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.
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.
WE’Z BACK – WAAAGH!
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?