GW News: Astra Militarum FAQs and Bonsinger

Most of you have seen these already, but we were at the SoCal Open and so did not have the opportunity to cover this story, yet. However, what do you think about the changes?

Astra Militarum FAQ

Xenos 2 FAQ

Imperial Armor FAQ

Eldar Bonseinger Rules

The internet is crying tears over some of these changes as it tends to do, but I personally feel these are largely positive changes and am happy to see them. The Conscript nerf is not nearly as bad as folks are making it out to be, you can still play them in the same way, it just requires some additional resources to make them stick around. But with the Commissar’s leadership bubble, the re-roll, and things like Stratagems and Psychic Powers to boost leadership, they’re not impacted nearly so badly as folks make it sound like they are. And, you can always run Valhalla too, to halve morale losses for them.

What do you all think?

Oh, and that Bonesinger is amazing, I will certainly be adding one to my Eldar forces.


About Reecius

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

109 Responses to “GW News: Astra Militarum FAQs and Bonsinger”

  1. Maeglin October 24, 2017 9:24 am #

    Bonesinger is amazing. Repair plus Smite for 70pts makes it hard not to take one.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 9:25 am #

      Yeah, he is awesome! If he was an HQ, too, it would be too good, lol.

    • Threllen October 24, 2017 9:35 am #

      I don’t know – he only gets to choose one or the other each turn and he pretty much does nothing outside using one of those two abilities each turn (bad at melee, no shooting).

      If he was an HQ I would say he would be pretty good just because he fills the “tax,” but he’s an elite so that’s a moot point. Warlocks were 30pts base in the index and they get smite PLUS another power, they’re HQs, and they can take weapons that make them far more useful in other phases of the game than the D3 damage bonesinger with S3 and no AP or wound modifiers.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 24, 2017 9:38 am #

        But, he is pretty tough and healing a Wraithknight makes the dang thing even harder to kill.

        • Threllen October 24, 2017 11:01 am #

          It’s definitely not a bad trait to have, but 70pts is pushing it imo. That’s pretty comparable to a techmarine once you count all of the extra gear he can take which makes him useful at more than just repairing. The bonesinger does have a bit more utility since he has the *option* of smite and using denies but there are much cheaper ways to do those latter two things by using other Eldar units (like Warlocks). I don’t think he’s a bad unit but at 70pts a pop that’s definitely edging the line of being an expensive healer.

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 24, 2017 11:14 am

            Fair points.

        • Dbiesto October 24, 2017 11:28 am #

          He is the same cost as a herald of nurgle with a similar ability but can also repair vehicles AND currently it doesnt look like its a psychic test so no risk of perils. Perfect addition to anyone running Iyanden theme, that would allow him to repair either the wraith construct or a tank. Thats so good…..really hoping Tyranids get some decent boosts to get more competitive

          • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 12:48 am

            The Bonesinger’s range is much lower than the 18″ for Fleshy Abundance, though, and affects a smaller class of models. He also isn’t an HQ, which is a significant disadvantage for filling up detachments.

          • Threllen October 25, 2017 5:40 am

            In addition to APs other points, the herald is much tougher and gives a 6″ wide boost to +1S for every other nurgle model.

            So sure, if you’re in range of the bonesinger’s ability it’s a more reliable heal than Fleshy Abundance but literally everything else about the HoN is better.

      • Maeglin October 24, 2017 9:52 am #

        Bonesinger does get the full strength Smite too rather than the Destructor toned down version.

  2. rvd1ofakind October 24, 2017 9:34 am #

    A big step in the right direction! Tactics should have weaknesses. Like morale in this case.

    Still, the biggest change to be made, IMO, is fixing Soup lists. Maybe if the only keyword all your units have is “Chaos” or “Imperium”, then you don’t get the 3CP for making a battleforged list(with a few exceptions like Assassins, Inquisition, etc)?

    That would actually create tough(er) decisions between cherry picking what’s best or accepting the army’s weaknesses to get the 3CP.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 9:37 am #

      I am not a big fan of soup armies, either. It makes the game less immersive.

      • happy_inquisitor October 24, 2017 11:12 am #

        I think a different approach to faction prizes in tournaments might be a way to give an incentive to non-soup lists without slapping the comp handcuffs on everyone.

        If the faction prize is just for pure faction then soup lists are battling it out for Imperium/Chaos against everyone else who took a soup list.

        Too late for this season but maybe worth a thought in future. You tend to get what you pay for in life, if you pay for prizes for pure armies you will get more pure armies.

        • NovaStar October 25, 2017 7:39 pm #

          Don’t give out prizes for best of faction to a Soup list at all, 0 reason to have a Imperium or chaos prize, and all the reason to make it more specialized

      • Dbiesto October 24, 2017 2:21 pm #

        I won’t deny the daemon mark keyword combo giving heretic astartes same boosts as daemons makes them even stronger. Obliterators, possesed, helldrakes, etc all benefit from a chaos daemon hq aura. It makes sense, but it is questionably too powerful with some combos such as the +1 str aura or the changeling -1 aura. Im surprised it still hasnt been nerfed.

      • Jural October 25, 2017 12:40 pm #

        The frustrating thing about this is that Age of Sigmar seems to have it down!

        I was just certain we would have a system like this:

        1. If every unit in your army is Imperium, you have access to Imperium “Abilities” (relics, stratagems, etc.)

        2. If every unit in your army is Imperium and Space Marine, you have access to Imperium and Space Marine abilities

        3. If every unit in your army is Imperium, Space Marine, and Ultramarine, you have access to all three abilities.

        In the above, the Ultramarine abilities would outshine the Space Marine, would outshine the Imperium.

        Some things like Chapter tactics or special characters wouldn’t require your whole army to have the keyword.

        Maybe some special or very rare units (Knights? Assassins? Abaddon? Swarmlord, Fallen, Cypher?) would somehow be able to get around this rule…

        I am just really floored that we got another Imperial Soup edition, at least there is a viable Chaos alternative. Eldar and Nids, have some potentialsoup too, but long-term I wouldn’t want to be Necron, Ork, or Tau!

    • Ty October 24, 2017 10:51 am #

      Imperium is a bigger issue than chaos imo. Since Imperium has so much variety within it.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 24, 2017 11:07 am #

        They’re both extremely good.

  3. Cephalobeard October 24, 2017 9:34 am #

    Well, Bonesingers feel like a decent Elite slot in Vehicle-based Eldar Brigades.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 9:37 am #

      Or in Wraith armies, too. I will totally take one with my Wraith army.

      • mortetvie October 24, 2017 11:12 am #

        Reece, do you think that a Bone Singer can heal wounds via Strength from Death instead of casting a psychic power?

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 3:38 pm #

          Could you elaborate on that a bit?

          • mortetvie October 24, 2017 3:54 pm

            Strength from Death allows a model to cast a psychic power as if it were in the psychic phase as a soulburst action. If a Bonesinger is eligible for a soulburst action, can it elect to use its “path of the shaper” ability instead of casting a psychic power?

          • Reecius
            Reecius October 24, 2017 4:31 pm

            Ah, I see. I would say no as it is not specified. Will have to wait form GW on that one, though.

          • mortetvie October 24, 2017 8:08 pm

            Yeah, thought I’d hear what you guys think on that. I think it could go either way but better to err on the side of caution. Still, one of these guys healing a WG unit and the Tears of Vaul stratagem could be useful. Shame you can’t resurrect fallen models using either heal as far as I know =(.

          • Odras October 24, 2017 9:23 pm

            I would say no to resurrecting a model, as the Path of the Shaper says pick a model within 3″, not a unit. So a dead model can’t possibly be within 3″.

  4. Duz_ October 24, 2017 9:41 am #

    Would have been nice to limit the commissar nerf to just conscripts or at the very least let their ability be optional

    • rvd1ofakind October 24, 2017 9:53 am #

      Pretty much every top imperium list had guard in it. Yes consripts were a problem. But IG was too strong in general

      • Duz_ October 24, 2017 10:51 am #

        So every game change should be made to combat the small tail of players that take it to an extreme in a competitive environment?

        What about the new or casual players that thought it was a fun way to ensure their 10 man Veteran units stay in line after running up the board to harass some enemy units or some ratlings who needed a backbone because we all know what they’re like.

        This nerf is beyond imperial soup conscript abuse.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 11:10 am #

          Again, that is an exaggeration, lol. If you have a Commissar your Veterans are already going to have better leadership just due to his bubble. Mine barely ever run away, anyway, but that is a different story. At Ld9 with the Lord, you have to lose 4 models and roll a 6 for it to even matter. And, you can always use the D3 morale check strat for 1 CP, and now the squad is nearly immune to morale, completely.

          Or, take an Inquisitor, etc.

          You still have tons of options, this is most assuredly not the end of the world nor even that big of a nerf. Time will tell, folks will find the workaround and see that this is a big overreaction.

        • rvd1ofakind October 24, 2017 7:19 pm #

          A less diplomatic answer:

          You know what,YES. Yes changes should be made with competitive players in mind. You know why? Because not competitive players shouldn’t care about balance changes that much while competitive players are flying all around the world to tournaments.
          IG was too strong. It got the nerf stick. End of story.

        • WestRider October 24, 2017 10:05 pm #

          It’s also not nearly as much of a problem with Veterans, because they have to take like 7 casualties in one Turn to hit the point where the Commissar is a liability, and at that point, they’re usually wiped anyhow. With Conscripts, you are far more likely to have enough left past the point where the Commissar starts making things worse that you’d still really care about preserving them.

  5. Tomguycot October 24, 2017 9:46 am #

    I’m sorry but we’ve gone from one extreme in 5th/6th where things may never get updated to the complete opposite extreme. Just about the entire Guard FAQ was one big nerf. I don’t know how you’re supposed to build a competitive army list with the frequency of these changes. We’re not talking about a video game here where you can just play something else when things change. This is a miniatures game where putting an army together takes dozens and dozens of hours. This is not healthy or sustainable.

    • Nightman October 24, 2017 10:06 am #

      If you built your list around conscripts you can still run Valhallen with the relic.

      • Tomguycot October 24, 2017 10:11 am #

        Yes but now you likely have to repaint models and probably still reorganize your army around having a Valhallan detachment. It just feels really ham fisted to me.

        And for what it’s worth I imagine Valhallan conscripts will probably be what we see going forward.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 24, 2017 10:31 am #

        Yeah, and take a Commissar with the D3 kills Warlord trait if you need to, also. There’s lots of ways to still play them.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 10:33 am #

      Well, look at the pattern of Codex release to FAQ, it is pretty consistent if you look for it. You can plan once you see that. These changes are positive for the overall game, but can be frustrating for the individual gamer, I agree.

      • Arthagoth October 24, 2017 11:34 am #

        The problem is with nerfs i dont know if i must buy “xxxxx unit or Not”, for instance i think buy 2 prism with Eldar codex for playing with alaitoc, now i dont buy because i dont know after faq, if -1 apply vehicles….

        I wait and i dont buy.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 12:13 pm #

          That is fine. Again, go back and look at the pattern to draw your own conclusions and you can buy with confidence because that is a legit point of contention.

        • rvd1ofakind October 24, 2017 7:22 pm #

          1. Always wait for the FAQ after your codex (week after usually)
          2. If you want to be even safer – wait until the december book (and maybe an faq after it)
          3. To be the safest – don’t buy stuff that looks broken. If you see something that is in every list – do NOT buy a ton of that.

          • Jural October 24, 2017 9:21 pm

            I always proxy or borrow for huge, seemingly asinine changes… Daenon Princes as Hive Tyrants for the win!

    • AngryPanda October 25, 2017 10:32 am #

      What Tom said. That can’t possibly be overstated. GW is selling itself as a premium product. That you have to put months of work in. And it changes faster than you can keep up with now. Not to mention those fancy books being basicaly invalid at print. I could see a clarification but I’m trying to imagine the face of a new player then I tell him “No mate sorry that rule has been changed.” and he isn’t even done reading the damn thing yet.

      • Ytook October 26, 2017 6:38 am #

        Changing a few rules for the sake of balance doesn’t invalidate the vast majority of the rest of the book don’t, and those models weren’t removed, just changed, if that effects your bleeding edge competitive list then yeah that’s annoying but meta changes all the time so you have to be a little used to it surely.

        Also if you’re bringing out FAQs and errata to a new player then you’re being silly, you don’t bring out pages of card changes to someone playing their first few X-Wing games or slap down a new Magic player for not following an accepted format. If they want to get into competitive play then fine, they’ll find this stuff like everyone does.

        But you play the game you want to play, all of this is optional, the competitive community takes FAQs as gospel because you need a standard format and they strive to provide balance, people starting out or just playing for fun don’t need that.

        • AngryPanda October 26, 2017 8:35 am #

          Well I do. Right now that ain’t 40k because of this mess. I’m still holding out hope that Warpath will allow to save armies over.

          • Ytook October 26, 2017 1:41 pm

            Fair enough.

            I don’t see how this is a mess in the slightest, quite nice having rules updated to balance the game.

    • vybert October 25, 2017 4:00 pm #

      “frequency of changes”???

      Didn’t the guard codex drop a month or so before the FAQ…. and we can expect an FAQ shortly after based on previous patterns

      • AngryPanda October 26, 2017 8:34 am #

        Two weeks before.

  6. Garry Leonard October 24, 2017 9:59 am #

    You say the conscript nerf isn’t as bad as folks make it out to be?? I think going from making sure that one of your 2 conscript models stays on the board when you need it too is pretty big, and also the involuntary nature of the new wording is so bad that taking the conscript at all in many cases is a liability rather than a helper. Though i do think concripts as a model remain good, but now for the right reasons.

    I’d say the concript nerf is pretty strong. Definitly had games where 3-5 concripts stuck around only because of only losing 1 model where otherwise the unit would have been obliterated right out.

    The commissar ability the way it works means it only matters if you lose more models than your unit has leader ship. So 9 or more (seeing as how the commissar has to be thier in the first place). Thus makes the commissar completely useless for infantry squads From thier the way the ability is worded the commissar is liability. If you fail your are forced to lose a guy and reroll the test. Thier is no may reroll it is simply if your fail. SO if i have a 9 man infantry squad and lose 4 guys and roll a 6. One guy dies from summary execution and if i roll a 6 again i lose another guy, and then the unit can’t use the ability any more. Even worse when you do need it, if oyu roll a 1,2,3,4 on a test where you have no choice but you fail, you lose an extra guy for free more often than not. I think it’s pretty fair to say making the dude a liability definity kills the commissar pretty hard

    Concripts still remain some of the most cost effective wounds you can get in the imperium, and now are just abit weak to taking more than 10 or 15 casualties in a single round. In which case your liable to losing the whole unit.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 10:37 am #

      You need Conscripts to stay on the board, well, there is a stratagem that may not be well known to AM players, but that every other Codex uses that costs 2 CP, and lets you auto-pass morale….=P

      I tease of course, but yes, you don’t get to ignore morale any longer which is a good thing and was too powerful previously. There are ways around it, lots of them, you have a psychic power to make you fearless, Regimental Doctrines to halve morale, an AM strat to take Morale checks on D3, you get the Commissar Ld bubble, etc. You still have loads of morale control options, more than most armies do. They’re still a great unit, just not so over powering as they were.

      • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 12:51 am #

        Yeah the whole POINT of the changes to 8E’s morale system was that codices wouldn’t be able to just totally ignore it the way so many of them did in 7th. Commissars being a trivially-cheap way to do so was rather self-defeating.

        • Jural October 25, 2017 12:49 pm #

          100% agreed, and I’ve said it a few times too.

          TBH, I’m a Tyranid player, and I’m not even comfortable with the new Synapse as it is…

        • Jural October 25, 2017 12:49 pm #

          I’ve said this before a few times… agree.

          TBH- I’m a Tyranid player and I’m not even sure immunity to morale from synapse is a good thing.

  7. Tomguycot October 24, 2017 10:09 am #

    The current errata makes the comissar strictly a liability.

    Now I’m not going to dispute that the index commisar/conscripts interaction was too strong but this just feels really half baked and knee jerk because of internet complaining.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 10:40 am #

      No, he is not strictly a liability, lol. Not in any sense. If you take, say, 4 casualties and use his leadership, you don’t even take a check. That is strictly better, not worse.

      It just takes some adjustment, and no, this is not a knee-jerk reaction at all. You’d have to know the timelines and processes to make that call (not that you are saying it is a reaction definitively or anything).

    • Threllen October 24, 2017 10:48 am #

      The commissar as a whole is not a liability imo but the summary execution rule definitely is because it is should have been worded that you can CHOOSE to use it or not. As of right now, if you fail a test by 1 you have to execute the guy that would have died anyway and then roll again which could lead to even more casualties. The only way summary execution would even be helpful at all is if you roll *two* lower on the second die (to make up for the guy who was killed by execution).

      With that being said, the fact he bumps your leadership up to 8 (9 for lord commissar) means you’re already naturally losing a lot fewer casualties than you would otherwise. That’s a minimum of 4 less casualties on a squad of conscripts than you would have if you just used their LD 4.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 24, 2017 11:06 am #

        You make a good point on the re-roll, but still, it works for what it is meant to do. Had the rule come out this way to begin with, everyone would react totally differently to it. It’s just that it got lowered in power that folks are claiming it is “worthless” or whatever, lol.

        I am of the opinion that normal Infantry Squads are where it’s at. But, YMMV.

        • Odras October 24, 2017 9:26 pm #

          The Summary Execution rule is never positive. It is ALWAYS a negative impact on average casualties taken.

          Ignore leadership for a moment; there are plenty of other sources, some better (LD9 and 10). The only unique thing Commissars bring is Summary Execution, and it is now always negative.

          Do the playtesters understand that? Do you think GW actually did the math on this one?

          • OnboardG1 October 25, 2017 12:21 am

            No, it isn’t always negative. I did the math. There’s a pretty clear break even point for when summary execution has a higher probability of worse outcomes than positive ones. This is for a ten man squad but the 6/6 probability should hold true for casualties taken beyond that threshold.

            1: NA: NA
            2: NA: NA
            3: 1/6: 1/36
            4: 1/3: 1/4
            5: 1/2: 1/3
            6: 2/3: 7/18
            7: 5/6: 21/36
            8: 6/6: 3/4
            9: squad wipe regardless

            7 or more casualties is the point that your commissar stops helping you and starts hindering you. For a 10 man squad that’s kind of whatever (and you’d presumably use the CP to autopass or roll on D3 in those circumstances). A Lord Commissar would only start hindering you at 8 casualties. Are there potentially better sources of LD buff? Sure, but the Commissar is cheap and has character protection. He’s just not immediately miles better than every other morale mitigation choice. The only thing I’d prefer is if the execution was optional so that there was a little more player control in the process.

            It really hurts conscripts but at the end of the day I don’t believe that you should be able to use a 50 odd point character to circumvent an entire phase of the game.

          • OnboardG1 October 25, 2017 12:23 am

            Sorry, I should add that the first column is number of casualties, the second is the chance of failing a morale check, and the third is the chance that the Commissar will hurt more than help.

          • Threllen October 25, 2017 5:52 am

            Forgive me if I just don’t know a ton about AM, but what are these “plenty of other sources” for higher leadership? The only two I could find in the codex are Lord Commissars and Yarick. But both of those are just better (and much more expensive versions) of a regular commissar. So I don’t really see the argument of “commissars are useless because a more expensive version of a commissar has all the same rules but a higher LD.”

            I found some other units that gave +1 LD or re-rolls to morale but nothing else that just said “use my LD” – let alone something that did so AND was as cheap as a commissar.

          • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 6:12 am


            There are some options. There is a stratagem that gives one tank an aura of Ld9, in the same fashion as a Commissar; the Inspiring Leader warlord trait also gives +1 to nearby units, which can multiply with some of the other effects. Generic Inquisitors also give Ld10 to nearby Imperial models, as do most all of the named Inquisitors. (The Inquisitor is often regarded as being better than a Lord Commissar now due to getting a pip higher Ld on its aura as well as being a psyker in the mix, though they lack the ability to reroll a poor check and aren’t available in-faction.)

  8. bogalubov October 24, 2017 10:13 am #

    Well the Commissar is pretty much useless now. I think a more reasonable change would be to keep the old “summary execution” rule, but each commissar can only affect one squad per turn. Additionally each unit can only be affected once per game.

    Yet the Iron Warrior cultist spam is alive and well. We’ll see what nids bring too in terms of horde crowd control. GW is playing whack-a-mole with these fixes instead of trying to understand the root cause and address it system wide.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 10:43 am #

      Gah, the internet community is seriously built out of hyperbole, haha. The Commissar is far from worthless.

      And yes, Iron Warriors have that going for them but when was the last time you actually saw anyone playing them at a tournament? All I see is Alpha Legion cultists. How often did you see Conscripts? All the time. They are not comparable. Same goes for Nids. There is no root cause at play here if in application they are entirely different.

      Also, you have to consider that the rules are not just for tournament players. They are also meant to represent the IP of the game, and I have to say I agree that fearless Conscripts (literally untrained, normal humans) made no sense from a backstory perspective. Now the Commissar interaction is more realistic but still good.

      I was chatting with Brandon at the event and he doesn’t plan on changing his list (Conscript horde) even with the FAQ. I tend to agree, you have loads of tools to counter their morale issues, which is cool and fun and fair, IMO.

      • Threllen October 24, 2017 10:53 am #

        The big thing is you have to make *significant* choices when it comes to those morale avenues now. You can use the auto-pass mechanic but it’s going to cost you two CP. You can use the regiment that halves morale but then you might be giving up other traits you would otherwise want. Etc etc. There are still lots of ways for guard to mitigate morale… including the fact commissars already buff LD meaning you’re losing a lot fewer casualties than you would without them even before considering the summary execution rule. But the old commissars were simply too powerful for how cheap they were. For a very small investment (and one that made it easy to fill out a brigade) you could essentially make your entire army pseudo-fearless.

        Even using the aforementioned Iron Warriors as an example – HQs for CSM are not cheap. Even the most barebones HQ is a LOT more expensive than a commissar. And, on top of that, you only get a single warlord and you have to use your one-and-only warlord trait to get that fearless bubble. Does that make it bad? No. But it means you are putting a significant investment into one guy that can give a fearless bubble. Instead of spending the same amount of points for ~3 commissars who could all give their pseudo-fearless to tons of different squads and didn’t need to use a WT to do it.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 11:12 am #

          Yeah, all good points and all good reasons the nerf was justified =)

          If you want fearless blobs of Conscripts, you have to build your list for it, just like IW, you don’t just get it as a bolt on for free. That is totally fair.

        • Jural October 24, 2017 12:54 pm #

          I would guess that any ability that lets hordes ignore morale will be gone or changed by end of 2019… Looking at Mob Rule (plus the boss pole with grots) and Synapse here… Just my guess, it may not work out that way.

          (granted neither of those examples are as easy to exploit or as hard to counter as Summary Execution with conscript blobs were)

      • Duz_ October 24, 2017 10:56 am #

        Ironically the change to Commissars affect the smaller infantry, veteran and scion squads more than conscripts because they have few models to absorb the remove a model + re-roll loses which could be worse than the initial roll.

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 11:14 am #

          Not really =)

          5 man Scions with a commissar nearby are effectively immune to morale.

          Veterans I find don’t even need the Commissar. I run mech Vets and don’t even bother with one any more, I find I just don’t need him and would rather have another officer. Use a CP to take the check on D3, I find that is often more than enough.

  9. Tomguycot October 24, 2017 10:27 am #

    So how long until the Iron Warriors warlord trait gets the nerf bat? With Malefic Lords being a thing I imagine that theirs is potentially even more abusive. Not to mention that cultists are even less garbage of an overall unit.

    • Threllen October 24, 2017 10:57 am #

      Malefic Lords don’t have the “legion” keyword so I do not know how you’d give that WT to someone who isn’t an Iron Warrior. They’re all kinds of busted for other reasons, but I don’t think they could get that WT. As I explained above, using your only WT on one fearless bubble for a unit that is going to be much more expensive than a commissar is a lot different than being able to spam a bunch of them around the map.

      • Tomguycot October 24, 2017 11:25 am #

        The point is that the cultists make a better fearless screen for your also cheaper/better smite battery (malefic lords). All that really matters is that the malefic lords have the chaos keyword.

        • Threllen October 24, 2017 12:22 pm #

          If that’s the case then I would say pointing out the IW/Cultist interaction is pretty moot.

          It sounds like the problem you have is the problem many people have pointed out before – Malefic Lords are way too good for what they cost. They need to be nerfed to fix the problem at the source. The fact that IW Cultists make good screens for them doesn’t mean IW Cultists are innately OP. It just means you’re using a decent screen to protect an incredibly undercosted unit. Malefic Lords are still OP even if you’re playing them with any other number of screens (including brimstones). So it wouldn’t make sense to specifically nerf Iron Warriors just because you think Malefic Lords are good.

        • TrexPushups October 24, 2017 3:10 pm #

          Compared to conscripts, cultists:

          Cost more so a unit of 30 is 120 vs the 90 for the conscripts

          Have a 6+ save instead of a 5+ save

          Those two factors alone mean that morale immunity for them doesn’t keep them alive as well as it does for conscripts.

          • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 12:54 am

            And taking an IW warlord (and Cultists) is more of an opportunity cost than including a single Commissar in a list, by a long shot.

  10. Blue October 24, 2017 10:53 am #

    So Reese what about the mighty mighty Footdar army? Time to run it out for a spin?

  11. Dakkath October 24, 2017 11:05 am #

    The problems with the errata’d version of summary execution is that A) it’s mandatory to blam a dude unlike the ultramarine tactics, and B) now it only helps in a very narrow range of casualties such as when you fail the morale roll on a 5 or 6 and then roll a 1-3 on the reroll to pass. If your conscripts or combined infantry squad is taking 8 or more casualties in one round, then the commissar strictly increases the average number of morale casualties by 1.

    • happy_inquisitor October 24, 2017 11:26 am #

      No because the Ld bubble reduces their casualties by 4 – offset by the one he *blams*. Saving 3 models in each affected unit is not nothing and is definitely not an increase.

      If you are worried about that one rule being pretty useless then my Kroot Shaper would like a word with you about putting up with useless morale rules.

      The Commissar went from ridiculous auto-take to being a bit situational – like 99% of the other choices in the game. It’s not so bad; everyone else seems to get by somehow.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 24, 2017 12:12 pm #

        Exactly. Relative to every other army, the Commissar is still REALLY good, lol.

        • StVincent October 24, 2017 9:30 pm #

          Sorry Reecius, and anyone else who doesn’t quite understand the problem.

          Everyone agrees: LD8 is better than LD4.

          But there are lots of ways to get LD8, or 9, or 10 (several named inquisitors).

          And they don’t have the chance to *increase* your average casualties by 1 , which is all the Commissar brings that is unique.

      • Dakkath October 24, 2017 6:18 pm #

        I already accounted for the commissar’s ld buff when I said “8 or more casualties”

        • happy_inquisitor October 24, 2017 10:08 pm #

          Then I am afraid you did your maths wrong and therefore jumped to the wrong conclusion.

          Without commissar
          8 Casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 + 4 casualties

          With commissar
          8 casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 +1 casualties

          The result is 3 less casualties with the commissar nearby. This is not ” the commissar strictly increases the average number of morale casualties by 1″ at all, quite the opposite.

          • StVincent October 24, 2017 11:14 pm

            Without commissar
            8 Casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 + 4 casualties

            With commissar
            8 casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 +1 casualties

            With commissariat tank (Ld9, no summary execution)
            8 casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 -1 casualties

            With Inquisitor (55pt LD9 bubble)
            8 Casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 -1 casualties

            With GreyFax (85pt LD10 bubble)
            8 Casualties to Ld4 conscripts results in D6 -2 casualties

            And well lookie there, those last two got you some more smites too, and even the tank gets you want you want without murdering anyone with a non-optional reroll.

            Do you see the problem with the Commissar’s SumExy rule now?

            LD Buff Goooooooooood.
            Summary Execution Baddddddddddd. 😉

          • Dakkath October 24, 2017 11:39 pm

            Without commissar: 8+ casualties, fails morale on any roll, takes 1d6+X additional casualties to morale

            With commissar: 8+ casualties, fails morale on any roll, forced to blam a guy, reroll, mean they take 1d6+1+X casualties from morale.

            where X is the additional morale losses from starting with more than 8 casualties that turn.

          • happy_inquisitor October 25, 2017 1:37 pm

            I see the problem – the Commissar is no longer better than almost everything in the game at mitigating morale and is now pretty mediocre. It is now a cheap and easy to include but not very good morale mitigation.

            You want to use an inquisitor? Fine, lots of armies in the game have equivalent morale mitigation to that for a similar cost. It is fair and reasonable.

            However to state – as was stated – that a Commissar actually increases morale losses on conscripts is just factually wrong. Its like the salt is blinding people. Anyway that’s enough, if people absolutely insist on believing untrue things I guess that is just what they are going to do – and be ignored by reasonable people.

          • Threllen October 25, 2017 2:11 pm

            I do spot the problem StVincent –

            The commissar is no longer so utterly broken that he costs less points AND does a better morale job than everything else in the game!

            Oh wait… is that a problem?

            What you conveniently left out in your analysis is the cost of the tank commander and the regular commissar respectively. The commissar is 30 pts. 30. He shouldn’t be way better at morale than everything else you listed that cost 2-3x as much as him if not more.

            Also the fact that multiple things you listed (inquisitor and greyfax) are not part of the AM faction. Doesn’t mean you can’t include them but does mean you need to shoehorn in other detachments whereas a commissar can be used to fill out a brigade pretty easily. He may not bring much to the table but for 30pts that’s a relatively cheap morale buffer AND a relatively cheap way to fill out brigade slots which is also very important to a lot of players especially because it’s so easy to do so as an AM player.

            Just so we’re clear… I’m not trying to argue he’s still busted or always a better choice than the other things you listed or anything like that. All I’m saying is he actually seems BALANCED right now. He is way cheaper than the other choices you listed but doesn’t bring quite as much to the table. That seems pretty damn logical to me.

  12. Davis A Centis October 24, 2017 11:24 am #

    The Good:
    GW is listening. Speaking of which, “Hi GW! How you doing? Glad we had this chat!”. The Commissar Nerf shows that GW is seeing that Leadership was becoming a non-issue in the game, which was something they spoke so highly of at the beginning. We want to see Leadership matter. We like it when people run. The current system is FANTASTIC for making people running something that you both don’t want to happen, but also don’t feel like the squad became useless because of it. Horde armies are supposed to be more scardy-cat like, with their damage and wound resistant potential being balanced by the fact that you don’t actually need to kill all of them. Turning down Commissars is a good thing to do. Commissars still give a huge Ld buff even without their special ability that very few units in the game can do, so will still be worth it for infantry-heavy armies, but they will no longer make it such that killing 8 guys from a 10-man squad leaves 1 guy still alive; Leadership will again matter to them.

    The Bad:
    As an article on the interwebs pointed out yesterday, this is very akin to a “day 1 fix” in video games. That’s not a terrible thing, as you’d much rather have something not broken than something broken, but it does reduce the confidence that players will have in your product. However, unlike Magic: the Gathering, GW miniatures have a lot of value regardless of their tabletop ability, so it doesn’t hurt so much. It’s something that GW needs to be careful about doing. I would actually suggest this change only apply to Matched Play games, since if someone just bought the codex and played, they wouldn’t be aware of this change. Someone that regularly attends tournaments and is more conscientious about Matched Play much more likely will be aware of this change.

    The Ugly:
    I really hate that people go from “It’s so broken!” to “It’s so useless!”. It’s not useless, as you can easily find out by looking both online (many people have posted the math why the Commissar is always better to have than not have), or by doing the math yourself. However, it likely will be less prevalent in the tourney scene, but still, stop shouting. You’re embarrassing yourself.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 3:40 pm #

      Good points and well said.

  13. Jural October 24, 2017 12:01 pm #

    Overall a good set of FAQ’s… I’m particularly excited that GSC doesn’t get the AM abilities, but in the future your AM will get cult abilities! At least that’s how I read it… And huge props to GW for really making a living ruleset. I don’t want what I’m about to say in any way take away from my appreciation that they take the game side of things seriously.

    But some serious negatives here as well:

    1- The commissar was an issue BEFORE the codex. Why did the codex need to drop before making the change? Now we have a two week old codex that has a massive change in it.
    *CAVEAT: if this was just a publishing situation (i.e. the books have been provided to the printer too early to absorb feedback from the Index playtesting), than I know GW had no choice… But my impression is that they have some last minute changes in there, and just didn’t react to the Index feedback as strongly as warranted.

    2- The returning models stratagem requiring command points AND reinforcement points? This was a clear question the minute most people read it. As it stands this ability ends up worse than the Tervigon “top up” rule and the Cultists stratagem…

    3- The actual mechanic of the commissar is now crap. I like the commissar and his fluff, and he isn’t useless (LD buff still rocks)… But making a squad take an additional casualty and potentially re-rolling a favorable roll is a step too far. I would personally have settled for:
    a- same rule as before, but need a 4+ to work on conscripts
    b- same rule as new, but roll 2 die and choose (+1 casualty if both fail)

    Overall, I’m quite happy with the changes, and the pace of change/ attention to detail. Hopefully the uneven response of “no change in codex” to “severe change two weeks later” was just a result of minimal time to react to Index feedback

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 12:24 pm #

      1.) You’d have to know when the Dex was written to answer that question. But, you can guess if it was an issue upon the writing of it it would not have been in the book or they wouldn’t be willing to change it now if they thought it was fine, right? Pretty simple logic, there to me at least.
      2.) Rules are not strictly written for their application in competitive play. That is where a fundamental breakdown in perspective occurs with tournament gamers. Many rules are written to be cool reflections of the IP. In narrative and open play, that stratagem rocks! In matched play, if it is worth it or not is up to you as the player to decide.
      3.) If the re-roll is worth it or not is a matter of perspective. I think it is fine regarding Conscripts, and other units don’t really care, just use the Ld buff and if needed, a 1 CP strat to make them effectively ignore morale. I didn’t use many Commissars any way, but my army didn’t really need them so that is a bit different than the normal AM list.

      I am stoked, too. These are positive changes. And the response to dex varies because the need varies. And it doesn’t reflect a lack of response to feedback, it is usually a timing issue. Again, without knowing how far back these books were written, it is impossible to tell the order of operations as I am sure you know.

      • Jural October 24, 2017 12:46 pm #

        Yeah, seriously the biggest takeaway is that GW is actively participating here.

        Hopefully they understand that FAQ’s are something that can be too much of a good thing! Unlike Hive Tyrants in 7th Edition… you could never have too many…

      • Tomguycot October 24, 2017 1:16 pm #

        I will have to respectively disagree.

        First, I don’t think that the Comissar change is fine at all. I don’t know why at this point you wouldn’t rather just have another 10 conscripts and not deal with keeping your units within range of their LD buff (and for all I know it might be better to just run regular guardsmen though I have my own issues with them). The LD aura buff is just super marginal for large units of chaff and you’re still going to lose the rest of your squad any time you take heavy casualties.

        Second, in regards to the reinforcements stratagem, it really made no difference to non-competitive play what they did with it because it worked the same way regardless. It’s just another nerf to the book for competitive play. I get that it works slightly different than the chaos and mechanicus stratagems but they could have just as easily errata’d it to work similarly.

        This whole FAQ is some pretty serious ‘feels bad’ to anyone who has spent a lot of time modeling and painting Guard. Invalidating models is no way to grow a table top game. And while, yes, I’m clearly salty over the change this is the first FAQ that I’m seeing serious pushback online over so it makes me feel like a lot of other people agree that this is getting out of hand.

        • Marius Xerxes October 24, 2017 2:10 pm #

          I started playing Warhammer Fantasy in early 90’s and 40k by the mid 90’s.

          Making units and models more or less attractive to the competitive player has always been a part of this hobby for the *almost* three decades I’ve been involved with it.

          In the end though, models only sit unused by your (our) own choice. There is no life or death struggle here where the outcome is hinged on the absolute knife edge viability of the “best” competitive units in Warhammer 40k.

          Conscripts still have effective ways to be used. You can still put your models on display in front of other players, proud of the time and effort you put into them and still have them “worth” putting into a game you would consider competitive.

          • Jural October 25, 2017 12:54 pm

            Good points, but I do think we tended to get more mileage out of a model in the “old days” 😉 Releases and FAQ’s were far and few in between then…

        • Reecius
          Reecius October 24, 2017 2:14 pm #

          What models have been invalidated? Not a single model has been invalidated in the book, friend =) You may FEEL like a unit is not longer viable but that is strictly subjective, your models are still able to be used. That is a big difference. AM still can play largely the same way, they are still incredibly good, and they still have loads of different build options available to them. There’s honestly nothing to be upset about with the total package. AM players got a great set of tools to work with.

          I do think regular Infantry Squads are better but hey, shouldn’t they be? I mean, haha, shouldn’t we be seeing the main unit in the codex on the table? Conscripts are not meant to be the staple of the army apart from say, a Valhallan army which is built for it thematically. As for the strat costing points? They are being consistent. When you create new units: it costs points. When you replenish existing units: it does not. It’s good to be consistent, IMO. And AM are a great faction, they really didn’t need any more boosts, honestly.

          The Commissar is still good, I mean, if you are intent on not seeing it that way, no big deal, that is your prerogative. I think in a few weeks as players adjust they will see that it really isn’t that crazy. I had the same reaction to it initially, but after working with it for a while came to see it didn’t really change much. Mark my words. Between the various abilities you have to mitigate morale, the net change isn’t that big. You just have to actually do something to make it all work, lol, not just stick a Commissar in between chaff units and ignore a big part of the game =)

          And I have sepnt decades building and painting my AM army. I’ve been playing them since 2nd ed. I don’t feel bad at all (although obviously this isn’t new to me, but even when it was I was largely happy about all of the changes with a few I didn’t super like here and there). But again, go back and look at the pattern of Dex releases to FAQ. It’s pretty easy to plan for things if you take a moment to look.

  14. 40kshaman October 24, 2017 2:05 pm #

    Actually I find myself reaching for an Elite choice for the command point formation bonus, so having a relatively cheap Elite choice can be great. My HQ is already filled by Farseer and Spiritseer..

  15. Marius Xerxes October 24, 2017 2:50 pm #

    I have read quite a few comments that the IW trait needs to go, but no complaints about Abaddon? With a fearless bubble twice the size without having to give up other options to do so?

    For me this really kind of shows that no one really knows whats going on. I mean, they are both in the same book. If you are actively looking through the book, you read Abaddons rules some 47 pages before the IW trait. Did people forget he exists? Oh wait..

    Someone on the internet said “But hey, f**k that guy.” and everyone jumps on the bandwagon without even knowing the full consequences of the choices made to that character/army to get there. IW warlords are choosing to be able to heard cats over other equally nice warlord traits and army flexibility options.

    Meanwhile Alpha Legion is giving them -1 to be hit and can easily buff their leadership by bringing along a Dark Apostle (you need that second HQ anyway, right?). If the unit does survive to HtH, the Dark Apostle letting them re-roll all failed hits is much better then a Lords re-rolling 1’s that the IW herder would give.

    There is a reason you don’t see IW (Black Legion for that matter) in the numbers you see Alpha Legion in competitive play. People get upset that their conscripts aren’t effectively fearless anymore and go demanding that units that actually are fearless get the same treatment. On the surface this would seem reasonable.

    But in a hilarious twist, befitting the Chaos gods themselves, the units that actually give that complete morale immunity are’t seen as the competitive choice. Its actually the guys who use a model that buffs the unit to LD 9 to heard them forward.

    I wonder who in AM has that same LD value and ability to share it, for less points? In a book with options that add further layers of morale protection via stratagems. In a book that also has easy access to making that unit -1 to hit just the same (though in fairness, not 100% guaranteed).

    So, I mean, the sky fell all the way to being on par with Alpha Legion bubble wrap. AM got totally f**king hosed, amirite?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 24, 2017 3:42 pm #

      Yeah, the IW thing is a non issue, lol. If someone actually uses IW because of that ability then awesome! One less AL army, haha. Gives more variety.

    • Beau October 24, 2017 5:27 pm #

      The strength of AM is really just the overall package of their dex. Not to mention they can easily bring some other imperium detachment to fill a void (such as culexis, or draigo, or something). The fearless conscript blobs were completely mitigating the weakness of what they were bubblewrapping (vulnerability to being tied up and losing CC) allowing those shooting units to just plug away all game long. Not to mention there would usually be at least 2 fearless conscript blobs holding objectives as well, all for so cheap.

      Now if IW were going to try to do that the warlord is realistically only keeping 1 cultist blob fearless, and this is all more expensive in points. Plus what is the superior firepower shooting that CSM has that these cultists are bubble wrapping? When was the last time you really heard about a CSM list (without magnus) shooting someone off the table?

    • Beau October 24, 2017 5:30 pm #

      Also in regards to Abaddon isn’t that guys points cost comparable to Guilloman?

      • Marius Xerxes October 24, 2017 6:27 pm #

        He is 120 cheaper then Bobby G. Is an HQ rather than a LoW as well.

        I’d play with him, but he needs new model. His is still from 2nd edition. Its held up fairly well but with how much bigger things are now, he need an upgrade.

      • Jural October 24, 2017 9:25 pm #

        I think both Bobby G and AbAddon are well pointed, fill the right role, and do what the fluff says they should. I’m impressed, I would have thought they’d get one or both wrong!

  16. rvd1ofakind October 24, 2017 7:28 pm #

    All I can say after reading this is – poor Reece 😀

  17. masterstrider October 24, 2017 8:21 pm #

    Abaddon is 240, Guilliman is 360.

  18. CaptLysander October 24, 2017 8:23 pm #

    You know I get the nerf to commissars was needed as yeah it was a bit much to use them with conscripts, but why the nerf to Tallarn AM? I mean there were many other ways to go about this instead of just saying one vehicle or squadron. There could be a re-word to just saying 1 Titanic Vehicle allowed only. Common sense does have to come into play somewhere in Tournament play that you really shouldn’t sink almost half your armies’ points into just 1 gimmick.

    Then there is the Dagger of Tu’sakh reword. There is any reason why a Primaris Psyker can’t use this item to say, bring a full unit of Bullgryn with him and really help out a unit that needs some better transport options.

    I will just put this here: take 1 baneblade variant, 2 units of 30 conscripts, use Tallarn Ambush stratagem, then have 1 Tallarn Company Commander with the Dagger take either another company commander to help with more orders or another unit of conscripts and outflank to have fun. 90 dudes to soak up mortal wounds from smite and crap ton of shots to for less than half your army.

    Commissar nerf good, Tallarn nerf bad.

  19. AlexBware October 24, 2017 11:26 pm #

    As mentioned earlier Valhallans, you still have the option of have mostly “fearless” conscripts. Even without a Commissar. You can in fact use them exactly as effectively as before.

    You can use the Valhallan relic (Pistol). It functions exactly as the commissar did before. A unit within 6″ can never lose more than one model to morale.

    So if you wan’t to keep your fearless conscripts – you take a valhallan batallion (or other detachment with troop slots) and fill then up with a Company commander w. bolt pistol, another HQ (Primaris) and add as many units of conscripts, that you like. The only downside is, that this uses up a detachment slot.

    • Dakkath October 25, 2017 5:35 am #

      Valhallan patrol: Company Commander with relic pistol + 2×30 conscripts

  20. David Alastair Hayden October 25, 2017 9:10 am #

    I’m super excited to have a Bonesinger models and rules for him. I didn’t expect that!

    I think he’s overpriced for tournament play, but I’ll be using him in my casual and semi-competitive wraith armies for sure.

    If he could cast a psychic power and heal d3 wounds, or if his cost was a more reasonable 50, then I’d say he was good all around.

Leave a Reply