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I'm getting back into Warhammer 40k and want to start a new army of Space Marines. Before I purchase anything, my question is: what chapter? I've read through a bit of the back stories and they all sound interesting but the three that have caught my attention are: Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and Crimson Fists. I'm not the biggest on fluff but those three's stories intrigued me more than the rest.
A bit on how I like to play: I like versatility in my troops and being able to change tactics from game to game. Shooting seems more effective than assault to me, though I love the imagery of the Blood Angels flying at their enemies.
So which has the best rules? The best fluff? And how do you utilize them to their best advantage?
Thanks in advance for the help.
Dark Angels: Very coold fluff and their Plastic kit is one of the best multi-part plastic kits GW have ever released. Robed Marines are awesome. However........their rules are rubbish. Their codex was a 'test run' for the Normal Marines codex so they loose out on things and things cost alot more in their codex than they do in the Marine Codex. If you want to do Dark Angels i'd use the normal Marines codex. Unless of course you want to do an all terminator army - Then use the Dark Angels Codex.
Crimson Fists: Love the background too. easy colour scheme to do and alot of potential for conversions with Ork trophies etc. Their special Character has possibly one of the best special rules in the whole Marine codex. Other than that they're just like normal Marines so can do everything well.
Blood Angels: New Codex so these guys are the new kids on the block. Lots of new tricks, lots of new models. They can do shooty armies and assault armies in equal measure. They can field ALOT of tanks in their lists too but if you really want a Mechanised army i'd stick to playing normal Marines.
Painting Red isn't easy either.
Dark Angels have the worst rules - there's honestly no reason to take them (other than a pure terminator army) when bike armies are done better with Vanilla. Fluff wise they've all got a lot of history - the BA/DA more than CF, but they're all old chapters with plenty of background.
However I would suggest you create your own chapter, and use whichever codex you feel like on any given day
I'm with realitycheque - if you like bits of this and that Chapter, just devise your own Chapter which incorporate your unique brand of strategy.
And then paint them all black and call them the Primers. Vouila! An entire army done in 2 days!
Stormcrows Chapter of the Space Marines
Borak is spot on in his analysis. BA/SM have lots of variety and are both good in their own ways, but DA have not aged well.
I've gone the route of the DIY Omnimarines, a generic-ish chapter that can use any Codex's rules on any given day. So long as you make things clear and don't mix rules, you get multiple armies in one.
Thanks for the advice. I think I will go for the Original Chapter idea. I'll still probably get some of the Dark Angels for the extra bits though... Too bad. They've got a fun story.
Aside from Assault on Black Reach, any advice on what troops to purchase first?
Once more, thanks for the advice.
Best bet is to buy another tactical squad. then see if you can scrounge any Powerfists off mates for the sergeants. also converting the Flamers on the tactical Marines to meltaguns is a good idea too. Then grab some Rhino's for your boys.
As for the rest it's really up to you. Write an army list of what you want and post it up on the Army List section to get some advice.
Try and get a heavy flamer for the dreadnought.
Get a heavy weapon for your terminators
Extra Tactical squad
Transports for everything.
Then fast attack best options are multimelta attack bikes, suicide lanspeeders (hf+mm) or landspeeder typhoons. Assulat marines can be good but are slightly situational.
Theres loads of choices for elites, just remember unless its a shooty dreadnought, it needs a transport (remembering that the landraider gives a unit a 20" charge range its not bad for 250, although too expensive for me).
Heavy support: IMO the only option is vindicators, but you have to take at least 2 of them, and 3 is best. However some people disagree, and say that dakka preds, landraiders, and even whirlwinds have their place. More fun options are all missile devestators and thunderfire cannons.
Troops. Tactical squads, never run less than ten. 5 scouts with snipers can also be helpful but aren't mandatory
Hq: The hardest choice, because IMO all the standard ones cost too many points. But i also dislike special characters. ALl I can say is, if you go for a special character build the list around their abiltity. Captains are hard-hitters. Librarians and chaplains enhance their squad (libs being enhancing shooties and chaps more assulaty) and MotF for a 6 drednought army.
Getting transports will also be important, regardless of rules. Having a rhino for each of your squads is pretty important. I'd spring for the razorback to get the extra parts, in case you ever decide you want to field razorbacks instead (also in pretty much every marine codex).
With that, you'll have a captain, 2 tactical squads, a terminator squad, a dreadnought, and 2 rhinos. Depending on their loadout, you're probably looking at around 750 points or so, give or take. That's good for starters. If I were you I would play a few games at that level and find your playstyle, then see what codex units fit that style. Do you love getting your marines across the field into assault? Then you'll probably want to grab the BA codex but more importantly you'll want some assault marines. Do you like shooting up units? Well then Sternguard are for you! Are you into mechanized forces? There's units for that too.
Marines are nice since there isn't just one way to play them. They can fit a lot of playstyles. Knowing what playstyle fits you is vital, because otherwise you'll run out and spend $35 on Vanguard veterans thinking they're so cool when they are absurdly overpriced in the codex and don't fit your army at all (that's what I did. They still get play...as proxies, but vanguard veterans are terrible). There's nothing sadder than having a whole bunch of marines you built sitting around not getting play because there's no where for them in your army.
Before going all out and buying tons of stuff, play some test games. Try out BA, SW, SM, even DA and BT and see what fits you. Find a plsystyle that fits you and build from the Codex that either does that best (no point doing a jump heavy force using Codex: SM, BA just do it better) or you prefer.