Saturday, December 10, 2011

Thoughts on Space Marines

You know, the venerable vanilla Space Marine is ubiquitous.  Seems like every other person has an army of some flavor.  (blue vanilla, red vanilla, unpainted vanilla).  But as much as these guys are supposed to kick ass in the galaxy of the year 40,000, on the game table they are pretty mediocre.  I mean, the IG can whoop them?  Really?

These are the Emperor's elite.  The super-human who is supposed to be able to single highhandedly take out an army of humans (or Orks!).  Where as the Texas Rangers motto is "One riot, one Ranger", the Space Marine motto should be "One planet, one Marine."  So how do we make the bad-asses of the galaxy a better wargaming army?

House Rules

So my good buddies Wayne Clark and Bill Moran, who run a monthly Apoc game out of Wayne's massive garage (that fits a 7' x 16' table) have been working to develop some minor adjustments to make the vanilla boys better.  Nothing major, but some really good tweaks.  

1)  Bolters are assault weapons.   OK, get over that whole "You can't rapid fire and assault" crap.  That is what a marine does.  He shoots the crap out of you and then slams his fist into your face.  This rule makes so much sense and makes your basic marine, which got bumped up in price in the last codex, more valuable.

2)  Tactical Squads can take an extra special weapon instead of the heavy weapon. I don't give a crap about what the Codex Astartes says.  Who the hell ever uses that heavy weapon?  I have never been able to get a shot off because my Marines are always on the move.  Give me an extra Melta Gun or Plasma Gun and now my unit can kick some ass.  I mean IG Vets can take THREE special weapons.  And you are telling me my Marines can't get two?  They are the frakkin elite of the elite!

3)  Heavy Bolters should be Assault 3, 24".  OK, NOW there is a reason to take them!

4)  Whirlwinds are crap.  Yeah, we all know that.  And making them only 75 points doesn't help.  They still suck.    Who even takes them?  They are more annoying to have to use than worth the time and effort.

 
And also, give us more special characters that can make our army do something.  Right now Vulcan He'stan is the only special character that really can give the marines some punch.  Pedro ain't bad.  But why wouldn't you take a guy that twin links your flamers and melta weapons and master crafts your Thunder Hammers?  The guy is the default option for Marines and we need more guys that can add different flavors to your army.

Shrike and Khan just give limited abilities.  They don't really change your army and how you will play.  Fleet?  Ho hum.  The Ultramarine characters don't do anything.  When you look at the Marine codex, you need to be able to craft different chapters with unique strengths and weaknesses, just like the Blood Angels and Space Wolves. (OK, Space Wolves don't have any weaknesses).

The old trait system was a good idea.  And I wish they would bring that back.  A series of strengths and weaknesses that made your chapter unique.  That is what we need.

OK, rant over.

Alec

5 comments:

Big Jim said...

Nifty house rules! My group has some similar, one thing that we did that you didn't is we have made heavy bolters in tac and CSM squads Assault 3 weapons.

It just makes sense when you look at a heavy bolter compared to the other heavy weapons. It's not an accurate fire weapon like a the other heavies, we can totally see it as a move and shoot from the hip weapon.

Doc Railgun said...

The rules for Space Marines can be made to be as awesome as their fluff this way:
1) bolters are now Assault weapons, as you point out above.
2) all space marines have the Stubborn, Night Fighting, Feel No Pain, and Counterattack abilities.
3) all space marines have a main weapon (a bolter, special weapon, or heavy weapon, depending on their role), a bolt pistol, and some sort of close combat weapon. That combined with Counterattack gives even a heavy-weapon marine 3 attacks in almost all situations. Dare any opponent try to charge them?
4) bring back Overwatch or give the Marines a stand-and-shoot ability (I'd like to see that as a standard ability for ever race). Assaulting a Tactical squad would be brutal - 10 bolt pistol shots (at BS 4 but -1 to hit, that's still 5 hits and 2-3 wounds), then 30 attacks from the Marines when it's their turn.
5) Give Devastators the Long Fang ability to split their fire (even if there can only be 4 heavy weapons).
6) Give Terminators 2 wounds.

So, for the most part I'm suggesting having the Wolves rules as the base for a new SM Codex, minus the Wolf Guard, the special characters, the HQ units, and the Mark of the Wulfen.

Alec Peters said...

Yeah, you know I edited my post because you reminded me that my buddies made Heavy Bolters Assault 3, 24". Makes sense.

Son of Dorn said...

I think we'll see marines re-buffed in sixth edition.
I'd like to see power armored units reroll failed dangerous terrain tests, too.

Scrap Square said...

Ugh, I hope their points cost sky rockets if these are implemented in the fabled sixth ed lol.

The games are already too centered around them anyways XD

*my views are not influenced by playing DE...*

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