Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Painting Adventures: Pedroguard


Hi guys, In reading and reviewing the Space Marine Codex, I've found that I'm really into some of the builds that were common last edition. With everyone swearing by Space Marine Bikes, I took a different route; I decided that I would use Sternguard instead.

What better way to get a good, solid scoring army, than with kantor and his sternguard lackeys?

Well, there have been a few humps; I hate hte Kantor model so I made one of my own, which might get tricky during tournaments, but he has "Kantor" on his base, which I hope is enough. I don't really like Thunderfire cannons as a model, so I'm looking for alternatives to the bulky kit, even if it is still metal. 

But, those are all issues I have to tackle in the future. For now, I simply need to keep painting what I've got. Weighing in at exactly 10% of my 1850 point list, here is Pedro Kantor. 


I don't want to say Kantor's my favourite Unique HQ in the Space Marine Codex, because I keep forgetting that Vulkan - my original favourite, exists, and that Tigurius, Dor- I mean, Lysander, and Kor'sarro Khan also exist. Kantor definitely adds some benefits I really enjoy, he can turn any assault marine into such a beast that the number of dice they roll would make an Ork player tap his foot with impatience. On top of that, he can take the mediocre Sternguard and make them into what tactical marines should be - tactically flexible, scoring units.

My one Gripe with Kantor is his Model; I think it's an awfully aged design with bad bodily motion dynamics. While the concept of his storm bolter has been stolen for guns of many space marines over the years, I just grow tired of the "the guns not actually in his hand it's on his arm!" thing GW has started taking to with storm bolters; I said "Fuck it - I just want Dorn's Arrow to be a regular old Storm Bolter."
So that's what I did.

Kantor's Face was an experiment with highlighting, with the helmet having extreme edge highlighting right where the light would hit him. I felt like this take on highlighting would add to the dynamic of his pose and make him look like a newer, more human model than the current kantor kit. 

Now of course, many of you are asking yourself "Why the fuck does Kantor have white/black Black Templars markings on his armour and that silly banner of his?"

The answer, my friends, is pretty simple: the army isn't just crimson fists; it comprises mixed squads of Black Templars and Crimson Fists to create an army resembling the Declates Crusade.

To keep this theme running a small portion of my army (Approximately 1/3.) will be black templar models in mixed squads with Crimson fists. To make sure it's clear that my army is imperial fists, not imperial fists with black templars allies, I will make sure the majority of my units are crimson fists, but all will have their equipment reflective of their mixed-squad status with the Black Templars.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Reviewing the SM codex, Part 3: Troops and Dedicated Transports


So, things change a little bit here. I can't give you ideas on how to build your army around these units, but I can give you an idea of how they could perform on the field. So, I'll show you ways I'd build these units, what their purposes would be in my army. I'll also try to give an idea of what I think the internet might do differently, if it is that different. I've also got dedicated transports. I'm not going to go too much into detail about them, as for the most part they'll be part of the "builds" of other units. That said, they do have some personal merits, each of them.

I've also added an extra option that I feel is pertinent to the choosing of any unit that isn't a leader, and that is mobility. This is score replaces Army Bonuses. 


Tactical Marines 

Cheap Enough
Can get a 5-wound missile launcher or lascannon. 
A squad of 5 can buffer against assaulters just long enough that you can get another round of shooting from something effective.
The 3+ save is not a good reason to take them just to score. 
Their best role is scoring.
Tactical marines are the most blatant example of Space Marine's inability to have units that are role-specific. 
5 with a ML/LC in a rhino. 120-25 points. Good for holding an objective, and claiming linebreaker late game. Don't expect it to do much more than hold an objective and fill your minimum troops requirements
5 with a Meltagun and combi-melta in a rhino or razorback - 125 or 145 points. Good for grabbing linebreaker, can be a good mid-game tank killer, with just enough output to take down a weakened artillery piece or take a lucky shot at a flyer. The Razorback also gives you a twin-linked heavy bolter - perfect for causing grounded tests on FMC. 
Chapter Tactics
Works Well with White Scars, Crimson fists, salamanders (if you go with the right build) and ultramarines. 

Price - 6/10 They came down considerably, in terms of their ability to take a missile launcher - they dropped 85 points in this regard.
Survivability 5/10 They set the benchmark for survivability
Damage Output 2/10 Laughable, but they are just a troops unit.
Rules 7/10 ATSKNF is invaluable on a troop unit. 
Mobility 5/10 Rhinos make these coolios - try a drop pod once in a while, just for giggles.
Overall 5/10 Mediocrity, thine name is Tactical marines. 

Scout  Marines 

Invaluably priced
Good range of tools at their disposal, can make themselves known in combat and at range
Stealth is cheap
In a Vacuum, Scout marines outperform marines in survivability against APs 1,2 and 3 weapons. 
The BS3 hurts until you realise you do more to infantry at a longer range. 
It's cool to theory craft about the difference between a 3+ and a 4+ until you have to roll a few armour saves.
5 scouts. 55 points. Keep it cheap, keep it simple. 15 points is nothing until you need it to get a piece of equipment. Marines Wreck MSU, so MSU is no competition for 110 points of ol' reliable.
5 scouts with sniper rifles and camo cloaks - 70 points, same as marines, yet with better range and stealth. 
5 scouts with combat weapons
Want a unit that can muscle in on MSU? 15 S4 attacks is still 15 S4 attacks. Tactical marines can't do this. 
10 scouts with snipers and camo cloaks, with telion behind an ADL with a quad gun 289 points BS6 is nice on a flyer, and 3+ saves makes tactical marines frustrated. Put it in a bastion for a 2+ coversave.
Chapter Tactics
Eh, Raven guard works okay if you don't wanna pay for cloaks. Ultramarines works as scouts can fill almost any role that you might ask for. Salamanders makes them a little more survivable against flamers, but most AP4 anyway. Nothing is really needed to make them good.

Price 8/10 I think they should be 10, but 11 is reasonable for their abilities.
Survivability 7/10 People worry about AP3 and 2, so they take it over AP4. When was the last time you saw someone spam heavy bolters? Also, when was the last time someone shot at a unit of scouts that weren't crowding an objective?
Damage Output 3/10 Laughable, but that's okay. Them not being threatening is a good thing.
Rules 8/10 If they had stealth base and got shrouded through cloaks, even for more points than a tactical marine, they would be auto-include
Mobility 7/10 if you deepstrike a lot of stuff, teleport homers might be nice. They can outflank to do something to a target on the side of the board, too.
Overall 6.6/10 They're decent, okay?

Crusader Squad 

Excellent, fairly cheap Ablative Wounds.
Good Way to hide 5 Power Fist attacks (OTC)
Largest potential Scoring unit for Marines
Tactical Marines in black templar's clothing
Still Black Templars
10 Initiates, 10 Neophytes, Missile Launcher and Flamer, Sword Brother -270 points. Hardest Marine unit in the codex in terms of wounds. Take a Sword Brother for the leadership, but of course it isn't necessary. This unit is good for holding the objective, and insanely good with a relic.

8 Initiates, 7 Neophytes with Sword Brother, Power fist, Powerfist on Sword Brother, Meltagun and Chaplain with a Power Fist. Land Raider Crusader
600 points of fuck-you, a good counterpunch unit, but insanely good to hold the objective with. We all know land raiders aren't as hardy as they once were, but at 1k you automatically win the Relic, at 1850 you have a decent chance with most missions (save for 4-5 objectives), assuming you don't face a farsight bomb.

5 Initiates, 5 neophytes, Missile Launcher or meltagun 130-35
Nice objective holder, cheap. Put it in a Rhino for extra giggles until turn 5. 
Chapter Tactics You should take these with Ultramarines Chapter Tactics. Obviously. 

Price 8/10 - Neophytes are a point cheaper than normal scouts. They make their parent initiates a lot harder for it.
Survivability 8/10 Best troop in the codex for it.
Damage Output 3/10 It's a tactical marine squad that can hide 2-3 power fists. Gets a healthy number of attacks at 14 with kantor and a chappie. 
Rules 7/10 A benchmark for mediocrity
Mobility 5/10 They're tactical marines with access to Blood Angels Transports.
Overall 5.8/10 Not the worst, but definitely not the best.

Biker Marines

Cheap Price
High Toughness, good survivability
Good Weapon loadouts
Huge threat radius
Actually Threatening.
5 man squads
can't get that third special weapon which would make these units so great. you can go combi-weapon, which is nice. 
5 bikes with 2x Melta or Grav, Combi Melta/grav optional. 125-145 points
Excellent alpha striker, not as good as the command squad but a respectable output nonetheless.

5 bikes with 2x flamers, sergeant has power lance. 130 points
Need some pathfinders taken care of? these are your guys. After the pathfinders are dealt with your opponent will either be so hurt by their actions, they'll take the heat off the rest of your army, or they will be ignored until late game where they can bust out the hurt on an unsuspecting and stranded unit of fire warriors, that were oh-so conveniently placed in a devilfish because apparently, people actually use devilfish.

5 bikes with 2 meltaguns, Attack Bike with Multi-Melta, Sergeant has combi-melta - 159 points
A nice alternative if you absolutely need a lot of melta first turn. Not so heavy on price that it can't compete with command squads, but not so cheap that you would automatically take it.

5 bare bikes. No, Seriously, this works. They can soak overwatch while another unit charges, or can be held in reserve until late game, outflank and claim an objective somewhere. Best 105 points you ever spent. Maybe go 115 for two flamers, since it's so damn cheap and effective.

Chapter Tactics Bikes are great because you can take a chapter master or a captain on a bike and get great scoring units. Therefore, I'm not going to tell you that you must take white scars, however, Ultramarines, Ravenguard, Salamanders (to an extent), Black templars (doy) and imperial fists (no devastators and your bolters are already twin-linked) are all pretty useless for bikes. So, uh, I guess that leaves Iron Hands and white scars. White scars gives you scouts, Outflank therein, Hit and Run and ignores terrain.

Price 7/10 Not as cheap as scouts, but not as useless.
Survivability 7/10 Admirable. 
Damage Output 9/10 Only surpassed by certain units
Rules 9/10 Biker Marines with white scars are just so versatile; the extra HOW is nice, as is the jink save bonus.
Mobility 10/10 These units can move 12", turbo boost and outflank. Did I mention they have f*cking scouts? What about motherf*cking Hit and f*cking run?
Overall 8.4/10 Best of a mediocre bunch, and by best, I mean I would stand by this unit for this codex, even if something gets a S7AP2 gun that ignores cover just to piss you off. 


Since these are just transport vehicles, I won't go into too much detail - if you need to read how to take them, look at the entries for the units I suggest them on.


For some reason, the point for point most expensive armies in the game in terms of points, gets these cheap-as-chips, transports.
AV11 on the front and sides protects against small arms fire
Smoke launchers can be a saving grace
One storm bolter is all that's needed to ground an FMC.
Small physical frame makes them easy to hide.
AV11 on the front and sides does not protect against medium-arms fire like autocannons.
Easy fist blood. 

Price 10/10 - outstanding.
Survivability 4/10 About what you'd expect from a 35 point vehicle, first blood bait. 
Damage Output 3/10 Negligible, but not to be dismissed. Don't point out this oxymoron. 
Rules 4/10 Repair is kinda nice?
Mobility 7/10 up to 18" covered in one turn means you threaten any objective within 30".
Overall 5.6/10 They're cheap, and their abilities reflect that; yet their ability is to be cheap


Still a Damn cheap unit. gives you some anti-infantry fire support for relatively little.
One TL heavy bolter should hit an FMC once.
Everything about a Rhino, except for having a smaller troop capacity.
Still a Rhino Chassis. 

Price 9/10 55 is a bit steep, but 40 was too cheap, 45 wouldn't have been much of a leap, but I don't think 50 would help me sleep. (rhyme intended, enjoy.) 
Survivability 3/10 More threatening than a rhino, more expensive, a better first blood target.
Damage Output 4/10 More threatening than a rhino for only 143% of the price!
Rules 3/10 Less bonuses. 
Mobility 6/10 It can do the same thing as a rhino, but you don't want it to; that heavy bolter is too good late game.
Overall 5/10 Still a better transport than a Chimera.

Drop Pod 

AV12 hull makes for a hard target to crack
Non-threatening nature (coupled with threatening nature of occupants) leads to the vehicle not being first blood.
1 storm bolter is all it takes to bring an FMC down.
Nice distraction, or stall unit.
Makes any unit threatening.
Accurate, safe deepstrike.
It doesn't do anything after it's dropped. Maybe it'll kill a guardsman or two? If it kills 7 guardsman you've gotten your pointsworth back.

Price 10/10 Considering what the Drop pod *is*, it's a damn good price. And it makes Sternguard worth the 31 point price-tag. 
Survivability 6/10 I usually have all 3 standing at the end of the game
Damage Output 3/10 A rhino that can't move. Good weapon reach, though.
Rules 6/10 Excellent bonuses. would be even better if troops could stay embarked upon the open topped tank cone of doom.
Mobility 8/10 lessened by lack of a good way of being useful after it blows its very literal load. Could drop a unit of skin-bare marines turn 4 if you play it right. Could change the game.
Overall 6.6/10 A much better take for 35 points. Would reccommend to armies that suit the in-your-face playstyle. 

Land Speeder Storm 

This looks like a blue stretch limousine,
not a combat transport vehicle. 
Fast skimmer that can transp- oh wait, you don't want your scouts in a vehicle, or anywhere near your opponent.
Can deepstrike, I guess?
Jink, bonus shooting attack
AV10 shell.
Everything about it just screams first blood, or easy kill point.

Price 2/10 25 points might be too steep for this.
Survivability 1/10 Laughable.
Damage Output 3/10 A bit better than a rhino, for the turn you can use it.
Rules 3/10 Move along.
Mobility 4/10 It's just too fragile to make the 100 point pricetag sound more enticing than a 105-35 point biker squad. Bikers are more survivable.
Overall 2.6/10 If you want my advice, don't.

This has been my coverage of the troops section of the Space Marine Codex. Next week, I'll be covering one of the three exotic options. I'm guessing it'll be elites, since there are more jokes I can make about Assault Centurions and Ironclad Dreadnoughts than I can about ass- I rescind my earlier comments, I just recalled that Assault Marines are an actual thing outside the blood angels codex. 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Reviewing the SM Codex, Part Two: Generic HQ options


You get the drill. I'll list off Strengths and weaknesses, and things to look out for, then give a score out of ten on 5 points, then  average that out to give you an idea of my opinion of the the slot at large. There's a catch here, of course. Since these characters are no longer forced to take certain chapter tactics, I'll list off my personal preferences for each, as well as ways to kit them out to suit.

Chapter Master 

4 wounds and attacks
Can be kitted out to deal with most threats, or as a lynchpin.
Can be made eternal.
Nothing to make his BS5 seem worthwhile.
Combat's not the place to be much anymore.
1. Watch this guy inflict untold casualties upon the meek with a power fist and the Teeth of terra. 6 attacks on the charge, and more still if he has to charge on his own or with a small squad of say, centurions. Put him on a bike with a squad of five bikers for last-minute scoring hijinks.
Taken most effectively with white scars (Bikes) or with iron hands, but can work with most armies that need a bit of combat oomph.
2. This chapter master will wield his shiny sword much better than kharn ever could, smashing it out with up to 6 plasma gun shots in close combat, with the blind rule and a small chance to take a wound for using such an awesome weapon. Buy him a bike.
Since he makes for a good champion-type character, he might work in a black templars ally (an ally, nothing more) with a squad of honour guard, or again, on a bike. Find the enemy warlord and challenge him. IF things go well, you'll garner warlord while giving up nothing in return, at worst you've wasted 200-ish points. Again, Iron Fists come to mind, as do Ultramarines.
This guy does not make a good warlord.
3. Alternatively, find a build from the internet. It's really not that hard.

Things to Watch
1. Can shrug off as many as 24 lascannons before succumbing to wounds. He's unlikely to die except against the swarmlord or any other particularly impressive character. Unforutunately, the guy who does this is bulky or expensive, and has a storm shield.
2. Can hold his own against most enemy warlords or champions. Don't be afraid to let him throw his weight around against anything but the killiest of enemy characters. He stands a good cchance.

Price 8/10 Few of the upgrades on a chaptermaster are overpriced, and with orbital bombardment apparently being worth 25 points, if the old codex is anything to go by, the extra wound and attack is a nice touch for 5 points. 
Survivability 10/10 Potentially the Best HQ choice in terms of survivability.
Damage Output 8/10 Better than a captain. 
Rules 6/10 Nothing Special. Orbital bombardment can be nice.
Army Bonuses 6/10 Fire Soak, can make bikes troops, Warlord traits can be nice.
Overall 7.6/10

First Company Captain and Company Captain

These are uniformly the same as the Chapter master, but are "cheaper" for the cost of one wound and an attack. I wouldn't bother unless you need the points and aren't taking an honour guard unit.

The marine captain offers a cheap(ish) pair of combi-weapons, costing you about 110 points to give you a situational edge in a sternguard list. It's preferable to use a captain here since the extra wound and attack are wasted on a character not designed for combat. Probably a good warlord if you use your sternguard defensively, but not kantor. (Imperial fists come to mind, with kantor)

the captain shines in a biker army, where his combi-gravs augment the firepower of a great unit, and provide it with some survivability. 


Cheapest HQ, Psyker.
Cheap Power Weapon
Can get a Heavy Flamer or a S4AP2 4-shot weapon for free, or can go for other more useful powers. 
2 wounds, no invulnerable save.
Generating more psychic powers is costly.
Expensive to defend.
I wouldn't take him anything other than bare, given his power-weapon and low survivability. I would also make sure he is not your warlord.

Things to Watch
1. Given the right powers, a marine libby can be a very useful buff for an army, even if that buff just means adding some dice when you roll to hit. He's nothing special, but he's better than a captain.
2. Makes an excellent addition to any assault unit that needs a body or two, with potential access to a unit-wide cover save. He could make a good distraction for a ravenguard shrike squad, not that I'd recommend it.
Price 10/10 Cheapest HQ if you aren't looking for a killer.
Survivability 1/10 Impossibly fragile for an HQ choice and potential warlord.
Damage output 7/10 Surprisingly can do quite a bit of damage in assault and at short ranges.
Rules 6/10 A Psyker with no access to ML 3 or 4. 
Army Bonuses 6/10 A Psyker with no Access to ML 3 or 4.
Overall 6/10 - Still worth it if points are needed elsewhere and/or your army doesn't need a tanky chapter master.


S6AP4 attacks in combat
Re-rolls hits on first round of combat for him and squad
Fearless for his squad
2 wounds, 2 attacks.
Like his Libby bretheren, perfectly fine skin-bare. Maybe give him a jump pack if the situation insists, or a power fists if you'd rather 2 S8AP2 attacks to 3 S6AP4 ones.
Things to Watch
1. He can safely be assumed to augment any assault squad to a level where it will always do at least a little bit of damage. The more attacks the unit can put out, the more he helps. Excellent as an augment for honour guard.

Price 7/10 Same Price as a Captain, but adds so much more. 
Survivability 6/10 2 wounds with a 4+ invulnerable save is decent, I guess.
Damage Output 7/10 A couple S6 attacks.
Rules 8/10 For his price, he offers a lot.
Army Bonuses 8/10 Fearless for an important unit can make an army.
Overall 7.2/10

Master of the Forge

BS 5 can be useful.
Servo Harness can make him effective at protecting armour like a land raider.
Servo Harness gives a range of useful tools.
Can get a surprisingly large number of S8AP2 attacks, for a surprisingly low price.
No Invulnerable Save and no reasonable way to get it.
2 wounds means the Shield Eternal is a waste of time. 
Bare in a Land Raider or Storm Raven, with a unit of 2 Servitors ensures that the MotF can be almost indestructible (unless your opponent brings a humongous amount of fire to bear in one turn). This build works with anything, but is most effective Iron hands for obvious reasons. If you stick the Shield Eternal on this guy, there's no chance of him dying from from crash-landing. For 310-90 points, you've ensured your opponent will not get warlord unless he's willing to put all of his fire into one target.

Another way to run him is with a Power Fist and a Lightning Claw. He puts out 6 S8AP2 attacks on the charge, costing only 130 points (the same price as a Chapter Master.) and still has a flamer and plasma pistol. This can add a devastating effect to the damage output of strong assault units like honour guard, and can be further augmented by Kantor (Everything is better with juan of him) - did I mention that he can still have two S8AP2 attacks if he goes S4AP3 with shred? this can be huge - you can pile in twice, since your initiative comes up twice, and you can potentially contest an objective late game this way. This Works well with Crimson Fists (Kantor), Iron Hands, heck, any chapter where Honour Guard and good times are found.
Things to Watch
1. Watch him be the thing your opponent becomes afraid of by turn 4.
2. Watch them aim for him over kantor, your warlord.
3. With Kantor and the MoTF, you put out a minimum of 11 S8AP2 attacks on the charge - this rivals 4 Death Company with Power fists, while being easier to protect. 

Price - 6/10 I wouldn't say he's worth his 90 point price tag, but he can be a competitive option.
Survivability Normally, 3/10 as he's hard to justify in this regard, but he's passable thanks to his 2+ armour.
In a Storm Raven he's definitely a 10/10. 
Damage Output 8/10 - For a guy who shouldn't be getting into combat, he hurts.
Rules 7/10 Blessing of Omnissah is pretty awesome, as is bolster defences.
Army Bonuses 6/10 Bolster Defences can make mid-game terrain for you much more effective.
Overall 6/10


The Techmarine is a watered down clone of the above. He can do the same thing, while being 15 points cheaper, costing you but a wound and an attack. Oh! Another thing is he isn't an HQ, so you can have up to two of them, while taking a pair of HQs. This can be massive, creating the ultimate in Marine Death Stars - 10 Honour Guard, a chaplain, kantor and 2 techmarines - comes to 885 without a land raider and puts out... 25 Power Weapon Attacks, 21 S6AP3/4 attacks and 17 S8AP2 attacks, all with re-rolls to hit. 

Of course, you'd never take that. But, if you did, You'd have one solid assault and you'd love it. Still, the techmarine is an excellent buff to assault. Also, cover save bonuses. 

Price 8/10 - Well worth its free HQ slot. 
Survivability 2/10 Still more survivable against S8AP3 than a librarian. 
Damage Output 8/10 I'm going to put it on par with the Forge Master because of the price difference.
Rules 6/10 - slightly weaker blessing of the omnissah. Can still pull off the same shenanigans. 
Army Bonuses 6/10 the Same as Master. 
Overall 6/10

Honour Guard  

2+ saves with Ld10 and 2 attacks make for a very effective assault unit.
Power Weapons, boltguns and bolt pistols in artificer armour for 25 points.
No Invulnerable Saves or FNP.
Squads can get pricy
No Dedicated Land Raiders (meh)
Hard to get into assault without casualties.
9-10 sternguard with power weapons to suit Relic Blades are nice if you really need AP3 over 4.
None of the chapter tactics really help this unit that much. I guess Imperial fists does so the most, with Salamanders and Raven Guard bringing up the rear.
Things to Watch
This unit chew up almost any other assault unit, Orks, Termagants, it even has a decent chance against genestealers in a vacuum. 
Price 9/10 Very decent.
Survivability 8/10 An Invulnerable save would be nice (even a 6+.) but you can't complain. FNP would also be nice.
Damage Output 7/10 What did the Mammoth Tanks in Command and Conquer 3 say? "Unrivaled." They have Rivals, but none are so capable outside a vacuum. 
Rules 6/10 The Chapter Champion's power can suck. 
Army Bonuses 6/10 can act as a firesoak if your opponent is afraid of assault, and a good answer if he is not. 
Overall 7.2/10

Company Command

Massive points reduction
Cheap Special Weapons Squad
Can get FNP or 5 special weapons
Champion is not force on you.
Can be on bikes, with combat weapons and special weapons, and still be reasonably priced. 
None to speak of. Size, maybe? But b8ke squads are like that anyway.
4/5 grav guns (4 has apothecary) on bikes with a captain or techmarine with 2 combi-gravs on a bike gives the user 12 (15 twice per game) Grav attacks with a 30" threat radius and FNP or the same with 15/18 but no FNP. Go White scars and you can threaten everything within 30". You can take a drop pod despite the being on bikes thing too. This costs 210, 335 with the captain. 
Things to Watch
1. With Prescience/guide up, this unit does 5.93 wounds to a riptide per turn. Without Prescience up, it does 4.5 wounds. If you go first with Kor'sarro Khan, you have a first-turn threat radius of 42", but your wounds against a riptide drop to 3.78. Did I mention how it kills a riptide outright, even with Khan?
2. Two units of these, one with Khan, one with a normal captain, then two tech marines in two marine squads gives you 4 different squads that do at least 15 grav-gun shots to a target. This can be a complete counter to the much-coveted four-riptides if you go first, and shuts down wraithknights and is effective against most armour - including wave serpents, who's serpent shields are useless against you. You also get a cover save against everything but Tau. 

Price 10/10 Fantastic.
Survivability 7/10 An Invuln would be nice, but T5 with a jink save makes up for this to a degree.
Damage Output 10/10 Only beaten by centurion devastators. Oh, but two of these puts out the same and costs 140 points less. Did I mention how much faster it is?
Rules 7/10 Nothing of note unless you use kor'sarro Khan, but the whole 5 special weapons is pretty neat. Feel no pain is useful, even if it detracts from power output.
Army Bonuses 8/10 These make a great alpha strike unit and can remove your army's counters quickly (unfortunately, Pathfinders need the finesse of your biker squad's boltguns to be effective. Big shame, huh?) 
Overall 8.4 They went from overpriced but bearably so to reasonably priced and the best reason to take a captain.


Cheap, closest resemblance to ablative wounds in the game.
Cheap weapons, if you're into that.
Can make a tank invulnerable with a techmarine. 
Meh at just about everything, doesn't actually do anything except make techmarines a little better.
They're a cheap unit that gives you added reliability in flyers, but are a quick kill point.
Things to Watch and the build
With a techmarine in a Storm Raven, for 40 points you get an automatic hullpoint back every shooting phase. With iron fists, you get 5 every 3 turns. This forces more firepower into your storm ravens. With 5 (50 points) you ensure your techmarine shouldn't die when the flyer crashes and your opponent has to put extra firepower into him or let him contest an objective on turn 5.
Remember to take at least two, or else your techmarine can't join them.

Price 10/10 cheapest unit in the codex.
Survivability 5/10 But you weren't taking them to be survivable themselves, right? They'll make a stormraven and your techmarine survivable.
Damage Output 5/10 Yeah I guess, but I'm not a fan.
Rules 7/10 just the kind it gives to your storm raven.
Army Bonuses 5/10 makes your storm raven even more of a fire soak.
Overall 6.4

Cenobyte Servitors

a 6+ save is kinda cool, I guess? 
Everything that is wrong about grimaldus, is transferred to cenobyte servitors. Also, Black templars only.
Only one option. take no more than 3 and hide them in a tank. 
Things to Watch
You remove your army from the board, because you took grimaldus.

Price 2/10 they themselves are pretty cheap, but grimaldus is far too expensive to make it worth it. Also, MUST I be forced to take 3?
Survivability 1/10 They're Servitors. They don't help Techmarines
Damage Output 1/10 Nothing of note
Rules 5/10 Eh. I guess a 6++ is kinda goood.
Army Bonuses 3/10 nope.
Overall 2.2/10

So you're starting to see the trend by now, For the most part te more shooting and the lower the cost, the better. That's the rule of 40k today. Cenobyte servitors would be a nice thing in fifth edition with this codex, but are hindered by grimaldus and black templars chapter tactics (and the fact that they only work with CT:BT)

If you want to argue with my picks, be sure to leave a comment. Don't forget to call me a prick.

Oh, and our wooden spoon is Cenobyte Servitors; our winner is the Company Command Squad for single-handedly making Captains a worthwhile take.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Reviewing the SM Codex, Part One: Unique HQs


Come on guys, we all knew this was coming. A new Book, a suave, sophisticated mind like mine? Of course I had to give up my nearly useless opinions on the Space Marine Codex to the Peasants. Well. I'm no Learn2eel, but I'll give it a shot. Maybe my opinions will cause controversy and I won't be posting for my own vanity anymore!

So, here it is, The think tank of the Space Marines. The HQ part of this 5-part series. I won't go into as much details as some other tactica might, because I feel it's a bad idea to give a holistic opinion. It's important to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of these units, but telling you how to run them is not my goal. 

Unique Characters 

Marneus Calgar (Papasmurf's descendent)

Excellent Rules and equipment for both damage output (Assault) and for damage absorption. 
Nice added ranged damage. Unlocks 3 units of slightly survivable shock assault infantry.
Most Expensive Warlord, Rivalling the likes of the Swarmlord and the Sanguinor. Best in Assault with no fast way of getting there.
Things to Watch:
1. He's Relentless, so Orbital Bombardment will more than certainly drop. 
2. God of war can mean you have to destroy marine squads outright. God of War can also allow marines out of combats they can't win. (of course, if your initiative is good enough, it won't.)
3. Titanic Might means Calgar will put 3 wounds on most T6 Monsters, 2.5 wounds on T8  monsters, without the charge.
4. Calgar has a good chance of being the warlord trait you want.

Price: 1/10 Reasonable for his Price, but very expensive nonetheless.
Survivability: 9/10 Eternal Warrior, 4 wounds and 2+4++ make him a tough cookie to crack. Swarmlord still knocks him out in one round of combat.
Damage output 9/10 Excellent damage output Vs. Monsters. Reliable Anti-infantry. Reliably able to bring his attacks to bear, despite unwieldly
Rules: 8/10 Excellent Rules, truly. IF they were spread over two characters, it would make taking both viable. 
Army Bonuses: 9/10 Can form the backbone of an army.
Overall: 7.2/10

Sicarius (Captain Minor Buff)

Small Boon to one tactical squad. Reserves Bonus, Cool Sword and Armour. Leadership ten for Ultramarines. Has 2+4++ with FNP. 

Very rarely justifiable for his price, except in reserves-heavy armies. In Reserves heavy armies, the Reserves bonus is non-optional.

Things to Watch
1. Sicarius doesn't have to be warlord for an army to gain his reserves bonus. 
2. Sicarius Can make one attack at S6 with the instant death rule. Be wary when assaulting.
3. He can give a squad infiltrate, and hide them on an ADL or Bastion with a Comms Relay in no mans land, while the other squad outflanks in a rhino late game 
4. The reserves bonus is not optional (unless Sicarius steps on his sword or is off-table.)
5. Leadership bonus only affects Ultramarines

Price: 2/10 Not Awfully expensive, but not good enough for his price, either.
Survivability: 6/10 Not Eternal with a 2+4++ FNP. Decent, but hurts against things with instant death all the more. 
Damage Output 2/10 Negligible. 
Rules: 6/10 His only saving Grace is lackluster. 
Army Bonuses: 6/10 The +1 to reserves is nice, as is the leadership bonus
Overall: 4.4/10 

Tigurius (Maccrage's best Book Keeper) 

Tigurius' Reserves rule gives you a 5% better chance of a reserve coming in than that of Sicarius, while also giving you the option to hold back reserves.
Excellent ML3 Psyker who has a 75% chance of getting any one power. 
Re-rolls failed psychic tests
I suppose he's a bit pricey.
No Invulnerable save.
Psychic defence is meh. 
Things To Watch
1. I do awful, awful things with tigurius in a farsight bomb. Simply unspeakable.
2. Other people do awful, awful things with tigurius.
3. Tigurius only pays a 55 point tax nowadays, also scouts are kinda cool when you can hold them in reserve longer.
4. tigurius is very likely to get the powers he wants. 

Price: 10/10 He's Cheap for how much he does.
Survivability: 5/10 Not exceptional, brought down by dint of no invulnerable save.
Damage Output: 7/10 Given that he's the buff man, he does a pretty decent bit of close combat damage against the right targets. 
Rules: 10/10 By Far the most Flexible Unique character with excellent rules making him very competitive.
Army Bonuses: 10/10 You can't go far wrong with his form of re-rolls. Also, he can make certains armies godly. (Read: Farsight Bomb.)
Overall: 8.4/10 

Chaplain Cassius (Cassandra, AKA the only Smurf it's okay to like) 

T6, FNP. 
A Chaplain. 
Neat Combi-flamer. 
2 Wounds
Limited output
He's Still just a chaplain.
Things To Watch
1. Put him in a challenge against a S4 attacker and watch them knock hands around.
2. Put him just behind a unit of assault centurions. Watch the chaos.
3. Guardsmen can't scratch him. 
4. Monsters can struggle.
5. Ties up a riptide in a pinch.
6. Fear never comes up, but when it does, you'll love it.

Price 9/10 Great price.
Survivability 8/10 Two wounds is kind-of a bummer. 
Damage Output 6/10 It was never his strong point.
Rules 7/10 He's a Chaplain.
Army Bonuses 7/10 He's a Chaplain.
Overall 7.4/10

Kor'Sarro Khan (The Tartar)

Greant Bonus to Bikes and Transports like Land Raiders are almost valuable. 
Can Cause Instant Death
Has a Great Warlord trait that can swing a game in your favour. 
Cheap Biker Captain with good rules to support. 
Sv2+ Bounces off his instant death rounds. 
Things to Watch
1. This was the premier deathstar leader of fifth edition
2. He basically gets a power sword for, say, 16 points, then costs nine points to get Scout on your transports and furious charge. 
3. Extra Hammer of Wrath doesn't always do something, but when it does, it hurts. 
4. 1's can still mean a dead iron-hands biker-chapter master in artificer armour with thunder hammer and storm shield. 

Price 10/10 Easily one of the cheapest characters for what he gets.
Survivability 5/10 Nothing Special. 
Damage Output 5/10 Nothing Special, Save for Instant Death
Rules 8/10 Good Rules that almost make him okay in assault. 
Army Bonuses 8/10 Can be game-winning against the right opponents. Rush tau with this gem.
Overall 7.2/10

Vulkan He'stan (Vulcan's estranged nephew.) 

His Wargear, bought individually, would cost 75 points. This means he master-crafts melta-guns for 15 points.
Strong Warlord Trait
Not eternal.
No AP2. 
Things to Watch
1. He'stan carries a Master Crafted Relic Blade. He may make one of his weapons master-crafted, which he will do to his bolt pistol. This will give him two re-rolls to hit in combat, plus digital weapons.
2. He strikes at S6 and so can flatten T3 warlords, and threaten 3+ save monsters.
3. He can shrug off an annoying amount of shooting, with a 2+ look-out sir, if no eternal warrior.

Price 9/10 Pricey, but you get what you paid for. 
Survivability 8/10 Eternal is the only thing stopping him from being 9/10.
Damage Output 8/10 Ap3 hurts, but he still can impress. Also Heavy Flamer. 
Rules 6/10 He hasn't changed much, but in the ways he has he hurts.
Army Bonuses 9/10 He makes anti-monster possible without grav-guns. Would definitely run with biker army. 
Overall 8/10

Shadow Captain Shrike (Shrike a fierce pose) 

Can Infiltrate successfully.
Expensive for his wargear
Pays too much for rules on could get on a generic HQ.
Things to Watch
1. Assuming you don't kill them first, a vanguard veteran squad to the balls might hurt. 

Price 1/10 Easily the most overpriced character in the codex. 
Survivability 5/10 Nothing Special
Damage Output 4/10 AP3 with nothing special.
rules 5/10 Nothing Special
Army Bonuses 0/10 He literally provides nothing to his army that a generic character couldn't. 
Overall 3/10 

Captain Lysander (Dorn.) 

Great Damage absorption and output
Great Warlord trait with the right wargear to make hte most of it
Nice Bonus to nearby units
Slow, terminator armoured
Assault isn't the place to be anymore, and he pays too much to not be in it. 
Things to Watch
1. Dor- I mean, Lysander can reliably take on most opponents and come out on top. He can't best the swarmlord, but nobody expects him to. A non-monster warlord is D3 VP in the bank if he gets into a challenge with it.

Price 6/10 Hard to Justify a 15% point increase, given how much of a hit assault took. 
Survivability 10/10 Surpassed only by the much coveted Iron Hands Chapter Master
Damage Output 10/10 While Surpassed by said Iron Hands Chapter master, that doesn't stop him killing it.
Rules 8/10 IoO and CoH are both nice rules. IoO lets him form the backbone of a gunline, while CoH can swing a battle in your favour.
Army Bonuses 5/10 Nothing Special.
Overall 7.8/10

Master Kantor (Juan)

Decent Chapter master with nice wargear.
Excellent Army Bonuses, Oath of Rynn is awesome.
Along with Oath of Rynn, Iron Resolve can almost ensure you win combats.
Not Eternal, 3+4++.
Things to Watch
1. How hard he wrecks when put with a unit of honour guard. Seriously, you haven't seen marines roll dice until you've put a kantor Honour guard up against a death company unit.
2. Good in gunlines, too. He makes supporting fire for sternguard good in assault.  

Price 8/10 Pricey, but worth it. 
Survivability 6/10 nothing special, still, he's a chapter master.
Damage Output 8/10 Not only does he add his weight, but he amplifies his brother's attacks.
Rules 8/10 Some Nice Rules.
Army Bonuses 10/10 Flawless.
Overall 8/10

Helbrecht (Helboii) 

First charge of the game can garner up to 8 S5AP3 attacks with full re-rolls to hit.
Can give some bonuses to the entire assaulting army once per game.
Put him in an honour guard squad and watch him wreck face.
Said honour guard doesn't need to pay for relic blades. 
Black Templar Chapter Tactics are mediocre at best.
No Pistol is very strange for an assault character.
Things to Watch
1. Ally Him and an honour guard squad with chapter banner into kantor honour guard army and you have two very viable assault units
2. If timed well, Helbrecht can garner the number of attacks necessary to wreck your army.
3. He can ensure you don't need to pay for a chaplain.

Price 6/10 His Bonuses, while army wide, don't justify his price.
Survivability 6/10 Nothing Special - he's a Chapter Master. 
Damage Output 8/10 S5AP3 attacks are great, but bounce off of 2+ saves. 
Rules 7/10 Not really anything special, still, that sword's pretty cool.
Army Bonuses 7/10 Nothing great hear, but better than nothing 
Overall 6.8/10

Grimaldus (A different iteration of Cassie.) 

Captain with -1 BS and WS.
IWND, 6" Zealot Bubble. 
Not Eternal, Not Chaplain Cassius.
He's basically Helbrecht Light.
Things to Watch
1. uh...

Price 3/10 Completely unjustifiable given his rules.
Survivability 7/10 Because nobody has the three missile launchers it takes to bring him down.
Damage Output 5/10 Move along.
Rules 6/10 IWND is nice, but weird when there's no eternal warrior or at least T5 to back it up
Army Bonuses 5/10 Helbrecht light.
Overall 5.4/10

Emperor's Champion (Uniquely Generic) 

Uh... I guess AP2 Instant Death on 6's is kinda cool against monsters... 
Somehow has less attacks than a chapter champion
Not eternal, 2 wounds, must challenge.
Things to Watch
1. uh...

Price 1/10 Clearly the most overpriced character in the book. if he was 60 points, he might be worthwhile. 
Survivability 1/10 He must challenge the swarmlord. 
Damage Output 6/10 If he survives the swarmlord's attacks, and let's face it, he won't, he has a 12.5% chance of killing him outright. 
Rules: 1/10 His Rules force him to be awful.
Army Bonuses 1/10 I guess he can make a squad fearless. But a chaplain's better. and cheaper. 
Overall 2/10 

Our Winner

The lone psyker offers so much to his army, yet requires so little in return. Truly only bested by the Eldar Farseer and possibly the Support Suit Commander of Tau. Although, in both cases his bonuses are more widespread. 

Our Wooden Spoon

The 'Emperors' Champion'
His Lackluster attack stat, lack of a warlord trait, (I mean for god sake, OF COURSE he should have champion of humanity!) lack of survivability and insane rules which force him into assaults he can't win mean that the emperor's champion suffers incredibly under the strain of being a sixth edition character. He's more than double the price he should be; yet if he were only 50 or 60 points, would he really be that much more usable when an honour guard squad, and an honour guard's champion, exists?