Codex Review

Just before Easter I picked up a copy of the new codex for Imperial Guard, so of course that means I finally got around to opening my copy of the new Codex Space Marines, picked up on its release weekend late last year.  You see, I find it hard to get worked up about codexes (codices?). Mostly I treat them as a necessary evil, part of the cost of putting an army on the table.  I’m not one to pore over a tome thinking about nifty combinations. Unkind folk may point out that this shows in my win-loss record, but we need not go there. However, I do occasionally open a codex up and have a look at the pictures, read a bit of background or even – gasp! – consider the rules of units I don’t have.

Mostly when I choose an army I start with the models I have, in turn chosen by what I think looks cool. I then go to the relevant codex to find out its cost (and eventually, how it works …) and so find out what the army is worth. As my available stock has grown I have found I have been able to tailor a list a bit for a given mission or points value. I suspect that more people use this approach than online or convention discussions allude to. There, the secret is out.

I’m wearing yellow. And I’m angry. So ask yourself, “Am I feeling lucky?”, punk

That is certainly how I started my first army, Imperial Fists using the 1998 codex (which I think coincided with 3rd edition). I chose a bunch of models I liked the look of, went home together with a codex and tried to sort it all out. Heady days.



I don’t care that chaplains wear black – eat hot bolter!

Fourth edition arrives, along with a new codex. To be honest, I don’t remember this one very much at all. Lysander got a promotion (“Well done, that man”); fourth ed is when I went across to the ruinous powers and formed my Word Bearers. I did add to my Imperial Fists:



I aimed for a grungier, more battle hardened look over my shiny parade ground marines from earlier.

I liked the codex for the fifth edition and started working (in secret, behind suitable warding sigils so the dark gods didn’t notice) on an Ultramarines force.




My first finecast model – which I broke in half getting out of its blister. Otherwise a nice model though

This has become my standard “on the road” army, as it fits into a single case. As a result I’ve got to know this list reasonably well and in some ways have the most success with.

So, I finally opened the 6th edition codex space marines.

I’m pretty impressed. The art work is nice, there are plenty of nice looking minis and the bit of background I have read is not too long or laboured. All pluses for me.

There are some interesting new units – centurions, in particular, while the points values will force the need for a few tweaks in my list. Standard tactical marine squads of 10 appear a bit more expensive by the time weapons are added but captains and other characters appear cheaper. As do scouts – which is ace, I love scouts. A bit shit in a fire fight, but that’s not why they are there.  I haven’t done the maths, but I think that both Imperial Fists and Ultramarines will field about the same number of boys, leavened with an extra character or two – probably a librarian for the smurfs and another captain for the fists. We’ll see.

Expect to see more marines in Faith and Steel.


6 thoughts on “Codex Review

  1. It’s really interesting to see the ‘time-lapse’ of how your painting improved. It was pretty hardcore of you to start with yellow though, that must surely be one of the trickiest colours to paint.


    • I’m chuffed you can see some improvement. I agree about the yellow; it is an example of my ignorance when I began and with hindsight might have selected a different chapter to start with.


  2. I have been very impressed with the new Space Marine Codex. I know that they are the poster boys for GW and generally get favorable treatment, but this book is particularly high quality in all aspects.


  3. I choose my armies based on the same kind of mentality, generally speaking. “Rule of Cool” radically outweighs min-maxing to my mind. I’ve been feeling like starting my old-school Crimson Fists project (that I’ve had planned for like 4 years) for a few weeks now, but I’ve got a bunch of fantasy units cockblocking me on my painting desk…


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