Monday, February 3, 2014

Local Tiers for 40K so far...

So, looking at the Armies as they are played locally at least…  I think I would put them into 3 tiers.  Rumor has Knights and IG being next up, and I think those have some potential to shake things up quite a bit...  Escalation and Stronghold Assault have helped locally more than hurt I think, but it is still new...  Long run, who knows...


Top Tier

Top tier are the ones that either do not really seem balanced against the others, or are simply problematic to face with anything but a specifically tailored list.  Here is where I would put the Eldar, Tau and probably Chaos Demons.  Though with the Demons, probably REALLY only the FMC (Flying Monstrous Creature) lists and/or the “Screamerstar”.  The argument to add the Necron “Croissants of Doom” list is a good one, but I think as time passes they slip more to the middle tier.  Right now I have a hard time explaining to a new or returning player with a Tyranid or Marine based army exactly how to deal with a min/maxxed Taudar list.  Any serious suggestions?  It is pretty much “Yeah…  You just lose against those armies, doesn't really matter WHAT you bring”.  Massed (current) Marine Grav weapons CAN take down the MCs and be a realistic threat to the skimmers, but it is a limited range and really, if the Eldar or Tau are expecting this it will not likely happen.  Beyond that, the Eldar’s massed high STR weapons (unnaturally accurate ones) combined with their basic weapons having a “Rending” rule means that 3+ armor and even 2+ is of very little use.  Both the Tau and Eldar have a significant number of “Ignore Cover” weapons/shots, so Scouts or anything relying on a Cover save (Orks, Tyranids) or massed numbers simply dies due to the high volume of shooting.   So, Orks with their 4th Ed Codex are right out against the top tier.  Tyranids?  I suspect they will fare little better, but really have not seen them on the table locally since the new book came out.  They have SOME potential with the big bugs, and overall I think they look like a powerful and fun army…  Just that they cannot compete with the Uber lists.  Same can be said for most of the mid-tier armies…  MAYBE they can compete iff the top army essentially fumbles and they can take advantage of it…  Just doesn’t happen often and gets rapidly frustrating for the other player…

One of the bigger “problem” units is the Tau Riptide…  But let’s be completely honest, it is really only the “Earth Caste” upgraded one that is allowed to join up with ICs that is a really difficult one (s, typically it is NOT just one Riptide).  The rulebook specifies that ICs cannot join up with units that are bought as a single model (Non IC)…  Now, buying wargear that are “models” is the loophole used to allow this, but I would argue that the Riptide is BOUGHT as a single model unit, can only be upgraded and thus is NOT legally allowed to be joined by ICs.  Of course, I’m an Engineer, not a Lawyer thus my interpretation is not the currently popular one J…  I’m a big proponent of fairness, and any rule unequally applied I means nothing (my reaction to growing up near Chicago)…  If the Tau can do this, simply remove the restriction in the rulebook and allow ALL MCs to be joined by ICs, etc…  Wraith Lords would become instantly popular and the GKs Dreadknight would come back into favor I think…  Mind, this is NOT a serious suggestion really…  I would MUCH rather the current problematic thing simply be ruled on via FAQ/rule clarification.  Given the complete silence on this and other things, I am not holding my breath or out for much hope J…  So, yeah, the Tau with their silliness, and the fact that at least locally it seems to draw the “more problematic” players to play that army has perhaps made this more of a sore point locally than it might be elsewhere.  A LOT of players would rather simply sit out and chat than play if it puts them against this particular combo.  Arguments about wound allocation, part of the “unit” being behind a Void Shield, etc…  Just isn’t fun to play so most people don’t.  And this is the silliness I would anticipate if there was money on the table in the form of prize support for a bigger tournament, thus at least MY decision to not bother attending such an event.  Between that and reality being what it is, I doubt we could get a team of folks together.  A shame really, I know we could put together a really nice one with Dave and Steven’s Eldar as the base…  I just REALLY don’t want to play the way we would have to in order to de more than show up and die…  Besides, my RT era crap is amusing, but I wouldn’t want to try my luck at Adepticon subbing RT era “Ghost Warriors” in for “Wraith Guard”.  Really wouldn’t be fair for the other player with the wee tiny Ghosts dropping flamer templates of doom… 


Middle Tier

So, Top Tier being Eldar/Tau…  That leaves the middle tier.  Here is where I put the majority of what has been released in late 5th Edition to the current 6th Edition stuff…  A few exceptions.  DA simply do not even belong in the middle tier I think.  Coming from a DA player, there is simply not a lot I could field to compete against the Heldrake backed forces.  They simply eat anything “biker” based, and the Terminators I play  lack the numbers to be a serious contender against the weight of fire from a Tau/Eldar force.  They DO have a single now FAQ’d trick to allow a metric crapton of bolter shots…  “Eh”, and that is from one who played it.  Yes, it could erase entire Blobs, but then anything not threatened by Bolters?  Oh, well…  J

Marine codex was quite good, there are a large number of local players, many playing completely different forces.  White Scars, Ultramarines, my own Crimson Fists, an Iron Hands player…  Pretty sure there are more, just what I am remembering off the top of my head.  Decent armies, and really well balanced overall.  And you CAN build a lot of different forces out of that single book.  This should have been the model on which the other books were based, but…  Chaos Marines are actually not bad overall…  We have a few players actually playing them, and for the most part no more than 2 of the Heldrakes hit the table.  The rest of the book SEEMS lackluster when you compare it to the Drake, but overall they seem an interesting one allowing the players to build ALMOST what they wanted…  The players wanting to do real “Legion Based” things are still a tad bitter, but even they seem to be working well enough with the book as it is.  GK/Inquisition is pretty firmly here as well I think…  Decent to overpowered units (the GK book was what I thought finally broke 5th ed…) that have been quite frankly passed by the new top tier…  Betting I could make a decent force to compete, and may well have to when the weather turns nice again and I am once again on my bike(s) I will be making forces that CAN fit into the single backpack or the luggage on the old bike…  So, some minor OP things, but nothing new, and people have learned to deal with them…  IG are good, but nothing really outstanding.  Betting again that I could bring a silly force to mess with the Taudar, but I’ve never really been a fan of bubble wrapped Artillery and Tanks…  They seem the big Escalation winners as they have access to a LOT of more tanks that some of the lads are starting to field…  DE and Tyranids I guess go here too, but haven’t seen either fielded much in 6th, so really it is just guessing.  When Mike was here, I’d have put his DE against almost any army and if he went first, guessing he would do well…  Our battles were typically the bloodiest, so in the hands of a good player who understands his or her force, I think the DE would do well…  Tyranids I am less sure of, but I think they look like a good, balanced book…  Just nothing that can easily compete with the top tier…

Bottom Tier

 So, here is where I put the Wolves, Blood Angels, Orks and…  Wow, I guess that is pretty much it.  Kind of like seeing the great wheel turn J  At one time I felt bad playing the “maybe somewhat OP” Wolves or Fleshtearers…  Now, I am playing them, but more as a challenge than anything.  My Wolves led out by Bran Redmaw have some deployment tricks and the Bastion with Void Shield makes for a pretty good strong point to base a force on…  Guessing I will field my Fleshtearers in something like the same way.  They HAVE a flier, but the last few times I played them, we just got shot off of the table due to the low model count and insane number of shots the Necorn/Tau and Eldar can throw down range…

 I think I will field my “Shock” force just to see how badly it gets mauled…

CPT Tycho
Sternguard (7, 1 HF, 2 Combi Plasma, 4 Combi Melta, Drop Pod)
Sanguinary Priests (1 Terminator Armor for the Sternguard, 1 Jump Pack for the Assault Squad)
Assault Squad (10, Jump Packs, 2 Melta Guns, SGT has Melta bomb)
Death Company (5, JP, 2 Power Axes)
Death Company DN (HF, Fists)
Storm Raven (TL LC, TL Melta)
Bastion w/ Void Shield and Quad guns

So, the Assault Squad likely deploys in the Bastion, Combat Squadding if possible to use the HB’s AND the Quad Guns for some crappy long ranged firepower…  Turn one the CPT and Sternguard drop in and hopefully destroy something important J…  The Storm Raven is here to dogfight, the DC and DC DN will likely ride in that and be my linebacker…  Win or die by turn three usually…  I lack the ability to hold much or hold for a long time, but I can very nearly guarantee “First Blood” if I go first…  Then hope to kill enough quickly enough to slide in Pete Rose style for a narrow win :-)...  Or at least get shot to pieces while scaring them a bit...