Reviewing the Codex: Space Marine Errata

Chaplains can’t do what?!

[edit: this didn’t publish for some reason and was stuck in limbo. Here you go!]

I’m not a massively competitive player. I enjoy competition, and will certainly play my damnedest with a competitive list, but I don’t see myself as an honest-to-goodness win-at-all-costs player. So my assessment of these changes is seen through the lens of moderately competitive play, and casual play among a friend-group. This isn’t taking into account tournaments and those players that will find the smallest loophole to exploit. But if you are a player like that, let me know what you think as well! All are valid forms of play, and none are better than the other!

There’s some good changes here, like drop pods being required to arrive by the end of the third battle round, to avoid late-game objective stealing shenanigans. The Vox relic now effects all aura abilities, granting that delicious +3″ range to everything instead of just a select few (I have no idea why they made the distinction to begin with). The biggest changes and clarifications in the Errata I take issue with are the following:

Q. Does a Chaplain have to be on the battlefield to recite a litany?

A. Yes.

Official Update Codex: Space Marines v1.0

This doesn’t change anything that we didn’t already know. You can’t perform actions while not on the board, and you certainly cannot effect units with aura abilities while similarly off of the table. But what some were hesitant about, myself included, was what this implied. A chaplain can never be in a drop pod and effect his units before at least a full turn has passed, they need to get out, go through a full turn of whatever, and then hope they survive the following turn to speak some words. A chaplain cannot, despite the incredibly iconic visual of him doing so, perform the rites of war on his battle brothers as the lurch forward in a Thunderhawk or Land Raider.

It’s just so thematic.

How do you represent this? Easy. Make the Litanies a true aura ability that don’t need to be ‘activated’ at the beginning of the turn. They still won’t effect models within transports (because they obviously shouldn’t), but they’ll emerge emboldened by the stirring oration of the chaplain. If you have to let them ‘cast’ the ability while within, so be it, it changes nothing else since it doesn’t effect them until they disembark. Let other armies cast buffs on their embarked units, too, I don’t care – it just doesn’t make sense how it is currently portrayed.

Q: Does adding an Officio Assassinorum model to my army with the ‘Operative Requisition Sanctioned’ Stratagem prevent the rest of my army from using Combat Doctrines?

A: Yes. Note that this model remains part of your army if it is destroyed.

Official Update Codex: Space Marines v1.0

This is a tricky one, and I can see why they did it the way they did, but I still don’t agree with it. They want to promote mono-lists, and prevent soup. This is a good thing, and I agree that including other units in an army through the normal methods of army selection should enforce this ruling. What I do not agree with is that this stratagem is already being bought at a premium. We’re spending precious command points, and the full cost of the model. We’re already jumping through hoops to include a single model in our army, where just a few short months ago we had to have a bizarre three-man assassin gang to even consider it, now we have the option to pay an added cost to have just the one. But now, we can’t do that unless we forfeit a very characterful part of the Astartes army.

Single assassins shouldn’t be on the radar for preventing soup lists. Loyal-32? Knights? Custodes Shield Captains? Abso-fucking-lutely. One assassin leaping about that was paid for in both points and command points? I don’t think so.

Don’t you dare think about fighting efficiently beside one of us!

Q: Can I use Stratagems from the 2017 edition of Codex: Space Marines if there is not an updated version of that Stratagem in the 2019 edition of Codex : Space Marines?

A: No, none of the rules found in the 2017 edition of Codex: Space Marines can be used.

Official Update Codex: Space Marines v1.0

There it is! Your old codex is DEAD. Which is fine, and how it should be, I don’t want to keep up with a bunch of outdated books. Interestingly, the Index options from ages ago are still eligible, as long as the entry is solely in the Index as an option.

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