40K DEEP THOUGHT: How is 40k 7th ed. “less competitive” than 40k 5th ed?

unfair

A topic that is brought up often, but one that rarely has any real insightful answers:  Come join the party…

A guest editorial by BoLS Lounge alumni: Auticus

5th edition is considered the paramount of “competitive” editions… and 7th edition is “not competitive” and for RPG gamers that want to forge a narrative.

So how exactly is 5th edition more competitive than 7th?

Some cite game balance, however that is a very large laugh. Game balance was shoddy in 3rd, shoddy in 4th, shoddy in 5th, shoddy in 6th, and shoddy today. Every edition has had reams of topics on how the game is not balanced yet people tried tournament gaming them anyway.

However with 6th suddenly you just couldn’t do that anymore, people claimed.

No – game balance definitely is not the real answer to me. No one can say that if they had lived through the eldar starcannon spam days, or the blood angels rhino rush days, or the chaos 3.5 codex days, or the leaf blower guard days, or the draigo and his buddy paladins days that nearly 4 out of 5 gamers around my parts pushed.

Balance – lol that one is a red herring. Most guys that want competitive tournaments actively try to break the game in the list building phase. The list building phase is the biggest factor in tournament gaming if you are playing to win – show up with a weak list and no matter how good you are you are going to be at a severe handicap.

Also things like super heavies being in normal games is also a red herring because most tournaments don’t allow those or seriously restrict them in some ways.

Still others cite shoddy rules – but again the rules have always been complained about. Every edition there have been reams of threads about how crappy the rules are, but still tournament players were content with rolling until 6th.

So what were the biggest changes? What happened in 6th? Balance and shoddy rules are often cited but those existed in every edition and were complained about in every edition LOUDLY.

Wound allocation? That certainly shouldn’t cause the game to be less competitive. Some may find it more annoying because you have to remove closest models but that doesn’t really cause a game to be less competitive. It killed off the favored power build of the day (draigo and his paladins) but that is true with any edition change as one powerlist gives way to the other.

 

muhammad-ali-knock-out
I think the biggest change that is commonly griped about are two fold:
1) allies
2) forge world

How so?

In 3rd, 4th, and 5th edition there were usually three power builds that the vast majority of players took (i am speaking from heavy 3rd and 4th tournament experience and saw it in 5th after i had gotten out of tournament play). You went in with one of the power lists, hoping to play the list you hard countered, and praying you didn’t meet your hard counter that could beat you.

In 6th and 7th with allies and forge world present, there are many more combinations that result in having six or seven power builds present… which can hard counter a number of extreme lists themselves.

This makes it more difficult to list build against. (the misnomer “Take All Comers” list that people want is not really a “Take All Comers” list, it is a “Take on the Other Power Build I expect to face and Min/Max the Meta”)

I think that this is the biggest gripe at the root.

Forge World was lobbied against for pretty much a decade because gamers:
1) didn’t want to have to buy those books to memorize the rules too (or be at a disadvantage – something seen as heresy if you are a serious tournament player)

2) cited how “imbalanced” they were (with a straight face, while pushing the latest power build that broke the game)

When you get down to its base – I feel strongly that its not really about balance or shoddy rules or any of that – but more about you can’t list build as effectively as you could in the past because the diversity is a lot greater today on what you can face that is still effective whereas in the past you had to worry about three on average powerlists (and you were bringing one so you had to know how to fight the other two)

Today you can face six or seven power lists and the listbuilding phase is much harder to win in.

Your turn…

  • Skimask Mohawk

    Auticus’ cancer is spreading from the comments section into actual articles, excuse me while I attend chemo

  • Dragons_claw

    I think a lot of it was the introduction of so many more random factors to the game warlord traights random psychic powers random charge length mysterious terrain it was a lot harder to predict how your army was going to play before the game starts.

    I’ll confess to not being a competitive player much more of a fluff bunny but there the grumbles I hear

    • Stormxlr

      No one ever playes misterious terrain though, normally people just agree upon what it is during the prep time. Sure Warlord traits and psychic powers you roll on, but wouldnt it be better if you could just pick them based on the situation? You are heading into a battle you would probably know what set of skills you need. The worst is charge range, feels like there should be minimum charge range that you cant fail something like maybe 6″ ?

      • crevab

        But that’s house rules, which you can’t judge a game on

        As to charge range, what would you think of “Initiative +d6” ? I think it works for most everyone except Orks

        • Matt Lewis

          movement statistic would be better.

          • John Bower

            That strikes me as odd with ‘flee’ after losing a combat; why is that based in nish and not the run rolls? Surely it would be better if you ran away and if he got a higher consolidate he caught and obliterated you?

        • EverybodyLies

          If GW is intent on keeping the 2d6″ range, perhaps add a stipulation for min range of your Initiative.

          I do like the idea of your Init aiding you with your charge range.

      • Dragons_claw

        Yes I agree particularly about psychic powers my 5th army used gate of infinity as a key part of its strategy it also seems weird that your psychers don’t know what they can do until a couple of minutes before the battle surely they should knoaw or never know in which case you should have to roll every time you try and use a power some internal consistency would be appreciated if wasn’t trying to posit these things are competitive quite the reverse this was my take on why 7th is less competitive than 5th although I never thought 40k competitive in any shape its a narrative game which grew out of an RPG style and has become more and more out of kilter as they ramp the army sizes up every edition cheaper points per unit and larger points size games 40k is for the spectacle not the competiw

        • 6Cobra

          ‘Periods’ are your friend.

          • Dragons_claw

            Must…. resist….. making….tampon…. jokes

            think of it like a multi part kit 1 comment some assembly required I can sell you a bottle of liquid punctuation for a very reasonable $8.99 plus p&p 🙂

          • Damistar

            Careful or GW will sell a digital version for the same price.

          • Dragons_claw

            They’ll be getting my cease and desist letter pretty imminently that’s my IP 😉

        • Me

          Punctuation is not your enemy. It also makes your intended message much clearer (and easier to read). Take:

          I like eating family and friends
          vs.
          I like eating, family, and friends.

          The former makes you look like a Tyranid while the latter like a loyal Imperial citizen.

          • Dragons_claw

            How do you know punctuation isn’t my enemy.
            Punctuation might have killed my father and I’m on a sworn crusade to reap bloody vengeance on punctuation and anybody providing aide to it.
            I’m not saying that is what happened but it could be or it could just be lasy git who can’t be jaffed

          • Me

            ROFL!

          • Blah

            Punctuation

      • John Bower

        Dunno, you might not if you’re ambushed know which powers you need

    • Then the issue is how one defines themselves as “competitive” and what “competitive” really means.

      • Dragons_claw

        I think in this context the definition would revolve around player skill vs luck with dice. Every extra opportunity to be at disadvantage due to a dice roll getting a poor warlord trait or psychic power that doesn’t help your army or failing a 3 inch charge by rolling snake eyes takes the skill.out of the hands ofnthe player and puts into the fickle hands of the Dice God’s and it becomes game of luck rather than skill and that’s probably where the definition in this case comes from. It’s getting to semantics at this point though cause any game with more than one player and victory conditions is competitive under strict oxford English dictionary terms but we all know that isn’t what we’re talking about in this context

        • I understand that to a point but when I was a big time tournament player, I can tell you I am only average at best but I was placing high and winning tournaments not because of my skill at teh game, but because I’m good at math and can break army lists and metas. I’d argue that that’s not really a skill either, because when you took away my crutches I lost a hell of a lot more.

          When I started with eldar starcannon spam, I literally erased 2.5 marine units a turn simply by rolling a lot of dice. This was 3rd edition.

          My 4th edition leaf blower list it was the same thing. I rolled lots of dice. I won lots of games. I won three rogue trader tournaments and consistently placed high at GTs. It had nothing to do with my skill though, and everything to do with my army list.

          5th edition power lists also ran themselves. The goal was to create the list that could run itself and all you had to do was point and there it went.

          There has never been a system in 40k where skill other than some parlor tricks mattered (like guessing ranges, or knowing how to stack your roster with 18 missile launchers and meltas and putting them in units that could split fire)

          • Dragons_claw

            That kinda depends on whether you count list building as part of the game if you do.It’s a vital skill I’d also argue that maths and judging distance are both skills

          • For most games out there, list building is not just a skill it is THE skill. I never considered judging distances to really be a skill simply because it was something that could be taught in 15 minutes, plus there were all kinds of ways to cheat at it (this was before realm of battle boards became so common)

          • euansmith

            Fiddles with tape measure… extends tape measure 6″… leans across the table to admire opponent’s paint job… rests fist holding tape measure near own unit and quickly uses peripheral vision to check enemy unit is in range… straightens up and closes tape measure absentmindedly… “Um.. I think I’ll charge this squad into your unit…”

          • Yep. A common one used was to measure from point of finger to elbow and then use your arm to measure things as well (that was more for long range guessing like cannon shots in fantasy)

            For short ranges they’d measure from wrist to extended finger and then use their hand on the table to determine ranges.

            This is why i was glad when guess range anything was removed. It was a farce.

      • Zingbaby

        Thank, you, Auticus… this has been my BOLS comment thesis for the last few years lol.

        If you require EASY (like 5th edition net-listing with very little *other* factors to consider) and require the most beat-stick cheese-list to win; you are NOT competitive – in fact it means you require a HANDI-CAP.

        • DaveTycho

          That was my similar thought after I read this article. If one builds a powerlist hoping, at worst, to take on one or two other powerlists that could beat it in a tournament, and then complains that there are other powerlists that person didn’t even count on, doesn’t sound like a tactical genius to me. My idea of a great tournament player is one that can take on lists he didn’t anticipate on fighting and still beat them.

        • ReveredChaplainDrake

          On the contrary. Say you found a list that works for you. And since all the codecies are equally balanced against each other (wink-wink), the only way someone could lose to your functional list is because you’re a better player.

          This is of course facetious, as codecies are clearly not balanced against each other (and in some tragic cases aren’t even balanced against themselves), but if you submit to this conclusion, then perhaps you might prefer a game of 40k that was more balanced, rather than throwing random tables at the wall until something sticks.

          So yes, broken lists are a handicap for bad players. However, a “good” player will also be able to recognize good lists too, and often much faster. But by the time you get to the ol’ 4×6, this distinction is irrelevant. How about we stop making 40k dominated by handicap lists and make a game where skill on the table trumps list selection?

          • Zingbaby

            Oh welcome to, …the point. What you’re suggesting is more possible now than ever before. The 5th edition was dominated by handicap (net) lists. In 7th edition, as with every edition, the list still matters, but to a lesser extent.

            Imo the Eldar book is still out of balance but for the most part the codex are all at least as balanced as they’ve ever been. Add allies and even Maelstrom missions (a great equalizer) and you have even more choices on how to play. But at least now ‘skill on the table’ matters a heck of a lot more than in previous editions.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            Sure, balance could happen now. …It’s *not* happening, not even close (and even if it was, everybody losing to Eldar does not mean everybody else is balanced against each other), but it *could* happen.

            Y’know what *did* happen? Necrons. Necrons happened. Balance did not.

    • MKholl

      Convert random tables into something the player can pick before the battle begins: warlord table and psychic powers.

      • Dragons_claw

        Like 5th 🙂
        Im not arguing for or against it i’m attempting to answervthe quest

      • Koonitz

        My problem with this (as much as I dislike the random tables, hence my reluctance to use my favorite HQ, the Librarian, anymore) is that you’d only ever see one or two warlord traits or one or three psychic powers ever used. The rest would be utterly ignored, just like a poor unit in a codex.

        As it is, you already see that in some whole disciplines being ignored in favour of the ones with more powerful abilities (Divination/Biomancy, and Telepathy to a lesser degree only for Invisibility).

        Can you imagine what it’d be like if you can just pick Invisibility on your psykers?

        It’s the reason I hate tournaments. When everyone does the same thing, it’s bloody boring.

        I’d like a little more reliability, but not supreme choice. Which is why I like building CAD lists, for the reroll of the Warlord trait. I find that to be perfectly acceptable. The fact that Objective Secured has won me more games than I can count doesn’t hurt, either.

      • Zingbaby

        For reasons like this, 5th edition was a game you won BEFORE you actually even deployed miniatures… and that is why that edition grew so tired.

      • Zingbaby

        This is also why Sevrin Loth is a ‘broken’ HQ and super cheesed out.

        Yes we are all nerds, and like true nerds we rarely commit without having every possible assurance prior [to battle] but then you’ve got to leave something to do during the actual ‘game’ or at least you cannot call yourself “competitive”.

      • Dennis Harrison

        I would be happy if all armies suffered the RNG gods at the rate. You have a handful of armies that get kicked in the face more than they should in regards to the whims of dice tables. Most other armies perform very well time and time again because they are predictable.

    • Zingbaby

      It’s because a lot of the “competitive” crowd are not really competitive in the slightest (exceptions being guys like Ben Mobile etc); So many net-lister “competitive” folks just want EASY, and 7th edition became less easy.

      To them ‘competitive’ means being able to download a net-list to do your winning for you, it means having your simple net-list account for any possible other list or scenario, or in-game event you might face. It means playing the most vanilla and predictable missions, with little terrain and no datasheets, no forgeworld, no extra stuff you might actually have to ‘think and react/play’ against, nothing random that might ruin your entirely predisposed net-list plan by making you improvise.

    • MycroftHolmes

      Winner on the first try.

      Warlord traits, physic powers, charge range, mysterious terrain, objective effects, weapon effects and these are just the additional randoms added in 6th/7th.

      Yes, we play a game with dice and randomness is a major part of the game. It’s just become the about the only part of the game.

    • John Bower

      Random terrain was 6th, there’s only to my knowledge 1 piece now of ‘random’ terrain and of course still random objectives.

      • Dragons_claw

        Err maybe I kinda stopped playing towards the end of fifth bought the 6th rulebook and 6 was the number of games of it I played haven’t bothered gett the 7th book yet ill probably wait forn8 which should be along any week now 🙂
        I should just move on completely but I love the grimdark and the models jst the game got a bit stale for me and. I hate the waiting around during opponents turn I play infinity for fun and read black library books I have recently dug out my Ravenguard army with a view to playing again but haven’t got much further

        • John Bower

          Many a true word spoken in jest… lol

    • David Dutton

      I agree to some extent, while the author is right, there are so many units, formations and allies that allow you to really create many different “power lists.” However the push for more randomness I think also brings more difficulty in terms of creating a power list. For me this is both good and bad.

      Dealing with random psyker powers and warlord traits can mean that certain factors of your army (factors that can affect your army in a major way) are somewhat out of your control. This can still represent the strategy of the player since dealing with random boosts and using them to your advantage show the skill of the player. Still, things like random charge length can be crippling sometimes when your CC unit fails a 3 or 4 inch charge and there is nothing you can do about it. I have had it happen to me and opponents I played against and sometimes it costs you the game. Clearly this isn’t strategy anymore, its just randomness that severely hurts or helps you.

      As Stormxlr says, the fact that no one plays mysterious terrain proves that most of the community rejects random events that affect you without any input from the player.

  • Lucky Moniker

    we came to this conclusion the week after it was released.
    and speculated to it before.

  • Shiwan8

    Yeah…. OR it could be that the 7th changed rules from 6th just so that any and all armies that (willingly or through no other options) relied on cc monsters to get things done are gone. Nids have exactly zero competitive ways to kill a landraider. Same goes for CSM. Not that land raider is a competitive unit, but the max armor nids can now kill is 12.

    It’s also about codex design. If an army has a weakness that it does not need to care about, namely Tau with CC it will never see happening, it’s not really a weakness. Then there are armies that have no weaknesses, like eldar and the new necrons. Then the daemon summon farm just keeps putting more units for other side to deal with while they go about their business as usual. Now these 4, mainly eldar alone just go around winning while everyone else battles in their own league that should no be mixed to the top tier in any way.

    Soooo, it’s not really any one thing in the product lines. It’s the plain stupidity and/or lazy nature of the designers that creates unbelievably dumb exploits to be used.

    • 6Cobra

      Let me get this straight: the reason 7th is “less competitive” than 5th is.. CC MC’s aren’t effective any more? (And CSM’s have no way to kill a Landraider?!?)
      And because now – in 7th, as opposed to 6th or 5th – some armies have stronger codexes than others? ROFL

      • Shiwan8

        Well, you did not get it straight, not even close.

        No, the reason why 7th is not competitive is that the rules killed otherwise (would be) competitive codices and boosted 2 already broken ones. GW does not understand the term “moderation”. Every time it changes something it goes straight to the other end of the spectrum. 6th was a monster edition. It would have been fixed easily. Instead they killed the monsters out of the game (excluding flyrants) and lifted vehicles to be the undisputed kings of the 2 comparable unit types. This is just an example. Same thing actually happened with the drakes. Now they are useless. They could have been also fixed with very little effort. Salvo weapons are now crap unless used by some Relentless unit. Actually, now that I think of it, I could probably write few pages just to list the mistakes GW made last time.

        They do not think what’s going to happen when they change things. That is the problem. The community is just too self centered to fix things on their own. The result is what we have: The eldar dominate, tau and necrons come 2nd and daemons try to hang in there as the 3rd position holders. Every other codex is more or less out of their league.

        • Avensis Astari

          But as I understand it, saying the new Edition broke certain Codices while making others OP is what’s been happening since the game started? 7th is apparently no different.

          • Exactly my point. Everything being complained about 7th was being complained about in 3rd, 4th, and 5th as well.

          • Shiwan8

            That is true. There is however no reason why it has to be like that.

          • Avensis Astari

            The hordes of people demanding that the release of 7th heavily nerf Tau and Eldar seem to beg to differ.

          • Shiwan8

            If I understand you correctly, you are saying that people claim that 7th nerfed those 2.

            It did nothing mentionable to tau other than that you could not join MC unless specifically stated otherwise. Eldar just went from jetstar to serpent spam and wk spam. Both are still in the top 3 until we can see where the necron codex ends up. So no nerf there, really. Just different kind of cheese.

            If you meant that people demand that they should be nerfed then I agree, they should. With tau this is easy. Just reduse the benefit from markerlights to 1 bonus per one shooting unit. With eldar the serpent shield shooting has to go and the walkers need to change to walkers, not monsters. That’s actually all that is needed.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          Codices are going to become less and less well rounded as time goes on because allies are there to fix any problems you may have.

          Can’t crack AV 14? Ally in something that can.

          • Shiwan8

            Give me a plausible reason why nids and the eldar would ally each other. A reason that does not include phrases like “the rules allow it” and “because it is effective in the game”.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            A Genestealer Cult infiltrated the Eldar and are manipulating them.

            If it can happen to the Grey Knights, then it can happen to anyone.

          • Shiwan8

            Awesome. Now we just need to get rid of the ally restrictions and we are set.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Work around it. Its easy to keep things x inches away from one another.

          • Shiwan8

            Not in all deployment forms if one aims to be effective.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            You want to run Wave Serpents, right? Run them on a flank.

          • Shiwan8

            Actually no. I’d play eldar if I did. That is also why I do not use allies I don’t like even if they are good. It’s not about the max effectiveness to me. I play chaos because I like chaos. I play nids because I like nids. These do not match and the rest of the factions ar just not for me.

    • GaryT

      I disagree about CSM’s not being able to easily deal with landraiders. They have landraiders of their own and also have melta weapons and lascannons. In fact the last game I took a landraider in, my CSM playing opponent destroyed it with some deepstriking Raptors wielding meltaguns and had his Obliterators blast it with lascannon.

      I think Grey Knights would struggle more against a landraider (in shooting not assault) than a CSM army.

      The game is in my opinion pretty well balanced at the moment due to allies and detachments plugging the gaps that a particular army has. You do have a point about Tyranids against landraiders though, but that just seems like the old rock, paper, scissors stone thing.

      • Shiwan8

        I challenge you to make a list that can take out 1850 tournament eldar and still go against landraiders. You will fail though. It can not be done. I it could, it had been done and it would be CSM in the 1st place in the codex comparison.

        The point was that in a competitive setting it is impossible. It is possible in a purely fluffy joke setting where raptors are not useless by default.

        • A.P.

          There is no doubt that “tournament Eldar” are broken. If you dont build a serpent spam list and limit yourself to say 2-3 serpents th book balances much more closely with the other codices, the the tournament mentality that is killing the game, not the ruled per say but the abuse of them rather. always has been. If you play with a group that actually has an interest in a tactful , Fun, balanced game you will have no problems finding that person or enjoying the game. You may have a issue finding a tournament that enforces such play, as “Competitive” play is on.y achieved by two people with similar interests.

          • Shiwan8

            Alas, the mentality is there to stay. It will not go away, ever, as long as we are humans. Not all of us, just more than the scene can handle without being forced to go that way as a whole. It’s the devs job to restrict the people who can not restrict themselves. They are failing at that, badly.

          • gordonschum

            Or just quit playing against people who play like that. They will learn pretty quick when they can’t find a game.

          • Shiwan8

            The problem is that they can. Not that they should not. Apparently it’s easier to find a cheesefest almost anywhere than it is to find a “real” game.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Then you are not trying hard enough to foster the kind of community you want to play in.

          • Shiwan8

            I am about 2% of the local gamer population and not in a position of authority. I’m not so narcissistic that I’d think I have any real influence there. I’ve expressed my opinion about things but I can see no change.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Then you aren’t doing it right. You need to pull people who think like you away from the herd. Start your own little sub-set. All you need are two or three other like-minded people. Once you have that, more will come around to your way of thinking.

            Try to get a system going where you have 2 lists – one competitive and one less so. Every time you play a game, as your opponent which list they would rather face. Encourage others to follow suit.

          • Shiwan8

            I have that. Does not do it. Actually the trend seems to be opposite. Former casuals start to go to the competitive extremes. 😀

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Then attract new people to the hobby. Get them hooked on your way of playing. 🙂

          • Shiwan8

            Good idea. Tried that too, actually managed to get one. That one turned from fluffy to competitive.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Not to be offensive but if you have tried all of the above and still cannot maintain a group… Have you considered the possibility that people are migrating away from you, more specifically? 🙁

          • Shiwan8

            Oh, it’s not that I do not have regular matches. Just not many with casual minded people.

    • Dragon2928

      I had to read that twice, before I caught the “competitive ways” to kill a land raider part. You seem to be missing that to take a land raider in the first place is not “competitive”.

      If your competitive choices are unable to effectively deal with the enemy’s non-competitive choices, then I would suggest that you are doing it wrong.

      • Shiwan8

        According to general consensus, I’m not. You see, I play codecis that have no competitive builds. This not something I can just stop doing and still continue playing the game. I like the armies I use but their codices just can not beat the top lists. No-one as far as I know has won any reasonably important tournaments with CSM or nids since 7th edition….or since taudar and later eldar that is.

    • Me

      Sooo… The Eldar, Tau, and Necrons never loose except to each other? If you come up on the other side of the table from one of these, you just concede and pack up your miniatures?

      • Shiwan8

        Do you want to play a predetermined game outside some story thing?

  • Skimask Mohawk

    Auticus’ cancer has spread from the comment section into me, excuse me while I visit chemotherapy

    • Captain Gewaltatron

      This must be THE best comment I have ever read in any comment section or forum, EVER! Sir you just made my day!

      • Avensis Astari

        Not sure if sarcasm…

        • Captain Gewaltatron

          no sarcasm on my side! pure honesty!

  • benn grimm

    The rulebook was better in 5th, the game played smoother and with less rules to learn is was more accessible to newer players whilst being stronger overall for a tighter ruleset. Doesn’t mean there was no room for improvement, there clearly was, just instead of doing this, they just added a load of extra stuff and didn’t bother to fix that which needed fixing.
    The codexes were however not balanced, the worst offenders being Grey Knights, IG and Space Wolves, again instead of learning from this, the just did the same thing again in 6th (Eldar and Tau) and look to be doing it again (Necrons, Knights, Unbound etc etc).
    The problem isn’t as simple as one edition vs another edition, its that they don’t evolve efficiently from one to another, they don’t learn from their past mistakes and just keep on repeating the same old irritating nonsense.

    • Legendary DVDA

      40k needs to amend old rules when they had new ones. They keep using new books to play test and change things but the other books don’t get updated. They need to learn from modern games where new books come with errata to supplement them so everything plays smoothly.

      • Kevin Buesse

        Or now that everyone is essentially up-to-date release updates lime WMHO does where one books gets everyone 1-3 new units. That way no one is left in the cold for years and you can do exactly what you said and drop errata and FAQ’s all in one go.

    • TimW

      5th edition core rules had some problems but overall great. The problem was the codices. So yeah…7th edition is just top heavy on the rules. Way too much book keeping and random die rolls.

    • Matt

      That’s just it though, the game wasn’t any better or more balanced, it was just different with different power lists. Have you seen the recent statistics that knights win 20% more than any other army? Eldar is top below knights, but not by more than a few percent.

      • benn grimm

        The codexes have always been imbalanced when taken as a whole and min-maxed, but the core rule-set was stronger in 5th (imo). I havnt seen the stats, but that chimes with what I’ve heard, for me Knights and most Eldar builds are pretty unfun to play against, in whatever context, at a mates, down the club or at a tourney. Not particularly looking forward to playing Necrons either.

        • vonDietdrich

          ‘The more separate parts you have, the more likely something is going to break’. That’s just true of any system.

          When you get into the obscene amount of codexes and options that 40k’s transformed into since the end of 5th, it’s not really surprising that a few of them are going to have massive design flaws and be imbalanced (for good or bad).

  • David Leimbach

    Here’s the big secret about WH40k: your list can put you in a tier, but then it’s all about strategy and tactics.

    All the usual war-games tactics and ploys come into play. Know the odds, distances your units can move, strengths and weaknesses vs opposing units, feints, bluffing, sacrifice, predicting what your opponent will do and using that to your advantage.

    Sure you can win some games by having a strong list, and shoving your units anywhere you want, but having good tactics and strategy will make you do better.

    • Shiwan8

      Naturally. There are how ever codices that at their best with a gamer god using them could not beat a moderate Eldar gamer.

      • In 5th, a moderate grey knight player could pretty much beat most anyone except for their hard counter which was the 18 melta/missile launching long fang space wolf army.

        I’ve watched many eldar players with the netlists get knocked off their perch by decent players since their book dropped. The eldar book today is what the grey knights were in 5th.

        • ChubToad

          I dunno, Eldar is strong in 7th because of the serpent shield. Faq that and there goes the Serpent Spam. The other things have their own counters so no need to nerf the entire codex.

          • Cary Gould

            I agree the Eldar codex is still solid without serpent shields, but it has become such a crutch as its too good and a no brainer to use. Wraith knights are a little under costed for what they bring “jump, S10, T8, W6, I5, 3-4A AP2 melee”. If they removed the shooting shield from the serpent you may actually see some cool eldar synergy in action. I do believe that the basic shruiken weapons need to be 24″ though its so lame they essentially have pistol ranges on rifle weapons, and no battle focus does not make it awsome, though battle focus is in of itself awsome.

          • ChubToad

            Rumour has it that Battle Focus was the last gift from Matt Ward to the world of 40k

          • Cary Gould

            I have no gripes with battle focus and think its a cool mechanic for eldar.

        • Shiwan8

          Please do present evidence.

          • What evidence would you like? Shall we transport ourselves back in time for you to witness?

          • Shiwan8

            Lets start with someting that can be done. So, is there a link for this tournament. Please do not link the lictorshame-thing. It was a one time thing.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            I’ve seen that tournament, and they had apparently heavily house-ruled the tournament objectives to favor rapid redeployment. And nobody rapidly redeploys like Mawlocs.

            Rest assured, that tournament result changes nothing. If Tyranids are winning anywhere, it’s through gimmickry. *cough*Pentaflyrant*cough*

          • Shiwan8

            So, not a real 40k tournament then.

    • ChubToad

      True, power lists don’t autoplay themselves. Saying that the list is the end of all things is saying that the player doesn’t have anything to do with it winning. Invalidating the player completely.

      • I dunno. My power lists played themselves, I just rolled buckets of dice and had the ability to breathe.

        Eldar starcannon spam in 3rd was pretty much playing itself. So was my leafblower guard.

        • ChubToad

          Those were the days, buckets of dice, breathe…

          • oh yeah 😉 and for a while i actually thought i had skill because i was good at those things.

            A couple months after the chicago GT in like 2003 or 2004 a fellow from another group challenged my netlist which had placed high with his list, which I scoffed at because his list was “crappy”.

            He handed me my *** not once but twice because he was one of those rare people that were actually good at the game and not just good at crafting net lists.

            That was when I realized that maybe I wasn’t so good after all, and started seeing just how important army lists were in warhammer, whereas before it was just wishful thinking on my part that I was just naturally talented at figuring out starcannons were good and you should take as many as you can! 🙂

          • Cary Gould

            Most honest statement I have seen in a while.

          • ChubToad

            That moment when you get your a** handed to you by some ramdom player.. Many broken dreams and delusions…

          • I know right?

            It actually made me want to learn to become a decent player without a crutch. I learned quite a bit but given an average list I’m still going to win as much as I lose.

  • I think this is an excellent article—possibly a first for BOLS!

    I agree with the reasoning: I have played in tournaments for nearly 20 years and codex imbalance and rules flaws are no worse now than at any other point in history. It all comes down to players being unable to “win the metagame” with list building.

    It is hard for casual players to accept that they are probably going to lose VERY badly with their average-powered lists. And many competitive players are crying because they can’t perfectly optimise their lists anymore; there is always a counter out there! So it is really a very unhappy compromise, a lose-lose scenario.

    The only way forward is a fundamental shift in attitudes. Players need to accept that they cannot build a list with zero weaknesses, and learn to roll with the punches if/when they meet their counter in a tournament. Hopefully this will encourage players to learn how to fight through bad matches instead of the sadly prevailing ragequit attitude.

    • Shiwan8

      If there was a way for every codex to make nearly equally strong tournament builds than any other codex, then all that would be true. Now the power builds of each codex are too far from each other in power level.

      • Dragons_claw

        Yes but that’s always been the case in 5th it was guard wolves and grey knights all the editions had op codexs. its gw way of selling there newest most shiny thing. I actually think in 7th the power levels of the updated codexs has been better levelled out, the offending dex tau elder and to some extent sm are all leftover from 6th the article is talking about the rules.

        • Cary Gould

          I have to agree the 7th edition books seem toned down, as in general there hasn’t been a codex that spams dice rerolls and ignore defensive mechanics like cover. Necrons have some teeth but I don’t believe they are unbeatable.

        • Shiwan8

          I see no law against reasonable balance in a game. The new shiny thing is likely not supposed to be a win button, yet it often is.

          • Dragons_claw

            I think we’ve veared way off subject I’m not saying you can’t have balance ij the game or that all the codexs are balanced against each other. the point I’m trying to make is solely in the context of the question posed in the article How is 7th less competitive than 5th the point I’m trying to make is that the codexs have always been unbalanced so giving this example or that example of one codex being more powerful than another doesn’t further the argument one way or the other. GW has a bad habit of ramping up power levels to sell models however they do seem to have toned it down during the life of 7ty edition with thevpower levels seeming quite even the codexs that are out classing the others are 6th edition left overs well have to see the whole cycle to see if they can stay off the codex creep wagon. I’m really not trying to argue with you as I agree with what your saying mostly I think what makes 7th not a competitive edition is the abundance of random factors

          • Shiwan8

            My argument is that it’s less competitive than 6th. If 6th was less competitive than 5th (the only edition I never played) then there is a good chance that 5th is less competitive than 7th. Personally I think that the sweet spot is between 6th and 7th.

      • This has always been the issue since the beginning of the game no matter what edition you were in.

        Starcannon eldar spam and blood angels rhino rush in 3rd edition were head and shoulders better than anything else in the game.

        Every edition has a pair of power builds that are heads and shoulders better than anything else in the game.

        • Shiwan8

          Previous failures should be lessons on how not to do things. GW takes them as an inspiration.

          • That could be, but that’s not the topic, which is to compare the current edition with one a couple of editions ago. They have never made a competitive ruleset ever with any ruleset.

          • Shiwan8

            That is true. Then again, it’s not the rules, it’s the codices that are the problem.

          • Right – the core rules are only part of the issue. An edition is defined both by its core rules and by the codices that are played during that edition’s lifespan.

          • Shiwan8

            Yes, but it’s not the core rules that break the game at the moment.

      • This comment highlights that you are stuck in the past and haven’t adapted to the changes in the game. Each codex CAN make an equally powerful lists because every unit from every codex is available in every army list. If you build a flawed list from one codex instead of covering your weaknesses with allies then YOU have chosen to gimp your army. Universal access to everything is the closest 40k had ever been to balance.

        • Shiwan8

          Now you have got to be something special. Explain to me, in detail, how you would make a tournament winning csm list with only codex csm. You see, either you can manage this or you just lied to me there when you said that it can be done.

          • It’s very easy. If you want to win a tournament, don’t limit yourself to CSM only. If you want to play CSM only, don’t expect to win a tournament. In other words, grow up and get over your sense of entitlement. You can’t expect the rest of the game to bend over to suit your personal fluff/aesthetic preferences.

          • vonDietdrich

            “Every codex can make equally powerful lists as long as you ally power units from other codexes in.”

            “Grow up and ally Knights with your CSM or suck failure, scrub. It’s not the game designers’ fault that you want to win with the codex you like.”

            Words of wisdom with Charlie.

          • That’s exactly correct. If you want to optimise your list then you will probably have to sacrifice fluff. That is simply the way it is. If you don’t want to mix Factions then that is a perfectly valid choice: just stop crying when you lose, you chose to fail.

          • Shiwan8

            Good god child, you did not understand a thing I said.

            Let me put it this way. Why is there a codex that one can not be used in any way and still have fun? Why are there models for it if they can not be used in a game? CSM and it’s models would be like that.
            You seem to think that 5k with a sorc and 2 cultist squads added to 4840p worth of Eldar is a Chaos Space Marine list.

            Yes, anyone can make a netlist. You just need to understand that while you might not see this as anything but numbers and plastic icons for elements in the game, others want to play armies they see as cool and fun even before opening any of the actual rule sections of the codex. It’s ok that you see this differently, but GW tried to make a game that could basically do “anything” that might suit to what ever the personal taste of any gamer is and all they did manage is a serpent spam.

            About that growing up, I’d suggest that to you. It’s not me who expects everyone to fall in line according to my personal preference. It is you.

          • I understood you perfectly. You want to bring a fluffy list to a competition and then you cry when you get violated.

            Learn the appropriate time and place for fluff lists (campaigns) and competitive lists (tournaments). If you choose to bring the fluff list to a tournament then expect to lose.

            All actions have consequences; accepting them is maturity. Now go learn that.

          • Shiwan8

            You gave nothing for me that could have lead me to believe you’d understood me. On top of that you seem to be out of arguments. Proof of this is your tendency to try to shame the other side of the conversation in to silence. Your ad hominems mean nothing to me. For them to hit your intended target, your opinion would have to be one of worth to me. Maturity is also acting like an adult, meaning among other things that one does not assault the other person in any way just because he/she has a different opinion about something. I suggest that you should learn that.

            It seems that you do not understand the reality of the situation. The average pick up game differs in no way from the average tournament game. Same lists, same mentality. Naturally if I’d go to a basic tournament and tried to win I’d make a list for that purpose. Then again, I do not and if I did, I’d have to buy a new army since none of mine can realistically compete in any reasonably serious games.

        • Shiwan8

          Ok, umm, so you think that you can get a battle forged list with one foc and each slot filled with different codices? That is against the rules.

          • A Battle Forged list can comprise as many different Detachments as you like. Each Det can be from a different Faction. Learn the rules.

          • Shiwan8

            “….with one foc…” Learn to read.

          • Scrub, if you are choosing to gimp yourself with only one Det, that is your own stupid fault, don’t blame GW or anyone else.

          • Shiwan8

            So you are mad now that I play the game on one style that can not be described as WAAC and I wish that the devs who claim that this can be done would make it possible. Interesting.

          • Actually, I am sick of people who want to play the game casually (nothing wrong with that) butting in to discussions about competitive play and whining that they lose in tournaments (everything is wrong with that).

            If you want to play soft, go ahead. If you choose to play soft in a hard environment then you’re gonna get hurt. Don’t complain, harden up or gtfo, tournaments are just not for you.

          • Shiwan8

            You just proved that you did not understand anything I said before and resent me because you can not understand that game wide balance is not what codex wide balance is.

          • No, I just have contempt for you because your argument is fundamentally contradictory.

            If you want a game with perfectly balanced factions, then I recommend chess. Too bad it doesn’t have much flavour, which is what you say you want to see in armies.

            The reason why GW factions have never been balanced, EVER, in the history of the game, is because they prioritise flavour first. If they made every faction perfectly balanced then they would all just be subtle variations of the same army. That’s what 5th Ed was, five colours of mech marines.

            The GW answer to balance is to unlock list building, as they have in 7th Ed. If you want a good army you can build one. If you want an army with lots of flavour you can build one. You can’t have both, because this is not chess, it is a massive and diverse game that is popular BECAUSE every faction is different.

            If you don’t understand this then please quit 40k and raise the average.

          • Shiwan8

            Your strawman is pretty weak. I never said I wanted a perfect balance. It does not have to be perfect, just close enough that it can be called balance.

            I did not think that GW was aiming for the kind of flavor that results to eldar being able to take over the galaxy when ever they want to. By taking the serpent shields shooting capability and making eldar walkers actual walkers, eldar would be flavorful, fluffy and still competitive. It is not hard. Just needs someone who understands that useless and epicly good are not the same thing.

            It is really easy to have both. Many games have both. For that to happen though the devs need to do their jobs. It’s not something that can be done over night on one sitting but it is perfectly possible. Just takes a bit of time.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Why do you even bother playing this game? It has never, ever been a really competitive focused game. 40k is down right crap for competitive play because there is too much randomness, the rules are vaguely written and there is no semblance of balance between armies.

        40k is for people who like the fluff, want to roll dice and have fun!

        You will never, ever be happy playing this game if all you want is for it to be balanced and competitive-minded.

        Play Warmachine and Hordes, it is vastly more balanced and fully endorses the kind of fun you want to have with a game.

        • Shiwan8

          Honestly, I’m starting to wonder that myself. It’s not the core rules that are the problem here. It’s the hyper competitive atmosphere and, as you said, the lack of any semblance of balance between codices.

          I like fluff, I know very few people who are willing to put that higher on the list of priorities than the actual effectiveness of the list they are using.

          Balanced is all that I need. It is also the one thing this game will not offer. Light competition is also desired, admittedly, but I’m not going for a tournament career here.

          Warmahordes lacks the fluff and I dislike the models. There is no proverbial carrot. Sadly. I hear it’s a great game.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            You don’t know people who would not make an ultra-competitive list…? That seems farcical, if you ask me.

            Warmahordes may not have decades of fluff behind it the way 40k does but it is growing fast. Unlike 40k, each book advances the timeline.

            You should look into Warmahordes again. It is exactly the kind of game you want.

          • Shiwan8

            I’m sure. None of the factions interests me though and I play only things I find interesting.

    • vonevilstein

      “Hopefully this will encourage players to learn how to fight through bad matches instead of the sadly prevailing ragequit attitude.”

      Nice thought, but unfortunately this is not a hobby that attracts the modest levels of maturity required for this kind of behaviour. Computer gamers are probably a better bet for witnessing this…;)

      • ChubToad

        Not in a bit, rage is part of the gaming world nowadays. The difference is that PC gamers play4+ games at the same time, which makes it easiser to rage quit one. But they do rage quit alright, more than you’d think.

        • Ragequitting is indeed part of modern gamer culture sadly.

      • True, which is why I’m not sad to see so many past tournament players go. I just hope that those who takes their place will have a more mature outlook.

    • Skimask Mohawk

      If this is your example of “bols’ first excellent article” then I feel deeply sorry for you; it doesn’t even answer it’s own title, instead he spins it into “people complain about 7th and don’t know how to cope”

      • Dragons_claw

        At least it had more than a press release followed by what do you think guys and a picture slapped in it or a rehash of some rumour put up somewhere else first then posted about 3 times in the sameday or worst a bloody video that won’t play on my tablet

      • ChubToad

        It actually does answer it’s main question. it’s right there.

    • ChubToad

      I agree. I think 4th, 5th and even 6th meta has made us spoiled, in regards of getting ourselves to field a super list that could not be beaten by anything. 7th is more open and the unbeatable list exists no longer.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        Ahem… Decurion Wraith Spam. Fresh off the presses. Brand new. Already killing everyone and breaking the game.

  • Brian Evans

    My 2 biggest gripes with 6th/7th, are flyers and super heavies. If I wanted to play Apocalypse, that’s what I would have played. I feel like GW has “forced” me to play Apocalypse, in order to play 40k. If you took flyers and super heavies(including Knights) out of the game, I think 40k would be pretty awesome right now.

    • That doesn’t make the system less competitive though, thats introducing parts that you don’ tlike playing against but that doesn’t stop you from being competitive the same as in 5th edition.

      • Brian Evans

        The last tourney I went to(last October), did allow super heavies. Didn’t work out to well for me, not having one. You may be right about the competitive argument, it’s my choice to not bring them. Anyone who doesn’t is at a big disadvantage though.

        As for that tournament, the other players were all real cool. I just wasn’t able to put up much of a fight. The judge did a poll, which I couldn’t stick around to hear the results of. I heard 3rd hand, that most thought the super heavies should be banned.

        Most of the time, I just play with a good friend. We occasionally bring flyers(he likes them more than me), but don’t use super heavies at all. I’d like to play occasional pick up games at the LGS, and I used to enjoy tournaments as well. While it’s certainly not impossible, it has become very difficult to be competitive without the new toys in either of those environments. Hence my Apocalypse comment, and why I don’t play much outside of my close friends these days.

        • It depends on the super heavy honestly. A lot of the super heavies aren’t that big a deal in my opinion. Knights, for example, are quite killable.

          Some super heavies though should never be allowed on the table in their current state (such as the revenant eldar titan) or someone rocking to a game with a Reaver titan.

          Thats where things get kind of stupid.

    • mighty_pirate

      So do that then.
      My group agree that nobody takes Lords of War as standard. If someone wants to field one we agree to take one each & try to balance them.
      And from what I gather most Tourneys don’t allow Super-heavies either.
      Plus, although vanilla 40k may have become a bit more Apocalypse light. There are still good skirmish rules to be found in Kill Team, Cities of Death & Zone Mortalis. So it’s not like different levels aren’t catered for.

    • Crablezworth

      Right there with ya mang, I feel like I was forced to play apoc and it’s not fair.

      • Zingbaby

        It’s so unfair! My toys that I have the option to contribute with at any level, and the option to play, or not play, against anyone else’s toys, in a world where I can actually communicate, like an actual human to that other person with toys (opponent) – why am I being forced to play Apoc?!?!!

  • Christopher A. Herrera

    I’ve been ranting about allies since I came back to the game and found out they were a thing.(had played mostly in 4th).

    Came back for like a month before 7th ed dropped. Learned about allies and jaw hit floor because sounded completely broken.

    Like “hey, lets design armies with intrinsic weaknesses and flavors to give the game a thematic feel to it as well as provide balance between armies”.

    Now that we’ve done that let’s throw that completely out the #)*(ing window and let armies run alongside eachother. Battle brothers aren’t the problem. The absurd amount of supplements isn’t the problem.

    The fact battle brothers exists as anything more than a forge the narrative kind of tool in a game where game balancing has ALWAYS been an issue is too much. Like GW can’t even be trusted to internally balance a codex on it’s own….you want them to consider mix-matching all the codex’s?

    THAT’s my gripe. Because I can roll upto a tourney with a completely cheese dick list playing tyranids, and I have to be able to beat the best out of two armies- not one. I’m not saying it’s unbeatable, but it’s a stacked deck.

    • hows that differ from rolling into a tournament in 5th edition with grey knights though? Most armies couldn’t handle grey knights stacked out in tournament-mode/ Thats why where I am at about 3 in 4 players at tournaments were fielding grey knights before 6th finally ended that with the wound allocation change.

      • Christopher A. Herrera

        Because if you copy+pasted situations/books, you could do the same GK shenanigans and also have space wolf drop pods get you in on turn one.

        It’d still be a pain of a matchup potentially, like when I play against tau. Or Wave Serpent spam. But it’s one army, and I don’t have to worry about the absurd CC deathstar borrowed from another army charging my flank while I try to get to my “actual” opponent(not the exact situation, both are valid targets).

        It’s one sect of dealing with strong mechanics that does well in X, Y, or Z venue. Not the mix and match grab bag of “lets take everything good from every codex” bag. In that regard I view it as more manageable.

        EDIT:It’s an argument largely stemming from how I as a player perceive the game should be. Your codex and relevant supplements are your tools, you build an army with YOUR tools and take it to war. Not Macyver’s tools who you happen to be a neighbor to.

        • Right and I understand that and sympathize but that still doesn’t make the current system less-competitive, rather it does things you don’t like that it does (like people that hate fliers and super heavies)

          I didn’t like the wound allocation garbage in 5th edition but that also didn’t make the system more or less competitive.

        • Cary Gould

          Points plays a very important part especially when forced to create bound lists. The HQ+troop tax really limits players from being able to go crazy in an 1850pt environment. I may be wrong but it seems your complaint is based more on abstract reading of rules and not actually playing the experiences out. I love the addition of allies as it allows the mixing of list ideas and models. It greatly opens up the game and allows more diversity in army building.

          • Christopher A. Herrera

            I assure you I understand adding tiers of complexity give the game flavor in its own way. It’s like any other game system where the more options you give it you can run more diverse builds but that doesn’t mean a select few don’t end up being a bit over the top.

            You’d be correct in gauging that I’m not in the bare grit of the tourney scene, but I have played against more than a handful of allied lists now and yes it has FAAC potential but the WAAC potential and builds is too significant for me to view it as “just the newest OP thing in the edition” because it’s spanning two editions now and I’m glad they toned down specific allied in the change but still view it as flawed. I’d self-assess about a third of the information I get that’s formulated this vantage is anecdotal via the internet(and paying attention to some degree the lists winning tournaments). So yes, I am biased.

            That said though I’ve seen allies take an already difficult to deal with list and filling in huge weaknesses in the list because the tax of a troop and HQs I get is significant, I really do. But A) that doesn’t give enough thought to the fact HQ’s are almost assuredly one of the best slots to pull units from across multiple codecies. And at 1850 assuming you devote 600 points to HQ troops in your CAD and 600 to the same in allied, it still gives you a third of your points to supplement whichever “army” you want to back as the staple of your strategy. I don’t agree allies should have that significant of an effect, and that is a personal opinion.

            I mean when was the last tourney that didn’t have less than half of their top 10 as allied lists?

            Now, as I said in my initial post I played mostly in 4th. I dealt less with the metal box spam of 5th edition or GK, so once again biased opinion.

            All that said though, even IF this is the same degree of competitive as 5th, I think the removal or significant toning down of allies would be good for game balancing(no special character maybe? I’m not saying I have a workable solution just a complaint). Which I get is not the thread’s title, but that’s also why I mentioned in my post where most of my experience is from.

          • Cary Gould

            I guess I have been liking what I have been seeing as a player who started in later 1st edition. 5th was dominated by GK, IG, and SW and they were really rough to play against. 7th has more armies taking the stage at tournies, though Eldar have a good advantage. I really hope the 6th ed books get redone not complete reboots but gentle updates to bring them in line.

            On your ally experience sounds like you have met a death star. Generally HQ’s provide melee power or buffs to a unit upping there combat power. As you haven’t stated any examples its difficult to know what your refering too.

          • Christopher A. Herrera

            Mephiston, GK(draigowing), some farsight enclave allies, DA allies(belial drop). CSM+daemons, even beaststar. It’s hard for me to say X or Y, or Z is the game breaking combo when I view allies as a whole as a fundamental issue. I know that’s the kind of generalism that might have me taken less seriously but lets remember how big 40k and the rules actually are. Allies has said there are X armies and said, cool now raise them to the x power, so that’s a good bit of cross referencing. I’ve seen some of these allied with everything from DE to Crons. Am I referring PRIMARILY to deathstars as far as I’ve seen? yes. And my understanding is they aren’t even close to the biggest offender in the tourney scene.

            Tau-eldar allies is still a pain even without battle brothers, I’ve played against both versions.

            How often in recent times has DE been taken as allies just to capitalize on beaststar filling one of the few weaknesses Eldar has? Aka low wound count.

            And once again I’m not saying these things are so OP they’re unbeatable. Just where I see some people argue it’s “more complex so it’s more flavored” I see a codex-full of upgrades and units someone said “not worth taking because I can just do X with this codex instead”.

            At that point I view the options as redundant, or might as well not exist. As I eluded to in my initial post, I view that as poor internal balancing, and opening up further options just expands upon the walls of texts in multiple army books that only FAAC players would dare take barring that one experimental unit you ran against a friend in a “fairly competitive but not tournament competitive game”.

            That being said, yes HQ’s are generally buff units. I get that fundamental. They’re not always deathstars but often are. I don’t think that really takes away from my vantage that HQ’s are generally superior to other choices, but that’s largely a case by case and what else is in the army basis. Talking utils, I’m saying I know you don’t want to spam HQ’s, but some are worth more than others and provide more utility. I think the boon to utility they provide is too significant to as a whole be opened up in allied lists as an allowed choice. That’s my opinion, there are multiple allied lists that have made it to the forefront before with their clever combinations and torn eachother apart so me saying THIS ONE IS OP isn’t going to mean anything. Because the truth about allies is, it CAN be fair, if everyone is doing it.

            As in my last post though, I personally view it as criminal that the utility Allies has brought to some lists completely overshadows singular army lists in the tourney scene(just check the top 10 for the last several tournaments, that statistical significance is….significant), and from my personal anecdotal experience of when I play against allies they’re much more challenging. I think Non-allied lists should be as competitive as allied lists. But data suggests otherwise, and that’s just a sliver of why I think they’re bad for the game.

            I have friends who are WAAC and want to push the rules, and I have fun with them(they’re who I more often want to play against cause I can really test a list against them). But I just haven’t seen evidence that allies is “balanced” when you pitch an allied tourney list against a vanilla one other than it’s not a free victory. That said having to run my list a certain way WITH ANOTHER CODEX within the context of that to be “competitive” doesn’t seem…competitive…to me. It seems like extortion. But that could delve into a whole other long rant everyone on this forum has seen a dozen times teeth bared at GW.

            I’m also not claiming to be the epitome of strategic competence. But based off my experience I’ve come to my conclusions, and no one has successfully changed my mind with any kind of cohesive argument yet other than saying “well that’s your opinion and not the way the game is anymore” which is a fair and valid point, but oh so generalizing and easy to brush an opinion under the table with.

            Like, if this is something you’re invested in changing my opinion with, know I am receptive because you clearly are trying to make points and dissect my own points as a rational person should so: Why in a hobby where people invest so much in singular armies it considered okay to shake up the foundation in such a manner that says, “no, in the tourney scene if you want to do well you can’t play your army- you have to play this one plus that one”. Cause right now there’s only a handful of times that happens, and it’s usually by an army that people feel already have a codex higher up on the balancing totem pole(ex. the two full eldar player at the last LVO).

            Cause not for the sake of being spiteful but I’m likely to spread my brand of “this is that same opinion that’s been copied and pasted on the internet a hundred times” until someone convinces me otherwise- and if I’m spreading crybaby propaganda I’d genuinely like to be corrected. But the way I enjoy the game played, I don’t see compatibility with my conception of allies and balance without some huge overhauls I can only crowdsource ideas from at this point.

            But maybe the truth is simpler than that, maybe the way I like to play doesn’t have much of a place in tourneys anymore just because of the edition. Which is possible, but if that’s the case that’s another reason I feel the way about allies that I do.

          • gordonschum

            Can you think of a more stringent penalty system for brining allies than what GW does now that would better balance allies vs. single codex armies?

          • Cary Gould

            I guess I have been liking what I have been seeing as a player who started in later 1st edition. 5th was dominated by GK, IG, and SW and they were really rough to play against. 7th has more armies taking the stage at tournies, though Eldar have a good advantage. I really hope the 6th ed books get redone not complete reboots but gentle updates to bring them in line.

            On your ally experience sounds like you have met a death star. Generally HQ’s provide melee power or buffs to a unit upping there combat power. As you haven’t stated any examples its difficult to know what your refering too.

    • Crablezworth

      you hit that out of the park man, well said good sir.

  • Andrew

    I don’t really get the mindset of playing 40k (or any miniatures game) in this super competitive mindset. If you want to do that, play chess. Both sides have a perfectly balanced list, there’s an unchanging “meta”, and to be honest you will be a whole lot more impressive to most people.

    I mean, I don’t play 40k and not try to win, but winning is maybe 5% of the fun. The other 95% comprises reading the lore, making cool conversions, painting, hanging out with friends, and having a relatively fun evening of make believe with toy soldiers. Once somebody starts yapping about optimizing their list and min/maxing I am immediately put out of the mood. Reminds me of when I told somebody back in the last days of 5th that I was starting an Emperor’s Children army, and they asked me why I wasn’t going to have 2 lash princes, plague marines, and obliterators in my list…

    • mighty_pirate

      This.
      Theming an army is much more fun to me than power building. Sure, I’ll look at ways to improve the list & see if any of those substitutions fit or could be made to fit my theme. But the theme & the concept of the battle are far more impressive to me than the outcome.

    • gordonschum

      My fluffy night lords bless you.

      • Andrew

        It would be kind of cool to somehow organize an event that would be focused on Narrative Gaming, most of the events I read about seem to be only about this insane level of competition. Maybe make some kind of planetary invasion event with a huge map and all the boards were sectors of a larger conflict. If you had judges for things like best painted, best sportsman, best theme; hell, even heroism in battle. Maybe make our presence known as a part of this hobby a bit more?

  • I will say I realized that I left out an important part complained about: random elements. Random elements and being able to react are deemed “not competitive” – and that competitive systems should somehow run like a script where every game plays out largely the same (indeed back in 5th we used to sit back and script out how the game was going to play before it started and we were usually always right)

    Why I feel things like random elements don’t disqualify a system being competitive is simply even in competitive sports there are random elements like weather and field conditions and noise levels that teams have to react to and overcome.

    Also having been a part of the army, and having lived through several gunnery ranges where we were competing for scores, there were plenty of random elements that popped up on the ranges that we had to react to.

    Random elements test your ability to react and create contingency plans. That doesn’t make it less competitive. That makes it so you have to use a skillset you may not want to have to use.

    • Dennis Harrison

      I am still saying the random elements don’t apply equally to all armies. When I head to a tournament, I would rather bring my eldar because they are reliable over a daemon list that suffers its fate every round. How many dice rolls do a unit of pink horrors have to make to kill anything. Compare that to a nearly equal costed guardian. It is just insane.

      • I’m not arguing that – but at the same token that’s not a mark of more or less competitive, it is a mark of wanting something to do exactly what you want it to do every time.

        Kind of like if I was a football coach, and my team was great at passing, and I had a way to make the field conditions perfect every time instead of having to deal with random weather so that they would do what they are strong at every game to give me a competitive edge.

        However as we know we cannot yet do that short of playing inside domes everywhere.

        • Dennis Harrison

          But it did completely alter the way an army played. Daemons had anti-tank ability when they could choose their powers. Flamers were AP3, so when they hit the board, you shot them off the board immediately. Horrors were a shooting element. Your opinion that randomness doesn’t affect what is played isn’t quite right. A lot of great daemon lists are sitting on the shelves until the rules come around again. The randomness of that codex shelved entire armies. So people play things that actually work. Same can be said about a lot of the aspects of the newer books. It has always been that way, but like I said- I won’t bring daemons to a tournament when I have a reliable option.

          • People play things that they know will do exactly what they want because those people depend on their army list and not their actual ability to win for the most part.

            I know several demon players that do very well, so I know that demon armies can win events.

          • Dennis Harrison

            Maybe I am just seeing things as a comparison. Eldar are easier to play. In a tournament setting, we have limited time. I’d rather run a force that isn’t subject to the horrible randomness of psychic tests to shoot. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Tzeentch army. It just looks very nice on my shelf right now.

  • comrade_nikolai

    If this is a competetive edition, why are so many more players leaving 40k* than in previous editions? (*based strictly on anecdotal internet reading)

    • I don’t think anyone claimed that this is a competitive edition – rather the question is why is this edition LESS competitive than 5th edition.

      • comrade_nikolai

        I got the impression the article was about how it was as competetive, but it had shifted out of list building deciding matchups. I could have just understood it differently though.

        • Nah. I wrote this in the lounge in response to people saying that this edition was not competitive at all compared to 5th edition so the question was simply how is 7th less competitive than 5th.

          List building is still king of tournaments. I’d actually argue that there has been no true competitive edition since list building has always been the primary decider in a game’s outcome before it even starts (something I wish they’d change)

          • MVBrandt

            Though I posted a primary to it … the long and short is that list building was NOT king of tournaments in 5th. It isn’t what won most major GTs, and unsurprisingly the same top tier players are winning today as won back then. List building is of FAR bigger import in today’s meta, where the # of sources to pore over and ponder for list development is much denser and broader than it was back then. By not knowing clearly what you might run into, the game becomes much more rock-paper-scissors … one of “hope I don’t get a bad match” instead of “I know I can tackle anything that might show up, so now I have to win on the tabletop alone.”

          • I didn’t play tournaments in 5th, but that is not my experience from 3rd and 4th at all. Lists were the primary driver in 3rd and 4th, from both a local level and the regional level when GW was still doing its GTs (i used to go to chicago and baltimore fairly regularly)

          • MVBrandt

            Similar to my comments about 5th, in 4th I routinely beat up on Nidzilla and Trilith/Deceiver crons and Holofalcon with a primarily walking tyranid warrior + gaunt + ravener list. I didn’t play during 3rd, so I can’t comment there 🙂

            I also can’t comment beyond the Washington, DC local level in 4th. I only moved to and began running / winning national scene GTs in 5th.

          • I think that its true that some people don’t rely on net lists (I know i did to mask my poor skill and it made me feel good to win as much as I did so I kept doing it until i was owned and shown how poor I really was despite how many trophies I had accumulated) but I think for the majority of people that netlists and crutches are what they are going to gravitate toward and that to many because you cannot stack the deck in your favor as easily anymore because of how many combos exist now with allies and forge world that that is the true root of their issue.

    • ChubToad

      The real question is, do people want a competitive game? Or worse still, what is exactly a competitive game,

      • “What is a competitive game” should be another topic for sure 😉 I think that based on the results of this thread that people don’t even agree on what that is, let alone be able to answer how this edition is somehow less competitive than 5th edition was.

      • comrade_nikolai

        Some people do want a competitive game, closer in game balance to warmachine and more reliant on skill. Some people are ok staying away from games like warmachine and play for the exciting backstory. The opinions of both sides hold equal value.

        • Thats just the thing though – even warmachine has its power builds that many stick with. At least around where I am.

        • ChubToad

          Warmachine is plagued by netlists. No need to think about your list. GO to the forum, buy the units and voilá, net list ready to play. And once you get the hold of the list it really autoplays itself.

          • comrade_nikolai

            I disagree, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to convince you otherwise.

          • ChubToad

            No need, this is a healthy discussion.

            I play WMH, and I’m really tired to play the same casters over and over again in torunaments, Morvana, Krueger, Butcher 3… the list goes on..

  • MVBrandt

    So there’s a lot of misnomer in this thread. Also, the overarching theme is that “competitive” tournament players are all about the meta and the list build, and they can’t leverage that so much anymore. I think this is actually almost backward in the current edition.

    Let’s go back to 5th Edition. MAJOR Grand Tournaments were won by people with non-razorback maxed out Grey Hunter space wolf squads … and by Leafblower … and by Straken-led assault guard armies … and by Tri Land Raider Blood Angel armies … and by MSU SW Razorspam … and by Tyranids … and by Orks … and by Grey Knights of a wide variety (certainly Psyflespam).

    The notion that 5th Edition was dominated by a super narrow meta is bullhonk. YES, there were certain netlists that were spammed, but like every edition, they tended not to just win tournaments. Good players won tournaments, and still do to this day. Sometimes good players played these lists, and won with them, and sometimes they used off-the-wall lists … and won with them.

    The current edition is more difficult from a “competitive” standpoint simply because it is a D.I.Y. edition. There IS no one “right” way to build an army, so the discussion about what constitutes the “best” level and style to play the game at has gone from “how many points and what round length” to “there’s literally nothing standard we all follow here anymore, we have to decide every little detail.”

    What’s cool, though, is from a tournament-by-tournament perspective, the game is perfectly fine for competitive play, because the Tournament Organizers establish the framework within which you play … instead of having to debate with your pick-up-game opponent about what the “right” way to play is in terms of # of detachment, unbound vs. battleforged, mission type, etc.

    It is a VERY long-running fallacy that list-building is the heart and soul of competitive 40k. It’s perhaps more the case now when you really have no idea what you’re going to run into, and so you kinda just “hope” your list is right and that nothing surprises you, whereas in the past you knew exactly what you were likely to see and so you could build lists that were truly all-comers, thus relegating gameplay to the tactics on the tabletop instead of the rock-paper-scissors of the draw. Today’s Warhammer is still tactical to a degree, if the tournament you’re attending has strong missions and a good list building framework … but it’s far more a list-builder’s wet dream, because the ground is so much more fertile for spending hours poring over the many different sources from which lists are drawn to try and find that secret sauce.

    • I’m not sure its a fallacy at all. All of my success at 40k tournaments were entirely driven by my list building abilities and not by any actual playing. I have a whole box of trophies and a wall full of plaques, several golden griffons, and high placements at the old GW GTs 100% because of my list building.

      Take away my crutches and I wouldn’t have won a single one of those.

      • MVBrandt

        That you hold that point of view is clear, and it certainly holds true that personal experience trumps all in terms of guiding the way we view things; I’m not knocking you for having a strong opinion supported by well-reasoned discussion and backed by your own experience. It simply flies in the face of my own experiences running one of the largest 40K GTs on the planet … and participating in a large quantity of them / communicating heavily with the GT playing crowd over the entirety of 5th, 6th, and 7th edition (to date). Winning GTs of my own by assaulting SW and GK and Draigostar armies off the table (fielded themselves by multiple GT winners) with Straken guard, for instance, was hardly in line with the notion that razorspam wolves and knights were the dominant force. Looking at the list builds of the likes of Kopach, Fennell, Nayden, and others, while seeing their successes, does not support the oft-floated fallacy that a small niche of netlists dominated 5th Edition.

        • I didn’t tournament game in 5th so I can’t speak to personal experience there other than to say that the tournaments I watched in 5th (albeit these were local) were dominated primarily by grey knights builds and space wolves builds.

          I tournamented heavily in 3rd and 4th, and in every level of tournament play in 3rd and 4th, the same lists or variants of the same lists were what were winning tournaments (from locals to regionals to the big GTs) so my experience solely sits on tournament gaming in 3rd and 4th while watching 5th from the sidelines.

          • Crablezworth

            I did play in tournaments in 5th so to hear what armies I faced off against generalized down to a few different lists you start to lose me.

          • How fortunate then that I clarified that these were tournaments i watched in 5th and read about, and had nothing to do with anything you were involved with.

            Though I would be very interested in a grey knights era tournament roster of armies involved that was not dominated by space wolves and grey knights because i’ve never seen one before.

        • Trasvi

          On the other hand, pointing only to the GT winners equally flies in the face of what 95% of people experience. AdLance didn’t even place in the top 16 at NOVA yet it is one of the things that you are considering banning for this year.
          A popular power build won’t take out the top spot (its even likely that it won’t, considering that a GT winner would probably use a hard counter to it) but it can still be dominant enough against the rest of the field that it isn’t fun.

          • MVBrandt

            This is a great point, and it drives a lot of discussion and thought process even internal to the TO activity route. It has been the case since time immemorial that netlisting and power building drives those who are seeking to elevate their game first and foremost, so you have a LOT of midrangers taking these things, and pounding on midrangers who don’t, b/c the game is not exploited in terms of the nuances and tricks-of-the-trade *quite* as much. Putting on the TO hat, instead of the individual player going “naaaah that’s not how it is!” you make a really good point here. Regardless of thoughts about what the game is when played between two top notchers, that doesn’t necessarily reflect the experience of the middle majority.

  • Trasvi

    You’re kind of there… I’d just call your conclusion ‘balance issues’ though. The existence of power builds, be it one or ten, is a balance issue.

    You dismiss superheavies etc as ‘no tournament allows them anyway’. But isn’t that the point? They’re unbalanced so have universally been banned – something that never happened in any previous edition? Unbound and specific formations are banned – that never happened in previous editions. Tournaments are proposing and instituting changes to 2++ rerollables and invisibility – that never happened in previous editions.

    All editions have been unbalanced, but (in my personal experience) this edition is MORE unbalanced than previous editions. Draigo+Paladins was bad, leafblower was bad, rhino rush was bad, but Adlance is worse.

    Why?

    Because in 6th and now 7th editions, the toolbox drastically increased compared to 3rd-5th. In 5th edition it wasn’t possible to play a game where your army consisted of entirely 6 HP super-heavy walkers. It wasn’t possible to play with an army consisting of 5 flying monstrous creatures. There were no 10″ blasts or AV 15 buildings or easy access to removes-from-play. But while the number of different target types is increasing, the weapons you have to take them down with aren’t increasing at the same rate. Some armies are effectively unchanged from where they were in 5th edition in terms of access to weapons like Melta or Plasma, while the access opponents have to AV13 Superheavies is infinitely greater.

    This is exacerbated by the number of power builds available now. If I show up to a tourney I don’t know if I’m going to be facing an AdLance build or a pentaflyrant or a wraith/biker spam list. In prior editions, the power builds were similar enough to each other that you could reasonably well build a ‘TAC’ list that focussed on those dominating armies (ie, plasma vs draigo) but also did well against the rest of the field.

    The power builds today are also able to completely mitigate or avoid the supposed weaknesses of their army by selection of allies. It used to be that Tau were good at shooting and terrible at combat: but now you can just avoid fire warriors entirely and spend your points on Crisis Suits, Broadsides, Riptides and bring along a Barbed Hyrodule or Imperial Knight for good measure. Coupled with the accelerated release schedule, It also means that everyone has to be *constantly* on their toes watching the meta, because at any moment a new formation or supplement could be released that *anyone* is able to take and could ruin your strategy (remember the 34pt inquisitors at the tail end of 6th?), whereas that kind of codex hopping was relatively limited before allies were around.

    I think the big problem is how the power builds face against the non power builds. Semi-optimized TAC lists have never done brilliantly against power builds, but my experience is they do far worse against the power builds of this edition than they did in 5th or 4th. The combined arms armies that we’re supposed to aspire to are about a ‘5’ on the power scale: draigowing and leafblower were 9’s, but Adlance or Pentaflyrant are 11’s. Its very disheartening for players who are taking non-netlists to friendly games and seeing they can’t hurt the opponent at all.

    • I guess there is no real way to quantify “power level”.

      It is disheartening for players who are taking non netlists to friendly games and can’t hurt the opponent at all, but that has been a feature of 40k since the beginning of 40k.

      • Trasvi

        Sure. My gut feeling is that it is just worse than before, because while it was difficult for most armies to take out a nob biker squad or draigostar, at least it was possible to turn your lasguns on them and give it a good go. Come up against a Revenant Titan though, or a flyrant spam, or invisisomething, and it can be the case that 75% of your army literally can’t do anything.

        • Yeah mathematically you aren’t going to take on a revenant titan for sure – but it was very rare that nob bikers or draigo was stopped the same way ( i think its just more acceptable that it *could* happen even though it likely would not happen whereas with the titan it is impossible)

          • Trasvi

            Its the feeling of agency, the feeling that you are actually doing SOMETHING. Taking snap shots against models with a 2++ rerollable isn’t fun. Shooting at AV 15 isn’t fun. Shooting at paladins on the other hand is doable and you can prepare for in a list that still has a chance of taking on other things in the game.

          • Yeah I get that.

            To me i break it down a level below that. You have 0% chance to hurt a revenant and like a 2-3% chance of hurting draigo’s paladins lol so I consider that both the same (of course the math is just thrown out there with 2-3% i’m just throwing a number out there but it was very low unless you were wielding melta/krak missile longfang spam)

            so because the two numbers are similar i treat it the same whereas some people *feel* like they are doing something with draigo’s paladins vs the titan.

          • vonDietdrich

            It’s not just about hurting them, it’s about stopping them.

            You toss a group of throw-away grunts at Draigowing or a deathstar.. they may not take out enemy models, but the rest of the game goes on while the deathstar is chewing through your guys.

            Whapping a Titan, or a Baneblade, or an Imperial Knight with what might as well be featherdusters for most of your units is literally futile. The difference is that the old deathstars were primarily effective in melee, whereas the new power models want to sit back and lob ridiculous shooting all over the board while being screened by convenient ankle-high meat shields (infantry).

            It has nothing to do with silly mathematical wound chances and everything to do with ‘invincible’ units previously needing to get close to be effective, which meant they could be out-maneuvered. Nowadays their shooting can reach the entire table from one spot, negating any need for strategy or placement.

          • Thats largely a problem with tournaments never having any terrain on the table to matter.

      • vonDietdrich

        Of course there’s a way to quantify ‘power level’. It’s called ‘opportunity cost’.

        What is the opportunity cost of taking 300 points worth of a non-optimal unit compared to a benchmark ‘power unit’? What do you lose by taking a squad of Tactical Marines in a Rhino compared to an Imperial Knight?

        At no time in previous editions of 40k could a Wraithknight sit in the back of the board and lob 3 twin-linked S6 AP2 blast templates every turn, wiping entire chunks of infantry off the board while also being able to hulksmash vehicles and MCs, while being immune to small arms fire and nearly impervious to all but the heaviest weapons. And this is considered pretty tame, these days.

        The difference is, all the really strong units of 7th edition both shoot a lot and are nigh-invulnerable to 80% of the game’s shooting, while most of 5th’s power units at least had to risk injury to be effective (with a few notably broken exceptions).

        • My 3rd edition eldar did precisely this actually, barring wraith knights which simply did not exist then.

          The power units of 5th were all about either wound allocation abuse or spamming split fire units so that you had to kill 15-18 of them before you got anywhere.

          The abuse has merely shifted, as it does from edition to edition.

  • What drove away all of the competitive guys around here were: random charges, wound allocation, no strict FOC and Stronghold Assault.
    7th was the nail in the coffin.
    And I couldn’t be happier cuz 40k is fun again, thanks 7th!

    • Avensis Astari

      I personally think it’s less a case of competitive people, and more competitive armies. People are quitting not because the game isn’t competitive enough, but because their army that roflstomped its way through 5th now no longer roflstomps the way it used to.

      • kind of – but the thing is in 3rd, 4th, and 5th those people would just move on to the next net list. Now its harder to net list because there are a lot of combinations out there, so you can’t win in the list building phase before the first model has moved as easily as you could before, or with games today deemed “competitive”.

        “balance” was you knew three netlist powerbuilds would show up with a chance to win. You fielded one of those netlists, and you had to learn how to beat the other two. That was “balance”.

        Today – you can’t do that because there are a lot more than 3 powerlists that can show up.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        Or more accurately because some new up-and-coming army roflstomped *them*, and they can’t afford to keep up.

        • Avensis Astari

          Indeed, though the myth GW make new Codices more powerful than the rest to sell them is a funny one. Funnier because people still peddle it despite the last year of releases.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            Well, codecies like Tyranids might dash assumptions of power creep, but Tau, Eldar and Necrons make it feel all too real. Before you could pin it down to certain writers following suit (Ward loves Marines and shows it with awful fluff, Kelly has mostly-competent books barring a hilariously busted rule or two, Cruddace hates every faction he touches…). Now? Hard to say. Most of the 7th ed batch certainly felt very Cruddace’d (dull, unambitious, deplorable internal balance) from what I’ve seen. But Necrons? Feels like they got a whole new team to tackle that one.

            I dunno. Maybe GW *does* intend for each book to be way more powerful than the last and they’re just *that* incompetent. 🙂

    • generalchaos34

      wound allocation removed what is essentially a license to cheat. take one wound off of all the guys in front, hope that your opponent will keep track for you because its really easy to cheat on that (at least in my experience).

      • That is true – and hard to prove as well. Granted in our area most of our guys used red glass chits or something to mark wounds.

        I did see a tournament where a few guys were marking it on a piece of paper and then of course models began to move around so it was hard to keep track of – kind of like cheating at guess ranges etc… only this was a lot more impactful.

  • deuce1984

    Randomness:
    Charge Lengths
    Warlord Traits
    Psychic Power Trees
    mysterious objectives
    Maelstrom Decks

    Unforeseen Combinations via Allies and FW

    Quick release schedule and un-tested rules: Dataslates, formations, or even entire codexes.

    Overpowered Flyers (deployment + (6+ to hit) + Jink/Armor Save + AV/Toughness + Vehicle Damage Chart/Number of Wounds)

    Slowed game speed: WL Traits, Psychic Powers, challenges, winds of chaos, objectives via maelstrom, accounting (maelstrom points)

    Maelstrom: Pulling cards you cannot achieve

    greater imbalance between Shooting and CC due to RCL, rules for disembarking vehicles, and Overwatch.

    First Blood, Line Breaker and Slay the Warlord.

    All these aspects make 7th less competitive.

    • I don’t think randomness reduces competitiveness. Sports teams have to deal with random events all the time in the form of weather and stadium conditions and noise etc.

      When I was in the military and we had gunnery those were competitive as you were scoring against your peers and there were a lot of random elements. It tests your ability for risk mitigation and reduces your ability to know whats going to happen 100% of the time. Different set of skills but none less competitive than the others.

      Unforseen combinations doesn’t make a game less competitive – it makes it harder to list build against. thats not less competitive, it makes winning the game in the list building phase harder to accomplish though.

      Untested rules – same problem in 3rd 4th and 5th.

      Over powered fliers – there’s always been over powered something same as 3rd, 4th, and 5th.

      Slowed game speed does not make a game less competitive, it makes the game last longer. It is akin to making professional football’s overtime clock longer when they changed the rule that if you scored a field goal you didn’t auto win like in the past.

      Game speed can be resolved by lowering tournament points back down to something like 1500 like it was when I first started playing in tournaments.

      Greater imbalance between shooting and combat does not make a game less competitive, it favors certain types of builds – just like in 3rd where combat armies were generally the kings, 4th, and 5th which also had favored builds.

      Secondary objectives do not make a game less competitive, they are scoring options.

      This goes back to defining what is “competitive”.

    • generalchaos34

      My only complaint on randomness is warlord traits. Not the BRB ones, but codex. At least with the Guard codex your traits will redefine how your list is played entirely. Sure there are re-rolls now but I think being able to take the outflank D3 units or plan on having a larger order radius (and buy gear to make it work for you). This of course is offset by other codexes who may have 1 good or even game breaking good trait and a load of bad ones, but this is the one aspect of random that has always irked me.

      And the maelstrom card, but ive always played re-draws in friendly games (Tau player must win in a challenge…..new card please!)

  • Azrell

    Yes. we are currently pushed to the extreme in terms of paper/rock/scissors gameplay. Showing up to a game is much more important than playing well during the game.

    For example: if your opponent drops a 1 foot tall lord of change model on the table, unless you have an army geared to take down ultra high T he is going to just roll over your army. Same thing with super heavies, same thing with flyers.

    Not only the units but we have more 2+ rerolls, low cost Ap 1/2 CC weapons, and ignores cover crap than ever before. Cover is a game mechanic that makes your think and move your units to take advantage of the terrain, but not in the current game as so much stuff ether give it to a model or takes it away without having to play smart to get during the game.

    In short, more than ever before 40k game play out automatically without much human input during that game. The less you have to think the less competitive the game is.

    • The less you have to think the less competitive the game is – again – my tournament lists in 3rd and 4th had no thinking required. I rolled buckets of dice. And my lists were the popular netlists that most people were rocking.

      Someone can’t honestly tell me the rhino rush was tactical game play and required thinking, but that was a favored tactic for many many years.

      Point forward. Roll forward. Get out of vehicle. Assault. Win.

      Repeat.

      • generalchaos34

        Agreed, I think nowadays there is so much stuff out there to bring that could even be considered decent that it really does make you think about what you have to do to win. Sure a lot of it is how your list is built, and the chance of getting hard countered is out there, but how it will happen will be much more of a surprise, and sometimes you might even surprise yourself and come out on top if play smart

      • Azrell

        and lists like that make the game less competitive, because those are great examples of r/p/s game play. But, unlike 5th edition you can now show up with models that your opponent can only snap fire at or things that a Lascannon only wounds on a 5+.

        Making a competitive game is about make a game where player choices and actions during the game have the greatest influence on its out come. This simply isnt the case with 40k anymore.

        • While I don’t disagree with your thought overall, I just don’t think 40k has *ever* been a competitive game where player choices and actions during the game mattered because when I was playing to break the game there was very little player interaction going on as well other than to pick up handfuls of dice or pick up handfuls of dead models.

  • Jeff G

    All the things Duece mentions make this edition more competitive not less (if players want zero randomness then chess might be a better option), randomness introduces the fog of war – I planned for A and got Z is going to happen.
    I think the game is perceived as ‘unbalanced because players refuse to use all the rules (purposefully or from laziness) – mysterious terrain, maelstrom missions (because they sometimes get cards they don’t want), no LoW, no foreworld, choose your warlord trait and/or psychic powers and the list goes on.

    • I don’t think his list has anything to do with competitiveness, I think it has more to do with what he’d rather play with (which is fine), its just under the guise that its “less competitive” which I disagree with.

    • Chris. K Cook

      THIS 100 Times THIS.

      Maybe if they stopped playing Neuterhammer for once and tried all that 7th had to offer they see its not so scary.

    • Chris. K Cook

      “choose your warlord trait ”

      But you pay a premium with Spec Chars for that.

  • Castigator

    I don’t think 7th is any less competitive than 5th, but 5th was a much better tournament game.
    6/7th involves too much book keeping for me. I find the first 20 minutes of a game to be tedious, if I’m playing against a psychic heavy army it’s so mind numbingly boring that I’m ready to concede because I’ve lost interest. A player has to roll for his psychic powers, then write each one down and I’m supposed to follow what he’s doing……most of the time I think, just pick whatever powers you want because I have no idea what you’re rolling. Then there’s Warlord Traits, Greater/Lesser Gifts, Boons/Mutations/Possessed tables to roll for. Obviously I have to keep track of the points that me or my opponent gain throughout the game. Then there’s the Mysterious Objectives and Mysterious terrain. Slaanesh help me, if me or my opponent want to look at one of the rules for our army or see how the USR’s interactor stack with allies. Sometimes it feels that there are that many rulebooks/cards/paperwork on the table, that the models are in the way!
    Doing this 5 or 6 times over a weekend can be pretty tedious.
    While 5th was far from perfect, it was a much more elegant game than 7th. An 1850pt game usually finished inside 2 hours, nowadays it’s 3+ hours.
    That’s not to say that 7th is bad, it isn’t, it’s great as a stand-alone game. Unfortunately, as a tournament game it’s not as good as 5th was.

    • Great comment. Differentiating between not competitive vs not my playstyle (too much book keeping for you)

      • Castigator

        Obviously you didn’t get the point I was making.
        7th is no more or less competitive than 5th, it’s the players that make it competitive not the edition. Competitive and tournament play go hand in hand, 7th is an inelegant system compared to the more streamlined 5th edition. This, IMO, puts players off. They say it isn’t competitive when what a lot of people mean is that it isn’t the fast flowing tournament (competitive) game that 5th was.

        • Thats probably true for some. For many as they tell it its that they can no longer control the environment and direct the game like it was scripted anymore.

          I think the biggest thing is that the word “competitive” means different things to different people.

          Most “competitive” players i know are anything but.

    • Dennis Harrison

      Couldn’t agree more. I want the old Horror shooting back so badly. Range 18″ S4 Assault 3 would be great instead of the hassle fielding them the way they are now.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      I don’t understand your comment.

      Are people really showing up to events and rolling out of the book, then copying down the effects of certain powers/wargear/boons?

      Those people are monsters. They are wasting, not only their own time, but literally everyone else’s.

      If you show up to a store with a list, then you should have everything you need to play that list as fast as possible.

      For Psychic Powers, this means either buying multiple decks or photocopying the cards. All you should have to do is roll the dice to see which powers you get, pull out the cards and move on.

      Same with Warlord Traits. Photocopy and/or write the table out before you ever go to the store. Roll a die, give your warlord a card with the effect.

      For the boon table, just print the sheet out and bring sticky notes with the names of the characters who will be rolling on the table already written out. Stick them to the boon table. At the game, roll your dice and then write the number on the appropriate sticky note.

      You can do the same kind of systems for the rewards in the Chaos Codex.

      If you are spending 20 minutes generating abilities and writing everything out then you are playing wrong.

  • Troy G

    While I see your point, and there is definitely a seed of that going on, I think the bigger issue with 7th as a competitive game is the Army Composition rules.

    They have created a Rock-Paper-Scissors effect in the game where matchups dictate victory more than player skill.

    The number of competitive lists has perhaps expanded, but it has done so by accepting the Rock-Paper-40K effect, and giving up on TAC lists in hopes of favorable matchups.

    The solution will arise as TO’s start to embrace meaningful army Composition rules and understanding their importance to competitive play, as well as good mission design. A major swing away from list building and luck of the matchup towards player skill is inbound.

    • This has been the same in 3rd 4th and 5th too. The game has always been rock paper scissors.

      There never was a TAC list. TAC was just a way of saying “take on the other two power lists i expect to face”. True “TAC” lists usually got pounded by netlists unless the person running them was fairly good and the netlister wasn’t real good (saw hundreds of games of this over the past 20 years)

      There has never been a time in the history of this game where it wasn’t about hard countering power builds at the tournaement level. Not in 1995. Not in 2000. Not in 2005. And not in 2015.

    • This has been the same in 3rd 4th and 5th too. The game has always been rock paper scissors.

      There never was a TAC list. TAC was just a way of saying “take on the other two power lists i expect to face”. True “TAC” lists usually got pounded by netlists unless the person running them was fairly good and the netlister wasn’t real good (saw hundreds of games of this over the past 20 years)

      There has never been a time in the history of this game where it wasn’t about hard countering power builds at the tournaement level. Not in 1995. Not in 2000. Not in 2005. And not in 2015.

      • Troy G

        While I agree there has always been a Rock-Paper-Scissors element in 40k, It is currently worse than in the past, and for very obvious reasons.

        The root of Rock-Paper-Scissors is Spam. Either spamming one unit, or piece of wargear, or theoretically several units of very similar types. In previous editions of the game, Spam was more limited than it is now. With the proliferation of detachment types (and number), the tax on Spam has never been less, and the limits have never been higher.

        I actually think that the diversity of units and options has improved the viability of TAC lists, however countering that trend is the dominance of Spam due to a lack of meaningful army composition rules.

        • I really don’t see any more or less spam today than i did in 1995 or 2005 or today… my tournament lists in 3rd and 4th edition were brothers with goat-boy’s spam lists of today.

        • jonathon

          I don’t think that the proliferation of multiple list building options has raelly done much to increase spam. I mean, in 6th you could take 3 heldrakes if you played chaos without breaking the FOC – 4 if you used allies, but what did the 4th really contribute?

          Eldar can still take 9 wave serpents in a standard FOC, fill 3 of them with fire dragons & call it a balanced army; Tau can bring all the S7 shooting needed to literally build a carpet of HYMP / TLMP shots by only using the farsight enclaves book; Space marine bikes aren’t “spammed” due to allies, but you can add a single character to one unit…

          No, the rise in spam has nothing to do with the increasingly lose FOC, but more to do with the online community getting together & determining what power combos work best, publishing them for the world to see, and then seeing said combos adopted by players who lack the ability to have “fun” and “balanced” and “communal” considerations in their gaming decisions.

  • Legendary DVDA

    This is a joke piece right? How is constantly adding things without amending or faqing previous things not less competitive? 40k has a MTG release schedule but none of the rules support. 5th was competitive because half the armies sucked and all the ones that didn’t were pushing vehicles against each other

  • Legendary DVDA

    This is a joke piece right? How is constantly adding things without amending or faqing previous things not less competitive? 40k has a MTG release schedule but none of the rules support. 5th was competitive because half the armies sucked and all the ones that didn’t were pushing vehicles against each other

  • chris harrison

    When I played Orks, which was every edition but third and seventh, I would build a bunch of lists and roll dice to determine which one I would use. But then even when I entered tournaments, I wasn’t there to be a powergamer, so I don’t understand that WAAC mentality. I think that winning despite a few random elements is more satisfying anyway.

  • Kaptin J

    In most other competitive/balanced games, list building is important but it is not the largest factor in your ability to win games. You can play X-wing, with a tie swarm or a Fat Han list, and if you don’t have the skill to back that up you are going to lose. It is for this reason i don’t take 40k as a serious competitive game.

    Net-listing is more prevalent in 40k compared to other games because list building is such a factor. As you mentioned there is no game balance and lists you bring are all SKEW lists, how anyone can see that they are better cause they aren’t going up against their counter is beyond me…you aren’t testing skill, you are testing supreme luck, luck that you don’t have a bad pairing, really whats the point? Rock paper scissors is free if you want a skew game.

  • dinodoc

    Also things like super heavies being in normal games is also a red herring because most tournaments don’t allow those or seriously restrict them in some ways.

    I stopped reading here. You pick one of the problems with the edition and hand wave it away by saying its OK we can simply House Rule it away.

    • Pretty much every tournament I have ever been to had some form of house rules over it, thus “hand waving” issues that existed in whatever edition those tournaments were set up in.

      • Crablezworth

        Name one for 5th.

        • Sure.

          40k etc any of their events

          Adepticon 2010 quick google pulls their rules packet back. Skimming that it looks like all land raiders use the default rules of a land raider despite what variant it is.

          Most of the regional and store tournaments in my area from 2010 – 2012 ( i was absent from 2007 – 2010 so cannot speak to those)

          Those came from a basic google search and i grabbed the first two.

    • Zingbaby

      I think the point was IF you consider those things a problem; and IF you require a sterile and predictable ‘tournament’ style game; you can easily omit those things.

      And tournaments have been ‘house ruling’ from the start.

      • dinodoc

        If we’re hand waving major things away via house rulings in a tournament, by definition we’re saying that they make the game a less competitive environment.

        • Zingbaby

          As compared to what? …for example FW has been “hand waved away” from tournaments for pretty much EVERY edition, until 7th.

          That said, I know the point you are trying to make, and I don’t entirely disagree I just think your perspective is off. WH40K has NEVER been a suitable ‘competitive’ game; in 5th edition if you played 1 of 3 top-tier net-lists you could pretend the game was “balanced” but it wasn’t.

          40K has NEVER worked well as an “all-comers” tournament game. You could pick a few lists and force this type of play but that NEVER worked across all lists/codex – not in any edition. We are the closest to that now if ever, sure with a little hand-waving (as usual).

        • Every edition has had this, not just 7th.

          40k has never been a competitive game.

  • brascal

    Back in 5th, the crap codexes at least had the excuse of being yers (or a decade) out of date. Sure it’s crap, it’s 2 editions in the past! Now, books come out fast and there’s no logic. Chaos Spawn costing the same as Necron Wraiths despite being waaay worse, Warp Charge Spam, Allied Imbalance, lop-sided access to broken stuff like Imperial Knights. There’s a lot of things going on at the same time, no one is really keeping track, and if your book will be a monster compared to the one that came out 2 months before or struggle with the basics is basically a crap shoot.

    • dinodoc

      Now, books come out fast and there’s no logic.

      It was stated down thread by someone else but I think its a valid point. The game has developed a MtG release schedule but without any of the rules support.

    • balance issues and wrongly pointed models are a hallmark of 40k dating back to the beginning, not something introduced with 7th edition.

      • Crablezworth

        it simply introduced way more of it at a far larger scale… which is good for some reason?

        • I don’t see “way more of it”. I see it about the same. explain how you’d quantify “way more of it”

          “…which is good for some reason?”

          I haven’t said anything good or bad about it.

  • CertainlyNOTmccarthy

    I consider 5th edition to be 0% competitive.
    I consider 7th edition to be 0% competitive.

  • Dennis Harrison

    Why are there no comp scores in 40k like WFB at the tournament level? Beardy fantasy armies suffer due to comp or are straight up shelved if the tournament restricts list building to certain guidelines. For 40k, I have seen people attempt to balance tournaments by saying one primary detachment and one ally, but you never see conventions like ‘No special characters’. If all 40k is Min/Max and Power builds, it loses a semblance of balance right there. Comp scores at tournaments would help a lot.

    In Bloodbowl we almost always see Stunty Cup prizes for playing, well, bad teams. There are teams that don’t win games period. If you show up with a halfling team, you know you aren’t going to be sitting at the top table for the final round, but I see people show up again and again with the little guys.

    • Some tournaments do use comp scores still, its just that in this day and age they are largely shunned.

    • withershadow

      Some “beardy” armies can be completely in line with the fluff, like the aforementioned all-Tzeench daemon army summoning an endless amount of more daemons. Who determines what is good comp and what is bad comp? When it’s the TO, you are basically changing the ruleset to a set of house rules that not everyone may agree with and may not actually be any more balanced than the core rules themselves. When it’s the players giving each other “sportsmanship” scores, it usually ends up being a situation of losers trying to hammer their vanquishers out of spite.

      • Dennis Harrison

        The comp scores do cut down on the spam lists though. If one unit of x is good, two units of x is better mentality. Before you know your list is cookie cutter units.

        The TO’s are already at the mercy of a game who’s goals rarely include balance. I don’t envy them in the least. But all the fantasy players have agreed a scoring system. I don’t see why 40k never followed suit.

        Heck, I’d like to see a 40k tournament that decided against special characters. That would end some of the ally shenanigans.

  • jonathon

    Many of the comments here seem to indicated that “we” feel the game isn’t balanced for competitive play because we’re “pushed” to take hard, top-tier lists to all the games we play. But really are we? Who is forcing a player to bring serpent spam? Or fire-support cadre’s allying to everything? Nobody.

    The RULES have provided a sandbox, and the players have created a game of self-defeating brinkmanship akin to the relationship between the good ol’ USA & USSR a couple of years ago…. “well he might bring a lance formation, so I better bring 5 flyrants so I can win…”

    • well to be fair – competitive gaming is by definition about breaking the game with power lists.

      • jonathon

        no its not. That’s the problem. Competitive gaming is a mindset, where you will use the tools you have at your disposal to play competitively.

        Competitive does not mean “breaking”, it simply means participating in a manner that is conducive to increasing your odds of winning in a given situation. That doesn’t mean you have to take the best of the best of the best because “that’s competitive – bringing the strongest list so I have the best chance to win!” – that’s an inherently flawed point of view. You can build a list out of nothing but red-shirts & still PLAY the game competitively by focusing on controlling objectives and actually playing the game, rather than charging your pieces directly into your opponent’s guns.

        • thats the thing – “competitive gaming” is a term that has 1000 definitions that all differ from each other used by 1000 different people.

          • jonathon

            so then how can you have an article that attempts to state whether the game is definitively more or less competitive, when “competitive” has a different meaning to each user?

            Any discussion on this topic that attempts to have any meaningful depth whatsoever must therefore contain a definition of terms, to ensure all parties are on the same page.

          • Because it wasnt apparent that “competitive” means different things to different people until after the thread in the forums was posted (which got promoted to an article)

          • also – my next article is in fact my own opinion on what defines ‘competitive gaming’

  • Crablezworth

    fluff bunny: “I don’t care about winning”

    waac tfg: “then why did you tell me my army was cheesy after the game?”

    fluff bunny: “well it’s just some op net list”

    waac tfg: “so let me understand this, you don’t value or care about winning or losing but the first thought that comes to mind after losing is that you should denigrate your opponent’s army.”

    fluff bunny: “well no, ya see… it’s aaa…a.. just not fluffy enough, you’re not playing in the RIGHT spirit. Your army isn’t fluffy”

    waac tfg: “It’s an all tzeentch daemon army”

    fluff bunny: “7th ed wasn’t made for you competitive waac tfg’s, it was made for us casual players”

    indeed…..

    Neil called in on the last 11th company, there is NO consensus at all among anyone over what should stay and what should go when it comes to making 7th ed work because there’s just too
    much stuff. No one wants to give up using their toys while hoping everyone else’s get nerfed.

    To some extent I’d say “what else is new?” but the scale of the problem has been ramped up tenfold during the post 5th era of shame.

    It’s always seemed to me like the best social camouflage of this edition would be pretending to be a casual fluff loving player with zero gripes about the current state of the game. You would think it’d be the “competitive” gamers demanding everything be allowed all the time.

    • This argument / debate has gone on for decades though.

      Its no different than the waac tfg telling the fluff bunny to “learn 2 play lolol”

      I’ve met very very few competitive gamers that ever demanded everything be allowed, because it makes the meta they have to prepare for more unknown, which is antithesis of 40k “competitive gaming”.

  • D W Hawthorne

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the Maelstrom Missions in this article. I’ve found using those are actually a major leveller, and I think it is the primary play style and balance vacuum for the studio. The more classic objectives are really archaic and stale, and I think they were left in because it was simple and familiar. Extreme (Death Star or Msu) forces often struggle, whereas more flexible forces with solid fire bass supporting specialist strike force units excel. Some units, often considered bad, are actually improved under those missions, in large part because cost/survival or cost/damage are both mitigated to some degree, and in general non-conservative and sacrifice plays are rewarded.

    • Crablezworth

      Isn’t luck a massive factor when it comes to the cards themselves?

      • D W Hawthorne

        Not as much as the internet suggests. A lot of tournament players have gotten in to a mindset that the game should be decided on turn 5, and that everything up until that point is prologue that is measured in kills vs loss.

        In reality Maelstrom makes the whole game matter and you have two jobs 1) achieve your own objectives and 2) prevent your opponent from achieving objectives.

        While luck can provide you objectives you can’t achieve, or deem too costly for their value, it reduces the importance of going first or or second deciding the game depending on mission, and reduces the importance of match up.

        You can’t script a game out from beginning to end and a lot of folks can’t handle that and can’t handle containing their opponent while weighing their own objectives. It’s a much different mindset than “turn 1 I move here, turn 2 there and hide, turn 5 pounce and play so we time out, now let’s start the game.”

        • That is indeed a major complaint – that they are constantly having to react to new objectives turn by turn and that is off putting to them. (they use other language, like ran-DUMB and things of that nature but essentially that is what they are complaining about)

  • Bryan L. Nuri

    5th edition was a terrible morass of rules conflicts, outdated codexes, and dumb mechanics. wound allocation, anyone?

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    40k is not a competitive game. It never has been and most likely never will be.

    I beg competitive people to stop banging your heads against the wall and find a better game, a game that actually endorses and encourages the kind of fun you want to have.

    • Crablezworth

      I translate subtext “leave us alone to pew pew”

  • TutorialBoss

    For me it was the both multitude and escalation of seemingly game-breaking rules that slowly eroded my interest in playing.

    Towards the end of fifth it was stuff like BA 5-man assault marines who practically came free with a razorback, psychotroke grenades, S8 autocannons for token point costs, mindshackle scarabs, then came flyer rules, the new random psychic powers like invisibility etc., allies conveying powerful rules to units that had no business accessing them, re-rollable 2+ invulnerable saves, low AP blasts with ignores cover handed out indiscriminately, D-weapons and imperial knights.

    Playing on and off since 3rd edition, I know well that there have always been broken parts of the rules and armies. But the level absolutely escalated at the end of 5th and continued through 6th. I played a single game near the beginning of 7th. At this point the absurd amount of rules and dice rolling on random tables and the proliferation of supplements is just too much for me to bother with.

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    A good player can identify OP combos far quicker than a bad one. And no, it doesn’t take a *great* deal of skill to be able to do this, but it is one of the few areas where skill still matters. Anyway, good players can build that better army cheaper by just buying tons and tons of good units while ignoring all the chaff, putting them at an advantage over bad players. Sure there are plenty of bad players who follow the trend, but there’s almost always a good player at the forefront of the trend. And that good player will, with enough wealth, move onto the new OP broken garbage that GW let slip past. Case in point, Necrons, in particular Decurion Wraith Spam. You could obliterate a Warhound with the firepower it takes to kill that unit.

    This basically turns 40k into a game of wallet depth, with money being able to compensate for skill all the time. You also need tons and tons of money for any of your skill to be visible, as I don’t care how good of a player you are, you’re not getting too far with a garbage army.

    This is why Unbound, multi-CAD, and the mockery of the core Force Org of old ticks people off. It’s no longer about having 2 Flyrants, or having the reading comprehension to see that double TLed Brainleech Devourers are head-and-shoulders-knees-and-toes better than everything else in the entire codex. Now it’s all about owning *five* of the things that people already knew was the best thing in the book. Nobody had that build before because you used to only be able to run two. That’s not skill at work. That’s money. But apparently wealthy players are doing fine while the poorer players who try to use their mediocre armies well are getting curb-stomped. How do you know a poor player couldn’t use a power army better than a rich noob? The answer is you can’t. The poor player can never afford to play on an equal level.

    Auticus wonders what changed the game. Allies and Forge World were not it. The answer is money, and specifically the power it gives, and it’s an issue he keeps dancing around. Competitive players not wanting to buy Forge World rulebooks to remain competitive? Forge World is expensive. Competitive players complaining about allies being better than their tried-and-tested competitive list? Said player already owns a competitive list. He does not own allies, meaning he has to spend more money to have the best things. Never before in the game has wealth trumped skill so thoroughly as 6th and 7th. And it seems Auticus’s answer to making the game better is to make it utterly inhospitable to competitive gamers by reducing it to complete and meaningless BullSh*tHammer, as if a desire to win a (theoretically) strategic wargame was at fault. And then, when nobody wants to win and the game is stripped of all intrigue and reason for existing, the game will be better. Or dead. But the important thing is we’ll know.

    I don’t see how Auticus can keep making assertions that 40k doesn’t need more balance when a greater focus on player skill would eliminate the things he claims to hate about the state of the game. If armies were balanced, no one would care if you brought allies because you wouldn’t be gaining a competitive advantage by doing so. And if the rules were written more competently, then nothing you could pull out of Forge World would be inherently overpowered enough to tip a game on its own.

    • “Auticus wonders what changed the game. Allies and Forge World were not it. The answer is money, and specifically the power it gives, and it’s an issue he keeps dancing around.”

      Money has always been a key component to staying on top of the net listing phenomenon. You had to have it to move from powerlist to powerlist. That hasn’t changed.

      Needing 5 whatevers is no different than when grey knights went out of favor for eldar and grey knight players sold their armies for the lastest busted eldar build.

      “And it seems Auticus’s answer to making the game better is to make it utterly inhospitable to competitive gamers by reducing it to complete and meaningless BullSh*tHammer, as if a desire to win a (theoretically) strategic wargame was at fault.”

      Please provide quote/evidence of anything i have said that reinforces that faulty belief.

      “I don’t see how Auticus can keep making assertions that 40k doesn’t need more balance”

      Please provide quote/evidence of anything I have said that reinforces that faulty belief. Specifically where I allegedly asserted that 40k does not need more balance.

      Clue: you can’t provide it because I never said it. I have always faulted 40k for its very poor balance since day 1.

      The topic is how is 5th edition 40k more competitive than 7th edition 40k. Not a strawman filling my mouth with words that I never said or claimed or are in exact opposite to any belief I hold.

      • ReveredChaplainDrake

        Oh there’s a very big difference between needing 2 of something and needing 5 of something. Big enough that your very post is an acknowledgement of a unique schism in the game starting in 6th edition. (Which is probably where Pentaflyrant *would’ve* started if not for that Chapterhouse monkey wrench.)

        For one thing, you have to double how many boring cloned power units you run to absurd levels previously reserved for Apocalypse. And Apocalypse is where more sensible gamers hoped that this hyper-abusive mindset would stay. A single force org can still have cheese, but the answer is to fix cheese. Removing the force org entirely is a Pandora’s Box of imbalance that 40k is not inherently solid enough to withstand because “internal balance” is apparently a profanity in the house of Jervis.

        For another, if you need 5 of something and the traditional limit is 2, GW can very easily have an “oh god what have I done” moment and yank on the choke chain, thereby rendering 60% of your purchases utterly worthless. All it takes is a simple and reasonable limit on multiple detachments and power armies that bank on abusing them forever will be ruined overnight. Savvy players at least acknowledge this possibility. Those like me eagerly await GW reigning in the grievous imbalances while leaving those who played to fluff vindicated for not being jerks. …Still waiting.

        If there is some colossal misunderstanding afoot and you *do* want 40k to be made a fairer game, then I’m in 100% agreement. The question is how you plan to go about doing that.

        Where we disagree is that I see RandomJohnnyHammer as GW (and those who think RandomJohnnyHammer is a good idea) shifting the blame of poor balance onto the players, like we weren’t supposed to notice that the game was an imbalanced mess. Well, if we weren’t supposed to exploit the game for all it was worth, why are players who exploit the game winners, and why are those who don’t losers? GW clearly advocates fluffy play with how they go on and on about forging the narrative. So if they want fluffy stuff played, why aren’t fluffy, varied armies inherently stronger than unfluffy spam? At least if the Space Marine Battle Company was the power build to beat, it wouldn’t feel so off-message.

        I actually take a bit of offense to that, as I was one of the fools who was actually running fluffy Tyranid hordes back in the day, as opposed to the MC Devourer spam. (The more things change, right?) I still have a Warseer signature that refers to my old 100-Gaunt army. And yet I’m the one whose army keeps taking a sack of bricks to the face for running fluffy, well-rounded lists? And I *keep* taking bricks to the face until my army starts conforming to boring powergamer netlist standards? Yeah, that sure fostered a healthier game. Punish fun until all your fluff bunnies turn WAAC out of sheer bitterness.

        You’re not gonna’ stop powergamers with randomness. They’re just gonna’ move on to the least random, most OP options possible and pulverize everyone regardless of how the dice roll. If they have any desire to play games that aren’t won before deployment, they’ll probably just flee for the increasingly greener pastures of the rest of the wargaming market, taking as many of their friends with them as they can convince. This leaves only two kinds of 40k players left: powergamers that don’t want randomness, and victims that no amount of randomness can help.

        • On needing 2 vs needing 5

          All of my tournament armies had multiples of the same basic things. Thats where I’m not seeing the difference between yesterday and today.

          In fact, i remember space wolf 5th ed armies being something along the lines of six or so razor backs and spam squads of long fangs.

          The only thing that differs is that super heavies can now be involved depending on the tournament rules.

          The topic is about how is 7th edition “less competitive” than 5th edition.

          In terms of spamming – they aren’t any different.

          The rest of your argument has nothing to do with the topic, its a rant about balance and powergaming and random and insinuates that I don’t care about balance and that i love random things.

          I’ve said since I started playing in the 90s that the balance in these games is horrible – thats why I don’t feel that 40k has *ever* been a competitive game because my definition of competitive is split open and openly defiled by what goes on and has gone on for years – which is essentially purposely and willfully exploiting very poor balance – which to me is the farthest thing from competitive that can be.

          • ReveredChaplainDrake

            If you’ve got a friendly group, good for you. My group enjoys casually obliterating game balance, just because we can. There are no other people left, like minded or otherwise. You either bring the power, play Warmachine, or paint all day. Those who didn’t like this had the good sense to leave, citing issues that you and jonathon ignore and even mock. (Class act, that jonathon. Love the part how everybody else’s concerns are stupid.)

            Maybe if you’re lucky, you stumble onto some poor dumb sap who doesn’t know any better. And, because we physically don’t have anything but power armies (nobody dares be the first to play a fair list, and so nobody bothers to bring one), we show ’em how our group rolls. Since there’s no other LGS that’s even remotely local, these visitors either follow our ways (if they didn’t already) or quit, and each and every one of us is locked into the same Catch-22.

            I am my group’s last holdout, hoping the game will recover someday, but even I have a Knight and three Stormravens. I *wish* I had a group like yours. (You’d still probably destroy me because Tyranids without supplements have a way of taking awful to a low that most players don’t even know exists.) With no other local stores or players, a better 40k is really the only shot the game has of being fun again.

            “The only thing that I do differently that I can see is that I have found a way to make the game enjoyable and I run events that are for like-minded people, so I don’t rant and complain about the game, which people translate into how I don’t care about balance etc.”

            You call what I do “ranting” and “complaining” (disrespectin’ like a boss, BTW), yet fail to see that 40k has basically died in my area. I think I’ve had four games this edition, all of which were against the same person, some poor Ork player who also got tired of getting throttled by the regulars. The last game I had was almost a month ago. In all of 6th, I think I may have played twice, though I did take a hiatus after Eldar. I for one think the gaming community might be significantly improved in both size and quality if players (and ultimately GW) started taking these “rants” and “complaints” a bit more seriously.

            I know you’re not gonna’ respect my opinion, let alone understand where I’m coming from. You have the luxury that you don’t have to. You’ve got your club. Just realize how fortunate you are.

          • I dont disregard your opinion or mock you. Im just saying that many people mistake that because i dont complain about the game and because i support the game in the way that it does work that that means i have no issues with the game or that im a fan boi or a gwombie or any number of other titles the internet in general tosses around.

            Something about my group is that only a few short years ago there was nothing like it in my area, it was like yours as you state: all power all the time. It was one reason i quit for a few years.

            The group i have now started as a small five person campaign group that grew to encompass four stores and a gw store in membership because it just needed started and proved popular.

            I wish the game were balanced but while it stays as unbalanced as it has historically for all editions, the choice laid before me for me is to either quit or play it how the ivory tower designed it. That does require players of that mindset which is not everyone so it takes some work.

        • jonathon

          Hey look, here comes “randomjohnnyhammer” to ridicule your last 3 paragraphs. GW has provided you a tool set & a framework for how to use it – be it fairly, or in an exploitative means; they have not forced you or any other player to use the tools in any way, shape or form. The inherent inbalance & proliferation of abuseful builds in the “competitive” gamers’ mindset is 100% solely the responsibility of the gamers.

          To argue otherwise is tantamount to arguing that once I give you a hammer, I’ve instructed you to use it to bash folks heads in & steal their wallets simply because you CAN. That’s clearly ludicrous.

          The state of the game is 100% on the shoulders of those who are currently playing the game.

  • Troy

    I used to run those Blood Angel rhino rush lists. Take 6 units of troops throw them all in rhino’s, go super fast, turn get out run and assault. It was like a 30 inch range. Turn one and I am assaulting into close combat. Then take Devastator Squads and not give them heavy weapons to get 30 more troops on the board. Ahh the old days. My only fear was Vortex Grenades.

  • Sure

    Long story short, 7th edition fixed the game. However, the manner the game designers went in fixing it shafted the tournament players. Tournament play requires a streamlined game with a clear and concise set of rules. 7th edition fixed the problems of 6th but in doing so went even further from 5th edition, which really was one of the most tournament friendly editions.
    This of course requires one to agree with my definition of “fixing” the problems. Because of the random elements and expansive list possibilities two players using different factions can come together on an afternoon and have a fun game. If your friend is using units, detachments, or an army with which you are not familiar you can take a few minutes to look things over to get a feel for them. The new psychic phase, shifting objectives, and wide range of forces choices can level out the power balance. One of my friends noted that in his first 7th ed game (a guy who was into 40k since RT and was turned off by 6th) he thought he was getting mauled but in the end he won on points – all because the shifting objectives and events helped even out his army’s inherent inferiority.
    If you’re trying to use 7th to get a dozen players to get in in 3 complete games in one day without needing a binder full of rules changes to make 7th ed. fit the format then you may be out of luck. Frankly, going back to fifth edition is not such a bad idea for tournament die-hards.
    One thing to consider: while the tournament scene is the most vocal and visible, GW may have found out that it is ultimately the quiet, non-tournament crowd that makes up more of their business. If that is the case then the tournament players may want to have an active sub-market of out of print GW products.

    • Shiwan8

      I have to disagree. It killed monsters, totally. It was a good idea to make it harder to kill vehicles but it was totally needless to kill monsters. Funny enough thing is that the only monster that actually needed to be nerfed, WK, did not suffer from that at all. The psychic nerf was good to make the old superstar combos make sense, then again it killed all other psychics so…not too good after all.

      GW tried, failed and is too proud to admit it and fix the mistakes it made. For the game to have any reasonable balance, heavy house rulings are needed.

      • Sure

        My main reason for considering it a fix is that my group, a fairly large one at an independent gaming store, pretty much ditched 40K when 6th hit. Many of us were already bored by 5th (i.e. the “Grey Knights” edition) – so the non-tournament players were already finding a better experience in other games (mostly FoW, Malifaux, Infinity – in that order). When 6th came the tournament players bailed and that pretty much killed the scene, with a few holdouts hanging on. Lately these holdouts have convinced us to give 7th a chance, and we like the game again so long as it’s understood by all that this is no longer a tournament game. So for us the game is considered to be repaired because we actually enjoy playing it again. I played exactly one game of 6th with the new chaos codex and went, “meh”. 7th has been bringing it back, but it’s no longer the tournament-geared scene we had during 5th. I’m sorry you don’t like monstrous creatures – in our group tyranid players were both the holdouts during the 6th edition drought and those least enthused about 7th, so you do have a point.

  • Jon

    I have never played with Forgeworld models and I never will. I will also never play against someone using Forgeworld models unless they are proxies for “actual” units. The last thing I need is to make an already expensive hobby even worse (something that already intimidates almost non-existent new players)

    • jonathon

      you do realize that the “expensive hobby” argument is a complete and utter fallacy don’t you?

      • PinkyandtheBrain

        Agreed I wonder what they don’t think are expensive hobbies. Computer and console gaming are both more expensive as hobbies. Drinking is vastly more expensive, golf, going to the gym etc likewise. Paintballing, watching live sport (not that you can really call that a hobby). What are all these hobbies that are so much cheaper?

        • jonathon

          watching grass grow really… I spend ~ $600 every year on wargaming & that includes (3) GW armies plus two infinity armies plus (4) Malifaux crews plus terrain & misc projects….

          I spend $11/week on a gym membership + $200/month on martial arts; I play paintball at approx $80/trip; I go see movies at ~ $50 (for two); my friend’s shoot at anywhere from $0.75-$7 per bullet; fixing up old cars is stupid-expensive; painting landscapes is commiserate with models; reading books sets you back ~$20 per week…. don’t get me started on football or hockey…

          wargaming is a cheap pastime.

          • heh my musical instruments each cost several full 40k armies.

        • Shiwan8

          Gym is expensive? My mini budget is literally 1000% of what my gym membership is per month. 😀

    • you’re in luck – forgeworld models are “actual” units.

      You’re also in luck – they are not required to play so new players don’t have to worry about being forced to buy them.