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Some call it codex creep, but I prefer to call it 'planned obsolescence'.
The idea is simple: every time GW releases a new codex, they not only promote an army, but cripple another. The idea is to get people to buy into newer, more appealing armies by making their present army seem clearly inferior to what the players already have.
I'm not trying to complain, as I think the changes help make the game interesting. It's just interesting to watch the gaming dynamic change over time.
So when did it start? It's really a matter of opinion, but I'd say it was with the combination of the new 5th edition rules, and the new Ork codex. Simultaneously, this was a double whammy that the poor Necron couldn't weather. Forced to rely heavily upon overpriced troops, and with no way to overcome Ork Nobz, the Necron changed from a former 'Ard Boyz champion, into practically a joke. If it weren't for their awesome models, you'd wonder if they'd be played at all.
The Dark Angels were next, as the new Space Marine codex was clearly superior in virtually every way.
After that, the poor Tau were replaced by the Imperial Guard, who not only outperformed them in both shooting and the assault, but also had a skimmer of their own to boot, leaving the Tau almost nothing to call their own.
Virtually every Space Marine sub-chapter (besides vanilla and chaos) were laughed off the table by the arrival of the Space Wolves, which were cheaper, better in close combat, had much better psychics, and received counter-charge essentially for free, all for about 3/4 of the price of a normal marine.
The incredibly cheap, effective, and sometimes even scoring monstrous creatures of the Tyranids made even the most zealous Chaos Daemons player green with envy. I should know, as I'm one of them. To make it even worse, the Tyranids got drop pods, while the Chaos Daemons were forced to continue deep strike haphazardly, whether they liked it or not.
Finally, the Blood Angels returned, and not to be outdone by the previous codex releases, Games Workshop went ahead and made TWO codexes obsolete: Space Marines and Witch Hunters (and to some extent, Chaos Marines). With much better assault units, amazing characters, great shooting, better dreads, fast tanks, drop pods, and...well, I think you can see where I'm going with this.
Yeah, I know that people have complained about armies like Dark Eldar not getting a new codex in forever, but look on the bright side: at least the Dark Eldar were never outright replaced with another army. At least there's still a point to using them in a competitive setting.
Or am I off the mark? What do you think? Can any of these older armies still stand toe to toe with the newer codexes?
I just want to add that the new Dark Eldar codex (which FINALLY came out), which is a more balanced and competitive version of its former self but without many changes in overall playstyle or theme (not bad for the fans, considering how much Tyranids recently changed), has one upped the Blood Angel's by making an entire broad category of armies obsolete: all Deathwing armies.
By Deathwing, I don't mean just Dark Angels (already obsolete thanks to vanilla marines), but all armies that rely heavily upon Terminators. Dark Angels were great at defeating them before, but at least the Terminators knew they could blow away their transports and win in close combat. No more.
The new Dark Eldar have more resilient transports, and better overall ability in close combat, giving Terminator themed armies not much chance of winning, even if they're hidden in land raiders, which dark lances won't have that much trouble blowing up.
Even the dreaded 3+ storm shield/thunderhammer terminators will have trouble holding up against witches with 4+ invulnerable saves that can reduce the termies to 1 attack each.
Last edited by mynameisgrax; October 28th, 2010 at 02:47.
I can definately see were your coming from, although i would disagree a bit about tau, they still have the whole jet pack and str 5 infantry gun thing going on. For necrons its a double whammy, out dated codex, AND replaced kinda sad. There is a coincedence though, most of these "Uber-codexes" are Sm's.
Anyway, right on mate!
If Slaanesh is the god of the Perverse, why does Nurgle have all the filth?
You forgot about necrons havent been updated in forever.....
Space marines 6 dread army Wins: 4 ties:2 Loses:7 Modified Standard nilla marines Wins:37 Ties:8 Loses 42 Daemonhunters Wins:3 Ties:0 Loses:1 Full assualt concept army wins: 6 Ties: none Loses: 2
I personally would disagree that GW actually plans it this way, on the thesis that it gives GW far too much credit and considering how many of these armies still seem to be, if not succeeding, are at least still holding their own outside of the min-maxed tournaments. And considering how tournament players are in the minority (latest studies prove it!), I would like to propose that more players take up new armiers not so much for their codexesusii, but rather for the new and pretty models.
Though I can't help but think the infernus pistol is only called that to get around errata-ing the inferno pistol into something more useful.
I think it is foolish to believe that such a change was actually thought out and planned, rather than it simply being a result of improvements based upon feedback and a change in design goals for a particular project.
Necrons and Tau are the two main candidates for what people call codex creep (though this specifically refers to the core rules in this case) and I am not convinced their weakening is as clear cut as people like to portray. No doubt they have suffered, but only because both forces relied and interacted heavily with some core ruels that changed a fair amount, yet the majority of armies adapted fine. Thats where the problem lies, an over-reliance on certain core rules (which is billed as a strength in the necron codex) without any real means of counter-balancing it.
This still does not excuse the disparity between the 5th ed marine codices (though IMO that is a red herring, the reason BA/SW seem better is they have a more focused design around a specific theme (counter-assault and assault for SW and BA respectively) that leads to a more effeceint army than a general purpose feel the vanilla codex is aiming for) but it is not as clear cut as "SW > BA > SM" as the internet would have you believe.
Plus grax's post is screaming "i'll only look at the good bits and ignore the downsides" as attempting to do tervigon spam (from one of the examples given) creates a rather underwhelming list at 1500 as people quickly found out.
Lastly IMO am not seeing how BA made CSM and WH obsolete at all (not to mention WH are still better than BA).
I completely agree, I've been preaching this for almost 8 years. I feel that this occurs more so in 40k than fantasy(some people agree, some people don't. It's your opinion, love to hear about it).
I don't know whether this is due to there being 15 armies in fantasy(empire, brets, d. elves, h. elves, w. elves, skaven, tomb kings, v. counts, dwarfs, lizardmen, chaos warriors, demons and beasts, ogres, orks and goblins), and only 10 in 40k (marines, chaos marines, daemons, tau, tyranids, guard, orks, necrons, eldar, d. eldar). No I do not count space wolves, blood angels, dark angels, black templars or any other marine rip-offs. They are only made to keep the vast horde of marine players happy and keep games workshop afloat. I do not count daemonhunters or witchhunters in the list(despite that fact that I do collect sisters). They were not included in the new scenario book(battlemissions was it?) and it is clear that GW do not care about them enought to include them in a book. I think that with 15 armies, there are cross-overs with tactics (while dwarfs are best at artillery spam, empire can still pull it of and most armies have a warmachine to choose from, even chaos warriors), I find that this keeps things in perspective in between the different armies and keeps things a little more rigid. With less armies to compare, extremes are formed pretty quickly(combat tau anyone? People pull off combat dwarfs).
Let's look at the new blood angels for example:
deepstriking landraiders(Aren't dark eldar supposed to be the best at vehicle placement and mobility? Oh wait! They haven't been rereleased in like a decade so we can just ignore them!)
deepstriking only D6" for all deepstriking blood angels(I cannot believe they put this in. All other deepstriking units in the game are now nothing compared to these guys, now there's almost no reason why they would EVER have to roll on the deepstrike disaster table of doom),
death company and death company dreadnoughts as troops(not scoring, but it does leave the slots open for other stuff which other players have to sacrifice)(death company have furious charge, feel no pain, WS5, rage)
assault marines as troops and scoring units
Every unit rolls a D6, on a roll of a one they get fearless and furious charge
All vehicles apart from landraider(see above) are now fast
There's more, but I'm sure you're getting the picture. People cry out "How am I ever going to beat the blood angels?". You're not supposed to, you either collect them as an army, or lose. I thought that Orks and Tyranids were supposed to be the masters of combat. The space marines might be better than them at it but with sheer weight of numbers they could still win. Comparing standard space marines to blood angels, how are the odds on Orks and Tyranids looking? Please games workshop, stop making 40k a game of extremes(or how about logical, even that would be an improvement. Outnumbering the foe bonus? Stand and shoot? Shooting at long range negative modifiers? Strenght modifiers instead of armour piercing? Movement rates?).
Sorry for the rant!
If someone helps you, rep them.
In a votewar you don't vote on a single match, you vote on the entire round. Got that?
It drives me mad how people just follow the silly mindset that has spread throught the online community via people with a very narrow-minded view on things from places such as warseer, bell of lost souls and yes the truth hurts. BoLS and YTTH are both notorious for basically being elitist gits utterly convinced their attitude is righteous and holy.They never have been, they have been better than most at assault due to sheer weight of attacks from so many bodies, but historically the undisputed masters of combat have been khorne marines (most often berzerkers). To this day a unit of lightning claw khornate terminator champions will literally disembowel anything short of wound abuse nobs.I thought that Orks and Tyranids were supposed to be the masters of combat.
Of course there is more to an assault unit than just raw damage - getting there counts for something. For raw 'master of combat' kind of power the chaos daemon bloodletters average something like one dead marine per 12 points of bloodletter - fully five times more efficient than the above BA jump assault unit.
Last edited by A.T.; April 7th, 2010 at 12:58.
I did mention the Necron, near the beginning. It was a combination of the new 5th edition rules and the new Ork army that made them obsolete in competitive settings.
Despite my initial rant, I don't think the Blood Angels are invincible. They're just outright 'better' than two similar armies, Chaos and Witch Hunters. Most newer codexes are given big advantages over most of the other armies in the game. Also, the BA weakened the Tau and Necron even further by making close combat virtually inevitable by turn 2, which is something neither can readily deal with. If the Imperial Guard didn't do the Tau in when they came out, as some suggest, then they're certainly obsolete now.
It's difficult to argue that all this wasn't intentional when the most powerful units in these newer codexes are the units that just happen to have new and expensive models. GW doesn't only want you to buy new armies, but for the existing players, they want you to buy new models as well. It's just a shame that they have to resort to adding these cheesy rules and overpowered models in order to sell their products.
So enough about bad examples, want to know a good example of a 'newer' codex? Eldar. Their 2006 codex was (and still is) competitive, unique, and a lot of fun to play. They did it without giving them large advantages over the other armies, or resorting to bizarre/cheesy rules. Regardless, an Eldar player made it to the final 4 of the last 'Ard boyz, so they're definitely still in the game.
(If only they'd ditch their stupid looking helmets, I might actually use them. ^_^)