So, KhorneGuy suggested that I put forward my thoughts on how each codex was under 5th and now 6th. Not a bad idea so here goes. Bear in mind as always that this is a casual players point of view not a competative one.
I have only played against the black templars once under 5th and that was right near the beginning of that edition. Still learning the changes between 4th and 5th my vanilla marines were defeated (though to be fair, my opponent was and still is a lot better than me).
Under 5th Black Templars were not too bad but I think they suffered the same problems that the vanilla codex did and that was that compared to everyone else they were too expensive and fewer options. The only thing going for them was land raider crusaders as dedicated transports thus allowing them to hold objectives with a scoring unit inside. They could also have close combat weapons in troop options which was a step up from the vanilla codex.
Under 6th I think they are now underpowered as they don't really gain the benefits that the vanilla marines got from the new edition and they lost the ability to hide in their land raiders on top of objectives. This codex really needs an update, though to be fair I think they should be dropped and just brought into the vanilla dex. I don't see that they bring anything new to the table.
A horrible tough army to beat under 5th and even worse now under 6th. Depending on the player I really don't enjoy many games against this codex ( *cough* my nephew *cough* ). There are far too many twinky options that just make them far far too killy. Under 5th furisos dreadnoughts in drop pods or carried under a stormraven were the bane of my marines. At least under 6th if I can't hurt it I can at least run away and try to let something else have a go.
I think Blood Angels have done rather well out of the new edition. The combat rules favour them and as an army built for close combat they do well out of it. With power armout it is still tough to drop them with overwatch.
When this codex first came out it was horribly broken and twinky, and it remained that way throughout 5th edition. The only time Chaos Daemons seemed to lose a game was when the player wasn't focused or when he was up against a much more canny opponent. Khorne themed lists were a must for the most part because they had power weapons on their bloodletter troops (why? *shakes fist*). Now they have lost a lot of that focus under 6th as power weapons can't drop terminators and everyone is afraid of terminators. The codex does need an update but I feel GW will just make them stupidly powerful again when they do.
Under 5th CSM players grumbled like all hell about how weak this codex was. I think they were smoking something because while not very fluffy, this army was extremely powerful. Ten to twenty man squads with the close combat weapon and pistol bonus attacks already overpowered the pathetic space marine tactical squads. Daemon princes were far too powerful and two was a common deployment. Obliterators too. But in balance they had units such as bikers, raptors and havocs that no one ever took.
As the first codex of 6th I think we have a good idea where GW are taking codexes for this edition, and this time we have a nice balanced codex. The cost of units seems fair and nothing stood out as being too good. This probably means that CSM players will still grumble. As the new codex has only been out for a few weeks at this point I think it will be a while before we get a real idea of how this army now plays.
There are really only two ways to play Dark Angels, either terminators as troops or bikes as troops. No one ever plays the bike list. With terminators being the run to list for the codex now what with changes to power weapons under 6th I think this is all we will see until they get a new codex. The army suffers in only one regard right now in my opinion and that is the lack of a flyer and rumours seem keen to say that they won't get one in the new book.
Despite the lack these days of something unique to call their own I think the Dark Angel codex is still very viable, tough and fun to play.
Dark Eldar were pants until they got their 5th edition codex and then they became a nice balanced army. They had strong points; good in close combat, decent initiative and excellent long range heavy weapons. However I feel that 6th edition has screwed them royally. Their vehicles are more fragile than ever as small arms fire can just glance them to destruction and overwatch has blunted their close combat prowess. These days I feel that the only real way for Dark Eldar to win is if they take allies to shore up their weaknesses. Shame as the codex under 5th had a nice feel to it.
To be continued...