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* The vehicle design rules were a rather creative idea put forward in White Dwarf and later codified in the Chapter Approved books that allowed players to design their own vehicles and come up with points/rules for them. As can be expected for something with such a large degree of customization, balance was all over the place. Some options were prohibitively expensive (creating codex vehicles using the VDR formula often resulted in the same vehicle costing 50-100 extra points), while others (particularly in combination) were dramatically underpriced. [[TheMunchkin Certain players]] delighted in coming up with homebrewed vehicles that snapped any pretense of balance in half. The only saving grace is that the rules were considered optional, meaning another player could simply refuse to play against an army that abused the rules.

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* The vehicle design rules were a rather creative idea put forward that began in White Dwarf magazine and was later codified in the Chapter Approved books that allowed players to design their own vehicles and come up with points/rules for them. As can be expected for something with such books. With a large degree of customization, customization balance was all over the place. Some place as some options were prohibitively expensive (creating codex vehicles using the VDR formula often resulted in the same vehicle costing 50-100 extra points), while others (particularly in combination) were dramatically underpriced. [[TheMunchkin Certain players]] delighted in coming up with homebrewed vehicles that snapped any pretense of balance in half. The only saving grace is that the Vehicles made from these rules were considered optional, meaning another player could simply refuse to play against an army that abused never in widespread usage, were completely optional in any case and the rules.idea of customised vehicles was quietly dropped not long after they were introduced.


* The Imperial Armoured Company list had Leman Russ battle tanks, some of the toughest tanks in the game, or artillery platforms, for every slot in the army. The list was so powerful that it had to include special rules like "Lucky Glancing Hit" to allow enemy infantry a slim chance to stun or shake all these vehicles with weapons that normally would be incapable of penetrating a Leman Russ' armor. The list later reappeared as the Armoured Battlegroup list in Forge World's ''Imperial Armour''.

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* The Imperial Armoured Company list had Leman Russ battle tanks, some of the toughest tanks in the game, or artillery platforms, for every slot in the army. The It was never intended to be a "serious" playable list as it could never be properly balanced. It was so powerful that it had to include special rules like needed a "Lucky Glancing Hit" rule to allow enemy infantry a slim chance to stun or shake all these vehicles with weapons that normally would be incapable of penetrating a Leman Russ' armor.damaging tanks. The list later reappeared as the Armoured Battlegroup list in Forge World's ''Imperial Armour''.

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* Similarly to the above, and created in the same place, is "Chapter Master Slamguinius", which came about using 8th edition's rules for the Blood Angels; a 124 point accept-no-substitutes HQ-and-below murderer that can't be overwatched and naturally re-rolled charges, and 6 attacks per turn at bare minimum.
* Finally, the truly cheesy MURDERWINGS from 7th Edition, Slamguinius' ancestor. He is a Raven Guard chapter master who, with the right relic weapons (Specifically '''Swiftstrike and Murder''') and the Special ability '''Flurry of Blows''' to get him up to potentially more attacks as an Eversor Assassin or ''beyond''[[note]]The idea is that Swiftstrike and Murder give a beastly six attacks on a charge to the Chapter master, and the special ability '''Flurry of Blows''' allows him to roll another attack for every hit he does in melee, which, if you roll REALLY, REALLY well, could get you up to ''12 attacks in a single turn''[[/note]]. 8th Edition robbed him of much of his power, but now can be made in several different ways thanks to changes to other codices that give him the possibility to become SNEAKYWINGS, SLASHYWINGS, or FISTYWINGS, using Raven Guard, Iron Hands, or Crimson Fist rules respectively.

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** The specific detachment of three Guard squads and two junior officers is such an efficient source of (otherwise rare) command points that for a while it was included in every Imperial list.


* Storm Shields remain a source of great frustration to this day. Armor ignoring weapons had always been one of the Space Marine's few weaknesses. Then storm shields were buffed giving an invulnerable save identical to their normal(terrific) armor save. All of the sudden marines could shrug off plasma and power weapon hits as easy as everything else. Thunderhammer/Storm Shield Terminators became invincible. Being able to walk from one side of the board to the other, literally ignoring whatever was thrown at them, and murdering whatever they go their hands on. To make matters worse this buff applied to the shields in every space marine army except grey knights, giving it to Space Wolves and Blood Angels too. (Guess which author was responsible for this insane buff...)

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* Storm Shields remain a source of great frustration to this day. Armor ignoring Armor-ignoring weapons had always been one of the Space Marine's few weaknesses. Then storm shields Storm Shields were buffed giving to give an invulnerable save identical to their normal(terrific) normal (i.e. terrific by the game's standards) armor save. All of the sudden marines Marines could shrug off plasma and power weapon hits that they used to be weak against as easy as everything else. Thunderhammer/Storm Shield Terminators became invincible. Being outright invincible, and accounts of them being able to walk from one side of the board to the other, literally ignoring whatever was thrown at them, and murdering whatever they go got their hands on. To make matters worse worse, this buff applied to the shields Shields in every space marine Space Marine army except grey knights, Grey Knights, giving it to the Space Wolves and Blood Angels too. (Guess (Bet you can't guess which author was also responsible for this insane buff...)



* 6th Edition introduced Flyers into the main rulebook, which became Game Breakers for one of the same reasons Fast Skimmers ruled 4th Edition - melee attacks like Thunder Hammers or Melta Bombs couldn't hit them at all. The other was that the only units that could reliably shoot Flyers were other Flyers, and those with the Skyfire rule... and when 6E came out, the only non-flying model ''with'' that rule was the Imperial Guard's Hydra flak tank. This was gradually rectified when the codices were updated for the new edition with dedicated AntiAir units (or Forge World came out with some), but until then, old armies struggled... and even with updates, bringing insufficient AA left players at the mercy against Flyer-heavy foes.

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* 6th Edition introduced Flyers into the main rulebook, which became Game Breakers for one of the same reasons that Fast Skimmers ruled 4th Edition - melee attacks like Thunder Hammers or Melta Bombs couldn't hit them at all. The other was that the only units that could reliably shoot Flyers were other Flyers, and those with the Skyfire rule... and when 6E came out, the only non-flying model ''with'' that rule was the Imperial Guard's Hydra flak tank. This was gradually rectified when the codices were updated for the new edition with dedicated AntiAir units (or Forge World came out with some), but until then, old armies struggled... and even with updates, bringing insufficient AA left players at the mercy against Flyer-heavy foes.



*** "Scythewing," as Necron flier-spam was dubbed, got around the problem many armies faced when trying to spam fliers due to the fact it could also Spam large number of difficult to draw line of sight to Ground units through Scarabs and a unit of Canoptek Spyders.
* The Imperial Guard became insanely powerful in 6th Edition for two reasons: everything in the codex is so cheap that its easy to bury the enemy in firepower and bodies, and it had one of the most durable, versatile, deadly, ''and'' cheapest Flyers in the game: the Vendetta. This gunship had the higher level of Flyer armor, three twin-linked lascannons meaning it could smoke any tank/flyer/elite infantry with ease, and was a transport able to drop a squad of meltagun-armed Veterans to finish any fight it started. On top of that the Vendetta could be taken in squadrons, allowing nine to appear in a standard game.

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*** "Scythewing," as Necron flier-spam was dubbed, got around the problem many armies faced when trying to spam fliers due to the fact it could also Spam spam large number of difficult obscuring "difficult to draw line of sight to Ground units units" through Scarabs and a unit of Canoptek Spyders.
* The Imperial Guard became insanely powerful in 6th Edition for two reasons: everything in the codex is so cheap that its it's easy to bury the enemy in firepower and bodies, and it had one of the most durable, versatile, deadly, ''and'' cheapest Flyers in the game: game; the Vendetta. This gunship had the higher level of Flyer armor, three twin-linked lascannons meaning it could smoke any tank/flyer/elite infantry with ease, and was a transport able to drop a squad of meltagun-armed Veterans to finish any fight it started. On top of that the Vendetta could be taken in squadrons, allowing nine to appear in a standard game.



* The 6th Edition Chaos Space Marine is generally considered to be relatively well balanced, with the notable exception of the Heldrake. In addition to the general difficulties many armies in early 6th edition have with fliers, the Heldrake is the only flier to have an invulnerable save (well the Dark Eldar flyers can buy one for 10 points), and is has the best front and side armor that a flier is allowed to have, making it the most durable flier in the game outside of Forge World supplements. It also has the "It Will Not Die" special rule, so that even if you managed to damage it, there was no guarantee that it wouldn't be able to regenerate the hull point damage before you could shoot at it again. Further complicating matters was its ability to destroy light transports or slaughter infantry during the movement phase, before firing a weapon that could obliterate any infantry model without an invulnerable save or a 2+ armor save, bypassing cover saves. A FAQ ruling would only make matters worse, giving the Heldrake the ability to fire its weapon in a 360" arc - removing the positioning element that was its only real weakness prior to the FAQ.

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* The 6th Edition Chaos Space Marine is generally considered to be relatively well balanced, with the notable exception of the Heldrake. In addition to the general difficulties many armies in early 6th edition have with fliers, the Heldrake is the only flier to have an invulnerable save (well (well, the Dark Eldar flyers can buy one for 10 points), and is it has the best front and side armor that a flier is allowed to have, making it the most durable flier in the game outside of Forge World supplements. It also has the "It Will Not Die" special rule, so that even if you managed to damage it, there was no guarantee that it wouldn't be able to regenerate the hull point damage before you could shoot at it again. Further complicating matters was its ability to destroy light transports or slaughter infantry during the movement phase, before firing a weapon that could obliterate any infantry model without an invulnerable save or a 2+ armor save, bypassing cover saves. A FAQ ruling would only make matters worse, giving the Heldrake the ability to fire its weapon in a 360" arc - removing the positioning element that was its only real weakness prior to the FAQ.



** As an example of this, a Tyranid player (using what is widely considered an underpowered army thanks to two codices that stripped away the utility of many units in succession) swept a tournament by taking nothing but Hive Tyrants with Wings.

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** As an example of this, a Tyranid player (using what is widely considered an underpowered army thanks to the previous two codices that stripped away the utility of many Tyranid units in succession) swept a tournament by taking nothing but Hive Tyrants with Wings.



* The new Eldar Codex has widely divided opinions on whether or not it is truly broken. For starters, a 270 point unit puts out 40 shots that often wound basic infantry on 2s. Also, the Eldar Distort weapons are now Destroyer weapons (which basically ignore any type of saves if one rolls a 6) so can easily destroy tanks, monstrous creatures, and any unit in the game with ease. On top of this, the Wraithknight which had similar issues as the Riptide (being fast, horrifyingly tough to kill as is, and could leap out of cover and back in it in the same turn) was turned into a Gargantuan Creature (making it even tougher to kill by giving it [[FeelNoPain Feel No Pain]], and an immunity to poisoned weapons, which were the exact weakness of Monstrous Creatures) and given Destroyer Weapons, all for just 295 points which is a marginal, genuinely marginal, increase in point cost considering what this thing now does. This thing kills Super Heavies more than triple its point cost in 1 turn. And despite the fact that in a normal army list you can only take one since it's a Lord of War, the Eldar-exclusive detachment can allow you to field '''five''' of these things in a 1500 point game where almost no army has a ghost's chance of killing more than 2 in a single game. Your mileage may vary, but this certainly is not a weak army in the least.

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* The new Eldar Codex has widely divided opinions on whether or not it is truly broken. For starters, a 270 point unit puts out 40 shots that often wound basic infantry on 2s. Also, the Eldar Distort weapons are now Destroyer weapons (which basically ignore any type of saves if one rolls a 6) so can easily destroy tanks, monstrous creatures, and any unit in the game with ease.ease if you get lucky. On top of this, the Wraithknight which had similar issues as the Riptide (being fast, horrifyingly tough to kill as is, and could leap out of cover and back in it in the same turn) was turned into a Gargantuan Creature (making it even tougher to kill by giving it [[FeelNoPain Feel No Pain]], and an immunity to poisoned weapons, which were the exact weakness of Monstrous Creatures) and given Destroyer Weapons, all for just 295 points which is a marginal, genuinely marginal, increase in point cost considering what this thing now does. This thing kills Super Heavies more than triple its point cost in 1 turn. And despite the fact that in a normal army list you can only take one since it's a Lord of War, the Eldar-exclusive detachment can allow you to field '''five''' of these things in a 1500 point game where almost no army has a ghost's chance of killing more than 2 in a single game. Your mileage may vary, but this certainly is not a weak army in the least.


** Combining 5th Edition Imperial Guard with the old 3rd Edition Daemonhunters resulted in the infamous "[[http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2009/09/40k-ard-boys-armylist-leafblower.html Leafblower]]" army list, so named because it blew opponents off the table through a combination of heinous firepower and neutralizing reinforcements. The fluff-based flying Seer Council Eldar list was one of the few that could compete with it, at least until the Leafblower's ubiquity spawned army lists designed purely to counter it.

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** Combining 5th Edition Imperial Guard with the old 3rd Edition Daemonhunters resulted in the infamous "[[http://www."[[https://www.belloflostsouls.net/2009/09/40k-ard-boys-armylist-leafblower.net/2009/09/40k-ard-boys-armylist-the-leafblower.html Leafblower]]" army list, so named because it blew opponents off the table through a combination of heinous firepower and neutralizing reinforcements. The fluff-based flying Seer Council Eldar list was one of the few that could compete with it, at least until the Leafblower's ubiquity spawned army lists designed purely to counter it.


*** Blood Angles Death Company in overcharged Rhinos had the biggest charge range in the Imperium.

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*** Blood Angles Angels Death Company in overcharged Rhinos had the biggest charge range in the Imperium.


* Psyker spam is incredibly potent due to the Smite power. For a measly cast rating of 5 any psyker can inflict d3 mortal wounds on the closet visible enemy unit, potentially d6 if the player rolls well. Allowing psykers to put wounds on anything from monstrous creatures to tanks. Being characters psykers also cannot be targeted if there are units closer to the attacker, making it hard to get at them. Because of this tournament players took to running as many psykers as they could in their lists to straight up delete enemy units when the psykic phase came around. This has not gone unnoticed with changes to the psykic phase coming which will prevent the same power from being used twice by different pskers and making Smite harder to case with each use.

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* Psyker spam is incredibly potent due to the Smite power. For a measly cast rating of 5 any psyker can inflict d3 mortal wounds on the closet closest visible enemy unit, potentially d6 if the player rolls well. Allowing psykers to put wounds on anything from monstrous creatures to tanks. Being characters psykers also cannot be targeted if there are units closer to the attacker, making it hard to get at them. Because of this tournament players took to running as many psykers as they could in their lists to straight up delete enemy units when the psykic psychic phase came around. This has not gone unnoticed with changes to the psykic psychic phase coming which will prevent the same power from being used twice by different pskers psykers and making Smite harder to case with each use.



* Due to the weird way that bonuses to Feel No Pain are worded, it resulted in the possibility to stack enough Feel No Pain modifiers to make it impossible to fail it. Feel No Pain allows a model to ignore a non-instant death wound on a roll, typically a 4+ before 6th edition and a 5+ in the last two. However, unlike other bonuses where the wording simply reduced the minimum required needed to pass the test, Feel No Pain bonuses ''added'' to the result on the dice. This is a problem because the core rulebook has a rule that a ''result'' of a 1 is always fail (specifically put in there to stop modifiers like this from making a unit invincible), but not a ''roll'' of a 1. This meant if you can somehow accumulate enough modifiers, you can make a model completely immune to non-instant death hits (and if you can somehow buff the toughness, that would basically make them immune to instant death hits too). Chapter Master Smashfucker was the most notable case of this, but other examples existed provided the RNG was kind to you.

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* Due to the weird way that bonuses to Feel No Pain are worded, it resulted in the possibility to stack enough Feel No Pain modifiers to make it impossible to fail it. Feel No Pain allows a model to ignore a non-instant death wound on a roll, typically a 4+ before 6th edition and a 5+ in the last two. However, unlike other bonuses where the wording simply reduced the minimum required needed to pass the test, Feel No Pain bonuses ''added'' to the result on the dice. This is a problem because the core rulebook has a rule that a ''result'' of a 1 is always fail a failure (specifically put in there to stop modifiers like this from making a unit invincible), but not a ''roll'' of a 1. This meant if you can somehow accumulate enough modifiers, you can make a model completely immune to non-instant death hits (and if you can somehow buff the toughness, that would basically make them immune to instant death hits too). Chapter Master Smashfucker was the most notable case of this, but other examples existed provided the RNG was kind to you.


** Forge World lists are explicitly only meant to be balanced with lists in the same book, they require opponent permission to use and are never tournament-legal, except in their own tournaments (after all, anyone who pays ''[[CrackIsCheaper 960 GBP]]'' for a Tau Manta needs to take it out the box sometime).

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** Forge World lists are explicitly only meant to be balanced with lists in the same book, they require opponent permission to use and are never tournament-legal, except in their own tournaments (after all, anyone who pays ''[[CrackIsCheaper 960 GBP]]'' ''960 GBP'' for a Tau Manta needs to take it out the box sometime).

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* A more traditional basebreaker was taking an army filled with Dark Reapers. There are also a bunch of powers that interact with them.

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* The new detachment system completely removes all but the loosest requirements for factional allies and taking specific amounts of lesser quality options. So called "Soup" armies abuse the mechanic by taking the best of every unit in a specific faction, which due to the way the game has moved away from 'skirmish' level combat to 'herohammer' with overpowered special characters like Gulliman, Celestine and the Daemon Primarchs taking centre stage. It resulted in armies being used at tournaments with lists that include Gulliman & Celestine together along with and a dozen assassin models backed up by dozens of cheap imperial guard fodder for board & objective control, or two of the Chaos Daemon primarchs in the same army.


* When 8th edition initially dropped, Imperial Guard conscripts were nasty. For 6 power level you got 50 guardsmen with meh ballistic skill (to put this in perspective, a regular guard squad is 2 power level and only includes 9 las guns and 1 las pistol.) Players soon found that, coupled with orders and certain characters, conscripts became outright overpowered. With the right order, conscripts could pump out 150 shots a turn. In melee, couple with a priests, they could do close to 100 attacks. Conscripts did have low morale, but this could be negated with the presence of a commissar. It go so bad that players that didn't even run guard started running guard detachments just to get access to conscripts. However, with the drop of the codex, conscripts became nerfed. They can only be taken in squads of 20 or 30, and are the only unit in the codex that can potentially fail a order. That all being said, conscripts are still considered a high tier unit.

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* When 8th edition initially dropped, Imperial Guard conscripts were nasty. For 6 power level and 3 points per model you got 50 guardsmen with meh a mediocre ballistic skill value (to put this in perspective, a regular guard squad is 2 power level level, more expensive point-wise, and only includes 9 las guns and 1 las pistol.) Players soon found that, coupled with orders and certain characters, conscripts became outright overpowered. With the right order, conscripts could pump out 150 shots a turn. In melee, couple with a priests, they could do close to 100 attacks. Conscripts did have low morale, but this could be negated with the presence of a commissar.Commissar. It go so bad that players that didn't even run guard started running guard detachments just to get access to conscripts. However, with the drop of the codex, conscripts became were nerfed. They can only be taken in squads of 20 or 30, got a point increase, and are the only unit in the codex that can potentially fail a order. That all being said, conscripts are still considered a high tier unit.

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* Psyker spam is incredibly potent due to the Smite power. For a measly cast rating of 5 any psyker can inflict d3 mortal wounds on the closet visible enemy unit, potentially d6 if the player rolls well. Allowing psykers to put wounds on anything from monstrous creatures to tanks. Being characters psykers also cannot be targeted if there are units closer to the attacker, making it hard to get at them. Because of this tournament players took to running as many psykers as they could in their lists to straight up delete enemy units when the psykic phase came around. This has not gone unnoticed with changes to the psykic phase coming which will prevent the same power from being used twice by different pskers and making Smite harder to case with each use.

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* Due to the weird way that bonuses to Feel No Pain are worded, it resulted in the possibility to stack enough Feel No Pain modifiers to make it impossible to fail it. Feel No Pain allows a model to ignore a non-instant death wound on a roll, typically a 4+ before 6th edition and a 5+ in the last two. However, unlike other bonuses where the wording simply reduced the minimum required needed to pass the test, Feel No Pain bonuses ''added'' to the result on the dice. This is a problem because the core rulebook has a rule that a ''result'' of a 1 is always fail (specifically put in there to stop modifiers like this from making a unit invincible), but not a ''roll'' of a 1. This meant if you can somehow accumulate enough modifiers, you can make a model completely immune to non-instant death hits (and if you can somehow buff the toughness, that would basically make them immune to instant death hits too). Chapter Master Smashfucker was the most notable case of this, but other examples existed provided the RNG was kind to you.

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* The Primarchs are extremely powerful. They have a price cost to match, but they are so incredibly hard hitting & durable that "win at all cost" type matches such as tournaments have the highest ranking armies all built around these big models.

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