Of Dataslates and Formations…

Posted: March 6, 2014 by Lord Commander Militant of the Imperial Guard in Dataslate, Digital, Events, Expansions, News, Rules

Okay folks – we have been getting a lot of queries about these so it’s time to address it.

Xian and I spent a fair bit of time talking on the phone yesterday as I navigated my way through snow-filled blizzardy streets filled with traffic. It was a productive way to use gridlock time I guess.

So, without further ado – Dataslates and Formations…

Dataslates are official parts of the 40k rules set. As such they are, like Codices, official, approved and will be allowed at Astronomi-con events.

Formations within dataslates are an interesting case. They are both ‘part’ of the parent codex and yet are also a detachment in their own right. In theory a player could take a formation that has nothing to do with his or her codex, and still take allies as well. The rules are very clear on this. The formation must, of course, be taken completely as its own rules require.

How does this affect Army Composition? The rules on Formations are clear in that those elements are still considered a part of their parent Codex in every way. As such, if you take, say, a Fire Support Cadre, you’d have a bunch of Broadside suits and a Riptide. Those would be part of your Heavy Support and Elites choices and points respectively and would impact your Army comp in all appropriate ways.

It’s worth considering too, whether you’re taking a formation for ‘game effect’ or for ‘army theme’. Both are permissible of course – we at Astronomi-con will never tell you that you cannot take something – but you should at least consider the impact that it will have on your sportsmanship and comp scores. If you take a formation which doesn’t really ‘fit’ into the fluff of the 40k universe, your sportsmanship is likely to suffer, and possibly suffer a lot at the hands of your opponents giving what would be appropriately low army sportsmanship scores.

That said – don’t let that limit your creativity. If you have a very cool idea for a combination unit, by all means do it! An IG army which has ‘switched sides’ and joined up withe Tau for the greater good? We all know full well that that has happened. If appropriately modeled, possibly with the IG having some Tau like influences in their markings and perhaps even equipment, it would make for a very very neat army fully fitting into the 40k universe. And it could still be plenty effective on the tabletop.

As in all things with Astro – it’s a tradeoff. You can take ‘power’ units and improve your chances of Best General. However it could and probably will impact your chances of winning Best Overall or Best Sportsmanship and probably Best Army as well. However if you take time to theme those forces, choose things which are cool and have a neat story behind them you can mitigate those factors greatly and possibly even turn them around and make them into a positive. After all, we all want to get a chance to play against wicked cool armies – that’s what Astro is all about. So it doesn’t have to be a downer although it may take more effort to properly communicate the cool factor to your opponents.

So there are some thoughts for the day on Dataslates, Formations and the like. Enjoy!

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