My 2018 LVO, as a 40k Head Judge

Hello everyone, SaltyJohn here to bring you a run down of my time as a Head Judge at the 2018 Las Vegas Open!

Hello everyone, SaltyJohn here from TFG Radio and one of your Las Vegas Open 2018 Head Judges here to bring you a run down of my time as a Head Judge at the 2018 Las Vegas Open

First off a huge thank you to Reece, Frankie, and the whole crew at FLG for putting together a convention of this size. The fact that it keeps growing year after year is testimony to how well organized and well run it all is. This was my second year as a head judge for the Warhammer 40k events, with a focus on the almost 500 player Championship Event. As a judge and simply an attendee of this marquee event in the 40k calendar I wanted to put together an article of my thoughts on what went on at LVO and perhaps some thoughts on the future of Competitive 40k with those observations in mind. If you follow TFG Radio on Facebook, Twitch, and YouTube then you already know we did our LVO 2018 wrap up episode last night with special guest, and fellow #REKT team mate, Jeff Poole who made it to the top 8. The video of the Twitch cast is embedded below and if you prefer our Twitch Casts as Podcasts then head on over to iTunes, your podcast app of choice, or click here the episode is live!

I am going to break down my LVO experience into three categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good, obviously was what came out of it that was good, the bad is more like things that are easily corrected or on average fine, the ugly is stuff I disliked. The last category is, thankfully, quite small.

The Good:

  • 8th edition rules. Luckily 8th edition proved to be truly less complex in terms of rules, I say luckily because we definitely could have used another judge or 2, especially on Sunday. Most of the judge calls were questions about the missions and terrain, rather than the rules of 8th edition itself. To me this means that the simplified 8th edition rules make it easier for players to grasp the rules and to settle disputes on the rules themselves rather than needing an outside arbitrator.
  • Players know the rules. This is similar to the above but I put it separately because I noticed a significant increase in the number of players in the 40k champs who really understood their rules and knew their stuff compared to last year at LVO during the waning days of 7th edition. It was refreshing to walk up to tables and have players be able to accurately and succinctly articulate the rules issues they are having. It makes being a judge an easier, and more pleasant, experience. I attribute some of this to a popular reading rainbow based meme:

  • The space and terrain. The Bally’s hall we hold the 40k events in is great, and the vendors hall plus other gaming space is equally great. It’s well lit, clean, with free water all over. There’s space for both GW and FLG to have their Live Streams set up near the Judges table and still be cordoned off enough to eliminate too much “fishbowl” effect. The tables were, once again, great and getting better. The terrain looks amazing, and having the terrain match the FLG Mats makes the event look really slick; furthermore the terrain is done in such a way that it makes the game more competitive, by helping mitigate the First Turn dominance effect to a certain degree. A great venue, and nice tables are the first and most important steps to having happy players, and happy players make great events.
  • Army diversity. Walking the hall over the course of the weekend, for a total of well over 20 miles of walking, I got to see most of the armies people brought. There seemed to be a lot of different armies in the field, much more diversity than last year. The 2017 LVO was dominated by Riptide Wings, Wraithknights, and Battle Companies. The mix this year was much better. I credit the edition still being relatively new along with the constantly changing meta due to the rapid fire release of codices, FAQs, Errata, etc. This is a good thing for the game overall; the more diverse the field the more inclusive the events are and the larger they can grow. Diversity in faction can also translate to a more competitive environment in which the TAC, or Take All Comers, list is required over the lists tailored to deal with the 3 most common builds.
  • Army Quality. What I mean by this is the visual quality of the armies markedly increased this year over previous years. The fact we continued what began at So Cal Open of enforcing the long running painting requirements for being in the event went a long way to making an event with a distinctly better quality of army appearance. For the vast majority of players the game experience can hinge upon the visual nature of the game in regards to their opponents army being painted and based to a certain standard. The quality of this on the whole was vastly improved over previous years, and I hope changes can be made to make it even better in the future. While we had a few instances of specific models being pulled for not meeting the criteria, or a few models that were simply being played as one thing with no conversions attempted it was rare in a field of almost 500. There was one notable exception where the majority of an army was not up to the requirements but on the whole players were respectful of us enforcing the requirements. With a single exception.
  • Food and Drink. This year the food was reduced in price, which was great, and the alcohol continued to flow in Vegas like quantities. While the restriction on outside food and drink remained, that caveat stung less given the more reasonable prices of food this year. As far as con food goes it was good as well!

The Bad

  • The BCP. BCP App struggles in Round 1 and then the debacle with the Round 2 info getting accidentally deleted wasn’t so great. To their credit the BCP guys remained 100% professional in the face of what could have been a major disaster, and salvaged the day handily. The remainder of the weekend went very smoothly with the App and by Sunday the memory of the hour and a half delay in day 1 due to BCP issues was an almost forgotten part of the weekend for many people. The App and BCP will only continue to improve as they are consummate professionals, which was on display Friday for the entire 40k Champs to see.
  • Time. The problem of games not finishing, or only going a few turns continues to be a problem in 8th. While I think it is more common right now due to the edition still being new, and rules coming out rapid fire, it is certainly something that needs to be watched. Many players were explaining to their opponents how their games at LVO were some of their first of 8th edition, and while it’s awesome to have new players, it is also the responsibility of those newer players to insure they play at a decent clip to give their opponents the opportunity to play a full, and fulfilling, game.

  • Sportsmanship. There were a few problematic sportsmanship related problems. This is a really sticky situation in terms of how to approach it from a community and judges perspective. If you go the European route and implement a red and yellow card system with actual repercussions for going back on things like gentleman’s’ agreements in regards to player intention you could end up with players trying to get their opponents flagged for penalties incorrectly. There’s a reason why men’s soccer is rife with men flopping around on the ground like kindergartners when an opposing players touches their sleeve with the nail on their pinky finger. Hopefully a meaningful discussion can be had around the concepts of time and Sportsmanship and changes implemented in future events.

The Ugly

  • For me there really isn’t anything that fits this category from LVO 2018. I think the only thing that’s ugly is the dominance of Eldar in the top 8. If I remember correctly there wasn’t a single Eldar in the bottom 90 players. So there may be an imbalance issue but not enough of one for me to put Eldar into the Ugly category.

Eldar and Chaos

Ok, you know I wasn’t going to let it go with just the above statement. So Eldar had a clearly strong finishing in the top 8 but also in the field in general. I don’t think this is only due to the strength of the Eldar codex, nor do I believe it is an indicator of Eldar being OP and in need of nerfs from Games Workshop. If you watched, or listened to, our pre-LVO show on TFG Radio you’ll have heard my prediction that no Primarchs would make it into the top 8. I was correct on this. My reasoning behind this was most people were using the ability to beat the Primarch lists as the benchmark of a list being viable. Much like how the checklist of a good list in 7th was if you could effectively deal with Eldar, Wolftide, Battle Company etc; the measuring the stick for the meta running up to LVO was if you could deal with a the Primarch lists. This helped Eldar dominance in two ways. The first is Eldar are quite good at dealing with the Primarch lists, and the second is lists that are good at dealing with Primarch lists aren’t great at dealing with Eldar lists. This effect is compounded in the current meta where not all the codices have been released. Personally I believe that with Dhrukari, Tau, and Necrons coming out soon we’ll see a shift in the meta away from the Eldar dominance that was on display at the Las Vegas Open without a need to nerf them.


I decided to put this outside the structure of the good, the bad, and the ugly, because it doesn’t override what I said earlier about the painting/modelling requirements being good and an overall boon to the event and the scene as a whole. Rather, this is more an addendum to those thoughts and observations. While the guidelines and process of having conversions approved helped quite a bit in regards to terrible “counts as” or “conversions” at the LVO there were still enough questionable ones that I must reiterate a previous stance of mine. I personally think the time of conversion, proxy, and counts as armies in competitive 40k needs to come to an end. If you want to bring that to Narrative, Friendly, Apocalypse, or RTT events that’s fine but in the hyper competitive environment of Championship events I think if there’s a model for it, you should be required to use it. I know that’s an unpopular opinion and hopefully with continued enforcement of the painting and modelling requirements my stance on this will become unnecessary.

The Las Vegas Open 2018 was an amazing convention filled with great events, good people, and fun times. Staying up until 3:30am Saturday morning probably wasn’t one of my better ideas, but it was Vegas and is something you really would only do at a 40k that’s held in Las Vegas! I can’t wait to see what improvements can be made for next year and I’m excited to come back to Head Judge again if Reece and Frankie want me to.


And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

  • The sportsmanship = the ugly.

    • J Mad

      P1- “Hey, i’m going to use this stratagem and do this movement to then charge you, i’m telling you so you know before i do it”
      P2- “Ok” – “Oh.. you use that stratagem a 1/2 of a phase to slow”
      P1- “But i wasnt worried about it b.c you KNEW what i was doing and we both know how it works”
      Judge- “You can not use it that way”
      P1- “Ok.. i would have won”
      P2- “Not to sound like a dick, but you would have won and now i’m going to win”

      I literally turned it off right there, this was terrible sportsmanship.

    • Muninwing

      and his end statement about “getting rid of non-official models,” undercutting decades’ worth of painting and converting and playing interesting lists? that’s actually either ugly itself, or perhaps the cause, an environment where that’s a result, is ugly.

      • Its rooted in the hyper competitive crowd. This request has always been around. Its one reason Warmachine came out the gate with that rule.

        • Muninwing

          and it’s reason #3 why i don’t play warmachine…

      • Yeah it’s definitely the unpopular opinion but at least I know where they are coming from.
        It’s very easy to convert a model to gain advantage.

        Likewise if someone like me showed up with my Ork army made up exclusively of extensive conversions and scratch builds I’d be worried that the WAAC players would constantly force the judges to disqualify chunks of my army for not being stock just to gain an advantage.

        But on the flip side I was really disappointed by the extremely poor quality armies of the top players. It’s hard to watch the stream when the armies look so awful and you’d expect that in a hobby-centric game the best players would at least have reasonably painted armies. Live streaming that was actually kind of embarrassing.

        Effectively banning the extreme converters and scratch builders like myself from doing what we do best prevents some of the nicest and highest quality armies from appearing at these events.

        But if the LVO only wants to care about gameplay, that’s what you get.

        • Muninwing

          on one hand, i get that there are some people who are so petty that they’d “model for advantage”

          and that a competitive tournament really brings them out

          but on the other hand… normalizing and legitimizing this just means that you get crappy-looking armies.

          • To ride out the slippery slope, at what point do events start forcing players to paint armies certain ways if they want certain chapter tactics as well?

            You have to draw a line somewhere to define what’s acceptable at an event vs reasonable artistic expression.

            In context there were several players at the LVO using off-the-shelf Walmart toys as tanks without any attempt to paint and convert them. That’s what the hubbub about proxies was about.

          • Muninwing

            i would definitely come down hard on the proxy issue… but counts-as and proxy are well established to be different.

            and it’s no longer a slippery slope. DA who have the wrong paintjob cannot use SCs. if i play Angels of Absolution, i don;t get everything that the core Dark Angels get, and i don’t get anything instead (like the Flesh Tearers do).

          • LankTank

            Its one of those toss ups. I think everyone can agree that a beautiful conversion should be accepted, even applauded. But what rule can you have that allows them but then ommits someone with less skill?

  • Cego Rach

    Great article. I have two points. First the Ynarri ability is simply too powerful. In the future I hope when time is split between players I hope it scales down. For example 25 minutes for turn 1, 20 for turn 2, something along those lines.

    • Bradley Ballard

      So 300 guardsmen is out.

      • Jeremy Larson

        The ability to finish your game in the allotted time should functionally be part of the requirements in a tournament list. If you bring a list you know you can’t play in the time allowed, that’s tantamount to cheating IMO.

        • J Mad

          If i like horde and horde armies, why should i suffer or be called a cheater? The players that are taking large models have movement trays and try to go face, but can only roll that many dice so fast.

          • HeadHunter

            If you’re playing an army that takes more than your fair share of the time to play, then yes, you should suffer. It’s unfair to your opponent and you know it.
            Learn to play your turns in a reasonable time or take a different list.

          • J Mad

            You miss understand, Playing large armies =/= taking more time then needed. If each player has 30min per turn and i never go over my 30min, why does it matter if i have 20 models or 300 models?

          • Sebastien Bazinet

            Nobody said not to take hordes just play them in a timely fashion and if you can’t do all your moves and whatnot in the allotted time for your turn it should not have an impact on the time your opponent has on his turn. Quite basic really.

          • Muninwing

            300 models requires a lot more time to move. so how is it not unfair to the horde player making them scramble while the elite player gets to move a small handfill?

          • Muninwing

            and i know this because i like small elite armies… my Deathwing have been in and out of tournaments since 4th edition, using their 3rd ed rules.

            my most successful force was 32 models at 2500 points. i could move those 32 models around much faster than my opponent could.

            playing against Orks — against a confident, no-nonsense player with a clear battle plan — usually meant 2/3 of the time was not my turn.

            if you want an actual fair, non-external-nerf implementation here, you need to prorate the time. and once you open that can of worms, it gets complicated fast.

          • Muninwing

            that’s crap. if i play foot guard, and i need more time to move my toy soldiers around, it’s not “unfair” that i’m playing well within the rules, lore, and history of the game.

          • Muninwing

            what is a “fair share?”

            should both armies, despite being very different in composition, be required to take the same amount of time to run?

            why not do it by number of units? that could be assessed as “fair” as well.

            if you have 2 hours (for the sake of the math) per round… that’s 24 minutes per round on average… round 4 won’t need as much as round 1… so maybe round 1 gets 30 min, 2 gets 26, 3 gets 22, 4 gets 18, 5 gets what’s left (for better or ill)… time would have to be divvied up by how many units and/or models were on each side…

            suddenly, this “easy fix” shows why nobody has fixed it.

        • It’s not a problem so long as you as you are able to play a turn in a reasonable amount of time and aren’t deliberately trying to draw out the clock.

          As an example one of the Ork players on the Saturday stream had a huge army but used movement trays to speed up the turns.

        • LankTank

          But how do you judge it?
          If I pull alot of overwatch shennanigans etc in your turn, messing your turn time?
          Why should a Horde player earnestly playing as fast as possible not be able to play?
          Its not really slow play thats the issue, its intentional or incompetent slow play.
          But again… how do you judge that?

    • Muninwing

      i honestly think that time limits, if ever implemented, are scaled to army size. hordes shouldn’t be nerfed because their players need more time to handle their pieces.

      by the same token, a Custodes force should not have three times the actual time needed to move their twelve models around the table.

    • It’s the ability to stack the Ynarri rules with Craftworld Eldar rules that I have an issue with. They FAQ’d Chaos specifically to prevent that sort of thing so they should apply the same logic to Eldar.

      • eMtoN

        I agree. The problem isn’t ynnari, the problem is the idea of getting bonuses from 2 factions at the same time. That needs to end.

      • LankTank

        Actually they only stated that the Stratagems stating Daemon were only meant for Codex: Daemons. Warlord traits, other auras etc still cross over.
        Personally I was very unahppy that they did that as an easier and more acceptable fix would have just make that ONE particular stratagem only effect models with the Daemon FACTION. It was a knee jerk reaction by GW due to players wanting to drop Lord of Wars

  • Drpx

    Last paragraphs: “we need to take that pesky hobbying aspect out of our serious business tournament.”

    And this is who GW caters to now?

    • That was one of the major motivators for me to never want to play warmachine. You had to use the “official model”.

      • Noridaii

        I think this needs to be looked at in context. The majority of the model should be the original unless you get special dispensation from the TO. The main reason for this is that at tournaments you play to a clock – you cant do that effectively if you opponent cant tell what he is facing. I love converting models and many of my Warmachine models are extensively converted, but you can still tell what it is.

    • Damistar

      I don’t think he’s being down on conversions per se, I think he’s merely pointing out that in a highly competitive tournament game you need to know what your opponents playing. If you can’t identify what a unit is or what wargear int’s equipped with quickly it can really mess up the game. And let’s face it, there are probably some WAACers out there who used this confusion to win games.

      • Alienerd the unbannable

        But it’s a social game. Ask your opponent one time and if it really is a big deal just write it down really quickly. Obviously there are exceptions, but honestly this just comes down to “don’t be a dick”. Make sure your opponent knows what your models are meant to be played as, and if you don’t know what theirs are? Smile at them and simply ask them. Within sensible limitations I don’t get what the problem is which makes it differ to a game played anywhere else (other than WAAC players wanting to give themselves another excuse if they lose).

        • carlisimo

          I got the feeling that he felt those “sensible limitations” might be different in competitive play. It’s worthy of an article, I think.

          • Alienerd the unbannable

            Sensible limitation = can I tell what it is meant to be? If yes, get on with game. If no, “Sorry mate, what is that model there representing”. There you go, it doesn’t need to be any more difficult than that. I really don’t get how being in a competitive scenario changes that o.O

          • Noridaii

            If its one model – sure. But if its an entire army with random models representing different things, why should an opponent be required to write down a comprehensive description for everything on the table?

          • Alienerd the unbannable

            Because if you have enough drive and motivation to sit down and lovingly pour your imagination into every single model both in concept and finished product for likely months/ years on end, chances are that spending an extra half an hour making a word document which has a camera-phone-taken picture of a unit on the left and a couple of bullet points saying what it represents on the right is not a big deal. I’ve never met a person who has converted a whole army yet lacks motivation when it comes to the hobby – you need that fire to make the kickass conversions in the first place!

        • A lot of the problems at LVO apparently came from players using stock toys bought at Walmart as tanks without any attempt to paint or convert them.

          OP was also referring to an incident with 1 player who was disqualified for not having anything painted at all. He got irate and they were forced to have security escort him out.

          I get it, if I got kicked out of an event I had paid to fly out to I’d be pissed off but it’s really the guys fault for not reading the rules ahead of time when 499 other people did.

          • Alienerd the unbannable

            See that right there I would file into the “dick” category. If that actually happened that is hilarious! Just like if you turned up to a bicycle race on a moped and got funny about it when told you couldn’t take part.

          • Accept in this bike race you have to assemble and paint the bike yourself, and you have the option to put which ever fenders, handle bars and seat on it that you want from a list but several of them you can only get by trading parts with friends or buying another entire bike kit just to steal the seat. Some parts don’t even exist so you have to make them yourself or alter existing ones.

            Which is all encouraged by the bike manufacturer of course, who also happens to sponsor the races.

            Then another competitor at the race complains that because you made your handlebars curve forward a bit to make it more comfortable your cheating because it lets you finish the race an inch quicker.

            But chances are he’s just ticked because he didn’t think of it first, or doesn’t have the talent to do it himself.

          • Alienerd the unbannable

            Except that the bars would still start at the same point as them (the start line), so that wouldn’t affect the race in any way, shape or form. BUUUUUT I do see what you’re saying, even though again I would file that under the “dick” category. One dick award for the person who bent their bars like that and another for the guy who is going around trying to moan at people who like to convert their models.

    • Kabal1te

      This opinion is one of the reasons I avoid tournaments. I like the customized nature of my models.

      • zemlod

        Also, there’s the case where there isn’t an official model available at all. There are no Praetorian plasma guns, eg. so you have to convert your own if you want to field some…

    • Muninwing

      yeah, this is crap. if the tournament scene has become this competitive, they’ve jumped the shark for sure…

      • Abe Killian

        So the Tournament scene has transcended the hobby itself? As a non-Tournament player I didn’t know this. So why not just play with cardboard cut outs. Surely the hobby is the main part!?

      • Drpx

        Got room in that hole for another head?

        • Muninwing

          it took me a bit to get the ostrich reference… thought this was a threat at first.

          i know it’s bad… i know the WAAC tendencies of 40k players have been fueled with energy drinks and emboldened by their lord and master Ward, but it’s nice thinking that people still play for fun instead of to stroke their egos…

    • orionburn III

      Keep in mind that is simply his opinion, not GWs. GW wants you to buy their models of course, but they’ve always been big on pushing the hobby aspect to it.

      That last paragraph warrants an entire article on its own. There’s also a difference as to what one consider a proxy vs WYSIWYG. Don’t show up with 5 guys armed with meltas and say 2 of them are “counts as” flamers.

      There’s also a lot of personal preferrence when it comes to coversions. As a Nids player I’ve seen some horrible abuse of gluing leftover bits together to count as a Biovore, Hive Guard, etc. If you’re doing a terrible conversion because you’re too cheap to buy the physical model there can be some issues had there, but if you honestly make something on your own because you don’t like said model then so be it. Of course the problem is not knowing which is which with a stranger.

    • This is going to come to a head sooner rather than later with the competitive events.

      GW currently supports these events, fundamentally because it encourages people to play and is a form of advertising.

      But when the message is “the hobby aspect is irrelevant at competitive events” and the top-tier players do the absolute bare minimum to paint their armies, then that works against GW’s goals.

      GW can either try to encourage the tournaments to push the hobby aspect, or alternately start showing more narrative and casual events.

  • Sparowl

    The timing issue is why I won’t play many games in a tournament setting. I’ve had games of Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, and Malifaux

    all played with the intention of running the clock. It puts me, as the opposing player, in a terrible position of having to call out my opponent on it, and even then, the judge is in a bad spot (one of those tournaments, the person was watched after my game and then called out by the judge for it – but then nothing was done about my game against the player, which he had won entirely on scoring early then running the clock). Until I see a good fix for it (like chess clocks in WMH), I will actively avoid those tournaments.

    • marxlives

      That a thing WMH has right. If you want to play in the big boy tournaments you got to follow the big boy standards.

    • David

      I think the difficulty is different 40k armies require radically different time to play

      4 Ik -1 minute set up time 5 minute turn decreasing as units die
      120+ guardsmen 20-30minute setup time + 20-30 minute turns decreaseing at a slower rate as units die as 1/33 units dieing has less impact than 1/4.

      This is assuming players are competant and in a large event you will always have aome new players or slower thinkers that take longer

      I have no problem with a hoard player taking 30 mins to set up or 30 minutes to take a turn assuming they go at a reasonable pace.

      I have every problem with an IK player taking 15 minutes a turn to use up an equal share of the time and run down the clock.

      It should be accepted tbat if its hoard vs hoard your probably not getting past T3

      • HeadHunter

        It doesn’t really matter what list they bring, your opponent is entitled to half the time of the match. Maybe this will encourage people not to bring hordes so big that they can’t finish a turn in the allotted time.
        If your opponent is not taking more than half the time of the match, he’s not “running down the clock”.

        • I agree to an extent, however most of the soul crushing list to play against ONLY thrive in the absence of their counters, many of which are hordes. I know hordes are fine to play against if the horde player A. Knows his rules and knows how to manage his army(which takes practice) and B. His opponent is willing to do some speed play things(which just make the game more fun for everyone) like pre-announce actions and know the other person wont be a dick about it. I think a large part of the slow play is that the rules as written specifically allow you to slow play if you follow them directly.

        • Crom

          I agree, but you could incentivize players with points (not victory points for the match) that add to total score based on the amount of clock you didnt use. So fast players, horde or otherwise, will be more likely to get to final tables. Also incentivizes people to know their rules or have their own cheat sheets to play faster

        • David

          Why are they entitled to half? Where does it say in the 40k rules both players turns should take equal time?

          I would say both should be expected to play at a reasonable pace and to not waste time.

          If my opponent is playing pure IK they should not be taking anywhere near half the time of the match ( id expect a 1/4 at most) assuming they play at a reasonable pace.

          If the IK player takes half the time that they are almost certainly deliberately slow playing and probably spending large amounts of time doing nothing. How is that not running down the clock?

      • marxlives

        That is the beauty of the death clock system in Warmachine and I don’t know why LVO doesn’t use it. Because you and your opponent get a block time (for example you get 60 minutes = the sum of all your turns, and your opponent gets 60 minutes = the sum of all your turns). Now you can take as long as you want on your turn but for the entire game you only get 60 minutes. So that LVO game where the guy took an hour to deploy….he would have lost just because he would have used up all his block time and you would have won because you literally have all the time in the world.

        • David

          While it great for ensuring events run to time it doesn’t translate fairly in a 40k system. In a system with similar model/unit counts eg malifaux its a great idea. In 40k

          A 4 model army effectively gets 15 minutes per model averaged across the game way more time than is ever needed and can get to play very slowly

          While a 150 model army gets 6s per model. Not remotely achievable by an experienced player unless they ignore half there army

          • marxlives

            Well everything is a sacrifice. If I have an elite army I have more time to plan out my turns, if I have a horde army I have more bodies but my moves have to be very fast and choreographed. That is the balance. You expand the time block to whatever, but as far as I know 40k 8th was supposed be done and 90 minutes to 120 minutes. If it takes longer than that and is so obscure in its balance that it needs an quantum mechanics equation to balance something as simple as a death clock then…

            Malifaux is a skirmish game but Warmachine has infantry units and does run infantry machine lists versus elite and it still retains balance with the death clock so…

          • David

            And yet its consistently slower with hoard armies

          • marxlives

            And that is why tournaments need a death clock.

          • Sebastien Bazinet

            That’s why you practice and if during said practices you cannot manage to play in the allotted time then you change tour list accordingly. This is not narrative casual play it’s competition so play accordingly

          • marxlives

            Hear, hear. I agree, no need for algorithms to quantum very how fast a player will move a horde versus elite model through 4th dimensional space. Each player gets a block amount of time they can use in a death clock format and that is it. For LVO to be more than just a highly attended local tournament with a cash prize it needs to get rid of the Mickey Mouse Club stuff and have painting requirements, no proxies, and death clocked games.

          • David

            Unless its explicitly in the tourney pack the time is shared not equal so you can

          • Sebastien Bazinet

            I get that but if you cannot do your first turn in less than 30 minutes maybe your list is not optimal enough for a tournament. You might not know ahead how much time per game but you do know you cannot take 4hours to complete a game in a competition.

          • David

            I know that in 5 practice games for a coming ITC my game has only finished half the time. However every game has gone through at least 3 battlerounds and ive won hands down by that point. Thats optimised to me. Sure my opponents not tabled but give it another two turns the outcome wouldnt change.

      • eMtoN

        When your first turn takes an hour, that’s not a problem with your army choice – the problem is with you.

        I’ve played against quite a few people that pull this crap. A chess clock would be highly welcome.

        • David

          Not the same thing but 30 mins for turn 1 is reasonable in extremely large lists

          • eMtoN

            In a timed tournament, it’s not.

      • Jennifer Burdoo

        In the original toy soldier game, HG Wells’ Little Wars, that last was the exact rule. You had one minute per cannon and one minute per X troops on the board. 3X figures and two guns? Five minutes. That included combat resolution. Two turns later when you were down to 2X figures and one gun? Three minutes. And so on.

  • Prasert Boriboonsongsin

    For the convertion part, some army has a problem because GW didn’t included enough kit in the box. e.g. How can I run 3 ion cyclic blaster crisis suits? buy 9 boxes of commander?

    • Can’t they be found sold by bitz sellers on ebay?

      • J Mad

        But the Hobby is part of GW, If they are focing 3 color minimal why not let conversions? You cant force 2/3 of the hobby and not the other 1/3. If they dont care about the hobby part, then why even paint your models at that point?

        Also some units like Kabals and Trueborn are the same model, some like to change it up.

        • David

          I love converting and for me its the best part of the hobby but I do think there should be guidelines.

          1) Swapping of weapons – guardsman with space Marine plasma guns always fine -no advantage and its clear.

          2) 3rd party weapons assuming they clearly resemble the intended weapon so that any reasonable player would recognise it. (My HWT all use 3rd party mortars because I need 18 and quite frankly they look better than the GW option) no advantage and its clear so always fine.

          3) Decorative alterations – extra spikes on chaos vehicles- swapping of a head- no advantage always fine.

          4) Any weapon swap which you are not sure if it is clear – check with TO prior to event -Should be permitted if clear and reasonable denied if not.

          5) Any heavy customisation – my catachan rough riders (no gw model) are made from guardsman riding tyranids with sm plasma and night goblin spears on biker bases with 3rd party riding legs) – I have yet to have an opponent not recognise them for what they are without looking at my list. Should be permitted by TO if reasonable dimension wise and clearly looks appropriate at a glance for what its supposed to be.

          6) doesn”t resemble what its supposed to or radically different dimensions. Disallowed.

          7) Its the responsibility of players to check beforehand.

        • Muninwing

          if they are ever going to enforce this, then i want to see all armies accurate.

          no more DE painted in fun ways. all color coded to the proper Khabal. and if you use a SC (if by then they have any left) their army needs to be painted just like said khabal.

          no more cool-tech paintjobs for Tau. each sept’s colors need to be clear. and if there are any Farsight characters, they need to be painted like Farsight Enclave, not mixed in with the rest of the army.

          then again, since the expressed reason for going to detachments instead of the standard FOC back in 7th was to represent whatever army you wanted to play through widening your ability to find rules that worked to represent the force you wanted to play.. if we’re taking away those nonstandard armies that need this caveat to run, we are also removing the ostensible reason for multiple detachments.

      • David

        Regularly not eg I was looking for 27 mortars for an event last uear bits sellers had 5 between them also if you outright ban conversions then most of those extra plasma guns they have would be invalid because you cant use a DA plasma gun on a BA model

    • In some ways it’s good because the codexes don’t include units that don’t exist model wise anymore and the boxes have more options on sprue than ever.

      That was one of the major pushes for scratch building and heavy conversions back in the day, when units like Skarboyz and Looted Wagons for instance have never had official models.

      But then again GW did this for stupid copyright related reasons, and not supporting the modellers and converters has really hurt the hobby IMO.

      Remember when we could buy bitz from GW?

  • Bradley Ballard

    If you were to take 300 guardsmen is it good bad sportsmanship

    • Warrior24_7

      Nope! Just snipe the leadership and watch them all run off of the table.

    • J Mad

      Why would it it? Its a viable play style. A good example of sportsmanship with an army of 300 guardsman would be they are all based on movement trays and trying to not take up time.

      Lists =/= good or bad sportsmanship

      • David

        I take a lot but dont move than 1 or 2 squads all game.

    • HeadHunter

      If you take 300 Guardsmen but get through your turns in 20 minutes, it’s not bad sportsmanship. If you take an hour for your turns and your opponent hardly has a chance to play, that’s inconsiderate and unfair – so bad sportsmanship.

  • Warrior24_7

    I’m glad to hear that Eldar DO NOT need to be nerfed and that players knew the rules and knew their stuff!

    • matty199

      Thats his opinion. I saw the same in cancon. The main issue is the

      • Warrior24_7

        Look, Nids are a good counter against them as well as Space Marines and other Eldar. Just take units that don’t have to be on the table to get shot. If GW leaves them alone, I “guarantee” you that a player will beat this army… Then HIS list will have to be nerfed.

        • matty199

          Do you even warhammer 40k lol?
          Space marine counters? Deep strike counters? Doesnt sound like it- maybe your joking
          Compeditive events are stacked with eldar and they are doing very well.
          Anything can be beat but and i have seen it done but they are clearly unbalanced and are def not fun to play against
          Without nerfs events are going to be FULL of eldar

          • Warrior24_7

            I didn’t bring up “counters”, the other guy did and he said there were none, he lied. Basically, what he was saying was that there is nothing that you can do, which is complete BS! You’re being lazy and don’t want to try. He wants GW to Nerf the army so he can have an easy win.

            If you face a lot of Eldar is that because they’re overpowered or popular? If GW would fix the Tau, Necrons, and Orks and make them competitive with Space Marines and Eldar, then you’d have more diverse and competitive games. That guy has a problem with 8th Ed as well. My view is that it is what it is and find a way to win. Basically, shut up and play.

          • matty199

            No you didnt post anything about counters
            Read the first libe of your post that i replied to

          • Warrior24_7

            What about it?

          • matty199

            We will have a good laff on the team chat tonight ha ha

          • Warrior24_7

            Laugh away. I also think this is funny as hell.😅

  • Karru

    Nice article, but I do have one thing to note here.

    The Ynnari needs to be nerfed. While I know there will be people most likely swarming to me saying “THEY DON’T NEED NERFS, JUST GIT GUD!”, but as an Eldar player myself, I do feel I have some right to comment on this matter.

    Having the ability to use two different “traits” at the same time is too powerful, no matter what army is in question. Ynnari get to use the Ynnari keyword in order to use their Psychic Powers and more importantly, the Soulburst rule. They also get to use the Craftworld Stratagems as long as it fits, such as the Saim-Hann Stratagem which allows Jetbikes to charge after advancing, which can easily lead them to be able to decimate units using the Soulburst rule.

    These need to go. I am strictly in the camp where if you have an option between a single faction and a “super faction” that combines multiple into one such as the Eldar and the Ynnari, both should be 100% their own thing where they don’t add anything to either one. Otherwise this always leads to “why no just take the super faction instead?” or “Just add the super faction in there as well for instant boost”.

    • Warrior24_7

      Every edition, we have this guy…ignore.

      • Karru

        Oh hello there, you must be new here. Are you from the long line of trolls that attempts to make his name known in here? I must warn you, it is going to be a hard fight, since we already have many famous ones, such as Randy.

        • Warrior24_7

          You’re not new, you come from a loooong list of whiners and complainers that never cease to end. Have you played this list at the LVO? Did you attend at all? Exactly!!! Why GW constantly caters to this BS is ridiculous. The Ynnari consist of what, 3 characters? One guy wins a tournament and you completely lose your mind.
          Space Marines can do the exact same thing across the board and where is the begging for a nerf? Learn how to play.

          • Karru

            So do tell me how they ignored Conscripts getting nerfed to the ground after people complained that they were “overpowered” while their actual power isn’t really nothing beyond bodies and can be easily negated via Snipers.

            Meanwhile, what can you do against the Ynnari Reaper and Shining Spear combo? Well, that is actually relatively simple, you just play the same combo and hope that you are the one that gets to go first.

            My main point is that the Ynnari can still be playable and competitive, all they need to do is make it so that Ynnari replaces the Asuryani and Craftworld Keywords, that way they are immediately balanced. Chaos lost their “Denizens of the Warp” doom drop with Mortarion/Lord of Skulls so to me that indicates that GW wants to make it so that Stratagems of each army is only used for that army, not allies, at least not in a massive way like they do with the Ynnari right now.

            Again the main reason why the Reaper/Shining Spear tactic is as broken is based purely on the fact that it has no counters. You can’t bubblewrap since the Reapers have a long range and don’t need to drop next to you, meanwhile the Shining Spears can just hop right over it. Then with the overwhelming amount of shots and damage output from Soulburst, they can just keep going and go after whichever unit they deem needs to die. There just isn’t anything that can be done against this beyond blind luck or do the same to him.

            The changes I would like to see:

            1. Reapers only get their Inescapable Accuracy if they didn’t move in the movement phase.

            2. Reaper minimum unit size is increased to 5.

            3. All Eldar units in a Ynnari Detachment removes their Asuryani and Craftworld Keywords and they are replaced with Ynnari.

            There you go, no point changes and the units still remain as a viable and strong option when you take them as part of an ELDAR detachment and aren’t automatically just plain better if you take them as Ynnari. Ynnari can still take them and utilise them, but now they have to play them differently in order to gain their own buffs to use them.

          • Warrior24_7

            The sad part about this whole debate is that this list has
            been posted for ALL to see and counter. There are no surprises here. You haven’t played against this list and are just whining for nerfs. Simply charging the Reapers negates Inescapable Accuracy (there you go, there’s a counter) but you must put yourself into position to do so, it’s called tactics!!! It’s not hard, but begging for nerfs is much easier because you never have to use any.

            You couldn’t think of that simple counter and for that reason alone you should be ignored. GW caters to players like this and has no idea of your credibility. Most likely, you didn’t go to the LVO. You haven’t personally faced this list. Have you even played a game in 8th Ed? They have no idea but they nerf someone’s army anyway due to Internet whining.

            Your stance is disgustingly hypocritical when you consider all of the options that Space Marines have.

          • Karru

            My god you are simple.

            You do realise that your “counter” has more than one problem right? First of all, the Reapers have range, so let’s start with that.

            You can place your Reapers down 36″ away from the enemy and still be in range with everything. Then you have Rangers that you can spread around the table easily and have them survive pretty much anything but the heaviest fire in order to survive thanks to the fact that you need to hit them first, which they automatically reduce by 2.

            These two alone just shut down your counter completely.

            But if that didn’t convince you, I shall give you some more reasons why it is as powerful as it is.

            Okay, you don’t rely on a unit that Deep Strikes, you use a fast moving assault unit that can charge the Reapers. Okay, but you just lost the first turn and the enemy knows which unit is your counter unit against his. That unit is now dead alongside a good third of your actual fighting units thanks to the ludicrous amount of fire and attack power the Shining Spears and Dark Reapers have with the Soulburst and mobility combined.

            There you go, you just got shut down again.

            The most hilarious part here is the cascade of assumptions you are making.

            Yes, I did not go to LVO as I don’t enjoy tournament scene for various reasons, the list currently being discussed is one of those reasons.

            After that, everything went you just said was so painfully wrong that I actually had a laugh. I applaud you, not many trolls manage to pull off something like that, usually they try to be sneaky in their ways to trigger people, but you just go “IMMA TROLL”.

            I have played 8th edition, I have actually played it since 2 weeks before it even got released officially.

            I have played against this list, and more importantly, I have used this list, or a modification of it. I am the type of person that prefers to test things out before he opens his mouth.

            I have no idea why you are constantly bringing Space Marines into this as they have nothing to do with this. Sure, Guilliman could still use a bit of a point nerf, but beyond that, they aren’t exactly overpowered faction. Most of their problems comes from soup lists, which to be fair is the core problem of 8th in general.

            So with that and your answer, I can safely confirm that you are in fact a troll. That is honestly what I hope is the case here, since the alternative where you are just so horribly misinformed that would even make flat earth guys blush in embarrassment .

            Have a good day sir.

          • KingAceNumber1

            It’s easy… we charge the reapers

          • Warrior24_7

            Figure out how “if” you have the ability.

          • Warrior24_7

            Troll? That’s sooo 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Ed of you. You didn’t go, how’d I know? Your whole argument now is not to use any counters whatsoever (even though there are many) and just plunk the army down on the table, in the open, and get blown away turn one, and there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it? Well, that could happen against ANY army with that strategy or stupidity, so why single out Ynnari? Oh that’s right they’re invincible.

            You just “absolutely refuse” to use any troops that can deploy in any of your movement phases huh or don’t have to be placed on the table top turn 1? It’s a counter whether you like it or not, and “you” said that there were none. You lied.

            Guilliman is doing the same thing that the Ynnari are doing. He’s an Ultra Marine character so he should only buff Ultra Marines. Why can Custodes use guard to get extra CPs? I really don’t care about any of this, leave the game alone and let the players work this out. You make no sense.

          • Tagg

            Obvious fanboy is obvious, Go back to your reaper spam troll.

          • KingAceNumber1

            > Simply charging the Reapers negates Inescapable Accuracy (there you go, there’s a counter) but you must put yourself into position to do so, it’s called tactics!!!

            Okay, I’ll bite. Here’s the setup. Reapers are hugging ruins in the back left corner of the field. In between your army and them, you have 4ish squads of rangers bubbling out deep strike by at least 2 feet, a bunch of psykers, and a shining spear unit that can and will kill everything it touches on the charge and can charge you from 40+ inches away with fly.

            Go ahead, figure out a way to just charge the reapers, since you’re clearly playing 4D chess and the rest of us need to get on your level. No one else in the world but you thought about charging the reapers, so go ahead and enlighten us on your strategy.

          • matty199

            Dont waste your time with this guy, cant tell if troll, idiot or eldar player

          • Karru

            Don’t you worry, I am hoping for the first one, but afraid it could be the second one since he isn’t exactly good at it.

            I already just ignore him by not answering his comments, but I do read through them for my amusement, I like to imagine him as this tiny little gnome that just shakes his fists in anger and yells with this high-pitched voice.

          • matty199

            Yeah me too

          • KingAceNumber1

            Your total ignorance of the competitive metagame is showing. Nick Nanivati, the winner of the LVO, who won with this exact thing, says this exact thing it too powerful.

            When you beat Nick N at a GT I’ll value your opinion.

          • Warrior24_7

            Really? So the next guy that wins what… Nerf his army too? And on to the next. Learn how to play… Nick did.

          • matty199

            Lol (keyboard)warrior24_7 has no idea. Anyone at the top tables is saying the same thing. But dont worry stuff that deep strikes and space marines as well as nids counter it

    • J Mad

      IMO only the Stratagems lock to traits needs to go, general ones should stay. Ynnari is a Part of Aeldari, they are more of a Sub Aspect/cult/masque/etc… and should be treated as so.

      They dont have an army, they are just an HQ that uses the Aeldari army.

      • Karru

        Which automatically makes another faction just plain stronger. One key mechanic of all games of this type is choice, and that choice should be an actual choice, not just “Oh I don’t take it because I don’t think it is cool.”

        There is no reason not to include Ynnari in your Eldar army, it is just a straight up buff with no negatives. This should not be the case.

    • Eldar don’t need any major nerfs.

      They just need to Errata the rules so that the Ynnari replaces the Asuryani and Craftworld Keywords to stop the stratagem cross-pollination.

      They already did the same thing with Chaos, the Ynnari rules are just legacy because they’re still in the Index.

      The reaper spam IMO is really a symptom of to-hit penalties being so prevalent atm. But that’s a wait and see what we get in the rest of the codexes before making any changes.

      • Karru

        Yeah, that’s about it. I might also add that the Reapers need to have been standing still in the previous movement phase in order to gain their buff, I don’t find that as too unreasonable since I do find it quite powerful that you can just keep moving with them and fire their Heavy Weapons normally.

        Also, the increase to minimum of a 5-man squad would be good in my opinion, but not absolutely necessary.

  • Rob brown

    Overall interesting article from a judges point of view. Just want to echo the point that Eldar don’t need nerfing – it’s the relatively recent abomination that is Ynarri – a faction that isn’t a faction because it piggy backs other factions. Completely unbalanced.

  • KingAceNumber1

    You know, I really wish we could get some articles about LVO and maybe the things that happened there. I don’t think we’ve heard nearly enough of this mysterious and nigh-uncovered event.

    • Sebastien Bazinet

      You are aware that when you click on an article it only encourages them to post more?

  • BigGrim

    I wish people would clarify the Eldar they’re talking about. I think Craftworlds are strong but not broken. Far too many people are saying Eldar when they mean Ynaari.