Expect huge amounts of derp and rage, punctuated by /tg/ extracting humor from it.
|This article contains something which makes absolutely no logical sense, such as Nazi Zombie Mercenaries, Fucking Space Orangutans, anything written by a certain Irish leper or Robin Crud-ace, Matt Ward creating (against all odds) a codex that isn't completely broken on every level. If you proceed, consider yourself warned.|
Robin Cruddace is one of the designers for Games Workshop. He's nowhere near as good as Jeremy Vetock or Phil Kelly, he is considered the Bane of Tyranid and Tomb Kings players due to his Tyranid and Tomb Kings Codices.
Mostly, his Codices are just boring. They're not particularly well-balanced internally (as Pyrovores will attest), but they aren't guilty of Phil Kelly's monobuild (Aside from 6E Nids). They also aren't very well externally balanced (i.e. against other Codices), but they're nowhere near as bad as Ward's. And his fluff is... well, it really depends on how much of a 'Nids fan you are. In other words, the crunch was crappy bad but still workable with a few good lists, and his fluff can either go from being tolerable, or straight up to Matt Ward levels of pure undisputed bullshit.
In the end, Cruddace will be forever hated by Tyranid players who want to feed him feet-first to a Ripper Swarm for the travesty he inflicted upon the 5th & 6th edition codices. He should probably avoid aquariums or river cruises to South America, lest some disgruntled Neckbeard try to fulfill the aforementioned prophecy by throwing him into a school of Piranhas.
Recently, Cruddace has mostly been trapped in Warhammer Fantasy Battle, possibly because Games Workshop realized nobody likes him that much, or maybe because he legitimately likes the other game better and chooses to design for it. This seems fairly unlikely, though, as he's a really, really big treadhead. This probably explains why his Imperial Guard 'dex (read: army with dozens of tanks) was so much better than his 'Nids 'dex (read: army with absolutely zero tanks). It's kind of hilarious how GW keeps giving him the infantry only armies, and how he gave the Daemons vehicles.
Also, for some reason, a lot of people spell his name "Cruddance." It has yet to be determined whether this is a shitty attempt at a pun ("crud" + "dance") or just people being inconsiderate faggots (see: Bretonnia v. Brettonia).
Robin Cruddace is a codex writer for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Battle, and an utter treadhead. This means, of course, that there is one army he is very good at writing, but not too many others, and there is much wailing and misery over the utter hackjobs he's pulled on the Tyranids, the army he was least suited for. It's also possible that he's not really a treadhead either - the guy's an Imperial Guard player, just like Matt Ward is an Ultramarines player, so like Ward it's easy to see he definitely played a bit of favoritism with his own guys. On the other end of the spectrum, it appears he may have been in the camp of believers that Tyranids were overpowered with overpowered MCs, since that's what he nerfed the hardest, and then he took away all their equipment options so they couldn't even be accidental bargains somehow.
He also filled the Tyranid fluff with page after page of losing battles for Tyranids, rather than the enigmatic analysis on their rapid development and adaptability which they were previously known for (their crunch now makes them among the most rigid armies in the game). In fact, he has one story about how well the Tau were able to out-adapt the Tyranids by tricking them into disadvantageous evolutionary paths. The Tau won that battle by beating Tyranids at their own game. In the Tyranids' own codex. (And thus, the Pyrovore was born!) And then the Tau were killed off by Necrons. Also, he removed all the awesome fluff about Inquisitor Kryptmann (aka spehss Alan Grant from Jurassic Park with a hint of Ripley from Alien/s). Fortunately, with the 6th edition Tyranid codex, someone else realized how stupid this was and brought Kryptmann back, along with adding the story of Tyranids wrecking both Grey Knights and Chaos Daemons in the Shadowbrink campaign. If only they could've saved the crunch from Cruddace.
Editors' note: /tg/ is pretty damn sure that if Cruddace had the power to, he would buff imperial guards to the point of being stronger than A certain selection of model Cheeses and turn them into an army of literally nothing but 9 Tanks and a creed that would wipe out anything short of a primarch on the first turn, and completely kill any remaining units in the second turn while simultaneously Literally Retconning the Tyranids and their entire existence, threat and presence as well as playability from 40k. Let's just hope he never obtains said power. As per the newest Octarius book, it seems he succeeded.
We don't know what's wrong with Cruddace, but if he writes your army's codex, you better hope he likes your army. One theory is that if it kills his guardsmen, he'll hate you forever (no wonder he despises Tyranids as much as the Inquisition despises freedom of speech and opinion.) On that note, the Eldar better hope that Cruddace is never allowed near any of their future codices, but the Dark Eldar have likely already fallen victim to his writing.
No, really, go back and think it through. Now admittedly, sometimes the Tyranids will lose. But a good writer is able to balance a sense of closure with the cosmic horror that there are always more Tyranids out there. When they invaded Macragge they couldn't win because it would kill the Ultramarines forever, and the Ultramarines are pretty damn important to the game. But it was climactic, it was intelligent. It was an epic battle stretching from the dark tunnels of a monastery-fortress to the tundras of the planet surface to the depths of space, both sides fighting tooth-and-nail. It was the entirety of the third biggest group of a theoretically infinite faction, verses the homeworld of one of the most famous and powerful space marine chapters and the heart of one of the most important regions in the Imperium. The Tyranids lost the war as a whole, but they destroyed the entire First Company and decimated the rest of the Chapter, and the Ultramarines could only manage to destroy most of them. Pretty hardcore.
And then there was the Shadowbrink Campaign, where a load of Grey Knights protecting this relic that needs to have rituals performed over it every day to stop a frakload of Daemons from arriving suddenly get a message that the Tyranids are on their way. When said Tyranids arrive, they nom those Grey Knights and the Guardsmen sent to help them, and because those Grey Knights are no longer there to perform their rituals a load of Daemons are unleashed upon the world too. Initially the Tyranids see the Daemons as more food and send feeder beasts to consume them, but because the Daemons are ethereal creatures born from corrupted souls, they can't be eaten, and kill the feeder beasts in all sorts of spectacular ways as they wallow helplessly in a bog created by the Daemons. Realising that that plan went down the toilet, the Hive Mind starts to look upon the Daemons not as prey, but as rival predators after the same food source as the Tyranids (which is pretty much true as Daemons feed off the souls of mortals while the Tyranids devour their bodies). With that in mind it decides to spam a load of gun beasts to blast the Daemons into oblivion, causing the Chaos Gods to fight amongst themselves again now that their plan's going wrong and their Daemons have no more real souls to feed off. A Great Unclean One is blown up by Zoanthropes, Khorne is unable to get any BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, Tzeentch withdraws his forces early and leaves the other three gods' forces in the shit Just as Planned and Slaanesh decides to be its rival's bitch and follow the Khorne Daemons in a last battle. Sending a load of Tyrannofexes and Trygons to face them, the Tyranids wreck the remaining Daemon forces and force them to retreat back into the Realm of Chaos, before returning to clearing up the rest of the biomass left on the world. Literally the only true Tyranid victory ever mentioned.
In the story Crudface wrote, meanwhile the Tyranids; in their own codex; lost a battle of adaptation to a random Tau force nobody knows. Consider that rapid adaptability was the Tyranids' single most important claim to fame. Then afterwards, Cruddace killed off the whole Tau force anyway. With another faction entirely. The saddest part is how easy it would be to fix: either make it a major Tau world (with the implication that, if the Tau lose, the Tau Empire is nommed), or make the Tau solution something so grimdark and apocalyptic (read: super virus) that the Tau realize the only way to stop the Tyranids when they all finally arrive is to sacrifice the entirety of the Tau Empire (and possibly all sentient life in the galaxy). Hey, its worked in other universes.
But no, he made the Tau better than the Tyranids. Apparently the Ultramarines are just chumps... (he was probably making a remark about how well a certain piece of literature from a certain spiritual liege would realistically hold up against an enemy as dynamic as 'Nids).
The ideal was, as he gave it, "you wouldn't be hearing about Tyranid victories".
In any case, we are not kidding: if Crudface doesn't like your army, prepare to get fucked.
That being said, he also made a bunch of the 8th edition Fantasy books, which were, for the most part, pretty good, and seem to be bringing Warhammer Fantasy into *gasp* balance (even if Tomb Kings are still at the arse end of useful). He was also a co-writer for the 7th edition Lizardmen army book, which was considered a strong, but balanced book until 8th edition changes to magic occurred.
There's also a skubtastic argument between Kelly's and Cruddace's fans about the mess of random tables that Codex: Chaos Daemon has become. The book's actually decent overall (unless you relied on Fateweaver to win games for you) and balance wise is in line with the other 6th Edition books. Also, the fluff does a good job in portraying the Chaos Daemons. However, if you even try to suggest that one of the two might be behind the nerf of one unit, you'll find yourself in one of the big shitstorms /tg/ is known for.
He recently wrote the new Space Marine codex, its pretty decent and balanced the Chapters lore pretty well compared to the other previous codices, even if it did leave in a lot of the Ultrmarine wank it was reedited to be more balanced.
It should be noted that "crud" is an often-used euphemism for "crap". Make of this what you will.
Notable Victims of The Cruddace
- Imperial Guard (5th Edition): His first work gave Cruddace the "Treadhead" moniker. Though the internal balancing and fluff are pretty good, the codex really throws a wrench into the metagame; months later, the infamous leaf-blower list will be crafted using this codex flooding tournaments with melta-vets, artillery and various other spams.
- Tyranids (5th and 6th Edition): This is where everything went wrong and how Cruddace became synonymous with nerfing. Cruddace literally took his least favorite army's codex and proceeded to figuratively smear shit all over it, by simultaneously nerfing anything the 'Nids had that was competitive into the ground, and then writing stories essentially portraying them as being a weak and pathetic race that lost every battle it fought in. This was when the consecutive stream of nerfs from 3rd edition onward hit their absolute peak. Although the codex churned out some nifty units (Hive Guard coming to mind), the balancing at the time was wonky as fuck, deleting the much beloved DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. This also introduced the Pyrovore, arguably the most useless unit in the game. and the consecutive nerf stream continued up until 8th edition, which was the only codex that has granted the nids any significant stuff since 2ND EDITION. ***SSSSSS Crud-assssss hassss not the neckbeardssss to be writing fohhhhh usssssss he mussssst be taken to the poolssssss***
- Tomb Kings (8th Edition): Largely forgettable compared to his other works. Noteworthy in that it clears up a lot of contention from the previous book (like making liches actual wizards), fleshes out their lore (it doesn't really, it just includes a lot of long-winded descriptions of what they look like when they're killing people. You'll get sick of paragraphs-long descriptions of "bronze blades flashing as blood sprays into the sky and skeletal feet trample maimed foes into the earth" long before you finish the book) and gives the Tomb Kings Sphinxes that they use in battle. It should be mentioned that most TK players absolutely hate most of his changes. Giving an army that actually relies on magic unreliable magic was a massive dick move and would frequently cause spontaneous game-loss regardless of how you played. It was also one of the most rigid books ever written because the army was neatly divided into "must have" units and "don't touch" units (and the must haves weren't all that good, they were just the only units that were decent, whereas the "don't touch" units often were incapable of actually doing whatever it was they were meant to do, i.e. character-hunters who couldn't kill another character to save their lives and monster hunters who had, at best, a 1 in 12 chance of actually killing another monster). Essentially there were two workable builds. The "Khalida plus archers" build that carried over from the much better 6th ed book and the list that Cruddace seemed to think you should be playing; Tomb Guard Deathstar, with Necropolis Knights, sphinxes, and Chariots. It's notable that, once again, he wrote a book that revolves around tank-like creatures (sphinxes), large blobs of expendable infantry, and a deathstar composed of the most elite unit in the army, led by a character with a powerful, but very short ranged aura. He also made them slow as all hell compared to previous versions. Weirdly reminiscent of his 5th edition Tyranid Codex.
- Sisters of Battle (the 5th Edition White Dwarf-only not-even-Codex): Continuing on the nerfing trend after Matt Ward butchered the Sisters in 5th ed. The team-up of Ward and Cruddace heralded a severe Gav Thorpe-esque reduction and tactical blunting of the previously known Witchunters list - gone are any inquisitorial support, leaving the Sisters outgunned and outclassed. Immolators? Can't take them with troops! HQ? Too expensive to be useful! Decent Elites slots? BWAHAHAHAHA - no.
- The Empire (8th Edition): Again, not very memorable. Adds some gee-whiz new war machines, but most infantry gets a price hike when other armies are getting their points costs lowered.
- Chaos Daemons (6th Edition): playing the nerfer-in-chief yet again, but balanced out (somewhat) by Phil Kelly and his random tables of random. Sadly, the victims are manifold - Juggers have no armour and Tzeentchian psykers and Flamers buff your opponent. It's all not as bad as the internet makes it out to be, especially on 1d4chan, but it is close. Because you can take Screamers and Tzeentch Heralds in the right combo to have a Jetbike unit with a re-rollable 2++, and Warpflame isn't a big deal if you fire your spells on one unit at a time. Just pretend everyone is Necrons! Also, Daemons do have ways to deal with flyers, like a Slaanesh Prince with Lash of Despair and Biomancy. Expensive, but it works, and let's not forget Bloodletters behind a quad gun that can fire at BS5. Oh, and did we mention you have a Monstrous Creature that has nine attacks on the charge, always hit on 3s with hatred, wounds everything on a 2+, ignoring armour and inflicts Instant Death? And can wreck a Land Raider by smashing it with Armourbane (Skarbrand)?
- Space Marines (6th Edition): There seems to be an uncanny pattern of switching back and forth between Cruddace's Treadhead and Nerfer personas; this one uses the former largely because of the army that he himself plays - no really, he plays Howling Griffons! It is however an incredibly stable codex with fluff--although derived from the previous edition--is not terrible. There are some casualties (like the deletion of the Black Templars as their own, separate faction and subsequent amalgamation into the book), but there are some nifty bright spots, specifically the Chapter Tactics. Now you can choose from seven different chapters to play, each with their own unique strategies. Would be seen as a great codex if it wasn't for Heldrakes and Riptides, but technically that's not his fault (c'mon, the non-Space Marine players need some things to even the playing field).
- Due to GeeDubs deciding it would be a grand idea not to tell us who the author is any more, we no longer have a way of determining who else might fall victim to the ominous touch of the Cruddace.
- He's confirmed to have written the 6th Edition Tyranids Codex (aka, the book that nerfed an already fairly low tier army into complete uselessness) thanks to White Dwarf. Much Rage abound. Also makes you wonder why censoring the names of the authors was a good idea considering White Dwarf informed us of who wrote the book.
- We also know he's one of the three guys writing Warhammer 40,000 7th edition, getting second billing after Jervis Johnson.
- While unconfirmed, he's the main suspect behind the 7th Edition Dark Eldar codex given the style of writing and changes to the crunch (farewell Flickerfields and most special characters, including Vect).
- We also know he co-wrote Codex: Deathwatch (7th Edition) with Phil Kelly through an interview. It's a mess, featuring stuff like rules that cannot be used since he forgot to include options for characters to use the rule, as well as forgetting basic equipment (like the Assault Marines Jump Packs), as well as the most boring formations in any rulebook.
- He's also been confirmed as one of the writers behind Warhammer 40,000 8th Edition, once again getting second billing after Jervis Johnson., as well as being a lead writer on most Codies, so Ultrasmurf Tank spam and Imperial Guard Spam aren't OP for no reason.
- The April 2018 issue of White Dwarf confirms him as one of the main writers for the 8th Edition Dark Eldar Codex. While generally extremely well received, there are some baffling decisions like the the Squatting of Kabalite Trueborn and Hekatrix Bloodbrides. Bloodbrides can be (sort of) explained by Wyches coming with 2 Attacks base now, but the writers could easily have opened up more wargear options or something. The same rationale may have been used for the Trueborn due to Warriors getting to take more heavy and special weapons, but the same principle applies. Another is adding the Crucible of Malediction, (a wargear choice already available to Generic Heamonculus) as a very overcosted Stratagem. (Sort of) Justified by Urian Rakarth not having one, but it against raises the question: Why not just give him the Crucible anyway?
- As it turns out the Dark Eldar are extremely mono-build as far as competitive play goes so they are sadly the latest Victims. With very minor variations (some might take a Razorwing or two), each Tourney List is literally:
- Black Heart Spearhead: Labyrinthine Cunning Archon with Writ of the Living Muse plus 3x Ravagers
- Flayed Skull or Black Heart Batallion: Naked Archon x2, 6x 5-Elf Kabalite Squads with Blaster in Venom
- Alaitoc Battalion: Jetbike Farseer with Doom, Jetbike Warlock with Conceal or Jinx, Ranger Spam.
- As it turns out the Dark Eldar are extremely mono-build as far as competitive play goes so they are sadly the latest Victims. With very minor variations (some might take a Razorwing or two), each Tourney List is literally:
- Warhammer Community's article on which GW figures make official visits to the 2018 NOVA Open lists him as the lead designer of 40k. Suddenly, an edition characterized by stuff that the Guard does well (such as massed volleys) makes a lot of sense.
- It was stated in an article about Kill Team that Cruddace had a hand in it. Especially with the Rogue Trader release.
And then, Codex: Space Marines
When Cruddace was revealed as the writer of the new Codex: Space Marines, there was much moaning at how badly they were going to be nerfed. In amongst all the complaining about how stupid the Centurions looked, the doomsayers spoke of an age when Vanilla Marines would be amongst the worst Codices in the game.
And then, it was released, and there was much confusion.
Unlike Cruddace's Imperial Guard, or the Eldar and Tau Empire books that had been released recently, it wasn't overpowered against the others. Unlike Cruddace's Tyranids, or the recently produced Chaos Space Marines, it was neither underpowered nor monobuild. There was shock and confusion. For the first time in a long while, there was a Codex that was neither rape nor fail. It was... good.
The Chapter Tactics, whilst having some more powerful than others, were all valid choices that could have decent army lists written for them. The Black Templars took few casualties during the transfer. The fluff (with a few exceptions) was well-written and portrayed every Chapter faithfully (with the obvious exception being Ultra-wank in every non-Ultra Chapter's story). Most of the options in each slot could be taken in a good army list. It was good.
What this indicates regarding Cruddace's writing ability is unknown. There are several views which can be loosely grouped together. The first view is since he has demonstrated bias towards Imperium factions, especially those with tanks (It is very convenient that the Imperial Guard [his favorite army] can now bring a larger allied Space Marine force WITH all their vehicles, and that transports can be taken for free in a certain detachment), this codex is a work of selfish favoritism. The second relates, as Space Marines have long been Games Workshop's Creator's Pet/Cash Cow; GW could have been looking over Cruddace's shoulder while he wrote the codex to ensure their pet stayed at the top like they want. The third is a case of Occam's Razor, where Cruddace's talents have been improving over time with practice or he had a flash of brilliance resulting in the codex being better-than-average for him. Another possibility may be the fact that GW is finally doing actual playtesting.
As ever, get the facts straight and draw your own conclusions.
8th Edition (sigh)
Interestingly, on a recent stream on WarhammerTV, it was said that the Almighty Treadhead himself was in charge of the design of 8th edition.
After almost 3 years of 8th edition it's pretty safe to say making the Treadhead senior rules writer was a terrible idea. Imperial Guard soup dominated the meta for the majority of the edition and it is only with the release of the Space Marines 2.0 codex and the Iron Hands and Imperial Fists supplements that something new has challenged the guard crown. (Notice how all the broken armies like running tanks?) Do you like playing independent, fluffy armies using only a single codex? Too bad cause we're cookin' soup up here in 8th, but only in the Guard and Eldar varieties. Did you like when they promised at the start of 8th that 40k players wouldn't need a personal library to keep up with all the rules? Too bad. Cruddace and his team's continued inability to write balanced rules combined with GW's love of draining wallets has led to countless FAQs and Errata, a yearly "balance" book in the form of Chapter approved, Codex 2.0 releases, and a series army supplement books. At least his work on Kill Team is decent. Although it also suffers from too many book releases and patches.
40k 9th Edition
According to the 9th Edition core rulebook Cruddace was the lead designer of 9th edition. Whether this is good or bad remains to be seen.
UPDATE: Vehicle-based armies got a great buff in 9th, and the meta is swinging more toward anti-armor to compensate. Makes perfect sense considering the Treadhead it came from.