|The new face of couch multiplayer|
I've touched briefly on the three classes (Tactical, Devastator, Assault) before, but I want to get into how they interact a bit. They have a paper-rock-scissors sort of relationship: Assaults will chew up Tacticals, Devastators can shut down Assaults, and presumably Tacticals dominate Devastators. Since I've primarily played an Assault marine to this point my vantage is rooted there, but I've dabbled in the others as well. Each class fits it's tabletop equivalent. Assault marines have jump packs and good melee weapons while Devastators are slow and tote heavy weapons. Tacticals are a mix of the two: not as fast as an Assaulter but quicker than a Devastator, with a better ranged option than Assaulters but shorter range than a Devastator. Assaults and Tacticals are roughly equal in durability while Devastators can take more of a beating.
There are multiple weapon and grenade options to go with multiple "perks," or whatever the exact term is. These perks add flavor and utility with options like teleport homers (allows respawning teammates to port to your location), signums (makes enemies stand out), furious charge (does what you'd think), and my current favorite of [weaponuser]'s zeal, which heals on melee strikes. Combining perks and equipment gives you a decent bit of flexibility. Enemy hunkering down with lots of Devastators? Swap to Assault and hit them in the rear. Facing tons of Assaulters? Bring out the Heavy Bolter.
If it seems like I'm heavy on Assault and Devastator, it's because that's what I've played the most. I got in a good bit of Heavy Boltering this morning to go with hours of chainswording. Tacticals haven't held much appeal thus far. They seem like good supporters, the old jack of all trades but master of none pitfall. The Meltagun is a standard FPS shotgun cranked up to 11 and the Stalker Bolter is a passable sniper weapon, but in general nothing about a Tactical makes me want to not play one of the other classes to give it a shot. I thought the Stormbolter might have changed that, but my initial forays with it were unsatisfying. Chainsword to the face? Always satisfying.
I'm having a real good time with Space Marine thus far, so you'll probably see more of this. Hobby ideas are also swirling as I try to distill the multiplayer down into a diorama format. My initial ideas were to fit everything on a monstrous creature base, but I had a flash of inspiration at work and am working on larger rectangular layout now. Picking something from the campaign mode would make it easier to recognize the work as tied to the game, but that would require me to paint up some Ultramarines. Since half the idea here is to scratch my itch to paint other chapters than Blood Angels, I'd rather go with something I like than something so...vanilla. That's it for now, back to the campaign for a while.