40K: 8th May Have An Alpha Strike Problem

Early metas and feedback from competitive plays point to an issue with turn 1 advantages.

The Era of the Leaf-blower may be back…

Leafblower: The original alpha-strike army from back in the day…

Alpha Strikes Return

Here’s a quote from Warboss doug over on Facebook:

“40k 8th League update:

After 3 weeks of play with 24 players in the league only 4 players that went second won their games. That’s a 11% win ratio out of 36 games!!!

There is SO much I like about 8th but dang it is so unbalanced for competitive play it truly is shocking.

It’s so unbalanced I don’t even want to talk about this Unit or that Unit being OP. It’s the core ruleset that’s at the heart of this issue.

At the core, as I see it, is the Damage output vs Save potential. This is the main problem and hugely unbalanced. This is a factor of first the Damage vs Save stats and then combining them with other core rules. Rules like the 360 fire arcs on vehicles (flyers), cover Save rules, damage outputs per wound and all units splitting fire. I really like most of these rules when I look at them separately but once you combine them it gets pretty rough and unbalanced.”

I bet you’re all afriad of heavy bolters NOW!

Early Metas

I’ve also been talking to several tournament players headed out to some of 8th big events and hearing what the early meta is evolving into.

Lists are gravitating to alpha-strikes combos that are designed to kill half the enemy army at the top of turn 1 if they go first.  If they don’t get first turn, they will get hurt badly in return.  These lists usually focus on firepower combos with heavy re-rolls and medium ranged high volume fire. Things like Guilliman and the highest volume firepower Ultramarine units seem to be really popular.


A lot of fingers are being pointed at some of the detachments, such as the Superheavy and Air-wing that allow very unbalanced armylists to be built. Sure such armies lose out on Command Points, but if they are lethal enough to wipe out foes in a couple turns – what does it matter? TOs may be forced to institute some mandatory formations for lists such as the  Patrol/Battalion before allowing the others to be “unlocked” for armylist use. That’s not a perfect solution, but a quick fix off the cuff. Some armies such as Imperial Knights make any fix difficult.

One commonly stated solution is a massive increase in large line-of-sight blocking terrain being needed in 8th Ed. Just the kind of thing that is extremely difficult for major tournaments who need it in wholesale quantities to produce and store. If you only play on a single table, get building with your friends, because players need a lot of terrain to hide completely behind in 8th.

Silver Linings

All the above not withstanding, I have never been having a more fun time with a new edition of 40k in non-competitive settings.  In casual play settings where the both players talk ahead of time, or for campaign settings, or anyone using power levels – the game is incredibly fun and easy to pickup. It plays fast and is super easy to pickup for new players. The keywords are keeping the dumb allies combos of past editions in check and games are both fun and exciting.  As long as you don’t have two strangers specifically trying to build wacko lists for every possible advantage – it’s all good.

Which leads to a bigger question:

If a game is overall fun and inclusive, easy to pick up – except for balance issues at the highest levels of competitive play – is that even a problem?

Should any any company really care about balance issues at the very top levels of competition, or focus on overall gameplay feel at the lower 98% of the customer-base?

~What are you seeing out there?

  • georgelabour

    Simple solution is for gw (or a major indie tournaement) to produce a set of tournament scenarios. Similar to how the big rule book already incorporates scenarios from all play styles and or games centered themes such as aircraft or urban combat.

    These scenarios would then modify certain things such as outright forbidding off board forces from entering on turn 1. OR requiring CP be spent in some way for these to occur.

    • zeno666

      Their monkey that writes these rules couldn’t write anything tournament-worthy.

      • georgelabour

        Brainless monkey…internet comments…irony…etc.etc…


        • zeno666

          Yeah, I’m not that impressed with their monkey either 😉

        • Richard Mitchell

          Hey man, one of these days, one of these comments are going to randomly produce Hamlet.

          • georgelabour

            Well the guy who made the original comment keeps replying with a great deal of bile, and pontificating over a dead thing so…

            I guess he’s well on his way towards that goal.

            Now if he just had 999 clones he’d have a shot at the greatest novel ever written.

          • Aptonoth

            Well it’s not hard since all they need to do is copy and paste hamlet an already made book. Duh.

    • J Mad

      Or why dont we look at these players lists/terrain set up 1st, also see if they even are good players, or player the rules correctly.

      Before assuming its the games fault, lets set back and see why they are losing in the 1st place….

      • georgelabour

        I honestly assumed that both tournament organizers and players at least had a basic familiarity with the rules.

        I also assumed that of those only half would be routinely cheating.

        • J Mad

          Well we don’t know bc there is no pics of the boards or lists and no pics of some of the game play. I see no reason to assume not everyone is power gaming and if there is enough terrain

          • georgelabour

            And you’re also assuming that no one involved knew the correct rules for deployment or the various means of brining in off board units as well. And that no one there thought to bring the datasheets with said rules printed on them…

            No offense but that right there marks you as someone who’s not just clutching at straws. You’re also denouncing the straws as being an inefficient form of toothpick.

          • J Mad

            You got it wrong there bud, knowing my new stats for an army is one thing, but knowing the 3-4 other armies that my opponents are bringing is another thing, if i miss understand a units rules/role, that means i will think of that unit differently and play around it differently,

            Not being used to 8th is another thing, many players were and still are playing Terrain/cover wrong, i know of and seen MANY players take cover from outside of cover b.c they are 50% LoS blocking when its actually has to be fully in the terrain piece and 50% covered.

            Players also are not used to 8th in general, list building, setting up, etc… there will be many mistakes, MANY mistakes, also many players are still so new to 8th they most likely want o “try” new things, many times it looks good on paper, but with lack of experience with new units or new strategies its lack luster on the table.

            Also are some players taking vehicles and other not taking enough AT? B.c AT is completely different in 7th compare to 8th, a Melta gun doesnt do what it once did, i’ve seen 4 melta guns not take out a Raider, in 7th 1 most of the time did, 2 was 100% chance and 3 was over kill. Things are completely different now, players need to adapt.

            Finally and most importantly again we dont see their list, if the players going 2nd are spamming MSU units against Ynnari Players, well yeah they will lose. 40k still has Rock, Paper, Scissor matches. And i say Ynnari b.c honestly Basic Eldar is completely trash there is 0 reason to have Battlefocus when you can move/shoot/power/cc twice over “move and shoot full BS”.

            Understanding the changes of the game, the mechanics of all the new armies, from the lack of info this article gave us we CAN NOT trust it.

          • georgelabour

            In your rush to find something to complain about you seem to have missed something vital.

            That being that nothing I have said had anything to do with the entirety of the rules set.

            Rather my comment was focused on the point of the article. That is to say addressing the potential issue of first turn alpha strikes leading to a a higher statistical probability of victory over other army building methods.

            My comment was also a simple to implement suggestion that utilizes the extant rules set in order to provid minimal alterations which can produce rules issues.

            That you seem to have purposely ignored such salient facts in your race towards petulant comments and impotent ranting is quite sad.

          • J Mad

            And i’m saying people are over exaggerating it, we dont know if its strong or not b.c we dont have enough good data yet.

            FFS not even all the rules are even out yet, nor do we have 1000’s of games.

            How can we say alpha strike is to strong with 0 data and lack of codexs?

          • georgelabour

            Well…everything you’ve said before that post was using o data, and facts. Not to mention didn’t draw from thousands of incidents to arrive at a fact based conclusion.

            So to answer your own question I suppose I could just say…

            By doing exactly what’s been done here when accusing others of incompetence and dishonest.


            Also you never did address whether the original suggestion was in any way a viable solution to the potential problem under discussion.

          • J Mad

            And i also said we cant question it right now anyways but…. “Not allt he rules are out yet” we wont know till we have most of the codex’s, when we see the codex’s that comes out the rest of this year. If nothing major changes then lets talk, ifs there are some changes and counters then whats the point? We need 1) more data 2) more rules

            Discussing it to me right now is pointless.

            Heck there are other articles that are saying Swarms spam is OP AF. Isnt swarms a direct counter to many problems of Alpha striking? Again… thats why we need to see these players lists, if they are playing super elite and only have 6-7 drops, sinking 300pts into each unit, then yes going 1st will do huge damage when you till off 1-2 units.

  • silashand

    Easiest way to eliminate the alpha strike issue is to get rid of it altogether and use alternating activations. I play Bolt Action and the mechanism works brilliantly. The active player picks a unit to move/shoot/assault, then the other player does (or you use a randomization mechanic like BA, whichever). There is no reason it could not work in 40K except that GW don’t want to for some reason. Personally I have never understood why.

    • markdawg

      You are !00% right and 0% wrong. IGOUGO is a relic that should be expunged from all war games. It creates Feel badsys!

      • CloakingDonkey

        There is a way of getting around it. RNG 😀 Black Powder, Hail Caesar and Pike&Shotte all work that way. Your army is divided into Divisions and you roll a command roll for each division. That roll decides how often the entire division gets to act or if it gets to act at all (about 20-30% chance they can’t act) and even blunders if you roll box cars. This will usually cause some of your army to get a bunch of actions while other parts get one or none. It specifically stops you from alpha striking and forces you to not have 1 killer division and a bunch of poopy ones.

        But yeah apart from that AA is the way to go. Bolt Action specifically is a game that has never felt bad to me even when getting a streak of no dice being pulled for me.

        • Thom Hall

          This comes from warmaster originally….a gw game

          • CloakingDonkey

            doesn’t surprise me at all. I never played Warmaster cause it was utterly dead where I live but GW’s side systems all had fantastic rulesets.. often much better than the main games.

          • Norsed

            That is just… It’s not even slightly true and I’m utterly perplexed how you managed to come to that conclusion. This wargaming concept is older than any GW game.

          • Thom Hall

            I was referring to the game designers priestly and Johnson taking their specific mechanics to warlord games. But carry on, it is the internet

          • Thom Hall

            The variable alternating activation rules from the warlord games referenced above can be traced to warmaster as they share designers

          • nss

            I wonder why GW didn’t send a cease and desist order to the 6th century Indians ripping off Warmaster with that chess game of theirs.

          • Thom Hall

            That’s because fw games are much closer to rock, paper, scissors

          • silashand

            Coincidentally Black Powder/Hail Caesar/Warmaster were all written by the same guy… go figure :-).

            As an aside, though I think they need a v2.0 set of rules, I really like Black Powder and Hail Caesar personally.

        • silashand

          Agreed. Even long strings of your opponent getting to act in BA are less impacting than a 40K turn where the entire enemy army acts and destoys half of yours before you can do anything.

          • CloakingDonkey

            Yep especially because in BA stuff usually lives a bit longer. With pin markers being what piles up but you can overcome those. Can’t overcome losing 2 squads of Devastators first turn, usually.

      • GrenAcid

        Sound nice but we need return of IC rule so characters can join units.
        Imagine You move new zombies, than your enemy can shoot character behind them cuz there is a huge gap now. Also Psychic powers will be wonky cuz enemy have one activation to damage unit you casted spell on.

        • silashand

          It’s not necessary. Characters in Bolt Action activate independently and have their own unique rules. Mostly this is for morale, but they bring their own abilities as well.

        • Chaos_Unbound

          Could be ruled Psychic powers are active till the next turn, aka once all models on both sides have acted then the turn resets. Doesnt take rocket science to figure this out. Then again it is GW we are talking about so it might as well be 24th century Warp Theory to them.

        • NagaBaboon

          Certain characters (most characters) could just have chain activation rules, so at the end of their turn they could activate a friendly unit within 6″ out of sequence, or something to that affect.

      • SacTownBrian

        I am 100% agreeing to disagree with the agreement of disagreement .

      • Ebon Hand

        I like that “I go you go” is the way 40k works, it lets you coordinate your entire army to work together better than activations. 8th edition activations in a way for close combat but for the entire turn I like control of my army to be complete and simultaneous.

        There are already plenty of game systems with activations. I even play one, Infinity, which is fantastic. Instead of trying to change 40k just to accommodate tournament players, why not just let different things exist?

        Tournament players will sort things out for themselves as they always have… If the meta is alpha strike heavy, well that’s just what it is until the game develops more. Codexes aren’t even out yet, the game is still brand new.

        • markdawg

          I’m not a tourney player I hate waiting all day for some shmuck to move and shoot his entire army at me before my army can do anything. You like it don’t. It has nothing to do with tourney play whatsoever.

          • Nyyppä

            How about alternating phases. Both move, both shoot, so on?

          • Adam Sinclair

            well then you’re playing the wrong game. Its not like IGOUGO has snuck up on you. It’s been a part of the game since inception

          • markdawg

            It sure has, and it was a bad Idea then and its a bad Idea now!

            GW needs to make a more modern game 8th is still stuck in the past. There are so many ways to do AA with little innovations.

            Take SW Armada it’s traditional AA I activate one unit and then you get to.

            The twist is you have this command dial system were you have to plan out in advance the best orders to give your units.

            When your turn comes up you can still choose to do what you want with that unit but if that choice is incongruent with the order you selected you just wont get the bonuses you were hoping for.

            This helps to simulate the fog of war and no battle plan surviving contact with the enemy.

            All IGUGO does is create a system where guys try to break the ruleset to smash your army before you can move a model. This makes people unhappy and for good reason.

            The other bad part of IGOUGO is having to sit and wait for someone to move shoot and assault you loose engagement in the game and it becomes more of a chore than fun.

            GW had a chance when whipping the slate clean to really innovate. I really wish they had.

            Is 8th a awful version of this game at this moment I would say no people seem to really like it. 6th & 7th were completely broken piles of junk.

            People look back at 5th and say bad things because at the very end we had 2 really bad codies that ruined the game for everyone else but for the majority of 5th it was a fun and pretty well balanced version of this game.

        • NagaBaboon

          Are you saying Infinity is alternative activation because it’s definetely not?

      • NagaBaboon

        I’d say there is one exception to that rule, and that’s infinity, but that only works because of the reaction rules, I totally agree that 40k would be better of going that way.

        EDIT: one exception that I’m at least loosely aware of

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      true. Its unbelievable GW still refuse to put some form of AA into 40K. Despite all the much vaunted simplification, 40K 8th is still rooted in the 80s.

    • Holger Wurst

      I already tried the “Battletech” approach and it worked surprisingly well in 6th. Alternating unit activation for movement, then psychic, then shooting is declared and resolved simultaneously, after that alternating charge declarations and so on. Makes for vastly different games especially in the tactics field. But as me and my friends stopped playing competitively we decided not to bother anymore and enjoy the 8th ed as it is. It works for casual games but I clearly see the problems for competitive play.

    • zeno666

      They are way too lazy to change anything that much

    • carlisimo

      Epic Armageddon uses alternating activations and that causes issues, too. The competitive meta is to take many low-points activations because if you have more than your opponent you’ll get to use a few in a row at the end of the game turn. As a result, the larger (and cooler) formations are rarely taken and upgrades never are.

      It’s even better if you get those extra activations at the end of a game turn and go first on the next turn, and then use the mechanic that lets you take two activations in a row. Activating first on the second and third game turns is often a significant advantage.

      • silashand

        you don’t have that in BA. You get one die per unit and you put them all in a bag/whatever. Whoever’s die is pulled is the player who gets to activate. Whenever all dice have been pulled, the turn is over. There is no mechanism to stack activations intentionally in the game which eliminates the issue you describe. Sure, you can get a few extra at the end if you are the only one with units left, but in my experience (and my groups plays a *lot* of Bolt Action) any small advantage gained is more than made up for by the fact that your opponent has already acted and probably mitigated the issue. Especially considering when a unit is destroyed its die is removed from the pool regardless whether it’s been activated or not.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Well, part of his statement is true. If you have many msu squads, that means more dice in the bag. Which in itself gives you a better odds at activating first, and more often. Since you chose what unit activates, it allows you to tactically pick what unit will work best at what time. You also have an added advantage of being able to put more things in ambush, so you can force reactions, etc. As well as generate more pins on a smaller force. (one of the reasons they have Prep Bombardment to counter act this)
          The major downside of course, as you said, dice are removed. So if you are not winning the objectives / scenario, then your opponent may be winning by kill points.
          There are pros and cons. Again, Jerks will be jerks and twist any system to their advantage. Honestly though, I do enjoy AA of (first edition is all I ever played) Malifaux, and BA.

    • Grasshopper

      I need this houserule now! How to do it without breaking the game? Tell meeeee, please!

      • silashand

        The basics are: each unit generates one die. Those dice go into a bag where they are drawn randomly. Whoever’s die comes up gets to activate a unit of their choice. When activated it can do one of three things: move/shoot/assault (there are other orders in Bolt Action, but we don’t use them – yet). A unit that is activated completes its action fully. Once done, draw another die from the pool until all are exhausted. To show that a unit has acted, simply place the die next to the unit. At the end of the turn gather up all dice and repeat the process. If any units are destroyed, remove their die from the pool immediately.

        There are a couple issues we need to iron out (mostly the officer rules since there is no defined hierarchy of rank in the 40K rules, but this is minor really), but this mechanic solves far more problems than it causes. Most notably it allows players to react dynamically to what their opponent is doing which makes for a much more fluid game.

        If you want more of the BA details I suggest grabbing the main rulebook from Warlord Games. It’s not too expensive and it a fun game in its own right.

        • Grasshopper

          Wow, that sounds good. And if you say that it works, all the better! Thanks for the insight.

    • UnpluggedBeta

      40k is different enough from its roots as it is. I don’t need or want a completely new system. I want them to make the current one work.

  • benn grimm

    You’d think with all the ‘extensive play testing’ carried out before the release of 8th they’d have picked up on a little thing like first turn alpha strikes providing a massive advantage, I mean it’s not like it hasn’t been an on and off issue for over twenty years…

    If the core rule set is soooo broken for competitive play, maybe go back to playing 7th or even 5th, those paragons of perfect balance. Or put limits on comp, I mean really who is surprised that superheavy detachments might be a bit powerful?

    • silashand

      IKR? I know they were included to make sure Imperial Knight armies could still be fielded, but when you add in all the brokenness in Forge World stuff like Brass Scorpions you are in for a bad time IYAM.

      • benn grimm

        It all comes down to expectations. If tourneys want to let people run titans, when they know the majority of people aren’t going to run them and they also know it’s not much fun playing against these things outside of narrative play, then that’s their business. As long as they advertise it, people know what to expect.

        I don’t expect to face any of this stuff any time soon, but if I did I’d also expect a fun game/spectacle, since the only (two) people I know well who are wealthy enough to afford these things are also smart enough to just have a bit of fun with it.

    • Lebowski1111111111

      Ive read the ITC guys talk about they thought alpha strike and auto first turn for low unit drop numbered armies was not balenced, GW disagreed and ITC has tweaked the rule as a result.

      If it was a 50-50 chance, maybe people take different army compositions just in case.

      • benn grimm

        I think I heard the same podcast. Tbh and maybe I’m just being cynical, but I think they (gw) just wanted the stamp of approval, to be able to say they ran it past guys who are well known and respected in the community and on the tourney scene, but they (the ‘playtesters’) really didn’t have that much of an input. Something as straight forward (and fundamental) as this seems like the kind of thing you should really be picking up and acting upon. Just as the ITC is doing now.

        • zeno666

          Yeah, thats how things are looking now.
          I can’t believe people wouldn’t have caught on to alpha strikes like that.

          • benn grimm

            Again, call me cynical, but I think they caught on pretty quick, but know which side their bread is buttered.

        • Nathan Timperley

          I’ve been a part of many video game betas. Some of them have developers that are looking for honest, critical feedback. Some of them have developers that are looking for a sycophantic echo chamber. Just saying.

          • benn grimm

            I think getting people who could prove to be vocal critics to sign non disclosure agreements is pretty smart if a little morally dubious. I also think they know, as do the ‘playtesters’ that a certain level of imbalance actually helps to shift more units.

          • Drpx

            Beta testing=hype generator.

    • OctopusVolcano

      If you ask me every detachment should have at least 1 hq and troop choice. But even then you can field any unit for minus 1 cp. I dont see anywhere that says you have to have cp available to minus so technically you can field anything at all as long as you’re happy to have zero cp.

      • AircoolUK

        Yeah, but in a 2000 point game, you’re only allowed a maximum of three detachments.

        • James Allen

          Where in the rules to it say this?

          It’s actually just a suggestion for events; it is no way the rule that you are only allowed this.

      • benn grimm

        1 hq and 2 troops min always seemed to work fine before. I think they completely over complicated list building in the last couple of editions and despite the protestations that this new ed is super streamlined it just seems like a continuation of the moar is more philosophy. Have tbh, I’m not bothered about cmnd pts at all, seems like just another gimmick for people who should know better to try and take advantage of.

      • Sam Malone

        Trying to argue that you can have unlimited -1 cp is ridiculous. You don’t need a rule to say you can’t do it, it is common sense that you can’t take a -1 option if you already have 0 cp

        • Heinz Fiction

          I disagree. It could be intended either way.

        • Kastorex

          You can’t have less than 0 CP, though, as you get 3 baseline and are limited to 3 detachments in 2k lists.

          Unless you somehow manage to fill up more than 2000 points in single units that aren’t superheavies, HQs and flyers.

          • OctopusVolcano

            The auxillery detachment just says you deduct from your total after all other bonuses. If the wording was “spend 1 cp” then its more clear cut.

            Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t do that myself. But RAW douches are always gonna find loop holes to exploit.

    • markdawg

      Too be fair Reese and Franky have said over and over again that you need way more LOS blocking terrain that you had in 7th. So I think the playtesters did pick up on this and they reported it GW told them use more terrain. SO don’t blame the play test team blame GW.

      • AircoolUK

        Going by AoS, a 6’x4′ table should have at least 12 items of terrain.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I liked the rule in 5th where you filled 1/4 of the table with terrain (1/3rd LOS blocking, 1/3 cover and 1/3rd difficult) and then spread it out.

        • Ironheaded Painting

          Yes, and at least 1/3 of those should be LoS blockers between the two armies.

      • benn grimm

        I’m not really blaming anyone specifically, just saying it rings false to talk of extensive play testing and miss something as fundamental as how first turn impacts the overall game. 40k has always been a better game for lots of terrain and tourneys have always had not quite enough, this is nothing new.

        • GrenAcid

          thaey also play on 4×4 and 4×6…..witch are great for games under 1k but nothing more.

          • benn grimm

            Pretty much always played on 6×4 for 40k, never had a problem with 1500/2k size games or finding enough terrain. Not that there’s anything wrong with going a bit bigger if you have the room.

          • zeno666

            They tell us to play on those sizes in the rules.
            Which means they have playtested (lol, yeah I know!) the game around these measurements.

          • GrenAcid

            hehehehe playtested ;d

    • Xar

      Extensive play testing included los blocking terrain.

      • benn grimm

        As well it should have.

  • markdawg

    Play with more LOS blocking terrain play testers have said many times you need more than you had in 7th.

    • silashand

      IMO that is a band-aid patch that does not fix the actual problem.

      • Horus84cmd

        errrr so its a band-aid patch to play the game with the right amount of terrain that the rules are written and designed to be played with? Yep thats logical…

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean it’s something easily fixable regardless of terrain with better game rules. I should be able to play on a desert wasteland or city center without balance issues…

          • OctopusVolcano

            Theres always an objective to warfare, whether thats a town a village or some kind of built up area. Its never just turn up in the middle of the desert and shoot at each other for kicks.

          • ZeeLobby

            Eh. There’s been plenty of battles fought on fields. I’d argue there’s way more throughout history than in cities. I mean you usually fought in the field first to avoid destroying the city. You usually fight around objectives rather than in them. If it gets reduced to rubble it’s usually less useful. I mean that’s real warfare, and I understand this is a game, but even in the 40K books they fight on valleys and flats quite often.

          • OctopusVolcano

            If theres no terrain moving and pretty much all tactics are pointless. Lack of line of sight blocking is obviously going to devolve to who has the biggest guns which promotes the use of heavy weaponry.

            This is supposed to be a game though. If all we want to do is roll dice without really thinking about anything, great fill yer boots. Personally id rather have to think about what my next move is rather than what do i throw dice at next.

            Theres also an argument that if tournament lists are full of heavy weaponry then obviously who goes first is a weighted advantage. Because neither team has planned for anything other than an all or nothing approach. There’s no resilience or survivability.

          • ZeeLobby

            Well tactics wouldn’t be pointless if threat ranges we’re reduced and varied. The biggest problem right now is that the min gun range is basically 24″ with the average being above that. That’s the real problem, again, with the core rules. Moving around terrain shouldn’t be the only yactical consideration regardless.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            alternating activation by unit would be a more logical fix. Alpha strike issue solved without requiring any particular terrain type.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I’ve been operating under the assumption that GW will not do that for at least 3 more editions.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Right after Asmodee buts them out.

          • J Mad

            But… its a gun…. guns shoot far,,,,,,

          • ZeeLobby

            Guns in the real world still have an effective range though. And the skill level of the unit matters a lot too. When every guns range is “the table” it just reduces the impact of position or placement. The game wouldn’t hurt from a little more abstraction in this case.

          • Chaos_Unbound

            I was hopping when we first saw that the rules mirrored AoS, and in some other ways, the older Fantasy rules I though they would use the old Fantasy shooting rules. Reduce ranges by half, so 12 inch bolters 24 inch LasCannons, and apply a -1 modifier to hit for the longer ranges.

          • ZeeLobby

            Man, that would have been beautiful.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Tactical bias and firing discipline: no one takes longshots because it wastes ammo to miss.

          • CloakingDonkey

            Example of a battle that was specifically NOT fought on the objective but rather around it would be the battle of Fredericksburg during the ACW =)

          • ZeeLobby

            Exactly. City fighting was usually a last resort on both sides. Of course they didn’t have guns with 48″ range everywhere either. Collapsing a flank, punching through, etc. I’d rather have these tactics return over just adding more terrain.

          • zeno666

            Yeah, these long ranges are just silly.
            You just can’t escape some weapons. Oh of course, unless you’re a character standing behind something cheap… Because reasons.

          • Chaos_Unbound

            Thats before the colonizing of the US and the Revolutionary war. Once it was realized that hiding behind trees, rocks, and houses, and ambushing your opponent increased your odds of winning the battle significantly then fighting in open fields, by choice, went the way of the dodo.

            Only IF fighting in an open field is unavoidable is it done anymore.

          • ZeeLobby

            Honestly that’s more due to the reduction in standing army size. During the Gulf War there were still plenty of actions in open desert, especially tank engagements. There are just much less instances of equal forces meeting for battle. When you’re the underdog, guerrilla warfare is both easier and effective. Most city fighting today is also due to one side not caring about civilian death (ISIS).

          • Bootneck

            Gulf war tank battles was more slaughter than anything else, T72s didnt stand a chance.

            The 6 day war in 1967 was the last proper example of modern tank warfare – so 50 years ago; shows that heavy armour just isn’t relevant.

            More scenery and urban warfare makes for better gaming.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean it looks pretty, for sure.

          • Brettila


          • Drpx
          • Slackermagee

            City center is typically full of blocking terrain. Desert wasteland could have dunes or sandstone buttes.

            Also giving the side eye to “easily fixable” given how many suggestions there are to fix this and how little agreement there is on any one fix.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean I’m not saying it’s devoid, but poor rules shouldn’t make it a requirement (unless you really want to just sell terrain, haha).

          • Horus84cmd

            I get what you’re saying, but being realistic is that situation that’s going to arise at a tournament? I highly doubt it. In addition GW have never exactly written games to be played with zero terrain.

            Here’s a little thought-experiment for you. Accepted, 40K is not exactly meant to be truly representative of war. Now in out real world war, when battles are fought over open ground you commanders sent in totally different troops and armoured units than they would to a city. Would it be fair to say that, in 40K, if you and your opponent knew you were going to play on a empty table, would you not plan an army that would be tailored to playing on a open space?

          • ZeeLobby

            You could. The problem is that their are some factions that can do this and others that can’t. Which is still the underlying issue with the core of the game. If the core didn’t have this issue terrain would make it even more interesting.

          • Horus84cmd

            So thats a problem with the unit choices that army has, not necessarily the core rules, is it not? Should all armies have access to every perceivable “type” of unit? For instance, would it fit the Eldar to have some heavy, slow moving tank? or the Orks to have something vehicles that are reliable.

            Now I am not saying 8th is perfect, as there are tweaks to be made, but I not sure terrain rules is a huge issue either.

          • ZeeLobby

            All I’m saying is that if you allow the alpha, armies need a way to counter, and using a variable/cinematic mechanic like terrain to do that is not strong game mechanics. Unless you start doing things like requiring LoS blocking terrain in certain positions, which honestly veers away from the narrative GW touts so heavily.

            Honestly the solution would be to cut all ranges and movement down in range. Make alpha impossible. That would be a core change that would broaden the tactical range of the game. You could still get a second-rate first strike. But your opponent would have a turn to react before it hits.

            Then throw in terrain or don’t, you’ll still have a strong core game. Not saying it’s be perfect but as base sizes, ranges and firepower have increased, along with first turn charging, I really have to wonder why. Instead of terrain augmenting your game it’s now a requirement to fix the cores failures. I think this is true for all game systems, not just GWs.

          • GrenAcid

            There is no need to cut ranges…..just play on bigger boards. My best games were on board so big that 92″ Basilisk was only thing capable of reaching the enemy on the second turn. Tournament play is flawed, not 8th ruleset. They play on flat/mini boards and complain there is alpha strikes. No wonder that autistic people cant comprehend anything other than odds and %% chance.
            CHANGE YOUR BOARD!

          • ZeeLobby

            Lol. A 4×6 is barely feasible for most basements, let alone tournaments. Though I’m sure GW would love to sell a 9 tile realm of battle set, haha.

          • zeno666

            Haha, also get the matching bag that holds 8 tiles! 😉

          • zeno666

            Tournaments that wants to play “Matched Games” are flawed, and the rules are not?
            You know the rules… oh nevermind. You wouldn’t get it anyways.
            Keep making those pew-pew noises in your mothers basement 😉

          • GrenAcid

            I do, and I dont have problems with 8th. Maybe Im doing it right? 😀

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Or, you could play to the tactical biases inherent to the fluff, e.g: most matchups against the Forces of the Imperium use some combination of the Cities of Death and Planetstrike rules.

          • ZeeLobby

            True. Which would only be stronger with better core rules.

          • Brettila

            Totally agree. So much of the new rules seems clunky, out of place in the book, and created as an afterthought. I seriously doubt more than 5 minutes of thought by one person went into terrain. A blanket +1, but somehow some models in cover aren’t…, nothing slows you down except 2 things while charging. One of them is not the blocks of rubble that used to be a building… Terrain is crying out for a MAJOR errata to balance some issues.

          • ZeeLobby

            Heck or to just make it interesting and useful again. Right now you have LoS blocking terrain as super useful, and then “other”, haha.

          • zeno666

            Amen. These rules are a real mess

          • GrenAcid

            Desert wasteland have dunes, rocks ect.

            Dont complain that on flat as board terain shooty army on first turn is gooing way to good.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’m not complaining about that (and neither is the article). The issue is winning the roll to go first and just alpha striking an opponent out of the game. Something which shouldn’t have to rely on terrain to fix.

      • markdawg

        The fix is not playing a game where the other player gets to move and shoot his entire army before you get to move a model.

        The Fact that first blood exists in a game like this is nuts. So you sir are correct it is a band-aid.

        • Horus84cmd

          I mean it would be crazy, just crazy..I mean, if only you could choose to not use the ‘first blood’ rules….oh wait yes, yes you can…god forbid using some lateral thinking…

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            First Blood is only one aspect, having half your army killed before you can move it is a bigger issue!

          • Horus84cmd

            Perhaps players should try and use some common sense then. Like have the right spread and amount of terrain for the table, then using that terrain appropriately to take advantage of it; and taking advantage of things like the reserve rules to limit you opponents targets. New rules, new learning curve on what works.

          • orionburn

            Part of the problem is that if you’re a horde army like Nids more terrain can actually make things worse. It’s easy to get bottlenecked and see unit after unit get mowed down before they can get anywhere.

          • Horus84cmd

            Again, surely some common sense then needs to kick in.

          • orionburn

            Not knowing which map you’re going to end up with doesn’t resolve the common sense issue, though.

            I see terrain becoming something that is going to cause a lot of arguments in this edition. It shouldn’t require it, but it’s shaping up to where we’re going to need some sort of rules/guidelines on how much terrain should be used. I’m about to the point where I want our group to agree on a set number of pieces and then players take turns placing terrain. Unfortunately some guys in our group try to do the “oh I’m going to be nice and have everything set up in advance so we can get started quicker” but all they’re doing is stacking the terrain in their favor.

            I kind of like the AoS system which dictates how many pieces of terrain you need depending on game size.

          • Horus84cmd

            Like a lots of wargaming the placement and amount of scenery needs to be a two way agreement with you and your opponent. It shouldn’t be complicated, but as you mention, some players will of course try and take an advantage from it – I generally try and stay clear of those gamers.

        • zeno666

          You’re very wise. Lets not play 40k at all. Why do we still keep trying?
          They have proven time and time again that they just can’t write rules.

          • benn grimm

            It’s the models dude, plus the fact that we already own a tonne of them…;)

          • zeno666

            I know, I know. Even I caved in with and is giving 8th a try 😉

    • ZeeLobby

      Makes a good sales pitch: “Save the game, buy more terrain!”

    • davepak

      Well, you do need to shoot. the amount of terrain is not always the problem honestly, it is the fact that it is binary – you are either 100% obscured, or 100% visible.
      they need to bring back +1 cover for being 50% or more obscured.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      doesn’t really fix it. If someone deep strikes next to your units on your side of the LOS blocking terrain it doesn’t help.

      Bubblewrapping units is possible, but not everyone wants to play with 100+ chaff models. Its not fluffy for one thing for some armies.

  • Horus84cmd

    With the 8th ed rules only having been out for roughly 4 weeks, I would hazard there is still a element of the “learning curve” effect that the new edition has ushered. Everyone is still trying to figure out the nuances of their armies and how to combat thing. It would be nice to know what where the tournament rules for missions, did they have appropriate/varied quality amounts of terrain etc… Many times on the twitch feed it has been pointed out that in 8th is going to be a lot tricker to construct armies that can take on all comers. It seems far too early to have any genuine take away conclusions.

  • Randy Randalman

    There isn’t an Alpha strike problem. It’s just an easy strategy to pick up in this edition out of the gates. As you play more, you learn how to screen and position units for area denial, cover, and counter-play to specific distance/targeting requirements.

    The auto-go-first and kill points mechanics have already been modified by tournament organizers anyway. Other than that, this is the most comprehensively balanced and inclusive version of any game we have, and that’s despite GW’s history and having the largest faction and model count of any game by a mile.

    • Commissar Molotov

      lol, we can always count on Randy for the party line.

      • ZeeLobby

        “Game is perfect, support the Masters!”

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      no mate, its broken.

      Alpha Strike has always been an issue with 40K. thats why previous rules were careful to separate the armies by 24″, make Deep Striking dangerous, unreliable and risky and have mechanisms in place to prevent first turn charges.

      Now all those rules are gone its hardly a surprise that Alpha Strike is more powerful than ever.

    • zeno666

      Haha you’re such a tool 😉
      Screening in a game with TLoS, thats just too funny.

  • Luca Lacchini

    Superheavies are powerful? Yes.
    Are they over/under-costed? No (well, not glaringly).

    Should they be limited to specific game formats? YES.
    My Baneblade is almost equal in points to my Outrider detachment with Rough Riders, Armored Sentinels and a single Devil Dog, but I can tell from the start it would smash the poor fast attack units to very small bits before suffering any major setback.

    Tournament scenarios (formats) would suffice in a heartbeat. And more cowbe… ehm terrain. Not enough to hamper “regular” sized units but a hassle for superheavies, treaded or walkers or else. You don’t want too much terrain? Your opponent gets more CPs. Etc.

    • Nyyppä

      Right tools for the right job and all that.

  • ZeeLobby

    Not shocking if there is. Dunno why allowing even more first turn charge opportunities was ever seen as a good thing. Was really hoping we’d see a reduction in gun ranges as well, but alas…

    • zeno666

      Yes. 24″ should be considered extremly long range.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    I think Party Bus IG builds are a bigger problem, simply due to the high durability of those lists in relation to their damage output. Having to crack 26 T8 3+ wounds before you start removing big guns is too difficult for some armies to attempt.

    The Alpha Strike problem is definitely addressable through terrain, but I think a better solution would be add set narrative elements to each board and use set terrain. Creating a balanced set of scenarios, with terrain advantages and drawbacks, shouldn’t be a huge draw on organizer time.

    • sexyboi98

      I must disagree. The Baneblade variants now are pretty underwhelming considering they don’t ignore the -1 to hit other super-heavies have. Their damage output can be great but with 2d6 randomness and 33 to 50% chance of hitting can be pretty bad if you have any sight-blocking terrain at all. Infantry on the other hand…

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        A Stormlord full of Lascannon teams is TAC enough not to care about moving penalties when it does. I’ve yet to see a Banehammer or the other Baneblade chassis Transport in action, but every game I’ve seen with a Stormlord has ended with the Guard player stomping the other army with sheer weight of fire.

  • Slackermagee

    A friend of mine brought this up and I think it really resolves the issue: Blocking terrain.

    Big, boxy, tall, blocking terrain. If you can shoot from deployment zone to deployment zone the entire way across the board, it’s a bad terrain set up. This is NOT to say that you should have a fence of “can’t shoot me”. There should be something you can hide units behind for turn one and it should not be hugging the very back edge of the table.

    And if you don’t have blocking terrain, try a few games where all of the ruins are treated as having solid walls, no windows. It really, really helps.

    • Vachones

      Agreed, it may be time for more terrain abstractions where infantry can shoot out of ruins but units cannot shoot through ruins.

      • ZeeLobby

        I’d be all for the return of terrain abstraction. It was great back when you could make woods units could move through but at a certain width couldn’t shoot through. Made a lot of sense.

        • Vachones

          True line of sight is “cinematic,” but I thought they had the rules right several editions ago with abstracted terrain rules like woods and ruins. But that was before they started selling terrain kits.

          • ZeeLobby

            I actually really like their old tree sets tho. The ones you could remove the trees from. Their perfect for abstraction.

    • threeorangewhips

      This is the way we are playing. Most 1st floor terrain is LOS blocking, unless it’s really broken ruins. It helps. It doesn’t stop 2/3 stormravens from alpha striking, but at least they have to leave their deployment zones.

  • AircoolUK

    Just make players field a Battalion Detachment before allowing access to other detachments like you mentioned. It seems like a bleedingly obvious solution, and something that I would have expected to see already.

    Forcing players to start with a Battalion Detachment plus one other of their choice might actually force the players to be a bit more creative.

    • Louper

      The problem is that this “solution” vastly limits army building. It completely eliminates certain thematic forces (such as a Deathwing army or White scars biker army) which aren’t broken in order to balance against cheese lists.

      when building an army feeling like you have to pay a “tax” sucks and a battalion tax would really suck for armies that don’t intend to field troops choices.

      Also that “max number of detachments” chart specifically states that it is a suggestion for TOs. Its not actually part of the set matched play rules.

      Personally, I feel this problem may be fixed somewhat if they do a good job adding more compelling strategems in the codices. If all of a sudden only having 0 CP because you took a cheesy Alpha Strike list means more than missing out on a few re-rolls I suspect that will shift things slightly. (though I think the fact that elite armies will be CP starved compared to hordes will also turn out to be a problem)

      Ultimately, though, GW knows the vast vast majority of matched play players are NOT competitive min max tournament cheese list makers so they don’t balance for that, they let TOs handle minor modifications needed for that. Sacrificing the game’s diversity to ensure top level balance would overall be harmful.

      Casual play has a really simple mechanism that quite effectively deals with list cheese and thats the fact that if you repeatedly show up with that crap people won’t want to play with you.

  • Brad Parks

    I’ve been stumping for some sort of better turn alternating or split turns for awhile but everyone always shouts me down as “altering the core rules too much”. Maybe remove steal the initiative and the person who goes first only gets to place a certain percentage of their army with no deep striking allowed and then the second player gets to place their whole army, kind of like in card games where the second player gets to draw an extra card.

    • davepak

      This is close – I think you are on to it, but a better answer would be alternate unit activation in the shooting phase.

      This works VERY well in many other games.

      Also, maybe removing split fire, unless you spend a command point or something.
      New Stratagem: Tactical targeting, 1CP: a unit can split fire.

  • DaveWeston

    Looks like my FREE Print & Play terrain templates may be of use. They’re only simple LoS blocking boxes but they’re pre-textured, quick to build and cheap when stuck to foamboard or card board…

  • I’m not sure it’s really any worse than before.

    • davepak

      Only slightly – bu the goal is for this to be better over all – and they are mostly there. Addressing this would help a bit.

      • I can agree to that. I was hoping they’d have done video tutorials like they started to do with AoS.
        I still think ,and maybe I just don’t know what I’m talking about, that players would take the possibility of Alpha Strike into account when making their lists.
        For example I’ve put grot mobs into my armies for years just to prevent Melta Deep Strike from being an issue for me. I can also screen my force with cheap units to protect my army. I have yet to see so much firepower that my army is crippled in one turn in 8th edition. It doesn’t mean it can’t happen but it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve first turn charged marines with 30 Boys in a mob and crippled his whole army. He could have left one screening unit to keep his army in the game. It’s early days still. We’re all still learning.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          I think Orks bubblewrap very well, Grey Knights not so much for instance!

          • Do they have rhino’s?
            You don’t need hundreds of models just units that create bubbles to prevent movement.
            I realize they are an elite army. For me it’s about creating bad choices for the opposing player. I’ve had to learn again how to deploy my army. I had to look at what I was using and sort it out on the table. Anyone can do that, results may vary.
            Orks are amazing now…Haha.

  • tomas pardo

    may be a easy solution to block vision is a change for terrain, for example somethink like this: a wood ; when you stay inside have cover bud no one can´t see acros, then you have a bols.
    that will became the game more tactic

  • GrenAcid

    Yet again Tournament folk find a way to abuse this game, stay for next panel about how wet water is.

    As for alphas…remember lads AT LEAST 25% of the board should be cover.

    • AircoolUK

      Minimum of 12 terrain items on a 6’x4′ board and, as per the rules, a maximum of three detachments in a 2000 point game.

      • GrenAcid

        Just add to this that 4×4 are for games under 1k, 4×6 are for 1,5k and if you play 2k on anything less than 6×6 you are doing it wrong.

        • JPMcMillen

          I thought 2k+ was supposed to be 4×8, not 6×6.

          • Horus84cmd

            Thats what I’ve used if available. Mind you 2000pts on a 6’x4′ is perfectly fine too; just make use of the tactical reserve rules.

  • SacTownBrian

    Great article, very excellent points made, my experience is exactly the same. Th biggest issue I have is the lack of terrain on tournament tables. No more excuses on that side please. 8th ed is designed for dense terrain. If you don’t think so just watch the GWTV Twitch feed and look at how many terrain kits they now have. I love He game but so far have not been able to play the game GW has designed in a tourney setting.

  • Balaan Wrath

    Ditch IGOUGO and this problem will go away

  • Neil Burns

    Alternate activations!

    • davepak

      Been saying this for a long time.

      Can still have a “who goes first” and seizing – so it can still be valuable – but still, have alternative activation.

      Will solve MANY issues.

      • Neil Burns

        How about this, alt activations, but whoever has the most command points goes first each turn. This adds another element of wanting to save CP.

        • Parthis

          … and stops players using them for their intended purpose, doubly so when Codices are out.

    • Parthis

      Sorry, but no. While it works well for some systems, 40K is too large for it. Have you tried it? My group have, and it was slow, confusing and honestly not all that fun… and we’re a group that plays a lot of varied games, including the likes of malifaux. Sometimes the solution to a problem isn’t to wholesale-embrace an alternative.

      • nss

        “Have you tried it? My group have, and it was slow, confusing and honestly not all that fun…”

        Well yes, but was it fairer? Because that quote doesn’t sound any different than a game with the base rules.

  • What is the most common Alpha Strike people are experiencing?
    Are you being Assaulted first turn or shot to bitz?
    Or what?

    • davepak

      Shooting. being shot to bitz

      Can be assault, but that is more rare.

      SOME of the more powerful units can obliterate other units in a single volley – yeah, you can hide them, but that is not always feasible or desirable.

      • Parthis

        I disagree with your last point; alternate deployment is the counter to this. You can hide units. Alpha-strike lists are being built for minimum drops, to guarantee going first. So if you’re not building to alpha you do have lots of deployment options once your opponent has finished.

        • Zhan

          You cannot hide units when your opponent deploys stormravens for example.

          45” move and then getting blasted by 24 s4 shots at WS3+, 12 s5 shots and then the lascannon shots.

          • Stealthbadger

            You can’t hide from certain deepstrikers due to the deployment zone sizes and number of deepstikers. Good luck hiding a horde army. And and never hope of going first.

    • Zhan

      For me its the flyers people are deploying. I see a lot of people here saying that you should hide units but in my experience it doesnt work when flying stuff moves 40 to 45” to then unload on you.

      • I’ve faced a list with only 2 Stormtalons.T hey were not very impressive.

        • Zhan

          wait till you’ve had the stormraven experience >.<
          for 300 points you get endure 24!! s4, 12 s5 and 2 lascannons all at WS3+ because of reasons.

          But yeah 1/2 flyers is endureable but when he deploys 2000 points worth of flyers that all unload on you on the first turn it very hard to deal with.

          Especially because he can take out all the units that are in your list that are good against them. Leaving you with only bolters etc. which he cleans up in the following turns

          • Sounds nasty. I’ve been exploring weapons to deal with vehicles. So far My Kannons have been fantastic. I’ve just built 5 Smasha Guns as well. If they hit and roll higher than the target toughness it’s AP-4 and D6 damage. Notice I say “IF”.
            I don’t expect anything to ruthless where I’m at. (A list full of flyers.)

          • Zhan

            Haha normally we arent either here. But a buddy of mine was joining a tournament and wanted to try out lists and practice with them before going. i was one of the lucky practice targets 😐

          • happy_inquisitor

            The counter is a Beta-strike list. You deploy minimal cheap rubbish and all the quality in your army you keep off the table ready to Teleport/whatever.

            Let the flyers kill your cheap rubbish if they can see it – small units are easier to hide – it does not matter or change the game if they kill 10-20% of your army on turn 1.

  • marlowc

    40K can never be made into a serious tournament game. The models, therefore gun ranges, are too big for a 6″ x 4″ table.
    If you don’t believe me, just put a Flames of War Sherman next to a Leman Russ.

  • AEZ

    Ive been thinking that individual activation of units dependant on D6 + I (nitiative) would be thing that could work. Ofc points and I values would need to be balanced for that to work. Draws would be rolled off. To avoid To much OP ness for high I races a rolls of 1 should always fail (all of those going in a seperate group of 1 ignoring I value. If this gives too much rolling you could also do it with 2d6, lowering the influence of I somewhat too by the higher spread.

  • Greg Betchart

    1. You need to have more terrain

    2. Removal of “IGoYouGo” makes more sense than nerfing models for people have enough terrain to play the game

    3. Having a mandatory batallion, with the exception of IK”s or heretic Knights makes an easy fix as well.

  • kerouac50

    I haven’t gamed properly since 4th Edition, but the old ‘1 HQ, 2 Troops’ selection tree used to feel pretty balanced…

    • ZeeLobby

      I do miss it.

      • davepak

        that pretty much is battalion.

  • Raven Jax

    Some modifier might be needed. In Magic, the second player gets a slight bonus so going second isn’t an automatic loss. Maybe give the second player +1 armor save for the first round?

    • davepak

      Just needs alternative activation.

      • marlowc

        Alternating activation is certainly a good way to go, but you loose the feeling of commanding a whole army. Sweeping forward, coordinating heavy support with the assault troops and all that great stuff.
        AA is best for skirmish type games I think. It feels as though your units are doing their own thing most of the time, rather than acting as a team.

      • Parthis

        “Just needs a fundamentally different way of playing the game” isn’t a fix to a questionable problem.

  • trygon

    This problem is a part of how W40K is designed with the whole army going, then the other and back and forth until the game ends.

    I have done a test for most editions since 2nd Edition to play a game or two with a unit activation system. Alternating between the players to activate and act with one unit, then passing the initiative over to the other player to activate one unit etc.

    Some versions have been with HQ units being able to give orders (i.e. activate another unit as benefit for being HQ) as part of that activation. Just to add a tactical flavour to use HQ selections for more than a “wargear delivery system”….

    That system works really well. I haven’t played it in 8th ed yet, but I think it will work very well.

    • marlowc

      I’m sure it will work fine, games like Dust have been using AA for many years. But it really does change the whole feel of the game.
      40k is best left as a brilliant fun, not too serious game with the best minis in the world don’t you think?

      • zeno666

        Since Finecast they really can’t wear that title anymore.

        • marlowc

          Finecast was indeed a disaster wasn’t it. Thankfully, now dead and buried 🙂

          • zeno666

            Its not. They are still using it :

          • marlowc

            Are you sure? Can’t recall any of their recent releases being cast in anything other than trusty old polystyrene.

          • zeno666

            I am very sure.
            I don’t know about recent releases.
            But I have been forced to buy very substandard looking characters and aspect warriors recently when trying out the new edition.
            IIRC some anniversary space marine was produced in finecast. That was very ironic 😉

          • marlowc

            Well, I stand corrected. Thankfully, as a dyed in the wool greenskin, I’ve not had to touch any finecast models after my first horrendous experience with an Ork warboss a few years ago 🙂

          • Parthis

            They’re not developing new miniatures in Finecast.

            All new releases are plastic, and they are (slowly) replacing Finecast miniatures.

      • Mira Bella

        I say it sucks if you only win about 10% of your games if you are going Second. That does not Sound like “brillant Fun” to me mate.

      • Grasshopper

        Yeah, still play Dust sometimes for a more interactive experience. If you alternate, a game feels more dynamic imo.

        • CloakingDonkey

          the most dynamic is definitely Bolt Action imo. You should give that a go. The excitement of the bag is really something 😀

  • happy_inquisitor

    As you say – the game is a heap of fun for the large majority of games. It gets a bit binary at the top-end competitive level, this is not actually unfair or even random as you can and should list design to go first but it is zero fun for the mid-table player who has a semi-fluffy list they want to play hard with.

  • Christoffer Borchsenius

    How about the player who goes first have a -1 penalty for All shooting for the first turn?

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Captain Hindsight could have told you.

  • J Mad

    LOL, and im reading 20+ articles how Swarms are ruining the game and here you have the opposite problems and now i’m thinking 200+ swarms would solve this problem… oh man.

    • Carey_Mahoney

      Nailed it! LOL!

  • Crablezworth

    Even if you have an incredibly dense board with 100% big los blocking squares, it doesn’t matter, the amount of maneuvering required to simply draw 1% los and be in range is the problem. Without a wound pool, you have the absurdity that single model in range and los out of a unit of 30 is enough to kill the entire unit. You could still keep owning player pulls wounded, just limit the selection to the wound pool.

    • Carey_Mahoney

      Or just make only visible models eligible for wounding again…

      • benn grimm

        I’m sure this is what most sensible folks will end up house ruling.

      • Parthis

        No, that is genuinely the last thing I want. I’d sooner lose 8 guys and keep my special/heavies alive and shooting, than lose only my special/heavies because they needed LoS.

        • Carey_Mahoney

          Sure. Make that single exposed Termagaunt deny cover for the 29 obstructed buddies in his unit.
          No, thanks.

        • Carey_Mahoney

          To me that was one kinda important tactical dimension from last edition that is sadly rendered obsolete now, as it was a risk-reward situation that you had to mitigate by providing the enemy with tough target priority decisions.
          I, for one, am not quite happy with how drastically they leveled things like this in 8th ed.

      • That is something that I’ll consider in my events.

  • Parthis

    It’s odd, actually, I play a Deepstrike-heavy army and actually prefer to go second.

    The competitive meta will shift a hundred times over the next hundred weeks. I assume we’re over swarms and hordes now? Alpha-striking is the new boogeyman?

    • el_tigre

      Also vehicles are useless but flyers are just right, hence the Stormravens and Talons suddenly circling 8th like seagulls round a fish supper.

      • Commissar Molotov

        ^^^Apt analogy!

  • Spacefrisian

    I heard from a doctor to drop to 1500 points and implement a highlander setup. Less points less spam. And peeps should figure out new ways to deploy, iseen some 8th ed battles beside my own, and if that is how many deploy than no wonder so many complain about alpastrike.

  • MechBattler

    I know how the nerf that in competition, confused TOs.
    Bring back scatter! Players won’t be so gung-ho about alpha deepstrikes if they could potentially lose the units.

  • Amber Sbriglio

    O_O That… sounds really bad.

  • piglette

    Wouldn’t such an endemic, fundamental problem show up in playtesting? Didn’t they say this edition was playtested by tournament players?

  • Camden Poole

    I’m betting GW doesn’t care about competitive play and why should they, TOs will just make it work for them regardless of what they do. 40k got the Fantasy treatment, so everyone will have to start adapting for their own competitive play or GTFO.

  • Huntard

    vs 7th where if you went first your army became invincible due to getting it’s full psychic powerup or completely removing your opponent’s army from the board? I don’t think that a full takeaway can be had from less than two months.

  • Sbatragno Sbatragno

    we need terrain rules like 5th ed
    we need los rule like 7th ed
    this ediction it’s 3th ediction reprise.
    we need some better rule about cac but that foulback it’s stupid about a strategic game.
    we starting to rewrite a new ediction meltin 5th,6th,7th ed just to tournament play.

  • Keaton

    Limit detachments. Put rules on your own tournament. This is what nobody learned from 7th. With the amount of units in the game and complete army flexibility, balance is impossible. Tournament organizers need to put their own stamp on the game and reign it in in a way that’s appropriate for WAAC.

  • Calgar

    I haven’t had this problem at all. Maybe our gaming group just dont make dick lists, but I have never seen turn one alpha strikes doing serious damage.

  • Jared McWilliams

    Alpha strike doesn’t really exist.

    It depends on a meta being stagnant and having lots of similar armies, I lots of armies are expensive small units in vehicles. You can tailor your list so if you go first you would really hurt that kind of army, but would struggle to do anything meaningful against a horde army.

  • quaade

    For terrain., use a house rule untill proper LoS block can be gotten since gw terrain is swiz cheese.

    It’s possible to se into tall area terrain. It’s possible to see out. It’s however impossible to see trough.

    One can use what they have at it gives some important LoS blocking since it’s harder to get cover than in 7th and cover is incredibly binary.

  • Nico Young

    So what I’m reading is that people are playing a lot of alpha strike armies because its easy to do. Wow so your telling me 2 people both playing alpha strike armies that are glass canons and the person who goes first wins? People are seriously reading this and upset? How about i dont know build a durable army that can stop an alpha strike. I swear a large majority of 40k players have no idea how strategy works and just copy paste and complain about it. I played a lot back in second edition when i was in the Army and now 8th has got me back into it. I see so many people complaining about things they just dont understand and then are so slow to change. I love 40k hell i have 40k tattoos but i swear the people that play this game are the worst. From whati understand there are a lot of other games out that are easier to play and require a lot less brain power may i suggest you go play one of those.

    • Mira Bella

      Yes! 40k is the most demanding tabletop game of them all!
      Non of the other games out there require any Brain Power at all.
      Only the likes of Napoleon, Alexander the Great, Clausewitz and Mannstein can play this game to full extend because you need to be of Genius Level Intelligence! /s

      Seriously dude. 40k is such a Basic tabletop game with so few “tactics” involved that your comment makes me wonder if you are high on something.

      • Commissar Molotov

        He says has 40k tattoos and was in the Army. I think we’re talking to none other than Ursarkar E. Creed!

  • Horowitz Tal

    Infinity approach to terrain seems ok, like:
    Fill the table, almost no full, clear lines of fire, even if there are, no 100% good lanes from deployment, play more like city fight then open fields

  • When I said shooting would be king in 8th, people were laughing at me.

  • Adam Poultney

    I’d say either put out a free digital expansion (the ONLY expansion for 8th, please GW don’t do a 7th edition) with a new game type (like the already existing Open, Narritive and Matched) but with additional rules for the most competitive level of play, or release a new rulebook for only competitive play.

  • sethmo

    Guys the Us competative formats are the blame.

    ITC encourages fixed terrain, not using the deployment rules, and a +1 die roll instead of book turn selection.


    Alphas work because neither player has the disadvantages built into these phases when you change them.

  • Nick Parrett

    40k has always had a alpha strike problem. I think the meta will just evolve so that army’s will have to endure it. A lot of the games I have seen people have also just been kind of leaving their armies out in the breeze hoping to get first turn instead of hiding behind line of sight terrain. So much of the alpha strike problem can be mitigated with terrain. I feel like it might be a little early to call out the sky is falling after one meta has emerged.

    • Nyyppä

      The need for terrain is a lot bigger than in 7th. Just by looking at the games from the pre launch streams should have made this pretty obvious.

      • Crablezworth

        Ya its a shooting gallery without a lot of los blockers

  • Ronin

    As long as the system stays IGOUGO, you’ll always have an alpha strike problem. If it went alternate activation, this wouldn’t be as big of an issue.

  • Arron Robertson

    simple solution: cover benefits for models increases the more they are obscured, e.g. 50% of tank is covered = +1 to Armour, 75% = +2 and less than 10% = +3 Armour, makes bikers and tanks a little more survivable

    • Nyyppä

      No. The 50% rule is already annoying as hell. It’s not like there was any consistent way to measure that. Now it’s just eye balling which is not anywhere near as accurate as people like to think.

  • Defenestratus


    Oh weep me tears you sweet sweet competitive turds.

  • Björkmann Thomas

    Just do it like in Dust. Alternating unit activations and if one player has less units than he can pass until unit activation count is even. prevents alpha strike and stacking up on low cost units so one can save ones good units for chain activations after the opponent has activated all of their stuff.

  • Kailen Lee Mitchell

    Alternating unit activation is a superior form of play and just down right more fun. Ever since I started playing games with alternating unit activation my enjoyment of table tap gaming has sky rocketed. The only possibility of me going back to 40K would be this kind of overhaul to the rules.

  • UnpluggedBeta

    This is really depressing to read about.

  • Troy G

    Very interesting article.

  • Bootneck

    Its too earlier to worry about any of this at the moment. Cant speculate when all we have to go on is the Index books which are flavourless.

    I’ve played loads of tourny games where my opponent rocks up with Skyhammer or some variant of it, we’ve endured this before any they are always beatable but people seem to sh*t there knickers at the first whiff and love to whine about it.