Chapter Tactics #71: Analyzing the Flying Monkey Robot Meta

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. The title explains it all.

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  • 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.
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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.

31 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #71: Analyzing the Flying Monkey Robot Meta”

  1. Troy Graber June 26, 2018 5:58 am #

    Here is the list I ran at Flying Monkeys (5th place, 5-1).
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1sew7qd-Dy8j9_YcSCbHRPU40w-KAT5bwASqwyRmE1oo/edit?usp=sharing

    Sorry it didn’t upload right. I did snap a photo and upload it from my phone, but sometimes the android player app seems to upload a blank picture instead..

    • Troy Graber June 26, 2018 7:04 am #

      The way my list works — BA try to kill the biggest things on the table and get rid of characters. Guard / Crusaders try to advance to the midfield, and hold board control. Artillery provides shooting. Assassins get backfield penetration and tarpit.

      A few notes on the event:
      Round 1 — I played Chase’s DG — He wasn’t prepared for my speed. I was able to deny him shooting for all of his plaugueburst crawlers the entire game. Good board control. He wasn’t really familiar with his army, had to look up a couple rules, and took quite a while to figure out the missions. So we finish on turn 4, but he was nearly tabled.

      Round 2 — I played Dan Sammons who ended best overall and 4th place. He had a bunch of Harlie bikes. I siezed the initiative, but squandared my luck by throwing all my shots at the Harlie bikes. 1st Squad got -2 to hit, 2nd squad got 3++ invul, I did kill a single bike in the 3rd squad. His psychics started dismantling my list. Turn 2 I dropped the Death company he agent’s of vect my 3d6 charge, and I failed the 2d6 He ended up using Agent’s of Vect against me 4!!! times. Captain hammer charged a Farseer + Harlie psycher failed to kill either, and it was effectively over. His psychics proceeded to dismantle me. Interesting game. I wish I had it try again, I think I could beat it. We were running out of time at the top of 5, so we talked through turn 5. I scored decent, but lost.

      Round 3 – I played Jason’s Girlyman gunline. His 1st turn was incredibly long (He was a very precise player), and managed to kill about 600 points including most of my artillery, and all but 4 guardsmen. I got a little salty about how long he was taking to play out his 1st turn. My 1st turn started at 1:40 remaining, but It felt longer, because he was rolling a billion dice, rerolling those dice, and then me picking up models.

      From that point on, I didn’t let any of his tanks shoot by tieing them up with scouts / Death company and characters. Girlyman went down, but got back up. I had board control the entire game, and managed to win because of it. We ended on turn 4. If we went on I score a few more, he scores a few more, but the margin wouldn’t change.

      Round 4 – It was George’s Genestealer cult. 60+ Genestealers (some were Nids) + a bunch of Hybrids(Why?) and some Acolytes. I think he said 160+ models. He was also a very percise player, and when moving a unit of 20, he measured each model individually, so It took quite some time for his 1st turn. He charged in, killed some guardsmen. Then it was my game. All of the genestealers save 4 died on my turn, 1 of the units of acolytes. Patriarch, and Broodlord. He wasn’t prepared for how effectively I can kill light infantry and I did. We had to end on turn 3 which was a real bummer, because I scored fairly low, and would have probably tabled him on turn 4 or 5.

      Round 5 – Nate Bates, a guy I know really well. He was playing Tzeech with a Tzangor Star, and 3 Vortex Beasts. Turn 1, we had a 30-40 minute rules debate to start the game. He deep struck in a Tzangor star, and then wanted to use a relic that allowed him to redeploy them after deep striking. I knew there was a rule against moving after deep striking, but the judge and I could find it, so after looking forever, the judge asked us to roll a 4+ and we did, and he won. I’m not sure who was right. I plan to do the research so I’m positive for the future. My culexus / denies bloocked 1/2 of his powers, and he failed his 8″ rerollable charge with the Tzangor star. I hit back, killed the Tzangors, killed 2 vortex beasts, kill Ahrimon and the Tzangor shaman. He still had board control, and since we wasted so much time on rules, we only made it to turn 3. By the end of 3, it was 17-16 me. Really close game. I feel like a turn 4-5 swing towards me. He felt like he was still in a scoring position.

      Round 6 – My final round, and I’m playing Logan, a guy I love to play. He is 3 units Wulfen + 3 Sicarins + a Gatling / BC knight. We both rolled a 6 for who goes 1st, but he got the plus 1. Then I rolled another 6 to sieze. The knight was his warlord, so I took kingslayer, Old School, and Recon. I tried to more or less end it on 1, by forlorn furying up my Captain, and using Upon Wings of Fire + Descent of Angels on my death company to get them all in on his knight. I even gave them +1 Attack from Mephiston. BUT, the DC failed their 3D6″ charge with a reroll. So Captain hammer had to go in all by himself. He did 18 wounds to the knight (fighting twice), but failed to kill it (and he didn’t kill me back). On his turn he backed out the knight used the CP to make it act normal, killed the DC with it,
      Mephiston killed the knight (actually he took it down to 1, and a Scout punched it to death), I failed 5 charges into the Sicarins, and widdled down some wulfen.

      I gave him some analysis paralysis on turn 2 and 3 which had me fidgeting, and he called me out for going a little slow on turn 3, and I’m sure I was (so many lasguns to shoot), though not intentionally, but I forgot to move all 3 assassins which hurt me. We ended on turn 4. I had board control the whole game, but missed 1st strike, and kill a unit on turn 1 which made the final score 18 – 16 me.

      We had a chess clock at our table, but were sure we wouldn’t need it. We probably should have used it. I’ll bet it was me eating up all the time, though I did make him take some time for tactical decisions.

      Overall – Never finished a game. I know that is probably mostly on me. I hate trying to play 2.5 hour rounds with 2,000 points. We are using more models, Making more tactical decisions, and rolling more dice than ever before at tourneys, but haven’t made our rounds longer, and that is a bummer. I don’t know why we don’t drop points. It makes me rush, and I end up chatting less, and being less friendly with my opponents. Games are more stressful and less fun.

      This meta was less cutthroat, and featured many players who as familiar and practices with their armies..

      I wanted to play Orks at this tourney, but there was no way I could possibly do so in 2.5 hour rounds. I guess I probably can’t play this list again at a 2.5 hour round GT either. Midwest conquest ran 3 hour rounds, and my games were more relaxed / friendly despite not knowing my opponents as well.

      One of the goals when designing this list was limiting my opponent’s tactical decisions so that games could finish in 2.5 hours, and it worked really well for that, but the Turn 1 Deep strike nerf hit me hard.

      • Troy Graber June 26, 2018 7:13 am #

        To add a little bit of color. 2 other Ork players and I had a little conversation on if we were bringing Orks, and we all cited the high model count / limited round time for the reason we didn’t do it.

        2.5 Hour rounds at 2,000 points likely means a meta with fewer Orks, and as much as I hope the codex changes that, I doubt it.

        I think it is going to be an important decision for TO’s. Do we want Orks in the meta enough to lower points, or extend rounds?

      • abusepuppy June 26, 2018 12:26 pm #

        Awesome, Troy, we really appreciate you filling in the details for us. And yeah, BCP Android is a little glitchy at times, so it’s understandable.

        I think it is possible to finish 2K games in 2.5 hours, but it definitely requires both players moving quickly. I’ve seen good players (e.g. Geoff Robinson) do it with a horde army, but it’s very much something you have to practice. Personally I very much agree that longer rounds (or, preferably, smaller points values) would help the game a lot, but not everyone seems to agree.

        In any case, congrats on your performance and thanks very much on the specifics- it’s always interesting to hear more about the nitty gritty of the individual games, because there’s a lot more nuance than we can possibly know about or cover in the show.

    • mikkjel June 27, 2018 1:52 am #

      Don’t forget that Commissars cannot actually take the Relic of Lost Cadia, since they cannot be Cadian. Just swap it with the aquila next time.

      • Troy Graber June 27, 2018 11:08 am #

        Oh! Good catch. I’ll correct it for the future.

        I was leaning towards replacing the commissar with a platoon commander anyways.

  2. EmbraceYourInnerGeek June 26, 2018 10:04 am #

    On the Harlies game – the only way I can think of that your opponent could get a 3++ on the Bikes is to use Prismatic Blurr. However, that only works on a unit that has advanced. If you seized, he hadn’t advanced so could not use Prismatic blur.

    • abusepuppy June 26, 2018 12:28 pm #

      That was my initial thought as well, but Isha’s Weeping (+1 to save if you suffered any casualties) could also potentially do it, presuming that he lost at least one model in a previous phase.

      • Troy Graber June 26, 2018 12:49 pm #

        He used strategems a couple times to get to a 3++. In one case he definitely advanced, and used it mainly for CC.

        On turn 1, he probably didn’t use it until after I killed a bike. I remember for certain that I killed only 1 bike, and put a couple wounds between the squads that didn’t lose a bike.

        He seemed to know his army pretty well, and I’d never played harlie bikes before, so I’m sure he did it right.

      • Embrace Your Inner Geek June 26, 2018 2:05 pm #

        But as you say, Isha’s Weeping only “turns on” at the end of the phase in which the bike dies, not immediately. So I think the only way you could get the 3++ in the shooting phase is if a bike died in the psychic phase.

        “Shrug” easy to “armchair genera” after the event. Harlie strats are confusing at the best of times, never mind in the heat of battle.

        • Troy Graber June 26, 2018 3:21 pm #

          It’s possible I got a bike with psychics. I did smite at least once. I don’t remember for sure. I do remember, I smite nuked a whole squad of rangers he deployed in my backfield.

          My memory certainly isn’t good enough on that to retroactively cast any shade at my opponent for playing it wrong.

          The main thing that stuck with me was how little damage my shooting did to his bikes. Only killing a single bike is huge. And I feel like I didn’t finish an entire bike squad until turn 4.

  3. X078 June 26, 2018 10:50 am #

    Those Shieldbreakers will go after every AM Warlord with Grand Strategist & Kurov’s Aquila oh yeah 🙂

  4. Mitch Pelham June 26, 2018 3:38 pm #

    Lol Pablo, yes I live on the west coast, in fact I live on a boat in the Pacific ocean, that’s about as west coast as it gets 😛 . Great podcast to listen to, you guys missed that all of my catachan commanders had powerfists and basically act like bullgryn in Brandon’s list.

  5. rvd1ofakind June 27, 2018 9:27 am #

    Yeah, the 3 GUO list was very shocking. But it is again:
    1. A nurgling spam list.
    2. A big body spam list.
    Basically if you should never take A monster but at least 3 of them so at least 1-2 make it. Which kinda sucks but I don’t know of a good way of fixing it to make army + 1 big GD viable.
    However it still lost and the list will most likelly become a lot worse as the meta will start taking anti-tank weapons for the knights /shrug

    • abusepuppy June 27, 2018 1:15 pm #

      All but one of the lists in the tournament lost, that’s how tournaments work. I think you’re being very, very quick to dismiss it, especially when it seems to be exactly what you want (i.e. a way to make Greater Daemons work and get into combat.)

      Taking one of a particular model (or type of model) has never worked well in most any edition ever, and probably never will- redundancy has always been king because your opponent is gonna try and kill whatever your threats are. One blob of 20 Genestealers is gonna get shot to death before it makes it to combat most of the time, because the enemy knows they need to kill them; that doesn’t make Genestealers bad, it just means that you need 2-3 other, similar units alongside them to help do the job. Greater daemons- and other big targets- are the same; a single one will get killed, but two or three are a major danger.

      • rvd1ofakind June 27, 2018 11:10 pm #

        Oh I’m not dismissing it…. kinda. I just have 1 of each GD so that’s not really gonna work for me. But that did put the idea of “GD hordes are actually not terrible” in my head.

        GUO, Morty, Knight, Armiger/Helverin might not be awful.

        • rvd1ofakind June 28, 2018 1:57 am #

          Actually, I have a way to fix daemons + 1 leader GD. Lesser daemons that work as T’au drones or the DG psychic power. That latter would be a great fix.

          “The chaos gods protect their most powerful servant blablabla you can’t shoot it unless it is the closest”

          • abusepuppy June 28, 2018 2:21 am
            #

            Ha ha ha no. That would be unbelievably broken.

          • rvd1ofakind June 28, 2018 2:46 am
            #

            For 1 340 melee deamon that sometimes can’t even fly and has no real stratagems/artifacts to play with. I doubt it.

            Also It’d be a failable power or a stratagem

          • abusepuppy June 28, 2018 4:18 am
            #

            You seriously can’t see any possible issues with giving all greater daemons 30-60 extra wounds?

          • rvd1ofakind June 28, 2018 6:25 am
            #

            They’re all melee monsters. The thing only works if they’re not the closest (which they should be since they’re in melee)

  6. Alpharius Walks June 27, 2018 8:59 pm #

    Another great episode.

    Re the discussion Upon Wings of Fire and other similar abilities on Turn 1 (specifically Blood Angels using Upon Wings of Fire and the Death Company stratagem to get multiple T1 charges)-GW posted something on the 40k facebook page indicating that their intention was to allow these units to use their abilities on Turn 1. As they did not change the actual rule (just some facebook posting) I would definitely check with a TO before relying on that strategy at an event. The only thing that is readily reproducible (the Beta Matched Play Rules in THE BIG FAQ 1 2018) clearly states that:

    “Furthermore, in matched play games, any unit that arrives on the battlefield during a player’s first turn must be deployed wholly within the controlling player’s deployment zone (even if its ability would normally let it be set up anywhere).”

    On the comments about hordes being prone to slow play or time constraints-I think hordes get unfairly labeled this way because players can intuitively understand or agree with a player’s assessment that they got slow played by a horde player with a high model count. In my own experience tracking time elite players are just as bad, only in different ways that are not as intuitively understood. Since their inefficient time use is harder to describe or perhaps not even noticed as readily, if at all, it is not complained about as much unless it is captured on live stream or similar.

    From my experience the biggest determinant in time use, regardless of army model count played, is whether the army’s pilot is continuously advancing the game state or not. That skill/awareness is independent of the model count of the army played.

    • abusepuppy June 27, 2018 9:34 pm #

      I think, in an absolute sense, a horde army _does_ take more time than an elite army- you are rolling more dice and moving more models, which mathematically is going to take more time than an army that has to take fewer of those actions. Someone who is playing a horde army is going to need to use more play aids (movement trays, dice rollers, etc) to keep themselves moving quickly, though for obvious reasons they are also more likely to actually do so.

      However, I think you’re right to point out that elite players often use their full share of the time (or more) in other ways; the real lesson is that you can play slowly with any army, regardless of model count. IG are most certainly a horde army and we have seen plenty of players doing quite well with them, even finishing games on or ahead of schedule at tournaments. I don’t think model count is going to deter people from playing or winning with Orks once the book is released, although we certainly will see lower-end players running out of time a lot.

      • Alpharius Walks June 28, 2018 4:15 am #

        You are moving more models by default but it is much easier to use movement trays as you note. So I may have 60 infantry but that is only 12 models (6 movement trays for the bodies on 25mm bases and 6 heavy weapons teams) which makes the movement phase and other movement (i.e. orders) very quick.

        Similarly it is easy to get used to quickly rounding up and rolling dice for Guard (i.e. individual Basilisks do not need more than 6 dice at a time and you can quickly go in a line) and there are not a lot of re-rolls. Compare that to the shooting phase of a Dark Angels player with multiple overcharging plasma units, potentially some of them with random shots, in an Azrael/Lt. re-roll bubble. Those Hellblasters and Inceptors may not have a high model count but you are rolling individual hits for a lot of models. While that is admittedly an extreme example it does help illustrate how elite armies can be every time intensive for dice rolling.

    • Cy June 28, 2018 12:38 am #

      Yeah Alpharius Walks, I agree STRONGLY with asking any TO at an events because the exact wording of the stratagem and the big faq specifically do not allow upon wings of fire.

      Furthermore, in matched play games, any unit that arrives on the battlefield during a player’s first turn must be deployed wholly within the
      controlling player’s deployment zone (even if its ability would normally let it be set up anywhere).

      This does not apply to a Genestealer Cults
      unit that is being set up according to the Cult Ambush ability, or to units that are set up after the first battle round has begun, but before the first turn
      begins (such as those set up via the Forward Operatives or Strike From the Shadows Stratagems).

      Upon Wings of Fire
      —-
      Use this Stratagem in your Movement phase before
      moving a BLOOD ANGELS JUMP PACK unit from your army.
      Remove the unit from the battlefield and set it up at the
      end of that phase, anywhere on the battlefield that is more
      than 9″ away from any enemy models.

      if used on turn one

      Remove the unit from the battlefield and set it up at the
      end of that phase, anywhere on the battlefield that is more
      than 9″ away from any enemy models.

      BUT

      any unit that arrives on the battlefield during a player’s first turn must be deployed wholly within the
      controlling player’s deployment zone (even if its ability would normally let it be set up anywhere).

      so despite their intent, until they release something more than a facebook post, anyone who doesn’t think you can use it on turn 1 as a pretty sound argument.

      That said advancing death company (be it a DC unit or a DC captain) absolutely works.

      • abusepuppy June 28, 2018 2:20 am #

        All of the major tournaments I have attended have allowed UWoF, Teleport Shunt, and similar abilities to work. I would be extremely surprised if any tournament ruled against it.

        • Alpharius Walks June 28, 2018 4:33 am #

          Out of curiosity, was that a result of:

          (a) The TO making an explicit ruling in advance.

          (b) The ruling been made at the table to allow it.

          (c) No one challenging the use.

          • rvd1ofakind June 28, 2018 6:26 am
            #

            Oh god this again. There is a FB post and comments from the FB admin that this was done by the rules team. If the TO/Judge goes against that – I’d really love to know who he is because I’ve yet to meet someone that stupid, who’s hosting a tournament.

          • rvd1ofakind June 28, 2018 6:52 am
            #

            Either way, it should be the person who plans to use the rule turn 1 responsibility to contact the TO just in case.

          • AbusePuppy June 28, 2018 2:34 pm
            #

            The rulings were made well in advance, not table-by-table; it is a major enough thing that many players wanted to know the answer prior to bringing their list to the tournament. And most players are aware of the Designer’s Commentary, which indicates GW’s intention with the ruling- and there’s really no good reason not to follow that. A TO can, of course, choose to overrule it if they want (in the same way that they can overturn any rule of FAQ answer), but doing so is probably not going to earn them any friends unless they can come up with a _really_ good rationale for why.

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