Last year around this time everyone was still getting use to 5th ed and running scared from Nob Bikers. Now it is one year later and another major tournament has come to past. From the Big Waaagh we get more confirmation that GW biggest seller, is now the great competitive performer. Shockingly it is none other then the...
Adeptus Astartes more commonly known as the Space Marines. Last year the codex was released and it was immediately placed in the middle tier of armies. Even as recently as March BoLS had Space Marines 5th behind Orks, CSM, BT, IG. People assumed like their codices before, Space Marines were the simple entry way drug for 40k kids.
Space Marines are best army right now. It started with the Broadside Bash in California where Jason Kavetsky placed 1st with Space Marines along with Steve Sisk in 3rd. On the east coast at the Necronomicon, Carlos Moralas-White placed 3rd with his Marines. Finally, we come to the Big Waaagh and Brain Crew comes in 1st and Gregory Swanson in 2nd. In my area, at KublaCon Marines came in 1st and 2nd as well.
Space Marines give you more flexibility than any other army. You have the Special Characters that are not only bad ass, but change the way your army plays and feels. Combat Tactics effectively double the number of scoring units you can have and They shall know no fear can force your opponent into bad decisions. They put Termies back to their rightful place as most fear unit in the game. There is everything else; from attack bikes, to Sternguard, land raider crusaders, and of course drop pods the options are pretty limitless. In edition almost every unit has different ways they can be played to fit your particular style.
Where most dexes seem to have the one or two competitive lists. Space Marines have perhaps six or seven. It can be argued that since more people play Space Marines then any other army then of course the chances of being top tier increases. That may be the case, also regional preferences do matter. With that said, as I look around at forum chatter and trends it is safe to say Space Marines are really one of the cool kids now.
All this makes me wonder about the Space Wolves. GW will have to do something really dramatic, in order for them to stand out, otherwise people will ask why not make a count as Space Wolf army using the vanilla marine codex. As is the current gripe with Dark Angels and Blood Angels. With BoLS Con and the Ard’ Boyz finals coming in a few weeks, I will see just how much crow I will be stuffing when the results come in.