At first glance the cover looks pretty normal. For a Space Marine Codex... The last 2 editions did not feature Space Marines on the covers. So what does this mean? I'll explore more of what I think after the break.
This can be 1 of 2 things in my opinion. There is no reason that this isn't the cover of 6th ed. 3rd ed had Black Templars on the cover after all. So it can certainly be 6th ed, or this could be the test run of the Dark Angels codex, because those are Dark Angels on the cover!
Personally I am leaning towards this being the 6th ed cover. If so what does having the Dark Angels on the cover mean? If they were going to go with Marines on the cover, and let's be honest no other faction besides Chaos Marines had a chance, I would have expected Ultramarines. Why? Simple, they are the poster boys for 40k in GWs eyes and the Horus Heresy books have begun to swing even some ardent Guilliman haters over to the neutral to favorable side. After Know No Fear a few of the short stories with him, and even the bits that he was in The First Heretic I found myself liking Guilliman more and more. His fluff has certainly changed, or at least been fleshed out to the point that he makes sense as an actual Primarch now whereas before he seemed like a complete waste. I am no Ultramarines fan boy but I still am shocked that Dark Angels made the cover.
|Guilliman, not as bad as he used to be....|
So then why are they on the cover, if indeed this is the cover? Well, a new codex on the horizon, being in the starter set, and the spine of the White Dwarfs all make the First Legion seem to be the crux Space Marine army for 6th. So being on the cover isn't too astounding I suppose. But unlike Guilliman, the Lion has become less and less likeable as the Horus Heresy series has gone on. Even to the point that we are beginning to question whether it is the Lion or Luther who is truly the traitor to the Emperor or if perhaps the Lion never really cared wither way. It strikes me as odd therefore that GW would be using a Chapter attached to such a dubious Primarch as the poster child for their newest rule set and flagship game system. This makes me think that perhaps the Dark Angels are either going to play a larger role in the new advancing timeline, if that even occurs, or that the Dark Angels/Lion are being set up to be the big "aha!" moment of the new Horus Heresy and 40k fluff.
|What's this guys deal?|
Either way I find this all very interesting. I love the HH novels and even if 6th turns out terrible, which I no longer think it will by the way, I would still read the HH series. The changes to so many of the Legions backgrounds I see less as GW redacting previous fluff and more of clarifications of mistakes made slowly over the 10,000 years since the Emperor and Primarchs strode the galaxy. After all, most of what we know has come from the perspective of "people" alive in the 41st Millennium and the Horus Heresy books are being told by the "people" who lived at the time the events are occurring and from their perspective. I like it personally, and I can't wait for the next HH book to come out. So when there are fluff changes involved you can expect me to get pretty excited, and this supposed 6th ed cover has done just that. 2 weeks can't go fast enough!