Jump to content

Welcome to The Bolter and Chainsword
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

My Beef with 5th ed. Codex Space Marines


This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
408 replies to this topic

#1
FerociousBeast

FerociousBeast

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,251 posts
The 5th edition Codex Space Marines has had a massive impact on not only Ultramarine armies, but also those marine codexes that have followed it in the release cycle. And now, with GW's huge FAQ update, Mat Ward's codex has successfully changed the entire landscape of Imperial marine players in 5th edition. CSM is a very important codex. Unfortunately, it's also a very flawed codex, in my opinion. Below I've listed a number of things that were introduced in Codex Space Marines, 5th Edition, that I think were serious errors--many of which have affected the other marine codexes.

Rather than just ranting about what I dislike, however, I have proposed solutions for each of them that I hope GW will take into account for future editions. Unlikely, of course, but let a fella dream, okay? I also list some honorable mentions that might not necessarily qualify for things which must be changed, but that I think really should be reconsidered. So, without further ado, "Things That Should Be Changed":

Things That Should Be Changed

3+ Invulnerable Storm Shields
The old 4+-in-CC-only was admittedly underpowered, and I do believe something needed to be done to make the storm shield a more attractive option. Before 5th edition, TH/SS terminators were completely outclassed by LC terminators. However, 3++ all around was too much. It became such a good option that you will be hard put to find a Space Marine army that does not have at least one unit of TH/SS terminators. When a unit becomes so good that it's ubiquitous, that's bad for internal balance.

Solution: The storm shield should be 3++ in close combat only. This slight tweak was all it needed to become usable and an attractive alternative to the twin lightning claws.

6+ Invulnerable Combat Shields
I suppose this is a change that was instituted to keep combat shields in line with the changes to the storm shield. If storm shields grant a straight invulnerable save, then so should combat shields, I imagine the line of reasoning went. Unfortunately, though, I suppose it seemed a bit much to someone to make the combat shield grant a 5+ invulnerable or--since the storm shield's save had just improved by one--a 4+ invulnerable, so instead they downgraded it to a mere 6+ invulnerable. The converse of what happened with the storm shield happened next: whereas the SS had just become so good as to be a no-brainer, now the combat shield was nerfed into uselessness. There are far better things one can spend 5 points on than a 6++. The combat shield is usually considered for a model that costs either 20 or 25 points. To increase that model's cost by 20% or 25% for the chance to save 17% of armor-negating wounds just does not add up. Especially when you consider that the same effect can far more easily be gained by using simple wound allocation techniques.

Solution: The combat shield should go back to being 5++ in close combat only. Spending 5 points and increasing a model's cost by 20% or 25% suddenly makes a lot more sense when doing so will keep that model alive 33% of the time against armor-negating attacks in close combat. It's not a no-brainer since the item has no utility outside combat, but within combat the item would be well worth its investment.

12-Cap Drop Pods and Land Raiders
There's little that needs to be said concerning this one. All the other drop pods and basic Land Raiders have transport caps of 10, so the same should be true in Codex Space Marines.

Solution: Make 'em 10.

Chapter Tactics
Like the storm shield, this change was an attempt to address a problem with the previous edition's codex that, in my opinion, backfired. The concept of having a package of rules that replaced the general Combat Tactics rule is, in my opinion, a solid one. It has the undesired effect of doing away with all the flexibility and chapter-creation options that we enjoyed in the old 4th edition codex, but those old rules were undeniably abused. So I've nothing against the idea of specific Chapter Tactics replacing the general Combat Tactics rule. My problem is with the delivery mechanism: special characters.

With the 5th edition codex, if you want to play a Salamanders-themed army, you have to take Vulkan He'stan. If you want to play Imperial Fists or Crimson Fists, you have to take either Lysander or Pedro Kantor. Etc. Tying Chapter Tactics to special characters was a huge mistake, in my opinion. It fosters cookie-cutter army building and makes playing a specific army far less satisfying if you were only using a character that you had dreamed up and built yourself.

Solution: Instead of tying Chapter Tactics to special characters, introduce instead the ability for an army to buy the Chapter Tactic it wants independent of special characters. If this mechanism must be tied to one of the HQ units, make it available to BOTH the Captain and the Chapter Master, but I don't think it needs or should be unlocked only by an HQ unit.

Chapter Tactics -- Salamanders
Take Vulkan and all your meltas, flamers, and hammers are master-crafted. This isn't such a big deal if you have three or four Tactical Squads toting meltaguns. However, trick your list out to cram in as many TH/SS terminators, multi-melta attack bikes or Land Speeders, and Tac Squads with meltagun/multimelta/combi-melta as you can, and suddenly you've just found yourself with the most cost-efficient upgrade in the game. Vulkan is so good that he's one of those units that you have to talk yourself out of taking--and thus is bad for internal balance and creative army building.

Solution: Personally, I'd scrap the current Chapter Tactic and start over from scratch, but if you really want your master-crafted guns and hammers, I'd change the rule to say that each melta weapon, flame weapon, or thunder hammer in the army can be upgraded to master-crafted for the cost of +5 points per item.

Legion of the Damned
Where to start? Each model is too expensive by 5 points; the wargear costs are incomprehensible; they're Slow and Purposeful (!!!); they don't have power armor, so they are completely destroyed by that handful of weapons that ignore invulnerable saves; since you can't afford their wargear upgrades and they're too slow to get into close combat, you're basically paying 30 points for a bolter; heavy flamer for 30 points!!!

Solution: Since these guys are so awful, there are tons of ways they could be improved. But first and foremost, their wargear costs need to be brought back in line. I realize they're probably bumping those costs so high because of Slow and Purposeful, but--despite being a very poor rationale--that still doesn't explain the flamer and meltagun which cost 20 points and the heavy flamer which costs 30, all of which are assault weapons. They also need power armor in addition to their invulnerable save. So I'd fix the wargear first. Then either make their bolters AP2 or 3 or give them Relentless instead of SaP or drop their price by 5 points a model or something else. They need a lot of help...

Marneus Calgar's God of War
This rule breaks the rules too much. It completely removes morale from being a factor for an entire army. GW has long had a hard time making morale meaningful in 40k with all the fearless and ATSKNF armies running around. With God of War, though, they took this problem to a whole other level. I can accept a similar rule that affects only individual models like the Inquisitor Lord, but to have this one rule erase the morale section from the rulebook for an entire army is too much.

Solution: Make God of War affect only Calgar and the unit he is with. Or, preferably, get rid of it altogether.

Power Weapons and Lightning Claws
Currently these two items are usually the same price. If you discount the possibility of gaining +1 attack with a pistol, for the exact same price you can get either a power weapon that re-rolls wounds, or a power weapon. Period. So if you are taking a gun of some sort in the other hand (storm bolter, combi-weapon, etc), there is absolutely zero rational reason to take a power weapon. This is the definition of internal imbalance.

The other problem with the current pricing of the lightning claw is the price of the second claw. It is too expensive for the benefit it brings. 15 points for +1 attack is simply not worth the expense. By far the superior combination is some sort of ranged weapon--like the cheap and effective storm bolter--and a single lightning claw. Rationally, there's really not much reason to do anything else.

Solution: The power weapon should cost 15 points and the single lightning claw should cost 20 points. A second lightning claw should cost 10 points.

Honorable Mentions
All of the issues above are joined together through incoherency. They either don't make any sense or they don't make sense in the context of the larger metagame. The issues here, in the Honorable Mention section, are, in my opinion, not quite so incoherent but should still be seriously reconsidered.

Chaplain Cassius: T6? Really?
Actually, this one goes for Mephiston and some of the models in non-MEQ codexes released lately as well. Stat creep. In my opinion, it's an ugly thing. It was inaugurated in a big way with Cassius jumping to T6, and GW has gone nuts with it since. Mephiston and Sanguinor are ridiculous, and don't get me started on some of the special characters in Codex Dark Eldar. The race to a stat line of 10s is alive and well, after its much-needed beauty sleep since the exit of 2nd edition. As for Cassius specifically, are we really asked to believe that he is just as hard to kill as a Greater Daemon? Nonsense. But hey, GW must think it gives the players their yuks, and they might be right.

Viva ROFLCOPTER 40,000! "In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only war. LOL!®"

Eternal Warrior
Let's step back a moment and recall the origin of the Eternal Warrior rule. The Phoenix Lords, who have lived for 10,000 years and cannot properly be said to possess bodies at all anymore. Then the rule was given to Abaddon, who possessed the gifts of all the Chaos Gods. Then the rule was granted to daemons of the warp who, even more than the Phoenix Lords, do not possess bodies in a permanent sense. Then 5th edition came around and Eternal Warrior started getting passed out to regular old mortal warriors, starting with Marneus "Two-Fists" Calgar and Captain "I Survived a Chaos Prison Camp and Got the T-Shirt" Lysander--both very much physical beings with mortal bodies. A precedent was set with Codex Space Marines, and GW hasn't looked back, a la Feel No Pain (remember when that was the special rule of the Death Company?).

Vanguard Veterans in Fast Attack
Prior to Vanguard Veterans, veterans had always been in Elites, for good reason. They were elite marines. Putting them in Fast Attack seems to me to be a business decision, 100%: "We are releasing the Ironclad dread, the new Venerable dread, Sternguards, and Vanguards, and we want people to buy them all. We also want them to continue buying Terminators, especially after we just boosted their TH/SS variety--which no-one has ever fielded before and will thus have to buy anew. So, let's put Vanguards in Fast Attack. They've got jet packs right?"

Sure, they have jump packs--or rather CAN HAVE. They start out foot sloggers--no faster than a Tac Squad. It makes no sense to have them in Fast Attack, and, in fact, it hurts the army list since it becomes harder to include regular Assault Marines. Eh, typing all this out, I'm tempted to boost it from Honorable Mention into a Thing That Should Be Changed, but I'll leave it here for now.



So, if you've gotten this far, I applaud you! And I thank you for listening to my thoughts. Comments and criticism very much appreciated, as are suggestions of your own for must-fix items in any of the current crop of Space Marine codexes.
Dark Angel Codex Project:
Project Redemption/Project Unforgiven: The Bolter & Chainsword Dark Angel Forum's effort towards updating the Unforgiven

FB's Greatest Hits:
My Beef with Codex Space Marines: Constructive criticism and proposed solutions
Fear and the Fearless: Just what do the Dark Angels and their primarch fear?
The Role of Terminator Squads in Codex: Space Marines: An analysis

#2
Lexington

Lexington

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,802 posts
...damn.

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Every single point you make is valid and well-supported, and your solutions are eminently sensible. Gold star for you, sir.
gallery_23421_8142_1088.png

#3
Vodunius

Vodunius

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 3,948 posts
I agree combat shields should be 5++ but I think the Blood Angel dex went the right way by simply upping the point cost for Storm Shields - I DON'T want either to go back to being Close Combat only however, historically shields were used as much for cover from missiles as they were for HtH combat and frankly I love the mental image of hammernators chargings down a street with plasma blasts and krak missiles glancing off storm shields just as much as I love the mental image of vikings charging down a street with arrows thunking into their shields.

Edited by Vodunius, 17 January 2011 - 09:09 PM.

i hate to break it to you chaps, but according to the English Language a Chevron is a V shape, if your 'Chevrons' are not V shaped then they are just hazard stripes NOT Chevrons

Horus killed Sanguinius so hard that his entire chapter feels it forever..

#4
greatcrusade08

greatcrusade08

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 11,508 posts
actually i have to make a few negative points about this thread..
frist and foremost

The 5th edition Codex Space Marines has had a massive impact on not only Ultramarine armies, but also those marine codexes that have followed it in the release cycle.

why is it always about ultramarines, the C:SM 5th ed covers 950 odd SM chapters and people always bring it back to ultramarines.. always confuses me.
you should just refer to them as vanilla marines or codex marines

Make God of War affect only Calgar and the unit he is with. Or, preferably, get rid of it altogether.

So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop.. imperial fists can keep thier armywide stubborness, raven guard can keep thier fleet, but ultramarines special ability should be scrapped?
doesnt sound right to me.

Chaplain Cassius: T6? Really?

whilst i agree that T6 is too much, especially considering Calgar has the same degree of bionics, he is supposed to be a hardcore chaplain, and yet he has only 2A and 2W and I4, BA have access to a much better generic chaplain toughness not withstanding.

other than this i agree with all points and it is very well written

#5
Space_Moron

Space_Moron

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 138 posts
My only beef is that purchasing a 5-man tactical squad (not a 10-man squad split in two) is useless since they can't carry missile launchers, flamers or anything else except bolters. This also limits the appeal of owning a Razorback tank.
The best gun in the galaxy won't help if your opponent is bashing your brains out with a rock!

#6
greatcrusade08

greatcrusade08

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 11,508 posts

My only beef is that purchasing a 5-man tactical squad (not a 10-man squad split in two) is useless since they can't carry missile launchers, flamers or anything else except bolters. This also limits the appeal of owning a Razorback tank.



i suppose the flipside argument is that for less than the cost of another 5 man squad you can upgrade to ten men and get a free heavy and flamer

#7
calgar101

calgar101

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,198 posts
3++ for Storm shields is pretty good I think, makes TH?SS much more viable and survivable as there are a lot of things that would bring a world of hurt on them otherwise, *cough Leman Russ Executioner cough*.


#8
raven guard 1369

raven guard 1369

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 122 posts
Agree on all points and I would like to suggest vanguard be moved to must be changed. Specifically points. For 2 points more than an assault marine you gain an attack but lose your jump pack? An assault squad can drop jump packs and take a rhino for free but vets have to pay? As the only seriously customizable squad in our codex make them a more viable choice. And to combat overuse make them elites so they have to fight for their place in your army. Not my best suggestions but I'm at work posting from my phone

#9
Brother_Ovis

Brother_Ovis

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 236 posts
The drop pod issue - my friend working for GW told me that they consider it a mistake they fully realised only after releasing C:SM. In Space Wolves Codex drop pods can carry only 10 models. As drop pod model has clearly 10 seats, some SW players explain it as Space Wolves being too proud to sit in their comrades' laps :)

#10
Spacefrisian

Spacefrisian

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 7,141 posts
Nice write up, btw whats youre oppinion on:

2 ranged weapons on Dreadmought (Mortiis pattern without the name)

Sternguard: all ammo options.
There are no Deamons in 40k

#11
Kazehana

Kazehana

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 67 posts

why is it always about ultramarines, the C:SM 5th ed covers 950 odd SM chapters and people always bring it back to ultramarines.. always confuses me.
you should just refer to them as vanilla marines or codex marines


Are you trying to imply that half of the Codex is not Ultramarines?

Are the first half of the Chapter-oriented fluff pages not dedicated to the Ultramarines?
Are more than half of the imagery, cover included, not Ultramarine?
Don't we get not one, but two images of a full Ultramarine Battle Company?
Do we not get the line "But the Ultramarines, while the most prominent and well-known, are not the only steadfast defenders of humanity"?
Are 6 of the 11 Special Characters not Ultramarine?

The Codex is, primarily, an Ultramarine Codex. It continues to go back to them because of all of the Ultramarine love in it. Hell, the Ultras get how many pages detailing their makeup and mindset, while the other chapters get a... Paragraph!

So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop.. imperial fists can keep thier armywide stubborness, raven guard can keep thier fleet, but ultramarines special ability should be scrapped?
doesnt sound right to me.


Tactical genius should not be in the army, it should be in the player.

The original rules are meant to be the Ultramarine rules; they're 'Vanilla'. There's no "Tactical genius" when you follow the Guidebook to War written by Roboute Guilliman circa 10K years ago. And there should be no rules that tries to autoplay for the player.

whilst i agree that T6 is too much, especially considering Calgar has the same degree of bionics, he is supposed to be a hardcore chaplain, and yet he has only 2A and 2W and I4, BA have access to a much better generic chaplain toughness not withstanding.


So because the BA, released years later, have a Chaplain that's arguably equal to Cassius, that's a good reason to have made Cassius T6? It doesn't work like that; the BA Chaplain was suped up because of Cassius, not the other way around.

--

That said, I do have something to add;

Veterans
So, after decades of fighting countless foes on hundreds of planets in thousands of engagements, all across the Galaxy, a Marine finally enters the fold of the Veteran Company.
For all of his great deeds; his exceptional marksmanship, his amazing skill in close combat, his disregard for his own safety and ability to survive horrendous injury, he... Is given a higher point cost and extra attack and the option to take expensive upgrades?

Why are my Vanguard not WS 5? The guys are unjustly expensive, and their jump packs are equally ridiculous! Think of this; an Assault Marine with a Jump Pack is 12 points less than a Vanguard Veteran with a Jump Pack. He is exactly equal to the Veteran, except for one thing; the Veteran has 1 more attack. A single attack is not worth that much. Now, an extra attack on top of a slightly higher WS? That's worth it. The man's been fighting all his life, for hundreds of years - why is the nobody recruit that just put on his Power Armour for the first time and isn't even allowed to look at a Chainsword as good at close combat as this hardened veteran?

If my HQs are WS6, I don't see why my Veterans can't be WS5.

The Sternguard are in a similar boat, though not so much; BS5 makes them hideously broken, making them hit on 2+ rather than 3+. While it makes no sense why the Assault Marine shoots as well as the hardened Sternguard Veteran, a sense of balance must be upheld, and I would rather not have BS5 Marines with 30" AP3 Bolters blazing everything in their path.

Edited by Kazehana, 17 January 2011 - 10:28 PM.


#12
Brother Valerius

Brother Valerius

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,018 posts

12-Cap Drop Pods and Land Raiders
There's little that needs to be said concerning this one. All the other drop pods and basic Land Raiders have transport caps of 10, so the same should be true in Codex Space Marines.

Solution: Make 'em 10.


What? No. Everyone else should get buffed up to 12, rather than kill a perfectly good thing.

Technically I'm OK with 11 as well, but a transport should be able to carry a squad and an IC leader, IMO. Since we have 10-man squads max, that means at least 11.
QUOTE (The Emperor's Champion @ Jan 9 2011, 01:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
TEC means me. I have my own acronym.

QUOTE (.Torch. @ Jan 23 2011, 03:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
SPECIAL RULES
The Emperor
When you place this model on the table you win. If you opponent does not let you place this model, SMITE HIM! If you fail, then you are not worthy of serving the Emperor.


#13
Eddie Orlock

Eddie Orlock

    ++ FRATERIS TEMPLAR ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 2,706 posts

The 5th edition Codex Space Marines has had a massive impact on not only Ultramarine armies, but also those marine codexes that have followed it in the release cycle. ... So, without further ado, "Things That Should Be Changed":
12-Cap Drop Pods and Land Raiders
There's little that needs to be said concerning this one. All the other drop pods and basic Land Raiders have transport caps of 10, so the same should be true in Codex Space Marines.
Solution: Make 'em 10.

Up to here I’d generally agreed with your assessments. Here, though, I disagree. I find when I play my marines I struggle with the disposition of my characters. What units can I append them to where they’ll form a useful force multiplier. Games Workshop has over the last few editions done a comprehensive job of pushing their interpretation of heroic space fantasy that ‘characters get stuck in’, they don’t lurk in the back field providing leadership of using heavy weapons. Especially not marine heroes, Masters of the Forge excepted. In the codex chapter, there is an emphasis placed on using the codex’s squad sizes, numbers that conveniently fill transports to capacity. People wouldn’t take Terminator Chaplains to lead their Assault Terminators if they couldn’t fit them in the delivery mechanism with them. In this regard the Crusader was revolutionary, it meant that we could mount a squad of Terminators with a character. I eventually resigned myself to taking an Assault squad in every game just to have somewhere to attach the mandatory HQ. That or a Bike Squadron. There were games where I resented even having to take a character for want of a way to deliver and protect that expensive asset. Previous Dark Angle codices solved this capacity problem by permitting a special, understrength four member Deathwing command squad just so the HQ could fit into the Land Raider available at the time. I don’t speak to the modelling of the Drop Pod, but it is a very useful fix on the Phobos, and that perhaps the solution lies in the other direction, upgrading everyone else to match.

Chapter Tactics
Like the storm shield, this change was an attempt to address a problem with the previous edition's codex that, in my opinion, backfired. ... My problem is with the delivery mechanism: special characters.

With the 5th edition codex, if you want to play a Salamanders-themed army, you have to take Vulkan He'stan. ...

This statement sits ill with me. Perhaps it could have been phrases ... if you want to play a Salamanders-themed army and feel compelled to have additional special rules, you have to play Vulkan ... For years Salamander players were quite happy to merely have interesting fluff and a snazzy paint scheme, and sadly it is only in our modern era where we have to contend with the idea that they marine playing population feels entitled to special rules because they picked a paint scheme variant. The fix here lies in changing the ideas at large to one where people understand that they were privileged to have rules once, but are quite alright without.

I would harken back to a Standard Bearer that Jervis wrote once in which he discussed some of the differences between how the games designers saw the system and what they now think the playing public wants. In his writings Jervis mentioned that the designers loved to create new rules. As games designers, nothing gave greater pleasure than crafting a new rule, implementing it, and seeing that if was good. Sadly, it seems that the market research showed that the model buying public are more interested in continuing and ongoing support for their existing collections, and that any additional material will unfortunately carry the hangover of the expectation of further support. Eventually this precipitated a change in how the R&D department was run in the company. No longer could they freely pursue their pet projects. No, now they must tread the same ground over and over. Jervis lamented that this gets dull. I recent years we have seen a significant turnover in games design staff with senior personal voluntarily leaving. Coincidence, maybe not. Now we have hopeful hacks like Ward and Cruddace who might have grown to become the paragons in the form of our idealised opinions of Chambers and Priestly, but, bereft of their guidance will distort our gaming universe in unpleasant ways while they learn and toady to the shareholders.

It is the refusal to accept the ephemeral nature of some rules sets that alienated many of our favourite luminaries and that the correct course is to embrace the transience and not insist of retracing the same ground.

Solution: Instead of tying Chapter Tactics to special characters, introduce instead the ability for an army to buy the Chapter Tactic it wants independent of special characters. If this mechanism must be tied to one of the HQ units, make it available to BOTH the Captain and the Chapter Master, but I don't think it needs or should be unlocked only by an HQ unit.

Failing the ideals above, this may be the germ of something acceptable, but would likely still be the subject of abuse.

Chapter Tactics -- Salamanders
Take Vulkan and all your meltas, flamers, and hammers are master-crafted. ... Vulkan is so good that he's one of those units that you have to talk yourself out of taking--and thus is bad for internal balance and creative army building.

Solution: Personally, I'd scrap the current Chapter Tactic and start over from scratch, but if you really want your master-crafted guns and hammers, I'd change the rule to say that each melta weapon, flame weapon, or thunder hammer in the army can be upgraded to master-crafted for the cost of +5 points per item.

I strongly endorse your first suggestion over your second. Vulkan and his rule should go the way of the Red Terror.

In a great many respects this is broadly similar to many of your other claims which tend to have to do not so much with inherent flaws in the system but in failures to balance the costs

...
Eternal Warrior
Let's step back a moment and recall the origin of the Eternal Warrior rule. The Phoenix Lords, who have lived for 10,000 years and cannot properly be said to possess bodies at all anymore. Then the rule was given to Abaddon, who possessed the gifts of all the Chaos Gods. Then the rule was granted to daemons of the warp who, even more than the Phoenix Lords, do not possess bodies in a permanent sense. Then 5th edition came around and ...

You know, if you read the published designers notes for Third Edition, one of their stated goals was to reduce the proliferation of special rules. Complexity creep has been an issue as long as there’s been wargames. The game actually went through a bit of a dark age in late third/early fourth where different codices had different rules with the same name. The modern era has actually been a bit of an improvement in this regard. Rather than give ‘Two-Fists’ a new rule to represent his exceptional durability, they simply reused an existing tool. It’s a bit of a kludge, but arguable better than the alternative for the long run health of the system.

Actually, I think the real problem here isn’t ‘Eternal Warrior’, but the rule it was hacked in to combat, ‘Instant Death’. More so than save modifiers I think this change did great damage to the system. It creates an environment where a wound from a Tank Busting Lascannon has the same debilitating effect as a wound from a common place lasgun. Unless it instantly kills the target. Given how difficult it would be to retrofit a ‘damage’ stat on to all the weapons in the game, (a mass errata could solve this, but that’s another can of worms) perhaps the real answer is to in future editions remove both rules and replace them with a different mechanics to model the same concept. Maybe say that weapons deal wounds to targets equal the multiple of the strength of the weapon over the toughness of the target with a minimum of one. Krak missiles would deal two wounds to marines. Lascannons could deal three to guards men, but additional wounds would not spill over. Call it the ‘High Impact’ rule, for every multiple of the toughness the weapon is as strong as or stronger than, deal an additional wound. As the codices get updated, some weapons could get printed as automatically being ‘High Impact’ and dealing one of more additional wounds. We could then appropriately model the toughness of monstrous creatures by giving them appropriately monstrous wound totals.

...
So, if you've gotten this far, I applaud you! And I thank you for listening to my thoughts. Comments and criticism very much appreciated, as are suggestions of your own for must-fix items in any of the current crop of Space Marine codexes.

I think I launched into this with my interjections above. I think there are issues that are reflected in the Marine books but are far greater than the Marine books.
"Academic politics is the most vicious and bitter form of politics, because the stakes are so low."
- Wallace Sayre
 
The continued future of the Bolter and Chainsword is in your hands.

#14
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 8,010 posts

So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop.. imperial fists can keep thier armywide stubborness, raven guard can keep thier fleet, but ultramarines special ability should be scrapped?


Since the Ultramarines special ability evidently consists of "what other Marines have, only more awesome" - yes.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#15
Kazehana

Kazehana

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 67 posts
It should also be pointed out that the other Chapters exchange the Ultramarine ability for their own. It's not that the Ultramarines don't have a special one - it's that the army was ruled for THEM, and the rules must be changed for other Chapters.

And it isn't like Stubborn is superior to picking and choosing your moral checks, anyway.

#16
the jeske

the jeske

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 19,254 posts

What? No. Everyone else should get buffed up to 12, rather than kill a perfectly good thing.

so SW would be runing 11 man GH squads taking away all the bad sides of taking a WG and gaining everything [second power weapon/fist , third special in form of combi , higher Ld for counter attack to work better etc] and then they would add one of the 4 HQ they can take . so each squad would have one d6 rending 3 power weapon [one at either higher I or a force weapon] . Same would happen with BAs as they can have SP and chapies in elites .
Personaly I think GW lies . they Gave marines larger rhino very well knowing they will never get them to SW or BA or any other sm army .


So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop

the same chaos legion rules are shown . in the way they are painted.

"Felix wondered how Calgar might feel about the primach's unilateral altering of the Codex Astartes. The captain could not help but feel that, in his drive for victory and efficiency, Guilliman had been careless with the feelings of his existing sons. Increasingly, Guilliman looked to the Primaris Space Marines as his first solution. He made no attempt to hide the fact that the days of the older space marines were numbered."


#17
Aegnor

Aegnor

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,056 posts
Agree with Eddie Orlock re Instant Death and Eternal Warrior. I kept up an interest in the fluff, but stopped playing between 2nd and 5th edition, and the change to armour save modifiers and damage was the change i was most struck by. Eddie's formula idea sounds a tad complicated, until you realise it could be represented on a single table a la the "to wound" table in the core rulebook - simple change to errata or, more likely include in 6th ed., "Ignore all references to Instant Death or Eternal Warrior, when a wound is inflicted, check the "Damage" table. Done.

Also agree that T6 characters are horrible. Mephiston maybe should be the sole person in an MEQ army who can get T6, apart from maybe a Nurgle special character, although FNP would be better there. If they want to represent someone is harder to kill, give them an extra wound at the standard toughness.

Having suggested it be given out immediately above, I have to say the proliferation of FNP in recent release is seriously grinding my gears - such a broken rule when half an army has it.

Edited by Aegnor, 18 January 2011 - 08:42 AM.

Fbm7BxJ.jpg SWyTedd.jpg

WIP - Salamanders and other randomsIt's not more guns or tactics this army needs, it's Thunder Hammers, and lots of them!

#18
Candleshoes

Candleshoes

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 1,052 posts
Nice catch on the combat shields. That was always something that gets swept under the carpet, plus, shields on marines look great if modeled well.

#19
Captain Idaho

Captain Idaho

    ++ ARGENTARIUS IRACUNDUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,852 posts
To comment on what people have already stated, sorry if it seems argumentative, but...:

God of War - Calgar

So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop.. imperial fists can keep thier armywide stubborness, raven guard can keep thier fleet, but ultramarines special ability should be scrapped?


Since the Ultramarines special ability evidently consists of "what other Marines have, only more awesome" - yes.


But you could say the same about Imperial Fists. They are as brave as normal Space Marines, only more awesome (we all know that Stubborn is better than fearless).

Or Raven Guard; "they are as fast as other Marines, only faster".

In the comparison of the other Chapters, Calgar's GoW is not too killer, especially for his points costs. If it was bought for a Marine Captain then maybe it would be too powerful, but right now, no.

Drop Pod and Landraider transport capacity

Personaly I think GW lies . they Gave marines larger rhino very well knowing they will never get them to SW or BA or any other sm army .


Dude, Marines don't have larger Rhinos. It's only Drop Pods and Landraiders.

To be honest, whilst I imagine this will change to coincide with other power armoured Codex books, I doubt it is a balancing issue at all. Think about it, most Drop Pod units consist of Ironclads and Sternguard, or else Tactical Marines. The former 2 are not something that normally comes down in numbers (8 strong average for Sternguard) and Tactical Marines are hardly a killer unit even when accompanyed by an Independent Character.

So it is hardly unbalancing the game. Especially when you consider what other armies have.

Storm Shields

Only over powered because Assault Terminators get them for free. Simple fix is to make them pay 5 points for it like Blood Angels. Done.

Eternal Warrior

An issue? Are you kidding? Only 2 models in the list have it, and one is 200pts and the other 265pts! Hardly a balance issue!

The rule is there to represent a model's tenacity and hardcore refusal to die despite suffering the most horrific wounds. It works well enough when only on a few models in an army. If either of those 2 Characters didn't have the rule then no-one would take them without a 35+pts drop as they can be felled too easily by S8 hidden weapons otherwise. Power fists suck on Marine Characters without this rule.

Combat Shields

Yes they suck right now. They need at least a bump to 5+ invulnerable to be effective. Better than that they shouldn't grant an Invulnerable save at all, rather allow a model to re-roll failed armour saves (not invulnerable saves) and be an option for Independent Characters instead of Storm Shields. Though, of course, if this option was added to characters, they would need to be more expensive than the squad version.

Chapter Tactics

Completely agree that these need to be bought by a Captain or Master. Not only does this stop every player taking special characters, it also gives an incentive to take a Captain over a Librarian.

Sternguard and Vanguard

These guys need a slight change to make sense really. Vanguard need cheaper jump packs, as unlike Blood Angels they aren't as reliable when deep striking. Sternguard really should have +1 BS and -1 attack, but that creates a problem with Tactical Terminators so I don't really think needs to change too much right now.

Salamanders Chapter Tactics

I don't like this rule as I don't feel it really get's across their Articifer skills, but it does at least represent their skills at close ranged fire fights and warfare. I don't feel it is too unbalancing though, as a Salamanders army that has Thunder Hammer Terminators and Landraiders and nothing but Multi-Meltas and flamers will not only be stunted tactically but also expensive and thus out numbered.

Legion of the Damned

Not a bad unit, but do need to be cheaper. And AP3 or rending Bolters, as their fluff is they fire spectural bolters that cuts through even Chaos Chosen. Keep them the same cost and give them Rending Bolters and then they become useful again.

My own things I would like changed

I would like Tigurius to have 3 wounds and the Fortune power from Eldar Farseers. This would make him worth his points and also represent his powers of prescience.

Terminator Armour

Needs to grant independent characters and extra attack. Plain and simple, there is no point having the armour on a model with access to Artificer armour, and even Chaplains are better off with the extra attack than an increased armour save.

Tactical squad weapons

I get the way GW have tried to encourage Tactical Marines to have 10 men, but I don't like the way it was done. They should stay the same as now, but have the option to purchase a single special weapon for XXpts if numbered less than 10 models, that weapon cost being more expensive than at present.

Devastators

Yeah, it's kinda a given that these points costs will come down. Right now there is absolutely no point taking Devastators in your army what so ever.

Venerable Dreadnoughts

Nice choice, but just a tad too expensive. Instead of paying 60pts, a modest 35pts would have been fairer.

#20
Octavulg

Octavulg

    +LEXICANIUM+

  • + LEXICANIUM +
  • 8,010 posts

But you could say the same about Imperial Fists. They are as brave as normal Space Marines, only more awesome (we all know that Stubborn is better than fearless).

Or Raven Guard; "they are as fast as other Marines, only faster".


Except the IF and RG sacrifice something to get those abilities. They specialize.

In the comparison of the other Chapters, Calgar's GoW is not too killer, especially for his points costs. If it was bought for a Marine Captain then maybe it would be too powerful, but right now, no.


Bull. The ability to pass or fail leadership checks at will with no downsides is pretty damn useful. Especially when it comes with an AP2 storm bolter, Terminator Armor, double power fists, etc.

Proud author of the Ice Lords, the Bronze Prophets, the Stone Hearts, the Steel Dogs and the The Marines Tenebric.

The Octaguide - Your very long guide to very long IAs

Help me update the Big Liber Timeline!

"Wake up. Pray. Train. Pray. Drop screaming through the atmosphere from low orbit into a raging battlefield, and take the fight to enemies that may outnumber us by as little as three to one. Do battle with the most horrific enemies of mankind imaginable and charge into lines of weapons that could shred a tank into ribbons. Afterward, lunch, time permitting." - Marshal Arturas, 15/05/08


#21
Captain Idaho

Captain Idaho

    ++ ARGENTARIUS IRACUNDUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,852 posts

But you could say the same about Imperial Fists. They are as brave as normal Space Marines, only more awesome (we all know that Stubborn is better than fearless).

Or Raven Guard; "they are as fast as other Marines, only faster".


Except the IF and RG sacrifice something to get those abilities. They specialize.

In the comparison of the other Chapters, Calgar's GoW is not too killer, especially for his points costs. If it was bought for a Marine Captain then maybe it would be too powerful, but right now, no.


Bull. The ability to pass or fail leadership checks at will with no downsides is pretty damn useful. Especially when it comes with an AP2 storm bolter, Terminator Armor, double power fists, etc.


It's not bull at all. The model costs more than a Landraider and ideally requires a Landraider to be useful in an army (i.e. earn his points). Add in an escort (as he will die alone) and you have half your points spent on 6 or so models.

So like I said, I would agree with you if Captains bought it but on a Special Character worth more than than any other model in the army, and most units in other armies, no it is not over powered.

***Edit*** I would gladly drop that rule if Ultramarines got a trait that reflected their skills in planning (both strategic and logistical). As an example, allowing a single reserve each turn after the 1st to automatically pass or fail a reserve roll.

Edited by Captain Idaho, 18 January 2011 - 09:09 AM.


#22
Aegnor

Aegnor

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 2,056 posts
But the normal 'Combat Tactics' IS the 'special rule' for Ultramarines. The fact that the other 995 chapters currently have it reflects the degree to which the Ultramarines accomplishments has been influential and emulated by the other marines.

Part of the problem, IMO, is that the chapter tactics, and indeed the SW and BA codices, are too much of a buff rather than a variance. Salamanders and Raven Guard aren't meant to be better, just different. But there's not enough of a downside for any of the chapter tactics - you get extra stuff, but what you give up doesn't balance it.

Take Vulkan's rule. I agree it's a bit op'd when an army is selected to complement it. I think the suggestion that a small premium per melta weapon or TH (+2 for meltas, +5 for m/meltas or TH) should be added, but more significantly, there should be some real force restrictions - the idea is to reflect the army's character via rules, yes? In the Sallies case, if you take Vulkan, you shouldn't be able to take land speeders or any models with jump packs, as the Sallies don't use them. There's a con to go with the pro you're gaining.

Edited by Aegnor, 18 January 2011 - 09:28 AM.

Fbm7BxJ.jpg SWyTedd.jpg

WIP - Salamanders and other randomsIt's not more guns or tactics this army needs, it's Thunder Hammers, and lots of them!

#23
Chapter Master Ignis Domus

Chapter Master Ignis Domus

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 4,766 posts
Salamanders use jump packs, bikes, and speeders, just not as much compared to the number of devastator and tactical squads they have.
gallery_21629_1792_12867.gif

gallery_26_4045_1095.gif

Chapter Master Domus's Great Company- Pics and fluff for every model

QUOTE (shortysl @ Jul 2 2012, 03:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It makes sense to me that if the Tactical Marine intercepts the bullet with his face then the Captain really shouldn't lose his Iron Halo. Not unless Captain and Battle Brother were hugging at the time, in which case it's: bullet shorts out shield and then kills Marine. Captain looks on shocked as Marine slides down his body, then sinks to his knees shouting "nooooooooooo" with his hands in the air.

On vacation.

#24
Captain Idaho

Captain Idaho

    ++ ARGENTARIUS IRACUNDUS ++

  • ++ MODERATI ++
  • 13,852 posts

But the normal 'Combat Tactics' IS the 'special rule' for Ultramarines. The fact that the other 995 chapters currently have it reflects the degree to which the Ultramarines accomplishments has been influential and emulated by the other marines.


But that has no bearing on whether it is approriate for Calgar to have his souped up version of the rule. Like I said, it's hardly over powered for a model that is 265pts, requires an escort to protect your investment and a 250pts transport to utilise that investment.

Combat Tactics is a perfect representation of an element of the Ultramarines character, but only someone who doesn't really have any in depth knowledge about them would think it is a defining characteristic. Following the Codex doesn't affect a Marines personality or ability in logistical and strategic planning. There is no reason why Ultramarines can't have an alternative rule to represent it, or a special character that can.

In the example I made, I prefer Calgar to keep the normal Combat Tactics instead of God of War, and replace GoW with something that actually shows his planning and tactical skills. Even the Swarmlord is a better commander (check his rules if you don't believe me!)

Edited by Captain Idaho, 18 January 2011 - 11:55 AM.


#25
greatcrusade08

greatcrusade08

    +FRATER DOMUS+

  • + FRATER DOMUS +
  • 11,508 posts
Theres no surprise that octavulg is ultramarine bashing again.. the attitude that ultramarine shsould have thier bonuses removed whilst every other chapter doesnt is asinine and to be frank unfair to the ultramarines... i guess i should expect no better from a blatant ultra basher..

why is it always about ultramarines, the C:SM 5th ed covers 950 odd SM chapters and people always bring it back to ultramarines.. always confuses me.
you should just refer to them as vanilla marines or codex marines


Are you trying to imply that half of the Codex is not Ultramarines?

Are the first half of the Chapter-oriented fluff pages not dedicated to the Ultramarines?
Are more than half of the imagery, cover included, not Ultramarine?
Don't we get not one, but two images of a full Ultramarine Battle Company?
Do we not get the line "But the Ultramarines, while the most prominent and well-known, are not the only steadfast defenders of humanity"?
Are 6 of the 11 Special Characters not Ultramarine?

The Codex is, primarily, an Ultramarine Codex. It continues to go back to them because of all of the Ultramarine love in it. Hell, the Ultras get how many pages detailing their makeup and mindset, while the other chapters get a... Paragraph!


Dude look up the term exemplar in the dictionary... steven gerard is an example of an england football player (soccer to our US brothers) but hes not the england team..
most of the ultramarines information is solely there to show how a codex chapter works, substitute the colour and names and youve got any one of 950 chapters.. i suggest you go back and look at previous codexes, this one has a smaller percentage of any dex since the codex ultramarines.
Hell it quite clearly says codex space marines on the front, so stop with the nonsensical arguments, its been done to death seriously.

So how would you show the ultramarines tactical genious on the tabletop.. imperial fists can keep thier armywide stubborness, raven guard can keep thier fleet, but ultramarines special ability should be scrapped?
doesnt sound right to me.


Tactical genius should not be in the army, it should be in the player.


Thats a cop out argument if ive ever heard one, again your saying that its ok for other chapters to have special rules/abilities but ultramarines cant, it should be the player thats tactically better... pure poppycock.
its a fluff vs rules argument, if ravenguard can have fleet or If have stubborn Ultramarines need something to reprisent thier greater grasp on logistics/tactics... simples

The original rules are meant to be the Ultramarine rules; they're 'Vanilla'. There's no "Tactical genius" when you follow the Guidebook to War written by Roboute Guilliman circa 10K years ago. And there should be no rules that tries to autoplay for the player.

No tactical genious when you follow a rulebook.. how about when your the master of that rulebook?
how is god of war autoplay? you still need to win the game, removing morale (although there are many things it doesnt cover) is a good bonus but its not a game winner by itself.. stubbrn is equally as good meaning combat res has little effect... should we moan about that.. of course not they arent painted blue with a big inverted omega on thier shoulders.
seriously if this wasnt about ultramarines we wouldnt be arguing this at all.

whilst i agree that T6 is too much, especially considering Calgar has the same degree of bionics, he is supposed to be a hardcore chaplain, and yet he has only 2A and 2W and I4, BA have access to a much better generic chaplain toughness not withstanding.


So because the BA, released years later, have a Chaplain that's arguably equal to Cassius, that's a good reason to have made Cassius T6? It doesn't work like that; the BA Chaplain was suped up because of Cassius, not the other way around.

BA is the same edition as C:SM, rgardless of the time between releases, im not going into how BA is 'better' than C:SM there are other threads for that.. but the BA chappys werent created becuase of Cassius thats a load of bull, unsubstantiated and presumptious nonsense.. BA are known for thier chaplains, its thier version of the master of sanctity.
my point is if you remove the T6 from cassius he becomes no better than even a basic chaplain let alone the souped up BA HQ version... cassius should eb one of the hardest chappies around, not nerfed to be rubbish.