Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Big FAQ Beta reserves rule initial thoughts.


I assume by now anyone who is interested has had a chance to read the 'Big FAQ' recently released by GW for 40k. Most have probably formed opinions already. Some think the changes are not enough, others think they have gone too far. The Beta 'deep strike' rules in particular seem controversial and have many people cursing GW for ruining everything forever. My initial instinct is to ignore the beta rule for now, as it will quite dramatically change the way I build my Tyranid lists.

Turn one and half the army turns up from the skies/underground, protecting them from fire and immediately piling on the pressure. I can see how this may feel overwhelming for an opponent and a bit like a 'cheap' tactic, but in my experience I very rarely got a charge off or any significant damage from my reserves on the turn they came in. It didn't feel broken. However thinking about it, aside from the Mawloc right in the midst of the foe, there isn't much I couldn't have replicated by starting these units on the board. In fact I'm pretty sure the Gargoyles would have been closer. I've been moving away from the Genestealers in tunnels tactic as an offensive one, and instead just as a psychological blow, but if I were to march them their full move up the board, I've seen that have a similar effect.

Of course, I've also been on the receiving end of the teleportation alpha strike. Here Slaanesh Terminators with combi weapons blast my knight off the board in turn one. If the beta rules go ahead, I won't miss this experience, though in fairness, I still won the game pictured. I've used the same tactic with my Alpha Legion as well, and it's effective (unless you roll a lot of ones for your plasma and kill half your squad) and quite frankly will continue to be so from turn 2 onwards. Turn one gives you chance to screen your units better, but also gives you chance to kill the screen before your reserves turn up. In recent games John has been using a Dreadclaw filled with plasma gun Havocs, and due to unit positions he has been regularly leaving them to turn 2 or 3 already.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm not convinced by the Beta rules, though I think I agree with most of the rest of the FAQ, but if they come to pass, they are not the end of the world and I'll adapt. In the meantime it might be best for us all to actually play some games with the rules and see how well/badly it goes. That's the whole point of 'beta' rules - they might be rubbish but the only way to know for sure is if people play them and give their feedback. Just don't knee-jerk reject the rule, or blindly accept it as a given.


  1. I agree that the beta is a shock! But if people can’t win a game using other tactics than the alpha deepstrike then quit playing, every codex is filled with diverse units and myriad combinations, I welcome the beta as a fresh opportunity to try new tactics and as an excuse to buy more toys

    1. Do you also welcome the points increase on the Fire Raptor? :p

  2. My concern is that if you can only deploy outside of your DZ in turn 2 then two things are going to happen.

    You risk a greater chance of being tabled because your OP Alpha strike is off the table so long.

    And, by turn 2 you could have most of your Deep Strike options stuffed by opponents units all over the board and you could end up deploying in you own DZ afterall!

    Then again I haven't even perused the Beta rule properly so I may just be going off half cocked! ;)

  3. Yeah, I think it is going to hit assault armies hard with the new reserves rules.
    To be honest, I tended to leave my reserves till turn 2 or 3 in most cases anyway, so not a huge blow for me.

    I think a nice change would be to allow units to deep strike outside their deployment zone on turn 1, but they cannot shoot in the shooting phase if they do. This would still give assault armies a potent alpha strike, but negate the shooting alpha strike portion.


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