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Taking IG/AM to Adepticon 2022

Death Korps Of Krieg Astra Militarum Imperial Guard

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Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

Intro. Hobby; Painting; Game-play; Rules; All things Imperial Guard/Astra Militarum (IG/AM).


I'm taking Death Korps to Adepticon, in March 2022 (assuming all goes well, life and work get in the way sometimes). But, I usually make it every year, and this thread is intended to keep me accountable to myself. I've been meaning to put more effort into my army for a long time. Based on past experience, motivation and discipline ebbs and flows, and it takes way more time than scheduled for me to complete anything. Starting now (several months in advance) is the only hope of showing up prepared, instead of my usual showing up last minute and cramming to get a substandard army done, which is usually very subpar.


#1 Goal: Getting a death korps army and display board up to standard (as best I can do) is goal #1.

A. Get it built and Painted.

B. Get Better at Painting.

C. Make the effort, try new things, push my skills.


#2 Goal: Second, I'd like to work on my game-play on the tabletop with Guard.

A. Tournament prep.

B. Better Mindset.

C. Play more games.

D. Learn better from the games I do play. 


It's fun to win some games. And, realistically it's hard to keep any hobby motivation while getting crushed game after game. While there are lots of very thoughtful, professional, and in-depth articles written these days at various blogs and websites, they almost all carry a rather large blind-spot--the middle and bottom half tables. There are tons of armies that don't make the weekly 'what's broken in 40k' round of podcasts and youtube channels. Let's set some realistic (uncommodified) goals and make some honest appraisals.


In 9th we know DKK are not good, but it's not helpful for that to be a crutch. That'll spiral out into, 'lets just not play.' It's a hobby, let's enjoy it. I've got to be accountable as a general. And, at the same time, if winning was the only goal, I should be playing 2x per week at least, and all 2000pts would have to be on the table to change out at a moment's errata or FAQ. I don't have the time or inclination to chase after most other armies codex creep. And, if I can get 3x games a month in, that'll have to do (hopefully I get more in). That said, within the limits of goal #1, I'm ok with using custom or other regiment rules, as even the codex itself specifically allows the player to decide regimental traits. And, I'm ok with taking allies, though even that has limited rules appeal in 9th (and my real goal is a DKK army for display). So, we'll see where this goes.


Battle #1 post COVID - Harlequins


Fun game and a close loss to Harlequins. Wow they move fast. Fusion pistols are very good. I don't think it'd have been close if I didn't get first turn. The harlequins themselves are like little Tasmanian devils--it only takes a few of them to just obliterate units. Bullgryns did not do well at all. Death riders points increase really hurt as I removed their commander to fit in points. Without the orders their movement wasn't stellar. The malcador infernus was comically bad, though always fun to have on the table. I suppose I could put it in reserves to keep it away from my units when it explodes. The Medusas look cool, I guess. -1 to hit really adds up on units that don't get bonuses.


Overall, hugely rusty on the rules. It's been a year. Woof. Having trouble remembering secondaries, terrain, army rules, etc. The brain has limited bandwidth--only so much real estate is available at a time, and using too much depletes capacity. This highlights how necessary practice games are to me playing well. I could play Manticores instead of Medusas, but i lose a lot of DKK flavor... I did see a cool taurox - manticore conversion recently.  The Tank Commanders have good output, but the smaller table size seems to make deployment even more difficult than in 8th. I'm thinking more and more about scout sentinels, or Gaunt's ghosts to get into no-man's land quicker.

IMG 20210606 121854884

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 23 July 2021 - 01:40 PM.

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Tallarn Commander

Tallarn Commander


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  • Location:Kirkland, WA (US)
The important thing was that you had fun.

Yes, I rather like using a forward screen of 2 to 3 Scout Sentinels pushing forward in front of my other Vanguard units. They are a cheap sacrificial screening force. I give them lascannons so they have a little punch before they die.

If it makes you feel better my Tallarns have never defeated Harlies. But I always enjoy my games against them.

Have fun practicing with your DKOK!
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First off all, I wish you good luck and a great time! I miss tournaments and I really hope the few things we have in Ireland can start again soon as well.

As for your army to take...there's been a lot of talk about Death Riders and I think they should still be a part of the plan especially if you go full Death Korps. Few things bodyblock as well as they do. I'd definitely not cut the officers though. The speed and durability while ordering both horses and infantry is simply amazing. As with the other riders, I wouldn't count on their damage output.

For me the true star of the Death Korps currently are the Combat Engineers. They are incredibly flexible, with deepstrike, 4+ save, can be ordered, good basic gun and their killer combo of the grenadiers strat coupled with their gas grenades is amazing. I got to commit war crimes on the weekend by gassing an Avatar of Khaine with them. It was great. And at 80p for a unit of 10 there's really little reason not to go all in on 3 units if you can manage the models. I had them supported by some horse officers, which made the whole thing very flexible.

Other than that...Guard isn't in a great spot and Death Korps has little to set it apart besides those units. If you're looking to ally and don't want to stray too far, Scions are excellent as hard-hitting flexible units. Some Iotan Gorgonnes to drop 4 Meltas in your opponents face turn 2 and 3 is rarely a terrible idea. ;-)

Be sure to share some pictures of your progress here! Those of us without events in the foreseeable future will live vicariously through you. :D
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It has been a long year, there are plenty of cobwebs everywhere to be brushed off so don't worry too much thumbsup.gif All journeys begin somewhere so once you start getting more experience in and adjusting lists you'll do better. Plus Guard have spent most of the time low in the hierarchy so what's different anyway? msn-wink.gif Keep us updated on your progress biggrin.png


Also sairence I checked the The Commissariat's Laws of War (first edition, naturally) and could find no mention of gassing Eldar being a war crime, so carry on!

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Jud Cottrell

Jud Cottrell


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  • Location:Eastern Fringe
Hey Captain Cain 24th.

Firstly your force looks amazing on the field! Well done.

Any chance I can get a look at your list? I’m still gathering my Krieg force and any battlefield experience would be invaluable.

Good luck with your tournament prep.
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Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA
Thanks for the support everybody. It's time to get back on the horse. So...
@Tallarn Commander. It was good to get acquainted with harlequins. I can see how they were a perfect counter for marines.  Practice is huge. There's so much shenanigans in this game, it's just nuts. As to sentinels, I think there's some value in units too cheap to really focus fire on. I've got three sentinels and they just need to be fixed up. The experiment with water effects had a lot of errors, but more importantly i figured out how to do it. My next experiments might just work out... So, keeping in theme, I'm going with a camo like the WW1 French Renault FT light tank.
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@ sairence: Thank you. I agree without the commanders the death riders lose a lot of value. I'm actually excited to get my engineers painted up! Well, the mole launcher might stay grey plastic, but I think you're right about their utility. I've also got one Hades breaching drill painted and ready for them. My list right now has a lot of mobility issues. I hadn’t noticed, but I saw a discussion the other day saying that the Hades allows transport of the VETERANS keyword meaning a command squad could go in the hades. If true that's an interesting melta delivery system. 
IMG 20200520 141557119


@Warrior Fish: Yes, the journey begins anew. I just had my first tourney here too. So I'm up to 4 games in. I'll post that up as soon as I get a chance. It's interesting to talk with people new to the hobby, used to a rapid release schedule. But looking back, there's been years at a time, stuck with the same old guard codex. After all these years I still love wishlisting threads, but I've got to be careful to temper my excitement. Sometimes it really doesn't take much to suddenly make an army real competitive. For now I worry guard has a lot of structural problems. When the new codex comes I'm keeping my expectations low. 
@Jud Cottrell: Hello to the Eastern Fringe and thanks for saying so.  So, the army, was split in two battalions:
  • first, with reg. spotter details, and gunnery experts,
    • 3x tank commanders (demolishers, lascannon, 2x tank ace 'slow and purposeful);
    • Malcador Infernus;
    • 3 infantry squads;
    • 2x Medusa Siege Carriages. 
  • Second, as Kreig with
    • 2x commanders (warlord, kurov's aquila),
    • 3x infantry (2 w/autocannons), 
    • 2x5 Death riders;
    • 5x bullgryns; Astropath;
    • 2x Commanders/Marshalls (warlord, kurov's aquila);
    • 3x infantry squads; (2x infantry squads w/autocannon);
    • heavy weapon squad (mortars); 
My list had a lot of compromises. I made a grenade screen for my malcador so it looks even more like a British MK1 tank. Taking two hellhounds would be way better. The bullgryns I took because I made necromunda conversions. I'm not a huge fan of them due to their slow speed (why not just play terminators), but infantry or conscripts just evaporate to any amount of firepower.
IMG 20201103 221820638


I need somebody to hold the line or objectives. The astropath was more to reacquaint myself with the psychic phase (usually I say bring several psykers or don't bother with any). Shifting around some points to fit two manticores or basilisks would be a lot better than the medusas. Even earthshaker carriages in a cadian detachment might better while keeping a bit of DKK flavor.
I also wanted to take heavy weapons only because of the work I did on the bases. Though, I do think a squad or two isn't a terrible idea with the strat, and commander support.  Here's the current project to finish out my third autocannon team:
IMG 20210614 183354781
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Mad Robot Mini's horse with cannister mask. The rail car is Dapol 00 scale (though out of scale, it actually matches up ok as narrow gauge trench rails common in WW1). Unfortunately I just saw Auspex Tactics posted a video on new 3rd party bits policies for GW. I fear Adepticon, though independent, isn't going to say "no" to GW. So, I may have to rethink my emphasis on conversions... I suppose I could convert up death riders as pack horses ($$$$sick.gif ). But, I never really go to GW stores or tourneys. Still, I'll have to keep an eye on tournaments picking up the ban on 3rd party bits--even though apart from basing these are all legit forgeworld models I've got here.

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The main reason is you enjoyed it. Winning is just a happy accident. 

Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@ jarms48 - That's the truth right there. It's a hobby and if it's not fun, then why do it?


Ok, so last weekend, I went to a friendly type tournament called waaaghfest. It's been maybe 4-5 years since I last made it to this one. The custom mission theme was based on the movie DUNE. So sandworms and spice were prevalent in the objectives. Giant sandworms milling about on the table help reign in overzealous competitive players. So, scoring doesn't matter, but it was a good way for me to re-enter the game side of the hobby after a year off. There's lots to be said about how Death Korps performed to be applied in the future.


Game #1. Death Guard versus Death Korps--Loss? Thematically both sides appearing to get what they wanted... death. So, as to deployment having several squads of infantry allowed me to screen out a deep deployment zone against enemy reserves. That forced large death guard terminator squads to deploy out in the open in the middle of the table. And he had a lot of terminators. The 3x demolisher tank commanders took out a large blob of terminators on the first turn. In later turns with dice averaging out, buffs to increased invulns and penalties to hit, the remaining terminators squads proved too much to bear. The malcador infernus got locked in combat with a rhino. That gave me a lot of thought about multi-melta sponsons on leman russes. Also, of note was a very well played charge game. After my death riders had been whittled down, they really only served as a means to catapult the enemy into my lines. That is, the enemy poxwalkers were perfectly happy to charge, mostly bypassing my death riders, so as to get into engagement range of my leman russ. Who cares if they can't kill or even be eligible to fight the Russ, so long as they stop it from shooting that demolisher cannon. I'm going to have to re-learn screening both in deployment and in continuing to move in each turn. Another means of addressing this could be army selection: (1) consider not blast weapons or sponsons; (2) consider longer range turrets to stay away longer. Also, at least a passing knowledge of  other armies--like white scars or such who can fall back and charge. Practice makes perfect.

IMG 20210612 100350454


Game #2 Tau versus Death Korps--Win?  Nuclear bombs as terrain were again an effective theme for my army. So, in a competitive game he'd have tabled me. Tau "aren't good" in the sense of space marines and dark eldar having hard counters to them. However, a skilled player remains highly dangerous--I'd read on goonhammer that player went 7-1 with them at a major event last weekend. I've no doubt on that at all. I suppose I empathize with internet salt when an army's rules aren't the best, but that doesn't mean the salt is accurate. So, terrain was a big one. I apparently still hate vanguard deployment. I need to get a diagram of the measurements for it on the new board size, so I don't waste 15 minutes trying to figure measurements out if it comes up at a tourney. This was a good game to consider the possibility of me fighting a gunline. Can my army function if it has to move? Can it survive severe punishment while holding objectives? Deployment: stay out of line of sight Turn 1 or get good cover. In past editions I'd say use other units as cover, but drawing line of sight is so open and broad in 9th that old logic doesn't necessarily hold. Demolishers aren't always the best choice. Still, am i really bringing down riptides with battle cannons? The manticores I'm too cool to take would've helped a lot. Speaking of salt, the medusa seige carriages again had Muppets at the helm. If you gave them a drop of 20 pts, grinding advance, and re-roll 1's to hit with the custom regiments they still wouldn't be over powered. But, they are fun.
IMG 20210612 140229232


Game #3 Necrons versus Death Korps - Loss? Uh, theme... Little mermaid or maybe under the sea enchantment dance. It's the pirate's life for me. Close game. It involved my entire army shooting at huge 20(?) man blobs of warriors. He needed to hold the center objective to win, which isn't unlike certain secondaries in a competitive environment. It was really cool to see what blast weapons can do with max shots. And, with Re-roll 1's to hit on orders, extra range, re-roll 1D6 # of shots, and re-roll 1's to wound on tank ace. Notably, if he hadn't planned to just hold the center, he'd have walked right into me and it's unlikely I'd have survived. Tank commanders at this point seem to be my only major source of damage, but also a weak point in that the remaining parts of my army need to act to keep them alive. I kind of worry that they are a crutch, but if so, I'm not sure with what to replace them. I'm somewhat disenchanted with with death riders, though I think I can find better uses for them. Their damage output is so low I'm not sure they needed the points increase they got. I suspect the nerf was meant to hit competitive players playing huge amounts of re-cast death riders in some kind of skew list...

IMG 20210612 163353506


So, got four games in now. How have I not played space marines yet? I've played four armies in a row that I've not played in probably 4 years. But, I think with another 5-10 I'll start feeling comfortable with the 9th ed. rules set. I know I shouldn't change my army around because I can't be sure I've accounted for variables properly across all the games I might face. Death riders and bullgryns probably have a lot more uses than I've yet figured out despite sub-par performance. However, it's clear some units just don't work. The Muppets in charge of the artillery might sit on the bench next game.


I think I'm going to another tournament 6/26/21, a small (15 or so person RTT). Without any local pickup games near me, for now I'm set on traveling about 2 hours to tournaments (not ideal). I've got to playtest at home here how the charge phase works. Those poxwalkers in game #1 got an 11 charge and were just completely behind my front line in an instant. I may do another tourney in July, but I think I'm aiming for the September Servitor GT (a 50-100 person, 5x round tourney). Did you see Las Vegas Open 2022 championships are planning on 1100 participants? That can't be right. Wow.


My other problem apart from finding games is continuing to develop theme--I've still got to get my display board up and running!!! And on that note, I solved a major problem. I finally figured out how to fit my trench rail system on a display board. I'm embarrassed it took me around 2 years to figure it out, but I've solved it.


Thanks for reading. I welcome input good, bad or otherwise.

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Just on the topic of Russes...my personal take is that the non-blast turrets aren't worth it. The Exterminator is a straight downgrade to the Battlecannon if you bring Gunnery Experts and the Punisher has very specific use cases where he fills an entirely different role. Demolishers are your best bet, especially if you run them with extra range and reroll shots, but you need to be very smart with moving them. I'm not a fan of most sponsons currently. Multimeltas are too expensive, Plasma adds another blast profile, Heavy Flamers are too short ranged. HBs are a compromise if you're looking to add extra firepower, but I've come around to keeping my tanks as cheap as possible and using the points for other things. If you're worried about small things tagging them you could consider a hull flamer instead of a hull HB. It won't deter a charge on its own, but it's already paid for and might free your turret in a clutch moment. Remember, you can declare your blast weapons when tagged and if your flamer kills its target you can shoot them.

Other than that...screens are you best friends. Wave after wave into the enemy. And don't be afraid to charge that Infernus into an opponents screen. Either you force him to fall back or he gets roasted.
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I can't add more to what sairence has, but keep working on your games (and letting us know :P ) - you'll need to be well versed in rules anyway but it's all the more important when your army is behind on the current curve. Polishing both your list and your own skills is the way to victory - or at least the best shot at it ;)

Painting Oaths Completed:
In the grim predictability of online 40k, there can be only Sun Tzu quotes

SM Ironclad | IG Stormies | =][= Stormies | AM Armigers

CSM Executioner | TSons Infernal Master | Daemons Daemonettes

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Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@sairence - Yeah, I don't have much of a counter argument. I mean 250 or so for a tank commander leman russ is a lot relative to it's durability (well in addition to points, there's CP into getting a tank ace, etc. I think an issue for me with list #1 was that I didn't have good range to supplement the russes. I think I need to get rid of them, or design to supplement and protect them. 


@WarriorFish - I'm hoping I'm still free for the small tourney this weekend, so I can get back in the fight for 3x more practice games. I'm still ironing out the last few units in a new list. I feel somewhat more comfortable with terrain rules, the more I read and re-read the rules.


Preparing a new Army List. This weekend I got my manticores up and running from the dusty junkyard on my shelf. My old army of cadians was all grey, black and white. I'm willing to try Manticores again. The Medusas I'll save for home games, for now. I'm not particularly concerned with a unified paint scheme. I am looking at a WW1 theme, so the paint schemes are matched to old Saint Charmond, Renault, and Schnieder tanks. In my death riders and heavy weapon teams I'm trying to integrate khakis, blues, browns, greens and greys so as to unify the varied paint schemes. It's a bit more fun interesting to me than just grey. Though a simple grey (or horizon blue) can be thematic in reflecting a factory paint job on a new unit coming in to replace casualties. In any case, I'm not looking to be overly precious with the paint here--I just need them battle ready for the weekend. So, slap some color on and give it a wash! But, to meet my goal for next march, I'll want heavy conversions (not just paint) on all models. I've been thinking more and more about that taurox-manticore conversion, using kataphron & thunderfire tracks. Very expensive, and the conversion design with Zinge Industries (third party wheels) is actually my favorite, but it's not wholly GW parts... so, I'll think more on it.

IMG 20210621 065243570
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I also dug out my old scions. I have a lot of them, and haven't used them in years. I figured I'd give them a fresh coat of paint. Kappic Eagles make the most sense, I suppose, as my Krieg are painted Thunderhawk blue anyway. But, like the Manticores, I wanted to paint them up a bit different. I'm going with something similar to the Iotan Gorgonnes. I converted up a whole bunch of melta. A note on small suicide squads: usually not a good idea. They don't get their points back. But, running the math hammer on regular hot-shot lasguns, even with massive buffs, they don't kill too many intercessors. So, I wanted squads with a punch. There's not much in my army that actually does damage. If I'm shifting around kill power in my list, I need some anti-vehicle and anti-elites. There's so much heavy infantry now that plasma seems really underwhelming. Hotshot volley guns, are a "maybe." Still, it's not just about kill power. I need objectives and I need movement in the list. Static = death. I'm angling the list towards more mobility - more orders for infantry and death riders (move move move!). The Iotan Gorgonnes, fit this well with the strat which allows 5" deep strike. That's a big deal to me. I won't always be able to clear units in the enemy deployment zone. Any little bit helps. So, Priority #1 objectives. #2 bust some tanks. Scions also open up a 2nd warlord trait stratagem. Of course the next problem is bringing tempestor primes... I'm up past 5 characters... the secondary Assassinate is a big problem for me. Still, I was giving up assassinate before anyway; I might just as well make an army list that can achieve its own objectives.

IMG 20210621 065042884
IMG 20210621 065149312

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 24 June 2021 - 03:00 PM.

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Yeah, you're going to have a hard time building a Guard-list that covers all your angles and isn't susceptible to one or two obvious secondaries in return. You can either build a list to avoid secondaries or to reliably score them, but it's very difficult to make one with Guard that can do both.

At least with Assassinate you have some control as you can hide your characters to some extent.

Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@sairence. Agreed, right on point. Leading into the latest FAQ I read and heard people online frequently feeling like Drukhari had an extra 100-200pts. I feel Guard is on the other end of that spectrum, down 100-200 pts. As to building towards objectives, I've been thinking largely on focusing towards 'battlefield supremacy' (engage on all fronts, behind enemy lines, and stranglehold). I also suspect shadow operations is doable with raise the banners high, investigate signal, retrieve octarius data, and deploy teleport homers. This is however, only two of the three categories... The problem on the third category being, I feel really exposed on No Mercy No Respite (especially grind them down, or no prisoners) and Purge the Enemy (assassination or bring it down). I don't have great kill power in the list to really match the opponent on these.


I suppose if I went instead to focus on Warpcraft, I could shift my build to bullgryns to contest the center to set up  a Warp Ritual. Pierce the veil might work once by giving a commander the dagger of Tu-sakh and taking a primaris psyker into reserves with him... at least I think the keywords would work. To get it a second time, (assuming psyker #1 is quickly killed), I could push hard to move out a fast transport containing psyker #2. I think the chimera is the only thing with the right keyword for a psyker... Meanwhile, I'd want to run a screen/cover by pushing hard with all available force and reserves creating distractions all over the table to give that pysker enough time to get it done. I could put other units in the transport chimera to help abuse the look out sir rule and counter my opponent when he sees what i'm obviously up to. Actually, wait a minute, an inquisitor could work here as he can take a Taurox with the 'Authority of the Inquisition' which removes the keyword restriction. That'd be faster to the other side of the table. Alternatively, he can use the clandestine operation stratagem to go into reserves just like the dagger of Tu-sakh. Making room for a primaris, and an inquistor is not a big investment. Certainly denying the action could be a problem, but lots of people don't take psykers, or are using them at the center of the table buffing big units. To me Warpcraft seems better than just sitting on my hands, resigned to the idea I've forgone a third category of secondaries. Well, at least it's an option, where if it doesn't look realistic I could still use the psykers for buffing or doing other stuff. 


Tournament list #2. Well if I can get the best coast pairings app to work, I'll submit my list here. There's supposed to be a button to upload it somewhere... Anyway, here it is so far:

Krieg Battalion
2x Commanders
1x Death Rider Commander
6x infantry squads
3x Death Rider Squads
Custom Spearhead (spotters, gunnery experts)
2x Tank Commanders
2x Manticores, Tank Aces
1x Heavy Weapon squad (mortars)
Iotan Gorgonnes Patrol
2x Tempestor 
2x Command Squad (4x melta)
2x Scion Squad (plasma P., 2x melta)
Display board. Christmas is cancelled! The 143rd Siege Regiment of Krieg by the authority of the departmento Munitorum hereby requisitions the materials of Mr. Claus (aka Kristopher Kringle, Saint Nicholas) in the name of his most beneficent and immortal god emperor, blessed be his name.
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Rough staging of space so far. The electrics and fitting to space are the big unknowns to me. Previously I wasn't able to figure out how to fit a working rail track on a display board as I had a minimum radius of about 18". Now that I've figured out auto-reversing programs, I can use a straight section of track instead of a circle. Huge problem solved here. In fact I abandoned the train idea entirely because I could see no solution. But, it's solved now and we've got a functional train and it'll fit to whatever size we want. The conversions are the easy and fun part. Don't you worry about those. It's possible a taurox will turn into an operational rail truck. The .22 shells are certainly going with my entrenched earthshaker carriages. Overall, I'm not sure yet on what all I can fit in the space I have. So, at the moment I'm trying to figure out if I want the track going along the trenches, or if I want to build more of a separate staging yard, or if I want an underground rail yard.


Perhaps the most significant problem in an IG/AM display board is space. I could cover an entire 2x2' board with models, no sunshine hitting the board itself, and no cool terrain features. That'd be dumb. Building something like a vast underground bunker allows me to utilize two levels of space and in turn gives me space to spread out models and make it very thematic. Why not put my leman russes on rail cars? I was looking at WW1 photos of MK1 tanks doing just that--draped in camo on flat rail cars, headed to the front.

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 24 June 2021 - 01:56 PM.

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That's a pretty solid list for sure.

I've never really tried the warpcraft secondaries, they always seemed to complicated to pull off. We can do them better than most as Astropaths are sti pretty affordable and they've gotten easier to do...but you still need to get the casts off, in specific locations you can get pushed out off, without your opponent denying them.

If your opponent is open to kill objectives you can definitely achieve some with your firepower. You have the attrition damage from the vehicles and the assassination drops from the Scions...they can clear A LOT of stuff given a chance.

Love the thought it some train-transported tanks the front. Definitely a classic image. :)

Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@sairence - In re-reading the pierce the veil secondary it looks to me like one psyker needs to be repeating the action, as opposed to multiple psykers accumulating over the battle. It seems ambiguous though I've not found a FAQ. So, the idea that I'd have to dedicate to it over multiple rounds isn't terribly appealing. Throwing a parade of cheap psykers at it is one thing, dedicating an expensive psyker (i.e. durable) to it for 4 turns is another. I'll think more on it. But, more and more I want to have secondaries presumed before battle, adjusting as needed once I see the opponent's list.


Weekend 3-Round Rogue Trader Tourney. Well I need more practice and I've yet to find local games. So, I signed up for another tournament.

  • Drive time and 3 rounds gets to be a very long day for me (wouldn't have been so bad in my 20's). I tried to eat a solid breakfast and lunch as I was on my feet nonstop for about 10 hours.
  • I need a better army transport tray. My army is largely magnetized, fitting to cheap plastic containers. Very cost effective and functional for driving and walking. It's not functional once inside the tournament. I need organization to flow into deployment and quick removal (back in the tray upon casualtiesnuke.gif). Generally, I need a flat tray with edges so the models don't fall off. I've seen many have purchased MDF trays. I use a large box top. The problem is death korps are very spindly/breakable so I need partitions to prevent everything from banging around. And, AM/IG have a very large army in footprint. The average tray won't fit it all.
  • I grudgingly picked up a dice tray for rolling. I also picked up a pouch (off Amazon for shotgun shells in trap shooting) for dice so I'm not searching the table for my dice and I can always have them on me.
  • Display board needs to move forward. It didn't matter for this weekend as it was mostly unpainted armies gearing up for the local Grand tournaments in July and September. Still, the hobby and conversion side of the hobby is my favorite so it's important to my overall goals. I'm still working out sizing. It's hard to do as I don't know what units I'll ultimately take, or the size I'll need. For now, as you can see, 2x2' isn't enough to do much at all.
IMG 20210625 220608638

Round #1. Mission 21, Loss to sisters of battle. Multi-meltas on this board had great range. Screens weren't stopping that. I needed LOS blocking terrain for my manticores. Lesson 1: pay close attention to #6 create the battlefield. The terrain that was LOS blocking ended up center table, favoring an assault army and causing firing line and maneuvering problems for my direct fire weapons--e.g. tank commanders. As to secondaries, I chose Retrieve Octarius Data, assassinate, and behind enemy lines. They won't max points, but I can achieve these. On primaries, maybe I should have rushed out right away, I'm not sure. I was pensive about running out onto points as I felt I'd just get shot off the board (as it happens this was fait accompli anyway). He had a very well constructed list, and most everything had good invulnerables with ignores wounds. This rendered my tank commanders and my shooting overall moot. The scions also weren't able to kill anything upon landing. Lesson #2 is probably a much more detailed, multi-faceted discussion on fighting new or unknown armies. If guard's strength is in volume of numbers and firepower, it's an ugly spot when I'm outnumbered, and outshot with more accurate firepower. So, yes they have a very strong codex, but I can't ignore that I didn't have any efficient shooting for 1W resilient models. I can fight resilient models like death guard as I have multi-damage. I can also fight 1W models like guard or orks. But, the sisters showed me a blindspot in my list construction. Another way to look at it might be that I'm over-valuing kill power. I need it only so long as it scores me points, and prevents my opponent scoring. That is to say, even though it often bothers me that everything can kill my units, but my units can return very little damage, it doesn't necessarily matter.

IMG 20210626 112752229


Round #2. Mission 22, Loss to the perfidious Eldar. Fighting an old friend, and usual teammate at adepticon this was a fun fight. Lesson#1 ask about first turn charges. I need to just have a checklist at this point as I always forget. So, I'm not sure what this was, shining spears? Anyway, they moved and moved and charged (possibly advancing too). With poor screening on my part, this resulting in 500-600 points gone T1. Oddly, it remained a close game right to the end... so always play through. My Scions had trouble again with range and finding good targets. I'm thinking about one squad plasma, and one melta. I still believe in the 5" deep strike strat, but that's just the one unit. The death riders and infantry with orders moved tremendous distances. With multiple units I was able to hold on and weather significant firepower. I continued in my Behind Enemy Lines and Retrieve Octarius Data picks. Fairly close game, though he hadn't used his nastiest list, throwing a hodge podge together for the tourney.

IMG 20210626 142538919
IMG 20210626 150624907
Round #3. Mission 23, Loss to Dark Eldar. Finally got first turn and went for broke. I ran and ordered every possible unit as far forward as possible. This matchup was closer than it appeared. Had I not forgotten to fall back with a sergeant (or if he just died) there would have been a dramatic swing in primary points T4. I think several things could have gone his way, but as it played out, that single mistake resulted in me not being able to shoot at a unit of wracks, allowing them to score, and the death of 3x nearby units who could have easily killed his remaining units on nearby objectives. Massive points swing. I should go unit by unit before moving into each phase... Maybe it's nerves or using too much brainpower, but in any case not being clear of mind as the day progresses continues to be a problem. The manticores finally killed some things this round, but there's no conclusion to draw yet. It's confirmation bias at this point. The manticores didn't perform all tourney but they also were an immediate target. Interesting consideration for their value. But, against Drukhari the Krieg regiment was actually effective as I was getting -5 or -3 leadership all over the place. With Krieg I managed to slow the attrition losses. Death riders were a real star again--not that they killed anything, just that they are effective at not dying (wish I could get mobility like this with Objective Secured!). I don't know. I mean bullgryns can kill things but are too slow. I don't have a good durable replacement for the death riders. 345pts is a large block of my army though. The hellhounds also didn't have much a good run. I like mobility in a list, but they're also very dangerous. I'd say they killed more of my stuff than the opponents on the day. You might say I shouldn't have deployed so close, but these deployment zones are just too small.
I've been thinking of scout sentinels for a while now, and I'm trying to get them painted up. I think they'll be the next addition to the list. That early mobility is so important though again my lack of kill-power is worrisome--they wouldn't help in that department.
IMG 20210627 112448076


So, closest game of the day with dark eldar? Interesting. Still, as with sisters the strength of the codex was apparent. They've got more shots and better shots than me. Still the fact that I'm scoring makes me hopeful for a new codex--I don't know that we need that much to be real competitive. Well, on the flip side, a new codex could edge my dear Krieg ever closer to obsolescence. I suspect some new regiment with 2x weapon options like las carbines will probably be all the rage (Gaunt's ghosts box with 32mm bases and new weapons got me thinking...). 
IMG 20210626 170234849


The next tourney for me might be September, as I need to do a lot of detail work on my painting and get the display board up. I suppose I could do some of these smaller RTTs though, just to keep up with the rules. I'm still only 7 games into 9th edition. 

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Jud Cottrell

Jud Cottrell


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  • Location:Eastern Fringe
I’ve always had a soft spot for Sentinels, I really like the conversion you’ve started there.

Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@Jud - Oh, they're going in the list. I'll try 3, I think, but may go to 6. I've got to get moving on the conversions. I'm looking to add some stowage and tank tracks (though there's not much room). Also, I'm trying to build a winch for it at the moment, I think it'd be cool to have a sentinel pulling something out of the mud.




List design. It's time to reevaluate the list. Current issue (one of many): I need (i) 3x reasonably obtainable secondaries, and alternates if things look bad for one ; (ii) I need to be ready before the battle happens.


In sum here’s what I’m looking at modifying the list to accomplish:

  1. Known: (i) Engage on All Fronts or (ii) Behind Enemy Lines
  2. Known: (i) Raise Banners or (ii) Retrieve Ocularus © Deploy Teleport Homers
  3. As available: Warp Ritual, Bring them Down, Assassinate, Mission specific


  • Engage on All Fronts (my #1) – I like that this is table quarters (not just deployment zones); there’s room to operate. And, there isn’t much limitation on how close I can be to the last time I scored it. Hyperspeed isn’t as necessary with this one.
    • I like infantry w/orders, death riders w/orders, scions, valkryies, tauroxs, hellhounds, chimeras. Inexpensive units generally can add redundancy. I’m moving out to objectives anyway so there’s synergy with primaries.
    • I'm really considering scout sentinels – they can be fast, and largely the enemy really wants to just ignore them.
    • Gaunt's ghosts are probably too many points, for damage output and durability--but, if they are scoring in cover immediately and over multiple turns maybe we should shift the analysis on "good units."
    • Counter: I like waves of infantry to move block. And, if I get moved blocked, scions become important to jump behind them. Aircraft keyword is also a viable move blocking strategy, even though it can't be abused as much as 8th edition.
  • Behind Enemy Lines (my #2) – I like scions for this, or keeping an option for Engage on All Fronts. Iotan Gorgonnes can get there with the 5” strat. Still, some missions have really confined deployment space. Engineers are very cheap. Valkryies can move out quickly. There are a number of counters to be aware of:
    • Tau - Early warning override –wargear to shoot at reinforcements w/in 12"
    • Space marines - Omni-scrambler – no reinforcements w/in 12” & Auspex scan – 2CP infantry shoot at reinforcements w/in 12”
    • Craftworlds - Forewarned – 2CP shoot at reinforcements deployed in sight of unit who is w/in 6” of a farseer.
    • AM/IG - Superior intelligence 1CP – scions shoot at reinforcements w/in 12”
    • Custodes - Ever Vigilant 2CP – custodes infantry only; 12” can shoot at -1.
  • ​​Stranglehold – hold 3 and hold more than opponent. This seems popular but also difficult for me. I can see the popularity—you want to control for primaries anyway. If you aren’t doing that you’re losing. But, that’s a lot of ground to contest. Spreading too thin over the whole table could be a recipe for disaster. I think I’m more willing to really hold 2 primaries. On one hand, yes it is important to cause chaos and problems everywhere on the board as much as  possible. On the other hand, it takes 3 guard units to do the same thing as 1 marine unit. Show up in force if you show up at all.
    • AM/IG may have an advantage in some respects. If an elite army such as deathwatch plans only has so many units to play with and if they plan to cover 3 or more objectives, they're spread thin. AM/IG can put multiple units on each objective. There isn't always an advantage, the 9th Ed Ad Mech can play hordes and outclass AM/IG in shooting.

No Mercy

  • No Prisoners – I'd be vulnerable if bringing something like 150 conscripts (characters, and vehicles don’t count). However, I suspect most opponents will struggle unless building a skew list, or they have a ubiquitous and really competitively priced ‘all rounder’ high volume fire weapon. I mean you could still bring 90 infantry and only give up 9 secondary points to deny the full 15.
    • On the flip side, if I’m facing hordes, well this is one of the few areas where lasguns do have a good use. There's a natural guard counter here.
    • practicality is an issue: this many models would have to be durable to quickly throw about the table (cadian/catachan), and practice would be a huge concern. There's very limited time already. ALSO: deployment zones are even smaller--some missions are very tiny (e.g. #23 Scouring).
  • Grind them Down – This is my greater concern in relying on cheap units too much. Waves of infantry can give this up. Lone sentinel units could become an easy target. Why waste time counting and dividing kill points if you can score 9+ real easy here against my guard?
    • To mitigate this I see some people go with conscript blobs, especially valhallan with commissars. I could get onboard with 1-2 conscript units, but at full size they start getting really expensive for what they do.
    • Death riders and bullgryns have great durability. Just having huge amounts of 10-man infantry squads or heavy weapon squads  in a list could give this up too easily.
    • Projecting my own Killpower also still matters (gunnery expert/spotters tank commanders, lambdan taurox primes, and full payload manticores trying to even the score).
  • To the Last – I don’t like this. Choosing the 3x most expensive units to protect seems to encourage opponents to shoot at something that’s already a target (e.g. tank commanders). At least in principle I'd rather force a tough decision on them.
    • I see this secondary taken in other armies like daemon princes or Telemon dreadnoughts.
    • If I leaned into it with Guard, I could bring 3x baneblades with nightshroud, and barrier protection. But I feel I’d still give up 10, and probably 15. Psychic stuff doesn't start until my turn... which can be a real problem. Mechanically, terrain is of little help in this type of list in 9th. I suppose some crazy guy could try 3x marauder bombers or something if you've got $1500 laying around.
    • Three big units of bullgryns is interesting, maybe. However, they wouldn't all get psyker protection, and in playing harlequins I see that high volume of melta pistols is a hard counter. Also there's probably some real movement issues in doing this. They don't get orders.
    • If I haven’t played the opponent’s army regularly, and they pick this, read that list carefully. This is just asking for ‘gotcha’ moments, where they 3x invincible characters. Oh he has 2+, 2++, and 2+++, all re-rollable... Nope (well at least we're not in 7th ed. anymore). Sometimes the only way to play is to avoid unkillable units instead of wasting firepower on them. But this secondary is a counter to that strategy. Maybe the response is to deny primaries and if and when you decide to make a run at this focus all available fire one unit at a time.


Shadow Operations

  • Raise Banners (my #2)– I suppose T1 I can start this on objectives in my deployment zone. It’s got to be infantry so death riders can’t sally out and start it T1. It’s got to be started ‘end of movement phase’, so I can’t MOVE MOVE MOVE onto objectives to start it T1. I like that I don’t have to survive to a command phase.
    • I like waves of infantry for redundancy: (i) I can’t expect to score if I just run out and get shot off the table; (ii) expensive units scoring this waste valuable points as they can’t perform an action and shoot (though some armies have strats to do so).  
    • I need to have the ability to clear objectives if I’m move blocked (plague bearers, etc). This is another one where I like scions in case I can’t get across the board. I’ve thought about dusting off the old vulture and wyverns to help, but something like intercessors or such will take dedicated firepower.
    • I do like that this synergizes with primaries--I need to be on 
    • I'd expect this to become increasingly difficult over the game length (e.g. i have less units, and the enemy is pressuring me as much as possible). Something like Gaunt's ghosts is interesting to try and get this started as soon as possible on the midfield objectives, knowing it's only going to get harder later on. 
  • Investigate Signal – I don’t like it. Bullgryns or something are tough, but I’m not sure they can weather the brunt of everything the enemy has to keep the center of the table. But, since it’s completed at the end of the turn, cooperation among many units could force the enemy out of the center.
    • Again, Gaunts ghosts could get it T1… I feel like that gives up full 15 for assassinate though. Also if you go second, they’ll be wiped out without having scored.
    • I’d envision this as advancing waves of infantry, bullgryns up the table T1, alongside supporting fire from Tauroxs, and tank commanders to score this T2, 3, 4, 5.
    • center table usually appears to be around 12" from deployment zones (as low as 9" I think).
  • Retrieve Octarius Data (my #1) – I really like this. 8 easy-ish points. Action is completed end of turn. It’s table quarters. Scions can do it T2, 3. Infantry squads sitting in back, screening and blocking deep strike can do it T1. The caution is the need to be 6" from other table quarters.
  • Deploy teleport homers – Getting wholly within 12” of the enemy deployment zone isn’t hard for a small scion squad. Interestingly this is ‘infantry unit’ without excluding characters… (it’s also bikes, not that this matters for us). My concern is that it’ll take me T2, 3, 4, 5 to get 8 points and it feels harder to do than Retreive Octarius.

Purge the Enemy

  • Assassination – 3VP for characters is a big problem. Tank commanders, commanders, primaris, tempestors, astropaths, all give it up. Still, look out sir can be abused to some degree. I could re-evalute just how much I actually need in characters. MOVE MOVE MOVE and FIRST RANK FIRE are very common for me. For Scions many orders are very helpful. But, do I actually need them? One problem with codex creep is I really don’t feel I have much of an army left by T5, adding to the impulse I have to get on top of objectives immediately. I also like warpcraft as an option... and it's got to be done by characters...
  • Titan Hunter – Baneblades? Here’s to hoping for max 8 damage per phase. Come on new codex! Certainly I’d like to have enough melta to kill knights should I fight a list of them: (i) they’ll slaughter too many cheap units for me to stay on the table; (ii) this could be easy points if they bring 3.
  • Bring it Down – I’m seeing more and more lists with Lambdan Taurox primes. At 10W they give up 1VP. That is good, well, decent as the -1AP is a large marginal increase in efficacy. Still, the sisters last weekend, with their ignoring -1AP are a beast (another reason to build 'take all comers' as there's always somebody with some crazy rule to negate your army's one 'special trick').
    • What’s not good is if the tauroxs get wiped off the table T1. Better take the refractor field generator too. I could see taking 3x in a list all huddled together T1 (still 5++ isn’t going to save them from everything out there, but I like it). The well-established, 3x tank commanders = 6VP; and 2x manticores = 4 VP.
    • This is also the one spot where my Medusa Siege Carriages shine, giving up only 1VP.
    • but what's actually 'good' to score? 10+ is good. But realistically, do I aim at a secondary still if it's only looking to get me 7 or 8? There seems to be a balance of realism and fighting every point no matter what.


  • Abhor the witch – well this is great if they have psykers. Though, I wouldn’t mind taking a few psykers myself, which would preclude this option.
  • Warp ritual (#1)– my guess is the guard players who choose this have a big unit or two of bullgryns and have astropaths or primaris perform this behind them.
    • Cons: 6”inches of center is difficult. Deploying right on the line could leave me vulnerable to T1 charge shenanigans. And, my main concern is that the pride of the opponents army—even more nasty than bullgryns—may also show up there to do the same (vanguard vets, terminators). IG/AM psykers can't really get to center table T1 because they lack a jump pack, phobos keyword, bike, or flying dreadnought. Assasinate is still a problem as I'm anticipating a lot of extra characters here.
      • I can adjust game-to-game in bad matchups by using my pyskers to cast night shroud and barrier to keep the fight going while I work on other secondaries. I think enemies with a lot of deny the witch would be a problem here. Warpcraft can just be a backup plan.
    • Pros: 6" isn't actually that bad as center table is usually 12" inches away or less. It seems possible to deploy behind cover and move out for T2 or T3 scoring. Bullgryns aren't trivial to protect a psyker with wall of flesh and look out sir. They can clear some chaff, and even punch at some real heavies, especially if supported. The bullgryns only have to survive so long. It's ok if they die so long as I've bought some time.
      • Add redundancy by deep striking an allied inquisitor T2 or T3, either terminator variant or use their pregame reserves stratagem. 
      • A valkryie can T1 move and Grave-Chut insertion drop a psyker down on the center (you know full well I'm rolling a 1 on this drop). I hesitate on this one. I see lists on BCP, not infrequently using valkryies and scions with an officer of the fleet. There's some added value there over and above just dropping off a psyker T1. However a valkryie is a big juicy target, in range of everyone, and not particularly hard to kill. 
  • Pierce the veil – it’s ambiguous to me whether one unit must complete this or multiple units can accumulate to complete this. Thus far I’ve seen many argue it, but quickly losing civility or persuasive authority. Comments like its ‘obvious’ and ‘if you’d read the rule’ serve no purpose. Prudence dictates I’ll read it in the most negative light, and therefore conclude one unit must do it and this isn’t reasonably possible to achieve. I don’t have time to create debates mid-game at a tourney. But, if it were FAQ’d I do have a lot of interest in this one.
  • Psychic interrogation – Feels too open to deny the witch. If multiple could attempt it, then maybe it’d have better redundancy.

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 23 July 2021 - 01:26 PM.

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Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA
Painting/hobby. Secret weapon bases are in! (**65mm**, yes "60mm"). So, back to getting some work done on the last autocannon team. The metal foil from green stuff world yielded a big breakthrough for me in making straps--much easier than making thin straps out of green stuff putty. So, this means I can make straps for the lasrifles and horse reins. I'm still working on building my sentinels. But, I'm having some difficulty deciding what conversions to add. I spend more time plotting than painting, building, and playing combined.
IMG 20210701 071202159
Gameplay. Still need to establish a baseline for where I'm at playing the game and understanding it. My hope is that when the new codex comes (hopefully before March 2022 Adepticon!) I can react and build units accordingly. I can't assume the new codex will be super strong, or that I'll be able to pick up the new codex and immediately have a great strategy with it without practice. I really hope there isn't a GW knee-jerk reaction from the push back on super strong Ad-mech and Drukhari, to make the next codexes too weak. In any case, my plan here is to keep working through game play issues. I can’t know all the permutations, or all armies, but practice (and intentionality) makes perfect. I mean, how have I not even played space marines in 9th yet? I even own sizeable Blood Angels and Imperial Fist forces. The internet tells me half my games should be against marines. So, get a baseline on what I've got right and wrong about mission #11.

11 Retrieval Mission (Strike Force)

Step #1 select battle size. Pre-tourney. Done. No issue I can see.

Step #2 Muster armies. Pre-tourney. This is what I spend an inordinate amount of time on here among our glorious frater. Always room for improvement.

  • Command points: 12CP starting. In one way, I’m real short of  CP these days using three detachments. I don’t mind this as much because Vigilus and the Codex are very aged at this point and I’m not relying on super combos. In another way I like to use a pen to mark on the score sheet the use of CPs. This is slower than a plastic or MDF counter many purchase, but I do like to note where something was spent in case of dispute. I suppose as long as I clearly vocalize when I adjust the counter that’s enough (I just write it down because I’m unlikely to remember something in the heat of the battle if later questioned). Last tourney some were using a white marker board on the wall next to the tables, but I found that more messy than efficient.
  • I'm using all painted stuff, though the scions are nothing more than colors with washes. So, I'll have you know I scored at least 10 points per game at my last two tourneys! 

Step 3, determine mission. My tourneys recently have been laying them out in advance. This allows important prep work before the games. I can know in advance whether or not my army can do the special mission secondary—I can even design a list on it. If the mission is random from the GT 2021 I still can plan according to each mission I might face (hence this B&C blog). In tournaments past I always felt like other opponents somehow knew the missions well before me. Predetermined missions feel more fair.

Step 4 Read Mission. Another step to be done in advance. Also a good time to vocalize rules with opponent, just so it’s clear what’s happening.

  • Primaries capped at 15 per turn.
  • Must be w/in 3H/5V” to score.
  • No T1 primary scoring.
  • 5VP – hold 1
  • 5VP – hold 2
  • 5VP – hold more than opponent.
  • Math on 6x objectives
    • If I hold 2x = generally 10VP (5+5)
      • If I hold 2x and OP holds 1x or none = (5+5+5)
    • If I hold 3x = generally 10VP (5+5)
      • If I hold 3x and OP holds 2x or 1x or none = 15VP (5+5+5)
    • If I hold 4, 5, or 6 I necessarily hold more than opponent
    • If I hold 3, 4, 5, 6 I necessarily preclude the opponent holding more than me
    • If I hold 2 or 3, I may match or outscore (Occasionally a brutal slaughter means 1 point will be the most anyone has).
    • If I hold 2 for 4 turns I get 40pts
      • Decent score. But, I’m leaving my opponent open to get the 45 plus whatever secondaries happen in the board control I concede.
      • I could see a strategy in keeping all my units together as much as a I can to concentrate firepower. But, I could see this backfiring on me (an assault army would really love to have all my units bundled up together in one spot).
      • It seems really possible for both players to score 40. If so, secondaries become the big issue.
    • If I hold 2+ and more than OP for 3 turns I get full 45pts.
      • Could be spread too thin. Can’t be strong everywhere at once. But, getting on many objectives provides redundancy, and forces the opponent to act.
      • Realistically I might not last to T5 against newer, deadlier armies (so get points while I can). It’s also important to move out to deny the opponent points.
    • Comparatively, most secondaries are 2, 3, or 4VP per turn, they can score T1, and have unit limitations, like infantry, characters, or psykers. Important to remember if i am forced to make a choice between scoring points.

Step 5 Place Objectives.

  • 44 (short edge) x 60 (long edge) board, for some reason most neoprene (mouse pad material) tables I’ve seen seem to be 43.5 inches or something weird. I guess that means vocalizing this with the opponent (a major theme is stopping dumb things before they become a thing).
  • Measure the table out quick (take out the guess work and second guessing):
    • Time is always a problem for me. Wasting minutes on measuring is a huge waste.
    • Find center table along short edge (SE) up 22” and over on long edge (LE) 30”
    • 2x DZ objectives 20” back from center (in each DZ).
      • Alternate, go 10” along LE, up and 22” up SE
    • 4x center table objectives (no man’s land)
      • Measure down SE from table center point 12”, from that point go 8” left and right to set both objectives.
      • Alternate: if center is 30” LE and objectives are 8” back from center, just measure instead 22 along LE, and up and 10” up on the SE
    • DZ is 18” deep (table half is 30”, 12” back from center is no-man’s land, remainder 18”).
    • No man’s land: 2x near objectives are only 4” outside of DZ; 2x far objectives are 20” away
    • I’m thinking of physically writing in all these measurements (assuming I’ve not made a mistake) into my GT2021 book

Step 6: Create the Battlefield

  • Sounds like a good time for both to talk and agree on terrain traits, e.g. light cover, dense cover
  • Knowns:
    • I don’t know who goes first.
    • I don’t know which DZ I get.
    • If I stack great terrain on one side, my opponent will surely take that side if he wins the roll offs. He faces the same problem generally. Both sides are looking for even—to a degree (I suppose some codex mechanics might leverage terrain better in all cases against an inferior codex, or poor army construction).
  • Army specific
    • My infantry would like cover to survive on objectives
      • But, my direct fire weapons want lanes of fire to the objectives to clear them.
    • My scions would like cover to complete actions
      • But, I don’t want the same done to me. One solution is in the army building phase to select mass infantry to block out deep strike.
    • My manticores would like LOS blocking terrain, away from the front line. They are a huge priority target.
    • My tank commanders would like to pop out from LOS blocking terrain near the front line. They want mobility through the map (e.g. not overly narrow streets, or lines of impassable tank traps).
    • I don’t want terrain to prevent me from using screening units.
    • As characters can be an easy ASSASSINATE, places to hide them can be very important as they move forward providing orders.

Step 7: Select Secondaries

  • ‘Minimize losses’ – score depending on % of army remaining at end of battle.
    • I can see the argument that as your units are wiped out you become less and less viable as an army.  This is, in a sense, a great secondary as you certainly plan on not allowing your units to die. 
    • Realistically, I don't see it. IG/AM is not super durable. I’m largely fielding masses of expendable infantry (I don’t expect much to survive at the end).
    • However, so far I only have 2 secondary categories normally filled, so this is a mission where I’m looking to back up and better design a list for category #3 like warp ritual (or take a secondary as it comes up like bring it down, or assassinate).

Step 8: determine attacker and defender

  • I feel like this designation is an unnecessary complication—just tell me who picks DZ and who goes first without adding names.
  • I like to make roll offs conspicuous and vocal. No surprises or leaving room for disputes.

Step 9: Choose DZ

  • Hopefully I placed terrain well...
  • So, defender chooses DZ.
    • I guess I’ll pick defender if I win the roll off. I’m tempted to say if the terrain looks equal, who cares? Though I suppose selecting defender can thwart an opponent who has secretly identified some critical terrain strategy already.
    • Step 11 is also impacted by me choosing defender, but doesn’t matter as much I have plenty of units to deploy (deploying first in alternating deployment is far less scary than the old way of doing it).
  • With limited space it’s often easy to just say “I’ll take this side” (the one you ended up on when you got to the table and set your army tray down). I’m really bad at this. I have to work on reading the table terrain and thinking through in advance if there’s a better zone for me. Paying attention to what the opponent lays down is important. I need to pause here and slow down for a minute. And, I need to memorize terrain traits (not asking people, "what is this?").

Step 10: Declare Reserves and Transports

  • With some exceptions I think a lot of reserves can be determined before you even show up to the fight, so there’s less time and energy spent at the table top.
    • Scions are an easy choice for me. I’ve been experimenting with death riders flanking a bit as well.
    • I’ve taken the Infernus out of my list, but I think in the future I’d certainly be ready to spend the CP for strategic reserves.
  • I could see the secrecy in the rules being important if you’re taking The dagger of Tu-sakh or Tallarn Ambush. If the opponent knows for sure what’s in reserves it could really alter any plans. I could see some strategy in reserving 3x tank commanders so you aren't shot off the table. In 8th edition, reserving a shadowsword was potentially a big strategy... now it feels more of an incidental gain.
  • Limits on reserves to T2 and T3 are very limiting, so I’m not yet really looking too deep at a lot of reserve shenanigans.
  • Also, I don't know what the opponent is reserving until we both reveal, and we haven't deployed our armies. How do I know at this point that my tank commanders need to be in reserves?

Step 11: Deploy armies

  • Here is where a large MDF army tray is great, for fast deployment onto the table (instead of storage). It takes twice as long to hunt and pick for models than to just reach in and quickly grab them.
  • Units:
    • Scout sentinels typically will want to be forward to utilize the scout move and Go Recon.
  • I don’t know who is going first--no roll of for it yet.
    • Maybe try and draw out the enemy's important units first by deploying your chaff units? If I see something really nasty I can try to place my expensive tank commanders appropriately.
    • Those Leman Russes are not that durable out in the open.
      • Screening units out front to slow and block enemy. This is infantry for me with death riders and bullgryns. If I go first they all push out to objectives.
        • Gaunt’s Ghosts could be a cool drop 9” outside enemy deployment to slow everyone down or prevent enemy deepstrike… but they may give up 15VP on assassinate T1, and by charge, pile in, and consolidate allow a fast assault type enemy to move well beyond them into your lines.
        • Ratlings are another option, though must be 18” away from enemy DZ. And the points will add up if you want to string out 10 of them to make a screen. I like ratlings, but I don't know that they are suited for no-man's land.
      • Use LOS blocking terrain where possible.
    • Avoid overcrowding due to potential mortal wounds (hellhounds and tank commanders gave me an unwelcome reminder of this last weekend. At least once per game some tank exploded and killed a handful of nearby troops).

Mission Deployment zones: Short Edges (deep deployment)

  • Initial concerns
    • There’s actually room for layered screening units to protect basilisks and Manticores.
    • Screening is a topic in which I feel there is infinite depth and breadth, and I'm always missing something when I try to do it right. I get the feeling the really good players are masters at it.
    • Demolisher Leman  Russ Commanders can risk forward deployment for better shooting, or hang back, needing to move in later. Custom regiment helps mitigate this problem somewhat. I want my infantry able to screen out enemy deep striking.
    • This deployment map has, however, continued to be a problem for my demolishers, as I find I’m not getting great firing lanes or range. This is a particular problem as the tank commanders never survive the battle… there’s only limited turns to get those shots off and get value out of them.

Deploying Toward Primary Objectives:

  • 1x DZ objective: Don’t take it for granted. Intentionally place 2+ units on it in case of trouble. Don’t park the hellhounds or Infernus on or near it… I thank the perfidious eldar for that lesson last week.
  • 2x no-man’s land objectives: 2 are nearby at 4”. Bullgryns and infantry can walk there without orders.
  • Scoring primaries is in the command phase, before the movement phase.
    • So if I’m scoring T2, I need to be on the objective T1 and survive to the T2 command phase.
    • I could move to cover T1, then move out to objectives T2.
    • If the question is “how do I live long enough on objectives,” maybe the answer is chimeras (at least a couple of them).
  • Overall as a strategy, I can rush forward:
    • (i) to block the enemy out for deep strike (don’t want nasties showing up right on my doorstep) and scoring on the far side of the objective (scoring zone is 7.5” diameter bubble—who knows they could drop in some objective secured units);
    • (ii) to set up T1 movement (planning to contest enemy objectives T2 and later).
      • Bullgryns can’t move fast at all and don’t have orders. Since I’m not in the heat of the battle right now, we can pregame think through some options and variations.
      • This isn’t a center table objective mission. So my bullgryns could go center for a secondary (warp ritual or something). Center deployment allows them to react right or left. If instead I go to defend my own objectives, I’m going to have a harder time responding to the other objectives if there is a problem, as they’ll be too far away.
      • Deathriders could be a durable answer for the movement problem, as they can very quickly respond across table if needed. Even the humble infantry is very fast, though not durable without serious numbers behind them.
  • Rushing could cause me to get shot off the table.
    • I’m putting myself in range of most all enemy weapons.
    • I thank the sisters of battle for the retributors lesson last weekend. Melta is prevalent and doesn’t need half range to be deadly (Space marine eradicators, and cheap attack bikes).
    • And, going too far could leave gaps for flying units to jump over. This could be made worse by flying assault units using this gap to abuse the charge and pile in mechanics to ‘sling shot; deep into my lines. Don’t want my demolishers getting tagged in combat straight away. BS 3 re-rolling 1’s is garbage if they’re dead or bracketed down. Gaps also can leave room for actions on secondaries.
    • Still, in previous editions I’d often deploy away to specifically stay out of range. As a shooting army IG/AM could outshoot and force the enemy forward. 9th’s focus on objectives forces me to rethink old strategies. Range is also a different mechanic on a shorter table. I mean there were many old games where even playing blood angels I’d refuse to assault because I’d maneuver for better position later on. Now in 9th, getting behind in points can be a death sentence. There is no cagey trick or super unit I’m revealing on T3 or whatever. It’s all or nothing, and it’s happening right now.
  • I can also move out conservatively (slightly if at all) to score, without unnecessary movement (maybe a plan if facing a combat army?).  I’m not going to last long against a dedicated assault army.
    • Maybe nightshroud, barrier, take cover bullgryns are a mitigating solution to this problem, but at what point am I adding too many characters. Well, if the bullgryns live their helpers probably will too. 
    • Conservative movement also can backfire, as I’m allowing the opponent to also score 3+. All else being equal we then both score 10 T2, 3, 4, 5 (40pts).
    • The near objectives are really close when you consider the 3" scoring bubble and 40mm objective size.
  • I could rely on killpower to knock the opponent off objectives.
    • Deploying the Gunnery expert/spotters demolishers with range to 5 objectives could be important. Why not take Pask in a cadian patrol for #4 tank commander (separate data sheet). Since we don’t know who gets first turn in deployment, I’d hide everybody behind cover where possible.
    • I really hate giving up ‘grinding advance’ if I have to move, but not dying is more important than shooting twice. And, in the terrain set-up phase, make sure there’s at least some cover on both sides for whatever DZ you end up with.
    • Manticores, earthshakers, and battle cannons have some greater utility here as I can deploy further back with less immediate worry. It might even be their best DZ mission type.
  • Scions or other deepstriking units can mitigate the problem in losing board control. But if I’ve given up the lion’s share of the board I might also get zoned out.

Step 12: Determine First Turn: The big one. In prior editions there often seemed to be disputes on what roll is happening and what it means. 9th seems less confusing here.

Step 13: Resolve Pre-battle abilities

  • Sentinels maybe? I don't have much for pre-game stuff. Should I have any in the future I'll make clear note of it.
  • Also an important pre-battle question to opponents... Any nasty surprises I should know about here...

Step 14: Begin battle: finally.

Step 15: Ending Battle

  • I suppose this is more about keeping an eye on where units are at as things progress.
  • No reserves after T3.

Step 16 Determine Victor

  • Secondaries like 'no prisoners' I can already see are a problem. It's worth mentioning now as I need to have a very precise way of keeping track of wounds or kills. There's not always time between rounds to sit down and settle out the points. Keep an ongoing and accurate log.

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 23 July 2021 - 01:35 PM.

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Jud Cottrell

Jud Cottrell


  • 1,542 posts
  • Location:Eastern Fringe
Captain Caine 24th, I think everyone procrastinates when it comes to modelling and painting (part of the fun!)

Thanks for posting your experiences and insight into the game, I’m finding it helpful with ideas of how to handle my own force when it’s complete.

Keep the good work coming.

Tallarn Commander

Tallarn Commander


  • 973 posts
  • Location:Kirkland, WA (US)
Captain Caine,

An excellent analysis of IG tactics.

As you know, when designing armies, don't give too much consideration to how the enemy can score secondaries off of you. That's a luxury for elite armies. IG armies' strengths are en masse vehicles, infantry, and characters. If you start paring down those strengths to stave off enemy secondaries, you sacrifice too much.

One of Ulysses Grant's strengths during the U.S. Civil War was that he always thought more about what he was going to do to the enemy than he did about what the enemy was going to do to him. :)

Edited by Tallarn Commander, 01 July 2021 - 06:44 PM.

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My Chaos Blog (Night Lords, World Eaters, Renegades & Heretics)    http://www.bolterand...ds-vs-tallarns/


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  • 225 posts
  • Location:Australia

If you're set on taking DKOK, I would suggest at minimum 2 separate detachments. DKOK Death Riders and Engineers should basically be the only units in that detachment. They're some of the most point efficient units we have. Even after the Rider nerf to 20 points they're still more durable than their equivalent points in Guardsmen.


Your second choice would be whether or not to take an AM detachment or MT detachment. MT detachment can put out a ton of hurt with targeted aerial dropped plasma and melta. While the AM detachment can have gunnery expert and spotter details demolisher tank commanders, as well as full payload manticores. 

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Captain Caine 24th

Captain Caine 24th


  • 312 posts
  • Location:Minnesota, USA

@Jud - hopefully there continues to be a steady stream of rogue trader tournaments. On one hand it'd be nice to take it a bit easier and slower to learn game mechanics better. I think I'd prefer 20-30 games before a tournament. On the other hand these RTTs give me a chance to practice high pressure, and having matchups on completely different armies. These RTTs much more competitive than the RTTs in the old days. I'll keep getting practice reps in. It'll be interesting to see what assumptions were correct or not over the course of a lot of games here. 


@ Tallarn - More bodies seems to be the answer. I'm having trouble protecting the big ticket items anyway. And, if the enemy is blocked from the primaries, they've got bigger concerns than assassinate. Still, I'm mulling around using Vox casters, which for the most part are maligned this edition. Recently I've seen some lists on best coast pairings using a lot of them. I think abusing the 'look out sir' rule with vox casters and several layers of infantry squads is the way to protect my characters. 


@jarms - As to death riders I'm thinking of switching to 2x larger squads instead of the 3x5 squads of the death riders. Since they aren't infantry, and don't have much firepower, flanking manuevers have little impact. I'd prefer scions or engineers going in behind enemy lines. Overall I'm fine with using whatever rules for the models, I'm just converting and using Krieg models for a sense of theme. To some extent I've considered this a dying line of models and am taking them out as a sort of last ride... but the rumor mill for this next weekend has my interest. That said, at the moment I'm at 3 detachments, and I really have very little CP


Unit Completion Progress. Chose not to do an RTT this weekend so as to refit and regroup. A number of 2-day events are coming up, though these don't work great for me with travel time. So, I spend most of a long weekend converting my scout sentinels and magnetizing. I did get some colors sketched on to the last heavy weapons squad, so detailing, blending and highlights up next for them, then a lot of work on basing and water effects.

IMG 20210706 065243340 (1)
IMG 20210706 065234712


Display board. I've figured out how to blacken the rails from a bright nickel/brass finish. The rails can't be painted as i need the electrical conductivity. So I've used the 'Brass Black' chemical agent here to turn the metal black. Later on I'll put tape on the top of the rail to keep it clean while I weather it (a lot). There may yet be some soldering too so we'll see where it goes.


IMG 20210704 110302987


Other than that, I've stalled out on the big picture the past few weeks. I need to get the display board size worked out. The main problem is that I don't want to make a big project only for new guidelines to come out 4-6 months prior, disqualifying me. 

  • Large-ish tournaments in the area don't appear to have strict size requirements. I could build something as a test run and scale it up for adepticon. Locally there is the renegade open, usually held at the end of November, and this 'renegade' group also now runs several other GTs over the year. I think late July is a 2-day, and September has another 2-day event called the 'servitor GT'. I had emailed the renegade staff on display board sizes, though i didn't get much of a response. I get the impression it's not really an issue (nobody appears particularly bothered by it).
  • At adepticon itself there are a couple of tournament options. The championship 2020 rules only provide a points rubric for scoring a display base (no restrictions or categories listed). This is an option, though it's an extremely competitive environment, more than a hobbyist adventure. Playing the championship is like showing up to a race with a Ford Model-T versus a modern Ferrari. But, it's not a wholly terrible idea as it'd be 4 games on a Thursday and I could take more painting classes over the long weekend. There are tons of great artists there. Likewise the Friendly 2020 is more of a drunk misadventure than it is a gaming endeavor, fun though it may be. One should only get moderately insensible while carrying expensive and fragile resin outside of the home.

That said, the Adepticon Team Tourney is where display bases are a thing to see--a point of pride and a reason to show up. This makes the most sense to shoot for. Teams are 4x players, each team playing 2 games in each of the 5 rounds. There are, however, several problems. I don't have a club, so it's always a toss up on whether everybody can make it that weekend. Also, my (often mutinous ork pirate) team may not want to play krieg. We usually alternate years between guard, orks, and space marines. 2019 we did guard, I think we went 50/50 in games or actually even a bit better--a far better showing then my recent forays into tourneys! The scoring in 2020 allowed up to 135 pts for a thematic display base of a total 670 in scoring. Certain teams can do a showcase (far better painters than me). Paint scoring (also 135pts) is also wrapped into thematic elements--a display goes a long way. On to the important part--limits and restrictions.

  • A traditional display base is defined as (i) fitting in a 3' x 2' base; (ii) no major mechanical onsite assembly; and (iii) can be carried by one teammate. Nope, not us.
  • special effects base, defined as (i) using electrical or special effects; (ii) fits within 3' x 2'; (iii) may require onsite assembly or electric or special effects; (iv) can be carried by two or less team members. This is still too small unless I do 2 layers (e.g. surface trench fighting and an underground bunker or whatever).
  • A structural display base: (i) it may use electrical or special effects; (ii) 3' x 5' base; (iii) requires onsite assembly; (iv) can't be carried by 2 team members. So, the size is good, and I'm working on electrical and fog effects (not to advertise but FX fog monster II makes fog real easy with zero effort, and I'm sure there are other cheaper options). The problem is that this category requires prior approval. I sent over an email to get some more details on who can apply and when. No real answers there. I will say that in past years I've not seen controversy on the size limit. I think our orks were on four 2x2 foam tiles. In fact many boards were way outside the restrictions. It could be that the display base size is only important if in some kind of top table contention (not us). I mean I don't think even the goonhammer guys with their ultramarines were within the limits.

Synthesis: Building a 3' x 2' board allows me to operate within unknown size restrictions. Building within this horizontal measurement in multiple layers doubles my effective surface area, and allows varied basing options for different team members or armies (water, concrete, mud, industrial, etc). The 3' x 2' size should be suitable for most all tourneys, and should fit in my truck. If Adepticon somehow doesn't work, we're still ok. Next, to move beyond the 3x2 may work best in a modular fashion or with separate but compatible 3' x 2' sections, as it would allow me to build out the entire size which could be removed if there is some kind of rules dispute and it all still fits in the truck for transport. Modular construction also allows experimentation along the way to a larger project. There's a good chance I still screw up resin water-effect pours. Waiting to begin construction will likely result in subpar work, or worse yet, no completed project at all (procrastination), and I suspect I'll never really get a solid ruling on restrictions anyway (no disparaging intended, we all have our own lives to take care of). And, even if I do get a response, there's no reason to believe I'll be in the running to qualify for the special size. Modular makes sense.


I should be able to make one of the upcoming tourneys by August or September, so I can try out phase 1 of the modular board if I start on it now. So, what should the sections look like? 2 big sections and a small one - 3x2 + 3x2 + 3x1? Or two sections with a long small strip along it - 2x2 + 3x2 + 1x5? Could put my railroad down that long strip as I've got that auto-reverse sorted out... Time to pick up some plywood or MDF for the bottom. 

Edited by Captain Caine 24th, 06 July 2021 - 06:18 PM.

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