Ok, I don't usually rant or complain about the game. I love playing and painting and have enjoyed the challenge of trying to turn the Blood Angels into a competitive army rather then a One Trick Pony relegated to the kiddies table. Over the last two years I feel that I managed to do that with grit, determination, and tactics. But I have to remark that now I feel it is all over, or soon to be.
It kind of humors me that every one is/was so afraid of the Space Pups Codex, but really, did we all forget that huge bomb dropped on the game by some guardsman flying over head? Screw the wolves, they are a One Trick Pony and will join the Blood Angels on the foldable card tables while Imperial Guard is getting all the glory.
I will never forget my first impression of the tournament scene, and really, 40k cheese in general. I had been playing the game for less then a year and had finally thrown together an army I loved. My Blood Angels assault army. I took said army to the last Gamesday 40k tournament in Baltimore about a year and a half ago, and had my first run in with super cheese. I played a Tyranid army for my first game, and that guy ran me off the table in 3 turns with the typical Stealer spam of the time. I chalked it up to my noobiness, which played a big part in it, but then I realized, probably a third of the guys in that tournament were playing the same list! I certainly had plenty of time to walk around and see what other guys were playing. Not just the same army, but almost identical lists. In the last round 10 of the top 12 players were playing the same lists. For gods sake! I realized then that 40k tournaments were sort of like taking the Emmitt Smith/Troy Aikman Cowboys of the early 90s, (Or substitute any uber sports team like Jordan's Bulls, Bird's Celtics, Shaq's Lakers)cloning them, and throwing 12 copies of the same team into March Madness. Sure you will see some cindarellas, you would see some strong teams but you were pretty much guaranteed to see only clones in the finals, playing each other. Blah!
Then 5th edition came out. (And I came into my own) The rules were new, things changed for a while. Those uber armies at that Gamesday or modeled on that list showed up on Ebay pretty quick. All those guys planning their Tyranid tattoos disappeared. You began to see... gasp... balance? With Fritz's help, I developed a working strategy and list for my Blood Angels. You were seeing other armies start to do well at major tournaments. Jeez, Space Marines were actually winning?
It did not take long for GW to ruin it. Their first swipe with the Rod of Ruin was the Ork codex. The last GW GT I went to was over run with Nob Bikers. I personally played two guys with the same list, and got rolled each time. A Nob Biker list won Best General and Orks seemed well on their way to predetermined destiny. Until players adapted, and changed their lists to combat the scourge. Nob Biker armies? Ebay welcomed you!
The Ork scare was short lived. Players can be resourceful. GW was mad. They did not hit the world with the Rod of Ruin quite hard enough. They needed more. Space Marine codex came out. People swore. Space Marines scared every one. They fizzled. Sure, Space Marine mech was back. Rhino lists were actually competitive. Cover saves made them survivable! A well played Space Marine or Blood Angels list could at least compete again. But it was not enough.
Then GW upgraded that Rod of Ruin to the Pimp Stick of Ruinous Hell, and whacked every one of us over the head with it... except the guard players... wait... people played guard? Really? Where? Well, all of those "Long time guard players" came out of the woodwork and cashed in their Genestealer/Ork Nob armies and jumped onto the Bandwagon Procession. Ack. So begins the end of 40k as we know it.
Sure, the guard needed help. Their codex sucked and they were not competitive in the tournament world. Sure, GW is not entirely concerned with the tournament scene any way. They can care less if one army is lopsided under cost and overbalanced. In fact, the more dudes trading in their flavor of the month armies for Guard the better! Cha Ching!
I realized last weekend that we are now facing the new Genestealer/Nob Biker army. Can we say 3 Valkryes and more Chimeras full of Melta/plasma Guns then you can shake a stick at? What the hell, I thought those two weapons were ancient relics of technology long lost. Why are small squads of simple guardsmen packing them 4 at a time? I got to play one of these armies for the first time, and it made my army look weak and pathetic. Is it too late to buy a ticket for that bandwagon? Maybe I can commission Jawaballs to paint me a new Guard Army. You used to run up against 4, maybe 10 meltaguns. My army could withstand that. Well sorry sucka, lets see you withstand 26 of them! Oh, and here are 9 Lascannons to boot, 6 of them Twin Linked, mounted on fast moving skimmers that can hover over their own tanks, shoot at just about any model on the table with no cover save, carry troops and only cost 130 points. A Space marine tank with the same guns cost over 150... Not to mention the incredible level of rules munching that goes along with the addition of a new unit that was never meant to be played in 40k. "It says the model cannot be ON another model, but it says nothing about being OVER it." Guh. They actually complain that the Valkrye would be too hard to use if it could not hover over their protective wall of Russ tanks. Sorry your god unit might just have a limitation.
Looks like I am going to have to actually assemble and paint all them guard sitting on my shelves if I ever want a chance to win a tournament again. Seriously though, I don't see many things changing tactic or list wise to combat this new plague. These Guard lists are packing more survivability and fire power then every before. Plus, they are adding Grey Knight Terminators who ride in Chimeras! (The guard codex says nothing about terminators riding in Chimeras.) Jesus they have every thing they need, PLUS terminators riding in transports designed for Average Joe and his lasgun.
Now that the dex has been out for a while, and people have finally had time to build and paint their armies we are going to see more and more showing up tournaments. Pretty soon, it will be just like Baltimore Gamesday 2008 again. Only the top 10 armies will be the same guard list playing their own little tournament while every one else is eating pie with their bratty cousins.
Frustrated? A little. Bitter? Sure. Definitely ranting. But the point is valid. People cry about the Wolves, but the Guard Codex has changed the game for the worse. Agree? Disagree? Chime in.
I am all about change. My army is a testament to that. It changes every month. But seriously, I don't think I can field a Blood Angels army capable of defeating this new Guard list at all. Even if I knew what was coming and tailored it for the list. I do have some ideas and tactics, but sadly they do not involve my Blood Angels at all. And that makes me sad.