I've been reading through my old codex's recently with not much else to do with the snow and all. Its interesting to see conflicts between codex's and things that have been added or removed. One of these things is in the old 4th edition Space Marine Codex. The Chapter Traits is a little section at the back of the book detailing many different traits of different chapters, organising them into groups like Wise, Courageous and Zealous.
|This is the codex in question.|
There are advantageous traits and disadvantageous traits (minor and major) with the idea being that if you want to make a unique chapter of your own you can choose up to two advantageous traits as long as you take disadvantageous traits as well, which traits are determined by a table. For example, the Cleanse and Purify trait allows you to have 2 assault weapons in a 5-man tactical squad. Another one lets you have Apothecaries instead of a Sergeant. The apothecaries are different in this codex and let you ignore the first wound taken on the unit, not give feel no pain. But still that's really cool. You do have to take some disadvantages but they aren't too harsh, mainly letting you not take certain units like Dreadnoughts or Bikes.
Now why couldn't they have this in the current marine codex? Oh that's right the current Marine Codex is not about Space Marines, it's about the Ultramarines. If they modified the traits and such slightly to fit the current codex it could really help the Marine codex compete against Blood Angels and Space Pups. Imagine the armies you could create with the 15 different positive traits. I always wanted to make an army with the example traits, making an ultimate MSU army with 5-man tactical squads with 2 assault weapons, an apothecary and a Razorback. It would be about the same as the current Blood Angels MSU army. But importantly, it would be using the Marine codex! I wouldn't have to repaint my army every time a new MeQ codex came out. I could change it every other day to keep the flavour and newness feeling.
But this would be too complicated for people wouldn't it GW? This would mean little 10 year olds would have to put some thought into their armies. That would mean GW would have to put some thought into the codex. It couldn't be too difficult.
Well not so much fluff but this was initially meant to be for background reasons. You could make some interesting fluff as to why your chapter cannot use Dreadnoughts but instead has an abundance of assault weapons and Apothecaries or something. Just a thought.