Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Codex - Space Marines

(Is that a chainsword or just the sound of Army Lists shredding?)

First off, I'll say I'm pretty happy the new codex is here, and of course there are things that I'm disappointed to lose or see changed from previous versions.

So Be it.

I think the biggest change to the way Space Marine armies can be built will be for the worse... for my bank account!  The fact that most of the vehicles now come with squadron options that give you access to special rules will make it much more attractive to field full squadrons.  The ones I'm most interested to try are the anti-air ones, along with the anti-air specific formations.  If you haven't seen it yet, think about a formation of 1-3 Hunters plus 1-3 Stalkers that can get increased ballistic skill and even Ignores Cover for the Stormcannons as long as there are 3 Stalkers in a unit.  Wow.

I am a little apprehensive about how the Gladius Strike Force will play out.  In concept, I like it, but rules-wise it is like one of those nested Russian Dolls.  A Detachment made up of smaller Formations (each with their own special rules) that each contain Squadrons (that also have their own special rules).  Add to that Chapter Tactics and Combat Doctrines and I foresee myself forgetting some of those as the turns progress and the beer is consumed during our usual games! The other interesting note is that not ALL of the dataslates made it into the Gladius Strike Force, as you can't use Tyrranic War Veterans or any other Formations NOT in the codex IN the Strike Force. (You can still use them, they just don't get the benefits of the Combat Doctrines)

There appears to be at least one error here in the codex:
   The entry for Strike Force Command in the Gladius Strike Force points to the Strike Force Ultra listing.  So are there no special rules for the SFC Formation?

(might be good for me.  One less special rule to remember!)

The "nested" nature of the new Space Marine Codex in graphical form
If there is one thing that I am overwhelmingly negative about is the continued use of Chapter-specific Independent Characters.  I really enjoy the Chapter-and-Successors specific Chapter Tactics, but I wish there was a way to make some of the Independent Characters a bit more Chapter-agnostic.  (as they were 2 codices ago.)  One place this REALLY drives me crazy is that both Sergeant Chronus and Sergeant Telion are Ultramarines (and successors) only, yet are both part of Formations (Armored and 10th Company Task Forces).  Sure wish I could have a "generic-grand-old-Scout instructor" with my Imperial Fists Successor chapter, but no... maybe that would have made the armies too unbalanced.. wait...)

Okay, sarcasm about ICs aside I am excited to try the new codex (hopefully tomorrow), but other than Rhino-framed tanks I'll be back on the proxy bandwagon for several of the formations!

More to come after I get whipped once or twice with this codex by my usual gaming group.  Although I must say, the increased profusion of Grav weapons bodes ill for my Tau opponent and his 9 Riptide list!