These units were supposed to change the game but ended up being a minor blip on the Grimdark Meta Radar. What the heck happened?!
When it comes to units that had the potential to change the game players and fans of 40k had their lists of would be saviors. Unfortunately the units below fell short of that mark. Why did they stumble at the goal line? Maybe it was a change in a rule, a tectonic shift in the meta around them, or perhaps they were an edition behind the curve. Whatever the case, these units just didn’t hammer out the meta the way folks (including us here at BoLS) had hoped.
Oh man, when the rules came out Ork Boyz were looking mighty good! But when these mean greenies got on the tabletop reality smashed those expectations right in the toof. So what happened? Well, it’s not that Ork Boyz are bad – not at all! The problem is trying to actually manage the mass numbers of them you need to actually win games. If you can do it, and finish games in the time limit of a tournament setting, you’ve got a skill that few have been able to successfully master. If you can’t… there is a reason we’ve seen the Orks float around the middle of the top 10 pack. You can win with Orks and Boyz, it’s just not the auto-win that some people were hoping for (not that it’s a bad thing).
Genestealer Cult Army
At the time they were launching, on paper, they were looking really mean! An entire army with deployment tricks that could essentially infiltrate a ton of scary units really close and charge/blow you up/kill your stuff seemed pretty good. They had some success early on and it seemed like they could actually be a spoiler army for some of the top dogs at the time. So what happened? Well, there were some rules changes that hit them hard for starters. Then came the Space Marines…Primaris Infiltrators with their “you can’t infiltrate within 12″ of us” bubble and also the Eliminators who have a solid chance to snipe out their low wound characters really solidified their demise. If the GSC is ever going to rise in the ranks again, they are going to need to break some core mechanics of the game to really compete – specifically the Tactical Reserves rule in Matched Play.
We had some high-hopes for the Lord Discordant when he showed up on the scene. Capable of spitting out a flurry of attacks that would terrorize knights and infantry alike, plus a solid set of buffs to match, the Lord Discordant was poised to really leave a mark on the meta. Unfortunately in practice it’s a lot harder to hide a 12 wound character with that big of a model. And with the Marines that are out on the tabletop these days, they can nail this guy without LoS and can even get bonuses vs Characters. Oops. They can still kick the crap out of things…they just have a lot of trouble actually getting there if they get targeted for the alpha-strike.
The Emperor’s Golden Boys were the Big Gold Bogeymen for a hot minute. They are a smaller, elite army that can go toe-to-toe with pretty much anything in the game. At least they could, theoretically…but on the tabletop their basic infantry were too slow and they certainly feel underpowered. Their Captains on Dawneagles can do some work for sure, but without the support of Forge World units (which you could say are a crutch for this army) the army just doesn’t cut the mustard. They might make good ally options, but seeing a full force of Custodes riding solo and performing well in the meta is a rarity.
The Adeptus Mechanicus Skorpius Transport
“All they need is a troop transport and the Ad Mech will be on top!” “I just want a troop transport and Ad Mech will rock!” “Hey, GW! When are we going to get an Ad Mech Troop Transport!?”
You’ve all heard Ad Mech players say these things. Heck, GW made a video about it.
Whelp…you got your Transport! So what happened? Maybe it was a cruel response to the constant nagging from the player base. But I seriously doubt that GW set-out to make the Ad Mech transport option a bad option for the Ad Mech. The missile boat version isn’t bad! Maybe transports in general aren’t good in the current edition/meta. Or maybe a Troop Transport option wasn’t what the Ad Mech needed to actually “fix” their army…we may never know.
What units did you think were going to completely change the game when they were announced but fell flat? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!