Over the next couple of weeks I will be going through all of the verious units within the new Codex, looking at what has changed from the Index and also my thoughts on the various units and how they work in 8th. I will be starting with the HQ units and then working through all the others in turn. Finally I will look at all of the doctrines, warlord traits, orders and stratagems at the end. All in all, this will no doubt take quite a bit of time to go through everything in the new book and I will try to post things up as quickly as I can so that were not still talking about the box next year! When I do finish going through the book, there will be quite a back log of posts, as there is still things going on in the background, namely batreps and the Eagle Knights, which have been progressing slowly in the background.
Anyway, on to the HQ units:
Lord Castellan Creed
A nice and simple one to start, as nothing has changed from the Index to the Codex. Creed is still a strong character, carrying over a lot of the usefulness he had in 7th. As a character he is purely a buffing character, able to issue multiple orders and also granting the bonus Command Points, which is very useful. The only downside to him is that he sufferers from the standard guard flaw, he is relatively easy to kill. As a character he has some built in survivability, but once the enemy get close, he is still a soft target. For me, I usually take him in my Hjaltland list, however, I'm going to have to rethink this as being Cadian I would have to use the Cadian Doctrine and to be honest, I'm not sure its the best one for the army. If you are taking a Cadian Detachment though, then you should definatly be looking at taking Creed.
There have been a few changes here. Two of them are fairly common across a number of units and will get repeated several times during these reviews. The Power points value has been altered, dropping a point and the character no longer comes with a Chain sword as standard. Now, power points are not really something I bother with as I don't really like the imbalance in the system but if you do then the drop in points is a good thing. On the whole most units have dropped points, which more than makes up for the few that have risen in price. The fact that the model no longer comes with a chain sword is both a modelling thing and a cost thing. With most models that now have a chain sword did not use to have one and as such most are not modelled with one. Most of my Sergeants and officers are armed with plain old CCW's and not chain swords, but in reality it isn't much of a problem, as its easy to just pretend or glue on to the back of someone. The other change to Company Commanders is that they have lost their shotguns. This is a minor issue as I don't know anyone who actually armed a Company Commander with shotguns. I haven't used shotguns and don't ever intend to either, so not a problem for me. Company commanders are very useful units and you should always be taking these guys, especially if your not taking Creed, as their orders are invaluable.
The first of the Leman Russ tanks and one that hasn't benefitted from the points drop. It has benefitted from a drop in power points, just one point, but its still a drop. The price drop of the general LRBT's does however have an impact on the command tank. Previously, the point difference meant that it made sense to just spam command tanks for the extra BS, now the point are different enough that you actually need to think about whether its worth taking lots of command tanks or if you can take one with a couple of normal LRBT's. The main change though is to the Emergency Plasma Vents and its a big one. In the past, overcharging the plasma was a sure-fire way of destroying your tanks, with the risk of taking multiple mortal wounds per 1 rolled. Now you only take one mortal wound per 1 rolled and you still get to use your weapon again. This means that you can chance those overcharged shots and not worry that two 1's and you tank is removed from the board, or even that one 1 would stop it shooting for the rest of the battle. I think that this is a really good change and will result in lots more Executioners being fielded. If your running tanks, then this guy should be the first one on the table, that is unless your playing as Cadian, then you should be taking Pask.
Knight Commander Pask
If your taking tanks and playing as Cadians, then this man should be first on the list. While I think he has lost something over the 7th edition version, with loosing the special abilities of the weapons, there is no doubt that he is still a very powerful addition to the force. Along side the reduction in power points, by the almost obligatory one point, the only other thing of note is that the wording of the Tank Orders/Knight Commander ability has changed. It now mentions nothing about other characters, just that they have to be other Cadian Leman Russ tanks. So by this I assume that Pask can order another command tank and visa versa. It does still appear that the loophole about Pask ordering himself my arise again, as it doesn't mention anything about not ordering himself and we don't have a FAQ for the Codex, just Index 2, which no longer applies. I think that if anyone tries to do this again, then they are trying to break the system, as it is clear that he is not supposed to order himself. Also worth noting that the Plasma Vent rule for Pask has also changed in line with all LRBT's. Pask is a great addition to any armoured force and with the new Grinding Advance rules allowing you to fire twice at half speed or less, he is even better. There are really no bad weapons options for him, with a 2+ BS and if he stays still, re-rolls to 1's your going to be hitting with pretty much everything, even Vanquisher Battle Cannons. My personal favourite still has to be the Punisher Gatling Cannon, just for the fact that you can pour in 40 shots, hitting on twos, with the possibility of re-rolling 1's. That is going to ruin pretty much any ones day.
The old man of Hades Hive is still alive and kicking. Although there is no change from the Index entry, he is still an absolute beat stick. With the standard Commissar buffs to leadership and moral, your troops wont be going many places you don't want them to. Plus with the re-rolls to 1's as well, your troops will be performing a bit better on the shooting front too. This goes even further with re-roll to all failed hit rolls when fighting Orks, which is very good but quite situational, as the number of Ork players seems to have diminished over the last couple of editions. The big bonus Yarrick has over a regular Lord Commissar is his ability to regenerate when he dies. He has a good chance of returning, especially if you keep your command re-roll, and if you keep a medic close to hand you have a chance of making him really difficult to remove from the table, as its is not a one time ability. While Yarrick is a great character, I feel he is still quite situational. Against Orks he is a really good addition, but against normal opponents, I feel that if you want a Commissar in the HQ section, then a standard Lord Commissar is a better bet.
While not a resilient as Yarrick, he offers pretty much all of the same buffs, everything except the re-rolls. With all the orders and regimental doctrines available, losing this re-roll is not a big issue, Cadians for example have a re-roll of there own. The Lord Commissar's profile has remained unchanged from the Index, as do all the buffs but again, I still find it hard to justify taking a Lord Commissar. A normal commissar will give you the buffs you need at a reduced cost. The only reason to take the Lord version is the invulnerable save and the fact it sits as a HQ choice rather than using one of the overcrowded elite slots.
Colonel 'Iron Hand' Straken
The final named character in the HQ section has had quite a few changes from the Index. The biggest change is the change in the cost of the unit, both in terms of power points, dropping a point but also dropping 15 "normal" points. This is the only HQ to drop actual points, as opposed to power points. He has also gained frag grenades along side his krak grenades, which I assume was a mistake in the Index. Straken is a strange one, as he really is trying to be a combat monster, yet to me, doesn't really seem to achieve this. Yes he can issue orders and also gives extra attacks to Catachan infantry, which melds well with their extra strength buff, but at T4 he is still not going to take much to strike down, especially when his other rules are aimed at him hunting down monsters, i.e. his re-roll to wound against monsters. Going up against a Tyranid monster will likely see him destroyed in one turn of combat, probably without dealing much in return, as his bionic arm is only S user, even if this is twice the normal guardsmen's strength. While I think this means that he want to be in combat and is wasted sitting in the backfield, meaning he doesn't really have a defined role, I would take him in any of my lists in a second, just because he's definitely one of the coolest characters in the Codex.
Apart from the change to the power points, a change of 1 point upwards for a change. Its not surprising that it has gone up in price, as the scions have proved themselves to be a big threat on the field, especially when loader with plasma guns. If you running any sort of MT force, even just a single squad, then you should seriously consider this unit, as it really is a massive force multiplier.
The last HQ choice remains unchanged from the Index and remains a cheap but useful HQ choice. While there are other psykers available to the guard player, this is by far the best option. The others do have there place in the army but this is the most versatile of them. The psychic power avaliable, which I will go through later, offer a number of buffs to your army and are all useful, unlike some of the previous powers. I think that if you want a Psyker in your army, then this is the best choice.
So overall, most of the HQ choices are good choices. Pask and Creed are really auto includes in Cadian armies and Straken is a good candidate in a Catachan army. Company Commanders and Tank Commanders are also required choices for any infantry or tank armies, as is the Prime in a Scion force. The Psyker is a decent support choice and can perform any number of rolls, depending upon which psychic powers you choose. The only two choices that I struggle with are both the Commissars, Yarrick and the Lord, as I don't see that they really offer anything over the standard Commisars.
Next up will be the Troop choices and also the Dedicated transports.