This Week in the ITC 9-12-2019: Current top 10 and Thoughts about Space Marines

Hello, fellow Warhammer 40k fans! SaltyJohn from TFG Radio, and one of the Las Vegas Open Head Judges, here to bring you another article reviewing the ITC Standings for the 2019 season with the new scoring method in place.

NOVA is behind us, So Cal is before us, and there are precious few chances for the trailing players to build points going into the season-ending Las Vegas Open. While the chances to jump into the top 10 are dwindling the ability to win the ITC overall will still be within the realm of possibility for the top 50, and within the grasp of the top 25, going into the LVO depending on how those players do at that event. The Las Vegas Open, besides being the cap to the ITC season and bellwether for all 40k events, it is the ultimate 40k tournament with massive points available and the stiffest competition. This weekend we have Europe’s closest equivalent to the Las Vegas Open, the London GT. LGT had some issues last year with trying to get everything done for such a large event, as their first event. From venue issues to unfinished terrain, the LGT had a hard time jumping into the massively different world of running a “Super” Major. This year I expect things to be much better, and for the event to be for Europe what the LVO is for America. Even with us winding the season down with LGT, So Cal Open, and the run into the December doldrums we have a potentially huge shift in the meta. Space Marines. Before talking about the newest additions to the Adeptus Astartes competitive prowess let’s take a quick look at our top 10.

Without any huge events this past weekend the top 10 is solid. There is potential for changes given the LGT is this weekend and it offers up huge points, second only to the Las Vegas Open, to the winner! It will be exciting to see if anyone in the top 20 can capitalize on this and get a huge boost in their rankings. The competition across the pond will be stiff. As mentioned earlier a big shift is coming to the 40k Competitive meta, Space Marines and their Supplements are on the way.

There’s no denying the new Space Marine Codex and their Supplements are strong, the offensive output of an all Adeptus Astartes army is top tier firepower in 40k. The survivability of Space Marines, depending upon Chapter chosen and Characters/Units used, also got a decent boost. Overall, if you haven’t played against them yet and just read through the rules, you might think that they went from bottom tier to just upper-mid tier. So what is the big deal people are making about their impact on the Meta? While that assessment may end up being correct in terms of their competitive tier, the impact on the meta will be huge. This is due mostly to the huge popularity of the faction and the massive diversity we are going to get for the faction once all the supplemental books are out. When building a list today there are certain things you put on a checklist for what your army can handle, and how. Space Marines, or an equivalent list, hasn’t been a part of that checklist since the Index Guilliman Gunline/SM Flyer Spam days at the beginning of 8th. That is going to change, and putting them on the checklist in a quantifiable way won’t be easy due to the diversity we will see in the faction itself.

So what is it about this Codex and Supplement release that garners so much attention in an article about the ITC overall? Well, simply put you can’t ignore it. It will not be business as usual. There are going to be a lot of new factors in play in the meta, and you will run into them. From double firing Whirlwind Scorpius’ to Thundefire Cannons slowing down your units; to outflanking White Scar Assault Centurions that charge you more easily than other outflanking units in the game, to Invictors up in your face turn 1, hyper resilient Iron Hands Repulsor castles, to the strats/abilities that can change the course of a game on a dime when used properly like redeployment and added resiliency to a unit. These things are all either new or improved from before and must be taken into account. If you run up against an Ultramarine list you have a vastly different problem to solve than if you have White Scars across from you. Both of those factions play differently than Iron Hands or Raven Guard, both of which are quite different from the other. If you’re playing Space Marines, you don’t want to run into a White Scars player as they seem to be the best MEQ killers out of all the MEQ supplements right now. You also will not be able to just hope to dodge Space Marines, the faction is far too ubiquitous to have any hope of just not seeing them across from you.

The common response so far to Space Marines has been, they’re still Space Marines, they will die like Space Marines. While this is somewhat true, it is also misleading. The books have a definite leaning toward Primaris Marines which are better than the average Marine of old, and they lean towards beefier units being buffed like Centurions, the new Invictor, and vehicles. Don’t forget, Space Marines have access to units/rules that can buff vehicles and heal them. With the increased firepower of the SMs of all stripes, they are removing more of your army per turn. This is hampering to your ability to “just kill them like you always killed marines” because your armies offensive effectiveness is going to drop in response to the increased offensive capabilities of Space Marines. There is a lot in this release and it’s too much to digest all at once. It’s going to be a kick in the pants to the meta in the long run, and for the long haul.

Have you seen this guy’s rules? Hooooo boy.

Let’s be real here, just the fact the guy above is going to be such a beast and increase effectiveness and survivability of Iron Hands alone shows the direction this Codex and its Supplements are going. In the practice games I have had against the new book, so far the offensive output is ratcheted way up but I also found that by turn 4, and through to the end, my opponent has many more Marines left in the late game than they used to. Through a combination of a few tricks to boost their resiliency and my list losing it’s offensive punch faster than it used to, more Marines are now left to deal with. If you’re serious about performing well in the ITC for the remainder of the season, you need to prepare for Space Marines having a huge presence from this point forward.

As always let me know what you think in the comments, and share some of your experiences with, or against, the new Space Marines!

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

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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.

2 Responses to “This Week in the ITC 9-12-2019: Current top 10 and Thoughts about Space Marines”

  1. sultansean September 12, 2019 10:32 am #

    “That Guy” (the primaris forgefather) looks crazy good. Obviously points will tell but a 5++ bubble for marine vehicles is super nice. I think your prediction of the iron hands repulsor castle is very true.

    • SaltyJohn
      SaltyJohn September 12, 2019 12:02 pm #

      I can definitely see it being a thing. Deredeo castle too perhaps.

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