Chapter Tactics #84: Addressing the Good, Bad, and Ugly in the Big FAQ

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today the guys take a break from the 101 series to talk about their own reactions and thoughts to the big September FAQ.

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About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

34 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #84: Addressing the Good, Bad, and Ugly in the Big FAQ”

  1. Avatar
    rvd1ofakind October 1, 2018 10:03 pm #

    I’ll explain my issue as plainly as I can:
    You cannot balance a game where 11 factions can mix and 3 are stuck by themselves. It is impossible. Period. The only solutions people can come up with while preserving allies as they are:
    1) You add allies to the 3 factions. Unless they just make them all 3 allies of each other, it’ll take FOREVER. You have to make models for them, you have to make rules for them, you have to write more fluff for them.
    2) You make the 3 factions straight up overpowered. Then this make the pure imperium factions go from the trash can into the fire.

    What should be done is punish allies in some way:
    1) CP
    2) stratagems
    3) big buffs for both the solo armies AND pure armies. However this is the hardest way, IMO to do it. Next to impossible to balance.

  2. Avatar
    rvd1ofakind October 1, 2018 11:12 pm #

    And maybe Pablo will appreciate this analogy. 8th ed compared to 7th ed(I’m only talking about the general gameplay, not all the deathstars and broken combos) is League of Legends compared to Dota.

    League of Legends is the mainstream version that’s more popular and where everything does very similar stuff. Unique units and abilities are rare.
    Dota is the more hardcore version where every hero has just broken abilities. 1 has 11 spells, 1 can steal any ability in the game, 1 becomes 5 different heroes, etc

    However once it comes to competitive balance, both games have 100+ heroes. League of Legends only sees like 20-30 dudes seeing competitive play, while in Dota there are about 90+ seeing competitive play. Why is that, you ask? Because if stuff is unique, it will find a niche it can fill. If stuff is very similar, some are just mathematically better than others.

    Same thing in 40k. If we ignore all the dumb stuff like deathstars and focus on core gameplay and unit abilities – 8th ed just has a ton of units that are straight up worse. Best example: Bloodletters are in the game. Here’s a list of units they invalidate:
    daemonettes, bloodcrushers, seekers, fiends of slaanesh, every greater daemon, slaanesh cavalry – because they: do better damage, have better suvivability, have more bodies and most importantly – make the first punch in 90%+ of the games.

    And the funny thing is – bloodletters they aren’t even that amazing. They’re good but they aren’t setting the world on fire. They rarelly make top 16 if ever in major tournaments. So you can’t even nerf them, really.

    • Avatar
      AllHail October 2, 2018 12:19 am #

      You don’t seem to understand that a unit’s synergy with the other unit’s in its faction is a huge part of its strength. Directly comparing stats of two units from different factions is almost meaningless. A unit’s uniqueness in 8th comes from the combination of its (possibly generic) abilities and its faction+role. For example, you could fill a Tzeentch battalion with a LoC and a Thousand Sons DP and then cultists, how does Bloodletters being better than LoC’s (in your mind) let them be part of that detachment or fill that HQ slot?

      Dota allows any hero to ally with any other hero so it is worthwhile to compare them directly. In WH40K you should be looking at factions, both army wide and detachment wide and maybe unit types for filling out those detachments.

      I agree that they need to nerf allies, especially Imperium with its 10+ factions. Just make it cost 2 CP to add another codex-faction or something.

      • Avatar
        rvd1ofakind October 2, 2018 12:45 am #

        Oh I know all about Synergy. However right now the best synergy is crossfaction synergy, which is the main problem. As far as daemons are concerned, their locus is way less important than just getting efficient units. If you can get it – it’s a nice bonus sure but it’s secondary. That explains the subfaction stuff. To explain roles – notice I didn’t metion heralds and stuff that does something unique and can’t be shot. Those are not being invalidated. However if you have bloodletters in your army – you already have the best, fastest melee damage unit in the daemon codex. Any other beatstick you take will just be worse HQ or not. Which is why people take Heralds and DPs as their HQ choices because they do something very different. If Greater Daemons got a “can’t be shot” like characters do – they might actually be considered, however that’s never gonna happen.

        And if you want to talk about comparing units from different factions, here’s one for you: genestealers vs flayed ones. If you don’t compare them you might actually think “hey those FOs are actually pretty good. They do a lot of attacks, etc”. But you HAVE TO compare to stuff from other factions if you want to see what your army does well. FO’s suck compared to genestealers and if you ever meet them across from the table – you’ll find that out real quick. You do not play to your weaknesses – you play to your strengths. You compare Necrons to Nids/BA/Daemons and immediately find out that your army cannot compete in melee. So all your melee will ever do is be a niche filler to be able to defend better.

        And 2CP to add another codex is nothing. It needs to be more heavy handed because the other aproaches didn’t work:
        “Hey will make battalions give more CP to incentivise not taking minimum battalions”. Yeah how did that work out?
        “Hey we’ll tone down the CP regen” (btw this is still a very good change, IMO). Oh, so the minimum battalion is still amazing because there’s less CP in the game.

        Competitive reddit came up with 500 pts minimum to be a battalion. 1200 to be a brigade. That’s a pretty good start.

        • Avatar
          rvd1ofakind October 2, 2018 1:27 am #

          To add to this, nerfing bloodletters would do nothing because something else would just take their place. That’s the issue when everything is just a beatstick with no impactful unique rules.

  3. Avatar
    Zweischneid October 2, 2018 12:17 am #

    Lol @ Jeff trying to Trump-inauguration-crowd the “mono-faction-podcast”.

    Nobody called Custodes with an Assassin (or even the far-and-away-most-common-and-least-unique-ally-detachment of 32 guardsman) an epitome of soup.

    But bringing it up as an example in a podcast explicitly aimed and titled discussing “pure mono codex armies” as an example of quirky, “off-meta”, “mono-faction” gaming is still record levels of either dumb or dishonest.

    • Avatar
      rvd1ofakind October 2, 2018 12:51 am #

      Hey, don’t ever doubt the stupidity of the average 40k player. I can see someone saying that bringing assassins to an otherwise pure army is “souping”. It’s incredibly stupid, because it is literally impossible to have a pure assassin army period, but it is possible (and likely) that some people are just THAT supid.

      However, I DO think that 32 guardsmen are by far the biggest example of soup being problematic. Because the main reason why soup is annoying to people is that it’s by far the better choice and you see it EVERYWHERE. If allies and pure armies were doing equally well no one would bat an eye at allies. No one worth paying attention to at any rate.

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL October 2, 2018 7:33 am #

      Not sure who “Jeff” is but we were discussing how crazy people are about “soup” and my example was the extreme of said crazy. Kinda like we’d use your post as the example of how dumb people can be online. Y’know, where they go “I know everything everyone is saying online so what you said is either dumb or dishonest.” But like, people DO say that and some guy talking about trump is probably part of that amazing dumb crowd 😉

      • Avatar
        Chandler October 2, 2018 7:57 am #

        I was waiting on your retort and my God you did not disappoint lmao

      • Avatar
        Ujayim October 2, 2018 8:41 am #

        jesus daddy spank me too if you’re handing them out like that

      • Avatar
        Zweischneid October 3, 2018 1:59 am #

        Lol. Of course people say a lot of very dumb things on the internet.

        A perfect example being a recent podcast on “winning with single faction lists” dripping with moral-high-ground from Reece, you and others how that would be somehow a superior show of skill to wining with “the Castellan list” (which was somehow the only thing qualifying as “soup”), while Don Hooson’s BAO list and your own Custodes/Guard/Assassin mix were touted as fine examples of “single faction” lists.

        I know it’s easy to knee-jerk everyone disagreeing with you as internet-nonsense. But if that’s the kind of “wisdom” you share outside of that particular podcast, occam’s razor would assume the people you’re bashing from this platform were simply correcting obvious idiocy on your part.

        • Avatar
          Ujayim October 3, 2018 4:26 am #

          Someone let Rvd know we’ve found someone more irrational than he is, so he’s safe to hang around for awhile longer.

        • Avatar
          iNcontroL October 3, 2018 10:03 am #

          Mate, you called me disingenuous OR dumb. Now you are saying I am “knee jerking anyone who disagrees” with me. You are a really unpleasant person who came in flailing his angry arms because you didn’t like the way I talked about toy soldiers… cool. I’m going to continue to do my thing and make content about the game I love etc.. you can just keep being a douche I guess. Going to ignore you now.

  4. Avatar
    Ujayim October 2, 2018 8:57 am #

    Also, side note, but AP and Geoff sound like they are pretty aggressive with one another AT LEAST around 30min, and that tension was kinda awkward. Lol

    • Avatar
      iNcontroL October 2, 2018 9:04 am #

      People saying Geoff is aggressive to ____________ (choose your hero here)

      MUST BE ANOTHER PODCAST GEOFF IS ON

      • Avatar
        Ujayim October 2, 2018 9:20 am #

        For what it’s worth, I /don’t/ think it was you being aggressive intentionally. :^)

      • Petey Pab
        Petey Pab October 2, 2018 10:25 am #

        Abusepuppy, not the hero we want, but the hero we need.

        • Avatar
          Ujayim October 2, 2018 10:35 am #

          That’s definitely a sentence!

    • Avatar
      Ujayim October 2, 2018 9:04 am #

      Oh, no, nevermind. Wasn’t just the two of them. This persists for awhile.

    • Avatar
      rvd1ofakind October 2, 2018 9:12 am #

      Sexual tension

    • Avatar
      Chandler October 2, 2018 2:37 pm #

      Sexual tension perhaps? Lol

  5. Avatar
    GAB999 October 2, 2018 9:40 am #

    I think they could solve the problem with keeping everything in their current codex’s (points for stratagems) and still keeping the diversity that the current system gives the player not being too powerful by picking the best units and stratagems from different codex’s.

    1. keep the cp for detachment as their are in the current rule book. BAT 3cp ,BRI 9cp ( i hate it when u have nicely printed rules in your book and their are not valid anymore)

    Then add a new rule like

    Warlords authority – If your detachment is from the same codex as your warlord u get +2 cp from all detachments except patrol detachment, supreme command detachment and auxiliary support detachment .

    This would mean you get for spearhead , vanguard and outrider 3cp which will help the elite army’s which really cant get their command points. (the reason for all the soup nonsense)

    And the second rule

    Too many commands – All stratagems used before and during battle that are not from the same codex as your warlord cost aditional +1 cp

    All the powerful 1cp command points would now cost 2cp (and u would not nerf the stand alone army’s with the flat cp increase) also pre battle extra relics would now cost 2/4 cp

    This would solve a lot and all the printed rules and stratagems could stay the same in the books.

  6. Avatar
    GAB999 October 2, 2018 9:48 am #

    I think they could solve the problem with keeping everything in their current codex’s (points for stratagems) and still keeping the diversity that the current system gives the player not being too powerful by picking the best units and stratagems from different codex’s.

    1. keep the cp for detachment as their are in the current rule book. BAT 3cp ,BRI 9cp ( i hate it when u have nicely printed rules in your book and their are not valid anymore)

    Then add a new rule like

    Warlords authority – If your detachment is from the same codex as your warlord u get +2 cp from all detachments except patrol detachment, supreme command detachment and auxiliary support detachment .

    This would mean you get for spearhead , vanguard and outrider 3cp which will help the elite army’s which really cant get their command points. (the reason for all the soup nonsense)

    And the second rule

    Too many commands – All stratagems used before and during battle that are not from the same codex as your warlord cost additional +1 cp

    All the powerful 1cp command points would now cost 2cp (and u would not nerf the stand alone army’s with the flat cp increase) also pre battle extra relics would now cost 2/4 cp

    This would solve a lot and all the printed rules and stratagems could stay the same in the books.

  7. Avatar
    OCaermada October 2, 2018 2:38 pm #

    1. Kinda wish the ravenguard strat was turned into ‘grants scout move to an infantry squad’ rather then 9″ move. It has the same risk factor as scouts and removes the protection of going second. Not familiar with the other armies that got changed like this. Might not work for them.

    2.i kinda hope chapter approved comes with a main rule book rewrite with all the updates since launch. I look at my business degree textbooks and most are smaller then the volume of literature required to run an army these days lol

    • Avatar
      WestRider October 3, 2018 4:07 pm #

      I wish it either was used when Deploying the Unit, and let them Deploy like SM Scouts or Nurglings, OR worked like the FAQ has it, but was used after Deployment was finished.

      Having to declare it when first Deploying the Unit, but then not make the move until after all Deployment is done means telegraphing your intentions to your Opponent, which is kind of the opposite of what those Factions are supposed to do.

  8. Avatar
    Ishagu October 2, 2018 2:51 pm #

    This was a spicy episode, and some of the hosts almost got burned! lol
    Great insight from Geoff, Pablo and the rest of the guys.

    Good stuff, truly. I will add that I really like the FAQ, and that I feel we shouldn’t be too upset until we see what Chapter Approved brings.

    Army balance shifts could change the meta significantly. I’m optimistic!

  9. Avatar
    Az October 3, 2018 11:36 am #

    Hey guys, as always a good episode. And was once again made great by Val. This guy is always the funniest, most good-humoured dude and is genuinely fun to listen to. Should be a weekly co-host.

    Looking forward to the next episode!

    • Petey Pab
      Petey Pab October 3, 2018 1:53 pm #

      Hey Az, thanks for the love! It’s true, we do need more Val. Sadly the reason why I need multiple co-hosts is because sometimes our schedules don’t line up with recording times. In Val’s case he has been mia lately, which is completely fine. It’s just the way things go.

    • Avatar
      trantatrus October 3, 2018 3:37 pm #

      Val is the man! Need him on more.

  10. Avatar
    Office Waaagh October 3, 2018 1:47 pm #

    My two cents, for what it’s worth. I found Geoff’s confrontational style with the other hosts as well as his sarcasm and constant profanity in this episode really unpleasant to listen to. The discussion was really interesting but the constant F-bombs were really jarring when everyone else is so careful to keep it PG-13, and it’s not a ton of fun for me personally to listen to the conversation getting paused so one host can make fun of another.

    The passion of the “allies vs soup” debate is obvious and speaks to everyone’s genuine investment in the game, but please understand that the opposite opinions are held just as passionately by others, and putting on a “hillbilly” accent and mocking them is bound to get under some people’s skin. It started to sound like listening to one side of a forum argument on dakkadakka at one point. Some people don’t like allies at all, presumably because they feel that being able to cover an army’s weaknesses by borrowing another army’s strengths makes it difficult for armies that can’t do this to compete on the same level, and as Sean said, those people are not wrong for feeling left out or handicapped.

    Not everyone can buy hundreds of dollars worth of new models to keep up with the meta. I have an ork army because I’ve had an ork army since 2nd ed and I buy and paint maybe three or four kits a year, so I understand the frustration of players whose armies are at a disadvantage from the “list-building phase” onwards.

  11. Avatar
    red3_standingby October 3, 2018 3:02 pm #

    I think GW could go a long way towards “fixing” soup, by which I really mean making it be received better by the people who complain about it, if they were to adopt the AoS allies rules. What’s great about the AoS allies rules is that they have factions within grand alliances, and this mechanism allows them to hand out rewards based upon how narrowly you tailor your lists.

    I’m sure most people know, but in case anyone doesn’t, in AoS you can spend up to 20% of your points on “allies” that are from an approved list of allies, by faction. The importance of declaring something an “ally” is that it will not count against you when determining what your army faction is. Bonuses are given out based upon your army faction, similar to how battleforged armies get extra special rules in each codex. If you use more than 20% of your army on units not from your faction then you cannot declare that to be your armies faction, and you will instead use the bonuses that are given to armies of your particular grand alliance. Grand alliance bonuses are typically much weaker and more general than faction bonuses, which is a price that you pay for getting access to a wider assortment of models to construct your list.

    So if 40k adopted the AoS rules then for Geoff’s custodes, at 2k points, if he spends 400 or less points on other Imperium units then he still gets to have the battleforged bonuses for a custodes army. But if he spent more than 400 points on Imperium allies then he would only get the battleforged bonuses for an Imperium army.

    If these rules were adopted then there wouldn’t be any room to complain about it. Spend less than 20% of your points on allies? Then you can say that your army is of its particular faction. Spend more than 20% of your points on them and you can only run it using the weaker rules for the grand alliance equivalent: Imperium, Chaos, Ynnari, Aeldari, etc. It’s an official line in the sand that says “cross this line at your own discretion, if you do then you’re playing ‘soup’ and you get weaker special rules.”

    • Avatar
      red3_standingby October 3, 2018 4:01 pm #

      Follow up:

      I happen to like soup, even though I don’t use it (I play Orks), because I think that it increases the amount of armies that you can bring to the table. For example, nobody is going to bring mono Deathwatch to a competitive tournament, but according to Best Coast Pairings the unbeaten list of the past week was an army that was half Salamanders half Deathwatch(one battalion each). Bringing in allies to cover for an army’s weakness may be exactly what you need in order to bring more of your favorite factions to the table, and being able to bring more to the table is a good thing.

      A nerf to allies is an attack on weaker codices that need their allies to cover weaknesses that, in the absence of allies, would be debilitating.

  12. Avatar
    Leonidis October 3, 2018 10:15 pm #

    I feel like the more of these I listen to the more it sounds like pros talking about the game and Pablo interjecting with non important stuff lol

  13. Avatar
    Joe October 9, 2018 5:32 am #

    What about changing the +3 cp for battleforged to require two same keywords? So a T’au Empire army with T’au Sept and Farsight doesn’t get it, but all T’au Sept does. Want to play imperial soup? Take your loyal 32, but you’re really only getting +2 cp vs being monofaction. Probably need an exception for astares (adeptus and heretic), so that a da-ba army doesn’t get it, etc.

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