Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Detailed Space Marine rumoured changes, and my own wishlist

Hi all, further to yesterday's post, I've seen further marine rumours for more detailed changes to the codex, so I thought I'd stick up something extra on this additional info.

detailed rumours

Chapter Tactics
This got a lot of respect from the space marine community, and a lot of other codex players were keen to see something similar, including most recently a lot of desire for craftworld traits to follow, so I'm not surprised to see this rumoured to stay the same, even if I think it would be better dealt with by detachment command benefits to detail special training for certain things (such as tank hunters for dev squads from the reserve companies for example). The only issue with that would mean printing several pages of detachments with different benefits for different chapters, but that's hardly a bad thing.

Character unlocking and exclusive relics
the character unlocking is not really anything new (unless I'm reading it wrong) since the current dex requires the character to be in a detachment with the same tactics. Exclusive relic lists could be interesting, though would result in either an extensive list of relics or very limited numbers for each faction. It would be nice however to see more ranged alternatives instead of the usual variety of close combat boosts.

Loss of Black Templars and Legion of the Damned.
Legion of the Damned disappearing is no surprise since they now have their own version of a codex. Black Templars would be more of a shock since they've only just been rolled back into the main book and generally don't see enough variety in terms of units to justify a separate book of their own. Their removal would suggest a possible expansion of the unique units perhaps, possibly with an emphasis on assault. This would also be welcome (to me at least) as a lot of my Iron Fists are modelled with Templar crosses on their equipment, which would hopefully allow me to use them in a cross-codex style.

Cheaper Captain and Chapter Master as an upgrade
I've mixed feelings about this, and suspect it may see either the end or the expansion of orbital bombardment. Two separate entries for very similar characters did seem overkill however, especially with the terminator captain entry split out as well.

Marneus Calgar
If you didn't see this coming I'd be very very surprised...

Iron Hands Character & weapons
About time. Not having a character in the book for a faction with Chapter Traits seemed to be a fairly big ommission anyway, so adding one in is hardly ground breaking. The combi weapon sounds interesting, at least it's not a Salamanders thing!

Again, it's about time they brought back the potential for Level 3 Librarians (I'm assuming here that three different varieties actually means up to level three and not three different disciplines, which I guess is the alternative). I've played against Chaos Marine lists with a pair of level three sorcerors in them and the amount of power they kick out is frightening (particularly when they both get invisibility!).

Command Squad/Honour Guard
I'm sad to see the honour guard disappearing, I thought they were a really flavourful option, if a little undercosted in comparison to vanguard veterans (or vanguards were overcosted...). It does make one wonder what will happen to the Calgar kit though unless they are to be rolled into his unique entry.

Terminator Command Squad
I'm less interested in being able to take more terminators than I am in them actually becoming useful, though other weapon options would be interesting.

Tactical Squad
Excellent, more models for my armies.

Land Speeder
Interesting choice, that will no doubt lead to positioning shenanigans to cover against AT shots hitting the speeder first or visa-versa. I'm not sure I really like the idea though, particularly if it's required to move and shoot with the bike squad.

I've already covered the squadrons in my previous post, and no surprises that land raiders don't get squadronised (it IS a word, even if I did just make it up). Didn't see the change to fast attack coming though, it would be nice if the flamestorm cannons were made torrent or the redeemer itself became a fast vehicle though.

Battle company - again, if you didn't see this coming then you might need to think about things a bit more deeply.
Raven Guard Strike Squadron - I'll be very interested to see what this comprises having been a former raven guard player, and it'll also be interesting to see if they limit it to raven guard faction only (which seems likely)
White Scars Hunting Party - I have a lot of bikes too so will be watching closely to see if this is the only way to take lots of them. I hope not!

Right, that's the rumour part dealt with, now what would I like to see from a new space marine codex?

Apart from the lack of a level 3 option for psykers, I think the HQ section in terms of models is pretty nice actually, though the lack of choice in terms of taking a reclusiarch still hurts - i think it would be great to get back the option for 3 wound chaplains and librarians as an upgrade to the base profile.

Where I do have an issue though is the warlord traits and wargear for the HQ units. As with almost every codex, these are mostly focused on combat, meaning you're really limited if you want to make a shooting marine army, as you have only 1 relic that helps, and 1 warlord trait, that also trips over some of the chapter traits.

I've said it before I'd love to see three sets of warlord traits for marines, one combat, one ranged and one generic buffs. Same with wargear, it'd be nice to have more options than just a beefed up boltgun if you don't want to get stabby.

This is the section where I'd like to see the biggest changes. Vanguard veterans just aren't viable at their current cost - without upgrades they're a more expensive version of the wet fish assault squad, and with upgrades they become ridiculously expensive and quite fragile for their cost (I'm not saying they are fragile, but 3+ armour isn't much when you're paying that for a unit). What I'd like to see is a power weapon or special pistol included in their basic profile, while keeping them to the cost of the current honour guard.

Terminators. Where do I start? I regularly have a rant about these guys, for two reasons.
1. 2+ armour with only 1 wound just doesn't do enough to keep these guys alive given their limited mobility and points cost. Grey Knight equivalents (which are also psykers lets remember) are 35pts cheaper for a squad of 5, so about 150 for five guys would seem more reasonable. Alternatively, and to get them more in line with their own fluff, i'd like to see them get an extra wound, with possibly their invulnerable save increasing to 4++. That would also have the benefit of making stormshields less of a necessary upgrade for the combat version, where AP2 is rife. On the damage output front, limiting a special weapon to 1 in five is harmful, especially given the cost of the upgrades. What I would prefer to see however is terminators get the option of taking special issue ammunition, because I'm afraid the storm bolter just doesn't cut it with its basic profile in the current meta, especially not for the chapter elite.


Sniper scouts. They're dreadful in their current guise, causing between 2 and 3 wounds on a target, assuming they stand still. I think that for a model with a sniper rifle, they shouldn't really hit on anything less than a 3 unless they're snap firing, and I see no reason why all of their shots shouldn't be precision whatever the roll to hit, but allow a 6+ look out sir for normal troopers.

Razorbacks. Too expensive, especially with the upgraded weapons. 50pts would be ok, but no weapon upgrades should be more than 15pts, preferably 10.

Heavy Bolters. Not really that threatening. Maybe increase the rate of fire or do something about their AP, but it has nothing to recommend it over an assault cannon, which has better strength, more shots, and rending albeit at a slightly reduced range. Make it S6 with 4 shots and it might be worth taking.

Fast Attack.

My second biggest gripe after terminators is the assault squad. Chainswords are hopeless, especially given their fluff. That a spinning toothed blade has the same chance of ripping through armour as a guardsman's bayonet never fails to annoy me. I'd love them to reduce an armour save by 2, or gain rending, but would settle for two of the squad being able to take 10pt power swords (cheaper than sergeant due to less attacks).

Heavy support

Overall I'm pretty happy with this section of the book, though it might be nice to see dakka predators improve, but for that see my suggestions on heavy bolters above.

So in conclusion then, I think this latest rumour set is intriguing. I'm not convinced it's all correct and I look forward to getting more info soon, but there are only a relatively small number of gripes with the current codex that I'd like to see fixed. That being said, I'm not expecting to see those elements fixed, they've been a feature of the codex for too long as it is.

Till next time, don't forget to take your lucky gravel with you.