Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Space marine codex review part 3 - Fast, heavy and Lord of war.

Hi folks. On to part 3 of the review now, which will look at fast, heavy and Lord of war choices.

Fast Attack (all previous dedicated transports now live here)

Assault Squad:

A few changes here. Net cost is the same, just that you start without jump packs now and have to add them on, which obviously affects the previous cheaply available free transports. The only other change is that one in every 5 models (in addition to the usual upgrades) may take an eviscerator in place of their normal BP/CCW. Some implications here for anti-tank/anti-MC duties.

Scout bike squad:

Got a boost in the last codex and an even bigger boost this time around, in that they are now all BS/WS4. Otherwise unchanged.

Bike Squad:

Only changes here are the costs of the attack bike (covered shortly) and the mounted assault rule now featuring in their entry, allowing bikes to change their battlefield role to troops if ANY independent character is mounted on a bike, not just a captain/chapter master. Also, no minimum squad size for troops. Whitescars rejoice.

Attack bike squad:

Only real change here is a points drop on the base cost from 45 to 40.  

Land Speeder storm:

Got 5 points cheaper with a 5 points reduction in the cost of assault cannon upgrades. Also, as it's crewed by scouts, it now has BS4. Fairly big improvement to this chap. One other thing to note is that the transport capacity is only 5 so now Telion is a separate HQ and not upgrade he can't ride alongside scouts.

Land Speeder:

As with the storm, they got 5 points cheaper and also got a 5 point reduction in their secondary weapon costs. As with many of the vehicles in the book, they now get a bonus for being taken in squadrons of 3, which for speeder means they get a 6" boost to their flat out range. As with other vehicles, the bonus is lost when the squadron drops to less than 3 vehicles.


No change


No change

Drop pod:

No change

Stormtalon gunship:

Same base cost but a few rules changes and points adjustments. Escort craft has gone, presumably due to the Stormwing being introduced. Strafing run is retained, and the new rule is vectored afterburners, which grants the stormtalon an additional 6" move when going flat-out and +1 to jink when hovering. The lascannon and typhoon launchers both dropped 15 points and the skyhammer by 10.

Heavy Support

Devastator squad:

Only a couple of changes of note here, namely access to grav-cannons (plus amps) for 35 points a pop and a new piece of wargear in the form of the armourium cherub, which allows one model in the unit to re-roll to hit rolls in the shooting phase as a one off. Will probably still lose out to centurions, but gorgeous new models.

Centurion Devastator squad:

Same as their assault cousins, these chaps lost the compulsory veteran upgrade and dropped by 5 points base each. The twin-linked lascannon option got 5 points cheaper, making them 10 points cheaper net, whereas the grav-cannon option is 5 points more, making net cost the same. Gravs will likely still be the order of the day but the lascannons are a bit more appealing now.

Thunderfire cannons:

All the same except that the techmarine gunner now has the same profile as the regular techmarine and they can finally be taken in units of 3. Further to this, convergent targeting means that while there are 3 in the unit you add +1 to the BS, which with the techmarine boost makes them effectively BS6. Good boost for this unit - am hoping to add a 3rd to my Raven Guard. 


No change to costs etc, but can be taken in units of 3 and (spot the trend) gain an appropriate boost so long as 3 are in the unit. Killshot grants them both monster and tank hunters.


No change points wise, but so long as they're in a unit of 3 they gain suppressive bombardment, granting each shot pinning and shred. Nice!


A 5 point price drop and again, access to squadrons of 3 for a bonus so long as all 3 are alive. This comes in the form of the mighty Linebreaker bombardment, which combines all 3 shots into a single apocalyptic blast which, wait for it, ignores cover! This is incredibly powerful and, while difficult to pull off due to range (and as with all of the squadron perks easily neutered by killing a single vehicle), will likely inspire fear and trepidation in your opponent.


Same points as before, with one small change to savant lock in that it can now target skimmers and jetbikes and hits all vehicles on rear armour. Squadrons of 3 get the perk of being able to reroll the dice for savant lock.


The Icarus array has changed in that it is now heavy 3 (makes sense as it does have 3 barrels) and only has one weapon profile. The two fire modes remain, however, in that it can fire at one target followed by another, or it can reroll to hit against a single target. These are both using full BS now, so the single target mode got a bit worse and the multi-tracking shot better. The squadron perk for 3 models is that the mighty array gets ignores cover, making it a beast for ignoring jinks.

Stormraven gunship:

No change.

Land raiders:

No change, though they all have separate datasheets.

Lord of War

Marneus Calgar:

The obvious choice for Lord of War, Calgar, costs the same as before and is mostly the same but for these few differences. God of war now allows you to simply choose the Warlord trait you want (feel no pain most likely) and master tactician now allows you to reuse any doctrine once per game. Gone is the choice to pass or fail Ld tests for the whole army, which is a bit of a shame as I quite liked the rule when first introduced as it allowed you to evade charges and the like. Titanic might is also gone, so no more rerolling Vs vehicles. Plus he no longer gets up to 3 slot-less Honour Guard choices. Sounds bad so far right, well this one subtle difference makes up for things. The gauntlets of Ultramar are no longer unwieldy, meaning Calgar can now smash faces in at S8 I5 with 6 attacks on the charge. Still badass, and with optional feel no pain he's one tough cookie. 

That's it for part 3, next time we'll look at the formations in the book. Cheers.


  1. Great!
    Centurions 5pts less and Grav 5pts more cancel each other out. Would still prefer they were Elite so I can take lots of them and Devastators, but not complaining.
    Biker army is tempting. +1 Toughness, twin-linked bolters and a fast moving army not sat in Rhinos. Have Stormwings to transport Centurions and Dreadnoughts, while brining in Storm Talons.

    Thank you again for taking the time to do a thorough review.

  2. Bikes also changed in that they can now be taken as Troops at minimum size, instead of needing 5 Models for the shift. Not sure it's worth losing the ablative bodies, but it is an option.