Wednesday 18 April 2018

The big FAQ

A couple days ago Games Workshop dropped the big awaited FAQ for 8th edition. It has seemingly divided the 40k community with some players cursing GW's name while others praise a lot of what was contained within. Some of the arguments online have been quite heated and some people's points of view have had me shaking my head sadly.

So, let's jump into it and see what I thought of it.

I'm still not sure that a change was needed here. It may just be my experiences but I have never seen a game where smite was such an issue. I don't play tournaments so I don't see how players are possibly abusing smite there but for regular games I just don't see it. Even psychic heavy armies I have faced have never thrown so much smite out that it has shown itself to require such a change.

It does seem that some players are more concerned that smite throws out mortal wounds. It may seem a bit of an excuse, but I point out that part of the speeding up of the game under 8th is the increased model death. Mortal wounds are simply a part of that. Every army has some way of throwing out mortal wounds whether it is psychic powers, smite, pestilence, or arcane technology.

What I would have done is simply raise the casting value to 7 or 8 rather than 5. It means that it won't off as much and balances out that you can cast it multiple times in a turn if you have the psykers. That would have been a better way of handling it.

This one works perfectly. I see no problems and I haven't seen any arguments against it.

This is an absolute Godsend. I've always felt that we never received enough command points once our armies gained codex specific stratagems. In my experience most never get used because it is often far better to keep them for re-rolls. 

Some armies have definitely benefited from this change more than others. Astra Militarum mainly but any army that can afford to put out a brigade detachment has a huge boost now. But unless someone comes up with a better way of balancing it I think we are stuck with that minor issue.

This change seems to be the biggest issue that players have of the new FAQ and it must be said that certain builds, such as a dedicated Deathwing list, are going to really hate it. However, I think it is a good change. I still feel that dedicated assault is far better than shooting and a first turn deep strike puts chaos daemons, assault terminators and assault marines...etc, in a perfect position to hammer a players army before it has even had a chance to do anything and then they are either locked in combat or forced to fall back ready to be assaulted the next turn.

I see some arguments that say shooting should have been nerfed on the first turn but lets be honest, most small arms are not going to reach across the table and inflict a lot of casualties on the first turn. Assault could cost a whole unit before it has even done anything. It was a much needed change.

You have to look at it from this point of view - it is a fairness issue. Both players should get a fully played turn. You can bring those deep strike units in on turn 2 or 3. Nothing has really changed.

This was brought in to combat the so called "soup" army lists. I never had a problem with soup lists. When 8th edition first came out with the Index books, this was a perfectly viable way of playing. My Death Guard marched to battle in the same detachment as Plaguebearers. It was very thematic and fluffy. Chaos, Imperial and Aeldari forces would work together in such a list in a realistic sense.

The only problem was that I ever saw, was that Chaos, Imperium and Aeldari had a heck of a lot more options to draw upon. Other armies were stuck with their single small group of units. With that in mind I don't have an issue here. In fact I would rather play against a single codex army anyway.

The final big change was to this table. As you can see it now restricts you to a maximum of number of any given unit, with the exception of Troop choices, based on the size of the game. I guess this was a measure of stopping things like the much hated Dark Reaper spam lists.

Through all the ranting and raving there is something I think a lot of complainers have missed and that is this change is only for organised play unless you and your opponent agree otherwise. 

Something that I have tried to explain, fruitlessly, online to people is that 8th edition is a living game system now. It will take a while but Games Workshop are using these FAQ's and Chapter Approved to continually work at balancing the game and codex books. Communicating online in ways unprecedented from Games Workshop in the past and looking at home games are being played, even if mostly from the tournament scene, they are trying to sort out issues. We shouldn't be complaining.

The other thing to bare in mind, especially with frequent changes to points costs, is that it keeps the game evolving. It prevents things from becoming static. If a change to points makes a unit too expensive for you, it's making you change and adapt your lists to field something new or different.

So, as it stands, I think the big FAQ is a big step in the right direction.


  1. I agree with Smite. Increasing it from 5 to 7 makes it less reliable and thus less rewarding to spam.
    I’m looking forward to taking more troops too!
    There’ll be more tweaks as we go. Hopefully next time they’ll see what they can do with first turn advantage. I agree that this process is good, with regular tweaks as we go. There’ll be ups and downs. We’ll see our favourite models get stronger or weaker. Let’s just enjoy the ride!

  2. I'll throw my 2pence worth in here;
    Smite - I think this is a good move. Raising the cost will make it harder to cast but also hurt armies that don't have other ways to dish out mortal wounds but adding the +1 means that it is only harder for those spamming smite.
    Characters - a good change
    Detachments - a good move but I still think patrol detachments should have been given CP's even if only 1. Although my 1000ppoint guard list is now a 17cp list and my 1500point list is 22cp's.
    Reserves - yes it will stop alpha strike armies, but I think it goes too far. Only being able to drop in your own half would have been better, as it still enables 1st turn assaults but at quite a risk. The whole inclusion of power points is understandable but I think it should have been an either\or situation not both restrictions.
    Battle brothers - rather than get rid of those keywords, I think removing the battle forged part and\or stratagems would have been better. Making the risk\reward issue greater.
    The table - granted it's only for tournament play but it seems over kill with all the other changes. Plus there are a few issues with it, namely vehicle squadrons, I may only be able to field 3 leman Russ data sheets but I can take 3 Russ per sheet, for 9 Russ chassis's on the table.


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