Let me start by getting something out of the way. I haven't read very many of the rumours about the new Space Marine codex at all. Whilst I am interested in the new book (and indeed I've pre-ordered it), I don't like to read too many of the rumours because it just causes confusion between actual rules and what you thought they were going to be. I'm sure there are very few people more excited about the new book and miniatures than my mate Jamie so you should probably follow his blog for the next few weeks. Anyway, I'll be doing a full review of the codex (as I did for Tau and Eldar) but for now I wanted to talk about the models that were released onto the GW site yesterday. I was at a tournament all day yesterday (more on that shortly) so this is the first chance I've had to properly look at the models.
There's clearly some design nods to the dreadnought with the power core on the back and the look of the legs and feet. If Space Marine players were hoping for a big dreadnought type model then what they're getting is 5 mini dreadnoughts instead. Undoubtedly we'll see some of these of the table top though as GW are sure to design the rules to make them must haves. Perhaps my opinion of them will change when I see them in the flesh but right now I'm really not sold. It's a pretty hefty price tag too for three models making each one the best part of £16. Not that GW prices should surprise us anymore I suppose.
The reason I think that I like this model is that you can actually picture it doing what it's supposed to do. Obviously it isn't some new, exciting design as it's essentially a rhino with bolt-ons but overall I like what they've done with it.
Reclusiam Command Squad
Now, obviously you could buy the command squad and the razorback separately but it seems the Chaplain is only avaialble in that box. Of course you could sell off the tank and command squad but it just seems a strange way of doing things. All of that aside the Chaplain is a stunning example of what GW can achieve in plastic these days. Of course we've seen scrolls and the like before but I have to say I'm a big fan of the new Chaplain and I'm pleased to see them continuing their theme of plastic characters with scenic bases.
Perhaps they've done it on a kit before and I've missed it but I also like how they've done the combi weapons. On the face of it you're limited because you can only make one of four combinations but just from looking at the bolter bit you can see you'd easily be able to carve done a regular bolter to make all four options from the same kit to give to your older models.
It remains to be seen if tactical squads will be any more use than they have been in previous incarnations of the book. I'm not hopeful to be honest.
Sternguard & Vanguard
The Sternguard kit has been given the grav weapon options too. However, here the combi weapons are the more traditional single part as opposed to the built it yourself tactical squad version. This is obviously because you can have more combi weapons in a sternguard squad. You actually get two of each combi-weapon too so I can see a burgeoning bits market from this kit alone.
Captain and Librarian
Here are the obligatory new finecast models then... but wait they're actually plastic. This must be the first all plastic release that GW has done for a long time. Personally I think it's fantastic for the hobby and I'm sure Space Marine players will be pleased that there's less Finecast around than before.
On the models themselves though, the Captain is (presumably deliberately) very reminiscent of the previous incarnations of the model with gun rested against the hip and sword outstretched. Irritatingly the gun supplied is a grav weapon with no apparent options. The position of it could make it a ball ache to convert to anything else too. Still there are lots of nice details on the model, again showcasing what they can do in plastic now.
The librarian is clearly taking his cues from Njal Stormcaller with his pose and staff but wait...what the hell is that thing on his shoulder?!!? Seriously it's horrible. It must be what happens when a Space Marine gets bored between battles and impregnates a servo skull! Thankfully it appears to be an optional extra so won't require any carving to remove but I can't begin to imagine what they were thinking! Otherwise it's a nice model and one that I'd almost certainly want in my army if I were to start one.
So there you have it. That's what Space Marine players can look forward to next weekend. I imagine the biggest seller for those who already have an army will be the Stalker/Hunter kit to add some much needed anti-air. Space Marines may well be one of few armies that can deal with flyers without the need for allies. The rules will be what makes or breaks the Centurion kit as I haven't heard many people saying that they're stunning models.