Welcome back one and all to Scratchbuilt 40k. Today we're doing things a little differently. As many of you who are Warhammer 40k fans already know, the Daemons codex rules, to officially be released on Saturday, have spread across the internet like the Breath of Chaos over a Terminator unit.
That is, the old Breath of Chaos. If you've been keeping up, you know it got nerfed pretty hard. Codex writer and random table lover Phil Kelly took a completely different path to Daemons, tearing down any and all preconceived notions and threw caution to the wind. And boy howdy, it shows.
When I got my first look at the first set of rumors, the new debunked ridiculous set which arrived sometime Monday, I found the entire thing laughable. The points costs were insane, stats on the Greater Daemons were through the roof with toughness reaching 8's and strength reaching 10's. The whole thing stunk of fandex. Sure enough, it was absolutely false and we would get a look at the real codex shortly.
In a way, the fake first rumored codex set me up for disappointment. Hopes of Greater Daemons wreaking havoc on the battlefield ran through our heads, elite troops doing what they were meant to do, beat face. The true codex, however, handed us a set of rules no one was expecting- a fragile, glass-hammer/cannon army which while it could be powerful reeked of potential doom. Gone were the special rules of being Fearless , replaced by Instability (lose combat and watch your unit disintegrate). Only one model in the army now had Eternal Warrior, meaning the models would no longer need to be chewed through with grim determination but could be destroyed through Instant Death weaponry.
Through the whole process I watched what I had hoped to be my army crumble in my mind. The desire to field a fluff driven Tzeentch army no longer considered cheesy overpowered but still able to hold its own was instead left with what appeared to be hordes of models relying on numbers as much as luck. Oh, and lots of luck would be needed, by the way. At the beginning of each turn, when rolling for gifts on characters, when even using the shooting attack of the basic troops, constant rolling on tables would be required.
The whole endeavor left me a little mad, really, both angry and insane. I lashed out at people who said the codex was balanced (I still say it's not, but hey, that's an argument for another time). I argued constantly with those who said we deserved to have our codex be bad after the Screamer/Flamer update in the White Dwarf last October. Overall, I simply felt like giving up on the army.
It wasn't until work, where I have a lot of time to ponder, where I decided none of that really mattered. "I can still build the Tzeentch army I want", I thought to myself. Images of brains with spinal columns on bases swirled within my own tortured mind. Grinning ear to ear, lost to the madness, the fan of Tzeentch in me started to embrace the change, make it my own. "Fine," I thought, "if I must work within these strange new parameters for my army, by golly I'm going to put my own stamp on it."
From that point on, I no longer felt angry. I no longer blamed Phil Kelly for the way he had changed the way the army played. I even learned to accept the random tables under the idea that in most cases they would hurt everyone else as much as they hurt me. In the end, I learned to stop worrying and love the random tables.
I say bring it on. I'll build my weird Brain Army of Tzeentch and grace the tabletop with it, grinning as 120+ Brain Horrors enter the arena. Bring on the random tables. Lets roll some dice.