There have been a few armies really overperforming as of late (Tau, Custodes, and Harlequins), and a few really underperforming and GW is trying to keep the game more balanced than before.
Warhammer Community released the latest 40k rules balance dataslate and considering this isn’t the first one, it looks like they will be keeping up with it quarterly as they promised.
The New Balance Dataslate Basically Fixes Warhammer 40k
We have adjusted how a couple of generic mechanics work – the Indirect Fire rule and variations of the Bodyguard mechanic. The main goal behind these changes is for units with these rules to still feel cool and immersive, but also give the opposing player more ways to interact with them. In addition to these changes, we have also introduced a new generic rule: Armour of Contempt.
Applying to certain faction keywords, this rule is intended to reduce the lethality of the game for a whole swathe of factions that have traditionally relied on their armour to help them survive the punishing battlefields of Warhammer 40,000, and which are currently finding the ubiquity of high AP weaponry a little bit much!
First up, they are buffing Space Marines, CSM, and Sisters of Battle by giving them all a little bit of a buff against AP weapons. This is honestly pretty strong as most weapons are gaining more AP.
Next, Indirect fire is getting a pretty big NERF, but the Astra Militarum keeps all the strength of their weapons. Next, they are getting rid of a lot of the strength of bodyguards.
UPDATE: Less than a week after release, GW has quietly updated the 40k balance Dataslate to be more in line with how the rules should work…
Let’s start with some of the things that aren’t changing, then get into all the changes!
Adeptus Custodes NERFS
Adeptus Custodes receive changes so that the Objective Secured rule only applies to Troops, the part of a Shieldhost best suited to capturing Objectives. This means that powerhouse picks like Trajann Valoris or Allarus Terminators will be freed up to dish out the hurt wherever they’re needed.
Also, a handful of their most powerful Stratagems become one use only, with some changing to only affect CORE – so you’ll need to think carefully about how to use these game-changing abilities.
These are some big changes, now taking objectives has just gotten much harder as only Troops have ObSec. Then, two strong Stratagems go to once per game, so you’ll really have to plan on how you actually use them.
Lastly, you can only affect Infantry with Arcane Genetic Alchemy and Emperor’s Auspice. We’ll have to see how they play out, but feel pretty big.
The top-performing armies all receive tweaks. Harlequins have Mirror Architect and Favour of Cegorach adjusted, needing more care to use due to their powerful nature. Meanwhile, Starweavers and Voidweavers see an increase in points – but retain their lethality and utility.
Right off the bat, they hit them with a points increase. Then, they changed two of the strongest special rules. Again, Harlequins have been performing really well, so we’ll have to see if this is enough to bring them down a little.
Finally, Mont’ka has been tweaked to remove bonus AP for the T’au Empire, Broadside Battlesuits have had CORE removed, and specific charge-blunting rules have stopped stacking – so T’au remain a premier shooting faction, but you’ll need to work a little bit harder to protect your gunlines from vicious melee assailants.
Getting rid of some innate AP and then the bonus to Space Marines and other armor really might take a huge toll on the Tau. Then, removing Core from Broadsides is a pretty big blow for buffs. Lastly, getting rid of the cumulative bonuses against charges will hopefully make them easier to actually get into combat with.
GW Quietly Updated the 40k Balance Dataslate Already
They made an adjustment here for the Tyranids. Now the Hive Tyrant units can benefit from the rule, as it’s using the Keyword instead of the unit name (and they bolded it to be sure this time around). So hooray for Swarmlords and Winged Hive Tyrants.
While it means you won’t stop other Guard units from benefiting, it means you won’t be able to use this in a mono-faction Scions army. They seem the most likely to actually benefit, so this is sad news as anything Guard-related needs all the buffs.
This is just a quick change to the wording so that if you’re already worsening the AP of an attack this doesn’t work. This makes sense as it wasn’t meant to be a stacking buff to get a ton of minuses to AP. Obviously, this is good to have clarity as people were probably already thinking of ways to get some stacking.
Lastly, they threw the wording from the previous dataslate back in here to make your knights ObSec. This makes sense as the new book still isn’t out and why NERF them while waiting around for the book to drop?
GW Announces What Supplements are Valid in 40k Matched Play
Now, with this and the recent Warhammer 40k balance dataslate, this should hopefully keep the game in check for a while now.
Considering most of these are so old, we really don’t mind seeing the PA books being rotated out. It’s actually pretty crazy that any of these are still usable, but armies like Imperial Guard need all the help they can get right now so we’re not complaining. It’s also wild looking at just how many supplements they have put out!
Also notice, that they say “valid until” and “superseded by a codex”, so that most likely means they are hoping to have all the new books, at least for the included armies, until then. Or, that is when they will just re-update this list.
The majority of the newer books can still be used, even though they can no longer be bought from GW, which is good because they aren’t cheap.
However, if you play Tyranids, basically everything is now useless other than the codex. This is just so strange to see because Crusher Stampede isn’t old at all and now it’s useless in matched play… which is just wild too.
Overall though, hopefully, this will keep the meta in check for a little while.
What do you think of the new quarterly rules balance dataslate update and changes for Warhammer 40k?
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