My name is Damon, I'm a long time semi-competitive player from a smallish town who is currently living in Brazil.  I've played almost every army at one time or another and as such have a decent idea of how many armies work.  This article will address the changing value of double force organization charts as we gain access to more and more codices that were actually designed to use it.


When double force organization first came out it was probably the most complained about rule in the entire book.  Double force organization was madness.  Double force organization meant that a long respected source of list balancing went out the window as soon as you passed 1,999 points!  How dare they!?

And of course, at the time of release (and even now, because the problem codices have yet to be updated) it actually could be a serious problem.  It allowed double the spam of your average already maligned spam list.  There were posts all over every 40k site on the Internet with different lists that *proved* that double force organization was unbalancing, killed the hobby, was only a money grab, and was probably sustained by the tears of bullied children.  The amount of outcry was astonishing honestly, but it wasn't entirely without reason.

Lists were made with 6 Annihilation barges, 18 Necron flyers, 6 squads of Wraiths with 4 Destroyer lords, and probably stuff that wasn't Necrons as well.  The problem was, and still is the ability to take the one thing in your codex that is extremely effective and create an unbalanced overwhelming list that no normal human list would ever be able to combat.

This of course lead to all sorts of solutions.  Some tournaments banned double organization altogether, others went the 1,999+1 route, and it's possible some just played a lower point value because they wanted to play 6th without the rules they didn't like.These are all ideas that were effective in achieving the goal as originally set, however with codices being released at the rate that they are, and looking at the four we already have, is it possible they won't be necessary in the near future?

As more and more codices come out, I believe it's possible to see some trends, and from these, I am positive that double force organization will be working as intended soon enough!  Let's first look at something that people have commented on with every book that has come out thus far: there are no auto-include options! (barring the hell drake of course)  What this means is that so far, 6th Edition is not an edition where spam lists will be easily chosen, because even if one thing is very strong, there will be another thing that competes heavily, and serves a different role, helping to balance the list.  Even the Hell Drake falls short against a deathwing or GK terminators list after all.

So we're seeing that the prevalence of spam is likely going to decrease, but is that enough?  I don't believe so.  Thankfully there is something else that merits our attention with regards to this problem as well: bloated sections in codices!  Now of course this is generally considered a bad thing, especially considering the plight of our tyrannic friends, but hear me out!  Let's look at each codex individually and see what we find.

Chaos Space Marines
The first 6th edition codex, many people complained here about it's lackluster basic troops and bloated HQ choices (as well as fast attack, but we'll get there!).  The complaint went something like this: "I want to take cult troops but then I can only take 1 other HQ!  I have to choose between a Daemon Prince for hitting power and threats, a sorcerer for magical support, Huron for infiltrate, a Dark Apostle for my word bearers theme and combat buffs, or a Warp Smith for other fluff and vehicle repair/curses!"  Turns out this is much less of a concern once you consider that at 2,000+ points you are suddenly allowed 4 HQ choices!

Suddenly you gain the ability to infiltrate your berserkers, and include a Dark Apostle to make them really hit, or whatever other permutation you are coming up with.  This results in a fantastic opportunity for diversifying lists simply by the count of however many permutations you can come up with!  Expanding this to Fast Attack and you can have Raptors in your Night Lords list while still running bikes and your double Hell Drake list.

You no longer have to sacrifice your fluff for competitive edge.

And it should be noted, that 6 hell drakes falls short for the same reason 3 does.  Metal Boxes and Terminators make them almost useless, and now as well, Tau Skyfire proliferation.

Dark Angels
This was the second codex for 6th edition, and honestly was never terribly controversial.  Unlike Chaos, it was pretty much exactly what Dark Angels were expecting, and in my opinion, needing.  That being said, they still came out with the same issue as Chaos had: bloated HQ.  Many people were suggesting that Chaplains were likely to become an elite 3 for 1 choice similar to sanguinary priests, and were disappointed when they (a support HQ) took up the same space as someone like Belial or Sammael.  There were complaints about the inability to change force organization and still bring the fantastic support of Divination Psykers and Chaplains.  Once again, double force organization allows for some more opportunities to run things as you would like.

Daemon of Chaos
Here we have a bit of an outlier...  No section seems terribly bloated in the Daemons codex, despite complaints about their troops being too weak to actually achieve what they are made for (Holding objectives?  Killing elite units?  I'm not 100% on what it is people want to do with the troop choices either...)  They actually generally have a purpose, and for their points cost, are effective in that role.  I think part of the lack of bloating is made possibly by people wanting to run mono god lists as well, but there seems to be little complaint about it unless someone is wanting to run multiple Greater Daemons for a Daemon-zilla style list, because they have to sacrifice Heralds to do so.  Interestingly however, the reality is that the bloat comes in a slot other than seen previously: Heavy Support.  Thus far it seems to be that to have some sort of fire support and massed infantry deterrent, you must have at least one but probably two Soul Grinders.  This leaves you with only one slot to choose between the great support/anti-horde of a Skull Cannon, or the severe firepower of a flamer chariot, or even still however many Slaaneshi lawn mowers you can fit in a slot.  This gives you an interesting choice to make below 2,000 points, and once you hit that mark and the game is scaling up, suddenly you have more options with what permutations you would like to use!

Tau
Lastly we come to the underdog, the Tau Empire.  These boys were neglected for a long time, and finally got the love they deserved.  Again as you look through you can see that there are a couple important units to take, but nothing that screams "Fill all your slots with me!"

When we look through the Tau Codex, there are some great options in almost all of the slots.  That's options, plural, multiple of them.  HQ for instance contains the old standby Crisis Suit commander + bodyguard.  More in depth though we find again, support options that are actually very attractive.  Lacking psychic awareness, there aren't any librarian type options, however the other choices are quite possibly more attractive.  Ethereals became much more attractive, while still giving up an extra point if they are killed, they help the army stick in the fight as much as before, and more importantly, have access to a plethora of buffs!

Not all of these will be terrifyingly important, but they are all decent choices, and having the ability to choose each turn gives fantastic flexibility.  The other very attractive option is the Fireblade.  This bargain HQ turns Fire Warriors or Pathfinders into much stronger options just by his presence, along with adding a little extra wargear, and a split fire marker light to the unit, something not to be overlooked.  That's not even all the bloat in the codex either, running a variety of battle suits is very difficult now with Crisis, Riptide, and Stealth suits all being in Elites.  Supporting your army in fast attack is difficult as well, Pathfinders are very helpful, but you may still want to bring some of the new flyers or Piranhas as well!  What to do what to do!?  The answer again comes in at 2,000 points you are able to expand a little further into your choices.

Now this of course isn't to say that there are no more flaws with double force organization, but perhaps it's time to give it a second look.  The problem remains that opening it up completely allows for abuse by codices that were not designed with it in mind, but 6th edition specific codices seem to be leaning towards it not being such a devastating proposition, as well as opening up for some diversity in HQ choices for lists, to allow some lesser seen but still very interesting choices to be seen on the table top.

What's to be done with this in it's current state of flux?  I'm not the one to say.  Unfortunately but justifiably, the community would react poorly to allowing it only for 6th edition codices, so that option is out, but then again, is the community ready just yet to accept the changes being presented to them?  I'm interested in what you all have to say, so let's open up some discussion in the comments section!

Once again, my name is Damon and this is my first article for 40k.  I have played in a semi competitive environment, mostly because of the small town atmosphere in my hometown, however living in Brazil leads me to think even more into variety in lists being that everything is almost double the price and has quite a delay to arrive, as well as the rules not being available in Portuguese!

36 Comments:

  1. Funny you should mention the 6 annihilation barge, 18 flyer necron list as I just used it a few hours ago.

    Soooo many lulz. But it was even because opponent had 17 leman russ punishers. Very fun game.

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    1. That's 340 possible hits, while as a guard player myself I'd run that just for the sheer number of dice to roll against my opponents, but to me 17 executioners, or a mix of regular battle russ' just so many pie plates.

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    2. Isn't the flier/barge spam list like 2500 pts minimum? fliers alone are 1800 if you are only taking night scythes, add in mandatory 2 HQ, mandatory troops for the night scythes and that's like 3000

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    3. Fliers come with the troops, so that's covered. And you don't have to do all of them together either.

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  2. Very nice first article, good job. I 100% agree with everything. I have been playing with the new tau and I love them. The few higher end games that I have played (1750 even 1500) I could see where the foc could get constricting, luckily the tau generally need something from each force choices and we have one of the best troops allowing me to gladly take AT LEAST 3 full squads with a ethereal near by. But as you said we have so many great options for HQ now that every game I have played, I have not made an easy HQ decision. If fireblades were like warlocks I would take them for every squad, but I tend to leave them out because an ethereal effects more than one squad, both are cheap as dirt though and I would more likely use fireblades over 1999 to limit the amount of victory points I'm putting on the board. Then you just have your bad ass suit commander with so many options that it can be decked out more than my neighbors house during Christmas. So. Much. Fun.

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    1. Think your logic is a bit reveresed. Why would you want to condense your VP output into a single model in smaller point games rather than large?

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    2. Ha now that I think about it that's true, I meant that I didn't want to use additional ethereal beyond 1999 to limit my vps. I start with my two hq that I typically bring, ethereal and suit, then to limit vps I would bring one or two fireblades. Did that help at all?

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  3. 4 Max Units of Spawn, with 4 Khorne Lords (fist, jugger), 2 Helldrakes, and 9 min units of cultists.

    Sounds fun to play against. The reason why double force org isn't played, is because it's absolutely asinine in competitive environments. I whole-heartedly agree with you, that it could be a lot of fun... for fun. But in any sort of competitive environment, it would be absolutely devastating to allow double force org.

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    1. double force org is lots of fun, but totally disagree on tournaments disallowing it. At least around here we generally play by the rules. (but that is a separate arguement)

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    2. I love the double FOC. I notice that the people who dislike it are mostly older(ot all, mind you) gamers that hated flyers but refused to buy quadguns, and new players who just don't quite have the model count but want to play with as many as possible. The latter which is fixed by playing lower point games. Some people don't like change, regardless of value.

      Once you hit 2k+ then you should expect to see x2 FOCs. It just makes sense to be prepared. Think of it like fighting two armies at once. You ALSO get access to x2 FOC. Use it and be prepared. It bothers me that tourneys here ban the double FOC, especially when the new codices shine with it at higher points. The older ones do well with 1 FOC(except Necrons, they were Edition 5.5) because they were designed in an edition that only allowed 1 FOC.

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    3. I'm the TO at my local, and every other local has been doing that 1999+1 crap and not allowing double FOC. This next tournament coming up I'm allowing it and I've already "heard" 3-4 people said they weren't coming. It's stupid. The same handful of players win every tournament anyway. It makes no sense to boycott a tournament you already weren't going to win when you would come out any other time, pay your $10 bucks and have a fun day...

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    4. Writer here. I don't disagree that there's still powerful combinations, what I'm saying is that there are so many options in the fast attack that you're not likely to see 6 of something. Also... What's the points on that list you posted there?

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  4. Neat, if I was confident in my gaming abilities at all to play beyond 2000pts then I would put serious thought into this!
    At the same time I need to rework all my old lists since the new codex rewrote a bunch of things (like post costs!).

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  5. What DA needed????

    Really? I Play less than Before the dex, becaus ist sucks so much. Not only are the New Models Not Even worth painting but Most of the stuff that was playable Before is useless now. If you dont Play with salvo Banner its autolose pretty much all the Time.
    All the AA sucks. I might as well Play with my Old dex and have no AA.

    And dont Tell me i can use Allys.
    1. I should Not Need to buy a nother 300,-€ worth of Models to make a lame dex Good. (besides Things like azrael with blob-IG might be FAQed)
    2. Why would i do that when i can Play all Crons for just a few bucks more?

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    1. Really?

      I think DA got a lot of what they needed. Best Terminator army in the game again, being able to take multiple flak launchers and combat squad them... Being able to get amazing cover saves in Ravenwing lists.

      If Deathwing Assault is played the way it is supposed to, the DW armies beat up on deathstars and flyer spam pretty well.

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    2. I agree D_R. I love my Angels now. I don't run DW at the moment because my local is full of plasma and well, termies die in droves, but I have plenty of good games and win/lose about as much as I did previously.

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    3. This is an expensive hobby, and with most new books you need to do a little shifting of your army to stay solid. ALL Deathwing isn't as good anymore, Flakk is a little costly but it's on standard tacticals which are much cheaper than they should be as well.

      Unfortunately using your old army may not meet with the same success as before. I believe they gave the book some necessary depth and synergy that it was lacking in the past.

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    4. Flak ML Suck Hard IMO ... They eat up a Lot of points and have Trouble even with AV 10 Flyers

      Synergie? What synergie? Its Take a Banner and Thats it! DW assault is a 1 trike Pony that only Works vs a small amount of Opponent lists. Doublewing is pretty much as Bad.

      Besides RW with banner there are only Fun lists to be made. Nothing that can match 5th ED dexes.

      Non of the New Units is solid. Way to go GW!

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    5. Saying Flakk is bad against fliers is just ignorant. You glance Stormravens on 4s. The point is that DA tac squads can take two heavy weapons. That means you can take two MLs and combat squad them. Makes them more versatile and they can hold objectives.

      DW really depends on your meta, but if you see a ton of fliers they are generally pretty good because they almost always get their armor saves.

      As Far as RW goes, I hear tons of 2+ cover saves are pretty neat. Especially with a 3+ armor save against things that ignore cover. On an army that is extremely mobile.

      There are plenty of great things in the new book. DW Knights are T5 B2B and can take anything down on a charge turn. Darkshrouds are nuts when they can stay near each other. Black Knights provide a much needed assault squad for bikes.

      If you can't win with the new book I don't know what to tell you...

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    6. Yes you Glance on a 4. Thats 50% of the time. But you only Hit with 2 Out of 3 Squads. And Even if you pen its AP crap! So if you want 1 Flyer to die each Turn your investing a boat load of points. Besides a 5 man squad is Easy to kill for a dakka Jet calling Waaagghh! Or other Flyers!
      Its just mathematical BS to Take a Single Flak launcher per squad. So you have to Take Dev Squads and invest into Full 10 man to Not get blasted to quik. Its just Way to much points invested in AA. And Even with 2x Full Flak Dev Squads its no garantied kill per Turn. And just Look at how much points you have invested at that Point?

      2+saves are nice. But youre Squads Cost much more becaus of that. And the only reason to Take Termis is for a solid Banner squad.

      DW kinghts are a One Hit Wonder. And you have to Take a LR Since Even with t5 they can die in a Turn. And Foot Units dont garantee assault or being mobile on the Board.

      Bike with 2+Cover Cost you a Ton aswell Since you also have to Take the shroudspeeder. And in melee they are Not that Great. Good on paper Not in Game points for points.

      The dex is only Good on paper. Youre Units are to expensive. SM are to Bad since 5th. Its just no dex you can Play comp!

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  6. Mr.Damon, I'll go to Brazil in July, is there wargamming to be had?

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    1. It depends on where you go, shoot me an email and we can talk more.

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  7. *shrug* Some people just need to grow a spine and accept a challenge. Also remember: just because you lose a game doesn't mean you'll lose your friends, family, job or your home. Life goes on.

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  8. That's pretty much how I feel, losing doesn't mean the opponent is going home with your models, so just enjoy the game and learn new tactics for the future

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  9. I enjoyed this read, well thought out and written.

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  10. I enjoyed this read, well thought out and written.

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  11. "Double force organization meant that a long respected source of list balancing went out the window..."

    That happened the moment they allowed allies.

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    1. Which was not nearly as hated as double force org, and coincidentally, came out at the same time.

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  12. Agree wholeheartedly. double foc is by in large not the biggest gripe I have found in my gaming group. it's kept in check (for the most part) with older armies on points and newer armies on primary vs secondary detachments.

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  13. Double force org does allow for quit a bit of cheese, and some players are doubly abusing it by taking a crazy amount of fliers as most armies don't have good access to reliable AA options.

    The assertions that 3 Hell drakes falls short because 1 armies specialized list and one army has the option to take a lot of skyfire is laughable. they will still force a ton of saves and can vector strike on one, the other has poor BS and will only really be able to skyfire S. 7 or 8 against an armor 12 flyer with a 5++ and regeneration.

    I'm also curious how running a 1750 or 1850 or even a 1500 is point tourney is being run to "just not use rules they don't like"

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    1. 3 Hell drakes falls short in a tournament because you will be going up against multiple opponents and this includes options of Mechanized armies, Terminator Armies, Daemons, etc. I gave an example that was not exhaustive.

      I honestly never expected someone to complain about s8 ap1 skyfire, but here it is... Yes they are durable, but Tau have the best skyfire in the game for quite cheap, you may be one of very few people who believes it is lacking.

      And actually those examples were separate. Either they do 1999+1 to ignore the rules they don't like -OR- they can play smaller games, and thus not have to worry about it :)

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  14. Double force org is just GWs was of saying that you shouldn't be playing normal games at 2000 points

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  15. Well written piece, and as I have nothing mature to add:

    "Fill all your slots with me!"

    *Chortle*

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  16. I love all the positive comments. At first it seemed to me that people hated all the new freedoms that seem to define modern 40k, but I love it! I am so glad they are dumping stuff like the 0-1 limits. Sure some people are going to spam but I just like the extra freedom. As long as you're not a jerk about it ill play against your spam list, it can be a fun challenge. Go double FOC!

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  17. The only issue I have with Double Force Org is access to Double the Cheese Topping of Allied shenanigans.

    However just a Double Force Org will typically flatten out the Meta with a lesser percentage of people wanting to play more spam. Also some will be unwilling to pay for those extra cheese units for a non-100% ability to field since games under 2k forbid them.

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