Welcome to the first part of my review for the new 8th edition Space Marine codex. This section will take a look at some of the special rules for the army, the Chapter Tactics and the new Warlord Traits in the codex.
The codex contains the special rules for the forces of the Space Marines, one of which should make a big impact on the game going forward.
And They Shall Know No Fear
The quintessential Space Marine rule has been updated for 8th edition. This rule allows you to re-roll all failed Morale tests.
This is actually a pretty decent rule, allowing you to survive the worst effects of the morale phase for a number of your units. Previously, Space Marines were pretty much immune to the consequences of Morale in the game. They automatically rallied if they fell back and could not be wiped out in combat from a sweeping advance.
Now, however, they are as affected as most other units in the game. The re-roll can be pretty useful to stop you from losing your expensive Marines to a poor morale roll. With a standard Leadership of 7, you need to lose at least 2 of your squad to fail a morale test. Having the re-roll improves your odds of not losing another squad member to an inopportune roll of a 6 on the test. With a Sergeant in the squad, their Leadership goes up to 8, further boosting the chances of passing the test. As most Marine squads seem to be run in unit sizes of 5, having the re-roll is great for keeping the last members of the unit alive, as you pretty much need to lose most of the unit to have bad odds of failing the Morale test.
Defenders of Humanity
This is a great special rule and should have a big impact on missions in 8th edition going forward. This new rule is essentially Objective Secured from 7th edition. If your army is battle-forged, then all Troops units control an objective marker if they are in range, even if they are outnumbered by the enemy unit. If the other unit has a similar special rule, the unit with the most models in range of the objective then control it.
Objective Secured was a key special rule for me in 7th edition, winning me plenty of games over the course of its use. Having a similar rule in 8th edition is going to be great, I think. I think this is a great addition to the army (and the game) and should help to balance out some of the more ridiculous armies that can be taken if GW are careful with which units such rules are applied (I don't think anyone want to see Conscripts or Brimstone Horrors gaining such a rule). I look forward to trying this out in my games and seeing if it is as effective as it has been in the past.