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"40k Tournaments" Topic

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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 4:31 a.m. PST

I'm playing in my first-ever 40K tournament in Philadelphia this Saturday. The only other tournament scene I'm familiar with is FoW from ten years ago. What should I expect? Hordes of unpainted figures? Power-gamers? Kids? What sort of armies are popular these days? I'll have my Blood Angels army from 25 years ago, am I going to be ground up by some killer armies I've never seen before?

jefritrout27 Sep 2017 5:20 a.m. PST

Last time I played in Media, PA (granted it was about 10 years ago), there were no unpainted figures, but some were primed black and had one leg painted orange and gun painted silver to meet the 3 color requirement. Yes lots of power gamers and kids and some power-gamer kids.

kallman27 Sep 2017 6:27 a.m. PST

Scott, expect the best and the worse. I gave up on tournaments a long time ago, then because I had not learned my lesson decided to jump back into a FOW League while I was living in Dallas, Texas, and was quickly reminded why I had given up on tournaments. The only tournament scene I have ever seen work and did not have lots of THAT GUY…

…was Don Effinger's Warhammer Ancient tournaments that he ran long ago in the day at every HMGS-East conventions. Those were fun tournaments where you and your opponent perhaps spent as much time admiring each others painted armies and talking history as we did rolling dice and having a fun battle.

Now 8th edition might cool some of the cheese that was prevalent in 7th. If the folks running the tourney have done their homework they will be up on the latest tweaks for said 8th tournaments such as only units that are considered "infantry" can take objectives.

With that said and if you still feel the need to go forth and have a go at a tournament I highly recommend you spend some time reading articles on 1D4Chan regarding 8th edition tactics. See link below.


Read the overall 8th tactics first…


Then go back to the first link on tactics and click on the link that relates to your specific force. I've spent a lot time reading the Chaos Space Marine tactics which is below.


The writers at 1D4Chan have done their homework and they throw in a wonderful amount of sometimes NSFW humor that will have you gasping for breath and they poke fun at the hobby in general as well as themselves. You may find as I did a need to go look up their glossary as they do use way too many acronyms. However, once you have gotten a handle on those you will appreciate their humor all the more as well as the sage advice they provide.

Be warned their approach to 40K tactics falls in the realm of Mathhammer. Which when one is going into a tournament perhaps bears learning and mastering. The good news, the lads at 1D4 Chan provide lots of easy to understand tables and they have done all the work for you.

Well that is my two cents. I hope you have a great tournament and you do not have THAT GUY in abundance.



Centurio Prime27 Sep 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

The last tournament I attended was the Nova Open 2017. The tournament requires painted models:
2.1 Painted Models

Painted Armies are Required. Your army must show at least a clear good faith effort to achieve the traditional 3-color-and-based minimum. Incomplete armies will at the least be zero'ed on Army Appearance/Aesthetics. For any questions, email in advance of the event with your specific concerns. You can find information on how we evaluate army appearance scores in the associated NOVA paint judging primer at

In my opinion, this weeds out a lot of the worst of the worst power gamers right away.

I have participated in the Nova Open 40k tournament twice in the past 3 years. (One year I did the X-Wing tournament instead). Each time I had one negative experience out of 8 games. (Both were players who tried to bully me with incorrect rules, which the judges sorted out when called over). Other than those 2 out of 15 games, it was a blast.

In local tournaments, painting is more variable, and I ran into more powergamer types. (In my opinion unpainted leads to more powergaming because its easier to constantly switch units and tune the armies to adjust to the newest codexes, FAQs, etc).

I used to play historicals a lot, and in the Flames of War tournaments I played in, saw many of the same problems. (unpainted miniatures, powergaming etc). In other games less designed for tournament play, it wasn't so bad.

So it totally depends on the tournament organizer and judges in my opinion. But I would keep in mind that you will certainly see very powerful army builds which may be very nicely painted and played in a very sportsmanlike way, because its a tournament.

I consider myself semi-competitive because I do try to build the strongest build I can within my view of the fluff and using miniatures I like. I never expect to finish in the top brackets, I just go to tournaments to try to have a bunch of good games in one day.

Puddinhead Johnson Inactive Member27 Sep 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

Where is the 40k tourney in Philadelphia this Saturday?

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 7:13 a.m. PST

It is at Redcap's Corner in West Philly (near Drexel University). Unfortunately, they do allow unpainted armies. I think they are trying to attract new gamers. They do seem to be up on the current tournament standards as far as rules go. And they give a substantial point bonus for painted armies, so that should help a little. I'm not really all that worried about winning, I just want to meet some new gamers and play against some armies I haven't seen before. I expect to be 'The Old Guy' there surrounded by college students :)

Puddinhead Johnson Inactive Member27 Sep 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

t is at Redcap's Corner in West Philly (near Drexel University). Unfortunately, they do allow unpainted armies. I think they are trying to attract new gamers. They do seem to be up on the current tournament standards as far as rules go. And they give a substantial point bonus for painted armies, so that should help a little. I'm not really all that worried about winning, I just want to meet some new gamers and play against some armies I haven't seen before. I expect to be 'The Old Guy' there surrounded by college students :)

Thanks for the heads up. If I can make it you won't be the only old guy……

DeRuyter Supporting Member of TMP27 Sep 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

Scott you should try an ADLG tournament. No rules on painting required! Come to Kozcon in October and you may even see Don E with a fully painted 40K army.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2017 4:15 a.m. PST

Just a follow-up on the Tournament. It went very well. There were 18 players and a nice variety of armies. The organizers did a great job and the tables were very nice with a lot of different terrain types. They did a survey of the experience of the players and put the six newbies (including me) into a separate group. I'm not sure if that was the best thing to do, but it worked out okay. I won my first game against a nicely painted Space Wolf Army. I also won a very close game against a Necron army. I'd never played against Necrons before and I made several mistakes through ignorance of their capabilities. These were nicely painted, too. My third game was against an enormous and unpainted Imperial Guard Army. I discovered that an unpainted army can be an advantage for the owner in the game. From my perspective it was just a huge mass of gray plastic. Trying to identify units and characters was very difficult for me. And the Big Gray Mass just utterly crushed me. About two-thirds of my force was destroyed and I did very little damage in return. I'd say that it was a learning experience except I'm still puzzling about what I could have done differently (except roll a lot better dice). Oh well, it was a fun day. Lots of people oohed and ahhed over my antique Beaky Space Marines and they voted mine the best painted army and I won a $25.00 USD prize.

The whole event was very well run and organized. I will come again when they run more.

Centurio Prime03 Oct 2017 5:12 a.m. PST

I'm glad the tournament went well for you (mostly). Did the unpainted Imperial Guard player have mostly conscripts? That's the current "broken" thing that people are exploiting and will be somewhat mitigated when the new codex is released.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Oct 2017 5:50 a.m. PST

He did have a 50-figure conscript unit, yes. He also had two 5-man super commando units which grav-chuted into my rear and killed my warlord which I foolishly didn't have surrounded by another unit to keep it from being picked on. He had a Wyvern, Manticore, Leman Russ, and a Chimera with the flamethrower. Two Heavy Weapons units with lascannons and auto cannons. A sniper unit, regular squad with lascannon team, a psycher, commissar, leader, and some other character I forget. A whole lot of stuff to try and deal with :)

Centurio Prime03 Oct 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

Doesn't sound like a beginner's list to me. It's most of the best things to use. Though he could have just read the internet and figured that out even if he was a beginner, I guess.

kallman03 Oct 2017 6:46 a.m. PST

As Centurio was stating the "meta" at the moment for 8th ed Tournaments and competitive play are cheap point cost Horde forces. So IG, Orks, Nids can overwhelm and "tarpit" smaller more elite forces. It is the basic concept of you cannot kill all of us and enough laz guns/shootas/rending claws will cause enough hits and wounds that at some point you will fail a saving throw.

It is always a good idea to "bubble wrap" your Warlord with a unit of tough body guards as you learned the hard way.

With everything now having wounds special units armed with multi-wound weapons with a high strength and negative AP mods are a must have to take out characters and big vehicles. The airborne guard unit most likely had a lot of these types of weapons on them such as meltas and plasma guns I am willing to bet. So yes, a designated character killer unit is a good thing to take in the current game.

Regardless, sounds like you had a good time and that is what is most important. I agree that the grey mass makes it hard to determine what you are up against. The best way I have seen so far to deal with the horde forces is making sure you can lay down a crap ton of fire and use terrain and your deployment to bottle neck the masses. Concentration of fire will also help to mitigate the advantage of the horde force. Make his units get in each others way. Which is harder to do now in this edition with being able to shoot through your own troops. Also with Space Marines you have some hard hitting, massive wound causing units available to you that are kitted out for hand to hand. A veteran jump pack squad of 10 armed with Storm Hammers and lighting claws will eviscerate a horde unit.

Scott it also sounds that like me you have a lot of older more fluff forces and not a lot of the more specialized units. If that is the case then you have some bragging rights as playing to fluff is difficult at best and impossible most of the time in the tournament setting. Kudos.


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