This Week in the ITC 5-31-18

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you a wrap up of this week in the ITC!

This week didn’t see too much changing in the ITC. A few players dropped out of the top 10 with a couple leapfrogging in but for the most part, it’s unchanged. So this week I want to focus on the break down of the Factions represented in the top of the ITC and the factions that look strongest based on that, and their leaderboards. I have two lists I want to show you from the top 10 as well. Before that, though I would like to put the ITC Hobby Track’s top 10 up and make a request. If you’re on this list. Send me a quality picture of your army so I can include it in next week’s article! Contact me through the SaltyJohn Facebook page or via my personal email if you know it.

If you know anyone in the top 10 for the Hobby Track in 40k and you know they don’t read my articles, which I can’t understand why they wouldn’t, let them know we’d love to see their armies!  Like I said there wasn’t too much change in the top 10 from last week but let’s look at the list again.

I decided to take a closer look at the break down of the top ten in terms of faction. A few weeks ago, after Adepticon, the top 10 was fairly diverse with the exception of having several Tyranid players. Now the lone Tyranid player sits atop the heap in the number 1 position. 3 players rocking Aeldari lists of various types also populate the top 10 with Alaitoc and Ynnari being most popular. 3 players currently run Death Guard as their primary factions, showing that papa Nurgle isn’t done with us yet despite the nerf to Poxwalkers. A single Chaos Space Marine player is hanging on for dear life in the top 10 given nerfs to several aspects that made CSM competitive, looking at you tide of traitors. Geoff Robinson continues to carry the Custodes banner into battle alone in the top 10, and Mitch Pelham continues his extraordinary run with his Astra Militarum lists, mostly Tallarn. A few lists I found from our top 10 that I found interesting are below.

The Aeldari list seems to be pretty standard fare these days for Aeldari lists. Even with a “nerf” to Dark Reapers in terms of number of units you can take max, I just don’t see it being enough to push the Aeldari off their dominant trajectory.  You’ll note that the Death Guard list is labeled as “LVO” but won an event last month according to Best Coast Pairings. When it comes to the top 2 most dominant factions right now in the ITC I think you have to lay that title at the feet of Aeldari and Death Guard. Looking at the two lists you can easily see how and why they are good, and what elements are present in other top lists from these factions we’ve seen played at other events. The inclusion of things like Rangers and the Yvraine isn’t surprising, as well as the aforementioned Dark Reapers. The Death Guard list has Poxwalkers and Cultists, even with the nerf these units are still good, and the double Fire Raptors are still putting out a ton of firepower and making it to the table tops. I think what makes these factions so good is their versatility within codex and larger faction. What I mean by this is if you look at the Death Guard and Aeldari lists that do well they are many and varied but they include a few themes. Generally, they have Battalions for CP, duh, but they have complimentary detachments. The Death Guard has Alpha Legion, the Alaitoc have Ynnari. But there’s also a diversity in some of the top lists from these armies. The Plague Burst Crawler spam may have taken a hit but you can still field 3 of them with no problem and they’re still really good. The ability to build lists that have complimentary plug and play detachments is good in 8th like it was good in 7th. In 7th we had the plug and play formations, now we have plug and play detachments, but with less of the hyper-annoying interactions that came with say, Taudar. It has been interesting to watch how 8th ed has unfolded, particularly post LVO, and again post big FAQ. With two new releases coming hot on the heels of Druhkari and Deathwatch we’re in for a fun summer analyzing what I think will be a fast shifting meta.

Harlequins look to be another one of these plug and play add on detachments for an already strong Aeldari and Dhrukahri meta. Dhrukari are still too new in my opinion to have made enough of an impact but they are definitely going to be felt in the next month or so in the competitive scene and I can see Harlequins playing a role in their success to some extent but more as a way for savvy players to extend the dominance of the Aeldari. The most intriguing change to the meta for the ITC in my opinion is going to come from the Imperial Knight codex.

Besides bringing a new codex into the meta there are other factors involved with the Imperial Knights as an army in the game. They’re an interesting army in 40k in that, if you play them pure, it’s an army of all vehicles. In 8th edition, I have noticed there’s not a whole lot of big models making it into the top levels at tournaments. You might find a Fire Raptor sometimes, but that’s a flyer, even a Shadowsword here or there, but for the most part, they are absent. Introducing a viable, and reduced cost, all Knight army into the meta could cause quite a shift in ways other, more balanced from models standpoint, codices just haven’t done. With large numbers of wounds, access to high powered weaponry, and now with access to cheaper Armigers, we will be seeing armies that aren’t like anything else in the meta thus far. It is one of the more exciting releases from the standpoint of someone who writes this article on the ITC week after week!

I reached out to current number one Renegade Knight player, and seasoned Knight player in general, Derek Page for his take on the new Knights and how they might be shaking up the ITC meta.

“Having played knights since their introduction I was a bit disappointed with them when Eighth edition came out. I was still competitive with them or the first few months, but it was an uphill battle. With every codex that came out they got harder to play and after marines dropped I basically called it for knights, with only the hope of Chapter Approved turning that around. Unfortunately, Chapter Approved didn’t really do anything for knights other than one gem, the removal of power level. This allowed me to bring my big knight Porphyrion! At the time though I didn’t really have an idea of what to run with him so I finished the season with my Eldar.
As the new season started I had a theme I wanted to shoot for. Renegade Knights, Dark Mechanicus, then Imperial Knights and if time allowed Mechanicus…of course with a Knight! After a LOT of games, I felt I had hammered out some good chaos support army for my Porphyrion so I started there. And switching him to dark mechanicus was a sinch. So now with knights on the horizon I decided to start testing the waters. First at a local RTT over memorial weekend. I ran an Archon, Castigator, Crusader and some blood angel allies. Keep in mind I hadn’t played more than one Knight in about 7 months and I gotta say I was surprised at how well I did. I think a culmination of thing had happened probably the biggest being the faq drop, that really helped nip some of the shenanigans that were hurting Knights. The second was a meta shift, I can’t say I really noticed it till I played the Knights and it made me look closer at what we have been running locally. It seemed there were a lot smaller elite armies maybe only 1 or 2 medium tanks and, besides the odd Ork player, very few hoards. Last and not least was the allies with So many imperial units to pick from it’s a smorgasbord of fun allies you can do good at small points. All that and the new models have gotten me excited for Knights again. With a codex, they can only get better! From some rumors, renegades will be able to use the book as well so if that’s true I’ll probably be jumping around back and fourth. I’m interested to see what the load outs of the new big guys can have and how the terrain piece affects things, even hoping for some cool combos with my Forgeworld Knights though it might be a bit before they get the rumored Knight point adjustments!” -Derek Page

I discussed in a previous article what it takes to become one of the top-ranked players in a faction or even in the top 50 of the ITC. One of the keys is winning, and performing well, at multiple GTs and Major events on top of local RTTs. We are blessed to play 40k in a time where we are spoiled for options to play competitive 40k at large events. There once was a time when GTs where few and far between and Majors, were basically just Adepticon. Given that we’re spoiled for choices these days other factors start to enter into decision making on which GTs and majors to spend your time and money on. There are some events that clearly go above and beyond to make it worthwhile for their participants. I want to share one of those with you today.

War Room Games is running a GT in Las Vegas, see the image above, and they recently put out a promotional video that is really nice. I had been considering attending this event before work got in the way because I heard nothing but good things about their first year, last year, and it only seems like it is going to get even better this year. The guys who run it take it very seriously and that’s always a good sign. If you have that weekend free and you want some ITC points for a GT win I suggest you check out the promo video they made below for more info. There are only 3 tickets left last time I checked!

GT on site at the Venitian

On site for the Gentlemens GT… Only 3 tickets left

Posted by War Room Games on Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I hope you enjoyed this week’s article. Let me know in the comments anything you would like me to cover in the future. I am still working out how best to get in contact with a large number of the faction leaders for a future article, I know that will be a good article when I get it figured out.

Also don’t forget to register for the Las Vegas Open 2019 registration opens on June 4th!  You can’t rack up more ITC points anywhere else in the world than at the Las Vegas Open. I hope to see you there and stand in judgement over your games of 40k!

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



About SaltyJohn

John has been playing Warhammer 40k since the 3rd edition box set with Space Marines, Dark Eldar, and weird green palm trees were in the set. He is currently a 40k Head Judge for the Las Vegas Open, the largest 40k tournament in the world. An avid board gamer, a huge fan of video games, and a guest spot on Geek and Sundry as a "Historian" during an episode of "Game the Game" round out his geek credentials. You can catch "Salty" John on TFG Radio's Twitch Show, and Podcast, as well as find him streaming video games on Twitch on the TFG Radio Twitch page from time to time.

10 Responses to “This Week in the ITC 5-31-18”

  1. Avatar
    bonesaww666 May 31, 2018 1:38 am #

    I cant wait for the Knight Codex to hit shelves, i have a large Knight army that left me feeling more than moxerately dissapointed with how they played in 8th, with the new Codex inbound I’m really hoping for some new life with them.

    Most likely going to find my way into the new Heavy Flamer Knight anf an Acheron to start as the foundation of my army and then build around that.

  2. Avatar
    Kevin Lantz May 31, 2018 2:34 am #

    All things equal, alot more flgs are imbracing the scene and get is supporting it. It makes me want to buy more and play more…

    That said I am aiming for top Tau. I have a few more events, wife and life willing to get me there.

    I really think knights are going to be under priced hard based off of rumors.

    • Avatar
      bonesaww666 May 31, 2018 3:04 am #

      Knights are currently drastically overpointed, the FW ones have some serious point issues.

      They lack the reliable damage output to justify their current point cost, if they were (good lord willing) 50-70 points cheaper I think it would better reflect their output on the table top.

  3. Avatar
    Rob Butcher May 31, 2018 2:48 am #

    “Which faction are you?”

    Surely when some-one is Aeldari/Ynarri or Death Guard/Alpha Legion then they are a SOUP and you’re rankings should reflect this.

    • Avatar
      Alpharius Walks May 31, 2018 4:34 am #

      A change in the ITC rules to you are your most specific faction if you have a detachment of half your points value + 1 and otherwise are your most general would certainly not be uncalled for.

      Right now not only does it get you some silliness with what faction an army is, players have issues understanding the rule and do things like pick their warlord’s faction as theirs even though the ITC rule is by points.

      As an example, if you look at this event:

      the winner listed themselves as Astra Militarum but available copies of their list such as here:

      show that they should have been Blood Angels. So not only does the current system produce odd results, it is also misunderstood or misinterpreted even by players at a high enough skill level to win a GT/major.

      That also begs the question of who should enforcing those rules if players/TOs cannot effectively do it at their own events. I guess that can be placed in the same pot as other issues discussed in Chapter Tactics 62 around trying to improve competitive 40k.

      • Reecius
        Reecius May 31, 2018 5:54 am #

        We’re all learning as we go and things like miss reporting your faction can and do happen on occasion. But with more people posting and reading lists it is going to happen less and less. And eventually, we’ll get to a point where we can automate the process. But for now, it is one glitch in the system for sure, we all just need to keep our eyes open for it and report it when we see it.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 31, 2018 6:02 am #

      We go off of largest detachment primary keyword.

  4. Avatar
    Grumnor May 31, 2018 5:00 am #

    Who’s chaos list is that and what events are those lists from? I’m having trouble finding it on the bcp app. 🙁

  5. John Lennon
    jifel May 31, 2018 6:46 am #

    @Grumnor those are from the BCP app, but if it’s from an older event it may not be visible unless you are a subscriber.

  6. Reecius
    Reecius May 31, 2018 10:46 am #

    Always enjoy reading these, John! It’s interesting to see the shifts and slides as players get better and new material comes out.

    And congratz to Matt for jumping in to the top spot! He may not becomes the first ever two time ITC champ….

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