As a former journalist, I finally get to put on my old "press pass" and share a bit of breaking news and perhaps a spoiler:
Games Workshop has been slowly releasing some teasers about the chapter tactics in posts on the Warhammer Community page on Facebook (and possible elsewhere.) I had only seen Raven Guard and White Scars up to this point but an article aimed at new players may have spoiled the future teasers and it included a graphic of the new Space Marine codex chapter tactics.
Here are my thoughts:
Ultramarines: They received a very good tactic in the ability to add +1 leadership. Since players will be making a lot more leadership rolls, especially since you still need to test even if you win close combat and you’ve taken a casualty, this is a very useful but not over-powered ability.
White Scars: The darlings of the tournament scene got a smashing chapter tactic reminiscent of their old tactics with the ability to charge after they fall back. This could be game changing… However, they will be subject to another round of overwatch, but that seems to be a small price to pay for attacking first.
Imperial Fists: The boys in yellow got a very useful tactic with their ability to ignore cover bonuses to models obscured by terrain. Also, representing the Imperial Fists ability to sling massive amounts of lead at immobile fortifications and kill buildings, the Sons of Dorn can re-roll wounds against buildings – ensuring the death of said building.
Black Templars: The Black Templars are one of my least favorite chapters, but they received one of my favorite chapter tactics, the ability to re-roll charges! I think my Astral Claws force with lots of jumping assault squads may adopt this tactic…
Salamanders: The master artisans of the Salamanders received a very fluffy rule called, “master artisans,” that allows them to re-roll a single to hit and wound roll each time it shoots or fights. My Salamanders are pleased with this ability and is much better than the command benefit Vulcan He’stan confers to his subordinates.
Raven Guard: The most grim-dark of the loyalist armies got the shaft in their chapter tactic. An army themed around close combat got a bonus for staying away from their enemies… If the early rumors are true, they receive some bonuses similar to the old scouting or infiltrate rules, but their chapter tactics only benefits their backline units and does nothing to help them against units teleport striking in. I really want to build a Raven Guard army but this rule only seems to help scouts camping in the back of the table. I would have written the rule to allow an overwatch shot in the enemy movement phase if a unit teleport strike or advances within 9-inches of a Raven Guard unit.
Iron Hands: Almost matching their previous chapter tactic, the Iron Hands received a “feel no pain” save against wounds. I’m reading this rule to include mortal wounds as well, which is a tasty rule, however, not game breaking. Codex envy: Wolfen do it better.