Legions Imperialis – Tournament Lists

Li Tournaments Cover
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Today we’re back to Legions Imperialis and we’re going to take a look at two tournaments that recently happened in Warhammer World. That was the April event and the May event. I was pretty lucky when looking over this as all the army lists for the April event were hidden, but when I reached out to the Warhammer Events team they were able to update that for me. So if you’re on BCP you can check those out now. In the rest of this video I’m just going to quickly go through each list, talk about anything notable and move on to the next list. So if you’re a Legions Imperialis fan it should be interesting but for everyone else it’ll probably just be a bit confusing. I’ll also have a link in the notes to a written article so you can look through things at your leisure instead of listening to me ramble in.

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Before we get stuck into things, first a little bit of a preamble. I think Legions Imperialis is a fantastic game. I’ve got my Imperial Fist army ready to go and even made a little Sigismund to lead them. To a certain extend, I believe it’s a narrative game, once you start optimising lists it does break down a little. It is also a very expensive game. Right now I’m looking at options to expand and every box is basically 40 euros, and I’ll need multiple boxes of whatever I look to get. So it all adds up. Of particular note, the Legion Infantry box only has two missile launcher stands. We are about to see lists with like 32 missile launcher bases which is silly money. I gather many of these Missile Launchers are actually conversions from tactical squads. 

These events were competitive events and the players were supposed to push their lists as far as they could. So keep that in mind, I suspect these same players would be playing very different lists if the event was advertised as a narrative one. I’ll also add, that if you see anything that looks wrong in a list, it’s likely I’ve transcribed it incorrectly. So please assume I’ve made a mistake rather than the player.

Mattie on the LitBashing channel has a great interview with the winner of the first event which I’ll link in the description. It’s a good listen and gives a bit of context along with a bundle of tips and considerations for a highly competitive meta.

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Lets start into it. This is tournament 1 from the end of April. I believe it was originally pitched as a 3k event but there were still stock issues which is why I think it was dropped to 2.5k There were a total of 31 players and the event was held over two days with 5 rounds. It was about 2 to 1 for Legion to Solar Auxilia, but there was a lot of mixing going on. As we’ll see once we start into the lists, this was after the Great Slaughter release, so we have the two support boxes, the spartans, and the new Malcadors. We also had the release after that which has the Drop Pods, Artillery, and Land Raiders. Not available were the Stormhammers, Dracosans, Legion Fast Attack, and Dread Drop Pods.

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The list we’re looking through are the ones with no more than one loss. We’re starting with Mike Whitley at 7th place which out of 31 players is impressive. At the bottom you can see the game results which will indicate Win, Loss, or Draw along with the total victory points earned that game.

Mike went with Solar Auxilia and was the highest placed Solar Auxilia for this event. I do think this is a pretty well rounded list. Tanks, Infantry, Support, and a Titan. That Pioneer Company Formation is one of the more popular options when it comes to Solar Auxilia. It means any of the infantry in the Formation get infiltrate, as the Batteries are considered infantry that means everything in this gets to start the game pretty much wherever on the board you want it.

The Legion Support is the Warmaster. We did talk about this in an earlier video. The Warmaster has 12 void shields and 7 wounds. So if you can’t alpha it down on turn one, you’re not going to kill it.

For aircraft, Mike has two Lightning and two Marauder Bombers which seem to the the auxilia aircraft of choice. The Lightnings have double Skyfire to take down enemy aircraft while the Marauders have double hellstrike to maximise damage on ground targets. There is definitely a bit of rock paper scissors going on here. Titans are fantastic, Aircraft are great at killing Titans, Batteries are great at killing Aircraft.

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In 6th place we have this Ultramarine list from Paul Turner. Paul’s one draw was against Mike’s list. I imagine that would have been a pretty fun game to watch as the two Warmasters went toe to toe. I think it’s likely Mike would have won the air war but Paul has a ton of of Astartes ground pounders. Drop pods carry two bases each, so that’s 16, maybe two of the Tactical squads. The Thunderhawk carries 8 stands, I’d imagine that would be the Assault team. In the second formation, those 3 Rhinos are probably a Command and 4 tacticals. The other two tacticals have an extra 8 Missile Launchers which is something we will see a lot in lists. My original expectation was we’d see Support slots with full missile launchers as dedicated units. What we have here is units of 12 with 8 missile launchers and 4 tactical. You’re taking the tacticals anyway to make up Core slots. The 8 missile launchers cost 70 points as a single unit of 8 but cost 60 points as an addition to the Tactical squad. The tactical detachment largely is there to take objectives and sit in buildings and be hard to kill. Adding the Missile Launchers to them makes it cheaper overall, turns the tactical marines into ablative armour for the missile launchers, and as a weird quick gives them +2 Close Assault Factor rather than +1 as they start with the Tactical profile.

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In 5th place we have Peter Charley running Imperial Fists and Raven Guard along with 3 Knight Lancers. Again, we’re seeing the Tactical squads turned into Devastator squads. In this case, it’s taking advantage of the Imperial Fist legion bonus which gives accurate to infantry with bolters and heavy weapons on a first fire order. On the Raven Guard side we have Plasma Support instead. I suspect this is because the kit has them so why not use them. The Raven Guard infantry all get Infiltrate. Those 10 dreads get Forward Deploy instead which helps get them faster into the combat. 

This list has 8 Xiphons which is terrifying. They’re interceptors packed with skyfire weapons so they should be able to win the air war and once they have, they can focus on picking off ground targets that would otherwise be the job of the tanks which do not feature in this list. 

Peter’s one loss was against the overall winner.

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In 4th place we have Jon Rees from the Can You Roll a Crit youtube channel. This list has 3 Alpha Legion formations and 2 Solar Auxilia. Alpha Legion give their 3 of their detachments in each formation infiltrate. That’s probably going to focus on the Dreads for the biggest bang for you buck and it does encourage small Alpha Legion formations.

The two Solar Auxilia are Pioneer Companies so they are also infiltrating, so a lot of this army is going to deploy across the table, although not in the enemy deployment or within 4 inches of an enemy. That’s all happening after the non-infiltrate detachments have deployed so this kind of list can do some really impressive things like heavily deploy on one flank and completely obliterate it while the enemy on the other flank end up doing nothing.

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In third place we have Gareth Stoneham. I think this is a Salamanders list as we have two Salamander Formations. They roll 2D6 and pick one when rolling morale. Again we’re seeing that Pioneer Company from the Solar Auxilia. Then we have World Eaters with Terminators and Assault Marines. With 3 Spartans and a Thunderhawk Gunship we should see the World Eaters get into melee pretty fast, where they get to roll an extra D6 which should make them pretty deadly. There are also two drop pods which I assume go with the detachment of 4 tactical. Then the last formation is a minimum strength Demi Company of Space Marines which I assume is an effort to counter Infiltrate. Spread these 4 units around the board and they create 16 inch bubbles around them where the enemy cannot infiltrate. Not a great ability for an entire army, but a small formation like this one costs only 130 points and does make a pretty cool meta choice.

That Pioneer Company appears again, but this time with a twist of 4 Lightning fighters. These are 85 points each with 6 dice of Skyfire hitting on 4+ with -1 AP and 4 of those dice get rerolls versus flyers. Excellent value.

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In second place we have Gordon Smiles, this time with nice looking World Eater list. That first demi company has the two tactical detachments in Rhinos. The Terminators teleport in I guess, leaving the command squad and dreads to huff it. The second company has a bunch of Assault troops. The Thunderhawks do have Heavy Assault Transport 8 which means a squad of Assault Troops will be able to charge straight out of them, but then the Assault Troops do already get to move 21 inches on a march order.

We do see another Alpha Legion formation with a good mix of Dreads and Batteries. This time we do see the Kratos which is also an option for the three Infiltrating units. Last up we see that Pioneer company again. I suspect those Ogryns and Heavy Sentinels are there as options from the collection rather than necessarily super optimised picks, although I do think both detachments are very good.

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In first place we have Robin Windon playing Imperial Fists. This list is pretty tight with a lot of optimal choices. That Warmaster appears again, it’s the third across these top 7 lists which is notable and is the only Titan we’ve seen. There are 4 Legion detachments, the Imperial Fists are identical with two max missile tactical squads. One of those is packed into Rhinos with the Legion Commander while the other I guess sets up at the back. We then have 10 dreads all armed with lascannons.

Then the remaining two formations are Alpha legion with minimum detachments, which means they do get 3 infiltrates each. Presumably, leaving the assualt squad and the Deathstorm Drop Pod behind.

As I said, a very tight list that seems to know what it wants to do and does it well.

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So at the end of the first tournament what lessons can we take. Well, there was a distinct lack of tanks. A few Kratos did appear but that was pretty much it. Tanks did feature in the event, but not in this top cut. Instead these were heavily dominated by infantry, which does make sense they’re the ones scoring the objectives. I haven’t seen any of the board layouts but I have seen comments from people who were there saying it was pretty dense, so that would have meant lots of places for infantry to fortify and lots of blocking terrain which might have reduced the effectiveness of tanks.

We saw a lot of infiltrating, primarily Alpha Legion formations and Auxilia Pioneer formations. As part of that we also saw a lot of Batteries usually Tarantulas with Missiles suggesting it’s part of an anti-aircraft strategy. Although anti-air missiles still work well against everything else. 

The Titan of choice was the Warmaster. The detachment of the day was the 4 man tactical squad with 8 Missile support. We also saw lots of Dreads which seem to be effective. In the air, I do think the Xiphons and the Lightnings were of particular note. 

There are also a few legions of interest, the missile launchers work well with the Imperial Fists. For close combat World Eaters seem to be the way to go, and Alpha Legion are the general catch all.

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The second tournament happened about a week and a bit after. Here the points are down to 1500 so we no longer have room for the Warmaster. I’m not sure if this was an intentional choice to stop players taking Warmasters for this event or if they just wanted to try the lower points to make it easier for newer players. The event had 20 players in total and had 3 rounds, so we’re going to see a much bigger percentage of the field when we look at this event as we’re still going to look at lists that only had one loss. We had a similar split favouring Auxilia and I’m missing one of the lists.

No change in what was legal for the event. So everything the previous had but with 1k less points.

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Starting with 9th place, we have Alex DeWinter with Dark Angels. Their legion rule gives Phospex to the infantry which means garrisoned enemies don’t get a close assault favor bonus when in melee with them. The two Dark Angel formations are Demi Companies and we can see a lot of the usual options. Notably we do have 2 drop pods in each. I think in the second the drop pods are for the plasma support, but the two in the first formation are limited options, so it appears they are there to deploy the tarantula Batteries. Even though the tarantula’s can’t move, disembarking has it’s own set of rules so that does seem to be a good way to get them into position roughly where you want them.

We have the Pioneer formation for some infiltrate and it brings in two detachments of sentinels with it. So troops, batteries, and walkers for this list.

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In 8th place we have Paul Humphreys with Raven Guard. So that’s all the infantry with infiltrate and the dreads get forward deployment. Just the single battery this time and a squad of Kratos added for some punch. Other than that though, this is a list of infiltrating missile squads and forward deploying dreads. That should get a lot of work done.

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In 7th place we have Bryan Limerick. We actually have an armoured company which I’m delighted to see. It’s heavily Leman Russ focused though with 8 of them. The two single choices of Valdor Infernus and the Super Heavy Baneblades seem to be their to round it out. The infantry are in the pioneer list but it does feel a little light with just 24 troop stands. I do like the addition of the Marauder, the A10 of 40k. I’d definitely be interested to see how well they did in these games. For the Knight Household we have the Acastus knight at 250 points. This is one of the shooty knights. The conversion beamers work best at long range and do have demolisher for attacking buildings. The Volkite is short range but does have Deflagerate so it can generate additional damage. Then there’s the Mortar battery which is a 30 range barrage that ignores cover. So this Knight probably can find a spot at long range and take shots at enemy tanks or buildings as needed.

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In 6th place we have Drew Haselton. I couldn’t see a legion for this one, but it was a relatively straightforward pair of demi-companies. There should be enough Rhinos for almost all of the infantry. I think it needs to leave behind a command squad and one of the 8 base squads. We do have a little bit of armour with the Sicarians, There is a Fire Raptor which I’ve very jealous of, I don’t really care how good they are I want some Fire Raptors and Storm Eagles for my army. Then we have 4 Xiphons which as we’ve seen do seem to do quite well.

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In 5th place we have Peter Harvey with Solar Auxilia. This is our first look at any artillery with 12 Basilisks and their 90 inch range. The bonus for the formation is that the basilisks do not suffer -1 to hit for indirect fire, so that’s 3+ for anything on the board.

The second formation is a Pioneer one, getting those infantry infiltrate. Then the last formation is a sub-cohort which has enough Lighters to get two of those Lasrifle detachments where they need to be. 

Aircraft are limited, but we have 2 Lightning Fighters for the air combat and an interesting Marauder Bomber with double wing bombs. Presumably here to crack some garrisoned buildings.

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In 4th place we have Will Champion. I’m not really sure what’s going on with the Drop Pods, there are 11 enough is enough for 22 stands. That’s the two full tactical squads and the command. If I’m not mistaken it should be split into 6 and 5 rather than 8 and 3 as each Drop Pod detachment is going to deploy separately so you need to get full infantry detachments into each Drop Pod detachment. As legion builder maxes out at 8 I assume that’s all this was.

In the second formation, the 20 tactical get Rhinos to get them fast up the board. All of these have Havoc launchers which have appeared before and I’ve yet to mention. This is a 2 point upgrade per model that switches out the 8 range 5+ hit bolters to 15 range 4+ hit Havoc Launchers. You still have Point Defence but it changes from Light to Light AT. The range is probably the big factor making those Rhinos a little more effective.

This list does have 12 Predators which is impressive. I’ve seen some comment that the Predators were the reason they weren’t running tanks. Along with the Leman Russ tanks with Vanquisher cannons, these cheap battletanks are an effective way to win the armour war. 

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In third place we have Miles Woolfenden with Imperial Fists. While the second Demi Company does pack the ranks out with missile launchers, the first demi-company seems a little more Black Templar than Imperial Fist. Using the new Legion Spartans which have an Assault transport of 5. So those Assault Marines can turn up in style and charge straight into combat, of course there’s also the option of bringing them in with the Thunderhawk. The third company is more infantry and dreads. Like the second company this tactical troops have Rhinos to get them their fast.

There is a token Xiphon, but apart from that this is infantry and transports which will make things very hard for the opponent to win objectives.

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The last list we have to look at, and the winner of both of these tournaments is from Robin Windon. During his interview on LitBashing he did talk about how narratively it would make sense for more Alpha Legion to be in this list as it was the Imperial Fists who took the biggest hits in the previous event.

We have 4 formations, two demi-companies and 2 garrison forces. The Garrison force is from the core book and doesn’t have any bonuses but does seem to offer a nice mix of compulsory detachments. In particular, this is the only formation where you can get a Bastion slot for the Tarantula. So lets look over this.

In the first detachment we have three detachments of 12 bases, a detachment of 8, and a Command Squad. There are 6 rhinos which can take 12 bases, 6 drop pods that can take 12 bases. So that leaves presumably a detachment of 12, the detachment of 8, and the Legion commander. This is an Imperial Fist detachment, so no extra infiltrates.

In the second detachment, there are 3 pods which can hold 6 stands. So I guess one Tactical squad deploys normally, one squad and the command squad get the drop pods, and the Dreads all get the Alpha Legion infiltrate.

Then the third and fourth both have 3 detachments they can pick leaving one out of each that doesn’t get infiltrate. I’m not actually sure which you’d leave out though. The Tarantula’s don’t move, so you need to get a good spot. The Dreads are maximum impact. The Legion Commanders have that Medicae save which I think is great, and the tactical units at least the ones with missile launchers can be very effective. 

Regardless, The point here is that this list is packed with infantry and gets them into place early which seems to be a tournament winning strategy. So much of the game seems to get decided in the opening deployment and first turn and here we get to deploy after our opponent, assuming they don’t have infiltrate, and we get to place our detachments further down the board effectively skipping the turn one of manoeuvring into position.

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From our second event we are seeing a lot of similar things to the previous event, but dropping the points from 2.5 to 1.5 k really made a big difference. We’re still looking at mass infantry, but it costed us out of the Warmaster. It also seemed like the anti-aerial game was reduced andn we have more tanks, but it’s hard to compare the 30 person 5 round event with the 20 person 3 round event. I did like that we had Robin Windon winning both events. It did feel like his later list was a development from the earlier one, and given that the Warmaster clocks in at 750 points, he just had to trim another 250 points to make the switch from 2.5 to 1.5 k points.

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Alright, I hope you enjoyed looking through these list with me. It certainly gave me a few ideas on what I should pick up next. I do know that my usual opponent for games does have a Warmaster, so I’ll have to give some thought on how to deal with that. Following the last event, we did get new options. We now have a few more super heavy tank options for the Solar Auxilia including the Shadowsword which has Engine Killer 2 which might help take down those Titans, although we’d have to get through the void shields first. The Auxilia also have Dracosans and we’ve seen that the Rhinos were very popular so that should give them a boost. The Legion Fast attack box is very interesting, cavalry have the same tactical strength as Walkers, so 3 compared to infantry’s 5. The formation for them, the Sky-Hunter Phalanx will give jetbikes, land speeders, and javelins outflank which lets them stay in reserve and appear from one of the non-enemy board edges. We also have the Dread drop pods. Dreads were very popular in these events as were Drop pods so both at once once like a good combo. Ahead of us we also have a new book coming out, The Devastation of Tallarn. That will have new tank variants and termite assault drills for a different kind of deep strike!

Fun times ahead.

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