Stacking the Deck: How it Played

Hello everyone, welcome back. This is your friendly neighborhood PrimeAngron. In my last post I talked about a Warhammer 40K Maelstrom deck set up I was going to try at our next tournament. We had 20 players to show up and the feedback I got was extremely positive. Of course I love it when these types of ideas are well received, but I also wanted any and all goods and bads that come with.

The Good

We will start with the good because I love my cake before my dinner. Players loved that they could tailor their deck to their play style. With a slimmer deck, most of the cards forced them to go after objectives instead of killing a psyker or taking a deployment zone. I consistently received feedback that players had to make hard choices, sometimes sacrificing units they otherwise wouldn’t. Players also liked, for the most part, that they had a general idea of what their opponent might draw based off the type of list thy were playing. But the best thing was how easy and fast the games went.

The Bad

The biggest concern players mentioned was their inability to achieve certain objective markers. Some players wished for even more control over their objective cards. However, just like bad dice rolls, there’s not much you can do about drawing a card that tells you to claim an objective on the far side of the table. I compare it to failing a 2+ armor save, It happens, but those instances are the minority.

The Take Away

Trimming down the Maelstrom decks was a success and I might keep that as the norm for a bit to keep things interesting.

Next Month

For the next tournament I am going to try changing up the way the game is currently played. Players will need to think outside the box as only Troop choices will be able to claim and contest objectives. Even units that are not Troops, but have Objective Secured will lose that rule for this event. I am guessing the types of lists typically seem will completely change. Deathstars, I would imagine, won’t be present at all. Additionally, even tabling your opponent doesn’t provide an automatic win. Players will have to continue to play the game to completion to try and get the win. I expect this to further deter net listing and hope to see better balance brought back to the game we love.

Readers Comments (3)

  1. I’ve thought about trying to game these systems by dropping some of the Secure Objective X Cards, so if you dropped all the Secure Objective 2s, you can try to end up with Objective 2 as the one that’s buried deep in your Opponent’s DZ or wherever. It can backfire if you don’t end up with the right Deployment Zone, but if you’re clever in Objective Placement, you can manipulate that to a certain extent, too.

    Experience in local Tournaments has shown some serious bias toward Eldar and Summoning Lists when Scoring is restricted to Troops. Doesn’t necessarily kill the format, but it’s something to keep in mind.

    • That’s an excellent point. It’s true that it might seem to be biased to summoning, but an easy fix might be to say new units that are summoned do not count as a scoring unit.

      As far as Eldar go, having the bikes is not much different then Space Marine Bikes that are Troops. Plus, Eldar players might have to sacrifice there bikes for 1 Maelstrom Objective, something I typically don’t see till late in the game with Eternal War.

      As a Chaos Marine player at heart, I think I could counter these types of lists even with Chaos Marines.

      Thanks bringing that up. It’s a good thing to consider.


      • That change pretty much fixes Summoning in that format for sure.

        The issue with Eldar Jetbikes is as much as anything just how cheap they are. I generally see SM Bikes run at 88-108 Points for minimum-size Squads, depending on what they’ve got, but ScatBikes come in at 81 for a minimum Unit, making them even more disposable.

        Not saying you should pre-emptively drop some nerfs, but keep an eye on any Armies like that that show up, and see if they do seem to be performing too far above average.

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