In the first part of this review looked at the rules section from the point of view of a first read through. This part will look at what else you get in the weighty tome.
One of the things I’ve always like about Games Workshop rule books is the fluff. I think fluff is probably doing it an injustice. It is obvious that a lot of work goes in to the background sections not just in terms of raw content but the continuity and big picture plots that play out over time. If you have read a lot of 40k background material before then you will find a lot of this familiar but I certainly read a couple of things that I hadn’t before.
This hobby is about much more than just the battling though and to that end there is a nice section on the hobby side. Lots of stunningly good pictures to salivate over. Ideas for modelling and terrain making, paint schemes and even army themes. It is all there to inspire and tempt and like Oscar Wilde there is no chance that I will be resisting. There really is a lot to look at and take in and I’ll be flicking through this book for months to come.
One of the things I really like about this book is the index. Yes, the index. Don’t laugh. Remember the old D&D one which had entries for other books? Remember the 90% other gaming books without indexes or even worse with ones that bore little relation to the content or anything you might actually want to look-up. It is so nice to actually find things quickly and get on with the game. Right next to the index though is something that had me bouncing up and down with delight though. Tables. Not just the hit/wound/vehicle tables, but all the basic stats for all the codex races and vehicles. I may even email GW and ask if I can have permission to photocopy those pages for personal use whilst battling. Really useful if you can’t be bothered (or are too old) to remember every stat in every codex.
Now to the negative. My beloved Tyranids. I originally thought the changes in the rules would be quite balanced for them, but one line in the codex FAQ has destroyed that. Let me explain. As an army Nids are not going to be great against flyers. I think there is only one ranged weapon above strength 6 that is not a blast weapon and that is the Rupture Cannon. Even that without Skyfire will need a 6 to hit and is therefore unlikely to take down a flyer very easily, oh and it is over 250 points for that model. So that Imperial Guard army with Three Vendettas fires nine TL Lascannons at it and destroys it. Now there is very little that can do anything against them. Even the Winged Harpy can’t hit another flyer because both the weapon options available are Blast weapons. That’s OK though because I can use an Aegis Defense Line with the lovely Icarus Lascannon so I can actually get rid of them. This is where that FAQ line comes in. Tyranids can never control the guns on fortifications and only fire them on automatic. This means they need a 6 to hit and can only fire at the closest target. As you are no doubt working out this means it is unlikely that they could ever be used for the purpose you buy them for. Tyranids are the ONLY race that this is the case for. One last thing. Detachments. Every army (except Nids) can take a detachment from other codexes to overcome some of their shortcomings. Even Necrons can take a detachment to help out. Again Nids have lost out.
The upshot is that I have put my Nids away because any army with two or more flyers will be almost unstoppable against me. Where did I put that Chaos Codex?