Friday, 19 June 2015

Space Marine codex review part 5 - Conclusions and example builds

Final part folks as promised. Phew, this has been an extensive amount of writing and there are bound to be things I've got not quite right or missed. I thought I'd round things off by talking less about content and more about the wider implications for myself personally and SM players. Also, I strung together a couple of example builds using the Gladius strike force.

Bottom line I guess is how will this release influence my armies which, to be honest, are already beyond the scope of reason. The honest answer is not very much TBH. To quantify this there are 3 different aspects to look at:

1. What was I trying to achieve from the armies? The honest answer is a fluffy, themed army for each, which I hope I have done as follows:

Iron Hands - lots of bionics, lots of technology and vehicles especially techmarines and vehicles.
Ultramarines - well rounded army with several special characters
Salamanders - fluffy army, no anti grav, lots of flamers, meltas and hammers
Raven guard - mostly infantry army heavy on the assault, scout and mobile artillery elements.
Whitescars - lots of bikes and fast vehicles.
Imperial Fists - probably my least themed army - comes across as more a cross between UM and salamanders.
Crimson Fists - heavily themed post-Rynn's world. No tanks, Stormwing and Elite units mainly to represent the destruction of the fortress monastary.
Black Templars - Infantry themed crusade army.
Blood Ravens - designed around the units and characters available in Dawn of War.
Heroes of badab - specifically themed to represent each faction of the Badab War with the most appropriate unit.

2. Some new kits. So I've invested in 3 new devastator kits, a new assault squad and an UM upgrade sprue. Idea being more to invest in the look of the armies (which will all need 32mm bases at some point - sigh)  than the new rules. This really is a very minor update and actually I probably spent more time pre-release giving each army a good eyeball and sorting out any modelling/basecoating issues. Ultimately I have a wishlist of about 10 things I want to add to these armies, many of which are flyer units (still not caught up with 6th edition) to bring the armies into line.

3. New rules. If I'm absolutely honest, after looking through the new book I'm not sure if/how I will use the new Gladius strike force. Firstly, only 4/10 of the armies can actually field a demi-company and I'm not willing to invest/sacrifice the theme I've developed in order to do so. Secondly, those which can field a demi-company have insufficient units to make up a Gladius, and so I'm left with either i) combining two armies under the same chapter tactics as proxies, ii) Using a Demi formation from one army and another type of formation/detachment from another or, most likely, just sticking with the plain, old, combined arms detachment. Sad really as I'd love to use the codex to its full potential but the fluff and having lots of smaller armies is more important to me so that's just the way it will be. This was the same conclusion I drew with the Eldar Codex TBH - great for power gamers who want force multipliers but not all that great for people with established armies that don't fit the format.  

Here's a few thoughts for fluffy themed armies using the Gladius strike force for the big 6 (didn't include Templars as they can't use crusader squads in the Gladius) This is really just a starting point for thoughts at 2000 points and have no upgrades unless stated and would need a bit of trimming and refining to be actually used.  Calculations are VERY approximate to save me some time!
Raven Guard:
Demi company (Shrike, 3 x tactical squads, Assault squad x5 +JPs, Devastators) 465
10th company strike force (2 x sniper scouts + cloaks, 2 x scouts + storms, scout bikes + cluster) 440
1st company task force (3 x 5 vanguard + JPs) 330
Skyhammer annihilation force (2x 5 man devs + grav cannons + DPs, 2 x 10 man assault squads + JPs) 830
Battle company (Khan, Bike Chaplain, bike command squad, 6 x tactical squads in drop pods, 2 devastator squads in rhinos, 2 5 man bike squads) 1170
Stormwing 420
Librarian conclave (3 x lvl 2 on Bikes) 330
Chapter Command (Chapter master with shield eternal on bike) 185
Imperial Fists:
Demi company (Lysander, 3 x tactical squads, Assault centurions x3, Devastators) 675
1st company task force (TH/SS terminators x5,2 x sternguard x5 in drop pods) 515
Armoured task force (Techmarine, Vindicators x 3, predators x 3, whirlwinds x 3) 845
 Iron Hands:
Demi company (Bike chapter Master, 3 x tactical squads, Bike squad 5-man, Devastators, 3 venerable Dreadnoughts) 905
Armoured task force (Techmarine, Vindicators x 3, predators x 3, whirlwinds x 3) 845
Battle company (Sicarius, Chaplain,  command squad, 6 x tactical squads in drop pods, 2 devastator squads in rhinos, 2 assault squads with JPs) 1100
1st company task force (TH/SS terminators x5,2 x sternguard x5 in drop pods) 515
Chapter Command (Calgar in terminator armour) 280
Demi company (Vulkan, 3 x tactical squads, Attack bikes x3 + MM, Devastators +MM, 3 Ironclad dreadnoughts) 1095
1st company strike force (2 TH/SS terminator squads, land raider redeemer, 10 man sternguard with heavy flamers in DP) 975

Before I call it a day on this behemoth of a review I'd like to touch upon past and future of non-codex Chapters, namely Blood Angels (and Wolves/GKs) and Dark Angels. Dark Angels are just around the corner and will very likely benefit from some of the perks in this book. Grav weaponry, Strike forces and formations. Dreadnought and vehicle squadrons etc. Unfortunately, Blood Angels and the others have been left behind with all of this, not having a Strike force type organisation, no dreadnought and vehicle squadrons (plus lack of 4A dreadnoughts) and many other issues. I wonder if now is the time for GW to start putting out FAQs for these guys and leveling the playing field. Anyway, that's enough for now, only time will tell. A weeks breather before Dark Angels hit. Cheers.

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