The New Astra Militarum Commissar FAQ – Will it last a week?

First, the good news. GW are paying more attention to 40K game results, balance and feedback than ever before, and the new Astra Militarum FAQ 1.0 is part of the proof of that. They have fixed brand new issues like the Ogryn bodyguards palming wounds off onto one another in an infinite circle, dubbed the “Ogryn Hyperloop”.

They have also made some sensible changes like ‘Take Cover! Change the first sentence of this stratagem to read: ‘Use this Stratagem in your opponent’s Shooting phase when your opponent selects one of your Astra Militarum Infantry units as a target.’ – so it will no longer be useable by any other armies that happen to ally in some Guard -and remember that included everything from Ultramarines to GSC Tyrannids. It’s (IMHO) a shame it was simultaneously changed to infantry only, because it was briefly available to Rough Riders and camouflaged tanks, but on the whole it’s a good change.

Now the bad news: They have responded to the widely held opinion that Conscripts + Commissars were too powerful for their points cost by almost invalidating them, and in a way that is so heavy-handed I personally think it will require its own errata -and soon.

The new Commissar FAQ:

Pages 90 and 101 – Commissar Yarrick, Lord Commissar and Commissar, Summary Execution Change to read: ‘Summary Execution: The first time an Astra Militarum unit fails a Morale test during the Morale phase whilst it is within 6″ of any friendly Commissars, one model of your choice in that unit is slain and the Morale test is re-rolled (do not include this slain model when re-rolling the Morale test).’

IMHO adjusting the power of Commissars and Conscripts is a good idea, but this particular rule change is far from perfect.


Let’s look at how this actually plays.

  • A conscript unit near a Commissar takes, let’s say, 14 wounds.
  • The unit is required to take a morale test.
  • It uses the Commissar’s leadership of 8.
  • Roll a dice: the score is a 1. This is a fail (by 7)
  • The Commissar must shoot a Conscript. BLAM!
  • The dice must be rerolled.
  • Roll a dice: the score is a 6. This is a fail (by 12)

12 Conscripts die, plus the one who was shot before the reroll, for a total of 13.

“Yay, conscripts die! Rejoice enemies of the Imperium, those cheap b@st@rds had it coming!”

A totally understandable sentiment for any Heretic or Xenoscum, but with that celebration out of the way, it should be pretty clear what’s wrong with this rule: it forces a casualty and then forces a reroll of any failed morale test on a unit that very frequently fails morale tests. The result will often be an increase in casualties taken, and the player has no control over this: they can’t keep the result of an initial low roll.

Commissars are support models that range from 31 to 55 to 130pts. They have just one job (reducing the amount of models that flee after casualties), and they now have the potential to do the opposite.

This helpful robot may have done your army a favour.

Even most people who wanted Conscripts adjusted again for balance reasons won’t like the idea of a unit that is purchased at a cost having a potentially negative impact on the player’s army, and such a big swing in a unit’s power so soon after its Codex release makes purchasers nervous.



What’s likely to happen

The FAQ is likely to be changed to make Summary Execution optional, so that the player isn’t forced to kill a model to reroll a dice they really would prefer not to. That’s a much more palatable change that doesn’t remove control from the player’s hands in such a frustrating way.

The truth is that even with this the Commissar goes from a competitive choice to a poor one. The casualty levels 5+ T3 units take are so high that Commissars become not worth taking. Even with this change to make it optional you’re paying the price of 10 to 18 conscripts (31-55pts) to save up to 4 (1 in 36 times when you rolled the worst possible roll of 6, followed by best possible roll of 1, but also losing the one you just killed), with a chance to increase the amount you kill every time.

They might even change the first sentence ‘The first time an Astra Militarum unit fails a Morale test during the Morale phase whilst it is within 6″ of any friendly Commissars’ in advance of people asking what happens in a subsequent turn when they fail a Morale test (ie it’s now the second time an Astra Militarum unit has failed a Morale test during the Morale phase) or what happens to the second unit when several fail in the same turn’s morale phase (it’s now the second time an Astra Militarum unit fails a Morale test during this turns Morale phase) -sorry, I recently visited YMDC on Dakkadakka and it messes with the way you think 🙂

What I’d like to happen

  • Summary Execution: Friendly ASTRA MILITARUM units within 6″ of a COMMISSAR can never lose more than D6 models as the result of any single failed Morale test.

That’s unlikely to be the change they settle on, but I might as well add it as occasionally someone from GW reads this site.* Since they are going to have to fix their FAQ they do have the opportunity to make it a fix that hurts Conscripts without invalidating anyone’s units.

Killing D6 would be much more satisfying for opponents, but still make the units worth taking.

*They do not read the site’s comments**. Don’t spam all your suggestions in hopes of getting their attention.
**We have no proof of this.


How to still run an army with a meat-shield

3++ is about tactics and not just critiquing rules, so I feel obliged to include some suggestions for people who have their forces affected by the Commissar change, which looks too messy to be permanent but could be the new reality.

Consider playing Valhallan  – they just became a much more competitive option. Halving the amount of casualties taken after failing morale is now a big deal.

Consider moving your Conscripts (or infantry combined squads) to a Valhallan detachment. Your whole army doesn’t need to change for this, you just need to shift 1 or 2 HQs that don’t need your main Regiments rule and the conscripts to a different detachment. The HQs will probably need to include an officer since they must be the same regiment in order to give them orders.

Drop Commissars entirely and just add more potential casualties (aka Guardsmen)- the points are currently better spent elsewhere

Change your Warlord to to a Commissar with the Draconian Disciplinarian trait  – This was also nerfed, and it costs you your Warlord option and the chance to take a better trait. However it does get you something like the commissar you’re used to, although with 1+D3 casualties now.

Add the following sentence: ‘If a Commissar has this Warlord Trait, then their Summary Execution ability takes precedence, but if the re-rolled Morale test is also failed then D3 additional models are slain and the test is then considered to have passed.’

Go Valhallan, and take Pietrov’s MK-45 pistol Relic – this gives a ‘Commissar-like’ effect to Valhallan units within 6″ without actually requiring the commissar. It’s also not a bad pistol, with a little AP-1 kick and 2 damage.

Take a ‘Commissariat Tank’ –  There is a strategem that gives a tank a LD9 aura. It is expensive at 2CP and was previously seen as a pretty poor choice (well, considering what a target it paints on the tank, it still is), but at least this gets you a LD aura without executing additional men.

Officio Prefectus Command Tank 2CP

All friendly AM units within 6″ of this tank have a Leadership of 9 (unless higher).

I rated this as a mere ★½✰✰✰ in my review of the AM Strategems recently, but it’s probably going to have to be adjusted upwards now.

Mental Fortitude – A psychic ability ‘ Select a friendly ASTRA MILITARUM unit within 12″ of the psyker. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, that unit automatically passes Morale tests.’ This won’t work before your 1st turn, requires a Psyker, can be Denied, only works on 1 unit (and of course, your opponent knows which), but it is still a valid option.

Use 2 CP to pass Leadership – Expensive stratagem to use on cheap units, but it’s an option. Only works on 1 unit but at least it is after the casualty have been inflicted so you know how much you need it.

Fight to the Death! – a cheaper stratagem that costs 1 CP, and allows you to roll D3 for a morale check instead of D6. This is usually reserved for use on more expensive and/or vital units, because the CP is spent before the test, and it will save you a maximum of 3 men (on the roll of a 6) and a minimum of making 0 difference (on the roll of a 1).

Take an Inquisitor -Inquisitors are LD10 and have a special rule that most of us have ignored up til now:

“Unquestionable Wisdom: All friendly IMPERIUM units within 6″ of this model can use its Leadership characteristic instead of their own.”

This is not an ideal solution because it involves fishing a character out of a different codex, and it still doesn’t guarantee a low level of morale casualties, but it’s a leadership buff that won’t shoot you in the back of the head 😀

Take a Stormlord transport tank or massive fortification– They can’t cause casualties on units they can’t see 😀

I hope those suggestions help. Feel free to post any additional ones below.


The Astra Militarum FAQ:

Imperial Armour FAQ:

The good: Grinding advance (shoot twice at half speed) now applies to the FW Leman Russes

The bad: The Leman Russes didn’t get price adjustments to bring them inline with Codex versions, and the Macharius variants now look a lot less appealing for their prices.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

189 responses to The New Astra Militarum Commissar FAQ – Will it last a week?

While this change is bad for the continued relevance of Commissars and Conscripts to the Astra Militarum, it feels like a positive change in pretty much every other way to me. It makes Morale relevant, and by extension all those doctrines, abilities, powers and stratagems that affect Leadership or Morale now have an actual effect on the game, rather than being pointless words. It reduces the staying power of the "Gunline + Meatshield" army model, which will encourage Guard armies to find alternative tactics. It's also very fluffy! I can't help but feel that shooting extremely demoralised armed prisoners is the sort of approach that has a good chance to backfire. (It also seems totally in-keeping that the Commissar doesn't get the choice to do it – their indoctrination shouldn't really allow a lot of 'wiggle-room'.)

They really are listening to online discussions when writing these FAQs, though! Amazing to see Errata and FAQs that actually address the stuff people are talking about. I'm happy to see clarifications on Russes firing twice while stationary, grav-chutes working sensibly, changes to the Dagger and Ambush to try to stem the tide of ridiculous infiltration bullshit, and fixes for Mordian overwatch. They're actually addressing the stuff that's broken or overpowered, I can't quite wrap my head around it.

Missed opportunity!

Vendettas are still 230 pts worth of hitting on 5s.
Or 6s vs enemy aircraft.
Or 7s vs Ailtoc aircraft or any of the other stacked negatives.

Although those are the good times before damage makes the aircraft hit on 7s, 8s or 9s 😀

Yeah I have three of these lovingly painted from 5th/early 6th when they were actually good. I nearly wept when I saw the Forgeworld rules. They didn’t even try. They looked like something I’d come up with if I was trying to make a troll unit.

Maybe if GW can learn to write a clear rule that doesn't make a new mess, it is a positive change
I agree this faq will need a new faq.
Maybe the new faq will not need faq? I always am optimist.

This actually seems like their first FAQ/Errata that doesn't immediately fuck up the rules of the game in far-reaching and unexpected ways. It's all quite clearly phrased, and removes a lot of ambiguity from the rules. Just because people aren't going to like it doesn't mean it will need another FAQ/Errata.

What in particular did you think needed further clarification?

Three items

The commissar should be option to roll, not make you forced kill and to reroll a good roll. That is errata not faq, but when Gw realise how silly this rule is they will change it probably.

Clarify ‘Summary Execution: The first time an Astra Militarum unit fails a Morale test during the Morale phase' does this mean the second time the same AM unit fails morale, it ignores this rule?

Clarify ‘Summary Execution: The first time an Astra Militarum unit fails a Morale test during the Morale phase' does this mean if 2 fail morale in this same morale phase, the second one ignores this rule?

that is all for now.

The part saying “first time” is to solidify the fact that you can’t take another casualty to re-roll the re-roll. If it wasn’t there some might interpret it as “any morale test” and re-roll until they pass. At least that’s the way I see it, as the instance of ‘unit’in the sentence is referencing the unit that failed the test and they only ever have to test once for any given morale step. As for your first point, I agree, most things like this rule should not be mandatory,even if it just opens up bluffing or baiting options on the battlefield.

Except…you can't reroll a reroll anyway. You don't take extra morale tests in the same Morale phase for it to be relevant.

I'll agree with PierreG that, as written, it's either preventing the same unit from being affect by Summary Execution more than once (in the game), or the Commissar from using it more than once in the same turn. (I'd say the second, but I think both are valid readings).

Yeah, pretty much this. Commissars "may" is *deeply* unfluffy, and the cases where you wouldn't want to go for a reroll are really only the cases where you're deep in auto-fail territory in wound-count terms, which is /basically/ only conscripts. Conscripts are always going to be hard to balance, and if GW feels that the gameplay they produce is anti-fun (many models, precise positioning, weird unit shapes, very powerful in denying opponent agency etc), then it's probably a good decision to give them a hard nerf, both because it comprehensively solves the problem at hand (with a unit that's always been non-core, so isn't too concerning if it falls out of the competitive meta), and because it sends an early message to players that if they throw large amounts of money at FotM they're going to get burned, which is a good precedent to set early if they're planning on continuous balance changes.

I'd rate it as "likely" that they're conscious of the design impact and have no intention of softening the blow in a subsequent change 🙂

I suppose it would be better yet still fluffy if the commissar always shoots someone but the player decides if they want to re-roll the die.

That would be a minus 1, or the commie would be making even more casualties
I better say that in case someone from GW likes your idea and copies it into faq 1.1 😂😂

LOL would be funny if GW did that.
"Commissar must shoot someone, and then player must reroll with a +1 to the roll."

Conscripts are still very good units, they just aren't wholly immune to morale now. CSM armies run Cultists, which are essentially the same as Conscripts but don't come with any morale-ignoring abilities; just having big blocks of guys to slow the enemy down is a valuable thing.

Cultists? They are much better than conscripts! You can have them imune to morale or with LD 10 easily…you also may shoot with -1 BS at them…they can have a 5++ buff…they regenerate for 2 CPs… can either shoot with them or kit them to nice melee fighters (BS4, WS4)..

…MUCH better than conscripts now…

They also cost more than conscripts.

Cultist are 4 points a model & conscripts are 3.

Cultists are regular guardsmen but without good special/heavy weapon choices.

Guard can massively increase the survival of their conscripts as well

Yeah well, lets not talk about cultists for now, I just ran a guy over with I think it was 159 pox walkers at the final count. Yay cultists. (and no I don't own 159 pox walkers, it was 60+ a hell of a lot of zombies from zombicide who conveniently have the right sized bases)

as long as they leave my Tyranid Synapse alone. Finally it feels like i am in control my swarm instead of FEEDING on myself or LURKING to the closest terrain feature… away from the objective of course.

This was something a friend of mine was worried about at the onset of 8th based on what has gone on in sigmar.

However this nerf really makes the downgrading in sizes of the conscripts from max of 50 to 30 redundant. The commissar power was plenty strong and arguably abusable and needed a tweak but with the conscript size change I think they will need to modify it a little

I was worried about this too. It shows that if the community throws a big enough hissy fit, changes will be made. It's nice to see GW being proactive, but I hope they stop short of being reactionary.

It's not really a "hissy fit" if AM lists are still consistently coming out on top of everything else in the meta thanks to the power of enormous, cheap blocking units backed by strong firepower and excellent ally choices. If the Guard was struggling at all I might be more sympathetic to them, but with all of the major tournaments showing huge prevalence of Guard armies and them consistently taking top slots or even winning tournaments, I have no qualms about seeing them nerfed a bit.

It's not just a matter of people complaining, there is pretty extensive evidence that they simply are too strong for many armies to effectively deal with.

GW made changes to conscripts. The community didn't feel like they were enough (they are probably right against index armies). GW made additional, considerably less thought out, changes. Meanwhile codices are dropping right and left with tons of extra rules for each faction. What was OP a couple of months ago most likely isn't going to be OP by spring. This wasn't about data, not a couple weeks after a codex. This was about 40k player nerd rage. GW is obviously listening to their base, and I always thought that would be a good thing. Now I'm not so sure. Seriously, go deep in the comments on any 40k site (bar this one) and tell me that those are the people GW should be listening to.

Who says they are the people GW is listening to? I gave some nontrivial arguments as to why the Conscript/Commissar interaction did, in fact, need to change, and it's very plausible that GW is listening to their own playtesters (who have in many cases said similar things) rather than browsing internet forums. That you dismiss the entire problem as "nerd rage" while making a pile of baseless assertions doesn't say a lot about your own ability to assess the situation in any kind of objective fashion, either.

It's likely GW isn't listening to nerdrage, but I'm not sure saying that they are listening to playtesters when it's increasingly looking like the playtesting of 8th was…less…than implied really is that strong an argument either.

"Conscript/Commissar interaction did, in fact, need to change."
– It did, a couple of weeks ago. Conscript units got smaller and lost some of their ability to follow orders. This change is much broader than just Conscripts.

"GW is listening to their own playtesters."
– This is possible, but requires a level of trust in GW that I don't think they've earned. So far the playtesting claims appear to be dubious. GW threw out some names of people I respect and I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt, but it was obvious from the start that the playtesting could not have been extensive as they made it seem.

"That you dismiss the entire problem as "nerd rage" while making a pile of baseless assertions doesn't say a lot about your own ability to assess the situation in any kind of objective fashion, either."
-well, you got me there. I'm sure my past experiences with 40k players is shading my opinion. I'll admit that I've had a pretty negative interaction with the 40k community, not the TT gaming community at large, just 40k. I know there are good people that play this game, but there is an awful lot of dross. That dross is quite vocal, and an awful lot of the "good people" stay quiet when a new player shows up and gets treated poorly.

I respect your contribution to this site, but you have been a part of this community for a long time, which I think has an effect on your opinion about it. I also know that you can be a dick yourself. You were an ass to me when I first came here looking for advice on the game (although you were hardly alone). So maybe you could tone down the assumptions on how baseless my assertions are.

Disclaimer: You were also an ass to other people who we being jerks to me a fair amount of time as well.

Well when affecting any troops, the commissar should not be more effective than rallying them past the first initial decision to flee, he can make them fight past one or two casualties when they would normally run, but that's it.

In game terms, depending on unit size, he was over 10 times more inspiring than an Inquisitor, thematically I loved his rules, but the scale in which they worked was wrong, he would have been far better off with "If a unit flees within 6" of an inquisitor, he can shoot one member to allow them to reroll the test using 2D6, however, if they fail this test, he is removed as a casualty as the mob turn on him and murder him before fleeing the scene".

that would meant eh inquisitor had the brains and sense to know when to make his troops stand, but didn't always do so, and would keep the thematics in. it isn't as punchy as the original rule, but it's much less game breaking.

Thematically, Commissars absolutely should be more inspiring than an Inquisitor. That's literally the one job a Comissar has. He spends his entire life, from early childhood, learning how to inspire the troops around him, by whatever means works (Stupid Commissars shoot people. Smart Commisars make them believe in themselves. Look how rarely Gaunt and Cain actually execute their men).

Inquisitors on the other hand? There are parts of the Imperium where even the existence of the Inquisition is an urban myth. Inquistors are trained to strong willed, intelligent and capable thinkers, powerful personal combatants and investigators. They aren't about inspiring the mass of people around them.

So yeah. "Trained from birth to inspire those around him" versus "Iron willed combat detective". Inquisitors have far more personal power and are arguably much more badass, but they are FAR less capable of inspiring the troops than a commissar is.

Hmmm I play a massive amount of Dark Heresy which may colour my judgement here, but I think you have got maybe this slightly wrong.

Inquisitors are, no matter how they chose it to manifest, some of the most charismatic members of the imperium. They make decisions on a daily basis that alter the futures of billions if not trillions of lives, that kind of aptitude for decision making, and more importantly, the force of will required to see the decisions through and force others to obey their orders means that getting the best out of a bunch of imperial guardsmen is not hard.

The inquisition is also backed up by the fact it is an intrinsic part of the imperial faith, the inquisitors are the hand of the emperor, their word is the emperors word, for the faithful troops of the imperium, that's a level of persuasion that commissars just can't compete with. Consider that Space Marines invoke awe in the standard imperial folk, soldiers of god, that is nothing compared to the inquisitors, who literally are the word of god.

The simple act of being present, is probably enough in a religiously inspired troops to inspire greater degrees of heroism than a commissar can manage with years to bond with his men, it is like saying to the troops, everything you ever believed you might fight for, every day you have ever lived til now and every day you will ever live after doesn't matter, the emperor is here right now and fighting beside you.

These factors combine to mean the commissar doesn't have a chance, and that's before you take into account the inquisitor can order the commissar to do anything he likes and it must obey, likely the commissar will obey immediately out of the same religious zeal that is inspired in his men.

Commissars, even lord commissars are still just men of the level of you and I, they are at the top end of a scale of do what must be done, that we could maybe handle. Inquisitors are something far harder to understand, they aren't just the best person on the earth right now, they are the best person from a thousand earths who has been forged in eternal conflict against forces more powerful than we can comprehend.

The badass detective you are referencing, is just an acolyte.

Yeah, Dark Heresy is colouring your impression a lot. Look at Eisenhorn and Ravenor. Amberley's not particularly charismatic either. The Inquisitor (whose name I cannot remember) from the Macharius novels is the opposite of charismatic. Silas Hand pisses pretty much everyone he contacts off. Look through the old Inquisitor Game as well. They may have tight knit warbands, but that's about it.

They aren't about being charismatic. Leading men is not their job. (Cortez is an exception, but he's NOTED as an exception).

As for being an "intrinsic part of the Imperial Faith" :- Uh. No. It's not. It's literally nothing to do with the Imperial Faith. The Inquisition has no part of the Ecclesiarchy. They aren't religious icons, they aren't "the word of the Emperor" (that's the Priesthood).

In fact, many in the Imperium don't even really know the Inquisition exists exceept as a boogieman.

An Inquisitor is trained to root out heresy, or combat the daemonic. He's mentally tough enough to order an exterminatus, and rigorous enough to do what is necessary.

A Comissar is someone who was taken in by the Schola Progenium, demonstrated skills suffidient to merit being a storm trooper AND charisma high enough to be worth training as part of the Commissarriat. Commissars aren't random Imperial Guard officiers. Their entire lives are moulding them into being inspiring figures. REad Gaunt's Ghosts or Ciaphas Cain, of any of the Yarrick books.

As for "just an acolyte" :- You are aware that acolytes are potential trainee inquistors, right? Acolytes become Interrogators who become Inquistors?

And yeah, the Inquistor fights forces that are pernicious and powerful. That's his job. What about that makes you think he's better at gettting other people to stand fast? Why do you assume that "Personal capability" and "Strength of Will" equal "Charisma"?

Actually, in all seriousness, can you point to a charismatic, military-leader Inquisitor in anything published by Games Workshop or Black Library? Because other than Coteaz, I can't think of any.

Similarly, I can't think of any Inquisitors that are considered (by anyone other than themselves, which IS common) to be the voice of the Emperor. Imperial Organisations bow before the rosette, not because the Emperor speaks through the Inquisitor. Greyfax runs into that problem on Cadia when she tries to match her own belief that she's the voice of the Emperor against the reality that the literal daemon of the Emperor, Celestine, says different to her.

I think the "military-leader" stipulation is a little odd here, by that I mean, we already agree this is far from the norm for inquisitors, it is simply something they are capable of doing. i don't doubt a military genius like Yarrick is probably a better guy to have leading your army than an inquisitor, but it doesn't mean that your common as muck commissar is anything close to as good at leading men as the average Inquisitor.

"other than Coteaz" so you are saying that of the inquisitors you know of, at least one has shown that he is an excellent leader of men. Doesn't that imply to you that hang on a second I only know about a hadful of Inquisitors in this situation this one actually just led men really well miles better than an average commissar, i wonder if that means they are all good at it, holy shit LD 9 i guess they must be?

I am not sure you understand what the Rosette is, it is an instruction to imperial personnel that this person is the voice of the emperor. Inquistors do not know everything, but they are clued in enough to understand how their authority works. No shit if a Saint turns up and says something different you are going to take notice, rosette is one thing, a living saint (note she is definitely not a daemon despite what the inquisition fears) is something totally different. Yet, interestingly, Greyfax is still able to influence Celestine to a degree, would a commissar have been able to do the same? i doubt it, i think most inquisitors would struggle too.

Yeah, the one that is explictly mentioned as an exception.

Can I point out that your fluff is from the non-canon, non supported Dark Heresy, and you are trying to use it to counter the actual canon sources?

Commissars job is to inspire men. (Not lead them. Inspire them). That is not the Inquisition's job. At all. Most inquisitors don't even reveal themselves.

And yes, Celestine is a Daemon. Daemon is not the same as demon. Daemon is "spirit".

The thing you are failing to consider, is that you are talking about a few select Lord Commissar's at the very peak of their power, we are comparing an inquisitor, to a commissar. Literary references are pretty poor as an example, there's plenty of material on inquisitors influencing chaos gods and even the emperor himself but that is far from the norm, as is Yarrick.

You are right that commissars lives are spent moulding them to be leaders of men, but they are mass produced, a little cog in the imperial machine. Acolytes backgrounds include Schola Progenium, their roles include Sister of Battle (also trained in Schola Progenium). Before they even become acolytes, they may well have had training as rigorous as a commissar, they may have even been training to be a commissar. I confess I haven't read some of the books you mention, but it seems to me, you have got very much the wrong end of the stick when it comes to the average abilities of an Inquisitor, they aren't a tiny step up from acolytes. Just because they act a certain way when interacting with people, does not mean that when they want to, they can influence people to do exactly what they need.

To that end, you had better believe that if an inquisitor needs an imp guard force to stand, as does a commissar, the inquisitor is able to influence the guard better than a commissar can, better trained, more experienced, more personal power, more temporal power, personality is the only chance the commissar has, and for every nice commissar there are millions who are complete dicks.

Finally, every single games stats, say that a commissar is less charismatic than an Inquisitor. Warhammer 40k says it, Dark Heresy says it as does Rogue Trader.

I think you need to take a step back from the books and take a look at the world for a second, every planet has imp guard regiments, and all imp guard regiments have commissars and have done for millennia, this isn't some method designed to create brilliant leaders, its a method to make sure imp guard forces are a little more likely to stand in the face of scary things that no one is willing to tell them exist.

So as a final answer why do i think that Personal Capabilty and Strength of Will equal Charisma? I don't think they do, I think they are a strong indicator that you possess high levels of charisma, and i think they give you a massive ability to influence others, which when combined with Charisma, allow you to get men to do what you want, not what they want. Let's turn it around, why do you think a person who is less capable and whose strength of will is lower, is going to be able to lead men better?

You…do know that none of the three Commissars I mentioned are Lord Commisaars?

Literary references may be 'poor', but the yare damn sight better than the non-canon Dark Heresy.

You seem to think that the Inquistior is trained in every field. That's absurd. The Comissar is SPECIFICALLY trained to Inspire Men. The Inquistior is trained to evaluate and find heresy, to fight, in some cases to be a psyker….it's literally not his job to inspire the line combatants.

Just because an Inquistor is rarer does not mean he's better at the Commissar's job.

And yeah, given you are rejecting GW's actual offical sources and responding with "You should look at this non-canon source"…your argument is drek.

I don't have the wrong end of the stick. You have the wrong stick.

You say some of the acolytes may have had training as Commissars. This is absolutely true.

The Inquisitor who was trained as a Commissar has spent the last hundred years engaged in politics and scholarship. He's engaged in personal combat on behalf of his master and then later in his own right. He's necessarily a badass, with an iron will. He's also just some dude, because the Inquisition doesn't advertise unless it needs to, and shouting "Look at my Rosette" on a battlefield is not sensible.

So. He's spent 15 years of his life learning advanced combat skills and inspirational abilities. He's then spent the next hundred learning political skills. He has no place within the guard's military heirarchy (other than to tell it what to do, which isn't the same thing at all). His rosette allows him to speak in the NAME of the Emperor (not 'with the voice of'. ). He's at home amongst the mighty of the Imperium, and is able to force or cajole the Imperium's officers to do his will.

To the common man, he doesn't exist, except as a boogieman.

The Commissar, on the other hand. He's spent the same 15 years learning advanced combat training and inspirational abilities. But he's then spent the next forty actually using those abilities. He's got a known place in the Guard, and he has a specific uniform that allows him to be easily recognisied. He's well versed in the specifics of what inspires his particular regiment (because all "bad at his job" proves is that he's a bad Comissar).

To his men, he's a walking lesson in moral. He's the one that leads them into gunfire, and the one that extorts them to do better, and judges them when they fail.

He cannot interact with high officers (unless he's become a Lord Commissar), is not skilled in grand strategy, and absolutely would not be useful in the shadow war of politics and uncovering heretics.

Inquisitors and Commissars have different jobs. Even if they come from the same place (and you are correct, many Inquisitors do come from the Schola, because oddly, a school to make badasses produces badasses, whether Sisters, Storm Trooper, or Commissar), their experiences are different and their skill set is necessarily different.

A Commissar knows the words to shout to inspire 100 men, and knows how to be heard over a battlefield.

An Inquistor knows when to destroy the planet, knows the thirty names to bind Zaararkkakfjak'dkjfak the stiny, and knows how to subtly remind a planetary governor that he's always being watched.

>Conscript units got smaller and lost some of their ability to follow orders

And yet they were still making appearances at large tournaments with very big wins. Changing the Order interaction wasn't enough, because Orders weren't the fundamental problem.

>This is possible, but requires a level of trust in GW that I don't think they've earned.

And yet you _are_ willing to make the worst possible assumption about GW, that they are listening to the most awful members of the hobby. If you're going to be skeptical, your skepticism needs to cut both ways.

>I know there are good people that play this game, but there is an awful lot of dross

Well yeah, it's still the internet. But the key is, remember the internet is the internet; it's not really representative of the hobby as a whole, and it's certainly not a good basis to draw conclusions about how multimillion dollar companies operate.

>but you have been a part of this community for a long time, which I think has an effect on your opinion about it

Well sure, it would be weird if it didn't, yeah?

>And yet you _are_ willing to make the worst possible assumption about GW, that they are listening to the most awful members of the hobby. If you're going to be skeptical, your skepticism needs to cut both ways.

From my perspective, someone somewhere screwed up, either the play testers or the publishing team or whoever, there is -no- way that Take Cover should have slipped through the cracks, my guess is it was play tested, then proof readers missed a change and it was printed as is. Also take into account that this errata is more than just commissars, I've put my thoughts as to why the commissar seems so severe, when it is basically a lala w/e nerf at this juncture, but hey, they buffed the gun on the forge world super heavy tank making it the best tank now yay!

I think skepticism about GW balance team is very warranted, but at the same times, lets not ignore they write an awful lot of rules that work really well, sure there are some massive goofs (hi shadow spectres) end of the day, as long as there is no single army that always wins (Poppy in lol, Genji in hots, Red Deck Wins in MTG) that there is always some counter play and possibility for an answer to the current army meta, they managed to do pretty well when you consider the sheer amount of units that are available to balance.

So imo nerf away (not my bio titan though pls, he sucks already, messed up the sokar but good yesterday though, whose a good little bio engineered city destroying organism!!) cos I would rather see a lot of rules changes quickly as soon as a problem is discovered, than waiting an eternity for things that are clearly broken to be fixed.

I'll admit I am an asshat, I will go to tournaments with no intention of winning them, but every intention of messing with the perceived strongest most unbeatable list, just cos I can. At the end of the day, I am pretty convinced that right now, nothing beats everything (poxwalkers are probably all round the strongest strategy, but since the mirror match is just a coin flip they can never be considered that good)

"making appearances at large tournaments with very big wins." In the last 2 weeks, seriously? This isn't like you man. Either you have info you can't share, or you just really, really, dislike IG. Convincing me that 2 weeks was enough time to see if the codex changes made a difference is a hard sell.

I'm skeptical of GW based on past performance. It doesn't make sense to be skeptical both ways in the face of that history.

The last couple of years has convinced me that people on the internet are remarkably close to who they really are. I've never really been much for the "It's ok to act like a jerk on the internet" because it's the internet argument. I think what you see online is representative of the hobby as a whole and I'm tired of people giving the community a pass for it's bad behavior.

"making appearances at large tournaments with very big wins." In the last 2 weeks, seriously? Convincing me that 2 weeks was enough time to see if the codex changes made a difference is a hard sell.

I'm skeptical of GW based on past performance. It doesn't make sense to be skeptical both ways in the face of that history.

The last couple of years has convinced me that people on the internet are remarkably close to who they really are. I've never really been much for the "It's ok to act like a jerk on the internet" because it's the internet argument. I think what you see online is representative of the hobby as a whole and I'm tired of people giving the community a pass for it's bad behavior.

With regards to skepticism of GW, though, they _have_ significantly pivoted the way they write and design rules of late- that much is inarguable. So I think there is at least some credit to be given there, even if things aren't perfect.

As far as the internet goes, whether it "really" represents who people are is a philosophical point I don't care to discuss. And I'm not even arguing that it's okay to be as awful as you want on the internet with the excuse that it somehow "doesn't matter." My point was more that people feel more free to voice negative opinions there, and that the people you see on the internet are not a representative sample of the people who participate in the hobby- there is a natural tendency to magnify the voices of the most active members, even when they only constitute a very small percentage of the overall whole.

Fair enough on both points. I'm not particularly attached to Commissars either. This particular change just didn't seem that well thought out, had an effect on way more than just the problem (Conscripts), and it came so soon after another change that we don't really know if a change was still necessary. I also assume that the playtesters are working with the full set of codices, so current imbalances might be transient anyway.

As i said, to our perceptions the change was soon, take into account the lead time in publishing and distributing time, it probably wasn't.

There is no way the play testers have a full set of codices.

All their talk about testing is so much hot garbage. At best they had some half thought out list concepts. I refuse to believe they managed to develop a fully functional testing network out of nowhere even if they understood what that is.

Since I personally know half a dozen of the playtesters and know that they put in quite a lot of time (because they no longer go to tournaments, spend a lot of time in games they can't discuss, etc) I know that's not true.

MtG devotes _thousands_ of hours of playtesting to every block, and still stuff slips through. Game design is hard. Give them some credit.

It's not that I disbelieve you, but the amount of stuff that's slipped through – and yes, I agree with you that stuff slips through – implies there's a problem somewhere.

Either the playtesting didn't happen – which from your knowledge, cannot be the case – or the playtesters didn't report issues, or GW ignored the issues. Things like conscripts (and, indeed, comissars) were simply too obvious to have 'slipped through'. The player base picked up on them on day one, after all.

Keep in mind that just because the playtesters say something doesn't obligate GW to change it; after all, different playtesters will have different opinions about the game and how it should be and how different units stack up against each other. You needn't look any further than this very thread to find such disagreements about where unit power levels sit- while many people believe Conscripts are a dominant force, Andy thinks they are essentially garbage. Why would the playtesters (and rules writers at GW) be any different in this regard?

There absolutely has been stuff that I don't understand why it has slipped through- Conscripts/Commissars are one, for sure. But I also don't know the full story of who all the playtesters are and what they did, who they played against, etc, etc, etc. I think it's really premature to say "GW just fucked everything up because they didn't try" when they so very obviously did.

Yes, the player base picked up on a lot of these things pretty quickly. Keep in mind, though, there are _tens of thousands_ of 40K players, and I would hazard to guess maybe two or three dozen playtesters; three orders of magnitude will do a hell of a lot to bring flaws to light. Again, look at MtG, arguably the most heavily-playtested game in the world- they have hundreds of people spending weeks or months testing the game, extensive in-house protocols for making sure that cards aren't changed under anyone's nose, and decades of experience and theory about what makes cards good and bad- yet they still pretty regularly have to errata or ban cards for disrupting environments.

Game design is hard.

Sure, but that's why I said "GW ignored it" as one of the possibilities.

I think GW did try. I just think they shouldn't have hyped up how utterly amazingly balanced this edition was, because when compared to that, they come out looking really bad.

MTG's actually a useful comparision – sure, they have to ban and errata things. But how often? Two or three cards per set? More further down the line ,as the number of interactions increase (Urzas, I'm looking at you).

But how often have they errataed a card after a single event?

Well, I would argue that "ignoring" someone's advice is different from disagreeing with their assessment. But I guess that's really just a semantics thing, so…

>But how often have they errataed a card after a single event?

They have errata'd- and even banned- cards after ZERO events. I don't think that alone is an indictment of what they're doing- you can easily interpret it as showing that they are ahead of the game because they're already aware of the problem because of their playtesting.

(MtG arguably changes fewer rules, by errata or banning, per set than 40K does. But I don't think that any kind of numerical comparison between the two of them is meaningful, since they release product in totally different ways and their respective games don't function at all the same.)

Ignoring versus disagreeing :- True, point taken.

Cardss banned after no events :- Seriously? I haven't played MTG for awhile, is this something that's happened in the more recent blocks, or am I just forgetting something?

The point I was sort of trying to make is that Magic does indeed have a few things slip through, but it's (rare, apparently) for them to be needing to mess with the rules close to release, whereas every single released codex, and the main rules themselves, have had a week 1 errata for 40k.

At this point it is increasingly clear that the initial Indexes had little change from the external playtesting.

The Codexes may reflect that initial feedback from before release but clearly the exposure to thousands of players each desperately trying to find a way to break out of the strait-jacket of balance so they can win games has shown up some weaknesses. Those appear to be getting addressed largely in FAQ that come out with the Codex releases.

Game design is hard but fixing the inevitable problems with any game release starts with accepting that nothing this complex will ever be perfect and adopting a listening and watching attitude. That attitude change is clearly on show and is highly encouraging.

One last point; playtesting is a form of testing. I manage testing for a living and I can say that the mindset required for good testing is very nearly incompatible with the mindset required for developing a thing in the first place. Extremely few people can do both well – the move to external play testing was a very good idea. Unfortunately even using independent power players has its drawbacks, they are not professional testers and I sometimes think I can see where they may have missed things as a result of that lack of training and experience. That is not meant to be a criticism of those people, nobody said they were trained test professionals and it would be unfair to expect it of them, it is just an observation.

Heh, I had a feeling you probably knew some. I feel bad for the playtesters, because GW talked big about it and raised expectations. This is a mammoth undertaking that should have been done primarily in house, and should have been given way more resources. I appreciate what those players have given up to try to make a better game. My frustration is with GW, not the testers. GW touts free rules, then gives you a portion of the core rules for free. They say extensive playtesting, but a brief look at the index reveals they are nowhere near internal balance. If GW could just be up front about what they are doing, at least some of us would be more patient and understanding. Instead they keep overselling things and pissing people off.

In-house is how GW had done their previous playtesting, and I think the evidence was pretty overwhelming that they simply couldn't handle that. There just aren't that many good players working for GW, or players with the right mindset to test a rules system to breaking. They _had_ to move things out of house if they wanted to raise the bar on the game's balance.

Problems with balance don't mean there wasn't any playtesting- as I said above to Alastores, even heavily-playtested games like MtG, Overwatch, etc, have things slip through the cracks.

The biggest problem with in house playtesting is that if everyone tends towards the same 'approach' to the game, you miss huge chunks of what could happen. GW was really, really poor for this before. Their internal playtesters all approached the game the same way, and valued things the same way. The rest of the world really just didn't – see the difference in value they and we placed on Plasma pistols.

Barring the pro-infantry bias, which is likely a deliberate choice, this doesn't seem to be as big of a deal this time, so at least having different types of playtesters is helping.

Don't get me wrong. I do not doubt someone played test games. I do doubt that feedback came back with any kind of useful system or was processed by the developers in a meaningful way once it arrived. Yes, game design is hard. I also work with people every day who design and build hermetically sealed pumps for things like rocket fuel that would ignite at air contact or boiling hot corrosives. They don't drip a little bit because it is hard to design or build that.

GW gets treated like toddlers for trying. But they are the titan of the industry with more resources with anyone else and they certainly didn't hold back with their boasts of what this edition would be.

The impression I get is that instead of doing testing in house and then outsourcing the fine points, they just punted the entire project. Probably because they don't know how to do it themselves. I think the "extensive" was relative. Compared to what they've done in the past, this is extensive.

Infinity spoils you. CB playtests the shit out of their rules and they were clever enough to set up the tournament system and army builder to let them mine player data. GW can't compete with that, not yet anyway.

Infinity is for sure a better-tested game than 40K; Malifaux and WMH also. But even then, with all the work they do, all three of those games have models that are pretty universally understood to be too powerful as well as abilities whose text allows weird loopholes or is self-contradictory. I love Infinity, but 2E was a clusterfuck, and Malifaux 1E likewise.

I hope GW gets wise to the data opportunity though. Sure, a list builder and tournament system won't catch everything, but it will give you a significant sample to judge.

Hopefully it won't take GW ten years to get 40k sorted like it did for Malifaux and Infinity.

Infinity spoils you is very true. It is astonishingly hard to deal with GW's nonsense after that. Yes, other systems aren't perfect either. And yes they used to be worse. But say Infinity second Edition was just that. The second edition of an outsider game with little resources. They stuck the landing at the third try.
This isn't some new experiment. We are in the 8th edition of this nonsense. Created by a company with the means to do virtually anything the competition does without any trouble.

That they don't data mine is a whole different story but then they were proud about not even knowing who their audience is so baby steps I guess.
I still think the tester got thrown those Index Lists, had a chance to weed out the absolutely murderously worst offenders and had the rest of the data ignored because the guys in charge don't know what to do with it. And from how they usually handle things I'd put money on them developing the Codices up from that with even less input.

Well i'm sure you will agree I argued as strongly as anyone that I thought that they were junk and didn't really rate them, the fact that I personally could rip them to pieces and was actually happy for my opponent to spend as much as they liked on conscripts and commissars doesn't really matter.

I think GW have taken more the line that they want LD to be a thing, and possibly regret giving so many get out of jail free cards as far is it concerned to the armies, lets's look at what Leadership scores actually mean to units first of all, units with 5 members.

10 – Necrons. You will fight to the last man, it will take something specifically scary wiping out the other 4 members of your squad in one turn for there even to be a chance that you will run.
8 – Space Marine. If you lose more than half your squad, it might be time to consider falling back, if not, fight to the last man.
6- Cultists. One person getting killed is enough to cause concern, losing half your squad it's fleeing time.
4- Conscripts – If anyone dies, there's a good chance people run.

Historically 10% casualties on an army is enough to rout it, even the most battle hardened elite forces flee at 30% casualties. That gives you a clue of what the games are trying to represent, obviously its intended to take some artisitic liscense, but cultists and conscripts should be running the second they meet any kind of resistance.

Now how do the rules work for different armies?

T'au Bonding Knife Ritual: Essentially, A slightly weird one, it reduces the amount who run, cos of weird religious beliefs, fair enough really, religion has always been a great reason to fight. It's also a good buff, but only roughly equivalent to +1 LD interacts with the rules really well, is thematic, great rule.

Tyranid Synapse: We don't run because we are mind slaves to a far greater being, oh wait oh my god where did the great mind being go?!?! ARGHGHGGHGHGH RUN. Thematically, its brilliant, rules wise, it needs a tweak or two, issue one, the synapse creatures are over costed, issue two, some of them can't be picked out and targeted, and as long as that's the case you are going to have go through every single minion creature first, thematically it's fine, but system wise it doesn't work, this rule only works when every synapse creature can be killed, so there is some risk/reward in taking huge 30man troops.

Orks Mob Rule: Fantastic, epitomising the most human of traditions, we aren't scared because there are loads of us, it works beautifully both thematically and the system, a super psychically enhanced mob that is totally immune until it suffers enough casualties to scare it.

Imp Guard we only lose one: Utterly terrible, it doesn't scale with casualties inflicted, its not thematic it makes no sense, sure if this was the effect on a warlord titan I think it would be fine, having a machine that can quite literally crush an army with one stomp it's fine, but from a commissar, whois in facr, considerably less scary than an inquisitor? nope. Commisars power level is around the 1 less flees than should level, let alone the effect it has on game balance.

So in that sample I'd say we heave one superbly written special rule, one spectacularly bad one, one that's very nice bit of thematic writing but doesn't do that much, and one that is really nicely thought out and just needs a little polish to be better, roughly along the lines of, you can be synapse if you want but lose char while you are. That's not bad for writing rules really, even the commissar is cool thematically, just wrong in terms of power level.

I think here, you need to understand a few things:

1) what is good for the game.

These nerfs are actually not enough, to fix the issue, they need to continue with the tyranid book to nerf the way synapse works, and finish off with nerfs to the pistol and any remaining ways to guarantee you pass morale checks, unless in a case such as Deathwing terminators, they really mean you to auto pass. Until they do so, leadership is just a mechanic that means sometimes you lose an extra model or two. Whilst that is the case, the -massive- amount of units that can do things to leadership and care about leadership are utterly pointless. So I hope they will wait a bit, drop the Tyranid codex and finish off the run making sure that leadership is something that matters in 40k.

Essentially, it should be on you to deal with the issues created by low LD troops, not a requirement that your opponent kill off the model in your army that makes you immune.

2) The amount of time it takes to make rules

For the public, the Imp Guard Codex is a few weeks old, in reality it's likely been set in stone for over 2-3months, just the time required for publication and distribution means that the product has to be signed off way before. Compare that to errata, which takes them I would guess than a day to implement once they are sure. It can't escape your notice that after each craftworld was released, it got greeted with, k w/e right up til the last one. It messed with leadership or minor survivability who cares it's meaningless, no one can run an army that stacks -6 LD roll two dice pick the highest, because all that investment is pointless vs guard and nids. It's likely that as they were writing the imp guard codex and the Eldar codex they really came to understand how bad the LD issue was, and just as likely tyranids being written at the same time they see the same thing.

3) Making money

They are not going to drop the errata on the imp guard codex the second it's released, it's financial suicide, hyping people up getting people enthusiastic with huge buffs to russes and regiment rules, is not going to work well if you drop the rules oh yeah btw we nerfed your infantry into paste. Welcome to the modern world, businesses do what they need to make money and care zero about a consumer who will almost certainly buy their product anyway.

I think here, you need to understand one thing. Based on previous rants and your lack of respect for the people you respond to, I am not even going to take the time to read your post.

He has a point. You start from the point of view that you are automatically right, and then move goal posts and ignore what people are saying.

New comment system is weird.

This is massive nerf to IG generally. I don’t think there’s any chance of this being reversed, it’s express purpose was to stop a codex that was quickly becoming dominant. Now nearly the only viable IG build will be leman ruses.

I don’t get ogryn bodyguard nerf. This was never a problem, they seemed to institute the change just because there was a BOLS article about it.

No new comment system, it looks like IntenseDebate had a brief outage so the site fell back to the standard WordPress comment system. Are things back to normal for you now?

The worse thing about this game for some time has been the community, particularly as it exists on the internet. If GW is just going to blindly follow the 40k internet community then this will not end well.

Yes, I appreciate the irony of making the comment on this site. The reason I come here is that 3++ is leaps and bounds above other 40k focused sites.

Ld 9 is only lord commissar. And he is pricey as hell. Also, he will still not give you benefits for your infantry squads…its better to buy another squad than to take him.

There are other places to get ld buffs.
‘Summary execution’ rule is the problem. It is always bad, the average result is always worse, and it is the commies Only unique rule.

>pricey as hell

That is cheaper than every single HQ option in almost all of the factions playable right now.

Sure, but Inquisitors are in a different faction and have some issues of their own (namely, upgrading to a psyker is currently free, a fact that is likely to change when they get a codex release.)

But that wasn't the argument. The argument is that Lord Commissars are expensive, which they most certainly are not. The Leadership bubble they provide is still useful (though it's not necessarily the only or best option available to the army) and they are still a relatively-cheap option to fill an HQ slot while still bringing something else to the table.

You don't take a Lord Commissar to fill an HQ slot. You take them to fill a role. A role which they are now bad at. For a unit with such marginal utility they are expensive, since they are 60% more points than the Company Commander (or the regular Commissar if they were still good at their job). So in the context of Guard, he is expensive.

Well actually, the AdMech Enginseer is just 52 points.

But yeah, the lower end of the spectrum for sure.

Can we acknowledge that the elite commissar’s ld 8 bubble makes heavy weapons teams immune to morale?

Special weapon teams get a great buff too. On their own these units risk models running away with even a single casualty.

From the chatbox:
Uberbeast9000: "if I field nothing but tempestus Scions in a GSC army then would they gain the regimental bonus for scions. it only says blood brothers cant get a regiment bonus"


Heh. I wouldn't anticipate that particular loophole surviving the release of Codex: Genestealer Cults, but it's certainly arguable for now.

Did not get FAQ/Erattad: Relic of Lost Cadia.

Clearly you are meant to use it as-is to troll Chaos.

You are, you only pick relics when you already know the army you face in tournaments, this needs to be changed obviously, but lets give them a few weeks to implement it. Armies are going to need to decide what relics they take and what CP they spend on relics in the army creation step, rather than before battle, after all it's pretty preposterous to think an army is running around with all these things and just brings the specific ones it wants to a given battle.

Relic is still amazing in general, put it on a tank commander or pask and now your tanks can take crush them into dust whilst re-rolling 1's of hits and wounds

Hey that's a good list of suggestions to help if commissars stay broke!

You missed one: Play Iyanden! They kidnapped all the good commisars for their army!!

Err, be careful just bandying the word heretic around, it was fine when we had Commissars in charge, they just shot you. The inquisitors use you as flesh puppets for their bound daemons.

I actually quite like the idea that Commissars are only useful in a certain Morale range. It's like there's a tipping point where the troops are more scared of the enemy than the Commissar. Shooting people might help keep the cowards in line, but it's a terrible way to try to stop a mass panic.

The wording of "The first time…" is definitely way more ambiguous than it should be, though. Interpretations range from it applying the first time each turn for each unit, all the way through to the first time per game (and then never again). Since that's going to have to get reworded, we might see them stepping back from mandatory execution and reroll as well. (But I personally hope not.)

"I actually quite like the idea that Commissars are only useful in a certain Morale range. It's like there's a tipping point where the troops are more scared of the enemy than the Commissar."

I'd agree if you were right but the summary execution rule is now always bad. If you can get LD from any other source and there are lots of sources then the Commissars aren't useful in any morale range.

For the record, I did the maths, and the new Summary Execution rule is strictly a drawback – it results in same-or-more expected casualties for any given LD test.

The ideal situation is if you pass the LD test on a 3 or less – in which case, the Comissar reroll merely doesn’t make things worse.

The LD bubble does mean the Comissar reduces casualties on net, but since LD bubbles (and non-awful rerolls) are plentifully available from other sources, I can’t see any reason to ever take comissars in a list.

For all units, or just for conscripts? And is it taking into account the Commisar's positive effect on Leadership? (With conscripts, for example, and assuming you're deep enough that you auto-fail the test, the reroll is irrelevant and the net effect of a Commisar is three fewer casualties, I believe?)

No you see nEli is talking about the one unique rule commies have, summary execution. The ld buff is good, but can be got elsewhere.
The maths show summary execution makes things worse, so the only unique thing commies give your army is making More units flee battle. Did GW realise this? Nah prolly not

Yes as I stated, it does reduce casualties on net, but spending 30 points on a commissar to save 9 points of conscripts is.. not worthwhile.
You can get an LD9 bubble from a 55 point Inquisitor (15 points over a Primaris Psyker) and save 15 points of Conscripts – a much better buy. (For LD10 there's Greyfax – or take it to 11 with the "Inspiring Leader" rulebook Warlord trait)
You do need to split the Inquisitor out to a separate detachment – for example, the one you're taking Celestine in.
(ps, my first attempt at commenting got eaten, trying again as a guest)

I mean, if you only take one morale check per battle, sure, not worth 🙂

(And sorry, misread your comment, you're right that you already did the math there and I missed it.)

In the list of work-arounds, don't forget the 'Fight to the Death' stratagem. For 1CP you get to take a Morale test on D3 rather than D6, which will at least reduce the losses a squad takes especially when combined with the Commissar's leadership bubble.

I've seen a much more sensible suggestion for Commissars – 'If a unit fails a morale test within 6" of a Commissar, you may remove one model in that unit as a casualty, If you do, the unit counts as having rolled a '1' for morale.'

Yeah, that would more consistently viable as an option while almost never being detrimental.

On the other hand, the Imperium fucking everything up because they are a bit too kill-happy is an amusing image.

"I can't understand it, sir. The commissars are blowing our men's brains out left, right and centre, but somehow that hasn't improved morale!"
"Hmm. Do you think we should reverse that decision?"
"Well . . ."

Bit saddened by the change to the tallarn doctrine and dagger, rather enjoyed outflanking tank commanders. Any ideas on best thing to outflank now?

Baneblade chassis is 4+ to hit if it's Tallarn, not sure there is any way to justify it over just rolling it up the middle as Vostroyan. In fact, I am pretty certain if you do the math, they are just impossible to field over Leman russes in both firepower and resilience unless Vostroyan.

I think the best way to use the strategy now is to shift your normal defensive screening units into an aggressive posture when you think the enemy army allows it. Lets say you have an army that contains within it a Bullgryn screen and a couple of psykers to buff them. None of these units benefit from being any regiment so it is safe to dump them into a supreme command Tallarn Detachment, perhaps you have a super heavy tank you field too and maybe a third psyker, maybe a tank commander, all that matters is that you have units with the tallarn keyword.

When you come up against an army that wants to sit back and shoot too, you can use either the stratagem, or the relic, to allow you to take a far more aggressive posture with the bullgryn, the 2++ save from Take cover + psychic, will ensure that enemy fire directed at them will be very ineffective.

how much this gains you really depends on your opponents skill, if he is good your bullgryn will get charged by a T7+ tank and just made to fight for the rest of the game, while he slowly shifts his force away or they will be offered sacrifial squads to chew through, if your opponent isn't top tier or you make your 9" charge then you can have pretty good fun with your normally hard to commit melee unit.

I don't think as a strategy, building an army around either strategy has been effective even before the nerf, I might be wrong, maybe something I didn't consider, but in a straight up fight to test it, a deep striking stormlord lost to a vostroyan super heavy that deployed behind a screen.

Its a poorly made FAQ. One thing is to nerf the commi, the other is to totally destroy the unit…

…sseriously, this hurts infantry squad a LOT!!! And that was not needed at all…they could just FAQed the Raw Recruits ability the conscripts have to adress all the players who played against hordes of conscripts…

I don't see this a a problem. If a unit loses 14 models they are going to have a very hard time greatly reducing casualties from fleeing anyway. If its a "must have" unit, then they are better served using the strategem that autopasses the check.

As for the Valhalan swap, if you aren't using Valhalan models, and the entire army is painted the same yet different detachments are using different rules, thats a level of gamesmanship that violates the integrity of the game IMO.

You could easily just say that your conscript troops, which are prisoners and thus separate from the rest of your army, come from a Valhallan planet (fluffy), and equipped like the rest of your army. You could say that they were trained differently, specifically to not run away, because they are not standard soldiers and are likely to have morale issues.
Saying it violates the integrity of the game is comical. Nobody is going to throw their 30, 50, 60 conscript blob into a vat of paint stripper to repaint them because of an FAQ rules change, but people might want their units to be viable. If you're not willing to play with people who don't paint their units according to their detachments then fine, good luck finding games, but in the context of competitive play (where what matters is doing what the rules say and you are trying to bring a strong army), and friendly play (where I don't demand people repaint their models because an FAQ change butchered the way his/her army was originally set up), it's perfectly fine to creatively swap detachments to try to get an army that works the way you want it to.

True, but I'd be pretty annoyed at an opponent that fielded three regiments that all looked exactly the same. At least make sure there's a visual distinction. You don't have to paint them in GW's Own Colour Scheme (because that's just stupid), but…..don't be confusing. Which is pretty easy already for Guard.

I'm not advocating that anyone strip their army. I am saying that the original article implies it doesn't take much to put valhalans into the army, just make a new detachment and ad a character or two. It implies that the author is saying to use the models you already have but divide them into different detachments with different faction special rules. Its legal technically, but I would have an issue if my opponent had multiple rule sets, maximizing efficacy while having everything painted the same way.

The OP made a brainstorm list of ideas, but how// if they are implemented is up to players. Nobody said it was going to be easy to change and nobody said paint them all the same

Or you can just put a white dot on the rim of the base of those troops. It's pretty easy to differentiate sensibly while being painted the same.

Hi Finley – it's just a list of ideas for people who are affected by these changes. It wouldn't be complete without including 'Consider playing Valhallan'.

Some players might just re-brand their units, and others might go the whole way with modifying models with cloaks or trench coats, scouring ebay for old OOP models, repainting their cadians or basing their troops on ice.

The latter approach is far better, but as long as the models are clear to the opponent the former shouldn't violate the integrity of the game.

Yes this exactly. I’d like to live in a magical world where I have infinite time to hobby and paint but in the real world where I have a job and responsibilities you’re going to have to settle for some squad markings to differentiate regiments.

While I do think the nurf is a little harsh I'm pleased with the FAQ. I don't think it's too unreasonable either. If you go a lord commie than its more than reasonable with the warlord trait. It will have the same overall effect as the commie did before the nurf, oh no now guard players now have to make a hard choice instead of the auto includes before the nurf. Is it realy too much to ask a competative play to chose if they want there conscript meat shield for the shadowsword to remain as a meat shield or do you want all close to your warlord to have those rerols. This I'm sure will get reworded again but I hope it effectively does the same thing.

Stormlord-centered builds are going to be the better way to run Guard, simply because there's no bad loadout for them and their passengers (save maybe Scions). Between the amount of Anti-infantry and Anti-tank you can shoehorn into that tank, and the selection of Regiments that work well with them (especially Catachan & Vostroyan), you can do a lot with a Stormlord in your list.

I am not sure this is true any more.

1) The change to Take Cover means that you are back to paying 450pts for a tank that may well die on turn 1. (6+ from Celestine is not great as an anti tank defence)

2) -2 to hit is a thing and it only hits on 4's unless you commit another 100 pts to a support vehicle forcing you to make it Vostroyan.

3) The other super heavy tanks that carry slightly less have much better main armaments, and are cheaper. When you are fielding a super heavy tank, you really want a good anti tank armament.

4) Leman Russes are really good and also T8 can strike and shroud, point for point they have the Stormlord seriously outgunned and way more wounds (21 Plasma shots @ S8 -3 2 vs 20 @ S6 -2 2).

That said, a Vostroyan Super heavy tank does make a really nice screen vs assault if loaded up with Heavy Flamers and lascannons

As someone getting back into the game after a long hiatus this FAQ is pretty much a punch in the gut. How is anyone supposed to build an army when GW is going to just randomly invalidate multiple units?

This isn’t some online game where I can just use something different, learn a couple of new tactics and carry on. It takes a long time to paint even a modest number of conscripts (say 60)and suddenly they’re garbage because people on the internet whined about them. This is no way to grow a game.

And that’s not even getting into some of the other items from the FAQ that feel like straight nerfs albeit more minor ones than conscripts/commisars.

There are so few events or games where what your models are painted as matters, everyone is in the same boat, if you go to an official games workshop event ya, you need wysiwyg and proper paint jobs (mainly cos 1/4 of your score comes from painting) . Play vs anyone else they will be fine with it.

It is better to have them actually willing to nerf things, than their old model which is power creep through the roof that just makes things garbage the second a new codex comes out.

This is going to make building up armies a pain. And I think it will backfire. People will be pissed they put so much work in something they then can't use like they thought.

Hmmm you seem to be under the impression this is the first change like this? lets look at the history of conscript/commissar interaction:

Indexes drop, commissar conscript interaction is good, top tier, probably the second best screening unit in the game.

Horrors are nerfed, making conscripts seem stronger, they are in fact still slightly worse as a screen than horrors.

Codex Space marines – Conscripts face a challenge for best imperium troop unit by scouts

Codex Chaos space marines – cultists take over from horrors, the many deep strike threats has by now already forced conscripts to be if not worse, only on par with scouts as a means to stop assault armies.

Codex Grey knights – confirms strike squads places as the single best imperium troop choice, relegating conscripts once and for all to the screening role.

Codex Death Guard – Unleashes the poxwalker army that forever consigns conscripts to be never played at a tournament level, doing so means you face a matchup you instantly lose as all your weak infantry get turned into zombies. As of yet there is no nerf to this army.

Codex Adeptus Militarum – conscripts are nerfed despite already falling behind other troops, in the aftermath, but no one cares, because the buffs to russes give you an answer to the infantry horde armies anyway, and everything is much cooler so who cares. Also the stratagem of doom appears, rip game balance.

Codex Eldar – -2/-3 to hit army rears it's ugly head, we are now faced with so many incredibly polarising armies, that mean the meta is in for a massive shake up.

Errata must come out to fix the Take Cover! strategy that has quite rightly taken over army building as -every- army that can tries to find a way to include a single guard detachment. As well as fixing the Brood Brothers (who were considerably stronger than pure imp guard armies, they were just imp guard + decent assault troops).

You are quite right, right now is not a time to go buy models for an army based on their power level, nor is it time to go be buying books that you will use as the basis of the rules, if games workshop want me to buy any more books, they will have to refund me for the ones I bought already, PDF time.

However, the game is getting more and more balanced, there is no "one army to rule them all". Armies are now at the stage that going unbeaten is about a) being skillful b) being lucky and c) just not facing anyone playing an army that crushes you just moderately well. I have faith that the monster that is the pox walker army will get smacked with the beat stick it deserves, with some rule like "no unit can ever contain more than double the models it started the game with". or "no unit may contain more than 60 models" and that to me is worth more than the annoyance that my shiny imp guard code is pretty worthless to me.

Right now is no time to buy books or models. Gotcha. Couldnt agree more. Okay you think it gets more and more balanced and hope it turns out good. I think it is turning into a clusterfuck that will crash and burn. In the end we both only got the hope a system there you can actualy plan and build an army comes out at the other end.

Did you play in 7th Edition? Because compared to that, the situation we have right now is an idlyllic paradise of calmness and balance.

The game isn't going to "crash and burn" because Conscripts were nerfed. They were too powerful, everyone knew they were too powerful, and GW did something about it. There's absolutely nothing to be surprised about there.

I quit 7th Edition but that means I played it so yeah. That's not saying anything though. That's like saying they got the temperature under control, have you been in the sun?!
And it's not about the conscripts. It's about a massive relaunch that is already turning into an absolute sea of special rules and about releasing premium product books that aren't even valid long enough to finish shipping to some people. I just think they don't deliver anything nearly close to what they hype and the same people who got burned 7th will not come back if it happens to them again. Well, some will. I'm one of those idiots who never seems to get away after all.

Fun Fact: The Death Korps and Elysian Commissars (page 64 and 73) were nerfed, but the Death Rider Commissar (page 66) managed to gallop away with his bolt pistol intact and keep full-fat rules.

It looks like they might need to update the FW FAQ too 😀

And unfortunately, with up to 15 smite-spamming Malefic Lords showing up on tables around the world, FW took the time to update the rules as follows:

Page 83 – Malefic Lord, Keywords
Add ‘<Chaos Covenant>’.


That was a while back with the first FAQs – when malefic lords everywhere wasn't really a thing, and people were more bombarding them over all the stupid stuff that just didn't work, rather than the OP stuff.

I very much doubt Forge World rules writers and Games workshop rules writers work in a vacumn, I'd assume at very least there is some communication if they are not the same people.

There is an element of many forge world rules that implies to me different people wrote them, but that was at a time everything needed rules by a set date, as the rules writers have less and less to do I would expect them to go back and fix some of these issues.

I still expect a global change to smite, I have mentioned before that if zoanthropes came in units of 1, then you would have a go to top tier army, which is because the smite rules are terrible. From a rules writing perspective, the power is intended as a back up when your psykers power is of no use, and when you only have 3 powers to use that occurs often, now that factions have between 6 and 12 powers you will see smite heavily nerfed it simply isn't fulfilling the roll it's intended to.

I know that FW rules were, in the past, written by a completely different crew. However, I am told that the lead writer for them passed away recently, which has left things in complete chaos, which may explain why stuff is such a mess for them. It's quite plausible that GW will step in (or send someone in) to take over the rules writing for them in the near future, or already has and we simply haven't seen the release of any of their work yet.

(I think Smite is intended to be a little more than a "backup" power, as it's the primary attack power in the game. For most psykers in the game, it is balanced just fine- it's only the uber-cheap ones like Primaris Psykers and Malefic Lords where it is a problem. No one hates the 110pt Chaos Sorcerer casting Smite, only the 30pt guy.)

One thing I will say for Forge World, there is a lot of flavour in some of the rules, really bringing models to life and making me want to play them (even if the rules are not great, I still it is cool).

And you are totally right, that on expensive models smite does seem balanced, which is because the models are over costed, most characters while being very cool, are simply not worth fielding, they don't do enough and are way too easy to kill. But I don't think it's the primary attack power.

Deathguard as an example I run with 3 psykers in, Necrosius, Typhus and Mortarion. Do I want all these psykers? not really no, but I don't really have any other choice (with the exception of Mortarian), they are my only points efficient options, they are the only HQ's I want to take in my entire force. That gives me 6 psychic power casts and 7 known powers. So we know i'm almost certain to cast some smites.

The only reason that the original smite rules are still needed is about to get its codex, nids. With an average of 2-3 Hq all casting 1-2 psychic powers, it is very often in 'nid armies that you have casts you cannot use, because all psychic powers are cast and you can't cast smite twice. If they have 6 powers to pick from, that will be the end of that, their HQs are too expensive and their troops way too good for you take be taking HQs when you can take troops.

It was a good rule for the game (aside from it's abuse) but it isn't needed any more, and because of its abuse, it now needs to be severely restricted.

Whilst i am very much in favour of the faq, i have to ask, how on earth a book that costs £25 went to print with such a massive amount of obvious errors. It's now close to useless as a rules book, in fact i'd go as far to say as it is useless, without the errata you simply cannot play the game using it.

Make no mistake, we are paying for a premium luxury item, I have sent back every single sprue with even the slightest flaw, simply because it is unacceptable quality not to. The issue is the astra Militarum book is now utterly useless to me. I paid for a book that allowed me to use my units, and now, 90% of the contents of the book do not work as described.

I actually decided there was no way they would not errata things so didn't purchase any imp guard stuff, which is good news for me, given how i sevrely doubt any imp guard army is viable in face of eldar now.

Furthermore, as i have said repeatedly, conscripts were very beatable, you had to understand how the game worked, and know how to game your assault units (yes its weird to have a unit charge then spend it's time microing around the back of people, not very cinematic) but unless they change the assult rules that will always happen. Now imp guard are just utterly screwed. I feel pretty much obliged to go double psyker Bullgryn just to provide something of a melee shield.

I think the Commissar still has utility for 10 man infantry squads (but not so much for Conscripts and I just don't care). The math-hammer is a little tricky here so I'm not certain I've got this right. If anything I'm underestimating the chance of a backfire but I'd appreciate the check.

Casualties: Chance of Failing Morale: Chance of Commissar re-roll backfire

1: NA: NA
2: NA: NA
3: 1/6: 1/36
4: 1/3: 1/4
5: 1/2: 1/3
6: 2/3: 7/18
7: 5/6: 21/36
8: 6/6: 3/4
9: squad wipe regardless

So your commissar has more odds of hindering you past 7 casualties than helping, but at that point you're probably buggered anyway. With a "may reroll" keyword FAQ he would obviously be more helpful.

He can still add cheap value to cheap bubblewrap without giving up a command squad slot, you just need to use 10 man inf squads instead. Obviously for Mordia and Catachan this isn't so relevant and you'd need a Lord Commissar to matter.

I don't think you're underestimating the chance of backfire (if anything, you may be overestimating – I get 1/12 for the odds of 4 casualties being worse with summary execution). However, chance of backfire is only half of the picture: you also need to consider the odds of commissar actually doing something to improve the situation (with summary execution, anyway). For example, 3 casualties: 1/36 chance of double 6s to kill more than normal doesn't sound too bad. However, if you fail morale (1/6 chance of 1 guy dying), the commissar will then kill 1 guy, to probably pass the morale test. i.e. You're introducing a 1/36 odds of something worse happening, for 35/36 odds of literally nothing changing, all for a cost of 31 pts.

On average, I get the following:
Dead: Average morale losses ld 8: Average morale losses commissar:

30.17 0.19

So, commissar is consistently either worse, or exactly the same (4 and 5 dead). Calculations essentially based on average casualties on a reroll averaged with the chance of failure. Doesn't take into account 'everybody's dead' though, or look at chances of commissar's helping vs same vs not helping, just an average. But…that doesn't really look at all useful. (NB: Ld8 buff is better even with summary execution until you get into auto fail territory. But as previously mentioned, there are better sources of ld buffs).

Gah, what did you do to my formatting? Apparently comment section doesn't like copy/paste from Excel…

Dead: Average morale losses ld 8: Average morale losses commissar:

1 0 0
2 0 0
3 0.17 0.19
4 0.5 0.5
5 1 1
6 1.67 1.78
7 2.5 2.92
8 3.5 4.5
9 4.5 5.5

(Hopefully that's legible enough now)

Okay, I don't even care about the exact changes but this is not feasible. 40k armies aren't made of pixels. It was already ridiculous you couldn't rely on your book not being replaced after just a year but this makes any planning of an army impossible. At this point what you wanted to build for might be invalidated before you are even done glueing the first minis you ordered, much less having finished or god forbid started painting.
This whole edition felt a whole lot like Games Workshop flailing about and making a mess because they realised they need to swim but decided to keep designers who don't know how. And this is just more proof of that. And if they put rules that are not tested enough to not need replacement within weeks in books then their new system of giving every rule its own name, even if it is the same rule as another will blow up in their face. They'll have to release a spreadshit just to fix something like the million new versions of Feel no Pain if that ever comes up.

Yeah we’re only roughly six months in and this is a total shit-show. Rules-materials bloat is already about as bad as it was towards the end of 7th with chapter approved due in December guaranteed to make more changes and Codexes getting completely overhauled inside of a month.

How the hell are you supposed to build an army like this?

I'm painting Infinity and waiting till this mess exploded and they get someone with some sense in charge. Which may not happen. Well, the second bit. I'm pretty sure the first will. As you say it is already an absolute mess.

K, so, what your saying is, you don't want to play GW games anymore, and even thought they make a step in the right direction of making sure rules imbalances are dealt with, you would rather play something else that may or may not be any more balanced?

Sure. That is absolutely what you could read from my post. If you don’t speak english or know what words mean.

I'm in a sort of lucky state in between armies right now. Building up a Genestealer Cult and got a massive SoB army incoming. I'm gonna admit I regret the Kickstarter for those now because I have zero trust I'lll get them and have a playable game for them. I'll build the Cult right from the start so that it can also function in Warpath if needs must. Not that I'd be happy with that.
My previously active Necron army is sold so I am pretty much forced to sit out the first issues anyway. But as things currently look I got to admit that feeling of just having nothing tied to their spasming flailing is a pretty nice feeling. It won't last though, I'll get those Sisters now if I want or not so I'll hope for the best.
Mind you "the best" I hope for is either an "Uncharted Empires" for Warpath or this bollocks Edition crashing within a year and GW miraculously hiring someone who can write rules. Not exactly great chances but hey it's a Sisters army, they pray and stuff.

meh blob are way too powerfull if they have a way to get behind the moral test, nerf was totally justified, they should had not nerfed large blast in first place (just remove blast and redesigned it). Also not let you remove model where you want but always in front….. Those 2 changes from 7th basically buffed to stratosphere any blob army

Hey! let's not forget that the commissar is also stopping all those primaris psykers from killing all your own troops, given how many of those you need to spam in your smite battery, he is still useful!

Stop making a logic argument please. Everyone knows GW are shit now for trying to do a good job and for screwing over Waac players. Next thing we know you will try and tell us how a commie can still help 5-10 man units. I mean conscripts being so iconic with IG every guard player out there would probably only have a few non conscript units, what are they to do with all there useless conscript models. With any luck with all this rage quitting going on I'll be able to pick up an army with just a few tears for payment

My friend just found out another way you can avoid morale checks in a post commissar nerf era:

"The Dead Walk Again" Death Guard Stratagem.

The 15th Catachan Hussars are now 100% immune to all morale checks. Unfortunately they now serve the whims of Tychus so I wouldn't call it an unqualified success on his part. Also, sucks that they seem to lose their +1 S as zombies, pretty sure this is a direct nerf to catachans.

Whilst we are on the subject of rules changes and errata, in recent games we had a couple of queries come up:

1) Tychus is both Deathguard and Heretic Astartes can he roll on both boon tables and can he stack the boons, since they aren't actually the same boon?

2) When a char is turned into a Daemon prince, and placed on the table in the fight phase, since they can be placed within 1" of the enemy, can they then fight in the fight phase even though they were just created from a model that fought? It seems kind of weird that they can I mean they were exalted into their new form, but tit says they were slain, and it doesn't say this model can't fight so he sort of seems to be allowed to.

3) Can we use newly created pox walkers to daisy chain across the board and get off a turn 1 charge? There doesn't seem to be any restriction at all in where they are placed, I would have been quite easily able to place models already in combat with enemy troops and totally ignore over watch if I wanted (I didn't cos I wanted the charge to get them further across the map), I had 47 pox walkers by the fight phase on turn 1, 78 by the time the pox walkers fought, and 121 when the dust settled. We also wondered if the newly placed pox walkers who hadn't charged could still fight in the fight phase, I mean, they could be placed in 1" of enemies, and easily placed within 1" of a pox walker who was within an inch.

1. He can roll on both Boon tables, but as the two stratagems have the same name, I do not believe you can activate them both in the same turn. Whether he can stack two bonuses to the same characteristic is somewhat more unclear; I would be inclined towards allowing it, as many of the boons have different names.

2. It's weird, but they totally can. It is explicitly a new model added to your army and not the same model that was slain, so they are eligible to be selected to fight.

3. I think the most reasonable interpretation would be that when you add new models to the unit, you have to place them all simultenously- so all of the new models would need to be within coherency of the existing models in the unit. This could potentially allow you to "chain" into combat if you had several sequences of placing models, or you started exceptionally close to the enemy, but I wouldn't be surprised if GQ FAQed that one sooner or later. However, as of currently, it's legal.

Thanks, yeah I hope it is clarified at some point, maybe we'll get a set of "these are golden rules" in chapter approved that makes everything that does a certain thing work the same way.

1 is…probably RAW? Don't know specifics of wording though. Seems likely to be FAQed out though.
2 seems totally fine (Aside: Do you pay reinforcement points?)

3: This one's already been answered in the BRB FAQ:
Q: Some rules allow me to add models to a unit during the battle (e.g. the Poxwalker’s Curse of the Walking Pox ability). Where are those models set up?
A: Unless otherwise stated, these new models are placed anywhere that is more than 1" from any enemy model and still within unit coherency of a model in its own unit that was itself on the battlefield at the start of the phase in which the new model was created. Note that if you cannot set up a new model on the battlefield because there is no room, it is simply not set up.

As to the second part…(Apart from things that are answered by the above) Wouldn't they be placed at the end of the phase, or at least after their unit had fought, thus disqualifying them (unless the latter and someone else killed stuff in the same combat I guess they could fight…)?

2. nah they free cos adding to an existing unit, is why it's so hard to play around, you pretty much just have to not kill things at all and hope you can global the pox walkers at some point in melee.

3. K that's really good news. It means to start feeding off the enemy army and still being able to charge T1(assuming 24" distance Spartan to Enemy infantry), you need 4 instance of unit creation + warp time or 6 instances without. That is not undoable by enemy means, but it certainly stretches the resources you have, especially if running super heavy with it.

You would have to run a Patrol of Death Guard with a Battalion of Chaos (necrosius+Malefic Lord+6 units of brimstones), that means wiping out 3 of the horrors units on T1 would be enough to stop the T1 charge unless the pox walker army is willing to commit 3cp to nuke itself and commit warp time, if it does that, it only has left the Spartan, a shot from mortarion a couple of smites and Magnus's melee to create pox walkers to charge with anyway. Losing Mortarion from melee I think is not bearable, he is the main source of pox walkers in the list (creating between 20-30 a turn from imp infantry)

For the second part, we have been assuming that since the pox walkers choose when they fight (last of all chargers if they can) and the models are still the same unit, it doesn't matter that the models themselves didn't charge, because the unit they are part of did.

"2. nah they free cos adding to an existing unit, is why it's so hard to play around, you pretty much just have to not kill things at all and hope you can global the pox walkers at some point in melee. "
Pox walkers? 2 was the daemon prince one…

"For the second part, we have been assuming that since the pox walkers choose when they fight (last of all chargers if they can) and the models are still the same unit, it doesn't matter that the models themselves didn't charge, because the unit they are part of did."
Yeah, that sounds right (though note, you can't place within 1", but can within 1" of someone within 1"): I just wasn't sure on sequencing. i.e. I seemed to remember that new pox walkers were added at the end of the phase (i.e. after the unit fought), but if it's just after casualties and some other units kill stuff and thus the unit hasn't fought yet, I see no issues whatsoever.

The more I think about this change the less I like it. The leadership aura is really the only thing that the commissar has going for him. The problem though is that big units of toughness 3 guys take so many casualties that the buff doesn’t matter and then the mandatory +1 casualty actually makes things WORSE.

Smaller units on the other hand don’t get much of a bump because they’re already base 6 and then 7 on their leader and on top of that will be harder to daisy chain to stay in range of the aura. And on top of that when you take heavy casualties and just REALLY need your last one or two guys to stick around the stupid execution rule is just as likely to finish off your squad as keep it around.

I really don’t see how commissars are in any way playable after this. It seems to me that you’re much better off going Valhallan, relying on stratagems or using an “off” detachment to include Inquisitors, Celestine, etc.

Clasic commissars are dead. Its either lord commi, inquisitor, valhalans, or just run squads without a character buff to morale…

Ok… this change is totally detrimental. I know its "fluffy" and easy to piss on how guard have an insultingly low care for their bulk manufactured equipment and troops but running a unit to prove as a liability on average is just bad. I know this adds relevancy to certain regiments but now the entirety of Oficio Praefectus is outclassed by inquisitors. If they want to nerf conscripts further, make the commissar execute on D3 or even D6 against conscripts, this new ability is just burning 30 points that guard players universally had.

I also really hope they fix the Eradicator gun, its only made more effective v.s. the battle cannon to root out T3 infantry in cover, most of which will have guns out-ranging it's piddly distance. I'd like to see it fill the niche as a camping denier, infantry killer, as it seems to try to be. I think an ability like the following should be added to provide uniqueness and an actual damn purpose. Whenever it hits a unit, place a marker, any NON-VEHICLE models within 6" of the marker, until beginning of your next turn, receive D3 mortal wounds due to nuclear fallout, causing great area denial v.s. cover units and killing off bubble wrapped objectives units whilst being poor against higher toughness units.

Quick update – I tried a game as a test, 90 using conscripts but subbing in an Inquisitor (leadership 9 bubble) to replace the old commissar. The mission and objectives allowed me to keep 3 units of Cons in the bubble for as long as they lasted.

I kept track of the results of each phase in order to make it a reasonable test.

The result was still carnage, 81/90 conscripts dead

19 more conscripts died in this game than would have been killed under the old Commissar rules.

Without the Inquisitor or any other LD buff, it would have been 35 more conscripts dead (ie as far as I could work out, his LD9 saved 16 over the course of the game)

With a Commissar instead of Inquisitor, it would have been 27 more infantry dead than under the old rules (this is a combination of LD8 instead of 9 and the involuntary executions when both first and second dice will result in failures).

It wasn't a perfect test or a large sample, but what this confirmed to me was:

[] It is better to have a LD bubble than not, even if that means using a Commissar
[] The Commissar is one of the worst places to get that bubble, especially for have large units due to what I've begun calling the FKFail (fail kill fail). 😀
[] An Inquisitor, Commissariat tank, Banners, Mordian, Catachan doctrine, 'Fight to the death' or autopass Stratagem etc are better than a Commissar in all but a very few cases.

And it's that last point Commissar that really makes the Commissar look obsolete. It's not the leadership buff; everyone should know by know that 8 > 4, but the Summary Execution rule has gone from a morale buff to a negative in the majority of cases.

You also have to take into account that inquisitors are also Psykers and are usually more effective as combatants.

I like the idea of a Russissar with a Regimental Standard in theory. Should give at least a few units LD10, at least until the Russ goes down. I'm not bothered by the CP cost either, as the Commissar's points will go toward upgrading a CC to Creed who gets 2 free CP anyway.

It wouldn't be a GW codex if there wasn't at least a couple of units that are bad at their intended jobs. The Commissar can hang out next to the Vanquisher Russ cheer from the sidelines.

Didn't they buff the Vanquisher though? If not, GW REALLY need to fix the Battle cannon variants of Leman russ that aren't actually battle cannon, because they're all morbidly outclassed.

Alternate idea for the rule change: when the morale test is failed within 6″ of the Commissar, a model is removed from the unit but it gains D6 leadership for that phase?

Well, saying a reroll is a high chance of getting worse result has to be proven !! Highly depends on what you rolled first, so on average it's untrue.
Besides, if you're in AM and failed a morale, you deserve to die twice so it's fluffy ^^

Someone did the maths above.

Fluffy rules are fine in theory, but when you are paying points for disadvantages, this is bad design, no matter how fluffy it is.

Agree with Alastores, if they wanted to nerf conscript, commissar combo, make an additional rule unique to conscripts, also this rule isn't fluffy if you apply it to trained, standard guardsmen, who will hardly waiver in the prescense of a commissar, as the rule was so previously.

Also making rules for down to the wire "fluff" can be ludicrous, why not just make all khorne berzerkers have an unbreakable "instinctive behaviour" type ability for the sake of fluff as they don't answer to anyone and abandon all tactical inquiry?

I decided to go back and do some more maths on this. Here are the expected numbers of models that flee due to Morale for a given number of casualties, without (first column) and with (second column) a Commissar.

Infantry Squad (Ld 7):
2 casualties: 0.17 | 0.00
3 casualties: 0.50 | 0.19
4 casualties: 1.00 | 0.50
5 casualties: 1.67 | 1.00
6 casualties: 2.33 | 1.67
7 casualties: 2.50 | 2.08

Conscripts (Ld 4):
1 casualty: 1.00 | 0.00
2 casualties: 1.67 | 0.00
3 casualties: 2.50 | 0.19
4 casualties: 3.50 | 0.50
5 casualties: 4.50 | 1.00
6 casualties: 5.50 | 1.77
7 casualties: 6.50 | 2.92
8 casualties: 7.50 | 4.50
9 casualties: 8.50 | 5.50
10 casualties: 9.50 | 6.50
11 casualties: 10.50 | 7.50
12 casualties: 11.50 | 8.50
13 casualties: 12.50 | 9.50
14 casualties: 13.50 | 10.50
15 casualties: 14.00 | 11.50
16 casualties: 13.83 | 12.33
17 casualties: 13.00 | 12.50

(Everything below or above those numbers of casualties either auto-passes or auto-wipes the squad.)

Having a Commissar is always better than not, on average.

Yes, you could replace the Commissar with an Inquisitor instead. Inquisitors should probably be just slightly better for morale than a Commissar Lord, yeah? Let's check – first column is with the Inquisitor, second with the Commissar Lord.

4 casualties: 0.17 | 0.19
5 casualties: 0.50 | 0.50
6 casualties: 1.00 | 1.00
7 casualties: 1.67 | 1.78
8 casualties: 2.50 | 2.92
9 casualties: 3.50 | 4.50
10 casualties: 4.50 | 5.50
11 casualties: 5.50 | 6.50
12 casualties: 6.50 | 7.50
13 casualties: 7.50 | 8.50
14 casualties: 8.50 | 9.50
15 casualties: 9.50 | 10.50
16 casualties: 10.50 | 11.50
17 casualties: 11.33 | 12.00
18 casualties: 11.50 | 11.83

That looks pretty damn close to perfect to me, I have to say. I think GW actually might have done the maths on this one.

The problem is that the improvment is down to the Leadership Aura, not summary execution. Summary execution has about the same chance of making the situation worse as it does making it better.

At 8+ Casualities, The Reroll is always worse.

At 7 Casualities, 14 fail, 12 benefit, 5 neutral:- 14/31 :- 45% chance of being worse, 38% chance of improvement. Pretty close either way, although it should be noted that barring conscripts, it sort of doesn't matter, since if you reroll, the squad is probably wiped anyway.

At 6 casualities, – 10 fail, 10 success, 4 neutral:- 10/24 – 41% chance of being worse or being better.
Again, it's pretty likely that the squad is wiped anyway, barring conscripts.

At 5 casualties – 6 fail, 7 suceed, 5 no change – 38% improvement, 33% of being worse.

At 4:- 3 fail, 4 succeed, 5 no change – 25% worse, 33% better

At 3:- 16% of being worse, 0% improvement.

So yeah – the Leadership aura helps a lot. But that's not the bit that got changed. It's summary execution that's the problem. At above 8 casualties (so for conscripts), the forced reroll is ALWAYS worse. Similarly at 3 casualties (which isn't all that uncommon), it only has a chance of being worse, although it most likely won't do anything at all.

At 5 and 4, there's a slight betterment, although again, it most likely won't do anything. At 6, it goes either way. At 7, it's more likely worse (in practical terms, you don't really care except for Conscripts, of course).

So for Conscript Blobs – who are likely taking 8+ casualities, the Commissar reroll most often increases your casualties taken. Infantry are less likely to be affected, because they don't have the numbers to get to that point, but even so, they need very specific casualty numbers for it to be even slightly in favour of a benefit.

So yeah, the Leadership bubble is obviously helpful. Summary Execution, on the other hand, is not. Summary Execution simply doesn't have a high enough chance of being a benefit. So either it's being costed as 'free' (Is the Comissar worth it JUST for the LD bubble and his boltgun or whatever?), or it's being costed as a bonus.

And for a rule that has roughly equal chance of making the situation worse as it does making it better, and at the levels it is best at, it most likely doesn't actually do anything.

So yeah – the Leadership aura helps a lot. But that's not the bit that got changed. It's summary execution that's the problem.

Right, but that's a pointless comparison. There's no value in comparing the new Commissar to the old one, because duh, of course they're worse. They were too good, making them worse was the entire point. The only comparisons that mean anything are for the choices you can actually make: having a Commissar versus not, or having a Commissar versus having a different character that helps Morale.

Summary Execution is now a double-edged sword. It reduced Morale casualties in the situations where it's intended to help, and it also slightly increases them in the situations where it's not. That's not an effect to be taken in isolation – a Commissar is a complete package. Summary Execution goes hand-in-hand with the Leadership aura.

So, is having a Commissar better for Morale than not having a Commissar, on average? Yes, always, and for Conscripts, significantly. That's as it should be.

Is having a Commissar Lord better or worse than having an Inquisitor? Worse, but only slightly. That, in my opinion, is also as it should be.

Is having a Commissar with the old Summary Execution, or without Summary Execution, better than having a Commissar? Unless you actually have that option, that's a stupid question.

But Summary Execution doesn't reduce Morale Casualities. The Aura does that. There's no argument that the Comissar needed to be worse, but Summary Execution was overnerfed.

It's not a stupid question if the point being made was "This was overdone".

Even just adding in "may reroll" helps immensely, combined with the LD Aura.

For the question of "Should you still take Commissars" it gets a lot harder. For Conscripts – yes, the LD aura reduces their casualities, but the "You must reroll if you fail" can potentially wipe that all away (8+ casualities, roll 1 followed by a 3+). Infantry get much less from the aura, but also can't suffer the levels of casualties to autofail (well, they can, but….).

If there were no other options available, then I'd say continue using the Commissars. But that's not he case .Valhallans help, the Valhallan relic is (currently) still an old Commissar, Inquisitors give you a better LD aura and do other things….A Comissar is basically JUST the aura, but now with the disadvantage that his forced reroll will make things worse about as often as it helps. (Actually, for Valhallans, it's going to make things worse more often than it helps, I think).

Remember the old Chaos and Ork tables that everyone hated because they were about a third negative, third nothing happened, and third okish?

That's basically what summary execution has become. Is the Comissar's LD aura worth having that disadvantage over other sources of morale mitigation?

"This was overdone" needs something to back it up. Actual numbers. Exactly what degree of Morale casualty reduction would constitute "perfectly done", and why?

"May reroll" would make them straight-up better than an Inquisitor, for example. Is that the desired outcome? I'm actually quite impressed that GW managed to set up a mechanic that is still very fluffy, but puts Commissar Lords just slightly behind their major competitor in the Leadership-boosting game, as is also fluff-appropriate. To my mind, that is as close to "perfectly done" as we could hope to expect.

(It's also worth noting that a lot of people aren't just saying that the changes were overdone, they're saying some variation of "Commissars just make Morale casualties worse now, why would I ever take them?" Those people are demonstrably incorrect.)

IT absolutely is not fluff appropriate that Inquistiors would be better at morale boosting that Morale officers. In fact, every single representation of an Inquisitor has been actively bad at it.Inspiring the troops is not the job of the Inquisition. It's not something most of them are trained for, and it's certainly not something ANY of them spend their time doing. They've got better things to do, like make sure planetary governors aren't being treasonous, acquire relics, and fight over footnotes in the Imperial Archives. Yes, they are badasses able to stare into the maw of hell and make snarky comments, but that does not translate to "knows how to get hundreds of men to die where they stand".

They've got Comissaars to do that. It's part of why Amberley uses Cain, for example.

As for actual numbers – I gave you the percentages above. When the best case scenario only favours "Helps" by 5% (which is basically nothing for the dice we are using), this is not a beneficial rule. For Conscripts, it basically is a hindrance (although that may have been deliberate).

As regards game mechanics – yes, a Comissar should be better than an Inquisitor. Inquistors have better options, psychics, and (I think, I don't have the books to check) a better statline. Realistically, ALL you are getting with the Comissaar is the morale effects.

So yeah. May reroll. This, incidentally, is far more fluffy than "Oh, whelp, Inquiistors should better", because it fits the shown fluff of Cain, Gaunt, and Yarrick, all of whom are very, very discriminating over when or if to execute.

So the question becomes "how do you make this work". Either you treat Summary as a disadvantage, balancing out the Aura. That's fine as far as it goes, but the Aura's not something that's that hard to get elsewhere – Inquisitors, Commissar Tanks etc.
Or the balance point needs to be different, which is very hard to do without starting to get confusing.

Or you just let players choose whether to take the risk. Hell, "May, but you must choose before you roll". This is still strictly better at 3 and 8+ casualties, but it's more of a choice between them.

Other people have argued the "Inquisitors vs Commissars" leadership debate at great length elsewhere, so I won't rehash all that. Suffice to say that we can disagree on who should inspire greater valour. 😉

You can get similar auras elsewhere, but if you want a bargain-basement Morale boost, a Commissar is a solid option. I can understand you wanting them to be better, but there's really no particular need for them to be. Maybe knock them down to 25 points base if you think they're overcosted.

I don't think your "Chance of being worse versus better" percentages are particularly meaningful, to be honest. Average casualties from Morale gives a clearer picture of the actual effect.

For the total actual effect, yes. For Summary, no.

You can belive what you want, but Inquisitors shouldn't be better.

"As for actual numbers – I gave you the percentages above. When the best case scenario only favours "Helps" by 5%"
In fact, by my averages, it's actually equal (or worse) at all casualty numbers: you're more likely to get it to help in some cases, but that doesn't mean the average is better (e.g. 4 casualties, the average is the same at 0.5).

Yeah, I was just counting out the total number of cases where it was better, not taking into account actual casualty numbers.

There are other, often more useful and/or cheaper places to get a Leadership Aura. The unique part of Commissars is now a negative, so there is little reason to take one over the long list of alternatives Matt provided in his article. I think most people think that if there is no reason to take a unit, it has been nerfed a little too hard. If you want to run numbers, try a regular Infantry squad within 6 inches of a Vet with a Regimental Standard (11 Pts) against a Commissar.

…Yeah, when an 11 pts upgrade is objectively better than your 30 pt version (at least inasmuch as guardsmen rather than conscripts)? Something's gone wrong.

Okay, let's try that. A Commissar costs 30 points. A Regimental Standard (5 points) requires a Command Squad (24 points), which in turn requires at least a Platoon Commander (20 points) for a minimum investment of 49 points. Here are the numbers (with Standard | with Commissar):

3 casualties: 0.17 | 0.19
4 casualties: 0.50 | 0.50
5 casualties: 1.00 | 1.00
6 casualties: 1.67 | 1.66
7 casualties: 2.00 | 2.08
8 casualties: 1.83 | 2.00

In the best case scenario, that's a somewhat better outcome. If your army is going to be all Infantry or Veteran squads, you were already going to take a Commander of some kind, and you don't mind using your Command Squad to babysit, this is undoubtedly a slightly better option than a Commissar.

What if you wanted to run some Conscripts as well?

1 casualties: 0.50 | 0.00
2 casualties: 1.00 | 0.00
3 casualties: 1.66 | 0.19
4 casualties: 2.50 | 0.50
5 casualties: 3.50 | 1.00
6 casualties: 4.50 | 1.78
7 casualties: 5.50 | 2.92
8 casualties: 6.50 | 4.50
9 casualties: 7.50 | 5.50
10 casualties: 8.50 | 6.50
11 casualties: 9.50 | 7.50
12 casualties: 10.50 | 8.50
13 casualties: 11.50 | 9.50
14 casualties: 12.50 | 10.50
15 casualties: 13.33 | 11.50
16 casualties: 13.50 | 12.33
17 casualties: 13.00 | 12.50

In that case, the Commissar is significantly better, not to mention a cheaper investment in real terms.

I'm not running Conscripts in my Cadian Regiment, which is centered around orders, because they were already nerfed in the codex. If I was to bring them, I'd just take them in a Valhallan detachment and circumvent the issue. You are also ignoring the utility of that Command Squad and Platoon Commander in your comparison, as they serve other purposes beyond morale. The Commissar does not.

If you like Commissars that much, then take them. I'm not a fan. I suspect you won't see them in many tournaments either. If you are just arguing on behalf of GW, that's pretty pointless. We have no idea how this will effect the balance of the game after all the codices are out. This could turn out to be a long term solution to a short term problem, a drop in the bucket that does nothing to stop Guard's dominance, or somewhere in between. We have no idea, no matter how much math you throw at it, where on that scale this is going to land.

Honestly, I'm just arguing against internet reactionism that assumes when a unit is nerfed, it's now utterly worthless because "it's not as good as what it was before". People don't bother to check what the unit actually does now and how that compares to other options – they freak out and scream about how the sky is falling.

If you're happy taking a Regimental Standard instead, that's great! The whole idea is to have alternatives, rather than one auto-take unit and a bunch of other stuff that's consigned to the scrap heap. Was there any reason to think about taking a Standard before this change? Nope! Now they're a solid option.

It's worth noting that Commissars do serve another purpose that's quite important in the right list – killing Primaris Psykers who suffer perils before they can explode everyone else around them. Again, if that's not your kind of list, you don't need that option… but if you do, there's another good reason to hire a Commissar.

I agree that the internet has a tendency to do that, but I think there's a certain validity to "This special rule is now a detriment".

The Commissar is great as long as you keep him away from units that can actually fail LD tests, where his aura makes them immune (Like Weapons teams). That…doesn't seem fitting.

For infantry squads, for conscripts – solely because of Summary Execution's nerf, the Commissar loses out compared to the other LD boosting options. They all do other things as well. He doesn't. So do I take a psyker with an LD aura, or an LD aura that kills more of my troops if it fails? Or perhaps a tank and spend 2 CP? A standard in a squad that adds firepower? A relic, which while it has the opportunity cost of requiring me to stick with a pistol, is strictly superior in all ways (other than it would require some..interesting..conga lines).