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 Space Marines - the big picture

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yabba
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PostSubject: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:29 am

The idea of this post is to get some feedback on what are the general feels, themes and actions people would like to see in Space Marines. While at their core SMs have remained pretty much unchanged since their creation, GW has (for good or for ill - not at discussion here) squeezed SM in or variety of heavily characterised and charactured styles and approaches.

So how would you like to feel when you read the Marine Codex? What images and impressions should run rampage through your mind's eye everytime the thought of facing Marines on the tabletop is suggested. How should Marines' work?

Hopefully I will expand on this alot but my initial thoughts are that currently SM do not fit their background as well as could be achieved. There should be elements of doubt about force, deployment, tactics - just about everything. While the opportunity for beating a marine force should be as equal as any other, I can't help but feel that a Marine force on the tabletop should be putting the opponent in the frame of mind of a hard fight at every level of the game, with possibly only numbers being an uncontested factor.

Thankfully we are not constrained by considerations of sales (or should we?) and can pretty much let imaginations and wishlists run riot.

Over to you.
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Herald of the Lost
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:53 pm

Personally, I've always wanted to see Space Marines as the ultimate jack of all trades- an army that can build a reliable gunline, a reliable assault force, or a mobile strike force, but never exceeding the highly specialized races.

For example, Space Marines should be capable building a great high speed army with Bikes, Jump Packs, and Land Speeders, but probably shouldn't be as good as Dark Eldar in that regard. Space Marines should be able to bring a ton of decent firepower, but never overwhelming like the Imperial Guard. Space Marines should be able to build an army meant to run up and literally rip hearts out but that will lose in a straight up brawl with an Ork horde.

To my mind, this requires a few things.

1. First, basic units that are worth taking for reasons other than heavy and special weapons. Tactical Squads should get a +1 Attack bump and no more of this free upgrade nonsense to encourage ten man squads and therefore model purchases. This needs to be a backbone unit again, not merely an objective holder.

2. Morale needs to be a factor again. Immunity to the negative effects of morale encourages very anti-Marine play. Small squads get to be tarpits because they can't be run down. Players don't make use of cover because their Marines can take the punishment and not run. We have to remember that Leadership represents tactical knowledge as well as bravery, and the bravest soldiers know when to back off so they can fight another day. By making Morale a factor, we force a player to think tactically rather that throw his/her squad at something and we punish a player for making bad judgment.

3. Escalation needs to be corralled. We have the advantage of not being controlled by sales and not needing to make Marines better than everyone at everything. I swear, in two editions the retcons will have Marneus Calgar performing a wedgie on the Swarmlord while out-baking Martha Stewart. Space Marines do not need vehicle squadrons, jet fighters, super cavalry, complete immunity to morale (with Calgar), or the ability to drop thirty pie plates a turn. If you want better artillery, play Guard. If you want to roll buckets of dice for attacks, play Orks. If you want an army of skimmers, play Eldar. If you want an army whose basic configuration gives you a change against ANY of the above, play Marines.

I do hope I'm making sense. Smile
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Dwane Diblie
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:16 pm

My thoughts on marines to bring them inline with fluff are realy simple but will require an entire reworking of most of the game as a result. So my thoughs:

WS and BS 5 for Marine. All Heros Should be WS and BS 6 or 7. Quit simple untill you put it in to action and see how much power it ads to them. But then you also start to look at marines and worry about fighting them.

Other ideas I am interested in eather in adition to or instead of above are, give all marines, including assult marines, Bolter, Bolt Pistol and CCW. I do want to see marines fail in combat. ATSKNF should be toned down to just alowing them to rally when a rally roll would be made and ignoring the 50% rule. This would leave them open to all penaltys for failing in the first place.

I have always thought MC was a bit under powered with his gauntlets. I am a firm beleaver that the Gauntlets of Ultamar should be Dreadnought CCWs and not Power Fists. Make him make the entire army Ld10 and remove the God of War rule.

The only bonus a unit needs at full strength is Combat Squads. Nothing else for free.
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:38 pm

Bugger - posted a lovely crafted reply and it got lost Embarassed

Marines need to be far more elite than they are and this means greater flexibility than the codex allows now. Dwayne's ideas are similar to some I have been thinking. As for squadrons etc - marines are by their list rather limited to the effects they can create - all squadrns do is create more of that effect and make it more effective. A squadron of Whirlwinds can't hold a candle to a squadron of Basilisks and any marine commander would know that! But he would also adapt his tactics to his resources.

In addition while I don't think Marneus Calgar should be able to destroy an avatar with a flick of his thumb, he like any Marine character of standing should still be a terror on the battlefield to all but the most hardened of warriors.

Again flexibility and adaptability is really key for me in a Marine army of any flavour.
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Herald of the Lost
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:46 pm

Here's a couple ideas.

And They Shall Know No Fear
A unit with this rule ignores the normal restrictions on testing to regroup, with the exception of unit coherency. In addition, you may choose to have a unit with this rule automatically fail any Morale check they are called upon to take. If a Morale check is failed in this way, the unit will automatically pass the subsequent test to regroup.

Basic Space Marine Profiles
Weapon Skill 4Balistic Skill 4Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 1Initiative 4Attacks 2Leadership 7 (Space Marine)
Weapon Skill 4Balistic Skill 4Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 1Initiative 4Attacks 2Leadership 8 (Sergeant)

Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 4Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 1Initiative 4Attacks 2Leadership 8 (Vanguard Veteran)
Weapon Skill 4Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 1Initiative 4Attacks 2Leadership 8 (Sternguard Veteran)
Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 1Initiative 4Attacks 2Leadership 9 (Veteran Sergeant)

Weapon Skill 6Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 3Initiative 5Attacks 3Leadership 10 (Force Commander)
Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 2Initiative 5Attacks 3Leadership 10 (Chaplain)
Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 2Initiative 5Attacks 3Leadership 10 (Librarian)


Last edited by Admin on Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Turned statlines form test to gifs.)
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:53 pm

Do you know, I would be half tempted to go for a standard Marine/Vet statline with units being defined by weapon choices and a skill.

So in this case a Tactical squad could take any combination of heavy and/or special weapons up to 4 in number, and come with bolter, bolt pistol, cc weapon, frga and krak as standard.

Devastators would come with up to 4 heavy weapons and either Tank Hunter, Bunker Buster, or Support Fire as a free skill upgrade

Sergeants would be equipped as their unit.

Veterans then get to choose assault or support. Assualt gets all the power weapon toys, melta bombs, jump packs, bikes etc. Support would get combi weapons, twin links etc.

This allows the tactical squad to be ultimately flexible and the specialists to be true specialists and almost overhwelming at it.
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Herald of the Lost
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 7:55 pm

Couple questions:

1. Why four weapons on a Tac squad?

2. What are Bunker Buster and Support Fire? They sound deliciously intriguing. Wink
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Dwane Diblie
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:31 pm

I like the idea of a universal Statline for all marines. It is interesting. Leving the differances to weapons and special rules. But I too have to ask why 4 weapons for a Tac Squad. I feel the 3 base marine units do not realy needd so much of a change as that. I like the 2 atttacks ida but I would perfer giving all marines pistol and CCWs. But then we come across the porblem in that it dose not help with this theam ou uniform stat line. So if uniform statline through whole army then I am happy with A 2 and current equipnemt. I also feel this would be a great excuse for my WS and BS of 5 all round.

So now what would make Veterans, Vaingaurd, Sternguars, Comand Squads different form a Tactical Squad or Assult Squad?
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:11 am

Herald of the Lost wrote:
1. Why four weapons on a Tac squad?
Flexibility - it would cost but would allow Tactical Squads to be more flexible. The danger will be that players will try and make them do everything and that wouldn't work. I would suggest up to, but make it an open choice between all special and heavy weapons.

Herald of the Lost wrote:
2. What are Bunker Buster and Support Fire? They sound deliciously intriguing. Wink
Supporting Fire reduces range and replaces Heavy with Assault. Devastator units basically trained and equipped with suspensors
Bunker Buster - increased ability to destroy buildings and negate a little the effect of cover

Quote :
So now what would make Veterans, Vaingaurd, Sternguars, Comand Squads different form a Tactical Squad or Assult Squad?
While I don't agree with the statline HotL has for Vets, I thnk Vets should bring out greater experience and therefore personal variation.

For instance Assault squads. I would add special weapons to the squad. More limited weapons choices for the Sarge. But then the Vanguard would have pure close combat weapon choices and a special rule that would emphasise their close combat ability. We often hear of assault squads deepstriking into an enemy position, wiping out the enemy and then holding on until relieved. A Vanguard unit should just make an enormous mess of the place and then fight their way out back to friendly lines.

I know this needs work so bear with me Smile but there is an overarching theme to this.
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:00 am

I think I get where you are going with this, yabba.

Personally, I think experience and talents should be represented on the statline, and specialization by the special rules and wargear, but I can play ball either way.

@Dwane.

Your desire to see the Space Marines at WS 5 and BS 5 are the same reason I posted lowered WS for the Guard in Hellebore's thread. I wanted more separation and I thought BS 5 army-wide was unbalancing for 1 wound models. You'd have to increase the price significantly, without any real increase in survivability, which I find difficult to balance. I chalk it up to the crappy BS system, but then we aren't here to rewrite the core, eh? Smile
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:55 am

@HotL - stat lines can get a little over crowded, thanks to the rules sytem. However we also have rerolls - twin linking as well - which we can utilise to slightly improve the odds. We can't have 0.5 stats but utilising rerolls gives us a chance to improve the effectiveness of a unit.

And as we are all grown ups there won't be that impatience that GW seems to think is in their younger target audience.
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Col. Tartleton
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:46 pm

The fluff is rather clear how good a marine is. Its more powerful then they are now and less than game shattering. 50 points per tactical marine. Its a little over 3 marines under the current rules, but its 10 times the cost of a guardsman. The only reason marines are ~15 points is to sell models. The fluff is adamant that a Marine is worth ten men straight up and down. Sometimes they under perform, sometimes they're Marneus Calgar... but at the end of the day a Marine is about the same as a squad of guardsmen.

So make a marine 50 points.


Tactical Squad: 50 points

Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 2Initiative 5Attacks 2Leadership 10Armour Save of 3+

Sergeant:

Weapon Skill 5Balistic Skill 5Strength 4Toughness 4Wounds 2Initiative 5Attacks 2Leadership 10Armour Save of 3+ Inv.

Nothing game breaking about that statline. I think Guard and orks are properly pointed and everything else should be derived from Guard Stats. Marines are 50 points. Eldar variously less or more so. CSM more. Necrons about the same, etc.

Buy them as a combat squad (250 points) as an equivalent to the guard platoon but be able to add more men to it and upgrade them. I mean a tooled out Platoon is over 2700 points. So its not exactly out of the realm of sanity to have a tooled out tactical marine squad worth 800 points.


Last edited by Admin on Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:43 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Turned statlines form test to gifs.)
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Herald of the Lost
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:27 pm

I've always wanted to see a ruleset between Movie Marines and what the Colonel suggests, but that may go beyond what Dwane wanted.

Of course, there's nothing stopping us from doing both.
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Dwane Diblie
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:28 pm

Col. This is very much along the lines of my idea for marines. But as has been stated we would have to look at everything when making such a staple change. I mean if they get caught in the open by a unit of dark reapers then wow the carnage. And, Emperor forbid they get hit by a bunch of S8+ weapons. So while nice it dose have alot of work to go with it.

And forget waht I want. Do what you want. This is a place for yor ideas. You want them I am not going to stop you. Especial if it beomes the popular way of thinking. Very Happy
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Tue Oct 26, 2010 4:05 pm

As a holistic thing, the closer we get to movei marines, the smaller the armies, the more likely people will collect them. Hey ho. Right I am going to attempt to get a unti up and running.
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:07 pm

right I have put up a unit card for Tactical, Devastator and Assult Marines. Next I will try Scouts and Veterans.
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yabba
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:27 am

Something else i want to suggest it the idea of Marines Unplugged. Just buy your marines and whatever equipment you fancy within some general categories.
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Dwane Diblie
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:12 pm

Kind of like every marine is a sargent/hero? Could be interesting. Might make for an alternet codex itesa though. One where every marine is 100% customisable from equipment to statline.
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:51 pm

Dwane Diblie wrote:
Kind of like every marine is a sargent/hero? Could be interesting. Might make for an alternet codex itesa though. One where every marine is 100% customisable from equipment to statline.

No disrespect, Dwane, but I hate that idea. Smile

Leave it to Necromunda, Inquisitor, and the like. These games give you deeper levels of customization.
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Lanrak
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PostSubject: Re: Space Marines - the big picture   Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:20 pm

Hi folks.
I am not going go go into any great detail here.
But IMO Space Marines should be a small elite force,good all rounders but not as good as the specialised units found in other armies.

There are 2 factors that bother me.
Using the elite force of Space Marines to judge all other forces against, instead of using a more normal base line like IG.
The way GW underpowers-under costs SM to increase the model count in SM armies.

If we increase the characteristics AND the PV accordingly.
And make the diferenece in SM units purley in equipment.And maybe some form of simple specialist training?

Eg
Assault marines may re roll to hit in assault.
Tactical marines may re roll to hit with boltguns.
Devastators marines may re roll to wound/penetration dice.

Because its important to get Space Marines pitched just right.Perhaps they should be the last codex to be looked at?
Just some thoughts.

TTFN
Lanrak.
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