Feast of Blades '13

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The New Meta formation and the new Competitive Codex: Space Marine List?

Hey all Kevin here to talk about what I can see Codex: Space Marines, my primary book, becoming in the competitive tournament environment. In this raw new edition we are starting to see a newborn meta starting to form due to the opinions of players and how units now preform. Searching around the web and walking around the FLGS and club stores has me noticing a few changes going around. Yet really it is something that can be traced back three major releases ago....

Way back when Dark Eldar dropped we started to see what GW was putting in their new books...it wasn't necessarily a new type of weapon but a leaning in style. We started to see a lot of mid range high amount of shot weapons. We saw this with the rise of blasters and splinter cannons....splinter weapons in general with a high volume of shots at a fairly short range (12"-36")....then when GK came out we saw this quantify with the prominence of the psycannon.....as well as psybolt storm bolters.....we now had a game where torrent of fire from the mid field became the way to win games....in general a high ammount of bodies in this middle range of weapons putting down a lot of medium strength and medium range shots......Necrons only added to this with the general power of gauss weapons....All three of these books set a precedence for a lot of bodies with a lot of shots. 6th edition only solidified this with the introduction of hull points and snap shots.....this has the meta pushing for larger squads with a less prominent roll on transports. I am starting to notice most armies are starting to use rhinos, if any transports at all, and large squads with a lot of shots. Torrent of fire, medium strength weapons with the 12"-36" range are rising to the top. This forces the player to take more anti-infantry firepower and a very specific battlefield plan. Get into the middle of the board quickly and to quote the Romulan from the latest Star Trek Movie, "Fire Everything!"...GW likes this since it makes a more cinematic game with a lot of close range fire fights with assault units flooding the thin no mans land and large amounts of bodies filling the void and body bags......win/win? Now I would not say I am an expert in the meta at any degree yet these are the changes I am starting to notice.

So I have, in general, been loyal to the vanilla marine book. As a player with probably one of the best special rules in the game, ATSKNF. Yet Vanilla Marine players do have exclusive access to some of the coolest toys for the new edition. With a solid set of special rules and unlocks available we see a shift to a new top set of choices in the book. Lets start with probably one of the most important units we can add to our armies to combat this new meta in its infancy....and that is the Sternguard Veteran.

With access to ap3, ap4, ignores cover, and poisoned small blast shots these guys are the midfield torrent of fire we need to combat the exclusive abilities of books such as GK, and necrons. They also have access to a myriad of special and heavy weapon combinations. With the ability to take 2 different weapons and fairly any combination these guys can be kitted very well....oh and they can all take combi weapons or storm bolters if they want and 2 attacks base......Not only are these guys very useful they can also be made into scoring units with Chapter Master Pedro Kantor...who for 175 points is not a bad buy in general as he hands out stubborn to the army and extra attacks to those in range. Now you could pack these guys into rhinos but I have found that through drop pod assault manipulation. Although if you use three sternguard units you would need two blanks to drop in order to get all three units on the table turn one. Yet this does allow the sternguard to get in the middle of the table without getting shot up first and get the drop on your opponent with your strongest firepower.....although if you only drop two you only need one blank.

Another great addition to this army would be Darnath Lysander with his new ability to be along side these guys in a drop pod and bolter drill it only helps out the unit.....but his real purpose would be after the first round or two of fire would be to run out and beat face as a counter assault....he is about as useful as a unit of TH/SS terminators....another unit that could be taken is honour guard with Pedro himself....but they are expensive and really only can have ap3 weapons. All of these things really have little importance to the list and really just add personal flavor or play style to the list. A libbie could be taken but is unnecessary.

The next important thing in the list would be the newly popular thunderfire cannon. These guys can add a lot of firepower down range with a lot of small blasts with a good strength value and abilities. IF you take two of these you can bolster two (three if you take lysander) ruins as well if you have access to them midfield, for your sternguard, or even in your deployment for them.

Finish it with two full  tacticalsquads with multi meltas in rhinos and you have a midfield dominance list that would work very well in this new rules set. I am already starting to see marine players that I know move toward similar changes to these....this is the list I would run as it matches my play style at 1850.... 5 scoring units, 56 models, and a lot of bolter shots.....

1850 points

1. Pedro Kantor
2. Lysander

1. Sternguard x8, powerfist, x2 plasma guns
- drop pod
2. Sternguard x8, powerfist, x2 plasma guns
- drop pod
3. Sternguard x8, powerfist, x2 melta guns
- rhino

1.  Tactical Marines x10, multi melta, flamer
2. Tactical Marines x10, multi melta, flamer

Heavy Support
1. Thunderfire cannon
-drop pod (the blank)
2. Thunderfire cannon

Is this the best list overall? No I wouldn't say that. Is it powerful? Hell yeah it is and probably one of the best lists to run if the meta stays true with the way it is forming.....regardless this is a fun list with a lot of firepower and I am a fan of it.....

Thanks for reading and please comment below on what you think will be a good list for vanilla marines, also please subscribe to my channel on the right to be eligible for probable giveaways in the near future :)


  1. Interesting list, not only competitive but also fluffy. I hope to see more TFCs in the future, they are a very cool unit.

  2. Kevin.
    From experience I can say this will work very well, however, you may want to find a way to get a bit more melta on the vets in pods (without giving up the plasma)...like combi meltas. The plasma is great in the new meta (so far) but you still need to pop open the transports and landraiders have returned. My 2 cents as a Crimson Fist player.

  3. Well what I would want to add is multi melta attack bikes really. the pods are ment to concentrate the attack on infantry and I feel its a waste of the torrent of fire to add in melta....that is what the third unit was ment to be but I would have to add in another pod....which is possible since the rhino can easily be swapped for pods since they are the same points

  4. I agree with Psybilliah - getting Melta into those Podding Sternguard is too good to pass up. I agree that the way things look the meta is going to shift somewhat away from massed transports to infantry. But I also think there will still be lots of space for mid-point range AV12 and 13 vehicles (looking at Predators especially). Having those Meltas will still be worth while.

    My BIG question though would be how are you going to deal with Flyers? As it stands they are going to be a huge part of the Meta; i.e. how are you going to stop a Doom Scythe (or 3)?

  5. Im more worried about land raiders personally. If anything I would shift around the melta and the plasma vets. Yet the plasma guns are more reliable at anti av12.13 than they use to be. and how is anyone going to stop a flyer? haha nothing really in the marine book, for the most part, can reliably take them down. So massed plasma gun shots hopefully rapid fireing could get a couple 6's and take them down fairly well....marines need autocannons in mass really badly these days

  6. I agree. it's an interesting list. My preference would be to put the Melta Sternguard in the droppod instead though.

  7. See but the whole reason drop pod melta were so great last edition was because they let you incinerate a vehicle a turn...but there is now a lack of vehicles.....and termies are an issue...with the advances of rapid fire weapons and the boost to glancing I would have to stick with them in some proportion