Best Armies at ATC – 2017

posted in: ATC, Tournament Results | 3

This year the American Team Championship was the first big 8th edition tournament. With 8th coming out only a month before the event Shane and the other tournament organizers did a great job making ATC a big success. Now do you want to know what the best armies at ATC -2017 were? Here’s the breakdown of scores by faction below!

Faction Average Overall Score Average Score Per Game Players
Harlequin 74.2 12.4 5
Daemons 71.5 11.9 24
Asuryani 65.7 11.0 28
Grey Knights 63.7 10.6 11
Space Marines 62.8 10.5 36
Sisters of Battle 61.0 10.2 1
Astra Militarum 59.6 9.9 30
Drukhari 58.5 9.8 8
Genestealer Cults 58.0 9.7 6
Blood Angels 55.4 9.2 14
Imperial Knights 53.8 9.0 19
Tau Empire 53.6 8.9 15
Dark Angels 52.8 8.8 8
Necrons 48.1 8.0 14
Orks 47.9 8.0 14
Chaos Marines 47.1 7.9 17
Tyranids 46.0 7.7 13
Space Wolves 42.7 7.1 7
Adeptus Mechanicus 42.1 7.0 9
Deathwatch 29.0 4.8 2
Talons 18.5 3.1 4
Grand Total 56.6 9.4 285

Remember that each game could earn a maximum of 20 points. Winning both primary, secondary, and all regular tertiary missions would net 19 points. Only tabling your opponent would get the full 20 points. Over the course of six games that means a perfect score at the event would be 120 points. This means in order to score a perfect 120 a player would have had to table all six of their opponents and deny them first blood. Pretty impressive to do.


So right off the bat, wow, Harlequins were the best faction at ATC. We are definitely in a new edition. I really think the lack of restricting formations and rules that modify opponents to-hit and to-wound rolls help out the space clowns. What doesn’t look like a new edition however is that harlequins are closely followed by Daemons, Craftworld Eldar, and Space Marines at the top. I guess some things never change.

On the low end, Talons of the Emperor (Assassins, Custodes, and the like) may still be a little bit too niche to perform well on their own. I think Deathwatch may be the same as well. Ad-Mech, Space Wolves, and Tyranids round out the rest of the low scoring armies at the event. Reading over their new rules I really would have thought 8th would have been Tyranid spam edition but it’s possible I was wrong. You can check out our Genestealer Cult player’s ATC 2017 Recap if you want to see why. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Ad-Mech and Space Wolves lists may have had a hard time time transitioning into an 8th edition play style as some of their formerly great units have changed. I will say one of the scariest lists I faced was an army of Kastellan Robots protected by Fulgerite Electropriests dishing out a lot of mortal wounds. Unfortunately for Space Wolves they don’t get access to Storm Ravens, the most favorite of spam units at ATC this year.

In the middle of the pack I’d like to point out some surprises. Drukhari, or Dark Eldar, did pretty well considering they were extremely difficult to play in the prior edition. Being able to soulburst definitely helps out the denizens of Commoragh. Another interesting number to look at is that there were 14 Ork players at a major competitive event. I think they will start to perform a bit better in an ITC environment when they are not almost guaranteed to go second with their number of units. There was also a brave Sisters of Battle player who did quite well. Good to see the nuns with guns on the table.

More Thoughts

One thing I think the factions scores show is that gun line armies are going to need to adapt to this new edition. Both Tau Empire and Necrons are no longer dominant in the standings like they often were in 7th edition. Imperial Knights with double battlecannons were also a popular gun line at the event but probably suffer in the high damage environment even more than Riptides or other Tau suits. The only gun line army that performed well was the good old Imperial Guard. Baneblade variants and artillery have really improved with reasonable point pricing and the lack of scattering. High damage and lots of command points to re-roll definitely doesn’t hurt either.

Another thing to consider is that the event did not allow Forgeworld units given the time crunch between the release of 8th edition and the event. Chaos Space Marines probably suffered the most for this. Their base index seems a bit lack luster without daemonic or Forgeworld support. I’ll be watching closely to see how that changes. I expect Tyranids, Guard, and Space Marines to all benefit most from an influx of fancy new toys. Being able to download Forgeworld rules online or in iBooks really makes many of those units more accessible.

In general here are some take aways from the event. Hopefully as 8th edition moves forward both TO’s and players will being to adapt to the new rule set. Low model count armies almost always guaranteed to go first, and a three Baneblade list can put out a lot of damage before their opponent even has a chance to respond. Same with a four knight list. ATC also used a combination of two book missions, one as primary and one as secondary. A loss netted no points while there were different points for major and minor victories. Using more dynamic missions like those ATC used last year may give some armies a better chance to score points, especially if there are at least some points for a minor loss. Also I can speak for a lot of ATC players when I say Storm Ravens spams are pure cheese but they can be brought down. No more hitting on 6’s really helps. The meta is going to shift.


Finally I want to thank everyone who worked hard to make ATC great. From all the captains bickering in the captain’s council or forum to the Shane and the other TO’s who worked their asses off to make ATC what it is. We’d also like to thank all our opponents who made the event especially great for us.

Let us know if you disagree with anything we said or have any insights of your own! The model above was painted for us by our friends at Dark Bunny Creatives.

P.S. Our team was “The Men Who Stare at Ones”. We went 3-3 not doing great but we sure had a lot of fun. Thanks to Dean, Frankie, Jack, and Will for putting up with my crap all weekend.




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