Chapter Tactics #91: Predicting Chapter Approved Changes, and a Spotlight on the European Meta

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today Peteypab and the guys cover a large event in Europe, state what they are thankful for in 40k, and go over the changes they would love to see in Chapter approved.  

Show Notes:

  • Want to check out the stats we talked about in the episode? Click on this link.
  • Don’t forget to check out our new sponsor! Broken Egg Games, and Rum Runner Wargame Painting and Conversions.
  • 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.
  • Check out the last episode of Chapter Tactics here. Or, click here for a link to a full archive of all of my episodes.
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  • 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.

33 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #91: Predicting Chapter Approved Changes, and a Spotlight on the European Meta”

  1. Chris November 27, 2018 12:48 am #

    Where did you get the Lists from the Element Games Tournament from?

  2. Zweischneid November 27, 2018 1:21 am #

    The “army-reclassification” is a bit weird. IMO, Aeldari is a much better classification than Drukhari or Asuryani for an Eldar-Soup, just as “Imperium” seems to fit much better to an army of Knights and Guardsman, than calling it “Imperial Knights”.

    That aside, I think you missed a small edge of Custodes (over Blood Angels, to use an old school example), which is their 1-CP-flip-a-maelstrom-card stratagem. It is one of the key leverages elite (Imperium) armies with few models have to compete with board control armies. The Dark Angels “keep-your-maelstroms-hidden-at-all-times” is also nice, though in my (limited) experience not quite as popular as the Custodes version.

    • abusepuppy November 27, 2018 3:32 am #

      That’s definitely another useful feature for Custodes, for sure; there’s a lot we didn’t talk about with the lists there because there’s actually a ton of choices that they presumably made that we didn’t have time to get into. ETC is a very different format from ITC (and other formats, even base book ones) and there’s a lot of nuance that we simply didn’t have the time or expertise to discuss.

  3. Zweischneid November 27, 2018 1:30 am #

    That said, on “hordes” in general, I think it makes sense to bring more bodies in normal 40K over ITC, simply because the “hold something” and “hold more” in ITC isn’t randomized and pretty basic. You’re own side of the table usually suffices, if you’re playing something like Plague Bearers, to use the podcast example. The odd bonus point here or there is rarely game-deciding.

    ETC might require you to hold 2 or 3 objectives, but the might be the objectives over at your opponent’s side or at opposing corners of the battle field, and it might be 2-3 completely different objectives the turn after that.

    Thus you either have the mobility to move your army around, or spread out much further (i.e. have more bodies) to cover the eventualities (or use some Custodes-style tricks to help with the luck of the draw).

    • abusepuppy November 27, 2018 3:35 am #

      ITC actually has quite a few horde armies- basically anything Chaos has been winning with hordes for a while now, and of course Orks are making their presence known. But IG, Tyranids, and GSC have also made appearances as well with large numbers of bodies, and scoring an additional 1-2pts over your opponent actually can be a huge decider in a game, because you’re also denying your opponent the points for getting Kill More each turn. It’s a twofold strategy.

  4. rvd1ofakind November 27, 2018 3:26 am #

    General wishlist:

    Do something to -1 to hit subfactions so they’re not auto-take (excluding the “you get the special character” subfaction) and they don’t affect armies differently.

    Remove all the “I hate this faction” crap like Vengeance for Cadia from matched play.

    Make allied armies and pure armies an equaly(ish) viable competitive choice.

    Fix vehicles. Look at why knights work and other vehicles don’t and make adjustments accordingly.

    Fix the elite and horde army balance. (this includes fixing power armor)

    Personal wishlist:

    Make Chaos Daemon non-troop units be something other than “worse troops”. Add interesting abilities that make them unique and remove the “find the mathematically best unit and run only that because everything does the same thing”.

    Make AdMech the army it they are supposed to be – a melee army with ranged support. 3 melee canticles and only 1 ranged, more melee and very low range units than actual long ranged firepower. If only the non-Dragoon melee units weren’t weak, slow and fragile.

    Fix Necrons. RP just doesn’t work in its current form. Not only is it useless when the unit gets obliterated in a turn, it also does nothing vs melee armies since they can just surround you and leave you no space to RP.

    • Kitani November 27, 2018 1:12 pm #

      Why do you say AdMech is supposed to be melee-centric faction? Is it from some book or fluff bible? Because it seems that the faction specialising in tech would want to use it to its advantage which means more awesome guns.

      • WestRider November 27, 2018 2:18 pm #

        Yeah, that seems weird to me, too. They do have some classic melee Units (Electro-Priests), but I’ve always seen them as mostly being about bigger and better guns.

        • rvd1ofakind November 27, 2018 7:42 pm #

          I mean look at their army.

          Canticles: 3 melee canticles, 1 ranged, 2 utility.

          Units: E-priests, Sicarians, Fistellans, Vanguard, Breachers, Tech Priests, Dragoons all have melee weapons or a -1T aura in the case of Vanguard in melee.
          Long range wise they only have: Onagers, Balistarii, Destroyers, Dakkastelans and rangers.

          They are clearly an army that should be in melee constantly rather than the gunline people see it as today.

          • WestRider November 27, 2018 9:25 pm

            Quantity does not mean quality. GW is kind of notorious for imbalancing Dexes toward numbers of melee Units while still leaving shooty Units as the powerhouses. It’s like trying to argue that Space Marines are supposed to be a CC Army because they’ve got Assault Marines, Vanguard Veterans, Company Veterans, Reivers, Assault Centurions, Assault Terminators, CC Scout Squads, and Ironclad Dreads.

            Of the Units you listed, Vanguard, Breachers, Kastellans (they’re one Unit, not two), and Corpuscarii Electro-Priests are all better as shooting Units than they are in combat. Fulgurite Electro-Priests, Infiltrators, and Ruststalkers are all badly overpriced for how slow and fragile they are.

            My AdMech are painted up as Ryza, so I am highly aware of the clash between GW’s expectations of their capabilities as a CC Army and the actual fact of the matter. Even their nominal dedicated CC Units are kind of bad at it for their price, while their shooting Units are pretty solid.

          • rvd1ofakind November 27, 2018 9:45 pm

            Quantity does not mean quality? What does that have to do with anything? I never said AdMech melee is good, I said the exact opposite. It’s trash, which leads to more than half of the army being unplayable. Which is why fixing that is on my wishlist.

            Corps have 12″ range. How can you consider that a shooting unit? For me a shooting unit has to be at least 24″ range. 18″ is a hybrid(especially in the case of vanguard with their -1T in melee aura). 12″ is melee because if you’re within 12″ of something – you will be in melee this turn or the turn after. Fistellans and DakKastelans are basically seperate units – one loadout want to be in close combat asap, one loadout’s #1 weakness is close combat.

          • WestRider November 28, 2018 2:15 pm

            OK, I see more where you’re coming from now. I still disagree, tho. I’d prefer to see more Canticles and Dogmas that help their ranged game, rather than trying to buff up the CC Units to be the focus of the Army.

            Corpuscarii do 50% more damage per Turn shooting than in CC. They can handle being in combat, but they’re better when they get to shoot. Their real problem, regardless of role, is fragility for their price.

            Vanguard have a CC-range debuff, but their options clearly put them as a firepower Unit. For CC, they can get, at best, a single Arc Maul or Taser Goad, and they have 1 Attack each. For shooting, they can get Plasma Calivers or Transuranic Arquebuses*.

            Also, looking back over your list of Units again, even if one does accept your split of Kastellans into two different Units, that’s still only a 7/5 split. And if you move Breachers over to where they belong with their Heavy Arc Rifles, it’s 6/6. That’s hardly begging for changing the entire focus of the Dex.

            *And technically Arc Rifles, but AdMech’s Haywire is kind of bad these days. I don’t understand why they got a different system than Nids and Drukhari for that.

          • NeonKatt December 2, 2018 7:26 pm

            Yeah close range shooting is being confused with melee. Flamers are not a melee weapon. They are short ranged

  5. KJM091 November 27, 2018 5:30 am #

    Is there a link to lists from this GT?

    • Yakhunter November 27, 2018 8:13 pm #

      Hey, if you search for Element Games Grand Slam on facebook you can find their page. They link to a dropbox there with the lists.

  6. Agent X November 27, 2018 6:02 am #

    Dont change the intro music!

    i love that little jingle and it is part of your identity

    I have to admit i have been tempted to make it a ringtone on many occasions

  7. Zweischneid November 27, 2018 7:13 am #

    The growing “killyness” of 40K 8th is generally a puzzle to me.

    When 8th Ed. was released with the Index books, I seem to remember that the general consensus was that this was a pretty lethal edition where stuff dies very fast.

    And yet, perhaps the most consistent trend over the past year and a half in the transition from Index to Codex has been that the offensive output of armies get’s turned up greatly, with weapons getting more shots, better damage, costing less points, re-rolls and +1 to hit/wound being handed out everywhere, stratagems making the most killy units more killy, etc.. while the defensive side hasn’t nearly kept apace.

    For the plethora of Leman Russ, Hive Guard and Battlewagons double-shooting, there’re no units just taking half the hits or something. The very few minus -1 wound abilities like Shadowseer are super-rare and date to the index, far outnumbered by + to wound bonuses. Double-activation strats are in nearly every codex, but a -1 activation strat just doesn’t exist, etc..

    I’d love to have been a fly on the wall why, when and where GW/playtesters made the decision that Index-40K wasn’t nearly lethal enough and that Codexes would (with the odd exception like Alaitoc, Stygies IV or Prophets of Flesh) be all about making 40K more of a glass-cannon game?

    • Dakkath November 27, 2018 7:26 am #

      I’d have to guess the unkillable deathstars of 7th ed had a hand in that decision. Rerollable 2++ saves, wolfstars with 40 or more 4++ ablative wounds for delivering characters, etc.

    • Michael Corr November 27, 2018 8:34 am #

      The killy-ness is a problem in 40k for me too.

      My biggest problem with the ETC format is that you don’t really need to play the mission, just kill your opponent off the table, at least in my opinion. Most missions use Kill points and end of game objectives, so you don’t really need to focus on the maelstrom at all to win. In fact, I’ve found it a detriment to go after maelstrom points in most games. You just need to wipe out your opponent and grab the objectives at the end of the game.

      I was at a tournament at the weekend, and three of my games were decided as soon as I saw my opponent’s list. Two were Ynnari or Aeldari/Drukhari and one was triple Imperial Knights with Guard allies. All they had to do was wipe my army off the table with no real thought of what the mission was. I doubt any of my opponents would have played the game any different regardless of which mission was being used.

      I’m not a “high end” player, so it may differ on the top tables.

      • Ujayim November 27, 2018 9:31 am #

        Counter point, in ITC, I brought an army of a Preceptor, Gallant, and many Armigers.

        My opponent literally didn’t need to play to the mission, because by the nature of my army (literally just using the codex) my opponent in ITC can pick Titanslayer, BGH or Marked for Death, and/or Kingslayer and instantly earn 12 secondary points just by killing models.

        Obviously, it’s not a truly competitive list and part of playing the format is building to meet it’s rules, but ITC has it’s own share of drawbacks we accept as a community as well.

        • abusepuppy November 30, 2018 9:00 am #

          I dunno, just because you’re likely to score 8-12pts on secondaries (which, I will point out, requires essentially tabling that Knight list) doesn’t guarantee you the win at all. In fact, I would say against a list like that playing the mission is _more_ important, because that is one of the main weaknesses of Knights.

          With that out of the way, though, ITC certainly has its biases in the format. I might argue that they are less than many other formats, but it’s certainly not flawless. However, if we’re talking in terms of “ignore the mission table the opponent” ITC is actually unusual that tabling does _not_ guarantee a victory, and that it has more objective-based (rather than killing-based) primaries and secondaries than most formats do.

          • Ujayim November 30, 2018 10:41 am

            We may be underestimating how easy it is to kill Armigers. In my last few RTTs I had 2 Games (for example) end at turn 3, at which point my Opponent had killed my Preceptor (4 Points of Kingslayer, iirc) and 4 Armigers out of 6 (4 Points from BGH or MFD) while also earning kill one, hold one, etc. Not counting any third choice or mission objectives.

            It’s surpsingly easy to do, and I held a similar opinion to your own until I played the army within the ruleset. Now the wind is somewhat removed from my sails after having done it, because it did not work as well as I had thought.

            My intention is not to argue that ITC is better or worse in either regard, just that it holds a similar unfortunate end result for some style of play, just as ETC or any other format does.

          • abusepuppy December 2, 2018 10:41 pm

            Are opponents really consistently killing the Preceptor, even with a 3++ save against ranged attacks? I won’t say that’s impossible, but it shouldn’t be _easy_ to do.

            (The Armigers aren’t particularly hard to kill, though; they take some effort,but any list with a sufficient threshold of AT should be able to do it.)

            It’s also worth noting that if they are earning max Kingslayer and maxing out one of BGH or MFD… they are pretty much done with the points they can score on the list. Old School is essentially the only other objective they have any chance at all of maxing, unless they go for Recon/BEL, and a lot of lists won’t feel great about reaching for any of those three.

  8. Frohawk November 27, 2018 9:29 am #

    A lot of good points in this episode. Especially with the need for an enhanced troop option in the case of space marines and CSM. Sternguard or say scouts are much better than tactical as either rules enhance them(deploy outside of deployment zone) or better bolters and more access to special weapons. There isn’t much of an allure to use tacticals for example as there is a better or unique version.

  9. Laurence November 27, 2018 10:33 am #

    Audio needs fixing guys. Peters voice goes super quiet and there is a time delay between him and Pablo at loads of points. Makes it unlistenable at around the 40 min mark

  10. Matt Obermark November 27, 2018 11:24 am #

    On the Sisters speculation: shame.

    Acts of Faith is in an extremely good spot, and works excellently as the faction’s gimmick.

    Celestine has subpar damage output for a 250pt unit, which the OotBR faction trait would fix if she gets access to it (yes, I get that she’s OoOML in the fluff).

    Burning Descent sounds good for max sized boltpistol plus one plasma pistol Seraphim squads, as you’ll basically be dropping a Punisher Leman Russ in from orbit.

    Currently Sisters are mediocre as a faction, but pretty good as allies, and the reason they’re mediocre is not because AoF is bad, a bad tax, or anything like that. It’s because the Exorcist is garbage and the only meltas that are even close to cost-effective in “3++: The Game” are inferno pistols, and Rule of 3 prevents you from taking more than 6 models with them that would be capable of getting in range to actually use them.

    Fixing the Exorcist to be a legitimate unit, and dropping the point costs on meltaguns (by about 4 points) and multimeltas (by about 9) would return them to competitive play, and then dropping the points on flamer variants (to 1, 5 and 10 respectively), would put them back into top table tournament soups.

    Giving the Canoness a Jump Pack option, reducing Executioner blades to the cost of a Power Fist (they have AP4 instead of AP3, but are Str6 instead of Str8) or keep it its current cost but make it flat 3 damage, moving the Imagifier to the HQ slot, and reducing Repentia to 13pts per model and a legitimate save (5+++, and Angelic Visage if they’re within 9″ of the Mistress), while also giving Repentia and their Mistress a combined-deepstrike or outflank stratagem, would give them all the tools they need to compete without requiring allies.

    • abusepuppy November 27, 2018 3:39 pm #

      Acts of Faith are great, but the issue is the scaling; you get one Act regardless of whether you have 200pts of Sisters or 2000pts of Sisters. That’s why I said that they are a great ally but a mediocre primary army, and I don’t think anything you listed there would change that- certainly they would make the army better, but they don’t fundamentally change any of the issues the army has and it most certainly isn’t going to allow them to go toe-to-toe with Ynnari or the Castellan List or any number of the other “big” armies out there.

      I very much want the SoB codex to finally be good for once, for the first time ever, but dropping the price of Meltaguns is not going to be the thing that does that; it’s going to require some more fundamental examination of the units and themes in the army and how they interact with the rest of the game.

      • Dakkath November 28, 2018 8:01 pm #

        Maybe getting an act of faith per SoB detachment, plus any extras generated by characters would be a good start.

        • abusepuppy November 28, 2018 10:57 pm #

          That could help, potentially. Or making it a triggered ability that happens on like die roll of 6+ for each unit, rather than something you pick, or any number of other options.

  11. Pyrothem November 28, 2018 4:14 pm #

    The ribbing about the Necron walker hit real close to home. 😛
    Had that very conversation
    “It is bad compared to what other armies get for the points.”
    “Yes but for my Necrons it is amazing compared to what my codex offers!”

    With the only leaks on Necrons for CA being the Vault is going up 70 points I don’t think we will get anything good out of it. If it’s 1 point drop here or there I don’t think that will bring Necrons up to being viable army. (meaning you have a shot at going 4-1 or 5-0)

    Hell in Kill team they dropped Flayed Ones to a whopping 10 points (they were 20 in index!) and they still are mediocre and are not taken much because they just are not worth it. :/

    • abusepuppy November 28, 2018 10:56 pm #

      To be fair, though, Kill Team is a very different game. Harlequins are borderline broken in KT, but all but unplayable in 40K.

      I think it’s plausible for them to drop Necrons enough to be good, but it remains to be seen what will actually happen. They at least have a lot of units with potentially good abilities/stats that could be made useful.

  12. NeonKatt December 2, 2018 7:30 pm #

    Yeah close range shooting is being confused with melee. Flamers are not a melee weapon. They are short ranged

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