Goatboy’s 40k Thoughts: Is the AM Book too Good?

Goatboy here. If you follow the current 40k meta you better expect a storm of army men hitting the tabletop.

In fact if you expect to have any chances at an event you better have a way to deal with the current build style of massed bodies mixed with embedded Smite production.  This army style is currently the main focus of the Chaos/Chaos Soup builds we see near the top but expect the upcoming AM book to throw that for a loop with its superior Order/Regiment/Stratagem combinations.  I think the Chaos Soup builds are much easier to play but the strong generals will have massive amounts of boots on the table mixed with cheap characters to keep the engine running.

Nerfs and Buffs

Sure there were some nerfs in the new book – but it isn’t a complete overhaul from what we currently see.  They just really added good rules and abilities on top of an already strong chassis of destruction.  Heck they even helped fix the Leman Russ battle tank where we might actually see it on the table top.  I love the fact the Russ might be good.  Its one of those tanks that every true blue IG/AM player probably has in their collection.  It has sucked for so long and to finally actually be decent is great.  I just wish all the other parts weren’t so darn good.

The book did fix some things.  Plasma gun Command squads will be fewer now as those units cost more to carry the potent damage dealing gun of 8th edition.  Conscript squads are not nearly as big now and do not take orders nearly as well which is a good thing.  They also added a good deal of layering with Regiment abilities, Orders, and Stratagems so while good it does give the army a lot of depth that some of the other armies do not have.  I don’t know how good that will be – but I get the feeling that it will only truly show its power in the hands of a competent general.  It isn’t an auto win style army.  But we’ll see – they could also give us a bonkers Eldar book that wrecks everything I think about the game currently.

Meet the New Astra Militarum

I expect most AM armies to be a few squads of Conscripts, Taurox’s to bring some Leaf Blower Love in, a mixture of Scions or Elysians for deep strike damage abilities, and finally the right amount of characters with the Commissar, Primus Psyker, and Officers to let the orders flow.  That doesn’t take up too many points which is again one of the issues with the book.  You really get a ton of models on the table top – which lets you play a lot more loose and losing models won’t nearly be an issue.  Mix in some potent Forgeworld options and you start to see where this army might get a bit out of hand.  I do hope the push for Regiment abilities will lessen the amount of Imperial Soup armies on the table.  It gets kinda annoying when the Saint is leading such a crazy mishmash of characters.  Sure it feels like their last campaign book but in a hope to push a competitive scene where every army is worthwhile – lessening some of the options would be a good thing.

The big tanks – Stormlord etc – did get a nice boost in this book.  It does feel like a lot of the fringe stuff that was never taken and just filling up a collection is finally going to be decent enough to maybe show up.  Just like the Russes and other tanks – the return of a decent Armored company has got to make those people who bought that old Armageddon Leman Russ box happy.  I am kinda worried that Leaf Blower like list is going to come out – but with extra options like deep strike murder units, better tanks, and the sheer weight of dice ruining the current picnic of 8th edition and the dominance of a lot of Chaos soups.

Dealing with the Militarum

As a non AM player – what am I to do with the new “mean dog” on the playground?  I think my bad guy armies are going to have to look at a lot of movement tricks, deep strike assaults, and fast options to survive.  The two big Evil Primarchs seem to really need to go first every time – which makes them a lot less reliable with the new IG.  It makes me feel like some Rhino Zerker squads, Deep Striking Terminators, and maybe the tricky special sauce that is Warp Talons would be good to bring an overwhelming fist of death to your opponents plethora of army men.  You need to have bodies, board control, and enough punch to remove units quickly.  A lot of the game can be won by not just removing opponents units but causing the opposing general to rethink their plans, get scared, and force them to become more timid.

How Good Is It?

Is it the best book out right now?  I think for certain players it will be – but for someone like me it just doesn’t fit.  It is a great example of how 8th books will be though.  You have multiple layers of abilities that you have to be on top of and use to complete your missions.  I think the only army that feels neat enough for me is the massed Russ army because I love throwing tanks around.  In fact – lets look at a pure tank build to see if there is enough to get me excited to bring an Army Men army to the table top.

Goatboy’s Armored Company

Rules – Only Leman Russes for Vehicles – maybe some Conscripts to help get up some Command Points.

Spearhead Detachment – Regiment Cadian
HQ: Pask – Punisher Gatling Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 221pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 168pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 168pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Punisher Gatling Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 166pts

Spearhead Detachment – Regiment Cadian
HQ: Tank Commander – Demolisher Cannon, Lascannon, Multi-Melta Sponsons – 267pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Punisher Gatling Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 166pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Punisher Gatling Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 166pts
Heavy: Leman Russ Battle Tank, Battle Cannon, Heavy Bolter, Heavy Bolter Sponsons – 168pts

Battalion Detachment – Cadian
HQ: Commissar Yarrick- 130pts
HQ: Company Commander, Kurov’s Aquilla – 30pts
Troops: Conscripts X 30 – 90pts
Troops: Conscripts X 30 – 90pts
Troops: Conscripts X 30 – 90pts
Heavy: Heavy Weapon Squad X 3 – Mortars X 3 – 33pts
Heavy: Heavy Weapon Squad X 3 – Mortars X 3 – 33pts

 

Sits at 1986 points so you could get some Wargear on stuff.  I didn’t want to do the common thing of a ton of Primus Psykers backed up but just a blob of dudes.  The 90 Conscripts are there to keep your backfield fine as your tanks move up, get involved and do some damage.  I thought the idea of the murder machine at 24″ made for an interesting Tank Commander.  It might be better to make Pask like that – but I feel the idea of doing a ton of bullets with Pask feels better.  Plus its 8 Leman Russ tanks.  Doesn’t that sound like a blast to drive all over the table top?

It looks like we got 2 more books from the listed 3 coming and another 2 more if they are going to complete the rumored 10 new books for the end of the year.  I am interested to see what Nids brings to the table as I feel they have a lot of room to get 8th edition’d up with Hive Fleets and interesting play style rules.

Until next time – keep my armies Chaos.

~How would you deal with 8 Russes?

 

  • Mr.Fister

    Well it is a crappy job but someone has to do it… we will see Eldar are just behind the corner

    • Charon

      Don’t think it will make a difference. Eldar have always been very dependent on the general rules as they have not much options in terms of weapons. Firedrakes will always only ever have Melta weapons not matter if they are currently op or up. They have always been a hit or miss army. Either they dominate or they suck – nothing in between. The reason for this is their overspecialized troops and their baseline stats for their guardians.
      As they are not really worth mentioning in the index, I do not see the codex making any difference.

      • Heinz Fiction

        I wouldn’t say that. The individual Eldar unit may not have many weapon options, but they have a rather wide range of units and the army as a whole never really sucked. Even in 5th edition where they didn’t have a codex they were playable in some configurations. Of course this doesn’t help you if your specific collection doesn’t include those units…

      • Mr.Fister

        Tha last Eldar Codex was OP…partially because of Formation and partially because some units where underpriced…probably this trick won’t work again but I prefer to wait and see what is going to happen before I cross them off the list

      • stinkoman

        i think that depends on the general. i see eldar units, like dark reapers and say why not 18 of them? in 8th, they are so much better.

        • Charon

          because you are stuck with 18 expensive models taht look cool on paper but get obliteraded by the current meta armies.

  • Drpx

    I love how the counter tactics boil down to, “hope your opponent has an anxiety attack and forgets he has a 90 man buffer and the firepower of a whole country.”

    • ZeeLobby

      Been using that same tactic with Eldar for years!

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    If your opponent of the day has another army, just ask him/her very nicely if he/her can consider using another army (and say that you understand the desire to taste this latest addition to the game, bla bla). I have a fairly large AM army, but I just don’t feel like curbstomping anyone with it, as the ridiculousness of this codex just puts me off.
    The goat is right, a buff to Russes is all the Guard needed in terms of buffs. Deathstrike needed a buff too mind you

    Most infantery could have been nerfed (ratlings at 7 points… Come on !), most of the vehicules were fine though.

    Doctrines should have been factored in and thus should have come at a cost too.

    • Watcherzero

      You known plasma guns on BS3 units now costs more for guard than it does for Space Marines! A lot of infantry went down in powerpoints while artillery went up leading to weird stuff like Hydra being 15 points cheaper and 1 power more expensive (now 100 points 7 power) and Sentinels could have used some love, an Armoured Sentinel has the same base cost as a Taurox transport which has 4 more wounds, 6″ more speed, twice as many weapons and can carry 10 troops!

      • Heinz Fiction

        Power points are a mess anyways.

      • 40KstillRulesTheTT

        Plasma guns cost more cause marines can’t deep strike with 4 of them. so it kinda makes sens don’t you think ?
        And BTW I’m talking “traditional points”, cause like heinz ficiton says, Power points are a total mess (hello onagre dunecrawler and your miserable 5 power points)

        • Antoine Henry

          Well, 13 Points is just idiotic, 10 pts would have been fair. They just do not know how to play and rule the game 🙂

          • Jeremy Larson

            Given the absurd ease with which Guard units get to reroll 1s, I happen to think 13 points is STILL too cheap. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a guard player NOT overcharge plasma?

          • Mkvenner42

            “Life is cheap in the Guard.” – Everyone ever.

          • Mike Forrey

            I think the fact that you can pay 2 CP’s to bring a unit back makes it far less interesting on plasma choice. With such a thing existing you ALWAYS over charge the plasma.

            For me though i still believe melta and crack missiles are a better choice. Two damage per shot just doesn’t get it done against the targets you shoot those kinds of weapons at. d6 or a straight 3 damage is better.

  • Heinz Fiction

    Well, one thing is for sure: I wouldn’t fight the Guard with an index based list. Not sure about the power of the other codex books.

    • Charon

      Not much difference.

  • Luca Lacchini

    I’m still grieving about the loss of the eviscerator-wielding Ministorum priest (unless I go back to the Imperium Index 2 version).
    My Catachan force used to grav-drop a veteran squad with meltas and a heavy flamer from a valkirye, along with a commissar and said chainsaw fanatic; mostly in suicide mission, but the holy terror they caused was priceless.

    It’s good to see some vehicle equipment making it back on the scene. Bodes well for the T’au, which were gutted in the Index.

    Orders and strategies and other buffs look fine and proper, but maneuvering becomes essential for an efficient Guard army; it’ back to ancient/napoleonic thinking of the battlefield, and more mobile enemies in a properly cluttered table will whittle away a disorganized Guard army with little effort.
    I know because once a Ravager melted my Demolisher tank commander in a single volley, and everything went downhill fast.

    • Dennis J. Pechavar

      As a man who owns an eviscerator priest I mourn with you.

    • ellobouk

      I believe you CAN still use the ministorum priest, however, his presence will prevent his detachment from being a detachment, thus losing the doctrine bonuses

      • Luca Lacchini

        Nope, it’s actually specified that the Ministorum Priest doesn’t mess up that (pag. 132). The poor lad just misses his two handed chainsword.

        • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

          More like a giant, Borderlands-style Gear-axe.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    Nice to see everyone’s hoped for balanced 8th edition is panning out…

    • ZeeLobby

      I dunno. My original prediction, way back when 8th rumors were flying about, was possible balance in 3 years. With FAQ/buff/nerfing that should be possible.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I don’t understand your optimism I’m afraid (though I applaud it!). Editions generally get less and less balanced not more.

        • Massawyrm

          The whole point to 8th is that it is a living ruleset – the idea being that competitive rules will be errata’d as imbalance arises. Point costs will get rectified, combos will get nerfed, unforeseen exploits will be hamstrung. So unlike previous editions, broken stuff won’t be met with the shrug of “maybe next edition” and instead will see correction as soon as a solution presents itself.

          • vlad78

            We’ll see. First thing I’m waiting for is a change in the target selection rule allowing a character to protect another character.

            Concerning lists, they buffed something which didn’t need to be buffed, we’ll have all the answers about what a living ruleset is for them before next summer. but i have no expectation.

            BTW they briefly promised the very same thing for 7th.

          • ZeeLobby

            I’m honestly shocked the target selection/characters hasn’t been changed yet. Their hesitation to fix a core issue is concerning. But maybe they want to release all the Codexes first and then tackle the breaks?

            But yeah. All companies are driven by sales, but being tied to quarterly/yearly reports means we’ll probably never see any real stability in the system. They’ve seen how well splash nastalgia factions sell, so I’d imagine we’ll get 2/3 more in the next year or two. I’d call the game unmanageable now, but it’ll only get harder.

          • ZeeLobby

            Man. Sounds like the dream! Sadly GW has always had issues balancing any of their editions. Even back when they had highly experienced game designers. A game with this many unrestricted factions/combinations/options is difficult to actually make work. I would love to see them at least bring it to a place where the majority of the field is level and the outliers can be beat with good play, but I’d be shocked if they do it. I imagine it’ll become “maybe next yearly book” instead of “maybe next edition”.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            sounds fantastic in theory. The problem is GW have always used imbalanced rules to sell models. If they change that, then 8th will reach a point of balance. I guess we’ll see if they can change their habits.

    • ILikeToColourRed

      codex strength > index strength as it has more options, command strategems etc
      but i think its not too different in power to the existing codexes

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        Well it is good to see GW quickly dealing with problem units such as conscripts.

        • ILikeToColourRed

          indeed ^_^
          im less of a fan of a leman russ battlecannon being the same as a knights one for half the cost though

        • ellobouk

          Yeah, I’m so glad they fixed the Culexus abuse… oh, wait…

          Looking at some of the lists around since the codex dropped, the conscript problem has not gone away

      • LankTank

        I agree. Played against 1,500pts of guard. Broke them. Won on objectives cause they had to keep reforming their buffer. I woukd hate to enter a shooting war with them though. But in the end codex armies are miles ahead of index ones. When eldar get some super crazy sniper unit that instantky shuts down AM morale guard / character block will AM still seem undefeatable?

    • Grimbuddha

      I don’t know what I’d do without the abject pessimism that fans just can’t get past. It’s the most fundamental part of the meta.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        well you could see it as pessimism, I prefer to see it as psychological scars left by 30 years of GW’s business model 🙂

  • I_am_Alpharius

    “In fact – lets look at a pure tank build to see if there is enough to get me excited to bring an Army Men army to the tabletop.”

    AND literally one sentence later………

    “Rules – Only Leman Russes for Vehicles – maybe some Conscripts to help get up some Command Points.”

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/ceob.gif

    • el_tigre

      Only tanks ………… except for the other stuff I want.

    • Mkvenner42

      You really thought he would stick to a theme for his build without shoehorning in the stuff that makes it broken? His CO probably is the Warlord too so he can get Grand Strategist.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Kind of surprised that he didn’t try to do a 2-3 Regiment list. Also, 2 SCs, 1 that’s got rules issues and is on the wrong planet at the right time fluff-wise, the other being good, but better with no more than 4 Russes in tow and being Warlord. I would’ve shelved Yarrick, taken Scions instead of Conscripts, and traded the mortars for some Field guns or SPATs.

  • Defenestratus

    It’s clear to me that Eldar are the boogeymen that lurk in Thomas’ closet, scaring the crap out of him constantly.

    • ZeeLobby

      Hahaha. Yeah. I mean GW did seem to be focusing on matched play hard, inviting all those TOs, etc. Only the insane thought it would be balanced anytime soon.

  • RAKSHA

    Wow my friend getting very existing about this codex and I know why..it will be my pleasure to bit this army hihi🤔..I’m space wolve and chaos player and I have to say this will be very hard to do it..first turn it gonna be very important against AM..wow can’t wait to taste some metal slap in my face

  • I’m not sure how many more threads about this topic need created. We’ve already had several long running threads about the AM codex being busted. Let it die.

  • stinkoman

    “they could also give us a bonkers Eldar book that wrecks everything I think about the game currently”

    With the style of the Eldar in the past (highly specialized and really good at what they do), you’ll see a nice army that has a ton of strengths (mobility, psykers, BS3+, shooting a ton, etc) and the only weakness being T3. sort of as they are now, but soon with an actual codex.

  • Crablezworth

    8th edition, it’s bad for ya.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    To answer your question: Eldar Soup; lots of Bikes, Haywire, and multi-damage per wound attacks. Or 3 Stormsurges, a Coldstar, and an Imperial S#$&ton of Drones.

  • loveone789

    looks like that dreaded codex creep is back. this week AM is great, next week nerf bat followed by new codex thats better

    • LankTank

      If that was true, why is Chaos still top tier? What happens is they release DG, then Am beat DG, next Eldar will beat AM. That is not power creep cause Eldar woukd get wrecked by DG most likely with their non psychic dependant mortal wounds. When lrks, nids and eldar hacve codex I would struggle to believe conscript horde would be abetter viable option as they woukd either snipe characters or annihilate chaff units

  • Chad Underdonk

    Nothing is going to change the way my guard pushes across the table one bit. I’ve been playing assault infantry Valhallans (not conscripts!!!) for more editions than I care to figure out. I occasionally spice them up with 2 to 5 vehicles (Hellhounds or classic Russ’s mostly). And season them a little with abhumans or Attillans depending on the flavor I’m looking to achieve. Most of the time it is literally just Valhallans with every third or fourth body holding a special or manning a heavy weapon.

    The vast majority of us aren’t changing our lists significantly for the new codex and are playing the same tried and true defenders of the Imperium we’ve been playing since (2nd in my case) edition. Armies are bigger but there is nothing new under the stars here boys.

    The game rules changed to fit our playstyle, not the other way around.
    http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8bb2efbccbb1297c1ee681ae22a9635fae3e2affd661b224f27210802e228b48.jpg

    • Chad Underdonk

      That particular fight was a 1,500 point Valhallan vs Ad Mech about a week before 8th dropped using leaked rules and datasheets. Chenkov, 3 Commissars, and a Priest wound up leading the charge against a superior (in hand to hand anyway) opponent instead of staying back and buffing the troops pushing forward. It was a glorious charge, but the failure in prioritizing support of the troops versus leading the charge lead to a narrow game loss.

  • Mike Forrey

    It’s an interesting list and one that could be good unless your opponent is well versed in removing horde armies from the table. (IE: They have snipers and Assassins to deal with those making the blobs effective. IMO the armor is just way better and with all the different rules each regiment can get it’s got a lot of flavor and power behind it.

    I truly hope the Eldar book is diverse and gives each craft world its own distinct flavor and play style.

  • Kicker Kalozdi

    Pissed the Rough Riders were taken out of the actual codex. Screw the index. Not seeing them in the codex is just painful because that means no new models are heading our way and likely will have to stick with DKoK detachment to use em in the future. Rough Riders got solid rules for 8th in the index and have so much potential to be used as support for a tank army. They were the only unit to not make the transfer from Index to Codex…sad sad times.

    • Chad Underdonk

      They dropped demo charges too.

      • Kicker Kalozdi

        Dang. Must have overlooked that! Things like demo charges and rough riders add so much flavor to armies.

  • Chad Underdonk

    Bastards took the demo-charge out of the codex!!! In one game alone I blew up 3 Ravenguard characters and 2 command squads…that dude just would not learn to stop deep striking right in front of me!

  • Mike Woodsman

    I still think Ynnari are the hidden gem a lot of people overlook.

    GW literally gives you a soup-based army list that gets even more shiny rules than the sum of its parts.

    If Ynnari get their own codex, or even just continue to do their soup thing after Eldar and Dark Eldar come out with proper codices…