So as you may know already, Games Workshop has released FAQ's for all of the Space Marine codices that have not been updated, and probably won't be getting a new codex for a while.
I was very excited when I heard about this at my FLGS. At first I thought everyone was pulling my leg when I took a invulnerable save on my TH&SH Terminator. "He's got a 3+ cover save!" "No, I've got the old Storm Shields in my codex. It's a 4+ in close combat only." "No no! It's in the FAQ that was just released." "...What?"
In this post, I will be going over what new possibilites this creates for our armies. Some units are a little more useful, but may or may not be worth taking still. Others are just much more awesome!
Let's go over the Storm Shields first. This is probably what all Black Templars and those "loyal" Dark Angels players are most excited about. I have been seeing many many DA Deathwing lists popping up. But not so many Black Templars. I happy about this though because I don't want to play an army that EVERYONE plays. :)
Sword Brethren: This unit I'm on the fence about. They may buy Storm Shields or Combat Shields. In order to get them, you must first buy Terminator Honors for the entire unit. So that's 50-100 extra points on the unit. Depending on the size of the game, that's a lot of points. Then, you spend another 10 points per Storm Shield. Thanks to the wording, you don't have to buy one for EVERY model. The codex is worded, "Models with Terminators honours may replace their pistol or close combat weapon with a Storm Shield."
For me, it is very tempting to load out the entire squad with Storm Shields. The unit becomes annoying like Wyches from the Dark Eldar codex. Only difference is that Sword Brethren have a 15% more chance of killing the unit with their higher strength.
Now lets take a serious look at this. The unit cost is 19 points per model, plus 10 points per model for Terminator Honours, plus another 10 points for the Storm Shield. That puts each model at 39 points. That's just one point shy of a Terminator with no power weapons. But you do get a free Veteran Ability. You can pick from Infiltrate, Furious Charge and Counter Attack. Also, unlike Terminators, Sword Brethren have the ability to catch the enemy when they run away.
The only thing you have to remember though is that this unit really doesn't hit any harder than your average Crusader Squad. It's still a unit of chainswords. Where 5 Terminators, costing the same as the Sword Brethren will be throwing power weapon attacks.
At this point, it's up to you to decide which you prefer. I will play Sword Brethren for fun, but I wouldn't bring them to a tournament.
When I first heard about the updated Storm Shields, this was actually the first unit that came to my mind as becoming extremely useful. But that was before I heard about the sky rocketing cost in points for the storm shields. Originally they were 3 points each. 3 Points! 3 points for a 4+ invul was awesome. I rarely took them, but just knowing that I could do it was great. But now they are 15 points for the Assault Marines.
But what use does this unit have? For me, I always used them for solely popping tanks. Give them melta bombs and pop tanks. Last turn of the game? Contest an objective!
I may be moving points around to arm them with a few Storm Shields. Because just like the Sword Brethren, you don't have to buy a shield for every marine. You can have 1 or you can have 10. It's up to you which is just awesome. Now this unit, unlike the Sword Brethren, won't be seeking direct combat. This one is just popping tanks and surviving. Sit them on an objective with those shields and take every shot they can. 3+ Armor, 3+ Invul, and maybe a 4+ Cover. Sometimes the enemy denies you a certain save and this can make certain that you have one.
Anyway, that's my rantings and thoughts on Storm Shields in the units now. I'll talk about Combat Shields later as well as a certain Vow that I plan on using. And no, it's not Accept Any Challenge.