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Codex Adeptus Astartes: Space Marines

As we are all well aware, the 8th Edition codex for the Space Marines came out today. Being a good little Lexicanium, I pre-ordered last week and picked it up this morning.

Today I'm just going to start with a teeny weeny bit of a rant, and then I'm going to talk about selecting a theme for my Blood Ravens. Hopefully by the end of the post, I will have settled on a set way of representing the Chapter on the tabletop, which will be codified and stored by the Administratum for all eternity (until 9th, or the next Codex anyway).

The Rant

After a read through the codex today, I spotted so many grammatical and typographical errors that really made my inner Inquistor-of-undergraduate-work whince (complete with flashbacks). Why can't Games Workshop invest in good copy-editors?

Another couple of glaring errors I noticed were:

Grenade Harnesses and the Wrist-Mounted Grenade Launcher were in the Index 1 as AP1. These were later FAQd to become AP-1. So a typographical error then. However, in the new codex they are back as AP1. How that got past the editors I don't know.

Every piece of equipment in the codex and indices has a points value for matched play games. Well, try and look up the value for the Auxiliary Grenade Launcher for the Intercessor Squad.

Some might think it sad that I get bothered by these things but hey, I'm autistic, I love the details! Also, items like this codex are supposed to be a piece of professional work. If I made these kinds of omissions or factual errors in any of my research work, it could have significant ramifications. At any rate, it hopefully wouldn't get past the rest of the team working on the research, and then the editors (although there are some hilarious pieces of academic trolling, where authors have slipped some amusing things past journal editors).

Don't misunderstand my mood though, as I do really like this new codex! Anyway, onto more interesting things for you...

Chapter Tactics, Stratagems, Warlord Traits and Relics

There are four sets that stood out to me as possible contenders for the Blood Ravens: Ultramarines, White Scars, Imperial Fists and Raven Guard. I nearly included Salamanders in that list, but they are a bit too deviant from the Blood Ravens I think.

Chapter Tactic - +1 Ld. Can fall back and then shoot with a penalty to hit.
Stratagem - Re-rolls in shooting or close combat.
Warlord Trait - 5+ roll to regain used CPs.
Relic - Captain only. 3+ Inv, with 1 Deny the Witch per turn.

White Scars:
Chapter Tactic - +2" Advance, and can fall back and charge.
Stratagem - Can advance, then shoot and charge.
Warlord Trait - After charging, enemy units within 1" get a Mortal Wound on a dice roll.
Relic - Psyker only. +1 to test for Smite.

Imperial Fists:
Chapter Tactic - No cover saves for the enemy.
Stratagem - For bolter rounds, on a 6+ to hit the model can fire another shot.
Warlord Trait - Units in range of the Warlord get +1 to cover against AP-1.
Relic - A unique Bolt Pistol that can target characters, with good Damage.

Raven Guard:
Chapter Tactic - Enemies suffer -1 to hit when more than 12" away.
Stratagem - Deploy in the shadows, where the unit appears as close as 9" before the first turn.
Warlord Trait - No overwatch on the warlord.
Relic - Jump Pack only. Can advance and charge. Re-roll failed charge.

There are some generic Warlord Traits and a Relic that I quite liked depending on the circumstances of the game:

Generic Warlord Traits:
The Imperium's Sword - Re-roll charges with an extra attack.
Iron Resolve - +1 wound, 6+ Feel No Pain.
Champion of Humanity - +1 to hit and +1 to wound in fights against Characters.

Generic Relics:
Tome of Malcador - Psyker only. Can know an extra spell.

Some tough choices to make there. The Ultramarines, as usual, have a nice generic set of things that could apply to pretty much any Chapter that is codex-compliant. The Imperial Fists match up well with how the Blood Ravens are represented in the computer games, but I feel like it's missing some of the cooler aspects of their fluff.

Personally, I'm really torn between the White Scars and the Raven Guard. The White Scars have a psyker relic that nicely represents the psychic potential of the Blood Ravens, and their other items function well to represent how the Space Marine blitzkrieg is represented in the fluff. Also, the Stratagem and Chapter Tactic could represent their prescient ability.

On the other hand, the Raven Guard do completely show that prescience, both in the preparation before battle in the Stratagem, and during combat in the Chapter Tactic. However, I'm not so keen on the Warlord Trait and the Relic - but I could always use those generic ones.

Urgh, I need to think on it some more! An anti-climax I guess...


Captain of the First Company

I've been dithering between a few different projects for the last few weeks but I have finally finished something! This is the Captain of the First Company, and he strides/teleports/stomps angrily into battle wielding a Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield. You'll probably be able to see that the model is kitbashed from the Captain you get in the Start Collecting box, the Sergeant's weapons from the Assault Terminators, and the head is from the Dark Angels upgrade sprue.

The right kneepad is silver, to denote his membership of the First Company. And since Terminator shoulder pads don't have rims, I decided to paint the area around the Crux Terminatus silver as well. For the robe I tried out the technique they show on WHTV for Magnus' cloth. I need more practice to improve on it, but I like the colours and will use them for my various Librarians (Celestra Grey, Ulthuan Grey, White Scar, Nihilakh Oxide). What's missing at the moment is some highlights and shading to the red armour, and highlights on the gold and silver parts, which I will return to and add later when the mood takes me.

One of the projects I've been working on is these Assault Termintors. For some reason I hit a bit of a slump with them, and they seem to be taking forever. Just their helmets, shields and weapons left to go now:


Flipping Marines coming soon!

A quick, short post:

Gabriel Angelos is coming soon. LINK

The head looked a bit Frankenstein's Monster-ish in a previous photo. However, it doesn't look so bad here. If it's truly awful though then I'll sub in a helmeted head. The rest of the model looks brilliant though.


Second Battle - Vs. Orks

My posts have been slower the last couple of weeks because we're gearing up to move house in the near future. My PC was disassembled while some stuff was moved around, and in an unprecedented move I haven't been bothered to put it all back together again!

Last Friday at my local GW store I managed to get another game in. This time it was against the Orks. We played 50 Power on a 4' x 4' board, in another straight up battle to the death.

The Orks:
Warboss in Mega Armour, with an Attack Squig
Big Mek, with a Shokk Attack Gun
Runtherd, with a Squig Hound
10 Gretchin
30 Gretchin
30 Boyz
30 Boyz
6 Burna Boyz

6 Command Points

Blood Ravens:
Captain in Terminator Armour
Tactical Squad, 10 Marines, Grav Gun, Grav Cannon, Power Fist
Devastator Squad, 5 Marines, 4 Heavy Bolters
Venerable Dreadnought
Terminator Assault Squad, 5 Marines, 1 Lightning Claws, 4 Thunder Hammers & Storm Shields
Eversor Assassin
Total = 49 Power

3 Command Points

The Orks set-up as a horde army does - in a line 3/4 deep from one side of the board to the other. I placed my Tac squad, Dev squad and Dreadnought on the board, and kept the Captain, Terminators and Eversor in reserve. This meant just over half my army Power was being held back.

After deployment I got first turn, and at this point I wasn't sure I'd have the firepower to fend off such a Green Tide. In fact, in that first turn I only killed 4 Boyz! In the Orks first turn, my Ven Dread lost 3 wounds to the Shokk Attack Gun, and that was it. A pretty quiet first round!

The second turn saw more shooting from the Blood Ravens, with a higher kill tally this time. The Orks advanced, and tried some ineffective shooting (but it made lots of noise, and pretty explosions, which is what really counts).

The third turn I decided to bring in all of my reserves at once (remember though, the Turn 3 limit only actually applies in matched play). I'm a tad short on pictures, but here's the left flank before my reserves showed up. My Tac squad is holed up on the first floor of some ruins while a gang of Boyz and Burna Boyz leg it towards their position:

On the right flank, my Ven Dread was charged by the Gretchin. In the end, he was actually brought down to a single wound. It was tense, but he retained his right to be called Venerable, and wasn't given the ignominy of being ripped apart at the seams by tiny green buggers:


So, when my reserves turned up, I set my Captain off after the Shokk Attack Gun at the back of the field (in the brown crater in the picture below). My Assault Terminators blocked off the Boyz and Warboss's access to my Tac and Dev squads. The Eversor appeared behind the Burna Boyz on the left flank, and proceeded to wreak havoc (probably my new favourite unit).

The Captain and the Terminators each failed their charges. I wasn't too bothered by this at the time, because 10+ on 2D6 isn't the most likely result you're going to get. However, while the Captain survived some mild shooting from the 10 Gretchin and Big Mek, the Terminators didn't fare so well against all those Boyz and an assault from the Warboss. 13 Power is a big loss, particularly when they killed 0 Power, but they ensured the survival of the potent ranged weapons that were reaping such a heavy toll.

But man... that 3D6 charge on the Eversor is just full of awesome. He was able to run into the Burna Boyz and took 4 out right away, and then took out the other 2 on the Ork's turn. Then on Turn 4, he took on the remains of one of the Boyz squads - over 2 turns he brought them down from about 15 Boyz to 2, at which point he exploded and killed the last remaining Boyz! Epic.

Anyway, that's the highlights of the match. In the end I won on Turn 5 when my opponent conceded. Turn 6 would have likely seen a tabling. I had left: Captain, all 10 of the Tac squad, 2 Heavy Bolters in the Dev squad, and the Ven Dread was on 1 wound. For me, this game had a bit of a last stand feel to it, trying to mow down as many Greenskins as possible before our lines succumbed. Finally we emerged victorious, but at the cost of 5 Terminators and an Eversor.

Here's the end of the battle (the last 2 Devs are just out of shot):

I now have a good idea of what my individual units and their weapons are actually capable of. In both this and my last game, I think I underestimated their killy potential. Also, I have a good idea of what I want to run with when I start playing 100 Power games, and matches with objectives or other variables.

I need to start remembering some things as well. In my first game I had forgotten that the Plasma Cannon is Heavy D3, and not just one shot. In this game I kept forgetting Pistols can fire in combat, and this is crucial for the Eversor as he could have survived. I also forgot the Unyielding Ancient rule for the Ven Dread, but my opponent kindly let me roll for it when I remembered.


First Battle

On Friday, I finally got my first game in of 40k in a few years, and tested my army out in 8th Edition. I don't have any photos of the match, and so I won't bother with a full battle report.

I popped down my local GW store and found a pick-up game against someone I didn't know. Apparently, my opponent had recently done very well in the Age of Sigmar school league Semi-Finals (I can't seem to find the results to share here). He didn't know it was going to be my first game of 8th, and apologised in advance for the army he'd brought with him. I said I didn't mind if I get tabled, it being my first game, so I just want to learn the rules and he can use whatever he wants if he wants to test something new.

We played 50 Power. Here's his list, the Astral Claws (pre-renegade):

Lugft Huron, Chapter Master
Valthex, Master of the Forge
Primaris Ancient
3x squads of 5-man Intercessors
1x squad of 5-man Hellblasters

My list:

1x Tactical Squad, Power fist, Plasma Gun, Plasma Cannon
2x Devastator Squads (5-man teams), 4x Lascannons, 4x Heavy Bolters, Sgts only had Boltguns
Venerable Dreadnought, Twin Lascannon, Dreadnought CCW
1x Terminator Assault Squad (5-man), Sgt with Lightning Claws, 4x Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield

So it would be Primaris vs. The Old Guard then! Just a straight up battle to the death, 12" deployment zone, variable turn limit. There were two large ruin buildings in each deployment, and craters in the centre of the field.

The Astral Claws also had 7 command points against my 3. I thought myself doomed at the start, but then the shooting began...

I had first turn, which was nice, and the first 2 turns saw us trading shots across the board. Valthex has an aura that made his Bolt Rifles S5, and Lugft Huron did something that I now forget... I think it was an aura of re-roll to-hit rolls of 1, or all misses. Anywho, I lost my tactical squad in 2 turns but my Devastator squads and Dreadnought all reaped quite the bounty. The Hellblaster squad was rendered ineffective on Turn 1, and wiped on Turn 2.

Once the crowd was thinned, I dropped my Terminators behind their slowly advancing line on Turn 3. They failed their charge, and Lugft Huron charged them on his turn 3. Huron had some wounds removed, and took some Terminators in return.

Turn 4, the Terminators felled Huron, but he rose from the dead with 1 wound. Nicely timed to be able to charge into combat with them again, with Valthex supporting. This time the Terminators failed in their task (having to re-roll successful Invulnerable saves in combat was nasty).

The game finally ended on Turn 6, with Huron stumbling across the board on his second life, with one wound remaining. The Venerable Dreadnought duly gave him a lascannon to the face, and Huron failed his re-spawn roll.

I had tons of fun this game. My opponent was great to play against, and I'd be interested to see how I'd fare against him another time. My devastator squads clearly won the day this time, felling many Primaris Marines between them. In whatever 'meta' I've played in, Dev squads have always been under-represented. Yet, whenever I field them they do very well and since they're hardly seen there isn't often a direct couner to them. The Librarian's Smite ability was not to be sniffed at either!

I'll have to assemble some more models so I can mix up the strategy for whoever my next opponent will  be!


The Bell of Lost Souls tolls for thee

This post was a little delayed, as my partner's mother passed away recently (she was given the Gift of Lewy Bodies Dementia by the most generous and benevolent Grandfather Nurgle). We travelled to the other end of the country for the week, for the funeral and seeing family. The Bell of Lost Souls rung out for another Hero of the Imperium lost.

Anyway, back to hobby-related things! Onward Emperor's Soldiers, and all that!

I have been busy assembling and undercoating a variety of units, but today I'm going to share some photos of my second Tactical Squad that has reached a 'playable' standard.

Here's a close-up of five Marines so that you can see the Dark Angels shoulders being painted as Blood Ravens. I think it works from tabletop distance, but I need some greenstuff to make it passable up close. The blood drops could probably be bigger too.

The Sergeant:

I've armed this squad with Grav weaponry, which I think are still pretty decent weapons in 8th: