Sunday, August 5, 2012

Which Forgeworld models are OP?

Forgeworld: Yay or Nay?

I'm not a huge Forge World fan as most of you know already, but all this talk about FW becoming official has got me thinking.  By official, I mean that the stuff FW puts out will be allowed in tournaments and can be taken whenever just like a normal codex option.  Also, the lack of anti-air has a lot of people looking towards FW as possible options.

Before we continue down this path, I want to touch upon my biggest fear about FW models.  I'm all for player options, but I'm not for adding more imbalanced units.  From what I can see, FW does put out a lot of stuff that's fair, but they also put out stuff that's really powerful.  Even more questionable, the units available for the Imperial armies far outweigh the Xenos armies in both power and availability.

With that said, which FW units are considered overpowered?
Should there be a ban list?
If so, who gets to make these decisions, and when does it stop?
Should we start banning Codex units too?
Looks like we're back to permission only again.


Atrotos said...

There are no Forgeworld units, none whatsoever, that match the efficiency and power of the most widely recognized GW "power units." FW did not release the Vendetta, or Psychotroke grenades, or scoring Nobs, or Psybolt ammunition, or the Night Scythe etc.

That said there are FW units that are competitive - the ones you refer to as "really powerful." The Hades drill, the Vulture, the Achilles (against some opponents), the Warp Hunter, the Reaper, Autocannon chimera. The Corsairs army list is also very good. These units are a positive addition to the game for the variety they bring to the competitive circuit where the same lists tend to crop up. You'll note I have not added the Lucius Drop Pod because I do not feel it would be included in many competitive lists. It's not fun to play against but its too easy to counter from what I've seen to be worth the Fast Attack slot and the 60 points; it's a hold-over from previous editions where walkers were junk.

You mentioned that the Imperials seem to get more options than any other faction. Well the books are called "Imperial Armour" and the Imperials do receive more units than any other race. However, the impact these extra units have on the game is less significant than the xenos and traitor entries. Exactly because the non-Imperials are given less options by GW the new units that FW make are that much more important. For example: The Warp Hunter and the Hornet catapult the Eldar codex from a low/mid tier to a mid/high tier. Just two extra units can give a long time Eldar fan the tools he needs to compete on even footing with his Imperial friends.

Moreover the extra army lists broaden the game's horizons so that players can enjoy a more unique force, differentiating themselves from everyone else. Even though most lists are Imperial it still means you get to play against a new strategy, new army list.

For a new player, the addition of so many lesser known units to the game can be daunting but a veteran gamer such as yourself will recognize the need for new units - especially AA capable units such as those in Imperial Aeronautica.

Lemenhead said...

Couldn't agree more with Atrotos. I've played against a fair bit of FW models and never faced anything as OP as the normal Codex units from Wolves, Grey Knights and now Necrons. Yes, there are some gimmicky things like the Lifta-Droppa but for the most part I think FW units are actually OVER-COSTED for what they do. I'm a Chaos player, so I was (am) excited about taking Chaos Contemptor Dreads (cause they don't flip out). While they are much much better than the other Dread, and kick out a fair bit of firepower, they also clock in at almost 200 pts each. That's pretty expensive for a Walker in any army. Bring on the FW, I dont think it will have much of an impact, especially now that with Allies you never what your opponent will have anyway. Unless he's a Nid player...

ColKg said...

I only have a few forgeworld models and most of those are the upgrade kits to imperial guard tanks. I think many people fear forge world models because of the "rich boy" stigma. The idea that you can load your army down with forge world models for an instant win. I have no problem playing against someone with any type forge world model but I am not a competitive tournament player either. I also think the forge world models make for more characterful armies that break out from the standard builds most people field and can revitalize an army that you may have become bored playing. I like the idea of a player with a dialed in tournament list having to scramble to counter a seldom fielded forge world unit.


FailureNecron said...

I don't know about overpowered, but I think Librarian Sevrin Loth actually offends me.

Phase_Assassin said...

Just look at the new rules for the Necron Pylons. Problem, Imperium?

HERO said...

Very good post Atrotos.

I agree that more player options is better, but I would like to know your opinions on the competitive FW options. I also agree GW is just as capable of putting out imbalanced units, SCs or wargear. It would be fantastic (like you said) that if FW models were incorporated into tournaments, they would bump lower-tier armies like Eldar, up to par with other higher tier armies.

However, I would like your opinion on 2 things:

Which FW models/units are considered really competitive, and why? I've looked at the Achilles, Caestus, Storm Eagle and Rapiers and thought they were really strong, but you brought up completely new ones.

And second, what is the ratio of these units from an Imperial vs. Xenos standpoint?

Thanks a bunch, and great response.

David McGrath said...

Does any FW models help Tyranids?

Atrotos said...

Most of the FW stuff for Tyranids was incorporated into the main Codex. They have very few new FW units.

Hedzer said...

As Atrotos said: FW have close to 0 competitive options. This blog entry was written because of fear but there is nothing to be scared of:)

HERO said...

Do not confuse the pursuit of knowledge with the fear of the unknown. Second, Atrotos didn't say that at all. He presented his case with examples, used logical and factual support in the defense of Forge World, and most importantly answered my questions in a easy to read and concise manner. If you would take the time to fucking read, you would have realize that. Don't post again unless you have something intelligent to say.

HERO said...

Thank you yet again with your excellent summary. Like you said above, there is some noticeable offenses in the FW armory, most notably units that have what I call, hard counters (Achilles in some cases, Caestus w/o Vendettas). Some of the units you mentioned don't really have counters (such as the Drill), and some of the units are just capable of being abused to the max (such as the unrestricted FNP bubbles).

I agree that there is a lot of interesting options in FW that can expand player list diversity. This is one of the biggest draws of FW and one of the reasons I've been looking at the Deimos pattern Predator with the Plasma Destroyer. It looks fair-costed, and maybe even bad for the points because of the new Overheat rules. Regardless, I think the model is stunning and I'm thinking about picking one up. It looks nice, it's fun and it's just a model I would like to play with regardless of whether or not it's competitive at all.

However, in terms of tournaments sanctioning the use of FW models, how do you think this will affect the metagame? Atlhough the meta will change, will it change for the better? I mean, look at Magic the Gathering. WotC created a new format a few years ago called Modern, which is basically Type 2 Standard expanded with a few more sets. The goal was to expand the playing field and increase the number of viable cards from a few, to many. It's comparable to normal 40K tournaments and adding FW models into the mix. The problem, however, is that after a few months of tournaments, the meta turned into the same top8 lists that Standard had. What they originally thought was going to be multiple viable decks being played across thousands of different cards, turned into the same decks placing time and time ago, with very little variation in deck construction. Although it gave the meta a breath of fresh air, it turned into T2 2.0 (so basically, an unpopular version of T2 to begin with).

This is the problem I see with FW being added into the mix. The breath of fresh air would be great, but at the end of the day, the same old lists will turn up in the tournaments. The fact that hard counters also exist (resulting incredibly frustrating matchups), GW's unwillingless to just say "FW is allowed in all games of 40K", and the different opinions people have over the FW system (some in fear, some in ignorance, some in the know) forms a wall for Forge World's success.

I think FW's demographic has always been the fluffy, models before rules players. It was not to be considered serious and thus, some of the rules weren't written to be. Like you pointed out about the Hornet and the Warpstalker (which I've been eye hungrily with my DE), only some models were ever designed for competitive gamers. With the shift of 6th Ed. into a more "cinematic" and fluffy approach, I would indeed like to see FW more on the table. However, the competitive gamer in me have to always question how balance can be achieved, and whether or not it'll be a fair game when someone with FW puts models on the table vs. someone who doesn't. Of course, having someone put a Caestus on the table and them saying Vendettas are the counter is also a problem if you can't take IG as allies.

Anon said...

Malanthrope has some fun rules that add preferred enemy to friendlies in synapse range, but only after the malanthrope kills an enemy in assault. It's also an HQ, which adds some fun variety to army building.

taipan567 said...

In theory, tournament organisers have nothing to fear by allowing all '40k' stamped IA units (remember, the insane Apoc stuff like Titans would still be barred).

In practise, its down the biases and prejudices of the individual tournament organisers. Some of them might take the long view ('well, GW is legitimising this stuff now, so might as well'), others may revert to 4th edition gut instinct ('not much official support, barely used, can't know if unbalancing, safer just to not allow it').

For the record, there is only one unit I consider to be unbalancing for certain matchups. Its the Contemptor Mortis. For 215pts, you get an AV13 walker with 12 assault cannon shots and a cyclone missile launcher, and he gets Skyfire when standing still. On top of that, he has a 5+ invul against shooting. He's available to Templars, Dark Angels and generic Marines. Even Vendettas do not want CML kraks in their face, on top of the Icarus lascannon people already take. It gets even worse if they stay in Flyer mode, as they have to move closer to drop their cargo but moving closer means they get into assault cannon range.

Cursed13 said...

The Deimos Pattern Predator Executioner just has an Executioner Plasma Cannon, just like the Leman Russ Executioner, even if it's called a Plasma Destroyer. Also, you seem to have not noticed the fact that the Executioner Plasma Cannon and the Plasma Destroyer doesn't have the Gets Hot special rule, so it does not overheat and explode your tank. I know, I've checked the reference in the back of the Rulebook, the Imperial Guard codex and the Forge World datasheet. I find it silly to dislike the Forge World units simply out of fear of the unknown. Forge World units are simply fun, I really can't think of anything that's all that overpowered at all and they add something interesting to the game. Personally I'd rather see more Forge World units being played rather than the same old spammed units, especially since everyone seems to play Space Marines and the same sort of Lysander/Vulkan lists.

Cursed13 said...

I'd like to point out in Loth's Armour of Seltek special rules, the armour's invulnerable save couldn't be stopped by anything to begin with, so even though hoods can stop it even less, it still means that Wolf Talismans don't have an effect on it.

HERO said...

But Skull of Thrones, one of GW's remaining "GT" class tournaments disallows Forge World. How can TOs get behind something they themselves avoid?

Atrotos said...

Not sure what your point is… aren't we saying the same thing? You could attempt to stop the psychic power that granted the save with a psychic hood and now you can't.

Atrotos said...

Well you've raised a lot of good points. The sad thing is that many of them don't have solutions at the moment. The hyper-competitive players will always streamline the meta to some extent. I cannot fathom why GW does not support the FW range with a decree of "offcialdom." I can't tell if both FW and GW are unwilling to design their units properly (for fear of making the game less "cinematic") or just laughably lazy and incompetent.

It is the destiny of all popular games to have flaws that the community is united in griping about - 40k is no different. That said some of the topics you brought up are manageable.

The vast majority of 40k players still follow the "rule of cool" as much as they possibly can. They are like you in that they have models and fluff that they like (Deimos Predator) and wish to include them in their army. Not all of these models are top tier but most are useable and even the fact that they are not super efficient can lend them a kind of prestige. Where the system fails is when a great model has completely unusable rules which wrongly punishes those that try to include it.

What I'm getting at is that people may theorize about how powerful a unit is but since toy soldiers are expensive most will go with what they think is neat (and is at least serviceable in-game) over a model that just kicks ass but also looks like ass. This will help moderate casual play even if tournaments remain a crap shoot.

For competitive events not everyone can afford to switch to their "hardcore" army lists. Some builds require a lot of cash to buy models for but whilst FW doesn't help this situation it doesn't change it for the worse either. The game already has builds that are many times more expensive than their less competitive counterparts - its a reality of the hobby in general.

You also mentioned "hard counters" and I believe what you mean is that with so much variety how can one list possibly cover every eventuality if FW units are allowed. How can you deal with a Caestus if you don't have a Vendetta? Well, my hope would be that the issue is solved for us. The inclusion of new "power units" also allows the inclusion of new "hard counters." A good example is the Land Raider Hyperios which has an AA mount that fires Krak missiles. Another is the manticore platform which has skyfire. Non-Imperials get access to flyers and so on.

Eyjio said...

I can think of 3 "broken" units that would be highly abused by tournament players.

1) The Caestus Assault Ram. AV13 flyer, most AA guns are S7. Delivers terminators into the enemies deployment every game and wrecks countless vehicles unless you get a lucky shot on it. Fairly self explanatory.

So, what's the problem here, I hear you cry. Well, for 6 points, you can buy a crewman, except with the new artillery rules that's basically an extra wound. For 99 points you get a S9 AP3 ordinance barrage large blast with 11 wounds (7 crewmen stand in front, 1 fires the gun, which has 4 wounds) and T7. That means it will literally fire all game every game and you can take 9. Again, fairly easy to see why it's broken.

These new guys. They look pretty reasonable don't they? 3+, BS4, WS4, A2, melta. Oh. Stealth. An AP2 gun. Fearless. Rending. Entropic strike. Jump infantry. T5. W3. These guys cannot be torrented by small arms fire - it takes about 244 bolter shots or 648 lasgun shots to kill them. Then you consider heavy weapons. Well, if they're behind ruins they have a 3+ and if they're behind a unit, they get a 4+. The only thing that IDs them is S10, which is massively limited. So heavy weapons can't kill them well either. How about assault? Well, they're rending and as JI, they almost always get the charge, which means you get shot by S6 AP2 then take Hammer of Wrath hits and then take at least 9 rending attack, usually more like 18. This actually means they beat all but terminators with TH/SS. Maybe you can block with vehicles? Nope, entropic strike eats the rear armour and then they get their rending attacks again, plus the melta shots beforehand. Final resort monstrous creature? If it takes one wound, it loses its armour save which, considering most MCs don't get an invun basically kills them. I haven't even said what happens if you take a unit of 6 with a Destroyer Lord to give them all PE and a hidden warscythe.
So, what kills them? Nothing does really, which is the problem. Sure, there are some units, the Doom Scythe, Broadsides and Deathstrikes which mock them but unless you have S10 AP1/2/3, you cannot stop them. Even if you do, you usually can't stop them before they've started the harvest anyway. Not obviously broken but unfortunately they are.

abusepuppy said...

I think the new worst offender, thanks to Aeronautica, is the Nightwing Interceptor. For 145pts, you get two BS4 Bright Lances and two Splinter Cannons- so pretty good shooting against most targets. Oh, and you're a Vector Dancer, so aiming at a target is no problem. And also you're Shrouded, so have a 5+ cover save always. And Agile, so if you choose to Evade, you're looking at a 2+. The only bad thing about it is its AV10/2HP status, but when you're rocking a 2+ cover save, who cares?

Acanthracites are pretty up there, too, the more so because they come in an army that is already quite strong. Necrons can have some trouble dealing with heavy tanks and infantry otherwise, since they rely on volume of fire in most cases, but adding in tough, comparatively-cheap Melta pretty much solves that problem.

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