40K: One Type of List Is Dominating the Meta

Since the start of 8th Edition one type of army has dominated the meta.

Every since 8th Edition came out players have been very interested in how the meta would shake out. Now meta is by its nature always in flux and many people will even say that its too early to see any real idea of what the meta will be. However, when looking at the events and major tournaments that have occurred since 8th came out, its actually clear that there is a meta to the game.  In fact looking at these events its pretty clear that in fact two types of armies have dominated the meta the beginning of the edition:

Hordes and Gimmick lists.

In addition it is clear that only hordes have any real staying powering in the meta. Not sure what I am talking about? Lets dig in.

Macro Vs Micro Meta

Wrong Macro

Before we go any deeper it’s important to clarify the type of meta I am talking about. I tend to think about meta as having two parts. On the one hand you have micro meta (or specific, or whatever you’d like to call it). This type of meta focuses on small details, what weapons, units and even codexes/races are good in the current meta. The other type you could call, generic, or macro, or archetype meta. This focuses are large issues, what archetypes or styles do we see winning tournaments. Today I want to focus on the macro meta, the large picture of what is dominating the meta. In this case I am not discussing single units, Leman Russes vs Falcons, or armies, Astra Militarum vs Chaos, but army list type, all foot vs mechanized. We are here to look at the big picture.

The King of the Meta

The Dark Eldar are big fans of the Birds 

When we look at what people have been playing, and winning with, since 8th came out there is a pretty clear pattern to what people are talking about. Yes, there have been a wide number of units/builds that people complain about. Razorwing Flocks. Brimstone Horrors. Chaos Cultists. Conscripts, conscripts, conscripts. These are all units people have had issues with in the meta, and that have had winning lists built around them. At heart however the lists that use them all do the same thing. All them present a mass of poor quality troops to gum up/slow down enemies and get kills through volume of fire. They back this mass up with a group of elite units that have a high firepower output vs cost to do the killing. They are horde lists.

Horde Lists Run the World

Hordes!

That’s right, and to many it’s not a surprise, but the once disposed horde lists run the meta. Just look at some recent events. Bay Area Open, Iron Halo, Nova Open, and even ATC were all dominated by horde lists of one flavor or another. Now while all these lists were different, they all essentially did the same thing. They were all horde lists and they’ve been running the meta since day one. Though there are a huge number of potential list archetypes available to play in 8th, horde lists are clearly the dominating force on the table top, in fact only one other type of list even comes closes to matching it in meta dominance.

The Gimmick

Everyone knows organic Imperial Soup is a gimmick! 

“Now wait” you might be saying at this point. Lots of other lists have done well in the meta. What about Stormraven SPAM from the early days? Or crazy soup/character heavy lists like the assassin list that won Wargames Con?  Well all these types of lists basically fall under the broad archetype of a gimmick list. These types of lists works to exploit a rules loophole, such as targeting characters or how flyers interacted with the game. Gimmick lists will pop up here and there; in previous editions we’ve had lists like the CSM Demonbombs. But these gimmick lists tend not the have the staying power of other lists. Rather than being based around the strengths or weaknesses of a particular army or army type they are based around rules loophole.

Gimmick Lists Lack Staying Power – Hordes Don’t

The Horrors! The Horrors! 

At the end of the day gimmick lists tend not to have a lot of staying power. They tend to be based on rules loopholes and therefore are subject to items that get FAQed – look at Stormraven/flyer SPAM as an example. In most cases a simple change or one rule adjustment tends to invalidate the army. It is for that reason we’ve haven’t seen Stormravens again – these types of lists aren’t based on a solid rules foundation. Instead they come and go like fads and tend not to really effect the meta much.

Bye bye birdie 

Horde lists, on the other hand, do have a solid foundation in the rules. There are in fact a number of rules interactions that come together to make hordes the dominating force in 40K right now (for more specifics you’ll have to wait for that article). Because they have a solid base, hordes can weather FAQs and erratas that change things. Though both Brimstone Horror and Razorwing Flocks got changed in erratas, hordes still remain the leading archetype. Even Brimstone Horrors still remain a major component of some horde lists. All this means that while gimmicks can come and go hordes will most likely keep dominating the meta until something significantly changes.

And All the Rest

Welcome to the future, its the same as the past. 

So at the end of the day there you have it. While there are two types of lists that dominate the macro meta, hordes and gimmick lists, only one of them, hordes, really has staying power. Though the edition is fairly new, hordes have consistently dominated the majority of tournaments and major events. Outside of a few gimmick type lists we have yet to see other archetypes, elite armies, mechanized forces, etc., make significant showings in the meta. While gimmick lists may have their fifteen minutes of fame, hordes are poised to continue their dominance for the foreseeable future.

 

So what do you guys think? Are horde armies the only real archetype dominating the meta or do they have challengers? Let us know what you think, down in the comments! 

 

  • Aaron

    has anyone run a green tide list against am? or nid little bugs?

    • petrow84

      Yes, 2 guys at our LGC, and they are still deploying. Turn 1 will begin on 12th of November, 2018.

      • vlad78

        do you mean Turn 1 will begin when 40k 9th will be released?

        • Tshiva keln

          No, you’re thinking of the game between the guys playing sisters.

          • ZeeLobby

            The next horde army?

          • memitchell

            The new diversity. In the future, to achieve more more diversity, ALL armies will be entirely composed of sexless boyish bodies + female heads. There will be no fur, no leather, and no weapons of any kind. The meta will be dominated by conflict-deescalation stratagems.

          • Frank Krifka

            lmao

          • lunahula .

            Bladed weapons? Stop appropriating Tyranid culture?

          • Porty1119

            **autistic screeching**

    • Robomummy

      yes, green tide gets chewed up by massed firepower but after 2 turns can get into CC and then it turns in favor of orks drastically.

      • Damistar

        So it plays like the fluff? That’s pretty cool actually.

        • Robomummy

          Actually yeah, that’s a good way to describe it. 8th pretty much plays like the fluff. Small elite units will take out huge numbers of enemies but they will eventually get overwhelmed due to sheer numbers.

          • LankTank

            Im also happy how a wide variety of armies can throw a “horde list” keeping more in the game competitive. Especially after Orks, nids, dark ekdar, necrons and tau codexes all drop. Better that than “only this codex wins, all others lose”

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            I like this style with Templars. 20 Marines with CCWs works splendidly.

  • MightyOrang

    Well, when you pull (rightly or wrongly) massive amounts of the complexity and nuance out of the game, of course you’re going to get a few key skeleton keys that emerge to ‘unlock’ more likely wins. This is a power gamer community after all …

    But does that mean it’s not still worth the trade off re: tons of other folks enjoying games for the first time in a long time?

    No. I think that far outweighs the concerns noted above. 10 years ago it was Grey Knights in the same seat…

    • vlad78

      Tons of easy preys for GW wonderful new marketing department if you ask me.

      A faster game is not always a better game. With 10-20 games under my belt, I already feel each battle is almost the same as the previous one and skill seldom alter the outcome.

      • Karru

        I noticed this as well. Having switched to playing with Tabletop Simulator, I finally had the chance of playing with whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

        Having played over 30 games with just that alone, I can safely say, the game feels very, very bland and the game is more often than not decided by pure luck.

        “Oh, you got to go first? Welp, there goes all my Heavy Tanks that otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do anything because they suffer the -1 to-hit.”

        Out of those games, I had conceded on the first turn three times because my opponent just Alpha Striked me to oblivion and successfully charging with multiple Deep Strike units by rolling like a god on the first turn. By the end of those turns, I usually had 1-3 units that weren’t either dead or locked in combat and those were the “minor troop units”.

        All the remaining games also ended with concedes, usually by the third turn, because either I or my opponent realised there was no coming back as the objectives would be scored on the last battle round and the army had been decimated.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          thats a sad story and I’ve heard similar from lots of other people. Makes me wonder exactly how much playtesting took place.

          I know the guys at GW play in a really different way to most real world players and that skews things, but the tournament players should have spotted this stuff. Or were they simply ignored and their feedback not taken on board?

          • Karru

            Well, Tournament players are all about efficiency, so it is possible that they noticed just how fast the game could be so they just didn’t bother to mention some of the major problems with the game as the speed increased immensely.

            Of course, it is possible that the Tournament Folk they brought in weren’t given a say in the final ruling/testing which GW did in-house and then that skewed everything.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            yeah, well there is a lot to like from the tournament perspective. I’m not a tournament sort of guy, but I imagine there are always discussions over arcs and numbers under blasts, scatter etc so doing away with those things would have been cool as far as tournament organisers were concerned. Perhaps they were blind to the various shortcomings.

            Sadly those templates and blasts were one of the ways of controlling horde armies (as well as being quite fun in themselves IMHO).

            There are so many good things about 8th. Perhaps 9th, halfway between 7th and 8th, would be about right.

            If they brought back templates, arcs and facings, but kept the movement and llack of unit type rules from 8th, introduced a vehicle damage chart and similar chart for MCs (but made it 1-14 based on 2 dice to reduce the one shot effect), returned to USRs for the sake of simplicity…

            But I don’t know. I hate the CC rules from 8th but if we did away with them and did all the above we may as well go back to 7th…

          • euansmith

            I’m hoping that 9th will be a total over haul of the game system, from the dice on up. Rolling dozens of dice to produce no effect on the game state beyond, “That unit has had its action” seems like a poor use of players’ time. Something elegant and fast but with nuance would be cool.

          • Watcherzero

            Yes in 9th dice will be done away with and battles will be won purely on the strength of a commanders fluff argument.

          • vlad78

            Nope, the most expensive army will win, period. Genuine FW for the win.

          • euansmith

            I think it could be cool if the next iteration of the game replaces all the hundreds of die rolls with an app and say one die roll per exchange.

            Back in the 1970s I used to play Society of Ancients rules where you worked out your units combat factors and then rolled a die to add a random component to the outcome.

            I think that an army building app that tracked the combat abilities of each unit, combined with a single die roll (because it wouldn’t be wargaming without at least one die) to determine casualties per attack action, could be a great way to speed up play.

          • ZeeLobby

            That sounds pretty cool, but GW has only become more addicted to it’s dice (which can now be bought looking super cool!). I thought the number of dice rolling might have been reduced with the removal of the endless rerolls of 7th, but it does seem like there’s more in 8th than ever. You roll for everything.

          • stinkoman

            the dice are representative of your models power 🙂 one die for a squad of guys i painstakingly painted and assembled? why put them together if i cant knock them over with a bucket of dice on the table???

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, Totally!

          • LankTank

            Well you actually roll for less rules, but just reroll more. So you are rolling 5 times for 3 rules, not 5 times for 5 rukes

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I quite like bucket of d6 games, and its a big part of the 40K experience. We could introduce more 2d6 charts to get a different probability chart, thats only been used for codex things like the warpstorm chart so far. If they used 2d6 for vehicle damage chart it could be more nuanced, particularly if the numbers on the chart were 1 to 14 say, to take account of modifiers.

            There are lots of modern games that use bucket of d6 mechanisms that work ok, I personally don’t think thats one of the bigger problems in the 40k ruleset.

          • euansmith

            The “Buck o Dice” system does seem to be the default for games; but then I guess that isn’t too surprising when taking in to account who writes them, ex-GW empoyees and players of GW games. I just find the system tiresome, but that’s maybe just me. Perhaps I’ll have to stick to micro-skirmish games instead. 😉

          • Karru

            I honestly don’t know what could be done to “save” the game completely. I have been enjoying 5th edition immensely with the minor modifications my group did to it and it has been an absolute blast. Game has felt extremely balanced, the games are fast and tactical and vast majority of the games end in the last turn and won by capturing the objectives.

            I do agree that CC in 8th is very bad. It feels absolutely useless, which hinders certain unit choices completely. The main issue is both Morale and the Damage potential. Since CC units no longer get their extra attacks from charging OR from having the pistol, they have reduced number of attacks. Right out the gate, not looking good. Then you have the ever so lovely Morale to worry about.

            Before, most CC units that got into CC wiped the enemy unit or at least broke it and made it flee, all because of morale. They caused a few casualties which made it so that the enemy had to roll the Ld check, which usually was around 3-4 at that point so the unit would break and then they got ran down. Not the case any more. Unit charges into a horde for example, kills maybe 6-7 guys if they get extremely lucky, kills 3-4 with Morale, they remain in CC and then the enemy just leaves combat and now the CC unit is in the open ready to be executed by the enemy army.

          • Kyle Johnstone

            I agree, leaving combat with no penalties is a problem, and needs to be rethought. Moral is terribly done just for simplicities sake and the lack of attacks in CC has made elite assault based units and armies pretty useless.

          • Heinz Fiction

            I’d say CC is 10 times better in 8th than it ever was before (in terms of rules, not in terms of efficiency). No longer the attacker is hoping to not destroy the target in the first round to stay “save” in CC, wich bothered me to no end in previous editions.

            If there is a problem with the damage done, thats really easy to fix: give them more attacks or lower their cost.

          • Karru

            “No longer the attacker is hoping to not destroy the target in the first round to stay “save” in CC”

            Indeed, now he just doesn’t bother to go into CC, because the enemy just Falls Back because he can’t deal enough damage to kill the unit they charged and now the CC unit is out in the open, ready to be annihilated.

            The problem isn’t the damage done per say, it is Morale. Normally, Melee units used to be a massive linebreaker. Charge a unit in, deal damage in CC, break the unit and run them down. There, now you have a hole in the line.

            In 8th edition, Melee and Shooting has no difference whatsoever when it comes to Morale. It is the same for both, casualties caused. Melee has no advantages over Ranged units, instead they have disadvantages. Melee units first have to make an RNG based Charge roll to even make it into CC, they also have to survive Overwatch, then they get to attack. If and when the enemy survives the Charge, the enemy just falls back with no negatives and now that unit is dead.

            Meanwhile, Ranged unit sits inside Cover, blasting the same amount of damage each turn with the exact same results in terms of breaking the enemy, except they don’t have to worry about the enemy getting Overwatch AND attacks back at you.

            So no, giving Melee units more attacks and lowering their cost will not fix anything. The core of the problem still remain, which is Morale.

          • stinkoman

            add on to that, if you have pistols, you dont fire for fear of killing the closest guys and failing your random charge roll, after taking overwatch.

          • Mike Woodsman

            This has always been a problem in 40k though. Even when wound allocation was based on closest model, this was a problem for assaulting units which more often than not discarded their pistols/small arms for upgraded melee weapons or an additional CCW.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            That isn’t part of the rules.

          • 40KstillRulesTheTT

            You forgot to mention that shooting units can also sit on objectives, where as CC units need to move towards their target before they can finally charge

          • Mike Woodsman

            Melee still forces many units to disengage and forfeit their next turn’s shooting, barring Flyers and some special rules which permit shooting post-Fall Back.

            The problem is most melee units are disproportionately expensive to the units they’ll be running into to prevent from shooting. Ironically the most efficient units to tie up enemy shooting for one turn are usually expendable chaff units inherently found in non-melee armies…

          • Heinz Fiction

            Funny: You perfectly described how CC isn’t deadly enough compared to shooting and then for odd reasons conclude that making it more deadly won’t solve it.

            Of course, more attacks per point is not the only way to adress the issue. Combat resolution like in previous editions would work as well but it would be much more difficult to handle in the current system with alternating activations.

          • Karru

            Actually it isn’t difficult at all. In the Morale Phase, all units locked in CC calculate casualties inflicted on both units and then roll for Ld suffering -1 like you would in the past editions. Then, if you fail, you automatically have to fall back, but the enemy can then try to catch you by rolling dice and on a 4+ they get ran down, removed and then the melee unit can consolidate. Suddenly CC is extremely lethal and works perfectly as a shock weapon.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Unless you charge a flying unit, or a unit with a rule that allows it to act after a Fall Back move, melee is still a viable way to neutralize a unit most of the time. Most units that can do so aren’t Horde units, so Fall Back counterattacks aren’t a natural advantage that Horde armies have.

          • Karru

            Lets see… You charge my unit in my line, kill a handful and morale does some more, now you are in this lovely pile just outside my lines as my unit just stands there. Now, my turn comes around, that 3-4 man unit that survived moves back, you can’t do ANYTHING to stop me from doing that and now I have this juicy melee unit out in the open right next to my lines to obliterate.

            Who do you think will come on top in that exchange? That melee unit who charged and didn’t even manage to wipe my unit who will now die or the ranged unit that suffered losses to most of its models, but still survived and now can’t shoot for a single round.

            The truth is, falling back has no downsides unless you are looking at a unit that got charged by a “chaff” unit like a Rhino. When the charge is done by a dedicated melee unit, Falling Back has every single advantage one can think of. The amount of people saying “BUT THEY CAN’T SHOOT FOR A ROUND!” is insane. I feel like these people have only been either got charged or charged with units like the Rhino or other units that only has the purpose of denying the enemy from firing and not actually a unit that is supposed to be a melee unit.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Play fair. Who in their right mind charges into enemy lines with 1 unit? If your going to respond with,”my army murders your squad,” every time, my response is going to be that the units you elected not to fire at are going to do likewise then charge next turn.

          • Karru

            “Who in their right mind charges into enemy lines with 1 unit?”

            I do, or did, hundreds of times back in 5th edition. I would have one or two Melee units in my army that would make their way across the table to the enemy lines and then charge, breaking the enemy front and causing havoc. Worked absolute wonders back then.

            Now, not so much. Now those same melee units won’t do anything. I am also not talking about some kitted up Melee units by the way, like Terminators or Vanguard Veterans. These were units like Assault Marines and Raptors, basic Melee units with standard equipment and at best one special melee weapon.

            If they get lucky, they make their way to the enemy lines, then if they get even luckier they might even get to charge something. Then even luck won’t be enough as now they need to kill the unit or be annihilated next turn.

            This is one of the major issues in 8th edition, and basically all editions after 5th. Mixed army of Ranged and Melee units no longer work, you go one or the other. You can mix some Ranged units into a Melee army, but if you want to do melee, you better bring 6+ units that are dedicated purely for that, as only 2-3 of those will ever make it to the enemy lines and only then does the Fall Back from combat have any real effect.

            I miss the days when I could bring a single standard melee unit in your list and it would perform well, that’s all. Now it is all melee, massive gimmick unit or none at all.

          • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

            Or play a high threat list that performs well all game, but outside of codex Imperium and a few corner-case builds, that’s too much to ask from some factions.

            Of course, I don’t think it’s bad that “heroic,” aka suicidal, charges are suboptimal in this edition. My current Templars list functions perfectly fine, despite my lone Crusader squad and ICs being the only dedicated close combat troops I run.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Having to stay in combat to protect your unit from shooting is another fault of the alternate IGoYouGo turn system. If combat and shooting was resolved one unit at a time and alternated between players, there could easily be a rule saying you couldn’t shoot a unit which had been in combat that turn. Or maybe you alternately activate units but resolve all H2H at the end of the turn.

            Either way when the next turn came around, and players start alternating units to activate, you’d just activate that vulnerable combat unit as one of your first activations and move it, retreat it, charge it again etc. You’d never get the whole enemy army shooting at a single unit stuck in the open unable to move.

          • Richard Mitchell

            I like the way Deadzone handles it, you chose if your models do a fight or survive roll when being attacked. Maybe on a unit level the same thing could happen. Guard unit gets charge by orcs. The defender chooses to fight or survive. If the defender chooses to fight the attacker gets an additional move after combat to get more models stuck in. If the defender survives and has less casualties than the attacker then the defender gets an additional move.

            Certain combat units can get a special rule (like Bloodthirsty) where they can also also advance whether or not the defender survives a charge with less casualties.

          • Spacefrisian

            Yeah there should be a roll of to see if the 1 jumping from combat can actually do that.

          • Mike Woodsman

            Which part of 5th edition did you change to stop MSU, transport spam, autocannons, and Grey Knights, often all 4 in one, from being the most obvious qualities to leafblower armies?

          • Karru

            Well, no one plays Grey Knights in my group which helps a lot, I do love when people mention Grey Knights as the thing that made 5th edition absolute c*ncer while it existed at the very end of the edition.

            MSU, Transport Spams and even the Leafblower were actually fully counterable. One major thing in 5th edition was the ability to outflank and assault. This made sure that the enemy didn’t bunker down at his side of the map freely, as my friend found out when a unit of scouts destroyed two Leman Russes after coming out of outflank.

            They were effective tactics sure, but the edition itself offered much more in terms of options on how to counter things. It wasn’t absolute one-sided battle if you didn’t happen to play one of like 4 specific armies and with them very specific army list.

            I won against “high-tier” tournament lists with my standard army lists. I never even had a chance of that in 6th edition onwards. It would always be a single, automatic defeat no matter what I did because the armies were made to be absolutely unkillable, even against other lists of that calibre.

            In 5th edition I could have a few Melee units, some ranged units, transports, tanks and characters and the army list would work wonders if I knew how to utilise it well. Unless I go full gimmick with my units in 8th with something like a Chaos Terminators with a Sorcerer using Deep Strike + Warp Time + First Turn Charge, Melee “support” units are no longer useful. You just use Ranged Units always, or you go full Melee, you can’t really go mixed any more without gimmicks which is exactly the reason why I really don’t enjoy 8th in comparison to 5th.

          • Kyle Johnstone

            I found that templates and blasts rarely slowed my games down in 7th to such a degree that they needed to be removed. I agree that their removal has made the game alot more horde friendly and makes elite armies suffer when 1 individual model takes 6 hits from flamers.

          • Heinz Fiction

            You really don’t need templates as an anti horde weapon. Would be much easier to have weapons generating hits based on the number of models and/or type of the target they are fired at. There are some in the game already but not nearly enough.

          • vlad78

            You would also need to remove all the OP stuff from 7th and many rules which bypass core rules.

            I would remove the immunity to most things enjoyed by super heavies.

            Long range weapons removing cover should all lose that ability. (baleflamer, FW stuff…) only short range flamers or equivalents should do that.

            Grav weapons should be entirely reworked to offer a real alternative to flamers, meltas an plasmas, not something that replace all other weapons. I would invert the wounding table for grav weapons, make them T5 and super cheesy against high Toughness models and useless against T1 T2 movels = wound T10 9 8 7 models on 2+, T6 on 3+ T5 on 4+, T4 on 5+, T3 or 2 on 6+ and not allowed to wound on T1. AP2 of course.
            As a result, a grav canon would murder super heavies and heavies but would not slaughter basic infantry.

            Characters should not buff or grant powers to units from another codex. (a bit like the keyword used in 8th) No superfriends.

            Psykic powers should also be reworked, invisibility should be toned down, summons should follow the 8th rules (you buy what you want to summon and it comes in reserve by deep strike or by the older ways (icons))

            Personnally I would mix both 7th and 8th deep strike rules = if you want to go really close you scatter and potentially it can get you killed or you choose precisely where you go at more than 9″ from enemies (but no charge).

            But no deep strike during T1.

            No Turn 1 charge but charges coming from deep strike allowed later on.

            No rerollable 2+ save, 2++ then 4++ should be the highest reroll allowed. (same with 3++)

            And This is just a start.

            And i would add alternate activation as I feel it greatly enhance the game but it’s just me.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I like all those ideas!

          • ZeeLobby

            IGoYouGo would be interesting. I think the everything kills everything aspect may just result in alternating taking a unit off the table though. Internal balance has suffered, and spamming the optimal is not really a challenge.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            well that would be better than Army A fires everything. Now the half of Army B that’s left gets to respond. Do that a couple times, Army B concedes.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean one player would at least get to do stuff, which is true. Sadly the large ranges of most units threats probably means it really will just be a back and forth trade. Need some real incentive to show up with less units, haha.

          • LankTank

            Have we forgotten that chapter approved is around the corner? Not hard to introduce a 50% obscured cover save which hordes would find harder to get. Also not hard to also introduce a “if half of your model can draw sight to enemy model then it has LOS” to also stop tanks shooting from their treads. Finally they can introduce a simple modification to the die roll of random weapon hits such as +1 to the die roll for every 5 models in unit. So conscripts would ne targeted by D6 + 6 shots. 3 simple rules fixes to help combat, lower hordes dominance and addrrss the template problem we all miss with no rules to slow the game
            Edit: in casual games this is what my group uses and we love it

          • ZeeLobby

            Imo it sounded like many of the “elite” players they brought in to playtest fanboyed out and were more marketing scheme than anything else. All of their reviews were just positive, and it often sounded like they were given lists to play, or told “try these things that were bad before”, rather than given time to build competitive lists after digesting the rules for a significant amount of time. I could be really off, but that was my impression.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I think you are right. GW bought the big blog and event organisers off with the priviledge of early access and special treatment. Those guys have been very protective and defensive about 8th ever since, so I’m sure GW will consider that job well done!

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha. yup.

          • GiftoftheMagi

            Considering that people found rather obvious exploits and had tourney-grade armies formed around them in less than a month after release, I can say theirplaytesting was not very through.

          • LankTank

            I its deployment. Some people do not know how to deploy to protect themselves from alpha strike. That is actually what started getting hordes on the table, making large buffer areas.

        • Minister Terrae

          just place the tanks in reserve

          • Karru

            And now they suffer that -1 to-hit because they are always equipped with Heavy Weapons. The point still stands, the game is very samey each game, the one who gets the first turn usually wins, sometimes even on the first turn, because they can just annihilate all the important units in one go OR you hide them to avoid that and now they can’t do anything and then the enemy annihilates them because of the -1 to-hit.

        • stinkoman

          in short, i see the same…

      • ZeeLobby

        Not to mention a focus on longevity of the product would probably be better for them in the long run. Of course it might show negatively on their next stock-holder report so…

  • vlad78

    Cover removal, terrain movement penalty removal, number of mortal wounds increasing, new wound table meaning everything can wound everything…

    …of course hordes with plenty of boots on the ground and some really efficient units hidden in the mass will dominate.

    Next round, GW will give uber gimmicks to elite armies.

    • Karru

      Exactly. I do love the fact that some people just don’t seem to realise why this happened in the first place. The core of the problem isn’t the pricing of the said hordes, it is the main rules themselves. Since they basically removed everything that made Hordes bad, gave them buffs and then made Elite Armies suffer greatly from multitude of problems, of course this would happen.

      If they increase the price of Hordes and decrease the price of Elites, that would create another massive unbalance. The only way to actually fix the problem is to look at the main rules and realise how many issues those alone bring to the table.

      • Heinz Fiction

        The easiest way to fix hordes would be to adjust their means of morale immunity. Without it they are underpowerd, rather than overpowerd, as you only have to kill half of them to see the rest running. So you could target the synapse and mob rule to make them less binary. In case of AM it’s to late sadly but you could introduce more counterply to commissars by giving out cost efficient snipers for example.

        • Karru

          I find that both the Mob Rule and the Synapse Rule are fine. Both have clear weaknesses that the opponent has to exploit in order to win.

          For example, the Mob Rule is relatively easy to bypass, kill the biggest Ork Mob nearby and suddenly there is no Morale bonus. Focus fire on the bigger units to break the Morale of other units around them. The units are fully targetable and killable as they are Toughness 4 with 6+ Save more often than not.

          Synapse is even easier as the Synapse Creatures are usually multi-wound units that die in droves to things like Autocannons, Lascannons and Missile Launchers. After that, even a full bolter volley to a Gaunt unit is enough to cause serious damage due to morale, not to mention the problem ‘Nids have with Instinctive Behaviour.

          AM is the only one I tend to find is too powerful, as in OP as heck. I play AM Infantry Army, have played since 6th edition and I use Commissars, but at the same time, they are your only option if you wish to survive as Guard has no other way of making sure your units remain where they are after enemy opens up. +1 Ld is useless for Horde Armies as all that means is you lose one guy less to Morale when you are already losing additional models that aren’t in the unit even.

          • Heinz Fiction

            To bypass the mob rule you basically have to decimate every ork unit in a large area to half size at least. It’s possible but I wouldn’t call it easy. If you have that much anti horde firepower you’ll probably don’t need them failing their morale checks…

            The synapse rule becomes difficult to bypass if the synapse creature is a character, like the broodlord (the best regular HQ choice in their list) or the Tyranid Prime (second best regular HQ choice).

            While both factions might not be perceived as OP as the conscript spamming AM at the moment, this might change with their respective codices.

            A possible way to tone morale immunity down a bit would be something along the line of the valhallan doctrine. +1 leadership is laughable as you say but halving the losses of a failed check is significant.

          • Karru

            While I partially agree with you regarding the Valhallan rule being a nice thing instead, you do have to realise that if you have Ork Boys with their Ld 7, suffer 15 casualties, they are now suffering 8+D6 models, which leads 6 casualties on average. In a volley or two, you are looking at killing 21 boys easily. Same thing with ‘Nids.

            Number one thing when it comes to anything related to Hordes and Morale is how broken and deadly it is against them if you aren’t given any proper ways to lower casualties. The current morale system is very bad in my mind because it is automatic deaths. As someone who uses hordes a lot, as soon as my Morale bonus is gone, I lose automatically. The amount of casualties my enemy does to my units on average is usually enough to kill the unit outright with Morale. Even halving models lost isn’t going to be enough because that unit is now basically useless and all the enemy had to do is turn some basic weapons against the unit.

            The best way to counter hordes would be to just give the thing people have been saying basically since release of 8th. Make Blast/Template weapons add additional hits depending on the amount of models in the unit. For every 10 models, double the number of hits done with the original shots (Let me explain it better, don’t know exactly the correct word to use here). For example, if you are shooting a Battle Cannon against a unit of 30 boys. Normally it is D6 shots. Let’s say your roll 5 shots and hit 3 times. Now you are doing 9 hits to that unit.

            All you really need to do is increase the amount damage you can do to hordes with weapons that were originally meant for that role. Templates and Blasts were the doom of hordes in past editions when they were around. That way Morale can stay how it is, but now you can get rid of the meatshield units a lot faster if you just take the weapons needed to do so, those weapons would still also be relatively useful against MSU as they still get high strength shots against them.

      • petrow84

        Allow me to correct: core rules AND the pricing of the said models. An Ork boy is still 6 points, but now with permanent 3+ to hit and S4 it deals 50% more wound against MEQ, per turn. Plus the pistols in the shooting phase. Keeping a conscript at 3 pts with the general rule increase is also a joke.

      • stinkoman

        you get what you get with 12 pages of main rules. what adds to the “meh” of 8th edition is that it was designed to be more like a board game than a TT hobby game. catering to the masses rather than the folks that really enjoyed wargaming for the complexity and scenes rather than playing board games with strategy pieces.

    • Eisai

      Karru, vlad78
      But is there an easy way to fix the rules without making a new edition?
      Mortal wounds are a bane for elite armies. Smite etc.

      Maybe Mortal Wounds should be caused only by elites? Or Inv save could still be taken for elite armies, and unavailable by design to give it to cheap units?

      Increase the defensive capabilities of MEQ and TEQ?

      Those approaches, sadly, need a new edition of the game. Or somebody will think a good way to fix this, without getting out it for a new army, but for ones with already delivered books?

      • Karru

        They are releasing the “Chapter Approved” or whatever it is called soonish. All they really need to do is add cover rules in there, then remove Smite altogether, make Mortal Wounds much rarer and make Psykers work more in a defensive role than a offensive one.

        They could also make Cover just a save again, not a modifier. Make weapons that would kill you in a specific roll, for example Plasma, still kill you even if you re-roll the miss, making them more riskier. Reduce the amount of re-rolls altogether in the game.

        Finally, remove the character rule, make it so that “Look out, Sir!” is a thing again with regular units just dying while “Bodyguard units” would actually get a save against them. Also making it that the closest model has to be removed from the said “save” would help it quite a bit. Only exception would be smallest characters, such as Commissars and the like, usually models with 4 wounds or less. These models can be hit on a unmodified roll of a 6 unless they are not the closest model.

        All these could be added to the “Chapter Approved” book. Let’s be honest, the matter isn’t that GW doesn’t want us to buy 16 books to play the game, it is just that they need to put some more effort into balancing the game and let the sales dictate slightly less what should be good and what shouldn’t.

        • Watcherzero

          The Codices actually seem to be steering in to more mortal wounds, Death Guard in particular.

          • Karru

            One of the main problems with the game design I’m afraid. At the end of the day, GW doesn’t really care about the game as a whole, only the sales, which unfortunately isn’t the healthiest and wisest business strategy.

          • ZeeLobby

            Reminds me of the explosion and movement towards D weapons everywhere. GW seems to be incapable of not going nuclear at some point. Even worse they only give certain options the bomb.

          • vlad78

            The decision was made months if not years ago.
            The more I think about it, the more I dread 8th will combine the worst of every editions that came before unless GW steers the wheel pretty quickly but things are frozen for the coming 5 to 6 months. The 10 first codicies are made and we will have to swallow it all before hoping it gets better.

        • Spacefrisian

          Yeah the dishing out of mortal wounds gets out of hand, just like the variations of feel no pain…Multiple times in a row.

          And we have a real party when the opponent rolls those 25 dice one at a time.

        • Jimmy van der Poel

          Smite could be easily fixed by increasing the WC cost to 6-7, maybe even
          8, and turn the D6 into a D3 on a six and a static 1 for 1-5 rolls.

          Played
          a game 2 weeks ago with Death Guard ( me ) and 1k sons vs parking lot
          Guard and All Termi Dark Angels. I really felt sorry for the Dark Angels
          player with all the mortal wounds coming his way. Think he lost over
          33% of his army to smite and other MW causing spells alone :

          • Muninwing

            yeah, smite is really a major part of the problem.

        • Muninwing

          i like cover as a modifier, personally… but it should be part of the to-hit roll and not the save. it is, after all, what makes it harder to hit the target. that’s why foliage and stone walls both offer comparable protection from laser beams.

    • ZeeLobby

      I mean they used to mitigate hordes with units they couldn’t kill and templates as well. With those removed I don’t see what much is left.

      • Muninwing

        right, both are now gone — the tarpit high-T unit and the template.

        the replacement for the tarpit is worse, being the opposite of what it was — that anything can be hurt by anything and volume of attacks could take wounds off of even vehicles.

        but even just the template… the ability to fry more of a tighter-packed large unit… and without the scatter argument. it needs something to do its original role well.

  • J Mad

    The problem is Moral, no one should be this immune to it. Its the Anti-Horde mechanic that is completely ignored…..

    • Karru

      It isn’t just Morale. Massed Mortal Wounds, everyone can hurt everyone, blasts being pure RNG and so on. All these are things that Hordes enjoy in abundance. You do have to realise one thing about Morale, if they made it so that Morale couldn’t be ignored to a certain point, Hordes would just auto-lose after the first round as killing 10+ Toughness 3/4 models with a 5+ save at best from single units is extremely easy and Morale would just kill the rest.

      Morale system in 8th edition is very, very bad. It sounded nice when first seen, but after the game was released and people got more games under their belts, it was quickly realised just how bad it was. The old Morale System was much better and should have been kept, as it would affect both Hordes and Elite armies, especially with the abundance of “-1 to Ld” abilities popping everywhere.

      • J Mad

        I think the game can be fix with just Moral system change, Mortal Wounds is fine and so is smite, those units just need a small price increase, with those few units that are spaming MW/Smite, literally a 10-20% price hick with the Living Rule book will fix it, and GW literally said at Nova they are going to do that.

        So idk why everyone is crying the sky is falling with smite when GW named a few units that are going to be address with chapter approve, new codex’s and fw release.

  • mark hearne

    Another issue is the amount of rerolls. please stop letting us reroll what feels like every single dice!!! the guard first turn of shooting takes about 25 minutes without the bloody rerolls

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      it used to be a character or relic could give all sorts of bonuses, changes in the FOC, bonuses to deep strike, outflank, reserves, initiative, weapon skill etc etc, now they have done away with a lot of those elements it seems they’ve chosen to give everything a reroll as the default buff. Kind of stupid.

  • Chad Underdonk

    When you render templates down to dice mechanics (which are inherently limited in the amount of hits they can makes) hordes are going to be encouraged.

    The thing is that hordes are both good for GWs bottom line, and are highly representative of the art and aesthetic of the grimdark. Other armies can adjust, but it means running tools that haven’t been on the menu for along time. Whirlwinds and Speeders are great tools for hacking into hordes. So are trucks full of Burna Boys. Or piles of gun drones anchored to a character with drone controllers. Every army has anti-horde tools and they are often part of the horde mentality themselves. The difference is they quite simply haven’t been a bedrock tool in most armies because they cost more and aren’t as sexy and haven’t been the standard for a very, very long time. In particular the cost more and larger size is going to slow the bandwagon churn of the tournament meta player and cause immense consternation to the “one list to win them all” crowd.

    Folks are going to have to get to know their armies, build to fight all comers, including hordes, and learn some actual fire and maneuver tactics that aren’t simply based in gimmicks.

    • ZeeLobby

      Man. Id be all for your last sentence if the core rules really allowed that kind of tactical depth in this game. I fully expect hordes to simply run tables competitively indefinitely until GW releases some new weapon which removes entire units in one roll (man, does this sound like fantasy or what?). This is just what happens when dice rolls are further moved away from any mitigating curve.

      Also, hordes are only one half of the grimdark theme. The other half is the elite smaller force standing against all odds. Currently I’d say many of what’s on the table representing this half will have trouble standing.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        It is like 8th WHFB. The edition that killed fantasy…

        How much is deliberate and how much an accident in that? Did GW have a meeting where the boss said “we need rules that encourage people to buy more toy soldiers like in 8th WHFB”?

        Or are GW so incompetent they can’t see the effect that rules changes will have?

        One of the things they sold 8th with was fixing the imbalance between MCs and vehicles. Even though they’ve made them the same I hardly see any vehicles now. So what went wrong there?

        • Muninwing

          vehicles cannot move and shoot without penalty much of the time, so in games with objectives you need to sacrifice your accuracy for mobility in a way that others do not.

          what’s sad is that standing fire platforms gain no bonuses. that’s what many vehicles are, but that’s a casualty of getting rid of the rules that make distinctions between such things.

    • vlad78

      ‘Folks are going to have to get to know their armies, build to fight all
      comers, including hordes, and learn some actual fire and maneuver
      tactics that aren’t simply based in gimmicks.’

      But you just can’t do that within the 8th edition ruleset. GW removed the effects of terrains, do you remember? You just can’t outmanoeuver your opponent unless he/she’s really dumb.

      • Chad Underdonk

        You can though. Its all about using your strengths to threaten key units and objectives while using movement to minimize your weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Short range is only a major weakness if you are overly reactive/timid. If you maneuver to engage your opponent and bring those weapons to bear however…

    • Mira Bella

      Please explain what exactly you mean by “fire and manouver tactics”.
      Because fire and manouver usually means that a part of your forces keep suppressing the enemy by shooting at their position, while the other part moves to a better position.
      The problem is.
      -There are no suppression rules.
      -All your models shoot at the same time.
      -There are no boni for flanking the enemy.

      So could you explain how exactly you do this in a game?

      • Chad Underdonk

        Quite simply:

        The ability to react to your opponents moves

        The ability to get the right units into place to focus fire (especially for those of us who use a lot of short range stuff)

        The ability to bring sufficient strength to bear on an objective to push your opponent off of it, or at least to force him to deploy an even bigger chunk of his force to keep it while you maneuver on the others

        The ability to threaten key objectives and key units through movement and maximization of fire power.

        • Andreas Dehne

          I’m awfully sorry but no to all.
          You can’t react to anything. Its IGUG, effective range is 24′ and you start 18 to 24′ apart. You will be in range. And dead.
          There is also no focus fire, since everyone can see and kill everyone else. Terrain is meaningless, unless you play in shoebox city. Plus, seeing adudes hand sticking out spells doom for the whole squad.
          In essence, the tabletop has been patched out of the worlds most successful tabletop game.
          Forget about objectives, missions and all that crap. This is a tabling-game now. Nice and clean, for the competetive crowd who, by all podcast accounts, enjoy filling their guts with beer together with their mates on tournaments far more than the actual games.
          Good job for letting that crowd in on thegame design.
          Finally… key units? What, that conscript blob, that is just like the other four? That scion suicide squad that just annihilated something and is waiting to die now? Or do you mean that one malefic lord that is just like the other five malefic lords? Sorry… clever sounding commonplaces don’t fix this game.

          • Savayan

            If you’re starting 18-24 inches apart, you’re probably playing on too small a board. Try pushing a pair of 4×4 tables together and play. Even if you only play 6×4 on it, it actually makes range and movement revelent again.

          • Andreas Dehne

            Come on, thats not the point here! The game has been on 6×4 since 1865! But this isn’t warmachine! Things have range! And usually enough of it! The person i responded to was asking for more maneuvering. So, where exactly? On a table filled with 300 models, with single infantry on 50mm bases, with superheavys inbeween and deep strikers everywhere. Nothing is ever out of range, and it boild down to simple math.

          • Red_Five_Standing_By

            Which is why the scale of the game is not correct. 40k should be 15mm, not “heroic”
            28mm

          • Chad Underdonk

            Which is where smaller more elite armies (especially those with “deep strike”) take a hard flank and put 2,000 points of their army against 500-1000 points of your opponents. Eat them in chunks instead of trying to devour them whole.

          • Andreas Dehne

            I have to concede. Thinking about it, your tactical plan of the denied flank sounds amazing. I can’t believe that I have never thought about it before. But apparently all the players in the big events didn’t know about it either. Now that you’ve spilled the beans though… 40k is fixed! Yay!

          • Chad Underdonk

            I never claimed I was talking about a magic bullet to solve everyone’s complaints. But maneuver IS still a viable option in this game whether you want to play the everything is horrible game or not.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRN4MVnLhMw

          • Muninwing

            yes. i’ve been doing this with Deathwing for a decade now. even without deepstriking, deployment meant that i could hide my small elite army from first round fire and control the opponent’s models as they came toward me.

            the problem is that now terrain is much les effective, and it’s harder to do.

            and with horde units being so much more beefy than they used to be, it’s much harder to kill enough of them before they overwhelm you.

            and with vehicles moving differently, movement values having changed, and there being far less room to compensate, there’s some real drawbacks now that haven’t made a difference for the better.

  • Heinz Fiction

    It was pretty obvious that hordes will be dominating, since the Index books dropped and we learned about the means of morale immunity the different factions have access to. This is because unlike high armor or multi wound models hordes have no inherent weakness they are vulerable to. No matter what you’re up against, you can’t go wrong with fielding a horde.

    • Chad Underdonk

      Morale isn’t the problem, the problem is template weapons are by their nature much less effective at punishing hordes in this edition.

      • Heinz Fiction

        Yes, the core problem is, that there are no dedicated anti horde weapons. I’ve mentiond this a lot elsewhere. However morale was skewed heavily against large units to compensate and when they previewed it, everyone was sure hordes would be doomed in this edition.

  • Luca Lacchini

    Wasn’t there a similar article a month or two ago?
    The answer stays the same: let anti-horde weapons with hits values of D3/D6/etc (thus no lascannons, for example) roll and extra D of hits for every 5 or 10 more elements in the target unit, up to a given cap value.
    A Demolisher Cannon would roll an extra D3 hits for every 5 more models in the target unit, each hit dealing D6 damage up to a cap of… maybe 3D3 hits?
    A Battle Cannon would roll an extra D6 hits for every 10 more models in the target unit, up to a cap of just 2D6 hits. A less efficient, yet scary anti-horde weapon.

    With a bit of profile and list adjustements you can have your elite army equipped with proper elite anti-horde weapons to deal with massed infantry.

  • Michael Cameron

    I like the Azrael, Primaris Lt, Primaris Ancient combo bubble. Surround them with a large unit of Primaris Marines and a group of Hellblasters. Everyone re-rolls to hit, re-rolls 1s to wound and if they die they get a free shot on a 4+. And Azrael gives them all a 4+ Invun save. Pretty solid. Won me plenty of games. And if you can get a Dreadnought within the 6 inch bubble it gets the same bonuses. Plenty of awesome units to put inside the bubble of Azrael and his pals.

  • Minister Terrae

    Last day i played 60 conscripts + 20 laser devastators and lost, lists aren’t it all

    • Spacefrisian

      This is the interwebz, we cannot understand lists that beat hordes…

    • thereturnofsuppuppers

      you might just be somewhat bad at the game?

  • TenDM

    I think it’ll take a major tweak to get this right. Anti-infantry weapons need a high Damage stat. Couple it with special rules on the weapons that state that all wounds inflicted by this weapon must be evenly distributed amongst the unit it’s firing at by the player that controls it.

    This should allow anti-infantry weapons to be effective against large units of single wound targets. One weapon that successfully wounds with a 3 Damage stat would drastically reduce the effectiveness of a blob, but with the even spread of damage an elite unit would be less likely to suffer any loss to effectiveness (while still a balanced amount of long term damage).

  • Chad Underdonk

    The problem is that templated weapons were nerfed in the new edition and few fully grasped it until it came crashing down around their ears.

    Take a Battle cannon shot in previous editions. Place the template covering 8 or more guys (possibly about 90% of the time, sometimes more, sometimes less) roll your scatter die hitting everything touched 33% of times and scattering an inch or less 16.66 of the time. So 50% of the time everything touched was hit (and you almost always aimed at troop concentrations) The other 50% of the time it scattered and almost always hit something, especially when shooting at a horde (which would often give you more than 8 targets in the first place!) And for the most part you wounded 66% of the time, and killed those wounded about 90% of the time with AP3 (all but terminators typically died if wounded)

    So even assuming that you scattered into ZERO hits every time you went over 1″ (which is highly unlikely) when shooting at 8 power armor models. 8 models hit 50% of the time (4 per shot hit). Wound 2/3rds (2.66 wounded). And AP3 (2.66 power armor dead). And that is a LOW result because it ignores all possible hits against the other 50% of the time that it scattered more than 1″ or the potential to hit more than 8 with a single blast.

    Now compare that to the mathematical averaging of the index. 1d6 shots (averaging 3.5). Hit on a 4+ (averaging 1.75 hits). Wounding power armor 2/3rds of the time (1.16 wounds). With -2 save against power armor equaling 2/3rds dead (.73 dead marines per battle cannon shot).

    Which means that using very under-represented statistics that previous editions were about 3.5 times more likely to kill a marine with a a battle cannon as the index, and almost twice as likely as the double-tapping Leman Russ from the new codex). And that is with low estimates on the Battle Cannon Shots.

    Now multiply a similar difference in effect across the board on all templated effects and you can easily see why horde armies are thriving. They quite simply are not taking enough hits to keep them in check, and there is a far lower chance of casualties in the new edition from templates.

    It of course should be mentioned that we do save a LOT of time and arguing in the new version by not fussing with templates though…let’s not toss that benefit out the window.

    ….BUT….

    We do already have a partial solution pointed to in the indexes. Several of the battle cannon type entries in the Index allowed for double dice against units of 10 or more. I believe if we applied that solution across the board to everything that was previously a templated weapon (double dice versus units of 10 or more) that it would help restore some balance against hordes. Even so, it would only be a partial solution because even doubled templates are far less effective in 8th than in previous editions.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      absolutely true. GW should really have employed a statistician to ensure the new weapons were at least something like their old performance, especially since the relative pricing in points has stayed roughly the same for most.

      • Chad Underdonk

        In some ways it really isn’t that big of a deal…if…if that is the way they want their game to work. So long as it is an across the board effect then it is simply the reality of this edition. Hordes are going to thrive.

        But folks should stop blaming the forces that haven’t changed hardly at all and realize that it is a shift in the rules and a shift in the underlying math which is causing this. There are other contributing factors, but quite simply they’ve nerfed the effectiveness of templates in the new edition via over-simplification and the vermin are simply over-breeding and crowding out the shiny-spiffy stuff.

        • Muninwing

          but what do you mean “the way they want their game to work” — what exactly do you have issue with?

          blasts work differently now. in some ways they are better, in some worse. certain weapons work in a fundamentally different way, and have different roles — which happens in every edition.

          statistically, everyone forgets how often blats scattered, and just looks at the low-ish numbers now as reduction in effectiveness. but many blasts now do multiple wounds, or do about what they did before when you factor in the misses.

          so what exactly is the issue that you have? let’s look at that specifically.

          • Chad Underdonk

            They are far less effective at taming hordes. If you’re facing someone like me who field 200 guardsmen, the need to not roll to hit, but only to scatter is important. That extra step of rolling to hit reduces the effectiveness considerably. Even with a BS skill of 3 you would hit your target with only one inch of scatter 50% of the time. With BS4 it would be no scatter 50% of the time. When shooting at hordes you could usually aim at 10+ models under the template.

            Even when it did scatter when shooting at troop concentrations it would still often hit something. You’re under estimating how many times troops were hit.

            Multiple wounds make them more effective at killing elite units, not hordes. If those wounds were distributed you might have something, but anything more than 1 wound per hit is often a waste.

      • Muninwing

        i did a quick analysis and found that against non-hordes they actually do about the same. against vehicles they do slightly better, and slightly worse against hordes… but only because of the ability to focus all damage on one model versus the inability to scatter onto another unit quite as easily.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          Interesting

          • Muninwing

            it’s a little bit less. i think it averages out to 2 wounds each time a small blast was used by IG, and 4 for each large blast, but now they average 1.75 hits per shot if it’s just d6 shots, 3.5 wounds per shot if it’s a d6 hits and d3 wounds.

            the Catachan special ability, the basilisk’s reroll for number of hits, the Demolisher’s d6 wounds, etc all also factor into the numbers being situationally inflated.

            Battle Cannons used to be great against hordes, since all the pie plates in the world could wreak havoc on a large-count army, and scattering only meant hitting a different unit. placing blasts in the center meant that most every scatter would still be effective.

            now, that bonus against hordes is gone.

            and, now the number of wounds is still fairly constant, but the number of wounds done to a unit of single-wound models is different. doing d3 wounds per hits means less kills for a chaff unit, but more models removed for a multiwound unit.

            it’s a different weapon than it was. no AP3 means it’s less effective against MEQ. concentrated wounds means it’s less effective against hordes. more reliable damage means it’s pretty good against other guard or alien equivalents (tau, eldar, nids), but the multiwound hits are lost. it’s actually better against other vehicles, though — where the multiple wounds and high S will factor in.

            if you want anti-horde Leman Russes, you go Punisher with triple heavy bolters. that’s 49 shots (double for the turret), which will yield 23 hits, and probably 12+ kills on chaff. a tank unit of three LRPs is devastating to a horde, moreso than a Battle Cannon grouping ever was.

    • Muninwing

      “The other 50% of the time it scattered and almost always hit something, ”

      this is a big assumption that might account for the problem.

      firstoff, you are not accounting for the times that the scatter hit your units. second, in my experiences, the scatter-to-nothing was rather common.

      i think if you make this kind of assumption against a horde, though, it’s more likely than other armies.

      that’s the real mitigator — that the new version of the old blasts actually do comparable results to average units, but much less to hordes. and without that, the ability to control horde units (or armies) has undermined the new rules.

      i honestly think that one rule giving any unit with more than 10 models in it extra hits from the D3/D6 shots weapons would do wonders for this very reason… but it would also not account for a huge group if 10-man units that played like a horde.

  • lemt

    I would love to see someone play a couple of Hellforged Dreadclaw Drop Pods or of Hellforged Kharybdis Assault Claws. Get them close to the horde, shoot D6 “pistol” S6 AP-1 shots at each unit within 6″. S8 and damage D3 with the Assault Claws. And not too hard to do since they move 15″.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Anyone else bored of this circular discussion on the meta? Next month it will be something else “ruining” the meta or “breaking” the game; and the conversation starts all over again. How about waiting until more that 5 formal Codices are published and some of the unforeseen rule issues* are ironed out.

    *Que snipping of how 8th ed is supposed to the most play tested edition ever. Its a silly moan. Even though 8th may well be the most play tested edition in 30yrs, that doesn’t mean things can’t slip through the cracks or the game is perfect. Thats just not going to happen. Look at computer games/programmes, they go through 1000’s of hrs of testing and debugging and as soon as they hit mass market dozens of issues are found and need to be fixed. I can’t count how many PS4 games I purchased, on day of Worldwide release, only to stick in and then find out there is already a patch to download.

  • Ok, I like funny pics as much as the next guy, but when they dwarf the actual content, maybe it’s time to dial it back a smidge.

  • Bring back some complexity and some depth in the rules. Or add some “advanced rules”. Both to Aos and to 40k.

  • Richard Mitchell

    Just drop a templat….

  • This website doesn’t d much but complain about the Meta. Are you guys ever satisfied? I know there’s a problem with Powergamers, W.A.A.C players and people who prefer Age of Sigmar to Fantasy, but can we just get on with bashing eachother’s armies?

  • Crablezworth

    I keep hearing about speed of play being the best thing about 8th and yet every time I see a game it’s got 600 models on the board.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      Its still like any wargame. If both players are competent with the rules and their armies then a game is quick to play; be it 60 models or 600. Fundamentally though, 8th is faster due to the way the rules have been constructed so that models die far more quickly and move faster.

      • Red_Five_Standing_By

        And there are fewer rules which get in the way of murdering models.

  • James Regan

    We’ve seen similar before, when editions favoured deathstars or MSU lists or mosters or vehicles. Obviously it’s a bit more annoying competitively, as if people want to play a top tier army, they’re stuck with more assembling an painting, but I don’t think it’s quite as unsolvable as it might seem- the inclusion of more low strength ap- but high fire rate weaponry as codices come out might help address the imbalance in the meta, which would then also stop marines being disadvantaged (because if hordes have plenty of bad match up, they’re not going to be so well featured in the top tier)

  • Kevin Glasgow

    Problem I’ve seen with hordes, is they can’t get a full match in during the allotted time in tournaments.

    • Rayna M. McCowan

      wonder if they should start DQing people for that, would change the tourny meta a bit, might trickle down (since this isn’t economics) to LGS scenes as tourny players try out new lists in the wild before a tournament.

  • Bigalmoney666

    I think you used the word ‘meta’ in every single sentence in the first two paragraphs.

  • Chad Underdonk
    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      I’d lean more toward Conversion Beamers and Field Guns.

  • Chad Underdonk
  • chris harrison

    My favorite type of gimmick list is no longer possible. I called it rerollstorm. Lots of Ork warbikers and dakka jets, both of which had loads of twin-linked firepower. It got past the poor Ork shooting by re-rolling to hit. People weren’t prepared for it because they didn’t prepare for Orks that could actually hit reliably. However, now it seems that shoota boyz and tankbusters are the new hotness.

  • COsteve

    Historically In real life Boots on the ground and number of bodies wins wars. Elite teams are good at recon and special missions. So this sounds just about like it should.

  • Darren Mills

    There’s always going to be a meta. I much prefer fighting against this one then the last.

  • Chad Underdonk

    Oh I agree, there could and should be a lot more to it. I’d love to see blocking templates and terrain like we had in 2nd and 3rd. Simple trees or hills suddenly become something to maneuver around and attack/defend instead of just set dressing.

    • vlad78

      Indeed. Terrain rules should be totally reworked.

  • Am I the only one that felt like every paragraph of this aricle said the same thing by just shuffling the words around without ever giving real content or reasons?

  • sethmo

    As long as WAAC players fail to understand weapon selection hoards will remain popular.

    When faced with taking anti hoard weapons I onow too many playera that just cannot force themselves to take a flame thrower or trantsports over las canmons or plasma guns.

    Hopefully death guard bring sanity to all this with their are effects and anti hoard weapons.

    • Muninwing

      the issue is more that those things used to be better at mitigating hordes… and now just as they lose their effectiveness, the horde gets a couple boosts.

      it’s a new variable that used to not be there. thus, the tournament-minded people are looking for effective ways of dealing with this.

  • PaulMurrayCbr

    I don’t know anything about the mechanics of warhammer, but D&D and similar games deal with hordes with AoE attacks that are strong enough to knock out weak enemies, even if the big guys can ignore them. When the wizard drops a 8th level fireball, *everyone* takes 28 points of damage. If there’s a horde of creatures that all have 25 hp, then they are *all* dead. No group hp.