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Picture of Awards given out at Field of Fire's "Open Fire!" Event

Best Armies at the Open Fire! Tournament

Last Saturday Dernicus and I spent the day with a great group of guys at Event Horizon Games! We (and I mean mostly Dernicus) ran one of our more competitive focused tournaments with the mission pack found here. It was a fun and mostly smooth running tournament. Now are you ready to see the best armies at the Open Fire! Tournament?

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Best Armies at Nova Open 2017

This past weekend was one of the biggest table top gaming conventions on the East Coast, NOVA Open! While you can find almost any of the major games there, we’re going to be talking about the Warhammer 40,000 events today. NOVA has both an Invitational and a Grand Tournament so we’ll touch on both today and leave the other events for another article. Now are you ready to find out what were the Best Armies at Nova Open 2017?

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Open Fire! Tournament Packet

Mission Pack for the Open Fire! Tournament at Event Horizon:


Pre-Game Process

  1. Once at your table, swap lists with your opponent and study what you’re up against.
  2. Place the Relic at the center of the table (if necessary)
  3. Place Objectives per mission rules
  4. Choose/Roll for Warlord Traits
  5. Choose/Roll for Psychic Powers
  6. Determine Deployment: Both players roll off, rerolling any ties. The winner rolls a single die to determine the deployment type (p.216-217). Once the map is determined, the loser of the roll off chooses his/her deployment zone.
  7. Alternate Deployment as per BRB, starting with the player who did not choose their deployment zone.
  8. After both players have finished deploying their army, roll to determine first turn. The player who finished deploying first receives a +1 to this roll. The player that wins the roll can choose to go first or second. The player who is chosen to go second may attempt to seize the initiative.
  9. Shake hands and start playing.

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Tournament Recap: The Empire Strikes Back 2

Let me tell you a tale, of woe, and triumph, and of beep boop. I mean to say, this is a completely impartial record of my games played during The Empire Strikes Back 2, a 40k tournament hosted by Borderlands very own Mike Twitchell and Horton Doughtry, held at Atomic Empire Games in Durham, NC on Aug 19th. The core of my list was the Kastelan Robot which we’ve reviewed before here and you can check out some of their crazy math here. Now lets get to my Tournament Recap: The Empire Strikes Back 2!


First off, let’s take a look at the format for this tournament as 8th edition has already seen its fair share of variances from event to event as everyone is looking to find that sweet spot as it were. This was a 3 round event; battle forged only, 2000pt list; with all current source books up to and including the Codex: Space Marines, Codex: Chaos Space Marines, Codex: Grey Knights and all of the Forgeworld Indexes (as well as the GW Indexes of course). The kicker was that every army was limited to 3 detachments, pretty standard, but furthermore was restricted to no more than 3 of any Unit (or 2 if it was in the Flyer slot). These were primarily implemented in the wake of ATC and BAO and the spamming lists that dominated those events. It did present a unique difficulty for some players, as armies such as Dark Eldar and Imperial Guard rely on proliferation of their units to created a cohesive force. For me, it was a matter of breaking one unit and spreading the models into others. Speaking of which, here’s my list:

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Best Armies at The Invasion of Khybros Tournament

We’ve got new results from our second 8th Edition tournament last week at Event Horizon Games! This tournament was a more “narrative” event that allowed us to experiment with some of the new rules and mechanics introduced in 8th Edition. TWe’re still working out the kinks for 8th Edition but overall I think it was a pretty fun tournament. If you want to see the meta at other events check out our article on the best armies at ATC and BAO. Now here’s the best armies at The Invasion of Kybros Tournament!

Faction Battle Points Player Count
Daemons 50 2
Chaos Marines 49 1
Eldar 37 1
Harlequin 37 2
Tau 37 1
Orks 28 1
Tyranids 28 2
Guard 26 2
AdMech 23 3
Necrons 19 1
Deathwatch 6.5 2

The Invasion of Khybros Tournament consisted of three rounds with a total of 20 points possible in each round. That means a perfect score would have been 60 Battle Points. While no one scored max points, the best player did score 59 out of 60!

Starting at the top of the board, the Daemons are still right up there at number one. While I know there have been some nerfs to Brimstones I still haven’t seen the answer to them yet. The close cousins of the Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, also did quite well. The release of their codex along with support from Forgeworld will really continue to help them in my opinion. Having a psychic power that turns off invulnerable saves never hurt anyone either. The old favorites of Eldar, Harlequins, and Tau are also on the higher end of the list.

On the lower end of the spectrum we’ve seen some of the same factions. Deathwatch, while really cool in concept, seem to have struggled overall this edition. Necrons and AdMech have also consistently been in the lower tiers at tournaments so far. It’s possible we’ll see a change when their codexes come out. All it takes is one really good rule set or formation like WarCon to change a whole army. Dernicus is our local AdMech player and will be trying out an Assassin and Castellan force this weekend at Horton’s “Battle of The Empire 2” at Atomic Empire. We’ll let you know if he can push AdMech to a higher tier.

In the middle bracket we’re looking at Orks, Tyranids, and Guard. Personally I expect the Imperial Guard will get a bump as players start to experiment with some of their new Forgeworld toys. Orks and Tyranids though are in a bit of a strange place this edition. While they are definitely playable in a competitive setting now, they haven’t been able to push into the top tiers yet. I’ve said it before but I expected Orks and Tyranids to horde up and be very difficult to deal with this edition but I haven’t seen that play out yet. I really enjoy seeing both armies on the table and although I’ve said it before, I do hope they get a bump when their codexes drop.

Don’t forget our next tournament is September 16th at Event Horizon and we will be using a more competitive format. As an added bonus both me and Dernicus will be there for this one, hope to see you there!


Mathhammer Unit Focus: Stormravens

Last week we posted our Warhammer Unit Focus: Stormravens but now it’s time to pick apart the actual math on these things in our Mathhamer Unit Focus: Stormravens! This week’s math is going to be a little more difficult than the Kastellans because of all the options a Stormraven can take but we’ll look at the best way to kit them out. Their rules can be found in Index: Imperium 1 on Amazon.

Quick Rules Review

-Stormravens are fliers but they have Power of the Machine Spirit to not take the -1 penalty when firing heavy weapons after moving.

-We’re going to assume two different loadouts:

  1. Chaff Killer: Twin Assault Cannons, Twin Heavy Bolters, and two Hurricane Bolters (won’t count the Stormstrike Missiles here)
  2. Elite Killer: Twin Lascannons, Twin Multi-Melta, Stormstrike Missiles

-They hit on 3’s

-Stormravens have a lot of movement so we’re going to assume they are in range for Rapid-Fire and Melta

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Warhammer Unit Focus: Stormravens

After returning from ATC we thought it might be interesting to take a look at the most spammed unit there. Today we’re writing our Warhammer Unit Focus: Stormravens! You might have thought they were just transports but it seems ATC players thought they were the perfect spam even if the GW FAQ hit them pretty hard. You can find their rules in Index: Imperium 1. Let’s get to it.

Courtesy of Joe “PaPa” Behrend

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Best Armies at BAO 2017

This weekend was the great Bay Area Open run by the guys at Frontline Gaming! With a new edition and FAQ dropping so close to the tournament the TO’s did a great job with a challenging situation. Now do you want to know what the best armies at BAO 2017 were? Here’s the breakdown of scores by faction below!

Faction Average Score Number of Players
Genestealer Cult 79 3
Adepta Sororitas 72.5 2
Adeptus Astartes 69.77777778 9
Chaos Daemons 69.33333333 3
Imperium 68 2
Tau Empire 64.1 10
Dark Angels 61.5 2
Ultramarines 61 1
Astra Militarum 58.21428571 14
Drukhari 57 4
Aeldari 55.33333333 3
Chaos 54.77777778 9
Thousand Sons 54 3
Necrons 53.66666667 3
Ynnari 53.5 6
Imperial Knights 52.8 5
Chaos Space Marines 50 4
Asuryani 49 2
Maynarkh 48 1
Orks 46.75 8
Space Wolves 46.66666667 3
Blood Angels 45.66666667 3
Tyranids 43.77777778 9
Deathwatch 39 2
Grey Knights 38.66666667 3
Black Legion 38 1
Adeptus Ministorum 36 1
Cult Mechanicus 33.33333333 6
Crimson Fists 29 1
Red Scorpions 20 1
Harlequins 19.5 2

Remember the winner of the tournament scored 111 battle points total. The first day of the tournament used ITC Combined Arms missions and day two used Nova format missions. The tournament was in W/L/D format but we’re only going to take a look at battle points today. It’s also worth remembering that while the latest FAQ dropped close to the tournament date the TO’s thought it was best to adopt the changes, mainly a nerf to fliers, razorwings, and some other tweaks. This data is pulled directly off of the published results from Best Coast Pairings and so we used the factions posted with each player (you’ll notice Red Scorpions are separate from Adeptus Astartes).


So right away take a look at the Genestealer Cults! There were only 3 Genestealer players at BAO this year but clearly they did pretty well overall. I think the same can be said of the Sisters with only 2 players but each doing well. Space Marines come in at third overall score on average. They seem to be doing quite well this edition and will probably only be getting better after their new codex drops. If you take a look at our Best Armies at ATC 2017 article you’ll see the Space Marines did pretty well there too. It looks like they don’t need to spam Stormravens to win! And of course Daemons are still at the top of the pack. Between horros, the changeling, and not being able to shoot at Daemon Princes unless they’re right up in your face help them out a lot.

On the bottom end I’m disappointed to see Harlequins at the bottom. I was really hoping that without formation restrictions the space clowns could shine in 8th edition. Cult Mechanicus was also in the bottom tiers even though our writer Dernicus would swear Kastelans Robots are one of the most interesting units in the game. Grey Knights also didn’t seem to perform well although I’m sure they’ll be getting a boost once their codex drops. They were one of the higher performers at ATC this year but it’s possible the FAQ about Stormravens hampered them a bit.

Taking a look at the middle of the pack I’m seeing mostly what I’d expect. Tau and Astra Miliatrum are at the top of the middle tier although Astra Militarum had two players in the top 5. I’m glad to see Dark Eldar look playable this edition and may even be coming off of my shelf. Eldar, Necrons, and Imperial Knights are all clustered in the middle. They seem to be good, solid, reliable lists but I don’t think they are top tier like they could be last edition. Orks, Space Wolves, and Tyranids round out the bottom of the middle tier. Again, I was hoping Tyranids would have a resurgence this edition but while they seem playable, they just haven’t performed well at big events so far. I think the same could be said of Orks. The Space Wolves I’m not so sure about because they have quite a few interesting units but I’m not sure how they synergize yet. Finally, I think it’s worth noting that regular Eldar and Dark Eldar did better than Ynnari for once. Whether this is a fluke of how factions were determined or not it’s pretty interesting to see.

More Thoughts

The big difference between ATC and BAO, other than the team aspect obviously, in my opinion was in how first turn was decided. At ATC whoever deployed first got first turn unless their opponent could seize the initiative. The Bay Area Open used ITC’s guidelines which uses a roll off where the player who finished deploying first gets to decide who has first turn. I really think this gave armies like Guard and Tau a chance to go first and get some damage in before the enemy is right on top of them. Personally, I’ll be advocating the ITC system for all of the tournaments in my area as it seems to strike the right balance of how the first turn is decided. I much prefer a random roll with a bonus instead of just being able to basically guarantee going first.

Another possibly important factor was the Games Workshop FAQ. While it certainly changed a lot of things, it definitely changed how armies that spammed flyers played. It also changed up the point cost for Razorwing Flocks preventing them from hording up quite as much as they could before. I wonder if we’re going to be seeing a new FAQ drop after each big tournament to address any issues that popped up. I’m not sure if I like that or not as it will definitely make keeping up with the game a bit harder even if it keeps the meta from stagnating.

So in conclusion I’m just not sure what to make of this edition or these results. Without the codexes, and all the new rules they are going to bring, I kind of just feel like 8th edition has only been released halfway. While the indexes provide some guidelines, point changes, new units, and major rules additions seem to be right on the horizon. I suspect that with each codex Games Workshop will indulge in power creep making the newest toys, the best toys. So frankly I don’t feel comfortably even trying to predict the meta. Hopefully we will see some armies like Tyranids and Orks find a new place in competitive play. Overall I think the results from the BAO really show how in flux the game is right now with new rules and new players coming back into or entering the competitive scene. I can’t wait to see what happens at NOVA and afterwards when the codexes really start to drop!

If you liked taking a look at tournament results don’t forget to check out our Best Armies at ATC 2017 article or our ATC Recap from the perspective of our Genestealer Cult player, Dernicus.

How was your experience at BAO? Did we really mess something up? Let us know by either commenting below or on our Facebook page. You can also always email us at

The Invasion of Khybros Prime

The Invasion of Khybros Prime


Factions of gathered as the Galaxy is once more set aflame. A previously unremarked world, called Khybros Prime by the Imperium of Mankind, stands at the crux of this new age of war. A small Adeptus Mechanicus research station has uncovered something powerful, and old. Forces rush towards one another, to lay claim to this mysterious artifact, or destroy it. Who shall prevail?


This is a Battle Point tournament: Combining each round (up to 20pts per round) + Combined Paint Scores (up to 20 pts). Each round will be 2 hours and 50minutes.

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ATC 2017 Recap – Daemons and Razorbacks do not have Genes

It was July 15th, on the hallowed fields of Camp Jordan in East Ridge Tennessee that a great heist was launched. Jeans, by the thousands were stolen. Wait, I mean Genes. I’m talking about the American Team Championship, and Genestealers. Not some run of the mill clothing thieves, but the iconic nemesis to Terminators, the swift, insidious killers of the Tyranid fleets. This is my recounting of how an army of them fared at this years event.

If you want to start building up your Hive Fleet or Cult you can find Genestealers here on Amazon. To give a little context to what was at ATC this year you can check out our article on The Best Armies at ATC 2017.

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