Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What Flavour of Space Marine am I?

Well, being the proud new owner of the Assault on Black Reach set, I find myself in possession of about 600 points worth of Space Marines, and living near a hobby shop where I can pick up extra pieces out of the AoBR set for very cheap.  Also, I have some Orks, I guess.  As such, Hive Fleet Turbo-Ants, my main project and real buggy passion, will now be competing for shelf space and painting time with my new strike force of Space Marines.

This leads to a crossroads, as it were.  Because Games Workshop is a little too enthusiastic about them, we have a whole bunch of options as to what kind of Marines you want to play.  Meanwhile, we Tyranid players get the Pyrovore.  So before I start down my path to the Dark Side, I need to decide what kind of Marines I'm going to play -- And this is where I would absolutely love any input.  But let me see if I can give you the 'new to the hobby' perspective on what I consider to be my four choices for what type of Marines I'm going to play.

Laziest White Scars paint job ever?

Option #1: Vanilla Marines, a.k.a. Ultramarines

The most obvious choice is to play straight Space Marines out of the Codex: Space Marines.  From what I understand, they aren't as competitive (read: spammable) as the two newer Marine Codices, but I choose armies (and units) based on what I like stylistically as opposed to what I think is the best thing out there.  Besides, even if they aren't the best Marines, they're still Marines and in my opinion one of the strongest and easiest to use options.  AbusePuppy points out that they've got their own little tricks up their sleeve as well.

Which kind of raises a problem with Vanilla Marines:  I don't really care about the Ultramarines -- I find them a bit boring.  I will say that I like them a bit better after reading all the fluff in the Tyranid Codex about the invasion of Ultramar etc, but really that's more because there's Tyranids involved there.

Pictured: Ultramarines.  Ironically, also one of my favourite ice cream flavours.

I guess the thing about Vanilla Marines (delicious!) is that there's no persuasive reason to build a force of them.  If you just build another Marine force, you can really play either that force or Vanilla Marines depending on what kind of list you build by subbing your other chapter Marines for the standard codex.  So this pretty much rules out most of the oddball chapters like Imperial Fists, White Scars etc unless I have them counts-as for another Codex.

Overall:  Not a bad option.  I'll keep the codex handy in case I want to field my Chapter Marines as Vanilla Marines for a few games, and probably pick up some of their nifty toys i.e. Master of the Forge.

Option #2: Space Wolves

My distaste for Space Wolves is pretty well documented, so it would be the height of hypocrisy to start a Space Wolf army.  But let's give them a fair shake anyhow.

First, and I cannot stress this enough, I can't stand the whole concept of the Space Wolves.  I find their models to be aesthetically displeasing.  I'm not interested in a group of rough and tumble men, who hang out together and compare beards.  I really don't care for any of their back story that I've come across either, and I think the concept of them riding wolves into battle is cringe-worthy.  I guess some people like Vikings, I really don't.  I feel like this army would be a lot less popular if they were a little less 'competitive'.  Maybe that's true of any army, but I feel like the drop-off here would be sharper than most.

So, what if I created my own Space Marine chapter and used the Space Wolf Codex as the rule base?  I'm allowed to do that!  But I won't, and that's really for two reasons:

1) I have enough converting to do with my Tyranids, since half of the Codex doesn't have a model,


2) More importantly, I really feel like that would still be hypocrisy.  I can't think of any justification to use the Space Wolf rules for a created chapter, other than to use a more powerful Codex.

"I would never forgive your betrayal if you started a Space Wolf army."

Honestly, the temptation's there because if I ever wanted to play a tournament and bring home some prizes, I feel like this is one of the simplest and cheapest armies with which to accomplish that.  But that's not play-for-fun thinking, that's join-the-arms-race thinking.

Overall:  Good option if I really wanted to win games, which would be nice but not at the cost of my dignity.  No thanks.

Option #3: Dark Angels

I have always loved the Dark Angels models, even way back when I was still playing Warhammer Fantasy as a kid.  I think they look mysterious and just plain cool, and I like their colour scheme.  From what I understand, however, their codex is a bit dated and showing its age.  I think if I were to play Dark Angels, I'd be using the Vanilla Marines codex.

That's actually not a bad option, because there's nothing wrong with the Vanilla Marines 'dex.

Delicious Vanilla...
So I could play games with the Vanilla 'dex, build up a force of Dark Angels, and when GW eventually releases a new Dark Angels codex, I'd be ready for it.  Not bad!  I'd have Vanilla Marines the are slightly better.  French Vanilla.

Overall: Pretty good option, and one I'm considering.  I've like the Dark Angels since I was young lad, and I still think they're one of the best looking chapters.

Option #4: Blood Angels.

Now we're talking!  The Blood Angels have also been one of my favourites for a long time.  That was before I even read about The Flaw, The Red Thirst, and The Black Rage.

The Red Thirst.  No way I'm doing a picture for The Black Rage, though.
I think that this particular bit of back story makes the Blood Angels one of the most interesting offerings in the Games Workshop catalog.  That, combined with the fact that I think a bright red army would look pretty striking on the display shelf next to my dark Tyranids, makes me lean this way.

It doesn't hurt that they've got a shiny new codex as well.  And yes, I'm aware that they have the potential to be (almost) as cheesy as the Space Wolves, but I'm thinking that I'm going to avoid the Mech Spam altogether for a few reasons.  It's expensive and hard to transport, first of all.  Second, I don't think I'd have fun playing against it, thus I won't inflict it on my opponent.  Third, there is too much cool stuff in this codex to waste lots of points on tanks.  And even if the Sanguinary Guard aren't that great on the tabletop, I'm going to get some anyways just because the models are so nice.

I have to admit that I have almost made up my mind for sure on this, especially after putting it down in writing.   The thought of having a big army of Assault Marines with a couple of the cool Blood Angels Dreadnoughts and some of the other neat stuff in the Codex.... well, it's really tempting.

Overall:  My favourite choice so far.  Blood Angels are just too cool, a great looking army, and the jump-pack/drop pod army would be a TON of fun to play and paint.

Bonus! Option #5: Create my own Space Marine Chapter

I know that some people find this really fulfilling, but I don't think it's for me.  I like exploring the worlds that other people create, but I don't consider myself to be an imaginative person.  Coming up with my own name, backstory, colour scheme.... Well, it took all my creative juices to have my Turbo-Ants with their inverted Leviathan scheme.

And I think I'd restrict myself to using the Vanilla Marines codex at that point.  I'm just more interested in doing Blood Angels or Dark Angels.


I'm leaning heavily towards building up a Blood Angels army while keeping Codex: Space Marines handy so I can play as either as I see fit.  I think it's a fun change up from the 'Nids, even though it's still an assault-based army, and the backstory and aesthetics of the army are both great.

I'm going to paint up a Marine as a Blood Angel (or at least, I'm going to try) and see how it feels.


Tyranid Unit Review!


I've got everything I need to play a game... so now the quest for an opponent begins!

1 comment:

  1. Is there a dark chocolate flavour? Then they could all be like, "who wants a body massage?"