Sunday, September 8, 2013

Space Marines: Good, Bad, Ugly... and Meh

As I mentioned in an earlier SM post, I think the codex has a lot going for it.  However, I am not sold that the changes were enough to bring it in line with the most recent Xenos books.  MEQs still have a hard time surviving in the current environment and the price reductions only help so much.  I do not claim to be an expert, but here is how I think some of the units stack up:

The Good:
White Scars CT (and Khan)-Everything good about Ravenwing but cheaper... and with access to a lot more tools.  And I think you can pull off some solid alpha strikes with scouting dedicated transports.
Iron Fist CT-Solid shooting buffs in a shooty edition. 
Ultramarine CT-Not as strong as the rumors (or as strong as the above CTs), but still solid with access to lots of SCs.  I think this will be the go-to CT for battle force/company builds
Marine Bikes-6th favors shooting and mobility... so Bikes getting cheaper is a solid boost
Tiggy-He is the definition of "reliable", has access to every discipline, and even helps reserves... All for 165 points!
TFCs-Was good before and still stays that way.  The barrage rule has some great benefits, but does have minor drawbacks (no longer can scour the bottom floor of ruins). 
Landerspeeder Storms-Finally a dedicated transport!  Cheap, fast, and loaded with equipment, I think these are a sleeper hit in the codex.

The Bad:
Devestator Centurions-Overpriced compared to other shooting options.  The grav cannons are nasty, but short-ranged and expensive.  They might be OK with the IF CT, but I still think that Preds and regular devs are better buys.
The Hunter-Neat idea, but a single shot without twin link just doesn't get the job done.
Tacticals-Yes, the price dropped, but only in certain configurations.  By the time you figure in having to pay for special/heavies, you honestly do not save enough points to make a difference.  There is simply still too much AP2/AP3 floating around to justify their price.
Stormtalons-Overall, these guys are awesome except for the fact they only have two hull points.  That alone makes them Xenos bait in the current meta.

The Ugly:
Assault Centurions-A slow, expensive assault unit without an invulnerable save in a shooty edition.  'Nuff said.
Vanguard Vets-Cheaper, but lost their signature ability.  I just do not see anything that these guys bring to the table.
Unjustified price increases-Attack Bikes, THSS Termies, HB Razorbacks, and Vindicators went up in price for no discernable reason

The Meh (or unknown):
Calgar-While he got a lot of cool rules, he is still VERY expensive.  Maybe he has a role in an infantry spam build, but I think he is going to be hard to fit into anything less than 2000
Honor Guard-I almost think these guys might be playable now.  25 points per model is a major price reduction and means a 5 man units with Banner and Drop Pod or Rhino comes in at 195 points.  That is cheaper than a Terminator Squad with a lot more flexibility.
Stalker-I think this has promise in the current meta, as long as it gets a chance to shoot (I think reserves will help).  Luckily, the price is right.
Relics-The Burning Blade and EW shield are solid but expensive.  The chainsword and bolter just make me shake my head though.
Sternguard and Legion of the Damned-These fall into the "I don't know" category.  I think both have the ability to be decent choices.

Like I said, this is mostly me thinking out loud and making some snap judgments about units.  However, a lot of the units do not seem to be super powerful on their own.  But I am hoping that the CTs and some smart ally choices can really squeeze some extra mileage out of them.  The hard part is going to be balancing troops (which are still expensive) with the tools needed to counter Riptides, Wave Serpents, hordes, and Flyers.  Tough task indeed...


  1. I didn't know you had a blog, Bob!

    1. Yup... Even if it is mostly just me thinking out loud, though.