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Goatboy’s 40K: Best Tournament HQs In the Game

7 Minute Read
Jun 17 2019


We’ve talked about top non-character HQs, but I felt there were some missing things from that list – especially when looking at it from a tournament/competitive point of view. These are the guys who CAN take you to winner’s circle.

I want to go through the top 10 HQs we see in most competitive 40k lists.  I won’t limit myself to non-unique HQs – because while you can’t duplicate a special character, you do see certain ones all the dang time.  In fact, my first one is probably the best all-around character in the current game right now. He is heavily used in any Chaos bent army needing a psychic master

Ahriman on a Disc
This guy shows up everywhere.  He is probably the most heavily used character in every Chaos competitive build you see out there.  You throw him on a disc because it changes his keyword to Cavalry (important versus those pesky Vindicare assassins), and watch as he dominates the psychic phase through throwing out two powerful spells (Warptime, Diabolic Strength, Prescience, Death Hex) and then a smite all with a +1 to cast.  I usually take him in a list with three Chaos Spawn to get a cheap +1 CP detachment.  Did you know I just found out his staff does a flat 3 damage at the last tournament I played?  He usually died to nonsense, so he never got into combat – but this last time a pesky Callidus charged him.  He went off (hated the emperor twice) and proceeded to get two hits through.  I doubled checked and saw he does a flat 3 damage instead of the normal d3 for a Force Staff.  Let’s just say that was some extra icing on the cake for a Goatboy win with his Chaos Baddies.

Tank Commander
These guys are showing up more and more – people need a quick bit of damage potential in a single Supreme command detachment.  Do you want a ton of bullets? Take the Punisher Cannon.  Do you need some Battle Cannon goodness to soften up your opponent?  Some flexing (Catachan) tank commanders in undershirts will be more than happy to throw out some bullets for the Emperor.  Heck, you have seen 3 of these guys show up as friends to the GSC; they give some much-needed firepower to that army that isn’t some kind of bio-monster from the deep reach of outer space.

Land Strider Gallant
This guy is a strong key to some of the current Knight heavy builds.  Throw him in the Krast Household, and you got a murder machine.  Make sure whenever you are playing versus some Knights you lock in your distance from one of these guys.  +2 to movement, advance, and then Full Tilt means this bully is busting through and taking names.  I am hoping the Chaos Knights get a similar set up to help with whatever combat monster they have in their book.  Heck, I just want some new 40k right now, so I am jonesing for some grimdark content.


Chaos Daemons – Daemon Prince of Khorne with big bad Axe
This guy is some of the secret sauce in undivided Chaos Daemon detachments.  His ax allows him to charge, and one shot Knights and big baddies.  If you haven’t seen – he rerolls wounds versus Titanic, does extra damage, and is strong as heck.  I always take one if I am looking at a Daemon detachment that doesn’t need to be a] mono-god.  Plus I have a cool conversion based off of the Chaos Khorne AOS monster from the starter box.  I can’t remember the name, but it looks cool with tiny wings.

Death Guard Nurgle Smash Lord 
I have talked about this guy before – but if you thought the chainsword lord from Black Legion was good – this guy is a monster as well.  Multiple stacks of Mortal Wounds mixed with a small footprint means this guy can come in, wipe a squad and then easily hide behind some terrain.  I know Death Guard has moved to the wayside a bit but don’t forget about this guy if you end up taking some Death Guard in a Chaos Soup Build.

Lord Discordant
There isn’t much more to say about this guy that hasn’t been talked about before.  I am hoping to get a game in soon with a Flawless Host Brigade to see how these guys do versus the Red Corsairs version.  Don’t forget to burn a CP to reroll all your hits and wounds when the Flawless Host Lawnmower gets into combat.  So many stacks of +1 to hit means a ton of extra attacks that all reroll to hit and wound.  I think almost every Chaos Army has a few of these guys as they add an excellent bully unit to an army that needs more murder capability then just hordes of board control mixed with Smites.


Smash Captains ala Marine flavors
Marines love them some smash captains, and I think all the armies can use one of these guys.  The Blood Angel one comes out as the best due to the +1 to wound mixed with a none -1 to hit hammer.  Still, any Marine build you will play with should look at adding one of these guys as a fail-safe, smash open in case of danger.  I get the feeling this will be one of the few regular marines you see when the upcoming Marine book comes out.  Or they give us a Primaris version of him.  With a rocket hammer and rocket boots.

This is the character that defines the Eldar.  Right now they are in a weird place with their old best build nerfed away, their new best build probably on the chopping block, and their army identity in just a weird place.  Still, this model shows up in every Eldar build for a reason.  It has powerful psychics, hard to get rid of, and activates a ton of useful Stratagems.  Overall this is the reason for the Eldar right now until they get something new to change them up.

Lord of Change with all the Gifts
This guy is one of those annoying HQs you see show up in a Chaos build that doesn’t rely on specific warlord traits.  Why wouldn’t you want a distraction that takes a long time to remove?  Anything that grabs all your opponents attention for a few turns is a great thing to allow your army to move, work, and hopefully murder out your opponents choice units.  He is one of those options you will see from time to time as he helps with the Eldar Flyer matchup, which could be something important depending on what’s being played in your area.

Big Mek with Relic Shokk Attack Gun
If you haven’t been shot by this gun yet, then you don’t know pain.  It has 2d6 shots, 2d6 strength, and can shoot twice depending on the Specialist Detachment.  I have seen games where this little murder machine goes crazy and blows up two big things a turn – or covers a unit in mortal wounds.  On top of all of that, he is cheap, which is always a nice thing in an Ork army.  How could you not like a random gun that is so Orky it has to shoot twice.


There was no particular order in this list as I just thought about the HQs you usually see in competitive builds.  I am sure I missed a few things, but all of these are designed to make your army better – whether it is taking attention from your important things or just smashing the crap out of your opponent.  As the game slowly shifts in different directions based on missions and area, you will see some of these monsters of the competitive scene move up and down in use.  Let’s hope we get some sweet 40k options soon as daddy needs something else to talk about other than paint.


~Which of those do you think is the best of the best?

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