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Firstborn changes we'd like to see in the next Codex Space Marines


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Since the Codex is often seen as 2 different types of Marines that perhaps should be rolled into one but ain't happening, plus there are plenty of fans of both, I'm going to focus on Firstborn changes we'd like to see in the next version of Codex Space Marines.

Note this is not a topic to discuss the merits or no for separating Primaris and Firstborn, which is better or whether stuff will be removed or not (presumption being everything is still there). It's also not for what Primaris need (and they do need stuff) as it is focused on one particular aspect of the line.

In no particular, deliberate order but rather what's in our mind from recent parallel releases, I'm going to start with the obvious changes folk can probably see coming...

Vehicle changes

Land Raiders and other vehicles should follow the stat increases of Chaos Marines. T9 is amazing and a broader T8 on things like Predators will go some way too.

The twin lascannons on tanks getting a boost is good but we won't see it on Dreadnoughts, but I actually think they're quite good already with Armour of Contempt and Duty Eternal.

Vindicators should follow the changes too, with an improved Demolisher Cannon, but hopefully the Stalker and Hunter should see a boost too. I mean, look at the size of the Hunter weapon system! It's almost a cruise missile, it should be more than just an anti-air weapon system!

Infantry changes

To me anongst the biggest changes I'd like to see is a flat +1 attacks across the board. One less rule to think with Shock Assault gone.

Units like Sternguard I'd like to see elevated somewhat. Special Issue Bolters just don't quite cut it. Maybe make them D2, or S5, but they need a boost. A unit of these jumping out of a Rhino and heading to an objective should be a problem for an opponent, not just a points sink easy target.

I'm reluctant to suggest 3 wounds a piece for them as that would impact Vanguard which becomes quite problematic. 

Centurions definitely need to be carefully supported! Granting them Core would help a lot, particularly the ranged variants. Failing that a big points decrease seems crucial as 75pts for double Heavy Bolters just isn't worth it considering Heavy Bolters are a very underperforming gun in many circumstances.

Tactical Marines I don't actually think need anything. They're pretty useful for their heavy weapons, though I would like to see Rhinos given a 30pts discount. Then putting Tacticals into Rhinos and jumping up on an objective alongside the units that took said objective would be feasible again.

Characters work well enough so I don't desire any changes there specifically, though slightly different Psychic Powers would work to keep them relevant and modern.

******

Any ideas of changes I'm missing or different takes on these units?

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If Transhuman Physiology is not granted to Firstborn, which I did find brilliant initially when the rule came out, at least cheaper transports can help somewhat. I mean, 3 Rhinos in an army for 40pts each would really help survivability as a whole.

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1 hour ago, Captain Idaho said:

Vehicle changes

Land Raiders and other vehicles should follow the stat increases of Chaos Marines. T9 is amazing and a broader T8 on things like Predators will go some way too.

The twin lascannons on tanks getting a boost is good but we won't see it on Dreadnoughts, but I actually think they're quite good already with Armour of Contempt and Duty Eternal.

Vindicators should follow the changes too, with an improved Demolisher Cannon, but hopefully the Stalker and Hunter should see a boost too. I mean, look at the size of the Hunter weapon system! It's almost a cruise missile, it should be more than just an anti-air weapon system!

Definitely want the T9/d6+2 Land Raider changes. T8 Predators would make them a little more interesting, but personally, I'd prefer to see their role as a mobile predator type tank improved. Giving them some kind of rule to boost their accuracy/effectiveness on the move or something rather than just a flat profile buff. Costs do need to be lowered for sure. Especially the more expensive ones: an anti-tank loadout Stormhawk is 230pts. 230, which is insane - it needs to drop at least 30pts minimum, and more like 50-70pts unless it gets some datasheet adjustments.

Also, give my Land Raiders Assault Vehicle, damnit! Maybe:

In your Command Phase choose one of the following:

  • Units can disembark after this vehicle moves. When doing so, units cannot make a Normal Move or Advance, but may shoot and charge normally.
  • Units can disembark after this vehicle moves. When doing so, units can make a Normal Move or Advance, but they may not shoot or charge.

But, yeah, I'd like them to give vehicles/units more identity based on their role/purpose.

1 hour ago, Captain Idaho said:

Infantry changes

To me anongst the biggest changes I'd like to see is a flat +1 attacks across the board. One less rule to think with Shock Assault gone.

Units like Sternguard I'd like to see elevated somewhat. Special Issue Bolters just don't quite cut it. Maybe make them D2, or S5, but they need a boost. A unit of these jumping out of a Rhino and heading to an objective should be a problem for an opponent, not just a points sink easy target.

I'm reluctant to suggest 3 wounds a piece for them as that would impact Vanguard which becomes quite problematic. 

Centurions definitely need to be carefully supported! Granting them Core would help a lot, particularly the ranged variants. Failing that a big points decrease seems crucial as 75pts for double Heavy Bolters just isn't worth it considering Heavy Bolters are a very underperforming gun in many circumstances.

Tactical Marines I don't actually think need anything. They're pretty useful for their heavy weapons, though I would like to see Rhinos given a 30pts discount. Then putting Tacticals into Rhinos and jumping up on an objective alongside the units that took said objective would be feasible again.

Characters work well enough so I don't desire any changes there specifically, though slightly different Psychic Powers would work to keep them relevant and modern.

Yep, definitely remove Shock Assault/+1A across the board. SA is almost always active, and the edge cases where it isn't don't really matter; just make it a flat +1A and be done with it.

For Sternguard/Vanguard, it would be nice if they got some of their older flavour back: maybe Vanguard can Heroically Intervene, or they get a bonus to their charge roll on the turn they deep strike; maybe Sternguard get a boost to their accuracy/damage (maybe that +1D that you want) if they remain stationary (or within half range, to promote mobility). Something to give them some oomph that matches their roles.

Tacticals I agree are mostly fine, just drop/rebalance the weapon/upgrade costs. Grav-guns should not cost the same as a Plasma Gun: either make them Assault 2, or make them a free upgrade; same for Flamers, they need to be a free upgrade and probably also have d6+2 shots - Flamers in general just need something to help them out.

Speaking of weapons/Centurions: Heavy Bolters, and a lot of weapons, just need a bit of a reevaluation. Points need to be checked because things like Dreadnoughts Twin Lascannons costing +20pts when a Multi-melta costs +5pts? No, that's just bad, they should both be +5, or the MM should be more! Similarly, things like Heavy Bolters used to be more impactful back when they first got upgraded to 2D, but now that's not nearly as notable; some costs need to be dropped; hell, maybe even make the Heavy Bolter Heavy 4.

Doctrines, Superdoctrines and Chapter Tactics could do with another balance pass. I think the way CSM are going, with the removal of custom CTs is probably good - as long as the CT traits are good enough, then we really don't need 9 Progenitor and a dozen Successor tactics all thrown in. Doctrines are ok, but they are a band aid fix to Marine bolters being weak as hell; maybe they're fine enough, but really these three different rules need a solid reevaluation to get them properly tuned. I don't know what kind of mechanic could work for Marines, but Strands of Fate, Miracle Dice, Power From Pain, Mont'ka/Kauyon, etc are all pretty interesting things that mostly reflect the identity of the factions: Doctrines are pretty dull and lifeless.

Mostly I want tweaks, nothing huge besides maybe the Doctrine stuff. Rebalance the bad stuff and make sure stuff isn't overcosted for what it does.

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1 hour ago, phandaal said:

Would like to see something along the lines of Transhuman. Big problem with non-Primaris is if your opponent wants to spike them off the board, they will.

Oh, yeah. Personally, I wish they'd not given out Transhuman effects like candy, but they have :dry: TP needs to not be Primaris only, it's a dumb restriction, much like the Honour the Chapter being restricted to Assault Intercessors only.

In fact, there's another thing that needs a good proper reevaluation: stratagems. There are so many crap ones. Give us our damn smoke launchers back and stop putting core wargear on to stratagems for the sake of it! Reduced the volume of stratagems and make the ones we have/get be actually useful and interesting.

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28 minutes ago, Kallas said:

Oh, yeah. Personally, I wish they'd not given out Transhuman effects like candy, but they have :dry: TP needs to not be Primaris only, it's a dumb restriction, much like the Honour the Chapter being restricted to Assault Intercessors only.

In fact, there's another thing that needs a good proper reevaluation: stratagems. There are so many crap ones. Give us our damn smoke launchers back and stop putting core wargear on to stratagems for the sake of it! Reduced the volume of stratagems and make the ones we have/get be actually useful and interesting.

Yeah, Transhuman is a necessity of the bonkers power scaling in new rulesets. In a sane system, you would not need to essentially turn off your opponent's ability to wound your models normally in order for them to survive. But that is what we have these days!

Anyway, agreed that we need to see things moving back onto datasheets, especially something that should be a wargear option - for example, the aptly named "Wargear Strategems."

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I have so many thoughts on Firstborn, but I will settle for just talking about my boys the Sternguard Veterans, and to a lesser extent other vets and Termies. 

I think Sternguard need Masterful Marksmanship back in some form. Whether that's a strat again, or an in built ability once per game, at least it's something. 

I've also thought about how it would be nice for Vet and Terminator units to choose a "veteran skill" for free before the game. This would come in the form of selecting one of the custom chapter tactics (that you aren't already using) to apply to that unit.

Each vet skill can only be chosen once. So no spamming born heroes vanguard or terminators, or no spamming master artisans or bolter fusilade Sternguard. 

Another great option would be to allow Sternguard to choose wither Specialist boltguns OR Master Crafted boltguns as their primary weapon. There would be a trade off to range and AP vs 2 damage. Obviously, keep combi, stormbolter, and special/heavy upgrades as well. 

Lastly, I would love for a OPG ability or strat to allow a Sternguard squad to fire off a volley of specialist bolts, based on your supplement. So hellfire, gatebreaker, quake bolts... Ect.

I think this is fun and fluffy. I'm not certain how strong/weak it would be for each chapter supplement. But i can't imagine it would be too over the top.

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14 minutes ago, Captain Idaho said:

I thought about Sternguard having just plain old Master-Crafted Bolters. Makes sense as the rules are already in the book and makes them quite effective.

Let's shoot for the stars!

Range 30" - Rapid Fire 1 - S4/AP-2/D2

Then it's the best of both :biggrin:

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Posted (edited)

Sternguard: BS2+ and a data sheet rule to ignore modifiers to hit in the shooting phase.

Tacticals: 

             Free: combi-flamer, missile launchers

             5 PPM: storm bolters, combi-grav, lascannon, plasma cannon, heavy flamer

             10 PPM: combi melta, combi plas, heavy bolter, grav cannon

             20 PPM: multi-melta

Dreadnought:

             90 PPM: same as a base tactical squad

              Free: Assault Cannon, Missile Launcher, Twin Lascannon, Heavy Plasma Cannon

              20 PPM: Multi-Melta

-regarding the regular boxnought, I've been thinking that making them into units of 1-3 might be pretty interesting. Even dropping them down to 90PPM almost feels like it wouldnt be enough to make me want to bring them to games. All of their shooting options are a little too low volume compared to other units we could be taking for my liking, but their resilience at 90PPM makes me wonder. If we could sort of mitigate the low volume of shots by being able to take multiple models in a unit, that may be a pretty cool way of getting them on the table top again. But i might just be craving fielding a nice chunk of Hellfire Dreadnoughts like in DoW1.

 

 

Edited by Djangomatic82
just fixing formating
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 I'd love to see:

1. Tactical marines get 2 attacks base. It makes no sense that in on-going combat these super-soldiers have the same number of attacks as ordinary humans. That can get rid of shock assault. Just have flat base attacks. 

2. Primaris either go to S5 (but still T4) OR Move 7" instead of 6", to reflect their larger size/strength compared to first-born. 

I think those two changes would better reflect the "fluff" of first-born vs primaris better (as I understand it anyway): they are bigger (so faster at running), a bit stronger, maybe a bit tougher (e.g. THP), but in terms of reaction times etc... about the same. I think that would genuinely shift the balance between first-born and primaris on the table and keep first-born viable whilst giving primaris a combat or mobility boost. It would make assault intercessors at S5 into T5 orks interesting for example. 

I'd also like to see some form of "THP" for firstborn. Maybe a rule that a single wound-roll can be re-rolled for free for each first-born battle squad per round? (so shooting or melee, but not both?) Or alternatively, 1CP stratagem for 1D3 or 1D6 wound-rerolls?

Alternatively, maybe make THP cost 1CP for units with primaris keyword, and 2CP for units without? Or 0CP for primaris and 1CP for other units, with a rule that it can only be used once per phase per each type of unit?

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Posted (edited)
On 7/2/2022 at 11:55 PM, Medjugorje said:

I think it would be okay to have BS 2+ for Sternguard and dmg2 Botlers or "shred".

 

 all in all VV are really good. Maybe ignoring all negative modifiers would be awesome.

I'd love to see sternguard veterans have BS2+ WS3+ access to fee comb-weapons and options to take melee weapons. A squad with combi-meltas and power fists would be great. Company veterans should then be BS/WS 2+, same access to combi-weapons, but have access to melee weapons for cheaper. Maybe limit them to 1 squad per detachment. 

I'd like both sternguard and company veterans to have a stratagem that allows them to ignore the look out sir rule :) That would make them really good character killers. Either that, or a rule that the sergeants in sterngaurd/company veterans can ignore the look out sire rule whenever they shoot :)

Edited by XeonDragon
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9 hours ago, XeonDragon said:

2. Primaris either go to S5 (but still T4) OR Move 7" instead of 6", to reflect their larger size/strength compared to first-born. 

I think those two changes would better reflect the "fluff" of first-born vs primaris better (as I understand it anyway): they are bigger (so faster at running), a bit stronger, maybe a bit tougher (e.g. THP), but in terms of reaction times etc... about the same. I think that would genuinely shift the balance between first-born and primaris on the table and keep first-born viable whilst giving primaris a combat or mobility boost. It would make assault intercessors at S5 into T5 orks interesting for example. 

Are you suggesting that Primaris lose their bonus attack to get Movement and Strength? Because I would like to see that :happy: Primaris are not supposed to be so far ahead of Firstborn, from all of the stuff that I've read. Yes, they are better, but it's not by Human->Astartes->Custodes->Primarch proportions. It's more like Humans->Catachans; they're prime examples of Astartes, but they're not out of reach of Firstborn.

I think if Primaris and Firstborn merge their statlines (so equal in all regards) except for +1" Move and +1 S, then it could help define them a little better.

Also, bugbear of mine: why are Bladeguard 3W??? They're in Mk X Tacticus armour and have the same wounds as Gravis? They're just Veterans, they should be 2W. 

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Black Blow Fly said:

There’s no good reason to reduce wounds. :facepalm:

To reduce wounds on the Tacticus models that inexplicably have more wounds for literally no reason whatsoever? :rolleyes:

Edit: sorry, this thread is for Firstborn, although I think getting Firstborn and Primaris squared up with what kind of compatibility they have is important too. 

Edited by Kallas
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5 minutes ago, Black Blow Fly said:

Well firstborn could go back to one wound… it’s all arbitrary right ?

You don't follow the logic of Tactitus having 2W for standard bodies, with Gravis giving +1W? That's how the various armours have worked for ages, if anything is arbitrary, it's Bladeguard having 3W for no reason whatsoever. It is jarring and makes no sense - it's one of the reasons why they've been so strong, because it's just...from nothing. There is no reason for it to be that way.

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The armor is not exactly the same plus they could be intended as teq for all we know. In general crying for unneeded nerfs won’t meet much support afaic.

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6 minutes ago, Black Blow Fly said:

The armor is not exactly the same plus they could be intended as teq for all we know. In general crying for unneeded nerfs won’t meet much support afaic.

Tacticus, the same armour as Intercessors, could be intended as TEQ, really?? Aggressors/Gravis is far more applicable as a TEQ, and I think you know full well that that's the case. I have no idea how you can pose that as a point with a straight face.

Also, nerfing Bladeguard is kind of irrelevant: they can be made appropriately costed for their stats - they're currently 35pts/model; they could easily drop to 28pts/model or something to compensate and remain a good unit. They don't need 3W to be a strong melee unit, but with 3W they are inconsistent.

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Don't Chaos Chosen have 3 wounds but Chaos Terminators also have 3 wounds, yet the armour gives characters an extra wound...

It is arbitrary for balance. I'm happy enough Bladeguard having 3 wounds anyway.

Regardless, yes it is off topic but bringing it back... 

I would like to see Sternguard and Vanguard made equivalent to Chosen. For the first time ever their rules are better which is great. 

Oh blimey, this isn't just Firstborn but affects our characters and units more... Plasma! Stop having it blow up and kill whole model for goodness sake. Whole characters? A Sergeant is bad enough.

It would help our combi Sergeants too.

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34 minutes ago, Captain Idaho said:

Don't Chaos Chosen have 3 wounds but Chaos Terminators also have 3 wounds, yet the armour gives characters an extra wound...

It is arbitrary for balance. I'm happy enough Bladeguard having 3 wounds anyway.

Right, but "powered up by Chaos" is different to "literally no reason."

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