I hope everyone is having an awesome Labor Day. Time to talk about how to get some of the other non-Codex Space Marine marines back to being competitive.
I am writing this as I am fighting some kind of cold/allergies/mucous bomb that is currently wrecking my head. This just leaves me tired as I try to work out an article, comic strip, and gasp a list. So much just crushing the poor head of the Goatboy. But I can’t leave the fans without some weekly nonsense, so here I am.
I had a bunch of different ideas I wanted to write about this week. I think the one I want to pull out is some thoughts on how to get some of the other marines back to being competitive. The new Marine codex is pretty powerful with lots of overlaying rules that add a bunch of uses to the bolter, Marine body, and just to the overall meta. I think they will see it along the same lines with GSC and how some players look like they are unstoppable, but a lot of players feel like they can get the tools to work. It is not an easy book as it has a ton of things to think about and work through. It is good as it means it should be a long-lasting book for the game.
Rolling Up Our Sleeves
With that – how do we fix the other books to bring them up to snuff? I think the first thing with all the book is they need an overhaul of their special rules. These are the things they get for having the full army as one thing instead of some kind of mixture of stuff. You can see this in how all the Chapters got two sets of rules when they are all Ultramarines etc. Let’s look at Grey Knights, for example. They have a lot of interesting wargear and options, but due to costs and overall usefulness in their rules, they are not seen as a powerful army choice. So how do we make them better?
I think the rework for them should start at their powers and how they work. I think if they remove the limit of only one type of power per Psychic option and instead go towards the Smite rule of a +1 after each cast you start to have a really unique set of rules. Would this make things too powerful? It would make the army very unique and give some interesting powers to their units. It could be degenerative due to having some powerful Invulnerable saves but the only time a 3+ inv save was too much was when it was on the body of a gigantic Knight who could kill 2+ things a turn. I think this psychic change could be the easiest way to bring some power back to the silver guys. Beyond this, they should also get full-powered Smite on all their units instead of the weakened one they have now. They are still expensive 3+ armor saved jerks with only one wound on most of them.
Angels of Death
After GSC the other Marine options depend on how they want to go in the future. I think the Blood Angel rules are still really good as +1 to wound, Death Company nonsense, and powerful units all make the army still strong. The Dark Angels are really the ones that need something to pump them up. Their army rules just feel very underwhelming beyond some niche options. I think the way to give them something more interesting is to finally give the army a Troop biker choice.
Would it be too much to have troop bikes? Would it be too powerful? I know it would lock the DA into a biker army, but it would make them unique and different from the other armies that need Scouts, Tacticals, and other nonsense. I don’t think we need a reduce of some of the White Scars rules but something to either let them have a chance to field a full biker army of nonsense would go a long way to make Dark Angels players happy. They also need to do something about speeders, moving, and shooting heavy weapons.
The Space Wolves also feel pretty lost. I like their army rules as they seem pretty powerful, and we’ll see if the new upgrades they give to Primaris options will make them good. I could see a crazy Impulsor army coming out as you can have a ton of -1 to hit, 4+ save tanks full of frothing jerks ready to punch you with bolters and fists. I think the whole build-out of Marines with the Chapters having special options and other things could easily flow into Wolves with their different groups within their own armies. I don’t know how worth it would be, but it is something they could easily add up. Heck, just something to bring something interesting to their codex beyond the threat of a Smash captain who hits on a 2+.
Finally, we move to Chaos and how their army feels so deflated after reading that Marine book. Version 2 did give us the Lord Discordant, but nothing was really reworked. Could you imagine if they gave them the Marine redux? The change of the army from a soup of nonsense into a full-fledged Chaos Space Marine army would be dang cool. I don’t think they need more wounds and a Primaris redux – but they could have been made a lot more interesting with stacked Legion rules.
Right now, I have high hopes that we’ll see the Death Guard get a relook at some point. With the way the game has gone they need some kind of refresh because the army as a whole has some unique rules and play style – they just don’t work that well in the current game. I think you could give all the Plague Marines an extra wound and they still would be kind of meh for the army. I loved using them, but their threat range is just not enough. I am not entirely sure what they need to get them to the next level beyond some tweaks to units and range threats.
This leads to the next thing with Thousand Sons – aka the Supreme Command army. I think Ahriman is pretty dang good, probably over costed when compared to Tiggie Smalls but still good. Their Daemon Princes are great, the Tzaangors are also still good, but the Rubric Marines just really feel like they are suffering in the realm of cost/threats/usefulness. I don’t know how to fix them as the army has a weird identity due to the Tzaangors. I think Legion rules-wise they are fine – just needs some options to fight the strong nature of the blue beastmen.
In the next few months, we’ll see how annoying Marines are. A lot of the players online seem to think they will crush a lot of things that we see as current good armies. It’s annoying that the army doesn’t have all the models out yet so we will have to deal with a few conversions probably showing up depending on what comes out with Marines next month. Here is hoping I feel better by the end of the weekend so I can have a good Labor Day. If not – send cookies.
~What do you think GW needs to do to balance the “other” marines?