Adam here to talk about which army’s up, which is down, and a new way to use terrain in 40K.
Well now we seem to be getting a little bit of a break between new codexes. Sure, we have the wide release of the Orks codex, but people have been playing them in local tournaments and grand tournaments for a bit now. The next new book we should see is for the Black Templars but we won’t see them until November and that means it will give us plenty of time for the meta to settle, at least that’s the idea. Even now the two most recent books, Thousand Sons and Grey Knights, should be making some type of impact on the scene, or at the very least give us an idea on how the books are doing. With that said, this week let’s look at what a few of the takeaways from these last few weeks and maybe a look into the future.
Thousand Sons/Grey Knights
It’s still difficult for me to really get a good grasp of where the books are at. There are a lot of new players, including myself, who are just starting with either army. So far, though it looks like both armies are pretty string. They are definitely not on the same level as Ad Mech or Druhkari, but they seem to have strong showings in tournaments in general. I think part of it is that the armies take some time and skill to use effectively. I’m not sure if that is why some of the top players do not use either army.
It will take type for players to get the hang of the armies and I think that top players, especially those that may have some type of coaching service, don’t have the time it may take to master the army to a point where it could compete with the current top three armies, Ad Mech, Drukhari, and Sisters of Battle. For now, though, I do think the armies are stronger than the eighth edition books and can easily give many of the 9th edition books a run for their money. As time progresses, don’t be surprised to see either one or both armies vying for the top spots.
The Return of the Druhkari
There was once a time when the tournament scene was terrorized (depending on the army you played) by the scourge that is Drukhari. Then along came the Ad Mech and the Drukhari’s win percentage began to drop. In recent weeks we have seen a steady climb of the win rate of the Druhkari back to the levels that they used to be pre Ad Mech. Some are even saying that the win rate is higher than it was when they were first released. Part of this is that Games Workshop had made some rules adjustments for the Ad Mech and, as a result, the army is not as strong as it once was.
In addition, Games Workshop never really made any corrections to the Druhkari, at least none that were significant. They are still a relatively cheap army that is fast and can throw wave after wave of bodies at you, especially if you are unlucky enough to go second against them. They do still give you the feeling of accomplishing something as you kill a bunch of units, but they have so many units to spare it’s like a drop in an ocean. Reminds me of the old seventh edition Space Marine Battle Company formation.
New Ways to Run Tournaments
This may be more interesting to tournament organizers than players, overall, but I find the changes to the tournament formats interesting. After recent issues with submarining, and placement of terrain, there have been some changes that many tournaments have been making. The way pairing is done has been gaining speed in both the local and regional level. Many more tournaments are first pairing by wins, then randomly pairing so that players cannot manipulate the system to avoid certain players or matchups. From my own experience, this has been met with a very positive reaction.
The other item tournaments seem to be picking up is how the terrain is placed. Some are using the Player Optimized Placement, where the players place terrain on their half of the board. This one is nice because no matter the mission you are playing the terrain should still benefit the player since they are the ones that placed the terrain. The other way of placing terrain that I have seen the similar to the way Games Workshop did it for the Orlando Open. From what players have said, this way of doing the terrain works also as the pieces are big enough to block line of sight. The issue I see is that the placement of terrain has to be exact, due to the missions being played, as they actually moved the terrain around between day1 and day 2. The other thing is that the terrain is very specific so if you already don’t have terrain of those dimensions, then you have to spend extra money to obtain the correct sized terrain. Either way, we should be seeing more and more tournaments being run using these new methods.
~That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed the article. Let me know what you think, and what lessons you have learned from these past few weeks, in the comments section below.