Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WARNING! Contains Necro-Equine Flagellation

Sometimes I just get depressed. You look at the state of the game and see such a clear definition between the “haves’ and the “have nots”.

I’ve been listening to the latest 40kUK podcast where they discuss aspects of the Space Wolves codex – Long Fangs, Wolf priest and SW Scouts – as well as having a round table on Grey Knights and the landscape looks remarkably like Fantasy 2008 (where the rest found it hard to compete with the big four – VC, DoC, DE and Lizards). Unlike Fantasy, GW appears to have the 40k dial fully turned to “turbo” so recent codexes – DE and GK – are competitive with the IG, SW, BA and Tyranids of the world.

This consistency is good because as long as it is continued to end up with everything at the same power level…..eventually.

But what got me depressed was looking at my favoured offspring – the Chaos Space Marines.

Members of the CSM Appreciation League Comfort Their Fallen Mount "Gav Thorpe"

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Charlie and Jack were doing a dissection of Dark elder on the weekend and as a point of reference were reviewing the recently released 2011 ETC lists. I thought that’s not a bad idea and logged on and looked at the Chaos SM ones. What I learned was that I only needed to look at the first….subsequent list views were redundant because for all intents and purposes they were the same. At ETC level at least, all the lists were the same!

Dual Lash Prince, three units of Obliterators, Plague Marines. The only variation was whether you took a minimum-sized unit of combi-melta armed Termies or Khorne Berzerkers. Yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn, yawn.

Then I looked at the participants in the 140 person Wargames-Con 40k tournament run by the guys at BOLS. They showed a graph of the participants’ armies – dominated by SW and BA – and CSM came in at 10th most popular. This is a remarkable change from what occurred throughout 3rd and 4th Edition where despite new codex releases, Chaos Space Marine armies were always the most popular codex after Space Marines. The fact that Space Marines have also fallen in popularity (but not to the same extent) is illustrative of the up-powering of recent codexes – counts-as armies are popular ref: Adepticon – where people feel the need to change armies to remain competitive.

A Hero Will Rise

In the CSM situation, this was compounded by the ludicrous (certainly in terms of sales I contend) decision to remove the Traitor Legions in favour of the liquorice allsorts Chaos Renegades. If you doubt the folly of that decision, I’m interested to know how many Red Corsairs armies you’ve seen on the table recently. It’s quite clear that GW killed a golden goose with the last book and I can only hope for those that do enjoy playing the many armies 3rd/4th allowed, that the situation is rectified early 2012.



  1. Once a month, Pete has "acting like a woman about his codex" problems, that cause him to be a bit cranky, and results in him taking more sick days than his fully-male counterparts.
    What would the ex CEO of the EMA have to say? Oh the shame.

  2. A case of Codex Envy, as opposed to the freudian version maybe?

  3. In time GK, SW, BA and IG will all fall like CSM have of late. Its the natural ebb and flow of the game. As new codices come out older one fall to underhive.

  4. Looking at ETC lists isn't always the best guide for list construction tbh, everything is built to play and exploit the very specific ruleset that the ETC is played under. But yeah the CSM lobotomy was certainly one of the worst things which GW managed to do during the whole minimalist design approach they tried towards the end of 4th (along with the Dark Angels codex). Its not so much that they aren't competitive, its just the character of the army is kinda gone.

    I wouldn't be surprised to find that a decent chunk of the Marine (mostly SW) lists at Wargames/BoLScon were CSM counts as though. It might be frustrating to see people swapping codices all the time, but at least with Marine lists you have that option (unlike Necrons, Tau and Eldar who just have to sit patiently waiting for a new codex).