Wednesday, September 11, 2013

40K: Space Marine Codex Review

So much to talk about since I last posted. For me its been like a 2nd Christmas as I am a huge fan of the Space Marines in general including all chapters...except maybe for the Space Wolves. If it weren't for Rune Priests, Long Fangs and Grey Hunters, I probably wouldn't like them at all, just not my cup of tea.

Anyways, back to the codex.

First off, I really enjoy this book. The fluff, the artwork, the descriptions, all of it are exceptional. I also really enjoy the fact that they included most of the 2nd foundings with descriptions and a little history. And the fact that It's not just a static picture of their colors. Nice work GW.

Warlord Traits
In my opinion, besides Storm of Fire and Rites of War they are all crap.
Champion of Humanity is great, but when will that every actually happen in a game against a smart player? Probably never considering they can just deny the challenge, unless you are playing against Chaos.

I think the BRB Traits are considerably better.

Chapter Tactics
These are all great.

Yes everyone loves the White Scars. That obvious, and I'm sure if you are here reading this, then you have read the same thing everywhere else, so I'm not going to waste time going over it. I believe everyone should memorize it because you're going to see a lot of people buying up Dark Vengeance Ravenwing bikers from eBay, and you will see White Scars armies everywhere.
5 out of 5.

Ultramarine Tactics is interesting. I would go Tactical on 1st turn for the shooting advantage, then Devastator on 2nd turn to be able to move those Devastators away from that Heldrake or behind cover and still be able to shoot. Its good but not great.
3 out of 5.

Imperial Fist is a perfect balance. Re-roll for your bolters for anti-infantry and Tank hunter to take out some Vehicles. The best case here I could see would be 2 units of Devastators and a unit of Centurions behind an Aegis, just be wary of the Heldrakes.
4 out of 5.

Black Templars...Everything is Fearless, Has Hatred, and Adamantium Will, which is nice. I still wish rhino rush was a viable strategy as those were my favorite BT lists back in the day, but oh well.
3 out of 5.

Iron Hands, where do I start?! I love these rules. FnP on all models at a 6+, which isn't great, but still gives you a fighting chance against Plasma Weaponry and other AP2/AP3 stuff. All vehicles get It Will Not Die? Crazysauce. And to make it even better, Techmarines and Masters of the Forge get +1 to Blessing rolls! Think about this for a second, 2 Masters of the Forge inside 2 Land Raiders. Those are 90 point HQ choices (who are amazing btw, but more on that later) who can ride in a Landraider, and each turn regen a hull point to it on a 3+. If that fails, at the end of the turn you still get to gain one back anyways by rolling a 5+ for It Will Not Die. Theoretically you could regain 2 Hull points per turn.

This is how you lose friends, and is obviously what I will be running to start my testing purposes. I have enough friends right now.
5 out of 5.

Salamanders didn't change too much and are virtually the same as before, which is good because they were perfect. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
4 out of 5.

Raven Guard, oh how I had big hopes for you and you failed to impress me. The scout rule on first turn is amazing, love that part, but stealth for only 1st turn and the fact that it doesn't affect bulky or very bulky models...well that's where you fail. Guess what's bulky? Assault Marines. Which is the main reason to play Raven Guard in the first place.
While being able to scout Land Raiders is nice, I think that is really the only plus here, but I could be wrong.
1 out of 5.


Calgar - Not worth the points in my opinion. There are just so many better Options. Too expensive points wise.

Sicarius - Amazing utility here all around. He can buff a Tactical squad with Infiltrate, Scout, Tank Hunter or Counter Attack. He grants +1 to reserve rolls and lets everyone use his LD for tests, which is also nice considering Tac Squads are only LD8 now, so it saves you points on Vet Sergeants.
He is pretty expensive, but could be worth it depending on your Army List.

Tigurius - This should be the default HQ choice. He's mastery level 3, can roll on any chart, can reroll to chose his powers, can reroll when casting his powers, and lets you reroll reserve rolls. So far, my lists are built around trying to decide if there is a better choice than Tigurius for the points. The majority of the time there isn't. Unless you absolutely have to have another Chapter Tactic, there is no reason not to take him as one of your HQ choices.

If you're thinking about running Space Marines with Tau allies ( I am currently working on my SM/Farsight Amry) he is your go to choice. Perfect Timing and Prescience on O'vesa? Yes Please.

Cassuis - He's Toughness 6, has a 3+/4++ and Feel No Pain...and he has 2 wounds. I...just...what?

Telion - Very nice, but extremely situational.

Kor'Sarro Khan - If you're taking White Scars then you're taking him.
He's too good not too, considering he gives all your transports and bikes scout.
AND he's only 125 points....which is the cheapest of all the named HQ's.

Vulkan He'Stan - While you can take Salamanders without Vulkan, I still think he brings so much to the table its hard not too. It is kind of sad though that Thunderhammers are no longer master-crafted.

Shrike - Unfortunately he can only join Assault Marines now.
His Raven's Talons are OK I guess. But really are just normal Lightning Claws with Rending.
I think there are far better Options, especially for 185 points...

Lysander - If you were thinking about taking Calgar, take Lysander instead, you will be a lot happier.

Pedro Kantor - Love this guy. Make sure to note that he only makes Sternguard SCORING, and does not make them troops choces.
More scoring units is always better and extremely underrated.

Helbrecht - Everything about him is geared toward bad he's only T4 with no Eternal Warrior. He can also "grant all friendly models that have the Chapter Tactics (Black Templars) special rule, the Hatred and Fleet special rules until the end of the phase." which is nice, except that according to the chapter tactics...they already have Crusader...which already gives them Hatred...redundant is redundant.

Grimaldus - Not bad actually. 3 Wounds, 3+/4++, IWND, Zealot. Alot to like here, but expensive points wise.

Emperor's Champion - This guy will tear up any Melee combat. The problem is getting him there. With only 2 wounds you will want to attach him to a big unit to make sure he doesn't die before hand.
The other problem is, that while he will dominate almost any challenge, this doesn't stop your opponent from denying the challenge, unless of course you're playing against Chaos.

Chapter Master - Just wow. Extra Wound, Extra Attack for 5 points more. Worth it.
You can literally use this guy to build any type of HQ you need.
Also, there is the fact that if you put him on a Bike, you can technically fire normal weapons, then fire orbital bombardment, and then assault in the same turn thanks to the Relentless special rule.

Captain - Same exact stats as last time, but 10 points cheaper. I like things that are cheaper.

Terminator Captain - For when you just have to have a Captain in Terminator armor...whenever that may be.

Librarian - The fact that they lost access to Divination is upsetting. And to get a decent invulnerable save on him, you basically have to double his points immediately.
Since the removal of divination, their job roles in my opinion have completely changed, and I can see a lot of people going other directions with them now.

Chaplain - Almost exactly the same as before. The addition of Zealot is nice.

Master of the Forge - My favorite so far. I love this choice, as I always look for value. How much can I get for the fewest points. The more points I can save here, the more I will have to use in other places.

- Only 90 points.
- 2+ Save
- Has a Bolt Pistol, Boltgun, and Servo-Harness with a built in Plasma cutter and Flamer so he can basically adapt to any enemy.
- Bolster Defenses now allow you to bolster ANYTHING besides a fortification up to a 3+. Who does't love the possibility of 3+ cover saves in ruins, or 4+ forest saves? That's like an extra Aegis defense line.
- 3+ Blessing Rolls if Iron Hands is chosen.

- No Invulnerable save unless you take a relic.
- Only 2 wounds.

Personally I love the possibilities right now with a Master of the Forge and some Iron Hands.
The league I play in on Thursday nights is 2000 points, Dual Force Organization. Tomorrow night will be taking advantage of this and running the following list.

Master Of the Forge
Terminator Librarian - Mastery Level 2 (Biomancy)

5 Man Tactical Squad in a Razoback with Twinlinked Lascannon
5 Man Tactical Squad in a Razoback with Twinlinked Lascannon
5 Man Tactical Squad in a Rhino
5 Man Tactical Squad in a Land Raider

5 Thunderhammer & Storm Shield Terminators in a Land Raider Crusader with Multimelta

Heavy Support
Devastator Squad with 4 Missile Launchers
Vindicator with Siege Shield
Predator with Autocannon and Lascannon sponsons
Predator with Autocannon and Lascannon sponsons

Aegis Defense Line with Quad Cannon

5 Man in the rhino will be in reserves to come in for late game objective grabs.

The Master of the Forge goes in the Landraider with the 5 Man Tactical squad. His ability to regen Hull points on a 3+ should keep it mobile and causing devastation every turn.

The ability for him and his unit to assault out if needed to Flame an objective clear, and then steal it, is nice as well.

The Librarian is rolling on Biomancy and attaching to the Terminators in the Land Raider Crusader.
I'm  hoping for Endurance to give his whole unit Feel No Pain, or Iron Arm.
(I have considered going with Pyromancy Powers as well as they could be devastating against Tau.)
This units role is to clog up my opponents lines or take out some riptides and Wraithknights if needed.

When I build a list, I always start with the question of "Can this beat Tau or Eldar right now?" and I think this list should be fairly well. With the amount of Lascannon fire, the Riptides and Wraithknights of the world should fall quickly, then its just mop up duty.

I think it may struggle against flyers, and as much as it pains me, I have thought about dropping the rhino and giving the Devastators Flakk missiles, but that's crazy talk right?

I'll be posting a bat rep on Friday hopefully so I'll let everyone know how it goes.

Other Items of note:

- I think the Skyspear Missile Launcher is better than people think.
- Crusader Squads are extremely good.
- Sternguard are good, but can get really pricey very quick.
- Bike Armies in some shape or fashion will be everywhere.
- Almost everything is cheaper point wise. If you play against Space Marines frequently, then get ready to face even more of them on the table now.

For example, let's compare Blood Angels to New Space Marines.
If we compare a 5 man Tactical squads in a Razorbacks with Lascannons, for the same price Blood Angels can run 2 of those units, Space Marines can run 3 of them with the same exact stats, except that the Blood Angels are fast...that's it.

One big controversy so far is the Grav-gun,  and whether or not vehicles get cover saves against it.

My opinion of this debate is that, as of right now, No. Here's Why.

BRB says this: "If the target is obscured and suffers a glancing or penetrating hit, it must take a cover save against it, exactly like a non-vehicle model would do against a wound"

Grav Gun says: "When resolving a hit against a vehicle, roll a D6 for each hit instead of rolling for Armour penetration as normal. On a 1-5 nothing happens, but on a 6, the target suffers an immobilized result and loses a single Hull Point."

Since the Grav-Gun does not technically cause Penetrating or Glancing hits, there is nothing to roll against.

Is this dumb? Most people will say yes, but if you actually read how the Grav technology work it makes sense.

I do believe enough people will complain that GW will FAQ it soon

If this is the way it was intended to be used, then it would explain why Centurions are so expensive point wise, and why they have the limited range.


  1. Black Templar don't have Fearless and Hatred from chapter tactics, they have Crusader (extra d6 running, choose the best and +d3 on sweeping advance total). You're confusing this with Zealot (Fearless and Hatred) which Grimaldus gives to surrounding models.

    1. Ah, you are correct sir. Good catch.

    2. Thanks! I don't know if it will change your opinion or their tactics or Helbrecht, but it may so it felt worth mentioning.

  2. I look forward to your battle report. Sounds like I will be continuing to hate the power armor jerks.