40K Needs A Counter Spell

Players need a way to counter enemy stratagems.

As more and more Codexes come out 40K is quickly turning into a game of combos. While in the past tactics and the simple stats of units may have ruled the day now its all crazy combo’s and tricks. While combos themselves are not bad, it is the combos that your opponent can’t react to that are not only frustrating but bad for the game. Let’s look at how this issue might be addressed.

The Issue

Whether it’s The Ynnari Two-Step, Goatboy’s first turn Death Company Charge, or my own Endless Poxwalker Horde, 40K is turning into a game where powerful combos win games. Now while some combos work by simply using pairs of units that work well together, others use special abilities or stratagems to work. However, all three combos I mentioned used stratagems to work.

The problem we see with a lot combos these days is twofold:

  1. They have next to no change of failure
  2. Their target has no way to avoid or counter them

For instance in the case of the Ynnari Two-Step, the only part of the combo that can fail is the physic test to let them shoot twice. Since the Dark Reaper’s use a “Deepstrike,” and have a 48″ range, they can without fail come in shoot a target. Then, without fail, move behind cover. There is no chance of failure, nor a way for the enemy to prevent this from happening. Likewise, with the “Deepstriking” Blood Angles. They can land anywhere they want, then charge 3d6 inches with a re-roll. The best the enemy can hope for is to slightly control what they can charge. Or in the case of the Poxwalkers, as long as they go first, the enemy will basically have no chance to ever shoot the main target.

Why This Is Bad

These problems are overall bad for the game. Things that don’t ever fail are simply going to be better than things that can fail. This will force players who want to win into a handful of viable list options. This kind of unbalance stifles creativity. In addition, interactivity is a key component of wargames. Unavoidable, un-counterable combos are frustrating and not fun to play against. Players want to have a back and forth to feel like they have options in a game. Running into a tactic that can destroy your army AND offers nothing you can do to prevent it is one of the most frustrating feelings out there.

Bottom line:Nothing in War game should be 100% certain and everything should have a way to be stopped. 

How Can We Fix It?

I think there is actually a pretty easy way to fix this problem. 40K simply needs a “counter spell.” This would be a stratagem that stops other stratagems from happening. You could word it something like this:

Counter-Tactic – 2 CP.

Use this stratagem during a phase when another players uses a stratagem. Roll a d6 dice. On a 3+ the other player’s stratagem has no effect. Counter-Tactic may not be used on another Counter-Tactic Stratagem

Obviously, we could argue a bunch about the wording but I did it this way so that it could not effect pregame stratagems. While I would like a way to stop deepstriking/infiltrating stratagems it wouldn’t make much sense to stop stratagems that give you artifacts or things like Chapter Master. I valued this stratagem at 2 CP so it’s middle of the road. Too expensive and it could never be used – too cheap and you’d always use it. This way, players will think twice about using it stop a 1 CP effect, but it could be great vs a 3 CP effect. And because of the potential to stop a high CP cost stratagem I made it a bit random. It will work most of the time but could fail. As I said, in tabletop gaming nothing should be 100% certain.

Why This Would Work

Giving something like this to all of the armies would fix a number of things. It would give players a way to react to their opponents moves, allowing for a bit more move/counter-move. You’d always have the option (assuming you had the CP ) to try and stop whatever trick the enemy was trying to pull. This would heighten the tension of any game; both players having to think a bit more carefully about their choices. It would also discourage players from building lists that focus on a single stratagem combo trick to win. While competitive players are going to tend to gravitate towards a tactic that can’t fail, once you introduce a significant chance of failure for that tactic, they will move on. I think that giving players a way of counter-spelling stratagems would make for a more interesting and balanced game.

So folks what do you think, Does 40K need some sort of counter stratagem?  Let us know, down in the comments!

  • eldannardo

    So basically a ‘deny the stratagem’ roll for the cost of CPs… Seems unnecessary to have this for the few “OP” examples you have stated. CPs are limited and need to be used wisely, IMO this rule would be a waste of time and lessen the fun of a cool stratagem of an army.

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      in tournaments these few op examples will come up a lot though

    • vlad78

      The whole CP concept is totally flawed to begin with. Why give CPs for each detachment? it favours low cost detachments. Why not give them for fluffy army list selection?

      Why allow game winning combos, why use CPs at all instead of units special rules like before?

      It reeks of CCG or boardgame.

      • Sbatragno Sbatragno

        agree

      • Heinz Fiction

        If you don’t like it, play without it. It’s not like you have to re-asses point costs or anything. Just pretend that your armies aren’t battleforged.

        • vlad78

          The why play 8th at all if you have to remove half the game?

          • Heinz Fiction

            Why provoke with exaggerations instead of participating constructively?

          • Mr.psyker

            Participating constructively to what end Sir? vlad78 makes a valid point. Let me give a example from the article.
            Here we have the perfect example of new speak in this article…
            -(“without fail come in shoot a target. Then, without fail, move behind cover.”)
            then contradicting the vary point of the article in the next rules reference-
            (“They can land anywhere they want, then charge 3d6 inches with a re-roll”)
            This is the counter combo to the combo.
            In tournament environment “in 7th or 8th” the problem has always been TOs and players cherry picking because they are under ridiculous time constraint, for a game that was never designed with tournament play in mind. The game is fine the people playing it are broken!

          • Heinz Fiction

            Calling stratagems the only reason to play 8th or assuming they are half the content of the game is not a valid point. You can play 8th edition perfectly fine without them and still have a far better game then 7th ever was.

          • vlad78

            I disagree with that. Stratagems is part of the same philosophy which shaped 8th. First turn charge or the lack of cover are on the same boat. They fixed 7th by creating a whole lot of new issues.
            Both ruleset are extremely boring imho but 7th at its core has more potential to become a great game.

          • Mr.psyker

            I get it. I just see a lot of potential for stratagems… It gives my games a higher dimension. I Construct my lists around them. I don’t see it as a balance issue because one person is using them to full effect. That’s cognitive skill and I think every army has the same potential from different avenues of approach. Some get reroll from stratagems some get it from other sources but everyone is getting the same ability. I really have a knee jerk reaction to people changing the rules so quick. You can limit detachments. Why cap CP. IT MAKES NO SENSE!

          • vlad78

            Because it is constructive. The core rules have been sucked dry and everything has been transfered to special rules and stratagems. The stratagems are flawed. What do we have left?

          • orionburn III

            Regardless of the edition I think there is always something that players aren’t going to agree with and come up with their own house rules. It isn’t a big deal to put a cap on the max CP to run in a game. Just agree to say that no matter how many detachments you have you can only have 6 CP max. To me that’s no different than saying “hey let’s play a 2k game but leave LOWs at home.”

          • stinkoman

            personally, i think that you should only get CP for your battalion or whatever the bigger one is, and start losing points when you take stuff from outside that detachment. This will start pushing a more traditional FOC i think.

          • orionburn III

            That’s not a bad idea. Get 6 for Battalion and 9 for Brigade. Take anything else and it’s a -1/-2/-3 depending on what you’re taking. And if you don’t do a negative modifier at least do away getting a CP for things like the HQ detachment.

          • Mr.Gold

            That would be good, however the Patrol detachment should (like at the moment) have +0.

          • AkulaK

            Or you can just have a Spearhead, Supreme Command etc detachment only if you have a Batallion or a Brigade (maybe the Brigade could give 2 of them).

      • David

        Except they tried mandatory fluffy list selection in 7th with formations and everyone hated it not to mention no one can agree what counts as fluffy

        • ZeeLobby

          Rules built around fluff is silly outside of like suggestive fluffy narrative guides. I’d rather have restrictive list building and rewrite the fluff to fit that format.

          • David

            Yes and no

            as a tourney player I agree it’s rediculous and I wouldn’t want it

            But I certainly no a lot of players who are not tournament players who want fluff based armies every game

          • ZeeLobby

            And that option has existed since the beginning of time! You could always agree with your opponent to take whatever you want in fun games. Heck, unbound gave you total control over that in 6th/7th. There is no need for the rules to actually provide that if your interested in a narrative play experience. GW should just release narrative books that give suggestions for all these people they bend their rules to (and break them for those who want a tighter game system).

          • marxlives

            Preach it brother.

        • vlad78

          7th failed because there was no playtesting and some formations were clearly OP (SM battle company with free transport? WTF?) and it suffered heavily from yougoIgo and eventually formations were used by GW to bolster sales instead of pushing balanced fluffy lists.

      • ZeeLobby

        Agreed. Feels very FFG. That said, FFG would have handled it a lot better. Lol.

      • Steven Hyche

        Except combos really arent winning tournaments. They also have plenty of counter play despite what he has posted.

        • Steven Hyche

          The YNARRI two step seems like a silly combo since Dark Reapers have a 48 inch range and are hard to counter due to this. The deep strike seems like a “Hey im not good at postioning so Ill just waste a stratagem”. I would LOVE for my enemy to use this over the -1 to hit at range.

          First turn charge drops can be countered with any scout or infiltrator unit(same with deep strike bombs)

          The endless horde just needs to be ignored and destroy all of the noise marines/preds. Pox walkers are very slow and they would be banking on good advance rolls so you are going to have a few turns to actually kill the good stuff.

          • stinkoman

            good points all around!

        • vlad78

          Rock paper scissors. Again.

          • Steven Hyche

            Hardly…

      • BrianDavion

        the idea IS to give it for fluffy, it’s why you load up on troops if you want lots of CPs.

  • Rob brown

    Nah, I want to use my command points for my own fun stratagems. A counter-stratagem just sucks the fun out of the game.

    What you call tricks, could also be called deployment methods, or Army themes. They have their own solutions – you’re own counter attacks, bubble wrapping units, line of sight blocking cover. Etc.

    To be honest, when you say 40k is all about tricks, I suspect that you’ve just become a bit jaded with 40k as a whole and you’ll find most people don’t theme entire armies around exploiting a single trick. More often than not, armies that keep repeatedly using the same tactics and exploits will either get their opponents wise to their trick or find the trick gets nerfed in FAQ.

    I read the write up of the first Tyranid Army to win a grand tournament on Tyranid Hive the other day. No spam, no tricks, but it beat Girlyman and his 4 thunder hawks army. This is the future of 40k.

    • Koen Diepen Van

      Really there was a army whit 4 thunderhawks? Must have been one hell of a large tournament considering they cost more then 1000 points each.

      • Arcangelo Daniaux

        I think he meant Stormraven XD

      • marxlives

        And isn’t the old stormraven method like May’s news? I think it is pretty clear that the FAQ and Chapter Approved confirmed that 8th loves soup, hordes, and combos.

    • Karru

      Did you actually read the report or did you just read the fact that he won?

      90% of the damage he did, at least from what he wrote down, came from either first turn charges from his Genestealers and Tyrants and endless spam of Smite/Mortal Wounds.

      Ah yes, no spam or tricks here, except the ones that are completely normal to 40k 8th edition right about now.

      • Fergie0044

        He says himself that the genestealers under performed and in future he’s bringing less of them.

      • marxlives

        Maybe Deipen believes that those things are not issues with 8th. Just par for the course.

    • vlad78

      Right not much spam, but 80% of the codex can advance at an insane (stupid?) speed to make contact turn 1 and deny the board on the fly. Besides tyranids are almost a horde enjoying all the advantages 8th grants without having many weaknesses. Is this really better than one trick ponies or combos?

      Most games were decided turn 1. (turn 2 against Guilliman when killing him)

      I will not lessen his victories. He made a really good and fluffy list. He used it really well showing he had a lot of practice. But the result is exactly what 8th has been so far.

      Hordes (or semi hordes) beat elites.
      CC first turn charge beats gunline. (if you really charge first turn not like that BA player)

      The only way to change this is to use combos and tricks. (favoring hordes again which have a lot of CP)

      I can perfectly believe this is the future of 40k. And it is boring.

      • James Regan

        given the last edition massively favoured gunlines, it’s more the first turn aspect that’s problematic there, as it makes it a bit more boring- with changes to movement/deployment rules & terrain (terrain’s a good way to up the overall defensive capabilities of all armies without needing codex creep etc.- better defences = less impact from 1st turn shenanigans)

        As for favouring hordes, that’s more a problem of 40k’s army distribution, where most armies can’t field a horde out of their own codex- only the three traditional hordes of orks, ‘nids and guard, plus cultist/poxwalker spam for chaos/dg. It’s not actually a big problem with 8th that MEQ isn’t as favoured as before, its a problem with most codices lacking decent auxilary options (especially tau, who, fluff wise, totally have access to loads of horde auxiliaries in the form of kroot or human troops and ad-mech, who are supposed to have massive armies, but don’t have servitors with rubbish enough guns to fulfil the role and be balanced)

        • ZeeLobby

          I mean the thing is, in the past shooting was less effective and first turn charging didn’t exist. Wish we could go back to those times. All they’ve done is expedite the pain. Some play through of competitive 8th are like the game itself can’t wait for it to be over…

          • orionburn III

            An easy fix would be a return to 7th ed rules regarding units off the table. Either you allow them to come in on T1 but have to roll for it (like a 3+ or 4+), or leave it as an auto-arrival but can’t come in until T2.

            Honestly if I had to roll off for reserves that makes me rethink strategy. My given is a combo of Swarmlord in a pod, Stealers in a pod, and 30 Devilgants with a Trygon. I can leave all that off the table and right now pretty much be guaranteed to throw my stealers into combat T1 and put out 180 shots with my gants. If all of a sudden I have to risk one of those units not showing up I’m rethinking things.

          • ZeeLobby

            I mean does it though? I’m pretty sure even back in 6th/7th, when turn one charging started poking it’s head out, people would go through ridiculous lengths just to get a single unit stuck in turn one. And not even to inflict mass casualties in most cases, but simply to tie things up. I still don’t feel like you’d all the sudden one to walk your swarmlord across the board because one devilgaunt unit didn’t show up.

            Personally I just think the entire game needs a rewrite (again, ugh). They need to reduce shootings effectiveness across the board, and return the 1/2 turn bubble to making the charge. Not only would this end turn 1 or 2 routs, but it would also make deployment, positioning, movement and strategy actually matter again. Rather than hoping that you roll good enough on your guaranteed first turn charges, or making the game hinge on going first or rolling reserves gud.

          • orionburn III

            There’s always going to be people that make an all or nothing list/strategy that if one combo doesn’t go off then they feel like they’re doomed. Forcing units in reserve isn’t going to stop the blood loss, but it’s at least putting a gauze pad on part of the problem.

            I’ve already said that stratagems are going to be to 8th what formations were to 7th. Everybody loves their own stratagems but everyone else’s are broken…lol

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I mean it would at least be a bandaid on a decapitation, lol. And yeah, adding another system by which to imbalance on top of an already imbalanced system does sound a lot like 6th/7th all over again.

          • David

            Directional shooting, fixing terrain rules, lowering the pts of all elite infantry, -1 to hit on first battle round would all help on gw side

            However the other option is to stop playing glass cannon alpha strike lists because I haven’t been tabled yet in any game (came close once in a tournament but the round timed out)

          • ZeeLobby

            Do you win tournaments though? I mean in reality most casual players will Highlander list and have good games. Still doesn’t mean the system isn’t poorly designed. It just matters less depending on why you play.

          • David

            I’ve won smaller local tournaments and would expect to hold my own when I travel to big tournaments but have only top thirded so far

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, and that top third tends to be dominated by spammy combo broken lists. In the end if you last til turn 5 but still lose it doesn’t necessarily mean that the game is in a good place, or that you’ve unlocked some solution to getting tabled. You’ve just prolonged your lifespan before losing, hehe. If I HAVE to build specific lists or play a specific way within certain factions to last 5 turns, then the game still needs to be fixed.

          • Mr.psyker

            the time limit of rounds is the only thing making one sided combos a issue. Back in 7th a player could keep KHARN in a Land raider until turn 3 and get stuck in close combat while hell turkeys grabbed objectives. The game would end turn 4 and you would be in the same boat we are now. nothing new under the sun from the tournament scene. Its not the game thats the problem…

          • David

            Yes and you would come to the conclusion that static gunlines were more consistently effective it’s not a fix it just changes what’s good

        • silashand

          IGOUGO is what breaks stuff like this. It makes first turn so ridiculously advantageous it’s not funny.

          • loveone789

            well the Sigmar method of alternate roll offs is not great either. There have been way too many games were my opponent wins most of the rolls, especially the critical game changing rolls that would have saved me. IE he finishes deployment first, then wins like 2-4 roll offs in a row and I have no chance. So its hard to balance out a game system

          • euansmith

            There are other forms of activation, like each player takes turns to activate one unit, or player one moves, player two moves, everyone makes their attacks and then casualties are removed, or I-Go-U-Go but with targets getting to react.

          • James Regan

            i think the one moves, another moves and on and on might be a better fit for 40k than single unit activation, because we already have a problem with hordes being hard to balance (due to the low number of armies that can adapt to field either hordes or elites on demand)
            I still think changes to terrain might help- bonus defences against charging and shooting can be increased, reducing the effectiveness of alpha strikes. Also deployment rules for scenarios could be another change as making armies deploy further apart would prevent turn one charges, though this would have to be coupled with FAQing deepstrikes to be rolled for/unreliable again

        • vlad78

          The only thing which favoured mech was the extremely fast codex update compared to some others and also OP formations.
          7th with alternate activation removes the alpha strike problem and give a chance to every army. (even if it can’t equalize everything)
          What made CC armies suffer were the changes brought by 6th (random charges and the like) which meant gunlines (mobile gunlines more specifically ) were structurally favoured.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    3 CP and it would be ok. Or else it will be too easy for armies which can regain easily CPs when CPs are used (Imperial guards and dark angels apparently soon too will be able to).
    Or give that 2 CP stratagem to armies with zero detachments from the folowing armies: imperial guard, marines and chaos (chaos because primarchs and warptime is just as abusive). Nids are quite strong actually and proibably won’t be needing it either.

    • Marcet

      3 CP is kinda punishing to armies who can’t get CP’s back. I mean yeah I understand why you don’t want it too cheap but making it too expensive is just as bad. As a side note, I think regaining CP’s should not have been a thing, that or all armies should have a way of regaining CP’s.

      • Rob brown

        There should just be a general stratagem that lets you make a dispel test at any ranged or one that lets you roll 3d6.

      • Nilok

        What about adding the line; “You cannot gain CP on the game round that you used Counter-Tactics.” Or, “You cannot gain CP until this phase in the next round.” This prevents you from just constantly regaining CP and spamming it as you would be locked out of gaining CP, but makes it more usable for low CP armies.

        It could also have the 3CP version that doesn’t have that restriction.

    • David

      It would need to be 1 cp higher than the strategem your trying to counter

      Or 2 but you can only counter 1 cp strategems

  • Arcangelo Daniaux

    That’s not going to be usefull, just giving an other advantage to armies with high CP count like Tyranids or AM/GI. When you have 12 CP in front of someone who have 5/6, and there is a lot of army who just have that, you just can negate all of your oppenant stratagem and use yours without him being able to counter.

    • Rob brown

      Tyranids really don’t have high command points because their HQs are so damned expensive. Even the cheapest is 70 pts and is only useful up to a point. The rest clock in around the 140-250 point.

      • Arcangelo Daniaux

        All tyranids players I know play brigades (9 cp detachement)

      • Heinz Fiction

        True. And also: if you want to get lots of CP you need lots of small units, while big units usually benefit a lot more from stratagems.

  • Grumpy Scot

    No thanks. I don’t even have an OP combo, but this would just be frustrating.

    • I agree. They can just stick these changes into their tournament packet. No reason to bother the rest of us.

    • fat spider

      The really just like to whine on this page. Then contradict their whining. Then repeat.

  • José Monteagudo Ibarreta

    I understand the logic behind but it also would allow armies with cheap detachments to counter much more effectively than elite armies. We would have tl be carefull with this.

  • Sbatragno Sbatragno

    40k the gatering?
    this game goes in a bad direction

  • Sbatragno Sbatragno

    stratagem concept it’s bad.
    they just create a ccg miniatures and try to sell the momentum best list, after they debuff and buff some else and we continusly buy like stupid shep

  • Heinz Fiction

    Please not. You’re basically turning stratagems into another dice roll until one or both players spend all their CP. This only adds another unececessary layer of randomness to the game. You (should) know the other players strategic options beforehand and plan accordingly. If the game is too combo centric for you, you have different easy ways for limiting command points in your games or even play totally without them.

  • Sounds like a lot of crying about nothing to me. Shutting down deepstrike is easy enough already. Just find a way to make all these ‘auto-charges” pointless. bate them with bad targets and be ready to gun them down and roll out.
    The only question I have, who is this actually going to beat?
    Answer, other small model count armies? Marines?

    • Karru

      Alright, how does one defeat the One Turn BA Death Company Charge without losing to Sudden Death rules or getting all his important units removed from the table?

      It is not like they can’t remain in Reserves as well until you bring in your important units if you try the old “hide them until the enemy brings all he has to bear”. Nor can he bubblewrap because the Hand Flamers will tear that wall apart and then charge the unit they want to get their hands on.

      The core of the issue is, the opponent has nothing they can do to stop these shenanigans from happening. Many of these aren’t based around a unit that is already in the field, they are based on a unit that will appear in front of you, move 2″ away from you and then charge anything it wants in your lines.

      The only reasonable counter against these lists is literally hordes. My Infantry Army survives purely with the fact that I have so many bodies in the field spread across so many units that the enemy simply can’t kill them fast enough compared to my killing power, but at the same time that makes it extremely unfair against elite armies as they will lack all the necessary tools to bring me down, but it is not like I have the luxury of taking something else without automatically losing all my important units to the first turn charges and massed fire.

      • Did you ever play against Kroot Merks in, must have been, 4th edition? It’s kinda like that. They get their first turn charge and beat you or they get their first turn charge but you’ve buffered them out with things that are of less value. Which they kill or destroy and are then stranded in front of your guns and you assault units ect.
        Are Hand flamers have more than a 8″ range?
        If they are deepstriking are they able to land closer than the more than 9″ away from enemy units?

        I play Orks. Marines are pushovers.
        That is any assault marines and guys on the ground. Most of the lists, well I saw Goat boys list so that’s what I have in mind and it’s got very few models in it and I don’t recall seeing any vehicles. so that’s what I am planning to defeat. Clearly a better build will change my build and reaction. (My goal is a well planed tac list.)
        Frankly a mixed staggered deployment meant to take the charge and split the enemy dice while drawing in a few extra units that are simply with in pile in ranges should be sufficient to stifle a first turn charge. Imagine their frustration being forced to charge a grot screen, killing loads of them, being piled in on and them non of my stuff taking enough casualties to matter for morale, My grots I’ll just make fearless that round or something. They are throwing away a huge chunk of their army.
        Marines will probably need rhinos and scouts to set up their gunline and some killy units to bat clean up. They seem to have a lot of that stuff in their army so they could plan around being charged on turn one and make a list accordingly.
        Creating the buffer zone against Deepstrike is probably more important that going first. If you find a way to make the other player go first and have a meaningless first turn the game should come down to objectives. You will likely give up first blood but after that, well they should be in short rage for a lot of nasty weapons. (Plasma?
        That land raider with those massive flamer weapons.Pick your poison)

        Wait, so you lay an infantry army. Are you for or against this the auto-charge then. I’m not bothered by it in the least. But we’ll have to see just how creative some players get with their lists.

        Heck I have 40ish point war buggies now so my buffer costs have kinda gone down, Maybe Grot mobs would be better, they cost less.

        • Karru

          Place one Death Company unit on the edge of your deployment zone, activate Forlorn Fury, move 24″ + D6″ on the first turn, you are now over your opponent’s Deployment zone.

          After this, use “Upon Wings of Fire” and bring in another Death Company unit that was on the table, if you don’t want to, you can just leave it in Reserves with another one. Now that you have your 10-man Death Company unit across the board and in your opponent’s deployment zone, assuming that the opponent didn’t just place his entire army, excluding his buffer units, touching the table edge, you are now at least within 11″ and up to 6″ away from his table edge.

          Now, you are easily within 8″ of any bubblewrap units in their side of the table, drop your 1 Death Company Squad from reserves as per rules as close as you can, burn away any bubblewrap unit with your 15d3 Autohits, leaving the important units fully open to charges, or at least be able to be locked in CC.

          Assault Phase begins, activate the Descent of Angels on the unit that was farther away while the first unit that is most likely within 6-7″ from the enemy can relatively safely charge. Now you have two units that have quite high chance of getting into combat. What can your opponent do to prevent this? Hope that he gets the first turn and manages to blow the BA army out of the table before the Doom Charge happens.

          Welcome to 8th edition.

          • Fergie0044

            I dunno – spreading out the bubble wrap properly means he shouldn’t be able to get into your deployment zone after forlorn fury (simply no space). So he’ll get right up to it sure, but not in it.
            Similarly my units would be spread out enough that even when he does hand flamer my bubble wrap to death he’s still looking at a large charge distance to the important stuff. Maybe not even in charge range at all.
            And at 2000pt games its not hard to fill your deployment zone so most of it is within 9″ of your guys, stopping nasty deepstrikes.
            Not ever army can do this of course, but its far from impossible to counter what you just described.

          • Nice. It will be defeated. Nothing lasts forever. Death Co were first turn charging back in 3rd so again not really anything new.
            I did say small model count armies would have problems with this. I don’t play those armies. I can see IG and Orks beating that.
            Speed bumping and bubble wrapping is still a good plan. Layers of crap troops will go a long way. I haven’t the slightest on what would be considered my important unit. Maybe my paint boy or weird boy.
            It’s still a “one trick pony”.
            I’m sure given 5 or 10 games I’d sort it out.
            The problem is then list tailoring and that will only go so far in competitive/ tournament play.

          • David

            2 units make ìt combat vs my 33. 2 units win killing 80pts. 31 units return fire and BA have lost 50% CP and 33% of there list…. terrifying

          • stinkoman

            i play BA, and yup i see it that way. a good player wont give you the time of day. there are deployment tactics to see where those DC are going, there scouts and bubble wrap for deepstrikers and protecting other units from the charge.

      • David

        1) deploy scouts or walkers down field so the BA can’t deepstrike that deep and can therefore charge a 55pt unit with there 140+pt unit
        2) play 2k pts+ because most of there strategem based deep strike shenanigans don’t really scale up due to cp cost and the limitation of 1 use a turn
        3) run a pts efficient army after the initial charge BA are vulnerable
        4) recognise that like all marine infantry they are overcosted and so in a pure BA list thank your opponent for the win

  • Painjunky

    If it could limit all the first turn auto-wins crap that’s sucking the fun out of the game i’m all for it.

    • I_am_Alpharius

      The additional Chapter Approved matched play restrictions and scenarios go a long way to removing the power of first turn wins.

      • Karru

        Did they somehow manage to remove the ability to charge on the turn you come out reserve/infiltrate while also removing the ability to shoot the opponent off the table on the first turn with weaponry that doesn’t need LoS to shoot?

        • ZeeLobby

          Well… No… But!, You can now customize a landraider!

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            haha!

  • Domenico Malavisi

    Yeah, having no way to counter something sucks. Like for example, if you had built your entire list around a style of play and clever use of stratagems, the game comes down to you playing your ultimate hand and… they pull out counter-tactic. Your solution would just be part of the problem. It’s OK for some things to be guaranteed – as long as they require proper set up and cost (say for example, very limited command points, not to mention the points you spend for the actual strong units your talking about), I don’t see you complaining about 3″ charges, or moving to objectives (very few movement limiting effects these days) or deep striking where you want when you want, these things and a few others are guaranteed, but imo do not take away from the game. If EVERTHING is chance there is too much swing, you probably want to play another game like d&d. Besides, there are counters to those limited stratagems and plays your suggesting.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    Just – NO. Stratagems are just a new layer to the game; the effect of which players need to take into account when designing an army, deploying and achieve a scenarios objectives.

    Also at the end of the day, if your gaming group don’t like them then they can agree not to use them; equally, tournaments can also do that.

    • Karru

      I mean, they were made to speed up the game. The best way to approach 8th edition is to understand that the game was designed with the idea of fast paced games that end on turn 1 or 2 while still having lots of models on the table. It should be obvious if someone spends even 20 minutes reading the army rules in the codices.

      • ZeeLobby

        What’s crazy is the length of games was never an issue before for me. It seems to be something emphasized by the TOs who play tested it once or twice. I personally always planned an entire night dedicated to a single game. Laughing, talking, drinking, etc. I never really wanted to play 3 games in one night.

        • Karru

          Yeah, my only issue was sometimes in 7th when a game could drag on a little bit too long when I was on somewhat limited time (4 hours for the whole thing from set up to cleaning), which did cause some issues, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed easily with my opponent preparing himself for the game that was already planned to do a week before, who then decides to write his army list on the day we actually play.

          • ZeeLobby

            EXACTLY. Which was only made worse by the 20 detachments and formations, not to mention allies, that he/she could choose from in 6th/7th. We must know the same people, lol. When everyone came to a game night with list in hand, we’d sometimes even get 2 games in.

        • I know we all here read it daily on forums and fb posts how games that go beyond 60-90 minutes are “BORING”.

          This is GW cateriing to that without pushing smaller games (that costs them money)

          • ZeeLobby

            Hehe. So instead of playing an interesting game for too long, we’re playing several shorter boring games. Sigh… Maybe 9th. Lol.

          • I don’t know. I read a lot of positive feedback on this direction. AOS is the same. I was banned from the big aos forum because I criticized this direction, because the community overall I think loves this and the people like us that don’t like it very much are in the minority now.

          • ZeeLobby

            Really though? The only people I ever see supporting these systems are usually lifelong GW fanbois (at least locally every AoS player defends GW to the death). Most young blood are playing Infinity or other systems. I mean it’s quite possible that were in the minority because the others have left. And if 5000 of you leave, but 3000 fans stayed, suddenly you’re the minority, sure. Hehe. All anecdotal, but almost everyone I know who played 40k has stopped at this point, outside of me and a select few (who would honestly play with GW packaged turds).

          • David

            Really because KoW is doing a lot better in my area

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            younger people have short attention spans.

          • Apocryphus

            Pretty much this. A lot of the players in my area are 14-20 and they sit there with fidget spinners and phones while their opponent takes their turn. I know that makes me sound old, bit it’s what they actually do. They treat it like a video game: set up, grind through as fast as possible, tear down and go to the next thing. I’ve always enjoyed the longer 40k games and actually engaging in the tactical and strategic elements of them.

          • Koonitz

            Might I recommend looking into Forge World’s Horus Heresy game? It uses straight 7th Ed rules and would easily support certain outside elements (such as Xenos races using 7th Ed codices), with a little house ruling.

            Those who might want to start a Legion but are worried about Forge World pricing, I can certainly appreciate that. There are a number of ways to mitigate that, including the use of GW kits (For instance, GW rhinos are mars pattern heresy rhinos, whereas FW ones are Deimos pattern, same for Predators and Land Raiders).

            You have Mk III and IV Marine kits out there, as well as the wonderful Calth and Prospero box sets.

            You have a system that seems almost tailor made for narrative gameplay (the story always seems like one of the most important elements of any Heresy game I watch). And you get away from all of these 8th Ed problems.

          • Apocryphus

            You may indeed suggest HH. 😀 I used to have a DG army for it but I took it apart for 40k conversions because no one in my area was interested. I’d like to see what the final product looks like after FW drops the complete rule book and I have no qualms running a Traitor Iron Warriors force using Chaos models.

          • Koonitz

            No one plays Horus Heresy here, either, but that doesn’t stop me from building my Thousand Sons army. Right now, I play it as a 40k Thousand Sons army so I can put the models on the board, but it’s clearly intended for Horus Heresy.

            Whether I ever actually use it for such is up for debate. I think the problem around here is even if people get annoyed with 8th, they’ll run off to other systems, instead of seeing Horus Heresy as a modern answer to “I want to play 7th!”

          • Apocryphus

            I already have other systems I can turn to, I play probably 5 different wargames. @_ @ I have played a couple games of HH and I did like it at the time, but the only thing that people in my area cared about was getting to use the cool new vehicles in it, which can now be played in 8th ed. If HH comes out swinging strong though, it might not be too hard to get people to convert, given the overall attitude towards 8th that’s developing.

          • AkulaK

            The problem is i don’t like Humans (or superhumans in that case) armies. If i want to play a Sci-fi/fantasy game, it’s not to play humans. I know it’s my personal taste, but for me it’s the main problem of HH, there is no Xenos… Nids weren’t even in the galaxy yet 😀

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Its meant to be a nice way to spend an evening or afternoon with friends, not something to squeeze into a spare hour between gym and some other goal oriented activity!

          • Apocryphus

            Exactly, and longer games make for better stories and memories. It’s nice to slow down, kick back with a friend, and joyfully tear each other apart on the battlefield!

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        because the most fun part of 40K is getting your models out of their cases and putting them back in again!

        • Drpx

          Domino Rally hammer.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Lol

  • defensive

    I think it goes beyond a simple fix like that, though it wouldn’t hurt.

    Right now, I think there are three main problems that ruin the game at anything higher than a friendly game level. Unstoppable combos, mortal wounds in any form, and the ease of deep striking.
    If you fix these things, you are well on your way to a better game.
    Though in my opinion, the rules were simplified too much for it to be ever properly balanced for tournament play.

    • David

      If only there was some forms of scatter on deep strike so flamer / melta could beasily viable but it was also possible to go wrong

  • euansmith

    “Unavoidable, uncounterable combos are frustrating and not fun to play against. ”

    Otherwise known as the Shooting Phase.

    • orionburn III

      My 180 shot Devilgants say hi. 😛

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    you’d think after 35+ years GW would have got the hang of this game design lark, but no… Why is that?

    • A good chunk of the rules team are young young guys that are still very green around the ears for one.

      • Green around the ears…
        I think theirs a cream or maybe a soap for that.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I know they lost a lot of the memory and culture of the organisation whren Prioestly etc left, but Game Design is a subject that can be studied. Good design follows rules and is reasonably predictable (although the finer aspects are more like a dark art!). Yet GW fail continuously.

        • ZeeLobby

          It’s just literally something management has NEVER emphasized inside the company. The only reason the game used to be more interesting was because the original developers were interested in making a game they personally wanted to play, not just a product to sell.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            I’m sure you are right. Constantly amazes me they make any money with such a bad product.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah, the fanbase is strong with this one. What’s crazy is I know people right now who aren’t fans of the current rules, but still go out and buy almost every release. I mean this is the only system I’ve played where people will literally have stacks of shrink-wrapped armies, entire armies, sitting in their basement. That said, it’s seen a massive drop off locally, and there’s way more competition in the market now then there ever was before, so who knows.

            The one news tidbit I’ve forever been waiting for out of GW would be that they actually hired a seasoned game developer with proven track record to drive their rules team. I mean it’s no shock that you see this constantly from other companies that enter the market. I just think GW leadership is too “proud” to do that though. They’d never want to admit that firing all their creative design core had somehow made their game worse. Go figure, lol.

          • This is also why games like World of Warcraft will never be unseated. When people have invested so much time and energy (and money) into their character (armies)… getting them to move to other things is next to impossible.

          • ZeeLobby

            Agreed. In that instance though, I think Blizzard’s recognition is pretty well deserved. I mean regardless of whether someone is a fan or not, it’s hard to ignore Blizzard’s attention to detail and polish, as well their ability to pick up features that work and do an even better implementation, or in some cases features that don’t work in other games and make them work. They also hire seasoned designers and move them around internally constantly.

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            Well gamers are a ‘clever but not wise’ group as a whole. Pretty much every games company would go bust if it weren’t for those basement collections lol! I think gamers also have that nerd thing of getting over attached to their favourite franchises. I know thats the case with me. Its taken me years to ween myself off 40K, and it took an utterly terrible ruleset I hated playing to finally cut the string and make me admit I was no longer really a 40K player. Odd game of 7th still, and 30K, but not 40K as currently played, and my focus is really elsewhere now on other games. It was the lore that kept me involved, but recent changes to that have certainly weakened to attachment too.

            They were supposed to leave that whole “we’re a model company not a rules company” behind a while ago, and all the FAQs and attention to rules would seem to show that, its just that the rules are no good!

    • David

      Because there are totally divergent opinions in the fan Base and what they need is to write two separate 40k rule sets

      The aos version featuring power levels. Mandatory list restrictions. Minimal terrain complexity and simplified rules. Based around the fluff.

      The tournament version where army comp. Positioning. Terrain. And tactical complexity matter based around being a complex skill based tactical game

      What gw try and do us blend the two and as a result pleases no one. (Well except wyrd/mantIc)

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        I thought that’s what they intended when they were going on about ‘three ways to play’ but what they really meant was ‘three ways to play one game that al lot of you won’t like’.

  • “40K is turning into a game where powerful combo’s win games. ”

    40k has always been a game where powerful combos win games. Since like before the internet.

    • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

      it has always had that aspect, but seriously, it is far more prevalent now. It no longer feels at all like a wargame where troop type, deployment, movement and target priority are dominant, it now feels like a CCG where those things are secondary to clever manipulation of the rules.

      • indeed. Both AOS and 40k are more similar to board games and current gen CCGs. And that is super intended I think. Because thats what sells.

        You are dead on.

        • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

          fine for people who like it, but it feels like bait and switch to me.

          GW ought to be setting the trend in the market, not following it, but I guess they aren’t that big a fish any more.

          • I think they aren’t setting the trends because they are the big fish. The big fish rarely sets trends, which is one of the reasons we have anti-trust laws.

        • Rasheed Jones

          I dont undersrand the comparudon to CCGs or board games, could you elaborate. Ive seen you post this a few times, and each time i feel i may be missing the point.

          • Up until the last couple of years, a wargame was a game that recreated a “war” or “battle” based on historical warfare, or fictional warfare found in literature (lord of the rings etc).

            Regardless of historical or fantastical (or sci fi), warfare and thus the wargames you play to recreate these battles, shared several elements that draw people into wanting to play them:

            1) maneuver is vital. In a wargame, maneuvering and outmaneuvering your opponent is one of the keystones.

            2) terrain is vital. In a wargame, managing the battlefield terrain and outmanaging your opponent is one of the keystones.

            These two elements are the most important aspects of a battle, and thus were heavy influencers in any wargame up until a few years ago (i’d actually say warmachine was the first mainstream game to really start going the ccg board gamey route)

            Element creation is also somewhat important (list building) but is not the key component of a wargame, as often you had gamemasters or umpires limiting composition to recreate whatever battle.

            In a board game or a CCG, maneuver is either not as important or doesn’t exist at all, and instead the game’s heavy influencers are list building and combo creations. It moves away from being a wargame where you are recreating battles intuitively into a gamey game like a collectible card game (combo driven) or board game (also combo driven with minor movement elements)

            So you look at AOS and 40k, and neither of those games really have much impact in maneuver. Yes maneuver exists, but you can move 360 degrees, and now you can get engaged in turn 1 in both games, negating the need to outmaneuver. Really in many games you don’t even need to move the models, they start out basically in combat.

            Additionally terrain in both games is mostly a minor thing if a thing at all. Terrain rarely impedes maneuver, (which also doesn’t really exist as pointed out above) and does little to block line of sight. This is all intentional game design as terrain “annoyed” people in the past and they’d exclude using it at all because gamey gamers didnt like terrain having much of an impact in their game (reference: a billion forum and facebook posts complaining about terrain over the past twenty years)

            Additionally, GW’s very own fiction in both 40k and AOS include elements of maneuver and terrain, but their games do not reflect that at all. Which is disappointing because the narrative is what drives a lot of people like myself into being excited about the hobby, and narrative gaming should be about recreating or creating battles that exist in the books… but the games do not reflect the books at all because the games are more CCG / Boardgame like than they are proper wargames.

            The only element I feel that is wargame like in either game is that you are fighting other people. But in that example…Magic the Gathering or Risk can be considered a wargame too.

          • Apocryphus

            You beat me to it. I will add that particularly in CCGs it’s all about that combo going off. 40k lists are now built around the ability to snap your fingers and make your opponent’s army disappear because there’s a list of abstract rules not reliant on model interaction that says it happens. Why do I get to charge turn 1 with Genestealers? Because combos, not by any tactical genius on my end.

          • Yeah exactly my issue. Not a wargame, but more a CCG or Boardgame. I’d expect the same stuff out of playing a 40k boardgame or a 40k card game.

          • AkulaK

            What you are saying is 100% true, WFB was based of manoeuvres while 40k was based on terrain. And both of them had (or still have for 40k, although it’s worsening) an amazing narrative. I have always preferred Fantasy and brutal melee fights over gunlines, but 40k still has its charms, the first one is being the most developed and deep story in “nerd” culture.

          • Rasheed Jones

            While I disagree with your assessment of card games to a degree (then again I play a lot of stand alone card games and I don’t play the big card games like Magic at all,) I don’t actually disagree with what you’ve said about 40k, AOS, and WM/H. I didn’t play too much 40k before 7th, haven’t played AOS at all, and have only played about 5 games of WM/H, but I have had fun with them so far. Then again I may be the target audience for this version of 40k as a card game/video game player. Though the actual reason I decided to stick with 40k over Hordes was that I liked 40ks narrative a lot more, and while I do use matched play rules, I don’t play in a “tournament style” I.E. I pretty much always take whatever fits a story I want to tell or is just cool (so usually deathwing knights on both fronts) and I can see how someone who prefers the simulation aspects would enjoy.

            So just to make sure I understand.
            1. The lack of directional mechanics and ease of getting where you need to be without any interaction from your opponent de-emphasizes maneuver, poor rules for terrain de-emphasize terrain.

            2. There is an over emphasis on the list building part of the game (this one I kinda disagree with in principle, I do like the idea of building a list that covers itself to patch up weakness, but I do agree that in the context of part 1 it is a big problem since it means the game is decided at the list building stage and/or the first turn roll.)

            3. There are too many elements that are gamey and not simulationist (models not in line of sight blocking characters being my go to example and a rule I and my friends ignore unless you also can’t see the character.)

          • I would avoid the word simulationist. More along the lines of… a battle should feel intuitively like a battle. 40k and AOS don’t feel like a battle. It feels the same as playing Magic, except instead of cards I’m using expensive miniatures that I painted, but in both games we are looking to chain the most powerful combos right off the bat to win the game.

            A wargame should be, to me, decided on the table also. Not in the listbuilding phase. Thats where your #2 comes in and yes, the over emphasis on list building destroys the game for me. Now 40k has always been about list building but at least had some maneuver and terrain management. Now those are gone as well.

          • Rasheed Jones

            Yes, IMO there should be a lot more emphasis on outplaying your opponent than list building. Its actually why I prefer Weiss Schwarz to Magic (I feel like because of the rule available to every deck in WS’ Neo Standard format the players decisions matter a lot more, I also feel that many cards are more powerful individually without support but can be situational so its more about reacting appropriately to the opponent). Most of my enjoyment from 8th edition comes from the group I play with I think.

          • Yeah with a good group, the game can be fun. I’m not saying the game isn’t fun. I’m just saying if you want a wargame, 40k isn’t really one anymore IMO.

          • Rasheed Jones

            Its definitely nit a war game as you’ve descrubed them, i dont really have much of a cointer point though since i started with Hordes and i think most would agree just the optuin for generic leaders makes 40k a better narrative game.

    • ZeeLobby

      I really wish they had made a rule then that all wounds in tournaments are doubled. Or armor is halved. Etc. I never asked for a game that ended turn 2 (and I went to many tournaments). It’s honestly the reason I stopped playing as much in 6th, 7th. I honestly think it’s more-so the TOs who wanted these things, and we’re included in the design process.

      • That is *exactly* what it is. TOs were in the design process, and created a system where the game goes really fast so that their tournaments benefit. That kills the rest of the game for non tournament players though. At least for people like me.

        • ZeeLobby

          It kills it for many tournament players as well though, especially at the less competitive events. Even top tablers who I knew only complained of length occasionally, though maybe by then many of those who would had already left for other systems. I mean the only people o can state that this clearly benefits are those who organize the events but don’t play the games.

          • A lot of the tourney players near me love that the games only last an hour or so. They pitch that as a big plus of the new edition.

          • ZeeLobby

            Yeah. I keep forgetting your like in the pit of competitive hell. Lol. How many major event winners do you have in your area? I went to an event in Delaware once and was like holy crap, look at all the scatbikes + screamerstars

          • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

            makes me very glad I live on a small Scottish island!

          • ZeeLobby

            lol. And that it’s not a uber-competitive population.

          • We have a couple of guys that place in the top 10 when they go out to the regionals.

            Right now our demographics for 40k are out of say 50 players, we have around 8-12 tournament players (defined as players that play in tournaments)

            However of the remaining 40 or so players, the desire to play RAW and competitive is still strong even if they don’t go to tournaments.

            I have a solid core of about 8 or so players that know how to tune down and will play narratively with me. We even have a couple of tournament players that can swing both narrative and tournament.

            But a couple of the guys I play with, who I hang out with in my personal time and are good people, are also very competitive people and have a hard time not alpha striking their max payload down your throat like they were staring in a seedy truck driver adult theater flick because the game promotes and rewards that so much.

          • ZeeLobby

            Haha, thanks! It’s a good look at your local. Helps me understand your perspective better (wish everyone posted it with their profile, hehe). Yeah, most of our competitive scene evaporated in 7th. We still have a bunch of closet competitives who are super annoying, but there’s a fair amount of fun to play dudes as well. My group of friends is a mix as well, with me being on the narrative side, and a full spread to the competitive.

            Sadly I feel like the introduction of competitive players in my group has killed my desire to play 40K. Not because they’re competitive, but because they point out all the stupid loose rules GW has and it makes me dislike the game even though I could play it narratively and still maybe do alright? I dunno. There might just be no going back at this point. I can see the cracks in the balance every time I play, and even if a loss/win is my fault, I can always point to the 1/2 broken/OP things that cemented the outcome.

            Now I’m cursed to wander the wasteland playing other games with inferior fluff, lol.

          • I’ve been on that Tree of Woe for a few years now. I have so much money and time invested in whfb and 40k that just not playing anymore kills me, but the bad rules and current design paradigms are as such that if the design philosophy of today had been the design philosophy of the 90s when I started, I’d never have invested in a single model.

        • David

          Except I’ve not played in an 8th tournament where rounds arnt going to time

          • Sure. But the games are farther along and more stuff has been removed than would be with past design.

            Also tournament-sandbagging will always be a thing that unnecessarily drags games on longer as opponents seek to run the clock out to prevent their opponent getting more points, whereas that doesn’t exist when there is not the timed game issue present.

            The last half dozen games I’ve been at have ended within 60 minutes of start. And in all cases, both armies were min/max lists that you’d see at a tournament, so it wasn’t one army was full of bad/wrong choices.

          • David

            Taking elite alpha strike based lists isn’t a wrong/bad choice and I recognise a lot of people are but an alpha on alpha list is going to be a short game. You don’t have to play alpha though and if you don’t I’m not finding it quick and hoard on hoard can be very slow

          • A few of the games were alpha on alpha yes. But not all of them.

            Hoard on hoard could be slow though yes, its just where I am people prefer low model count (cheaper $$) and alpha strike to get the game over by turn 2.

          • David

            In the real world financial cost is a practical consideration for many players however that isn’t a criticism of the ruleset and there are better wargames on a tight budget Malifaux for example

          • No dispute. Financial cost has always been a consideration, which is why if you like mass games with a lot of models, you’re not in a good place these days because most systems have abandoned mass models.

            Its almost like… we need EPIC to be brought back.

    • Marco Marantz

      This speed-game mode is one of the reasons why my main gaming group has quit 40K in its entirety. People wanted to play a 5-6 turn game; one that wasnt bloated. instead we know who is gonna win when the lists get put on the table, when who wins first turn is decided or at the latest, after the first player turn. The game is now zero fun.

    • mgdavey

      Games are games where powerful combos win games.

  • This has always come up EVERY edition because of… drum roll please… the tournament scene!

    The tourney scene takes the best of the best to try get every point out of those units. That’s the whole point of the tournament. GW has been watching the tournaments lately, and has been addressing issues after tourneys to curtail REALLY broken lists. Conscripts, Malefic Lords, scoring aircraft, etc.

    Don’t like Stratagems? Don’t use them in the tournament and go back to simple list building. That would be the quickest, and easiest solution without having to try and not make another counter-stratagem that might break the game.

    • David

      Except meaningfull tacticall choice like strategems is what tournament players want

      • True, but there were tactics before stratagems and formations. I mean, that’s how I look at stratagems now… disembodied formation bonuses with fewer requirements and that are more flexible.

    • 40KstillRulesTheTT

      I play in a relaxed environment and feel no need for this. Just brainstorming for the unlucky ones. 🙂

      • Are you the author of this article?

  • Marco Marantz

    The fact that people are already thinking that there is a need for this shows that stratagems are a poor design in general, certain ones are broken or a combination of both.

    • ZeeLobby

      This is definitely the crux of it.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Actually I end up agreeing with many of you, might as well cap the number of CPs or remove them completely than create a “denial stratagem”. In France it’s the kind of restrictions which a TO would consider if he wanted to give a certain direction to his tourny. Or a that a casual player would suggest to his gaming group.

  • Kabal1te

    No. 40k needs to fix its turn 1 problems which can only be fixed by dealing with you go I go. I still lobby for battletech style turn resolution, less to keep track of for horde armies than alternating activation and you guarantee every single unit at least gets to attempt to do something turn 1. Larger boards and bigger gaps between opposing deployment zones help too

    • Holger Wurst

      Totally this! We played a few games during 6th this way and while a bit wonky it was a completely different game without those frustrating alphastrike moments. 8th would make this step even more easy as gw already took a first tiny step in this direction with the unit activation during cc. You get the feeling of a truly raging battlefield with constant action-reaction. And you can even implement some initiative stuff each turn like in battletech. Strategy and tactics would finally return to the game.

  • Dan

    if it was anything it should be functionally a bidding process.

    Stratagems have a minimum cost but no maximum. All the other player needs to do is bid more than you to make your stratagem fail.

    That way if you have some critical stratagem that NEEDS to go off you can bid high by adding on an extra 2 or 3 CP, then your opponent needs to decide whether they throw down the huge cost to prevent it. It gives them the opportunity to do so HOWEVER if you’re in a position where you need to bid high now your opponent can spend CP with impunity as you have nothing to stop him. Also it incentivizes players to hold back to counter opponents plans which helps take some pressure off of 1st turn.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      Guard would just win that. Especially guard with the commander that has the warlord trait and relic that recover CP.

  • Anasa

    If the “100% certainty” is the main problem here, then perhaps strategems should be harder to pull off? For example, if an attempted strategem worked only on a 4+, then using them would be much less reliable.

    • Or command points be rare instead of what they are now: laughably easy to rack up.

      • Anasa

        That would probably be the easiest fix.

      • Or just crank up the cost on the ridiculous ones.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      This example, which requires 2 CP to do, has a 74% chance of successfully charging. That’s worse than trying to roll a 2+, and it probably took a third of the blood angel player’s CP.

  • Thrawn

    Ya I’m not sure I agree with you either. If somebody drops an expensive unit of Blood Angels just so you can deny his entire combo with a mere 2 CP and now his expensive unit of drop troops gets shot to peices?Does not sound right to me.

  • LordKrungharr

    I think stratagems could be more CP expensive. That would help mitigate overuse of them.

  • Tying the # of CP you get to the detachments was a mistake. Players just keep stacking formations by taking cheap HQs + Troops.

    I think what they should have done was specify that the CP gained from a detachment can only be used on units in that detachment.

    But since there are so many global abilities that would be very hard to accomplish.

    • They are designing the game to end in turn 1 or 2 though, so I don’t think we’ll see them attempt to fix it since that seems to be their very intent and goal.

  • narrativewargaming.com

    Grand Crusade link. Grand Crusade 2nd edition. This 40k campaign takes a different approach to awarding CPs and moves away from being able to gamey game by just taking detachments.

  • Kabal1te

    Here is a thought and I know at this point it is going to get buried but how about we change the CP rules to where you can only gain CP from one detachment of your choice, and the rest of your detachments award no CP. You soft cap CP, and nerf some of the detachment spam problems at the same time while still allowing those screwy lists to be built if someone really wants to.

  • John Bennett

    “giving this to some or all of the armies”… So your army would definitely be one of the ones who got this rule, I would assume. I’m going to ask GW to give me a heads up if they put you on the design team so I know exactly when to stop playing 40k. Lol.

  • stinkoman

    please no. way to cripple BAs, as stratagems are the only thing that make them viable in the new dex. there are other armies that can get first turn charges just as reliable without stratagems. a BA player doing this is putting all their eggs in one basket. ynarri two-step? is that even a thing that is breaking games?

    anyway, yes MTG has counterspells, but not every deck will use them. even competitive ones. deck building, much like list building is about having resiliency. build resiliency into your army and dont fall prey to one trick ponies.

    • Kabal1te

      Resiliency isn’t exactly somethig every army is good at. That for instance has always been the major flaw of the dark eldar gameplay mechanics. Dark eldar are only good if they survive to late turn numbers (or be very successful in older editions) but they lack the armor and toughness required to survive even the most common of weapons. This edition with the change to AP made their armor not totally pointless against nearly everything, but on the other hand their low toughness and now neutered feel no pain combined with the loss of 90% of their deep strike capability and the fact that cover is nearly useless to low armored units now means they still don’t have a prayer of surviving past turn 2.

  • SilentPony

    How about, seeings how someone is salty, you get to counter-spell, but pay a premium for it.
    You have to pay double the command points of the stratagem to counter the stratagem.
    If I spend 2 CP to reroll charge distances for all units that deepstriked this turn, you get counter it, by spending 4 CP.
    That way you really have to think hard on where to put your command points.

    • John Bennett

      Love it! Can we name it the Cry Baby Stratagem?

      • SilentPony

        I was thinking the ‘But I wanna win!’ rule

  • BroxusMaximus

    I really don’t like this option since some armies such as IG have tons of extra CP to burn. This would really hurt elite armies that have 6-7 command points due to high unit costs. The only way to make this work is if everyone always a had the same amount of CP at the start of the game.

  • Drew_Da_Destroya

    Yeah, I feel like the best counter is talking your opponent into wasting points.

  • Red_Five_Standing_By

    I liked Stratagems back when 8th rolled around. I have grown to really dislike them.

    • Koonitz

      Limiting stratagems to the 3 core rulebook ones and any mission specific ones (such as those in the Cities of Death rules) would go a long way. As was mentioned elsewhere in these comments, stratagems all feel like veiled “formation benefits” without the need to take formations.

      Everyone hated the “have/have not” benefits of formations.

      Personally, I think 8th would have been better if they just took the indices for each army, added flavour to taste (like expanding the psychic disciplines, relics and warlord traits), then left stratagems alone.

  • Apocryphus

    Perhaps a better solution would be to make CP a list building/balancing resource than a reward for min/maxing. If each army started with X CP per Y points/PL and then had to spend CP to take certain detatchments, keeping any left over for use with strategems, we’d likely see less of the types of tricks that you would want a counter strategem for.

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      Yes, that would be more interesting.

      • Karru

        That would work, also making Objectives give you CP instead of just arbitrary things would also change lists dramatically.

        • Apocryphus

          I kinda like that, it would actually cause players to consider playing to the mission rather than just bum rushing the stage, so to say.

          • Karru

            I think giving an army the default 3CP to start out with is more than enough, after that, you get +1CP for each Objective you hold. You get +2CP if you hold it for two turns without interruption, +3 if you manage to get to three and so on. Every mission would have Objective Markers that would give CP, even if they don’t give you VP. They would be scored at the end of your opponent’s turn as well, so you can’t just try to rush your opponent with fast units, grab their objectives and then laugh all the way to the bank.

            This would also work as a way to balance the turns. The one who goes first only has his 3CP to use, but now can try to position himself better and of course shoot the enemy in an attempt to deny some of the objectives that the enemy might score at the end of his turn.

            Meanwhile, the second turn now gets a minor advantage by gaining more CP to use at the start of his turn, assuming he made a list that was prepared to go second by using all the various rules that help him deploy units beyond his deployment zone.

            3CP would make it so that people would have to choose between different options they have for Stratagems that happen either before or after deployment, as those are usually expensive. It is also the perfect prize if you wish to take the three Relics Stratagem as that is also 3CP.

            This change would also remove the massive advantage that cheap armies have for spamming detachments. No longer would Guard be able to rock 12CP in “small” games.

          • Apocryphus

            Mind if I steal this? My gaming group might like this as a house rule.

          • Karru

            Go right ahead, who knows if it gains more popularity, it might reach GW one day.

  • 40KstillRulesTheTT

    Girlyman costing CPs (like a chapter master) as opposed to granting them. There I said it 😀
    Every broken unit costs a certain number of CPs. Now does GW know which are and which are not…

    • Red_Five_Standing_By

      He should not give CP. It is utter BS.

    • Kabal1te

      This too. In all reality lords of war detachments should come with -CPs

  • becizzle

    No. Horrible idea. Lets take Blood Angels for an example. Literally the only thing they have are those stratagems. To be able to nullify one of those stratagems would severely cripple the army. They are a close combat army in a shooting edition.

    You haven’t mentioned any other combos: how about the myriad ways IG/AM can “combo” with orders. Can we roll a die to negate those?

    How about gun line armies? Can we spend some CP so they can’t shoot?

    Buffing armies? Lets negate that aura!

    Nope. Learn to play against your foe. Come up with a way to blunt the charge. Don’t blunt the stratagem.

  • YetAnotherFacelessMan

    Guardsmen would love that. At 1000 points, a guard player can have 12 CP relatively easily. A lot of other armies are at 3, 4, or 6. Add on the warlord trait and relic that let them recapture spent CP and you can just deny your opponent the ability to use stratagems the entire game while also recovering enough points to use them yourself.

  • John Bennett

    Are people this negative about every game they play, or is this just a 40k thing? Maybe something to do with the grimdark leaking into conversations about the grimdark maybe? 8th edition is no different than any other edition, except that it’s 4 pages of rules that cause all your plastic dudes to go back in their tray, instead of 400 pages.

    • Pretty much every game I’ve ever played has a lot of negative comments on their forums.

    • YetAnotherFacelessMan

      But John! Blood Angels are deepstriking and getting assaults! That’s never happened before and is a bad thing because I don’t play Blood Angels! Rage! Confusion! Despair!

    • Apocryphus

      You should hear WMH players.
      “My Warcaster got slightly nerfed, it’s unplayable trash now and I’m selling my entire faction and quitting forever!”

  • Louie’sUglyRanglehorns

    Does BoLS know how bad the writing quality of their articles are? Or do they just not care about poor spelling, unnecessary apostrophes and flat-out incorrect words (ex; “change” versus “chance”)? Seriously guys have some professional pride and put out a decent product, your content is too much fun to be tarnished by amateurism.

    • Kabal1te

      I think it is more of a not caring factor. I think that they are more focused on the quantity of articles they put on this site than the quality. After all more clicks on more articles means more ad revenue.

    • Apocryphus

      I think issue is that it’s NOT professional. The writers here are not paid to write these articles, so there’s not necessarily any motivation to treat it professionally.

  • Viper666.Qc

    Only way to resolve that problem is by having alternate units activations instead of the You Go I Go…. My group houseruled it in 7th and it was making every army pretty competitive and we are implementing it in 8th and it works great too

    • Andrew O’Brien

      The only issue I have with you go, I go is that multiple small units suffers. The only issue I have with this counter spell is that some armies may rely heavily on their stratagems.

      • Viper666.Qc

        see previous answer

    • Kabal1te

      The problem I have always had with alternating activations in a game like 40k is when you run into the grey knights vs infantry guard lists it the like where the disparity between units per side
      becomes more extreme. either the grey night player may as well be going first because he is going to unload everything he has before the guard player gets through a fraction of his army or you try and even it out some how which tends to get complicated and you are back to alpha strike lite on the part of the guard player. The bigger problem is the disparity between how much a units survivability seems to factor into its points vs how much the units damage output is factored into its cost.

      • Viper666.Qc

        We use random activation (1 token per unit in a bag) for activation so armies with many units have a higher chance of activation at start but probabilities even it out on each pick….and a unit attacked can be activated to make a counter-attack against their attackers (and you remove casualties after both side make their damages)

  • Nyyppä

    Fixing the actual mistaked first would be appreciated.

  • Tushan

    Better to redo the CPs so that low cost armies like stealer cults cant amass them easily while crap like GK can never get more then 6.

  • GrenAcid

    Yet again tournament WAACos cause troble…maybe, just hear me out, maybe 40k isnt game for competetive play?

  • MarcoT

    CP cost should be the cost of the one being cancelled +1.

  • Sigurd Garshol

    Adding a counter stratagem just empowers armies with loads of CPs. If unfailing stratagem is a problem, try a house rule that each stratagem used needs a roll to take effect. E.g. 2+ for your first stratagem that phase, 3+ for any additional stratagem in the same phase.

  • Infamous Wendigo

    We all know it would rarely be used to counter combos. There is no such limit built in.
    People will counter anything they don’t like and command point heavy lists will just shut down the enemy entirely with counters, and then use their CP surplus to get off those same “abusive combos” themselves.
    So, no. It will not work… it will make it worse.

  • CannonBall

    Realistically, perhaps make a command point cap or reduce the amount of command points an army can attain in a turn would help with the stratagem issue. Also increase the cost of certain stratagems or make them “One use.”