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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...