Guest Editorial by Fluger: ITC Formations?

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Guest writer Fluger brings us an editorial on the idea of ITC Formations to boost up weaker armies. Jump in and share your thoughts on the topic!

Let me just open by saying that I am not in any way, shape, or form part of the illuminati of ITC.  I have no sway, I have no power, I just have ideas!  With that out of the way, let me jump into my proposal.

For those of us who are wildly supportive of the ethos of ITC (in case you didn’t know, encouraging closer, more balanced games), we tend to be quite happy about most (if not all) of the straight up rules changes ITC has made with an eye towards a better game experience.  Whether its nerfing re-rolled saves or changing toe-in-cover for GCs, we see WHY those things are done and we see the effects on the meta.

Now, obviously there are a good number of folks that aren’t fond of rules changes no matter how wise they are because they believe in GW being the ultimate arbiter of the rules of 40k.  For those of you, this suggestion is probably going to sound like heresy, but bear with me at least long enough to flame me intelligently.

My opinion, and the opinion of several people I’ve talked to, is that while the ITC does a decent job of curbing some of the truly egregious potential armies, it isn’t a perfect system, and not even remotely.  For as much as 7th edition has led to a lot of diversity in power armies over, say, 5th edition with the minor variances of Razorspam of various colors, there are a series of codexes and specific units that dominate the top tables or bully the mid tables.  At the end of the day, unless you are willing to play one of say 5 or 6 list archetypes and master playing them, your odds of getting into the top tables are pretty low.  Most good generals can get away with a decent showing even bringing a mid-tier codex (IG or Orks) or a top-tier dex picking from mid-tier choices (a serpent spam Eldar list for instance), but they are probably going to get beat out by one of the good generals running a power list.  Now, those who show up to ITC events but have no chance nor really any desire to compete for the top generalship prizes, they might bring some of the real down-trodden dexes and get ROFLstomped by a power list.  That’s no fun for anyone involved, we all know it, but them’s the breaks when you’re dealing with a game that is so fundamentally imbalanced almost by design.

Assault Marines

Now, one thing that GW has introduced that has breathed life into various dull units and made them competitive is formations.  Thanks to stellar formations like Skyhammer Annihilation and Battle Company, the more maligned elements of the space marine army Assault Marines, Devastators, and Tacticals are all seeing a resurgence in use in competitive lists.  Even relatively mediocre units can become potent if given the right rules and the right synergy.

 

My proposal?  (or, rather, MarkDawg’s suggestion that I read and started day dreaming about almost immediately) Let’s have the ITC come up with a few really good formations to give some of the weaker dexes and units a bit more luster and give us a reason to dust them off and bring them to a competitive event.  We already saw a version of this with the Ork Big Mek Stompa, taking a pretty obviously outdated rule and letting it go in order to give a mediocre dex some extra competitive options.  That change was met with a mix of joy and relative indifference.  That’s kind of the ball park I’m shooting for here.

 

I also really like how some of the really good formations are also very much oriented towards fluff.  It’s a nice way to have your hobbyist cake and eat it competitively too.  The Decurion LOOKS like a Necron Warrior force.  The Pinion Battle Company acts like how Ravenguard fluff has always represented it.  Etc etc.

 

What I want to do is find a way to marry fluff to the units and really beef them up appropriately to the point that taking those dexes or those units wouldn’t take you out of the running virtually immediately.

There’s a couple of simple ways to do this and they can really give some cruddy units a real shot in the arm.

  1.  Give units USRs that they are really lacking or fix some kind of flaw in their design.  If not USRs some kind of other rule that gives them a buff, like being able to assault on turn 1 or coming out of reserve.
  1.  Give units some kind of statistical bump that allows them to function better.  Even just a pip more of WS or BS can really make a unit so much more effective.
  1.  Give the units some kind of force multiplier that perhaps won’t make them better but will make other units want to have them around.  Perhaps something as simple as +1 to reserve rolls, or maybe leadership bonuses in range.
  2.  Give them access to a specific warlord trait to help shape their game play to match the fluff better.  Like how Lias Issodon has a great Warlord trait that informs how the list will play.
  1.  Give them free unit upgrades.  Basically make the cost of taking those units lessened by giving them more stuff to boost their abilities.

Let’s take a wild shot in the dark at making a formation that will help a terribad unit be, at least, mediocre or maybe even good.

Let’s start with something simple:  Genestealers.

nid.01

Everyone can virtually agree that Genestealers are overpriced and bad for most tournament play.  There’s a variety of reasons why, namely that they are easy to shoot to death, they can’t get into combat with regularity, they suffer from lack of assault grenades, and they don’t hit hard enough to justify their cost.  Genestealers are an iconic unit of the 40k universe and should be way better than their current ghastly iteration.  How to fix them?

Let’s keep my proposed formation relatively simple, along the lines of the Aspect Shrine one.

  • Genestealer Infestation:
  • 3 Genestealer Units.
  • Restrictions: all units must have a Brood Lord.

Xenos Infestation:  The Genestealers have infested the area and created havoc behind the scenes.  Nominate one enemy unit before rolling for deployment, that unit must start the game in reserve.  Additionally, any force using a Genestealer Infestation formation can steal the initiative on a roll of 4+.

Reconnaissance:  The genestealers have chosen this ground for their strike and have carefully reconnoitered it.  All units in this formation gain the Scout special rule.  All units in this formation treat difficult terrain as open ground and are not slowed by it either in the movement phase or in the assault phase and do not have their initiative reduced to 1 when assaulting through cover. They still do receive cover saves.  Additionally, all units in this formation can assault on the first turn of the game even if they infiltrated or scouted.

So, what does this do?  It really makes genestealers scary on the assault.  They can now get up close and personal to their foe, they have a good chance of going first and getting a nasty turn one alpha assault off, disrupting their opponents army from the get go.  Having the ability to send one problem unit to reserves also gives them a real edge as they can force a dedicated counter-assault unit like a wraithlord to wait until at least turn 3 before it can start assaulting.

GenestealerTest1

What doesn’t it do?  It still doesn’t fix the fact that genestealers are going to get shot up outside of melee and as they are assaulting.  Overwatch from heavy flamers or even flamers can put a real damper on them.  While rending is nice and all, they are still going to struggle against good armor both of vehicles and good saves.

What would it do to the meta?  Probably not terribly much, Eldar would have a real hard time with it probably unless they really dedicated themselves to having anti-infiltration tactics like maybe actually using rangers to create a screen!? On the flip side, battle company would generally laugh at this force as they scratch up their metal boxes and then get killed.  Daemons might not like getting assaulted before they can get in the air, but they have a lot of good assault units that can smash the stealers back pretty hard.

Is this a perfect formation?  No, I came up with it in a few minutes so I’m sure there is room for improvement, but it gets at the core of the idea I’m shooting for.  Its a pretty safe formation because it is solely composed of a unit that is generally considered bad and doesn’t really go to far out of the box (other than the unit in reserve thing).  I’m sure a group of people could hammer out a way to make it better then put it to a vote!

Where this could get much trickier, but also more fun is in more larger-scale, CAD-esque formations.  Let’s tackle another codex with garbage units and try and make those garbage units less garbage.

Dark Eldar.  Man, that dex is just so in need of major help.  Last time I saw abusepuppy in the flesh we talked about how awful it was.  I think that Dark Eldar are some of the coolest looking models GW has ever made and that they have bad rules for the most part (outside of the formation-heavy Coven supplement) is a tragedy.  I don’t own Dark Eldar (nor Nids for that matter), but I’d love to see more of them on the table as something more than just a useful addition to Eldar.  I had some ideas about a Kabalite formation, but I think there’s an even blacker sheep in that dex…

dark.eldar.01

The Brides of Khaine

  • 1-3 Succubi
  • 4-6 Wyche Units
  • 1-3 Hellion Units
  • 1-3 Reaver Jetbike Units

Legendary Fighter:  If your warlord is chosen from this formation they receive the Legendary Fighter Warlord Trait from the Personal Warlord Trait list in the main rulebook in addition to any other Warlord Trait they would normally roll for.

Arena’s Best:  All units in this formation roll twice on the combat drugs table and receive both results (reroll to get two different results).  All models in this formation gain Rage, and Shred for their melee attacks.  They can also assault even if they ran in the shooting phase.  Additionally, when in an assault, they gain +1 Attack for every point more of initiative they have over their enemy.   Finally, all units in this formation gain the Scout special rule.

Speed of Khaine:  When any non-vehicle unit in this formation is shot at, reduce the number of hits by d3 each time a unit resolves shooting against them.  This includes shots from overwatch.

Brides of Blood:  All Wyche units can be upgraded to Blood Brides at no extra points cost.

Choreographers of Murder:  Any unit in this formation that is within 12″ of at least one Succubus counts the turn as being one higher for the purposes of Power from Pain.  This includes the succubus herself.

Sacrificial Target:  At the start of each game turn, choose a unit in your opponent’s army.  Choose from the list below to determine what effect will happen on the targeted unit.

  1.  The unit can only fire snap shots.
  2.  The unit cannot overwatch.
  3.  All units in the Blood Stage Formation gain preferred enemy against the targeted unit.

So what does this do?  It makes Wych units kinda scary, but probably not even enough to matter.  While they are still extremely fragile even with getting a gimmick to surviving shooting, they at least hit like a freight train (more or less) on the assault.  Against MEq units, each blood bride is chucking out at least 7 attacks on the charge with shred and the possibility of more through drugs (better melee through science!).  Like the other special rule I concocted out of thin air for the Genestealers, being able to get a bonus against specific parts of the opposing army will help them either neutralize a shooting threat (like a unit of 2 Stormsurges) or help them bring down something with shooting/melee.

Warriors and Wyches.

Warriors and Wyches.

What doesn’t this do?  It still doesn’t help them enough to make them survive against shooting and they still don’t have a great answer for high armor save units or vehicles.  There is also no help for dealing with leadership, so pinning and morale are still going to be a problem.

What would this do to the meta?  I can’t imagine it would have much of an effect as Craftworld Eldar could still murderize these brides with a portion of their shooting, and Battle Company can still hide in their metal boxes until it’s safe to come out and shoot up the girls.  What it would do is give other mid-tier armies a bit of pause and a new potential bully to vie with.

Again, this is something I came up with over a few minutes of thought, I’m sure we could come up with something better and put it to a vote, but I suspect that anything that could buff wyches in a fluffy context would be widely appreciated.

Anyway, I think this is a great way for ITC to give some love to some maligned units and codexes and add more variety to their events.  It shouldn’t drastically affect the high end game any more than some of the crazy formations GW released have.

roboute

Obviously, I know that any proposed change to anything is going to be met with howls of rage because nothing 40k related can exist without someone taking a moral stand against it, so I’m sure if ITC ACTUALLY proposed home-brew formations we’d get a series of snide comments from a bunch of people, or, outright jealousy from others (“My Tau haven’t won a tournament, but Frankie hates them so he nerfed them and he loves Sisters of Battle and that’s why they got this overpowered formation and WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”).  Just the thought of that kind of internet vitriol gives me a pre-emptive headache, but I would hope that most people would see the value in lifting up some crappy units/dexes and giving them help.  We already have a very clear division between what works in ITC and what works outside of ITC based on rules changes or even just FAQ rulings, why not steer into the slide more.  Would it really be all that bad if ITC was a bastion of Sisters of Battle, Dark Eldar, and Grey Knights?

What are your thoughts?  Can you think of some units that could benefit from some formations? Do you think this is going too far, or something that would make the game more enjoyable?

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103 Responses to “Guest Editorial by Fluger: ITC Formations?”

  1. Michael Corr
    corrm June 17, 2016 1:57 am #

    Some nice ideas for new formations to give some armies a more competitive edge and more use on the table.

    Would love to see the Orks get a decent “Decurion”-style formation (army wide FNP anyone?) and something for my Guard that doesn’t cost a fortune to buy or field.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:19 am #

      Thanks. 😀

  2. VonCrown June 17, 2016 2:27 am #

    I had been thinking of this general concept for a while now; partly because I’ve been considering launching a homebrew rules blog and thought it might be neat to pitch some of my ideas to the ITC. It would be something that needs more consideration than I think it’s getting here though – I really think these formations could use a dose of “less is more.” I know these weren’t meant as hard examples per se, though

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:18 am #

      Yeah, I’m sure we could come up with better ones with some collaboration.

  3. Horton June 17, 2016 2:51 am #

    In my opinion ITC formations is not a good idea. This game has enough going on witthout us making up additional rules.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:45 am #

      We always have to make up additional rules.

  4. IngenuityGap June 17, 2016 3:25 am #

    ITC is already toeing the line here by interpreting and clarifying rules for their tournaments. I think it’s too big a step over that line to start creating fan formations. There is way, way, way too much potential to cause issues without realizing it because we have no idea what is in the pipeline.

    It may be frustrating, but it’s best to wait these things out until GW gives them something nice.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:28 am #

      I guess the main thing I see is that if we are buffing up units that are widely perceived as bad we wouldn’t be tipping the apple cart at all.

  5. Sanchezsam2 June 17, 2016 3:54 am #

    I’d say no
    The reason being, I like the ITC as a universal format that eliminates rules issues no matter who or where I play.
    The ITC tends to get a lot of flak for changing rules and there really is only a handful of clear rules changes. And those are done to clear abusive issues.
    1) 2+ rerollable
    2) str d roll of 6 being 3 hull and pen result instead of 6+d6 hull.
    3) invis nerf
    Beyond those changes nearly every other ITC rule was a ymdc vote because thier were arguments based in intent or rules as writen.
    The point I’m making is the ITC is being more widely accepted because it changes rules to make the game better but doesn’t try to change the game to much. So in able to go into any friendly game store and play a pickup game with someone without dealing with rules arguments or “that guy”.
    That’s the allure of ITC for me. If you add in special formations you are going to start alienating individuals and areas that don’t want to stray to far from the game.
    Not every army will be balanced and the ITC isn’t there to balance the game L.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:33 am #

      I can see this yes, it does add a barrier to certain things, but there are plenty of examples of 3rd party rules systems informing list design (I mean, ITC is already doing this). Would it really be THAT hard to have a conversation with someone about how you are using a 3rd party formation to beef up your Ogryn-themed army?

  6. Requizen
    Requizen June 17, 2016 4:24 am #

    While I like the idea of Homebrew as a D&D veteran, I can’t help but feel that it belongs in a casual environment more than a competitive one.

    You also run the risk of it affecting people’s perception of the ITC. People already dislike changes and additions, if the Formations are actually usable, people may start viewing the ITC stuff as broken or playing favorites, which is not good.

    So, I’d say no, but the idea is interesting if nothing else.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:36 am #

      I find this idea of “competitive” environments kinda strange. The vast bulk of people that go to “competitive” events like LVO or the like aren’t going to even sniff the top tables. Tons of those folks are just going to get games in and have fun. In fact, I submit that MOST people are going there with that in mind. What I’m trying to do is create something that will raise up the dregs to have a bit more bite and encourage more diversity in the mid tiers. Nothing I’m proposing (or would propose) would really mess with the high-end dexes, but would at least give them some chances to create closer games throughout the event.

      • Heldericht June 17, 2016 3:03 pm #

        It is one thing for people to accept that they wont reach top tables and it is a whole other thing for the tournament to point this out to them.

        People enjoy the idea of playing in the same pool as everyone else, from the champion to the guy who’ll take home the wooden spoon. People already like this and enjoy it. Why force a change? A competitive setting is no place for this kind of experimentation. ITC, as a template for competitive tournaments, certainly needs to stay as far away from this as possible.

        I think you are forgetting what the response was like to bringing back the Green Tide, and thats a formation for a clearly ailing codex that GW had already made themselves…

        Now narrative games? Go wild with changes.

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 5:29 pm #

          I guess I don’t get what you mean by the tournament pointing things out to people…

          I don’t think narrative games need experimentation because they are able to bend and contort to make the game fun because there are less restrictions.

          I’d say competitive events are precisely where you’d want to test them.

          • Heldericht June 18, 2016 8:59 am
            #

            We can argue back and forth all day, but it doesnt matter. You are clearly not going to change your stance.

            However, the data backs up what I’m saying. The community votes in the ITC reflect the majority’s stance, and the community will never allow these kinds of drastic changes in the game.

        • Virgil82 June 18, 2016 10:29 am #

          I think that once upon a time that was true. In 4th and 5th Ed the game had been more or less solved and if you were playing Rhino/Razor/Falcon/Serpent rush you were in the same pool with everyone else. 7th has some very obvious, and wide, power gaps, you need to be in a very insular and casual play group to go to an event and think that your causal list is going to do anything other than get rocked and even a hard tournament list from a low tier codex will do better than the middle tables in most cases.

          On top of that the ITC is not billed as a Competative Format it is an Organized Play Format, which has an important distinction. As Reece and Frankie have mentioned on many occasions the top table players will adjust no matter what meta shifts occur, it is the middle and lower tables that are the lifeblood of tournaments. The folks who go for the chance to get fun games against new opponents, Fluger wasn’t suggesting we need to give DEldar a new Decurion to give them a shot at the top tables, he was saying why not let a cool Wych Cult be actually playable and encourage more mid-field players. Which IMO is very much in keeping with the spirit of the ITC.

  7. Luke June 17, 2016 4:39 am #

    I’m also on the no train. And I have SO many Genestealers that would love that formation (or something like it). Making up your own rules is not good for a competitive environment. Even though it would be an honest attempt at fixing 40k, how do you know how far to go? I don’t think the relative power levels of these made up formations could ever be truly objective.

    GW has been putting 40k through the paces recently. I don’t think it’ll be long before every codex has the Decurion detachment we’ve been waiting for, as well as more formations fhan you can shake a fist at. Will every army be top-tier competitive? No. That’s the nature of the beast.

    The best thing to do is to create mission packets that favor no armies and leave no armies out (ideally)

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:38 am #

      I’m not looking to make a stealer shock list be the new Battle Company, but it would be nice to have them more represented yes?

      As far as knowing how far to go, I’d put out a big survey on which codexes need the most help and then maybe which units.

      If we keep the formations to a simple theme and give them good bonuses that will encourage them to hit the table but not make them game breaking, I think that could only encourage diversity. The goal is not to design top-tier competitive lists, just more mid-tier.

      • Luke June 17, 2016 10:55 am #

        It’s just super subjective. Any codex could use some help with specific units, but the issue is essentially a balance one.

        Say you release a new gene stealer formation. A tyranid player goes on to beat a space marine player, and uses the formation to do so. The space marine player could very well be miffed that tyranids got a boost from the ITC, but they didn’t.

        The same thought process could apply even when two armies both using these new formations face each other. “oh well my opponent just got the better formation”.

        I think Nightman is right – GW has put out a lot of good stuff since Necrons. It’s painful to wait, but if we let them catch the other armies up, I think most of the balance issues will be fine

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 11:18 am #

          It IS subjective, certainly.

  8. Nightman June 17, 2016 5:02 am #

    Love the idea, but GW seems to going in a new and better direction. I’d give them atleast another six months before considering this.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:39 am #

      You sweet summer child, GW doesn’t care about balance or competitiveness, they never have. In fact, GW is all about house rules and “the most important rule”!

  9. Xalopec June 17, 2016 5:36 am #

    Idea: Give existing formations to similar armies that doesn’t have anything useful.

    For example:
    – Skyhammer for CSM with raptors and oblits/havocs (get deepstrike).
    – Battle company for CSM.
    – Aspect Host for DE (scourges, trueborn, Incubi).
    – A bit more crazy: kinda battle company for DE with Tac Marines = Kabalites, assault marines = wyches, devastators = trueborn or scourges. You get obsec and a stock raider (55p) that can be upgraded to a venom.

    That way you don’t have to invent too many new rules and it is hard to argue the bonus is too strong because the original units are better to begin with.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:40 am #

      That’s pretty slick. I like that.

    • Vilicate June 17, 2016 8:14 am #

      This is pretty awesome.

    • Vercingatorix June 17, 2016 11:21 am #

      Honestly, battle company as the idea of “your basic troop in a basic free transport” is a pretty solid concept for almost every army. For literally every army its not point efficient enough though so I like this idea as I would love to have hordes of orks in trucks or guardsman in chimeras.

    • Drachnyen June 17, 2016 11:25 am #

      Love this!

  10. Threllen June 17, 2016 5:52 am #

    Fan formations are cool, and some of these sound like needed improvements, but I’m not sure if they make sense in competitive play. Using in-house FAQs to tone-down problematic rules (invis, 2++ re-roll, ranged D, etc) is one thing. Once you start completely inventing new rules and formations that’s a big divergence. I’ve argued many times that un-refined 40k is not tenable for competitive play because that’s not what GW designed it for. But I think there is a line somewhere between trying to balance existing rules and creating entirely new ones. People seem to be a bit more ok with “we’re nerfing this super strong rule” versus “I’m taking this home-brew formation to beat you competitively.”

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:42 am #

      Again, what I’m shooting for is bringing dregs up to middle tier, not middle tier to top tier. Does that makes sense?

      I get the concerns, but I don’t get why nerfs are more amenable to buffs.

      • tag8833 June 17, 2016 10:00 am #

        I think improving 40K should rely on Nerfs alongside Buffs.

        Since the current ITC format is primarily playing all Apocalypse all the time, where all formations are allowed at full strength without cost it is easy to pick out the most problematic formations and where the nerfs are most needed.

        Spotting and picking the targets for buffs are a bit harder, especially when you want to balance your buffs.

        • Vercingatorix June 17, 2016 11:23 am #

          I actually think it would be pretty easy to do objectively. If you assume doing poorly/never showing up at all at tournaments is a good proxy for weakness. They’ll have a ton of lists from LVO and BAO, go through and say that they’re going to try and buff the units that show up in none or as few lists as possible.

          • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:12 pm
            #

            We also have the ITC rankings to show which factions did what and use that as a baseline to then determine what specific units could get buffs.

          • Vercingatorix June 20, 2016 9:59 am
            #

            I think people would be much okay with fixing relative power by buffing bad units over nerfing good ones.

        • tag8833 June 17, 2016 7:53 pm #

          So my prediction for LVO and BAO is that nobody will bring Pyrovores, Trygons, Maleceptors, Haruspexes, Genestealers (codex: Tyranids), Old One Eye, or Sporocysts.

          Furthermore, I predict that Tyranids generally do fairly poorly.

          If my predictions are correct, where do we add formations? One for each trash unit? Combi-formations to incooperate multiple units that aren’t otherwise playable? There will probably be lots of Flying Hive Tyrants. Should we make a formation where Old One Eye is point-for-point as good as a Flying Hive Tyrant? Maybe we could use fluff to be our guide, and only build formations that have some basis in fluff?

          The problem with buffs is they open a can of worms. It isn’t a non-solvable problem, but it is there. My solution is to start with minor tweaks on existing formations and go from there. Tyranids actually have a ton of formations, they just generally suck, so make them usable before you add new ones.

          Might be easier to explain by showing you what I mean. Here are 36 tweaks to existing formations that I think would make them more balance, more usable, and (most importantly) more fun:
          https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1VUB0iOj0o3L6SCqNpTWfBXpCVx3-1zhdP-EFPlfdeEY/edit?usp=sharing

          • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 9:59 am
            #

            Those are great suggestions.

          • Vercingatorix June 20, 2016 10:00 am
            #

            That’s a really good point. Now that you say it, I would much prefer changing current formation rules over adding new formation.

  11. Gman June 17, 2016 6:11 am #

    I would like to see that the ITC had some kind of philosophy in regards to changing rules.

    I would like to see that they only modified the game when its absolutely necessary, right now the changes feels all over the place some makes sense some dont. (Like changing how barrage and multilevel ruins work)

    • Sanchezsam2 June 17, 2016 7:36 am #

      The main philosophy of ITC is how do you want to play a contentious rule.
      It doesn’t try to interpret rules as written or intent because as the GW faq showed us regardless of other tournaments intentions to “play as written”. All they ended up doing was playing by ther interpretations with a handful of guys making his own call on what’s rules as written to them.
      The ITC community tends to vote conservatively on these contentious issues with the person who writes the options making sure the community doesn’t go bat shit crazy with thier calls.
      Ironically enough many of the common sense calls made by the ITC community ended up being the correct call with the GW faqs.
      For instance toe in cover and gargantuan creatures. Most as written rules interpretation tournies says it’s allowed. ITC voted it out and made the common sense judgement, IC buff sharing, blasts and fmc, formation benefit sharing all argued as rules as written and proven it wasn’t the intent or rules as written at all. And those rules as writen tournies were really just playing thier own home rules.
      The ITC makes only a handful of clear rules changes and usually to the most ridiculous combos, but really you vote on how you think it should be played. Whether you think it’s rules as written, rules as intended, rules that are stupid and should be played another way, rules that are more fun, rules that are more balanced, whatever your call is and the vote falls how it may. And overall it tends to be the correct and fair call even though people tend to bitch when they think thier army is nerfed. Rearm and refuel for tau as an example which the ITC voted against allowing it to enter and leave reserves the same turn abd that also was the correct call.

  12. Marandamir June 17, 2016 6:36 am #

    The idea is neat but making house rules just adds more fuel to the fire that is imbalance. The genestealer formation listed above is neat but its also OP. The assault after infiltrate/scout and no movement/init penalties was plenty. Forcing enemies into reserves is silly. You can force deathstars or critical units (like enemy synapse creatures) into reserve, which can mess up other players entire games. Balance is a very touchy subject and like anyone who has ever played a MMO or game like 40k, adjustments don’t fix anything, it only shifts the balance of power in a different direction. You’ll just change who the OP army/unit is or create more balance/rules issues.

    Errata rules and the ITC format is the best options I’ve seen for balance adjustments so far. It looks at the rules as a whole and make small tweaks that clarify or correct/adjust rules that are problematic.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 7:44 am #

      Like I said, I threw that together in literally 20 minutes. Mostly I was going for a diversity of options so people could see what was possible.

      I think the key is identifying weak units and then coming up with a consensus rule set.

      • Vercingatorix June 17, 2016 11:26 am #

        I think people are really missing the point by arguing against the OPness of the exact thing you put together. I really liked the concept of the formations. I also really like the idea of ITC releasing formations. I just don’t know if its worth the online and IRL vitriolic arguments.

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:11 pm #

          Yeah, there’s enough arguing about the ACTUAL rules that creating more rules would just be a huge charlie foxtrot. Its why we can’t have nice things.

  13. AngryPanda June 17, 2016 7:52 am #

    I don’t think this will work but the idea is neat. Also the sheer amount of rules stacked to maek those Wyches good is kind of breathtaking. I’m not saying they don’t need them but that’s amazing in itself.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 8:06 am #

      Honestly, its still not enough to help them against Eldar or Battle Company.

    • Vercingatorix June 17, 2016 11:27 am #

      Basically had to re-write their stats AND give them an armada of special rules. It’s fantastic.

      • AngryPanda June 17, 2016 11:31 am #

        The best part truly is that it is still not enough. The sheer level of failure in design that went into the orinal unit entries is a wonder to behold.

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:10 pm #

          I think in a void, the wyches are just simply over priced. In the context of powerful armies they are woeful.

          • Vercingatorix June 20, 2016 10:02 am
            #

            Does this void hold only non-heavily armored slow assault units?

  14. Drachnyen June 17, 2016 8:13 am #

    I really like the idea of trying to balance things and bring more competition to the “top tear” armies.

    I feel like creating homebrew formations is a very complicated, hard to sustain way to do it. It also forces “rules” changes, which we all know how delicate this process can be.

    My suggestion to help the game as a whole is to simply establish a Handicap value to armies in the hopes of curbing the power creep of new codexes vs old ones.

    For example, take the top 3 armies and apply a negative handicap to army points.
    Take the bottom 3 armies and apply a positive handicap.
    Exact values would need tweaking but could look something like this:

    Top 3 armies have -150 points handicap (around -10%)
    Bottom 3 armies have +150 point handicap (around +10%)

    Examples:
    – An ITC 1850 point Eldar army would be allowed to field up to 1700 points.
    – An ITC 1850 point Tyranid army would be allowed to field up to 2000 points.

    This way, you are not affecting any rules or any formations but limit (or increase) the amount of stuff you can bring to the table.

    • Drachnyen June 17, 2016 8:16 am #

      A more refined process would entail to assign a specific, tailored handicap to individual armies but that would require a lot of work and a lot of maintenance work.

      This top 3 / bottom 3 process would kinda auto regulate itself

      • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 8:32 am #

        I’ve actually agitated for this for a while, but the consensus would be impossible to reach and wholesale codex points increase/decrease doesn’t really help create diversity. It would have to be at the unit level.

  15. CWDub June 17, 2016 8:29 am #

    Very, very mixed feelings on this. I think there would need to be a community vote on something like this (“Should we create formations for bottom-tier codices in the ITC?”) and worth seeing how the community responds. It’s also worth noting that if this ever happens, there would probably be “no going back.” The community would need to define which codices are “bottom tier” or which aspects are bottom tier, ie. Ground Tyranids, Footslogging Orks, Sisters without Drop Pods, etc.

    Formations would be better than point handicaps as it helps prevent some spamming, ie. Why give Tyranids a point discount when they can just bring more Flyrants? Why give DE a points discount just so they can webway portal in some D-Scythes cheaper?

    These formations would also need substantial playtesting (something GW obviously doesn’t do.)

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 8:34 am #

      Couple thoughts

      1. Yes, obviously it would go for a vote as to even allowing it.

      2. Yes, a survey on which *units* would need the most love.

      3. Agreed that broad-based points changes won’t solve anything.

      4. I wouldn’t worry about playtesting too much as long as the formations don’t include super game-breaking stuff and are aimed squarely at terrible units.

      • bogalubov June 17, 2016 2:18 pm #

        GW sure as heck doesn’t do play testing for their formations. Why should we?

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 2:42 pm #

          Exactly this.

  16. Fluorescent Alpaca June 17, 2016 9:34 am #

    The article is very interesting. In an Ideal world the game is balanced, all the codexes are in the same edition. In a slightly less Ideal world, the ITC does this for GW and all flourish. We are not in an ideal world however.

    For one I think the creates a problem logistically in the manner in which formations are created, and perceived favoritism.

    Secondly, 40k is complicated enough without the community adding formations to the game, even if they aren’t that good. I think this is a slippery slope to where once you start creating formations, everyone will want one and a lot of structure is lost

    All that being said, the ITC will have thousands of data points about the game and the armies at the end of the year. Depending on what else happens in terms of releases and FAQs, once the data for the year is reviewed and discussed is probably the best time to revisit this idea

    thanks for the article

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 11:21 am #

      What I wanted was a MMORPG style rebalance. Just get all the lists that were used in all ITC events and then see what units were used the most. The units that were used the most get an increase in points compared to common they are, units that aren’t used get a decrease.

      Keep adjusting each quarter.

      That would be SO much work though and most people would hate it because their lists would be forced to change every 3 months.

      • Vercingatorix June 17, 2016 11:30 am #

        Yeah, it would be an astonishingly large undertaking but also really really cool. It would also end up with some really hilarious results I’m sure.
        Quarter 1 Chaos furies: 35 points
        Quarter 1 Chaos furies: 30 points
        Quarter 1 Chaos furies: 20 points
        Quarter 1 Chaos furies: 7 points
        Quarter 1 Chaos furies: -3 points

        That’s right, you actually get to take more stuff for every unit of furies you can field.

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:09 pm #

          Yeah, it would take some kind of algorithm that would have to be devised to make it work. But, I’m sure there would be a pain point at which Wraithknights become too expensive and aren’t taken enough to start upping their points and then we’d bounce between the two.

          • Vercingatorix June 20, 2016 10:04 am
            #

            That would be idea. It really would turn into a much more strategic game at that point. If it could it got to the point where you could just pick random units and be assured that after point adjustments they were relatively close we’d have so much more variety on the tabletop.

  17. Cephalobeard June 17, 2016 10:44 am #

    Slippery slope.

    There’s a clear difference, in my worthless opinion, between adjusting and moderating rules, and then creating your own for the sake of adding your own.

    Could it work? Sure.

    Main question is SHOULD it work, I suppose.

    There will always be a power tier, and until GW announces that x edition is the last edition, and we will simply adjust and modify rules within that edition forever, it means that every time there’s a new one, this power level will shift with it.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 11:22 am #

      I’ve been playing 40k since 97, there have ALWAYS been rules on top of the standard rules to make the game playable; even if they are “unwritten” rules.

      • Cephalobeard June 17, 2016 12:04 pm #

        Hello friend, I appreciate your article.

        It’s not a personal attack.

        You offered an opinion, I’m doing the same.

        As further constructive criticism, as you’re responding to every comment, you’re coming off slightly aggressive. You may feel free to take that as good or bad.

        • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:07 pm #

          No aggression implied, just trying to spark conversation. 😀

  18. gvcolor June 17, 2016 11:50 am #

    In simple form the answer is sure, but in implementation you have to shake your head and throw your hands in the air. Writing new rules for what is a very convoluted rules set… I don’t see this as a very likely to happen with everyone having their own personal stake in their army.

    No free transports and only one saving throw PERIOD would be a nice pipe dream – units that can’t die are stupid and absolutely kill 40K.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 12:15 pm #

      Yeah, the personal opinions are going to get in the way every time.

  19. PT Taylor
    PT Taylor June 17, 2016 12:34 pm #

    What a lot of folks seem to be missing is that such formations wouldn’t make any of the lesser codices competitive, it would just give them a little boost, here and there, so their faces don’t get smashed as hard.

    However, the majority of dissent seems to be the regular moral platitudes suggesting heresy at the notion of interfering with with GW’s deified word from on high. Very little logic to be had in any of this knee jerk dissent.

    I, personally, think it’s a great idea, as a one off band aid to help the struggling codices until GW sends down Moses from the mountaintop with a more permanent fix for those codices. Just a simple formation, for each of the underdogs, to give them a boost until then.

    As someone said, earlier, formations mirroring preexisting formations, that GW has already greenlit, would probably be best in order to assuage the conscientious objection crowd. Something like free transports for a simple decurion style formation, or a Dark Eldar “aspect host” wouldn’t be anything outrageous since it is already in the game. In fact, it would be difficult to logically refute such a suggestion.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 1:07 pm #

      Agree on all counts. I think that suggestion about re-purposing existing formations is great.

      • PT Taylor
        PT Taylor June 17, 2016 4:30 pm #

        I’m all for it. Even if it goes nowhere, this is a great article to provoke a potentially productive conversation. Good job, there.

        A simpler solution, that might have a better chance with the naysaying collective, might be to just implement an ITC format rule to allow each of the Big Five neglected codices (Tyranid, Orks, Dark Eldar, Chaos SM, Blood Angels) to have a free unit or two from their main book. That would give them a small boost, still not make them ultra competitive, and be completely in line with previous GW precedents (i.e. Battle Company, Black Manes, etc. playing above allowed points restrictions). This would also circumvent the dissenters’ primary argument.

  20. Mike June 17, 2016 3:06 pm #

    I like it. One of my biggest problems with formations, and one of the main reasons I think they shouldn’t be in competitive play at all, is that they are distributed unevenly, and among them, they distribute power unevenly. That is to say some people don’t have them, some people have them but have sucky ones.

    If this were put in place and fleshed out, I would actually be okay with formations in competitive play.

    That being said, I’m sure it will never ever ever come to pass, as most of the 40k community is stuck in “I only accept word of god” mode and will never accept 3rd party content even as they turn right around and comment on how bad the game’s balance is. \o.o/

    I’ve also figured out that most of the Internet 40k players are actually really terrible at game balance theory and meta identification. You may add 1 initiative to meganobz (wielding unwieldy weapons no less!) and half the net will explode, or you might add 5 wounds to every scatbike and barely any of them will blink.

    If this were to happen, the only feasible way would be to shut most of the net “noise” out of the process and take ideas only from tournament veterans and top table players. One of the skills that is used to get to that position in the first place is a deep understanding of the game and being able to identify units that are worth more than they cost.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 5:22 pm #

      Yeah, I don’t understand the heavy resistance to 3rd party add on rules. Fantasy did it with Swedish Comp. We are ALREADY doing it with ITC, just take the next step!

  21. HeavyPlate June 17, 2016 3:17 pm #

    An interesting read. I think we all long for something like this for the “bad” units, and it’s fun to come up with rules for them.
    The issue is devising what’s fair and the implementation of it.
    If a group like say, the ITC, were to implement sweeping rule addons like this, what criteria do they follow?
    1-3 rules depending on the units? What does the Army lack? Fluffy?
    Who writes the rules? A committee of TOs meet for a few hours to evaluate and debate the proposals then vote on them and after that present it to the public to vote on?
    I love to formulate and talk rules with people as much as the next guy, but logistically this would be a nightmare.
    That said…..
    Freebooter squad:
    1-3 flash gitz
    1-2 lootas
    0-1 Badrukk (optional)
    Da richest: if you bring Badrukk and he joins a unit of flash gitz, they may bring 1 batlewagon at no points cost, and doesn’t need to spend points to upgrade.

    Practised aim. Any model with a gitfinda automatically counts as not moving when firing. If the model actually stood still, the model also gains twin-linked for that phase.

    Dakka dakka: if a lootas counts as not moving when firing their deffguns, they may re-roll their the die to determine their number of shots if a mek, big mek, or Badrukk is within 12 inch.

    Needs touched up, but it bugs me lootas don’t have a formation. That and Badrukk and flash gitz need better rules.

    OK that was my fun, thoughts?

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 5:26 pm #

      Agreed that the logistics of it make it pretty tough, but I would say that a simple perusal of poorly performing dexes would be the first start and then a list of units from those dexes for potential formations. Then have a few tournament veterans put their hands to coming up with a few. Then put their formations up to a vote. Maybe 10 every time there’s a new vote. If 0 get in, that’s fine, but if we add a few here and there and tweak them as we go, I think it’s possible.

      Also, love the flash gitz stuff, that’s right on the money for what I’m thinking about.

      • HeavyPlate June 18, 2016 2:52 am #

        I think I’m in favor of this, but only if there were rules set in place to make the rules. (Brain explodes)
        Like the number of rules gained can’t exceed X, free points can’t go above Y.
        As hard as it would be, formations can’t go beyond a certain power level type thing.
        Not every formation should be riptide wing, conclave etc. Every army doesn’t need that, they just want it.
        And ITC doesn’t change rules that often. Perfect example are dreadnoughts this time around. A huge change for the positive.
        I’m all about variety and this would add it.

        • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 9:57 am #

          Yeah, GW blew my mind with that timely response. I’m so confused.

  22. westrider June 17, 2016 4:19 pm #

    This is probably no surprise, but I’m hugely in favour of this. Shouldn’t be too hard to keep it in check, really. There is a pretty broad consensus on which Units and Armies are at the bottom of the heap, and we’ve got a group of Players available to look over things who have demonstrated their ability to get the most out of new stuff very quickly, and who should be able to break them pretty quickly if it’s doable. Publish some for playtesting at one quarterly poll, vote for their inclusion on the next. Iterate as necessary.

    • Nathan Fluger June 17, 2016 5:26 pm #

      I knew I could count on you!

  23. Hunchkrot June 17, 2016 11:29 pm #

    I think this is a great idea. Even though there’s a chance that new formations might be ‘too good’ and create imbalance, I think that it’s well-worth the risk. I play a lot of 9th Age alongside 40k, and I think it’s really interesting to compare GW’s product (8th edition WFB) to the product created by experienced and dedicated players. The care for balance really shows, and even if something is made too powerful, it’s easy to modify it for the next season without too much trouble. It seems like the only argument against it is that people want to play the game as GW wrote it, but to be honest that’s not a sentiment I really understand. I mean, isn’t GW’s design what created the imbalance that prompted this discussion? Even if this only brings low-tier armies up to the middle table, I think it’s something all of the little guys will appreciate. I know I’d like to have a real incentive to not just bring Flyrants.

    • Nathan Fluger June 18, 2016 1:18 pm #

      Thank you. The good news is that any formations that quickly were determined to be too good (honestly really unlikely if we are buffing Ogryns and Tech Priests and the like) could easily be re-worked or discarded by ITC.

  24. Gman June 18, 2016 1:58 am #

    Please dont go down this route. The 40k scene in sweden is a total mess and an good example of what happens when you interfere to much with the game. Pretty much every tournament uses a different comp system that changes all the time on top of that.

    Its also super biased, boiling down to what the TOs considers OP at the moment. Often overlooking a lot of stuff thats outside their local meta.

    • Nathan Fluger June 18, 2016 1:18 pm #

      I have no control of this, but I think its a cool idea for buffing terrible units.

  25. Virgil82 June 18, 2016 11:02 am #

    As a very middle-tier player I like the idea of community driven Formations to boost up the bottom tier Codex’s, more people being able to play armies they like can only lead to better organized play experiences. If Blood Angels had Furious Charge as their Chapter Tactics and access to the Gladius Strikeforce would they become the new terror of the middle tables, or just good enough to show up?

    • Nathan Fluger June 18, 2016 1:19 pm #

      Could be fine.

    • AngryPanda June 18, 2016 5:03 pm #

      If someone realy wants to play a Gladius with their Blood Angels all they got to do is remember they have Marines that are painted red.
      Pick a good chapter tactic (cough, White Scars, cough) and there they go.

      • Virgil82 June 19, 2016 9:16 am #

        And certainly there are White Scars of every hue out there, they are the superior choice. But what if you are a Blood Angels player? You are something of a purist and your Codex has no entry for either White Scars Chapter Tactics or the Gladius. Why is it too much of a streach for a Tournament Packet to let a Have Not Codex access decent Formations, when what it would mean is an improved player experience?

  26. MarkDawg June 18, 2016 6:54 pm #

    Look Guys this can be done and done well all that say no. We have done this in the Bolt Action community have a look at some of the kick ass fan lists that have been crated and few of them have been made official by Warlord games.

    https://drive.google.com/a/pioneerplumbing.biz/file/d/0B_bdXINVeeuMcUR4MDFqcUh3Y2M/view

    https://drive.google.com/a/pioneerplumbing.biz/file/d/0B9qPaKsZK_89TGd3d3p5djgtTm0wQm55WGY2REpNN05HTW4w/view

  27. MarkDawg June 18, 2016 6:57 pm #

    If you make themed units decent not OP you make the fluffy choice the solid but not broken choice it improves everyone’s experience.

    This can be done and it can be done well only if you open your mind.

    • fluger June 19, 2016 9:15 am #

      You sparked my imagination with this!

  28. MarkDawg June 19, 2016 11:53 am #

    Flugatron if you make a kick ass formation and make it look sweet like the Bolt Action PDF’s and submit it to the ITC where all they have to do is put it up for a vote. Also you can lobby your local TO’s and see if they will allow it.

    If it’s simple to understand and not Overpowered but also fun and interesting it will be accepted.

    • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 7:54 am #

      Thanks, man! I’m sure we could make them better with some collaboration.

  29. hillshire June 19, 2016 10:33 pm #

    This creates more problems than it solves.

    1. Not everyone is going to agree that any given formation, regardless of how well thought out its creator believes it be, is fair and balanced. GW already gets plenty of flack for the formations it creates. Why would it be any different, let alone better, for fan made versions? At least with GW’s formations, it’s their game. I doubt that people will be any more tolerant of ITC Formations just because it gives the “weaker” codexes a boost. In fact, I suspect they will be less tolerant over the long run.

    2. Speaking of the long run, are these temporary formations? Because it’s fairly certain that there will be more formations put out for every faction. Are we going to have dual sets of formations going forward? Some of which will inevitably conflict and create confusion? Or are these just to get by until official ones come out? Which would also have negative side effects for people who invested into building towards ITC Formations only to have them negated because they were withdrawn or obsoleted by future rulings of GW’s.

    3. If ITC can make “official” formations for Tournament use, why can’t other major tournaments and/or organizations make their own? Then we would have even greater fractions between how the game is played and interpreted from region to region, club to club. Problematic as GW’s rules can occasionally be, they are universal. Adding custom rules will further divide the community and how it plays the game.

    4. Again, this will create more problems than it solves. There will be debates about how to interpret a formation and how it applies. There will be unintended consequences that will create confusion and feel-bads. Just read through any of the 40k forums for discussing rules. Even things which seem completely obvious get heatedly debated. People will rules lawyer for advantage. So there will need to be clarifications which leads to another level of FAQs for ITC Formations.

    5. Why stop there? Why not introduce new weapons, armor, and/or vehicles to codexes which are deficient? Sisters of Battle could use an assault transport, particularly since they can’t start the game in one due to the recent Battle Brothers FAQ. Chaos has no equivalent to grav-cannons, so make new rules for that. As others have stated previously, clarifying existing rules is one thing. Significantly changing existing rules in the name of balance already steps over the line at times. But creating entirely new rules when we know that GW is already releasing new rules faster than ever before? That’s a whole new level.

    6. Then there will be arguments over implementation. As we know, ITC is very open (much to their credit) and states that their FAQs and guidelines are optional. People are free to pick and choose as if it were a salad bar. So a player has to carefully read to see if their favorite Forge World model is banned, whether it’s full or nerfed Invisibility, and/or how blasts effect different levels of a building. Then add whether or not ITC Formations should be allowed at any given event. Then which ones are specifically allowed while others might not. Or how they are going to be implemented could vary from tournament to tournament. An ITC Formation following ITC FAQs strictly could behave quite different from one played in a tournament which doesn’t strictly adhere to the ITC FAQs.

    7. Let’s think ahead a bit. How long would it take to create and publish ITC Formations for each faction that needs them? GW is often accused of publishing rules without play testing them. How many games will it take to play test each formation? Off hand, it seems that several games should be played per typical build per faction. Say 3 games per build? Say there are maybe 7+ major builds (warp spiders, Footdar, double Wraithknight, scat-pack, Seer Council, Wraithguard, Aspect host, and many combinations of all of those). So minimum 20+ games to play test against one faction? Some factions will have more builds, others fewer. Easily 200+ games to minimally test a single formation against the 40k universe. And that’s not even taking into consideration the possible builds the proposed ITC Formation is being combined with.

    Or is it going to be crowd sourced? “Here’s what we propose, give it a try and let us know what you think”. How long before you get back good, actionable data and make revisions? Can the data even be relied on? How do you know? How many revisions will be made before it’s considered final? How long a period of time will be given for crowd sourced play testing?

    Either way, there will be pushback that a given Formation and/or it’s rules are not balanced and/or unofficial.

    I think fan made formations are a fun idea for trying out with friends. Could even work at a club level, depending on the personalities and willingness of the club. But on a national/international level, it creates more problems than it solves. I get that we can’t count on GW to balance things out as quickly as we’d like in the manner that we’d like. I just can’t get past the fact that fan made ITC Formations, well intentioned thought they are, are unlikely to get to us more quickly, thoroughly play tested, balanced, and widely accepted than the ones that GW will inevitably publish. Because GW formations are coming. It’s just a matter of when.

    I think it’s better for the ITC to stick to helping clarify rules, not adding their own entirely new formations.

    • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 8:03 am #

      Thanks for posting!

      1. No one can agree on anything in 40k. But most people can agree on which units are bad. I really don’t expect as much ill will.

      2. Honestly, I would have zero issue with similar formations running concurrently. For instance, if we made a better version of the Dark Eldar Raider detachment.

      3. I’d be open to other events doing the same. There’s already several 40k camps if you will. Frontline were advocating for inclusion of Forgeworld before others for instance. I don’t think there’s any reason to avoid it.

      4. The advantage is that if there is confusion, the authors of the rules are easily accessible. Should be simple to fix. Also, what I would truly advocate for is simplistic formations that buff bad units and not introducing a lot of needless extra rules. Regrettably, the two examples I gave are chock full of new rules, so they aren’t good examples. 😀

      5. I’d rather see an errata to lower/raise points on various items. Power Fists and plasma pistols need drops in points for instance, and grav gun should be more expensive. We all know it, but instead of doing something about it, we just keep trudging along.

      6. That’s certainly true.

      7. I think the testing has been done to show which units need buffs. If the formations aren’t out of hand, they should have very little appreciable difference towards the meta.

      • hillshire June 20, 2016 3:22 pm #

        Sorry, that all sounds nice and reasonable but

        1. Before long, it won’t be needed since we know for a fact that GW will release multiple iterations of Formations for all factions

        2. Creates more problems than it solves

        3. Risks legal action from GW. As I opined below, if the presence of ITC Formations appears to slow down the sale of GW products centered around their own Formations, they will have little choice but to take legal action to protect their IP and profits. I’m certain that is not what the ITC and the author intend but it could certainly be a consequence.

        This isn’t just helping in and clearing up rules questions. This is directly stepping in and taking GW’s place in the formation of their game. I do not believe this is what the ITC should be doing.

      • hillshire June 20, 2016 3:29 pm #

        Thank you for taking the time to write reasoned responses. I do appreciate your passion for the concept.

        Just one clarification for #7, I wasn’t talking about play testing to see which units are weak, I was talking about play testing the new formations. I have no doubt that GW has felt that their small tweaks would have only minor effects on the game as well, only to find out that in game there can be unintended consequences.

        • westrider June 20, 2016 6:38 pm #

          Following on that #7, we’ve got people here on this very comments page who have pretty reliably managed to fish out the broken combos and Rules within a week or so of anything dropping at the most.

  30. artfcllyflvrd June 20, 2016 7:59 am #

    I don’t understand how anyone thinks this is tenable at all.

    If you listen to Signals of the Frontline, the reaction they got after suggesting to bring back the green tide detachment was to have a million people email and ask to have their old detachment/rules back.

    Imagine the response when you are actively making stuff up…

    It will also add more confusion to what exactly an ITC tournament is. Right now you have tons of places that call themselves “ITC”. But that means anything from a) using all the FAQ/Rules changes, missions, army building to b) using none of it, to c) using some of it, to d) using tweaked parts of each. It’s super confusing and this would add a huge additional dimension to the problem.

    • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 8:05 am #

      Ergo my closing thoughts…

      “Obviously, I know that any proposed change to anything is going to be met with howls of rage because nothing 40k related can exist without someone taking a moral stand against it, so I’m sure if ITC ACTUALLY proposed home-brew formations we’d get a series of snide comments from a bunch of people, or, outright jealousy from others.”

  31. 1PlusArmour June 20, 2016 9:44 am #

    I _strongly_ say “No”. Obviously well intentioned, but all this does is fracture the already fractured communities further.

    You basically end up in a scenario like Fantasy has now – 8th ed, 9th age, KOW, and AoS. All are games that (can) use the same minis, yet they all have different communities. Doing this would be no different than trying to shoehorn in 9th age (fan made) while 8th edition Fantasy was still active.

    • Nathan Fluger June 20, 2016 9:56 am #

      Fair enough.

  32. Trevor June 20, 2016 12:08 pm #

    Stop changing the game and allow CTA back in. This will open up everything to all armies, albeit at a minor cost impact to deployment. This is what people mean about internal balance. Now I realize that every tournament already changes the game (point, timed games, etc.) and I do support a form of “ban and restricted” list like other games or the Frontline “nerfs” but we need to be playing the whole game before we start changing the game. IMO

  33. hillshire June 20, 2016 3:12 pm #

    Another concern is the the possible harm it could do to GW’s sales and good will. Let’s say that ITC Formations are created. GW releases some new materials that are basically Formations with fluff and maybe a new unit or two. Part of the community basically says, “pass, the ITC Formations are good enough”. The first time, GW might just write it off as a miss. If it happens with another release, GW will have to respond to protect their IP and profits.

    ITC publishing FAQs in the absence of GW’s is one thing. Writing rules and Formations for GW is going too far. Then you are directly walking into their turf.

    And again, we will get updates, new materials, and FAQs for all the factions. Faster than ever before. Surely we can have some patience, particularly considering GW’s recent embracing of our community and attempts to address the needs of the game.

    • MarkDawg June 20, 2016 6:21 pm #

      Hillshire you worry far too much for a multi million dollar company. GW tells us to make rules and play things how you want. GW is terrible at writing rules.

      If I told you hey I wrote this fan dex with the skyhammer annihilation force or the Battle company or the Mechanicum formation that gives them all the free stuff heads would explode!!!!

      If GW dose it it’s totally cool?

      ITC formations would be voted on by the community vetted and play tested to bring cool armies that are fun to play and fun to play against please for the love of god open you mind.

      • hillshire June 21, 2016 7:54 am #

        You misunderstand. This isn’t about a fan writing his own Formation to play with his friends. I’m fine with that. Depending on how it was written, I’d play against it. GW would be fine with that too. A few people playing around with their game is a good thing.

        The ITC, on the other hand, is a national standard with a lot of influence which is now going global. Kudos to Reece and his staff for such an impressive achievement!

        Because of their reach and influence, the ITC would be held to a different standard. As I stated before, there is actual risk in this circumstance. If GW loses sales because the ITC beat them to the punch, that’s a problem. Even if you leave sales out of it, there is a risk that GW will be legally forced to protect their IP even if they’d rather not. There’s also the risk of souring the improving relations with GW. From what Reece has been saying, it sounds like GW is trying to work with Frontline Gaming. Maybe GW would be ok with it all. Is it worth losing that working relationship because some people decided they either can’t wait any longer and/or don’t trust GW to write the types of Formations they would like to see?

        Again, formations are coming. For everyone. It’s just a matter of time. And based on the rapidity of their release schedule, it shouldn’t be long (I could speculate but this post is going on long enough). This is a problem that is already in the process of being solved. Why create more problems when the solution is imminent?

        The purpose of my posts is not to stifle creativity. I am all for people trying out fan made rules and formations with their friends. The purpose of my posts is to present a perspective which hasn’t been discussed in the comments up to this point. Personally, I do not support a national standard such as the ITC writing rules for GW. Interpreting and adjusting existing ones, ok (for the most part). Creating entirely new ones creates a whole new field of problems.

        In regards to community votes . . . it’s a nice ideal and can be a good thing. But it’s neither perfect nor a validation. It’s very easy for people to vote in irresponsible ways when they bear none of the responsibility.

        And finally, I don’t think god’s love is in anyway dependent on 40k. ;),

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