Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vanilla Space Marines

So there seems to be a consensus amongst my 3 readers (Thanks guys!) that the Vanilla Codex is the best of the Power Armor codexes. Their argument, which is certainly sound, is that the Codex is incredibly flexible and allows for many different kinds of builds. This is very true. Even without the use of special characters, there are at least half a dozen viable builds from the codex.

Here are the pros and cons as I see them in this particular codex. (I intend to make a post about each Marine Codex.)

Combat Tactics: At first when I read this rule, 4 years ago, I scoffed. Why would you want to run away from combat? The thought was silly. Oh, maturity. Now I completely understand the purpose. 10 Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield Terminators? Hell yeah I'm gonna get out of there! The use of combat tactics allows for the rest of your army to torrent the enemy to death, preferably before they chase your unit off the board. This is the epitome of flexibility within the book.

Combat Squads: During the Arkham Insanity Tournament, I heavily used combat squads. Multiplying my scoring units by two, allowing for a mobile Meltagun, and a static Lascannon is too good to pass up. Space Wolves do not have this option, which isn't all that awful, but it can still make a big difference.

Outfield/Midfield Shooting: Holy hell are Vanilla Marines good at this. Riflemen Dreads, Dakka Preds, Typhoon Speeders, Razorbacks, the Vanilla Codex has it all.

Null Zone: This is money by itself. Re-rolling those passed 3+ invulnerable saves? Yes please.

Assault Terminators: Speaking of 3+ invulnerable saves, these guys are definitely good at that. It seems strange to me that people speak of their inability to mobile. Gate of Infinity and Null Zone Librarian? I can tell you from experience that these guys are perfectly mobile with him around. They are also the cheapest out of the Marine codexes.

Special Characters: Tons of cool characters is always a bonus. They allow for such a variety of builds and playstyles. Taking them can allow for thematic and effective army lists.


These are the cons of the codex as I see them. These are in direct comparison to the other Marine codexes. Some people may disagree. If you do, say something!

Expensive Troop choices: In order to get that nice Meltagun or Multi-melta/Lascannon, you have to buy 10 Space Marines per squad... sigh. So an extra 80 point investment before getting the necessary 5 point investment? G. D. That doesn't even include the Rhino transport. Grey Hunters are much cheaper and they can have a Meltagun with 5 men with a Wolf Standard and a special CC weapon.

Lack of Mobile Close Combat threat: This, to me, is big. The ability to fight in Close Combat AND to have massive torrents of shooting is very important. So the lack of CC besides the Assault Terminators is obnoxious. Assault Squads are not very effective and Dreadnoughts are far too slow. Vanguard can be very effective, but they are often way too pricey to be worth it.

These are the two big problems in my opinion. Overall though I give the codex a definite thumbs up. It is certainly in the running for the codex of choice, but I'll need to do some more analysis before I make my final decision. I should have about another week to decide.


  1. Am I counted as one of your 3 readers?

  2. That depends. Do you read and understand what I am saying? :P