Sunday, 29 August 2010

Codex Review: John Venegas’ Space Marine Fandex, Part 2



As promised here is part two of John Venegas' Space Marine Fandex. As stated in the previous review John's dex focuses on creating options for all of the Space Marine Chapters using only one comprehensive document. This part will focus on John's unit entries and their options. Just as with the first installment I have to say that this second half of the codex is an exciting read because it's everything you want the marine codex to be. 


A lot of thought, time and effort has gone into this armylist and it does have everything. In the interest of time I'm going to switch to bullet point mode so that I can cover most of the details without skipping anything vital.



  • There are 30 unit entries in this armylist. This is notable because, as far as I can tell, the list covers all of the current options across all of the Space Marine codecies (and then some). It does this without using a single special character. A great accomplishment and perhaps the best single characteristic of this codex.
  • The options for each entry are very comprehensive. There's nothing you can't do with this document, the possibilities are endless.
  • There is still that nerve-racking detail that many standard rules have been changed or removed all-together. A notable example is the Land Raider that is now BS 5 but loses its Power of the Machine Spirit. It has more options and it doesn't really need PotMS but that critical rule is part of what makes a 'Land Raider' a Land Raider. Speaking for myself the removal of a rule like that takes me out of my comfort zone because it bends the 40k authenticity that this codex would otherwise have kept up admirably. Still nothing is so far gone as to cause me to doubt the quality of the codex as a whole.
  • Why have Marines taken a hit to their Leadership? This seems out of place.
  • I hate these gaps between entries - maybe some "borrowed" artwork to fill them in?
Headquarters:
  • Command squad: Typo - should be "replace its Krak grenades with Meltabombs" I'm guessing.
  • The Honorific and Heroic Traits really work well here. One small option purchase is all you need to switch between a generic chapter or an existing mainstream one.
  • Apothecary is an interesting inclusion - I'd like to see the reasoning for that addition versus putting him in the Elites slot. 'Advising Officer' does change things considerably.
  • At a glance most options seems appropriately costed though I don't envy John the task of playtesting all of them. 
Elites: 
  • Some really nice, colorful options here with some FOC changing potential to make things even more interesting. 
  • Both Vanguard squads seem slightly undercosted. Not game-breakingly so but certainly the difference would be felt if you played against the regular Marine codex. Some option costs have been adjusted for the better (Assault Cannon Cheaper/ Cyclone more expensive) but I still find the per model cost to be rather low. 
  • Sternguard don't have special ammo?
  • Why can sternguard take TDA if there's a Sternguard Terminator squad? Why does it only cost 23pts/model to add more members to the Terminator squad?
  • Typo: Forsaken squad - should be "add more forsaken marines" - beware the copy/paste sloppiness.
Troops:
  • Nothing that special here. Scary to see regular Marines with Ld. 7 *shivers*
  • Why aren't Scout squads scoring? That seems arbitrary. Is there a way to make them scoring that I missed/forgot?
  • Neophyte Sergeant should have the same Ld as any other sergeant - he's not a rookie.
Fast Attack:

  • Seeing the option to take Assault Marines as Troops I'm wondering where the option to take Terminators as Troops is. Did I forget where I saw it or did I just assume there was one?
  • No love for the Land Speeder Storm?
  • There's no reason at all to take Scout Bikers. Unique wargear options and/or special rules are required to make them attractive. 
Heavy Support:
  • Devastators - Multimelta and Lascannon cost the same? Weird.
  • I love the option list for the Dreadnought but there are a few more that could be added. Area of effect items would be nice as well as FOC bonuses for taking the Dread as an HQ. Dreads as Troops please.
  • No special ammo for the Whirlwind? Something to make it more attractive?
  • Godhammer Land Raider costs 280 points? Yikes, I'm never taking that - it was arguably the worst loadout of the three to begin with due to its convoluted role on the battlefield. Now you've taken away the special rule that gave it some flexibility and made it significantly more expensive.
Dedicated Transports:
  • Rhinos and Razorbacks are just automatically Fast? I'd like to see this become an upgrade both for the transports and for the Predator. Also Extra Armor shouldn't cost the same on every vehicle - that's the lazy GW mentality. 
I think that's everything. If anything else turns up I'll be sure to update. Thanks to John for putting this document together - it really is impressive. I'd say there's still a ways to go before you can use this confidently for pickup games without reproach but hopefully the advise given here will ease transition.

 Stay tuned for Master Bryss' Steel Legion character - it's good stuff.

-Atrotos

1 comment:

Herald of the Lost said...

Many thanks for the review, Atrotos. There is always more work to do. :) To all that are interested, I'll be updating the codex regularly to account for playability issues and typos.