Top Tactics for Next Year’s Las Vegas Open

The Las Vegas Open is one of the world’s largest independent Warhammer events, and in 2018, it’s going to be even bigger. Attendance at the Warhammer 40,000 Championship alone is expected to be over 500 players, while their fast-growing Warhammer Age of Sigmar Championship is one of the largest of its kind in the world – both highly prestigious and world famous matched play events.

And these are just two of over a dozen Warhammer-related tournaments, campaigns and Mega Battles taking place across the long weekend – there’s something for every kind of gamer.

With just under two months until the event, we caught up with some former winners of the Las Vegas Open Championships to get their thoughts on what they are expecting to see at this year’s event: which armies will be hot, which tactics will be in play, and what are their early predictions about the winning army this year…

First up, Brett Perkins, last year’s Warhammer 40,000 Championship winner:

Brett: Aloha from Oahu,

Brett here, your defending LVO Champ and ITC Runner-up. I plan to defend my title this January as long as my obligations do not pull me away. As you may already know, I won the previous LVO with a mix of Chaos Renegades with Daemon allies. I have since switched back to my original army, Astra Militarium. However, I do not believe they are the army you need to worry about at the upcoming LVO.

I am predicting a Chaos Space Marines army taking the crown with a heavy dose of Alpha Legion. The army has some hidden gems that can be a real eye-opener if you are unsure of what they bring to the fight. For example, this is a recent game I had at the SoCal Open:

Above you see a normal tactic of screening your heavy hitters with cheap troops; in this case, I had Conscripts with Commissar support.

The Alpha Legion Cultists and Berzerkers were able to use “Forward Operatives”, allowing the infantry to infiltrate 9″ from my lines. That is nice, but why does it matter? Well, as you know, most successful armies carry a bit of synergy. All of the Alpha Legion troops moved up to within 3″ in the first Movement phase. The Cultists were then blessed with “Prescience” for +1 to hit. Then with “Veterans of the Long War” they received +1 to wound. That is now 72 autogun shots and 12 heavy stubber shots hitting on 3s, rerolling 1s to hit (due to a nearby Chaos Lord), and wounding on 3s. If you add in “Endless Cacophony” to shoot a second time, then you can see how this makes for a truly terrifying opening turn! Your opponent just needs to split fire and charge what survives. In this case, only a few vehicles survived to see the first turn. That entire turn did cost a pretty penny in Command Points, but do you really need them after the first strike? My prediction for this year’s LVO winners: Chaos Space Marines.

I look forward to seeing you all at LVO; maybe you can find a way to stop what the Alpha Legion does best!

Next, we checked in with Matt Root, who was the ITC Champion last year, beating out over 5,000 other Warhammer 40,000 players to have the best record over the course of the year!

Matt: Hey everyone, Matt here.

The current narrative of Warhammer 40,000 can only be described as a war of escalation. First Chaos came along and said “Behold, Magnus is here!”. Not to be outdone, the Imperium yelled out “Yeah, but we’ve got Roboute Guilliman“. Chaos countered with “Fine, here are some putrid Death Guard with another giant flying monster Primarch.” Finally, Astra Militarum came around as the ultimate Chaos killers with a buffed Shadowsword and insanely good anti-Chaos relics and Stratagems as the final karate chop to Chaos. Sadly, the xenos are caught in this crossfire and (in my humble opinion) won’t have enough time with their new codexes to square up to the other two massive contenders before LVO has arrived.

So where does that leave us? Currently, the usual suspects for leading tournaments are Astra Militarum with incredible numbers of mortars and bodies, Magnus or Mortarion with several gallons of Chaos units, or Roboute Guilliman with some variant of “lots of guns“. Though Chapter Approved comes out this weekend (which will undoubtedly shake things up), I find it hard to imagine one of these contenders not coming out on top. At the moment, I think Astra Militarum has the upper hand (winning events like SoCal Open, Warzone Atlanta, and the Renegade Open) – so I think they have the best chance of taking the event.

That being said, my final prediction is Orks will win LVO, because I love Orks and everyone wishes they were as cool as a giant muscle-headed space fungus who smokes cigars and wields a flamethrower.

Here are some words of advice from Danny Ruiz, one of the Warhammer 40,000 judges:

Danny: When one thinks Las Vegas, one dreams of the big win – hitting the jackpot, going all-in, and of course, winning the Warhammer 40,000 Championship. How do you increase the odds of your success when partaking in the largest Warhammer 40,000 singles event in the world? Well, from a judge’s perspective, here is a good way to start:

Preparation is huge. Have your lists printed and ready to go. Make sure that your codex is packed with your models. Flashcards or a handy reference sheet for army-wide special rules or psychic powers can save you time and save you a headache. It can also help avoid any miscommunications with your opponent.

Consistent practice creates consistent results. Make sure that you are playing your army before you decide to go the tournament. The more games you can get under your belt with your chosen force, the more likely you are going to succeed. Whether it is discovering a cool trick or running into a problematic matchup, the more you know your list, the more you set yourself up for victory.

Eat food, drink water, and sleep. Well, Vegas is known for its cuisine, and water is plentiful, but sleep isn’t always high on the agenda! However, these are all good things to keep in mind. Make sure to eat a good-sized breakfast before the event, make sure to eat lunch, and make sure to eat dinner. It’s hard to plan the perfect counter-attack when your tummy is rumbling. It’s harder to remember to use the perfect Stratagem when you’ve slept fewer hours than a Space Marine.

This is a social game. Talk to your fellow players. Get engaged with the Warhammer Community site. Visit your favorite blogs. The more people with whom you chat about the game, the more likely you are to be inspired with a new tactic or learn a particularly nasty one that you may have to face. Good players love competition, so they are all willing to chat and trade ideas in the pursuit of sharpening their skills.

It’s not just Warhammer 40,000 of course. In the past year, the Warhammer Age of Sigmar gaming scene across the world has exploded with events popping up everywhere. The Las Vegas Open Warhammer Age of Sigmar Championship will be one of the largest matched play tournaments held to date, and their narrative events are proving more popular than ever. Here’s Head Tournament Organiser Scott Reed, on his predictions for the events this year:

Scott: Scott here. The Las Vegas Open has a reputation for being a big party event, an unparalleled display of competitive gaming, and just plain fun. Last year, Warhammer World’s own John Bracken came out from Warhammer World to run the big competitive event on Saturday and Sunday, and even a narrative game the day before, which was a blast. This year we’re looking to fill those monumental shoes* and bring the fun this January.

Since the release of The General’s Handbook, tournaments around the country have been drawing more and more players. General’s Handbook 2017 has just kept those fires going. We wanted to create the same level of excitement that visited LVO last year, when Warhammer World came to the States and ran their own kind of Grand Tournament here.

This year we have a Warhammer Age of Sigmar Doubles Event happening on Friday, the 26th. Three games with your buddy, each bringing their own 1000 point list. Each player on a team is fighting for their own personal scores, as well as a team win. The winning teams will have the highest combined points, and each round, teams will be randomly paired with other teams with the same win-loss-draw record. Make sure to coordinate with your teammate ahead of time for best results. Preparation leads to success.

The event features three battleplans tweaked from the horde of more narrative battleplans Games Workshop has written for Warhammer Age of Sigmar. These battles will happen in Aqshy, the Realm of Fire. Your forces are on their own, looking to gain a foothold in the Ardor Plains. You need to make allies if your are to succeed, then find clues to fixing the battered Realmgates in the Ardor Plains. This ends with a fight to secure a Realmgate, align it, and bring in forces to start conquering these lands. If this style format as well-received, next year’s scenarios will be tied to this year’s stories.

Man that sounds like a lot of fun, I can’t wait.

Of course, the big event is The Warhammer Age of Sigmar Championship event on Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th. First, and what I find the coolest thing, this will be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Warhammer Age of Sigmar tournament that’s ever happened in North America. We are on track to have over a hundred players at this event. Second, it’s the end of Warhammer Age of Sigmar for the ITC season. This event could help catapult anyone in the top rankings to the number one spot to win it all. Faction awards will also be up for grabs.

This will be two days of competitive play. Players will make 2,000 point lists to play in seven games. We will be using the six battleplans from the General’s Handbook 2017, and one additional battleplan tweaked from the previous General’s Handbook, set in a random order over the days. Extra objectives have been added to give the players a chance to show their generalship skills. In the end, the top winner will be the one who has gone undefeated for both days. This should be a big knock-down, drag-out fight for the top positions. I, for one, am looking forward to watching it from the outside this year, but my prediction is that, while everyone will be gunning for Tzeentch, they still have the tools to take the top spot as they did at the SoCal Open this year.

Hope to see you all there in Vegas!

* Size 9, we believe.

Well, there you have it. Some former champions and a judge sharing their thoughts.

Who do you think will come out on top at the Las Vegas Open this year? Share your predictions on our Facebook pages for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Age of Sigmar.

If you’d like to attend the event yourself, tickets are still available for some tournaments, including expanded places for the Warhammer 40,000 Championships event! Perhaps you will be the next to take the top spot? And if that’s not your cup of tea, we have loads of other fun Games Workshop events you can participate in from narrative events, to friendly, Warhammer 40,000, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire and more.

The Las Vegas Open takes place on January 26th through to the 28th, in Bally’s Casino.

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