Goatboy here again to look at the biggest “rule” coming from Codex Tau and how it could effect other armies.
The Return of 0-1 Units?
GW let out a nice little matched play leak in that Commanders – instead of getting a nerf or point change – got the limitation of only being able to take one per detachment. This is pretty huge as it is a very big difference from the other codexes out there. The only real limitation on other books is that you can’t repeat a special character. There hasn’t been a choice limitation that wasn’t governed by the detachment itself in a forever. The only limits I can remember are those placed by events. If you somehow could fit X units into a detachment it was fair game. This limitation is pretty interesting and something I wonder will end up showing up in other “codex” updates for matched play.
The one side of this is that at least the Tau Commander didn’t get nerfed. In fact they just got better which is a good thing. The Coldstone Creamery Commander got a big boost with more options, better abilities, and a plethora of stratagems to use and abuse. I am happy we didn’t get nerf bat to them. I won’t go over specifics as I will leave that for next week when I get a chance to dive into it, read it a ton, and probably listen to the Tau players I am buddies with and weep at the amount of random Tau I am getting to paint in the next few weeks. I feel while the match play changes are probably warranted in that they will force players to build “better” lists – I think I would have rather seen a broader change to the overall detachment landscape instead of just a single codex nerf bat.
40K May Have an HQ Issue
I have always been of the thought that the Supreme Command detachment should just not be a part of the game right now. I know I have used and abused it a ton – whether getting access to a ton of Daemon Princes or finding ways to fit in 5 Dawn Eagle bikers into an army – it just probably shouldn’t be in the matched play game right now. It just lends itself to too much “abuse” and is something that just causes a bit of stagnation in the game with copy and pasted units to serve a bully like purpose. We saw this specifically in the Index version of Tau – where the other suits and options were just not nearly as good as a souped up Commander who hit better and was cheaper. But if we are not removing the Supreme Command Detachment could be see a “character limit” coming to codexes?
I know there was a lot of chatter in how some of the HQ options in books might be too good? How many times do we see a crap ton of Hive Tyrants flying in, shooting a bunch, and being a pain to the current “good” army of Eldar? We all know I love me some Daemon Princes so how annoying is it to see a 4 pack of them throwing spells, hitting a unit with 7+ reroll to hit attacks, and abusing the character rule? The newest Imperial monster is the 5 Custodes Dawn Eagle biker Captains making an appearance in a ton of Imperial armies and limiting them might be a good thing.
Of course the issue with this is that it really hurts armies without a lot of “ally” help and options in the HQ section of their codex. We mentioned how the Tyranids – while a decent book – really seem somewhat lacking in highly effective HQ choices. They do have a decent smite thrower – but when that is about the best it can do the ability to be a combat threat, shooting threat, and fast as heck option like the Flying Hive Tyrant is just a better choice in most games. I really think this type of “matched” play change is really a game breaker for most of the Xenos armies as they really rely on their HQ’s to do a ton of the heavy lifting.
The Chaos armies have a lot of decent HQ choices amongst all their options. From Daemon Heralds and Greater Daemons to Chaos Lords and Sorcerers – the Chaos armies are ready to go if this change comes down the pipeline. The Imperium is also well suited to this as while the HQ’s are alright – they really only need a few to pump out their Auras, do some assault shenanigans, and maybe throw a spell or two. Heck even the Eldar – with upcoming “friends” in the Dark Eldar, Ynarri, and Harlequin codexes all rumored to come out soon. It just seems to really be an issue with the Tau, Tyranids, and most likely the upcoming Necron book depending on how they label Lords, Overlords, and whatever else they decide to get.
What’s the Solution to HQ Spam?
On one side of this matched play coin – I think I would rather have my HQ’s just be good. Sure I don’t want this whole game to devolve into Hero hammer – but I want my leaders to be bad a$$es. I want spells to be awesome, monsters to kick butt, and super technological super suits to zip around and throw out a ton of fire power. I don’t want this options nerfed. But I do want to feel like we have a balanced game where new and different armies can emerge out of the Metagame. I don’t want to see the same things on each table top and the uniqueness of your own personal army shines as you throw it on the table top.
What do you think about this? Is this matched play change going to come to some of the other armies as a way to balance the game a bit without a rules changes/point changes to the units? A lot of the time the rules work out alright – it is just their efficiency for the point investment that becomes an issue. Which of course makes you think things should cost more but then when do you get to the point when the option isn’t worth it? Do you think we should just remove some detachments to better build taxes in army choices? What if we lowered the points, increased the need of X amount of command Points to make an actual Matched play army? Or do we want to force things like Min/Max 1 Battalion Detachment etc?
I wonder how many “Tau Commanders” will pop up on Ebay with the Pro Painted label in the next week or so as people get used to a hard limit of 3 in any Tau based army. Next week lets look at some Tau lists and other fun thoughts. Hopefully I got a test game in with a Chaos Army. I still want to build this janky Imperial list but with this whole Matched play update for Tau I wonder if it will be worth it going full hog into my Dawn Eagle biker army.
~Should more 0=1 limitations return to 40K? Which units?