Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Space Marine Codex: First Impressions, Chapter Tactics and Warlord Traits


So it's the midsemester Break, after nine gruelling weeks of hard work somehow managing my hectic 15 hours of University Contact, I've managed to eke out a smidgen of time. Now, the fact that I've played more than a weeks worth of Total War: Rome II in the last month? well, we can pretend that's not the case. Anyway, point is, I'm sorry I haven't been posting, but here's my attempt to y'know, post again. 
As I've just recently bought the SM book, I thought I'd look at what I thought of the book. Having been off the radar for the best part of two months, (save for a single tournament), I came into C:SM without knowing any of the hype. I wasn't expecting centurions and I certainly wasn't expecting chapter tactics as they are. 
I'll have a look at what's changing, what's the same, what's notable and what I found interesting. None of these observations are very deep, nor are they meant to be taken as tactical note or whatever you think they are. Many of them will already have been shown to be wrong for whatever reason. I know I'm late to the party, don't judge me for it. 


Warlord Traits

The only one that really struck me was Storm of Fire, with Rites of War a trailing second. These aren't Tau Warlord Traits we're talking about here.

Chapter Tactics

This is probably the biggest part of the book in terms of additions, to me. I didn't know what to make of them, but I'm starting to see how they can play into army construction. While I doubt the codex needed this, it's certainly a nice tool to play around with, if you decide not to use a character.

Ultramarines Tactics are nice and flexible, if unreliable. By unreliable, I mean that you can only call on their rules once and that's it.

Tactical Doctrine:
Probably the standout best for Space Marines, tactical marines become very effective and sternguard and the like become better. Unfortunately, Space Marines can still fall short rolling twos, limiting the effectiveness of this doctrine. Finally, being a once-a-game power really limits how reliable this tactic is. If you're running a DPA army, I can see this having some devastating effects.

Assault Doctrine:
We'll ignore the fact that marines almost never charge, except for BT, which don't count because they can't take this doctrine. Fleet could be useful on bikes, but bikes benefit more from the White Scars powers than from ultramarines. (they also can't benefit from either of the other doctrines, making this a silly take.)

Devastator Doctrine:
I guess this could be useful if you had to march devastators up the field, or if you were expecting a heavy charge in the following turn?

As you can see, I don't think much of the ultrasmurf's powers.

White Scars:
Born in the Saddle:
Bikes pass Dangerous terrain tests automatically, gain +1 to jinks (giving them a standard 4+ if they move, I believe?) and +1 Str to their HOW. The HOW bonus is unimportant, but the other two can potentially make them better than dark angels bikes.

Fight on the Move:
What's not to like about Hit and Run on every model with S5 HOW?

I like these rules. They give SM bike lists legitimacy.

Imperial Fists
Bolter Drill:
Re-roll 1's made by bolt-weapons. A really nice rule, works great with Pedro Kantor and his ster- nevermind.

Siege Masters
Tank hunters and building hunters. Useful if you wanna run Devastators, something that is viable these days.

I'm a bit peeved that Kantor didn't have the mental fortitude to drill his veterans in the correct use of special issue ammunition, but you can't have everything, right?
(doing the math, it is always better to go with a hellfire round than a basic round. the poisoned 2+ math just stacks up better than the 3+ re-roll 1's math.)

Black Templars
Accept Any Challenge, no Matter the Odds:
I was expecting this to be more like the Honour or Death Special Rule, but no. A decent rule, giving BT characters a better chance in combats.

Adamantium Will is okay, doubling most squads chances against psychic attacks. Too bad it's still on 33%.
Oh, and Crusader squads or whatever.

Iron Hands
the Flesh is Weak!
Oh my, 6+ FNP? sounds terrible, until you infuriate your opponent by passing it on your centurion sergeant with 1 wound and IWND.

Machine Empathy:
IWND on characters and all your tanks? I will be having a lot of fun with my never-die chapter master, centurions and land raider/storm raven spam, thankyou.
The blessing of the Omnissah bonus is nice if you wanna run LR spam.

Basically they maintain twin-linked on all flame weapons. Pretty cool, right?

Master Artisans:
MC on one weapon for each character? Can I give my sergeant the multi-melta already please?

Raven Guard:
Strike From the Shadows:
Holy shit, Scout on everything? scout on terminators with a land raider? scout  on centurion assault squads?
forget scout, outflank everything!

Oh wait, you can't charge off the flank anymore.

Winged Deliverance:
This is a nice rule, meaning that assault marines can use their jump packs to full effect. Hammer of wrath bonuses, once again.