The Big FAQ 1 has shaken up the meta and armies have risen and fallen. Let’s take a look at how it affected each army.
Yesterday Goatboy took at the “winners” and “loser” of the FAQ, noting that gun lines got better for instance. Due to all these changes, some armies got a lot better, while others suffered. Today lets take a quick look at how each army was affected by the FAQ.
The old IG came off well in the FAQ. Not only did their Commissars get better but few of the significant changes affected them heavily. Indeed the curbing of first turn charges is great for the army, as is extra CPs. While the rule of 3 does annoyingly limit the number of Company Commanders you take, for instance, most of your vehicles can be taken in squadrons. Also, access to a lot of variants of units from Forgeworld helps mitigate the losses.
Verdict: Big Winner
Nids, or at least the most popular lists, took a bit of a beating in the FAQ. They are an army that will feel some crunch from the rule of 3, as it puts paid to 7 flayrant lists. Nerfs to smite spam also affect an army that does a lot of smiting. The curbing of first turn deep strikes also hurts them as it’s a big tactic for the army. Couple that with having to have half your PL on the table and a lot of the lists we were seeing got taken out in several ways. Nids are still a strong list with a lot of good options, but players are going to have to change up how they play them now.
Verdict: Big Loser in their current competitive form.
Changes to deep striking helped T’au some, in preventing them getting charged as early. It does hurt some builds that would want to put battle-suits deep into enemy lines early, however. The rule of 3 feels like a pretty big hurt to them as it will limit the number of Ion-heads, drones, and suits they can take. Couple that with the limits on commanders and T’au are seeing some real limits to being able to take their best things. I think T’au already were a weaker gun line than AM and this FAQ didn’t help them.
Verdict: Minor loser
Overall Necrons are such a new army that they didn’t get hurt too bad by the FAQ. Again limiting deep strike is pretty good for them as they didn’t tend to run a ton of assault lists built around it. The rule of three does put paid to the idea of taking 5-6 C’tan Shards in an army, but you can still take 3 and the two named ones, so not the end of the tomb-world. I suppose it’s a bit of a bummer if you wanted to spam things like Annihilation Barges – you can’t. Overall if that game moves more towards a mid-range shooting fest, it will only benefit Necrons.
Verdict: Minor Winner
The good old Chaos Space Marines did take a few lumps here. The double whammy of deep strike restrictions and not being able to Warptime after coming in really hurt some builds. Limiting Tide of Traitors to once a game is also bad. Though, with how much it costs I wonder it was getting used more than once a game all that often. On the other hand, the extra CPs battalions get is big for CSM as they are one of the most CP demanding armies out there. Also, Alpha Legion units can still pay points, of which you will have more of now, to set up outside of 9 and get first turn charges off. The Rule of 3 doesn’t hurt a ton of builds. As Adam has pointed out, you can still get a ton of Demon Princes, but I guess things like Hellforge Contemptor Spam is dead (take that Goatboy). I think overall the army is a strong as it ever was.
The 1k Sons are in pretty much the same spot as regular CSM. First turn Tzaangor charges are out, but they also don’t have to worry about being charged as much. I think Warpflamers will be less popular in the future as you can’t drop in and warptime into range. Conversely getting some immunity to the smite nerf is also good for the list. I think their power level is pretty unchanged.
Verdict: Very Minor Winner
Out of the CSM factions, Death Guard are by far the losers. Most of what I said about the other factions, good and bad, is true of Death Guard as well. However, the change to Poxwalkers (have to pay points if they go over starting size) was a big blow to the army. Also, the rule of three limits how many both Plague Burst Crawlers and Foetid Bloat Drones you can take. As both of these were favorite units to spam, the limit stings a bit. I think with these changes you may see far less mono-Death Guard Builds.
Verdict: Big Loser
Overall the army is pretty unaffected by the changes. Knights are expensive enough and have so many variants that the rule of three has very little effect. As they aren’t an army that can deep strike seeing people get less of it is good, but that’s about it.
Verdict: Minor Winner
I think Ad Mech came out pretty well in the new meta. Most Ad Mech builds are shooting focused, and even assault lists weren’t heavily invested in deep striking. The rule of three is a little annoying of them as they only have two non-named HQ choices, but that still allows for up to 3 battalions. They are an army that tends to want to take a couple of big units rather than some small ones, so they are most OK. Not being able to take more than 3 Onagar Dunecrawls might be a bit of a hassle but I think they do about as well as any other army there. As they are a pretty CP intensive list, the extra CPs are also great for them.
Verdict: Minor Winner
More to Come
Ok, guys, that’s it for part one, next time we will go over the remaining armies and see how they have fared with the FAQ. Overall even the armies that got nerfed are still good and will have to get creative to build top tier lists again. See ya’ll next time.
Don’t agree with my assessment? Let us know, down in the comments!