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