Sunday, June 14, 2015

Imperial Knights (and Lords of War in General) at Blog Wars 9

The inclusion of Imperial Knights is easily the most contentious issue amongst the comments on the BW9 Aftermath post. At BW8 players were allowed to take upto 2 IKs (there were actually only two lists with a single IK, no-one ran 2). For BW9 I upped the limited to 3 but only four players took me up on it. With a further 3 players taking a single knight the total present was 15.

Generally speaking it seems that the majority of people who played against 3 IK in one or more of their games struggled and didn't enjoy the experience. There are notable exceptions to this, for example, Peter Barrett's Necrons hammering Dave Halfpenny's IK/DA force. Clearly then they aren't unstoppable. The Baronial Court is another matter though, giving the knights 3++ on their front facing and a WS/BS bonus to one knight is a big deal. I stated before the event that it isn't as bad as the Adamantine Lance formation but clearly it's still too powerful. Gerantius is another bone of contention and I think it's sensible to restrict his use. The Household Detachment on the other hand seems pretty reasonable. I could easily limit IKs to the Household or Oathsworn detachments and say that an IK detachment/formation can't be your Primary Detachment. This would only the Objective Secured bonus would apply and not the BS/WS or re-roll warlord trait (obviously since Warlord has to be in Primary).

Anyway, let's look at the results table again with an extra column showing who had Lords of War:

Please note I've deleted Stu Dickson from this list as we were sharing the games so there was a Stompa in one of the three games but not the others. So all the 3 IK lists placed in the top half of the table but they're certainly not clustered tightly at the top. Of course, it's difficult to draw any real conclusions after just 3 games. There's still too much of a "luck of the draw" element as to who they ended up playing. Generally speaking the lists with at least one Lord of War are spread quite evenly through the table. This makes me reluctant to ban them completely.

What I'd propose then is that Super Heavies OR Gargantuan Creatures are 0-1 per army. So you can take a single SH or GC but not both. You could still take the infantry Lords of War like Marneus, Draigo, Ghaz, etc and they could be joined by a Super Heavy if you wanted. The only issue I see with this is that a single IK isn't much good on it's own. Obviously it depends what's in the list with it but I think it perhaps penalises that codex too much. What I'd suggest then is that Imperial Knights are 0-2 per army. They should still be tough to deal with but without it feeling impossible. Of course there'll be lists that can't cope but that goes for other things too. This also has the added benefit of preventing the Formations being used. In fact, only the Oathsworn detachment would be legal.

In summary then:

  • Infantry Lords of War are permitted
  • Super Heavies/Gargantuan Creature Lords of War are 0-1 per army
  • Imperial Knights are the exception with 0-2 permitted per army
  • There'll still be an approved list of Super Heavies/Gargantuan Creatures

Your Feedback
I could easily ramble on for ages in this post about the various issues surrounding Imperial Knights but I'd rather hear from you guys. I'd particularly like to hear your thoughts on the proposed changes above.


  1. I've added a poll to get some instant feedback. Please vote!

  2. So could you take 1 LoW/GC and 2 imperial Knights in an army? So potentially a wraith knight and 2 Knights?

    Why not create a BW10 force org chart, should help even the field and avoid having to know every single rule and formation in existence. So maybe something like...

    Named Character: 1
    LoW/GC/IK: 0-1
    HQ: 1-3
    Elites: 1-3
    Troops: 3-6
    Fast Attack: 1-3
    Heavy: 1-3

    I'm not saying this is what it should be, but it could be a way of evening the very uneven field we have at the moment. Could even remove battle brothers as an ally category to stop any abuse of army rules. We may also see some of the lesser used units from codices being used as well.

    Anyway, just a thought....

    1. Sorry, I meant that 2 Imperial Knights but without any other LoW. I'll update the post.

      Interesting idea with the BW10 FOC. Does simplify things but difficult to find a template that suits all armies and some rely on the bonuses from their detachment. This is the kind of thinking I like though. More please!

    2. How about adding:

      Formations: 0-1

      To the force org.

  3. Your suggestions sound fair Alex, though I also quite like Xacheriels idea of a BW force org chart. Of course in this age of formations that idea may not suit everybody.

    Another concern I had was the alliances rule in general, but in that case I'd just wait and see how Fluffageddon pans out before making a ruling - with their rules pack restricting alliances to battle brothers and the fluff criteria encouraging single codex use, we can see if that penalises some armies more than others or chases off some of the filth and then judge what is best for Blog Wars accordingly. Though obviously that'll be too late to make a ruling for Blog Wars 10, perhaps one to consider for BW11.

    1. Obviously since Matt is a friend of mine (and my usual opponent in 40K) we're likely to borrow from each other quite a bit. Indeed I borrowed the Fluffageddon rules for things like Invisibility at BW9. It'll be interesting to play in an event like that without being TO.

      Alliances are something I want to delve into further. Battle Brothers only is a bit Imperium-friendly in my mind but have to see how it pans out.

    2. Yeah that was my worry about BB too, but hell one of the tricky parts with Knights is that damn near everyone can have them. I think saying BB only would just kick xenos in the crotch, so if you are going to restrict alliances (which I'll be honest, I kinda like the idea of) it'd have to be something aas brutal and simple as "Single Codex Source" Hell, putting a single codex source rule immediately rules out all forge world too at least...

  4. I think Xacheriels comment was really good. Creating a force org for blog wars could be very interesting. Also I concur wholeheartedly about no battle brothers. I think removing that would go a long way to fixing a lot of problems we have in 40k in general, certainly for a more friendly tournament like blog wars

  5. I think you've about hit the nail on the head to be honest, as you've noted creating a specific force org has issues with formations - my view is usually change the rules as little as possible to create what you're looking for - too many changes confuse things (people) and can throw up other problems you'd not foreseen

    1. I'm with you on that Nick. I've discovered that over the course of the tournaments I've run. If you overcomplicate things or diverge from the rules too much it only adds more problems instead of solving them.

  6. I like your suggestions Alex, I'd go with them. I think the limit on super heavies is good. Will the bonus vps for killing super heavies remain?

    I'd actual be a bit nervous about going away from battle bros on the allies matrix. I like the flexibility that joining up my librarian in a guard squad or coteaz with somebody gives me. my opinion of the allies thing is that strength thru joining together is the counter to big monsters/tanks. i know I'm not an expert, but that would be my two cents as it were.

    1. The bonus for Lords of War will remain part of the scoring assuming things stay as they are (who knows with GW right now).

      I think basically it'd be a choice between allowing allies or not rather than changing the matrix in some way.

  7. Super heavies are beside the point. Are you actually going to do anything about the winner of Blog Wars cheating his way to win? The list he submitted to you and the list he played were different and the combination of Gerantus and the Baronal court, whilst flirting dangerously with legality, was not listed on his submitted army list. If it had been I'm sure you would not have allowed it. The fact he did that and nothing seems to have been done about it calls into question the validity of your 'friendly event'.

    1. I can only assume this is James Lamb posting anonymously (as only you would know his list was different). I've discussed this at length with you via email and I had hoped we'd resolved this issue.

      The player in question did use a different list to the one he submitted. He states this was by mistake. Neither you or I have any way of knowing if it was or not so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.

      It's comments like this that call into question the validity of the 'friendly event' status rather than my actions or lack of them. Clearly you're trying to force the issue by commenting and making other people aware of it but I've already decided that no action is necessary.

      As far as the BW rules pack was concerned there was nothing stopping Gerantius being used. There are no clear rules either way just people reading what they want to read. I admit that with the benefit of hindsight the Baronial Court is too strong but the winner was not the only one to use it.

      If you, or anyone else, want to continue to discuss this issue, please email me or at least have the decency not to hide in anonymity.

    2. Whom ever this is, it's worth remembering that 'friendly' goes both ways....

    3. Hi Alex, I know I have an issue with this, but as you know I have been discussing it with you directly - this comment was made by a member of my gaming club, who I've discussed the event with - sorry for any confusion but in the immortal words of Shaggy "It wasn't me!"

    4. So the person who commented didn't even go to Blog Wars 9? Has he even been to Blog Wars before?

      It saddens me that you've been talking about BW negatively to your club but I'm sorry for assuming it was you.

    5. I certainly wasn't talking negatively about Blog Wars - I've been to 6 out of the 9 events you've run and they've all been fantastic! And this time was no different. I don't want this issue to overshadow what was a really fun, well organised tournament and I'm sorry that it has done. I'm was however talking about the games I played and the lists I faced, asking questions about the legality as I'm not always confident about the rules. I also spoke about the issues I have previously mentioned to you.
      the guy that wrote the comment did not attend this time around but has attended in the past. As a club we came down to Blog wars 7, and we're all talking about coming again so they were eager to hear about my experience.

      At the end of the day, you've made your decision add wether I agree with it or not doesn't matter - lets just agree to disagree, leave all the nonsense behind and get on with our lives! I'd hate you to stop running Blog Wats over this as you do a great job and we all very much appreciate your hard work and selflessness - this has just been one unfortunate event that has put a cloud over it.

      I appreciate you taking the time to discuss the issues I've raised and will happily support the decisions you have made.


  8. I like the suggestions for both limiting LoWs/Super Heavies/Knights and having a BW FOC.

    TBH I think we should do away with Allies entirely but then I'm a bit of a codex purist and know that prob wont sit well with folks...

    Where is this poll BTW?

    1. I'm with you Chris. I've only ever used allies once at a tournament I think and generally speaking I'm not a fan. I like to try and get the best from the a particular codex rather than plugging gaps with other books. It detracts from the identity of an army but I recognise it's a part of the game now.

      Ultimately I'll put the decision in the hands of the people who come to Blog Wars. If there's a big enough consensus against allies I'll take action.

  9. Up the top on the right hand side, just underneath the fluffageddon advert.

    1. Bear in mind it won't be visible on the mobile site so you'll need to click "view web version" to see it.

    2. Cheers - I'll go old school and take a look.

  10. One of the cool ways that the ITC is handling the new IK codex, is by applying the "penalties" for taking super heavies to the knights. For every 3 HP dealt, the knights give you +1 VP. So if someone takes three knights, that's 6 VP being carried around in their hulls.

    Thus if an army has trouble handling them, even blowing up one can give them a decisive advantage in the overall mission.

    1. That was in effect at Blog Wars too Greg but I still think in the context of the event, 3 is too many.

    2. I hear you. I think your proposed changes are good. I just know knights are popular for the sole reason that it greatly reduces the amount of models you have to lug to an event!

  11. Hi Alex, my two cents:

    - I don't think most of the LoW and Super-Heavies are actually that bad. We're really only talking about Wraithknights and Imperial Knights, I guess? Why not allow unlimited LoW, but make it 0-1 Wraithknights or Imp Knights?

    - I think it's the allies system that throws up a lot of the OTT combinations. As much as I don't like tweaking the rules, I would be tempted to suggest a downgrading of Battle Brothers to Allies of Convenience, to limit potential shenanigans (if that sort of thing is actually still an issue?).

    - OK, I went there! Honestly, I think there are now more OTT units in mainstream 40k (Wraithknights, 'D' weapon Eldar, Necron Decurian...) than there are in Forge World books. How about a 0-1 per force-org slot allowance, to test the waters?

    1. I'd rather have a single rule for everything but I think Imperial Knights are different as you're heavily restricting an entire codex (albeit a flimsy one).

      Again, I'm not a fan of allies but I don't really like telling people they can or can't do something (contrary to what you might think).

      I agree that there's worse things in normal 40K but that isn't the issue. It's more that people aren't even familiar with everything in them mainstream nevermind the wealth of extra stuff from Forge World. It's one thing in private games or in a club setting but there's a decent group of either new tournament players or people who only come to BW that I wouldn't want to discourage.

    2. Ah Grazer, year after year, your persistence must be admired :-P

    3. admired, but hopefully ignored ;)

  12. Alex, your suggestions seem fair and reasonable to me, I thoroughly enjoy coming to as many BW events as I can :)

    -Peter Barrett

  13. Hey all,

    though I didn't make it to BW9 due to being ill, here are my thoughts about the issues at hand:

    Lords of War:
    The special characters like Calgar, Draigo and so are a no-brainer for me to be included. Though I doubt we'll get to see them often.

    Super Heavies / Gargantuan Creatures:
    As I've had several games against Super Heavies (Baneblades and variants, Ork Stompa), I've gotten to the opinion, that they are a nice change of pace. So I'm absolutly positive to have them included for BW.

    Imperial Knights:
    Never having played against three, I've got to say two can be handled, but are still a struggle and spell certain doom for some lists.

    Forge World:
    I wouldn't mind giving Forgeworld units a try. Limiting them to one unit should be fair enough for a test run, just as Grazer has suggested. As far as I can tell the only "OP-bad" unit seems to be the Eldar Titan. But since the Wraith Knight is crazy OP enough, a ban for the titan should be fair enough.
    Also, personaly I'd love to field a Fellblade. :-)

    FoC for BW:
    The different kinds of FoCs that have been released lately and also the "Decurion style"-detachments make a great mix of units. Especially as two of the three missions for BW are about mission objectives, having objective secured VS the "strong" new FoCs is a tough trade IMO. That's why I'd prefer to stay with "official" FoCs instead of a BW one.

    Should allies be banned the Imperial Knights would become impossible to play, as they are limited to two (or three) and therefore couldn't form a proper detachment.
    Else. I do enjoy having allies, but more often than not it leads to crazy shenigans. So I'm cool with either way round.


    1. Hi Hendrik, sorry again that you couldn't make it this time. Hope it didn't cost you too much in terms of flights/hotel etc. Thanks for your feedback though.

      I think two IKs feels about right. There'll still be plenty of other stuff in the list you can get your teeth into but they'll provide a challenge and make you play differently. That seems better to me than making most of your army irrelevant.

      I toy with the FW issue every single time. I know it may seem like it's set in stone but I'd really like to find a way to make it work. I'm not afraid to admit that a big part of the issue is that I'm not completely familiar with it all myself. Since I try to keep on top of all of the rules for 40K I'd be reluctant to add more stuff I have to know about.

      I agree about the FOCs. They make people decide what kind of army they want to run and I think a BW specific one would create more problems than it solves. It's an interesting idea though that may have some place but when I had a similar sort of thing for my two detachments it ended up a mess as I had to add exceptions here and there for things.

      That's a very good point about allies and Imperial Knights. Banning allies is effectively banning IK.

      Ultimately, as with every thing at Blog Wars I hope the player base is pretty self regulating. I do my best to filter out the filth (although I miss the odd list I admit) but generally speaking people enter into the spirit.

    2. Hey Alex,

      got a refund for the flight at least. The money ain't so bad, but this was the only time for another 2 month that I would have been able to get from work for a bit...

      About Forgeworld: I'm positive to give new things a try, just like allowing three Knights. And as you said, the crowd pretty much self regulates. Putting a limit into play should prevent massive abuse.
      Also you could have those who want to field FW models post the unit in advance (not the complete list). If anyone has objections against said unit, they could voice it and the crowd could decide as wether it is fitting for BW or not.

      It would be a shame if you wouldn't be able to play at all. Maybe with a smaller playing field you could continue to play yourself? Or have at least one game instead of someone else, like you did at this BW. Then the other person would be the one take care of rules issues. Just an idea.

      A set FoC could be interesting, but most likely would rather complicate things.
      An alternativve for a small tourney could be to just allow armies from the starter boxes, like Dark Vengeance or Leviathan or the Space Wolves set or maybe even the Assault on Blackreach. Not sure how much points each army from the different sets is though and if they even out.
      But I'm pretty sure most of us have at least one of those armies. If I get a chance I will get down to running the numbers this week.

      Anyway, count me in for BW10. Looking really forward to it! :-)


  14. HI,

    I've not gone to Blog Wars (family commitments make it too far away to attend), so take my comments with a grain of salt.

    Like anything that is immune to (or almost untouchable by) a large proportion of the enemy, taking multiples means some armies have a match that goes from very hard to almost impossible to win. 3 Imperial Knights and multiple Wraithknights are such units. Combine that with a very reasonable points costs (most would say undercoated in the case of the wraithknight), makes multiple LoW very powerful.

    You seem to have created a very nice community of players, and I think judging the by variety of armies in the result sheet, there is obvious self moderation in players lists, however I think there is the odd (to me anyway) allowance of Imperial Knights because they are only 3 models. I'm sure if a player showed up with 15 Dark Eldar Venoms, 16 Broadsides, 37 Scatter Laser Jetbikes or 25 Thunderwolf Cavalry there would more than a few raised eyebrows, but spending the same points on 3 models (that are almost identical in general strength/immunities and weaknesses) seems to be excused by the fact it is only 3 models.

    Overall I think limiting LoW (maybe just Low non infantry) to 0-1 per army is probably best. If you wanted to include Forgeworld I would add them into the 0-1, so 0-1 from Low and Forgeworld units, so you someone could include a forgeworld centerpiece, but no-one would have to face a Fire Raptor, Imperial Knight & Whirlwind Scorpius in the same army.

    By all accounts you run a great tournament, and I'm jealous I can't attend.

    Good luck for your future events, and I always enjoy the pie charts and event reports.


    1. I appreciate the comments regardless of whether you've been to one or not.

      You're right about negating large parts of an opposing army. AV13 and T8 mean a lot of stuff is simply useless against them. As always I don't enjoy telling people what they can or can't use from their collection but I want everyone to enjoy the event without fear of playing something nasty. Three knights was an experiment and I think it's clear what the result is.

      I like the idea of a 0-1 either/or for FW and Super Heavies. As I've said though, I don't know enough about FW to know if that's enough or if it penalises certain races. Any guidance on this is appreciated.

      I think the main things I've learned from this event are that I really shouldn't play (which is a shame) and that I need to make the rules as crystal clear as possible. Even if GW can't do that themselves!

      I'll be posting about the feedback so far and what it means for BW10 tomorrow. Tickets for BW10 should be released this weekend along with the provisional rules pack.

  15. No suggestions since I'm not in your gaming area, but I appreciate your in depth analysis, this sort of thought moves the game forward and gives us some real talking points locally. Keep up the great work!

  16. Just noticed on the poll it should say 'no holds barred' not 'no holes'.... Completely different meaning altogether....

    1. Typo which I hadn't noticed until now!

    2. I voted and didn't even notice it, then just checked back to look at the numbers and noticed it, made me laugh though :D


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