Brother Arghus the Dark Angel clipped a fresh ammo drum underneath his storm bolter looking out into the clearing past the ruin where he and his remaining Battle Brothers laid in hiding. Acoltyes swarmed en masse covering the nearby open ground. The Black Shield lifted up the Frag Cannon sliding the arming rune to full auto. The rest of the Kill Team primed their frag grenades waiting. Suddenly a brute hybrid stepped into the cull. Its thick scarred skin was muted ochre and deeply pitted, in its tight fists the mutant carried a heavy rock drill. As it looked down upon the Deathwatch Arghus aimed his siting laser between its glowing eyes then pressed the trigger blasting apart its misshapen head like a piece of rotten fruit. Gore sprayed upon the walls as the Deathwatch emerged from the ruin in ambush.
In perfect synchronicity the frag grenades were flung into the seething brood vaporizing a whole host of the miscreants. "Open fire." said Arghus as the Black Shield pointed the frag cannon at the remains of a nearby wall firing round after round into the stone rubble. The miniature rockets ripped through tearing apart a clutch of aberrants huddled behind it. Storm bolters began to sing a song of death shredding more of the quickly approaching hybrids. There came the sound of tracks tearing through the strewn debris as a heavy Rockgrinder shambled into the open road.
Vaulting through the mutant horde the Black Shield thumbed the arming rune of the frag cannon to solid then fired point blank into the driving screen of the vehicle incinerating the immediate crew. He then jumped away from its path back towards his Kill Team. Heavily muscled aberrants spilled out from the back of the truck clambering forward towards the fight. Switching back to full auto the Black Shield opened fire again blasting the enemy into bloody visceral. Something huge came charging through the other side. The monster had many long barbed arms and towered above the Space Marines.
The Patriarch screamed in hateful anger as rolling waves of psychic energy poured off its exoskeleton hide. "Purestrains inbound." Arghus warned over the vox as a brood of Genestealers appeared behind the gargantuan mutant.
Black Blow Fly here to discuss list building for 40k in the 21st century... There are players that want a winning list using only one codex and there are players that have no qualms whatsoever as long as they are winning. One thing I recognize is that GW loves some allied armies going back as far as 6th Edition the worst Edition except for 7th Edition... they went so far as to say Soup is no longer on the menu but in reality if you still play competitively it is still is very much a thing BUT not quite as much so following the second big FAQ for 8th edition. For whatever reason GW is still all up into allied armies. Is it time to turn back the clock for the sake of the hobby ? Mono armies using one codex can do some work and if you don’t believe me just look at Dark Eldar and this is ORKT0BER.
I know what I like to play and I don’t like to design my army lists to chase the meta. Eighth Edition is all about the horde lists that have inherently intrinsic rules that are so much better than elite armies. A basic guardsman is more than twice as good as an Assault Marine when you do the math. That’s doesn’t make any sense to me nor is it properly reflecting the background accurately either. Horde units are very low cost in terms of points and by buffing them with auras, psychic powers and stratagems they are much more powerful than elite units. If you play progressive missions such the ITC or NOVA horde armies can very early rack up lots of the points simply sitting on more objectives because of their inherent low cost. Elite armies cannot compete against horde armies when it comes to holding objectives.
All the best armies can do some horde too just look at Thousand Sons. Take a full squad of 30 Tzrangors with a Twistbray so they can deep strike 1" closer to enemy units. Deploy them on the table some place safe. You’ll need a character with the Dark Matter Crystal that lets you deep strike a unit already deployed (see Tzrangors). Buff the Tzrangors with easy to cast psychic powers for +1 invulnerable save, -1 to hit then cast Warp Time on them... hilarity ensues and you haven’t used any precious command points yet but why not go ahead and burn one for +1 to wound? Seriously GW and you say you have legitimate play testers ??! To me it’s the proverbial case of the foxes guarding the hen house.
GW has unsuccessfully been trying to dial it back down from day one but Horde is still the king and this is ORKT0BER. A lot of people are ready to jump on the mean green band wagon and GW officially said this will be the very best Ork codex ever. So yeah mono faction is still a thing and here we see GW really really wants it’s so bad they straight up tell us publicly... good times for sure. Remember there are people that say more Primarchs can only be good for the game... Fulgrim is just around the corner too.
Ask yourself if that is really a good thing? To those that are truly true to the Waaaaagh they are deserving and good for them. One thing to always keep in mind is that playing Orks means lots and lots of models to purchase, build and paint... enjoy.
Now let’s take a look at the best and most competitive armies in Eighth Edition so far:
At first Ultramarines lead by Guilliman were over the top alongside Smash Brothers. Neither of these type of builds were fun to play against. Do you remember the short term success of Ravenspam? For me the army I personally hated the very most was Imperial Knights-Astra Militarum-Blood Angels with an infinite amount of command points to rock totally absurd strategems for six or more Battle Rounds. And what about Ynnari with Soul Burst and -4 to hit with ranged weapons ? Why does GW not understand ?
By the manner in which armies are designed only a very few select factions can really even be top tier competitively which typically revolves around extremely undercosted overpowered units... no brainer and very abusable - look at Dark Reapers and Shining Spears as two examples. On top of that armies like Ynnari often function on the obscure interaction of certain rules, for example such as being able to field Altioc and Ulthwe units in the same detachment. If you play Eldar you aren’t making any friends at the gaming table... there has always been just something about them. There are only three actual Ynnari models as well and all you ever see is the obligatory Cat Lady... seriously how did this ever get to be a thing ?! I always laugh when I think about GW saying Soup is off the menu... they are truly clueless. Like I said if you ain’t got Horde you ain’t got shite.
So what is the best solution? Will the next Chapter Approved bring the game back in line ? This is ORKT0BER.
Inquisitor Toth sat at the head of the long table. Steepling his long spindly ringed fingers Toth looked at his video notes then spoke. "The bombing is scheduled to occur within the six hours." He cracked his knuckles and spoke again "Are we still on schedule?" The polished sheen of the processed wood reflected his equine face. Toth gazed into the reflection of his hooded eyes.
"Yes my Lord." answered his first servant. Some of the others sitting at the table looked grim. There came a sudden crash upon the doors. The Inquisitor looked up from his inner reflection just in time to see the hardened panels splintering. Immediately he gave the sign to his bodyguard. The Black Scurra drew their hotshot lasguns lining up across from the disintegrated barrier.
"Stand down." came a chill voice cutting through the cacophony.
"Open fire." ordered Toth. The Black Scurra felt their fingers go limp as they attempted to squeeze the triggers. Erasmus strode through the doorway, his stave held firmly across his black chest plate. The Epistolary projected the mirage of an angelic face.
"Stand down." came his voice again piercing through the guardsmen’s closed helmets. Their knees went weak and buckled as the rifles dropped clattering upon the floor. Temial and Lucas appeared flanking the Librarian. "The Extermantius must be halted now."
Erasmus had climbed to the top of the highest mountain in the aft range surrounding the besieged hive city. Two Battle Brothers had made the journey with him, Lucas the Space Wolf and Temial. The air was ice cold and snow had started to fall coating their black armor. Kneeling down upon the broken slabs of silvered rock the Epistolary lowered his linen hood exposing his bald head. He began to chant the forgotten spell of lost enchantment. In his mind he pictured a hidden room deep within the Imperial Avenger Class Ship, Gloriana. Lucas could feel quick silver tendrils from the freezing warp begin to slip through real space enveloping them. The veteran growled involuntarily as his fangs distended from his scarred lips. Temial the Doom Eagle terminator closed his eyes while he cleared his thoughts until there was nothing. A lightning bolt forked down from the black sky striking the very spot where the Deathwatch had stood only a moment before.
Brother Arghus read the cyphered bit. The Imperial Navy would deliver the Ordantius Strike within the next planetary revolution. The Dark Angel thought upon the millions of Imperial citizens who would die to stop a Genestealer Cult infestation his brothers could easily quell. His fingers pressed the embossed keys on the auspex ordering a temporary halt to prevent the immediate destruction of an entire planet. "Halt." There was no answer in return. Arghus limbered his bolter and drew his power axe from his belt. "Brothers form up."
Temial the terminator stepped out from the dark shadows leveling his assault cannon aimed point blank at the Broodlord. "It is certain death to remain but we can’t abandon the citizens." the Doom Eagle replied. Heavy slugs ripped into the xenos penetrating its tough outer exoskeleton. His power fist came down hard with vengeance blunting the elongated head and pulverized it like a piece of rotten fruit.
For a moment the genestealers seemed stunned by the death of their leader stopping suddenly in midframe. The rest of the Kill Team joined in unleashing the pent fury of their stormbolters. They came firing until their ammo was spent and black oozing ichor filled the the cracks between the cobbled stone floor. Smoke poured off the muzzles as the Deathwatch quickly reloaded. Erasmus the Blood Angels Epistolary stood in the middle slowing coiling his gauntlets. The force spilled from his fingertips as he mouthed the words to an ancient forbidden lore taken from from an Ultwhe Warseer he had slain. Again the pitch black darkness gripped tightly around blotting out the Kill Team. They stood in silence waiting for the next wave but nothing emerged.
Hi everybody Black Blow Fly here to discuss the new FAQ and various errata - it’s all about how this will affect the meta. Overall I think the GW development team did a great job but there is still some stuff that appears to have flown right under the radar... however that said there is still the next Chapter Approved for the proverbial one-two punch - GW loveth to give but truly they loveth to take the most. Also this is Orktober and GW has said this will be the best Ork codex ever, which they didn’t say about any other xenos codex so keep these trailing items in mind as you peruse this article. So now I’ll dive right into the the discussion... first let’s talk about the losers.
Right off the top of the bat the biggest loser is the Imperial Soup army everybody loves to hate - Imperial Knights with allied Astra Militarum and Blood Angels. I know some people are still in denial but this army was utterly gutted. Sure some will say it’s still good because you have lots and lots of command points (CP) but really that’s not true at all. This army is extremely CP hungry to the level of disgustedly so and it’ll never be the same again. At most now you can regenerate 6 additional CP over the course of a six round game and guess what - those amazing Imperial Knight stratagems you loved to burn through without a second thought all went up in cost. I have played several games versus this type of army following the release and sure enough it’s no longer the scary monster it once was... not even close.
Two of the next big losers are Alpha Legion and Raven Guard. What is important to note is the developers were overall very consistent with their changes to the game - they don’t want any first turn melee shenanigans any more. There were those that said this original beta rule was no good but GW decided to double down... for the most part you can’t even deep strike first turn any more now. Cultists got nerfed hard too since they can’t infiltrate any more either.
The keyword Fly has been changed such that units with it no longer can magically move over enemy screens and this hurts big units such Shining Spears and models with big bases such as Daemon Princes. Suddenly the Talos pain engines took a big hit too and it’s not like they ever needed the keyword Fly. Not being able to avoid any longer the chaff means these units are now exposed to more rounds of enemy shooting and even counter charges which is a really big deal. You can easily hide Daemon Princes so if you’re patient it’s not the end of the world but any unit you can’t hide behind other units is in for a world of pain - as such you’ll probably being seeing them on the tables less often now... welcome to the ranks of the Bloodthirster.
Many have said that the Blood Angels Smash Captain also took a big hit from the nerf bat as well but I disagree... the reason I feel this way is because Slammaguinius is mounted on a 32 mm base and can also easily hide, plus Blood Angels have a stratagem that allows you to deep strike a unit already on the table. This forces the opponent to make sure all their vulnerable units are properly screened which amounts to pressure, which in turn can lead to mistakes.
So now let’s talk about the winners. While many have said Tau made out well and I disagree... every army going second has access to the new stratagem that provides +1 cover the first turn for all units in their respective deployment zones if the army goes second. I see this as more of a buff to Space Marines in general for the sweet sweet army wide 2+ cover save but more particularly so to Imperial Fists whom flat out ignore cover. It might not seem like a big deal but it’s something that gives them an inherent advantage.
A lot of people have said eldar came out smelling like a rose because they didn’t "really" lose anything but on the other hand they didn’t gain anything either. No gain is not winning. Sure they are still really good but not more so which is important to note. I don’t see any really big winners to be honest, it’s just that the meta is not skewed so much any longer... which brings me to my next point...
Orks are the next big thing like it or not. I think a lot of people are really excited about the upcoming Ork codex and rightly so. If you are planning to jump on the next big band wagon it’s going to require a bit more effort than Imperial Knights because it requires lots and lots of models. I’m sure we will all be seeing a lot more Orks on the table as certain players continue to chase the meta and it’s all win-win for Games Workshop.
First I’d like to apologize I don’t post more batreps. That said I went 4-2 in a local league so I should be making the playoffs. My list which consists of Blood Angels, Deathwatch and Custodes is really coming together now. I will be at the next LVO taking it there. More updates to follow.
Polonius is an ancient Veteran from the storied Ultramarines known and respected for his battle tactics and fierce martial skill in melee. Called to serve the Deathwatch he quickly rose to the rank of Watch Sergeant and lead a Demi Company to victory versus a Genestealer Cult invasion on the planet Cordonius Prime in the Eastern Fringe.
League upon league of drop pods rained down from the pitch blackness above. The first waves were unmanned carrying explosive death to the immortal rain of daemons massing upon the barren ground. They all exploded in perfect synchronicity upon ground contact clearing the breach. Wave upon wave of fresh daemons immediately charged forward to fill the gap. Three more waves of drop pods split down raining more death whole sale. Orpheus stepped out from the last pod with his Honor Guard of Templar Brethren and a hulk clad in umber yellow carrying a titan hammer clutched tightly across his chest. More Templars disembarked from a cluster of nearby pods bristling with bolters. "Converge." came the single command from Orpheus then their guns erupted. Daemon flesh was shredded asunder as the last of the loyalist Legion stepped upon the grave earth of Nęō Têrrá to reclaim their lost prize. "We must take the ancient throne room."
Their highly polished black armor shone under the lunar moon filling the pitch black sky with an umber sheen. Overhead a godlike being clad in golden armor soared above the filthy corrupted masses. Sanguinius drew forth a long Spear and chucked it into the very heart of the cancerous lot. A massive explosion erupted emulating thousands upon thousands of daemons instantly. Immediately the Templars spilled into the open ground entering the outer layers of the palace. "Let there be light." commanded the Primarch. Bolters poured into the daemonic rank as they continued to advance pushing back the evil.
Something huge and dark swooped down from the clouds aiming directly at the Primarch. It had long bat like wings and was swollen with grotesque muscle. Carrying an immense axe drenched in blood the greater daemon smiled revealing row upon row of sharp pointed filed fangs. Sanguinius drew another Spear from his back and spun in place suddenly face to face with his ancient foe. The beast crashed into the Spear tip screaming in pain. Sanguinius gripped the leather bound haft tight as a steel vice rotating the head as it punctured through its crooked spine. Silver energy spilled from the shaft incinerating the daemon spawn. A cloud of black ash rained down upon the daemon masses as they looked up to see its sudden demise. The Primarch smiled.
The death of the vile Bloodthirster brought forth great cheers amongst the Templar ranks. McGregor held the Titan Hammer over his head in exclamation for all to see just as the first light of a new dawn split down from the red skies above. A great dreadknight clad in pitch black armor strode forth from a hidden cave to join his brethren. The single name ‘Ionus’ was etched in acid across his front armor plate. "Today is a good day to be a Templar." its voice boomed over the vox.
"My brother, every day is a good day to be a Templar." Orpheus kneeled before the dreadknight.