BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K FAQ: ‘The Soup Is Fine’ – Battle Brothers Beta Rules

4 Minute Read
Apr 25 2018

In an attempt to limit Soup lists, Games Workshop created the new Battle Brother Beta rule. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do much to stop the soup from being “just as tasty as ever.” It’s time to go back to the drawing board.

We’ve been talking about all of the changes in the FAQ and we’re continuing to look at those updates. As we’ve been covering all the different things in the FAQ we’ve come to the conclusion that the Battle Brothers Beta rule doesn’t really do anything.

Here is what Games Workshop said about this rule:

When the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released, building armies allowed players unprecedented freedom to mix and match within Aeldari, Imperium and Chaos armies. In practice, this has led to some unintended consequences in matched play, with the much-dreaded “soup” lists cherry-picking the best units from each faction to create overly powerful and unthematic armies.

So this rule was specifically designed to cut down on the “much-dreaded soup” lists. But as we mentioned on Monday, there are still LOTS of ways to make your soup and eat it too.

Here’s the rub – the spirit of this rule is to limit how you add units into your Detachments. You cannot add units into the same Detachment that don’t share keywords besides Chaos, Imperium, Aeldari, Ynnari, or Tyranids. So no mixing your Aledari/Ynnari Dark Reapers in Drukhari Detachments. No mixing Tyranid Hive Fleets with other Hive Fleets. And no Chaos Daemons in your Heretic Astartes Detachments. That part of the rule works. The problem is nothing prevents you from just taking another Detachment.

If I want to run a “Soup List” of Ad Mech, Astra Militarum, and Adeptus Astartes at 2k, I can do that just fine. Those are three different Detachments and I don’t know anyone who was actually building Detachments based on the Imperium Keyword. To me – a list that has three different Detachments from three (or more) different books is a soup list. But maybe that’s the problem. I think if GW wants to get rid of the “Soup List” we all need to understand what the heck a “Soup List” is.



What Is Soup?

I think we as a community have tossed this term around so much, it’s gathered a few different meanings. If we don’t know what “it” is, then how can we stop “it” – we’ll just end up with a bunch of different things tossed in the pot and cooked for a few hours until it tastes either awesome or terrible.

For GW, I think a “Soup List” had a bunch of different units in the same Detachment. For me, I think a “Soup List” has a bunch of different units from different codexes in the same Army List. Those are two VERY different things. Based on GW’s ‘idea’ of soup, then the Battle Brother Beta rule totally nails that problem. If it’s based on my ‘definition’ then it fails miserably.

A Simple Solution

Games Workshop wanted to stop “cherry-picking the best units from each faction to create overly powerful and unthematic armies” right? Well ‘unthematic armies’ are a tad subjective in scope. I’ve written about how I think the main problem is Detachments and access to those. I’ve also talked about rewarding “good” behavior. So how can we fix this ‘soup’ problem? By borrowing the same basic principles.

Reward a player for building an army using a single codex. Is your entire ARMY Adeptus Astartes? Are they all Ultramarines on top of that? Maybe your Fast Attack have the same “Objective Secured” rule now, too. Or maybe you get a few bonus CP based on the size of the game. Then again, we could punish a player for taking units from different codexes – maybe they lose a CP for each different source (three different books = -3 CP).


Another option would be to limit the sub factions and those keywords further. What if each unit had to share TWO keywords (other than Chaos, Imperium, Aeldari, Ynnari, or Tyranids). I that might be a tad too harsh, but what if those armies get a bonus vs getting a limitation. Anything to encourge mono-source  armies is a good thing in my mind.

Now, this is just a general concept and not a fully fleshed out rule. It certainly impacts some armies way more than others. But it’s a conversation I think we all need to have. What the heck is “A Soup List” and how do we change the army construction rules to curb those “unthematic” lists?


What do you think of Battle Brothers (Beta)? Is it working as intended or do you think it’s pretty weak-sauce for ‘Soup’?

  • STREAMING NOW - Dark Apocrypha "Ultramar & the Twisted"