Sunday, April 11, 2010

Criteria of a Deep Thought.

Everyone knows Bell of Lost Souls. As a website, it is quite possibly the most public, active, and well-known combination of people that enjoy miniature wargaming, and it updates every single day. That's a bitch. It could very well be considered the "face" of 40k online. In this segment, I want to comment on their headlines with the title of "Deep Thought", beginning with the article this day on the Chaos Space Marines codex.

As stated in the title, what should be the criteria of these Deep Thought articles? This CSM one is but one example, and doesn't count for much, but its lack of length does not warrant such a designation. This normative statement presupposes that for a "deep thought" to occur, a worthwhile analysis must occur, in which benefits and disadvantages are adequately explored to paint a more full picture of how a unit is; not just "It's good!" without due recourse to disadvantages with the unit. As such, I will give my own example of what a "Deep Thought" should include, the example of which will be my own take on the units concerned in the aforementioned article.

Basic Chaos Space Marines- Has the ubiquitous statline of a marine, and comes with a better selection of basic wargear than their equivalents in the generic Marine codex, as well as a slightly-higher leadership score. At ten models, two special weapons can be bought, or one special and one heavy. As most know, they have the options for Icons, which give a boost to a particular statistic as they dedicate themselves to a God, or to the pantheon of Chaos. In comparison to their brothers in the Marine codex, their lack of a multi-melta for their heavy weapon hurts them as a choice for Troops, and their one-higher leadership is deceptive; And They Shall Know No Rules is by far greater than this, as even if they run away they may still regroup. They can assault with some hope of success, but if they lose combat against any dedicated cqc unit, odds are they will be running away, even with the Icon of Glory. Compared to the cult troops, which already have that basic stat increase, as well as different options, purchasing any Icon is questionable.

"perhaps the most solid troops choice in the game"- Someone has not looked at that Space Wolves codex, otherwise he might have noted the Grey Hunters being a wonderful combination of CSM and Space Marine rules. For a cheap "not good, not bad" unit for your Troops, one could go with a CSM squad, yet the endurance, cqc ability, and Fearless options available by the Cults in their different specializations gives one the option to have a better unit for a specific job.

For a deep thought to occur, the unit must also be compared to the other units available for the same slot in other armies. This comparison allows one to consider which choice will be the best overall for a balanced army.

I would hope my point is clear. I could go on to give my take on the other "best" units available in the codex, of which I only agree with two (Lesser Daemons and Oblits). Think on that. I, the resident Khorne player, do not think that they are better than Plague Marines. MSU Plague Marines have the special weapons of a full CSM squad, endurance, some cqc ability, and are quite cheap. Compare the 185 for 5 Plaguies, 2 meltaguns, and an Extra Armor Rhino, to a 270 point unit of CSM to have the same stat line, transport, and special weapons, as well as that Icon.

I am a product of being a philosophy major in college, and applying it to 40k is helping me to consider the full picture of a unit. As a quick example, the article in question would not be worth the small time investment to read it, as it does not consider any opposing issues regarding the units. Struggle in reviewing is key here.

As usual, if you have any questions or requests, shoot me an email at

Post Script: Logic and Rules: Part 2 is in the works! I'll be taking a step backwards to speak on validity, invalidity, and incoherency (being over 2" away lol), and a step forwards by going over the Simplification and Inference rules of Logic. To see the use of logos with the rules, see this article on the Blood Angels. If you don't read it already, add to your normal reading list!

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