Road to the LVO Update

I’m afraid real life has been kicking my butt recently, and I’ve been a bit remiss in reporting on tournaments and the development of my list for the LVO.

So, to bring all of you (who care!), up to date –  I’ve been to 3 tournaments since STO4, the Freedom GT (2 days, 4 Games, ETC rules set), Winter War (one day, 3 games), and the Grand Strategist GT (2 days, 5 games, ETC rules), and bluntly my performance has been pretty poor (4-9 for those keeping score)!

It’s brought me to a few conclusions – first, I’ve been playing too much. Winter War was the 4th weekend in a row I attended a tournament, and I was so burned out I just wanted to lose games so I could go home!! But I’ve also realised that I loath the ETC format. I find it overly complex and confusing for no real benefit in terms of enjoyment, and I dislike the randomness of the Maelstrom mission. What I find is it pushes people to take lists that work on the basis of tabling your opponent (which gives you a 20-0 score) and basically ignore the mission. 

Combine this, and I think I will be more selective in the tournaments I attend in the future, favouring ITC format over ETC.    

Anyway…..with that out the way, where do we stand?

In a couple of the tournaments I tried something a little different. In one I dropped a Troupe and their Starweaver (leaving me with 3), and replaced it with more bikes in an Outrider detachment. In another I dropped the Ravagers, again for more bikes. Neither was entirely successful. I ran one unit of 6 bikes and 2 units of 2. The 6 “man” unit was as good as ever, but I found the 2 “man” units a waste of time. I also ran the outrider as a mixed detachment, running the bikes as Silent Shroud for access to the “you cant overwatch me stratagem”. However it wasn’t a success. With any other Masque, if I want to hit on 3s, I can only move 16”, and can’t use Prismatic Blurr for a 3++ (it only works if the unit advances).  With Soaring Spite, I can move 22”, fire to full effect, and have a 3++ from Prismatic Blurr. That benefit greatly outweighs any other benefit. 

Learning point – if you run Haywire Skyweavers, run them as Soaring Spite!

And also …. don’t drop Ravagers….ever….they’re too good!

So where does that leave me? Well, my next tournament is the Last Chance Open in January, but before then I plan to play a few games at the club, and we have a gaming day on the 22nd of December that I should be able to get a couple of games at. I need to decide on my list for the Last Chance Open, my next tournament!

I think the strongest, most balanced list I’ve played over the last few months is the list I took to the Grand Strategist GT – it was


Troupe Master, Kiss, Fusion

Troupe – 5 players, 5 Fusion, 5 Caresses

Troupe – 5 players, 5 Fusion, 5 Caresses

Troupe – 5 players, 5 Fusion, 5 Caresses

Troupe – 5 players, 5 Fusion, 5 Caresses


Skyweavers x6, Haywire Cannons x6

Starweavers x4


Ravager Disintegrator Cannon x3

Ravager Disintegrator Cannon x3

Ravager Disintegrator Cannon x3

It’s pretty balanced, it has something for (almost) everything, and I’ve played it a lot. It does have weaknesses however.

  • I have no real volume of fire. If I play Orks, or horde Tyranids, I’ll really struggle.
  • It’s weak against multiple Knights. It can handle 1 pretty easily, and 2 is usually OK, but more than that and it struggles. Fusion Pistols seem like they should work against Knights, but they really don’t!!
  • Gunline Tau, are a difficult match up. I’ve beaten them, but it’s a struggle (particularly if they field a Y’Varnha). 

The tricky thing is I don’t have a lot of flexibility in the list if I want to keep its core of a Harlequin Battalion. I don’t want to swap out the Ravagers….because they’re awesome …. and I don’t want to swap out the Haywire bikes, because that’s what makes it work against Knights. Which kinda leaves me with taking out a Starweaver with it’s Troupe, which is around 250pts. So the questions becomes, what can I put in the list to make it better than a Troupe in a Starweavers?

I can think of 3 options. 

  • Another unit of 6 Skyweavers with Haywire Cannons. This will make the list much better against multiple Knights, and slightly better against hordes. It also makes the list more durable.
  • A Craftworld Supreme Command Detachment, consisting of a Skyrunner Doomseer, a Skyrunner Jinxlock, and an Index Skyrunner Autarch with Banshee Mask (can’t be overwatched), a Fusion Gun and a Lazer Lance. This boosts the whole army, with Doom and Jinx, making the Skywire bikes more effective, and making the Ravagers “godly”. The Autarch gives me another character than ignores overwatch (the 2nd one being the Solitaraie with Starmist Raiment).
  • A unit of 12 Player, on foot, with Caresses. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while. It’s pretty scary in combat (48, s5, AP-2 attacks in combat), and can be made tolerably durable (-2 to hit, -1 to wound with a 3++) if you invest 3 CPs and a power on them. They sort of give me an answer to hordes, but not really. Sure I can wipe one unit of Orks with relative ease, but what about the other 3?

On balance, I think the Supreme Command Detachment is the way to go. It’s certainly the one I’ll be practising with. Next would be the Bikes. While they certainly add punch against vehicles, they lack the flexibility of a Troupe in a Starweaver. But, at the Grand Strategist I played 10 Lehman Russes and 10 Knights ….. it would have helped! 

The 12 Player units remains a “pipe dream”. I think it could work, but it’s probably a whole different type of Harlies army (probably double battalion, with no Ravagers).



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