Stop "Company-centric" Thinking

Posted by Matt Ragan | Posted in , , ,

So I've decided to abandon what I call my previously "Company Centric" thinking for 5th edition (in our new "templated" paradigm). This is a blog entry on my thoughts on the matter.

I think most of us can agree that (if we choose to make "Codex" Chapters) that we can sometimes feel limited in our options to try out the new latest and greatest Codex that comes out for some other variant Space Marine army (typically you've got "Vanilla"/Ultramarine - Blood Angel - Space Wolf - Dark Angel - Black Templar plus minor mini-lists found in multi-army books or White Dwarf articles). You should NOT feel this way. NEVER regret the colors that you chose to paint your models, NEVER feel that your chapter cannot do anything and everything you would like it to do (within the scope of the rules and WYSIWYG model upgrades/options). You paid the money, you're the customer, it's your game, they're your toys.

You chose to be a CODEX ASTARTES army, you chose FLEXIBILITY... not rigidity. In the fluff the purpose of the Codex Astartes was to codify the ways of war, organization, and logistics for any given tactical situation. As the saying goes, "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" ... are the superhumans of the Imperium stupid or are they the living embodiment of generations of human warfare knowledge? ... which gives more laurels, defeat or victory?

Allow me to take a different view from the "the Codex is inflexible" viewpoint that many have adopted. The Codex Astartes is the ultimate in flexible thought. I challenge that if you cannot come up with an in-game fluffy way to organize your battlefield options within the model painting unit/insignia framework and company structure of the Codex Astartes... you've missed the point. One thing that may be contributing to your narrow scope is "Company-centric" thinking.

Yes indeed. If your goal is to paint every single one of your models in the 2nd company or 3rd or 5th battle company...yes, it may be rather difficult to do everything you would like to do.

However... your models represent a small portion of an entire Space Marine CHAPTER. Think in terms of your CHAPTER.

Remember even (and especially) in the fluff... rarely does a single Company do ANYTHING unsupported by elements of the 1st (veteran) and 10th (scout) companies. The Reserve companies (6-9) exist for the very purpose of replenishing losses or adding tactical flexibility.

Examples of CHAPTER-centric thought:

Painted up a Captain for your Company? Cool! Want to paint up another? You have 9 other Company Captains to choose from (8 if it's not in Terminator Armor). Paint the shoulder trim in a different color!

Need another Terminator Captain? Who's to say that your Chapter HQ (where your mighty Chapter Master resides alongside additional Chaplains and other veterans) doesn't have a loyal Captain serving in special duties or perhaps a Terminator armor wearing Veteran Sergeant from the Veteran Company is elevated to Captain in a "brevet" role for a battle? (white trim)

Remember that several of the Captains of the Battle Companies are also "Masters" (Master of the Fleet, Master of Rites, etc.) that serve vital additional duties in the Chapter. When they're off doing something else for the Good of the Chapter or at the orders of the Chapter Master... who's to say that a Reserve Company Captain or a Brevet Captain aren't slotted in to command?

Want to try out that new Codex? If they're allowed more Assault units than you are (Blood Angels, Black Templars) you've got the 8th Reserve Company (grey trim) to draw from. Paint up the units that you would not normally be allowed to field in a "Vanilla" list in the 8th Company and use them in special games. Perhaps the Codex demanded this particular battle focus on "up close and personal" combat and the Assault Reserve Company was needed (and your newly converted Kayvaan Shrike "template" Captain of the so-and-so Company).

Want to try out Space Wolves? Paint up your extra devastators in 9th Reserve Company (Devastator) that you're using to represent options you don't get in "Vanilla" mode. Need Runepriests? There are tons of librarians of various ranks sitting around in the Librarium looking for a chance to go fight (ok, maybe the giant wolves is a bit of a stretch... but even then, surely some local alien wildlife can be forced into service with your chapter... librarians are powerful psykers after all!).

Want to try out White Scars? The 6th and 8th Reserve Companies are FILLED with Bikes! Your 6th Company Commander could easily be a Template Kor'sarro Khan!

Think like the Chapter Master you are, not a mere Company Commander. You picked a CODEX army as your own... that means you will always, ALWAYS have options.

Comments (2)

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    I've painted my Imperial Fists up from three different companies. 1st Company for Lysander and his squad of terminators, 4th for some assault marines (I wanted to try green:)) and 5th for the tacticals. I like the idea of having multiple Captains and such to draw from. Going to paint up Pedro Kantor as well, easiest conversion ever, just paint yellow instead of blue :)

    I do think that it's a shame that the different codex astartes codexes aren't fluff/flavor differentiated but also contains power creep. Why can't I field devastators with low cost heavy weapons too? *sniffles* I don't want to play Blood Angels with all their death company stuff and similar, but I would love to take assault marines as troops (and get a 35p rebate so I can buy a razorback for them!). GW really should align all Space Marines at the same time. What is the stigma of changing the codex from a white dwarf or pdf coming from?

Post a Comment