Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thousand Sons: The New Rules Are Fine, Thank You Very Much


This is broken, that's overcosted, that's underpowered, my dog just ate my hamster.  Seriously...the new rules set is solid and many people will enjoy playing it.

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Yeah, I'm coming out of the gate tough on this.  So much commiseration, so little play time.  Do we really have any idea how the Thousand Sons are going to work after less than 24 hours after the release of Wrath of Magnus?  The answer, my Interweb friends, is clearly NO.

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Let's start with the 800 pound (or 363kg) gorilla in the room...splitting Pink Hairs (I mean Horrors).  Is this truly undercosted?  No.  A few hundred points of "theoretical" free stuff is no more "broken" (I hate how this term is so overused) than War Convocation, Gladius, e.g.  Should we change these rules to "balance" things?  I don't know, should I randomly say that Wraithknights should cost 250pt more than they do, or that Stormsurges should cost 200pts more?  How about banning Supertunas?  That would be fair to the rest of us. I think Coordinated Firepower is overpowered...guess I should just ban that from any future games.  Come on folks.  Even talk of banning splitting is zealous crap.  You would be taking away a fundamental mechanic from a rule set;  that is just WRONG in any universe.  And even if I can create a boat load of new models from the splitting rule, so what?  Just like every other "broken", "unbalanced" or "undercosted" rule/model in 40K, folks will learn to adapt and beat it...or it will move to the top of the tournament meta.   Finally, let's play a few dozen games with 20-30 Pinkies on the board before we go all ape-crap on this.  The footnote on this commentary is the commendable way GDub got on some of the potential shenanigans with a FAQ.
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Next we move on to the "worthless" Rubric Marines and Terminators.  So much Interweb babble about how they are still overcosted.  Here is where I point out something that many 40K players who have never played, or have hated on, Age of Sigmar don't get.  It's something called synergy.  The reason many people enjoy Sigmar is that it is NOT simple.  It is actually a complex game requiring a great deal of decision making.  The other thing that makes it interesting is all of the synergy that can make otherwise mediocre units powerful and useful.  That same concept applies to Rubric units.  If I use the ruleset and the buffs I have available properly, I can get 3++ saves for both Rubric Marines and Terminators.  They also have AP3 weapons.  The Termies can also get two heavy weps (an AP3 autocannon and a cyclone missile launcher) in a 5 model squad.  Help me understand how that sucks.  Do you really believe that paying extra points for 3++ saves is not worth the price?  Not having any decent heavy weapon options for the Marines is a bit problematic...so maybe we need to think out of the box in terms of how we use Rubric Marines.  Maybe they have a different purpose in the game than Tactical Space Marines.

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Magnus is overcosted?  How do you figure that?  I go back to the synergy concept again.  Magnus can do so many things.  He can cast a boat load of gnarly psychic powers, including an 18" D weapon.  He can cast 5 psychic powers a turn (he is Mastery Level 5).  He has a bunch of melee attacks at S8, AP2.  That's bad how?  He has at least a 4++ (and rerolling 1s), probably better.  Any 6s he rolls with his staff in melee creates a Spawn if he kills a model.  I would love to see him jump into a squad of Guard and come out with a couple of new Spawn to play with.  He knows all of the Change powers.  He has Eternal Warrior and It Will Not Die.  About the only thing he doesn't have that a Gargantuan Creature has is those pesky stomp attacks.  He may be overcosted for all of those min/max hypercompetitive players.  But 90% of use are not that.   His models looks awesome, but more importantly, he has a grand assortment of tools to take to the table.  He reminds me of a drunk cowboy, riding around shooting stuff and then hitting it over the head with a rifle butt.  I think we will be seeing much more of him.

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We have not even touched on the formations that may be available.  There is supposedly a formation for the Tzaangors that gives them Fleet, Run & Charge, and a reroll 1s on their 6++ save.  How is that not way better than Cultists, or even Guardsmen for the cost?  I have heard of formations for Horrors, one for Magnus/Fateweaver/Lord of Change, e.g.  There is a new Warp Storm table.  There are more Change/Tzeentch powers than there were before.  One I remember reading regarding a power that gives 2D6 Heavy Bolter-type shots, and if you add 1 or 2 more Warp Charges, it can increase to 3/4D6.  Whoa!  Up to 24 Heavy Bolter shots from a single psychic power?  I'll take one of those for dessert!  So many other toys and gadgets we are just beginning to hear/read about.  What is there not to like here?  Not overpowered enough for you?  Too bad.  Not "point efficient?"  Move on and let the rest of us enjoy the new toys.

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Lastly, who says I can't take a couple of Heldrakes with my shiny new Thousand Sons?  Or some ugly Obliterators?  Maybe while I'm at it, I will use a Heritech power and make those Oblits T5, and include them in a Cult of Destruction that allows them to fire twice in a turn.  Maybe those Rubric Terminators would fit nicely into a Cult of Destruction.  We truly need to think out of the box here...just like we did when KDK and Genestealer Cults arrived.  We have not even begun to explore the different paradigms of the Thousand Sons.  Maybe we should give ourselves some time and room to do so.

I think I have finally decided on my next army...

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