Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Deathwatch (9E)

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This is the current 9th Edition's Deathwatch tactics. 8th Edition Tactics are here.

Why Play Deathwatch[edit]

Cover art for the 7th Ed codex. Yes, he has a Necron sword. Just plug in the batteries....

The battle-brothers of the Deathwatch are the foremost xenos hunters in the Imperium. They are a black-clad brotherhood of noble warriors, bound by ancient oaths to defend Mankind from the alien, no matter its form. Hand-picked from the breadth of the Adeptus Astartes for their expertise in the slaughter of xenos threats, each of those who have joined the Long Vigil is a hero, tempered in the furnace of conflict and girded for battle with an arsenal of specialist weaponry. When the Watch Companies of the Deathwatch go to war en masse, there is no alien in the expanse of the galaxy that they cannot overcome.

"Amongst a hundred men, there may be one fit for the Adeptus Astartes. Amongst a hundred Space Marines, there may be one fit for the Deathwatch."- Watch Captain Brand MacLir


  • Operation Operators Operating Operationally - The Deathwatch are the Imperium's premier xenos-hunting special forces, and as a result they get the best gear.
  • Codex: Your Dudes - The relatively small model count and composition of many different chapters allows for great modelling and character opportunities. More so than any other army - you can really individualize each model, as they are all experienced veterans from different chapters. Trade bits with other Marine players to make each model stand out. Run your Kill-team from the Deathwatch RPG as part of your army!
  • Awesome Paint Scheme: Because Black and Silver is the new Black.
  • Quick And Easy To Get Onto The Table - The simple, yet awesome, paint scheme, combined with the low model count, means Deathwatch are one of the fastest armies to get built, painted, and battle-ready. And, if you like to play Sternguard and Vanguard veterans as count as Deathwatch, you likely already have the beginnings of a kill-team or two ready to go.
  • Forge World Support: As of the FAQ 1.1, Deathwatch can now field units from the Forge World Index: Forces of the Adeptus Astartes book. This opens up a wealth of possibilities with access to tons of dreadnoughts, flyers, tanks, super-heavy transports, and other craziness.
  • No longer are your Veterans just Sternguard in disguise, you are now the only guys with access to special issue ammunition.
  • One of only two armies with Frag Cannons. Though somehow only Deathwatch have the portable version while Blood Angels are limited to mounting Frag Cannons on their Dreadnoughts.
  • Because Squad Loadout is the personal theme of your local gaming group.
  • You're a fan of XCOM and the FFG board game just doesn't work for you. With some work, Inquisition allies means you can build a fully upgraded Psi-operative and a close approximation of the Commander's Avatar. Tech-Priest Lily Shen and the misanthropic snarky robot sidekick cost extra.
  • Corvus Blackstar, the coolest looking flyer in the game. Subjective. "Objectively subjective".
  • One of two factions that can take Terminators in the troops slot(for now). Though yours require a bit more work than Grey Knights as they are add-ons for Power Armor squads. You could count Space Wolves but they only get one Wolf Guard Termi per squad as an upgrade.
  • Lots of wound re-rolls and a focus on adaptability. With Stratagems geared against specific xenos foes and bonuses against units with specific battlefield roles, list tailoring is a cinch.
  • Primaris-friendly; (access to Special Issue Ammunition?) and mixed squads does a lot to address the NuMarines' issues with overspecialization.
  • Excellent anti-horde capabilities. Between frag cannons, combi-flamers, a decent amount of melee attacks, and more, your veterans can handle any horde with ease.
  • 9th Edition finally lets you take the entire marine vehicle pool and Vanguard Primaris units, as well as the shiny new Bladeguard and other new Primaris toys if you feel so inclined.


  • Low model count - Just like the Grey Knights and Adeptus Custodes, each model is extremely expensive, even when compared to other Space Marine chapters, without gaining much by way of added durability.
  • There are some oddities with loadouts and conversions when compared to the Vanilla Marines.
  • You're still Space Marines, and are still vulnerable to anything they struggle against, especially when it comes to non-xenos armies.
  • If you're not keen on Forge World models or Primaris Marines, you'll need some allies to patch the miles-wide hole in your long-range shooting game.
  • Having a squad where every single model has a different equipment loadout can make for slow play despite the low model count as each weapon is resolved individually, to say nothing of keeping track of how their rules interact with each other. Not recommended for beginners who need to constantly refer to datasheets.
  • If you're lucky, 4 of your Stratagems will be meaningless. If you're unlucky? 5.
  • This is not a beginner army by any means, mastery of the Deathwatch will take time and a lot of trial and error. Knowing which Mission Tactic to use and how to set up your squads is crucial to success.
  • GW has decided to be fucking stupid again and removed special ammo from Storm Bolters, Twin Boltguns and all the Primaris Bolt Weapons. this could be Subject to change, seeing as how it’s only in the index but still - Come on, GW!! Didn't happen in the supplement. You want SIA, use a boltgun like girlyman wants you to.

Special Rules[edit]

Troops gain Objective secure.

  • Company Command: can only have one Captain and two Lieutenant per Detachment.
  • Combat Squads: Can split a single full-sized unit into two smaller units before deployment. In particular killteams, this lets you deploy more unit types using only troop slots and can circumvent some size limits.
  • Angels of Death: A rule owned by all Space Marine whatever its color, subdivided into four. Because GW likes to keep it simple.

When taking Combat Attrition tests ignore all modifiers.

Models using a Rapid Fire bolt weapon can double their number of shots (i.e. rapid-fire) if at least one of the following conditions is met. They don't stack (no triple or quadruple shots if you meet more than one condition). The conditions are:

  • The target is within the weapon's half range (normal Rapid Fire).
  • The model is infantry (excluding Centurions) and every model of its unit remained stationary during the previous Movement Phase. If a Devastator's Heavy Weapon marine moves, the Sergeant cannot use Bolter Discipline on his boltgun.
    • It gives your marines the option to commit to those objectives instead of having to get close to the enemy. Factions like T'au may have long ranged small arms, but Space Marines can rapid fire from full 24"-30" away.
  • The firing model is a Terminator, Biker.
    • This right here is the good shit. Footslogging terminators now have a significantly improved threat capacity, bikers are somehow even more deadly fast than they already were.

If a unit with this rule charges, gets charged, or performs a Heroic Intervention, models in the unit add 1 to their Attack characteristic until the end of the turn (meaning +2A if they can fight twice like with a stratagem).

  • Gives the generally lackluster melee of most Primaris infantry and chainsword assault marines a little bit of a boost. Killer on units with power weapons like Terminators.
  • Also means foes have to be a bit more careful about charging at Tacticals and such to tie them up, more so if you use larger units, and that they can assist in a melee in a pinch.

Like the vanilla Space Marines,each of the three Combat Doctrines gives an AP-1 buff to different weapon types in your armies (non-cumulative with buffs from other sources). with greater flexibility. Unlike the vanilla Marines, the Deathwatch can choose which doctrine to use each turn, but each one has a limited number of uses.

  • Devastator Doctrine: One use. Gives all your Heavy and Grenade weapons the extra -1 AP so that you can soften entrenched infantry and cripple enemy vehicles from afar in preparation for your advance. Remember the first points of AP are the most important ones: AP-2 Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannons are more noticeable than AP-4 Lascannons. Do keep in mind that the plethora of sniper rifles and Heavy Flamers (Incendium/Inferno/Flamestorm cannons) are Heavy Weapons.
  • Tactical Doctrine: Two uses. Boosts Rapid Fire and Assault weapons. Be it to close the distance to the enemy or because your vehicles are about to give their last, this mostly passes the ranged baton to your infantry. And a bolt rifle going from AP-1 to AP-2 is more noticeable than a lascannon going from AP-3 to AP-4. Storm bolters and auto bolt rifles work wonders here.
  • Assault Doctrine Three uses. Gives the extra AP to your Pistol and Melee attacks. Don't. Forget. Your. Pistol. The first point of AP is the most important one - chainsword/CCWs benefit the most, while AP-4 on a sword can become excessive.
  • Death from Above/Teleport Strike: Comes with a jump pack/Terminator armour. Deepstrike rules of set them to side during deployment and set them up 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Concealed Positions: Scout rules, can set them up anywhere on field 9" from enemy deployment zone or models during deployment.
  • Outflank: Like deepstrike but must be wholly within 6" of a board edge and 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Xenos Hunters: The Deathwatch chapter tactic. Reroll melee hit rolls of 1 against Tyranids, Aeldari, Necrons or T'au Empire units. After deployment, pick a battlefield role (Troops, Fast Attack, Elites, Heavy Support, HQ, Flyers, or Lords of War), all units re-roll 1s to wound against anything belonging to one chosen battlefield role (i.e. against all enemy HQs, or all enemy Troops, or all enemy Heavy Support, etc).

Special Issue Ammunition[edit]

Got nerfed to be restricted to particular weapons. When shooting them they can fire special issue ammunition. All models pick their SIA before choosing targets and it looks like you different models don't have to use the same SIA and it now stacks with Bolter Discipline.

The rule of thumb is to choose the ammo that affects whatever the enemy has in abundance. The SIA has received a decent rework, probably to try and make players use more than one type of ammo (hellfire rounds were monstrously overpowered compared to the other ones). How the meta around them will evolve still has to be seen since GW keeps adding more and more types of marines with bolt weapons.

  • Dragonfire Bolts: Each time an attack is made with a weapon firing this ammo, the target does not receive the benefits of cover against that attack. Honestly better than the old "Add +1 to hit when shooting at a unit in cover", but still not that great. Depends on enemy's Cover bonus.
  • Hellfire Rounds:In 9th edition, this ammo has gotten a big nerf. From always wounding on 2+, now they add 1 to the wound against anything without the Vehicle or Titanic keyword. Against MEQ regular bolters will wound on 3+, and against T5 enemies will wound on 4+, a far cry from the always-on 2+ of 8th. This means this kind of ammo will be more used for bolter weapons with better strength, like heavy bolters to try and keep the wounding numbers.
  • Kraken Bolts: Add 3" to the range if the affected weapon is a pistol, 6" range otherwise. Improve the AP by one to a maximum of -2 the latest FAQ doesn't say anything about a maximum AP and says this is cumulative with the Armour Penetration bonus conferred by the Combat Doctrines ability, so for now this might not be limited to -2AP. Stalker Boltguns will receive AP-4 on turn one, pending an FAQ, which completely bypasses power armor.
  • Vengeance Round: Add 1 damage to the wounds caused by bolt attacks. Until further notice no primaris can access SIA. Good against multi-wound T4 models. Not as good when fighting hordes, though, since you'd be wasting wounds anyway.

The list of weapons that can use SIA for now include:

  • Deathwatch bolt pistol
  • Deathwatch boltgun
  • Deathwatch combi-weapons (plasma, melta, flamer, and grav)
  • Deathwatch Hellfire Extremis
  • Stalker-pattern boltgun
  • Vigil spear

Sadly the Storm Boltern no longer can shoot SIA, which is, alongside the hellfire ammo nerf, the worst hit for the veterans this edition. The closest thing to that is going to be veteran bikes with twin boltguns (they have the same profile), but with the loss of the Hellfire ammo, the spam strategy is much less viable (which honestly is a good thing). For now, it seems that Stalker Boltgun with Vengeance rounds will be the most common use of the ammo, but it's too early to tell.

Mixed Units[edit]

The Kill-team rules. If you have a squad with mixed toughness scores (by adding bikes to a veteran squad for instance), you use the majority toughness for the unit. If there is an even split, you choose. The unit as a whole is treated to only have the infantry keyword and for the sac of simplifying terrain interaction, With Terminators, Bikers, and Jump Pack models retain their keywords only for the purpose of Bolter Discipline, Transports, or they make a unit of only them.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Named Characters MUST use their designated Chapter Specific trait, thus increasing the appeal of taking an unnamed character. Traits can be classified into two different types: Individual (I), which turn your character into a better beatstick, and Support (S), which are usually Auras stacking on top of your warlord's natural one.

new marine codex treats Deathwatch as a chapter so more warlord traits. That is good because DW traits don't do much in the beat stick department.

  1. Fear Made Manifest (S): Enemy units within 6" get -1 Leadership and Combat attrition tests. Meh on its own, there are many Imperial sources of Ld debuffs it can be combined with. Versatile separate detachments make allied tactics easier, on top of stacking up to like -15Ld. Obviously you don't need that much spooky (but of course can be hilarious when used correctly), especially not against things like Orks, but already -4Ld renders Plague Marines as cowardly as Conscripts, and models that flee don't proc FnP-equivalents. Of almost no use against the bunch of Eldar morale immunities out there...but ironically among imperials only the DA, some successor chapter tactic nobody will use, the Valhallan relic, a single IG psychic power, and that IG trait nobody uses, because it's not Master of Command, can offer the morale protection needed to survive an Ld bomb. Night Lords, eat your hearts out.
  2. The Imperium's Sword (I): What Smash Captains are made of. Warlord rerolls failed charges, and gets +1S and +1A the turn he charges for heroically intervenes (in addition to Shock Assault), to break things immediately out of deepstrike. Chapters that can charge after falling back can trigger the boost over and over.
  3. Iron Resolve (I): What Smashfuckers are made of. Warlord gets +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. Not dying is nice, and it's better the more wounds your character has.
  4. Champion of Humanity (I): +1A when enemy Characters are within engagement range of him. When actually targetting the character in melee, add 1 to all hit and wound rolls. Turns a character using relic blades or unwieldy weapons into a top of the line duelist.
  5. Storm of Fire (S): Each time ANY <Chapter> Core unit within 6" rolls an unmodified 6 to hit for a shooting attack, the AP of that attack is improved by 1.
    • At BS3+, that's 16.6% of your hits, 19.4% with captain rerolls or 22.2% with a chapter master. Remember it affects ANY unit, not just infantry. It gives the biggest benefits to low AP weapons that roll to hit - that's all sorts of Bolters. Remember that Imperial & Crimson Fists' exploding bolters will only get the benefit on the initial hit. Doctrines cannot stack AP bonuses, so try boosting small arms during the Devastator doctrine and vice-versa.
    • Since light weapons with high rates of fire (like Heavy Bolters) are often cheaper than strong single-shot ones (like Missile Launchers), this trait can allow a detachment to pull its weight even at low point limits. Furthermore, it's easy for them to synergize with your warlord because many are infantry or transports that can accompany him. While mechanized/biker lists are shooty, Bolter Discipline means bolt-using units from this list are no longed forced to move into rapid fire range.
    • Despite Aggressors, Inceptors, shooty Dreadnoughts (Redemptor/Venerable/Deredeo), Scout Bikers, Company Veterans on Bikes (Index 1), Crusader Squads, Centurions, Sternguard Veterans, Repulsors, and Land Raiders (Crusaders/Redeemers/Prometheus[FW]) having a higher than average ranged output when compared to the rest of SM options, even regular Bolt Rifle Intercessors cut GEQ saves in half (from 6+ to nothing) with this trait, when it goes off.
  6. Rites of War (S):Friendly <CHAPTER> Core and <CHAPTER> Character units within 6" Gain Objective Secured. Units that already have Objective Secured count as double. Lets your lower model count units gain priority on objectives. Hello ObSec Terminators and double ObSec troops.

Available only to Phobos characters, aka the tacticool Captain, Lieutenant, and Librarian found in the Shadowspear box. Chaplains can suck it because yelling catechisms isn't stealthy, and techmarines haven't yet learned whatever trick the helix adepts are using to fix broken things quietly, so they can suck it, too.

  1. Shoot and Fade: after one <chapter> phobos unit within 6" of the warlord shoots, They can move or advance but can't charge.
    • Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! Break LoS and avoid retaliation. That way your Infiltrator/Incursor squads can keep up with your Eliminators, the first dashing in and out of LoS while the later shoot without visual contact with complete impunity.
  2. Lord of Deceit: After both sides deploy, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield or put them into reserve for no CP.
    • Results depend on the mental games you can play on your enemy - it's not going to be a surprise to your opponent, but being able to make corrections after your enemy's cemented his choice instead of being part of the simultaneous deployment process can be an amazing benefit, and one that Eldar pay 2CP for.
    • Bear in mind, this trait now goes off after deployment, which means you haven't yet rolled off for first turn.
  3. Master of the Vanguard: Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the warlord gain +1" to their move and Advance and Fallback and Charge rolls. Useful to Reivers or Charging out of Deepstrike, pairs well with the Chapter Tactic Hungry for Battle as well as several characters.
  4. Stealth Adept: Can't be targeted by Ranged attacks unless The closest target. Protects from snipers or if you find yourself with just one of two guys from your accompanying squad left. Often get more mileage on your Phobos Librarian trying to get off their close range power.
  5. Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6" in the Command phase. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit gets +1 to hit. And he doesn't have to give up his shooting either. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
    • Less helpful for Eliminators now they have BS 2+, but could be used to negate cover penalties. Doesn't affect Infiltrators' automatic wounds as they only happen on an unmodified 6.
  6. Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the warlord's guns. Doesn't apply to grenades or relics. Completely wasted on a Librarian or Lieutenant, but bumps the Phobos Captain's Instigator Bolt Carbine to an eye-watering 4 damage.
  1. Vigilance Incarnate: each command phase, pick a battlefield role, Deathwatch CORE units within 6" reroll wound rolls of 1 against those units. Watch Captain Artemis gets this trait.
  2. Paragon of their Chapter: Pick Chapter Warlord Trait from Codex Space Marines (you can't pick one from a supplement). Note you have to pick one from the chapter your character is modeled from. Successor chapters must choose the WT of their parent chapter.
    • White Scars - Deadly Hunter: When the Warlord makes a charge move, choose one enemy unit within 1" and roll a D6. It suffers a Mortal Wound on a 2+.
    • Space Wolves - Beastslayer: Extra attack and +1 wound and hit when fighting a monster or Vehicle. Use a S8 weapon to wound most infantry and even vehicles on a 2+.
    • Imperial Fists - Architect of War: Nearby core in cover treat AP-1 attacks as AP0. Lessens the effect of common AP-1 multi damage weapons. The only AURA guy.
    • Crimson Fists - Refuse to Die: Come back to life on a 4+ with D3 wounds.
    • Black Templars - Oathkeeper: 6" heroic intervention. Not being left out is good, I guess.
    • Blood Angels - Speed of the Primarch: Always fight first. And you're the faction with Heavy Thunder Hammers and invuln-ignoring swords.
    • Flesh Tearers - Merciless Butcher: +1d3 attacks if 5 or more enemy models within 3" of the Warlord.
    • Iron Hands - Adept of the Omnissiah: Repair vehicles like a Techmarine or add +1 to any recovery rolls if you're already one.
    • Ultramarines - Adept of the codex: Refund 1 CP on 5+. You always need more CP.
    • Salamander - Anvil of Strength: +2S. You're fighting T3 mortals and you want to reach S6 or you took a Relic Blade and want to wound MEQ on 2+. That's about it.
    • Raven Guard - Echo of the Ravenspire: Once per game remove the WL from the board at the end of your movement phase and deepstrike him at the end of your next one. Lets your warlord keep up with your Spectrus team when they do their own "Guerilla Tactics" teleport.
    • Dark Angels - Brilliant Strategist: Select one friendly unit within 6" of the Warlord. Until the next Command phase, that unit counts as being in the Devastator Doctrine if the Tactical Doctrine is active for your army, or in the Tactical Doctrine of the Assault Doctrine is active for your army.
  3. Nowhere to Hide: Select an enemy unit at the start of each Shooting phase. That unit cannot claim cover against attacks made by Deathwatch CORE units within 6" of the warlord.
  4. Optimised Priority: Deathwatch CORE units within 6 of a warlord can shoot and make an action.
  5. Castellan of the Black Vault: The Warlord can take one of the following in addition to any other relics: Master-crafted weapon, Artificer Armour, Adamantine Mantle, Banebolts of Eryxia, special issue ammunition cache.
  6. The Ties that bind us: Deathwatch CORE units within 6" of the warlord re-roll morale checks. In addition in command phase pick one Deathwatch CORE unit within 6" of the warlord it gains objective secured if it already has ob sec each model in that unit is treated as two models for the purpose of deciding who controls the objective.

Masters of the Chapter[edit]

So remember those stratagems that had you spend CP in order to upgrade your HQs into better versions of themselves? 9th Edition decided that instead of spending CP, you're instead required to spend points/PL in order to get these upgrades. This upgrade also grants access to a special Warlord trait and Relic.

You can only take one of each Masters of the Chapter from each <chapter>. Deathwatch Have their Watch Master so no Chapter master.

  • Master of Sanctity: The chaplain knows one additional Litany and can recite an additional one each turn.
  • Warlord Trait - Wise Orator: +1 to recite Litanies and the Commanding Oratory Stratagem cost 1cp less for him to use.
  • Relic - The Emperor's Judgment: Enemies can't reroll hit, wound, or damage dice against the chaplain, and grants a 6" bubble of forcing enemies to roll 2D6, discarding the lowest, for morale tests.
  • Master of the Forge: The techmarine can automatically repair 3 wounds on vehicles instead of rolling.
  • Warlord Trait - Warden of the Ancients: 6" aura of +1S & +1A to <chapter> Dreadnoughts.
    • If you ever wanted a Mortificator from 30k in regular 40k, now's your chance.
  • Relic - Mortis Machina: Upgraded Omnissian Power axe that is S+3 AP-2 D3, and does an additional 1 mortal wound to VEHICLES on every failed save.
  • Chief Librarian: The librarian knows one more power from their chosen discipline, thus knocking out any attempts to cross-discipline a librarian. He can also deny an additional power, but can only cast once.
  • Warlord Trait - Psychic Mastery: +1 to psychic tests. Simple, but very effective.
  • Relic - Neural Shroud: The psychic hood's range increases to 24", incredibly good for denial.
  • Chief Apothecary: The apothecary can use his heal ability twice per turn.
  • Warlord Trait - Selfless Healer: Heals 3 wounds instead of rolling and the Combat Revival Stratagem costs 0 CP instead of 1 CP.
  • Relic - Acquittal: Replaces a bolt pistol or absolver bolt pistol. 18" Pistol 1 S5 Ap-3 D2 and auto wounds infantry on 2+ at Damage 4.
    • He can heal infantry and bikers- stick him around an Invader and watch him be really silly. Any heavy infantry or biker unit will benefit from him tremendously.
  • Chapter Ancient: During command phase, the ancient can pick a <chapter> Core unit within 6" for +1 to melee hits until next command phase.
  • Warlord Trait - Steadfast Example: Any <chapter> Core unit within 6" counts as having ObSec, which is kinda neat. If any unit already has ObSec, then the unit counts as having an additional model in regards to contesting an objective.
  • Relic - Pennant of the Fallen: If a unit dies and makes a melee attack thanks to the ancient's standard, then they can make an additional attack.
  • Chapter Champion: The champion has the most changes to them, curious considering how cheap it is to raise them. Enemies now take -1 to hit him in melee, he can re-roll all failed hit rolls against a Character and he gets A5 Ld9.
  • Warlord Trait - Martial Exemplar: Any <Chapter> Core or Character within 6" gets to re-roll their charge distances.
  • Relic - Blade of Triumph: Replaces the master-crafted power sword with a S+3 AP-3 D3 beast, capable of ripping apart pretty much whatever they come across.

Kill Team Specialisms[edit]

As added incentive for using Kill Teams, you can also spend points to give them a upgrade. only one unit in your army can have a given upgrade. this let you reroll

  • Aquila: after picking a battlefield role for chapter tactic, this unit can pick another role to reroll wounds against.

The following lets the unit reroll 1 to wound against particular battlefield roles, and becomes all wounds if you picked it with the chapter tactic:

  • Venator: Fast attack and Flyers
  • Malleus: Heavy Support, Lord of War, Dedicated transports
  • Dominus: Elite
  • Furor: Troops
  • Purgatus: HQ


New 9th marine codex has new universal stratagems LOTS of ways to inflict Mortal Wounds here. Also, expect a lot of disappointment if you run a base marine force. A lot of stratagems that used to work for them no longer do so. So much for "Primaris aren't gonna replace the first-gens" eh?

  • Prognosticating Volley (1 CP): One of your units can shoot at any Aeldari unit without suffering any penalties to hit them. Since Alaitoc in particular has perma-cover, this gives you the means to screw them over.
  • Death to the Traitors! (1 CP): When one unit is attacking a Heretic Astartes unit in the fight phase, re roll to hit rolls.
  • Honour the Chapter (2 CP): An Assault intercessor squad can fight again in the fight phase. Both of the first codexes produced for 9e have limited these 'Fights again' stratagems to a specific unit, so expect that to be the norm in the future.
  • Fury of the First (1 CP): Select a Terminator unit during either the shooting or fight phase. This unit adds +1 to their hit rolls. Now your termies won't need a chaplain to babysit them, but it still helps with Canticle of Hate to get that deep strike charge off
  • Transhuman Physiology (1/2 CP): Costs 1 CP for a unit with less than 5 models, 2 for units above 5 models. Select something with the Primaris keyword, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made against that unit, an unmodified wound roll below a 4+ always fails, irrespective of the abilities the weapon or model may have. S10 attack? Effective T10 chadmarines aw yee. Sucks that baselines no longer benefit from it but at least Redemptors can take it Nope, Redemptors are not a Primaris unit.
  • Gene Wrought Might (1 CP): When a Primaris unit from your army has chosen to fight, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon a hit roll of 6+ automatically hits and wounds.
  • Rapid Fire (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of standard or veteran Intercessors. They can shoot again. While a bit of a shame that it won't work for heavies, now it's a guarantee that their guns will fire again.
  • Unyielding in the Face of Death (1 CP): Whenever a Mk X Gravis unit is hit by a weapon with a Damage trait of 1, then they can add 1 to their saves. This won't totally blunt the high AP stuff, but it can diminish massed bolter fire.
  • Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): When one of your Characters who hasn't fought yet dies in the Fight phase, it can fight before being destroyed. Doesn't combo with the Banner abilities on Ancients. Makes your characters too dangerous to deal with in melee, as not even killing them prevents them from hitting back, and most of them have melee boosts on top of being already good fighters.
  • Armour of Contempt (1 CP): When one of your vehicles takes a mortal wound, for the rest of the phase, you get a 5+ to ignore mortal wounds, and can use it on the one you just took. Doesn't work on regular wounds.
  • Power of the Machine Spirit (2 CP): Select a Machine Spirit unit during command phase. Until the start of your next command phase, that unit acts as it has full wounds. Worried that your tank's about to go up in smoke? Now you can extend the middle finger to them and blast them to bits.
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a Dreadnought to turn into a 1-phase Captain or Lieutenant. Any <Chapter> Core units within 6" can reroll either hits or wounds of 1 until your next turn.
  • Commanding Oratory (2 CP): Use at the start of any phase. Your chaplain can automatically inspire with their litany, though you can't double-dip with a litany that's already been used. Notably this lets a chaplain use a litany after deep striking or disembarking. It also seems to allow him to recite a litany he doesn't know.
  • Combat Revival (1 CP): Your apothecary can automatically resurrect a single model in a <Chapter> Core or <Chapter> Biker unit at full wounds. Expect to use this a LOT more with a chief apothecary.
  • Hero of the Chapter (1 CP): One use only for Incursion sized games, two use only for Strike Force games, three use only for Onslaught sized games. Select a Character from your army that doesn't have a Warlord trait and give them one, all warlord traits must be different.
  • Relics of the Chapter (1 CP): Use before the start of the battle. One use only for Incursion sized games, two use only for Strike Force games, three use only for Onslaught sized games. You can have an extra Chapter Relic for 1 CP. You can't take two of the same relic, and all the Relics have to go to different Characters.
  • Hit-and-Run Warfare (1 CP): During the movement phase, you can have one Biker, Storm Speeder or Land Speeder unit shoot even though they fell back. Useless for Ultramarines as they are already eligible to shoot after falling back, and it doesn't negate the -1 to hit they suffer if they do.
  • Hammer of Wrath (1CP): Jump pack models within a unit that successfully end a charge move within 1" of an enemy unit cause mortal wounds on a d6 roll that exceeds enemy Toughness. Makes your big units of assault marines/VV punch much harder, but it suffers against tanks and monsters.
  • Skilled Riders (1 CP): The return of 7th edition jink rules. Use on a biker, storm speeder or land speeder unit that Advanced. Enemies targeting them take a -1 to hit them for this turn.
  • Uncompromising Fire (2 CP): An infantry unit can shoot while also accomplishing another action - really only useful with a specific objective.
  • Steady Advance (2 CP): An Infantry can make a normal move while acting as if they don't move. Absolutely necessary if you have a heavy gunline or want to max out bolter spam.
  • Adaptive Strategy (2 CP): Use if your warlord is alive, a <chapter> core unit counts as having all doctrines active until your next turn.
  • Suppression Fire (2 CP): Use in your shooting phase. When a Whirlwind hits with it's blast weapon, the target unit can't fire overwatch or set to defend and it fights last until your next turn.
  • Terror Troops (2 CP): use in command phase, until your next turn one Reiver unit has an aura that cancels enemy Objective Secured abilities. In addition, if the Reivers move within 3" of the enemy, this turn (pile in and consolidate don't count) they need to roll a 2d6; if the roll is below their Leadership score, then the enemy immediately fails any action it was attempting, often denying them VP during a mission..
  • Guerilla Tactics (1 CP): During the movement phase, a Phobos unit that's more than 6" away from any enemies can jump right back into strategic reserves instead of moving. Expect to use this a lot more with Reivers.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP, Single Use): Use it in command phase if your ADEPTUS ASTARTES WARLORD is on the battlefield. Pick a spot on a battlefield. In your next Command phase, units within 6' of that spot get hit with D3 mortal wounds on a roll of 2-5+, and D6 mortal wounds on a roll of 6. For units within 3" add 1 to the roll, for characters subtract 1 from the roll. For when you really want your opponent off an objective.
  • Auspex Scan (2 CP): At the end of the enemy's reinforcement phase select one of your Infantry units within 12" of enemy units that were set up this phase. Your unit can shoot at it. It might pay off to keep Devastators/Hellblasters around, as deepstriking Termies can survive hurried bolter fire, and this "emergency" strat can be an unforeseen expense for your relatively-small army.
  • Tremor Shells (1 CP): At the start of your shooting phase, when a Thunderfire cannon shoots, subtract 1 from the wound rolls, but as long as it hits, the target unit gets half move and subtracts 2" from advance and charge rolls on their next turn. Doesn't affect Fly or Titanic units.
  • Shock and Awe (1 CP): When a Land Speeder Storm or a unit with shock grenades shoots, you can force an enemy within 6" to take a -1 to hit to any attacks until your next turn, and be unable to shoot overwatch or Set to Defend.
  • Assault Launchers (1 CP): When a unit with assault launchers charges, an enemy within 9" either suffers d3 MWs or takes -1 attacks for the turn, as well as being unable to fire Overwatch or Set to Defend. Although the stratagem doesn't specify it, remember that the core rules state Attacks cannot be modified below 1.
  • Melta Bomb (1 CP): During the fight phase against a Vehicle, one model in a Melta Bomb unit can sacrifice their attacks to make one hit roll. If it hits, that vehicle takes 2d3 MWs. Nice little bonus for some of your Firstborn units.
  • Grav Pulse (1 CP): Only usable by units with a Repulsor Field, with one of two options: If your unit fell back, they can still shoot. If the unit is charged by an enemy, they suffer a -2 to their charge roll.
  • Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally, a Space Marine Infantry model (with a heavy bolter) rolls only once to hit. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds, maxing out against a monster. Try to get +BS or re-rolls and stand still so that you don't miss the shot.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When a Space Marine Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Aircraft, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do 2D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Like Hellfire Shells, Salamanders can get some extra mileage from this with the free re-roll, though it no longer seems to have a use against tau battlesuits or jump packs.
  • Smokescreen (1 CP): If a unit with a smokescreen is shot, they can pop their smoke and force the enemy targeting them to take a -1 to hit them. Useful to protect your Phobos objective holders, Tanks, and Dreadnoughts.

Deathwatch Specific[edit]

  • Death to the Alien! (1 CP): Used when a DEATHWATCH unit is selected to fight. Gain +1 attack when in engagement range with a Tyranid, Aeldari, Ork, Necrons, or T'au Empire.
  • Pregnostication Volley (1 CP): Anti-Eldar. when a Deathwatch unit shoots at a Aeldari, ignore any Hit and Ballistics modifiers.
    • Since you can only take a final max of -/+ 1 for hit rolls this is especially useful for shooting flyers, as it is effectively a normal round of shooting against something with the "hard to hit" rule. Alternate take... However you can still shoot bikes, HQ's and all of the other non-aircraft units that have flying, not to mention this also works against Drukhari as they also have the correct keyword. Of course, don't forget that you do have access to auto hitting weapons like heavy flamers and frag cannons that will put Eldar jetbikes in a world of hurt no matter how many debuffs to hit those pointy-eared cowards hide behind.
  • Synaptic Severance (2 CP): Anti-Tyranid. until the end of the phase, a DEATHWATCH unit auto wounds on hit rolls of 6 against Tyranid Synapse units.
  • Adaptive Tactics (2 CP): in the command phase, If you have a Watch Master on the battlefield, you can change the battlefield role for Xeno hunters.
  • Atonement through Honour (1 CP): during opponent's change phase, a Deathwatch unit with a black shield can heroically intervene.
  • Sanction of the Black Vault (1 CP): one use. a Sergent can take Artificer armour, Master-crafted weapon, Digital weapon, Banebolts, or Artificer bolt cache. The best uses here are either storm bolters with an Artificer bolt cache, or a master-crafted thunder hammer
  • A Vigil Unmatched (1 CP): One use. give a DEATHWATCH character a DEATHWATCH warlord trait.
  • Priority Doctrine Adoption (1 CP): if running a pure DEATHWATCH army. a DEATHWATCH unit can benefit form a different combat doctrine.
  • Brotherhood of Veterans (2 CP): for the turn, a DEATHWATCH unit can Replace Xeno Hunters with another Chapter or successor tactic.
    • This is actually so incredible, and so versatile. Got a backfield unit with lots of heavy weapons, whack the Dangles tactic so they're hitting on a 2+. Got a melee unit about to charge in, stick the flesh tearers' tactic to get your rip and tear on. With all the different chapter tactics available its less of a "Should I use this?" more "Who do I use this on". Not to mention super fluffy.
  • Disruptive Launch (1 CP): a DEATHWATCH unit with a jumpack model can shoot when they fallback.
  • Teleportarium (1 CP): You can set a DEATHWATCH INFANTRY unit, DEATHWATCH Biker or DEATHWATCH DREADNOUGHT in a Teleportarium chamber instead of placing it on the battlefield. One use only uless: two use only for Strike Force games, three use only for Onslaught sized games.
  • Relentless Assault (1 CP): a DEATHWATCH unit with a biker model can fallback and charge.
  • Overkill (1 CP): Anti-Necron. after fighting are shooting a Necron unit, -1 to its reanimation protocols.
  • Stem the Green Tide (2 CP): Anti-Ork. Use when a Ork unit changes a Deathwatch unit, they can fire overwatch and they are -2" to charge roll if you kill a model. High risk high reward: reducing enemy charge ranges is always useful, but you have to hit the orks in overwatch first, let alone kill them. Useful if you have a Captain nearby, but stil a gambit against armoured things like Mega-armoured Nobz. Useless if the ork charges with the transport first.
    • Auto-hit weapons (Frag Cannons, Combi-Flamers, Flamestorm Gauntlets) benefit the most; they'll need to be in the 8" range, but even such a close-range charge will automatically fail if you kill 5 orks. Only 4 kills needed to completely deny a 9" deepstrike charge, and even a single casualty debuffs the Here We Go chance from roughly 1/2 to 1/3.
    • Now it only subtracts 2" if you kill any models, so arguably lost a lot of its function.
    • Doesn't require you to use the overwatch stratagem, so you can use this to overwatch twice
  • Targeting Scramblers (1 CP): Anti-Tau. Use after an enemy T'au unit has resolved all attacks in the shooting phase agenst a Deathwatch unit, remove all markerlight tokens from it.
  • Shroud Field (2 CP): during the first battle round, Corvis Blackstars can't be targeted with shooting unless closest target.
  • Clavis (1 CP): During fight phase, Select a vehicle within 1" of a Watch Master. the Vehicle suffers D3 mortal wounds and it fights last. Good for dealing that last bit of damage to destroy it or bring it down a wound bracket, And then letting the guys beat it up more in case it's a Dreadnought or titanic.
  • Special Issue Loadout (2 CP): can give one Deathwatch infantry's bolt weapons (except sniper rifles) Special issue ammunition but their type is changed to Heavy 1.


A description goes here.

Purge the Enemy

- Assassinate

- Bring it Down

- Titan Slayers

- Slay the Warlord


-Abhor the Witch

-Mental Interrogation

-Psychic Ritual

No Mercy, No Respite

- Thin their Ranks

- Attrition

- While We Stand, We Fight

- First Strike

Battlefield Supremacy

- Engage on All Fronts

- Linebreaker

- Domination

Shadow Operations

- Raise the Banners High

-Investigate Sites

- Repair Teleportation Homer

Psychic Powers[edit]

In addition to Smite, you have access to a faction-specific table of powers.

Unfortunately, your buffing powers now specify CHAPTER instead of ADEPTUS ASTARTES, so you can no longer spread buffs across to other Chapters.

  1. Peremorphic Resonance (WC6) Blessing: a Deathwatch unit within 18", until next psychic phase, it hits on 5+ on Overwatch and fights first plus +1 to melee hits.
  2. Fortifed With Contempt (WC6) Blessing: a Deathwatch infantry or Deathwatch Bike unit within 18", gains a 5+++ FNP. Only really useful against enemies spamming mortal wounds.
  3. Neural Void (WC7) Malediction: One enemy unit within 18" loses -1 attack and can all charge the nearest enemy unit. A really useful power, especially powerful against melee armies/units. With clever positioning you can force a debuffed enemy unit to either charge your CC kill team, or not charge at all.
  4. Psycic Cleanse (WC6) Witchfire: Roll a dice for each enemy model within 9", on a 6 they take a MW.
  5. Mantle of Shadow (WC6) Blessing: a Deathwatch infantry unit within 12", If they don't shoot or charge, enemy models can't shoot them unless they are within 12" or closest eligible target. Useful for protecting either a backline unit that isn't shooting for whatever reason, or a unit doing an action this turn. The main limitation is that if the unit charges or shoots, the power is broken. Use with caution.
  6. Severance (WC7) Malediction: one enemy Deathwatch Character within 18", they take 1 MW, -3" on their Aura range, and if the psychic test is greater then their ld, then their subordinates can benefit from their auras. The singular mortal wound isn't great, but shutting auras down can be really helpful. Good if you know there's a buff character being the lynchpin for your enemy's army. Note that it says enemy units cannot benefit from the total aura shutdown, so debuff auras will still effect your guys, even if the range of the aura is reduced.

General utility Powers for marine. Depending on your chapter they may not have the greatest synergy but still fairly useful with many melee and close range blessing.

  1. Veil of Time (WC6): Blessing Select a whole <CHAPTER> unit of any kind 18" away from the user; until the start of the next Psychic Phase that unit re-rolls charge and advance rolls, and also gets Always Strikes First. So it's not only offensive by letting you reach your opponent faster, but it's also defensive, in case you get charged by a swarm and want to stay in melee.
    • 9" charges are still below a 50% chance at 47.84%, so if you sorely want it to charge right after deepstriking go play Black Templars instead, although you can combine it with a CP re-roll. If you combine it with the successor tactic for +1 to charge rolls, it instead brings your odds of charging from 41.67% to 65.97%, although after accounting for the odds of failing the power, your overall odds of making the charge drop to 59.22%.
  2. Might Of Heroes (WC6): Blessing Until the next Psychic Phase, a single <CHAPTER> CORE or CHARACTER model within 12" gains +1S, +1T, and +1A. An awesome power if you have a special snowflake that is already insane in combat (like a dreadnought), makes a powerful character turn into the hulk.
    • Jokes aside, this power is better for challenges than for murdering rank and file, as the strength and attacks will ensure hits and wounds get to your opponent, and the toughness will blunt your opponent's attack should they survive. Can also be used to help manipulate your opponent into picking a different target to bring down - if you have two Dreadnoughts upfront to be shot, and you put this on one of them, your opponent will usually kill the other one, and dictating the flow of battle is always useful.
    • Can transform OK sergeants with heavy melee weapons into a force to be reckoned with: an Assault Squad sergeant with an eviscerator can better wreck a tank than a Primaris Lieutenant's power sword with the same boost.
  3. Null Zone (WC7): Blessing Until the start of your next Psychic Phase, enemy units within 6" can't take invulnerable saves, and cut the results of their Psychic tests in half. Powerful against enemies that depend on their invulns or psychic powers, like Harlequins, Hive Tyrants, Daemons, and Storm Shield MEQs; not so much against heavily armoured units like Terminators. Remember, you need to get the librarian to within 6", not 1" - don't be afraid to Advance into position and let other things do the murder work for you. Combos insanely well with the Burning Blade relic.
  4. Psychic Scourge (WC6): Blessing Make a Leadership + 1D6 contested against the Leadership + 1D6 of an enemy unit within 18" of the psyker. If you beat the enemy, they take D3 mortal wounds; equal them and they take 1 Mortal Wound, and nothing happens if your total is lower. A tad less powerful than Smite, but it's better for sniping characters since it isn't restricted to the closest enemy unit. Best used in combination with something that inflicts a Leadership penalty to the target or a Leadership bonus to the psyker, if you brought any.
  5. Fury of the Ancients (WC7): Witchfire Target any visible enemy model within 18" and draw a line from the caster to that model; each enemy unit under the line, in addition to the target model's unit, takes 1 mortal wound. Needs good positioning, but it's not restricted to the nearest unit like Smite is, and can affect multiple units with at least 1 MW. Option for a jumpack Librarian to poke multiple Characters and vehicles.
  6. Psychic Fortress (WC6): Blessing <CHAPTER> units within 6" gain a 5+ invulnerable save. Just awesome due to the lack of restrictions allowing even your Land Raiders to gain this buff.

These powers can only be used by Vanguard Librarians. They don't do much damage, but god damn can they fuck with your enemy. Tenebrous Curse and Mind Raid are easy to cast and excellent for damaging and trapping or even finishing off enemy characters - free choice of targets (unlike Smite), 1MW each, and either halve all movement or generate CP in the process. Considering most regular HQs clock in at 5W, a successful psychic phase with only one Phobos Libby means they're down to 3W and too slow to pull away. And no one tries to rush down the center with a beatstick that's half dead and moving at a snail's pace, making this a good deterrent.

  1. Temporal Corridor (WC5): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 6". It can make a Normal Move or Advance as if it was the movement phase, and if it Advances it adds 6" to their Move rather than rolling. However, the unit cannot shoot or Fight this turn. Great repositioning tool at the cost of damage output.
    • Remember that a unit that arrived as reinforcement can't make a normal move or advance in the same turn for any reason.
  2. Soul Sight (WC6): Pick a friendly CHAPTER Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of your next psychic phase, that unit re-rolls all failed hits when using their ranged weapons. Also allows attacks from ranged weapons to ignore cover.
  3. Shrouding (WC6): Pick a friendly <CHAPTER> Phobos unit within 18". Until the start of the next psychic phase, enemies can only shoot that unit if they're the closest eligible target. Protects from snipers too as it isn't Look Out Sir!; psychic powers can still target them, though.
  4. Hallucination (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". Its Ld is reduced by 1 and all it's hit rolls take a -1 penalty until your next turn.
  5. Tenebrous Curse (WC7): Select a visible enemy unit within 18" that does not have the Fly keyword. It takes a mortal wound. Additionally, its Movement stat is halved, and Advance and Charge rolls are at -2. Scarily effective on Death Guard.
  6. Mind Raid (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". It takes a Mortal Wound. If the power targeted a character, roll 3d6. If the result is greater than or equal to the target's Ld, you get a free Command Point! Remember the limit on 1 point gained per battle round though, not a power to use if you have a relic or Warlord trait that also refunds CP.

Litanies of Battle[edit]

Now litanies are like the Dark Apostle's prayers, going off on a 3+. Before the game starts, generate the litanies your chaplain knows and start with Litany of Hate + Chapter Litany. Like psychic powers, you cannot spam the same litany even if several chaplains know it, but they are chanted at the beginning of the battle round and remain active until the end of it. This also means a Chaplain won't have an active litany on the turn he deepstrikes, as he can't chant while not on the table. The same rules apply if he rides a transport, so you'll need to come up with other ways to make him fast, like giving him a Jump Pack or putting him on a bike. Note however that there are stratagems that can get round this drawback.

  • Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6" aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Stronger now that the Chapter Master's aura has been reigned in.
  1. Litany of Faith: 6" aura of FnP 5+++ vs mortal wounds for friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual.
    • Extra protection vs witchery. Also makes your plasma vehicles more durable when firing plasma, and your company vets more durable when bodyguarding. A 2/3 chance of a 1/3 chance to ignore damage is equal to 2/9, so this is slightly (4/3) better than a 6+++ FnP, with the caveat that it only works on Mortal Wounds.
  2. Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6". +1 to the wound roll when "resolving a shooting attack" against the closest enemy unit, meaning it affects Overwatch, too.
    • It's best to increase what you have the least of: Space Marines hit on 3+ but bolters wound on 4+. But compared to a Lieutenant, it only affects a single unit and, most importantly, only against the closest target, on top of the usual litany conditionals. Useful to flamer Vets/Aggressors - generally better the less the gun relies on S or range to get work done.
  3. Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6". They get +1 to their wound rolls in melee. Very strong (unless you're the Blood Angels of course).
  4. Mantra of Strength: He'll show you how it's done. +1A +1S to the Chaplain, and +1D to his melee weapons. D3 Crozius!
    • Smash Chaplain: Could fill that Smash captain hole from 9th codex changes. Combine it with the 'Benediction of Fury' relic crozius (WS2+ S7 AP-2 D4) to kill characters, or a Master-crafted Power Fist for (S+1)X2 = WS3+ S10 AP-3 D2+1d3 (which is basically a better S10 D4 avg Thunder Hammer, which chaplains can't usually equip) to kill heavy infantry and bigger targets, like vehicles. To this you may add Warlord traits, stratagems, doctrines, and psychic powers as you can afford and be bothered with.
  5. Recitation of Focus: Select a friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit within 6". +1 to their hit rolls when shooting.
    • While +1 to hit is better than a Captain's re-roll, this alone isn't a replacement for it (since it has a 1/3 chance to fail, affects single unit and doesn't work in melee or when the chaplain doesn't start on the field). Instead, it's better used when a unit cares about +1 to hit beyond improving BS by 1. If you just want a second HQ to support a gun-line bring a Lieutenant instead.
  6. Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6" aura of +2 to charge rolls and +3" to pile in and consolidation moves. In all cases, the friendly <chapter> core or <chapter> Character unit in question has to be within the aura by the time the move is made - the consolidate move especially will often not happen unless the Chaplain also made his charge. Amazing for those of us who re-roll charges, increasing the odds of a successful 9" charge up to 85% (58.3% for non-rerolling lads).
    • Do keep in mind the chaplain has to be on the field at the beginning of the battle round. A Jump Pack or Biker Chaplain is fast enough, but if you are patient, you can use an Impulsor or Drop Pod to get him in position in the first turn, and use the litany for your deepstrikers in the second turn. Or just pop the strat to not only get the Litany, but guarantee it goes off!


In addition to the standard Space Marine fare of Ranged and Melee weapons, the Deathwatch get access to some of the rarest and deadliest wargear the Imperium has to offer.

Ranged Weapons[edit]

  • Assault Bolter: 18", Assault 3 S5 AP-1. Would be a really good gun on assault units. Unfortunately exclusive to Inceptors.
  • Auto Boltstorm Gauntlet: A 3-shot Auto Bolt Rifle with 6" less range. Dual-wielded by Aggressors.
  • Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it's 24" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 1 D. It no longer completely invalidates GEQ saves, but you won't ever care about that. As it's pointless to use the Bolter's basic profile. Since Deathwatch has access to Special Ammunition such as Kraken bolts and Vengeance rounds. You'll never have to use the base profile while playing Deathwatch, EVER! Seriously, don't do that.
    • Bolt Carbine: An Assault 2 Bolter, exclusive to the Reiver Squad.
    • Bolt Rifle: A Boltgun with 30" range and AP-1 making it more effective exclusive to Intercessors. Currently unable to use Special ammo.
      • Auto Bolt Rifle: The automatic version, an Assault 3 Bolter. Better than the Bolter and Bolt Rifle when not factoring in Stratagems or shooting at anything with armour. Combine with the Tactics to overwhelm your enemies with bolter fire up to 24 inches away!
      • Stalker Bolt Rifle: Not a sniper rifle, lest it invalidates Scouts too. 36" Heavy 1 AP-2 and now D2(!) Bolt Rifle, to give far away targets more than just a poke. Turns Intercessors into something akin to Troop Sternguard.
    • Stalker Pattern Boltgun: The special Deathwatch Boltguns, these bad boys are 3 points each, sporting 30" Heavy 1 S4 AP-2 D2, just 6" shorter than the rifle variant, but this one has Special Issue Ammo.
    • Deathwatch Combi-Weapon: Massively reworked, No longer Single Use, and can even be fired alongside the Bolter part now, at -1BS. But Combi-Flamers don't care for no BS. Available to Veterans, Terminators and non-Primaris Characters. Deathwatch Combi-flamers are 5 pts, and all the other Deathwatch combi-weapons are 10 pts. And with the Special Ammunition the extra Bolter shots are really worth taking a combi weapon.
    • Master Crafted Weapon: Variant of a Boltgun, Auto Bolt Rifle, Stalker Bolt Rifle, Heavy Bolt Rifle or Instigator Carbine, for your Captains, or Oculus Bolt Carbine for the Phobos Lieutenant. The Boltgun gets +1 damage and +1 AP, the others only get +1 damage.
    • Vigil Spear: A renamed guardian spear. A Master Crafted Boltgun when shooting. Nicked from the bananas.
    • Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: only 3 points non so cheap as chips Rapid Fire 2 Boltgun, available to Termies, Vets and vehicles. No longer an assault weapon, it's especially nasty at Rapid Fire range. Quite a bargain, even more so as they now have access to special ammo... or they would be, if GW didn't completely remove it from them. Still worth it for the fire power, but honestly you
  • Bolt Pistol: A bolter in pistol form, meaning you can fire it in melee. Just don't forget it's there. Currently cannot use special ammo.
    • Heavy Bolt Pistol: More like Better Bolt Pistol, with AP-1. Exclusive to Assault Intercessors and Bladeguard Veterans.
    • Absolvor Bolt Pistol: Designed to give the Emperor's Mercy to Xenos and Battle Brother alike, it is the Hand Cannon of the Bolt Pistols, with 1 Heavy Bolter shot at 16". And it still benefits from SIA. Load up those Vengeance rounds in close combat and watch your MEQ enemy weep.
    • Reductor Pistol: Designed to remove geneseed from dead marines, or if your feeling motivated, punch a hole through a nobz' skull. A Bolt Pistol with 2 damage and -3 AP, but a pitiful range of 3".
  • Deathwatch Shotgun: The Deathwatch Shotgun uses its own selection of special shells and slugs for your xenos-purging needs. Versatile and awesome-looking. Non 0 pts and unlike the Storm bolter your marinelets can advance, which you'll need to do, since it's short to very-short range.
    • Cryptclearer Round: 18" Assault 2 S5 AP0 D1. For whatever reason, GW has completely removed the re-rolling all failed wound.
    • Xenopurge Slug: 18" Assault 2 S4 AP-1 D2. Now this is significantly more useful, due to it being 2 damage across the board..
    • Wyrmsbreath Shell: 8" Assault D6 S4 AP0 D1. Autohits. Essentially a just a Flamer/up-gunned Hand Flamer, and MUCH more cost-effective, whilst still being relevant outside ultra-close range, due to its other ammo types.
  • Hand Flamer: 6" Pistol D6 S3 AP0 D1. Autohits. Now more expensive than in 8th, with a cost of 5 points. Not really that great outside of one or two on a Vanguard Veteran Squad since the Plasma Pistol and Inferno Pistol has the same cost.
  • Inferno Pistol: 6" Pistol 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6 with the same "half range keeps best of 2 dice for Damage" the melta has. Since this bad boy costs more than the actual Meltagun or Combi-Melta, it actually costs 7 pts 5 pts (same as a Plasma pistol), so you could see it more like a big-guy-killing melee weapon that also happens to be a pistol, than an actual pistol. Point at nearest alien monstrosity and stare through the smoking hole that used to be their chest.
    • Modeling Note: If you're converting or for whatever reason don't have one to hand, the barrel of a meltagun glued onto a grav pistol makes a pretty neat-looking counts-as.
  • Plasma Pistol: Fairly effective against MEQs when fired normally, a TEQ-killer when supercharged, but Gets Hot! now risks outright killing the user. A high risk-high reward pistol, your Captain's rerolls reduce Gets Hot to a 1/36 chance. Good against everything, really, as plasma can even wound tanks.
  • Plasma Exterminator: 18" Assault 3 Plasma Cannon. Good for killing Heavy Infantry.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: An Assault D6 S4 AP- weapon with 12" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, now they number of hits is independent of the number of enemies — 20 bunched Guardsmen suffer the same number of hits as 2 terminators: 3.5. Meh, at least it's cheap. Don't bother trying to hit airborne units, as they're too tough and armoured.
    • Flamestorm Gauntlet: A Power Fist with Co-axial Flamer. Dual-wielded by Aggressors.
  • Grav-Gun: 18" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-3 D1, upgrading to D1d3 if the target has a 3+ save or better. No longer a plasma-killer, and while it has a shorter range, and is less likely to wound things with high Toughness, it can reliably (and safely) kill heavy multi-wound infantry (like Primaris) while no longer being useless against smaller models.
  • Meltagun: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1D6, becoming best of D6+2 Damage at half range. Good against anything with lots of wounds, be they Vehicles, Monsters or even Heavy Infantry. At 12" range Supercharged plasma is better (but riskier) however, and this gun is more expensive, so you really should try and get to half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit's other weapons are assault weapons as well. You can't deepstrike closer than 9", however.
    • Auxiliary Meltagun: Remember how that one Salamanders guy in Overkill has a meltagun on his Powerfist? Yeah, well now he's the only one who can have it. Thanks GW
      • Modelling Note: Branatar is the only model in the range that has it, so unless you have extra Chainfists and Meltaguns lying around, replacing either arm on Branatar model is very easy, or just get Inferno Pistol, cut off the grip, glue to power fist, done, they are very cheap on bits sites since no one was buying them before. Another way to model these auxiliary weapons is to grab the unused melta bits from your Devastator Centurions and attach them to your power fists.
  • Plasma Gun: You know what a Plasma gun is too, but for reference it's 24", Rapid Fire 1, S7/8 AP-3 1/2 D. As much of an all-rounder as the marine wielding it.
    • Plasma Incinerator: A Primaris Plasma Gun, because Cawl wanted to make marine guns' as insecure as their wielders. Better 30" range lets it not only rapid fire from further away, but outrange enemies. Better AP-4 makes them a menace even for tanks.
      • Assault Plasma Incinerator: Lighter 24" Assault 3 Str 6/7 version of the Standard Plasma Incinerator. Easier to make it cost effective, as it shoots double than the Standard version from 16"-24", still wounding most infantry on a 3+. The supercharge is still good D2, it just doesn't wound enemies on a 2+.
      • Heavy Plasma Incinerator: The other end of the spectrum. 36" Heavy 1 Str 8/9 D 2/3 lets you wound and kill MEQ on a 2+ without having to supercharge, and makes it effective against tanks, enjoying great range. Which you should keep, because it's not Rapid Fire like the other variants. More cost effective against vehicles than against infantry, but it does the job nicely.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Heavy Thunder Hammer: An enormous two-handed Thunder Hammer built for smashing in Xenos heads, this 15 point melee weapon hits at a staggering SX2, AP-3, 4 Damage. It has the same -1 to-hit penalty of a regular Thunder Hammer, so make sure you've got a source of re-rolls to make every swing count (cause hitting 50% of the time ins't good enough). Taking a melee weapon that costs more than the marine who's carrying it isn't always a great choice, but multiple lascannon-strength melee attacks boosted by Mission Tactics can lay low even the biggest of xeno monsters (or enemy vehicles and characters). Be wary of overkill and choose your targets wisely - if you're killing enemies with 3 wounds or less, the regular Thunder Hammer is cheaper at 10 points and does a consistent 3 Damage, but if you fancy ghetto stomping a carnifex, here is your weapon of choice. Notably, the Heavy Thunder Hammer replaces both weapons and can only be taken by standard Deathwatch Veterans and Vanguard Veterans.
    • Two basic Vanguard Veterans will put out 6 attacks with these on the charge, costing 68 points for the two models, and will on average kill a single 8 wound, T7, 3+ save Carnifex every turn before even a single re roll or modifier is applied. When combating foul Xenos monstrosities, sometimes brute force trumps complex strategy. (6 attacks, 3 hits, 2 wounds, no saves at all = smashed monster :) )
  • Vigil Spear: Only available to the Watchmaster, this Totally Not a Guardian Spear weapon is essentially a Master-Crafted Bolter combined with a Relic Blade. S+1, AP-3, D3 Damage provides a nice balance between S, AP, and damage for good mileage against most targets.
  • Xenophase Blade: Literally jacking Necron Phase Swords, it's a Power Sword that prevents the enemy from taking any invulnerable saves in response to the attack. A 10-point upgrade over the standard power sword, it's not a bad choice at all, particularly when facing enemies who fall back on invuln saves against your Str +1, AP -4 blade. Vet Sergeants, Veteran Bike Sergeants, and non-terminator, non-Primaris Watch Captains can take this.
  • Power Weapons: Sword is S +1 AP-3, Axe is S +2 AP-2 and Maul is S +3 AP-1. None give extra attacks. Bear in mind that Doctrine stratagem can give +1 to wound and mission tactics gives reroll ones to wound, but we don't have bonus to AP. As such the sword should be preferred in almost all cases where you need a one handed melee weapon.
    • Power Sword: STR +1 AP -3 D1. Our Veterans come standard with Power Swords now, so they're certainly worth something.
    • Power Axe: STR +2 AP -2 D1. with an extra point towards Strength, these things just got a lot more deadly.
    • Power Maul: STR +3 AP -1 D1. Now the Power Sword and Power Maul are the opposites...
    • Power Fist: STR x2 AP -3 D2. Thunder Hammers and Power Fists are now mirror versions of themselves. Treat them accordingly...
  • Thunder Hammer: Regular Thunder Hammer. Compared to the heavy version, it trades one handedness for AP -2 and a fixed damage of 3. Perfectly reasonable against things with 3 or less wounds, especially as it allows you to also grab a combi-something to go with it.
  • Astartes Chainsword: Free, but does give +1A and AP -1. Reasonable backup for a shooty unit rather than something to give a melee unit.
  • Lightning Claw: As of the October 2020 FAQs, you get +1 attack for EACH lightning claw a model has. Rerolling wounds overlaps with mission tactics, so don't use against your current mission tactics target. Doctrine helps though, going from re-rollable 4+ (75%) to re-rollable 3+ (88.8%) against many targets, but thunder hammers may need that buff more. Hitting things with T8+ is suboptimal but you'll still get 30.5% wound rate, so can do something in a pinch. Benefits greatly from reroll to hit, e.g. pair with a captain, chaplain, or watch master. Bog standard vets have access to these, so you can get 32 attacks with reroll to wound and -2AP out of a troops slot, perfect for murdering hordes.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

Kill Teams can grab up to 4 of these weapons in a single squad (Note: due to a further change to the April 2019 FAQ, these options, as with the Heavy Thunder Hammer, replace both weapons, so now we can't take Storm Shields with them anymore):

  • Deathwatch Frag Cannon: Giant. Beltfed. Shotguns. Sporting 2 firing modes and coming in at a very cheap 10 points, the Frag Cannon is still an incredible weapon option for the Deathwatch. Frag rounds act like a souped up Multilaser, with 12" Assault 2D3 S6 AP-1 D1 Blast. The solid shell rounds hit at 24" Assault 2 S7 AP-2 D2. Whether it's providing brutal Overwatch, shredding infantry, or mulching terminators and other multi-wound models, the Frag Cannon gets the job done. Special mention to the deep strike potential for solid shells.
    • The Frag profile will completely outperform the Infernus Heavy Bolter against anything within 12". However, GW has nerfed this weapon from 2D6 shots to 2D3 shots... not the worst of the nerfs in this .
    • The Shell profile has, like with a lot of things GW has arbitrarily decided, been nerfed in the name of "Game balance". You do not get +1 STR and extra -1 AP from shooting within half-range.
      • Due to its cost, this profile will usually underperform a meltagun at the same range, although obviously it can shoot out to 24" if it has to; you should be regarding this weapon as a seriously up-gunned Twin Heavy Flamer, rather than a lascannon or meltagun variant.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D2. Good against hordes at long range due to its high number of attacks, and still useful against lighter vehicles. It's most efficient against hordes with bad/no save, or things that rely primarily on a weak invulnerable save, like daemons. Good cheap way to throw out mortal wounds with hellfire shells
  • Heavy Flamer: A Flamer with S+1 and AP-1. More effective against armored targets than its smaller brother (and for GEQ a AP-1 is already a 50% reduction on saves), but cannot be fired after advancing because it's finally Heavy in this edition.
  • Infernus Heavy Bolter: A combi Heavy Bolter/Heavy Flamer. Costs 15 points and can be fired together like other combi-weapons, imposing a -1 to-hit penalty which the auto-hitting Heavy Flamer component gives precisely 0 shits about. Bear in mind that if you're shooting on the move, the Heavy Bolter already has a -1 to-hit penalty. The frag cannon is 6 points more, but simply does the job far better.
    • Remember since you can’t get more than -1 to hit in 9e. So you can run to your opponent face and shoot both profiles without worry about hit penalty from move and shoot Heavy weapon.
  • Missile Launcher: Can fire either Frag Missiles that act like D6 Bolter shots, or a Krak Missile with S8 AP-2 D6 D. Not quite as good as a Heavy Bolter or a Lascannon in regards to dealing with infantry and vehicles (respectively), but still pretty good at both of those roles. This weapon is usually avoided by other armies, but the Deathwatch mix and match their squads and field less marines so the missile launcher's versatility becomes more desirable.

Other Wargear[edit]

  • Storm Shield: Gives you a 4+ Invulnerable save and adds 1 to armor saves, allowing you to ignore most AP -1 weapons and significantly weakening AP-2 weapon's effectiveness. Can be taken by all normie marines except Watch Masters, Chaplains, Librarians and Bikers. Are now 5 pts for Veterans and 0 points for Terminators.
  • Deathwatch Teleport Homer: This exceptionally-useful piece of tech allows a unit to teleport to a pre-determined location during the movement phase instead of moving normally (even if they're locked in combat). During deployment, the homer is placed anywhere in your deployment zone. If an enemy model comes within 9" of the homer it is destroyed. During your movement phase, a unit which contains a Deathwatch Terminator can teleport to the homer, setting up within 6" of it, after which the homer is destroyed. The wording allows for units to share teleport homers as well - you don't have to move your unit to the particular homer they placed. Use it to rescue ranged units from melee units or simply re-position a Kill Team.
  • Combat Shield: A cheap 5+ invuln save. Unlike the Storm Shield it doesn't replace anything, so you can keep your guns with it.


If your warlord is a Space Marine Character, you can give 1 Character 1 relic, absolutely free. Weapon relics can only be taken by a unit that can take the weapon it's based on, and you have to pay for the base weapon. The Relics of the Chapter Stratagem could previously be used up to twice before the game started to take up to 2 more Relics. It's now spammable with SM codex 2019, though relics can't be duplicated, and each one has to go to a separate character.

Named characters and vehicles cannot be given a relic. But only That Guy would try to force a Chaplain dread into the armour indomitus or something like that.

  • Bellicos Bolt Rifle: Replaces a master-crafted auto-bolt rifle. 24" Assault 4 S5 AP-1 D2, to support your gunline.
    • Basically, The Primarch's Wrath, but for Primaris, that doesn't need Bolter Discipline for 4 shots.
  • Benediction of Fury: Replaces a Crozius Arcanum. S+2 AP-2 D3, unmodified wound rolls of 6 do a mortal wound in addition to other damage.
    • With Mantra of Strength and the right warlord trait, your Chaplain will become as deadly as a he is in the fluff. REPENT, HERETIC! *Plonk*.
  • Ghostweave Cloak: phobos model with a camo-cloak, passes though models when moving, advance or falling back and is -1 to hit.
    • Give it to a Stealth Adept Captain to make him as difficult to kill as Remo Williams.
  • Lament: Upgrades a master-crafted stalker bolt rifle's statline to S5 AP-2 D3, and successful wounds inflict a mortal wound on top of that. Single shot, but puts the big hurt on whatever it reaches.
  • Purgatorus: Upgrades a bolt/heavy bolt and other bolt pistol to Pistol 2 S5 AP-3 D2.
    • It's a great alternative to a Plasma Pistol as it's cheaper and does more damage (2 shots) with no chance of killing the user.
  • Reliquary of Gathalamor: Enemy Psykers must subtract 1 from Psychic tests made within 18" of the bearer. In addition, if the psychic power is not successfully manifested, roll a D6. On a 4+ the Psyker that attempted to manifest that psychic power suffers D3 mortal wounds.
    • Niche, but useful to protect your units if your meta is psyker-heavy, especially if you didn't bring psykers of your own (like Black Templar).
  • Standard of the Emperor Ascendant: Ancients only. A bit different from the 8.5 codex, they've done away the 3+ for extra attacks. Now it boosts the range of the standard banner ability to 9", friendly <chapter> Core units within 9" reroll morale tests
    • This certainly changes it's uses quite drastically from the auto take it was before to something more niche. Example uses include keeping Crusader squads from suffering under morale tests.
  • Teeth of Terra: Replaces a chainsword with a better one with S+1 AP-2 D2, and 3 bonus attacks instead of just 1. Good against hordes, better against multi-wound infantry like Primaris models and most characters. (Fun fact: this weapon is exactly the same as the Alpha Legion unique Relic "Blade of the Hydra." Coincidence? I think not!)
  • The Armour Indomitus: bearer gain +1W, 2+ armour save and Once per game, before taking a save you can also activate a 3+ invulnerable save until the end of the turn, useful as a panic button if your character runs into danger.
    • Of use to anyone wearing power armour, it's worth noting this is one of the few ways to give a Primaris character a natural 2+ armour save, due to their inability to take Terminator armour.
  • The Burning Blade: Replaces a power or master-crafted power sword. S+3 AP-5 D2. Where the Teeth of Terra hits often, the Burning Blade hits HARD and nullifies all armour saves.
    • Dangerous to monster and even vehicles sized targets, it's begging to be combined with a source of +1Str/to wound so it gets to harm MEQs on a 2+.
  • The Honour Vehement: Friendly <chapter> Core units with the Shock assault ability always get the +1A instead of having to meet the criteria. So, useful for ongoing combats.
  • The Primarch's Wrath: Replaces a boltgun or master-crafted boltgun with an up-gunned storm bolter, making it 24" Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-2 D2.
    • Can be useful for those officers buffing your ranged units. Note that this relic gains the benefit from Bolter Discipline.
  • The Shield Eternal: Replaces a storm shield or combat shield, so available only to Captains, and Company Champions. Gives a 4+ invulnerable, and a 5+ Feel no Pain against Mortal Wounds. Some of the best protection you can give a Character you really want to keep alive.
  • The Vox Espiritum: Primaris only. +3" to their aura abilities (max of 9"). Excludes psychic powers. Enjoy your Black Templars hat for now, Primaris...
  • Tome of Malcador: Librarian only. He knows 1 additional power from any discipline he has access to, which isn't the same as casting 1 additional power. Depending on what discipline you're using, hard pass. It can however be used to take powers from multiple disciplines.
  • Beacon Angelis: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, you can teleport a Deathwatch Infantry or Biker unit from any point on the battlefield or from reserve to within 6" of the bearer and more than 9" from enemy models.
    • With the addition of Litanies of Battle, a Chaplain with an active litany can be beaconed over to our deep strikers.
  • Dominus Aegis: A buffed shield. +1 to armour saves and all friendly Deathwatch Core and Deathwatch Character models within 6" gain a 5+ invulnerable save.
  • The Osseus Key: Watch Master only. Enemy vehicles get -1 to hit and -1 to attack if they are within 12" of him.
  • Thief of Secrets: Ap-4 Power Sword that ignores invulnerable saves (a Xenophase blade) and is D2 against the alien races (Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, or Aeldari).
  • Tome of Ectoclades: Once per battle, during the command phase pick an enemy datasheet, all Deathwatch Core within 6" reroll wounds against units of that datasheet until your next command phase.
  • Adamantine Mantle: Fnp5+++. "Not dying" is good for everyone, but (smash) Captains/Primaris are the ones with the most wounds to proc it with.
  • Master-crafted Weapon: +1D to a weapon, and it now considered a relic (so now some WTs no longer affect it and such). 4D Thunder Hammer! If used on a weapon with multiple profiles (why hello there vigil spear) it affects both profiles
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Most useful for Lieutenants and Librarians, who lack invulns.
  • The Blackweave Shroud: In case you really need to tank things up and don't expect high AP, you can grab this. The bearer adds +1 to their Toughness and a 4+ FNP against any Mortal Wounds. It's enough to protect you a bit more against plasma, but it's nothing against meltas and lascannons. Watch masters with their innate 2+ armour save are pretty fond of this relic, and characters in gravis armour are T6 with this relic, and the 4+ feel no pain makes them hilariously tough.
  • Spear of the First Vigil: Upgraded vigil spear with an extra point of strength and flat 3 damage.
  • The soul fortress: Librarian only. 24" Hood and can ignore all modifiers for a psychic test.
  • Banebolts of Eryxia: Let a bolt weapon fire a single shot with S6 Ap-2 D3.
  • Vhorkhan-pattern Auspicaction: Deathwatch Core within 6" gain +1 to hit a unit with fly.
  • Artificer Bolt Cache: A bolt weapon gains special issue ammunition.
  • Eye of Abiding: The bearer can ignore any and all modifiers to hit, wound, WS, and BS, and the enemy can't use invuln saves against attacks on a 6 to wound.

Unit Analysis[edit]


  • Watch Master: For now, this is your top HQ choice. A Deathwatch 'Chapter Master' equivalent, his stat line is impressive with WS/BS 2+, 6 Wounds, Artificer Armor (2+) and an Iron Halo (4++). His bubble grants re-rolls-1-to-hit on failed shooting and melee attack and, In addition to that, in the Command Phase, you can have him pick one unit within 6" to give them the old re-roll-all-hits on failed attacks. So whether at the front lines or in the back, there's a place for him. You get him for 130pts.
    • His (quite good) loadout is fixed, but the Relic-Blade-like Guardian Spear with attached SIA Master-crafted Bolter packs a punch both at melee and range. Furthermore, Castellan of the Black Vault increases the damage of both Guardian Spear's profiles. The Clavis is now a stratagem, but he can also get the Watch Master's exclusive Osseus Key relic, and inflict a Triple Punch against vehicles: Shoot at it with Tempest Shells, then use the Osseus Key and finally activate the Clavis for '3d3' Mortal Wounds. 4D3 if you also get someone to hit it with the Hellfire Shells Stratagem.
  • Watch Captain: The standard all characters compare to, he can be customized to do almost any job you need him to do. Captains are simultaneously destructive and survivable, with their base 4++ Iron Halo, character status and ability to ditch one of their weapons for a Storm Shield. Additionally, his mere presence boosts your other units with his re-roll 1s to Hit aura, helping your plasma not blow up and improving the hit rate of your already fairly accurate army wide 3+.
The base captain are the most versatile of the lot. In melee, they can wieldy all the heavier power weapons: Powerfists, Relic Blades, Xenophase Blade, and the expensive Thunder Hammer, as well as their Master-crafted (+1D) versions and other relics, like the Teeth of Terra on his off-hand, to terrifying effect. Alternatively, he can provide an anchor for your gunline, with his Master-crafted AP-1 D2 Boltgun or a Combi-weapon. The usual Smash Captain wears a Jump Pack to enhance his mobility, while others prefer Terminator armour to increase their resilience while still gaining a deepstrike (and fit in with the accompanying TH/SS squad). Other deceivingly fast ways of getting him in combat would be a Primaris captain with Powerfist + Plasma Pistol loadout riding a cheap Impulsor (with Intercessor Vets) or a manlet in a drop pod for Turn 1 deepstrikes.
Putting him on a bike keeps him incredibly flexible, though now he has to commit to riding that bike. Fortunately, bikes keep their twin bolters, meaning that the captain isn't totally hosed if they toss their pistol for a shield.
Unfortunately, the Cataphractii version got the axe. The terminator is a very durable wall of pain. Though they lack the heavy guns, they still have all the options for power weapons and shields. Special to this captain is the wrist-mounted grenade launcher - a far cry from a meltagun-fist or bolter-fist, but it gives a powerfist a gun.
The captain has to commit to melee or shooty, but his options for either is limited. If he goes shooty, he's stuck between his two variants of the bolt rifle. Which you take pretty much depends on you you plan on having him accompany.

If you want a cheap option for melee, you can just grab a power sword, but you'll need to sacrifice the bolt rifle for it. You can't get anything else beyond this, even if you plan on replacing the pistol. If you want a power fist, you'll need to sacrifice your entire loadout for it and grab a plasma pistol on the side.

Jumping for the Indomitus option gives you the Relic Shield, which gives you not only a +1 bonus to armour saves (net 2+), but also a 4+++ fnp against mortal wounds. You're now more or less untouchable from anything, but you're pretty much trapped to a heavy bolt pistol for shooting. His master-crafted power sword can pack a punch, but don't expect it to do much against T5 or more. However, also don't be fooled by this guy's 2+/4++/4+++. Although he seems durable on paper, his FnP is trivially circumvented by dishing him non-mortal wounds, which is most wounds. He'll lose a fight very quickly against a Smash Captain, for example.

The Gravis Captain has T5 and 7W, but a fixed loadout of a Boltstorm Gauntlet and Power Sword, reducing his flexibility and hampering which Relics he can take. In addition, Gravis suits cannot deep strike and are limited to expensive Repulsor transports. However, he is perfectly suited for accompanying Aggressors and can weather high volume, low AP attacks better than other Captains.
The difference between this guy and the base Gravis captain is the lack of a bolter-fist for the MC heavy bolt rifle (36" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-1 D2) that gives a decent bit of bite. While not able to hold its ground as well up close, his gun makes him better suited for shooting from relative safety.
The Phobos Captain is even more dedicated to the gunline; his 30" Assault 1 S4 AP-2 D3 Master-crafted Instigator bolt carbine lets him snipe characters, and his Omni-scrambler denies deep strikes within 12", crippling alpha strikes and forcing most enemies to approach your gunlines some other way. He's got a Camo Cloak to help the few times he gets shot at, but lacks any melee options besides the basic Combat Knife unless you replace the knife with a relic.
  • Librarian: Your good old source of mortal wounds (and psychic protection). Can be taken with a Jump pack, Terminator Armour, Phobos Armour, or as Primaris. May also take a Bike; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends.
    • Are a solid buffer and a damage dealer depending on what spell he takes, of which this model knows two (plus Smite). And with the wide array of Chapter specific Disciplines, the number of combinations you can field as an army is both terrifying and a little overwhelming. Librarians are a lot more random in this new edition now you can't spend all warp charges on a psychic power you want to go off at all costs. They're akin to a glass cannon (by marine standards), as their Force weapons are Power weapons that inflict D3 damage but they themselves lack an invuln save by default, and receive +1 to Deny if the enemy psyker is within 12".

The cheapest baseline Librarian. Can customize their force weapon, and pistol/Combi-weapon, If you're keener on getting him into casting range as quickly as possible, a Jump Pack will serve you very well.

Definitely the way to go if you plan on having your libby swing that force weapon. Though you can't grab a shield without Legends, you still get a 5++ invuln and a combi-weapon out of the deal.
The most static loadout of the lot. You're going with this option if you really want to use all the benefits being a primaris has, since you can't even swap out your force sword for something else.
The only reason you should be taking Obscuration. Really, half the powers require Phobos Armour, so you might as well jump for this option if you do. The camo cloak is icing on that cake.
  • Chaplain: The guy for not-magic support magic. So, a Bardarian. Can be taken with a Jump pack, Terminator Armour, or as Primaris. May also take a Bike; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends. Litanies make this team-player work somewhat different from other characters, especially his interaction with transports and deepstrikes - a consideration unique to this HQ. Each Chaplain knows the melee Litany of Fury, their primogenitor Chapter's litany and another one of their choosing, though one of them can be upgraded to Master of Sanctity to know and chant one extra litany. Chaplains also have a 6" aura of Ld9, making morale a non-issue for marines around them. All forms are bigger and better than ever before... though your newfound Litanies require a 3+ to go off, which is a real pain in the ass when you really need some buffs to kill something before it kills you.
    • If you want the Chaplain for melee like you're used to, consider putting him in a Drop pod or Impulsor. He won't have litanies when disembarking, but those specific transports operate under similar restrictions: They are both fast, Drop Pods will arrive one turn earlier than Jump Pack and Terminator squads, and troops disembarking from an Impulsor have to wait one turn to charge. A one-two punch requires patience and the ability to take a beating before dealing damage, but can be rewarding. Chaplains are terrifying melee characters, their Crozius Arcanum hurting heavy infantry at S+1 AP-1 D2, and their litanies make them effective assault lynchpins and powerful additions to a deathstar.
    • Unlike earlier editions, Chaplains can also have a place back in your own lines, with a couple litanies boosting a unit's firepower. They aren't auras, but +1 to either hit or wound (or both) to a unit is an important boost by itself if your warlord is far away, and complements aura HQs if you are fielding a battalion or bigger.
The cheapest base model and can take a combi-weapon/pistol. Also is an option for Jumpack for Fly mobility and Deapstrikes(but need to spend a stratagem to litany if you arrive from there).
As the chaplain already has a 4++ from the rosarius, the only reason you're going to buy this is if you want that 2+ and deep strike ability (and if you plan on some Deathwing shenanigans).
The foot slogging Chaplain upgraded to Primaris and stuck with a Resolver bolt pistol (18" pistol S5 Ap-1 D2). Paying 5 points extra to be 1 wound more survivable is ok.
9E is bringing you a Primaris Chaplain on a Bike... with the bigger and better bike. If the newer bike brings everything from the Outriders; expect ~100-120 pts, 7 wounds, T5, 3+/4++ and then relics and then warlord traits and then litanies. Altogether, with the buffed Crozius Arcanum and Absolver Bolt Pistol, the Primaris Biker Chaplain is poised to be a straight up melee hammer with few equals considering his speed and durability.
  • A White Scars Primaris Biker Chaplain will get a 14" move, 6" advance, and can then charge!!!! Now, once he attacks on turn three, he can net you 7 S8, AP-3 D5 attacks with a master crafted Crozius Arcanum. (4 attacks base, +1 Angels of Death, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Emperors Sword WL Trait. S4 base, +2 Crozius, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Emperors Sword WL Trait. D2 Base, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Master Crafted, +1 White Scars Tactic)
The Chaplain Dreadnought is the go-to answer for players wishing to run an all dreadnought army. This is one of the best models space marines can currently use in 8th, arguably the best outside of special characters. Being a Character makes this a Dreadnought that CANNOT BE SHOT AT except by snipers, who usually have pitiful AP. It has a 5++ save and also buffs the strength of friendly models fighting the same unit as it, and has heroic intervention and 6+ FNP. It's also reasonably priced, considering its many advantages; 164 points vanilla, but can be cheaper or more expensive depending on wargear choices (taking an assault cannon makes it cost 174, as an example). the Dreadnought also know chaplain litany to give a variety of buffer roles in addition to having big guns. if you were planning to bring a dreadnought and/or want a tough and killy HQ, then the Chaplain is a fantastic option that also saves you an elite or heavy support slot.
  • Two fists allows you re-roll 1s to hit, which on his total 5 attacks for the charge at WS2+ is pretty good. However, you only loose the re roll 1s if you take a ranged weapon, which is usually a smarter option as he also has BS2+. 194 points get you twin lascannons, storm bolter, and a fists for a very complete package.
    • The additional changes space marines have seen make this model absurd. It now sports the litanies ability like other chaplains... Cast Mantra of Strength on itself, use its natural aura, then use the Heros of the Chapter stratagem and take the Emperors Sword warlord trait. This should give you S9 and 7 Attacks on the charge. Combined with two fists, you also get re roll hits of 1 on a 2+, all for a grand total of 7 S18 AP-3 D4 attacks. Do you know of another model that can potentially hit harder and more often than a volcano cannon for 164 points?
  • Techmarine: Vehicles may be tougher this edition, but their performance diminishes with wounds, and this guy repairs them for 1d3 Wounds a turn, no roll required! Also in the 2020 codex, Techmarines can now give a vehicle +1 to hit during the command phase (hitting on 2+).; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends.
    • Being a character, he can work in relative safety, so he doesn't need Servitors either provided you keep at least something between him and the enemy. His Bike version can happily take all the same Wargear options, along with the usual Twin Boltguns, boosted survivability and insane Movement, making him a worthy addition to a high mobility list, since a footslogger Cogboy can't repair while he's embarked.
Holds the distinction of being able to become your cheapest HQ (45pts with a chainsword), though you shouldn't pick him as a tax HQ if you're just going to have him stand around. You're playing Space Marines, it's not like you're short on vehicle options for him to keep up and running. Beyond just going as cheap as possible, he can generally can be built one of two ways, and they are sadly mutually exclusive. For a more shooty build, he can ditch his pistol for any other Pistol or Ranged weapon and replace his Servo-arm with something very useful indeed: a Conversion Beamer. This tasty bit of gear functions as a Multi-laser with only D3 shots when at close range, but turns into an Overcharged Plasma Cannon that trades 2 AP for no exploding on a roll of a 1 when over half it's rather impressive 42" range. The other path is more of a close combat monster; by taking the Servo-harness, you give yourself an extra servo-arm, a Flamer, and a Plasma Cutter, which is basically an Assault 1 Plasma Pistol, and all for only 60 points! Quite brutal, but you should generally build your Cogmarine for where he's going to be hanging out. If he'll be humping the leg of a Deredeo in your backline, take the Beamer and maybe a Storm Bolter if you have points left over. If he's going to be running around in the thick of things keeping your melee dreads from getting splattered, strongly consider the Harness, which carries all Assault weapons and you can repair even after Advancing!
Provides quite a few special guns compared to the first-gen. The forge bolter sorta lets you copy Iron Father Feirros by slapping on a heavy bolter to a servo-arm so it becomes Assault 3 and gains two bonus mechadendrite attacks (Don't expect too much, they're S+1 AP- D1). That said, they suffer the primaris issue of a static loadout, meaning that while all this and a grav-pistol on top is neat, they can't do much else about it.
  • Lieutenant: Remaining a strong addition at the advent of 9E, with a mini-Captain statline of WS2+ BS3+ W4 A3. Can be taken with a Jump pack, Phobos Armour or as Primaris. You can buy up to two Lieutenants per HQ slot. There's no Biker Lieutenant. Since a Lieutenant's Tactical Precision aura (re-roll 1s to wound) is mathematically equivalent to a Captain's Rites of Battle (re-roll 1s to hit), they can be used as a budget sub-commander to fill your HQ tax and boost your back field. The basic version can swap his Master-crafted boltgun for combi-weapons, but the Primaris version, with Master-crafted auto bolt rifle/stalker bolt rifle, can do more damage at range.
For melee it is the manlet version the one you want, as he can take a Jump Pack and power weapons to join a Smash Captain dropping into melee, his aura complementing the Captain's.
While this guy is considerably more limited in loadout, 9E has given a couple new options. The Indomitus boxset gave the option to slap on on a storm shield (giving you the equivalent of a 2+ save, not really one) and the neo-volkite pistol. How does this stack up? The range is a bit shorter than a bolt pistol, but it offers S5 and D2 and Deflagrate's been nerfed to just deal an additional mortal wound on a nat 6 to wound. Pretty dangerous and lacks the backfire of plasma, but it's only a matter of time to see how its value compares to the others. A very good candidate for the 'Shield Eternal' relic.
This particular variation still suffers by a lack of grav-chute, meaning he can never accompany his allies in a surprise rush. This is especially shitty because he only gets a bolt pistol and knife - shooting's out of the picture.
The Incursor-like lieutenant, still hobbled by using a grav-chute. The pair of knives he's equipped with no longer give exploding hits, but merely gives you AP-1 to handle light infantry.
  • Damocles Command RhinoForge World: Only one Damocles can be taken per detachment. It can now transport a single CHARACTER model, and if that model is your Warlord you roll 2d6 at the end of each turn; if the result is less than your Warlord's Ld, you get a bonus Command Point. Valuable, on its own, there's also the Orbital Bombardment, which now functions identically to the Stratagem of the same name (albeit without the CP cost). While the bombardment can be useful if you're lucky, the Damocles is better off acting as a meatshield/Command Point generator for your Warlord, preferably far from the front lines.

Special Characters[edit]

  • Watch Captain Artemis: Hailing from the days of Inquisitor, Artemis is our only special character. Regular Watch Captain but also has Unstoppable Champion (FnP 6+). He's armed with the Hellfire Extremis (a Combi-Flamer whose flamer bit wounds non-vehicles on a 2+), a Master-Crafted Power Sword, and a Stasis Bomb, which is a one-off grenade that does D6 mortal wounds on a hit... which can no longer blow up in his face, which one of the few good changes GW made to Deathwatch this edition. An interesting alternative to a standard Watch Captain, but he is pricey at 105 points with all of his special gear. Make that Stasis Bomb count! Use your Command Re-roll if you get a mere 1 on the mortal damage.
    • In terms of cost, a Captain with Power Sword and Combi-flamer is 86 points to Artemis's 105. You're paying 14 points for a 6+ FNP, a 2+ anti-not-a-vehicle flamer upgrade, and a fuck-you grenade. I'd say it's worth it, but only if you want that kind of kit - Artemis is good for killing infantry and exactly one tough thing up close, and he doesn't have a jump pack to get him in range with his more effective weapons. He's only useful if you can get him up the table. Put him in a Corvus Blackstar with a squad of Veterans outfitted with close-range weapons and he'll pay for himself quickly by one-shotting an enemy HQ.
  • CHAPLAIN CASSIUS: Took a time machine and now back in Deathwatch. Merely a chaplain with a Deathwatch bolt pistol, an Upgraded Crozius and +1 on litany rolls.
  • CODICIER NATORIAN: Named Librarian, with a -4 D3 force sword and get +1 to cast Smite and Witchfire psychic powers. You're effectively paying 10 points for +1 WS, a slightly better sword and the small buff to casting. Problem is he doesn't have an invulnerable save, so it'd probably be a better idea to keep him out of melee. So the points to upgrade him are better spent elsewhere. Bomb model though, so probably better to run him as a regular librarian.


  • Veteran Squad: AKA Deathwatch Kill Team Default. the unit is at 5-10 Vets, the core of a PROTEUS KILL TEAM. The default models, yet the best if what you want is to keep it simple, praise Emps and pass the Special Ammunition. Deathwatch Veterans and their Sergeant share stats with a regular Veteran team. They have nice Leadership values and 2 attacks base, and comes stock with Power Swords and bolters with Special Ammunition. Up to four of them can take heavy weapons (like a different Devastator team), any of them can take heavy thunder hammers, and the sergeant can pick up a combat shield.
    • Storm bolters, sadly, are no longer your most cost-effective source of Special Ammo. Marines, especially Vets, are a tad fragile for their cost. This fragility combined with their cost-effective damage output makes them a nice candidate for the Teleportatium Stratagem. Especially with combi-weapons, if you can afford them. You can also make them safer by giving the unit some Storm shields, terminators, or Stalker-pattern bolters so they can keep a healthy 30" distance and still shoot.
    • While for melee they have the same limitations of a foostlogging squad, you do have neat transports. Heavy Thunder Hammers are kind of a gambit, but on the safer side, power weapons are nice and chainswords are free.
    • Black Shield: They can FINALLY take a heavy thunder hammer, but they do have an extra attack over their Veteran friends. He also gets an additional +1 A if he is armed with two melee weapons. If you just thought about adding Two lightning claws in order to get +3 attacks, with re-rollable wound rolls for a total of 6 attacks, and 7 attacks on the charge... congrats. you're no the only one.
  • Intercessor Squad: The big boys. Had become the go-to for a high damage output Troop choice with their buffs and Stratagems. Has a 2W and A model for 20pts as opposed to the mini marine's 2W and A for 18pts (when the new Codex comes); meaning only a 10% increase in cost. Stalker Bolt Rifles aren't as cost-effective and are only Heavy 1, but do let them further abuse the range difference while adding armour penetration and an extra point of damage, allowing them to contribute to the fight and pick off heavy infantry even when securing the backfield objectives. And with 2 attacks each, plus a 3A sarge who can be equipped with a power sword, chainsword, power fist, or thunder hammer, they aren't defenseless in a melee. Even basic Intercessors come with a bolt pistol sidearm, so they actually get 3x S4 attacks each if they're locked in melee. That being said, they're countered by heavier vehicles, as their only special weapon is a 30" grenade launcher (with grenades themselves being meh, even under Devastator Doctrine). They're also a prime target for multi-damage weapons, like autocannons, and they are practically custom-tailored to be mulched by Dark Reapers.
    • Intercessors are usually more durable on the tabletop than they appear on paper. Unlike tactical squads, Intercessors don't have heavy weapons which tend to draw fire from the enemy. This means your opponent will generally only fire at intercessors with anti-chaff weapons, especially if you have vehicles or other multi-wound models about. As long as the intercessors have cover, they're rolling 2+ saves on T4, with two wounds per model, which is much better than you really need to survive most anti-infantry firepower. This means your Intercessors are much better at holding objectives than an equal value of Tactical marines unless faced with heavy firepower. When brawling in CC over an objective with other skirmishers, they are easily underestimated—2W and 2A each means that they are effectively two tacs rolled into one model while not looking much more threatening. This leads to some mop-up charges getting stuck and worn down, or even being wiped out entirely thanks to Shock Assault.
    • With improvements to various weapons (especially the Melta Weapons; doubly so for the Multi-Melta) and the additional wound on Tactical Marines, the gap between these two units are beginning to close. Although the Tactical Marines have inferior bolters versus Intercessors, their special/heavy weapon options allow them a decent amount of versatility and with the same durability. They don't hit as hard in close combat, but we're essentially comparing two butter knife attacks vs three butter knife attacks (assuming Shock Assault). It should also be noted that the increase in AP between 0 to 1 is a much LARGER increase in AP than 1 to 2 when Tactical Doctrine hits. This all will have to be judged when the codex is released, so take this all with a grain of salt.
Their Bolt Rifles give them a 25"-36" threat range, where most enemies will need to move to even engage them, leaving their cover behind. The fact that they have AP-1 means that they will mow down most GEQs without trouble and even layer on a bit of hurt on most MEQs. Its only critical drawback is that this base rifle is Rapid Fire, meaning that you'll need to work a bit to get the most firepower out of this gun.
While they aren't as starved for mobility as other marines due to their range, Auto Bolt Rifles allow them to advance without sacrificing all their shooting, and have now been bumped up to Assault 3, making them the go-to choice for facing horde armies. This does however come with two major caveats: Its range is only 24" (not bad, but still shorter than the rifle) and it has no AP to speak of. For the mobs you're up against, this won't really matter.
Stalker Bolt Rifles are now D2, and with AP-2, these are clearly meant to be the rifles to be used against enemy MEQ and above. With the Devastator Doctrine the rifle is AP-3, which makes even light vehicles a viable target. Fists, both Imperial and Crimson, will get good mileage out of this since they can proc even more hits, and Iron Hands can take them while still retaining their mobility.
  • Assault Intercessor Squad: Same as the guys above, but built for melee rather than ranged combat. AP-1 chainswords mean that they'll be butchering any light infantry near them with 4 attacks on the charge, and with an 18" range on their AP -1 bolt pistols they can threaten infantry at medium range as well. The sergeant can swap his pistol for a plasma pistol or hand flamer, while being able to replace his chainsword with a power sword, thunder hammer or power fist.
  • Heavy Intercessor Squad: CORE. The biggest boys, Gravis armour makes them very durable, and access to auto bolters means they can be deceptively quick. Though your second-worst Troops melee fighters point-for-point (and actually worse than tacs on the charge), S5 guns make for more reliable shooting versus MEQs and TEQ and doubles their damage versus T8. Not a substitute for devastators, but surprisingly capable of poking wounded heavy vehicles to death.
    • At T5 and 3+ they're extremely durable and likely one of the best objective holders this edition. Most armies' S4/5 anti-chaff will bounce off, while weapons purpose-built for gibbing tacs tend to be D2 or Dd3, meaning twice the shots to bring them down and plenty of wasted wounds. Three D2 wounds will kill three normal Intercessors - but only ONE Heavy Intercessor. Sure, you could bring weapons which are S7+ and D3 but... come on, those are vehicle-killer stats, you could maybe justify pointing it at elites but are you seriously going to waste it on a TROOP choice? Between shrugging off small-arms, needing an extra shot/lucky rolls from anti-MEQ and being wasteful targets for anti-vehicle, there just isn't a points-efficient way to kill these guys for most factions.
    • S5 weapons and the ability to add one flavour of Primaris heavy bolter means they're well-suited to camping objectives, particularly as per-point they're shitty melee fighters likely to get bogged down in assault. However, don't be afraid to throw them into melee! If your opponent knows they're shitty brawlers they might not be expecting it, and their stats mean they're great for bogging down enemy units, giving your other units time and space to move.
      • Why not take other gravis units or hellblasters (which should have gravis armor)??? Everybody else has better guns, power fists, jump packs, and special rules. These are troops and are the cheapest of all heavy primaris units. For about 150 points, you're getting 15 T5 infantry wounds, which is absolutely awesome! This is the option if you want an anchor unit for your army, and frankly, you can skip transports due to their range and take even more models!!! Iron Hands and Raven Guard Heavy Intercessors will be extremely efficient regarding durability as opposed to the other Gravis units.

Heavy Bolt Rifle(36" Rapid Fire 1 S5 Ap-1) is a decent balance of range and shot also being effected by bolter discipline (good against T4 MEQ and other targets). We know what Heavy Bolters are now good at and there is a stratagem for them to also inflicts MWs.

Hellstorm bolt rifle has increased shot volume(30" Assault 3 S5 Ap-0) (good against GEQ and MEQ with low armour saves). The range makes moving irrelevant unless your trying to move D6+5" towards an objective, then taking the -1 to hit could be worth it.

Executor Bolt Rifle(42" Heavy 1 S5 Ap-2 D2) is the anti-heresy option, being the most proficient at dispatching MEQs at very long-range, but you're stuck with the liabilities of a heavy weapon and you WILL eat a deep-strike charge with these if your opponent has anything resembling a brain.

  • Infiltrator Squad: CORE. The in-between of Scouts and Intercessors, filling the role of Vanguard troops that deny board space. Armed with Marksman bolt carbines, which are essentially boltguns that auto-wound on unmodified hit rolls of 6. Have Concealed Positions, and their Omni-scramblers prevent deepstrikes within 12" (and nullifying deepstrike charges and Flamers), making them excellent at area denial. One model can be either an Apothecary-Cadet to reduce the damage of the first successful attack each turn to 0 or a Comms Specialist to have rerolling hit and wound rolls from Phobos Captains or Lieutenants ANYWHERE on the board. With MEQ resilience they're better speedbumps than Scouts...and now that scouts are Elites for some reason, you have no alternatives. Like Intercessors, they can struggle to be more than heavy keep away units and pregame objective holders using the smokescreen Stratagem for protection.
  • Incursor Squad: CORE. The jack-of-all-trades of Vanguard space marines, able to provide support at range and melee. Tacticool sensors let their Occulus Bolt Carbines ignore both cover and hit penalties, making them the bane of other enemy stealth users and such, and they're capable melee fighters with their Ap-1 knives. They can also also buy a haywire mine to dissuade enemy charges with D3 MW (3 if it was a vehicle.)
    • Assault Intercessors are flat-out superior in the choppy department. Reivers hit harder in melee, but they're Elites, and sacrifice their dakka for choppas. Incursors are the front liners that deal with other scouts and capturing the objective because they're troops.

Kill Teams[edit]

the Deathwatch signature units. A strange way to hybridize models forms multiple different units to create a unit with mixed strengths and gear. you take a base unit then add models from other units.

  • PROTEUS KILL TEAM: the Base Classic Kill Team squad. AKA Deathwatch Kill Team, one of your four Kill Team options, and what may well be the most complex unit in the whole Emprah-damned game. The Hammer to your Intercessors' Anvil, the unit starts at 5 Vets, a Kill Team's core. So far, so good. Adding models is where things begin to get odd since vets aren't your only choice. You have a plethora of transport options, including the bike-carrying Corvus Blackstar and teleportation, so that won't be much of an issue. GW forgot to let blackshields in proper kill teams, so if you want to include one in a veteran squad, it'll have to remain a veteran squad. Each model other than veterans adds a possible stratagem to use on your entire unit:

The default models, yet the best if what you want is to keep it simple, praise Emps and pass the Special Ammunition. Deathwatch Veterans and their Sergeant share stats with a regular Veteran team. They have nice Leadership values and 2 attacks base. Up to four of them can take heavy weapons (like a different Devastator team), any of them can take heavy thunder hammers, and the sergeant can pick up a combat shield.

Like the Elites version (up to three with special weapons) but with Defenders of Humanity instead of Teleport assault. More than firepower, you bring them to tank damage, especially AP0. They can also have TH/SS, but Veterans are better Stormshield bearers - they don't have to give up their shooting to get one unlike the termie, two 2+/4++ storm bolter marines cost slightly more than a single 2+ (adding 1 to the roll)/4++ termie (27pts, you're NOT giving them Thunder Hammers) and if one of them tanks a lascannon, you only risk losing up to one marine instead of the 3W 2+save model. Keep your termies simple, focus on what you want the unit to do and they'll make their points back.

14" move, T5 2W, with a Twin Bolter and a melee weapon (taking the bolt pistol is stupid). All of which is wasted unless you combat-squad three of them alongside two Vanguard Vets. Which is useful, since the Relentless Assault stratagem lets them charge even if they fall back. One comes stock with a teleport homer - more bikers don't bring more homers. They're not bad by any meaning of the word, it's just that terminators are better, and Vets are cheaper. If you really want access to Relentless Assault and a teleport homer, go ahead. Bear in mind that these guys take up 3 spaces in a Blackstar, so 9 vets and a biker can't bring a character along with them.

While he lives, the entire unit has ascess to a stratagem so they can fall back and shoot. Doesn't have Fly, so various AA things don't get +1 to hit while shooting him or his squad. If you brought one for the stratagem, don't give him a Storm shield to tank wounds - if he dies, you lose the bonus. Now what? Give the storm shield to a regular no-name Vet, it's not like they gave up shooting to get the invul.

Sample unit builds: Kinda straight forward, actually, since this unit only really has three weapon options: bolt weapons, power weapons, special weapons. Yup, dismiss pistols - they become less of an option when squad members allow you to fall back and charge again. Three tenets here: what you want them to do, how you want them to do it, and transport options. As in, if they bring a Biker, they're forced to ride a Blackstar.

  • FORTIS KILL TEAM: The Primaris Kill Team. Intercessor Squads can be taken similarly to their vanilla cousins, but where they really shine is their role as the base for the mixed Primaris units called Fortis Kill-Teams. Where normal Space Marine armies can sometimes struggle to find a use for Intercessors, the Deathwatch actually appreciates them a bit more, namely as backfield cover-campers and cheap-ish wounds. Your normal Kill Teams, being as loaded with great gear as they tend to be, are damn expensive, while a unit of Intercessors is both tougher per model and unlikely to run you much more than their base cost even as they benefit from Special Issue Ammunition to take on threats their vanilla counterparts would normally struggle against. Take 5, then add other flavors of Primaris Marines to match the role you have in mind for them:

The shooty core of the team. Your going to have 4 of them plus a Sergeant. Sargent has become better in melee with access to Astartes chainswords, power swords, hand flamers, and thunder hammers.

The choppy Primaris marines. The Intercessors can hold their own in melee with 3 attacks each. give cheap chopyness but the Intercessors portion prefers shooting. could use combat squad to separate from the guns portion and make a separate melee squad with the Outriders.

pay extra for a bike ridden by a Primaris. Has extra durability and makes more attacks. if you take 5 your can combat squad them to have an Outriders squad bigger than 3.

Does not add any extra rules of its own. It does add a lot of extra firepower, and they definitely benefit from being in a unit full of models far more expendable than itself.

Sample Unit Builds: As there aren't quite as many potential combinations to work with for these guys as there are for their shorter cousins, here are some example Primaris kill-team loadouts to consider using:

    • 5 intercessors plus 5 outriders: You get a unit of 5 intercessors to hold objectives, which is ok, and also get a monstruous 5 outrider unit that can hold objectives if they wish to. It's the biggest outrider unit you can field for now, and with the ability to hold objectives, they can steal lightly defended objectives and keep them for quite a while.
    • 5 intercessors plus 5 hellblasters: The intercessors with heavy bolt rifle can shoot from afar while the hellblasters can bring on the pain. And if you get hit, just prioritize the intercessors to save points.
  • INDOMITOR KILL TEAM: the Gravis armored Kill Team. These big boys are your most durable option when it comes to kill teams, having Toughness 5 across the board, making them very survivable. In addition, they might have the most shooting attacks per model of the Primaris kill teams, with loads of options to tear through GEQ and MEQ units. Sadly, the one thing that their let down by is their speed; unless you stick these guys in the Teleportarium, they aren't going anywhere quickly. Still, plop them down on the objective and laugh as your opponent cries salty tears while struggling to shove them off of it.

The thickest of the intercessors, these big lads are the core around which you will be building your most durable unit. While expensive in terms points per model cost, they more than makeup for it with their weapons, which are STR 5 versions of the normal bolt rifle variants. Just don't stick them in melee, though, as they have 0 options outside of punching people.

With the loss of their special rules, these guys have lost their coveted top spot on the throne of Primaris units, but they are still some of the best objective holders and assault units available to the Space Marines. Combat squad these guys, stick them with a Gravis Captain, and watch them work wonders together.

These guys have also sadly lost their Meteoric charge rule, but they are still very good flanking units; combat squad them together and plop them down with some units from the Teleportarium, and rip the enemy a new one with either Assault Bolters or Plasma Exterminators.

The only unit in this squad with an actual special rule, and GW says only they can use it! Well, actually this one is kind of understandable. These guys are your means of combatting a glaring weakness in the Deathwatch's arsenal: mid-range anti-rank weaponry. Being able to fire at the same unit twice with their Melta Rifles means that whether in line with the Heavy Intercessors or moving forward with the aggressors, these guys can take care of your tank problem.

Sample Unit Builds: Given that these thick lads are all T 5, any loadout you could take will be a tough nut to crack for your opponent. Here are some example Indomitor Kill Team loadouts:

  • SPECTRUS KILL TEAM: the Phobos Kill Team, for when you want maximum Sneeki Breeki. Being able to deny deep strikers, ignore all penalties to hit, and/or just flat out ignore cover, these guys are the stars of the new Kill Teams. Starts off with 4 infiltrators and an infiltrator sergeant. From there, you can add in up to 5 more dudes, of the following:

Your basic vanguard marines. Capable of either taking a comms array, which means the squad always counts as being within aura range of your Phobos captains/lieutenants, or a helix gauntlet, which turns the first failed save into 0 damage. Other than that, each also has a Marksman bolt carbine, which is a boltgun that on a 6 to hit auto wounds as well.

Similarly armed to the Infiltrator, but instead of the auto wound gimmick, ignores cover instead. 1 Incursor can take a haywire mine, which once per game, when an enemy unit charges the squad, on a 2+ that unit takes d3 mortal wounds, or 3 if that unit was a vehicle. The Incursors themselves can ignore negative BS modifiers, but this ability does not transfer to the whole squad, unlike the infiltrator comms array/helix gauntlet.

Gives the whole unit a fear aura of -2Ld to enemy units in 3". Also does NOT have concealed positions, so if your kill team has one of these scary marines, you have to deploy normally. In terms of loadout, they're in an interesting place, as the infiltrators/incursors are way better at shooting, and the unit as a whole doesn't want to be in close combat, so the knife will be wasted. Should probably give this guy a pass unless you plan on combat squad them for maximum deep striking shenanigans.

Let's face it, this is why you took a Spectrus kill team. Armed with either the delicious bolt sniper rifle, or the not quite as strong as a lascannon, but more reliable Las Fusil. Unlike vanilla marines, you can mix and match as to which eliminators carry what, allowing for way more versatility. Also come equipped with camo cloaks, which is an additional +1 to armour saves if they're in cover, and the eliminator is taking the brunt of the attack; probably not a good idea as you want these guys alive. If you're taking 5 of these snipers (and you should, they're amazing), then take the Comms array on one of your meat-shield infiltrators, so you're always in range of those sweet sweet auras. For 275 points, that's a 10 man squad, 5 of which are some of the best snipers in the game, a guy who's buffing them to high hell, and 4 meat shields. Dodge this bitch.

Sample Unit Builds: While there aren't quite as many potential combinations to work with for these guys as there are for their shorter cousins, Spectrus Kill Teams have extremely versatile sniping units, able to assassinate characters from long range and just generally make your opponents day worse. here is some example Spectrus kill-team loadouts to consider using:

Dedicated Transport[edit]

Because GW loves making bad decisions to try and milk your wallet, these are divided into those that cannot carry primaris and those that can only carry them.


  • Rhino: 10 Wounds and a 3+ make the old METAL BOXES harder to crack open than ever before. have 2 storm bolters means that you can output a lot of dakka (8 shots at 12 inches), and kill off some infantry then tie up vehicles in combat.
  • Razorback: Transports that produce offensive output, like a Razorback, are likely to be very strong this edition. 8 lascannons fired by devastators will not destroy a Razorback in one turn on average. That is a lot of Dakka to absorb. If you run them with Heavy Flamers, then no matter how injured your Razorback is, it will still always autohit, until said Razorback is dead.
    • The razorback has 6 different options for its main weapon, making it a very flexible tool for patching up weak points in your army's firepower.

The stock option and by far the most boring. Cheap, and that's really all that can be said for it. Use if you're on a budget, but if you're not upgrading the weapon, maybe consider just going with a plain old Rhino instead and drop a couple of Heavy Bolters somewhere else in your army, they're nearly the same cost.

The crowd favorite and for good reason. 12 S6 AP-1 shots is a substantial threat, allowing you to mulch that Guardsman squad standing on the objective you want before dumping your cargo of marines out to finish them off. Got a notable price bump in Chapter Approved, so it isn't an auto-pick anymore, just a very solid one.

The infamous Laserback. The most expensive option, but a damn good one. This is one of the Marine's more cost-effective anti-tank options, able to deposit its cargo, then dig in and start picking at tanks and monsters.

The Marine's knockoff Immolator, it really suffers from the 12" range. Even the THB can deal more damage simply by having the range to do so; this weapon will be complete dead weight until you're literally on top of the enemy. Avoid.

A bit of an esoteric choice, with the TAC's price hike, this option is only 1 point more. The real draw is the fact that the Plasma guns are Rapid Fire, not Heavy, allowing you to tear around the board firing without penalty. While it actually outperforms the Twin Lascannon in every area when Overcharging, even when not in Rapid Fire range, it does carry that annoying rule that it dies without saves if it rolls a 1 to hit. Still, an interesting option and certainly worth looking into.

This is the weapon of the Infernum Pattern Razorback mentioned below, but it is literally the only difference between it and the regular Razorback, so here we are. The cheapest weapon option outside the stock THB, this is the budget anti-tank choice. Workable, but a single 24" melta shot taken at -1 from moving is putting a lot of faith in a 50/50 chance.

  • Land Speeder Storm: Dedicated transport for 5 Scout models, for the same base cost as a normal Landspeeder. Open topped so they can shoot out of it, although still suffer any penalties for shooting heavy weapons after moving, and cannot shoot after falling back even if the vehicle still can. Does not get Concealed Positions, but has an 18" move, to easily re-locate. Starts with a Cerberus Launcher (Heavy 1D6 bolter shots at 18") and a Heavy Bolter that it can swap for a Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, or Assault Cannon (for now; this option is in the 8E index, but presumably the 9E codex will take precedence and kill these options off).
    • Put a Scout Sniper squad inside for a mobile Character killing fire base with a 7 wound buffer. Heavy flamer to discourage charges (and hopefully let you fly away next turn), or a Heavy Bolter/AC to provide supporting fire.
    • Put a Scout Shotgun squad inside with a Heavy Flamer, and charge it up into their face.
  • Drop Pod: Grants a Power Armour unit deepstrike. Tactical Marines can use it to capture objectives and hamper enemy movement. Melta units can get in close (although usually not close enough, unless you mean multimeltas) for a hard strike. Assault units can charge out of it if you can make 9 on 2d6. No longer scatters and arrives at the turn you chose. Much more importantly, it ignores the Tactical Reserves rule so you can finally pull off a turn 1 Deep Strike. You might still struggle to pull off a charge or get into the optimal range, but the correct selection of Chapter Tactics can do a lot to mitigate those downsides.
    • Generally speaking, the best contents of one of these is Company or Sternguard Veterans with combi weapons or a Devastator Squad with grav-cannons or multi-meltas, and/or support HQ/Elite characters hitching a ride to get into position (such as a Justiciar or Apothecary). Anything else you might put in here can either get up field on its own (Scouts, Vanguard Veterans, etc) or poses little to no credible threat (Tacticals) or both (Assault Squads).
    • It has been FAQed that the opened doors count as part of the model, so it can also be used to make a sizable anti-deepstrike zone, before it’s shot off the board (if your opponent put enough thought into it).
    • If you choose to take the Deathwind Launcher in Matched Play, then you are officially retarded, as a Storm Bolter is generally twice as good for its points at 12" and can also shoot up to 24".
  • Dreadnought Drop Pod (FW): It's a drop pod...for dreadnoughts. A good, relatively cheap option for delivering dreads with 9 wounds less right into multi-melta range.
    • Note that while it completely lacks any offensive abilities whatsoever, it can still serve one use after its cargo lumbers off: body blocking. It still counts as an enemy model for your opponent in terms of movement and line of sight and thus they have to 1. Kill it, thus sparing one of your other units some damage and since the pod is nearly as tough as a Rhino; it'll take a beating before going down 2. Go around it, which costs time and forces units out of position, or 3. Go through the hassle of charging it, using pile in to scoot around it, and falling back from it, which is really, REALLY dumb. And the model (if you can get ahold of a real one) is massive when its doors are open, denying a huge chunk of board. Bonus points if you can use this to block your opponent's anti-tank from reaching the Dread you just disembarked into his backline on the opposite side of the pod.
    • Also remember it can turn an ironclad from a risky high damage Slow speed bullet magnet to an unstoppable rape machine if used against tightly packed armies and tanks, especially with Black Templars charge re-rolls.
  • Termite Assault Drill (FW): It's neither a drop pod nor a rhino, but something of both. Like a drop pod, the Termite can be deployed as reinforcements close to the enemy. Once deployed, however, the termite acts like a very slow Rhino. At 8 inches, this thing isn't going anywhere fast. This is for wanting a big Droppod that also has a very good weapon, At 12 standard marines (Not terminator, jump pack, or primaris) this little drill is quite the metal box with a massively power full drill 5 Meltas and two other weapons. Add in that deployment and who cares if this thing only moves 8 inches a turn?
    • And then there is the subject of weapons. Storm Bolters are the way to go most of the time due to the range and fire output. Heavy flamers are shorter range but hit hard. Volkite chargers are if dealing with saturation in MEU.
    • The termite also has decent melee capabilities, though this is more for protection than anything. That being said, the drill makes for a nasty anti-tank melee weapon. Now for the bad news. This thing is expensive points-wise, way more so than the drop pod, but the points cost is nothing compared to how much you will need to pay Forge World for one.


  • Impulsor: The inbred spawn of a Razorback and a Repulsor. Has 1 more wound than a Rhino and can be upgraded with a 5++, but lacks Smoke Launchers. Comes stock with two Storm Bolters with the option of taking an Ironhail Heavy Stubber and swapping the storm bolters for fragstorm grenade launchers. 14" movement combined with the ability to disembark a unit after moving and the penalty to enemy charges that the Repulsor also inflicts makes the Impulsor one of the better transports... in theory. In practice: it has a transport capacity of 6 and can't carry JUMP PACK or GRAVIS models, so it's only good for moving MSU squads + character. This can be a cheap transport to get Assault Intercessors close to combat and move Hellblasters into position. Often time your list can't afford to buy a heavy tank as a transport and you will have to make do with what you get.
    • It can take the following upgrades:

A 5++ invulnerable save. Generally, this is the one you want, as it makes this bizarre vehicle unusually tough (smart opponents will simply shoot its cargo, so hurl it into melee ASAP).

The cheapest add-on. Two more heavy stubbers that get +1 to hit aircraft. Combined with the Pintle mounted stubber you now have 12 shots at 36" range. For 15 points you are getting 6 bolt rifles worth of shots with a 36" range.

Yep, it's a missile launcher with the addition of anti-air. Could technically work as an adaptable weapon, but taking other weapon teams and tanks would be better.

The orbital bombardment you know and love from the Damocles Rhino. Now completely different from the stratagem. One use only, but being able to crap out mortal wounds wherever you like is still nice. As long as you can keep it alive to use it, of course. This bombardment does not involve ballistic skill, which means your opponent will have to go through 11 wounds to stop you from using the mortal wounds. This demands that your opponent potentially waste firepower on your otherwise expendable transport while your hellblasters take far less damage.


  • Apothecary: Now a Character running on his own. Does give out a 6+ Feel No Pain aura again, but also if he's within 3" of a <chapter> Infantry/Biker unit at the end of the Movement phase, he can heal 1d3 wounds on 1 model in it. There is also a stratagem involving him that let him resurrect one slayn<chapter> Infantry/Biker with full wounds. Combines great with high-end infantry, shoot, or assaulty. Bringing a Centurion Devastator back from the dead or healing the linchpin of your army's buff aura is invaluable. Combine with a Company Ancient to make a trade-in death.

Can't swap out his weapons, so he's stuck with a bolt pistol and chainsword.

Primaris Apothecary: 10 points for +1W and improved pistols: the reductor pistol, which is a 3" S4 AP-3 D2 pistol, and the Absolver Pistol, which is 16" S5 AP-1 D1. He's a great choice if you want to go to an all-Primaris army. Keep him back and out of assault - he has no business in close combat. He'll do just fine popping off shots with his pistol and keeping nearby units alive.

  • Ancient: A support aura character that's important to big blobs. by default, The banner has a 6" aura that adds +1Ld to all <chapter> Core units and if a model from a unit within 6" dies, you get a 4+ chance for them to get off one more round of shooting or close combat right then before your opponent can move on to something else. now only the units have to be within range soo bigger blobs around him. Out of phase shooting is great, and marine infantry dies quite a bit in practice. Combine with an Apothecary. Do also keep an eye on Relics that give more aura utility

The old Command Squad banner bearer, now an Independent Character, and don't take up a slot if you include a Command Squad. The cheapest base model, Comes with a bolt pistol that you can swap for a different pistol, combi, or melee weapon.

Same as a Company Ancient, but with +1W +1A. Comes with a bolt rifle in addition to the pistol, and can't swap his wargear or ride in anything but a Repulsor. Easily worth the 5 points for the +1W alone; the +1A and improved bolter are just icing, as you probably weren't planning on up-gunning you are Ancient anyway, and since the Ancient buff is an AOE on multiple units, very compelling overtaking a second Ancient for redundancy.

See that Primaris Ancient? He now Trades his Rifle for a second aura giving +1 to hit to all Bladeguard units within 6".

If you want your banner to arrive anywhere on the board. As one might expect, the armour gives him +1 Wound and a 2+/5++ save over his PA counterpart and he is locked into having a Power Fist and Storm Bolter. An excellent choice for accompanying Terminators of all sorts out of Deepstrike. he has a larger 40mm base, meaning you can get more models into your buff aura.

  • Company Champion: Another former Command Squad guy now on his own. He can't bodyguard, but he's WS2+, W4, is a character, has to make a 6" Heroic Intervention if possible, and re-rolls failed hits and wounds and has ASF against Characters. Comes with a master-crafted power sword, bolt pistol, and combat shield for a 5++, but no other wargear options. Multiple Champions can be very interesting when embedded in your gunline, or as part of a larger melee deathstar - Heroic Interventions make them a very useful counter-assault choice, and they can swiftly dispatch most other characters without wasting your Captain / Chapter Master's time.
    • However, neither Company Champions nor any of the Chapter Champion variants can keep up with Thunder Hammer Company Veterans, from an offensive standpoint, so their main benefit is defensive, due to being characters.
  • Judiciar: The big scary beatstick introduced in Indomitus. The heavy relic blade is like the best part of all the power weapons: S+3, AP-3, and D2 with both a 4+ invuln against melee and a bonus mortal wound on a nat 6 to wound. Then there's the Tempormortis, that creepy hourglass. It gives the judiciar the ability to inflict Always Strikes Last on one enemy unit within 6" each Fight phase, which makes him very powerful defensively, as he can force a charging unit to fight after getting murdered by whatever it charged - and, of course, if he's close enough, he can even Heroically Intervene in to help out.
  • Reiver Squad: With new and old unit taking up the roll of Guardsman munchers, Reiver got revamped with Stratagems to be the loyalist Night Lords they are described as. They have a -2Ld aura which pairs with the Terror Troops Stratagem to stop the enemy from scoring VP. Reavers come with an Ap-2 bolt pistol for MEU and a basic combat knife to blend GEU with 4 attacks or swap for an 24" Assault 2 bolter for some ranged support. Either way, You're likely to grind away most unaugmented humanoids. For additional mobility, you can take Gravchutes for deep striking or Grapnel Launchers for Outflank and Ignore Vertical movement. Both of these synergize with the Stratagem to return them to reserves during the movement phase so they can ambush another unit trying to score points your next turn.
  • Deathwatch Vanguard Veterans: Vanguard vets, but with new toys, including the always hilarious heavy thunder hammer. These guys can be very dangerous. Additions like the inferno pistol make them all the more deadly.
  • Deathwatch Terminator Squad: Sitting at 23 points per model, like Assault terminators, yet they are equipped like a standard. However, they have equipment options like both, making the squad very adaptable. Starts at 5 models, but up to three models can take an option from the Heavy Weapon list, including the assault cannon, heavy flamer, Plasma Cannon, cyclone missile launcher, and storm bolter, the last of which is especially attractive as it lets you keep your Storm bolter with SIA. Also of particular note is the power fist & meltagun combo, which leaves room for a heavy weapon while also giving you yet another gun to split fire with. They can also rock TH&SS, which is something to consider, even in mixed units, like a damage sponge.
    • Take note, that Assault Cannon only outperforms Storm Bolter w/ SIA out of deepstrike against T3 targets (and only by 0.3 damage), whilst being costlier and eventually losing altogether when you get into Vengeance range.
    • Also note you can tinker around with normal power weapons to save on points or focus on hordes.
    • Deathwatch Terminators can become one of the most versatile units, even by Deathwatch standards. A 5 man squad can be, for example, 1 TH/SS, 1 Assault Cannon, 1 Heavy Flamer, 1 Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher, 1 Sergeant with Storm Bolter, and close combat weapon of choice. And if you have the points left, all of the last 4 guys can take an additional Melta on their Power Fists. This gives them many different weapons and options for their Storm Bolters due to SIA, and they are no slouches in close combat. They simply do everything.
    • Stick to the basics, much like veterans. Take storm bolters and power swords for a cheaper unit that can hurt hordes at both range and melee, fists if you plan to fight multi-wound units.
  • Terminator Squad: CORE. As of late, Terminators seem to be overtaken by other elites and Primaris heavy hitters. However, terminators still have a worthy role in your army and it is actually the fluffiest! Terminators really only find value when being shot out of very cheap land raiders and teleporting. Heavy shock assault troops have always been their role, now it's been streamlined into their only relevant role. Terminators still have to worry about high-AP weaponry, but since very few weapons have anything better than AP-4 they'll almost always be able to use the resulting 6+ armour save (though you could just use the 5++ instead); it's not much, but it helps. At the same time, the addition of 3 Wound to their profile also outright triples their survivability against massed small arms fire and doubles against weapons designed to kill marines. The 5" movement means they're most effective when deep striking, but footslogging can still work if your opponent's lacking in anti-armor weaponry. The heavy flamer punishes counter-charges and has the benefit of auto-hitting, but you won't be able to fire it the turn they teleport in. Storm Bolters do pour out the Dakka but Bolters aren't very productive, except when you tie in widely available buffs. The assault cannon is good for shredding lightly armoured infantry and can even pick away at light vehicles if you have nothing better to shoot at. The Cyclone Missile Launcher now arrives at a decent 32 points and vastly supplements all-rounder firepower. Teleport them onto a midfield objective, when in cover they become quite hard to shift. Deep Strike these guys 9" away from enemy meatshields, within Rapid Fire range of their Stormbolters, and launch the equivalent of 20 bolter shots. Follow up with a charge at whatever the meatshield was protecting.
    • Teleport homers work a little differently now; once per game, you can remove them during the movement phase and Set them up within your Deployment zone or within 3" of another <Chapter> unit during your next Reinforcement phase. While this is great for bringing them into an area that needs defending or be in pointing range of a target. A good way to screw with your opponents head as they have to plan around each unit of terminators Deepstriking twice per game.
    • 9th edition might be the Terminators' time to shine. 'Nators are one of the few units that have not seen any increase in points cost. When compared to all other heavy infantry available, these guys are actually quite cheap.
  • Terminator Assault Squad: CORE. Still the gold standard of heavy assault troops, especially with the extra wound they've gained. The classic Hammernator setup is still great for smashing in vehicles and heavy infantry alike while taking little damage yourself, but the -1 to hit can be a problem at times. Take a Chaplain along to mitigate the lowered hit rate (remember, though, that re-rolls occur before modifiers, so no re-rolling 3s). A set of Lightning Claws are more reliable and more effective against horde armies due to the additional attack, so it may be a better idea than before to stick with them. Assault Terminators with hammers, shields, and near a chaplain or captain can obliterate the most powerful units in 8th in a single turn. The only alternative that offers anywhere near the CC killing power of hammernators is vanguard with hammers (Hammerguard?) and while they have better movement and cost less they lack the durability of terminators having less wounds and a weaker armour save.
    • Never take these guys with only Lightning Claws, you should always include at least 1 with a hammer and shield. Why? Relic Terminators can take double claws for the exact same cost and can add a grenade harness for a bit of shooting on the side. The only advantages these guys have over Relic are the hammer/shield setup, and a teleport homer for an emergency jump out, so *use* them. <As of the new codex, Relic Termies actually cost 1 point more than normal Assault Terminators>
    • After failing to use these bad boys to their full potential for 3 games in a row, I've come to the conclusion that anything less than running them as Black Templars with a Chaplain babysitting them just isn't worth the effort or points. The 9" charge is just too much of a risk to pull off without the guaranteed re-roll, and the lack of Chaplain means these walking tanks fail to hit 50% of the time with their hammers. If you want to guarantee a KEQ kill, you need to make a successful charge with both the Terminators and the Chaplain, do not die to overwatch or return fire, then pop an Fury of the First. As mentioned before, and in the standard unit's entry, use discounted Land Raiders to place Hammernators right where you need them.
  • Relic Terminator Squad: Replaces the Tartaros and Cataphractii. Boiled down the uniqueness into a Terminator Squad with different wargear options. Relic Terminator makes them a mix of Terminators and Assault Terminators in terms of weapons. has a Reaper Autocannon instead of Assult cannon for better anti-MEU. Any model can replace their powerfist with lighting Claws to be a more slashy like Assault Terminators while having the anti-infantry Grenadeharnesses and other guns. The sarg can take a Plasma Blaster(anit-MEU) or a Volkite charger(a cheaper anti-infantry gun that inflicts MW).
  • Aggressor Squad: Got nerfed from player abuse. Still, 3W Gravis armour Weapons platform with powerfist and spits out a lot of shots but no longer have special rules. they're still the middle ground between a Terminator and an Assault Centurion. Aggressors are heavy defense and Advancing soldiers, with powerful short-range dakka as they would when protecting an objective or your lines. And unlike other Primaris, they also have great close combat power with 3 powerfist attacks base! They come stock with two Flamers(40ppm) or auto boltstorm gauntlets (2x 18" Assault 3 bolters) and a frag grenade launcher(18" Assault D6 Blast bolters) for 45ppm.
    • Shooty and choppy, they're balanced by their inability to get around easily. All other units in your army can either deepstrike, infiltrate, fly 12", bike 14" or ride cheap transports like Rhinos, Drop Pods, and Impulsors. Aggressors may only ride ~300 pts Repulsors, so you'll have to either rely on chapter-specific gimmicks or plant them somewhere and be on the defensive.
    • Comparison to Termies and Assault Cents: They don't teleport nor do they have an invuln save, so, any resemblance to Terminators is merely a cosmetic one. Aggressors are Assault Centurions lite: lots of S4 shots, lots of wounds, T5, and nasty punches. They are more mobile and thus, easier to use. That being said, Centurions do have a 2+ save and S10 D3 drills that lack a penalty to hit. And while they need a Land Raider (preferably Redeemer), at least that fills a Heavy choice and can fit manlet characters, unlike the normal Repulsor (which is a dedicated transport) or Executioner (which is a better gunship but fits 3 Aggressors and nothing else). Terminators are getting 3 wounds, making them far more relevant again. Still, bolter Aggressors shot volume and rules can't be beaten.
  • Veteran Intercessor Squad: Intercessors with the veteran's additional attack and leadership. Since they're only in Tacitus armor, they can only swap between base and assault intercessor loadouts, but of course, this is an all-or-nothing deal. This contrasts with the Bladeguard, who is all-in with melee and are the cheaper choice if you just want more primaries that can benefit from veteran stratagems. Why these guys aren't the Deathwatch's standard intercessor, we'll never know
  • Bladeguard Veteran Squad: For whatever reason, these guys get 3 wounds a model, blame the Rubicon Primaris. These guys are pretty much the equivalent of terminators since their shields give the vets an equivalent of a 2+ save (it's still a 3+, but you add +1 to the save roll) and master-crafted power swords like the captain. Unlike Terminators or Vanguard Veterans, these guys can't deep strike on their own, and unlike Company Veterans, can't come in in a Drop Pod (or bodyguard wounds), so it's on you to figure out how they're going to reach the fight and what they're going to do when they get there with only master-crafted power swords and heavy bolt pistols (with sergeants getting either plasma or neo-volkite one).
  • Company Veterans: CORE. the Command Squad from earlier editions, minus the Apothecary, (Company) Champion, and Company Ancient), which are all split off as independent Characters, also they don't take up an elite slot if you have a square, and the one Veterans squad don't take up an elite slot if you have a <chapter> Captain. You can still kit between 2 and 5 of them out however you like (except no special weapons on the Sergeant - he's stuck with combi, which only matters if for some reason you wanted to bring meltaguns). They possess an improved "Look out, Sir!" rule prevents <chapter> character within 3" from being targeted by ranged weapons (as this is not Lookout, Sir!, they can't be sniped). Far and away one the best Infantry unit you can field, both offensively and defensively, per point; all of them can go special/combi weapon+storm shield, thunder hammer+storm shield, or special weapon+thunder hammer, but this cheese is happened by Elite slot limitation.
    • For the points, you should not take flamers or plasma as the combi versions cost the same.
  • Invictor Tactical Warsuit: The Scout Dreadnought. Dreadnought Lite—all the bulk, half the calories points. T6 and W13 help keep it on the board, and it doesn’t degrade until it’s down to 6 wounds. For firepower, it can take either an Incendium Cannon that’s basically a souped-up Heavy Flamer (12” Heavy 2d6 auto-hit S5 AP-1 D1) or a Twin Ironhail Autocannon (48” Heavy 6 S7 AP-1 D2) for shooting up heavy infantry. Backup weapons are a standard Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, a pair of Heavy Stubbers, and a Heavy Bolter. The only real way to take on vehicles (or, say, the occasional Bloodthirster) is with its Power Fist, which does 4 attacks at S14, AP-3, and D3. Finally, to get in position, it has the same Concealed Positions ability as Infiltrators and Incursors.
    • Best use of this is probably to give it the flamer option and use Concealed Positions to start it within 12” of some enemy infantry. Further, this unit packs 5 S14 Ap-3 D3 hits on the charge or when charged, and careful positioning will hamper monsters and vehicles running towards your infantry, which is just another reason to get it as close to the enemy as possible. For this reason, assume it will get destroyed turn 3. However, if you're careful, it should get a few turns of shooting and overwatch with the flame cannon and maybe combat or two with the fist... Could do better, could do worse.
    • You could also give it the Autocannons and either leave it in your backfield for long-range fire support or use Concealed Positions to put it where it can pop shots off at targets who tried to hide and block line of sight. However, the rest of its weapons are oriented towards close-range infantry mulching, leading to the same issues as with the laser version of the Repulsor Executioner.
  • Centurion Assault Squad: With T5 and 4 wounds apiece, the choppy Space Marine in a Space Marine is a nasty piece of work in melee, especially since it can cause an HoW-like mortal wound on a 4+. However, it can give that ability up in exchange for Hurricane Bolters that act like Rapid Fire 6 Bolters- that's the equivalent of an MSU Tactical squad before you even get into RF range! The Siege Drills are pretty good too since they act like Chainfists but with one more point of damage and no penalty to hit. As an added bonus, their sarge's omniscope negates cover bonuses. Getting them up the field practically requires a Land Raider. For long-range shooting focused marine armies, Assault Cents make a strong counter charge unit. Especially because of having 2 flamers EACH, that make up for 6 D6 of auto hitting surprise in overwatch or tearing apart big blobs of infantry. Can also swap the flamers for melta guns which will complement your drills quality over quantity melee output. With the new codex, they are still expensive but their improvements make them at least reasonable considering Shock Assault and W4.


The Dreadnought is one of the best non-HQ single model unit in the Space Marine lineup. IS a Core Vehicle So can take all the buffs in addition to Techmarine Babysitting. 9th also made Duty Eternal into an active ability so always -1 damage makes them tanky for the firepower they bring. Most Dreadnaughts are buffed by HQs and provides the same security any other bubble wrap could. And speaking of buffs, remember that the Wisdom of the Ancients Stratagem gives it a Captain's or Lieutenant's re-rolling aura for a turn. Also, per the new "Big Guns Never Tire" as a vehicle, you now get to fire your weapons in Close Combat. Sure it's at a -1, but your fist mounted heavy flamer doesn't care.

  • Dreadnought: Core The Default Dreadnought. For 155 you can have a Dreadnought with twin lascannons and the CCW w/Heavy Flamer, or for 150 you can have 5 Devastators with 4 lascannons. That's not the most optimal build for the Dreadnought, either.
    • A special note on the capabilities of horde killing. An assault cannon is only 1 point more than taking 2 heavy bolters, in exchange for +1S, which is easily worth it - it will devastate any T3 units, and can deal with T4 too, while the heavy flamer will toast charging units. Should anything survive the onslaught, the dreadnought then packs 4 attacks at S12(!!!) with AP-3 and 3 damage a strike. The dreadnought will smash most things you throw it at, should you manage to get it into melee.
    • Another mention goes to the Riflenought setup with two dual autocannons, spewing out 8 Autocannon shots per turn. Great for tearing up 2 wound models in particular, or throwing some decent hurt at most targets from long range. Notably, it's 5 points cheaper to do this with a regular dread than a Mortis. Even though the Autocannon option isn't in the new codex, luckily we can still use the wargear from the index/Legends profiles.
  • Venerable Dreadnought: Core A Venerable Dreadnought has a slightly better WS and BS vs a regular Dreadnought, as well as the ability to negate received wounds on a 6+. It gets all of the same weapon options as a regular dread, so it can fill the role better, if more expensively. Note that even with the cheapest possible loadouts (missile launcher+assault cannon), this implies a 17.24% cost increase for a 25% gain in performance, so unless you're taking Heavy Flamers or a Chapter Master, this is always worth it for the output alone; under a Chapter Master, the gain is less than the cost, so if you don't care about the durability increase, don't pay for the Venerability. Ven Dreads with the Iron Hands trait don't receive the FNP benefits.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought: Core For just a modest points increase over a standard Dreadnought, the Contemptor packs 2 extra inches of movement, 1 extra wound, +1 strength, the same WS/BS as the Venerable Dreadnought, and a 3+/5++ (it also costs more than a Venerable). Now also Is no longer has a Decgading wounds table and -1D from all attacks. Generally speaking, the Contemptor is a goddamn steal for what he costs now. The extra-fast movement speed means he can get into any position he needs to be in very short order, and reach melee combat with almost complete certainty. It's limited to a melee weapon and either a multi-melta or Kheres-pattern Assault Cannon (which has one more point of S compared to the normal AC, in exchange for costing 4 points more - not that S7 vs S6 is a compelling jump) and lacks smokeScreen, but its wargear is still more than enough to take out most enemies. This dangerous combination of potent stats and strong weapons means he can fulfill a wide variety of battlefield roles, and the dizzying array of options its Forge World counterpart (see below) has only made it even more adaptable:
    • Crowd Control: Go after enemy units and hunt down squads.
    • Elite Hunter: Superb at taking down other Elite Units.
    • Character Killer: His high Strength, Weapon Skill, and Damage mean the Contemptor can kill most characters in a single round of combat. He is rightful to be feared by enemy warlords.
    • Linesman: High toughness, high saves, and high wounds mean the Contemptor can stop advances pretty quickly.
  • Ironclad Dreadnought: Core Ironclad Dreadnoughts are much more melee-oriented than the other Dreadnought types, and T8 helps them stick around to get there. It switches out its gun arm for a Seismic hammer, Which is a Dreadnought Power fist with AP-4 and deals a jaw-dropping 5 damage per hit; if More Damage is more your thing, it can be switched for a Dreadnought chainfist which has no hit penalty but you gamble 2D3 for Damage (unless its a vehicle then it's a ludicrous 6). The hammer is better against W5, 9, 10 while the fist is better for fighting Vehicles. If you don't know for certain that you are going to face a lot of W5 characters or transports with W10 you should generally avoid the chain fist. You can choose to switch the CCW for a hurricane bolter, but that's a bad idea since it re-rolls to hit results of 1 in close combat when it has two melee weapons equipped. Of course, if you plan on keeping close to a Captain or Chaplain (such as riding a Stormraven with them and another squad), that second CCW becomes redundant. Finally, they can use the Assault Launchers Stratagems.
    • Ludicrously strong against high-wound targets without invulnerable saves such as tanks, Tyranid monsters, etc. It can easily earn its points back in a single melee phase, but it is limited by the 6" move.
    • Worth noting that since the April 2019 FAQ, this is the only vehicle in your arsenal which can still use Bolter Drill on a Hurricane Bolter. pumping out 12 boltgun shots at 24" range is nothing to be sniffed at. It adds infantry clearance to its already very good CV.
    • Unbelievably good with the Iron Hands stratagem for Dreadnought characters, leave this chad in your lies and un-targetable and have him smash any big nasties that try and rush your lines.
  • Redemptor Dreadnought: Core The vanilla dread's Jock roommate. With nearly twice the wounds of a vanilla dreadnought (and degrading stats to accompany the increased durability), the redemptor dreadnought is a solid heavy weapons platform, capable of holding the anti-horde Onslaught Gatling Cannon or the armour-melting Macro Plasma Incinerator, and the anti-air Icarus Rocket Pod as well as a pair of storm bolters or fragstorm grenade launchers. However, it is a heavy points investment, and much of its anti-armour potential might be better handled by specialized units like Devastators, Hellblasters, or Predator variants. Instead, anti-horde fire support appears to be its most effective niche, potentially able to put out a withering volley of mid-strength shooting that will take a significant chunk out of GEQ or weaker units and then follow up with a smack from its CCW, which is d6 damage compared to the normal Dreadnought CCW's d3. But even if it takes the Macro plasma Incinerator, the CCW can still swap its heavy flamer for an Onslaught Gatling Cannon to retain effectiveness against hordes.
    • Equip it with a Plasma incinerator, use the Wisdom of the Ancients stratagem, and a big unit of Hellblasters, and you can re-roll all those overcharges that might blow you to high heaven.
  • Deredeo Dreadnought (FW): Core The end-all solution to your dakka-Dread needs, for when even the Contemptor Mortis won't cut it. Its armour save is slightly worse than the Contemptor's at only a 3+, but to compensate it has 3 more wounds having smoke launchers. For guns, you have the Anvilus Autocannons (8 36" autocannon shots with +1 S) for mulching infantry, the Hellfire Plasma Carronade (6 overcharged plasma cannon but cause mortal wounds on a 1) as the generalist option, and the Arachnus Lascannon Battery (2 Lascannon with Reliable D3+d3 damage) for taking out vehicles, and also chest-mounted heavy bolters/heavy flamers. It should be shooting things, not tied up in melee. It can supplement the main weapon with either an Aiolos Missile Launcher for extra fire support.
    • Raven Guard and Salamanders Chapter Tactics make Deredos substantially better - RG increases its survivability, and Salamanders provides a source of rerolls to make sure those giant fuck off lascannons deal damage or that the plasma carronade doesn't damage the Deredeo.
  • Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts (FW): Core Take a normal Contemptor Give it a slew of Heresy era tools courtesy of forge world and a CP. For your convenience, they're all listed below; you can take any two you like, unlike the base Contemptor, which is forced into 1 melee option and has only a Kheres and a Multi-melta to choose from for its main gun.
    • Never take it with just a base combat weapon and kheres/multi-melta. It's statline and abilities are identical to the regular Contemptor, except it costs 1 CP to bring. If you're going to pay a CP for access to more options, then use those options.

Weapon Options

  • Ranged options:
    • Heavy plasma cannon (+0pts each):
    • Conversion beam cannon (+5pts each): The new Heavy Conversion Beamer is a single-shot weapon that starts at Heavy D3 S6 AP-1 Blast that does 2 damage. It also gains +1 points of strength, AP, and damage for each 24" between the target and the firer, totaling S8 AP-3 4 Damage between 48" and 72". At the full range, this will hit like a reliable lascannon.
      • Against the infantry targets you have a serious chance at one-shotting, it's tied with the new twin volkite culverin the second cheapest gun behind the heavy plasma cannon. Against GEQs, you'll do a lot of damage even at short range, but not enough to outperform the Kheres, and you'll face similar scaling problems at any range, largely because as your ability to guarantee the "splatter" improves, your splatter's actual value gets worse. This weapon actually becomes the best when used against hard targets at the range - at 48" or more away, the only 6+ wounds target it's not your best choice against is T5 or T6, where the twin autocannons take over - but without the range, it's just not going to earn its keep.
      • Think of this as the Swiss Army Knife of Dreadnought weapons. While there are dedicated weapons that handle their specialty better than the C-Cannon does, the fact that this can be used against almost any target and still be relatively effective is worth a mention. The movement restriction is an issue, though.
    • Twin volkite culverin (+5pts each): 8 shots of Anti MEU that infict MW on 6 to wound. Sadly no AP.
    • Kherres-pattern assault cannon (+10pts each): Take this against 1-wound models at Toughness 3, 5, 6, 7, or 10, (where on God’s green earth you’re going to find a Toughness 6/7/10 1-wound model is beyond me, but just in case...) and mulch your enemies.
    • Multi-melta (+10pts each):
    • Twin heavy bolter (+15pts each): Plus 5 points than a Kheres, in exchange for S5 instead of S7, Damage 2 and 12" more range. S7 isn't a big deal, but S6 is, for shooting up both GEQs and Buildings, should that come up; the tl;dr here is that the THB is your best choice against 1-wound models with Toughness 1, 2, 4, 8, or 9 (although where you'll find those last options is a mystery).
    • Twin autocannon (+15pts each): Only better than the twin heavy bolter against T6 targets. Never take it.
    • Twin lascannon (+25pts each): Pop vehicles open without having to get into melta range. Has fantastic range, but is crippled by its staggering cost; in order to earn its keep, you have to shoot things with the wounds to notice that 1d6 damage rating. Once you're up against 6+ wound targets, it's best against Toughness 1-4, 8, and 9.
  • Melee options:
    • Remember though, there is no bonus attack if you take two melee weapons.
    • Dreadnought combat weapon (+0pts each):
    • Dreadnought chainfist (+5pts each): Gain -1 AP and +1 damage on average over a normal DCCW. Flat 6 damage against vehicles. Overall a solid upgrade. It's a must-take for all purposes.
    • Built-in ranged options:
      • Storm bolter (+0pts each):
      • Contemptor plasma blaster (+5pts each): An assault 2 plasma gun.
      • Graviton blaster (+5pts each): An assault 2 grav-gun.
      • Heavy Flamer (+5pts each): Really solid choice since your are allowed to fire ranged weapons in melee.
  • Cyclone missile launcher (+25pts): Two actual missile launchers would cost you 40pts, but have 48" range and the ability to split fire if you wanted. Not a bad idea, and better than on Terminators, as it mounts on top of the hull and doesn't replace an arm weapon.

  • Sicaran Battle Tank(FW): a Series of Relic tanks, having an improved rhino chassis with 14W and 2+Sv. The downside is they have a Martial legacy. in addition to its main gun and a single Heavy Bolter, you can grab 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or 2 Lascannons, a hunter-killer missile, and a pintle-mounted Storm Bolter, if you crave more dakka.

The Sicaran has transitioned smoothly into 8th and 9th ed. It's armed with a nasty accelerator autocannon, 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-2 D3. Make good use of the Assault weapon on its main gun by zipping around and firing while advancing.

The Venator trades the regular Sicaran's quantity of anti-skimmer shots for vehicle annihilation; even if a tank survives the Neutron Pulse Cannon's Heavy 3 S12 AP-3 D6 damage which becomes 6 if staying still.

The draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 S6 Ap-1 D1 shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. Enjoy making Orks and Tyranids cry.

Another Sicaran variant, acting like a bigger Whirlwind Scorpius, this one is armed with a multi-launcher. 48" Heavy 2d6 with S6 AP-1 D2 Blast and ignores LOS. if your taking an Arcus over a Scorpius, your trying to make the most out of that 1 CP and heavy slot buy butting sponsion weapon on it.

Its Omega Plasma Array has two modes; in its normal mode, which is 36" Heavy 6 S8 Ap -3 D2 and gain +1S & D on overcharge but a MW on 1s to hit. Being a threat to TEU and vehicles while the Venator is pure vehicles and titanic units.


  • Corvus Blackstar: With a cost reduction and some new rules, the Blackstar is a solid choice for getting your marines around in style. A hover-jet stealth bomber, it's quick with a massive 45" move, has some good weapons, and can carry 12 models of various types, with terminators and jump pack models counting for 2 and bikers 3. Watch as it comes out of fucking nowhere and drops a melee kill team into your opponent's backfield, unleashes a blistering firestorm on another unit, AND bombs some bitches it flew over for good measure. It is armed with Twin Assault Cannons which cause havoc for blobs, while it's 2 Stormstrike missile launchers are a serious threat to vehicles with 72" Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3. The cannons can be swapped for Twin Lascannons and the missiles for Blackstar Rocket Launchers. The rockets are decent at taking out flyers, but that's about it. The Blackstar can also take a Hurricane Bolter (a Rapid Fire 6 Boltgun)which is cheap as chips and shits dice, an Auspex Array (which lets you re-roll 1s against non-flyers) and the Infernum Halo-launcher; ‘If an enemy unit that can Fly targets a supersonic model with an infernum halo-launcher in the Shooting phase, your opponent must subtract 1 from the subsequent hit rolls.’ The Blackstar also rocks a delightful Blackstar Cluster launcher, which lets you bomb a unit you flew over. For every model in the unit (up to 10), roll a die and, on a 6, that unit takes a mortal wound. It's very useful as a transport and as a support unit to cover your guys on the ground.
    • Compared to the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does have its drawbacks as, unlike the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does not have Power of the Machine Spirit, meaning that all of its Heavy Weapons suffer a -1 to-hit penalty when it's on the move. Additionally, the Blackstar cannot transport Dreadnoughts.
    • Make note that this model cannot transport PRIMARIS models. Because bikers and terminators fit but the new marines don't
  • Stormhawk Interceptor: The Anti-Aircraft Flyer. Comes stock with 2 Assault Cannons, a las-talon, and a Skyhammers Missle launcher. The Las-talon can be swapped with Ircous StormCannon (Heavy auto guns that double shot and counteract hit penalties when shooting at other aircraft ) for more anti-flying. the Skyhammers can be swapped for 2 Heavy bolters (anti-infantry) or Typhoon Launchers(Flexible). Cannot hover, unfortunately, but does get to +1 to saves when shoot at by other aircraft.
  • Stormtalon Gunship: Become the cheapest Aircraft and is a general use hoverjet. There is now no drawback to fly off the table but sometimes you need to move in a direction that is not turning 90 degrees then move in a line. Comes with Twin Assault Cannon to delete infantry and has a Skyhammer Missiles(anti-aircraft and other light vehicles) or swap it for 2 heavy bolters (anti-MEU), 2 Lascannons(Anti-Vehicle), or a Typhoon missile launchers(Flexible anti-VEU and GEU).
  • Stormraven Gunship: A flying Land Raider with all the utility and offense that comes along with it... though its got the chassis and armor plating of an overweight Rhino. T7 means S4 weapons can wound it on a 5+ compared to the Raider's T8, 2 fewer wounds, and a 3+ save instead of a 2+, but it's much faster and has -1 to be hit when zipping around or switch to hover mode for controlled movement. It's also more expensive than a Land Raider, depending on what you arm it with. Comes stock with a twin assault cannon, twin Typhoon missiles, and two Stormstrike launchers (72" heavy 1 S8 AP-3 3 damage) that's 14+2d6 shots a turn. Can swap the assault cannon for a twin lascannon or twin heavy plasma Cannon (Marine mulchers). Can swap the typhoon missile launcher for a twin multi-melta or heavy bolter. It can also strap on a couple of hurricane bolters (seriously for 20 points total with 24 bolter shots on the rapid range you should ALWAYS take this). It has the same Power of the Machine Spirit as a Land Raider. Can carry 12 Infantry (and can carry Jump, Terminator, and Centurions, but they take extra space) and 1 Dreadnought whose max Wounds value is less than 13. With a 45" max normal move (up to 65" if you advance), you can get right in the face of something, then have an almost guaranteed charge the next turn. There are no restrictions on disembarking from it, so you don't even have to drop to hover if you don't want to. It starts on the board, and can't fly off of it.
    • While all vehicles are more expensive this edition, the big bird can eat up a massive amount of points. All those guns aren't free and the base cost is fairly high, as well. This, combined with the loss of the bulk of flying rules, makes the 'Raven a bit more like a superheavy tank, albeit a fast one.
    • Be aware that some armies have dangerous Anti-Air-Guns or even CC (flying demons, monsters...). Your Stormraven carries a huge "Shoot me!" sign right above its cockpit, so most players I met will try to get it down turn 1 at all cost. This will most likely also kill some of the passengers. IMHO it is a beast on paper but tends to be a duckling in real games. Agreed, as it is far too expensive for a T7 model, especially since it will often see an entire armies worth of Dakka in a single turn. Hovering with this thing is suicide.
  • Fire Raptor Gunship (FW): Your replacement for the Storm Raven after Chapter Approved, and absolutely vital for dealing with hordes; srsly this shits dice. With T7, 18 wounds and 3+ SV it's almost as tough as a Land Raider, but unlike its counterpart, the storm eagle, can't transport anything. The avenger bolt cannon now packs 10 shots at S6 AP-2 D2, enough to drop a whole Primaris squad if you're lucky. In addition, it has a pair of quad heavy bolter ball turrets, which each pack 12 heavy bolter shots, or you can swap out the quad heavy bolters for dual autocannons if you want less anti-horde and more anti-TEQ (they have moar S&D but a put out a third of the dakka). Hellstrike missiles are no longer one use only and you can in fact fire 4 missiles at S8 AP-3 3D a turn now, or it can take the cheaper 2 double lascannons instead for +1S but less reliable damage (d6 instead of a flat 3). It can also move and shoot heavy weapons without penalty. Arguably the best flyer, point for point, the marines have access to, and undoubtedly the best anti-horde unit. Amusingly, thanks to the Air Wing Detachment, you can make your entire army out of only fire raptors.
    • At 340 to 380 points.
  • Storm Eagle Gunship (FW): The big brother of the Storm Raven that vanilla marines know and love, this elongated flying brick of a hover jet boasts a transport capacity of 20 and some increased firepower along with two additional wounds. It can transport jump infantry and terminators, but not bikes or primaris marines.
    • In comparison, the Stormraven is roughly 10-20 points cheaper and carries dreadnoughts as well as more diverse weapons options. The Stormeagle is tougher (2 additional wounds) and carries more straight out infantry (also has a much better model).
  • Caestus Assault Ram (Legends): A flyer designed to ram starships/buildings and disgorge Space Marines into the breach, the Caestus Assault Ram is armed with a number of powerful weapons and abilities. The Caestus is quite survivable with T7, 14 wounds, a 2+ save, and -1 to hit. With the removal of vehicle facing in 8th, the Caestus lost its 5++ against shooting from the front, and is no longer outright immune to small arms fire, but it's much more durable against heavy weapons. It's armed with a Caestus Ram - a melee weapon that hits at S User(8) AP-3, D6D, and increases to WS2+ against buildings when it charges. Its Airborne Ram ability restricts it to declaring charges against and being charged and attacked in melee by units with FLY, but only while it's in not in hover mode. It is also armed with 2 Firefury Missile Batteries, each Heavy 4 S6 AP-1 1D. It is further armed with a Twin Magna-Melta - Heavy 2D3 S10 AP-4 D6D (with the Melta rule), meaning this thing can lay the hurt on medium enemy infantry and enemy armour alike. With its 50" movement (70" if you advance) and PotMS, it can reach out and touch people on turn one. For 370 points (post- Chapter Approved, for the hull and the Melta; missile batteries are free) it's pricey, but given Hard to Hit, its toughness, its wounds, and a 2+ save, it WILL deliver its cargo. It's unique troop bays can carry 10 infantry models in terminator armour or power armour, as well as scouts, with terminators taking up a single space instead of the usual 2. The Caestus helps overcome the low movement of Cataphractii Terminators in particular, potentially delivering them closer than the 9" away they're required to teleport in, and enabling them to redeploy.
    • If you need to choose between this and a Land Raider the Caestus is always the better choice. It's pretty much a flying Land Raider in its own right, only with better durability, firepower, speed, and transport capacity while being impossible to tarpit and actually capable of pulling off effective charges. All this for only 15 points. And woe unto your opponent if they decide to get cute and bring Fortifications.
      • Its a hard call now, as you can get Land Raider Crusaders for 100 points less than the Ram.
  • Xiphon pattern interceptor (FW): A high-speed interceptor, the Xiphon is a heavily armed flyer that channels a strong Battlestar Galactica vibe and - unlike every other Space Marine aircraft - actually looks like it belongs in the air. It sports a respectable BS3+, T7, 12 wounds and a 3+ save. It's armed with 2 Twin Lascannons as well as a Xiphon Missile Battery - Heavy 3 S7 AP-2 D3. It also adds 1 to all hit rolls when targeting units with the "Aircraft" keyword thus negating the effects of "Hard to Hit". With a huge 42" move and 4 lascannon and 3 missile shots, it'll put some major hurt on flyers and ground targets alike.
    • 235 points (as of Index 2020) is steep for a flyer, but your getting the functional equivalent of a flying predator annihilator, with all of the benefits this entails, and it puts colleagues like the IG Vendetta to shame. Has no option(s) for anti horde, but it's a specialized anti-air / anti-armour killer.

Fast Attack[edit]

  • Veteran Bike Squad: Their twin boltguns have lost access to Special Issue Ammunition and they lost the teleport homer, because GW's balancing department is run by idiots. Where they shine, however, is close quarters. Each can take chainswords or power weapons.
    • Something worth noting is that they gained an attack bike for their troubles... yeah no don't take this unless you like theming; these guys are not worth their points to just add a melta-gun
  • Inceptor Squad: CORE. What you get when an Assault Gravis marine wields a Devastator marine in each hand (Flying Aggressor Squads). With W3 T5 and lots of dakka, these guys are Space Marine Crisis suits. Armed with snub versions of the heavy bolter and plasma cannon (same stats, 18" Assault instead of 36" Heavy) they're powerful anti-infantry, and arguably better than deepstriking an equivalent Devastator squad.
    • These guys do benefit from a jump pack captain to get safer plasma cannon on each hand. Three plasma Aggressors shoot even more plasma than Hellblasters. Remember, though, that because each is dual wielding, you have to resolve their shots one weapon at a time: if the first weapon kills the wielder, the second weapon doesn't fire.
  • Suppressor Squad: CORE. Lighter Inceptors (not gravis, M12" T4 2W) with improved "Accelerator" Damage-2 autocannons that cancel enemy overwatch on every infantry unit they hit, making them good support for your melee units now that many factions overwatch on a 5+. Particularly useful against a Tau gunline as they can still overwatch with every unit nearby, without using the stratagem. They can also use the smoke Screen stratagem for -1 to be hit, just like a vehicle. Accelerator autocannons are Heavy 3, meaning they lose accuracy on the move, so pop the smoke when jumping from one piece of cover to another.
  • Invader ATV Squad: An up-gunned and wound Attack bike squad. Armed with twin Assult Boltguns and is 80 points for the Onslaught and 85 points for the Multi-Melta version - pound for pound, go with the Onslaught version, which has better dakka than an HBolter Attack Bike. With the upgrade of the Multi-Melta however, this can act as a potentially vicious anti-tank vehicle for its cost. It has two riders, but only one of them has a bolt pistol if you didn't already need an incentive to Fall Back with this.
  • Outrider Squad: CORE. The chadmarines now have bikes. These bikes are incredibly tough at 4 wounds each, and while you can make use of the mounted twin bolt rifles to plink away, you'll also notice that you're not trapped between pistol or chainsword like your predecessors. In fact, these bikes are made to capitalize on melee by adding two extra attacks per model when the unit charges. At 45 points a model they certainly act as a durable light infantry muncher. Each rider delivers 10 S4 AP-1 attacks if you charged whatever you shot, for 31 a turn including sarge's extra. However, without charging and/or shooting, they become somewhat of a turd and will require to fall back re-charge tricks. White Scars will do crazy shit with these guys!
  • Land Speeders: Land speeders are now, for all intents and purposes are tougher and have better maneuverability then attack bikes but with fewer guns and are more expensive. They all have an underslung Heavy bolter(anti-infantry) or Multi-Melta(anti-vehicles) a base weaponry.

The bare bone boats. A squad are good early game objective grabbers with their speed, durability, cheapness, and fly keyword. They also have synergy with <Chapter> Whirlwinds, having the ability to give their blast weapon +1 to hit one designated unit.

Gives the Speeder an Assault Cannon or Heavy Flammer. Very anti-infantry.

Most expensive variant with a big missile launcher for flexible anti-GEU and anti-VEU weapons platform.

Combo of Typhoon and tempest with 1W better them. Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and Tempest Salvo Launchers a Typhoon Missile Launcher with -1 more AP.

The original Storm Speeder. the Default option is a Typhoon with +2W that fires additional missiles that can be replaced with two lascannon and may take up to two Hunter-kill missiles. Makes is a possible tank hunter with infantry killing weapons while not having to worry about a damage table but must pay a CP to field.

  • Storm Speeder: up gunning a Land Speeder into a flying Heavily armed light tank. it will be shot down quickly but its role is to hid then pounce on its target in a spray of hot metal to make back its points.

Heavily armed with anti-infantry weaponry, likely to eliminate a platoon of guardsmen or Tyranids that think they're safe behind obscuring terrain.

The anti-aircraft variant but also dose well against terrestrial infantry and vehicles. 3 anti-vehicle shot and a fires 2D3 Blast missiles that ignore the -1 to hit on aircraft. Can multi-task at attacking mobs and tanks or focus down flyers.

The short-range tank hunter, armed with a heavy 3 multi-melta with additional multi-wound weapons.

  • Deathstorm Drop Pod: A Drop Pod full of automated guns; it can choose either an 18" 2-shot gun with S8 AP-2 D3 D or a 12" 6-shot S6 AP-1 1 D gun. In either case, it must make 1 full shooting attack against all enemies in range (except for CHARACTERS, who still can only be shot at if they're the closest unit in range).
    • This is really good against a wide range of armies, especially MSU (the more times this thing gets to shoot the better) and gun-lines where an entire army is packed closely together. Granted, you're hitting like a guardsman. Note that this thing can also fire at everything in range when firing overwatch as well. Combine this with iron hands and you have an interesting little distraction for the enemy that's the same price as an aggressor squad. Something to think about.

Heavy Support[edit]


  • Hellblaster Squad: CORE. Some pretty wicked dakka right here. Their Plasma Incinerators are 30" S7 AP-4 D1 normally, with the same boost as other plasma weapons if supercharged (+1 to S and D). Run with any character giving re-rolls to hit (e.g. any of the Captain variations) to make these things a monster/tank killer if they get into rapid-fire range. To do that, you’ll probably want to get them an Impulsor, which can get them into position on turn 1 thanks to the Assault Vehicle ability. The only other option is one of the Repulsor Tank variants, and you’re already putting too many points into these, since they're as expensive as... well, as elite marines carrying souped-up plasma weapons.
    • If you happen to be running a Primaris-only force, these guys will be one of your best anti-vehicle choices, but still not a fantastic one. Will be majorly improved by pouring a lot more points into them with Captains, Ancients, and Lieutenants, but that's a lot of extra points.
    • They have gotten quite silly with the advent of the new codex, as they now have AP-5 during the Tactical Doctrine... Which is rather pointless compared to AP-4 as anything with a 2+ is likely to have an invulnerable save.

The Rapid Fire (standard) version is definitely the best in general, the balanced choice that spits two-shot when within 15", but you'll want to get up close and personal with it - see the Assault version below for shooting things farther away.

The Assault version costs you one less strength, but it is 24" range Assault 3, so you can fire it after advancing, so you could also consider it to have a superior rate of fire in the 16-27.5"; therefore, it's actually better on a squad intended for longer range engagements, rather than one intended for, well, assaulting. Because S7 is so underwhelming compared to S6 or S8 against most real-world targets, it's seldom justified to overcharge this one, although it can be worth it if you're desperate for the increased damage. Take this version to shoot things farther away better, but up close worse, than the Rapid Fire version.

The Heavy Has Greater Strength and Damage but a worse rate of fire (although you can move and shoot with it out to 36-42" range if you want). has enough Strength and Damage to kill MEQs on a 2+ without overcharging. It can also act as an anti-vehicle weapon in a pinch when overcharged; say your opponent has a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer, two of the best options currently available. With the extra range you can stay completely out of its threat range of 34" and hit it with an overcharged version of this gun. This would wound on a 3+ and do 3 damage each with only a 6+ save. Granted it will take about 18 shots to kill one on average, but a 10 man unit with the two rounds of shooting it will get because of the range increase will badly cripple it at minimum. For long-range anti-vehicle and heavy infantry fire support, this is definitely the option to go for.

  • Eradicator Squad: CORE. You now have a Gravis-armored squad with meltaguns, though with double the range. Expect to see a lot of salt here, especially once you notice the Total Obliteration rule: if every model in the unit fires at the same target, it fires twice (as long as it did not Advance). That means six melta shots at 24" that hits on 3's. The models themselves are T5 W3 meaning they aren't too easily removed. Multi-Meltas are Heavy and 10 extra points, and if infantry move they have -1 to hit. These models are 40 points for a T5/W3 model that can move and fire normally or advance and have that -1 (although at greatly reduced damage output). At this price point, Eradicators are heads above tank hunters for any other army (note the cries of the humble Fire Dragon). You can swap out for a Heavy version of their base gun which is +2 damage over the original but becomes a Heavy weapon, and one in three can exchange for a Multi-Melta - although considering their short-range you may be best served sticking with the base kit to keep mobile at full accuracy. Horrifying visions of burning fields of vehicles aside...actually not aside, that's the point. Very dangerous.
  • Devastator Centurion Squad: Ridiculously ultra-heavy marines with, each, the firepower of a tank; people either hate or love them. They are slower and easier to kill individually than a tank, but have all the advantages of being Infantry: smaller size, gaining cover in certain terrain (like forests), can go to the second floor of buildings, etc. This unit can be the cornerstone of an army, but they don't have Core Keyword which somewhat reduces their appeal. Three Lascannon/ML centurions are all the AT firepower you will ever need in a TAC list. At T5, 2+ armour, and 4 wounds, they can be a nightmare to kill without antitank weapons. They ignore the movement penalty for firing heavy weapons but only have 5" movement, which is not a big problem thanks to their long/medium range. With their Sergeant's Omniscope they ignore cover bonuses, and you can Combat Squad a unit of 6 of them into two 3-man units; great if you only want to spend one Heavy Support slot on them, but remember one of the units won't have the Sergeant and his Omniscope.
    • Try to keep them out of close combat, though. Although they're strong and tough and have a fair number of attacks, (especially with Shock Assault), they don’t have any melee weapon. Contrary to appearances, those big hands are not power fists. Any specialized melee unit will tarpit you. You can always retreat, but you lose a turn of shooting then unless you're Ultramarines. Mind your positioning!

Sitting on 6/12 bolt and 6 heavy bolt shots at 300 points, they are very good at their job, and decent against units of heavily armoured but sparse infantry; bad against anything with decent toughness/armour.

  • Work very well with Imperial Fists or Crimson fists. In addition to being somewhat fluffy, the exploding 6s on hit for bolt weapons go a long way when each model is putting out 6/12 bolt and 6 heavy bolt shots without penalty, even after moving.
  • Note that Aggressors are an Elite choice. The competition being tough in that slot, Bolt Centurions could be a really good substitute.
    • As we can see, it's an impressive unit with compelling abilities... but dear lord, it's expensive. There are other options that are easier to plug into most lists; these guys require you to have a solid plan you expect to execute consistently. As said before, they almost require the whole list to be built around them. Think carefully before choosing these big guys.

Excellent against Vehicles/Monsters/Superheavies (and Characters too if they get close enough), wasted against any other thing. The most useful overall, because of their massive range that lets them be in the back lines, protected by cover and supported by some Character/HQ while sniping important things.

  • Also sitting at 300 points, this doesn't compare that favorably to two quad las predators, or twin lascannon Contemptor Mortis Dreads, or two 5-man lascannons devastator squad. Although you may have some advantages (taking less Heavy slots for example).

The narrowest focused but cheapest of the load-outs at 255 points for three. Grav Cannons are Heavy 4 S5 AP -3 1 Damage weapons, but they get 2 Damage instead against units with 3+ armour. Because of the low Strength, this is only useful against highly armoured multi-wound infantry (TEQs, Marines, Ogryns, etc) and some random units, like Vehicles with T5 and 3+ armour. But it just so happens that those same targets are difficult to kill efficiently with other weapons (light arms aren't enough against them, anti-tank weapons are too much), so this load-out can be good if you have that specific hole in your army or know your opponent has a lot of these units. If you give them Hurricane Bolters instead, you lose some focus but become much better against hordes, but if you wanted that, just take Heavy Bolters/Hurricane Bolters instead.

  • Eliminator Squad: CORE. The Primaris scalpel compared to the Primaris sledgehammer that is the Hellblasters. They Have a BS of 2+ and stealth camo-cloaks that make them +1-for-being-in-cover. Their bolt sniper rifle gets three different ammo options. Alternatively, gear them up anti-tank las fusils, and let them harass enemy armour from cover. The Sarge can take instigator bolt carbine that, in addition to being a D2 AP-1 sniper weapon, can let the unit move again after shoots, resulting in some cover shenanigans.

Rifle has three modes, all ignoring Look Out Sir!: Mortis is a character sniper shot but on steroids (S5 Ap-2 D2 and additional MW on 6 to Wound); Executioners because fuck your stealth units (+1 to hit and ignore cover), and Hyperfrag for anti-infantry and Overwatch (AP0, D1, but are Heavy D3 Blast). At only 90 points for the unit, this is one of the cheapest and most effective Heavy Support choices in the Marine range. Psykers and buffing characters are ubiquitous, so this unit will be useful in almost any game while cheaply filling out a Spearhead Detachment or serving as a useful Relic Tax for units like the Leviathan Dreadnought.

  • Comparing these to Scout Marines equipped with sniper rifles makes it really rough for the Scouts. The Elite Slot is highly competitive and the Scouts don't offer anything new to make up for their new slot choice and lack of extra wound and BS2. If you need snipers, these guys dominate by a mile.

The las fusil(Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3) is a relatively cheap way to get almost-lascannons on the field, but this is not a sniper rifle. Taking this convert them from being a Scout Sniper replacement to being a Devastator replacement.

Vehicles and Artillery

  • Thunderfire Cannon: The Thunderfire Cannon has one of the best stratagems and has found a way back for marine players for reasons beyond its 4D3 Blast shots or it comes with a Techmarine Repairman. Since the 2019 Codex, the Thunderfire can have a unique combination of Stratagems. First, pop the Tremor Shells, which slows an enemy's movement by half, including their Advance or Charge ranges. This can cause traffic jams, failed charges, and slow the deployment of enemy forces. It ignores line of sight and has 5 feet of range, but costs more than a small squad of Heavy Bolter Devastators for a lot less damage. If the Techmarine gunners wander too far from the guns, they're considered destroyed. As a VEHICLE, the Techmarine Gunner will automatically repair D3 wounds on it per turn, but cannot be targeted separately as long as he's close to it, even by snipers. Its lower wound score and toughness do make it vulnerable to big damage weapons like lascannons and meltas though, so be warned. Though if it does die, you now have a techmarine without having used an HQ slot. Also, the techmarine can act independently from the cannon, as long as he stays within 3" to not lose the cannon's shooting. Park a predator (or any other long-range shooty vehicle) next to the techmarine for a free auto-repair each round (doesn't substitute shooting any more), while toasting nearby enemies with a plasma cutter and flamer while still shooting the TFC. In a pinch, the TFC could even soak up Overwatch, while the techmarine's 2A servo arms and 3A base mop up single targets.
    • The Thunderfire's damage output has dropped a lot in the new codex, losing a point of Strength and AP. If you take this, it's for the stratagem, so don't forget about it!
    • Always remember that the Techmarine has loaded with guns himself. If you're paying for them, you may as well be shooting them.
  • Firestrike Servo-turret: An interesting new model which may be encroaching upon the Tarantula Turret... Either way, it's a static gun turret (with, somehow, M3, despite being modeled without a way to move) crewed by a novitiate Techmarine (BS2+ and Sv2+, but can't repair and lacks any appropriate keywords) and sporting twin large caliber cannons, namely of the Accelerator Autocannon((anti-infantry) 48" Heavy6 S7 Ap -1 D2) or Las-Talon variety. Also, this thing looks damn similar to the Turrets used in Starship Troopers, which is pretty rad even if the model is a turd on the battlefield. TL;DR, you're paying less points to put a tank weapon on a cheaper BS2 platform that has nearly no mobility and only T5.
  • Predator Tank: Classic marine tank now with the sponson weapons becoming their own unique turret weapon. Both can be equipped with additional sponson weapons: 2 heavy bolters (anti-MEQ) or 2 lascannons (anti-vehicle).

Has its own unique Predator Autocannon (Heavy 2D3 7 -1 D3). Easily going to eliminate MEQs and light vehicles with quantity of shots despite its low AP.

  • Dakka predators became good again, being able to chuck out 2D3 Autocannon and 6 Heavy Bolter shots per turn. Consider further augmenting its firepower with a storm bolter or a hunter-killer missile too.

Anti-vehicle with a twin Lascannon

  • Two Laserbacks with hunter-killer missiles and storm bolters costs 260 points, while a 4 Lascannon Predator with hunter-killer missile and storm bolter costs 180 points. The Predator allows for fewer drops per 4 lascannons.
  • Vindicator: With the pie plate replaced with 6 hits at the most and MEQs and TEQs now allowed at least some kind of save, the Vindicator took a huge nerf. However, with the changes to the wound formula, S10 became very important, and chucking out what are effectively D6 lascannon shots onto an enemy tank isn't something to look down on. With T8 it's bound to shrug off a lot of fire it might soak, the best use of it is probably taking on groups of elite units or vehicles, such as large squads of Terminators.
    • The Vindicator has one less wound and better ballistic skill than an Imperial Guard Leman Russ with Demolisher Cannon at 27 fewer points (although the IG Demolisher gets Grinding Advance, and benefits from Doctrines like Brutal Strength, not to mention tank orders). The stupidity of the fluff aside, they’re better against high-toughness multi-wound models, which almost every army has at least one unit of (Nobs, Wraithguard, Crisis Suits, Terminators & Primaris Marines, Ogryns), so one Vindicator can find a home in lots of local metas and is actually a cost-effective way of getting the DC on the field. Three and a Techmarine to repair in a Spearhead detachment could be a useful and relatively cost-effective (460 pts stock) distraction carnifex ally. The new codex has brought back their siege shield as an option, giving them +1 to saves against shooting attacks.
  • Whirlwind: The Whirlwind has two gun options, Castellan at 2D6 (average: 7) shots of S6, and Vengeance at 2D3 (average: 4) S7, AP-1, and D2. With the higher strength of this weapon, the hits you do get will make short work of most infantry, but the ideal purpose of wiping out cheap blob units remains out of reach. You have to choose which gun to take when you build the list, with the Vengeance launcher costing 10 points extra while dealing more damage to anything with at least 2 wounds or 2+ saves. which is better is strictly a question of wounds - Castellan is better against 1-wound models, while Vengeance is better against 2+.

the Castellan launcher is more like an assault cannon with +1 shot but 1 worse AP and lots more range, with non-LOS targeting.

The Vengeance launcher is functionally a twin autocannon with both +24" (*1.5) range and the ability to fire outside of LOS;

while it has only half the range of either of the Whirlwind's rocket types and cost a CP, 3d3 S6 AP-2 D2 shots is still plenty to threaten hordes and light vehicles alike.

  • If you stand this bad boy still, it has 6D3 S6 AP-2 D2 Shots that ignore LOS. 48 is plenty enough range to hit the majority of targets it wants to hit, and doing so outside of LOS is huge. Properly supported, it can annihilate medium and heavy infantry, while the number of shots, good AP, and reliable damage give it utility against light and medium vehicles. With Combat Doctrines, it will have AP-3 round one. Very nice vehicle.

While it's still best used against aircraft because of its +1 to hit against flyers (and -1 against everything else), Heavy 2d3 S8 AP-2 D1d3 isn't something to take lightly. It's basically a two-shot krak missile against airplanes

  • Hunter: No longer explicitly AA, this weapon delivers a high strength hit equal to a lascannon, but without an Aircraft as its target, it loses a lot of effectiveness - vs aircraft, it gains a +2 to hit and an extra 6(!) damage.
    • Not an efficient damage dealer unless facing its favored enemy. Although 20 points cheaper than a base a Predator Annihilator, you only have half the damage output against non-aircraft. Still, you make the leap from T7 to T8 and get a lot of range. Will make aircraft pilots wet themselves if it appears on the field.
  • Stalker: Has two AA guns. Now a very flexible gun, the Icarus stormcannons get +1 to hit against AIRCRAFT, as well as doubling their number of shots. For a Stalker to be worth taking, it likely needs to be buffed by an HQ to make it more accurate, otherwise, other weapon systems on other vehicles are more productive. Fliers are popular, though maybe not as popular as in 8th, and this is a very good anti-air vehicle. It is fairly productive in other roles as well, but probably only worth taking if your opponent's list has multiple AIRCRAFT - otherwise, simply slapping some Icarus rocket pods onto your Primaris vehicles should be enough to cover your AA needs. The tank is tougher than its own weapon, a rare T8 Rhino chassis.
    • Of course, much of the previous is very rosy sounding. If everything goes right- twelve hits, twelve wounds, twelve failed saves- you do 24 damage. However, that's only if you're extremely lucky, and only if firing at AIRCRAFT, but many Flyers are T7, meaning you only wound half the time. And the AP means you will only get through their armour save roughly half the time. You will do four to six damage the majority of the time - again, it will only perform that well against AIRCRAFT. Still, as cheap as chips for a vehicle this tough.
  • Land Raider: The mass transport and massive tank of the Firstborn. With the vehicle changes, in addition to ignoring the heavy weapon penalty, it now also a horrible idea to try to tarpit them as they can still shoot.

An effective all-rounder with anti-vehicle capability, capable of using its lascannons to pop a vehicle and then following up with the heavy bolters to wipe out an infantry squad. While its transport capacity is still rather small compared to the other Land Raider variants, it still has just enough room to drop a trio of Assault Centurions off or a 5-man squad of Assault Terminators. And with T8, 16 wounds, and a 2+ armour save it'll be a tough nut to crack even with anti-armour weaponry.

As ever, the Hurricane Bolters will shred any infantry within 12" - you have twenty-four bolter shots supplemented by another 12 assault cannon shots. The Assault Launchers also help in regards to transporting and supporting its cargo, as it gives access to the stratagem. But whatever you do, take the multi-melta. Neither the assault cannons nor the hurricane bolters have enough AP to significantly reduce a MEQ's armour save, and anything with T7 or more (e.g. other vehicles) won't even get their paint scratched. It carries 16 models, so it's still your best choice for transporting Terminators, crusader squads, and other larger units. Stick near a Captain and/or a Lieutenant and laugh maniacally as you shred every infantry squad around you. Enjoying another price drop!

  • Also, all those guns can fire without penalty, even if you're moving at maximum speed (which you should be). Somewhere, a Black Templar wipes a manly tear away as he remembers the words "defensive weapons."
  • Now that Chapter Tactics applied to every Space Marine units, Imperial and Crimson Fists could have a double Hurricane Bolters with an additional hit on a 6. Enjoy your 20 Bolters HITS on rapid fire range!

Similar to the Crusader, but trades off the hurricane bolters' volume of shots for the flamestorm cannon's greater strength, higher AP, and improved damage per shot. While you'll have to get in close to make the most of it, the Frag Assault Launchers let you use this to your advantage as you burn down the heavier infantry. Though the flamestorm cannons can threaten lighter vehicles, you should still add the multi-melta to be on the safe side. Carries 12 models. Can easily cockblock a charging unit with 2d6 automatic Flamestorm shots, and no-one is going to risk charging it to tie it up in melee. Enjoying another price drop and 12" Flamestorm cannons!

    • The flamestorm cannon can, because of flamer autohits, crisp some flyers if you are close enough. Consider if it is worth putting your Land Raider in the open.

The Proteus has two twin Lascannons like the vanilla LR, but it can choose to take a multi-melta or twin heavy flamer instead of a twin heavy bolter option. (There's also an option for a single heavy bolter, but why would you even use that?) But its main draw is the Explorator Augury Web; taking it reduces the Proteus' transport Capacity to 6, but it prevents anyone from deep striking within 12" of the Proteus. Conveniently enough, that happens to be melta range for the multi-melta so suicide melta squads won't be able to get near it. For a more aggressively inclined Proteus, you can take the Heavy Armour instead to give it a 5+ invulnerable save.

Also has twin lascannons, but it brings along a Helios Launcher- a Heavy weapon that fires 2d6 autocannon-equivalent shots (albeit only 1 damage) that can fire without LoS. A decent combo of the Whirlwind's different missile types, and it can transport 6 models too.

A fun toy for your Warlord - if he's embarked within it, one of the Stratagems played on your turn costs 1 less CP to use. It doesn't reduce the cost below 1, but it helps. As an added bonus, its attacks all ignore cover saves, which make its 24 heavy bolter shots absolutely terrifying to light infantry. Carries 10 models. This thing can drop almost 10 primaris a turn now with new D2 Heavy Bolters

The rage-inducing and expensive Achilles is back in a big way in 9th ed. T8 with 19 wounds, a 2+ save, and a 5++ Invuln save for good measure makes this raider insanely tough. The Achilles is armed with a hull-mounted Quad Launcher and 2 sponson-mounted twin Volkite Calvlers(Heavy 4 S6 D2, MW on 6 to wound) or replaced with 2 TWIN Multi-Meltas (Heavy 4). The Quad Launcher can fire Shatter shells at Heavy 4 S8 AP-2 3 Damage, or Thunderfire shells at Heavy 4D3 S5 AP0 1 Damage (Blast and can target units not visible to the Achilles). It can also grab a hunter-killer missile and a Storm Bolter for a little extra dakka. This weirdness is compounded by a transport capacity of 6, including terminators and jump pack models. Seriously, go look up a picture of this thing. At 335 points there is no reason not to take three of these!!!!

  • Repulsor Tank: The Primaris flying Land Raider, drop kicked into the Heavy Support slot with the new codex and trading a little armour for absurd more firepower. Holds 10 Primaris Marines (models with Gravis armour count as 2) and carries a fair number of anti-tank or anti-horde weapons to protect its passengers. While it can be built to be a veritable battle tank in its own right, it is a heavy point sink and requires support to get the most out of its statline. As most of its anti-tank damage comes from having the potential to equip the equivalent of four lascannons, it might be best to aim for a mixed build to capitalize on its potential to melt hordes and severely damage vehicles. However, its costs can rack up quickly, so unless you plan to field a lot of Primaris Marines you're probably better off taking a Land Raider variant. It also access to the Repulsor Field stratagem for some shenanigans. Take it with a squad of 8 Assault Intercessors, a Primaris Chaplain, and Apothecary for a rather mean, if expensive assault/harassing unit. Just hope it survives the onslaught of AT weapons long enough to get them in position.
    • If you're just looking for lots of lascannons or horde-clearing weaponry, there are probably cheaper - if somewhat slower - means of getting them on the table, like a Devastator Squad or Redemptor Dreadnought. Anti-armour setups, in particular, have the issue that the las-talon has only half the range of the twin lascannons, which means it'll only be able to unleash half its anti-armour firepower at its farthest range. At that matter, most of its other weapons struggle with an equally short range compared to most vehicle-mounted weapons, so it will likely need support when dealing with long-ranged attackers.
    • Defensively, it's nearly identical to a Land Raider; although its armour is only a 3+, it has the same number of wounds as a LR and does a good job at discouraging charges with its Repulsor Field strat (-2 from any charge rolls). The optional Auto Launchers supplement this with an extra -1 to hit on opponent shooting rolls if the Repulsor doesn't shoot.
    • Three Aggressors with Auto-Boltstorm Gauntlets, a Captain in Gravis armour, and a Primaris Lieutenant and Apothecary all fit snugly in this beast, hit like a brick, can heal models around it, and protect otherwise slower models. Outfit the Repulsor with Heavy/Onslaught Gatling Cannons and say goodbye to any infantry in 18". If you take a regular Primaris Captain instead of one in Gravis armour, you can also toss a Primaris Ancient into the floating death-bawks so that the Aggressors have a chance to fire when they die as well.
    • When kitting the Repulsor out, decide if you want it fighting tanks or hordes. In terms of pure output, for anti-tank take the las-talon and twin lascannon, for anti-horde take the heavy onslaught gatling cannon and twin heavy bolter, and for balanced take the heavy onslaught gatling cannon and twin lascannon.
  • Repulsor Executioner: Jury's out on this one. 6 Capacity with some big guns. 355/365 base depending on the gun, +10 points with the two options. The steep price, but its special rule adds +1 to hit with its main gun. One is a Heavy 2 72" monster at S12 AP-4 D3+3 on a cannon and the other is what you'd expect from plasma, but with D6 blast shots and starts at S8 AP -4 D2 (pumping up to S9 D3). This baby also gets a heavy onslaught gatling cannon stock as well as a few other guns you sometimes forget to fire (seriously, there are a lot), including a twin heavy bolter. It can also be upgraded with an ironhail heavy stubber and icarus launcher if you feel inclined to do so. It has 18 S5/6 AP-1 D1/2 shots and a metric ton of various S4 shots, some S7 as well, allowing it to reliable mulch opposing infantry. The Heavy Laser Destroyer can tear through enemy armour reliably and the Macro Plasma can remove medium and heavy infantry.
    • Whenever you make such an investment on big units, you must consider everything you are paying for. While the Heavy Laser Destroyer is a very potent weapon that will serve you well, this particular weapon loadout will require a play style that ignores most of the other benefits of the unit by hanging back and remaining fairly static. Taking the Plasma loadout, however, saves points and requires closer positioning of the tank. That may seem foolhardy, but this vehicle is loaded with close/mid-range weaponry that complements the plasma very well, while still being able to deliver a 6 man Primaris infantry unit on top of repulsor fields. Thus, this writer regards the Executioner as a very gun laden Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV), not a true battle tank. You can take a battle tank's weapons loadout, and certainly, that may be necessary at times, but this tanks true calling is in direct support of infantry. The executioner is really just a beefed-up standard repulsor and really should be used in a similar fashion.
  • Gladiator Tank: The Primaris Predator. Up-guns the Predator with +1T and +1W, making it slightly more durable, but its price comes at the cost of having more guns. Two loadouts are in the mid - short-range arena, which should reward aggressive playstyles under the new vehicle rules, however, durability may still be a concern.

Valiant: Close range tank hunting. Short-ranged armour hunter that uses twin las-talons and two multi-meltas. It is expensive, but it has 8 shots at D6 damage or more, though at 24" or less. It will be a pain to get these into the proper range with damage, but if you do it will probably kill a Leman Russ in one round of shooting, T7 vehicles even easier. However, 250 points is only 35 less than standard Land Raider, which is far tougher.

Reaper: Mid-range anti-infantry. Two Tempest Bolters (Quad-Bolt Rifles) and a twin heavy onslaught gatling cannon to grind the wounds out of infantry. This beast has 16 S4 AP-1 shots and 24 S6 AP-1 shots a turn, 40 in total without any weird rules. Thats roughly enough to kill an MSU primaris squad and easily mulch 15+ lesser infantry model each turn, though you will need 15" range for maximum effectiveness. 230 points, though Like the Valiant, a Land Raider Crusader does the same job except far tougher.

Lancer: The cheapest, with long-range precision heavy fire. Gets +1 to hit on its Lancer Laser Destroyer, makes its points back over the game by constantly shooting at tanks while remaining safely in the back compared to the more aggressive variants. The sensible 200 point option.

  • Leviathan Dreadnoughts (FW): I AM THE DESTROYER OF ALL THAT EXISTS, THE ANATHEMA OF LIFE, HATRED, AND WRATH GIVEN PHYSICAL FORM, I AM THE FUCKING LEVIATHAN DREADNOUGHT. POINT ME AT ANYTHING, AND IT WILL DIE, FROM THE LOWEST OF GUARDSMEN TO THE BIGGEST OF TITANS. Ahem, enough of that nonsense! But Mr. Leviathan does have a few good points. The Leviathan Dreadnought is easily one of the deadliest single models in the entire game, barring actual Titans, packing a series of quite frighteningly powerful weapons that can make short work of virtually anything. It packs a 2+/5++ saves line and a whopping 14 wounds. It has two Heavy Flamers can be swapped for 2 twin Volkite, and can swap hand weapon for Leviathan Siege Claws (Sx2 AP-3 D3 and make an additional attack) or Siege Drills (Sx2 AP-4 D2d3, bump to flat 6 against vehicles) both with in-built meltaguns stock. you can also swap the hands for:
    • Cyclonic Melta Lance:(+20pts each) (18" Heavy D6 S9 Ap-4 Dd6 blast and melta rules)Capable of destroying a Land Raider in a single volley, while being able to shave off 15 wounds from a Knight (leaving it sufficiently weakened that it will no doubt then die to be slammed with 15 additional wounds in melee).
      • A Salamanders Leviathan paired with Vulkan is sufficiently better that, ignoring Vulkan's cost, the Lance will be better against a Land Raider outside of melta range but don't forget that the Bombard Salamanders Leviathan still gets Salamander Chapter Tactics, so if you only examine Vulkan+Leviathan in isolation, the Bombard will easily win. Against infantry spam, he usually will not improve the Lance enough to do much, but remember, the Lance is already better against very small units.
    • Storm Cannon Array: (+10pts each) (36" Heavy 8 S7 Ap-1 D2) Has a whopping 8 shots, which do 2 damage each. While not quite as horrifyingly deadly against vehicles as the Cyclone Melta, it exchanges sheer output for more reliability. This can be useful since 2-wound weapons occupy a fair niche in the current meta, for their ability to 1-shot the numerous amount of multi-wound models, without suffering from overkill. This makes it the perfect weapon for dealing with models like Terminators.
    • This is basically a seriously up-gunned heavy plasma cannon, with quintuple the usual shot volume and two worse AP in exchange for one better D, and an inability to Overcharge. Costs 5/6 the amount two of the cannons would cost you, though. It is far and away from the most efficient gun you can take against most targets of 4 models or less - it will actually out damage both the Bombard and the Lance against anything T6 or less and T7 Sv 4+ or worse, and that's assuming the target has enough wounds left that no damage gets wasted.
      • It's much simpler to look at this weapon as 4 autocannons with half the range.
      • For serious, take this gun seriously. It is far and away from the most generally useful of the lot; a pair of them will murder most anything foolish enough to get in your way.
      • A leviathan with two of these will be horrifyingly efficient at shooting down enemy flyers, stick 1 or 2 +1 to hit modifiers on this guy and you can quite reliably shoot down 2 Alaitoc flyers a turn.
    • Grav-Flux Bombard: (+0pts each) (24" Heavy 2D3 S8 Ap-3 D2 Blast and Grav rules) Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 2d3 blast shots, This essentially means that the grav bombard is your designated weapon loadout if you expect to go up against Infantry Blobs, as it can fry an entire 50 man squad each and every turn. It also does more damage (3, rather than 2) against marines, to be a TEU killer.
  • Rapier Armoured Carrier (FW): A dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire(12 shots), which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers(36" Heavy 3 S10 Ap-4 D3+3), act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (Shatter shells(anti-light vehicles) or Thunderfier cannon), or a big grav cannon(anti TEU). Fills out the heavy support requirements of a Spearhead detachment really nice, but keep the gunners safe or it gets auto-removed just like the Thunderfire Cannon.
  • Mortis Dreadnought (Legends): Your go-to dakka dread. It costs 5 points more than a standard dreadnought, with the exact same profile, but it brings the option to double up on weapons the regular dread can't. You can take a pair of twin bolters, autocannons, or lascannons, or a pair of regular missile launchers, assault cannons, multi-meltas, or heavy plasma cannons. All good choices for laying down firepower, with the best guns depending on what you plan to shoot and how many points you can spare.
    • As of CA2019, their base cost matches that of the regular old Dreadnought chassis at 60pts. Their autocannons are also 3 points cheaper, so enjoy your 8 S7/AP-1/D2 shots at 120 points.
  • Siege Dreadnought (Legends): This Dread specializes in short-range firepower, coming stock with an Inferno Cannon that acts like a souped-up heavy flamer (but costs more than a twin heavy flamer, for reasons) and a seismic hammer with built-in meltagun that suffers from a -1 to hit but will wreck anything that gets hit. With the ability to re-roll all to wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase when targeting a BUILDING or a unit with a movement stat of 0", its niche as a building killer should be obvious.
  • Vindicator Laser Destroyer (FW): This thing brings to the battlefield the unique Laser Volley Cannon, which is a 3 shots Lascannon with a few twists: they only have a range of 36" instead of 48, they do fix D3+d3 damage and can be overcharged to go to S10 AP-4 with a fixed 6 damage. The trade-off is that if they shoot that way, they take 1 mortal wound on each roll of 1 if it moved that turn. Also, note that it gets +1T and +1 wound compared to a predator but moves 2" less. All in one, this tank is kind of odd. It costs roughly the same as a classic predator with a full lascannon setup and can pump 4 shoots if it stands still, for an average amount of wounds slightly lower. Its overcharged mode might give you an edge on T5/T9-10 opponents or target with extremely high armour saves, so what you lose in range you get it back in versatility, at price: 2 shots against 4 and the risk of wounding yourself. Between increased durability, shorter range and movement, and varying fire modes, it is hard to draw a clear line between the Predator Annihilator and the Vindicator Laser destroyer in terms of battlefield role, but the latter being clearly less efficient while on the move, you might want to invest your money in other Forge World models.


Not often seen, Marines in 8th have tended towards static gun lines like Primarch + Devastators. Fortifications are not a serious part of any meta right now, so using them can be an advantage while the Imperial Fists and Iron Warriors are not common.

  • Castellum Stronghold:(legends) In case you want to play an army comprised of buildings instead of tanks and soldiers. 3 bunkers and a bigger bunker, with T9 and a total of 56 wounds (3x12 and 20). This realm of battle tile (yes, its 2' by 2') is fairly indestructible and can pack up to 5 heavy weapons, from anti-tank guns to AA or troop mulchers. The tacticus bunker has the transport space for 30 guys, and the bunkers for 12 each. Up to 15 and 10 models can shoot out of each of the bunkers. If your army doesn't fit inside completely, they can man the battlements for a cover save. And until the big bunker is destroyed all infantry, bike and dreadnoughts get a 4++ against shooting attacks while inside the stronghold. Oh, and one stratagem per turn costs 1 less CP if your warlord is embarked. Each of the small bunkers can take one of: Twin Heavy Bolter, Twin Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon, Multi-melta, Twin Assault Cannon, or Air Defence Missiles. The big bunker can take up to two of: Twin Heavy Bolter, Twin Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon, Multi-melta, Twin Assault Cannon, Castellum Air Defence Missiles (d3 shot krak missiles with the AA rule and the ability to fire at units it can't see), Whirlwind Castellan Launcher (2d6 frag missiles at S6 with no need for LoS), castellum battle cannon (nicked from the Leman Russ), Icarus Quad Lascannon (4 lascannon shots with the AA rule), or the pointless Communication Relay (FW meant that the -1CP to strats bonus only occurred when you took this, but they named the special rule "Command Relay" instead of "Communication Relay" so it comes as standard instead). All these guns must target the nearest enemy unit unless there's a friendly unit embarked within. At 550 points without guns this is something of an apocalypse thing.
  • Hammerfall Bunker: Although its appearance suggests it is a turret, not a bunker. Armed with a Missle launcher that fire Superkrak(Ap-2 twin-Lascannon) and SuperFrag(S6) missiles. its Eather equipped with a Heavy bolter or Heavy Flamer which can shoot everything in range and double its shot on overwatch. Heavy bolter array is better as 36" has the range to hit things while the Flamer array better protects it from overwatch but else sees less action unless parked near an objective marker the opponent needs to claim to win.
    • Its primary gun has two modes: a twin lascannon with better range and S but worse AP (so worse than a twin lascannon, in general), or a 2d6 S6 Blast weapon, meaning it always rolls 12 shots against units of size 11.
  • Tarantula Sentry Guns (FW): Whoooo boy, these suckers got a huge buff in 8th edition. They ended up gaining a whopping 4+BS, along with Toughness 5 and 4 wounds, which makes them fairly sturdy for a 20 point/PL3 model. The only really significant downside is that they can't move and can't deep strike, so they'll sit in your deployment zone the entire game. Equipped with twin heavy bolters or Twin Lascannons.
    • RAW, whilst they can't move or deepstrike, they can still be put into strategic reserves and be deployed 6" from other board edges than your own, and cheaply, too, considering their low PL cost (three tarantulas for a single CP). I guess they are just thrown out the back of a passing Thunderhawk or something? You will definitely be accused of being That Guy, however.

Lords of War[edit]

For the first time Deathwatch now have access to Lord of War units, because who doesn't want a Deathwatch Spartan Assault Tank? Some bugs get really really big... Naturally, so do the Imperial artillery guns.

Forge World[edit]

Forgeworld FAQ[1] updates the relic rule for LoW: You can take 1 Relic Lord of War choice with no pre-requisites. Further Relic Lord of War choices beyond the first require another Lord of War that is NOT a Relic to be taken. Note that deathwatch LoWs are usually less effective than their Space Marine equivalents simply because the Deathwatch have no access to Techmarines and so the LoWs tend to die and lose effectiveness faster.

  • Spartan: The Spartan has always been a bigger nastier Land Raider at heart, and this edition just makes it even meaner. A relic from the Legion days, it boasts an impressive BS3+, S8, T8, W20, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It comes stock with hull-mounted Twin heavy bolters (which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers), 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (that's a total of 8(!) lascannons), and anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. And with a WS5+ and 6 attacks, it has a better chance than most tanks of actually hitting with them. If 8 lascannons don't do the trick, they can be swapped for Laser Destroyers to give it the role of blowing superheavies to pieces; its basic profile of S12 AP-4 DD6 is nasty enough as it is, but any time it inflicts damage, you roll a d6. On a 3-5, its damage rises to 2d6, and on a 6 it becomes a staggering 3d6 damage! If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, the Spartan has an enormous 25 transport capacity, including Terminators, Jump Pack Infantry, and Centurions (but not Primaris). If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Typhon: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, taking the Spartan chassis but drops the transport capacity. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-4 D3 Blast. The Dreadhammer can put a serious hurt on vehicles and monsters with it's 2D6 high strength high AP shots. In addition to the main gun, it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. Takes up the cheaper Lord of War Anti marine and other tanks tank, not minding if charging into the fry also long it can keep firing its Dreadhammer.
  • Cerberus: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted also based on the Spartan chassis. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out 48" Heavy 4 S14 AP-4 D2d6 that become D6 if it remains stationary. Is something that used to shoot at other Lord of War.
  • Fellblade: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin, and the king of the battlefield. If you get first turn with a Fellblade in your army, and your positioning is good, you WILL win. Absolutely bristling with guns, it has a massively impressive statline of BS3+, S8, T8, W26, a 2+ Save. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 3D Blast shots. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 D6 shots that work wonders on tanks. It comes stock with a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter (which can be replaced with a Twin heavy flamer) and 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (which can be swapped for the really not that good Laser destroyers like the Spartan). Like the Baneblade it also has a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon. If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with 6 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches. Its only real weakness is a lack of an invulnerable save, as dedicated anti-titanic guns like the Knight Castellan's volcano lance will completely delete it thanks to AP-5 and rerolling failed wounds against Titantic units. However, with T8 and a 2+ armour save, it's still pretty durable against most reasonable weapons, and most of the time you can outrange the insane anti-armour guns as the FAC has 72" range. Despite its cool look and amazing firepower, it can no longer compare against the regular Baneblade thanks to its default loadout costing 917 points! Consider bringing techmarines or allying in Cawl to keep it alive as long as possible.
  • Falchion: A Fellblade variant which shares the same statline and special rules but mounts the unbelievably deadly Twin volcano cannon in place of the Fellblade cannon and Demolisher cannon. The Twin volcano cannon can annihilate targets 120" away with Heavy 2D3 S14 AP-5 D6 (re-rolling wounds against Titanic units). Just like the Fellblade, it comes stock with two Quad lascannon sponsons which can be replaced with Laser destroyers. Given its ability to take the laser destroyers, and that its Volcano cannon spits out double the shots, it's objectively better at destroying superheavies than a single Shadowsword counterpart in practically every way. Which is good, because at almost triple the points you'd expect it to be. You can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta if you crave even more dakka. Just like the Fellblade, it got a massive points increase which led its point efficiency to drop through the floor. You can bring two Shadowswords at double the wounds to out-scale the T9/2+, the better version of the VC, and regiment rules for two hundred points less.
  • Mastodon: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in.
  • Thunderhawk Assault Gunship: The standard air support and transportation workhouse of the Space Marines. This monstrous flyer will cost you an arm and a leg (in both points and real $) but has some seriously impressive rules. It has a big 20-50" move in Supersonic mode and can hover. Its has BS2+, S10, T9, 30W, a 3+ Save and PoTMS so it can shoot on the move. Its Void-hardened Hull grants it a 5++ save for extra durability. The Thunderhawk Assault Gunship is armed with a Thunderhawk heavy cannon - 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D6D, which can be swapped for the monstrously powerful Turbo-laser destructor - 96" Heavy D3 S16 AP-4 2D6D (6's to wound inflict an additional D3 Mortal Wounds). For secondary weapons it sports 4 Twin heavy bolters and 2 Lascannons at various points on the hull, as well as a choice of Thunderhawk Cluster Bombs or a Hellstrike missile battery. The Cluster bombs can drop once per game on a single unit you flew over, rolling up to 12D6 times (3D6 for every VEHICLE or MONSTER and 1D6 for other models). Each 5+ result deals a Mortal Wound to the unit, though units consisting only of characters cannot be targeted. The Hellstrike battery is 72" Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3. It's Colossal Flyer rule forces -1 from shooting attacks against the Thunderhawk, but also forces opponents to measure from where its hull would be if it were at ground level and then add 12" to that measurement (which is an attempt to account for the custom flying bases you need to hold this heavy-ass brick of resin up). It also means that a lot of guns flat-out cannot shoot at it while it's Supersonic. Finally, the Thunderhawk has an impressive transport capacity of 30, including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, CENTURIONS, and BIKES. It is also one of the only vehicles that can transport PRIMARIS models, with each counting for 2 spaces, although you cannot mix them with non-PRIMARIS units. In terms of loadout, 8th edition favors a high volume of shots. As such, the heavy cannon is likely a better option than the turbo laser, as 2D6 (avg. 7) hitting on a 2+ and wounding a Land Raider on a 4+ is better than D3 shots hitting on 2+ and wounding the same target on a 2+, even with the difference in armour save thanks to AP. Command point rerolls benefit the heavy cannon more, due to the increase in variance between rerolling a D6 vs a D3. Additionally, due to the low chance of the Cluster Bombs actually doing what you want them to do, as well as being one-use only, the Hellstrike Missiles are likely a better option.
    • Mathhammer: The above, struck through statement is not actually correct, and a command point spent on the number of attacks won't change it. Given, the cannon is obviously better against squads (2.43 unsaved wounds on non-shield terminators with D6 damage beats anything two attacks could do without a large number of mortal wounds, and the laser only inflicts .33 MWs per shot), but against a Land Raider? 1.45 unsaved wounding hits at d6 damage vs 1.15 unsaved wounding hits at 2d6 damage, +.55 mortal wounds. ~5 wounds vs ~8.6 and a command point only buys the cannon, on average, +.75 wounds. Worse armour and lower toughness change this, but until you hit some ork level T7, 4+ save madness that turbo laser will out perform the cannon vs vehicles/MCs. The canon is better for utility though, hurting vehicles and munching squads.
    • Chapter Approved more than doubled the points cost of the hull of the Thunderhawk, meaning that taking one with Hellstrike Missiles brings this thing up to 1450 points, after buying its secondary weapons. It can absolutely earn its points back, but more as a result of tanking a tremendous amount of enemy gunfire between T9, 30W, decent armour, Hard to Hit, and adding 12" to enemy ranges. It can destroy an enemy Fellblade in one salvo (saw it happen), and it's a hell of a distraction.
  • Thunderhawk Transporter: A Thunderhawk variant designed for airlifting tanks, this unusual vehicle shares the statline of the Thunderhawk (with the exception of 26W - 4 fewer than the Gunship). In addition to 15 models including TERMINATORS, JUMP PACK models, CENTURIONS, and BIKES, it can hoist vehicles into battle in one of the following configurations:
    • 1 model with the LAND RAIDER or SPARTAN ASSAULT TANK keyword.
      • These vehicles act exactly like other passengers and are subject to the usual restrictions for embarking and disembarking, meaning they can detach while in Supersonic mode at the end of the movement phase. Transported vehicles can carry units at no additional transport cost to the Thunderhawk, so feel free to deep strike 25 dudes in a Spartan PLUS 15 dudes in the Thunderhawk itself. The cost of this unusual ability is the loss of ranged firepower - the Thunderhawk Transporter is armed with 'only' 4 Twin heavy bolters and a Hellstrike missile battery. It's much cheaper than the Thunderhawk Gunship, but its usefulness is somewhat questionable, cool as it may be.
  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points (2,271 after wargear) and tangible money alike, it can ferry entire demi companies onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. The void shields can extend and overlap nearby troops 8" away that jumped out if it has hovered. Has 40 wounds, T9, a 5++ after the void shields.
    • Hilariously enough this is the only vehicle in the entire space marine range that lets both primaris and old marines onboard at the same time. In addition, it along with the Thunderhawk are the only transports in the game that can transport Inceptors and Suppressors.
  • Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank: This beast of a tank now has its rules released... and it's frankly nastier than anyone gave it credit for. 24 wounds, Toughness 8, 2+ Armour, Power of the Machine Spirit and Steel Behemoth are already bad enough, but then you look at its gear. Firstly, the Void Shield. Just like the Titans, it's a degenerating shield that can block off any wound, mortal or not, and does not care about AP value. However, it cannot protect you from overheating Plasma Eradicators or melee attacks, so watch out for Knight Gallants and other heavy-hitting melee units that somehow get by the Enhanced Repulsor Fields. Said Enhanced Repulsor Fields not only reduce enemy charge rolls by 3", but are also its form of close combat attack. Considering the fields give -2 AP and deals D3 damage per wound, this is surprisingly vicious, especially considering the 8 Strength 9 attacks the tank gets (albeit only at WS 5+, although it still benefits from auras like Litanies of Hate and Rites of Battle). Obviously, however, you're here for the guns and... oh boy. Its twin macro-accelerator cannon is a vicious Heavy 12, S8, AP-2, Damage 3 that ignores all abilities that impose negative hit modifiers when targeting anything with the FLY keyword. Its other default weapons don't seem that threatening at first, however. The two las-rippers are slightly weaker las-talons with a new name, the twin heavy bolter is somewhat useful against infantry, and the storm bolter and ironhail heavy stubber can be augmented with another ironhail heavy stubber. However, the twin heavy bolter can be replaced by a twin Lascannon, and the las-rippers can be replaced by the new Plasma Eradicator, a +1 Strength, AP-4 Plasma Cannon that uniquely only causes one mortal wound per 1 to hit on Supercharge. 90% of the time the Eradicators are the better choice. Not only are they cheaper than Las-Rippers, but they have more range. Being within 24" will put the Astraeus in danger of being chopped up by enemy Knights and makes it a prime target for most Plasma weapons. The lone Storm Bolter won't be doing much of anything regardless.
    • Compared to the Fellblade, its main gun is lacking in terms of pure power almost strictly better under mathhammer due to the high number of S8 shots. Against a Knight the Fellblade's AE mode barely does 6 damage, with a fair chance of doing 0, vs the Astraeus' more consistent 6-9 damage. The TMAC is also a better version of the Fellblade's HE mode; guaranteed 12 shots vs 2d6 at one less AP and one more damage. Very effective against light to medium vehicles (especially flyers), as well as 3-wound infantry such as Tyranid Warriors, Grey Knight Paladins, and Custodes. The secondary armament is only inferior with the eight Lascannons and Demolisher Cannon of the Fellblade outgunning the Accelerator Cannon itself when combined. In melee it is a mixed picture, the Enhanced Repulsor Fields make the Astraeus harder to engage and hit but it lacks the option to mount any flamer for point defense; the Fellblade can mount up to 3 heavy flamers which will inflict significant overwatch casualties on attacking infantry. The Void Shield gives it an important defensive tool that the Fellblade and most superheavy tanks lack, albeit on a more fragile (T8 not 9), less durable (2 wounds less at 24W) chassis but the VS can be used against mortal wounds; so it ends up out-living the Fellchassis in the long run by effectively having ~29 wounds. Most importantly, it's much cheaper than the Fellblade, and since it's not a Relic you can use it as a "non-Relic" tax in the unlikely chance you really want a full Super-Heavy Detachment as a Space Marine army.
      • New Chapter Tactics addendum: Iron Hands and "Scions of the Forge" successor chapter tactics mean your tank keeps it's 5 up void shield until there's only 5 wounds left, so long as they're taken in Supreme Command detachments. Enjoy that while you can, because I expect an FAQ.
      • CA2019 dropped the base cost of the Astraeus by 100 points, meaning that it is now one of the most viable Super-Heavy picks for SM right now (not that it's really that big of an achievement).


Without Allies[edit]

The Old One-Two (Three)[edit]

Take a Battalion. Fill your HQs with whatever you like. Your 3 Troops should be 2 Vet Squads, one tooled as an Anvil and one tooled as a Hammer, and a foot-slogging Intercessor Squad. Also take a Corvus and a Redeemer. Combat Squad all three troops choices, put the Anvil in the Redeemer and the Hammer in the Corvus. Deploy the Intercessors in your backfield and have them foot-slog and advance everywhere or camp a home objective. The Corvus should drop its 2 squads near something that needs to die and then all three should spend the rest of the game killing important units. Finally, the Redeemer and its 2 squads should be delivered to 1-2 objectives and refuse to move for the rest of the game if possible.

Forge World Assistance[edit]

With the introduction of Combat Doctrines, there is now a slightly greater incentive to try to run without allies. Unfortunately, as a monofaction, Deathwatch have some serious holes (anti-tank is a big one). Forge world has a number of units that can help fill them in, most notably their dreadnought line up. Contemptor Dreadnoughts are an excellent source of lascannons, and the ability to deep strike a Leviathan or Chaplain Dread is very strong.

With Allies[edit]

Some general advice[edit]

While primaris look good on paper, they are still not exactly worth their points, unless you are hell-bent on playing a pure DW army. The codex greatly encourages getting your DW units right into your enemy's face, where you deal maximum damage with plasmas, meltas, frag cannons, and bolters. While your kill teams race towards the enemy in their Corvus Blackstars and Land Raiders, you need something that actually wants to sit back and can contribute efficiently to the fight. One of the biggest problems any DW player will face is that you won't have many units on the table at the beginning of the game. Thus, it's really easy for your opponent to focus fire on lone Corvus or a Raider, destroying it first turn and leaving your kill teams far away from the enemy and exposed. That is where Ad Mech and Guard comes in. Both factions have cheap troops that want to stay back (Skitarii snipers, Infantry Squads with heavy weapons), have excellent sources of long-range firepower that will ruin your opponents day if not dealt with (Cadian HWTs, Leman Russes, Basilisks, Onager Dune Crawlers). For example, for 670 points you can field 4 infantry squads, 2 company commanders, and 3 Leman Russ Battle Tanks. Use your Kill Teams as scalpels - eliminating key enemy threats while your allies deal with the rest of enemies army (Hammer of The Emperor Style). It's fluffy, looks cool, and is brutally efficient.


An IMPERIUM force can include a single INQUISITOR in one of their detachments without breaking "pure army" rules, and they can also hitch a ride in your vehicles. They have access to a unique psyker discipline, that includes Terrify, which turns off overwatch. They're kinda squishy to be used as a warlord, especially when stuck in with a front-line melee unit, however, they have a nifty 1CP (!) stratagem that allows them to take both a warlord trait and (as long as they are not a named characters) a relic. The Blackshroud might be a good choice, as its -1 to wound makes this character pretty much immune to sniper mortal wounds.

Selecting the Ordo Hereticus makes the No Escape Warlord Trait available, a 6" heroic intervention and enemy units can't fall back on a 4+. Alternatively, the Ordo Xenos' Warlord Trait Esoteric Lore generates a CP on a 5+ whenever your opponent uses a stratagem.

Best of all, they're super-cheap, starting at a mere 55pts. Unfortunately, there are only two deepstrike options: Hector Rex and the expensive Ordo Malleus terminator. Of course you can pop them in a Deathwatch drop pod with your killteam, so it's not all bad news.

The top choices:

  • Basic Inquisitor - CP farming - Mental Interrogation psychic power, Esoteric Lore warlord trait and Seize For Interrogation stratagem; switch the bolt pistol for a Boltgun and take the Blackshroud Relic. If you want some support swap Mental Interrogation for Terrify. Cheap (55 points and 1CP), consistent with the fluff (Ordo Xenos and Deathwatch BFF!), maximizes your stratagem usage, and the best choice if you are short on points.
  • Hector Rex - Deny the witch - Psychic Mastery warlord trait: knows 3, casts 3 and denies 4 (with +1 within 12"). Powers should be: Mental Interrogation to generate CP, Terrify to bypass overwatch, and Dominate. Tanky (2+/3++), can deep strike, and he is BRUTAL vs daemons. Amazing if you have enough points (100 points and 1CP) available.

Space Marines[edit]

Because the Deathwatch were not granted a Super Doctrine, they can ally in Space Marines without sacrificing anything.