The question I have today is – what units have actually truly changed how we play 40K?
Goatboy here again and stepping up on the Soap Box to talk about what I feel is the most format defining Unit/Rule. Instead of just jumping into that let’s look at some of the things that could be considered the best before I get to the true meat of the article. 40k is littered with tons of different units with a large range of “useful” abilities. The question I have is – what units have actually truly changed how we play?
The first thing a lot of people would say has shaped the 40k competitive landscape is the introduction of Knights and Super Heavy vehicles to normal play. The idea of creating a truly Lord of War Army has gotten a lot of praise and flakk from all sides of the competitive circles. You have the players that love the big robots (me being one of them) to the other players that find their distinctive advantages to be too taxing on the majority of armies. You went from not needing a lot of “anti” vehicle weapons to now having to plane on having some in case you run into the dread Knight army. Even the old ideas of gumming up their inner workings gets less useful when mixed with the stomp ability that can turn an unkillable unit into a pile of broken and twisted bodies. Still while yes the introduction of this type of unit forever changed the landscape of 40k – it still isn’t the most formation defining addition.
Rerollable saves are always a double edge sword as they emphasize the random nature of dice rolling. When you activate such an ability on a “super unit” and you end up losing a ton of guys to bad rolling you double that anger at losing such a so called “awesome” unit. This gets annoying as well for your opponent when they throw so much math at you and it still doesn’t work. It is one of the more frustrating aspects of the game and one of the few things I wish would change if we ever say a new edition that isn’t an Age of the Emperor etc. Still while it is indeed powerful it still isn’t the most defining unit in the game. They can be MSU’d out, deal with bad rolls for their activation, and can randomly be stomped out of existence.
The Dreaded ranged D weapons definitely shift the format. Just this past weekend I had the “lovely” experience of watching my opponent goldfish their way through my own knights. Rolling 6’s is probably the hardest strategy in the game to understand but once you master it – you won’t have many friends. Still while the ranged D does do some dirty work it isn’t nearly as shattering as most events have nerfed bits and pieces of it. Plus those events that let it run all willy nilly over the tables have found that it just isn’t a very exciting. Still while we all fear the D you can win against it. Massed bodies, MSU, and other things do wonders as the almighty D isn’t nearly as scary when it just kills one small little weenie of a model.
The true “format” defining unit in the game is probably one of the cheapest units you can get. In fact it really doesn’t do much other then enable other aspects of specific armies work in ways they were not designed for. This unit in specific formations gives so much power to their Ally that it becomes the sole focus of specific detachments that allow multiple force org choices. The unit I am referring to is the lowly Drop Pod.
Why is this the best unit in the game? Let’s break down what it does for you, your friends, and against your enemies.
1. It generates a deployment style that you cannot “respond” to in the normal means given to most armies.
2. Deep striking units are all over the place but the pod lets them drop in aggressive and stay safe. If your opponent sets up the perfect drop pod hole for you the chances are you are going to get there without needing to roll that hit.
3. It showcases how powerful the Battle Brother ability is by allowing anyone and everyone who is best buds with the Imperial faction a chance to come along and ride on our fantastic voyage. There are so many units that benefit from getting a free movement boost.
4. Its armor value is actually kind of a pain in the butt due to needing more then common weaponry to break it.
5. Do you want something to be guaranteed to arrive turn 1? Buy them this new 2015 Drop Pod. It comes with Bluetooth, Aux Jack, and 3 free months of Navigator Satellite Radio.
6. It creates terrain/blocking for opponents armies. I have seen games where you have big tanks/vehicles ringed by a large amount of drop pods. Having to waste a tanks shooting on a glorified Station Wagon is a win in my book.
7. Oh it can sometimes have Objective secured so its smarter then your average airplane.
8. It is very very inexpensive. In fact if other armies had the ability to take it – they would.
9. Events can’t ban them like others do with FW, LoW, or other options. This is just a transport so it can always show up and make your day a little less Grimdark for your army.
Unit value is not just a formula of offensive ability – it can just be a way to generate an advantage either via tactical team work. The changes to the force org with moving transports to the Fast Attack option has really broken open the game for the Imperial Factions. You can say how truly broken massed Scatman Bikes are or other high rate fire weaponry but the good ole drop pod is just going to keep winning games for this dang dirty “good guy” armies. With most events favoring MSU builds or MSU generating builds (Daemons etc) the pod will continue holding your objectives, being a pain to draw LOS through, and making you wonder how the heck you are going to fly back with all these GI Joe toys.
Do you think the Drop Pod is a POS and not worth chatting about? Is there something else you feel is a lot more powerful?