Games Workshop has some interesting predictions from some big names in the Tourney scene for 40k about how they think the next edition will play out.
It’s time to talk about the game above the game. That’s right folks, we’re going full on meta today courtesy of Games Workshop. They have tapped 3 tournament organizers/players to get their thoughts on the next edition’s meta and how they see things playing out. But before we dive in let’s talk about what the heck “Meta” even means.
Meta, in this setting, is short for the “metagame” which is in kind of a shorthand way of saying “these are the things that will be good because of X,Y, and Z.” Basically the metagame is the thought process or reasoning behind why you take the things you take in your list. “Well I need to score objectives so some troops would be good” is pretty basic “metagaming” in essence. “I know my opponent will probably bring X, so I should bring Y to counter it” is the next layer. And it just kind of spirals from there. Ultimately, metagaming is trying to predict and play with the best and most optimal things you can bring.
There are lots of ways to describe the meta and if you want to go down that rabbit hole, go for it. But we’re moving on.
“Can’t beat my meta if you can’t read my mind!”
Part of the fun of the meta is trying to predict what’s going to be good. At the start of the new edition it’s ALL guess work. Why? Because things can change very quickly when you stop playtesting and the rules get into the hands of the players. Even if you have a large group of playtesters, they physically can’t play as many games as when the product is released into the wild. You might go from a hundred testers to thousands of players – that’s a MASSIVE jump.
While these three people might be “in the know” there is no way for them to be absolutely sure. Again, that’s part of the fun! This is akin to filling out your bracket for a sporting event or placing your bets on a roulette table. Who knows how it’s going to shake out until the event happens!? So, let’s get to those predictions!
Reece Robins – “renowned tournament organiser and Warhammer TV commentator”
Reece’s prediction is that we’re going to end-up in a cycle of Monsters/Vehicles -> Heavy Weapon platforms -> High RoF Infantry -> Monsters/Vehicles. He calls it a “beautiful circle” and that’s a good way to put it. He thinks the meta will be pretty shifty this edition and it’s certainly a good prediction. The meta does tend to shift around quite a bit, especially early on. Then it settles until something changes – like new codexes. We’ll see how this prediction pans out!
Matt Root – “longtime grand tournament-scene player and repeat winner of numerous prestigious events”
Matt’s prediction is less about the types of units and more about the overall concept behind the why. He does think that versatile units like Plague Marines and more elite units will show up (Custodes, Terminators, etc.) and he also mentions taking big squads to help block your opponent from getting to objectives – even with the changes to blast weapons.
It’s really going to come down to the mission, objectives, and board control. The reason he thinks these elite/tough units will show up in the meta is because the middle of the table is going to be key in winning. If you can take the middle/control the board and those objectives, you’ll win the day. Or if you can body-block with hordes you can control your opponent’s movement onto objectives. It’s good advice and considering the missions and smaller board minimums.
Jason Lippert – “one of the head judges and tournament organisers at AdeptiCon”
Initially, Jason still thinks 9th will be Alpha-strike heavy which is a bit of a continuation from 8th. However, as time goes on and folks adapt (and learn to better use terrain) things will shift. This quote in particular is pretty interesting:
“As the secrets to achieving victory when going second are teased from the missions, as the effects of the new terrain rules are more fully understood and appreciated, and as the proper balance of force deployed versus force reserved is found, a viable anti-alpha strike meta will develop. These anti-alpha strike lists will play the long game, weathering the alpha strike and proceeding to reliably score points every turn. “
Again, he’s also pointing back to the objectives, scoring points, and using the new nuances of 9th to win games. It’s going to be an interesting play between the Alpha Strike and the long game of playing the objectives until turn 5.
If you want to learn more, go check out the article on Warhammer Community to see what insights you can gain from these players who have had a bit more time with the rules.
My Prediction: I agree with Abe about MSU – they are going to make a big comeback in 9th. I think we’re going to see those Elite units that Matt mentioned do very well early on. But once the new codexes show up, all bets are off!
What do you think the Meta of 9th will look like? Let us know in the comments!