Friday, August 11, 2017

Funny Death-guard Picture

Discordian here! Every once and awhile I see a picture and I cant stop laughing.

This guy is great. He's apparently one of the new deathguard models coming out.

Here are some of the thoughts that went through my head when I first saw him.

"My friends and I are here to attack you with pestilence. How does that make you feel?"

"We can't kill you if you don't tell us your name"

"What is the estimated worth of your holdings?.... Yes the ones we didn't burn."

And last but not least.

"These prices are to damn high! I Demand Millions in relief!.... Also your trademark rights......"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Why 7th edition "failed"

8th is here and in general it seems to be widely embraced by the community. Common consensus seems to be that "This is better than 7th Edition" and/or "This is the best edition yet."
Well, I am here to tell you "So was 7th".

"But 7th edition failed us" you may say. "In the end, it was a terribly bloated mess!"

A-HA! There you have it. The bloat! But we will get to that. My argument is there was nothing really wrong with 7th Edition as a set of wargaming rules. When they first arrived on scene it was to great praise and adulation.

To me there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the core rules of the same. And for the first half of 7th, right up until Codex Necrons IMO, there was really nothing wrong.

Yet today it is a miserable failure in many's eyes. Here is what made it so

1- Formations- These really were the beginning of the end. They must have been a move by GW marketing. That is really my only reasonable explanation for as to why such an imbalancing factor was added to the game. First of all they were largely inconsistent in terms of power and playability. Some formations cost over 2000 points and did virtually nothing where as other gained 10 USRs for units totaling up to less than 400. There was just no rhyme or reason to them. Secondly, they began to more and more often provided exceptions to the core rules. Exceptions such as
-Assaulting out of Deep Strike
-Not paying points for upgrades
-Shooting and Running
-Not rolling for reserves
-Essentially not having to take saves (rerollable 2+/3++ and 2+ FNP rerollable)
-Tons and tons of different rerolls
They really just were a step too far ultimately. Beyond that I felt they started robbing the creativity out of list building, but that's just me.
And lastly in regards to them, there were SOOO many bad ones that you could tell were just made to move models. Did anyone really want a bunch of possessed? I don't think so. This more than anything showed GW's marketing department had a hand in the matter.
2- Decurions- What was more game breaking than formations? Well formations of formations of course. All the same issues as above except expanded across an entire army. Who ever thought hundreds of free points in Rhinos or Upgrades was a good idea? GW marketing that's who. Because anyone actually familiar with games design would tell you that an asymmetrical imbalance is bad for a game.
3- Faction Imbalance. This is largely due to too rapid a release cycle for some factions and not rapid enough for others. Basically a handful of armies got A LOT of attention and GREAT rules and formations while others just languished in ignominy, getting few formations or updates (Grey Knights), and those they did were poorly designed (Orks) or amazingly over costed (Blood Angels) or a combination thereof. On top of that, some armies were just downright BETTER. Eldar, GSC, etc. vs things like DE, Harlies, BA and Orks. It created a system of haves and have nots, and left a lot of people feeling they were loosing just because the tools they had were subpar. Like bringing a knife to a gunfight. Or Orks to a game versus Eldar. Take your pick.
4- Independent Characters, Allies and USRs- If anything was "wrong" with the core rules, it lay in the combination of these 3 things. Sure the Allies matrix was better than in 6th edition, but really it still needed more work. There was no reward for playing mono-faction and Battle Brothers was still too powerful (even at the end after the Chapter Tactics FAQ fix). They were too easily abused too many USRs conferring from random ICs joining squads they were never intended to join (Space Wolves and Dark Angels!?!?!?!). 8th is flirting with this with only faction keywords preventing this right now, But the moment someone gets something that affects all or all we start heading down this slippery slope again.

5- A lack of FAQ or Errata for SOOOOO long. The most tragic and avoidable reason of all. How many little obvious things could have been fixed early on that weren't? We went what, 2+ years without an FAQ? How much resentment and bitterness in players could have been prevented with timely fixes of issues? How much easier for TOs could their lives have been? I am just glad GW has turned a leaf on this and hopefully they really do stay on top of it for 8th. Whether you like their ruling or not, it is healthier for the game that way.
6- No consistent design philosophy. 7th edition changed flavours with the seasons it seemed and nothing was consistent in terms of power level between releases. Decurions is the best example of this. First nothing had them then BAM, Necrons came out with them. Then a little down the road BAM they got turned up to 11 with tons of free options and even better formations and rules. Then BAM they realized they were TOO powerful and turned them back down to useless (looking at you Angel's Blade). And that is just one example. The design team was just way to reactionary and receptive to the will of the playerbase (and likely marketing yet again). They needed to pick a style and stick with it at least through a complete release cycle before resetting. Unfortunately that ship had long sailed by the end of 7th and the only way to fix this was with a reset across the board.
So far 8th doesn't have these issues, and I HOPE it never gains them. GW just really has to stay vigilant on keeping a steady even release for ALL factions that are balanced, maintain a well updated FAQ and ensure that they stay on top of their Keywords. But bloat will inevitably happen to some degree. We can only wait, play and see, all the while hoping GW learned a lesson from the demise of 7th AND doesn't allow GW marketing to butt into rules design too much anymore.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Templates and Scatters: Why 8th Ed 40k didn't "fix" the problems they caused

A common consensus seems to be that 8th Edition has "solved" the problem of Templates and Scatters by getting rid of them. Really though, it only treated the symptom of the real problem.

"But they caused so many arguments" you may say. And therein lies the issue.

The issue was never in the rules of blast and scatters. Those were unambiguous and the RAW met the RAI. If played by the book there should have never EVER have been an issue.

The issue was in how players acted about them and the level of sportsmanship one or both of the players had and their ability to reasonably play the game and settle disagreements.
Basically, people can be jerks.

"But the scatter dice and template could be so subjective!" you may say. Well let me tell you there are MANY more subjective games out there that people have no problems with (just go look at historical wargames in general and how open and loose they can be). Beyond that pretty much EVERYTHING is subjective in this game. LoS, measuring distances, what is "cocked" and what is not, etc. etc.

So what is the solution then? Stop being dicks. And an edition change can do nothing about that, only eliminate the rules that are exploited by unsporting conduct.
In 7th, I almost NEVER had a problem with scatters or blasts. Why?
-I rolled the dice as close as possible to the location of the scatter
-Because I tried to never debate where the dice pointed or how many guys the template covered
-If there was doubt or debatable in my own, I would ask my opponent for a judgement call
-If there was a unresolved issue, a simple roll off would decide it.

See how that works? It was sporting, and it was in accordance with the rules by the time we got to the Roll Off. And generally, my opponent would follow my example and the game would go smoother, faster and be generally more pleasant.

Because no one was a jerk.

There may not be the issue with Templates and Scatters anymore, but people can and will still be jerks and poor sportsman to each other. There will be something new that will be exploitable by these players that will become the ire of all. It will be the new Template/Scatter. The underlying problem still exists.
If you found yourself having continuous problems with scatters and templates in 7th and start to find that there is some mechanic you keep fighting over in 8th... take a look at the people you play with AND at yourself.

Are you making every effort to be as sporting as possible OR are you being jerks?

Answer that and you may just find that the "Issues" or "Problems" in game may just disappear.





Friday, June 9, 2017

10 of the Biggest Winners of 8th Edition

Yesterday Discordian and I covered some of the units that find themselves somewhat diminished at the start of 8th edition. Today though we improve our attitude and cover the stuff on the up and up. These all aren't necessarily AMAZING, but they are things that have seen a significant increase in utility or power with the edition change.

Khorne Berzerkers
Wow. Just wow. These guys really are amazing now. THEY GET TO FIGHT TWICE!!! TWICE!!! Ditch the pistols. Axes and chainswords all day, every day for maximum effect. S6 and S5 attacks like CRAZY.

If only they had new models to go with such amazing new rules. I am sure there are plenty of Chaos players running out and buying some right now who in a years time will regret doing so when then get the equivalent of Primaris KBs.

Lord of Skulls

Talk about a turn around. This was hot garbage since the moment it came out. Overcosted and ultimately, not killy enough. BUT NOW it has more firepower than ever before and can shoot EVEN IN CLOSE COMBAT! Heavy D6 and Heavy 12 weapons, all of them with 2, 3 or d3 damage. And then there is it massive cleaver with S16 potential or up to 12 S8 attacks. Just a beast now. And a 5+ INV save all the time.

BUT a word to those running it/facing, this has the be CC w/ INFANTRY ONLY, so if you are going to charge a Lord of Skulls or it charges you, just charge a Rhino in there and it is shut down on the shooting front.

Tyranids

I'm trying to find a army that benefited more from 8th edition better than Tyranids and its hard because they had so far to rise from compared to most armies.

Their units no longer eat themselves outside synapse, HQs became more survivable, monsters can literally explode when they die, instant death is no longer a issue, gaunts got cheaper, and there is far larger emphasis on close combat.

Additionally boring Flyrant/Troop Bomb lists are a thing of the past, Old One-eye literally turned into a lawnmower with teeth (GO LOOK AT HIS PAGE), Trygons can assault out of deep strike, and harpies/crones will be assaulting target any unit turn one.

Turns out not having a matrix formation detachment and shitty formations worked out in their favor, all those hardly used units spent all that time sharpening their teeth.


Dreadnoughts

Turns out toughness on walkers is a good thing. Suffering from middling armour and easy target syndrom before, not even the FAQ with the attack boost helped these guys out too much in 7th. BUT NOW they are much better. Tougher and in general, more firepower (all those Twin Linked Weapons). Expect Dakka-dreads to come back in force.

The Humble Lasgun
Last time I put the Bolter on the Loser's list. Now the Lasgun is definitely on the winners list. This low S, no AP, Rapid Fire 1, 1 damage weapon may seem pathetic HOWEVER it is
1- SUPER CHEAP. Guardsmen are disposable which means...
2- YOU GET A TON OF THEM
3- THEY CAN WOUND ANYTHING
4- ORDERS LET YOU DOUBLE YOUR OUTPUT

These are the champions of the weight of dice game. Sure there are really small percentages they hurt something, but enough of them ARE GUARANTEED TO. And sometimes, all it takes is that 1 last W to make all the difference, especially in a system where monsters and vehicles get progressively worse as they suffer wounds.

Mandrakes
Who gets to jump out of nowhere?! You Do!

Who gets a save in close combat again?! YOU DO! Yes you do!

The only thing missing is Sir Commander and Chief Kheradruakh the M*F*ing Decapitator, and the hopped up on PCP murder shadows band will be back in business coming to a dark alley near you.


Any High Initiative unit without Frag Grenades

Well well well, ain't this a surprise. Turns out removing tons of rules means armies like Tyranids and units Incubi no longer have to be afraid of stubbing their toes.

They will still get shot up by over-watch, but now taking on entrenched units in grassy meadows isn't such a pain.


Grey Knight Librarians

So this is a odd one. At first people are going to see that GK librarians in essence lost a mastery level and have a reduced smite, and say whats the point

Then people will realize that it means that there's a GK unit with access to Librarius Discipline (psychic focus on p.215) and a HQ choice with a 2++ save in close combat.
*missed the restriction against this

I think people will be seeing other HQ options for Gk in the future..... mostly Voldus..... but GK librarians are still are a solid choice in 8th because of how the insert themselves into a GK list. This will probably get more important if GW full-files on the promise that you'll be encouraged to field pure faction lists in the future through rules additions.

Anything shooty that deep strikes
Crisis suits I am looking at you. Guaranteed Deep Strikes on the turn you want your unit are amazing for killy squad like this. And you can place them anywhere outside of 9" without worrying about mishaps. Score. We may even see normal terminators come back with rules like this. Sure this can be nice for assaulting units too, but they only get a 28% chance to make the 9 inch charge required (before rerolls from command points). Units with a lot of 12" firepower though are guaranteed max performance potential.

Brief List of a few of these units
-Crisis Suits
-Stealth Suits
-Terminators
-Vespids (thats right, I said Vespids. Start playing them Tau players. WAY better now)
-Deffkoptas
-Swooping Hawks
-Scourges
-Inceptors

There are probably a few more but you get the idea

Anyone carrying a special/heavy weapon

Tired of having to choose between wasting your missile launcher on something it is overkill for or not shooting with the other 9 men in your squad because they are out of range or can't hurt the target?

Well be tired no more! SPLIT FIRE FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING HURTS EVERYTHING. So now you can target select that heavy or special weapon at a target it was meant for and pour the rest of the unit into a different target. Conversely, you also won't feel like those other 9 guys in a squad are a complete waste now that they could fire at the same target as their specialized weapon holder and potentially cause damage as well. Wins all around for unit utility.

So who are the winners for you? Let us know in the comments!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

10 of the Biggest Losers of 8th Edition

Having scanned through the indices a couple times, Discordian and I came up with a list of some of the losers of 8th. Don't worry, tomorrow we will hit the winners, but lets start bad and go to good.

This list isn't even neccessarily a list of BAD things in the game. Rather, it is a list of the units that got significantly worse (in our opinion) in the move from 7th to 8th edition. Reasons range from a significant loss in utility, to extreme nerfs in terms of rules reduction.

Coteaz

What a yoyo this guy has done. From meh in the Inquisition book to AMAZING in Imperial Agents and Gathering Storm to meh again. He was the MUST TAKE choice in a Castellans of the Imperium army, but not any more. Such a cool model and such a waste. Sorry Lord of Formosa. With no ObSec in the game, and the fact your "Interceptor" is now just an overwatch... and only for other Ordo Malleus models...well there is nothing really impressive about you.

Paladins
*Not a playable unit pictured
Paladins are never going to really make me happy. Their own fluff hypes them up to much, and then they always just end up coming across as fat terminators.

Last edition my only motivation for taking them was for Feel No Pain and a Banner, the later only because they stole it from my erased ghost knights from the previous edition.

And that's were we start with talking about their issues, both those things no longer are unique to them because the Banner-Man and Apothecary are separate dude units now. Now they literally are a unit of terminators that are just slightly better at being terminators. The two saving graces I can see with them is that you can take less of them (not a joke even though it reads like one, 3-10 man units) and you can take 2 special weapons per 5. The later you don't do if you make use of the former.

I also want to bring up that a base custodian is 52 points and a base paladin is 55. Custodians hit harder, still toughness 5, remembered storm shields were a thing (only 59 points when they do that), their banner is hidden in the unit (and drastically cheaper to include), and are a troops choice in a kitchen sink faction army.

Now Paladins are pyskers and they do get grenades, but both those things have really lost importance. Custodians don't get deep-strike anymore and can't gate, fair enough. But I'm going to point out if a Paladin unit gates, it's actively running away from the two models giving them buffs that used to be in their unit.

I keep trying to say something nice about them, but it always has a caveat. And then I have to ask myself why bother.


Inquisition as a whole

This army really got nerfed with the breaking up of Inquisition Henchman Warbands. Several units don't even have Inquisition as a Keyword anymore (Death Cult Assassins and Crusaders). A lot of wargear has been cut (psychotroke grenades, hell rifles etc. etc.) and all the amazingly cool synergistic effects are just GONE. I know they were there because one of my team mates at adepticon ran them! (somewhere a Texan I know screams in the night)

Along with the nerf coteaz got, this army went from being hard to use/bad to just garbage on its own. Really, it only exists now to be mixed into the Imperial Soup. Sorry.

Non-codex and Legion marines
I know this is really temporary, but anything other than Vanilla Marines on both the loyalist and chaos sides lost a lot of flavour for now. Really all their flavour. With no chapter tactics any more all the individuality is gone.

There are a few characters here and there that give aura effects, but this are trivial at times and none are really army influencing. At least SW, DA and BA have numerous characters and can distribute them across the field, but something like Raveguard or Salamanders really got hit. 1 Character each with a small 6" bubble. And if for any reason you don't like playing that character, well then all the flavour is gone.

On the Chaos side, it really stink that they have been waiting for Legion rules for ever, just to have them stripped away. I know the Death Guard in particular are hurting right now with apparently lack luster rules in the Dark Imperium box AND they are unable to give the Death Guard keyword to many characteristic units, like Terminators, meaning that what ever characters they do take don't even transfer their rules to such fluffy choices.

Hopefully we don't have to wait to long for codicies. Then again, I am kinda sore that I had to already discard all my 7th ed books, now buy an Index and then will have to buy yet another book to get my real rules.

Bolters

The workhorse of marine armies, the most common army in the game. It isn't that they got worse necessarily (though everything with a 5+ or 6+ armour save is rejoicing)... its that everything is just so much... well better.

The opening of the "Everything wounds everything" is what really takes it down a notch. Lets compare to a lasgun. Against T5 they now wound the same. T6 and 7 the bolter has the slight edge, but T8 or above they are the same again. And it is looking like T8 is a pretty common "Big Guy" or "Vehicle" threshold. So point for point, you are paying more for the Bolter than for the Lasgun (sure they are both 0 points, but that means the cost is built into the model, not the weapon).

Flyers

So here is the thing, min/max move with 90 degree turns kind of sucks on a 4/6' table. Because now the edge of the table is literally oblivion to flyers.

Imperial pilots won't care too much because they largely have hover as a back up plan. And they will also be too busy shooting the massive amounts of twin-linked weapons they always seem to have.....

But everything else can literally check mate itself if they're not careful.

The eradication of fire arcs has given flyers a pretty good edge. But the changes to hard to hit, still being always visible to everything on the table, being assault-able, and the infinitely tall brick wall around the table. It's going to be a rough transition.

Cypher
This isn't the Cypher you are looking for, but he might as well be now
Cypher like a lot of characters suffers from the chronic rules trim down of 8th edition. Largely in 7th he was a support character, actually counter to fluff.

He lost all of that and now just shoots people. He does give fallen a rule..... which they also have naturally themselves if they stay stationary..... And he can be taken with Dark Angels.... (somewhere a Texan I know STILL screams in the night)

You could argue that this is good for him as a person, well not that last part. But it doesn't change the fact he massively lost a lot of force multiplication bonuses he gave to your army when you took him in 7th.


Sniper Drone Team

Sniper Drone Teams didn't necessarily get bad, they just became super inconvenient.

Last edition they were a heavy support choice, were you could take 1-3 marksmen and 3-9 drones. Now the marksmen are a 1 model elite choice and the drones are a 3-6 heavy choice. I accept that characters are now going to be separate (not that marksmen were ever characters), but this is literally equivalent to taking a sergeant out of a devastator squad and saying he goes somewhere else.

Now before you freak out and go look, they didn't do that for devastators.

Hilariously its a great change for the marksmen, just crappy for the drones and FOC. Yes you can inflate the amount of detachments you can take. But how long before the tournament circuits start putting limits on that?

Sniper drones already had to compete with Broadsides and Hammerheads, in 3-4 years of playing I've only seen myself play them. Now they have to compete with that and Riptides, Ghostkeels, Crisis suits (no longer being a troop choice), Bodyguards, and stealth-suits. Couple this with the fact they lost rending, BS5, and 2++ cover save, they kind have moved further from being included in tau lists.

I'll probably still take them......

It has yet to be seen how vital the Sniper Rule will be. But with that low bs... will it be worth it?

Death Company

It is really in comparison to other units that this unit really fails. In particular their closest fluff and game counterpart- Khorne Berzerkers.

The new Berzerkers have 1 more strength than DC and other wise have the same stat line. They cost one point less (16 to DC 17). Berzerkers can be troops in World Eater armies as well.

Special rules wise Berzerkers get the Death to the False Emperor (on a 6+ to hit, gain 1 more attack vs Imperial targets) and they get to fight twice in the Fight Subphase.

Arm them with a chainsword and chainaxe and that would be 4 S6 attacks, 2 S5 attacks and potentially 1 additional attack (with the chainaxe that is one more S6).

Death company get 3 S4 attacks, 4 if they charged (black rage), and a bolt pistol shot. They also have a 1 in 6 chance of ignoring a wound. That is a 6+ FNP essentially. In 7th ed, they got +1S for charging, had 3 attacks, 5 if they charged (Rage), and a 5+ FNP. And Chaplains let them Reroll hits and wounds... in 8th its just hits.

In 8th they get to reroll morale. In 7th they were just plain fearless.

Pretty much completely dumped on. The only way to get them back to a portion of what they did is to surround them with characters now. And still Berzerkers do more damage output.

Grav-Weapons

Haha everything has more wounds! And your stat line got dumped on! Once again are the days where melta and lascannons will reign supreme.

But you're free from the bondage of salvo, so there is that.


So, who are your biggest "Losers"? Tell us in the comments.