Thursday, June 12, 2014

Is Double CAD Actually "Bad?"

Until now, my bent has been slightly away from double Combined Arms Detachment legality, and slightly toward restricting to just one.

I'm going to try to challenge the community to tell me why 2 Combined Arms Detachments are any worse or better than the status quo.

Let's take a look here ...

First off, there are powerful lists available in 40K no matter what you do, short of over the top comp and rules rewriting. Even then, there would be new powerful lists, you just might make more codices capable of them.

But let's look at what people can do with it from a broad sense and see if any of it is really all that much worse or better than the status quo, while acknowledging that it broadens the meta of what you have to consider regardless:

6 Annihilation Barges, which to field requires a minimum investment of a cool 980 points (2 naked overlords, 4 naked walking warrior squads, 6 barges would be 980). Yeah, it shoots really well, about like a standard single CAD of 6 Wave Serpents does.

What about 4 warscythe 2+ armor MSS lord catacomb command barges?! Well, they have precisely 3 attacks + the MSS after the charge, can be locked in combat, the lord can be targeted and so can the barge once in CC, and cost 210 points a pop. Yes, they're much better, and no they aren't that good still. Unless they roll high on the charge, they average less than 2 marines killed in a round of combat, which means even 5 model combat squadded marine squads can hold them up and give them trouble (or even krak grenade hp away). So if you added those in to the above 980 for trying to get 6 barges, and wanted to spam 4 ccb, you'd be at 1640 with your objective secured / troop units being a grand total of 4 x 5 walking warriors.

Space Marines / Dark Angels
Obsec Drop Pod spam gets a little worse, and a little more focused ... though there's a limit to how dramatic and how effective that can actually be.

There are two concerns here ... one being getting access to more objective secured wave serpents, and the other being access to more farseers for the council.

Well, let's look at both ...
The only serpent advantage you get is 20 points less if you're trying to spam serpents after the first 6 (you can currently gain outflanking/infiltrating serpents for a 20 point premium on top of the avenger ones by using striking scorpions), and obsec on a few more serpents. So you're largely prevented from gaining MORE serpents, but the extra ones you get (going to normally cap at 3, at most, more) ... in fact even with just avengers, if you're taking ghostwalk matrices (and you've got more problems as a player in a terrain heavy environment than your list if you don't) and a pair of 70 point min costed HQ, you're looking at 8 total serpents ... and that's not a great list beyond the fact that it's serpents and they shoot pretty good / move around for objectives pretty good.

So let's look at the council idea. If you want to skip on 45 points of allied troops and 105 points of hit and run / stealth by not taking DE as your 2nd detachment, and want to take a second CAD instead, you're looking at a couple of things:
First, your troop tax went from 45 to 102. Second, you're probably taking at least one farseer (115 instead of 105). Third, you've lost stealth and hit and run. So if you want hit and run back, you literally have to spend 195 on Baharroth. If all you want is hit and run and not a third psyker, well, you aren't going to use the 2nd detachment anyway. Finally, if you do NOT take hit and run, and instead try some nonsense like 2 councils, you're going to lose the moment you run into an ork or tyranid player. Tough luck.

Someone brought up 6 Wraithknights ... which certain armies crap all over (looking back at tyranids, venomspam, etc.)

Alright, how about Tau?
Tau can spam 18 broadsides this way, but they can get pretty close to that anyway with the Fire Support Cadre, and in that situation 6 of the Broadsides are going to be much harder hitting. Tau could also throw out 6 riptides and/or 6 skyrays, but are we really that concerned about these things? Riptides without buffmanders and markerspam do not hit very hard and still are non-fearless low skill MCs just begging to draw any kind of assault army for the loss. You already can see 4, and with far better support, in a more balanced Tau list.

OK ... let's keep going ...
8 Level 3 Tzeentch Heralds turning into a bunch of Lords of Change!
If it hasn't been clear yet, the Daemon Summoning Factory list is not very good. Furthermore, it is extremely risky to take to a tournament. Here's a sidebar for you ...

If you show up to the NOVA Open with a Summoning Factory, and you throw down a bunch of identical-to-your-units model sets that can't be easily distinguished from your own models and create extreme difficulties for your opponent, you are at high risk of having those models removed from play by the organizers. You're also going to have your own struggles just placing and moving and keeping track of everything. Plus you're going to struggle on mission. If you bring a summoning factory, every model you place down must be fully painted, WYSIWYG, and clearly distinguishable from other units in your army (just as your own army should be). Don't push your luck, you aren't going to get a lot of freedom of "oh it's fine you can roughly tell" with this.

Chaos Marines?
6 dog-medicine-paper-coned helturkeys? Err ...

I mean, I could keep going ... but I don't know how any of this is any worse or more painful than "I have 8 wave serpents, 6 of them are objective secured and 2 of them outflank or infiltrate!" or "I have a big beast pack with invisibility, fortune, hit and run, and I can't get all those powers off every turn but whatever it's scary!" or "I have a jetbike seer council with hit and run and fortune/invis!" or "I have 3 Imperial Knights and a bunch of MSU AM in support!" etc. etc. etc.



  1. you have convinced me.

    I like this idea as it helps out the armies that GW screwed over with the new matrix.

  2. I have no problem with trying out double CAD, it will be interesting to see what armies end up looking like.

  3. Taking 2 CAD is great, since players need to field at least four Troops, and it frees up armies like Tyranids from overly-constrictive FOCs. I'd imagine factions like AM barely notice, given their roomy, multi-unit-per-slot FOCs.

    Maybe encourage players with a certain model-count to use movement trays where possible. I bought WOTR trays for my IG because each Infantry squad has its own HWT, so every squad is like an 'i' and it speeds up the game immensely. So I'm making trays for larger units out of plasticard.

  4. It is not a "good" or "bad" debate. That the wrong way to looking at it. The question is GW set tournament at 1 CAD do we want to change it? Is 2 CAD more fun than 1 CAD?

    1. I'd contend that the GW event doesn't state how many "Allies" one can have so you could in fact field a primary detachment and then unlimited Allied detachments under their structure.

      And yes, I think 2 CAD is more fun that 1 CAD :)

  5. On a more serious note I'm obviously in favor of double CAD. Personally for the freedom in list building and modeling opportunities but I also stand by my stance posted in your LoW thread regarding the double CAD issue.

  6. I see some pretty nasty lists....

    2xCCB Lord
    4xNightscythe Warriors
    6xAnnihilation Barge
    With ~50pts to spare

    6xOS Wave Serpeents

    Some Massive Seerstars, 8 Heralds, etc

    But, IMO they aren't going to be that much nastier than some of the lists that can be pulled out of CAD+AD. And usually more one dimensional with harder Rock2CAD.

  7. My vote is for GT unity and sensible rules based on player feedback. I believe MVB said he was consulting with Reece and others, so why not run it like BAO? Their rulings are based on many playtests and GT attendees feedback. The current Nova rules are almost there anyway:

    1850 Points
    1 CAD
    0-1 Allied Detachment, must be a different Faction than the CAD
    0-1 Formation. If taken, an Allied Detachment cannot be taken.
    0-1 Fortification from a defined list.
    0-1 Lord of War from a defined list.

  8. Honestly the droppod msu spam from marines is my biggest concern from opening up more detachments.

  9. Why limit at at 2 CADs? Point limits take care of most of the hand wringing.

  10. So you're finally coming around to the idea of trying it out to see if it really is broken before hitting it with the banhammer? What a novel idea....

    However I disagree with the first part of your post:
    "First off, there are powerful lists available in 40K no matter what you do, short of over the top comp and rules rewriting. Even then, there would be new powerful lists, you just might make more codices capable of them."

    Sure, there may be some lists that are at 'power level 9' already, compared to the 'baseline' of 7. These 2CAD lists may be at power 15.

    In short: I'm in favour of allowing 2CAD or even unbound in the first few tournaments to see what happens, but I'm not as optimistic about their balance as you are.

    One of my big concerns about 2CAD is the increased ability to run MSU armies. Eg, the Tau player was probably already bringing 4 troops and 2 HQ's anyway, but this lets them run those 2 squads of 3 broadsides instead as 6 squads of 1. Similarly for Guard - an entire additional CAD lets them run 3 individual Wyverns rather than 1 squad of 3. For both situations, this increases flexibility and survivability.

    My other big question is, if you allow 2CAD/Forts/Allies... why stop there and not go for the full Unbound?
    You've summarily dismissed any of the knee-jerk 2CAD power lists as being terrible/not much better than what is currently available, so tell me: if 6 AB Necrons are bad, what can an unbound list possibly bring that is worse?
    I'd put a 6 Wave Serpent list or 12 Drop Pod list up against an unbound army any day of the week, because an unbound army simply must win by tabling the opponent whereas the Battle Forged army will win on objectives.

    1. ^This is a really good point. If your going 2 CAD because its "not THAT bad", why not just say f**k it and go full Unbound?

      And while we're on this slippery slope, I'd rather face the Transcendent Ctan over an Unbound army so why not just let all the LoW in? FW maybe? Lot's of people find these to be "not THAT bad" also...

    2. @Anonymous
      I can't tell if you're being sarcastic/facetious here. I am being serious, but I disagree that it is a 'slippery slope'.

      For example: MVB specifically points out a Necron force as being bad because it has only 4x5 Warriors as Objective Secured. Yet specifically because it has so few points spent in 'Troop Tax' there are very few unbound armies that can outshoot it: and in the end this is better than an unbound army because it has SOME Objective Secured units.

      I'm not talking about LOW here (I think we can all agree that Hellstorm D weapons are bad): just 2 CADs vs Unbound.

      If MVB is going to be in favour of 2 CADs after dismissing their power by way of example lists; what example Unbound armies can we make to show that unbound should not be allowed?

  11. Hi Mike
    Just popping in to say I've really enjoyed the last few posts on 7th and what to allow in lists.
    Thanks keep it up

  12. 2 cads, good stuff, no worse than the worst that is out their now. If nothing else it helps a few get better builds

  13. Thanks for this write up MVB, good points. We need to play with it a bit more and see how it turns out. I think (and I think we all agree on this), that GW keeps producing looser and looser rule sets, so it's up to us to decide what's acceptable if we want to keep playing this game.

  14. I'm not sure of anything any more, but I'll point out that "this isn't any worse than this thing that was already bad?" is not a very effective persuasive tool. All the bullshit from 6th is one of the main reasons I don't play 40k much any more, and seeing it in another form from 7th doesn't make me want to come back.

  15. While I find everyone being repulsed by the BRB army set ups (CAD and non faction allies), I've found less people who have actually tried it compared to unbound. I think until a little more time and playtesting is put into it, people are just flipping their shit over nothing righ tnow

  16. A common critique I'm finding is people saying "people are just overreacting to things like Lords and CAD without playtesting," stated as if the posters themselves have been doing veteran playtesting of the many different builds out there in the "limitless / multi-CAD + unrestricted Lords" arena. The argument readily cuts both ways, and also readily fails to cut at all. I have heard from a lot of players who have playtested extensively in both environs, including myself.

  17. I think you've missed the point a bit on Eldar.

    It isn't the extra couple of wave serpents, it's the fact that you can pile on both serpents and jetbikes.

  18. Ok I've read this and also the article over at Frontline. Good points on both sides.

    Bottom line, there are always going to be people who look for the most efficient (aka abusive) units to put in their list. Even without double CAD people can still bring 5-6 riptides, 9 wyverns and serpant spam+jetbikes.

    If this is really all about Joe Average player (hey that's me ;) ) then there are two arguments.

    1. Joe Average doesn't enjoy getting smashed by an abusive list brought about double CAD. This is true but then again I don't like getting smashed by abusive lists that don't use double CAD either. If I choose to play an older army then I feel almost obligated to plug gaps in my list with allies just to keep my head above water. It's not so much about wanting to use allies as much as it feels like that's the only way I won't get owned while using an older codex.

    2. Joe Average enjoy's more list building opportunities created by double CAD. I'll still be playing against those same people who bring the latest "power" list, but now I personally have more choices not less. Double CAD allows me to fill the gaps in my list that allies was doing. That means I get to use the army that I want and still feel like I've got a shot at not getting tabled early on.

    Last thought...Not using double CAD feels like we're trying to hold onto 6th edition. It's almost like disallowing allies at the beginning of 6th because from fear of the ways people could have abused them.

  19. MVB - I notice that Tyranids are conspicuously absent from your list. Given that Tyranids have such limited options for escaping the basics CAD FOC I suspect that being able to go to 2 CAD will be a huge boost for them. Formations help (assuming they are allowed) but are still fairly restrictive compared to being able to pseudo-ally with yourself via a codex supplement.

  20. "Extensive" playtesting Mike?

    How long has the game been out? This game of basically limitless army options? What exactly qualifies as "extensive"?