Hidden gems of the new space marine codex

The new space marine codex has hit the shelves last week. Lots has been said about the big changes, but I think some hidden gems have been missed. Here are my top 5.

Beware of the mighty vanguard

The price reduction bat has hit many units and lots of talk has been about the drop for centurions and terminators. However, with the vanguard, the drop is hidden, but is huge! The unit cost is unchanged, but look at weapon changes. 

Power weapons and lightning claws drop to 5pt. Yes, that’s 5pts for a power weapon! Or a pair of claws for 10pts! That’s a saving on 20pts or the cost of whole vanguard! Power fist and thunder hammers take a 10 points drop each. That makes a huge difference to to the use of these weapons for me. I can see a them make my list more often. 

The heroic intervention rule has also taken a boost. Gone are the challenge rules, in are reroll to charge distance and ignoring disordered charges. That will deal with those pesky tau grenades! 

The stalking horse

To me the stalker in the last codex was a waste, a cool model with poor rules. The new version however improves this. It (finally) gains interceptor. While they drop too heavy 3, they can still split fire (firing 6 times 3 at each target) or are effectively twin linked at heavy 3 at a single target. All shots are now at bs 4. The old robotic slave shots at bs are gone.

They also gain ignore cover when in a squad of 3. This is so cool. Effectively ending jinxing skimmers! A squad of 3 will be a fearsome vs some lighter armies. Tau will still be tough, but elder and dark eldar will come to fear the stalker. 

On your bike! 

The subtle change to the mounted assault rule is quite a fun. In the old rule it was that if you took your captain on a bike, then 5 man bike squads are troop choices. A lot has been made of the fact that now 3 man bike squads, however, a more subtle change is that it’s no longer just captains. Any independent character can take a this option. This mean my mounted librarian will getting an escort!

Holy gladius! 

The ‘basic’ formation is the gladius. You must take a single Demi battle company, (basically HQ, 3 tactical, 1assault, 1 heavy support) and 1 other ‘Formation ‘ (lots to choose from!) will give you the gladius formation and access to 3 chapter tactics. As an ultramarines play, I already get 3, this means in 7 turn game I can use one every turn, and 1 tactic will get used 3 times. (1 for scions of gulliman, 1 for a Demi battle company, 1 for gladius) the tactical tactics allow tactical squads reroll to shooting and assault. That’s effectively twinlinked 30 marines! 

Dread squads

The idea of a squad of marine dreads is tempting. The ven and the basic dread both have take a price drop on the weapons, the ironclad is largely unchanged. All have gain attacks, now having 4 each. Taking advantage of the squadron rules, these can become a real force in the marine army. 

That’s my hidden gems of the new codex. I am still getting my head around the whole new concepts, and the new format. I hope you find this missive of use. I am off to paint up some vanguard! Till next time, see you across the battle field. 


10 thoughts on “Hidden gems of the new space marine codex

      • Ah, yes. This set of marine rules is quite good, but the current trend to release a codex every 3 weeks means we won’t have them for too long.

        I do wish they had changed attack bikes and land speeder squads to 5 models per unit instead of 3, that’s a whole 10 man squad, the basic marine unit.

      • Think it’s cos of the boxed set. I’m liking the Codex release schedule, means we don’t have to wait years for an update, but now it means there’s a lot of burning pockets. Not entirely sure what happened with Cult Mechanicus though…surely both Codexes could’ve been in the same book???

      • I think they are rushing 40k, to get them out ASAP. This will clear the decks for the new warhammer army books. They will be coming out at a mad rate over the next year.

        You right, it should have been a sing ad mech book, the 2 book model feels like a money grab.

      • I do wonder how much further 40k can be taken before the rules become too silly. It’s already on the verge as it is, although the current rule set is pretty cool.

      • Current rules are way past silly. If you want they are totally broken. However, if you play as intended, they are a very good set of rules.

        New codex is a case in point. You can make some silly lists, but you can also make some awesomely fluffy lists won’t win competitive play, great for a game with your mates.

        For around 2,000 points you can run a battle company, with every one in a free razorback. That’s 550pts free transport! With every single model having secured objective. No way that is fair.

      • My point exactly. Same with things like Daemonkin where you can spawn free Bloodthirsters. You know…those large £70 models…

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