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40K: Ad-Mech War Convocation Goes Undefeated!

17 Minute Read
Jul 15 2015


One gamer brought this Adeptus Mechanicus list to the BAO and made it to the #2 spot without a loss! All Hail the Omnissiah!

BAO-icon-01-2-300x239Hey everyone Geoff “iNcontroL” Robinson here fresh off a weekend filled with awesome 40k games at the annual BAO ITC tourney in San Jose! Be sure to check the Tactics Corner for more great tournament reports!

We had great terrain, tables (FAT MAT holla), opponents and most of all: Great fun! If you didn’t make it out definitely consider planning for it next year as a person who travels the country going to 15+ tourneys a year I can tell you this is one of if not my absolute favorite to attend and those of you who did go can probably attest to this! Anyways, fun aside the reason for this article is I’d like to share my thoughts on playing with the War Convocation a list comprised of Skitarii, Cult Mechanicus and an Imperial Knight. I also ran it with some Flesh Tearers for drop pods and who doesn’t love a Culexus Assassin?


Let us begin with the list and some thoughts:



+7 Vanguard – 63 pts
-Omnispex (Alpha)
-Plasma Caliver x2
-Conversion Field (Alpha)
-Digital Weapons (Alpha)
-The Omniscient Mask (Alpha)

+5 Rangers – 65 pts
-Transuranic aquebus x2
-Omnispex (Alpha)
-Conversion Field (Alpha)
-Digital Weapons (Alpha)
-Arkhan’s Divinator (Alpha)


+5 Ruststalkers – 160 pts
-Infoslave skull
-Conversion Field (Princeps)
-Digital Weapons (Princeps)
-Enhanced Data-tether (Princeps)
-prehensile Data spike (Princeps)
-Phase Taser (Princeps)

+5 Infiltratrors – 185 pts
-Infoslave skull
-Conversion Field (Princeps)
-Digital Weapons (Princeps)
-Enhanced Data-tether (Princeps)
-Pater Radium (Princeps)

+1 Ballistarii – 55 pts
-Twin linked Cognis Lascannon

+1 Dunecrawler – 90 pts
-Icarus Array
-Cognis Manipulator
-Mindscanner Probe
-Cognis Heavy stubber

Cult Mechanicus (435)

+1 Tech-Priest Dominus – 105 pts
-Eradication Ray
-Phosphur Serpenta
-Stasis Field
-Digital Weapons
-Infoslave skull

The Scryerskull Perspicatus



+3 Kataphron Destroyers – 165 pts

-Cognis Flamers x3
-grav-cannon x3

+3 Kataphron Destroyers – 165 pts
-Cognis Flamers x3
-grav-cannon x3

Imperial Knight (425)

+1 Knight Crusader – 425 pts
-Storm Spear rocket Pod
-Carapace Melta gun
Imperial Assassin (140)

+1 Culexus Assassin
Flesh Tearers detachment (225)

+3 Drop Pods 105
+5 Scouts – 55 pts
+1 Sanguinary Priest – 70 pts
-Melta Bombs
TOTAL: 1848



Army Strengths & Weaknesses

As the article progresses you will see a theme: Utility. This army has a little of everything and with the ability to take free upgrades and weapons but also the buffing powers of Imperatives for the Skitarii and Canticles for almost everything you have a wide array of options that give you an answer for almost anything.

While practicing Skitarii specifically I saw that a huge weakness was both in the assault phase and also the psychic. While Vanguard are surprisingly durable and of course put out huge amounts of damage they don’t have much staying power and of course will melt away without numbers of bodies, something the War Convocation doesn’t have. This is shored up in many ways by the Sicarians (Infiltrators and Rust Stalkers) as technical assault. They too are not very durable but if played right can cleave through the specific targets you unleash them upon and remain a nuisance. The psychic phase is being answered here by the Culexus. I want to tell you he is hit-or-miss but to be honest he is “are you smart/good at this game or do you make mistakes?” At only tough 4 he will get mobbed down even with his pseudo invisibility. If you however use the small model to hide and maneuver yourself into the right situation he can win you games.. more on that later. The obvious use here is put him in a pod get him within ’12 of a psychic force and watch him go to work but I found the real charm in this Assassin was in him playing to his name sake when there wasn’t psychers to be found.


Outside of the weaknesses this list has null deploy/alpha strike capabilities with the drop pods. Only 3 mind you so null deploying is something I have yet to do for the most part but is definitely an option against say a massive drop pod army. In the way of Alpha strike I have several options but usually it looks like 36 grav shots twin linked with the Cantocles into a unit or two. I have the auspex on the Sanguinary priest so I can join him to a unit and give them -1 cover to what they are shooting as well as FnP. A real charm here as well is to use the Scryerskull Perspecticus to give me re-roll armor pen against a vehicle with my grav. This ended up being one of the super big assets to my army. Behind this I have a Knight Crusader with incredible range who will provide auxilary support in the form of a 2 shot battle cannon, 3 str 8ap3 missiles and a 12 shot str 6 ap3 rending gun. This army will hurt you.


As a last aside about the list specifically I would mention that perhaps the greatest gem of this army is in the nuances. The Culexus, Knight, Kataphron Destroyers and even the Onager Dune Walker (if you have fliers) can grab your attention with the fear of their damage output but the real power of this list comes in the uncanny ability it has to play to the mission and grab objectives. Infiltrating scouts, Infiltrators and even the Culexus if I desire means I can be almost anywhere on the table to begin. While the Infiltrators don’t possess the thickest of hide they do have stealth, infiltrate and scout so I can usually get them where I want them to be and with their fast movement I can put them in debuffing range if I back them up with my alpha strike. Scouts I find are rightfully regarded as the smallest threat and thus they survived most of my games just chilling having a camp fire near some objective throwing stories back and forth. Outside of this though my army has incredible mobility with the extremely fast moving Balistarii and Rust Stalkers. Both move ‘9 and run +3. This means I could reliably hide them mid table and have them run around grabbing those maelstrom objectives that a gun heavy army like mine would normally miss out on. Lastly it is worth mentioning that the added bonus of drop pods is they are fairly durable methods of planting your ass near an objective. This is made MORE possible due to the incredible range of the Kataphron destroyers that launch their grav 30 inches (36 with movement). My backfield was anchored by the Onager, Rangers with my WL usually and the Knight. This meant I was mostly able to rely on my 1-2 objectives being controlled by  me and my alpha strike constantly threatening their 1-2 objectives as well as the backfield.

Lets talk about the games!

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Game 1 vs Chuck and his 5 Flyrants, 2 mawlocs, 2 lictors, rippers / mucloids.

I was fairly confident with my first round opponent. I know Nids you might say.. fairly well 😉 Our table had leveled terrain so I played a game of Tremors (great movie) and avoided them entirely. He went for the Kataphrons twice and both times scattered off and then died immediately after, doh! His flyrants faired about as bad. I infiltrated the Culexus into the middle terrain to act as a psychic debuffer knowing he would have to fly there to alpha strike me (he took first turn). This to me seemed really clever and top notch.. while it DID do that it cost me the Culexus as 2 flyrants shot their twin linked dakka into him and pop goes the Culexus. Next turn however I took vengeance and dropped 2.5 flyrants. The Onager can do that.. volume of fire against a 3+ save flyrant means with even average dice you are taking several wounds when they are hitting on 2’s (imperatives) and twin linked (Canticles). Most of the shots are str 6-7 with high volume of fire. However the “in a pinch” AA of the Crusader is incredible. Twin linked 12 shots (Canticles) makes for AF (Anti-Flyrant). With the grav in the backfield blowing up whatever Flyrants stuck around and my Rust Stalkers/Infiltrators hunting his lictors and my own objectives the game was over on turn 5 with a tabling.


Max points for the War Convocation!


Game 2 vs (Best Nid winner at this BAO) Don and his 4 flyrants, 2 crones, 3 individual melee carnifexes, venomthrope, single zoanthrope and mucloids / single set of rippers

Ah, another Nid player! What is this? 9 Flyrants in two games? Has the Great Devourer sent it’s dogs after me for betraying the Hive Mind and taking Admech? Well, unfortunately for them I am very confidect vs Nids as I know them really really well! But not as well as Don haha. During our game I was off my game for some reason and thankfully he was not as he corrected me on rules seemingly 2-3 times a turn.. and ON NIDS. I assured him I played Nids but apparently that memory was short lived. Anyways.. game wise this was a tough one for him as well. This time my Warlord got the Cult Mechanicus WL trait #4 where I can identify an objective with my Scryerskull Perspecticus (anywhere on the table) but then PICK what it is due to the WL trait. So yeah, I decided to go with sky fire nexus on the middle of the table and land my grav kataphrons there. Don is an exceptional general and did what he could to try and block that objective from me but eventually and inevitably it was mine.. Took more shooting than I thought would be necessary turn one and as such he “only” lost a crone, a flyrant (aced by the onager again) and had 2 flyrants down to 1-2 wounds each. He had some shots of his own but unfortunately he didn’t run his Flyrants with eGrubs so his ability to really impact my armor was limited and with the vanguard deployment his carnifexes had to walk across a battle field that wouldn’t be friendly to a Heirodule let alone measly carnis! I really can’t say it enough but despite the disadvantages I was really impressed with Don’s generalship. Nids have a good general in him! That said it was a tabling at turn 5.

Max points for the War Convocation!


Game 3 vs Michael Kriegler and his 3 mauler fiends, jugger herald with spawn and jugger lord with spawn 2 heldrakes, outflanking sicarian and a million cultists.

When he walked over with his army I definitely did the “not bad” face as I was really really confident I was going to go 3-0 on day 1 and set myself up to be in an excellent position to win this tourney. Boy, did my overconfidence nearly break me! Turn 1 I grav 2 of the maulerfiends and blow them up. The other one died uneventfully on turn 2.. That was devastating. Combine that with the fact that he outflanked his sicarian due to an item he has on it he really had nothing on the table at that time that I thought posed a threat. The mission was relic so I set up all over the top / middle of my half of the board and intended on sitting there and gunning down whoever came near the relic: Enter his 2 spawn stars. Forgetting that his stars ignore cover for their ’12 movement I had the Knight in a horrible spot. While my Crusader is a beast he can NOT take 8-10 strength 8 cc attacks … nor did he. My bad! No reason for him to be that close at all.. and it cost me dearly. I began to sweat but assured myself with both his stars in combat with my Knight there was a good chance the explosion would actually win me the game.. then it scattered back annihilating all but 1 scouts, 3 of 5 rust stalkers and some assorted other individuals.. but hitting exactly none of the arch enemy. Great. After this the game became a really really close game. The heldrakes devastated whatever they looked at and widdled my army down to almost nothing but with the Scryerskull Perspecticus and my one Onager I managed to do just enough damage to eventually clean them up.. it is worth mentioning I also got lucky that this was Hammer Anvil deployment.. easily the worst for fliers. Had it been Dawn of War or Vanguard I’d be in a LOT of trouble. With two stars in my backfield and fire breathing dragons in the sky what is a Tech Priest to do? Well, call upon the temples of the Assassins of course. Culexus waded into one of the fully intact Spawn Stars and went to work. His poor lord HAD to challenge.. woops. A 6 later and he was dead. After 2 full game turns of combat the Assasin emerged from 5 spawn .. unscathed. Average dice? Hell no.. lucky as crap dice. But man the narrative I forged could have pierced the staunchest of chastity belts. The game was winding down and it came down to a chaos sorcerer on a bike grabbing the relic and getting to the top of a LoS blocking terrain.. Had he crossed over I would have almost no recourse but while atop that cliff he ended up getting gunned down by my limited weaponry and with that the Culexus flipped over and stood atop the primary mission objective winning me the game. With it ending on 5 and him only have 20 ish cultists plus a Sicarian I figured I had escaped certain defeat but ironically the tough part was over.. I needed the game to go on to get my maelstrom points with the primary virtually impossible for him to get!

War Convocation scores 7 points

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Game 4 vs Doug The Hobby Killer and his IG Renegade crap from FW (earth shaker, laser battery things, thud guns and something that is str 10ap1) + Herald on disk with screamers (spawning) and heralds with the cultists for Fearless and 3 heldrakes

Perhaps the most important roll of the game was me winning the choice to pick deployment sides. Hammer Anvil was good as well.. but I got the side after winning the roll that had 2 leveled terrain pieces which would allow me to hide my infiltrators, rust stalkers, scouts and rangers+WL so I could jump out and grab objectives later. Doug only had nurglings with DS as his method of grabbing an objective and with their shrouding they did just that. Doug clogged up his half of the table as best he could trying to prevent my alpha strike from doing too much damage and I think he did a great job of that. One pod with Kataphron ended up going after a clot of renegades manning the laser batteries and doing a fairly good job of cleaving through them.. eventually they were ran down and killed by spawned pinks and daemonnettes. The other Kataphon unit found a hole in his defensive wall and tried to do enough damage to run his earth shaker battery off the table.. That was when I found out the herald in there from daemonkin conferred fearless to them 🙁 Woops! Not feeling safe deploying my knight with so much high strength and low ap long range shooting (I don’t trust 4+ saves) I hide everything I could and walked him + the onager + the balistarii on which ended up hurting as the Knight never came on until turn 4! Yikes! To make matters worse on turn two I dropped my Culexus in an aggressive hole in his backfield that would have planted him next to the pinks AND his herald but also in position to assault the earth shaker batteries and probably run them off the table after I challenge out EITHER the WL or the Herald which is making that unit fearless and not d6+4 leadership but alas I scatter off, mishap and roll a 2. He promptly places the pod in the backfield of my own deployment… a move that would end up costing him the game! Doug and I duke it out with my Kataphrons at his gunline surviving impossibly long in CC with the screamers and herald while the rest of my army mostly dies in various fires and vector strikes to the heldrakes.. The Knight finally comes on and with the Onager they do what they can to the Heldrakes but really only peel off a hullpoint or two on 2 of them.. never killing one. End game time. Doug knows I have the bottom of the turn and plan on jumping on the scouring objectives at the end of the game so he drops down the Heldrakes to get linebreaker and attempt to torch the last remnants of my army. This allowed my Knight to kill one in CC and the other died to FINALLY decent shooting from my Onager who only had 1 HP left. The big move however was my Culexus slogging it for 2-3 turns towards an objective where he made a 9 inch charge into 3 screamers and rolled a single 6 insta gibbing one which triggered daemonic instability and Doug Rolled a 11! Game ended with an extremely close and hard fought win for the Imperium. Doug is a storied opponent and a huge figure in the scene so while we are both super intense in competition (definitely me more than him!) I was happy to score a victory vs a legend like Doug

War Convocation wins 8 points!


Game 5 vs Steve Sisk and his white scars Battle Company with the AA formation (2 stalkers/1 Hunter)

Steve Sisk is the defending BAO champion and one of the best WH40k players you can find on the west coast.. by a large margin. He is experienced, crafty and he REALLY knows  his army. This guy has been playing Space Marines (specifically bikers) for YEARS. That is super key as any experienced WH40k player will tell you.. playing one army or similar army types over the years can really pay off and it certainly has for Steve. Right off the bat Steve says he wants a chill and awesome game so he hands me a handful of jello shots and I of course oblige. We both REALLY want to win but we both know we tend to get perhaps a bit too intense and can make it a tad unfun for our opponents.. so we mutually agreed to try and not have our two intensities collide and make for a heated game. We played Dawn of  War  deployment and Crusade primary. Steve gave me first turn knowing that I would get first blood but also knowing that his huge army of Objective Secured units meant he had a huge leg up on the mission game. I got lucky in the beginning and rolled maelstrom that I could easily achieve while Steve was not so lucky. Going up early on maelstrom was huge. I was also able to bait Steve into over committing against my Kataphrones. I dropped both pods around his deep corner Crusade objective and he committed 75% of his army to contesting/killing that. Due to the toughness of my Kataphrons backed up by Infiltrators and my  Vanguard I was able to hand around and occupy his attention while killing all the vehicles over there and most of his command bike squad all the way up until the end of the game. One highlight was him tank shocking my Kataphon unit that had no room to escape so they died, ouch! Outside of that blood bath a chess match was ensuing. He took his time parking various Razorbacks and bike squads around LoS blocking terrain waiting to jump out and grab objectives at the end. I did what I could to pop off his mobility but ultimately was not very successful. Another highlight around here is my Culexus fresh off of winning me a game jumped into a squad of 5 space marines and dealt 0 wounds and then died immediately after to their clubbing fists and mean stares. The end of the game was approaching and both of our master plans were starting to coil up for the final strike. I did what I could to bubble wrap the middle objective with vanguard and rust stalkers while using my onager/WL unit with rangers to guard another and then the Knight had the job of blowing away anyone who came near the other objective. I was winning maelstrom but Sisk was catching up.. it was getting really close. Sisk shot the hell out of my WL unit and eventually got it down to the Warlord himself who immediately went to ground for his 2+ invul .. I told Sisk about this but with so many rules you can’t blame him for forgetting..this caught him by surprise! After that he melta’d the onager but could not get near the objective having to fire everything. My lone Infiltrator Princeps jumped into a squad of marines and chopped up 2 of the 5. Needing to kill a single unit to win the Maelstrom (game was ending, we agreed due to time) I unloaded everything into a unit of 3 bikers.. and like Space Marines always do.. they NEVER make the saves or they ALWAYS make the saves and these 3 fellas weathered THE STORM. Nobody died.. not a single one! The game boiled down to 2 things: Steve needed to make a 7 inch charge to put himself in obsec range of an objective giving him primary AND I needed a 3 attack Infiltrator Princeps to kill 3 space marines in combat… Steve failed the charge LITERALLY rolling a 6 (we had to have Reece come over to verify the charge since it was so important) and my Princeps turned it on and power sworded down the 3 marines.. game ends, War Convocation achieves victory!

For the Omnissiah! 6 points scored


All Hail the Omnissiah

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So at the end of the day I go 5-0 and take second place. Not getting those 4 points vs Michael for the secondary (we tied on that!) and having such a tough time scoring tertiary points against Doug meant that I missed the opportunity to do battle with Alan Pajama Pants… who is absolutely on fire by the way. He just won Wargames Con and now the BAO. Two of the toughest tourneys in the country.. amazing. Huge congrats to him! As a funny aside I asked him why he dropped the orks from his Wargames list and took pure Daemons to the BAO. He said “Because the internet complained so much!” Well done guys!

I come away from this tourney happy with the performance but ELATED at how damn fun the convocation is! Powerful? Yes! For reasons already explained but truly I say this not just because I went 5-0 but this army prepares you for anything thrown at you. Each game does not feel like Rock Paper Scissors it feels like WH40k the way it should be.. a hyper intense and complicated chess game. If you run Infiltators/Rust Stalkers poorly you will be down 500 points awfully quick. If you let the Crusader get charged you will lose all durability in your backfield. If you deploy poorly you won’t score.. etc. It really is cool how each element of the game is on display here and this army gives you access to engaging those elements. I felt GOOD when I won and I felt terrible when I made mistakes.. but I never felt like the other guy took advantage of me or that I had no answer for something. I love my Nids and my foray into AdMech is not out of spite but I will be enjoying this list and lists like it for a long while to come!

Thanks for reading! If you have a twitter make sure and follow my gaming life there @EGiNcontroL
I will also be doing some bat reps soon for FLG featuring my custom Nid terrain that was built and designed by the FLG studio.. you too can order some custom terrain SOON!

Reece Robbins
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