Has 40K Lost Its Way?

February 17, 2012 ·

February 17, 2012

Do you feel that Warhammer 40K has lost its way lately?

First we had the Grey Knights obliterating everything, then 6th edition rumours, then Tau rumours and then... maddening silence.

Suddenly Tyranid Tervigons and Space Wolves Thunder Wolf Cavalry are rumoured for release in March...when just a few weeks back it was supposedly Tyranids 2nd wave and Necrons 2nd wave.

The Games Workshop iron curtain has certainly left the community in confusion. And to make matters worse, 40K seems to be in limbo right now.

Half the armies are struggling, everything is power armour is unstoppable (unless you're Chaos) and rumours have been flying thick and fast about 6th edition. So just what the hell is going on?

While a new edition will hopefully remedy a lot of the current Codex issues, it's the waiting that's difficult.

And from the looks of things we have to wait until Summer and 6th edition before we can take the game seriously again.


Malthus said...
February 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM  

Totally agree with you on this one. Another great article on taking the pulse of the 40k hobby.
Which feels pretty dead right now...du to overpowered SW, BA then GK and pretty much everything with special rules and power armor kinda killed the game imo. Anyways hoping to hear better news from u soon.

Old School Terminator said...
February 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM  

I feel like the intention here is good but the article is off base. The rumor mill has spun out of control and the player population that is willing to move to the new army is in a greater proportion than in the past and some of that is even exagerated by the internet.

40k as a game is the strongest it has been since I started and since I started following it. What I mean by that is there is a smooth rules system with a fairly solid set of rules. Keep in mind that many of the big faq worthy issues are also player generated - people need to practice more common sense.

Also, I would like to add that the unbearable grey knights have had a hard time in the latest gt matches here in the states, regularly beat out by Necrons, Blood angels and codex Marines. I think the internet creates a hype that can be misplaced. In my travels, I have seen few Waac players, few of the hardcore bandwagonners we hear about and generally, pretty diverse gaming populations, which of course, will slant toward the codices released in 5th.

That's my two cents though, maybe your local scene is as bad as the internet, but based on my travel all over the states, I doubt it.

Einherjar said...
February 17, 2012 at 12:54 PM  

Not just lost its way, $40k has struck an iceberg. The world economy is in the tank an GW insists on alienating most of their non-spas mureen customers. Brilliant marketing ploy that one is.

GW has had more than enough time and resources to fix $40K (and the Tau Codex) and they've blown it off again in favor of releasing this 'Gilligan's Island' boxed set and yet more powered armor spam. Why couldn't they have spent half that time and energy working on FAQs?!?!

They desperately need to rework 40K's mechanic from the ground up to get me worked up about a new edition much less a new codex.

I'm personally sick of being GW's 'bruised up domestic partner' that's just sitting back hoping things get better if I'm patient and keep my mouth shut.

The marketing geniuses at GW are hemorrhaging customers and all they can do is play games with their IP and marketing lawyers.

I'm going to stick with Infinity till they get it right (like that will ever happen).

Garnet said...
February 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM  

@Einherjar - GW continues to be a profitable company, posting a strong showing in its latest quarterly releases. To say that it is 'hemorrhaging customers' simply doesn't seem to be the case. While you may want the game reworked from the ground up, you would not appear to be in enough of a majority for GW to consider those substantial costs to be worth paying for the benefit available.

As to the overall state of 40K, I rather suspect that those who worry that it's old, and stale, and needs an overhaul and new rules and new codexes and is overrun by GK have been spending too much time online. 40K has the same, relatively solid ruleset it's had since 5th edition launched; rules aren't like mechanical parts, they don't wear out and break over time. I like the rules, for the most part, and while I certainly wouldn't say no to a new codex, I also don't think the Tau codex is so bad that we desperately need a new one. Our codex still contains solid tools to deal with even powerful enemies like GK and SW, and if we have some match-ups that are tougher than others (like, say, FNP deep striking BAs with meltaguns and power weapons), well, most every codex has match-ups they'll struggle against, too. It's all part of trying to build a system where any army can take on any of the multiple subgroups of the other fifteen armies.

I do agree, however, that GW's decision to clamp down on rumours and leaks, and to provide no hints of anything less than a month before release at most, has been a terrible idea. Hype and interest are important things to cultivate in keeping a player base tied in, particularly given the relatively huge spans of time that can elapse between individual factions' updates. They really should be doing more to drum up excitement about things that are coming, even if they're not locked down yet, rather than demanding absolute silence until they have a product to put on the shelves.

If you liked 40K when 5th launched, there's no reason you shouldn't still like it today. If you didn't, well, you're just as stuck now as you were then; the passage of time hasn't done anything to change that. The game isn't in limbo, and it doesn't need a new ruleset to be 'taken seriously again', it is what it is, and you'll get out of it what you put into it.

Anonymous said...
February 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM  

OST has it right. If you cant wait out the dry spells in this game and make it fun yourself, this is the wrong game for you. Thats the way it has ALWAYS been. Don't buy the hype and don't expect change anytime soon. Use the time to make it fun or play a different game for a few years.

Malthus said...
February 18, 2012 at 2:00 AM  

I also totally agree with Einherjar on the rant about the whole game system. Now don't get me wrong I LOVED 5th ed when it came out and still think its near impossible to come up with anything more solid as a ruleset ...but after IG it just felt like something went wrong and GW had succombed to its overpowered power armor demons again...this illness only being confirmed by the latest GK codex...hate it or love it its my opinion.

DivinE said...
February 18, 2012 at 3:04 AM  

I have collected about 4k pts of TAU army. Now Iam playing BA. Why? Because it is much easier to won anything then when you play TAU. Iam agree those whole rumors are depresing.

Anonymous said...
February 18, 2012 at 6:25 AM  

Garbage. This 'wait for sixth' sentiment is a stain on the best edition of 40K we've ever had, all because of this idiot rumour-mongering, which only gets more frenzied, inaccurate and fanciful as time goes on. MEQ armies are still fragile in this hiROF metagame.
Yes, Tau need an update. That doesn't mean the whole game needs to be turned on its head.

Garnet said...
February 18, 2012 at 7:13 AM  


So, you think 5th is the best ruleset so far, and that it would be next to impossible to do better, but you still want GW to flip the table and start from scratch all over again? Because some of the most recent codexes seem overpowered? How would a new ruleset fix those 'problems'? It wouldn't reset the points values of units in those codexes, or change the way their weapons or wargear or special characters work.

People think of recent codexes as 'overpowered', and seem to want a new ruleset to cut them back down to size. It seems to me this is the wrong way of looking at it. The most recent codexes aren't overpowered relative to the old books, they're defining the new normal in 40K; the old books are just underpowered, now, and will be until they're updated. And once they are updated, they'll be more on-par with the new books. Though, even then, the difference isn't as great as many people online seem to think; GK, for instance, are uniquely poorly suited to fighting Tau, who will die to a 6-point Guardsman as easily as a 30-point Purifier kitted out with fancy gear in close combat, and whose guns will do the same amount of damage to an army with fewer models than ever.

Play smart, and aside from the odd lousy match-up, any game is yours to win.

Anonymous said...
February 18, 2012 at 11:01 AM  

I hear this type of conversation all over the internet, and I consider myself more of an optimist than most. Nobody can say seriously that 40k is balanced, but I don't think it's as ridiculously imbalanced as people make it out to be. A lot of 40k is big-picture strategy- stuff where luck has no place. If a couple of guys get together and play noobhammer, rushing their armies towards each other and rolling dice, space marines of most variants will probably have an advantage. That's not how 40k was meant to be played.

Even KP missions, where it's thought of as a meat grinder, it doesn't have to be that way, depending on your army style. There's a great Eldar player at my gaming store who wins KP all the time by outmaneuvering his opponent. He'll take pot shots at a range, get a couple KP of kill points, and then race around the board denying those 2 KP to his opponent. He likes objective missions even better. He wins a lot of his games.

What I would like to see more of is codices where all of the units *within* the codex are playable. You see that problem in some of the older codices but also in a lot of the new ones. IMO, the Dark Eldar and Necron codices are the two best-written out there, currently. Most any unit can be worked into an army, and that army can be competitive. Grey Knights? Poor Dreadknight, who would take that when you can have Psyfilmen Dreadnoughts? Vanilla marines? Hope you didn't buy any of those beautiful Vanguard veteran or legion of the damned models..

That's not to say the army books as a whole are not competitive, I think (and I don't say this without *every* codex in mind) *every* codex can make a competitive army list. The real issue, is how flexible the book is, and how many possible "good" armies it can produce. Competitive tau armies, for example, seem to be max suits and min troops. Not much flexibility.
But overall...

40k is a great game.

Malthus said...
February 18, 2012 at 11:33 AM  

I never said it would fix anything and even less that they should start building a new system from scratch.
I'm just saying it would bring a well needed breath of fresh air on this hobby...because 5th has already proved its worth and imho hasn't much left to prove.

I personnaly think 5th Ed went too far towards simplification of rules and wish a new rulset would bring something new on the table...but then again thats only my opinion.

Most people(including myself) are most often reluctant to change whether it be a good thing or not.
peace out.

John said...
February 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM  

I don't think GW has lost its way.

1) For one thing the lack of rumors has a lot to do with the upcoming hobbit movie (and GW doesn't want some other minature company getting that setting). So they are gonna suck it up and do what their told.

2)There have been a lot of power armoured releases, but they redid DE & Crons without really knowing what to expect saleswise. Furthermore IMO both Tau and CWE need the same treatment instead of just being tweaked. Tau more than Eldar because they rely on shooting so much which is fine, but its harder to balance.

Old School Terminator said...
February 19, 2012 at 1:32 PM  

I am glad to come back and see that some clear heads came out to comment. At the end of the day, the rumors the last 6 months have been unreliable to pure fiction, so quit reading them. There is not much left to say other than that I hope whatever you are going through, Adam, turns around. This post isn't a reflection of the author I have come to respect over the last four years in the blogosphere between WH Tau and the Space Wolves blog. Best wishes to you, friend.

Garnet said...
February 19, 2012 at 6:01 PM  


My apologies if I misunderstood you, but you did say you "totally agree with Einherjar on the rant about the whole game system," and Einherjar said of GW, "They desperately need to rework 40K's mechanic from the ground up." It made it sound, to me at least, that you agreed that 40K needs to be reworked from the ground up, too. And thus, my rather obvious confusion as to why a system you claim is about as good as it gets needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

I still can't say I understand, though, why you think 40K -needs- a new edition. Frankly, it sounds more like it just needs new codexes for the non-5th-compliant races, to bring everyone up to the same level. Wouldn't this be as much a breath of fresh air as a rulebook, but more capable of targeting the armies that actually need the help?

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