Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Space Marine rumours 3

Hi all, space marine rumours abound, so I thought I'd have a little look at them!

I've tweaked the layout of this from the original to make it more legible (I hope) - it was posted in the comment section so punctuation and layout options are minimal.

From Jarkko Airaksinen

on the comment section of

This one will ruin a few rainforests worth of pulp (unless you people buy it in digital) since there will be a s**tload of detachments along with formations.

I've heard it will contain more than one core detachment to choose from and it decides the basis of your army and the main strategy.

One of these will feature a Guilliman's golden standard of key Tactical Doctrine in to which you add different strategic elements in form of Assault or Devastator Doctrine based elements along with specialized support formations to suit one's needs.

Like this:
Adeptus Astartes Operative Detachment

1+ Tactical Detachment(s) with 2+ Troop Choices, 1 Elite, 0-1 Fast Attack (with restricted choices), 0-1 Heavy Support (also restricted) and 0-1 Fortification.

1 Command Detachment per Core Detachment

0-1 Lord Detachment per army

0-X Doctrine Detachment(s) per Tactical Detachment which include:

Devastator Doctrine
2-X Heavy Supports (restricted choices)
1-2 Scouts
0-1 Tactical Squad
0-1 Elite (restricted)
0-1 Fast Attack (restricted)

Assault Doctrine
0-1 HQ (restricted)
2-X Assault Squads/Vanguard Veterans/Assault Centurions
0-1 Fast Attack (restricted)

Mechanical Detachment (Vehicles only except for MotF and/or Techmarines)
0-1 HQ (Command Rhino + Land Raider XXX)
0-1 MotF
0-3 Techmarines
1-3 Vehicles (non walkers and as squadrons of 1-3)

Aerial Detachment
Siege Detachment

It will be a one heck of a release which will bring a lot of changes for "vanilla" Space Marines, which will add a lot of flavor for them allowing you to field a force which is even more specialized than those non-Girlyman standard Space Marines who are considered to be worth of their own book...

Four Codices worth of stuff with a price tag of two. Two Infantry boxes, two clampack HQs, upgraded vehicle kit along with Vehicle Formation Bundle and a "starter" Bundle.

- - -

Right, so that's the actual rumour listed, let's have a look at it then shall we?

First off, I've been expecting this type of detachment to be included for marines ever since I heard the first whispers of a replacement codex a few weeks back (let's be honest, after the decurion introduced this type of detachment, haven't we all?)

What I wasn't expecting was that there would be more than one of these type of detachments (I'll be honest, I don't have either the Necron or the Eldar codices, so haven't been able to look over in depth the flexibility of the detachments with regard to creating completely different army themes).

This rumour seems to suggest that there will be a separate detachment for at least three different themes, the standard Battle Company we all know and love(?), an aerial detachment and a siege detachment. Now what those other two might be could be interesting, are we looking at flyer based transports in the aerial detachment or does it refer to drop pods supported by flyers? Similarly can we expect the siege detachment to be full of heavy units with obscene amounts of firepower or will it be more specialised units to allow elite assault elements to break the enemy? I'm looking forward to finding out!

Let's look in detail at this 'operative' detachment first though, which I would assume to represent a Battle Company (I'd honestly be surprised if they don't call it the 'Battle Company detachment' since they're supposed to form the basis of the Astartes fighting forces).

So it starts with a Command detachment and a Tactical Detachment, but if this organisation is to be believed, you need 1 command detachment for every 'core' detachment (I'm assuming here that the Tactical Detachment is the 'Core' Detachment). This arrangement gives us the standard CAD layout of 1 HQ and 2 Troops units, with an added elite requirement (looks like they really want to sell sternguard!) but then limits your fast attack and heavy support options to 1, with an apparent limitation on what units can be taken - my bet would be those will be limited to assault squads and devastator squads if we're working on the basis of a battle company, with possibly bike squads and devastator centurions in there too, it would make sense here to strip out all the vehicle options to make this Tactical Detachment the infanty section of the list. I'm pretty sure this Tactical Detachment is a good indication of what we'll see therefore, it's not far off the usual Battle Company structure, my only thought would be that if the Command Detachment genuinely is 1 per Tactical Detachment then to recreate an actual company they will have to include alternative options to the Captain (normal structure indicates each company has a Chaplain), and probably limit the Captain to 1 for every two Tactical Detachments.

So here's where I think this rumour gets a bit squirly, with the Assault and Devastator Doctrines.

Relating these to a standard Chapter Organisation, we would see the Battle Companies supported by elements of the Reserve Companies, which as if by magic have additional Tactical Squads, Assault Squads and Devastator Squads. Setting the Tactical Reserve Companies aside for a moment, the two doctrines listed here would seem to be elements of the Assault and Devastator Reserve Companies (8 & 9 for those who are interested).

The Devastator Doctrine looks very wrong therefore to me. 2+ Heavy supports with a limited selection seems ok, again presuming this will be infantry options, but I'm surprised to see scouts as a mandatory choice, especially limited to 2 squads per doctrine. I can see how sniper scouts would fall within the 'devastator' remit (provided their BS is improved beyond 3! Grrr) but I wouldn't think they were a necessary inclusion. 0-2 would make more sense here. 0-1 Tactical Squad seems unnecessary and irrelevant also, given the unlimited options elsewhere (though perhaps the command benefits of the doctrine might tweak their purpose) but I'm willing to overlook that. 0-1 Elite with a restricted selection also seems strange, unless it's going to be tactical terminators (I really wouldn't define them as 'devastator' units though!). Finally, 0-1 Fast Attack seems very odd since the 9th Company is only supposed to maintain rhinos and dreadnoughts, I can't think of a fast attack unit that would obviously fit into a devastator role. The arrangement of the doctrine seems odd to me, and I wonder if we're seeing an early draft of the final one.

The Assault Doctrine listed then makes the Devastator version even stranger - No scouts, no heavy support (assault vehicles?), no tactical squads, no elite choice, and an HQ option, with only 1 fast attack selection from a limited list? That doesn't seem to make sense, particularly given most of the assault options for marines are held within the elite or fast attack sections of the current book. Not including scouts also seems odd, given that one of their classic configurations is designed for assault. As with the devastator version, the 2+ choice for those units makes sense to focus the doctrine on them, and the inclusion of an HQ (which are usually combat oriented) is also easier to understand. I'm dubious about this doctrine overall though and similar to the devastator one I wonder if the final version alters things.

Finally, the mechanical detachment throws the whole thing up in the air, gone is almost any reference to force organisation slots and we're now referring to specific unit types. We're looking basically at support vehicles here that according to the existing Chapter Organisational Structures are contained within each company's resources rather than chapter wide. We could also end up with a formation that includes an HQ, a master of the forge (who isn't an HQ?), 3 techmarines and a single vehicle. Whilst i can comprehend the minimum requirement for vehicles, I'd have expected it to be more along the lines of allowing up to three techmarines but limiting them to 1 per vehicle (or vehicle squadron) in the doctrine. I also can't understand why an HQ choice is included here, as there's no basis for it being there in the Chapter Organisation.

So let's do a round up of other areas where I think this detachment sounds strange.

  • Elites - strangely they're a mandatory requirement of the Tactical Detachment, but are then only present in the Devastator Doctrine or by choice of specific squads in the Assault Doctrine?
  • Scouts - A mandatory requirement of the Devastator Doctrine but otherwise only available in the Tactical Detachment?
  • Vehicles - a real dearth of likely choices outside of taking a Mechanical Detachment. not a huge problem since the only mandatory selection there appears to be 1 vehicle (or squadron), but odd then that the Mechanical Detachment limits those choices to 3, unless there's going to be a higher limit for Mechanical Detachments per core detachment
To my mind, it would have made more sense for the Tactical Detachment to set out the basic Battle Company Structure, 2+ Tactical Squads, 1 Assault Squad (or assault centurion squad) per 3 Tactical Squads, 1 Devastator Squad (or devastator centurions) per 3 Tactical Squads. 1 Command per Tactical Detachment, but a max of 1 Captain per 2 Tactical Detachments, then add in support Doctrines based off the Chapter Organisation, so 2+ Assault Squads/Bike Squads with a selection of Land Speeders, Storm Talons/Ravens etc to a max of 1 per Assault Squad (1 squadron in the case of Land Speeders) for the assault reserve company and similar type for the devastator company. These could include an HQ choice but never more than 1 Captain per doctrine type. I'd also then look to add in scout doctrine and veteran doctrine, to allow support from the 1st and 10th companies.

My final thoughts on the rumour relate to the last part - four codices or stuff for the price tag of two. I'd be a little annoyed if this codex comes in at £50+ - especially since the game rules, including a pair of background books, are also £50.