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Is our codex in balance or not?


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I read in a lot of places that our codex is very good and balanced and that most people seems to like it. I do. But I wonder, if our codex is in balance, because if it´s a good codex, then why don´t our faction win any tournaments? From the release of our codex I have seen no tournament wins ( I could be wrong, please correct me if you can). I know that some other armies like custodes and tau has been very strong and we are not close (and few armies has been) but still I wonder why we dont see more wins or top 4 spots? I heard one reason could be that we are one of the least played armies but is that true?

 

Dont get me wrong, I love our army and I think our codex is fun (and I could even win with the old one and now we have more tools) but why don´t we shine more?

 

 

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The short answer is: Every other codex since our release (including Custodes) has been overpowered and/or overtuned in some way or another.

The GSC book is (in my opinion and quite a few others' opinion) one of the most balanced 9th ed books, great internal balance and great external balance when compared to previous 9th ed books. We currently have a WLR of about 50% last I checked, which is very nice. A lot of the janky GSC plays of old have been removed for a fun and fluffy ruleset.

 

You've gotten half of the problem down already: GSC are one of the least played armies, the other half is that newer books are crazy good. If the 40k competitive meta was in a healthier state, GSC would definitely be in the runnings for picking up top spots at tournaments

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I think TrawlingCleaner pretty much covers it. In particular, there's a significant difference between good internal  balance (where there are no auto-picks or auto-avoids in a codex), and good external balance, where a codex is balanced against all the other codices. Right now, we have pretty good internal balance (even aberrants have their uses), and choices are determined by play-style, rather than having to play in a certain way because only a handful of units work.

 

But more broadly, there are a few codices that are too strong (in the competitive tournament environment, at least) - Custodes, Tau, Harlequins and Tyranids. Goonhammer's Competitive Innovations column (more about the competitive, less about the innovation right now) is a good bell-weather for this, and you can see how those four factions dominate top four, top ten, top however-many in the big tournaments. Against those codices, we're not balanced, but then neither are most of the other codiece either. You get occasional aberrations (Death Guard won something this week), but they're few and far between, and with less GSC players around than most (if not all) other factions, the chances of one of those aberrations being us is naturally smaller too.

 

In the end, we're a good codex for fun games and experimenting with different combinations and ideas. We're currently a bad codex if you want to win tournaments (but that's true of all codices on a fairly rapidly rotating basis - it wasn't long ago that AdMech and Dark Eldar were the dominant forces). I think I'd rather have the fun codex.

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So what hurt us is that we are balanced and many codexes are not and at the same time we are to few GSC players around. It sounds about right. But how can we fix it?

 

Because I love our faction and I want it to get more positive mentions. We need both more models (please GW, give us another heavy choice) and more mention in the fluff. And one way to get this is to win tournaments. But how can we win tournaments?

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Having played an experienced GSC player 4 times my take on the GSC codex is fun and fuffy but weak. Lots of rules are interesting but ultimately can not overcome weak stats and awkward ranges. Small maps have neutered the power of deepstrike which was a core theme of GSC. Big changes will be needed to make this book a contender
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So what could change so we get the same chance as the other stronger codexes? Better troops, better weapons, new strategium or something else?

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Well, better anything always helps :)

 

I think the problem is broader than just the codex being 'weaker' than others. Every faction now has a plethora of rules and interactions, and sometimes those combinations are absolute kryptonite.

 

Take the Thousand Sons, for example. They get +1 save against damage 1 weapons; they also reduce AP by 1. Different rules, so they effectively stack. If a genestealer (with AP-3) hits a rubric marine, its 3+ save becomes 2+, our AP becomes -2, and the overall save is 4+ (not the 6+ it would be against a conventional 3+ save, or even the 5+ it used to be against rubrics).

 

But if we buff the genestealers, they'll become even better against lots of other things.

 

In the end, sometimes we just run up against opposition that naturally blunt our attacks. But it cuts both ways. Acolytes are near perfect into AdMech skitarii, for instance, with AP-2 precisely dropping their 4+ save down to the 6++ invulnerable, and 1 damage killing a model for every damaging hit. They also reduce our strength by 1? I'm Helix, so I was S5 anyway, and still wound on 3s. Now we're the kryptonite.

 

It may be that the only way to 'fix' this is to remove a lot of the interesting and flavourful stuff, but that's not necessarily a good thing.

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I think one good thing would be that AoC doesn´t work in close combat for our army. That could lower the blow somehow but still make space marines better against other. At the same time, our biggest problem is not space marines but the other armies lite tyranids, tau and custodes. Shall be intersting to see what GW do int he future. It´s clear that we together with a nother couple of armies don´t win much in tournaments but in regular plays against friends we are more balanced. 

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There's good armies and good players. A powerful codex will lift up middle range players, but the same top tier players dominate no matter the meta. Good players can swap between armies and codexes to stay on top but a good codex alone can't send anyone to the top. You can improve as a player, but the best way to do so is to be part of a gaming club of other high skill high competativeness players. Hence in the UK its about 3 gaming clubs that dominate the top spots in the tournament scene.

 

Genestealer Cults won tournaments in 8th when a good cult player used them, there just aren't very many of them due to it being a finesse faction.

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Yes, I saw that and it made me very happy. Finally good to see some top 10 places for our book. I hope more will see this and try to use our army so we can get better results.

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Cult won the tournament I attended last weekend and they even beat my deathguard 12-8 in big points in the last game. The ability to stack multiple shooting buffs onto one target can be devastating for armies that rely on low unit count. My terminators just melted due to combined shooting. I think GSC is a good counter vs DG, Tyranids and TAU which all rely on singular tough units  (blightlords, maleceptors/tyrants, crisis blobs). I think counters against GSC might be speedy minmax armies like craftworld eldar/harlequins.

 

You have a very strong codex!

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The GW Seattle Open just happened. All of the top five places (of 205 entries) were taken by Tyranid players. Ouch.

 

But behind that, it was Eldar, Chaos and then Genestealer Cults. Hurrah! An eighth-place finish in what looks like a very strong field.

 

It also means the Cult finished above Tau, Custodes, Harlequind, Dark Eldar, AdMech and almost everything with Armour of Contempt (depending on the Chaos list).

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That sounds very nice to hear. Anyone know what kind of list he played? sounds good that we have some teeth...

 

Cult Creed: The Twisted Helix

 

Detachment Command Cost

 

+ Stratagems +

 

Gene-sire's Gifts: 2x Extra Relic

 

+ No Force Org Slot +

 

Kelermorph: 3x Liberator Autostub, Relic: Wyrmtooth Rounds

 

Nexos: Autopistol, Relic: Cranial Inlay

 

+ HQ +

 

Acolyte Iconward: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cult Claws

 

Magus: Autopistol, Force stave, Magus Bio-dagger, Power: Mass Hypnosis, Power: Might From Beyond, Power: Mutagenic Deviation, Psychic Familiar, Relic: The Unwilling Orb

 

Primus: Cult Bonesword, Scoped Needle Pistol, Toxin Injector Claw, Warlord, Warlord Trait: Bio-alchemist

 

+ Troops +

 

Acolyte Hybrids: Proficient Planning: Our Time is Nigh

5x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 5x Blasting Charges, 5x Cult Claws and Knife, 5x Frag Grenades, 5x Hand Flamer

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Leader: Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades, Hand Flamer

 

Acolyte Hybrids: Proficient Planning: A Trap Sprung

4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades

4x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades, 4x Hand Flamer

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Hybrid (Heavy Weapon): Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Heavy Rock Drill

Acolyte Leader: Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades, Hand Flamer

 

Acolyte Hybrids: Proficient Planning: Lying in Wait

4x Acolyte Hybrid (Hand Flamer): 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades, 4x Hand Flamer

Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades

 

Acolyte Hybrids

4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades

Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades

 

Acolyte Hybrids

4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades

Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades

 

Acolyte Hybrids

4x Acolyte Hybrid: 4x Autopistol, 4x Blasting Charges, 4x Cult Claws and Knife, 4x Frag Grenades

Acolyte Leader: Autopistol, Blasting Charges, Cult Claws and Knife, Frag Grenades

 

+ Elites +

 

Hybrid Metamorphs

9x Hybrid Metamorph (Hand Flamer): 9x Blasting Charges, 9x Frag Grenades, 9x Hand Flamer, 9x Metamorph Mutations

Metamorph Leader: Blasting Charges, Frag Grenades, Hand Flamer, Metamorph Mutations

 

Purestrain Genestealers: Proficient Planning: They Came From Below

10x Purestrain Genestealer: 10x Cult Claws and Talons

 

Purestrain Genestealers

10x Purestrain Genestealer: 10x Cult Claws and Talons

 

+ Fast Attack +

 

Achilles Ridgerunners: Proficient Planning: From Every Angle

Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

Achilles Ridgerunner: Flare Launcher, Heavy Mining Laser, 2x Heavy Stubber

 

Atalan Jackals: Demolition Charge

4x Atalan Jackal (Small Arms): 4x Atalan Small Arms, 4x Blasting Charges

Atalan Leader: Atalan Small Arms, Blasting Charges

 

+ Dedicated Transport +

 

Goliath Truck: Heavy Stubber, Twin Autocannon

 

Goliath Truck: Heavy Stubber, Twin Autocannon

 

Goliath Truck: Heavy Stubber, Twin Autocannon

 

 

I think most impressively, it's a rather normal list that has slightly more Acolytes more than the average. No Abherrants is also an interesting choice, most lists I see (especially Helix) tend to lean into at least 10 Abherrants. I think if GW were to make Abherrants CORE, it would likely push the unit to be pretty much the be all and end all of the Codex :biggrin.:

 

A very well done to the player who piloted the list, 8th Place in the current Meta is an uphill battle! :sweat:

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Thanks for the list. that actually looks almost what I use. I change two acolytes to two neophytes units and then i take away one genestealer unti for some abberants. But very close. Intersting. Perhaps I should try to take my list to a tournament?

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I have never tried and it would be intersting to both meet new people to play against but also to try out to see how good me and my gaminggroup are when it comes to 40k. 

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  • 1 month later...

So what do you think about our codex after all the new changes? Nothing much happend to us (Good? Bad?) but several other armies got changes, some small, some bigger. Is our codex still in balance and how will we compete in the future?

 

To answer my own question, I think our codex is in balance and in casual games we will very much have a good fight and propably be around 50% in winning/losing which is what every codex should have. But I still think we will struggle in the tournament scene and will not gain many top 4 spots. What do you think? 

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Getting nothing at all felt a bit 'meh'. I mean, on the one hand, it suggests that the codex is in a really good, balanced place, which is nice; on the other, lots of other people got new toys (well, point drops and rule changes), and it would have been interesting to be part of that (#bufftheaberrants).

Relatively speaking, it leaves us worse off against various factions, which are mostly the ones I play against, grr. But not game-breakingly so, I think - we'll just need to be a bit more devious, tactically.

And tournaments are tournaments. There'll always be a 'most powerful' faction or combo, and tournament players will always gravitate towards it. I'm not sure you can currently be balanced and win tournaments at the same time (at least, not reliably). And as a non-tournament player, I'm happy to fall on the balanced side of that equation.

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A huge "fix" for this army would be slight point decreases in Aberrants, and possibly some decreases in proficient planning points. Why? It would allow us to field a "tougher" (for GSC) unit in abberrants and give us a few more points to buy more troops by reducing the cost of must take proficient planning tactics.

I've played small games only, very small. Even then it felt like we were paper fragile and required finesse to play. That makes this army very niche where other armies are just easier to play with and win.

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totallt agree. We have several intersting and fun tactics and together with (some time) huge damage dealing. but it all requires finesse and thats hard. Also we can survival a hit from any weapon, we mostly just dies. Other armies can easier make mistakes and come back from it. We can´t.

 

I had a game for a month ago that the two last rounds I didn´t a single wound on my opponent because all my hard hiting units where gone. Was playing tyranids. Funny story, I still won the game with 72 vs 69!

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Not a GSC player, but played against them several times, both in tournaments and outside. I can't speak to the internal balance of the codex, but every match I've played seems to be fairly even- cults have some nasty shooting tricks that just drown my lists in armor saves, meaning that even tough units eventually start losing members because you can only roll so many saves. I haven't been too impressed with their melee, though both Aberrants and Purestrains did some decent damage, but I play mainly melee Necrons and have enough durability in my melee units to usually survive a combat phase or two. What has impressed me is the speed and sheer amount of bodies that GSC gets- with the bikers, infantry, and trucks swarming I've had a tough time trying to get good target priority. I think you guys probably should have gotten some points adjustments, but right now as far as my local scene goes the GSC is doing fairly well.

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That sounds like some very nice insight about our play. It´s always intersting to hear from someone from the "outside" how it is to meet us. I think that is a good way to play GSC, with swarming and lot of targets so it´s hard to chose what to shoot at :)

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Interesting that you find Cult firepower to be effective, Ikka. I've not yet got on top of that approach (I prefer a more melee-oriented style), but it's one I'd like to experiment with if I ever amass enough units with guns.

What kinds of firepower are your opponents bringing to the table?

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