Sunday, September 28, 2008

Space Marines: They Shall Know No Nerf ?

Well, I got the new Space Marines codex. There is a whole lot more fluff than I care to wade through right now. The rules...well.... I'm not sure how I feel about some of them yet. This is the first new edition of C:SM released since I started the game (I know, what a noob) so I'm not really sure what whether these rules hearken back to a previous edition or blaze new trails.

Let me highlight a few interesting points. For my 40k-impaired friends who actually bother to read this, "ccw" = "close combat weapon" (a knife, sword, etc.)
  1. No more terminator honours. The one upgrade that all of my characters got is now just gone. Sergeants in squads now have 2 attacks on their profile (and an extra 15 points in the cost) but the option to have that 4 attack HQ is gone.
  2. No more "ablative armor for a lascannon" squads. Only tactical squads of 10 Marines can add a special or heavy weapon, and flamer, heavy bolter, missile launcher or multimelta are free.
  3. Characters are not chapter specific! Special characters that can only be fielded in a particular chapter or other always galled me. If I want to field Tigurius I have to play Ultramarines? If I want to play Shrike I need to play Ravenguard? In this edition it clearly states that you can paint the models up for any chapter you want, change the proper name and use the special character stat line. Good choice, guys.
  4. (Reclusiarch + Master of Sanctity)/2 = New Chaplain. Only two wounds, only three attacks and he costs as much as a Master of Sanctity from the last edition. The worst part? Only initiative 4 now. Jumpy-killy-solo chaplain is a thing of the past. Even character chaplain Ortan Cassius is about this same stat line. EDIT: Except Cassius is T6 with Feel No Pain. I missed that the first time around. I'd take 2 wounds and that over an extra wound any day.
  5. No CCW?!? One of the pre-release rumours I remember hearing is that all marines would have pistol/ccw/bolter combos, giving them that extra attack in the assault phase. While they have the bolt pistol (good for pre-assault shooty, I assume) they have no close combat weapon in their wargear, and no option to buy one. I had heard someone mention that all models in the game count as having a ccw, but I can't find that in the rules anywhere. It that were true, would a model with only a ccw in its wargear count as having 2 ccw's? I doubt it. EDIT: I see my preconceptions were unfounded. BA's and DA's don't have ccw's. Space Wolves do by default, but they don't have bolters by default. CSM's have the pistol/ccw combo by default, but they don't have the heavy weapon options. I see this as a good trade off now.
  6. Techmarine! I like the changes here. I feel like the servo arm / harness is better defined in terms of attacks. The fact that he has to start the shooting phase in contact with the vehicle he wants to repair and not the turn makes him useful. This certainly would have prevented my three turn "run away, now come back" Techmarine event at 'ard Boyz.
  7. Combat tactics. The ability to decide during deployment if a squad of 10 will split into two squads of five. Very cool idea that gives flexibility to the marine troops based on the mission type.
  8. Sternguard veterans. This is a departure from veteran squads of the last edition, which tended to be tricked out in assault wargear (power fist or two, lightning claws, power weapon, etc.) The sergeant of this unit can get a killy ccw, but the real strength lies in the special ammunition they field. Given the different types of ammo they have I'd rather step back and rapid fire than charge in and assault (most of the time... especially since they'd only get two attacks in assault.)
  9. Vanguard veterans. Okay, maybe I spoke too soon. These guys are the assault monsters that the regular veterans used to be. The difference is that the old veteran squad couldn't take jump packs and these guys can! And they can all have power fists and melta bombs. These guys really exemplify the elite army idea; you can have the killiest troops in the game, but it's going to cost you dearly. Imagine an assassin unit of 5 of these guys with jump packs, lightning claws and a relic blade or fist. Ouch. Killy, but >300 points.
  10. Relic Blades. Something about a S6 power weapon that swings at initiative makes me happy.
  11. No more anti-vehicle assault squads. Only the sergeant of an assault squad can take melta bombs now, and you can only take one plasma pistol per 5 models in the squad. EDIT: Vanguard Veterans take this role now, but they are soooo expensive. A Vanguard Veteran with jump pack and melta bomb is 35 pts, compared to 24 pts for the old assault squad member with jump pack and melta bomb. Sure the VanVet has 2 attacks, but that won't give you an extra melta bomb attack.
  12. Terminator squads can only take one assault cannon / heavy flamer / cyclone launcher per 5 models in the unit. Very good choice.
There's more, but I have to run. Feel free to leave your opinion of best/worst in the new book. I'm a real 40k noob, so any insight as to how this edition compares to 2nd or 3rd would be helpful.


  1. Hey man, I just did a search on google for "master of sanctity gone" and it brought me to your article/post. Thanks so much for it! I too am a 40k noob and am just getting back into this game after a 1.5 year break. Your comments broke down the new codex to perfection.

    I can see I will need to give my entire army list an overhaul now.

    Thanks again!

  2. I've been playing miniatures wargames since 1992, and Warhammer 40,000 since 1995. Having seen a lot of published rules come and go, I jst reccomend you make the toy soldiers you want and damn the rules and don't worry about winning. Its the only way to stay sane if you're going to stick with this hobby through the years.

  3. Good advice, J.Morgan. I tend to field what looks good or is fun rather than a power gamer. As a result, I have yet to win a single game of 40k. Thanks!


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