"Initiate tactical advance."
- – Tarkus
A Tactical Squad is a squad of Space Marines who are used as the flexible backbone of Space Marine chapters. Having previously served in both Assault and Devastator squads, Tactical Marines have experience in both heavy weapons and close quarters combat, and are thus ideal for any type of combat situation. Tactical Marines are armed with bolters for ranged combat and a bolt pistol and combat blade (most humans would consider it a short sword, but in Astartes hands it is a knife) for close combat. Some members will be armed with specialist weapons like a Flamer, Grav-Gun, Heavy Bolter, or Missile Launcher. The squad's Brother-Sergeant will usually be armed with a chainsword, power weapon, or combi-weapon.
The lore supporting Tactical Marines states that they've mastered every form of Astartes warfare: they are experts who are fully versed in all of their Chapter's tactics and wargear. So, in theory, any individual Tactical Marine could slip into any other role immediately if needed. Unfortunately, the fiction doesn't usually portray them being used this way, and they can't be used that way on the tabletop at all. Some people claim that this makes Tactical Marines ineffective, but this just isn't true. In 8th/9th Edition a Tactical squad sitting in cover on an objective can be a very hard nugget for your opponent to crack, and the amount of firepower that the squad can spit out is also quite formidable. Furthermore, regular Space Marines are way, way toned down on the tabletop in order for other armies to remain competitive. If you'd like to get a sense of just how scary regular plain-Jane Tactical marines can be, check out the Astartes fan film or the old Deathwatch RPG by Fantasy Flight Games.
The Dark Angels under Lion used them best as skirmishers/black ops while most of his Marines were dedicated to armored warfare or heavy weapons or assault or fast attack or were Terminators. Basically, he did everything right as expected of the Primarch equivalent of Creed, despite being an unlikeable cunt. Tactical Squad equivalents in the Raven Guard and Night Lords were also used in a similar way.
Under a Codex-compliant Chapter, the composition of four battle companies (2nd through 5th) will include six tactical squads, while two of the reserve companies (6th and 7th) will be composed entirely of Tactical Marines who train using bikes and land speeders. Among the Space Wolves, the role of Tactical Marine is filled by the Grey Hunters, Wolves who have been promoted out of the Blood Claws and show a degree of skill at controlling the inner wolf. Among the Black Templars, the role of Tactical Marines are held by Initiates; those who have received their Black Carapace and have been assigned to oversee the training of a Neophyte.
All Tactical Marines wear the standard Space Marine power armour and carry a bolt pistol, a boltgun, and frag and krak grenades. They may also be armed with a variety of Flamers, Meltaguns, Grav-Guns, Plasma Guns, Heavy Bolters, Lascannons, Missile Launchers, Multi-Meltas, and Plasma Cannons.
The Space Marine Sergeant may also have melta bombs and teleport homer, and can exchange his boltgun and/or bolt pistol for a Chainsword, Combi-Melta, Combi-Flamer, Combi-Plasma, Storm Bolter, Grav-Pistol, Plasma Pistol, Power weapon, or Powerfist.
- Primaris Intercessor
- Grey Knight Strike Squad
- Adepta Sororitas Battle Sister Squad
|Forces of the Blood Angels|
|Command:||Apothecary - Brother-Captain - Brother-Sergeant - Chaplain |
Chapter Master - Librarian - Sanguinary Priest - Techmarine
|Troops:||Assault Squad - Devastator Squad - Sanguinary Guard - Scout Squad |
Tactical Squad - Terminator Squad - Veteran Squad
|Death Company:||Death Company - Death Company Chaplain - Death Company Terminator|
|Walkers:||Contemptor-Furioso Dreadnought - Contemptor-Incaendius Dreadnought |
Death Company Dreadnought - Dreadnought - Furioso Dreadnought
|Transports:||Razorback - Rhino|
|Vehicles:||Baal Predator - Land Raider (Land Raider Crusader - Land Raider Phobos |
Land Raider Redeemer - Land Raider Angel Infernus)
Predator Tank - Vindicator - Hunter - Stalker - Whirlwind
|Flyers:||Stormhawk - Stormraven - Stormtalon - Storm Eagle - Thunderhawk|
|Spacecraft:||Boarding Torpedo - Drop Pod - Space Marine Landing Craft|
|Allies:||Space Marines - Primaris Marines|