Much as in previous editions, Space Marines have access to a number of interesting Relics for use in their army. Interestingly, in 8th edition, these Relics don’t cost any points values themselves, but you are generally limited to only one per army. The only associated points cost is that some of these Relics replace an item of wargear, which means you need to purchase that item of wargear for your character before you can replace it with a Relic, but most of these are not too expensive as to prohibit their inclusion. I think the limit of only one Relic per army (without the use of a Stratagem) is a useful counterpoint to the lack of points costs associated with most of the Relics.
The Armour Indomitus– Get a 2+ armour save. In addition, once per game you can activate the armour to give you a 3+ invulnerable save till the end of the turn. A decent bonus, giving you one of the few ways to get a 2+ armour save on your character outside of Terminator armour. The bonus invulnerable is nice, giving you a 3++ for one turn without having to carry a Storm Shield. Nice, but I think it is outdone by the next Relic.
The Shield Eternal– The old favourite of 7th edition is back in a new form. This replaces your character’s Storm Shield. They retain the 3+ invulnerable save, but more importantly, all damage against the character is halved, rounding up. This is now the 8th edition version of Eternal Warrior, I suppose. This is a really nice ability to have, meaning that your character is more likely to survive a volley from a Lascannon or Missile Launcher. It also makes overcharging Plasma weapons less effective and gives them a better chance against multi-damage combat weapons. I think this is a really solid choice that should see a lot of use. It will be especially useful on a combat character, helping them to survive for longer in assaults.
Standard of the Emperor Ascendant– This is for the various banner-carrying Ancients in the army. This means that on a 3+, any model that is slain within 6″ of the banner can immediately shoot or fight in assault before it is removed. In addition, all Astartes units within 6″ of the bearer automatically pass morale tests and enemy units are -1Ld. This banner is crazy good. I’ve heard from a few sources that it is simply too good, including a few Space Marine players. Put next to a unit of Devastators or Centurions and this will be amazing. Expect to see this a lot in Marine armies until it maybe gets toned down in a future FAQ.
Teeth of Terra– A Chainsword that gets D3 bonus attacks at +1S, -2AP and damage 2. I actually think this is pretty good for a Chainsword, plus it won’t cost any points to give to a character. I like any combat weapons that do multiple damage with each wound, making them more reliable against multi-wound models or Vehicles. This is actually one of my favourite Relics to give to my Space Marine Captain, allowing him to cause a lot of damage in combat against infantry, or to get a lot of attacks against another enemy character. This really boosts the damage output of a character in combat.
Primarch’s Wrath– A Boltgun that is Rapid Fire 2, S5, AP-1 and 2 damage. Again, a pretty solid and not overpowered weapon choice. S5 is great for wounding on 3’s and the 2 damage is awesome again for taking on multi-wound models with a single shot. Could be useful against weaker vehicles such as Trukks, Raiders, Venoms, etc. The extra shots for being Rapid Fire 2 are also useful, giving your character even more firepower. Could be useful on a Bike Sergeant or Space Marine Captain on a Bike.
Burning Blade– A power sword that is +2S, AP-5 and 1 damage. Brilliant for taking out armoured infantry units. This sword will pretty much ignore any armour save in the game (only a 2+ armour save that gets a +1 bonus from some means will get a 6+ save). The strength bonus is nice, but you will generally still be wounding most things on a 3+ and vehicles on a 5+. It would be nice to have more than 1 damage, but this does make it a difficult choice between this and the Teeth of Terra. I would be inclined to go for the Teeth of Terra for the bonus damage and cheaper cost to take. However, if you expect to go up against a lot of 2+ armour saves, this is a solid choice to have on a combat character.
Tomb of Malcador– Your psyker knows one additional power from the Librarius Discipline. Useful if you only take a single Librarian and want that extra power. I don’t think the Librarius powers are all that amazing, so I think there are better Relics to take in your army.
The Salamander’s Mantle– Salamanders characters only, increases their toughness by 1. This could be pretty useful under some circumstances. Good for a model on foot so that most models are now wounding you on a 5+. Less useful on a Bike, as the change to wound rolls means that against S4 you are not really getting any bonus. Useful on a Bike against S5 or S6 to give you a bit more durability, but you are probably better going for the Shield Eternal for the better invulnerable save and damage reduction it provides.
The Axe of Medusa– Iron Hands characters only. Replaces a Power Axe, but gets +2S, -3AP and 2 damage. I really like this one, seems to be a big boost to an Iron Hands combat character. You will most likely be wounding on 3’s, reducing your opponent’s save to 6+ or negating completely and doing 2 damage. This would be a pretty effective combat weapon on a character with a lot of attacks.
Raven’s Fury– Raven Guard only, replaces a Jump Pack. The character can advance and charge in the same turn, and can re-roll failed charge rolls. Combined with the Raven Guard warlord trait preventing overwatch, this is a really effective combination, giving you a much better chance of getting into combat and protecting more fragile units from the overwatch fire of the enemy. I can see this being very popular with Raven Guard players and one of the few times you want to charge an enemy unit with your Warlord first.
Mantle of the Stormseer– White Scars psykers only. Gain +1 when casting Smite. Pretty good, giving you a better chance of casting Smite, as well as a bonus to getting the great D6 mortal wounds from rolling more than 10 on the casting value. Would have like to maybe have seen +1 wounds when casting smite instead. Pretty decent, but not sure I’d take it for my White Scars over any of the better Relics in the codex.
The Fist of Vengeance– A Crimson Fists power fist. This is x2S, -3AP and damage 3. This is a solid option for a combat character. Three damage is great for taking on other characters or making a mess of vehicles. I think one of the big bonuses is no longer being at -1 to hit. This means Captains will be hitting on a 2+ re-rollable with a Power Fist, sure to get a whole heap of attacks punishing enemy units.
The Sanctic Halo– Ultramarines Captain only. Gives the Captain a 3+ invulnerable save and allows them to deny one power each turn as if they were a psyker. I really like this one too. Gives you a solid invulnerable save while still taking a shooting and melee weapon. Getting to deny a power can also be useful, saving you from Smite attacks on your units or Captain, without having to take a Librarian in your army.
The Crusader’s Helm– Black Templars characters only. Increases any aura ability by 3″. This is fantastic. Getting a 9″ aura ability on most characters is going to greatly increase the range of effect for many of the models in your army. Would work really well with a gunline army, boosting your re-roll bubble. Not really fitting with a Black Templars army in the fluff, but effective nonetheless. If you are going for this, upgrading your Captain to a Chapter Master is a great idea, giving you a 9″ bubble of full re-rolls to hit. I can see this one being very popular with Black Templars players.
The Spartean– Imperial Fists only. A Bolt Pistol that gets an extra shot, -1AP and 2 damage. In addition, it can target characters even if they are not the closest model. Nice for potentially sniping a few wounds from a character. Not great, but decent.
A really solid set of Relics for the Space Marines. I can see the Shield Eternal and Standard of the Emperor Ascendant being very popular choices. As a White Scars player, I would probably stick to the generic Relics over taking the Mantle of the Stormseer in most cases, though some of the other Chapter Specific Relics are great.
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