The semi-annual 40K FAQ is imminent, but here’s what Adepticon taught us about the 40K Meta.
This past weekend was another big 40k event (really miniature gaming in general event) – Adepticon. I had hoped we would see an FAQ drop early and would be available for Adepticon to use. In reality that kind of drop before an event of this size (not just a singles event – the team event has groups working on armies for months in advance) would be pretty hard to stomach and probably cause a lot of harm to the event as a whole. Thus we have to wait and hopefully see something arise out of the meta game busting asses that is Adepticon.
Going through the normal strolling of Facebook competitive 40k chatter I do see an interesting trend. Each event with their own mission seems to generate a specific type of meta game. Its pretty interesting as you can see it how the Adepticon top armies seemed to revolve around some kind of massive horde that controls the board, grabs a ton of objectives, and is just a beast to play against. But of course what ended up winning was the current European boogie man that is the old Flyrant spam so popular during the heyday of 7th edition. In fact the list is almost exactly the same – 8 Fat spores, 4 Mawlocs, 7 Hive Tyrants (mixture of double Fleshborers or Monstrous Rending Claws), and 3 units of ripper swarms.
All Hail the (Old) King
The Top 8 of Adepticon had 19 Hive Tyrants in 3 different armies. 2 of the Armies were the exact same thing as well. It is like the mission and format produced a very powerful army the multiple people took and they ended up in the top 8 – just like LVO and the Eldar menace. At the LVO there wasn’t a Hive Tyrant list up towards the top even though the list was known about. Instead you had Eldar with some interesting tricks and ability to easily score points in the ITC mission format. With Adepticon doing different missions it makes sense why we only had one Eldar up there in the top 8 – piloted by the ever lovely Brad Chester. He had the unfortunate luck to get paired up against the Hive Tyrant list – which is tailor made to wreck Eldar – especially in Adepticon’s format that didn’t auto block first floors of buildings and allowed the Tyrants to come down, pour a ridiculous amount of shots into their target and fly off to cause more issues. It seems an option that can do a lot of damage, ignore a ton of rules, and gets access to all phases of the game can be an issue.
With all this talk you would think that the Hive Tyrant is now the current true boogie man of 8th edition. But in reality it isn’t this guy – it is most likely the issue we see based on any game where you can pretty much take whatever you want to build a list. The ability to just pick the best unit over and over again without any real “penalties” is probably the biggest issue in the game right now. I mean look at how the Tau got an intentional nerf of one commander per detachment and how this could come to other armies. I talked about it pretty heavily last time – but I do get the feeling this will end up coming before long. Its almost like how limits in a game might give it a chance to produce constructive balance?
Balance – Eternally Just Out of Reach
Lots of people say – why don’t they just make everything better to match up? Well that is hard to do a lot of the time as it can be daunting to truly balance this many units, models, and choices. The delicate balance of cost versus power is just really hard to do. I think if we had a lot less options in any given book and in general we could make a run at actually having balance. I think a big issue right now in the game is how bad is an actual Tactical Marine? Think about how the game is built with the mindset that the Marine is a perfect example of where the average should be for 40k. Then think about how that isn’t true right now. When was the last time you saw a Tactical Marine in a true “competitive” list. When was the last time you saw a Bolter Jockey? The last time we saw them heavily in 40k was in 7th and attached to a plethora of free Rhinos/Razorbacks/Formation bonuses. Right now I think the game has pushed so far into a specialist unit choice that you can’t get away with just running a Tactical marine. Heck the only time I see anything resembling one on the tabletop – it is usually his Roided up Primaris Brother who is probably a better example of where the average choice should be.
About that FAQ
But lets push this back to where I wanted to start chattering as we talk about this so called FAQ coming to the table top. I have heard all kinds of chatter from small point changes (mistakes on printed costs so not a full points rebalance that is Chapter Approved), complete rework of unit rules, and again the idea of bringing some kind of limit to these so called heroes/monsters GW loves to sell us. I really want an FAQ that tries to look at the current mix of the Meta, figure out what is probably too good, and maybe do a broad change of some sort that effects everyone. Any changes causes other things to bubble up so this balancing factor is just so hard to control all the time. Kudos to GW for at least listening to us as what we had before in 7th edition means these lists would have been running rampant until we got a new more powerful codex to try and stamp out the flames of the other books.
Really I just want to see this thing so I can start to see where I need to go with my army lists for the year. Right now I have a very limited chance to play events so any kind of help I can get to better let me foresee what I need to build, paint, and wrangle from my bits piles is important. But we;ll see if something rears its head next week.
Beyond all of this – the rumored Imperial Knight codex does have me interested. I wanted to talk at some point this week on my thoughts on how much the new super knight will be. I got some guesses and using my abilities of math and reasoning I think I can get a pretty good handle on what this monster will end up costing matched points wise. There is some kind of enjoyment in only having 5-10 models on the table top, being useful in crushing your enemy, and maybe doing something cool with a giant Robot. But of course – before these things can come out we have to see how interesting Dark Eldar will be. I know LVO chatter was they looked good and could be competitive with their Eldar cousins – but of course that could be pre-FAQ Eldar or post-FAQ Eldar.
Until next time – lets try to have some fun with your armies. I have had a blast with my Contemptors and Plagueburst Crawlers. I think I just enjoy pushing around big monsters around the table top and pew pewing my way to victory.
~ Who do you think is the real king of 40K right now?