40K EDITORIAL: Uncle Joe Wants You.

Hi all, Jwolf here. This week I’d like to talk a little about the current state of our local metagame, because it interests me (might as well admit it). The armies I play evolve to better survive the local environment – I don’t play on the Internet, after all. Here are the general army trends I’m seeing. I’m not going to go into specific army builds, because we play 2000 points, which is not the norm out there.

One of the more interesting builds hitting the tables these days is the Battle Company Build – As many Marines as possible, with some Rhinos and nothing too fancy. This build depends on sheer weight of resilient numbers to get the job done, and appears to be doing pretty well against IG Wall of Steel and Mech-Vet Spam builds. Where are the Dark Eldar when we need them? (Mine are mouldering in the Closet of Shame after proving incapable of killing any Drop Pods in Ard Boyz Round 1).

Tyranids are showing some revived interest in Gaunt hordes as well, with Warrior squads coming out to present some resilient Synapse in a pricey yet low target value format. Obviously the Guard Codex raised the interest in Toughness 7 big bugs and Zoanthropes, and both are out eating people regularly.

The good old Imperial Guard have seen the peak of Mech-Vet Spam come and go, and we’re playing more Commissars with 2-3 infantry squads under their control. Very little says “I’ll be on this objective” like a pile of stubborn Guardsmen reserving onto the board, and if the occasionally manage to grab and maul someone, all the better. I’m using a really terrible build with a giant Al’Rahem platoon that entertains me, but only because I’m a masochist, I think. Really, don’t do it unless you like watching 500 points of your army do almost nothing.

Chaos Space Marines continue to be the army most likely to be on the tabletop, with boring Plague Marines still oozing out of Rhinos all over the place. I did settle the question of who runs Bartertown between Huron and Typhus recently (sure, Typhus stabbed himself 3 times in a row, but Huron won), but the overall trend in Chaos is still the same. I look forward to seeing how the inclusion of the New Improved Chaos Space Marines (aka Space Wolves) disrupts the balance here; right now, it’s too soon to tell.

A really significant percentage of these armies have high Kill Points; in fact, locally there is almost no optimization for Annihilation going on at all. As with any trend, this is driven by the players who get in the most games with the most different opponents. It’s my opinion that people are overall realizing that having more discreet units is so great of an advantage in almost every situation (including Annihilation missions) that concerns over high KP are a distant second. The other thing I’m seeing is more bodies; that is, not only are armies made up of more discreet units, but those units tend to have more bodies in them. Instead of seeing 3 attack bikes and a Landraider, 2 tactical squads with Rhinos are far more common; a definite trend away from flashy units towards pure meat and potatoes. This trend is a direct result of the huge number of Meltaguns that the armies of the summer had; increasing the numbers of bodies makes the ubiquitous 3 Meltas and a Demo Charge Mechanized IG Veteran squads less able to pop up and kill their weight.

~What sorts of armies are you guys seeing on the tables in your neck of the woods these days? What is currently in vogue, gaining or losing ground? Also, bonus points for the quote that drives the picture for the article.

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