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Thoughts on faction-locked non-character units?


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#1
TheNewman

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I thought this might be an interesting topic, I'm very much of two minds on the issue.

On the one hand I see no sensible reason that Librarian Dreadnoughts and Baal Predators should be Blood Angels only, or that a Dread with a big axe and shield and cavalry Marines should be Space Wolves only, or that an Apothecary on a bike and Lieutenant on a Land Speeder should be Dark Angels only. I'd take any of those things in my White Scars successor chapter, GW sells more kits and more books that way since it would make it easier to faction-hop under the "Codex and Suppliments" model.

On the other I really don't like feeling pressured to switch factions for competitive play, and the more faction-specific things there are the less it matters what the new hotness is and the less reason there is to buy any supplement beyond the one you actually play. Jumping from WS to DA means buying several key faction-locked units to open their full potential, and going the other way means shelving quite a few units.

Thoughts?

Edited by TheNewman, 22 September 2021 - 05:34 PM.

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#2
Mmmmm Napalm

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I think that loadout options shouldn't be locked to a specific chapter, e.g. plasma pistol + power sword Lt's for DA. Same goes for fairly "basic" concepts like apothecaries on bikes-- that's too vanilla to be an idea exclusive to ravenwing.

Something like Thunderwolf calvary, though? That's very, very space wolves (for better or for worse...) and I'm fine with it being exclusive to them (in fact, I prefer that it never be an option for me). Baal predators are just predators with different guns; if the templars shared the LRC with everyone, then the Blood Angels should share this thing.

Essentially, I think that for a unit to be justifiably made exclusive to a specific chapter it should have a strong lore element (like BT crusader squads and their unique chapter organization) and be just dripping in chapter flavor, like sanguinary guard.

Edited by Mmmmm Napalm, 22 September 2021 - 05:41 PM.

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#3
TheNewman

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Re: Thunderwolfs; swap big wolves for big horses and tell me that doesn't scream White Scars. Not saying that I want such a unit, because I very much do not, but 'marine cav' doesn't need to be inherently a SW thing.

Otherwise I pretty much agree, although the line can be a bit thin. How "dripping with faction character" is the basic idea of a Librarian Dreadnought?

Edited by TheNewman, 22 September 2021 - 06:53 PM.

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#4
Bryan Blaire

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Sounds to me like there should be less making the ‘unique’ things available to all Chapters, and more making unique things for all Chapters.

 

The White Scars shouldn’t get things from the UM, BA, DA, BT, or SW, but should have their own unique lore tied special elements, same for the Imperial Fists, Salamanders, Raven Guard, and Iron Hands.

 

Then, with the Successor rules, you could choose any of the supplements that have a theme you want to cross-pollinate from into any gene line you want - want an alternate Wolf cav, but for a Salamanders Successor with big drakelings?  Should be doable.  Want a special jump pack combat squad for Iron Hands?  Make an IH successor with rules you like and use the BA book.  Want a heavy equipment force and a souped up Master of Machines squad (made up for example) to represent a Wolf successor using these elements - make it with the Iron Hands supplement, but as a Wolf successor.


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#5
Jorin Helm-splitter

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I think fraction locking non-character units is always going to be a complex issue. Before there were trade offs, for example my wolves couldn't take stormtalons, centurions, thunderfire cannons, sternguard, ironclads, grav in general, and apothecaries* in addition to the units we replacements for. So that made having the unique entries feel more fair. It also made the armies look different which I appreciated.

 

Personally I'd to see some of the units that are fraction locked reimagined for the base line. So for example a librarian dread that doesn't have the same options as the blood angel version, heck you could give the same kit a sword & shield so that other chapters have a wulfen style dread. An elite bike unit for the other chapters would also be nice (for cav). Then just not let the chapters with the kits that the new entries are based off take them.

 

I can understand feeling like the unique units encourage you to switch fractions to be more competitive but I think that's more of a powercreep discussion.   

 

 

 

*Our Wolf Priests had apothecary like abilities but it wasn't really a replacement they were basically chaplains with an extra ability. I actually really like how they're handling it now.

 


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#6
phandaal

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As a totally unbiased Dark Angels player, agree with Bryan Blaire. There should be more of a focus on what makes sense for the chapter rather than homogenizing units across chapters.

 

I.e. Ravenwing Apothecary - it makes sense for Dark Angels because the 2nd company is Ravenwing. Presumably, that company has apothecaries, and those apothecaries ride on a bike like the rest of the company (although it does make one wonder why they don't have any librarians in the Ravenwing).

 

For White Scars, it would probably make sense for them to have an apothecary on a bike as well, considering they are the premiere bike chapter.

 

You've also got to look at the trade-offs for certain chapters. Again using Dark Angels as an example - can't use Vanguard Veterans (and thus we lose out on a great mobile shock assault unit) because all 1st company veterans are Deathwing. Makes sense from a lore perspective. Veterans with an eye for speed end up as Ravenwing Black Knights, not jump pack troops.

 

And so on.


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#7
TheNewman

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...wait, DA can't take VVs? Where might I find the rules forbidding it?

#8
Jorin Helm-splitter

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Its in the vanilla marine book pg. 124. They also can't take sternguard.


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#9
TheNewman

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...well isn't that just a peach.
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#10
Bryan Blaire

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And ideally, there should be just as much of a lore reason to lock a unit out for a Chapter as there is for a unit to be included.

 

In the past, I’ve advocated more for a “war style” supplement system, as opposed to a Chapter based one, and to some extent I feel like we’re maybe part of the way there with Supplements being able to be taken with the Successor rules allowing you more choice if you aren’t using the main Chapter for a Supplement, but it’s not quite the same in that you still don’t have access to the usual Relics for a specific Chapter you are playing (i.e. you have to use a selection from the DA relics if you wanted a Chapter specific relic for a White Scars Successor, but were using Codex Supplement: DA) - however, you may still find something that you can make work and rename/reskin and lore up for yourself.


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#11
WrathOfTheLion

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I think it makes sense for certain units to not be available. Yes, I could see some of these things being useful. But the reason that the DA chapter, and its successors, have a terminator apothecary/lieutenant/etc. is to fill out the 1st company fighting force which operates independently as a SM company, of which the 1st company of a standard SM chapter explicitly does not. This company is organized as a full terminator/bladeguard force, and thus also then justifies the exclusion of vanguard and sternguard veterans, which do not exist in the Unforgiven chapter structure.

 

Same with the bike/landspeeder characters there, other chapters specifically do not organize themselves with a full bike/landspeeder company in the 41st millennium, operating independently, they comply with the standard Codex Astartes organizational structure.

Now, you could do a custom chapter unrelated that does something like this, but that sounds more suitable for some narrative or open play.

 

Similarly, only chapters with the geneseed of Sanguinius have members fall victim to the red thirst and black rage, and so all Death Company units only have a purpose there. I fail to see any way to justify those being open to chapters of any other lineage.

 

So as others have said, there's nothing stopping the WS or IH for instance from having their own ways of warfare, but most of these custom units do have a reason why they exist.


Edited by WrathOfTheLion, 22 September 2021 - 08:09 PM.


#12
Schlitzaf

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Piece of trivia, previously if you counted the units that non vanilla chapter DIDN’T have and the number of unique units a chapter did have. It was the same number
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#13
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An iconic chapter exclusive kit is not only for selling to existed players of that chapter; it is also a good tool to help the chapter sales and introducing new players. There are 0 or very few player join Space wolves because of "hounds of morkai", but there were many players joined SW because of TWC. We will see how the BT brethren kit do on market soon.

WS won't receive their 9th book in 1 year, so now it is not their turn. When their turn comes, you may see an exclusive primaris elite-er bike unit, in very Mongolian cavalry style.

#14
Tyberos the Red Wake

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You're approaching the situation from the wrong angle. As a Space Marine player, you see that Blood Angels and Dark Angels and White Scars are similar and they all wear power armor and share many models, so why shouldn't you get to easily take BA/DA exclusive units to be competitive?

 

However, you should treat these different chapters like what they really are: completely separate Imperium factions. You wouldn't complain about your competitive Ork army not being able to take Heldrakes or Hive Tyrants, so as a non-Dark Angels player, you should not be complaining about not being able to take Deathwing, etc.

 

The fact that the models and armies are so similar and so close yet so far is gravy, it's something that should be cherished and appreciated for its convenience and compatibility, not as a reason to become spoiled or complacent and to be used as a scapegoat as to why your Space Marine faction should get all the shiny toys available to other Space Marine factions as well.


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#15
Beta galactosidase

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On the other I really don't like feeling pressured to switch factions for competitive play, and the more faction-specific things there are the less it matters what the new hotness is and the less reason there is to buy any supplement beyond the one you actually play. Jumping from WS to DA means buying several key faction-locked units to open their full potential, and going the other way means shelving quite a few units.

Thoughts?


So, check this. The *only* faction specific rules could be faction specific units. There’s no faction swapping to get the best combination of super doctrine and stratagems. The only difference is that today I’m taking my *white scar super cavalry* and not my *deranged white scar death company*

#16
Schlitzaf

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You're approaching the situation from the wrong angle. As a Space Marine player, you see that Blood Angels and Dark Angels and White Scars are similar and they all wear power armor and share many models, so why shouldn't you get to easily take BA/DA exclusive units to be competitive?

However, you should treat these different chapters like what they really are: completely separate Imperium factions. You wouldn't complain about your competitive Ork army not being able to take Heldrakes or Hive Tyrants, so as a non-Dark Angels player, you should not be complaining about not being able to take Deathwing, etc.

The fact that the models and armies are so similar and so close yet so far is gravy, it's something that should be cherished and appreciated for its convenience and compatibility, not as a reason to become spoiled or complacent and to be used as a scapegoat as to why your Space Marine faction should get all the shiny toys available to other Space Marine factions as well.


Also fundamentally it should be noted that while UU exist is just as important to ask what those factions don’t have. To put it one way. Let look at two “Fast” moving Melee Loyalist Marines:
White Scars
Blood Angels

Blood Angels get:
Sanguinary Gaurd
Death Company
Baal Predators

And a several jump pack strategems. I don’t own 9th edition supplement so gonna make a few bold presumptions. Correct me I am wrong:
Descent of Angel is a Redeployment for Jump Packs
Forlon is a Movement for Death Company Jump Pack Units.
Lucifier Engine is something for Baal Predators properly an advance based strategem.

But beyond that: what does BA have for mobility? In their base rules:
+1 Advance & Charge
Their assault marines can take special weapons. So in terms of speed we have:
1) Unique AM Loadouat
2) Jump Packs and related Buffs (Forlorn and Descent)
3) +1 Adv & Charge

White Scars:
UU we have two: Ko’sarro and the the Generic Khan.

Almost every strategem plays into advancing and pewpewing, or fallbacking and fighting. In many ways White Scars are like Harlequins, they have a massive flexibility of both how they engage. And how they engage.

1) Assault Weapon Pew Pew at No Penalty
2) FallBack & Advance then Charge
3) Several more Strategems than BA has for Mobility

So like the question to ask here. While admittedly a Super Cool Biker Squad be awesome (atleast Ko’sarro get his bike back). I don’t want to say its unneeded. But I would rather argue, what would it add to White Scars factional identity?
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#17
Inquisitor_Lensoven

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I thought this might be an interesting topic, I'm very much of two minds on the issue.

On the one hand I see no sensible reason that Librarian Dreadnoughts and Baal Predators should be Blood Angels only, or that a Dread with a big axe and shield and cavalry Marines should be Space Wolves only, or that an Apothecary on a bike and Lieutenant on a Land Speeder should be Dark Angels only. I'd take any of those things in my White Scars successor chapter, GW sells more kits and more books that way since it would make it easier to faction-hop under the "Codex and Suppliments" model.

On the other I really don't like feeling pressured to switch factions for competitive play, and the more faction-specific things there are the less it matters what the new hotness is and the less reason there is to buy any supplement beyond the one you actually play. Jumping from WS to DA means buying several key faction-locked units to open their full potential, and going the other way means shelving quite a few units.

Thoughts?

if everyone gets the same thing there isn’t really a point to different chapters.
Why should ultramarines or salamanders get death company?
Why should blood angels get wulfen?
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#18
Inquisitor_Lensoven

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As a totally unbiased Dark Angels player, agree with Bryan Blaire. There should be more of a focus on what makes sense for the chapter rather than homogenizing units across chapters.

I.e. Ravenwing Apothecary - it makes sense for Dark Angels because the 2nd company is Ravenwing. Presumably, that company has apothecaries, and those apothecaries ride on a bike like the rest of the company (although it does make one wonder why they don't have any librarians in the Ravenwing).

For White Scars, it would probably make sense for them to have an apothecary on a bike as well, considering they are the premiere bike chapter.

You've also got to look at the trade-offs for certain chapters. Again using Dark Angels as an example - can't use Vanguard Veterans (and thus we lose out on a great mobile shock assault unit) because all 1st company veterans are Deathwing. Makes sense from a lore perspective. Veterans with an eye for speed end up as Ravenwing Black Knights, not jump pack troops.

And so on.

librarians aren’t a part of specific companies that’s why the 2nd company doesn’t have librarians.
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#19
Inquisitor_Lensoven

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Re: Thunderwolfs; swap big wolves for big horses and tell me that doesn't scream White Scars. Not saying that I want such a unit, because I very much do not, but 'marine cav' doesn't need to be inherently a SW thing.

Otherwise I pretty much agree, although the line can be a bit thin. How "dripping with faction character" is the basic idea of a Librarian Dreadnought?

by this logic why have characters be faction locked? Just change the name of the unit, and boom universal special characters.
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#20
phandaal

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As a totally unbiased Dark Angels player, agree with Bryan Blaire. There should be more of a focus on what makes sense for the chapter rather than homogenizing units across chapters.

I.e. Ravenwing Apothecary - it makes sense for Dark Angels because the 2nd company is Ravenwing. Presumably, that company has apothecaries, and those apothecaries ride on a bike like the rest of the company (although it does make one wonder why they don't have any librarians in the Ravenwing).

For White Scars, it would probably make sense for them to have an apothecary on a bike as well, considering they are the premiere bike chapter.

You've also got to look at the trade-offs for certain chapters. Again using Dark Angels as an example - can't use Vanguard Veterans (and thus we lose out on a great mobile shock assault unit) because all 1st company veterans are Deathwing. Makes sense from a lore perspective. Veterans with an eye for speed end up as Ravenwing Black Knights, not jump pack troops.

And so on.

librarians aren’t a part of specific companies that’s why the 2nd company doesn’t have librarians.

 

 

Completely forgot that the Librarius is a thing, thanks!



#21
TheNewman

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You're approaching the situation from the wrong angle. As a Space Marine player, you see that Blood Angels and Dark Angels and White Scars are similar and they all wear power armor and share many models, so why shouldn't you get to easily take BA/DA exclusive units to be competitive?

However, you should treat these different chapters like what they really are: completely separate Imperium factions. You wouldn't complain about your competitive Ork army not being able to take Heldrakes or Hive Tyrants, so as a non-Dark Angels player, you should not be complaining about not being able to take Deathwing, etc.

The fact that the models and armies are so similar and so close yet so far is gravy, it's something that should be cherished and appreciated for its convenience and compatibility, not as a reason to become spoiled or complacent and to be used as a scapegoat as to why your Space Marine faction should get all the shiny toys available to other Space Marine factions as well.

But that's not really accurate. GW muddied the water when they folded BA, DA, SW and DW into the main codex, before that all the vanilla chapters were (and still are I suppose) closer to the situation in Tau or Tyranids or whatever where changing Septs of Hive Fleets changes strats, relics, and special characters and that's about it. Changing from Salamanders to Iron Hands is a similar change at a different magnitude rather than a change in kind. And before that there were more units unique to the vanilla codex that the special chapters couldn't take.

I guess that rather gets to the nub of the matter, whether GW should have gone all-in when they rolled the non-codex-compliant chapters into the main book so they wouldn't have to keep saying "yes you can take the new Marine In-somethings in your BA/SW/DA/DW army, they're Space Marines too, duh", or waited until later in the release schedule so they could do all the Suppliments at once to really differentiate them without causing a revolt in the broader fan base, or added Centurions, Ironclads, and whatever else to the list of units the non-compliant chapters can't take, or kept the non-compliant chapters separate and just admitted that they needed to add "for Space Marines, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, and Deathwatch" to any new SM releases.

I just thought it would make an interesting discussion is all.

Edited by TheNewman, 23 September 2021 - 01:57 PM.

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#22
Blindhamster

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I think some things make sense chapter specific. Others don’t.

For example:
- librarian dreads should be a marine thing, not a blood angel thing
- veteran bikers (ravenwing) should be a marine thing, not a unique DA thing
- stuff like deathcompany and wulfen should be unique.
Though to be fair, death company are so bad these days that I doubt most people would want them anyway haha
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#23
phandaal

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- veteran bikers (ravenwing) should be a marine thing, not a unique DA thing
 

 

If units like Ravenwing weren't established as being unique to certain chapters, it would make sense to include them everywhere because obviously some Space Marine bikers would end up being really good at it over time.

 

As is, it should stay with certain chapters. White Scars should definitely have expanded biker options though.



#24
Blindhamster

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Realistically, all marines should. Just like all marines should have librarian dreads.

It probably won’t happen but still

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#25
WrathOfTheLion

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Wasn't veteran bikers just a marine thing before they went to legends? Not certain that's the best example, as it used to be so.






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