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40K: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly – New Xenos Codex Edition

5 Minute Read
Mar 31 2018
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The last batch of Xenos Codexes have dropped by our studio and we’ve finally gotten a look at how this new class stacks up. There have been some clear winners and losers along the way and we’re going to give our initial impressions on this latest codex wave.

We just got our copy of the Drukhari Codex in and while we’re still basing a lot of our ideas off of mathhammer, there were some pretty clear trends we saw. Based on that and our game with the other two codexes from this new batch we’re going to make some snap judgements on which one will be good, which one will be bad, and which is going to be ugly in this edition.

The Good – Necrons

As this book is hitting shelves this weekend for retailers, it’s going to be pretty apparent in the coming weeks that the Necrons are a solid army. While they may not have any psykers of their own, they can bring the pain with C’tan. They got a lot of improvements from the index version and with their Dynastic Codes, relics and other tricks, the Necrons are going to be a force to be reckoned with once again.


The are pretty well rounded and will offer-up a few different play styles. They have always had a great shooting-core to work with and that hasn’t changed. They are crazy resilient with good saves and reanimation protocols. Plus their Close-Combat options (while not the best) can still make for a scary counter-charge. The Necrons also have some surprisingly swift units and that can catch your opponents off guard. I personally can’t wait to see what the community-at-large comes up with now that they have access to it.

The Bad – T’au

Let me start by saying the T’au aren’t really “bad” in 8th. They aren’t the scariest, but I wouldn’t say they are bottom of the barrel either. No, I think their worse problem is that they are kind of bland. They do one thing well – shoot stuff. And their basic guys only hit on a 4+ without help. Oh and they have cool robots…and that’s about it.

They don’t have a psychic phase and they don’t have psychic defense. In 8th Edition, that’s going to be a problem with Smites, buffs, debuffs, and just over-all shenanigans pskyers have. Ignoring that phase is a recipe for disaster. They also don’t have a lot of Close-Combat potential either. While that might be less of a problem than a lack of psykers, they can’t fight their way out of a wet paper bag either.

The T’au Commander limit is another thing that just plain stinks for them. Sure it fixes “Commander Spam” but that just means we’re going to see “Riptide Spam” or “Drone Spam” or “[insert unit] Spam” instead. Plus the markerlights stayed the same from Index to Codex and that didn’t help either. Now, I’m sure there are T’au players out there who are up for the challenge – to them I say “Good Luck.” Prove me wrong and do awesome with your T’au. I hope you stick with it because your turn in the spotlight will come again one day and, when it does, you’ll be able to say “I stuck it out when the T’au were bad!”


The Ugly – Drukhari

If you’re not familiar with the Movie, “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” then calling the Drukhari the Ugly might not make a lot of sense. They don’t look “Ugly” so what gives? Well, it’s complicated. There are a lot of connotations with that word and it can mean a lot of different things, so let me just clarify what I mean by calling the Drukhari the Ugly – They are going to cause problems.

First and foremost, these two abilities are going to cause Matched Play headaches. And not just for Tournaments, but for regular players, too. When Drukhari players show up to build their lists, it’s going to be a challenge between juggling detachments, CP, and units. Our resident Dark Eldar player said it best in that Drukhari have a “Sub-faction” problem.

If you want to get all the cool things, you’re going to have to take lots of different sub-factions. “I want to run a Wych-Themed army” – cool! However, if you’d like some anti-armor like Ravagers for instance, you’re going to have to run an Archon-based Detachment, too. Fortunately, Kabal Warriors are pretty cheap this edition so it won’t be that big of a deal. At the same time, have fun keeping all those new rules straight.

On the flip side, the theme of the index-to-codex transition is that things got better and things got cheaper. So you’re going to end up with more models on the table for the same point cost you used to have. In fact, we had a worrying thought that Drukhari could become a bit of a horde army. All those poison weapons on transports flying around – it’s going to be a problem to deal with. Then again, they still have paper for armor…so may it won’t be THAT tough.

At the end of the day I think the Drukhari are going to still be “Glass-Cannons” and while they will be able to put out a ton of damage, I’m not sure how they are going to handle being on the receiving end of the impending Alpha-strike. We’ll be featuring them all next week on our Twitch Channel so I guess we’ll all find out!



The T’au book has been out for a few weeks, the Necron book just dropped, and the Drukhari aren’t out yet – but based on what you know how do you think these books stack-up between themselves?

Author: Adam Harrison
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