40K: Your Favorite Bad Units

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Everyone has their favorite unit that they know is terrible.

Every army’s got them. Those units that just can’t quite get the job done, or compete with the other units in the army. They might be too expensive, too fragile, not killy enough, or only useful in ransom corner-cases, but, in spite of it all you can’t help but use them time after time. Even knowing that you could be making a better choice from either a fluff or tactics perspective, let’s talk about those units that we definitely have a healthy relationship with.

For me, it’s Tau Stealth Suits. Whether they’re the sexy original models:

Or the sultry newer ones:

…there’s just something about them that I can’t get away from. They’re definitely too expensive for what they do–at 6 power level, or 30 points (minimum) per model, they have a hard time earning back their points. They can put out some decent firepower, 12 strength 5 shots, or 8 shots and a meltagun in a minimum-sized squad. Or, if you want to really be frivolous,  you can double their size/firepower. And you can give a model an upgrade to ignore the penalty to advance and fire assault weapons, buuuut, they’re BS 4 and that means you’ll be really chancing it with a max of two in the squad. And in this edition two meltagun equivalents justb doesn’t get the job done as well as you’d hope.

They can be hard to kill incidentally, with their -1 to hit, but they also disappear when you decide to actually do something about it, and blam, 100+ points gone in a round of shooting.

But in spite of all that, I keep trying to live the dream. The idea of an elite strike team that can jet around doing what they want is enduring. You can give them a 20 point homing beacon which lets you cheat around normal deep strike–and in theory they’re a multipurpose unit that you can take against infantry or vehicles. And that idea is very cool to me. Most of the Tau army is hyperfocused on killing either light infantry or heavy armor, and these guys seem like they could fill a cool role in the force.

Plus they look so good on the tabletop. And when they come in handy, it feels amazing to live that roll-all-sixes dream.

Similarly, on the Necron side of things, we’ve got the Tomb Blades, which on paper seem very cool–but in practice just get shot down before they can do anything useful or even annoying. And yet, there always seems to be room for those fragile little deathtraps in my detachments. Adam Harry has some choice words about Tyrant Guard, but always finds room for them.

So with that in mind, I wanna know what units you can’t help but take, even when you know there’s a better choice. What are your fan favorite units?

I mean, I can’t be the only one that does this, right?


  • barry sadler

    For me it’s a shokk attack gun, always performed anti tank duties against mobs and mob duties against tanks

    Which is precisely why I bring him

    • Aurion Shidhe

      Agreed! This was whatever edition they first returned to 40k in after 3rd edition (I can’t remember). First time I ever painted one up and put it on the table. First shot. The Mek was embedded in a unit of flash gitz in a building. He pulled the trigger and the whole building, the unit of flash gitz, and the Mek all got sucked into the warp. Hundreds of points gone and the enemy hadn’t fired a single shot. We laughed so hard we cried.

      I include one in every Ork army now.

    • Drew_Da_Destroya

      I’m so sad that it’s just a boring 2d6 Str gun right now. Hopefully the real codex makes it fun again!

  • Gustav

    My RT era Ork Army. All of it.

    My multi-melta devastators. Mostly useless and expensive, but once every six games they blow something up ‘real good’.

    • Marco Marantz

      at least back in those days you had the same weapons as da humiez

  • V0iddrgn

    My Deff Dread. I hope it gets a buff to it’s Charge range when the codex hits.

    • Alienerd the unbannable

      I love my deff dreads. But yeah, they always seem to not quite do what it is I am after each game. They have a go but don’t get it 100%. All fart and no poo.

      • Marco Marantz

        To be fair they are probably one of the primary focus fire targets?

  • Talos2

    Daemon army daemon princes. For some reason have more wounds than the space marine ones, which handily means they die more often as they can be shot at. But you have to have one just in case don’t you

    • Václav Štěrba

      Chaos Daemons DPs have the same amount of wounds as CSM ones, both have 8

    • Fenix Dargon

      Read your FAQs, they have the same statline, including wounds..

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Shhh! Common sense need not apply…

      • Talos2

        Oh ok.

  • Anasa

    Back in 6th-7th edition: Rubric Marines in a Thousand Sons army.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Likely bucking the trend, but honestly I don’t have any favourite ‘bad’ units. I’m not sure ‘bad’ is right adjective to use either. Adjectives like: strong/weak, hard/easy to use, or tactically flexible/inflexible etc… seem, to me, a better way to describe a units usefulness. I’m big believer that all units have their uses, you just need to find out what that is and how best to incorporate that in to the strategy of an army build or your personal, favoured style of play.

  • tfkimmortal

    Ah the stealth suits. They looked so good on paper in 6th. It seems time does some no favors. Apparently tey are just too finessy.

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Imperial Guard Veterans

  • tylran

    Intercessors. I mean okay, they’re not horrible, but not great either.

  • marlowc

    Grunta da Squiggoth – no way is he worth the points, but I just love ‘im 🙂

    • Chet Atkinson

      I would love to include squiggoths but too pricey I agree

  • GrenAcid

    Possesed Space Marines, back in 3rd and 3,5 they were rly cool and good unit of murder in your face, than turned in to blob of puss.
    Havent use them in 8th but I heard good things about them, just like spawns.

    • aargh00

      World Eater ones are decent. The extra attack means they average 3 attacks at S5 ap -2. Against power armor they do almost as well as berzkers in CC and are much more durable. Especially if you have command points to burn towards negating any roll of 1 on their attacks.


      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        Need mo’ dakka though. They didn’t even get Grenades this time around.

  • Fergie0044

    Purely based on the models, I’ve always liked the look of the warp talons – although I don’t know how they hold up in 8th edition rules.

    Otherwise its got to be psykers in general. I always liked the fun of the various powers, never abused them or built lists solely around WC points and apart from spamming psykic scream never got any use out of them. But still, fun memories.

    • lemt

      A unit of Warp Talons is decent if you play a melee army and have access to Warptime. The turn that your army is going to assault, bring out the Warp Talons, Warptime them, and have them assault first. Since they are immune to Overwatch that turn, they free up your other units from being hot at.

    • ILikeToColourRed

      imo they’re more worth it in 8th than in 7th

      your mileage may vary

  • Jimmy van der Poel

    Howling Banshees

  • MarcoT

    Inceptors seems the new dudes on the block who feel like that. They arrive! They roll a ton of dice! They kill something! They die….
    60 pts a pop is overly expensive but the excitement of 18 heavy bolters shots from 3 suicidal duces never stops.

    And to be fair I think a big alpha-strike tax on these sorts of units is a good thing.

  • Christof Michaelangelo Potski

    My Fulgrite Electro Priests… my corpuscari ae excellent, but these guys always manage to die before anything cool goes down. That said maybe i just need more of them….

    • BadMrPumpkin

      LOL obiterators

      • LordKrungharr

        But they have Assault 4 now, and with Mark of Slaanesh can shoot twice. That’s ecstasy for Oblits!

  • Spacefrisian

    Dark Eldar wyches, they get shot to pieces, never make an armour save and hardly kill a thing…Unless they overkill a thing and than get killed by flashlights or something else ridiculously weak…Stil nice models.

    • Adelaide Lee Rosa

      I run the Wyches as Bloodbrides, in a raider, and have the raider charge first to soak the overwatch. But I agree, Wyches don’t seem to pull the weight of the other troop choices – Kabalites and Wracks.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Never leave the boat. Never.

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    Hey, Tyrant Guard are basically mandatory if you want the Swarmlord to survive a turn of shooting. Cover doesn’t work. Screening doesn’t work. Not even Malanthropes work (usually because they’re running the Exocrine Day Care). The only thing that works is literally buying a dozen more wounds.

    Also, if you care enough, Tyrant Guard are one of the only things in the Tyranid army that can hit with their size-appropriate version of crushing claws on half-decent odds. That said, I *don’t* care enough, but fun fact.

    Other than that, Trygons. That is to say, one Trygon with 20 Genestealers up its backside. That and a podded Swarmlord are my staple combo in every list, no matter what. Between this, the Exocrine Day Care, and enough Termagants to be legally battle-forged, I haven’t had points to spare since the start of the edition.

  • LankTank

    Kharn. He is amazing and destructive but being the total badass he is, it upsets me how easily I kill him in every game I verse him

    • Brettila

      ‘Verse’ is not a verb…

      • LankTank

        Meh… sure the world has bigger problems. But then again you understood me, maybe I’m just adding to the English language. Just like Shakespeare

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        Technically, it is, and he isn’t really using it the wrong way either. Actually, it’s an elegant shorthand for “pencil him into my list.”

    • Adelaide Lee Rosa

      Of all the crazy shing fo quan in the verse, Kharn is the one that gives me a mighty tremble. Shiny?

  • Shelltoon

    For me? It’s all the modern Death Guard sculpts. I can’t wait to field these things out of pure, unadulterated spite so people have to stare at it, and watch it win.

    • memitchell

      I love the new sculpts. Finally, something very new and cool I can actually paint well.

  • Commissar Molotov

    Howling Banshees. They’re the suck-tacular unit that nevertheless ends up in the list.

  • Apocryphus

    Daemonettes, I can’t stay way from those lovely maidens but they rarely make it to combat and die to shooting/morale.

    • LordKrungharr

      They are good in Age of Sigmar at least 🙂

  • Guillermo Cordido

    sniper drones are awfull no mortal wounds, bs5+ makes them underperform.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      But they’re a cheap, easy way to build a brigade, while saving room for Riptides, Ghostkeels, and Coldstars.

  • Salted_Diamond

    I would say it is a toss up between my IG Rough Riders or my SoB Repentia. They will both cause a lot of hurt if the can get into charge range, but the key word there is “if”. Regardless I will always include them when building their respective lists.

  • memitchell

    Work with me here. The Genestealer Cult lies dormant for 22 years. Then, we get a fantastic all-new line. Now of all the new unit types, really one is completely GSC defining. No. not Genestealers, Tyranids also have Genestealers (cheaper ones). Not Neophytes, they are basically Imperial Guard (IG are cheaper with better weapons options). Not the new weird Aberrants, an all new unit type that is apparently impossible to make work right (in two different army lists in two different game versions). No, THE unique unit type that defines the GSC is Acolytes. They’ve been there right from the beginning, so many decades ago (they were the first hybrid models). And, they are now basically Ork boyz with one less toughness, but at twice the price. Oh, and their power klaw equivalents cost twice as much. So, the more army defining Acolyte units we bring, the worse is the army. Head, meet brickwall.

  • LordCastellan Vas

    Bog-standard Ogryns are cool and fun and I have a bunch of them, but they are not terribly useful. (Fingers-crossed for a points reduction)

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Corollary: Renegade Ogryns. Last edition, they were an expensive glass cannon assault unit, but the thought of running an army full of them, with FNP, was hard to resist. Luckily, FW got the memo and slashed their costs and made some useful variants, even if they lost the Renegade Commander options that made made that unit a bit more enticing.

  • Austin Kennedy

    Ripper Swarms. Tiny Piranhas that burrow and have tons of wounds for their cost.

  • NagaBaboon

    Back in 6th and 7th it was genestealers for me. I have no idea but for some reason, now they’ve gotten good I don’t want to play Tyranids anymore.

  • FCBullsht

    Tactical Squads

  • Ronin

    Captain Sicarius.

  • IronMaster

    Prior to this edition, it was Tempestus Scions (Storm Troopers). I always loved the old models and slowly collected them over time; but they were never that great. Until now! Always hold out on those models you love, they will have their time.

    • IronMaster

      I also have a soft spot for Leman Russ tanks of all varieties. They aren’t that great but I keep collecting them.

  • Muninwing

    used to field DE Hellions, after they could not shoot and charge (like they could in 3rd). they never earned their points back, but they were good threat/harassers, especially since my opponents rarely knew what they were and thus were afraid of them.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Anything with a C-Beam Cannon. Especially anything Hellforged with a C-Beam Cannon. Your Contemptors, tanks and Rapiers want to eat people in close combat as well as shoot, not sit back and lob shots at people.

  • zeno666

    Death Company, way overpriced…

  • Vladamyr

    Vespid, I loved Tau Empire, because I loved the idea of several xenos races each having a little quirky specialty….Vespid were never “Bad” but their points just never justified being in a list.

    And with the loss of focus on the Empire part of Tau, I ended up just selling it all 🙁