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There was a time when half of all 40k players weren't playing the same army. Oh sure, they differ slightly, but they almost all seem to revolve around one thing: the Meqsi-melts (pronounced 'mexi-melts).
What's a Meqsi-melt? Put simply, it's a troop choice that consists of:
5-10 Marines (or the equivalent), with 2-3 meltaguns/multi-meltas, and a transport.
They usually have a power weapon or powerfist as well, but not always. Some are closer to guardsmen than marines, but they have almost identical options, so they're close enough in my book. It seems you can't go a tournament without playing an army that's almost nothing besides 6 of these troops, and perhaps a few long range units thrown in.
Don't get me wrong, it's a valid strategy, but let's take a quick look at all the armies in the game that rely heavily on a variation of this strategy, one way or another:
On second thought, that's more than half the armies in the game. Granted, all of these armies are a part of humanity, and the others are all alien xenos, but who decided that every Marine/IG variation had to have the option to have troops that can spam meltaguns so easily?
Now I have to play against this unit (5-10 meqsi-melts in a rhino, razorback, or chimera) over and over again at every tournament or team game I play in. Not only is it boring, but what really gets me is that it goes against the fluff of the game.
Meltaguns are supposed to be rare, almost as rare as plasma weapons. You'd never know it, considering that every MEQ army played seems to have huge amounts of both. Hell, Space Marine Tac squads can get multi-meltas for free. I guess in the future they just give rare things away to anyone who passes by.
So please, before grabbing 60 marines, 6 rhinos, a single HQ, and then calling it an army, let's work at making the game a little more interesting.
Now if you'll excuse me, all this talk of Meqsi-melts has put me in the mood for Taco Bell. ^_^
Witch Hunters have no choice as sister squads get exactly 4 weapon options in their basic squad-
Only the first 3 see use simply because a storm bolter adds nothing to the army as opposed to the awesome power of rending flamers. The meltaguns are taken (usually as part of a meltagun/Hflamer squad) because there is literally no other way outside of excorcists to get any sort of mobile anti tank in the list (ok maybe multimelta immolaters, but they generally compete with excorcists for FOC slots). WH (specifically SoB ) are following the fluff doing this.
The real issue is why do all marine/guard players only use these options when they actually have a choice in the matter?
Personally I put the blame on 2 things-
1) Players imply being uncreative and advising others that melta/whatever is the only way to play
2) People reading the previously said advice on the internet and taking it as gospel.
It gets worse for marines as they have a plethora of options in mobility (drop pods and rhinos, jump pack troops, bikes, land speeders etc) and unique amongst nearly all forces is the ability to take the "standard" special/heavy weapons in nearly every squad in every FOC slot.
The short answer is lrn 2 play - you can do much better than the most common setups if you actually think about what makes your army work and how to maximise this.
Plus I want to give a shoutout to the BoLS guys and Stelek - these guys are generally narrow-minded nobs who are convinced their way to play is the only way to play and are basically a scourge upon creativity.
Very good point! It's difficult to blame people who play older codexes, because they really don't have many other options. I'm also not blaming the codexes themselves, as they have many different great options available.
No, it's the players themselves that have caused this problem. No matter how many different options and units their codex has, they keep falling back on 10 guys with 2-3 meltas in a cheap vehicle.
It's like treating your friend to dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant, and they order a cheese pizza. (Damn, why are all my analogies about food today? I must be hungry. ^_^)
I found one of the truly unique aspects of the Tau was the absence of the Meqsi-melts formula. The Eldar also break the mold with thier "All the eggs in one basket" unit types.
I think one of the reasons those armies are more difficult to play (IMO) is the lack of the forgiving Meqsi-melts.
But yeah. I can definatly see your point on the Meqsi-melts being over-represented in 40K. But isnt that true of just MEQ in general?
Ill do my part and play with more Khorne Bezerkers, k?
"So, how did you become a Renegade Space Marine?"
"..... Tax evasion...."
i will admit to using meltas in tanks although i only take five people per squad, but honestly nothing else works... my LR arent enough against all the tanks i see on the field... sigh. if i had a cheap lascannon option or something then yeah i could change it up but no... my lascannons are atleast 130 pts or two for 250 pts, it just doesnt work.
Oh i play DH.
I think a big part of it is how good vehicles are now, and how cheap they are. This leads to lots of vehicles on the table. Which leads to the need of alot of AT weapons. With the AP1 rule and the melta rule this leads to alot of melta getting put into lists to combat all the vehicles. Add in the fact that marines are the most played army and it is no suprise that you find alot of vehicles, and meltas, and marines. If footslogging lists could consistently match the power of a mechanized force I believe melta spam would be reduced naturally as it wouldn't be cost effective compared to other options.
Another thing that is causing problems is the fact that 5th has put alot of importance on troops. So you need troops that can survive, move to objectives, and contribute to the fight. Putting a troop in a vehicle covers the survival and movement, add in a melta or two and they can contribute to the fight by trying to take down a vehicle or MC. If your vehicle has a firing point you don't even have to get out and risk your troop to do it. This is why you see the troop option for the melta being taken over the other FoC spots.
As for it only being imperium armies that do this, my only response is that they are brainwashed from a young age by the imperium to think that way?
I'm not questioning the strategy itself, as it definitely can work, but something's seriously wrong with the game when it's one of the only strategies that Marine players use. I don't have a problem with people using meqsi-melts. It's when they ONLY use meqsi-melts that I get a migraine, and that seems to be the normal tactic of choice nowadays.
A lot of transports on the field? Then how about some assault cannons, auto-cannons, or typhoon missile launchers. They all work well, and can work against light vehicles. Anything besides more bloody boring meqsi-melt squads.
I am personally looking forward to whenever the redo the rules for 40k. Right now, it pretty much requires you to spam mechanized troops, so you can deal with the enemies mechanized troops and take objectives. Tons of meltas and transports are the smart thing to bring, but yes, are incredibly boring since that's all anyone has anymore.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want the next edition to make vehicles and troops(depending on the race) useless again. But making footsloging or even hybrid lists viable again would be nice. Or lists where I could actually take more then 1 unit of Fast Attack or Elites.
All this Mechanized focus really makes me want to play Tyranids, since they are the one race that can't rely on Transport spam.