So new codex, new stuff, and more marines.
1. Chapter tactics have really seen a change for the better. Pick a chapter get a bunch of neat abilities that filter through your whole list and now not character dependent. They covered a lot of the big ones and really left the door open for other ones later down the road.
2. Points reductions across the board on a lot of units that were just priced so far out of practical use (Whirlwinds, Devs, Sternguard, Vanguard). It was also nice they matched what was done with Dark Angels so that we don’t have the same units across different units have different costs.
3. Chapter specific Characters are chapter restricted to their actual chapters. I know people are going to moan about their “counts as choices” being axed, but you can always ally in other chapters because they built a smart book with multiple theme options that can ally with itself. This in my mind is what they should have done with all the 6th edition books. But it really only makes sense with this one because they actually included the rules they have been kind of outsourcing to supplements so far.
4. Both the Chapter Master and Captain unlock bike troops. And I like that fact they made them have to be larger than minimum squad if you want to do it. The bikes might be a little cheaper than the dark angel versions but I’m glad the opportunity cost for scoring bikes work out to be relatively more. I still wish every Ravenwing biker didn't have to have their own personal teleporter homer which inflated their costs.
5. The land speeder storm becoming a dedicated transport for Scouts is a nice change. Their still dark eldar paper bag transports, but it’s great to see them changing a unit to make it actually usable.
6. Some of the first anti-air units that don’t have intercept that are actually worth taking. A lot of people are crying about not having interceptor on them so they don’t shoot at all units equally, but I don’t see that as too much a problem. Tau already do this and they have to pay a lot of points to have both on a unit, if they did the same with these space marine tanks I’m sure they’d be priced out of being used pretty easily. Right now they are great units with good stats and weapons priced in such a way that even if your opponent doesn't bring flyers you still won’t be too upset you brought them.
7. I really like the “Savant Lock” rule the Hunter has, makes me wonder if that was what was supposed to be on the Dark Angel Backsword missiles…..
8. Legion of the dammed not only got cheaper they also got new ignore cover ammo on all their guns, this combined with their already present Slow but Purposeful rule and accurate deep striking makes them a scary disruption unit.
9. We can now officially ignore the fact “Death from the Skies” ever existed.
10. Black Templar got folded into this codex which something I sort of like. With the teases of a possible supplement to flush out the army more I’m kind of okay with this. Fingers crossed that the supplement actually happens and includes new units, not just special war-gear and force org swaps like they've done so far.
1. I think they were too timid about FOC swaps. Some of the chapters could have really seen some better divergence by allowing some units some wiggle room. This could have also been cued to some of the special characters. Shrike could have made his infiltrating unit scoring or Calgars additional Honour Guard units could be taken as troop units, things that probably would have needed the caveat that they needed to be the warlord or the units where non-compulsory troop choices. Considering the trend of supplements this might be a non-issue, considering most of them so far have moved units into troops.
2. There is no dedicated Scout HQ unit; the closet you get is Shrike. This could have been a great change for Telion.
3. The Tonka terminators are just so weird. They look goofy and they just feel so forced trying to hog both the terminators and devastators spot lights. I get all the new codexs need to have this one new unit that you should buy, but why did it have to be these goofy power armor inside of terminator armor dudes, if they were inside of Dreadnoughts I could have not stopped myself from calling them Turduckins.
4. Grav Weapons. I don’t like how they scale, being ap 2 with what they do is just annoying. The more expensive your dudes the better these are against you. I like the to-wound mechanic and the inclusion of more salvo weapon. The real problem comes from two units that can spam the shit out of the grav guns don’t actual care about salvo rules. Everyone’s favorite Tonka Centurions and Bikes, the later really being obnoxious to me because they can be made troops, can be given scout, and have a back-up weapon that compensates for the only weakness grav weapons had left with bikes.
5. Captain Sicarius is just not really appealing and I really wanted him to be. He’s cheaper and his battle-forged unit can be picked during deployment, but he lost the re-roll to seize and just really doesn't do anything else. His special rules really don’t make up for the versatility you can bring with any other choice.
6. Grimaldus cenobytes don’t make any sense to me. They don’t have any gear or options, and the rule that lets him join other units with them seems to have disappeared. So they can wonder around giving people 6+ saves but it just really doesn't look like many people will take them.
7. The warlord traits are very boring; some of them are just worse versions of the BRB traits. I wouldn't mind one use abilities if they did something more then give out free basic USRs or re-rolls. How about “once in at the beginning of an opponent shooting phase you can declare only snap shots on your warlords unit” or “First blood can’t be scored off of you because your warlord just doesn't care”.
8. Is anyone ever going to get proper Mortis Dreadnoughts?
9. Probably not a lot of people are going to notice this but Scout Heavy Bolter Hellfire ammo got range reduced to 24”. It doesn't matter much but I've always liked the Heavy Bolter and am kind of annoyed when they keep taking away from it, in the hands of a space Marine I just wished it had become salvo or something.
10. I like that Black Templar got folded in, I don’t like that they were the only ones. I know a lot of people are going to nerd rage against what I’m about to say but I think we are at the point that GW just needs to get it over with and fold everyone into one book, and they chickened out this edition. Apart from Grey Knights all the current Space Marine books are about 80% the same book. You have a different chapter tactic type mechanic, 2-3 unique units out of 20+ units they all share, some special characters and, 2-3 unique squad war-gear.
It really isn't this hard to create a source book like they just did that could have incorporated all the basic units and individual chapter tactic set-ups, then release specific supplements to each of the big ones. I get that each space marine army is special but this was their big chance to simplify everything and really put into a place a system that could have been done and carried over to all armies. Instead we are still stuck with the same design issue we had from all the previous editions where we will have all these space marines that are going to have the exact same units but with different points costs and rules, not because any of them are the unique chapter units or gear but because they are the standard units built at different times and in different metas.