Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A note on the meta game

So if I came up to random educated 40k player and asked them what the "best" armies currently were, what would they say? 

Something along the lines of this
"Space wolves and mech guard, blood angels are probably up there too  oh and dark eldar."

Well let me tell you this, the meta game is changing.  Soon we will hear no more cries of "OMG his leaf blower army is SO EFFING BROKEN".  Why?  Because the top armies are no longer mech guard, space wolves or space wolves.


Now I know you're all thinking I probably have no clue what Im taking about but let me first explain to you what's really going on behind the scenes.  About a year and a half ago the guard codex came out and introduced a new level of fire power that was unheard of in the game.  This guard army was so radical when it came to the shooting phase it pissed on everyone else.

 Let me show you what I mean,

Cannoness with MC eviserator, book, cloak, jump pack, bolt pistol, Mantle
Cannoness with Blessed Weapon, book, cloak, jump pack, inferno pistol

10 sisters with melta gun and Heavy flamer. Vet has a book. Mounted in a rhino with extra armor and smoke
10 sisters with melta gun and Heavy flamer. Vet has a book. Mounted in a rhino with extra armor and smoke
10 sisters with melta gun and Heavy flamer. Vet has a book. Mounted in a rhino with extra armor and smoke
8 Grey knights, 2 psycannons

DH inquisitor with psycannon and Emperors Tarrot. 3 Heavy bolter servitors. Sage. 2 Mystics

3 Exorcists no upgrades
This list won a GT in the begining of 2009.  (Guard came out in May 2009)  This list has very little in the way of combat, and was considered a very shooty army back in those days. 

Now here comes guard just a few months later with 3 hydras 2 manticores 3 vendettas and melta vets out the wazoo and sweeps a few GT's and people wonder how?  Really if that sister list used to be GT winning imagine what current guard builds would have done.

Now if we look at what a lot of armies can field now, we see lists with 20+ missels and 15+ melt guns and shrug as its just another "top" list.  Almost every competitive event you go to will feature multiples of these types of armies.  It's no shock to anyone anymore.

So, just as the meta game to be able to crush that sister list, and other lists that are on par with it, the meta game is changing to crush these types of gunline bulds.

How?  Well lets see what armies can mess these gunlines up without problem.

 Demons first off, The last time I lost to a mech guard player with demons was actually never, and not for a lack of playing them. 

Blood angels, they are like space wolves with fast and feel no pain.  But they don't get long fangs or wolf scouts!  You're right they get feel no pain and fast preds/razors, and scout bikes which did I mention are better wolf scouts?  Oh by the way I think I forgot to mention mephiston.

New dark angels, well by new I mean post faq dark angels.  Why?  Let's see what your 15 meltas and 20 missels do to my army of 2+ 3+ that can beat your face into the ground in combat, and have even more missels than you. 

And, last but not least, black templars, wait black who?  I've never even heard of those guys, what do they do?  Nothing other than army wide prefered enemy, 15 termies toting 6 tank hunting cyclone missles, machine spirit everywhere, and 75 point typhoons or assualt squads with all melta bombs.  Take your pick on that one.

So how would I rank army tiers now?  Well probably something like,
Tier 1 (in no praticular order withen each tier)- Demons, Dark angels, Black templars, Blood angels.

Demons overload you, and just fuck with the meta game so I wont go into them, Dark angels black templars and blood angels, do what guard and razorwolves wish they could.  Move, shoot, and fight well all at the same time.        

Tier 2
Guard, wolves, vanilla marines, chaos, eldar, orks, immo spam sisters. 

Still good armies, solid and reliable, just not the best anymore.  They've all had their time as number one and now its time to let others have a shot,

Tier 3
Everyone else, well tau might be tier 2. 

Not awful, good withen their own tier, played well most can compete against tier 2.  Just now good enough these days.  (Yes this includes dark eldar...)

I truely believe this recent faq coming out was the force that tipped the meta game change over the edge.  It was what was the final straw in making guard and wolves tier 2. Now I want to hear what you have to say, Discuss!


  1. I think it's a little early to say that Dark Angels will be top tier. Let's give things a chance to shake out first. Maybe GW has decided to shake things up in order to stimulate sales. Maybe they just feel bad a little guilty because Grey Knights will be over the top. It's too early to say really. Certainly things are changing. Things always change. Change is the only thing that is always constant. It is what it is.


  2. I agree with BBF that its a little soon to automatically say top tier because of the changes. I do think the armies are playable now and a good move by GW. It adds two new armies to the local meta at the same time which is something that doesn't happen very often. Usually the Meta slowly shifts with releases one at a time. Not to mention while people get a grip on the new FAQ changes we will have the new Grey marines of pricey thrown into the mix for more meta fun. =P

    I do agree Demons are a good army because of the meta. As a demon player I had this type of discussion with several people who admitted to me that as SW's starting showing up more and more Demons starting showing up too because they are a good match up vs SW.

  3. I personally don't agree with Tiers. I do believe there is a codex that can't compete at a serious level and that is Necrons. With GK's getting an update that is it honestly. Every other army can compete.

    Now some have it easier building a good list if they are newer as the newer codexes are amazing for more flexible builds but there is still competitive builds in all other books. Personal opinion. And yes the FAQ's brought a true competitive build to DA's and expanded on the only really competitive BT build but it didn't sky rocket them above and beyond other lists.

    Side note: I've never lost to a daemon player whether I was playing Wolves, IG, Nids, or Orks. Daemons are an excellent counter to the current trend but don't mix up your excellence with an army as it being a power house.

  4. Good to read some independent thoughts, not the usual SW, IG, BA wagon.

    As for DA. Time will tell.