Maybe it’s time to retire a few units…
The Space Marine Codex is a huge book full of a vast multitude of units. It’s also a book that grows unlike any other. As the poster boys of 40K its the only book that like clockwork gets a new version each edition, often more than one. And as the most popular army its the book GW can’t help but keep adding units too. 8th Edition alone saw over a dozen new additions to the book (and thats not counting several units that were broken up into multiple datasheets). As the Primaris section grows we can look forward to even more additions over the coming year.
With so many units in the book its understandable that a number them don’t get played much. Many units have overlapping roles, many other are simply sub-par. I’ve written in the past about ways to make some of these units viable again, but I think we might have to look at another option. Maybe its time we start trimming some fat and get rid of a few units. Here are five units I think we could retire for good.
Look, I love the Whirlwind as much, if not more than anyone else out there. I’ve been trying to find a way to make them a viable unit since 3rd Edition. However after 5 editions and 20 years of trying I’m ready to throw in the towel. The Whirlwind is a cool idea, but a famously bad unit, with little place in 40K. It’s only gotten worse in 8th Edition. It’s so underplayed that if it was removed from the Codex I kind of doubt is most players would even notice. The truth is the Thunderfire cannon has filled the role the Whirlwind was meant to as it is a better indirect fire weapon, and even it doesn’t get taken much. I’d miss the Whirlwind out of nostalgia, but I’d not miss it on the battlefield.
4. & 3. Cataphractii and Tartaros Terminator Squads
I’m not sure why it was who decided we need 4 separate types of Terminator Squads (not even counting the other Terminator like units) but they were clearly a mad man. Outside of the distinction between Assault and Shooting none of these units are really different enough to justify being around. They may have minor wargear options or a small difference here or there, but they all fill the same role and do the same thing. Meanwhile they clutter up the Codex with a bunch of frankly bad units that don’t get played. It would be pretty easy to simple combine several of the current datasheets into one unit. Give them a few extra options and be done. After all, Tactical Squads have always worn a mix of armor types without any issue. Lets clean things up here.
2. Company Veterans
The Space Marine Codex has a surfeit of Veteran units. You’ve got Vangaurd Veterans, Sternguard Veterans, Company Veterans, then other “Veteran” units like the Honour Guard and really all Terminators. Company Veterans are are this point a strange vestigial unit. They originally were your Command Squad, and where how you could unlock units like the Champion, Standards and sometimes even Apothecaries. However all those units have since been split off into their own discrete units. Moreover both Sternguard and Vangaurd Veterans have taken the place Company Veterans once had. They fill the roles Company Vets did better and are more specialized. Really the only thing Company vets still have is the bodyguard rule, a rule thats not very good and also something they share with the Honour Guard unit. Given all that they really don’t have a reason to still be around.
1. The Dreadnought
Ah the old Dreadnought, a classic of 40K and the Space Marines. Here is the thing though, the Space Marine Codex has five, FIVE, separate types of Dreadnought in it. There just isn’t really a good reason for that many. I think at least one of them should go and the basic Dreadnought makes the most sense to me. It’s frankly not a good unit, and everything it does one of the other Dreadnoughts does better. Want a close combat unit? Take the Ironclad. Want good shooting, take the Venerable. Want a cheap, fast multi-melta or assualt cannon platform? Take the Compemptor. Want a giant model that rolls a ton of dice and doesn’t do anything? Take the Redemptor. The “classic” Dread just doesn’t have a place.
The Breadnought of course can stay
Moreover the Dreadnought has a pretty old and at this point outdated model. Comparing the model to the Redemptor, or even just a Primairis Marine and it looks sad. Fluff wise you’ve actually got a good reason to retire it also. It would be easy to say that new Dreadnought pilots are put in Redemptor chassis, not the old ones. After a few hundred years all the old regular Dreadnoughts are now Venerable Dreadnoughts and the basic model can be retired.
Let us know what units you’d get rid of, down in the comments!