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40K Op-ed: The Sum of All Spam

4 Minute Read
Mar 9 2018
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There’s been some recent talk about spam and I want to let you know how I feel about this aspect of 40k.

Spam has been around since the dawn of time. I’m not going to try to tell you that spam is not powerful or that they are some easy ways to defeat it.

A Tale of Two Spams

Spam can and is very powerful for both the best and worst codices. As an example first consider the LVO winning list – Reaperspam with multi soul burst (uggggh); next consider Ork Boyz. The first example is highly optimized spam using Wave Serpents to protect the Reaperspam from alpha strikes while the second example is the brute force method. The end result is the same, if you’re not prepared to deal with it then it can beat you. The first method is more appealing to more competitive players because it requires less models and has more win… for example Eldar is a codex that can use an index as well for basically what equates to unlimited command points while Orks is purely index with no allies. I’m not saying that Orks could have won LVO, I’m simply comparing two different types of spam which in and of itself exists at many levels.

Maugan Ra trained the BEST spam!…for now.

Spam is powerful because you simply take the best thing in spades and at that level it’s very challenging to beat. Of course it can be beat though but that requires more of an effort on your part and that’s one of the main reasons why spam is so powerful:

It requires less skill to play spam competitively and requires much less thinking for the player.

If you don’t believe me that’s okay – I can give many examples of spam armies that have dominated the game over the course of every edition. Basically the less you have to think, the easier it is to win and there is also less randomness.

Spam can be enhanced as well such as the already mentioned multiple soul bursts to get free actions that require zero command points, psychic powers (characters) and strategems. Ork Boyz have to use characters (wargear and psychic powers) so it’s more difficult. Note that wargear often includes relics now.


Our spam isn’t particularly foul tasting…

I am personally not an advocate of spam as I like to play more tactical inclined armies – I truly believe the following old adage:

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

The Limitations of Spam

Aristotle the ancient Greek philosopher is who said this and it still applies today and to the game 40k. To me what this means is using synergy to be successful… for example consider a brick versus one twig. The brick will utterly obliterate one twig but what if there is a stack of intertwined twigs. The stack cannot be obliterated thus it is greater than the brick and don’t make the mistake of confusing it with spam. Think about it before you dismiss it out of hand because it’s true. If you adhere to this simple philosophy you will eventually find that it can and does work plus it’s very simple once you truly understand this basic tenant.


These sticks can defeat spam – trust me!


In conclusion I have explained why spam is and has always been powerful in 40k. No matter what the developers do there are people dedicated to figuring out how to use spam to win and at the most basic level it can be very powerful. I’ve also given two examples of spam as well. However spam is not the penultimate tactic or strategy to winning, it just requires less thought over all.

~ Do you think spam makes a player weaker?

Author: Steve Turner
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