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ashc
08-07-2009, 10:54
I'm talking about the kind of alternative lists that we saw released in Codex: Eye of Terror and in Chapter Approved articles in White Dwarf.

I would like to hear people's ideas on the pros and cons of these. Whilst in one sense I felt they sparked people's ideas and creativity, I think in the long-run they possibly hampered their own game by making GW gamers feel that everything on the tabletop *needed* rules to play a fluffy list, and counts-as fell by the wayside, leading to players wanting to be spoon-fed rules and not make army themes for the sake of it.

Not to mention that some of those lists were grossly unbalanced and it often seemed that not a lot of thought had gone in to them. For newer players it must have also been a bit of a nightmare to be getting in to the game, buying army books just to find out you may be able to play something more competitive by finding an obscure back-issue of WD. I guess GW's answer to this now is special characters with force-organisation changing rules. Do people prefer this?

anyway, reply with what you think!

Ash

CrownAxe
08-07-2009, 11:01
No

Its random junk that has to be researched or bought, and usually its hard to find too (especially for WD stuff) and ultimately is a hassle, especially when you come across players that don't know about it or don't want you to use it since they don't have something Chapter Approved/Didn't now about it.

Warhammer is a huge complex enough game as it is, let not try and add to the mayhem

Seth the Dark
08-07-2009, 11:03
I'd like to see some more variety. Just look at Fantasy.

The_Outsider
08-07-2009, 11:06
No - for the simple fact they are horrendously unbalanced.

Take codex: EoT - the USF, 13th co. and LaTD lists were horrendously unbalanced (the 13th co. list pretty much broke all of the 4th ed raid missions in half) because they did not have tiem to properly playtest them.

The USF list could do disgusting things as it was based off the old eldar list and LaTD were basically all the good bits from codex: IG and chaos marines bolted together with a couple generic mutant options and for less points than even what orks/guard pay now.

But!

Variant lists are very nice to see and play against if they are approached sensibly and not with a powergaming attitude and can often be a refreshing challenge from what typically is seen.

The obvious downside of this is not everyone can easily see such lists if they are hidden away in WD/online articles.

[edit]
I'd like to see some more variety. Just look at Fantasy.

Yes lets look at fantasy, anyone remember slayer dwarves?

Radium
08-07-2009, 11:23
It'd be fun to have another expansion only covering variant lists. That way you'd only have to buy one book, and you need to agree with your opponent to play that particular form of 40k. To reintroduce them as they were... no thanks, the CWE book was the pinnacle of cheese with Eldar Luftwaffe (15+ starcannon + CTM vypers) and the seer council of Ulthwé (5 farseers is balanced because...?).

Griefbringer
08-07-2009, 11:25
There is already quite a lot of variant army lists published, if you are playing space marines. There being official variant lists for:

- Marines with red armour
- Marines with green armour
- Marines with black armour
- Marines with blue-grey armour
- Marines with spikey armour

Kettu
08-07-2009, 11:30
No for the simple reason that GW hasn't got a clue of what to do with the remaining two 'Variant' lists in publication.

Wait till they get them fixed up and we'll see about it.

Vaktathi
08-07-2009, 11:40
I would love to see them. Craftworlds, Ork Clans, Legions, Lost and the Damned, unique IG regiments, etc.

As long as they do a decent job playtesting them and release them in such a way as so they don't end up being received like the poor IA army lists, I'd be all for it. I'd love to see a new Codex: Eye of Terror or Armageddon.

Lord Damocles
08-07-2009, 11:47
Hell. No.



Background makes variant forces - not a few special rules boltered onto a standard list.

You can quite happily make almost all of the 3rd/4th edition variant forces using the current parent codex (the obvious exception being Lost and the Damned, but they should never have been a variant anyway).

manicmarine
08-07-2009, 12:29
I personally would love lists for the Genestealer cult, Lost and the dammed and Harlequins. Ideally this should be a complete codex but if this can happen then variant lists should be allowed. I personally like the idea of mixing two codex together to create the new lists. i.e. genstealer cult would be made from IG and Tyranids. The hybrids could be made using the termagant rules etc. similarly lost and the dammed could be IG and daemons....

Baragash
08-07-2009, 12:44
I don't mind variant lists where they make minor changes for character, like the original Index Astartes articles - in fact, I don't see why they couldn't have done that in the new SM Dex.

Major stuff like EoT, Craftworld Eldar etc just leads to trouble.

Bellygrub
08-07-2009, 13:01
It's a double edged sword for me. Sure variant lists are great...until GW let's them fall to the wayside and stops updating them. Then you're stuck with a bunch of models you really have no purpose for.

carldooley
08-07-2009, 13:10
I would prefer to have a properly thought out codex, even 'broken' ones. I once purchased the old orks codex, and was dismayed to see it - it seemed that there were no stats for some of the weapons, some of the most popular units weren't in the codex, and the codex itself referred to various white dwarfs. I remember one person who showed up with the orks codex - and a veritable pile of White Dwarfs.


there are still legal 'variant' lists - the Armored Company comes to mind, whose sole saving grace in 5th is that it is an imperial army. Meaning that you can ally Inquisitorial Troops who are able to Score.

carldooley
08-07-2009, 13:14
It's a double edged sword for me. Sure variant lists are great...until GW let's them fall to the wayside and stops updating them. Then you're stuck with a bunch of models you really have no purpose for.

on the other hand - if you hold onto the models long enough. . .

case in point - the LR Vanquisher from AC - no way they will ever find a use for that in a codex, is there? or the Griffon? or the Salamander Scout Vehicle (okay, that one isn't actually in a codex yet:eyebrows:)?

Bunnahabhain
08-07-2009, 13:31
No.

The main codexs should have enough variation and character within them that you don't need varient lists. It should be possible to do craftworlds, chapters, legions, clans etc without sublists. A system like Traits, but with downsides, or Doctrines, but without half the options shooting yourself in the foot....

However, assuming this pipedream doesn't happen, varient lists are not a bad plan
The two main problems are both easily to fix:
Lack of balance.
Stick a note on all these varient lists that they are not well balanced, and may have a lack of available models. Generally say they are not suitable for those without some gaming and modelling expereince.
Hard to find.
Just stick them on the GW website as PDF, it's not hard. But the GW website policy is beyond belief or understanding....


BTW, Carldooley, the Vanquisher and Griffon were in the last-but-one IG codex ( ie the first 3rd ed book) They got pulled from the previous one, due to various reasons, and then replaced in this one. GW consistiencey?

Thud
08-07-2009, 13:39
I'd say yes, but I'm actually pretty happy with what the current codices lets you do to that effect. Take the Ork codex as an example; you can have the Deffwing, Biker list of doom, Speed Freaks, Mek list, Dread Bash, Boy Horde etc etc.

Yes, that's right, I said it; I like the new codices!

Epicenter
08-07-2009, 13:51
I'd like to see variant codex armylists put into White Dwarf (then perhaps like two months later, available on PDF or something). These army lists would be understood to be "GW official" however, they would come with the disclaimer that the army list would not be be allowed in GTs and should be understood as a "flavor" list - it might be grossly overpowered or underpowered. However, the lists would also be understood to fulfill a kind of "general rules testing" thing - player feedback on the features of various lists would be used to help Games Development test out features they think might be cool to put into the next iteration of the main codex, but aren't sure if they're a good idea, etc.

SylverClaw
08-07-2009, 13:58
Yes, if done right.

Take a look at FoW. Their website is stuffed full of variant lists, reflecting all quite similiar basic lists with sometimes minor or sometimes major changes to encourage you to play to a certain theme.

What we don't need is halfassed lists for all the minor SM chapters and so on. You don't really want people to play these lists all the time - just now and then for fun. You remember fun, GW?

What you do want is themed lists. As in... this month we have a bit of an article on the Badab campaign, with some history and a scenario... and here's an alternate organisation lists for two armies involved which still requires the original codexes. No love for Tau there... but next month they cover a famous Tau operation vs xxx army...

We'd get more variety, more themed games, more options for play, more fluff... and GW would still get more money because they'd still get players buying models to specifically make these themed lists. And all for the cost of a couple of writers... who I think we can spare from the frankly tedious battle reports we get at the moment.

You know... a bit like things you'd see in a good gaming publication, like Wargames Illustrated.

Chances of getting any of that? Absolute zero.

SPYDER68
08-07-2009, 14:14
Release all the codex's in 5th edition then maybe look at new things..

Until everyone has a new 5th codex (Yes.. including Dark eldar) nothing new is needed/wanted.

Captain Micha
08-07-2009, 14:30
I'd say yes... but on the condition that GW actually understand their own game well enough to homebrew stuff quickly.

No, with the way they are presently in other words.

Bellygrub
08-07-2009, 14:31
on the other hand - if you hold onto the models long enough. . .

case in point - the LR Vanquisher from AC - no way they will ever find a use for that in a codex, is there? or the Griffon? or the Salamander Scout Vehicle (okay, that one isn't actually in a codex yet:eyebrows:)?

I was thinking more along the lines of all my ork loota squads from the Deathskulls Klan list. Of course they were made pretty obsolete anyhow since lootas now carry deffguns and not looted weapons.

GraveGuard
08-07-2009, 14:35
Same as others, Yes if done correctly and thought out. But unfortuntely GW don't think like that so no.

fantomex
08-07-2009, 14:47
It'd be nice to see the same kinda stuff from EoT and Chapter Approved, but I'm far too pessimistic to expect it...

I'd want to see properly done army lists, and for some there'd only need to be a few tweaks here and there.

Being an SM player I, like every other sane human, was shocked and appalled by the UM-fanboy-dex that we were given, and I'm pretty sure that not every chapter wishes to be like Calgar.

That aside, it would be pretty simple to make a nice big codex of SM-variant chapters. Heck, off the top of my head:
Iron Hands: Bionics, more mechanogubbins, Iron Fathers, fiddle some costs about, couple of points extra on squads for full bionic wonderment, some nice "experimental" vehicles and weaponry, and a jetbike or two, I do not believe that there is only one held onto by non-omnissiah worshipping types..;)
Salamanders: Fire and meltas. All thats needed. Maybe some Sisters-type firey vehicular bits and bobs.
Imperial Fists: Some more seige weaponry, cheaper thunderfires..

Man, there is so much that could be done.

I'd say a Privateer Press-style regular inclusion of new books, with new units for each race and new models for each race, but hell, we aren't gonna actually get something like that, are we?:(

Brother Loki
08-07-2009, 18:27
Yes, absolutely YES!

Zingbaby
08-07-2009, 18:31
If they made variant codex I would buy them...

But as long as I can still field the models I have built the rules are secondary.

Bigmarsh
08-07-2009, 18:54
I'd say yes. Having a big book with all the traitor legions, IG regiments, eldar craftworlds, etc. would be really cool. We all know GW isn't the best with regards to balance, so there's an easy way. Make it so only the main codices(sp?) can be used in a tournament setting, like GT. If a local gaming store allows the variant lists, great, but for the true tournament players, don't allow them.

Triggerdog
08-07-2009, 19:05
Yes, I would honestly like to see them back.

Granted some of them were unbalanced and strange but think about all the good:

Steel Legion
Kroot Mercs
Catachans
Armored Companies
Cursed Founding lists
Ulthwe

Granted you had some bad like some of the Craftworld Eldar and the Lost and the Damned but I think the good far outweighs that.

Lord Damocles
08-07-2009, 19:13
Ulthwe
Yessss... Ulthwe a good list... Riiight...


How quickly we forget min-maxed Starcannon spam and the infinite Seer Council :(

The_Outsider
08-07-2009, 19:36
How quickly we forget min-maxed Starcannon spam and the infinite Seer Council :(

It was fluffy, ergo balanced.

TimLeeson
08-07-2009, 19:37
No, not inless the variant armies are in the parent codex. I'd rather see entirely new races than more boring variant armies that make 40k even less diverse than it already is.

Bonzai
08-07-2009, 19:47
It'd be nice to see the same kinda stuff from EoT and Chapter Approved, but I'm far too pessimistic to expect it...

I'd want to see properly done army lists, and for some there'd only need to be a few tweaks here and there.

Being an SM player I, like every other sane human, was shocked and appalled by the UM-fanboy-dex that we were given, and I'm pretty sure that not every chapter wishes to be like Calgar.

That aside, it would be pretty simple to make a nice big codex of SM-variant chapters. Heck, off the top of my head:
Iron Hands: Bionics, more mechanogubbins, Iron Fathers, fiddle some costs about, couple of points extra on squads for full bionic wonderment, some nice "experimental" vehicles and weaponry, and a jetbike or two, I do not believe that there is only one held onto by non-omnissiah worshipping types..;)
Salamanders: Fire and meltas. All thats needed. Maybe some Sisters-type firey vehicular bits and bobs.
Imperial Fists: Some more seige weaponry, cheaper thunderfires..

Man, there is so much that could be done.


I agree with this. One book, with small sections for each chapter. A small history section, their force organization chart (including company names and commanders), a section for their special rules and units. Everything else follows index astartes.

For example, if some one wanted to make the much talked about Blood Ravens army, give them a special rule that allows a Librarian to have a command squad. This is in reference to their old article that said that Librarians could lead companies in their chapter. Then maybe throw in the stats for Gabriell's hammer as a wargear option. Again, nothing major, chapter is done. Perhaps they may even want to do a Gabriell Angelos mini for the fanboys. No problem. Compile it all into one big dex, and get them out of the way.

Lotoc_Sabbath
08-07-2009, 19:55
I would just love it

i loved it before and I would love it now
anyway things like VDR can still be used regularly but only in apoc.

Vyperchild
08-07-2009, 20:32
Yes, provided they're:

a) Stuff like the Kroot Mercs or LatD, or at least Wulfen. Lists that are different enough to be worth not just being 'counts as'.
b) All slightly over-priced. Akin to most of Forgeworld's stuff. Should go some way to compensating for possible imbalance.
c) played only with opponent's permission. Many players simply don't like playing against less well-known/standard rules. As for me, I don't have a problem with it at all, providing I was allowed to glance over the rules before and during a game. Because as much as we'd all like there not to be, there are some players who get their stats wrong/get their rules wrong/cheat.

But yes, I very much enjoy the variant lists.

Archangel_Ruined
09-07-2009, 00:24
It would be much better to see the parent lists made large and varied enough to support fluffy 'variant' armies. That's one of the major strengths of the ork list, it's got enough in one codex to make pretty much any themed list from the ork fluff. It's a weakness in the marine codex that it can't really do that anymore (yes, I know the flexibility in SM4 was just abused but that was the cost of such a flexible list). I'd rather not go back to pamphlet codeces being put out for each campaign, they could put that effort into real lists and just put articles in white dwarf on how to theme a campaign army. Everyone wins that way, your fluffy list is tournament legal, everyone knows it's kosher and people get the background and pretty pictures they want. Job done. At this rate I could have the credit crunch fixed by breakfast.

Grimbad
09-07-2009, 00:34
Yes, I'd like more variant lists. Feral orks were awesome. So were Armored Company and Kroot Mercenaries.
People complained about the 6 point madboyz, who must be laughing in their graves at this point. I never used them beyond one squad, which tended to fail their sanity checks and killed each other or ran away.

Now they just make every variant space marine list into a full codex and toss the rest in the trash. It would be nice to have Codex: Bad Moons, but if every conceivable variant got a full codex, we'd have too many. One book for all variants of a given army would work better- like an index astartes big book containing all non-codex marine lists, or an index xenos: orks book containing all clan army lists.

Ironmonger
09-07-2009, 04:14
Yes, variant lists need to come back. They add alot of variety and flavour to the game. Kroot Mercs, Genestealer Cults, LaTD... these were great things, and helped flesh-out the WH40K universe. I want those, as well as Ad Mech, Exodites, Adeptus Arbites, Harlis, Feral Orks... and more! The only people who are going to take advantage of something like LaTD for the sake of winning whether they like their own army or not are tools, and need not be played with at all. Play for fun as well as victory, and you win no matter what!:D

mughi3
09-07-2009, 09:51
Fluff based army builds again? and the rules to go along with them?
yes please!

A WAAC gamer can break any codex and any army list. for game variety and fun i love seeing fluff based pure lists on the table rather it be an ork clan, a specific craftworld, or a specific chaos legion.

Out of all the games systems i play i can honestly say 40K is NOT overly complex.

40Ks problems as a game lay soley at the feet of the rule writing staff. they write inconsistant, conflicting, imbalanced rules then cripplr it further by having a piecemeal updating/release system. then they fall back on the old adages of "have fun", "house rule it" or "were a model company first, a game company second"


Take a look through the main rules for classic battletech(total warfare) the rules are solid, clearly written and effect everybody equally no matter the faction or the era. if something happens in the game, no matter how odd-there is a rule for it. to top it off the rules have changes only slightly in 25 years. which is probably why our local WAAC gamer won't play the game since he cannot powergame it.

ashc
09-07-2009, 10:17
If the lists were to come back would people want to see:

Variants of what we already have: more space marine chapters, chaos legions, guard variants, ork clans, eldar craftworlds etc.

Or new stuff that is currently not represented such as mechanicus, genestealer cults, kroot mercenaries?

Cool_Mint
09-07-2009, 11:10
The 40K game should be split into two classes:

Class 1: The strict official tournament legal list.
Class 2: The (officially) unofficial and not tournament legal list full of weird and wonderful armies invented by gamers.

The official list would be the benchmark standard with all the codexes and official updates while the sanctioned unofficial version would have no printed codexes except maybe a few updates in White Dwarf.

40K will never, ever be a balanced game because it is always changing as players learn to take advantage of weaknesses or strengths in the rules. It makes me wonder if perhaps GW should abandon the concept of updates altogether rather than leave "amatuer" players struggling to keep up with constant rule changes.

ashc
09-07-2009, 11:51
But couldn't you already do that with a good enough group of friends or a club who wants to band together to play friendlies?

Does GW really need to molly-coddle and tell people to make things themselves and play friendly games?

Do you not think if you had 'official' and 'non-official' stuff people would *still* refuse to play the non-official stuff?

Ash

Sir_Turalyon
09-07-2009, 12:19
Variant lists are alive in kicking, in form of Forgeworld IA lists. I would like to see more of them, with three restrictions:

1. They have the same "official" status as Forgeworld / Apocalypse rules - they are not core 40k, they are not suitable for tournaments and pick-up games, they are intended to bring fun to friendly games and previously-agreed non standard matches.

2. They use standard models, so that in order to play them people don't have to convert / buy models that can't be used in core 40k. This way players' collections are useful without counting-as, even when list is invalidated, or when they want to play a pick-up game. Citifight veterans was fun reorganisation of regular Guardsmen and Necromunda gangs, Feral Orks were money / conversion time sinks with Squiggoths and Boar Boyz. Of course this limits lists to variants of existing forces. If GW wants a whole new thing like Genestealer Cult or Mechanicus, they should do it as a proper codex or not at all. No stop-gaps.

3. They are self-contained, no borrowing rules from codices. Self-explanatory.

Hellebore
09-07-2009, 12:40
Considering space marines already get variant army lists which are just a normal marine list padded out to make it appear special I don't see why other armies can't get the same thing.

Afterall, codex blood/dark angels is a codex for 1000 troops. Codex orks is a codex for trillions of troops.

Hellebore

thenamelessdead
09-07-2009, 12:55
Considering the way the Chaos book has just shrunk in terms of potential for fluffy armies, then yes bring the variant lists back. Playtest them first then release them.

The two lists I consider to be stand-out bad 'uns are the Slayer army (for reasons of expense on the collector's part) and the Ulthwe Strike Force. My mate went for an Ulthwe army and I couldn't get to grips with it at all. It felt like he was getting a new army every turn and by the time that had finished he had taken my force down to the bare bones with the support weapons he deployed at the start. Not fun to play against, especially in the hands of a power gamer like him.

ashc
09-07-2009, 13:31
I agree Hellebore, in that the Dark Angels and Blood Angels are relatively glorified codex marines, and I would prefer them to have been in one book with some variant options instead of a full-blown release that now feels pretty half-baked in comparison to the new space marine book.

I can also see the argument for 'if they do it for marines, why can't they do it for others'.

I do however things some of the books do a very good job of letting you field old variant lists within the new army books, in particular the Eldar, Ork, and Imperial Guard ones.

EVIL INC
09-07-2009, 13:54
I loved the variant army lists. Even though chaos just doubled in potential for fluffy cult and legion lists, it would be nice to have "official" ones you could point to and use.
Of course, it would also be nice to flesh out the other "races" in the same way. It would definately speed up the proccess of producing the bigger "core" codices.

mughi3
09-07-2009, 14:04
1. They have the same "official" status as Forgeworld / Apocalypse rules - they are not core 40k, they are not suitable for tournaments and pick-up games, they are intended to bring fun to friendly games and previously-agreed non standard matches.

Huh?
FW units are most definately made and intended for core, "normal" 40K games. infact they have the old rules for normal games if you want to use your superheavies and flyers. FW has jumped on the apocalypse expansion for superheavies, flyers and titans which were always player approved anyway before apocalypse came along.

However normal units (many of which have found their way into the new IG codex)which make up the majority of FW units, are just variants of pre-exhisting vehicles or new classes of them.
land speeder tempest's, knarlocs, tau tetra's, variant leman russ's, variant crisis suits, variant land raiders like the prometheus etc... were intended for use in normal(pick up) games of 40K without opponent consent since 2002.

in most cases you pay through the nose in points to have a varaint pattern of a pre-exhisting unit. it's there for game variety and enjoyment. there are no super special guns on these units. a prometheus looses the abibity to kill tanks completely but gains more heavy bolters. those heavy bolters have the same stats as a HB taken from any marine, IG or SOB codex.

People seem to have this incorrect asumption that because it is a FW variant it is going to be brokenly overpowered. this is as far from the truth as you can get.

Even though GW does consider them legal to use in normal games of 40K without permission, tournaments usually do not allow them.

Sir_Turalyon
09-07-2009, 18:47
Even though GW does consider them legal to use in normal games of 40K without permission, tournaments usually do not allow them.

And here you hit the nail by the head. Even through they are underpowered, FW models and rules are considered oddities by enough people to be not allowed at tournaments and asked for opponents permission in pick-up game with stranger. Especially if rules in question are repriced rules for non-FW models you already have in codex (*cough* Dark Angels *cough*).

As of core 40k, I used the term intuitevly (my bad, I was typing in haste when leaving to work). By "core", I meant basic sourcebooks that are useful (and neccessary) in every 40k game involivng described armies; by that definition at the moment core 40k is rulebook, codices and erratas. FW rules and Apocalypse may be used or ignored at will (unlike rulebook or codex) and most often borrow rules or entries from core army lists, they are additions rather core.

To make long story short: I meant to say that I'd like to see variant army list as variant rules with status similiar to Apocalypse, rather then alternative to codices. And yes, I would be using them.

nightgant98c
10-07-2009, 04:55
I think they are a nice addition if they are done right. Even if they don't get the support of a regular army, the additional variety it can give you is nice. But they need to take time and do it right, with a little good sense, so that they are actually playable, not overpowered, or too weak.

ARVO
10-07-2009, 05:15
Yes lets look at fantasy, anyone remember slayer dwarves?

Slayer armies were abyssmal but the cult of Slaanesh list was the most fun I have ever had with an army in my gaming career.

Triggerdog
10-07-2009, 05:25
Yessss... Ulthwe a good list... Riiight...


How quickly we forget min-maxed Starcannon spam and the infinite Seer Council :(

I liked it, better than Falcon spam and Baaroth doing 50+ wounds. Also I liked the premise of "storm squads" with all the close combat stuff. You took a full unit of them and gave them a Warlock and they were a fairly solid close combat group.

it was better than now where "Ulthwe" means that you took Eldrad and paint your models black.