Is 7th Edition Balanced?


7th Edition Balanced? The gGreatest 40K Player in the World (Frankie, according to Frankie! lol) is here to talk to you about game balance in 7th ed.

Hello everyone, the greatest 40k player in the world here to talk to you about 7th edition.

So far in 7th edition I have played somewhere around 20-30 games. And have won somewhere around 30-40 (it pays to be the best). I’ve tried playing against most armies now with my Dark Eldar, Eldar list and have come to the realization that the game feels more balanced. I know, crazy right? GW making a balanced game? Yeah right!

close game

The reason I feel this edition is more balanced is due to the fact that most of the armies I’ve played have been more of a challenge and felt like a game all the way to the bitter end. Even an interesting white scars list with rhinos and bikes came down to the last dice roll of the game. With all the changes to the game little and large for the most part they feel more balancing. Some psychic powers got more powerful but are a little tougher to cast. Some monstrous creatures got nerfed but feel like they needed it a bit: IE. not being able to land and assault, also the nerf to smash feels more balancing.

A huge change is how easy it is to get a 4+ cover save: ruins and jink. Almost everything is getting a save in this edition. Less models are just getting picked up from a volley of shots. Which is good for the game because everyone likes rolling dice and no one has fun just picking models up off of the table with no chance to save the models. With 4+ cover saves so easy to claim it requires a lot more thought with target priority and brings more tactics into the movement phase.


I think however the main change that makes this feel a lot more balanced is that everything can score. You cannot just play the “kill your opponent’s troops” game anymore. Objective secured armies are extremely good and hard to beat. I believe that is why a slight change to the missions is required to make it a little more balanced. But even without the change to the missions the rules as a whole feel a lot more balancing.

With the changes that have come from the rules it feels like you’re seeing more list diversity which I love. It gets boring playing the same list over and over again at a tournament so I welcome the difference in lists and encourage people to think outside the box when making lists in 7th. A lot of units that were never seen in sixth are now playable in 7th like Plague marines, Hormagaunts, Carnifexs, Vaylkries and many more.

I would love to hear what y’all think about this edition; and with a few minor tweaks if you agree that it feels more balanced and fun than it did in the past.


About Reecius

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

63 Responses to “Is 7th Edition Balanced?”

  1. BBF July 21, 2014 7:51 am #

    Eldar are unbalanced and OP .

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 8:53 am #

      I don’t think they’re OP, but they are definitely top dog with Tau and Daemons as most powerful single books, IMO.

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:00 pm #

      I think they are for sure top tier but not OP.

  2. matthew July 21, 2014 8:00 am #

    I agree 7th edn has better balance than its predecessor. Only army I have come to cringe is daemons they were strong in 6th and 7th basically knocked them into top dog position in my opinion. Maelstrom mission I have come to enjoy so its not become last turn objective jumping, now the overall game matters.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 8:54 am #

      Daemons are super powerful this edition, no doubt.

      • Wilson July 21, 2014 9:48 am #

        I dunno, I’m yet to lose to Demons but I guess maybe that’s because my main opponent that uses them DESPISES the amount of time it takes to play them! Random tables for all!

      • blob July 22, 2014 1:05 am #

        Can you guys explain what about deamons you think is so powerful? Good ol’ flying circus seems to be quite dead and the only things that come to my mind here are grinders and the possibility to summon a small unit per turn – which on it self is not really a big deal.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 22, 2014 6:08 am #

          Daemons are fast, can shoot or assault well, and with malefic powers can be ridiculously flexible.

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:01 pm #

      Yeah I would have to agree. I think a deamon army in the right hands is the best codex out right now.

  3. Pascal Roggen July 21, 2014 8:27 am #

    I’ve had the most fun and the tightest games since 7th came out, loving it. Especially maelstrom. totally agree with matthew, the game not boiling down to “did it go to turn 6” is bloody marvellous:)

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 8:57 am #

      Ditto here, I really like earning points throughout the game, it makes it so much more fun. The GW Maelstrom missions “out of the box” don’t function so well, IMO, but with some tweaks is a marvelous system.

  4. Timatron July 21, 2014 8:30 am #

    Yeah, have you tried playing as Daemons Vs. Grey Knights? It feels like banging your head against a brick wall over and over again.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 8:57 am #

      Which way? For the Daemons or Grey Knights?

      • Nuln-Oil July 21, 2014 11:55 am #

        I’d assume he/she is talking about playing as Daemons. Grey Knights love their preferred enemy against daemons, which ensures that even if you are terrible, you get to re-roll 1s on hits and wounds. That really sucks against an army that is mostly infantry/creatures, especially with the capability of getting S8 (i.e. instant death for many of the daemons with more than 1 wound, flesh hounds). Grey Knights were only made better with the new edition.

      • jy2
        jy2 July 21, 2014 2:18 pm #

        For daemons. GK MSU mech-spam is a tough build for daemons. That is because all of the vehicles come with Banishment for free, so basically, your daemons are looking at 6++ invuln’s only. 2+ re-rollable screamerstar of death? More like 6++ screamerstar of fail.

        The only chance for daemons is Invisibility-spam daemons.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 21, 2014 4:20 pm #

          Ah, thanks for the clarification. Haven’t played that one, yet, myself.

  5. Hotsauceman1 July 21, 2014 8:56 am #

    with BAO missions I nearly won a game with 3 models on the board

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:02 pm #

      Yeah I am having a lot of fun playing our new missions.

  6. deFl0 July 21, 2014 9:22 am #

    I wish they hadn’t split the missions and just had all missions have scoring all the way through + big end of game VP opportunities.

    Also, multiple force orgs is really big. I really want to try some of the more whacky things you can pull off like tons of psybacks and dread knights, or 90 lootas, or 6 annihilation barges + necron air force.

    These lists sound nasty, but go fight a 5 knight list with the new knight formation. Especially with the forgeworld knights and special character options. With the re roll saves, the list is brutal. Even when it’s only the formation and one FOC.

    • Jural July 22, 2014 1:21 pm #

      Yeah, it’s getting to the point where the insanity that can be thrown out with 1 CAD + formation is high enough for some armies that a more open overall game may be needed to allow other armies to inject the insanity!

      I am curious just how much better multiple CAD really make the most powerful Daemon, Eldar, and Tau lists…

      I am biased though… I can see some nasty, point efficient multiple CAD armies with Nids. Using both Carnifex nodes with a Carnifex heavy Nid zilla list and some properly chosen synapse makes me drool, lol.

  7. Fulcrum July 21, 2014 9:38 am #

    I’m taking a break for who knows how long. Too many death stars, too many unlear rules, too much invisibility, too many crazy abusive combo. Not enough tac lists. But that’s just me.

    • Fulcrum July 21, 2014 9:40 am #


      Also they’ve made librarians (or taking any single psyker) pointless. So with psychics it’s all or nothing or you’re just wasting points.

      • White925 July 21, 2014 1:04 pm #

        Id have to disagree I only have one psycher in my list and in most games am able to get a power off a turn.

        • Fulcrum July 22, 2014 2:29 pm #

          You’re able to get powers off against lists with multiple psykers consistently? I’d bet that every time u play a single or even double psyker list against another list with 10+ base warp charges you will rarely ever get a power off. Which will probably be common in tournaments as there are many strong psyker heavy builds.

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 21, 2014 1:09 pm #

        Ah, I don’t know. I have played a few games with a single psyker and they work fine. I honestly don’t think it is all or nothing.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 1:09 pm #

      Really? I think 7th is WAY more balanced than 6th was.

      • Fulcrum July 22, 2014 2:25 pm #

        The game has become an untenable monster of rules production. Not even talking about the $ cost to maintain a meta relevant army. I pine for the saner calmer less cheesy days of 2nd ed, lol. It has become Apocalypse light, which is not what I signed up for or enjoy playing.

        • Fulcrum July 22, 2014 2:31 pm #

          I felt the same way about 6th & was pretty much on my way out after wat happened in December.

          • Cameron July 22, 2014 3:23 pm

            December did me in too

  8. Tarrant July 21, 2014 9:41 am #

    How do you play 20 to 30 games and win 30 to 40 games? 😀


    • Simon July 21, 2014 9:50 am #

      By being a sneaky liar >:)

      • JC July 24, 2014 1:56 am #

        Or by being a liar who can’t remember what lies he told.

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:05 pm #

      By being the greatest 40k player in the world of course.

  9. The Nord July 21, 2014 10:30 am #

    I think the biggest changes are in army composition. There are just so many ways to build a list now (speaking as an ork player). The fact that everything scores is huge, it allows all those different list options to have a chance now.

    As a side note, how do you think deathstars are doing? Personally, I see them on the decline. Yes, they can kill a unit a turn. A clever player can mitigate that and still score points as the game goes. Plus, from a list building perspective, it is a lot of points to sink into one unit (a deathstar that is).

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:06 pm #

      I agree that deathstars are on the decline but are still extremely good. They will still win most of there games but are easier to deal with.

      • Jural July 21, 2014 3:30 pm #

        Yeah, that’s more of a problem with one or two deathstar builds. If you combine mobility, hitting power, domination of the psychic phase, and unprecedented survivability, it’s hard to handle.

        But if you remove any of those things, a deathstar has a hard time competing in the objectives game now.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 21, 2014 1:08 pm #

      Deathstars are still powerful but I think they have been toned down a bit, too.

      And I agree, I love the variety in the game, too.

  10. Jural July 21, 2014 10:31 am #

    I don’t disagree with you (because arguing with the greatest 40k player would be stupid.)

    But I’m curious why Hormagaunts are singled out as being better in this edition? Putting them in reserve and letting them run up to late objectives? I find my ripper swarms and termagaunts are a lot better, but hormagaunts are only better than genestealers…

    I pity my poor genestealers. With infiltrate, T4, Ld10 plus objective secured, I feel they should be useable, but game results keep telling me no 🙁

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:07 pm #

      I was just throwing out little units that you didnt see much of before but yes rippers is a much better choice I forgot about them haha.

  11. Smellofwetdog July 21, 2014 10:33 am #

    Who’s taking hormagaunts and how did 7th make them any different from 6th?
    The problem with hormagaunts is they compete with termagaunts for a troops slot where termagaunts do everything better and can shoot and are spawned out of a tervigon. 7th didn’t change anything but give them OS, which termagaunts also got.
    I may take some upgraded hormagaunts in order to take out MCs with poison but that’s more because I’m stuck with 50 of these slobs and my shelf of useless tyranids is already overflowing.

    100% agree about the carnifex though, was really glad to see those old chaps become useful again.
    Overall I feel the changes to objectives are what’s responsible for 7th being more balanced. Also I wish I could win 200% of my games lol.

    • White925 July 21, 2014 1:08 pm #

      Hormagaunts was a bad example i should have said rippers haha.

      • Smellofwetdog July 21, 2014 10:57 pm #

        Sorry to jump on you over the hormagaunts lol. GWs attitude toward tyranid troops in our last book was a bit of a bridge too far…it’s ok though I’m seeking therapy about it…

        • White925 July 22, 2014 1:28 pm #

          Haha admitting you have a problem is the first step on the journey to recovery.

  12. Mike July 21, 2014 12:21 pm #

    I enjoy people talking about getting cover when every other game is against multiple wave serpents. Eldar isn’t OP but wave serpents are simply the best unit in the game by a long shot. Shame really.

    • Novastar July 21, 2014 12:44 pm #

      Really? My land raider achilies doesn’t even notice them

    • White925 July 22, 2014 1:30 pm #

      I actually havent played against any eldar wave serpents spam lists. But they are very good and bit ridiculous.

  13. Km July 21, 2014 1:59 pm #

    Check out ‘zardsnark da rippa’ in the forgeworld ork list download, apart from the lack of an armour save he seems like an insane warlord for an ork army and might bring them up to a higher level (he allows bikes as troops, and although he is a glass cannon he has a non-unwieldy power claw)

    • JM July 22, 2014 12:37 pm #

      Warbikes give a 4+ armor save.

      I know he’s in IA8, but not sure what in the downloads section he appears in — not the dread mob or character updates. Is there a specific PDF you’re referring to?

    • White925 July 22, 2014 1:31 pm #

      That sounds pretty awesome.

      • JM July 22, 2014 2:04 pm #

        It’s kind of iffy. He still has exhaust cloud, but that doesn’t have rules anymore. His entries also says that he cannot take big gunz or kans in his list. Unfortunately, Big Gunz don’t exist anymore, so theoretically you could be an asshat and take mek gunz.

  14. jy2
    jy2 July 21, 2014 2:24 pm #

    I guess the World’s Greatest 40K player must take pity at me. He is so charitable to let me beat me most of the times. 😉

    As for balance, as long as TO’s put limitations in their tournament formats, then it remains fairly balanced. Otherwise, it can get out of whack if you allowed it.

    Fortunately, most players are fairly gentlemanly with each other when they play and the majority of players don’t run uber-extreme lists. You know, lists like the one that the WG40K player runs. Haha….j.k. 😉

    • Jural July 21, 2014 3:24 pm #

      I am bringing special boxing gloves to tag the first person I go up against who wastes a tournament round bringing a Daemon army with 36 psychic dice and spends 80% fo the time allotment summoning

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 21, 2014 4:25 pm #


      • White925 July 22, 2014 1:33 pm #

        Lol yeah you should bring a beach chair so you can take a rest while he casts powers.

  15. adam July 21, 2014 4:15 pm #

    I was using 3 wave serpents at 1500pts earlier and my opponent declared I was using a cheesy spam filled list that illustrates perfectly why 40K is unbalanced(his opinion). fair enough the wave serpents toasted his decimator engine and smoked Belikor a turn later, why is there so much Eldar hate in the world, I need a word to call Eldar haters that’s similar to like anti-Semite lol

    • DCannon4Life July 21, 2014 4:51 pm #

      Dunno man, I run 3 serpents and 2 wraith knights at 1850 and I feel it’s spam–if it was 3 serpents and 1 knight or 2 serpents and 2 knights I would feel otherwise. I took 4 serpents and 2 knights once but was bored out of my mind. Sometimes it’s the list taken as a whole that amounts to spam.

      As for balance: No. 7th can be balanced, but it isn’t as written. Spam is still in full force (including my own spam) and is still very effective. I think most codexes (perhaps not all) have access to quality, spammable units, so there is potential balance in that.

      Invisibility is a problem.

      The loophole (such as it is) that allows Imperial Knights to enjoy all the perks of being a Lord of War while not giving opponents access to the LoW warlord traits or VPs for HPs removed has led to spamming them (only loss in two tournaments was to a guy that brought a Harridan; rock paper scissors?). Fortunately, the community has VERY quickly learned that Walkers (Super Heavy or otherwise) only have a 45 degree firing arc from the weapon as modeled. The new game is finding a blind spot or forcing them to expose their backs by making them turn to find targets. /shrug

      Clunky CC mechanics (you mean my guy can’t say, ‘hey, I see all these other nerds around here, but I’m going to spend my time trying to hit THAT guy’?) where ICs provide significant benefits to their units without ANY risk at all of being a casualty themselves are a problem. Look out Sir rolls exist, we should go back to being able to direct our attacks against specific models.

      …and Objective Secured Drop Pods (and empty Wave Serpents) are super dumb. People are losing games to Drop Pods (I’ve seen them); that’s f’ing stupid. Empty transports should not have Objective Secured. Scoring? Sure, but ObSec? No way.

      • Adam "Loopy" Fasoldt July 22, 2014 3:57 am #

        This is why I advocate just letting the multiple CAD do as it may. 6 Waveserpents. 9 Waveserpents. 3 Wraithknights. 6 Wraithknights. Whatever. Eldar and Daemons are gonna stick it in me and break it off anyways regardless of how many CADs they get. Douche Patrol is Douche Patrol; at least let me take what I want.

        I’ll be very interested to see what the results of the BAO will be.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 22, 2014 6:09 am #

          We will be making adjustments based on the feedback and observations of the BAO.

  16. Painnen July 22, 2014 6:52 am #

    7th is about as balanced as you are likely to ever see.

    • White925 July 22, 2014 1:42 pm #

      I agree. Im having a lot of fun playing it.

  17. Moridan July 22, 2014 7:44 am #

    I’m not sure what sort of Daemons build would be considered “top tier” but Daemon shooting is horrendous. Most of Daemon shooting is based off of Psychic Powers, but becomes more difficult with most WC spent on just staying alive. 9-(

    • White925 July 22, 2014 1:41 pm #

      Daemon summoning list is in my opinion one of the best lists in the game right now. They can deal with any problems that come up during the game and just produce to many models for most armies to deal with.

  18. arcahn21 July 24, 2014 10:20 pm #

    For TOs how does having to tweak the rules to make the game playable = more balanced? There seem to be tons of examples given in the responses to the article that essentially say the game is far from balanced. I guess I am having a hard time buying what the greatest 40k player in the world is saying 😉

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