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Goatboy’s 40K – What Happens When Battle Bros are Gone?

6 Minute Read
Apr 27 2014

The post Battle Brothers era needs to get here yesterday.  But what would it really bring?

Goatboy here again and the hot button topic around the competitive water cooler is the removal of the Battle Brother mechanic might bring back a glorious age of fun, excitement and maybe some tactical games.  I know I for one would like the mechanic gone – but I do wonder if it will really bring back the glory days and maybe keep the train of dice battles on track.

With that in mind I wanted to try and look into the murky portal of “future” tournament 40k and maybe see if there is a hope without some big changes to the games mechanics.  I do hope the rumored redux/reboot/FAQ’d game that might come out in May/June will do a lot of fixes.  No matter how many times we think we would make “better” rules we still are just armchair generals with only a keyboard and an opinion.

No Battle Brothers – The Losers
We’ll look at what goes away first of all.

A lot of Death Stars lose their strength by making them only use the rules they have in their own book.  This is the big hope that TO’s have if they removed the ability for Battle Bros to hook up into parties of USR abusing mayhem.

O’Vesa star goes away as the gel that creates the unit is the Toolbox Commander that Farsight doesn’t have.  This Deathstar has lost some of its luster as people got used to playing it and ignoring it.  Still it is one of the few units that causes a ton of ire in players as a lot of events don’t always have the best LOS terrain.

Beast Star loses its lustre as well.  Depending on the idea of what goes with Battle Brothers the big pack of beasts can lose Fortune as well as a ton of upgrading spell options the Eldar book gives them.    They also lose some pretty impressive HQ options as well with some lists running Eldrad + Phoenix lord combo to allow for some broken USR fun.

The Marine Super Friends list also loses a lot as it doesn’t get their Space Wolf/Clan Raccoon/White Scars combos.  This also goes into the Centurion Star that lose the triple threat of Marines/Inquisitors/Tau that just feels like a Magic the Gathering deck.

Seer Council loses its Hit and Run buddy but could get it back by taking a Phoenix lord.  I guess you could use the Iyanden book to create some kind of other weird council thing too but they will leave that when I discuss what is left after this.


So after that – what does it leave us with?  Does it really create a diverse environment that we all champion for?  Do the same sorts of things stay active and would force the TO’s to try different rules changes to maybe shape things into better games?

No Battle Brothers – The Winners
I think the book that would stay number one throughout all the changes is the Eldar book.  It still has the best tank – Wave Serpent. It still has one of the best book power psychic sets.  It still has one of the best bang for you buck troop units in the game with the Jetbike unit. The army can still generate a 2+ reroll save with Fortune + Invisibility or Protect.  It also has one of the best MC’s in the game with the Wraith Knight.  I just see this army evolving to whatever restrictions the event puts out and still comes out on top.  Maybe if the Wave Serpent actually got FAQ’d to only shoot once like it fluffs says we might have to see lists morph into what Nick Rose like’s to play.  List wise you would just see the initial lists that came out with 4-5 Serpents + 2 Wraith Knights being common.  You might see more Blobs of Guardians or maybe even the dreaded Wraith Guard Star.  Without some massive rules changes I don’t see the Eldar going away.

Next up I would say the Daemon book would still stay the same.  When it is rolling hot it just can’t lose at times.  It never had the benefit of Battle Brothers with creating super units so it just stays the same.  We might see the return of the Cavalry rush list.  It is still good just has some issues with size + crazy assault capabilities the Beast Star throws out.  The FMC list with the Bastion Jesus will be around.  The dreaded Screamer Star stays active but that list has a lot of issues with Nids or large units that can tie it up.  Also IG can precision strike out the Grim Herald and watch as the star pops at some point.

The third place is a jumble of lots of armies.  All of these guys would stay the same and heck the only real top army I feel is still Eldar.  You could build lists to hurt Eldar more and then the power level all just kind of evens out a bit.  Necrons get a lot stronger with the loss of Battle Brothers.  I still think the book is good and really the only real issues is that it plays the same each time so it doesn’t give you a lot of room for error.  Tesla is still really good and Strength 7 does a fine number on Wave Serpents.

Tau stay the same as they will shoot the piss out of you.  Their troops are still the issue and the Toolbox commander might join up with Broadsides a lot more.  Heck the Marker Light/Drone Controller Commander unit is extremely strong right now so expect that to be really good.  I think there are a lot more combos then just the O’Vesa star so making Tau rely on the other parts of their book might make them extremely good.

Marines suffer from the fact their basic troop, while stats is good, just doesn’t do enough on the playing field.  They are not fast enough or damage causing enough to utilize large portions of them.  The biker is good but again suffers from what is the issue with Marines – lack of offensive punch.  The amount of twin linked shooting armies throws out hurts the Marine player as they are forced to make enough saves mitigate their decent armor.  Still I think the biker army will come out strong from this and you will see those White Scars armies on the table top or maybe other Super Friends style lists that utilize two command squads or at least two Chapter Masters in different units.

The AG seem good and will find out how good with some upcoming events.  The army sort of stayed the same except with more twin linking options.  This could make them really good in this hampered style event.  They also benefit the Knights so much that they might make that army really good on the table top.  Once one of those big guys gets involved with a tough unit and throws out those D hits it becomes a lot different of a game.  I think it is too soon to really get a handle on if the AG changes things or just adds another meh wrinkle to the land scape.


I think Nids benefit a lot from the removal of Battle Brothers.  They have less abuse to worry about and their effect on these other Psychic options can be really powerful.  It does help that the Skyblight data slate really amps up their power.  Too bad it also amps up how much cash they have to spend to make it truly damaging.  Let along have to deal with 30+ Gargoyles being a pain to build/paint/transport.

The Mystery of 7th Edition
Most big events are waiting to see if the rumors hold true of a new edition coming down the pipeline.  I know most want to make the event fun for as many people as they can and making events less combo’d out in the first 2 turns of the game is something we all need to think about.  I think limiting some things too will make games easier for new players as they don’t have to look at 3 different books to figure out what your opponent can do to you. Just remember Allies are as optional as Lords of War, so don’t be surprised to see the era of unlimited allies coming to a close.

Do you think TO’s should continue to think along the lines of removing some rules?  Would you go to an event that doesn’t comp the army but instead comps/changes the rules?  Do you think we should even start to think of a Tournament 40k style system?  Do these pants make me look fat?

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