The Big FAQ 1 has shaken up the meta and armies have risen and fallen. Let’s take a look at how it affected each army.
Last week, Goatboy took a look at the “winners” and “losers” of the FAQ, noting that gun lines got better for instance. Due to all these changes, some armies got a lot better, while others suffered. Today lets take a quick look at how each army was affected by the FAQ. We’ve covered a bunch of armies already in Part 1 and Part 2, so lets dig into our studio mandated 3rd part and take a look at some Index armies.
As one of the big older armies Ork have a lot of units and options. Due to this the Rule of 3 doesn’t really hurt them all that much. Boyz remain the heart of the army and you can take as many of them as you want. While a more “elite” Ork army might have gotten hurt, Orks are still an army that tends to run towards large units rather than MSU, and can work around a lot of restrictions. The one area it might really hurt is in Battlewagons, as I know some players used to run a lot of them but they are now heavies and very limited.
Open topped at last!
The one real Ork build that got killed was the tactic of taking a bunch of Kommando units and bum rushing the enemy turn one. Sure this doesn’t work, but Da Jump can still give you a turn one charge, and now Biker Warbosses give Waaagh! to other bikers units. I think overall Orks gained an improved rule and didn’t lose anything.
I’m not sure this army has been played at all during 8th Editon, so its not going to see a lot of changes. Seriously though the army is little changed. Cult Ambush is excluded from the new deep strike restrictions. The Rule of 3 may restrict pure Cult armies a bit, but as far as I know nothing in the list was so good it was getting spammed like crazy. And they can always pick from AM and Nids to flesh them out if needed. The new Battle Brothers rule also doesn’t really have any effect since Brood Brothers already made you take your soup in different detachments. If anything I’d say the Cult feels more unique these days as its one of the few lists that can really get into the enemy side of the table with deep striking on turn one.
Verdict: Minor Winners
Space Wolves were my first 40K army and I have a soft spot for them, but I can fully admit they are not in a good spot right now. One of the weakest armies, they didn’t really get any help from the FAQ. They are an army that normally wants to assault and has to walk across the table to get there, and that hasn’t changed. The Rule of 3 does restrict their ability to spam the couple good units they have, like cheap Fenrisian Wolves and powerful Wolf Lords on Thunderwolves. It may not seem like a big loss, but it is still kicking a dog while its down.
Verdict: Minor Losers
With a new Codex coming out in about a week it seems pretty silly to waste time talking about how this effects the Deathwatch. The only real worry I have is that the Deathwatch as an army have a total of 7 units choices, so the Rule of 3 has the potential to really crimp their style. Though they can draw on some generic Space Marine units, mostly vehicles and characters, to pad this out. We shall just have to wait a bit and see.
Similar to Deathwatch Harlequins have a new book about to come out so we don’t really know what’s up with them. Again, like Deathwatch they are currently a pretty small army, with only 8 units choices, so the Rule of 3 may really limit them. Unlike Deathwatch they can’t take other units as part of their list, but they can of course still ally with Craftworld and Drukahri detachments. Harlequins are a pretty rare army so we’ll have to see what happens.
Sisters of Battle/Adeptus Ministorum
The Sisters of Battle aren’t big on deep striking, so the new restrictions there don’t hurt the much. In fact since Dominion Squads can still use their Vanguard rule, they can now pull more tricks than other armies and only Seraphim took a real hit.
With a pretty small army list, SoB may find themselves constrained by the Rule of 3, in particular they only have one non-Celestine HQ, which really limits their options. They can fake things a bit with Uriah Jacobus, who shares the Ministorum keyword with them, but it still means a pure SoB/Ministorum list can’t take two battalions without using a named character and can never take 3. It’s a rule that will hurt the list.
SoB/Adeptus Ministorum are also one of the lists really hurt by the new Battle Brothers rule. It’s means the Celestine, one of the few SoB units seeing regular play now either has to be taken as part of a SoB detachment or as an Auxiliary support detachment and will cost you a CP. The same is true of the less popular Ministorum units, like Death Cult Assassins. I think in general this simply means those units will no longer be seen in non-SoB armies.
Verdict: Big Losers
The Inquisition/Sisters of Silence/Legion of the Damned/Imperial Assassins
I’m just going to lump all these options together. These are the groups that aren’t real armies. They are support units made to be taken in your other army. As such the Battle Brothers rule kills them. Yes, GW allowed for a work around, so you can take all of these in Vanguard detachments, or in Auxiliary Support Detachments. But frankly none of these units are that great. They were a nice thing to sprinkle into your army, they are not really worth either losing a CP to take, or taking enough of them to fill out a Vanguard detachment. With the possible exception of Assassins, maybe taking 3 is ok, these units are basically dead to the game. Hopefully in the future we will get some kind of Agents of the Imperium book to fix this.
Who Know’s What The Next Changes Are
Alright folks, that should warp up the last armies. One last point, as the above armies don’t have real access to Stratagems the CP boost in the FAQ doesn’t give them as much as other armies. On the other hand, most of these lists are getting books pretty soon so things are bound to change. As I said last time, even the armies that got nerfed are still good and will have to get creative to build top tier lists again. See ya’ll next time.
Don’t agree with my assessment? Let us know, down in the comments!