|Only the strong will survive.|
Well, 6th Ed. has been out for around a month now and it’s pretty clear me which armies are the most powerful. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I’m just going to flat out say it (not in any order):
…These three armies that I listed above. I’ll start with Necrons because they’re the talk of the town right now. Being the last book before 5th Ed., it’s a no-brainer that the army was designed with 6th Ed. in mind. In fact, it’s such a no-brainer that this was their design philosophy that when the FAQs came out, Necrons received virtually no nerfs of any kind. They were already a pretty strong and well-balanced army at the end of 5th (even taking home some serious tournaments), but they were nowhere near as strong as they are now. A lot of their units saw incredible buffs in the way of Flyers, their Deathmark sniping is just insane with the new rules, their HQs/Wraiths and Destroyers saw epic boosts to their effectiveness, they can turn on the lights vs. Night Fighting on their turn, and their Gauss drops vehicles much better than they did in 3rd Ed. In short, Necrons lost nothing, but gained everything they need to be a dominant force in the meta. The entire book is strong, with virtually no bad choices and plenty of competitive options. In a way, they remind me of Space Wolves in terms of sheer points to competitive options, except they’re not as cookie-cutter as Space Wolves. Instead of seeing RBs and Long Fangs, you will see a lot more WTF options all packed in one cost-effective list. This is what sets them apart on top of their other little goodies.
Next, I’ll talk about a book that didn’t receive as many buffs as the ‘crons, but made it out just fine in the new edition. That book is none other than Grey Knights. The entire army turned from Daemonhunters to MEQhunters when the re-write came and that pissed me off the no end. Everyone had Force Weapons, the Rifleman w/ Psybolts is just out of control and there’s so many powerful psychic powers and unstoppable [grenade] effects that made assaulting the army impossible. They are costed better, shoot better, assault better and just preform better than regular MEQ (especially in MEQ matchups), making GKs the best marine book out there. Now that the entire army has access to the coveted 2+ armor save and sport one of the strongest psychic lores out there i.e. Divination, the army is still remarkably strong. Their access to Stormravens also helps the flyer coverage of the army and it seems like there’s nothing GKs can’t do better than their MEQ counterparts.
With GKs being the best marine army, it’s safe to say there’s only one spot left among the most powerful armies of 6th Ed. Ever since the book came out, it’s viewed as one of the most controversially underpriced, maladjusted and powerful army books ever written in 40K history. That book is none other than Imperial Guard. With the coming of Hull Points in 6th Ed., a lot of people claim that that would be the death of armored IG units. Oh man were they wrong. Mech IG is the damn same; gaining greater mobility, the ability to Overwatch and bonuses to Rapid Fire Plasmas. Whatever they lose in one area (Chimeras), they gain exponentially in others (Vendettas). It almost seems like IG are there to break the rules of the game entirely, making 3rd Ed. Eldar seem tame in comparison. There’s orders for accuracy, denying cover and making enemy units drop dead in their socks. They have access to the most underpriced overpowered excuse of a unit I have ever seen in the form of a flyer, and now IG can take allies to compensate for their various weaknesses. All across the board, large blast templates now fall with full effectiveness, reserves are denied or provided via Officers and enemy fliers can eat shells from the Hydra flak, in addition to the now purchasable Aegis Defense Line. They shoot as good as marines, score better with more bodies, pour out 3x-4x the amount of heavy fire and seemingly have answers to everything you put on the table. I read this somewhere on the internet a long time ago about IG, and I still think even after these long years the same feeling applies: “No other army in the game makes your army feel as inadequate.”
To me, I think the top 3 would be considered S-class while other armies are either A, B or C. I don’t think there’s D-class or unplayable armies anymore, so at least we’re going in a better direction. A lot of the improvements to game balance came in the form of nerfs to other armies’ stronger tools (such as Genestealers charging from Outflank, or FNP, or even just cover). The same could be said about armies that received a “buff” in 6th Ed. An army’s strength is relative to how much the new rules benefit them. It could be what they received was better than yours, or they can take advantage of the rules better than you can.
The floor is yours ladies and gentlemen.