40K OpEd: New Pink Horrors Problem

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Hey everyone, Adam here from  TFG Radio! Today we bring you info on the new “split” rule from the Pink Horror unit entry, along with a video.

This article is a combined effort from the TFG Crew.

The new Pink Horrors have provided yet another pivot moment for 40K. Where do we go from here?

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The Pink Horror Problem

The new “Split” rule allows all Pink Horrors killed in a phase to spawn 2 Blue Horrors. They create a new unit, and must be placed within 6 inches of the Pink Horror unit.  When these Blue Horrors die, each one spawns a Brimstone Horror, following the same placement rules.  If a rule would require these models to be removed (with the exception of Daemonic Instability), they still get to use the Split Rule, but must be placed wholly within 6 inches of the last pink horror that was killed.

We even created a video with how the rule would work out:

A few important notes:

  • It clearly says within 6 inches, and well, GW has clarified that if they mean “wholly within”, they will say “wholly within”, so the first Blue Horror spawned needs to be placed within 6 inches of the parent Pink Horrors, but you can then daisy-chain the rest as far as you’d like so long as you maintain coherency.  This means that Blue Horrors can suddenly appear a good deal away from their parents, allowing them to easily contest or grab objectives or block charges.
  • These units spawn at the end of a PHASE, not turn, so if you shoot at Pink Horrors, the spawned Blue Horrors can stop you from charging in the assault phase as they are a separate unit and thus cannot be a legal target for a charge, and you could have never shot them to be able to make them a legal target, so charge blocking for the win. Daisy chain, objective grabbing for the win too.
  • Blue Horrors and Brimstone Horrors are psykers, so you are generating more dice each time. If you shoot a Pink (who generates 1), and get a few blues, you know have 2 dice generated instead of 1 next turn. If the Blue Horrors get shot, and not wiped out, and create Brimstone Horrors you now have 3 dice when you originally had 3. Extrapolate that out across a formation with 9 units of Pink Horrors and you now have epic levels of Psychic Dice.

So, the problem is that as it is written now, Pink Horrors are about 150 free points.  You spend 90 to get 240 or so back. Just fulfilling a basic CAD with these Pink Horrors means that you are now playing 300 points above your opponent, more or less. If you dedicate to the farm, you can easily end up playing 600-1000 points over your opponent.   Coupled with the fact that almost nothing stops this from happening outside of assault, Pink Horrors are in this form the most dominant troop choice in the game.  Their ability to control and contest as well as survive hails of fire through Split by just creating more units, many, if not all, armies will struggle against them.

To compound the problem more, the Loci of Creation, an upgrade to Heralds of Tzeentch, doubles this. This means that one Pink Horror is now 4 Blue Horrors. That’s just insane.  A unit of 20 Pink Horrors will spawn 80 Blue Horrors before it dies.  That is more summoning than even Conclave can manage easily, all with no rolls of any kind required and with almost no means of stopping it outside of Daemonic Instability.

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The Question is Thus: What Do We Do About This?

On one hand, we can leave it all alone.  Pink Horrors are not exactly Bloodthirsters, and who has all these damn models, anyway?  Obviously, playing by RAW is typically ideal as GW makes the game, not the ITC, and the less we mess with the game, the easier it is for any person, regardless of format preference, is prepared for the rule and how it is applied.  Chaos needs a win anyway, so at least it is not Eldar/SM getting all the love. This will make the meta shift from shooting to fighty, which helps out weaker builds.

The downside to this is that Pink Horrors are not worthless; in fact, they are already one of the stronger troop choices.  They have a 5++ rerolling 1 save that can easily go to 4++ in a formation or 3++ with the Grimoire. They generate psychic dice, and with Split, they are suddenly generating more psychic dice.  They can be Objective Secured easily, and even if the Blue Horrors are not, you can use the Blue Horrors as effective charge and movement blockers to frustrate and stymie an opponent.

On the other, we can ban Split entirely.  This solves a lot of issues from Split, and suddenly, we don’t all have to see 80 Pink Horrors on the table and 160 (or 240) Blue Horrors.

Of course, the downside here is making large changes to an army, not to mention that Pink Horrors lost access to Malefic daemonology, so you are just making them worse. Also, for those who read the rule and went out and bought 8 boxes of them, that sucks for them.

We could always split the middle and ban the Loci of Creation.  This allows Split to stay (still intense), but not with the insanity of the Loci.

The downside to this is even without the Loci of Creation the unit is massively imbalancing to the game with the Split rule left otherwise intact. As shown in the video a single unit of 20 Pink Horrors =1 Herald is intensely problematic and spawns a lot of models, even without the Loci.

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We could also houserule that Instant Death attacks ignore Split, so putting S6 into Pinkies or S4 against Blues will solve the problem easy enough.

This option has the most upside, as there is a lot of Str6 weapons in the game. This will really hurt Space Marines and their equivalents as the current Meta doesn’t support a ton of Str 6 shooting for them. Eldar get a great way to deal with them in Scatter Lasers, which are already good, and we all know how much help Eldar needs to be competitive.

We could make Split dependent upon a dice roll like many things in this game already are. “At the end of the phase roll a single die for any unit of Pink Horrors now subject to the Split rule, on a 5+ the Rule goes off normally, any other result and Tzeentch has frowned upon you and the Rule is not enacted”.

This is in keeping with the spirit of the game as a game dependent upon die rolls for great things to happen. It allows people to still use their toys but without the huge hampering that gets thrown into the mix by allowing the split rule to be used in full.

Another option could be to have the new unit take an instability test at the end of each player turn, including the turn it was created. This is similar to the rules for the Khorne Daemonkin artifact Kor’lath, Axe of Ruin. That rule states that, when the lord dies, a Bloodthirster appears. The downside is that, at the end of every game turn, it must take an instability test. This could result, due to a leadership of 7, in the unit not even staying on the field after appearing.

Hopefully this article, and video, we put together gives you an idea of how the rule works, along with possible solutions for the rule in case you feel it should be toned down.

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As always, share your thoughts in the comments section! And remember, Frontline Gaming sells Games Workshop product at up to 25% off, every day. You can also pick up some cheap models in our Second Hand Shop. Some of these gems are quite rare, sometimes they’re fully painted!

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  • mannstein

    https://www.warhammer-community.com/2016/12/03/wrath-of-magnus-faq/

    I’ll just leave this here since at least one of the “issues” presented in the article has already been faq’ed….

    • Bahkara

      The video was made before the new FAQ(on Tuesday in fact)

      It was made to see it in action and hopefully get a response

      • mannstein

        Fair enough.

      • Troy G

        The FAQ was to some degree a reaction to the video.

    • Old zogwort

      Jup this video doesn’t show at all what would happen you follow the rules in the faq. just kill them in assault and there will be no room for them to spawn.

      • nurglitch

        Yup, it’s like people have forgotten how soft these units are in combat.

        • Old zogwort

          Jup pinks are unarmed guardsmen, and blues are unarmed grot equivalents … Also a unit of 20 of them + the item is quite expensive.
          Just leave them there or use a bit more tact when removing them.

      • The FAQ didn’t exist when the video was made.

        • Old zogwort

          True but the video does use a chain of the most dubious interpretations possible, proxies every model removing the limitation of available models. And the opponent is played to maximize the effect, they shoot instead of assaults the unit, they don’t try to prevent the placement of models by using your own models but instead actively try to wiggle in a way to create more units while at the same time calling every step “conservative”. This really is a scaremongering video.

          • I pretty sure memes are supposed to inject humor, and not be taken seriously.

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  • sjap98

    Here’s 2 relevant parts of the FAQ aforementioned:

    Q: Does the entire spawned unit have to be within 6″ or just 1 model
    in it? Could I string a unit of Blue Horrors or Brimstone Horrors across
    the table, with just 1 model within 6″ of the Pink Horrors? It is not
    clear.

    A: The entire squad needs to be within 6″.

    Q: It seems that the only thing that stops them from Splitting is if
    they roll a Daemonic Instability test result that causes the entire unit
    to be taken off of the table. Is this correct?

    A: Yes.

    • AnomanderRake

      I suspect they’re going to give the Grey Knights some way to force Instability rolls in the Imperial Agents book. GW’s post-release editing process usually consists of releasing a hard counter in the next book.

      • Valeli

        I’m increasingly starting to think that the only plastic sister were the sisters of silence, who somehow now exist in 40k, and that that IA book is going to be the only place I see the sisters of battle for the next however many years….. 🙁

    • Valeli

      I think it’s pretty sad the “daisy chaining” had to be FAQed in the first place. People who try and do these things must easily be the #1 thing putting new players (and existing players) off the game.

      Well, #1 outside of rules and pricing maybe.

      But come on. How sad do you have to be to do these things, and then spend the next 20 minutes arguing that you can because “RULZ AS RITTEN!!!!” when your opponent says it seems wrong?

      But yeah – thanks for linking the FAQ.

  • wibbling

    Frustratingly, Horrors, having only access to the dsicpline of Tzeentch are casting powers that are more likely ot help your opponent than anything else, or else have the castingpalyer rolling for warpcharge, rolling cast, rolling for number of hits, rolling to hit for those hits, rolling to wound, then rolling saves. The end result certainly being to kill – at best – one person for ten minutes of effort.

    • They’re warp charge batteries, they can get licky and get a D shot but otherwise they fuel your many, many,many other psykers

  • Old zogwort

    There might be a change in who can use power dice in 8th making this all a bit less of an issue in the future. I would not stack on to horrors jet ; )

  • Old zogwort

    More interestingly does this replace the horrors profile or do we now have 2 types of pink horrors ?

    • Tirelion

      It replaces the entry in the codex.

  • Leo

    GW FAQ’d this.

    • They did, but the original version of this article was posted on FLG well before that.

    • Troy G

      Also, the GW FAQ made it both better and worse. Spawned models have to be wholly within 6″, but now wiping a unit completely won’t avoid split.

      • Matthew Elwert

        It was clearly stated in the rules how you deal with the situation when the ENTIRE unit is wiped out (including information on instability). People seem to be too lazy to actually read the whole thing. The 6″ FAQ made sense the other did not since it was already so obvious.

  • Nyyppä

    Oh damn, chaos daemons can use tactics to mitigate losses. HOW DID IT COME TO THIS!!!?????

  • AnomanderRake

    Remember and acknowledge they’re still one of the strongest Troops choices in the game, sitting in one of the strongest formations around from the last Daemon supplement, and just play them according to the pre-WoM rules (except allowing the new Icons/Loci because those aren’t crazy and add options), and they’ll be just fine. Losing Daemonology isn’t much of a hit with the new Change discipline and the Warpflame Host, and the new Icons and Loci are fun extra toys.

    And it means those of us who like Pink Horrors (and whose plan to use Tzaangors as proxies has just been derailed by the release of proper 40k Tzaangors) don’t have to go grabbing masses of Blue/Brimstone Horror models.

    So basically there is zero downside to banning Split. A solid and effective unit remains solid and effective rather than becoming an unbearable slog, Daemon players don’t have to go spend hundreds of dollars on extra models, people playing against Daemons don’t have to chew through 15pts of free models per 9pt model. Everyone wins. Except whoever thought of this rule, because he’s just annoyed us.

    • TruthSeeker77

      No he just annoyed you. As long as War Con and Demi Co. exist tough sh!t I say. QQ some more.

    • Tirelion

      You are way off base here. Banning brand new rules is a good way to p!ss people off. As a daemon player I don’t appreciate you trying to speak for all of us. So step off.

      • AnomanderRake

        Got it. Didn’t mean to offend. As a Daemon player I find the idea that I’d have to go digging for piles of extra models to run a unit that already works more annoying than the rest of it and I’m planning to run my Pink Horrors off their pre-WoM rules, but if you like Split and your playgroup is happy with it then more power to you.

        • kingcobra668

          Whatever you can’t place is simply ignored. Including if you dont HAVE the models.

    • kingcobra668

      Yeah, I could choose to limit or ban units I don’t like, but who the hell am i/are you to make such judgements? Personally, I like a challenge/beating the odds, so if it’s allowed, bring it on, I say.

  • Talos2

    Great to get the splitting horrors back after too long away. They’re a new challenge for Most, but that’s always been the point of 40k, different armies do entirely different things. Armies being given weapons that largely do the same thing just with different names are one of the reasons 40k is a bit dull these days

    • kingcobra668

      Blue horrors do exist. 3 on the chariot iirc. That kit gives you heralds, screamers, blue horrors, exalted flamers and discs to use all seperately. For the screamers, you just have to sculpt a tall. Literally the easiest thing to sculpt.

      • Tirelion

        It’s actually one of the best value kits available. I’ve bought three of them just to make the component pieces.

        • kingcobra668

          Totally agree!

        • Talos2

          Good value specifically for making horror units? Particulrly the blue horrors that you need double the number of? Agreed overall good, but if all you’re trying to do is be capable of playing the new rule, maybe not so

  • kingcobra668

    Virtually no one is going to have enough different horror types for this to be a problem. I have a lot of horrors and I still couldn’t do this.

    • Tirelion

      I will have enough to run two squads of 10 pinks without the locus. That means 20 pinks and 40 blues, but I will still need to figure out brimstones.

      • kingcobra668

        So you are going to buy 40 brimstones? And repaint 40 of your pinks blue? Maybe, but again, a handful of people in hundreds or thousands that play… is hardly actually an issue. That, and actual rule mechanics will limit how they actually work in game vs shallow(!) theory hammer.

        • Tirelion

          Fair enough. And yes, I will buy or convert 40 brimstone and paint 40 horrors blue. (I had yet to paint 20 of them anyway)

    • Old zogwort

      Same here. I own about 60 of them. Not going to do this at all.

  • Christian Møller Hansen

    but if you kill all the pink horrors in one go there will be no one left for the blue horrors to spawn within 6 inches of at the end of the phase. . .

    • kingcobra668

      Not according to faq for wrath of magnus on wh community. Use the last model removed for the 6″. Daemonic instability is the only way to remove them entirely with no chance to split (or another special rule that simply removes an entire unit). Or, clever positioning a la emergency disembarkment to disallow the models to be placed (or at least limit the split output). The new models need to be entirely *within* 6″ of the unit from which they are spawned.

  • kingcobra668

    I do hope you guys edit this post after reading the faq else ppl will ramble on about something they half rad on bols for the next 9 months and 9 days.

    • The original post isn’t even here on BoLS. This post is days old and was originally put up on the FLG site so people could be informed in case an official GW FAQ, which no one knew was coming this fast, didn’t come in time for the LVO and an ITC vote needed to be made.

  • Matthew Elwert

    Yes, well people cry now because you can’t just deep strike a drop pod turn 1 and use 10 space marines to kill your unit of 10-20 pink horrors. Deal with it. I’ve played pinks plenty of times and they just don’t survive anything that long. You can devastate them in melee. A multi assault and demonic instability is a nightmare because you can potentially just blow up 3 units at the same time. The reality is you will have to DEAL with pink horrors in the future not just blast them into oblivion. If you don’t kill any you won’t spawn blues. The new rules will force more melee on those units which is good for a daemon army since its primarily melee.

  • Tirelion

    In a world where you can instantly have 500pts of free transports START a game in play, all with obsec, or a world of wraithknights, scat packs, etc.. I find it insane that we are all losing our minds over the ability to have several hundred “free” points that are totally conditional as to whether or not they will affect the table in any way at all. Generally my horrors are ignored anyway. Which is really the best way to deal with them. Ignore them, and those points never come into play. But go ahead, keep complaining about 300-400 pts of horrors while you play free drop pods, razor backs, rhinos, or take all your vehicle upgrades for free. Apparently it’s only ok if space marines can do it. Get over yourselves.

  • EnTyme

    Wow! It’s a good thing people waited until the release of these books before freaking out. Otherwise, GW might have written an FAQ on how this rule works and made everyone who freaked out look silly.

    • Good thing people freaked out so GW would handle this at an unprecedentedly fast pace. Fixed that for you.

  • Ben North

    If we read the “split” rule correctly, then there is no possible way we can assume we can make a “daisy chain line” i do not understand the confusion to this rule. It cleary states that 2 models are created at the end of the phase for each pink horror that is removed, it also states that if there are no blue horrors within 6″ then a new unit is created.

    In no way does this state that is possible to set them up within 6″ of each other, these are not poorly written rules these are poorly read rules.
    This didn’t need an FAQ, people just need to read things correctly.

    • It’s almost like language isn’t always 100% clear and there was never a precedent for a different interpretation of how something reads before.

  • Admiral Raptor

    Much ado about nothing.

  • karloss01

    Whenever I talk about Tzaangor to my GW store owner he tells me to “Come back January and I can talk about them more.” so I’m assuming The silver tower non-hero miniatures are being released then. So expect the Blue/Brimstone horrors for January.

  • Latro_the_Zombie

    Chaos get something OP and ‘no, this must be BANNED’
    Space marines get lawd knows how many free transports and not a murmer.

    I’m peroanly gonna take as many pink horrors as i possibly can just to annoy people like that