Last weekend was the culmination of the Independent Tournament Circuit’s season with the great Las Vegas Open! With over 400 players and some great moments in the finals, this year was quite exciting. We had some predictions about what we’d see at LVO after our own Vegas Crusade tournament as part of the Southern Tournament Circuit. Let’s see how we did! Without further delay, let’s look at the best armies at the Las Vegas Open!
Best Armies at the Las Vegas Open:
|Faction||Average Battlepoints||Player Count|
|Chaos Space Marines||112.42||33|
|Adeptus Astra Telepathica||91||1|
The LVO used ITC’s championship missions which are a combination of progressive objectives and kill points with pre-placed objectives. Players could choose their secondary objectives. After round 6, the top 8 players paired off in single elimination for the finals. Those scores were included in the above averages. Below you can find a breakout of average scores by sub-faction (ie Ultramarines).
Well there you go, 8th edition hasn’t done too much to hurt the sneaky space elves. In the top 8 armies there were 3 Ynnari lists all featuring quire a few Dark Reapers. Having the highest average score with a total of 20 players really shows how consistent the Eldar are. Speaking of which, while they aren’t at the top, regular Aeldari armies also had a large showing. Most of these lists also had Dark Reapers and Fire Prisms that were Craftworld Aliatoc. Even the few pure Harlequins players broke into the top 10 factions on average battle points. I think Eldar might once again shown that they are top dogs in the 40th millennium.
Setting aside the Eldar, we do have some surprises in the top 10 factions. Deathwatch, Genestealer Cult, and Tau are not what we usually see at the top. The Deathwatch had less than 1% of the players but my suspicion is that their durability and different saves within a unit allowed them to win the progressive kill points consistently. It’s hard to move a unit that can pick what type of save it needs to take against whatever you shoot it with. The Genestealer Cult has always been live and die by their strike from below/shadows/building that blocks line of sight. Also with relatively few players I think those that did bring GSC knew how to use their hordes of Genestealers effectively. Finally we have Tau. They’ve performed consistently poorly this edition but with a significant number of players and breaking into the top 10 factions are we about to see a turn around? With a new codex they might pose a real threat on the tabletop. I had assumed that with the beta character rules their Commander spam would be hurt but clearly they weren’t. With their relatively low ballistic skill a multi-tracker or visor that lets them ignore minuses to hit would make them that much better in a new Codex.
Finally rounding out the top 10 we have the soup armies. Both mixed Imperial and Chaos armies did quite well. Given all the options, players were able to cherry pick what units and effects they needed. Alpha Legion with some Daemons? No problem. Space Marines with a Guard grand strategist and Kaurav’s Aquila for all the Command Points? Go ahead. I think we’ll continue to see these armies perform well but show up less frequently as more codexes drop. Chaos was clearly helped by the Chaos Daemons who also scored in the top 10. All the Bloodletters deepstriking and rolling 3D6+1 on the charge is no joke. I hope those Imperial armies brought scouts.
Now for the Middle Tier. The best of the middle had no surprises with Sisters, Imperial Guard, and Chaos Space Marines. There were few Sisters players but their ability to up their action economy with acts of faith is a clear advantage. Meltaguns shooting out of Repressors in your face on turn one can be difficult for any army. Without relic or some of the other exploitable mission types I do think they didn’t live up to their full potential at LVO. And now for the good old reliable Guard. While they’ve been riding high for a while it looks like they just had too many band-wagoners to really excel on average. With about 10% of players using IG, they are consistent but couldn’t break into the top tier. Their kill points may have also made them struggle given some of the available secondary objectives. Like the Guard, Chaos Space Marines have performed consistently well in 8th edition. Alpha Legion Berserkers and Cultist bombs can be hard to counter. It looks like the LVO players were ready for them though. Are we finally starting to see a shift away from Fire Raptors and Cultists?
In the absolute middle of the pack we have Blood Angels, Tyranids, and Vanilla Marines. Two of the top 8 players were Blood Angels players. With all their fancy new stratagems, relics, and warlord traits the Sons of Sanguinious are out for… well, blood. They have a lot of maneuverability and hit like a truck but it hurts every time they fail a charge. With 23 players they had a good showing and definitely are the best of the Codex Marines. Tyranids were also helped by their new Codex. Biovores and Hive Guard are both good units. Like many armies in the middle, they had a high turn out of players and proved consistently mediocre. And now there are the Space Marines. They’ve had ups and downs this edition with the rise and fall of Guilliman gun lines. Clearly they still got some bite especially given all the different play styles Marines can accommodate. I wonder though how long they’ll stay the 40k poster boys with the arrival of the Adeptus Custodes…
Rounding out the bottom of the middle are the Dark Eldar, Dark Angels, and Space Wolves. The Dark Eldar just don’t have the toys their less angsty cousins do. Being fast is nice but they simply don’t hit hard enough for how fragile they are. Both the Dark Angels and Space Wolves suffer from the normal Marine problem. Primarus Marines might sure look cool but they haven’t been able to turn the tide for the Space Marines yet. Maybe some new Primarchs will change this?
Factions that Struggled
And now for the rough part of this article. From the Grey Knights down, all those factions had a rough time. Knights really suffered because they weren’t mobile enough while all their opponents could score secondary objectives for killing titanic units. Orks and Necrons just need codexes. A unique stratagem or relic could really revamp either army as would a new unit or two. Clearly there’s
still some love out there given the number of Ork and Necron players. I was a little surprised to see Death Guard at the bottom but, besides Mortarion, it looks like they struggled to get points. Finally, and this breaks my cold machine heart, is Cult Mechanicus at the bottom. Poor guys already have a codex. Their lack of transports or real synergy with other Imperial armies may be the cause here. They’ve been slipping for much of 8th but this is just sad. With no suspected Primarchs, new units, codexes, or anything else on the horizon I wonder what will happen to them in the meta. At least now they’re a challenge: Can you make Ad Mech great again?
We mostly got what we expected out of LVO this year. Dark Reapers and Fire Prisms are good. Eldar are good. Chaos and their Daemonic allies have a lot of tools to work with. Whether it’s deep striking Bloodletters, infiltrating Cultists bombs, or Berzerkers fighting three times Chaos is tough to play against. The Imperium is definitely sticking in their although it looks like the Imperial Guard have been knocked out of the top place. I’ll be watching the Tua with their new codex on the way and their somewhat surprising success at LVO. Other Xenos armies need help and Space Marines are the middle of the pack. Oh, and don’t forget to declare something or play out of sequence or a real tournament player won’t let you do it!
Questions, comments, concerns? Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, at our Facebook Page, or by commenting below. Also check out our prep tournament’s results to see if they predicted LVO well or not!
Best Sub-Factions at Las Vegas Open
|Sub-Faction||Avg Battlepoints||Player Count|
|Catachan Jungle Fighters||134||4|
|Chaos Space Marines||117.69230769231||13|
|Elysian Drop Troops||106||2|
|Cadian Shock Troops||99.5||2|
|Adeptus Astra Telepathica||91||1|