Are Paladins and Nob Bikers Dead?

With the changes to these much feared units in the latest FAQ, will multi-wound units die on the vine?

Now that you can’t kick wounds all over a unit, will people still take these expensive units of multi-wound models? Not just the big offenders either: Paladins, Nob Bikers and Thunder Wolf Calvary, but also Tyranid Warriors, Ogryn, etc?

I know I was toying with the idea of taking a unit of 10 Ogryn led by Lysander as a brutal wound soaking sponge of doom! But now that you have to kick wounds to the closest model, that plan goes out the window a bit, doesn’t it!?

I think we won’t see these units nearly as much, if at all, in a competitive setting. Why? The points spent on a unit of Paladins doesn’t yield the durability and efficiency that it did before. In the past a unit like this would be able to soak a disgusting amount of firepower before taking a single casualty. Now, that won’t be the case. For the same reason people don’t take Tyranid Warriors, Ogryn and similar units, you won’t see T.Wolves, Pallis and Nob Bikers. They won’t be worth the points investment. For example, for Grey Knights, normal Terminators start looking a lot more appealing for the points savings. For Orks, the regular Warbikers taken as nice mobile shooting unit for half the points looks nice.

If you do see them, I believe it will be in much smaller units that won’t be such a points sink, but that will still hit hard. I foresee these units stripped down and given the minimum equipment to perform their given task instead of the bloated monstrosities we had in the past. Now that these units die so much easier, it isn’t worth the investment.

While I feel that in general this will be an improvement for the game, it does kick these units square in the nuts. Time will tell if this is something that we get used to and isn’t that bad, or if these units really have lost so much power that they won’t see much play time. I feel though, that without being able to take such a beating, these guys will join their brothers the Ogryn and Tyranid Warriors on the shelf for the time being.

Couple this with the fact that Nobs and Pallies are no longer characters and they’re perceived power level has really diminished further.

What do you all think?


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

24 Responses to “Are Paladins and Nob Bikers Dead?”

  1. Albert September 16, 2012 2:54 am #

    I think some of these units will still see heavy usage, like TWC. With Look Out Sir shaenigans you can replicate the old wound allocation, plus a 2+ Lord in front means they can soak up much more small arms fire than before.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:43 pm #

      LoS doesn’t work the way it did anymore, you have to kick wounds to the closest model, meaning you can’t spread wounds around.

  2. eriochrome September 16, 2012 4:28 am #

    Really says something about both the game and the players that losing the unintended wound allocation crap for these units makes them not worth playing. But the same conclusions can be drawn from the spamathon that is most lists you see these days. Oh I mean redundancy, that makes it sound better.

    • Darthdiggler September 16, 2012 8:30 am #


    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:45 pm #

      Not sure I understand your comment. My article was asking the community if these units would be worthwhile to take anymore, not a value judgement on the decision.

      And actually, the best lists now aren’t spamathons as you put it, but varied and balanced lists.

  3. Skari September 16, 2012 5:59 am #

    I think that it will make the units more durable, but not abusable. You can still do it with characters up front, (having some control) but not nearly as much it just does not make them a default go to choice any more.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:46 pm #

      You actually have no control over it anymore, you will lost models one at a time (probably the way it was intended originally). The recent FAQ took the durability out of these units in a big way. They’re still more survivable than single wound units (so long as you don’t have ID weapons) but nowhere near what they were.

  4. Kralizak September 16, 2012 9:13 am #

    awesome!! ANOTHER kick in the nuts for Tyranid Warriors!! JUST what they needed!! >:[

    • Kralizak September 16, 2012 9:14 am #

      Warriors with a Prime at their head, distributing wounds across them*

      • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:47 pm #

        Is dead and gone! haha, Yeah, Warriors are pretty terrible.

  5. John September 16, 2012 9:52 am #

    I think Nob Bikers and TWC will stick around mainly because they have large threat ranges and toughness 5 is still pretty good. At the start of 6th I was using wound allocation wrong with my TWC, and giving look out sir wounds to models that already had a wound rirst and they were still really effective.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:48 pm #

      That is good to hear! I have not tried them yet under the new rules (been too busy) which is why I was asking for community feedback.

  6. bugsculptor September 16, 2012 10:42 am #

    Two wounds should make you take twice as many wounds before losing a guy, not fourteen times as many! This is a good thing that a major glitch in the game has been closed up, not a bad thing that we’re losing 6th Edition Beta: Deathstar edition.

    I think most multi wound units are priced without taking into account how easy it is to instadeath units though, as the current meta still has so much S8 in it that Tyranid warriors and shrikes might as well have one wound each. Even if their damage output is incredible, it doesn’t make any sense to invest in a unit it that can evaporate to a single battle cannon shot.

    It is a shame that some units aren’t as effective as they should be, but we will have to wait for codexes to fix points values or rules and build lists around units that function as the designer intended rather than building our lists around exploits and then finding they get FAQed. Proper timely FAQ docs that fix real game balance problems are what I’ve been wanting for ages – we shouldn’t grumble when we start seeing it happen.

    • Gargh September 17, 2012 3:00 am #

      This x1000. In no way is this a bad thing.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:51 pm #

      You said it very well. These units use to be able to survive getting up-field because they were so tough and could spread wounds around, now they won’t. and ID is a huge problem. TWC and Nob Bikers aren’t nearly as susceptible to it being tough 5, but tough 4 units with 2 wounds means any weapon capable of one shooting them, will try and do so.

      That was the jist of my question: are these units now worth it? Not so much: is this a good change? Although, perhaps I should have asked that, too!

  7. 6thstreetAlan September 17, 2012 6:52 am #

    Before the FAQ I swore I would never play Nob Bikers again cause I hate playing the new bandwagon super cheap list.

    They are with out a doubt dead to the masses now that the FAQ totally nerfed them.

    But they might have sprung back to life for me.


    • Reecius September 17, 2012 9:13 am #

      Exactly! I think a good player can still make them work, but I think they’ll be different now, not the same types of builds as before. Still good, just different. I think we’ll see a lot less of them, too.

  8. Gorfang September 17, 2012 10:38 am #

    I’m ecstatic about these changes. When the 4th edition Ork codex came out I instantly built a 5 man unit of nob bikers because I thought they would look really cool and give the enemy a pounding, but end up costing a decent number of points to compensate. Then they became the rage and WAAC lists sprung up with 2 units of 10 with wound distribution and all sorts of other horrible so I benched them for years. Now I can use them again without instantly feeling judgement from my opponent. Then again, maybe I enjoy games where I can’t list build to win before dice have even been rolled. Funny, that.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 12:17 pm #

      Nob Bikers were a bit OP, but definitely not an auto-win. I am glad to see the changes too though as I think it makes the game better for everyone. Unfortunately though, I think that now these units may get shelved as now they cost too much as they were. Perhaps a new, slimmer version of these units will prove useful which I thin will happen.

  9. Puretide September 17, 2012 2:10 pm #

    I think it is a good Idea making deathstars weaker but you can still spread wounds around not as good as you use to be able to do it you need to have a character or independent characters with say 3-4 models such as paladins equally space apart from the characters and if you look out sir it because its random who the wounds go on and everytime a differnet units or tanks shoots at you its random who the look out sir will be on again, so if you have guys who survire to your turn or you have to do is move them to the back of the squad and move the unwounded guys to the front of the squad.

  10. D0A September 17, 2012 2:43 pm #

    Was running 10 Ogryn with a priest. Wont be taking the priest any more as he was really just there to distribute wounds and challenge power fist sgts.Cant use him to distibute wounds anymore and the challenge is not enough to keep him. i will still run the ogryn by themselves for a bit but the durability is what made them worth their points. I dont really begrudge the change though.
    Where I am peeved is that they leave no option for sgt characters in the units they changed, unless im reading it wrong. Challenging is a huge boon for terminators and they just told SW terminator squads to suck it. Paladins and Nob bikers also, but im building a logan wing …so im biased, lol.

    • Reecius September 17, 2012 3:29 pm #

      Yeah, a lot of folks are only looking at how this nerfs the big offenders, not also how it makes the units that got a lot better because of it (Ogryn, Nid Warriors, Shrikes, etc.) bad again.

  11. Gorfang September 18, 2012 9:42 am #

    I’m not sure how I feel about the random distribution of lookout sir. Given the fact that everything about the rules are trying to make wound allocation straightforward and not have ghost wounds floating around a unit. RAW may still allow it but yeesh, people are really trying to just dig their heels and not let that playstyle go.

    In terms of cost effectiveness I absolutely agree that nob bikers can be too expensive for their role. That said, their mobility will still allow them to dictate most of their actions on the battlefield.

    • Reecius September 18, 2012 12:55 pm #

      Yeah, well, folks have bought, built, and painted their armies and now GW switches it. It’s understandable there will be some resistance to it for those who played that way.

      I think regular Bikers will be just fine now actually, as they shoot just as well as Nob Bikers for less than half the price.

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