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40K: Return of the Death Star – Colin McCade Interview

9 Minute Read
Aug 25 2017

The 40K army you love to hate is back in spades… I’m talking about you know what – DEATH STARS !!!

Wow I feel all squishy inside just saying those two beautiful words … hurrrrrr !

Last weekend the biggest event in the state of Texas took place, Wargamescon and a fella by the name of Colin McCade was able to resurrect the Death Star using the ever wonderful Imperium. So let’s dive right into the interview.

1. First tell us about yourself and what got you into the hobby.

Well I am currently in college about to finish up my engineering degree. I’ve played 40k for about 10 years now. What got me into the hobby was a grade school friend telling me about a store called Games Workshop and a cool game it had called Warhammer 40,000. His mom drives us there for him to show me and when I walked in the first thing that catches my eye was the old box of metal Thousand Sons (I had a huge love of ancient Egypt as a kid). From there it was like a snowball rolling down the mountain and the snowball was more and more of my money rolling away from me.

2. Now would you be so kind as to share your army list with us?

Certainly here it is:


(Please note none of the codices were live for WGC and thus I didn’t get to use any of the new stuff.)

Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachment

Roboute Guilliman: 18 PL, 360 pts
Warlord trait: Tenacious Fighter

Vanguard Detachment

Lord Kaldor Draigo: 12 PL, 240 pts
-Psy Powers: Smite, Gate of infinity, Hammerhand

Ordo Malleus Inquisitor in Terminator armor: 7 PL, 105 pts
Psyker, force sword, storm bolter
Psy Powers: Terrify, Smite

Culexus Assassin: 5 PL, 85 pts


Culexus Assassin: 5 PL, 85 pts

Culexus Assassin: 5 PL, 85 pts

Culexus Assassin: 5 PL, 85 pts

Culexus Assassin: 5 PL, 85 pts

Callidus Assassin: 5 PL, 80 pts

Vanguard Detachment

Celestine: 11PL, 200 pts
-1x Geminae Superia

Ultramarine Librarian: 6 PL, 105 pts
-Force sword, bolt pistol
Psy Powers: Smite, Null Zone, Veil of Time

Eversor Assassin: 4 PL, 70 pts


Eversor Assassin: 4 PL, 70 pts

Eversor Assassin: 4 PL, 70 pts

Vindicare Assassin: 5 PL, 90 pts

Vindicare Assassin: 5 PL, 90 pts

Retributor Squad: 10 PL, 94 pts
-+1 retributor, x4 Heavy bolters

3. How did you go about designing your army what were your major sources of inspiration?

Well to start off 8th edition I had been using my 30k Death Guard as a counts as Ultramarine list since it was the same play style I had used with it. Basically it was Guilliman Devastator spam with 2 vindicares, a callidus, conscript bubble wrap and some Custodes sprinkled in for flavor. I immediately realized with maelstrom I didn’t have a good midfield presence or solid way to successfully get to my opponents objectives in their deployment zone. So I was looking at stuff that could deepstrike when I noticed all the assassins could…. I hadn’t been doing that with mine. So I had realized Guilliman lets all Imperial units reroll 1’s to hit and since all assassins hit on 2’s…. Well you get the idea.

I wanted to keep Guilliman in the list since he was such a badass and since I wanted to keep him alive to get him across the field and the Culexi solved that problem. Celestine and Draigo are each there for their own advantages, such as attacking flyers in melee and more psychic presence. Adding in a Librarian for Null Zone basically made it to so those 3 powerhouses would laugh at most anyting in melee. I had played GK in 5th edition so that’s why I wanted to use Draigo and after facing off against Celestine a bunch, she was included as well. The first tourney I went to after eighth edition dropped a guy was running Guilliman, Celestine, Ravenspam and Devastors… But I never wanted to go down the Ravenspam route. I originally had a GK apothecary in the list to heal Draigo but I realized I didn’t need that buff and Terrify to keep stuff from killing my assassins in overwatch worked better. So that was basically what led me to making this army. Its surprisingly scary how much shooting damage the army can put out too. It can take out a Stormraven just with shooting on average rolls.

4. What armies did you face off against each round and how did you fare against each of them?


The armies I faced against and scores (we used ITC combined arms missions and scoring):

Game 1: 19-0 vs Guilliman with razorbacks, ravens and scouts

The guy was pretty smart and didn’t fly his ravens toward me like I hoped he would. I basically trudged across the field in a turn to make it into close combat on turn 2 and from there I was about to table him by turn 5. He had a Spartan too which was surprisingly more trouble than I thought it would be.

Game 2: 19-0 vs Admech with Robots and Onagerspam

This guy’s list just wasn’t built to handle a list like mine at all. To his credit if he had faced ravens or Knights he would’ve murdered them. But with a ton of neutron lasers, he was banking on 6’s with only half the time having rerolls. The terrain also allowed me to get up to his line while suffering minimal damage. I sniped his one datasmith dead turn 1 after he changed his robot blob to shooting protocols so they could never move to get LOS on my assassins. From there a combo of Guilliman and Null Zone made quick work of them. I ended up tabling him or almost did by end of turn 5 and we called it there. So far I had Draigo and Celestine and 3 assassins die both games.

Game 3: 10-9 loss for me vs GSC

Three BIG mistakes I made that cost me the win. It was the ITC kill points mission which saved me from losing completely. The first mistake was I didn’t push my army towards the center quick enough to via for the king of the hill tertiary point and make him come to me. The second was I went after one of two Patriarchs he had that I thought was his Warlord and killed it (but my opponent informed me after the fact that the other one was actually his Warlord… Oh well). The third mistake was letting him move a Chimera he forgot about in the shooting phase which next turn then he moved again to deny me a maelstrom point (we would’ve tied on maelstrom if I hadn’t let him do that… Guess I should have been more of a stickler then and like the names people are calling my list – haha). If I had done those differently maybe it could’ve been a 15-4 swing in my favor. He was a good player for the most part so it didn’t bother me too much. If we had been able to go turn 6 it could’ve swung differently – who knows!

Game 4: 19-0 Win vs Magnus with Brimstone, Demon Prince and Havocspam

This was against a buddy of mine from our hometown. He set up pretty aggressively as he should but made sure I couldn’t deepstrike anywhere in his backfield too close to his Havocs. I let him go first and he Warp Times Magnus to kill a Vindicare in melee… Ouch. From there I move my whole army back a bit to deal with Magnus. I have the Librarian cast Null Zone on Magnus and between that and all the characters and Culexi shooting at him I had dropped him to two wounds which Guilliman then finished him off in melee. My Eversors and Callidus made some long charges to get at his Havocs and I ended up wiping out most of them. He then attempted the kill 3 for 3 maelstrom objective and barely failed to do so because I had one Eversor left with 2 wounds after he killed 2 other assassins. From there it was me about to march forward and start mowing his Brims down before getting to his princes but he ended up conceding the game. He’s come along a way as a player from the first time I played him.

Game 5: 19-0 win vs Guilliman with Tactical Marine and Stormtalonspam

This was a tough list just because of all the Guilliman rerolls on all those Marines… lol! He had some Inceptors drop down and try to flank me but that failed. I basically harried his whole army with my Eversors, Callidus and Vindicares while my main blob moved up and killed his Talons. I then proceeded to rip through his Marines too. I Null Zoned his Guilliman which got taken out by my own Guilliman. He told me he doesn’t concede so last turn I walk RobG over to his Stalker (also his last model) and Guilliman carved it up like a turkey on Thanksgiving, resulting in a tabling.

5. What type of armies are your toughest challenge?

The toughest armies for me to face with this list would be something that could spam either flamers, snipers, Dark Reapers or big hordes. Any of those would give my list trouble. I laughed when I started hearing that this list broke eighth edition. Eighth edition is fine for the most part asides from alpha strikes. People just need to learn to adapt and they could deal with something like this army. It’s a whole new edition after all, why not a whole new way of thinking on how to play the game as well? I think I did that with this list as I had tons of people asking me during the weekend how this list worked and head scratches when looking at it on my display board.

6. What was your favorite game and why?

My last game without a doubt! Anyone in Texas 40k knows about Red Star Gaming and I had the pleasure to face one of their fearless leaders, Jay Pena, the last round. Anyone who knows Jay knows what an amazing guy he is and you get the most fun games of 40k with guys like him, and to do so on one of the top tables at a major GT is an even bigger honor. He rolled so many 6’s to hit in our game too. He killed way more of my list than anyone else did. Even the guy I lost to only killed as much as my first two opponents did.

7. Now that the tournament is over looking back what changes would you make to your army list and why?

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t. There’s nothing I would want to change but if I had to I would probably drop the Retributors and take another assassin and tack on a jump pack or some extra gear for the Librarian. The Retributors died quickly in 3/5 games. since they were the only non characters in my army and it just gets better with all these new codices dropping.

8. Is there anything you’d like to add to this interview? Feel free to do so.

Thanks again for interviewing me, I enjoyed answering your questions. I would also like to thank the WargamesCon TO’s, Chris, John and Joe, for running the event smoothly despite the BCP app crashing! Also, my friends Nicolas X and Kiely M for helping me paint Celestine, RobG and test the list a little.

I’m looking forward to how 40k will change in the upcoming months as well with more codices being released. I think 40k has a bright future!

Well there you have it straight from the mouth of the proverbial horse… And irregardless whether or not you like Death Stars it’s already back again with a vengeance !!!

~Have at it folks

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