Please feel free to start discussions or disagree with what I have posted. I am by no means the source of knowledge in the subject, this is simply my observations and opinions formed from those (I am not rank 6 on everything yet!). I will update if my opinion changes. I would highly recommend that everyone play separate races. It will give you a better idea of what they are capable of and how to deal with it. I play with several different groups/guilds, each mains a different race, and at least several people in each of them bitch about other races. We are all at least a little bit biased, but I tried not to be here. (I am heavily biased against jump assault cheese). I have a rank 6 SM, Rank 5 CSM, Rank 5 Ork, and Rank 5 Eldar. I will list what I think are pros and cons for each race. This is an opinion and many are sure to disagree and rightfully so. Note that there are more than I am listing. I am not listing every difference, just what I think matters. SM Pros: Ranged faction - The bolter, Stalker Bolter, vengeance stormbolter, plasma cannon, and Burning Light stand out to me. Now we have grav weapons to keep melee at bay. SM has the best of mid to long range weaponry (except the vengeance storm, which is great, read op, close to mid). Grav Weapons - In teamplay, the grav guns make excellent all around weapons. The more people that have them, the more useful and do-all ability they have. Sure, they work better for killing infantry with bolters and better at vehicles with meltas, but that forgoes what I see as their strength, their versatility. This has been nerfed slightly with less damage to vehicles, but overall I feel the same about it. Grav cannons are ridiculous, especially against those poor eldar vehicles. Plasma - Plasma is pure BS, especially since the projectile speed bug was fixed. The recent nerf helps. It maybe balanced now. I still think overcharge should happen with the first charged shot, not 3. Best Healer - Apoth grenades are the best healing, bar none in my opinion. Apoths can be played melee or ranged, which will attract more people to role. The Sorc can be loaded out to potentially outheal the Apoth and definitely rival this status, but I still think the Apoth holds the Best Healer title due to the grenades lasting a long time, when the Apoth leaves they stick around, the apoth can die and they will remain, and they can revive anyone standing on it or crawling to it, including the apoth that threw it. There is nothing like an apoth grenade on point to keep a team defending a cap. With the recent buff to knives, narthecium, and ‘urty syringes, apoths do extremely well in melee, even with bolters. 50% poison per hit is nothing to laugh at and with the extra durability, they kind of dominate fights in melee now (why do they apply poison against d-bash!!!!). Durable faction - The armor buff of 20 made a huge difference (even if it is just one bolter shell). Compact generators (penis protectors?) also help a lot. LSM have a higher armor value than average. Swords in Melee - SM actually have the longest fast attack lunge with swords. Storm Shield - The shield is great in team play and amazing for protecting that tactical while he is capping and getting a squad intro a well defended room. For duels though, I will take the plasma pistol any day. SM Cons: Shitty vehicle controls - Rhinos have a bad turning radius and feel clunky. As they should being tanks using a single pair of tracks. One capping class - Points are in small rooms where ranged players are at a disadvantage. CSM Pros: Two Capping Classes - CSM has capping classes for ranged and melee. Plasma and Autocannons - Plasma is the same as SM. Autocannons are good do-all weapons at mid to long range (Note that I do not believe autocannons to be OP, unlike many, although they are very strong. What makes them not OP in my opinion is the visual indicator, huge tracers, that you are being shot at). Chaos marks - Marks are amazing, especially for their cost (sigils, not so much, but every race has that problem). I have seen the cost analysis page and while they may seem to give a disadvantage from his perspective, I have to say that I think it is worth it. For Nurgle, I think toughness is worth far far more than the ability to roll more frequently. For Slaanesh, movement speed is highly underrated and you cannot place a straight cost on it. Tzeentch was shown to be worth it and Korne just sucks, don’t use it (other than for manslayer shenanigans). This is what separates Chaos from other factions. You get to choose what benefit you have and it dictates how you play. Slannash is great for getting around, flanking and reacting. Nurgle is great for assaults, duels, and working as a team to take a point (looking at Sorc right now). Tzeentch is good for prolonged fights and melee duels due to armor regenerating after a couple of sections. Just duck out for a second and come back ready to wreck. Or clang for a couple seconds and have a third of your effective health bar back. Korne is meh in my opinion. You forgo getting back up and Sorc support for a bit of lifesteal? Maybe for the lone wolf player. Sorcerers - Sorcerers are versatile supports that fit the role well. There are many options in what type of support you want to be. Tzeentch healing comes close to grenades, but in my opinion, are still not as good at healing. They make up for it in other ways. Many have pointed out to me that Sorcerers rival Apoths in healing. This is true, but grenades are still better for straight up healing and fights. Durable Faction - Chaos gets the extra 20 armor like LSM and have access to cheaper armor with slightly less stats. This makes it easy to make loadouts with gold armor. Mark of Nurgle allows for extra tankyness vs non-power weapons (even power weapons with armor upgrades, but you are sacrificing LP) at a fairly low cost. This makes the CSM faction have higher toughness than average. Nurgle healing also provides more durability. Swords in Melee - Same as SM. CSM Cons: Shitty vehicle controls Having to choose between Nurgle, Slaanesh, and Tzeentch - It is a hard choice!!! Some people miss the storm shield that LSM have. Personally, I think the stormshield sacrifices too much for too little and I almost never see people using it, but some people love it. No bundles - CSM gets no grenade bundles. Not too big of a deal and most don’t take them anyway, but I like them. Eldar Pros: Speed - Eldar move faster and have faster animations. This gives them an advantage in certain situations and makes their range units strangely effective in melee (not as good as other races melee units, but better than their ranged units in melee). It also allows for fast response times and tactics. Strafing is more effective in ranged duels, although offset by their durability. Swooping Hawks are great for rapid response units and harassment. Wave Serpents - Eldar transports handle very well and run over other factions' infantry with ease. The ability to strafe and move quickly and precisely makes it hard to blow them up while being driven (other than against grav). They take this at a durability hit (60% of other races' vehicle health), but it is worth it in my opinion. Because they are so strong, it is common for them to have a guy that just drives it around and runs people over at points, which is not feasible for other factions. Fire Dragons - The preset for Fire Dragons has a melta bomb and the melta gun. This is a good method for dealing with vehicles, especially none Eldar ones, as they do not run over people quite as effectively, which as the Eldar you don't have to worry about. You can also make your own loadout to carry two melta bombs, which will blow up a vehicle on their own. They are fast and hard to chase in circles around a vehicle. Warlocks - Warlocks are more defensive sorcerers. Increases toughness and heals allies with embolden and jinx to add damage in an aoe (a ton of damage), unfortunately jinx does not give assists, so you do not see it much. Melee is on par with Sorc, they both have essentially power swords and make good melee units that are perfect for supporting their capping class, Dire Avengers. Swords in Melee - Eldar have the best melee for taking out ranged classes. This is due to their swords having the farthest power attack lunge distance and faster recovery times between animations, which makes it easy to spam at range units and either break the Defensive Bash or their weapon. No dust trail - Eldar are the only race that does not leave a dust trail in their wake. Good for sneaky stuff, but not that big of a deal. Eldar Cons: Fairly squishy - Eldar can die quickly with good aim. Although small hit boxes and speed can make this hard to take advantage of. Bad melee duels - The lack of any melee weapon tier higher than a sword makes them somewhat ineffective in clangs with other melee classes. This can be overcome with smart play, but will affect them in melee balls of right click spam (which is stupid anyway, I don't see how anyone finds that fun). One Capture Class - Same as SM Sidearms - Eldar Shuriken pistols are pretty bad compared to equivalents. Fusion pistols were nerfed into uselessness. No Melta on Tactical equivalent (DA) - Dire Avengers are less versatile than all other tactical equivalents. No kraks and no melta bombs. No Red Armor - Eldar classes do not have a middle tier armor, just standard and Gold. Pistols - Eldar have the worst pistols in the game. Both fusion and shuriken. Dark Reapers - Dark Reapers are in a bad spot right now. Shuriken Cannon and Tempest Launcher (when it doesn’t blow up in your face for no apparent reason) feel good to me. Their version of plasma is much worse, although better at taking out vehicles at short range where you can actually hit it (wtf?). No Lascannon equivalent (where the hell are bright lances? I don’t understand) hurts on fortress maps. Falcons - While they can still run people over, the primary weapon is far worse than other races equivalents (autocannons) and there are no side guns (heavy bolter equivalents). They make for weird sniper tanks (1 shot kills) that don’t feel right and can’t take on other factions equivalents. Warp Hunters - These are absolute shit for their intended purpose. Their range is less than other vindicator equivalents, they have less health and the slightest movement (even if not from the driver, like someone running into them) resets the cannon fire. Between this and Eldar’s long range engagement tools, Eldar are worse off than other races for fortress maps. Ork Pros: Melee - Orks have some of the best melee in the game. Power attacks are faster for same tier weapons (feels this way, but I have no numbers to back it up, choppa blades definitely feel faster than chainswords/powerswords). Choppa Axes stun on all power attacks that are not clanged with and have faster light attacks similar to chainswords. Klaws do suck though (don’t use them, I know they look cool, but meh). I wish they had strong knuckles (supposed to be sword tier, but no longer. I wouldn't mind more clang damage than knives). Two Capture Classes: Shoota Boyz and Slugga Boyz. Offers class versatility around points and a good combination of ranged and melee units. This is shared with Chaos, but Orks do not get the weapon versatility that Chaos has. (lacks autocannon, plasma cannon (the equivalent is simply not as good, other than for taking out vehicles), and power swords). Shoota Boyz - Both Shootas and Big Shootas have great DPS and are good all around weapons. Big Shootas have a mild suppression effect. Both are very accurate with mods and the recoil feels easy to manage to me. Rockets are also very effective anti-infantry and anti-vehicle weapons that combined with Ork’s amazing side arms make for a devastating combo. Rockets may be one of the best all around weapons in the game. Autocannon - In the form of the Ace Dakka. This thing similar damage to autocannon (less damage per bullet, higher rpm), has no visual indicator (huge tracers), and suppresses, unlike an autocannon. Durable Faction - Orks have an extra 30 health and head shots do less damage. Wargear that offers toughness of the same caliber as Chaos Nurglets, but if you are not a slugga, it will cost you. Side Arms - Seemingly the most effective side arms with multiple options. Dakka and Sparky Sluggas stands out in particular to me if you are willing to pay the lp for it. Short - Cannot be shot over railings. This can sometimes be helpful and it can also be very annoying, as orks cannot shoot over railings. Very situational. Not really a pro or a con. Waagh - If this triggers, good luck getting a point from them. This is terrible in Fortress maps and Hold-the-Line though, and quickly uses all their tickets. No one likes Fortress anyway though (or hold-the-line, but we are forced to play it through skirmish. . .). Too much lag. Instant redeploys should not be underrated though. Shield - Similar to LSM. Less durability than Stormshield (anyone know what it is on dead shiny shield?) Ork Cons: Waagh - Fortress maps, enough said. Vehicle - Controls are shitty. Even shittier than SM and CSM. They are very entertaining though and can make it easy to run people over with sliding. They are also huge, easy to see and shoot at over obstacles, and hard to hide. This is a bigger disadvantage than one would think. Power Swords - Lack of Power swords. In my opinion, this is not a big deal, but some live and die by the power sword (I like my chainsword, god damn it). The electrified choppa is also pretty much straight up better (dem fast attacks). Pain Boyz - The healing grenade sucks compared to Apoth. They can be destroyed by melee and stray shots because they are so big. They are restricted to a side arm (although really good side arms) and the syringe, which isn’t so bad now with things like the sparky slugga (more dps than bolters, and more pen) and the recent buff to ‘urty syringes durability, which makes them god tier in melee when combined with the poison. So it is really just about the grenades now. Balance is in a pretty good spot right now. CSM and Orks feel neck and neck to me. LSM is a bit above the others due to bs narthuisium and nades (Nerf incoming!), which translates to Apoths being completely and totally OP. Like, ridiculously so. Combine this with zombie JPAs (which are hard enough to kill as they are), LSM that abuse these two classes feel unstoppable at times. Grav Cannons are also completely over the top for AV and double as decent AI weapons. Eldar feel quite a bit weaker than the other races, even if they are the most frustrating to play against. Multiple nerfs and a lack of weapon versatility definitely hurt them, but the devs have already announced that the Eldar will be receiving some love, so we will see. Defensive Bash does not work properly for any race, which puts ranged classes at a disadvantage. This combined with jump availability, I-frames, and melee lunge distance can be quite annoying (ranged bias, sorry). Jump packs and in some cases rolls allow for stun canceling. This may also be an issue with net code and latency issues (I have been playing from 200 - 250 ms, sometimes even 300). The recent buff to knife, knuckle durability offsets this a little, but I am still waiting on the fix to stun canceling and d-bash avoiding when it should be too late. Honorable Mentions from previous versions of the game or just previous opinions that have changed: (Con) Ork Anti-Vehicle - No meltaguns and shitty melta bombs that don't stick. With the nerf to meltas, I do not consider this an issue anymore. Rokkits take vehicles just as fast and are better for dealing with infantry. (Con) Ork Cannons and Rokkit Launchas overlap to the point that I don't see the point of having both. I guess cannon mode has a useless quick fire and useful mortar mode and Rokkit Launcha has maneuverability. I have rethought this and the cannon makes an excellent anti-infantry and anti-vehicle sniper. (Pro) Pokkit Rokkit - A bunch of guys with pokkit rokkits can take out a transport. It also used to one shot people with a pretty short charge time. Much the same as fusion pistol, this was nerfed. A lot. As in you shouldn’t use it anymore. (Pro) Eldar Fusion Pistols - Every class can have light anti-vehicle at the expense of their pistol. These were considerably nerfed due to having every class be anti-vehicle is not cool. I have not tried these with 4 or more people. My opinion could be revised again, but probably not. (Pro) Fire Dragon fusion guns had a built in grav gun, so it has the effects of both grav and fusion and is a pretty devastating combo. (Con) Plasma Grenades - Plasma grenades were shit till a patch ago. They are still worse than other races, but they do stick and they now do 500 damage to infantry, which is enough to kill them (believe it or not, they use to not kill infantry that they were stuck too if full health). (Con) Shuriken Catapult - I used to think the Shuriken Catapult was crap, due to no magazine mods. But with the heavy barrel, this thing actually feels really good (head shots have never been easier). Too bad the Twin-linked Shuriken Catapult with mods pretty much does everything it does, but better. It is slightly less accurate at range with much higher spread per bullet. I hope this was helpful, and for all who disagree or want to provide more, let me know! I do not have rank 6 on everyone yet! (I also hope I didn’t piss anybody off too much, don’t shoot me). EDIT: Added Eldar pistols to cons. Removed slow from orks and lsm cons. Added note about Ork shields.