Monday, April 12, 2010

What has the Codex Astartes Become?

So as a Marine player from the old fashion standard Marine codex... I have to put forth a question to the players out there... What makes standard marines worth playing anymore? From the looks of things there are not many reasons to play the run of the mills anymore. I have taken a look (in depth) at the 5th Edition book for regular old Marines... and thus far I am very unimpressed.

Early Phases

When the codex first came out with the release of 5th Edition, it was the shining pinnacle of power. Players of all armies wanted to see how powerful the codex was, and I remember Ishamael and Heretic wanting to see it constantly when I first got it. It was in fact a very impressive codex, especially since it was the only one at the time. No other codex could match the "new toys" in which the marines were getting. This was also the first time Marines received a way to customize the feel of their list by running Characters to provide minor differences across the army (Pedro's Hold the Line, Hestan's TL-meltas, etc.) So yes, even I was impressed early on with this codex


Now that we have had many codex releases after that of the Codex Marines, we can see massive differences across the board. As a marine player, I find myself wondering why I still play the Codex anymore as it is so boring, it makes this game feel dull. Looking at just the new Marine codex's (Wolves and Angels) there is a colossal difference. Look at the Tactical squad. It has very limited mobility unless given a rhino, which limits the squad's fire power dramatically, and with 5th's KP system is almost more dangerous to take in some regards. It lacks 2 attacks in close combat. Now wait a second. You mean to tell me that for 4 editions prior I have always had a close combat weapon providing me with 2 attacks base, and suddenly the Imperium is skimping out and taking them away?! SO effectively this alone has decreased the squads ability to be truly well rounded as both ranged and CC fighters.

Secondly, lets look at the characters. Yes they are indeed powerful, and they can add some bit of changes to consider. But many players dislike the idea of running named characters. This codex only really offers sub par marines with characters to increase there army's power slightly. But even with the addition of these characters, the army still doesn't seem to match to brute power of either of it's counterpart 5th codex's. For instance, Wolves have the USR Counter-Attack... awesome. The Angels have Decent of Angels... sweet. The regular marines have... nothing. So we have to take characters to get some sort of bonus like that, which is easily answered by them taking a character of there own and outdoing us again.

This is a personal gripe here... but I am not pleased with the Captain and Chapter Master stat lines being the exact same thing. This was clearly done to make all of the SM characters alike and to me is ridiculous.

In the end, I know my marine army can do fine in battle. I have won many a times with them, and as such I don't want to complain that they can't win. I only wonder why after so long the codex has become so weak in comparison. We have yet to receive any new units (minus characters) that haven't already existed. Yes the Thunderfire Cannon is neat... but it's a toy at best. The rest of the army received a few new variants, but nothing really new. I would love to see a new tank, or a new troop unit (especially if the Tactical Marines continue their downward slope. Give me something that only the vanilla marines can have and I will be at least pleased. At this point, it feels like I'm playing an army that is limited to "the core without the cool extras" than an actual legitimate army.


  1. how about that new squad that you get. Legion of the damned I do believe is what they are called. I wish my wolves could run them. Wouldn't need Logan to push up my Wolf Guard to troops then.

  2. So you would like to run a tact squad that can move and fire it's weapons with a 3+ invulnerable... while paying an arm and a leg both in points and dollars, and get no more results than a regular tact squad. Meh, I dislike them as they do not do enough to merit their absurd points cost (and medal models are a pain)

  3. Your assessment of the Space Marine dex as it stands is similar to my own. The only difference is I had that assessment when they first came out as well. Marines in 4th were slightly underpowered in my opinion, and although they did get a little better in 5th, the new 5th dexes just made them slightly underpowered again.

    Thank you for stating the truth on the tactical squads as well! :) They are weak, have been really since 4th. Taking away their ability to have an assault weapon and heavy weapon in a 5 man squad pretty much sealed the deal.

    Other than special characters, the only thing impressive marines really have (now given to other dexes as well) are TH/SS Terminators, Special Characters, Sternguard, and lower points costs than before (now superceded by the BA dex :P ). Also, Combat Tactics is a Vanilla only deal (often underrated in my opinion but an excellent way to stay out of HtH combat).

    It is what it is I guess :)