40K: Post NOVA – State of the Meta

It’s time to look over the 40K meta now that the NOVA Open is over. Things have indeed changed.

I predicted Astra Militarum would win and they did taking both the Invitational and the GT… Total domination. Not only did I call it but I predicted the general army list as well. What works for this army is conscripts, artillery, psykers (cheap Smites), commissars, snipers, deep striking plasma command squads and Creed. On top of all that there are points left over to sprinkle in some Saint Celestine goodness. What makes conscripts so good is special orders, objective secured and they are dirt cheap. Right now the meta is dominated by horde or as I say the blob…

Like this – but made of conscripts – and no Steve McQueen.

If you look at the NOVA winning army list there are no broken Forge World units (Malefic Lords for example) … it’s actually a fluffy army too which is kind of like making out with your sister if you stop to think about it and here’s the real kicker – Astra Militarum (AM) gets their new codex this month so expect to see some sweet stratagems and totally kick arse new war gear (relics) on top of everything else they get. So they can either get even better or GW can pull in the proverbial reins. It’s a tough call to say what exactly is going to happen. If they are even better that’s a real kick in the pants to everyone that doesn’t want to jump on the band wagon.

Now let’s take a step back and ask the question is AM really the best army ? I will tell you no it’s not but I’m a rebel… always have been and always will be. When I say this I mean no disrespect to all the other players at NOVA that did not bring AM but let’s be honest – they just couldn’t make it happen. Now that tells me they must be overlooking something because surely there must exist an army list that can beat AM hands down and all the other try-hard army lists out there.

I am partial to elite armies but right now the blob has all the major advantages and the big +1 makes that even more of a sure thing. You can say I’m wrong but the player to face off against AM in the NOVA Invitational final for all the marbles immediately conceded when he lost the right to go first… shortest game in the history of any major final… it is what it is and there’s no denying that either.

I like to analyze the game of Warhammer 40k and I like to develop anti meta lists… it’s what I do. You can throw in your hat and just say F IT or you can go to work. Practice makes perfect (eventually) if you don’t give up. So in conclusion I say again as a follow up to my last article on this subject if you’re really serious about the game don’t give up. It can be done when the right person comes along and maybe that’s you.

~How will you fight the Astra Militarum blob?

  • wong40k

    No new shiny primaris marine army taking any of the top spot? /sarcasm

    • Steven Hyche

      Your point?

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    • dave long island

      Just dry brush the heck out of em, and leave em at that. Then they’re not shiny… lol

    • stinkoman

      i found any primaris marines i take to be quite worthless. im not about to go buy a new shiny tank to transport a bunch of bolters around.

      • Holger Wurst

        Really? I use 5 hellblasters and 5 intercessors as well as a gravis captain as base config for any list I build. They always performed great in any game I played so far. They don’t replace my Tacticals and Vets but complement them really well.

        • SM just don’t cut it in the tournament scene currently is more the point, I think

  • inailo

    I play Death Guard, so I’d drop a blob of conscripts with a Plague Wind and follow up with some good ol’ fashioned bolters and blight launchers, maybe a plagueburst crawler if I have the points free, otherwise I’d rely on my Foetid Bloatdrone spam to knock a ton of them out. Nothing quite like closing the gap with an advance and then using the plague spitters, wounding on 2+ and re-rolling 1’s is pretty awesome.

    • Steven Hyche

      Thats very wishful theory crafting with no realistic outlook

      • dave long island

        So, we’ll just pencil you in as being skeptical of his tactics, for now… lol

        • ZeeLobby

          Lol.

    • LankTank

      Pffft I would just roll a 7 on all my D6 all the time (exluding morale) and would win. EASY

    • Prisoner 42

      Shouldn’t you wait for the codex to come out before winning NOVA.

    • Nyyppä

      Drop a blob of conscripts with the Plague Wind? How? Is the deathrate something like 99%?

      • YetAnotherFacelessMan

        It gets stronger as a psychic power the more targets you have. You roll a d6 for every model in the unit and any 6s are a mortal wound, so it’s pretty much designed for targeting those 20+ model units.

        I don’t think he was saying that it’d wipe the entire blob in one spell, but he is describing all the right tools for the job.

        • Nyyppä

          You have 40 of them. That’s 6-7 dead. Not anywhere near the numbers needed.

          • ZeeLobby

            And isn’t it usually 3/4 squads of 40.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            3-4, your fractions strike again! Messes with my maths sir!

          • ZeeLobby

            XD. I agree, 30 out of 40, not so bad :P. I can’t help it, just short hand where I work, lol.

          • euansmith

            Is that in a corner shop in the 1960s when items used to cost three shillings and four pence (3/4)? 😉

          • ZeeLobby

            :O How did you know?!?!

          • YetAnotherFacelessMan

            It should be 1/6 of the numbers needed. It’s a good first step. I’d be concerned if there was a weapon that could reliably do 40 wounds in one shot!

          • Nyyppä

            It’s a question of resources. How many points do you need to kill the speed bump fast enough to reach the actual target and do you have enough resources to kill the actual target after that. Conscripts say “no”.

          • YetAnotherFacelessMan

            They’re always unstoppable and omnipresent in the theater of the mind, but I fight a conscript blob near-weekly. One of my friends has been playing them since 5th edition, lovingly crafting them with kitbashed parts to give each one personality…

            I know conscripts, man. They die. Yes, there are a lot of them. Yes, if you roll a 5 or 6 to hit, they’re just as good as a guardsman. And yes, they cost a little less than a basic guardsman… but you can’t let them intimidate you like this.

            They’re just conscripts. 40 of them shooting in rapidfire range will pull down one to two marines on average, less if you have cover, disgustingly resilient, or other defense boosting abilities. If they’re not a threat, then ignore them until you find (or even better, create) a moment to kill the commissar. Alternatively, forget the commissar and just murder them. They die like guardsmen.

            In fact, if you’re playing a guard player and you can’t kill 40 breathing bodies, you’re already setting yourself up for a bad time. Imagine if, instead of buying 40 conscripts and a babysitter, your opponent bought 3 different squads of 10-man infantry squads with a heavy bolter in each. Now, for the same amount of points, he’s tripled his average number of marines killed, he can cover more objectives at once, and he has a longer maximum range.

            But it’s never one unit of conscripts people are worried about, it’s 3 blobs of 40. Or 7. Or 10! How can I possibly fight an opponent with 408 infantry models in a 1500 point game?!

            You can’t. You won’t ever have to either. Even if someone buys, paints, and deploys 400 conscripts opposite you, no one will ever point a gun to your head and tell you play against them.

            Of course, you COULD field 200 poxwalkers supported by 4 chaos lords. That’s basically just as good as 400 conscripts supported by 4 commissar lords and 4 regular commissars. Might even be an interesting game, if you extend the game length to allow for the meat to grind.

          • Nyyppä

            2 things:

            1) You actually did not counter any of my points. The fact remains that conscripts are just way too cheap for what they do which lets the guard player bring a disproportionate number of other way too cheap stuff and that combination is the problem. Making AM more expensive and making commissars not work with conscripts would solve it.

            2) “Don’t play” is not a solution for a problem in the game.

            Otherwise nice rant though.

          • Nightwalker

            Vulture with twin funisher cannons comes pretty close for only 180 pts

          • Koonitz

            No, no, no. The Funture is full. You get the humdrumture.

            FIRE THE FUNISHER CANNONS!

            This just got serious, load up the party cannon!

          • odeepie

            anytime a winning army gets posted theres always a jabroni talking about how his list could crush it. i just ignore them mostly

          • Nyyppä

            You are a wiser man than I.

          • odeepie

            Haha these people who run their mouths go to their Local store with an internet build and beat 15 year old kids. Then they go a grand tourny playing against adults and come in 30th out of 30. All thes “hellblaster intercessor” bs talk about how well they do smh against what? Other space marines. At the moment, unless you get an extremely unlucky AM player, its the unbeatable list. PRoving once again GW cannot fix their game no matter how many times they “rewrite” the rules or books.

          • Nyyppä

            I think that it’s about them not wanting to, not being unable to fix the game. The testing process has to be put out there. They can do monthly changes to tweak it and then, after a year or so they can release the rules officially.

    • odeepie

      im sure nobody who went to the tourny thoguht of this

  • Valeli

    I don’t like people getting salty over a fluffy IG list winning. I just hope that GW can balance things so that all lists have a (more or less) equal shot at winning with a (well made) fluffy list.

    That NOVA list was one I’d have fun playing against.

    Yeah. Elite armies seem to be at a bit of a disadvantage so far. But every edition has favored one mechanic over another a little bit. When you let everything wound, cheap troops get that much better.

    I honestly don’t think there’s anything /that/ broken in the IG list though…. maybe conscripts with commisars are a bit much.

    Any real thought given to this matter before the (very soon to be released) next IG book is wasted time anyways, though. Don’t complain about the “meta” when a new book is coming out for the list in a month or two. Who knows what it will actually look like in short order. Complain then, if you still want to.

    • LankTank

      IN all honesty it was what, 2 weeks ago everyone was up in arms about an elite (and completely unfluffy nob-end) list with Robo Girlyman and his Motley crew of assassidouchebags. At least the AM list is a blob of useless and sacrificial pleps with important characters sprinkled throughout. The only problem is the mass psykers

    • ZeeLobby

      I mean it’s super sweet to have a fluffy winning list, but it’s built around an abusive mechanic, and faced a sea of unflluffy lists that are still top dawg. It’s be nice if all fluffy lists we’re viable and didn’t require OP mechanics. Especially such a negative experience mechanic as this.

  • Asmodai

    ” I will tell you no it’s not but I’m a rebel… always have been and always will be. ” Never really believe anyone when they say this That’s the point where I tuned out.

    • Pete Croucher

      Right? Such edge, so cool!

    • Goody

    • euansmith

      “I’m Negan. I’m utterly, completely, stone-cold Negan. I was Negan before I even met you, I just needed to meet you properly to know. I’m Negan.” Eugene Porter, The Walking Dead.

  • Antoine Henry

    Game design of this 40K game is totally messed up, they did not test it but transposed and thought that AoS would work on 40K. It is not working, having invulnerable saves worse than “Death Guards disgustingly resilient” is just bad mechanics or name. The fact that having first turn with less “units” was a design they are actually trying to change is wrong as a lot of the game mechanics were around this “finish deploying first starts”. Also, the game is not good for large amout of HP units, a Super-heavy like a Baneblade…It takes less than a round to kill and has no impact on the game. WK and IK are just useless as are all vehicules without invulnerable saves. Its just to easy to kill them with the actual powercreep. So whats left ? Big blobs armies with cheap units that can take nice weapons and characters with less than 10 HP.

    • LankTank

      Better than 7th… And so much more fun to play casually than any recent edition. Tournament wise it needs tweaks but which edition didn’t?

      • Antoine Henry

        “Argument” Better than 7th is the worse one. 7th is the past, it had good things and bad things and its not the subject. Sometimes I wonder if “Casually” must mean that “its okay if its mediocre if we have fun for a few times”.

        • Nyyppä

          Well, it’s an improvement so there’s that. It’s good to appreciate the fact that we had crap and now we have something less crappy. I’d be just fine with the current edition if he fly-keyword was not as broken as it is and I’d have gotten something to use with my CSM legion. Those are my reasons why I’m not playing currently. Other than that I can accept everything….you know….because I really do not give a crap about competitive gaming and the casuals can adjust their cheese to make it fun for both parties.

          And no, “casual” does not mean “mediocre is fine”. It does mean “minor things can be fixed by players themselves” though. Minor things being like comissars giving rerolls to morale instead of immunity to it.

          • Mira Bella

            They sucked pretty much all tactical aspects out of the game!

          • Nyyppä

            You mean deathstars and such? Because those are the “tactical aspects” they sucked out of the game. Templates were not tactical aspects, they were just a bad game mechanic that slowed the game down.

            Oh, sorry, they took summoning out of the matched play too for all intents and purposes.

          • Mira Bella

            No im not talking about deathstars or summoning at all.
            Im talking about positioning.
            Shooting at the rear of vehicles, having actuall fire arcs. Stuff like that you know.

          • Nyyppä

            Flyers are the only units that are weird now because of the reasons you listed.

          • marxlives

            The fact that even in casual play you have to adjust for cheese just to have fun does not speak well for 40ks game design. Any other game on the market X-Wing, Infinity, Malifaux, Warmachine, CMoN Dark Age, even Mantic stuff like Deadzone (and I am willing to bet The Otherside and Star Wars Legions is going to be the same) the idea of a comp to make a game you actually pay money for function is a completely alien idea. The only reason I know it exists is because I was a 40k player.

          • Nyyppä

            True. Then again in the last 2 edition sthere were codices that simply could not play against some other codices no matter how much adjustment was used so 8th is better in that regard too. To be fair the comps needed in 40k are very small.

        • markdawg

          “Casually” means please don’t tell me the truth about the game I spent tons of money on because it makes me feel luck a sucker!

          • grim_dork

            Luck a sucker? Don’t you mean lick a sticker?

          • euansmith

            Lurk a stalker?

          • Muninwing

            or “casually” means i got bored of trying to play mechanic-exploiting lists when i stopped playing M:tG, so now i’d rather make a fluffy and balanced TAC list and not care so much about people who want their lists to win the game for them…

          • You can lead a tourney player to casual gameplay but you can’t make him have fun

      • Can’t really agree there, 7th as a casual game was a lot more fun than 8th, 8th has room to catch up, but it’s got a long ways to go. As a tournament game both 7th and 8th are not good games imho

    • Nyyppä

      Actually they did test it. The testers were just not good enough and had too little time to do the testing. They tried many things, never trying to break the game.

      So, tested it is, just in a wrong way.

      • Marco Marantz

        GW also didnt give everything to the testers to actually test; ie vanguard, spearhead and 3x flyer detachments were added after the event.

        • Nyyppä

          Yeah, but those really, really are not a problem. Again it all comes down to the points. Conscripts would be fine if the AM would be more expensive across the board.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            I disagree but it’s more that we would then have a non elite army paying for elite status. The fix for conscripts is as it was, platoons. If you could only get a unit of conscripts if you had to first buy a command unit and at least one/two infantry unit then the real cost would

            be changed but in a way to lower abuse. No one complained about my fielding 2 to three conscript units before now as I wasn’t able to field them as my main troops choice.

          • Nyyppä

            You may disagree all you want but the real problem is that everything is too cheap for what it does. Conscripts are 75% of what cultists cost and they are at least double the cultists worth thanks to being effectively fearless. It’s ok if other things are expensive. It’s ok if cultists are expensive. It’s not ok if, like now, everything is super cheap.

          • Antoine Henry

            We knew that conscripts and cheap blobs were the things even before 8th was released. We have seen that coming with the leaks. Remove fearless on Conscripts or have the Comissar kills 2D3 conscripts and make them test their CD to accept orders like before…

          • Spacefrisian

            Or just make the commisar thing not work on units of 11 or more models. And make orders nonfunctional as well, they are untrained conscripted soldiers according to lore make them act like it by having less benefits for them.

          • On some level this is a symptom of them half assing the index rules. What’s irritating is them not printing a bunch of crucial units that “don’t have models” in the codex, thus ensuring some level of support for the index books in perpetuity

          • Fredddy

            Being a fearless mass is what conscripts do since they were released in 4th ed. They are even worse now than in the 7th ed codex. The problem, if it is even a problem, is that now everyone and their mother can take as many of them as they want. There are two solutions: raising the points value would punish the fluffy IG players too. Reintroducing the platoon structure would punish only the cherry picking armies. Which one is better for the spirit of game?

          • Nyyppä

            True. I’m not against that. I’m against them being fearless and as cheap or cheaper than the rest of the units with similar role and out of which none are fearless.

            I really do not care as long as it’s solved. Generally points are a better solution.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Seeing a return of platoons would be great! I agree on ending cherry picking Imperium armies losing an easy pick with conscripts.

          • Here’s hoping they unfux it when the guard codex comes out

          • Nyyppä

            The chances are slim but people win lotteries too so….

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Did you even read how I would fix the issue? It’s not that they are too cheap, it’s that they can be easily spammed as a troop choice. Scatbikes were far too cheap and powerful and as such were spammed. Now we have a control for them and they are fine from what I’ve seen. If were return platoons to the IG and make conscripts only unlockable after buying regular troops the problem would go away.

          • Nyyppä

            I did. Your way just does not fix the issue. The issue is that they are cheap and fearless. Forcing people to get couple of infantry squads to access conscripts does not make them more expensive or susceptible to moral phase losses.

          • Holger Wurst

            Exactly this! One Conscript unit per Infantry Platoon as well as no orders and commissars working on them (they’re not trained enough to function as well as regular trained soldiers). Would solve every problem with them AND make the armies even more fluffy.

          • Fredddy

            Bad discipline of poorly trained soldiers is exactly why there are commissars in the Imperial Guard. And the commissar does not stop them because of they are drilled to stop- the commissar stops them because he is scary and they are cowards. This does not make them an elite unit- their statistics are still poor even in IG standards.

          • Holger Wurst

            No. The cowards would know: he can’t shoot all at once and I’ll die anyway by enemy shooting. Just hide behind another coward while running away. Or he could shoot the commissar from the mass of anonymous cowards. The bigger the blob the less fear one single pistol slinger can induce. Panicking hordes don’t care if there is a lonely sucker saying “stop or I’ll shoot”. They run him over.

          • Fredddy

            The commissar is not there to stop the panic (you can not stop it, thats right)- he is there to avoid it. Shooting the officers were a rare occurence in ruthlessly disciplined armies in the history- it usually happens when the rebels feel the central power fade. Attacking against the commissar is just not the way how people under hard regime think.

          • Muninwing

            i think orders should be rolled for on their leadership, never using anything higher, and it mirrors the lack of discipline that can sometimes bring itself together in panic or crisis

          • Holger Wurst

            Also a good idea

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            Orders maybe but I disagree on Commissars. That is the point of a Commissar, to keep the rabble in line. Now I would make the morale shooting a sliding rule. The larger the unit the more models he shoots. That way you get the bonus but it’s a solid hit you take.

          • euansmith

            Can Conscripts secure objectives? I think maybe they shouldn’t to reflect their lack of training and fighting spirit.

          • Dennis J. Pechavar

            I could get behind that.

          • Exactly. Stripping guard of one of their core mechanics while also opening up one of the most efficient units in the game to spamming…what were they thinking

      • Antoine Henry

        Not enough time ? They stated they tested for 2 and Half year….

        • ZeeLobby

          It was a farse. A way to put known names on the product with the reassurance that it’d be a better edition. I’m sure they brought each one in for a weekend, said “have fun!”, and that was about it.

        • Nyyppä

          And they did not have enough time, for them. We could have done it and there are people who are better at that than either of us, but they did not hire people to break the game like they should have. They hired them to see if the rules work which alone is not enough to make a game well balanced.

          • ZeeLobby

            I still think 6 months of beta would have been cool. A lot of people stopped buying when they found out 8th was coming anyway.

          • euansmith

            That would have been a neat idea and a good way to bridge the inevitable gap they get when announcing a new Edition. Plus it would have given a sense of community ownership.

          • Muninwing

            i think that having someone set up official GW clubs with membership cards and access to certain materials would actually be a better start… then doing playtesting through official clubs.

            do three tiers:
            – a school/neighborhood tier that is free and gives some basic access to stuff…
            – a store club that has a sponsoring location, costs a nominal amount to register, has to have at least a certain number of members, and gets access to listbuilder materials, deals, communal books (pdf), and
            – a regional club that has to have 30+ members and agree to run at least one tournament a year (for a higher registration fee), but members get free stuff

            playtesting could be done with reliable groups on any of the tiers.

            testing out a single formation or unit could go to any of them. testing out entire armylists or breakability might go only to the third tier.

      • markdawg

        First off how do you know this? GW may not have listed to the feedback given by play testers has it uncured to you man?

        • Nyyppä

          Because they explicitly told us so just before the release….

    • J Mad

      I dont agree, im having the most fun in 40k ive ever had.

  • Wampasaurus

    I think what would help is if, in the Chapter Approved book coming out, Games Workshop establish a “Tournament Detachment” as the standard. It would potentially help alleviate what is going on. It won’t get rid of it as certain armies will still have great lists they can build within the confines of whatever a Tournament Detachment might include, but maybe those blob lists and 15 Assassin lists can get tamed down.
    I know the nay-sayers will complain of “vanilla-izing” the game (whatever that means) by creating such a thing. Will there be some winners and losers? Could be. I wouldnt’t know until I tried out whatever they come up with.
    As to what a Tournament Detachment would consist of? No idea. Leave the guys at GW to figure that out

    • Nyyppä

      Restricting detachments does not hurt AM. They can make almost the same lists with just a single detachment and most other factions would suffer. What needs to go is the comissars bringing pseudo fearless. That is the key. You can’t touch the back field if you can’t kill the blobs and the blobs will not die as long as the morale phase casualties are 1 per unit at most.

    • Bigalmoney666

      I agree with the tournament detachment idea, but the problem is that the conscripts/mortar list is actually a pretty vanilla force org.

  • Nathan king

    Game is horribly unbalanced. Elite armies don’t stand a chance currently unless they are willing to spam assassins, flyers or some other unbalanced or undercosted unit. Plus guilliman.

    • David

      Elite armies had the advantage in 7th. Sure it’s a change but not any more of an imbalance

      • Nathan king

        Not sure what your point is. The fact it was unbalanced the other way in 7th is irrelevant. It just makes it worse that they couldn’t balance it this time either…

        • David

          Point is I didn’t see ranting against elite lists in 7th. Because people had adapted.

          The edition has changed, what is good has changed.

          The solution is too adapt to it not whine that your strategy from last edition isn’t strong anymore.

          • Nathan king

            I have only just rejoined the hobby with 8th edition after giving up shortly before 3rd edition. So I didn’t have a 7th edition strategy to whine about, but nice try.

            The fact that people adapt, does not itself make the game balanced. Furthermore, just because you didn’t see it happening doesn’t mean it wasn’t happening. A cursory google search will show that this existed in abundance in 7th edition.

            The fact remains that after 8 tries, GW seems incapable of balancing a seesaw let alone something as complex as 40k….

          • David

            If people can adapt there is balance but not all strategies work

          • Nathan king

            Not sure that actually follows.

            An ability to adapt does not necessarily equal balance, regardless of how many time you say it.

          • Muninwing

            no.

            if people can adapt, it means they want to play.

            people adapted to the 5th ed GK lists. didn;t mean that all the low points options that made them so powerful were suddenly magically ok.

            many kinds of armies had little they could do against them. they didn’t suddenly get better.

          • Drpx

            Lol what? Everybody complained that elites were better than hordes in 7th. Or did all the Tyranid and Ork players quit in your area before you started?

          • Mira Bella

            What a stupid comment.
            Do you think before you type?

      • ZeeLobby

        I mean if it’s an equal imbalance as 7th, that’s pretty bad.

    • markdawg

      The reason things are this unbalanced is IGOUGO!

      • David

        So cover rules working well?
        So Characters being area bubbles and hard to shoot isn’t unbalanced?
        So no individual Unit balance issues?
        So summoning is an option?
        Allies doesn’t favour imperium?
        The guns to deal with hoards do their job see where removing templates gets us?
        I win consistently with AM I rarely get soo first Igougo is only a problem for elite tableware lists used by weak players

        • Muninwing

          one of the better strategies you can use with a low-count small-footprint elite army is actually deploying entirely behind sight-blockers, and taking second turn if you can.

          they waste an entire turn of shooting, and it’s almost like you got first turn anyway, except that you’ll get an extra one at the end.

      • Muninwing

        introducing an off-topic pet issue… not relevant.

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        Nobody cares enough to implement your radical gameplay change.

    • euansmith

      I want to make a new mini now for Inq28 who will be a terrible stick in the mud, a rule-bound blow-hard resistant to all change, called Igougo the Recalcitrant, “Why do we always do things this way? Because we have always done things this way!”

      • Nathan king

        Having always done something in some way does not make it good.

        We used to use initiative but that was dropped. Igougo could feasibly go the same way…

        • euansmith

          Indeed. I was hoping they were either going to go for something like alternating activation, or even just lifting the movement sequence from the Lord of the Rings Games.

          • Nathan king

            I’ve played other tabletop games that effectively let both teams shoot at once, the casualties are then tallied and removed simultaneously so no one loses any firepower while they stand there and take the hits.

            I just don’t see how this still exists after 8 editions when there are numerous other options out there that would solve the alpha strike/ first turn advantage.

            I mean, if players feel the game is decided on who gets first turn, maybe there’s something to that. Its not the first time ive heard 40k summed up this way andI know I’ve felt that way since shortly after 8th dropped, though admittedly my army is codex less at the moment so already playing at a disadvantage…

  • Fergie0044

    “immediately conceded when he lost the right to go first… ”

    Is no one else thinking this is a massive red flag for the state of tournament scene right now??? I mean I’m a filthy casual player, but that still alarms me.

    • Nyyppä

      Why waste the time when the results are predefined? And yes, it’s a giant red flag.

    • Pete Croucher

      This behaviour happens in every tournament for every game system. The only red flag it raises is that tournaments bring out a higher percentage of arseholes.

    • David

      If a list has to go first it’s a bad list

      • ZeeLobby

        There hasn’t been a TAC list in years. There is no “good list” right now. It’s a bunch of mashups and hoping you play the right opponents. In some matchups going second is a highly probable loss. While I would never do it, I could understand why some would avoid the negative play experience.

        • David

          You can still make the most of it and try your hardest the dice are still a big factor and it’s unsporting to only play your opponent if you have the advantage of going first.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Yeah especially if you are playing for points in some formats. If you concede it is total point loss, which may drive your ranking far lower then taking the beating on the nose.

          • ZeeLobby

            Because, and I know this may seem shocking for some, most people go to tournaments to have fun, and play challenging games. While some people like squeeking an extra point or two out of a totally negative play experience, most could care less.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Or conversely, they play to have fun and not play because they feel it isn’t necessary which I see bad sportsmanship. Win or lose you can, on principal, have a good time. I would try to find away around it and test my mettle against it. Yeah sure, id probably lose, but I have a feeling I can do better than just refuse to play if I didn’t get to go first. That sounds like a child having a tantrum.

          • ZeeLobby

            But the negative play experience is the hard part. 6th and 7th had those, and many, even tournament goers, had hoped they’d be gone in 8th, but alas. There’s just no fun to be had when you know the entire game is going to be you stuck in a mass of slow-to-kill mobs, and striking them back is just futile.

          • Holger Wurst

            Why is it unsporting to save oneself from a negative experience that in the end could also ruin the fun for the opponent? Dice in the winning list are by far less a factor with spam and multiple auras than in elite lists. Good players know when they stand a chance against a tough opponent. I understand the guy conceding. The only thing to get from playing against a list like this is frustration: Cannot force morale losses (commissars), don’t have saves (smite), cannot hide (mortars) AND getting a nearly unkillable character right in your face turn 1 without a chance to prevent it (celestine). Does this sound like any fun? Not to me. I’d take a shot if I went first – even though I knew that even that wouldn’t suffice (I play UM without Guilliman).
            Same goes for the Ass-ass-ins-list.

          • BaronSnakPak

            I played in a tournament a few weeks ago where I was effectively tabled by turn 2 in three out of the four games I played, because I didn’t win the turn 1 roll.

            It’s really, REALLY, not fun going through a whole 10-15 minute setup process only to take 60+% of your army off the board before you had a chance to do anything with it. It’s even more insulting when it’s 150 point units deleting your 300/400 point units.

            I left the tournament at the end thinking “Why did I spend money to play in this, AND waste my entire day?”

    • Nathan king

      Agreed. First turn advantage is massive. Igougo just compounds the problem.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      One of the things that put me off of tournies was being told that I was “slow playing” a guy. My army was about 200 IG(this was several editions ago) and took time to move. He had a very small elite GK list. Even recently when I brought this up I was asked why I would bring that type of army to a tournie. I want a fun and competitive game not just whatever netlist is the best right now. Sadly people like that made the tournie scene not fun for me. Looks like not much has changed.

      • BaronSnakPak

        Logistically speaking, you are taking the majority of the play time if you have 200 minis in an army. Not only does movement take longer, but so does shooting (needing multiple batches of rolls) and wounding. The longer you take to play, the less time your opponent has to act/react, which gives you an advantage when the rounds are timed.

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          I get what you’re saying but when a tournie turns into who can cram the most netlist power crap and play it well everyone else suffers. I play pretty quickly but seeing the superfriends, riptide and scatbike lists that told me that playing my IG was screwing them over… I start to lose compassion. If someone did this as a tactic as you put rather well, then yeah it’s a jerk move.

          • BaronSnakPak

            My team played against an IG team at Adepticon last year, and they took around an hour and a half for their first turn. We then got our first turn in, which took about 15-20 minutes. Their second turn ended up taking nearly the rest of the time limit for that round.

            It was a pretty terrible experience, especially when you drive over 4 hours to go to an event like that.

    • Drpx

      I could care less about tournaments at this point, but first turn being a huge advantage is true for casual also just by the way things work now.

    • Lebowski1111111111

      the guy should be banned from further invitational style games. He prolly did have a small chance to win, but ive played hundreds of games of warhammer in 20 years in the hobby, ive seen it all including improbable victories. What a complete disgrace to the game, the very definition of WAAC.

  • Nyyppä

    Take the fearless out of them and they begin to crumble. If GW decides to not do that then they have sealed the fate of the game for an edition’s worth of codices. It’s that simple.

  • Christie Bryden

    its still in the early stages and I belive GW will have noticed, if you look at some of the psychic powers of death guard we see attempts to rectify this, though we sadly will have to live with it till there codex drops and teh strategy gets destroyed.

    • Nyyppä

      Them noticing and them caring are totally different pieces of the pie. When WB focus came the community FB was pretty much unanimous about it being crap and not doing the thing it should be doing. The same song has been seen in every podcast and such with maybe 3 exceptions out of which every single one was not looking at it in the correct context. So, it’s a commonly known fact that the rule is not doing anything at all, far less the thing it’s supposed to be doing which is allowing large units to be fielded.

      Has GW done anything about it? No. It’s not like they’d not have had time to fix it. There have been 2 FAQs for CSM since the codex came out and nothing suggests that they’d be willing to address the issue.

      Based on this evidence there is literally no rational reason to think that they would be adjusting the glaring problems in the game…any of them.

  • Marco Marantz

    You called it? Sorry but the strength of AM/IG was evident when the index came out….and the list is fairly old too. Its an exploitative list; conscripts should not receive the benefits that Guardsmen receive. I expect this to be redressed.

    • Ironheaded Painting

      I’m still alittle shocked that Conscripts can get Orders.

      • Muninwing

        boneheaded lack of foresight… it slips through sometimes.

        the real test is if GW will bother to fix it.

  • Grudir

    Malefic lord were, and still are, over hyped. They’re more valuable for the recurring “Forgeworld is overpowered” argument that lets people ignore balance issues in the main books.

    The issue here is that AM and R&H are fundamentally different armies. R&H can’t field mobs the same size as Conscripts for the same price . Even Mutant Rabble cost more model for model than conscripts. Renegades don’t get orders. The Renegade Enforcer removes D3 models and has half the range of the Commissar’s similar ability. The Primaris psyker, while costing more, has better bubble wrap and bubble wrap that will stay on the table longer.

    That critical difference in mob quality makes the point difference between Primaris Psykers and Malefic Lord essentially meaningless. Warp Possession for Malefic Lords becomes essentially meaningless against the above list.

  • Rob Stokes

    I recently played a tank heavy AM force, with what would once have been called a Khorne Daemonkin force, in a tournament setting. I used a Greater Deamon on the right flank, Rhinos with my Chaos Marines in up the centre, then summoned a 20+ unit of Bloodletters in on the left to deal with his 50 man blob. Fast moving Hounds dealt with infiltrating Ratlings and Smite. The game eventually went his way, but not until I had chewed my way through a quarter of his armour and almost all of his infantry. IT IS possible to beat these lists, if the dice gods are on your side.

  • Heinz Fiction

    It was pretty obvious from the beginning of this edition that hordes will be insanely strong as the only real counter to bringing lots of bodies is to bring even more bodies (as long as they are immune to morale which they usually are). And AM in particular does not only have the some of the most efficient infantry units with tons of cheap heavy weapons but also the imperium keyword.

  • Astrath_The_Unamused

    Are other Horde armies being complained about or doing as well as AM? From what I see it’s Daemons and Militarum that made it through the early rounds. Orks and Nids got shut out by round two quite convincingly. Also I see alot of people saying ‘gate horde squads behind mandatory purchases’ but how valid is gating them with other units going to be because surely that mitigates the ‘extra unit tax’ anyway?

    I also believe that Independent Character rules are partially forcing this horde spam because currently IC’s almost universally provide some kind of buff whilst also actively influencing the tabletop due to the targeting rules. What are the thoughts on making a sort of IC and Solo Model split? – where IC’s can attach back into units, and Solo’s have the current protections?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      I think the easiest solution to the Character Spam problem would be a variant of the 4th-ed Shoot the Big Ones rule, wherein rather than being forced to shoot the closest non-character unit if a mix of character and non-character units are within 12″, you may choose to shoot the biggest, closest, easiest to hit unit within range, i.e.: not the unit with minuses to being hit or forced Snap-Shots. This leaves you options and mitigates low-interaction lists. Personally, I like that you have to choose whether to lead from the front or leave your characters in supporting positions rather than them getting a raft of extra protections just because they stay in coherency with another unit.

  • Doug Crawford

    So a guard army with no actual guardsmen, yeah that’s a really fluffy army.

    • ZeeLobby

      I never really got the fluff defense this list gets either. I mean with no guardsmen it’s clearly mechanic abuse like every other. Even from the books I’ve read about IG, other inclusions seem odd as well.

      • Its that the abuse is coming from a troop choice.

        • ZeeLobby

          You mean like Eldar Jetbikes XD.

          • Yep. Exactly.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I dunno. To me fluffy would mean highlander. Highlander lists are always what GW promoted in their “army” sections, and they’re the coolest modeled/painted armies to see on the table. Imagine if match play had a 0-1 limit on each unit. Games could actually be pretty fun again imo.

          • For my campaign, you don’t get Command Points from org charts. You get them from following troop choices and not spamming 😉 so yeah Highlander to me is ideal. Though a lot of people really really hate it.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, well it goes against the mentality beat into competitive player’s heads since birth. That said, my favorite tournament i’ve been to, Da Boyz GT in NY, has recently run as pure highlander, and while yes, some armies in 7th (ahem, Eldar) did still end up at the top, the majority of games were actually enjoyable.

          • Yeah its a math thing. If unit X has a power coefficient of 96 out of 100 and its the top power coefficient in my toolbox I want to take as many of them that I can get my hands on, and highlander stops that.

          • Admiral Raptor

            I wish I lived in your neck of the woods. Your campaigns for AoS and 40k always sound like exactly my style of gaming. I hope you guys have a blast 🙂

          • Appreciate it. I am still working on the 2nd editions of my planetary crusade and Azyr Empires (40k and AOS respectively) that will use some of this so we’ll see how the playgroup reacts.

            I’d like to start a narrative event that runs over a weekend that is NOT a tournament… I just haven’t figured out how to make that happen and not lose a ton of money hosting it and getting low turnout.

          • BaronSnakPak

            That’s my biggest problem with 8, at least in my area: the death of highlander lists.

            The detachment structure has turned everyone into TFG as far as list building goes.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    The system is still new. Gamers (casual and competitive) are still exploring thing; learning what works/what doesn’t and learning how to combat/mitigate tactics. The so called “mete” seems to be changing on a weekly basis at the moment; next week it will be panic it will ‘x’ is broken when the Deathguard Codex lands. With 10 codex being released in just 20 weeks this is going to a turbulent ride. Heck, it won’t surprise if in the new year the pace of codex release is almost just as fast. People need to give 8th time to breath and settle.

  • GW lacks the ability or lacks the desire to produce a balanced game.

    And then when you want to try to run a campaign and ask the powergamers to keep the powergaming out, you have to deal with the backlash and write rules that keep it out yourself, which ends up a homebrew system that everyone hates because its not official.

    I’d say at this juncture though unless you’re new to GW, you, we, all of us, get what we deserve lol. I’ve been saying the same thing for over twenty years now and that makes me just as bad.

    Now who wants to say that winning the NOVA with this list is an indicator of player skill? Or are we going to go ahead and concede that player skill had little part in this and that it was mostly showing up with a list cranked to 11?

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      Player skill (in game) has very little to do with with warhammer, but people stubbornly refuse to accept it.

      • I fully agree.

      • David

        And yet I can consistently beat my local player Base with my four different armies and only middle place in tournaments.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          yes. you are a middling to bad player in the grand scheme of things. That would be what you expect.

        • The best….

          Playing local fluff is not the same as tourneys bud, not by a long shot. I play wolves, I have a very small elite army. I have never lost to a guard list, never, and curb stomp most local lists I play. But we also have quite a large number of GT players in my area, the type that travel the world to play, and it is from those individuals where I get my losses from. Skill has a bit to do with the outcome of a game but only so much, luck has to be on your side.

      • I_am_Alpharius

        What poppycock. Of course player skill matters. It flows all the way through a game. From: the planning of an army; to utilising the scenery to your advantage; to adapting to the mission objective; to choosing what units to use for what, during a game; to reacting to your opponent’s strategy; to managing/mitigating unfavourable dice rolls; to now using command points and stratagem at the right time; and to understanding how to make the rules work for you and against your opponents.

        So I repeat. What poppycock.

        • Mira Bella

          Quick question mate. Have you ever played a non GW tabletop?

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Yes. Plenty thankyou.

        • thereturnofsuppuppers

          Delusion.

          Compared to more competitive traditional games like MtG or Chess or Go, Warhammer is far too reliant on random outcomes, and suffers from many approximations for the player’s skill to have a reasonable amount of effect in game.

          There are all those elements that you describe, but as long as a list is piloted reasonably well, what wins games MOSTLY is choice of units/army and luck.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Was going to take you seriously but the you lost me by saying/including Magic the Gathering under the banner of “traditional game”

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            How old are you? its a ‘card’ game. As opposed to something like hearthstone

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Old enough to know better….”Card” game does not simply equate to something being “Traditional” game.

          • thereturnofsuppuppers

            Its odd to have to argue semantics here, but what defines traditional when it comes to games, and why is mtg excluded from this?

      • Mira Bella

        Amen!

  • Fredddy

    I play mass IG since 3rd ed, my only army, I played them when they were bad, played them, when they were good, won tournaments and got last place on tournaments with them, led them against every bandwagon army; Nidzilla, Lash of submission, wound allocating ork nob bikers, leafblower, superfriends etc.
    And I can say that mass IG is the army which had the smallest changes through the last 15 years, both in rules and in play style. They did always what they do now. Conscripts always were a fearless blob with the comissar since they are in the game. They could always follow orders. Actually they were better in 4th ed when they had more weapon options and they were the best in 7th ed when they got very serious CC buffs from the priest (no one cared ofc because they were busy with their superfriends lists.).
    Two things happened in 8th: GW killed the platoon structure, which prevented taking more than 2-3 conscript squads even in mass IG armies; and killed most of the other OP combos- so they did not _made_ – they just _let_ the conscripts shine. “Its about damn time”.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      Don’t expect people to remember when IG were weak and easily swept from the field. I do miss platoons though, this was the best way IMO to balance conscript power in this edition. Heck I’m still geeking that my Rough Riders are a viable choice again!

      • Fredddy

        Yay, Rough Riders. One of my RR squads saw the table first time one month ago- they have been staying in the box converted&painted since those good old times when when you could buy Bretonnian knights just from the store. Unlike conscripts, they were really buffed in 8th ed.
        Index system does not allow army-specific FOC manipulating, but I hope the new codex will reintroduce the platoon structure somehow. Spammability of command squads is a much bigger fluff issue than conscripts.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      Yes this a thousand times. I played Guard since start of third. I have really never lost much when running horde. The conscripts tactic is pretty much the same as it was, just added bonus of orders. But when you do the math, it would take 3, 50 man units on first rank second rank to do like 3 wounds on a baneblade, hardly scary. They are just slow to remove, but with proper use of deepstrike or snipers, or flyers you can intercept and mitigate the commissar. I agree with you that they were more scary last ed with priests, glorious priests that made the squad insane!

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        That is a weakness of this list: lack of serious Anti-Armour. A Party Bus list would likely send it packing.

  • Warlos

    While I’m glad all of the blast and flame template arguments are gone, I do think we lost a natural deterrent to blobs when they were removed from the game.

    I’m hard pressed to think of any tactics that are now effective horde stoppers.

    • Fredddy

      I’ve been always happy when the opponent placed a template into my conscripts. It is a best place of for a template, all the other possible targets are more expensive. And no one used lots of weak templates- they were useless against the elite armies everyone else played.
      The real bane of the conscripts were always the fast CC units with 4-5 strong attacks per model (or the same with shooting when GW went crazy with 7th ed Tau). Dont worry, codex creep gonna bring these soon. It did in every editions.

    • Antoine Henry

      Lack of depths without them. Its not fun to see Heavy 20 Weapons and “Artillery” doing D6 hits. The random mechanics on hits is just plainly stupid.

  • Admiral Raptor

    “the player to face off against AM in the NOVA Invitational final for all the marbles immediately conceded when he lost the right to go first…”

    Seriously? You take the time to attend a tournament and play all the way to the finals, only to immediately concede the last game when the opening roll doesn’t go your way. What a baby. 40k is still a dice game. The player could have and should have given it a shot. Even if he was tabled by turn two at least he could claim that he tried, instead of ruining what should have been the tournament’s crowning match.

    • KingAceNumber1

      Yeah, it was really anticlimactic, but the dude wasn’t really there to play the game. Several of us were there to watch and were blown away that he conceded without playing at all. He brought 13 malefic lords, aetaos’rau’keres, and brim spam. He wanted to sh*t-roll his way through everything and once he saw Gonyo had an advantage he stopped caring. You’ll notice nobody even knows the guy’s name.

      • Admiral Raptor

        Thanks for the info!

        Why does someone with that attitude even bother? If you’re not there for the thrill of competition, to have fun playing, or even make a couple friends, then why show up? It’s not like winning a 40k tournament is going to have you swimming in money, fame, or women. It doesn’t sound like he cared at all past wanting to auto-win with an ugly list. I’m glad he didn’t.

  • majbjörn

    Cant wait for the Eldar codex to come out so that the Meta can go back to normal. :)))

  • Vizage

    Can someone please explain to me how the Nova winning list had the Objective Secure rule? It clearly states that’s for troops to benefit from objective secured that that all the units in the detachment have to have the same keyword. Which Primaris psykers and commissars can’t?

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Conscripts do. ITC needs to limit scoring and contesting to 1 per unit, though.

      • Vizage

        Conscripts cannot benefit from the objective secured if they are in a detachment with models that’s do not share their same keyword. The commissars and primaris psykers negate this buff in the list I see

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          Good point. Nothing stopping them from putting the Commissars and Primaris in separate detachments though.

          • Vizage

            Well strictly speaking you have a 3 detachment maximum. So if he still wanted most of the units in the battalion detachment he took. He. Couldn’t take them in the Supreme command detachment so he’d have to take company commanders in the battalion. Which would seriously hamper his ability to generate mortal wounds.

            Seriously the more I think about this the bigger a mistake it seems to be. Is Nova even aware? His list would have to radically different or without objective secured to work….

  • Bigalmoney666

    It’s interesting that the Knights/Guilliman list that everyone was worried about hasn’t been nearly the game breaker everyone was worried about.

    • Fredddy

      Meta now is like the rough sea- everything is new, no common mindset had been formed yet, and on the top of that, codexes come weekly. Yesterday they were worried about Guilliman, today they are worried about conscripts, tomorrow they will be worried about no one knows what.

    • David

      That’s because knights are overcosted

      • Bigalmoney666

        During the play testing everyone immediately predicted it as the tournament army you needed to plan for.

  • BaronSnakPak

    I fought a list similar to this in a tournament a few weeks ago, I didn’t win the turn 1 roll and subsequently had 60%+ of my army wiped off the board. IG is brutal with the turn 1 advantage right now.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    T-Vaults on the Flank, courtesy of the Deceiver.

  • odeepie

    did i read that a kid quit in the finals when he failed to go first? LOL i hate 40k power gamers

  • Jurriaan Nitters

    thuddguns and lots make dead meat out of blobs, fluxx bombard will do nice aswell

  • marxlives

    A guy immediately conceded? (Sigh) and to think two months ago, 8th was the Second Coming and the most balanced and tournament worthy system EVER! And it was going to make all the real tournament designed rule systems cry, cry, cry. This has always been the problem with GW game design, the design focuses on lists and not player skill. It is like creating the best Rube Goldberg machine. Every system has a skew, but you should be able to take multiple lists or reserves (side bar) to combat potential skews. They also need to get another edition out. It seems like there were major problems with the core rules, so patches are being implemented, but the patches are just exposing more issues. Hopefully 9th will be a total refinement of the current rule set.

    • Holger Wurst

      Is that so? All I read was that 8th would be great for Casual Games. Which it is. It occurs to me as rather wishdreamhopebegging of tourneyplayers that it would be competitively balanced.

  • Lebowski1111111111

    the guy who quit in the final should not be invited back to the invitational, total disgrace.

    • threeorangewhips

      I agree. That’s poor sportsmanship.

  • threeorangewhips

    For the author:

    https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/01/

    It’s a quick explanation on how to use commas.

    Also, I forbid you from using ellipsis until you understand how.

    Finally, is this just an article saying, “I told you so?” I don’t think you were unique in predicting that an army with access to two strong, unnerfed elements would win.

  • Eversor253

    I’m surprised horde bugs or orcs don’t have any solutions yet. I know eldar doesn’t, I keep getting wrecked in 8th with my eldar.