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Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Space Marine rumour analysis and countdown - 10 days to go!
Exciting times are almost upon us. Yes indeed the poster boys of 40k and my personal favourites are about to get a massive update. I'm ecstatic and have been working out exactly how my armies will function and who will get the new toys. As all of my armies were pre-6th ed they are lacking in air support (besides flakk missiles) and so at some later date a few planes will be needed to bring them all to full completeness. (still gutted I sold the 3 stormravens I had put aside just in case they got shoehorned into the SM codex!) Anyway, I thought I would have a quick chat about what's new, what's not, the models and my thoughts on the release in general. bear with me....
Very nice indeed. The AA tank is a nice bi of kit which, while keeping with the established look of SM, still manages to look that extra bit new and shiny. I like the two variants and am hoping there will be a way to utilise both turrets independently to get the most out of the kit. The tactical squad is a subtle but IMO needed update for marines - I wasn't that surprised TBH as without deviating significantly from the status quo there aren't really that many kits left to make for Marines. If any needed a bi of sprucing up it was the tactical squad, which is great as now all SM armies can benefit from non-squatting legs!
The two veteran kits are very nice indeed. The Vanguard are a little bit bland compared to sternguard, but it's great to finally have plastic kits containing all the missing parts from the SM range - namely power armour TH/SS and LCs, plus a heavy flamer and all those combi-weapons. Looking forward to these kits and TBH have shoehorned them into army lists that don't really need them just to use the kits! The individual plastics are nice, really nice. My issues are that the captain is a little bit too ultramarine to use in other armies and that the Chaplain really should be available separately.
Lastly, the centurions. Hmm, still not sure about these chaps. They fill the role of 'expensive new thing' which every army seems to get these days. I don't like the look of the assault variants (or the IF colour scheme) but am warming to the devastator variants, especially in the BT scheme. My biggest problems are the oversized legs that look like they can barely walk and the arms. What's the point in mitten-gloved arms that aren't power fists and don't even contain the operators arms?? I'm thinking a conversion with weapons directly attached to shoulder joints may improve them but I think I'll wait and see what other conversions spring up for inspiration.
The cover art and Ltd ed art we've seen so far looks inspirational - on par with everything GW have done so far in 6th edition. I was surprised at the size of the codex as I honestly thought they'd go with a bare bones generic dex the same size as the other releases then detail special rules and characters in supplements shortly thereafter. Still, with a couple of pages on each chapter of legend I think this will be an epic book.
Black Templars being rolled in:
Well, this works fine for me personally as aside from the whitescars and my heroes of badab project army, the Templars were the only non-assembled marine army I have. They were a job lot that have been sitting in the box awaiting assembly when an update comes around. They're now well underway and should be near finished by release day.
I think BT players have got both a blessing and a curse here. Access to all regular marine wargear (as well as retaining some of their own exclusive units) and an unexpected update seems pretty good to me. Granted they have lost some uniqueness/rules and some would argue they operate as less of a horde marine army now. Let's face it though, being outdated and surviving on FAQs they had be morphed into more of a shooty army anyway.
Changes in points/rules:
Sternguard - I think Sternguard worked just fine and so a small drop in points plus a doubling of the dreaded combi-weapon (melta suicide) costs will see them used still. Combined with chapter tactics, we may see more tactically used sternguard and less suicide squads which would be great.
Vanguard - an overall drop in points and massive reduction in jump pack price may see these chaps increase in popularity. The loss of heroic intervention (always gonna happen) however may mean we see more footslogging squads despite the cheap jump packs.
LoTD - now these chappies I can see being popular now they're cheaper and have better rules. I certainly planned to take my legion of the (lost) damned first time out.
Honour guard - great news on the points drop - looking forward to using these chaps with Pedro again!
Chapter master - can now move when using orbital bombardment and has 4W/A - excellent! They really needed something to distinguish them from Captains so this is great news and also encourages the use of DIY chapter masters. Plus they can now make bikes troops. Sadly the poor captains may go the way of the GK brother captain and BA captains.
Land speeder storm - should always have been a dedicated transport anyway!
Librarians/techmarines/storm shields/sergeants - being brought in line with Dark Angels as was needed.
Psychic powers being lost - this was always going to happen after DA so no surprise there.
Bikes as troops - limited now unless you take Khan - again points to a balancing of armies which need a special character to be super-specialised, such as kantor or khan.
Grav weapons - a nice new addition to add some flavour and fill a new weapons niche. I always love a bit of a retro nod too. They're somewhat more limited than other types of weaponry as the heavy version is only available to centurions but I'll try them out ASAP to get a feel for them. Hopefully they will help against tau broadside/commander spam.
Hunter/stalker - some much needed AA here and some great rules too - split fire and savant lock should add a new dimension to the aerial game. Just feel sorry for DA players here.
Centurions - They fill a role previously unoccupied somewhere between a terminator and shooty dread. Their points and rules seem somewhat balanced on the surface (even if the models don't) so hopefully we'll see these guys popping up.
Relics - Now these I have high hopes for in that they will allow people to customise their chapter masters etc to fit their roles better now that special characters are restricted to parent chapters.
Some points readjusting and welcoming of the BT bretheren into the fold. Bit of a kick in the face for the IH fanbase here as it would hardly have been any effort to include an Iron Father SC in the rules. The other thing I find a bit frustrating is that Telion is UM specific, whereas Chronus it would appear is not. Good news in a way as I have a Chronus in both my IF and IH armies. Now I can't use Telion in my IF army though.
An excellent idea and appropriate evolution of things over the past few editions of the book. I think things look pretty much spot on here and can't wait to play armies as they were meant to be played. I think keeping the special characters (except telion) limited to their parent chapter is a good move overall, as I can see much potential for abuse if not. However, I'm a bit peeved I can no longer use my counts as calgar and cassius in my Iron hands force. Not the end of the world though, with Chapter masters and relics I'm sure I can compensate.
Well, I can't say I'm surprised by this as they needed to keep the BT seperate for ally purposes really. I play for fluff not victory, but can see many ways of abusing the new chapter tactics and allies system. IF and RG seem to be the combo most people are talking about
Very excited for this release, more so than any since Dark Vengeance landed. (and I was pretty hyper over Eldar, who have been somewhat neglected but not forgotten) I'll grab one of each of the box sets thanks to it being my birthday that month and the codex of course. Hopefully a BT update before release day and some pics of my entire codex marine army will emerge over release weekend. Cheers.