Rawdogger here to talk about the current top 10 codices based on power levels between the various factions of Warhammer 40k. Now, we could be all fancy and shit and go by the official tournament rankings in the ITC but I like to play it a little more fast and loose and rely solely on anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence, like hyperbole, is one of the best things ever for backing up a statement.
This list will focus only on fully fleshed out Codices in the Warhammer 40k game system. What does that mean? It means sub-codices such as Tempestus Scions and Harlequins will not be ranked. It will also only include factions that have actual codices, so no Adepta Sororitas or Legion of the Damned. Also, let’s face it. None of those codices would even be listed on the top 10 Fantasy army lists, if you know what I’m sayin! DO YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN?
This list is comprised solely based on the individual power ratings, not how powerful they are with allies, hence the lack of Grey Knights (oops, spoiled the surprise).
So without further adieu, the top ten factions in Warhammer 40k according to a guy that barely plays Warhammer 40k.
10. Space Wolves – Really this should just be called ‘Thunderwolf Cavalry’ since they are the only viable build in the codex. That’s not such a bad thing, since it gets this codex on the list in the first place. Sure they have Stormwolves and a Santa-like character riding a sled but we all know who the money makers of the codex really are.
9. Dark Eldar – For the life of me I’m not sure why we don’t see these guys doing better on the top tournament tables. They are lightning fast, can bring 20+ mobile lance weapons to the board, and have access to some of the best wargear available a la the webway portal. They also can put together some of the toughest builds on the table top via the Haemonculus Covens. Alas, they have been relegated to pretty much being an auto ally for their much more popular and handsome cousins the Eldar.
8. Tyranids – 5 Flyrants. Should I continue? Barbed Hierodule. Had enough? 2+ cover save shenanigans. Though heavily dependent on Forgeworld to shore up some of their weaknesses, the Tyranids continue to be one of them most popular tournament armies, and with the recent LVO win by a Tyranid player with a beard and a toned midriff we should continue to see a lot of players emulating his list and play style into the near future.
7. Astra Militarum – If people were to play Astra Militarum as they should be, with multiple fearless blob squads running around clogging the board while their big guns pound from behind a protective screen, we would see this codex place a lot higher. Though not nearly on the same power level as the guys in the top 5 Astra Militarum can still be a fearsome force in the hands of a skilled general.
6. Cult Mechanicus/Skitarii – These guys are new to the neighborhood and are already bumping people off of top 10 lists left and right. With both powerful wargear and brutal new weapons enough to make an Astra Militarum general jealous, these codices are making people take notice.
5. Chaos Daemons – I know that personally when I line up against a skilled Daemon player, I’m in for a tough matchup. Chaos Daemons are the undisputed champions of the psychic phase, routinely boasting upwards of 30 warp charges. Oh, you got invisibility off on 2 dice? I DON’T THINK SO BRUH. The codex also boasts some obscene rules bending mechanics such as 3+ invulnerable saves that re-roll 1’s for some reason. Have you tried to kill a 8 strong unit of Plague Drones boosted up by Cursed Earth? I have, and quickly learned why even wasting shots at them was a terrible idea.
4. Tau – Though not as high on this list as they would have been a year or so ago, top Tau players are routinely taking home the top spots at tournaments around the country. The Tau codex is blessed with ridiculously low costed, powerful wargear items that take them from a 10 to and 11 in the power ratings. They also have a lot of inter-unit buffing abilities that truly seem as if the design team forgot that Independent Characters could join other units. Throw in some ridonkulous formations and some cover ignoring flesh lights and baby, you’ve got yourself a stew!
3. Space Marines – Now, this codex was just released so it may move up the ranks in a month or so of play testing but for now it sits firmly in the 3rd spot. It’s really just a couple of units and formations that make the Space Marine codex as powerful as it is. Centurions are still rockin cocks worldwide and drop pods with twin linked melta and flamer weapons a la Salamanders will still get the job done every time. They recently received some nice free transport boosts from the GW marketing team, which is not only a good way to sell slow moving transports but give the Space Marine codex the boost in power levels it most desperately did not need.
2. Necrons – Since this codex dropped a couple months back, it has been winning the hearts and minds of 40k players all over the world. That would be a true statement if you replace the word ‘winning’ with ‘churning’ and the words ‘hearts’ and ‘minds’ with ‘stomachs’ and ‘buttholes’. With their latest release, the Necrons were brought closer to resembling their fluff as implacable killing machines that are nigh impossible to put down. When you combine tough as nails troop units with an overwhelming amount short range Gauss and Tesla firepower you get an army that is just too legit to quit.
1. Eldar – Is anyone really surprised with this top spot codex? Long before their recent codex release the Eldar were seeing a lot of time at top tournament tables, though usually more in the support role. Why are these guys the top dog in the 40k universe? How about Jetbikes that can shoot 4 strength 6 lasers all while zooming out of sight in the assault phase? That doesn’t do it for you? Did you know they have army-wide rending, even on their basic troops? You want some more? How about their plethora of D weapons? We can go on and on about a Seer Council that drops an apocalyptic blast or Gargantuan Creatures with a toe in cover getting a cover save for some reason. The fact of the matter is even as a standalone codex the Eldar are certainly the most powerful faction in the current 7th edition Warhammer 40k universe.
So what do you guys think? Are these ranking accurate? Did any of the missing codices deserve the shafting?