The Dark Fortress

Review: The B&C 5th Edition Guide for Space Marines

5th Edition

A first look at this newly available guide for use with your favourite flavour of Space Marines. Designed to use and keep with your 5th Edition Rulebook, there is much here to help get you up and running in a sometimes unfamiliar environment.

5th guide cover

5th guide inner sample 1

5th guide inner sample 2

"Shall They Know Fear?"

Those dedicated souls over at the Bolter & Chainsword forum have put together a very neat guide to using your Space Marine armies in 5th Edition. Written largely by the forum Admins and Moderators it has a well focussed, professionally produced and well researched feel to it.

It's a pretty extensive document: A4 portrait size with 76 pages, it has been produced in pdf format for downloading.

What's in it?

The guide is divided into roughly three distinct sections (or chapters I suppose), some of which are further sub-divided. The first covers some of the more interesting new rules in depth such as setting up games, ramming, running, true line of sight, new blast template mechanics and much more. These items are thoughtfully put together and include tactical demonstrations where appropriate to bring the text to life.

The bulk of the guide features detailed articles revealing how the new edition impacts upon the various named SM Codexes, the generic SM Codex, the Inquisition, on the forces of Chaos Space Marines and even Daemons (a nice touch to include these denizens of the Warp), and I suspect that it is these items that will be most eagerly read and studied.

The last section is a gamers perspective on the new system, taking a more personal slant than that of the previous content, but which in itself offers some very nice tactical tricks, examples and gameplay explantions. Although more an opinion-piece and some might not agree with all of it — it's from the heart and the sentiment is pretty much spot on that basically, yes it's different and some bits you might not like but let's have fun with it.

Is it worth a read?

In a word, yes. Inevitably there is some duplicating of explanations from within each of the Chapter-specific areas, that but that doesn't hurt as it offers different perspectives which are always good. Overall it's been very well written, with a few minor errors — but considering it was put out before 5th Edition was officially launched these can be forgiven — nevertheless it gives a good insight to the effects of 5th Edition on Space Marines. Indeed there is a lot of meat on the bones here, and far exceeds the skim-summaries that Games Workshop themselves have (so far) released for general consumption. Personally I would have liked to have seen more explanatory diagrams or set up shots using models to enhance some tactical or rules point, but let's not be churlish, as it stands it's very good indeed.

Is it pro or anti 5th edition?

Mostly pro. But where rules differ to the detriment of previous SM gameplay in 4th this has been rightly pointed out, especially with things like powerfists and assault cannons for instance. Similarly, where improvements have been made, these are picked out too. Let's face it the very fact this guide exists to help those who use it is an indicator of the general direction the editorial team takes. There is no harsh critcism anywhere, just useful and mostly impartial though heartfelt comment.

As is said somewhere within,

Fans of the game should look forward to some great experiences through this chapter of Warhammer 40K gaming.

It's worth pointing out that the B&C have been very careful not to infringe GWs IP by revealing too much of the news rules — great credit goes to the writers and editors who had to produce assessments while keeping this is mind.

Finally, as is said in the Introduction, this is a "living document", and as such it will no doubt be expanded and updated as experience with the new rules throws new things into the 40K light.

Download and learn — and feast your eyes on some very tasty artwork.

Get the guide

Overall Rating
4 out of 5 rating



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