Good afternoon everyone, hope you've had fun since I last saw you all. Last time I said I'd be posting some pictures of my Tau, but I haven't made any considerable progress on painting them, so hopefully I'll have something worth reporting next time.
As for today, I'm reminded of a nice long conversation Loki and I had about the 'blue' space marine codex in comparison to their blood angel and space wolf brethren. I've been thinking about how to make a list that can be approximated by the other codices, but that the 'blue' codex can do better if only slightly. While the wolves and angels can each build their own unique builds, Loganwing and Jumpers respectively, the list I've chosen for comparison for all three armies is the 'razor spam' army, supported by other elements. The Ultramarines will represent the 'blue' codex in this round. Forgive me if this reminds you of Ishmael's army:
Chaplain Cassius 125
Three dreadnoughts with two twin-linked autocannons 125
Three tactical squads with combi-melta, meltagun and missile launcher in an assault cannon razorback with hunter killer missile 260
Two landspeeder duos with multimeltas 120
Three devastator teams with four missile launchers 150
I will admit there are some problems with the comparing the blood angels' and space wolves' versions of this list. Coming from the space wolves side, the problem is that there are no tactical or devastator squads for direct comparison, so I substituted the space wolves closest equivalents the grey hunters and long fangs. Using a basic rune priest or wolf priest instead of Cassius and five man grey hunter squads with meltagun and combi-melta wolf guard instead of tactical squads and five missile long fangs instead of devastators brings the wolf variant to 1714 points for the same firepower as the 2000 points 'blue' marine list. That is a striking difference, though keep in mind that there are fifteen fewer bodies in the troops section than in the 'blue' version. For the sake of effieiceincy I'll give the wolves the win hands down. As a side note, the discrepancy in points between the lists drops from 286 points to 61 if you include the fifteen extra bodies. A wolves 'razor spam' list may prefer to run lascannons and twin-linked plasmaguns rather than assault cannons but their cost is the same so that shouldn't factor into the comparison, just in case you were wondering.
Comparing blood angels' version of 'razor spam' is a bit more difficult because of their divergent (read heretical) force organization, it is impossible to have both three devastator teams and three autocannon dreadnoughts in the same detachment as both occupy a heavy support slot and blood angels do not have a master of the forge to move the dreadnoughts into another slot. On the bright side, I can decide not to care about that and compare the costs of each unit. Blood angels' obsession with speed means their razorbacks are fast, but they also cost fifteen points more expensive each. Luckily for them, their devastator missile launchers are five points cheaper each, netting them twenty points per squad. With three squads of each, the blood angels come out fifteen points ahead of the 'blue' marines. If they could have both the dreadnoughts and the devastators they would be slightly ahead of their 'blue' brethren, but they cannot.
In the 'razor spam' department, the 'blue' codex falls behind the space wolves because they need to purchase more bolter brothers to access their meltaguns and missile launchers and have the melta and missile capacity of space wolves at a lower points level. On the other hand, having access to shooting dreadnoughts in their elites choices allows the 'blue' marines to field more long range anti-tank shooting than the blood angels. Out of the fifth edition marine codices, barring grey knights, the 'blue' codex falls between the shooting capacity of the wolves and that of the blood angels, netting the 'blue' book a solid okay rating.
I'll try to cook up an assault comparison using the best close combat units from each of the codices to see if the 'blue' codex can hold on to its okay rating. On that note, what units would you like to see in that comparison, as I'm not the most familiar with any close combat units.
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam