New Space Marine Codex 6th Edition Review - Part 3 - New Units
Welcome back! Murphy, here, continuing my review of the new Space Marine Codex for Warhammer 40k 6th edition. To get updates about new review articles or general gaming nonsense, you can follow me on Twitter with @BenMurphy. If you are just joining the conversation, this is the third part of my Space Marine Codex Review: parts 1 and 2 covered new army rules, Warlord Traits, and Chapter Tactics. You can find Part 1 by following the link below:
- New Space Marine Codex Review 6th Edition - Part 1
- New Space Marine Codex Review 6th Edition - Part 2
This article will focus on the new units inside the Space Marine Codex, which is a departure from my usual codex review format. This codex is just so big that I want to skip to the new stuff and then go back and cover existing units that have seen some changes. Let's go!
Space Marine Stalker Tank
The Stalker tank is one of the new units in the new Space Marine Codex. It is a dedicated anti-aircraft vehicle that is designed to give the space marine force a counter to high-flying units without having to take an expensive Flyer of their own. The Stalker is equipped with two independent turrets that give the Stalker some interesting options.
- Heavy Support Choice - 3/4ths of a hundred points.
- 12/12/10 armor rating
- 3 hull points
- smoke launchers
- can take vehicle upgrades
- icarus stormcannon array
Let's look at that Icarus stormcannon array. It has two modes of fire:
- Single Target - 48" Strength 7, AP 4, Heavy 4, Skyfire, Twin-linked
- Dual Target - 48" Strength 7, AP 4, Heavy 4 Skyfire with Servo Tracking
When shooting at a single target, the icarus stormcannon basically acts like a Quad Gun, but without the Interceptor. Now, here's a small problem. Without Interceptor, not only can it not fire when an enemy arrives from Reserve, but it also means that it can only Snap Fire at ground targets. Hmm.
When shooting at Dual Targets, it has the same limitations as above, but it can literally target two different units. The drawback is that these shots are only resolved at BS 2, so hitting on a 5+ . . . and you lose the Twin-linked rule as noted in the profile above.
Murphy's Take: I actually like this unit, despite the limitations above. For less than 100 points, you get a decent anti-air unit. It costs less than an Aegis Defense Line with a Quad gun, and it allows your other units to get "out front" without the need to stay back and man the Quad gun. If you like playing more aggressively, then this is a good choice for you.
Yes, at AV 12, it can be taken out before a flyer comes in. However, this is a vehicle. Keep it out of line of sight, behind a large building or something. When the enemy flyer arrives, you can move 6" into line of sight and open up with the icarus stormcannon. The option to fire at two targets is pretty good against low-AV flyers (Eldar, etc) as often a single Str 7 hit is enough to take an enemy down.
Space Marine Hunter Tank
The space marine Hunter tank is the second new unit and it is a dual hit with the space marine Stalker. You buy one box and can make either variant (or possibly with magnets make both). This model is interesting because it actually is based on the old Epic model from 15 years ago!
Unlike the Stalker, which unleashes multiple shots onto one or two targets, the Hunter fires a single, powerful missile.
- Heavy Support choice. 7/10 of a hundred points.
- 12/12/10 armor rating
- 3 hull points
- smoke launchers
- can take vehicle equipment upgrades
- skyspear missile launcher
Alright, let's look at that skyspear missile launcher!
- Skyspear Missile Launcher - 60" Strength 7, AP 2, Heavy 1, Armorbane, Skyfire, and Savant Lock
Once again, this weapon lacks Interceptor which means it cannot fire as an enemy enters from Reserve, and it can only Snap Fire at ground targets. However, it has Armorbane to roll 2d6 when penetrating armor, and this new rule: Savant Lock. What does this do?
Whenever you MISS with this weapon, you place a marker on any enemy Flyer or Flying Monstrous Creature. On the start of every one of your Shooting Phases, you roll a die for each marker on a target. On a 5+ you remove the marker and score a hit against the enemy's rear armor with the above profile. The only way for an enemy to remove a marker is to A) be hit! or B) leave the battlefield.
Murphy's Take: I like this Savant Lock rule! Is it entirely points efficient? Is it tournament competitive? Probably not in either case. However, it's fluffy! How can you not spit sound effects out of your mouth when placing a heat-seeking missile lock on your opponent's flyer? With the Armorbane rule, any hit will likely cause a penetration (2d6 + 7 versus AV 12 at the most). Just like the Stalker, you can hide this vehicle out of line of sight, then move out 6" and fire at the enemy.
A special note: both of these vehicles are honestly a little "underpowered" by competitive standards. I like this, though, because it lets both players have fun. What's the point of your friend buying, painting, and then fielding a cool Flyer if your new SM tank can blow it out of the sky using Interceptor with an 86% success rate? That's not fun. It's also not fun for your friend to bring a Flying unit that eats through a unit of your own every turn with impunity because you have few options to even target it (*cough* Heldrake).
By toning down the anti-air options, it ensures that Flyers will still be fielded, but that armies will have a decent chance to counter them from game-to-game. Both players get to do something fun (kill models), but most likely both players will eventually be successful at eliminating those continuing threats. You can't equate stomping heads at a tournament with having fun with your friends across the table. In that sense, these models are great choices.
Space Marine Centurions
The last of our new units are the space marine Centurions! There are two variants of the Centurions, the Devastator and the Assault version. I will review both here because they share stats and only differ in their wargear and role. Basically, these things can be described as a Space Marine inside a Space Marine! Let's look at stats.
- Standard marine stats with some bonuses (below)
- Strength and Toughness of 5
- 2 Wounds
- 2+ armor save ... but no invulnerable save.
- Decimator Protocols - fire two weapons in the Shooting Phase
- Slow and Purposeful
- Very Bulky
So they have nice stats, but are vulnerable to AP 2 weapons and volumes of fire; just like Terminators, but without that 5+ invulnerable. They do have 2 wounds, which kind of balances things out. Let's look at the two variations.
- 3-6 within a unit at more than 50 points each
- twin-linked flamers (can be upgraded to twin-linked meltas)
- ironclad assault launchers - similar to assault/defensive grenades (can be traded for a hurricane bolter)
- Move Through Cover
- Sergeant can take an Omniscope (Night Vision and Split Fire)
- Landraider as dedicated transport
- Dual assault drills (Str 9, AP 2, Armourbane, Specialist Weapon) NOT Unwieldy
Murphy's Take: These guys are a big Hmmmmmm for me. They will strike at initiative with powerful blows, so they can take out Monstrous Creatures, Terminators, and any real standard unit. However, they will not be able to perform Sweeping Advances, so they are just vulnerable to return fire and getting them across the table. You can purchase a Landraider, but now you are spending nearly 400 points for this unit and its delivery. I think they will work and be powerful, but deployment will be tricky.
- do not have the Move Through Cover ability
- twin-linked heavy bolters (can be upgraded to twin-linked lascannons or grav-cannon and grav amp... explained below).
- hurricane bolters (can be upgraded to missile launchers with frag/krak).
- Sergeant can also take an Omniscope
- Landraider as a dedicated transport
Before I give my two-cents, I have to describe that grav-cannon and grav weapons in general. So let's look at that.
- grav-pistol - 12" Str * AP 2, Concussive and Graviton
- grav-gun - 18" Str * AP 2, Salvo 2/3, Concussive and Graviton
- grav-cannon - 24" Str * AP 2, Salvo 3/5, Concussive and Graviton
The grav-pistol can be taken by characters, including sergeants. Grav-guns are Special Weapons that most squads can take in leu of a melta or flamer. The grav-cannons can only be taken by Devestator Centurions.
The Graviton rule is crazy! Instead of having a strength, these guns will wound enemies based on their armor save. So power armored enemies are wounded on a 3+. Terminators on a 2+. Remember that these things are AP 2! Against vehicles, they only inflict damage on an armor penetration roll of a 6, in which case they take a hull point and automatically inflict the Immobilized result on the vehicle! The Salvo rule balances this out some, as you are only half-ranged if you move, but Centurions have Relentless with their Slow & Purposeful, right?
Murphy's Take: I suspect that anyone running Devastator Centurions will equip them with grav-cannons and grav amps. The grav amp allows you to re-roll wounds or armor penetration rolls (looking for 6's). With three centurions, you are pumping out 15 shots with AP 2 that wound on your opponent's armor save. This is an average of 10 hits and verses power armor, that's an average of 8-9 wounds with no armor save (remember the grav amp). Yeoch! Marines better look for some cover saves. Versus vehicles, you are hitting on average 10 times with 3 effects after re-rolls. That's 3 hull points and 3 immobilized results which spells death.
The balancing factor is that Centurions have to get within 24" to attack. This leaves them in range for a powerful counter attack from, what I will guess will be a lot of the opponent's army. Weight of fire, plasma, etc will take them out eventually. Though Toughness 5 means they wont be insta-killed by most things. I think they are a powerful unit, that will have diminishing returns as the battle rages on, but well worth taking.
Which new units are you purchasing for your army?
This moves us through the new units for the Space Marine Codex! Personally I'm a fan of all these units, mostly because they are strong but not overpowered. I hate when a new codex comes out that completely dominates the game because there is no option to counter. All of these new units can wreak face, but they can also be countered. How about that? Take the poll to the right to tell the world which unit you think is worth it.
Alright, readers, I need some guidance. What should I review next? All comments are read and responded to and I'm hoping to get more articles up this week. Where to start? This codex is huge and there are several angles I could approach it with. In the mean time, feel free to check out of some of my other 6th edition Warhammer 40k articles.
- New Apocalypse 40k Review
- Flyers in 6th edition Warhammer 40k
- New Eldar Codex Review
- Forever War - my personal hobby blog
Thanks for reading. Murphy Out!