Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Thoughts about the next Space Marine Codex

Two of my greatest loves for this hobby are space marines and rampant release speculation. Sadly, of late the latter has become more and more of a rarity thanks to GW rumour control. However, those in the know have strongly hinted that later this year we will see a new SM codex and given past GW tendencies I believe this to be true. I therefore thought I would blog a bit of educated guessing / wishlisting / trend spotting as to what we may see later this year with a SM codex:

The book itself
I strongly suspect we’ll see a U-turn here as GW have put a huge emphasis on streamlining and standardising lately. Therefore, the book will be the now standard size rather than the 50% larger volume we got last time around. By grouping vehicles together into a single/double page entry (rhino variants, land raiders etc) and using the armoury there should be a decent space saving. When you look through the new books and compare the pages there is flexibility in which sections can be reduced in order to accommodate larger sections – in this case I think the bestiary entries and army lists will be larger, with the background and galleries smaller.

Model releases
The now almost standard release pattern means we’ll see something like one plastic blister, two FC blisters, one or two sets repackaged from FC to plastic and two new sets. Base on speculation, rumours and educated guesses, I’d say something like this:

Plastic librarian blister.
FC Iron hands special character
FC Terminator Captain
Sternguard box
Techmarine with thunderfire box (plus new variant)
New rhino variant(s) box
New mini-dreadnought box as rumoured (maybe reminiscent of the smaller old dreadnoughts)
(Note, no flyers for this release as they were already added retrospectively)

Overall army themes
I think the warlord traits list will incorporate the chapter tactics system along the lines of the following:

Sons of Dorn: all units have stubborn
Sons of Guilleman: all units have combat tactics
Sons of the Khan: all units have outflank, including DTs
Sons of Vulkan: all melta/flamers twin-linked
Sons of the Gorgon: all units have FnP 6+
Sons of Corax: all infantry have stealth

Alternatively, this system may operate alongside a separate warlord traits list, allowing you to take say, Sons of Guilleman as the standard upgrade (they are the most numerous after all) with other upgrades at a cost to the warlord or included in Special character costs.
Also, all weapon and unit costs to be adjusted in line with the Dark Angels codex as it is the most recent SM book to compare. Flakk missiles and chapter relics included. As for psychic powers, I guess the Librarians will only get to choose from the BRB powers now and so we will see some powers disappear.

Captain (bike option gives troops; upgrade to Chapter master, one additional wound/attack)
Librarian (Upgrade mastery levels)
Chaplain (upgrade to Reclusiarch)
Techmarine – now one per HQ as per C:DA
Command squad (bike option)
Honour Guard - cheaper
Cassius – can now upgrade sternguard to tyranid hunters (PE:tyranids) for 2pts each.
Iron Hands Iron father – sergeants can take terminator armour + MoTF benefits
Tactical squad (organisation / options same as DA codex)
Scouts (+Telion)
Dedicated transports
Land speeder storm (scouts only)
Apothecaries (1-3, similar to sanguinary priests)
Dreadnought (upgrade to venerable)
Ironclad dreadnought
New mini-dreadnought, multi-wound S6 in terminator armour, squads 1-3
Terminators (can exchange for assault version)
Legion of the Damned
Fast attack
Land speeder squadron
Attack bike squadron
Bike squadron
Scout bike squadron
Vanguard veterans – points adjusted to make non-JP versions cheaper and cheaper overall
Heavy support
Land raider (3 variants)
Artillery squadron (1-3, thunderfires and new variant/rapier?)
New rhino variant??

As I said, those are just my first thoughts as to the sort of thing we may see. One thing’s for certain: to accommodate that many Chapters the army list will be huge, especially if we gain a few new units. Hopefully if the rumour-mongers are on the money we should only have 4 months to wait until we find out. Fingers crossed as I have high hopes for this one. 

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