Meta, Flyers and the Game

Heldrake-artSixth Edition has brought many changes, from what codexes are considered T1, to basic rules of the game changing massively, even what kind of units there are and how they interact.

Meta, which was huge in 5th is in a state of upheaval. People who used to swear by it are now making fun of people who still mention it. Ironic really, meta will always exist in some form or another. In 5th it was largely talked about in a competitive sense, most people around the world had figured out the easiest methods of building armies and that is what they did.

There are always outliers… people capable of playing with great skill with a different toolbox, people who are just tactically superior to other players who can make even a relatively poor toolbox work within the mission or terrain.

6th has seen such massive changes, with a constant flow of codexes that we haven’t seen the meta reassert itself, as the internet and general logic starts to dictate how people build lists.

Meta will still exist in local areas however, people figure out what works within their local gaming group or area, and build from that. They’ll often cop rubbish on the ‘netz for their perspective or list for this reason. Detractors don’t understand that their playstyle is based on their gaming. The ‘best’ netlist won’t work if a local person has the perfect (possibly unbalanced) counter army that trashes such lists.

The concept of meta itself is actually one that relies upon stability, it can’t exist in times of massive change.

This ties into flyers because people are struggling with them. The concept for some rankles, ‘WHY MUST I TAKE FLYERS OR FLYER DEFENCE?” they scream.

Well the simple answer is because you probably want to win.

People are making out that flyers are the ultimate game-breaking evil. I find it ironic, collecting Crons, I have access to very good flyers. People say they are OP, but it’s pure ignorance to judge them now before we see skyfire and such introduced into the majority of codexes… Necrons don’t have any of those nifty new rules, they simply have their flyers and regular choices, which do I grant, place them in a good position.

People act as though this is some massive new issue with the game, that somehow they have been betrayed. GWS has ruined this edition for them. But I ask, what do you think happened to all the people in 5th who didn’t want to play MSU, or adhere to the list building themes which made an army competitive? Some armies just couldn’t do it effectively, some couldn’t do it well and some were just so boring that people didn’t want to.

The same issue is present now, except that vocal minority of players who are used to being king-pin are suddenly in a poor position and can’t understand why the game shouldn’t be changed to make their life easier.

“REMOVE FLYERS! NERF THEM, INCREASE THEIR COST!” They cry.

The game has always rewarded people who put aside the fluff side of things to build the most competitive army the rules will allow. It’s more complicated now, harder, list building has more aspects, which can only be a good thing.

These people complain that games are scissor, paper, rock.

anti-stormravenSo what we seem to have is people building armies that use the extremes and as a result there are very bad match ups. Not because the game is broken but because people are still experimenting and haven’t come to the point were the really good players and list builders start to make small tweaks which invalidate the unbalanced lists, while still remaining balanced. When this happens everything will stabilise to an extent.

Of course the thing about the scissor, paper, rock argument is that at the end of the day in tournaments the people who win in this environment really are the best players. And from what little I have followed it is the same names still doing well.

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