Hey gang, it’s Old Man Brad here with a little window into my tournament prep for this year’s Adepticon Singles Championship and Team Tournament event. This article is the first of a series that work as my tourney journal as I try and nail down the winning list for both events. In this series, I’ll be keeping you guys updated on army thoughts, playstyle for the missions, and a feel for the meta.
First, let’s start with the Singles Championship event and take a look at the Adepticon missions. We need to examine how they are going to affect the 40k meta potentially and how I can counter those changes to give myself the best chance to maximize my points per game. Day one of Adepticon is a battle points tournament, and only the top 16 make it to day two, so maximizing points can save you the heartbreak of going undefeated day one and not making day two. I’ve been there, and it’s not fun.
Adepticon Singles missions are primarily progressive scoring starting on turn two. You get 1 point for holding an objective, 2 points for holding two objectives, and 3 for holding more than your opponent for a total of a whopping 6 points per turn with a max of 24 for the game. Looks like I’m going to have to take an army that can do a few things:
1. Take the board early and hold it.
2. Counter an army trying to take the board when I am going second.
3. Counter an army with a large objective secured (ob sec) model count.
4. Counter an army that plays aggressively to take the board with transports and assault elements.
The second hurdle from Adepticon comes in their army composition rules. EG: no Forge World units without an official model. NOOOO! How dare you ban my crutch Lios Issodon and his free three-unit deep strike! What, am I supposed to pay CP to deepstrike these units?! Oh, I guess I’ll have to… Brad is a sad panda. So, let’s start with some ideas to modify my existing army.
● No ITC style kill/kill more, so I am free to use a more MSU style list.
● Get another Chapter Master to replace Lios, one with a cool official model.
● Go all-in on scouts and sniper away all my problems.
● Playtest other factions entirely (Eldar/BA).
So, let’s start cooking with plasma and fusion baby!!
1. Take the board early and hold it
We’re looking at two groups of units:
A. Fast-moving units that can get to the objectives quickly and do damage to other units that are already on objectives. Impulsors, jump pack units, and bike units are all good examples. From these ideas, we have to start defining how we want to implement our strategy: are we moving onto the objectives and trying to survive or are we mainly counter punching and driving the opponent off the objectives. A Sanguinary Guard unit would be a counter punch unit, while several Impulsors would be durable enough to stand and take it while never dying.
B. Units that can scout, infiltrate, burrow, or whatever other keyword you have to cheat your unit anywhere on the board before the game. Nurglings, Eliminators, Scouts, and Rangers are all examples of these types of units, and we are 100% going to want a few of these on the board to take the objectives before turn one. More importantly, we need them to keep your opponent from taking them pregame and forcing you into an uphill battle. Trying to dig out Eliminators or Nurglings that are in cover and out of sight isn’t something I want to have to do when the game is all about controlling objectives starting on turn two.
2. Counter an army trying to take the board when I am going second
So, we’ve lost the roll to put down Infiltrators, and then the dice gods laughed at us once more, and we lost the roll to go first. What’s the game plan? Going second is an uphill battle at Adepticon, and you’re going to be going second half the time, so we should probably put together a kick-ass plan to steal those objectives back to their rightful owner (ME!). We have already decided that we need some fast-moving units and some infiltrators, so we are halfway to the solution, but the next problem is having the ability to put that eviction notice on each of those objectives that we aren’t already holding. So we have two answers to the problem, and they are big-ass guns and bigger sticks.
A. Big-ass guns: Grav Cents, Riptides, and Leviathan Dreads are BAG units, but sometimes you require a specific BAG. Are you shooting at a hard target, such as a tank or Knight, or at a horde of infantry? For each problem, you are going to need at least some sort of answer, and sometimes that answer is just shooting more of that gun that you were using to kill the infantry at the hard target, so long as the numbers say that you can whittle it down. The key is making sure you have the right guns (or at least pretty close to the right gun) for any army you are going to face.
B. Don’t show up to the gunfight with a knife? Well, how about if we show up with a giant flaming drill! Suck it, Trebek, it’s melee time. Those annoying units that are hiding out of sight and have an amazing cover save are typically rooted out most effectively by giving them a quick boot to the skull. I’m talking Assault Cents, smash caps, Possessed bomb, and anyone else that has a lot of attacks, good ap, and substantial damage per attack to get those Nancys out of their hiding spots.
3. Counter an army with a large objective secured (ob sec) model count
So, we’ve got infiltrators, melee specialists, BAG options A and B, but you’re going to need a few key players to make sure you get the points to hold or contest those precious objectives. You need some ob sec models, son, and you’re going to need quite a lot of them. You can shoot, punch, and people’s elbow your opponent off every objective, but leave one feeble Grot cowering at your feet and, guess what, he just scored max points for that round if you don’t have any objective secured models to snatch them away from him. Nobody wants to have to tell their comrades about the time that some stinking Grots/Gaunts/ or whatever drooling nonsense took your shiny from you because you didn’t have the magic ob sec tag. You’re going to have to bring some troops and keep them alive for a few turns. So, run to the objectives and hide like a hero.
4.Counter an army that plays aggressively to take the board with transports and assault elements
So, your opponent read my article, and now he’s a 40k legend and has brought fast-moving durable Impulsors and has a horde of Blood Angels inside them. Ruh-roh, Raggy!!! There’s no need to fear, Old Man Brad is here with a counter strategy for you. Pick your no-fly zone and kill them with supreme prejudice. You have to take two and more than your opponent to score 6 points on the progressive each turn. You don’t have to hold all of them. You just have to sit on two or three of them and kill or contest your opponent off the rest of them. So, in designing the army, I have counter shooting, counter assault, and a high number of ob sec units to take and contest the objectives. Choose the objectives that are best suited for you to defend and, conversely, the objectives that you can counterpunch/shoot, and only worry about these objectives. If your opponent has an objective in his deployment zone that is far away and heavily fortified, just leave it be and focus on the other two or three that you have to defend. You’re not going to be able to hold every objective on the board effectively, but since you don’t have to, don’t try.
I’ve gotten in a ton of test games with and against multiple armies using the Adepticon missions utilizing these four principles and have concluded that I need more games and more calls to my secret council of top players. Over the next two weeks, I will have the results of my mad scientist lab testing and will give you a recap on how the games went and what my mindset is going into the last weeks before Adepticon.
Remember, kids, roll your dice in the open, play by intent, and 40k Santa will make all your Forge World wishes come true.