Some people like it, some don’t and some don’t give a damn either way. Marines vs Marines, we all have to agree that with so many flavours out there and how good each flavour is, they do dominate the game quite a lot.
From a fluff point of view it’s horrible, marines fighting marines should be limited to forces of the Imperium vs the evil chaos heretics not Ultramarines fighting Blood Angels or Black Templar having a scuffle with Space Wolves (I’m sure that its possible to make up a story where they may fight for some reason but in general it shouldn’t happen).
From a game point of view, marines vs marines is just 2 players fighting each other, you might not care who your opponent is just that you are getting a game, what they bring to the table doesn’t really matter does it? Well I think it does. The reason for this is marines vs marines, all the time over and over is boring, you see the same thing every damn time even with different flavours of marine bringing slightly different units to the table.
So why is this, why are marines so popular, well short of the kids wanting to play the good guys and be the hero of the imperium, its because they are all incredibly powerful and easy to play. It’s not secret that games workshop uses marines, smurfs in particular to indoctrinate new players, who wants to start playing a game and constantly be taking off models, power armour stops this, 3+ save is fantastic until you start bringing in the plasma and power weapons which are not in high numbers for starter games usually.
Once players are hooked I think they tend to stick with an army, either for cost reasons or just plain loyalty, most people don’t change unless they start a second army (and are fairly well off, lets face is gw products are very expensive for what they are). So how do we fix this? Well you cant, but you can cut it down a fair bit.
How do you do this? First of all you start bringing out xenos books that are as bent and cheesy as the marine books are and power is attractive so this alone will draw players. Unfortunately, even if they are super powerful they can still be hard to play (take dark eldar for example). Dark eldar are a lovely army, awesome models, the best GW have ever done but are so fragile that it puts people off, here gives the Necrons the opportunity to be king of the xenos and let us see more than just marine vs marine constantly.
Necrons are cool, who doesn’t like killer robots and terminator is a successful franchise for a reason after all. Necrons wear power armour (or at least are armour 3) so they don’t die easy, combine that with feel no pain and they are incredibly survivable. Give them a decent book, not a pile of crap like some other xenos books can be compared to marine ones and people WILL play them. They are also easy to paint, undercoat, dry brush, wash, base, done, even I could paint a full army and I’m probably one of the most slack painters in existence.
So to GW I would say, please bring out Necrons next, make them good, very good, hell let matt ward write it, he loves writing cheesy codex’s for power armour armies, Phil Kelly is a genius at writing books, but doesn’t always seem to get the level of cheese right.
Oh and as a foot note, guard don’t count in this argument, they are an enigma, they aren’t xenos and they aren’t power armour yet they are supremely beardy since they get the survivability from heavy armour and tank spam instead of armour. Sadly I don’t think guard make a very good starter army or one for players who aren’t rich, my guard army is the most expensive army I have by a country mile.