Warhammer 40K Releases New Faction, Immediately Nerfs It Due to Power Imbalance

Warhammer 40,000's newest army made quite an impression of the game's fanbase, although not in the way that Games Workshop expected. Last month, Games Workshop released the Codex and first miniatures for the Leagues of Votann, an updated version of the "Squats" (aka space dwarfs) from older editions of the game. The first miniatures for the Leagues of Votann only came out a few weeks ago and haven't been used in a major tournament, but that hasn't stopped Games Workshop from releasing an apology video and an errata scaling back the Leagues of Votann's most powerful abilities just a week after the faction's codex was released. 

Fans realized immediately that a Leagues of Votann army would be extraordinarily powerful on the battlefield, with the faction's Judgement Tokens being particularly strong, as they automatically scored a Wound whenever a player rolled a 6 to hit. Because it was obvious that the Leagues of Votann would immediately be a dominant faction, several tournaments stated that the Votann armies would be banned until Games Workshop released a FAQ. This wasn't unprecedented – some European tournaments had made similar rulings for other armies with new Codexes in the past – but the speed in which tournaments had banned the faction, along with how many tournaments implemented the ban was surprising.

On September 29th, Games Workshop released an update for the Leagues of Votann, increasing the point cost of many units while also modifying the Judgement Token ability so that it doesn't trigger other abilities or rules that trigger when an unmodified "6 to wound" is rolled. While explaining how the Leagues of Votann was so extraordinarily powerful, Games Workshop explained that the Leagues of Votann rules were playtested against other currently meta-relevant armies, including the Tyranids and the Aeldari, both of which had also received nerfs in recent months to make them more competitive. Since balance updates were made to both those armies, it left the Leagues of Votann overperforming based on the current landscape of play. 

Keep in mind that Games Workshop often releases FAQs and updates to its armies to keep a level of competitive balance in the game. However, the backlash and speed in which Games Workshop moved to nerf the Leagues of Votann is still surprising. We'll see whether the Leagues of Votann will end up being a force on competitive Warhammer 40K, or if these new changes have taken the wind out of their proverbial sails.  

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