Well, with the new edition comes a shake up in the power curve. This is the start to an article series that we will be doing to outline how the new edition has treated each army (that we have experience with). I did an article about how I felt the power curve stood at the end of 6th. That’s what I will be basing the declaration of winners or losers off of.
Lets look at the big rule changes that affected the space marines. All units scoring really opened up options with this codex. You can make some really durable objective holding units out of centurions or terminators. Devastators on a backfield objective can hold it while pounding the enemy lines (so can a thunderfire cannon!).
The objective secured rule makes tactical marines super important. They are one of the more durable troops in the game. Dedicated transports for Troops gaining “Objective Secured” is great. Now you can have “super scoring” rhinos or drop pods. Add in combat squading, and suddenly two tactical squads with rhinos can become 6 units with objective secured.
The psychic phase is a mixed bag for marines. They can’t take more than 4 mastery levels in a single force org (unless you count tigerius, who is awesome btw). So, they really have trouble competing with armies like eldar and daemons when it comes to the psychic phase. That being said, psychic hoods are now very useful. You can increase your deny the witch odds for all units within 12 inches. I say its a wash here.
Flying monstrous creatures are now hard to ground and kill for the marines. The storm talon is easy prey for any flying monstrous creature. Flakk missiles seem inefficient for there point cost. The stalker may be better suited at taking down those FMC, but I haven’t play tested it yet.
Mission wise, the new maelstrom missions treat the marines okay. If you take a mobile force, you can capitalize on a good hand. They don’t seem to suffer worse than any army in that case. Eternal war still treats them pretty well.
Overall, I say the marines have seen a bump up in the power curve. Lists can be more varied since you are not forced to bring 3-4 tactical squads if you don’t want to. On the other hand you can max out your troops and transports and have 18 units with objective secured. They can’t cast well against psychically powerful opponents, but can defend decently. The new mission types don’t hurt them. FMC are a little tougher to take out, but that is the case for just about everyone.
I had them at #5 previously, I think they are at least #3 now and could make a decent argument for #2. What do you think?