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Vash113 23 Nov 2008 03:12

Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review

Introduction

Alright well its been a couple months since the codex became widely available and I've finally gotten around to taking a full look at the new codex and everything thats different and all the changes that have been made and this is a full review of whats new, whats old and whats different for those looking to update their armies from 4th to 5th Edition.

Whats New

Ok for starters I'll look into whats new, this is the most obvious thing one will notice when looking at the 5th Edition codex. Its huge, compared to the old codex its twice as thick and not an inconsiderably hefty book. Not all of it is new stuff but there is quite a bit, both in fluff and in new units and rules. So to begin with lets look at the brand new units available and what they are and what they do.

Units and Special Characters

Honor Guard
-Not as entirely new as some other units, this squad has merely become generic. Once available only to the Ultramarines, now any Chapter Master can bring along a unit of these bad boys. They have the option to take Relic Blades, and come standard with power weapons and artificer armor. These dudes are nothing to scoff at however they have some problems. Notably their cost, and the Ancient and Champion have both lost their IC status and a wound making them very expensive point sinks for what you get. At least in the 4th Edition codex these two got 2 wounds, which wasn't a lot but it helped. Now the Champion comes standard and you have to upgrade an Honor Guard to carry the Chapter Banner.

Taking Marneus Calgar allows 3 full units of these guys. However GW has yet to release actual models for this unit apart from the retinue that comes with Calgar. This is of course problematic because unless you want multiple Calgar's, Champions and Ancients you can't really buff up the unit any and non-Ultramarines players are of course going to either have to convert their own or heavily modify the Ultramarines Honor Guard, but that is a lot of work. I mean lets face it the number of Ultramarines insignia on those models is incredible.

However the Honor Guard do offer a lot of conversion opportunities for those who feel like it, and good places to start are probably the Black Templar Upgrade Sprue, the Command Squad box and the Commander box. All of these give lots of plastic bits that can make sick looking models and with a little cutting and swapping a unique and characterfull Honor Guard unit is deffinitely possible. Another good place to start are the various metal Veteran and Masters of the Chapter models which can all be used as the basis for some very nice looking Honor Guard units. Also because outside of taking Calgar you'll only ever have one small unit of these guys this is a unit you can lavish a lot of extra attention on.

Vanguard Veteran Squads
-These guys to my immense surprise take up a Fast Attack slot, not an Elites. Which is very problematic for all those Raven Guard players out there who made good use of those Veteran Assault Squads from the 4th Edition Codex. Now the Vets and the noobs have to be crammed into the same 3 Fast Attack Slots.

Vanguard Vets have some nice rules and kit though, with the ability to take tons of special close combat weapons including Relic Blades, and a brand new special rule that allows them to assault the same turn they Deep Strike. The unit can be incredibly powerfull if used correctly. But there is the cost to consider, for their cost you can get a lot more in the way of ablative wounds with a normal Assault Squad and the Deep Striking option is of course risky without a good setup and locator beacons.

With good support Vanguard vets can be quite potent, but they are a pretty significant points investment. Additionally all Vets with melea weapons are now technically Vanguard Vets. So those 5 man footslogging Vet squads in a rhino or razorback from the old Veteran boxed sets are now Vanguard vets and take up a Fast Attack slot instead of an Elites. Not perhaps the biggest change in the world but for those with a packed roster this can be fairly problematic and leads to the dilema of either moving your old vets over to the FA or re-arming them with bolters. A tough question depending on your army but sadly necessary.

Not perhaps offering as many conversion opportunities as some other units the Vanguard still open up some interresting modeling possibilities, and Forge World even offers a new Red Scorpions Vanguard squad complete with MK IV armor.

Sternguard Veteran Squads
-These are the ranged counterparts of the Vanguard Vets. One wonders why the Vets got split into two distinct groups when they could do most of this stuff before but oh well. The Sternguard Vets actually appear to be a combination of the Tyrannic War Veterans of the last Codex and Deathwatch Kill Teams. With access to specialised bolter ammunition that they can pick from at will each turn and a nice selection of special and heavy weaponry the Sternguard can certainly put out some very nasty punishment. Perhaps the best new unit in the codex these guys are certainly pricey but pack and ungodly punch and will certainly draw a lot of attention. Best of all Pedro Kantor and/or Crimson Fists players can have scoring Sternguard, a not insignificant tactical advantage in many scenarios.

Anybody with Nid Hunters or Deathwatch can easily use those models as Sternguard squads with little to no modification and while the metal models from GW are certainly pretty cool looking, Sternguard also offer a lot of cool conversion opportunities to really make them stand out from your standard Tactical squads.

Master of the Forge
-An official version of the traited HQ Techmarine of the 4th Edition Codex the Master of the Forge is a pretty potent piece of work. With access to the Conversion beamer as well as your more run of the mill Techmarine kit and of course filling an HQ slot rather than the standard Elites the Master of the Forge also has access to a nice new rule called "Bolster Defences" which is aptly named. With the ability to really bring on the pain and beef up your defensive gunline the Master of the Forge is a nice new stop-gap HQ, able to fill the holes in your army with a nice array of melea and ranged prowess and can also be a nice wild card in an offensive push. Especially if Elites slots are filling up fast the MotF makes a nice secondary HQ or even a primary one for the more tech-savy Chapters like the Iron Hands or Mentors.

Other than that though the Master of the Forge isn't too unique compared to your more standard Techmarines and unless you want an intense conversion on your hand either the standard Techmarine or the direct-order Techmarine are your best bets for modeling this guy. But for those willing to take on an intense conversion project there are a lot of options for making a sick looking Master of the Forge.

Thunderfire Cannon
-This baby is a new heavy support option, and is quite a heavy hitter with a punishing rate of fire, a selection of firing mods and some devastating power. However if any vehicle could be called lightly armored, this thing deffinitely is. As artillery the Thunderfire Cannon is incredibly vulnerable to incoming fire and cannot stand up to much punishment. The techmarine crew is a nice bit of bang for your buck though and even if the Thunderfire Cannon doesn't last long, for a rather small sum of points you get a fully tooled Techmarine as well as the gun so if all else fails at least you have a Techmarine with a full servo harness now ready to whoop arse.

Land Speeder Storm
-A new variant of the Land Speeder the storm is a new kit that has not yet been released but which will be amongst the second wave of Space Marine miniatures released in the next year. This baby is actually a transport for small squads of scouts and carries a modest ammount of firepower itself. Considering the changes to vehicles the lack of firepower isn't such a huge detriment as other Land Speeders if they want to stay mobile won't be using all their weaponry anyway so for your buck the Storm actually offers some surprising new options especially for close combat scouts. The Storm has some equipment that actually boosts the close combat abilities of its passengers should they charge from it.

Funnily enough the Storm also features a jamming beacon which negates all equipment that prevents Deep Strike scatter, and enemies wishing to Deep Strike near the Storm scatter twice as far as they normally would. Against say Daemons this can be an incredibly potent special rule to make use of. Perhaps a bit of a one trick poney though and not usefull in all scenarios and situations or in all armies. Its nevertheless one of the more interresting and perhaps more well thought out new units in the codex.

Land Raider Redeemer
-A new variant of the Land Raider armed with super big heavy flamers called Flamestorm Cannons this baby is like an early christmas present for all Sallies players or anybody who loves a little roasted heretic in the morning. With almost the same transport capacity and just as good assault assisting abilities as the Crusader this thing can deffinitely be the centerpiece of a mobile assault. Its just a shame the artwork features the Ultramarines, we all know this beauty is really the property of Nocturne ;).

Like all Land Raiders the Redeemer suffers very little from the vehicle nerf of 5th Edition and will laugh off most incoming fire only to flame down opponents and I'm told the new Crusader/Redeemer plastic kit is just fantastic. This is deffinitely a pleasant surprise of the new codex and something that goes a long way towards making up for some of the other problems of the new codex.

Ironclad Dreadnaught
-A new variety of Dreadnaught, this thing doesn't currently have an official model, but it is basically a more heavily armored Dreadnaught with some new shiny equipment. This new equipment includes a seismic hammer for even more gory destructiveness, and a set of Hurricane Bolters, for laying down some serious anti-personel firepower. However it is not too clear yet whether this unit will turn out to be golden or a points sink. It certainly offers some nice new options, but for its cost you may be better off with a more traditional and versatile form of Dreadnaught. The Ironclad is a pretty specialised cc and anti-armor variant, and certainly comes standard with some nice extra gear that does go a long way towards justifying the cost. I'm on the fence about this one but the options it offers are certainly intriguing and deffinitely worth investigating. If nothing else this thing has spawned a lot of pretty nifty conversions already and it doesn't look like they will let up anytime soon.

Captain Cato Sicarius
-Alright you remember that annoying captain with the Plasma Pistol and Lightning Claw from the 4th Edition Codex, and that limited edition model that came out for the Medusa V Campaign? Well Sicarius is back with an official model. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a pet character of a GW development staffer that got shoehorned into the new codex. His background certainly has a lot of that "dude my character is like the leet roxorz!" and the model leaves a lot to be desired. Nice it may be but its so... static. However the rules for this guy aren't that bad and easily proxiable for any character with a power sword and a plasma pistol. Sicarius boosts the army nicely and also isn't a bad combatant in his own right. A nice multi-purpose special character and for his cost you get quite a bit in the way of Special Rules and special equipment. Plus he's the only character in the 5th Edition codex with the Rites of Battle special rule albeit a watered down version from the last codex.

Interrestingly enough Sicarius both has the Feel No Pain special rule thanks to his wargear, and can make a special finisher attack replacing his normal attacks that causes instant death. Of course thats not so helpfull against enemies that are immune to instant death and Feel No Pain isn't going to help against power weapons and the like but Sicarius can chew through quite a lot of your standard infantry without problem with a 2+/4+ and Feel No Pain this guy's pretty durable for a Captain.

Scout Sergeant Torias Tellion
-Your typical grizzled Scout Veteran. Tellion is actually an upgrade for a Scout Sergeant and can grant his ballistic skill to one member of the squad for a turn. Which can be quite usefull for those Sniper Scout units with a Missile Launcher. Even better wounds caused by Tellion are allocated by the Space Marine player, not his opponent. Effectively making Tellion a decent sniper against special weapon models and officers. If that weren't good enough Tellion's bolter is quite heavily modified and has greatly extended range over a normal bolter and has rending and pinning as well. Coupled with Tellion's BS of 6 this guy can cause some serous mischief.

His model again leaves something to be desired in the way of a dynamic pose but its not as bad as Sicarius and is easily enough converted for other Chapters just by filing off the few Ultramarines symbols on his armor. Sadly Tellion only has one wound, but for his points he's got a nice selection of special rules and special equipment. Although he is fairly expensive and can deffinitely be a points sink if not used correctly. Still somehow his sheer propensity for mischief appeals to me. Just the thought of capping IG Vox operators or officers, or Tau Shas'ui or Eldar Warlocks etc, etc, etc... oh I can see it now.

Sergeant Antaro Chronus
-Like Tellion, Chronus is an upgrade character, but this time he's an upgrade for a vehicle. Any vehicle can be upgraded with Chronus and his special rules makes the vehicle immune to stunned and shaken and he grants his ballistic skill to the vehicle as well. I can deffinitely see Chronus being ideally suited for commanding a Land Raider Crusader or Redeemer transporting some close combat specialists into the jaws of the enemy laying down punishing fire all the way.

If that weren't cool enough Chronus actually has a 66% chance of surviving if his vehicle is destroyed and continuing to fight on foot. He's not very well equipped on foot but with a Servo Arm he at least gets one power fist attack a turn. Though while Chronus offers a lot of cool options, he's also not at all on the cheap side. Just 10 points short of 2 Terminators, Chronus is a significant points sink as an upgrade for a vehicle and deffinitely not an option that will be suited for all armies and all missions. He has a lot of pros but with his cost you really gotta be sure your going to be getting the most out of him which means a vehicle with both a lot of guns and that is going to be doing a lot of moving. While he might help out Predators and the like it seems Chronus is really going to be best in a Land Raider of some kind most often.

Chapter Master Pedro Kantor
-Aguably the single best new addition for the codex, Kantor gives you a ton for your points. A beast at range and in combat, Kantor also boosts an army significantly most notably by making Sternguard units scoring. He also gives a bonus to attacks in a 12" radius and can make the whole army stubborn. Not perhaps the best swap for Combat Tactics but it could be worse and combined with his other abilities Kantor is a Character armies can be built around quite effectively and for his cost its a downright steal. He's 25 points cheaper than Sicarius for cryin out loud.

Unfortunately for a Chapter Master Kantor lacks either Artificer or Terminator Armor and his Power Fist striking last may not be that usefull in close combat. However with an Assault 4 Storm Bolter Kantor can stand alongside Sternguard and put out a respectable rate of fire on his own. Kantor may not be an army killer in and of himself, but his special rules deffinitely make him a good purchase for any Crimson Fists army, or any army in general for that matter.

Forgefather Vulkan He'stan
-Vulkan He'stan was a nice surprise for Salamanders players. Not actually part of the Chapter Command Structure, He'stan is charged with locating relics left behind by Vulkan. Armed with a relic blade, a heavy flamer built into his gauntlet, Artificer Armor and a 3+ invulnerable save He'stan really defines what a combat beast character should be like. However if that were all you got it still would be pretty good, but its not. Vulkan's special rules actually allow all flamers, heavy flamers, meltas and multi-meltas in the army to count as twin-linked and all Thunder Hammers count as Master Crafted. The sheer propensity for awesome destructiveness that He'stan promises both with his special rules and with his own abilities and equipment are just incredible. Salamanders players can be rightly proud of this guy and enemies should rightly fear him.

Best of all Vulkan is still 10 points CHEAPER than Sicarius. HAH! Although he doesn't have a model currently there are rumours that a model for Vulkan He'stan will be included in the second wave miniatures release for the Space Marines. So keep your fingers crossed! In the meantime He'stan offers some interresting conversion possibilities and I've already seen many variations both good and pathetic but hey such is only to be expected.

Captain Kor'sarro Khan
-A White Scars Character and he deffinitely embodies the White Scars. With an option to take Moondrakkan, a special Space Marine Bike that allows Khan to run in the shooting phase and he counts as fleet too. Kor'sarro is also packing some serious weaponry in the form of Moonfang, a special close combat weapon that causes instant death on any to wound roll of 6. Wicked huh? Kor'sarro additionally replaces Combat Tactics with the ability to give all dedicated transports the Outlfank special rule, and of course all units with Combat Tactics replace that with Outlfank as well. Combined with Tigurius an army can be quite nasty outflanking with the accuracy granted by Tigurius. Not perhaps the most fluffy combination given the lack of very important Librarians in the White Scars but hey, its a funky trick.

Khan is also a character who doesn't currently have a model but who is rumoured to recieve one during the second wave of miniatures releases for the Space Marines. So again keep your fingers crossed and in the meantime Kor'sarro is hardly the most difficult conversion in the world.

Legion of the Damned
-A new unit of seudo special characters, the Legion of the Damned take up an Elites slot and have some pretty funky rules and wargear as well as rumoured to recieve some brand new models with the second wave releases. The Legion of the Damned have 3+ invulnerable saves, Deep Strike and pack some nice firepower in the form of available Heavy Flamers, not to mention the Slow and Purposefull Special Rule allowing them to stay semi-mobile and still lay down the hurt with waves of bolter fire and flames. Anyone who was a fan of the origional Chapter Approved Legion of the Damned will no doubt be happy to see these guys included in the codex. Keep an eye out for the new miniatures as well, Bell of Lost Souls and Warseer have already shown some very nice looking greens!

Vash113 23 Nov 2008 03:12

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Wargear, Weaponry and Special Rules

Bolster Defences
-A Techmarine can use this rule to improve the cover save of a ruin by 1. So if it was a 4+ it would become a 3+.

Ironclad Assault Launchers
-New Wargear for the Ironclad Dreadnaught which count as giving it both offensive and defensive grenades.

Seismic Hammer
-New weapon for the Ironclad Dreadnaught that adds +1 to the roll on the Vehicle Damage Chart.

Camo Cloaks
-Scouts now can take Camo Cloaks which give them the Stealth special rule. Somebody's a little envious of the Tanith I see.

Conversion Beamer
-A new weapon for the Master of the Forge, this is an old school item returned to glory. A beam of energy that gets more powerfull the farther it fires this thing is as powerfull as a Railgun solid slug at just 42" so let em rip!

Digital Weapons
-Now a number of characters have access to Digital Weapons that basically allow one failed to wound roll to be re-rolled each assault phase. Sort of like second hand master-crafting for the to wound.

Auxilary Grenade Launcher
-This is a piece of wargear available to officers that is basically a grenade launcher with a 12" range able to fire frag or krak rounds but that can be taken in addition to any other wargear. So that even a Chapter Master with a Relic Blade and Storm Shield can still have a little ranged punch in the form of an Auxilary Grenade Launcher but don't ask me where he's got it hidden.

Astartes Grenade Launcher
-This baby is a grenade launcher available for Scout Bike Squadrons as a replacement for the bikes mounted bolters. A nice little upgrade to the firepower of Scout Bikes to give them that extra edge on the battlefield.

Relic Blade
-This is a two handed power weapon available to Vanguard Vets and officers that adds +2 strength to the wielder. Nice for wounding Monsterous Creatures and insta gibbing those Eldar and Guard characters. Also wonderfull for combining with Storm Shields to make for a tough as nails character that packs a punch as well. This is also easy to model as its basically just a big power weapon.

Special Bolter Ammunition
-Many types are available to Sternguad Veterans but officers can also take Hellfire rounds as an upgrade to their wargear. The Specialised ammunition does various different things but all have their uses from extending the range of a bolter to wounding enemies more easily and so on and so forth.

Cluster Mines
-Mines that can be deployed by Scout Bikers at the start of a game into a piece of terrain and that can cause 2D6 hits to any unit that moves into the mined terrain no matter who the controlling player is.

Drop Pod Assault
-A new special rule that allows half of a players drop pods to arrive automatically on turn 1.

Combat Tactics
-This is the new Special Rule that most Space Marine units have. It allows them to willingly fail any morale checks. Which can be usefull if you want your marines to have some sense and fall back from a desperate fight for a change instead of getting mauled apart by that Hive Tyrant.

Heroic Intervention
-A new Special Rule for the Vanguard Veterans that allows them to assault the same turn they Deep Strike.

Combat Squads
-This rule allows many different squads to split into two smaller units, usually a ten man squad splitting into two five man squads. This is done at the deployment phase and the choice of what models go into what squad is up to the owning player and if in a Drop Pod a unit can be split into Combat Squads when the Drop Pod arrives.

Whats Changed

While a lot of stuff was either added or lost, there were also many changes to existing rules and wargear. I'll try to go into all of the important ones here.

Storm Shields
-Ok this was a huge change, previously Storm Shields conferred a 4+ invulnerable save in close combat. Now however Storm Shields give a 3+ save period that works at range and in close combat.

Combat Shields
-Now these give a 6+ save.

Signum
-Instead of allowing one model to re-roll its shots, this now allows one model to fire at a Ballistic Skill of 5. Also Techmarines no longer cary this item, Devastator Sergeants do.

Narthecium
-This now confers Feel No Pain to the whole squad, instead of ignoring a wound like it used too.

Cyclone Missile Launcher
-This weapon is now Heavy 2.

Power of the Machine Spirit
-This now allows a Land Raider to fire one more weapon than usual and this can be at a seperate target and is at normal ballistic skill.

Whirlwinds
-Whirlwinds have some new ammo selections and can choose which to fire each turn instead of having ot pick one before the game and stick with it.

Razorbacks
-Razorbacks have an expanded selection of weaponry including the classic lascannon and plasma gun combo.

Servitors
-Now servitors have a special rule called Mindlock if a Techmarine or MotF isn't part of the unit they can lock up and be forced not to do anything. Not usually a problem unless your somehow unlucky enough to lose the Techmarine first. The biggest pisser though is only two Servitors may be upgraded with Heavy Weapons now. After I went to all the trouble to convert up 3 heavy bolter Servitors and a Plasma Cannon Servitor. Damn you Mat Ward, damn you straight to hades! *wags fist*

Shotguns
-Not surprisingly these are now strength 4.

Scouts
-These are now WS and BS 3 instead of 4.

Rhinos
-Rhinos can now attempt to repair themselves if immobolised.

Vindicator
-Siege Shield allows a Vindicator to automatically pass dangerous terrain rolls now.

Apothecary
-The Apothecary can no longer take special cc weaponry. This is a change from previous codexies and means some armies will need to tear off arms and replace them.

Bolt Pistols and Grenades
-Most units now actually come with pistols and grenades now. This includes Tactical Marines, Devastators, Scouts and so forth.

Iron Halo
-This now comes standard on pretty much all Captains and Chapter Masters.

Librarians
-Librarians now choose from a list of Psychic Powers both old and new and do so without paying points. These are chosen before the game and a Librarian can use only one power a turn, unless upgraded to an Epistolary who can use two powers in each turn.

Blessing of the Omnisiah
-Now Servo-Arms improve the chance of a Techmarine repairing a damaged vehicle as well as support Servitors.

Rites of Battle
-This rule is now only available to Sicarius and is a nerfed version of the 4th Edition codex rule.

Captain Lysander
-Lysander has lost the oh so wonderful Teleport Strike and now has his old Bolter Drill rule back... in other words all Lysanderwing Armies are dead and Lysander now works best with a unit of Sternguard. Even though he's in Terminator Armor... with a Thunder Hammer... and a Storm Shield... whoever came up with that bright idea needs smacked upside the head in my opinion but whatever.

Chaplain Cassius
-Cassius now has his Combi-Flamer back from th eorigional concept, and he is now Toughness 6 for some wierd reason.

Chapter Master Marneus Calgar
-Calgar's bolters are now AP2, he re-rolls all failed to wound rolls and he allows everyone with Combat Tactics including himself to pass or fail all morale tests. He also now has an Iron Halo standard even with Terminator Armor and has Eternal Warrior.

Chief Librarian Tigurius
-Tigurius now knows all psychic powers and can use any 3 in any given turn. He also allows all reserves rolls to be re-rolled.

Captain Kayvaan Shrike
-Honestly Shrike hasn't changed so much, except his Wing has now pretty much become Vanguard Vets. Now though he can give his unit Infiltrate, and he gives everyone with Combat Tactics Fleet instead. Fleet infiltrating Assault Terminators... ugh.

Tactical Squads
-Tactical squads now cannot take a special or heavy weapon until they are 10 men strong. However at that size the squad gets a free flamer and missile launcher. With the ability to split into combat squads the flamer isn't so bad anymore, however the squad can be upgraded with other weapons for a modest price.

What's Gone

Perhaps the single most annoying facet of the new codex is all that is now gone, and there's more than a little. So lets begin:

Rites of Battle
-Rites of Battle is now only availbale to Sicarius as I mentioned before but thats just a dumbed down version. It was very nice to be able to give the wohle army a nice leadership 10, but those days are gone. Now the majority of the army will have leadership 8 or 9 max unless a Character is attatched to the unit.

Traits
-The loss of Traits is a huge blow to some armies, not so much to others. Bike armies are fine, Dreadnaught armies are fine, armies that took Techmarines as HQ's are fine. However there are others that are gone and I'll list those individually.

Apothecary Sergeants
-The ability to upgrade Veteran Sergeants to Apothecaries was a very cool and very fluffy option under the old codex, and made for some very characterfull armies, however that option has gone the way of the doddo and anyone who took the time to convert up their sergeants as Apothecaries is now going to have to replace those officers.

Close Combat Tactical Squads
-Traits also allowed Tactical Squads to take bolt pistols and close combat weapons instead of their bolters. Anyone who took the time to build an army with the Take the Fight to Them trait is now going to have a lot of Tactical Marines with utterly inappropriate equipment and is either going to have to replace a ton of arms or change to Space Wolves or Black Templars or something. What a waste.

Additional Characters attatched to Command Squads
-The ability to attatch other characters to a command squad was a fluffy way of making a full list of officers in a Battle Company, to take a Librarian and Chaplain in support of the Commander. For anyone who made use of that cool rule one or more HQ's are now going to have to remain on the shelf in each game.

Veteran Squads
-Veteran Squads as we knew them from the 4th Edition Codex are no more. Spliced in half and crossed with Nid Hunters, Shrike's Wing and Deathwatch to become the Vanguard and Sternguard Veterans. Those old Veteran Squads are now going to have to become one or the other and the transition can be tricky to say the least depending on what wargear those units had.

Terminator Command Squads
-Terminator Command Squads are out the window. It was nice to be able to take a dedicated retinue of Termies for an officer and teleport them onto the field of battle. But that is no more. Splitting Terminator Squads into Combat Squads allows you to probably shoehorn those Terminators into your army though at least by swapping the second sergeant's Power Sword for a Power Fist, so at least the transition isn't so bad. But Terminator Heavy armies especially Lysanderwing armies took a huge hit with this codex in some regards.

Familiars
-Personally I loved having a little Cherub puppet flying around with my Librarians, boosting their Initiative. It made them sick combatants able to get in hits ahead of an opponent, great for taking out Characters. However Familiar's are now gone, not even making the slightest appearance in the 5th Edition codex. *sniff*

Final Thoughts

Well honestly... I hate it. I really do. The changes were stupid and half thought out, many of the new units and characters have a lot of potential but turned out pretty Aulma poor. It was nice to see some things return but the losses were really, really annoying. I sit here staring at my various Space Marine armies and all I get is a headache as I even begin to ponder the huge problem of having to re-organise and re-equip so... many... models. Worst of all after all the effort put into certain things it just really freakin sucks to not have that option anymore. Librarians and Chaplains getting nerfed is just annoying, I don't give a rats D'yi what justifications there are, theres no reason they wouldn't be just as hard core fighters as a Captain. Techmarine servitors limited in how many can be upgraded with heavy weapons, freaking stinks. Familiars were lots of fun and now they are gone. Options have been dumbed down and at the same time new stupid stuff returned. Why are Digital Weapons in there? Why did Techmarines lose the Signum and Devastator Sergeants get it now? It makes a little sense but there's just no reason.

Coupled with Mat Ward's White Dwarf interview it really pisses me off what justifications there were for the changes. I won't stop playing Space Marines and I'll just have to get on with things. But the new Codex is a huge dissapointment and a huge pisser. My Blood Ravens are now no different from my Ultramarines and that sucks. My Ultramarines even need some re-organising but not nearly as much as my Raven Guard. There's no reason Vanguard Veterans should be Fast Attack. They're Veterans, they should be Elites. Like Blood Angels Veteran Assault Squads. Like traited Veteran Assault Squads of the 4th Edition Codex.

Personally the 4th Edition Codex felt refined, organised and made sense. The options were varied enough to be interresting, things were relatively balanced and few options sucked badly. Now the new codex feels like a trip down fanboy lane with the blatant Ultramarines superiority complex filling almost every page, and the number of shiny new units that really don't seem too well thought out. Cool they may be, but they could have used another run through the design process or two. Considering the importance of the Space Marines to Games Workshop this codex is just a disgrace, poorly written, poorly designed, poorly executed. It has some redeeming qualities but those are depressingly few and far between. This won't be the end of Space Marines, but it is a massive dissapointment and a disgrace. Even as an Ultramarines player I'm pissed off at the horrid fanboyism and thats not even getting into the rules changes that are just a pain.

There's a lot of potential though, and I hope someone at Games Workshop gets around to fixing the marines in their next codex half a decade from now or more. In the meantime my Blood Ravens and Imperial Fists will collect dust, and my Ultramarines will repaint their banner as a fanboy disclaimer, and my Raven Guard will cram together into fewer units and split into Combat Squads, and my Servitors will collect dust too. I can also only pray that nobody lets Ward anywhere near the same building that the Space Wolves codex is being developed in.

Anyway thats just my personal opinion, before anyone gets the bright idea to start debating or anything. Thats just how I honestly feel about the new Codex.

However that said there's still a lot of fluff in the new codex (and a lot of Ultramarines fanoyism, damn you Mat Ward!) and I will also outline that later in this thread. Whats new, whats old, whats changed, and so on and so forth. For instance the Relictors don't seem to be Excomunicate Traitoris anymore! Well for now anyway... but we'll get to that later.

Zen 23 Nov 2008 05:00

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Nice, Vash :) Pretty much sums it up. So when are you going to add this as well as Masked Thespian's Vanguard Veteran Article and my Scout Article?

mindscape 24 Nov 2008 12:13

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Well written and as Zenai says, very much sums it up. My thoughts about it is that GW wants people to field codex companies as they are fluffwise: Tactical squads, Assault squads, Devastators, maybe a Dreadnought and a captain with his command squad. All the other units in the book seems to only be used in "rare" occations and special missions. I actually hope that their thought is to provide more addition books like Iron hands, Raven Guard, Salamanders and so on, but it doesn't seem like that. GW has been doing strange things lately....

PS: How idiotic is it to make a special character modify your army strategy? I think this is a cheap way to not have to release additional army books for first founding chapters that is not straight codex. I feel kind of harassed actually

Circus Freak 24 Nov 2008 13:23

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
I'm pissed off that you can't take Devastators as Veterans anymore =P I didn't take six squads of Devs, but it was nice to have three and THEN have three tanks too =P

Falstead 25 Nov 2008 14:11

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Woo, good job Vash. Glad you finally got around to it, the version I started writing in september is rotting somewhere on my harddrive. Have a tasty Karma Kookie for your work.

orkkrusher 25 Nov 2008 19:30

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
A tone my mom would use, if she played 40 k...... ???
"Why don't you get all your friends and make a TAU ONLINE Raven Guard Codex?"

"Thanks mom what a wonderful idea...."

It wouldn't be legal for tournaments sadly, but at least it would make you feel better. Or you could just make a Space Marine expansion like how some members made Chaos The Four Winds.

Just an idea for you to have along with the better tasting and refreshing Karma Kookie that Falstead gave you; (the best medicine is bitter).

Fish Ead 25 Nov 2008 22:10

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Yeah, I'm still distinctly unimpressed with the new book. My Stonecutters are having a hell of a time switching gears. I take the time to model combat weaponry and badass poses onto my men and they cut my True Grit skill. Arghhh... I've considered switching to Space Wolf rules for them, but that would mean my devvie squads would be spending 90% of their time gathering dust. I'm getting a sick feeling of deja vu from the 6th-7th edition fantasy switchover where my skaven got their weapon teams hammered. Like the traits some people certainly abused them, but the more moderate users got caught in the crossfire as well by the change.

About the only thing in the new book that I really like is the Ironclad dread. The image of a dread with a stonking great hammer for an arm seems very fitting for my men.

Vash113 25 Nov 2008 22:42

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zenai
Nice, Vash :) Pretty much sums it up. So when are you going to add this as well as Masked Thespian's Vanguard Veteran Article and my Scout Article?

I dunno honestly, I really need to go through and update the Important Topics sticky entirely, maybe even just start from scratch now that we have both a new edition and a new codex. But I dunno, been pretty busy lately I'm shocked I managed to sit down for long enough to write up the review in the first place. We'll have to see.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mindscape
PS: How idiotic is it to make a special character modify your army strategy? I think this is a cheap way to not have to release additional army books for first founding chapters that is not straight codex. I feel kind of harassed actually

It is a pathetic cop out isn't it? Worse still its like they got halfway through giving a character for each variant list, got lazy and said "screw it they'll just have to do with what they get."

Personally I say "BLAME CANA... erm I mean MAT WARD!"

Quote:

Originally Posted by TO's Jester
I'm pissed off that you can't take Devastators as Veterans anymore =P I didn't take six squads of Devs, but it was nice to have three and THEN have three tanks too =P

Ah I completely forgot about that, 9th Company lists were lots of fun and devastating to behold if really expensive. Yea it sucks that elite Devs are gone too.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Falstead
Woo, good job Vash. Glad you finally got around to it, the version I started writing in september is rotting somewhere on my harddrive. Have a tasty Karma Kookie for your work.

OOOoooOOO a Cookie *munches* I haven't gotten a Karma cookie in some time, almost forgot how yummy they are.

Quote:

Originally Posted by orkkrusher
It wouldn't be legal for tournaments sadly, but at least it would make you feel better. Or you could just make a Space Marine expansion like how some members made Chaos The Four Winds.

Maybe but Mat Ward screwed up the Codex so badly the changes would have to be pretty extreme and that would be problematic for switching between house rules and tournament legal rules...ah and I Just remembered I gotta rip some plasma pistols off of my Assault Marines. Damnit all!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fish Ead
About the only thing in the new book that I really like is the Ironclad dread. The image of a dread with a stonking great hammer for an arm seems very fitting for my men.

Yea I know exactly whatcha mean, personally one thing I was really dissapointed with was the drop in WS and BS of Scouts. I mean Imperial Guard Storm Troopers get BS4, why do men who have gone through innumerable trials and incredibly harsh training have worse accuracy than unaugmented humans? Even Storm Troopers shouldn't be able to out shoot Space Marine Scouts. They got where they were for a reason as the best of the best. Heck for the Ultramarines, initiates probably already went through Ultramar PDF Storm Trooper training before being chosen as initiates to the Ultramarines.

Oh well just gotta deal with it and wait for the next codex and hope somebody does that better. You'd think someone would have said "wait a minute if we do that lots of peoples armies will no longer be legal" but such is life.

Autarch Taka 25 Nov 2008 22:46

Re: Codex Space Marines: In Depth Review
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Vash113
Oh well just gotta deal with it and wait for the next codex and hope somebody does that better. You'd think someone would have said "wait a minute if we do that lots of peoples armies will no longer be legal" but such is life.

I think that is what they thought :-\


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