4 Cool 40K Lists Worth Looking At

Bright yellow happy smile among set of the sad.

Who says netlisting is king? Here are a few of my favorite non-standard lists with at least 5 wins from this year’s BAO. 

In total there were 15 players with at least 5 victories at this year’s BAO. Of these players 5 went undefeated, and only one was the true champion. (Go Brandon!). Listed below are a few armies I thought stood out from the rest. They were either fun, unique or both and kudos to each player for designing a list that suited their own style and performing well with them. One quick note, I did not include Brandon’s (the winning list) list here because I wanted to show you guys lists you haven’t seen yet. Now, onto the lists!


Logan Mulroney

(pictured above in the back row with the grey shirt) piloted a Chaos Daemons Infernal Tetrad list to a 5-1 record and a 10th place finish.

Daemonic Incursion


Herald of Nurgle: Locus of Fercundity, Lv. 2, Doomsday Bell

6 x Nurglings


Infernal Tetrad

D. Prince of Khorne: Armor of Scorn, 2x Greaters, Lesser, Flight

D. Prince of Slaanesh: 2x Greaters, Lv. 3, Soulstealer, Warp-Forged armor, Flight

D. Prince of Nurgle: 2x Greater, Lv. 3, Flight

D. Prince Tzeentch, 2x Greater, Lesser, Lv. 3, Impossible Robe, Flight

Daemon Flock



Nathaniel Emond

(above on the right) piloted a White Scars CAD backed by Inquisition and a Knight-Atrapos to a 5-1 record and a 13th place finish.

White Scars CAD

Chapter Master: Bike, Artificer Armor, Storm Shield, Glaive of Vengeance

Librarian: Bike, Hunter’s Eye

Bike Squad: 2x Grav

Bike Squad: 2x Grav

Bike Squad: 2x Grav

Bike Squad: 2x Flamers, Meltabombs

Command Squad: Champion, 3x Grav, 2x Storm Shields, Apothecary, Bikes

Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: Battle of Keyleck Legacy

Cerastus Knight-Atrapos: Occular Augmetics

Inquisitorial Detachment


Inquisitor: 3x Skulls

Henchman Warband: 2x Servitors w/Plasma Cannons, Acolyte

Henchman Warband: 3x Acolytes, 3x Servitors w/Plasma Cannons


Matt Root

Piloted a variation of his GT winning War Convocation list to a 5-0-1 record and a 2nd place finish.

War Convocation

Tech-Priest Dominus

Kataphron Destroyers

Kataphron Destroyers

Onager Dune Crawlers

Sicarian Infiltrators

Sicarian Ruststalkers

Skitarii Rangers

Skitarii Vanguard

Sydonian Dragoons

Knight Crusader

Company of the Great Wolf Detachment

Rune Priest: Lv 2,



3x Drop Pods



Carlos Kaiser

Piloted (easily my favorite list of the tournament) his GuardDar to a 5-1 record and a 6th place finish.

Astra Militarum CAD

Command Squad

Veteran Squad

Veteran Squad

Vulture: Punisher Cannons

2x Earthshakers

Wyverns: 2x Wyverns

Wyverns: 2x Wyverns

Void Shield Generator: 3x shields

Inquisitorial Detachment


Hereticus Inquisitor: Liber Heresius, 3x Servo-Skulls

Henchman Warband: Chimera, psyker, 3x servitors w/plasma cannons

Eldar CAD


Windriders: 3x Scatter Lasers

Windriders: 3x Scatter Lasers

Windriders: 3x Scatter Lasers

Windriders: 3x Scatter Lasers

Windriders: 1x Scatter Laser



I would also like to give a special shout out to Matt Barlow for not only getting best Tyranids but also being 1 perils, and failed grounding test away from making the top table and competitng against Matt Root for the championship. Also, there were two Blood Angels players in the top 16 with a 5-1 record. Danny Kwan, and David Hetherington. David I want your list!  So if you can, shoot it over to


~Which one’s your favorite that stands out from the cookie cutter meta?

Update: I am working on getting a list-tech article for both Brandon’s Dark Angels, and Danny’s Blood Angels.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Er… How is it best in AM when like half the points are still scat bikes and a wriathknight….. Plus all that arty spam. He barely had any AM units!

    • Khelban Blackstaff

      Neckbeard nonsense. Maybe one day armies will look and play like the stories. Allies are an enhancement to your army not a 25 hit Street Fighter combo that kills your opponent in the first half of the first turn. Ahh to dream, ehh?

      • ZeeLobby

        I keep hoping 8th edition 40K will just come out and say “formations and detachments were just a pointless model shoveling sales mechanic that broke the game, so we removed all of them.”

        • Randy Randalman

          AoS actually handles this better than 40k (I can’t believe I’m saying that). The Alliance-Allegiance system limits which things can be allied, and the formations/battalions actually cost points under the Matched Play rules. The buffs are milder too, and usually involve a much smaller group of models.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’d still rather have neither. Getting a “buff” for buying certain models is not a model I support as it’s way to easy to abuse model sales and imbalance the game in one fell swoop. Im not a fan of tier lists in PP games either. It adds a whole other aspect of the game to manage and most companies don’t take the time to manage it well.

          • Karru

            Agreed. The inclusion of formations to regular 40k and basically removing actual need for Troops or CAD causes major pain for this game.

          • Karru

            Formations should be their own thing. In other words, go where they belong, Apocalypse. Formations have so much unbalance between them that makes them broken for others and useless to others.

        • BT

          And you can’t use transports that are not from your codex, even if you are battle brothers….

        • georgelabour

          If they do that then the whiners will just harp on about how ‘greedy’ GW made all that old product a useless waste of money.


          And let’s face it Detachments and formations have to much potential to be discarded entirely. I’d much rather see them go back to the idea in 1st edition Apocalypse, and in AOS where you pay a small point surcharge for the formation.

          And a revamp of certain problem units of course.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean do you really think they’ll spend the resources to do all that though. I mean formations and detachments just keep growing. All of which will need to be altered and given a value, with some prayer that they’re costed appropriately. GW has never gone closer to balance (minus maybe ravening hordes in fantasy). Each edition has just spread the power level farther and farther.

            I think I’d cry with joy if they posted that they’ve hired 10 new game designers to fix their game.

          • georgelabour

            They’ve fixed things that were horrifically bad in the past (war gear cards winning games, hero hammer, sweeping advance wiping out entire armies in melee, etc.)

            So yes I think there’s a chance it’ll be improved upon when they get to condensing down the current rules bloat into a new edition.

          • ZeeLobby

            They never really fixed them though. They just removed them in the next edition. Lol. Going by that they’ll just take formations and detachments out. They’ve never really taken an edition and streamlined it. They may fix some little things, but then add random charge ranges, etc. I have to say it definitely seems like a different person works on each page at times.

            I dunno. We’ll see.

          • georgelabour

            Some of the wargear cards were replaced by upgrades in the army list, and or became relegated to alternative rules, E.G: Apocalypse.

            Which reduced both the randomness of it all and removed the issue with extremely ‘efficient’ stuff showing up in smaller games.

            They did something similar with the 2nd edition IG Codex’s preparatory bombardment rule which became a scenario special rule, and Apocalypse Stratagem in later editions.

            As for streamlining. I think GW does an alright job of taking the optional rules they release over an edition and incorporating them into the next edition. The current terrain rules owe a lot to the Codex:Catachan book, and many of the current special rules seem to have had their origins as special rules for various marine or eldar units. EG: Rapid Fire, Counter attack, Relentless, Fleet.

            Though obviously that’s personal opinion and the current rule’s set is unarguably starting to feel a bit bloated thus making it hard to claim that it’s still streamlined.

        • Arthfael

          But actually the idea does make sense, eExcept the extra rules should not come for free.

        • TenDM

          Formations and Detachments are a good idea at heart. The Tau fight differently to the Orks so force organisation should be different. It really helps make my force feel like MY force. It’s just the way they’ve implemented them that causes problems.
          They should encourage diversity and make a wider variety of lists possible but instead they’re full of easily exploitable loopholes that let us bring the most powerful models in even more powerful combinations.

          • Karru

            That’s why things like the Ork Horde detachment from the Ork Codex is good, it’s the basic CAD that gives you extra Troop and HQ slots with minor benefits, but you have to take an extra troop choice.

            That’s how they should have done the unique force org. changes. Super simple, doesn’t take 10 pages worth of rules and datasheets and not completely and utterly broken. GW also would’ve made something magical with it regarding the Marine Codex. Something similar to the way 3.5 CSM codex did with their Legions. Maybe not as extreme, but still.

            The problem with formations comes from their immense unbalance. How can you justify free transports from the Demi-company compared to the Cadian Detachment for example. Other costs over 1000 points for just bare bone units of guardsmen and command squads, the other costs a bit more for flexible army that has a quite a bit free stuff.

            The biggest problem for me in 40k was the death of troops and actual strategy when it came to figuring out the weakness of your army and having to play around it. These days you fill that weakness with allies that makes no sense fluff-wise and troops are irrelevant. Many take Tactical Squads just to get the Ob Sec Drop Pods that they can just land on top of an objective.

            5th edition is still the master piece for me. Troops were only units capable to capping objectives, no allies to fill your armies weakness and no free stuff for some armies trough broken formations and detachments.

          • Agreed — this actually resonates with a conversation I had with a long-time 40K Renaissance Man a few days ago. Fifth Edition was king. It wasn’t perfect (wound allocation shenanigans were awful) but for the most part it was reasonably streamlined and efficient.

          • Aaron

            5th edition right up until the necron and GK codexes was fine, even then the game wasnt half as broken as it is now

          • TenDM

            Personally I’d rather get away from the slightly modified CADs and into the stuff that’s actually different. As long as the balance isn’t broken (which is a lot to ask with GW) a Codex should contain two or three different Detachments that radically alter how the units perform. Orks for instance should have one for a horde, one for big tough stuff and one for lots of vehicles (as well as the CAD route). That way players like myself who like bread and butter troop units can have a Detachment that beefs them up, without allowing players who like big guns to take advantage of the cheap/strong troop units. Imperial Guard should have mechanised, cannon fodder and beachhead style Detachments.
            Genestealers are a good example. They’re too expensive and they die too easily. However if you change the point cost or increase survivability they make Hormagaunts useless and become over powered. They should be in swarm armies in moderation but if you price them for that they start appearing in monstrous creature lists as cheap/awesome filler units. So having a Detachment that says something along the lines of ‘for every 50 Hormagaunts/Termagaunts you bring you can choose to take a half price unit of Genestealers’ would create some variety.
            I feel like done properly that would go a good way towards controlling the impact of the constantly increasing power levels of the individual units while also making less common units more viable in certain list types. Most of the problem Eldar units should be strong, they just shouldn’t be so cheap if they’re being taken with a CAD or in standalone Formations.

            Admittedly I get a bit caught up in how things should work. Given GW’s track record of handling balance your more conservative approach is probably more realistic, I just think it’s a shame to miss out on the potential of Formations/Detachments just because GW can’t be trusted to put the work into doing it properly.

          • Karru

            That is why we had Apocalypse. Formations and detachments currently break the game hard. They make so many units completely obsolete since they don’t include them in the formations or they are put it formations that are insane. In a perfect world, formations can be acceptable, but as everyone knows that will never happen. GW won’t play test their formations and codexes enough to actually realise what is bad and what is not. Also the basis of formations is greed, they want to sell models so they make the formations more silly compared to the last one.

            Again, comparing core formations required to the detachments and the increasing silliness in them trough the releases:

            Necrons: Reclamation Legion
            1 Overlord, 1 unit of Immortals, 2 units of Necron Warriors and 1 unit of Tomb Blades

            Basic stuff, pretty much everyone who is starting out with Necrons would already have all of these.

            Space Marines: Demi-company
            1 Captain or Chaplain, 3 units of Tactical Marines, 1 “Fast Attack” and 1 “Heavy Support”

            Again, basic stuff. (I’m going to use ” ” to save some writing time.)

            Tau Empire: Hunter Cadre
            1 Commander, 3 “Troops”, 1 “Elite”, 1 “Fast Attack” and 1 “Heavy Support”

            Basic. Stuff.

            Eldar Craftworlds: Guardian Battlehost
            1 Farseer, 3 units of Guardians, 1 Vyper Squadron, 1 unit of War Walkers, 1 Support Battery

            This is where things started to get a bit more greedy, but still manageable, since all these units are not exactly bad or the formations buffs them quite a bit.

            Windrider Host
            1 Farseer, 1 Warlock Conclave, 3 units of Windriders, 1 Vyper Squadron

            And back to simple, basic and cheap core choice.

            Astra Militarum: ‘Emperor’s Shield’ Infantry Company
            In short. 170 infantry models and and minimum of 3 vehicles. Over 1000pts bare bones, no upgrades.

            ‘Emperor’s Fist’ Tank Company
            Minimum of 5 Leman Russ Tanks and 1 Enginseer. Great formation, technically. Only problem is that the bonuses that taking the detachment gives are Infantry only. Completely useless on tanks.

            Orks: WAAAAGH!-band
            1 Warboss, 1 Mek, 1 unit of Nobz or Meganobz, 6 units of Boyz and 1 unit of Gretchin.

            Not so basic stuff. Yes, Orks are meant to be a horde army, but the core formation requires you to take a fixed set of units with no flexibility.

            Goff Killmob
            1 Warboss, 1 Gorkanaut, 1 Unit of Nobz, 2 Deff Dreads, 3 units of (at least 20 models) Boyz, 1 unit of Killa Kans.

            This one is literally insane. It’s even worse than the first one, since the boyz have to be at least 20 models strong. Battlewagon is the only thing capable of transporting since walking them across the field is suicide. Also the thing costs waaaaaay too much.

            The problem with Detachments and thus formations, is that some of them, like the Marine one, give immense tactical flexibility AND amazing buffs. Then there are things like the Guard formation where greed has completely taken over and no one in their right mind would ever field that in a normal game. Now that Marine player has an automatic advantage that he can exploit since if you are already fielding something like a battle-company worth of units, then why not just take the free formation?

            In Apocalypse, these things didn’t matter. It was supposed to be unbalanced. That’s why it was fun to field a formation. You knew that you had collected enough models for an army when you could field at least 3 Apocalypse formations at a time. Now they just feel like mandatory since some of them give such amazing buffs that you HAVE to take it. This leaves quite a few units completely obsolete since you’d have to spent points to take a CAD for them and why would I do that if I could instead spend those extra points so I get free points?

            Yes, in a perfect world, formations and detachments are amazing. Everyone is on an even playing field, no one has more broken or flexible formations than the other. But as we all know, that will never ever happen. No one can say it with a straight face. GW will never be that generous. They want money, they are a company, so they make formations that require you to take a tons of units and/or models and just roll with it. Meanwhile codexes that got released during the “checking out” period, like Marines, Eldar, Tau and Necrons get an eeeeasy life with their extremely flexible and powerful formations and detachments.

      • Charon

        Not gonna happen. Mostly because the novels do not focus on armies as such ad when they appear they are mostly pretty generic. People hate generic.
        Lets look at a generic space marine army in the novels.
        A lot of tacticals, rhinos, one devastor suad, one Assault squad. No terminators, no dreads, maybe a predator. Next to no plasma weapons, no grav. Most common weapon is the bolter, a few heavy bolters and maybe a lascannon.
        We basically have a pretty much detailed view of what the Ultramarines do consist of. I have never seen a single army (not even from extreme fluff bunnies) that do come even close to the harsh restrictions presented in that organization.
        The whole Chapter has only access to 2 Vindicators and 4 Razorbacks.

        • euansmith

          Indeed, the military formations in 40k fluff make zero sense 😀

          • Charon

            Also the power level is vastly different. In a lot of novels you gotta ask “why do these guys have power armor again?” Bolts are ALWAYS going into the eye lense or the throat. Chainswords cut through the armor like a hot knife through butter.
            In one novel a few space marines are enough to beat a whole army of xenos. In another a few CSM handily kill entire SM squads bu get beaten up by a few Eldar aspects.
            A succubus destroys an imperial knight in the arenas of commoragh for entertainment.

          • euansmith

            For the purpose of miniature sales, it would make a lot of sense to peg most of the xeno threats as being as powerful as Space Marines; so that Space Marines are specifically engineered to go toe to toe with with these superhuman threats.

            The Guards would die in droves against the Eldar, while the Space Marines could maybe manage to take them out on a 1:1 basis. This would make the things like the Eldar, Ork Nobs, etc seem a lot cooler, and would mean that large numbers of Space Marines “dying” in every engagement would be less grating.

      • Arthfael

        Two populations co-exist on BoLS. This article is not meant for us, fluffy players.

    • My thoughts exactly. Ridiculous list.

    • Nathaniel Wright

      Because people wouldn’t be surprised and willing to read if they said ‘another Eldar list’.

      • Severius_Tolluck

        XD lol

    • Victor Hartmann

      You’re forgetting how dirt cheap scat bikes are. Those plus the Warlock come in at 415. And how under costed the Wraithknight is. 295 for him. So well under half for the Eldar.

      But your point is still valid, not really a true AM list. More like some Mon-Keighs in servitude to the Eldar.

      • Sam

        As a Chaos player, wtf?

  • benn grimm

    That Guard-dar list is an abomination, I like the Daemon one best, though I’d prefer it if it was straight up CAD, not a big fan of the formations.

    • ZeeLobby

      Lol, so many [insert-army-here]-dar lists out there these days.

      • euansmith

        “Ah, the Dar-dar-dar list!”

        (Ich lieb’ dich nicht du liebst mich nicht)

        • Mira Bella

          You are the light of my life euan.
          Please promise that you will not leave this Site for the next 20 years.
          Would love to meet you in person since you seem to be an incredible funny guy. 🙂

          • euansmith

            Blush 😀

          • benn grimm

            Mira and Euan sitting in a tree… 😉

    • Severius_Tolluck

      I’m ok with formations that let you take some things outside of standard CAD and if they had costs, or didnt give so many strong bonuses., what I don’t like is this ally nonesense causing the aforementioned abomination.

      • Randy Randalman

        AoS actually handles this better than 40k, believe it or not. The Alliance-Allegiance system limits which things can be allied, and the Battalions (their version of formations) actually cost points under the Matched Play rules. The buffs are milder too, and usually involve a much smaller group of models.

      • ZeeLobby

        I mean you think letting you take units outside of the CAD would be bonus enough…

        • Severius_Tolluck


        • TenDM

          Yep. It’s like ‘hey, you brought what would normally be considered an Unbound list, have some bonus special rules’.

      • benn grimm

        I don’t like the tetrad because it gives benefits for taking 4 daemon princes all dedicated to different gods, when in the book you unlock daemon princes by taking that gods greater daemon. So the way the book has you build lists, you can take 4 DPs, but they have to be mono God(cept one).The formation allows you to not only bypass this limitation, and the fluff as a result, but actually rewards you for doing so with stat buffs. Wrong on many levels imo.

        If formations have to exist, they should have restrictions and downsides to correspond with any benefits conferred. They should allow for and encourage niche, classic armies/groups from the fluff that aren’t easily replicated using standard CAD. Basically they should be interesting, rather than no brainer bonus bonanzas for already good unit choices from already strong factions.

        • euansmith

          I get bugged by things like Grey Knights getting “Hatred: Chaos” and Chaos not getting “Hatred: Grey Knights” in return.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          True. What I meant was within their own codexes, or if anything within a “Grand Alliance” if you will. E.G; “Forces Astra Imperalis” With nothing really super special added, just some themed lists that go outside CAD. Like the old purifier list for 5th GK, etc. So we are pretty much on the same page it seems.

    • Agreed. Any *-dar army (other than DE-dar) is an abomination and should be treated as such.

  • Davis Centis

    Not to put a damper on these guys (because congrats guys! I wish we could’ve seen some photos of these!), but I definitely do not find these to be “fun, unique or both”. The most unique parts of these were that there simply WERE Imperial Guard present, and that there WAS a Tallyband. Aside from that, everything about all of these were… well… rather typical. I mean, it’s about as unique as buying the pink case for your iPhone instead of the black case.

  • Defenestratus


    I want to vomit. What the hell is this blithering stupidity? We’re all less intelligent for having read that nonsense.

    • Nathaniel Wright

      Blame people that call themselves ‘judges’.

    • Wayne Molina

      Wonder what the “narrative” behind that army is. Seriously most of these lists are just unfluffy typical power gamer trash.

      • Charon

        I really wonder why people that are not interested in tournaments at all read articles about tournaments and then complain about competitive armies in a competitive setting.
        Are you doing the same in competitive sports because these filthy athletes are trying too hard?

        • Dan Wilson

          Well, admittedly I was lured here under the pretended hat there would be some… You know… Cool lists… Not powercrap. The Great Wolf allied drop pods for the war convo are now illegal anyway, in terms of what they are clearly intended for.

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            do you really need some internet guy to make an article on how to make a fluffy list? It could not be any easier, take wahtever units you like, throw them into a list, lists done.

            If this was a article on how to field fluffy and uncompetative lists, do you think it gets as many views as this one did?

        • Mamut

          “4 Cool 40K Lists Worth Looking At”
          This doesn’t say anything about tournaments, so i started reading. And than died of cancer and heresy because of all this try hard lists.

          • Charon

            So you skipped the 2nd sentence?

      • BT

        Narrative? It is “this codex covers /these/ holes and this codex covers /those/ holes”.

      • Victor Hartmann

        Mon-Keighs in servitude to their Eldar masters.

  • Dongmaster

    So whom of the guys paid for the woman to be in the picture or did they all put a few bucks in there “for the team”?

    Those lists makes me want to carve a Khorne symbol in my eyes with a wooden spoon.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Hey now, what if she was one of the players!

      • She was, 26th overall.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          I stated that as the misogyny was uncalled for guys!

      • Dongmaster

        Those are a myth…

    • Jesus, she’s one of the players at the tournament. She has a name, it’s Willow. Way to be a sexist pig.

      • EaterofWorlds

        lol she went 4-2 with Dark Eldar and was 26th.

        • I don’t know what we expect from someone who chooses Dongmaster for their name. The commenters think these lists are bad for 40k, attitudes like that are far worse.

      • Dongmaster

        Oh noes, who called my wife and got hold of my nic? I want his phone number.

        • Ni Modo

          I don’t quite understand what you just wrote and neither does Google translate

          • Dongmaster

            That is beacuse I am a sexist pig.

            Google is all PC.

    • She placed 26th and won Best Dark Eldar player IIRC.


      • Dongmaster

        The best way to way to put a man in his place is to be 100% certain and yet type IIRC.

        • Point was I was there and she played well and won an award. Not “paid” to be there. Try to join the current millennium man.

  • Aaron Hawthorn

    What did I miss. Nothing about these lists is ‘cool’.

    • Ni Modo

      A lot apparently

  • Joka

    Great admech list: war convocation with some wolves allies… ok, really. Reaaaaally original.

    • Djbz

      My thoughts exactly, the article calls them “non standard lists”
      But they all look like the usual tournament “cheese” ro me

  • Chad Underdonk

    Makes me want to collect and paint up another 150 Attilan Rough Riders so I can show off what a cool list actually looks like!

    • euansmith

      You can’t beat a good cavalry charge; heck its even difficult enough to stop a bad one.

  • Karru

    Skimmed trough all those lists, conclusion: I’d rather drink bleach, then place my genitals in a blender and dousing myself with gasoline than play with any of these lists.

    These are perfect examples of the major problems with 40k 7th Edition.

  • Mira Bella


  • That White Scars list was modeled with all FW Jetbikes… he said he has 80 in total…

  • Andrew Thomas

    Predictable threads FTW.

  • Stepan Serdyuk

    okay. White Scars. Drop-convocation. Scatter-bikes with Wraithknight.

    How exactly it’s “standing out from cookie cutters”?

    • White Scars weren’t superfriends?

  • Mike Nolan

    Imp guard barrage and eldae scatbikes and nurgle flying circus, boy how original. Only list worth noting here is the white scars list, seeing as its not wholly competitive.

  • This article pretty much proves the point that Allies need to go bye-bye in 8th Edition. #NoAlliesIn8th