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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Forge World in Tournaments: Yea or Nay?

What say you?

More specifically, what do you think about allowing Forge World lists into GW tournaments? Good idea? Bad idea? If bad idea, is it due to balance or lack thereof? Are there truly balance issues with Forge World armies against normal Codex lists? If so, can you give some specific examples?

Kirbs bullied me into sending you this. It's supposed to be an article on the Three Plus Plus.

Thanks for your time,

Katie D

Kirby, didn't your mom ever tell you not to bully the girls? :P Australia says no.

If you've read my reviews of the Imperial Armor (I'm sorry Armour) lists so far, you probably have an inkling of my opinion on Forge World: even more so than Games Workshop they are a model company and make no attempt to make balanced rules for their models. However, they usually err on the side of caution, which is good, so very few of their lists or units are unbalanced. However, there are a few things you probably shouldn't allow:

1. Flyers of all types

Flying units drastically change the balance of the game because they can only be hit on sixes; this means that the normal pricing of weapons based on Ballistic Skill is no longer valid. Lootas skyrocket in value, yet somehow Devastators are worthless. Moreover, the interaction of flyers, contesting/scoring objectives, and blocking movement is a very weird one and is best left to nonsense like the Adepticon Gladiator event.

2. Superheavies of all types

I probably shouldn't even need to say this, but to be clear: superheavy vehicles are not good for the game. Not because there is anything particularly wrong with the rules for superheavies- indeed, the structure point system is a reasonable look into how 40K might better handle destroying vehicles in future editions- but rather because most of them mount weapons intended for Apocalypse games, which means Destroyer guns or 7"/10" blasts. 40K isn't really designed to handle these kind of attacks, especially Destroyer, which utterly changes the way the game works. There are a small number of superheavies that don't have either of these weapons, like the Malcador, but the rare exceptions generally aren't worth worrying about. If you are desperate to use them, it might be worth petitioning your local TO.

3. Chimera Autocannons

Stelek went over this one in one of his articles already, but we can explain here as well: as it stands, Chimeras are normally Multilaser/Heavy Flamer because this gives you a gun to harass people with when you move and a weapon for clearing out infantry when they get in close. Adding an Autocannon turret option (for only 5pts, no less) lets you set up AC/HB, cram more long-range guns onto the squad inside, and simply sit back on the board edge, confident in knowing that the enemy has to cross at LEAST 36" of ground to get to you, being hammered by shooting all the while. How is this different from now? Range. Autocannons are 48", which lets you reach out that extra distance and nail people right away; this is important. It stops them from sitting at 48" themselves and trying to trade firepower (which many Marine armies are capable of doing) with your other guns.
(The Razorback Multimelta turret is something I've looked at, as another source of Multimeltas easily available in troop and other slots is nice, but I don't feel it has the same sort of potential to shift the army's strategy.)

4. Lucius Drop Pods

I... I don't even know what they were thinking with these. They allow turn 1 assaults with Dreadnoughts, which are already reasonably strong units and very tough to kill in melee for anyone except Tyranids. By denying the enemy any chance to shoot at them, and especially by denying Meltaguns their firing window, you are giving them a ridiculous boost. Not only that, but a nigh-unstoppable assault is simply not a fair tactic; the game is balanced to have assaulting be slower, but more powerful once you manage it. This totally overturns that balance.

5. Hades Breaching Drill

Is the Drill overpowered? I'm not entirely convinced; on the one hand, it is a S10 Melta weapon that pops out and ruins your day with bullshit exceptions to lots of rules. On the other hand, it's not terribly reliable. However, it also removes terrain features, which is something that you aren't supposed to be doing in normal 40K- clipping the edge of a building and suddenly having a 8" x 14" section of board be cleared out seems ridiculous to me. Better not to go into that realm.

Most everything else Forge World makes is sufficiently overcosted/underpowered that it isn't relevant. Undoubtedly some of you are wondering about some of the other inclusions that didn't make this list.

1. Land Raider Ares

Yeah, it's big and super-tough. It's also a ridiculous number of points and can be stopped just like any other Raider by parking another vehicle right in front of it. Oh, you spent 700+ pts on it and the squad inside and the special character attached to them? Too damn bad, my 35pt Rhino is making you useless. Just like the Monolith, this is an example of a vehicle that is totally invulnerable and unkillable and still irrelevant because it doesn't actually do anything.

2. Caestus Assault Ram

A more differenter Stormraven. Yeah, it's got that cutesy Melta cannon on it, but so what? Stormravens have a Multimelta, too. While it won't come crashing down to Autocannons the way a SR will, it's still very fragile for the points you're paying and a couple good Lascannon/Railgun/Dark Lance shots should bring it crashing down, along with its expensive, expensive payload.

3. All of the special characters, including Severin Lolth

They cost a million points. Most of them don't do anything. Yeah, okay, Sevvy and his 2++ is nice, but given that he's not exactly a combat powerhouse on his own and doesn't bring all that many army-changing abilities to the table, it's really not that big a deal. Librarians can already get a 2+/3++ for way, way fewer points, so I'm just not that impressed.

So if you really, really want to use those expensive Forge World toys in games, I suppose you can. There's not much point to it, but you can. The various FW army lists are also not particularly amazing, although some of them are at least playable. I would suggest consulting with your local group of peers before moving to do so, as warhams tend to be pretty whiny about... everything, really.

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