Saturday, September 6, 2008

Got to Read the New Space Marine Codex

Swung by the FLGS this evening and gave the new Space Marine codex a pretty thorough read-through (at least in terms of the game mechanics stuff, skipped the fluffy bits entirely).

I both love it and hate it.

Boy oh boy as you're reading through the unit descriptions, your mind begins to swirl with all kinds of possibilities and combinations...there's some raw power in there that will make you weep with joy.

Then you get to the actual army list part.

You read the point costs.

And you begin to weep again, this time bitter tears of sadness for the units that will never see the light of day.

Vanguard Vets, for example. They're stupidly overpriced. One of them with a jump pack will costs you...are you ready for this?

You sure?

...waaaait for it!

35 points.

That's right, 35 points.

Marneus Calgar? 250, with the option to take termie armor for a few points more.

Sicarius? 200, but probably worth it for Rites of Battle and his wargear, which is very nice indeed.

And trust me, you don't want to know what an all-las cannon equipped Predator is going to cost you (though the other configurations are actually very reasonable).

But there are definitely some bright spots...some very bright spots indeed.

Sternguard. 25 points. They are, to me, hands down the best thing in the whole book.

Scout bikes. They're like a Swiss army knife. If only that WS and BS had remained at 4...

Regular bikes are cheaper.

And yes, you can field a captain and attached command squad, all on bikes and including an apothecary (granting the unit FNP), giving you a sort of poor man's nob biker squad.

Other bits of joy:

Cheaper assault marines.

Dirt cheap las cannons for tac squads.

Legion of the Damned.

Ironclad Dreadnought (guess what I'm going to do with the Black Reach dreadnought? Yep, you guessed it...)

Dirt cheap Razorbacks. They're practically giving them away in the TLHB load-out.

It is possible -- though probably not very practical -- to field 5 Land Raiders. That's right, you heard me: 5 Land Raiders.

And oh yes, Scout Sergeant Telion. He's like Christmas morning. One of his special abilities makes him like a Vindicare assassin. He's awesome, and a bargain points-wise.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I had a serious bitch-fest in the FLGS about the stupid, stupid stuff that's in there:

Chaplains? Nerfed. BS 4, W2, I4 A2. Lame. No upgrades available.

Librarians? Same stat line as Chaplains, and the psychic hood has that craptacular 24" range. Inquisitor lord, here I come. (Have I told you lately how much I hate that damned Doom/Guide/Fortune faucet? Shutting it off truly makes me smile.) At least they're still Ld 10...

GW no longer loves you if you love assault cannons. In fact, looking at it's point cost, I'm pretty sure they want you to forget it ever existed.

I'm sure I sounded like a little bitch while I was venting at the FLGS...but man, some of the nerfings and point costs don't make much sense.


There are definitely no Eldar- or Ork-style win buttons in this book (which -- I'm ashamed to admit -- I kind of wish there were at least one).

Overall first impression? While I have some issues with a few bits, all things considered, it's a great book. The good definitely outweighs the bad. I'm looking forward to using it. Release date can't come fast enough for me!


  1. I too had a quick look through it yesterday at my local gws and I must say it's quite a nice book, pretty chunky compared to most other codex's!

  2. As a Deathwing player, I wonder if the rumored new Cyclone Missile launcher rules will carry over to my Dark Angels.

    I would certainly like 2 shots instead of just 1.

  3. What are you shure my chaplain can't take terminator armor and a storm bolter.

  4. Hmmm, thank goodness I never got very good with my marines last edition anyway, I'll have less to unlearn. I guess this in the yin to all the non marine players ranting yang. They say it's overpowered, marine players say it's overpriced... all is in harmony. I think I'll go read some Confucius and listen to gangsta rap... it's all about the balance...

  5. @ben: It certainly is a very nice book. I focused on the rules part, though, as I'm saving the fluffy bits for when I actually buy it.

    @ronsaikowski: It's not a rumor. The cyclone missile launcher is Heavy 2. I do hope they FAQ the rules for DA/Ba.

    @gamers world: Honestly...I didn't look to see, as I don't run a chappy in TDA. I think they can, as librarians can take both TDA and a bike (though not at the same time!).

    @seemyinnergeek: Yes, there certainly is a harmony in this. Like I said, I love all the new toys, I just wish they could have been a little cheaper so we could put more of them on the table at once. I guess that's what Apocalype is for, right? :)

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  7. @seemyinnergeek: Are you trying to get me sued? :) :) :)

  8. Hey man, nice post. I wanted to bring up a bit of balance discussion conerning the price of Sternguard Vets with Jump Packs. Comparing them to Blood Angels Veteran Assault Squads.

    BA VAS: 155
    5 Vets with Jump packs
    1 Death Company
    Total of 6 guys, but you need to buy the DC a jump pack, so I added 5 points.
    They may take 3 power weapons and 2 special weapons. Additional vets cost 25 points each.

    Sternguard Vets: 175
    5 Vets same as BA.
    5 guys total.
    Special Amunition
    May assault when Deep Striking.

    I dont know what the special ammo does, and I dont know if they have the same weapon options as the BA VAS, but I would gladly drop the Death Company trooper and pay 20 more points to be able to deep strike my BA Vets then assault. Does that apply to Drop Pods?

    Looking at BA prices, I dont think that these vets are unreasonable at all and if I can I will replace my VAS with a Sternguard squad for that deep strike assault.

  9. @jawaballs: I'm going to assume you mean Vanguard, not Sternguard, because Sternguard can't take jump packs. :) (Remember, van = at the front of the army, leading the assault. :))

    Vanguard do not get access to the special ammo types that Sternguard get. Also, Vanguard are Fast Attack, which means they aren't scoring. Also, the minimum 5 Vanguard, with jump packs and no other upgrades will cost you 175 points. For each jump pack equipped Vanguard model you add to the squad, you add on 30 points a piece (20 points base for the model, +10 points for each jump pack). Let's say you want to run them like I prefer to run an assault squad: 1 vet sergeant with 9 other guys, the sergeant with a power fist and plasma pistol, and two other marines with plasma pistols. That comes up to...380 points. YOWZA, but that's a huge pile o' points!

    What do you get for that 380 points? Let's, see, assault marines with one extra attack base, equaling 4 attacks each on the charge (3 for the sergeant), which comes up to 39 swings on the charge, 29 normally.

    Sure, they have the "Heroic Intervention" ability, but let me tell ya, it's a risky, risky proposition at best, and tantamount to suicide if you don't land right on the DS scatter.

    You can also give any model in the squad storm shields (+15 points each), plasma pistol (+15 points each), power weapon or lightning claw (+15 points each), power fist (+25 points each) or a thunder hammer (+30 points each). Oh, and any model can take melta bombs (+5 points each).

    All things considered, Vanguard can kick a pile of ass. But you pay for it, you pay for it through the nose. Oh, and they can't score.

    I think BA VAS is a better deal, when you do the math and take everything into account...

    What do you think?

  10. I don't see Vanguard as being so terribly overpriced... as the BA Master posted, our Assault vets are 30 points already (well, technically 25 points, since we get a Death Company model too). BA vets can take 3 special assault weapons (power weapon, power fist, etc) and 2 special shooty weapons (melta, flamer, etc), but not the 5 power weapons, 5 flamers that the VG vets can.

    Having seen parts of the book, most of the options seem a bargain to me (because so many of the BA units are very expensive point-wise)... at 2000 points I can pack everything I would have used with the BA Codex and more. Of course, I'll be giving up Death COmpany (who aren't so great anyway), overcharged engines (and the S 10 Baal Ram), Assault squads as Troops, WS/BS 4 scouts, and decent Chaplains. I'm not sure what I'm going to do at this point. Lots of people see nifty toys, but I've been trying to avoid packing my list with wargear and upgrades since the buildup to 3rd ed. The new Codex looks full of point-sinks, but I think I can make a budget list too.

  11. @docrailgun: I agree with you there, the new codex is chock full of point sinks. There's a ton of options to take your attention away from the basics (troops!), and some of them are worth it (Sternguard) and some of them are not (Vanguard).

    Now, as for assault marines as troops: that is full of awesome and win and should probably not be given up in any case. There's few things that can beat jump marines and their 12" move for objective claiming/contesting...

  12. I'm really going to miss 2 heavy weapon terminator squads. Oh sure, I can keep both if the squad is ten men...but who can afford that in a game. At least the cyclone is heavy 2 now.

    I always did like fielding ten man squads. Min maxed squads i would often see were annoying, so I do like that doing that now denies you a heavy/special weapon...effectively killing it.

    Ultimately, we're all on the GW merry go round. We continue to play with the rules they make, and adapt tactics based on them. Some tactics they like, others they don't, and they change the rules so we play the way they want. The only problem here is that there is no total and final fix. They keep changing their minds. I suppose half the things they're killing now will all be back in a few if you don't like the book, just hang on a few years. :)

  13. what everyone here failed to mention is that its not about the rules..its about the changes..BUT its not even about the changes TO the rules. its about how some of your expensive army models wont fit your army anymore. hence you will once again! have to shuffle figures around, and if GW are lucky, need to buy a few extras to remake your squads to be game legal. never be so niave as to think its about updating the rules.its about ways to increase sales.

  14. WTH? chaplain with no upgrades? dude you serious?

  15. Do the ultramarines still have tyrannic war veterans? I'm thinking of playing tyranids but I refuse to to play an army knowing they could easily be beat by ultragays.