Monday, September 24, 2012

Discoveries about Codex: Space Marines

I've mostly been playing my Blood Angels lately, trying to figure out how to get an assault based army to work in 6th Edition. It's not easy, and my last two games have been fairly solid losses against a Sisters of Battle army with Space Wolves allies. I know most people talk down on the Sisters, but they seem to be a solid list  when played well. In both games, I've been able to launch pretty solid assaults, but they are worn down over a couple turns. This seems to be mainly due to taking more casualties as I advance from bolter fire (and not being able to stop Exorcists from shooting without killing them) and taking significant casualties from Overwatch fire (multiple flamers are nasty). This has led me back to thinking about my shootier army, the Executioners.

As I've gone over the rules for Space Marines and how they interact with 6th Edition, I've discovered two new nice buffs that I've never seen any one discuss online. They're both pretty minor, but it's good to see the Space Marines getting some advantages over their more themed brethren.

First up are Sternguard. Of the special issue ammunition, Kraken ammo has always seemed like the weakest option. It has an extra 6" range and point of AP, but didn't really have a niche unless you were shooting at units 30" away. The new rules for rapid fire weapons really benefit these rounds. Not only can they now reach enemies 36" away (including a 6" move), but they can now rapid fire at 15" rather than 12". This can be pretty useful, as twice as many shots is better than single shots from most of the other rounds. If you're just out of 12" range, consider double-tapping with Kraken rounds rather than single shots with any of the others. The down side here is that Vengeance rounds now can only rapid fire at 9", making them harder to use.

Another squad that got better is a squad of Scouts with Telion. Previously, camo cloaks gave the squad Stealth, and so did Telion. This meant that if you took Telion, you saved the points on cloaks. However, the most recent FAQ changed this. Telion still gives the squad Stealth, but he gained a camo cloak. Meanwhile, the cloak has been changed to just add +1 to cover saves rather than giving Stealth. This means that a squad of Scouts with Telion and cloaks adds +2 to all cover saves, just like Eldar Pathfinders. This makes them even more survivable than they used to be (and they weren't easy to kill before).

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