Warhammer 40K Escalation League Winter 2019

Gnome Games
Warhammer 40,000 Escalation League Winter 2019
January 5 – March 1


The goal of the Gnome Games Warhammer 40,000 Escalation league is to bring new players to the tables, train existing players, and have fun while building up tournament-level armies. Events will occur weekly, with an ascending point level, giving players time to build, paint, and plan their core force over 8 weeks. Players may join the escalation league at any time during the league.


Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition is a large departure from previous version of Warhammer 40,000. This section will define some key terms as they relate to the 8th edition of the game.

Game Formats:

There are three current ways to play Warhammer 40K—Open playNarrative Play, and Matched Play. Open Play and Narrative Play games allow more flexibility in list building and allow armies to be built that are not battle-forged. Matched Play games require the army to be battle-forged—that is, all models in the army must be organized into detachments sharing a faction keyword. Battle-forged armies can have one or more detachments in an army.


A detachment is a method of organizing models in an army. All models in a detachment must share a faction keyword. Detachments may offer command points for complying with the rules of organization depending on the size of the detachment in question.

Common detachments used in 8th edition include the Patrol Detachment and Battalion Detachment:

Force Organization Chart:

The Force Organization Chart, or FOC, defines the battlefield role of a unit in a detachment. The current battlefield roles are: HQ, Troops, Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support, Dedicated Transport, Flyer, Fortification, and Lord of War. A unit’s datasheet will define its battlefield role.


All unit rules and statistics are detailed on the unit’s datasheet. Datasheets can be found in an army’s Codex book or one of the five Index books (Index Imperium 1, Index Imperium 2, Index Chaos, Index Xenos 1, and Index Xenos 2). These books may be purchased at The Relentless Dragon.


  • Primary league day is Saturday with play from 10:00am until 6:00pm.
  • Secondary league day is Thursday with play from 3:00pm until 9:00pm.
  • Players can organize additional matches with opponents for any day of the week, space permitting. Please call ahead (920-965-1380) to ensure space will be available.

Every week matches will be played at a given point level. Point levels will increase every two weeks, giving players plenty of opportunity to acquire and paint new models.

The method used to build your army will escalate as follows:

Weeks One and Two: 500 Points
January 5 – 18

  • Patrol Detachment (modified)
  • HQ: 1 required
  • Troops: 1 required; up to 1 additional allowed
  • Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support: Up to 1 of each allowed
  • Dedicated Transports: 1 per other choice allowed
  • Eternal War Missions

    Week 3 – Kill Team
    January 19

  • Kill Team from your Escalation League Faction

    Weeks Four and Five: 750 Points
    January 20 – Feb 8

  • Patrol Detachment (modified)
  • HQ: 1 required
  • Troops: 1 required; up to 1 additional allowed
  • Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support: Up to 1 of each allowed
  • Dedicated Transports: 1 per other choice allowed
  • Eternal War Missions

    Week 6 – Kill Team
    February 9

  • Kill Team from your Escalation League Faction

    Weeks Seven and Eight: 1000 Points
    February 10 – March 1

  • Battalion Detachment (modified)
  • HQ: 2 required; up to 1 additional allowed
  • Troops: 2 required; up to 4 more allowed
  • Elites, Fast Attack, Heavy Support: Up to 3 of each allowed
  • Flyers: Up to 2 allowed
  • Dedicated Transports: 1 per other choice allowed
  • Auxiliary detachments are not allowed at this points level
  • Eternal War Missions

    Week 9: Grand Tournament and League Awards Ceremony – 1500 Points ($10 Entry, Free for League Members)
    March 2

    • Rules: Warhammer 40,000 Matched Play (see pages 214-215 of the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook).
    • Army size: 1500 points.
    • Missions: Eternal War.
    • Number of games: Four.
    • Army selection: Battle-forged with a maximum of three Detachments. Excluding Troops and Dedicated Transports, each datasheet can be included a maximum of three times in your army.
    • Publications in use: All current and in-print Warhammer 40,000 Index books, Codexes, beta rules, FAQs and errata from Games Workshop and Forge World, unless their release falls on the weekend of the event. We expect you to use the most current datasheets for your models – e.g. those found in a Codex rather than an Index if a Codex is available for your army. This means that you may use Faction-appropriate Index datasheets that might not appear in your Codex (such as Chaplain on Bike)
    • No League Points will be awarded, League Awards will be presented at the Grand Tournament

    Force Composition


  • This league will be played under the 8th edition rule set of Warhammer 40K. Players should be using unit statistics and compositions from their army’s codex or Index, as applicable.
  • Unit point costs should use the most recent available source (e.g. Chapter Approved 2017).
  • Armies should be built using points, rather than power levels.
  • Command Points for detachments as detailed in the rulebook are conferred during this season.
  • Patrol Detachments do not offer additional CP—players will be limited to the 3 CP granted from being battle-forged.
  • Battalion Detachments offer 3 CP, in addition to the 3CP granted from being battle-forged, for a total of 6 CP.

    Army Selection

  • All units in your army must share a faction keyword (e.g. Orks, Tyranids, Eldar, Dark Eldar, Space Marines, Grey Knights, Imperial Knights, Chaos Space Marines, Tau, Necrons, Astra Militarum, etc.) and must follow all build restrictions based on your chosen faction keyword.
  • Players will register with their faction and receive a 15% discount for all special orders for miniatures for this force during the League.
  • Players are encouraged (but not required) to play the same army (“faction”) throughout the entire league, adding to it as they go. If you play the same army throughout the entire league, you will be awarded a one-time bonus of 5 League Points at the close of the league.
  • Players are encouraged to try out different lists and builds within their army from week-to-week. This is an opportunity to try out new units and tactics.
  • There are no items, units, abilities, or powers that are banned. However, players are encouraged to build fun lists and not “min/max” type lists designed for competitive tournaments.
  • We reserve the right to ban items, units, abilities, or powers as the league progresses if they seriously hamper the fun nature of the league.
  • Players that are found to be disrupting the fun, casual aspect of the league may be asked to change their army list or cease future participation.


  • Models should be WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) as much as possible.
  • “Primary” weapons should not be “proxied”—e.g. if your list specifies a marine with a melta gun, the model should depict a melta gun and not use something else as a stand-in.
  • It is not necessary to model every minor item or secondary weapon on a figure—for example, nearly all orks are armed with Stikkbombs, so it is not necessary (nor reasonable) for figures to have stikkbombs on them.
  • Any WYSIWYG deviations should be pointed out to your opponent prior to your battle. Gnome Games staff are the final adjudicators for WYSIWYG at the tables. When in doubt – ask first.
  • As not everyone may be familiar with the weaponry of other factions, players should point out to their opponents what weapons are carried by their models.

    Organizing the Battle

    Battles will be organized and fought according to the rules in the core rulebook or Chapter Approved 2017, based on mutual agreement of both players. Players should randomly determine the mission being fought, and the deployment method.

  • Weeks 1 through 8 should only utilize the Eternal War missions.
  • All other rules of the mission being fought will be utilized, including secondary objectives, etc.
  • Missions should be played utilizing Matched Play rules. Beta rules are not used in this league.
  • When keeping track of wounds, players are encouraged to count down, rather than up.

    Scoring League Games

    During the duration of the escalation league, players can play up to three league games per week. The first game you play each week awards you league points based on the degree of your victory as outlined below.

    Crushing Victory (you have twice the victory points of your opponent): 5 League Points
    Win (you have more victory points than your opponent): 3 League Points
    Draw (player’s scores are the same): 1 League Points
    Loss (your opponent has more victory points than you): 0 League Points

    At the end of each game, players total their victory points. The player who scores the most points wins, while the other player losses. If both players score the same points, the game is a draw. If the winning player scores twice (or more) the victory points over the losing player, then the winning player scores a Crushing Victory. The degree of victory determines how many league points a player earns per game as detailed in the table above.

    The following two games each week award you 3 additional league points for a crushing victory, 2 additional league points for a win, 1 additional league point for a draw, and 0 additional points for a loss.

    Additional games should be organized directly between players and can be played any time during that week. Additional games should be played against different opponents where possible.  Players should not play more than 2 official league games per opponent, per week. All games must be played at Gnome Games

    Sportsmanship Points

    Players can earn an additional 3 League Points per game, per week based on sportsmanship.

    After each game score your opponent’s sportsmanship by marking the appropriate ‘yes’ or ‘no’ check boxes on the scoring sheet. A player earns 1 point per ‘yes’ they receive.

  • Was your opponent prepared and brought all the materials they needed to play, including a detailed army list for you to refer to during the game?
  • Was your opponent on time and managed their turns and time well while playing?
  • Was your opponent fun to play against and did they resolve disputes fairly?

    Painting Points

    Players can earn up to a total of 5 League Points each week for painting and basing their armies. See the next section for painting guidelines.

    Painted Unit/Character/Vehicle (Up to 3 total units) 1 League Points
    Fully Painted Army (All units must be fully painted) 1 League Points
    Unified Bases (All units must be based and finished similarly) 1 League Points

    Painting Standards

    While there is no requirement to paint your models, the purpose of the escalation league is to encourage players to build and paint their armies over time. As can be seen above, the points for a fully painted and based army can equal a crushing victory each week!

    The purpose of the escalation league however, is not to judge a player’s skill or ability to paint. At a minimum, models should be painted to a basic tabletop standard. This standard is generally considered to be 3 colors minimum, not including primer. Colors can include shading and highlighting, but this is not necessary.

    Bases should be finished with sand, gravel, texture paint, grass, or other appropriate basing materials, with none of the plastic base showing (other than base rims). To earn the point for unified basing, all bases across the entire army should be finished in a similar fashion using similar materials, colors, and base rim colors. Bases do not need to be identical (nor should they), but should show a common theme or style. It is acceptable and encouraged to have more elaborate basing for character models to show off their uniqueness in the army.

    What to Bring Each Week

  • Miniatures (obviously!)
  • Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition Rulebook (print or electronic)
  • Army Codex book or Index book (print or electronic)
  • Any supplemental material being used (Chapter Approved, etc.)
  • Measuring Tape or Range Ruler
  • Dice
  • Wound Markers to keep track of model wounds
  • Two copies of your army list (for yourself and your opponent)
  • Score sheet (provided by The Relentless Dragon staff)
  • Players are encouraged to bring any other materials appropriate to their army that they may own such as Psychic Power cards, Stratagem cards, etc.

    Please be sure to bring all materials that you need to play each week—in most cases, the store cannot loan materials to players.

    Fees and Prize Support

  • Initial Registration Fee: $10
  • Each Point Increase: $5
  • Total League Cost: $20
  • Grand Tournament $10 – waived if you have played in and reported in at least 5 League weeks

    Players are expected to pay the initial registration fee at the start of week 1, and then the additional point increase fee at the start of weeks 4 and 6.

    Prizes will be awarded in the form of store credit at Gnome Games. Total awards will be determined at league end as determined by each player’s total league points.
    Special awards for best army and best sportsmanship may be awarded as well, at the discretion of staff.

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