Warhammer 40,000 evaluation

Space Marines- Probably 50% of all 40k players use them. Overrated, but definitely have their merits gameplay-wise: Space Marines have a balanced armylist that is very beginner-friendly. Their units don’t really have morale problems (“And They Shall Know No Fear”), they have a good variety of sneaky/fast/hardhitting/meatshields. They are a little costly points-wise (one Space Marine costs 15 points, something you really need to factor when you play a game where each player can only spend 1000 points total) but that works to the beginner’s advantage: You don’t have to buy as many models (thus an ‘army’ is cheaper to buy money-wise) and the actual models are generally easy to assemble and paint. They are also fun to customize to make your own Force Commander/Chaplain/etc.

Eldar- Once considered cheesy, they are lots of fun to collect; they have TONS of different models/units so there is plenty of variety in their armylist. I consider them an army of ‘specialists’, that is, one one type of unit are dedicated shock troops (Howling Banshees), melee fighters (Striking Scorpions), shooty guys (Dark Reapers), tankbusters (Fire Dragons) and so forth. They have a lot of inherent versatility, and an Eldar player who has collected a lot of models can probably whip up an army list that can competently take on pretty much any other army. In theory, game balance would dictate that EVERY race should be able to pull this off, but as you will see this is just not the case. :frowning:

Imperial Guard- Very interesting WWII-throwback type of army, generally made up of hordes of lightly armed infantry and big tanks. In some aspects, they function similarly to orks in that they utilize massed firepower, but in IG’s case they also make use of artillery and long-ranged weapons. Nobody will want to play an Imperial Guard army on a huge battlefield. Why? Because their Basilisk artillery has a range of 120" (which is nearly DOUBLE that of the next longest ranged weapon) and they’d get pounded to hell and back by it unless they were very maneuverable.

Orks- Orks are probably one of the funnest armies to collect, mainly for the comedic value of their units and potential customization. Orks can be challenging to play because they are horrible at shooting. However, orks benefit from ‘strength in numbers’ and despite crappy stats they often win by overwhelming the opponent with targets. Their morale also benefits from big squads (mobs of 12+ are basically fearless) and there are nearly infinite modeling potential for their units and vehicles. I’ve seen some very creative examples, such as a battlewagon (big transport) which someone made by taking a model house, removing the roof, and putting tank treads on the bottom, essentially making it a mobile pillbox.

Dark Eldar- Kind of an all-or-nothing army: either they will win by a wide margin or lose horribly :stuck_out_tongue: They would be a bit more interesting if people didn’t use such one-dimensional tactics with them. Wych armies are particularly challenging, yet rewarding to play/model.

Chaos- Rather broken or so I hear as of late. Chaos are ‘evil’ space marines, which can take a lot of the same stuff but also have all the advantages of whatever daemonic diety they worship. Very interesting looking models, however.

Tyranids- Extremely customizible, which is neat. Unfortunately, that often leads to powergaming (people fielding ‘spineguants’, a rather formidible critter costing a mere 5 points, sometimes allowing the Tyranid player to field hundreds of models on the battlefield! :eek: Great intimidation factor, very much reminiscent of the Bugs in Starship Troopers, however, their great downside (along with Imperial Guard and Orks) is that numerically-heavy armies mean you are going to have to buy a LOT of models. This gets expensive QUICK, and it also means you have hundreds of models you need to assemble, paint, account for, and store. People who play armies like these often come into the Games Workshop store with one of those suitcases on wheels FILLED with models :eek:

Tau- Basically a dedicated ‘shooty’ army. Fun to watch a Tyranid vs Tau army, very much like ‘Starship Troopers’ again. Tau can be a little broken when it comes to some units- their ‘grunt’ unit has the best rifle in the game in terms of strength and range. This is supposedly balanced by the fact that they suck in hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately it means many Tau Players just hang back as far as they can and shoot away at enemies advancing on them. Like Dark Eldar armies, I don’t see a lot of variation in tactics with Tau armies :frowning: The Tau look very anime-inspired. Their infantry and crisis suits have a definite ‘mecha’ flavor to them. Unfortunately, this really clashes with the game universe- I’m not saying the units don’t look good, it just doesn’t match the ‘feel’ of the game universe in general.

Necrons- Man, I hate these guys! They get a lot of cheesy units, and the nature of their armylist pretty much forces the other player to load up on heavy weapons. Probably the most annoying characteristic of this army, though, is the fact that all their ranged and melee attacks can potentially wound units regardless of how tough they are, and can also always potentially destroy a vehicle no matter how heavily armored it is. Vehicles like Land Raiders become a collosal waste of points when a lucky hit from an 18 point model can destroy a 250 point vehicle :mad: Not to mention the C’tan, uber powerful units which can dominate the battlefield single-handedly. Appearance-wise, the Necrons are very cool looking. They look like Terminator endoskeletons, and many of their units have an Egyptian theme to them (their only vehicle is basically a big flying pyramid).

I agree with almost all of your analysis, but isn’t it a bit of work when the analysis could be obsolete soon?

That said, I think that nearly all of the changes made will help the weakest race, the Dark Eldar, and, if anything, hurt the Space Marines.

THIS is what makes Chaos non-cheesy. If you use the standard rules for mission setup, rather than play a game to the death, Chaos is at a disadvantage against nearly everyone else as they have no units that can move 24", and fewer units than other foot-based races. That said, on a medium-ranged game such as Bunker Assault (NOT Strongpoint Assault, that is TOO close,) they kick much buttocks as they are good in both CC and Shooty.

I’ve never played Warhammer $40,000* but I know someone who got pretty mad when GW dropped squats (dwarves). But I heard they me coming back?

Brian, witness to “the tank” the largest WH40k game (I think it was 48x24 feet) in the northern hemisphere (or something like that, it was certified by GW as the biggest somehow)

  • what some gamers seem to spend on minis

I don’t think the rules changes will change my evaluation that much. Some tactics may change (Rhino rushing, for example, will become kind of obsolete since you can’t assault the same turn as disembarking out of a transport…unless the transport is open-topped).

Have you read the new Chaos codex? Chaos has plenty of beardy things. Daemon Princes are a perfect example. They get a lot of cool psychic abilities (probably second only to Eldar) as well.

I hope they re-do the Eldar codex, if anything to make the Avatar a more imposing HQ unit, and to implement some tweaks here and there.

Sure they do…and if any of them allow them to move at 24", my complaint is nullified :slight_smile:

Actually, I’m wondering if Daemonic Speed can stack with Daemonic Flight…in which case you can move AND charge 12"…I think I’ll call GW hotline to ask them that.

Posting as someone who gave up on 40k soon after they changed the rules in 1998 (ish).

I only played as Space Marines (Blood Angels to be exact) mainly because they required the least models to start an army. Playing against other armies in the new system I found the Orks could field millions of pesky Gretchin so could soak up fire so much it was untrue. The Elder were their frail old self but with decent jet bikes, Chaos were space marines but with some extra powers, the Imperial Guard I faced were very tank heavy and were quite boring to play against really (defending? stay at the back and shoot the tanks, attacking? stay at the back and shoot the tanks, then run forwards).

I think they were the only armies I faced in the new system as quite frankly, I got bored with the way the game is played now. I liked having little surprises in my army (Ratling Snipers, Assassins, Inquisitors costing 400+ points, etc.) but now the rules don’t really allow me to do that. I haven’t had any experience playing against Tau, Dark Eldar or Necrons (which were released just before I quit I think but no-one bought them as there were only 4 models to choose from) but a friend who worked for Games Workshop said ‘The Tau were introduced as Space Marine killers as all their weapons could penetrate armour, the Dark Eldar could only charge across the battlefield on their Jabba barges to get into close combat quickly’.

You stopped playing in '98? You missed even more than I realized! :eek:

They’re up to 4th edition now, which is good I guess because I really hate it when someone cites some new rule that you can only get by acquiring some obscure copy of White Dwarf (And they want FIFTY BUCKS for a subscription! Highway robbery! :mad: )

They gave the Dark Eldar a lot more tools to make their armies have variety. My army, for example, has a lot of Dark Eldar jetbikes because they get the most cost effective ‘bike’ unit of any race.

There’s a lot more variety, but on the other hand there’s a lot more potential for abuse. I would say the absolute worst offhand are Grey Knights. Previously they were just a dedicated anti-daemon subgroup (in fact you couldnt even FIELD them unless there were daemons in play) but they’ve stretched that out so they are their own ‘chapter’ and while they are on the “Expensive but uber” side, they are a little TOO uber. Just because a unit costs a boatload of points doesn’t necessarily make it ‘balanced’. The Monolith and C’tan have this problem as well.

The core of the problem is the philosiphy that the codex overrides what the rulebook says- if the codex says the unit can do whatever, than it can. This favors armies which are heavy on ‘special rules’ like this, which makes Chaos so potentially cheap :mad:

Sigh … all these young whippersnappers care about these days is 40k, 40k, 40k. What ever happened to good old-fashioned Warhammer Fantasy Battles? Or the historical Warhammer games? Huh?

Warhammer is still going I believe, it’s just they intorduced a futuristic game too.

Incubus - 4th edition? I think I’ve missed an edition somewhere! I remember it as :1st edition - Rogue something. 2nd 40k with modifiers and 300pt tactical squads. 3rd - they took out the modifiers and changed the army selection with HQ units and stuff. Or have I missed something?

The Inquisition units always have been stupidly powerful, an Inquisitor could take on pretty much anything in cloes combat, the Grey Knights likewise. When they introduced psychic abilities the Inquisition units wre unstoppable!

I agree the special rules suck - an army using the Codex always has an advantage over a standard army.

I’ve kept up a small knowledge of 40k thanks to excessive Bloodbowl playing :smiley: Which unfortunatly stopped when I was at uni 3 years ago (there was a uni gaming club, but they took it waay too seriously).

I think I may still have the WFRPG book lying around somewhere, but I basically gave up on White Dwarf and Games Workshop when they went ‘house’ in the late 1980s. Miniatures didn’t really interest me, but they’ve built a successful business out of it and kudos to them for it.

Out of curiosity, how much would it cost to field a typical size Warhammer army? By typical, I mean something you could play decent sized games at your local store with and still be able to customize to meet different challenges? (I know there are 1000 and 10000 point games and everything else, but just for a casual player)