40K: Faction Facsimiles – It’s A Problem

Many of these things are just like the others and that’s becoming a problem with the new codexes.

We’ve gotten our hands on all 7 of the current codexes for Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition and we’re starting to notice some things repeating. There are certain reoccurring themes and abilities that have been popping up in one way or another in the codexes. This homogenization of 40k is a troubling trend can make all the armies start to feel very similar – and that’s a problem.

Repeating Traits Repeating

We first noticed this trend when the Space Marine and Chaos Space Marine books came out. The Raven Guard and Alpha Legions were basically dark mirrors. It made sense that their Chapter/Legion traits were so similar.  This “Hard to Hit” ability (which causes enemy units to get a -1 to hit at when shooting over 12″) was cool and new. However, 7 books in and we’re seeing it over and over again. Ad Mech’s Stygies VIII sub-faction has it and so does Craftworld Alaitoc. In fact, we made a list of things from JUST the sub-faction abilities that were similar.

  • Army Wide “Feel No Pain” (ignores a lost wound on +X) – Space Marines: Iron Hand / Ad Mech: Graia / Death Guard (Disgusting Resilience – which is actually a +5) / Craftworld Ulthwe.
  • Extra Tough Vehicles (double the number of remaining wounds for a vehicle to determine it’s damage chart) – Astra Militarum: Valhallan / Craftworld: Iyanden
  • Overwatch shooting bonus (hit on 5+ or get a +1 to hit in Overwatch) – Ad Mech: Agripinaa / Astra Militarum: Mordian
  • Hard To Hit (-1 to be hit at ranges over 12″ ) – Space Marines: Raven Guard / Chaos Space Marines: Alpha Legion / Ad Mech: Stygies VIII / Craftworld Alaitoc.

 

This seems familiar…

Here’s the thing: these are JUST the sub-faction abilities. We’re not looking at repeating Warlord Traits or Stratagems. For example there is an Ad Mech stratagem (Machine Spirit Resurgent) that ALSO doubles the number of wounds remaining for a unit for determining their stat-line on the damage chart. Another example is that the Raven Guard Warlord Trait and a Generic Eldar Warlord Trait says that you cannot Overwatch them.

There are more. Lots more. And we have a feeling there are more repeating traits on the way.

Oh PLEASE give me a -1 to be hit outside of 12″

 

The Nexus of Oneness

Now, sharing these abilities might not seem like that big of a deal (for now) but in the long run it’s going to be an issue. It’s not good when all the codexes start to converge on becoming the same thing but with a minor variance. Everyone wants their chosen army to feel and play different that the next one – it’s the variety that keeps things interesting. Sure, they might share very high level themes but it’s the how they accomplish those goals that makes them play differently. When everyone ends up with the same tools for the job then things start to feel very bland and boring.

We need armies to diverge and be different. The Sub-factions should help the armies play up those unique strengths that the overall army has – not go the other direction and make start to play like something else. Does this lead to more complexity and room for issues to crop up? Yes. Absolutely it can cause problems. It’s not easy to design or balance entire codexes against each other. But when it’s done correctly you get a much better and stronger game.

As a player, I want each army to be different and interesting to play with and against. When every army has the same option every game starts to look like a mirror match. Strategies don’t change, tactics become rout, and we’re just playing the same thing over and over. The only real variance is who’s dice are hot and who’s dice are cold. That’s not the game I want to play.

I don’t think 40k is there yet. I can’t see the game going to that extreme point – it’s not like Orks are going to run around in Power Armor.  The armies have a strong enough personality and identity that the Sub-Factions can only do so much…for now. But if the designers aren’t careful they could push the armies closer and closer together and that could do some long term damage. Everyone wants them to be balanced – but making them all “functionally the same” is not the best way to obtain balance.

Don’t lose hope yet. If GW can make Space Marines/Dark Angels/Blood Angels/Space Wolves/Chaos Space Marines/Death Guard/Grey Knights/[Insert Power Armor Army Here] all play different then I think we’ve got a shot…

Who knows – maybe the next batch of Codexes that come out will all have very different Traits and abilties, I sure hope so! Maybe this is all just growing pains as we move away from the Indexes and armies get their own Codexes. Time will tell.

 

How are you feeling about the codexes so far? Are you starting to notice the “sameness” of the armies? Are you liking or disliking the fact that armies do share similar abilities?

  • TDog

    “Wah! The rules are too complicated! The games take too long! Make it simpler! Make it faster! Wah!”

    “okay, here they aer: simpler rules that make for faster games!”

    “Wah! Factions don’t have truly unique rules that would make the game more complicated and slower! Wah!”

    There is no satisfying people whose only job is to complain…

    • Agent of Change

      Seriously.

      Player A:This army wide trait makes this SM Faction, CSM Faction, Eldar Faction, and this AdMech Faction all identical.

      Player B: What about all of their other rules and unique units and play styles.

      Player A:….

      Player B: Did you like it when all the everything had unique conflicting rules that led to rules abuse, power creep, and an impossible to follow ruleset?

      Player A: Of course not, but THIS ONE THING is the same across some books!

      Player B: No my friend it is a mechanic added to different things, there is no damage to the variety of the game.

      Player A: Don’t try to confuse me with you logic while i’m finding things to complain about.

      • Eric Buchanan

        I wish I had seen your post first, I think you’ve done an even better job of characterizing this issue. Armies are made of layers of rules, this is just one part of one layer thats the same.

      • Defenestratus

        Player B: Did you like it when all the everything had unique conflicting rules that led to rules abuse, power creep, and an impossible to follow ruleset?

        Yes. Because the people I played with were intelligent, good-humored human beings who didn’t purposely try to sabotage the gaming experience for their opponent.

        • Agent of Change

          I mean that’s fair, but it still doesn’t excuse what was a poorly written mess of spaghetti rules often from two different quasi-overlapping editions with wildly varying power levels that were quite frankly all but impossible to play test in even a fraction of common situations within a reasonable time frame.

          You can still play with folks who don’t act as exemplars of power gaming under the new tighter rule set and have fun. I don’t mean to come off as strident but I will ask an honest question:

          What exactly have we appreciably lost in terms of game play or fluff under this new ruleset?

        • Jonathan Ellsworth

          Why did you stop playing with them?

        • Bakvrad

          Same here.
          None of my people had issues with the rules nor abused anything on purpose.
          That’s why I flirt with Horus Heresy more and more. Still did not make the jump to it, but it will happen soon I guess.

          Still: 8th isn’t bad at all, we houseruled the cover and off we go ^^

      • LankTank

        Player A: These models are exactly the same as they both have the -1 to hit rule.
        Player B: But… This is a Eldar Guardian and this is a Chaos Terminator? They are very diff…
        Player A: EXACTLY THE SAME!

        • Muninwing

          it does encourage similar elements to play similarly, but there is enough variation that it will have some effect.

          now, if you wanted to be more representative of the real issue, you’d compare Scouts or Tacs vs Guardians… and even then there are enough differences (and enough interface with other units) to make a difference.

        • PLAYER I: Right this is a Grot, this is an Imperial Warhound Titan…

          PLAYER II: No! The models are different but are exactly the same!

      • DoctorBored

        This and the post above it are the only things needed in reply to this article. 🙂

    • Andrew O’Brien

      All I want are new and better things without anything I like changing. Why is that so hard!?!?

    • Because some people want dense, complex rules and some people want simple, faster rules

      • ZeeLobby

        Shhhh. You know the other side (whichever side you aren’t on) doesn’t exist…

        • Dennis J. Pechavar

          Oh it does and they are all heretics!

      • Muninwing

        i think part of the real issue is that GW pitched this edition as “clearing out the clutter” rather than clearing out fully half the game.

        and much of the problems with this edition result from all the problems when clearing out the clutter and neglecting to pay attention to the the effects of that clearing.

    • Richard Mitchell

      I speak true sir but you speak the true true.

    • Alex Temple

      Why should streamlining and a lack of copy and pasted rules be mutually exclusive? You know, just because this community complains a sickening amount it doesn’t mean there isn’t, now and again, a valid complaint.

      Do you actually think the odd mirror faction trait is about not making the game “more complicated and slower”? Because you know you only have to remember that one your playing, right? They write it down for you and everything.

  • Advachiel

    GW has had balance issues with their 40k game system in the recent past. From a game design perspective, the easiest way for them to balance a system is to give various armies the same powers in a staggered approach ( one army might be AB, another AC, another BC, etc. ) This definitely removes flavor though.

    • Eric Buchanan

      Does it though? If each codex is a delicious sundae, does it take away from the flavor that each sundae has a cherry on top? Do we ignore all the other layers of toppings and the base ice cream its built on? Or do we fixate on the cherry?

      I totally agree it helps promote balance though. I just disagree it makes armies less varied.

      • Advachiel

        Some flavour I think, not all the flavour. Everyone wants their army to be a unique snowflake, but people forget that in a war scenario, there are things that all armies would want to try to do, i.e. dont get shot so much, shoot again, go faster, etc.. Again I think its totally worth it from a design standpoint.

        • Drpx

          Everybody wants to be different—but they want to be equal in competitiveness.

          Math takes a steaming dump on that dream.

          • Muninwing

            not if the differences have different worth in
            a points-based system…

    • LankTank

      So far 8th has been great on theme and flavour.
      Look at my walking dead, grenade hurling fly hidden plague marines. Yet their is still a better balance. Excluding Renegade Ogryn Brutes. Man they are under-priced and now I have 5 XD

  • Many game developers and current systems do exactly this. You have a pool of abilities and your factions all choose from the same pool.

    Its how you bring balance back.

    • Drpx

      Hence why I was always hearing nothing but praise for Horus Heresey—a game literally founded on playing nothing but Space Marines.

      • Koen Diepen Van

        Horus Heresy does chapters a lot better then the current 40k tough. The traits are much more interesting

    • Defenestratus

      Which is why there are those of us who couldn’t care less about balance and want our kaleidoscope ruleset back.

      • Understood. However, AOS and 40k are both heavily under the influence of tournament teams now who are driving the game in the direction that they want pretty much at the expense of flavor.

        • Richard Mitchell

          True, tournament players drive the game presence AND they do much of the buying.

    • Richard Mitchell

      True, it is a mechanic Warmachine has used for a long time. You have a list of core abilities that cross faction and then a couple that are exclusive to the faction. Balance requires consistency. Despite this Warmachine has still kept its flavour. Khador has a ranged game (blasts with high explosive) and Cygnar has a ranged game (with electro-leap) but they play the ranged game differently. I don’t see this being a problem for 40k. It is not a bad thing that there is consistency with most of the abilities to make the game more balanced. As long as there are enough tweaks so that two factions like Eldar or Orcs can play a ranged game if a player wants but they will play it differently and stay competitive with one another.

  • Valeli

    So, I see the point. I get it.

    I wouldn’t call Eldar with -1 to hit and raven guard with -1 to hit “minor variants” though. The “playstyle” rule is the same, but the armies remain totally different.

    Contrast this with the old formations. Those were pretty unique and flavorful, but ended up screwing over many people (or, at least, leading to a lot of people picking x because it was effective).

    Doing it this way is much less unique, true, but it feels much more balanced to me. And it does give players a lot of control over how they want their army to play – I think that’s cool.

    It might not be the most flavorful approach, but I think it’s a good design one.

    • Koen Diepen Van

      You do realise that some of the “chapter traits are flat out better than others right” No matter your playstyle.

      • Valeli

        Oh, absolutely. I just mean balanced in the sense that everyone gets the same modifications/options based on their chapter/craftworld/whatever.

        Yeah. Some of those traits are worse. But that’s not what I’m getting at. I’m just getting at equal access.

        A -1 to hit is a -1 to hit, and everyone can get it in their list if they want to use the rules for chapter/craftworld/etc x. In contrast to the free transports for the Marines (or whatever your personal information formation of choice might have been), which was only an option for folks playing one army.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    Because Eldar with -1 to be hit outside of 12″ feels exactly similar to Alpha Legion army. *rolls eyes*

    • Drpx

      Alaitoc Dark Reaper gun line.
      Alpha Legion Havoc gun line.

      • LankTank

        Alaitoc rangers
        Alpha Legion Slaaneshi Terminators.
        Identical playstyle

  • thereturnofsuppuppers

    AoS does the same thing, and still has armies that play quite differently.

    • Richard Mitchell

      So does Warmachine. I don’t see it as a problem either.

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        people really don’t like change in this hobby.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          #truthbomb

    • Apocryphus

      Wargear and weapons in Infinity are pretty much universal across every single faction and each of their factions still play differently too. Looks to me more like GW is just emulating a successful model and incorporating in their own way.

      • EnTyme

        It’s by far the easiest way to balance a game. After the game has achieved relative equilibrium (I firmly believe true 100% balance is both unrealistic and undesirable), you can start to experiment with ways to make factions fell more unique. Personally, I already feel like they’re unique. At least factions with a codex.

    • BrianDavion

      BOLS has been trying to claim 8th edition has horriable issues since 8th hit. they’ve made some good points but also a LOT of bad ones

      • thereturnofsuppuppers

        I don’t know why, they just need to post another Feminist40k article if they need clicks.

  • D. B.

    OK, someone needs to explain to the author what a “facsimile” is. I was expecting something about cover illustrations not changing from the title.

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      that was a bit disappointing for the guard book.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Someone needs to stop throwing stones and google “facsimile definition”….

  • Sbatragno Sbatragno

    this edction it’s a children ediction.
    we starting to create a pack of rules just to return to a better game

    • BadMrPumpkin

      what

    • Valeli

      Let’s keep it 100. We’re playing toy soldiers with little plastic army men. You can gussy it up in all the rules you want, and it will always sort of remain a children’s game at heart.

      Not saying their shouldn’t be depth or thought or anything like that. But yeah.

      • The term “Kidult” should be used when talking about Wargaming. Like The Real Ghostbusters before they ruined it. Or Star Trek.

  • RAKSHA

    That is true some of the rules are identical but some are not for me this rules what we have now are very careful step to make 40 k balanced but I also fear this approach maybe will lead to all is copy paste set off rules with no flavour…another very important thing what we should take on board before we start making accusations is the units in each codex are different and for me this is balance factor for those rules witch are similar..rules maybe identical but units received the rules making huge change on the board and how you play them..I’m not gonna use double shoots stratagem on guard with lasguns …Is that make sense…and is to early to tell how rest of the codexes will looks like..

  • Drpx

    People hate variety. Give us 500 flavors of ice cream and most of us will pick vanilla. The player base (or at least the biggest personalities in it) wanted simpler rules that could be tweaked or adjusted with an errata every month or so for “muh tournaments”, now they’re getting what they asked for. They also wanted Codices released faster.

    • Valeli

      I love this codex speed. It takes away from the (feel of) creep if not the actuality, and gives me hope that fringe armies like my sisters will finally get dealt with.

      As far as the other stuff… I can take it or leave it. Squeaky wheels get the grease, and I didn’t particularly squeak other than when they killed whfb. So I guess that’s on me. Most is ok though.

  • EnTyme

    Complains about lack of balance.

    Complains when he realizes what balance actually is.

    Just another Wednesday on BoLS.

  • Danny Janevski

    The problem is time and play testing. There are too many options/variables in order to play test them all. Best they could do was in the time they had to turn 40k around is to make them all similar. Ie many competitive systems out there.

    Simple to learn hard to master. Problem is people play 40k for a variety of reasons but most people love the fluff. And a balanced competitive game cannot have soo many variables without proper support in terms of time for development and play testing.

    Also those same people need to be informed of the Lore to the point where the rules make it feel like the lore.

    I for one mentioned that this would happen and got booed as a GW hater. I think they are doing a good job of getting the hobby and game system back on track.

    The d6 is going to be an issue when making all of this work as it is a major limiter to the variables but in the wrong way. so + and – make a huge difference as well as amount of dice.

    I do not like some of the rules in terms of fluff mainly the psychic phase which I have rightly crowned the Smite phase. The fluff has been taken out of that phase and some armies are all about that. Now it’s + to hit ot rerolls or more armour or random boons but the most powerful and spammable power is smite.

    What happened to geomancy and Ectomancy etc… That was so flavourful and fun and made you feel like you had a literally grimoare of options. Now it’s a few choices here and there that are mostly ignored for mortal wounds spam.

    And that killed alot of flavor for me

    Everyone and everything can smite and if you focus on that your army will be very hard to beat and that is what is killing the flavour of the 40k psychic phase and fluff.

    Imho

    • Richard Mitchell

      There is a point there Eldar have smite too so it is going to be an issue of just hot dice versus cold dice against two smite armies. Do you think horde or soup will be a thing with eldar?

      • 40KstillRulesTheTT

        Smite is a failrly simple issue to adjust, i’m just make it do 1 mortal wound instead of d3. keep the d6 on a 11 or 12 roll, its fun (never leave out the fun part). Actuall, maybe have a d3 on a 9 or 10 roll.

        People will take less psykers, no one will complain, boom, done. I’m pretty sure Chapter Approved will go that direction

  • Rahn1908

    Makes you wonder why they did away with the universal rules instead of just shortening them…

    • I_am_Alpharius

      “Universal” rules still, fundamentally, exist in things like Explodes, Smoke Launchers, Teleport Strike, Turbo-boost, Airborne, Supersonic, Crash and Burn etc... No matter the army these kind of abilities work the same, even if occasionally they may have a slightly different name. It is just that every rule is explained on the datasheet, so its far quick to find a rule.

      • LankTank

        I always feel like you have a permanent face palm having again to point out the obvious XD

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Not my fault people make silly and inane sweeping statement without much thought for what they’re actually saying. Jumping on a gripe or issue without reflecting on in a balanced way. I happy to continue challenging these statements.

          • LankTank

            No diggity no doubt =p

      • InstaAxeToast

        Those rules are not universal though. You really need to read them to make sure what they do.

        Some explodes are d6″/6″, some happen on 6up/4+, some do d6/d3 mortal wounds.

        The base idea may be the same but the names and specifics are all over the place.

        They really should have kept some universal rules. One that comes to mind is feel no pain. There is no need to have so many different names with the same effect.

        • I_am_Alpharius

          Still work the same even if some of the detail maybe different. If someone reads the ability “Explode” then they roughly know what it is going to do. In particular regards to Explode, it makes sense that different vehicles will go pop in varying degrees of destruction. A little Trukk is not going to go up in flames in the same manner of a Baneblade or Knight!

          True perhaps different names made seem a little odd. Yet given different names to the abilities is quite intentional. With how various abilities interact with keywords and other abilities. Have different names mean interactions can be far more specific in regards to who they effect and who they don’t effect. It takes away the need to add sentence after sentence to a rule stating exactly with models it effects.

      • Muninwing

        … except that there is not consistency.

        some rules are the same every time.
        some rules are different sometimes.

        so how do you know? you have to look it up each time. and you might misremember.

        even just some “Explodes” doing different numbers of wounds, or having a different range, defeats the purpose of having USRs.

        and “i look up which variation of this rule i have this time” versus “it’s always the same, so i look it up in this specific place until i have it memorized” is not longer or shorter, but catering to a need to look it up versus memorization. in fact, the lack of consistency that requires doublechecking every time instead of being standardized actually slows down the game and creates more confusion.

        it was never hard to have a bookmark at the USR section in the core rulebook you brought to a game anyway. no idea why so many people complained about it, or why GW pushes the false narrative of “no it’s more streamlined” when in reality it’s a huge opportunity for bloat that AoS already struggles with.

  • Philip Estabrook

    Rarely do I feel an article is complete nonsense. This is one of those times however. There is very little similarity between how two armies play just because they share a similar and direct copy of a faction rule.

    • Simon Bates

      This is true, even Raven Guard And Alpha Legion, while quite similar (marines with -1 to hit at range and access to an ambush strategem) play quite differently with different warlord traits, different relics and different auxiliary units. Ad Mech and Eldar play completely differently to either.

  • Drew_Da_Destroya

    This is a bad article. I look forward to Blood Axes getting -1 to hit when 12″ away, myself. My Lootas will love it!

  • Wes

    I see your point, but I disagree that it is a problem. If your sub faction is supposed to be sneaky, should we have wonky rules for each one? I think it’s better to simply have a more common rule that says “I come from the sneaky guys.” The divergence in play styles will happen with different psychic powers, unit abilities, etc.

    Further, I would note that we have seen less than half the codices. We might revisit this next summer when we will hopefully have codices for everyone. But I think it’s a bit reactionary to start stressing about it now.

  • Defenestratus

    This homogenization of 40k is a troubling trend can make all the armies start to feel very similar – and that’s a problem.

    …Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen… *evil finger tent*

    • Muninwing

      – more difference
      – more depth
      – more ease

      pick two. or maybe just one.

  • Lux

    To be fair – if they were going to reuse faction traits so much, why didn’t everyone have them from the get go? Fighting Codex armies with non-Codex armies is a daunting prospect in most cases.

    • Valeli

      Perhaps. But if they keep putting out books at this rate, it’s a problem that will vanish in record time.

      And honestly, if some homogenization of subfaction rules for armies (many of whom never even had the option for subfaction rules before) gets books out fast enough that my sisters come in at the start of the edition instead of right before 9th…. I’m 100% behind that.

  • GiftoftheMagi

    One of the reasons players like Horus Heresy is that nearly every army is the same, except a few key rules and one or two characters. Unfortunately this means those games come down to who has hotter dice and the better character.

    Balance is hard for a game where each armies plays differently, but it can be done. Making everything the same makes every game the same…and that is not a good thing long term.

    • mgdavey

      Of course the relative skill of the generals doesn’t enter into it.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        Nope. Never. Always hot dice. Nothing else matters.

        Tactics? Pffft.
        Positioning? Pffft.
        More coherent strategy? Pffft.

        Hot dice. Its all you need.

        • 40KstillRulesTheTT

          In this version where flanking your opponent means nothing, or using terrain as cover isn’t allowed by the rules (unless the unit is infantery basically), yes hot dice is all that matters.
          In the previous versions, indeed skill mattered

        • Muninwing

          i think it’s interesting (to ignore the sarcasm for a moment) that you can tell the relative skill of a player by how much they blame their dice for their wins or losses.

          i have maybe four games in nearly 20 years that i would blame on dice, and i specifically remember each one because they were so noteworthy.

          meanwhile, when i’ve paid attention, i’ve noticed that my dice tend to roll an average of just under 3… and pretty consistently, regardless of which actual dice i roll. but aside from those notables above, i’m used to winning even when my dice don’t behave.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Sure it would be cooler if every subfaction had a unique and fitting trait. However, I wouldn’t call it a “problem” yet.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Struggling to see the issue here.

    The units within an army and the weapons they have access to do far more in terms defining the archetypal play style of an army, than the various sub faction nuances and stratagems.

    Indeed in regards to Stratagem is makes sense that different armies have access to similar (if not the same). After all war can only be waged in so many ways and every race will potentially develop the same strategies to employ when raging war – see Mr Sun Tzu’s Art of War I hear he does a good job of summing things up.

    I feel it is a similar issue in regards to the various army traits, tactics, doctrines, attributes etc… They all kind of represent different areas and place emphasis on certain types of warfare. So of course many races will reach a certain level of similarity – although one army may do something better than another.

    I also don’t feel this perceived ‘trend’ has much to with ‘keeping’ the game simple or easier to balance.

  • David Smith

    I’m not seeing the problem here.
    I don’t even know where to start with how silly a complaint this is.
    It’s like saying Space Marines have bolters so anyone else who has a gun shouldn’t have a bolter, or even a gun which has the same stats as a bolter. If they do, it’s a problem because they’re not unique enough.

  • Bootneck

    If Tyranid’s got a hive fleet with -1 to hit, would be meta changing for them and make them a totally different animal.

    All those Venomthropes and Malenthropes combining with gribbles and monsters for -2 to hit. . .

    Potentially -3 to hit with the Horror cast on someone.

  • Mike Linke

    Doesn’t bother me.

    If two factions both get 6+ FNP, but ONE of those factions has “spend a command point to X”, and the other has “Spend two command points to do Y”, then they aren’t really copying eachother. The assortment of abilities you get matters.

    Good example is those rules that make you harder to hit at long ranges. usually it’s been given to factions that generally prefer to be up close, and protects them while they make their way up the field. The rule had VERY different implications when it was given to an admech faction that wanted to STAY at long range.

    So, i see no problem here.

  • piglette

    GW basically made a bunch of USRs and then gave them a unique name in each faction. Decide for yourself if you care.

  • Maciek Kiliszek

    Obviously you had to find something to complain… No surprises here.

  • Mythought2

    I never played
    tournament in 40k, I find that community take it too much seriously. Fast game,
    always exploiting anything so they can win. I play a game once each week since
    a decade matched play or campaign. When a play against something like Battle
    sister and I say; Great, I never played against them for 4 years. It’s a great
    feeling, something that only the universe of Games Workshop can get me. Now
    that the rules for faction gets the same, that feeling will go a bit. Having to
    work against a constraint that is the same on first hand (-1 to hit is the
    faction thing you will ear when you start shooting) it’s kind of destroying
    that feeling. Codex Imperial Guard is great, I don’t play that army, faction
    traits are different and respect the fluff. I hope it goes more into that
    direction.

  • tyler

    Rarely do I feel an article is complete nonsense. This is one of those times however. There is very little similarity between how two armies play just because they share a similar and direct copy of a faction rule.

  • Rob brown

    Firstly the game is made up of to hit rolls, to wound rolls, and saving throws. These are 90% of the dice rolls and you’re suprised that modifiers to hit, to wound and saving throws are occuring across all codexes? What precisely did you expect the rules to do?

    Secondly 7th edition had plenty of repeated rules… fearless, stealth, preferred enemy etc etc etc. So how is 8th edition more homogenous than previous editions?

    I’m noting a trend for recent articles on BOLS to be pretty whingy.

  • Nate Grey

    But… They make sense???
    Alaitoc drawing on their experiences as Rangers to make use of cover
    Raven Guard can become one with shadows and disappear
    Alpha Legion pretty much aren’t where you think they are so you’re firing at a dummy or illusion

    Sure, it’s the same mechanic but it represents differently in the lore for the army.
    And fundamentally, all of these common mechanics play and affect each codex very differently.
    But sure, pick apart one thing for the sake of meeting a publishing quota when the bigger picture where all the rules come together makes sense

  • J Mad

    With 10+ armies getting 5+ army rules… you will have some over lapping rules.

    Why is this a problem again?

  • maxwell watson

    Alaitoc rangersAlpha Legion Slaaneshi Terminators. Identical playstyle

  • ReveredChaplainDrake

    This is honestly a pretty dumb complaint. One of the first (and honestly easiest) steps to game balance is parity between armies. When every army has a few of the same kinds of abilities and there’s a lot of overlap, this allows a couple of things:

    1) Universal Special Rules to make entire games’ worth of army special rules modular with a single FAQ tweak, rather than tweaking every single instance of the exact same rule. (I remember the dark days of incongruous Storm Shields…)

    2) Armies will have most, if not all, of the tools they need native to their own faction (or available allies), meaning that it is very unlikely that one army will have something another army just doesn’t have.

    For example, I was thinking of what might happen if Chapter Approved introduces a universal strategem that allows units to target characters, and what that would do to guys like Mordians and snipers. Answer: not much, because targeting characters would be a legitimate strategem for anybody to take, but Mordians having the same rule natively would add to their faction’s character because they can do the same gimmick with no cost because that’s their schtick. Far better for the game than giving a faction a rule that has zero equivalent in other factions. Lash of Submission springs to mind.

    It’s okay for everybody to have the same tools in their toolbox. Flavor is what happens when a faction has some tools that are exceptionally good and some tools that are less so, with maybe a middling army whose tools are all kinda’ just okay with no clear winners and losers compared to everybody else (*cough*this is what Space Marines always should have been*cough*).

    I can’t think of a single downside to this standardization trend.

  • drinniol

    It’s not like there weren’t any UNIVERSAL SPECIAL RULES before. Crikey.

    • Crablezworth

      much better to have 37 versions of the same rule…

      • I_am_Alpharius

        Well if you take a step back and consider about how the fundamental way in which 8th works then it starts to make sense. Different names made seem a little odd. Yet giving different names to the abilities is quite intentional. With how various abilities interact with keywords and other abilities in 8th. Having different names mean interactions can be far more specific in regards to who they effect and who they don’t effect. It takes away the need to add sentence after sentence to a rule stating exactly with models it effects.

    • Muninwing

      no longer are they USRs when half of the same ability operates differently, so you need to look them all up anyway…

  • Dmitrij Pozdniakov

    With so many subfactions, it’s no wonder GW has to introduce similar rules(to represent similar traits btw), simply because game mechanics do not allow to that much variance…

  • Shoggoroth

    I whole-heartedly disagree. The homogenization is exactly in line with how GW would want to scale their game for the future & plan for growth – it might seem boring now, but GW is playing the long game. Indexes were a stopgap – the codexes are just going to be “the basics” of your army, which is why they might seem a little underwhelming right now. Once all the armies have their codexes and understand standard rule tropes like ‘Feel no Pain’ or ‘Hard to Hit’, GW can expand upon the 8th edition ruleset having set those up as precedents.

    Standardized rules like FnP also help maintain balance, since everyone will be more or less on the same playing field. Don’t get me wrong – I love variation (and think there will be more variation added once everyone has codexes) – but at the end of the day, there’s only so much you can do with modifiers in a dice game.

  • Atogrim

    We wanted a tournament game. Seems like some people didn’t know what that really means ^^

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      Hah hah well said bro ! Be careful for what you wish for 🙂
      But it really all come down to lazyness on behalf of the game developers

      • Atogrim

        Yeahno…. ^^
        If it would be that easy we wouldn’t have so many RTS out there (or PvP games) where the factions basically are only different in skins and animations.
        It is a pretty common syndrom of competative play.

        • 40KstillRulesTheTT

          Eternal Crusade definately follows that pattern.

    • Muninwing

      “3 ways to play” means that the game is not only being marketed toward tournament play

      now if they’d just release some good tools for setting up narrative play leagues…

  • Marco Marantz

    Its a bit dull but it does keep things a bit more balanced. The problem is that some of the traits are simply better than others.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    The only really bad game design so far, for me, is the cover system. Every model should be able to claim the +1 to saveguard if it has 50% coverage regarding line of sight (measured from shooter)
    The rest i’m pretty ok to have.

    • Muninwing

      meh… i’m still not sure why cover isn’t a penalty to hit instead of a save…

      • 40KstillRulesTheTT

        It would stack too powerfully with other existing penalties to hit

  • Andre R.W. Schmeichel

    There are only so many places that game-meaningful adjustments can be given. With the sheer number of stratagems and sub-variants in each codex, overlap is not only inevitable but essential. Otherwise certain armies get the useful and powerful modifications and others get garbage for the sake of variety.

    • SolvetCosmos

      This says it all, really. Aside from special abilities and attacks which are actively used by the player, any kind of passive buff is simply going to be a modifier to one of the game’s basic stats. Mechanically there just isn’t much more they can do.

  • Taskmaster

    There’s only so many rules you can have, Just as before! The only difcerence is that now you can put those abilities to units or models that couldn’t have them in any way. I see it rather as an advantage, that’s why they’re call stratagems, because you need to choose them strategically.

  • Walter Vining

    welcome to balance.