It's no surprise that the same topic come up again and again. I got tired of rethinking my answer each time, so I thought I'd store all the answers here and copy in to the forums as and when...
Why don't GW release a model for 'X' unit? I want to play it, but I hate converting. If they're not going to release a model for it, they shouldn't include it in the codex. Bwaaaaaaaaa!
GW have a limit to how many plastic kits they can release per year. This is a budget constraint as plastic kits are very expensive to design. Ever since the first edition of the game, there have been plenty of units in the list that don't exist as models.
Yes, GW could easily 'dumb down' every Codex so that the only options you have are the ones they can physically manufacture, but this would make the game less interesting. It would drastically reduce the number of units available to each army, which would mean the lists become more similar. Every CSM army would be the same, every IG army would be the same, etc etc.
There is absolutely no disadvantage to fill the codex full of interesting, fun, cool units that spark the imagination of the players, whether GW can manufacture models for them or not. You lose nothing by including these 'modelless units', but you gain a lot in army variety, fluff, possibility for theme, and in the cool conversions that result.
Nobody is forcing you to include 'x' unit in your army. If you don't want to make it yourself, field something else.
Why aren't there ALL the possible options for my unit in the box. If they're not going to put all the options in, they shouldn't include the unit in the codex. It's a conspiracy to make me buy lots of boxes for 'x' bit. Bwaaaaaaaaa!
Each box has a limit to how many sprues can go into it. This is a budget constraint as plastic kits are very expensive to design. Ever since the first edition of the game, there have been plenty of options in the list that don't exist as models. GW are getting better at this, as the recent boxes have a lot more options, but sometimes this is unrealistic.
For example, a boxed set of IG Veterans would have to come with 3 plasma, 3 melta, 3 flamer, one of each heavy weapon team, demolitions upgrade, carapace armour torsos, camo cloak torsos and various Sgt weapons to be legal. The other option would be to remove Veterans altogether, or limit their options in the codex. Yes, GW could easily 'dumb down' every unit so that the only options you have are the ones they can physically manufacture, but this would make the game less interesting. It would drastically reduce the number of options available to each army, which would mean the lists become more similar.
There is absolutely no disadvantage to fill the codex full of interesting, fun, cool options that spark the imagination of the players, whether GW can manufacture them or not. You lose nothing by including these options, but you gain a lot in army variety, fluff, possibility for theme, and in the cool conversions that result.
Who is Stelek? Why does everybody hate on him?
Stelek was a prolific poster here who got banned fro Dakka a few years back. He then started his forum. He could best be described as a VERY competitive player. However, it was his particular posting style that most offended people.
He had a very binary, black-and white approach to advice. In the world of Stelek, if you don't agree with him, you're not only wrong, you're also an idiot. Any army which isn't top tier is not just 'less competitive', it absolutely sucks and you're an idiot if you want to play it, regardless of your preferences towards fluff, look, theme etc.
He has attracted a lot of support as he often will give good competitive advice. However, his online persona is so incredibly arrogant that he becomes a chore to have a conversation with on a forum.
Apparently, in real life, he's lovely. But his 'I know everything and if you're not as competitive as me then you're an idiot' online persona riles a lot of people. Including me.
What is official GW canon? What books count and what are fanfic? Has my favourite bit of fluff been 'retconned'?
The short answer is simple. GW are not Marvel. There is no retconning and no 'official canon'. Even if two sources completely disagree, there's a good chance they're BOTH correct. GW own Forge World and Black Library. They are different subsidaries of the same company. Therefore, everything any of these companies release comes directly from GW and is just as important as the other.
GW have deliberately invented a world where literally anything can happen. And when they write in that world, they do it from the point of view of one of the factions, all of whom have terrible 'intelligence' and are incredibly biased. This means that any piece of written text is suspect. It may have happened, or it may have been different. When they do rewrite a codex, they usually clarify rather than directly contradict themselves.
For example, in the very early 40k novel 'Space Marine', Imperial Fists scouts are shown training with lasguns. In all fluff since, we know that scouts use boltguns and have never been since with lasguns. However, this doesn't mean that the Imperial Fists NEVER EVER use a lasgun for training. Or that, at a partcular period in the ten thousand year history of the chapter, scouts have NEVER touched a lasgun. It has not been 'retconned'.
The reason for this deliberate ambiguity is so that players have more variety to choose from when theming their army. Given the evidence from this book, I might model MY Imperial Fists scouts with lascarbines and mohicans, and count the lasguns as shotguns. My army would be more unique because of it. This is a good thing.
What is the best army case to get?
KR and Battlefoam are usually the two competing brands, though there are others. I use an entirely KR system - card storage cases with soft blue foam and semi-rigid Kaiser transport bags to pop the card cases in. My friend uses an entirely Battlefoam system - hard grey foam for the models in a semi-rigid travel bag.
Regardless of which system would survive the biggest bomb blast, both systems are absolutely fine for what your standard journey to a game involves. They both protect your models really well. Both systems are modular, and both systems offer good custom foam options.
Battlefoam's custom options are usually better, as you can cut your own trays. Their bags are also better build quality - made of obviously more expensive materials. However, this makes little difference to their durability and protection - both systems are very durable and both systems offer good protection. Battlefoam also have the edge in REALLY large bags, very tall foam trays, and sell bags designed as airline cabin luggage.
KR probably offer slightly more 'hard' protection and the foam 'hugs' the models allowing less room for them to move around. KR are also more modular - you store your models their card cases, then pop whichever army's card case you want into your transport bag when you go to a game. No tray swapping or fitting foam into new cases. For really solid protection, they offer aluminium cases. Their biggest advantage, though is cost. They are significantly cheaper than Battlefoam.
I go with KR because I have 8 or 9 armies and I don't want to spend hundreds of dollars per army on foam and cases that won't actually offer hundreds of dollars more protection, especially since these cases spend most of their time sitting on a shelf.
Competitive players are cheesy! Bwaaaaaaaaa! Casual players should just stop whining and play properly! Bwaaaaaaaaa!
This is a big one. Ahem.
The vast majority of 40k gamers play because they like playing with their toy soldiers. They try to win while in-game, but don't get annoyed if they don't. The fun bit is assembling pretty armies and playing games over beers with friends. For a minority of people, winning is the only point, and comes above painting, story, or ensuring both players have fun. Of course, there are lots of people in between.
Both ways to play are absolutely fine. You bought the models, and you can do what you want with them. Problems only happen when the two players in a game are expecting different things.
In addition to this, there are vast amounts of potential armies in 40k, many of which are unequal in power. Many people play armies other than the most powerful one because they like the models, the background, or because the army used to be ok, but got caught up in codex creep. Again, as long as both players know what sort of game they are playing, this isn't a problem. It's when people bring two very different power levels of army that problems start.
Casual players criticise 'competitive' players if they bring lists that are seen as 'too powerful'. If the game is intended to be friendly, this may be a valid criticism - if I say I'm bringing my Kroot Mercenaries (Power 1), and you bring a Power 5 list, you evidently have no interest in a fair game, or in my fun. On the other hand, if I took my Kroot Mercs to an overtly 'competitive' tournament, or to a game where my opponent had expressed that he wanted to play with his Power 5 army, then I have no right to complain.
It would also be correct to point out that 'knowing which army is Power 5' is NOT necessarily a skill - merely a google search. Also that winning because you picked an obvious Power 5 list and your opponent bought a Power 2 list does not make you a more skilled player.
Competitive players sometimes point out that if everyone only took Power 5 lists, then there wouldn't be a problem. They are completely right. But this argument doesn't take into account player preference, liking the look of armies or theme - things that the vast majority of players deeply care about. It's also economically impractical to expect everyone to buy the latest Power 5 and ditch anything that falls below Power 5. It also restricts variety in the game. If everyone played the five or six current Power 5 lists the game would lose variety and this would be boring.
Generally, agreeing to play at around Power 3 solves these problems, and this happens all the time all over the world.