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40K: Fixing Some Issues: Mr. Black Style

7 Minute Read
Jul 15 2011
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Fix: n. a. To correct or set right; adjust: “I am going to fix Tony for his little mistake.”


Mr. Black here, dear readers, and this week I have butchered a unicorn and both drank it’s blood and eaten it’s flesh. The appetizer, if you will, to my seven course Endangered-Soon-to-be-Extinct Animal Dinner, in which I, you guessed it, eat the last one of seven different, and tasty, breeds of animals.

For more information on that however you will have to tune into my soon-to-be-created blog on the subject.

Alright, to be honest I inserted that simply because we have a touchy subject with some people and I wanted to ease you into it with some wholesale innocence-slaughtering. So, what is the diabolical topic? Fixing things. Basically, all this talk of Sixth Edition jibba-jabba got to me- Do I think we need a new edition? Eh, don’t have any strong opinions either way, but it’s going to happen regardless so why even go over it? What I can go over, however, are some changes I personally would make to the existing codices I play to correct some issues/oversights that I feel they have.

One of those books is Codex: Tyranids, so yeah, we have lots of ground to cover. Let’s jump right in shall we?

**Oh yeah, for all you internet haters out there: These are my opinions on these subjects. Guess what, that makes them subjective, nether wrong nor right… Ha, you’re right, what am I saying? Of course these are the only truly correct opinions.

Codex: Blood Angels

Altogether the Blood Angels codex is pretty well put together, ranking amongst my top three armybooks in regards to balance and flexibility, as not to say it doesn’t have a few flaws:

Dante: No Eternal Warrior there sport? You’re only the longest lived Space Marine out there… Think we can spare that rule so you don’t get gimped by Powerfists.

Death Company Tycho: Since he is neither an IC or an upgrade for a Death Company unit we have here a near unplayable T: 4 model who is one Melta away from the dead-pile. How could we fix this? Well two ways really: give him the ability to become an IC specifically for Death Company units, which would still make him Fistable and rather lame… Or make him awesome and act as a Sergeant for a Death Company unit ala Lemartes. Hell, you could even keep him as an HQ choice in doing so and I would still play him time to time.

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Death Company: On the topic of Death Company… I really don’t have much of an issue with these fellows are they are. Yes, Rage sucks and it would be super awesome if a Chaplain could control them better. Do I believe they should be higher points-cost if they did that? A little. Really I don’t have many complaints about this unit aside from the Jump Pack cost. Nearby doubling the unit cost for what is essentially an army trademark is a bit harsh. Maybe drop it down to a 5/10 point upgrade and I would feel better… Closer to the five range however, as I think 25 pts. a model is decent for what they do.

Sanguinor: You know, give him four wounds, I would feel better about his price-tag then… Or hell, make his bubble 12 inches… Either one and I would feel better justified at him being a three wound T: 4 model. Granted, with some of those Sixth-Edition rumors in regards to multiple saves on characters… No, not going there…

Techmarine: Ha ha.. That’s cute. I really don’t know how to save these guys.

A note on Vanguard: I honestly don’t feel these guys are overcosted too much. While I’d love to see a five point deduction I think they are right around what they should be and even suggesting the reduction pushes them into the “too cheap” realm to me.

And that wraps up Blood Angels. Not bad, just a few minor changes here and there, and even those are negligible- nothing is super unplayable as it is… Well, with the exception of Tycho…

Codex: Dark Eldar

As I have stated before, I believe Codex: Dark Eldar is the pinnacle of proper writing- It allows many builds, all of which are competitive, and gives a wealth of units with interesting rules and abilities. Basically I feel this book contains the fewest “deadweight” units. Is it without error? Ha ha, no no no…

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Dais of Destruction: Near unplayable as it is, or rather, it should be. Wowzers! A Ravager that cant fire all of it’s weapons on the move and has to buy 200+ points of additional models to use? Where do I sign up??! Also it can’t take simple Raider upgrades, durp-a-durp... That’s like some sad punchline to this unit, sigh. So, how do we fix it? First, let it take upgrades and give it damn Aerial Assault. Second… Well, really that’s it. I totally dig the ability to make a unit out of whatever nine models you want, more-so, I think that given that ability it would be totally worth the points.

Kheradruakh: After typing that I feel like I had an aneurism on my keyboard… This Guy, how do we fix him? Well, giving him the ability to charge after coming out of reserve would be a good step. Next, maybe just give him Preferred Enemy all the time. Lastly, let him start with a pain token. Even with all those changes I believe it would be a bit tricky to make him playable, but I feel the assault-from-reserve would at least give him a fighting chance, as well as make him a nasty surprise against your opponent.

Mandrakes: That Baleblast ability they have? Remove the need for a pain token with it. I honestly wouldn’t have much of an issue with them then. Essentially you would be taking a crappy melee unit and turning them into a rather decent harassment/outrider unit… Plus it would give me a reason to buy those lovely models for another reason than objective markers…

Really that’s about it. People may complain about Grotesques but I think they are fine for what they are. Oh… Wait, one small change: give them access to a Power Weapon in some form or another. Forgot about that! Other than that the Dark Eldar codex is pretty solid. Again, I give it high praise for such a feat!

Codex: Tyranids

Oh geez, I don’t want to turn this into a tirade (and I will gut anyone who turns that into a pun) but for one of my favorite armies, sigh, there sure is a lot I would change…

Edit: You know, after glossing over the codex this really could be it’s own article. That being the case I’m just going to hit on the major issues/changes I would have made.

HQs: Surprisingly I don’t have a huge amount of hate for the HQs in the book. Perhaps a small points deduction in the Hive Tyrant/Swarmlord options, but not terribly much. Who knows? Maybe Sixth Edition will make Monstrous Creatures awesome again! No, dammit Mr. Black, get those ideas out of your head…

 -Give Deathleaper/Lictors in general the ability to assault after they come out of reserve. Bam, most issues I have with them fixed. Also, would make Deathleaper one of my favorite units in the game.

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Doom of Malan’tai: Remove the FAQ that allows units to take Cover Saves. Honestly, I would never, ever say it works again units in vehicles, but the Cover Save thing just boggles me.

Pyrovore: Make them T: 5, move them to Heavy Support, and make their flame template fire like a Hellhound.

Zoanthrope: Move them to Heavy Support.

Ymgarl Genestealers/Genestealers: I can honestly say three attacks base and Frag Grenade equivalent to bring the fear of these units back to the tabletop.

Harpy: 3+ Save or T:6, failing either of those a reduction in points. Also, remove the once-per-game limitation on Spore Clusters.

Shrikes: 4+ Save and I would be happy. The five point cost-increase coupled with the fact they are not scoring is enough difference in my mind, hitting them once again with a -1 armor save is just pitiful.

Carnifex: Make him 100 points. This may seem like a small amount to some but honestly, given the comparison to the Trygon, I don’t think so. Putting a brood of three at just over 300 points with upgrades seems like a sweet spot for the unit, given what it can do and the fact that any heavy dose of melta/plasma will put the hurtin’ on them.

Old One Eye: I… Seriously? He’s ten more points than Mephiston? Sigh. You know, let’s just take him out of the book and put back in The Red Terror, please??

Tyrannofex: Needs to drop about fifty points to put it in line with the Trygon. Honestly I feel that’s how it should be- a gun-platform version of the Trygon. Perhaps up it’s BS to 4, though that may be pushing it.

Mawloc: Remove Cover Saves from its Terror From the Deep effect, then maybe it’s stats would be justified.

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Another heavy sigh… I love Tyranids, I really do, and I have fun when I play the army. In the end, however, I just feel like there is so much hidden potential that was buried under garbled rules and overpriced units… Who knows, maybe Sixth Edition really will come along and they will suddenly be like a kiddy-pool filled with $100 bills and unicorn tears…

~And there you have it, dear readers, some humble changes I would make to my codices of choice. Some are rather trivial, some (Tyranids) make me weep for what could have been… That being said, what are some changes you would make to your armybooks to give them a tune-up?

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