Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Space Marine codex review part 2 - HQ, troops and elites


Captain Sicarius:

Got 10 points cheaper and lost Imperiums sword as his Warlord trait, instead getting rites of war (which he already had before anyway). Battle-forged heroes remains the same as does surprise attack and his wargear. He also gains furious charge, which is effectively permanent old-school Imperium's sword for just him. Confusing. Bottom line, mostly the same and 10 points cheaper. Next.

Chief Librarian Tigurius:

No significant changes.

Chaplain Cassius:

No significant changes

Sergeant Telion:

Now an HQ with an extra wound, he still costs the same and has all the same rules except that he may only join scout units.

Sergeant Chronus:

Same as Telion he's now an HQ and gains an extra wound. He is effectively the same as before just that a tank must be purchased at the same time for him.

Kor'Sorro Khan:

Aside from the Warlord trait change he remains much the same as before.

Vulkan He'stan:

Spotting a trend here? He's essentially the same except for the Warlord trait change which now grants him a much welcomed feel no pain. A true son of Vulkan.

Shadow Captain Shrike:

Sadly, Shrike remains the same. Still overpriced. Warlord trait a bit better now but still, not great. He has the sole advantage of being the only Raven Guard unit (non-scout) that can infiltrate, so added to the first turn shrouded bonus he and his squad should be pretty safe.

Captain Lysander:

Still the man. Hammer now S+6 so the same. Warlord trait gives feel no pain now so super badass!

Pedro Kantor:

One of my favourites, ol Pedro now has artificer armour and, like Lysander, gains feel no pain. Hold the line amended in line with the FAQ to grant objective secured. Key change here - no mention of units in 12" gaining +1  not being cumulative with the Chapter Banner. So presumably now Pedro in a unit of Honour guard with the banner gain +2 attacks! This applies to him also so it seems. Still the same cost, love him more than ever.

High Marshall Helbrecht:

Sadly did not gain Orbital bombardment, all else the same.

The Emperor's Champion:

Several changes here, however. Price the same, he now has the same rule as other Champions regarding challenges. Slayer of Champions now has the best of all worlds. Black sword is +2S as standard and in a challenge he can reroll to hit and to wound rolls of 6 are instant death! He's the premier character killer.

Chaplain Grimaldus:

Couple of changes here. Cenobytes now grant feel no pain rather than a 6++ to units within 6". Speaking of which, they now appear to be wargear (up to 5 of them) rather than a unit so he can join other units. Best of all, he has dropped in price by 35 points. A lot more viable now.


Captains remained much the same except for a few subtleties. Both the Chapter Master and Terminator Captain entries got rolled into the Captain entry as upgrades, and with that came a slight point reduction for terminator armour on a Chapter Master (now 10 points cheaper).  Relic Blades also became options for Terminator armour equipped models.


No point changes, but gained both divination and (formal) access to daemonology, making the SM Librarian one of the most diverse psykers in the game.


MoTF is now gone, replaced by an upgraded Techmarine. Now an HQ choice, the TM is almost the exact same stats as the old MoTF (save for 1 less Ld) and comes with a semi-pointless power axe as standard for the same price as the old TM +PA. So effectively you've gained BS, 1 wound and 1 attack for 15 points. Servitor and upgrade options remain the same, meaning a conversion beamer is now a good 25 points cheaper overall. Good change IMO. Also, I may be wrong but are the servitors a squad or equipment (like the cenobytes) now? 


No changes


Tactical squad: 

Same except that teleport homers (globally) halved in points. Oh, and access to grav cannons, as did other squads that can select from the heavy weapons list.

Scout squad:

BIG change here. Scout remained the same cost and have the same wargear options, BUT scouts have returned to BS4/WS4. Not sure how I feel about the change TBH as it makes BA and SW scouts look crap by comparison and doesn't fit the fluff as well as the previous stat-line. These guys are sure to be more popular now, especially snipers. Note also that Telion has gone and is now an HQ option in his own right. 

Crusader Squad:

No real change, just a slight rewording on the neophyte/initiate ratio.


Command squad:

Now moved into elites and taking up a slot (as per BA codex), the Command squad got 10 points cheaper base. They are also no longer tied to a specific (or any) HQ. All upgrades remained the same, except that there is now a standards list to pick a banner from and they actually get access to special weapons now (FAQ before I think).

Honour Guard:

Same as commands squads, they are now Elites and thus take up a slot and have no restrictions on how many you can take or needing an HQ to take them. All options remain the same except, as with command squads, gaining access to the Standards list.

Centurion assault squad:

5 point drop per model cost and no compulsory veteran Sergeant upgrade. Siege drill as mentioned is now double strength, which makes a big difference for instant death and auto-pen on a fair few things. Definite improvement here, but will still probably lose out to their devastator cousins.

Vanguard veteran squad:

Everything remains the same here, except for one very welcomed and huge change, which is that all the melee weapon upgrades received a 10 point discount! Yes, so now you can take power weapons for only 5 points extra etc. This is a huge boost to this unit which closes the already thin gap between them and their assault squad cousins. The slots and place in a detachment are the only real deal-breakers TBH.

Sternguard veteran squad:

10 points cheaper as they should have been in the last book as a base cost. Still an awesome choice, but with a bit more slot competition this time around. Don't forget Imperial Fists get bolter drill on special issue ammo now too, as well as all the Doctrine boosts.   


Three big changes here which will finally make these chaps stars of the battlefield again hopefully. Firstly, a points drops on weapons, with plasma cannons being 5 points cheaper and both lascannons and assault cannons dropping in price by 10 points. Secondly, they can be taken in units of up to three now, though there's no mixing and matching with different types of Dreadnought and you can only take a drop pod if they're a single Dreadnought. Thirdly, the base attacks for the Dreadnought went up from 2 to a whopping 4, doubly their close combat potential. 4 may be a bit excessive (3 may have been a bit more balanced) but a boost of some sort was definitely needed to reduce tarpitting and the oh-so-common can't hit the side of a barn door dreadnought charge.

Venerable Dreadnought:

Same changes as above with regard to base attacks, unit size and upgrade costs. Costs the same as the Venerable upgrade did in the previous book. It has its own advert / data sheet now though.

Ironclad Dreadnought:

Same as above with regard to unit size and base attacks. This chap is now a boss and units of 3 terrifying.

Legion of the Damned:

Almost same as before except you can reroll the 2D6 for scatter as well as scatter dice now.

Terminator squad:

A much demanded drop in the base points cost by 5 points a model may make these chaps more desirable now.

Terminator Assault squad:

Same base points drop as above but the TH/SS cost doubled, meaning they're effectively the same cost as before if upgraded and rightly so. Used to make me laugh when people would argue from 5th ed. onwards that the two weapon loadouts were equally good and should be the same cost. 

Well that's it for the second part, as it stands there are two more parts to the review but I may try and write a 5th with some sample fluffy/strong lists for each chapter before Friday to round it up to a full 5 days worth. Cheers. 


  1. Very nice Jimbo, but I think you missed a few subtle changes here and there. Tiggy lost his reroll on powers (for example).

    I don't have it in hand (to go page by page), but that is one I noticed!

    I'm also a bit perturbed that the black templar characters are in the codex...but the traits are in the White dwarf...that means we don't get the assigned black templar traits to the actual black templar leaders! Kinda of poop there...

    1. Hi Greg, not sure what you mean about tiggy? He still has the reroll to both reserves and powers from what I can see, just under one rule entry now instead of 2. I'm trying to see the Templar thing in a positive light as at least they get all the toys and more, except librarians of course. Plus emperors champ is tasty now. Still no bloody orbital on the high Marshall tho.

    2. The re-roll to Psychic Tests is part of his Hood now.

  2. Still liking all this.....except Command Squads being Elite and not free FOC slot with Captain.......but my favourites have to be:

    Dreadnought Squadrons. I've always wanted three, but I like other Elites too. Now I can have my cake and eat it.
    Scouts WS/BS 4! It's about time!

    Can't wait for part three! This is looking good so far.

  3. I would add that both Command Squad and Honour Guard are no longer tied to Captain/Chaplain/Libby or Chapter Master respectively. You can even take both with the Strike Force Cmd choice in a Gladius Strike Force. There is also the Reclusiam Cmd Sqd as a separate datasheet formation, so requires no slots.

  4. Shrike is screwed because of GW's birb FAQ. ICs with Infiltrate can only Join Units that also have Infiltrate before the Game begins. So there's no legal Unit for Shrike to Deploy with :P

    Pedro also got a stealth buff in that his Oath of Rynn no longer excludes him, so he ends up with an effective +1A as well as the Artificer Armour.