Warhammer 40,000 – Thoughts on the Space Marine Releases

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This weekend was the official announcement of the 6th edition update to Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000; White Dwarf was released yesterday, to show off all the new stuff hitting the shelves next week. Pre-orders also went up on the Games Workshop site, and internet retailers across the web (although the popularity and anticipation of the release meant I couldn’t get onto the GW website until 9pm!). This is a big release: Space Marines are the most iconic of Games Workshop’s lines, and by far their biggest selling. The Codex is larger than any they’ve done before, and we got a heap of miniature releases. It’s mostly these releases I’ll be giving my thoughts on, but I might drop one or two others in there!

It gets quite long, so I’ve taken the unusual step of putting it all behind a “read more” link

New Tactical Squad Box

Long, long, long overdue; the tactical squad box-set is one nearly every Warhammer 40,000 player will buy at some point, and the current one has been showing its age for a long time. It first came out before I quit the hobby for several years, and despite a “recut” with a few extra options, hasn’t changed since. One thing White Dwarf has been raving about is the multitude of extras and parts, so there should be plenty of unique ways to assemble this set, before you even get into kitbashing and conversions.

Even though this is very much a “plain” kit with nothing amazingly fancy to it, I quite like this set for some reason. The Marines themselves look a lot better in my opinion. It might just be the sharper details and new options, but whatever it is, it works for me.

New Sternguard Box

Love. Absolutely love this kit. The number of options is staggering, and all of the leftover parts can be mixed into the Tactical Squad set seamlessly. These guys will be bought in droves by every Marine player – it’s the equivalent of the Death Company set in the Blood Angels line; the parts can be mixed in anywhere to add tonnes of flavour to your collection. The fact Sternguard kick ass on the table only helps!

That picture you’ve seen, with the Sergeant resting his hand on the pommel of a sword? Expect to see that part everywhere.

New Vanguard Veterans Box

I like these guys mostly as a replacement for the ageing Assault Marines box-set. Now they’ve re-done the Tactical set, I really hope Games Workshop re-do the other “core” Marine boxes. Other than that, I’m not as excited for this kit as I am for the Tactical and Sternguard sets.

New Anti-Aircraft Tank

Aesthetically I prefer the option with the single big gun. However I have a sneaking suspicion (without having read the rules yet) the other way of building the kit, with the two multi-barrelled guns, will be the more useful on the table. I don’t have any pressing need or desire for this kit, so I won’t be rushing out to buy one.

The New Character Models

I straight-up don’t like the new Captain. It’s just a re-done Assault on Black Reach Captain with more details. I didn’t like the model then, and I don’t like it now.

The Librarian, I do like. It’s one of the more dynamically posed characters in the line, and it’s nice to new choices. The details look nice, and I can’t really find anything to quibble about.

The Chaplain – I don’t like the helmet, but thankfully there’s a bare-headed option in the kit. Use that, and I like the model a lot. There’s a load of little details on the miniature that add up to something I’d really like in my collection. But there’s one big problem in my view: he only comes as part of the “Reclusiam Command Squad” set. So to get hold of this miniature I’d have to spend £55 and get an additional tank and command squad kit I don’t need or want. That sucks. As I said on Twitter last night:

The Centurions

Saving the most controversial kit of the release to last! To be honest, I think the jury is still out on these as far as I’m concerned. I like the idea, but I’d have to see the model in person before I can decide which side of the love/hate fence I fall on. I think it’s because it’s hard to figure out the scale from the photos we’ve seen so far. For what it’s worth, I prefer the Devastator version of the assembled kit, but that might change.

The Codex

It’s big. It’s got lots of stuff in it, including loads of new “fluff” apparently. It’ll set the bar for the remaining 6th ediition releases, and it will be insanely popular.

All those “Limited Edition” variants seem a bit overkill. I’ll get the standard hardback to put on the shelf, and the digital version on my iPad for convenience and FAQ updates.

Speaking of the iPad version…

No Finecast

Strangely, there’s none of the new releases done in the much-maligned Finecast resin. It could be a sign of things to come, or it could simply be because Marines got a few Finecast releases not long ago, in the Apocalypse expansion release. The former is interesting, the latter… not so much.

White Dwarf Photography

This one isn’t really release-related (although the pictures in question are…) but the photography in this month’s White Dwarf was brilliant, particularly the “action shots.” There’s atmospheric lighting, interesting angles, depth of field, etc. Some of the digital edition are panoramic – you have to swipe to see everything, and I think there’s some “fold-outs” in the print copy to match… well done to all those involved!

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About Chris

Dad. Techy. Professional Blasphemer. Part-time Wargamer. Full-time Geek. I work in the Oil & Gas sector for an IT services company

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