Goatboy’s 40k: 8th’s Emerging Metagame

knowledge bomb

40K 8th is almost here and the metagame is being gamed out in game stores around the world. Here’s what’s HOT.

Goatboy here again and we are about 5 or so days away from finally getting 8th edition released.  Of course most of you have been playing it since bits, pieces, and other things have flowed out of the ether that is the internet. People are play testing, preparing, and working through all the rules to find the secret gem they feel is the best hammer to crack the nut that is the new edition of Grimdark Tabletop Armageddon.  Today I want to wax on about some of the things I have seen, the list types, as well as what I feel will cycle towards the top of the good pile.

Goodbye Deathstars

Ding dong the death star is dead. Now this isn’t to say there won’t be something similar coming out at some point – but currently most death stars we know and loathe are put towards the wayside.  This is a good thing as while they were not annihilating all the events they were annoying to play from a mid to bottom tier level.  If you didn’t have a plan then most of the time you feel into the death star trap of trying to deal with it instead of just winning the mission and making it boring for said Star Daddy.  Still people are trying some Elite style lists utilizing “tough” choices in order to generate a win.  A common list I am sure you will see is something like 3 Renegade Knights and Magnus.  This all fits together and gives you 4 tough nuts to crack mixed with a flying turd burger throwing out Smites.  Of course if you pay attention to how missions are run – you know this army pretty much has to table as it only has 4 choices that can’t even pick up and “claim” the relic.  This leaves this armies plan to table a hard one as while it has some deadly units – it can’t put out the firepower to kill enough stuff.  There are also some “ELITE” status Imperium builds using Captain Ron himself – Roboute and his friends like the “non character” status Saint, maybe Cawl, and some Ad Mech chicken walkers.  Testing has proven that army to lack the firepower to effectively remove enough stuff so while interesting looking in the sense of the amount of nice models on the table – it is something that doesn’t work nearly as well.


Hello Hordes

This is the big thing I have gotten from this edition so far.  It really seems to emphasize a bit more “Take All Comers” mentality with army building as you need Infantry, bodies, and wide spread damage potential.  This leads me into the next big thing rolling around right now is the push towards a Horde style mentality.  There are a lot of Horde armies out there from Daemons with either massed Plague Bearers, Daemonettes, or even Seeker charges.  They cover the table, might have a ton of saves, and in some cases put out a ton of damage.  You can’t say horde without looking at another one of the newly updated and decent armies with the Orks.  These guys got a great update that lets them put out a decent amount of damage, have the body advantage, and even amazing aura effects from characters.  I think the Orks are one of the better examples of GW listening, fixing, and finally getting a good Ork army identity.  Nids are also in the same boat as they have a ton of bodies, ways to mitigate Battle Shock, and some crazy damage output in assault.  Right now I think the best horde list is sadly the AM army as it covers a crap ton of table space with Conscripts, has amazing shooting with Scions, and again a lot of “morale” mitigation with Commissars and whatever other “aura” effects it wants to use with the lovely keyword Imperium attached to it.

All combat squads all the time? Maybe not…

MSU – Where Are You?

MSU builds seem to be in a weird space.  The lack of concentrated damage output hurts them more as while they have a ton of bodies to do stuff, they don’t have enough stuff to remove opponent’s units.  Sure there are some Razorback army builds that can throw out a ton of bullets – but still doesn’t feel like they have enough to survive a large fight phase where a blob of idiots grabbed them, pulled everything into combat, and most likely left you not able to do an effective counter charge.  The counter charge in this game is brutal – with a lot of bait and switch games being played turn by turn.  Thank goodness GW didn’t add the random priority roll like in AOS as two turns of a Zerker charge would be deadly as well as any of the heavy shooting armies that are out there.  I am sure a good MSU build is out there – utilizing vehicles and high damage output units.  I think Harlies could do something like that as they 5 man Troupe units come in hard, do a lot of damage and are surprisingly resilient when it comes to the counter charge.  Will just have to wait and see as more games are played and more outcomes get solidified.

Traitor Legions – Have You Seen Me?

Currently it feels like CSM – while decent in the rules update – are missing the Legion abilities we got used to and loved.  I get the feeling will see a Traitor Legion style book at some point as most of them don’t feel like they need a full on army book like Deathguard or Thousand Sons might need.  I think if the army needs some kind of special psychic spells then it probably needs a book.  But will see as the months roll on and the rumors of “new” books coming at the end of the summer.  The Marines feels like they are in the same place with a few “Chapters” looking good.  Funny enough the Salamanders seem rough with the evil “Bad Touch” Ben Mohile bringing out his soul crushing 5th edition army.  I joked that it looks the exact same and funny enough it plays just as well in his evil claw like hands.  I know the Ultramarines seem alright as well as they have access to the kind of the Auras with Captain Ron himself leading the way.  I think that is a big thing missing for these armies as we need something to give them more flavor.

Sleeper hit of 8th?

Berkerking to the Winners Circle

Currently I have been throwing out Zerkers as I find their double pile in move to be amazing.  I haven’t seen a unit chew through so many things on the charge – especially when they get to go first.  They just pump out a ton of damage.  It makes me excited as I always wanted to have a Zerker army made out of AOS Blood Warriors.

It could work…

Here is my initial conversion.  It is crazy how well they fit, matches their size correctly, and has a ton of “conversion” potential.  It is just a ton of fun and has me excited to paint again.  I have the Death Guard on back burner until the book comes out and I get ahold of the Angel of Death to add to it.




It is interesting in how I have heard of a number of players getting their Spouses to play some 40k with the new edition.  The set of rules is very easy to pick up with a lot of weird nuances removed from it.  The emphasis I have seen on this edition is movement is key and removing some of the old movement hurdles has helped make it a lot easier of a game to stomach.  I have also notice I am a lot less stressed with the game when I play.  The things I used to use to speed it up have been added to the game and it feels right.  I think having your army set up to work right away is great too – so I am not stressing of rolling a ton of random stuff and hoping it works.  It might also be that this edition seems to have leveled out the damage, wound, and survivability of the game.  I do notice things are dying usually pretty quickly and everyone is picking up models. Overall I am pretty happy in the 3 games I have played and hope that even through rules updates the game stays fast, easy, and fun to play.

~What do you think is looking good this early?

  • Drpx

    It’ll be nice to see a berserker army hit the table and not feel pity for the newbie.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      Or for the greybeard wanting to use his old army.

  • el_tigre

    Dude, the game hasn’t even been released yet and already you’re worrying about the meta?

    For a moment there I thought, maybe the old WAAC players will have an important roll now, providing feedback on what’s broken now that GW seems willing to listen and act accordingly. But forget it. If you’re tryng to break the damn thing before the box is even open you’re probably beyond help.

    • disqus_yyglaTdo9o

      Here. Have my like.

    • Karru

      You do realise that a good chunk of people have all the rules already, right? I mean, all the rules, including indexes, were leaked almost two weeks ago. That is quite a lot of time for many people to get a good amount of games in.

      Heck, even I have managed to get in 7 games during this time.

      • AircoolUK

        That’s still nowhere near enough time and games to get more than a slight feel for the game. Plus, there’s likely to be a new codex or two out of the gate quite soon (hmm, I wonder what they will be).

        Before anyone can get a good feel for the game, players are going to have to lose their mentality for the previous editions. It’s quite clear from many of the comments on the new edition that a lot of players are still comparing everything with previous editions and making assessments based on how the previous editions played out.

        I’m not saying that people are wrong, just that it’s a bit too soon as the rules have been re-written from the ground up, so we’ve effectively got a new game rather than a new edition 🙂

        • Charon

          I really don’t know why people always act like 40k was or is rocket science. It is not. The game itself is pretty binary, even more now as we have just the indexes which are pretty bare bones.
          It does not take a lot of thinking to conclue that horde got a lot stronger (especially if they can cirumvent morale) when every mechanic that initially punished horde is gone now.

          • AircoolUK

            You’re right about it not being rocket science, but it does take people a while to explore and experiment, particularly when a game such has 40K has so many variables due to the colossal amount of units available.

            Also, what about game modes, are we talking pitched battle, or have other scenario’s been played a lot?

            You can certainly jump to many conclusions, such as death stars are dead… that’s pretty obvious with just the change of the rules, and of course, the fact that one of the first things we learned about 8th was that ‘death stars are dead’.

          • MechBattler

            Ah ha ha. Death Stars were a thing because they were tough units that could be buffed. Just because characters aren’t joining units anymore doesn’t mean they can’t still buff them from a few inches away. And characters can’t be targeted until they’re the closest unit. Sounds to me like Death Stars, or something skin to them, are still VERY possible.

          • The main thing that makes them go away isn’t so much the loss of IC’s but the loss of characters buffing anymore vs just buffing specific keywords

          • MechBattler

            That still doesn’t mean Deathstars go away. The keywords are usually the unit’s type, it’s faction, and maybe a few other abilities it has like Psyker or Fly. If chars are buffing units with keywords like “Infantry” or “” that doesn’t fundamentally change anything. The source of the buff just isn’t joined to the deathstar it’s buffing anymore.

          • I mean it does matter, because the key to deathstars in 7th was to mix in units from other factions that had rules your army didn’t have access to. Now we’re back to marines +captain/chaplain, which we always had and is fluffy

          • MechBattler

            I remember the most powerful deathstars being the ones that didn’t mix factions. We’re going to have to see how it all shakes out, but I’d place a bet that deathstars aren’t dead just yet.

          • Jose Delgado

            Yup you havent to play one game to read the changes and know how hordes gonna be broken.
            Then u play one game and u know 100% for sure that hordes are the new eldars.

            Those people saying that u need time to test etc etc are the same slow people that couldnt deal with the rules of 7th due to dont have time to theorycraft it or i dont wont say the other options….

            The 8th have allready a meta and it is hordes hordes and hordes. They are a free win with zero skill if u play vs a non horde player. You can call it zerg.only go ahead charge and free win because nobody can kill hordes in 8th due to all the changes(hordes cost same points or less but are imposible to kill now,we have lost blast and flamer and the instakill of ap)

          • Charon

            Interesting how mouthbreathing neckbeards conclude from “hordes got a lot stronger” that “hordes are free win”.
            I would quit the drugs if I were you.

          • Keith Wilson

            lets see your face when 200 conscripts drop on the board rerolling everything and at +1 to hit

          • KingAceNumber1

            Someone’s salty. Play Admech, pay 330 pts for 54 S6 AP-1 1 damage shots per turn. Profit.

        • Karru

          Considering that these are clearly predictions based on observations, I don’t see a problem with coming up with these types of theories and the like. People can provide their own observations that might contradict the claim and from there conversation is born.

          I’d say that we already have a good feel for the game. Considering that it has been two weeks since the full rule leak, many have managed to play the game, certain “patterns” are already emerging and certain playstyles are already starting to look more powerful than others.

        • J Mad

          I agree its not enough time for Meta “lists” but Meta “Units” are a different story there are clear winners in the “Auto take from my Index”.

          IG = Taurox Primes
          Nids = Mawlocks and Biovores
          Harlequins = Shadowseers
          Eldar = Wave Serpents

    • ZeeLobby

      Eh. They’ll still have that role. I mean most times WAAC players inform companies of what is broken by finding it, playing it and abusing it. Those who play against them report it, and fixes are made. If the game reached a good point there’s no longer “breaking”.

      That said, meta isn’t some dirty word. Every game that has way greater balance than 40K still has metas. Hopefully it’ll soon mean adjusting to the current popular builds of the community rather than chasing the latest broken combo, but GW will have to get good at making appropriate fixes.

    • Jay Barton

      lets be honest, its still gunna be space marine all the time. but now we might be able to actually flavor it with other stuff. 😛

    • Kinsman

      Agreed, this article is rather ludicrous.

    • euansmith
      • Dennis J. Pechavar

        Yeah pretty much. I didn’t know he hated Deathstars. Thought was his thing…

        • euansmith

          I think that Thomas has an ambivalent approach to power gaming. He seems to enjoy that end of the gaming spectrum, whilst still realising how ridiculous and unfun it can be.

          • KingAceNumber1

            To be honest I think many of the competitive crowd were that way at the end of 7th. I enjoy competitive games but was objectively aware how stupid getting what amounted to a free knight in WarCon was. I still took it, but it was dumb.

          • Strategery.

            “this is stupid, but hey, this tournament ain’t gonna win itself….”

    • Keith Wilson

      the meta is going to revolve around hordes … you can bet on it

    • Strategery.

      > If you’re tryng to break the damn thing before the box is even open you’re probably beyond help.

      are you completely new to the online 40k community?

    • The game’s been out two weeks now bub, just cause you ain’t got it doesn’t mean everyone else don’t 😉

  • Wampasaurus

    Tyranids seem primed to take on a primary “villain” army in 8th Edition. Hordes of Genestealers and Hormagaunts pouring across the table tying up units in Assault while massive Big Bugs get screened racing in behind. I can practically taste that sweet sweet Biomass already…

    • euansmith
    • Karru

      Personally, I see Orks as the primary villain in 8th. The problem with Tyranids is that they still need their Synapse in order to not run. The problem itself comes from the fact that Tyranid Synapse Creatures aren’t characters, so they can be sniped with heavy weapons while the basic weapons mow down your smaller bugs.

      Orks on the other hand only have to rely on two things, unit size and characters. Spam Warbosses and 30-boy blobs all over the place, supported by Tankbustas and you are good to go. Pop some KFFs in there for good measure as well. Ork Green Tides also don’t have multi-wound models amongst them that aren’t characters, another good thing as many of the opponent’s heavy weapons are easily wasted killing 1-2 Boys while they should be crippling Tanks or Monsters.

      • Wampasaurus

        Oh I agree Orks will be great to see back in a competitive sense. I have a Tyranid army so my perspective is coming as a ‘Nids army. My buddy has Orks and can’t wait to have a few showdowns.

        I think Orks still lack any Invulnerable saves whereas Tyranids gained some (Hive Tyrant gets one now and Swarmies got better!) and kept “Feel No Pain” rule thanks to Catalyst.

        Either way I think we can all agree that when Orks and Tyranids are good it’s healthy for the game

        • euansmith

          The thought of some poor Hive devouring a world that is contaminated with Ork DNA.

          Broodlord, “WAAAAAAAAARGH!

          • Charon

            Isnt that basically Kryptmanns gamble? But I guess the imperium won’t like the end result.

        • Keaton

          The lack of invulnerable saves shouldn’t be nearly as important with the rise of mortal wounds, and the degree to which people will likely pack massed shots over extremely powerful single shots. Orks seem to be in a good place to me.

      • Peter Laszlo

        you are forgetting the Tyranid Prime and the Broodlord, both are characters with less than 10 wounds and good supporting auras for your army.

        but yes orks still have a lot of bodies and nice rules to be one of the Monsters this edition.

      • mrbleak

        The thing about Nids is that they have many ways of easily getting into Kombat turn 1 (Genestealer cults, no synapse problem) Swarmlord (Same) TrygonT unneling with 20 genestealers.
        Orks on the other hand, only “Da jump” for turn 1 and you can´t take the warlord with the blob which is sad. Yes, Vulchaz got great at 8 points but still might not make turn 1 whereas Tyranids + genstealer cults will get in 5-6 assaults in on trun 1 as just slaughter everything.
        Bubble wrap? hahaha I have found ways to counter that easily and get into combat with main targets turn 1.

        • Heinz Fiction

          Tyranids play the fast and squishy version of a horde army, while orks are more on the slow but resilient side. Ork boys are so incredibly point efficient, the can afford to take some losses while running across the battlefield.

        • Karru

          Considering that I have seen Tyranid first turn charge before, which hit the frontline “hard” and then got blown to bits because they caught themselves out in the open thanks to clever unit placement and some very powerful counter-charging, and a little bit of bad luck on the ‘Nid player’s side, I don’t think that ‘Nids are that powerful.

          Especially with Guard, it is extremely easy to Bubble wrap against ‘Nids. Conscripts make a perfect wall against most ‘Nid first turn charges, because they can make a massive line from themselves. The Guard player just has to understand one critical thing, keep your models tight enough that the smallest base size can’t squeeze through. A model without Fly rule can’t go through an enemy model. This is a mistake I’ve noticed a few players have done, on both sides.

          People that Bubble Wrap do it like they did it in the past, they leave massive gaps between their models, thinking they are now protecting units behind them. Then you see enemy Assault units exploit this little gap by just moving through it, because during a Charge, they can do that. Then you have Assaulting players thinking they can just “jump” over the unit during their charge, even if there is no gap between models.

          My 6th game was against ‘Nids did a first turn charge. I was aware that this was now a tactic ‘Nids preferred, so I prepared accordingly. Basic order was this, from my table edge to the opponent’s table edge:

          Company Commander(s), Heavy Weapon Teams, Commissar(s), Company Commander(s), Infantry Squads, Special Weapons Squads, Commissar(s), Bullgryns, Commissar(s), Conscripts, Conscripts, Conscripts. I also had some Hellhounds hiding behind buildings near the main force.

          I purposefully moved most of my units forward, don’t want to give the enemy board control and shot at the “support” bugs. I was able to kill off the Venomthropes and do some nice damage to his Exocrine. From there, I took potshots at his Genestealers and ‘Gaunts. I didn’t bother with his Hive Tyrants as much as its damage output didn’t really scare my nearly as much as the Exocrine did.

          During the ‘Nid turn, Raveners, Trygon and more Genestealers popped next to my army, but again through clever unit placement, they had to be placed a loooooooong distance away from my main army. Then comes the fun part. He kept shooting my Conscripts with his Gaunts and Warriors, so that they wouldn’t be able to be as effective of a bubble wrap as one would hope, my regular Guardsmen were still close enough behind the line of Conscripts that a charge was very likely if there wasn’t a wall between the two.

          Unfortunately, the ‘Nid player had a hard time killing all 60 Conscripts (3 units of 20) between me and my main line. That didn’t stop him from charging though. He charged with most of this stuff, Genestealers and Hormagaunts leaped into combat with the Conscripts. This is where the bad rolling came into play big time. When my Morale phase came around, I had lost 43 Conscripts total. He wasn’t able to kill a single unit completely and none of them was reduced to less than 2 models. Commissars executed 1 model from each unit and now the remaining Conscripts remained there, holding the line.

          My Second turn comes around. The amount of dice I got to roll that round was enough to make a 4th edition Green Tide player weep. First Rank Fire, Second Rank Fire, Get Back Into The Fight and Bring It Down was used quite a few times that round and by the Emperor did it melt a good chunk of the ‘Nid spearhead. All visible Genestealers and Gaunts died, 8/12 Warriors got blasted, Exocrine got finished off, Hive Tyrant was brought low and the flanking ‘Nid force was heavily crippled.

          After that, Bullgryns charged to finish of what remained of the main spearhead.

          All that remained of the ‘Nids was mostly just the flanking force at that point. It was able to charge some of my Infantry Squads and wipe them out, but at that point the game was already decided.

          So, what kind of bubble wraps have you encountered and countered? I’d very much like to know, as I do have my Orks which have to deal with them.

          • mrbleak

            Once again, I feel like I should clarify, I meant normal army bubble wraps (kroot, scouts, etc) The 60 conscrips is no joke i admit plus with bullgrins who hit way to hard for the pojnts cost. yeah.
            They thing I take for bubble wrap on tyranids (and I have on my ork list, though havent used it yet) is flyers.
            On tyranids, 2-3 crones can fly up and burn ups 10 kroots or 10 scouts easily, opening up holes for sawrmy (9″ move plus pod + advance with pshycih power + assault) to get in easily. they the crones assault (heavy weapon devastators to tie them up, and kill a couple (heavy weapon teams in your case) but i could not burn up 60 consripts)

            On orks each btiltza bomba will do 5 mortals wounds average on a bubblewrap squad plus the shootas and stuff, with 2 blitzas your looking at 12 – 14 kroot average turn 1 and since orks seem to focus on turn 2 assault and blitzas have 2 bombe that`s a bunch of bubble wrap dead to open holes. Add 10 lootas or 3-5 Lobas and destroy bubble wrap. Lobas seem to be very points eferctive for theys points (even taking down devastator squads)

          • Karru

            Are you saying that not everyone has 60 “highly valued individuals”, who has been given the highest of honour of facing glory first before anyone else?

            But in all seriousness, against someone who doesn’t have 60 bodies to throw at the enemy to soften up the charge, thinning the wrap can be hard in certain cases, especially if the army in question has some ways to give out saves or buffs.

            Your method of sending in the Flyers sounds good, gonna need to get me some Flyers for my Orks then.

          • mrbleak

            Don´t forget that Blitza bombas bombs also do 1-3 mortal wounds a turn on vheicles and monsters, so even against Knights they can help put down damage. I feel they are very solid (but i do have 3 in my ork box, so maybe i´m biast)

          • KingAceNumber1

            I really do think dakkajets are gonna be a tilting experience the first few times people play against them. Ditto things like triple stormtalon, which I’m looking forward to running in my White Scars successor. T1, move 45″ forward and end movement in front of your horde of genestealers. You can’t come within an inch of my base, you can’t assault me, here’s 36 assault cannon shots and 6d6 frag missile shots all hitting on 2’s. Next turn I’m 45 inches away shooting something else. Playing the movement denial game with airborne bases against melee infantry is going to be a really interesting experience.

          • Karru

            Remember that that blockage works both ways. You can only pivot 90 degrees at the start you move. You don’t want to move it too close or into an angle where next time you move you have to move over the table edge or less than the required amount.

            That’s why you don’t want to go right into their face. Also, Flyrants can still charge you.

          • KingAceNumber1

            Talons can also declare hover at the start of their move (turn 2) to lose supersonic and move a full 20 inches if they need to, which is a nice way to stop that from becoming an issue. You can be assaulted at that point, but two shooting phases worth of fire should at least mitigate that a bit.

            The flyrant thing is true, although I don’t expect to see quite as many now that flying isn’t as dumb as it used to be.

          • Spacefrisian

            Ssh let them have there thing for now.

          • THIS! This right here is exactly what I wanted out of this edition! This is Guard, playing to the strengths of the Guard, playing to the fluff of the Guard. That was pretty awesome reading!

        • I’m wondering about how close in points the Nidz fodder/assault units are to the Ork Boys and Storm boys. I still haven’t decided on how many mobs(full mobs) I realistically want in a list. Still need something to get objectives.
          My go to right now is Da Jump, boys mobs, Storm boys and Biker boss for the WAAAGH. Which I doubt will be used till turn 2. Nothing in the first wave needs the bosses ability.
          Early days still.

      • charlie

        This will probably be pretty good for the game. having a load of bodies come at you will really give value back to low AP but multi-attack units and weaponry, rather than just the elite choices.

        • Karru

          Oh I agree, my only gripe is that it makes horde armies even less common than they already are thanks to their incredibly high investment cost.

      • Strategery.

        i’ve played a few games with orks, can confirm, are amazing

    • AircoolUK

      Last week, the improved movement of certain units bought a huge smile to my face as I realised that my Wyches could assault a Guard unit on the other side of piece of scenery because their move value allowed me to climb over it (it was one of those ‘greek/roman wall’ type things you get for fish tanks 🙂 then charge whilst the guard unit wouldn’t have had enough movement to climb it.

      I’d imagine this would by great for tyranid armies who can now move very fast over all terrain types without worrying about terrain tests and the like. Just make sure you have a bendy ruler, or like us sad people, bits of string measured to certain move distances.

    • Donald Wendt

      Good, they could use some time in the sun after last edition.

  • Karru

    From the games I’ve played, I am pretty much certain that a pattern has taken place. Infantry heavy armies are better than mixed, mechanised or armoured armies. With all the changes to Infantry units, such as the terrain not hindering their movement, split fire and Heavy Weapon movement penalties, Infantry is not only more mobile, they are also more survivable compared to vehicles.

    Vehicles usually have a 3+ or 4+ save. They also have Toughness between 6 and 8. While having “lots” of wounds, once you realise that the amount of strength 5+ multi-wound weapons with AP -1 or more is actually quite high amongst Infantry units, you can see that Tanks and such are very squishy. Infantry can take a face full of Bolter rounds + a Lascannon shot and lose 2-3 models. Those 2-3 models are most likely just basic dudes like Lasguns or Bolters, so nothing of value was lost.

    Meanwhile, a Tank being brought down to half wounds, which is not hard thanks to the plethora of AT weapons, means they lose a lot of their effectiveness. For the price of one tank, you can usually easily fit in more wounds and firepower through Infantry.

    I just don’t see what role Tanks and such can fill any more that Infantry can’t do better. With both Guard and Orks, I have noticed that taking vehicles is very bad idea. With Guard, taking a Leman Russ over 2 Heavy Weapon Squads equipped with Lascannons/Missile Launchers is an absolute waste. With Orks, taking Trukks is dangerous due to their price and the fact that units of 12 Boys have little staying power compared to 30 boys, which comes to around the same price.

    I don’t know about Dark Eldar for example or Eldar, but against SM, I have also noticed that vehicles are generally a bad idea. A Rhino or other transports are somewhat nice, because you move at max speed across the table, then you pop smoke and next turn just disembark the unit in the middle of the board. Beyond that though, Tanks and even Flyers seem like a bad idea, due to their price and damage output. Many vehicles don’t have rules that allow them to shoot their weapons without the heavy penalty. Unfortunately, most vehicle based weapons are Heavy, so if you wish to gain board control, you are taking that -1 to basically all weapons you are carrying.

    • ZeeLobby

      Will have to see the low point cost of my broken Spartan Assault Tank before I make this conclusion, hehe.

    • mrbleak

      Play against sisters of battle or somebody who knows the power of heavy flamers and watch your full infantry army turn to dust in 1 round.
      My shooty DA + sister army tears down infantry like paper napkins. but can also take down 1 Knight in 1 shotting round on average cause I know how to make a tournament army (ofcourse, this list has counters in melee but also things to prevent being assaulted to death).
      I feel that maybe you haven´t played against highly competitive people yet.
      Also, My tyranids need a mix of horde and monsters not just infantry (and they are probably my most solid list and the one i´m taking to tourny)
      Focussing on just 1 thing (infantry) is not actually competitive as certain lists will tear you down just as 4 knights is not competitive cause they can´t grab objectives vs infantry for their lives.
      All 5 types of viable armies are able to be countered easily by another (Big monsters, Infantry, Anti-monter, anti-infantry and mix)
      No list is perfect. Your statement, just seems short sighted (don´t mean to offend you Mr. Karru).

      • Karru

        Considering that I’ve been playing mostly with my Guard army this edition, I also happen to believe that my prediction is mostly based on that.

        All the vehicles I have used have been a massive waste of points. They just don’t offer nearly as much damage as my Infantry and die much faster. Sure, I might lose one Infantry squad at the same rate I lose one of my Tanks, but the difference is that the Tank was twice the points.

        Most Guard vehicles are Blast based, which is part of the problem. Artillery and Leman Russes all have Blasts at BS 4+. This makes them very, very weak. I’ve heard that Ad Mech vehicles are doing fine, same thing with some SM vehicles and other BS 3+ Vehicles that don’t have Blasts as their main weapon.

        But I do believe that you want mostly Infantry in this edition. You take maybe a couple of vehicles, depending on the army of course, but you no longer spam them like Orks did with their Trukks or Demi-company did with Rhinos, or Guard with their Artillery used to.

        I have faced against a mixed army, a “big guns” army of tanks and other armoured vehicles and one that is mostly Infantry. I absolutely crushed the first two and had a tougher fight against the last one. I switched to 90% Infantry with my Guard after a few games and I noticed a massive boost in both firepower and survivability. Again, this is most likely Guard only thing and doesn’t reflect the entire game.

        • mrbleak

          Well, Guard is special, I do agree that with the exception of manticores (witch are pretty solid if you hide them) they are better of with infantry, since Heavy weapon squads are dirt cheap (24 point a las cannon) can take 18 for nothing in spearhead detachment and just tear through knights and still have tons of points left for objective grabbing and anti infantry stuff (I seriously recomend adding a couple of immolators with dominions to completely anihilate ork hordes (and block assault since they can move before the battle stars)
          But I believe Guard is super strong. in reference to other horde armies, there are ways to deal with them easily.
          And tanks such as predators next to azrael (rerolls and 4+ invulnerable) are pretty darn solid and effective.

          • Karru

            Actually, I find Hellhounds and Special Weapons Squads to be quite fun, if you want to keep full Guard army that is. 6-man Squad with 3 Flamers is 45pts. Most people outright ignore these guys “as they are nothing but 6 guys and 3 Flamers”. Don’t blame them, the Infantry Squads I have equipped with Missile Launchers are much more annoying against most targets.

            Hellhounds are also quite cheap and you need Fast Attacks for the Brigade detachment, which is a auto-include with Guard in my opinion. 110pts for D6 Strength 6 AP -1 hits + D6 Strength 5 AP -1 hits is not that bad really. Scout Sentinels could also do if you don’t mind something a bit more squishy, but cheaper.

          • mrbleak

            well it is similar, Immolators are 103pts, 12″ 2D6 str5 ap -1 (but have transport cap) and moving them before battle is a big boost just as with scout sentinels (they are pretty good i think) I only use guard as reinforcement but pure guard also seems like 1 of the best armies in the game speacilly cause those bullgrys hit like ork warbosses for like 35 points XD. (haven´t fought harlequins yet, apparently they are brutal)

    • Heinz Fiction

      I agree that infantry has usually more firepower than vehicles per point with very little downsides to it. Durability is about even, depending on the weapons used against them of course.

      However I still see a place vor vehicles as long as they provide something, infantry doesn’t have. Transports are a good example, as they provide cover and speed. While your Guardsmen might not need them, my slow and short ranged wraithguard really wants to jump onboard a serpent to cross the battlefield. Also as my heavy weapon options on Infantry are rather limited, I’d really like to take some war walkers for longe range support. Despite their name they usually don’t have to “walk” a lot so the penalty doesn’t affect them that badly.

      • Karru

        Like I said to mrbleak, I think that it is mostly Guard that have troubles with their vehicles. The Blast nerf seriously hurt them, as they only hit on a 4+ and trying to buff them with something like a Commander is quite pointless as the price is just too much.

        Transports still have a place in many armies, including mine. I use Chimeras for my Veterans.

        • Heinz Fiction

          My experience with guard is limited but don’t your tanks have some nice non-blast turret weapon options as well?

          • Karru

            Not really. The Punisher is nice but it has no AP and they nerfed the Exterminator too much so now it’s not that great. There is also the Vanquisher, but it’s only 1 4+ shot with Strength 8, AP -3 and 2D6, pick the highest damage.

            The main problem is the price. All the variants cost around 160pts without their extra sponsons. Meanwhile, Heavy Weapons Squads are 72pts per 3 Lascannons/Missile Launchers or 57pts for 3 Autocannons. So for the price of one Leman Russ, I can take roughly 2 Heavy Weapons Squads with Lascannons/Missile Launchers and a Company Commander to buff them. I could also take 3 Heavy Weapons Squads with Autocannons or 5 Heavy Weapons Squads with Heavy Bolters.

            Heavy Weapons Squads are 4pts per model. They are now dirt cheap, even with their weapons. Company Commanders are 30pts a piece. You can spam the heck out of the Spearhead detachment if you don’t have “enough room” in the Brigade detachment.

          • mrbleak

            Vanquisher Str8 makes no sense and I believe that it´s a print error on IG index since the “Genestealer Cult” vanquisher is Str9 which makes more sense (I think it should be 10 though)
            still might note be worth taking it, but keep in mind that it´s probably Str9.

          • Karru

            It has been 8 since it was first released long, long time ago.

            GW isn’t really big on the stat changes in Strength. Weapon got a Strength change this edition, did they?

          • Heinz Fiction

            Ok and what about the Basilisk? The earthshaker cannon looks solid and doesn’t need LOS so it can target anything on the battlefield. The Tank is only about 100 points. I’d probably take it over a war walker (costs about the same) in my Eldar army 😉

          • mrbleak

            take a manticore instead

          • Heinz Fiction

            Yeah you’re probably right. Good god, so many tanks, how do you guard players keep track? 😉

            Whats your opinion aboput the wyvern? Looks like a good horde-buster to me…

          • Karru

            It’s on the edge for me. 4D6 Strength 4 shots that re-roll wounds does seem nice for 93pts, but there is once again the Heavy Weapons Squads. 9pts for a Mortar. You are looking at 10 Mortars for the price of one Wyvern. 10D6 shots that don’t get the re-roll to wound.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I get the impression that your weapon teams are just crazy good, as all those vehicles look kinda tempting to me. So maybe they are the problem here and not the vehicles themselves?

          • Karru

            I believe they are both part of the problem.

            Heavy Weapons Teams are too cheap so you can take more of them for the price of one Tank.

            Tanks have very little damage output for their price, so they aren’t exactly tempting.

            Since you can take many Heavy Weapons Teams, because they are so darn cheap, they have lots of staying power.

            Tanks are expensive and are only single models. In a game where multi-wound, high AP is very common, they have little staying power.

            On top of that, you can give Orders to your Heavy Weapons Squads, which increases their effectiveness even further.

          • mrbleak

            I mean it´s cheap for points and if it was Str5 i would take it. The thing is, 4D6 seems powerful, but it averages 14 shots a turn, hitting on 4s that 7 hits. Now, if you are facing orks and marines thats 3 orks or 1 marine per turn for and 85 points model. so it´s turning in 15 points a turn (always on average not counting mega luck or hyper whifs XD).
            If going against T3 it´s still only gonna kil 3-5 dependig on saves which is more points eficient but it can only efectivelly target infantry so i would say that IG have tones better option.
            I like the model though. Hope it helps.

          • Karru

            Like mrbleak said, take the Maticore instead, always. Basilisk is 108pts, Manticore is 133pts. (They must take the Heavy Bolter sponson at minimum)

            Earthshaker is Strength 9 AP -2 with D3 damage, but rolls 2D6 shots, taking the highest.

            Storm Eagle Rockets Strength 10 AP -2, D3 Damage, 2D6 Shots. The big difference is the 2D6 shots, not 2D6 shots picking the highest.

            Yes, Storm Eagle Rockets are one shot weapons, but you get 4 of them. That’s 4 turns of shooting at most. If you make it to the 5th turn and still need the firepower of an Artillery piece, something has gone terribly wrong.

  • Randy Randalman

    The whole Imperium Soup thing people are high on (even though I haven’t lost to it in about twenty games against it yet) won’t last. Once the codices come out, every list will be geared towards more thematic and in-house sub-factions instead of the Alliances.

    • Juan Carlos González

      Yeah. How unfluffy can people be having the different branches of the same faction act in unison?

  • SacTownBrian

    Space Marine scouts snipers with Telion putting out mortal wounds on 5/6 and targeting characters is gross. They’ve been must includes and MVPs is all four games I’ve played so far. They’ve been the only stand out though. Jump pack Assault Marines and Assault Terminators seem just as lackluster as ever. But Cataphractii were winners with both shooting and good saves. Land Raiders are fun but too easily tied up in combat for the whole game. If you are looking for a transport look no further than a Stormraven. Another stellar unit that will shoot every turn and get bodies stuck in for objective holding. I’ve lots more to try out, can’t wait for everyone to get the rules so I can play more armies.

    • Karru

      I’ve also found out that 10 Sniper Scouts + Tellion is an auto include this edition. 2+ to-hit Snipers and the Tellion Sniper is just too powerful to ignore. They are the bane of all Characters, especially those with bad saves, such as Guard and Orks.

  • Robomummy

    Annnddd there it is, people trying to find a meta to a game that isn’t already released. Can’t we all just have fun when it comes out? No, we have to spend countless hours over-analyzing everything so I need a linguistics degree to find the tiniest loophole so I can do some cheaty-seeming stuff that makes me slightly better at a hobby at the expense of other players fun?

    • Charon

      I guess you do not understand what meta means because your statement makes no sense at all.

      • Robomummy

        in my experience of 40k the meta has always revolved around people using rules exploitation.

        • Charon

          If your 4 freinds in your hobby dungeon play Space Marines, your group has a Space Marine heavy meta.
          You have clearly no idea what the term means.
          Metas can differ locally, depending on group, size, used ruleset and many other factors. No “exploitation” involved.

          • Robomummy

            and you are clearly missing the point, Meta is what is a common army build and the most common army builds I have seen have been made to exploit rules.

          • Charon

            Still wrong.
            The meta is not a common army build, it is the ENVIRONMENT you build your army for. There is no “rules exploit” involved whatsoever.
            A vehicle heavy meta would men that most armies consist of heavy armored vehicles, so the armies in this meta tend to have lots of anti vehicle weapons to fight that meta. Occasionally you will see an army that tries to break the meta by doing the exact opposite and hoping for lots of opponents that follow the meta (in this case a horde army would punish too much Anti tank weapons. If more and more poeple try to break the meta this way, it becomes the new meta.

            The most common army build can only form a meta if lots of players play the exact same army and the exact same style (tournaments are prone to this as a lot of people play the armies that have a better chance of winning due to too strong books).

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            A meta can still revolve around rules exploitation.

            His statement is valid. If the environment he see has lists that are built around rules exploits.

            This might be in contrast to a themed meta, or an ‘honest’ meta.

          • Charon

            A meta can not revolve around “exploitation of rules” as long as the armies and “exploits” in question are different. To form a meta you need a unifying trait and “exploiting” is not a unifying trait.
            Also “exploiting the rules” is such a broad and hollow statement that is not even possible to draw any conclusions from it.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Why isn’t exploitation a unifying trait if most lists in an environment are based around it.

            Meta is an equally broad term, it completely lacks and useful limit, so that a meta could be used both to describe the competitive world or a basement of three people. What conclusions can we draw from it?

          • Charon

            It is no unifying trait because it has no stats to build for or against.
            If I tell you “it is a MEQ heavy meta” you probably instantly know what weapons are effective in this environment and which units you will put into your list to maximise your armies damage output in this environment. This is a meta.

            A meta exists everywhere in competitive games that leave some choices to the player no matter which system (tabletop, video game, sports,…)

            “this is an explotiation meta” means nothing. Which armies are dominant? Which builds? What are the characteristics of an exploitative meta? What do you use to build against it?

            Yes, meta is a broad term it does not describe anything. It is the name for the decription. That is why you use it for both, basement players and competitive players. There is no “THE META”. It is different for every single group out there, there are lots of layers. From local metas, to global metas. ITC meta is different from Warhammer World meta, still both are tournament settings.
            But over time there will be a meta that is used by the majority of people (we can call it global meta). this comes quite fast nowadays as a lot of groups are well connected and the internet exists.
            Ideas and builds spread fast, we have access to hundreds of thousand games played by different poeple to draw conclusions from.
            While it has no impact for you individually (just because Eldar and Ynnari were outright broken in the global meta, you wont feel any impact if your local meta contains no Eldar but 3 different imperial guard players and 2 Necrons)

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            “It is no unifying trait because it has no stats to build for or against.”

            Having stats is not the only way to unify something. This is the problem with the term meta, its hollow and broad meaning allow many interpretations of what could be included within it.

            An exploitation meta would mean that rules are being exploited, simple as that. Whether it is a useful term for list building is beside the point, as long as the common theme for armies in an environment it could be observed to be a rules exploitation meta.

            An example might be the over use of broken cards in MTG. Cards that are being used in such a way that they are not working as intended.

          • Charon

            Which does not form a meta. It may be PART of the meta (friendly, competitive, fluffy,…) but it can not FORM a meta.
            A meta is always formed by the most common armies and builds.
            Same as with MTG. There is no “broken cards meta” as it is not descriptive at all.
            Please stop using terms wrong, it comes across as trolling.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Vintage has a ‘broken cards meta’

        • Meta doesn’t mean rules-exploitation.

          Meta typically means whats common in your area or playgroup. As Charon explained below.

          Once you know what’s common in your meta, then you try to min/max against that yes but meta itself does not mean that.

          I understand the point you are trying to make, just clarifying the vernacular.

          • Robomummy

            yes, I understand what a meta is. the meta I have seen from 40k in the last few years has been netlists built to exploit poorly worded rules or loopholes in the rules.

          • oh its been like that since at least 1998.

          • GreyPanthers

            Have you played many games with people locally or has your warhammer experience soley come from reading BOLS articles? If it’s the latter that might be your problem…

  • MechBattler

    Can’t we wait until we have FULL rules and then see how it all shakes out? Wait a few weeks or maybe until the first big tournament using the rules? I guarantee by that point, the WAAC players will find what can be broken and break the sh1t out it. Then we’ll definitively know what the meta is and whether this edition of 40k is really any better than the last.

    • eMtoN

      My thoughts exactly. How could anyone possibly start declaring that a meta emerging when it’s apparent that a large number of people haven’t even seen the rules, much less spent time playing.

  • Muninwing

    i’d be pissed if I had invested in a Traitor legion army, only to have it invalidated. I’d probably quit if it never showed up again in 8th.

    i had loved the idea of playing a Night Lords army, converted fully and painted up. if i had invested in that and watched it get invalidated, i’d find another hobby.

    • thereturnofsuppuppers


  • Danny Carr

    Whatever the meta becomes I feel Hordes, split fire and wounds reducing effectiveness will make infantry the king this edition.

    Hordes are simply good now, if 40-60 gaunts or Ork Boyz are coming you have to destroy most of them or you’ll lose but they seem to be able to reach you a lot easier than before. Bucketful of dice will be raining down on you if you don’t stop them and everything is so much more vulnerable this edition you’ll feel the damage.

    Split fire meanwhile has made any squad with heavy or specials wonderfully flexible because they can damage both a MC or Vehicle and still fire at an enemy assault or shooty units. Vehicles and MCs are tougher; but are now also facing a lot more fire from things with a realistic chance to hurt them. They’re facing that fire ON TOP of the units dedicated to wiping them out. 4 lascannons is bad, taking 1-3 missiles shots on top of that hurts if they use their specials as well it all adds up.

    Characters are about the only thing you can rely on reaching the enemy without their effectiveness been diminished.

  • Eversor253

    Little bit of action and I’m finding myself starting to mirror my old 3rd edition builds. 8th has a lot of 3rd in it. I’m also findung my old 7th builds to not be very good in 8th, and a few units, like shining spears are now amazing.

  • Crablezworth

    The meta is going horde while people are also saying the game got faster… one of those statements works against the other. Just saying. If the new meta is 200 model count armies… yeah no.

  • Rayna M. McCowan

    Gunlines still can work, but, you have to keep in mind that 3″ pile in that the enemy can do and keep your unit’s with a 4″ to 5″ gap, be careful with chaining characters between them to spread auras. The main issue is, marines can’t gunline anymore, they need to shoot and fight given how expensive they are per model. So unless you have something like Noise Marines that pump out tons of shots per round you need to focus on being able to do well in the fight phase as well as shooting. This is even more the case with people picking deployment and often assault focused armies going for Search and Destroy leaving them only 18″ outside of their opponents deployment zone making it easy to close that distance as they can start mid table effectively.

    Vehicle heavy armies though or low model armies need to be highly versatile or they will get washed away. But, as it is, having a lot of 10 model shooting units, if a few get engaged in assault, you have them walk out, order them to get back in the fight, then have everyone shoot those who assaulted them for hilarious effected as Imperial Guard, but, that is the bonus of cheap bodies. Marines? Marines have to win that fight really, so that SGT/Champion needs to be able to crack MEQ’s or risk having the unit getting bogged down, more so with damage not rolling over to other models unless they are mortal wounds, which aren’t handed out like candy in 8th.

    Going to be interesting being someone who had a Veteran mechanized IG army going into 8th edition in a MEQ heavy area, blood angels, deathwing, and death guard, but, hey, that is what makes the IG interesting to me. Regular humans fighting against the horrors of the universe. Though, getting some Sisters and a Rhino for them (or Custodius) would go a long ways.

  • I love that, rather than rein in the goofy, unfluffy list building, the new detachments mean the primarch of the ultramarines will still be running around with a tasters choice of the best Imperium units still. Feels like all the good that was lost with formations was sacrificed for
    N O T H I N G

  • J Mad

    MSU isnt dead and works just fine

    Horde armies are finally a thing so if players can play them they will.

    There are some units/lists many are not talking about yet, but just wait, some really good units are Taurox Primes, Biovores, Mawlocks, Shuriken Windriders, Wave Serpents, Hemlocks.
    Some already know about these, but we will see more of them for sure.

    Many units are playable now and got stronger, its a completely different game and i dont think the meta will be made just yet. We know what units will be picked, tho there are some crazy things that arnt being played with always.