NewHammer 40,000: Choosing Your Army

The following comes from the Warhammer-community site.

Creating an army in the new Warhammer 40,000 is a lot of fun.

There are as many ways to go about this as there are Warhammer 40,000 players out there; some of you will pick you army based on your favourite models, some based on a particularly inspiring bit of lore or background you’ve read, and some because you like the way certain units behave on the battlefield. For most of us, it’s a bit of all of the above.

Choosing an army in the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 can be as simple or as easy as you like. At the most basic level, you can just put whatever models you have in your collection on the table and get rolling – this is the very essence of open play.

For a little more balance and structure, you can use Power Levels. These can be found on the datasheets of every unit and give a rough approximation of its relative effectiveness. Power Levels are ideal for narrative play and allow you to very quickly work out which force is more powerful so you can either add or take away a few units to balance it or play a mission that calls for forces of different sizes (like a siege or a glorious last stand).

The final mechanism for selecting an army is to use points, most commonly associated with matched play. These will be familiar to anyone who plays the game today and are designed to balance your force for use in the 12 Eternal War and Maelstrom of War missions.

While Power Levels are purposefully an approximation of a unit’s effectiveness, points are, if anything, more granular than they have ever been, with each individual item costing a certain amount.

The best way to show this is with a quick example. We’ve used a Drukhari force, lead by an Archon (classic).

This army is 1000 points and is Battle-forged using the Patrol Detachment. It is typical of what you might expect from an army of this size.

We have an HQ choice, a mix of units kitted out to deal with both Infantry and Vehicles, Transports and a Flyer to back them up. The points for each model, gun and item of equipment add up to give the army’s total cost in points.

One thing you’ll probably notice is that vehicles generally tend to cost more points in this edition. Though you’ll find that their increased flexibility and durability means that they are certainly well worth taking. (This is especially true of Drukhari ones, which can now not only ram enemy units but fly out of combat and still shoot you!)

Another thing you’ll likely see much more of is vehicles and squads with mixed weapons. So, in this case, those splinter rifles the Kabalites are carrying can be targeting squishy infantry targets while the heavier guns in the squad can hunt larger prey. It means you might not need dedicated anti-infantry or armour units as much if you’ve spread that killing power around your army.

This army is a fairly typical Drukhari force, but the new edition opens up a whole range of new options. Previously, a lot of the more extreme army builds were only available to certain armies through formations, but now anyone can use them! There are Detachments available that focus on each of the nine battlefields roles, which gives you loads of options for building a force, even within a Battle-forged list.

Ever fancy a whole army of tanks? How about a Penitent Engine crusade? Or an entire swarm of flying Tyranid monsters? Or an army of speed-mad Ork bikers and buggies?

They all sound awesome.

The options are endless, the choice is yours.

What do you all think?


About Reecius

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

30 Responses to “NewHammer 40,000: Choosing Your Army”

  1. Fulcrum May 30, 2017 9:53 am

    Looks like building an army is going to be painful until we get a very good list building app.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 30, 2017 12:34 pm

      It is indeed considerably more complex.

      • bogalubov May 30, 2017 9:33 pm

        I thought the whole point of the edition switch was to simplify things.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 31, 2017 12:43 am

          The rules of the game are much, much simpler. The rules for writing a list are not. And that’s only for matched play, too. For the other two ways to play, it’s super simple.

          As for the the point of the edition being simplification? No, I don’t think so. I believe the point t was to make a better game.

          • Jural May 31, 2017 9:07 am

            I’m REALLY nervous abut the job TO’s will have to do now… although is anything significantly worse than the end of 7th?

            Ideally list building would be pretty straightforward and easy to audit to help out TO’s with hundreds of list in play… but probably preaching to the preacher there!

          • bogalubov May 31, 2017 10:34 am

            I saw the simplification and improvement of the game as one and the same. My growing concern is that the time savings we get from not looking up USRs and disembarkation rules will be replaced with extensive book keeping for making an army list and then keeping track of damage and what that does.

          • Jural May 31, 2017 11:22 am

            Once Army Builder updates, life will be fine 😉

            Or… GW could actually put out a product which just allows you to build armies for free?

            Crazy talk!!!

          • Threllen May 31, 2017 11:33 am

            I would think checking lists would be a lot more straightforward now than before. Basically the same job as before except that instead of having a million different codex/supplement-specific detachments and formations they can check everything against the 14 standard detachments that everyone gets. After that it’s just checking points/factions but that is no different than last edition was for a T.O.

            Plus on the gameplay side it should be a lot easier for TOs. Matched play restrictions are already tailored to competitive play. So hopefully that means they don’t need 50 pages of FAQs/errata/houserules anymore.

  2. Threllen May 30, 2017 10:11 am

    Hey Reece, I don’t know how much you guys can confirm – but does every piece of wargear (including standard wargear) have a point cost associated with it? They’ve been giving confusing answers on facebook. It seems like every piece of gear has a cost but that cost is sometimes 0pts for more basic options.

    • Reecius
      Reecius May 30, 2017 12:36 pm

      Almost every piece has a points value but lots of kit is 0pts, yes. This will he the biggest change for folks to get used to, imo.

      • Threllen May 30, 2017 12:57 pm

        Yeah, I’m still on the fence about that one at the moment. I understand the concept about it, but something seems off about having to look in multiple places to add up how many points my unit is going to cost. Personally I would have much preferred a hybrid between these datasheets and the old ones. I like having all the rules on the sheets but I would have liked to see them try to incorporate points costs (and not just power levels) into the datasheet as well.

        I’m sure we’ll all get used to it eventually, though. And hopefully some list-building apps come up quickly.

        • Ytook May 30, 2017 2:01 pm

          Having the points separate from the rules and having war-gear separate does make it significantly easier for GW to update points in a General’s Handbook type thing on the go.

          • Threllen May 30, 2017 5:43 pm

            Yeah, but I’d prefer to have my points as near to my entries as humanly possible. That was a major component of the 7th edition mess that got us here in the first place. Rules that were split out amongst a million different codexes and supplements and campaign books which required using 3+ books just to play one army.

            I don’t want a “generals handbook” that updates the points values for all armies while my book has incorrect/outdated values. If they’re going to update values I’d like them to make their best effort and publish a new edition for my codex so I have an entirely updated book. At which point changing it on the profile itself would be just as easy as changing an index at the end.

          • Ytook May 31, 2017 2:55 am

            Fair enough, but a new codex every year at least for every points change seems a bit much.

        • Reecius
          Reecius May 31, 2017 12:45 am

          The points are still in the same book, usually all on the same page, too.

      • HeavyPlate May 30, 2017 6:55 pm

        Pretty big change really. We lose a lot of rules bloat, but get near excel spreadsheet levels of listbuilding. Lol
        Still excited to learn.

      • Jural May 31, 2017 11:25 am

        I love the idea of FOC swaps and upgrades. Honestly, with a diverse enough game there should be room for most weapons and gear… and they should have equivalent effects… i.e. you are choosing a battlefield function, not deciding if you have enough points for the only upgrade which is worth it.

  3. Davis A Centis May 30, 2017 10:55 am

    Just re-asking what Threllen asked already; does the “points (models):” cost represent the model without any wargear pieces, or does it represent the model with the basic items listed in its unit profile?

    In this way, does the Raider cost 95 points with no wargear, plus 21 points to give it the dark lance and shock prow, or is it 95 points for the Raider plus whatever weapons it already has, then 21 points to upgrade those weapons to the dark lance and shock prow?

    • Matt May 30, 2017 11:53 am

      In the leaks that are out so far, the points table for models says “points per model (Does not include wargear)”

      So from what I understand, all listed wargear has a cost that is separate from the model and must be accounted for, even if it is part of the model’s “default” wargear. This is why a lot of basic infantry have 0pt standard weapons.

      So in Davis’ example, the Raider costs 95pts WITH NO WEAPONS OR WARGEAR. The cost of the dark lance and shock prow make up the additional 21 points.

  4. Drachnyen May 30, 2017 4:33 pm

    In matched play, do we know if there is a limit to the number of detachments you can use?

    • Cephalobeard May 30, 2017 4:39 pm

      Unlimited per GW, unless groups intervene eventually.

      • Commisarofthebus May 30, 2017 5:22 pm

        Games Workshop Community said:

        “Matched play actually has a few extra rules too, designed for competitive events, which organisers can choose to use when setting the rules for Battle-forged armies – limits on the number of separate Detachments is one example.”

        So I think there are more rules, we just don’t know them.

        • Cephalobeard May 30, 2017 10:35 pm

          Right. So, as I said, stock unlimited, organizers may intervene.

          • Reecius
            Reecius May 31, 2017 12:46 am

            GW has stated matched play standard games will be 2,000pts.

          • 77rColin Sherlow June 1, 2017 6:18 am

            Does FLG plan on making 2k the standard for FLG events?

  5. Ghostvalley May 31, 2017 6:31 am

    I’m still a bit confused on the battleforged wording. For units to be in the same detachment do they need to share all the Faction keywords or just one. eg: Space marine Captain, Skitarii Vanguard both share Imperium Faction so can they be in the same detachment?

  6. Caldria May 31, 2017 8:15 am

    I wonder if all those phantasm grenade launchers scattered all over the list is a hint at them being something sexy in the new edition 😉

  7. Stilgar May 31, 2017 10:27 am

    Overall, I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve seen for 8th. There are still a few questions but those will most likely have to wait for army specific codexes to answer. I am not thrilled with army building. It seems unnecessarily cumbersome.

  8. Dbiesto May 31, 2017 7:46 pm

    We won’t know until the actual release, but will the army building rules specify what is illegal? I have a feeling with how close tournaments are and the release of newhammer, mistakes will be made. Or is the list building less confusing, with a lot more options?

  9. Chandler June 1, 2017 5:08 am

    I think list building will be more simple in the form of the detachments you take, but for a while it will be painful thumbing through indexes to get points and add up wargear and all. But 40k has never been a simple game nor should it be really. I think once everyone gets used to it, they will see the improvement of list building.

    I can say, as a TO the fact that there are only a handful of detachments to choose from (at least for now anyway) takes a lot of pressure off for list checking, which frankly in 7th had become extremely hard to do.