army composition

Murder Your Darlings (or: Why I’ll Never Be a Serious 40K Contender)

“In fairness, ‘The Floor is Lava’ may not be the strongest competitive build.” – Val Heffelfinger, paraphrased There is a notion in writing called “Murder Your Darlings”. Basically, what it boils down to is not to be overly precious with your own ideas. That turn of phrase you really like? That “brief” digression into 19th century British Colonial diplomacy (this is sadly a real example)? If they don’t belong, get rid of them. Something that doesn’t serve the goal of your writing – to be clear, to convey information, etc. has to go, whether you like it or not. I tell my students to do this. I force myself to do this. But I won’t do this for my 40K armies – and that, more than anything else, is why I’m not good at competitive 40K. Let’s talk about Adam Abramowicz for a bit – this year’s “motivating example” for a lot of my thoughts on competitive 40K. For those of you not following Warzone

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Command Points are 8th Edition’s Psychic Dice

TL;DR: They’re good at injecting flavor into the game, are fun in small quantities, but when deployed en masse break the game. This started as what was just going to be a flippant post to the Variance Hammer Facebook page, but on the drive home things…took a turn. So here we are, talking about how Command Points, and the problems with them, run pretty parallel to the problems 7th edition had with the Psychic phase. But What About Formations? “Wait!” You say. “Command Points and Stratagems replaced formations, everyone knows this!” From a gameplay and source of mechanics perspective, this is correct. Command Points and Stratagems replaced Formations as “The expandable way to inject army-specific feel and special rules into the game”. But it’s not the intent of a mechanic, or what role it fills, that is often problematic. Sometimes, it’s the mechanic itself – and that’s where we hit the 7th edition psychic phase. Looking back on my 7th ed

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