My Problems with the Marine Meta

Hi everyone, Michael here with a topic that is sure not to get heated in the comments, my problems with the Marine meta (and aspects of 8th edition 40k in general). For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

I recently attended a great ITC tournament, the Beachhead Brawl in Bournemouth. I took my Infantry-heavy White Scars army, hoping to have some fun games of 40k against some tough opponents. I ended up going 3-3 in the event (unfortunately, a pretty good result for me in 8th edition!). Over the course of the weekend, I played a lot of Marines (obviously) and had a think about some of the issues that I think are plaguing the game at the moment.

From previous events, I find my best tournament experiences at big events generally come from losing my first game. I will frequently get smashed in round 1 by the latest netlist or power army and find myself on the bottom tables from round 2. After that, I tend to find myself playing against my level, against reasonably sane or thematic armies that provide a challenge without being ridiculously overpowered.

However, I tend to find that in 8th edition, you can be facing very strong Marine lists for much of the event, regardless of how well you do. In my first game of the tournament, I faced off against Raven Guard taking triple Thunderfires, two Whirlwinds and three units of infiltrating Assault Centurions, all with Long Range Marksmen and Master Artisans. A resounding loss for my first game.

In my second game, I faced essentially the same list, but with three Whirlwinds and two Thunderfire Cannons instead. But the infiltrating Centurions were still there. After another few losses, I was still coming up against Iron Hands triple flyer, multiple Thunderfire Cannons and Repulsor lists. It was a pretty brutal and exhausting tournament.

I have to say, all my opponents and games were great, even when I was getting utterly crushed! I get the irony of a Marine player complaining about how powerful Marines are. However, I think we can agree that White Scars are not exactly crushing it at all events, and I don’t really run a power-heavy list, just going for units I like and an army more focused on maelstrom missions than ITC missions.

To get to the point, I’m not here to complain about what a bad player I am and how I need an easier ride at tournament. Below are some of the issues that I have with the current game, in my own opinion. This is not an exhaustive list of the current problems with the game, but just some issues that have come up in previous tournaments. Feel free to disagree or add your own list of grievances below.

Salamanders” Re-rolls

Command Points and Command Point re-rolls were a revelation when they were first introduced at the start of 8th edition. The ability to re-roll the die on a crucial hit or wound roll was great, and could turn the tide of battle in your favour at the right time. It’s hard to imagine a time when we did not have them in the game. How would you like dozens of free CP re-rolls, not just every turn, but in multiple phases?

The term “Salamanders re-rolls” is used to define an ability that now applies to several armies. This ability generally allows you to re-roll a hit roll and a wound roll each time a unit in your army shoots or fights.

An army with this ability essentially gets 20+ free CP re-rolls each shooting phase, as well as more in the fight phase if they ever need to fight anything, as well as free re-rolls in your opponent’s turn thanks to overwatch fire. This allows you to save your precious command points for powerful stratagems or even for a CP re-roll if you fluff a damage roll.

In my opinion, this ability needs to disappear, or else you give every army access to it. Armies that do not have this ability aren’t playing in the same league as those that do, they are barely playing the same game at that point.

Choose your own Chapter Tactics

This was first introduced in the Space Marine book, but is slowly being rolled out to other armies with the Psychic Awakening expansions. This gives you the option to pick two abilities from a list to take as your army’s “Chapter Tactics”.

While this is a nice way to build a thematic army, it is frequently used to take the most powerful combination of abilities. As mentioned above, Master Artisans is almost always taken on a Space Marine “Successor Chapter”, along with another powerful ability, such as Long Range Marksmen or Stealthy.

This allows you to take the best abilities of several Chapters in one, with no down side in many cases. Even worse, it stacks with the Doctrine bonuses of whichever Chapter you choose to use for your Successor Chapter. Want access to the Raven Guard Doctrine bonus and stratagems, but also want Salamanders re-rolls and increased range on your weapons? No problem! Mix and match the army how you wish.

Want access to the Iron Hands Doctrine bonus, but also want to re-roll those pesky 2’s that you happen to roll on your flyers? Take your Iron Hands successors with Master Artisans. Throw on Stealthy too, so that your opponent has a harder time for firing back if you leave anything left alive.

I’m not sure how you would fix this. It’s nice to keep them as an option for some armies to create thematic list. There are 18 options for your army, but realistically, you keep seeing the same 3-4 in every list. Maybe remove the more powerful ones, or split them into two tables, one major and one minor, so that players can’t pick two of the most powerful. Alternatively, go back to the system of picking two advantages and one disadvantage.

Another way to go would be removing the doctrine bonus if you choose to make your own Chapter. This way, you couldn’t stack powerful Chapter Tactics you select with the powerful Iron Hands or Imperial Fists Doctrine Bonuses.

Deep Strike Stratagems

In a recent tournament, I faced off against Raven Guard Successors with Long Range Marksmen and either Stealthy or Master Artisans. One army had three large units of Assault Centurions, the other had two large units of Assault Centurions and a unit of Devastator Centurions. All the Centurions were able to “deep strike” from reserves using a stratagem, allowing them to come on almost anywhere on the board, and still fire to full effect on the turn they arrived.

With Long Range Marksmen, a squad of 6 was putting out 72 Bolter Shots and 12D6 flamer shots on the turn they arrived. Three units were putting out 216 Bolter shots, 24D6 flamer shots and 12 Meltagun shots. That is an insane amount of firepower that almost no army could stand up to.

Assault Centurions have a low move characteristic and very limited transport options, which may explain their cheap price for their damage output. However, taking them as Raven Guard (or even White Scars to some extent) allows you to eliminate that disadvantage and make it almost meaningless, allowing you to deep strike almost anywhere you want on the table.

Many armies require some sort of Deep Strike stratagem to function; my Deathwatch would be pretty useless without it. However, in combination with certain units, it is ridiculously powerful.

It would be nice to see some sort of limit to this, either in power level or points, costing much more to deep strike in powerful units such as Centurions or Aggressors, such as other armies pay for such stratagems.


Space Marine Doctrines are incredibly powerful and offer some fantastic benefits to armies in addition to their AP bonuses.

Iron Hands and Imperial Fists are two examples that are strongly prevalent in the current meta. They stack numerous buffs on top of already powerful armies, and make it impossible for some armies to compete in the game as it is.

Even the White Scars are not immune to this. I have a Chapter Master with a Relic Thunder Hammer. Once the Assault Doctrine is active, each wound is doing 5 damage at AP-4. I’ve had the Chapter Master take out an Imperial Knight in a single round of combat in several of my games. That is insanely powerful for any character in the game.

Other armies are starting to get their own versions of Doctrine-type bonuses, but many are not as powerful as for the Marines, or are leading to a further power creep, bringing back alpha strike armies to the fore of the game once again.

There are several options that could be implemented to adjust this.

One option might be to go back to the Doctrine style of 7th edition. What if each Doctrine could only be activated for a single turn? You then have a tactical choice to decide when to activate the doctrine for maximum effect. Do you go in first turn for the alpha strike, when your opponent may have units hidden or units in reserve? This would also allow some Chapters to activate their Doctrines at other times. Going into Assault Doctrine on turn 1 or 2 would be useful for Chapters, such as Blood Angels and White Scars.

Another option might be to make the Doctrines a stratagem. It could cost 2CP each turn in order to activate the doctrine or to activate the Doctrine bonus for each Chapter. This would limit your ability to always have the bonus in play, and would make you choose whether you want to have your Doctrine Bonus or to activate Transhuman Physiology for that turn.

Seize the Initiative

This is not really Marine specific, but I think Seize the Initiative has to go for competitive play.

It’s not so bad for the alternating deployment model, as you still roll off for going first. In addition, you get to counter each other’s deployment, as the game goes on, and can deploy in such a way as to mitigate the effects of going first or second.

However, in deploy first-choose first deployment, it is an absolute game killer. In these situations, your opponent gets to choose the deployment zone, then counter your own deployment as they set up their army second. Getting the first turn in addition to all of that is a huge advantage for one side in the game, and makes it really hard to come back from a successful seize.

Yes, by deploying first, you can be more cagey with your deployment in case you get seized on. However, your opponent can still capitalise on this more defensive deployment. In addition, getting the first turn is the only defense against some of the powerful armies in the game at the moment.

For example, against an artillery-heavy Space Marine force, you need the first turn to try and shut down as much of the enemy army as possible before it can eliminate your army in the first turn of shooting. By deploying your army first, your opponent can place their artillery in the optimal position that as few of your units can get to it as possible. If they then get the first turn on a seize, the game is generally decided on a single roll of the die. That is not a great position to be in in any game.


Those are some of my thoughts on the current issues in the game. Admittedly, I am a regular player at tournaments, but not a top level one. You are not going to see me rolling at the top tables at LVO or most major events. However, I do enjoy going to tournaments, and feel I am in the position of the vast majority of 40k players. Those that go to events for fun games, with no real hope of winning the whole tournament, but to have a great experience. Unfortunately, I think a lot of issues with 8th edition 40k are turning those players away from an enjoyable tournament experience.

The problem is that this is starting to spill into the casual game. We have a player at our local club that plays a beautiful Dreadnought and vehicle-heavy Iron Hands army, and has done for several editions of the game. Now, through no fault of his own, the army is ridiculously powerful and no one in the club really wants to play against it, as they know the game is likely to be over in turn 1 or 2.

Do you agree with my assessments, or have your own issues with some of the rules in the game? Do you like any of the proposed solutions, or do they go too far/ not far enough? As I said, these are only the opinions of one gamer, who has absolutely no influence on the ITC or GW. If you disagree, let me know why?

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

46 Responses to “My Problems with the Marine Meta”

  1. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo February 10, 2020 4:09 pm #

    Doctrines, as they are currently implemented, were a mistake. A massive global buff, layered on top of another huge buff depending on the chapter, is just too much. Not to whine about a fairly competitive army’s power level, but look at Tau. On a given battlesuit, you can use precious points and limited hardpoints to buy upgrades to improve AP, reroll 1s, or ignore the Heavy penalty. Iron Hands get all that for the privilege of existing. Layer that on top of the excellent Chapter Tactics (both original and custom) and the pile of special rules that comes with Angels of Death, and you have Marine units that just massively outclass comparable units from other factions, at little to no point surcharge. Ever compare Assault Centurions and Meganobz?

    Then there’s also that Marines just simply get strictly better versions of other armies’ abilities. Everyone else has to give up their subfaction-specific relic, stratagem, psychic power (where applicable) and so on if they want to take a custom subfaction. Marines? Not only do they not have to give them up, they get several times the options of anyone not in power armor. Remember Veterans of the Long War? Salamanders (one of the weakest chapters even) get a strictly better version. Or how they nerfed the pre-game deep strikes from Stygies, Alpha Legion and so on? Then gave it back to Raven Guard.

    Honestly you could go on all day, but I’ll just say this: Doctrines are not equal and Devastator chapters shouldn’t get rewardes for doing what they were gonna do anyway at zero risk. And the Imperial Fists doctrine in particular is a contender for the stupidest rule in 40k.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:16 am #

      Yeah, the layering of buffs is making the Marines incredibly strong at the moment.

  2. Avatar
    Dale M February 10, 2020 4:36 pm #

    I second everything just said. There’s very little non-Marine player can do st this point to compete at a high level.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:16 am #

      There are a few really talented players that can do so, but most will struggle against Marines regardless of what they do.

  3. Avatar
    Caleb February 10, 2020 6:10 pm #

    I don’t think the rerolls are the issue, minus the chapter master strat. No one complained about it before SM 2.0.

    However the layering of rules is an issue for SM. I think custom chapters should only get access to SM stratagems, and one relic from the parent. Super doctrines should replace the regular doctrine, not stack and only accessable to the pure chapter. Chapter master rerolls need to go back to how it was or go up to 5cp. And I’m on the fence about the +1 attack when charged.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:17 am #

      Being able to pick your Chapter Tactics and still access all the stratagems and bonuses of a parent Chapter is really strong.

  4. Avatar
    Yarium February 10, 2020 6:44 pm #

    Yes. Marines need major Erratas. It’s hard to pinpoint anything. So here’s two things to absolutely keep:
    #1 – Doctrines: They ARE cool. But how about forcing players to move through the cycle of war, so you can just sit in the one that’s best for you?

    #2 – Intercessors that fight back hard: These ARE cool. I love the bolter range they have, and a unit of 10 are capable of great things. This needs to stay. The fact that if you fail to kill them in close combat that they can punch their way out of the fight is intense.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:18 am #

      Intercessors are really good in the army with all the buffs. They provide some great durability and even strong firepower at range thanks to Bolter Discipline.

    • Avatar
      Zweischneid February 11, 2020 2:52 am #

      Well, the entire captain, lieutenant, chapter master re-roll stuff needs to be brought in line with other armies.

      GSC have to use a WL trait just to get the basic re-roll 1s to hit .. in shooting only on an army with far fewer shots. Harlequins pay the chapter-master-2CP just to get re-roll 1s in close combat only.


      The value just isn’t there. Chapter Master alone, unchanged, should be the game’s first 5 CP strat at a bare minimum.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy February 11, 2020 9:51 pm #

        I think the intention is for Marines to be the army most focused around getting static rerolls from auras, which is fine- there’s design space that can do that. Note that some factions (e.g. Orks, Knights) don’t really get any rerolls at all and are still fine. So having different levels of access to rerolls across factions isn’t an issue when they get something else in return- and in many cases they do. Orks have a generic advance+charge aura (as well as invulns and other significant effects) available off HQs that Marines don’t get access to, and Harlequins get a full reroll on wounds in melee, which is very significant.

        This is not to say that Marines are balanced because of this, but the reroll auras have always been a feature of Marines in this edition and it hasn’t been a problem prior to this.

        • Avatar
          Zweischneid February 11, 2020 10:11 pm #

          But that idea hasn’t applied previously.

          When GSC got “Vect” for a CP cheaper than the (modified) Dark Eldar version, people didn’t just say “different army, different rules”. There was demand for parity across (very different) armies for strats (and GW heeded the call), thus it seems logical that there should also be parity between, say, Great Harlequin and Chapter Master as a strat.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy February 11, 2020 11:06 pm

            Just because people called for it doesn’t mean it was necessary or appropriate- and while I think it was applicable in the case of Vect/Plan of Generations, it doesn’t necessarily have to always be the case.

            If Tau got a melee unit, we can assume it would be costed poorly compared to other factions, because melee is supposed to be a weakness of Tau. Eldar psykers are generally better than those of other factions (cheaper and/or more efficient), because psychic powers are supposed to be a strength of Eldar. It’s good for the game for there to be certain limited disparities in what different factions can do, and it’s acceptable for Marines to have the best access to rerolls to hit/wound across the army… provided that they also have weaknesses somewhere else to compensate. The problem is not the disparity- because if you remove that, every faction becomes identical and indistinguishable, which isn’t what anyone wants. The problem is that Marines currently have strengths (universal rules, superior statline, rerolls, utility strats, etc) but no real weaknesses to speak of.

          • Avatar
            Zweischneid February 12, 2020 5:13 am

            Well, if it was appropriate for Vect/Generations, I believe it is significantly more appropriate to call for it in the case of Chapter Master / Great Harlequin, irrespective of whether it might always be the case.

            If anything, given that Harlequins generally have far less shots (and increasingly even attacks, curiously), the bias should be in favour of the Great Harlequin strat being the better version for 2 CP, not the Chapter Master one.

  5. Avatar
    LordVader February 10, 2020 7:41 pm #

    The problem lies in marine receiving both a heavy discount in CA2018 with most of their stuff went down in pts to make up for bad rules.
    it stacked with when new – better rules comes in codex 2.0 that combined into the Meta factor for marine to dominate everything.
    You simply only need to have them return to pre-CA2018 pts cost and the problem are solved.

  6. Avatar
    Agent X February 10, 2020 8:11 pm #

    I am a space wolf player. We dont even have our codex 2.0 but I agree marines need the nerf bat ASAP.

    One of the few space wolf combos is a leviathan with 2xstorm cannons using keen senses near a reroll to hit bubble to get bs2 rerolls while walking to extend your range.

    That combo requires 1 CP and a source of rerolls to pull off (cp on the dread or a wolf lord/bjorn)

    Iron hands get all of that for free…plus they get extra AP for being in the devastator doctrine.

    As if that weren’t enough they get an iron stone and double repair/heal and grot shield mechanics to create the current boogeyman in the meta.

    That is just 1 example of many Marin problems in the game right now.

    The rules team appears blind when it comes to game breaking combos they create.

    We have a system of keywords that need to be used more often.

    An errata that limits the worst offenders specifically to only one of infantry or vehicles or dreads is a starting point.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:20 am #

      Yeah, it’s surprising how many things get through playtesting to make it into the rules. Or maybe that was the intention all along.

  7. Avatar
    rvd1ofakind February 10, 2020 9:22 pm #

    GW: Here are doctrines. So you take a balanced army with some heavy, some RF, some melee and switch the doctrines when you get closer to your enemy. You start in heavy and can move to RF next turn, then melee the turn after that.

    Players: why not just build the whole army based around heavy weapons instead since you start in that?

    GW: *surprised pikachu face*

    How many times will we have this “but they wouldn’t do that, would they” shit? Yes, GW. They will ALWAYS do that because that’s the smart thing to do and you indeed have some non-stupid players.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:21 am #

      Yeah, when there is no incentive to move away from the Devastator Doctrine, why would you do so. Having to wait till turn 3 to activate the White Scars doctrine bonus actually encourages some tactical play, as you have to survive for 2 turns to then go out and do some damage.

  8. Avatar
    Dakkath February 10, 2020 9:37 pm #

    Said it before, gonna say it again. I think it’s time to consider making two formats: ‘with space marines’ and ‘without space marines’.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy February 10, 2020 11:37 pm #

      I, also, think that all Marine players should be exiled to Horus Heresy.

      • Avatar
        NinetyNineNo February 11, 2020 5:55 am #

        GW: Instructions unclear, introduced 18 Chapter/Legion-specific Terninator variants to 40k.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy February 11, 2020 9:52 pm #

          oh no it happened again

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 11, 2020 12:19 am #

      Funnily enough, I was actually considering a Marine only tournament before the new book was released, because Marines were struggling so much in the meta. Hard to think it wasn’t that long ago!

      • Avatar
        Zweischneid February 11, 2020 2:54 am #

        Marines were never struggling.

        They had one army in the Top 12 at the previous LVO, and lost in the shadowround.

        That’s pretty much the expected result any Codex out of around 15 in the game should have, assuming they are all balanced.

  9. Avatar
    Vincent Weibert February 10, 2020 11:01 pm #

    Your comments highlight the inherent problem with GWs points balancing as it has evolved in this edition. It is now, effectively impossible for them to properly “point” a given model because of the synergy created with chapter tactics, on top of doctrines, and stratagems. For example, an assault centurion is worth “X” amount of points. That may be fine for an Iron Hands list where the super doctrine doesn’t impact its value that much and its slow movement is a big deal. Now put it a chapter that can infiltrate it right up to the enemies line… is it worth the same? Now make it stealthy and give it rerolls. It’s worth even more potentially. And all the varied stratagems that different chapters have affect its value even more.

    At the beginning of 8th, it wasn’t as telling because different chapters/hivefleets/septs etc didn’t have such powerful “chapter abilities.” Sure, one tended to shine a bit more and get more play, and it DID affect the value of units (Kraken Genestealers are more effective than Hydra Genestealers for example) but the lower overall power of chapter tactics etc made the differences not as severe and the belief was that the impact on other parts of the army would make up for it and have it all roughly balance out.

    Now that the synergy is so power altering, players simply “go all in” and we don’t have the rest of the army balancing it out. Add to that we now how so many faction specific for marines, it is easy to take it up to 11 with an all in approach.

    Some of the changes suggested are simply just band aid solutions. Without addressing the core issue, the problem won’t be solved.

    1. Chapter “super doctrines” on top of doctrine bonus are just too good, especially since only one army (Marines) is really getting them.
    2. The current successor chapter mechanic makes min maxing too easy and too powerful. There is really no downside, for Marines especially, other than losing access to special characters and maybe spending some CP to get the relics you want. This has to be reworked. Marines are the only faction that get to double dip and keep their parent chapter bonuses/strats/relics. Even factions like eldar that benefit hugely from Master Artisans don’t have this, but it is still arguable that the build a bear approach skews their points as well (rerolls for low number, high damage shots).
    3. FW balance is questionable at best, but especially didn’t receive the attention to their costing that went into core books and these value variations based on chapter/doctrine/etc really affect them because of it.
    4. You cannot simply change points values and fix it. If you do that to balance a unit for the most abusive chapter combo, then the model becomes overcosted for everything else.

  10. Avatar
    Victor Yanguas February 11, 2020 12:39 am #

    Another problem is a too large maximum size squad, as you mentioned with the Centurions. Other units also have this problem: Zoantropes, Hive Guard, Kastelan Robots… etc

    Lets say a unit of Centurions to max at 3, they’re still useful but not ridicously overpowered

    And yes, the main problem with Marines is too many stacking buffs for practically no point cost and no oportunity cost

  11. Avatar
    Ohlmann February 11, 2020 2:41 am #

    The doctrine system was incredibly badly done.

    In essence, it’s -1 AP for the whole army, which is by itself probably too big an additional buff, at least on top of Angel of Death. (and probably in general ..).

    Then, it make de facto all the chapters that specialize in assault as subpar, because they have to wait two turn to do what they want to do, and make all the one specialized in heavy weaponry significantly better. Because, duh, in a game heavily skewed toward turn 1, getting bonus on turn 1 is very good. (I guess GW isn’t aware of that since they made a strat in their last book who is only useful as a way to do more damage damage on turn 1).

    And to top that, they didn’t checked what the Marine’s arsenal was and so the bonus is at its strongest on heavy weaponry because of the combination of being immediatly available and the fact that there’s quite a bi of heavy weapon with lowish AP.

    So, in short, the doctrines are an unbalanced bonus, that push the space marine way over the top, and favorize unfluff play patterns. Well done GW, you did it again.

  12. Avatar
    Vikstalus February 11, 2020 6:00 am #

    Agreed on most of your points, I am actually very surprised that GW allowed the “Create your own chapter” to be used alongside the supplement books, previously they had been quite harsh on successor chapters and most where worse off than their original chapter. When I first read the rule I was actually convinced it was worded in a way to would stop this, however I didn’t really look into it that much as it seemed universally accepted. But then again GW has gone back on a lot of their previous point to make marines OP so its no surprise this is different.

    I wouldn’t like to see marines removed from the meta/ over nerfed, I personally would just like to see a coherency added to the design intent. unless I missed a designers commentary surrounding the marine books, the take backs they have made regarding T1 aggression seems odd. I will also add the point here that if the nerf to T1 deep strike and deployment/after deployment stratagems was to facilitate the marine drop pod being a special rule, fine that’s a coherent design choice, you might argue a bad one but either way it makes sense. However if this is an after thought that contradicts the changes they made on purpose I am very against that.

    Anyway before I start rambling to much I think my first nerf would be to the custom chapter tactics, these definitely shouldn’t stack with supplement book bonuses. IMO if your imperial fists using the supplement you use their chapter tactic, and if your a successor that wants to use the supplement you use the imperial fist chapter tactic.

    Although I might be just salty as a person that is attempting to play my poor poor word bearers in a vaguely competitive way I drool at the thought of choosing a chapter trait.

  13. Avatar
    Draaen February 11, 2020 7:26 am #

    Marines are too good at the moment for sure but a couple of points of contention from me.

    1. Re-rolls are excellent but other chapter tactic benefits are like activating stratagems on the units. They should definitely make a big change on the army otherwise why have them? Maybe too strong to have it be a 1 of 2 but the actual ability itself isn’t bad IMO. How many CP would it cost to use stratagems to make your whole army charge after falling back and assault after advancing? I also think some armies need bigger chapter tactic style bonuses then others. Tau have pretty weak ones and continue to do well in the meta.

    2. I think seize the initiative is almost necessary. It adds that element of uncertainty which influences deployment. You need to make sure you can operate on your first turn if you seize or are seized on..

    • Avatar
      Ohlmann February 11, 2020 8:23 am #

      For 2), that’s the opposite : you need to be sure to be first when you deploy blindly (aka deploy first), else you have to deploy defensively, blindly. Which often isn’t even doable.

      And even when it is, deploying first is the drawback allowing to balance out playing first. If a player deploy second and play first, things are gonna be problematic soon.

  14. Avatar
    gvcolor February 11, 2020 8:25 am #

    Re-rolls are complete bullshit and the biggest, fun-drainer of this edition! Never-mind re-rolling 1’s, the mechanic of Re-rolling failed hits and wounds on units due to stacked buffs absolutely sucks for anyone playing against you unless their army has that capacity as well. Look at the math – the value of said units goes far beyond their point costs. One hot mess.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr February 12, 2020 12:19 am #

      The amount of re-rolls that some armies have access to are ridiculous at this point. It was bad enough I had an opponent rolling 216 Bolter shots each turn, but once you took re-rolls into account, it was taking forever.

  15. Avatar
    K February 11, 2020 10:56 am #

    I’ve said it in prior ‘nid article posts. If the SM traits were taken down to the level of other factions, such as “-1AP for scything talons” (post-FAQ, just the regular ones, not Massive or Monstrous, or other ‘heavy’ forms) or “bikers ignore heavy penalties when firing heavy weapons” rather than army-wide traits, things wouldn’t be so unbalanced.

    I also think the re-roll thing has become so prevalent for SM as to be meaningless. If you’re not hitting on 2s, rerolling 1s, and wounding on 2s or 3s rerolling at least 1s, then you’re probably forgetting a rule. Other armies have access to rerolls to varying degrees, which I think is fair, but not necessarily good overall because it makes them lost their uniqueness. It seems like GW got lazy in making bonuses, which is why there are so many +1 hit/+1 wound, reroll 1 to hit or wound. I wish they’d put their energy into more interesting, if more limited use auras that aren’t straight +1/reroll 1s. That might mean that fewer characters have auras or they’re more specific use, and people might have to be more strategic. But it would also help differentiate armies again by both unit and style again.

  16. Avatar
    Malaconia February 12, 2020 1:41 am #

    What if doctrines weren’t active turn one and could only be activated once thereafter? This way you could choose to activate any of devastator, tactical or assault on turn two, but couldn’t use the same doctrine again at all, unless you spent CP on adaptive strategy, in which case you could use the same doctrine twice per game. Would this help at all? Of course you’d still have pretty devastating turns when marines activated their super doctrines, but at least it wouldn’t be throughout the whole game and more importantly not during the first turn.

  17. Avatar
    DaveSoundwave February 12, 2020 5:18 am #

    The problem I have with the Marine Meta is how nascent all the buffs are and how many of the core (or common) rules Marines are just purely exempt from.
    By nascent buffs, I mean stuff like the Salamanders re-rolls, I’ve got a pretty decent Eldar list that I’ve used a bunch of times throughout 8th. Nothing mind-blowing but incredibly reliable and flexible (I think I’ve won ~20 games and lost 2), and the reason it does well is because I put a lot of time and effort in the list-building to give myself access to various buffs during a game, Vypers boosted by psychic powers to grant re-rolls against certain enemies, Linked Fire to prioritise key targets, Wriathblades getting wound and hit boosts as hit re-rolls if their Spiritseer gets danger-close, etc. The key thing is, those buffs are generated throughout the game and bring with them an element of uncertainty or cost; psychic powers might not go off, so I use a Seer Council strat to make sure they do, I’d throw in Bonesingers (not anymore mind you) to add a bit of bulk to my Prisms and fill out a Brigade to have access to the CP resources I need. You get the idea, basically I had to plan meticulously and to make sure my army performed within a finite amount of resources. I’ve had to do the same with Tau lists, Tyranid lists and so on, basically to get a unit working at peak capacity I have to plan my army around it.

    Marine factions don’t have that problem. At all. Re-rolls aren’t something that one unit gets after passing a psychic test; they just start the game with it if they’re within a generous bubble (that multiple models on the field may have). Penalties to moving and firing Heavy Weapons? A common trait for some sub-factions, but typically the only one they get. Tau have to choose between a trait that helps their mobility (Vior’La) and one that bolsters their Overatch defence (T’au), Iron Hands get both alongside even more durability with FNP saves and nascent hit re-rolls. So all the buffs and traits other armies have to work for or make a sacrifice for, aren’t a problem for Marines. I wouldn’t mind if there were some thing that that had access to nascently, after all they are meant to be a flagship elite army, but the number of them just turns them into a point-and-click easy-mode faction.

    And then we come to the rules they flat out ignore that all other armies have to adhere to. 2nd turn Deep Strike? Nope, Turn 1 for Marines. Hit penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons? Nah man, Iron Hands don’t have to worry about that! Overwatch only on 6s? Nope 5s, 6s, *and* re-rolls of 1! That’s okay though, I can deep strike T2 and try for a risky charge with my Ork- NOPE can only land 12″+ away from all these units. Lock a unit in combat to slow it down? Nope! Retreat and fire without penalty (yet another reason combat-focused armies simply can’t keep up). Enemy warlord deep striking 9″ away and about to get a guaranteed charge? Don’t worry I’ll overwat- NOPE. No overwatch for you, Army who’s core mechanic is built around overwatch! Rolling to hit? Why bother with a BS2 re-rolling 1s and rapid fire at whatever range they want! Want to try and grab an objective knowing that you’re not going to out-kill the marines? Tough. All your mobile units are at 1/2 movement thanks to this cannon that’s hidden on top of a building totally immune to combat units. Want to get into cover or use Prepared Positions to weather the T1 storm? Imperial Fists, mate! Hope you don’t have *any* vehicles.

    You get the idea.

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    john russell February 12, 2020 6:55 pm #

    For almost two years the Astartes were garbage. After the extremely non-themed Bobby G / Razorback list got nerfed (thankfully), you could barely make a dent in the competitive meta with Marines without Souping. Fun times for us purist … Not!

    SO, finally after YEARS of waiting us DIY players who meticulously shape our lore plan and paint our unique Chapter color schemes, FINALLY get to build and play our armies using competitive rules without having to be Blood Angels, Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Alpha Legion, etc . . . and you want to send us back to the trash heap because tournament players are using the rules to go to a razors edge.

    How about tournaments step up and regulate their business without everyone hating on GW and giving Marines a fighting chance (TWO YEARS in Purgatory)

    How about we look at ways to give other Factions a bump that better simulates their Faction lore and leveling the table that way instead of nerfing us DIY players who don’t want to play insert Chapter.

    You nerf Marines and we go right back to Eldar ruling the roost, or Soup after you decide to snatch the Doctrines away.

    Look to build the other Factions up and keep your hands off my sneaky Marines.

    PS: *Or how they nerfed the pre-game deep strikes from Stygies, Alpha Legion and so on? Then gave it back to Raven Guard.*

    ^This^ isn’t a thing. RG have to stay 9 inches outside the enemy deployment zone and it’s only one unit and a character.

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy February 12, 2020 8:08 pm #

      People don’t want Marines to be bad, they just don’t want every other book in the game to be bad compared to Marines.

    • Avatar
      Zweischneid February 13, 2020 3:03 am #

      Marines were never garbage.

      They trashed the early 8th Edition meta hard and for far longer than, say, Custodes or GSC ever had their time in the sun.

      They also had a Marine army in the LVO top 12 a year a go, barely losing in the shadow run. Which is pretty much the dead-on average you’d expect a balanced Codex to have. With 15+ Codexes in the game, getting about 1 into the Top 12 on average is what balance looks like. Sure, the 1.0 book was a bit mono-build-ish skewed towards Ultramarines, but pretty much spot on as the “average” balance-benchmark of what any army should be.

      • Reecius
        Reecius February 13, 2020 11:45 am #

        They were very strong right out the gates but got toned down pretty quickly and then there were a sub-par army stats wise until their dex came out.

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      Ohlmann February 13, 2020 3:21 am #

      That read suspiciously like “I want to win based solely on having an overpowered army other people litteraly cannot compete with”.

      If for no other reasons that any nerf apparently would make them unplayable trash, and that for some reason they were supposed to be unplayable trash before the new codex, where they were just kind of fine. Maybe a bit underpowered.


      That being said, if your conclusion that any nerf would bin them was true, I would *still* look toward that, because Marines are the less emblematic and flavorful army of 40K, and the one with the most unfortunate implication in real life, having succeeded at being even more a symbol of fascism than orks despites ork using litteral nazi weaponry and equipment. Leave them for 30K only, where the narrative actually make them central and the other armies aren’t relevant, and have in 40K the actually awesome armies.

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        Vim February 13, 2020 6:15 am #

        Yes, let exclude main faction in fluff (and the most recognizable)from playing 40k;p

        It would be the worst possible decision to GW;p From both bussines and player point of view.
        Truth to be told, after that comment it is clear that you just hate SM;p

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy February 13, 2020 10:47 am #

          A lot of people hate Marines right now because Marines are having a hugely detrimental effect on their enjoyment of the game. It shouldn’t be surprising.

        • Avatar
          Ohlmann February 13, 2020 10:59 am #

          @Vim : probably very far from the worst possible decision from GW. Space Marine never were all that popular in any city I played in, and I highly suspect they are more “easily found” than “popular”. They also aren’t recognizable, since, you know, most people know better the various videogames space marines, who look just like the GW one. Being the one army with a completely standard look isn’t ideal

          That being said, I do hate space marines because of a specific subgroup of their fanboy. (not people like John or you, but the proudly fascists one) Before their appearance, I was more indifferent to them.

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    john russell February 13, 2020 6:06 pm #

    Okay, “trash” was being a bit dramatic, but for someone who has been dedicated to creating DIY armies since 2nd edition, having a brief moment of wow I can play my army how I picture it being Hated On so hard because of a bunch of Meta chasers is frustrating as can be.

    I don’t play Iron Hands but I can fix Raven Guard for you in a heart beat. Strike from the Shadows cost 2 CP for Elite and Heavy. Lord of Deceit allows Phobos units to reposition within 9″ on the enemy and or their deployment zone.

    That makes the cost of deep striking multiple Centurion (and my beloved Aggressor) units pricey but usable and gives back a movement shenanigan to the Raven Guard, keeping their flavor. If your scared of Infiltrating Phobos units I don’t now what to say. Look for professional help.

    Don’t hate Marines. Hate particular units that are fixable with a easy FAQ Stratagem/Keyword tweak. GW pay attention don’t nerf my Chapter just the unit that’s killing peoples fun. Take with one hand and give with the other 🙂

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    StevOOO February 13, 2020 9:02 pm #

    I think some of the easiest buffs to remove without a massive shake up would be the AP buff in doctrines and probably the +1 attack in assault (at minimum remove when they get charged buff). These are the little things that helped marines prior to codex/supplements and also unnecessarily make them strong post supplements.

    After this you can then address doctrine manipulation and make it into a more tactical mechanic as opposed to auto pick.

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    Theophrastus June 12, 2020 2:55 pm #

    So much for this argument….GW indeed nerfed some esoteric super specific combos being abused in the new SM codex(s), but the mechanical facts remained. Successor tactics still abusive and far and away better than any other faction that can custom, in addition to relics, strats and whatnot. SMs still get what amounts to 8(3 from chapter, tac doctrine, super doctrine, no fear, bolter disc and shock assault) highly synergistic detachment abilities whilst other factions get one maybe 2, most of them inconsequential and lacking synergy. And now comes 9th, with the SMs being as undercosted and overpowered as they have ever been and then some. And in 9th thunderfire cannons will hit 12 times against any unit with 6 or more models. That means most games will begin with 36(or @24 when we all stop taking 6+ model units) nLoS s5 ap-2 shots hitting on 2+ and probably rerolling 1’s to wound(why not stick a Lt back there). For any marines, and whatever else they bring won’t really matter. Whirlwinds will just be adding insult to maiming injury. Any marine player will be able to throw out 3 thunderfires, a bunch of dreadnoughts(monsters/melee vehicles rock in 9th), and a couple guys/bikes for objectives and win most games against anyone non-marine. And grats on those 3+ invuln primaris and primaris bikes, SM really needed them. The new GW business model, “make them buy necrons b/c nothing else can take the thunderfire punishment every round and actually play the game.” If your a dedicated xenos faction player for 30 years like myself 9th edition will not be for you. Enjoy watching your game become arts and crafts project only.

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