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Remove specialty armies? Discuss - 2007/02/03 13:32 So I was having a talk with Callandor yesterday and I had a revelation about 40k and it's balance issues. Specifically, it seems to me that, at least as far as 4th edition is concerned, GW might not be doing as much work balancing things as they could be. Specifically they have balanced the game for each of the armies in the game based of their standard codex army list. However, they are not taking steps to balance armies that are "specialty" or have their own sub-codex.

I'll offer up my own army, the Blood Angels, as an example. The 4th ed Codex Space Marines strikes me personally as a very fair book. It gives the Space Marine player the ability to specialize their forces for a role if they want, but they must do so at the cost of either points and/or unit restrictions if they use the Traits system. If you take a look at the rules for the Raven Guard, the result is actually quite close to Blood Angels army: they can give almost everything furious charge, and they can take assault units as elites AND fast attacks. However their vehicles become restricted, forcing them to not take Predator Annihilators or Land Raider Crusaders at all, and making many other awesome Space Marine vehicles 0-1.

Meanwhile, my army gets both of those benefits but none of the draw backs. Our furious charge is on every model and is free. Our vehicles are no more restricted than any other armies save that our dreadnoughts are heavy support, but even then we are given two new exclusive vehicles, the Elite Choice Furioso Dread and the Heavy support Baal Predator to counter that particular issue. To top it off we get this sick mod to our chaplain that gives us a bodyguard unit that is almost Khorne Berzerkers on jumpjets, which admiringly is probably tied with that bodyguard the Raven Guard special character can take, but I don't generally play with special characters.

The Blood Angels are not the only ones who do this either. Many armies are able to violate force organization chart as an option, doing it only against armies it is adventitious to do so against. The Dark Angels are an example of this, as are some of the old Craftworld Eldar armies (may they rest in peace). The Chaos Armies perform a similar act, giving units that should be restricted universal access to the player, making their forces difficult to dominate.

Some of these armies do come with a reasonable balance to them. A pure Grey Knights army for example lacks enough anti-vehicle in it in order to face certain foes and really needs to be attached to either Marines or IG in order to win in a tournament. However, I find these are more the exception than the rule.

Despite this obvious balance issue, I know that GW will never get rid of these armies. Their monetary foundation at this point is strongly based upon some of these franchises, especially for the Chaos Players. Making a motion to remove Legion-Armies from the game will only infuriate and cause many Chaos Players to quit. And even when these armies are horribly overpowered, they often come with stories that are a vital part of the game's lore and can't be removed.

However I look towards the new Eldar codex as a sign of hope. This codex does away with the Craftworld armies, but does so in a fashion that only two of the armies from that time are "screwed," and even then the purchase of one, maybe two boxes of guardians is all it will take to make their army viable again, and in such a case, said army is far more fair (as much as I loved them, I will admit Biel-tan was very very wrong).

So as the Dark Angels 4th ed codex looms over the horizon I grip myself with hope and fear: Hope that GW will do the right thing and start brining this old specialty armies back into the balance with the rest of 4thed 40k, while at the same time fearing the potential nerf my army will take when my codex comes... because while I hate to admit it... my army needs it.
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Remove specialty armies? Discuss
Vergil 2007/02/03 13:32
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