The Big release is here, at least in the eyes of Games workshop. The boys who bring in the money are having a new codex so that spells good news for games workshop. So what does this month spell for the space marines? Well let’s go through the new white dwarf and see what we can find.
Well on the cover we have a picture of the new Centurions. These guys come in two variants, Devastator and Assault and while they look like very interesting models I was more interested in the fluff behind them and how they can explain them away. Both of the centurions have the same warsuit which bulks them out and makes them practically a dreadnaught. Now the rules of these guys I’m not sure about but from what I hear they can shoot two weapons a turn and are hard to crack. That’s all well and good, but what’s the background? Well the devastator variant are explained away by saying when marines are needed in a tight area of battle to destroy tanks, bunkers and all manner of fortifications battle brothers from the devastator company are chosen to don the mighty centurion warsuit. The same is true for the assault squad but the chapters most expert close combat combatants are chosen for the job. So that job would fall to the veterans I expect for the assault role, who else would be the ‘expect at close quarters’. However if I cast your eyes back to Mr Wards 5th edition space marines codex, before a space marine can join the tactical squads he must ‘complete several campaigns in both assault and devastator squads’ (page 59) meaning that assuming they keep the background the same (I pray they change it back to tactical first, dev and ass later) you have marines fresh out of a scout company fighting in a big rare and powerful warsuit? That’s not right in my mind at all. Possible background clash.
The next big thing is the new AA tanks, the Stalker, which has two independent Icarus stromcannons, which can target different units apparently, and the Hunter, the AA tank which has been in epic since always, shooting missiles. The hunter I love, it makes sense, it fits into the background, it sounds balanced. The stalkers, while it’s a cool idea right now it sounds over powered to hell. Unless it’s over 200 points any tank which can shoot down 2 flyers a turn sounds like a terrible design idea. Maybe I’m just screaming the sky is falling but as of right now, I’m not happy with the idea. Granted the model looks bloody amazing, but I’m not happy.
Repacks and new models of older units are all that’s left for the marines. New version of the tactical squad which is predominantly the same with a few extra weapons added in. Plastic sternguard and vanguard veterans, which look beautiful, and have a lot of extra weapon options. A new Captain, Librarian and Chaplin which look good, but I have to say the librarian stands out the most. Truly a grand model. What surprised me was the return of the grav-gun (it used to be called the graviton gun in 2nd edition) which sounds rather deadly but it’s only a single gun, it’s always good to have more options on the battle field and I welcome its return immensely. From the battle report it is ap 2 and wounds people depending on their armour so a scary option to face if your marines. Also worth mentioning is that we got a lot of new heads for marines, not just bald head 1 and 2. Marines are starting to get hair back, which is nice, but it shouldn’t be too long otherwise they may start having helmet issues.
Army of the month is a very painstakingly converted Chaos Ogre army. It looks great and each unit is dedicated to a specific chaos god. IT does look good but its not my personal taste for background reasons. While yes ogres can be mutated, the background has them being one of the most resistant to chaos (along with the Halflings!) so having a while army of chaos ogres just screams unlikely to me. Yes its beautiful, and yes I would love to play against it but I wouldn’t have an army like it. Just personal preference.
The battle report shows off the marines take on a combo of deathguard and daemons of nurgle. It show cases off the new units quite nicely and how deadly the new units can be. However it also shows that they aren’t perfect, and can die like everyone else. Surprisingly they use a rule book mission: The relic and the marines actually lose. I don’t know why but this report seems a lot better than past ones, something about it captured me and I enjoyed reading it. Strange how when they have marines in the battle report they actually make it a good read with decent photos like when the chaos space marines first came out.
Vetock talks bollocks again but Johnson talks about something interesting, how he goes about making new rules for units. Now I personally believe that Johnson writes brilliant codex’s which are relatively balanced and fun, not prefect but no one is. So this was a very nice read which will carry on next month (they like stringing you along). What surprised me was NO BLANCH SHIT!!!! They dropped the article this month and replaced it with marine stuff, don’t care, its something different to read. We get a fair few pages of what you can do with the new marine kits which i quite like, and we are getting a heavy flamer for tactical squads! awesome for Salamanders.
We get a lot of how to paint marines and what you can do with the new kits but over its entire not great. At the back of the magazine we get a beautiful close up of the Horus heresy Erebus model which I am going to have to buy, it’s just such a great model. I will find a use for it.
Battle ground this month is a damaged research facility and it has some rather simple conversion bits and still looks amazing. This is the sort of battleground it should show off, something achievable with a little work and dedication (plus a little money, but hay, you don't play this game because you like your wallet). Its mainly a combination of bastions and city ruins. It shows off damaged bastions/bunkers and a wall of martyrs with a massive creator in it. Very nicely done.
The rest of the mag is just adverts, displaying models, and repeats in content. Honestly I expected more for the marine release and maybe an extra new unit. But with the black templar’s getting folded into the marine codex, I shouldn’t have expected too much.