Thursday, November 5, 2009

Which Codex to Use?

This is a question that repeatedly beats around in my head once every couple of months.

Not in the sense of how to make my force more dangerous on the table top, but more in how to make them as fluffy as possible.

I started this army during the later stages of 4th Edition.

Originally using the 4th Ed. Space Marine Codex and the, now extinct, Trait system.

With the release of Codex: Dark Angels & the Blood Angels PDF and also the musings of one Jervis Johnson on his ideas on how Codex’s were going to be written in the future.

Made me think to pre-empt future updates and write my own codex for the Luna Wolves, based on the DA codex with bits and pieces from the 4th ed. Marine Codex mixed in for fluff based reasoning.

The result of this can be found here:

However once Games Workshop released Codex: Chaos Space Marines, I shifted to using that instead, along the lines that it allowed me to use a more diverse range of the Pre-heresy legions in one force, also for some of the inherent weapon & vehicle restrictions e.g. No assault cannons etc.

Giving the marine squads, “Icon of Chaos Glory” for Luna Wolves &“Icon of Slaanesh” to Emperor’s Children, to represent their high standards of training etc, seemed to fit nicely too.

The diversity that was available for Terminators was fantastic and fitted my thoughts on how they would be equipped. (Initiative 5 Terminators with Lighting Claws is still very scary to an opponent!)

Upgrading the whole unit to Champions when fielded as the Justaerin was a nice touch as well.

One of the only things I didn’t like was the randomness of Chaos Dreadnoughts and found that I didn’t use them all that often because of it.

Also the inability to take scouts and Land Speeders I felt, was a drawback as well.

Then 5th edition dawned on us, the changes in wound allocation really hurt the Icon bearing squads and my interest in Codex: CSM waned with the release of Codex: Space Marines, which was met with much curiosity (from me).

Although some of the newer additions, were definitely not suited to a Pre-Heresy force. The return of some old Wargear (Conversion beamers anyone), some of them could be easily explained within a force based around this time. Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans for example are easy to explain. (Vanguard Vets as Catulan Reavers. J)

However I now rarely field any terminators at all, I don’t have room on my FOC, due to my current lean towards Dreadnoughts & Sternguard in Drops Pods, and my dislike of Terminators with Power Fists or only TH & SS or Pairs of Lighting Claws, it just doesn’t seem flexible enough to represent the more elite styling of Justaerin Terminator squads as one example.

I personally dislike taking the Marine Special Characters as “counts as”, it just seems a convenient way to make your army more “beardy/cheesy”, preferring to take standard commanders/Chapter Masters instead. Although some of them do fit certain armies, taking Lysander to represent Perturabo as one example.

I’m yet to read/purchase Codex: Space Wolves but some of the reports from the codex are interesting, e.g. standard equipment for Grey Hunters and “Counter Attack” seem to be fluffy for Luna Wolves, but I’m not sure about the rest of the Codex fitting my thoughts on how the Legion would fight. Until I get my hands on a copy I guess I’ll never know.



  1. Thats a really tough question mate! I sometimes think (and this is only my own perception) that The Luna Wolves were very similar to Ultramarines in many ways (hold on hold on, please wait till I finish! ^^) - in that they are skilled and representative accross the board, but not specifically in one area. So, not like the BA, WE and SW who were known for their assaults, or the IF and IH who were known for their seige warfare etc.

    I think that the SW codex would be good, in that it buffs up the standard marines into something more potent, but using a lot of their strengths (i.e. the multitude of assault units) doesn't (at least to me) smack of the kind of force the Luna Wolves used to field. Theres also stuff which doesnt really fit at all, such as giant wolves etc! On the other hand, I guess you could field some kind of first company, or Catulan Reavers, force which it could reflect - so I guess it could work depending on what you are fielding!

    I guess alot of it is down to perception - personally I would dump the chaos codex if you're going to be sticking to one legion. I like the way you characterised units with the various pantheons, but to me that codex is far too much of a straight-jacket (there is a hell of a lot of wargear you are denied).

    But, these are just my thoughts! I wrote a similar article concerning WE on my blog, which might be a bit of help!

    Will be interesting to see what you come up with any case

    Cheers, Pacific

  2. I agree with Pacific on the fact the Luna's were good at it all.
    I think either the standard or Wolf codex would be good.
    Bloodclaws for the Hard as nails line troops
    They have Skyclaws which can be Reavers
    The wolf codex is much more Termie friendly as regards to loadouts and would seem a better fit for the Elite Justaerin.
    Plus you have all the vehicles you would want
    Ragnar has Loken written all over him
    And The Great Wolf seems on par with Abaddon
    You just have to not pick the dumb stuff(ie giant Wolfs ect)
    But you can make a pretty fluffy army with the new wolf codex.

  3. Hmm, not too sure about Catulan Reavers being WS3/BS3, though the extra attacks on the charge would probably mitigate this.

    The only problem I can see with the Wolf codex is the lack of teleport - you would have to be using drop pods if you want to deep strike the Justaerin, which can work out quite expensive. Then again, just stick them in a Land Raider and you're good to go.

    You're Sternguard would presumably be dropped down to being just Grey Hunters - though you would get two special weapons.

    In the end though, I don't feel the Luna Wolves would fit with the SW codex. From what I've read of them so far, they're quite close to "codex", really. They'rte defining feature seems to be the Spearhead, which just involves Deep striking/transporting you're scariest unit at the enemy's linchpin.

    Personally, I think the standard marine codex works best. It has all the stuff you would find during the heresy, with the right special rules for Space Marines (ATSKNF) and all you have to do is restrict yourself when it comes to weapon loadouts/unit choices.

    That's just my five cents though... :D

  4. I just switched to C:SW for my Sons of Horus. The Counter attack is great for the grittiness I imagine the SoH would have. I also use my Thousand Sons Marines for psychers BTW. I proxy jet bikes for one weapon land speeders. I do admit however I use Razor Backs which are a Pre-Heresy no no but oh well there IS a competitive aspect to this hobby!

    BTW Logan as Horus; Ragnar as Abbadon... money

  5. OH and I dislike C:SM for Heresy era armies because of the strict codex astartes unit builds... the codex astartes didn't exist yet prior to the heresy! :)