Goatboy here again and if you pay attention to 40k you know an FAQ is coming sometime in March – I’ve got some ideas…
Or at least we hope GW follows their new “path” to game balancing. You can guess a few of the changes coming due to what has been winning games a bit to much but who knows how broad this FAQ change will be. Of course with that in mind – lets see if I can get lucky and guess some of these changes. A few are pretty obvious but I also want to delve into things that might become too good once a few of the “initial” culprits are brought around towards a more “fair” configuration.
First of all – we all know Dark Reapers will see some sort of change. There has been a ton of ideas thrown around – from full nerfs to just small changes to size/cost. I don’t expect a cost change as those are normally left for the end of year – Chapter Approved compendium. Of course that could just be a way to solidify all changes including any point changes so who knows. I am of the mindset that a few rules tweaks and some unit size changes would be the best – but then I believe everything should be usable in an army so nerfing something into the ground isn’t exactly my favorite thing to do. When I was at LVO I gave the thought that maybe we should just change the unit size from Min/Max of 5 man (matching the amount you get in a box). This would eliminate some of the power of the Soul Burst Mechanic as well as the benefit of Guide/etc. It would also eliminate some of the cheaper 3 man units utilizing the power of the Tempest Launcher. I also have the feeling a change in their damage output needs to be look at as a flat 3 is a pretty powerful weapon. Especially mixed with an always 3+ to hit. I don’t know how far they go but that is me thinking of how to balance it without heavily changing the rules. I expect a bit more of a change to come but who knows.
Speaking of Dark Reaper weapons – the Tempest launcher needs to be changed. I won’t go into how many times Brad hit me for 9+ times with that dang thing. Nowhere do we have a no LOS gun that has so many shots on such a cheap body. Plus the ability to always hit on a 3+ is a bit extreme. If any other army had that – it would be in every army list. It needs a change and either move to d6 or some other kind of 2d3 option as right now it is just brutal. Of course if I played it I would have many turns where I only got to shoot it 3-4 times – rolling a ton of 2’s to miss. It is just my luck on those things when I try to play with something that isn’t Chaos related. Thankfully I do not like the look of the Eldar so I have never been tempted to play them.
From there I think there is going to be some serious work done with Ynarri. Right now there is a big issue where a Ynarri unit keeps their Craftworld name and has access to Stratagems as long as you take a solid Craftworld Detachment. I think a simple fix to this is to make the Ynarri keyword the same as the Craftworld name keyword – thus removing some of the stackable issues (Shining Spears moving and advance twice plus charging) as well as some units utilizing Transports from another Detachment. In fact I expect a big Detachment change to come where this type of thought might be eliminated as they will end up putting in a rule that you can only use stratagems on Detachments that activate them.
This would be a big hit towards the Ynarri soup lists and other soup armies that utilize a parent single Army choice detachment to turn on the Stratagems for all the other parts of their “soup” Brigade/army. It most likely hurts Chaos a lot more as they have a lot of synergy between all the armies that utilize Cultists and the Tide of Traitors stratagem. I really like the idea of Keywords and feel while as a whole they have helped out the game they still need some work to ensure we don’t have some overlapping issues as armies get more complex.
I also wonder if will see even more tweaks to Soulburst. Once we remove some Stratagem usage as well as “Craftworld” abuse the Ynarri mechanic should be ok. I can also expect some of the Vehicles to lose those Craftworld bonuses. I would love to see the other armies vehicles get their Chapter rules too but it might just be safer to only gives those rules to Infantry, Bikes, and Dreads/etc. It is one of those things that initially during the first meta of 8th with the Space Marine book – the threat of -2 to shoot Storm Ravens was a legit scare. Right now they are less of an issue because of Dark Reapers and their constant 3+ to hit. A lot of this would be removed if they just had move and fire with heavy weapons instead of the 3+ to hit – but I guess they want Dark Reapers to feel special.
From here I bet will also see a change coming to some FW as a few things go way to cheap. The Fire Raptor had a strange update that while not present in the top 8 of LVO – was showing up a lot throughout the event. A buddy barely missed the top 8 with his Raptor list and I think the flying bullet machine is a bit too cheap to leave as is. Most of the “best” armies out there has answers for it (Dark Reapers yay!) but a lot of the middle ground becomes a who went first contest. That isn’t very good for the game and losing due to not having a chance to bullet storm your enemy isn’t valid for a strategic game. I expect a point increase to be the answer so will see if that shows up.
After this I wonder if will finally see some kind of locked in matched play army building. You have to have a Battalion, limits to how many other detachments you can use, and overall changes to their structure. For awhile the Supreme Command Detachment was an issue but it seems less of a problem now. Its one of those far reaching ideas that I have as I fear we might see something rough coming in the future. I don’t know what yet – but the Custodes Character biker gang is something to fear. I could see a Supreme command detachment being just 3 HQs, 1 LoW, 1 Elite and calling it a day. It would still be useful but we won’t see things like 10 Characters in 2 Supreme detachments.
The other thing we need some kind of answer for is when you get to roll for the “bring back a Command Point” traits we see a lot of. Is it when you start the game or any time – ie the nebulous pre turn of the game? I know a lot of people are playing this all kinds of strange with either having to have the model on the table to activate (Commander with the Relic and the Warlord trait that lets you roll multiple dice to see if you return a CP) or can just do it because your guy is “alive”. I really think some kind of answer would be good and most likely along the lines you only get Command Points back during the actual turns of the game – not before etc. So spending points for extra Relics doesn’t activate your ability regrow command points.
I also hope we have a solidified answer to dropping all the Index books soon. I feel these books were just a stop gap to allow your armies to play in 8th edition and once you get a codex should be dropped. Sure some units are missing but GW can easily just release a nice list in the next Chapter Approved with correct points, options, and other things. Leaving you to have to carry another book is pretty frustrating and something I just want cut out of the game. There are too many “crazy” combinations that just need to go away.
I wonder how much data GW gets from all the events. I know they most likely look at the bigger ones – especially the top 8’s. They are a part of a lot of the bigger events and can easily see something that is an issue. I am sure the Playtesters also bring up some problems as well. What other things are you finding to be too much? Beyond the Stratagem issues what other broad changes could happen to shake things up? If Eldar get nerfed do you think the AM monster will show up more? Is Chaos left to kind of float in the middle with good FW options, a ton of books, and the best synergy in the game?
~ Have at it folks, Goatboy Out!
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