Today we are looking at the new Space Marine Codex! This is a big, meaty book with loads of great features that is a must-buy for any marine players. It seems to be an evolution of the codex with some of the new features, such as the create a chapter section – more about this later.
Alongside the Codex, 6 supplements were tentatively announced which will be a wonderful addition to the standard tome, introducing chapter specific characters and rules etc – which is a deviation from previous editions where the Space Marine Codex used to house all of these.
I guess this kind of brings me to my first criticism, which should probably be more directed toward the supplements than the Codex but here it is – to play an Ultramarine, Raven Guard, Iron Hand etc chapter, you now need at least 2 books to field them. Then if you want to bring in Vigilus formations that’s another book, then around Christmas time there will be Chapter Approved 2019 and then you have the rules…it just goes on and on. By the end of the year that will be 5 books, adding up to over £100 in value, just to play with your army. It is a wee bit too much and I really hope this is addressed in the future. For me, they should have just added the communal datasheets into the supplements and charged a bit more.
My 2nd criticism is one of conjecture really. To me, it is fairly obvious that the Primaris Marines are going to be a long-term replacement for the squat marines – which I am actually 100% fine with (have you put and old marine next to a Tempestus Scion? The fabled ‘superhuman’ Space Marine really doesn’t come across). To this end I believe it is not a good time to start a Marine army as the range is just not fleshed out enough. There are no real close combat units, the bikes are old enough to vote, the old tanks can’t be used with the new marines – more on this in my last criticism – and a plethora of other reasons. The range simply isn’t there yet. You have variations of Reivers which do basically the same thing – a movement gimmick and close-quarter gunfighting. What is the point? Why not have a chainsword and heavy bolt pistol version too?
This leads me to my final criticism, where is my grim dark? I have always loved the lost technology fluff of mankind, where Xenos would have flying tanks that could out manoeuvre the outdated tech of the Imperium. Now there are more armies with flying tanks than those without! Tank battles have turned into a game of leapfrog where cover or hull down doesn’t even matter anymore. The only army that still solely has tracked tanks is the Imperial Guard, but I bet this will change in the next update. The Rhino is going to go the way of the Dodo and I for one am very sad. But if you compare it to the new Impulsor (5pts extra bade cost) there is no competition:
I guess now is a good time to mention Terminators too…I love terminators and Space Hulk, always have, but with the birth of primaris we risk the very real possibility of saying goodbye to these mainstays of the 40K battlefields and it isn’t just them. Land Raiders, Rhinos and Razorbacks can’t be used by Primaris and so with death of squat marines I fear it is the death knell for our tracked beauties. We have jetpack heavies now, where do devastators fit in? Maybe I am stuck in the past? Maybe I don’t like change? Or maybe myself and some of the aging community who loved the old aesthetic have been betrayed so that kids can enjoy the ‘rule of cool’?
Regardless, these are fairly minor criticisms so lets look at my top 5 favourite things in the Codex!
My final thoughts are that the Codex is great from a narrative players perspective. I am not a tournament player so I would struggle to tell you how powerful the army will be or what combo’s will be nasty, but I can honestly say that it is an army that sounds like a lot of fun to play with. I am looking forward to making my own Ultramarine successor over the next few months. Something Knightly lol…
I do also feel that with this Codex and the supplements it is a bit of a missed opportunity to not bring back another loyal Primarch but I will discuss this in an article about the supplements.
Thanks for reading my review, I hope you have enjoyed it. Please leave a comment or send me an email if you have any questions.