a fairly strict code of conduct with a yellow/red card system. If a UK TO saw what Tony did, it would have unquestionably been a straight max point win for Alex. I think I heard that the Candian ETC Captain said he would have carded his own player for behaviour like that.

  13. Nightman February 6, 2018 12:28 am #

    Good show guys 🙂

    Used the dice app in several tournaments, never had any issues. Make everything visible and clear for your opponent. Many even ask to borrow it.

    Use movement trays.

    TO announcing time every 30min helps. It’s easy to zone out while playing.

    Plan your next turn ahead while waiting for your opponent.

    2.5 hours is not a realistic time frame for completing a 2000 point game (in my opinion). Consider 3 hour rounds.

    Is it possible to get some stats on the percentage of games not going to turn 6 looking at primary point scores? If a large chunk of players are having time issues, it’s safe to assume there is something wrong with the point level / time limit.

    If you develop an app and 50% of the userbase do not understand it we would asssume there is something wrong with the app and not the user. 8th is a lot simpler rules wise, but there is a ton more logistics in; resolving dmg, stratagems, screens, denying deep strikes, measuring deep strikes, resolving less meaningful shots vs veichles/monsters (because there is a chanse of doing dmg), no instant death, multiple dmg vs FNP saves, precise movement in charge / assault phase ETC.

  14. Schmuvness February 6, 2018 3:48 am #

    This is an excerpt from the German Tabletopmasters System:

    “Every player has 50% of the given time at his or her disposal. Whoever uses up
    more than his or her own time, because of whatever reason (thinking too long, playing
    slowly or even going on breaks) can be reprimanded and then be sanctioned. If one
    player demands the usage of a chess clock at the beginning of the game, the clock is
    to be used by both players. The players help each other and remind each other to
    press the button on the clock.
    Stalling can only be sanctioned if one player is raising a formal protest, i.e.
    tells the organisers that he wants to report the opponent for stalling. A player
    can only be sanctioned if a game did not complete at least the fifth
    Sanctioning for stalling:
    The tournament points that get deducted form one player for stalling, automatically
    go to the other player.
    1. Grade, when ones own time is exceeded: 3 Points deduction
    2. Grade, if ones own time is exceeded by at least ten minutes: 7 Points deduction
    3. Grade, automatic loss of the game for the staller.”

    Please regard this as a source of insipration. Just want to show how other communities do it. Not saying it’s right or wrong.

  15. Jamie February 6, 2018 6:18 pm #

    Thanks for the shout out! My shout out to my 8 awesome opponents, all great guys to play and great armies!

    5 tyrant guard might have been overkill, but i was pretty worried about gunlines ruining my swarmlord’s day. The extra guard does help me snake them next to swarmy and often next to my flyrants or my malanthrope. I only lost swarmlord in 1 game where he bashed down Guilliman but got smacked in the face by custodes. Tyrant Guard only died fully in 1 game (the one I lost to eventual tournament Winner), but the extra guard did help out in many games. Whether the extra 80 points could be better spent elsewhere is debatable. Maybe just the sheer intimidation of that many wounds on the Tguard helps stop people focusing them down when there are other target options, and if swarmy lives, my hive fleet really moves!

  16. Tomguycot February 7, 2018 10:34 am #

    Just a thought for dealing with the realities of slow play. How about rather than designing missions to go a total of X turns and either tally score as you go or tally score at the end of turn X you instead design missions around “first to X points” win condition. That way you either get to X points and win/lose or you don’t and it’s a draw. It would be entirely possible to have a natural conclusion without playing 6 turns and also the slow players would end up in the “draw hell” bracket and essentially sort themselves out of contention.

  17. Peter de Florio February 7, 2018 10:42 am #

    Another way to look at it is this.

    Time is about to end. It’s bottom of round 3.

    I say. I don’t move. I don’t shoot. Your turn.

    My opponent says the same.

    We fly through turn 4, 5, 6 in 2 minutes…

    We have “legally” finished the game.

    We both probably have 6 to 9 points more… Which is probably an extra 25 to 50% percent of points scored in 3 turns.

    All I’m saying is you basically should formalize something like that process.

  18. TheCredibleHulk February 15, 2018 3:31 am #

    In the podcast, Val talks about locking down screening units. Could someone please go into a bit more detail of how to do that.

  19. Hoya4life3381 February 15, 2018 4:17 pm #

    I heard that the Blood Angels list Mark used did not use Descent of Angels correctly. He used Descent of Angels not only on deep strike, but used them even when they were regularly on the table. He used this to ensure 9″ charges. Not trying to hate, but it also explains why he finished so high.

Leave a Reply to Peter de Florio