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WHAT’S DIFFERENT To quickly answer a question that you might be asking yourself at this point; yes, despite all of the new additions plowing their way onto the 40k scene, your old models are set to do just fine. In addition to the new introductions to the Space Marine Codex, Games Workshop made a multitude of changes to the existing stuff that’s sure to make your models feel fresh. Categorically, I would organize these changes into three major types; cost adjustments, access improvements and function changes.
Cost adjustments include all of the various tweaking that GW did to the point cost of all the units from the old book. A large majority of these seem to reflect the frequency with which these units were used in the old addition; popular units or characters such as Darnath Lysander or the ever prominent Vindicator have had their point costs (appropriately) increased, while seldom used ones like Varro Tigurious or Honor Guard have had their point costs reduced. These changes seem like an attempt to balance out the power of units whose latent power might not have been realized until much later in the life of the 5th edition Codex, and perhaps also to raise the appeal of other models in the Space Marine line that were often neglected.
Devastators also got a pretty nice point reduction. While not benefitting from a direct adjustment to their value like Vanguard, they no longer have to pay a premium for their heavy weapons options, and instead pay the same as any other unit. Per weapon, Devastators are now the cheapest form of firepower in the new Codex, a fact that will no doubt cement their place as a primary Heavy Support option. Their ability to take Flak Missiles should also come as a blessing to players who aren’t quite ready to drop money on the newer Hunter/Stalker models just yet.
Access improvements were changes that lifted some of the restrictions for taking units in a player’s army, and made most of them just plain easier to use. Command Squads, for example, can now be taken alongside any of the basic HQ options (Captains, Chaplains and Librarians). This should come as a relief to anyone who liked to run their Chapter’s other leaders but didn’t like having to purchase an expensive second HQ.
Multiple squads of Terminators can take Land Raiders as a dedicate transport (instead of just 1 per type), and Land Speeder Storms are low listed as a Dedicated Transport option for Scouts. This means that every squad of infantry in the new Codex now access to their own exclusive rides, and Marines can put together competitive Mechanized lists without worry of burning through precious Force Organization slots.
Drop Pods and Land Raiders have had their transport capacity dropped down to 10 models a piece. This wasn’t a huge issue for my Tactical Squads, as I could simply drop the Heavy Weapon (which really wasn’t used much anyway when the squad was riding around in a vehicle) to sub for a Character that I wanted to tag along. It was a bit of a bummer though for my Terminators, who can no longer be accompanied by their Terminator Chaplain leader, having already maxed out the weight limit of their Land Raider. The Redeemer and Crusader options still have plenty of room to fit everything I want, but I’ve grown pretty fond of my Godhammer, and I almost found it easier to just to write the Chaplain out and put the points elsewhere.
The Jamming Beacon had its ranged doubled, and the Cerberus Launcher is a shootable weapon now, which has dramatically boosted the effectiveness of the Land Speeder Storm as a close support vehicle. The improved Jamming Beacon can deter opportunistic deep strikers from alpha striking valuable heavy armor, and the Cerberus Launcher, while not causing much damage, has a decent range and causes Blind. This can be used offensively to prep a dug in enemy for combat, or defensively to shut down enemy firing cells or deflate the power of an enemy assault.Additionally; Chapter Masters got an extra wound and attack, greatly increasing their strength as a hand to hand Combat model; Chaplains give their unit Zealot now instead of Liturgies of War, which means they don’t have to be used so offensively anymore; Thunderfire cannons have the Barrage rule, making them easier to hide from damage and dig out hidden infantry; and Legion of the Damned have the Ignores Cover rule, meaning NOTHING CAN HIDE YOU FROM YOUR DOOM, WOR… er, they’re pretty good at killing stuff now.
If I missed anything else, you’re just going to have to pick up the book to find it for yourselves. But I think I covered pretty much the most important ones.
This is going to be a good year for Space Marines. Every bit the match of the other 6th Ed Codices released so far, Codex; Space Marines is packed full both goodies for players who are looking to expand their collection, or something to freshen up their current one. If you haven’t done so already, I would really encourage you to go pick up a copy.
I’ll admit, having already gotten a few games under my belt, it’s tough to not go back over my post and edit a few of the entries I’ve already written. I’ve already been working on this post for 2 weeks though, so I think it might be best to let it lie and just leave with this disclaimer; my opinion will most certainly evolve as time goes on, and when it does, maybe a revisit will be in order. Till then, I’ll continue to forge my opinion on the gaming table.
See you on the battlefield.