Sunday, February 16, 2014

Imperial Knights & 40K Going Forward

The hammer has dropped and this is what we have.  Not taking into account any of the rules or rumors, that is hands down an awesome and beautiful model.  There is no way to really to put it otherwise.  I know I always tell myself that I will only buy stuff that I like the rules for and GW is out of touch when they think that people will buy based off the models look and not the rules.  And I look at this and I really don't care what the rules are, I want one.  But there are rules and it does affect what and how I buy.  I was wrong, 4chan was right, this baby is a superheavy and it has the D.  Now how is this going to affect 40k and what is it going to look like going forward?

The answer is not an easy one.  If you are not aware, this is supposed to be a codex  similar to inquisition (called it), not a formation.  So do we ban whole codex's now?  Parts of them?  Do we change whole rules?  I don't think that is the answer.  At the beginning of this I was not happy with superheavies being part of standard 40K, had it been an expansion like planet strike sure no problem.  But its now a part of the game, and here we are with a superheavy codex about to hit us in the face.

I read an interesting argument between two of the more involved local tournament gamers here and one was for and the other against (stronghold/escalation).  The one for it made a great point that there are already plenty of unbalanced and unfun things in "normal" 40k, just take a look at O'vesa star, screamer star, seer council, serpent spam, riptide spam.  These are all perfectly legal and you can tell some one to shove it if they want you to change your list.  Granted thats a dick way to approach it, but you can.  Why is anything in my codex not takable in any combo I want that the rules allow?  Oh you don't like it.  Well tough shit, there are things I don't like either.  How is a super heavy or D weapons so much more over the top then the unfun things that we are told to just suck it up and deal with at tournaments or even casual play.  Yes casual play is different generally because your not looking to be a dick and just get a fun game in.  But this is a competitive game, one person wins, one loses, you can't change that dynamic and hand out the blue participation medals because it feels good.

So should knights or superheavies in general be allowed?  I think the answer should be yes, including tournaments.  Now that doesn't mean that all tournaments should have all the rules unchanged from the BRB.  A TO by its very nature of the even will modify the base rules, even if it is something small like ignoring the random terrain or changing the missions.  If that is ok why is other changes so hard to swallow.  Why not just change the weird way fortifications are placed?  I mean placing them before terrain makes no sense, as any defense is going to have to be placed in accordance with the preexisting terrain.  Does the Mechanicus come and scoop up all the land, place forts and then drop the land back down again?

While we are talking about change, why not go full retard?  If we are going that route then F it, lets redo the whole game while we are at.  This is the logical conclusion if you follow the arguments of comp and modifying the rules.  Where does it stop?  Who decides where it stops?  We all have biases.  I love the IG and I will admit that if I changed the game, try as I might to not do it, it will end up slanted in my favorite armies favor.  And just having a council of represented armies is not the answer either, what I think is good for IG is not the same as you. 

At this point, I think we just need to ride along the wave.  Its a big one and it has been the biggest changes to 40k in a long time.  Perhaps we just need to play it as the rules allow with as minimal changes as possible.  If D weapons need to be nerfed I'm ok with that, but then why not rerollable 2+ saves, or limits on certain units.  This is the issue.  Its all personal and opinion.  I don't like lots of wave serpents.  But how is that fair to the eldar player where that is his only dedicated transport.  Its not his fault they are good, why should he be punished for playing a style of eldar that is legit and fluffy, he may not be playing them because its fluffy but it still is.  The wind rider host would beg to hear your arguments otherwise.

For me, I agree that there are some things are powerful and suck to play against, but you know what most of those AREN'T in escalation.  So why is that the tipping point.  So yes the Revenant and Warhound are prob the most potentially destructive and powerful units, well we can either deal with it and just see what happens or bring out the ban hammer and see how far it goes.  I don't think I like it that way, punishing certain armies or units, but then again maybe it is needed or maybe modifying D weapons will help.  But then what should they be?  That is whole question entirely and can the community even agree on that. 

If I was to change it D weapons would be S10 AP1  instant death, ignores cover, armor bane, re-roll successful invuls(similar to the old swarmlord rule).  I think that gives the weapon the appropriate status as the most deadly in 40K but not something that is going to be just killing everything, you still have to roll to wound and everything like normal.  Maybe this is too strong for some, I don't think so but I know many will disagree and there is the crux of it.  Why should you accept my ruling? Why should you?  Why the hell should I accept yours?  Or Reece Robbins for that matter?  We are just people with our own biased opinions on what the game should be with no credentials.  Sure some have played more tournaments, or ran them, but how is that a credential, how does that make that person an authority to dramatically change the game we play? To make a decision for everyone.

What I have to ask myself is what do I want to do and the answer is I want to play with knights.  And why shouldn't I?  Or you?  Why should you have to convene a UN council every weekend to play 40k.  Oh everyone agrees except for Russia so guess we have to do something different.  No. 

So where are we going to go?  I think we should come at this from two angles.  One, lets just play the game with minimal, if any, changes to the rules as they are written.  So double FoC, Data slates, formations, escalation, stronghold etc.  Lets do it, lets have "competitive" events with this non competitive game.  And on the flip side, lets let the more "competitive" community see what they can come up with.  This means that there is going to have to be cooperation and understanding between different groups.  It means a competitive player is going to have to deal with all the 40k extras at events, and that the not so competitive is going to have to deal with a different kind of 40k.

There is too much arguing and too little discussion going on right now.  This has been a tumultuous year and is set to be another one in the coming months.  Perhaps we just need to hold our heads down, play the game and wait and see what comes out of this.  We may be surprised.  Or it may need changing, but it is too early to truly say if things need to go.

There are far to many abusive units in normal, totally tournament legal 40k that we are told to suck it and deal with for any to truly and fairly argue that these additions break the game or make it unfun.  So lets just play the game and see where we end up.

Please share your thoughts, keep this one civil and a discussion, not an argument.



  1. If things were different, and 40k was my favorite GW game system, i would be weeping right now at its broken and unbalanced form. A codex of supper heavies is the kind of thing a five year old child would think is cool, he would be awed by all that power he could control. I honestly don't blame anyone who refuse to play against this OP drivel, and i feel sorry for anyone who enjoys competitive 40k, because things are about to get much tougher

    1. Y'know, just because they are super heavies doesn't mean auto win or even good right? a drop pod with 4 melta's will kill one on average, for half the price, they can not deal with flyers, they have .. 3 attacks. a guard blob with melta bombs will kill one in a turn of combat.
      Also the codex is made up of three parts apparently with knights being just one section.
      Ever since I played epic and had knights I always thought it would be awesome to play them as an army, I wasn't 5 then and I'm certainly not now:)
      if your opponent had 4 riptides across the table from you that couldn't jump shoot jump, get a 3++ invul all round, could lose up to 4 wounds in one hit and had less firepower but slightly better close combat[strength ten possible instant death vs D] and couldn't deal with flyers or pods[interceptor or sky fire] or even contest objectives.all for at least 150 points more per model
      Great! What it doesn't sound like is a Waac players wet dream.

      They are awesome models and people have wanted them for a really long time, Fluff wise they are awesome, even having a minor dint on the meta... nup

    2. they're not as weak as Pas says, but they're defiantly not over powered. they compare well with riptides and wraithknights

    3. I find that when someone's knee is extremely jerked it needs a strong jerk[me lol:P]to attempt to put it back. they compare.. okay to rips and wraithknights but riptides being able to be joined by I'cs and get some crazy buffs and WK's having strength 10 guns that can insta death all for 135 points less. 2 melta's could never kill a WK but[though unlikely] could kill a knight.
      just for fun lets say you drop 6 combi melta stern guard[210 points I guess?,
      in a pod next to both.
      4 meltas hit 4 pen 2 get explodes results get an average of 4 extra hull points
      thats 8 hull points... [a pod will usually get out of that arc of 4++ field]
      the same vs a WK in area terrain[not hard to do:)] will get one or maybe 2 wounds. same unit fires the 2+ poison, 8 hits 7 wounds 4 to 5 saved, so .. 2 or three wounds?
      necron warriors can't hurt a WK but will glance a knight to death.
      I'd have to see them being played en masse or with a list built around them to really see how they run, but first look, I'm really not seeing them being worth 375 a pop

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. (Take 2 - first one had some horrendous spelling mistakes)

      While your right that the melta squad will do more to a Knight than a WK, the claim of 8HP is massively overrating your chances:

      6 shots @ 4 / 6 to hit = 4 hits

      4+ invun (you pick the shields direction in your opponent's shooting phase, before shots are fired, so there is very little chance a single melta-squad would be out of the shielded arc) - leaving 2 hits.

      Chance of penning AV13 with a melta at short range is 28/36, so with 2 hits you can expect 56 / 36 penetrating hits. A penetrating hit at AP1 has an average damage value of 2 HP, resulting in a total expected damage of 3.1 HP.

      Yes that is still the magic half number at which the Knight gives up a VP, but you've spent ~200 pts to significantly damage a 375 pt model, so not too unreasonable.

      I'd also add that that assumes no protection for the Knight in terms of bubble wrapping which potentially means those meltaguns wouldn't even be within half range.

      Your right that the Knight does suffer from "glanced to death" syndrome (autocannon's and assault cannons also spring to mind), but then dark eldar poison and eldar rending both pose a threat to WK but not Imp K, while the Imp K can't be insta-gibbed by force weapons (i.e Grey Knights).

      The bigger problem seems to be that while 375 may not be an unreasonable points tag, WK and Riptides are potentially under-pointed due to the advantage of the MC rules of the vehicle rules.

  2. as long as there is enough terrain, including LOS blocking terrain these things are fine, however, trying to get a tourney with the average of 12!! pieces of terrain that 6th ed requires, is almost impossible, the LVO got close and at least a couple of terrain pieces were usually quite large but it wasn't quite 12... It meant I had a chance vs o'vesa star with my blood angels!! I still lost 10 nothing, but I had some pretty poor dice rolls at clutch moments. it was always going to be hard, but I never felt I was just being politely walked off the board with no hope.

    Getting good terrain is so important and just seems to be a secondary thought for most people. I think if GW wants people to play the game they intended they should make terrain at a hugely reduced price, just so people can have boards that inspire people to play and actually play the game they created

    1. I agree that terrain is a huge factor and it is also one that is overlooked. Especially the need for tall enough peices to truly block LoS and force maneuver into the game. That is one of the main issues, that armies don't have to maneuver, they can sit and shoot and force someone to walk through their fire. Terrain is very much overpriced and needs to be at a level that makes it easy to buy the amount needed, not just barely enough to play.

  3. I don't really have a big problem with S D weapons in general because I don't run deathstars and most of my units have (cheap) ablative transports that can soak that first hit. The strength D weapons on Knights are even much less offensive, they're close combat S D hits. If you want to avoid being hit by them then just stay out of combat with them! With only AV 13 and 6 HPs any ranged attack that can take out 2 x Predators can take out a Knight. Yes, they have a 4++ but every penetrating result of a '6' is going to strip off d3 additional HPs.

    I really have zero problems with my opponent fielding a Knight (or two, or three) and the models are simply too gorgeous not to allow on the battlefield.

    But then again...I'm playing Marines, not 'Nids. I'm not really sure how they're supposed to deal with them.

    1. if I played 'nids I'd be tempted to just swarm it with cheap units and keep it bogged down.

  4. As far as SH goes the Imperial Knights are not as great as some of the other ones out there. They're awesome models though and I'm sure they'll fly off the shelves when they land, but I'm equally sure super heavies will be banned for certain tournaments and allowed in others, which is how it should be. I understand where the competitive community is coming from: They want to know with certainty that the list they're building and working on will still be as viable against all comers next month as it is today. If that's what the competitive gamers want then TO's should step up and put restrictions because they're the ones who are playing to that particular crowd. But let's be honest, GW isn't interested in that. As Rex put it (in a mildly insulting fashion anyways), GW is interested in the cool factor. They want you to buy the model because it looks awesome and will make a splash in your local store / gaming group when you put it on the table. They could care less if you take that same model to a tournament or not.

  5. They certainly are not the toughest ones out there. They beg the question though "If them, why not others?" I spent the money, the rules are legal, why can't it be used?

    I think there is room for both play styles, but I see a division in the game larger then before. With "tournament" play becoming a completely different game. That really is something that I don't personnally want. I don't beleive there is a need for two different 40k games, but who am I to deny the people that want that style of play.

    Will be interesting to see how things go and if we end up with two different circuits of tournaments or not

    1. Oh, I wouldn't think you could do them and not others, it would need to be a blanket "all superheavies are banned" or not. I do think it makes them more viable in the casual 1500 point game though since they're not super expensive in comparison and don't seem to have game breaking rules.

    2. I agree, its not really fair to ban one and not the other.

    3. I think the simplest way of _limiting_ and not banning SH's is to adopt the system that 30K Horus Heresy does, and frankly I'm stunned GW didn't appropriate, of not allowing more than a percentage of your overall points to be spent on Lords of War.

      In that setting I believe it's no more than a quarter of your points may be spent on Lords of War.

      If this was even raised to no more than a third of your points may be spent on Lords of War I believe that would limit the most disruptive models from dominating the game, Str D or not.

    4. that is a great point. Points ratios are a great way of limiting abuse. I honestly like the ratio system of WFB better than the FoC system currently as it stands.

      That would help limit things, and you can always wave the points ratios in fun games with your buds

  6. Im a liiiiitle bit disappointed they are superheavies (because I wont be able to play them a lot)...but in the end, its IMO OK. I like Escalation and I like change it brings to game.

    Its always on TO. He feels he doesnt like LoW? OK, dont allow them. Did he make LoW playable? Well, my dear *stars, time to rethink your strategy, I would definetly make list answering to LoW (and maybe even leave LoW at home and bring more gardist dakka).

    But for god sake, no whining, NO WHINING that now is sky falling and competetive play is dead. If just mean its dead for current meta which dominated it with boring Taudar, Screamerstar and another equivalents of D weapons.

    Its just...Knights model is really nice...but I have so many FW models to buy already...;)

  7. GG,
    Just found you blog and I have got to say I think it is great. I have been looking around for some tactical articles that are not 12 month plus stale with not much luck. I have played 40k as an IG player since 4th edition. I have not been able to play as much as would like but I am hoping that will change in the future. I agree that it will be a wild ride in the next few months. What bakes my cookie is that I got Escalation for Christmas and bought Stronghold around the same time. Now in a few months I will have to buy a 7th edition rule book probably to the tune of $75 which will have both of those in them. I am also concerned with the rumors that the new IG/AM codex will only have Cadians and Catachans. Everybody else will have new shiny supplements that you will have to purchase to get the cool rules that go with those armies. I have built up over time my army so that I have just about every IG regiment except Vostroyans. So does that mean if I don’t get the Steel Legion supplement that they are in effect counts as Cadians? Fluff wise the IG/AM are more diverse than the Adeptes Astartes. Is the next round of the AA codex just going to have one chapter and then you have to get the supplements for the rest? And why if I buy a digital codex does it cost the same as a hard copy? Did it cost GW to send it out across the internet? Do they have limited number of digital copies in a cloud that they have to pay rent of cloud space for? I guess I have the same issue with the publishing industry as a whole. If I walk into a bookstore and buy a book, I have a hard asset that I can later sell or loan to someone. Yes that book has printing and transportation costs not so digitally.

    1. I am glad you like the blog and glad the advice helps.

      The constant upgrade and buying is a little tedious. But here is how I see it, you put in to the hobby what you want to. None of those are necessary to play a game or to be competetive. Sure some will say oh you need this to win, but 9/10 times that is false. Having a new rule book released so soon afte 6th is kinda shitty, but hey a lot of people also have asked for it. Did you really expect them to do it for free? They should lower their digital prices, they aren't horrible, but a little cheaper and I might buy the other armies and supplements rather than the ones I need. Hopefully it won't get to the point you describe, but nor would it be anything too crazy either.

  8. Normally I'm against superheavies and str D in regular games, but this one seems quite balanced, I wouldn't mind to play against one or two.
    The model is absolutely awesome, the only reason I probably won't buy one is I don't know yet how to convert it to a Nod Avatar warmech.

    The rules are fine by me.
    It takes roughly as much fire as two Ironclad dreads, while being far more expensive.
    If you don't take it head on it's against AV12 (to wound as toughness 8) and a 4+ invul, very close to 2 serpents.
    A wraithknight has said T8, a 3+/5++ and is immune to the 6 on the damage chart, yet no one really fears them.
    As a conclusion - in this case the superheavy is the often demanded bridge between vehicle/walkers and MC, and not even close to a classic Titan.
    It is tougher than a regular walker, but not nearly as resilient as older superheavies like stompas or revenants, rather close to some common, regular codex units (or 2 of them).

    As for the strD outrage, only one of 2 versions has it, and only on his 4 CC attacks, not on 4 pie-plates they can hurl across the board after jetpacking around.
    If someone really can't handle that on a footslogger, well, bad luck.
    Except for the "ignore invul and eternal warrior" part, strD CC attacks are just a random CC MC's attack with instant death, and that has been around for a while...

    1. Well actually both Knights have the Str D Chainsword and 3 A at I 4, plus Stomp attacks for d3 more. The only real difference between the two is the Errant has the Melta Cannon and the Paladin has the Rapid-fire Battlecannon. Oh and one of them only has one Heavy Stubber instead of two.

      But I agree with your assessment that if you can't deal with that then you forgot how to 40K.

  9. This is probably the best article I have read about 40k, and I sums up things and actually helped a lot!

  10. I wholeheartedly agree with this article. I do think one thing needs to be noted, however: Warhammer 40,000 is not meant to be competitive.

    GW has stated time and time again, in damn near every product description, in the main rulebook, and in White Dwarf that they encourage narrative play and for 40k to be played as a sort of “beer and pretzels” game between friends over an evening. Tournaments themselves are a sort of fan adoption to encourage more people to play for prizes (and for FLGS owners to keep people in their store, encouraging them to buy more 40k models while there).

    Don’t get me wrong, I love tournaments, they’re a fun way to get multiple games in on one day and meet new players and the like. But when push comes to shove, competition is less the point of the game than having fun is.