On the 2015 40k Tournament Meta and Other Such Shizzle: A Rawdogger Rumination

Happy New Year, everyone!

It’s your old friend Rawdogger here to talk about what to expect during the 2015 40k tournament season.  I recently went to my first tournament of the year, the TSHFT in Seattle, WA.  Of course everyone knows that anecdotal evidence, like hyperbole, is the best thing ever so I decided I would use what I saw at this tournament to predict the ins and outs of what you can expect when attending a 40k tournament this year.

Bugs. I HATE BUGS! – Yes, you can thank the hunk Geoff “InControl” Robinson and his muscle shirts for popularizing the Tyranids in the competitive 40k scene.   At the forefront of these lists are monstrous creatures with a toe in a piece of area terrain (hopefully a ruin) to take advantage of that sweet 2+ cover save dealt out by everyone’s favorite Forgeworld model, the Malenthrope.  Another popular bug is the Forgeworld Barbed Hierodule, which spits out 12 strength 10 AP3 shots a turn.  The ability for the Tyranids to self ally within the ITC tournament circuit also means you will be seeing many 4-5 Winged Hive Tyrant lists.  With each Flyrant pumping out 12 twin-linked Strength 6 shots a turn, with a threat range of EVERYWHERE, we should be seeing a lot of rage quits this tournament season.

What’s Fluff Got to Do With It? – If the TSHFT was anything to base the current meta on, than the fluff and story of the 40k universe has gone the way of the Squats.  There were Tau armies allied with Tyranids and Eldar allied with Tau while summoning Daemons.  It’s a mess.  Unfortunately for all of us the ITC tournament circuit is currently allowing Come the Apocalypse allies.  I personally believe this just allows power list builders more loopholes in making devastatingly dreadful unit combinations and puts 40k closer to becoming a game like Magic the Gathering, which stinks.  Get it?  Magic players tend to smell badly is the joke.

TAC is WACK –  A long time ago in a galaxy far away it was better to be a good player with a take all comers list than to be a bad player with a couple of beater units.  That’s still the case. Oh wait, I meant the opposite of that statement.  That’s no longer the case.  In a game filled with D slaps that remove units with a lucky roll of a die and massed high strength cover ignoring weaponry, the game has essentially devolved into power list building and a rock vs. rock mentality.  I’m entirely interested in building a Space Marine Battle Force army list and bringing it to major tournaments just to document how badly it fares against the beat stick armies currently dominating the top tables.

Rise of the D – If you thought getting slapped in the face with a D was bad now, brother, I have some bad news for you.  Games Workshop and Forgeworld have caught the Destroyer Bug and like it or not they are cranking out gigantic models that will have your head literally spinning, because of all the D’s slapping it. The latest travesty is the Eldar Lynx, which somehow made it onto the list of approved Super Heavies at ITC events despite the ranged D blast.  It also ignores roughly half the hits your Tactical Terminators inflict.  Yes, in close combat too, because Eldar.  I, for one, welcome our new D overlords and look forward to a long and hard reign.

Peer Pressure is a Bitch – With the rise of the power lists comes the pressure to purchase, build, and play lists that are equal to or greater in power.  This is especially true in an environment that now sees a decently unified 40k tournament circuit in the ITC.  With prize support as well as the ability for national recognition at stake players will certainly feel the pressure when preparing for tournament games.  Sure, you can bring your fun Space Marine list with lots of Tactical Terminators but after your 5th game of getting clobbered by a Ad Lance list you will be purchasing Tau and Eldar models before your last game is up.  Of course, we can’t blame the players from bringing these types of lists when it is perfectly legal for them to do so.  In this case it is best not to hate the players, but rather it is better to hate the game.


About Reecius

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

68 Responses to “On the 2015 40k Tournament Meta and Other Such Shizzle: A Rawdogger Rumination”

  1. slaede January 19, 2015 11:48 am

    The army comp rules currently in use are hilariously obsolete. That is all.

    • Logan January 19, 2015 12:39 pm

      I agree, lets make it unlimited detachment (restricted to 1 copy per).

      Example: You can take Formation A, Formation B, and Formation C as an army. Though you can’t do Formation A, Formation A, Formation A.

      I know a store that is trying this out in San Diego.

      • Reecius
        Reecius January 19, 2015 1:12 pm

        Adepticon is doing that and they are not sold out (still 50 spots left), yet which is a huge change, they typically sell out in minutes. I do not think most folks want to play 40k with little to no restrictions.

        • winterman January 19, 2015 2:17 pm

          Might be a stretch to extrapolate the format as being the sole culprit. A lot more options at Adepticon this year for 40k gaming (and gaming in general) on Thursday then years past.

        • Black Blow Fly January 19, 2015 6:45 pm

          This is the most abusive year ever. It’s all about D slapping like Raw Dogger said. Kind of sad.

          • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 9:18 am

            No army with a Str D shooting weapon has won a major tournament to my knowledge, and with Knights Str D isn’t really so different from S10.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 19, 2015 1:13 pm

      Slaede, gotta say I love your constantly positive and sunny disposition, buddy! You keep doin, you!

      • slaede January 19, 2015 2:16 pm

        You can’t tell me you don’t agree. 1 CAD and 1 formation/ally? Most of the formations are modified CAD’s with better perks at this point. It’s barely a restriction anymore, so why ban double CAD? Soon all the armies will have formations that are CAD-like and you’re operating in an environment where there aren’t any serious checks on what gets tossed into an army list.

        I mean, TSHFT was won by AbusePuppy with an Eldar CAD sporting just a bit of forgeworld and the Tau Firebase cadre. How is anything double CAD can produce stronger than that? You’d be hard-pressed to make an unbound list with more shots. How can you not conclude that the army restrictions don’t really restrict a whole hell of a lot? At least we don’t have to worry about Tranny C’Tans, I guess.

        I’m not suggesting you open it up more, either. With Forgeworld and all these new formations, I’ve lost track. I mean, I still don’t even know what book to find the Eldar Hornet in.

  2. CaptainA January 19, 2015 12:36 pm

    Don’t know that anything has really changed much. Put in any comp system and guys and gals will be able to figure out what the top shiz is. Top three at TSHFT were Eldar/Tau, Tau, and Eldar. All power builds.

    You can change it any way you like but there will always be a way to build power lists.

    • Reecius
      Reecius January 19, 2015 1:14 pm

      There will always be a top build(s) true, but if you can manage to alter it to the point where the overall power level is a little bit more moderate, then more folks have fun. If you really want to play “real” 7th ed 40k, I can happily put my 2 Tranny C’Tans on the table and let’s have a ball!

      • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 1:18 pm

        Yeah. The real trick is to make a game where the “best” and “worst” options have less of a power disparity and that play skill and list-writing (as opposed to luck, matchup, etc) are the determiners of victory.

        • Reecius
          Reecius January 19, 2015 1:26 pm

          Yeah, that’s the goal. It is hard to do. The exit poll from the LVO will be very telling as to what folks want going forward. We’re going to take that and general ITC feedback to shape the rules for the next season.

      • CaptainA January 19, 2015 2:16 pm

        Please don’t think that I am going for “include everything”. Far from it. All I’m saying is that no matter what system is in place there will be people that are able to min/max that system.

        • TinBane January 19, 2015 6:15 pm

          Of course, but let’s be honest, anything remotely fluffy is so far out of contention they may as well not put any models down.

          Balance can be measured, by a distribution. Someone who knows the roles for the units they are using, and the compositions they are likely to come up against, should be able to field a list that doesn’t put them at such a massive disparity.

          If you compare resilience, speed, damage output, and objective capture capability between just about anything and a wave-serpent, you find the wave serpent is about 30% better per point, MINIMUM. That’s a huge, HUGE disparity, and both the magnitude and availability are pretty well unique to GW.

          Compare a predator destructor, with a wave-serpent on these factors? Now in a reasonable game, the predator would be better at clearing troops, per point spent on it, because it’s slower, restricted in number (Heavy Support), and specialised for one function.

          The fact that it’s a laughable comparison, is evidence enough that GW are really really bad at balance. GW have an unfortunate habit of making generalist units, overly good, or specialist units, overly general.

          Look at something like the storm raven/talon. They are ground attack vehicles, that are better than most interceptors. They’ve been made into generalists, instead of specialists.

          Look at how tough bikes are, in many cases they aren’t much less tougher than terminators, and when you factor costs, significantly cheaper. They have speed, and other tactical benefits that are huge.

          Now, I know you are saying that comp isn’t going to fix everything, but honestly, it’s hard to see how a heap of this stuff adds to the game.

          If you feel like I’m being dumb, just run through this exercise:
          How much firepower or how much cheaper should a predator be, to be balanced against a wave serpent at 145pts?

          How tough should a terminator be at 40pts, to be balanced against bikes with their jinking and 22pts(??) per model?

          The result, is that you will probably decide that waveserpents need a significant nerf to their forcefield, which isn’t even a system designed to be weaponised, but is somehow better than most options in the eldar arsenal.

          And that terminators should probably have two wounds and FNP.

      • JesseS January 19, 2015 6:01 pm

        Hey, uh Reecius… I know you almost certainly don’t mean anything by it but could you not use phrases like “Tranny C’tan” please?

        “Tranny” is a pretty loaded term that is predominantly used to denigrate transgendered people and having a respected community leader throw it around is not ok. You would not use a hurtful phrase like “nigger Marines” to describe Salamanders so please don’t use “Tranny C’tan.”

        • Nova star January 19, 2015 8:05 pm

          Or you know get a thicker skin and get over it

          • JesseS January 20, 2015 8:34 am

            How about you let me know what slur you find most insulting and I’ll only refer to you by that.

            Then you can “get thicker skin and get over it.”

            Either you’re a troll, in which case I’m responding because other people might read this and think about it a little closer, or you’re just insulted by the fact that I don’t think it’s ok for slurs to get casually thrown around, in which… yah I got nothing there, that just sort of makes you a terrible person.

            Wow, first time I’ve ever hoped someone was trolling.

          • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 6:55 pm

            No, it’s cool. People who have been systematically degraded and discriminated against can _just choose to get over it_ and everything is better in an instant, regardless of the attitudes and laws that still surround them.

        • CaptainBadtouch January 19, 2015 8:32 pm

          Also inaccurate. Salamanders aren’t of African descent. They are jet black, due to the environmental conditions on Nocturne.

          You’re also assuming that the Trancendent C’tan isn’t a transexual. That’s pretty bigoted. You don’t know how or what a C’tan feels. Whata C’tan does in it’s free time, when not destroying entire armies, is it’s business alone. I would think it’s pretty empowering having a gender bender represented in such a devastating way.

          • JesseS January 20, 2015 8:30 am

            I’ll reiterate: “tranny” is a derogatory term used AGAINST transgendered people. Being known by a slur is not empowering.

            An empowering name would be… I suppose you could go with GQ C’tan (gender queer C’tan).

        • fluger January 20, 2015 1:21 pm

          I’m glad you acknowledge he’s not using it to mean anything as it’s just a shortening of the name. Kind of like how gear heads call transmissions “trannies”. They are making ZERO reference to transexuals, which is also what Reece is doing here as he’s simply shortening Transcendent to Tranny.

          • JesseS January 20, 2015 2:27 pm

            While I acknowledge your point here I hope you can see how contextually referring to a character that is not only deliberately anthropomorphic but is in fact referred to in the fiction with gendered pronouns is very different from the way mechanics are referring to transmissions.

            Again, I’ll reiterate, I do not think Reecius had any intention of using the phrase derogatorily. Everything I’ve heard of him makes me think he’s an awesome guy.

            However Reecius’ intent doesn’t change the fact that it is a derogatory phrase. Which is why I politely asked him to not use it anymore.

            This is a social game and therefore it is important for us, as a community, to make sure it is welcoming to players regardless of race, gender, creed etc (because none of those things have any effect on playing the game) and I was simply pointing out where we could do better.

          • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 2:57 pm

            Whether they’re intending to use it as a gendered slur or not, it’s still promoting the use of the word. I doubt you would casually refer to an alien race called the N’grada as “N****rs” in a conversation, would you? Same concept.

          • fluger January 20, 2015 3:23 pm

            Maybe it’s because I come from a family of mechanics and have used the term for years in reference to cars. (I still think of carburetors when people say “carbs” too).

            I don’t think you came off too high-horsed in this whole thing, I just maintain that sometimes things that have nothing to do with each other might sound similar. For instance, I will continue to use the word niggardly as it has nothing to do with the n-word. I would maintain that this has more to do with shortening transcendent than any implication on gender.

            Anyway, you’re polite, I’m polite, we can all get along, and besides, I say Trans C’tan anyway. 😛

          • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 6:54 pm

            I realize it’s used in the context of cars as well, but I’m not sure how much leeway that gets it given the typical way that sort of slur tends to get used. (Lots of similar words get used well outside their original lexicon simply because they become a convenient entry in the vocabulary.) Whatever other meanings it may have had, these days the word is considered fairly offensive to trans individuals, so steering away from it is the better policy, I think. As you say, I don’t believe that he means to give offense with it, but not intending offense doesn’t automatically prevent it from happening.

            (“Niggardly” is a wholly different case because a word that sounds like something is not the same as using the same word. I’m not opposed to the use of the words granny, or fanny, or Sammy, or nanny, because even though they sound similar they are indeed different words.)

          • fluger January 20, 2015 7:06 pm

            Well, I asked my one trans friend (who is also a nerd) what she thinks. If she thinks it’s offensive, i’ll concede the point.

          • fluger January 20, 2015 8:00 pm

            This is what my trans friend said

            “Yeah, that’s a good question. I mean, like you said, it’s just a shortening of a longer word (as with transgender), so it’s not a reference… but at the same time, if something long shortened to “nigga” I think most of us white folks would still avoid it, even if it were clearly unrelated to anything about black folks.
            the real issue with tranny, is that it’s the primary word used by fetishests and such
            on the internet, it’s used chiefly to find porn of trans girls, and on the street, it’s absolutely a slur.
            But just like the n word, you do hear some trans people using it when talking to each other… it’s just not the same thing, for probably similar reasons
            ultimately, I think I go with the general rule that anythign that is most often shouted, and usually preceded by “Fucking” is best left alone
            but back to your actual game: I think the big thing would be the chance that someone like me was around… if I knew you knew that I’m trans, and you knew that I knew, etc… and the word still got thrown around, it could make someone pretty uncomfortable.
            personally, I’m very very hard to offend, but I’m pretty forgiving, I think, on the grand scale of things. “

          • fluger January 20, 2015 8:01 pm

            tl;dr. She says to avoid it, so I’ll avoid it.

  3. iNcontroL January 19, 2015 12:47 pm

    My bug brethren shall bring the pain at LVO! 🙂 Love your articles Jason.. I don’t disagree with the things you say generally speaking.

  4. AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 1:15 pm

    I don’t think TAC lists are dead at all; I mean, I kinda won with one, so that’s gotta count for something. The thing to keep in mind is that what “take all comers” means will depend on what sorts of lists are powerful at a given time- it’s entirely reasonable, even intelligent, to bias your list towards beating certain strategies that you can expect to face regularly. No list perfectly divides its resources between literally every possible army in the game because that’s not just dumb, it’s impossible.

    “Fluff is dead” is really all in the eye of the beholder. I mean, GW itself has battle reports where a BA Librarian summons a Greater Daemon, so really you can justify just about anything you want to. The story is written to explain the game, not vice versa.

    I don’t think the Lynx is exceptionally powerful compared to the other stuff out there. It’s got really weak AVs and a middling pool of HP. Str D guns aren’t nearly as scary as they used to be, so even in a best-case scenario it’s really only killing one tank per turn, something that other units in its price range are easily capable of doing. And, barring the intervention of 6s, you can just get lucky and shrug its hits off pretty easily with cover saves and whatnot.

    • bogalubov January 19, 2015 1:56 pm

      I think that just comes from different definitions of TAC. Most people think of TAC as list that brought a little bit of everything. Some troops, some AA and some assault.

      But you could also say that wave serpents and flyrants are TAC. These are units that are good at shooting a lot of things equally well.

      “Classic”, army box TAC and wave serpent TAC are not exactly playing the same game.

      There are ways to beat mass flyrants, mass wave serpents and LoWs. However, some people don’t want to be forced to play the game that way. This sort of thing happens as editions switch. There are plenty in the community who are still reeling from the 5th edition switchover.

      What used to be brutal is now mundane.

      • Trasvi January 19, 2015 5:14 pm

        Completely agreed. Obviously the tournament winning lists are ‘take all comers’, but I think people use the term ‘TAC list’ to mean a combined arms force. A few squads of infantry, 2 or 3 vehicles, some specialists; the kind of army that you see posing in the GW books.

        THAT kind of army is dead. It was never really competitive, but in my experience it is drastically less so in this edition than previously. I used to be able to eke out wins in 5th edition against the power lists of the day with my combined arms Tau, but against an Adamantine Lance or similar it has no hope.

        As AbusePuppy says above: The goal should be less disparity between the best + worst lists but still allowing the better players to win.

      • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 8:21 pm

        Well, if that’s the TAC definition you’re using then the game has NEVER supported TAC as a viable army type. Games Workshop just doesn’t understand how to balance units such that such a “battleforce” army can work. Some games- like Infinity and Firestorm- do manage it, but 40K never has.

        That said, a mix of strategies isn’t uncommon, which seems to be what you’re looking for; I looked long and hard for a way to work a Wraithknight into my list, but the points just weren’t there for it. Most armies do benefit at least somewhat from having elements of several types (shooting melee, etc) in them, because any single-minded strategy is vulnerable to crumpling to some kind of counter-unit.

        • bogalubov January 19, 2015 10:29 pm

          It’s a question of perception, not viability. Perhaps battle box TAC has never been competitive, but that’s closer to what people think of when you say: “I brought a TAC list.”

          By the other definition of TAC, last winter you would not have been wrong to say “I’m just playing a TAC list” as you busted out your seer council. It was an army that cared little for what the opponent fielded, it was going to play its game and look for psychic powers that worked in its match up.

          • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 10:44 pm

            Eh, I would disagree. Some types of lists- like Seer/Screamerstar, Land Raiders, flyer spam, etc, rely heavily on emphasizing a single strength and simply ignore the presence of their weaknesses. A LR list, for example, knows it will lose to any Drop Melta army- it simply doesn’t care, working under the assumption that it simply wouldn’t get matched up against such an army. Similarly, Seerstar would often just roll over and die when facing Skyblight lists last edition, as it couldn’t reliably get powers off under SitW and had no real way to deal with the FMCs.

            A TAC, in my mind, is defined by its ability to bring multiple types of answers to different problems. Seerstar or Land Raiders don’t do that, because they only have one answer in their army. The list I brought to TSHFT has several distinct firepower profiles (S8 AP1/2, S7, S9 Ordnance, S4/6 Rending) as well as melee capability (via Summoning) and utility spells (Invisibility, Shrouding, Terrify, Guide, Doom, Fortune) lots of mobility, Interceptor, etc. There are lots of armies that can beat one of its parts- Command Barges, for example, give the Serpents fits- but not a lot of them can beat all the parts working together. That’s the strength of a TAC army- no one tactic will work against all of its components.

    • N.I.B. January 20, 2015 4:52 am

      GW former leading game designer Gav Thorpe has said that the game (the rules) is there to allow you to enact the background world on the table top. Not the other way around.

      I would say that it’s still GW’s official stance on it, regardless that GavT is no longer a GW employee.

  5. Jeremy Veysseire
    MikhailLenin January 19, 2015 1:50 pm

    Rawdogger, I understand where you are coming from but I can’t agree with the statement that List Building is negating smart plays.

    I don’t want to completely sound like a ego eccentric know it all but I am fairly sure thats implied when you are called the “French Overlord” (it is naturally implied in all context and usage of the word French.)

    I consistently face armies that should wreck my White Scars army. First I should clarify not implying I take a bad army and do abnormally well at these events with it. I take pretty tough lists that work for me from a fluff and aesthetic perspective that retain some meta element with flexibility which I will expand upon later. What I mean earlier is that I face paper (bad match ups to a lot of elements) to my rock.

    Thats what happens when you do well at Tournaments, you are bound to get into a game where shit is Grim and Dark (FORGING NARRATIVES) due to mission deployment, seized on, shitty maelstorm, etc… BUT as long as you play smart and minimize your mistakes by trying to WIN the long game than its just about waiting for your opponents to make mistakes.

    Against Grant in our game the night before the first day, I adopted a simple Strategy of board control and putting constant pressure on him and tried to take an early lead on Maelstorm for the long game.

    Against JP, there was no way in hell I should have come close to winning that game with his Flying Circus of Summoning. Pretty sure, he summoned ~1,300 points of Daemons in our game and yet I managed to win, I have to say the dice luck helped a lot but the biggest error he committed was feeding my Deathstar 3 Units and allowing me the ability to not worry about them going forward instead of just screening his backfield units from them.

    Against AbusePuppy, I was actually winning until the last part of our game when I ended failing two small charges that would have kept some of my last units on the table to contest Primary when I had a 2 point lead on Secondary (Then got tabled, god I hate tables with no LOS blockers in no man’s land).

    Look, play smart, stick to the objectives and let your opponents make the mistakes for you. I honestly believe that whatever the meta is, good smart players will do well consistently. To win a tournament you just need that extra bit of luck. Good List building is merely a tool to enable you to create as many opportunities for you to maximize on your opponents mistakes.

    • Jeremy Veysseire
      MikhailLenin January 19, 2015 1:52 pm

      “Against Grant in our game the night before the first day, I adopted a simple Strategy of board control and putting constant pressure on him and tried to take an early lead on Maelstorm for the long game.”

      I should add that Grant made a huge mistake he basically fed his Seer Council to my Deathstar versus just turbo boosting away.

      • CaptainA January 19, 2015 5:38 pm

        Your list IS far from light Jpop.

    • Trasvi January 19, 2015 5:18 pm

      Its not exactly as though a White Scars biker deathstar is an ‘easy’ army though. Its probably the scariest powerbuild combination Codex Marines can put together and the vast majority of non-powerbuild armies out there will find it incredibly difficult to beat.

    • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 8:34 pm

      Yeah, list building doesn’t negate good play at all. You consistently see the same players (often with very different lists) scoring well at events time and time again in tournaments all over the country, and they consistently beat even players that run similar or identical lists because they have better system mastery.

  6. Andrew January 19, 2015 2:54 pm

    I find it difficult to keep my narrative hard when somebody is throwing cheese at it, but maybe that’s a personal problem…

    I’m of the opinion that we never give rules/lists a long enough test-period; meta shifts naturally over time based on people building lists to counter the current hotness. The thing about about this abundance of FW units and formations is that its almost impossible to test an overpowered unit against every other model/unit/army/formation/situation/pineapple that is out there. Sure certain units/combos rise to the top, but I think we should give it more time to see if they fall off in popularity before we immediately try to fix it.

    • z3n1st January 19, 2015 5:38 pm

      sounds like you are lactose intolerant

      • z3n1st January 19, 2015 5:40 pm

        “I find it difficult to keep my narrative hard when somebody is throwing cheese at it…”

        because in some countries/back alleys that costs good money

  7. Scumlord January 19, 2015 3:18 pm

    You guys at FLG are my overall arbiters of how the game is played. Why hasn’t the council convened and made an actual game-changing FAQ, not one that just staples shut the wounds that GW leaves gaping?
    My group is tired of a lot of the simply broken units in the game. We would follow the FLG FAQ that removed/changed abilities, increased points, outright banned units. It would lead to a better game, and if my experience at the BAO was any indication, all the haters DON’T PLAY GAMES, they JUST HATE. The rest of us would like an exterior body to remove the most egregious cheese, so we don’t look personally petty about wanting that damn serpent shield to stop ignoring cover.

    • TinBane January 19, 2015 6:22 pm

      It’s actually an interesting point.
      If FLG could somehow invest the time to “fix” 40k, with the alterations used for the friendly match.

      Now the challenge of course, is that people will cry “broken” or “overly nefed”.
      It will be nigh impossible to get those kind of wholesale changes agreed upon for friendlies across the country.

      It’s the kind of things where you need a lot of buy-in to make it work. Otherwise it would be a dead event, with few sign-ups.

      Some codexes are just borked as all hell. Are you going to nerf everything down to their level, or end up crafting more stuff to put in the sisters codex?

      Or would it be relatively modest? The issue there is finding fun, fluffy nerfs that allow anyone to field the lists they want.

    • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 8:37 pm

      The problem there is twofold, I think: for one, that is HARD to do. Even if they cut down the top tier of units in the game (Serpents, Flyrants, Command Barges, White Scars, Knights) that would just put yet another set of units on top, and in many cases with very little decrease in overall power level. There are a lot of strong contenders out there, and rebalancing the whole game would be an enormous amount of work.

      Secondly, doing so would probably lose them the support of most of the people who currently stand with the ITC system. Even just the limited changes they’ve made so far have caused more than a fair bit of dissension.

  8. DCannon4Life January 19, 2015 3:52 pm

    Lias Issadon: A truly broken model. He should get an entry all of his own. He will be ubiquitous in Space Marine lists.

    • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 2:59 pm

      He locks you into a specific Chapter Tactic, though, which isn’t a trivial thing. He’s good, but you have to find ways to use his Infiltrate ability to really break him, and SM mostly don’t have ways to do that.

      • DCannon4Life January 20, 2015 6:38 pm

        Does he have to be the Warlord? I thought the marines from HIS detachment have his chapter tactic? Would be at least somewhat welcome news if he had a ‘drawback’ (if Heavy 1 Rending Bolters are a drawback).

        • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 6:41 pm

          It’s possible to take him not as the Warlord, but if you don’t you won’t get his warlord trait (which is the best thing about him.)

          Giving Rending to Bolters is a nice trick, but it does cost you the use of another Tactic, many of which are quite powerful. I would call the Raptors CT to be average at best.

  9. Bassface7 January 19, 2015 4:29 pm

    “it is better to hate the game.”

    Dude i don’t think i’ve heard you go a full sentence without a complaint about your dice/luck/GW Price/GW Rules/”Meta” why do you play 40k? These articles are not informative and while you don’t seem like a total asshat your constant bitching puts a real downer on any video or podcast you’re in.

    Instead of an article bitching why not write an article on how FLG’s format helps combat the power list meta, or write some tactica on the Stormlord you were using a few vids back? Anything to convince us that you actually enjoy this game and aren’t just some sort of weird sadist/troll/both here to depress anyone who reads your stuff.

    • Jason
      Raw Dogger January 19, 2015 5:46 pm

      Please send me a link to your blog where you write your articles so I can leave rude comments.

      • Bassface7 January 20, 2015 2:55 am

        You don’t have to be a chef to know the food tastes like shit 😉

        Seriously though, you’re a good enough writer – just the topics you pick always make you come across like a whining child. I’d genuinely like to hear your opinions on topics other than how much “X” Sucks.

    • TinBane January 19, 2015 6:26 pm

      To be honest, I don’t agree with everything Raw Dogger says, but his articles at least pose interesting questions.
      And I wouldn’t read too much of it as criticism of FLG. The ITC and FAQs can only fix so much of the game, without alienating everyone who is enjoying where the meta is at.

      I mean, as frustrating as the meta is for lots of people, I actually enjoy seeing the non dickish eldar and tau players having fun. I think it’s great that nids can actually hold their own, depending on the game, and that there’s a few competitive space marine builds that can really throw a spanner in the works of other lists sometimes.

      Hopefully, they either bump up the laggards, or rebalance the top lists. The problem of course, is that once you give a player a good option, they are liable just to take as much as possible, until you nerf that unit, or bump everything else up. Which explains power creep.

  10. Roland January 19, 2015 4:35 pm

    Honestly I just want to play in a tourney format that allows me to take my white scars as a CAD, ally in some space wolves and use my knight in a knight detachment. I don’t like nor agree with the limiting to one CAD and either 1 formation, allied deyachment, or specialty detachment.

  11. Trasvi January 19, 2015 5:04 pm

    What is wrong with CTA allies?

    I mean, sure, the fluff breaking stinks. But then again, rule of cool conversions can trump any amount of fluff – the TSHFT tournament showed ‘Nid bugs being mind controlled by Tau – super fluffy!
    But in terms of balance, what shenanigans do CTA allies allow that aren’t already allowed by all the other armies with less restrictive allies charts? Its not as though GW write the rules with CTA alliances in mind when ‘balancing’ a codex. Is Eldar/Nids really worse than Eldar/Tau?

  12. Black Blow Fly January 19, 2015 6:56 pm

    CtA allies will bring about the end of meaningful games. There is no theme other than going for the most broken combos with no inherent penalties. Look at the Caledonian over across the pond. The competitive game has changed at the most competitive level and it’s not pretty.

    Just have to man up and L2P – whining solves nothing.

    • Trasvi January 19, 2015 7:14 pm

      What is so broken about CTA allies in particular that they shouldn’t be allowed, as opposed to allies of convenience?

      My biggest peeve with the Allies chart (other than its existence in general) is that it has such a huge effect on game balance yet the pairings are justified by fluff. Imperials get an amazing deal out of it, yet some armies (nids) are heavily penalized. Hence the reason that most tournaments allow self-allying, just to give Nids/Tau a leg up against the huge advantage Imperials/Chaos/Eldars get from Battle Brothers.

    • Harrythedog January 19, 2015 8:18 pm

      How do cat allies bring about the end of meaningful games? If the game is fun for both parties how is that not meaningful? Because it breaks someone, somewhere’s idea of what the fluff should be? Should competitive games at Cally’s level have to respect some people’s ideas of the fluff if not everyone buys into that view point? Cta allies are a thing in the main rulebook after all.

      The Caledonian this year was the biggest 40k event in the UK ever, with 180 tickets sold. I played in it with a single CAD Eldar list that had no wave serpents in it, no LoW, didn’t summon Deamons and didn’t use Seer Council; I came in the top 30 and had an absolute blast. I had 5 hard games against 5 great opponents that all seemed to be having a great time too. There were some absolutely brutal lists (9-hornet deamon-summoning Eldar for example) a lot of knights and Eldar with allies of all stripes, but the CtA lists were definitely in the minority and you would expect a tournament of this level to feature a lot of strong lists – I would have felt slightly cheated tbh if it hadn’t.

      My point is that, despite the craziness of some of the lists, the AdLance with Eldar allies, Lynxes, Necron Pylons, Typhon siege tanks and all the rest of it the atmosphere was buzzing all weekend and there were an awful lot of people having a good time just playing 40k. So in that regard, it definitely was pretty. I see a lot of complaints on the inter webs about the brokenness of units and the game that seem to suggest there’s little fun to be had in 40k anymore, but they really don’t seem to jibe with my, and from what I can tell from playing at Cally, many other’s experiences in the real world.

      One thing of note; the player with the 9-hornet list was in the dice-off for most sporting player, so his broken and un-fun list would seem to have been fun for his opponents at least.

    • AbusePuppy January 19, 2015 8:42 pm

      It’s true, CTA allies will eat your babies and burn everything you hold dear. Once, I loved a woman, but an Eldar/Necrons army beat her to death with a baseball bat in front of my eyes while laughing. When I tried to stop it, a SoB/Tyranids army kicked me in the ribs and called me the n-word. I later applied for a home loan, and an IG/CSM army told me my application had been rejected because my credit score was too low, then foreclosed my mortgage.

      Nothing good can ever come of CTA allies. They are the devil incarnate and I’m glad a classy, intelligent, and objective individual such as yourself is here to tell us so.

  13. GrimAsDeath January 19, 2015 7:04 pm

    So this just a opinion based from my own experiences and thoughts. In my group we have a term we use and its “no lube”, AKA beat you so hard your grand kids will feel it, yeah we are that kinda troll.. But the point is going up against this stuff has made me a better player and made my lists more balanced. Many times I’ve won because I played smart and made sure my list was TAC. My group doesn’t hold back with each other and it has given us knowledge on how to take on D-weapons, death stars and the like. I won’t become a better tactician or player by refusing to play against certain things and by complaining about the meta. Knowledge is power and practice helps too. As for complaints on disregard for the fluff, I remember reading a story where chaos sorcerers managed to control a Zoanthrope so why not Tau using technology on the Tyranids? Genestealer cults exist and lets not forget about Blood Angels with Necrons killing Tyranids. Books have had this crazy ally stuff going on before it was cool. The most awesome and fun thing about this game is how imagination is encouraged, how that narrative is forged. My entire point is that it is easy to complain and be negative. Take it as a moment to grow as a player, be positive in adversity and remember at the end of a day its just a game.. Just one we really love and stuff.

  14. Painjunky January 20, 2015 3:34 am

    40k fluff is boss! Like New York Times bestseller boss!

    Its just disappointing that awesome fluff almost never works at the tournament level.

    Oh well its just a game…

  15. Hotsauceman1 January 20, 2015 9:42 am

    About the last part. I’m broke and I lovlove competitive that I can’t go back to casual. But it is expensive keeping up.
    Although I found a glorious thing, second hand minis

  16. Rob January 20, 2015 1:55 pm

    I think what’s missing is the importance of matchup’s. I run what I consider a TAC Ork list (warboss on a bike painboy on a bike, painboy, 30 boyz, 2 squads of loota’s dakka jet and some other stuff) and generally do well. When i when tournies its because i get matched up against armies that i dont do well against. The best tournaments have been unrestricted affairs. Your system although i like parts i dont think you should be allowed a allied detachment of the same faction as it is not allowed per the rules. No matter what comp system is in play for some reason gamers feel the need to break it. Maybe we need to form some sort of ethics in Gaming. Its a bigger societal issue but people overall lack self control and forget that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    • AbusePuppy January 20, 2015 3:02 pm

      In an unrestricted tournament, the Transcendent C’tan and a handful of other models utterly dominate the field to a degree that makes even the current imbalances pale. I’ve been to unrestricted tournaments before; they just aren’t very much fun.

      >but people overall lack self control and forget that just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

      Tournaments are tests of skill where the players involved are competing to win. Within that context, doing anything that is legal and ethical to win is not a flaw or a sin. Bringing an effective army is neither illegal nor unethical.

  17. hippesthippo January 25, 2015 11:18 pm

    aaaannnddd that’s why I’ve been slowly selling my 40k stuff and playing more and more Blood Bowl.

    You see, in Blood Bowl you still get the grim-dark and everything great about the Warhammer Universe, but the rules are written by sensible people (aka NOT gw), and building a team costs pennies.

    I loved playing my painstakingly-tweaked-outside-the-box-labor-of-love 40k armies. And I loved traveling to tournaments meeting awesome people and actually testing ones skill at the game.

    Alas, almost overnight the game turned into who wants to buy more cheese and speedpaint it as fast as possible just to beat the guy across from you. I wouldn’t even call it a win.

    Just too damn much to keep up with. Funnily enough, I think I’m still ranked like top 25 on ToF haha. Last tourney I played I went 3-1 at Adepticon, going 1-1 against CentStars. It was boring as hell.

    Give me a call when 40k wakes the fuck up.


    • hippesthippo January 25, 2015 11:27 pm

      Looking back, it’s hard to tell exactly what the turning point was. I quite enjoyed 6th ed allies of convenience. It brought an end to the single archetype codex armies. And still made, relatively speaking, fairly decent sense. Battle Brother rules should have never been so strong. That was turning point number one.

      Turning point number two came with the advent of the idea that new rules/units/formations didn’t necessarily need to come from a Codex. Keeping track of everything became a chore and Escalation just straight didn’t belong. It broke too many fundamental rules.

      And the straw that broke the back? The demise of the FoC as we knew it. Just take whatever the fuck you want! Spend all your moneys and slop it on the table! Hopefully it’s fun?!?!