Friday saw the release of the 2nd big FAQ of the year for Warhammer 40k. Now that the dust has settled it seems the response has to it has been quite mixed.
Before we go any further, it is important to recognise the fact that the game is being monitored and updated on a regular basis is a good thing. A couple of years ago this was not the case, with broken (or exploited) mechanics remaining that way for years!
Soup is (still) off the menu
This is a controversial subject. Some camps feel that it has never been off the menu and to be fair you do see some powerful army combos on the tabletop. The one that keeps popping up at the moment is the Imperial Guard Blood Angel force. Another point to consider though is that they are both Imperium armies, so I personally don’t think that it’s a problem. It makes sense to see armies within factions working together, its often that way in the lore. Not only that, but it increases the amount of force variety you can field making it much more interesting to play. One of my dislikes of AOS is the new factions which feel like they have barely any units in them, it gets old fielding or playing against the exact same army. Variety is the spice of life after all.
The problem is more that there are unintentional combos that are being exploited, instead of having allies being broken. Battle Brothers is a good rule, having allies is interesting for the player and no doubt profitable for GW (more models and books). This rule stops any of the craziness from 7th edition and feels realistic.
This one was always a bit strange to me, and was one of the mechanics that could ruin the game for you or your opponent. My intention is always for both players to have fun. If I am crushing my opponent they are usually not having a fun time, and because of this neither am I. We all like to win, but I don’t like it to be too easy. As such, I like the change that has been made with this sentence summing it up perfectly from the FAQ.
“they are reserves that arrive to reinforce your army mid-battle, not reinforce it before your opponent has had a chance to move any of their own models”
With your reserves only able to enter the battle on the 2nd and 3rd round it makes more sense from a lore and gameplay perspective. It also means you have much more chance of being able to use most of your army before it is destroyed and removed from the table. That makes for a much more enjoyable experience.
New Beta Matched Play Rules
The Big FAQ 2 has added a couple of beta rules to the game for the community to try out, both of which look good at first glance. We will have to see how they play out.
The first is a 2CP stratagem called Prepared Positions giving everything in your army cover if you go 2nd on the first turn. This is a great change as the advantage of going first and unloading all your firepower is significant. The change to reserves has helped mitigate the effect so in combination with this stratagem you now stand a much better chance in the game if you go second. Totally worth 2CP in my opinion, unless you are up against an army that ignores cover of course.
The second rule is a change to the abilities that allow your army to regenerate command points. The aforementioned guard/blood angel combo was bad for this which was part of its strength (in addition to having a ridiculous amount to begin with). There are abilities that allow you to roll when both you and your opponent spend CP, resulting in games where you could regenerate more points than you started with. This new rule Tactical Restraint limits that to one per battle round which is a big change. It will still be a useful ability to have but now you can only regenerate a maximum of 7 if the game goes the full length. This will hopefully make some other abilities/traits feasible and change the game a little.
Finally, we are going to look at some of the stratagem cost changes. Imperial Knights are still quite fresh so a few increases make sense. The Blood Angels one however is a bit of a sore one. I believe this may be in response to the dreaded combo they have been featured in and an attempt to limit its strength. The problem is this hurts pure Blood Angel players. No Space marine army is currently competitive on its own so this will just hurt them even more.
The last stratagem change is for Agents of Vect, going from 3 to 4CP. This is another sore one and a bit steep in my opinion as it was already expensive. It is powerful as it allows you to cancel your opponents stratagem if you don’t want it to go off, but unless you roll a 6 they are just refunded their command points and can use them next turn or for something else. The other change mean you can’t even use it if there are no units from the Kabal of the Black Heart on the board. This is a little restrictive but makes sense lore wise, why should you be able to use an ability named after Vect if none of his army is on the board.
And that’s it, overall a few good changes but a few of what feels like knee jerk reactions. The only bonus is that all these changes are constantly under scrutiny and may be changed again in another few months.
What do you think? A successful Big FAQ or are there some things that you aren’t happy with. Let us know below.