Friday, May 04, 2012
5th Edition Codex Ranking
Here is my ranking of the 5th edition codices. I am putting originality up front along with the ability to field competitive armies. These are not necessarily the most competitive and I truly apologize now if I happen to offend anyone. Remember it is only my opinion. I might not include every army but I'll touch on every one that stands out to me. Note that White Dwarf articles are not included in this personal survey for the most part (i.e., Sisters of Battle).
— Chaos Daemons
I chose Necrons and Daemons because they have a lot of new units that are effective. I like how both armies were designed and I have won lots of games with both books. Daemons can suffer from randomness but they are still quite solid. Necrons I think are Mat Ward's best codex for 5th edition. There is change coming with 6th edition and Necrons have ushered in a new era. I can build a Necron army that is both fluffy and packs a big punch - I really like that particularly aspect. I think Orks are Phil Kelly's best 40k codex - the boyz suffer from his typical no brainer choices with a lot of units no one uses for competitive play but like I said I think this was his best work for 40k. Ork players deserved a great codex and Phil delivered.
— Dark Eldar
I rate dark eldar in the second rank because of not only the codex but all the support from GW in general with all the waves of awesome models. Unfortunately dark eldar have no answer to Grey Knights in competitive play... I just think Phil could have done more justice to them as a competitive army - for instance the only unit that has Eternal Warrior also has no invulnerable save and costs a lot of points to field. Haemonoculus should be an Elite choice.
— Space Marines
— Blood Angels
Space Marines were Mat Ward's first attempt at 40k so I will cut him a little slack. He introduced a lot of new units and had to address all the many chapters not covered by other codices... Ravenguard, White Scars and Crimson Fists quickly come to mind. This was one of the first codex that featured special characters to unlock unique certain parmies. The previous Space Marine codex by Graham McNeil was much stronger. The current Space Marine codex is sorely lacking in effective choices for troops. Blood Angels are a lot like dark eldar as both were made redundant by Grey Knights and I think that is very poor on the part of both Mat Ward and GW in general. Blood Angels are one of my all time favorite armies and I will not field them as a razorspam army with the behemoth that is Mephiston.
2nd to Bottom Rank
— Chaos Space Marines
— Dark Angels
No thanks to Jervis for the crap that are both of these armies. If it wasn't for GW allowing Dark Angels to have access to the current 3++ storm shields and 2 shot cyclone missile launchers then Dark Angels would have no competitive army at all (i.e., Deathwing). I will mention now that I think the general access to a 3++ save has no place in 40k. A 4++ save would have been just fine. Chaos Space Marines are a travesty compared to what they were... Jervis Johnson took a fantastic codex and totally fucked it up - I refuse to play them.
— Imperial Guard
— Space Wolves
— Grey Knights
Wow two of these were written by Robin Cruddance... One is totally overpowered while the other is a cellar dweller if every there was one. It just shows that Cruddance has no clue how to write a balanced codex... Epic Fail. Why does he still have a job ?? IG veterans are an elite choice that are fielded as a troop choice plus they are also way undercosted. : /
I have spent lots and lots of time developing a competitive Tyranid army - it was a huge challenge and still I have lots and lots of naysayers... I hope to answer that this year at the ATC and it's not going to be easy but I like a challenge !
Grey Knights are the travesty of 5th edition 40k... They are just too good in my opinion - same as IG and SW. These types of armies can suck the fun right out of the game. Grey Knights are absorbing all the hate right now but don't forget that IG and SW are both right up there as well in terms of the general hate towards them. At first I had a little romance going on with my version of Draigowing but all the profound hate pretty much destroyed that for me. Draigowing has still not won a major tournament yet and I'd personally like to see that rectified as much as it might make sound like a hypocrite. Oh well I'm a bit stubborn at times.
Take a look at Space Wolves in comparison to any other codex - no other army has as many units with Eternal Warrior. Grey Hunters and Long Fangs are both way undercosted. Where in the heck did Thunderwolves come from ?? I guess Phil had to undercost both Grey Hunters and Long Fangs so players can still take their Thunderwolves. I'm sorry but RazorFang is not fluffy... Not by a long shot. Jaws of the World Wolf - Epic Fail again in my opinion.
— Black Templars
I suppose these will be addressed in 6th edition. We are all waiting. Templars are a fringe army... They are not even a 1st Founding. Luckily GW has seemed to have learned their lesson in regards to developing armies for special interest groups - I sure hope so.
I think I've covered all the major releases for 5th edition. Certainly Daemons and Orks were written with 5th edition in mind. The last thing I want to see is another broken codex (CSM) but knowing GW we will just have to keep dealing with these kinds of situations. It is what it is.