Dreams of an Adepticon D – Part 1


I’m currently 30,000 feet above the central United States.  I’m in a marvel of human engineering, hurling through the sky like the mighty hammer of Thor.   I look out the window and gaze at the majestic beauty of our country, and I find myself able to think of only one thing. D’s.   Pure, unmodified, throbbingly painful D’s slapping me in the face over and over and over again.  I write of course, about Destroyer Weapons in the game Warhammer 40k.  If you found your heart rate increasing while reading the introduction to the paragraph, it’s ok man, it’s 2016.

double entendre

Chicago is my destination, specifically a small suburb of Chicago named Schaumburg known for its auto dealerships and the world famous tabletop gaming convention, Adepticon.  This will be my second time attending this convention, and Frontline Gaming’s first time exhibiting our fine wares in their legendary vendor hall.  I couldn’t be more excited to be attending again, since the majority of events I attend every year we are running ourselves and I don’t really have any time to enjoy myself during them.  This year I will be competing in their Warhammer 40k Championships, and I must say I put a lot more time and effort into creating my list than I normally do.  I know at this point in the column you’re thinking what this has to do with my obsession with D’s 30,000 feet in the air.  Well I’ll tell you if you just give me a chance! OK!  I’m bringing a Stormlord.  That’s all I really need to say about my chances in going to the second day of the tournament.  Whilst preparing for the event I knew that the Adepticon folks like to run their tournament as close to the 40k rulebook as possible, with leaving Invisibility and it’s re-rolleable 2+ saves as they are, etc.  I completely forgot how good rolling to go first is when playing straight out of the rule book.  One thing I completely failed to take into account when writing my list including a mediocre Super Heavy Tank is their leaving the Destroyer Weapon table unmodified. And now I look around me and all I see are D’s.  Just slapping me in the face with their 6’s.  I’ve played the ITC version of the Destroyer Weapon Table for so long I forgot just how devastating and incredibly game breaking the D weapons are in the game.  It’s a mechanic that simply revolves around your opponent’s luck while rolling a die.  They get that 6, you remove your model or unit, shake their hand and go grab a drink.

better luck

It’s really a mechanic that feels completely alien to the rest of the game and to be honest hammers the point home that Warhammer 40k is not a game meant to be played in a competitive environment, at least not when playing with the rules written as they are in the rulebook.  I understand the argument FOR playing the D weapon rules as written.  It’s a counter to un-killable Deathstars (not really), Lords of War, Super Heavy Vehicles and Gargantuan Creatures.  I GET IT. I GET YOUR POINT.  My counter to your argument would be what about my single Leman Russ Battle Tank?  Certainly not a competitive or overpowered unit. It took a really long time to assemble and paint the model in my orange and yellow color scheme.  My dad got me that model, and it really compliments my Astra Militarum army.  I also have a single Chimera, some Ogryn, and a couple of Infantry squads on foot.  Excuse me?  What do you mean I have to remove the Leman Russ off the board? You rolled a 6? What? Oh ok. I probably won’t be coming back to this tournament. (END SCENE).  As you can see in our little narrative the D strips away all dignity and leaves both players with a nasty taste in their mouth.  I must note that the scenario above would also be true in the ITC modified D Weapon Table.

The pilot has turned on the seatbelt sign and we’ve begun our decent into Chicago.   I shiver in anticipation, imagining the D’s that await me.  Lain out in their glory on every table.  What does my future hold?  Will my Void Shield hold, allowing my Guard firepower the time to purge the alien filth or will it be Warp Spider’d (a new verb) on turn 1, only to have the pride of the fleet Belligerence double D’d out by a Wraithknight?   Find out next week!



About Jason

Raw Dogger, aka, Phat J Sleaze (formerly of the Booty Boyzzz) is a highly opinionated, questionably skilled 40k enthusiast. When not working at Frontline Gaming, he can be found down on Jabroni Avenue.

37 Responses to “Dreams of an Adepticon D – Part 1”

  1. Avatar
    Nathan Fluger April 7, 2016 8:49 am #

    “It’s really a mechanic that feels completely alien to the rest of the game and to be honest hammers the point home that Warhammer 40k is not a game meant to be played in a competitive environment, at least not when playing with the rules written as they are in the rulebook.”

    When we played at TSHFT, that was something we talked about. GW just doesn’t view this game as a competitive game, and never will.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 7, 2016 9:25 am #

      Yeah, it honestly is not. We play it in a way it wasn’t intended to be played, and that is why when folks hammer the RAW button it makes me laugh to a certain extent. Yes, you want to stick to the book as much as you can but when it says the most important rule is to resolves any rules argument with a 4+, you can’t take it that seriously.

      • Avatar
        Nathan Fluger April 7, 2016 10:06 am #

        I think people who hopped on to 40k in 2nd edition or 3rd edition understand this. 4th edition and 5th edition tried harder for balance (and mostly failed), but pretty much all GW products need a second layer of some kind of comp to make them playable as tournament games.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 7, 2016 11:57 am #

          Exactly. You honestly can’t play 40k “out of the box” at a tournament, it would be chaos.

          • Avatar
            Nathan Fluger April 7, 2016 12:38 pm

            My great hope is that GW will get totally out of the rules writing game and give it to Fantasy Flight (who are doing GREAT stuff with GW’s IP and X wing).

          • Avatar
            Sanchezsam2 April 7, 2016 5:14 pm

            Niether net runner nor xwing are balanced well. Xwing is just a game of constant buying the next powercreep list. It’s not as if people are going to be flying wave 1 ships and winning tournaments unless those ships get a power creep fix of course. However at least ffg tries to address rules and does an admirable job at competitive organized play.

          • Reecius
            Reecius April 7, 2016 5:19 pm

            Yeah, and that is all that is needed, really. If the company tries to fix errors and adjust for balance, it goes miles for earning customer good will.

          • Avatar
            Dakkath April 7, 2016 9:19 pm

            I’m gonna second hoping GW just outsources rules writing to FFG

    • Avatar
      Novastar April 7, 2016 9:40 am #

      Super Heavies, Gargantuans and Destroyer weapons only got put into the normal game because the the horrendous sales of the 6th Ed Apoc book( I was told from a good source they didn’t even cut even on that book)

      • Reecius
        Reecius April 7, 2016 11:56 am #

        That’s interesting information.

        • Avatar
          Novastar April 7, 2016 2:28 pm #

          7th wd is basically the 6th Ed book and the apoc booked merged with some tweeks

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy April 7, 2016 9:35 pm

            While that’s largely true, a lot of those “tweaks” actually have a pretty major effect on the game- for example, placing objectives before choosing deployment zones, the psychic phase, being able to strike characters in a challenge, etc. The addition of GCs and superheavies to the core book can actually be considered fairly incidental in most respects, since those rules were already in print and in effect.

      • Avatar
        Sanchezsam2 April 7, 2016 5:19 pm #

        I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just the apoc book but the models themselves they were trying to sell. You are talking about kits with multiple sprues that just weren’t popular enough to justify making unless they sold well.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy April 7, 2016 9:38 pm #

          Models are usually where GW makes most of its money (along with hobby accessories like paint, etc), but in that regard I don’t think that adding GCs/SHV to the core book has probably made GW much money- of the “big” units that are popular these days, only the Wraithknight and Stormsurge really stand out and the former probably sees _less_ sales now that it is a GC rather than an MC, while the latter didn’t even exist at the time. People playing “casual” games very rarely bring Lords of War to anything below Apoc-size, in my experience.

  2. Avatar
    greggles April 7, 2016 9:01 am #

    Was waiting to read these! Was great to meet and talk to you at Adepticon!

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 7, 2016 9:25 am #

      Always a pleasure seeing you, buddy!

  3. Anvil
    Anvil April 7, 2016 9:30 am #

    I have mixed feelings about D-weapons. They can be a good counter to models that are very hard to kill, but I also feel that they encourage more use of bigger, stronger models (D-weapon can’t hit them all). While there is the option of taking “horde” armies to make D-weapons much less effective, the reality is that few people play them for multiple reasons, with the biggest one being “more models = longer games” due to the amount of moving and actions that are needed for them, especially when it comes to massed units of infantry that are around 10 models each. It also has mixed results as far as characters are concerned. With more D-weapons, Eternal Warrior is not as useful as it normally is, but on the other hand, all characters are extremely vulnerable, and make it difficult to use their abilities or combat-prowess for more than 2 turns.

    • Reecius
      Reecius April 7, 2016 9:55 am #

      Full strength ranged D is too much, IMO. At least for competitive play. It makes the game just too luck dependent.

      • Avatar
        The Beckoning Stone April 7, 2016 10:26 am #

        Reece, would you agree that Aleong’s mathematically indestructible list (that kills anything it touches even Knights) is too much? What about ten free obsec tanks? A zillion Scatbike shots?

        And now Imperials get access to rerolling 2+ and 3++ saves?

        I guess I don’t see why ranged D is too much but those things aren’t.

        • Avatar
          zyekian April 7, 2016 10:46 am #

          Stone, I think the idea here is decreasing luck dependence. Those other things you mentioned are actually high on the predictability scale and pretty low-luck. Indestructible units free tanks, tons of S6 shots, those have predictable results.

          That being said, I agree that those things are bad for the game and bad for both casual and competitive play – but not because they rely too much on luck but because they’re too certain to be good.

          So while I agree with your sentiment it’s through the opposite line of thinking as you. 🙂

        • Avatar
          bogalubov April 7, 2016 10:55 am #

          As Aleong’s unholy abomination of a list proved, it ain’t scared of a little uncut D.

          The concern is the middle tables where most players toil. A player there brings his Baneblade, Stormlord or Knight and that model can be wiped away by a single 6. That player will not have a good time. And those are the people whose attendance makes this whole thing possible.

          So that’s the fun we’re really talking about.

          • Avatar
            Duh_Ruckus April 7, 2016 11:38 am

            I agree with Boga, yes there are tools to deal with these op combos but the variance of what list can actually deal with mass scat bikes, D and super friends is becoming way to narrow. The more variability between lists creates a healthier and more inviting competing scene. For the mid table players which are the bulk it’s not thrilling to think you have 3-4 options when realistically a game as big as warhammer should have infinite

          • Reecius
            Reecius April 7, 2016 11:55 am

            Yeah, Aaron’s list is more worried about stomps than D in most cases. Although, a blast D weapon that rolled some lucky 6’s could cause issues.

          • Reecius
            Reecius April 7, 2016 11:55 am

            Yeah, you said it. You want to tone down the extremes in 40k to make it more fun for more people, IMO.

        • Reecius
          Reecius April 7, 2016 11:54 am #

          I do think 2+ reroll saves and full invisibility are too much, yes. Others do too, which is why the ITC community voted to tone them all down.

        • Avatar
          Sanchezsam2 April 7, 2016 5:26 pm #

          Stone you do realize a varient of aelong list did well in lvo but didn’t do that well. I guess the nerf to 2+ rerollables and invisibility has its own way of curbing deathstar lists.

  4. Avatar
    Duh_Ruckus April 7, 2016 10:58 am #

    I like the modified D table, it’s not as super intimidating but drives the point home that it’s a weapon that’s super destructive, I am really glad that it’s only on sixes it ignores invuln and cover cause games workshop could have easily made D always ignore invuln saves… Cause games workshop just doesn’t care

    • Avatar
      Vercingatorix April 7, 2016 11:36 am #

      Honestly, I wouldn’t mind it if it always ignored invuls. I think that’s totally reasonable. I say this as a daemon player. I don’t like getting a 6 and things just disappearing but I think its fine that a bunch of concentrated firepower bringing down stuff hiding behind completely nuts invuls.

      • Avatar
        Vercingatorix April 7, 2016 11:39 am #

        Seriously, if night fight is on. Every single unit in my army has 2+ and only one model doesn’t re-roll it. That’s bananas.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy April 7, 2016 9:44 pm #

        Did you ever play with the 6th Edition version of Destroyer attacks (which did exactly what you say)? They were absolutely disgusting. A Warhound wound simply evaporate two units per turn, pretty much no matter what they were- I don’t even want to think about what stuff like modern Wraithguard or Warp Hunters would be like with those rules.

        The problem isn’t fundamentally with Str D being overpowered or too good at what it does; in fact, the idea of Str D shots is actually a good one that can serve to discourage GCs and SHV from running the game. The problem is with the _costing_ of Str D guns and the platforms they come on; rather than being a tool for killing enemy Lords of War, it becomes a “kills everything very efficiently” gun in many cases. D-Scythes are just as good as a Heavy Flamer against Orks and don’t really cost all that much more (a Wraithguard is 42pts, a fictitious Plague Marine with a Heavy Flamer would be 35pts and have roughly the same statline/abilities.)

        • Avatar
          Vercingatorix April 8, 2016 11:57 am #

          Yeah, that’s why I qualified with “Plink some wounds off it”. As it is, D basically way overkills the unit or does absolutely nothing. Somewhere in the middle is fine with me.
          Admittedly, I did not play in 6th. I took 6th edition off.

    • Avatar
      Sanchezsam2 April 7, 2016 5:35 pm #

      3 hull/wounds on a 6 and a pen result is perfect.
      This will kill most characters, most vehicles and has a small chance on an explosion to kill a few more vehicles. Expensive MCs and gmc really don’t like losing 3 wounds either.

  5. Avatar
    DCannon4Life April 7, 2016 11:16 am #

    Oh, poor Jason, I know how your Day One of the champs turned out. Have the mushroom-shaped bruises faded yet? Please show me on the Wraith Knight where the bad man touched you. 🙂 /wink

    Looking forward to the rest of, “The Lamentation of the D”.

  6. Avatar
    tag8833 April 7, 2016 12:45 pm #

    Strength D and Stomp are both JV rules. An early draft of a concept that was poorly conceived.

    While other game mechanics (Grav, Ignores Cover, Warp Spider Jump) are clearly broken, the fixes to them are fairly easy, and tweaks to a concept that otherwise works (Shaken instead of Immobilized, -2 to Cover Save, Kill a guy if you use it on your opponents turn).

    Meanwhile, Strength D, thunderblitz, and Stomp should both be sent completely back to the drawing board. They don’t belong in a game of 40K as they are currently conceived. Modifying them to use a different table, or allow Look out sirs isn’t a cure. It is treating some symptoms. The patient is still sick.

    A better solution would be to cut out the infected tissue (ban those things), or fix them right by creating game mechanics that represent that without being so poorly designed, punishing to certain builds, and wildly luck dependent.

  7. jy2
    jy2 April 7, 2016 2:47 pm #

    The next time I go to a tournament with unmodified rules, I am going to bring a bajillion wraithknights.

    • Avatar
      Dbiesto April 7, 2016 3:16 pm #

      D weapons: they force you to bend over

      • Avatar
        Vercingatorix April 8, 2016 11:58 am #

        I don’t know. I think ATC showed that 5 wraithknight builds standing on a skyshield are pretty solid.

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