Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament: Heat 1

23rd November 201740k, Articles, Krieg, Play

On the 14th October 2017 I took part in the first heat for the Warhammer 40k Grand Tournament over at Warhammer World. A 2 day tournament playing 5 games in a more competitive environment than i’m usually used to playing. Games were using Eternal War missions, 2000pts armies with a max of 3 detachments.

Scoring for the event was based on:

  • Win the game – 6 points
  • Draw the game – 2 points
  • Lose the game – 0 points

With additional points being scored for favourite game and favourite army votes.

Full details of the event can be found in the Warhammer GT event pack.

Army Overview:

Due to the Astra Millitarum codex only coming out the week before, it meant building I had little time to finalise my army list. The Krieg index hadn’t received an FAQ bringing them inline with the AM codex until after the event, this meant I wanted to take a detachment of regular Astra Millitarum, not only to get the benefits of Grinding Advance but also to ensure I could take the Relics and Stratagems. I opted for a separate detachment of Catachan tanks, allowing the Leman Russes to gain Grinding advance and the Battle Cannon Leman Russ and Cyclopses to benefit from re-rolling 1 dice for the number of shots. Meanwhile the Tank Commander Punisher could issue orders onto itself (as the wording in the codex has now changed from the Index) allowing it to re-roll 1s to hit. In hindsight it might have been better to have gone for a Cadia detachment but I liked the idea of the Cyclopses benefiting from the re-roll. Ideally I would have added Missile Launchers to the Avenger but I ran short on points.

My regular army build is to take Venner, to issue orders to the 3 infantry squads, while a Field Officer accompanies each Grenadier squad, usually to benefit from Bring it Down orders. The Death Riders are fantastic close combat units and the Quad Launchers are great at taking out light infantry.

For the Super Heavy I toyed with the idea of taking the Baneblade but opted for the Shadowsword as I wanted a good counter for large units like Magnus or Mortarion.

For the Warlord and Relic I went for Grand Strategist and Kurov’s Aquila which felt like a great combination, allowing you to re-gain command points each time you spend one on a 5+ and able to gain one each time your opponent uses a stratagem on a 5+.

Army list:

Spearhead Detachment (Catachan) +1 CP

  • HQ: Tank Commander (Warlord): Punisher, Lascannon and Heavy Stubber +Relic.
  • Heavy Support: Cyclops.
  • Heavy Support: Cyclops.
  • Heavy Support: Leman Russ: Battle Cannon and Heavy Bolter.
  • Flyer: Avenger Strike Fighter.

Battalion Detachment (Krieg) +3 CP

  • HQ: Marshal Karis Venner.
  • HQ: Field Officer: Powersword and Hotshot Laspistol.
  • HQ: Field Officer: Hotshot Laspistol.
  • Troops: Grenadier Storm Squad: x2 melta specialists.
  • Troops: Grenadier Storm Squad: x2 melta specialists.
  • Troops: Infantry Squad.
  • Troops: Infantry Squad.
  • Troops: Infantry Squad.
  • Fast Attack: Death Rider Squadron: Ridemaster with Hotshot Laspistol.
  • Fast Attack: Death Rider Squadron: Ridemaster with Hotshot Laspistol.
  • Heavy Support: Heavy Quad Launcher Battery: x2 Heavy Quad launcher

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachment +0 CP

  • Lord of War: Shadowsword: Sponsons: x2 Lascannons and x2 Twin Heavy Bolters.


  • Warlord Trait: Grand Strategist
  • Relic: Kurov’s Aquila
  • Total Points: 1999

Game one

Krieg vs Genestealer Cult
Genestealer Cult deployment
Krieg deployment
My first game was up against Pete Foley from the GW design team with his Genestealer Cult / Astra Militarum army. Pete went first securing first blood. My Shadowsword took revenge and destroyed the Rock Grinder forcing the Aberrants out on foot. After the screening Conscripts were destroyed from massed fire my Death Riders were then able to charge the aberrants, pilling in to the Taurox Prime and an officer killing all but one of the monsters. The surviving aberrant then managed to kill several of the Death Riders.

Pete’s reinforcement’s then dropped in. The Patriarch and Genstealers failed a charge against the Shadowsword who then counter-charged using the Crush Them! stratagem killing all the Genstealers and leaving the Patriarch on one wound. In the following turn the Patriarch fell back and used Mind Control on the Shadowsword, firing it’s Volcano Cannon and blowing up one of the Leman Russes.

With one of the key objectives secured, the rest of the fight was for the central objective. In the last turn the Conscripts were firmly on the objective and locked in combat against a few loan Kriegers who were surrounded and unable to fall back. My Cyclops just got in range of the objective taking out a good number of men followed up by my Grenadiers moving onto the objective. Lastly an Infantry charge whittled down the remaining Conscripts allowing me to secure the objective and win the game.

MISSION: Big guns never tire

DEPLOYMENT: Search and Destroy


Game two

Krieg vs Eldar
Eldar deployment
Krieg deployment
My second game was against Hamish Lucas and his lovely painted Eldar army. The Hammer and Anvil deployment gave me the added advantage forcing the Eldar to walk towards me giving me a good turn of shooting. Luckily I stole the initiative but my Shadowsword failed to wound the Wraith Knight on the first turn, then only damaging it in the second turn. The Leman Russ managed to finish it off with it’s battlecannon though. A few infantry squads took the brunt of the Eldar shooting along with the Avenger getting downed. But the Imperial firepower won out. The Leman Russ and Shadowsword picking off the final Eldar unit sat on his back field giving me the win.


DEPLOYMENT: Hammer and Anvil


Game three

Krieg vs Adeptus Custodes
Game 3 was against another Games Workshop designer, this time Ben Johnson with his stunning Custodes army featuring a gold clad Roboute Guilliman. This was probably my hardest game which didn’t seem to go my way at all. With everything pretty much having a 2+ save it was impossible to dent anything. In my first round of firing my Shadowsword rolled double 1s to wound against his Land Raider, having previously used the command point to try and fail to increase the number of hits. Ben’s Culexus Assassin dropped down in front of my Death Riders and I was foolish enough to think I could easily take it out by charging 10 riders into it. Instead the riders were tied up for several turns allowing his Custodes to charge into them. Both Cyclopses rolled really low for their explosive range meaning I was out of range of Guilliman, who was then able to charge and kill the Shadowsword. A squad of Custodes then destroyed my Leman Russ in combat which exploded and destroyed my Heavy Quad Launcher which also exploded and in turn killed Guilliman, though he then resurrected the next turn. Shortly after that I was tabled, I total I only killed 3-4 models, most of which were caused by mortal wounds from the Leman Russ and the Heavy Quad Launchers exploding.

I’m not sure there was much I could have done to win this game as my army isn’t really optimised for taking out units with 2+ saves. I probably should have deployed right on the very back edge of the table and used my re-roll stratagem a little more wisely in a few key areas of the game. If I could have taken out the Land Raider on the first turn that would have really helped too.

MISSION: Retrieval Mission

DEPLOYMENT: Vanguard Strike


Game four

Krieg vs Astra Millitarum
Astra Millitarum deployment
Krieg deployment
A second tough matchup in a row, this time against John Holland’s hyper competitive Guard army featuring Taurox Prime/Leman Russ and Conscript spam which made for a deadly combination. With 1 objective in each deployment this game ultimately went down to the secondary objectives. I had placed my Thudd Guns far forward to stay in range of his objective with the rest of my army positioned safely out of range from his Tauroxs for at least the first turn. However this proved to be my undoing and having the Thudd guns so far forward gave John an easy first blood, while they were resilient they fell to the weight of fire from the Tauroxs.

The Shadowsword was pretty consistent in taking out a tank a turn, with the Leman Russes/Avenger either taking another one out or severely wounding it. The Punisher advanced giving some cover to the Grenadiers, though as my Warlord it was eventually targeted and taken out, the Grenadiers managed to cover the ground and finish off a Taurox with their Melta guns. Meanwhile the Shadowsword charged forwards, locking two Leman Russes in combat, taking one out thanks to the Crush Them stratagem and forcing the other to fall back, in the following turn I charged into the conscripts, intent on trying to burst through them to reach the objective or his Warlord, but by this time it was severely wounded and succumbed to the conscripts massed attack.

Ultimately I lost on the first turn having given up First Blood so easily. Losing Slay the Warlord a few turns later there was little I could do as John’s Warlord was hidden amongst his conscripts. Having an infantry based Warlord and deploying more conservatively could have potentially changed the outcome.

MISSION: Secure and Control

DEPLOYMENT: Vanguard Strike


Game five

Krieg vs Primaris Space Marines
The final game was against James Hudson’s custom Primaris Marine chapter. I deployed my troops aggressively on the edge of deployment to rush towards the Relic but as I knew I wouldn’t go first I positioned my Shadowsword sideways to create a screen for my Riders to hide behind. James on the other hand had deployed relatively conservatively, with the bulk of his troops in the ruins and staying there while his transports moved up, he managed to knock a few wounds off the Shadowsword but most of his troops were out of range from my army. This then gave me an opportunity to grab the Relic in my first turn. Running an officer onto the Relic (with a lucky 6 for the advance roll) who then issued the Move Move Move order on himself allowing him to move back behind a screen on infantry, effectively keeping him safe from shooting. The Shadowsword took out both transports in the first two turns and both times killed several of the embarked troops. My two cyclopses managed to sneak around both flanks and devastate a unit each. James unfortunately rolled really badly for most of the game and his low model count meant I eventually wiped out his whole army.

MISSION: The Relic

DEPLOYMENT: Front-line Assault



I had five great games against five great opponents, some matches were really close and those ones are often the best. My army was also nominated for the Best Army award and was placed in the hallowed Warhammer World cabinets with 7 other armies and voted on by the other tournament players. My friend Dan and his Chaos army appeared on Warhammer Live’s Twitch Stream for the 4th game, he then went on to win the Knight of the Inner Circle award for having received all favourite game votes from all of his matches. My first opponent Pete Foley also won this accolade and was well deserved.

I went on to win the Best Army award which I’m so pleased about as it’s the one award i’ve always wanted to win, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who voted, I really appreciate it. In terms of the tournament I scored 3 wins and 2 losses, which gives me 18 GT points, I must have scored an additional 6 points for Favourite Game and Favourite Army votes as my grand total was 24 GT points, there were 5 other people with the same score but I placed bottom of the pile as I had the lowest tiebreaker scores, which were in order: Slay the Warlord, Linebreaker, First Blood and lastly the total points value of enemy units destroyed. In total that placed me 23rd out of 83, which is pretty good going for me especially since my army was pretty balanced and not super-competitive. This also means I qualified for the final! Congrats to Lawrence Baker who won the heat with a total of 36 GT points.

Having seen some of the other armies around I think I was pretty lucky with some of my matchups as I could have come across much tougher lists. I learnt a lot from all the games and there were plenty of things I did wrong or forgot about. I was pretty happy with my list, but below is a breakdown of how I thought each unit performed and what I might change.

Shadowsword: Originally I was thinking of taking a Baneblade but i’m so glad I took the Shadowsword as it did most of the heavy lifting for my army, taking out vehicle a turn with the Volcano Cannon then usually charging into combat using the Crush Them stratagem to take out another. Not to mention the 6 heavy bolters and 2 lascannons helped give it an extra punch. I also used the Take Cover stratagem to keep it alive as long as possible as it drew a lot of firepower, this was before the FAQ which restricted the stratagem to infantry, without that though it probably would have died much sooner in each game. Adding in a Tech Priest would keep it alive longer, and while expensive a Trojan would turn it into a beast and minimise the use of the reroll stratagem.

Tank Commander: The Punisher was also a great unit though it fills a similar roll to the Thudd gun, it’s more reliable due to its fixed number of shots but suffers from the same drawback being ineffective against heavy units in cover (e.g. 2+ save). As my Warlord it also drew a lot of firepower and often cost me Slay the Warlord in most of my games. In future I would make my warlord an infantry based character.

Leman Russ Battlecannon: A really good solid unit, giving me an extra bit of anti-tank firepower, often finishing off any unit left standing from the Shadowsword. It’s range usually means it can just hang back, but it might be best to move forward with the Punisher just to give the opponent an extra target to shoot at, rather than have them concentrate on the Punisher or Shadowsword.

Infantry: There were a few matches where my infantry sat back and didn’t do a lot and I could have been more aggressive with them, I might have been better off taking out a few units and swapping them out for something else though. They do make for great screens/speed bumps and can soak up a lot of the opponents firepower. Marshal Venner is great for dishing out multiple orders and is pretty much an auto-include for any Krieg player though it does limit the range your units can move away from him without using Voxs, which is why the two extra Field Officers are really handy.

Avenger Strike Fighter: This is usually a star in my army but because I had to drop off the Missile Launchers to save on points at the last minute it lacked the extra punch it usually has. I often tried to use it to gain Slay the Warlord, moving the flyer next to an enemy character and shooting at it with everything, while I managed to wound them I never once managed to kill a character in this way.

Cyclops Demolition Tanks: The cyclopses were very hit and miss, it was hard to cross the ground without them being exposed in the open and shot at, though they did give my opponents something to think about. I would probably have been better investing the points in another Thudd gun which would be consistently putting out shots every turn.

Thudd Guns: They are absolutely deadly when you can catch a unit out in the open, the sheer number of shots forces your opponent to make lots of saves that they will eventually fail. It’s weakness, like the Punisher is units in cover. For this a Colossus would be better. The fact they can hide out of line of sight at the back of the board means they were rarely ever taken out.

Death Riders: My riders also underperformed, they draw a lot of firepower and it’s hard to get them across the board into combat, but when they do make a charge they can be devastating, the only problem is they rarely survive the following turn or they can get bogged down in a combat thats a statemate. In future I’d probably take the Death Rider Command Squad so they can gain the Outflank special rule.

For the GT final I might tweak the list or take a vastly different Krieg army, I do have some heavy artillery and more death riders I can paint up along with a Gorgon transport, so stay tuned! You’ll be able to see regular updates on my painting projects over on instragram.com/beyondthetabletop/ and youtube.com/beyondthetabletop/. If you’ve any tweaks or suggestions about improving my list let me know in the comments below.


  1. Steve Pearce

    Great pics thanks and well done. Did you add any special weapons to the infantry squads or were they straight from the pack load out?

    • Philip

      Thanks! The infantry squads had no upgrades, that way they could be cheap meat-shields. However running them with Plasma might be been a good source of anti-tank shots but i’m not sure its point effecient. I ran double-melta on the grenadiers though as they make the most of an increased ballistic skill and they tend to do really well against anything that gets into my lines.

  2. Michael Corr

    Congratulations on the best army win! A really nice force and well deserved.

    • Philip

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. Chris

    Yeap we clearly see overpowered Balisarius Cawl winning again! and the balnced Astra militarum last spot.
    Blance has nothing to do only guide sales !!

    • Philip

      Not sure I get what you’re saying, the winner was a Space Marine list, in fact most of the armies taking part were codex armies: Chaos, Space Marines and Astra Millitarum as they were the only codexes released before the event. I think in heat 2 and 3 we’ll see more of the other armies come out as people with Index only armies would have bought tickets for the later heats.


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