The Best Armies at ATC 2016

posted in: ATC, Tournament Results | 3

Results are in and we have the scores! These are the best armies at ATC 2016.

Before we dive right in, let me give you some context. Each pairing matched up the five players from both teams resulting in five games. Each game had a possible 20 to contribute to the team between each player (100 total per match up). Essentially any “average points per game” over 10 should be an average winning record. Anything less than a 10 should be an average losing record. Remember that averages are highly influenced by individual players if there are only a few people playing that faction!

Codex/Faction Average Points per Game Number of Players
Grey Knights 11.75 2
Chaos Marines 10.98333333 10
Space Marines 10.70833333 28
Adeptus Mechanicus 10.68627451 17
Necrons 10.48717949 13
Tau 10.30952381 28
Tyranids 10.28571429 7
Eldar 10.16666667 32
Blood Angels 10.04166667 4
Dark Angels 9.655555556 15
Imperial Knights 9.038461538 13
Chaos Daemons 8.635416667 32
Orks 8.25 4
Space Wolves 7.892156863 17
Adepta Soroitas 7.5 1
Astra Militarum 7.216666667 10
Dark Eldar 2.75 2


Grey Knights – Wow. That was not what I was expecting at all. So obviously there were only two players with Grey Knights as their main faction but still. Both had winning records and when you look into the score sheets one of the players from team “Spruehammers Scrap Heap” scored 20 out of 20 twice. This most likely means he tabled his opponents. Having good pairings to deal with all those demon players out there looks like it might have paid off.

Chaos Marines – Another shocker for me. It feels like every time a new codex comes out before Codex: Chaos Space Marines the whole community groans a little bit. Maybe those new formations helped out a bit? Now I know the winner of the “Best General” award, who went 6-0, and had the most battle points was using a Chaos death star. He’s from our area and thrashed all of us in our ATC Prep tournaments. It looks like there’s some hope yet for the fallen Astartes.

Space Marines – Okay, finally something I saw coming. With all the new formations and mostly objective based missions, it was going to be hard not to bring some version of vanilla Space Marines. A Gladius Strikeforce, a death star with a conclave, unkillable Iron Hands, or even a strong alpha strike with Skyhammer all add a lot to a team. I think this shows Codex: Astartes might be the top in the meta right now. I don’t even need to bring up how ridiculous graviton weapons are do I?

Adeptus Mechanicus – Let me sum it up with this, War Convocation. Yeah its pretty good. The winning team used one ruthlessly and its a great “take all comers list”. Now our Ad Mech player was disappointed in his performance but we threw him out for the first match up every round. He scored points of everything from screamer stars to Tau Forgeworld Riptides so I’m quite impressed. I did call out how comparatively few Adeptus Mechanicus players there were in our ATC: Most Played Armies post.

Necrons – Destroyer cults and Decurions. Necron players just about all averaged between 9 and 11 points. We know they’re good, we know they’re hard to kill, and like Space Marines they can sit on objectives and reliably handle almost anything you throw at them.

Tau – This is a codex that seemed to rely heavily on support from Forgeworld. I’m going to have to do more research on their special Riptide and Crisis suits. They did well with a few outliers doing superbly and several Tau players who seemed to get tabled almost every round. Regenerating piranhas (with new drones) and other formations can be infuriating to deal with.

Tyranids – It seemed Flying Hive Tyrants are back in vogue. They did better than I expected but our Demon Tetrad player tore through a Hive Tyrant list. The bugs need some love if they don’t want to be mono-build.

Eldar – So this might be the last truly surprising result for me. I played Eldar and one of the few games I lost was against, wait for it, better Eldar. What I suspect might have happened here is that so many people just brought Eldar because they are good, many players didn’t know how to use their army and so their play suffered at a highly competitive event. Don’t get me wrong, I think Eldar are still quite over powered, its just that everyone knows that and so each team may have brought a hard counter.

Blood Angels – Good to see that these guys got some love. Most of these armies had losing records but one player scored very well and brought their whole average up as a result. Nothing too unexpected here.

Dark Angels – I didn’t see any Deathwing Terminators but I saw a lot of bikes. I think the problem here is that people know how to deal with death stars now. If you ran pure Ravenwing then I think there was just too much Ignores Cover AP3 weaponry out there.

Imperial Knights – Every time I saw one of these lists I was disappointed. With so many D weapons in the game right now I think these lists are obsolete. Personally, I played two different versions and I tabled both. This just wasn’t your local game night where you can catch someone who isn’t prepared for all those knights.

Chaos Daemons – Okay I lied a little bit up there. This is the last surprise. I really thought Daemons would do better. Again, though, I think they suffered from the same effect the Eldar did where people just brought them without knowing how to really use them.

Orks – Orks need some codex love. Stompas are cool but without the really crazy Forgeworld one they suffer the same effect Imperial Knight Titans do, too much D. Being a strength 3 and initiative 2 assault army is also pretty tough. They need some toys or a rework to really make them the horrifying Green Tide they use to be.

Space Wolves – Wolf stars are cool and all but they just don’t hold up compared to some of the other scary stuff out there. Saw some Wulfen floating around but they are the classic “one hit wonder” and easily go down to focused small arms fire. Our team had some success with the Blackmanes drop pod formation but it was a tough fight every game.

Adepta Soroitas – One guy brought these girls. He happened to be from our local game store and I found out why. Psychic death stars get murdered by the new Condemner Boltguns. Roll a random perils result on hit? Yeah his list pretty much forced death stars to choose the other option so this was really more a force multiplier than anything else.

Astra Militarum – Lots of artillery lists at ATC this year. Unfortunately they just didn’t do that great. Now let me say that my only other loss (other than to Eldar) was to an artillery list in the winning team so I’ve got some respect for these guys. I also just love the regular hummies that are trying to stay alive in the grim dark future. Unfortunately the results prove that even with Forgeworld support and min/maxing its hard to keep the guard competitive.

Dark Eldar – Why? Why did you bring Dark Eldar to ATC? Look I really like these guys too, I’ve lost a lot of blood putting Kabalite Warriors and Venoms together so I literally have blood sweat and tears put into my Dark Eldar but this just isn’t the setting for them. I’ve got mad respect for the guys who tried to play these lists though.


That was a long post so I’ll keep this short. Space Marines, War Convocation, and Necrons are really good. Some of the less played armies like Grey Knights, Blood Angels, and the original Traitor Marines can shine if given the chance. When you have a lot of people playing lists they aren’t experienced with or don’t really understand you get bad results like with Eldar and Chaos Daemons. Good lists help, but if you don’t understand your tools, its pretty difficult to beat someone who does.

I had a great time at ATC 2016 and I hope everyone reading this did too!

3 Responses

  1. Narceron

    That is good news for those of us with 5th ed era grey knight armies. Do you have any advice for say..a purifier spam list? Could I just add 3 DK and draigo, perhaps>

  2. Phillip French

    Thanks for the compliment. I’m the gk player from the scrapheap. My list was more centstar than gk but I did have gk primary. I was very rusty going into this event and hadn’t played at all in 6 months. I played 30 tomb blade/12 wraith crons and just played like a scrub. Round 2 I was matched up against 5 imp Knights and scored well. Round 3 I tabled war convocation. Round 4 I misplayed turn 1/2 against tau very badly and it cost me the game. Round 5 I tabled tau and round 6 I played kdk/daemons and scored 15. I was either first or second defender and took whatever they wanted me to play which was basically who got stuck playing my list.

    GK are still strong and can excel in the modified maelstrom scoring they used. They are still my fav army. Draigo is an absolute beast and DK do work.