The Highlander format, being used at Moocon, is familiar to Warmahordes players but new to 40k players. Players outside Cork are operating under a double disadvantage, being equally unfamiliar with the format but also with the points level. 1000 points is something of a strange beast. The points level appears quite popular with Cork-based gamers but is relatively uncommon elsewhere. But 40k is 40k and the previous tournament results show that better players still finish above the herd regardless.
There are positives and negatives to the format. It allows no duplication of units, even if they are differently equipped. The main positive would be that this reduces the possibility of losing by match-up. You won't be caught off-guard by an all-Land Raider list and crushed under their treads. All lists involved will have a certain organic balance. The main negative would be that it increases the influence of luck on any particular game. With less redundancy, the possibility for a single miss to have a fatal impact increases.
The last Moocon's results don't tell us much now that the format has changed. The usual suspects win out in Dark Eldar and Space Wolves but there is an oddity in the performance of the Chaos Marine codex. It seems to have performed well above expectations and I suspect it could do so again. With a limited number of codexes on hand, I've thrown together some sample lists to try and get a feel for the system.
The Chaos Codex seems to have a certain edge in its troops section but FOC limitations make it difficult to fully utilise, without sacrificing your best units. The Fast Attack section, in particular is simply an annoyance. But I believe the Lash Daemon Prince becomes a real terror at this points level, this will be enhanced by the lack of vehicles.
HQ: Daemon Prince (Mark of Slaanesh, Lash of Submission)
Elite: 3 Terminators (3 Combi-meltas w/Land Raider)
Troops: 5 Khorne Beserkers (Skull Champion, Powerfist)
Troops: 5 Plague Marines w/Rhino
Heavy Support: 3 Obliterators
I know, I know. Footsloggers are goosed. But you're a BT player, all you have is hope and an abundance of storm shields. Why not play to those strengths? Play it fluff style.
HQ: Emperor's Champion (Accept any challenge)
HQ: Marshall (Powerfist, Storm Shield, teleport homer)
Elites: 10 Assault Terminators
Troops: 10 Initiates (Meltagun)
Troops: 10 Initiates (Multimelta)
Here's a strange one, using a quirk from the heavy support section. With smaller boards, the enemy has nowhere to run. One well placed Jaws will still ruin your day.
HQ: Tyranid Prime (Pair of Boneswords)
Elites: 2 Venomthropes
Troops: 12 Termagaunts
Troops: Tervigon (Catalyst, Toxin Sacs)
Heavy Support: 3 Carnifexes (Heavy Venom Cannon)
And a staple of the tournament scene. The Highlander version is merely a mini-ETC list with the usual focus on shooting, a lot.
This one is mostly stolen but awesome. Multiple vehicle types, spread over multiple FOC slots. The Guard are going to lay down some hurt.
HQ: Rune Priest (Chooser, Hurricane, Lightning)
Elite: Dread (TL Autocannon x2)
Elite: Ven Dread (TL Autocannon x2)
Troops: 10 Grey Hunters (Melta x 2, Power Fist, Standard, Rhino)
Troops: 5 Blood Claws (TL Lasback)
Fast Attack: Land Speeder (Multi-melta, Heavy Flamer)
Heavy Support: 6 Long Fangs (4 Missiles, 1 Heavy Bolter)
HQ: Company Command Squad (3 Meltaguns)
Elites: Psyker Battle Squad (Chimera, 1 Extra Psyker)
Troops: Veteran Squad (3 Plasmaguns, Lascannon)
Troops: Penal Legion Squad
Fast Attack: Vendetta (Heavy Bolters)
Fast Attack: Banewolf
Heavy Support: 2 Hydras
Heavy Support: Manticore
Labels: Army Design, Highlander, Irish Tournaments, Irish Wargaming, Moocon, Newbreed, Warhammer 40K