There are too many space marines. Space marines are supposed to be the ultimate elite of the imperiums warriors, a rarely seen army that uses shock tactics and lightining fast strikes to achieve their objectives. However all too often they are what we see across the table. It seems that whenever GW thinks of warhammer 40k, they think of space Marines. How many marine codexes are there? How many different elder craftworlds are each represented with a codex? How many different imperial guard codexes are there? It seems to me that space marines are what GW envisage as the standard army in 40k and all other armies are to be compared to them. This is represented in what we see on the table: the majority of the time it Is some form of marines and often in tournaments Marines will end up fighting each other. And these are not marines as they should be either: where are the drop podding shock armies, where are the cunning tactical manoeuvres that the fluff advocates? You might say that marines are cool, that they are the ultimate heroes, that they are the reason hobbyists start. To you I cry bulshit. They are only cool as long as they are rare and as long as the rules represent that they are the elite. With proper advertising other armies could become warhammer 40k's poster army. The imperial guard are the long suffering stoic defenders of mankind. Ordinary people defending terra from unimaginable horrors. Tyrannids are the ultimate aliens: if they don't represent a futuristic fantasy then I don't know what does. Marines have another problem too: because they are so popular they lose all their glory. When everyone has space marines they are no longer the ultimate defenders of mankind, whole levels above the rest, they are just the average. Space marines are not fun to play against: the game is fun because of the variety. When all the time you win just by popping rhinos it makes for a dull shooting match.
I believe that marines should not be the main army of 40k. The first army a novice should be introduced to should not be the ultramarines, it should be say the imperial guard, the typical defenders of mankind. The space marines should be reserved for the skilful player who wants a difficult but rewarding army to play. This should be reflected in codex writing: the imperial guard should be easy to learn but should not be top tier whereas space marines should be as dark elder are now: very difficult to master, but incredibly powerful when used correctly. I think this would make for more interesting games as a larger variety of armies were used and it would allow marines be as awesome on the table as they are supposed to be.
Maybe I'm just an idealist: maybe the game will never reflect the fluff, however it seems to me that the prevalence of space marines has gone too far: it is making the game boring and stopping many armies from beirng able to live up to their background.
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