Warhammer 40,000/7th Edition Tactics/Space Marines

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WE ARE THE SPEHSS MAHREENS! WE ARE THE EMPRA'S FUREH!

This is the previous Edition's Space Marine tactics. The 8th Edition Tactics are here while the 6th Edition Tactics are here.

Contents

Why Play Space Marines[edit]

Space Marines are perhaps the best army for beginners. Their units are fairly expensive points-wise, so they usually field less bodies and vehicles than most other armies. While you can't bog down your foes in waves of men, this makes army construction cheaper and painting faster. Additionally, Space Marines are dead'ard; their basic troops have Toughness 4 and a 3+ armour save, giving them great staying power compared to most basic infantry of other armies. They're also solid in whatever role they're put in; Marines are good shots, and they're not half bad in an assault, either. Space Marine tanks, on the other hand, may not be as robust or as powerful as those of the Imperial Guard's, but they are dirt-cheap and reliable. Dreadnoughts, while slower than a tank, are slightly better at shooting than predators, present a smaller target and are far better in close combat (unless your luck with Tank Shock is ridiculous...), and are able to take on heroes, units and other vehicles and come out on top.

Other benefits include:

  • Space Marines are the jacks of all trades, able to do pretty much anything reasonably well with no particular weaknesses. Whatever an enemy army’s weakness is, Space Marines have something that can exploit it.
  • eBay-ability. Space marines are the most commonly auctioned off army. This makes starting out with them second-hand cheap (by Warhammer standards…).
  • Easy to paint. The broad, flat areas (legs, shoulders) and defined ridges make painting straight-forward and simple. Little is easier to paint than a space marine. They even drybrush well for the lazy painter who just wants a force finished on the table ASAP. Conversely, they also provide large amounts of open areas for more advanced painters to go ham with freehand and more detailed painting.
  • Quick to build, easy to convert. Space marines have the greatest range of bitz available to any army in any game, and not just from Games Workshop. There are several companies out there that make GW Marine conversion bitz. Almost everyone who plays 40k has some space marine bitz sitting around, and they're almost all plastic, so you can easily make a force that's really "you".
  • Easy to play for beginners. Your basic troops can take a bit of abuse, so the army is relatively forgiving of noob mistakes, and you won't be horribly FUBAR because of a single poorly-thought out move. Very little in the codex is dead weight, so almost any unit purchased will be a welcome addition to your growing force.
  • Rewarding for experts. Space marines are an army that you can really grow with. Once you learn how to shuffle your metal boxes around, and get the gist of the game, a closer examination of the space marine codex reveals a wealth and depth of available army builds and tactics unrivalled in the current 40k codices.
  • Games Workshop has a long history of tilting things in the Marines' favor. The introduction of AP values to melee weapons was largely for the benefit of Marines and especially Terminators, and the grav gun has been introduced so you can kill heavily armoured troops without burning your fingers. Other armies may have weaknesses, but whenever a weakness is found for the Marines, GW just releases something to patch over it. You also have THREE Codex Supplements (Four if you count Kauyon) to ensure that no two armies play exactly alike.
  • Thanks to UNBOUND ARMIES and infinite allies, you can mix and match your Space Marine Army with other Faction Marines. Want some serious firepower for your Space Wolves? Centurions shall work wonders. All the pain of the last few years with various Marine armies lacking decent units or updates has been patched up.

However there are a few draw backs to playing space marines that should be considered:

  • Space Marines are the jacks of all trades, but the masters of none. Their non-specialization as an army is in itself a weakness, as pretty much every other army does their particular shtick better than Space Marines. If you don't figure out how to play rock-paper-scissors 40k and end up trying to out-shoot tau or out-assault genestealers, you're gonna get your power armored ass handed to you.
  • As the most popular army your codex is the most often to be updated, which can be be seen as a good thing, but it does mean that you're going to be buying codices more often then other armies.
  • As the most popular army you're the one most likely to be optimised against. An army geared to fight marines will do decent against most of the players in a tournament simply because most of the players will likely be using some variant of Marine. Killing Space Marines is a hobby among internet army list planners and any army list worth its salt will have a plan to deal with marines.
  • In terms of armoured tanks your vehicles are maybe not the worst in the game, but they are far from the best. Any Tank that showed up to the Imperial guard motor pool with only an auto cannon (a weapon found in the guards heavy weapon squad) would be laughed right out of the pool and the Rhino, while good, does not compare well to other dedicated transports - its cheapness is why it's considered good.
  • As the most popular army, other players will know most of your tricks. A Drop Pod assault can be powerful, but it's also something almost all the marine players have done at some point so when you show up to a game with eight Drop Pods the other player (Who may have done his share of Drop Podding) will have a good idea how to counterplay you.
  • As a small elite army, you don't take large losses well such as those AP3 or lower large blast template from a Leman Russ, Riptide, or Imperial Knight. Tyranids can laugh off the loss of a brood and spawn more from a Tervigon, you can't. What counters Space Marines counters them HARD since they tend to be a smaller army.
  • Vanilla marines of all flavors are almost laughably bad in close combat and your specialist melee units (with the notable exception of the Assault Terminators) won't win any prizes, either. Consider yourself in the bottom-middle of close combat overall.
  • You have almost universally small squad sizes. This means that while your marines don't need as much support as other armies, they don't benefit as much from it, either.

Special Rules[edit]

Combat Doctrines[edit]

Now made universal, certain units and formations/detachments can now grant uses of the Doctrines, regardless of chapter, instead of only being an Ultras thing. The most common method for non-Ultramarines Chapter Tactics to get uses of Doctrines is by taking a Gladius Strike Force detachment (see Formations section), which grants one use of each of the three Doctrine types. If an army has multiple rules that enable a particular Doctrine, that Doctrine can be enacted that number of times per game (e.g. an Ultramarines Battle Demi-Company with Calgar would be able to use the Tactical Doctrine up to four times per game; one use granted by their Chapter Tactics, one use granted by being part of a Gladius Strike Force, one use granted by being a Battle Demi-Company, and Calgar granting one extra use of any Doctrine). There are three Doctrine types, and when enacted, each of them grants the following benefits to all units in your army with the same Chapter Tactics as the detachment that enacts it, till the start of your next turn:

  • Tactical: Re-roll 1s to hit for shooting and assault. Tactical Marines, and any ICs joining them, can re-roll all misses that turn.
  • Assault: Re-roll 1s to-hit in the Assault phase (so both Overwatch and close combat). Assault Marines, Bikes, Attack Bikes and AssCenturions, including any ICs joining those squads, can re-roll all misses during that Assault phase.
  • Devastator: Re-roll 1s to-hit in the Shooting phase. Devastators and DevCenturions, including any ICs joining those squads, can re-roll all misses during that Shooting phase.

Chapter Tactics[edit]

The Chapter Tactics give you one of seven (mostly) army-wide rules - one for each of the First Founding Chapters that don't get their own codex, and the Black Templars. This also applies to their successor Chapters. Note that special characters may not be part of a detachment that does not have the same version of Chapter Tactics as them - i.e. Marneus Calgar can't lead a detachment of Salamanders, however he can be taken if you're Iron Snakes, as you can choose what Chapter they "are" and thus what Tactics they have. Counts-as characters are still a thing, you just have use the Chapter Tactics they're associated with ("it's not actually Tigurius, it's just a Chief Librarian for Chapter X with wargear functionally identical to Tigurius's"). Chapters whose founders are unknown may use whichever set of Chapter Tactics they wish. It should also be noted that if a unit contains models drawn from two different Chapters, it won't benefit from either of its constituents' Chapter Tactics.

  • Important Clarification: Only models with the Chapter Tactics special rule will get the special rules described under their Chapter Tactics (specified pretty clearly in the Codex) - this most commonly fails to happen for non-Dreadnought vehicles. So, every time it says that a model has this or that special rule, it refers only to models with Chapter Tactics (i.e. Salamanders' Land Raider Redeemers cannot re-roll To Wound rolls with their Flamestorm Cannons). The exceptions are Astral Claws skimmers and, per the FAQ, all Iron Hands vehicles. Those dicks.
    • The Space Marine FAQ rough draft which is coinciding with the 7th Edition Rulebook FAQ says "If a unit contains models drawn from two different chapters, it counts as being from neither chapter, and thus benefits from neither chapter tactic." This ruling is actually okay since it's reeling in powergamers from spamming multiple CAD of White Scars and biker Iron Hands to make Smashfucker-White Scars Librarius Conclave on Bike Deathstar bullshit, like some guy used at Adepticon. Also, the same thing applies when Independent Characters drawn from Grey Knights/Dark Angels/Space Wolves/Blood Angels onto SM units and vice versa. (Note that this does not apply to Grey Knights/Dark Angels/Space Wolves/Blood Angels, as they do not have chapter tactics and do not lose any rules if joining/joined by SM units).

Codex Marines[edit]

Ultramarines[edit]

Ultramarines are often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Space Marines, for better or for worse. They come with a slightly elite twist and rely on Combat Doctrines more than any other army.

  • Requirements: Only Marneus Calgar, Captain Sicarius, Cassius, Chronus, Telion, Tigurius, and Roboute Guilliman are the special characters.
  • Chapter Tactics: An army that contains any Ultramarine units can use the Assault, Tactical and Devastator Doctrine once each per game. It affects all Ultramarine models in your army.
    • This means that with the Gladius Strike Force you can use each doctrine twice, while the Tactical can be used a third time for your Demi-Company. Add in Calgar, and you might be able to bring that up to FOUR Tactical doctrine uses!


  • Relics of Ultramar:
    • Tarentian Cloak: Wearer gets Eternal Warrior and It Will Not Die.
    • Helm of Censure: The first red helmet belonging to the Codex Astartes co-author Aonid Thiel. This gives the Preferred Enemy rule, but if the bearer attacks Chaos Space Marines, they get full Twin-Linked and Shred.
      • This functionally makes the model immune to its own Chapter Tactics, as the Combat Doctrines will no longer improve it.
    • Sanctic Halo: Captains only. Get Adamantium Will and Feel No Pain.
    • Soldier's Blade: An exceptionally sharp sword with no technological enhancement. Is an S User AP 2 melee weapon and that's it.
    • Standard of Macragge Inviolate: Available to Honour Guard standard bearers and any units that can take relics. Grants +1 Ld and +1 Attack to friendly Ultramarines within 12". Also, any Ultramarine infantry model to die within 6" rolls a die; on a 5+ they may immediately take an out of sequence shooting attack if is the Movement, Shooting, or Psychic phase, or a free pile-in + melee attacks at its normal initiative if the Fight sub-phase (so you don't get any attacks if it's past your Initiative step - a good reason to stick to Unwieldy melee weapons - or if it's not the Fight sub-phase or you're not already engaged in a melee but managed to die anyway).
    • Vengeance of Ultramar: A relic storm bolter that modifies normal bolt ammunition into bio-reactive shells. Is S1 AP5, but Assault 4, Poisoned 2+.


  • Victrix Strike Force: The Ultramarines specific detachment.
    • Core: Your core choices are the Battle Demi-Company, and Strike Force Ultra.
    • Command: Your Command choices are the Librarius Conclave, the Reclusiam Command Squad, and the Strike Force Command option (which Guilliman may be taken for.
    • Auxiliary: Your normal Auxiliary choices are; the Armored Task Force, 1st Company Task Force, Anti-Air Defence Force, 10th Company Task Force, Storm Wing, Suppression Force, Land Raider Spearhead, and the Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort with an Ultramarine exclusive choice:
      • Victrix Guard: Captain Sicarius leads 1 unit of Honor Guard and 4 units of either Vanguard or Sternguard Veterans in any combination. They all get +1WS/BS and can "Look Out, Sir!" for Roboute Guilliman if he's within 3" as if he were a part of the unit. It's very expensive, but gives Guilliman his desperately needed meat shields.
Imperial Fists[edit]

Masters of Siege Warfare, and excellent with Bolter weaponry, these guys will get the job done.

  • Requirements: Only special characters allowed are Captain Lysander and Pedro Kantor.
  • Benefits: Re-roll ones to hit with all Bolter weapons (Bolt Pistol, Bolt Gun, Heavy Bolter, Storm Bolter) except the twin-linked Hurricane Bolter, their Devastators get Tank Hunter, and roll +1 on the Building Damage table. In addition, Centurion Devastators are an Elite choice, meaning you can have up to 6 squads of these Marine Matryoshka dolls.
  • Warlord Traits: Technically these are for the Crimson Fists, but as a named Successor Chapter who uses the IF Chapter Tactics, they'll suffice.
    • Pain is for the Weak: Feel No Pain
    • Die-Hard Defenders: Counter-Attack and Stubborn, which makes these guys a lot tougher to shift, especially when added with Lysander.
    • Veteran of Rynn's World: Hatred and Preferred Enemy (Orks). Yeah, those green walls can't do shit now, if they ever could.
    • Experienced Instructor: If your Warlord doesn't shoot or run in the Shooting phase, he can nominate a friendly model within 12" to use his Ballistic Skill. Pretty much Telion upgraded to be useful on more heavy weapons.
    • Unwilling to Die: Eternal Warrior. NICE. Just hope you didn't buy the Shield Eternal and roll this.
    • Heir of Dorn: Warlord and all friendly Crimson Fists within 12" gain Fearless.
  • Relics of the Phalanx

Imperial Fist specific relics they can use in addition to the regular ones.

    • The Eye of Hypnoth: 15 points. Used in place of a shooting attack, it can target a unit or a building - it reduces a unit's cover save by 1, or all of the target building's AVs (i.e. all three sides) by 1, until the end of the phase. Shaky value, especially since it doesn't stack with an Auspex - unless fortifications are a staple of your meta.
      • Note: It DOES stack with a Skitarii/AdMech omnispex.
    • The Angel of Sacrifice: 10 points, Chaplain only. When killed in assault, Chaplain stays around until close combat attacks are resolved, and then attacks - otherwise, it's a standard crozius arcanum. Pretty cheap for what is potentially a valuable bonus, especially if you take a power fist on the Chaplain.
    • The Bones of Orsak: 25 points, Librarian only. The model gets 1 extra warp charge and re-rolls failed psychic tests - eat your heart out, Tigurius! One of the strongest relics in this edition, especially in a Librarius Conclave.
      • It's not an actual increase to Mastery Level, sadly, so you'll still cast two powers at best, but it does let you cast powers more reliably with fewer psykers as batteries - a single ML2 Librarian will never have fewer than 4 charges available and can manifest a WC3 power with 4 charges 73.83% of the time!
    • The Banner of Staganda: 25 points, can only be taken by models that can pick from the Space Marine Standards list (Command Squad, Honor Guard). Bearer gets Counter-Attack and Crusader, and Imperial Fists within 12" reroll failed morale and pinning tests.
    • The Spartean: 5 point Master-crafted bolt pistol that Ignores Cover. Cheap, but not super useful. This comes from Captain Garadon in the old Sentinels of Terra supplement, so if you're adding him to your army then other relic-eligible models can't take it.
  • Tactical Objectives

These were released in the Angels of Death supplement.

11 - Indomitable Defense
Pick 3 objectives. On any turn after the turn you draw it in, you can gain VPs depending on how many you keep: 1 for 1, d3 for 2, d3+3 for all of them.
12 - Man the Walls
1 easy VP for hiding in a building or manning a gun. Needless to say that buying an Aegis with a turret is in your interests.
13 - Disciplined Firepower
Pick a number between 1 and 3. You win that many VP if AND ONLY IF you kill that many units. Otherwise it's a waste.
14 - Son of Dorn
Did you start a challenge? Are you in one? Then grab that VP.
15 - Death Before Dishonour
You win 1 VP if you get a unit killed, but not if they fail morale. Funny masochistic message there.
16 - Breach Their Defenses
1 VP if you take over or destroy an enemy emplacement or fortification, d3 if you go beyond that.
  • Sternhammer Strike Force (Angels of Death)

An Imperial Fists Decurion, here to round out the First Founding...sorta (if you count the Gladius for Ultras). The Warlord gives everyone Stubborn while he's alive, the Bolter Drill rule from Chapter Tactics now re-rolls all misses instead of just 1s, and everyone in the detachment adds 1 to armor penetration rolls against buildings (because fuck buildings). Twin-linked Sternguard? Why not! Stubborn is a nice add-on to ATSKNF, to further ensure your battle line stays intact no matter what. The volume of bolter fire put out by a Tactical squad increases markedly, making them a rather scary unit even to other MEQ.

  • Your 1-2 Core choices are either the Battle Demi-Company or Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort.
  • Your 0-2 Command choices are either Strike Force Command, Reclusiam Command Squad, or Librarius Conclave.
  • Your 1-10 Auxiliary choices can either be the Armoured Task Force, 1st Company Task Force, 10th Company Task Force, Storm Wing, Anti-Air Defense Force, Suppression Force, Land Raider Spearhead, Strike Force Ultra, Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force, Skyhammer Annihilation Force, Raptor Wing, or the following:
    • Devastators: A squad of Tank Hunting Devastators. Season to taste with Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters or AT weaponry.
    • Centurions: A squad of any sort of Centurions. Because they punch/shoot heavy things.
    • Line Breakers: If you want Vindicators, but don't want to go with the whole formation for it.
    • Ordinance: A unit of TFCs if you needed more cheap Templates. One of the few ways Marines can compete with Guard Artillery.
    • Siege Ancients: A Contemptor or Ironclad Dread, since they're the heaviest armed. If you want a dakka dread you have to use the Demi-Company slot to make it fit in (with the advantage of ObSec). Still, an Ironclad dropping down with a Demi company full of twin-linked weapons (remember the Demi company still has access to one Tactical Doctrine) makes for a good alpha strike, especially combined with the infamous Skyhammer Annihilation Force. Plonk a Pod on every objective turn 1 and hold on till the end.
Salamanders[edit]

Salamanders are all about that Flamer and Melta weaponry, and have bonuses when using them, and when they're being used on them.

  • Requirements
    • Only unique characters allowed are Vulkan He'Stan and Vulkan Primarch (Apocalypse only)
    • All models with Chapter Tactics must have Chapter Tactics (Salamanders).
  • Chapter Tactics
    • Every character can make one of his weapons Master-Crafted. In addition, all Flamer weaponry as defined in the BRB get Shred and re-roll all failed penetration results. Also, all Salamanders get 4+ Feel No Pain against all Flame-based weapons. Ork Burna boys, Blood Angels and Sisters of Battle will feel that, but the dreaded Heldrake is not affected by this. Oh well, the CSM needed a bone thrown at them.
  • Warlord Traits
    1. Anvil of Strength: Add +1 Strength. For the pulping.
    2. Lord of Fire: You warlord now has 2+ FnP against Flame weapons. Shame you can't pass it to anyone else.
    3. Patient and Determined: When rolling for Game Duration, add +3 to the roll. It ensures that you get what you need done.
    4. Miraculous Constitution: IWND. Just in case you wanted to shout "VULKAN LIVES!"
    5. Forge Master: Your Warlord's Master-Crafted Weapon (Including Salamander Relics with MC) re-rolls ALL missed hits. Which is AWESOME.
    6. Never Give Up: Anyone within 12" of the Warlord now is Stubborn and re-rolls Morale.
  • Relics of Nocturne: Your Salamander only relics. You can mix and match with the vanilla SM relics.
    • Drake-smiter - 50 points. A master-crafted thunder hammer (judging by the concussive rule and the Salamander love of smithing, but the fluff doesn't actually say what it is, so go nuts) that can, instead of attacking normally, make a single attack at strength D (keeping all its special rules).
    • Nocturne's Fury - 20 points. Can't be taken by the usual HQ suspects, is instead available to anyone who can take special weapons (so you can take it in Tactical, Command, Sternguard, or Bike squads. And Legion of the Damned, WTF?). It's an S4 AP4 flamer that you can fire as a normal Assault 1 Template, or instead shoot it as a Heavy 1 Torrent. Worth remembering that the Flameblade Strike Force benefits would make this S5.
    • The Salamander's Mantle - 30 points. A scaly cape that gives Eternal Warrior. Cheaper than the Shield Eternal and lets you potentially keep the 2-weapon bonus, but you'll have to either take a normal storm shield, or punt on improving your invulnerable save.
    • The Tome of Vel'cona - 25 points, Librarian only. Gives +1 strength to all his Pyromancy witchfires, and the Molten Beam power for free, without interfering with psychic focus.
    • Vulkan's Sigil - 30 points, Chaplain only. Once per game, you can give +1 attack for one phase to all Salamanders models in his unit. Being a one-use item makes this pretty crappy when Command Squad/Honor Guard banners do this, and more, on a permanent basis.
    • Wrath of Prometheus - The obligatory cheap relic gun. For 10 points, you get a 30"-range master-crafted Rending bolter.
  • Tactical Objectives: In the hype for the 7E codex, a White Dwarf issue actually released a list of Tactical Objectives for Salamanders armies to use. They were then re-released with the Angels of Death supplement.
11 - Vulkan's Gaze
1 VP for blowing up a vehicle with a melta weapon. Yeah, this'll happen.
12 - Weather the Storm
If you manage to charge successfully AND suffer no overwatch casualties, you get 1 VP. This is gonna run quite a risk, especially against Skitarii (Especially with the WS4 Overwatch WT), Tau and Dark Angels.
13 - Legacy of Istvaan
If you have at least 3 Salamanders units within within 18" of your table edge, you win 1 VP for killing an enemy on your half of the table.
14 - Vulkan's Task
This one's a bit tricky: You need to identify all mysterious objectives AND control more objectives than your opponent. However, doing so gets you d3 VP.
15 - Look Them In the Eye
1 VP for killing a unit within 6" of a Salamanders unit during your turn; this gets upped to d3 VP if you kill more than three units.
16 - Fires of Nocturne
Here's a fun one! If you destroy a unit with a flamer weapon during your turn, that's 1 VP. If you destroyed 2 units with flamers, you get d3 VP, and if you kill three of more, that's d3+3 VP.
  • Salamanders Tactics: Salamanders work very well with Drop Pods, since Flamers that re-roll to wound will get nice and close to the enemy and bathe them in the fires of the Emperor!
Raven Guard[edit]

Tricksy Space Marines that rely on lightning fast troops and Hit & Run style attacks with a reliance on cover-hopping. Strike before the enemy has a chance to react!

  • Requirements: Only named character allowed is Chapter Master Shrike.
  • Chapter Tactics: Non-vehicle models that do not begin the game in a Transport vehicle get Shrouded on the first turn. Plus, when rolling for Night Fighting, you can add +1 to the roll if your army contains at least one Raven Guard unit. Jump units can use their packs for movement AND assault, and ALL Raven Guard units may reroll To-Wound rolls on their HoW attacks.
    • This is a lot fluffier than the previous rules, as it favors a force with lots of Scouts (which gain the most from Shrouded and the Stealth from Night Fighting), with not many vehicles, followed by some fast units, who also gain Shrouded on the first turn to shrug off fire, to rapidly reach the first wave and deliver the decisive strike. Also, now the whole tactic synergizes really well with Shrike (about fucking time) and thanks to buffed Scouts and Vanguard Veterans it can also be competitive.
    • Because ALL RG units get Shred on their HoW attacks, don't forget that your Dreadnoughts and Bikers get the buff as well.


  • Warlord Traits:
  1. Vanish into the Gloom - When targeted for shooting and not falling back or charging, the Warlord and his unit can move d6". Models from the Vanishing unit that move into or stay in cover get +1 to their cover saves. With careful positioning and some luck, you can get out of the attack's range or escape LoS, wasting the enemy unit's shooting attack. This is key to foiling the Hunter Cadre's all-in shooting attack, but it only works once per turn for your Warlord's unit.
  2. Concentrated Attack - At the start of your Charge phase, pick an enemy unit in your Warlord's line of sight. Raven Guard units can re-roll their charges against that unit for the rest of that phase.
  3. Master of Shadows - Once per game, if your Warlord is on the field, during your Movement phase you can automatically make Night Fighting active until the start of your next turn. With all the Ignores Cover that tends to fly around, it's not too useful.
  4. Silent Stalker - Enemies trying to Overwatch against your Warlord/his unit must first take a Leadership test (-2 if you charge through cover). Great against units with otherwise strong Overwatch (DA, Tau).
  5. Exit Strategy - If your Warlord is on the battlefield, you can add or subtract 1 when rolling to determine the game's end.
  6. Swift and Deadly - Once per game, your warlord and his unit can Charge after running.


  • Relics of the Ravenspire:

Raven Guard relics (RG, their successors, anyone else using their Tactics). Like the White Scars relics, they can be mixed-and-matched.

    • Armour of Shadows (35 points) - Artificer armor that adds Stealth (or Shrouded if you don't move/run/charge). Since Shrouded applies to the entire squad while the bearer is alive, this item is best suited to making a Buffmander. Stick this on a Librarian rolling on Divination, and put said librarian in a 10-man Devastator squad with lascannons to anchor half the entire table. Your opponent will struggle turn after turn to try to dislodge the Devastators rolling with 2+ cover saves.
    • Ex Tenebris (10 points) - Assault 3 bolter with Rending and Precision Shots. Very cheap, so snag it if you have the points and weapon spot to spare.
    • Nihilus (15 points) - Vet Scout Sarge only. An AP3 Armorbane Sniper Rifle that hits vehicles at S6 and can shoot at a different target than his squadmates. Pretty cool, but effectively 25 points since you need a Veteran Scout Sarge.
    • Raven Skull of Korvaad (15 points) - Adds +1 WS/Ld to its wearer. However, if they die, friendly RG models get Hatred and Rage while they are within 6" of the wearer's last position. Fairly cheap, fluffy, and the bonuses are nice.
    • Raven's Fury (15 points) - A Jump Pack that gives HoW attacks +2 Strength and Strikedown (same cost as a normal jump pack, no reason to not take this instead).
    • Swiftstrike and Murder (35 points) - Replaces both the bolt pistol and melee weapon. A pair of Lightning Claws that grant a bonus attack for each hit (the bonus attacks hitting don't cause further bonus attacks). The unique effect is definitely worth 5 points, especially against the hordes or MEQ that lightning claws are already good against. Unfortunately won't be combinable with Raven's Fury per the FAQ.


  • Raven Guard Tactical Objectives:

These Chapter tactics will be a part of the Warzone Damocles - Kauyon.

11 - Strike From the Skies
1 VP if you killed with a unit that's either Jump type or a unit that disembarked from a drop pod.
12 - Keep to the Shadows
1 VP if every non-vehicle unit's either in a transport, in a building, or within 1" of cover. Fluffy AND practical!
13 - Let them Know Fear
1 VP if an enemy unit failed either Fear, Morale, or Pinning.
14 - Prioritise and Destroy
d3 VP if you killed a Warlord, Superheavy or GC.
15 - Highly Mobile Assault
You win a VP if you charge and demolish an enemy unit. Repeat this three times and you win d3 VP.
16 - Cripple the Enemy
1 VP if you kill an enemy Transport/FA unit. d3 VP if you kill between 3-5. d3+3 VP if you kill more than 5.
  • Raven Guard Tactics
  • Talon Strike Force:

A Raven Guard-themed Gladius. It allows a re-roll for mission type, table side to deploy from, and your dice on the roll-off for who goes first IF your Warlord is in the TSF. Units in the TSF can choose to auto-fail Morale checks, and can roll for reserves on the first turn, passing on a 4+ (roll normally on other turns). Similar to Scarblade, only Raven Guard can use the Talon Strike Force FOC (unless FW okays the Raptors or other successors' use), but any Chapter can use the new formations that the Kauyon book added.

  • Core (1-2)
    • Battle Demi-Company - Same as Gladius Strike Force.
    • Pinion Battle Demi-Company - A Captain/Chaplain (replaced by a named HQ if you want) takes an optional Command Squad, 3 Tacs, 1 Dev and 1 Assault squad, and 1-5 Scout squads, either on bike or on foot. During shooting, a Scout Sarge can spot for another unit from the Company within 9", giving that unit Ignores Cover. In addition, each Scout squad can lead another unit out of reserve (but not Deep Strike Reserve), and you use one roll for both the Scout unit and the other unit. If the Scouts outflank, the following unit arrives from the same table edge even if they can't normally outflank. When the two units arrive in this way, the unit being led gets Stealth until their next turn if they were within 9" of the Scouts leading them.
      • If you use this, definitely set up a unit of Scouts near your Devastators. Ignores Cover Missile Launchers, or Lascannons? Yeah, that would be pretty brutal.
  • Command (0-2)
    • Reclusiam Command Squad
    • Strike Force Command
      • Sadly, you can't take the Librarius Conclave as part of the Talon Strike Force, so they won't get 1st-turn reserves or auto-fail Morale checks.
  • Auxiliary (1+)
    • 1st Company Task Force
    • 10th Company Task Force
    • Storm Wing
    • Anti-Air Defense Force
    • Suppression Force
    • Shadowstrike Kill Team - 2-4 Scout squads and 1-3 Vanguard Veteran squads with jump packs. The Vanguards can choose to auto-pass or auto-fail their Reserve roll (which combines very nicely with the TSF ability to roll for reserve on Turn 1). They can also charge on the turn they Deep Strike, and if they arrive within 9" of at least two Scout squads from this formation, they don't scatter. The Scout squads' Scout and Infiltrate moves almost guarantee a precision Vanguard Vet turn 1 alpha strike in TSF, as long as you got the first turn or don't get the Scouts shot off the table before the Vanguards can show up. Non-Raven Guard can still use this formation very effectively - in particular, you can put a Locator Beacon in a Drop Pod to Deep Strike the Vanguard Vets in a perfect spot to reinforce your alpha strike.
    • Bladewing Assault Brotherhood - A jump pack Captain/Chaplain (or Shrike) with 1-3 Vanguards and 2-4 Assault squads, all with jump packs and numbering no more than 30 models. Once per game, in your Movement phase, you can make every unit here disengage and jump back into reserves (even if they were locked in close combat!). They arrive from reserves as a single unit - when Deep Striking, draw a straight line from table one edge to another. You must aim your Deep Strike on a point along that line, and can re-roll the scatter.
      • This is as close as any bound army can get right now to an Assault Reserve Company, and not limited to just Raven Guard. Worth a look if you like assault marines.
    • Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force - 3 Tacs in Drop Pods and 1-3 Land Speeders. Pick a point on the board before any Turn 1 Drop Pods land - Drop Pods landing within 12" of that point only scatter d6", and anyone that targets an enemy within 12" of this spot can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1. On top of that, the Tacs can run and shoot the turn they disembark.
    • Ravenhawk Assault Group - A Stormraven joins a Dread of any type and a Sternguard squad. The Stormraven can Deep Strike, but must Hover the turn it arrives - its size makes it risky to DS successfully, never mind that it can be shot at normally, just have it arrive normally. When the first unit from this formation deploys or arrives from reserve, nominate an enemy unit as the formation's target - the Assault Group re-rolls all misses against that unit for the rest of the battle.
    • Raptor Wing - A squad of Land Speeders and 2 Stormtalons. The Talons automatically arrive on your Turn 2 if they were in reserve. Also, once per turn, the Land Speeder designates an enemy unit within 18" and in line of sight as a priority target, giving the Stormtalons re-rolls to Wound and Armor Penetration, and can even re-roll glances to try for penetrating hits instead.
    • Shadow Force - A Captain (replaceable by named guys) joins a Sternguard Squad, Vanguard Squad, and a Land Speeder, nobody with Termie Armor. Everyone gets Acute Senses, Move Through Cover, and Scout, while everyone can re-roll runs (vehicles add 6" to Flat-Out instead). This matches the contents of Strike Force Solaq from the box set.
Iron Hands[edit]

'Ardier than the usual Marines.

  • Requirements: No unique characters outside of Forgeworld!
  • Chapter Tactics: All non-vehicle models have Feel No Pain (6+), or +1 to Feel No Pain if they already had access to it. In addition, all Independent Characters and all Vehicles have the IWND special rule. Also, all Techmarines have +1 to their Blessing of the Omnissiah rolls. Finally, they can take Dreadnoughts as Heavy Support options, allowing for a possible 18-tin can Dreadnought party.


  • Gifts of the Gorgon:

For Iron Hands only. Can be mixed with the generic relics if you want.

    • The Mindforge Stave: 15 points, Librarian only, replaces force weapon. Basically a force thunder hammer, but not a Specialist Weapon.
    • Axe of Medusa: 25 points. Master-crafted Power Axe with +2S, A to-hit roll of 6 makes it +4S, usually making you hit at S8. Essentially a wanna-be power fist. Not a specialist weapon, so you can get an extra attack more easily.
    • Betrayers Bane: 25 points. Master-crafted combi-melta with unlimited melta shots, i.e. a master-crafted bolter and a master-crafted meltagun in one buy, just in case you REALLY wanna wreck that tank.
    • Iron Stone: 30 points. Friendly IH Tanks and Walkers within six 6" pass IWND on 4+ and a 6 will repair Immobilized or Weapon Destroyed (controlling player's pick). Put on your Techmarine and park him near your Armored Task Force. Laugh all the way to the bank and dodge hurled models.
    • The Tempered Helm: 35 points. Morale tests within 24" use the wearer's leadership. In addition, you can pick a friendly unit within 12" at the start of any Shooting phase and give them the ability to re-roll 1s for that phase. Best value on high LD models that already brought an Invulnerable save with them (Chaplains, Captains) leading units packing direct fire, non-Twin-Linked, maybe Gets Hot!, so long as that Gets Hot! is not a Plasma Cannon, or the like, weaponry. Wasted supporting non-Attack Bike-centric Bikestars.
    • Gorgon's Chain: 45 points. The bonuses are based on how many wounds the user has suffered: no wounds suffered gets 3++, +1 to FNP, EW; 1 wound suffered gets 3++, EW; 2 wounds suffered 3++; 3 wounds suffered gets 4++; IWND can restore lost bonuses, so regenerating wounds makes it stronger again. Unlike Shield Eternal, this does not sacrifice your ability to get the two-weapon bonus (!!!). Add in an Apothecary, psyker support, the Fist of Medusa Strike Force bonuses, and/or a lucky roll on the Iron Hands Warlord Traits Table for greatest effect - absent the D, your HQ can shrug off nearly any attack. This is the lynchpin of Chapter Master Smashfucker - in general, only use it when you're going full hog for an unkillable beatstick. Only source of 3++ for your Librarian, so a good choice if you have the points and don't want to buy the Mindforge Stave or rely on Jinking or luck of the draw on your Librarius.


  • Tactical Objectives

Also released with Angels of Death.

11 - Methodical Destruction
Label 3 enemy units 1, 2, and 3. You win 1 VP for killing Unit 1, d3 VP for killing 1 and 2, and d3+3 VP for killing them all. Just make sure you got them in position to die.
12 - Advance and Secure
1 VP if you own the Objective closest to the center of the board. If there's two or more equidistant from the center, then your enemy can screw it up for you.
13 - March of the Machines
Win 1 VP if your Walker (meaning only Dreads) charges someone.
14 - Destroy the Weak
Win d3 VP if you killed an enemy unit in both shooting and assault.
15 - The Strength of Metal
Win 1 VP if you get a Techie to fix a tank or a tank/IC passes their IWND. Not too bad to grab.
16 - Cold Fury
If you have a vehicle kill an enemy, get 1 VP. If you kill more than 3, then you win d3 VP.


  • Fists of Medusa Strike Force:

An Iron Hands flavored Decurion. Contains copy-pasta from the Gladius, plus some new units. The command benefits are a 12" bubble around any independent character that grants +1 to Feel No Pain rolls (because Smashfucker needed that...), with all vehicles in the bubble gaining Power of the Machine Spirit, and a bonus Warlord Trait, with the 2nd one only coming from either Strategic or Tactical rulebook traits.

    • Core: Your 3 choices are the Battle Demi-Company, Armoured Task Force, and the Stormlance Demi-Company.
    • Command: Librarius Conclave, Strike Force Command, and the Reclusiam Command Squad.
    • "Auxiliary: Your many choices are; the 1st Company Task Force, 10th Company Task Force, Storm Wing, Anti-Air Defence Force, Suppression Force, Centurion Siege Breaker Cohort, Land Raider Spearhead, Strike Force Ultra, the Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force, the Skyhammer Annihilation Force, Raptor Wing, Honoured Ancients, and the Iron Guardians (1 Tactical Squad and 1 Dreadnought of any kind)


  • Iron HandsTactics:

The Stormlance Demi-Company can gain real traction in this detachment due to its formation bonuses overlapping really well with this detachment's bonuses. An optimal scenario has a Las-plas Razorback carrying a team of Tactical Marines. The Razorback moves 6", and the Marines disembark 3" away. They open fire at a choice target, before boarding their transport again. In turn, the Razorback fire both guns at full BS with the potential to engage two targets thanks to POTMS before it moves another D6 in turn. Multiply this by 3 and you have a solid army core to work with. When the Razorbacks do die, the Marines inside will still remain a threat due to the improved FNP from the detachment, as well as the ability to keep moving after firing; obsec is nice and all and losing it hurts, but actually getting to the objective and surviving to hold it also matters too. The real advantage to this over the Gladius/Battle-Company is you have a lower buy-in to take full advantage of this army, should you wish to play around with an allied CAD or go heavier on auxiliaries, plus you have the potential to get really cheeky with other units in your army. POTMS is cute on Land Speeder Storms and Stormtalons in terms of threatening enemy MSU, and it lets Ironclad Dreadnoughts do pseudo-Knight shenanigans where they shoot one unit before assaulting another. On the non-vehicle side, 10th Company Scouts become annoyingly difficult to kill for their points, and a Command Squad with Apothecary starts with FNP 3+(!). Round off with your Warlord getting a second Strategic Trait, and this detachment has a lot of small force multipliers that let it snowball into something more than the sum of its parts.

Alternately, this formation can also appeal to tank players. If you take any kind of a tank in an Armored Task Force that is a part of this formation, and give the Techmarine a servo-harness and a bike, you can have up to 5 units of 5+ IWND, Power of the Machine Spirit Predators, Whirlwinds or Vindicators, that are repaired on 2+ by a character with T5, 2+ armor, 5+ FnP and very good mobility, and are completely immune to Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned. Meaning these Vindicators can now move 12", still fire their DEMOLISHER CANNONS at full BS, and not give a fuck. If said Techmarine also has an Ironstone, that IWND increases to 4+ and also repairs a Weapon Destroyed or Immobilised result on a 6 if the Techie is within 6". Moreover, all you need to round up the bigger Decurion is a Dreadnought which gets almost all of the same bonuses, thus you can have the most resilient armored fire support formation EVER for under 750 points. Now go ahead and include Smashfucker as a Command choice.

  • Plonk this formation on top of a shielded Landing Pad and duck.
  • Sadly, Thunderfire Gunners are not considered characters at all, so they don't get the FnP/PotMS bubble nor IWND from chapter tactics.
    • In fact, this formation has astonishingly little access to Techmarines; the only way to field them is via the Armoured Task Force detachment. It's a sharp contrast with an Anvil Strike Force or the Space Wolves, either of whom can spam an incredible number of Techmarines.
    • RAW, units that don't take up a Force Organisation slot can be included in any Detachment if they obey its restrictions. Up to 3 Techmarines per non-Techmarine Iron Hand HQ in a Detachment can be taken this way. Formations are Detachments. So, nothing prevents you from taking up to 3 Techies per Battle Company as an entourage for its Captain or Chaplain.
  • Also of note is the ability to effectively split a squadron's fire while keeping the bonuses. So, for example, you can take 3 Tri-Las Predators in a squadron, with Tank/Monster Hunters as a bonus, and then use PotMS on each tank to fire 6 Lascannons at one target and 3 twin-linked Lascannons at three other different targets. Unfortunately, it's not as great for Whirlwinds; Multiple Barrage forces you to lay down your blast templates in a specific pattern regardless of the targets of the non-primary firer, so choosing different targets (or the same target twice, but declared to be different) does not let you re-roll scatter independently. However, Whirlwinds DO still get the standard trick of firing after moving at Cruising Speed.
  • As Independent Characters are critical to the benefits of this Formation, here are your ways to field them, gathered together:
    • Command (0-3)
      • Strike Force Command can get you a Terminator Captain, Captain, or Chaplain.
      • Reclusiam Command Squad bans the Chaplain from leaving the unit but does not remove the IC rule from him, so this gets you one that will emit the bubble.
      • Librarius Conclave gets you 3-5 Librarians, definitely the easiest way to get your hands on some ICs.
    • Core (1-2)
      • Stormlance Battle Demi-Company and Battle Demi-Company will both net you a single Captain, Terminator Captain, or Chaplain.
      • Armoured Task Force will net you a Techmarine, the only way to get one in this formation. As noted above, remember that the Thunderfire Gunners are not ICs.
    • Auxiliary (1+)
      • Strike Force Ultra will get you a Captain or Terminator Captain.


White Scars[edit]

The White Marines of go-fast. These guys also rely on speed like the Raven Guard, but they take Bikes as troops.

  • Requirements: Only special character allowed is Kor'Sarro Khan.
  • Chapter Tactics: White Scars Bike units (including HQs on bikes, obviously) get Skilled Rider and +1 Strength to Hammer of Wrath attacks. All units also get Hit and run, and can re-roll their run distance as long as they are only composed of White Scars models. Yes, Hit & Run Dreadnoughts/Terminators/Centurions are a thing with this Army. An unintentional buff to White Scar Devastator Centurions, since Hit & Run now makes tarpitting them very unreliable.


  • Warlord Traits
  1. Master Rider: Warlord's bike gets +1 to Jink, pushing you to 2+ thanks to White Scars CT, because Ravenwing ain't shit. If you lack a bike, then you get the one below.
  2. Deadly Ambush: You get to modify reserves by +/- 1 so long as the Warlord's alive. Good for AA shenanigans since you can let your flyer come on after you opponent's one.
  3. Hunter's Instincts: Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter. Straightforward and useful.
  4. Hammer of the Khan: Hammer of Wrath. If he already has it, Warlord makes d3 HoW hits, which is cool.
  5. Unrivalled Hunter: Warlord gains +1 S/A when in a challenge, and if he fights another Warlord, he also gets to re-roll hits. Brutal on a kitted out Chapter Master.
  6. Merciless Warrior: If your Warlord's within 12" of a unit, they can re-roll their Sweeping Advance. If shit luck strikes you can retry sweeping that weeaboo squad you charged. Handy.


  • Relics of Chogoris

Relics specific to White Scars, their successors, or anyone else using their Chapter Tactics, introduced by the War Zone Damocles: Kauyon supplement. Per the Angels of Death supplement, you can mix and match with the vanilla relics.

    • Banner of the Eagle (30 points) - Can only be taken by models that can pick from the Space Marine Standards list. Friendly White Scars units within 12" get Fleet and Furious Charge, which kicks ass.
    • Glaive of Vengeance (30 points) - A master-crafted power lance on steroids. On the charge, it's S+3 AP2, but otherwise it's S+1 AP3. With Hit & Run and the rerolls on the Initiative test from Scarblade Strike Force, this is BRUTAL. AP2 at Initiative is great enough, but S+3 really makes this relic elite, especially if you have Furious Charge to hit at S8 AP2. If you're a chapter master with the Hunter White Scars warlord trait, you're hitting the enemy warlord with 7 lascannons on the charge. If not for the Shield Eternal, it would be auto-take for any White Scars Captain.
    • Hunter's Eye (20 points) - This is without question the single best relic ever for Marines. It gives +1 BS and also grants the model and the unit he joins Ignores Cover. This is your answer to fucking over any Jink or cover anywhere, especially when joining the typical SM deathstars (grav biker Command Squad, grav Centurions). Copycat from Space Wolves' Durfast Helm.
    • Mantle of the Stormseer (20 points) - Librarians only. This gives them Adamantium Will and the Psychic Maelstrom power for free, not counting towards power allotment or Psychic Focus. Meh.
    • Scimitar of the Great Khan (25 points) - A master-crafted S+1 power sword that adds +3 to the wielder's WS when in a challenge. A nifty bonus, but AP3 really sucks for a 25-point relic - spend 5 more points for Glaive of Vengeance instead.
    • Wrath of the Heavens (25 points) - It's a super-bike. It can turbo-boost up to 18" and can go over terrain and models, just like a jetbike, because those crazy space Mongols can put grav-engines on a bike and make it badass. Problem is you have to turbo boost alone to use that, so you should probably save those 5 points and take a normal bike.


  • Tactical Objectives:
11 - Rapid Redeployment
Find an Objective that's more than 18" from your models. Win 1 VP when you control it.
12 - Run Them Down
1 VP for destroying a unit via Sweeping Advance. While the White Scars are good at this in theory, it's a huge pain in the ass for the same reasons as always: you're relying on a) your enemy not having Hit & Run or some other way to end the engagement before you end the fight, and b) you getting enough kills to force a morale check without simply wiping the squad.
13 - Mounted Assault
1 VP if a friendly Biker kills an enemy. d3 VP if your bike kills at least 3.
14 - Feigned Retreat
1 VP for using Hit & Run and passing. Easy point? Heck yes. But there's a problem: you have to Hit & Run during YOUR turn. It specifies this on the card. If you know anything about Hit & Run, you should be able to see the problem here. Scoring the victory point means dooming your poor little Bikes to being shot at/charged during your enemy's turn. Pick your battles wisely if you draw this. (Consider using a small tac squad with a flamer fighting enemy with a lower inititive. They will get to overwatch then strike first again after netting this VP)
15 - The Clean Kill
This one's risky. You win 1 VP if you kill a model with 3 wounds during an assault phase. You win d3 VP if you kill a model with 5 wounds during assault. Issue with this is that bikers aren't the best with prolonged combats without pricy stuff like Power Axes or Fists.
16 - Claim the Head
1 VP if you kill a Character in a challenge during your turn. d3 VP if you kill the Warlord in a challenge during your turn. d3+3 VP if your Warlord kills the other Warlord during your turn. While doable in any means, it's meant to promote BALLS OF FUCKING STEEL.


  • Scarblade Strike Force:

A variant of the Gladius for the White Scars, this gives its members re-rolls on their Hit & Run test, a bonus d6" to Turbo-Boost and Flat Out (or 2d6" for Fast/Flyer vehicles), and Hammer of Wrath when they successfully charge something 8"+ away (if they already had it, HoW hits re-roll failed Wound rolls instead). Remember, these "elements" can be used as a stand-alone formation: you have to be White Scars to use the Scarblade Strike Force FOC, but you don't have to be White Scars to take any of the new formations introduced in the Kauyon book.

    • Core: You need 1-2 of either the Battle Demi-Company, Hunting Force, or Stormlance Demi-Company.
    • Command: Strike Force Command, Librarius Conclave, or Strike Force Command as usual.
    • Auxiliary: You need 1 or more of the following; the Armoured Task Force, 1st Company Task Force, 10th Company Task Force, Strike Force Ultra, Storm Wing, Land Raider Spearhead, Anti-Air Defence Force, and/or Suppression Force. You may also take a Speartip Strike or Stormbringer Squadron.
Black Templars[edit]

An Imperial Fist Second Founding Successor Chapter. Their strategy is to walk up to the enemy so they can hit them with their swords/clubs/chainsaws/pistols. They get angrier the more guys they lose, making them a dangerous proposition if they can get across the board.

  • Requirements: Only special characters allowed are High Marshall Helbrecht, Chaplain Grimaldus, and the Emperor's Champion.
  • Chapter Tactics: Their units have Crusader and Adamantium Will. Black Templars are the only ones who can field Crusader Squads, which keep the ability to field a special and heavy weapon in a 5-man squad, and can mix Scouts (Neophytes) into their Marine squads. Also, no Librarians for you. If any model dies during the Shooting or Overwatch phase (so you can technically benefit from a failed Gets Hot), they now get Rage and Counter-Attack for the turn, which helps. This used to be Rending and re-roll misses in challenges in 6th edition, so a loss to your challenge muscle translates to a more broadly applicable gain. The weakest of the Codex Chapter tactics.


  • Warlord Traits
  1. Master Swordsman: +1 to Weapons Skill and Attack. Just IMAGINE how that'd work for the Emperor's Champion!
  2. Furious Indignation: If the unit the Warlord is in fails Morale Test in the Psychic or Shooting Phase, it does not fall but, but moves 2d6 inches towards the next enemy unit (but has to stop the usual 1” away from other units). While this isn't bound to happen often considering the good Leadership you get, it's still nice to have a way to assault someone that thought they were safe behind their guns/mindbullets.
  3. Abhor the Witch: Warlord gets Hatred and Preferred Enemy (Psykers). Again, WHY couldn't we have the Vows?
  4. Honour Demands Combat: Warlord and his unit can re-roll failed charges. AWESOME.
  5. OathKeeper: Warlord gets Fearless and can also re-roll to-hit in a challenge. Any beatstick's gonna want this to stall a big-league unit.
  6. Unyielding Determination: Warlord and units within 12" get to re-roll Pinning, Fear, and Morale tests.


Forge World[edit]

Forge World also provided Chapter Tactics for a whole bunch of later-founding chapters:

  • Red Scorpions: Can make any Tactical (and only Tactical) Sergeants/Veteran Sergeants an Apothecary for free, while keeping all their sergeant equipment (it does mention that you must appropriately represent this on the model, so get creative or hit up a bits site). Also, you can re-roll failed Pinning tests, but cannot go to ground voluntarily or buy Camo Cloaks, which render Scout objective campers useless. Not like you really need them with FNP Tacticals.
    • Want ridiculously tough/trolly Tactical Marines? Use this in a Siege Assault Vanguard army. You now have access to a 10-man tactical squad with bolt pistols and chainswords with Land Raiders as dedicated transports, or you could take a regular tactical squad and give them siege mantlets (re-rollable armour saves). Either way, FNP works extraordinarily well with both squads.
    • Red Scorpions also have the option to upgrade their relic blades at an additional cost. This makes their captains and vanguard vets a bit more intimidating, or at least diverse.
  • Carcharodons: Fear. Tactical Marines can exchange either the Bolter or Bolt Pistol for a chainsword for free, or BUY an extra chainsword or combat blade for +1 pt (making them effectively ground assault troops). After destroying an enemy unit in assault or forcing an enemy unit to fall back, they gain Rage, but must consolidate towards the nearest enemy unit it is capable of damaging in an assault. Keep in mind that if you use this Chapter Tactic, you can only ally with other Imperial armies, and even then their relationship is downgraded to Desperate Allies. Dreadnoughts have also become that much more dangerous, with Fear and easily getting Rage either by squashing a unit or making them fall back with Our Weapons Are Useless.
    • This tactic can have a huge benefit for Battle Demi-Companies. The bulk of your models will be Tactical Squads, so you may as well as take advantage of the opportunity to give them all CCWs at 1 point/model, which is cheaper than Space Wolves or Chaos Marines (they have to pay 2 points/model) and lets them better threaten gunlines and fire support units.
    • It's worth noting that RAW, units can gain Rage by simply blasting an enemy unit from range and making them fall back. I wish. The rules clearly state that Rage is only gained when destroying/forcing an enemy infantry unit to fall back "in an assault."
  • Raptors: Scout and Stealth on the first turn if they are not bulky or very-bulky. Also, any unit that didn't move during the movement phase may shoot their boltguns (Forgeworld has specified that Hurricane Bolters don't count here), combi-weapons fired as boltguns, or bolt pistols as Heavy 1 Rending, including Sternguard Special Ammunition. This turns otherwise mundane weapons into serious threats against MCs and light vehicles (AV12 or less).
    • Note: even though the Strike From the Shadows description is the 6e Raven Guard Chapter Tactics, it specifically states that they have the same rule as Raven Guard, hence the "upgrade" in 7e. Technically, it does specify Codex: Space Marines, while the 7e codex is called Adeptus Astartes, but that would be really overbearing rules lawyering...so know your opponents (just like the Raptors would!).
      • It does not state they must have the same rule as Raven Guard; the wording is that they have two rules, Strike from the Shadows, which is listed as Strike from the Shadows (as per the Raven Guard Chapter Tactic in Codex: Space Marines):, and Legendary Marksmen, which has no reference to the Raven Guard as such. It's got no errata, and is the most current wording available, so decide for yourself if you want to replace SftS (which is the Scout+Stealth benefit) with something from the Raven Guard; remember that the stock rule makes Raptors relatively bad at Jump Infantry, which might be a fluffy way to distinguish them from Raven Guard.
  • Mantis Warriors: Everything not Bulky (or a variant thereof) gets Move Through Cover and Hammer of Wrath, and if it starts a charge in terrain which grants cover, it also gets Furious Charge. The only non-Bulky dedicated melee units you get are Honour Guard, Vanguard Vets, Assault Marines, and arguably Scouts, so it doesn't help much in that respect. Also, let's be real - anything that WANTS to charge your gunline is probably not much worried about Tacticals or Devastators getting HoW and Furious Charge. MTC does make your army a little more mobile, though. Also, if they are your Primary Detachment, they can re-roll Seize the Initiative.
    • The 7th edition codex can now roll on Divination, so the biggest reason to use these Chapter Tactics has become worthless.
  • Executioners: Stubborn on steroids, ignoring ALL negative Ld modifiers no matter what. Their characters inflict ID on to-wound rolls of 6 in challenges, but the character with the highest WS in a fight must challenge, with ties letting the controlling player pick (so a Sergeant could challenge instead of that Techmarine and his servo-harness).
  • Angels Revenant: Get Hatred (Necrons) and Preferred Enemy (Necrons). If the enemy force has no Necrons, they instead become Fearless after losing half (round down) their units. The first one is very powerful against Necrons (and considering Necron popularity would get a lot of mileage), but the latter is meh.
  • Red Hunters: Everyone gets Adamantium Will. The more interesting part is a one-use ability that lets you give X units with Chapter Tactics one of six special rules (Counter-attack, Monster Hunter, Tank Hunters, Hatred, Skyfire, or Interceptor), where X is the number of the current turn. You don't have to give those units the same special rule, so feel free to mix and match! Used properly, this ability can be amazing - Skyfire Lascannon Devastators, Monster Hunter Hammernators, Tank Hunter melta Bikes, Interceptor Centurions, go wild! Careful, though - while waiting lets you buff more units, wait too long and you might miss the right moment to pop it...or too many units die and you don't have enough dudes to give all those cool special rules to. 7th Edition's rework of Allies makes their last little thing (allied Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle are Battle Brothers if they have an Inquisitor) pointless.
    • Red Hunters get AW standard and, unlike Black Templars, can take Librarians, giving you one of the better anti-psyker vanilla marines.
  • Star Phantoms: You can re-roll ones on reserve rolls for deep-strikers if you want, and can launch army-wide Twin-Link on all Rapid Fire, Assault, Salvo, and Heavy weapons for one turn (so it won't twin-link Pistols). Mass drop-pod dakka hail of death. Consider them a Drop Pod specific alternative to Ultramarines.
    • Two combined Battle Demi Companies with free Drop Pods and an extra Tactical Doctrine can make this Chapter Tactic far more useful than it ever was. Even the Skyhammer formations or a 1st Company Task Force full of Terminators benefit from this.
  • Minotaurs: Get to re-roll Pinning tests, do not suffer Morale tests from shooting, and get Crusader and +1 charge range on the enemy deploy zone. One of the worst ones. No panic tests from shooting can be potentially useful, but chances are that if you're already taking large amounts of casualties as Space Marines, you might just die in overwatch or not do much in assault. This encourages footslogging Marines like the Black Templars, but unlike the Templars, you have no access to dedicated Land Raiders for your Tacticals and can't take CCWs to increase their melee power. Pretty much made up for by their badass characters (army-wide PE against loyalists is pretty sweet).
    • With the new Angels of Death supplement, these guys have access to the Stormlance Demi-company. These seems to suit them fairly well in terms of speed, mixed mobility, and versatility. The re-rolls against pinning help anyone in a metal bawks, too.
  • Fire Hawks: Get +1S for all flamer, hand flamer, and heavy flamer weapons the turn they Deep Strike in (Drop Pod flamer spam!). HoW attacks from jump pack models also get +1S, but without the turn-specific restriction. Hand flamers, at +5 points, are added to the Ranged Weapons list, so most ICs/sarges can grab one. Their Assault Marines and Vanguards are scoring, but not troops...so unless you can convince your opponent that this translates to Objective Secured in 7e (RAW it doesn't, but if he isn't That Guy he might play along), it basically does nothing, making Fire Hawks Chapter Tactics crap. If you really want to proxy them you could always go with Salamanders with a lot of jump units.
  • Astral Claws: Stubborn, their Bikes have Skilled Rider, and their Fast Skimmers get Scout. Does it remind you of some other LOYALISTS?

Non-Codex Marines[edit]

For comparison's sake, the other Marine codices get, as their own "Chapter Tactics":

  • Dark Angels: Everyone gets Stubborn and BS2 Overwatch. HQs get Fearless and Hatred: Chaos Marines (including non-Daemon infantry and all vehicles from Khorne Daemonkin). Termies get that too, as well as Split Fire and Twin-Linked weapons when deep striking. Bikes can re-roll failed Jink Saves, take Teleport Homers, and get Scout/Hit & Run; Biker Command Squads come tooled for both shooting and CC. Also, their Mortis dreads aren't capped at 0-1.
  • Blood Angels: Everything gets Furious Charge. Several of their vehicles are Fast, there is widespread access to inferno pistols/hand flamers, and Tactical Squads can take Heavy Flamers.
  • Space Wolves: Counter Attack and Acute Senses for everyone. Also have a really different organization and lots of peculiar units, some of which can be extremely effective.
  • Grey Knights: Preferred Enemy (Daemons), widespread access to Shred (Demons), all troops are psykers with safe access to Sanctic Daemonology, army uses storm bolters rather than regular ones, can play all terminator, but have limited anti-armor. Rerolls 1s on Deny the Witch.
  • Deathwatch: Ability to reroll ones to hit against different force organization charts, more elite with tons of fancier toys, including Sternguard Veterans as Troops. But have a lack of tanks, artillery, non troop choices are (generally) capped to be half the size of space marines and lack the ability to field as many bodies as standard Marines can.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Angel of Death: Fear, which units must test on 3d6. Cassius and Shrike have this.
  2. The Imperium's Sword: Warlord and his unit have Furious Charge. Helbrecht has this.
  3. Iron Resolve: Feel No Pain. Pedro, Lysander and Vulkan have this.
  4. Storm of Fire: For the shooting phase a friendly codex squad with Chapter Tactics within 12" gets Rending. Tigurius and Telion have this.
  5. Rites of War: All units from the same detachment as the warlord can use his leadership instead of their own for morale tests. Sicarius and Grimaldus have this.
  6. Champion of Humanity: All Imperial models within 12" must re-roll pinning, morale, and fear. Khan and Blaylock have this.

Psychic Powers (Angels of Death Supplement)[edit]

In Angels of Death, Space Marines got 4 new psychic disciplines, possibly to ensure that your Librarius Conclave isn't full of redundancy and has more variety. Note: Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Deathwatch, and Grey Knights, as well as the Legiones Astartes Crusade army and Imperial Armour chapters from Forge World, have access to all these disciplines too. The Deathwatch footnote means that Jansus Natorian is no longer stuck on Biomancy. Problem is, why wasn't this included in the first place?

Fulmination[edit]

Primaris Electrosurge - WC1 18" S5 AP4 Assault 6 witchfire. Point at hordes and explode them.

  1. Electroshield - WC1. The Psyker gains a 3++. An almost free Storm Shield for a turn. Or, you could just drop 10 points if you have it lying around for, you know, an actual Storm Shield which can't be denied or fail to go off. Has potential though in a Libarius Conclave with Tigurius to give him a free-ish 3++ due to him re-rolling both failed Psychic Tests (combined with the 3+/2+ to harness) and re-rolling which powers he gets. FUCKING FANTASTIC ON A FURIOSO DREAD.
  2. Electropulse - WC1. A witchfire Nova with radius of 9", Assault 1 S1 AP- Haywire. Will need a Drop Pod, jump pack, or psychic power to land in the middle of an armored column and wreak havoc, preferably paired with meltaguns and other anti-armor.
  3. Lightning Arc - WC2. Witchfire, S5 AP4 assault D6. Jumps to enemy units within 6" of the primary target on a 4+.
  4. Fists of Lightning - WC1 blessing. Psyker only, +1S and A. For every hit the psyker lands in close combat (not wound, hits), enemy units suffer 2 additional S5 AP- hits.
  5. Magnetokinesis - WC2 blessing, 18". Move target unit by 18", can't target anything Zooming, Swooping or locked in combat. The shifted unit can't charge and counts as moved for Shooting Phase purposes. A better version of Levitate from Telekinesis, basically.
  6. Electrodisplacement - WC2 blessing, 24". The Psyker's unit and the target unit swap places on the battlefield. If one of the swapping units is locked in combat, the other unit takes their place and is locked into that combat. Swapped units can still charge, so swapping Scouts with a unit of your choice can potentially set up a turn 1 charge, with your deathstar chilling in the back until the switcheroo, if you get this power.
Librarius[edit]

AKA we jacked a bunch of powers from the Eldar and Grey Knights. Enjoy creating cheap as fuck death stars.

Primaris The Emperor's Wrath - WC1 18" S5 AP3 Assault 1 Blast Witchfire.

  1. Veil of Time - WC2. The Psyker and his entire unit re-roll all failed saving throws. This power, right here, supersedes Invisibility as the cheesiest power in the game, and with good reason. This will all but ensure that your deathstar takes no damage as it plows into the enemy forces' tight sphincter. Heck, bare-bones Terminators with only a 5++ will scare the shit out of enemies like they did pre-5th edition. The real cheese? Given how many options the Space Marines have for Battle Brothers that can be affected by Psychic powers, this is more versatile than Eldar Fortune, even if it lacks AW (and you have a power for that below ala Psychic Fortress anyway).
  2. Fury of the Ancients - WC1. A 20" S6 AP4 beam with Pinning.
  3. Psychic Fortress - WC1. Blessing that gives the Psyker Fearless and Adamantium Will, as well as a 12" bubble of 4++ against Witchfire Powers only. It's pretty damn good.
  4. Might of Heroes - WC1. Gives +2 Strength, Toughness, Initiative, and Attacks. It essentially wraps up both Iron Arm and Warp Speed into 1 nice Warp Charge 1 package.
  5. Psychic Scourge - WC1 Malediction, must target an enemy Psyker within 24". Roll 2D6+(Mastery Level) against enemy psyker 1D6+Mastery level. On a draw or better, enemy lose 1W (no save), if you beat his roll by 3+, he loses a random power. If you lose, no effect. Sort of rubbish, casting against enemy psykers is a gamble in itself.
  6. Null Zone - WC2 Malediction, 24" range. Targets an enemy unit, drops its invulnerable save by 2 (to a minimum of 6+). This thing is essentially Banishment, but it's much more versatile. This is what you use to counter fucks with Storm Shields, Smash Fucker's 2++ bullshit, Riptide's Shield Generator buff, Malefic Cursed Earth, and Grimoire bullshit.
Geokinesis[edit]

AKA Earthbending

Primaris Chasm - WC2, 18" range. Target unit takes a Dangerous Terrain test with no armor saves allowed, no effect on Swooping or Zooming units (flyers, FMCs). Questionable usefulness...

  1. Earth Blood - WC1 Blessing, targets a non-vehicle character within 18" of the Psyker. That guy immediately regains D3 WOUNDS, and the target plus his entire unit also gain IWND. The latter effect won't come into play too often unless you're hanging out with Centurions, but the ability to replenish a guy's wounds, or restore wounds lost to Perils, is great.
  2. Scorched Earth - WC1 malediction, 24". Choose a point on the battlefield, each unit within 6" takes a S5 AP4 Ignores Cover hit, randomly allocated. This 6" area is also dangerous terrain. Crap.
  3. Land Quake - WC1 malediction that affects enemy units within 18" of caster. They are considered to be in Difficult Terrain, and cannot run, turbo-boost or flat out. No effect on Swooping or Zooming units. A neat way to fuck with Jetbikes and vehicles in general (although eldar jetbikees would still have their JSJ move).
  4. Phase Form - WC1 blessing, 24". Single unit. Gives Move Through Cover and Ignores Cover. Unit is also able to shoot on a unit WITHOUT LINE OF SIGHT, only the range matters.
  5. Warp Quake - WC1 witchfire, 24". Target building or ruin. A building gets a glancing or penetrating hit, a ruins causes d6 S6 AP- hits, randomly allocated, to any units in it.
  6. Shifting Worldscape - WC3 24", targets a terrain feature in line of sight. Move that terrain by 24", including units fully inside of it. Must end up at least 1" away from other terrain and any models, so your wiggle room can vary depending on the terrain piece's size. If a unit is not fully inside that terrain, the models that are immediately move off in a Disembark move, treating the terrain edge as an Access Point. Any model moved as a result of this spell, including units inside the moved terrain, takes a Dangerous Terrain test. 'Lots' of ways to use this - yanking a hiding enemy and plopping it next to your gunline, teleporting a deathstar onto your enemy's doorstep, re-establishing line of sight/range for a squad of lascannons or grav-cannons so they can shoot those JSJ'ing assholes, removing that pesky impenetrable Wall of martys bunker with 10 devastators in, plopping that superheavy/those termies onto a vortex, etc.
Technomancy[edit]

The discipline to use for mechanized armies. Also fares very well with Imperial Guard allies and also packs a bunch of anti-vehicle powers. Heck, a Librarius Conclave and a CAD of tank-heavy Guard makes this all kinds of epicness. Better yet, take a Clan Raukaan detachment and go to town with Reforge and Warpmetal Armour. Check each power's description to make sure whether it affects the whole unit or just a single vehicle! Powers alternate between defensive and offensive, so if your enemy has no tanks you're looking at a lot of wasted slots.

Primaris Subvert Machine - 18" Malediction. Select a weapon on an enemy vehicle. You and your opponent roll a die. If he rolls higher, nothing happens. If you draw, that weapon can only shoot snap shots. If you roll higher, you take control of said vehicle's weapon for a turn. This will be horrible if your enemy has a Superheavy of some kind (Lord of Skulls, Stompa, Baneblade variants, Knights), and given the current meta, it's common to see an Imperial Knight ally. The only drawback is the range, though there're a few different ways to handle it.

  1. Blessing of the Machine - WC1 Blessing, 24" range, affects a single friendly vehicle. It now ignores Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned, and either gives Power of the Machine Spirit, or +1 BS if the target vehicle that already has PotMS.
  2. Machine Curse - WC1 18" Focused Witchfire. Smacks an enemy vehicle unit with d3 S1 AP- Haywire hits.
  3. Reforge - WC1 Blessing, 24" range. Gives IWND and either restores 1 hull point, or repairs an immobilized or destroyed weapon result. A Psyker casting this from inside a vehicle can only cast it on the vehicle he's riding.
  4. Warpmetal Armour - WC1 Blessing, 24" range, targets a friendly 'unit'. Grants plus 1 AV to all sides for a turn or, if cast on a non-vehicle unit, gives +1T. Note that it affects the whole unit. Welcome to AV15 Spartan Assault Tanks/Leman Russes/Land Raiders. Sadly, Gauss Weaponry still doesn't give a shit.
  5. Fury of Mars - WC1 Beam, 18" S1 AP- Assault 1 Haywire.
  6. Machine Flense - WC2 Focused Witchfire, 18". Targeted enemy vehicle unit loses D3 HP. For each HP lost, inflicts D6 S4 AP6 rending hits to a nearby enemy unit. You can pick different targets for each lost HP if you want. A neat way to attack parking lots and their bubble-wrap.

Fighter Aces[edit]

In Skies of Death, you now have a bonus rule allowing you to pay 35 points for one of 3 special traits for any Flyer.

  1. Auto-Targeting System - +1 BS. This one is kind of pointless. Most of your flyers' weapons are Twin Linked already, and Stormtalons have Strafing Run, which already gives +1 BS against ground targets. Sort of a waste.
  2. Vectored Retro-Thrusters - Fighter Ace can pivot 180 before moving. Not sure why it has the same name as a tool for Tau battlesuits, but it can help bait some flyers over to your big anti-air guys.
  3. Wrath of the Emperor - Fellow models within 12" of a Fighter Ace with the same codex gain Preferred Enemy for the turn. Best run on units meant to support your units on the ground, and by extension any flyer that's dropping units into the thick of combat.

Armoury of the Adeptus Astartes[edit]

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Boltgun - Classic S4 AP5 24" Rapid Fire weapon which all other standard issue small-arms in the Dark Millennium are judged by. Tried and true, whether it's shredding simple infantry or taking potshots at more heavily armored foes. Imperial Fists love these.
  • Combi-Weapon - An interesting item that is a Bolter with a one-use special weapon (Plasma, Melta, Flamer, Grav) built in. Great choice, if you know when and how to use it. Sternguard love these things since they can Drop Pod in and take out specific targets (usually vehicles with 4-5 combi meltas or Monstrous Creatures with 4-5 Combi-plasmas) while still being able to use specialist rounds.
  • Storm Bolter - Assault 2 and 24" range. Compared to the standard boltgun, the storm bolter gets its full number of shots out to max range, plus you get to charge after shooting. Typically seen on Terminators, decent on an Assault-based Character with a Specialist Weapon (you weren't getting the two-weapon bonus attack anyway), not too useful otherwise, especially since Sternguard special ammo STILL doesn't affect them.
  • Bolt Pistol - Standard pistol version of the boltgun, with same S and AP. Combined with a non-specialist melee weapon, it grants an additional attack.
  • Plasma Pistol - Beats any Armor save, but on a roll of a 1, it Gets Hot! and the wielder takes a Wound (that you get saves against, but still). However, most Space Marines that can take it have at least a 3+ Sv, which somewhat reduces the risk. Inefficient points-wise, but very fluffy if you're not min-maxing (depending on how many terminators you see and if you can use it to chip off hull points, of course). Like the Bolt Pistol, it grants an additional attack if you're using a non-specialist melee weapon.
  • Grav Pistol - Safer than the Plasma Pistol, it can surprise some heavily armored foe when you're wounding them on threes or twos and dropping them to I1 thanks to Concussive. Give it to a Thunder Hammer wielding Captain to have an extra edge before charging in. Bonus points if you immobilize a Dreadnought about to charge you. Again, kinda costly, and again, grants an additional attack with a non-specialist weapon.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer - An S4 AP5 Assault 1 template weapon. A classic anti-horde option, most useful when up against Tyranids, Orks, and blob Imperial Guard. Makes Overwatch painful. Better served with Salamanders in a pod. Remember you can roast two units if they are close together and they fit under the template.
  • Grav-gun Salvo 2/3 AP2, concussive, and wounds targets based upon their Armour Save. So, stand still for 3 shots, or move for 2 shots at half range. Nigh-useless against Orks, Dark Eldar, or Guardsmen, but absolute hell against Grey Knights, other MEQ armies, and anything relying on armor saves to stay safe. Usually seen on Bikes rather than Tacticals because of Relentless. In a pinch, it can be used as anti-tank since it immobilizes vehicles on 6s, though only a few units can carry enough grav-guns to reliably roll at least one 6. Taking a grav-amp in your squad lets you re-roll wounds with these, though, and that helps.
  • Meltagun - S8 AP1 Assault 1 with 12" range, best used with Drop Pods to get in range. If within half its range (so 6" or closer) and shooting at a vehicle, it rolls 2D6 for penetration, so near-guaranteed pen + higher chance to wreck/explode = perfect anti-tank. Being Assault 1 with short range makes it very specialized, so ditch it if you can against an army without heavy tanks (i.e. Tyranids). Worth noting that S8 makes it Instant Death against T4-or-lower models such as Tyranid Warriors and infantry HQs without Eternal Warrior. Vulkan He'stan of the Salamanders makes them all Master-Crafted, meaning free re-rolls to hit!
  • Plasma gun - This is another anti-heavy infantry/MC tool much like the grav-gun, but Gets Hot! means there is always a (small) risk of killing the model firing the weapon. The grav-gun is safer, but this is Rapid Fire instead, making it better for non-Relentless models (i.e. Drop Pod squads). It can also still hurt lightly armored targets, most notably Daemons (who rarely have armor saves and can be hard to kill with bolters), and is also good against light or medium vehicles such as Chimeras, Rhinos, and almost anything Dark Eldar. All Space Marines that can take it have at least a 3+ armor save, which mitigates the Gets Hot! risk. Its range is the same as the Boltgun, so it synergizes well with them.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Grav-Cannon
    • A bigger grav-gun with Salvo 3/5 and 24" range. These come with a Grav-Amp by default, which gives re-rolls on To Wound or Armor Pen against a vehicle. As a Salvo weapon, they're the only heavy weapon a Devastator squad can fire at full BS after moving or disembarking from a transport (albeit with half range and the lower number of shots). Extra rage-inducing on Devastators taken with the Skyhammer Annihilation formation, due to Devastators being able to Relentlessly disembark Drop Pods and fire full range/shots. They're also comically undercosted at 35 points a pop for Tacs and Devs, and 25 pts each for Centurions. Bad against light infantry (Guard blobs, Dark Eldar, Orks), and weak against Superheavies due to their immunity to Immobilize results, and by extension Hull-point stripping from Immobilize spam.
      • Seriously though, Grav-Cannons+Gravamps are CRIMINALLY underpriced. According to FAXIV, which admittedly does not handle the nature of Grav weapons well, the value of a 5-shot AP2 gun that has a 97% chance to wound per hit (89% vs 3+, 75% vs 4+) is a monstrously huge 75 points per gun. On average, 3 Grav-Cannons with Grav-Amps at BS4 at full firing rate (i.e. 3 Dev Centurions) will kill 6.48 Terminators or Immobilize any non-Superheavy vehicle three times (resulting in the removal of 5 HP) per turn of shooting. Cackle manically as you wipe a riptide out in one turn of shooting.
        • FAXIV is a gross oversimplification, of course, but you get the general idea. One of the harder to analyze attributes of these things is that better armour saves normally raise the cost of a model, so Grav weapons have a tendency to have a net effect of your opponent paying more points to reduce their models' survivability - used intelligently, you will quickly recoup their cost.
      • This is the best weapon to equip minimal-sized Tactical Squads with. The squad provides some anti-infantry firepower in the form of Boltguns (and maybe a combi-flamer on the Sergeant), while the gun enjoys being surrounded by expendable mooks and covers anti-heavy infantry, anti-MC and anti-tank roles splendidly.
  • Heavy Bolter
    • At 3 shots, S5, and AP4, it's a heavier, meaner boltgun. Good against hordes since it chucks out reasonable dakka, and not horrible against AV10 (Sentinels, Land Speeders, War Walkers, rear armor, etc.), but any of the other options below are preferred. However, Imperial Fists get more out of Heavy Bolters thanks to their Chapter Tactics (re-roll 1s for Bolter Drill, and Tank Hunters thanks to Siege Masters.)
  • Heavy Flamer
    • An Assault 1 S5 AP4 template (but listed in the Heavy Weapons list, for some reason). Much more effective at horde-crunching than the Heavy Bolter, but much shorter range. Overwatch "Wall of Death" with this can be VERY painful. Though it's listed as a "heavy weapon" wargear option, its rules are Assault 1 (not Heavy) so you can move, flame, and charge. However, only Terminators, Sternguard, or Legion of the Damned can grab heavy flamers, so low distribution hurts an otherwise great weapon.
  • Lascannon
    • An S9 AP2 weapon, good against vehicles up to AV 13 and TEQ. It's an anti-tank and anti-MC weapon, so you still have to bring something else for horde control. Usually seen on backfield Devastators and Predators, since its range is very good you can stay back and pop vehicles all day long.
  • Missile Launcher
    • With two different payloads - S4 AP6 Small Blast for massed light infantry, and S8 AP3 for vehicles/MCs - this thing trades effectiveness on specific targets for versatility. However, in larger armies, it's better to take several squads each equipped with more specialized weapons instead. Note, however, in very specific circumstances, Krak Missiles give it a perfect mix of low cost, decent range, and just enough S and AP to deal Instant Death to multi-wound T4 models with 3+ or worse, and is thus the cheapest weapon to splatter a Tyranid Warrior/Nob (or MEQ HQ) from half the table while letting you later put out Frag Missiles for their weenie hordes. Can also pack Flakk Missiles to deal with Flyers, but again, unless it's a low points army that needs versatility in every unit, you should never do this - not when you could take the specialized anti-air ability of the now-excellent Stalker tank (besides, "anti-air" weapons can shoot at Skimmers at full BS, which makes some of them workable against Eldar/DEldar/Necron armies). Overall: good in low points games due versatility, bad in high points games where you should take specialized weapons instead.
  • Multi-Melta
    • A Meltagun with twice the range, which means that its 2D6 Melta-effect range is now 12". Same S and AP, though. Good in Skyhammer Annihilation Devastators since they are relentless for a turn.
  • Plasma Cannon
    • An S7 AP2 blast, good for taking out freshly deep-struck units (like enemy Terminators) that are still tightly clustered, or just wreaking havoc on all kinds of infantry. Like its little brothers, the Plasma Gun and Plasma Pistol, it also has Gets Hot! Unfortunately it is a very mediocre choice, because Small Blast kinda sucks (begging the question of why it's so different from its siblings - presumably it should either be Heavy 3 without blast, or the Gun should be blast and the Cannon should be Large Blast).
      • The haemotrope reactor can fix the small blast problem if you need to explode everything.
      • If you're running a 10-man tactical squad, the cannon isn't a terrible choice as it adds anti-infantry punch to your shooting (what else is your tactical squad doing?).
      • Veteran players will space out units, but that's usually because, at some point, a plasma cannon raped their horse and ate their parents. These things can be incredibly punishing against unprepared foes (much moreso than other weapons).

Melee Weapons[edit]

When the enemy just won't budge in the shooting phase, you need to budge them through Close Combat. Here are the tools of the trade.

  • Chainsword - The only real use is for Salamanders characters who can make it Master-Crafted for one melee re-roll - otherwise, just a stat-less CCW.
  • Power Weapons - Come in 4 different flavors: Axe, Maul, Sword, Lance...but only the former 3 actually have official models from GW. The Power Sword is the most reliable but relatively weak, striking at AP3, base S and base I. The Axe drops you to I1 but you are now S5 and AP2 - good, but only if you can't get, or can't justify the cost of, a Power Fist. The Maul is great against Imperial Guard and Xenos scum, since the +2S gets you to S6, which is Instant Death for T3 enemy characters. It even has Concussive, which, along with the +2S, helps against big, tough gribblies. It's also perfect if you want to slam open a vehicle without it blowing in your face. The Lance is only S+1 AP3 on the charge, then in subsequent rounds is only AP4, AND you'd have to convert your own from Fantasy or other armies. Just...no. LOOKS fantastic (and are actually almost decent) on White Scars bikers, though. Use the mythical 'Counts as' rule to just make them standard Power Swords, Power Axes, or Chainswords if you just want them for their Rule of Cool looks. If somebody complains point out how halberds and glaives are pretty much axes or swords on sticks. Grey Knight Nemesis Force Glaives work great!
  • Lightning Claws - Specialist Weapon, so not so good on Sergeants since an extra attack with a Power Sword is better against most targets. AP3 with Shred is still nothing to sneer at, and a model that can take a pair of Claws is a whole different story (i.e. Assault Terminators or Vanguard Veterans). Note that since both are Specialist Weapons, you can take a Lightning Claw and a Power Fist to get +1 attack and be able to choose between either profile before each Fight phase starts. Versatility - but at cost! Note that if you are taking a lightning claw or a power fist you don't lose an attack as you normally do by taking a combi-weapon.
    • Biker Sarges wanting CC weapons (not recommended if you're min-maxing) should take a Lightning Claw or Power Fist over a Power Sword since they only have one weapon to exchange, and thus can't get the two-weapon bonus anyways.
  • Power Fist - A Specialist weapon, so you won't get the 2-weapon bonus unless you grab a Lightning Claw. But, at S8 AP2, you shit on most other characters, and are a great surprise for overconfident vehicle commanders. Unwieldy, sadly, so these will work best on something tough enough to shrug off hits and strike back (i.e. 2+ armor, an invulnerable save, Feel No Pain, etc) and things that are quick enough that it won't matter anyway (lash whip warriors, yes please)
  • Thunder Hammer - 5 extra points for a stylized Power Fist with Concussive. It usually is seen with units that have something else going for it (Storm Shield Terminators). It's rare that a fight goes on long enough for it to matter, but Concussing an enemy down to the same I1 for latter turns can mean the difference between killing it or getting killed without striking (most likely MCs or models with Eternal Warrior). A rare situation, though, so you can just take the slightly cheaper Power Fist instead.
  • Eviscerator - Unlike his baby brother, this heavy chainsaw sword is a two-handed chainfist: Sx2 (so S8 for Marines) AP2 Unwieldy with Armorbane (rolls 2D6 when determining vehicle penetration). Great for tank-hunting, and it's not like Assault Marines can take any other melee weapons. But do note that it still has very poor cost-efficiency, since the only place you can see it is in a T4 3+ 2A model.. while you can use careful play and tricks (even Formations) to deliver that ASM safely into combat to tear up vehicles, having only 2A unavoidably means that you get off very few attacks in return for the hefty cost of the Eviscerator. Alternatively, since the option states that any one in five models may equip it, you can give it to the Veteran Sergeant who has 2A (to better use the expensive weapon).. but of course, as with all Unwieldy weapons on squad leaders, that leads to forcing you to avoid Challenges at all costs.
  • Force Weapons - Librarians come with these. Power Weapons with Force, essentially. The Force Sword is the most reliable choice. Axes make you S5 AP2, but drop you to I1 (bad for Librarians without 2+ or invulnerable saves), while the Staff gives +2S and Concussive but drops to AP4 - good for Librarians with Iron Arm, perhaps, but without that you're not getting through MEQ armor. Still, if Force goes off the Maul becomes a lot more dangerous since every To Wound roll has Instant Death, but also less relatively dangerous, as its competitors now ALSO cause Instant Death on T3.
  • Relic Blade - Available to Honour Guard, Vanguard Veteran Sergeants and Captains. A S+2 AP3 Two-handed sword that hits at normal Initiative, near perfect for MEQ shredding and decent against some MCs. Just like the Power Maul, always remember that S6 means Instant Death for T3 HQs, plus the Relic Blade can also cut through 3+ to boot. The only real downside is, that you never get the +1A for 2CCW due to them being Two-Handed. Well, that and terminator armour. Note that relic blades can be used with storm shields for great effect since storm shields prevent the use of two weapons at the same time, but not two-handed weapons.

Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Auspex - Sacrifice shooting to reduce the cover of an enemy within 12" by 1. Good on an assaulty HQ with abysmal shooting (say, a Captain with a bolt pistol, or a Librarian).
  • Melta Bombs - When assaulting a vehicle, building, gun emplacement or Monstrous Creature, you can replace your attacks with one S8 AP1 Armorbane Unwieldy attack. The chance to one-shot a tank or building is a pretty good way to spend 5 spare points laying around.
  • Teleport Homer - Termies that Deep Strike within 6" of the Homer don't scatter. Only terminators benefits from this so unless you are running a full deep strike terminator army (I dont't see a single logical reason why would you do that) the locator beacon from drop pods or scout bike squads is a better option.
  • Digital Weapons - Re-roll one failed to-wound roll in Assault. Pretty much crap.
  • Jump Pack - A bit expensive at 15 points, it gives the Jump unit type. Grab it if you want your HQ to jump around like House of Pain, whether to chase and smash things or hop to a good vantage point and hand out buffs/mind bullets. Techmarines and Terminator Armor characters can't take one.
  • Space Marine Bike - This changes your HQ to a Bike unit type. You also get a twin-linked bolter and, most importantly, +1 Toughness. Great for any HQ, really, but of special note is a conversion beamer-toting Techmarine. Note that if you have an HQ with a bike, you can take Bike Squads as troops for a CAD - they even got rid of that dumb model count restriction from 6e! Taking Terminator Armor sadly disqualifies a character from riding a bike. If you go bike HQs, consider going White Scars for their bike-specific rules, or Iron Hands to indirectly benefit from the Toughness boost giving you FNP back against S8/9 weapons.
  • Standards - Come in two flavors (three if you count the relic).
    • Company Standard - Available to the Command Squad. This allows marines of the same Chapter within 12" to re-roll Morale, Fear, and Pinning.
    • Chapter Banner - Available to the Honour Guard. As above, but Marines within range also gain +1 Attack. The entry no longer specifies that it doesn't stack with the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, or even Kantor's +1 Attack, in case you want the killiest/most expensive deathstar possible.

Chapter Relics[edit]

Note that per the BRB FAQ, page 11, a single model can only take one Relic unless specifically stated otherwise.

  • The Burning Blade - A special power sword with +3S, AP2, and Blind. The only AP2 melee weapon that doesn't hit at I1 and isn't on a Dreadnought or Assault Centurion. Unless you count characters, then there's the Emperor's Champion and Calgar. Its "Incandescent" rule means that it sort-of Gets Hot (take a S4 AP2 hit if you roll a 1 on a d6 after using it to attack). It is believed to be the Emperor's sword, as it was found in the wreckage of Horus' destroyed flagship and was the only thing that wasn't corrupted by Chaos. Probably true, since it's too big for anyone but a Marine to think about using, and in most pictures depicting the Emperor's battle with Horus his sword's on fire. Despite the description of its size, it is not Two-Handed.
    • In general, a good choice if you're looking to build a very killy HQ, especially since most other available AP2 weapons are Unwieldy. Don't even think about giving it to anyone else except to a Chapter Master with 4A (and of course, keep a pistol to get the +1A) - it's too expensive otherwise. Note that the Incandescent rule says "takes a hit" - unlike Gets Hot, it still has to roll to wound, meaning there's only a 50% (or 33% on a bike) chance of actually having to take an Invuln save. In addition, unlike normal Gets Hot, extra attacks/shots don't increase your chances of taking a wound, so the worst-case scenario is still only one wound per assault phase from this rule. On a T4 character with 4++ (Iron Halo), Incandescent only has a 1/24 (~4.17%) chance of actually causing a wound on a given turn of close combat; a Storm Shield drops this to 1/36 (2.78%), and a bike and a Storm Shield drops it to 1/54 (1.85%). The odds of taking no wounds across 12 turns of close combat for each is 60%, 71%, and 80%, respectively.
  • The Armour Indomitus - A 2+/6++ suit of Artificer Armour that gives the wearer a 2++ save once per game for a phase of your choosing. Should be noted that in the new codex the Armour no longer gives Relentless, though it still costs the same points. Thanks Geedubs.
    • It's crap. You could get a 2+/3++ for a Captain or Librarian for 25 pts cheaper; only get it if you MUST have a 2+ while still fitting into a Rhino or Razorback (not a common scenario). The 2++ save only lasts a single PHASE per game, not even a whole player turn. Pyrovore-level of uselessness.
      • Not quite useless on Librarians given they usually don't come with an invulnerable save or a 2+ Sv for that matter and cannot access either of those without Terminator armour (except via Panoply of The Crusader and various psychic powers). So if you are putting a Librarian on a bike it might be worth investing in. This is especially true if you are running him with the Librarius discipline, re-rollable 2+ invulnerable saves? Yes please.
  • The Shield Eternal - A Storm Shield that gives the user Adamantium Will and Eternal Warrior. A very good choice if you're running a tough cookie, because let's face it, Storm Shields are great, Eternal Warrior is great, and Adamantium Will is a bit niche utility, but can be pretty useful too. Give it to a Chapter Master with Artificer Armour using Iron Hands Chapter Tactics and BAM! You've got yourself a 2+/3++ It Will Not Die Character with 6+ or +1 on Feel No Pain rolls.
  • The Primarch's Wrath - A Master-Crafted Salvo 3/5 AP4 bolter with Shred.
    • Not bad for your Bike or Terminator Captain, as Relentless will let you use this thing to its full potential every turn. Not the strongest choice of the relics, but it is the cheapest so it might be an okay choice if you only have a few points left over after army building. You could stick it on an HQ, put him in a shooty squad, and cherish the 5 AP4 Shred shots you're adding to a Centurion or Sternguard squad. Especially interesting for Techmarine Bikers, due to their low cost and BS5.
  • Teeth of Terra- A chainsword with +2S, AP3, Specialist Weapon, Concussive and Rampage.
    • Quite good for thinning out hordes and killing entire squads if given to a Captain/Chapter Master - and, as Space Marines, you'll be outnumbered most of the time. With Rampage, your Chapter Master is getting 5 + D3 attacks on the charge and 4 + D3 each subsequent assault phase - you might be handing out Concussive just through sheer volume of attacks.
    • You can pair this with another Specialist Weapon (e.g. a Power Fist) and get up to NINE attacks on the charge (4 base, +1 for Charging, +1 for two CCW, and +D3 from Rampage)! If you're in an especially deathstarry mood, toss in a Chapter Banner, a Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, and Pedro Kantor (all their effects stack, or at least until a FAQ says they don't) for 10-12 Attacks on the charge and 8-10 Attacks thereafter. Shit, toss in a Chaplain, Librarian, maybe go Carcharodons for Rage and Tyberos (who makes Rage also give +1S, though going Carcharodons means ditching Kantor's bonus). Your deathstar is now the size of Jupiter and will vaporize anything it touches... but will cost about as much as Jupiter theoretically would.
  • Standard of the Emperor Ascendant - Both Command Squad and Honor Guard can take it, but only one per army. An improvement on the Chapter Banner, it gives the model carrying it (and his unit) Fear, gives Fearless instead of re-rolls, and still gives +1 Attack. The entry no longer specifies that it doesn't stack with the Chapter Banner or Kantor's +1 Attack, in case you want the killiest, most expensive deathstar possible.
  • Tears of the Scorpion (Red Scorpions)(Forge World) - IA4 2E grants the Scorpions some bonus tools to use as upgrades for their relic blades. These weapons will generally take the form of some other weapon, with a universal Two-Handed and Murderous Strike (6 to-wound is ID).
    • Sword: Relic Blade with the above rules, better since it has the chance of causing ID.
    • Axe: Power Axe with +2S and -1I in combat. Awesome because it's an AP2 weapon that strikes before other Axes and Fists.
    • Maul: Power Maul with +3S and Strikedown instead of Concussive. Shame Strikedown doesn't really matter in combat.
    • Glaive: Rules as Written this thing is awesome, it actually is WORSE on the charge (the rules say use the first profile which is the inferior AP3 one) acting only as a two handed power sword with murderous strike. But all other situations have it as a +2S AP2 weapon which strikes in Initiative order, use this until a FAQ comes out to fix them.
  • Panoply of the Crusader (Forge World)- It's a set of Artificer Armor that grants Stubborn and Preferred Enemy (Chaos Space Marines). Costly, both points-wise and because the model representing it is a Forge World exclusive. Might be fair enough if you're fighting CSMs, but in just about any other circumstance you may as well take Terminator Armor.
    • See the drop-down portals for each unique chapter and their relics.

Legacies of Glory (Forge World)[edit]

These can essentially turn your vehicles into special characters. A single legacy can be taken each 1000pts, and individual vehicles can take multiple legacies. However, only one of each can be taken per army.

  • Battle of Keylek- Blast weapons used by this vehicle ignore cover. Quite frankly amazing on vindicators, plasma dreadnoughts, predator executioners, and the fellblade.
  • Ullanor Crusade- A tank that takes this gains Preferred Enemy (Orks). A walker will gain Hatred (Orks). Enemy models within charging range (12") of the vehicle must re-roll successful To-Hit rolls in the 1st round of each combat.
  • War of Murder- Monster Hunter and friendly Space Marines within 6" are fearless.
  • Battle of Sarosh- Once per game, one weapon gains Skyfire, Intercept, Tank Hunter, and Night Vision. Only really good against flyers due to Skyfire changes; however, it can also wreck xeno hover tanks.
  • Isstvan III- Preferred Enemy (Chaos Space Marines) and auto-pass dangerous terrain tests in ruins and 'similar'.
  • Burning of Prospero- Adamantium Will, which is improved to +2 Deny-the-Witch against Witchfire powers.
  • Isstvan V Dropsite Massacre- (Vehicles with Deep Strike Only) Never scatters when entering play via Deep Strike. Really nice for an air force army, as this can drop your flyers exactly where you want to make it hurt.
  • Battle of Calth- Preferred Enemy (Chaos Space Marines), enemy Warlords within 12" suffer -1Ld.
  • Battle of Signus Prime- Preferred Enemy (Chaos Daemons), friendly models that start the turn within 6" of the vehicle have Furious Charge until the end of that turn.
  • Battle of the Phall System- Thunder Hawks and Storm Eagles only. +1 Jink save, a superheavy flyer will gain a 6+ Jink save.
  • Thramas Crusade- All friendly Space Marines within 12" are Fearless. Kinda iffy since you already have ATSKNF to bolster your forces.
  • Schism of Mars- Tanks only. Tank Hunters, +1BS against models with Daemonforge, ignore Haywire on a D6 of 4+.
  • Battle of Terra- IWND, pretty straight forward, Costs a lot, so save it for your bigger and already expensive vehicles to make them unkillable.
  • Icon of Glory- The most expensive legacy, grants +1 BS or WS and grants a 6" increase on the range of the Warlord's Trait if he's within 2" of the vehicle. However, the vehicle also confers a victory point if destroyed because it's so precious.
  • Shrouded Providence- Gives the vehicle Venerable, but makes it behave like an Ally of Convenience in your own detachment (therefore cannot transport units) or a Desperate Ally in allied detachments. Save it for something that'd probably be in the thick of it anyway.
  • Ancient Mariner- The vehicle (and any unit previously transported) gets to re-roll mysterious terrain or "Archeotech Artifact" tables... this is extremely situational, but it's the cheapest legacy.

Relic of the Armoury (Forge World)[edit]

The most ancient and revered relics of the chapter are seldom left unto the battlefield unattended. The rule is mostly used on the 30K units that can also be taken in regular 40K games, like all Contemptor variants, the Fire Raptor and really anything with "Relic" in its name. Only one vehicle with this special rule can be taken in your army. If you wish to include more such vehicles a Keeper of the Relics must be taken as an HQ choice. IA2 specifies this character as a Master of the Forge for the regular Codex: Space Marines. As of 7E there is no longer a Master of the Forge. Forge World emails claim that, until an Errata is published, the regular Techmarine fills in as Keeper of the Relics.

  • NB - Contemptors are only Relics if they take relic weaponry (Graviton and Plasma blasters for DCCW weapons, and Heavy Conversion beamers)

Unit Analysis[edit]

HQ Units[edit]

  • Captain - A Captain is a versatile and useful HQ choice, but he's going to need more than just a power weapon or fist to do well. Storm Shield should be strongly considered, and a few of the Relics are worth taking to make him a strong combatant. You can tailor his wargear to fit him into a variety of units, such as Sternguard, Vanguards, Terminators, etc. A good build is giving him Artificer Armor, the Burning Blade and a Storm Shield - 180 points for a pretty cost-effective beat-stick, which can then be paired with support units like a Librarian or a Command Squad with an Apothecary. The Shield Eternal is a great upgrade, especially if you upgrade to a Chapter Master to get more out of Eternal Warrior. Keep in mind that the Shield Eternal's Adamantium Will also works great for a Librarian (covered in the Libby's entry below). Terminator Armor should only be considered if you need Deep Strike, otherwise Artificer Armor is cheaper for the same durability and a Bike gives you Relentless and other valuable benefits. Worth noting that Termie Captains can now grab Relic Blades like normal Captains. Also worth noting is that Terminator Armor comes with a power weapon and a storm bolter included, so if you were going to take those items anyway then it's actually cheaper than Artificer Armor plus those upgrades.
    • The Biker Captain deserves special mention; Biker Marines are a very nasty build, so it is worth taking a Captain for allowing Bikers as Troops should you want to do so. For a cheap Biker Command Squad leader, give him a Relic Blade and a Bike; you might also consider gearing him for solo work with a Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield, Artificer Armour and other upgrades (amusingly, despite the rationale behind the Storm Shield and the two-handed Relic Blade seeming to interfere with each other, nothing in the rules prevents a model from using both at once).
    • Terminator Captain (Angels of Death): Mostly the same as the Codex version, but he also has the option to become Cataphractii for free. Cataphractii has a rule allowing Captains to reroll 1s on invulnerable saves. RAW, it looks like this still holds up if you take a Storm Shield. This makes him more survivable, but a lot less reliable for assault. If you give him Cataphractii, he also gets Slow and Purposeful rather than Relentless. Since S&P affects the whole squad, you can toss him in with your Devastators, Thunderfire Cannons, or any of a bajillion allied units to give them move and shoot shenanigans. Apparently, though, Chapter Masters aren't allowed to wear Cataphractii armor, as the Terminator Captain can't be upgraded to a Master.
      • SMASHFUCKER PRIME, Smashfucker in Caraphractii Armour, is even harder to kill than his Chapter Master version due to rerolling his 3++ being better than +1 T in most cases.
    • Chapter Master: - Like Grey Knights, the Chapter Master is now a purchased upgrade for a Captain. 40 points gets you the Orbital Strike, an extra wound and an extra attack. With Honor Guard and Command Squads moving to Elites, the only distinction between a Captain and CM is their statline, cost, and Orbital Strike. Due to the number of wargear options and Chapter Tactics, there are a few rather infamous builds for Chapter Masters:
      • MURDERWINGS: Raven Guard Chapter Master with Artificer Armour, Jump Pack, and Swiftstrike & Murder. Consider using this variant of a Chapter Master if you ever need something to rape hordes with an ungodly number of attacks on the charge. Due to the current FAQ, just give MURDERWINGS a basic jump pack since Raven's Fury and a Jump Pack are the same price (and he can only take 1 relic).
      • SMASHFUCKER: Iron Hands Chapter Master with Artificer Armour, Gorgon's Chain, weapons of your choice, and a Bike. He's the Adamantium Wall to MURDERWINGS's chainsaw-hands; consider using him if you want a warlord that is stupidly hard to kill. He's not invulnerable, of course; he still dies to the D and a few other things, so don't play recklessly.
  • Librarian - A pretty good (if not the best) HQ choice, cheap and a capable force multiplier. Rolling for powers makes it difficult to build a gameplan around a specific ability, but certain disciplines are almost guaranteed to provide useful powers (i.e. Divination's Primaris power) - choose carefully. Unlike the Captain and the Chaplain, he does not come stock with an Invulnerable save - if you need him to be sturdier, Terminator armor gives 2+/5++ with the option of a storm shield. Of special note is The Shield Eternal, due to Adamantium Will combining with his Psychic Hood to let you Deny psychic attacks or Maledictions on 4+ rolls (or 3+ if it's your ML2 Librarian against an ML1 psyker's spell), including the ability to Deny for nearby friendly units. Suck on that, Eldar! Librarians can roll powers from Fulmination, Librarius, Geokinesis, Technomancy, Biomancy, Pyromancy, Daemonology, Divination, Telekinesis, and/or Telepathy.
    • REMINDER: If you feel daring enough to take a Daemonology power on a Librarian (yes, Librarians can use both Sanctic and Malefic powers), that they will roll Perils on any doubles, not just on double sixes. If you really need Banishment/Sanctic, and consider Perils that bad, consider allying with a detachment of Grey Knights or Iron Hands (FNP will help you mitigate problems from Perils). If summoning Daemons is really your thing (and what kind of Chapter would?) (Hello? Yes, this is the Exorcists Chapter, for all your Loyalist daemon-summoning needs!), then consider just playing Chaos Space Marines because allying with Daemons is Come the Apocalypse, and that's not gonna roll well for you.
  • Chaplain - A wonderful companion for Assault Marines, Vanguard Veterans, or Bikers, his melee-boosting abilities are quite helpful, and he's pretty damned good himself. If you're not putting him on a Bike or a Jump Pack and don't mind locking into specific Chapter Tactics, consider taking Ortan Cassius instead if you can afford the extra 40 points, or Grimaldus for his particular set of toys. The Crozius Arcanum is just a Power Maul, so he's always S6 AP4. Chaplains ostensibly fit nice into the Black Templars, wherein they will boost a basic squad's fighting ability - and you should expect to get your Templars in close combat or something has gone horribly wrong.
  • Techmarine - The Master of the Forge may be done away with, but the Techie now has his statline for a paltry 15-point increase just like the Dark Eldar Haemonculus (it's not even a real increase since the 15pt Power Axe is now folded into his default wargear). Unfortunately, he has a hard time keeping up with the vehicles he's supposed to repair, unless he's, you know, INSIDE of it (or on a bike, which helps his survivability too). Bolster Defenses boosts the cover save of any non-fortification terrain piece by one to a max of 3+ cover, combining nicely with Scout camo cloaks or anything that has Stealth. The conversion beamer upgrade lets you shit out pie-plate death that gets nastier at extreme range. The servo-harness upgrade gives an extra servo-arm (so 2 Specialist Weapons, yay), a flamer and a plasma cutter (12" twin-linked plasma pistol), improving his melee output, repair ability, and short-ranged shooting (if using the flamer and/or plasma cutter during the Shooting phase, you can shoot two different guns, although it remains to be seen if this stacks with Gunslinger, extra short-ranged AP 2 is a real possibility if you want it). Although either Servo option no longer grants extra attacks in of itself, it does make it easier to get extra attacks with other Specialist Weapons, without giving up Shooting the way other Fist 'n Claw builds do.
  • Servitors - Each Servitor taken alongside a Techmarine adds 1 to the Blessings roll for each one that has a servo-arm (which it comes with stock). They are 10 points each, to a maximum of 5 (you won't ever need more than 3 for repair purposes, though). You can trade the servo-arm for a heavy bolter (10 pts), multi-melta (10 pts) or plasma cannon (20 pts), but at BS3 and losing the bonus to repair rolls, it's kinda wasteful. If there's no Techmarine with them, they Mindlock on a roll of 3 or worse and stand there doing nothing, getting shot or punched in their pasty grey faces.
  • Damocles Rhino (Forge World) Yes, an HQ vehicle! It doesn't take an HQ slot, but can't fill the mandatory one either. Although the most expensive in terms of real money, point-wise it's one of your cheapest HQs. Armed with nothing but a Storm Bolter and a Searchlight for defense, with no transport capacity, it may not seem like an obvious choice. In fact, the Damocles' true power lies in its incredible support abilities - it allows a single Orbital Bombardment in the same way as a Chapter Master, lets a teleporting unit deep-strike within 12" without scattering, and allows the owning player to modify reserve rolls by plus or minus one. In a Terminator-heavy army, the Damocles is one of the best choices you can make. Also, don't buy it. The Damocles is by far the easiest and cheapest Rhino variant to convert with whatever crap you might have lying around. Special mention to Anton Narvaez (see below) and this thing. Synergizes beautifully together both on the table and in the fluff.
  • Space Marine Command Tanks (Warhammer World Exclusive) - The new Warhammer World tanks both take up 1 Force Org slot, so you can have an HQ AND both of these awesome tanks! Also, can be used with Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Space Wolves due to the Designer's note in the White Dwarf containing their rules. Their exclusivity is made up for by being able to give Marines some serious anti-whatever tools and other support. Compared to the stock equivalents, for 115 points you lose a little Transport capacity on the Rhinos, but gain an incredible laundry list of Special Rules, a better gun on the Raider to replace its Heavy Bolter, a better gun on the Rhino to make it a Razorback-Lite, and a fire magnet like no other. Your enemy WILL do everything in his power to blow your Rhino off the board before it gets to fire its Orbital Bombardment.
    • Rhino Primaris - Gives access to another source for a one-use 7" Blast Orbital Strike, and has a fancy Servo-skull hub which can either grant a unit within 12" Snap-shots (including overwatch) at full Ballistic Skill (Giving that OP Invisibility the middle finger), restore a nearby vehicle's hull point on a 2+, or give said unit Fearless. Also, you can co-ordinate Reinforcements by selecting a unit held in reserves to automatically come on.
    • Land Raider Excelsior - Comes with a Grav-cannon and Grav-amp for those re-rolls to wound and immobilize and lascannon sponsons. Also has a 6+ Invuln and ignores Crew Shaken/Stunned results. Also can grant a single unit in 12" (which can be boosted to 18" for 10 points) one of a huge selection of special rules for the turn (Counter-Attack, Fearless, Hit & Run, Interceptor, Preferred Enemy, Skyfire, Split Fire, or Tank Hunter), and gets +1 BS if a Rhino Primaris is within 24".

Special Characters[edit]

Space Marine players also have access to a variety of special characters, most of which change how the whole army works. They're all fairly expensive, and, as such, should be viewed as force multipliers to be taken with specific synergistic units, rather than stand-alone beatsticks.

Ultramarines[edit]
  • Cato Sicarius - A somewhat expensive "utility" Captain. He comes with Artificer Armour, a Power Sword with a special trick (see below), natural Feel no Pain 5+ and a Plasma Pistol; he gives to one Ultramarines Tactical squad (who doesn't need to be in his detachment, but does need to be friendly Ultramarines) either Counter-Attack, Infiltrate, Scout, or Tank Hunters. Also gives you a +1 to Reserve Rolls, and his Warlord Trait allows friendly Space Marine units from his detachment to use his Ld for Morale Tests if he is the Warlord. He now has Furious Charge as standard, which is an improvement and a setback, as now he can't give it to his unit, but has it for himself all game. Cato is pretty average in close combat, being a bit tougher than most Space Marine characters (2+ armor, Feel No Pain) and having the option to replace his normal number of attacks with a single Instant Death attack at +2 S. But, other than that, he's just got 4 power sword attacks. He's got a nice laundry list of utility, great durability, and fair combat prowess. He also has the benefit of being the Captain of the 2nd Company so 99% of Smurf players are already using his gold Company Heraldry on their models and therefore he could be taken in all Ultramarine armies, unless it's one of the 3 Ultramarine armies in the world that isn't painted as the 2nd Company. By the way, his loadout is the default loadout for 4th Edition Captains, so he is somewhat nostalgic. And he is a glory whore, really.
    • Redemption Calls (Apocalypse) - Like Mac Daddy, Sicarius gets a boost to his finest hour when within 18" of necron big vehicles/monsters by jumping his WS/BS to 10 and giving him a free Vortex Grenade. This is marginally better than the Herculean feat, mostly because it gives him a re-roll on his plasma pistol shot, but even against most Necron opponents, he was already hitting on 3s so the WS boost is essentially only getting -1 on hits against him. The Vortex Grenade is what makes it special, as it will make that superheavy go "poof".
  • Varro Tigurius - Tigurius is a pretty expensive Librarian (costing 40 more pts than a level 2 Lib in Terminator Armour with Storm Shield) who only has Power Armor (though, unlike a generic Librarian, he has three wounds instead of two). What he lacks in durability, however, he makes up in sheer psychic might: he is a Mastery Level 3 psyker with access to all the BRB disciplines, and can also re-roll any roll on the dice when he generates powers, making him much more likely to get a set of powers that you want. Also, he allows his Detachment to re-roll any reserves roll, even successful ones. But his special equipment is what makes him really stand out: the Hood of Hellfire is a Psychic Hood that also allows him to re-roll any failed psychic test (which is amazing in 7th edition), and the Rod of Tigurius is a Master Crafted Psychic Staff with Soul Blaze (which is not as awesome, but still pretty useful, especially if you pick Biomancy). Finally, if you make him your Warlord then you get his fixed Warlord Trait, meaning that once in each shooting phase, he grants Rending on all shooting attacks to one unit within 12" taken from his Chapter, which is pretty darn sweet. It may be best to keep him behind the lines where he can place numerous blessings on your units (especially the Warlord Trait, which can be nasty when paired with Devastators or Centurion Devastators) and improve reserve rolls, as his baseline stats are relatively fragile - in this role, he is the perfect example of a Supporting HQ. However, Biomancy powers can turn him into a combat beast quite readily, potentially being S9 AP2 T7 A6 (7 on the charge) I7 Eternal Warrior and FNP 4+.
  • Ortan Cassius - Special character Chaplain with T6 and Feel No Pain. He's also packing a combi-flamer with the boltgun being Master-Crafted and Poisoned (2+), while still carrying a bolt pistol and crozius for the +1 Attack. If you're planning on taking a Chaplain and don't mind taking Ultramarines Chapter Tactics, it might as well be this guy, as he's only 10 points more than a Chaplain in Terminator Armor and way tougher to kill. He and his unit now cause Fear thanks to his Warlord Trait. Make a unit consisting of only him and Calgar or a vanilla Chapter Master for some majority toughness dickery.
  • Torias Telion - Curiously now made into an HQ choice now and is one of the cheapest named HQs, though he can only be stuck in with Scouts (Sadly, it's unlikely we'll be seeing Naaman ever again). Telion gives you a 2 shot Sniper Rifle that always scores precision shots. He can also forfeit his shooting (aww) to allow one model in his squad to shoot at BS 6 (say, a scout with a missile launcher). Useful for putting pressure on your opponent and picking off specialists with sniper fire, which he will do least once in a game on average (problem, hidden Power Fists?). Also worth noting that he gives free Stealth to his unit. So combined with the Techmarine-ruin-camo cloak strategy (see Scouts), or even hidden in regular area terrain, his 2+ cover save makes him tough to flush out. Also gets "Storm of Fire" as his warlord trait, which allows him to give any Ultramarine withing 12" Rending. Combine with 3 Thunderfire cannons for maximum tears.
  • Antaro Chronus - Even though he's technically an upgrade to a tank, he's now another budget HQ for the Ultras to buy. He makes it BS 5, gives it IWND, and ignores shaken and stunned results. Great, for a shooty tank, and since he's now an HQ and an FA/HS (Because Rhinos/Razorbacks are Fast Attack now) slot all in one, you can now spend those points you'd have spent on another HQ on bolstering the tank or maybe more troops. The new Codex gave him a free extra wound, so now he can't become insta-dead the moment his tank blows up. But with a generally mediocre statline plus a bolt pistol, a servo-arm, and frag/krak grenades as his only weapons, he's pretty much worthless without his tank. Hilariously, one could heavily exploit RAW/RAI and not have Chronus "in his tank." The rules only state that when you add him, you have to buy a tank and give it the Special Rules in the book, but it does not say Chronus is actually in the tank. This will lead to him teleporting the moment his tank blows up though.
  • Captain Centos (100th Store Anniversary) - In celebration for opening 100 stores worldwide (or at least having 100 running), GeeDubs decided to re-build an old Space Marine captain sculpt. Though he has no points cost listed, he is essentially an Ultramarines Captain with a Fist. He also enables the use of the Tactical Doctrine once per game in an Ultras detachment/formation. Not that shabby, but at least he looks nice.
  • Anton Narvaez (Forge World): Marines Errant commander, though new to his position, only recently promoted from the position of a ship captain, and his stats tell, spotting -1 WS compared to the regular cap. He comes with a power weapon, bolt pistol, MC plasma gun and 3+ invuln instead of 4+ (with 50% chance to lose it each time it fails). He also has Scout and Move Through Cover USR’s. Can select D3 units of Tacticals, Devastators, Sternguard, or himself and any Command Squad he has with him to Deep Strike via teleportation rolling 3 dice drop highest for scatter if they don't get a 'hit'. Overall a nice and cheap tactical HQ. Also insanely useful for a minimum chance of scatter deepstrike assassination squad using him and a command squad equipped with plasma/melta/grav death.
  • Mordaci Blaylock (Forge World): Novamarines terminator-captain with master-crafted and shredding chainfist and storm bolter (WTF?). He can make his terminator squad choose to fail or pass any morale test and he and his squad are immune to pinning tests, makes terminators scoring and… that’s all, although he has a static Warlord Trait of Champion of Humanity. He cost 30 pts. more than vanilla captain with his wargear, so, take him only if you have a lot of termies, Though if you are, why aren't your playing Dark Angels?
  • Tarnus Vale (Forge World): Fire Angels captain with… WHAT? Plasma pistol and chainsword? What the fuck? Why 165 points? He got nerfed in the update, But then you realize that he has Stubborn and Tank Hunters... as does any Transport he's in... which can also use his Ballistic Skill. In addition all of your Razorbacks, Rhinos and Land Raiders get 5+ Invulnerable saves against Glancing Hits, nice but not broken.
  • Chaplain-Dreadnought Titus (Forge World): Howling Griffons dreadnought with +1 attack, which can reroll failed to hit roll in CC, and make everyone within 12” fearless.
Iron Hands[edit]
  • Vaylund Cal (Forge World): Sons of Medusa Master of the Forge with iron halo, thunder hammer, servo-harness, and monstrous creature stat line. Being an Iron Hand he gets FnP 6+ and It Will Not Die and +1 to Repair rolls. While expensive as hell, he could put a lot of hurt in close combat and extremely hard to kill for his T6. For further expense, he can give Devastator squads in the army Toughness 5 for 50 points per squad (flat, not per model), but don't expect it to save you against plasma firepower.
Imperial Fists[edit]
  • Darnath Lysander - One of the toughest kids on the block. Lysander is a Space Marine Captain, but has Eternal Warrior, 4 wounds, Terminator armor, a Storm Shield and a S10 MC Thunder Hammer. His utility has mostly been lost from previous editions, but the destructive power of Lysander is undeniable as nobody else can deliver strength 10 close combat attacks and take the equivalent in return. It is worth noting that Lysander also allows all friendly Imperial Fists within 12" to reroll Morale, Fear (for that 0.0% chance you have to roll for fear as a Space Marine player...), and Pinning checks, including himself, which ensures your battle line remains intact and friendly units are always on hand to respond to any changes in the field. Seriously though, his unwieldy initiative and 3 attacks mean he won't be clearing tarpits very well, but in a challenge he has been proven one of the greatest character slayers in the game. He can go toe-to-toe with Calgar, Moloc, Ghazghkull, or Abaddon with a good chance of winning. Also now has Feel no Pain if he is the Warlord! Just to make sure he can't die EVER. Put him in an Assault Terminators squad and watch the carnage.
  • Pedro Kantor - While Pedro boasts the same statline as a regular Chapter Master, his viability is assured not by smashfacing, but by the numerous support special rules he carries. First up is the ability to confer Objective Secured to Sternguard Veterans, which allows these flexible units a greater degree of use on the field, holding down any objectives they might have cleared rather than waiting on a troops choice to move in and pick it up. In addition, all friendly units in his detachment get the Preferred Enemy (Orks) special rule, and any same-detachment models within 12" gain +1 attack, amplifying the combat potential of all your specialists such as Vanguard Vets, Terminators, and Honor Guard, or simply making your gunline a much less juicy target for a charge. In terms of equipment and rules, Pedro suffers from the lack of Eternal Warrior, making him very vulnerable to S8+ weapons; this of course is evident in close combat, where his powerfist is more of a hindrance than a boon. In the 7th edition codex, though, he suddenly remembered that he's a Chapter Master with access to all his chapter's armoury, and so grabbed a suit of Artificer Armour for that delicious 2+ save that makes a world of difference. Also, he has Feel no Pain if he is the Warlord, meaning he can now tank "small" (up to Plasma Guns/Cannons) arms fire a bit. Alternatively, Pedro can sit just outside of close combat, as one of his main strengths is Dorn's Arrow, a unique 4-shot storm bolter with an AP of 4 which allows Pedro to suppress light units and deal quite a few casualties to any less-than-MEQ unit in the open (obviously working perfectly with a fusillade of Kraken bolts from a Sternguard unit). This is topped by the Chapter Master's standard Orbital Bombardment, allowing him to deliver a nasty payload on any unit you see fit. Interestingly enough, he is also extremely cheap: a Chapter Master with Power Fist and Artificer Armour is only 10 points less, and wouldn't have his multiple buffs nor Dorn's Arrow.
    • Pedro can do something very, very unique in 7th edition. He allows you to run a unbound army list with all the OP/fluffy fun that entails while also giving you objective secured, namely on your Sternguard. Let me tell you, having seen it done, this may be one of the most rage inducing armies there are. Forget five riptides, an army of sternguard with combi-meltas or combi-gravs will eat it for lunch. With the right mix of combi-weapons and special ammo, you can kill nearly anything with high efficiency unless it's a 4+ or better unit hiding in cover (and even then...). The most bitter, bitter pill, is that the squads have Objective Secured so even trying to play to the objectives won't help all that much.
    • PS: As of the 7E Codex, Pedro's attack aura now stacks with other sources of bonus attacks. That means you can run Pedro in a unit of Honor Guard with the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant and give all units within 12" +2 attacks. Counter-charging Sternguard with 5A each? Now who's the punchy sons of Dorn? To double up on this cheese, the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant stacks with the Chapter Banner. If he, an Honour Guard unit with a Chapter Banner, and a Command Squad flying the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant are all near something, it gets +3A, including dreadnoughts. Coupled with the decreased cost of power swords on vanguard veterans, +3A means they each get a total of 7A on the charge (2A base, +1 for 2CCW, +1 for charging, +1 for Kantor, +1 for Chapter Banner, +1 for SotEA).. and their Heroic Intervention's boost to multi-charging might suddenly begin looking useful if two (or even three) enemy MEQ units are standing close enough to each other.
Black Templars[edit]
  • High Marshal Helbrecht - Helbrecht is the High Marshal (Chapter Master) of the Black Templars. He has the stats of a regular chapter master with artificer armor, a combi-melta, a master-crafted power sword that gives him d3 bonus attacks on the charge, and the Imperium's Sword Warlord trait, who significantly improved in the 7th edition codex, giving him and his squad Furious Charge, instead of a one-use only ability. Ignore his lack of an Orbital Bombardment; Helbrecht should never be standing still, so he wouldn't be able to use it anyway. His wargear isn't anything special, but he's pretty point efficient for what you get. With the bonus from his sword he can get an ungodly seven attacks on a charge, plus whatever rage bonus he might get, meaning he's likely to eat most of a squad. His special rule, Crusade of Wrath, grants him and all other Black Templars Hatred and Fleet for one assault phase, making for a truly horrific army-wide charge. His sword is only AP3 so he'll still get bogged down by 2+ saves. Also, due to the rules for Hatred, units already locked in close combat will not get the bonus from it when he uses Crusade of Wrath, so don't expect it to break your units out of tarpits they're already stuck in.
    • Note: Due to GW's 'unique' codex writing skills, Helbrechts charge bonus will RAW ignore his chapter tactics, however if RAI are to be applied and your opponent isn't a dick then you should get 1+d3 attacks on the charge as the sword of high marshals only takes 'the normal +1 bonus attack from charging' so he still gets another one for rage (that sounds RAW to me?).
  • Chaplain Grimaldus - Another Black Templars character, he is basically a standard Chaplain with +1 W and A, a MC Plasma Pistol and IWND. He also projects the Zealot Rule in a 6" area, giving it to any Black Templars unit in it, while his servitors also project the FnP special rule to any Black Templars unit within 6" of him. He's not a frontline dueling character, but he works well if used with Helbrecht to make your Crusader Squads enter BEAST MODE.
    • Note: FnP termies are incredible, and if your opponent allows you to play Grimaldus and his retinue as being able to join a squad (like the space wolves and their ability to join fenresian units to a squad that has the 'owner' in it), and makes termies survivable enough to need 27 marines to wound ONCE.
  • Emperor's Champion - The third Black Templars character. For 140 points you get a Captain with reduced BS (meh), W and A and unique equipment and rules that make him one of the best Character hunters in the game. First things first, The Black Sword is a S+2 AP2 Master crafted melee weapon that is not Unwieldy/Specialist/Two-Handed, so he gets +1 Attack for two weapons and strikes at initiative. Secondly, he has a 2+/4++ armor, making him pretty sturdy. Lastly, he must always issue or accept challenges when possible...which is not as bad as it sounds, considering that during a challenge he re-rolls failed To Hit rolls and inflicts Instant Death on any roll of 6 to wound. Bring it on!
    • As a side note, the Emperor's Champion can be taken in the GSF's Strike Force Command section, alongside another character. If you have a big assaulty unit in your list, it might just be worth it to add Helbrecht for Furious Charge/Hatred/Fleet, then throw in the Emperor's Champion to handle challenges. Remember, this is damned expensive.
      • As a side, side note, If your Templars are okay with some Inquisition, then you can put a xenos inquisitor with all the grenades, making his ap2 initiative sword instant death to all Toughness 4 and below, making him able to take on every space marine character that does not have eternal warrior.
Raven Guard[edit]
  • Kayvaan Shrike - A Space Marine Captain (now Chapter Master as of Kauyon, but GW didn't bother giving him rules to reflect his new rank) with a Jump Pack and two master-crafted rending lightning claws. His special rule See, But Remain Unseen gives Infiltrate and Stealth, but only allows him to join Jump Infantry before deployment; thanks to a FAQ entry, he can legally join your Jump Infantry (which would otherwise be illegal, as Infiltrate would block him from joining them) and grants the unit Infiltrate when he does. Shrike is all about striking at the right time and place: he can infiltrate a Vanguard Vet squad near an opponent's weak point in their front line, or on a flank to wreak havoc in their back field. He is not designed to go toe-to-toe with Abaddon: he exploits weakness in the true Raven Guard way and he actually synergizes really well with the rest of his army and gets the most from their Chapter Tactics. Go hunt some skimmers, Long Fangs, or the like while your Scouts pick up other threats, and then cut back in and slaughter their front line from behind the moment your line connects.
    • Beacon of Hope (Apocalypse): A lesser version of the same rule that Azrael gets for his Finest Hour, but can be activated on the turn (or turn after) he arrives from reserve. Granting friendly Imperial Guard units within 24" Fearless & Counter-attack. While Fearless can be useful considering the huge amount of casualties involved in Apocalypse games, it requires you to be teamed up with Guard and so doesn't give any further benefit to Shrike's finest hour unfortunately.
  • Shadow Captain Solaq (Strike Force Solaq) - A limited-edition Captain with a Power Sword and a Plasma Pistol. Adding onto that, he also has a unique relic (the ridiculous face-bird) that forces anyone firing at him to test Leadership or else they can only fire snap-shots at him. This pretty much makes him a good match for Guard Tau as he manages to deny most of their shenanigans...until they begin throwing down Markerlights.
  • Shadow Captain Korvydae (Forge World): One of the few non-Badab War Forgeworld characters, he is a Captain with Artificer Armour, Thunder Hammer, Jump Pack, and Melta Bombs. Costing 5 points LESS than a normal Captain with the same wargear, while giving his squad Hit and Run (only if the squad is equipped with jump packs, but why would you put him in a squad without them?) and makes assault squads a troop choice! He also forces you to take at least one scout squad in your force, but that's not a bad bargain, all things considered. In short, he allows you to build a fluffy RG army while being a lot cheaper, killier, and more survivable than Shrike (which is quite sad...). Not the strongest Special Character in existence, but an excellent one for the Raven Guard.
    • Do note that he doesn't come with a Warlord Trait, so feel free to roll on any table you want. Like a true Shadow Captain, you should adapt your force to your opponent.
    • Also of note is his lack of chapter tactics. That's only natural, since he is a relic of the past and his rules were never updated (Forge World seems intent on updating all the Imperial Armour Books, so it shouldn't be long) but don't let That Guy find this out, because he will exploit the absence of the rule and use it against you, and sadly you won't be able to do anything to argue against him.
Salamanders[edit]
  • Vulkan He'stan - Vulkan has the same stat-line as a Captain (while not actually a Captain currently in the fluff, he was one before becoming Forgefather). Vulkan is tricked out for up-close-and-dirty face-bashing with essentially the best gear possible (Artificer armor, 3+ Invulnerable Save, Master-crafted Relic Blade, and a Heavy Flamer/Digital Weapon). Use him to kill any and all infantry short of TEQ. His Warlord Trait, Iron Resolve, gives him Feel no Pain, further enhancing his resilience. Also, if he is the Warlord, he adds onto the "Chapter Tactics (Salamanders)" rule by making ALL meltaguns, combi-meltas, and multi-meltas in his detachment Master-Crafted. Enemy vehicle crews will shit themselves at the very thought of drop podding melta squads. Taking him results in a chain reaction: you want a lot of melta to make the most out of his Awesome special rule, thus making your army even more focused on short range firepower. Not really a problem though, since you're Salamanders. You did take lot of flamers too, right??
    • With his 2+/3++, Vulkan fits in nicely with a squad of Thunder Hammer Terminators, and since he strikes at initiative 5, he can take out those pesky power fists in the enemy squad before they mulch your expensive terminators.
    • Since this applies to combi-meltas, you can get rerolls on the bolter portion, too. If you take He'Stan and Sternguard and give them combi-meltas, then the boltgun and special ammo components also get master-crafted. As the new GW FAQ team on Facebook just confirmed that it makes the entire weapon master-crafted, this is definitely both RAW and RAI.
    • Don't forget to master-craft his pistol. It won't come up often, but it's one more advantage if you have to shoot something outside template range.
  • Pellas Mir’San (Forge World): The Winter Blade, Captain of the Salamanders 2nd company and cheap for what he gives: he has the standard Captain profile, but with +1 WS, and comes with Artificer Armour, a Close Combat Weapon and a Combi-Flamer. He also has one special weapon (Cinder Edge) that's basically a Master Crafted Power Sword with AP 2. It still strike only at S4, sadly, but is one of the rare AP 2 weapons that isn't Unwieldy, and isn't Two-Handed or Specialist Weapon, so he gets the +1 attack for his extra sword! He was clearly designed for challenges, as his warlord trait give him 1 victory point for any character he slain in challenges, while his Master Duelist rule allows him to either give himself +1 attack or his opponent -1 while in a challenge. For his cost he is one of the best challengers in the game, but remember to keep him away from the real heavyweights: he wouldn't last 2 seconds. Lastly he can pick whether his squad auto-passes or auto-fails Morale checks, which gives you some extra tactical flexibility.
    • All in all he is a good and cheap support/fighter HQ, although, sadly, he doesn't compare to the other special options you get, not giving anything to your army except for the squad he is in, while not being a close combat monster like a lot of other special characters.
  • Harath Shen (Forge World): Master Apothecary with the profile of a Chaplain/Librarian, Artificer Armor, Plasma Pistol, Power Sword and Digital Weapons. He has Chapter Tactics (Salamanders) but, strangely enough, he doesn't have a master-crafted weapon (though you can still pick one to master-craft). But don't let that discourage you: for 135 pts, Shen allows you to put FNP 4+ in the squad you need it in, and, while he has no invuln, he gets to reroll Look Out Sir rolls AND gives his squad +1 to the score to determine the result of any assault. If you want 2+/3++/4+++ assault terminators (and who doesn’t?), this guy delivers. Also has a really unique Warlord Trait where you can get victory points back for destroyed friendly units within 6" on a 5+. Not really impressive, but you don't take him for that, you take him for the TROLL!
  • Bray’Arth Ashmantle (Forgeworld): Dreadnought HQ, forged by Primarch Vulkan himself! Bray’Arth is a hell of a monster: with his front armor 13, 4 HP, venerable, extra armour, It Will Not Die and immune to ALL extra dice roll to armor penetration (melta, armourbane, Rending, Kharn, etc.) and to all effects that would reduce his armor, he is almost impossible to kill, without an S10 weapon or some weird shit like haywire or gauss. He also has +1 WS and Attacks compared to a normal Venerable Dreadnought and is armed with two DCCWs with inbuilt Heavy Flamers, which also can count as single Twin-Linked Meltagun. He can also forgo one close combat attack to auto hit anything in base contact with him (Friend or Foe, so be careful and don't forget this) with an S5 AP4 hit at Initiative 1, for when that big unit thinks itself smart and tries to tarpit him for the rest of the game. Basically he can take on everything barring Titans and the like, but beware Swooping Hawks and... Fire Warriors in melee - sure, they only hit him on a 5+ and his Burning Wrath could kill a lot of them, but remember that it happens at initiative 1, which might be too late if he got haywired. Also, his warlord trait (he CAN be the warlord, but only if there are no other HQs) gives him one Victory point for each vehicle with at least one armour value of 12+ and/or Independent Character that he destroys in an assault, but only if there aren't other friendly models in the assault (not really a problem for this Beast). This is awesome since, unlike similar traits, it doesn't state that he needs to be in a challenge for this to work, and he can trash most vehicles like they're not even there. Of course, he is extremely expensive, in both points and pounds, but he totally worth every point and penny. Put him into a Lucius pattern drop pod. Drop him into the middle of the enemy gunline. Laugh maniacally. Field him against Bjorn and make compensating jokes.
White Scars[edit]
  • Kor'sarro Khan - This crazy Mongol adds onto "Chapter Tactics (White Scars)" by giving every Bike Squad and squad embarked in a Rhino or Razorback Scout, which in turn allows for outflanking, allowing them to come in from the side of the table. His Warlord Trait forces friendly Imperials within 12" to reroll failed Morale/Pinning/Fear checks, he has Furious Charge (but only for himself), and he gains d3 VP if he kills the opposing Warlord in a challenge. Other than that, he's an average Captain (who can be upgraded to ride a bike that inflicts d3 HoW attacks) whose power sword just so happens to cause Instant Death on a roll of 6. Since he's really cheap, he is an awesome character for a White Scars army, giving them the ability to strike hard and fast. Outflanking your Scout-ed up dudes might be dicier than with Space Wolves, but he is still well worth his already-low points cost. Thanks to his Warlord trait he works well allied to other Imperial armies, Though note his WT works with 'morale checks', not 'leadership tests', so you can't use him to get rerolls on Sister of Battle Acts of Faith.
    • It's not just his Warlord Trait that makes him and his army ally-friendly; Scout, Skilled Rider, and Hit & Run all confer to the unit, so you can strap his dudes to almost any other Imperium faction for buffy goodness (the only SM chapters they can join without losing Chapter Tactics are Grey Knights and Deathwatch, so the exceptions are Space Wolves, Blood Angels, and Dark Angels).

Forge World[edit]

There are also a lot of special characters from Forge World Badab War IA-s. NOTE: Forge World has released new Chapter Tactics for all the Chapters relevant to these characters. If you take a character with the Chapter Tactics of one of the Forge World Chapters, you have to take them in a detachment of that Chapter. However, some of the Forge World Chapters have the same Chapter Tactics as Chapters in Codex: Space Marines, and you can take those characters in those armies, i.e., Vaylund Cal in an Iron Hands detachment. Most of these characters also have updated rules not yet discussed here.

  • Red Scorpions
    • Lord High Commander Carab Culln: Chapter master, with terminator armor, teleport homer, MC storm bolter and his AP3 MC Power Sword with good ol' 6E Smash, Eternal Warrior and any Red Scorpion in his detachment can use his leadership for Morale and Pinning. His warlord trait (his rules state that if you take him, he MUST be Warlord) gives any Red Scorpions within 12" locked in combat a +1 to combat resolution; +2 if he himself in is a challenge however he can never make a Look Out, Sir!.
    • Commander Carab Culln: Same guy, but back when he was 1st Captain. Most of the same wargear, except his sword is a Tear of the Scorpion, and he still packs Termie Armor and a homer. All Red Scorpions can still use his Ld for Morale and Pinning. Any squad he joins gets Stubborn, Counter-Attack, and can re-roll to-hit when outnumbered in assault. Also, when he's Warlord, all combat occurring within 12" of him gets +1 for his side's combat resolution, upped to +2 if he is in a Challenge. Biggest downside is his inability to take LoS!, but that shouldn't be an issue if you stack him with a Tac or Command Squad to get some FNP.
    • Sevrin Loth: Chief Librarian with ML3, 3A (1 more than vanilla Librarians), a force axe and bolt pistol. He can pick his powers from Biomancy, Telepathy or Telekinesis. Yes, pick, not roll, but they all have to be from the same discipline, so take your choice of Invisibility or Biomancy's amazing spread of goodies. He still has access to the Space Marine psychic power included in the Angels of Death supplement as well. He has a 2+ armor save, so he can be extremely difficult to kill, moreso if Invisibility or Endurance is added in. 7E makes his ability to take Honour Guard an irrelevant relic from 6e, and he also has his own unique Warlord trait that gives 1 VP for any Psyker Character he kills - this can be great against Eldar/GK/Daemons. At 175 points, he is a ludicrous steal given his easy access to 2++ and PICKING HIS POWERS, though only having 2 wounds stings - Endurance/Iron Arm will really help here.
      • Also, since all his powers have to be taken from the same discipline, Psychic Focus applies and he can also throw in the Primaris. It doesn't say you have to generate them randomly, only that your powers all have to be from the same discipline.
  • Astral Claws
    • Lugft Huron: Chapter master, with terminator armor, heavy flamer, and AP2 lightning claw which forces opponent to reroll successful invulns. His orbital bombardment is S10 AP1 ordnance 2, his “Living Legend” rule makes all your army Ld10. He can come back from the dead... but only once. But he is expensive as hell for 235 pts. Still better in combat than Draigo (who's more expensive), and could even take on Abbadon/Swarmlord. He still has orbital bombardment and his warlord trait (who gives counter attack to units that enters from reserve) for support, and can deep strike. Main problem is that he's Astral Claws, with one of the worst chapter tactics. If you take him for his combat ability, then go unbound and bring him by himself in a separate detachment.
    • Corien Sumatris: Captain, with +1WS, -1BS, MC power weapon, which gives him +1 additional attack on charge, storm shield, and some weird 12’’-range assault bolter. His main ability is to give Furious Charge to his squad (and himself) and +1WS to all your infantry within 12’’ of him. At 165 pts. he is a bit costly, so use his special powers properly (obviously, by putting him in dedicated CC squad).
    • Armenneus Valthex: Master of the Forge, also known as “Alchemancer” with conversion beamer and some weird techno-thing called “Indynabula” which counts as two power weapons, and give him 5+ invuln, counter-strike USR. He can also make one squad’s bolters poisoned 2+, turning them to cheap wannabe-sternguards. But why the heck would you do that when you can poison Terminator storm bolters or (with the new pdf update) a Bike Squads twin-linked bolters? Think synergy people! Ever poisoned a Wraithknight to death? It is great fun! And he's surprisingly cheap, assuming his shiny wargear - maybe, to compensate those schizophrenic combination of ranged-oriented and close-combat-oriented bits.
  • Minotaurs
    • Asterion Moloc: Chapter Master with terminator armor, storm shield, and eternal warrior but with basically a Custodes halberd (S+2 AP2 two handed weapon), except it shoots a powerful laser beam once per game instead of bolts. He also gives assault grenades and Fearless to his squad and his "Sanctioned Fratricide" rule give his whole army the Preferred Enemy (Space Marines) at a cost of making all of them desperate allies. He is VERY expensive, but he has one of the few AP2 close combat weapons without unwieldy in a vanilla marine army, and with so many loyal marine armies around, Preferred Enemy could work more often than not. Even when you're not facing Space Marines, Moloc is seriously worth considering for how much of a fucking beast he is in assault
    • Ivanus Enkomi: Chaplain with "Crozius Arkanos" (S:User Master Crafted, Concussive, AP3 with built-in twin linked grenade launcher) Power Fist, jump pack and with +1 initiative, +1 attack, and granting himself and the squad he's in Rage. He costs only 25 pts more than a vanilla chaplain with fist and jump pack.
  • Star Phantoms
    • Zhurukhal Androcles: Star Phantom captain with power fist and combi-melta. Makes Devastator Elites AND Heavy support and little else. Though not as devastating as Vale, he is cheaper and actually have some decent wargear.
  • Mantis Warriors
    • Ahazra Redth: Mantis Warriors chief librarian. He is not a monster-psyker, like Tigurius or Loth, and is only ML2 but generates only one power due to the other one being "Mirage", but he'd still be able to use Psychic Focus and gain a free primaris power out of it. On the other hand he does have a built-in 5+ invuln and is able to re-roll his first failed psychic test. His special psy-power “Mirage” gives his unit Shrouded and, if they're charged, their attackers are forced to make a disordered charge. Also, if he is a Transport Vehicle, the power can even target that Vehicle, which is beyond Awesome. His Warlord trait also gives any squad he joins Night Vision and Interceptor, which is pretty cool, even though you will probably attach him to a pretty choppy squad, so it could be wasted. Finally, of note is that he got +1 W and I compared to a normal Librarian.
      • Take Redth and Honour Guards in a Land Raider. Cast Mirage on LR and screen it with some tall, fast and cheap models (allied Rough Riders comes in mind). Look at your opponent face when he realize your über metal box has 3+ cover.
  • Fire Hawks
    • Elam Courbray: Fire Hawks captain with jump pack and rending power sword, as well as I6. Like Culln, Elam can choose to do a SMASH attack instead but, strangely enough, his smash doesn't give him AP 2, only double strength and reroll for armour penetration. However his sword has rending (and soul blaze...woohoo.) so you still have a slim chance to pass through terminator armour. Very slim (Hint: don't go hunting terminators in melee). Though he isn't a combat monster (but far from a terrible one) he can really buff his squad, giving them Hit and Run and Counter Attack USRs. Also, his warlord trait is a blast attack when he deep strikes which he doesn't need to scatter around. He is also the only space marine character (outside of the blood angels) that can have a command squad with jump packs, making him suddenly a lot more valuable: kit them with a lot of flamers and watch the unholy hell being unleashed against your opponent!
  • Exorcists
    • Silas Alberec: Exorcists captain with a MC Thunder Hammer Hellslayer that always wounds Daemons and Psykers on a 2+ (if S10 isn't enough), bolt pistol, teleport homer, and Iron Halo. He gives FNP 5+ to himself and his unit against ANYTHING with psychic powers or Marks of Chaos or Daemons, and he can have one unit in the detachment reroll failed Deny the Witch rolls. His warlord trait lets you take morale checks on 3D6 and choosing the best and is reasonably priced for his wargear at 185 points. Don't expect to smash Greater Daemons or an Avatar of Kaine with this guy as he still only has a 3+ save and Hellslayer is Unwieldy.
      • His real appeal comes from the fact he can have basically any Chapter Tactics in the game as per Exorcists Chapter Tactics. Iron Hands fits pretty well with him, giving him IWND and a 6+ FNP. Though Black Templars should be seriously considered, as Adamantium Will combined with Deny the Witch rerolls can make for a very potent anti-psyker unit, especially if said unit is Terminators or Honor Guard.
  • Raptors
    • Lias Issodon: Raptors chapter master. Ten fewer points than Shrike, without any of the downsides. He only has a power sword and pistol for close combat, and is -1WS and +1BS compared to a standard chapter master, but is armed with a monstrous 30" Salvo 2/4 bolter with Sternguard special ammunition (that must use the profiles described in C:SM), and can use the Raptor tactic to make his bolter Heavy 1, Rending, which stacks with his Sternguard ammo like it does for all Raptor Sternguard. In short, he is a shooty Chapter Master, which is rare. He has no Invulnerable save, but this is made up for with Artificer Armor and Shrouded. The main reason you would like to take him is his special abilities: he forces a -1 on enemy reserve rolls, can re-roll his own reserves (even successful ones), and he can cripple (or even kill) one enemy unit, MC, or vehicle before the game even starts. Sadly he has no orbital bombardment, but he is relatively cheap considering how he buffs you and nerfs the enemy army, so shut up. Camp his Raptors in cover and shoot people to death like reasonable marines should do.
      • By cripple, we mean "If an army includes Lias Issodon, its controlling player may select a single enemy unit, Monstrous Creature, or vehicle that has been deployed onto the table. After any Scout redeployments have been made, but before the game begins, the chosen unit suffers D6+3 wounds with no AP value if a squad or Monstrous Creature, distributed as shooting hits (assume the attack has originated from the closest unit in Issodon’s force). If the target is a vehicle, it suffers D3 rolls on the Haywire table instead."
      • Thanks to his updated default Warlord Trait in 7th edition, you can now Infiltrate him and up to three units and be able to build around this fact. How about 30 Assault Terminators w/ TH&SS starting 18" from your units for a start? Or how about a squad of Devastator Centurions halfway up the board? 2+ cover saves in ruins (Shrouded) on those bastards is just mean.
      • If you want a fluffy Raptors Command Squad for him. Take a squad of 10 Sternguard and let the Dakka fly. Honor Guard also get to use Raptors chapter tactics if you bring them, but then lose some of their melee potency.
      • As it turns out, Lias Issodon also has rock-solid synergy with a Callidus Assassin, as the two of them combined will force your opponent's first reserve to be done on a 7+, unless this is FAQ'd to a minimum of 6+. The Callidus' ability to re roll Seize The Initiative synergizes well with your infiltrating counter-deployers. And finally, Lias Issodon's "Infiltrate, Isolate, Destroy" ability can be used to greatly soften up enemy deathstars for the Callidus to have a higher chance of snagging Slay The Warlord on turn 1. These two are a perfect duo if you're running a competitive Raptors Army.
  • Carcharodons
    • Tyberos the Red Wake: Carcharodons chapter master with terminator armor and two weapons, which can count as lightning claws or chainfists, and he can allocate hits with either as he wants with 5 base attacks. No iron halo, so his invuln is only 5+. Tyberos himself is a terrifying murderous machine in close combat, when subject to the RAGE USR, he AND every Carcharodon unit that is subject to Rage becomes +1 str for the rest of the battle. His warlord trait 'Savage Beyond Reason' gives him and his unit preferred enemy (infantry). He also allows you to take one LC-terminator unit as troops with the option of Objective Secured Land Raiders, something that only Black Templars Crusader Squads and Grey Knights Terminators can do. And he costs less than a vanilla chapter master with two chainfists.
  • Executioners
    • Thulsa Kane: Executioners high chaplain with artificer armor, plasma pistol and S6 AP2 Unwieldy sword. With +1WS/BS/W/A, eternal warrior and big 12” aura of “reroll 1 on to-wound” he also gives friendly Executioners squads +1 to their assault results and +1 to their sweeping advance provided he is fighting in a challenge. The only thing, Kane don’t have, is jump pack to join assault squad, or terminator armor to join teleporting assault termies.
  • Space Marine Legion Centurion with Early Crusade Honours: Forge World made this guy available up until the end of September 2015 in honour of their website moving to the same form as GW's. While obviously intended to go with Forge World's 30k, the PDF they released with it had a special option for it for use in 40k, despite the character not having the "Chapter Tactics" special rule. If your fellows aren't too rules-lawyery you can equate 30k's "Legiones Astartes" with it. Barebones, he's a cheaper captain with one less BS and Wounds, but with the same initiative and number of attacks. In terms of wargear, he gets artificer armour standard, along with a master-crafted power fist, but loses out on the Iron Halo's valuable invulnerable save. The real stand-out feature of this guy is his option to take "The Panoply of the Crusader": a set of artificer armour from the days of 30k, which inspires the model and any unit he joins to be Stubborn and have Preferred Enemy against Chaos Space Marines, making this guy a good support HQ for a low points cost.

Troops[edit]

  • Tactical Squad - Your bread-and-butter scoring units. These guys don't excel at anything but are decent at everything. Unfortunately, their balance tends to be their downfall as most other basic troops tend to be better at everything than they are (see: Grey Hunters), and they're a tad expensive when fully kitted out. Keep them at a distance if possible, but remember to make effective use of your Rapid Fire range. Great for camping objectives, as their durability is their best selling point. Always take Dedicated Transports with your Tacs, even if they're camping an objective. Metal Boxes make excellent walls and mobile shields for your troops, plus if Tacticals are inside and the Rhino gets charged they can Overwatch from the hatch. These fellas make up the bulk of almost every Space Marines Decurion, so you should get used to them and their capabilities.
    • Important side note, if you plan to assault with these men remember they all have Bolt Pistols, meaning you can unleash 10 bolt shots (or 9 bolts and a krak grenade) before your charge. Generally, though, you shouldn't assault with Tacticals because even if the enemy unit is squishy, you could just Rapid Fire your boltguns instead (unless you want to tie up a squishy enemy that has good shooting but is terrible in close combat or if you want to hide your tacticals on a CC to avoid being shot up from other stuff or you want to deny an imminent Raging/Furious charge of a tough unit). So if you do charge, always remember your pistols/grenades/assault weapons.
    • If you manage to run away and your enemy catches you, your Marines aren't auto-killed but continue the fight instead. Remember this! Next thing to remember, if your enemy does not catch you and you break out in their close-combat phase, on your next turn which comes right up your Marines are auto-rallied. They also count as not having moved. In other words, rocket launcher (or 5 Grav-Cannon shots) in the face, or 6" move.
    • Loadouts for Tacs usually consist of special weapon and matching combi-weapon (i.e. plasma gun and combi-plasma). If you have a 10-man squad, consider Combat Squadding, giving one 5-man group the combi-weapon and special weapon, and giving the other 5 men a heavy weapon to sit on an objective with. Your choice of Dedicated Transport, what your army needs (anti-tank, anti-horde, anti-heavy infantry/MC) and what you want the squad to do (sit on an objective, attack enemy objectives) should influence your Tactical Squads' loadouts.
    • You should not take a CC weapon, grav or plasma pistol on the Sergeant. Ever. They lessen the squad's 24" range firepower and they scare nobody. Not Orks, not that nasty squad of Terminators, not the rampaging Khorne Berserkers. They're just too expensive and they take away points from your list. If you are nuts enough to take a plasma or grav pistol though, your opponent might give you respect knuckles when your Sergeant immobilizes or one-shots a rampaging Dreadnought.
    • Also, this is the edition of MC's and hard-to-kill infantry, not vehicles. Meltaguns can make them too specific in a role is better given to a unit that can do AT and something else at the same time just as well (e.g. a Tri-Las Predator).
    • Do not take Heavy weapons in a Tactical squad if you are planning on having that squad be mobile (such as in Mech lists or Drop pod lists). Only put them in units that you plan on having sit in one place for the entire game (combat squad on an objective). Grav-cannons, being Salvo rather than Heavy, are the possible exception to this, but they're expensive - avoid them unless you're also taking a grav-gun and combi-grav to go MC hunting.
    • Carcharodon Tactical Marines can take CCWs for 1 point/model (or free if you trade in their bolters) and gain RAGE after destroying an infantry unit in close combat, probably the one situation where they become usable in CC.
    • Probably the best Chapter Tactics for these guys are Imperial Fists. Re-rolling 1s for bolt pistols, bolters, heavy bolters, combi-weapons firing as bolters, and storm bolters is sweet. BS4 rerolling 1s is almost the same accuracy as BS5 (normal BS4 is 24/36 chance to hit, but with Imperial Fist Chapter Tactics BS4 is 28/36 chance to hit, which is almost normal BS5's 30/36 chance), and without needing to spend a Doctrine.
    • Tacticals can be useful to finish off stragglers from enemy units that has been shot up by your heavy hitters, without sacrificing more important shooting power to finish off a couple of Fearless/Stubborn/ATSKNF models.
  • Imperial Space Marine (30th Anniversary Release): This is a unique, limited-edition model you can add in place of any Space Marine at no extra cost (and that's all we're going to say about that). Though stat-wise, he's not any better than a basic marine, he does come with two dangerous weapons: a Disintegrator Combi-Gun (18" S5 AP2 Assault 2, Gets Hot, Instant Death) with INFINITE shots, a Disintegration Pistol (9" pistol version) and a CCW. He's the bane of MCs everywhere, provided he can get close enough to hit them. Keep in mind what the rest of the squad's there for; he's best suited in a Tactical or Devastator Squad, where he won't get screwed over so much for only having a bolter for long-range damage. The only other squad he can go into is an Assault Squad (the others don't have any Space Marines to replace, only Veterans, Centurions, Scouts, etc). He doesn't really fit in well, but RAW you can stick a jump pack on him in an Assault Squad if you really want to.
    • The best Chapter Tactic to use with him are the Raptors. Replace a Tactical Marine except for the Sergent. Choose Grav-weapons for the special/heavy weapons and Combi-Bolter for reliable Salvo hits. Give them a Rhino or infiltrate his squad close to the objective and dare your opponent to try and take it from you. Two/Three Grav-weapons, the Disintegrator Combi-Gun and Heavy 1 for the rest of the squad makes charging them a bad idea.
  • Crusader Squad (Black Templars) - Black Templars only, essentially a beefed up Tactical Squad that is capable of taking neophytes as meatshields and a Sword Brother as a Veteran Sergeant for your initiates to survive longer and therefore be able to make the charge once they have gotten within range. The issue here is that you can't take more Neophytes than Templars, so their usefulness as meatshields takes a hit, especially in smaller squads.
    • There are two ways to kit out your neophytes for close combat. Pistol/CCW allows a S4 AP5 pistol shot before combat, and 2 S4 attacks at I4 (3 on the charge, 4 if you get Rage). The Shotgun option allows for two S4 shots before combat and a single S4 attack at I4 (2 on the charge, 3 with Rage). The AP5 of the bolt pistol will rarely be more useful than the shotgun's extra shot before Overwatch is even fired, and if Overwatch fells any of your boys, the shotgun loadout's lack of +1A from having two CCW is further diluted by Rage from BT Chapter Tactics. Also keep in mind the shotguns' extra shooting attacks will always hit on a 3+ and "ignore" enemy Initiative, whereas the close combat attacks might only hit on a 4+ or even 5+ (depending on enemy WS) and I5 or higher enemies may slay some of your guys before they can swing. However, another consideration is that you might accidentally gimp your charge distance if you kill too many models in the shooting phase - shotguns can do this if you run into Termagaunts or the like.
    • Black Templars should be Running in the shooting phase to make use of their Crusaders special rule, unless you're close enough to charge (like if your squad used an LRC to get up close). Crusader Squads want lots of Bolt Pistols and CCWs if you are using anything other than 5 man las-plas squads because Crusader Squads should be focused on assaulting. Use tactical squads if you want to sit back and shoot.
      • If you wish to switch between these options, assemble your scouts with close combat weapons and pistols, then trim the hands off the shotgun models and glue them to the scouts back as though holstered.
    • You can buy power weapons for people other than the Sword Brother, which means that you can actually avoid having a Power Fist or Axe get challenged and murdered. Still not a terribly efficient use of points--Vanguard Vets are probably more worth the investment. Stick to Pistols and CCWs for assault-focused Crusader Squads, the weight of attacks is better for what you're engaging (read: hordes, light vehicles, tarpitting big guys). HQs and other characters can bring the AP 2.
    • One overlooked competitive option for Crusaders is grav spam. While a normal tactical squad might take a combi-grav and a grav-cannon for their 5-man squad, you can get a multi-use grav gun and cannon. You could even get a combi, special, and heavy grav all in one 5 man squad with a minimal 10-point Sword Brother upgrade tax (vs. tactical squads needing a full extra 5 bolter goons to sit around and do nothing all day). Not a horrible option if you want a useful troops tax for a Black Templars CAD so you can have their special characters.
    • Take note of the wording of the "Righteous Zeal" special rule Black Templars' Chapter Tactics, because your own Gets Hot wounds will also trigger it. So if your enemy is so antsy that they actually avoid firing Overwatch to deny your Rage, this is pretty much the only way to get it. Like everyone else, your plasma pistol might hit and kill something, or your squad leader might die to Gets Hot (1/18 chance). But unlike everyone else, for a large Crusader Squad, you win either way. (note that you still shouldn't buy pistol upgrades, ever.)
    • These bad boys get to take a Land Raider Crusader as a dedicated transport. This is rather glorious, since it gives the Land Raider Objective Secured, means that your super assaulty squads can start the game in an Assault Transport, and means you can use the Land Raider for close quarters objective camping. Nice. Do keep in mind that in the age of grav and low-AP guns everywhere, your Land Raider could get immobilized turn one or two before it does anything. A big waste of 240 points. Weigh your options (and your local meta) carefully.
  • Scout Squad - Scouts now have the exact same statline as standard Marines, except for a 4+ armor save rather than 3+, gaining Scout, Infiltrate and Move Through Cover in return. This makes Scouts generally a better choice of troops than Tactical Marines. If you run Scouts, you're likely best off running them naked. 11 points for a model in carapace with a BS4 bolter is actually fairly good as far as medium infantry goes, but upgrading them to snipers tends to be a waste of points. The five man scout sniper squad may look good on paper, but 5 BS4 shots is going to lead to about three hits, which will leave you with about a wound and a half before armor. Since Snipers don't have Pinning, this can be summed up as "useless". Don't bother trying to put the hurt on monstrous creatures with this either, since while you might wound on 4s, MCs generally have enough wounds not to care.
    • Thanks to Scouting and Infiltrating, Scouts can put a Teleport Homer on the board rather fast and uncomfortably close to your enemy's forces, so keep that in mind if you run Terminators of either flavor.
    • One role Scouts are alright at is manning the quad gun on an Aegis. Be sure to give them Camo Cloaks for a 3+ cover, but don't bother with Sniper Rifles. They'll mostly be shooting the quad gun at the nearest flyer, so those rifles will be points wasted.
    • One of the classic Scout combos is to take a Techmarine (a Thunderfire Cannon's gunner also counts). Give your scouts Camo Cloaks, put them into a ruin that you "fortify" with the aforementioned Techmarine's special power, and enjoy a 2+ cover save.
    • According to the wording in the rule book, models choose their weapons individually. Meaning you can take a squad of 5 w/ Bolters and 5 w/ Shotguns and a Land Speeder Storm, and at the beginning of the game, Combat Squad them and stick the melee squad in the Storm while the Bolters hang out in ruins with a Techmarine. The back-line camping Combat Squad is also the only place where Sniper Rifles may be okay.
    • One final role a squad might be good at is turn-one tank removal. You take a Land Speeder Storm with a multi-melta and infiltrate it as close to the enemy's biggest, most valuable tank as possible. The speeder Scouts 12" closer to its target, then moves 6" and the squad disembarks 6" (hopefully into some cover). All this should put both the Scout Sarge's combi-melta and the Speeder's multi-melta in melta range, so hope for the best on your to-hit rolls. At only 5 points, you may also want to give the sergeant meltabombs, in case both he and the tank survive turn 1.
    • A Veteran Scout Sergeant with a power weapon is a decent buy for melee Scouts in a LSS. Four power weapon attacks on the charge against backline shooty units is nice, or can draw fire away from other units trudging up the board. A Power Maul is a good choice, allowing you to wound most things on 2s and having a decent chance to score a penetrating hit on a vehicle without blowing it up (sparing your squishy marines a lot of S4 hits form the explosion and giving them some cover from the return fire).
    • Scouts with Raptor tactics for all intents and purposes have Sniper Rifles sans Precision Shots and with -12" to range for free.
    • If you are taking a formation and need a cheap Auxiliary choice, look no further than a 10th company Strike force. Take Sniper Rifles, Camo-Cloaks, and a Heavy Bolter (not necessarily required) on 3, 5 man scout squads. Infiltrate them where you want them and NEVER MOVE THEM. You now have a 36" harassment bubble against enemy infantry, which every once in a while will allow you to allocate a wound yourself or wound with AP2 (Or if you are lucky, both at the same time, perfect for getting rid of Special weapons or sergeants), that has a 2+ cover save. They will annoy your enemy AND tank most fire flung at them that isn't a template or Ignores Cover. Just be careful with such small squads because if you roll too many 1s at a time they may be forced to move, and loose their 2+ goodness.
      • This problem is essentially solved if they are taken as an auxiliary for a Salamanders Flameblade, as they automatically gain Fearless if they don.t move in the movement phase. Now the enemy has to kill every model to get them off their perch

Dedicated Transports[edit]

Note: All of these Dedicated Transports can be taken as Fast Attack Choices. Per the new Facebook draft FAQ, you can't stick Battle Brothers in a transport at deployment (so long Drop Pod taxi service). So if you want to give your Space Marine units (even in a different detachment/formation and even from a different chapter) without one a Drop Pod, or anything that can't take their own (i.e. Centurions), you can if you take the Combined Arms Detachment, without going unbound.

  • Rhinos - Very cheap and good transport since space marines are KNOWN TO HIDE IN MEHTAL BAWKSES, DA KOWARDZ! TEH FEWLZ! There's not much to say about it beyond "use it!" Seriously, don't footslog your marines. A walking marine is a dead marine, and dead men hold no objectives. The only upgrade recommended is the Dozer Blade. Once the guys are out of it, you can basically throw it away in petty dick moves like preventing charges, blocking line of sight (tossing a dozer blade on the sucker will make this glorious bastard even longer, thus potentially blocking even more line of sight), and tank shocking people into tight formation to be hit with flamers, more useful for shielding your own guys as it's side armour is 11, as opposed to the 10 most transports have (*cough* Chimera *cough*) so str 4 weapons (standard infantry power) can't glance it. You can also use its speed to dick around with Necrons if you feel like trolling them and don't really care about winning.
    • NOTE: look on the entry for the Rhino in your codex and you will notice a rule that no-one ever uses, which is a shame because it totally rocks: opt out of shooting for a 1/6 chance of repairing an immobilized result. Your opponent cries when he thinks he's immobilized your transport and then it starts moving again. I mean, what else are you going to do in that phase? You're not Chaos, you don't get decent guns on your Rhinos.
    • Exploit 7th Edition rules: Did you take a Drop pod with your troops choice? No? Then take a rhino! Vehicles got harder to insta-slag without dedicated AP1/AP2 firepower pointed at them, and dedicated transports taken with troops count as troops. Now you can drive your squad to one objective, then rush your rhino over to hold down or contest another. Alternately: if they want to dislodge your hold on an objective, they now have to destroy both the squad on it AND the transport that took them there.
    • Using Khan and White Scars Chapter Tactics a very nasty and potent trick can be pulled with Rhino squads. Start by deploying on 12, then scout 12 in your metal box before the game starts. In your first movement go 6 and disembark your infantry a further 6. Good at maths? You're now on their deployment line, and you can fire. Your opponent won't anticipate it and it gives you total board control by the end of turn 1 - you can dictate exactly where the fighting goes. That's invaluable.
    • Don’t forget that the Rhino comes stock with a free storm bolter, so you can add a second one from the equipment list. A second set of storm bolter shots may not sound like much, but without access to the havoc launchers it’s pretty much the only way your metal box can give your dudes some quarter-decent fire support.
  • Razorback - What's known in military terms as an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), the Razorback is basically a Rhino that trades 4 of its transport capacity for a turret gun. It is one of the best choices for a SM army themed on firepower. Best configuration is a Tactical Squad of 10 with Lascannon, Melta gun/Plasma gun, matching combi-weapon, and a Razorback with a TLLC. The Space Marine codex FAQ lets a Tactical squad choose a Razorback as a dedicated transport even if it has more than 6 men. So at game start you combat squad them, one with the Sergeant and PG/MG, and the other with Lascannon. The former goes in your transport, the latter stays at the back of the board providing fire support and capturing your home objective. The TL lascannon is generally the best pick, since AV11 3HP is pretty frail in the modern meta, meaning that the otherwise-interesting lascannon/TL plasma gun weapon choice may expose you to too much S6/7 fire if you drive it into Rapid Fire range. Just remember to be careful with your deployment if you come up against a gunline.
    • Definitely avoid taking the Razorback stock, the TL Heavy Bolter is a terrible choice. Any of the other choices can be very useful, whether it's backline fire support from the lascannons or running up on enemy objective campers with the TL assault cannon/heavy flamer/plasma gun. The one time the Heavy Bolter might be decent is when you can get a pile of them for free from the Gladius Strike Force.
    • See that note above about Objective Secured on Troop Rhinos? Applies here.
    • Razorbacks pay 5 points more than anything else you can take for their lascannon or assault cannon loadout - everything else in the codex with a TL heavy bolter can replace it with a TL lascannon for less (a dreadnought needs to spend 10, a centurion devastator or stormtalon gunship 15), and everything with a heavy bolter can replace it with a lascannon for less (devastators pay 10), so you ARE paying quite a lot for TL lascannon spam; make sure to manage your spending before you blow it all on TL lascannons you can get cheaper elsewhere.
    • Infernum Pattern Razorback (Forge World; IA2) - Basically the Razorback with a Multi-Melta turret, introduced by the Forge World. Unfortunately it cannot be taken for free as part of a Gladius.
  • Drop Pod - Also great, mainly because of its ability to deep strike into the most useful position. Inertial Guidance lets it avoid scattering onto impassible terrain and models, which prevents Deep Strike mishaps that don't involve the table edge. Excellent tool to hunt tanks with squads of melta, or drop down a Dreadnought where they least expect it. These transports suffer from the "Half on turn 1, half regular reserve" rule common to deep-striking forces nowadays (bring an odd number of them if you bring more than one, because the "half on turn one" is rounded up). However, even a single Drop Pod is a major psychological tool. A Deep-striking Sternguard squad or Dreadnought is almost guaranteed to change how your opponent deploys, so consider this carefully.
    • Thanks to 7th, Drop Pods are now scoring. And if they delivered an Objective Secured squad to the battlefield, they're (typically) also denial units.
    • Also note that the Drop Pod is one of two units able to take a Locator Beacon, good for Deep Striking reinforcements for whatever the Drop Pod was carrying.
    • The Deathwind launcher is now cheaper. With the reduced price, you can pay a little more than a tac marine for the ability to lock down a 12" area around a drop pod with a S5 AP- pie plate. You kill a MEQ, you basically pay off the cost of the launcher. Put these on your offensive pods, otherwise it'll be a waste.
    • Note: Drop Pods, or their cargo, can be shot by Interceptor units, so beware quad guns and Hydras. Interceptor shots are fired at the end of the Drop-Pod-equipped player's movement phase, meaning AFTER it lands and the Spess Mehreens disembark, so you can at least get into position before being shot at. And yes, it still counts as open-topped against Interceptor.
    • Units arriving by Drop Pod are allowed to disembark, and fire or run as normal, but they may not assault. Also thanks to 7e disembark rules you get 6" of free movement to mitigate scatter. As well, Drop Pods don't Snap Fire anymore on entry, so their Deathwind Missile Launcher can strike fear into hordes of low Toughness infantry.
    • Advanced tactics on the use of drop pods can be found in the common playing styles section towards the bottom of this tactica page.
  • Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod (Forgeworld; IA2): This is a special pattern of Drop Pod that gains Shrouded on the turn it comes in, and does not require its dreadnought to disembark immediately. It's also an Assault Vehicle, so if you're willing to let your dreadnought wait a turn, he can come out from safety and start handing out prostate exams to anyone stupid enough to stay close to the damn thing.
  • Land Speeder Storm - 7th edition may be where the Land Speeder Storm finally comes out of the back of the model enthusiast's closet and onto the table as a viable and fun model to incorporate into your army. AV10/open-topped/HP2 means that if anything looks at it funny, it might explode into a giant fireball that will eat your squad of scouts. On the other hand, being a skimmer means that it gets Jink and can flat out 30" in a turn. It's also an assault vehicle! If you keep this thing behind cover it becomes a decent skirmisher and lets you grab late game objectives with scoring Scouts. You can replace its standard heavy bolter it comes with stock for a heavy flamer for free, but remember that if you are jinking you can't shoot it, and when running scouts you really don't want to be running them at anything that is tougher than them anyway. Lastly, the Cerberus launcher is now S4 AP6 large blast with Blind, so it can give you an edge by blinding something that would otherwise scare your Scouts. Remember that since the LSS is open-topped, the Scouts inside can add significant firepower. The choice between bolters/shotguns/CCWs depends on what you are planning on fighting. Against 5+ and 6+ saves, the bolters are likely better as they will ignore the light armor, but for anything else, you are probably better served by the shotguns letting you charge after shooting. All of this and the Scouts will only run you about 100 points - even adding every upgrade you can think of, this unit won't even cost more than 150. That's savings that you can bank on.
    • Remember that tanks no longer suffer from Blind, so this can only work against infantry. It's still fairly good against low-initiative armies
  • Land Raider (various types): Several squads (Terminators, Crusaders) have access to Land Raiders as dedicated transports, which can make it change its battlefield role. See those unit entries for specific applications of rules and tactics.

Elites[edit]

  • Command Squad - A squad of (exactly) five Veterans who can take basically anything they want, apart from jump packs, armour upgrades, and heavy weapons. A pretty nice, versatile squad, but they now suck up an Elites Choice in a CAD. They start at 18 points each, but you can make them really, really expensive. Try to keep in mind that they're still 1-wound models.
    • They're one of just two units that can take Space Marine Standards (the other being the Honour Guard). They can grab either a Company Standard (reasonably cheap, re-rolls morale) or the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant (expensive as hell, but +1A within a 12" radius).
    • One model can become an Apothecary for 15 points, giving the squad FNP (5+); that makes these guys a nice core for your deathstar.
    • One model can become a Company Champion, who gets a power weapon, combat shield, and +1WS, and must accept and issue challenges. If you need a little melee he's not a bad deal, as the 15-point upgrade is the same price as a power weapon alone.
    • They can take storm shields for just 10 points; now they're rock-hard.
    • They have 2 attacks base and can be kitted out to be deadly in melee, but you should take a hard look at the Honour Guard instead. Those guys aren't as versatile, but they get a limited selection of high-end gear for an amazing price.
    • The whole squad can grab bikes for 7 points per model. Now they're a perfect entourage for Smashfucker. Alternatively, give them all grav guns and ride around Relentlessly killing everything you see: they've got their twin-linked bolters for the soft stuff, grav for the hard, and they can assault after firing either one if they need to do a little cleanup. In conjunction with Storm Shields and Apothecary to taste, you can get T5 with 3++ invuln and 4+ FnP if you go Iron Hands chapter tactics.
    • In a Fist of Medusa Strike Force, these guys are terrifying. Have them ride with your mandatory Captain or Chaplain and they get an obnoxious 3+ FNP (5+ from an Apothecary, +1 from Chapter Tactics, +1 from being within 12" of any FoM IC), making them infernally hard to shift. Use plasma guns or grav guns to wreck anything that needs wrecking while using the IC's bubble to buff the whole force. Throw in the SotEA if you've got some assaulty guys mixed in, just for kicks. And gearing them for assault might be okay, as with Storm Shields they are harder than TEQs (except against S10 AP3) while having better mobility and grenades. Tank some wounds for them with your 2+/FnP/IWND Captain or Chapter Master and they will deliver.
    • Make an anti-tank suicide squad by giving them all meltaguns or combi-meltas. No, they don't have access to the Sternguard's bag of tricks, but they're 20 points cheaper and easier to fit into a Gladius Strike Force or similar formation. They've got their own tricks, too: take four meltas and an apothecary and make your opponent use anti-tank guns to get rid of you.
  • Honour Guard - The most devastating assault unit in the codex, point for point. To compare, footslogging Vanguard Veterans with power weapons are 24 points a model. For ONE POINT per model more, you get Artificer Armor and the ability to buy a Chapter Banner. Or, if you prefer, compared to assault terminators, Honor Guard are ten points cheaper, have a choice of Power Sword, Lance, Axe, or Maul, but don't have an invul or lightning claws. What Honour Guard have over both their competitors, however, is sheer number of attacks. Each model gets two base, plus a third for dual wielding, four on the charge, and five if you grab a Chapter Banner or Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, making Honour Guard excellent at killing an entire enemy unit in a single assault phase. Honour Guard have some major weaknesses: lack of Feel No Pain or an Invulnerable save, so keep them away from high str AP2 weapons or buff them with psychic powers. Also, they do take up an Elites slot now - no more freebie slot from taking a Chapter Master, so plan accordingly.
    • If you're playing Crimson Fists, they can get even more terrifying: take the Chapter Banner, a Command Squad with the SotEA, then attach Pedro Kantor to either squad for a ridiculous number of attacks on the charge. Might as well put Pedro in with the Honour Guard to mash things to paste with his Power Fist.
    • In 7th Edition Honour Guard can take Land Raiders as DTs like Terminators and Centurions, increasing their staying power and mobility while giving you an excuse to spam Land Raiders. Unlike Terminators and Centurions, Honour Guard don't take up as much space, allowing you to fit a full squad with enough room left over for an Artificer Armour Captain/Chapter Master/IC, and unleash a brakeless rape train upon whatever is unlucky/stupid enough to be in the way when that assault ramp opens.
  • The Legion of the Damned - Very usable Tank/TEQ hunters! At 3 points per model more than Sternguard, you get Fear, Fearless, Slow and Purposeful, 3++, and Ignores Cover. Yes, all of it, including any special or heavy weapons WHICH ARE NOW THE SAME PRICE AS EVERYONE ELSE'S (and they can shoot them on the move thanks to the SaP mentioned above). They are also one of the 3 units that can take Heavy Flamers. On the downside, they can only arrive through Deep Strike, can't be joined by Independent Characters, and they don't get any of the Chapter Tactics. That said, however, they can re-roll all their scatter die, so their Deep Strike is more reliable. For tank hunting give them Meltagun, Multi-Melta and Combi-Melta (weirdly, they can't take melta bombs in 7th), for TEQ give them Plasma Cannon, Plasma gun and Combi-Plasma.
  • Terminator Squad - Now 35 points per model, but still not too effective. The regular terminators are best teleported in, but it depends on your enemy's composition. If he has no AP2 or AP1 weaponry, footslogging them can be good, especially if you have an assault cannon or cyclone. In small point games, terminators are hard to kill without AP 1/2. If the enemy does have heavy weapons, it's best to deep strike them, and hope you can eliminate that weapon before that, or put them out of harm's way. Land Raiders can help, but are better suited for assault terminators. Sadly, storm bolters simply aren't killy enough, and a single assault cannon/heavy flamer/Cyclone per 5 men won't add much. Against the abundance of high strength AP1 and AP2 in many updated codices, you may find your toughness 4 terminators dying without doing much at all (except DISTRACTION CARNIFEX). They can be quite effective anti-vehicle troops: give them chainfists, load them into a Land Raider, then run up on vehicles and rip them open; that probably would be the best way to field them.
    • Note: These guys are fairly explicitly overcosted compared to Assault Terminators; the most obvious way this is true is that the Sergeant has a Power Sword instead of a Power Fist, but still costs the same as his compatriots, even though the codex normally charges you more points for a fist than a sword (ATs don't have this issue, as the sergeant takes the same loadout as the others). If you assume Assault Terminators are "worth" 35 points and backsolve using the Terminator Weapons list, then the Sergeant is "worth" 20 (you've overpaid by 15 points) and the other Terminators are "worth" 30 (you've overpaid by 5 each).
      • This comparison gets worse if you give the ATs Hammers and Shields, as they pay only 10 points for them, rather than the 5 points the TW Weapons List charges.
      • It also gets worse if you take a Heavy Flamer (per the weapons lists, it should cost 5 to go from a Storm Bolter to an HF but you pay 10) or an Assault Cannon (every other model pays around 20 pts for an Assault Cannon, and you're giving up a 5 point gun, so it should cost 15).
      • This means the only model in the squad paying a "fair" price for its weapons is the guy carrying a Cyclone Missile Launcher, as he pays 25 points for a gun "worth" 30 (it's two missile launchers in addition to his other loadout), bringing his cost back down to "fair" from being 5 over, and you can't spam his loadout.
    • The above suggestion about chainfists is, due to the costs involved, deeply inferior to the same trick with Hammernators; 5 Hammernators cost 225 points, while 1 Swordnator + 4 Fistnators costs 235 (for 2 fewer S8 attacks and no Storm Shields).
  • Assault Terminators: These go in Land Raiders, and are the gold standard of assault units. Seriously, nearly every other dedicated assault unit in the game is compared to these fuckers, and 9 times out of ten, they cannot compare (that last 1 of 10 would most likely be genestealers, Lychguard or Incubi). They should absolutely not be footslogged if possible. Always keep a majority of them with thunder hammers; 3 hammers to 2 lightning claw guys is a good ratio to get that 3+ Invulnerable save against anything big and nasty. These guys attract a LOT of firepower (i.e. all of it) so keeping them alive can be difficult, but they can chop up just about anything in the game once stuck in. Switching from default claws to TH/SS is now 10 points each, so unlike normal Terminators your points savings compared to previous editions is less, but you still pay less than a Captain does attempting the same loadout.
    • Remember that they lack frag grenades, so without an LR Crusader/Redeemer or an attached IC to provide them, your LC guys will be swinging at I1 when they assault into cover.
    • As cool as they are, remember that they're expensive. Like, 5 in a Land Raider will cost you 450+ points. Is that the best use of 450+ points? Choose carefully...
    • Also remember that a single Land Raider is a massive bullet magnet. Bring something else deadly enough to help draw some fire so it can carry your Hammernators into range without blowing up first. Sadly, this might not be possible until you hit 1500+ points, probably more.
    • A Land Raider is not 100% mandatory for delivering these guys. If you don't mind them spending a turn doing nothing, consider putting a teleport homer or two in your list. It allows them a reliable means of entering play that doesn't cost more points than the squad itself. Just be sure you have enough storm shields in the squad to cover your ass or you WILL be shot off the table!
    • Another approach is to put your Assault Terminators in a Stormraven. Fly right on top of the enemy when you come in, switch to Hover mode the next turn, and parachute your assault termies in front of the enemy.
  • Cataphractii Terminator Squad (Angels of Death): Similar to regular terminators, with the same price, but come with Combi-Bolters instead of Storm Bolters, trading their long range effectiveness for shorter range accuracy. They cannot get Thunder Hammers or Storm Shields, but this is okay, since Cataphractii armor gives them all 4++, so the loss of the shield is mitigated somewhat by the ability to actually shoot. Any model can swap their Fist for a Claw or Chainfist, but the only special weapon the squad can take is a Heavy Flamer. The Sergeant's Power Sword is Master-Crafted, making him way more worth it than a normal termi sergeant, and he doesn't have to keep it, as he can swap it for the same Claw/Fist options as the rest of the squad. He can also take a grenade harness, which counts as assault grenades when charging and can be "fired" as an 8" S3/AP- Assault 2 Blast in addition to his combi-bolter.
    • You should never footslog Terminators as it is, but that goes double for your Slow and Purposeful Cataphractii. Unless you can deep strike them exactly where they need to be (preferably with a lot of cover), or plan to march them down the middle of the board as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX and see just how much incoming fire those fancy 4+ shield generators can deflect, keep these guys in a Land Raider. They also don't get goodies like Cyclones or Assault Cannons like your regular Termis can. Take Custodes in a formation, they do the job much better.
  • Tartaros Terminator Squad: Similar to regular terminators with the same price at 35 points/model, and have Combi-Bolters instead of Stormbolters like the Cataphractii. They also have the huge advantage of being the only terminators that can perform sweeping advances. Any model can swap their fist for a claw or chainfist, but now they come with 2 special weapon options: The Reaper Autocannon (stepping on the toes of CSM players even harder, are we?) and the Heavy Flamer as usual. The sergeant also has a Mastercrafted Power Sword, and can take either a Plasma Blaster or a Volkite Charger. Stick with the Plasma Blaster, as Deflagrate is more likely to happen in mass and Chargers have a pitiful fifteen inch range. There are only 2 factors that determine whether you want to take Vanilla Terminators or Tartaros Terminators. The latter is better with mobility and close range fire support (Twin-linked bolters, Plasma Blaster is way better than a combi-plasma), but Vanilla Terminators can get better Heavy Weapon options. Despite their ability to sweep advance, you should weigh them carefully against your other options if you're expecting to encounter large amounts of AP2 melee weapons, as these guys lack both the Vanilla Assault Terminators's option for Storm Shields, and the Cataphractii's enhanced invuln save.
  • Centurion Assault Squad - While ~60% more expensive than Assault Terminators on a per-model basis, being T5 W2 offers them mostly superior durability (except against AP2) and less lost effectiveness per failed save (except against S10). They are armed with double S10 chainfists WITHOUT unwieldy, making them great against Dreadnoughts, Carnifexes, Imperial Knights, and so on. With only two attacks base (3 on a Veteran Sarge) and SAP, they aren't good at killing any infantry other than TEQs (and only if they have no invulnerable saves), though double flamers and the option of hurricane bolters help a bit, but any vehicle or building they successfully charge is already dead, just too stupid to realize it. In a CAD, you can stick them in a Drop Pod and TL melta or flamer something on Turn 1, then charge some poor tank or TEQ squad Turn 2. Outside of that (say, in a Gladius Strike Force), delivering them might get tricky, though a Stormraven can certainly help (and even leaves you 3 passenger spots, either for ICs or one more dude). With such poor mobility once disembarked, however, they might spend the rest of the game getting kited, so make sure that you deliver them properly and kill the shit out of their target to get your points back.
    • The Centurion Sergeant/Veteran Sergeant is the only non-HQ/non-Techmarine character in the Space Marine codex with multiple wounds, and is thus the only non-HQ infantry to benefit from It Will Not Die from Iron Hands Chapter Tactics.
    • Anti-Lord of War Assault unit. Most super heavy walkers are at equal or lower Initiative. Stock unit of 3 has 10 attacks on the charge, with almost every hit resulting in a penetration. Even if the Superheavy wipes the unit, it is very easy to get 5 HP of damage on a super-heavy without assistance. Chaplains really help, especially considering the low number of attacks per model.
    • Stock Assault Centurions are 10 pts cheaper than stock Terminators and have 1 more total Wounds. If already planning to use a Land Raider, Storm Raven, or allied transport for Terminators, these make for an interesting alternative, especially since they only require 9 spaces (leaving room for an IC).
    • Interesting combo
      • A unit of three of these guys with a veteran serge and an omniscope plus Pedro Kantor synergize well, solving some of the drawbacks of both units. First, they fit perfectly in a drop pod. Second, they gain an extra attack, summing on the charge 13 S10 AP2 Armourbane attacks, plus another 6 S8 AP2 attacks. And third, Pedro Kantor can fire his orbital bombardment onto any enemy unit he wants (thanks to Split Fire from the scope) after moving as he inherits SAP from the Centurions, and he can tank AP2 shots with his 4++ and FNP.
  • Sternguard Veterans - 110 base (down from 120 in 6th), 22 points per model. They get special issue bolter ammunition (including combi-weapons, but not storm bolters) that offer a variety of effects. On a given shooting phase, you may use Poisoned (2+), Ignores Cover, AP4/30" range, or AP3/Gets Hot/18" range shots in addition to standard bolter ammo, but the whole unit must use that special ammo. Thankfully, you can switch between the different types of special ammo each time you make a shooting attack, so this allows Sternguard to kill GEQs in cover, MEQs, MCs (using the Poisoned 2+ rounds) and anything in between quite effectively. Any model can take a storm bolter or combi-weapon, but storm bolters don't get special issue ammo, so don't bother. Up to two models can take special or heavy weapons, which includes Heavy Flamers (Sternguard are one of 3 units that get to take them), so you've got plenty of options. The combination of special issue ammo and combi-weapons means Sternguard can be geared to tackle almost any threat effectively, so pick accordingly. If you take Pedro Kantor, they gain Objective Secured (they do NOT become Troops, you still need Tacs/Scouts/Bikes if you want to stay Battle Forged).
    • Oh, and don't forget: Sternies get base 2 attacks, so they have more CC punch than your typical shooty squad. Still, they are a shooty unit, so assault only as a tactical necessity.
    • Remember to pick a combi-weapon that addresses a need your special issue ammo can't. Typically, this is TEQs or tanks, so if you're putting them in a Drop Pod (the most common use for Sternguard), take combi-plasmas or combi-meltas to maximize your alpha strike damage. If you want to use them in a gunline or defensive capacity, combi-gravs for the extra shots when standing still is typically the best choice, unless you badly need flamers against Green Tide or anything similar in enemy body count.
    • Remember, you can bring up to two(!) Heavy Flamers in a 5-man Squad, and at only 10 Points each they're a steal. Perfect for hopping out of a Drop Pod or Rhino and barbecuing some poor bastards, especially with added combi-flamers and/or Librarian psychic shooting. In fact, if you want a squad no-one will dare charge, add combi-flamers to that mix for Xd3 auto-hits (X being # of combined heavy/combi-flamers) on the squad charging you. Ouch!
    • One idea to consider is grav-guns or plasma guns, instead of their combi-weapon variants. Sure, you lose out on special ammo, but AP2 shooting for multiple turns helps beat the 2+ armor saves that might otherwise rain on the Sternguard parade. Plasma guns trade potential volume of fire for better mobile (aka post-Drop-Pod) shooting (2 plasma shots at 12" vs. 2 grav shots at 9" if you moved).
    • Sternguard in a Drop Pod are a great suicide anti-tank squad. Give them combi-meltas and drop them right behind the heaviest enemy tank on turn 1. They pop out, disembark up to 6", and shoot that tank in the ass with 5 meltaguns at once, destroying or crippling it before it can even do anything. Granted, your 195 pt squad will probably be rage-killed by everything that your opponent can throw at it, which is actually great, because now they just spent a turn killing one squad and no longer has their precious Baneblade (or whatever you murdered). A Command Squad can do the same thing for 20 points less, but the flexibility of special issue ammo means if your Sternguard DON'T get shot to pieces after blasting a tank (or other high-value target), they are more versatile shooters afterwards.
    • Whack a ten-man combi-melta squad into a Drop Pod but split into two combat squads, slam the Drop Pod down between two tanks - thanks Inertial Guidance Systems! - wrench the doors open, dump your Sternguard on the table with five pointing towards each tank (preferably rear armour thanks to 6" disembark move). Giving in to maniacal laughter from melting two tanks on turn one is not required, but is recommended. Similarly, you can run a half/half combi-melta/-flamer unit if infantry are near a tank, or ten combat-squadded combi-flamers if you want to either burn two different squads, or wreck ONE squad from two directions. Having done this several times - blowing up two Grey Knights Razorbacks one minute into the game - I can confirm it works and is fun as hell.
    • If you're using Kantor to give Sternguards Objective Secured, remember that it does not affect their Drop Pods, as dedicated transports have the same classification as the unit they are taken for, and might not always receive command-related benefits their cargo do (in this case, Kantor's Objective Secured).
    • They can be used as the central part of your gunline/front; put them barebones in a rhino and they can give anti-infantry fire support to a good chunk of your army with their 30" bolters. Weedy infantry beware.
    • Sternguard Squad Amarex (Raven Guard) (Strike Force Solaq) - A Sarge gets a Power Sword and Plasma Pistol, one with a Heavy Flamer, one gets a Storm Bolter, and two Bolters with ammo. So long as they don't move at all, they get Shrouded for their turn, making them pretty wicked. The issue is that you only get two shots with ammo, which kinda hampers their usefulness, but the Flamer does help overwatch.
    • Veteran Sergeant Haas (Red Scorpions) - An upgrade to a Sternguard squad sergeant, 45 points gives you an artificer armoured sergeant with a power sword and a pistol. His gear is meh, but he makes your squad Relentless. It's great if the squad is packing combi-gravs, and especially great for making Dual-purpose squads! Relentless Sternguard Veterans can, and absolutely should rapid fire the most pertinent ammo they have to thin out enemy ranks, then charge the survivors to use their MEQ-Veteran Statline. YOU'RE A SPACE MARINE, that means you shouldn't be scared of melee!
  • Tyrannic War Veterans (Ultramarines) - They're basically the same as Sternguard but only able to use Hellfire rounds for their bolters, cheaper as a base unit though smaller and cost 1 point more per extra model, Preferred Enemy (Tyranids), and a special rule that grants them Zealot when facing Tyranids. Needless to say, against any other army, they're practically better off as just plain Sternguard, but against Tyranids, they're a handy squad for hitting the inevitable gaunt hordes that will comprise the Nid player's army.
    • Another take One of the few SM units which can be taken at the 4-man level. This can have value if you want to add an independent character in Terminator armor to ride around in one of the FW land raiders with a 6-man transport capacity (like the LR helios or achilles).
  • Vanguard Veterans Substantially cheaper than Sternguard, but the same cost if you give them jump packs. They are better ASM for only 5 points, gaining +1 A and Ld, pseudo-Fleet, and immunity to the penalty for Disordered Charges. They can each take a storm shield for 10 points and take various melee weapons at a greatly decreased cost, especially Power Weapons and Lightning Claws, which are only 5 points each for them. Give a few the 3++ and stick them out front for saves against those pesky blastmasters and watch them survive. These are the guys you choose when you want elite jump infantry as opposed to just more ASMs by taking a few SS for all that low AP cover ignoring meta and some power weapons to cut down foes for less than the cost of two ASM units.
    • Vanguard Squad Davros (Raven Guard) (Strike Force Solaq) - A pack of 5 Jump Pack vets, sarge with Hammer/Shield, the others with claws. They get Fear and...nothing else.
    • Veteran Sergeant Culln (Red Scorpions) - Yes, this is the same guy who is the Red Scorpions Chapter Master. And First Captain. Yeah, it's weird. Anyways, the gist of it is that he is a 60 point upgrade to a sergeant, just like Haas, and he has two wounds, a jump pack and a relic blade, and gives the squad Stubborn and re-roll to hits in CC. A fantastic buff to the unit, much cheaper (and probably straight-up better) than a Chaplain with a Jump Pack.
    • Reliably delivering these guys can be tricky - with only 3+ (or 3++) saves, enough shots at them can make things very hairy while they jump across a battlefield, and Deep Striking, even with the aid of a Locator Beacon, means you're stuck eating a turn of shooting before you can go to work. A Stormraven is a good solution, and you even have enough room inside it to add an IC with his own Jump Pack to the squad.
    • Note they can each take a plasma or grav pistol. You can take two, one of each, or just replace the chainsword with one for a bolt and grav- or plasma-pistol combo, and you now have John Woo marines. This lets you keep the +1A from having two weapons and looks cool. Heck, you could run them all like this, without jump packs, and have an entire squad of goddamn Cypher-wannabes for giggles (though this is stupidly ineffective, so you shouldn't actually do this unless you magnetized everything, or just happened to rob a truck outside your local GW that turned out to be loaded with nothing but Cypher models).
      • Though thanks to the Gunslinger rule, all models with two pistols may fire both in the shooting phase, so if you do take the Grammaton vanguards, they will at least fire off 10-20 shots with high power. Expensive both in money and points, but possible.
  • Dreadnought - There are 3 ways you can field this beast. The first is by making it a gun platform, with either a pair of TL Autocannons on it, or a missile launcher/TL Lascannon combo. The second way to field it is for melee (has 4 attacks instead of 2 from 6th edition), though if you want that you should take a look at the Ironclad. The third, and best, way to field a Dreadnought is as a stock Multi Melta Dread in a drop pod. On the first turn, drop it near your opponent's prized tank (e.g a Land Raider filled with Grey Knights) and blast it. The better range of its MM, immunity to most small-arms fire, and four attacks with its S10 AP2 I4 power fist (five on the charge) are the advantages the Dreadnought has in the suicide tank-killer role over Sternguard or a Command Squad. If you happen to have ten extra points give it a Heavy Flamer to have a very versatile dread, plus it can Wall of Flames if it gets charged. You can field them in groups of three if you want to save slots, at the cost of the option to take Drop Pods (which is a fine way to create a long-range gun squad). Finally, all Dreadnought variations can now benefit from Chapter Tactics, so if you're planning on using them, load them out so as to maximize their Chapter Tactics (Salamanders should change the built-in bolter for a heavy flamer, White Scars can Hit & Run, etc). Lastly, don't forget to resolve your Hammer of Wrath attack whenever you charge successfully; it's only S6 AP-, but hey, it's free.
    • Note: A Purge-tastic Dreadnought rocking a twin-linked heavy flamer, and a heavy flamer under its power fist, mounted in a Drop-Pod, will harvest many tears. This is also THE cheapest way to drop two heavy flamers in the codex... apart from those twin heavy flamer land speeders.
  • Venerable Dreadnought - As above, but costs 25 points more and has +1 WS/BS along with the Venerable rule, which lets you force the enemy to re-roll Vehicle Damage table results against you - usually worth the 25 pts, but not always. They can be taken in squads of three as well.
  • Ironclad Dreadnought - You won't be getting krak'd to death anymore, but you pay more. A bit more of a toss up on that front, though, with the Facebook FAQ nerfing grenades to one per SQUAD in assault, but at least that means you have less to fear from Tau haywire squads. Not bad as a suicide DP dread, though you have to wait until the next turn to really threaten unless your heavy flamer(s) or meltagun does work right away. The Hurricane Bolter sucks, you might as well just take a Tactical Squad for better effect. The seismic hammer and chain-fist can be switched for free, so you can decide whether to prioritize AP1 (better chance to wreck/explode vehicles) or Armorbane (much better chance to penetrate AV14). Deepstrike it in a drop pod next to their AV14 tank and laugh as they spend a turn killing it with all their heavy weapons while a Sternguard Drop Pod or MM Land Speeder sneaks in. Also, with the Stormraven going vanilla, you can strap the Ironclad there with a squad inside to give it cover fire, and deliver it with a bit more precision than a Drop Pod (nice for going after tanks tucked into a table corner, where even Drop Pods can easily Mishap). For extra extra hilarity, put (insert deathstar here) in the Stormraven, and vaporize everything the turn the Dread and the passengers disembark. Like the regular Dread, you can take them in squads of three, but their lack of long-range weapons makes it difficult to reach their desired targets. Also they are now 4A base, +1 for double CCW; six attacks at Strength 10 Initiative 4 on the charge, plus melta/heavy flamer shots and whatever Chapter Tactics they get, enables them to mulch blobs, TEQs, or even Monstrous Creatures. Heck, they have a decent shot at suiciding a knight. If you plan on charging though cover give it Ironclad Launchers, which also work as defensive grenades so fewer melee attacks against your dread.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought (Angels of Death) - A more advanced dreadnought, with greater base strength, 13 12 10 armour (so an Ironclad's front with standard side), WS and BS 5 like a Venerable, and a substantial points hike. Also comes with fleet, and atomantic shielding (5+ inv. against shooting, 6+ inv. against close combat, and +1" to explosion if it suffers a 'vehicle explodes' result). For shooting options, it comes stock with a multi-melta, but you can swap this out for a Kheres pattern assault cannon, which is murderlicious (it's an assault cannon that's heavy fucking 6!). It also comes stock with a power fist with built-in combi-bolter, which you can't swap out for anything in Angels of Death. Notably, they don't come with a searchlight (not that that would have been helpful) or smoke launchers, or the ability to take a Drop Pod.
    • (Forge World Only) However, the better loadout is two dread CCWs (one of which may be a chainfist), because contemptors get access to some nifty built-in guns to their hands: there's your standard storm bolter and heavy flamer, plus a plasma blaster (assault 2 plasma gun with an 18" range) and the freaky-deaky graviton gun. This gat shoots an AP3 small blast that forces a strength test or die and makes the terrain it hits difficult; vehicles are auto-glanced. Oh, and you can give the contemptor BS5 to go with its WS5 for a small upgrade, plus you can mount a typhoon missile launcher - on its back without giving up its arm guns!
    • Going with ranged-specialization or a Mortis is now probably the better option with the Forge World Contemptor until Forge World releases a rules update for Imperial Armour V2 (the recent Horus Heresy FAQ doesn't count, as that's specifically for Horus Heresy-era Legion Contemptors, and flat out states that the profile is “intentionally not the same as their Warhammer 40,000 counterparts.”).
    • If you go ranged, the choice between a Contemptor and a Contemptor Mortis largely depends on what your enemy is bringing to the table, as the two effectively become interchangeable. If you expect to be facing flyers, go with a Mortis for the Helical Targeting Array. If not, you should probably just stick with a regular Contemptor and keep Fleet, as well as the ability to mix and match your guns (assuming you’ve magnetized, and for a Contemptor, you should have).
    • The Angels of Death supplement has its own updated Contemptor squadron, though with far fewer weapon options. So while you can get them in squadrons and a better stat-line using the AoD version, if you want anything other than a Multi-Meltas or Assault Cannons you'll still have to use the IA2 rules. Also, the AoD version takes up a Heavy Support slot instead of Elites, but this means you can take twelve Contemptors if you really wanted, with your Elite ones being better armed individually.
  • Siege Dreadnought (Forge World): An interesting, somewhat cost effective alternative to the Ironclad, albeit not as heavily armoured. Has an flamestorm cannon with (which can be replaced with a multi-melta for free) and an assault drill with a built in heavy flamer. Can also mount two hunter-killer missiles just like an Ironclad, but the standout feature is that assault drill: +D6 for armour pen rolls on bunkers, fortifications, buildings and motionless vehicles. Then after you punch the drill through the hard chocolate shell, you get to take a free heavy flamer shot against anyone inside.
  • Chaplain Dreadnought (Forge World) - Because why the hell not? The idea behind this thing is take everything you like about a Venerable Dreadnought, all of Forgeworld's dreadnoughts (except the Contemptor) and a Chaplain. You can take pretty much every gun, including an inferno cannon, plus you can double up on DCW's plus heavy flamer. This thing has the Venerable and Litany of Hate rules, plus a Venerable's stat-line.
  • Mortis Dreadnought (Forge World) - Dreadnought with 2 Missile Launchers, which can be upgraded to two Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters, two Twin-Linked Autocannons or two Twin-Linked Lascannons. It also counts as Skyfire/Interceptor while stationary - take double autocannons, and think of it like your space marine hydra flak tank. Unfortunately, you only can take one per detachment. Or instead of being an idiot, take double lascannons. Double autocannons is actually meh against fliers, and lascannons provide more use against ground forces due to being able to kill most vehicles in the game. Don't believe me on the Lascannon thing? Okay, mathhammer time. Dual autocannons will give you 4 shots, averaging on 3.6 hits. Assuming AV12, you need 5s to glance or 6s to pen, so in other words, a 33% chance to do something. This averages as 1.188 glance/pen, with a 50/50 chance of it being either. Conversely, on lascannons you get 2 shots, averaging at 1.8 hits. However, you will glance on a 3+ or pen on a 4+. This averages as ALSO 1.188 Glance/pen, most likely being the pen (1 glance for every 3 pens). So here we have the same chance to do something- either a glance or a pen- but significantly better chances on the Lascannon of that something being a penetrate. Added to that, the Lascannon does more damage through it's penetrations. Therefore, in the pure anti air role, the Lascannon wins out. It's also useful against enemy heavy armour, and kinda-able to deal with enemy heavy infantry, whilst the autocannon is stuck in that awkward position of being kinda-able to target heavy infantry, or kinda-able to target light vehicles. Unless you don't have the points for it, take the dual lascannons every time.
  • Contemptor Mortis (Forge World): Probably the best Contemptor variant, this guy is exactly what it written on the can - a mixture of Contemptor and Moris, with the increased stats and relig wargear of the first one, and double-gun load-out and skyfire/interceptor ability of the second. Here's your loadout: ignore everything and take 2 Kheres pattern assault cannons and a cyclone missile launcher. There! You're done. If you find yourself not in range of the assault cannons, move forward and throw down with a couple of missiles. If you DO have something in assault cannon range, hold still and let the rape flow - your dread will loose a total of 12 S6 AP4 rending shots at 24" on a hapless unit and if you stood still, you can drop 2 more missiles on the poor fuckers. You will tear apart tanks, mow down infantry and blast aircraft out of the sky with this fucking thing.
  • Hecaton Aiakos (Forge World) - A unique contemptor dreadnought character for the Minotaurs chapter, comes with a plasma cannon. Costs a fortune but he's much improved over a normal contemptor; first he's Venerable, which is something other contemptors don't get, letting you force re-rolls on the damage chart. Second he's got +1 to his Initiative, Ballistic Skill AND a +1 bonus to his atomantic shielding, so his invulnerable save is 4+ against shooting, making him a good choice for a footslogging army. On the flip side his rear AV is 10 and his explosion radius in increased by 2".
  • Dreadnought-Brother Halar (Forge World) - A slightly beefed-up Dread with +1 WS/A. He also comes equipped like an Ironclad, but replacing his gun with a Flamestorm Cannon of fiery doomness. He also has a special rule: If he loses his last HP in anything that isn't Explodes or the D, he stays on the board until the next turn. On this last turn, he'll get Preferred Enemy (EVERYTHING) and will shrug off everything short of the D and explosions. If you have the points for this kamikaze, he's here.
  • Land Raider Prometheus (Forge World) An uber LRC. Four Twin-Linked heavy bolters (two on each sponson) is the same number of shots as hurricane bolters at <12", twice as many at 12-24, and can actually shoot up to 36, with the advantage of being S5. It's a HB dev squad, twin-linked. Granted, it loses the assault cannon, but it gains dedicated transport status in siege assault lists, and fucks with cover saves by one, ignores night fighting, and boosts reserve rolls by one (2+ reserves ftw!). Don't put it near enemy heavy armour, but a solid tank overall.
    • Despite four TL heavy bolters being functionally the same as the two quad linked heavy bolters it had previously while the tank remains stationary, The tank can keep firing at a reduced output from both sides until several weapon destroyed results are rolled on the tank rather than just losing whole sponsons. However, this does reduce its firepower output while the tank is on the move, since it will be forced to snapfire some of its heavy bolters and will make you less inclined to purchase pintle-mounted weaponry.
    • This goes hand-in-hand with armies that use massive amounts of deep striking units for obvious reasons. Combine with a Siege Master in Siege Assault Vanguard armies for +1 re-rollable reserve rolls. Admittedly a SAV army can't take drop pods for Tactical Squads, but every other squad can still take them, as well as Terminators still being able to teleport and fliers to arrive by deep strike.

Fast Attack[edit]

Infantry/Nonvehicles[edit]

  • Assault Squad: Melee troops that can work both for deep striking or flying across the map. Not too expensive for what they do, and with a special character and a decently-equipped sergeant they can handle most situations. They might not fare so well against super-melee squads, but their mobility helps them pick and choose, and dual flamers even the odds against foes that would normally be far too numerous for them to consider taking on. Also if you can, give 'em melta bombs and watch them rampage through enemy armor columns. Upgrade the Sergeant to give them at least one guy with a power weapon.
      • Whether you buy a transport or Jump Packs really depends on your playstyle and the mission; keeping your guys in a tank limits mobility slightly, but keeps them alive against small arms; a drop pod lets them go anywhere, but they can't assault when they come out; standard jump packs let them go anywhere.
      • Take a drop pod and two flamers. You now have a 115 point unit that can decimate most infantry. Happy burning.
      • Use them as above, or take them as a cheap counter-attack unit. Keep them out of sight behind your lines. If your front lines get overwhelmed, send these guys in to deal with it. With 3 attacks a pop on the charge, with hammer of wrath if they have jump packs, it'll usually take down whatever is assaulting your guys a notch. Note this doesn't work against dedicated assault units and they will most likely be killed. Works wonders against hordes though, but don't fall into the trap of giving them flamers in this role: their purpose is to charge a unit once it is locked in CC, where you can't use your range weapons. Use those 10 points to upgrade the sergeant instead.
      • They just got updated. Good news- their cost has dropped to 70 points and they can now take an Eviscerator for every five models in the squad (so 3 special melee weapons in total, including the serge's power weapon, although your return is greatest if you have the vet serge take the Eviscerator, due to his second attack and the costs and availabilities of his other weapons - you're functionally buying a chainfist for 5 points less than others pay for it, since you can't buy a second specialist weapon anyhow).
      • Plasma pistols are generally a poor choice here, and largely unnecessary what with Eviscerators allowing the squad to engage beefier armored targets.
      • Running an assault squad without jump packs is a choice that few opponents will expect, and can serve as a cheap surprise when they jump out of the rhino/drop pod your opponent was expecting to contain a tactical squad.
      • If playing Salamanders and you didn't give the Sergeant a weapon upgrade, consider master-crafting his Krak grenades. It's his best shooting attack within 8", hits before you get to melee, and works well in a plodding double flamer squad.
  • Bike Squad: Once hardly used except as the odd troop choice with a captain, these guys are now one of the most competitive parts of the new codex for three reasons:
    • Grav-guns - these guys are relentless, so they can fire their Grav weapons at full range and volume while moving and can still charge afterwards.
    • Points cost - 21 points a pop, and the many benefits of the Space Marine Bike are worth the 7 points over a Tactical Marine.
    • White Scars Chapter Tactics - Skilled Rider, Hit and Run, and +1S on Hammer of Wrath, and you can also take Khan for everyone to have Scout. All this for still only 1 pt more than a CSM biker. DO NOT take them as Fast Attack; putting them in a Troops slot lets you bring your flyers and attack bike squads/speeders. It's a crowded FOC slot, so try to avoid taking them as FA.
    • With the new Codex, any HQ on a Bike qualifies Bikers for the Troops slot. Can't use a Captain in your army? Take a Librarian, Tech Marine or Chaplain, instead! Also gone is the limitation that only units of 5+ Bikes count as Troops. Excellent!
  • Attack Bikes: The Yang to Land Speeders' Ying, this is the Marines' other great FA unit. The debate on the relative merits of the Speeder and the Attack Bike is endless. Great for their two wounds, and heavy weapons. Can fit into variety of roles, from tank hunting to infantry harassing, but their low number of attacks means they should be kept out of all but the easiest of melee combats (e.g., Fire Warriors). Attack Bikes also benefit from a wider array of Chapter Tactics when compared to Land Speeders, although the advantages may not be very significant (White Scars obviously being an exception). Also 5 points cheaper than before.
  • Scout Bike Squad: Pretty decent anti-infantry shooting unit, with Infiltrate, Scout and 6 Frag blasts, which means they can hurt light infantry from a safe distance (24") right on turn 1. Krak grenades can glance or penetrate a bawks, too, but you can only use 1 from the whole squad per Assault phase (apparently everyone was playing grenades wrong for years according to the FAQ. Good rules writing there GW). Still, keep them in mind. With their new BS 4 you can use them to bolster your bike army by making a turn 1 disruption on your enemy's deployment zone.
    • Locator Beacons. They're one of two units that can take them, and the only unit that can both start on the board and be mobile.
    • Infiltrate + Scout move. They can turbo-boost to within 12" of the enemy before the game actually starts. This, combined with a Locator Beacon, allows for tactical insertion of your drop pods and, if you should so fancy, a scout-missile.
    • Cluster Mines. For 20 points per unit, you can booby-trap a single piece of terrain on the field before the battle starts. It becomes dangerous terrain to enemies; your troops (as well as battle brothers) don't have to worry though.

Vehicles[edit]

  • Stormtalon Gunship: (Attack Flyer) The bastard child of a Thunderhawk and a Land Speeder, this fast flyer comes with AV 11 all around, TL assault cannons and heavy bolters, and can exchange the HBs for TL lascannons, a Typhoon ML, or a Skyhammer ML (which is basically a 3-shot autocannon), each of which became cheaper in the new codex (in particular, Skyhammer MLs are 5 points). While more expensive than Land Speeder, this little fucker is a lot more survivable, and has some interesting rules. For example, Zooming makes it go 6" further when going flat-out, while Hovering gives it +1 to Jink, making it a pain to remove. It also has Ceramite Shielding, but really, this is only for fluff. A Meltagun that can get a target lock on this thing's ass will blow it up regardless of how many dice it rolls.
    • It has the strafing run special rule, meaning that it has BS5 against everything but skimmers and fliers. You know, in case Twin-Linked BS4 wasn't accurate enough for your tastes.
    • With the new Stormwing Formation, you can now take one Stormraven, escorted by TWO Stormtalons. And as long as at least one Stormtalon is alive, EVERYONE HAS THE STRAFING RUN RULE. So with one Reserve roll, you bring on a Stormraven, two Stormtalons, an Ironclad Dreadnought and 10-man Honour Guard squad. Make your opponent cry. It's ok. You won't be able to hear them over your laughter.
    • Thanks to the new Death from the Skies rules, the Stormtalon is now only good against ground targets. For a dedicated anti-flyer unit look down below. Also, you can run up to 4 in a single FA slot, without needing to keep coherency, unless of course you wanted to.
  • Stormhawk Interceptor: (Fighter) With the Stormtalon losing skyfire, this is your dedicated flying anti-flyer. It has Front AV 12 and the same Ceramite Shielding as the Storm Talon. Lost strafing run and hover but got supersonic, making it more agile. It comes stock with TL Assault Cannons, a Las-Talon (which is basically a Lascannon with twice the shots at half the range) that can be exchanged for an Icarus Stormcannon, and TL Heavy Bolters that can be upgraded to Skyhammer/Typhoon Missile Lauchers (Typhoon negates a lot of drawbacks). It also comes with a new piece of equipment called Halo-Launcher to reroll failed jink-saves. It can be kitted out to either pump out a lot of shots at mediocre AP or fewer but stronger high AP shots. Unfortunately it is only BS3 against non flyer/skimmer units now, thanks to the new flyer rules. You can run up to 4 in a single FA slot, without needing to keep coherency, unless of course you wanted to.
  • Land Speeders: One of the most awesome and potentially rage-inducing units in the Codex. These little buggers are very fragile, but also very underrated. They come very cheap with a multi-melta, and can bring a heavy flamer for infantry hunting. Deep striking, they are excellent tank or infantry hunters. Their only problem is that they may not last very long after they get their shots off, but if they do, they can deal some real damage to the enemy. Alternatively, try taking a Typhoon Missile Launcher and keeping it far out of harm's reach, raining missiles at shit; think of them as more mobile and cost-effective Predator Destructors. Very good at disabling light transports and as a last-turn objective contester. When tackling enemy armour with multi-meltas, use the land speeder's maneuverability to your advantage: put the target between the speeder and the rest of his army, and pray you destroy the vehicle in one salvo, WITHOUT blowing it up. With any luck, the burning wreck will keep your flimsy aluminum speeder out of the kill zone. Obviously, this means you take on flank vehicles; charging this into the center of your opponent's army is a waste of a good land speeder, unless it's to kill a Leman Russ or something (an enemy's primary tank/threat) in a turn 1 suicide run. Do remember to BLOCK enemy transports and tanks, since they can't move through the Speeder. Great for delaying that big fat Land Raider from reaching your lines, for a 70 point sacrifice (and a decent chance to kill said Raider with your underslung multi-melta).
    • The new codex added a rule, Anti-Grav upwash: so as long as you have 3 of them they flat out an additional 6".
    • If taken in a Battle Demi-Company, land speeders gain objective secured.
    • Unfortunately, Chapter Tactics do not apply to vehicles so you cannot use Salamanders for some twin-linked flamer shenanigans. But, on the other hand, they can be taken in squads of three, and doing so gives them a bonus 6" when moving Flat Out.
      • Iron Hands and Astral Claws chapter tactics do apply here, as well, because reasons.
    • With Vulkan, both multi-meltas will be master crafted, however.
    • Because Land Speeders are Fast, they can move 12" and let loose with both guns.
    • Land Speeder Darkwind (Strike Force Solaq) - An AC and HB on a Speeder, pretending it's RavenWING instead of Raven GUARD with the ability to re-roll Jinks. Neat.
Forge World[edit]
  • Relic Javelin Attack Speeder (Forge World): An upgunned and uparmored Land Speeder that flies solo. AV11 means it is now invulnerable to bolter fire, but still melts under anti-tank (though jink saves help a bit). Costs as much as a naked Predator, packs much more firepower and mobility, and as a nice bonus it looks absolutely fabulous. The main downside is a real money price - almost THREE TIMES MORE than regular speeder - like it's silver-plated or something.
  • Land Speeder Tempest (Forge World): The Stormtalon’s obscure older hipster step-brother. At 90 points, you get an up-armored Speeder with Armoured Cockpit (ignores crew shaken and crew stunned on a 4+); Extra Armour, Deep Strike, and Afterburner (can turn into a zooming flyer for one turn, but can’t shoot that turn either, so you’ll never use it outside of Apocalypse games on boards big enough to actually be worth wasting a turn just to get from point A to B.). You can get three in a squadron, and each one’s armed with a single assault cannon and a TL missile launcher loaded with frag, krak, and flakk missiles. No wargear options, WYSIWYG. The Tempest sits squarely in the middle ground between the Speeder and Stormtalon, being tougher than the former, weaker than the latter, and in certain respects less versatile than either. However, TL flakk missiles do make the Tempest one of the fastest non-flyer AA units in the game.
      • If you’re gonna take any, take a full squadron and think of them as sort of a faster and more heavily armed and armored squad of deep striking missile devastators.
  • Caestus Assault Ram (Forge World) Craziest vehicle in the game, designed to ram things (hence the name), and accomplishes this by having a 5+ inv. save against attacks on the front: (inc. rams, either from the enemy ramming you or you ramming them), re-rolling the armour penetration dice when ramming with +1 to the vehicle damage roll, and nigh-impenetrable for a flyer armour of 13 13 11. Comes with a twin-linked MAGNA-MELTA (WTF?), which is: range:18" str:8 AP:1 type:Heavy 1, large blast, melta. Sound fun, eh? Holds ten men, ideal for punching a hole in the enemy battle lines and disgorging troops, AND it's an assault vehicle, so they can get straight into close combat (and no restriction against carrying terminators, in fact, they only count as one man inside this, not two!). Now this means that the Caestus has to be fast, and it is! Its type is: Flyer (hover mode), and it STILL can ram/tank shock while zooming. Comes stock with extra armour and Ceramite shielding (immunity to 'melta' rule). Options are: Firefury missile battery (range: 36" str:6 AP:4 type:Heavy 4, blast, twin-linked, one-use), Teleport homer, and Frag assault launchers. One should use the Caestus to ram straight through the strongest point of your enemy's force, in most battles you'll be there on turn one, thanks to the 36" afterburner. Ram a tank with this (generally, given the colossal afterburner, you'll give them a S10 hit) and then deploy the men inside (preferably dedicated H2H troops), and charge straight in against the nearest infantry, or if you feel like it, shove a grenade up a nearby tank's tailpipe.
  • Lucius Pattern Drop Pod (Forge World): Big dreadnought drop pod, which allow your dread to deep strike. With the newest update, you can no longer assault out of a deep strike. Instead it gets a rule where the transported dreadnought, the drop pod itself, and anything shot at through the drop pod get the shrouded special rule on the turn it drops down, which is pretty damn nice. Note that the drop pod assault rule DOES NOT require the dreadnought to actually EXIT the drop pod when it comes down, and as it is a transport, it can stay inside, safe from most shooting, and use the pod as ablative armor.As drop pod is open-topped, your dread could even shoot out of it. It also has the assault vehicle special rule, so if anyone is actually stupid enough to stay within charge range of the drop pod, it can then get out of it and start annihilating the nearest enemy unit.
  • Hyperios Air Defense Battery (Forge World): One to four twin-linked missile turrets with Skyfiring, Intercepting, Heat-seeking krak missiles for only 35 points each. Perfect for trolling fliers. Unlike the other Space Marine Sentry Guns, they don't have firing modes thanks to Automated Artillery, allowing you to direct the shots at your leisure. This configuration does most jobs you ask it to without complaint. For 10 points you can replace one of the launchers with a Command Platform that gives the other platforms Split Fire, not that you need to.
  • Xiphon Pattern Interceptor (Forgeworld): It's exactly what you'd expect an interceptor to be; light, fast and good against other vehicles. With two twin linked lascannons and a new rotary missile launcher. The launcher is two shot, S8 AP2 and forces jink and cover saves to be rerolled, plus when penetrating hits are rolled, it chooses the best of D3 results (adding one for AP2). It's light, only two hull points mean it'll go down against a stiff breeze, but with AV11 at least it's immune to small arms bolter fire just like a stormtalon. With Forgeworlds rules update it gets the new combat role Interceptor. It uses the same Attack Patterns as Fighters but has an additional special rule. At the beginning of the game you must select a single combat role the Xiphon can reroll all to-hit and penetration rolls of 1 against. The trade off ist that it always has to use skyfire now, so no more tank hunting. But at least it can still fire at normal BS against skimmers.

Heavy Support[edit]

Infantry/Nonvehicles[edit]

  • Devastator Squad - If you take them, 1-2 ablative wounds are mandatory, and never mix weapons. Missile launchers are versatile, but lascannons are more effective against tanks and Monstrous/Gargantuan Creatures, especially ones with 2+ armor (Riptide...). For 5 points more Lascannons are a steal, AP2 and +1S than a ML. Heavy Bolters suck against anything tougher than MEQ unless you are Imperial Fists, which make them decent. Multi-meltas and grav-cannons are too short-ranged, and grav-cannons (which include a grav-amp) cost 35 points each - way too much on a T4/3+ model without Relentless. 7e gave Devastators another upgrade in the form of the Armorium Cherub, which allows one model to re-roll failed To Hits in one shooting phase per game for 5 points. This, coupled with the Devastator Doctrine and the Signum, provides multiple ways to enhance your accuracy over the course of the game.
    • Vigilator Sergeant Hamath Kraatos (Minotaurs Special Character) - FUCKING EXCELLENT: a BS+1, 2-wound, Devastator Sergeant with a Heavy Bolter and Preferred Enemy Infantry/Bikes (this includes jump-pack, jetpack, and jetbikes, so anything not a Vehicle, Monstrous Creature or cavalry/beasts for some reason). Has the added bonus of being able to switch his normal shooting for a special "assassin shell" which is basically a S6 AP3 Sniper rifle.
    • Don't forget the Sergeant's Signum! No one ever remembers to use it, which is a shame because BS5 to a single model in the squad can come in handy, especially if you get hit with a Malediction that lowers your BS.
    • Four plasma cannons might seem risky, but if your scatter rolls go well, you can obliterate any heavy infantry squad from three feet away. They are the only infantry weapons that can kill multiple TEQs in one shot, and are useful against tightly-packed enemies in general (i.e. hordes). Firing only 1 shot each and having a 3+ armor save means that there's only a 1/18 chance to actually lose a man in a given turn of shooting. A Dev squad firing all 4 plasma cannons every single turn for six turns can expect to take 1.33 casualties from Gets Hot, but if you actually did, imagine the carnage that 20+ plasma cannon blasts would have caused. Ultramarines CT works great here, as you will reroll 1s during at least one turn, more depending on if you are in a Gladius or have Calgar. You can also put your Devs behing an Aegis Defense Line with an Ammo Dump upgrade to further improve their survivability and get them to reroll rolls of 1. That way the risk of suffering "Get's Hot" is very low.
    • Devastators can take flak missiles now, but the cost is too much for their relative frailty. Unless you badly need AA in low points games where versatility is important, an Aegis Defense Line or a Stalker trio is far better for your AA needs.
    • Take some red shirt boltgun marines if you don't want your fragile Devastator squad heavy weapons dying the instant your opponent glances at it (though this does increase the cost).
    • You could do worse than a Heavy Bolter-wielding Dev squad if you're using the Imperial Fist chapter tactics, with re-rolling 1s To Hit and increased value against AV10 (a typical non-infantry HB target).
    • Grav-cannons and multi-meltas are quite useful for Devastators that are part of a Skyhammer Annihilation Force, which gives them Relentless on the turn they exit their Drop Pods - there are few better ways to shred tanks/MCs/heavy infantry than 20 grav shots or 4 melta shots. That's pretty much the only situation where you should ever consider them, however. It's also one of the only times you should ever consider a combi-weapon on the Sarge.
    • Mmm... actually a squad of devastarators with 4 grav cans deepstriking in a drop pod in the mid field could take down that riptide, wraith knight or deamon prince with 12 ap 2 shots, just make sure that you have some protection for them like psy powers or something because that unit cost around 240pts on its own! Very expensive for a suicidal squad.
    • In Angels of Death, the new terminator captain can wear cataphractii armour. This gives him Slow and Purposeful which is a special rule that affects the whole unit. It's not Relentless, but it does let you move and shoot with your heavy weapons. Something to consider, especially for shorter ranged weapons like the multi-melta and grav cannon.
  • Centurion Devastator Squad - The shooting versions of their punchy brethren. If you seek cheap dakka, go elsewhere, as those guys are expensive as hell, tough as hell, menacing and attract a lot of firepower. To justify their cost, you will want to take advantage of their strengths over regular Devs, which are Slow & Purposeful, superior durability (T5 W2 2+), and their special rule that lets them shoot both of their weapons. The Omniscope gives Night Fighting and Split Fire for 10 points, so there's little reason to not grab it. Their biggest combat weakness is that they will get tarpitted by ANYTHING till the end of the game unless you're White Scars - at A1 with no melee weapons and no Overwatch because of S&P, they'll struggle to kill even Fire Warriors in CC. Their cost was reduced going from 6th to 7th - a trio of grav (or LC/ML) Centurions plus an Omniscope puts you at 250 points, a nice round number for those who play in escalating-points leagues or a variety of points values.
    • As with Assault Centurions, the Centurion Sergeant/Veteran Sergeant is the only non-HQ character in the Space Marine codex with multiple wounds, and is thus the only non-HQ infantry to benefit from It Will Not Die from Iron Hands Chapter Tactics.
    • The stock heavy + hurricane bolter combo is alright for killing hordes, but the ranges of the two guns synergize poorly. The two setups to consider are grav-cannon/hurricane bolter, and TL lascannon/missile launcher.
      • The best option is the former, giving you 5 grav shots per model with rerolls To Wound (or on your Immobilize roll against vehicles) at 24" range. This mixes well with the range of the hurricane bolter, letting Grav/HB Centurions shoot at any target effectively - even vehicles, as 15 grav shots averages to about 3 Immobilize results thanks to the grav-amp re-roll, killing any vehicle that lacks an invulnerable or cover save (and even then!), immunity to Immobilize, or plain old luck. Another point of note is the utility of these guns against gargantuan and monstrous creatures. With one squad I was able to kill Ta'unar in two turns of shooting.
      • The las/missile loadout has much better range, the opportunity for Instant Death against many non-tank/MC targets, and the chance for penetrating hits against non-AV14 vehicles, but less raw firepower and a bit of a waste of the Centurions' superior durability and Slow and Purposeful.
    • The Devastator Doctrine applies to them as well as regular Devs - at least one of their weapons will be Twin-Linked, but re-rolling missile or grav misses is helpful, and it also makes them workable anti-air for that turn. LC/ML Cents are better as makeshift anti-air, as the mobility of fliers makes shooting at them with grav a shaky proposition.
    • Drop Pods being Fast Attack in 7e gives you a way to put grav-cannon Centurions exactly where they can do the most damage - it's also a reason to consider using a standard CAD instead of the Gladius formation. There's even a spot for one more guy in the Pod, so you can pair them with a Librarian for buffs (Tigurius!), or an HQ with an invulnerable save to tank the AP2 shots the Centurions will doubtlessly attract.
    • White Scars getting Hit & Run makes these guys very difficult to tarpit since Centurions are I4. Disengaging this way also puts you right into hurricane bolter Rapid Fire range, so 11 shots per model is a nice way to show your opponent they can't stop your Centurions so easily.
      • It's a nice idea and if you happened to be playing Scars and taking these guy already then, well, occasionally you'll get that benefit. But let's be real, you aren't picking your chapter tactic just to pull this one trick occasionally, nor are you adding these slowpokes to your awesome bike army just to make use of it. It's a fringe benefit but not much more. Seriously is it so hard to keep your fire support out of combat with guardsmen and gaunts?
  • Thunderfire Cannon - A powerful, cost-efficient and versatile artillery piece. This is now a beast choice in 7th edition, very useful at putting pressure on scoring units, being able to choose 3 different shell types, one at strength 6, one which Ignores cover at strength 5 and the last causes models affected by the blast to move through difficult terrain at Strength 4. Keep this far away as possible with a good line of sight, if you're lucky you can end up with 20 wounds if all goes to plan. MEQ's can buckle hard under the pressure it can fire off. 7th edition buffed artillery staying power by giving it 2 wounds and 3+ save, so it won't die like a bitch to a single krak shot or turn of bolter fire. But it still completely stationary. This doesn't fare so well in small games as it attracts attention quicker, It is forgotten about most of the time in larger games which is great as it will harass your opponent's infantry. Most forget that it even exists in Apocalypse games where you'll have access to units with even more firepower and the sheer amount of dakka that will be tossed around will cause this gun to spontaneously explode. The Thunderfire Cannon does have one trick up its' sleeve, however: it comes with a free Techmarine with a servo-harness. If you plan on taking Techmarines anyway and have the slots open, you might as well get one cannon round out of it for 25 points. Against armies that are heavily mechanized and must bunch up all their transports, Thunderfire Cannons can cockblock the entire army with the earthquake shells, provided you actually have something else in the list for breaking those transports.
    • Three of these in a squadron brings the whole group up to BS6. Unfortunately, due to the new FAQ this won't grant you re-rolls on your scatter die, since the ability to re-roll 1s (which is how BS6+ is worded) no longer grants such.
    • 7th Edition has made all Thunderfire Cannon shells Barrage. Fun times ahead.
    • If there're no exposed infantry units to fire at, use the Strength 6 shells on the light AV vehicles/APCs that are definitely going to be around. Remember that Barrage shots hit side armor, so you'll be getting up to four hits on AV10-12 most of the time.

Vehicles[edit]

All vehicles can now be taken as squadrons of three per slot; this can be pricey, but it grants powerful bonus abilities...at least until one of the tanks dies. They also get buffs as a squad, so nearby diviners and the like can help the whole crew.

  • Predator - A decent dakka unit. They can serve two purposes, infantry killing, or tank/MC hunting. A three-tank squad gets Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter while all three are alive - this greatly improves Tri-Las Predators in particular.
    • Infantry-killing Predators should stick with the default auto-cannon, and grab Heavy Bolter sponsons. It's fairly cheap (95pts) for 8 AP4 shots per tank. Upgrades are usually not necessary: Extra Armor doesn't help much since you will, in 99% of cases, be out of reach of any units with CC anti-tank, and your other guns will outrange a Storm Bolter. The only thing worth considering is the Hunter-Killer missile, but even then, it's only efficient in numbers (like, 7-8 HKMs). Dakka Preds are outclassed by Whirlwinds and Thunderfire Cannons for killing blobs, sadly, and they also waste the special rules mentioned above.
    • Tri-Las is the best way to field the Predator(s). Compared to a 4-lascannon Devastator squad, you save 10 points and trade one cannon for superior durability (in particular, safety against small-arms fire), not losing firepower when you do get hit (unless the hit is a Penetrating one), and making one of the guns Twin-Linked. Remember, a three-tank squad gets Monster/Tank Hunter, so consider covering your anti-MC/tank needs with 420 points of tank lascannons that re-roll Wounds/Armor Pen.
      • Remember, autocannons equal or exceed lascannons against any toughness in the game that is not 9 (although they don't inflict ID on T4) and AV 12 or less, which is exacerbated by Shred (which is what Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter grant against MCs and Vehicles, respectively), so consider an autocannon turret with lascannon sponsons if you are low on points and want your Predators to do well against light tanks and MCs as well as heavy ones, rather than taking different solutions for each.
    • Unlike many other battle tanks in the game, the Predator's side AV is 11, which is glaringly lower than its frontal AV13, and makes its flanks attractive targets. Protect their sides with positioning terrain, Rhinos that have already delivered their passengers, or just staying the fuck away from everything and hide in the backfield like you should do.
  • Vindicator - This guy has a big, scary gun. Hampered by its short range, this S10 AP2 pie-plate causes most people (especially other marine players) nightmares. It's bound to draw fire, lots and lots of fire. This is good because it keeps guns trained away from the rest of your army, but bad because it's easily shot down from the side (especially if your opponent deploys his anti-tank in opposite corners) and easily neutralized (glancing hits don't shake/stun anymore, but add up quickly, and EVERY damage result on a penetrating hit makes it useless for at least a turn, if not permanently). Thunderfire Cannons are better at killing blobs, but the Vindicator's niche as a pie-plate that can slag Terminators, bikes and Toughness 5 MCs is unique in this codex. In 7E, it no longer comes stock with a storm bolter, so if you want to try and save the main gun from Weapon Destroyed, you gotta pay 5 pts.
  • Putting 3 Vindicators in a squad lets them give up their individual pieplates for a single Apocalyptic Blast with Ignores Cover. It practically becomes an anti-everything weapon with that option available to it, and you can always choose to just fire three regular pieplates if the foe isn't clustered closely enough for the Apocalyptic Blast to mulch his entire squad at once. Just remember that the 10" Apocalyptic Blast shot is still only 24" range, plus the usual scattering. If anyone is closer than 24", it will probably fuck up your precious 360 point squadron. Besides, if anyone lets a god damn Vindicator squadron get into 24", they deserve an Apocalyptic Blast.
  • Whirlwind - The Whirlwind is an artillery platform, pretty cheap at 65 points. It has two shooting profiles, both of them Ordnance/Large Blast/Barrage shots: an S5 AP4 shot for hunting troops in the open, or an S4 AP5 shot that Ignores Cover. The squad-buff for Whirlwind goes a long way towards making it relevant in 7E. There are two primary reasons to consider a Whirlwind squad over a Thunderfire Cannon. First, they can move and shoot, allowing you to adjust position or start in reserves (i.e. to dodge an alpha strike) without losing a turn of shooting. The second reason is that their shots have better AP, which is an army matchup-specific consideration.
    • Three Whirlwinds in a squad grant all of its missiles Pinning and Shred. Congrats, you're now a better Wyvern.
  • Hunter - One of the new Space Marine AA weapons. Comes with a massive missile launcher, which is S7 AP2 Armourbane, so rather than glancing enemy flyers to death, like the most flakk tanks, it is designed to blast it in one shot. Hunter's misses transform into missiles on the target's tail that hit REAR armor on 5+ next turn, which is kinda funny and overall useful, especially against IG and Tau flyers. But unlike the previous edition, the missile doesn't hang around forever, so you only get the second attempt once. You don't get the lock-on if shooting at a non-flyer, but remember, skyfire still allows full BS shooting at skimmers. Use one to pop eldar, tau, deldar and necron vehicles of all sorts.
    • With three Hunters in a squad, you can re-roll the Savant Lock rule on each of their missiles, which makes up for the loss of being able to troll flyers with endlessly seeking missiles, since you're already throwing more missiles than most fliers could reasonably handle.
  • Stalker - The other new Space Marine AA weapon, packing a pair of three-shot autocannons. Different from a Hydra Flakk tank, it has better side armor, Ballistic Skill and the ability to fire at two different targets. And yes, it is as cheap as a Hydra. The 7E codex changed how their weapon systems work; now they have Interceptor as well as Skyfire, so squadrons of Stalkers become the premier first-strike AA guns in the entire game! Furthermore, if they fire at a single target then the squad gets Twin-Linked. If you split your fire, you simply use the weapon profile - no more BS2 penalty.
    • Three Stalkers as a vehicle squadron grants their guns Ignores Cover. That's right - fuck you, Jink. Also, remember Skyfire shoots at Skimmers full BS (looking at you, Eldar, Necrons and Tau).
  • Land Raider - The biggest metal box of all. Can carry termies, and lets them assault after disembarking. Comes in eight flavors, three in the codex and five from Forgeworld:
    • Classic (or Phobos-pattern) Land Raider - 2 sets of twin-linked lascannons and a twin-linked heavy bolter. Carries 10 (it was 12 in 5th edition). You'd think it's good for tank hunting...on its own, no way. It's just too expensive for that. Land Raiders need to be transporting stuff, and running forward at great speeds. This Land Raider is a confused beast, best left alone. If you want a little bit more reasoning for why the classic Land Raider is comparatively useless, here's a bit more explanation: for the cost of having it on the table, this Land Raider needs to be able to do both of its roles effectively at the same time, but since transporting soldiers doesn't work well with standing up front and shooting too, there's no real way to make this one as effective as it needs to be. It's not completely useless thanks to Power of the Machine Spirit, which allows an additional weapon to be fired at a different target (even while shaken/stunned), theoretically allowing you to move 6" and destroy two enemy tanks (if you're lucky). This tactic works quite well with Antaro Chronus as his BS 5 makes this more likely. Overall, this Land Raider is not recommended except in a Land Raider Spearhead formation with two other Classic Land Raiders, good for super heavy/gargantuan monstrous creature hunting in high points games/Apocalypse.
    • Crusader - 2 sets of "hurricane bolters" (3 twin-linked regular bolters) and 1 twin-linked Assault cannon. With a 16-model capacity, this is the standby transport for Terminators. The multi-melta is a nice addition for pot-shots at tanks. The Crusader WANTS to be up close, where its short-ranged, anti-infantry guns work wonders to support the squad it was escorting. Hurricane Bolters kinda suck, unfortunately, so consider moving forward 12", PotMS the Assault Cannon and snap fire those Bolters. Give it Extra Armor, nothing sucks more than a stunned Land Raider. This used to be the ultimate in Terminator delivery, but recently a challenger has appeared...
      • It should also be that black templar crusader squads can take a land raider crusader as a dedicated transport, meaning if you're playing with a CAD then yes, indeed, your land raider has objective secured. My favorite thing to do with this is take a 15 man unit (10 initiates, 5 neophytes), give them all cc weapons, stick a Melta and 2 power fists in the unit, baby sit them with a chaplain and throw them in a land raider. Whilst not exactly the best unit, it is (in my opinion) the most fun to use in 40k, by itself.
    • Redeemer - Keeps the twin-linked Assault Cannon of the Crusader, but replaces the side-mounted Hurricane Bolters with a pair of Flamestorm Cannons, nasty S6 AP3 flamers. Carries 12. The only other Land Raider you should even consider, even if it doesn't fit as many Terminators. Far nastier against infantry than the crusader, but it needs to be up closer to be effective... which means melta-range. Whoops. On the flip side, now that unit is also VERY close to that nasty CC unit that was inside the aforementioned Land Raider, and are bound to get their faces ripped off in revenge. Also, it doesn't help that Flamestorm Cannons being mounted on the side means that the Redeemer can have difficulty hitting things directly in front of it. Nice thing that 14/14/14 AV does not require specific facing. Multi-Melta optional, but nice. And the cherry on top: 10 points cheaper than the other two Land Raider varieties. Remember, you may not be allowed to snap shot templates, but power of the machine spirit means you can move 12" and still make someone extra crispy. One little advice when assembling the Redeemer is to mount the Flamestorm Cannons in the forward position. That way the templates gain additional reach.
    • Terminus Ultra (Apocalypse) - Leman Russes and Baneblades got you down? Are Hammerhead gunships making you throw fits? Tyrannofexes slaughtering your tanks? Titans kicking your ass when you have none of your own? Do Predator Annihilators simply fail to cut it for you? Are your desperate, suicidal charges against a Monolith with only two tactical marines, two Predator Destructors, and three Land Speeders proving to be totally ineffective? Then the Terminus Ultra is a tank for you!!! Coming equipped with three(!) twin-linked lascannons and two single lascannons, it's only a measly 50 points more expensive than the standard Land Raider and has no troop carrying capacity. It is extremely effective against enemy armour, the Land Raider's special rule allows the Terminus Ultra to easily take out 2 light vehicles in a single shooting phase or completely annihilate one heavy vehicle, I once managed to destroy a Warhound Titan with this thing. But some unlucky rolls can lead to the tank blowing up, through overheating of the lascannon batteries (like REALLY unlucky, about a .3343% chance or 13 in 3888 odds). Best used at long range, picking off the enemy vehicles one by one, or two by two. Pretty much, it causes enemy vehicles to suffer critical existence failure to an even greater degree than the Redeemer causes enemy infantry to spontaneously combust (probably because the Redeemer doesn't have an additional two weapon mounts.) If you could stick on a multi-melta or an additional Lascannon, all your anti-vehicle problems could be fixed but not even Matt Ward is willing to go that far. Antaro Chronus turns this into pretty much the final word in Imperial tank destroyers.
    • Achilles (Forge World) - Oh hell yes. For the same price as the Terminus Ultra, this beast sports a Thunderfire Cannon and twin-linked multi-melta sponsons, has immunity to the Melta and Lance special rules, puts a -1 penalty on most other attacks, can carry six models, and doesn't go 'splodey. Put a scout squad and a techmarine in it, plonk it down on an objective, and watch your opponent throw a shit fit. Eldar and Dark Eldar will really Rage at it since that don't have much anti-tank outside of meltas and lances. Tthough, they have haywire/D-weapon, and you really should beware them, as hawks, wraithguards, witches and scourges would blow your "expensive but invincible" tank in eye blink, once they came in threat range. (Another option is to take a iron hand character, which gives the achilles IWND. Then ally in a cheap DA librarian with a bike and Powerfield generator for a 4++ (divination for rerollable inv save shenanigans). Just try and destroy that platform of death, I dare you...)--Make it worse? Put an Iron Hands Master of the Forge in it with the Relic that gives IWND on a 4+. So, get your repair shot (w/Iron Hands bonuses) + IWND as well. Unless they can take out the HP in one round, this thing isn't going down.
    • Ares (Apocalypse) - This is for when a Vindicator just won't cut it. Comes standard with a Demolisher cannon, twin linked Assault cannons, twin-linked heavy flamer sponsons, and a siege shield, can take extra armour for +15pts, and always do have extra armour on it, the whole point of this tank is to get to the enemy lines as quickly as possible, therefore as soon as it's stunned, it's losing an entire turn of blowing the enemy apart as you'll reach them a turn later. When it was released there were those who questioned the point of the Demolisher cannon (By 'those', I mean Idiots, who wouldn't want a demolisher cannon...), as it's an ordnance weapon, no other weapons can be fired. Remember PoTMS allow to fire one additional weapon, and you will snapshot with all guns if Ordance is fired, so ultimately it allows 1 Ordance + 1 full BS weapon firing per turn. Costs as much as two-and-a-half Vindicators, but a hell of a lot more survivable, and has more close-combat attack options into the bargain. This tank is the absolute final word in terminal close quarters battle, the demolisher cannon will annihilate half a unit, many more will be mown down by the Assault cannon, then move in to mop up with twin-linked heavy flamers (re-roll to wound), so... it's pretty good its Armour can stand up to the punishment it will no doubt sustain on it's way to the enemy front lines.
      • Irritatingly, there is no way to buy a kit for this vehicle, Forgeworld or otherwise, so you have to build it from scratch.
    • Helios (Forge World) - A Whirlwind on steroids, which comes stock with twin-linked lascannon sponsons. More survivable and versatile than the Whirlwind, but is not worth the points cost. Also carries six models for some insane reason. If you ask us, it'd probably be better off not being able to transport infantry in exchange for two more gun mounts, probably autocannons. Mais c'est la vie. Not bad if you're only transporting six models anyways (i.e. command squad) since it's basically ten points to upgrade the heavy bolter to a whirlwind launcher, which can be PotMS fired at at infantry while you hit something with lascannon. Not that a command squad needs a LR, but this could be an awesome choice for them if you do it anyways.
      • Despite your uber metal box having AV14 all around and 4HP there are a lot of things that could kill it for like 1/4 of it's cost. Lances and S10 weapons should make you worry. Be afraid of melta and armourbane weapons. Haywire grenades are scary, but less so after the FAQ clarification that it's one per unit in assault. Necrons would eat your Land Raider alive without any problems, unless they go for full tesla and no scarabs (highly unlikely). If your opponent try to squeeze a Titan loaded with D-weapons into 40k game per new Escalation rules feel free to beat him to death with your old reliable metal dreadnought.
  • Stormraven Gunship (Attack Flyer) - Basically, a flying Land Raider. It costs 200 points base, has AV12 all around and meltaguns don't get the extra D6 for AP when shooting at them. It's also bristling with guns; it has a twin-linked heavy bolter, a twin-linked assault cannon, and four Stormstrike missiles (72" S8 AP2, Concussive, one shot each), and that's only standard issue. It can replace the heavy bolters with a twin-linked multimelta for free or a Typhoon missile launcher for 25 points, and replace the assault cannon with a twin-linked plasma cannon or a twin-linked lascannon for free. And if that's not enough dakka for you, it can take hurricane bolters in side sponsons. It can't deep strike anymore, but it can take a locator beacon. The real gravy is its transport capacity; it can carry 12 guys (or 6 Jump Infantry/Terminators) AND one Dreadnought ANND it's an assault vehicle. Watch your opponent cry tears of bitter rage as your Vanguard Veterans with power weapons come out of fucking nowhere to ruin his day, along with a rampaging Ironclad dreadnought. It'll cost you an arm and a leg, but you certainly get what you pay for. And speaking of 7th edition it's a flyer. You need it.
    • If you're going Iron Hands, take a Techmarine with a servo harness and stick him in there to regain your hullpoints. You will be targeted so it's always important to bring these guys to make sure your Stormraven stays up in the air. In the end you will have a IWND Storm Raven with a 3+ (4+ if not Iron Hands) Blessing of the Omnissiah rolls. Trust me, nothing can easily take it down with all those dice rolls that keeps it up. Take both if you got the points to spare.
    • Take one of these full of power weapon VV's (Or any CC deathstar. Honor Guard work well if your HQ can't take a jump pack)/dread and a Stormtalon escort. Drink your opponent's tears. Bonus points for being Raven Guard.
    • Alternative take It's a 200 point unit that can swap its stock weapons out for twin-linked lascannons and multimeltas for free. In other words, use it as an anti-flyer with the transport capacity coming in as a bonus. However, unless you're expecting to see mostly AV12 flyers, the assault cannon might actually work better. Death by hull point depletion is still death, after all.

Supplemental or Forgeworld[edit]

  • Deimos Predator - Stock, a Deimos Predator is identical to a vanilla predator. Same stats, same weapons, same points cost. The difference is in the toys the Deimos has as options. Along with the regular heavy bolters and lascannon sponsons, the Deimos can bring heavy flamers. For the turret, you get to choose between replacing the autocannon with a flamestorm cannon, a magna-melta, a plasma destroyer, or a heavy conversion-beamer (though the tank becomes a relic of the armoury if either of the latter two are taken). All in all, the Deimos can be equipped to deal with a wider variety of targets and situations than the vanilla pred, though the Deimos can’t be squadroned.
    • Predator Executioner - With the 3-shot plasma destroyer (THAT DOES NOT GET HOT) this thing would blast MEQ and TEQ from the table next turn they come in range. The heavy conversion beamer would only work on high distances, and force you to move or shoot, but a 48-72" S10 AP1 big blast would retake the price of tank in a single shot - think of it like a long range Vindicator.
    • Predator Infernus – While the flamestorm cannon is highly devastating at close range it's just too slow. Slow flamer tanks sucks. If you want one that bad, just take allied Blood Angels with a Baal Pred. If this thing come close to any non-TEQ infantry, it would ruin their day, and then die to a single melta shot, or hail of krak grenades. But most commonly it would just die, because a big scary flamer approaching your lines attracts a LOT of fire. The MAGNA-MELTA (R18 S8 AP1 Heavy1, Large Blast, Melta), transforms it into a wannabe-Vindicator.
  • Vindicator Laser Destroyer - The ultimate tank killer, this beast spots a souped-up Laser Destroyer, found on Rapiers, except better. Now this twin-linked ordnance lascannon have a proper 48" range (so it's no longer outranged by things it's supposed to kill) and AP1 (so thing would go boom on 5+). But there's more. If it doesn't move, it can shoot up to THREE times (two normally, and one more with a slight risk of overheating). As a reminder, Ordnance allows you to roll two dice for Armor Penetration, and pick the better one to add to the weapon's Strength. This tank arguably packs more anti-armor punch than Terminus Ultra and Spartan, while being cheaper than Predator Annihilator, with the only three downsides of being more vulnerable to weapon destroyed, being less mobile, and the aforementioned slight chance of overheating. Frankly, unless it's on its last Hull Point, it's probably a good choice to just fire off that third overcharge shot if you reckon you need it to finish off the target, because it's far more likely to put a way bigger hole in the enemy tank, than the risk of losing one Hull Point on yours.
  • Spartan Assault Tank - Forgeworld takes the old multiple personality disorder Land Raider, and pumps it up with steroids. Fucking five hull points, two twin-linked two-shot lascannons (it almost gets off as many lascannon shots as a terminus ultra while still being able to carry troops, doesn't go boom when you roll badly, and gets way more goodies), TL heavy bolters, transport capacity of 25, in-built extra armor, good-old 14/14/14, PotMS and Assault Vehicle. You even can take frag launchers (which got far more awesome with the new grenade rules) and ceramite shielding (bubble you, meltaguns) for a marginal increase in points. Meaning it can do the roles of the Terminus Ultra, the Achilles, and the Ares all at the same time, all it really needs are some burny weapons. But what are the drawbacks you ask? This uber metal box can not be taken as a dedicated transport at all. Also, as a Forgeworld model, it will cost you a unicorn's soul.
    • At only 45 points more, there is no reason to take the Godhammer landraider over this beast ever again.
    • Your opponent might hate your guts if you field this.
    • Want to make your opponent cry or perhaps even strangle you? Take this beast, the Armoured Ceramite upgrade (when you're 14 AV all round, people WILL try to melta your ass), the Iron Hands Chapter Tactics, a Master of the Forge and with a few Servitors (One should do), and if you have the points add a techmarine with a servoharness as well. If you do all that you will end with HP 5, It Will Not Die and Melta Immune Spartan Assault Tank (That's AV 14 all around no less) and a MotF with a 2+ Blessing of the Omnissiah Rolls with a 3+ roll of insurance from the Techmarine. Make sure those guys are in the vehicle as of the recent faq, Techs can repair while in the vehicle. This will only cost you 440 points.
    • Fully kitted out Spartan is a textbook definition of Cheese - if your opponent has no answer to it, it'll going to run around wreak havoc unopposed, but if he has - it's you who's screwed, as you pretty much sunk more than a quarter of your points into a giant metal box, that just got blown up in a single turn by a cheap haywire-equipped unit, or a Railgun, or anything Necron, or just fucking Nurglings. At least with this tank-light edition you may hope your opponent had left his anti-vehicle guns at home in favor of moar plasma (because, God knows, you need all the plasma in the world against all these MCs roaming around).
  • Relic Sicaran - A high speed assault tank that is a halfway between a Land Raider and a Predator. For 135 points you get A MURDER MACHINE with 13/12/12, Fast, and the Herakles pattern Accelerator Autocannon, which is R48", S7, AP4, Heavy 6, Rending, and Twin-linked....and no jink saves allowed. This tank makes the Eldar cry. Even Wave Serpents will fall before this (sadly you can only have one (unless you've got a Techmarine HQ) while the Eldar player will spam Wave Serpents.) The Sicaran can also take ceramite plating, making it very durable. This tank absolutely eats light-to-medium armored vehicles and walkers. You will kill a chimera or dreadnought every time your fire its main gun, and with Twin-linked and Space Marine BS, you'll be connecting with almost every shot.
  • Whirlwind Hyperios - This thing is supposed to be your main ground based anti-air, but it sucks. One skyfire/interceptor krak shot per turn, even twin-linked is just don't cut it, and you can not squadron this thing, like IG player squadron their Hydras.
    • With the introduction of the Stalker and Hunter, and then now Stalker and Hunter SQUADRONS with squadron bonuses, and the anti-air formation, there is zero reason to even give the Hyperios a sideways glance anymore.
  • Relic Whirlwind Scorpius - Unlike the standard Whirlwind, the Scorpius fires a small blast, but at S8 and AP3 it eats MEQs for breakfast. And if it stands still it can fire D3+1 templates (allowing it to have them for lunch and dinner too).
  • Space Marine Sentry Gun Battery - From IA:12 you get a battery of up to three immobile twin-linked Heavy Bolters for the bargain cost of 15 points each and swap them for a Multi-melta for five or pay ten for TL Lascannons. Being automated, you have very little control over what they actually do in the battle, they select their own targets based on pre-set criteria, you basically just get to choose at deployment what their arcs are: 360 degrees but at 18" range, or 90 degrees at 36" range, so you're rarely going to be blasting things across the table with these things. You DO get the ability to deep strike them for a laugh or give them camo netting for stealth if you can set them up in a good spot to make them invulnerable to most shooting. (while you can pay the cost for both, just don't because it you deep strike into cover you are waiting for a mishap.)
    • DON'T EVER mix and match guns or targeting criteria, nowhere in the rules do they say they deploy separately or behave any differently from any other artillery battery, meaning they should all be firing at the same target, which is still the one they select for themselves...
    • As a added bonus though, you can instead swap the guns for a Hyperios Missile Launcher (see Fast Attack section).
  • Space Marine Rapier Carrier Battery - Almost identical to its Imperial Guard counterpart, with the same cheap price and the same awesome weapon, except with Space Marine ballistic skill, toughness, Chapter Tactics and And They Shall Know No Fear.
  • Storm Eagle - Your transport Flyer. (IA12 moved it to heavy) Occupies the middle-ground between the Stormraven and the Thunderhawk. Transport capacity of 20, with terminators and jump infantry counting as 2 models each. Impressive arsenal of weaponry, standard armament: Hull-mounted twin-linked Heavy Bolter, Hull-mounted Vengeance Launcher (Range:48"|Str:5|AP:4|Heavy 2, Large Blast). Optional armament includes: Switching Heavy bolters for Multi-meltas or a Typhoon missile launcher, and adding 4 Hellstrike Missiles or 2 Twin-linked Lascannon under the wings. Also get ceramite shielding, and the 'Power of the Machine Spirit' special rule, along with 12|12|12 armour. Can also deep strike, and disembarking infantry can assault in the same turn.
    • Same with the Stormraven. Motf/Tech with a servo Harness put them inside and stay up.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship (Forge World) - Official rules in IA2:2nd. Comes naked with a TL Avenger Bolt Cannon (being a proper manly S6 AP3 7 shots, 4 Stormtrike Missiles (S8 Concussive, NOT Ordnance, YAY) and two Independent-Turret Quad Heavy Bolters (which can be replaced with TL Autocannon for free); the latter which aside from firing at their own targets as rumored, don't count towards the number of weapons fired! With all the twin-linked goodness, Strafing Run and PotMS/Independent-turrets; this bastard can dump its entire payload on FOUR SEPARATE TARGETS in a single turn and hit almost every time. It is a relic vehicle, so if you want to take more than one (or any other relic vehicle) remember to grab a Techmarine as one of your HQ choices.
  • Deathstorm Drop Pod (Forgeworld) - Expecting the drop pod that just landed to contain troops or a heavy weapons platform you don't have to worry about until next turn? SURPRISE! Whirlwind missiles! For you! In the face! When this modified drop pod lands, it immediately attacks every unit (friend or foe) in 12" and in line of sight d3 times, then attacks normally every subsequent turn. It can also be upgraded to assault cannons for an extra 20 points, but this should only be done if you expect it to survive more than one turn (and you really shouldn't). Very situational, but if your opponent fields lots of small units relatively close together, dropping this in the middle of them is almost guaranteed to ruin his day. Can't take a locator beacon, though.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought (Angels of Death) - The Angels of Death supplement's take on the Contemptor is a bit of a different beast from its Forge World cousin. It's taken in Heavy Support instead of Elites, has BS 5, 4 attacks, is 5 points cheaper, has Atomantic shielding as wargear instead of as a special rule, has a power fist with a combi-bolter instead of a dreadnought close combat weapon with a storm bolter, has Chapter Tactics, and can be squadroned. AoD Contemptor Dreadnoughts can also be taken in any Formation in place of normal, Ironclad or Venerable Dreadnoughts. This makes them far easier to take in normal games (unlike FW units which are harder to fit anywhere other than a CAD).
    • The trade-off for the squadrons, better stats, lower cost, and Chapter Tactics, however, is far fewer weapon options than the Forge World version (see Elites). As in, if you want more options than simply replacing the Multi-Melta with an Assault Cannon, you'll still have to use the IA2 rules, because that's the only option you got with Angels of Death. The AoD Contemptor also inexplicably lacks the built-in searchlight and smoke launcher of the Forge World Contemptor.
  • Relic Deredeo Pattern Dreadnought (Experimental Rules online) - This is the great-great-great(20x) Grandfather of the Rifleman Dreadnought. At 185 points base, you get a weapon platform with WS4, BS5, S6, AV:13/12/11, A1, and a 5++ save. It's equipped with an Arm-mounted Twin-Linked Anvillus Autocannon Array, which has 4 shots at S8 AP4 Sunder(Reroll to Penetrate), and a Sarcophagus mounted Twin-linked Heavy Bolter (or Heavy Flamer for free). For 35 points more, you can also get the Aiolos Missile Launcher, which is essentially a 3-shot Javelin Missile that ignores Line Of Sight, Intervening Terrain, always hits the top of a tank(Side Armour), and can splitfire at a different target. For same cost as the Aiolos the Deredeo can exchange the Autocannons for a Twin-linked Hellfire Plasma Cannonade. This reduces range to 36", STR to 7, and it loses Sunder. However, it has AP2 with two firing modes: Heavy 4 for Plasma Cannon hits without Gets Hots or Heavy 1 Large Blast (5") & Gets Hot. Take the Plasma Cannonade if there is a heavily armored vehicle or TEQ squad you want to give the metaphorical middle finger. Otherwise stick with the Anvillus.
    • Make no mistake, BS 5 TL is the same as BS10. With its extreme accuracy and sunder, it can pretty much eat a light or medium tank for breakfast each and every turn. And while it's slamming the medium tanks with the Anvillus Cannons to statistically strip 3 hull points a turn, it's also stripping 2 hull points a turn off another light tank, or threatening a MEQ squad. If its ability to remove tanks like a serbian removes kebabs isn't enough, it's also the ultimate anti-air unit, with the ability to remove a flyer from the board on the turn it comes in with a 95% chance of success.
    • Overall, it's expensive as hell when given the Aiolos, but you get exactly what you pay for. Always take the Aiolos Missile Launcher, because it helps to strip hull points off of your opponent's transports to make them easier to kill. And be sure to park this thing near some LOS Blocking terrain to ensure it can pick its targets with impunity.
  • Relic Leviathan Dreadnought (Forge World) - For about double the price of an Ironclad, you get a rounder Dread with S8, AV 13/13/12 with a 4+ Invul that adds d3 to both the range and strength of its death-explosion, two heavy flamers on his body, total immunity to Maledictions powers, and two claws with meltas, Wrecker, and the odds to inflict d3 extra wounds. When this dads to the fact that it adds +1 to its initiative and 2 HoW attacks on the charge as well as a mandatory sweeping advance, you see that the goal of this thing is to touch anything that runs near it. For it's cost, it might have been better off with AV14 or some better tools. The claws can become drills so you get Armourbane for pennies. You could also make it shooty by replacing a claw with a Leviathan Storm Cannon, that is Heavy 6 S7 AP3 hits with Sunder or a Cyclonic melta lance (not actually a lance weapon), which is a Heavy 3 S9 AP1 18" Meltagun. You could give it Ceramite to cure it of its fear of Melta and three HKs to help pop tanks, but you've already got so much for that goal. To add to that, this thing counts as a Relic of the Armoury, but can't take a Legacy of Glory, nor can it ever score or benefit from a detachment or formation, so taking this requires extra care. However, with the right loadout it can be an annoyance to any player fielding a Lord of War.

Lords of War[edit]

  • Roboute Guilliman - HE'S HERE. For the cost of 2 Cato Sicarii you have a Monstrous Creature with a 2+/3++/5+++, Eternal Warrior, and pretty much a straight 6 statline, excluding a WS of 9 and LD of 10. If you somehow fuck up and walk him towards something you shouldn't, or bad luck befalls you and he dies, fear not! On a roll of 4+ on the turn he got murdered, HE FUCKING COMES BACK TO LIFE WITH D3 WOUNDS.
    • All friendly armies of the Imperium re-roll failed Morale, Fear and Pinning tests while he is on the battlefield, and he is NEVER subject to Ld malus modifiers. Re-rolls failed Deny the Witch, along with his Adamantium Will, those Psychic Shrieks don't look as scary. He grants Ultramarines another copy of each Doctrine.
    • He has a 24" Assault 3 S6 AP2 bolter which is good for raping Abaddon at long range, but in combat is where he really shines. With fleet to get him there faster, he can go toe-to-toe with an Imperial Knight and win just about every time. Why? BECAUSE HIS ATTACKS ARE FUCKING S10 AP1 and any 6s to hit are Strength D, AT INITIATIVE 6. As if he wasn't good enough by himself, he also has EVERY Command Trait as his Warlord trait. So not only a beast in his own right, he's a great force multiplier for the smurfs.
    • If you double team Guilliman with a librarius conclave, your opponent will probably have the right to kill you.
  • Marneus Augustus Calgar - Papa Smurf is the most expensive character in the codex and rightfully a Lord of War! He is also the most powerful in hand-to-hand, even more so than Lysander. He's a Chapter Master with double NOT UNWIELDY power-fists, an AP 2 storm bolter, Eternal Warrior, and two special rules: Master Tactician allows an extra use of the Combat Doctrine of your choice if he's the Warlord, while "God of War" lets you pick your Warlord Trait if you use the Space Marines trait table (now greatly improved and so totally worth it). He can also swap-out his artificer armour for a special Terminator armor (allowing him to deep-strike and giving him Relentless, not that he has any weapons that care about moving) that doesn't prevent Sweeping Advances, and even gets a free teleport homer. He also has a power sword, you know, in case you don't want to kill your opponent in only one turn. If you've noticed, pretty much his entire arsenal makes a mockery out of armor saves, even his ranged weapons. Also he lost the ability to make all Ultramarines in his army choose to fail or pass any Morale test they had to take.
    • Alternate Take: Calgar should be seriously considered for any Ultramarine player out there. Using a combat doctrine twice allows for you to deal with threats you army may not have the best tools to deal with. Flying circus? Devastator doctrine twice. Fighting Tau? Assault doctrine twice. General firefight? Pop tactical doctrine again. You don't have to choose which you need until you use it the second time. Calgar relies on clever usage to be effective, just like he should be. Yes, he's expensive, don't forget that, but he is costed right for all the buffs he gives your army, unlike other special characters. (Looking at you, Khan...)
    • With an escort and pimpwagon, he's going to attract every gun your opponent has and he's not overly tough for his cost. You're also more-or-less locked into making his unit a deathstar as a retinue and transport is going to bring him to around 700+ points.
    • Herculean Feat (Apocalypse) - If Papa Smurf is within 18" of a Necron Super-heavy or Transcendent C'Tan when he calls his finest hour he gets fleet and also bumps his base strength up to 5, which gets doubled to 10 due to his mighty fists. This is so he can play frisbee with necron pylons, but is unlikely to ever happen considering the relative scarcity of Necron players in Apocalypse level games. Also, the difference between S8 and S10 is largely academic in most situations against infantry. But if you are specifically punching vehicles then it can make all the difference due to the loss of his Titanic Might.
  • Thunderhawk Gunship - There is only one reason why you don't already have one, it costs a shitload of cash(£399), apart from this... small price... the Thunderhawk has virtually no downsides, at 700 points it's certainly expensive, and it doesn't have much armour (12,12,10) but it does have 9 HP and is immune to the 'melta' special rule. It's title of gunship is well deserved, it has a turbo laser (yes a fucking strength D weapon with a 5" blast!!!), four twin-linked heavy Bolters, two Lascannons and 6 weapon pylons, which can contain bombs or Hellstrike missiles. It also has a "modest" transport capacity of 30, so you can hold an entire 10 man squad of Terminators in this thing AND a techmarine and servitors to keep the thing running (they ARE allowed to repair vehicles they're embarked on, awesome). As the only super heavy vehicle in the space marines armoury, you will almost never field more than one of these, fortunately, you only need one. The best way to use this vehicle is to get close combat Terminators right into the middle of the enemies most dangerous shooting formation, then use the fearsome weapons on the gunship to destroy enemy vehicles that can insta-kill your guys, allowing your Terminators to destroy the shooty infantry and keep your grunts alive. Used properly this vehicle WILL make your opponent shit bricks, used improperly, it will do nothing but die uselessly as it gets pummeled by 700 points worth of enemy lascannons, rockets, missiles, battle cannon and lances, then it will explode and take the most of the rest of your army with it, because of this NEVER EVER keep it static, it's tempting to just hang back and pummel the enemies vehicles with the turbo laser, but don't.
    • Now you can now use this bad boy in normal games, why? Not a good idea seeing how it's 700 points....
    • Aside from access to a D weapon, the T-Hawk is generally inferior to three Storm Chickens, having the same armour and hull points but fewer guns and a lower transport capacity. Also, it's more expensive in both terms of points and dollars.
  • Fellblade - This is your THIRTEEN BARRELS OF HELL: Quad-lascannon or laser destroyer sponsons, twin-linked heavy bolters/flamers and a demolisher cannon on the hull, and a fuck-huge Accelerator Cannon (also known as a rape cannon) mounted on top. On top of that, you can take a pintle-mounted storm bolter, heavy bolter, heavy flamer or multi-melta, pushing it up to a mighty FIFTEEN BARRELS OF HELL. Take it with Armoured Ceramite to protect it from IG Melta-Vet squads, and make sure to protect the relatively vulnerable rear, and you have a tank that will put any of your former friend's Baneblade variants to shame.
    • For pointless fluff, the Accelerator Cannon is not a railgun, but instead is an autocannon that incorporates plasma-ignited electrothermal-chemical propellants, which is actually a real thing. You could look up "electrothermal-chemical technology" on The Other Wiki, but if you do, you're admitting you're a fuckhueg nerd. Neeeerd.
  • Thunderhawk Transporter - Get this if you if you have a burning desire to kneel down and sacrifice your money to the gods of Games Workshop. It costs the same amount of cash as the regular Thunderhawk, and you'll probably end up wishing you had one of those instead. It's not that the transporter is awful, the ability to fly in a loaded up land raider and place it where you want is cool, you can even scoop up other vehicles while in hover mode without having to cease your movement. But unless you are playing on REALLY big gaming tables (we're talking the same size of games where Earthshaker guns run out of range), there's no real need to do this, and your Thunderhawk itself doesn't have much else to do with only a few heavy bolters for its defense. Just get the regular Thunderhawk for now and you'll feel less guilty.
    • Alternate Take: Well, as stated in the paragraph above if you do get this there are other uses than running it on a ridiculously large map (even by apocalypse standard); load a squad of terminators (whichever flavor you fancy, but I'd go for a SS and TH unit) and drop'em in a land raider right next to the most valuable unit you can find. Then, laugh manically while your land raider shoots everything in range and you terminator pound the poor sods back to the warp. But admittedly another flyer (actual cough, thunderhawk, cough) could do this better, so if you feel like spending a few hundred then take it instead.
    • Note: As of writing, the transporter isn't for sale. Anywhere. So at least that temptation is removed from the universe.
  • Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer - An odd superheavy tank. Its weapon is S10 AP1, but has no blast, so if you miss there's no consolation prize by accidentally wiping out a nearby unit (it is twin linked, so you're unlikely to miss). However, whatever it hits is raped. It fires D3 shots every time it fires and anything that somehow survives a penetrating hit from it can only snap-fire next turn (including other superheavies... neutering that poor emperor class titan.) but if it fails a penetrate ROLL (glances are fine) or to-wound its target (remember it's a primary weapon, so already gets re-rolls), it instead damages itself by an automatic hull point on a further roll of 1. It can be given the standard predator sponsons or pintle mounted heavy weapons, but you're probably going to want to load up on anti-tank and leave anti infantry to your other units.
  • Typhon Heavy Siege Tank - It's a giant vindicator. Cheaper and better armoured than the Fellblade and more reliable than the Cerberus. It fires off a 7" Blast S10 AP1 weapon, which ignores cover, and so will erase entire units on 2s unless they have invulnerable saves. Can also be equipped with sponsons like a predator and pintlemounted options including heavy bolters, or a multi-melta. And unlike the Cerberus, since your main gun doesn't fill an uber specialised role you can choose what you want and split your fire to shoot in all directions and pick your targets by relevance. Also give it armoured ceramite so it can never be killed by melta & lances.
  • Warlord Battle Titan - Hoo boy, just when you thought you were safe. This destroyer of wallets is also a destroyer of friendships, as it's rules are as ridiculous as you think. Making an appearance in HH:5, it brings the pain in oh-so many ways. Coming in at a whopping 2750 points it sports 6 void shields and 30 GOD-EMPEROR-DAMNED HULL POINTS. Should you reach said hull points it has a 5++ save against hits to those hull points. It has a variety of go-fuck-yourself weapons (most of which are blasts) and rules, such as; the ability to fire Overwatch with some of its built-in weapons, immunity to being locked in combat as well as the Haywire rule and all non-Witchfire psychic attacks (and ceramite plating, fuck melta weapons), can only be hit in assault on a roll of 6 by infantry and MCs (or a 5+ by other superheavies and GCs), and all of its stomps use a Large Blast template. Oh, and should anyone actually manage to destroy it it explodes in a 12"/24"/36" blast with its own table, 1 is S D/8/4 AP 2/3/5, 2-3 is S D/10/6 AP 2/3/4, and 4-6 is S D all round and AP 1/2/2... Good luck finding someone who will play you with this, asshole. (fairly easy to kill with Grav however; Drop Pod enough grav next to anything and it nearly always dies; this gamer had fun taking a third of its Hull Points in Turn 1 having watched the void shields drop under weight of fire).

Fortifications[edit]

  • Aegis Defence Line: Cheap means of getting a quad gun. Scouts with camo cloaks and telion make this another delicious 2+ cover save. Even better, play Imperial Fists or take an Imperial Fists detachment. Take a Devastator squad. Have them man the Quad gun. You now have a BS5 Quad gun that is twin-linked, and re-rolls failed pens/glances against all vehicles. This thing will fucking blow Heldrakes out of the sky in a single Shooting phase if you're a little lucky.
  • Skyshield Landing Pad: 4++ save, park your vehicles that are just going to stay still and shoot on top of this thing. It can't be demolished, laugh as your predators rain death unmolested. Technically you can put a war-hound titan on top of this and still get an invuln save, but you have to take a dangerous terrain test if you move off of it.
  • Imperial Bastion: It basically serves the same role as the Aegis Line, but it has more guns and better cover. It's as expensive as the Skyshield, though, without protecting your tanks, and your infantry squads probably won't find it worthwhile to sit around all game--unless they're Devastators, which is where this shines.
  • Fortress of Redemption: It's a massive "centerpiece" terrain model, which is kinda silly when you think about it. It basically forces you to sit around and shoot, and it certainly does have plenty of firepower, but then you don't necessarily want to do that--you're not Impy Guard or Tau, remember. Really, the biggest question when taking this is, for that price, why aren't you taking another Land Raider?
  • Macro Cannon/Vortex Missile Aquila Strongpoint: Recommended for use in larger points games (EG 3000+). Having access to D weaponry for a fraction of the price of a Warhound Titan or a Thunderhawk is nice (both in real money and in points). Has two separate structures (one Large and one medium) that can be kitted out with more Heavy bolter emplacements and most importantly, Void shields. AV 15 means that lascannons glance... on 6s, meaning that to effectively deal with this monstrosity your opponent needs to get up close and personal with meltas or other CC. Big downside... it is immobile, and will cost you almost 600 points to have void shields on. If you must hold the line... you might as well do it in style.
    • Interesting Tactic: Take the Firespear Strike Force. Put them in an Aquilla Strongpoint. Double tap the Macro Cannon. Laugh maniacally.
    • Can be mixed with most of the other wall of Martyrs line in one fortification slot, so Imperial fist fans can have a blast with these.

Supplements[edit]

The Angels of Death Supplement brings back the old supplements, but they did undergo some...toning to become more generic. The rules that are no longer relevant for a detachment will be in italics.

Sentinels of Terra (Imperial Fist 3rd Company)[edit]

  • Close Ranged Bolter Drill: Replaces the Imperial Fists Bolter Drill with re-rolls to hit at half range. Works for bolt pistols, boltguns, storm bolters, heavy bolters, and combi-weapons firing as bolters. Unfortunately does not apply to Special Issue Ammo (unless it gets FAQ'ed, which is nigh impossible). Useful, but now you have to be closer to the enemy, so watch out. Note that, again, if you use the Angels of Death, this doesn't happen unless you use the Sternhammer.
  • Centurion Warsuits: Like Centurions? Now Centurion Devastator Squads are Elites and Heavy Support, Centurion Assault Squads are Fast Attack and Elites. Useful for freeing up slots for more useful things like Vindicators, but mostly this is for fluff rather than spam. Take 54 Marines wearing larger Marines for lols.
  • Tor Garadon: Upgrade for a Tactical Squad's Veteran Sergeant, if you actually use the Sentinels of Terra book instead of the Angels of Death book. Has profile of Captain rather than Sergeant (though he does get promoted to Captain, so it fits), power fist, grenades (frag and krak) and the Spartean (see below). He's 31 pts fewer than a Captain with the same wargear, but loses the Iron Halo and Independant Character special rule. Makes his Tac Squad HQ. Pretty good, and opens up cheap HQ option, with meatshields. Kit him up and hunt a tank.

Warlord Traits[edit]

With Stronghold Assault expansion coming, Warlord traits involving buildings are going to become much more useful. These are also re-released in the Angels of Death supplement below.

  1. Siege Lord: Shots from Warlord and unit add 1 to their roll on building damage table. Maybe useful if your opponents spam fortifications, but really, no.
  2. Tenacious Opponent: Warlord gets It Will Not Die. Nice.
  3. Wise Commander: While your Warlord is alive, add or subtract 1 from reserve rolls. Very nice, very nice indeed.
  4. Indomitable: Provided the Warlord and his unit don't move, they get Fearless and Counter Attack until the start of your next turn. Useful if the enemy breaks your lines, maybe too situational.
  5. Architect of War: The building your Warlord cowers in gets -1 to damage rolls against it. Can be Godlike if you stick your warlord on a Macro Cannon Strongpoint. Because who doesn't enjoy AV16 Structures with AV13 Void Shields? (besides Necrons).
  6. Fleet Commander: One use, Infinite Range, S10 AP1, Large Blast Ordinance Barrage that ignores BS when scattering. Sure, your Warlord can't fire another weapon that turn, but really, why should he? Awesomesauce. LOIC anyone?(take with Chapter Master for two round of hate)

Tactics[edit]

Close Range Bolter Drill turns the army into a close quarters shooting monster, the opposite of the Tau who want to stay away from the enemy. Get into that golden 12" range to make the most of twin-linked bolters, but be wary of melee specialists who also want to be that close, in order to charge (at least your Overwatch is a realer threat thanks to CRBD). While your dudes getting so close wastes the range of most heavy weapons, keep in mind heavy bolters also benefit from CRBD, and are thus worth consideration in spite of your preferred range of point-blank. Play like Aspect Eldar and keep your Troops units focused on destroying infantry, using your extra Centurions to deal with armor. Flamers and meltaguns merit consideration since you want to be close anyway, as do bolter Scouts since you can Infiltrate + Scout into rapid-fire range from the word Go.

Clan Raukaan[edit]

  • March of the Ancients: Dreadnoughts (which are now taken in squads of 1-3) can be taken as either Heavy or Elite Choices for a potential total of 18 in a combined arms detachment!
  • Scions of the Forge: Now for every HQ you take that isn't a Techie, you can grab up to 3 Techies as FOC-free choices. This will ensure that every tank won't be utterly helpless if one Techmarine can't make it.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Adept of the Omnissiah - Gain Blessing of the Omnissiah or a re-roll if they already have it.
  2. Will of Iron - Warlord becomes Fearless...But why would you even want this, you have ATSKNF already.
  3. FLESH IS WEAK - +1 to FNP roll. This is the pick you want when using Chapter Master Smashfucker. And why wouldn't you be using him when running an Iron Hands list?
  4. Student of History - In an attempt to avoid winding up without heads, the Warlord and Clan Raukaan unit can auto-fail Morale checks.
  5. Merciless Resolve - Warlord and friendly Clan Raukaan units within 12" get Crusader USR.
  6. Target Protocols - Warlord and Clan Raukaan units can re-roll To Hits of 1 in shooting phase. Definitely a way to make them Fists and Smurfs jelly of your sexy augmetics.

Tactics[edit]

With this supplement the Iron Hands chapter master went from ded killy an' ded 'ard to even more killy and even 'arder. The Gorgon Chain doesn't replace a weapon so your chapter master can now wield a thunder hammer and a lightning claw for an additional attack and the option to strike at initative, with access to 4+, 3+ or 2+ FNP through lucky warlord trait rolls, the Iron Hands' Chapter Tactics, and a Psyker with Endurance or the Gorgon Chain (4+ from Endurance, +1 from the warlord trait, + 1 from the chain, +1 From the CT). Add Grey Knight Allied Detachment (or play unbound) for a guaranteed little-to-no-perilling Sanctuary from Daemonology - Santic powers to give the psyker and his unit (YES, THIS INCLUDES SMASHFUCKER) +1 TO HIS INVULNERABLE. That is a 2+ Armour, 2+ Invulnerable, and a 2+ FNP, with IWND and EW. NOTHING SHORT OF THE ALMIGHTY D CAN KILL HIM NOW.

Not exactly fluffy, buuuut, since you've got all those tech marines, all of which have bolster defenses, you could stick a bunch of scouts in the bolstered cover. A bit more fluffy, Raptors as allies would go nicely for your Sons of Medusa. If you don't care about fluff, then Eldar will love your bolstered cover. Other than that, you can stick techmarines in squads as special weapon toting seargents or you can have them take along servitors for repair work. Take along some Inquisitorial allies, and use the arco-flagellants as failed aspirants.

If you feel bad, simply kit bash the bikers to be extremely augmented marines; use Terminators (especially Forge World's Gorgon Termies), add tech marine crap and done. The +1 toughness it easily explain because of how they're basically robots. Their speed, again their legs can move faster, or they have wheels for legs. Jink saves; because their sensors detect incoming fire, and they dodge out of the way.

Drop Pod Spam[edit]

Perhaps a silly tactic, but it may work. Multiple Drop Pods with Deathwind Launchers and It Will Not Die plus multiple Techmarines which repair at +4 are annoying.

Take two Techmarines and give them combi-weapons. Now add four tactical squads with only five members, a plasma gun and another combi-weapon. Join each techmarine to each squad and deploy them in Pods with Deathwind Launchers. Fill the list with Ironclad Dreadnoughts in Pods.

At 1600 points you will have 8 Drop Pods with Deathwind Launchers with IWND, 4 Ironclad Dreadnoughts with IWND and 4 squads with +6 FNP, a plasma weapon, two combis and an indepedent character with +2 save who can tank wounds and repair Dreadnoughts and Pods. Take a captain and a squad on bikes for a fast scoring unit.

Legion of the Damned[edit]

While this is technically an independent Codex in its own right, its relatively sparse crunch and dubious feasibility for use as a Primary Detachment make it a supplement for all intents and purposes.

  • Aid Unlooked For: Legion of the Damned units cannot be joined by ICs or benefit from Chapter Tactics. They start the game in reserve and arrive via Deep Strike. They can re-roll their Scatter die when Deep Striking.
    • Note: you can't run pure Legion of the Damned army since they all start in reserve, and you lose the game by default on the first turn (unless you are attacking in Planetstrike, or using some other mission that allows you to arrive on the first turn). The devs have confirmed that this was on purpose, to represent the Legion popping up to save a doomed Imperial last stand.
  • Unyielding Spectres: All LotD units get a 3+ invulnerable save.
  • Flaming Projectiles: All LotD shooting weapons ignore cover.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Inferno of Vengeance: The Warlord and his unit gain Soul Blaze on their guns. Probably the only bad trait considering how stupid Soulblaze gets.
  2. Aura of Fear: When taking Fear tests, all units in base contact with the Warlord's unit suffer a cumulative -1 Leadership penalty for every friendly LotD squad on the board beyond the first one. This can mean up to a -6 Ld penalty (if taken with three space marine legion squads but a -3 is more likely), which can make it quite effective if you can spare the points.
  3. Ethereal Bolts: Bolt pistols, boltguns, storm bolters, heavy bolters, and combi-weapons firing as bolters all gain Armorbane when wielded by the Warlord and his unit. Guaranteed to make vehicle-heavy lists cry.
  4. Spectral Bulwark: The Warlord and his unit gain FnP on a 5+. Also stacks up pretty well with the Animus Malorum, and can give you a fire-magnet to go alongside Smashfucker.
  5. Never Too Late, Never Too Early: The Warlord and his unit can bypass their reserve roll in favor of choosing to arrive on any turn before the fourth, which is like Deffwing Assault, but better.
  6. Retribution Made Manifest: The Warlord and his unit gain Preferred Enemy. Neat.

Relic of the Damned[edit]

  • Animus Malorum: Sergeant Centurius' soul-eating skull gives the bearer and his unit FnP, and any unit which fails a Fear, Morale, or Pinning check within 12" of the bearer has a randomly chosen model immediately removed as a casualty with no saves allowed (although LoS! can still be used). Every model that is removed this way grants a +1 modifier to the FnP roll (up to a 2+) for the remainder of that turn. At only 35 points for a sergeant to use, it's a steal (especially if you picked up the Aura of Fear Warlord Trait to make it more likely that enemies will fail their Fear roll).

Elites[edit]

You only have one unit, but you can bring up to 4 of them and they're OS units if taken as the Primary Detachment. Enjoy your heavy weapons spam.

  • The Legion of the Damned - Improved from utter shit to very well usable! At the same cost that Sternguards used to have, you get Fear, Fearless, Slow and Purposeful, 3++, and all shooting Ignores Cover. Yes, all of it, including any special or heavy weapons WHICH ARE NOW THE SAME PRICE AS EVERYONE ELSE'S. They are also one of the 2 units that can take Heavy Flamers. On the downside, they can only arrive through Deep Strike, meaning if there's something you want them to kill, you'll have to wait a while, can't be joined by Independent Characters, and they don't get any of the Chapter Tactics, but this update more than makes up for that.
    • With the increasing amount of low AP weaponry and cover ignoring that is 6th these guys have some merit. They can contest and mow things down. Strike them near things with low AP weapons (give them a Plasma Cannon to see S7 AP 2 Ignores Cover Blast) or the backfield and watch them turn firefights around. They will die to massed fire (But then again, what in this game doesn't?) but can tank low volume high power hits. Sure, you can minmax a list and leave them at home but how many of you are playing in world class tournaments and need 1d4chan tactics? They are good, but not uber. Most of all, they are fun.
      • Pro-Tip: You can use them as mobile cover for any troops and/or assault screens, especially if they have the Animus and/or rolled Spectral Bulwark.

Warzone Damocles: Kauyon[edit]

On top of the new Formation-detachments and Tau updates, Kauyon also adds in rules and relics for both White Scars and Raven Guard armies. A particular model has to choose either the new relics or the vanilla ones, but the army itself can pick and choose between the two in case you really want something like Shield Eternal or Standard of the Emperor Ascendant.

Additionally, they're in the Angels of Death book.

White Scars Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Master Rider: Warlord's bike gets +1 to Jink, pushing you to 2+ thanks to White Scars CT, because Ravenwing ain't shit. If you lack a bike, then you get the one below.
  2. Deadly Ambush: You get to modify reserves by +/- 1 so long as the Warlord's alive. Good for AA shenanigans since you can let your flyer come on after you opponent's one.
  3. Hunter's Instincts: Monster Hunter and Tank Hunter. Straightforward and useful.
  4. Hammer of the Khan: Hammer of Wrath. If he already has it, Warlord makes d3 HoW hits, which is cool.
  5. Unrivalled Hunter: Warlord gains +1 S/A when in a challenge, and if he fights another Warlord, he also gets to re-roll hits. Brutal on a kitted out Chapter Master.
  6. Merciless Warrior: If your Warlord's within 12" of a unit, they can re-roll their Sweeping Advance. If shit luck strikes you can retry sweeping that weeaboo squad you charged. Handy.

Raven Guard Warlord Traits[edit]

Important note; The Raven Guard traits do explicitly state that they can be taken by any Raven Guard and their Successors. So it can therefore be argued that even though the Raptors have their own chapter tactics, they can take these traits since they're also explicitly stated to be a Raven Guard successor. While not all of the traits synergise well with the RG's shootier descendents, Vanish into the Gloom is a godly enough trait to be worth it on your shooty commanders. Though if you're playing Raptors. You're most likely taking Issodon 70% of the time. Who gets the Master of Ambush trait.

  1. Vanish into the Gloom - When targeted for shooting and not falling back or charging, the Warlord and his unit can move d6". Models from the Vanishing unit that move into or stay in cover get +1 to their cover saves. With careful positioning and some luck, you can get out of the attack's range or escape LoS, wasting the enemy unit's shooting attack. This is key to foiling the Hunter Cadre's all-in shooting attack, but it only works once per turn for your Warlord's unit.
  2. Concentrated Attack - At the start of your Charge phase, pick an enemy unit in your Warlord's line of sight. Raven Guard units can re-roll their charges against that unit for the rest of that phase.
  3. Master of Shadows - Once per game, if your Warlord is on the field, during your Movement phase you can automatically make Night Fighting active until the start of your next turn. With all the Ignores Cover that tends to fly around, it's not too useful.
  4. Silent Stalker - Enemies trying to Overwatch against your Warlord/his unit must first take a Leadership test (-2 if you charge through cover). Great against units with otherwise strong Overwatch (DA, Tau).
  5. Exit Strategy - If your Warlord is on the battlefield, you can add or subtract 1 when rolling to determine the game's end.
  6. Swift and Deadly - Once per game, your warlord and his unit can Charge after running.

Angels of Death[edit]

A Vanilla Marine supplement for the Vanilla Marine Codex, Angels of Death has new formations and detachments, new warlord traits, relics, and objectives, and additional organizational background for White Scars, Imperial Fists, Iron Hands, Salamanders and the Raven Guard (though the IF and IH just get their supplements rolled-in). Particularly noteworthy, however, is updated 40k rules rules for Contemptor Dreadnought squadrons and Cataphractii Terminators (likely included just so people can use Betrayal at Calth models without Forge World rulebooks, but with Forge World Contemptors currently lagging behind the updated vanilla dreads we're not looking a gift squig in the mouth), new decurions, and four new psychic disciplines for Space Marines. Only question is why some of this stuff wasn't part of the regular codex in the first place.

Unfortunately, options for Angels of Death Cataphractii and Contemptors are pretty much limited to whatever came with Betrayal at Calth, so if you have some Forge World models and like to take advantage of a slightly wider arsenal, no new rules for you.

Also of note is that they also decided to compile a bunch of random, previously WD-exclusive stuff like the Crimson Fists and Black Templars WTs and Chapter-specific TacOs.

Crimson Fists Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Pain is for the Weak: Feel No Pain
  2. Die-Hard Defenders: Counter-Attack and Stubborn, which makes these guys a lot tougher to shift, especially when added with Lysander.
  3. Veteran of Rynn's World: Hatred and Preferred Enemy (Orks). Yeah, those green walls can't do shit now, if they ever could.
  4. Experienced Instructor: If your Warlord doesn't shoot or run in the Shooting phase, he can nominate a friendly model within 12" to use his Ballistic Skill. Pretty much Telion upgraded to be useful on more heavy weapons.
  5. Unwilling to Die: Eternal Warrior. NICE. Just hope you didn't buy the Shield Eternal and bork this.
  6. Heir of Dorn: Warlord and all friendly Crimson Fists within 12" gain Fearless.

Black Templars Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Master Swordsman: +1 to Weapons Skill and Attack. Just IMAGINE how that'd work for the Emperor's Champion!
  2. Furious Indignation: If the unit the Warlord is in fails Morale Test in the Psychic or Shooting Phase, it does not fall but, but moves 2d6 inches towards the next enemy unit (but has to stop the usual 1” away from other units). While this isn't bound to happen often considering the good Leadership you get, it's still nice to have a way to assault someone that thought they were safe behind their guns/mindbullets.
  3. Abhor the Witch: Warlord gets Hatred and Preferred Enemy (Psykers). Again, WHY couldn't we have the Vows?
  4. Honour Demands Combat: Warlord and his unit can re-roll failed charges. AWESOME.
  5. OathKeeper: Warlord gets Fearless and can also re-roll to-hit in a challenge. Any beatstick's gonna want this to stall a big-league unit.
  6. Unyielding Determination: Warlord and units within 12" get to re-roll Pinning, Fear, and Morale tests.

Salamanders Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Anvil of Strength: Add +1 Strength. For the pulping.
  2. Lord of Fire: You warlord now has 2+ FnP against Flame weapons. Shame you can't pass it to anyone else.
  3. Patient and Determined: When rolling for Game Duration, add +3 to the roll. It ensures that you get what you need done.
  4. Miraculous Constitution: IWND. Just in case you wanted to shout "VULKAN LIVES!"
  5. Forge Master: Your Warlord's Master-Crafted Weapon (Including Salamander Relics with MC) re-rolls ALL missed hits. Which is AWESOME.
  6. Never Give Up: Anyone within 12" of the Warlord now is Stubborn and re-rolls Morale.

Allies[edit]

Battle Brothers[edit]

Important! As of the latest rounds of FAQs (and the eldar being total dicks) your allies, even battle brothers, cannot begin play embarked in your transports, nor you in theirs.

  • Other Chapters of muhreens: Let's get serious: if you're relying on MOAR marines it's because they have toys that you don't. With that clear, let's see what have your less Codex-compliant battle-brothers. Allying with other Codex-compliant chapters is good only if you want two different Chapter Tactics or another Chapter's special character.
    • Codex Space Marines: Unlike other Codices, Space Marines can ally with themselves, so it's worth noting it here. In general use, each chapter tactic works well with a unit and tactic. Combine chapter tactics to get the more out of certain units than one chapter tactic alone can give you. Fists have better devastators thanks to Tank Hunters, while Ravens have better assault marines. Combine them to have Tank Hunting devs de-can a transport for assault marines to charge with extra hammers of wrath, or Salamanders cook with re-rolling wound flamers, or any combination you can come up with. Just remember that joining an IC with a unit not from his chapter makes them lose CT while they are together.
    • Black Templars: While not the brightest thing in the world to do now that Black Templars are included in the Codex Space Marines, this can be done if you wanted to mix chapter tactics. The BTs act as, basically, scoring assault marines with land raiders. Neophytes got buffed to BS/WS 4 along with scouts, rejoice.
    • Blood Angels: You're allying with BA because three things: army-wide Furious Charge, speedy tanks and surgical deep striking jet-packaged assault units. Otherwise GTFO. They have a good assault unit in Death company, good MEQ blasting in the Sanguinary guard and their rhino-variants tanks are fast, which can be wonderful with certain ones. Since their tactical squads can take a heavy flamer and a grav-gun, consider kitting your own tacticals out with whatever would complement those best. They also get locator beacons in their Tactical squads, which can be hilarious if you have a Terminator-heavy army.
    • Dark Angels: We are talking about the Deathwing and Ravenwing. The Deathwing have some nasty terminators that can be used if you can't (or don't want to) use yours. The Ravenwing are the same, but replacing terminators for bikes, Land Speeders (this includes the Vengeance and Darkshroud patterns), and flyers. Combining Darkshroud with the White Scars or Astral Claws could lead to entire armies of 3+ covered bikers (2+ on turbo-boost).
    • Space Wolves: WOLFWOLFWOLFWOLFYWOLF... Ahem. Jokes aside, the Thunderwolves are a godsend to the vanilla. Resilient, fast and strong assault unit; even the TH/SS termies can't say that. 2nd neckbeard opinion: Their fliers have terrific weapons, along with awesome dreads. Deliver an icy, hellfrosted dildo 'straight' to the butthole with a CoF detachment. Eliminate random reserves, unleash your inner furry!
  • Imperial Guard: They gives the Tarpit, cheap infantry and meatshields that may come in handy to the marines. Also useful for their artillery and tanks. Also very fluffy, everybody knows of hopeless IG whose asses must be saved by the marines. Also Leman Russes. Also veteran tankbusters/plasmaspam
  • Imperial Militia and Cults: If your gaming circle isn't averse to Forgeworld, and you've got some Fantasy models lying around, then the Imperial Militia can be a godly choice for allies. Take a Force Commander to gain providences(Taking Cybernetic Augmentations and Abhuman Helots), as well as two 50-man units of Levee squads. For a whopping 320 points, you get to put 101 models on the table with toughness 4 and a 6+ invuln. In addition, go ahead and swap their shitty flintlock rifles for flintlock pistols to instantly convert what would otherwise be a god-tier tarpit, into one that can threaten absolutely anything in melee. All for the low, low price of free
  • Militarum Tempestus: The storm troopers have only a few tricks to give a marine, but as it is said "if you're gonna be a one trick pony, better make it one hell of a trick". Tempestus give very good air support with valkyries but normal storm troopers are nothing to sneeze at and are able to chew though marines' power armor with AP3 hot shot las guns, or you can use them as cheap deep strike melta.
  • Grey Knights: Three words: Two. Wound. Terminators. Basically a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX, and pretty damn survivable, even without the Assault Terminator 3++ from Storm Shields. Just keep them away from S8+ weapons - there's nothing worse than Paladins going down to Krak Missiles, and lascannons scare the hell out of them. Up against another Marines player with a few Deep Striking units? Vortex of DOOM, motherfucker. Do beware that they'll end up extremely pricy though. If you grab some homers for a Nemesis Strike Force, they'll thank you tons for it.
  • Adeptus Custodes: The Custodes offer a golden alternative to the Paladins of the Grey Knights; Eternal Warrior on a 2 wound character with a supercharged stat-line, they seem to be an almost flawless response to the complaints associated with Paladins (strength 8 insta-death). With spears, they make for vicious MEQ killing machines. Terminators? Pfffffffft. With sword and board, they are tanky to the max, and make for a killy tar-pit. Rending for days, from tons of attacks. Additionally, they have a few more models coming out with rules. With them, you accept high cost models with potency and favoritism to rival the Ultra Marines. Can't have the Emperor's own guards being mook-ass chumps, ya know. If only there was someone who could solve their slowness issue...
  • Adepta Sororitas: They actually have rules outside of White Dwarf now! And Exorcists. Yes please. Consider a command squad with Condemnor Boltguns if expecting to face Screamerstars or Grey Knights. Troops with heavy flamers are fantastic for roasting hordes, Dominions with meltas are even better at opening cans than Imperial Fist lascannon devs, and there's nothing like an Exorcist for making Crisis Suits cry. Sisters Repentia are - in a Land Raider or Stormraven - the definitive counter for an Imperial Knight.
  • Inquisition: Why haven't you taken it yet? Seriously, you get 3 Elites Choices (Read: 3 units of Inquisitorial Henchmen) and each of them can take a transport like a Rhino, or a Chimera or a Land Raider or a Valkyrie. That makes it worth it right up front, but with the right load out, they can fill holes in your army, so this should be your first choice right here. Consider taking a Inquisitor in a Valkyrie and a tarpit or two of Acolytes, while still having a full Guard artillery battery and doing some screening with large blocks of bolter brothers; or a four lascannon Devastator squad buffed by a psyker Inquisitor while Space Wolves take care of the melee combat. If you want to be a douche, attach an Inquisitor to Dev Centurions w/ Grav Cannons and roll for Perfect Timing. If there's something your current army is lacking, the Inquisition has something that can compensate for it. ALSO, if you bring these guys, take their Razorbacks instead of yours. They can get psybolt rounds and are cheaper without upgrades (40 to your 55).
  • Imperial Knights: An Errant Knight titan is probably a good bet for players looking for some reliable long range anti-tank/anti-TEQ killer. The Paladin Knight brings some long range high strength high AP shooting (Double shot battle cannon? Hell yeah) to an army that can really use some for only two termies more than two Leman Russ Tanks. And these things score (well, maybe, the Facebook post wasn't clear with whether the allied ones score), so charge him at the enemy lines faster than you can say DISTRACTION CARNIFEX. Thanks to their Str. D CC arm, they can reliably deal with with most monstrous creatures with ease, barring Skarbrand and maybe a Wraithknight. Also, Seer/Screamer-Star or any other re-rollable 2+ bullshit? Meet D-Weapon.
  • Skitarii: the newest BFFs in the block, they can put a good amount of precision shots/wannabe-markerlights around. But since they don't have an HQ you can't use an Allied Detachment, only their special CAD. They have access to some of the best anti-air in the imperium with the Icarus array on the onager dunecrawler, firing multiple weapons at once including a str 6 ignores cover launcher, a TL auto cannon and a str 7 ap2 missile. The onagers can also provide a firepower with the neutron laser, a 48" range small blast vindicator round for less than the space marine equivalent. Too bad your Drop Pods can't play taxi service for them any more (thanks FAQ), otherwise they'd be a great way to get their high-BS, Preferred Enemy, 3-shot plasma pukers in close. Remember that most vehicles have at least one facing with AV12 or worse - that much plasma will eat such vehicles for lunch, in addition to the obvious utility against TEQ and MCs.
  • Cult Mechanicus: If you take this army, be sure to make use of their Kataphrons. They can tout heavy weapons better than you ever can. CC-based armies can especially be helpful in tying them up alongside Electro-Priests.
  • Officio Assassinorum: The Vindicare and Eversor have the potential to be useful in any army, with the former being good at single-target killing and the latter at thinning hordes. However, the Eversor Assassin is now massively overshadowed by MURDERWINGS, so make of it what you will. The Culexus is very good to shut down psychic bullshittery by Eldar et simila and murdering the fuck outta every psyker within a foot of him. The Callidus is useful with her strategic buffs and reserve fuckery. In all look for synergy between what you have, and what they provide. An Eversor will get shot to death if he is alone in front of your gun line. A Callidus can take a negative modifier to reserve rolls, and make the first absolutely brutal. The Assassins all function best if they are allowed to be a cherry-on-top for the tactics you were already going to use, instead of being a special snowflake amidst the desert.

Allies of Convenience[edit]

  • Eldar: That's it, the only Ally of convenience is Craftworld Eldar now. Like you, they shoot and fight, but with their poor Toughness (Wraith units notwithstanding), you fight, let them shoot. Dark Reapers make MEQs cry, Jetbikes are great for harassment, and Fire Dragons or Wraithguard are awesome for removing AV14 or MCs. The Wraithknight is the mother of all distractions. Use wisely. Take Wraithguard in Wave Serpent for the Cheesy D.

Desperate Allies[edit]

  • Dark Eldar: They are faster than you, so use that. A good strategy with them are using them as skirmishers and go against one unit at once. Kabalites are good versus infantry and monsters or launch Wyches against vehicles. Do not invest in Haemonculi's minions, you have better stuff. Remember keep them far from your units. The marines will likely survive one turn stopped and useless, the DE don't.
  • Tau Empire: What are the Tau? Ungodly shooting power. You can give them infantry that doesn't suck in CQC. Also, crisis suits are just like attack bikes, except better in every way. They used to be a lot better in 6E when they were Battle Brothers, but nowadays a lot of their utility is lost. If they end up too close to the Tau, they'll be doing nothing, which will be costly. It pays to remember, though - Tau don't have to be a static gunline. Battlesuits - all of them except R'Varnas and Broadsides - are jet pack infantry. That means they can Deep Strike and they can seriously haul heinie. Play your cards right, especially with a Farsight Enclaves detachment, and OEO will never be a problem. Use fusion-armed crisis suits or ion/fusion Riptides to destroy a Land Raider then jump them clear just in time for your assault termies to smash the hell out of whatever was inside.

Come the Apocalypse[edit]

  • Necrons: They're the anvil. You're the hammer. Let the undead robots take the shit, because they can handle it. You can deep strike later to win the day. Also useful when there are many high-armor (13+) vehicles in the field.
  • Orks: Use them as a first and expendable wave to tarpit and soften the enemy or silence their biggest cannons by assaulting them (or both), so you can later choose better your attacks. Remember that you have to begin the marine offensive when every one of the orks are dead, as the "one eye open" rule can ruin even the best plan.
  • Chaos Daemons- Grey Knights are better. Worth noting that daemons are here if you choose to summon them.
  • Chaos Space Marines- Why? There's nothing they can do that you or a BB ally couldn't do better.
  • Tyranids- Genestealers. Nuff said.

Formations[edit]

Each formation described below can be taken as a stand-alone element, so you can do things like tack a Storm Wing or Librarius Conclave onto a Combined Arms Detachment. They can also be combined in specific ways to create an alternative FOC, following in the footsteps of the Necrons, Khorne Daemonkin, and Eldar. Note that any attached Independent Characters don't benefit from the Formation's rules unless it also came as part of the same formation.

Gladius Strike Force[edit]

This alternative FOC is included in the base Space Marines codex. It grants one use each of the three Combat Doctrines, which affect the whole detachment when used. Of interest is that none of these formations or the larger formation grants a warlord trait re-roll, which is an otherwise omnipresent feature of such lists.

  • You need 1-2 of the following "Core" choices:
    • Battle Demi-Company - A Captain or Chaplain (which may be any of the named ICs), 3 Tactical Squads, 1 Assault Squad/Bike Squad/Attack Bike Squad/Land Speeder unit/Assault Centurion Squad, 1 Devastator or Centurion Devastator squad, 0-1 Command Squad and 0-1 Dreadnought unit(s) of any type. The Demi-Company gets Objective Secured and its own extra use of Tactical Doctrine. More importantly, if you bring two (with a Captain in one and a Chaplain in the other) within one Gladius Strike Force, the two Demi-Companies are counted as a Battle Company and can then buy Rhinos, Razorbacks, and Drop Pods as Dedicated Transports for the low, low price of FREE. You still need to pay for upgrades, but that can translate into 400-500 points worth of free transports - ideally, you'd use it to spam Razorbacks as a source of free guns or 20-point TL lascannons.
      • Since the Demi-Company has a good chunk of what the average Marine player tends to bring anyway, and provides Objective Secured for everything in it, the Demi-Company is perfectly capable of getting by without being battle-forged unless you really want those snazzy detachment-level command benefits. Otherwise the Demi-Company works well as the general purpose core of an unbound army, the rest of your bases can be covered by adding other formations or individual units as you see fit (just note that bringing two Demi-Companies won’t benefit from being a Battle-Company unless they’re part of a battle-forged Gladius Strike Force).
      • The Demi-Company's personal Tactical Doctrine can be really nasty if the Tactical Squads are put in Drop Pods and given a special/combi-weapon to blow up tanks or mow down backline units. It can really help these otherwise unimpressive "tax" units pull their weight.
      • Free transport drop pods can be fairly hilarious. Dropping 10-14 drop pods (even empty ones) with ObSec around the board (that's 1-3 per objective) makes a big mess for your opponent.
  • You can take 0-3 of the following "Command" choices:
    • Strike Force Command- Any Captain or Chaplain (named ICs included, as well as Marneus Calgar), 0-1 Honor Guard, 0-1 Command Squad, and/or 0-1 Emperor's Champion. Here's all your non-Librarian HQs in one package. Unfortunately not a Formation by itself, so no Battle Forged army of just 10 heroes.
    • Reclusiam Command Squad- Based on the old Reclusiam Command Squad dataslate, consists of a Chaplain with a Command Squad (he must join them during deployment, and can't leave them) with a Razorback DT. The formation gains Crusader, and all friendly Space Marines within 6" of the Chaplain re-roll misses in the first round of each close combat (aka Hatred). This time around, you aren't required to take an Apothecary or Champion, and don't have to pay points for the formation's unique rules. Still doesn't make it good, though if you insist on fielding a chaplain without a jump pack, bike, or terminator armor (any one of the three are ostensibly better choices, but again, if you insist), this is probably the best way to do it.
      • That said, the rules don't actually say you can't bike your Chaplain and Command Squad. If you're fancying a razorback to use for no particular purpose (say you have a combat-squadded tactical squad, or the like), and were going to take a biker Chaplain & squad already, this gives you that plus a (minor-ish) bonus to the chaplain's special rules.
    • Librarius Conclave- 3-5 Librarians, one of which may be Tigurius. Taking this lets you break out an excellent trick, as follows: you may nominate one of the Librarians at the start of a Psychic Phase. All the other ones within 12" of him can't use powers that phase, but the nominated Librarian now knows all of their powers until that phase's end. More importantly, he now harnesses Warp Charges on a 3+ if there's one Librarian within 12" of him, and 2+ if there's more than one in range. This makes your casting in the Psychic Phase ultra-efficient, especially with buffs (or summoning, if you don't give a shit about fluff and want free army points), to the point that even Eldar or Daemons would be jealous! Someone needs to e-mail Forgeworld about their Character Librarians like Chief Librarian Loth joining this.
      • Done, FW replied saying that any named Badab War character may be taken in the same slot as a SM codex named character (but only if they are the same unit type, e.g. swapping Tigurius for Loth).
      • The BRB FAQ (page 3) has rendered this formation's benefit practically irrelevant. Sure, you know all the powers of other Librarians within 12", and sure you can manifest them on 3+ or 2+ depending on the number of donors. However, your nominated model is limited in casting a number of powers up to his mastery level, so while he may know something like 16 powers, he is still only casting two or three. And those donors are standing around doing nothing, because they are not allowed to cast, meaning a whole bunch of wasted warp charges. The formation can be useful for getting Librarians into your army, but you should typically only be casting your powers individually.
      • Sure, your other Librarians can't cast, but in return you can effectively get a +12" range extension on another Librarian's rolled power and an opportunity to reliably manifest several select 2 and 3 Warp Charge powers from a single point with much fewer spent dice and less chance of perils, as Mastery Levels do not restrict the number of charges you are pumping through a psyker, just the number of powers. Also, the harnessing bonus allows you to put more dice into manifesting a power so it will be harder for the opponent to dispel. If you are concerned about wasting Warp Charges, you can dip into Imperial Agents or Inquisition books and buy yourself some more Psykers to buff backfield units.
  • You need at least 1 of these "Auxiliary" choices, but there's no hard limit as to how many of them you can take:
    • Anti-Air Defense Force- A unit of Hunters and a unit of Stalkers, with the Stalker unit consisting of at least 2 models. Anytime a Hunter lands a hit on a Flyer or FMC, the Stalkers gain +1 BS against whatever got hit. Solves your AA problem nicely, and it's pretty cheap for how effective it is so a full Battle Company gets some wiggle room.
    • 1st Company Task Force- 3-5 of any combination of Terminators or Veterans, who gets Fear and Fearless. All enemies get -2 Ld when they're within 12" of at least 3 units (including the Dedicated Transports!) from this formation, and a selected enemy unit has Preferred Enemy applied to it when attacks are made against it by this formation (again, including the Transports). Expensive, but it'll keep a special snowflake on his toes. Works well with Psychic Shriek and any other sort of Ld-related attack or effect. Scary, scary Rhinos/Drop Pods.
    • 10th Company Task Force- 3-5 Scout squads and/or Scout Bike squads (the latter of which must be equipped with cluster mines), and can take Torias Telion. Everyone who Infiltrates but doesn't have Stealth gains a watered-down version of Stealth that lasts until they move, run, Turbo-boost, charge, or fall back, at which point it stops working (shooting doesn't dispel it, though.) And on the first turn, all of their shooting attacks have Precision Shots.
    • Storm Wing- A Stormraven is joined by two Stormtalons. They count as a single unit for the purposes of Reserves, and as long as at least one Stormtalon is intact the Stormraven has Strafing Run. Yes, they did copypaste it from the original Storm Wing dataslate from an edition ago.
    • Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort- An Ironclad Dreadnought unit teams up with 2-4 Assault Centurion squads. Everyone with an omniscope can reroll failed armor pen rolls against buildings and can choose to re-roll glancing hits as well. If they ever destroy a building or Transport in the Assault phase, the occupants suffer an extra 2d6 S6 AP4 hits with Ignores Cover. Would probably go well with an Imperial Fists army, and it'll definitely make your opponent think twice about taking fortifications.
    • Land Raider Spearhead- 3 of any combination of the basic Land Raider types (standard, Crusader, and Redeemer). As long as they're within 6" of each other, they ignore all results on the vehicle damage table short of Explodes!, and they all re-roll failed to wound/armor penetration rolls against GCs, super-heavies, and buildings with the Mighty Bulwark rule. With this formation, the classic Land Raider may actually be worth taking as a superheavy-killer. Sadly, no option for Antaro Chronus to join, that's for the next entry.
    • Armoured Task Force- A Techmarine, 0-3 Thunderfire Cannon units, 3-5 of any combination of Predators, Vindicators, and Whirlwinds, and the option of taking Antaro Chronus. As long as any of the vehicles is within 6" of the Techmarine or the Techmarine Gunners, they ignore Crew Shaken/Stunned, and said Techmarines gain a +1 bonus to their Blessings of the Omnissiah rolls when applied to any vehicle from the formation.
    • Suppression Force- A unit of Land Speeders pairs up with a unit of Whirlwinds (minimum two models). If it doesn't move Flat Out, one of the Land Speeders can nominate an enemy within 18" in its line of sight in its shooting phase; the Whirlwinds have infinite range and re-roll To Hit against that target. Make it a 3-tank Whirlwind unit and watch blob armies cry.

Scarblade Strike Force (Kauyon)[edit]

A variant of the Gladius for the White Scars, this gives its members re-rolls on their Hit & Run test, a bonus d6" to Turbo-Boost and Flat Out (or 2d6" for Fast/Flyer vehicles), and Hammer of Wrath when they successfully charge something 8"+ away (if they already had it, HoW hits re-roll failed Wound rolls instead). Remember, these "elements" can be used as a stand-alone formation: you have to be White Scars to use the Scarblade Strike Force FOC, but you don't have to be White Scars to take any of the new formations introduced in the Kauyon book.

  • Your unique Core elements are:
    • Stormlance Demi-Company - This consists of a Captain or Chaplain (or any named variant thereof), 3 Tactical Squads, 1 Dev Squad, and 1 of either Bikers, Attack Bikes, Land Speeders, or Assault Marines, with the option to add a Command Squad. All non-vehicles in this formation must have either jump packs, bikes, or start the game inside a Rhino or Razorback. Everyone gets to re-roll misses during the Shooting Phase against enemies controlling an objective. All bikes and jump units get to move 2d6" after firing, while anything else moves d6" after shooting (with anything within 2" of the transports able to jump in even if they left that same turn). They can't assault after moving in this manner, but it's basically Battle Focus for marines, which is really good! Ideal for massaging ranges (i.e. Rapid Fire, melta), hitting and running, or shooting then hiding in your metal box.
      • Do note that the boxes themselves get this bonus. I.e. you can move a Razorback 6", disembark a squad up to 6", shoot with the squad, move the squad back d6" and embark, shoot with the Razorback, then move it back d6", preferably behind a LOS-block. Model your dakka boxes with the gun just above the back door; this allows you to poke out of cover for an inch, do the switcheroo, and still get back into cover even if you roll 1".
    • Hunting Force - A Biker Captain joins 2-5 Bike squads, 1-3 Attack Bike squads and 1-3 Scout Bike squads - you may optionally add a Bike Command Squad and/or a Biker Chaplain, and Kor'sarro Khan may replace either HQ. After deployment, this formation has to pick a primary target (which must be an enemy HQ), as well as secondary and tertiary targets. They re-roll misses and failed To Wound rolls when attacking the primary target, and gain Furious Charge if charging them. If the primary target dies, the Hunting Force gets those same bonuses against the secondary target, and the same against the tertiary once you kill the secondary. On top of that, units in this formation with at least five models hit twice when they make Hammer of Wrath attacks. Fluffy for White Scars, extremely potent against deathstars and other high-value targets, and perfect for still fielding massed bikes while getting in on the formation-y goodness.
  • You may also incorporate these two Auxiliary elements:
    • Stormbringer Squadron - 1-3 units of Land Speeders and 1-3 Scout Squads with Land Speeder Storms. The Scouts (but not their transports) get Objective Secured, their transports get +1 to Jink when within 6" of the formation's Land Speeder(s), and the Scouts can disembark from their Speeder even after it moves, as long as it moved less than 12". Perfect for rushing to capture points after your other forces clear them out, and the only way for a Scarblade force to get Objective Secured without a Battle Demi-Company. You can gib a tank or charge something Turn 1 with ease if you have some combination of multi-meltas on your Speeders and melta bombs/combi-meltas for the Scouts: deploy as close as possible, move 12" and disembark 6" (thanks to the formation bonus), then shoot the multi-meltas (ideally you've weaved into melta range), shoot the combi-melta if you have it, then charge in with a krak grenade and a melta bomb. If you take multiple Scout Squads (120 points gives the LSS a multi-melta and the Sarge a combi-melta and bombs), you can destroy enemy transports on Turn 1. If they deploy further back to avoid your melta rave, you have more room to scout/infiltrate and consolidate board position from the start.
    • Speartip Strike - 1-3 units of Land Speeders accompany 2 squads of your choice of Bikes, Attack Bikes or Scout Bikes. At the start of your Shooting phase, you can choose Focused Suppression or Harassing Fire. Focused Suppression forces an enemy unit that at least two units shot at to take a Pinning test at -2 Leadership for every unit from this formation after the second that fires on it (i.e. if you took 3 units of Land Speeders and all five units shoot at one target, the FS Pinning test would be at -6 Ld). Harassing Fire causes any target that suffers at least one unsaved wound to take a Leadership test. If they fail the test, they may choose to Go to Ground. If they don't Go to Ground, and weren't already Gone to Ground, they are Provoked, and must move as far as possible towards the unit during the next Movement phase. This is perfect for neutralizing hit-and-run tactics or forcing an entrenched enemy (ideally something with Heavy or Salvo weapons) out of their hiding spots.

Talon Strike Force (Kauyon)[edit]

A Raven Guard-themed Gladius. It allows a re-roll for mission type, table side to deploy from, and your dice on the roll-off for who goes first IF your Warlord is in the TSF. Units in the TSF can choose to auto-fail Morale checks, and can roll for reserves on the first turn, passing on a 4+ (roll normally on other turns). Similar to Scarblade, only Raven Guard can use the Talon Strike Force FOC (unless FW okays the Raptors or other successors' use), but any Chapter can use the new formations that the Kauyon book added.

  • Core (1-2)
    • Battle Demi-Company - Same as Gladius Strike Force.
    • Pinion Battle Demi-Company - A Captain/Chaplain (replaced by a named HQ if you want) takes an optional Command Squad, 3 Tacs, 1 Dev and 1 Assault squad, and 1-5 Scout squads, either on bike or on foot. During shooting, a Scout Sarge can spot for another unit from the Company within 9", giving that unit Ignores Cover. In addition, each Scout squad can lead another unit out of reserve (but not Deep Strike Reserve), and you use one roll for both the Scout unit and the other unit. If the Scouts outflank, the following unit arrives from the same table edge even if they can't normally outflank. When the two units arrive in this way, the unit being led gets Stealth until their next turn if they were within 9" of the Scouts leading them.
      • If you use this, definitely set up a unit of Scouts near your Devastators. Ignores Cover Missile Launchers, or Lascannons? Yeah, that would be pretty brutal.
  • Command (0-2)
    • Reclusiam Command Squad
    • Strike Force Command
      • Sadly, you can't take the Librarius Conclave as part of the Talon Strike Force, so they won't get 1st-turn reserves or auto-fail Morale checks.
  • Auxiliary (1+)
    • 1st Company Task Force
    • 10th Company Task Force
    • Storm Wing
    • Anti-Air Defense Force
    • Suppression Force
    • Shadowstrike Kill Team - 2-4 Scout squads and 1-3 Vanguard Veteran squads with jump packs. The Vanguards can choose to auto-pass or auto-fail their Reserve roll (which combines very nicely with the TSF ability to roll for reserve on Turn 1). They can also charge on the turn they Deep Strike, and if they arrive within 9" of at least two Scout squads from this formation, they don't scatter. The Scout squads' Scout and Infiltrate moves almost guarantee a precision Vanguard Vet turn 1 alpha strike in TSF, as long as you got the first turn or don't get the Scouts shot off the table before the Vanguards can show up. Non-Raven Guard can still use this formation very effectively - in particular, you can put a Locator Beacon in a Drop Pod to Deep Strike the Vanguard Vets in a perfect spot to reinforce your alpha strike.
    • Bladewing Assault Brotherhood - A jump pack Captain/Chaplain (or Shrike) with 1-3 Vanguards and 2-4 Assault squads, all with jump packs and numbering no more than 30 models. Once per game, in your Movement phase, you can make every unit here disengage and jump back into reserves (even if they were locked in close combat!). They arrive from reserves as a single unit - when Deep Striking, draw a straight line from table one edge to another. You must aim your Deep Strike on a point along that line, and can re-roll the scatter.
      • This is as close as any bound army can get right now to an Assault Reserve Company, and not limited to just Raven Guard. Worth a look if you like assault marines.
    • Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force - 3 Tacs in Drop Pods and 1-3 Land Speeders. Pick a point on the board before any Turn 1 Drop Pods land - Drop Pods landing within 12" of that point only scatter d6", and anyone that targets an enemy within 12" of this spot can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1. On top of that, the Tacs can run and shoot the turn they disembark.
    • Ravenhawk Assault Group - A Stormraven joins a Dread of any type and a Sternguard squad. The Stormraven can Deep Strike, but must Hover the turn it arrives - its size makes it risky to DS successfully, never mind that it can be shot at normally, just have it arrive normally. When the first unit from this formation deploys or arrives from reserve, nominate an enemy unit as the formation's target - the Assault Group re-rolls all misses against that unit for the rest of the battle.
    • Raptor Wing - A squad of Land Speeders and 2 Stormtalons. The Talons automatically arrive on your Turn 2 if they were in reserve. Also, once per turn, the Land Speeder designates an enemy unit within 18" and in line of sight as a priority target, giving the Stormtalons re-rolls to Wound and Armor Penetration, and can even re-roll glances to try for penetrating hits instead.
    • Shadow Force - A Captain (replaceable by named guys) joins a Sternguard Squad, Vanguard Squad, and a Land Speeder, nobody with Termie Armor. Everyone gets Acute Senses, Move Through Cover, and Scout, while everyone can re-roll runs (vehicles add 6" to Flat-Out instead). This matches the contents of Strike Force Solaq from the box set.

Fist of Medusa Strike Force (Angels of Death)[edit]

An Iron Hands flavored Decurion. Contains copy-pasta from the Gladius, plus some new units. The command benefits are a 12" bubble around any independent character that grants +1 to Feel No Pain rolls (because Smashfucker needed that...), with all vehicles in the bubble gaining Power of the Machine Spirit, and a bonus Warlord Trait, with the 2nd one only coming from either Strategic or Tactical rulebook traits.

  • 1-2 Core
    • As Space Marines
      • Armoured Task Force
      • Battle Demi-Company
    • New
      • Stormlance Demi-Company
        • 1 Captain or Chaplain
        • 0-1 Command Squad
        • 3 Tactical Squads
        • 1 Devastator Squad
        • 1 Assault, Bike, or Attack Bike Squad, or 1 Land Speeder
        • Clear and Sweep
          • Re-roll misses in the Shooting Phase when targeting an enemy unit which is controlling an Objective Marker.
        • Mobile Firebase
          • Units with Bikes or Jump Packs can move 2d6" immediately after shooting in the shooting phase; other units can move 1d6". They may embark on their Dedicated Transport if all of their models end this move within 2" of one of its Access Points, even if they disembarked on the same turn. Units that move after shooting cannot charge in the subsequent Assault Phase.
  • 0-3 Command
    • As Space Marines
      • Reclusiam Command Squad
      • Librarius Conclave
    • New
      • Strike Force Command
        • 1 Terminator Captain, Captain, Chaplain, or Venerable Dreadnought
        • 0-1 Honour Guard
        • 0-1 Command Squad
  • 1+ Auxiliary
    • As Space Marines
      • 1st Company Task Force
      • 10th Company Task Force
      • Storm Wing
      • Anti-Air Defence Force
      • Suppression Force
      • Centurion Siege Breaker Cohort
      • Land Raider Spearhead
      • Strike Force Ultra
    • New
      • Skyhammer Orbital Strikeforce
        • 3 Tactical Squads, each with a Drop Pod as a Dedicated Transport
        • 1-3 Land Speeders
        • Dropsite Clearance
          • At the start of your first turn, before any Drop Pods arrive using Drop Pod Assault, pick a point on the battlefield to mark the center of this Formation's dropsite. Units gain Preferred Enemy against units within 12" of that point, and Drop Pods that Deep Strike within 12" of that point scatter one less die.
        • Shock Assault
          • Tactical Squads can Run and then Shoot on the same turn they disembark from their Drop Pods.
      • Skyhammer Annihilation Force
        • 2 Assault Squads with Jump Packs
        • 2 Devastator Squads with Drop Pods as Dedicated Transports
        • Shock Deployment
          • All units in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force start the game in Deep Strike Reserve. Instead of using the normal deployment and reserve rules for these units, you can, during deployment, choose whether this Formation will arrive during your first or second turn. The entire Skyhammer Annihilation Force automatically arrives on the turn you choose—no Reserve Rolls are required. Ignore this Formation’s Drop Pods for the purposes of the Drop Pod Assault special rule.
        • First the Fire, then the Blade
          • On the turn they arrive from Deep Strike Reserve, the Devastator Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force have the Relentless special rule and the Assault Squads can charge even though they arrived from Reserves that turn.
        • Suppressing Fusillade
          • A unit targeted by a Skyhammer Annihilation Force’s Devastator Squad in the Shooting phase must take a Morale test at the end of the phase on 3D6, regardless of how many casualties were inflicted. If the test is failed, the enemy unit does not Fall Back, but must immediately Go to Ground. If the test is passed, the enemy unit is unable to fire Overwatch for the rest of the turn.
        • Leave No Survivors
          • Assault Squads in a Skyhammer Annihilation Force can use their Jump Packs in both the Movement phase and the Assault phase. If an Assault Squad from a Skyhammer Annihilation Force charges a unit that has Gone to Ground as a result of the Suppressing Fusillade special rule, that Assault Squad can reroll failed To Hit and To Wound rolls in the ensuring Assault phase.
      • Raptor Wing
        • 1 unit of Land Speeders
        • 2 Stormtalons.
        • Incoming Support
          • The Stormtalons automatically arrive on your Turn 2 if they were in reserve.
        • Priority Target Received
          • Once per turn in the shooting phase, one Land Speeder may designate an enemy unit within 18" and in line of sight as a priority target, giving the Stormtalons re-rolls to Wound and Armor Penetration, and can even re-roll glances to try for penetrating hits instead. The priority target remains such for this formation until it is destroyed or the formation designates a new one.
      • Honored Ancients
        • 1 unit of normal, Venerable, Ironclad, or Contemptor Dreads.
      • Iron Guardians
        • This is copy-pasta of Honored Ancients, except you can include a Tactical Squad.

The Stormlance Demi-Company can gain real traction in this detachment due to its formation bonuses overlapping really well with this detachment's bonuses. An optimal scenario has a Las-plas Razorback carrying a team of Tactical Marines. The Razorback moves 6", and the Marines disembark 3" away. They open fire at a choice target, before boarding their transport again. In turn, the Razorback fire both guns at full BS with the potential to engage two targets thanks to POTMS before it moves another D6 in turn. Multiply this by 3 and you have a solid army core to work with. When the Razorbacks do die, the Marines inside will still remain a threat due to the improved FNP from the detachment, as well as the ability to keep moving after firing; obsec is nice and all and losing it hurts, but actually getting to the objective and surviving to hold it also matters too. The real advantage to this over the Gladius/Battle-Company is you have a lower buy-in to take full advantage of this army, should you wish to play around with an allied CAD or go heavier on auxiliaries, plus you have the potential to get really cheeky with other units in your army. POTMS is cute on Land Speeder Storms and Stormtalons in terms of threatening enemy MSU, and it lets Ironclad Dreadnoughts do pseudo-Knight shenanigans where they shoot one unit before assaulting another. On the non-vehicle side, 10th Company Scouts become annoyingly difficult to kill for their points, and a Command Squad with Apothecary starts with FNP 3+(!). Round off with your Warlord getting a second Strategic Trait, and this detachment has a lot of small force multipliers that let it snowball into something more than the sum of its parts.

Alternately, this formation can also appeal to tank players. If you take any kind of a tank in an Armored Task Force that is a part of this formation, and give the Techmarine a servo-harness and a bike, you can have up to 5 units of 5+ IWND, Power of the Machine Spirit Predators, Whirlwinds or Vindicators, that are repaired on 2+ by a character with T5, 2+ armor, 5+ FnP and very good mobility, and are completely immune to Crew Shaken and Crew Stunned. Meaning these Vindicators can now move 12", still fire their DEMOLISHER CANNONS at full BS, and not give a fuck. If said Techmarine also has an Ironstone, that IWND increases to 4+ and also repairs a Weapon Destroyed or Immobilised result on a 6 if the Techie is within 6". Moreover, all you need to round up the bigger Decurion is a Dreadnought which gets almost all of the same bonuses, thus you can have the most resilient armored fire support formation EVER for under 750 points. Now go ahead and include Smashfucker as a Command choice.

  • Plonk this formation on top of a shielded Landing Pad and duck.
  • Sadly, Thunderfire Gunners are not considered characters at all, so they don't get the FnP/PotMS bubble nor IWND from chapter tactics.
    • In fact, this formation has astonishingly little access to Techmarines; the only way to field them is via the Armoured Task Force detachment. It's a sharp contrast with an Anvil Strike Force or the Space Wolves, either of whom can spam an incredible number of Techmarines.
  • Also of note is the ability to effectively split a squadron's fire while keeping the bonuses. So, for example, you can take 3 Tri-Las Predators in a squadron, with Tank/Monster Hunters as a bonus, and then use PotMS on each tank to fire 6 Lascannons at one target and 3 twin-linked Lascannons at three other different targets. Unfortunately, it's not as great for Whirlwinds; Multiple Barrage forces you to lay down your blast templates in a specific pattern regardless of the targets of the non-primary firer, so choosing different targets (or the same target twice, but declared to be different) does not let you re-roll scatter independently. However, Whirlwinds DO still get the standard trick of firing after moving at Cruising Speed.
  • As Independent Characters are critical to the benefits of this Formation, here are your ways to field them, gathered together:
    • Command (0-3)
      • Strike Force Command can get you a Terminator Captain, Captain, or Chaplain.
      • Reclusiam Command Squad bans the Chaplain from leaving the unit but does not remove the IC rule from him, so this gets you one that will emit the bubble.
      • Librarius Conclave gets you 3-5 Librarians, definitely the easiest way to get your hands on some ICs.
    • Core (1-2)
      • Stormlance Battle Demi-Company and Battle Demi-Company will both net you a single Captain, Terminator Captain, or Chaplain.
      • Armoured Task Force will net you a Techmarine, the only way to get one in this formation. As noted above, remember that the Thunderfire Gunners are not ICs.
    • Auxiliary (1+)
      • Strike Force Ultra will get you a Captain or Terminator Captain.

Flameblade Strike Force (Angels of Death)[edit]

The Salamanders get their own detachment. Your Warlord can now get a second WT from the Personal Traits table (just hope you don't roll the FNP trait when Vulkan He'stan's your warlord since he already has FNP from his set trait), all Flamers held by Salamanders models get +1 S, and if any unit stands still for your movement phase (running, assaulting, etc are still cool), they gain Fearless. Curiously, though, they get a good deal of Land Speeder formations, which sorta breaks from the fluff about Nocturne's inconsistent gravity.

  • Your 1-2 Core choices are either the Battle Demi-Company or the Stormlance Battle Demi-Company
  • Your 0-3 Command choices are the Librarius Conclave, Strike Force Command, or the Reclusiam Command Squad
  • Your 1+ Auxiliary choices are the Armoured Task Force, 1st Company Task Force, 10th Company Task Force, Storm Wing, Anti-Air Defense Force, Suppression Force, Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort, Task Force Ultra, Raptor Wing, Stormbringer Squadron, Ravenhawk Assault Group, or the following:
    • Flamebringers: It's an LR Redeemer with no additional rules. Doesn't even get the +1 S to its flamestorms since it's not a Salamanders model per the Chapter Tactics rule and the detachment rules care about that. Wooo. Since most things you'd want to stick in one can already take it as a dedicated transport, this just screams lazy afterthought.
      • The one potentially redeeming feature is that it allows for the cheapest way to get Assault Terminators in a Land Raider. Take this plus a Librarian, Assault Terminators, and 2 Scout squads in the CAD for 15 points less than taking the 1st Company formation with Terminators and 2 naked Vanguard squads.
        • It´s also a cheap way of getting auxiliary choices for the decurion.

Anvil Strike Force (Angels of Death)[edit]

An armour-heavy Decurion, this is the army for tank fetishists like the Aurora Chapter. You can make a Tank the Warlord, gain immunity to Crew Stunned/Shaken on your vehicles as well as allowing your warlord to give itself or another tank within range the ability to fire all guns twice in a turn. And if you go full-on Smurf, you can take Chronus in any Tank Formation you want, provided he's behind the controls of a Land Raider or a Rhino-chassis Tank. Effectively BS 10 LR Crusaders? Las-Plas Razorbacks? You can get them here. Only catch is that your Infantry must have Transports, which is great if you're taking a Land Raider Spearhead as your Core choice, but doesn't matter for your TFC units, since they aren't Infantry.

  • Your 1-2 Core choices are either the Armoured Task Force or Land Raider Spearhead.
  • Your 0-2 Command choices are limited to either:
    • Masters of the Armoury: Take either Chronus, those special Command Tanks, or a plain Pred/Vindicator/LR of any sort. That said, however, Chronus can ride atop any tank without grabbing this choice if you really need more tanks.
    • Keeper of the Forge: A Techie grabs a Rhino or a Razorback.
  • Your 1+ Auxiliary choices are the Suppression Force, Anti-Air Defense Force, Raptor Wing, Storm Wing, or any of the following.
    • Mechanized Infantry: Grab some infantry and stick'em in a bawks. You can grab Tacs, Assaults, Termies of any kind, Centurions, Scouts, or Veterans.
    • Techmarine: Get a spare Techmarine or grab one with a TFC, Drop Pod optional.
    • Recon Outriders: Grab Land Speeders.
    • Honoured Ancients: Here's a squad of Dreads of any sort.

Sternhammer Strike Force (Angels of Death)[edit]

An Imperial Fists Decurion, here to round out the First Founding...sorta (if you count the Gladius for Ultras). The Warlord gives everyone Stubborn while he's alive, the Bolter Drill rule from Chapter Tactics now re-rolls all misses instead of just 1s, and everyone in the detachment adds 1 to armor penetration rolls against buildings (because fuck buildings). Twin-linked Sternguard? Why not! Stubborn is a nice add-on to ATSKNF, to further ensure your battle line stays intact no matter what. The volume of bolter fire put out by a Tactical squad increases markedly, making them a rather scary unit even to other MEQ.

  • Your 1-2 Core choices are either the Battle Demi-Company or Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort.
  • Your 0-2 Command choices are either Strike Force Command, Reclusiam Command Squad, or Librarius Conclave.
  • Your 1-10 Auxiliary choices can either be the Armoured Task Force, 1st Company Task Force, 10th Company Task Force, Storm Wing, Anti-Air Defense Force, Suppression Force, Land Raider Spearhead, Strike Force Ultra, Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force, Skyhammer Annihilation Force, Raptor Wing, or the following:
    • Devastators: A squad of Tank Hunting Devastators. Season to taste with Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters or AT weaponry.
    • Centurions: A squad of any sort of Centurions. Because they punch/shoot heavy things.
    • Line Breakers: If you want Vindicators, but don't want to go with the whole formation for it.
    • Ordinance: A unit of TFCs if you needed more cheap Templates. One of the few ways Marines can compete with Guard Artillery.
    • Siege Ancients: A Contemptor or Ironclad Dread, since they're the heaviest armed. If you want a dakka dread you have to use the Demi-Company slot to make it fit in (with the advantage of ObSec). Still, an Ironclad dropping down with a Demi company full of twin-linked weapons (remember the Demi company still has access to one Tactical Doctrine) makes for a good alpha strike, especially combined with the infamous Skyhammer Annihilation Force. Plonk a Pod on every objective turn 1 and hold on till the end.

Castellans of the Imperium[edit]

Found in Gathering Storm: Fall of Cadia, this detachment skirts the line between using no force org, and being battle forged. Basically, take Imperial Guard, Sisters of Battle, Space Marines (vanilla Space Marines, with Black Templars, mind you), Imperial Knights, Assassins, and Militarum Tempestus. Then build the army around the units in their different unit organizations. Ok, so it's not that clear cut. The detachment basically lists what units (by name) can be used in what position. Space Marines offer a lot for HQ, Elite, Fast Attack, and Troops. However, they lose out to Guard on Heavy support vehicles with the exception of the Land Raider. Also, they give some powerful Deep Striking potential to the detachment. That being said, the detachment does not list Legion of the Damned. This is not surprising at all. Aside from giving open reign with your army construction, the detachment gives you some other nice benefits.

  • Hatred for all. Yep, everyone in the detachment gains hatred. Even better, if you fill out the force org chart, all the units gain Zealot instead.
  • Chenkov fun. Yep, if a troop unit is destroyed, it has a chance to be in on-going reserves. Add in that you have no upper limit on the number of troops you may take, and you have some combat staying power. Just hope it's not a kill point battle.
  • Build an Imperial Crusade. Basically, take what you want to create the perfect army that you always wanted.

The detachment has some problems, though.

  • Points cost. You think getting that Zealot is cheap? You are wrong. Three Lord of War Choices ain't cheap. Not to mention the number of heavy support, troop, HQ, elite, and fast attack choices you need to fill out that Force Org.
  • Multiple armies. For this detachment, you need at least two of the armies listed. So, if you are starting out, this is not the detachment for you.
  • LARGE!! This detachment is large if you plan on filling it out. Having all those books, rules, and units can be daunting.
  • Restrictions. Sorry, unless later FAQed, no Forgeworld for you (except Vendettas, long story). Except that from Forgeworld Emails, all of their 'dreadnoughts' count as dreadnoughts for the purposes of formations (just remember that the Leviathan's Relic of Darkness rule means that he can't claim the formation benefits, even if you put him in there). In addition, all of their Badab War Characters count as their respective type for formations. Sevrin Loth is a Librarian, while Captain Tarnus Vale is a Captain. That said, units in armies such as Space Wolves, Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and the like cannot be taken in this detachment.

Victrix Strike Force (Rise of the Primarch)[edit]

And now the First Founding is officially rounded out, as this is Ultramarines only. Grants a copy of each Doctrine, like the Gladius, but also allows you to enact as many doctrines as you like each turn of the ones still available. Also grants Objective Secured to all non-vehicle units, and your Warlord can re-roll Warlord Traits if he uses the Traits table in the supplement (which is the new Ultramarines Warlord traits table). Can only contain models with the Ultramarines Chapter Tactics rule, and Ultramarines special characters (too many to list thanks to GW favoritism).

  • If you're relying on units the Doctrines don't improve with, like a Strike Force Ultra, you can use this and Guilliman to simulate the Tactical Doctrine every turn: you have three copies of Tactical (from the Formation and your Chapter Tactics), and you have three each of Assault and Devastator, which can now be paired to simulate Tactical happening again, giving you 6 turns of re-rolling all 1s to hit in both the Shooting and Assault phases for all of your Chapter Tactics models (although your Dreads won't get Objective Secured).
    • Of course, doing this makes two of his Warlord Traits redundant, but all of his traits are based on being within 12" of him and he's very slow (his only speed buffs are Move Through Cover, Fleet, and +1" to running and charging when the Warlord) and can't ride a Transport, so you don't need him as your Warlord - he provides the Doctrines whether or not he is. If you're considering someone else as Warlord (probably Calgar, for yet another Doctrine, this one dynamically chosen, and your choice of SM table traits), here's a recap of Guilliman's Warlord Traits.
      • Friendly units within 12" of Guilliman can use his Leadership (10) rather than their own.
      • Enemy units within 12" of Guilliman must use their lowest Leadership value, not the highest.
      • Guilliman, and all friendly units within 12", have the Move Through Cover special rule.
      • Guilliman, and all friendly units within 12", add 1" to the distance that they can move when they Run or Charge.
      • In the Shooting phase, Guilliman and all friendly units within 12" of him re-roll To Hit rolls of 1.
      • In the Assault phase, Guilliman and all friendly units within 12" of him re-roll To Hit rolls of 1.

Core (1+)[edit]

  • Battle Demi-company: You know what this does.
    • The Objective Secured here is redundant on the infantry and bikes but does buff the vehicles, and you get yet another copy of the Tactical doctrine.
  • Strike Force Ultra
    • Objective Secured Terminators and Assault Terminators isn't bad, but do remember this entire formation has to come in from Reserve - which Sicarius can help with, particularly if you take the Victrix Guard. Also, of course, your Venerable Dreadnought here doesn't get any sweet, sweet Objective Secured.

Command (0-3)[edit]

  • Strike Force Command: All the usual options, except Guilliman's also an option. For obvious reasons, you can't take an Emperor's Champion.
    • 1
      • Marneus Calgar.
      • Roboute Guilliman.
      • Captain, including Captain Sicarius.
      • Chaplain, including Chaplain Cassius.
    • 0-1
      • Honour Guard
    • 0-1
      • Command Squad
  • Librarius Conclave
  • Reclusiam Command Squad

Auxiliary (1-10 per Core)[edit]

  • Victrix Guard: Captain Sicarius and a unit of Honor Guard join four units of Sternguard or Vanguard in any combination. This formation cannot include any dedicated transports, nor can members cannot begin the game embarked. In exchange, all models gain +1 WS and BS, and if a unit is within 3" of Guilliman you can LOS! as if he was a part of the unit. It's very expensive, but gives Guilliman his desperately needed meat shields.
    • Notes: The Vanguards have no restriction on Deep Striking in.
    • This is a detachment in its own right, if you want to ally it in.
  • Armored Task Force
  • 1st Company Task Force
  • Anti-Air Defence Force
  • 10th Company Task Force
  • Storm Wing
  • Suppression Force
  • Land Raider Spearhead
  • Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort

Dataslate Formations[edit]

Several of these formations are old dataslates and share their name or broad composition with one from the 7th Edition Space Marine Codex. Since some players or tournament organizers may argue that the dataslates have been replaced by the codex formations, these formations will have their names marked in Italics.

  • Strike Force Ultima (Web Bundle) A termie captain, 1 sternguard veteran squad, 1 terminator squad, 1 tactical squad, 1 stormhawk interceptor, 1 land raider, 1 razorback and 1 drop pod. All units from this formation must be placed in reserve (non-vehicle units in a transport vehicle or in deep strike reserve) and automatically arrive in the first turn. When a unit from this formation arrives from reserve or disembarks from a transport vehicle for the first time, all ranged weapons carried by the unit add 1 to the number of shots they can make until the end of the turn.
    • Pairs extremely well with the Skyhammer Annihilation Force - if you are That Guy
  • Firespear Strike Force (Start Collecting Space Marines pack): A Termie captain can only bring a Ven Dread and a tac squad. The captain must designate one unit from his detachment within 12" of his model during the movement phase. That unit forgoes moving (and also forgoes the ability to charge or run that turn) to open fire during the movement phase, and it can then later fire again normally during the shooting phase. This leads to some decent dakka but the stupid wording means that one of the units in the formation must stand still each turn, making using the formation... Difficult. The Levitation power from the Telekinesis discipline can be used to move the unit around. That's admittededly a waste of resources though. But if you really want to move them it can be done.
    • Goes decently with the Primarch's Wrath for 2*5 S 4 AP 4 shots from the Captain alone, best paired with heavy bolter for the least investment and optimum similarity between weapons or grav gun and grav cannon for maximum firepower.
  • Adeptus Astartes Storm Wing - Two Storm Talons and a Storm Raven in one formation.
    • The Storm Talons act as Escorts for the Storm Raven (Meaning than when you're rolling for reserves, you only roll for the Storm Raven), thus giving the Raven some extra wounds if it gets set upon when they arrive. The Talons also give the Raven the Strafing Run rule so long as at least one of them isn't destroyed. Yep, GW be mad desperate to push out the fliers between this and Death From the Skies.
  • Reclusiam Command Squad - Alongside the Chaplain, you have to give the Command Squad an Apothecary, a Champion and a Standard Bearer and stuff them in a Razorback.
    • This one's really iffy, mainly because the rules for it (Which give the squad Crusader as well as getting re-rolls on combat while the Chaplain still lives) focus really on the Champion and Chaplain, while the other guys are just along for the ride (Though FNP is a good thing to have).
  • The Legion Ascendant (Apocalypse/Legion of the Damned Codex) - 2+ Legion squads with 10+ Legionnaires.
    • By joining in, they get Fear, Deep Strike that causes S2d6 S4 AP5 Soulblaze hits to anyone within 6", and -3 to all Leadership for the enemy. All for a rather decent price. Plus, on the turn they arrive, they get Fleshbane and Ignores Cover to really make the best of it.
  • Saint Tylus Battle Force - Cassius gets to bring along at least one Tyrannic Veteran Squad and up to six Storm Talons as a formation.
    • Your Storm Talons are gonna be the stars of this formation as they can not only choose whether they want to infiltrate or start on-board in hover mode, but whenever they hit an enemy, then the Vets can ignore cover with their guns, since they saw who was getting hit. Stack on the Vet's Preferred Enemy (Nids) and Zealot rule against the Nids, and you'll begin to weep along side your Tyranid-using foe. Difference is that you'll be crying tears of joy at your muderous prowess, while they'll be crying over how hard Cruddace fucked them over.
  • First Company Hammerfall Assault Force - A Termie Captain/Lysander, a 5-man Termie squad of each kind, and a Land Raider (Crusader or Redeemer).
    • The Captain and the AssTermies have to must come from reserves embarked in the Land Raider, while the other Termies are forced to Deep Strike. The models in the Land Raider gain Hammer of Wrath the turn they assault after disembarking, and the Deep Striking Termies can run and shoot on the turn they DS. Rather...minimal, though run-and gun Termies sounds nice and HoW on Termies sounds awesome.
  • First Company Skyspear Assault Wing - A five-man Termie squad of each sort join a Venerable Dreadnought and a Storm Raven for a ride.
    • The AssTermies have to embark in the Raven alongside the Dread and hide in reserves, while the other Termies have to DS their way in. Other than that, it's the same as the one above, replacing the Land Raider with the Storm Talon.
  • Strike Force Ultra - The Hammerfall and Skyspear formations have to join together. Aside from any benefits the others have by themselves, having the Captain alive allows you to roll for reserves in the first turn. Oh look, all that dakka is being laid down to kill your ass. Oh joy, all that Hammer or Wrath.
    • The new Codex gives them new boosts: Everyone still has to be in reserves or in transports, but they can arrive on Turn 1 now, and everyone who Deep Strikes or disembarks for the first time gets a free attack and shot for the turn.
  • Strike Force Solaq (Boxed Set) - Solaq needs Vanguard squad Davros, Sternguard squad Amarex and Land Speeder Darkwind. Everyone gets Acute Senses and Move Through Cover (Which is killer for them), Scout, and the ability to re-roll runs/add 6" to Flat-Out. This makes this small team real good at being moving fast or attacking from safety.
  • Centurion Decimator Cohort (Apocalypse) - Group together 3-6 Centurion Squads and buy all the sarges Omniscopes.
    • Gathering this many giant matryoshka marines gives a special rule: before firing, one of the sergeants in the formation can nominate one target within LoS. All shots fired at that target can now gain either Ignores Cover, Monster Hunter, or Tank Hunter. More likely than not, you're probably gonna use the last two, as your weapons aren't exactly the best and therefore don't benefit so much from Ignores Cover.
    • what are you talking about? Ignores cover on grav-cannons can destroy bikes and the like without even trying.
    • In no way is ignore cover bad. If we're talking Gravity Cannons, the other options do nothing due to the amp, but even Las Cannons can benefit more from Ignore Cover than a from the reroll from Tank or Monster Hunter. 33% chance to ignore all damage (5+ cover) being negated, vs a 20% to increase the odds of penetration Vs arm 14. 25% for 13. Similar odds for the very few creatures with high enough toughness not to be wounded on a 2+... Ignore cover is just far and away better than the other options in most cases. Let's not even talk about the 2+ Cover units of ridiculousness some factions have...
  • Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort (Apocalypse Dataslate) - 2+ Centurion Assault Squads + 1 Ironclad Dreadnought, all sergeants need omniscopes.
    • As long as a sergeant is still alive, all models get to re-roll armour penetration vs buildings (shooting & melee). Also if a building suffers any form of collapse or detonation result, units inside the building suffer an additional d6 hits. As a formation it's not necessarily the best, seeing as the units are all really good at pulling down buildings anyway and at the apocalypse level there are already many big weapons capable of taking buildings down easily. That said, the formation costs you nothing if you already have the models. Do it if there is no other formations you can use.
  • Space Marine Company (Apocalypse) - A Captain, Chaplain, Command Squad with Standard, and trio of Dreads have a choice. If they're from a battle company, they must have 6 Tac squads, 2 Assault Squads, and 2 Devastator Squads. If they're from a reserve company, they must have all 10 squads be of one type of the three. All squads must have 10 men.
    • A fluffy formation that really works depending on how you kit them out. No matter what, they get an Orbital Strike Strategic Asset and Counter-Attack. If they're within 12" of an objective, they get Stubborn. If someone charges an infantry unit of this formation within 12" of them, they get the Tau Supporting Fire rule once per assault phase.
  • First Company Veterans (Apocalypse) - A Termie Captain/Lysander, a Chaplain, a Command Squad with Standard and 3 Ven Dreads have to take 100 models of either Vets or Termies.
    • Despite their hefty cost, they come with a few more rules. For one, they get Counter-Attack, Deep Strike, Fear, and Preferred Enemy. They also get all the rules from above. Like above, this depends heavily on how they're kitted.
  • Librarius (Apocalypse) - 5 Librarians or Rune Priests. If you want, you can replace one of them with a named Librarian, but in doing so, you have to make them all of the same force (Meaning no mixed Chapter Tactics).
    • These Librarians form a Warp Charge 4 (!!) power called Force Vortex, a 24" S:D AP1 Heavy 1, Large Blast Vortex. IF they don't recall it before it moves, then it'll scatter off and kill everyone. BEfore you run with this ask yourself: How confident am I that this won't kill absolutely everything?
  • Masters of the Chapter (Apocalypse) - A Chapter Master can take an optional Honour Guard squad along his 4-10 Captains of the same chapter. Any of them can be replaced with a named Character where fitting.
    • This is not an assault force; it's too small for that. What it can do, though, is give you 3 additional assets on the first break and give them a 3++ on the turn they use their Finest Hour/Sons of the Primarch ability.
  • Predator Assassin Squadron (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Predators, here to kill.
    • The tanks do their part by giving them a reroll on all failed to-hit rolls against a chosen enemy when within 6" of another member of the squad in exchange for the ability to fire at someone else until the enemy is gone. Any Predators with two lascannons and a TL lascannon can also exchange all their hits for a single Strength D AP2 Killshot that will total a single enemy. If there was ever a priority target removal system for the tanks, it's this one.
  • Scout Company (Apocalypse) - A non-termie Captain without a Command Squad must lead 10 squads of 10 Scouts.
    • The Captain gets some compensation for his lack of survivability by giving him Infiltrate, Move Through Cover, and Scout. Everyone as a team gets the ability to charge from reserves and a +1 to all cover saves from buildings in their deployment zone. Really, keep them shooting at the proper targets and keep moving from cover to cover.
  • Titan Hammer Formation (Apocalypse) - Lysander takes 3+ TH/SS Termie squads for titan-killing fun.
    • THIS is how you kill titans, superheavies and Biotitans. The Formation is Lysander and 3+ TH/SS terminator squads who must all deepstrike, within 12" of where Lysander deepstrikes, but they only scatter D6", and are Fearless, and LYSANDER GETS A VORTEX GRENADE! Sweet Jesus, this could reduce Tyranid players to tears as you one-shot their biotitans (D6 wounds on gargantuan creatures, no saves) Baneblades (D3 structure points)and Primarchs (removed with no saves allowed). Best part about vortex is the blast can drift around, and one-shot ANOTHER biotitan! Fuck yeah! Anything that survives can try it's luck with dozens of TH/SS terminators led by Lysander, with Fearless.

Warzone: Armageddon[edit]

  • The Legion Ascendant - Since this was made pre-Codex of the Damned, you get to nab 2+ Legion units here, so long as they all have 10 models.
    • These guys are made for mob-cleaning with Fear and an aura of -3 Ld within 12" of them. In addition, when they Deep Strike on board, they force everyone within 6" to take 2d6 S4 AP5 Soulblaze hits, and they get Fleshbane the turn they deploy.

Warzone: Damnos[edit]

  • Conclave of the Ancients (Apocalypse) - A Venerable Dread leads a gang of 3+ Dreads and 1+ Ironclad Dread.
    • The main focus of this formation is surprise smashing, as the rules this formation gives focus on melee. Any Dreads within 6" of the Ven Dread gets Rampage and Preferred Enemy (For horde-cleaning, if you're willing to throw them there), while Dreads within 2" of two other Dreads in the formation get d6 Hammer of Wrath hits, just to incentivize charging into an idiot.
  • Deathstorm Area Denial Force (Apocalypse) - Drop more than one Deathstorm Drop Pod near each other.
    • The main point of this formation is shock and awe, plain and simple. They force any successful morale and pinning tests caused by them to be rerolled, they can fire any of their weapons independently of each other, and, upon arrival, fire as if they were always stationary. Deploying more than three of the things gives them all +1 Strength the turn they come in. All in all, it's meant to scare them and distract fire away from squishier units.
  • Deathwatch Strike Team (Apocalypse) - A generic Captain joins 2+ veteran squads of any make (Vanguard or Sternguard). Presumably, they'll adopt whatever Chapter Tactics you choose.
    • The draw this formation gets are special Antiphasic Bolts (24" Range, S4, AP4, and Rapid Fire) that can be used by any bolter or combi-weapon, which force Necrons hit by them to reroll their Reanimation Protocols, which is pretty useful. Aside from that, the formation gains Preferred Enemy against one Xenos Codex (So like a weaker form of the Ordo Xenos) and the ability to gain an extra VP when they slay the xenos Warlord. While they have their uses against any Xenos army, their best use is against Necrons with their special bolts. HINT: combine with Angels Revenant chapter tactics to get preferred enemy and hatred against necrons
  • Land Raider Spearhead (Apocalypse) - Group together 3-5 Land Raiders of any sort.
    • This formation essentially turns them into a squadron, with the choice of Arrowhead Formation (help needed; check the old Apoc book for full rules, but the essentials are that if at the beginning of their movemement phase they are in a certain position relative to each other and a Hellstorm template, then they get bonuses) giving them not only Tank Hunters and Preferred Enemy, but they also get to add 12" to any Flat-Out moves made. So essentially, listen to whatever is mentioned above about the Raiders and now add these benefits to them, which helps get them somewhere faster when they have the room to move.
  • Line Breaker Squadron (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Vindicators. Let's go.
    • Gathering these Vindicators allows them to exchange their Demolisher shots into one single 24" S10 AP2 Ordinance 1 Apocalyptic Blast that can hit any buildings without needing to roll for pen. When calculating any results, you then have to add +1 for every Vindicator who joined in. Clearly, this would do great when using the Sentinels of Terra and their additional building damage.
  • Skyhammer Orbital Strike Force (Apocalypse) - 3+ Tac Squads, as well as any HQ choices or other units that can grab Drop Pods, must take those Drop Pods and Deep Strike in on the first turn.
    • For this auto-Deffwing Assault, everyone gains Preferred Enemy against the Warlord and Crusader and Fear for the first two turns. Like the Other Drop Pod formation, this is for shock, awe, and lots of shooty, though Crusader makes them more useful in melee.
  • Skyreign Hunter Squadron (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Hunters. All there is.
    • For each Savant Lock beyond the first used on a target, they take +1 for their roll on the lock counters to see if they get hit. In addition, if a locked target is within 18" of another flyer of any sort, the Hunters have to roll d6; on 1, nothing happens. On 2-4, only one Savant Lock can transfer to the new target. On 5+, you can transfer as many as you want. Really, this is so you can keep tabs on those pesky flyers.
  • Spear of Macragge (Apocalypse) - Chronus takes the Terminus Ultra (A Land Raider with 2 lascannon sponsons, 2 TL lascannon sponsons, an HK Missile, a hull-mounted TL lascannon, a Searchlight and Smoke Launcher at the cost of transport) and 5+ tanks that are either Predators, Whirlwinds, or Vindicators.
    • For one, every tank within 12" of Chronus' tank get to fire on his BS of...5. However, if you roll more than 4 1's in a single shooting phase. it has to take an S9 AP2 hit on the side after it shoots. If you really need a tank army, you can't do much worse.
  • Stormsurge Strike Wing (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Storm Ravens.
    • When they first come in through reserves, they have to move between 36-72" and use one of the special attacks this uses on anything they go over. While this bars them from deploying anyone, denying them evade, they instead get a 4+ save the start of the next turn.
      • Missile Storm requires that everyone fire ALL THE MISSILES. Once the hits go above 7, it becomes a Strength D AP2 Concussive hit that grows from just a hit to an Apocalyptic blast.
      • Strafing Storm makes them fire everything but the missiles, like as strafing run, but they also get Shred for the rest of the turn. This is meant more for infantry than tanks.
  • Suppression Force (Apocalypse) - A Land Speeder or any sort assists 2+ Whirlwinds.
    • Anything within the Land Speeder's LoS and within 48" of it counts as being within the Whirlwinds' LoS, meaning that they now have infinite range with now twin-linked missiles. The Whirlwinds can then exchange their firing to fire one big-ass missile strike of either sort that now become Apocalyptic Barrage X blasts (Where X is twice the number of Whirlwinds contributing).
  • Ultramarines Chapter Honour Guard (Apocalypse) - Calgar must take a full Honour Guard Squad with a Standard Bearer and a Land Raider to call his own. He can then opt to take Cassius, Tigurius, and/or a Venerable Dread.
    • The Land Raider gets Tank Hunter, Monster Hunter, and Preferred Enemy. The Guard give you the choice of 2 Strategic Assets because eliteness. Everything within 6" of Calgar himself either gain FNP (for infantry) or the ability to ignore Crew Shaken/Stunned results (for vehicles). Pretty clearly, this is a damn pricy setup, and it all hinges upon how you can manage Papa Smurf and his gang and the tank, though they do gain some good staying power with FNP.

Warzone: Damocles[edit]

  • Armoured Vanguard Squadron (Apocalypse) - 3-5 Rhinos and/or Razorbacks being used as Transports are grouped up.
    • When using the Arrowhead Attack Pattern, the Rhinos now all gain Tank Hunters (which is of dubious use depending on the troops used) and Assault Vehicle (More awesome). This is definitely made with the Scars in mind.
  • Stormclad Squadron (Apocalypse) - A Thunderhawk takes 2+ Stormtalons as groupies.
    • The T-Hawk is the big star of the show, while the Talons are just support. A Talon can give up shooting to give the big guy Night Vision and Preferred Enemy, and if they're within 4" of the Hawk, the Talons have to become little shields to the big one.
  • Hunting Force (Apocalypse) - BIKES. BIKES EVERYWHERE. The Captain gets a bike (And can take a Command Squad or a Chaplain as accompaniment) and 1-3 squads of plain Bikes, Attack Bikes, and Scout Bikes. And in the Webway, Jaghatai Khan sheds a tear...
    • All the bikes give everyone Outflank and Scouts because FAST. They can also select an HQ or Apoc Formation to get Preferred Enemy and Furious Charge against, just so they can charge and shoot the bastard(s) to death.
  • Stormbringer Squadron (Apocalypse) - 3-5 mix of either Land Speeders and/or Storms (The Storms no longer get to be Dedicated Transports though)
    • First of all, Scout for everyone, with an additional redeployment so long as they get at least 6" from an enemy, and anybody that disembarks from the Storms won't count as having moved for the first turn. In addition, when they redeploy, anyone else within 12" from the formation now must test for pinning. In short, this is for the Scouts and how they'll get into the field in the quickest way possible.
  • Furion Peak Counter-Strike Command (Apocalypse) - Khan and Shrike take a Raven Guard Captain and a White Scars Librarian with them.
    • Really, the only bonus they get is the ability to give anyone within 12" of them Shrouded while the Librarian is alive. Considering that they won't be able to move very fast, this won't help very much, and it'll be holding them from bashing in stuff, though Shrouded is something good to have.

Blood Oath (Warhammer World Exclusive)[edit]

In the May 2015 reopening of Warhammer World, there was a fuckhuge diorama about the Imperium (Ultras, GK, Knights, and Titans) battling Khorne Daemonkin and other titans.

  • Spear of Sicarius - Cato and a Chaplain join a command squad, 6 tacs, 2 devastators, 2 assaults (All in squads of 10), and 2 dreads all in Drop Pods. They all gain Stubborn and EVERY Pod arrives on Turn 1. And to make them even safer, each one of them makes enemies within 5" take d6 S4 AP5 hits just by being near them when they arrive. Afterwards, they can then fire twice once they disembark during the Shooting Phase or opt not to fire any Heavy and Rapid-Fire weapons and gain the option to charge in the following Assault Phase. AKA everything Star Phantoms do, only twice as good.
  • Ultramarines First Company - A Captain and Chaplain join 3 Dreads and 10 10-man squads of either Termies or Vets of any sort. Unlike the Archangels Strike Force of Exterminatus, there's no need for the ICs to be Termies too. They all gain Fear, Fearless, they give Imperium Armies within 6" Stubborn, and they can re-roll to hit during Shooting AND Assault when they use a Doctrine. Greatest of them all indeed!

Building Your Army[edit]

Games Workshop always advocates it, and it bears repeating: start with an HQ and two Troops.

  • For your HQ, you are somewhat spoilt for choice. If you're playing a chapter with special characters, they're a good starting point. Support HQs like a Libby are worth considering. If you're looking to create a badass retinue for a tough guy character then a Captain or Chapter Master with tooled up weaponry is a good starting point. Fundamentally, HQ choice comes down to planning - they are the most difficult units to integrate by far. You could just take a 65 Libby to minimise the tax, but in many cases that becomes a waste in itself - what the hell is it going to accomplish? It's still a lot of points. Base your HQ on things that *will* happen, not what *might* happen. Weigh up having a tough HQ that can handle itself in a fight (to, say, claim Slay the Warlord whilst not giving it away) versus a Force Multiplier. Many of the Special Characters combine both.
    • e.g don't put a Captain inside a rhino with a Tactical squad and expect him to reach enemy lines. You'll get obliterated. However, if you take Khan, WS Chapter tactics, and pull off the maximum movement, he will reach threat range by the beginning of turn 2. Drop pods, Land Raiders, strong retinues, all are good assurance a Captain *will* and not *might*.
  • Good starting troops are:
    • Tactical Squads. They're your bread and butter. Unless you're writing a gimmicky spam list you're going to have them. They're an oddball, or a guilty pleasure if you will. Having a load of bolters is not good for your list, in all honesty; you want your Tac squads to have maximised firepower or potential. Don't equip them for AT, they suck at it; tanks are too rare to compensate for with an entire unit, and the alternatives are better. You *need* a method of transporting them. Consider very carefully how you choose to do so; you should not mix and match pods with rhinos unless it's just one or two pods and they're carrying a deadly alpha strike unit. Rhinos only become truly good if you're using Khan and the White Scars - you need the mobility and alpha strike potential scout gives you. Razorbacks are alright but don't form a good core unless you're either taking them minimum or maxing them out, they become good in a Double Demi. The best options here are generally Plasma and Flamers for wiping infantry, though grav-guns can be handy if you see a lot of heavy infantry. Don't forget the serge can take a combi-weapon - and by the Emperor make it the same as your special, or He'll twitch.
    • Scout Squads. Now with WS and BS of 4, the only difference between them and regular marine is their 4+ armor saves. Scouts are no longer just undying roaches, they are roaches that can bite! Sniper Scouts are the time honoured classic choice for holding backfield objectives. Honestly, they're not that good at all, but by throne are they cheap. In 7th you can use them as a counter attack or alpha strike unit by abusing Land Speeder Storms, which let you charge out of them with open topped and move a long distance at the start of the game with scout. They can also snatch objectives at the last second. Bear in mind that they are the cheapest auxiliary choice for the new Gladius Strike Force, a good option to take if you want something to annoy your opponents with.
      • Alternate Take: If you're planning ahead, you can use scouts with camo cloaks (or with the 10th Company Task Force rules) to sit on objectives and be very frustrating and hard to dislodge. Park them in ruins and laugh as your opponent either:
        1. Completely forgets they're camping an objective, or
        2. Throws a lot more fire than they should to ignore a 3+ cover.
        • Additionally, this may be a nice cheap way to get a couple of low end heavy weapons. Players have a nasty habit of ignoring your Scout missile launchers until they're driving a skimmer by it.
    • Biker Squads. These became very good with the new Codex, and they're a very viable choice for basing an army around, but you need a bike-mounted HQ to field them as troops. Note that in the new 'dex, this can be a Librarian, Techmarine, or Chaplain, in addition to the usual Captain. Grav Gun spam makes them a very nasty bastion of firepower, and Meltas are a reasonable choice as well.

Once you've got a start on your army, the most important thing to do is play the game. A lot. Learn what you like. Build your army around that.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Note that generic marines are a "jack-of-all trades, master of none" type army: each unit type has a loose yet specific role that they're best at, and because something in the Codex covers each base the army itself is adaptable to pretty much any tactic. Don't run lists around the concept as a whole though. You want your units to have focus. Taking Devastators? Don't mix and match your anti-infantry and anti-tank. You want to annihilate what you shoot at, since dead things don't shoot back at all. Consider this trait a convenience (or at worst, a hindrance) and nothing else.
  • MEHTAL BAWKSES save your life and time. Space marines love being in metal boxes. They make the tough marines even tougher. Stop them from getting bogged down in pointless hand to hand combats, prevent them from being pinned, and, perhaps most importantly, let them move faster and prevent them from being tarpitted. Invest in rhinos/razorbacks.
    • Take drop pods. They're just as good as rhinos. Put your marines in high priority areas without worrying about hull points. Plop a Dread in one too.
  • You're not a Khorne Berserker. You're not even a Blood Angel. You cannot turn anything at close range into mulch while being fearless. Pick your close combats wisely. Pure H2H focused space marine armies will struggle against codices that were actually designed with close combat in mind. That said, ATSKNF does mean you'll never be swept by glass cannons like Wyches or Harlequins, so you can tarpit decently in a pinch.
  • You're not a Tau Fire Warrior. You can't out-shoot *everything* no matter how many guns you take.
  • You're not a Guardsman, Sluggaboy, or Gaunt. You cannot defeat your enemies through weight of numbers alone. Don't sacrifice your men without careful consideration.
  • You're not a Grey Knight, Movie Marine, or Necron Immortal. You cannot rely on individual strength to win. Do not rely too strongly on small numbers of high priced units.
  • You're not a Necron Immortal or a Necron Warrior. You are tough, but you can't get back up. Stay under freaking cover!
  • You're not a Leman Russ Squadron. You can't take a bunch of vehicles and just crush everything in your way. Your tanks are good, but not great, so keep them just as alert as the rest of your minis and let them do their jobs.

Overall, space marine armies require FOCUS to succeed. As Charles Darwin (didn't actually) say: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."

The logic is that you need a hard counter to whatever pops up in this edition. Missile Devastators made mincemeat of vehicles in 6th edition like it was going out of fashion. And it did, because now if you come up against a Riptide that every Tau *will* have they're nearly worthless. Some people didn't even take vehicles in 6th. This has changed quite a bit in 7th as vehicles score and Dedicated Transports for Troops count as Objective Secured, plus vehicles don't die quite as easily.

All that said, don't forget that your units pretty much always have some ability outside their core competency, unlike some xenos. You have krak grenades, and those can ding vehicles or even MCs if you don't have any other useful answer. Even Devastators could potentially polish off a lone survivor with a charge. Assault marines can do enough damage in shooting to be an actual threat, and so forth. Don't rely on these hail-Mary secondary capabilities, but don't forget that they're there. Far too many players do. especially keep in mind the grenades, they are life-savers (debatable now that they're 1 per unit even in assault).

Another thing of note is that your chapter is not just a color scheme; you should build your army to suit their chapter tactics. For example, Raven Guard assault marines, White Scars bikes, Iron Hands tanks/Terminators, etc.

  • You need to consider the following when writing a list:
    • Anti Scoring. You want to wash them off objectives, because objectives win games. Preferably with minimum effort. Examples : 2 Flamer Assault Squad with DP, Thunderfire Cannon, anything else that ignores cover or reliably reaches their scoring.
    • Anti Tank. Not half as important this edition but still needs to be considered, you don't want to be boned when you inevitably come up against someone who anticipates a lack of AT. Don't take Melta. Its too situational, unreliable and takes away your focus. Good examples include: Tri-Las Predators, Storm Talons, (even if you don't have the AT guns you can still fly behind and fire at their rear armour with your 360' gun) Devastators and Dev Centurions. If it can't also do Anti-MC you should probably not take it. If you really, really have a love affair with Meltas (and they *do* have some advantages), take allied Sisters, and get four in one squad with Ignores Cover. Another take on Melta weaponry is if you run Salamanders and bring Vulkan He'stan. His 'make all Meltas Master-crafted' rule is god-tier, when used correctly. A five-man Command Squad all with Meltas is an incredible Turn 1 tank-buster. Utilising the rule of 'Combat Squads are chosen after deploying from transports' also works great - a ten-man Sternguard squad with combi-meltas can split into two five-man squads, both with MC Combi-meltas, and turn two tanks into slag on Turn 1. Imagine how the tide of battle would turn if your opponent's Land Raider Crusader and Tri-Las Predator were both melted before their turn even began.
    • Anti Monstrous Creatures. High strength, low AP guns that pound the wounds off these fuckers. They're almost always deadly and critical to your opponent's strategy. The trick is killing them so hard and so fast your opponent crumbles. They vary from Nid MC's that rampage towards you to backfield MCs such as Riptides. You need to plan for the latter especially. Good examples include: Alpha striking Sternguard with combi weapons (plasma/grav), Tri-Las Predators, any ranged unit or set of ranged units that can leverage a large amount of high strength AP2 firepower reliably. Don't deal in *mights*, deal in *wills*. CC units are not a good choice for this category because they are a *might* on the face of it. Forcing lots of saves with specialty ammo is decently reliable against most Tyranid bugs but Riptides with 2+ and FNP or Wraithknights will laugh, so you'll have to cut through that armor.
    • Anti Flyer. You need to shoot these down before they wreck your list without compromising it. A fortification with Quad Gun is a good easy choice, but you need to plan about how you're going to use them best. Taking your own flyers is a valid counter - they can elect to get skyfire. The Hunter/Stalker have benefits each and are both worth considering. If you use assault transports, consider trading a Land Raider for a Stormraven to kill two birds with one stone.
    • List backbone. Its all well and good covering all of this, but if your list is literally a jumbled mess of different units performing different roles with no cohesion you're in trouble. When you look at your list become your own opponent. Think about what they would target first, what is easy to neutralize, and about the amount of damage they would need to inflict in order to cripple your chances at winning.
    • Also relating to list backbone, duality. It is inevitable that a unit can't always reliably achieve its goal. You will take casualties. The easiest way to absorb every punch is to have another layer under your skin - take pairs, triples, quadruplets even of units with the same role. You destroyed a Rhino with 10 Tactical Marines? Here's 3 more squads that all pose the same threat. Unless a unit is exceedingly hard to kill or extremely reliable (e.g in a low points game a DP Sternguard alpha strike unit or a squad of 10 Terminators) you should always have duality.
  1. contact a friend who has a similarly sized Tyranid army
  2. have 6 fortresses of redemption clustered into 2 giant (polar) fortresses
  3. plan at some point a challenge between Calgar and the Swarmlord
  4. sell tickets
  5.  ??????
  6. PROFIT

Tactics[edit]

"Ye who dare enter within these sacred walls, heed the wisdom of the ancients as it is written, but see past the mere limitations of words and bold statements.

1) Thou shalt ne'er dismount from thy sacred steel coffin. Doing so is equal to doing the enemy's work. He cannot hurt thou until he hast dismounted thine power armored asses from thine rhinos, and all thine most fearsome weapons are usable from thy blessed rhino hatch of potent power and might.

2) Thou shalt fear no evil, for thou art fear incarnate, but thou shalt not let this power go to thine head. Thou shalt respect the enemy as thou respect thy own forces, for arrogance leads to thine own downfall, and the perfunctory loss of massive chunks of thine army to 'only lasguns,' and 'puny long-ranged meltaguns,' or 'that immobilized chaos dread in the corner.'

3) Whilst thine sacred, holy, blessed space marines are an elite force, the likes of which has ne'er been seen prior to, nor since, strength is still to be found in numbers. For whilst a solitary squad of thine most esteemed sternguard will fall versus a score of chaos marines, 3 squads shall not.

4) Thou shalt ensure thou uses the enemy's strengths and weaknesses against them equally. If thine foe is strong up close, thou shall prevent him from getting there. If he is slow and plentiful, thou wilst thin his ranks with potshots, whilst biding thine time to lay into him with tankshock, sacred heavy flamer, and assaults on thine terms. If he is powerful at range, you will drive towards him most fearlessly, making careful use of terrain, smoke launchers, the superior armor value of thine vigilant and invincible predators, and bunkering up where his guns are the thinnest. If his numbers be but few yet strong in spirit and body, thou shalt focus fire on one unit at a time, until it is no more. If the enemy is fast, thou shall present him with a wall of rhinos shielding thy sacred space marine infantry, and careful placement and redeployment to make his valiant efforts for victory futile. If thou art facing thine British Firing Line, pummel them with devastators and then assault them in many different places. Thine foe's supporting fire shalt make an arse out of you if thou don't.

5) Thou shalt not, under any circumstance, allow the vile enemy to have her or his way. If faced with a charge from a score of ork boyz, thou shalt famously unload thy blessed boltpistols and holy promethium from thine flamers into their ranks, and thereafter take the charge most gloriously and defyingly, denying them the initiative, all charging bonuses, and catching the enemy commander unprepared, for yours is the gear, the profile, and the abilities to turn certain death into certain victory for the glory of the Emperor.

6) Thou will fight on all ground, in all terrain, on all fields of combat, and thou wilt do so with stubborn cunning, and the unrelenting, unlimited imagination held by all human beings. Thou wilt use the pieces of the board for all they're worth, and attacking the flanks of any entrenched, isolated firebase with no doubt or hesitation in mind, for it takes a lot of autocannons to guarantee the kill of even a single rhino, and thou wilt field at least 4 at all times.

7) The sole time in which thine mighty armaments of the emperor are useless, is when thine most holy guns cannot reach the foe.

8) Thou shalt always hold the initiative. Thou shalt press on, and use thine forces expertly, while applying pressure to the enemy from the flanks, the rear, and the front - anywhere it is possible. Thou shalt never remain immobile, for giving up thy movement is tantamount to rolling over like a bitch, and presenting thy previously mentioned power armored ass to the enemy.

9) Thine space marines are few in numbers, yet strong and reliable. They will hold the line where lesser men may not, and survive firepower that would render any ordinary squad dead. Thou shalt trust in thine power armor, thine krak grenades, holy boltgun, boltpistol, and thine most underestimated frag grenade, for few of the foe's elite are as royally equipped as thine grunts, or as capable of using them.

10) Thou shalt learn to appreciate a very powerful, versatile, unfocused profile, for yours is the strength and power of three lesser men, contained in one package. Where a man may be exceptional at shooting or combat, thine grunts are capable of both in equal measure, and blessed with the gear to make both a reality.

11) Whilst a plasma gun will ignore thy power armor, it will not ignore thy high leadership, or thy sacred cover save. Unless you elect to fall back, you will hold most stubbornly on a consistent basis.

12) Cowardice is naught but an illusion of lesser men. The popular sentiment is 'he who runs away lives to fight another day.' This is not so. He who runs away lives to rapid fire bolters against the foe that made him run away.

13) Knowledge is power, but power is useless if it's not being put to use. Study thy opponent's tome of lore and wisdom. Read it again, closer. Put the words to mind, so thou wilt not hesitate that destroyers are indeed toughness 5, and a krak missile thusly wilst not inflict instant death upon it.

14) Thou shalt ne'er do the opponent's work for him. While the other races, such as eldar, are wont to kill their own units with Yriel's eye of death, you know better. Thou shalt not ever, under any circumstance, nuke too close to your own units, or 'assault' with a depleted 3 man tactical squad - no! For that tactical squad shall hide inside the nearby, immobilized rhino, so that thy foe has to dig them out to score the killpoint, and make thy 3 space marines stop firing bolters.

15) Though it may take a lesser foe 10 shots fired to damage armor, thy space marines bring melta, and thy blessed profile gives thou a significantly higher chance to score hits, cutting the necessary firepower down considerably. Thou wilt not forget this, for it is the mark of a fool to focus too little or too much dakka and manpower on the task of destroying a single chimera.

16) Thou shalt not load up on tactical marines, for it weakens your army immensely. Thine two mandatory meltabunkers are plenty, and thy further troops slots shalt only ever be employed in case thou needeth more plasmaback or assbacks."

General Reminders[edit]

  • Krak Grenades can not only be thrown in this edition, but they can be both thrown in overwatch and at flyers.
  • Rams are now an auto-hit at 1 for tanks + half the vehicle's front armor; the dozer blade adds 1 to the front armor for this calculation. This means that SM vehicles with even front armor can get +1 strength to their ram attacks. Rams are resolved against the armor facing hit, and very notably, skimmer jink saves cannot be taken against rams and walkers are not allowed to death or glory against ram attacks.
    • Additional note: The only SM tanks with even front armor values are Hunters and Stalkers, tanks which should not be ramming. This is likely by design. Also, even if the land raider could be effectively raised to FA 15, dozer blades are specifically prohibited from being taken on land raiders of any variant, likely due to the fact that the bay doors are located in the front of the hull.
    • However, of course, whether the vehicle is ramming or being rammed on its front, the dozer blade will help protect against damage from the ram.

Useful Informations[edit]

These informations come from numerous threads among the most popular 40k forums, some of them are common advice or good food for thought.

About running naked tacticals in a Gladius[edit]

I'd like to offer a counter-point against the use of naked minimum Tac squads. In my opinion, the single greatest part of fielding a Tac squad isn't 3+, a hail of bolter fire or a well placed special weapon. It's the humble 35 point metal box to haul them around in and keep them safe. 35 points gives your line troops protection from most anti-infantry weapons, and puts your opponent's anti-tank weapons into overload as they try to deal with all the tough SM units on the board like T5 3++/4+++ Bikers, Stormtalons/ravens, Ironclad Dreads, Predators, Vindicators, and that Typhoon Speeder sitting out at 48 inches in the fast slot from the Demi-Co.

35 points for a transport that can fill threads with all the tricks it can pull.

What I mean to say is that CAD and Demi-Co Tacticals shouldn't be looked at in terms of their effectiveness as five dudes on the ground, as that passes up on what I think is point for point the best transport in the game. They should be instead looked at in regards to their performance from a Rhino (or Pod for that matter). Rhinos act as something of a force multiplier for their squad, letting you get into range quicker and get better use out of your special weapon, this goes double for when backed up by a Tac or Dev doctrine. The two fire points also encourage the use of specials, as a much larger percentage of your fire is based around that special firing out of the hatch, so fewer bolters are "wasted". Yet another great synergy between specials and Rhinos comes from the basic knowledge that, generally, when your Tacs are outside the Rhino and take fire, it's because that unit didn't have a clear shot at something better, ie, they aren't being focused and you'll likely have survivors. One of those will almost surely be your special weapon caddie, who is now free to hop back in the Rhino and enjoy the protection of AV11 and keep shooting.

It's been a long day for me, and I'm sure I could have written that out better, but that's my two cents worth on the subject.

Bonus: Here's a tier list of sorts when buying upgrades for Tacs.

Tier 1: Rhino, Special Weapon (usually Plasma) or a Grav-Cannon
Tier 2: Melta Bombs, Dozer Blade, Razorback
Tier fluffy: Veteran Sergeant, Combi-Weapon or Chainsword
Tier lulz: +5 Marines, Heavy Weapon (other than Grav-Cannon), Power Weapon, Hunter Killer Missile, Auspex, Teleport Homer
Tier By the Emperor, what are you doing?: Extra Armor, Storm Bolter on Rhino, Power Fist, Digital Weapons

StormTalon mathhammer[edit]

I ran the numbers for the three weapon upgrades against my interpretation of the standard target types and then added that damage with the TL assault cannon's results.

Please note, if the expected result is within 10% of each other, I'm calling them equal.

AV12 = Equal (1.20)
AV13 = TML & TLLC equal (1.03) > SHM 0.92)
AV14 = TLLC (0.69) > TML (0.61) > SHM (0.39)
T6 3+ = TML (2.19) > TLLC (1.82) > SHM (1.52)
T8 3+ = TML & TLLC equal (1.20) > SHM (0.81)
T6 2+ = TLLC (1.57) > TML & SHM equal (1.04)

About Deathstars and retinue[edit]

Super Killy squads usually don't want badass mofo characters, they just want force multiplier characters. Badass mofo characters don't want elite retinues. They just want meatshields. By giving both squads what is most efficient, you end up with two high level threats instead of one.

Honesty, don't use a Death Star. Just don't. It's a nice unit that will do damage to another unit, maybe 2. But against a fully balanced army then they really won't have a chance. Too many points stacked up in one unit. Take 2-3 units that will have more specific jobs instead of 1 all rounder. Example: Command squad on bikes with chapter master with shield eternal, thunder hammer, apothecary, and 2-3 special weapons (grav really, maybe melta). You've got some to take wounds, you can jink, you get an orbital bombardment on a fast moving killing machine, and T5 with FNP. And not TOO many points. Alongside that run an assault termie unit with thunder hammers and storm shields. Thirdly, run 10 assault marines lead by a captain with burning blade and storm shield. All of that comes in at just over 1,000 points, with no troops. So you'll still get two good tac squads in there and a vindicator or something like that at 1500 points.

Codex Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Death from Above
1 VP for killing an entire unit with a Jump unit or a squad that arrived from Deep Strike that turn.
12 - Honour the Chapter
1 VP for killing an enemy in a challenge.
13 - No Mercy, No Respite
1 VP if an enemy unit either dies or fails morale. Upped to d3 if you have more than 3 do this.
14 - FOR THE EMPRAH!
1 VP for a successful charge, upped to d3 if you get 3 or more charges. Seems easy enough.
15 - Lightning Strike
1 VP if you kill an enemy unit within their Deployment Zone
16 - The Emperor's Retribution
d3 VP if you steal an objective from an enemy, which is upped to d3+3 if you steal 3 or more.

White Scars Tactical Objectives[edit]

A bizarre gift for the 2014 Advent Calendar, the White Scars tactical objectives. Really, why do this and not some sort of supplements for other Chapter Tactics in the fashion of Clan Raukaan and Sentinels of Terra. Or at least TacO's for all the Chapter Tactics. These chapter tactics will also be released again as part of the Warzone Damocles supplements with the latest Tau releases.

11 - Rapid Redeployment
Find an Objective that's more than 18" from your models. Win 1 VP when you control it.
12 - Run Them Down
1 VP for destroying a unit via Sweeping Advance. While the White Scars are good at this in theory, it's a huge pain in the ass for the same reasons as always: you're relying on a) your enemy not having Hit & Run or some other way to end the engagement before you end the fight, and b) you getting enough kills to force a morale check without simply wiping the squad.
13 - Mounted Assault
1 VP if a friendly Biker kills an enemy. d3 VP if your bike kills at least 3.
14 - Feigned Retreat
1 VP for using Hit & Run and passing. Easy point? Heck yes. But there's a problem: you have to Hit & Run during YOUR turn. It specifies this on the card. If you know anything about Hit & Run, you should be able to see the problem here. Scoring the victory point means dooming your poor little Bikes to being shot at/charged during your enemy's turn. Pick your battles wisely if you draw this. (Consider using a small tac squad with a flamer fighting enemy with a lower inititive. They will get to overwatch then strike first again after netting this VP)
15 - The Clean Kill
This one's risky. You win 1 VP if you kill a model with 3 wounds during an assault phase. You win d3 VP if you kill a model with 5 wounds during assault. Issue with this is that bikers aren't the best with prolonged combats without pricy stuff like Power Axes or Fists.
16 - Claim the Head
1 VP if you kill a Character in a challenge during your turn. d3 VP if you kill the Warlord in a challenge during your turn. d3+3 VP if your Warlord kills the other Warlord during your turn. While doable in any means, it's meant to promote BALLS OF FUCKING STEEL.

Raven Guard Tactical Objectives[edit]

These Chapter tactics will be a part of the Warzone Damocles - Kauyon.

11 - Strike From the Skies
1 VP if you killed with a unit that's either Jump type or a unit that disembarked from a drop pod.
12 - Keep to the Shadows
1 VP if every non-vehicle unit's either in a transport, in a building, or within 1" of cover. Fluffy AND practical!
13 - Let them Know Fear
1 VP if an enemy unit failed either Fear, Morale, or Pinning.
14 - Prioritise and Destroy
d3 VP if you killed a Warlord, Superheavy or GC.
15 - Highly Mobile Assault
You win a VP if you charge and demolish an enemy unit. Repeat this three times and you win d3 VP.
16 - Cripple the Enemy
1 VP if you kill an enemy Transport/FA unit. d3 VP if you kill between 3-5. d3+3 VP if you kill more than 5.

Salamanders Tactical Objectives[edit]

In the hype for the 7E codex, a White Dwarf issue actually released a list of Tactical Objectives for Salamanders armies to use. They were then re-released with the Angels of Death supplement.

11 - Vulkan's Gaze
1 VP for blowing up a vehicle with a melta weapon. Yeah, this'll happen.
12 - Weather the Storm
If you manage to charge successfully AND suffer no overwatch casualties, you get 1 VP. This is gonna run quite a risk, especially against Skitarii (Especially with the WS4 Overwatch WT), Tau and Dark Angels.
13 - Legacy of Istvaan
If you have at least 3 Salamanders units within within 18" of your table edge, you win 1 VP for killing an enemy on your half of the table.
14 - Vulkan's Task
This one's a bit tricky: You need to identify all mysterious objectives AND control more objectives than your opponent. However, doing so gets you d3 VP.
15 - Look Them In the Eye
1 VP for killing a unit within 6" of a Salamanders unit during your turn; this gets upped to d3 VP if you kill more than three units.
16 - Fires of Nocturne
Here's a fun one! If you destroy a unit with a flamer weapon during your turn, that's 1 VP. If you destroyed 2 units with flamers, you get d3 VP, and if you kill three of more, that's d3+3 VP.

Imperial Fists Tactical Objectives[edit]

These were released in the Angels of Death supplement.

11 - Indomitable Defense
Pick 3 objectives. On any turn after the turn you draw it in, you can gain VPs depending on how many you keep: 1 for 1, d3 for 2, d3+3 for all of them.
12 - Man the Walls
1 easy VP for hiding in a building or manning a gun. Needless to say that buying an Aegis with a turret is in your interests.
13 - Disciplined Firepower
Pick a number between 1 and 3. You win that many VP if AND ONLY IF you kill that many units. Otherwise it's a waste.
14 - Son of Dorn
Did you start a challenge? Are you in one? Then grab that VP.
15 - Death Before Dishonour
You win 1 VP if you get a unit killed, but not if they fail morale. Funny masochistic message there.
16 - Breach Their Defenses
1 VP if you take over or destroy an enemy emplacement or fortification, d3 if you go beyond that.

Iron Hands Tactical Objectives[edit]

Also released with Angels of Death.

11 - Methodical Destruction
Label 3 enemy units 1, 2, and 3. You win 1 VP for killing Unit 1, d3 VP for killing 1 and 2, and d3+3 VP for killing them all. Just make sure you got them in position to die.
12 - Advance and Secure
1 VP if you own the Objective closest to the center of the board. If there's two or more equidistant from the center, then your enemy can screw it up for you.
13 - March of the Machines
Win 1 VP if your Walker (meaning only Dreads) charges someone.
14 - Destroy the Weak
Win d3 VP if you killed an enemy unit in both shooting and assault.
15 - The Strength of Metal
Win 1 VP if you get a Techie to fix a tank or a tank/IC passes their IWND. Not too bad to grab.
16 - Cold Fury
If you have a vehicle kill an enemy, get 1 VP. If you kill more than 3, then you win d3 VP.

Counter-Tactics[edit]

This section has both generic and specific info on countering (killing, destroying, locking down, making useless) enemy units. Add whatever has worked for you!

Generic[edit]

Tactics for countering generic classes of units, light infantry, medium vehicles, etc.

  • Light Infantry - This means anything weaker than your tacticals. So less than 4S or T, 5+ or worse armor save.
    • Melee - Anything this weak attacking you in melee should not even be a problem. Just shoot the shit out of them until they all die or fail a moral check and flee. Your standard bolters should wound them easily and pierce their armor before they even get into melee range. If they do, your average marine should be able to handle them easily, unless they are heavily outnumbered or have power weapons. Melee glass cannons are increasingly popular, though - if you see Ruststalkers or Harlequins, watch the heck out and don't assume you can soak their charge.
    • Ranged - Unless they have heavy ranged weapons, the damage your tacticals can do will outweigh the damage they can do. If you can, try to get in melee with them, to deny their ranged weapons from firing. Again, watch out for glass cannons, especially Eldar - use melee to save yourself from their surprisingly scary guns. Thunderfire Cannons and Whirlwinds make weedy infantry evaporate in seconds.
  • Medium Infantry - This means anything about equal to your tacticals.
    • You have two options: break out the Ap2 shooting (grav and plasma guns) or break out a lot of shots and let them roll that one or two eventually.
    • If they don't have ATSKNF you can try to charge them with some AP3 or less weapons (say, vanguard vets or an Assault squad with a captain) and sweep them.
  • Heavy Infantry - Terminators and equivalent.
    • Typically, these squads are small, so you only have to cause relatively few wounds to eliminate them. However, causing those wounds is difficult and you have two options. First you can force as many saves as you can, since some will statistically fail and you will eventually win. Just lay on the firepower and they will go down eventually. Your second option is to engage them with dedicated ap2 weapons such as thunder hammer Termies or mass plas/grav guns if you brought them. Although they usually have higher-than-usual Ld you can try Psychic Shrieking them, denying their armor save.
  • Superheavy Infantry - Independent characters or Monstrous Creatures decked out with lots of wounds, high T, high S, low armor and invuln saves.
    • Use Chapter Master Smashfucker or grav-spam. Plasma or melta can work, if you have enough of it, and if all the tanks are gone, these are the perfect targets for your lascannons. If they doesn't have EW or T over 5 you can try instagibbing them with a Vindicator.
  • Light vehicles - AV10/11 tops. Your Tacticals can take out AV10 at range or they can attack with a grenade in assault for a little more hurt. No need to waste your heavy anti-vehicle shots, unless you already destroyed the heavier vehicles. Plasma, autocannons and Krak missiles are enough most of the time.
  • Medium Vehicles - AV12/13. Use heavier weaponry, like Terminators or lascannons. Plasma can help, but melta at close range can be very effective. Ironclad dreadnoughts with chainfists will rip these vehicles to shreds. You can try Podding something in their rear armor, usually weaker.
  • Heavy Vehicles - AV14. Now you are in for a shitfest. High strength weapons, like lascannons or powerfists can have serious difficulties trying to glance these bad boys. A well placed shot from an orbital strike or a vindicator shot may do some damage, but Chainfists should Rip and Tear through any kind of armor. Ironclad dreadnoughts can do some damage, but a squad of Terminators with Chainfists in a Land Raider Redeemer WILL ruin any vehicles day. Eviscerators on Assault Marines are an interesting secondary option.

Meltaguns or meltabombs in melta range should do some damage.

  • Flyers - Use anti-flyer units and defences or bring your own flyers. Talons are cheap and are strong against medium infantry, alternatively an aegis or bastion wih a quad gun provides good cover and a quad gun for half the price. Anything else gets a massive penalty to hit, so keep ground forces fighting ground forces. Unless it is something that ignores power armor (Heldrakes, anything (Dark) Eldar) you can also get away with ignoring them. Autocannon dreads and AssCan razorbacks can do in a pinch.

Specific Units[edit]

Tactics for countering specific enemy units that can be major problems (Terminators, tyranid swarms, Monoliths, etc)

  • Terminators - Force as many saves as you can. If you have weapons that can ignore their 2+ armor save, all the better. Even if you do, it may be worth it to fire high shot count weapons at them anyway. Devastators with 4 HB can kill 1 or 2 a turn if you roll well, which is enough to force a moral check most of the time, equip them with Plasma Cannons and can kill the whole squad. Take them against anything spouting a save of 3+ or better. Your own terminators (or other heavy infantry) can then move in for the kill.
  • Hordes - Tarpit hordes, ie. 'Nids, Guard, Orks, can be dealt with in a number of ways. Flamers (In the form of Sternguard, Dread squads, Land Raider redeemers, kitted out command squads), Blast weapons (Thunderfire cannons, Vindicators, Whirlwinds) or lots of dakka/MURDER. Try to inflict as many wounds as possible to force Ld checks and send the bastards running, but be warned, many hordes can negate Ld checks in some way or another (Synapse, Commissars, Boss pole) in that case, if you have Scouts with Snipers, it may be worth it to shoot for Precision shots. Nobs and Commissars at best get a 50% chance to dodge a hit which more than likely will kill them. Usually these mobs are T3, so you can try to toss a frag at them too.
  • Monstrous Creatures - Plasma Guns or Grav-guns. Quite a few Monstrous Creatures like Wraithlords, Bloodthirsters, Riptides, and Carnifexes have 3+ or 2+ armor saves, and Plasma and Grav guns are adept at dealing with this in a way like Terminators. At worst, fire as many boltguns at them and hope for the best. Don't try to tie them up in Close Combat unless you can throw Thunderhammer/Storm Shield Terminators or Ironclads at them; Monstrous Creatures ignore armor saves thanks to smash, even a Riptide can easily squish a marine should he manage to hit. However, in 7th Edition most Monstrous creatures lack easy and cheap Anti-vehicle options (Smashing at S10 drops them to 1 attack, which means they can easily miss) so if you can, a Dreadnought (or even better, an Ironclad Dreadnought) will work wonders against an MC. Snipers still wounds them on 4+, so it might be worth it to point a scout squad in their direction too.
  • Gargantuan Creatures (Wraithknight) - Grav-cannon spam out the ass. The Wraithknight is a particularly troublesome target since it is lightning fast and more often than not something you cannot afford to ignore. If you can, see which weapon loadout it took. A Wraithknight with dual heavy Wraith Cannons may be able to destroy 2 targets it chooses, but at most, it removes 2 models. Meanwhile it's decidedly lacking defensively with only a 5+ Feel No Pain. This combined with natural 3+ means a single shooting phase from a Grav-gun or Grav-cannon toting squad will bring it down. Or a squad of three las-preds. The Sun Cannon and Ghost Glaive loadouts make it much more survivable due to the Invulnerable save, but still, try and force as many saves if you can. To put it bluntly, it may cost you the game ultimately, but target the squishier units in an Eldar army if you can; don't let DISTRACTION CARNIFEX tactics like this get a hold of you. Try and keep calm and play to the game mode, ignore the WK or sacrifice a unit or 2 to hold it in place, and if Lady Luck and Admiral Awesome are on your side, you just may be able to snatch victory.

Common Playing Styles[edit]

Drop Pod Assault aka Steehl Rehn[edit]

This can take on several layers of tactics, depending on -what- you're putting in the drop pods (however the overall strategy is almost always basically the same). Either way, a mass drop pod assault will cause the opponent to massively shift the way he deploys his armor, especially any heavy tanks he has (expecting plenty of melta which you should be packing).

Strengths & Weaknesses[edit]

Pros :

  • From turn 1 you determine where the majority of fighting will be at, thus forcing your opponent to be on his feet tactically.
  • A --> B, it gets you there, no questions asked. You no longer have to worry about Rhinos and Razorbacks getting popped with flimsy AV11 HP3 and being stranded 24"+ from your intended objectives
  • Option of null deployment, you can start with nothing on the table! Very powerful if you can waste an opponent's turn.
  • Alpha strike, 9/10 times with the exception of Interceptor shots, you will get in the first strike, meaning your opponent should always be on the back-foot in these fire fights after you drop.
  • Space Marines are often at their best within 12" (or 6" for melta), and the pods get you right to that sweet spot.

Cons :

  • Weak to Flyers; Stalkers, Hunters and ADL's w/ Quad gun are weak counter-measures in a drop army when you're trying to limit the number of static units you have in your army. Flyers are your friends here.
  • Interceptor, you must always be aware of which units have it and where, or you can get torn to shreds before firing a shot. Drop strategically to give you cover or drop units that can tank the hits face on.
  • Lack of mobility after drop. Your army at this point is mostly foot-slogging, so you must take this into account when choosing your drop sites
  • Also, while you start the game on offence, dropping melta behind enemy tanks and setting up devastators for support and vanguard vets for assault, after all your drop pods are on the table, your guys have nothing to do but footslog. This means that on turn 3-4 you will be low on mobility and can get pushed into a defensive position if the enemy regroups and pushes you back. Drop pod assault loses the advantage late game, so you have to be sure that you utilise the first turn in such a way that insures that you will have the upper hand till the end. To do this you will want large amounts of melta, if they have transports, or Flamers, if they are footslogging it. Break down their big guns early on and leave whatever comes in from reserve to deal with the squishies!
  • only HALF of your drop pods show up on the first turn. If the majority of your army is in orbit you have to have a crippling alpha strike or for every point of your army on the board you will be fighting two.

Optimal Chapter Tactics[edit]

  • Salamanders- These Tactics and Drop pods go together almost perfectly, with both meltas and flamers being brought to where you want them straight from turn one. If you want to actually to be able to use melta's and justify their existence in your tactical squads, then take Vulkan He'Stan (at 1500pts or above at least). Combi-meltas are great with him because that one-shot for 10pts is more likely to hit, so it's a little bit safer to load up on them. What's more, the boltgun part of the combi-melta is master-crafted as well. But remember that flamer weapons mounted on vehicles don't count as they don't have Chapter Tactics. Basically there's a lot of synergy between drop pod assaults and Salamanders, but you'll want to load up on flamers and meltas to take advantage of the short range engagement.
  • Ultramarines- Believe it or not the Ultramarines have some solid Tactics that synergize decently with Drop pod units, given you know when to use the appropriate doctrine. The Tactical doctrine provides a much stronger alpha strike if you load up on tacticals and units that fire a lot of shots from the get-go. Tigurius is a god-send with his ability to take Divination and drop with your units, provided some neat buffs while altering reserve rolls which can be key to a drop pod/deep strke strategy.
  • Iron Hands- Iron Hands have a good deal of strength in drop pods as well, though they are limited in the number of truly viable units. Ironclads, being tough to kill already with AV13, become nightmares with IWND as long as they don't get penetrated by AP2/1/Ordnance. Chapter Master Smashbane/Smashfucker can either ride his bike from the ground or take Tactical dreadnought armor (15pts cheaper than bike/artificer armor) and ride in a pod and get into the enemy's face from turn 1. Just walk out of the pod, lay down his Orbital Bombardment and laugh as the enemy tries to kill him with your 2+/3++/6+++/5++++. Iron Hands in this case are weaker on the alpha strike, but a heck of a lot more durable than most other Chapters with the same units and can still do decent damage in the enemy lines. They're also one of 2 chapters (others being Imperial Fists) that can take the (in)famous Skyhammer Annihilation Force as part of their Decurion-type detachment. This lets you drop 3 pods, 2 of which contain relentless devastators, on turn 1. Combine with Smashfucker, combat squad abuse, and FNP trolling for maximum fun/butthurt. Drop pods with IWND along with a locator beacon/deathwind launcher also become legitimate threats; using these on the first turn alpha strike will increase the number of targets your opponent has to deal with.
  • Imperial Fists/Sentinels of Terra- Not as strong as the above overall, but can provide solid backline support with Devastators (Centurions) and re-rolling bolter shots makes their alpha strike a little bit stronger than normal.
  • Star Phantoms - A somewhat more specialized version of the Ultramarines, the Phantoms gain a single army-wide turn of twin-linked shooting. This applies to all non-ordinance and non-flamer weapons, giving you the option to maximize firepower from Command Squads and Sternguard who would otherwise have to fall back on just re-rolling 1's. The Star Phantoms also have the ability to re-roll 1's for deep striking reserves, which helps to ensure your pods arrive on time.

Units[edit]

  • With Deathwind Launchers seeing a drop in points cost, they become a little more viable to purchase if you got points lying around. For the cost of a Power Sword you can arm a drop pod with a S5 AP- pie plate that can do a respectable amount of damage should an enemy infantry unit or even a light vehicle come too close. People gripe about the 12" range but you should really see it as locking down a 12" radius all around the drop pod. It's best to buy them for your first-turn pods, since due to 7th edition changes, those DWL's can be fired on the turn they drop! If you kill a MEQ you will have basically paid off the cost of the launcher.
  • If you take long-range arty in your Heavy Support slots (Thunderfire Cannons, Whirlwind, allied IG arty, etc.) and have them on the table on turn 1, you can support your 1st wave drop pods straight from turn 1 and not have to have them completely without support. The best way to do this is load up on all anti-armor special weapons such as meltas, crack open transports, and then let the artillery fly on the exposed troops
  • Ironclads are tough, intimidating, and provide a good AV13 distraction for squishier units in a first wave. With Iron Hands these become a lot harder to kill other than outright blowing them up. Other Dreadnoughts can be krak'd to death but are cheaper if you're on a budget.
  • Sternguard are one of the best but also most expensive units to put in your drop pods. Most of the time I drop them down next to something mean (often high toughness units) and pump it full of wounds on a 2+ ammo. They will also remove units from cover, or mess up MEQ. They really do everything. The one problem is that they die just like other marines. So either choose a safe target that’s not going to shoot back once you unload on it, or kill something worth more than you. Dropping next to greater demons first turn and killing them before they get buffs running is worth the sacrifice.
  • Assault squads with x2 flamers is small, cheap, and pretty burny
  • Tactical squads should be normally taken as a full 10man unit since they can split up from the drop pod to deal with different targets. If you're packing a multi-melta with Vulkan, you have a decent chance of hitting something with it as well. However multiple 5 man Tactical squads allows you to bring more pods and waste less points on heavy weapons.
  • Salamanders: You can either take Vet sergeants with master-crafted power weapons for the inevitable charge and be relatively choppy in CC, or slim down with regular sergeants and take a master-crafted combi-weapon instead.
  • Legion of the Damned don't benefit from Chapter Tactics as per Aid Unlooked For rule, and take up an Elites choice that could be filled with Sternguards or Ironclads instead. And besides, Sternguard have ammunition that ignores cover anyway. Vulkan may RAW have strong synergy, Slow & Purposeful, master-crafted, multi-melta (which again ignores cover) and take a beating that would leave Ironclads/Sternguard blasted off of the table (typical AP2/3 weapons).
  • Honor Guard- a small cheap unit of these along with an IC to soak wounds and they provide hard-hitting power weapon attacks on the charge. Solid choice in a drop pod if you take a Chapter master and intend to drop him.

Tactics[edit]

  • A string of drop pods across an enemy flank prevents all movement unless he goes around or -explodes- the drop pod in question. In addition to all this, the enemy has to devote some firepower to silence those storm bolters you should be firing into the enemy units' backs.
    • Do note, however, that smart opponent could block crucial parts of battlefield with widely spread cheap units, like conscripts, cultists, gretchin or kroot (who are not that cheap but can infiltrate), and of course with new terrain deployment system he may just put tank traps (which are impassable terrain for vehicles) anywhere he doesn't want your drop pods.
    • Do also note that as per the ITC FAQ, Drop Pods with their doors open are totally ignored for the rule that enemy units cannot be within 1" of your models. They do however count as both Difficult, and Dangerous terrain for enemy models. Be wary of the storm bolter.
  • The second problem you may face is interceptor shots - this means some of your drop pods or their passengers may be shot down right after they land, so be sure to screen meltaguns, sergeants and heavy weapons with some expendable bolter dudes and try to move as far away from pods as possible: S3 explosion isn't that dangerous for your MEQ's, but some days dice gods just wouldn't be on your side. AV13 Ironclad make for a weaker alpha strike in total, but can take the punishment of Interceptor and eliminate the threat for deadlier units to drop in later safely
    • When facing an overwhelming amount of Interceptor units it's completely viable to drop the pods empty in strategic locations and foot slog it
  • When facing another drop pod army or deep strike heavy army, castle up your static units in a corner and counter-drop when possible. You want to go second so you can always drop and attack immediately, but if you can't get it, then you have to screen your own units and prepare to take some hits.
  • If facing lots of scary large blasts in the drop zone, moving as close to 1” from enemy models without bunching up, this will keep the enemy from firing the blasts on his own units. He cannot "aim" at his own units so if any of his models are under the template when taking aim, then he cannot take the shot.
  • Take note that if you want a cluster of drop pods to deepstrike in the same general area for some reason, a locator beacon is a handy tool to take on a Scouting bike squad or your on your first wave of pods. And -where- you drop those pods are crucial; and while you don't have to worry about landing on terrain or enemies, you want your placement of drop pods to inhibit enemy movement and create choke points where you need them.
  • When playing droppods, think 'Sapper Squads' (Suicide Squads) Don't always expect them to survive, and don't count on it. Don't put your best guys in droppods either. We talking 10 man taxmen, Grav cannon, gravgun, sgt. combi-grav, combat squad just the 5 and drop them next to some MCs. Flamer Sternguard (honestly, stock sternies do fine on the board), Ironclad dreadnaughts. Nothing with a huge investment.... and not your main force. Especially not things built to fight in close combat. 10 man squads combat squadded as they walk out in mass can cause great confusion to the enemy... 10 man scouts or taxmen, split in 5 to make them shoot more than can be killed to put the pressure on. Also, Barren droppods with locator beacons first turn ain't bad either if you play jump infantry.
  • The Dead Drop: Empty drop pods are cheap and very hardy and available as a fast attack slot or as a DT to units you have no intention of putting in them. Having a big spam of these both floods the battlefield with contesting blobs and, perhaps more important, allows you to stagger out your drops. This can let you strike better (your whole strike force arrives 1st turn) or feint better (withholding your strikers until the foe is on the board).

Mechanised Assault[edit]

When I'm talking mech, I'm talking armour over flesh, AV versus T, and tank treads versus boots on the ground. This is a lesser-played style that has both been nerfed and strengthened in different ways thanks to 7th Edition. With the Hull Points system, every vehicle becomes more fragile, meaning mobility and cover are the most important things for keeping your vehicles alive. In addition, no longer being able to move 12" and disembark cripples your mobility and ability to react on the fly to different situations over long distance - you now have a 24" deadly threat range with a squad inside a Rhino. To compensate, you gain the ability to go flat out and move up to 18" in a turn with a transport - though this is of limited use. This tactic has also been improved by 7th edition, thanks to vehicles only exploding on a penetration roll of 7 and thanks to the Double demi company with free razorbacks.

Unfortunately, this is not an easy playstyle. It's brutal, and often even when it does work, the firepower you leverage against your opponent is not sufficient. It is, however, not entirely doom and gloom. If you run a mechanised list you should seriously consider the White Scars Chapter Tactics with Khan as a HQ.

The advantages they confer make your army go from sub-competitive to just below tournament-level (tournament level if you're both lucky and good, or happen to use the aforementioned Double Demi).

White Scars CT give your mechanised infantry Scout, which they absolutely *need* in order to be as good as they should be. It gives massive amounts of flexibility to your infantry and the potential for an alpha strike that leaves your opponent in checkmate after the first turn.

How, might you ask? Take your Mechanised Infantry and deploy them as close to the enemy as possible. Before the game, scout 12" towards the enemy. You now have a few options.

  1. Move 6",disembark 6", be in their deployment zone, and fire. This gives you your alpha strike that, with the right units, can annihilate your opponent's deadliest unit or cripple part of his force.
  2. Move 12", flat out 6". This allows you to compensate if your opponent bunches up and option 1 is not viable. Sometimes, having your men ready to react (remember you'll get a potential 6" move and 6" disembark instead of just the former) and staying inside the metal box is the best course of action.
  3. Move 12", pop smoke. Use only if your opponent either had nothing that is worth risking getting out of the boxes to eliminate or if your opponent has a strong gunline with lots of anti-infantry firepower that you can't cripple.

Alternatively, you can do none of the above and outflank. This can be a risky but effective way of delivering an alpha strike or capturing an objective without being struck by fire.

Now, the real question is what to put in your transports? As previously mentioned, a mech SM list suffers greatly from sometimes not being able to leverage enough firepower. This should be your primary concern.

Tactical Squads should probably not be taken with full numbers at 10 men - unless you plan to abuse combat squads for a very specific use. Reason being, you do not want heavy weapons except Grav Cannons. There is no reason to maximise bolters. Heavy weapons will rarely get to fire effectively and now cost you points out the ass. Taking a special weapon and combi-weapon should be considered mandatory. Do not give this squad melta guns. Leave that to the other elements in your army, because you want your Tacticals to leverage as much firepower against infantry or MC's as is humanly possible, and have enough duplicates that losses do not necessarily mean defeat.

  • Grav Guns are a matter of debate. They are flexible against vehicles (if you can get off enough shots) if you do encounter them, if you do dig in the extra shot is invaluable, and they get the extra shots at longer range than a Plasma Gun. If there's a Daemon Prince or CC unit they even reduce their initiative to 1, giving you better odds if you get dragged into a CC. However, they suck hairy balls against anything that isn't wearing power armour or better, and are utterly useless against buildings.
  • Flamers are exceedingly good at quickly wiping anything weaker than Marines off of objectives. They also provide some effective overwatch. Even power armoured units will feel the heat due to the sheer number of wounds a flamer can throw at a unit. Their biggest drawback is being absolutely worthless against MCs.
  • Plasma Guns are good in that unless a rare high-toughness MC like a Wraithknight appears you'll be wounding on good rolls all the time. They don't suffer the drawbacks of Salvo (half range if you move, for instance) and have a greater maximum range than Grav weapons.


You should take at least one Sternguard squad tooled up with enough firepower to destroy (not just cause medium damage to) a unit. Using #Option 1 they can pull off some kills that win games. They are the guys that are going to hunt the nastiest, shittiest, pain-in-the ass targets that your bolters and Tacticals can't handle.

It's for this reason that they should have combi-plasmas or gravs. You might not survive into the following turn, as they will be a very high priority target, so what you shoot at needs to die. 4-5 combi-weapons should be sufficient. Heavy Flamers are worth considering, and the squad should not end up having more than 7-8 men. Do not tool up the Sergeant unless it's with a combi-weapon.

There may be other units that perform this role almost as well - you may want to consider them, too. The effectiveness of the Grav-Gun Bikers make them one of THE BEST units in the codex, and any bike-mounted IC makes them troops - yes, this means Techmarines, Chaplains and Librarians too.

These two units should form your core. In the end you should have a minimum of 3 mechanised squads, preferably 4. With the strong anti-infantry and anti-MC capability they provide you can look to everything else.

  • Units you may want to consider include:
    • Tri-Las Predators or Devastators with Lascannons. If shit luck strikes and your Sternguard fail or don't do as well as you plan, these guys are Plan B. If there's tanks to kill, these are the units that will be your best counters.
    • Storm Talons or possibly Storm Ravens. They provide AA and additional firepower on the fly (no pun intended) where its needed. In a pinch they can also serve as backup AT. Edit: Death from the Skies nerfed the hell out of these units, making them best suited for dealing with ground threats. For real AA, you need Hunters, Stalkers, Stormhawks, or Flakk Missile Devs, with an emphasis on ground-based AA to deal with threats you can't handle in the air, like Crimson Hunters.
    • Land Speeder Storm Scouts. Deep Strike disruption, cheap scoring, can tackle weaker troops, and you can take a heavy flamer for free at 40 points, which negates the need for flamer Tacticals.
    • Assault Squads with flamers and either a drop pod or rhino. Cheap and (in certain circumstances) incredibly effective.
    • Grav Gun Bikers, for the same reasons as Sternguard. Or a Bike Command Squad.
    • Grav Cannon shooty Centurions in a Drop Pod or Land Raider. Bear in mind that they're shit in melee so if they get caught they're boned. That's why you attach a beatstick/bullet sponge IC. But now the White scar's CT affects them so you now have hit and run Centurions.

Bike Armies[edit]

Thanks to the White Scars Chapter tactics and Khan, this is one of the strongest space marine army configurations out right now, since biker troops become very cost efficient in this manner. Skilled rider grants 3+ Jink Saves, along with the difficult terrain shenanigans (ain't no body got time for walls), whilst Hit&Run basically gives a superior version of the old Combat Tactics, meaning you will almost never be bogged down in a combat you don't want. Even better, you can disengage on the enemy Assault phase and then Shoot/Assault again in your own phases using Hit&Run.

Khan lists also generate an incredibly potent alpha strike army. Bikes can pack an astounding amount of small to medium arms fire, and put them in rapid fire range on turn 1. No one is safe when you have a 5 man command squad pumping 15 grav bolts into them before they even get to think about moving. Tanks get melta or grav shoved at them. On the return phase, you can capitalize on your 3+ Jink and then hit everything with S5 HoW hits, stay in combat, and then run away to do both again every turn. With the new Chapter Tactics even Terminators AND CENTURIONS get the Hit&Run shenanigan.

For the love of God, though, break into the home of every Chaos player you know and smash their Helturkies. Heldrakes can really really mess this army up. Fortunately their flamer of doom has been reduced to front-arc firing, so you can mitigate it somewhat. (When it enters it still eats up a squad, but with your speed you should be safer later turns)

Dreadnought Party[edit]

Use the Iron Hands chapter tactics. Take a Techmarine (or you just play Clan Raukaan instead) and run one of each squadron of Dreadnaughts. Give him a full squad of servitors. Take another techmarine if you want, since another guy repairing your dreads is always helpful (and can be a bullet magnet, letting your dreads get more shots in).

Put in the bare minimum 2 troops choices, preferably tacticals in drop pods or rhinos. This way, your army is not unbound, letting your tacticals just sit on objectives and act as denial units, meaning your enemies have to completely destroy your squads while your regenerating (thanks to the IWND rule) dreads rape them.

Next load up all 6 slots with dreadnaughts (some in drop pods if you want). The best might be an even mix of Ironclads, Venerable, and Normal dreads, but experiment with what combinations suit your playstlye. Remember you need some dreads to be heavy fire support (lascannons and autocannons), some to be close range fire support (assault cannons, heavy flamers, and meltacannons), and some to be melee (Ironclads are best for this, with two CC arms). Putting some in drop pods gives you flexibility at the start of the game, since half of your drop pods go down on turn one, two pods can come in with dreadnaughts first, and eliminate or tie down the heavier enemy units, then later your two tactical squad pods can come down and secure objectives.

The IWND rule combined with your techmarines can make your dreadnought army last through firepower that would destroy land raiders, and if you give the MotF the ironstone relic, the dreadnoughts become even more Ded' ard'. You shouldn't just stand there soaking it all up, however; use your dreadnoughts like troops and keep them in cover and just use your head and they can last a lot longer than you think. Dreadnoughts now come in 4-attacks-base flavour. Iron Hands players rejoice.

Gravity Gun Spam[edit]

This play style is strictly used against other Space Marines or any unit with 3+ armour or better.

Use Ultramarines chapter tactics as you will definitely need the Devastator doctrine for re-rolls (or Star Phantoms). This play style will require 3 five-men devastator squads with fully maxed grav cannons with grav amps and an armorium cherub. Also, ally in a Librarius Conclave with 3 librarians with/without mastery level 2. Make sure all librarians choose the Divination table. When rolling for powers, always change the power for the Primaris Power unless you rolled 3: Perfect Timing. First of all, Prescience allows re-rolls to hit. Secondly, Perfect Timing ignores the annoying cover saves that hinder your grav weaponry power. Thirdly, why the conclave? Because if you keep the librarians close, you can succeed on powers on a 2+. Switching multiple librarians to the primaries power allows for redundancy, in case you lose one (or two!).

Assuming we have the 3 squads of dev using either the doctrine, cherub, or Prescience, that will be a total of 60 shots if they do not move. Devs hit on 3+ with a re-roll, which leaves an average of 53.5 shots hit!! Now here is the fun part. Since grav wounds on the armour save, let's say we are going against Space Marine Power Armour, that will be an average of 47.7 wounds with no armour saves!! Plus if you have Perfect timing, your opponent may just rage quit due to the lack of both armour and cover saves against 48 potential casualties. For Normal Termies I did the math and there will be an average of 34.3 confirmed kills excluding possible FNP. Termie Assault will yield a lower death rate of 17.2 confirmed kills excluding FNP. Against vehicles, each squad will do an average of 5.5 glances.

If math is not enough for you, I used this strategy against my space marine player friend who played a game of 1200 pts with me. I altered the list a little, but in the end his entire army was wiped out while I had lost 4 devastators and 1 librarian. Watch your opponents remove his miniatures by the tens.


Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
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