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Goatboy’s 40k: Nova Open Winner – Andrew Gonyo’s Killer List

6 Minute Read
Sep 5 2017
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Goatboy here again and another Nova Open has come and gone. Time to study the list that went the distance.

We have another repeat Invitational/Open winner with a pretty rough list this time around.

Andrew Gonyo is well known around the competitive 40k scene as he was the Captain of the ETC team these last few years and is a constant high finisher in most events.  He was known for some Tau nonsense in the last edition but 8th has had him bring out the Army men with a well oiled Imperium/Cadian force that is pretty dang brutal.

There was one small mistake in his list in that he listed a Commissar as his warlord and still took the extra Command Points from Creed.  As the Imperium side of things doesn’t have access to some sweet stratagems it isn’t nearly that big of a deal as it only gave him a few more rerolls here and there.  As he has a few commissars the lack of morale issues would mean his Command points were mostly to reroll some key rolls – but personally I think it is just a simple mistake and not an issue at all.

The Winning List

Let’s look at the list and see if you an figure out why it is so brutal.

Astra Militarum Battalion – Cadian Flavored (A bit Salty and very bland)
HQ: Creed
HQ: Primaris Psyker
HQ: Primaris Psyker
Elite: Commissar – Warlord
Elite: Commissar
Elite: Astropath
Elite: Astropath
Troop: 40 Conscripts
Troop: 40 Conscripts
Troop: 40 Conscripts
Heavy Support: Heavy Weapon Squad – 3 Mortars
Heavy Support: Heavy Weapon Squad – 3 Mortars
Heavy Support: Heavy Weapon Squad – 3 Mortars
Dedicated Transport: Taurox Prime, Hot Shot Volley, Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber
Dedicated Transport: Taurox Prime, Hot Shot Volley, Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber
Dedicated Transport: Taurox Prime, Hot Shot Volley, Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber
Dedicated Transport: Taurox Prime, Hot Shot Volley, Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber
Dedicated Transport: Taurox Prime, Hot Shot Volley, Gatling Cannon, Heavy Stubber

Elite Detachment (A bit more stale flavor)
HQ: Elysium Company Commander
HQ: Elysium Company Commander
Elite: Elysium Sniper Squad, 3 Sniper Rifles
Elite: Elysium Sniper Squad, 3 Sniper Rifles
Elite: Elysium Command Squad, Plasma Guns X 4
Elite: Elysium Command Squad, Plasma Guns X 4
Troop: Elysium Infantry Squad (10 guys), Frag/Krak Grenades
Troop: Elysium Infantry Squad (10 guys), Frag/Krak Grenades
Fast Att: Seraphim X 5, Inferno Pistol X 4
Heavy Support: Heavy Weapon Squad – 3 Mortars – Cadians
Heavy Support: Heavy Weapon Squad – 3 Mortars – Cadians

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Supreme Command Detachment (Adding a bit of the spice with the pain in the arse Saint)
HQ: Saint Celestine
HQ: Primaris Psyker
HQ: Primaris Psyker
HQ: Primaris Psyker
HQ: Primaris Psyker
Elite: Astropath

Command Points: 8

Why It Works

If you can’t figure out why this is good right now – let’s spell it out for you a bit.  Its easier to spell it out with what it can do.

  • Smites – 6 100% real ones and 3 Pseudo ones like old Brimhorrors (casts on 1d6 not 2d6 but same damage output)
  • No LOS Guns – 15D6 Str 4 shots that can get a lot of Reroll 1’s to hit and other fun stuff at 48″ range – who needs wyverns when you can have cheaper bodies
  • 120 Obj Secured Troops that are “immune” to leadership and morale issues thanks to a guy in a trench coat
  • Lots of deep strike problem solvers in Plasma Command Squads and Seraphim Inferno Pistols.
  • Very good for point vs damage output Tanks to pump out the damage, cause target priority issues, and again cheap cheap cheap (Taurox)
  • Oh and the Saint herself who can be a pain in the butt with her double move, damage output, and lack of dying like a proper super character should
  • Random Snipers to help take out other characters as needed.
  • Bubble wrap from hell with the Conscripts keeping all the bad guys at bay and the order potential given to said Conscripts.

Its pretty easy to see how this army does well at the Nova mission set up with the ability to always hurt the opponent, cover the table in bodies to keep your opponent at bay, and just have answers for anything that comes into play.  Progressive missions, choice of Secondary options, and the Butchers bill you can generate turn after turn means this list will just kick the crack out of a Nova environment. You can see where most likely the upcoming FAQ and other thoughts might change this list as this is another prime example of “character” abuse in that while the majority of the army is basic dudesmen – the sheer damage output is really controlled by a few characters who present special problems for any army.  Let’s go over the things that will probably need to be looked at.

Problem Units

Mortars – too cheap for the damage output and not needing LOS.  They should have had some kind of rule if you don’t have LOS it is -1 to hit for you or something.  Or just increase the point cost.  I think they run 9 points a mortar for a d6 str 4 gun that has 48″ and doesn’t need to see you to hit you with a 4+.  Rough stuff indeed and there are even meaner lists with 8+ of them to rain on anyone’s parade.

Conscripts – are another consistent issue with most likely the resolution isn’t increasing their point cost but somehow making the Commissar not work on them.  If they had morale issues – like blobs of trainees should have – it wouldn’t nearly be an issue as you could do some damage, make more flee and quickly gut the bubble wrap.

Smite – is also an issue as well as they have a ton.  Sure there is ways to mitigate it with a too close Culexius but it is still hard for any army without that answer to deal with it.  The Malefic lord issue is also a big problem as well but I suspect some point changes coming for them as 30 is just way to low for a smite/summoning machine.

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With a new AM book coming will see how long these types of armies stay popular.  I have always said you really shouldn’t be building something crazy if you find a too cheap combo.  I would wait until the real books come out to see what you can and cannot do.  I think the second place army was a massed Daemon bomb with something like 13 Malefic lords, the Super chicken from Forgeworld, and a plethora of Brims and some Renegades.  It followed the same sort of build as this one with some non LOS shooting options, lots of bodies and of course as many Smites say you can ram down someone’s throat.

Congrats to Andrew for winning both sides of the event and kicking butt with some Army men on the table top.

~What do you think of the winning list folks?

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