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View Full Version : Are Games Workshop just writing our army lists with formations?



Casper Hawser
13-12-2014, 11:19
I've been tempted to get into 7th with the release of new Blood Angels codex (who along with chaos are my main armies). But with all this talk of formations in campaign books, supplements and data slates it got me thinking that were just paying more for GW to write our army lists and tell us what models we have to buy to get extra special rules.
So what do u think are formations the most competitive lists to take or can u ignore them write your own list and still remain competitive?
Also should I bother with 7th I usually only play with a couple of friends maybe once a fortnight they are both happy enough playing sixth one is still using old space marine codex so I don't think he'll be rushing out to get new Necron codex (his second army) anytime soon after its release. I do keep meaning to go down to our local gaming club/ GW store to play some different people and armies. But having a 10 month old there's always something that gets in the way.

Scammel
13-12-2014, 11:55
You can write your own list and still remain very competitive in 99% of environments. The changes between 6th and 7th are borderline inconsequential for most games, so if that's what your mates want to play, play it.

Ghungo
13-12-2014, 12:18
Absolutely not
formations do not contain any earth shattering rules. It's generalky the same thing over and over.
Refills to hit, rerolls to wound, d6 scatter, furious charge, etc. if your lucky you get a decent usr like fearless. The rulebooks are the same quality they have always been. formations just make books better by giving extra rules to units that can use an extra boost. Sometimes it's still not enough and there are 3 useless formations for every decent one. Some units still suck even after formations drop. And most of the good units don't get much better with formationd because they are already reliable and have decent usr in the first placr

Born Again
13-12-2014, 14:18
I've continued playing 6th and, so far, have not run in to any issues with 7th codex books clashing with 6th rules, as the only real major change was the psychic phase. As long as you and your opponent are both clear on what you are using, it should be fine.
That said, if you intend on pick-up games in a store or club it's probably best to know 7th as that will be considered the 'standard'.

Ironbone
13-12-2014, 14:23
formations do not contain any earth shattering rules. It's generalky the same thing over and over.
Refills to hit, rerolls to wound, d6 scatter, furious charge, etc. if your lucky you get a decent usr like fearless
Yes, but point is formations get all of these for free.

Moirdryd
13-12-2014, 14:28
Most formations are, in fact, variant FOCs from the standard one which typically introduces a special rule (or maybe two) for the units (or some of the units) in that formation. Sometimes the special rule is a USR or sometimes it's something specific to that Codex. That's it. There are some that are specific model sets but that's been about since Apocalypse first released (actually before that, but I can;t recall what it was).

insectum7
13-12-2014, 16:33
Haven't run a formation yet.

Scammel
13-12-2014, 16:44
Yes, but point is formations get all of these for free.

The trade-off being that you sacrifice control over your build. Yes, it's not a colossal disadvantage, but it is a harder choice to make from a competitive standpoint than, say, deciding whether to go Bound or Unbound for a tourney.

Casper Hawser
13-12-2014, 17:25
I always seemed to be a model or two short of old 5th apoc formations.
I think I'll pick it up tomorrow if it works with 6th ok I can get small 7th book in new year off eBay it's got cheaper since deathstorm was released.






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Unexo
13-12-2014, 17:27
Formations need to go imo. Not because of rules, but for complexity and price cost. All rules should stay in one place, the codex, following standard guidelines. Whether or not it is imbalancd i can't say, but reroll to hit and wound is the best rule to get, and for free??

BigHammer
13-12-2014, 17:55
In a competitive environment, ObSec is an important tactical advantage. There isn't a formation in the game that comes with it, for now. Only a CAD or AD give you that particular rule, and it has the power to win you games. It's not just build flexibility you lose by taking formations.

Casper Hawser
13-12-2014, 18:17
Sorry bud I don't know what CAD or AD is I'm probably being dim.

That's my only worry with switching to 7th u seem to need a codex a supplement and campaign book to get the whole picture and I can't justify spending 140 for that picture however nice it may look. Although Shield of Baal is pretty good for me as I have a 2000 pts of Tyranids to use when I get bored of power armour so I'd get rules for two of my armies. Although I still haven't got around to getting there latest codex.


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Inquisitor Shego
13-12-2014, 19:13
PLEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAASEEEEEEEEEEEE buy our range of less popular figures, and in return we'll throw you this nice rule where you can skyfire on turn one. I'll pass GW

Gilfred The Iron Knight
13-12-2014, 19:25
In a competitive environment, ObSec is an important tactical advantage. There isn't a formation in the game that comes with it, for now. Only a CAD or AD give you that particular rule, and it has the power to win you games. It's not just build flexibility you lose by taking formations.

There is a tyranid formation that grants ObSec to gargoyles.

Dr.Clock
13-12-2014, 19:27
Okay... what about people that really LIKE some of those less popular figures that are 'let down' by poor rules? I figure there's no harm in buffing the abilities of some units if players commit to taking a good number of them. GW is clearly aware of some of the issues in the basic codexes, and is taking steps to make things better.

I've commented at length on the 'formations and detachments' issue, so I'll refrain from a further screed. Nevertheless, I think it's vital to point out that 40k has been full of units that have great fluff and pretty terrible rules. It surprises me the vitriol that GW gets for trying to make themed lists - even themed around units that 'most' people have given up on - more viable.

The idea that putting out more rules somehow 'writes our lists for us' or limits choice is a little absurd - GW has taken the firm stance that only YOU AND YOUR OPPONENT have any say in what goes on the board.

Cheers,

The Good Doctor.

zoodog
13-12-2014, 19:47
Sorry bud I don't know what CAD or AD is I'm probably being dim.

That's my only worry with switching to 7th u seem to need a codex a supplement and campaign book to get the whole picture and I can't justify spending 140 for that picture however nice it may look. Although Shield of Baal is pretty good for me as I have a 2000 pts of Tyranids to use when I get bored of power armour so I'd get rules for two of my armies. Although I still haven't got around to getting there latest codex.

I think he means Combined Arms Detachment and Allied Detachment which are the 2 in the main book. Just heading out to pick up the new BA book, have been playing mostly Elder in 6th and it is quite similar to 5th but I like the mission options better. (most problematic thing has been Physic phase abuse) The Subsist supplements are extremely useful if your leaning that sort of army (ilidian elder are a nice boost if your including spritsears/wraths) but I have yet to see a formation which really seems to boost things to the point of giving up list building flexibility in anything less then 2500 points (where your likely having several detachments anyway). This may not be true for the nids who seem to need some of there's more then other factions.

It all comes down to who you play with, 40K is a very social game that doesn't hold up well to high competitiveness but lets you have some great conversations with interesting people who care about their hobbies.

tneva82
13-12-2014, 19:52
Yes, but point is formations get all of these for free.

Free except for having to take certain units, some which aren't that good for the super hyper competive enviroment you are mostly concerned with if you are worrying about them being free in a first place.

MagicHat
13-12-2014, 19:53
In a competitive environment, ObSec is an important tactical advantage. There isn't a formation in the game that comes with it, for now. Only a CAD or AD give you that particular rule, and it has the power to win you games. It's not just build flexibility you lose by taking formations.

The Blood Angel Battle Company Formation is one of the 2-5 companies with 2 dreadnoughts and death company.
So 2 HQ, 6 troops, 4 elites and 2 fast/heavy that is taken by the usual guys in such a battle company, but the troops gets objective secure, you can re-roll BA warlord traits and you have +1 I when charging.
Don't have to max out the squads either.


Okay... what about people that really LIKE some of those less popular figures that are 'let down' by poor rules? I figure there's no harm in buffing the abilities of some units if players commit to taking a good number of them. GW is clearly aware of some of the issues in the basic codexes, and is taking steps to make things better.


Call me crazy, but I would rather they made everything useful inside the codex, rather then going "Well, this is no good. Lets keep it that way in the codex, but add something wacky in a supplement".
Useful and balanced first in the codex, then we can add cool and themed things in the formations/supplements. Like the Helbrute/cultist thing.
If things are only useful in a formation, then something is wrong.

dangerboyjim
13-12-2014, 20:16
Most of the formations are written way before the rules in the codex are out, so I doubt it's an attempt by GW trying to patch weaker units.

I think it's just a pretty naff effort to sell more products. Which is why I refuse to buy them.

"What are we releasing this week? OK well if someone buys one of each of those, and a pdf that should take all of 5 minutes to write then they can have feel no pain. There's a vehicle in there? OK Reroll to wound. We did that last week? OK reroll to hit. It doesn't really matter, the next edition in 6 months will invalidate all this stuff anyway."

Vaktathi
13-12-2014, 20:38
Formations are a pretty silly idea in the first place. They're all over the place in what they offer, some are almost completely pointless, others are absurdly powerful (e.g. recycling objective secured infantry). There's not much indication except wishful thinking that they're there to help underpowered units.

In general, I'm not a fan of "free special rules and abilities for zero additional points, go ahead and ignore that FoC while you're at it!" things, and avoid them like the plague personally. Not to mention that there's relatively few or absolutely none for certain armies and gobs of them for others.

MasterDecoy
13-12-2014, 22:14
As a tyranid player, the pIathora of formations avaliable is amazing.

If I'm in a rush i can easily Make am army by cobbling together a couple of formations, easy, quick and more importantly thematic.

Ghungo
13-12-2014, 23:29
There is a tyranid formation that grants ObSec to gargoyles.

To be fair that formation was the original place of that rule and the 6th edition decided to share it with the CAD And AD detachments

Scribe of Khorne
14-12-2014, 00:04
Long game, they could be a mechanism for balance. Will GW ever care, or will they just use them to push product? I'll leave that for you to ponder...

Its a given however that actual balance (internal and external) across an entire Codex will NEVER happen. I've given up hope.

If GW tries to push SC's (buy this shiny extra HQ Model) and Detachments/Formations, they could for sure balance it better.

Ironbone
14-12-2014, 03:06
In general, I'm not a fan of "free special rules and abilities for zero additional points, go ahead and ignore that FoC while you're at it!" things, and avoid them like the plague personally. Not to mention that there's relatively few or absolutely none for certain armies and gobs of them for others.

Well, my two personal biggest gripes with formations is firstly, that they appear to be made by random. Some formations are great ( hunter crade, corpsethiefs ), some other put question "why I should ever concider useing this ?". And second is they they add yet another layer of army composition into already bloated system.

tneva82
14-12-2014, 04:59
(e.g. recycling objective secured infantry).

Tyranid formation had recycling troops? Only formation that could have that since other formations don't have obj secure rule.

Ghungo
14-12-2014, 05:58
A unit cannot be in two separate detachments at the same time. If a formation recycled units such as endless swarm then those are its only rule. A Combined Armed Detachment has its own rules which only effect troops in that detachment. You would need a detachment with endless swarm and objective secured on the same unit.

Vaktathi
14-12-2014, 11:28
For some reason I thought the Endless Swarm had Obj Sec, apparently I was wrong on that. Either way, kinda secondary to my major point of largely getting abilities that aren't really paid for and functionally ignoring the traditional force composition mechanics.

Commissar Merces
14-12-2014, 14:40
This is the way I feel about formations. GW isn't giving you freedom, they are dictating what you should buy.

It is almost a year ago today that the first formations were launched. Anyone remember them? A cheesy Tau variation of broadsides (preferred enemy space marines and tank hunters for free) and a space marine flyer one (everything BS5) for free.

Ghungo
14-12-2014, 14:56
For some reason I thought the Endless Swarm had Obj Sec, apparently I was wrong on that. Either way, kinda secondary to my major point of largely getting abilities that aren't really paid for and functionally ignoring the traditional force composition mechanics.
The force org was always a bad way to balance armies. it requires individual unit balancing internally and externally and is basically unachievable. And regardless of what people say 7th edition is immensely more balanced with detachments. Once the serpent shield is nerfed and any bike troop shenanigans from eldar every single book (except sisters) would be balanced. Sure dark Angels can be brought into line with other 6th/7th books and csm would love a army tactics book. And that's why people think the books are bland they are really well balanced.

Ghungo
14-12-2014, 15:03
This is the way I feel about formations. GW isn't giving you freedom, they are dictating what you should buy.

It is almost a year ago today that the first formations were launched. Anyone remember them? A cheesy Tau variation of broadsides (preferred enemy space marines and tank hunters for free) and a space marine flyer one (everything BS5) for free.

While formations dictate exact units. It has been more freedom since more units are played and more units become usable. Lists tend to be more thematic as well. At least so far formations has only opened up the variety of what is considered competetive builds. You no longer see the same 2-3 lists dominating tournaments people are trying out different builds based around different formations creating thematic lists around them. Are you playing an Orc dread army or ork greentide. Are you playing ork MAN missiles or bike star. The great thing about formations is that it gives rules to units that have largely been lacking. For instance the best units are already reliable. But when they pass around rules like preferred enemy, reroll to hit, reroll to wound, d6 scatter, fearless, etc it is generally a smaller boon to those already powerful units that were already reliable but a much bigger gain on the units that were considered weak because they were to expensive and not reliable.

hazmiter
14-12-2014, 15:21
For some reason I thought the Endless Swarm had Obj Sec, apparently I was wrong on that. Either way, kinda secondary to my major point of largely getting abilities that aren't really paid for and functionally ignoring the traditional force composition mechanics.

The endless swarm rule, if it was on troops (ie hormagaunts), then they do have objective secured do they not? As the list that makes it is a battle forged list, and not an unbound one?
The blood angels one i find characterful, quite fluffy in a way.

mightymconeshot
14-12-2014, 16:12
Being bound does not give objective secured. Objective Secure is a command benefit for a specific set of FOC ( and I think the skyswarm formation).

Ghungo
14-12-2014, 17:02
Being bound does not give objective secured. Objective Secure is a command benefit for a specific set of FOC ( and I think the skyswarm formation).
Foc is the wrong word as it no longer exists.
Objective secured is a command benefit of specific detachments. (Formations are a type of detachment) most notably objective secured is a command benefit of the combined arms detachment and allied detachment also the tyranid skyswarm formation and the new blood angels alternate detachment. However non of those detachments also have the endless swarm rule which allow recycling troops.

I also see people mess up and think that you can contain a formation inside a combine arms detachment. You can't. A unit can only be a part of one detachment.

mightymconeshot
14-12-2014, 17:56
I think FOC still very much exists as a word and is the correct term. There are now many different types of FOC from the Combined arms detachment, to the new Dark Eldar one. Exists the same as in 3rd-6th? No. But it is still there.

Shadeseraph
14-12-2014, 21:09
Foc is the wrong word as it no longer exists.
Objective secured is a command benefit of specific detachments. (Formations are a type of detachment) most notably objective secured is a command benefit of the combined arms detachment and allied detachment also the tyranid skyswarm formation and the new blood angels alternate detachment. However non of those detachments also have the endless swarm rule which allow recycling troops.

I also see people mess up and think that you can contain a formation inside a combine arms detachment. You can't. A unit can only be a part of one detachment.

The Gargoyles in the Skyblight formation have both Objective Secured and the skyswarm rule, which allows them to return on a 4+.

Personally, I'm loving formations. I hated them at first, because their rules completely bent the restrictions in 6th edition, and because the first formation they created was way, way too good (the firebase cadre). Later formations are saner, and breaking the FOC isn't such a big deal. Right now, formations are an interesting idea to create new uses for preexisting units, as well as giving new life to previously uninteresting units. The 5 Lictors + Deathleaper one, for example, makes lictors good support for a DS based army, while in a conventional army lictors take a precious elite slot.

T10
15-12-2014, 10:26
For some reason I thought the Endless Swarm had Obj Sec, apparently I was wrong on that. Either way, kinda secondary to my major point of largely getting abilities that aren't really paid for and functionally ignoring the traditional force composition mechanics.

But in a standard Combined Arms detachment you get Objective Secured and that Warolrd Trait re-roll thing for free.

Surely., any detachment or formation that offers different "theme rules" can be said to "pay" for this by replacing those standard Cobined Arms rules. Wether it's an exchange of equal value is certainly up for debate, but there is a cost of sorts.

On the other hand, maybe each detachment and formation should have points cost too, with your first Combined Arms detachment being free of charge?

-T10

Apologist
15-12-2014, 10:29
I regard formations as a nice way for GW to show what they think an army or strikeforce for a particular faction or species looks like. I really like the concept behind the idea, as it's a nice way of showing new players that a typical Space Marine company will have more tactical squads than devastators, or that a Tyranid swarm will have a mix of different-sized beasties, for example.

One of the main reasons I shy away from pick-up games is that I see a lot of armies (not all, of course) that look like a collection of models cut and paste lists that don't evoke the atmosphere of the universe for me at all. Of course that's subject to taste, but if GW provide formations that help encourage or guide players towards lists that are more evocative of the game universe as they see it and thus provide a central, common point that people can riff off that sounds like a great idea to me.

However, it also allows GW to show unusual thematic forces like assault companies or a stormboyz korps. Gamers who strive for efficiency and competitiveness tend to avoid lists like these or dilute the flavour by putting in something unthematic (a typical example would be an all drop-pod list with a single Land Raider in) to help shore up an inherent weakness of the list. With GW giving a minor free boost to help shore up the inherent inefficiencies of such an extreme force, it helps add diversity.

Are they an unqualified success? No; but they are at least interesting. Importantly, they help to give guidelines that help encourage imagination and freedom within a common framework, rather than hard limits (like the force org chart) that channel people into typical builds. The latter approach was GW's response in 3rd edition to encourage the use of troops; but all it really did was force people to pay a tax to take the minimum troops and removed people's freedom to take things like all-Aspect armies, ork speed freeks, or other similar atypical armies that you could make in Rogue Trader/2nd edition.

The new formations approach allows people who like the iconic but inefficient lists (Battle companies, mixed-size swarms, legion-themed Chaos marines, for example) a free bonus that ameliorates the list's less than competitive nature.

Vaktathi
15-12-2014, 10:47
But in a standard Combined Arms detachment you get Objective Secured and that Warolrd Trait re-roll thing for free. Not a huge fan of that either, but it's there both to provide and incentive to use it as opposed to simply going Unbound, and fundamentally the vast majority of armies are still fundamentally built around the traditional FoC that has been in place for 16 years and through five separate editions.

The Formations meanwhile may or may not have anything to do with Warlords or Troops units at all (and thus may not lose anything), while they can still be taken in addition to the traditional FoC.

Personally, I'm also not enthused by the "DLC"-ish nature of many of them, and they're often also increasingly seen as acceptable "patches" for codex books instead of simply addressing the codex issues in the first place.

Killgore
15-12-2014, 10:58
As noted above, formations are a great way of adding themed units into a force. This can encourage conversions to make the formation stand out from the rest of the army. Also it acts as a great way to expand into other forces, I'm considering some Blood Angels to help out my Ultramarines and will take great interest in any Death Company style formations.

Whats stopping people from designing their own formations for use amongst mates?

tneva82
15-12-2014, 11:02
Whats stopping people from designing their own formations for use amongst mates?

Players themselves.

Baneboss
15-12-2014, 11:14
I dislike formations because:
1) It has a 'buy mu sign'.
2) Bad units shouldnt be improved by giving them more special rules but rather by changing their costs, improving their stats or giving them more options. Too many special rules is for me a bad design thing because we already have a lot to remember. Too much to remember is very anti beer and pretzel game design. You have to put too much focus in remembering all those little details.
3) It complicates things especially for new players. We already have too many different rules in too many places.
4) It alienates different player groups and is very anti meta. In order to play a tournament we already have to limit some options (like ban unbounded). There are some groups that want to use formations and some doesnt. When they meet its hard for them to play a game.

Casper Hawser
15-12-2014, 11:42
Well I got the BA codex yesterday really like the codex although I'll need to get a tac squad and make a couple of sergeants to run the formation but I'm happy enough with Baal strike force detachment.
But I know what I'm like and will eventually feel the need to get the shield of Baal campaign for there formations they should just put them online for free wouldn't feel like I'm getting forced to buy books instead of models then.


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Shadeseraph
15-12-2014, 12:00
Whats stopping people from designing their own formations for use amongst mates?

I've already written a bunch of them for fantasy! I love the idea, frankly.