I am not going to do a Space Marine Codex review as there are already many good resources to be had, so why create more noise. I may contribute my two cents here and there and point out some hidden gems along the way.
What I really want to talk about are the Rise of the White Scars. For myself, I find this very enjoyable. I grew up working on and racing motocross, my first vehicle ever was a Honda 650 KnightHawk, I rode bikes every year until the first year my son was born.
My armies have had bikes in them whenever it made sense, from running a Wazdakka list to recently playing Raven Wing...and now White Scars. Yeah, I will jump on that band wagon, don't give a shite, love bikes.
WS (White Scars) out shine RW (Raven Wing) in a couple ways, though I would argue they do not eclipse them.
Also while bikes are the shining stars, especially as a Graviton Rifle platform, army wide USR (universal special rule) "Hit and Run" is HUGE! I think it is being a bit overlooked, but the ability to break from combat and shoot and re-assault or just gain the extra movement is tactically enormous...plus the fact that it is free!! All the more so.
Here is my current list iteration for White Scars. This variant will be where I start and I will discuss some of the reasoning for my choices.
Khan, Moon Dragon
Chptr Mstr, Bike, Thndr Hmmr, Shld Etrnl, Art.Armour
Cmmd. Sqd, Bikes, 4 Grav, Apoth
Honor Guard (3+3), Chmp with/Thndr Hmmr, Drop Pod
5 Bikes, 2mg, MM Attk Bike
5 Bikes, 2 Grav, Combi-Grav
5 Scouts, Bolters, Land Speeder Storm, Heavy Flamer, Combi Flamer
10 Tac, Rhino, Multi-Melta, Melta gun, Combi-melta
5 Tac, Flmr, combi flamer, Razorback with Twin Linked Hvy Flamer
Storm Talon, Skyhammer ML
Thunder Fire Cannon
1. Yeah, I did not take 5 squads of 5 bikes with 2 grav guns, 3 T-Fire Cannons, and 3 Storm Talons, then ally in Iron Warrior Biker Baddass Chapter master with goods and another Storm Talon and T-Fire and more bikes...it is not because the idea did not occur to me, I just did not want to go there...at least not yet. I will wait and see how sick of TauDar..TauTau..EldTau..TauTigerius..TauTHis/TauThat I become. I wanted to start with an army that can handle multiple threats and take on all comers that will give me a chance in competitive environments, but not piss off everyone I play in casual games.
2. Khan...I know that TO's will open up a bit on "Counts As" but to me you need Khan to run White Scars
BRB pg 77 "Certain units and special characters have specific Chapter Tactics and can only be taken in the detachments of the specified Chapter." Think that is pretty clear you need Khan to run "White Scars"...you can run descendants...but not with Khan. You can paint your marines as descendant chapters, but to get Khans buffs you better paint at least two units white with Khan as the HQ...at least I will. I do plan, after Khan and two units of WS to paint some guys in successor colors...maybe some Mantis Warriors or Rampagers based on their army role and fluff.
Khan grants everyone not in terminator armour or Centurions Scout. Army as a whole has Hit and Run, bikes get +1 Jink, Auto pass dangerous terrain, and +1 to Hammer of Wrath. Khan gets one of only two decent warlord traits-champion of humanity. This includes dedicated Transports.
***Remember Scout Grants USR "Out Flank" which will include dedicated transport***
3. Chapter Master is a beat stick. 4 wounds, USR "Eternal Warrior" 2+ save, on a bike. He tanks and then breaks off to crush stuff. He is a threat turn 2 that can not be ignored and is tough to kill. Bonus of Orbital bombardment while on the move.
4. Command Squad is much cheaper and 4 Grav guns will kill what it aims at if your target is chosen well. Apoth helps tank. Khan and Chpt Mstr go hear in most cases or they lead one of the two bike squads.
5. Honour Guard. Hidden Gem alert. 25 poitns for 2+ save and power weapon with improved stats is very nice. Champ gets a Thndr Hammer. These guys drop in and cause trouble relying on their 2+ save and .....ability to "Hit and Run." The will die, but...unless just wiped by a AP2 template will cause a head ache while your other elements rush forward.
6. Bike squads are self explanatory. Obviously one hunts vehicles, the other 2+/3+ saves...though they can overlap in duty. Remember Deamons, Orks,and IG blobs, and Kroot will laugh at your Grav Guns.
7. Scouts can infiltrate and scout and burniate. Or Outflanks and late grab objectives, etc. The new Cerebus launcher has the ability to blind and affect enemy DS, nice support element that scores on the cheap.
8. Tac squads, scout to position, or outlanks and set up mid field, ability to combat squad and stay in rhino for extra objective grabbing.
9. Tac squad in HF razor back outflanks most games and burns back field elements or scouts and rushes if you want...
**Hidden Gem: in new SM codex 5 assault marines, 2 flamers, combi flamer, DP is only 95 points!!**
Yeah they are cheap than my Tac squad...but they don't score. I wanted to do the most I could with troops, but still might go there.
10. Storm Talon: best point for point air defense, also has BS5 straffing run, which causes pinning, and can escort a unit in that enters from normal reserve.
11. T-Fire: pure awesomness, barrage allows much sniping, and pinning, while being able to hide out of LOS and bolster a piece of terrain...can also scout and hitnrun.
12. Stalker: More anti flyer, skimmer, MC defense on the cheap.
So, your check list:
3. High Toughness...check
3. Low armour save...check
4. 4+ scoring units...check
6. Deployment options...check
7. Assault capability...check
8. Flyer defense....check (though not extensive)
9. Psychic defense....derp! guess will have to live with that for now.
Here are some pics of my current painting:
Thanks for the read,