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Thursday, September 26, 2013

A brief diatribe on Codex: Space Marines and Codex: Chaos Space Marines

Hello once again, my friendly neighborhood chaos worshipers! Sorry that I have been away for so long- work has been really busy, and I have hardly had time to sit and paint, let alone write on the blog. It didn't help that Grand Theft Auto 5 came out and sucked up what little remained of my free time. Oh boy. At any rate, I felt moved to write on the blog today about two intertwining issues- the newly minted Codex: Space Marines and naturally, the ongoing "issues" with the Chaos Codex.

Could this be the real appearance of The Emperor of Mankind?
The new Space Marine Codex is an amazing book. It is not exaggeration to say that this is an incredible looking book. It is so well put together, great art, great fluff- fantastic, as a matter of fact. The best thing about this Codex is that they back away from it being "Ultramarines plus some other guys" and they really broaden it to "All Space Marines". They focus on the original loyalists, with each having their own section, as well as some great bits about the successor chapters. You really feel the weight of millennia of history, with great deeds and enormous sacrifice from all the chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. The entire presentation of the book is just beautiful and awe-inspiring- this is the new high water mark that all other future books will be held up to.

The Emperor used Brock's DNA as the basis of the Primarchs. That makes a lot of sense, actually.
But, what of the rules? A pretty book is nice and all, but its nothing if it doesn't have the rule set to make it worthwhile. Again, I have never been a WAAC player, but I have always wanted to be "competitive". Again, the Codex is really good here as well- a Space Marine army is quite formidable. Any Space Marine list could be worthy- they are not overpowered, but will certainly provide a challenge- basically, it is a very balanced book, with strengths and weaknesses. Best of all, the book has a ton of options. First, you must designate what chapter you are (or successor from), which automatically gives you special abilities. Now, all the major chapters are represented, and in a clever way. Plus, you can ally with another chapter of Space Marines! The new units are quite solid- the Centurions are tough (in either form), while the Hunter/Stalker will come in handy with all the flyers running around nowadays. Basically, this book is a really good book- you can make the Space Marine army of your dreams here.

"Now... how do we destroy the Space Marines..."?
There are some problems here though for those that will oppose the Space Marines. I have already seen articles online with people using loopholes with the allies rule ("So an Iron Hands librarian joins a Raven Guard unit and thereby they all gain everybody else's abilities..." ugh. Can a Khorne Lord join a Plague Marine unit and thus he gets a bump in toughness and they get Rage... come now. Let's be real). My other big concern is people who don't paint their models. It will be very difficult to tell which grey marine represents which chapter, and shenanigans will ensue. Even worse, I bet many players will not WANT to paint their Space Marines, so that would lock them in as "Ultramarines"... thus we may get armies that are painted generic black, and each game they will "represent" someone different- this game it's white scars, next game its black templars... Again, that's like saying my Plague Marines are going to be Thousand Sons... we Chaos players have NEVER really been keen to do that, for the most part. For Chaos traitors, we are awfully loyal to our legions.

Overall, I think the Space Marine Codex is phenomenal. While there is some opportunity for mischief (and modeling laziness), the book is a fantastic book. The highest praise I can give is that it makes me want to dust off my Ultramarines (which I haven't done in a long time). It won't be next week though, as I am scheduled to go up against a vast Black Templar force with my insane Khorne Bezerkers. After that, perhaps.

Now, what about the continued rumblings about the current Chaos Codex? If you have read this site before you know my views- this book is NOT broken. It has quite a few weaknesses, but it is viable, and I say this as both a Plague Marine player (easy and tough) and a Khorne player (much, much trickier, to the point where I have had people look at me incredulously- "A Bezerker army? Are you crazy?! That doesn't work anymore..."). The book does work. We Chaos lunatics always want more (and why shouldn't we, damn it!).

However, in light of the Codex Space Marine release, I can certainly see where people are coming from. I just read another post HERE that shows how the Chaos book could be tweaked using what was done in the SM book as a guide (no, he does not suggest taking "Raven Guard" and substituting Night Lords instead). He makes several valid arguments and suggestions, so check that out if you feel so inclined. Again, I think our book is viable, but I can't quite argue against these ideas either. Just something to ruminate on.

Well, that's my two cents. I'll try to put up a battle report from next week's game when it happens. I am also nearing completion on some Chaos Cultists and a few more surprises. I promise that it won't be a month till my next post.

Until next time...

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