Chapter Tactics #66: How to Win in the ITC Format

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today Peteypab, Geoff, and Abusepuppy go over what it takes to win games using the ITC format. There is also tournament coverage from 2 majors, both won by Dark Eldar.

Show Notes:

  • Click here for a link for information on downloading best coast pairings app where you can find lists for most of the events I mention.
  • 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

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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.

13 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #66: How to Win in the ITC Format”

  1. Avatar
    rvd1ofakind May 14, 2018 1:32 am #

    Re-posting, kinda.
    I have a problem with 3 of the secondaries: reaper, kingslayer, gangbusters.
    They all punish some armies for no good reason.

    Not every army can take 9 troops instead of 10 (Daemons). And even so, it’s not some “genius” thing to do. It’s obvious. Leave ’em at 9/19. It’s not even something that crosses my mind at this point. Just automatic.

    Kingslayer punishes melee Monster characters (most notably Greater Daemons), who are already not great to begin with. It is way too easy to do compared to BGH. They should be about the same right? 1 Bloodthirster vs 4 tanks is a LOT easier to kill. And heck, sometimes you don’t even have to kill the damn thing. I can’t afford to let my 340 pts model sit in the back twiddling his (gigantic) thumbs. Kinglayer is fine with <10 wound characters IMO.

    Gangbusters is just weird. Who is really afraid of that 4 Beasts of Nurgle unit/bigger swarm unit? I know I am, because If I take it, I give away 4 points for a unit of <150 pts. I'm sure my opponent appreciates the gift, though.

    And not giving away secondaries is a HUGE advantage. It's almost an autowin vs gunline armies (Which someone will bring to a tournament just because) as they will be forced to move out, you focus their "mobility dudes" and just hide. You score the same on objectives as he does on kill points and you outscore him on secondaries. If he moves out – he's way worse at killing, and again you can focus the guys he's moving. I've seen Reece say "oh that's not a big deal" if your army gives up secondaries, but that's straight up false. A simple look at the top 3 of the LVO tells the tale.

    Anecdotal evidence, but I played 2 games as necrons vs gunline. First game I got destroyed, Second game I barelly tweeked my list so that the only "kill" thing my opponent can get 3 pts on is Headhunter and it was an easy win where my opponent couldn't do much at all.

    • Avatar
      Bossanooga May 14, 2018 9:02 am #

      Well thought post RVD1. I get your frustration. Playing ITC rules isn’t perfect, but it does come the closest I’ve seen to making a balanced game. These issues you bring up have definitely caused a list building shift at our local shop since we started using ITC, and created some new ways to min/max. I’m not saying I have the answer either. There always seems to be a way to leverage any rule set, which inevitable favors some armies over others, or at least forces specific builds for that faction to be competitive. Greater daemons are in a tough spot for sure.

      On the bright side, the recent big FAQ which has caused an increase in lazy gun lines, can be hard countered by using the list tweaks and strategies you mentioned. IMHO gun line hammer is a boring, thoughtless game for simpletons.

      Alternatively, you can go whole hog and say screw it, here’s 4 victory points, but this tactic will swing the positioning/table control game in my favor. Then use that sacrifice to play the primary/secondary balance game. Has worked really well for me particularly with cultists at 12-14 per unit, hitting that balance between soaking up lots of bullets and effectiveness without hitting auto wipe issues to morale, and sidesteps the 9 or 19 pigeon hole.

      Hopefully we’ll see the meta shift a bit more, countering those top lists, and things will settle into balance with the force. 😉

      • Reecius
        Reecius May 14, 2018 10:04 am #

        So much of this depends on your local meta as that shapes your perception. We get people writing in frequently saying secondary objectives X and Y are totally broken and too easy to get and then another person write in the next day saying, secondary objectives X and Y and terrible and no one ever takes them, etc.

        For example, my Neconr army gives up like no kill points/kill objectives but struggles to get objective missions. However, my Eldar give up lots of kills but kick ass at the objective portion. Some armies just do better or worse based on some mission parameters, your terrain, who you play against, the way you play, etc. It really varies.

        I’m not saying the missions can’t be improved at all, just that we have to be careful to look at the bigger picture and not just localized experiences because they often contradict one another.

    • Avatar
      Alpharius Walks May 15, 2018 10:17 am #

      I think us Guard players mostly whine about people whining about us these days. I think we generally forgive confusion over the Baneblade chassis.

      Obviously continuing to balance the secondaries will always be tricky. Hopefully ITC can balance off of others’ efforts, like the NOVA mission pack (in particular I like their secondary equivalent of The Reaper being a point per 20 models instead of counting units of a certain size).

      My own personal modifications would be:

      (a) Models with the Flyer battlefield role cannot score Recon, Behind Enemy Lines or the Linebreaker component of Old School.

      (b) Replace the most units killed bonus point per round with a count by Power Level destroyed.

      But judges against the entirety of the rule set those are pretty small changes.

  2. Avatar
    Danny McDevitt May 14, 2018 12:30 pm #

    Man, have I been mispronouncing “meta” this entire time?

    Good episode though – it’s interesting to hear what things work in other places compared to our local, insular scene.

    • Avatar
      Vercingatorix May 14, 2018 2:21 pm #

      no, abusepuppy is just saying it fancy like but not even the English say it that way.

    • Avatar
      AbusePuppy May 15, 2018 9:13 pm #

      In my experience, “meta” the noun is pronounced differently than “meta” the prefix, even though they have the same origin.

      • Avatar
        Dakkath May 15, 2018 11:34 pm #

        Aren’t they both pronounced “met-uh”?

        • Avatar
          Vercingatorix May 17, 2018 6:36 am #

          yeah, that’s why I went to for the pronunciation. I was like, wow, there’s a whole group of people saying this really common word differently. But no, I’m pretty sure it’s just AbusePuppy haha.

  3. Avatar
    Agent X May 15, 2018 8:55 am #

    Nice timing for your discussion about the beta reserve rules creating value for existing units who can still sneak in turn 1 and the fact it will catch people off guard because they feel “safe” with the new beta reserve changes

    That literally happened to me on Sat when I attended my first ever tournament.

    I was facing an AdMech player with fulgurites. I’m still new and don’t know all the rules/abilities for other armies. As my first ever match against AdMech I asked if he had anything that could deep strike or special reserve rules before we deployed. He told me could spend a CP to reserve a unit (and that is ALL he said).

    I figure ok beta rules he can’t get me and deploy with no screening force (my 1K point army has a relic leviathan and bjorn with 3 cyber wolves starting on the board turn 1. To prevent the cyber wolves from being picked off for easy kill points I tuck them behind walls etc. until I need them to fan out on turn 2).

    He then rolls and wins deployment then smiles and unveils his trap. Hands me a card with the “clandestine infiltration” rule and says oh you might want to read this. I just shake my head and think MFer that is not cool.

    Karma agreed with me as he moved within 3 inches of Bjorn then rolled snake eyes for his charge and another 1 after he used a CP.

    I went on to win and it was a satisfying experience and my first tournament win ever…will definitely remember it all.

    Anyways…long story short. Your analysis is spot on. I am personally guilty of being over confident in the beta reserve rules and it nearly got me.

    *Cue the train b/c it agrees!

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL May 15, 2018 10:24 am #

      o m g this is such a good story though. Sounds like you were the “bigger man” but I would have been pretty smug I think haha

  4. Avatar
    Khyz0r May 16, 2018 1:17 am #

    Can I ask why the ITC Missions have not adopted any sense of randomness to VP harvesting? I mean I tend to play Maelstrom games a lot more these days for the simple fact it makes for more interesting games. I mean the random nature of the cards you draw can sometime be opposite to the goals you were trying to achieve in the previous turn/s, or even how you deploy your army, and then have to change on the fly in order to try to win.

    • Avatar
      Alpharius Walks May 16, 2018 3:58 am #

      ITC actually does have a whole mission pack that blends Eternal War and Maelstrom out of the rule book missions but most people prefer to play with the Champion’s Missions pack. You could always talk to your local TOs about using the less common mission pack if you want to run an official ITC mission set that includes random elements.

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