40K: Top 5 “Rules” Players Love To Hate

Some rules or concepts are just frustrating and 40k players are more than happy to let you know about them!

Rules. Every game has them. Ideally, they are pretty easy to learn but the gameplay takes the rules and turns them into a complex game with depth. But sometimes that complexity becomes bloat or clutter that just makes the game feel sluggish and slow. Here at BoLS we got to talking about the rules in 40k and some of the concepts that keep popping up in discussions as “Fan-Favorites” to hate on.

1) Allies

The Allies Matrix seems like a good idea. You’ve got pretty clear lines of who can effectively team-up and who will never have any friends (looking at my Tyranids). But in practice, it becomes a tool for abuse. The Lore-Bunnies blame the WAAC players for bringing the most broken thing allowed to the table. The WAAC players point to the lame 20 pages of fan-fic the Lore-Bunnies wrote to justify their army concept. It just gets ugly, guys.

Hopefully in 8th edition the new Command Points system will help to curb some of this abuse from BOTH sides. No more Inquisitors with Daemon allies…and no more painful-to-read fan-fic, please.

2) Detachments/Formations/List Building

List building has always been a “thing” with 40k. But going back to the previous point on Allies, all the formations/detachments in the game are more than overwhelming at this point – they feel suffocating. I’m pretty sure with a little bit of photo-shop magic you could create your own fake formation and bring it to a tournament and fool 80% of the field. As long as it doesn’t sound too bonkers, you’ll probably get away with it. Please, DON’T try this. However, the point still stands.

Look, I’m all for thematic armies. I think that players should get rewarded for using a lore-based army building approach. The issue comes when you start cherry-picking “all the things” and you end up with all the best stuff and none of the “troop tax” penalties. (Which sometimes aren’t even a penalty, 5th edition Grey Hunters anyone?) Hopefully in 8th, we’ll see something to address the formation bloat.

3) Flyers

Really Flying Monstrous Creatures are the worst offenders but I think that this is indicative of the flyer rules in general. FMC get to abuse the best parts (mostly) and regular flyers are a tad on the clunky side. Not even their own extra rule set makes them truly entertaining to use.

Part of the problem is that they feel so “all or nothing” – if your army can shoot down a flyer, then they aren’t a threat. If you forgo AA then suddenly that random flyer (or FMC) becomes a real head-ache. It’s very rock-paper-scissors, only it’s just rock and scissors and everyone forgot to use paper. Here’s hoping that in 8th Flyers get a rework to make them useful. We’ve had some ideas in the past on how to fix them.

4) Summoning/Psychic Phase

I was going to separate out the Psychic Shenanigans and Summoning but you can’t really have one without the other. Summoning in 40k currently has some issues. Does it tie back to the Psychic Phase also being one of those “all-or-nothing” phases? Is Psychic defense too weak? Is it too easy to generate the powers you want along with the dice you need to push them through? Are the penalties for failure too soft?

Summoning, Invisibility, and a few other powers really seem to be the problem (along with the issues mentioned above). What’s the fix with for this? Maybe an AoS style summoning system – but really I would love to see an overhaul of the powers and warp charge mechanics in 40k. And I know I’m not alone…

5) Fearless/Leadership

Yet again, we have another “all-or-nothing” situation. If you are playing an army with some type of fearless mechanic then you don’t know the pain of having a unit get wiped out just because you rolled too high on your leadership check. If you have, then you know it feels off. Wait, how did those 5 Tartaros Terminators run down 20 other troopers? What do you mean they don’t have slow and purposeful? And yes, I didn’t have my gaunts in synapse after the charging. I wasn’t expecting them to make ALL of their 2+ saves…

Point is the Leadership stat should be more useful in the game. Right now, if you have Fearless, you don’t even care about leadership. If you don’t, you’re leadership is probably too low anyways. It needs a revamp badly.

 

What do you think? What rules would you like to see changed in 8th?

  • orionburn

    Lots of little things that could be added, but those 5 pretty much hit all of the main nails right on the head.

    • Raven Jax

      Agreed. If you asked me to draw up a list of Top 5 things that need tweaking, I think it would be this exact same 5 things.

    • silashand

      Yep. Those are the top 5 issues I have with the game and pretty much in order too.

  • Persoanlly I have no problem with fliers, they have enough restrictions and are in general very expensive. It is 100% the flying monstrous creatures that get all the benefits of flying without any of the downsides.

    Summoning and psychic was fine until it got to the point where we were looking at 20-30+dice per turn. It became too cheap to get enough dice to reliably summon.

    I want leadership to mean something, the problem in 40k is its pretty much all or nothing, either you lose everything on a failed test or you just ignore it.

    Personally what I want is a streamlined movement phase that incorporates all movement. No warp jump shenanigans, no jet pack moves. Just one movement, one shooting, etc.

    Personally I feel that splitfire should be a standard rule for units. IT makes no sense that the one special weapons trooper prevents the rest of the squad from firing at a more lucrative target. IT is also the reason that so many imperial units suck is because the special weapon costs too much for what you are getting.

    • There are a lot of Fliers that just aren’t any good and the rules for them in general are clunky at best. For models that are so expensive and (in some cases) cool to be relatively useless in game is frustrating. FMCs just add salt to the wound.

      • Viktor Julian

        True.

      • Shawn

        I can’t attest too much to the flying monstrous creatures, but I think my stormravens and stormtalons are pretty good.

        • Yes, the Space Marine fliers are good (shocking) if a bit ugly (also shocking).

    • ZeeLobby

      Honestly, my bad taste with fliers has more to do with only some factions having them or having answers to them.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        And due to the lameness of the vehicle rules, your plane can be one shotted by a luck shot where as the flying Hive Tyrant cannot be.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean removing anything where one shot just removes something is a plus. Here’s Joe, spent $100+ converting, painting, and displaying his brand new flier, and it goes down to interceptor turn 2…

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Agreed.

            This is why I think GW will go the Sigmar rout with vehicles. They will be trated as monsters with lots of hit points but whose abilities degrade as it takes damage.

          • ZeeLobby

            Sounds good to me. I wish they had a better mechanic for tracking, as tracking tons of wounds and rounding fractions seems like a lot of book keeping. Cards worked for WMH. Since GW doesn’t plan on changing entries all that often, I wouldn’t mind seeing them for 40K.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            My friend has these donut shaped plastic tokens he uses for wound tracking. They work great because they are brightly colored and can be slipped onto or hunt off of arms/wings/antennae/spikes/etc. Makes tracking wounds waaaay easier than using a random die (which always falls over or gets moved).

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, our wound dies migrate pretty often, especially once drinks are involved, haha. It’d be cool if dials were built into the minis, lol.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            If they had generic X-Wing-like dials, I would be down for that.

          • ZeeLobby

            That could def work.

          • Yeah, I make cards for my 40k daemons, between gifts and powers it’s too much to track

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, and I hope they don’t remove those. I love the flavor. I just want them to organize it a little better.

          • I always want chaos to have charts. But preferably awesome charts instead of the possessed chart of realtive uselessness

          • Drpx

            Or a Turn 1 melta-Guard drop on Calgar’s Personal Land Raider.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. Epic vehicles like that should be feared, not laughed at.

          • DJ860

            You did lose me at Calgar though, I’d just lol if that happened.

        • Shawn

          That’s the inherent problem in the monstrous creatures rules. If they’re effectives were to drop due to wounds inflicted like in AoS, I think it would equal out some. And, perhaps, give all vehicles, including walkers, maybe 1 more hull point and/or AV.

    • Mike Holmberg

      I’d like to point out its shooty FMCs (the minority) that get all the benefits.
      Choppy FMCs got the ability to jink and that is about it, as the landing mechanics make a decent assault almost impossibly (at least to have an impact on the game)

      • I agree and that still is a problem with the FMC rules.

  • Farseerer

    I think that complaining about unit types such as Flyers and GMCs is a bit old at this stage. They’re in the game and definitely going nowhere. Adapt, house rule if your entire group are against them or stop playing.

    Formations will hopefully go the AoS direction where they cost something.

    There is a great chance the other two things mentioned will be addressed in the imminent next edition.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Flyers are fun but their rules are wonky. It needs a rewrite to smooth things over and make them simpler.

      I imagine Psychic Powers will go back to being like 5th edition where you just make a leadership test to cast a spell.

      • ZeeLobby

        I honestly don’t see what was wrong with just leaving fliers in hover mode. Much more realistic. Or paying extra points for “strafing runs” and then simply not using the models til they switched to hover (not letting them count towards army destroyed, or objective grabbing, etc.)

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          I imagine GW will simplify it quite a bit for the next edition.

          Flyers start in reserve. When they come on, they have a minimum and maximum move. You can fly off the board edge and go into on going reserve. Flyers impose a -2 penalty to your hit roll when you are attacking them from non-flyer units (so if you need a 3+ to hit, it is now a 5+).

          • ZeeLobby

            Much more reasonable. I still think they shouldn’t be allowed to contest quarters or objectives though. Too many times I’ve watched things come into hover on turn 5 to win a game. Just seems unfair. Or the whole non-experience of playing the flying circus.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Agreed. I hate seeing people drop to hover and winning.

            I am betting GW removes the two flight modes, so now Flyers will just be assumed to be flying so they cannot contest objectives.

          • ZeeLobby

            God I hope these things come to be.

          • Walter Vining

            But then things like the storm raven and wolf flyers have 0 point being a transport.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            You are assuming they do not alter the rules to allow people to get out?

          • Walter Vining

            sure if they do great. but then are they still a flyer, or a skimmer? if they are just a skimmer are ALL skimmers now -2 to hit? (would be cool speeders would be better). People are also assuming what they talked about at Adept ARE the rules. They COULD be. They also could NOT be. Salt is still required in large quantities.
            I mean that is unless you have already seen the book, and played games by it.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            No one has seen the rulebook.

            I imagine skimmers will be treated like Flying models in AoS (they can fly over terrain and over other models) but are otherwise no different than any other model.

            I doubt they would be impose any kind of penalty to hit.

            The video from Adepticon was a joke but what was said in the article is truth. If they are releasing the new rules in June, as many people assume, then the rulebooks are already squared away and have been sent to the printer (a 3 month lead time is very reasonable for such a project).

          • Walter Vining

            I have good intel that 8th is at the end of July.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Then they will need to be wrapped up in a month or less. That usually means the rules are all squared away and now they are making minor adjustments (i.e. fine tuning).

          • Drpx

            Back when skimmers downgraded everything to a glance if they moved over 6 and assaulting them required 6s even if stationary, there was nothing more hated than a turn 6 landspeeder grab or a Tau armor wall that parked itself over an objective.

        • kingcobra668

          What armies do you play?

          • ZeeLobby

            SM. Dark Eldar. Tau. Orks/Tyranids for a bit. And I own some GSC now.

          • kingcobra668

            Pretty accurate to what I would have guessed. “I hate rules that I don’t have”

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. It really does suck sometimes. When imperials have 800 options and free points, and my DE basically have to become Eldar to compete.

            Oh. Add CSM on that list, though I haven’t played them in forever.

            The thing is with SM I do have access to the Imperial options. But it feels like cheating when you crushingly defeat some other factions. I want my Ork friend to feel like he has a chance again.

          • Shawn

            I think a good solution would be to make anti-aircraft more easily obtainable (i.e. cheaper) or design more units to do so. Jump infantry like assault marines and stormboyz, if they used their jumppacks in the movement phase can shoot flyers at full BS. It represents them flying through the air to intercept the flyer in it’s flight path. I could picture jump marines with plasma pistols jumping in the air by a zooming flyrant and unloading with plasma pistols as it passes them.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. Maybe allow more units to take them on with no additional cost. My current issue is that most armies have an answer, but it’s usually significantly expensive. I’m a huge fan of take all comer lists, and once fliers were introduced it was almost impossible to do that anymore, as they added a whole other facet to the game, and planning for all of them just won’t fit under 1850 point games. I do like the idea of jump pack troops having the added advantage of hitting (either shooting/combat) fliers easier.

          • Shawn

            Agreed. It’s virtually impossible to account for everything, especially at a tournament and some of those tools as you said aren’t cheap.

            I almost never take flakk missiles because I can just bring a flyer and have anti-aircraft as well as anti-infantry rolled up in one unit. And having units counter flyers with out extra cost would be a bonus and make assault marines a lot more useful.

          • ZeeLobby

            And then you have my poor DE who only have fliers as an option :/

          • Shawn

            Ohhh, a DE jump infantry, hmmm. That would be pretty cool.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh, we have those, but they’re like paper airplanes and die instantly. I just meant our lack of AA on the ground.

          • Shawn

            Hey, I just posted on the Warhammer 40k FB page asking them into incorporate an anti-aircraft ability to jump infantry. It probably won’t amount to anything, but at the least maybe get the designers to think about such stuff.

          • ZeeLobby

            It’s worth a shot right?!

          • Shawn

            Yes sir, it certainly is. And a friend of mine posted asking to be able to throw grenades into intake exhausts!

    • I’m pretty sure that GW is not as cool with the “If you don’t like it play something else and give them all the money you would be giving us” attitude as some players are.

      • Drpx

        Armchair CEOs are always amusing. “I could run this business better than they could, and the first thing I’d do is tell every unhappy person to shut-up and go somewhere else if they aren’t happy.”

  • The idea behind Formations was cool, it’s just that they started multiplying like bacteria in cesspool. It also doesn’t help that it seems like they were written by people who write infomercials.

    “…but that’s not all! It also comes with Rhinos! How much would you pay for these Rhinos? 30 Points? 20 points? 10 points? No, I must be crazy because I am giving these Rhinos away! That’s right! This formation includes FREE Rhinos!”

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Formations went from being a way to use units in a unique or fluffy way or to make less powerful units more useful/good to a vehicle by which GW could make already good units more attractive.

      • ZeeLobby

        Or force the sales of non-selling units by offering boosts to others (I’m looking at you Vyper!)

    • SilentPony

      Formations were always meant to sell more models. That’s why there’s always mandatory models, and usually large scaling intensives. Each of those ‘free’ rhinos are $35.

      • $37.25, actually.

      • Drpx

        “What would make people buy daemons?”

        • SilentPony

          Free daemons. Like for every 2 units you take with a specific Mark, you get a third troop unit with the same Mark for free.
          Like for every plague beast and plague drone you take you get a 10man squad of plaguebearers for free.
          Likewise daemonettes, horrors, and bloodletters.
          Give people gameplay incentives to buy more models.

      • Thomas

        Problem being that, in the long run, the broken and fun-destroying rules end up driving away customers and money. It may give them a short term sales boost, but a healthy gaming ecosystem would net them much more long-term.

    • petrow84

      – Damn, Steve, our sales on Rhino sales hit rock bottom!
      – Don’t put the blame on me, Jack, they are utter garbage! Rolling coffins, that is. Even if they’d cost 1 point, I wouldn’t take any of them!
      – Hmm, 1 point, you say…

  • All-or-nothing has been a thing with 40k since I can remember.

    In 3rd edition it was all combat or nothing, with as many power weapons as you could get your hands on, for example.

    You didn’t just take some combat with some power weapons. You took all combat with units that could all take power weapons.

    That’ll likely always be that way when it comes to competitive lists anyway.

    • Walter Vining

      ahh the days of my 20 man death company blob on jump packs with two chaplains that had pairs of claws and taking every vet sgt I could with as many power weapons and fists as I could.
      THOSE WERE THE DAYS

      • 😉 that was exactly one of the units that comes to mind lol

        • Walter Vining

          yeah the black blender of doom was stupid. kill them or lose the game. good luck killing them.

          • My army back then was the starcannon spam eldar army. I only lost three times in a couple years, and all three of those losses came at the hands of orks or nids.

            Made me feel like I was a good player erasing all those marine armies 😉 (came to be when I stopped using extreme lists in 4th edition that I found out I was only “ok”)

          • Walter Vining

            I countered lists like that with space wolf scouts. SIT BACK AND SHEWT AT ME! EYE WILL COME FRUM YOUR BEHIND!

    • ZeeLobby

      I’d take combat over shooting though. At least you got a response attack, even if most of what was around you was dead. Nothing is more boring than just removing models as your opponent does his pew pew rolls.

      • Walter Vining

        not with that DC blob I used to run. entire units would die whole heartedly at i5 and 6.

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. I remember playing against those. You just had to space wisely. It could be mitigated. It was one tough cookie though.

          Shooting in it’s current state is just boring though. Reduce ranges, reduce Strength, reduce rerolls, etc. Any of those would help combat become interesting again.

          • Drpx

            I liked Fantasy’s shooting rules more than 40k’s. Made more sense that accuracy would be influenced by moving/range and cover would make you harder to hit versus “oh that shrubbery just stopped a lascannon.”

          • ZeeLobby

            Agreed. Makes a lot more sense.

      • I was the opposite. I hated 40k … a game set in the future… where beating someone in the face with an axe or sword was the dominant way of playing.

        And really back then you didn’t get much of a response against some armies. I watched a Blood Angels vs IG game and the Blood Angels player assaulted turn 1, and destroyed the IG army to a man in that turn before the iG player even got to roll a single die.

        • ZeeLobby

          Well assaulting turn one and walking through an entire army is just bad core rules. There are plenty of fluff-heavy reasons for CC being viable in 40K. It’s not like everyone wears paper bags and walks around with lascannons. And it’s ignoring the spiritual (Khorne) reasons.

          • i don’t mind cc being viable. I don’t want it to be dominant like it was.

          • ZeeLobby

            I think we can all agree a balance between the two would be perfect

        • Drpx

          Sweeping advance changes fixed that pretty well. Once you couldn’t consolidate into new combats, the Guard could just stick a big line of 2 point conscripts up front and laugh as all the marines ran out of cover in front of the mass plasma and battle cannons.

      • Drpx

        We roll 4s to hit. We roll 4s to wound. We roll 3s/5s to save. I take leadership. I lose, you chase and catch. Don’t care, we’re both marines. Maybe something interesting will happen next turn.

      • Shawn

        Looking at you Tau and Eldar

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, I mean the thing is, Tau used to be a reasonable amount of firepower. It used to be, take out your opponent before they reach you, cause if they did, you’re dead. The problem was overwatch and then the combined overwatch. That’s just ridic.

          • Shawn

            Yep, combined overwatch and let’s ignore night fighting, let’s ignore cover, and let’s move again at the end of the shooting phase BS.

          • ZeeLobby

            Now now. Moving after shooting is classic Tau (before Eldar stole it). I mean Tau still suffer in combat, it’s just impossible to get there now. They just need to tone down their firepower. Eldar on the other hand can just do everything.

          • Shawn

            Tone down fire power and make it slightly easier to make into combat with them.

    • Drpx

      True. If you saw a list at 500 pts you knew what it’d look like at 1500pts: the same but with 3x more models and maybe some more bling on the HQ.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I hate formations and detachments. I wish we would go back to everyone using their standard Detachment listed at the front of their codex, with certain HQ choices allowing units to move position (like a Bike Captain making Bikes troops).

    I don’t have an issue with fliers right now, other than how they can fire so many weapons.

    Summoning is broken. The Psychic Phase is terrible. It needs a complete overhaul.

    Leadership, Fearless and ATSKNF are all wonky systems that are crying out to be fixed.

    • petrow84

      Before the formation/detachment madness everyone was complaining, how broken this or that codex entry was. Now, you can just cherry-pick the most broken units from every codex, and call it “battle forged” anyway.

  • Xodis

    If 8e balances the game (or at least makes a much better attempt than it currently is) a lot of these would be nearly as problematic.

  • Defenestratus

    Funny. I love formations and Flyers. If anything I hate the CAD. It’s boring, outdated and should be purged with holy fire for all armies in 8th.

    • Adam Richard Corrigan

      CAD would still be OK if it was the only way to get obj sec.

      • Drpx

        But then we started getting formations that gave obj sec…also, if I table your CAD with my broken formation then I win by default.

    • ZeeLobby

      Really? CAD is the only thing we play anymore. Otherwise it just becomes the haves whooping the have-nots.

      • Defenestratus

        CAD is dumb. Why should my Eldar or Ork army have the same structure as a dumb space marine or necron army? It makes no sense.

        You want a completely fair game, go play chess.

        I play 40k for the cinematic experience and the great stories that come from it mind you. If you want to pervert the game into some kind of competitive endeavor then more power to you – just don’t ruin it for me.

        • Pyrrhus of Epirus

          chess isnt fair, white has a strategic advantage. When it comes to warhammer, yes 99% of people want it as balanced as it can be, your clearly the exception. Ive got better things to do than showup and get smashed so some guy could have a “cinematic” experience.

          Balance is everything in a viable wargame.

          • ZeeLobby

            Gotta agree here. Talk about the weakest defense ever as well. “Well there’s only completely unbalanced, and totally 100% balanced, and no one should want anything inbetween”

          • Defenestratus

            I never said I wanted an unbalanced game. I just said that the CAD is dumb. This push to abandon formations and detachments in a return to the CAD is a misbegotten attempt to try and “balance” things in 40k – which is literally impossible.

            You’re never going to balance 40k. Ever. It’s a fools’ errand.

          • ZeeLobby

            So then they shouldn’t even try? 40K will have a very short future lifespan if they don’t try to balance anything. At this point why not play with Legos or GIJoes? It’s a tabletop wargame with competition between two generals. I’m not sure how you could just throw your hands in the air at balance…

            CAD might not be the best option, but structure is necessary, both to promote fluffy games, and competition.

          • Defenestratus

            Balance shouldn’t be the primary factor in game design.

            Having fun should be.

            In reality, there should be a balancing of the two factors because a totally tilted game will not survive the social contract needed between two consenting adults to have a good time if one side feels like they have no chance to have fun.

            You game can be perfectly balanced and it is still miserable to play (reference chess).

            You see 40k as a “competitive endeavor between two generals” whereas I see 40k as an excuse to spend time with my friends and laugh at our own misfortunes as we have a good time. Clearly we see this coin from two different sides.

          • Charon

            Guess what. an inherentl unfair, one sided game is not fun for both players.

          • ZeeLobby

            Most fun players I know who play Orks have left the game because of this. Regardless of how competitive of a person you are, you still play a game to win. You can only lose continuously for so long before you just have to move on. It’s even worse if you are a fluffy player, because anyone you run into that isn’t is going to tear you apart in an unbalanced system.

          • Defenestratus

            I still play my Orks!

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. Then mad props to you. They’re now the laughing stock of the Galaxy. I remember when they used to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies!

          • Drpx

            I knew a guy went to Ardboys Semifinals as Orks. He’s quit now. Says he could deal with the rules or the players but not both.

          • ZeeLobby

            Heck. I beat nob bikers at a local tourney. Now there are just some factions that lack toys, lack release support, and just aren’t fun to play into half the game. It’s sad we’ve reached this point.

          • Defenestratus

            Funny, because I had a good time doing exactly that this weekend when I took a 100% close combat Eldar army against a necron army.

            I got tabled in 4 turns but it was hilarious and fun because I was able to use a Scorpion Exarch to d*ckpunch a command barge dude before he could carve up the rest of my scorpion dudes (who subsequently died, somehow, in close combat to a bunch of deathmarks…lol)

          • Charon

            Yeah… must have been a total blast… just imagine.. a Scorpion exarch kills a command barge… such a funny moment… totally worth an hour traveling another hour setting up and 4 hours of “playing”

            It is equally hilarious to travel 1 hour, set up one hour and get your DE shot to bits in a single turn without any interaction… so much fun…

          • SYSTem050

            That isn’t fun but guess what that’s not how everyone plays personally I meet with friends for a day, eat some pizza, admire a mates models, drink some beer, play a game, catch up what there kids are up to, watch another two friends have a game and offer some arm chair general advice, discuss the guys who couldn’t make it, and/or laugh as a game progress

            Might not be how you play different strokes. Though

          • Charon

            I can have social interaction without playing a game 😉
            Quite the contrary, the game takes a lot more pre planning as we have to check with our wives, with our kids and cant just stay the whole day hiding in the basement.
            So you make the best out of the game time you have and that is play a nice entertaining and fair game.

          • SYSTem050

            Your wife lets you out the basement 🙁 still banished to mine.

            Like I said it may be the group I play with we genuinely never run into the whole waste of time scenarios. We have to plan our sessions weeks in advance for exactly the reasons you stated. We all always have fun

            Could be as we have played (other than 2 Jonny come lately’s) since 2nd ed. All races are represented (except for some reason necrons).

            Do I think the game is balanced? Of course not I would need to be the village idiot or a total go fanboy for that ( same thing I guess) I just worry that generally balance without blandness is a difficult thing to achieve. I would rather that GW aimed to make new exciting models.

            Also the challenge with balance is where is the correct level is. Is it the tau, elder, marine codex. or is it (as I personally believe) the ork, dark elder level.

            I do though agree that morale needs to be a bigger thing way to much stuff just ignores fear. To the extent that when I bring my orks or guard both me and my opponent regularly for get about morale

          • Drpx

            You can’t really argue with a person who screams, “BUT I HAVE FUN” because fun is subjective. Winning a game but losing your favorite unit could be not fun to one person while getting tabled in turn 2 but taking down a Wraithknight is fun to another.

          • SYSTem050

            Exactly which is why saying GW must do this because it is best for everyone is at best disengenous.

            We should all be aware that what we think is best may not be and should be caveated appropriatley

          • SYSTem050

            Again citation please. I have on occasion played a game where I am hopeless out gunned by an enemy army. I find a desperate last stand amusing

          • Charon

            occasionally =/= every single game

          • SYSTem050

            Responses as you were acting as if you were speaking for everyone “one sided game is not fun for both players” perhaps what you meant was

            “me personally I don’t find a one sided game fun”. That is fine and I wouldn’t disagree, just pointing out that a one sided game can be fun on occasion

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            The base rules should not assume a desperate last stand against an overwhelming force is the standard game mode.

          • SYSTem050

            Was the discussion around base rules. I was simply correcting the statement that a inherently unfair ,one sided game is no fun for both players by pointing out that it can be.

            To be fair generalist sweeping statements are a personal bug bear of mine. Surprising how often people mistake personal experience for everyone’s opinion ( my self included)

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            FYI, people find it annoying when others are being contrarian pedants. Your posts definitely come off that way, even if you did not mean them to. That’s why people are arguing with you.

            Of course people can enjoy “Helms Deep” style games but they do not enjoy playing that way all of the time. There is an assumption that games will be balanced and both sides have an equal shot at victory (accounting for luck and player skill). Your army choice should not guarantee you a win or a loss, which is exactly what is happening here in 40k right now. 🙂

            The game is not advertised as “Play orks lose 90% of your games!” after all.

          • SYSTem050

            My posts came across as argumentative, contrary and pedantic as I was being contrary pedantic and argumentative. To further prove that point I think you meant

            FYI I find it annoying and believe others do too when etc etc

            I also don’t accept that army choice decides victory I have beaten elder with orks (though admittedly not often)

            What I will accept is I have no idea if my gaming experience is in anyway representative of the wider community. Here’s the thing though no one does (unless someone is sitting in a vast data source I haven’t seen). We exist in an echo chamber here at bols were opinions and experience contrary to the accepted norm is dismissed and posts that match the accepted norm are taken as fact. Dangerous way to exist.

          • Drpx

            The fluff sure does.

          • Drpx

            You’re wrong! It’s fun for me! I’m having fun so everything’s fine and nothing should change! Don’t ruin my fun! More Botox, I need everyone to see how happy I am.

          • ZeeLobby

            No, I just understand both sides of that coin, and don’t think it’s too crazy to ask them to support both (as many other companies do). I play for both reasons as well, but I’m not going to pretend the other side doesn’t exist, or that the way I play today is better than someone else’s.

            The crazy part is balance does not reduce fluffiness at all. Heck it can even be built in, providing rules to make fluffy lists more powerful. Everyone, on all sides, should want a more balanced game. And again, balance does not equal PURE balance.

          • Bonemaw

            I play my tzeentch fluffy with all my attention to the psychic phase, some people say it is too unbalanced xD

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            The Psychic Phase works really well when armies have 1 or 2 psykers. Once you go into the realm of armies having massive numbers of psykers, it becomes an issue.

          • Bonemaw

            I don’t disagree.
            I normally play against friends, so they always bring a culexxus assassin or some sisters of silence to even it out. I think that helps.

            But I think it would be nice if they redid the psychic phase. I don’t like the idea from AoS with summoning though. too restricting IMO

          • Charon

            The psychic pahse might as well not exist if you bring 1 or 2 psykers.
            You will get off 2 spells from 2 200 points models which are equal to a lascannon in most cases. If you run such a low amount of warp dice you might as well skip it and bring some non magic firepower/buff that does not get messed up by RNG and adds in another counter measure.

          • Drpx

            Maybe we’ll get a Dispel-scroll type of item that only psykers can take and thus the return of Caddies.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. It’s just all over right now. If your tzeentch and fluffy you dominate. If your Khorne and fluffy you die turn 2.

          • dinodoc

            I just want to reverse the invasion of Apocalypse into Warhammer 40k.

          • ZeeLobby

            Invasion is the only way to describe it, haha. They must generate good profits off the bigger kits.

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            what a straight up loser attitude you have. You must be great at parties. I choose to have some optimism after all the changes already to the game in the last 12 months, GW is clearly involving the playbase in decisions now and look to do so going forward.

          • Defenestratus

            Loser attitude? I’m honestly baffled.

            40k now encompasses so many distinct elements that it would be impossible to legitimately balance a single model against every other model in the game. It just can’t happen in my opinion. I’m not saying they shouldn’t try – but if the endeavor to “balance” a game results in the watering down of the unique flavor of the different factions and units then why bother?

          • ZeeLobby

            He’s referencing your defeatism towards even attempting to make a better game for all players. “It’s got to be impossible to balance at this point, so why try!”

          • Defenestratus

            I never said “so why try?”

            I said

            “Don’t water down the flavor of the game in an effort to try and balance something that literally 25% of your players are actively trying to defeat because they’re convinced that competitive 40k is actually a thing that’s worthy of collecting trophies for.”

          • Pyrrhus of Epirus

            direct quote from you

            “You’re never going to balance 40k. Ever. It’s a fools’ errand.”

            You essentially did say dont try, or is your definition of fools errand different from mine?

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. Don’t expect a response.

          • Drpx

            “I never said I wanted an unbalanced game.”

            Earlier:

            “If you want to pervert the game into some kind of competitive endeavor then more power to you – just don’t ruin it for me.”

            Balance=ruining a game, lol okay.

          • SYSTem050

            Citation please on the 99% figure.

          • Drpx

            Shhh, quit making sense. The Stepford Players will put a fluff chip in your brain.

          • Shawn

            And to add to that Pyrrhus: Because the key word is “game” and games should be balanced. In real war, you try and have the best of everything to ensure victory because lives are at stake, but in a game simulating war it’s entertainment. Everyone should have an equal chance for fun from entertainment Not just the (waac) player with the broken rules.

        • dinodoc

          Then why not just play unbound?

          • ZeeLobby

            Shhhhh. Unbound puts a giant hole in the whole “formations are fluffy” argument. They tend to totally ignore it as an option…

          • Defenestratus

            I do! All the time! But I also use the detachments and formations in 1500+ pt games because they’re the fluffier way to play.

            For example, this weekend I played two games with my Eldar. First one a 2k list with a warhost detachment of guardian host and the new ulthwe strike force detachment from the Ynnari book.

            Then the second game, I played an unbound 1000 pt list of a Scorpion sect lead by Karandras.

            I lost both games narrowly but it was still a lot of fun!

          • Drpx

            Because people would abuse unbound with lots of broken combinations XD

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          I imagine the new CAD will be like AoS, which is much simpler and only imposes restrictions on the best/most potent units.

        • Thomas

          Yes, like your beloved Eldar utterly obliterating every other race in the galaxy because the composition of their army means that they’re faster and their guns are better. Because reasons.

          So much for “doomed race, barely clinging on.”

        • When CAD was a thing the game was not balanced either so yeah I’d agree going back to CAD is not going to make the game more balanced.

          Bringing back CAD stops allies from happening, which is the root of what most people are complaining about under the guise of a balance issue (and I think a lot of people sincerely believe that allies are busted so removing them will bring ‘balance’, but having lived 15 years of CAD 40k and seeing it always busted, I know better lol)

          Competitive players do indeed want it as balanced as it can be. On forums and internet discussion groups I find that the majority of people tend to be competitive players so unsurprisingly stating that cinematic > balance will earn a lot of flack on those sites.

    • Djbz

      I like the formations that are reasonable.
      The ridiculous ones, not so much (Either far too good bonuses- War convocation/battle company
      Or needing a ridiculous amount of models- i.e the Imperial Guard ones)

      • ZeeLobby

        I mean just give them a points cost relevant to their power level. Problem solved. Of course you’d have to playtest, and adjust, but it looks like they’re finally doing that.

        • Charon

          Because GW is known for their sensible approach of pricing power levels accordingly.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, well in this dream world 8th edition will be fixing things. Or so I’ve heard :D.

    • Joka

      Yeah, CAD is too generic: that is why Baal strike force, FleshTearers strike force,Skitarii maniple, Harlequin masque, Realspace raiders and the likes have been a thing: they could blend well with CAD and AD, they gave you fine benefit while trading in obsec.
      Those things were great! Really! Imagine if each faction had just a couple of those, plus CAD, AD and a couple more “generic ones” with some restrictions (think like “Ravaging warband” usable by Orks, Chaos and ‘nids to represent onslauting masses with some CC/blob related buffs or a “Hunter team” for Eldar, ‘Crons, Marines and Tau to represent an elite force meant to cripple a certain part of the enemy army)

  • zeno666

    TLoS
    Random run, charge and difficult terrain tests
    Lack of Movement stat (since 3rd ed)
    Wrong scale for flyers and artillery pieces on the table
    Revamp the system from single 6 with a re-roll on a re-rolled re-roll.

    • ZeeLobby

      Dude, I’m on board with all of those. I despise random run/charge rolls in general. It’d be cool if overwatch modified charge distance, etc. So much more could be done with the game if randomness was removed, but it would take effort and testing so…

      • zeno666

        A favorite of mine was when some guys was trying to get into some terrain for cover but rolled so low that they didn’t even manage to the edge of the terrain.
        That was when I realized that this game was just wasting my time 😉

        • ZeeLobby

          My friends daemon prince failed a 3″ charge once. It was so ridiculous I just let him make it, but if he had tripped he would have at least landed on and squashed the guy in range…

    • Walter Vining

      I don’t think I can agree with the movement stat flyers and arty. but all of the other ones are sure.

      • I seem to remember mathing it out once that a 4’x6′ table is about the size of the pitch at Wembley.

        • ZeeLobby

          It used to be a battlefield, haha. Now it’s more of a shooting gallery.

      • zeno666

        Its allright for you to disagree with me 🙂
        But regarding the artillery one I’m thinking of the Basilisk (I think) and similar pieces.
        They should hardly be able to shoot at pieces on the same table.
        Artillery like that should be coming in from off the table.

        • Walter Vining

          I would totally be ok with off board rules for basilisks. something like 100 point since you couldn’t hit them. that would be cool.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, I mean I get why they want them on the table though, People like to buy and build the models, and display them on the field. That’s a hard one to get around. Fliers have the same issue.

          • zeno666

            Sure, it is a hard one to get around.
            But they could just phase them out. They have done this to whole gamelines, so it shouldn’t be a problem 😉

          • ja25s

            what did tyranids eat the basilisk’s home world? or ad mech can’t make them any more?

          • Walter Vining

            You still could, for a lower points cost. OR even flip it. Higher points cost on the table, but lower for off. The drawback to having it off would be that it would scatter at least half distance rolled (if your HQ could see the target) or full without LOS

          • zeno666

            Yeah, and it would also create a larger feeling of a big war going on.
            Not just a bunch of GI Joe toys going “Pew pew” on the table 😉

          • Walter Vining

            yeah theres a lot of opportunity there for forge a narrative.

          • Drpx

            Like the old Orbital bombardment rules for Inquisitors: came for 70–90 pts and a heavy slot. You pick a piece of terrain and every turn a large blast scatters off of it even if it’s a hit.

  • ZeeLobby

    Most of this comes down to removing negative play experiences. No army should have units that are untouchable (fliers/FMC/GMC/SH), lack weaknesses (allied solutions), and core rule immunities (ATSKNF). There should never be a point in a game where there is simply no longer an option for something to be killed. Many newer games, and even AoS, take this to heart, as anything can usually kill anything.

    Right now in 40K shooting is also a huge negative play experience. Most games are decided by the roll to go first, and how much of your opponents army you can remove in the shooting phase (while they only participate in saving throws). The reason why even in 3rd, when combat was broken, the game was still fun was because combat’s initiative order meant that both players were involved in the exchange.

    • Drpx

      You’d have to go with AoS’s fixed hit/wound system (which I’d support) to keep it from ever having something be unkillable.

      At which point legions of fluff bunnies and power-gamers pretending to be fluff-bunnies would screech about their Knight dying to lasguns or Grot sticks.

      • Honestly thats where I’d like to see the game go as well. Make everything viable again. Increases diversity on the table. I get super burned out on facing the same armies over and over again.

  • Sz

    I have never had a problem with units getting wiped out via overrun. Then again, I was bigger into WFB, and units getting over ran was a way of life. So it doesn’t feel off to me– quite the opposite. It moves the game along and I can totally see those guard losing it over seeing Jones’ head explode thanks to a terminator’s fist and the squad losing all coherency and booking. Who cares if it’s 20 soldiers vs. 5? Conceptually, overun =/= ‘slaughtered to the man,’ it just means they are dispersed and out for the rest of this game as a fighting unit.

    Sounds like more of a ‘Why do Tartaros not have S&P?’ and ‘Why the heck do tyranids ever run?’ gripe to me.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Pass or die mechanics for whole units are not fun. Most games are eliminating them completely (Warmachine) or switching the system to something less dramatic (AoS’s Battleshock).

      • Sz

        Personally, I think they are fun because they are decisive. The proposition of breaking my opponent’s defense with strategy and getting to their army’s sweet sweet soft insides is the height of wargaming ecstasy in my book. Which was why I loved WFB. There will never be a higher game nirvana for me than those games where my troops run in and break a flank and roll the rest up. (Unfortunately, this can never truly happen in a 360-degree skirmish game. I feel bad for those who never got a chance to play WFB 6th.)

        But I think to just blindly follow the example of other games is a mistake. How many models does War Machine have in an average army? 2 to 3 squads and a few kind-of-bigs and one really big (as you can tell, I’ve never played the game.) Of course, a game of that scale should never consider pass-or-die mechanics at the unit level. Meanwhile, in 40k I’ve got models coming out of my backside. Also, it just so happens that the greater number of models in your army, the more likely you have troops dying to overrun. “I am always surprised and super upset when one unit fails in close combat and gets overrun.” Said no sane Imperial Guard player ever.

        What is less fun than pass-or-die mechanics is a game that just draaaaaags on. So unless GW decides the model count of an average army needs to be shrunken (yeah right,) or they go miles to streamline the rules, I pray we keep overrun in the mix.

        • Red_Five_Standing_By

          I am not in favor of eliminating Morale, just making it less swingy.

          Battleshhock ensures that if you lost a lot of models, you are likely to lose even more.

      • Drpx

        Which is hilarious if you go read up on actual warfare and see how many battles were won/lost because someone panicked and the rest of the army followed.

        Hell, there was one battle in the crusades where all the knights took off in the opposite direction because their horses had never seen camels before and freaked.

        Maybe bad for a game, but it’d shut up the “I want realism in my grimdark space fantasy game” crowd.

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    I sometimes feel that we will always have slightly janky rules.

    It is foremost a loud minority of players that wargaming attracts who have to take responsibility for creating horrible experiences.

  • Louie’sUglyRanglehorns

    I really like that some people (and GW) brought up armor save modifiers for weapons (AoS style). I hadn’t thought about it before but the idea that terminator armor provides no protection whatsoever from certain weapons seems silly.

    On that note, terminators suck. I’m all for making them more expensive, but come on, T5 and 2 wounds would be more appropriate for troops that are supposedly so much tougher than regular marines.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      And if we go AoS style, they will likely have 3 wounds like Stormcast Retributers.

    • Drpx

      Never understood why terminator armor only gave better saves but riding a bike gave you a toughness boost.

  • Greg Betchart

    Invisibility

  • Koszka

    I have no problem with really any of this. It’s more so peoples abuse of it that’t to hate. With straight up rules though I can think of a few that people hate:
    • Destroyer weapons
    • the split rule for horrors
    • flicker jump
    • hit and run
    • And they shall know no fear

    I’ve thought long and hard about ATSKNF. It’s a bummer when you supremely annihilate a unit down to one marine, only to have them never get swept in combat, auto regroup without penalty, and bestowing said awesomeness to the units they join. especially with gladius its frustrating to have an entire unit of models get stalled by a single marine. Granted the narrative of a space marines last time buying time for his company to complete the missions is badass, but it sucks when your the guy getting stuck.

    I liked the mechanic for ATSKNF and fearless when losing combats. If they got swept they would take wounds based on how outnumbered they were. was extremely fair/reasonable.

    • Drpx

      Should go back to having ATSKNF and Fearless mean you take extra wounds if you lose combat. Although you sometimes did get holdout moments, having to take 3-5 extra armor saves was usually enough to off that last annoying tac marine.

  • J Mad

    Fearless/ATSKNF is my number 1. I wish Fearless just Made you LD10 and gave you 1 dive to reroll on LD tests.

    Formations are fun, just b.c they have OP rules is why players hate them. If they filled that niche roll of making a army feel different or more fluffy then no one would mind.

    IMO Fliers are better than 5th ed, I actually like them. 5th ed a Fast Skimmer you needed 6’s to hit.. even in melee, But they could move in any direction just like skimmers can now. The problem was Vehicles were almost impossible to kill in 5th, so those few hits you got wasnt enough to kill it. And sense there was no HP’s you could have a 75pts AV11 fast skimmer be alive all game even after taking 40 S8 hits…..

  • Ty Hayden

    Inquisitors should be able to summon demons, and work with eldar, dark eldar, tau and Chaos Marines, not to mention the rest of the Imperium. It is in GW’s own fluff. I find it irksome that there has never been a proper Inquisition codex that mirrors how they are written in the books. They should have tremendous leeway in army building, and be able to take ‘the basics’ from any faction the player chooses. -LoreBunny

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      That’s what we have right now…

      • Ty Hayden

        Exactly. The article states that Inquisition summoning demons is a ‘bad thing’, or at least is saying that they shouldn’t be able to. I don’t want to go back to the old Demonhunters where the only radical options were Daemonhosts, and then the book and sword that were only available through WD.

  • Andrew Kerkstra

    I’m surprised overwatch wasn’t part of this list.

  • belligerent19

    Can I add all the 2+ rerollable saves.

  • rtheom

    Huh, I’ve only ever run into WAAC players that have 2 pages (they usually don’t bother with a full 20) of fanfic to justify their WAACing. Lore players usually go off of the published Black Library Literature.

  • hokiecow

    Invisible Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures and Super Heavy vehicles.

  • Keith Wilson

    i think the game has become too large … flyers, GMC, superheavies etc. it wasnt that long ago when land raiders and monoliths where the biggest thing on the board. im nt saying we need to go back to 2nd ed. when the LR was the only thing …. but the scale of the game has changed too much IMO

  • Karru

    I won’t go into my super long post this time, so I’ll just go with a small summary.

    The game currently lacks a fixed scale and the only real solution would be to go back to 5th edition scale. This means removing everything that was added in 6th/7th editions, which was basically just Apocalypse forced into regular 40k.

  • kingcobra668

    You people make regular old me feel like a super genius. Thanks for that.

    • Drpx

      k.

  • Drpx

    Take out the allies matrix and make allies function as two separate armies played by one person without all the crossover to end stupid crap like the mandatory Inquisitor or Librarius Conclave. Either the players/TOs will allow allies in the game or they won’t like it used to be.

  • MechBattler

    Based on this list, would it not be more apt to say that some people just hate EVERYTHING about the game but prefer to keep playing and hating on it?

  • Thomas

    Good list. It gets to the real problem which few people seem to address. It’s not bloat or complexity (though they can be a factor). It’s the fact that so many rules are just outright *negated* by other rules. They’re not modified by another rule, just outright made obsolete.

    The game is full of mechanics which are just negated by other mechanics. Armour save? Tough, AP just flat-out ignores it. Morale? Tough, ATSKNF or Fearless is everywhere. Psyker? Tough, I have Sisters of Silence or a Culexus.

    It’s not fun to have certain tools at your disposal rendered utterly redundant by something else. It’s just awful, zero-sum design. It makes you feel like your stuff is literally useless against other stuff which perfectly counters it. It’s not fun to feel that powerless and useless in a game.

    Good design should enable interesting mechanical interaction, rather using one set of mechanics to disable another. It’s a positive view of mechanics rather a negative view. For example, you make me take a morale test but my guys are really brave so, instead of just ignoring the mechanic entirely, they suffer from a modified effect that is the unique byproduct of two rules interacting.

    • David Leimbach

      It’s like, a guy with a knife can’t just hit a tank 20 times to equal a rocket….
      AP is one of the best things about 40k

      • Thomas

        Which is why we have armour values and toughness values. Which, when compared against a Strength stat, produce a unique interaction. As opposed to just straight-up nullifying the 2+ save that you’re paying a pts premium for.

  • Shawn

    Hey Adam. First of all, thanks for this article. I think a discussion of the more nonsensical and broken rules should have been had a long time ago. I agree with some of what you say, but have to disagree on others. Here’s my take in brief.

    1. Allies: Allies aren’t really an issue, if the rule is enforced. Major tournaments don’t enforce them, otherwise there would be no daemon/inquisition shenanigans. In the local tournaments no one uses allies that don’t make sense.

    2. Formations/Detachements: This sounds like to me that you don’t have an issue with formations unless they give away free stuff, so Space Marines and Khorndaemonkin, and Mechanicus War Convocation. I think it’s the handing out of broken, super-cheese that seriously undermines game play. They need to tone down those rules, just a bit. Those detachments above are good examples of this. However, so long as it’s an arms race in 40k, I’ll gladly take my Gladius Strike Force, or Fist of Medusa Strike Force out for a stroll. I am liking their approach to formations a bit better in the Gathering Storm

    3. I don’t know why you and your peers think flyers are useless becuase they aren’t. My stormraven’s and stormtalons chew up infantry all the time, and only slightly less useful against other flyers. No, I think the big issue with flyers, if there is one, is having to wait until turn 2 and possibly waiting until turn 4 for them to show up. Which is why I like Air Superiority from DftS. It’s irksome that the majority of the 40k community is adamantly against anything but the core rule book, unless it’s a ground breaking and op cheese granting codex.

    4. Psychic phase: I think the psychic phase really just needs an overhaul on DtW rolls. It shouldn’t be so hard that you never get a chance to deny them. Unlimited warp charges for certain factions only compound the matter. Factions that run around with essentially limitless warp charges should have a cap, unless facing diamtrically opposed factions such as demons vs grey knights. Summoned units should be bought units incorporated into your army list, made part of your reserve units and allowed to be brought in early or later via summoning.

    5. Leadership/Fearless. I completely agree with this, and it appears GW is addressing this very issue for the next edition.

  • Rajak

    Pretty much the hammer hitting the nail on that list.