Goatboy here to talk about “Junkyard” Detachments – the latest hotness in 40K – but their days may be numbered.
I bet this discussion becomes moot with the next format defining FAQ comes out. Per lots of chatter, podcasts, and other opinions – the upcoming FAQ will most likely take a lot of the “good” lists and throw them into the history of 40k best of lists. But before that let’s look at something that has brought up a lot of discussion in the competitive 40k chat cycles. The idea of creating a detachment full of different legions/chapters/dynasties/etc. I call these detachment Junkyard detachments as they seem to utilize so many different things all based on the usage of stratagems.
Now I don’t think these detachments are illegal in any way. They are built per the original rules are given for how to build armies and the current updated FAQ on how battle brothers work. Since all of these types of armies use a Faction Keyword that is their army type to fulfill a battle forged army/detachment – they still get access to the Stratagems for that particular Codex. They do lose out on their Chapter/Legion traits – but as games have continued in this 8.5 edition – we know those traits are not always the greatest.
The Usual Suspects
The first army that showed up like this heavily was the Ynarri builds after the initial FAQ on their powers. Utilizing different Craftworlds to allow your army all stratagems abilities was potent. I initially thought Ynarri should replace the Craftworld keyword and I still think that would have been the easiest/cleanest way to balance that. But I digress on that as we have started to see other armies utilize these Junkyards to try and build a list that reminds me more of the old 7th edition days instead of the new and shiny 8th edition.
If you remember the edition before – armies seemed to be built out of only the good stuff. Detachments were plenty, and it was your job to find how you can shove the most things into a list. Heck towards the end we even had a fully souped detachment of Imperium options showing up – meaning everyone and their mom could have an army of whatever they wanted. While yes 8th curtailed some of this it is coming back as people try to find ways to get some of the weaker books more options to do battle with on the playing field.
I think the current book using this heavily is trying to find ways to get Necrons to work better. I know that is what sparked a lot of “discussions” online. The Dynasties themselves are not nearly as powerful as some of the other armies abilities are – so why not just mixing an army of different Necron “Legions” and get access to all the strats? While the Necron book itself needs some work (point drops on a lot of things and maybe some unit size changes), it did have some great Stratagems. They were just locked behind the doors of the different Dynasties. I know as a competitively minded player I think losing any rules you could have used is against my normal nature – but when the Stratagems are just so much more powerful, then you have to cut a little to get so much more later on.
I have known about these army styles for awhile as a local buddy of mine would always bring some kind of weird marine combo during the initial days of 8th edition. I would see Black Templar scouts and other marine legions mixed to form some kind of Space Marine sheet cake of doom. I also saw this heavily in the Chaos Space Marine circles that like to use Abaddon as the glue to hold a plethora of cultists together into an octopus of chanting/shouting to the Chaos Gods.
What About the Fluff?
I love it when a fluffy army makes good use of its rules and is competitive. I also like it when we don’t have 2-3 best of armies wrecking the table tops all the time. I get it that some of the Xenos books that don’t have access to full allies need to find ways to get the same sort of abilities out of their limited pool of resources. Like I said – I think Necrons need some point changes as the reason for all the Junkyard builds is due to not having enough points to truly fulfill extra Battalions to get those sweet Command Points.
Living on Borrowed Time
Of course, I bet this is all for moot due to the upcoming FAQ. Heck, we got one more week in September and it sounds like a bomb is going to go off and blow up what we consider is good. Heck, I just finished my Castellan this past weekend as a reward for a rough work week. I am hoping it is still usable in the coming competitive apocalypse so will see. I don’t have a whole lot of info on it – just that it will be meta shaking. I am guessing some more locked in army building options will be showing up – with a tinge towards less abuse from the Imperium/Chaos side of things that have the most options. I know true point refreshes won’t show up till Chapter Approved – just drastic changes to try and band-aid something considered too powerful ***cough cough – Castellan***.
I don’t have a whole lot of thought on if the mixed legion detachments are bad. I think it does help some armies get all the good stuff they need to compete. I just think it gives some of the other “good” armies too many tools to build something powerful. I do think from the standpoint of making an easier game that these things are not too good for it. I have seen too many armies that were not differentiated enough to make it easy for the opponent to know which ones were what. I think that is where my issue is most of the time. As I get older and my kids give me less and less sleep – having to try and figure out what badly painted model is a “Black Templar” unit in an otherwise wave of similar Scout paint jobs is very annoying. Or trying to figure out what unit of blue Eldar Jetbikes are Ynarri and what other set of Blue Eldar Jetbikes are a regular Craftworld unit.
Next week I hope to have an FAQ to talk about – so until next time Death to the False Emperah!!!