The CA rumors have been swirling for a while now and we finally have some confirmation as Warhammer Community has released some tidbits. You can check the listed points changes and for the armies who not have a codex, their Warlord Trait, Relic and Stratagems on offer on the Facebook page (give it a like if you have not already; it’s a new one along with a new group page). Quickly running through the changes and their potential impact (I will consider each of these as factual currently but please take with salt until actually seen). There has also been some chatter on changing how detachments from other armies work – how though, we are not sure yet but this could drastically change army make up.
Price drops and hikes across the board. Most notable, Girlyman goes up 25 points, Assault Cannons 1 point and twin Assault Cannons 9 points. I think this is an over-correction on Assault Cannons which are not great outside of Girlyman lists and an under-correction for Girlyman. We talked before about how he was still useful with an additional 80-100 points tacked on. Many lists which run 4 Assbacks are only down 61 points in this scenario but then we take into account the Razorback discount… So Girlyman lists are not dead and while this has been really the only SM list that has been keeping up with the bigger hitters, it will be frustrating to keep seeing the ultimate ruler of the Imperium in every SM based battle.
Chronus up five points is not that big of a deal, particularly when the Predator Autocannon is going down 9 points. Stormraven going up 20 points feels about right but this is compounded by the increase in Assault Cannon costs if you are running them.
We see a lot of point discounts on the Primaris Marines as well but not sure enough to make them consistently viable options.
Consistent point drops which are nice but like with Primaris Marines, not sure there is enough here to make them a mainstay other than accessing Morty and sourcing better options from CSM / Chaos Daemons. The big thing for all Chaos armies is Malefic Lords getting boned and good riddance. Hopefully we see similar points increases to Primaris Psykers but we still have 45 point Spirit Seers though they are far less able to access cheap screens. Still pending Smite nerf…
Adepta Sorotias (aka Sisters of Battle)
Perhaps one of the best stratagems, for 2 CP you have a 75% chance of shutting down a key psychic power (plus whatever other denys you have). While not as much psychic pressure as Kronos Tyranids can bring to bear, options like this will lead to less armies relying on certain psychic powers / combinations to work. Getting extra Acts of Faith for dying characters is solid – Celestine attacking again is not a bad thing or a cheap Cannoness firing her meltagun one last time but Sisters do not have a bevy of characters to maximise this. Speaking of Celestine, her rumoured points increase is to be expected along with a decrease in her Gemini costs (so overall unit is roughly the same but Celestine solo is more expensive). She certainly deserves a 30-40 point bump and will still be great but not an auto-include (hopefully).
The Relic makes a Cannoness actually decent in combat, taking her to S5 AP-3, D3D but depending upon what the parent army is (or secondary army), there are probably better options out there. Warlord Trait is eh – re-rolls for Morale on an army that normally has MSU is not necessary.
True Grit is a decent compromise of its old ability and what works in 8th edition, potentially allowing you to clear a unit off a Space Wolves unit and then follow through with a charge (unlikely though unless it’s a small unit). This helps keep SW firepower up and minimises a weakness of most Space Marine lists. You’re still losing out on board positioning though. You also get old Scout rules as a Stratagem and looks to initially be any unit – Thunderwolves may find a use… The Relic being 1D is meh, even if it is -4AP unless we see some sort of damage increasing option for Space Wolves. The Warlord Trait can be awesome for a tooled up combat character (*waits for Russ to come back to life*) and if you are running one, is probably better than the 6+++ generic one.
A Warlord Trait to re-roll wounds is nice, particularly with some of the weapon options that Deatwatch have available to them. Likewise, the ability to teleport a unit once per game from the Relic can be crazy important at the right time (it is restricted to units and bikers though) but this is mitigated by the limited options Deathwatch have access to. The Stratagem to allow Mortal Wounds on a vehicle is a non-psychic version of Smite though a very, very short range while the final stratagem allowing extra hits against Xenos only means it is only ever going to be effective against certain armies (which, depending on what armies are good can be amazing or terrible. Right now, Chaos and Imperium are dominating).
Drukhari (aka Dark Eldar)
The Wych Cult Warlord Trait can allow a lot of damage throw multiple hits rather than the usual generating an extra attacks. Likewise the Dark Eldar allowing re-rolls of 1s during the Fight Phase can help with the Dark Eldar’s issues of wounding while fighting. How these traits can be applied will be interesting (i.e. can Archon’s only take the Dark Eldar trait?). The PIstol is a cute relic but not amazing compared to the general options but given Dark Eldar have nothing else… And they also get a copy paste version of the Webway which is a fantastic deployment option.
Advancing a Harlequin unit right into the opponent’s face and slapping a 3++ on it has some merit, particularly combined with the Webway and bringing in two more assault units / high pressure units. Great additions to any Aeldari type army though not cheap. Harlequins are still an additional army to the primary Aeldari’s, particularly with the Ynnari changes (no more Fusion Pistol Troupe Masters running at you in their transport and gleefully doing gleeful things…) but they at least have a little more leverage with these. The Warlord Trait is best replaced by something from Aeldari if running them, likewise with the Relic though the Relic can also assist with Aeldari psychic powers which relate to leadership.
As we have expected, a lot of the old Formation rules are coming in Stratagems and none is more obvious than in the Cults. Handing out Heroic Interventions and +1 Strength to an infantry unit from the Warlord are the hands down winners from the information we have here. Turning Genestealers into 3+ wounders and counter assaulters are all great things. Bringing back the ability to remove units and come back in with Cult Ambush can alleviate bad Cult Ambush rolls, protect units or relocate units as necessary for missions. Combining well with the Stratagem that improves your probability on the Cult Ambush table and things are looking up for Cults (particularly with the improve Tyranids in tow).
Getting an extra attack and an improved invulnerable save? Adding a Knight to an army is not much more appreciable as a 4++ can really make it more durable against ranged shooting. Girlyman still shreds in combat though.
Re-rolling Deny the Witch Tests for the Warlord is strong, particularly if TSons get some extra denial layers. We are seeing though with Sisters, Tyranids and now TSons that psychic defenses are being ramped up. I like the Relic in theory, bringing in some old WHFB type magic resistance, but for even a WC5 power you only have 4 doubles options, and one of those is a perils. 1/9 is not exactly reliable and CSM have a lot better Relic options. The new psychic power is interesting – you can pick the unit and on average get 1.5 MW so its not terrible but you are relying on 6’s (on 9 dice at least) so it can certainly stick the hurt on stuff. The fact that you can pick the target is important. The Stratagem means that key psychic test is more likely to go off (combine with Magnus for a +4) and will be harder to deny. TSons have lots of psykers so this should be pretty easy to pull off.
Damage reduction on a CCB please! Along with Quantum Shielding and Living Metal, this could become a frustrating model to remove. Shame Necrons have pretty much nothing else going for them currently… Another teleport Relic is great though replacing something Necrons often had access to through Veil of Darkness. Particularly useful to help get units out of combat trouble where Necrons are still atrocious. Wraiths with Reanimation Protocols is not a bad thing but on such small units is costly at 2CP. If the re-roll RP rolls of 1 applies to everything and not just a single unit, that is a very good use of 2CP.
+1 Strength is never bad and can send a normal Warboss to S9 with just a basic Big Choppa but Power Klaws on your 2+ to hit HQs still seem like the best bet (would need to run the math). Still, S14 for the PKlaw means wound T7 on 2s… The super relic Big Choppa as well comes out nicely with this, giving effective S9 AP-2 D3D but PKlaws may still mathematically be better. The combining stratagem is okay but like we have seen for the AM version, not something that gets used too often, particularly given we need 10+ and 10- models here to meet the requirements. Effectively doubling Orks’ hits into more shots is amusing but given Orks’ terrible marksmanship, the extra attacks are far less valuable than normal.
Tau’s Warlord Traits are personal Commander abilities which are not always great. Advance and shooting without penalty is probably the best for the Commanders running around with Fusion Blasters, CIBs and Missile Pods still – extra movement is never bad. The bargain bin PENchip Relic is atrocious compared to other Relic options (one re-roll? and a 6+ to gain a CP?) but not bad as far as Tau are concerned (basically it’s free and there is no opportunity cost so why not take it?). The Stratagem is the only decent thing though, allowing you to aim for two 5 ML counters on two separate units (or just not needing as many MLs across the army).
Nothing amazingly game breaking – Genestealer Cults and Imperial Knight getting a 4++ are probably the two solid improvements while they await their codex (though I thought IK got their’s with AdMech…). While a lot of these are lack lustre, they are generally free or add a little bit to an army here and there. There are indications of more points changes and rules changes in Chapter Approved so hopefully this is just the tip of the iceberg for those waiting on a codex drop.