A First Look At The New Space Marines Codex

New Space Marines CodexSpace Marines! The new Codex is here. Time to take a look!

They are my bulwark against the Terror. They are the Defenders of Humanity.
They are my Space Marines and they shall know no fear.

Obviously, I haven’t done a thorough reading of the book. These are – in essence – arbitrary things that stood out to me when I was flipping through the new Space Marines Codex for the first time.

#1 – Space Marines Codex Artwork

Codex Space Marines internal art

First off, I got to say that this is – of course – an absolutely gorgeous book. The Codex cover (see above), once again by Raymon Swanland – in fantastic. The various armies on display look great and there is lots and lots of great art. Not all of it is new, but a lot of it is.

Visually, this is a great book to read, and to read again. No doubt about that.

#2 – The Origins of the Space Marine

Codex Space Marines Heraldry

After the Introduction, the Codex starts with a section called “Origins of the Space Marines”. It’s 16 pages long (with the opening double-page art) and gives a basic rundown on Space Marines.

It has the Making of a Space Marine page from the previews for the Space Marines iCodex, details on Space Marine Power Armour, a huge map with the location of different Space Marine Chapters in the Galaxy, Heraldry, and more.

It will be familiar to people who played Warhammer 40K before, but it is impressively presented.

#3 – The Space Marine Chapters

Codex Space Marines Internal Chapter Art

There are different entries for all the 9 Founding Space Marine Chapters, each (except for the Salamanders) with a section for Successor Chapters.

They all open with the piece of artwork you can see on the respective Limited Edition Codexes.

It’s nice, as you don’t need to buy one of the LE Codexes to enjoy these art-pieces, which are rather nice IMO (and the prices the LE-Codexes on eBay currently go for are beyond crazy).

#4 – The Centurions

Codex Space Marines Centurions

Paging through the different units, one entry is looked to first were of course the Centurions – easily the most-debated addition to Space Marines. The rules aren’t far from what was rumoured.

The background actually gives a nod to the Horus Heresy Space Marine Centurions, which the Codex says inspired their naming.

Named after the Space Marine leaders of old, the Centurion design was unearthed in the aftermath of the Age of Apostasy, ..

Curiously enough, there are quite a few Horus Heresy references throughout. The Grav-Weapon entry, for example, also references the Heresy-era graviton weapons.

It’s – overall – a curious development. On one hand, all those Heresy-references coming full circle make the fluff much tighter. On the other hand, there’s a sense of “the tail wagging the dog”, with Black Library turning the Horus Heresy stuff from background into the main show, and Forge World in turn largely shelving their own creative efforts (Vraks, Taros, etc..) in favour of turning the Black Library Horus Heresy novels into a game. Now it flows back into the main-game.

#5 – Defenders of Humanity

New Codex Space Marines Hobby Miniature Display

The “hobby” / picture section (do we still call this the “hobby sections” these days, even if there’re no hobby-articles?) of the Codex is a whopping 30 pages all by itself (with more than half showcasing Ultramarines, making it far more Ultramarines-heavy than the 5th Edition Codex).

I liked this page (right) showcasing the full 10 Captains, all with different miniatures, by using the Apocalypse Captains (and Sicarius), as well as the regular plastic Space Marine Captain miniatures (the new one for the Captain of the 3rd and the old one for Captain of the 7th).

The entire “hobby section” is titled “Defenders of Humanity”. I am not sure how much the darker, more ambivalent aspect of the Space Marines features in this Codex as I haven’t truly read all of it.

It sounds like an emphasis on the “knightly” aspect of Space Marines, even though there are some morbid bits in there as well. The new smart anti-air missiles of the new Hunter Rhino-variant, for example, shoots chapter serfs at enemy-flyers, which I found slightly odd.

The skyspear missile launcher fires pre-blessed savant warheads, each a relic in its own right, housing the entombed remains of a distinguished chapterserf.
The servitor’s mummified brain augments the missile’s auto-targeters, allowing it to second-guess enemy pilots or home in on the heretical emissions of their debased machine spirits.

#6 – Thoughts?

On first sight, the new Space Marines Codex is a great book. £35.00 for a gaming supplement (and £39.99 for the iCodex ?!?! you really pay for that army builder-function) is nothing to sneeze at. Having some 70 pages over the previous 6th Edition Codex books (and 100+ pages over the £30.00 Iyanden Codex) helps, however. It feels meaty and heavy and is gorgeous to look at.

I am looking forward to spending some time with this book!

What about you?

Did you get hold of the new Space Marines Codex? Do you plan to?

If you have it, what do you think? Do you like it? What do you like or dislike about it?

Let me know what you think and leave a comment!




I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at www.pinsofwar.net.
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  • Jeff

    I’m thinking I was very smart by not buying a LE

    • jteague

      Same here, but still very tempting.
      But £35 extra for a dustjacket and a different picture on the front isn’t worth it. I would pay maybe a tenner more, 15 at most for a LE codex.

      • Jeff

        I will admit if they offer a collectors ed of the upcoming Blood Angels Codex I’ll be there. My willpower is only so strong.

        • Hive Senteniel

          I think most of us can’t resist having are own armie’s LE army codex :p

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/9360674@N04/sets/72157600510023664/ BrassScorpion

    This Codex book is $58 US, but I have to say my reaction was also that it’s at least fabulous in production quality. I picked mine up at a midnight release Friday night at Games Workshop Bowie (Maryland, USA) and was immediately impressed.

    I like the miniatures including the slightly weird Centurions, only the extreme prices for the new models (especially the $78 per box for Centurions, $30 for character blisters that would have been less than $15 about 3 years ago when plastic characters in blisters first appeared) is a big negative.

    I’m already looking forward to growing my custom Space Marine chapter with more new and existing models. I’ve attached a photo of the more than 3000 points I’ve already painted.

    • http://pinsofwar.net/ Zweischneid

      Awesome. Thanks!

  • Dropship Ace

    I’m still trying to figure out how they justify the 90 dollar price tag her in Australia.

    And they wonder why brick and mortar stores are failing.

    • Me obviously

      Yea, £35 is equal to 59.57 Australian dollars, perhaps it’s something to do with import laws in Australia?

      • Dropship Ace

        But thirty plus dollars on each item, that’s insane.

        Are they flying them over in passenger seats?

  • disqus_I1VIVQiPZK

    Does anyone know if drop pods can be shot by interceptor, a friend of mine says they have a special rule saying they can’t be, if true is that still the case?

    • Anon

      They can, at the end of the movement phase, to quote the Big Book “At the end of the enemy Movement Phase, a weapon with the Interceptor special rule can be fired at any one unit that has arrived from reserve within its range and line of sight”.

      But they wouldn’t be able to blow it open before it even landed.

  • Chris Bellamy

    I’m not buying another Space Marine codex that is going to be replaced in four or five years. Looking at my library I have 17 obsolete rulebooks and codexes…

  • Jay

    Just bought the epub/mobi version of the codex. Waste of money for one reason alone. It’s a half arsed job. The formatting simply isn’t done correctly and looks like it was put together by the office works experience student. Sure all of the text is there but the pages look like a web page from about ten years ago. So very very unimpressed for the cost. Get hard copy.