Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Escalation and Feast of Blades


While, I'm still excited about this supplement (it's not an expansion), I do share many of the internet fears regarding this somewhat dynamic change to the game but ultimately the biggest downer (and game changer) from the rules is D-weapons. They are simply too powerful. Even reducing them to Str 10 AP 1 would have made them acceptable. For those who haven't seen Frontline Gaming's battle report with an Eldar Revenant Titan, check out this link: Welcome to the new 6th Edition! It's not good.

Shown: Pointy Eared, Arrogant Win

If anything, this proves a suspicion I've had for some time that GW has no interest in creating internal balance with their game. I completely understand why mind you. Their current formula must be amazing for them. Print amazing rules for new and updated models = Profit. The problem is that this could potentially kill the game long term as it has to potential ruin tournament play. Already you can watch major tournament reports and see the list from each major (i.e. recent) codex being the major players.

It's largely up to the tournaments themselves to correct this. Previously, with groups like ETC, I've been against this but the Feast of Blades just gave a basic rundown of the balancing act they intent to pull over at 3++. Lets take a look.

1.) The Grimoire of True Names from Codex: Daemons is banned
MY TAKE: So far this is the only outright ban they've suggested and I kinda, hesitantly, agree with it. This item plays strongly into every broken Daemon list out there and removing it stops Screamerstar right in it's icky tentacled tracks. As long as Feast of Blades keeps the banned list small and focused I'm ok with it. Players will be forced to adapt.
2.) A few units will receive 0-1 status
MY TAKE: This worries me more than banned items. I understand that Wraithknight or Ripetide spam is terrifying. At the same time the player payed good money for models, bothered to paint them, and should be allowed to use them. Perhaps a better balance would be 0-2 limitations?
3.) Supplemental Codecies will no longer be able to ally to their base codex
MY TAKE: YES YES YES!!!! I feel the same way about codices getting to ally with themselves (I'm looking at your Space Marines.) This is just a sick, problematic way of getting to spam things like four Helldrakes (Chaos Mariens + Black Legion), eight scoring grav bike units (Space Marines + Space Marines), or any extra eldar slot (Eldar + Iyanden.) This list building tactic wouldn't irritate me so much if it wasn't for the fact that the game already has a mechanic for expanding upon what you can already take (dbl. FOC at 2k.) Did players really need more access to their own codex?
4.) Dataslates will take an ally slot
MY TAKE: YES YES maybe...I like the dataslates. Really I do.The Tau one is neat and semi-fluffy. Bela'kor is great to see in 40k and an added bit of fluff as a counter point to Abaddon. At the same time, getting to take Tau in Codex: (insert Tau Battle Brother here) without using up your ally slot is a bit messed up. It adds to my feelings on point 3 as well. Part of playing 40k is playing within the limitations of both points and the FOC. I like the FOC (even if it does stop me from taking 12 Russes.) All of these Inquisitorial detachments, Formations, and other expected releases just mean that GW is willing to trade the balance of the FOC for more sales. Touche' CW, touche'.
5.) The number of psychic mastery levels in an army will be limited
MY TAKE: Ok, it would depend on just how limited they want this to be. Some armies (1K Sons, Tzeentch Daemons, Eldar, etc.) rely on Psykers to really build strong lists and limiting them arbitrarily would be bad imo. Well have to wait and see for more info though.
6.) Strength D is out, Lords of Battle are in
MY TAKE: Yes please. I cannot agree with this more. Lords of Battle without D-Weapons are not broken. D-Weapons are. This fixes the problem and lets me field a Baneblade. Thanks Feast of Blades.
7.) Super-forts are gone, or at least downsized
MY TAKE: AV15, and this is coming from an AV person, is dumb. GW messed up. Thankfully the chain fortifications aren't that good or are too expensive so people shouldn't miss them too much.
8.) Dedicated transport flyers will be limited
MY TAKE: This, like point 5, needs more details. Do IG only get one Vedetta? Necrons limited to 2 Night Scythes? Draconian restrictions are just as game changing (and codex damaging) as the flying circus armies themselves. Hopefully a measure of restraint will prevail.

Overall, I think that the Feast of Blades restrictions are a lot more balanced, even with my less liked points, than GW 40k. I personally will be encouraging my FLGS to adopt these rules for tournaments. I think you should do the same. GW won't fix this problem themselves so it is becoming time for fans to take control of their hobby and do it themselves.

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