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40K: Top 5 “Rules” Players Love To Hate

4 Minute Read
Mar 28 2017

Some rules or concepts are just frustrating and 40k players are more than happy to let you know about them!

Rules. Every game has them. Ideally, they are pretty easy to learn but the gameplay takes the rules and turns them into a complex game with depth. But sometimes that complexity becomes bloat or clutter that just makes the game feel sluggish and slow. Here at BoLS we got to talking about the rules in 40k and some of the concepts that keep popping up in discussions as “Fan-Favorites” to hate on.

1) Allies

The Allies Matrix seems like a good idea. You’ve got pretty clear lines of who can effectively team-up and who will never have any friends (looking at my Tyranids). But in practice, it becomes a tool for abuse. The Lore-Bunnies blame the WAAC players for bringing the most broken thing allowed to the table. The WAAC players point to the lame 20 pages of fan-fic the Lore-Bunnies wrote to justify their army concept. It just gets ugly, guys.

Hopefully in 8th edition the new Command Points system will help to curb some of this abuse from BOTH sides. No more Inquisitors with Daemon allies…and no more painful-to-read fan-fic, please.

2) Detachments/Formations/List Building

List building has always been a “thing” with 40k. But going back to the previous point on Allies, all the formations/detachments in the game are more than overwhelming at this point – they feel suffocating. I’m pretty sure with a little bit of photo-shop magic you could create your own fake formation and bring it to a tournament and fool 80% of the field. As long as it doesn’t sound too bonkers, you’ll probably get away with it. Please, DON’T try this. However, the point still stands.

Look, I’m all for thematic armies. I think that players should get rewarded for using a lore-based army building approach. The issue comes when you start cherry-picking “all the things” and you end up with all the best stuff and none of the “troop tax” penalties. (Which sometimes aren’t even a penalty, 5th edition Grey Hunters anyone?) Hopefully in 8th, we’ll see something to address the formation bloat.


3) Flyers

Really Flying Monstrous Creatures are the worst offenders but I think that this is indicative of the flyer rules in general. FMC get to abuse the best parts (mostly) and regular flyers are a tad on the clunky side. Not even their own extra rule set makes them truly entertaining to use.

Part of the problem is that they feel so “all or nothing” – if your army can shoot down a flyer, then they aren’t a threat. If you forgo AA then suddenly that random flyer (or FMC) becomes a real head-ache. It’s very rock-paper-scissors, only it’s just rock and scissors and everyone forgot to use paper. Here’s hoping that in 8th Flyers get a rework to make them useful. We’ve had some ideas in the past on how to fix them.

4) Summoning/Psychic Phase

I was going to separate out the Psychic Shenanigans and Summoning but you can’t really have one without the other. Summoning in 40k currently has some issues. Does it tie back to the Psychic Phase also being one of those “all-or-nothing” phases? Is Psychic defense too weak? Is it too easy to generate the powers you want along with the dice you need to push them through? Are the penalties for failure too soft?

Summoning, Invisibility, and a few other powers really seem to be the problem (along with the issues mentioned above). What’s the fix with for this? Maybe an AoS style summoning system – but really I would love to see an overhaul of the powers and warp charge mechanics in 40k. And I know I’m not alone…

5) Fearless/Leadership


Yet again, we have another “all-or-nothing” situation. If you are playing an army with some type of fearless mechanic then you don’t know the pain of having a unit get wiped out just because you rolled too high on your leadership check. If you have, then you know it feels off. Wait, how did those 5 Tartaros Terminators run down 20 other troopers? What do you mean they don’t have slow and purposeful? And yes, I didn’t have my gaunts in synapse after the charging. I wasn’t expecting them to make ALL of their 2+ saves…

Point is the Leadership stat should be more useful in the game. Right now, if you have Fearless, you don’t even care about leadership. If you don’t, you’re leadership is probably too low anyways. It needs a revamp badly.


What do you think? What rules would you like to see changed in 8th?

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