Greetings, fellow Verka Serduchkas! Once again I find myself doing more mathammering in response to (some of the) comments from my previous article on the much maligned Tactical Squad.
In this iteration, I (finally) tackle how Guardsmen perform when Morale is factored in. I also look at how cover and negative to-hit modifiers affect the equation. In the conclusion, I also adress some of the points brought forward with regards to the balance between Tactical Squads and other Troops as well as the possibility that chaff troops are too good and its them that need to be nerfed rather than Marines being boosted.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
Good day, fellow murderous ’58 Plymouth Furies! Today I follow up on my sad, bitter post about the state of 8th edition. A lot of the commenters offered useful advice and I am deeply grateful for it. There was also a lot of discussion on implementing some sort of alternating unit activation mechanic. I’m going to tackle some of this stuff here.
Good day, fellow wolves in sheep’s clothing! Today I’m going to address a few of the points that were brought up by commentators on my piece about the suckitude of Tactical Squads. I don’t address every single thing that was discussed up but I tried to cover what I felt needed more indepth analysis. I may revisit this topic again sometime in the future, though. Without further adieus:
Many peeps have brought up the fact that Marines have awesome buff auras available to them and that leaving them out of the equation in my article was distorting reality. Normally that would be a valid point, but it leaves out the fact that I did not take into account any sort of buff for the Guardsmen (such as FRFSF, Yarrick’s aura, Cadian doctrine, etc) either. In any case, I went back and did the math, and I have some bad news for you if you thought Captains/Lieutenants were going to save the day…
Good day, fellow apex predators! Today I do a bit of math-hammering to figure out why it is that my Tactical Squads perform so poorly on the tabletop. While I am using Tactical Marines in my calculations, I believe much of what I’m about to write could hold true for a lot of elite infantry units.
If you’ve read my last post, you will already know I’m in a bit of a sour mood lately as far as 40k is concerned. Aside from the issues I brought up in that maudlin essay, one thing that has bugged me a lot is how badly the infantry in my army (Space Marines, in case you weren’t tracking) has been performing – and Tactical Squads chief amongst those.
Now, don’t get me wrong: not ALL Marine infantry sucks. Scouts, for example, are a great unit – though even then, the reason they are good has a lot more to do with the impact they have over your overall survivability (by denying a huge amount of real estate for enemy Deep Strikers) than with any other intrinsic qualities the unit possesses.
Good day, dear reader. I come to you today after a long posting hiatus with sadness in my heart. Indeed, I am coming to the brutal conclusion that my days of playing 40k may be over, as I just don’t find it fun in its current iteration.
This revelation comes on the heels of the latest tournament I attended (Powerfists & Psykers 9, organized by the awesome Canhammer team). While I have to credit my opponents for being very cool and nice to chat with, I still have to say I did not enjoy myself much, if at all. I ended up with 2 losses and a win, but all three games were extremely lopsided: I got tabled in both losses and I tabled my opponent in my win. All 3 games were pretty much decided by turn 2, and the rest of the turns were just me or them running through the motions.
Anyone else tired of hearing this one yet? “Assault is dead,” “why is the assault phase even in the game if you can never make a charge,” “only shooting armies ever win,” “assault doesn’t matter anymore,” etc, etc. Yes, we get it- assault is weaker than shooting in 6th Edition. Guess what? It was in 5th edition, too, and you could even argue that it was in 4th. It’s been a long, long time since assault was king of the game, so folks need to suck it up and get used to it.
Oh my, it’s almost time. The Fourth Feast of Blades.
Before the event, I like to take time to reflect on my experience with Feast. This journey has been a long one for me, and there’s no end in sight. That’s a good thing, really, as I’m quite enjoying the ride. For the most part, anyway. For the last few weeks I’ve been waking up with nightmares, tormented visions of the day-of, where I sleep too late, or the event breaks down, or where I’m simply sitting in an empty hall, painfully aware that no one has shown up.
That’s nonsense, of course, the event sold out weeks ago for almost every game, the hotel is booked and flights are already enroute for some. More than a year of preparation and planning will ensure that everything will run smoothly, and I have a great staff to help support me.
Still, it’s frightening. It’s difficult to describe, but the weekend is always… hard. Exhilarating, exhausting, painful and brilliant, it’s like nothing else.
I’ve made no secret that I have some gripes with the rules GW has put out in the past, but ultimately, there’s only one thing that actually REALLY bothers me about the stuff they put out. No, it’s not flyers. It’s not the way armor and infantry interact. It’s not the relative power of shooting, or first turn advantage. It’s not any of the unbalanced tables that show up more and more frequently.
It’s that the rules of 40k quite poorly portray the fluff, in both feel and actual mechanics. Read more
So okay I guess it’s all fashionable to hate on Matt Ward. And I guess it has been for some time. But you know what? The man doesn’t deserve it. No, he’s not very good at writing fluff; I can’t count how many times the Blood Angels trapped someone behind their own defenses and wiped them out. Some of the stories are kinda cool, but for the most part they aren’t terribly inspiring, and that’s sort of unfortunate. But I would much, much rather have a book with good rules and mediocre fluff than the other way around, and of the current batch of GW codex authors I think Ward easily takes the top spot.
“But Matt Ward’s books are totally broken and OP and cheesy!”
No they aren’t and fuck you, sir, for “cheesy.” “Cheesy” is what players say to blame a loss on a factor that is nominally out of their control because they don’t want to accept that games have rules and we play by those rules. Accept it and get on with your life.
“At times, you will not be able to tell which model is closest. This usually happens when two or more models are equidistant from the shooting unit, but can also occur if the position of the attacker is unclearm such as with the Tyranid Mawloc’s Terror From the Deep special rule, a Callidius Assassin’s Polymorphine special rule or any attack said to use random allocation.
“In these instances, randomly determine which model is treated as being the closest- this model remains the closest until the attack ends of the model is slain. If the model is slain and there are still wounds left to allocate, simply randomize again if needs be. If two or more models are equidistant from the firing unit, randomize only between those equidistant models. Otherwise, randomize between all of the models in the target unit.”
-p.15, “Random Allocation”