Knights at Tacoma – Best Overall

Not gonna bury the lede here, I took “Imperial” Knights to the Tacoma Open GT last weekend and took best overall.

I didn’t realize best overall was an award prior to the event, so if you haven’t heard of that particular distinction you are in good company.

Essentially, best overall is a category that combines the Hobby side of things (your paint score) and the tournament (how well you placed). I did much better than I was expecting in the event, with a 6-2 record and 12th overall, and I scored very highly in the painting contest, so in the end I walked away with best overall and an invite to worlds in November.

I thought I would write a quick summary of each of my games, talk about my developing thoughts about the edition, and then briefly talk about some of the things that I’m happy or unhappy with.


Canis Rex (Warlord)

Warden w/Chainsword
– Double Bondsman Enhancement

Warglaive x5
Helverin x2

Now, the elephant in the room – why am I not playing Chaos Knights?

A couple reasons.

First, I’ve watched a few people I know struggle through events with the faction now, and their account of how much of a non-rule the army and detachment rules are matched what I expected out of the gate. I didn’t really feel like playing 8 games with an army that I really didn’t like the rules from.

Second, I didn’t have time to finish my Knight Tyrant, and I really wanted access to him for Chaos Knights (though in the end I think I want a Dominus on the Imperial side pretty badly too).

Third, it’s really hard to not muscle memory when I’m playing with units I spent multiple hundred hours playing with in ninth edition and make slips based on that ingrained knowledge. I was only going to get two practice games prior to the event, and I felt like I would need more to overcome my initial learned behaviors regarding the faction.

Round 1 vs. Ultramarines

Jacoby had a sweet looking Ultramarine list with double Chaingun Redemptor Dread, a Gladiator with the big gun, a 10 block of Desolation Marines with the Apothecary for Sustained on 5s, Guilliman, Calgar with Sternguard, and some other stuff. We were playing on Mission L, Scorched Earth using Dawn of War deployment.

This is the only game I took a picture of – I’m using my phone to track games a lot more with tactical secondaries – but I think the game was basically decided when he moved at me really aggressively on turn 1A as shown below.

He knocked my Warden down to sub 7 wounds, but that was his entire turn, and on the crack back I was able to kill a Redemptor, a TechMarine, his Gladiator, half his unit of Desolation Marines, most of Calgar’s unit of Sternguard, Guilliman twice, and swarm every zone but his back objective thanks to lots and lots of charging.

After some melee flailing on round 2 he had no units left on the table and I cruised around completing secondaries for a 100-20 win.

Round 2 vs. Chaos Knights

Jake had a Tyrant with Flamer/Harpoon, a Desecrator, and then a pair of Karnivores and some Brigands.

We played on Search and Destroy with the Hidden Supplies rule, Mission B.

I won the roll off and proceeded to super whiff on killing his Tyrant. I had, however, positioned everything important outside of 18 of it, so if he wanted to move it the potential for Canis Rex to finish it off was very real as it was on less than 4 health.

As a result, I lost two Armigers on the crack back and then proceeded to table him in the course of a turn and a half for another 100 point win.

The stark disparity between the two sides of the Knights coin really showed here. My attacks were more consistent, through both Squire’s Duty and the innate re-rolls, everything on my side had the potential to live through a lot more than his did, and everything just seemed stronger.

Round 3 vs. Custodes

Nicolas had three blocks of ten Guard, Trajan, two Shield Captains (one with the Ceaseless Hunter enhancement), and then I believe he had a couple Exaction Squads and a Callidus Assassin.

I do not remember most of this game, it was late and I was tired. At first, I thought I was completely dead as six Guard knocked a full health Warden down, but I clawed my way back into it by forcing fights in the middle and sneaking the side objectives off him every turn. Even with that, it basically it boiled down to Canis Rex making some absurd Overwatch rolls (killed 9 Guard over 3 turns) and then making a long bomb nine inch charge at the end of the game followed by Nicolas not making a nine inch charge. In the end I won by a scant 4 points.

Round 4 vs. Thousand Sons

Alex brought just an endless supply of Rubric Marines with characters and then some Terminators with a Sorcerer. We played on the mission in which you determine Alpha and Omega zones after you’ve deployed, and the Omega ended up being closer to my deployment quarter.

As a result, I basically forced fights in the parts of the table that wouldn’t matter late game, and was able to conserve enough of my models to score max on rounds 4 and 5 to Alex’s zero. The end score of 75-36 does NOT reflect how close the game was, as I was down to two Armigers and a mostly dead Canis to Alex’s two 5 dude blobs of Rubrics and multiple Rhinos.

After this, I was cut into the top 32 and seeded into a new bracket where I would be playing for the last four games of the event.

Round 5 vs. Salamanders

Harry had a lovely firstborn only Salamanders list with triple Devastator Squad, triple Rhino, some Scouts, and Terminators with Storm Shields along with a couple other things.

This game sort of swung hugely. First, I failed 80% of my 4+ saves on my Warden and it died a turn ahead of schedule.

Then, I wiped 4 units where I should have only wiped 2 or 3.

After that, I had a pretty huge scenario lead and just hung on for dear life as he hid from Canis Rex and I struggled to finish secondary objectives and stay just ahead, which I did manage to do.

Round 6 vs. Custodes

Hank is one of my older acquaintances in Wargaming, being a regular opponent of my Warmachine days and both an extremely analytical thinker and a great tactical executor.

He had a very interesting list with double Calladius tank, a 9 guard block with Shield Captain, five Allarus Terminators with Shield Captain, six Wardens with Blade Champion, and then an Inquisitor Henchmen Unit.

We played on the “build your own scenario” mission, and Hank went first. He nearly killed Rex on turn 1, I cracked back by doing basically nothing, and from here the game snowballed out of control.

A long standing motto of mine is “the dice are never why you lost”, but in this particular instance when the dust cleared, both Hank and I examined the game and concluded that, in fact, the dice were why I lost.

40 shots across 5 rounds from Calladius tanks saw 38 successful wounds, I made sub 15% of my invulns, 5 dude blocks of spear Custodes rolled 8+ lethal hits per attack set etc.

At the top of round five I was up by 5 points and I lost by 15 total. I played my butt off this game, and I’m proud of that.

Because I lost this game, I didn’t have to play a Shadow Round, but I did have to stick around to get my army paint judged and got some nice feedback about directions I can improve.

Round 7 vs. Custodes

Another Custodes! This time we were playing on Servo Skulls. David had somewhere between Hank’s and Nicolas’ list, but with a twist of bringing a Land Raider!

I won the roll off, and kicked things off with Rex killing the Land Raider in one attack sequence.

I kicked two objectives away and passed the turn.

The Calladius tanks exploded Rex in response, and I also lost most of an Armiger to various other things.

The game kind of boiled down to me aggressively kicking things at his deployment zone and screening them from his drop down Calledus assassin until the game ended with me up by 5.

Round 8 vs. Aeldar

Ben is a talented player from Las Vegas who had “the” list with a Wraith Knight, Triple Fire Prism, etc.

He went first, killed both big knights, two Armigers, and banged up three more.

I took my turn, failed to kill the Yncarrne in my face or score any secondaries and extended my hand for a 10 – 100 loss.

Ben and I had a nice post-game chat about ways to keep improving and some strategies for maximizing practice, which was lovely.

Thoughts on Tenth:

I like a lot of tenth. I like the datacards, I like the less stratagems in most cases, and I like how simple it is to figure out what your opponents list does thanks to the new app.

I also enjoy the variety of the scenarios, and I think tactical objectives are both much more interesting than the ninth system, and nearly always stronger than fixed objectives.

I also really like the new GW open terrain layouts. I think they’re incredibly interesting and dynamic with one exception which I’ll talk about in a minute.

On the flip side I am very tired of the new terrain rules already. Being completely inside a feature is not really feasible for a lot of armies or situations, the removal of wobbly base placement as an option is a bigger impact than I was expecting, and in general they just feel incredibly clunky.

Secondly, I think the towering rule should just be removed. I don’t like shooting things turn 1, I don’t like being shot turn 1. Just take the rule away please?

I understand that knights etc. are VERY big, but you know what else is? Magnus, and he can sure be obscured by the terrain in tenth.

Revert the point costs, drop towering from the game completely, and try that out for a few months.

Final point of contention – can we go back to the ninth edition combat rules? The tenth edition charging and combat rules create tons of feel bads and require much more precise placement and janky movement order while still letting people who understand the rules do nearly the same kind of degenerate movement as they could in ninth.

In short, my hot fix for tenth “wishlist” is very short and boils down to:

  1. Get Rid of Towering
  2. Revert the terrain rules to ninth
  3. Revert combat to ninth

And then of course there are some models that need to get worse and some that need to get better, but I don’t particularly feel qualified to pontificate on that here.


First, if you’ve never been to a GW open, I would highly recommend it. The staff are incredibly friendly, the emphasis is on camaraderie and friendship, and everything is run with near supernatural levels of smoothness.

The Tacoma Open was no exception. I had eight lovely opponents, nothing but great interactions with the staff, and three days of top tier fun.

I am feeling much more optimistic about tenth edition than I was prior to the event, and I think there are lots of good things going on and fun games to be had with the ruleset.

For now, I’ve gotta focus on my degree for a month or two, and then I’m gonna be raring to go practicing for worlds in November. Thanks for reading, catch you in the next one.

2 thoughts on “Knights at Tacoma – Best Overall

  1. Firstly, the models are very cool and unique. Was wondering, how does true line of sight work on those modified war dogs?

    1. I give my opponents the option to either count the tails or ignore the tails and we play by whatever they chose. I made them to be cool, I was never really intending to be good enough at this game for it to matter when I started building the army/playing last year 🙂

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