(Warning: This is a long post that may not interest everybody!)
Codex Space Marines. Its here in all its glory. Although I'm yet to actually buy the book I have managed to get my hands on it and, through the wonders of the internet, I'm aware of most of the changes. Although there are a myriad of reviews and deconstructions of the book on the net, I just wanted to briefly give my thoughts and, perhaps more relevantly, talk about the DA Vs. Space Marines debate.
First off, the book itself. Well, it appears the codices need to stay off the fast food because they are putting on weight! This book is huge! This is a potential bugbear for me. I understand that Space Marines are GW's poster boys and, to be honest, I really don't mind much. Unlike many, I understand the appeal of 'good guys' & Ultramarines - they were my first army after all. I now prefer the gritter side of the galaxy but all my armies (IG, DA & Eldar) are still on the 'good' side. However, to give SM a significantly bigger book, while making the other races make do with their smaller books grates a little. If this large book remains the exception rather than becoming the norm I will remain annoyed.
As for content, its very impressive. I do like the increasing trend to make SM a highly specialised and potent force at the price of numbers. They should be the mighty few, battling against hordes of the foe, and this appears to be the route developers are going down. I also like some of the interesting new units and rules that really give codex marines a 'flavour'. This leads me on the DA vs. SM debate.
For those of you unaware or uninterested in what has been going on, the debate was sparked by the release of a new DA errata by GW that confirmed a rumour that had been on the web for a while. In the past when a new marine codex was released with changed weapon stats, the other marine codices were given erratas that kept parity with the changes.
Not so this time. This time the erratas have explicitly stated that previous codices stand as written. Now this may not sound dramatic but the new SM codex is different. Very Different. This, to quote The Dark Fortress, is a list of some of the changes:
As you can see this is quite a list. To simply point out the ones that affect me, I would love storm shields that give a 3+ invulnerable save from shooting and combat, I would love to use the new Land Raider, I would love to be able to turbo-boost my bikes during their scout move, I love to use some of new toys like Sterngaurd and Thunderfire cannons. A whole series of protests have sprung up, including on Bell of Lost Souls, Librarium Online and in two very well written articles on The Dark Fortress (Aritcle 1, Article 2), all of them decrying the fact that all the stand alone chapters seem to be at a disadvantage.• Stormshields
• Scout transport
• Whirlwinds (can fire both types of ammo during a game)
• Expanded wargear/weapons choices for characters
• Expanded weapon options for Razorbacks
• Land Raiders and Crusaders weapon options
• Land Raider transport capacity
• Typhoon missile launcher on Speeders
• Drop pods weaponry
• Vindicator Siege Shield
• Wargear options for Dev squads
• Smoke launchers
However, allow me to go against the trend. I'm going to agree with GW here.
I know. Shocking stuff.
It is true that in some ways we are at a disadvantage here. But, in their own ways all the stand alone codices still allow us to do things that bog standard marines cant. However, more importantly, this new SM codex actively rewards people for playing bog standard marines. This is the point that this meandering post is trying to convey. For years people wondered why anyone would bother using the normal SM codex when the Dark Angels/Blood Angels etc. gave you so many more options. Now, they have a reason. Vanguard and Sterngaurd and the rest give marines a real flavour of their own that they really deserve, while some of their improved rules perhaps allow them to punch a little harder in certain areas.
The standalone codices are left with their real differences and flavour intact and will now have to really rely on them to win. For example, I'm going to have to use my scoring Termi's to discount the improved equipment in the new book, while Templar's will have to rely on their larger squad sizes etc.
And of course, should any DA or Black Templar players want to use the new rules, then they are free to use the new book aren't they. Therefore I fail to see a problem. I do know that I will not be surrendering my scoring Terminators!
If anybody managed to extract some meaning from that, I would love to know what they think!
Thanks for reading...