Saturday, September 7, 2013

Codex: Space Marines thoughts so far! (Chapter Tactics)

     So it's finally here! The Emperor's gift to his faithful players! The book itself is awesome if not a bit large since it covers the 6 main chapters + Black Templar as well as their successors. Crimson Fist got a larger section then most successors. The amount of fluff in this book is pretty awesome and I think I accidently read it all already but need to double check. Everything from the Centurions, to all the special Bolters made by the Salamanders (Dat Techmarine one is sexy) to why the Ironhands hate being human. The Ultramarines are no longer the overbearing presence they were back in 5th ed as well. But let's talk about what makes the book really awesome. The changes to Chapter tactics....

      The first change is special characters can't be mixed now, they are linked to their chapter. No more Calgar and Vulkan or anything like that. Lysander and Kantor can't even be mixed even though they use same chapter tactics. Kantor's Icon in the Army List is clearly shown as being for Crimson Fist only (ie: It's a red fist logo and not a black one). This kills special characters in custom chapters for the most part which is a shame, but I think with the new chapter rules and the updates to captains and such, it will all balance out.

     Ultramarines chapter tactics are arguably the worst, especially if you don't run a balanced list. Yes each Combat Doctrine does do some benefit to the units outside it's name sake, but it's generally not enough to make a lasting impact on the battle. Calgar does allow you to use one of these options twice. Of course Calgar is also the best for deciding Warlord traits. The Ultramarines idea of being balanced though is well represented via their rules and characters at any rate.

      The White Scars probably seem to be getting a boost. While Khan lost his outflank but now any unit with Chapter Tactics (White Scars) or said units dedicated transport, get the scout special rule. On top of this their chapter tactics grant them two special rules, "Born in the saddle" and "Fight on the move". Very assault bike army here, and I think A lot of White Scar players will be happy with this.

     The Imperial Fist, my chapter, the chapter tactics I've been waiting for. I can't begin to say how happy the tank hunter on my devastators and Centurion Dev's makes me. Bolter drill being Army (chapter?) wide now will be interesting to see compared to Lysander old version. Fluff wise we also have more Thunderfire cannons and Dev Centurions then anyone else so I can continue to run Thunderfires (which now have barrage) all the time.

     Lysander did get a Nerf this addition though. 230 points now, no bolter drill, no army wide stubborn, and he lost Bolster defenses. The loss of bolster defenses shouldn't matter to much though as I always have at least one Techmarine in my armies. Either way he's still a beast in CC, and he now gives re-rolls to moral and pinning test to all units from Imperial Fist within 12 inches of him, and his Warlord Trait is Champion of Humanity which grants the player D3 victory points for Lysander killing the other players warlord in a challenge. Also he has termy armour for a 5+ invul, an Iron halo for 4+, and a stormshield. Why The Iron Halo is there I have no idea. The Hammer of Dorn is also just now labeled as a S10 AP1 hammer. So no disputing how much it's going to hurt when it collides with your face.

     Now if we could just get a Supplement with the Sword of Sebastus I'll be happy.

     The Black Templar at first glance got screwed getting rolled into SM but I really don't think so. Their army rules make them unique, they have just as many chapter only units as the Ultramarines, and they can still take LR Crusaders as dedicated transports for the now cheaper and more practical Crusader Squads. The Emperor's Champion didn't change much except he can now insta-death things with his sword and the sword is now AP 2 and it hits at EC's I5. So I guess he changed a bit... Helbrecht is still pretty decent in CC as well but lacks the ap 2 weapon might make it a bit tough when dualing anything with a 2+. In the end I think these guys will be seen on the table top again.

     The Ironhands are the black sheep of the codex with no special character. Best bet for a good fluffy HQ is a Master of the Forge with the Shield Eternal (fancy relic storm shield), this gives you a survivable HQ for not a bad points cost (165 with shield and power axe). Still though, I would like to see them get a special character down the line. Again looking forward to the supplement to hopefully do this. Thanks to the chapter tactics though these guys are the hardest to kill of the main chapters, and will have the best mech list. (Ironclad Dreadnoughts with "It will not die" anyone?)

     The Salamanders chapter hasn't changed much. The melta portion of the chapter tactics is now under a special rule for taking Vulken while Flamers are entirely covered under the Flamecraft special rule. Master Artisan however is new and a very cool thing since that Mastercrafted could help you get that extra help with those combi weapon shots. (get hot on combi-plasma) Hoping when they get a supp we will get to see more of those nifty boltguns.

     Raven Guard have kind of been down on the totem pole next to Iron Hands for a while now, but detestably have one of the best rule set ups for an assault army in 6th edition so far. Also if they don't get Assault Squads as troops in a supplement down the line I will be down right amazed since all of their rules make that seem like something that should have happened already, especially with shrike.

     Chapter tactics are awesome though with no chapter really being over powered over another from what I can see. Hopefully it stays that way....

     And for those wondering how the Army List works, any chapter specific entries have their corresponding chapter icon in the upper left corner of it's entry. As you can see from this image, just above and to the side of the word Crusader Squad it has a Black Templar chapter Icon so you know only BT get that unit.

Well, off for now but will probably be back on tomorrow to talk more about unit changes!


  1. hmm, tbh I can't agree with you on some of the chapter tactics.

    I think that the Raven Guard got the most useless tactic. Only Tactical and Sternguard squads benefit from the scout rule. First turn stealth for those two is worth nothing. 50% of the game start with nightfighting anway.
    So they get 2 rules from which only 2-3 units benefit + those rules are only used for deployment and/or first turn. Where other armies got tactics that count for the whole game.

    The ultramarine tactic is pretty good imo. Reroll all ones is pretty nice with devs, centurions, sternguard with plasma etc and tacticals all misses ? nice.
    Overwatch bonus, yes pease
    fleet for the one moment you need, why not!

    The iron hands tactic is pure cheese, like 3 helldrakes. feel no pain for everyone ? A chapter master on bike with that the cheese shield ... eow

    And I think the rest of the chapter tactics are pretty good, like you said. And I agree that the White scars bonus is very nice, funny that they are better than the Ravenwing now :)

  2. The limitation preventing jump infantry from benefiting from scout seems odd, particularly when, as it's written, it looks like vehicles get the scout move, when they don't. That said, I think it gives them a lot of flexibility and the interesting ability to redeploy before turn 1. And then the jump packs benefit from the other rule, getting to use their jump packs in move and assault phase, which is pretty awesome I think.

    1. vehicles don't get the scout rule, as only models with the chapter tactic rule benefit from it. So it's only Rhino's as dedicated transports for tacs and veterans.

      Ultramarines grants all units in the army fleet, Raven Guard only assault troops. And how many assault squads are you using normally ? They don't score, they are not tougher than tacticals, they cost more, they have no ap weapons.

    2. Yup, overlooked the vehicles not having Chapter Tactics. I still like the rule as it adds to the flavor of the army. A themed Raven Guard army would have a good number of scouts, so the rule allows Tac squads to keep up, and allows the main part of your army most likely to essentially redeploy.

      I don't see the Chapter Tactics as intended to be game changing, but add a bit of flavor and encourage you to follow the background when constructing and theming your army.

    3. I know what you mean. But the chapter tactic is game changing .. :/

      I play Raven Guard, and I liked to have a Sicarius placeholder + Kantor placeholder in my force and Tellion. But now I got screwed, since I can't use any of them anymore. Only stupid Shrike who is so one-dimensional.

      And I think that the chapter tactic is very game changing, e.g. white scars, salamanders. Tactics like the ultramarine one is a nice buff, same with the iron hands.

      Now I need to play my Raven Guard with the Ultra tactic and mix in Kantor and his chapter as allies.

      I like to play an army that has its own flavour, but I don't like they way, they did it. My idea would be something like, Scouts squads come with camo coaks as standard for no addional cost + nightvision. (Has favour, but is not overpowered) And as Raven Guard are masters of ambush: You can steal the iniative on a 5+ and at the start of the game you can redeploy up D3 units. Something ike that, not game changing, what do you think ?