Chapter Tactics#163: How to Fix Another 5 Worst Factions in 40k

Today we bring you the sequel to episode #159 and fix 5 more of the worst armies in 40k and go into detail about how to make them more competitive both casually, and in tournaments.

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game.

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Show Notes:

Here are the 5 factions listed in the episode.

5. Drukhari

4. Orks

3. Deathwatch

2. Chaos Daemons

1. Black Templar

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  • Intro by: Justin Mahar


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.

15 Responses to “Chapter Tactics#163: How to Fix Another 5 Worst Factions in 40k”

  1. Zweischneid June 16, 2020 1:30 am #


    None of those factions are even remotely bad. Orks are nearly Tier 1 even, maybe half a step below.

    All factions listed would just wipe the floor with things like Ynnari, GSC, etc..

    • abusepuppy June 16, 2020 8:54 am #

      Yeah Chaos Daemons have really been beating down the door at tournaments lately, huh?

      • Zweischneid June 16, 2020 9:05 am #

        Well, unlike Imperial Knights, Orks, Astra, Drukhari, etc… Mono-Daemons actually have at least a sub-50% win rate.

        So yeah, their inclusion makes a bit more sense (though buffing Daemons without making Chaos soup even more oppressive as it was just post-doctrine Nerf / pre-Corona at events like Battle of Birmingham and other „last-Minute-tournaments“ would have to be part of the re-design challenge).

        • rvd1ofakind June 16, 2020 7:44 pm #

          It’s almost like what they talked about the most was a buff for having MONO DAEMONS.

          • Zweischneid June 16, 2020 9:10 pm

            And I acknowledged that Chaos Daemons are a viable inclusion.

            Mono-Drukhari, Orks, Astra and Imperial Knights for example (Last Episode) on the other Hand are all in the Top 10 Mono-armies with win-rates well above 50% and significantly better tournament performance than, say, mono-Iron Hands, Mono-Tau or mono-Ultramarines.

  2. Anthony Coutley June 16, 2020 5:41 am #

    As a long time daemon player, here are the issues I see:

    I think that Daemons need to have their pretty much army wide toughness nerfs reversed. They also need to seriously adjust all of the mid level units, both in points and in abilities. (i.e. bloodcrushers).

    Daemons are always portrayed as being tough. Units like Bloodletters should not be killed from guns at basically the same rate as gaunts, they used to be much tougher, and that needs to come back. This shouldn’t be like a boy mob army, or a gant swarm army. The units should be at least one levelabove that.

    Greater Daemons need to have a 4++ stock no matter what. The psychic awakening changes for greater daemons are….ok. I think every greater daemon should be able to just pick one of those abilities, and perhaps purchase additional ones.

    Some changes to warp surge are needed also. Other armies have 3+ invulnerable just always on. Limiting this to per phase hurts, especially as your opponent can just ignore the buffed unit. I see no reason you shouldn’t be able to use warp surge to buff to a 3+ invul for the phase at all. If you want to keep using it, it will just eat all your cp’s. (and the only reason all of it got super nerfed, was the 2++ hi jinks that they missed, and then over corrected).

    Lack of strategems. The strats that are usable are severely limited. There is a chunk of pregame, and then faction locking most of the strats is very limiting. During a game, you will use warp surge, and cp reroll, and not much else. There isn’t a whole ton to use, no real neat trick or abilities. That needs to change

    Having to pay cp’s for deep strike also really hurts, this army always had deep strike naturally. Having to pay cp’s do deep strike anything, especially when all sorts of units in other armies get to do it for free and naturally, really huts. Especially when it ends up being 2cp in most cases. Ouch

    Please dear god, no more focusing on summoning….

    More interesting abilities.
    All greater daemons pass on leadership
    All heralds pass on +1 str.
    There isn’t much else that they do for each other. (there are a few minor exceptions).These are really boring and really mailed in. Some more interesting and varied abilities are severely needed. Plaguebearers Herald, aura of -1 gun str when firing at nurgle while in range etc… that sort of thing.

    All 4 gods need to be able to work together if you want. Mono faction has severe limitations, and the other gods make up for the deficiencies in the army. They need to be able to work together without being punished. The army abilities being locked to a single detachment of only one god is why this is a problem, and then only giving your characters the ability also hurts. Please give out a real army ability, and give it to everyone without making the player jump through hoops to get it, and make sure the army has it.

    • Anthony Coutley June 16, 2020 5:55 am #

      Heralds also need to be scary in melee. Not greater daemon level of scary. But these guys fought up through the daemon ranks, which is pretty scary in itself. And they get pretty easily punked in close combat. They need a little heft to them.

      Also I get the randomness angle they push, (warpstorm chart etc..) but then the randomness needs to be good,, if they want to continue with it. Not 1 good option, and 5 somewhat ok options, or maybe pay cp to ignore the randomness and pick an effect.

      Finally, (I know it’s all a lot). I have to say that most of their current problems go directly back to making the fantasy and 40k codexes identical in 6th. That’s where all the summoning insanity happened, that’s where the toughness nerfs all came from. I think they need to go back to the design style of 5th ed, and scrap this iteration of how they are built as an army. But that could go either way.

    • abusepuppy June 16, 2020 8:53 am #

      I would agree on the 4++ for greater daemons. As I said in the cast, a 5++ just doesn’t cut it as your sole defense, and while you can bulk up wound counts as one way to help cover for that, I think having a 4++ is a better way to do so. On the other hand, GW may have been reluctant to do so in order to avoid getting an easy 3++ on non-Tzeentch factions, which in the past has proven to be very frustrating for people, since the Warp Surge strat causes some problems.

      Going back to the old T4/5 for Bloodletters/Plaguebearers is arguable, both mechanically and fluffwise. It is doable, but it’s a factor of what kind of price point you’re sticking the unit at and a lot of other factors. Either way is workable.

      Warp Surge is potentially problematic when allowing a 3++ for the same reason Knights were- having a huge, threatening model that can perpetually sit on a very strong invuln and move quickly is a problem. Other factions can get 3++ saves only on small characters, on specific units, or unreliably through the use of psychic powers- no faction in the game can simply slap a 3++ onto whatever unit they want, and Daemons shouldn’t be able to either because that is an immensely abusable ability.

      The lack of strats is definitely an issue, and plays back into Daemons effectively being four armies in the guise of one. I think there need to be more “generic” Daemon stratagems that any of them can use (ideally 15ish) and then 3-4 ones specific to each god that can be used by most/all models of that alignment. If there’s one thing that 8E has taught us, it’s that weak strats almost always make for a weak codex.

      Having to pay CP for deep strike is the flip side of being able to deep strike any unit in the army, which is a pretty powerful ability (especially since there is no limit to how many times you can do it.) However, I think we can expect to see most units that go into reserve cost CP in 9E, which will even the playing field somehwat.

      But the Daemon abilities really are incredibly lackluster and boring. The identical auras, the lack of any customization on most characters, and the lack of unit upgrade options leave them with very, very few interesting things they can do.

  3. Lord Paddington June 16, 2020 6:20 am #

    So I guess Ynnari are okay then? They need another complete rebuild, which I am sure will come with a necron-esque model release but they are really hurting.

    • abusepuppy June 16, 2020 8:40 am #

      We did explicitly call out Ynnari as an army that we wouldn’t be discussing fixes for, like Inquisition. Ynnari don’t even have a codex, which makes it difficult to talk about any kind of design philosophy for them.

  4. Zweischneid June 16, 2020 7:01 am #

    I get that what armies are bad and good is to some degree a subjective thing.

    But since you have the Falcon on, those 40Kstats mono-faction win rates for things like Drukhari or Imperial Knights are pretty solid (better than, say Iron Hands, for example) and probably more on the side of “these need a nerf”, not “these need a buff”.

    It’d might’ve made sense to at least not include the Top 10 armies or so in podcasts on the allegedly “worst”.

    • abusepuppy June 16, 2020 8:43 am #

      My underdstanding is that the “worst” in this case was a player-voted thing, for the most part. Honestly, it’s not hard to discuss this sort of thing for even good armies because of how scattershot GW’s design is, so even Craftworlds, Tau, Grey Knights, and other armies could easily stand a redesign pass not because they are bad, but to try and make them more coherent and flavorful.

  5. N.I.B. June 17, 2020 2:19 am #

    So, mono-Tyranids are doing well? Outside of ITC I doubt it.

  6. RaptorsInMotion June 17, 2020 10:11 am #

    As a Deathwatch player and lore-lover, they should be being portrayed as the “SEAL Teams” of the 40k universe. Small amount of units, sticking to the darkness, and they are handpicked from “regular armies”, the BEST of the BEST. Access now to better weapons, armor, tech and better training.

    On the tabletop, they really should fill the void between a Space Marine and a Custodes, in terms of stats and of general numbers on the table. Expensive to field, small in numbers, but tough as fook.

    The Deathwatch “Chapter Tactic” would be something along the lines of “Every unit gains a cover save regardless. And when actually in cover, +2 instead.” This is an ode to their “spec-ops” style of fighting.

    Allow them to take all space marine vehicles, at the very least the Stormraven Gunship which can carry Dreadnoughts.

    Lastly, allow them to take certain xenos melee weapons as chooseable “relics”.

  7. RaptorsInMotion June 17, 2020 10:57 am #

    I just posted a comment on here and it was deleted.

    Do i need to be registered or something?

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