Thursday, May 2, 2013

Opinion: The state of Codicies (PART TWO) Allied Supplements

So in part one I discussed what I feel should be the core codicies of the game and the direction they can and should go and the new lease on life that 6th ed gives the game in this aspect.

Part two is where things really should start to get interesting. As I have said before (part one and other posts, particularly on chaos) I believe the core codicies should be really well defined and have a clear image/theme. This is largely due to the advent of Allies. Codex writers should not have to include everything and the kitched sink, as you can now draw from elsewhere the required elements to make a unique theme or divergent force.

The key, to me at least and somewhat consistent with persistent rumours since the advent of 6th ed is mini-dexes/supplements. To me this is a great opportunity for rules and limited model ranges (ie 1-3 kits). This is also the perfect chance to create rules for forces that are contained within a larger core codex, but are still distinct in the fluff- an example being something like a Rough Rider Company or a full Harlequin Troupe.

The goal behind mindexes should be one of 3 things
1. Incorporate a cool faction from the fluff as allies
2. Make a cool minor faction from the fluff as your main force and supplement them with a related main codex
3. Create an entire force from the minidex, using armywide special rules to influence related allies from a main codex to thematically form one force (IE Minidex SM chapters with SM allies, all affected by the rules of the minidex force, or at least thematically connected to them).

This allows players wider access to thematic and fluffy armies, and really "drives the narrative" as GW wants us to do. A more diverse game is never bad IMO and just lets players really explore list composition and create unique forces both in terms of theme and composition.

Deathwatch- While I suggested in part one that they be included in an iquisitorial codex, as of right now they aren't. As well, they are too divergent IMOHO to be included in the SM codex, but not different enough in terms of play style to warrant their own separate codex. As well, they are more often than even grey knights deployed in small teams (ie Kill Teams). A minidex covering librarians and captains for HQ, a dreadnought Elite, Kill Team troops, and something cool to represent black shields maybe.

Black Templars- While a current codex, if part one was followed, OR if they don't get an update, then I think they are a perfect candidate for an allied supplement. Take alot of the current codex and just give it a face lift for 6th. EC, some special Characters with Chapter Tactics, and BT crusading squads with Brothers and Neophytes mixed. The rest is pretty much standard SM, affected by Chapter Tactics.

White Scars- A first founding chapter that I think is fluffy enough, unique enough for a few kits or upgrade sprues, and different enough to deserve more than just a character in the SM codex. Obviously some bike troop squads, chapter tactics characters, and land speeders applenty. I also think some sort of Jetbike would be nice.

Exorcists- Really, more likely to be done by Forgeworld, but I think this is a super awesome, fluffy chapter that is extremely divergent and would be great to see some characters, unique daemonhunting squads and daemonhosts associated with them brought into a minidex.

Catachans (Deathworlds)- A deathworld version of IG would be better seperated from the main IG codex in my opinion, leaving the IG codex to focus on mass infantry or armoured formations. Much like the 3rd edition catachans.

Arbites- These are a huge presence in the fluff, and definately an important Imperial faction, but not large or diverse enough for a full codex. Judeges, an arbites psyker, Arbite enforcer squads, riot suppresion squads and some unique transports could make a decent force to supplement other imperial armies or be supplemented by IG to represent PDF or fill out an entire Arbite precinct.

Rouge Traders- This is wide open and has alot of potential for alot of weird units and wargear. Rouge Traders, family rentinues, household guard, armsmen, explorator tech priests.

Squats- Who doesn't want these guys to come back? I am not even sure what their mindex would be like, but there is so much potential in terms of fluff, modeling and rules.

Rough Riders Co- A minidex with a complete overhaul of the IG FOC, horses for every slot (horse drawn artillery?), and possibilities for a revamped Rough Rider range. Not too much required for kits.

Storm Trooper Co- Similar to the RR Co, but this time Storm troopers and associated vehicles (Valkyries, Vultures) in everyslot. Plastic stormtroopers would be nice as well.

Hrud- Allies with Chaos likely. This minor race has been in the fluff for along time and have even been attempted using WHFB skaven by enthusiatic hobbyists. Really has potential for a finecast HQ or two and 1-2 kits and some unique rules.

Kroot Mercenaries- Make it more like the 3rd ed list that was chapter approved. Just a wider diversity of choices than in the tau codex, as well as genetic upgrades and more wargear. Also a great way to improve the botched Kroot in the current Tau codex.

Harlequins- A great chance to really expand upon some of the coolest fluff in the game, and represent a full troupe rather than just have them be a footnote in the Eldar codex. Venoms, Jetbikes, Death Jesters, and most importantly of all: The Solitaire...

Exodites- Another cool possibility for Eldar. A way to really incorporate some more cavalry and flying MC into the game, and some great fluff and modeling opportunities.

Genestealer Cults- A chance for Allies for the Tyranids and an ability to xenos up IG convicingly. Patriarch, Purestrains, Hybrid cultists and I am sure there are other budding opportunities to do so here.

I am sure there is much more potential for minidexes/allied supplements.