40K: Soup Lists Are Soup-er Fluffy

Why the most hated list type in the game is also the most fluffy.

Soup list are getting more and more attention among major players lately. In particular their showings at major events have drawn critical eyes from people interested in the 40K meta. Our own Goatboy has recently written about them and the problems they present. While no one can deny that soup armies are earning a place in today’s meta, players are divided on how to address the issue, or perceived issue. Today however I am not going to talk about that, or even why people think soup armies are an issue. Today I want to talk about why these armies, which are getting a lot of hate, are actually some of the most fluffy armies around, and why GW is most likely not going to do anything much to change them. So lets dig in.

What is Soup?

Soup armies in general are any list that cherry picks units from a number of factions or armies that share the same keyword. They in essence throw a lot of different ingredients in a pot and make a powerful soup out of them. Some of these lists, the most hated, focus on character heavy builds. The winner of Wargames Con took characters from seven different Imperial armies. Others can focus on more mainstream armies, but still pull from several armies or Codexes. The winning list of NOVA took units from four Imperial Factions. While Imperial lists are the most common choices for making soup, other lists can as well. Chaos, especially now that it has more than one Codex, can make some disgusting soup. One could also argue that all Ynnari armies are soup armies.

So How Are These Fluffy?

At first glance most of these armies may seem very unfluffy. Mixing and matching books like that just shouldn’t be done. If GW wanted them to be used together they would have just put them in the same book. And well, to an extent they did, the Indexes. Armies, like the NOVA winning Astra Militarum list are very fluffy when you think about it. What really could be more fluffy than the massed armies of the Imperium fighting side by side in defense of humanity? Or the various Chaos factions being pulled together by a powerful leader to attack the servants of the false Emperor. The Ynnari of course are all fluffy despite pulling from a number of books.

So What About Character Soup?

OK, so the big armies being soupy is fluffy. Fine. Whatever. But what about the lists that are just characters? 40K is about armies clashing and massed combat. You just don’t have situations were a bunch of heroes from different factions all fight together. Except… yeah you do. Modern 40K fluff is all about groups of the most powerful heroes fighting together in desperate battles.

Just look at this year’s Gathering Storm narrative arc. Fall of Cadia features battles centered around Saint Celestine, Creed, Crawl, Greyfax, Marshall Amalrich, and a host of other heroes, being aided by the Necron Lord Trazyn and Eldar fighting versus a soup of Chaos Leaders. In Rise of the Primarch the Battle of Guiliman’s Shrine is even more star studded. With Marneus Calgar, Chief Librarian Tigurius, Guiliman, Celestine, Greyfax, Cawl, Grand Master Voldus, Marshal Amalrich, all aided by Yvraine and the Visarch of the Ynnari fighting as a force in the same room. That actually reads like a possible army list. Throw in the whole idea of the Triumvirates and you can see a push for character soups supported by the fluff.

This is New

To be fair to those who feel this isn’t fluffy; GW has in fact changed the emphasis on the fluff a bit recently. If one looks back at older fluff, the emphasis was far more on armies and common(ish) troops. Think of Codex: Armageddon, the 2000s version of Gathering Storm. While there are big characters in the fluff, Yarrick and Ghazghkull for example, they are not the big emphasis of the book. Older Black Library books followed this pattern focusing on smaller heroes or unkowns. This was in line with how Special Characters interacted with the game back then. For many editions they were an optional choice allowed if agreed on and not part of the tournament scene.

But GW has changed all this. Newer fluff focuses much more on the big important characters. Guilliman is everywhere leading the fight. Every major battle ends in some climatic dual. Black Library books have also focused much more on the huge important charterers, with books like Dante and Jain Zar telling the stories of the larger than life heroes and villains. And this newer emphasis on unique characters translates into the game.  Not only are these characters no longer sidelined to optional status, their use is in fact encouraged. Armies like the Ynnari are built around the use of these types of characters. Many characters are clearly designed to be used in mix faction armies. Soup armies full of characters are now fully allowed – and very fluffy.

Done Expect A Change

Like it or not soup is working as designed. GW has very little incentive to change anything about how these armies work. These types or armies are fully supported in the fluff and fully allowed by the rules. They help GW sell a lot of pricey character models and help serve as gateways for players to expand into new armies. Sure, we may see a few tweaks here and there. Maybe a change to character targeting, though I kind of doubt it. But the fact is from the fluff, to character rules, to the very detachment choices themselves the game is set up for this to happen. The list are legal, and fluffy, and we are going to have to deal with it.

So how much do you love soup list? Do you find these list fluffy? Fun? Fair? Let us know down in the comments!

 

  • Thornoo1

    Super Friends is dead. Long live Super Friends.

    So this is the edition which was play tested by our community’s finest, an edition to wipe clean all of our 40k woes. This was to be the edition to rule all other editions.

    What’s really happened here is that GW hired some really really good marketers and sold the community a big fat shiny grogan.

    I put 40k aside a fewws after 8th dropped and I haven’t felt that anxious feeling I had at the table top for weeks. Bought into Runewars and actually enjoy tabletop wargaming again.

    Well F&%K GW and F*&K 40k.

    • PullsyJr

      Extra +1 for the use of the word “grogan”.

      • LankTank

        Erebus… Wo lo lo

    • zeno666

      Yepp, a lot of people where really fooled by “the new GW”, including myself.
      The new GW wants their fans to buy a new rulebook/errata each year.
      Its an easy way for them to make money. Most players will buy it, doesnt matter which army they play.
      Also we where fed really loose and quite bad rules.
      These will be improved just a little bit each year in the new book.

      So no, the new GW still doesnt care.

      • Rob brown

        Well spending £25 on your hobby that you spend 5-10 hours a week on is a lot less than if you play golf or go sports fishing, or shooting. So buying an update a year isn’t exactly extreme.

        • ZeeLobby

          To be fair, that’s 25 on top of the massive funds you were already preparing to spend for the year though. It’s true that with numbers most players spend throughout the year, an extra 25 is nothing, but it is pretty evident that marketing is what made 8th the most thought out edition ever!

        • zeno666

          Perhaps not, but paying £25 for an errata for your £40 rulebook is.

        • marxlives

          I fish…fishing is cheaper.

          • Muninwing

            fishing vs sport fishing…

            if i just want to throw a line in the pond, i can do so with an old rod i got for $25 at a yard sale, and the worms in mom’s garden.

            just the same as if i wanted to play a wargame with proxies, paper cutouts, or coins.

            but… if i treat fishing as my hobby… suddenly i’m buying a better reel, a nicer rod, maybe multiples for different conditions/fish. i’m getting specialized lures, or putting in the time to tie my own. i’m buying a bass boat. i’m going on a camping weekend (with all the requisite gear). i’m paying for bait, fuel, and vacation time. i charter a boat for deep sea fishing.

            you’ve got to compare these things on the same level. not how one can do one the cheapest, but spend money on the other.

          • Mira Bella

            The Baseline is there are much cheaper Hobby’s then Wargaming, and there are much more expensive Hobby’s then Wargaming. I think it fits pretty much in the middle.

      • marxlives

        True, I suspect that GW puts a lot more money in marketing and model design than in game design. Which makes sense, model design is part of marketing because it deals with presentation. But game design that is something you don’t get exposed to until you already bought the product.

        There was a huge but temporary spike of 40k in my area, but with all the core rule problems, including the 7th edition issues that were marketed in 8th as first being removed and then later marketed as planned game design most people have moved on to other games. Infinity, Warmachine, and Deadzone specifically. Sometimes both systems.

        If there is one plus to 8th is that it has brought a lot of veterans who, not only left 40k but, left the hobby. They have reinvigorated 40k with 8th edition while at the same time exposing them to other great games out there.

        • Carey_Mahoney

          It’s the basic 101 of efficiency in entertainment industry: to rely more on the brand than on the product.

    • MarcoT

      As someone who plays with normal people, I like 8th. Sure you can break it, but the solution is simple; avoid them. I don’t think 40k needs to be jerk-proof.

      • DoctorBored

        THIS! Communication with your opponent is key. Complaining about netlists is pointless if nobody in your FLGS has a netlist or pulls this crap. Play the games you want to play and leave the toxicity at home.

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean a good game system has no place for abusive toxicity. Kind of chicken and the egg.

          • DoctorBored

            And yet, a lot of the community is based on the Internet, where toxicity breeds like mice.

          • ZeeLobby

            Oh gosh, really? My group may be in the minority I guess, but I’m the only person who ever really frequents online sites dedicated to the game. The number of commentators is definitely a minority compared to the overall number of players.

      • marxlives

        For people who play in other systems (Infinity, X-Wing, Warmachine, Malifaux) the idea of just ignoring players as a method to fix core rule issues is just….well toxic as hell. Never had that happen with any game outside of 40k. The most that has happened is I self reflect what I could have done better, but my games are a blast…even when I lose.

        • MarcoT

          But most core rules do exactly what they’re supposed to do, right? Characters are being abused and I expect a simple fix in a FAQ somewhere, but in all honestly I don’t think it’ll impact my games ever.

          X-wing did correct things that were abused, but in their efforts they’re putting a simpleton like me off. Combos are off the rails there, in an ever-continuing cycle of compensating previous power creep.

          New 40k doesn’t have that yet. Currently it gives me the drama and excitement I expect from a mini-game, with very little bookflipping or charts. Well-intended FAQs and yearly publications could hurt that more than it fixes.

        • DoctorBored

          They are and have made a lot of improvements in their communication and fixes though. The problem they’re having is the same as Blizzard has with Overwatch. Public perception of an ability or combo is often overblown compared to the actual problem. They take measured steps to fix the problems, which is much better than overreacting to everything the community says as soon as a codex drops day 1.

          • Carey_Mahoney

            There are several things in 40k that should not have been changed in the first place, so it’s due to argue about “fixing “.

        • EmperorOfMankind

          I am fine with it.

        • 415Native

          I totally see what you mean about it sounding toxic to shun players, but all those game you mentioned have much smaller player bases and way tighter rulesets. Is there a Warmachine version of the guy who shows up with an all Imperial Knight/super friends list?

        • LankTank

          The player base for those games, while respectable is nothing compared to 40k though. So you may have 1 player that causes issues, in 40k you will have hundreds just by share volume of people.

          • GrenAcid

            Dont play at turnaments, this helps a lot.

          • LankTank

            Not just talking about tournaments. Even local play there might still be that one guy. Sure you can avoid playing them but the point was more that 40k’s seemed imbalances compared to other games moght be more due to larger player bases contorting it. I only really do 1-2 small tournaments a year and had none during 7th (baby commitnents)

        • GrenAcid

          I droped 40k for several years and picked up Infinity, both had WAAC players….Infinity croud was much smaller thou.

    • Righ TingTong

      their new output is insane, everyone gets served and just by looking at the range of possibilit
      ies (compare 40k to starcraft and see how long it takes to balance just 3 armies) its impossible to make a game that follows rock, scissor, paper. it will always have extremes and top tier list.

      i think theyre doing the right job:
      the models are more detailed and thoughtful, everything from codices to core rules are more logical and easier to play with / build. just the way the miniatures can be buidl now, is alot more pleasant and easier to follow.

      these are not things that come for free, and if i remember correctly, GW has just started to recover with their new CEO a few years ago.

      their community work is a little bit shady, as they are never answering the really annoying questions and tend to leave out important information. they promised fewer books, now i got more books than i got in 7, just to play the same stuff.

    • Dusty

      Man, you must be really angry if you stopped played weeks ago and you still want to pop in 40k articles and flame. Is it like an ex-girlfriend scenario where you really loved 40k at one point but any new mention of her sets you off?

      • ZeeLobby

        LoL. As someone who has played for 15+ years, stopping in a couple of weeks later to check in on the game isn’t crazy is it? I mean if you’re married for 15 years, you’re not going to check on your ex wife several weeks later?

        • Dusty

          No, your example is not crazy but he’s ranted before about how much he hates the game, shelving armies until this edition is over, etc.

          • ZeeLobby

            Ah, alright, touche then. Didn’t know that.

      • marxlives

        Well obviously he is very upset…didnt you read his comment.

        • Dusty

          I’m just trying to add a discussion to this guy’s rant. Obviously he doesn’t have to play this way, or play against people who play this way. I’ve had people come up to my tables while I’m playing and say things like this guy and I was responding like I would in person.

      • zeno666

        Perhaps he wants the game to become better?
        And because of this he checks in every now and then to see if something is changing.

        • Dusty

          That’s not unreasonable, but he’s posted before how he hates 8th, he’s quitting until 9th, and just continues to vent.

          • Carey_Mahoney

            So what?

      • Thornoo1

        Happy to discuss. On the internet people label a post like mine as flaming. In the real world people might see it as a genuine expression of emotion about something which matters to a person.

        I had a look it’s been 3 weeks since I last checked in to see how 40k is going and I come in and see that nothing has changed, in fact it could be suggested it’s gotten worse. Not to rehash stuff I’ve already said but I’m deeply invested in this game through time, money, at a social level and in a simply practical level that I have a lot of 40k stuff I would like to use.

        I’ve played 40k every which way, narrative, tournament, role play, campaigns, through long and deep agreements. On the web people’s advice is dont play with jerks, make sure you agree first, talk it through before playing, house rule the worst aspects out. But 40k has been distilled down to one thing.

        The list.

        You build a better list you will win. That’s all 40k is.

        GW did a top notch job of change management moving from 7e to 8e. I was impressed with how they worked through this. In my own career I deal with a lot of change management and I tip my hat to GW for the job they did, masterful. In all change management you will not convince 10% of your stakeholders it is a good change. But if it is a good product you will pick up more than that and reinvigorate the rest of your customer base.

        But a poor product is a poor product and your customers will find you out really quickly. If customers want a deep satisfying gaming experience it should not be necessary to do all of the things I mentioned above. The company’s responsibility to its customers is to provide the platform for the customer to enjoy the experience. GW have the advantage of being simply the largest wargaming company on the planet with a very good supply chain and deep economically invested customers like me.

        But now the market offers better products ffom companies like FFG which are much better at customer engagement and dont simply employ good change managers to, as I so elegantly put it, sell its customers a grogan.

        • Dusty

          Much better than, “F-that, I quit!”

        • LankTank

          A poor product that hundreds of thousands of people love, play and are so invested in they teach it to their kids? It’s not a poor product at all. That is inflammatory remarks. We are coming to this site because we love 40k.
          But some different game platforms may be better suited or more appealing than 40k to certain players. That is fine. I love my Batman Mini game but so many players do not.
          Also you are wrong about the lists, skill definitely come into play. However if you are taking someone who is equally as skilled, THEN list will the deciding factor.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      So happy for your input. Very insightful. Added a lot to the discussion. I sure the 40K hobby will miss you. XXX

    • Spacefrisian

      Yup bye super friends and deathstars,

      Avengers Aaaaaaaasembleeeeeee

  • ILikeToColourRed

    taking lots of the same thing is bad, because spam
    taking lots of different things is bad, because soup

    just….stop

    • zeno666

      Need them clicks dawg! 😉
      And people are reacting to this kind of thing.

    • marxlives

      True, I don’t see the issue with soup or spam as long as the game that shake out are balanced. One of the game designers at PP said that balance is like a bell curve and the job of the design is to depress and plateau the middle as much as possible. Spam….soup as long as the forces are close to each other competitive as far as that bell curve goes it doesn’t matter. I think the real concern is super friends meets codex creep meets Imperium and Chaos being the new focus with Imperium having many more options than all the other factions combined. GW should really move to general releases throughout the year like other companies do rather than a codex focus. I know Imperium and Chaos are way more popular than the other factions but do they get more codex attention because they are more popular or are they more popular because of codex attention?

      • Marco Marantz

        “Imperium having many more options than all the other factions combined.”

        You nailed a big part of the problem.
        Not sure if Chaos is more popular than other factions because it has not competitive for several editions

    • LankTank

      Amen!
      But then again, “Being happy with 8th means you are a sheep fooled by GW marketing”. Haven’t you heard?

  • Rob brown

    It is far easier for recent fluff writers to stick to established characters rather than need to create interesting, motivated characters themselves. Then again, thats probably what divides the *yawn* godawful tripe that passes as writing we call fluff, including the so-called-novels accompanying the campaigns like the End Times.

    The great writers of 40k like Dan Abnett create their own characters. When they use the big guns like Horus, they surround them by a plausible roster of their own. Horus becomes more meaningful becasuse he’s stays special. So while playing this way may resemble some of the fluff. Making your games resemble the Imperial version of the Avengers doesnt resemble the good stuff.

    On a side note, fluff – being something ‘trivial or irrelevant’ – is a fairly disparaging term for the thing that actually makes the 40k setting cool. We know that over the last 30 years it isn’t the rules that have kept people playing. Perhaps it was the quality of the models, though I suspect not at the price. Instead I suggest it is the storyline and universe building that has made the game last so long. Its something they spectacularly failed to recognise with Warhammer Fantasy.

    • Slite

      I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about this article, but I think you found the words for me.

    • ZeeLobby

      Nailed it! I’ve always thought the most interesting characters of the HH novels were ones that were created out of thin air. It was always cool to see their perspective on the historical characters we had only caught glimpses of before, while not providing so much as to remove the mystery.

      On the tabletop I’m saddened that GW is putting such massive emphasis on named special characters. I remember when even using special characters required a pregame discussion. Now they’ve watered most custom HQs down to nothing compared to their named counterparts, and it’s a shame, as they’re one of the things I liked most about the game.

      It’s funny that you mentioned that avengers, as I like most of their current background fiction, models and promotions to being very comic book influenced.

      • Rob brown

        I remember how white dwarf battle reports would always have a few side bars of fluff text describing who the army general was and maybe interacting with a hero or two. Special characters would occasionally be involved but not as standard. Now every report and campaign is centered around special characters… though at least for Warzone Fenris they gave us some new ones.

        I used the Swarm Lord in a game for the first time in 5 years of playing tyranids. It was fun, but he’s a special character so he goes back on the shelf for a while now… otherwise he’s not very special.

  • Arthfael

    Just… stop. Go to tournaments and do whatever you want, they are tournaments, not campaigns. But when facing someone on the tabletop in casual games, just picking random characters that surprisingly have the best synergies possibly imaginable #snigger# does not count as role playing. The mindset is totally different. Do not try to justify with RP-based pseudo-excuses something that does not need justification in a WAAC environment: it is whenever the two mix that mayhem usually ensues.

    • Damon Sherman

      I remember the classic fluff excuse was,
      “Oh, this contingent of knights defended an artillery college, so now they’re super bros.”
      “Uhm… you know I play night gobbos… so..”
      “that’s why I only have Rieksguard and cannons, yeah. Totally fluffy!”.

      • Jabberwokk

        That’s been my been with #muhfluff. The same anti WAAC players turnaround and would put triptide on the table.

    • Muninwing

      40k has spiked their independent characters in the fluff recently.

      their writing has suffered because of it.

      there’s a galaxy filled with billions of planets and billions of individuals on many of those planets.

      but only twenty or so people matter. and they can instantaneously cross thousands of lightyears (despite shorter journeys taking months in established fluff) when they magically need to be in more than one place at once.

      it’s cheez fantasy tropes applied to scifi.

      it’s bad writing.

      it’s unbelievable when Warmachine does the same thing with a few countries. it’s stupid when applied to a whole galaxy. and justifying a new broken method by new broken fluff is… really terrible logic.

      • Arthfael

        I call it the Star Wars syndrome. It seems that in a galaxy full of mystery and huge narrative potential all the interesting stuff happens to Luke Skywalker. After the n-th iteration it kinda kills said mystery.

        • Muninwing

          it’s what makes SW fantasy, not scifi.

          if you can take the setting, and change very little, and it reads in a generic eurocentric medieval world, it’s not scifi.

          it’s why i’m still pissed at the crappy writing that brought us the chaos rift across the galaxy. it’s a gorge after an earthquake, or a wall of fire, or some other 2d thinking, obviously. it’s not a 3d galaxy where such a barrier would need to be much taller than it is wide to prevent people from just flying around it.

  • Doug Crawford

    What BS this article was how do you.have a fluffy AM army with no guardsmen only conscripts oh it a training mission but there learning the hard way people who play these armies dont have the brains to come up with there own idea so they have to use someone else’s. What makes it worst is that they think theyre a good player when infact its the army not the player.

    • James Regan

      you do realise the old cadian white shields, and every penal legion in existence is ‘just conscripts’. Not that I’m knocking the sentiment over WAAC list building, ‘all conscripts’ is just a bad example, as the fluff has had ‘just conscript’ armies for ages, it’s just only been competitively viable recently

      • ZeeLobby

        True. I think conscripts should just have a rule that provides a tipping point where Commissar’s fearlessness can only go so far. It’s be cool if like Skaven slaves, if another unit flees they also are more likely to flee.

        • euansmith

          Or maybe they are so unruly that the Commissar has to execute 1D3 of them per turn to keep them in line?

          • Severius_Tolluck

            This, or sacrifice up to 3 conscripts for a max of +3 to your LD

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean there’s so many cool ways they could fix it, that would be super fluffy. I just don’t understand why they’re moving so slow. I thought the whole point of this new edition was fast fixes, and additional flavor for individual units. If they’re only going to do this in a purchasable book once a year, every year is just going to be a slog to that book.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          or a max ld bonus based on models in the squad, etc. like ranks in fantasy.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’m liking all these ideas. GW do these, now! 😀

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Yeah tough on that. Thing is, you still get that CP to make any squad Fearless for a turn so, there is that to contend with. Least that is far more limiting though!

      • Doug Crawford

        Sorry you should realise that in previous additions you had to have guardsmen before you could have conscribes. No such thing as all conscript armies.

        • Severius_Tolluck

          Some real life armies may beg to differ with you lol!

          • Mira Bella

            Pretty foolish to compare 40k to anything in real life.

          • Severius_Tolluck

            Fair point, but let us be honest, most guard regardless of skill, are conscript. Just it is the best that get inducted to the guard, while rest remain as PDF normally, with of course exceptions. But that is all semantics.

        • James Regan

          so the fact that that penal legion or white shield army is no longer ‘counts as’ because they’ve actually got rules is something that is less fluffy? Or just that you don’t like change, and would prefer to still be playing 5th?

          • Mira Bella

            I certainly would prefer 5th. 😀

  • Mathew G. Smith

    Who is this a problem for, exactly? Taking every possible advantage within the rules is expected in tournaments of any kind, and in more casual settings people just won’t play with you if you use blatant exploits.

    • I’d say the concern is more that the rules allow it

    • Muninwing

      i’d say that the problem is when it trickles down… it’s expected in the tournament scene, but isn’t needed in every other place as well.

  • That a fluff book concentrates on a few powerful characters doesn’t mean that the army composition described in those books is largely those characters. The characters are fighting together as part of a vast force. A history of Waterloo might concentrate on Napoleon, Wellington, and Blücher, but a Napoleonic wargame with only those three characters and a handful of elites and seniors officers on the board would be ridiculous.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      This. It like novels need a central character, or cast of characters, to focus on and create the narrative around….so as a reader you have a distinct person(s) to become engaged with and see triumph. A CRAZY notion I know. I mean it’s not like every single fiction novel in history doesn’t have one set of clear characters to follow…heck even religions get in on that action.

      • Muninwing

        the Cain novels are all about a small handful of individuals.

        but there’s a whole IG army at their back, doing stuff.

        doesn’t make the fluff army of jut characters fluffy, just means that someone ignored the grunts because they weren’t cool enough.

      • Mira Bella

        If you read a book about for example Dante, you can be 100% sure that he will survive at the end. It takes out a lot of tension.
        “A CRAZY notion I know. I mean it’s not like every single fiction novel in history* doesn’t have one set of clear characters to follow”
        I don’t dispute that at all, but does it have to be the same 10-15 guys if we have a universe with a million words?
        The 40k books that I enjoyed most were those that concentrated on characters that we never heard from before.
        Titanicus by Dan Abnett or the Night Lord series would be a good example.

    • euansmith

      “What do you say we settle this like gentlemen, eh, Bonaparte? Fisticuffs!”

  • benn grimm

    Yes recent fluff is a bit silly, doesn’t mean your army has to be too.

    • Mira Bella

      GW never had a great gaming system. What was unique about it and what kept me going was it’s Fluff.
      If the fluff keeps getting silly then I have no reason to play it any longer.

      • benn grimm

        It does have good fluff. For me, I just ignore the stuff I don’t like and concentrate on the bits I do. When the Orks changed from 2nd to 3rd, they suddenly lost a lot of what I liked about them (fluffwise) so I just ignored it; my Orks still used pulsa rokkits, my stormboyz were still teenaged Orks who rebelled by being strict and my Madboyz still existed. When the end times happened and the old world blew up I just ignored it; hey presto, world not exploded.

        The great thing about 40k is that it’s a big universe and a big time frame, massively open to interpretation and telling ones own stories within. In my part of the galaxy we’ve never even heard of this Cawl guy and the idea of a loyalist primarch being resurrected by a xeno is just as ridiculous (and heretical) as it was in ’95.

        The super heroes unite and save the galaxy narrative they’re pushing atm is just one (crappy) narrative. There will be others, some good some bad. It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the setting any more than reading fan fiction on some obscure blog would (well maybe a little more). It’s just their little go at it and if I don’t like it I can just ignore it ever happened, like when they killed Batman. Or the warhammer world.

  • Fredddy

    “Fluff” is about the everyday life of the universe- where these characters lead armies and make their awesome whatever thousands of light years away from each other. Banding them together like if they were a jolly AD&D party filling their daily ration of save-the-world (instead of being the leaders of proper armies in a strategic game what they really are) was just an unique occurence once in 10000 years- these kind of armies might fit a narrative game about that particular event, but generally they are the exact opposite of what we call “fluffy”.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Not sure how fluffy it is that Celestine personally takes part in virtually every skirmish around the galaxy or that culexus assassins come cheaper by the dozen but aside from that I don’t mind imperial allies…

    • ZeeLobby

      Part of me just really wished they’d reintroduce unit count restrictions to the game. 0-1 on named characters and/or assassin’s would solve a bunch of problems. I mean heck, just do it to matched play.

    • Muninwing

      this.

      it’s written any times that some people spend their entire lives trying to travel to Terra, from distant parts of the galaxy. the jumps between reasonably close systems can take months.

      but celestine, Gulliman, and 2-3 other SCs can make every jump immediately and be in multiple places at once.

      i figured that this kind of sloppiness would happen once they brought Primarchs back. sad how fast i was right.

      • Mira Bella

        Also if there is a book written about Big G’s latest battle you can be 100% sure that he will not die in it. There is literally 0 tension. It’s all Bolter Porn now.

  • ZeeLobby

    Well. GW loves when you buy all the characters so…

    • zeno666

      Hey now. GW is a miniature company first and fluff company second. And like… rules come in at 10th 😉

    • Doug Crawford

      But half the time there not even using the actually model only converted ones. Ive seen a whole assassin force built from a eldar guardian box and some green stuff. Ive played against a guy.using porcelain pigs with green stuff tenticals to represent exalted flames because it was to expensive to buy the amount that he wanted of the real models. I think that if it was across the board rule of no proxies then a lot of these armies would disappear.

      • ZeeLobby

        Yeah. That’s probably true. I imagine there are some that bought 12 of them though. And those 12 sales probably killed the number of sales of those models 6 months ago.

    • Jabberwokk

      Why wouldn’t they? Characters are a one time buy for most. your going to buy a few tac squads but only one Cato Sicarius.

      If they were smart they would do rules for a side game that crosses DoW2: Last stand and Zombicide. which would be an awesome co-op game but also encourage buying w/e you wanted, even out of faction.

      • ZeeLobby

        Well, most characters cost $25+, which definitely doesn’t hurt their bottom line either.

        • Jabberwokk

          sure but it’s 25 once. And considering how much more effort is put into the design and creation it doesn’t surprise me that they cost more.

          Where I am a box of tac marines will cost 35-50 times how ever many you need. Want to start a side chapter? go buy some more.

          You could even market character soup to the hobbyist and the collector so they could put them on the table and maybe get tempted to buy this our that to supplement it.

          • ZeeLobby

            Doubt it shaves into profit margins all that much. Designing a character does not cost 5/6/7x more than designing an individual model (especially now that their monopose) and yet the model costs that much more. It’s definitely a significant margin. It’s also significantly less to ship and store. In the end I’m sure they’d love selling armies of characters to everyone. I expect 40K to be heavily character laden going forward (I mean heck, we might already have like 5 characters for DG alone).

          • Jabberwokk

            I’m fine with this so long as the games is balanced around it(i can dream).

            Admittedly I’m not well versed in the ins and out’s of model development so you could well be right.

            Luckily I play tyranids where we don’t really have any special characters outside of deathleaper. Everyone one else is just a head/weapon swap.

  • James Regan

    I think some of the issues encountered are because ‘suddenly: list cheese’.
    Someone below used an example of an all conscript army- but no-one is ever going to begrudge the guy with the painstakingly modelled penal legion assembled over several years for not having rank and file guardsmen. They’re just lucky that there army just got significantly better all of a sudden, and now everyone has to think ‘oh, yeah, i guess we have been regularly tabling Steve’s penal legion for two decades straight, guess it’s about time our faces got stomped on’.

    But it’s when someone shows up with something and you can tell it’s because of fancy rules. Some examples include some of the aforementioned character soups, because if they are all assassins, that’s not an army its a hit squad inexplicably doing the conga with a big blue man stood behind them- you should also be able to tell when it’s a new player with a bit too much cash who snagged guiliman and the imperial triumvate, then tried to jury rig it into an army with a couple of troops and another cool thing they picked up off ebay. Another obvious one is the guy who has ‘all conscipts’ but they’re all bog standard cadian shock troop models, without even bothering to paint them as whiteshields (i mean, the only reason not to do that is because you know you’re going to put the special weapons back in and use them as normal guard in a month)

    • Muninwing

      there’s a difference between a list suddenly getting better, and a list deliberately exploiting a series of rules that mesh poorly.

      i want to play 40k, not M:tG. i want to have a tactical experience, not see who could afford and build the better deck.

      if i didn’t want an adversary, i’d play a video game.

  • #1 – any list can be made “fluffy”. Any list. The narrative is so vast that I can write a piece of fiction to justify any army list created and make it “fluffy”.

    The people that get annoyed by lists like this tend to be people who are not interested in powergaming. These lists draw a lot of shade because they are hard counters that you have to build specifically against to have a fun game.

    In a non-powergaming context, those lists are cancer and when they show up to your casual games or campaign games, you are left with a very negative experience.

    Now in a tournament context, all bets are off, since thats where these things should reside.

  • lemt

    This would be less bad if it weren’t for some nitpicks: Having characters that can only be hit on a 6+ is absurd (and some xenos armies can’t just rely on spamming flamers because… we don’t have them), and some armies don’t have characters that are any good.

  • CloakingDonkey

    I honestly think AoS is in a better spot than 40K right now 😛

    • vlad78

      Which tells a lot more than you probably intended. ;p

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        both are in a much better spot than fantasy…

        • Mira Bella

          Both are in a bad place compared to pretty much any other game out there.

      • CloakingDonkey

        Think what you want. I don’t think either are better than the vast majority of tabletop wargames out there. But 40K is a convoluted, badly balanced trash heap. 😉

        • vlad78

          Ho but I agree. Imho both AOS and 40k have departed from their wargaming roots and have suffered from it. AOS might be a fun and quick game for some, it can’t be called a fantasy wargame anymore, 40k is following the same trend, too much streamlining and imho again 8th is just the worse edition (after 2nd edition which was quite static with an awful Hth system) whereas the minis are top notch.

          But it’s just a matter of taste.

  • djoyce

    The old 40k reminded me of flames of war with some races geting a +1 here and a different group getting a +1 somewhere else. 4th was especially bad at this and was basically WW2 in space with elves and orcs. Same with whfb basically being historicals with some point ears. All the fun wackiness of rogue trader and realms of chaos was gone. The focus was so much on supposed balance and tournament play that it was just one big pile of meh.

    The purpose of these games is to have fun. Try out crazy scenarios and rules, etc. By the time I got into wargaming and had a bit of dosh rogue trader was gone and I fell into Vor precisely because of the crazy army rules.

    Now I see aos and eigthth and I want to play gw again but now lack time due to family.

  • So glad I’m not playing 40k right now lol, I’ll check out 8th again once all the codexes are out, AOS does a much better job of keeping lists sensible

  • Dusty

    Eons ago, my FLGS ran 40k and WHFB leagues where you could not take special (or named) characters or allies. It seems to me that tournament organizers could run events with the same restrictions and eliminate this kind of soup frustrations but I don’t know if tourney players would like that kind of event.

    • Tournament players tend to hate anything that is not official. A tournament player will spend a lot of money on a force based on the official rules. Being told that their official force cannot be used often generates white-hot rage.

      • Muninwing

        … even if (or especially if) said force is based upon a rules exploit that even they acknowledge is not intended.

    • Muninwing

      ICs used to be “opponent’s permission only”

      in 4th, they started moving away from that — they needed to when they required Belial/Sammael to play DW/RW lists.

      but the game has suffered since.

  • Jabberwokk

    We’re making character spam soup!

    Character spam soup!

    It’s a very special recipe

    Just Heroes, Bros, and Troops

    We’re making character spam soup!

    Character spam soup!

    Cheese is in the flavour

    Better get yourself a scoop

  • I_am_Alpharius

    This has been mention below, but I’ll add my two pennies. These so called “soup” list are, in the main, seen at competitive tournaments who see it an efficient option to win game. So far we’ve seen 3 different spam list in the last three months (Ravens, Assassin’s and now conscript blobs); AND you know what, next month it will be something different as tournament plays adapt and try something new, or new codex’s arrive which disrupt things with some other “broken” or “spammy” option. Broadly speaking, you don’t see this armies in your everyday pickup game or games with friends (unless of course you friend is trying out a competitive build).

    Can these “spam” list be describe as “fluffy”? Generally no, but as with many things in like there is always exceptions.

    Will GW step in and make adjustment to thing that are seen as silly or unintended? Recent evidence suggest yes, they will react and do something; whether thats a rule change or a points change, who knows until it happens? But odds are, it will happen.

    Is this edition perfect – no; just as every edition before of 40K has also not been. Indeed, I can’t think of single miniatures war game that is “perfect” or “balance” or “not open to abuse”. 8th is a complete re-working of style in which 40K plays. And you know what? Its a really solid base framework, in my opinion, to build from (ironically just like 3rd was when that was launched. It’s different, it’s going to have issues – no matter how much playtesting is done.

  • Drpx

    TL; DR: character spam isn’t going anywhere because Hollywood, deal with it.

  • memitchell

    This reminds me of a Necromunda player whose gang’s thing was access to plasma weapons. You know, it seems their sponsors produced them in abundance. So, they just kinda casually loaded up on the most powerful weapon in the game. This had NOTHING to do with winning, it was all about the fluff.! I said it was was truly serendipitous that their thing wasn’t Stub pistols, the least powerful gun in the game.

    I get that Superman shows up in every Superman movie. That’s fluffy. But, if Superman is in every crime movie, or every war movie movie, that’s a stretch. Superheros are great in their own realm. But, not in EVERY realm. When your fluff devolves to the point that a genetically engineered giant in ancient armor using technology long ago lost in the mists of time, a veteran of three centuries of warfare, is just generic cannon fodder compared to the main model in the army, then you have lost something. And, again, if the rules for the guys who rule didn’t rule, fluff or not, they wouldn’t be spammed.

    • Muninwing

      i’d load up on plasma as a player… but i roll poorly, so it would be nearly as bad for me as you.

      one of the appeals of 40k is evident in the IG being an army. there are no heroes. there are no ticker tape parades. there are grunts who are in the trenches, and there are grunts who are on ship traveling to the next trenches. Creed/Krell aren’t super soldiers, they are just good at what they do. Yarrick is probably the closest to a superman — and that’s because he’s got the sheer stubbornness to tough it out, hard-earned.

      the average joes should matter. they shouldn’t be the useless meatshields for the herohammer characters.

  • Commissar Molotov

    Look, you can be a jerk if you want to. Just don’t try to rationalize it.

    • Muninwing

      it’s not even a jerk thing to play like this… at a tournament.

      but we all know that the tournament mindset bleeds down into everything else.

  • marxlives

    I remember buying that Heroes and Enemies box

    • Muninwing

      yeah. apparently, according to the article here, they were all fieldable at the same time?

      i must have missed those rules…

  • Le_smee

    I enjoy playing with small people at home and outside of the home.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Not sure that statement entirely reads how you meant it to read…

  • Anthony Combs

    I play Orks. Not even gurlyman can survive being smacked by over two hundred attacks by one mob. You have two turns to stop the green tide. On turn three we win. WAAAAGH!

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Fluffy soup lists are absolutely possible and cool. Competitive Character soup lists lack the latter.

  • E65

    Polishing the turd or buffing the turd. I can’t decide which one fits your rambling best.

  • Marco Marantz

    I dont have a problem with multi-factions lists where its fluffy. What i do have a problem with is undercosted and OP units in those factions being the ones commonly used together. Its not about covering a deficiency in a faction its about spamming as much OP and broken crap as possible

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    Who remembers Nidzilla? The times when you’d be able to stuff 8 Tyranid monstrous creatures in the same list because they were fairly underpriced for what they did? The one list that just so happened to require few purchases because your mandatory 2 Troops were a grand total of 6 Ripper Swarms, which basically came free with every box? Characters are getting spammed for the same reason. Fluff has nothing to do with it, except by accident. Money can. Power often does.