Last week we took a look at the ITC Standings with a focus on the Factions rather than the overall leaderboard. This time around in This Week in the ITC we’re going to revisit the main leaderboard with a look at how the top few players are doing with Adpeticon out of the way. I am also going to record this article again and upload it as an episode for TFG Radio for those of you who prefer to listen rather than read.
Last weekend was Adepticon, for those who don’t know Adpeticon is a large gaming convention in Chicago with a very 40k centric theme. The Adepticon Championships saw an ITC leader take it all home with a first-place finish at a major giving a big boost in points. Before we discuss lists, or how Adepticon went, let’s talk quickly about the tool that makes this all possible, the Best Coast Pairings app!
I talked with Paul McKelvey again this week and he has a few updates on the BCP app to pass along to you! Android will be live for open beta, pushing through tonight, which should make manual submissions go away forever. That would be really nice, the manual submissions can be a pain to wait for. If your TO is saying that manual submissions aren’t showing up please also check to make sure they have an actual event key, we’ve had that problem locally before. BCP has started selling Event Suite, which is aimed at retailers if anyone owns a store or works with a store they can contact Best Coast Pairings for more info. The people over at BCP work hard to bring us an ever improving quality product; without which the tracking of the ITC, and the writing of this article, would be a monumental task bordering on the verge of impossible. The competitive gaming community has a lot to thank them for, and if you run competitive events of the non-GW persuasion contact Best Coast Pairings, they are looking into how they can expand their product for use in other game systems!
With that let us move on to the overall leaders of the ITC.
Despite his first-place finish at Adepticon Matt Root was kept out of the top spot in the ITC for yet another week by Josh Death who has maxed his number of events out at 5. While scores higher than one of these 5 will replace the lower score in terms of the standings being maxed out at 5 compared to Matt Roots 4 scores is really what’s keeping Josh in the lead at this point. There are some big names in that top 10 still in the hunt for ITC glory and the season is young. Josh came in 13th at Adepticon, an extraordinarily solid showing, with Chaos Daemons rather than his usual Death Guard.
Josh’s list for Adepticon seemed to combine some great shooting in the Plagueburst Crawlers with the immense staying power of Nurgle Daemons when accompanied by their fortifications. For those who remember Josh’s list from the Las Vegas Open, it worked on a similar concept of durability, armies that are highly mobile and highly durable seem to do well in 8th edition. Enter the second place player in ITC and Adepticon Champion Matt Root with his Flyrant Tyranids of Doom.
Matt’s list seems to have single-handedly pushed back Games Workshop’s March 40k FAQ! Good job Matt Root! His list has been discussed to death in many areas of the internet from Facebook to the forbidden zones of DakkaDakka and Reddit. So I won’t beat a dead horse here any further, but suffice it to say that list is brutal and put into the hands of one of the preeminent Warhammer 40k players in the world it is frighteningly effective. This has kept Matt firmly ensconced upon the top of the Tyranid Faction Leaderboard in the ITC with Gary Frank hot on his heels and Shawn Prosser still within striking distance.
Adepticon was a source of shake-ups in a few of the Faction Leader Boards so let’s take a quick look at those.
The Aeldari Faction saw a bit of a switch up with Brad Chester on top with only 2 events showing for him in the ITC. Coming in 7th overall at Adepticon catapulted Brad to the top of the Aeldari Faction. With double Battalions and a Spearhead Brad loaded up on a fair number of Dark Reapers and a few Wave Serpents. With a much-rumored nerf coming to Dark Reapers, which I personally don’t feel is that warranted in the current meta, the Aeldari based factions could be in for a rough few months of internal meta shake out. If anyone has the chance of navigating a tidal wave sized shift in a faction meta and remaining on top of their faction Brad Chester is up there with the players who could. James Kelling is right on Brad’s tail though less than 1 point back.
Another big faction shift came from the Custodes Faction. If you remember I mentioned that I thought the new golden boys of 40k would be a faction to watch in the coming months, and I still believe that. I also stated that I thought the Custodes role in the competitive 40k scene would probably be as a piece to a more diverse list and the current jump of Geoff, incontrol, Robinson into First place in that faction comes from his 9th place Adepticon showing with a list that is Custodes Primary but with some complimentary Imperial pieces.
Vertus Praetors and Shield-Captains on Dawn Eagle’s are where it’s at with Custodes at the moment, and Geoff proved that. In a list with 10CPs and a Guard Battalion that served as a rechargeable CP battery, I am sure he could use Stratagems for days in his matches. For those not familiar with the Astra Militarum CP battery allow me to elucidate. Imperial armies, like Grey Knights and Custodes, that require massive amounts of Command Points in order to use their Stratagems to effectively win games; also, generally speaking, cannot gain enough CPs on their own from detachments of the pure faction persuasion. The Astra Militarum Battalion is the perfect way to gain 3 Command Points on the cheap with the ability to regain or gain, Command Points during the game. Kurov’s Aquila is a generic AM relic that allows you to gain a CP on a roll of 5+ anytime your opponent uses a Stratagem. The Grand Strategist Warlord Trait lets you roll a d6 anytime you use a CP, on a 5+ you are immediately refunded that CP. With Kurov’s Aquila on his Warlord with Grand Strategist Geoff was probably gaining and refunding CPs at the rate required to effectively let his Custodes do their work.
Geoff now sits firmly atop the Adeptus Custodes leaderboard with only 2 events under his belt for the season using Custodes! David Villareal is still in the running less than 2 points back from Geoff. I am sure if he sticks with the army we can see Geoff make a strong run at Best of Custodes for the 2018 ITC season but David doesn’t look like he’ll be a pushover.
In the Chaos Space Marines faction leaderboard, we see yet another example of the influence a good showing at a Major can have in the ITC standings. Last week Mark Perry sat atop the CSM mountain with Daniel Sansone in third. Those two have since flipped and in second place with only two events but a whopping 304.02 points we find Nick Nanavati springboarding into the top 3 with a second place finish at Adepticon. Nick’s list was a massive horde of cultists supported by some poxwalkers and you can find it discussed to death online just like Matt’s elsewhere.
The big take away from these massive changes in the standings is an insight into just what it will take to win a best of Faction award, or the overall ITC title at seasons end. The power of a GT win pales in comparison to the power of winning a Major. Even placing in the top 10 of some Major events will net you more ITC points that a win at some of the small GTs that are held throughout the course of the ITC season. Winning these big events takes a lot of time and commitment to the game of Warhammer 40k and it also has to be accompanied by a player that possesses a mind for the nuances of the game, beyond just what is taking place on the table top. Winning a Major, or a GT, will require some sheer luck in terms of matchups, but the road to winning one of these events starts in the planning. I am not even talking about list construction at this phase. Understanding the event’s format, missions, and the type of terrain used at the events in past years and the likelihood of that changing for the current event are all major factors the best players take into account before they even put their mind to building a list. These events are all unique in the ways I just listed and the fact you see the same players at the top time after time, with different lists, speaks volumes about how seriously they consider the non-game, and non-list, factors of Warhammer 40k Major and GT events.
I hope you enjoyed this week’s article, check back next week when I will be focusing on the Team Rankings and we can revisit some of the changes in the Regional Leaderboards as well. With Necrons hitting the meta this weekend it will be interesting to see how the hyper resilient Necrontyr force changes in the meta and the leaderboards throughout the ITC. I’ll leave you with the team rankings as they currently stand as a frame of reference for next week’s article. Let me know what you thought of this article and ways you would like to see me improve it for the future!
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