FtW Bloggers Group

Thursday, 4 August 2011

The 40k status quo - what armies are currently successful?


Of course, we all know that mech has prevailed in 5th edition, but lately I've being seeing (as I'm sure many of you have also) a preference towards gunlines. In an edition were cover saves were increased and run-moves became universal it might be surprising that infantry CC armies are not doing so well. The simple answer, is mech.

You see, full mech is 'an army within an army' as Kirby likes to call it. When playing an assault force, not only do you have to reach your enemy to damage him, but you have to first destroy his tanks, survive the counter attack and then munch through the infantry. With a shooty army, you are not as prone to being counter-attacked by the infantry pouring out.

But, when looking at the true 'top-tier' armies, one sees that they often are also capable in assault. Space Wolves and Grey Knights are in my opinion the two most powerful codices in the game, at the moment. Both have infantry that doesn't only buy you a transport (like say vanilla marines), but bring something to the table, and more importantly aren't too bad in combat. They aren't great but good at counter attacking wittled down enemies. Even mech guard might use blob squads to tie enemies down.

And that is really why I think that we are seeing a decline in CC armies. The best codices really have the perfect tools to annihilate a CC army, and any army that is meched up will have a distinct advantage against CC armies. It's not that you can't win with CC armies, infact I would dare say that a CC army has potential to do more damage then a shooty list, but meched shooty list are at an advantage against CC lists.

I personally enjoy CC armies, there are much more diverse in game, as your game doesn't revolve around movement and target priority, but includes more subtles variables that have to all be factored in. However, if looking for the highest powerlevel, I would build an army that revolves around shooting, is meched and brings to the table some counter attack for mopping up (which is easiest with ba, sw and gk, although de are also very good at it, just harder to play).


  1. A very good post. And I can totally agree! Playing Daemons has awoken me even further as mech boots me to my face every time. I might win, but it is more difficult with meched-up units counterpunching my units.

  2. I've noticed also a lot of hybrid armies on the blogs and even my local gaming tables. Many are trying to make army that is not totally mech or foot. They are definitely not on the first tier though. I agree with you about CC cabable army being more fun to play.

    Difficulty is that if you need closecombat to wreck enemy vehicles, you can't assault it's contents the same turn. That way your opponet has avantage in getting his squad to safety (or getting assault bonuses). "Shoot the tank - assault it's crew" is a bit more easier but it still has some difficulties compared to "shoot everything"-strategy.

    Nice to notice that there are finnish bloggers also.

  3. Thx for the comments guys, I just realised, I forgot to answer your comments. I agree that many hybrid builds are being played, either because the best units in the army don't support full mech (like missile long fangs) or because the list is trying to take advantage of the benefits of both mech and foot.

    As for shoot the tank- assault the crew, I agree it's the best way to go (and that's why we see 9 hiveguard in nid lists). However, many armies don't have enough access to ranged antitank (hello orks, nids and daemons) and are limited to a small number of units. Even armies that can take more anti-tank units still have CC units that don't pose a threat at range.

    What effect does this have? Your list becomes predictable and reliant on certain units (making target priority easier and the list easier to counter).


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