9th Edition Takeaways

I spent last weekend jamming in 7 games of ninth edition.

I played as and against Adeptus Custodes and Eldar over the weekend and learned quite a bit about the edition moving forward.

First, let’s talk about missions. There are some boogeyman lists going around the interwebs featuring hundreds of Guardsmen and Nurglings. Based on playing this weekend, I think that those types of lists do have some legs, and because of that, the idea that hordes are dead is out the window. Sure, 20 man units are tricker to play, but multiple 10 man units can take over the board really quickly. 

The main way to score points in ninth is the primary. If you are dominating the objectives on the board, you stand a much better chance to win the game, since there is no penalty for MSU in GW missions. The secondaries are a lot harder to score than primaries in general, and the ones that are easier to score (raise the banners, the various missions specific secondaries that focus on performing actions near objectives) favor MSU hordes. Sure, they are both worth 45 points each, but if you’re winning on the primary, you’re denying your opponent their objectives and probably their secondaries, too.

Now, onto what I played as and against. I’ve been excited to get my hands on the Custodes, and they did not disappoint. The Terminators (I mostly played Allarus) are the real deal in terms of killing power and durability. Trajann is an absolute animal, and a Dawneagle Captain with Lockwarden runs through characters like they’re a wall and he’s the Kool-Aid man. I mostly played against Eldar (Wraithlord and Talos spam) and the Custodes Mirror. I faired really well against the Eldar, they just couldn’t kill my Terminators, and in the Custodes games it came down to who had more Guardian Squads. In those games, I lost, because I was running Terminators, and Telemon and Guilliman (who is an ABSOLUTE ANIMAL.) Those games ended up with big combats in the middle, and since my Opponent had one or two more Guardian squads than I did, he was able to Raise Banners, hold objectives, and push my Guardians off of mine to gain his primary and secondary while denying mine. Not to mention my buddy who I was gaming with is a solid player.

That being said, I think a Custodes list I’m going to try for is 18-20 Guardians to swarm objectives, along with Guilliman and a Telemon to provide some heavy hitters. I also just love playing with Guilliman. He’s what I always wanted the Eldar Avatars to be.  

At the end of the day, Guardian squads with 2 or 3 Stomshields in there are a pain in the ass to kill, especially with Guilliman and Telemon getting up in your face and taking the middle of the board, threatening your objectives. I think it blends a semi-horde style with some scary characters to countercharge since I’ve also got Trajann and a Dawneagle Captain in there too. Something I’m also considering is a Vexilla with the Emissaries relic to make each of my guys within 6 count as three models for the purpose of holding objectives.

Something I’ve always struggled with in Warhammer 40k is building a list with all the cool toys I want to use that also holds the mission down. I think this list does a decent job of that!

In general, with the mission set we have right now, to win you’ve got to be able to hold multiple objectives and take away your opponents. There is so little incentive towards killing in this mission set, it really bolsters hyper MSU horde builds, like those billion guardsmen and trillion nurgling armies that have been floating around. Is it realistic for you to see that a tournament? Depends on your meta, really. I would bet they show up at majors if that ever happens again. Another super strong army at that style would be Orks.

I suppose the question is, does anyone really want to play that? I’m sure there will be someone who does, so be prepared. As for me, I’m going to build a badass looking Guilliman, get some Shiny Golden Men, and slice my way to smile en route to my next victory (or defeat.)

Thanks for reading!

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11 Responses to “9th Edition Takeaways”

  1. Avatar
    Rob Butcher August 1, 2020 11:33 pm #

    AC and Gullimann ? That sounds like the worst of tournament “gaming for money”. Against multiple eliminators/stalker bolt rifles it’s also an easy way of losing a game.

    ATM tournaments are unlikely – and I’d say there’s a good reason for not holding them/reporting on them as it might spur folks to ignore health advise (look at NW England, California, Texas and Florida re-entering lock-downs). That’s why Warhammer World is still not open!!

    For play-testing of any kind to be taken seriously we need to see the army lists and whether the newly enhanced weapons/stratagems/units were effective. Esoecially using two armies that weren’t that successful in the latter years of “Dark imperium”. Against a horde army I’d still favour BLAST weapons and mobility. Killing a horde loyal ten with a BLAST weapon as others move to deny it being held by your bikers etal is going to be important.

    I’d also like to know how unit coherency and morale were affected by the new rules. Did the game slow down? Were mass casualties taken? Was it enjoyable? (It’s a game, not a profession after all.)

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann August 2, 2020 2:17 am #

      Gaming for money don’t exist.

      Also, why do you think you are the ultimate arbiter of what is fun or fluffy ?

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy August 2, 2020 11:53 pm #

        Rob thinks that he is the sole person in charge of deciding what is the legitimate part of the hobby, anywhere across the globe.

    • Avatar
      Jace August 2, 2020 3:55 pm #

      I have a Guilliman I converted into the emperor, better believe I played him with a Custodes army in 8th edition 😄
      It was objectively a bad addition to the list but made enough sense thematically.

      Would love to do that again in 9th and it’s not at all anything other than a theme

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy August 2, 2020 11:54 pm #

      >ATM tournaments are unlikely

      For all of the nations in the world except America, COVID- while not wholly contained- is largely under control and many of them are starting to reopen social events. It is only our fucked-up mess of a country that is so unable to function that we’ve let a well-known and publicized problem kill a hundred and fifty thousand people. America is not the world.

    • Avatar
      Conor Lobb August 4, 2020 7:42 pm #

      Hey Rob,

      I don’t think Guilliman is capable of being taken down by paltry sniper rifles. But then again, I mostly play eldar. As for your other questions, coherency came into play a couple of times in close combat with my terminators, and as for morale it wasn’t much of a factor in the games. The game is certainly faster with 5 turns. Overall I had a great time playing and am looking forwars to getting my hands on some spruea to start converting my custodes and gilly (I’m thinking a kitbash of him and cawl.)

  2. Avatar
    ghostvalley August 2, 2020 9:37 am #


    Can you please attach a Rob Butcher style template post to the end of every article so Rob can have some of his free time back?

    It can include :
    1) a name drop of someone who works for GW
    2) a factually disproven numerical claim about the ITC
    3) a finger wagging statement about the correct way to play (however it was done at warhammer world)
    4) some unsound tactical advice

    Then with this at the start of every discussion, the rest of us can be free to discuss the article as written.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 2, 2020 4:49 pm #


      • Michael Corr
        Michael Corr August 3, 2020 4:29 am #

        Hahahaha! I would second this, it would save so much time and effort.

    • Avatar
      BluejayJunior August 5, 2020 4:24 am #

      Be sure to add in statements referring to 8th and 9th editions as “Dark Imperium” and “Indomitus” since GW never uses edition numbers. Despite the fact that they have repeatedly on streams referred to them by their numbers and never referred to them by Dark Imperium or Indomitus.

      • Avatar
        ghostvalley August 5, 2020 5:15 am #


        Even their app says you have access to all the “8th edition codex” but I’m sure that will be conveniently ignored as well.

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