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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