Deathstars and Lords of War

clash of the titans

What happens when an immovable object meets an irresistible force? Fireworks! When you remove one of those from the equation, what you get is more predictable outcomes.

Hey everyone, Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to discuss why I believe Lords of War and more specifically, D weapons (with moderation) are good for the game in a general sense.

Recently, the very awesome sounding NOVA Open wrapped up; one of the premiere tabletop gaming events in North America. I missed it (I was off at Burning Man this year), but it sounded like an incredible event. They have a meta in which no Lords of War were allowed and ranged D weapons (those that remained sans LoW) were nerfed to be less powerful past 12″. Also, they had missions with Kill Points as an element to each of them. So, gamers being gamers, many attendees gamed the system (as they do in any system) and in this given meta, brought hyper powerful Deathstar armies with low unit counts as there were few counters out there to those style lists.


Now, before I go any further, I just want to emphatically state that this is in no way a criticism of NOVA, I would have loved to have gone and am sure I would have had a blast had I been able to attend as I did last year. I am simply using the results and format as an example to illustrate my point. The event is a great one, and we support them fully and attend annually. It was also made quite clear going into the event what the format would be, so everyone going was on the same page in that regard and as always, the event was won with skill and luck, not just a list.

So, that said, back to my point! We had a fantastic performance from Aaron Aelong with his Thunderstar winning both the Open and Invitational. Well done! His list revolved around a hard as nails unit that was most of his army, with Space Wolf Characters, a Librarius Conclave, and a Ravenwing Command Squad with Dark Angels Characters in it. Massive points investment! It also had a smattering of MSU scoring units for objective grabbing. With rerollable Jink saves of a 3+ or better, 2+ armor and in some cases 2+ invul saves, FnP, LoS!, and other such shenanigans, the unit is ultra durable and also very fast, shoots well, has H&R, and hits like a hammer in melee. Add into this powers like Invisibility, etc. to further enhance their resilience, and the unit becomes neigh unkillable. The strategy of the list revolves around crushing your opponent’s army with this one unit which is very difficult to hurt, while your support units play to the mission. There are a lot of units like this in the game that have come and gone, Lychstars, Centstars, Seer Councils, Screamerstars, etc., etc., but they are all essentially the same: overwhelming force.

I have never enjoyed these style units on a personal level as I feel they lack tactical finesse (and no, my Ork army does not have a Deathstar in it, lol). For me they simply boil down to bashing someone on the head with a unit they can’t hurt. However, that’s just my opinion (and again, I am not trying to take anything away form those who play them, just expressing my personal opinion). Some people love them, and that is totally cool. More importantly: they are a part of the game, so we must learn to deal with them. The trick to that is, that when you have units this powerful, it can be very difficult to counter them with “conventional” weapons. When the odds of hurting a unit falls to under 3%, simple math tells us that the other guy’s army quite simply lacks the amount of shots and time to actually hurt the Deathstar. A 20+ wound unit that has a 90%+ wound absorption rate means you need literally buckets of shots to destroy them. The unit effectively becomes invincible. This lack of participation in the game is a bummer, for me, as the other player often experiences a sense of hopelessness and futility. The, “why did I bother to play” feeling that can really turn people off. I’m not saying that applies to everyone by any means, but it does to many.

smarter than the average bear


Now, a wise player simply chooses to not engage the Deathstar, or just contain it. Assuming you can’t punch a unit to death, don’t waste resources trying, right? MSU armies, for example, are quite good at doing this. They have more units than the Deathstars have turns to destroy them in. And of course, that is what savvy players do. You can defeat Deathstars by simply focusing on the mission objectives and playing to them. For me though, simply hoping to score enough points before being killed isn’t super fun. It’s better to be able to engage directly, if at all possible. Or, to at least have the option to engage directly.

irresistable force unmovable object

That’s where LoW come into play! Ranged D weapons (reined in a bit, as pretty much every major tournament does) really do help to crack those mega durable units. Stomps, as frustrating at they can be, do the same thing. Melee D does the same thing. They force the Death-star player to reconsider investing so heavily into a unit that–should they draw the wrong match-up–could turn into a liability, quickly. A weapon that bypasses the mega durability some of these units get, is a good thing for the game at large. Just as the game would be odd if you didn’t have any weapons that could hurt tanks, for example, as everyone would just take load of tanks; so is it a bit odd to have a meta where Deathstar units don’t have a counter. It creates situations where one style of play becomes clearly superior. However, to be fair you can make this argument about any system. I acknowledge that, but feel that what we are really arguing is to what degree these types of situations occur in a given system.

IMO, allowing some super heavy and gargantuan LoW into the meta, Ranged D (again, toned down a bit) help to bring a bit of balance to the force by introducing a counter. You get a more diverse meta where there is no “obvious” choice for a list when every move has a counter-move. The nice thing is too, LoW aren’t a hard counter to Deathstars. Deathstars can take out LoW effectively, but they may take heavy damage on the way and, more importantly, the other player feels like they at least have a chance to fight back. Deathstars don’t become unplayable by any means, they simply become a bit of a risk which is a good thing. One lucky stomp attack, and a unit like a Wolfstar can be neutered, changing the course of an entire tournament. And while it is fluky, I strongly believe that it is good for the game. There should never be a “best” style of list. It will lead to a stagnant meta.

So what do you all think? Do LoW help bring in game balance or do they themselves become yet another Deathstar style unit? Are LoW fun or not, in your opinions? Do you think Deathstars are good for the game or not? Fun, or not fun? Am I crazy and irrational in my dislike of Deathtars, or do you agree?! Let us know!

And once again, a huge congrats to the NOVA crew for running such an awesome event and to Aaron for such an impressive performance, winning both the Invitational and the Open! I plan on going next year regardless of format and am sure it will be another awesome event.


About Reecius

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

131 Responses to “Deathstars and Lords of War”

  1. Avatar
    jeff September 8, 2015 9:24 pm #

    great post.
    thanks for taking the time to write that out so clearly.

    actually, this is my favorite part of the game, second maybe to the modeling.
    the meta-level rules discourse that is almost unique to this game/type of game.
    this is a rare skill of reasonable people, to be able to reason over the very rules that bind their actions and deliver their successes and failures.

    so far as the content of your analysis, of course to every thing should be a counter, this would be ‘balance’ and before opening that can of worms, i just want to say that i will never own a centurion. ever. not one.

  2. Adam
    Adam ( September 8, 2015 10:34 pm #

    I think this article pretty much sums up the argument I’ve been making since the day Escalation hit. 🙂

    • Avatar
      RoockieBoy September 9, 2015 12:27 am #

      I remember that! Haha time has changed us a lot… I didn’t like stregth D at first, but I guess right now it’s necessary.
      Nice article Reece!

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy September 9, 2015 7:59 am #

      Escalation is a bit of a different kettle of fish, though- for one, a lot of the units in it may as well BE deathstars, because they meet all of the qualifications above. And for two, especially during 6th edition (when Str D worked differently) several of them were functionally unstoppable- so tough almost nothing could damage them, so aggressive you couldn’t realistically avoid them, and so dangerous they could clean 2-4 units off the table every single turn.

      Weapons (and tools) to counter deathstars aren’t a bad thing, but introducing superheavies to the game is, at best, a “swallowed a spider to catch the fly” sort of solution.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 9, 2015 8:59 am #

        I agree that unrestricted LoW creates its own, bigger, problem.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 8:58 am #

      However, you have advocated for unlimited LoW, which I don’t agree with, personally. However, i do concede that you were correct in that assertion that they would help counter Deathstars.

      • Adam
        Adam ( September 9, 2015 10:41 am #

        Incremental steps closer and closer… we’ll get there!

        When do we get to un-ban hellstorm templates?

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 12:28 pm #

          Here’s praying that the Supremacy Suit won’t get Ban Hammered when its rules become official…

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 9, 2015 1:30 pm #

          Hellstorm templates that don’t have torrent are largely in, already.

          • Adam
            Adam ( September 9, 2015 2:04 pm

            Allow more (my unofficial mantra)! The Malcador Infernus wants it’s chance to get IG on some tables. 🙂

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 9, 2015 2:10 pm

            That thing is arguably more under-costed than the Wraithknight, lol!

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 10:32 pm

            I tell you what, I would be bringing an IG CAD if the Infernus were available. That thing is a BEAST, especially the 30K version that can get the AP2 Fleshbane Armorbane gun.

  3. Avatar
    chad September 9, 2015 2:31 am #

    Str d doesn’t stop deathstars. Especially when they kill the iknight or wraithknight before it stomps.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:00 am #

      Strength D does stop Deathstars, actually, but you are right that there is a chance they don’t do it 100% of the time, which is good. It shouldn’t a certainty.

      • Adam
        Adam ( September 9, 2015 10:57 am #

        Exactly, it’s the threat that’s important, not that they win 100% of the time. Once the threat is in the meta, your approach to the game will change… “what if I face ______?” is a huge motivator.

  4. Avatar
    chad September 9, 2015 2:36 am #

    And allowing sh gc’s just allows different abuses in the game like invis wks. So i don’t think your system is solving the issue, it just creates a different issue
    just my opinion of course.

    • Avatar
      Jet September 9, 2015 5:30 am #

      Well in ITC Invis is not all that power. It is a strong power but not ungodly like in the normal game. There are str D on none Garg creatures too, like wraithgaurd. They will fuck a deathstar up if they get close enough. Plus a lot of the times you can power up your garg creatures with powers too so they don’t die right away. Send my WK in who is also invisible and has fortune on him. He will get to stop, and it will be funny.

    • Avatar
      tag September 9, 2015 6:55 am #

      If you’ve got a Tiger in your house, and you let in a pack of wolves to battle it, now you’ve got yourself a tiger problem and a wolf problem. And while the Tiger may no longer rule the top table unopposed, the majority of tourney goers aren’t at the top table, and thus when arriving at a Tourney comp we shouldn’t focus much on the top table, but should instead focus on the average table, and giving them a fun game.

      I hate deathstars, they break the game and make it unfun. I hate Super Heavy / GC LOWs, they break the game and make it unfun. Now I’m a competitive guy, and can and do beat both deathstars and super heavies regularly, but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate them.

      If given a choice between an event that allows both SH / GCs and Deathstars, and an event that restricts one of them, I will choose the more restrictive event 100% of the time. They are both Rock-Paper-Scissors things that make the games less meaningful and less dependent on player skill. If you fix them both, the average players will have more fun in games.

      I think this should be the focus of your format, but you can’t accomplish it directly, because you’ve got players who love their deathstars and SH/GCs, so the only reasonable solution for the ITC is to create 2 sub formats. You could call them “40K” and “Apocalypse” Your current format is “Apocalypse”. “40K” would be more heavily comped, more restrictive, and would cater to a different group of tourney goers that are not served by your current comp.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:01 am #

      I think unrestricted LoW is not fun at all, agreed there 100%. However, limited LoW in the game I think really adds a lot.

      • Avatar
        tag September 9, 2015 9:54 am #

        How do you differentiate SH/GC’s from deathstars from a gameplay perspective? They function more or less the same. Pricey units that are very difficult for your opponent to kill. If you opponent has some gimmick that allows him to kill it easily you have basically already lost the game.

        So when you say “Adds a lot” what you mean is “Adds more deathstars that can sometimes counter other deathstars”. What if instead of adding deathstars we worked to reduce them?

  5. Avatar
    Ej September 9, 2015 3:24 am #

    @chad agreed with this.. your just shifting abuse from one type to another. (Hence different “abuse” metas depending on what rules are enforced at an event)

    Also Deathstar’s might be very hard to deal with for some armies but so are SuperHeavies, GC for other armies..

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:03 am #

      That is a fair point that a LoW can be tough to deal with for some armies. However, mathematically, only the most powerful LoW are even remotely close to the level of durability of the average Deathstar. They really are very far removed from one another in terms of durability.

      Offensive output though, really does vary a lot as some LoW can put an ass kicking down.

  6. Avatar
    Laughterofgods September 9, 2015 3:46 am #

    For my money, I a big trouble with deathstars is the ability to buff them with psychic powers. Either by making them invisible, buffing their inv. save through sanctuary, perhaps gate of infinity to allow them to escape a combat without having hit and run. The psychic phase is back to being almost as crazy as it was at the end of 6th edition when all you needed was a leadership test to cast your powers. This also goes to chad’s comment about invisible wraithknights. A single wraithknight is clearly really good and seriously undercosted, but a single one probably won’t create a feel bad experience for your opponent. However, an invisible wraithknight very well may. That said, I think that an invisible wraithknight is actually far less of a worry/problem than an invisible death star as once the unit has survived your shooting it can voltron out to claim objectives or do any number of things while the wraithknight is stuck in one place. Furthermore, most assault deathstars will be unable to kill the wraithknight before it stomps because the unit relies on thunderhammers to get work done in assault.

    A second big problem with deathstars, and Reece this is part of why you don’t have a deathstar (aside from the fact that you have no invul save, and only a 4+ armor save), is the inability to stack rules from multiple codices ala battle brothers. I strongly believe the space marine chapter tactics addendum was intended to nix any power armor army from benefiting from a different power armor army, but unfortunately, it was not written clearly that way. The winning Nova list combined 3 different codex rule sets to gain everything that the player needed, including hit and run, S10 thunder hammers, rerollable jink saves, and casting psychic powers on a 2+. If marines were not allowed to benefit from other chapters of marines, or more restrictively battle brothers were not allowed to benefit from battle brothers, you would see fewer death stars because players would be unable to benefit from this rules stacking. Instead a player would have to choose which rules he really wanted and stick with a single codex, or if he wanted both things, have them in disparate units.

    • Avatar
      Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 7:28 am #

      Honestly, I find the allied matrix the most inherently imbalanced part of the game right now. Like Ben Schimmoller said in last weeks livestream the most powerful rule in the game right now is Being an “Army of the Imperium”. The bonuses you get simply from being battle brothers with all the other factions is insane. I always thought the best way to limit most deathstars would just make everyone Allies of Convenience with everyone. But I may just be weird, seeing deamons and grey knights on the same side of the table doesn’t bother me anymore than seeing White Scar Librarians, Dark Angel Bikers and Space Wolf Thunderwolves all running together in the same unit.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 9, 2015 9:03 am #

        Yeah, some of the best Deathstars (Seer Council and Daemon Deathstars, for example) don’t require any allies.

        • Avatar
          Jural September 9, 2015 10:50 am #

          But those lists are primarily static lists. Daemon deathstars will only improve when a new codex comes out, or if them make a CSM list worth playing. Eldar are similar, in that they will only seriously be improved by a new Eldar or Dark Eldar book drop.

          The problem with “Armies of the Imperium” is that almost every book gives you a chance to build a new, better, deathstar. A combo or cheeky unit given to Blood Angels is given to every Army of the Imperium.

          Now- it’s great for list building, people who like to tinker, and just overall the “problem solving” aspect of 40K, which is enjoyable. But it’s really going to be an issue for competitive play at some point when too many combos and rules are out there.

          • Avatar
            Rolling thunder September 9, 2015 11:12 am

            Agreed… Single army deathstars are far less terrifying than multi-codex ones. It would be interesting to put this to a vote in the next ITC FAQ poll. Leave it up to the people to decide on what level of allies to allow (they already banned CtA allies)

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 11:24 am #

          Those Deathstars also have their “Luke Skywalker” counterpart in the form of Culexus assassins or anything else that shuts down psykers. They also don’t Voltron off nearly as well, or hit and run in and out of combat as well.

          I still have yet to find out what to use to counter a Super Friends Deathstar other than another Super Friends Deathstar.

  7. Avatar
    Jeremy1381 September 9, 2015 4:26 am #

    I hate deathstars, they break the game. At least LOW units run the risk of dying to an alpha strike. But death star units make the game no longer fun.

  8. Avatar
    Chip September 9, 2015 4:27 am #

    Adding SH/GC with D stomps to solve the deathstar problem is like introducing tigers to solve your rat problem. Now you’ve got a tiger problem.

    • Adam
      Adam ( September 9, 2015 5:55 am #

      They don’t have D stomps and they’re totally manageable by any reasonable army. If you can’t handle shooting down a super heavy then you most likely can’t handle facing an army with massed armour.

      • Avatar
        Chip September 9, 2015 7:40 am #

        Who doesn’t have d-stomps? Both iKnights and Wraithknights can stomp.

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 7:51 am #

          Stomp =/= D weapon

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 8:01 am

            Yeah, it’s better than a D weapon in a lot of cases- a single ‘6’ result automatically removes multiple models with no need to roll to hit.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 8:14 am

            And the rest of the time it is worse, much worse. If stomps used the Melee D table rather than the stomp table they would be far scarier.

          • Adam
            Adam ( September 9, 2015 8:41 am

            Exactly, the 6’s are nasty, but they are what scare the pants off of those death stars, but the other 99% of the time, stomps are far worse than D.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 1:49 pm

            You only need a single 6 result to cripple most deathstars. Those are odds most players don’t want to bet against, because as soon as its primary support (psychic powers, specific character, etc) is cut out, it falls apart pretty quickly.

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 9, 2015 2:13 pm

            Exactly. That was the point I was driving at.

      • Avatar
        Jural September 9, 2015 10:51 am #

        I think you are wrong- most tigers do have D strength weapons

      • Avatar
        greggles September 9, 2015 11:42 am #

        Hey Adam! Don’t convince people to build armies to face massed armour! My army of ork walkers would be useless! 🙂

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy September 9, 2015 10:33 pm #

          I don’t know what you mean “would be”. 😛

        • Avatar
          Jural September 10, 2015 8:53 am #

          Seconded- I really want to get my list of 6 Helbrutes, 6 Maulerfiends, and 6 Heldrakes onto a battlefield sometime!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:05 am #

      Chip, I agree that unrestricted LoW hurt the game, 100%. They’re too powerful. However, if you tone it down a bit and restrict them, I think they bring some balance to the game. It’s just tough to do. I think we still go a little too far nerfing them in the ITC, but I think that is largely a reaction to Wraithknights which are stupid under-priced. Generally though, they’re fairly reasonable. After playing with them for a few years now, I can honestly say I believe they enhance the game so long as you reign them in a bit.

  9. Avatar
    Lord Krungharr September 9, 2015 4:52 am #

    If played by the book, then lords of war should be permitted when the death star combos are permitted. Otherwise we see the same tired stuff at tournaments coercing players to bring units they may not want to use, even though their forge fiends and warp talons look so cool! This is the primary reason I don’t play in tournaments anymore. In find it tough to indulge in the cool visual display unfolding on the table when so consumed by pressure to win because I paid to play, but find its often rather hopeless with the armies I have bought and brought because I just like the models and paint jobs. And frankly the terrain on tournament tables just can’t compete with private games because of the extreme cost and labor involved. But I digress.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:06 am #

      It sounds like narrative style play is where it’s at for you, now, which is totally cool. I also dig using the units you don’t often see.

  10. Avatar
    Rolling thunder September 9, 2015 5:25 am #

    I would love to see a tournament with all allies being allies of convenience (i.e: no battle brothers). This is the easiest solution which fixes many of the “big offenders”… no need for multiple SH/GC (keep the limit at 1), just get rid of battle bros!

    • Adam
      Adam ( September 9, 2015 5:58 am #

      I’ve seen this argument a lot, but it does nothing about Thunder Domes, Seer Stars, or the Screamer star. It only really stops the cent star and the super friends army that won NOVA.

      • Avatar
        Rolling thunder September 9, 2015 6:37 am #

        A SW thunderdome is much less scary when it no longer has hit and run and strong psychic support. The seer star and screamer star are vulnerable to culexus assassins (former more so). Again both of those have relatively limited access to hit and run and also can;t break up to contest multiple objectives.

        Again, IMO I think it mitigates it enough to be playable. Also I am assuming that 2++ rerollables are nerfed, which they rightfully should be

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 7:43 am #

          Yea Thunder Domes are way less scary without Psychic Support, and Everyones psychic deathstars have forced me to start taking a culexus anyways, just now I won’t have to worry about that 6″ desperate allies bubble. Also that will give a few other armies like Orks, Nids, and chaos access to Knights again.

        • Avatar
          vercingatorix September 9, 2015 8:15 am #

          Agreed, just straight up SW thunderdome isn’t bad at all without hit and run. i played green tide at NOVA and the biggest advantage that I have is I can multi-assault the whole board and keep it stuck there. If I can do that to thunderwolves without them leaving I’m fine. if they get hit and run I’m screwed.

        • Adam
          Adam ( September 9, 2015 8:44 am #

          A Bit less scary for sure, but still a massive pain in the ass for many/most armies to deal with, and just as un-fun as ever.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 11:09 am

            Yea but there are always going to be lists that are hard for certain armies or that people just don’t like playing against. Pretty sure there are a few people that don’t like fighting Knights, but knights at least mostly only rely on their own rules and almost everyone has a way of taking them out. Its the cross stacking of buffs that only really 1 specific faction (imperium) has access too. It just makes it so much easier for everyone if every faction has to play by the same allied rules as every other faction. Then we just have the imbalance between codexs, instead of the imbalance between codexs and the allies system.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 11:12 am

            So in essence I am arguing for equal Xenos/Chaos rights. The Allies Matrix is a system that inherently benefits the Armies of the Imperium while subjugating the poor xenos races.

          • Avatar
            Rolling thunder September 9, 2015 11:17 am

            Agreed, but getting rid of battle bros will also fix problems like a DE WWP HQ dropping in with some D-scythe wraithguard or BA pods shuttling around skitarri maniple

      • Petey Pab
        Pablo September 9, 2015 10:10 am #

        True, however doesn’t nerfing the 2+ rerollable and invis bring those more in line? I don’t think changing battle-brothers is the answer. Maybe just a limit on the number of allied ICs a unit can have.

      • Avatar
        elphilo September 9, 2015 12:38 pm #

        Gladius won NOVA. While Aaron won tournament Champion, NOVA considers Renaissance Man its overall winner.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 9, 2015 1:28 pm #

          Sure, but that is definitely a technicality. We can’t objectively measure things like appearance and sportsmanship, they’re intangibles. The only objective measurement between armies is battle performance. Saying a Deathstar isn’t what it is because a nice fellow with a well painted army “won” the event doesn’t really prove anything beyond the guy with the Gladius did a great job as an individual.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy September 9, 2015 1:51 pm #

          I consider the player who brought exactly four Mandrakes (no more, no less) to be the tournament winner, so I say they both lose.

          If we’re talking about power levels, though, it’s a pretty long stretch to say that someone’s paint job/sportsmanship mitigates their army list.

    • Avatar
      Laughterofgods September 9, 2015 7:38 am #

      The DaBoyz GT in Early November has a battle brothers are treated as Allies of Convenience rule. Uses the 2+ rerollable change, though not the invisibility change as far as I know. Might be worth checking out if you are in that area.

  11. Avatar
    Stainless Steel Rat September 9, 2015 6:18 am #

    Good article! I too find the biggest drawback to the deathstar as an opponent is that it lacks finesse. “Umm, yeah, here we go again” is written all over the face of the other player who knows there is only the same bland, uninteresting game to be had against a d-star. Not to mention missing the point that this is a game and relentlessly beating opponents over the head with a giant beat stick, either in a tournament setting or a community game, indicates a lack of social intelligence. Matched against gamers who only see the win, not the game, that lack of social intelligence on the part of the perpetual d-star owner is clearly reflected on the faces of their opponents when they are matched against such unperceptive gamers.

    As to the destroyer issue, I think they belong back in Apocalypse. If only to avoid the selective problems of some armies have them and others don’t as well as the whole “pseudo-super heavy (IKnights) but not real super heavy (Baneblades,etc.)” issue that irritates so many players.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:07 am #

      Good points. Yeah, D weapons are a heavy handed “solution” to Deathstars, I agree. But, it’s something.

  12. Avatar
    xTHExCLINCHERx September 9, 2015 7:37 am #

    I think there are other aspects of the game, and ways to design missions that can mitigate the advantages given by fielding a LoW w/D-Weapon or a Deathstar. I think the missions, although they have been getting better, still aren’t at a level to achieve this. Imagine creating missions that you read in the stories, or see in movies and games… I understand the limitations of preparing tables for every match at a GT, but here are some ideas used in our local gaming area to mitigate such things and provide fluff and effectiveness to a competitive game:

    – Terrain where half of it is a “zone mortalis” style board… if you can’t fit a unit in the building’s corridors to find an objective, that’s just too bad. (or objectives surrounded by impassable terrain, except for a small entry-way)

    – Objectives that can be interacted with by shooting them from afar (i.e. “destroy this pylon or comms relay”

    – Objectives that are impassable (meaning you can’t sit a large tank completely covering or blocking it); coupled with objectives that are larger than a poker chip (so it can still be contested on the other side perhaps

    – Objectives that are larger than a poker chip, but small enough to have the condition of fitting the entire unit on it that is trying to capture it (think like a drop site?)

    – Mysterious objectives (these are already in the book and allow a seemingly useless unit to do something); often modify these so that the bad result is a really powerful explosion (AP2) and the better results are something like “gives you ignores cover” on shooting

    – Progressive objectives that encourage “camping”

    – Progressive objectives that encourage interacting with multiple objectives simultaneously with different units (capture 1 -> 1 point, capture 2 -> 3 points, capture 3 -> 5 points, etc.)

    – Let players choose which “mission” they want to achieve (some tournaments already do this which sounds great!)

    • Adam
      Adam ( September 9, 2015 8:47 am #

      The problem with scenarios is that the scenarios that are the least favorable for Deathstars (Maelstrom) are generally hated because they’re unpredictable, despite the unpredictable nature being what makes them more difficult for Deathstars to win.

    • Adam
      Adam ( September 9, 2015 8:47 am #

      Also, the letting players pick their mission does little to solve the problem. Deathstar armies will pick the scenarios that Deathstars are good at. 🙂

  13. Requizen
    Requizen September 9, 2015 8:57 am #

    Deathstars are an issue… but I really dislike Superheavies and Gargantuans in normal play. Especially undercosted ones like the great big Wraithknight elephant in the room.

    At least Deathstars require specific builds and often times allying to make work. It’s building an army with the expressed purpose to make a singular unit work. GCs and SHVs? Just plop them in and watch them walk all over everyone’s face. Deathstars usually require target priority, powers getting off, and expensive, powerful characters added in to make work. LoWs just kind of kill everything.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:09 am #

      I agree and disagree with this. Unrestricted LoW are a huge problem, agreed 100%. But, when you limit them, they don’t overwhelm the game, at least not IME. Wraithknights are stupid undercosted, I agree 100%. But MOST LoW are actually not that good. We have found that introducing a single LoW into the game is actually a lot of fun. Even the Wraithknight, so long as there’s only 1, is totally manageable. YMMV, of course.

      • Requizen
        Requizen September 9, 2015 10:28 am #

        I mean, you’re right. When you start limiting out the broken ones (Reaver and Warhounds are pretty insane even with the high cost), LoWs don’t become too overpowering.

        But, I do dislike how their existence invalidates things and forces list building into certain directions. A lot of times I think I have a nice, balanced list built against most TAC lists and then think *well, what if they have ranged D, a Knight, or a GC with Stomp?* and have to basically start from scratch. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, making list building a bit different from before, but it is, frankly, a bit annoying when you play an army that doesn’t have a solid answer to them.

        GCs go down nicely to things like Grav, Superheavies can fall to Melta drops or Haywire output. But when your army doesn’t have the tools to beat them on the regular, your gameplan gets a bit more difficult.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy September 9, 2015 1:55 pm #

        >Even the Wraithknight, so long as there’s only 1, is totally manageable. YMMV, of course.

        Eh, I would disagree. A single Wraithknight (especially with ANY psychic powers supporting it, even just The Shroudiing or Forewarning) is more than many armies can effectively deal with. It’s just so stupidly-resilient against most guns that, unless you have huge amounts of Rending, Grav, or Str D you’re gonna really struggle to deal with it.

        Shit, I _play_ an army with 60 Rending attacks, 20 plasma shots, and two guaranteed Psychic Screams and Wraithknights are STILL one of the hardest things for me to deal with. For anything that isn’t SM or Daemon Summoning, they’re an absolute nightmare.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 9, 2015 2:12 pm #

          I am not arguing that it is stupidly under priced and stupidly resilient, but, a single WK typically speaking doesn’t win the game the way a Deathstar does.

          • Avatar
            tag8833 September 9, 2015 7:58 pm

            With the Scatbike tax on Wraith Knights it all basically balances out?

            On a point for point basis the Wraith Knight is just as hard to kill as high end deathstars. But I think Abusepuppy highlights one of the ways to minimize the feelbadsies generated by SH/GC’s. If you FAQed that they can’t benefit from blessings or the Grimoire it would be much better. It is a similar FAQ to what you did to Invis.

            A series of those sort of changes could let people play with their big toys without alienating the mid tier players nearly as much as they do now.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 10:36 pm

            See, and I disagree with that- I see a single Wraithknight winning games for people _all the time_ in exactly the way most deathstars do, only for half the price (or less.) It’s not quite as unstoppable as a fully-tooled Thunderstar or the like, but beyond a certain point survivability becomes somewhat redundant.

            That said, I’m not blaming you or the ITC council for not banning it or saying that it needs to be nerfed or anything like that- just that it IS a problem in most of the ways you point out for deathstars and for pretty much exactly the same reasons.

          • Avatar
            Jural September 10, 2015 8:56 am

            agreed- a lot of time a single Wraithknight can even be ignored depending upon how it is built and the rest of the army is composed. If you are capable of ignoring a deathstar, it’s built wrong.

    • Avatar
      Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 9:09 am #

      My problem with deathstars over SH/Gargs is that 98% of the time a deathstar is much harder to kill, a single wraithknight or Iknight isnt too much of an issue to kill, yea its harder to kill than a monster or tank but it should be. Deathstars are so hard to kill anymore they shouldnt even be called death stars. There is no exhaust port anymore, no special place that if you hit it just right the whole thing goes boom.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 9, 2015 9:12 am #

        Lol, good metaphor. And yeah, I agree. The average LoW is way easier to kill than the average Deathstar.

      • Avatar
        Jural September 9, 2015 10:55 am #

        Also- most Lords of War are both fluffy and impressive models. GW did a good job in making sure that if you field them, they are the narrative of that battle, or part of it.

        A rag tag band of SM, Dark Angels, and Thunderwolves all in one blob really doesn’t do that for me, but of course YMMV

  14. Avatar
    Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 8:59 am #

    This is another reason I like 30k, where super heavies are limited to 25% and the only real deathstars are Terminators + Primarch + Spartan, which still die to massed bolter fire.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 9:09 am #

      30k really does sound like a great game system.

      • Avatar
        Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 11:20 am #

        30k is awesome, the allies matrix is less exploitable, so much so that most of the time you don’t even see allies in 30k. The other fun part is that fluffy lists are usually also the powerful lists.

        The cheesiest thing I’ve done in 30k is my Iron Hands Pravien with his Unit of 3 Iron Hands Castellax, with Enhanced Targeting Arrays and Mauler Bolt Cannons. But that unit is still pretty fluffy. Unless the Mechanicum Aligned Robot Marines having slightly better Robots is too much for people to handle.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy September 9, 2015 1:59 pm #

          There’s a LOT of broken stuff in 30K; the Legion rules, for one, are vastly unbalanced. Compare Alpha Legion to Death Guard or World Eaters and it’s pretty clear just how bad it can be for some armies. The non-Marine factions are also much, much stronger than most of the Marines; Knights, Auxillia, and Mechanicum all stomp on most Legion lists pretty hard.

          It does some stuff right, but there’s also other stuff it does pretty wrong.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 2:43 pm

            Yea the Early Chapters are weaker than the newer ones, my Sons of Horus lament, But the imbalances in 30k are nowhere near as bad as in 40k. The difference in Legion Tactics is closer to the difference in Chapter Tactics. Some are better than others but not so much that when pitted against each other the game becomes a forgone conclusion.

            Also I would Argue that the first 4 Legions have some of the best Primarchs rules wise. Alpharius and Dorn don’t scare me, Horus, Angron, Fulgrim and Mortarion do.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 2:48 pm

            I feel that those list stomp legion list more so to do with the fact that the meta has yet to shift with dealing with them, everyone is still making armies to be Marine v Marine lists because thats what people face 90% of the time, So when those other lists get thrown in it throws people for a loop.

            Volkite is pure murder vs Auxilia and Cult Militia, whereas Haywire Contemptors with Chain fists do a fair number on knights.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 10:42 pm

            >But the imbalances in 30k are nowhere near as bad as in 40k.

            That was arguably true during 6E, but I think in 7E it’s definitely not so (especially since 30K has gotten more imbalanced in that time, not less.) Of course, that’s in no small part due to the ITC’s influence on the game and its FAQs/errata to fix things- I think if you were looking at both games “out of the box” then 7E would probably be a lot less balanced, but that’s not really the game anyone plays so it’s not exactly a relevant comparison.

            I would also tend to disagree on the Legion vs Chapter tactics- while Raven Guard is stinky garbage and Black Templars are mediocre (but not horrible), none of the other Tactics stand out as a clear frontrunner; I’ve seen UM, WS, IF, and Sallies all used to good effect. On the other hand, Alpha Legion are just BETTER than most all of the HH1 tactics and a couple of the others stand out as clearly superior as well (either due to the Tactic itself or the units/Rites they give access to.)

            With all of that said, 30K is not an unplayable game and I think if an ITC-esque organization presided over it and made changes, it could be tuned up to be pretty on-par with 40K. But I also think it would be less interesting in a lot of ways because the Legion army list doesn’t actually offer that much flexibility in terms of effective choices, so there’s really only a handful of “good” armies to pick from if you actually care about that sort of thing.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 9, 2015 10:54 pm

            > Alpharius and Dorn don’t scare me, Horus, Angron, Fulgrim and Mortarion do.

            Angron is shit. He’s awful. He has bad defenses (3+/4++), isn’t actually all that much better than the other primarchs on offense, and like almost all of his brethren has no really good delivery system. Add to the fact that his chapter is actually pretty weak and he’s a total non-contender.

            Fulgrim is actually quite good (because he spits out a bucket of high-Init attacks while being able to Infiltrate with three units), Horus is powerful but so expensive he rarely sees the field, and Mortarion is a bit of an odd duck. But again: all three are held back by their shoddy Legion tactics, with Death Guard and Emperor’s Children being so niche as to almost be ignorable.

            >I feel that those list stomp legion list more so to do with the fact that the meta has yet to shift with dealing with them

            Not really. Legion doesn’t have any good way of dealing with an AP2 Torrent Hellstorm weapon with Interceptor; that’s just beyond their capacity to deal with. Ditto on Castellax spam- you can fit a crazy number of MCs (with AP3 Pinning guns and -1 to cover, no less) into an army for a pretty cheap price, and Krak Grenades ain’t gonna save you from them.

            >Volkite is pure murder vs Auxilia and Cult Militia, whereas Haywire Contemptors with Chain fists do a fair number on knights

            Auxilia have 4+s and transports, Cult Militia have 4+ armor and FNP. Volkite guns, which are actually pretty rare and/or expensive in Legion lists, are only of middling effectiveness against either of them- in fact, neither army relies heavily on those troops for its effectiveness.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 10, 2015 7:19 am

            Fair Enough I guess it must have more to do with the 30K community. I see people trying to make all sorts of lists work. Probably because most people love their 30k armies and spent so much time and money into them that they want to make their list work rather than just chasing a meta. People tend to be a bit more Die-Hard about their armies in 30k which is why we I feel like we still see lots of Emperors Children and Death Guard armies, especially Death Guard. I have no idea why Death Guard are so popular.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy September 9, 2015 1:57 pm #

      25% limit would go a LONG ways towards fixing LoWs, although sadly it still leaves the hated Wraithknight in due to its cheapness.

      • Adam
        Adam ( September 9, 2015 2:01 pm #

        Yeah, that’s why I don’t like the % rule… It works in 30k because they all have access to the same ones, so you’re not leaving in the ones that are too good for their cost but only in a few armies.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 9, 2015 2:11 pm #

        Yeah, the conversation about LoW is largely about the WK due to its criminally low price tag.

      • Avatar
        Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 2:50 pm #

        It helps that in a basic army you can only take 1 Lord of War, Unless you are playing Leviathan or Knights.

        But yea WK’s are far too cheap or everything else is far to expensive.

  15. Petey Pab
    Pablo September 9, 2015 10:06 am #

    I agree 100% with everything you said Reece. Seeking balance in a meta is not about absolutes. It’s about tweaking little things about the game until you find a good amount of checks and balances. This, unfortunately, takes a lot of time and effort to do and sadly TOs also have day jobs and other priorities, so no tournament is going to be perfect in just a few years. That being said, it is wonderful to see NOVA and the LVO and other tournaments taking the steps necessary to balance this awesome game.

    It is kinda interesting that, although the methods are different, I see a trend in 40k tournament play across the board moving towards a specific thing. Limited D, Limited Psychic powers, Limited detachments, etc. At this rate we only need a few more seasons to see a universal standardized system for 40k. That is, unless GW decides to AoS us.

  16. Avatar
    Loopy September 9, 2015 10:20 am #

    While the argument of the article isn’t a new one (pretty much all of us have saw the LoW solution to Deathstars on day 1), it is important to reiterate it from time to time so people understand the reasoning for it. Both LoW and Deathstars can be un-fun to play against from time to time, but with reasonable restrictions the inclusion of LoW can be mitigated by minor tweaks to your list and it can have a huge impact on the number of Deathstars you see at a tournament. Deathstars, unlike LoW, are far more laborious to plan for and counter. You need very specific units and combos to thwart Deathstars and not everyone has the money or the desire to default to those methods. On the other hand, ALL armies have SOME kind of answer to LoW, whether good, bad, or mediocre… at least it can be mitigated. The answer is clear…. LoW should be allowed in an environment where Deathstars aren’t heavily nerfed. At the moment, even with nerfs to re-rollable saves, nerfs to Strength D, and nerfs to Invisibility, most Deathstars are still WAY less fun to play against than most Lords of War.

    ITC has come closer than anyone else to this fine balance between the two. I am VERY glad that Strength D was improved a bit in the last round of voting and I’m glad that LoW are limited slightly. I do wish that Knights were limited the same way, but you can’t win em all and I accept it (not that anyone needs my approval). I know they aren’t winning TOURNAMENTS, but I still think the games against them are not all that fun.

  17. Avatar
    Alex Scott September 9, 2015 10:25 am #

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but when bikes join calvary, don’t they lose jink because calvary don’t get jink? This means that they don’t provide the rerollable cover save to the “star”. I wonder what happened to all of the Sicaran Battle Tanks and Ignore Cover Tau-dar?

    I had interpreted the list as a double death-star list. One with the ravenwing bike star, and one with the wolfstar, that could join up or exchange units to provide H&R when strategically needed. But the 2+ rerollable jink is so powerful when shrouded is cast on the bikestar, you wouldn’t want to lose it.

    I guess I would really to have an in-depth list analysis. As a deathstar player myself (wolves and white-scars) I feel I owe it to my opponents to play it correctly. I.e. I know H&R and Skilled rider transfer, but jink doesn’t…if it does, HOLY COW?!?!

    • Avatar
      Alex Scott September 9, 2015 10:28 am #

      Nevermind…I just read the jink rule…the units that have the jink SR can still jink and thus tank wounds when advantageous…EW!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 10:28 am #

      Only the models with the Jink special rule benefit from it.

  18. Avatar
    DCannon4Life September 9, 2015 11:12 am #

    Free the D!

  19. Avatar
    Alex Yuen September 9, 2015 11:22 am #

    I like it. not sure what to add since we play very similar style and game logic.

  20. Avatar
    sheit27 September 9, 2015 12:16 pm #

    Maybe it was just me but it was horribly boring watching all the deathstar games on the nova twitch. It removes so much flavor from the game.

    Having played against some myself when you’ve got a 3% or less chance to cause a single wound.. am I supposed to pack a list that produces 450 wounds in 3 turns? No, if I want to compete I’m basically forced into playing lists that either have enough MSU to ignore the star or play a star myself (if no LOW are allowed).

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 1:29 pm #

      That’s the ting for me with Deathstars, they aren’t always super fun to play with or against. And that’s the rub of it, you devolve down to MSU and Deathstars in many cases.

  21. Avatar
    lvalx September 9, 2015 12:53 pm #

    I just dont see how Adlance, or triple/quad Wraithknight is going to improve the game. All that will happen is that the deathstars that exist will die and will be replaced by armies built around these units. Sure, a LOW is easier to kill, generally speaking, but it is pretty easy to turn SH/GC into deathstars through psychic powers. I.e. CSM/Daemons/Daemonkin can easily Cursed Earth + Grimoire a Brass Scorpion so that they have a SH with a 2+, IWND, tons of HPs. With Fateys reroll in your pocket you can basically laugh off everything but other D weapons. All this ends up doing is making the game about who can roll the 6’s. Imperials can use a conclave to put psy powers on Knights. Eldar can easily buff their WKs. I’ve played in 2 events in 7th that allowed SH/GC and in both events almost every table featured IKs/WKs.

    The assassin is easy to put in the vast majority of lists, you’ve already nerfed invisibility. Mass obsec gladius really puts a dent in most deathstars, especially in a NOVA format due to the ability to max out primary super early in the game. Eldar have tons of fast units and mobility and through smart movement can beat a deathstar without killing it. In fact, id argue that just about any well built MSU army can beat TWC/Seers/Daemon deathstars.

    I think you look at the issue the wrong way, it seems as if the thought process here is that to beat a deathstar you have to kill it. In my experience the best way to beat a deathstar is to kill the rest of the army and outmaneuver it. As someone who uses a TWC star (without any psykers), I can with confidence say that the biggest reason people lose and get rolled by me is because the focus to much on trying to engage rather than playing cagey and winning the mission. I’ll also say this. As a TWC player, I dont fear StrD melee weapons. All I fear is 6’s on stomps and even that is manageable because it is very very easy to split off your Iron Priest + 4 wolves and send him on a suicide mission. And for what it is worth, Eldar and Gladius both scare me a whole lot more than super expensive single model units.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 1:26 pm #

      No one is advocating for multiple Wraithknights (at least I sure am not). I agree that that is a bigger problem than any deathstar. AdLance I think objectively has proven to not be that big of a deal, but of course, your opinion on that topic may vary which is fine.

      And I did mention that you don’t have to kill a Deathstar to beat it in the article. I also mentioned that that is not a super fun way to play the game.

    • Avatar
      Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 1:31 pm #

      Wasn’t there a time where Super Heavies couldn’t be affected by any Psychic Powers other than ones that directly dealt damage? How many editions ago was that?

      • Avatar
        winterman September 9, 2015 2:03 pm #

        Apocalypse 4/5ed. 6ed Apocalypse removed that from SH rules and Escalation and 7ed followed suit.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy September 9, 2015 2:03 pm #

        That was the 5E Apocalypse version (which persisted into 6E for a while until the book was updated.) The rule existed for exactly such cases- no buffing up your giant monster/tank even further with a spell. However, it also got to be a bit counterintuitive eventually- a Trygon could be affected by powers despite being the same size as (or arguably bigger than) a Malcador, which could not.

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 9, 2015 2:52 pm #

          I always felt that Malcadors and Land Raiders should be somewhere between superheavies and regular tanks. Like give them that rule that the Land Raider Spearhead formation gets but just permanently.

  22. Avatar
    lvalx September 9, 2015 3:08 pm #

    YMMV, but I find games that revolve around positioning to be super fun. Some of my favorite games have been the ones where I managed to beat a deathstar, or a MTO list (ad lance/18 wraiths, etc).

    and i’m not sure what you mean about ad lance not being a big deal, im pretty ToF had them as the highest win rate for quite a while. I dont think ad lance is unbeatable or anything like that, but it is almost impossible to kill for many army builds.

    I dont really care if people allow SH/GC because i’ll adapt and figure out a way to win regardless. I do think it will negatively impact the game though. And because there are so few of them and because they are such a new thing, I think they are easy to limit. I’d be 100% for nerfing deathstars, but there is no reasonable way to do so. Excluding/heavily limiting SH/GC is very easy to do.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 4:57 pm #

      Yeah, you make good points in that Deathstars are not unbeatable at all, and it is very satisfying to defeat them. My point was that it is good for the game to introduce counters. Now, as you noted, you need to restrict those counters or they become the new problem, I agree 100%. I think we go a bit too far in the ITC by implementing the bonus points for taking them out, but that is largely a reaction to WKs, and I get it.

      AdLance came and went pretty fast, the army is good but so many lists out there stomp them. I played AdLance at NOVA last year and did well with it but I honestly would never bring it to a tournament again, it is too top heavy. It’s much easier to deal with (IMO, of course) than a real Deathstar. For example, a 2++ reroll, invisible Screamerstar is miles more difficult to destroy than AdLance. But, YMMV.

      However, SH/GC being new and few I think reflects your local meta? In our areas we’ve been using them for several years now, they don’t upset the game at all with the notable exception of the Lynx, which ruffled some feathers, and the WK, which so long as you limit them to 1 per army, they are crazy good but not meta shifting. Mostly we have found that they add a lot of pageantry, variety and fun to the game.

  23. Avatar
    Kwodd September 9, 2015 4:58 pm #

    How about that Harridan Reece? No D, hefty price tag. Let the eagle soar!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 9, 2015 6:01 pm #

      Lol, fair point, but yeah, that thing is soooo powerful, haha. That’s why I was stressing LoW with moderation is good for the game. Unrestricted and it gets wonky really fast.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy September 9, 2015 11:04 pm #

        The… the Harridan is powerful? Really? I didn’t even consider it good during 6E, when it could land and immediately assault- in 7E, when it’s just a Barbed Heirodule that’s even more expensive, I don’t really see it getting much play.

        I mean, yeah, it’s super-hard to kill if it stays flying and could be meshed into a Tyranid FMC army, but taking 4x Flyrants will shoot harder and be tougher to kill as well as more flexible. 700pts for something that gets six hits per turn is kinda weaksauce.

        • Avatar
          Warmaster_GIR September 10, 2015 7:34 am #

          It’s like the ITC ban on the Tigershark AX-1-0. I think people are just more afraid of Flying Super Heavies or Gargants just because they are harder to deal with. Not because they are actually any good or worth their points.

          • Avatar
            Kwodd September 10, 2015 2:36 pm

            The people have spoken! Let the Harridan fly!

          • Avatar
            DCannon4Life September 10, 2015 6:05 pm

            I’ve beaten two Harridan lists, one in a tournament, one in a practice game. I ignored it and obliterated everything else.

            By all means, let them in.

      • Avatar
        Jural September 10, 2015 8:59 am #

        No offense- but BS.

        Yes it’s good, but its not that good for it’s points. Especially when you consider it’s the cost of 4 Hive Tyrants, which Tyranid can stupidly field in it’s place (stupid that it’s allowe I mean.)

        And let’s not forget the rule of cool- the Harridan model from FW looks so damn cool.

      • Avatar
        Warmaster_GIR September 10, 2015 9:43 am #

        I would rather fight a Reaver Titan + 400 points than a Farseer Council + Wraith Knight + Bike Spam.

        Actually fighting a Reaver Titan sounds like a ton of fun.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy September 10, 2015 10:26 pm #

          I would love to see a Reaver Titan against Skyhammer, just spending the entire game being assaulted by 5man squads and whiffing its attacks.

          • Avatar
            Warmaster_GIR September 11, 2015 7:08 am

            Oh yea 40k Reavers don’t have all those walk out of combat rules that 30k reavers have… Poor Poor reaver titan.

      • Avatar
        Rawdogger September 11, 2015 8:08 am #

        Why won’t you let the Harridan spread it’s wings and fly like a beautiful Peacock!?

  24. Avatar
    Fluorescent Alpaca September 9, 2015 8:06 pm #

    I like the article and I feel that limited lords of War are completely ok and death stars have their answers

    for example, and while this is HIGHLY UNLIKELY to occur the Space Wolf+dark angel+conclave death star becomes very sad when they run into a person who is playing 9 vindicators for 3 strength 10 AP 2 10″ ignores cover blasts, granted modified invis would make them BS 1 otherwise you’d have to send in the trusty culexus before the pie plates, and while most armies would be able to stun the vindicators to stop the death blast the death star and supporting units aren’t that well equipped

    I enjoy 7th edition because of the fact it makes a player consider how they are going to face the extreme variety of armies that you could play against, How do you deal with fliers? How do you deal with MSU? How do you deal with tanks? Superheavies? Psykers? Deathstars? Deepstrikers? ect ect

    This dynamic makes it so that just building a list isn’t the only thing you need to do to win the game, because even if you build a list that covers all the bases then you are so diverse that you aren’t good against any one thing and you’ll be overwhelmed by a normal list.

    Deathstars are not unbeatable, they just require more savvy to beat. For example tank shocking a unit with no where to go kills it, straight up.

    It still takes a good player to win a tournament with any list, including a deathstar, however a deathstar does allow a good player to relax a little bit until they get to the higher tables, should they be that good

    I agree that the RAW for Battle brothers doesn’t prevent them gaining/giving benefits from/to BA,DA,GK, and SW however I wouldn’t mind that at least being a poll option at the next quarterly update, give stuff a little time to settle so its not a complete knee jerk to a very small sample size being one tournament. And I think that should that the RAW battle brothers go to RAI, at the very least that levels the playing field and helps all non imperium armies a little bit.

    Also congrats to Frankie on a great tournament at NOVA and hopefully next year you can practice a touch before and bring home the bacon

    • Avatar
      sheit27 September 10, 2015 8:45 am #

      I would love to see 9 vindicators delete a deathstar in 1-2 turns. The joy that would bring me… haha

  25. Avatar
    Nightman September 9, 2015 11:18 pm #

    I really enjoy seing knights on the table. They might not be top tier, but they force more diverse list building and i couldt agree more with what Reece is saying. The stomp is a variable many of these deathstars can’t afford to take if they want to go 5-0.

    The finals were really close, i would be interested to see what people would be saying if Daemons won another event. There are so many different lists in the top brackets which really speaks about how great 7th is currently.

    Many player complain about the imperium ally matrix, but overall the xenos books are stronger as mono lists (sorry to the exceptions). But it’s a good way to still keep the weaker armies in the mix.

    I want to see as many different models as possible on the table. Good mission building should always be the first step to mitigating balance issues. Comping out the worst flaws is also something needed. The last restort should be to ban models.

  26. HammerheadGames
    Dayone916 September 10, 2015 12:42 am #

    What about just restructuring the “evil” armies to be like the imperium armies in terms of battle brothers? Chaos allied with necrons and tyranids and daemons and orks…. Maybe it’ll even it up in terms of super friends but the evil variety so the anti imperium armies don’t feel so left out.

    Making every one for the imperium allies of convenience doesn’t seem like anything but a nerf to lists that can and are beaten regularly. While allowing opposing armies to ally in a similar fashion seems like a cool way to include more options in the game especially for xenos and heretic scum lol

    Either way there are plenty of crazy good lists that don’t even utilize allies such as flyrant spam, flying circus, gladius, etc. (notice how 2 of the 3 weren’t even imperium lol)

    • Avatar
      Jural September 10, 2015 9:01 am #

      Really, it isn’t very fluffy for orks, necrons, Chaos, etc. to work together. My hope is that eventually there will be 6 Chaos factions to mix and match from and we will finally have some level of competition.

  27. Avatar
    Russell September 10, 2015 4:25 pm #

    I played 7 rounds at this years NOVA Open and 6 at last years.

    I feel they needed to limit the presence of Knights (Wraith and Imperial) because of how many were seen on the tables last year. In 6 games I played last year, I faced 11 Imperial Knights and 4 Wraithknights. That’s 2.5 a game. How is meta diverse when I play 1 Game without a knight?

    This year, without any knights allowed I played 5 Deathstars in 7 games. The deathstars seemed way less powerful than the format last year. Like you said you can ignore the unit, tie it up in combat or shoot infinite shots into it and get some lucky rolls.

    I think the answer is get rid of the 2+ rerollable saves. At least bump the second roll down to a 4+… I don’t think these units are nearly as good with that hit to their survivability. To be fair the knights aren’t OP either unless you’re not equipped to beat them.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 10, 2015 4:51 pm #

      Hey Russell, some good points. Yeah, there were a lot of big models at NOVA last year (I contributed with an AdLance) and that can get frustrating. However, we aren’t talking about unrestricted LoW here, but a limited amount of them so that they don’t become the new Deathstars, themselves. That is important to note. Also, totally agree that the 2+ reroll should be nerfed, we do nerf it to a 2+/4+ in ITC events. And like you said, the big models aren’t that hard to kill if you have the right tools for it. If you don’t, they’re a bear to deal with, I agree 100%.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy September 10, 2015 10:31 pm #

      Since last year’s BAO, in ALL the tournaments I’ve been to (which is two each of each of the six or so yearly tournaments I attend, plus the monthly tournaments here) I have faced a grand total of… erm… eight Knights in total? With the nerfs of the new codex, the general shift of the meta, and ITC’s rulings on things, Imperial Knights just aren’t very strong. They’re very vulnerable to Drop Pods and Str D (two major contenders right now) as well as S9/10 melee (which is also very popular.)

  28. Avatar
    Russell September 10, 2015 5:03 pm #

    Are you suggesting only allowing 1 Wrathknight per table or 3 Imp Knights? I just don’t think any of the knights NEED to be limited.

    I’m not sure why thy didn’t nerf the rerollable saves but it would have thinned out deathstars at that event. To be fair once those leave the event turns into Flyrants everywhere (those were already out in force).

    The biggest issue I had was the reroll and the ability to target different units with psychic spells while IC’s were all attached to the same unit.

    Terrain placement was another issue I had with the event. Having ruins in the middle of the table instead of off to the side made it a lot easier for units to survive when grabbing the center objectives. I understand the aim was to balance the terrain but move the ruins to the edges and leave 5+ cover in the middle not 4+…

  29. Avatar
    Ming September 10, 2015 5:58 pm #

    Stop cherry picking! Every list needs to start with a detachment before you cherry pick your favorite formations and d-slapping super mega death wobbler Killy units! As the language evolves in 7th edition codexi that pathway is becoming clearer as an intent. It “might” control the madness.

  30. Avatar
    Rawdogger September 11, 2015 8:09 am #

    It may finally be time for me to unveil the 3 Deathstrike guard list.

    • Avatar
      Warmaster_GIR September 11, 2015 2:12 pm #

      DO IT! and record it so we can see how hilarious it is if you manage to get all of them to actually nuke something.

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