Warhammer 40k Space Marine Codex – There’s a new edition of Warhammer 40,000, and of course that means a new Space Marine Codex to match. This version packs more of a wallop though with an advanced story and new Primaris Marines. So what does the new tome hold for Adpetus Astrates?
First things first, I really like this new cover art! I think it blows the latter two out of the water, although I do like the cover of the 7th edition. The new Primaris Marine painted in this popular style looks simply fantastic, and the colors used really set it off. Aside from the art, I really like the new layout and design they are doing for the 8th edition cover with the border. Looks very clean and professional.
Warhammer 40k Space Marine Codex
When you open it, you are greeted with the beginning of all lore, going back to the Great Crusade. A lot of familiar ground is covered here for those familiar with Space Marines and 40k, but most of it is presented in a new way. It’s not like I’m just re-reading something, it’s taken from an old edition. The Heresy episode, for example, felt like it drew more inspiration from the ongoing series, helping to strengthen the game and the story more. There are also some nice patterns in this section, including the one above, and a bunch of interesting side boxes.
Amazon.com: Warhammer 40k Codex Supplement: Space Wolves
Of course, there’s a lot of new lore here as well, related to the forward timeline. I really like the way they go about the setting and the Primaris Marines, so anything I can read about them makes me happy. There is a bit about the creation of a Space Marine that lists all the organs that go into its creation, plus three new ones for the Primaris. Such things fascinate me. We can also read about Indomitus Guilliman’s Crusade and the battles in Ultramar, including the Plague War.
After that, it goes into each of the main Space Marine chapters, starting with the Ultramarines. Each episode covers the entire history of the Chapter, from the formation of the legions in the Great Crusade, their encounter with the Primarch, the Heresy, the two major engagements since then, and the locations them now with a new story. I feel like this is the most in depth they’ve done outside of the Codex mini which was focused on just one Chapter. You really understand about them plus their story. They also included a few color models of their successor Chapters, with a little background on each. Some of them will be very familiar, while others are a little more obscure. Some, like the Scythes of the Emperor, are now exposed because they were nearly depleted before, and they have been restored to full power thanks to the Ultima Founding, which is the introduction of the Primaris Marines. I think the artwork for the color template is the best they’ve had in a while as well. They’re a long way from what they had in the 7th edition Codex, and while they’re not as good as Forge World, they’re pretty close. A big improvement in my opinion.
The Chapters that will be analyzed are the first Chapters that were founded; the Ultramarines, the Imperial Fists, the Salamanders, the White Claws, the Raven Guards, and the Iron Hands, as well as a few of their successor chapters. The Crimson Fists and Black Templars, even though they never formed their first Chapter, get a lot of attention from them because of their importance. I’ve always liked these two, so it’s great to see them continue their time at the top of the Space Marine ranks. They were both on the cover of the 40k rulebook and the starter set.
Codex’s artwork is stellar all over the world. There are a bunch of returning characters from the old books, but there’s also a lot of new stuff. This two page spread of the Death Guard vs the Ultramarines still impresses me even though I’ve seen it in the core rulebook. Everything new here deals with Primaris Marines, which is fine by me.
Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines
Next we go to a more detailed background description of each item. These are grouped into a few sections; Commander, Combat Team, Close Support Team, Elite Team, and Fire Support Team. Each group gets at least a few paragraphs about it. Again, even though I’ve read about some of the older pieces before, the new one here felt fresh and like they took the time to write it rather than just copycats.
What caught my attention the most was all the new stuff in Primaris, with all these new components.
The Special Characters section wraps it up. What interests me is how some of these people’s stories continue where we last saw them. Shrike is now in charge of the Raven Guard after the Damocles incident, Sicarius is lost in the Warp, and Pedro Kantor is given a new lease on life for his chapter with Ultima Founding. Not every player updated their story this way, but enough did that it felt fresh to me. Kantor’s story in particular stood out to me for its connection to the current story of 40k most of all.
No Codex would be complete without the ‘Eavy Metal Gallery, showing all the models in the studio. Ultramarines can feature all the new toys, but the other Chapters that are included in the book get at least a page. I wish all of these would be classified for example Primaris Marine so I can see what they look like in each project. Some of them did, but not all of them. In fact, it would be really cool to have a quick gallery of Primaris examples for each Chapter and the successor chapters shown earlier, like they did in the old 3rd edition Codex Marine. Please have a colored example to go with the color template.
Codex: Space Marines (collectors Edition)
This section is rounded off with a collection of example soldiers built from the Know No Fear starter set. A hobby section like this is always interesting to me, and if the book had saved pages it would have been nice to see a collection of examples or two, as the Codex is quite long.
Now we come to the rules, the Dataslates for each group. You know the scope of the Space Marine model is vast, but you don’t really appreciate it until you see how many Dataslates it has. There are 85 different group entries here, making up 54 pages of the entire 208 page book! That’s a lot of options for your army. All of these are structured in the same way as they were in the Indexes. There is a list of various weapon options on the front, such as Melee Weapons or Terminator Melee Weapons, and each entry tells which option they can use. It will list them on the Dataslate there, or say they can choose one of the categories above. Power levels for each unit are on the Dataslate as well as power costs for increasing unit sizes. Some of the units that were in Imperium Index 1 did not make the transfer here, such as the anniversary marine model, or the tanks from Warhammer World. I think it’s because these models are more niche and limited in stock. You can still use the rules for those from the Index though I think. The Age of Heresy, however, entered, with the Terminator team model Cataphracti and Tartaros.
Most pages have two Dataslates on them, but some are large enough to take up an entire page of their own, or have a nice image like this included with them.
The model image here is as good as expected as well. This battle shot really caught my attention.
Warhammer 40k Datasheet Cards: Space Marines (10th Ed)
After all group rules, we get several rules. Each Chapter has its own characteristics that apply to units in the army. All of these felt very appropriate for the Chapter that represented them without defeat. If you’re playing a successor Chapter, just use characters from your parent Chapter, unless you’re the Black Templars, who have their own. There are also a whole number of new tricks for using the command line. There are generals that the Space Marines can use, and then there are also unique ones for each Chapter that have a character. Some of these tactics seem to be trying
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