The 5 Stages of dealing with what GW is doing to 40K

obsoletaMany of us see the Formations currently being released as creating a huge shift in the balance of power between codexes and forces in the game we love, the viability of the armies we’ve painted and built, and changes in how the tournaments and events we enjoy will be run.

Gamesworkshop sees this as a fun December Advent Calendar likely to put more of their products in Christmas Stockings worldwide.

That statement should be hyperbole or at least exaggeration, but appears to be literally true. This article is an attempt to take a mature look at where we are, where we’re going and how to reconcile the gap between that and where the players who enjoy tournaments as well as casual games would like it to be.

Rules that are good enough for tournament players are great for casual players.

I would hope most readers agree with that statement. Whether a game is designed for tournaments or casual play, a tightly written, easily comprehensible and reasonably balanced ruleset is to the advantage of any type of player at any level of experience.

The issue now is that 40K has changed and is continuing to change. It’s not just the speed at which codexes are now being released and the way that the new are sweeping away the old, but now the Codex:Inquisition finding a way around the ally chart and Dataslates effectively ignoring the ally allowances and the Force Organisation Chart.

An army can now be made with no troops at all (not just no scoring units, genuinely no troops), or 7 HQs at 1,500 points, or 12 Flyers from a single FOC [edit: Someone sent me a preview of the new Adeptus Astartes Storm Wing while I was writing this, which will move that up to 15 Flyers in a few days], or 5 (perhaps 6) Riptides, or all sorts of other crazy concoctions. Your opinion on whether this is good or bad is likely to depend on what you want from the game, and where one man sees the destruction of FOC another may see the freedom to imagine a new army.

However I think a key factor is that many of these new releases only appear to be adding new rules; they are also removing existing rules that govern the organisation of forces, the use of allies, the balance of scoring to heavy units, the restriction of psykic powers and buffs to certain armies, etc.

The changes are chaotic, will inevitably lead to new powerful combinations the authors didn’t forsee or have time to playtest for, and a lot of people have leapt to the conclusion that 40K is becoming less viable as a serious tournament game.

And they’re probably right. However, all is not lost.

What follows is a (genuine!) attempt to guide you through the stages of Grief over the comparative predictability and sanity of the game you thought you knew being replaced by anything-goes smorgasbord of units and rules.



“The big tournaments in my region have banned all fortifications and put a restriction on Flyers and allies, to make it more balanced. Restrictions change constantly, but something tells me Fortifications will never be freely allowed in many places.” – Anonymous poster on Faeit212

The rules have changed, and unlike Imperial Armour, Planetstrike, Cities of Death etc there is absolutely no distinction between these new releases, alliances, supplements and dataslates and the rest of standard 40K. There is no ‘see if your opponent is willing to use them’ or ‘this is an alternate way to play games of 40k’ in any of these releases.
Love them or hate them, they are part of the game, here to stay and only going to increase in number. They aren’t going away, and while TOs are always entirely free to set any rules they want, ignoring and avoiding them won’t make them go away.


“”Standard 40K” is officially dead for tournaments. The FOC needs no longer apply… The GW cash grab has gone too far. I am now officially a hobbyist not a competitor.” – Anonymous poster on 3PlusPlus

I saw a rebuttal of people’s anger about these new rules posted on a forum which basically said they couldn’t understand why people complained – after all players have no right to complain when Blizzard or EA release a new patch which dramatically changes the balance of a game.

I realised how easy that was to answer when looking in my cupboard for a model and accidentally opening my Tank box – full of fairly expensive, painstakingly painted models that have hardly seen the light of day for over a year. You see, unlikely video games, when balance is dramatically changed we don’t all get access to all the new toys immediately. We spend months saving, shopping, buying, building, converting and painting the models.

I am not angry not to be able to use these models – I still could if I was willing to accept their dramatically reduced utility – but I do understand why people might be angry about changes that impact on their own expensive army.

For example, White Scars shot up in power at the C:SM book launched, then dropped dramatically simply due to the release of C:I. To phrase that differently, most shooty-mech armies went from barely able to deal with White Scars to finding them merely a hard matchup now they can have 24” of space in which to deal with them. And I know at least one person who bought and built and entire White Scars army in the gap between those two dates.

There is a strong case to be made that these dataslates are specifically designed to help shift stock, but with a constant state of unit and codex flux this could actually backfire. Will your new army still be good when you finish buying and painting it?

Caveat Emptor.


“These DataSlates are clearly GW testing the water with a microtransaction sales model. If they sell well, we’ll see lots more of them and if they don’t sell well we won’t. Buy the models but please PLEASE don’t buy the Dataslates.” – Anonymous poster on 3PlusPlus

“We’ll allow standard fortifications and the =I= dex, but likely not the new dataslates and superheavies”

For games at home, allow which ever sections, codexes and parts of the rules you like. For tournaments, TOs can allow whatever they want. However, as mentioned above if these things are in the rules they’re in the rules, and if you want your event to be RAW Pure 40K, well… there’s no bargain to be made.

Anything else is a home-brew version, where every TO thinks they have the magic formula that will fix the game. I have always preferred to avoid made up rules, changes, alterations, artificial comp and the extra layers TO’s can sometimes add to try ‘balance’ the game, and hope they won’t be needed to make tournaments viable. That might rely on seeing the full impact of the super-heavy rules implementation.

Dear GW, if you promise not to let super heavies stuff up the game, I’ll try to learn to love and accept the dataslates – whoops, now I am bargaining too.


depressed-girl“Personally, I am putting up for sale a large part of my collection. I am plain ol’ not interested in playing Apocalypse 40k. This game has not been fun from neither a competitive nor a casual angle for quite some” – Anon on Faeit212

“I used to be pretty competitive with 40k. Looking forward to tournaments, list building, etc etc. But now, what’s the point? It might as well be “take whatever you want, the rules don’t really matter” – Anonymous poster on 3plusplus

These aren’t isolated comments, so I assume it’s not that rare a sentiment.


“With these formations. They still have to fit in the points requirement yeah?” Anonymous poster on

What does that comment have to do with Acceptance? Nothing, except that it is the comment that spurred my own process of accepting these changes.

You see, and remember I’m saying this as someone who plays enjoys tournament-style points-match book-scenarios to any other type of 40k, Gamesworkshop never intended 40K to be a competitive tournament game.

If you want a game built from the ground up for tournaments, try X-Wing (that’s not just an idle suggestion, I myself bought X-Wing a couple of weeks ago – more on that next week).  40K was designed to be a fun, narrative, beer-n-pretzels evening war game featuring striking models and distinctive characters.

In my opinion in 5th Edition, the game almost stumbled in to being the most competitive and streamlined that it has ever been. It had its problems (overly resilient vehicles, codex balance issues etc), but was a viable tournament-game offering a competitive experience.

This was never really the case in 6th Edition. Fortification rules are patchy, flyers and access to flyers have never been remotely balanced, and while in many ways it has been more fun the game has also had more of a rock-paper-scissors feel to it than 5th.

And now supplements, codexes allying with variations of themselves and rapidly released dataslates and formations?

However, “With these formations. They still have to fit in the points requirement yeah?”.

Yes. Whatever the 1,850 points of toys your opponent puts down are, you get to put down 1,850 of your own. Whatever they have access to, you have access to (unless you play Nids, in which case please select Anger or Depression from the list above). For every point they spend on insane combinations, you get a point to spend to (and might even be tempted to put it into scoring units).

In my opinion, players can play this game any way they want. I personally see no reason to show more allegiance to the confines of a codex than GW themselves do; if they want to break down the barriers in their own ruleset and treat this more as a sandbox game where players get X points to spend on virtually anything they want, then that’s what I’ll do. I’ll spend the points on whatever army I want, and while I lament games will very rarely be the instantly recognisable and iconic “Chaos Marines vs Eldar” or “Imperial Guard vs Tyrannids” of the past, I’m sure we’re all capable of imagining our own background, stories and force justifications.

In the final analysis, the hardest cap on army building remains, and that is the points that can be spent, and despite all the access to expensive new toys from other books we still play a game where only scoring units score.

Winning games remains as simple as it always was:

Strip away all the rules and codexes and armylists and you will realise that all 40K is about is 3 things:

  • Having more Scoring units in certain locations at the end of the game than your opponent does


  • Removing more of your opponent’s entire individual units from the board than she does of yours


  • A combination of both

Formations don’t change that.

Allies, exceptions to the ally chart, special codexes and new supplements don’t change that.

Everything else, all the armour, characters, ballistic skill, invulnerable, special rules, hull points, ‘metagame’, weapons, toughness, fluff, background, chainswords and forging narratives is the great big spectacle that distracts from how simple this game is.

For more on that subject see Winning at 40K – What if it’s just not that complicated?

If you’ve enjoyed the challenge of accomplishing those goals in the past, you’ll enjoy it in the future. 40K remains a decent game, because and despite of GW.

That’s not happiness, but that’s acceptance.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

144 responses to The 5 Stages of dealing with what GW is doing to 40K

Viability? Where we're going, we don't care about… viability.

(Paid for by the Dark Eldar Council*.)

(*Footnote: Is money supposed to twitch like that? I need a drink. Or ten.)

Back to the Future quote on a 40K forum? I think you may already have had enough, SaintBeerrun

Last game I played of 40k was at ATC in August with my pure Necrons without flyer spam. Bonus: I had the only Monolith at the tourney.


“Personally, I am putting up for sale a large part of my collection. I am plain ol' not interested in playing Apocalypse 40k. This game has not been fun from neither a competitive nor a casual angle for quite some”

That's me, I believe. The sale is underway.

I can see Acceptance over the horizon, but I'm not willing to cross over.

Largely on account of principle, because FUCK GW and their cash-grabbing ways.

Fuck every last one of those greedy, incompetent motherfuckers.

Oops, looks like I slipped back to Anger…

I don't understand the anger, honestly. Of course they're 'greedy' and 'cash-grabbing'; they're a multi-national corporation. Being greedy and grabbing cash goes with the territory. Why does this ever come as a shock to people?

Because we continually hold out hope that the multi-national corporations will stop acting like assholes and start acting responsibly. In other words, running businesses for the sake of the business, rather than to continue to pad the irrelevant bank account of some businessman somewhere.

This isn't even them acting like assholes, though. Finecast, sure, you could make an argument on that; buy a cheaper material and charge more, that's a dick move. This is just standard business practice; you have a product you want to move, so you give the customers an incentive to buy it.

I think you have a fair perspective on most things, Alastores, but being "Greedy" or "Cash Grabbing" are standard business practices because they are the things a business has to do in order to stay in business. They aren't a charity organization or an NPO, they are a business, and need to make hard decisions in order to keep a logistically complicated world wide plastic distribution in place. If plastic is hanging ideally from shelves, they aren't doing what they need to do, and they won't survive.

They are standard practices only because everyone does them.

I agree, they need to make money. But they do NOT need to be greedy. I'm actually happy with paying over the odds for GW product, because unlike all the other miniatures lines, GW actually supports a chain of brick and mortar stores. (I'm a little spoilt because the Aberdeen store actually has a large playing area, of course).

But there's far too much lining of pockets. It's not just GW…it's that "Standard business practice" thing.

THAT SAID:- Econonmy wise? I'm actually ok with these boxes, and I'm sort of ok with them having rules to shift them. It's a welcome return to GW having discounts on boxes.

I dislike HOW the rules have turned out, of course.

Okay, so what do you want them to do differently? I mean specifically, not just 'not be assholes'. Because from where I'm sitting, GW is doing exactly what we've all been begging them to do for ages; give players more options, not ignore armies for years between codex updates, put more fluff-work into the codexes, and do something with the internet to introduce new units and options between books. And while certainly some of the implementation is questionable, all GW seems to be getting in return for finally do what we've all asked it to do is a seemingly never-ending stream of internet doom-wheel moaning and people rage-quitting and selling their armies and vowing never to play the game again.

So, seriously. People who are shocked that GW is a business whose aim is to sell you as much as they can to make the greatest amount of money – what is it you guys actually want out of the company?

Big question. Here's a start at an answer:

I'd like them to play test more.
I'd like them to engage some people outside their company in the playtesting – they could get quality feedback completely free of charge.
I'd like them to prioritise releasing FAQs to existing products over releasing new products.
I'd like them to take a more technical approach to rules writing that completely separates the rule from the 'fluff' that inspired the rule.
I'd like them to release new material and codexes at a good rate, but not so fast they don't have time to spell check them.

And I'd like them to continue to make the best model soldiers in the world.

I think that's a pretty fair list of concerns. Although I think the playtesting, and awareness of public concern, is likely a lot higher then a lot of people think, I think these areas can always find room for improvement.

I think it's pretty obvious looking at the trends since I started playing that GW most certainly responds to public perception, particularly when it comes to internal balancing. Sometimes they just respond to much in another direction, or to much to a vocal minority. However, particularly over the less couple of generations of releases, I think its obvious that they put a considerable amount of thought and effort into giving each build some kind of synergism and internal principles to work on to give it a fighting chance. Maybe this is just from me spending so much focus on the Necron codex, but there are easily four base builds (AV 13 heavy, infantry heavy, flier heavy, and MC heavy) that have considerable amounts of synergism built into each one, and are incredibly interchangeable (flier/infantry being the obvious example, at the moment.) Shit like this doesn't happen by accident. Again, they can, and should, always strive to be better, but I think a little credit is do when considering where they are now and where they came from (the 3rd edition Necron Codex seems embarrassingly lacking in inspiration in comparison).

I'd like them to consider the rules implications of things like Inquistor and the Dataslates a lot more.

I'd like them to make decisions – and here, by 'them', I mean their Board – based more on what is good for the game and the hobby than what is good for their purses.

Ultimately, that's not going to happen, because for THAT to happen, the entire business structure of the western world would need to change.

>> GW is doing exactly what we've all been begging them to do for ages; give players more options, not ignore armies for years between codex updates, put more fluff-work into the codexes, and do something with the internet to introduce new units and options between books

this, 1000X this. The internet is stupid=)

From what I understand greed isn’t the problem. We all want to give GW money: the problem is incompetence. They could kill the goose that lays the golden eggs if they ruin their own game.


Yep, precisely. I didn't like much the greed during 5th, but I could tolerate it because they were pushing a decent product. Now there's no excuse.

So do I, just at a reduced rate. My Necrons have been sitting on a shelf for well over a year ( I got out when GW decided to see how far the could cram their John Thomas up retailers' bungs) and have no prospects on coming down any time soon. They are my army, and I love them but I won't buy a single piece from GW or play a single game of 40k again.

This is one of the reasons I keep peeking in to see if anyone is doing Warmahordes articles (or if that section of the forum will ever stop being a ghost town). The people here have good ideas and decent articles, tactica never goes amiss, and I enjoy being that weird American who's watched most of Eastenders.

i still play regularly (when my job will allow) but i havent bought a gw thing for about a year now. trolling the staff with how much i wont buy their stuff is all part of the fun!

besides, being good buddies with the regulars, we all agreed to not use any of this formation nonsense on each other

why wont you play games with the investment you've already made? You and your group of friends can buck the rest of the world & continue to play 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th edition HOWEVER you want with whatever you want…. Stopping enjoying your hobby because you feel that you "need" to continue to make purchases (because that's what it really is. Don't want to support GW because of their independent retailer policy? Don't buy new kits…. simply not using the ones you already have doesn't mean anything to anyone – except yourself!) is ludicrous. Don't make NEW purchases, but GW isn't harmed in any way if you continue to use your existing pieces to play their game or if you melt them down to huff the plastic fumes & enjoy some chemical bliss

It's mostly that most of the guys locally sold their 40k stuff due to the crap GW has pulled (the local stores pulled their GW stock off the shelves and offered a buyback with store credit) and there's no one to play with anymore.

Acceptance is great and its really the only option. We all need to accept that GW really doesn't care about keeping anything competitive, they really are just in it for the money. Accept that they do not care about the rules or playing the game. Let them make the toys, we need to make the rules.
I'm not saying I come up with the rules and you guys play by them. We need to somehow agree on a set of rules for 40k, tournament style. Somehow get all the TO's on board with one set of rules.
Stelek tried to do it at However, he is very abrasive and crude regardless of who he is talking to. I think that is what drove his idea for a tournament rule set into the ground. He called it USGTA and all of his rules are still there. It seems quite balanced and only in "beta" form thus far.
I'm not saying his rules are the end all be all either. We just need some competitive rules for tournaments that will keep all armies competitive etc. Very much easier said than done though…

I will look into USGTA. I quickly scanned it when Stel released it, but now it warrants a more serious study.

How is Stelek ever supposed to get anyone to support and play his ideas when all he posts is ‘i am right and all you idiots are wrong’?
He’s not exactly a community builder.


This. So much this. It's not that he's a self-important asshole, or that his writing is terrible, or that his ideas are bad, it's all three at once.

I don't think Stelek himself ever could, for the reasons you've stated, but others pushing his rules might.

Desc I agree. Stelek is not a salesman of his ideas. He needs help with that. The rules are pretty well written. Maybe his articles are not, but his ideas are unique and balanced. The USGTA rules are written quite well and with an attempt to leave no room for interpretation. With a well written rules system we can eliminate TO's having to make decisions on rules, rolling D6's to decide who is right, and eliminate the RAI and RAW arguments. It will also give everyone one set of rules to practice for, one set of missions to practice for, etc.
And I'm just gonna throw this out there, but 40k needs do transition to a D10 system instead of D6. This will allow greater variations in stats and help with balancing.

why do TO's need to agree on anything? They currently don't. Games at FOB are VERY different than games at NOVA which are in turn very different from games played at ETC events. Players show up to these different events for different gaming experiences. Players prefer one event over another, but playing is playing.

I dunno, maybe it's because I'm used to things being shafted, or I'm an incredibly pragmatic and simple dude…

I personally feel the implementation of Formations, and C:I, was handled poorly but at the same time, I'm looking at all of the little improvements we've gotten alongside those. Codex updates within semi-reasonable timeframes, new models and ways to purchase those models (because GW is a company and by definition all companies want your money – but they prefer you happily handing it over so you can continue to hand them more in the future), and a greater emphasis on type and kind of play beyond mere points values (Apocalypse, etc).

Maybe 6th has kind of donked on the whole biscuit, but it's forecasting some solid stuff for the future or even a bit closer to the current deadline. It's a lot of EXTREMELY experimental stuff that shows that GW does sort of care, but they have no idea how to really address things to make the game they want and as a result they aren't sure how to get people to play it. I'm still going to play and collect because it's all about the hobbyist angle for me, but I can feel for the Competitive set for the cup check they just got. Moderation and constructivity > shouting vulgarity into the wind.

Let's hope 7th fixes some of the derp and makes for a cleaner game overall, yuh?

I think one of the big tells about the formations, is if they continue to release them after cchristmas, if these 3-4 are the only formations they release then I can see them being completely ignored as a "chistmas gimmick" by most players.


just go play 5th if you want. use the new codexes, ignore any references to 6th ed rules

you still have the 5th rulebook somewhere, right?

just use your big base dudes as warjacks/beasts, and your small base dudes as everything else. lots of models are very similar (dreadnoughts are warjacks, carnifexes are everblight monsters)
which army to use your models as? well…
space marines/imperial guard: cygnar, khador, menoth, mercenaries, trollbloods
necrons: cryx, cyriss
eldar: scyrah, circle oboros
dark eldar: skorne, farrow
tyranids: everblight, gatormen

There are still a few places that are doing buybacks on GW models after they decided to screw the independent retailers a while back, so you can get store credit and buy a good game.

I… dude. No homo.

Not that drunk yet, mate, go hug someone else! Preferably closer to the kegs.

See I'm of the completely opposite side. A horrible day in Warmahordes is still better than a "great" day in 40k. Know why? Far less rules conundrums. Among other reasons. Still, different strokes for different people.

Privateer Press has their rules writing down. Actually, if Privateer Press took over Games Workshop and wrote 7th edition, I'd have pretty high hopes for that. But Warmachine bothers me too much, just because of the caster assassination. Makes me feel that every game ends long, long before it should, and half the time by the player who should've lost.

rules conumdrums only exist if you & your opponent can't come to a mutual agreement (usually because one player – or both – would rather WIN than have a fun game….)

Warmahordes may have tighter rules, but it has a much more prevalent 'buy X to beat Y' system.

I don’t have the new books, can someone post an idea of what mix of units can be made by using them?

Take your primary codex, add a legal ally as per the ally chart, then add Inquisition if you like (and if they are a legal ally) without using an ally slot, then add any and all Formations (as long as their parent codex would have been a legal ally to your own, although they don't actually count as your ally) and then add your primary codexes' designated unit/s to your new Lord of War FOC slot and a slew of new fortifications, upgradeable fortifications or combination of fortifications to your fortification slot.

What could be simpler? 😀

Was thinking the same thing. It's wonderful how pervasive of an effect popular science has on our memetics.

I'd be interested to know how many people can actually reference the scientific theories which become commonly referred to in everyday life though.

Science experiment go! lol

I would say your discipline is probably ripe for abuse on this more then most. Take Freud, for instance. My understanding is most modern Psychologists and Psychiatrists widely discredit most of Freud's theories. Respect his methodology and novelty, but don't buy into the vast majority of his conclusions. However, people like to throw out silly nonsense like pervasive Oedipus complexes like they are well established fact.

It would be interesting to track these memes along with popular culture. Like, for instance, I'm willing to bet public knowledge of some of these ideas can be closely linked to their allusions in the Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, etc.

Freud's actually quite amusing. HIs pscyhosexual stuff? It's a joke. Literally, a joke. He was (apparently, I can't reference this) annoyed by his more sensible theories of conciousness being rejected, and so handed in the psychosexual rubbish to attempt to make a point.

And…it got published.

There's a guy that got published for a paper where he observed cows scratching their backsides on fence posts before mating and that scratching their backsides on fence posts is an intricate part of their mating behaviour; there's a person who got published for the declining number of storks in an area correlating to a decline in new babies being born in an area; et al. The point is this – if you can get away with publishing something that no one else can easily disprove, then you are doing good science. One of my university professors pointed that out to me, it's a bit screwy but even if stuff is bs, if it can't be disproved, then bam, you're winning because it isn't bs.

Maybe I'm a bit dense (I do love my SWs and drinking..lots of drinking..) but how is any of this different than the usual 'How do we deal with this?' that comes with every new Codex or addition to the rules? I understand the whole FoC thing but hasn't that already been re-aligned quite a few times?..whether it is special characters or 2K point double FoC or adding Allies to get an extra FA, HS or whatever slot.

I think people are just in shock that so many things are being put out so fast. I just got my Stronghold Assault and intend to peruse the pages momentarily (with a drink or 2 of course) and I did buy the whole Storm Wing thing and the models (I can finally add some flyers without goofing around with true Allies) and I personally am pretty happy with this.

My gaming group is super-competitive guys btw and I am lucky to include SirBiscuit in the group along with the TO and most of the guys who make FoB happen. At one point I was a super competitive WHFB player and screamed when GW 'ruined it' with 8th Edition. I figured I would play 40K instead since it seemed a bit more balanced for competitive play. Now I am laughing and just going to go with the flow and see how it all shakes out. What's the worst thing that could happen here?..No one can figure out how to deal with everything possible and just says screw it and plays their own army?

Oh nice, I've probably met you. Live with SirBiscuit and helped him run the FoB invitational. Need to get out and play more often. Stupid grad school…. hehe

We were talking about this issue this morning, and the major problem is not completely throwing aside FoC restrictions (not crazy about it, but it's not game breaking). It's putting in things like Eldar's Revenant (or was it Phantom?) Titan, which is a model that takes an extraordinary amount of firepower to remove, and with it's 4 Str D Large blasts a turn, just gets to remove anything it wants from the board. TH/SS Terminators get removed just as easily as grots, Land Raiders explode as easily as Land Speeders, and Drago falls almost as easily as an IG sergeant. People will play against that thing and wonder, "Why did I bother to bring cool units?"

I'm not going to just jump to selling my whole collection, but I'm certainly not willing to play normal 40k against someone bringing a titan.

Just something else you have to plan for. Regular 40K and Apoc units have been mixing for years at the Adepticon Gladiator.

We know each other I am have IG and CSM is my guess. I am the guy who appears to be a Long Fang come to life 🙂 Anyway, I just looked through the new Stronghold Assault and they updated some rules that actually make better sense and added a lot of pretty cool Fortifications to the mix. One big thing is the Void Shield Generators I think..100 points for 3 of them and they will stop everything at least once..even D weapons. Now if you want a Fortification with a D-weapon you can always take a Aquila Strongpoint but it will cost you 535 points minimium. So how much is that Titan and what happens if the opponent can protect his stuff and kill it?..guessing you lose especially with the rules for extra VPs for those things. Point is we have to balance this crap out first and see where it lands.

Ok, I just realized that since there is NO MODEL for the Void Shield Generators you could see someone plunking down a trio of 2 foot by 2 foot by 3 foot high (might as well get some LOS blocking while we're at it ) 'fortifications' for 100 points. I am trying to decide if this is good or bad..since I hate Tau or any totally shooty army..

Lol, no, that's our other roommate. I play Eldar, but don't make it out to play at the game stores that often 🙁

The problem with the Aquila Strongpoint is that if it's shot with a D weapon, it explodes on a 2+. Same chance as killing a grot, except it's harder to miss.

Having Str D large blasts pretty much invalidates elite armies or cool expensive models (unless it's another titan). Though I guess at least it solves the Screamer Star problem lol

the new problem fixes the old problem & we're still left with a problem but it's new & novel & folks are scared of change.

this is life. this is not a problem.

>> No one can figure out how to deal with everything possible and just says screw it and plays their own army?

if that's the worst thing that could happen in 40K I'd be soooo happy

Looking forward to that X-Wing article Matt (I second Matt's suggestion, I haven't played any 40k in months but with Vassal I'm able to play 2-3 games of competitive X-Wing per week!)

I have not yet so far, and will not in the future, use allies.

And I'm proud 😀 Join forces and remain mono-and-proud (MOP)

I dunno, I was already playing regular games with superheavies. It's not that odd if you're setting up a narrative game. "Hey, you want to play a game of 'kill the reaver titan'?" the worst they can say is, "no, lets just play a regular FOC 1500" no harm done.

Yea, with friendly games it's a nonissue, just as you put it. It's just when it comes to the competitive, tournament side of 40k that this could become a problem.

the game isn't built for competitive play (source: game creators). As such if you're having pains using the product in a manner in which it is not intended to be used…. maybe you need to adjust the manner in which you're using the product…. (*you refers to the community & not yourself).

There is nothing wrong with competitive play, however there is a problem with folks bitching about "loose rules" when the honest answer is "focus more on having a fun game than winning with the best list available". There is also nothing wrong with TO's arbitrarily (or not) deciding to include or not include certain aspects of the game: players packs already dictate the size of the game, whether things like FW are allowed, what is (2) more lines on the page ("formations published by GW are [not] allowed" & "the use of superheavies is [not] allowed") ??? too much for wittle competitive players to comprehend?

I'll never fully understand the people who spend thousands of dollars, hours, effort, and idle thoughts on a hobby in order to play it competitively only to end up walking around bitching about how noncompetitive it is. It's the silliest damn thing I've ever seen.

Good article, Matt, and your last section really hits the nail on the head. The people who are having the biggest issue on the game right now are the ones who have always played this game with the notion that if they spend enough money on their list, they will win more. So they go through each cycle of the game dumping more and more money trying to find the ever evasive "I win" button, and when they fail to do so, they complain how the game isn't competitive enough. I can't make this shit up. They are doing everything they can to stack the deck in their favor, and then rage quite when someone else has stacked their's better.

People can do whatever they want. There are some legitimate complaints about GW right now, and if you feel those complaints have exceeded your desire to play the game, do what you will with your money. But don't pretend your subjective experience should be mistaken as anything other then what it is. (General you, not Matt or anyone else in particular.) This game is, objectively, a competitive game. Even if there was one build to rule them all, as there most certainly was in 5th, it's still a competitive game. Everyone has the same options. Everyone sits down to the same parameters. No matter what tournament you are in, or whose table you are sitting at, both players have chosen to, or not to, from the same set of decisions.

I want to play 40k, preferably at a level that is somewhat competitive. Last year, I got a DV starter box and bought some models to make a DA army. I don't have much money, and this was supposed to be how you get started. Nearly every build I' ve planned to do has been negated by something. I've been told by people that I should just repaint all my models as White Scars, and drop another $50 on the SM codex. It looks like it's agood thing I didn't, as they see to have gotten screwed by C:I. I don't want to spend several hundred dollars now to build a new army. So if someone can take all these wonderful new options and make my DA somewhat competitive, I will be happy to keep playing. Right now I feel I was scammed and I'm not particularly interested in putting more effort and money into a unit that will be probably be nerfed by the end of the month. I like 40k in theory, but in practice it has been crap.

I completely understand this feeling. However, I promise you, it has much more to do with you, then your codex, or even your particular list. Codex hopping won't make you any better at the game. Getting to know your units, how they function, what options make them better, etc, as well as possible, will.

DA's are a tough cookie right now, no doubt. But it's not like you are playing with 100 point/model marines while the blue marines are getting them 10 points for a dozen. In general, while everyone can be a bit different, I've seen a lot more people enjoy an army that they haven't gotten so intimate with that it performs above the national perception then I have people who won with the seemingly overpowered combination de jour.

But, I've been there before. I had 4000 points of 3rd edition Necrons that were incredibly frustrating to play with for many years. Then I started trying things that few others was trying, and found a new love for them (before the new Codex dropped, of course, and then it was like Wooohoo!) :).

I completely understand this feeling. However, I promise you, it has much more to do with you, then your codex, or even your particular list. Codex hopping won't make you any better at the game. Getting to know your units, how they function, what options make them better, etc, as well as possible, will.

DA's are a tough cookie right now, no doubt. But it's not like you are playing with 100 point/model marines while the blue marines are getting them 10 points for a dozen. In general, while everyone can be a bit different, I've seen a lot more people enjoy an army that they have gotten so intimate with that it performs above the national perception then I have people who won with the seemingly overpowered combination de jour.

But, I've been there before. I had 4000 points of 3rd edition Necrons that were incredibly frustrating to play with for many years. Then I started trying things that few others was trying, and found a new love for them (before the new Codex dropped, of course, and then it was like Wooohoo!) :).

No offense mate, but it sounds like you're trying to make excuses to play an army that is widely regarded as crap in terms of competitive,e specially when you compare it to all the other marine codicies and armies available, DA's got the shit end of the beat stick and are, as a whole, crap. There's a reason so many people are proponents of this and it isn't unfounded because a lot of those players are in the top ends of the competitive player base. Generalship and list building skill goes only so far at the end of the day.

but DA has always been garbage. it always will be, because their theme is just all over the place compared to the other chapters, who have fluff that allows for focused, thematic rules (except raven guard lol)

DA will always get the shit end of the beatstick, and i will be forever confused with players who expect this to change

Bikes 'n' Terminators. GW need to learn that nobody, NOBODY wants to play Dark Angels because they have a fetish for green spess mehrens. We want god damn white Terminators and black Bikes, and fuck the Greenwing because they're just Space Marines.

I would make Codex: Dark Angels a supplement for Space Marines, adding the Special Characters and then a bunch of awesome Bikes and Terminators and forgetting the Greenwing completely; they're better off being represented by Codex: Space Marines anyway.

As it is, I just take Doublewing as a Primary Detachment and then ally in Space Marines.

The obvious solution (well, obvious to me anyway) is for GW to release a pair of Codex: Dark Angels Supplements – one for the Deathwing, one for the Ravenwing. At the basic level they allow you to have DW or RW Troops without necessarily taking Belial or Sammael, add some other unit configurations in other FoC slots (ten-bike RW as FA, four heavy weapon DW as HS, etc.) and incentivize players into buying those model kits that ain't quite flying off the shelves (Dark Talon, Dark Shroud) and maybe cross-promote some Forgeworld stuff (Javelin Speeder, Land Raider variants, Mortis Dreadnought)…

GW gets to put out a new digital book that is 90% recyced artwork and fluff, move some models, and pacify a small-but-devouted-and-vocal part of their fanbase. Players get a new lease on life for their Dark Angels armies. Win-win.

You can run a pretty decent Iron Wing with the current codex… the only real issue it has is C:DA's utter lack of ground based antiaircraft units. Add a Whirlwind Hyperios and a Mortis Dreadnought (I like dual missile launchers) from IA and you should be okay.

Does anyone know what the Dreadwing (and the 'fifth' Dark Angels Wing) are?

They were mentioned in Unremembered Empire.

Perhaps if the starter box came with a warning label that said "one of these armies suck" it would be more fair to new players. Honestly, I should have known better when I bought it, but I can understand a new player's frustration. Essential they buy the starter set and find out that it was a trap and you will forever be at a handicap against most other armies. Hey noob, isn't this game fun?

Both of the starter box armies suck.

The Dark Angels one can at least be used as STandard Marines. 😛 The Chaos one can't even be used effectively for chaos…

how many grav-gun toting centurions or thunderfire cannons actually fit into a FLUFFY white scars army….. pretty much zero since those units are the foil to all things white scars…. and yet….

Actually, I spend little on the hobby as I have most of what I want. I just deplore the total lack of balance, and the way the 40K universe, which is part of this hobbyman's enjoyment, is being totally screwed with.
Damn I hope they don't do the same to Fantasy 🙁

The TO's have always and will always have the power to choose what is allowed in their tournaments so I don't see it as a problem. In most tournaments around where I live (Denmark) FW is not allowed and the same goes for some of the fortifications. I don't expect formations to be allowed either.

Matt Shadowland, can you please explain to me what you meant by this (?): "An army can now be made with no troops at all (not just no scoring units, genuinely no troops), or 7 HQs at 1,500 points, or 12 Flyers from a single FOC [edit: Someone sent me a preview of the new Adeptus Astartes Storm Wing while I was writing this, which will move that up to 15 Flyers in a few days], or 5 (perhaps 6) Riptides, or all sorts of other crazy concoctions."

I do not own C:I, or any of the Dataslates. What I'm wondering is how you can get away without fielding Troops, when the rules Kirby posted in a previous article clearly state that Formations are taken on top of Primary Detachments. In that case, wouldn't you have to take at least 1 HQ and 2 Troops before any Formations can be taken? 7 HQ's? 12 flyers out of a single FOC (I'm guessing IG makes this possible)? 5-6 Riptides? How is any of this possible without breaking the basic requirements of the game?

Sorry… I actually meant to ask what you meant by this: "but now the Codex:Inquisition FINDING A WAY AROUND THE ALLY CHART and Dataslates effectively ignoring the ally allowances and the Force Organisation Chart."

How are allies being disregarded? C:I and the Dataslates clearly state that the Levels of Alliance rule from the BRB must be respected.

I just want to know what everyone is getting upset about. I mean, I wasn't happy about Battle Brothers when I got 6th (Tyranid player; I think it makes sense to an extent, but I feel like some simply do not [see Orks and Tau, or any Imperium/xenos combo]), but I've accepted it and now it seems like everyone is just rehashing upset over the same thing as before.

A lot of armies can take the formations as is and many took those units already. the Tau one is a good example, a lot of competitive armies have a riptide and 6 broadsides in them, now they can take them as a detachment for the exact same points but suddenly get BETTER. It's rules imbalances that makes the parent codex obsolete. Why bother making a normal army when you can take a small normal army and add in a formation or two and some allies and then more allies because you're allowed to to get the same basic army you would but supremely better as a whole? How does it make sense from a fluff point of view? It really doesn't. GW is a publicly owned company, it isn't a games company like it was in the days' of yore, it only cares about its' bottom line profit increasing for its' share holders. However they paint it up, this is what it is, and it's damaging the player base as a whole.

Other point – As a Tyranid player, allies in 6th should have given us Imperial Guard if a certain number of genestealer units were included in the parent army, easy solve and bam genestealer cults/infested troops, they have existed in the past, no reason not to now, heck it would have sold a whol bunch more models too.

im pretty sure genestealer cults can infect other races too. there's certainly bits of old fluff about ork and tau cults somewhere

I must be in the minority of players who love not having any allies available to me or my hive. I sold every army besides my lovely Tyranids and have never wanted to play with my food since.

The only downside, IMO, is not having available cult options and the lack of awesome Imperial conversions that have official rules behind them.

Every planet is an omelet and cults just make them scrambled eggs.

I like omelets…

I think you could take Inquisition as primary, which means HQ and two elites, then add whatever allies and dataslates it takes to use your points. Totally outside what we used to call a force organisation chart.

"An army can now be made with no troops at all (not just no scoring units, genuinely no troops),"

Codex: Inquisition can be selected as your primary detachment, and unless you use Coteaz to move Henchmen squads around, C:I actually contains no Troops units at all, just HQ, Elite and Heavy Support. The idea is that you're supposed to use the Troops from another army to represent the forces the Inquisitor has taken control of, but you don't actually have to. Instead, you can then take the Firebase Support Cadre, or the Storm Wing, or any other formation that doesn't include Troops units. In that way, you can build a fully legal army that does not contain any Troops units whatsoever.

But you wouldn't want to, obviously, because it's a stupid gimmick that'll mean you're constantly playing for the draw.

"or 7 HQs at 1,500 points,"

I'm not sure which one he's thinking of, here. I know the Clan Raukaan supplement lets you take eight HQs (Master of the Forge, Captain, 2 x 3 x Techmarines), and the Farsight Enclaves supplement does the same (Farsight + the rest of The Eight), but he might be thinking about something else.

"or 12 Flyers from a single FOC [edit: Someone sent me a preview of the new Adeptus Astartes Storm Wing while I was writing this, which will move that up to 15 Flyers in a few days],"

Since Space Marines can Ally with themselves by joining two different Chapters together, a Marine army can bring 2 x 3 x Storm Talons and Stormravens. This beats the old record of 9 flyers in a single FOC, which I'm sure makes the Necrons cry bitter metallic tears.

"or 5 (perhaps 6) Riptides, or all sorts of other crazy concoctions."

Commander Farsight from the Farsight Enclaves, plus his bodyguard Riptide, plus three Riptides from the Elites section, plus an allied Tau segment with an additional Riptide, gives you five Riptides at right around 1500 points. Then you can throw Formations in to just keep stacking on more Riptides.

The issue that a lot of people are taking at the moment is that GW has introduced several elements that operate outside the normal "primary detachment + allied detachment" model. Codex: Inquisition and the Firebase Support Cadre and Storm Wing formations have special rules that allow them to be taken without them being either the primary army or taking up your Allies slot; you could, if you wanted (and could somehow find the points), have an Inquisitor from C:I, leading an Imperial Guard primary detachment, with Eldar allies, and a Tau and Space Marines formation tacked on. The fact that this probably wouldn't work in the slightest and is purely the preserve of those desperately trying to game the system as hard as they can in the hopes of finding some way to break it in their favour doesn't seem to worry most of the people freaking out about it.

The Elysian Drop Troops have looong had the record for the most Flyers in a single FoC. For chrissakes, they can bring 12 Valkyries (and one Valk Skytalon) in a single Troops Slot. Why you would WANT to do that remains an open question… But the Imperial Guard have a long history of mocking every other army that attempts to do a "the most X in an army" contests.

Hoorah! Hey, Garnet, can I borrow $6,204 USD? I want to convert my Mordian Iron Guard collection into a counts-as Elysian Drop Troops army, but I'm short ninety-four Valks…

The 12 Flyers probably refers to Necrons – 3 Scythes from Elites (night) and Heavy Support (doom), and 6 from Troops. That's the only way I can think of doing it in a single FOC, which would mean no allies.

12 Flyers referred to
3 x IG Vendettas
3 x IG Vendettas
3 x IG Vendettas
Allied Storm Raven
Inqusitorial Valkyrie x2

The SM Flyer Formation then made it possible to take all of the above, plus 3 more without using an ally-slot.
It's ludicrously expensive in points and money, but does serve to illustrate that the power of the FOC to create better balanced forces through restrictions on key parts of players' armies has been weakened.

By Crons have been capable of doing that for 2 years. And it turns out, its not really a good army at all.

3 or 4 flyers is about the upper limit of effectiveness. Sometimes the diminishing returns of what a unit offers provides plenty of internal balance on its own. (I have no idea why I'm responding to this comment now 🙂 ).

better question I think would be how do you plan on WINNING games with no troops?

y'know since having troops on objectives is how you win fully 50% of the scenarios presented in the BRB…. and troops PLUS fast or heavy win an additional 33.6% of the games…. you're left with only a single mission where you can even reasonably hope to have a chance of doing better than a draw (or winning on secondaries) if you fail to bring at least one troops choice….

Man why oh why, as a writer on the reputable blog, you spout the bs "40k is not suited for tournament play hence everything is ok" excuses for GW. Even if not intentionaly, 40k should be suited for tornaments as a side effect of writing proper rules for a game where 2 people play to win. Proper design of such a game assumes something close to an even chance of winning and GW slips by with their crap thanks to fallacies like yours I cite, that they can do whatever they want because fluff and cinematic. they should be called on lousy rules or ideas no matter if it's tourney or not tourney game.

I don't believe it, but if you really think it is only "fun, narrative, beer and pretzels" game you describe, why don't you also write then that it's just a bloated, sensless, multiple hundred of pages engine to roll dice and see something awesome, easily replacable by decisions like "on 3+ my guys shoot your guys to death" or just playing good old kids imagination game of pushing your opponents toys with your toys off the table. Not to mention "beer and pretzels" are 1 hour games with 5 pages of rules not that behemoth of rulebooks, suplemments, addons that takes an hour just to prepare the game and months to prepare the army.

Also, it's not true that Games Workshop never intended 40k for tournament play, for example Rick Priestley in some interview stated otherwise. Quit repeating that with such a confidence when it is only your wildguess.

And meanwhile, I'll sit here, continuing to play my Tyranids, and be able to continue to not worry about the new rules.

After all, there's only one thing I need to know with my army. How to best serve the enemy army to my little Ripper babies

He might be! He may not be using the rippers in his army.

After all, they come later to eat all the bits left behind…:P

Am I missing something or can you get more flyers than 15

Ig primary
9 in fast

Inquisition Allies
3 in elites

Any other normal allies
1 ( helldrake, Storrm raven storm talon, etc…)

Formation Storm wing

TotAl 16

Or. Am I missing something?

How many pts would that be, cause that is a pretty cool idea, actually. 9 vendettas, 3 valkyries from inq, sm ally with stormtalon and the stormwing formation. An entire imperial air brigade! And most of it carrying troops, to boot.

The 12 deltas alone are about 1500, plus two storm ravens at 200 each, And the 3 talons, (150?). Already you a over 2k and you don't have any hqs or troops.

Actually, the Elysian Drop Troops army list from Imperial Armour Vol. 3(2e) can fit nintey-five (95) flyers into a single, standard Force Organization Chart… Although it is going to cost you a helluva lot of points, wheelbarrels of cash, and enough superglue to stop a charging rhinoceros in its tracks.

HQ: Two Company Command Squads with Valkyire Dedicated Transports (+2)
Heavy Support: Three Lighting Strike Fighters (+3)
Elite: Three Stormtrooper Squads with Valkyire Dedicated Transports (+3)
Fast Attack: Three Vulture Squadrons (with three Vultures Each; +9)
Troops: Okay, here's where it goes from nuts to fraking silly…
SIX Elysian Drop Platoons with one Platoon Command Squad, five Infantry Squads, four Heavy Weapon Squads, and two Special Weapon Squads, each with a Valkyire Dedicated Transport; AND a Drop Sentinel Squad with a Valkyrie Skytalon Dedicated Transport. (13*6=78)

2+3+3+9+78=95 Flyers.

Taking everything with no upgrades, minimum unit sizes, and generally doing nothing to add any cost, you are looking at 15,215 points. Fifteen-frakking-thosand points… Which means, of course, you're playing well above the 2k mark and, by rights, should be using TWO force org charts for the primary detachment. o_O

Hope your opponent remembered to pack a Quadgun.

Cough* forgeworld doesn't count *cough 😉

Yes,elysians could always do that but I think we are looking at GW maximums, .

@garnet , didn't realize you could get 2 from sm,cso yes, that puts it up to 17.

I don't understand the outrage. Competitive tournament players are probably in the minority over the total gaming populous of this game. This means that these new game modes and rules allow for people to play "casually" or however you want to call it. "Oh, my Tau can ally with SM? That's cool. Now i can play a game with SM and Tau fighting against orks!" That shit happens in actual fluff pretty often too. Honestly, i would rather my game make actual sense (in terms of diplomacy/Allies) than just ZOMG EVERYONE AGAINST EVERYONE ELSE NO MATTUR WAT ALL DAH TIME FOREVER.

As far as tournaments go, any new rules or game mode additions will go the route of every other game genre: The community will come to a consensus and ban or disallow certain things for competitive play. Such things happen in TF2, EVERY FIGHTING GAME EVER, and a few other random other games. "Oh man, Valve released this really awesome pyro weapon! THIS WILL RUIN TOURNAMENT PALY!!!1" Or, you know, it'll just be banned in tournaments, while everyone just enjoying the game as is will love the new, fun, goofy weapon.

"BUT GW is just trying to make money."

….no. Just…just stop. That's every company's modus operandi. Every company is looking to make money off of the products they sell. The problem some of you have is that YOU don't like what they're doing. Just because you do not like it, doesn't mean that everyone now hates it too. But, that's FINE. You can dislike the game or like it, it's up to the player.

But please, get off the high horse claiming that this somehow kills tournaments or the game. It doesn't, and it won't. If tournaments can get away with rewriting a plethora of rules for their purposes and still get players to join in, then they can get through this too.

TF2 is a bad example, because almost every weapon ever except the Black Box for the Soldier is a side-grade or plain worse than the stock weapon. TF2 is a well balanced game in which skill > luck every time (and every game should have a hard counter system as per the original Dawn of War or TF2 – if Snipers are OP, everyone will shift to Spy; if Spies are OP, everyone will shift to Pyro, etc.); 40k has dice, and is inherently a lot more random. 40k is not nearly balanced enough and such a system does not exist, as well as being an infinite number of times more expensive than TF2, meaning that some people cannot financially adapt to compensate for Fortifications, Flyers, Super-Heavies, Super-Heavy Flyers, or what have you. It's just too expensive in cash.

I am a Tyranid player and I am neither angry nor depressed about the whole formation-thingie. In my opinion most people simply fail to realize that GW just isn´t very good at what they are doing. Whatever their intentions may be, the impact the rules they release make will never reflect that in any way. Well, at least that isn´t very likely to happen. The thing is, they have no idea how their game works and thus don´t know how to break or to fix it for that matter. So, every action they take is basically just a random thing they came up with.

As a Tyranid I don´t have any access to allies and can´t use any of the weapons in fortifications. Oh, and if you don´t count flying monstrous creatures I don´t have any flyers or Anti-Air-Options either. Now guess what. I can still win a fair share of games just by being an okay player. I am most certainly not a genius. Still, I can be somewhat adaptive, which is very important in 6th. Way more important than having access to the latest toys, which is exactly why I like this edition of 40k very much.

Sure I won´t stand a chance against the latest high performance tournament army. But who cares? The kind of player who plays at this level is likely to be better than me anyway and would also be able to defeat me if his/her army was only based on a single Codex. Because that is what good players do, right?

However, my personal ace up my sleeve is one single demand I make. All modells fielded have to be painted. You´d be surprised how well that works. All of a sudden Allies, Codex supplements and Dataslates don´t matter that much any more. Instead you get an enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing game of 40k and the opposing army usually consist of exactly that kind of stuff that comes with the Codex in question and little more which is quite acceptable to me.

"As a Tyranid I don´t have any access to allies and can´t use any of the weapons in fortifications."

According to the new rules of Stronghold Assault, you can install those weapons on the top of a fortification and they will auto fire – so in fact your Tyranids "could" use them, but with limited efficiency.

I love it when people say the far and away number one company in their market doesn't know what they are doing. Its wonderfully absurd standards that we have when number one is woefully inadequate.

Hey where is the Apathy stage? The player who isn't going to go out of his way to buy anything, but doesn't object to an opponent bringing a formation to the game.

From a business standpoint this strengthens GW as a model selling company, something they've always stated. I've never seen these types of releases this fast, ever. I mean never ever. I would expect something very bottom line related to happen soon whether it be a sale, an aquisition, a major holdings shift, of something entirely. Corps don't do things in a vacuum, this must be spiking a significant % of revenue or they wouldn't be doing it.

Funny no one had an issue with Tau Eldar BS people been crying foul for months now but suddenly some Imperial Shit comes out and "40k has issues" is an blog post.

In the past I played SFB which is probably one of the most if not the most exacting set of rules for any table top game. To make the game WORK at tourney SFB/Taskforce games actully made a TOURNEY RULES set which made the game usable by both Tourney and non Tourney players.. sad that 40k will not do the same.

"Legal Officer, report to the bridge!" That game's rulebook makes the United States Internal Revenue Code look like a light beach read.

If you "borrow" peoples line art you should credit them. That chibi 6th ed allies drawing is pulled from a dakka dakka users account that isn't affiliated with this site.