BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Warhammer 40K: Lessons Learned from the LVNopen

4 Minute Read
Feb 12

With the Las Vegas Nopen behind us, here’s what we learned  about competitive 40K.

Unfortunately, we had no Las Vegas Open this year. As with other events, it had to cancel due to the current situation. Luckily a few people decided to host a unique event to take place during that same weekend, the Las Vegas Nopen. What is it? It was a single-elimination tournament in which every game would be shown on Twitch. This wasn’t a computer simulator generated game, but games using actual miniatures. It involved a number of well known players and content creators who would play the stream games.  Each player would create a list and they would play the first round of the tournament.

What makes this tournament different is the list moves onto the next round, not the player. In the next round, content creators would play the two lists that made it to the next round and were matched against each other. So you may win your game but you are unable to play the next round because someone else will be playing the list instead. The two armies in the finals were an Adeptus Custodes and Sisters of Battle army versus Drukhari, with the Imperium winning. It was a well-received event and something different to watch. From this, we learned a few things about competitive 40K.

Know Your Army

The winning army was piloted by the creator of the list, Tank, in the finals. Although players may be familiar with a list or army, and they may even talk to the creator of the list, many times if you don’t have enough repetitions with the list you will not release the full potential of it. As you practice with an army you learn what works, what doesn’t and start to slowly adjust your list until you have it to a point where you feel that you cannot adjust it anymore without completely changing the army itself.

The constant practice with the army will also make it easier for you to remember the small things about your army. There have been many games, no matter the level of play, where a crucial rule, stratagem, or power, was forgotten in the heat of battle. Now maybe you have a friendly opponent who will allow you a “takeback” but you really shouldn’t count on it. Luckily Tank was able to play using his army and probably, more importantly, his list was one that other players could use effectively, which brings us to our second point.

The List is the Thing

It appears that the type of list is important in this format. If you make a list that is too complicated, there may be too many moving parts for someone to play the army the way you intended, let alone effectively. If you make the army dynamic too simple, you run the risk that it will be easily countered by an opponent that can clearly see what the list is trying to do and is ready to counter it. There is also the issue of resiliency and the ability to survive any mistakes that a player makes.


More fragile armies can be difficult to play because they do not allow a lot of room for mistakes. A bad deployment or movement phase could be the end of the game before it really begins. The more resilient armies allow you to make mistakes, no matter how bad, and still give you a chance at winning the game. You also got to see what some of the top players from around the world seem to be playing, either as their primary army, or an army they might play besides their own. Seeing what was played was interesting and has given me a few ideas for a couple of armies.

They Actually Pulled it Off

There were some questions about the event and it coming together. Timing of the games being on Twitch, making sure not everyone was playing the same list, even just getting the people on board and able to actually play a game due to some of people’s local restrictions. Added to this were the commentators for the whole weekend and at first glance, it seems very difficult to pull off without a hitch. Luckily there wasn’t too big of a hiccup and the tournament was a big success, especially since we are talking about live games of 40K, not something on the computer screen. Hopefully, they will have more of these types of events, even after we have in person events again. I think it is a format that people can enjoy.

~That’s all for this week. I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know what you think, and what you took away from the event, in the comments section below.


Latest News From BoLS:

  • Advertisement
  • Announcing the FLG 40k Events 2021 Express Pass!