Image by XRallenX
Adepticon is behind us with folks still figuring out Daemons, and already we have Tau out, new FAQs, and Eldar hot on their heels with Marines coming before years end.
Reecius here from Frontline Gaming to talk meta!

Top 16 armies at Adepticon

Necrons-CSM
Necrons-CSM
Necrons-None
Necrons-None
Necrons-Grey Knights
Grey Knights-Necrons
Grey Knights-None
CSM-Necrons
CSM-None
Eldar-IG
Eldar-Dk Eldar
Tyranids-None
Tyranids-None
Chaos Daemons-None
Space Marines-IG
IG-Grey Knights

So what did we see at Aepticon this year? A lot of folks are focusing on the high representation of Necrons in the top 16 which is a fair metric to look at. However, I would like to look at the MUCH greater diversity of armies that were at the event in total this year as opposed to years past. 

Previously as much as half of the field would be represented by one or two armies. Last year was Grey Knights, prior was Blood Angels, and the year before that IG and Wolves. In 6th we still had a lot of the expected armies but there was much greater overall diversity. That is fantastic. IIRC, two years ago there was not a single Nid player present. This year there were dozens! I saw every army with at least some representation. 

So what can we surmise from the numbers we saw? 

6th is evolving with such rapidity and the amount of variables has increased so much that people can't keep up with it. Right now the hotness is Night Scythes, Wraiths and Annihilation Barges as they add so much points efficiency in Flyer and AA utility, anti-infantry and anti armor plus counter attack. A lot to like there and it shows. 

However, if folks had been a little more familiar with Daemons for example, perhaps we would have seen more of them as they have some absolutely devastating combos and units. The new Tau also, particularly post FAQ, bring devastating AA and AI firepower to the table and I would be willing to bet as soon as WargamesCon we will see Crons drop dramatically in efficacy as massed shots and AA really take the knees out from under the best Necron units. 

So where does this leave most of us? Are we lost in the woods of a meta that has spun out of our control to predict and plan for? Not really. I think this means we are in a new landscape of picking a list and sticking to it. That was always the best recipe for success honestly, but not even more so. Choose either a really well built TAC (Take All Comers) list and learn to play through the power deficit or bring that extreme list and club people over the head with it, accepting that you may draw a hard counter and be facing a very difficult game. 

What are your thoughts on this new world we find ourselves in? Do you like the frenetic pace or do you prefer the predictability we had in 5th? Personally I love it as 5th got stale for me in a big way at the end. 

43 Comments:

  1. Actually the image at the top is by RoosterTeeth. It's from Red vs. Blue

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    1. My apology, I cited the artist who was attributed to it where I found the image.

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  2. The Meta is always changing, and I'm hoping we don't fall in line with the codex creep we've all come to know and love. We know pretty much every time we get a release now there will be some new units, something on the oval base, and either lower costs to stuff we have (and the ability to sell more models, don't forget that) or better versions.

    There may have been almost every army represented, but they apparently were only stepping stones for the Necrons/allies to beat up on.

    Is Necron on Necron action what we really want to see in the end?

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    1. I think Tau will really help to balance that out. Without Forge World in an even to mitigate Flyers, armies with good, cheap flyers will dominate as we saw at Adepticon.

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    2. What's with the "ability to sell more models" comment? Do you just throw that in anywhere to take a jab at GW?

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  3. I think the Necron Dominance at Adapticon comes from a few factors:

    People are familiar with them
    No Forgeworld means no effective AAA
    Newer Codicies were not well represented and not familiar to a lot of players yet.
    MSS makes even Necrons dangerous in CC (you want to avoid charging most units)
    Access to one of the most powerful flyers in the game for a cheap price and as a dedicated transport
    A great allies list for Necrons

    In my local meta we have wide access to FW and Heresy lists at tournaments and in casual gaming. Adapticons prohibition of FW rules allows things like Necron Flyer lists to dominate without an effective counter. This will not happen next time due to the increased availability of AAA.

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    1. I agree. We use FW in BAO style events, too.

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    2. Are you familiar with the Atlanta Series?

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  4. Personally I love seeing the meta in Chaos. It makes me grind me teeth seeing people constantly striving to break the game..

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    1. I agree, and I was told by one of the play testers that was exactly the point, too.

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  5. Bugs. in the top 15. This makes me happy.

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    1. Me too! Just wish my bugs would have been one of them! haha

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  6. Pretty good other than the Necrons, but everyone knows they're OP and they were going to be a lot of the top army spots.

    There was no Tau due to the codex coming out to close to the event, so I think that would have changed the results a bit if they were in there with all the new stuff.

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    1. I agree, Tau would really have helped mitigate Flyer dominance.

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  7. Not only were there more armies than in the past, but the lists were more varied as well.

    Yes, everyone and their sister took an aegis defense line. But every one of the top 16 Necron lists was slightly different. One player even brought flayers!

    The Tyranid player brought a skyshield, which I can't say I've seen in a competitive tournament before.

    The Ork player (which I think is miswritten as a second nid player up top) didn't bring lootas or biker nobs or any of the other things considered "top tier".

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    1. We had a Daemon player bring a Skyshield to an event in CA and it was awesome for him as his units didn't scatter, coming down right in the middle of the board.

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    2. We had an IG player plop some leman Russ punishers on a skyshield and cast prescience on them over and over.

      It was absolutely disgusting.

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    3. Was the Skyshield 'nidified'? would be interesting to see if it was.

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  9. I'm looking forward to seeing how the meta shifts in the next couple of months. I think as people get more familiar with Tau, Daemons, and Dark Angels, we're going to see more potency out of those armies, especially with the wide number of allies.

    And when Eldar come out.. well, then the crap will really hit the fan wont it? Dark Eldar and Tau being Battle Brothers with Eldar should produce some very wild combos, considering DE and Tau have no psychic ability and Eldar should be able to bring lots.

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    1. I agree, the game is shifting so much and so fast that is really is damn near impossible to make a perfect list (if it ever was). I like that though, as it keeps the game so interesting and complex.

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  10. They need white dwarf updates on crons and grey knights to bring them down a notch. Crons are way OP, and the only people speaking in their defense are, lo and behold, the individuals who play the WAAC lists. I recently played in a GT as Eldar, I had Fuegan on a quad gun. I had major issues taking out air, even with his ignore cover and re-roll pen, because 1 quad gun cannot take out 3 flyers. I have nothing to counter, except maybe my fire dragons snap firing (what a waste). I didn't even show up the next day, as I had better things to do with my time.

    I think it's great that GW is increasing the rate they get codices and units out, but things won't balance out fully until December.

    Thankfully my codex is just around the corner. I guess I should have saved $35 from the GT and waited. Oh well, lesson learned.

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    1. So because 2 of the armies in the entire game are slightly better means we should "bring them down a notch"? Uhh you realize that MOST Necron players don't bring 9 flyers in every game? Only extreme "mustwinatanycost!" players do that. So why should a couple of bad apples spoil the whole bunch? A WD update to nerf would be a huge slap in the face to our hobby really. So just wait until more codexes with AA come out. If it really bugs you then start a new army, ally, or just don't play at all.

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    2. You want to know a quick, easy fix to the problems you listed? Forge World. Totally solves the silly flyer issues and is why we use it at all BAO style events.

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    3. I can confirm what Jay has said. I'm a Necron player, have been since before their update. I only own 3 fliers total, 2 Nights, 1 Doom, and I don't even use them all the time.

      Of course I am not a competitive player in the slightest, but I still hate how I am labeled as such for using an army that I enjoy.

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    4. Reece is right about FW. For a while after 6th Edition came out, my local meta game (Atlanta) had tons of flyers. IG, Grey Knights and Necrons were king of the hill for about 3 month. Then the meta shifted with the release of Aeronautica and the general consensus that we would allow FW units at our tournaments. At first we had a lot of flyer lists crush everything. Then some folks started building heavy AAA lists (SM with Mortis Contemptor, Ageis, Hydra Emplacements). Within two month the meta had rebalanced to the point that flyers could still be seen, but they were no longer dominate. The pure "I am kill everything that flies" lists had disappeared as well, but some elements we still there; keeping flyer spam in check.

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    5. Jaydee, you kind of prove my point. You have necrons in your profile picture, do you own necrons? Is that why you are such a staunch defender that it would be a slap in the face?

      Again, and may I remind you. I was playing in a GT so there were only WAAC. Some have flyer spam, some had wraith star, some had a mix. And they don't allow forgeworld, otherwise I would have purchased a void raven.

      You can't argue that GK and Crons are not top tier. They were the most unbalanced codices of 5th, and with 6th's balance (which I enjoy) it is still unbalanced because they will be the last to be updated. Here's hoping they get taken down a notch w/ Eldar and Space Marines around the corner.

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    6. 1. Iam a Necron player. In fact I estimate that after Ia12 hits I will have over 30,000 points worth. Now. When did I state I was cheesy power gamer? Is it wrong to defend ones army from such ignorant stereotypes. I'm not denying Necron are top tier but OP? Ha...no;. I don't know where you play but you are falsely assuming all Necron players spam scythes and wraiths. But this is not true at all. Why should they get taken down a notch? Just because your old 4ed book is invalid (but getting an update next month)

      Please....troll harder.

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    7. And since you play at a GT level I assume you'd know that those players there are in only to win. So why are you complaining about such lists anyways? Remind me when the last time you walked in for a friendly pickup game and your opponent had his 9 flyers plus 6 barges.

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    8. Don't forget the fantastic codex they had before this one as well JayDee. "Hmm, do I take The Deceiver, The Deceiver, or The Deceiver? I know!! I'll hang myself from the rafters after my opponent deploys all his stuff and hopefully my feet will kick his army off! Perfect plan!!" Know what advice I got before starting Necrons with their old as tar book? "Do you like Immortals? No? Then here is your complimentary razor-blade that comes free in every codex."

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    9. JayDee brings up valid points, which weren't countered. Presumably due to lack of a sufficient counter or attention. If it wasn't Necrons it would be another army people would scream to nerf. This game system, by function, makes balance extremely hard. It rewards number crunching and powergaps from new models(insert money conspiracy here)instead of fluff and fun at higher levels. If you go to a Tourny expect it. To do so otherwise would be foolish. To complain about it would be redundant and poor sportsmanship. To open up a discussion about different concerns and opinions is a much better alternative.


      I play Necrons as one of my armies too, but I will never go to a Tourney beyond my LFGS. I'd rather make a list that looks fun and fluffy rather than crunch numbers and metagame. I do it for the hobby and immersion. TO throw me or any Necron player in with the WAAC lot automatically is irrational.

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    10. It is funny that all the Necron top seeded lists were all basically Identical, 18 wraiths, 3 barges, Heldrake. Yet none of them could beat the Tyranid player. lol

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  11. I think as more armies are updated for 6th, air dominance will decrease as more and more armies will have skyfire options.

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  12. is there any way to see the top 16 lists?

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  13. Well, looking at the both the presence of armies in the top 16, as well as their placings, this is a rough estimate on how well each codex performed. Keep in mind this is just going by the above (and not distinguish main armies from allies), so don't assume I think I've now listed the 'new meta'. Also, I'm assuming (as written above) that the second Tyranid player was in fact an Ork Player.

    Necrons - 1
    Chaos Space marines - 2
    Grey Knights - 3
    Imperial Guard - 4
    Eldar - 5
    Dark Eldar - 6
    Tyranids - 7
    Orks - 8
    Chaos Daemons - 9
    Space Marines - 10
    Tau Empire - 11-16
    Space Wolves - 11-16
    Black Templars - 11-16
    Dark Angels - 11-16
    Blood Angels - 11-16
    Sisters of Battle - 11-16

    There were some interesting results here. For example; Eldar, Dark Eldar and Tyranids beating space Wolves. In fact, I was surprised by the performance of Eldar. I suppose there are still plenty of very good players committed to the army. It's a shame some of the newer codecies didn't make it into the top 16 (Tau and DA), but it hasn't yet been long enough to discount them for the future - Tau especially.

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  14. That is funny. People were not happy about the slow pace of releases, and now things are coming out so fast people don't have time to compensate!

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  15. On a point completely unrelated to the topic; I'd just like to put on the pedantic philologist hat for a moment and point out that the equivalent of "wherefore" in Modern English is "why", not "where" (as it is frequently mistaken to be in pop culture).

    Thus, the title of this post actually translates to "Why are you Meta?" Which I think everyone can agree, sounds kind of silly.

    Back to your regularly scheduled trollfest.

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    1. You can get a complete breakdown of the source of the quote... uh-heeah:

      http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/262200.html

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  16. So I would like to jump in here for a second Reecius. I completely agree with you first off, I want to get that out of the way. I love the way that the META has yet to sit still. It is truly refreshing to see the WAAC players I know hesitate with their "One-List-To-Rule-Them-All" due to the fact that no one is certain of whats going on or what the New kids can bring out.

    Now, with that said I wanted to bring up a point that I have seen croping up. You even said it yourself, "I think Tau will really help to balance that out". It seems to me that everyone is looking forward to the next 'Dex to bring balance to their lives. Yes, I think that Tau will plop a big Monkey wrench into the mix But I don't think that the Meta translates well across editions, as has been said.

    Personally, It seems to me the Meta is more a wave aspect now. You get the surge with the newest release that pushes everything but then it settles and allows the natural currents to move in.

    Thankfully everything will keep moving so that soon Eldar will be able to keep Tau in check, then the Space Marines will be called in to hold the Eldar at bay...

    Sorry, Devils advocate and all :) No hard feelings

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