I got the new codex today.
Upon looking through it, I have to admit that I'm a little dissappointed. The older one had much much greater potential for personalizing and beefing up your various Aspiring Champions. They've definitely suffered.
You know what else has suffered? The Daemons. It's almost as if the designers added them to the codex as an afterthought.
Hey, we just spent all this time on the marines, and I just realized we need to do the daemons. Wait, fuck them. Let's make 'em all the same. Yeah!
You heard me. The lowdown is that a Khorne Bloodletter is NO DIFFERENT from a Nurgle Plaguebearer, OR a Daemonette, OR a Horror of Tzeentch! Imagine that, a Horror of Tzeentch having the SAME weapon skill and strength as a Bloodletter of Khorne! Also, the Greater Daemons are indistinguishable as well. Oh, and there's nothing about the various daemons not working with their opposites anymore. Basically, a unit of Khorne Berzerkers can summon a Greater Daemon of Nurgle, if they desire ... because he's the same stats/abilities -wise as their own Bloodthirster.
Tzeentchian Sorcerers and Chaos Lords also got a big whack from the nerf bat. No more customization, really. Hell, I feel like the normal Space Marine commanders had more options ... and that just doesn't feel right.
Basically that comment I made a bit ago about not bringing my Dark Angels Librarian to a fight with Chaos? No longer the case. I have nothing to fear from a Tzeentchian Sorcerer anymore. No more abilities that hinder my psychers and make them useless. ...so I might as well take my Librarian to nullify all of his psychic abilities.
Troop units can no longer buy 'Veteran Skills' like they used to. Seriously, what the hell? I thought these guys have been alive for centuries, millenia even, honing their abilities past those even attainable by hardened space marines. Well, it was a lovely thought, but a chaos space marine is now the same as a normal one in nearly all aspects. Oh wait, they don't get the 'And They Shall Know No Fear' rule... so the Space Marines have a little 'one up' on them. Curses...
Anyways, in an attempt to look past these fallbacks and still create an army that instills fear in my opponents' hearts, I spent the day poring over the codex looking for ways to maximize their power.
Here are a couple things I found out:
Chosen space marines are not the same as normal (like I thought at first glance). I know their stats are the same, but their wargear options are more varied and they can infiltrate. That's a taker in my book. Infiltration has a lot of times made the difference between a loss and a win.
Chaos Terminators can ALL be upgraded to Aspiring Champions. That was a weird discovery, but I'm not complaining. An entire squad of Aspiring Champions in Terminator Armour? Sign me up. Add some Deep Strike to that, please.
Possessed marines. 5 strength = ultimate hotness. Plus a bonus ability determined before the battle, most of which are rediculously useful.
The various dedicated space marines (Thousand Sons, Noise Marines, Plague Marines, and Berzerkers) no longer become elites options if your commander doesn't share that mark.
I'm planning on taking one squad of each. They've all become a bit more useful than they were before, despite the champions not being allowed the vast range of wargear that they had access to in the previous version.
Thousand Sons now ALL have Inferno Bolts. What this does is change their normal bolter fire from AP 5 to AP 3. 3! That cuts through Power Armour, my friend.
Berzerkers have a +1 to WS and Attacks. [edit:] and Furious Charge. Oo-rah! [/edit]
Plague Marines all have Blight Grenades (negates the bonus attack when charged), +1 Toughness, and 'Feel No Pain'. Sound like a bitch to kill, though I'm still mourning the loss of the 'True Grit' and the other ability where nearby models without the Nurgle mark automatically took damage every turn. Oh, and their Initiative dropped by 1. Lame. Well, if I'm going to be hitting last pretty much all the time, I'm giving my champion a Power Fist. Might as well make the most of it.
Noise Marines now have a +1 Initiative.
Add to all this that each squad champion has a Personal Icon, set to summon a 10 model squad of daemons held in reserve, and I've got quite a bit of punch hidden in them.
Dreadnoughts are now Elites instead of Heavy Support, as it should be.
Defilers' stats have been shifted a bit. Melee combat is a bit more viable, especially with the addition of the 'Fleet' ability.
Obliterator Cults are now Heavy Support instead of Elites.
I don't know about you all, but I'm planning on making a Black Legions Army. A little bit of each Chaos god represented... and a slight overall tendancy towards melee combat across the board should make this army interesting.