Since firing their rubbish CEO in 2016, Games Workshop has learned that the internet exists, and it is a good conduit to communicate with the playerbase.
One of the things GWHQ immediately learned was that their wargame was fucked, and that players didn't want to force themselves to experience broken garbage. Or, "broken" (not really) "garbage" (perfectly fine, but annoying to deal with.)
So, eventually, after launching 8th edition, GW endeavoured to periodically revisit their flagship wargame with updates to try and deal with some of the more problematic parts of the game.
Why am I mentioning this, when they've been doing it for years? To pad wordcount, of course. Now shut up and sit down, so we can discuss the latest round of changes to 10th edition.
I'll preface this entire post-pad article by saying that I thought the game was in a very healthy place. For a number of reasons, I am very much enjoying 10th edition. I like the "simplified, not simple" marketing speak, and list building, whilst boring, is very easy to navigate for new and veteran players alike.
After the last round of changes, which were quite sweeping in their changes to the game, everything seems to have settled down. There were clearly good and great factions, but most of the other factions haven't struggled to put something competent on the table.
Except for Dark Eldar. More on that... right now!
A New (Hope) Detachment
Dark Eldar have been paying off the sins of 9th edition (apparently, I never played against them in 9th) by being absolute shit in 10th. They have consistently boasted one of the lowest win rates across all factions and have never really stepped outside of the basement.
GW has attempted to change all that with some minor points tweaks, a change to what units an Archon can join, and with a brand spanking new detachment - Skysplinter Assault.
Here's the Goonhammer article about it. I have no idea what it does, only that it has good reviews.
Folks seem pretty enthusiastic about the new detachment locally, and more generally there's hope that it will lead Dark Eldar out of the basement, but maybe not to the top tables.
There's plenty of room on table 500, gents (and ladies).
Eldar, we hardly knew ye... maybe?
In yet another round of nerfs to the pointy ears, Games Workshop has really turned up the heat on the Space Elves. Let's count the ways:
-Fate dice have been halved, from twelve dice, to six.
-Fate's Messenger (an Eldar enhancement that lets you fix a dice) can only be used by the character it's equipped on.
-Phantasm now moves D6" instead of 7"
-Night Spinner gun (Doomweaver) no longer blocks advances, still reduces all movement by 2".
-The Yncarne (hereby referred to as "The Avatar of Chilli Con Carne") can no longer teleport on your opponent's turn.
-Points increases to Night Spinners and Wraithguard. Spinners are now 210 points, the same price as a Redemptor Dreadnought.
Woah, nelly, that's a lot of nerfs. My local correspondent has informed me that he doesn't expect much to change.
Night Spinners are still good, the Yncarne can still charge by having a unit of Warp Spiders killed through Overwatch, and because Wraithguard were the only good unit for Phantasm, who have copped another points increase, it's likely we'll see them dropped for poor form. Particularly as the Wraithguard's attached Spiritseer can't guarantee free wounds with Fate's Messenger anymore.
Is still quite good on a Death Jester, though, for those who have the model.
Chaos Space Marines had risen to the top of the pile in recent months, winning the World Championships of Warhammer and generally being good. This was primarily through a series of lists I'm calling "Forgefiend and Friends".
It's just three Forgefiends plus other stuff. Obliterators, Chosen Chaos Space Marines, sometimes Dark Communes, a whole bunch of stuff that can come in and out.
The big nerf I'm keen for is Dark Obscuration increasing from 12" to 18". It still won't help you when you're trying to snipe out Forgefiends from the back of the board, but it does make positioning easier to not try and get within 12". Eradicators love this change, and Inceptors aren't far behind.
Elsewhere, troops can no longer embark on Rhinos not aligned with their god. If you want your precious Nurgle Rhino, you'd better be putting Nurgle troops in it. Previously, goofy stuff like Emperor's Children or Khorne Chosen led by a Chaos Lord were being transported by Nurgle Rhinos, to take advantage of Dark Obscuration (see above.)
Now, no longer.
Otherwise, Forgefiends got more expensive, and you can't hand Undivided Forgefiends full rerolls - only wounds. Forgefiends dedicated to Nurgle will still dole out the harshness and prove slippery thanks to Dark Obscuration, though - because taking everything good about Chaos Space Marines would just be wrong. Instead, they'll just take most of the good things in the book.
Overall, Kay-oss is worse, but still good. Good, not great.
Vanguard Spearhead Wins Uprising, Gets Nerfed Next Day
Thanks to John Lennon (no, not that one. Or, maybe, yes, that one. You'll have to imagine which one I'm referring to), the premier Space Marine list has been the brutally efficient Vanguard Spearhead list featuring Uriel Ventris, Marneus Calgar, Aggressors, Centurions, Inceptors, and a bunch of stuff in between.
It won uprising, much to my chagrin, because Brodie Middleton defeated ACT 40k's own Rowan Kennett (otherwise known as Apex Rowan) with the same (or similar) list.
Games Workshop have taken a dim view of the list, and handed out various nerfs that have spiked the cost of the list about 200 points. Normally, given my love of Space Marines and hatred of all other factions, this would make me mad. But it nearly won WCW, it's won Uprising - it's had its day in the sun, and it cucked the ACT out an Uprising trophy.
Time to hit the pine.
There's a bunch of other ticky-tack points increases (Whirlwinds going up to 180, which is 40 more than a Ballistus) but none of them seem unjustified. They don't make me particularly sad, either, but might push Space Marines toward table 501 instead of table 499. A number of other factions have had it much worse this go-around, so I think we're cool.
Custards Get Thicc
The changes to Dev Wounds getting around Adeptus Custodes' feel no pain was met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Games Workshop has seen fit to restore the feel no pain, in addition to granting minor cost decreases, which equate to an extra model or so.
Considering most other armies close to Custodes jumped in cost, whilst they got cheaper and better, you'd have to be happy if you play the glorious golden jerks.
...and the rest!
There's a bunch of other boring stuff in this round of updates. World Eaters got a little bit worse, in particular the Master of Executions lost the ability to dole out anywhere from 3 to 20 mortal wounds in a turn (damn shame).
Imperial Knights had their army ability buffed to help with consistency, and copped some points drops - though not enough to fit in another Armiger, so, whatever - and Chaos Knights got mostly cheaper except for one of the War Dog variants, because apparently the best way to play an army called "Chaos Knights" is not to play any Chaos Knights.
I dunno, I hate both of those factions, so, meh.
Grey Knights also had some small improvements to Dreadknights - Psycannons gained a point of AP, Ignore Cover, and the Greatsword finally hits on 2s. And the Librarian is 10 points more expensive.
Overall, the game was in a good place beforehand, and I think this change has reined in some of the folks and the tippy-top (except Necrons) and helped out most folks in the basement (except AdMech).
I would expect the game to continue to be in a good place, and I'm very excited to see what the next "season" of 40k brings. Though, if it brings in the periodic changes to the game that you need to pay for, I'll be sure to write how much I hate GW, and think that selling a $40 book with points updates is fucked up.
Catch you next time,
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