O Meta, Meta, Wherefore Art Thou, Meta!

Image by XRallenX

Adepticon is behind us with folks still figuring out Daemons, and already we have Tau out, new FAQs, and Eldar hot on their heels with Marines coming before years end.

Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk meta!

Top 16 armies at Adepticon




Necrons-Grey Knights

Grey Knights-Necrons

Grey Knights-None




Eldar-Dk Eldar



Chaos Daemons-None

Space Marines-IG

IG-Grey Knights

So what did we see at Aepticon this year? A lot of folks are focusing on the high representation of Necrons in the top 16 which is a fair metric to look at. However, I would like to look at the MUCH greater diversity of armies that were at the event in total this year as opposed to years past.
Previously as much as half of the field would be represented by one or two armies. Last year was Grey Knights, prior was Blood Angels, and the year before that IG and Wolves. In 6th we still had a lot of the expected armies but there was much greater overall diversity. That is fantastic. IIRC, two years ago there was not a single Nid player present. This year there were dozens! I saw every army with at least some representation.
So what can we surmise from the numbers we saw?
6th is evolving with such rapidity and the amount of variables has increased so much that people can’t keep up with it. Right now the hotness is Night Scythes, Wraiths and Annihilation Barges as they add so much points efficiency in Flyer and AA utility, anti-infantry and anti armor plus counter attack. A lot to like there and it shows.
However, if folks had been a little more familiar with Daemons for example, perhaps we would have seen more of them as they have some absolutely devastating combos and units. The new Tau also, particularly post FAQ, bring devastating AA and AI firepower to the table and I would be willing to bet as soon as WargamesCon we will see Crons drop dramatically in efficacy as massed shots and AA really take the knees out from under the best Necron units.
So where does this leave most of us? Are we lost in the woods of a meta that has spun out of our control to predict and plan for? Not really. I think this means we are in a new landscape of picking a list and sticking to it. That was always the best recipe for success honestly, but not even more so. Choose either a really well built TAC (Take All Comers) list and learn to play through the power deficit or bring that extreme list and club people over the head with it, accepting that you may draw a hard counter and be facing a very difficult game.
What are your thoughts on this new world we find ourselves in? Do you like the frenetic pace or do you prefer the predictability we had in 5th? Personally I love it as 5th got stale for me in a big way at the end.


About Reecius

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

25 Responses to “O Meta, Meta, Wherefore Art Thou, Meta!”

  1. Avatar
    ACBrown April 24, 2013 12:14 pm #

    Hey Reecius!

    I made final 16 at Adepticon with straight Necron. Barges and Scythes and Mindshackles are killer. That being said, I played Goatboy rd 3 in the final 16. His list was sick. With that many level 3 casters, and therefore with that many highly durable flying monstrous creatures, my Crons didn’t have much of an answer. My only hope was to turn five objective grab… which I did, but the game didn’t end.

    So yeah, I totally agree with you concerning demons. We are yet to see what they can really do. There’s a lot of talk about Tau, but unless an army has an answer for Goatboy’s list, they’re going to get punched in the face. Like me 🙂

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 1:34 pm #

      Congratz on making the finals!

      And yeah, Daemons are brutal. I think they will be a hard counter to pure Tau. They have so much speed and hitting power, plus the bodies to weather overwtach. I think Tau will get dominated by Daemons a lot of the time.

    • jy2
      jy2 April 24, 2013 6:01 pm #

      Daemons, like tyranids, are a tough matchup for necrons, especially with their tough MC’s and their psychic-heavy army. Actually, daemons are going to be tough for any army without good psychic defense.

  2. Avatar
    umbo April 24, 2013 12:48 pm #

    There would be even more different armies/lists if there wasnt such a thing as the helldrake. I think there would be a lot more marine type armies if so.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 1:34 pm #

      We called it with the amount of Hell Turkies and Scythes. Forge World really helps to cut back on this stuff.

  3. Avatar
    SCP Yeeman April 24, 2013 12:55 pm #

    I’m on the fence about Tau really having a big effect on flier heavy armies. The lists seen at Adepticon had 18 Wraiths, 3 Barges, and the Night scythes. I just dont see Tau Gunlines dominated lists like that. if you dont down those Wraiths T1 or T2, youll be in for a long game. Even one Wraith making assault will kill an entire 12 man FW squad.

    What is going to kill the Barges? hammerheads with their one shot? Broadsides Glancing on 6’s (w/ missiles) or Penetrating on 6’s (w/ Rail Rifles)? Riptides shooting Large Blasts?

    I honestly dont see it. I dont think Tau are as weak as they were before, but i dont think they got extremely better like some people believe. They play pretty much the same. Some things got cheaper they have a couple cool rules. In the end, you’re BS 3 and rely on people failing saves rather than taking their armor away.

    I think Tau will kill 1-3 fliers from the majority of other armies. With Necrons, I dont think they will hurt them as much. i am not too impressed with the codex from a strength perspective, but I do like it from a fun persepctive. it is brand new and I have only had 3 games against it as of now, but it seems to be the same ol’ Tau except with some huge Gundam suit flying around.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 1:32 pm #

      I think Tau will be utilized a lot as Flyers.

      I think Tau will mince Wraiths much easier than most armies. Wraiths die to VoF, Tau have that in spades. Firewarriors and Broadsides with Marker Light support will smoke a unit of Wraiths pretty easily. Tau overwatch fire is really brutal, too. With correct positioning and again, Marker Lights, they can really smack a unit before they arrive in to combat.

      And yes, I agree that Barges will be tough for them. Fusion suits will get it done as will massed strength 7. The Flyers though, especially AV10 and 11, Tau will smoke them.

      • Avatar
        SCP Yeeman April 24, 2013 2:04 pm #

        I definately think there is things in the codex that can kill Wraiths, Barges, and fliers. The difference is, Necrons can bring all 3 in loads while Tau I dont believe can deal with all 3 threats adequately. They coould with 1 or 2 for sure, but the third one will be the one that gets them.

        What is a sample Tau list you would bring that could deal with 4-5 Scythes, 3 Barges, 18 Wraiths? Say 1850pts?

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 24, 2013 4:57 pm #

          Hmm, for that loadout I think Firewarriors, Riptides, 1 unit of Broadsides, 2 Skyrays (fucking awesome unit), Commanders with Onager Gauntlets (punch those stupid Barges) and marker Drones, and Crisis suits with Fusion.

          The nice thing about Tau is that 2+ armor really helps against Barges and Scythes. Riptides, Broadsides and Skyrays will mince flyers, and the Crisis go after Barges while Firewarriors take on Wraiths. With Marker Lights to boost BS and take away cover on the Barges and Scythes, I think they can do it. Not easy of course, at all, but doable. Be fun to play it out and see how it goes.

    • Avatar
      David Key April 28, 2013 9:51 am #

      I think you need to play more games against them. All 4 games I have played against them have resulted in me vomiting. The reach and versatility of that Codex is disgusting. I AM NOT looking forward to playing any skilled Tau opponents any time soon.

  4. Avatar
    fluger April 24, 2013 2:35 pm #

    Just a quick, pedantic note. Wherefore means “Why”, not “Where”. You are now asking, “Meta, Meta, why are you Meta?”

    Carry on.

    Also, I agree that with the rush of codexes coming in, the meta just doesn’t know what it is yet. Frankly, I think the lists Mike Brandt and Tony Kopach brought are about the meanest thing I can think of for 6th so far. It combines all the elements you need to win against almost any list.


    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 4:59 pm #

      I was quoting SHakespeare, good sir. Blame it on the bard 😉

      Brad Chester (the winner of Adepticon last year) actually brought damn near the same list they did! It is very good, very flexible. However, Tony struggled with the Paladins.

      • Avatar
        fluger April 25, 2013 11:16 am #

        I know you were, the line isn’t Juliet asking where Romeo is, but WHY he is Romeo. Which is why she goes into the “a rose by any other name” part. The whole point is that she is lamenting that he is Romeo.

        I can see how paladins would be a problem. With the change to FnP, just relying on the power axes wouldn’t be enough as he’s getting a decent invul and then fnp on all the wounds you’re doing.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 25, 2013 1:54 pm #

          I understand the reference (love Shakespeare) and that she is lamenting that she is a Capulet and he is a Montague. I thought you were saying I misquoted the line. I used it the way I did as 99% of the people who read it wouldn’t get it if I used it the correct way.

          • Avatar
            fluger April 26, 2013 9:10 am

            I love being a lit snob! 🙂

          • Reecius
            Reecius April 26, 2013 9:49 am

            Haha, indeed! English Major for the win!

  5. Avatar
    steven morrow April 24, 2013 4:12 pm #

    I think people are just not seeing all that a tau army can pull off yet. All the tech will produce some wildly different army tactics using similar army lists. I can think of at least 3 completely different ways to play that still do all the things that a “typical” tau list does but has the capability to come at you incompletely different ways depending on circumstances.

  6. Avatar
    Forpus April 24, 2013 5:01 pm #

    The diversity of the finalists and lack of clear meta makes me wonder why forgeworld is even being considered. In most cases the units taken from forgeworld will be imperial and benefit imperial armies. Is it really a type of comp?

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 5:28 pm #

      Changing the game in any way can be seen as comp. So I think that is a fair thing to say. However, it is a common misconception that all the good stuff is Imperial. Tau and Orks get some great stuff, as do Eldar and to a lesser extent, Dark Eldar. Nids get some OK units, and Chaos gets some fun stuff, too. What FW really does is mitigate flyer nation, add more diversity to the game and at least IMO, makes it more enjoyable.

  7. Avatar
    Black Blow Fly April 24, 2013 5:50 pm #

    Great article bro !

    I think Tau are going to do very well. The codex is easy to follow and start building great lists right away. Daemons are still hard for me to get a handle on.

  8. Avatar
    Lance April 24, 2013 6:05 pm #

    Seed 2: 18 wraiths, 3 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges, 1 heldrake
    Seed 4: 8 wraiths, 2 night scythes, 2 annihilation barges, 1 heldrake
    Seed 5: 18 wraiths, 2 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges
    Seed 6: 3 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges
    Seed 9: 11 wraiths, 4 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges
    Seed 11: 10 wraiths, 4 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges
    Seed 12: 6 wraiths, 2 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges, 1 heldrake
    Seed 15: 12 wraiths, 4 night scythes, 3 annihilation barges

    Source: bloodofkittens blog

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 6:20 pm #

      Thanks for posting that. Yup, the most points efficient units taken en masse. Not a surprise, really.

  9. jy2
    jy2 April 24, 2013 6:09 pm #

    Tau was good last edition and I honestly think they are even better in this edition. Then again, so are the new daemons. I like the flexibility in both armies. However, you will be seeing triple-riptides in future tournaments. The riptide is the new heldrake. Yes, they are just that good.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 24, 2013 6:20 pm #

      Tau were great last edition, particularly with FW. And yeah, I agree that they are fantastic this edition, too.

  10. Avatar
    Mercutioh April 25, 2013 7:56 am #

    The combos are going to be what breaks the Meta. And with the pace of release we’ve only got a quarter painted picture at this point. By the time Nova rolls around Eldar will be out at the minimum and who knows if the Apoc rules will have 40k legal units or not. And Tau being such an ally whore will REALLY make for some sick combos. I’m sure we’ll have a whole new take on the Harlie star when Eldar comes out. Plus people LOVE the new shinys so new/old combos haven’t been looked at. What about Tau/orks? or Crons supporting a thunderfire base list like Tony ran. Lots of unexplored possibilities. we’ve only seen the tip of this iceberg.

Leave a Reply