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Goatboy’s Warhammer 40K – The Grimdark’s Best Lists Ever

7 Minute Read
May 31 2021

Goatboy here and today I want to turn around and remember some of the game’s greatest lists from back in the day – that I played.

I started playing at the tail end of 2nd edition and while I don’t have much memory of tournament lists from back then I do remember a lot more of my 4th+ years and the evil monsters I brought to the table then.  With that introduction let’s get started with the first “too good” to be true lists.


Do you remember Nidzilla?  Do you remember those days of 4th edition where you had limits on unit choices but those sneaky Tyranids got to pick two different Carnifexes to terrorize the table top?  Do you remember how mean a plethora of cheap firepower was to the masses?  Do you remember everything having less wounds?  It was a grand little time where this army helped me win a ton of events and fill out my coffers full of plastic crack to continue my desire to git good with Chaos Space marines.  This was my first foray into a basic net list and is one of the armies a lot of older players have fond memories of just due to the nature of having big monsters to play with.

Lash CSMs

We had a Chaos army come out after that.  Oh could you imagine Lash of Submission still be around in this game right now?  It allowed you to move an opponent’s unit 2d6 inches – which normally entailed getting them closer for an assault or bunching them together for some hated Plasma fire from your Obliterators.  Back then Obliterators changed their gun profile between turns to do different things and blasts had those old templates you find in random boxes.  Throw the lash out, get all those squishy things together, and throw on 3 or so templates of doom.  Who needs rerolls when you get a chance to roll the hit on the scatter dice.

Nob Bikers

While the Chaos army was good the first true rough build showed up with Nob Bikers hitting the table top.  I remember when the Ork book came out I told my buddies at the shop that Nob Bikers were going to be amazing.  They didn’t believe me so when I started to show up, beating entire armies with one unit, and taking all their lunches they understood the power of stacked saves.  This army was also when I started to go to the GW events a lot more and saw all the other Nob Bikers hitting the tabletop.  I would say this was a pretty powerful army that brought about the start of Death Stars and other rough options.

ThunderWolf Cav

Of course after the first sweet taste of Death Stars I had to move to one of the most Death Star like armies on the tabletop.  Space Wolves came out and introduced Thunder Wolf Cavalry without introducing the models.  This led me into my first realm of  Counts As and the birth of my Space Goats to coincide with my nickname.  I played a crap ton of doggies, a ton of characters, and a whole bunch of red paint to a first place finish at Adepticon one year.  This is one of my favorite armies and I wish the Wolves were a bit better to bring them out.  I redid them during the Pandemic and will see if I throw them on a tabletop.

Draigo & Friends

After Space Goats I fluctuated between some Daemon options and weird Chaos builds.  This was when we saw the coming of the next big monster army – the Grey Knights.  It seems hyper efficient shooting, good close combat, and powerful spells set up a very strong army.  Between builds that based around purifiers throwing sacred bullets, a fat star of Grey Knight Paladins, and the most badass of badasses with Draigo we had a recipe of a rough punching unit.  A lot of friends loved playing them and I made a weird counts-as Chaos version I threw around the events for a while.


Oh and also my friend’s Leaf Blower army took the world by storm and let him have some fun pictures poising with Ard Boyz winnings at an old Battle Bunker.  That army was nuts as it continued the evolution of massed bullets, tanks, and damage output.  I remember a friend’s version did some damage to me the first BAO I played at and lost due to a roll of a 1 on some dangerous terrain.  Oh those days where stepping on some wreckage could throw a sharp piece of metal into you business area.

6th Edition – A Time of Change

I remember 6th Edition coming out and the whole mix and matching armies were the new thing.  I did some weird Necron/Chaos stuff abusing Heldrakes and Tesla nonsense.  I think I got my buddy to quit for 6 months after doing some terrible stuff with those Metal Dragons.  This was also the time one of my favorite armies were available with the whole Flying Circus nonsense I brought to an Adepticon and got to the top 16 with.  A whole bunch of Daemon princes, spells, and random effects.  It was a dance to see how you army would win before the game began and started my love with monster cards, dry erase markers, and tokens.  This was also the beginning of combo hammer with Death stars of mean bits like Eldar with Tau and other crazy options.  It felt like Magic the gathering as things were built and design to combo that didn’t have it in their armies.  Knights came out too around this time and we got the coming of big giant monsters of doom.  Forge World things started to creep in more and more and the game moved along to 7th edition – the true Death Star edition.


7th Edition – The Death Star Era

The game went even crazier with 7th edition and the world of death star monsters.  I would of course do the Chaos side of things with Magnus following a bunch of Black Legion sorcerers powering up his spells and the beast throwing his D spells into bad guys.  It wasn’t the best edition as it had a ton of weird interactions and again unit abilities that made the game very unfun.  Do you remember Invisibility and how it could just wreck your day?  Isn’t it interesting to think if you had Invisibility now it might not be that big of a deal with all the double hits on 6’s, reroll abilities, and modifications to hit?  The whole Look Out Sir nonsense was always a pain.  How many games did you have where the Knight player hoped to roll a 6 versus you death star?  Psychics became pretty nutty and the game was pretty dang mean.  I played a lot of Knight options as well as a ton of  Chaos.  My favorite lists from that time were of course the bad guy Death Stars and Tetrad nonsense.

The Modern Era – 8th & 9th

During 8th edition I didn’t get a chance to play nearly as much as having kids, moving up at work, and just life got in the way.  We moved houses that year and while I tried to keep the Chaos hope alive the armies were a little bit wonky.  I know the old good stuff Chaos was showing up and I ended my games going full nutty with 3 Lord of Skulls to basically finish off my year.  It was a weird time as again Covid came towards the end and we got 9th edition to keep us busy.

So what am I going to play now?  Well, I sadly really like my Marine builds as I don’t want to do Ad Mech or Dark Eldar.  I am hoping we see something to help keep those jerks at bay but I get the feeling I just need to figure out how to win instead of figuring out how to crush them.  I got to play two events of 9th so far and while some things are not my favorite I do feel a lot of the game mechanics work out pretty well.  In some ways, this is better than the other versions with Death Stars, broken psychics, and bad gameplay designs.

How do you feel about your 40k journey?  Did you start just now or have you been slogging thru all the plastic nonsense all these years?  Do you have old armies you wish were still viable?  Do you sound like one of those old guys who say things like back in my day you had to roll your 20 dice one at a time while walking uphill in a snowstorm being attacked by bees?

~Tell us your 40K story?


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