Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Space Marines(8E)

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This is the current Edition's Space Marine tactics. 7th Edition Tactics are here.

Contents

Why Play Space Marines[edit]

Space Marines are perhaps the best army for beginners. Their units are fairly expensive points-wise (but not to the same extent as more elite forces like Grey Knights or Deathwatch), so they usually field fewer bodies and vehicles than most other armies. While you can't bog down your foes in waves of men, this makes army construction cheaper and painting faster. Additionally, Space Marines are dead'ard; their basic troops have Toughness 4 and a 3+ armour save, giving them great staying power compared to most basic infantry of other armies. They're also solid in whatever role they're put in; Marines are good shots, and they're not half bad in an assault, either.

Pros[edit]

  • Easy for beginners to play, yet rewarding for experts. Can be customized to focus on many specific elements (e.g. Terminators, mass jump pack assaults, etc.) with varying grades of viability.
  • Units can do something of everything, with an answer to every situation.
    • A common trend with Imperial armies, your Troop choices aren't tax, being actually good.
  • You're GW's favorites, so you'll always be the first to get anything new. See also: Primaris Marines, getting the first full Codex in 8E, being able to be of the first to get a 8E second wave codex.
  • Loads of powerful characters to choose from, many of which have potent buffs to surrounding units.
  • You'll almost always have an armour save.
  • Many of your models are simple to paint with their solid colors and easily identified highlight areas---This makes painting your army very beginner friendly.
  • The Army is very customisable you can even create your own chapter tactics, no other faction in the game gives you this level of choice when it comes to playstyle.

Cons[edit]

  • As the most popular army by a long shot, most people build their armies with at least a few options for killing Space Marines present.
  • Tanks (other than the Forge World ones and the hefty points-priced Land Raider family) are somewhat lacking compared to those of other armies.
  • All the characters that used to be part of other units (e.g. Apothecary, Champion) moved to the Elites slot, which makes it rather crowded. Consider bringing in an extra Vanguard detachment.
  • You will almost always be outnumbered and will struggle at times to claim objectives, though some Chapter tactics make use of low model counts.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Combat Squads: Can split a single full-sized unit into two smaller units before deployment. Works just like it always has, but more unit types can do it (e.g. Centurions). While MSU is better, it does give Space Marines a unique way to circumvent the Rule of Three or detachment limits. Now they just need to have spammable units worth Combat Squadding.
  • Defenders of Humanity: AKA Objective Secured. If your army is battleforged, all Troop units in detachments consisting solely of Space Marines get this ability. When such a unit is within range of an objective it controls that objective even if there are more enemy models within range of that objective, unless they also have a similar ability. It allows your Troops to seize objectives from enemy non-Troops; enemy Troops will outnumber you.

With the new Codex, the special rules for Space Marines are getting a shakeup, and boy is it something. Now, all four of their universal special rules are bundled into a single entry on their datasheets named Angels of Death. It contains:

  • And They Shall Know No Fear: Re-roll failed morale tests. Not going to come into play that much with your generally good Ld scores, but given how punishing Morale can be it's still a good way to ensure your units don't run off, especially for your already small-ish unit sizes & 2W Primaris. And Apothecaries cannot revive models who fled instead of being slain.
  • Bolter Discipline: We 2nd edition now! 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 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 committ 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 are the only army that can rapid fire from full 24"-30" away.
    • The firing model is a Terminator, Biker, Centurion, Dreadnought.
  • Shock Assault: A brand new buff for Space Marines, 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). Like Bolter Discipline before it, this will be available to all flavors of Space Marines (including all three of the Chaos varieties), and 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.
  • Combat Doctrine: Feel like it's 7th edition all over again. 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). You have to use each Doctrine in order, starting with the Devastator Doctrine, and once you switch there's no going back, so pay attention to the rhythm of the game. Your army gains this if all units in it have this rule, meaning taking a Guardsman Battalion or even a single Assassin CP'd in right before the battle would prevent the SM detachment from getting this rule, but allied SM detachments are ok even from a different chapter.
    • On top of that, Chapter supplements give First Founding Chapters (and their descendants) a Specialist doctrine that is a bonus active on top of the regular doctrine. Bringing chapters with different specialist doctrines prevents either from getting theirs.
    • These nifty rules will make your marines more efficient killers, but their rotation makes them predictable - devastate -> advance -> assault. Savvy opponents may try to break LoS to force movement penalties on your heavy weapons, rush for melee while you're still under the ranged doctrines, then fall back when you're finally under the assault one, scale buildings, etc. As such, don't be predictable yourself. Remember, you don't need to switch doctrines on the same turn they become available: surprise drop pod a target turn one or advance your infantry under cover of Devastation while your enemy remains confined to their hiding spots turn 3, what have you. The doctrines are as follows:
    1. On Turn 1, your army will always start with the Devastator Doctrine turned on, giving 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 the plethora of sniper rifles and Heavy Flamers (Incendium/Inferno/Flamestorm cannons) are Heavy Weapons too. The boost to Grenades matters only to Intercessors for the most part.
    2. On any turn thereafter, you can switch to Tactical Doctrine, shifting the boost to your 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 plasma guns work wonders here.
    3. On any turn after that (i.e. turn 3 minimum), you can shift to Assault Doctrine, giving 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.

Forge World Special Rules[edit]

  • RELIC: No Battle-forged Detachment may contain more RELIC units than non-RELIC units within any given battlefield role (except for Lords of War; you can take one without needing another LoW first, but this only applies to the first such LoW taken). Also unlocks the Relic of Ancient Glory Stratagem for use.
  • Stratagem - Relic of Ancient Glory: At the beginning of your Fight phase, choose a single friendly RELIC unit. All friendly ADEPTUS ASTARTES models within 6" of the chosen RELIC unit may re-roll the first failed hit roll of the phase.

Chapter Tactics[edit]

Chapter Tactics are special rules based on the <Chapter> keyword that will affect every unit in a detachment except for servitors. To benefit from Chapter Tactics, your army must be battle-forged, and all units in the detachment must be drawn from the same chapter.

  • Servitors are specified to never gain a Chapter Tactic despite having the keyword, but nobody cares about Servitors because they're shit.
  • Super-Heavy Auxiliary Detachments also don't benefit from this, so if you want your Raven Guard Thunderhawks to get free cover, you need to put one in a Supreme Command Detachment at the least.
  • A reminder that <chapter> Ultramarines is not the same faction as <regiment> Ultramarines, even if both faction keywords are "Ultramarines". It is, however, a sign of the person trying to pull that stunt being That Guy.

Successor Tactics[edit]

All Successor chapters that don't already have associated Chapter tactics must make their own. It's the fourth edition all over again, once more you're allowed to create a bespoke chapter tactic for Your Dudes by combining any 2 of 18 available options, or use a First Founding chapter's tactics. The available options are listed below:

  • Inheritors of the Primarch: Sacrifice the ability to take a second successor tactic in favor of directly copying a First Founding Chapter Tactic (from Codex: Space Marines, so no copying Blood Angels etc).
    • As this excludes you from taking named characters, the only reason to ever choose this is when you want a Forgeworld named character and his detachment to have a First Founding Chapter Tactic. Like giving the Astral Claws the White scars trait so they can charge after advancing like when renegade. Or if you just want to use the Chapter Tactic without the primogenitor's color scheme.
    • The only restriction is that, IF your chapter's primogenitor is known, IF you use Inheritors of the Primarch it would need to be from their parent chapter. Examples: the Novamarines' parent chapter is the Ultramarines, so you can't use Inheritors to give them the White Scars' trait (because that's not their parent chapter), and you can't give any chapter the Black Templars' CT (because that's not a First Founding chapter).
  • Bolter Fusillades: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 when using bolt weapons. Not only frees your Captains from babysitting line squads so they can focus on the big guns, but it also means you can switch your HQ towards Lieutenants, as anything with bolt weapons is effectively inside a Captain's aura. Keep in mind the Lt's reroll is statistically identical to the Captain's (better for anything that automatically hits, but worse for anything that hurts you on a 1; neither one affects the odds that a successful hit is a 6 or that a successful wound is a 6).
  • Born Heroes: Characters with this tactic can do Heroic Interventions from 6" instead of 3". Pretty terrible outside Supreme Command Detachments, but it's good there.
  • Duellists: When making melee attacks against enemy infantry or bikers, unmodified hit rolls of 6 auto-hit and auto-wound. Explicitly incompatible with the Whirlwind of Rage tactic, sadly. Doesn't work on Cavalry because GW likes to pretend Wolf Riders don't exist; can't blame them.
    • Duellistst works better the tougher your target is, although it's somewhat limited in that Infantry and Bikers don't tend to exceed T5. The bonus is better than Whirlwind of Rage when you need a 5+ to wound (DG/Custodes), equal at 4+ (CSM/Orks) and worse when you wound on a 3+ (IG/Eldar/Tau). This also means anything better than a Power Sword would be better used by Whirlwind of Rage, so, unless you want something specific like a melee Primaris chapter that fights T5 enemies, pick Whirlwind.
  • Fearsome Aspect: -1 Leadership to enemy units while they're within 3" of any of your units.
    • Situational, but can be combined with other debuffing abilities, such as Reivers' aura, to provide an effect like Night Lords PLUS another chapter tactic, because this is only half of your trait. Night Lords, eat your hearts out.
  • Hungry for Battle: +1" to the advance or charge roll. Amazing for melee units and also pretty good if you want to spam Assault weapons. Has no synergy with bikes or anything else that doesn't roll to Advance (like anything with Supersonic), but at its most noticeable on slow things trying to advance or deep striking things that want to charge right now - you'll definitely notice this tactic's impact on cataphractii terminators, for example.
  • Indomitable: You can't lose more than one model from a failed Morale roll. Half of the Dark Angels CT. It can be okay for big units if you want to maximize the effectiveness of Stratagems, but it's not likely you'll fail morale tests to begin with.
  • Knowledge is Power: Psykers with this tactic can re-roll "any or all" rolls of 1 when casting or denying. Half of the Blood Ravens tactic. If you're taking a Supreme Command with 3 Librarians for some reason this is good; don't take this if less than a third of the Detachment consists of Librarians.
  • Long Range Marksmen: +3" range to all ranged weapons. Your marines get to engage enemies from their own deployent zone, taking better advantage of Bolt Discipline. Furthermore, it's amazing for flamers, which gain 11" range and become able to be used right out of a deepstrike, as well as being almost impossible to avoid by melee units. It also makes meltaguns noticeably easier to use, and while half-range abilities only gain a 1.5" boost, this is enough for Grav-guns and Combi-gravs to double-shoot after deep striking, which makes them a lot less terrible.
  • Master Artisans: A unit with this tactic can re-roll a single failed to hit roll and a single failed wound roll each time it shoots or fights (including overwatch). Half of the Salamanders' CT. Units with a few weak weapons benefit most, but few strong is better than many weak for this. Amazing for pretty much any unit, with the standard Salamander caveat that it's a lot better the fewer attacks per unit you have - always go MSU with this.
  • Preferred Enemy: Pick one of the following factions: Aeldari, Tau, Heretic Astartes, Tyranids, Orks, or Necrons. Re-roll hits with melee weapons when attacking them if you charged, were charged, or made a Heroic Intervention. Fluffy, but bad for WAAC lists unless you are building for one specific opponent; Heretic Astartes are the most popular of these factions and Orks are guaranteed to get into combat with you, but you can get re-rolls for hit rolls cheaply in other ways.
  • Rapid Assault: Advancing no longer incurs a -1 penalty on firing Assault weapons. It's okay if you spam Assault weapons (especially meltaguns on bikes), but this tactic needs to be combined with something like Hungry for Battle to make it work.
  • Scions of the Forge: Units with damage tables count their wounds as doubled when calculating the effects of damage. 1/3 of the Iron Hands CT. Good for heavily mechanised lists.
  • Stalwart: When rolling for wounds against your models, natural rolls of 1 or 2 always fail, regardless of any modifiers or abilities the attacking unit might have. Makes your units somewhat better against plasma and other S8+ weapons. The other half of the Blood Ravens tactic.
  • Stealthy: Count as being in cover when at least 12" away from enemies. Half of the Raven Guard's tactic. By the time the enemy gets close enough to ignore this bonus you'll be within range for an easy charge. Good for gunlines, especially Vehicles and Flyers; meh for other types of units.
  • Stoic: +1 Leadership. Half of the Ultramarines CT. Skip it unless you need it for a very specific plan - it's usually fundamentally garbage compared to Indomitable.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Units with this tactic can charge after falling back. Roughly 1/4 of the White Scars' tactic. Amazing for melee oriented armies and good for Intercessors, allowing you to trigger Shock Assault whenever you want. Generally speaking, best on a unit with FLY (especially Inceptors), since you can fall back, shoot, and then charge back into melee.
  • Warded: 5+ Feel no Pain versus mortal wounds only. Half of the Black Templars' tactic. Situational, but useful if your meta is full of armies who spam mortal wounds.
  • Whirlwind of Rage: When making melee attacks for a unit that charged, was charged or made a Heroic Intervention, unmodified hit rolls of 6 score an additional hit. Explicitly incompatible with the Duellists tactic, above.
    • Unlike Duellists, mathematically the Whirlwind of Rage bonus constantly behaves as +1WS (one that also affects WS2+ models), irrespective of chances to wound and not limited by keywords. Plus, its bonus is better than Duellists against targets you wound on a 3+ or less, meaning both your anti-horde and power weapons benefit. Do note that, unlike Duellists, Whirlwind only works in the first round of combat, relying on a decisive first strike or else be bogged down.

Stratagems[edit]

Universal[edit]

LOTS of ways to inflict Mortal Wounds here. By the way, Linebreaker Bombardment, Empyric Channelling, Datalink Telemetry and Killshot are not included in the new codex, and the 2019 FAQ confirms them to be DEAD. They are all, however, still available to Blood Angels, Dark Angels and Space Wolves, at least for the moment. So if you're really attached to that triple Predator detachment, run them as one of them instead.

  • 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.
  • Auspex Scan (2 CP): When an enemy unit comes in from reserves within 12" of one of your Infantry units, your unit can shoot at it but with a -1BS penalty. 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.
  • Chapter Master (2 CP): Use before the start of the game to turn your Captain into a Chapter Master, boosting his aura to reroll all hits (fails and successes) instead of the only 1s. You can't use this twice, nor use it on a named captain, or if you already have a named Chapter Master from the same Chapter.
    • A named Chapter Master costs about +50pts more than your would-be generic CM and brings along a special rule, a relic of some sort, and +1W. Ask yourself if 2 CP is worth 25pts each plus the loss of the special characteristics. Of course, not an argument for those without named Chapter Masters.
  • Cluster Mines (1 CP): Use when a Scout Bike squad falls back. On a 2+, one unit you fell back from takes D3 mortal wounds.
    • Best in an Ultramarines or White Scars list, where you can fall back, pop it and reengage. The reactive version of the proactive Incursor's mines.
  • Death to the Traitors! (1 CP): When one unit is attacking a Heretic Astartes unit in the fight phase, any 6+ to hit generates another attack with the same weapon. Steal their gimmick to use back on them.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When an Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Fly, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Like Hellfire Shells, Salamanders can get some extra mileage from this with the free reroll.
  • Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally, a Space Marine Infantry model rolls only once to hit. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds. Try to get +BS or rerolls and stand still so that you don't miss the shot.
  • Honour the Chapter (3 CP): At the end of the fight phase, pick an Infantry or Biker unit to fight a second time. The usual "fight twice" stratagem, best on characters and units with good weapons to delete someone.
    • Do not besmirch your chapters proud history by affording Abaddon any chance of survival. Finish the job properly! Seriously this could be the pivotal factor in capturing slay the warlord or destroying a tank in one fell combat.
  • Masterful Marksmanship (1 CP): When a Sternguard Squad shoots, it adds 1 to wound rolls with its special issue boltguns.
    • +1/6 to wound on a BS3 unit equals to +0.11 wounds per shot, regardless of the target. At most this is 10 Sternguards at 15" do +2.2 wounds the enemy might still save. While not that much, Sternguards are a solidly fun unit and a few couple extra casualties could make the difference when attacking a priority target, like Berzerkers going your way. Just don't expect them to solo a Leman Russ is what we're saying.
  • Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): When one of your Characters dies, it can shoot or fight again. 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. Overcharge their plasma pistol if they were killed at range.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP, Single Use): If your warlord is a Space Marine (this could be your secondary detachment) and didn't move, you can use this stratagem in the shooting phase instead of having him shoot any weapons. Pick any spot on the battlefield that the warlord can see, and roll a D6 for every unit within D6" of it (subtract 1 if it's rolling for a Character). On a 4+, it takes D3 mortal wounds. RIP Linebreaker.
  • Relics of the Chapter (1 CP): Use before the start of the battle. You can have a second Chapter Relic for 1 CP. You can't take two of the same relic, and all the Relics have to go to different Characters. No longer limited to a one-use strategem due to the sheer amount of relics.
  • Tactical Flexibility (1 CP): At the start of your movement phase, pick any number of 10 model unit with the Combat Squads rule and split them into two 5 model units as if they had been deployed as two Combat Squads. You probably should have split your squads before the battle, but on the other hand it could be used to unexpectedly divide a squad in mid-battle to let it take two objectives at once. Still, calling it situational would be an understatement.
  • 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, advance, and charge distances their next turn. Doesn't affect Fly or Titanic units.
    • This is all it takes to clog up a large horde army. OR, more importantly, drastically reduce the chances that they get off a charge, in cases when they choose to use Da Jump or other such gimmicks.
    • The effect is worded to last for the whole shooting phase so use the new Suppression Fire stratagem and slowdown a second unit in the same phase!
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a Dreadnought to turn into a 1-phase Captain. Any same Chapter units within 6" can reroll hits of 1 that phase, including itself.

With the new codex, there have been many new strategems introduced that you can play around with

  • Adaptive Strategy (1 CP): Used at the start of the battleround, if there are any Characters from your army on the battlefield you can immediately change the combat doctrine to the previous one.
  • Big Guns Never Tire (1 CP): Select a Vehicle; until the end of the phase, that unit does not suffer the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons.
  • Bolt Storm (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's Auto bolt rifles automatically hit if they target an enemy within half range.
    • Effectively multiplies your Intercessors' shooting by 1.5x, but most importantly it completely negates BS penalties and it's nice extra damage before melee.
  • Duty Eternal (1 CP): When a Dreadnought is chosen as the target for an attack, until the end of the phase, it takes half the damage inflicted, rounding up. This Stratagem decreases damage by 50% for D2, 33% for D3 and D1d3 (average 2 becomes average 1.33), and about 43% for D1d6 (average 3.5 becomes average 2). This is considerably more useful on larger dreadnoughts than it is with vanilla dreads, especially those from Forge World.
  • Fury of the First (1 CP): A Terminator unit gains +1 to hit until the end of that phase. Now TH/SS don't NEED to be babysat by a Chaplain, and Tactical termies can use it in their shooting phase as well.
  • Gene Wrought Might (1 CP): When a Primaris Infantry 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.
  • Gravitic Amplification (1 CP): When a unit of your army is chosen to shoot their Grav-cannon and grav-amps, you can reroll the wound roll and the damage roll. Nifty. Redemption for those Gravs you glued to your Cents back in 7E.
  • 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 5+. Makes your big units of assault marines/VV punch much harder.
  • Hero of the Chapter (1 CP): Select a Character from your army that's not your warlord and determine a warlord trait for it.
  • Hunter-slayer Missile (1 CP): A variation on the flakk Missile Stratagem for dealing mortal wounds to big targets. Target an enemy vehicle or monster within 48" of a Repulsor and not within 1" of an ally. Roll a dice. If it is equal to or greater than the Repulsor's Ballistic Skill (meaning it ignores modifiers to hit), the enemy unit takes d3 mortal wounds. One use per Repulsor.
  • Rapid Fire (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's Bolt rifles become Rapid Fire 2.
    • Better 2x multiplier than the Auto Bolt Rifle's Bolt Storm's 1.5x from further away and with better AP. If you run a squad of 10, you are looking at 40 S4 AP-1 shots at 15", or AP-2 at 30" with Bolter Discipline and Tactical Doctrine, as the codex demands. That is some good dakka.
  • Skilled Riders (2 CP): The return of 7th edition jink rules. Use on a biker or land speeder unit. If they move, they gain a 4+ invulnerable save. If they advanced, they gain a 3+ invulnerable save.
  • Skyfire (1 CP): When a Hunter or Stalker shoots, it may only aim at units with Fly but adds +1 to hit and wound against them and deals double damage on an unmodified 6 to wound.
  • Steady Advance (1 CP): Move an Infantry unit and Bolter Discipline will be applied as if they remained stationary.
  • Suppression Fire (2 CP): Use in your shooting phase. A Whirlwind or Thunderfire Cannon that did not move may fire a second time, but it can only shoot with weapons that can target units out of sight of the firer. So basically, their main weapon; nothing says it can ONLY fire at targets out of sight.
  • Target Sighted (3 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of Intercessors. Until the end of the phase, that squad's stalker bolt rifles gain the ability to snipe Characters and cause mortal wounds on a wound roll of 6+. Costs 2 more than the Specialist Detachment version of the same name, however no longer requires the veteran upgrade meaning you don't need to lock in 1 CP before battle.
    • Rather expensive for something Eliminators do better (S5)...on the other hand, Eliminators can't really be spammed and the ludicrous firepower of 10 Stalker Intercessors can drop a Lieutenant. If with 3CP you can kill a character your enemy relies on then by all means go ahead.
  • Transhuman Physiology (2 CP): Select something with the Adeptus Astartes keyword that is not a Vehicle or Servitor, 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 marines aw yee.
  • Vengeance of the Machine Spirit (2 CP): If a Land Raider, Stormraven, or Repulsor is destroyed, it can either auto-explode, shoot one last time, or attack in melee one last time. In the latter two cases it acts as if it was at the top bracket of its damage chart.
  • Veteran Intercessors (1/2 CP): AKA that specialist detachment stratagem from Vigilus part one. +1 attack, +1 leadership to a unit of Intercessors. Costs 1 for a 5 man unit, and 2 for a unit of 6 or more.
    • Compared to the Indomitus Crusaders version of these stratagems, they're more expensive but they don't need to pay entry CP, which does matter when spammed (20 Vets cost 3CP vs 4CP) and their bolt-variant strats aren't restricted to Veterans. Until GW retcons that formation away, of course.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

11 - Death from Above
1 VP for destroying an enemy unit that turn when the last model in the unit was removed by an attack made by a unit that either arrived by deep striking or has the FLY keyword.
12 - Honour the Chapter
1 VP if one of your Characters made an attack that caused an enemy Character to lose a wound. If the attack killed said enemy Character, get 1d3 VP instead.
13 - No Mercy, No Respite
1 VP if an enemy unit either dies or fails a morale test. Upped to d3 if you have more than 3 enemy units do this.
14 - For the Emperor!
1 VP if at least one Infantry or Biker unit successfully charged that turn.
15 - Lightning Strike
1 VP if you completely destroy an enemy unit that began the turn within their Deployment Zone.
16 - The Emperor's Retribution
1d3 VP if you steal an objective from an enemy, which is upped to 1d3+3 if you steal 3 or more.

Psychic Powers[edit]

Like all 8E factions, in addition to Smite, you have access to a faction-specific table of powers. The Librarius Discipline has power for pretty much every situation, but they're mostly niche enough that it's difficult deciding upfront which powers to take - two of them are mortal wound causers which are worse than Smite, three are friendly buffs you can use to help dictate the flow of combat, and one is a really powerful debuff that usually won't go off but can be a gamechanger when it does activate.

With the advent of the new Codex-plus-chapter-supplements model, each chapter will also have access to a second, Chapter-specific psychic discipline for extra flavor, made available as each supplement rolls out. Combined with the Obscuration discipline for Phobos Librarians, that will be a choice of 3 different potential sets of psychic powers that you'll have access to. Bring a different Librarian for each and pretend that you're playing Thousand Sons.

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

Librarius[edit]

  1. Veil of Time (WC6): 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 to go first in Fight Phases even if it didn't charge. So it's not only offensive by letting you reach your opponent faster, but it's also defensive by letting you thin swarms out before they get to roll 50 hits on you. 9" charges are still below 50% chance, so if you sorely want it to charge right after deepstriking go play Black Templars instead. This power also lets you use flamers earlier. Overall one of the most broadly useful power in the Discipline.
  2. Might Of Heroes (WC6): Until the next Psychic Phase, a single CHAPTER model of any kind 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 the attack of your opponent should they survive. Can also be used to help manipulate your opponent into picking a different target to bring down - if you have two heavy targets, like Land Raiders or 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. Furthermore, boosted Leviathans and Superheavies are just nasty.
    • DON'T FORGET to use this power to save vehicles that need saving. Perhaps none of your characters or dreads are in positions to beat things up in melee, but you have a predator next to your librarian that could REALLY benefit from being T8 for a round of your enemy's shooting. Even if the S and A go to waste, the extra T can help keep your big stuff alive.
    • Can transform OK sergeants with heavy melee weapons into a force to be reckoned with: an Assault Squad sergeant with a Eviscerator can better wreck a tank than a Primaris Lieutenant's power sword with the same boost.
  3. Psychic Scourge (WC6): Make a Leadership value + 1D6 contested against the Leadership value + 1D6 of an enemy unit within 18" of the psyker. If you beat the enemy they take D3 mortal wounds, equal them 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. Plus it can be used in addition to Smite to spam mortal wounds.
  4. Fury of the Ancients (WC7): Range 3D6", so less than 18" Smite. Target any visible enemy MODEL within that range and draw a line from the caster to that MODEL, each UNIT under the line takes a mortal wound. Needs good positioning, but it's not restricted to the nearest unit like Smite is, and can affect multiple units if at least with 1 MW.
  5. Psychic Fortress (WC5): Select an CHAPTER unit 18" away from the user; until the start of your next Psychic Phase, that unit automatically passes morale tests and gains a 4+ chance to ignore Mortal Wounds caused by psychic powers. Mostly protection against Smite, as marines already have high re-rollable Ld. Like with Might of Heroes, if your opponent brought psykers, this can be used to manipulate them into attacking the target of your choosing.
  6. Null Zone (WC7): 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, like a nova. Powerful against enemies that depend on their invulns or psychic powers, like Harlequins, Hive Tyrants, Daemons and Thunder Shields, not so much against heavily armoured units like Terminators.

Obscuration[edit]

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 (WC6): Pick a friendly CHAPTER Phobos unit within 3". It can move as if it was the movement phase; it must advance and cannot fall back, but when advancing it rolls 3d6 and picks the highest for the distance it advances. Cannot be used on a given unit more than once per psychic phase. HELLO Reivers!
    • Slightly more situational than Warptime, but no less amazing for it.
  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 target as if the unit was a Character, but since they don't gain the character keyword your opponent can't just get around it with snipers, some psychic powers can still target them though.
  4. Hallucination (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". Its Ld is reduced by 1. The opponent must also roll 2d6, and if the result is higher than the unit's Ld all its hit rolls take a -1 penalty.
  5. Tenebrous Curse (WC6): 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, as is all of its advance and charge rolls.
  6. Mind Raid (WC6): Select a visible enemy unit within 18". It takes a Mortal Wound. If your army is Battle-Forged and 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! Will make Conscript Spammers and Renegades and Heretics Players scream in fury as the rerolling dread destroys their mindraped infantry horde.

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. 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.

  • . 0. Litany of Hate: Default prayer, 6" aura of re-rolling all melee hit rolls (not just misses) for your chapter.
  1. Litany of Faith: 6" aura of FnP 5+++ vs mortal wounds for friendly chapter units. Not cumulative with other rules, as per usual (but stated regardless).
    • Extra protection vs witchery. Will help with whatever goes through the Librarian.
  2. Catechism of Fire: Select a friendly chapter unit within 6". +1 to the wound roll when "resolving a shooting attack" against the closest enemy unit, meaning it would affect Overwatch too. NASTY with flamer Vets/Aggressors and melta Vets/Devs. "Of Fire", get it? Deepstrike/Transport them next to a chaplain who was already on the field.
    • Combine with Masterful Marksmanship (and careful target selection) to let your Sternguard wound MEQ on a 2+. It also lets sniper rifles proc Mortal Wounds on 5+ to wound, but only when targeting the nearest foe.
  3. Exhortation of Rage: Select a friendly chapter unit within 6". Their unmodified 6s to hit in melee generate another attack with that weapon, which cannot proc extra attacks itself. Good when you already have a Captain/CM giving you a re-roll and their aura would overlap with the Chaplain's.
    • If you're already betting on exploding 6s, use it alongside Death to the Traitors or even Gene-wrought Might.
  4. Mantra of Strength: He'll show you how it's done. +1A +1S to the Chaplain, and +1D to his melee weapons. 3D Crozius!
    • Smash Chaplain: 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 unit within 6". +1 to their hit rolls when shooting. Even during overwatch, meaning you should answer enemy charges with supercharges. Safe plasma!
  6. Canticle of Hate: Non-cumulative 6" aura of +2 to charge rolls, as well as +3" to pile in and consolidation moves.
    • Hnnng 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. Not even the Impulsor's broken disembark rules would help here, only a Jump Pack / Turboboosting Biker Manlet would have a chance.

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.

Universal[edit]

  1. Fear Made Manifest (S): Enemy units within 6" get -1 Leadership. 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, 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. Best used by a Fearsome Aspect chapter so you don't have to committ like 5 units to a single enemy. 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.
    • Here's a list of the Imperial units that stack with Fear Made Manifest:
      • Adeptus Astartes (-6Ld): Besides the Fearsome Aspect chapter trait (-1Ld), Reivers can inflict up to -3Ld and can deepstrike. Being Phobos, they also work alongside a Hallucination Phobos Librarian (-1Ld), who can infiltrate. You can also deepstrike an Ancient bearing the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant. These sources of debuffs can quickly arrive wherever you need them.
    • These other Imperial allies also give Ld debuffs but prevent the SM detachment from using Doctrines. Pass unless they are your main detachment and SM are the allies.
      • Dark Angels (-3Ld): Interrogator Chaplains have a natural -1Ld aura, they have the Eye of the Unseen relic for further -1Ld, and Interromancy's Mind Wipe inflicts -1Ld (and will proc more often with your help), along with other Ld powers. That's -3Ld from two characters with Jump Packs.
      • Blood Angels (-1Ld): The Sanguinor has a natural -1Ld aura, as does anyone wearing a Sanguinary Mask.
      • Inquisition (-1Ld): Psykers Terrify inflict -1Ld from 18" away, and disable overwatch.
      • Astra Militarum (-3Ld): Psykana's Terrifying Visions inflict -2Ld from a safe 18" away. Armageddon Officers can also bring the Skull Mask of Acheron to spook nearby enemies. Bringing them in a Supreme Command/Battalion is not only cheap, but gives you CP. Bringing them in a Spearhead detachment grants you access to Russes with Objective Secured and Basilisks. Versatile, powerful and easy to use at range. Complements your close-and-personal units.
      • Adeptus Mechanicus (-2Ld): Sicaran Infiltrators are the Mechanicum's faster Reivers, and Metallica has a -1Ld Stratagem.
      • Questoris Knights (-2Ld): The Fearsome Reputation trait inflicts -1Ld in a huge 12" aura around the Knight warlord's huge base (which can be an extra warlord using a stragatem), and a total of -2Ld to enemies within 6" of it. And bringing a Knight as an ally isn't something unheard of.
  2. The Imperium's Sword (I): Warlord rerolls failed charges (either one or both dice), and gets +1S and +1A the turn he charges (in addition to Shock Assault). What Smash Captains are made of, to break things immediately out of deepstrike. Chapters and units that can charge after falling back can trigger the boost over and over.
  3. Iron Resolve (I): Warlord gets +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. What Smashfuckers are made of. Excellent for Captains in either Bikes, Gravis or Terminator armour.
  4. Champion of Humanity (I): +1A when enemy Characters are within 1" of him. When actually targetting the character in melee, add 1 to all hit and wound rolls. Not everyone can have their own Emperor's Champion...but a Gravis Captain becomes almost as good as one, without forgoing his useful re-rolls aura. This also means Black Templars can have two Emperor's Champion-like figures.
  5. Storm of Fire (S): Each time ANY <Chapter> unit within 6" rolls an unmodified 6 to hit for a shooting attack, the AP of that attack is improved by 1. 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. Can be combined with Imperial & Crimson Fists' exploding bolters, but any ranged chapter can make use of it. Remember only one model needs to be within the warlord's aura for the whole unit to benefit, and that doctrines cannot stack AP bonuses.
    • 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 - for BS3+, 25% of your hits will have this active.
      • Stacks with Infiltrator's Marskman Bolt Carbines, where a natural 6 to hit becomes an automatic wound but now at AP-1.
  6. Rites of War (S): The warlord gains Defenders of Humanity, and units within 6" automatically pass morale tests. While most of your units already have high re-rollable Ld on small squad sizes, Black Templars 20-man Crusader squads will love it as this is a source of morale immunity (an imperial rarity) that cannot be targeted, unlike their Cenobyte Servitors. Gabriel Angelos comes with this.

Vanguard Space Marines[edit]

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: At the start of the shooting phase select one friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6" of the warlord. That unit can move after shooting. If they do, they also have to advance, and they cannot declare a charge afterwards (Rip WS).
    • 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: At the start of the first round but before the first turn begins, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield.
    • 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.
    • As it happens after seizing the initiative, it can enable surprising turn one charges if going first - just redeploy Infiltrators right in front of the target, as at that point you know if you are having the first turn. This can also expose hidden units to first turn Devastator Doctrine'd Lasfusil Eliminators.
  3. Master of the Vanguard: Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the warlord gain +1" to their move and advance and charge rolls. Useful to Reivers.
  4. Stealth Adept: -1 from hit rolls that target the warlord. Not just at range so he can prove he's the better sniper around, but it also works in melee. Makes the new Captain very durable, but his damage can be insufficient unless using relic gear, meaning this trait only makes him hard to hit instead of turning him into a beatstick.
  5. Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 3" at the start of your shooting phase. Until the end of the phase,that unit gets +1 to hit. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
    • Alternatively, have a Phobos Captain hang back with a squad of Eliminators to let them hit on a re-rollable 2+ without the sergeant giving up his shooting.
    • Throw this on a Phobos Librarian (whose shooting was not worth much anyway) and watch him be an even better force multiplier.
    • Don't start thinking you can use this with Infiltrators, the automatic wounds 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.

Space Marine Armoury[edit]

Ranged Weaponry[edit]

  • Boltgun: You know what a bolter is, but if you somehow forgot it's 24" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 1 D.
    • 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.
      • 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 armour. Combine with the Tactical Doctrine to delete hordes.
      • Stalker Bolt Rifle: Not a sniper rifle, lest it invalidates Scouts too. 36" Heavy 1 AP-2 D2 Bolt Rifle, to give faraway targets more than just a poke. Turns Intercessors into something akin to Troop Sternguard. Combine with the new Devastator Doctrine to hit at AP-3 and pretend you're shooting Plasma.
    • Combi-Weapon: can be fired alongside the Bolter part, at -1BS. Note that Combi-Flamers don't care for no BS. Available to sergeants and terminators.
    • Special Issue Boltgun: The big brother to both Boltgun and the new Bolt Rifle, wielded by the Sternguard Veterans. At 30" S4 AP-2 this gun pretty much shoots Dragonfire Vengeance rounds at Kraken range.
    • Storm Bolter/Combi-Bolter: Cheap as chips Rapid Fire 2 Boltgun, typically seen on Terminators, also available to Sarges and upgrades on most of your vehicles. It's especially nasty at Rapid Fire range.
  • Astartes shotgun: an option on Scout models, a 12" Assult 2 bolter that becomes S5 while within 6".
  • Assault Bolter: 18", Assault 3 S5 AP-1. Would be a really good gun on assault units. Unfortunately exclusive to Inceptors. That said, you can still perform effective hit and run attacks with it, aided by the Inceptors' ability to shoot after falling back.
  • Bolt Pistol: A bolter in pistol form, meaning you can fire it in melee. Just don't forget it's there.
    • Heavy Bolt Pistol: More like Better Bolt Pistol with AP-1, exclusive to Reivers.
    • Absolver Bolt Pistol A handheld Heavy Bolter with the same stats, just with one 16" shot and carried by Primaris Chaplains and Apothecaries
    • Boltstorm Gauntlet: A Bolt Pistol with Pistol 3, attached to a Power Fist, attached to the Gravis Captain.
      • Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets: Paired Boltstorm Gauntlets, but they're Assault 6, meaning they can't be fired in melee but you can run-n'-shoot and be used alongside other guns. Exclusive to Aggressors, who wield them well.
  • Grenades: Standard issue for any marine; you can only throw one per unit.
    • Krak: Single throw at 6" with S6 AP-1 DD3. To have something to deal with Vehicles or monsters.
    • Frag: Single throw with D6 hits at 6" with S3 AP 0. A go-to for thining Guardsmen ranks.
    • Melta: Single hurl at 4" with S8 AP-4 DD6 with reroll wounds against vehicles. Found on Vanguard Vets for 5 points and find use should your marine's fist fail to punch through an armoured hull.
    • Auxiliary grenade launcher: Exclusive to Intercessors, lets them lob grenades at a range of 30". Lets your Grenades properly benefit from the Devastation Doctrine.
    • Astartes Grenade Launcher: Can replace the storm bolters on Scout bikes. Has Frag and Krak Grenade profiles at 24" Assault 1.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: An Assault D6 S4 AP- weapon with 8" range which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, at least it's cheap. 8" range means it can't be used immediately out of a drop pod. Can't overwatch against charges starting more than 8" away, but those aren't reliable anyway, so a flamer is still good in those cases. Don't bother trying to hit airborne units, as they're too tough and armoured.
    • Hand Flamer: The Pistol D6 version, but only 6" and S3. Not good for Advancing, but for melee to clear out some GEQ. Kind of shit really, as most of the time you could take a bolter or bolt pistol for free or even a storm bolter in some cases, all of which have better range and wound better.
  • Grav-gun: 18" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-3 D1, upgrading to D1d3 if the target has a 3+ save or better.
    • Grav Pistol: Deals more damage against targets with an armour save of 3+ or higher, but with only S5 it's less likely to wound than a plasma pistol. Good against heavily armoured characters without the Plasma Pistol's risk. Take this if you are expecting to see heavy infantry more than armour.
  • Meltagun: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, becoming best of two 1d6 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 into half range. While you can advance to close the gap, it is convenient that the unit's other weapons are assault weapons as well.
  • Plasma weapons: They have a Safe and Supercharged profile. Stick close to a Captain, because Safe plasma isn't really cost-effective. Good against everything. Gets Hot applies to the final modified score, meaning +1BS (Devastator Sergeant's Signum, Rhino Primaris' Servo-skull Hub) make you immune to it. Conversely, plasma guns are more likely to overheat at night.
    • 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. Good as a Tactical/Crusader squad's Special Weapon. 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 2 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+ but lost the ability to wound t4 on 2+.
      • Heavy Plasma Incinerator: The other end of the spectrum. 36" Heavy 1 Str 8/9 lets you wound infantry on a 2+ without having to supercharge, and makes it effective against tanks, enjoying the 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. Overcharging basically makes it a pocket Lascannon that doesn't have excess damage against infantry, at the cost of not ripping apart tanks. Really good for heavily armoured enemies with one wound.
    • 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: Inceptor plasma weapon. Each Inceptor gets (2) Plasma Exterminators. Each Plasma Exterminator is AssaultD3 S7/8 AP-3 D1/2. That translates to 2D3 plasma shots per each Inceptor. Re-roll protection is absolutely essential, otherwise, anything wielding such a weapon will fry itself rather quickly should they turn up the heat.

Heavy Weapons[edit]

  • Assault Cannon: 24" Heavy 6 S6 AP-1. Brrrt.
  • Grav-cannon with Grav-amp: 24" Heavy 4 Grav-gun. Akin to a heavier Heavy Bolter to deal with bigger targets.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1. Good against hordes at long range due to its high number of attacks, and still useful against lighter vehicles Especially when Devastation Doctrine is active. It's most efficient against hordes with bad/no save, or things that rely primarily on a weak invulnerable save, like daemons.
  • Heavy Flamer: A Flamer with S+1 and AP-1. More effective against armoured targets than its smaller brother, but cannot be fired after advancing.
  • Lascannon: Heavy 1 S9 AP-3 D6 D with a range of 48". Your primary long-range anti-vehicle weapon. Don't even try to shoot infantry with this. You'll kill 1 model per shot at most now that overkill damage is exclusive to mortal wounds.
    • Las-Talon: Twin Lascannon but 24". Found on GravTanks.
    • Las fusil: Eliminators anti-tank option. 36" S8 but a Flat 3 Damage.
  • 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. Devastator squads with 2 Lascannons and 2 Missile Launchers are a pretty darn good Swiss-Army unit. Good to have at least one Missile Launcher around, due to the Flakk Missile Strategem. Missile Launchers like the new Combat Doctrine rules, allowing them to perform exactly same against T7 as a lascannon would, while still having an S4 AP-1 anti-infantry weapon - something to consider if you know your enemy doesn't bring T8.
    • Hunter-Killer Missile: A single shot krak missile for 6 points if your army can't squeeze in enough normal anti-tank weaponry.
    • Typhoon Missile Launcher: Double shot missile launcher found on land speeders, includes frag and krak missiles.
    • Skyhammer Missile Launcher: Anti air krak missiles
    • Stormstrike Missile Launcher:
  • Multi-melta: A 24" Heavy Meltagun, meaning you can't run with it, but can shoot in melta range out of a deepstrike, now fulfilling the role of Drop Pod Threat-removal.
  • Plasma cannon: Heavy D3 effectively means the same shots as a Plasma gun, but from 36" away instead of 12". You both need to be careful and to shoot Supercharges, due to the sheer cost of this weapon. Can be a makeshift "heavy weapons team" with the Devastator Sergeant, as his Signum prevents Gets Hot. Being a Heavy weapon it's best to not supercharge in the move, due to -1BS.
  • Sniper Rifle: A Scout exclusive, it's a 36" Heavy 1 weapon so it's included here. It's only good for fishing mortal wounds, but it can target characters even if they hide behind a unit. A complete lack of AP means they won't be killing a heavy character like a Captain without committing a serious amount of points to it but can kill his supporting Apothecary.
    • Bolt Sniper Rifle The real deal sniper rifle all Space Marines should be wielding. Has 3 firing modes at 36" which can target characters. Mortis at Heavy 1, S5 AP-2 and d3 damage. Hyperfrag is d3 S5 shots. Executioner rounds are a single shot at S5 AP-1 and ignore line of sight, as well as adding 2 to hit rolls
  • Icarus Stormcannon: Autocannon equivalent with accuracy bonus against air units
  • Predator Autocannon 72" range with 2D3 shots at S7, AP-1 and flat 3 damage makes this a powerful weapon against TEQ and light/medium armour. AP-1 makes this weapon less useful against AP2 and heavy vehicles, which are better handled by lascannons.
  • Heavy Laser Destroyer New Primaris weapon found on the Repulsor Executioner. 72" range, Heavy 2, S10, AP-4 and D1d6 (rolls of 1 and 2 always count as 3) makes this a dedicated tank killer, though it is an expensive weapon. The weapon can be fired twice at the same target, resulting in 4 shots, when a Repulsor moves less than 5" almost guaranteeing you will at least cripple your target. Don't be afraid to fire this at multi-wound infantry as it guarantees a kill even on 3 wound mega nobs with each unsaved shot!
  • Macro Plasma Incinerator The plasma cannon version of the newer Primaris incinerator weapons. Only a 36" range but fires heavy d6 shots at S8/9 AP -4, and D1/2. Performs well against TEQ and can threaten vehicles and monsters. More of an all-rounder weapon, but it is usually well priced.
  • Thunderfire Cannon Heavy 3D3 shots all at S5 AP -1 and fired at 60". It's like a higher output Heavy Bolter and can deny line of sight requirements.
  • Whirlwind Missile Launcher Two firing modes which require the operator to purchase one or another prior to game start. Both ignore line of sight requirements and have a 72" range. Castellan missiles are heavy 2d6 at S6, Vengeance missiles are a heavy 2d3 Autocannon equivalent.
  • Flamestorm Cannon Found on Land Raider Redeemers and functions like a 12" S6 Ap-2 D2 heavy flamer for torching bigger units.
  • Accelerator Autocannon Found on the new Primaris Suppressors. It's an AP-2 Autocannon which denies units with slain models the ability to fire overwatch.
    • Twin Accelerator Autocannon Its an assault weapon mounted on a Sicaran Battle Tank! Assault 8 Autocannon shots which ignore flyer restrictions and wounds of 6+ are resolved at AP-3.
  • Ironhail Heavy Stubber: A weird GW trend of putting Stubbers on the hover tanks. Their Heavy weapon equivalent of 36" Bolt Rifles.
    • Icarus Ironhail Heavy Stubber: The anti-air version, with the standard +1/-1 to hit. With only S4 even the flimsiest of Eldar flyers will laugh it off but you should be aiming at Jump Packs.
    • Ironhail Skytalon Array: Don't let the bitchin' name fool you, this is just two Icarus Stubbers slapped together and is just as pointless unless you're shooting at Gargoyles. Well, not so fast. This gun has a unique rule that adds 1 to your wound roll against Fly unit in addition of +1 to hit which mean it will wound most Fly unit on 4+.
  • Fragstorm grenade Launcher: Found on your Primaris Tanks. Its d6 bolter Equivalent gun uses to gun down chaff and those foolish to charge it.
  • Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon Found on multiple Primaris armoured platforms and puts the hurt on infantry. Heavy 12 Heavy Bolter shots at 30".
    • Onslaught Gatling Cannon An assault cannon but at S5. Can always be found with the heavier version and pairs very well for 18 total shots.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • Chainsword/Combat Knife: Still the basic Close Combat Weapon profile, but it's free and allows for one extra attack, so it's good against enemy hordes. All your sergeants can take it alongside the main gun, so it might be worth to swap that bolt pistol he's not using anyway. Combat Doctrines make these invaluable for turn 3 deep strikers with AP-1!
  • Paired Combat Blades: Found on Incursors and some Lieutenants. No extra attacks, but unmodified hits of 6 score an extra automatic hit.
  • Eviscerator: A two-handed Chainfist with variable damage on a model with at most 2 attacks. It competes with a power fist with Assault Marines. It is a fucking awesome double-handed chainsword though.
  • Lightning Claws: S(User) AP-2. Allows you re-roll to wound and grants an extra attack if you have two of them, so either buy them in pair or go for something else. This is the best weapon choice for shredding through single-wound infantry units. Stick the bearer near a Chaplain or Chapter Master to re-roll EVERYTHING.
  • Relic Blade: Available to Honour Guard, Vanguard Veteran Sergeants, and Captains. An S+2 AP-3 weapon that deals d3 damage per attack. Better than a Power Fist against most infantry-sized targets. Costing as much as a Power Fist, consider whether the better accuracy is worth the +2 Strength gap between the Fist and the Blade. One of the advantages over the Power Fist is that effects happening on 6+ to hit can actually trigger with the Blade since it has no hit penalties. Also, you won't miss out the Chaplain's reroll if you roll a 2.
  • Power Weapons: Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
    • Power Axe: S+1 AP-2. A good enough compromise between the Sword's armour negation and the Maul's brute force; typically your best choice, despite costing more than the other two, because you have to pick one to take before knowing what you're going to need killed, and this has the best overall performance in the T3-T8 Sv2+-Sv6+ range you care about.
    • Power Maul/Power Lance: S+2, AP-1. This is the one you want to use against lightly armoured units that rely on toughness to shrug off hits. The Lance is identical to the Maul because of reasons.
    • Power Sword: S User AP-3. Best against targets that rely on armour saves over toughness to shrug off hits. Except against frail things with good invulns like Crusaders, who ignore AP anyway.
  • Mathhammer: Note that we do not take into account the chances to hit since they do not vary based for the 3 weapons we are looking at. Results are expressed in percentages. We also assume that the weapon is wielded by a basic Space Marine, so with Strength 4.
Target Power Sword Power Axe Power Maul Winner
TEQs Terminator (T4; 2+/5++) 33.33 33.33 22.22 Power Axe and Sword
Terminator w/ Storm Shield (T4; 2+/3++) 16.67 22.22 22.22 Power Axe and Maul
MEQs Space Marine (T4; 3+) 41.67 44.44 33.33 Power Axe
Captain or Chaplain (T4; 3+/4++) 25 33.33 33.33 Power Axe and Maul
GEQs Hormagaunt (T3; 6+ or no save) 66.67 66.67 83.33 Power Maul
Guardsman, Guardian (T3; 5+) 66.67 66.67 69.44 Power Maul
Aspect Warrior (T3; 4+) 66.67 55.56 55.56 Power Sword
Sister of Battle (T3; 3+) 55.56 44.44 41.67 Power Sword
Other Tyranid Monster (T6; 3+) 27.78 22.22 25 Power Sword
Light Tank or Monster (T7; 3+) 27.78 22.22 16.67 Power Sword
Medium Tank or Monster (T8; 3+) 13.89 22.22 16.67 Power Axe
Heavy Tank or Monster (T8; 2+) 11.11 16.67 11.11 Power Axe

As you can see, it is extremely hard to draw a clear winner between the Power Axe and the Power Sword. It is, however, easy to see that Power Mauls/Lances are crap, only superior when fighting units that will already die in droves to bolter shots or won't die easily to anything due to good invulns. What's easy to remember is that the Axe is stronger against Marines (that you'll face a lot), the Maul is best against Storm Shield Terminators or anyone else with a good invuln, and the Axe is best against most of the tanks. Power Swords have the edge on most things relying only on their armour saves, while Axes scale better against tough things. What you choose between the two is a matter of preference, meta, and gaming group. The special case for Mauls is Toughness 5, where the Maul is best down to Sv3+ and the sword and maul break even on Sv2+, due to how powerful it is to move from 2/6 wound chance to 3/6, but T5 are relatively rare to begin with.

  • Force Weapons: Librarian power weapons with 1d3 Damage instead of just 1, but they cost around the same as a Power Fist. They lack Str x2 but have no penalty to hit. Useful if you're going to hit characters or multiwound models like Primaris.
  • Power Fist: Sx2 AP-3 D1d3. -1 penalty to hit rolls, which can be annoying. Good against everything, quite cost-effective.
  • Chainfist: Sx2 AP-4 D2. Marginally better than a Power Fist against Vehicles, Forts and other highly-armoured invuln-lacking models. Costs only 2 points more than a Power Fist, so paying extra for better AP and more reliable damage could be worth it.
  • Thunder Hammer: The weapon against which all others compare, and boy are you paying for it: NOW 40 POINTS FOR CHARACTERS (16 points for units). A Power Fist that always deals 3 damage. The extra reliability could mean the difference between one-shotting a Custodian Guard/Aggressor or getting a Guardian Spear/Power Fist in the face. When you have a Thunder Hammer/Storm Shield-Captain with Jump Pack every enemy model begins to look like a nail, but at over 4x the cost of a Power Fist, its not worth ditching up to three extra special or heavy weapons just to squeeze out a few extra points of damage. Still quite viable on everything that isn't a CHARACTER, at least.
  • Dreadnought Combat weapon: Allows your dreads to beat up things, allowing them to swing at SX2 (S12) AP-3 and flat D3 with no accuracy reduction. Redemptor version hits at DD6. Dread chainfists found on contemptors are AP-4 and D4
  • Seimic hammer: Like a dread fist but with AP-4 and D5!!!! Imposes a -1 to hit... But one single smack with this is all you need to kill most HQs and cripple tanks. With shock assault ironclads hit 5 times with this weapon for a potential 25 damage!

Relics[edit]

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 can be used before the game starts to take up to 2 more Relics, though they can't be duplicates 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.

  • The Armour Indomitus: Infantry or Biker model only, they gain a 2+ armour save. 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 only ways to give a Primaris character a natural 2+ armour save, due to their inability to take Terminator armour.
  • The Shield Eternal: Replaces a storm shield or combat shield, so available only to Captains, Company Champions, and the Terminator Librarian. Gives a 3+ 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.
  • Standard of the Emperor Ascendant: Ancients only. A bit different with 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 units within 9" auto-pass morale tests, and enemies in the same range get -1 leadership. 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, or assisting in leadership bombs.
  • 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 Primarch's Wrath: Replaces a boltgun or master-crafted boltgun with an up-gunned storm bolter, making it 24" Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-1 D2. Can be useful for those officers buffing your ranged units. Note that this relic gains the benefit from Bolter Discipline.
  • 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+.
  • Purgatorus: Upgrades a bolt/heavy 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).
  • Belicos Bolt Rifle: Replaces a master-crafted auto-bolt rifle. 24" Assault 4 S5 AP-1 D2, to support your gunline.
  • Lament: Upgrades a master-crafted stalker bolt rifle's statline to S5 AP-2 3D, and successful wounds inflict a mortal wound on top of that. Single shot, but puts the big hurt on whatever it reaches.
  • Ghostweave Cloak: phobos model with a camo-cloak, -1 to the wound roll against this model. Give it to a Stealth Adept Captain to make him as difficult to kill as Remo Williams.
  • Tome of Malcador: Librarian only. He knows 1 additional power from whatever discipline he's using, which isn't the same as casting 1 additional power. Depending on what discipline you're using, hard pass.
  • Benediction of Fury: Replaces a Crozius arcanum. S+2 AP-2 3D, 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*.
  • The Honour Vehement: Friendly <chapter> units with the Shock assault ability always get the +1A instead of having to meet the criteria. So, useful for ongoing combats.
  • The Vox Espiritum: Primaris only. +3" to their aura abilities (2019 FAQ limited it to a max of 9"). Excludes psychic powers and litanies. Enjoy your Black Templars hat for now, Primaris...

Specialist Detachments[edit]

Specialist Detachments are unique detachments from Vigilus books, custom made for specific sub-factions which grant them access to additional Stratagems, Warlord Traits, and Artifacts. Enabling them costs 1 CP per detachment.

  • Field Commander (1 CP): This stratagem bears special mention. For one command point, you can designate a character with a Specialist Detachment keyword and they gain the warlord trait associated with that detachment. Can't be used on named characters or to give your warlord a second warlord trait. Usefulness may vary.
    • Codex SM 2.0 has a "+1 warlord" strat, and Chapter Supplements have a "Your warlord has 2 WTs" strat. Four Warlord Traits go!

Indomitus Crusaders[edit]

Primaris Captains, Primaris Lieutenants, Primaris Ancients, Intercessors squads & Inceptor squads in that detachment gain the Indomitus crusader keyword. Of use for an Intercessor-focused chapter. How do you like them apples, Tactical marinelets? Many of the given Stratagems were remade more generic intercessor but for more CP. Indomitus Crusaders now also a more CP effective.

Stratagems

  • Liberators (1 CP): Use this Stratagem at the start of the Fight phase. Pick an INDOMITUS CRUSADERS unit from your army. Until the start of your next turn, each time you roll an unmodified hit roll of 6 for an attack made by a model in this unit, that attack inflicts 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Stacks with the Whirlwind of Rage Successor Tactic.
    • Note that this bonus applies to any and all shooting and fighting attacks that this unit makes in the enemy turn, assuming you used it in your own Fight phase.

Warlord Trait

  • Grey Shield: Once per battle, at the start of your Movement phase, if your Warlord is on the battlefield you can choose for INDOMITUS CRUSADERS units in the same Detachment as your Warlord to gain an additional Chapter Tactic until the start of your next turn. Pick the additional Chapter Tactics from the following: Codex Discipline (ULTRAMARINES), Lightning Assault (WHITE SCARS), Siege Masters (IMPERIAL FISTS), Righteous Zeal (BLACK TEMPLARS), Forged In Battle (SALAMANDERS), Shadow Masters (RAVEN GUARD), The Flesh is Weak (IRON HANDS), No Matter the Odds (CRIMSON FISTS). Until the start of your next turn, friendly INDOMITUS CRUSADERS units gain the benefit of that Chapter Tactic in addition to any others they already have. They are considered to have the keyword of the appropriate Chapter for purposes of resolving that Chapter Tactic.
    • Having two Chapter Tactics can do a lot of things depending on what your second tactic is. Want Marines with Fluff levels of durability? Raven Guard + Iron Hands. Salamanders + Black Templars help ensure that your punchy characters and sargeants with powerfists and the like make it to combat and actually kill what they're attacking. And if the thought of Ultramarines + White Scars allowing you to Fallback, Shoot, Charge and Fight again all in one round doesn't make you wet, maybe you should find a different game to play.
    • It also means you can combine your Successor tactics with a Founding Chapter ones. Hungry for Battle + Whirlwind of Rage + Black Templars = +1 to Rerollable charges with exploding hits! Crimson Fists + Imperial Fists to utterly destroy hordes with +1 to hit Ignores Cover and 3 hits on 6s with bolters!

Artifacts

  • 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).
    • The FAQ forgot to remove this relic like it did to the UM formation's ones. Not like it matters much tbh.
  • Standard of the Ultima Founding: Primaris Ancient only. Once per battle, at the start of your Movement phase, the bearer can choose to plant this banner. If they do so, until the bearer next makes a move, friendly INDOMITUS CRUSADERS INFANTRY models can re-roll hit rolls of 1 and wound rolls of 1 whilst they are within 6" of the bearer.
    • Defensive relic, as it's single-use and makes him immobile. Primaris space marines are difficult to shift so pick a spot, preferably an objective with cover, and bring an Apothecary to pull the "die-shoot-repeat" combo, but enjoying a Captain & Lieutenant's auras while those guys are busy elsewhere. Plasma Exterminator Inceptors are the only plasma squad that can benefit from the rerolls.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Unit keywords are Adeptus Astartes, Primaris, Chapter, and the like. Units with a specific Chapter keyword can only be taken by that Chapter. Note that even if most "Bike" variants of characters have been written out of the Codex due to them having no official miniature (and some models due to those miniatures being limited edition), they can still be taken and are legal, using the Index: Imperium 1 datasheets and the latest point costs. White Scars players can thank the God-Emperor (Absolutely! Interestingly GW does some good things nowadays!).

HQ[edit]

The average SM HQ is a heroic model that can do fairly well in melee and, being the poster faction, we have a lot of choices when building our guys. Listed here are some common builds so that you don't have to read "Captain, Captain with Jump Pack, Librarian, Librarian with Jump Pack" and so on.

  1. Jump pack: Mobility is the name of the game. The model gains 12" movement, fly and can deepstrike, so he can appear anywhere and ignore terrain, jump over the enemy's bubbelwrap alongside your Vanguard Vets and even punch a damn airplane to death.
  2. Bike: High speed, high drag. The character becomes a battering ram, gaining a speedy bike that can turbo boot to M20", T5, +W1, and an additional 4 bolter shots. Sadly, all but Captain on the bike were relegated to the Index, including Biker Vets, which makes the whole bunch overpriced.
  3. Terminator: The heavy armour. +1W 2+/5++ and Deep Strike but only 5" movement and a slightly reduced wargear selection. Not meant to move around much, positioning is often determined by a Deep strike or the Land Raider that is carrying him around. Provides a lot of protection for your character. A Character's Iron Halo or Rosarius' 4++ has prevalence ofc.
  4. Primaris: Extra beef for a relatively low cost. +1W +1A, but usually restricted customization options. Segregated to their hover transports; that used to mean restricted, but now they're more of a separate-but-equal kind of deal.
    • Phobos: Operator Primaris with stealth training, Concealed Positions let them keep up with infiltrators, and they get their own selection of Warlord Traits and Psychic powers.

Remember all rerolls happen BEFORE modifiers.

  • Captain: The standard all characters compare to, he can be customized to do almost any job you need him to do:
    • His mere presence boosts your gunline, helping your plasma not blow up, and he can contribute to a firefight with his Master-crafted AP-1 D2 Boltgun or a Combi-weapon, while the Primaris version does so with Master-crafted Auto bolt (24" Assault 3 S4 D2) and Master-crafted Stalker Bolt Rifle (36" Heavy 1 S4 AP-2 D3!).
      • 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 deepstrikes within 12" (and prevents drop assaults), 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.
    • Captains are very destructive when wielding the heavier power weapons: Powerfists, Relic Blades 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. 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 decievingly 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 (turn 1 deepstrike).
      • With their base 4++ Iron Halo and character status, Captains are very survivable, but they ditch one weapon for a 3++ Storm shield. But if you want to field the ultimate beatsticks, the Gravis Captain has T5 7W and the Cataphractii Captain has a 3++ without giving up a weapon. However, Gravis suits cannot deepstrike and are limited to expensive Repulsor transports, and Cataphractii moves a glacial 4" per turn, halving advance distances. This means you'll have to charge right out of a deep strike or everyone will just run away. That being said, being a tough monster that forces the enemy to run away is useful by itself, though watch out for mortal wounds, against which these armours offer no protection. A Biker captain can combine the T5 with a 3++, but it depends on who rides alongside him.
  • Librarian: Your good old source of mortal wounds. Although the Librarius discipline is overshadowed by other imperial disciplines like Blood Angels and Grey Knights, it's still a solid one that gives strong buffs to units and characters, of which this model knows two (plus Smite). 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 canon (for marine standards), as their Force weapons inflict multiple damage but they themselves lack an invuln save. Can customize their force weapon, and pistol/Combi-weapon, and receive +1 to Deny if the psyker is within 12". Overall, a solid pick for any army.
    • Librarian with Jump Pack: The same, but with all the goodness Fly and 12" movement gives him. Makes it much easier to move the Librarian in range of units you either wish to hit with psychic powers or attempt to deny a power to.
    • Librarian in Terminator Armour: Reduces the Librarian to 5" movement but gives him +1W, a 2+ save and, most importantly, a 5++ and the option to buy a Storm Shield (in the index). Who's a glass canon now? The lower movement does mean it may be slightly more difficult to get him in range of units you want to hit with warpfuckery, so keep that in mind.
    • Primaris Librarian: Standard Primaris +1W +1A, but can only use a Force Sword and Bolt Pistol. The extra wound lets him survive Perils more reliably, the extra atk is a deterrent. Restricted to a Force Sword and Bolt Pistol, this is the Librarian you should use if you were footslogging him/using a Repulsor anyway instead of pushing him into melee ASAP, as he costs only 5 points more than a regular Librarian, but has the Primaris boost.
    • Librarian in Phobos Armour: Primaris Librarian with a camo-cloak (+2 to saves when in cover instead of +1) that makes him extra durable in cover, and concealed positions lets him deploy with your other sneaky marines. Has access to a special psychic discipline focusing on stealth, of which he knows two and can cast two (Including one that's sort of but not really as good as Warptime!). Comes stock with psychic hood, force sword, and bolt pistol. This guy can genuinely hurt people with smite and his force weapon while providing tactical viability.
      • He takes a careful hand, but he can truly work to confine your opponent. Give him Tome of Malcador for some good cheese! Play him aggressively with some infiltrators and use his camo cloak to aid in defense while you bait enemy firepower early on in the game. You can then use the Temporal Corridor power to get very close to characters and cast Mind Raid
  • Chaplain: The guy for not-magic support magic. mitigates morale damage by sharing his Ld9 (L10 to Ultramarines). His Crozius Arcanum is now somewhere between a Power Axe and Maul at S+1 AP-1 D2. He can swap his bolt pistol for a plasma one or a combi - a storm bolter or combi plasma is your best bet. You can swap to a Power Fist, but that's a lot of points, seeing as you still have to pay for the crozius you won't be swinging. New for 8.5 edition, Chaplains now act a bit more like Dark Apostles in that they now have a Litany "prayer" Table to choose from which largely increases the number of roles they can have. Prayers are chosen at the beginning of each battle round (not during any particular phase, or even necessarily the chaplain's player's turn), and hence cannot be used when deep striking - jump pack and terminator chaplains can't apply Litanies when they pop in. Likewise, using a Drop Pod - or, indeed, any transport at all - will stop them from praying. On top of this, you have to roll a die, and on a 2 or less no prayer happens. Only one of each Litany can even be attempted each time, and each chaplain can only attempt one each turn (special characters can violate this). Each chaplain knows two Litanies, and one of them is the new Litany of Hate that gave those near him a re-roll to hit in melee - while fairly identical to his previous uses, the fact that it's not constant does make him a downgrade from prior editions. All Litanies affect <chapter> units - one of a 6" aura (all such within 6", check range when the ability would come up), a specific target unit within 6" (check range at pray time), or the chaplain himself.
    • Chaplain with Jump Pack: Much like the Captain, to keep up with Vanguard Vets, deepstrike, jump over units, punch Airborne models and the like. Definitely not for falling back to shoot, unless he's a White Scar and can chargeback again.
    • Chaplain in Terminator Armour: +1W 2+ armour, at the cost of 5" movement, but can deepstrike. Take this when you want resilience over damage in a deepstrike-capable model, as he cannot swap the Storm Bolter for a Power Fist.
    • Primaris Chaplain: As you'd expect, the Primaris Marines get their own spin on the Chaplain. He gets the usual Primaris buff (+1W +1A) at the cost of reduced mobility options (Repulsor only) and a price hike. Cannot change his wargear, but his Absolvor Bolt pistol hits like a pocket Heavy Bolter at 16" S5 AP-1 Pistol.
  • Techmarine: Vehicles may be tougher this edition, but their performance diminishes with wounds, and this guy repairs them for D3 Wounds a turn, no roll required! 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. He also 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!
  • Lieutenants: A surprising new addition with the advent of C:SM. He's got mini-Captain stats at WS2+ BS3+ W4 A3, but allows re-rolling 1s to wound instead of to hit. Since his aura is different and does good melee damage, he's an excellent complement to a Chaplain (or Captain/Chapter Master) if you can afford him. You can buy up to two Lieutenants per HQ slot, but you should be taking them separately to fill out HQ taxes on detachments. More customizable than his Primaris counterpart.
    • At 63pts base and armed with a Master-crafted Boltgun, he's the one you want as a cheap tax HQ to hang around your units and boost them. Unless you'd rather have someone repairing your vehicles.
    • The Lieutenant and Captain rerolls are mathematically identical: +16.67%. Even with the -1 to hit Unwieldy the end result is still the same. When dedicing which one to use, remember the Captain is better with effects on a hit (Gets Hot, Stratagems), while the Lieutenant is better with effects on wound (sniper Scouts) or weapons that don't roll to hit (flamers). It can also be argued that the Lieutenant provides the same boost as a Captain for cheaper, though the later is a much stronger combatant. The best option, of course, is to take both at once.
    • Lieutenant with Jump Pack: Extra mobility to put those melee skills to good use. No biker or termie variants for him.
    • Primaris Lieutenant: +10pts over the regular Lt. might very well be worth it if you want him to stand back and boost your gunline, plus +1W +1A. And with his Master-crafted Auto/Stalker Bolt Rifle he can contribute while doing so. Plus, he can ride in a Repulsor alongside a Primaris Chaplain, for which he should swap his Bolt Rifle for a Power Sword.
    • Lieutenant in Phobos Armour: Another Primaris variant, with the same Tactical Precision ability as the others, but this one has a master-crafted D2 version of the cover-ignoring Occulus Bolt Carbine that Incursors get, along with their paired combat blades. However, instead of Concealed Positions, he takes a grav-chute for deep striking.
      • He can swap his normal loadout for a heavy bolt pistol and single combat knife, just like a Reiver. He even gains the REIVER keyword, and therefore the Terror Troops capacity (scary). But, ironically, he then has to sacrifice his grav-chute (not that scary), instead taking the same smoke grenade that Incursors get. Technically, he becomes a good leader for other Reivers, but because he loses his capacity to deep strike, you have to put him in a transport. Since deep striking is an essential part of the use Reivers squad (grav-chute or grapnel), if you really want to babysit them, you should stick to the "normal" Lieutenant in Phobos Armour.
      • Yes, the Incursor-like Lieutenant is forced to take a Reiver-like grav-chute that would only let him join concealed Incursor squads a full turn late, while the Reiver-like Lieutenant is forced to replace his grav-chute with Incursor-like smoke grenades making him useless for accompanying Reivers. Cross your fingers that this will be corrected in errata, otherwise accept that whatever loadout you use will be awkward and unoptimized for the role you use it in.

Forge World[edit]

  • Chaplain in a goddamn Dreadnought: 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?
  • Damocles Command Rhino: 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.
Named Forge World Characters[edit]

Special Characters are noted with their corresponding <CHAPTER> keyword, and are arranged by their Founding (when applicable). Characters from known successor chapters are in their relevant sections, because supplements make that kind of matter now. The points cost for all special characters already includes their wargear, as stated in the points section, under the points heading in the codex (or index if not in the codex). All other units say "does not include wargear" except special characters where it says "including wargear".
With the 8.5 FAQ all Imperial Armour SM entry’s gain Angles of Death.

Astral Claws

Either Ultramarines or Dark Angels successors, with no great way to decide between the two; your fluffiest bet is Ultramarines since they make the better bikers anyhow. Although if we look at their Chapter Tactics before 8th, White Scars is the best substitute for a melee-focused rush(if allowed to ignore Successor chapter restrictions). Astral Claws love mortal wounds, have I said that enough? Successor Tactics: Hungry for Battle, Master Artisans, Rapid Assault

  • Lugft Huron: Chapter Master, with terminator armour, an artificer heavy flamer (Assault, not Heavy, and D1d3), and THE ONE PIMP HAND TO RULE THEM ALL (S+1 AP-5 D1d3, forces rerolls of successful invulns)! "Big Guns Never Tire" ensures he can bring the hurt once per game to anything on the board that's not a character (d6 mortal wounds on a 2+, or usually 2.92). His “Living Legend” rule makes sure you can pull it off on the 2+ with an extra command point as long as you are battle forged and Huron is your Warlord. He can come back from the dead... as often as you can roll a 5+. But he is pricey at 215 pts. Still better in combat than Draigo (who's more expensive), and could even take on Abbadon/Swarmlord. He still has ATSKNF and his chapter master trait allowing rerolls to hit for any Astral Claws unit within six inches for support. Forge World FAQ gave him and Cullen the ability to deploy via teleporting.
    • 'Ol Lugft you salty bastard! Take note of this dudes special rule (Big Guns Never Tire) and how well it combines with the rest of the Astartes codex. Lugft Huron is the king of mortal wound spam in a very mortal wound spamming prone army. You have to get creative: I'm talking triple vindicators, librarians, scout snipers, scout bikers, devastators using double hellfire shells, all the other command stratagems, AND a Damocles Command Rhino which doesn't even need Lufgt to ride in for another Orbital Bombardment!!! (you're already using forge world so...) You will be that guy to a degree, but this is all totally legal and really just very good tactics. Enjoy frying anything from Magnus to carnifexes all with comfortable ease.
      • BE sure to load up on command points and consider a brigade because this play-style while quite good, is very command point taxing.
  • Armenneus Valthex: Techmarine, with an Assault 2 Conversion Beamer, an AP-1 melee weapon that adds 1d3 attacks when at least 3 enemy models are within 1" of him, and a 6" buff of +1 strength (max 5) to boltguns and storm bolters, specifically. Give Valthex the Storm of Fire warlord trait and 1 in 6 bolter shots become heavy bolter shots.
    • Note that hurricane bolters are not specifically storm bolters or boltguns.
    • As his rule reads The Strength characteristic of all boltguns and storm bolters fired by [...] an argument could be made that this also includes special issue boltguns. The word "all" wouldn't make any sense otherwise.
    • Pairing him with a Lieutenant still has the exact same effect as pairing him with a Captain, with or without Storm of Fire.
    • This guy screams for running Astral Claws as Ultramarine successors as his special rule and Scions of Guilliman gives great synergy with a high number of Tacticals/Sternguards/Company Veterans under Tactical Doctrine and Bolter Discipline. While long-range focused footsloggers might not be true to their fluff, it doesn't stop them from being quite good at it. Pair with Long-range Marksman and Stealthy.
  • Captain Corien Sumatris: Captain; still a good cost-effective melee fighter/buffer, his power sword does D2 and give +D3 attacks on the charge; combined with his ability to gain +1S near enemy CHARACTERS, this makes him a mini-me Helbrecht, although he might be tougher with his 3++. His gun is a lame Pistol 2 now, despite still being called a Bolter. Also has the unique ability to choose his chapter keyword between Astral Claws and Tiger Claws, the latter of which will never be taken, because it disallows other Astral Claws characters from being taken.
  • Arch-Centurion Carnac Commodus: Lieutenant, and improved greatly now; his CC weapon hits as hard as a Heavy Bolter with D2 and vs. INFANTRY every 6+ to-wound does a Mortal Wound, combined with a 6" lieutenant aura makes him another good melee beatstick/buffer for Astral Claws. He also gets a 5++ invul because that's what Void Hardened Armour does now.
    • See above Lugft Huron. Astral Claws love mortal wounds Bitchez!!


Red Scorpions

Probably loyalist Emperor's Children successors; the closest you're going to get here is probably Ultramarines Chapter Tactics to reflect their hard-on for the Codex Astartes, although Iron Hands might reflect their love of purity (and previous tactics) better. Successor Tactics: Indomitable, Stalwart, Stoic, Warded

  • Lord High Commander Carab Culln: Chapter Master. Stats-wise, of the level of other CMs here and in the main book, but his extra rules and weapons loadout is scattered and mediocre. An AP-2 D2 stormbolter, a +1 strength power sword with d3 damage that turns into a beastly x2 strength weapon, BUT only when he's fighting monsters or vehicles, and his personal rules gives every red scorpion within 6" a 6+ FNP style damage ignoring roll (no more stacking with iron hands chapter tactics due to 2018 FAQ). Overall, he's not bad, but has a sword that most of the time is simply average, and a gun that works but you aren't paying a couple hundred points for. Stick him in a fight vs Tyranids or similar and he'll prove his worth, but in comparison to the other chapter master level characters he's not quite focused enough in one area to do a job well enough, plus he's still the same points cost as the rest of them
  • Carab Culln the Risen: the same guy as above, but slapped in a freakin' Leviathan Dreadnought with a Twin Assault Cannon on one arm, and a D4 siege claw with Heavy Bolter on the other. He also packs two Heavy flamers and three Hunter-Killer missiles for shits and giggles. A fairly decent one-use rule "Death Hold", is when he rolls a 6+ to hit, he can opt to grab his opponent and cause d6 mortal wounds, but this renders the built-in Heavy Bolter useless for the rest of the game. Still retains his old rule that gives 6+ FNP to every Red Scorpions within 6", and if he dies to roll a d6; on 5+ he explodes causing d3 mortal wounds to every unit within 9". Culln is a little underwhelming compared to other Leviathans. As Storm Cannons are better than his Assault Cannons, but he isn't bound by the Relic rule. This means Red Scorpions won't need to take a Chaplain Dreadnought for that all Dread army. So he is is a consideration for the leader of an allied Vanguard or Spearhead Detachment.
    • While he's still a Character, he has over ten wounds, meaning no hiding him behind a wall of thirty Scouts to kamikaze up the field.
    • "Culln is a little underwhelming compared to other Leviathans". Other Leviathans are for the shooty-shooty. Culln is for the punchy-punchy. Two different tools for two different jobs. Compared to a SCA + claw + triple missile Leviathan, then for one extra point, you gain +1A, +1W, +1D in assault, his Death Hold rule, and a 6+ feel no pain for all Red Scorpion models within 6".
    • "but he isn't bound by the relic rule" he has the relic tag and is bound by the relic rule, so you still have to take a chaplain dread alongside him.
  • Magister Sevrin Loth: Librarian. Cheesier than a fondue convention in Wisconsin for two editions, he's finally been toned down to a 'good-but-not-too-good' level. He can cast two powers and deny three; now that you always choose powers and with the removal of some of the more potent powers, he's lost a lot here. His most powerful trick of gaining a 2++ is completely gone, now he just gets a 2+/4++. He also has nothing to do with command squads now. The only things that stayed the same are his price and his anti-psyker skills; a 6" aura of re-rolls to wound vs Psykers and a +1S Force Axe that always inflicts 3 damage vs Psykers. Still good enough to be a nigh auto-include for any Red Scorpions player.
  • Casan Sabius: New Chapter Master who has inherited the Blade of the Scorpion (S+1 (Sx2 vs monsters/vehicles), AP-3, Dd3) from Culln. He has a 2+/4++ save, and a new rule where if he causes one or more wounds in the Fight phase, one Red Scorpions Infantry unit within 6" gains +1A until the end of that phase. He also has the standard Chapter Master aura bonus, meaning he stacks very well with thunder hammer-wielding escorts, who suffer the usual -1WS.
  • Sirae Karagon: Released as part of a duet with the above dude, we've been told to just use him as a standard Chapter Ancient. Lazy and lame.
  • Dreadnought-Brother Halaar: Comes from the FAQ; he's a generic dreadnought who can take a flamestorm cannon instead of an assault cannon, but thanks to his FAQ entry having lazy writing, he hasn't got the character keyword.
  • Veteran Sergeant Haas: In the same FAQ, this guy is basically completely dropped from the game - instead, you're told to use the model to count as someone else's sergeant.

Minotaurs

Said to have "chimeric" gene-seed, but given their melee preference your fluffiest bet is Black Templars; however, if you field Moloc, Iron Hands is a good choice instead to represent being rock-hard in melee. Emperors Spears might also be a good choice if you like extra attacks in melee. Seems very similar to a certain Marine killing rule that chaos has... for Successor Tactics Whirlwind of Rage should be considered.

  • Lord Asterion Moloc: Chapter Master. The Lord Master of the Minotaurs is no longer the Marine killer he was before, but he's still a horrifyingly effective character. Sitting at a 2+/3++ with W7, he is harder to take down than some vehicles. His Black Spear makes a return at S+2, -3 AP, and 3 Damage with an additional attack against CHARACTERs. The spear's lasbeam is no longer single-use, meaning he can fire that sexy, sexy S8 -2 AP weapon all he likes. he gives the usual Chapter Master buff of re-rolls to failed hits in 6", and also gives his Minotaur infantry re-rolls to failed charges. Even if your opponent, somehow, makes it through all those saves in a charge, he gets to pile in and get off those attacks, making melee with him under any circumstance risky at best.
    • Pairing his re-roll failed charges special rule with the Hungry for Battle Successor Tactic (+1" to charge and advance) gives you a ~66% chance on a successful charge after deep striking.
  • Chaplain Ivanus Enkomi: The Minotaur chaplain character. He's lost the RAGE buff he had before and has no extra special rules over the usual buffs of a chaplain, usual rosarius, powerfist, and crozius. No jump pack, but instead has a grenade discharger. Frag grenades for mobs, krak grenades for tough targets. Worth noting is that, alongside his boss, Minotaurs re-roll charges as well as hits for the fight phase. Do ask yourself when you take him though... did you really WANT to pay 23 points to double the range of the otherwise completely normal frag and krak grenades. Yes, aside from that he boasts an extra attack and an extra wound, compared to normal, so maybe those 23 points have not been spent in vain.
  • Hecaton Aiakos: A character contemptor dreadnought - an HQ choice, but can't be your Warlord. Sporting 13 wounds, a 2+/4++ save, and the ability to ignore wounds on a 6+, he and Moloc apparently both believe that defense is the best offense. Not that either is lacking in that regard. He sports a heavy plasma cannon with all the pain that entails as well as the standard Dreadnought combat weapon. Groundstrike allows him to immediately inflict mortal wounds on a unit in 1" of him if he charged. Also worth mentioning is that, as a RELIC, he gives access to the Relic of Ancient Glory stratagem. All this will set you back in points, however, beating out even Huron for sheer points. Additionally, he can never be your Warlord. But he sure kicks ass. Just let him stay around Moloc for the sweet sweet re-rolls and unleash the moo-moo.
    • Use the WHITE SCARS chapter tactic so Aiakos can fall back and charge and keep dealing out mortal wounds.
  • Sergeant Hamath Kraatos: The FAQ basically tells you to drop this guy from the game, and instead use the model to represent a generic Devastator.

Star Phantoms These guys are DEFINITELY nothing like the Exorcists, and all rumors you have heard that they are successors to the Dark Angels are BLATANTLY FALSE AND HERETICAL PROPAGANDA, PREPARE TO BE PURGED. As their founding chapter is DEFINITELY AND TOTALLY UNKNOWN, treating them as an Unknown Founding chapter makes the most sense for Tactics.

  • Captain Zhrukhal Androcles: Captain. Lost his ability to take Devastators as elites and heavy support. Is identical to a vanilla captain statline wise. He comes with Stonefist, which is a named thunder hammer, and a combi-melta, but no Bolt Pistol. With the Thunder Hammer's disgustingly increased cost, Captain Z finally has his chance to shine, since he grants nearly everything a similarly built Captain can give for over 20 points less.

Exorcists These guys are particularly interesting because they're a Codex Chapter founded by a non-Codex chapter which has no Chapter Tactics rule. As their founding Chapter is considered to be unknown by most of the Imperium, they get a free choice of Chapter Tactics like any other Chapter of unknown origin. Grey Knights additionally have absolutely no rules in their Codex or Index section covering how to field their successors. Your fluffiest choice of tactic will probably be, as the Blood Ravens, to dynamically choose your tactic after finding out your opponents' faction, as that is how the Chapter fights in the fluff and no game rule bans it. Successor Tactics: Knowledge is Power & Warded (known for getting possessed and then exorcising the Daemons).

  • Captain Silas Alberec: Captain who can Deny the Witch as if he were a basic Psyker (2d6, 1/phase). Also comes with S5, a named power fist (for that sweet S10) that does 3D to a Psyker or Daemon, and a S6 bolt pistol. Best for pounding enemies into beefsteak at melee.

Index Units[edit]

This section covers all HQ units that were included in the 8th Edition Index but did not receive a new entry in the 2019 codex. These units have gained the Angels of Death special rule through FAQ.

  • Librarian on Bike: Gives your Librarian +1T +1W, a two-shot Bolter and most of all mobility. A Librarian on Bike can move up to 20" per turn. This means that you can both keep the librarian away from units that can hurt him in close combat while also allowing you to easily get in range of any unit you wish to use a psychic power on. The twin-bolter also provides him with a higher amount of firepower than the other Librarian choices do.
  • Chaplain on Bike: If you're looking for both survivability and the mobility then this is for you. Bikes got a massive buff as they move farther than before, giving the rider an extra wound and a toughness bonus. Lacks the Jump Pack's Fly & deepstrike shenanigans, but can still cover massive amounts of distance per turn.
  • Techmarine on Bike: Gives your Techmarine additional staying power (+1T/W), a two-shot Bolter, all of the footslogger's wargear options and, most importantly, mobility. A Techmarine on Bike can move 15-20" per turn (22" for White Scars) to keep up with your vehicles, as he can't repair them from the inside. Hilarious amount of dakka with his Servo-Harness, Combi-weapon and bike's twin bolter.
    • Along with Captains, Techmarines are the only HQ units who readily practice marksmanship and have a BS of 2+. Thus a cheap 45 point model makes good use of The Primarch's Wrath on a free bolter, and you can take the Conversion Beamer too. Configured in such a way, he adds worthy firepower while aiding in vehicle repairs and generally earning his keep in your list.
  • Rhino Primaris: One half of the Command Tank duo, the Rhino Primaris distinguishes itself from the basic Rhino by 3 things: its twin Plasma Gun, the ability to call an orbital bombardment (a 72" range monster with S10 AP-4 Heavy D3 D6 damage that becomes Heavy D6 when used on a unit with 10 or more models and doesn't need line of sight, but can only be fired once per game), and its servo-skull hub. The hub allows the Rhino Primaris to buff allies within 12" with either a +1 to hit, a -1 to morale tests, or healing a wound (for vehicles only). It only has room to transport 6 units, though that's just enough for a Captain and his Veteran Squad.
    • Never fire the plasma gun on overcharged mode; the risk of destroying the Rhino Primaris isn't worth the extra damage. Unless you use the Servo-skull hubs +1 to hit on the Rhino, in which case you can overheat without risk. Probably better spent on those Hellblasters or Plasma Cannon devastators though.
    • Positioning is important, but it's even more important with the Rhino Primaris. Rhinos are tougher now, but you don't want your light APC in harm's way. But if you camp it behind a ruin that's somewhat central, flying units and other assets fighting in the vicinity all become viable options for the servo-skull hub. Imagine an overhead Caestus flying in, getting tagged by the Rhino, and then vomiting its weapons onto an enemy. Hitting enemy targets with BS 2+ anti-tank weaponry from nowhere? That's the value of positioning.
    • Worst case, have the Rhino Primaris pick itself on Turn 1 with its servo-skull hub, and fire the orbital relay (which can now be fired on turn one, a significant boost from 7th). Hitting on 2+ with a weapon this powerful is amazing, whether it's D3 or D6 shots. Add some way to reroll ones/hits and you can really lay a beating on something. A footslogging Captain may be better here than the Excelsior, but each scenario is different. If the Rhino is far enough back, a Primaris Captain (with a Stalker-pattern Bolter) babysitting some Hellblasters anyway could help.
    • If you're looking for a good base for a conversion, the Damocles Rhino from Forge World is a good start.
  • Land Raider Excelsior: The other half of the Command Tank duo, which comes with a 5+ invulnerable save, the Captain's ability to grant re-rolls for hit results of 1 for units within 6" of it, a pair of twin lascannons, a combi-plasma, and a grav-cannon/grav-amp combo. If you take it, take the Rhino Primaris too - it'll gain a +1 to hit for all shooting attacks if it stays within 24" of the Rhino Primaris. Apart from that, it's fairly similar to the vanilla LR, albeit better able to take on heavy infantry thanks to the grav-cannon.
    • As is the case for the Rhino Primaris, do not overcharge the plasma gun part of the combi-plasma. Your lascannons do everything that an overcharged plasma gun shot can do, without the risk of killing yourself in the process! Unless you're close to the Rhino Primaris, in which case, you might as well, since your rolls of 1 will become 2.
    • Often overlooked, this thing is a Character. While it has too many wounds to 'hide,' you can make this thing your Warlord. May not be a terrible choice in spite of its size, being the toughest vanilla Character in the book. It's expensive, but its sheer size adds a fair distance to its Rites of Battle special rule, meaning that a Chaplain-led melee squad disembarking from this thing can do a tremendous amount of damage while denying your opponent an easy Slay the Warlord. Avoid getting stuck in melee, however. You want this thing shooting at medium/heavy infantry and vehicles

Troops[edit]

With the new FOCs it is possible to make a Battle Forged list without any Troops at all. Troops are usually where one turns for numbers, as in 8E the player with the most models within 3" of an objective can claim it. you have a lot of options for troops.

  • Tactical Squad: The same jack-of-all-trades as always. Due to how armour modifiers work in this edition they now benefit from cover, more so than most infantry in fact, but there are drastically more weapons capable of making them take a 4+ or worse save. They can fill in any gaps in your army that might need to be addressed. The best way to look at them is as a good middle ground option to your other troops choices. They don't have the early game mobility and good special rules of Scouts, the same durability and damage output as Intercessors/Infiltrators, or the same cover ignoring tricks as the Incursors, but they can be relied on to get the job done more often than not. Just don't expect them to perform miracles. Heavy weapons are easier to use now as they get less penalties for moving and unlimited split fire exists. This edition also encourages you to take them as MSU: less morale vulnerability and many units can fit in the same transport. That way you can put two 5-man units inside a Rhino and have two Sarges with Combis plus 2 Specia/Heavy weapon guys. Four total, as opposed to the three a regular 10-man squad would. Second Codex has reduced their cost significantly to the point where they cost only one more point than Scouts.
    • Tacticals make great pocket lascannon units, or, can take a hint of plasma/grav weaponry. let them sit on objectives or hitch a ride in a transport and they can really help other more expensive units.
    • Also consider the Missile Launcher in light of early AP-1 doctrines on heavy weapons. Unless you're against T8 (where a Lascannon will be the better choice), ML lets you take shots on tanks and monsters, then bolsters your bolters against hordes into the later stages of the game.
  • Scout Squad: Cheaper than marines, with the same damage output but a 4+ save. The Scout special rule Concealed Positions may be the best troop rule space marines have, allowing them to cut off huge swathes of the board from enemy deep strikes early in the game. But Scouts are more than a mere speed bump. Flexible as the space marines in training they are, they can be used with either ranged or close combat loadouts (the close combat loadout is terrible unless you have very specific chapter tactics - typically, anything a pistol and chainsword scout can do, a shotgun scout can do better), but lacking power armour, you'll want to have a plan. Furthermore, don't give them shotguns unless you put them in a Land Speeder Storm - bolters are usually the better free gun. Camo Cloaks let them make better use of cover - it gives them the same resilience as Tacticals in cover but at a higher model cost.
    • Scouts with Sniper Rifles are your army's cheapest source of, well, sniping. Just like in Rynn's World, a scout with a sniper rifle is not going to kill an Ork Warboss, but they might take down the Pain Boy that supports him. They also help to create Character denial area during deployment. With good range and a chance for mortal wounds, they're useful for harassing not only characters but also targets of opportunity, like armoured infantry and even tanks.
    • A sniper can be viewed as a source of 1/9 of a mortal wound. Two battalions each with 15 sniper scouts (in 5 man teams) are a good example - it'll run you 390 points base before camo cloaks (another 90 for all of them) or monkeying around with the sergeant's loadout. If all 30 are all in range you're looking at about 3.33 mortal wounds a turn on any unit (including Characters, of course) in range, plus D3 more on a non-Character if you throw in a Heavy Bolter for Hellfire Shells. Each of those mortal wounds is de facto also a nonmortal wound (since you had to hit and roll high enough for the shot to have wounded anything in the game), so it's 3.33 mortal wounds plus at least 3.33 saveable wounds, which may be enough to kill a W4 target or less (which many characters are).
    • Sniper scouts or even shotgun scouts make fantastic distractions and will bait your opponent into killing a unit that isn't really all that dangerous. Scouts are relatively cheap and force your opponent's hand, lest they start piling on mortal wounds or getting into shotgun or charge range. It tempts other players to waste their effort on them. In reality, all of your far more deadly units are moving into position with a turn less damage... which can make all the difference in situations where you didn't go first or become outmaneuvered, etc.
  • 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 17pts as opposed to the mini marine's 1W and A for 12pts; meaning 35% cheaper wounds. Before upgrades or considering squad sizes, that means you can bring 12 Intercessors (24 W) for the same price as 17 Marines. 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. Stalker Bolt Rifles aren't as cost-effective, but 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 back objectives. 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. 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 (but grenades themselves are meh), and they are a prime target for multi-damage weapons, like autocannons, and they are practically custom-tailored to be mulched by Dark Reapers.
    • Stalker Bolt-rifles are now D2, and with AP-2, these are clearly meant to be the rifles to be used against enemy Primaris. In Devastator doctrine the rifle is AP-3. Fists, both Imperial and Crimson will get a good deal of use with this method, since they can get even more hits.
    • 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. 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 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.
    • Intercessors are a good choice for a Raven Guard force, as they are one of the few units able to Rapid Fire from outside 12", allowing them to keep their penalty to be hit. Prime objective cover campers, as at 2W, 2+ save and -1 to hit, there are more appealing targets to be found elsewhere.
    • As of the second Codex, Intercessor Sergeants can now take a few relics with the right Stratagem. Not the best option for a relic, but it's there if you want it and a D4 Thunder Hammer is capable of ruining someone's day no matter who's using it.
  • Infiltrator Squad: Same statline as Intercessors, but with +1Ld. Standard unit of one Sergeant and four Bodies, and an optional five extra, but unique in that it can replace one with either an Apothecary-Cadet (that can only heal a model from this unit, or revive one on a 5+), or a comms specialist who will let your whole unit benefit from the auras of any Phobos Captains or Lieutenants currently in play no matter where they are on the board. Marksman bolt carbines are exactly the same as boltguns, but unmodified hit rolls of 6 automatically hits and wounds, but your opponent still gets a save. They are affected by the Bolter Discipline rule, so double tap out to 24" when stationary. Their smoke grenades work exactly as vehicle smoke launchers; sacrifice a round of shooting for a -1 hit modifier against opponents shooting attacks (Raven Guard chapter tactics anyone?). They can deploy when setting up anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9" from an enemy unit or your opponent’s own deployment zone: this is during set-up only, not during any of your other turns. Finally, enemy units cannot arrive as reinforcements within 12" of this unit, making them excellent at area denial.
    • Sadly, at 22 points a model (and +10 more points for a Helix Adept or Comms), much of this needs to be judged against the flexibility of the Tactical Squad, the solidity of firepower from an Intercessor squad, and the cheapness of the Scout Squad. Bad? Maybe not. Overcosted? The jury is still out...but the verdict is likely yes.
    • While they do cost as much as Reivers with grapple guns and grav shutes, they do deny deep strikes within 12" of them meaning the majority of Rapid-Fire weapons can't upon arriving and more importantly enemy units can't charge you out of deepstrike (crippling to armies and players that rely on it and makes their ability much more valuable against Orks, 10K Sons & GSC). Spread them about to maximize that bubble and watch them draw fire from your opponent (assuming their army relies on this tactic) possibly saving other key units. So weigh this against their staggering cost (230 for 9 plus a Hellix Adept) for a troops choice, although thankfully now you at least don’t have to take the full 10 man squad to include a specialist.
    • Arguably the best use of Infiltrator squads in the new codex is as a universal "Anti Everything" troop choice. By combining the use of a few key buffs, Captain, Phobos Lieutenant, and Chaplain, infiltrators can cause extreme damage to any target. With Storm of Fire from the captain (plus rerolls), Target Priority from the phobos lieutenant, and catechism of fire from the chaplain, they can bring forth a withering hail of bolts that can outright destroy even hard targets such as dreadnoughts if luck is on their side.
    • With the recent FAQ where additional auto hit share the same number as the original hits, there are some merits to bringing infiltrators in an Imperial Fists detachment as every 6 will generate 2 auto wounds
  • Incursor Squad: Cheaper infiltrators that trade their auto-wounding on 6 rifles for ignores cover. Also trade their fancy electronic warfare kit for sensors that can ignore hit penalties, and carry knives to get an extra hit on 6s. They can set a single haywire mine per game and... that's about it. They lose the ability to take a Helix Adept or comm array, which I guess makes them the jocks to the Infiltrators nerds, complete with explosive football to toss.
    • The mine bears a little discussion. When a unit gets within 3" it deals d3 mortal wounds, plus an extra 1 if it's a vehicle. If you aren't willing to blow points on infiltrators you don't have much excuse to take these over the now-improved Intercessors. Against certain hard to hit armies they may be worth it, but they are still simply scout troopers with a d3 MW trick.
    • With the whirlwind of rage chapter tactic and the Gene-Wrought might Stratagem, on the charge Incursors will get 3 automatic wounds for every 6 rolled. Add in the assault doctrine and Combat Doctrine - Devastating Charge, that's 3 automatic wounds at 2D and -1 AP every hit on a 6.

Elites[edit]

The Space Marine Elite slot gets work done and carries essential buffing character units like the Apothecary and Company Ancient, as well as a few exotic Forge World vehicles. Vastly improved with new codex, very powerful units await!

  • Aggressor Squad: The goofy-looking lovechild of a Terminator and a Centurion that outperforms both. Not kidding around here, these guys now sport 3W and 3A and all of their shots get AP-1 for a turn with doctrines, all of this without any points increase. They come stock with auto boltstorm gauntlets (so assault instead of pistol) and a frag grenade launcher, or you can trade all that in for Firebat pattern flamestorm gauntlets, which is a pair of flamers. Either you're going for 18 inches of 6+D6 (average: 9.5 shots, 6.33 of which hit) S4 or 8 inches of 2D6 (average: 7) auto-hitting S4, and either way it allows them to put out a lot of short-ranged firepower, with 3 power fist attacks (4 from the sarge) in melee. Generally speaking the bolters+launchers will do better, averaging to only .66 fewer hits than the flamers but at more than double the range, you should really only use flamers if you're going for the Salamanders' flamecraft strat, or just trying to make these fugly models slightly less fugly since taking them means giving up those silly looking grenade launchers. They've got Gravis armour, which makes them T5, W3, move 5", and take up two slots in a Repulsor. Then there's the special rules: Fire Storm, which lets you shoot twice if you don't move (including in Overwatch, which is just plain scary when combined with the flamestorm gauntlets), and Relentless Advance, which lets you advance and fire assault weapons without penalty (this has no effect on the flamers, as they autohit anyway- it's mainly for the Bolters and grenade launchers). This makes them surprisingly fast since all their guns are assault. Run and gun for the Emperor! Aggressors are also strong at the front of your army for discouraging/punishing Deep Strikers. If you go 2nd, and someone deep strikes nearby, the Aggressors will count as having not moved. Pop the Auspex Scan so you can shoot the deep strikers, and shoot them twice due to Fire Storm special rule.
    • Aggressors deserve SERIOUS praise. Now they virtually invalidate terminators unless you like to deep strike or need the 2+/5++. The typical anti-Marine strategy is to is keen to swamp your force in large bodies of units while also attempting to outmaneuver them. Aggressors can negate these tactics quite well. Drawing from everything mentioned above; squads of three only cost 111 points, can move quite quickly and still retain HIGH volumes of fire. More so, they work well with certain stratagems: Raven Guard SFTS can place them very close if needed. Find a way to get them re-roll support and they are phenomenal. Aggressors are great generalists because they are both anti-horde and anti-elite/vehicle. They also seem to be the strongest elites choices currently, aside from dreadnoughts.
    • Consider them expendable. It's a valiant and noble role, but a vanguard detachment of 3 squads with a Lieutenant placed in front of your main army is more than enough to contain an opponent and deal significant damage in the process while being affordable.
      • Flame version used in this manner is perhaps the greatest 'speed bump' one could ask for. Kudos if they deploy in cover.
    • 6 with bolters cranks out like 100 shots a turn... fuck mate thats nearly .5 S4 bolter shots per point considering a full six man squad is 222 points. And you're getting powerfists, T5 W3. Seriously, What more could you ask for? (Other than 2+ armour, an invulnerable save, or something that might let them hit from further than 18" away. As much as GW would like to gift Marines with the perfect unit, they won't, so be thankful they haven't gotten more expensive with additional W and A).
      • Not to mention AP -1 with the Tactical Doctrine. So now they wreck face at range AND in combat. Clearly someone at GW gets a blowjob for every box of aggressors sold.
  • Apothecary: Now a Character running on his own. Doesn't give out Feel No Pain, but 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. If no-one's wounded, he gets a 4+ chance to bring 1 dead model back to life with a single wound, but if he fails, he can't do anything else that turn. Can't swap out his weapons, so he's stuck with a bolt pistol and chainsword. Combines great with high-end infantry, shooty 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.
    • 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 for 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.
  • Company Ancient: The old banner bearer, now an Independent Character. The banner adds +1L to any same <chapter> Infantry units within 6". If a <chapter> Infantry model dies within 6", 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. Note that this only affects models in the bubble, not units, so be mindful when picking who dies. It also sadly doesn't affect bikes. Comes with a bolt pistol that you can swap for a different pistol, combi, or melee weapon. Out of phase shooting is great, and marine infantry die quite a bit in practice. Combine with an Apothecary.
    • Primaris Ancient: 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.
      • Also of note is the fact that, much like the bike ancient, this guy is mounted on 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 has initiative 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.
  • Company Veterans: More or less the Command Squad from earlier editions, minus the Apothecary, (Company) Champion, and banner bearer (now a Company Ancient), which are all split off as independent Characters. 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). They possess an ability similar to the old "Look out, Sir!" rule which lets them intercept a wound from a CHARACTER on a 2+ in exchange for taking a mortal wound, so they're good bodyguards.
    • Far and away 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, and they can get down to a 2-man unit, emphasizing morale immunity and maximizing the "free" sergeant "upgrade" (even though he is proficient with fewer weapons than his men). Note the sergeant has been FAQed to now have access to storm shields.
    • While it goes without saying taking two melee weapons is idiotic outside of two chainswords, any combination of melee and pistols essentially means you're taking Vanguard Vets, but without the Jump Packs, and with the ability to get down to 2 men, not 5 (particularly useful due to the Sergeant's improved Attack), as well as having the bodyguard ability - if you were going to take Vanguard Vets on foot anyway, such as in a transport, these are better, but you should think long and hard before taking Vanguard Vets with Jump Packs, if you're after melee. The primary reason to take Company Vets is the Special Weapons access, paired with either a thunder hammer or a storm shield (the storm shield is usually your best bet).
    • For the points, you should not take flamers - a storm bolter will deliver more S4 shots in that range per point - but should take combi-flamers, if you're really after 8" of S4 death. However, no tricks here will let you beat out Scout Bikes for S4 hits per point, so you should seriously consider loading them out differently.
    • The opposite is true for plasma, because the shared profile's -1 penalty makes overcharging hopelessly expensive - plasma guns are more efficient than combi-plasmas. Because the Sergeant is stuck with a combi, the unit's ranged output will get slightly more efficient (with diminishing returns) as it gets bigger if it commits hard to plasma, or the Sergeant can just stick with a combi-flamer.
    • Meltaguns cost more than the Veterans carrying them, and you have no really great way to get them into position to shoot, so in practice, they're best avoided. Grav guns, on the other hand, are just always an inefficient choice, period, compared to plasma.
    • Consider a Stormbolter + Chainsword loadout for Rapidfire 2 S4, and 3 Attacks on the charge, at a fairly decent price. These guys can be really helpful in a Character Spam space marine army, as usually characters can't be shot if other units are in the way but some attacks can single out characters. These guys can intercept those wounds.
    • With a minimum size of two veterans, Crimson Fists should be very pleased.
  • Vanguard Veteran Squad: Better assault marines. They can take a large selection of weapons while using Jump Packs when properly loaded out they can get enemy models engaged in CC and kill them first turn if taken in numbers (the easiest way to accomplish a turn 1 deep strike charge is by making many attempts at it). A pretty popular unit in 7th and still could be in 8th, as weapons like lightning claws and power swords can wound things like dreadnoughts and vehicles on 5s. Plasma pistols are a really viable choice in 8th, as you can shoot both pistols on the drop. Each model can take 2 chainswords - that's 4 attacks per model for 90 points (or 80 if you're silly and don't take the Packs), 5 for the Sergeant. Though expensive, with the changes to how invulnerable saves work, a Vanguard squad with Thunder Hammers and Shields can be a superior alternative to taking hammernators. A squad with this set-up can kill some of the most powerful units in the game in a single turn. As an example, 4 groups of 5 hitting Magnus (T7 Sv3+/4++r1 18W) expect to wipe him out in a single turn, although they will cost about 2/3 again his cost, assuming you take the Jump Packs. Vanguard with thunder hammers can do a maximum of 33 damage per turn; if a Captain (or, better, a Chaplain, who will provide a better buff for fewer points), Lieutenant, and/or Guilliman is within buff range, they become particularly terrifying. Revisiting the above math, a nearby jump lieutenant and jump chaplain take the point difference from needing 668 to kill 415 to needing 597 (roughly, 4 squads to 2.5 squads), and that's just their buff, of course - both characters can jump in and help if they like. Each TH/SS Vet costs 13 points less than a TH/SS Assault Terminator, hits just as hard, can't have their teleport deactivated, has the same invulnerable save, will never need a transport to be effective, and has much higher movement. Their main trade-offs are an armour save of 3+ instead of a 2+ and 1 less wound than a Terminator; however, considering the amount of AP modifying weapons and multi damage weaponry in 8th, this isn't as big a trade-off as it first appears. On the whole, a flexible unit that can be geared to be what you want - as cheap as possible to shred hordes with chainswords, or tooled up to deal with more powerful units. Models in this unit can have 2 chainswords, which is usually more productive than 1 chainsword 1 bolt pistol -- as you get two fight phases per battle round, but only one shooting phase. 2 Chainswords on a 2 attack model means 4 total attacks.
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad: With the special ammunition gone, the sternguard now walk up the field with their beefy Special Issue Boltgun. Now the gun is free and packing a punch with its AP-2 and 30" range over the standard-issue, the sternguard are much more likely to crunch through all forms of armour, especially in conjunction with the Masterful Marksmanship Stratagem. A special note goes towards combi-weapons; while they don't have the one-use rule anymore, remember that the bolt part of the weapon is the standard one without any AP. However, in 7ed, the cost of the Special Ammo was baked into the Model, but in 8ed, you don't have to pay for the special issue bolt gun if you take a different weapon. This makes using a weapon other than their special bolter less of penalty. They also get the standard veteran extra attack over a normal marine, so they can deal some decent retaliatory damage when they're inevitably charged.
    • Still one of the best units to come out of a drop pod and rapid fire something to death with their special issue boltguns. Their new specialized stratagem gives them +1 to their wound roll, so make sure to have a Captain/Chapter Master near them for the re-rolls, and give him the Storm of Fire Warlord Trait and include a Lieutenant. Now they're shooting 20 shots, re-rolling 1s (or misses if it's the CM), wounding everything less than T8 on a 3/4+, re-rolling 1 s to wound, and every 5 or 6 to wound is resolved at AP-3 (and just for added fun, make them Imperial Fists and ignore that cover their squad is hiding in while you gain the potential for extra shots with the Bolter Drill Stratagem, or make them Salamanders for even more reliable wounding/improved AM and less reliance on a full Chapter Master).
    • When these guys come out of drop pods, don't forget that their rapid fire range is 15", so that can give them some space before the inevitable charge. Most units are only able to rapid fire 12" away, so the following turn, the enemy unit can advance 6" and then be up close for an easy charge. The difference between being 9" away and 6" should not be understated, and should be used to your advantage, so keep that in mind when deploying their drop pod.
      • Note that coming out of a drop pod 12" away if armed with Storm Bolters will be more effective, if riskier, and without ap-2.
  • When comparing the Special Issue Boltgun to the Storm Bolter, it can be seen that (ignoring range) the SIB is, in general, better than the Storm Bolter against most targets, especially once wounding is taken into consideration. While it is better universally if the target has a 2+ armour save and an invulnerable of 4++ or worse, while they are the same against 3+ or 2+/3++. The AP of the SIB comes in handy when discussing how many successful wounds when the wound roll is disadvantaged; the Storm Bolter effects nothing, while AP-2 can significantly improve wound chances. When using the stratagem, see the following table.
Save
2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+
To Wound 2+ Special Issue Boltgun Both Storm Bolter Storm Bolter Storm Bolter
3+ Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Storm Bolter Storm Bolter
4+ Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Both Storm Bolter
5+ Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Storm Bolter
6+ Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun Special Issue Boltgun
  • Terminator Squad: As of late, Terminators seem to be overtaken by other elite's 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 its just 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 an extra Wound to their profile also outright doubles their survivability against massed small arms fire. The 5" movement means they're most effective when deep striking, but footslogging can still work if your opponent's lacking in anti-armour weaponary. The heavy flamer punishes counter charges and has the benefit of autohitting, 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 meatsheilds, 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; it's set up during deployment, anywhere in your deployment zone, and allows Terminators to skip their move in exchange for re-deploying the unit within 6" of the homer. While this is great for bringing them into an area that needs defending, each homer can only be used once and will be disabled if an enemy moves within 9" of it. A good way to screw with your opponents head as they can see where the homer is and will always have to consider the fact that your units can just blip away at your discretion.
  • Terminator Assault Squad: 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 are 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 hammer and shield. Why? Tartaros Terminators can take double claws for the exact same cost, have the same stats and 5++, get a 6" move instead of 5", and can add a grenade harness for a bit of shooting on the side; Cataphractii aren't as fast, but have a better invulnerable save, also get the harness, and cost 5 points less when using double claws. The only advantages these guys have over Tartaros are the hammer/shield setup, and a teleport homer for an emergency jump out, so *use* them.
    • 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 Honour Thy Chapter. As mentioned before, and in the standard unit's entry, use discounted Land Readers to place Hammernators right where you need them.
  • Cataphractii Terminator Squad: Cataphractii Terminators come with a 4++, but they're stuck with a movement of 4" and halve the results of their Advance rolls. They can be as lethal in close combat as Assault Terminators (and more durable by far when compared to Assault Terminators with LCs if kitted out that way), but their terribly slow movement means they'll struggle to actually get stuck in without deep striking or hitching a ride on a Land Raider.
    • Remember that to benefit from the Lightning Claw's extra attack, you need to replace both the power fist and the combi-bolter. As lethal as the combination of LCs and a built in Storm Shield can be, it will eat up a lot of points. A good build not available to normal terminators is a LC and a twin boltgun on each terminator, dropping the twin LC for one and taking the boltgun, you only lose one attack and gain a potential 4 strength 4 shots instead, giving your 5 man squad 20 shots, and don't forget you can take a heavy flamer too. On a 10 man unit that is 40 shots and you save yourself 20 points on dropping the extra LC.
    • The sarge's grenade harness is a good way of giving him a ranged attack while still letting him take two lightning claws. It's an Assault D6 12" bolter with -1 AP, which isn't great but is still better than nothing.
    • A unit of 5 Cataphractii Terminators with Twin Lightning Claws costs 210 points. A Terminator Assault Squad with Twin Lightning Claws costs 215 points. A Tartaros Terminator Squad with Twin Lightning Claws costs 215 points. For the reduction of 5 points you lose 1 of movement and gain a 4++ save instead. The sheer durability added and the ability to teleport onto the field means that if you're looking to do Twin Lightning Claw terminators there's literally very little reason to NOT use Cataphractii over normal Terminators. Just keep in mind that after the charge they'll have to footslog unless you have a transport near by. Great when combined with Black Templers for the re-rolling charge to ensure they make the charge.
  • Tartaros Terminator Squad: All the protection of standard Terminator Armour, but none of the movement penalties! As before, the Tartaros Terminators use Reaper Autocannons instead of Assault Cannons; while they have fewer shots than the AC, which means even with the extra point of strength they'll break even against T7 (and have worse output against T6 ), at least they're slightly cheaper. The improved mobility does come at the expense of losing access to Storm Shields, though, and unlike the Cataphractii your invulnerable save is no better than basic Terminator armour.
    • Up to 2 models can take grenade harnesses; their range overlaps with the Combi-bolter's rapid fire range, so use that to your advantage.
    • The sarge can take a Plasma Blaster or a Volkite Charger. The Plasma Blaster is an 18" Assault 2 plasma gun, with all the strengths and weaknesses that entails. The Volkite Charger is Heavy 2 15" S5 AP0 D2; while it may seem somewhat weak compared to the Plasma Blaster it can still cause multiple wounds without running the risk of blowing yourself up with it in the process. But unlike other 40K Volkite weapons it can't cause more damage on a 6+. GW sensed your pain and have answered: volkite chargers now do the extra mortal wound on a 6. Pairing it with the power sword might be a good idea, though - the sword's AP-3 can help compensate for the Volkite's ineffectivenss against armoured units. Though you probably want to take a Chainfist as it has better AP and damage compared to the other melee options. If you expect to face TEQs. You should take the Plasma Blaster instead.
  • 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 a 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 a 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.
  • Dreadnought: The Dreadnought is one of the best non-HQ units in the Space Marine index. For 177 you can have a Dreadnought with twin lascannons and the CCW w/Heavy Flamer (even cheaper in 8.5 codex baby - this loadout now costs only 134 points), or for 165 you can have 5 Devastators with 4 lascannons. That's not the most optimal build for the Dreadnought, either. In an edition that loves the Heavy Flamer, Dreadnoughts can carry 3. The unit is 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 re-rolling aura for a turn.
    • 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 profile.
  • Venerable Dreadnought: 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. Notably, the 2+ BS lets you move and still shoot heavy weapons with a better than 50/50 chance to hit, so if you want your dual twin autocannon or lascannon/missile dread to stay mobile, consider the Venerable. 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 if you stand still (the gain is better if you move), so unless you're taking Heavy Flamers or a Chapter Master, this is always worth it for the output alone; under a Chapter Master, even if you move 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 recieve both benefits.
  • Contemptor Dreadnought: For just a modest points increase over a standard Dreadnought, the Contemptor packs 3 extra inches of movement, 2 extra wounds, +1 strength, the same WS/BS as the Venerable Dreadnought, and a 3+/5++ (it also costs more than a Venerable). All of this, unfortunately, comes with a small consequence. The Contemptor and the Redemptor are the only non-FW dreadnought variants currently that suffer from a Damage Table. 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 smoke launchers, 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 makes 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 means the Contemptor can kill most characters in a single round of combat. He is rightfully to be feared by enemy warlords.
    • Linesman: High toughness, high saves, and high wounds means the Contemptor can stop advances pretty quickly.
  • Ironclad Dreadnought: Ironclad Dreadnoughts are much more melee-oriented than the other Dreadnought types, and the extra point of Toughness they get helps them stick around to get there. It switches out its ranged weapon for a Seismic hammer, which forces a -1 to hit but comes with AP-4 and deals a jaw-dropping 5 damage per attack; if reliability is more your thing, it can be switched for a Dreadnought chainfist which deals "only" 4 damage per attack but retains the high AP and loses the penalty to hit. The hammer is better against W5, 9, 10 while the fist is better against everything else. If you dont know for certain that you are going to face a lot of W5 characters or transports with W10 you should generally avoid the hammer. 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, the Ironclad Assault Launchers give it the ability to deal d3 mortal wounds to units within 1" of it after a charge on a 4+, which ensures they'll be softened up when you begin the fight phase.
    • 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.
  • Redemptor Dreadnought: 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, Hellblastors, 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 strategem and a big unit of Hellblasters and you can re-roll all those overcharges that might blow you to high heaven.
  • Invictor Tactical Warsuit: Dreadnought Lite—all the bulk, half the calories points. T6 and W13 helps 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 that switches to Pistol 3 when enemies are within 1”. 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.
    • 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.
  • Reiver Squad: The 16 point loyalist equivalent to berserkers, the melee specialists of the Primaris Marines have some steep competition in the Elites slot, but where they're beaten in regards to sheer power they compensate with their unique rules and equipment. They're armed with a heavy bolt pistol that has -1 AP compared to the normal one and a combat blade that functions identically to a chainsword and can be traded for a bolt carbine, but their main draw is their Shock Grenades. They're Grenade d3 weapons that don't deal direct damage, but instead disable the Overwatch of INFANTRY they hit in addition to penalizing their hit rolls by 1. This added advantage in the Fight phase works well with the Reivers' Terror Troops rule, which reduces the Ld of all enemy units within 3" of any model in the Reiver Squad by 1, and which stacks with other squads up to Ld-3. As a result, they can debuff the Ld of units they're not actually in combat with, which can lead to a nasty chain reaction if they're stationed near units that are already likely to break in the Morale phase. They're also the cheapest of the Primaris Marines released so far by a long shot as well, which makes them a good way of supplementing an Assault Marine-centric force without spending too many points in the process. They can also buy grav chutes which lets them deep strike anywhere more than 9" away from the enemy. Alternatively, you can buy grapnel launchers, which negate vertical movement when calculating how far Reivers can move and allows for them to Outflank a la Space Woof Scouts.
    • Now at 16 points per model, Reivers are looking better than ever! Thats 8 points per wound, with fancy kit. Indeed, the cheapest Space Marine wounds ever seen!!!
    • A small unit with bolt carbines and grapnel launchers can make a decent harassing unit. Plop them in a building on your opponent's side. Bolt carbines put out twice as many shots as bolters/bolt rifles at 24" and the vertical distance keeps them safe from most assaults while cover helps keep them alive. Next turn hit the floor and advance while shooting, or better yet charge if you have the chance after popping off a shock grenade. It's a small, expendable unit that can still wreak havoc if left unchecked.
    • While not points efficient, it is possible to give Reivers both the grav chutes and grapnel launchers. This really does it open up the board with movement. Have them drop onto a building and use their Bolt Carbines to harass enemy units that get close. If an enemy gets too close, no worries, simply advance away to another building. Because vertical movement is not an issue due to grapnel launchers, you can literally Tarzan around the board. And since assault weapons simple cause a -1 modifier on to hit rolls for a unit that has standard marine ballistic skill, you can see where this is going. With Combat blades, the units charge is not effected. Basically, they can jump down from high ground, assault, and get back into the high ground. Do be aware, however, that if you Advance, you can't Charge. Assault weapons don't mitigate this.
      • These guys are top notch bullies. They won't do much to vehicles/monstrous creatures/heavy infantry... But will abuse MEQ and lower very well. It's funny because a unit like this belongs in a chaos codex with bat wings painted all over it, Guilliman lowered the bar with this lot.
    • New codex has several buffs that let combat Reivers put in work. Shock Assault gives them four attacks per model in the first round of combat, and Assault Doctrine means they'll finally have an AP. Stack those Terror Troops debuffs with the Fearsome Aspect Successor Tactic for -4 Ld, and make Chaos Space Marines as cowardly as grots.
    • Alternate opinion: Remember that the first and most important rule is to have fun playing his army. Reivers are not bad, they are just not competitive (in the current meta anyway). If you want some loyalist berserk with knife, magnum, and one of the coolest space marine designed ever, then go for it!
  • Servitors: Now that they can be taken independently of a Techmarine, you could use them as a cheap way of adding more plasma cannons to your force, but with WS/BS 5+, Ld6, and only a 4+ armour save, they'll have trouble actually hitting things, die from anything more dangerous than a mean look, and are likely to be lost to morale checks; they don't even get the benefits of Chapter Tactics. Having a Techmarine nearby mitigates their flaws a little by boosting them to Ld 9 and WS/BS 4+, but even then there are much better things you could be doing with your Elites slot.
    • Alternative take: servitors with heavy bolters are actually cheaper then they are base with a servo arm. If you have a tech marine it could be worth taking them as cheap fire support that also helps fill out detachments. 4 Servitors with 2 heavy bolters atm is 40 points. Servitors are essentially worse, cheap, devs in the elite section. For them to be able to make back their points though, they NEED that boost to BS.

Forge World[edit]

  • Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts (Forge World): 37 points (around 38%) more naked than a naked normal Contemptor. Two more wounds compared to the standard Contemptor, ignore wounds received on a 6+ AND has a 2+ save, but Attacks also degrade with damage now (rather than Movement). You also get access to way more options than any other Dreadnought. 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. Unfortunately is a Relic, so each one of these forces you to take a non-Relic Elite. If you really just want a Contemptor but better (i.e. filling the same role against the same targets), take 1 chainfist with a heavy flamer and 1 Kheres. You'll get into position for the Kheres faster since your Movement doesn't cripple, it'll take way more work to cripple your statline, and your fist's output in both melee and ranged will be incredible.
  • Weapon Options
  • Cyclone Missile Launcher: Per the FAQ, can take one of these, but it's 38 points for two missile launchers at only 36" range - two actual missile launchers would cost you 40, and have 48" range and the ability to split fire if you wanted. Not a bad idea, but better than on Terminators, as it mounts on top of the hull and doesn't replace an arm weapon. The big draw here is the Contemptor's BS2+.
  • Fist Weapon Options:DCCW or Chainfist, with a built-in Storm Bolter, Heavy Flamer, Plasma Blaster (an assault 2 plasma gun at a steep price hike, but sull usable for reasons described below), or Graviton Blaster (an assault 2 grav-gun without paying a point more, which is sadly not nearly enough to make it worthwhile). It's also worth mentioning that Relic Contemptor Dreadnoughts have the Unstoppable Fury rule, while allows them to reroll 1s to-hit if they are armed with two melee weapons but doesn't specify in which phase. So you have less concern about overcharging your plasma blaster now that you hit on a rerollable 2+. Since your movement no longer cripples, the Heavy Flamer is a really solid choice, allowing you to easily get into position to use it even as your other stats degrade.
    • Chainfists: Contemptor Chainfists gain -1 AP and +1 damage over a normal DCCW. Overall a solid upgrade that lets them do terrible damage to both vehicles and monsters. It's a must-take for all purposes. Don't take 2, though - 1 chainfist + 1 DCCW will give you identical performance while saving you 6 shiny points.
    • Re-rolling hit rolls of 1 is pretty damn worth it, now that rolling with 2 melee weapons only costs you 10 more points.
  • C-Beam Cannon: The new Heavy Conversion Beamer is a single-shot weapon that starts at S6 AP-3 that does D3 damage. It also gains +2 points of strength and +D3 damage for each 24" between the target and the firer, totaling S12 AP-3 4d3 Damage at 72" exactly, though realistically it will be S10 AP-3 D3d3 between 48" and 72". In addition, if a model is removed from play as a result of wounds caused then it automatically triggers 2d6 extra auto-hits on the target unit at S6 AP0 D1. Generally speaking, this weapon suffers the exact same problem as the Vindicare Assassin, with a crippling downside that the contemptor MUST remain stationary for the entire turn in order to use it. It cannot be stressed enough that this thing really NEEDS the range, though firing it at infantry squads has a good chance of killing a random mook and triggering an average of seven further S6 hits, which is still better than a twin heavy bolter. At full range, the initial hit will likely knock the crap out of any target, wounding it on a 2+ or 3+ depending on its toughness and generally reducing its save to 5+ or worse but those additional hits will likely be wasted.
    • Against the infantry targets you have a serious chance at one-shotting, the C-Beam Cannon suffers from costing so much. 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.
  • Kheres Assault Cannon: 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.
  • Twin Heavy Bolters: 68% the cost of a Kheres, in exchange for S5 instead of S7 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 Autocannons: Identical to the one on the normal Dread. Worse than either of the above options against single-wound enemies, but the best you can take against 2-wound foes; the twin lascannon, below, only finds viable targets starting at 3-wound targets and above, but this gun remains a good choice all the way up against something; even at 6+ wound targets, this is best against Toughness 5, 6, 7, or 10, due to its relatively cheap cost.
  • Twin Lascannons: Pop vehicles open without having to get into melta range. Probably better on the Contemptor Mortis, though. 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+ wounds targets, it's best against Toughness 1-4, 8, and 9.
  • Multi-Melta: A terrible idea. Much less effective than twin lascannons, against, well, anything. And the basic Dread or non-FW Contemptor could already take this.
  • Heavy Plasma Cannon: You have a 6+ save against the wounds overcharging this causes, but it's worse than your other choices against anything in the game, overcharged or not. Skip.
  • Relic Deredeo Dreadnought: 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 2 more wounds and its invulnerable save rises to 4+ in the Fight phase (but why are you in melee in the first place?) on top of the built-in smoke launchers. For guns, you have the Anvilus Autocannons (8 36" autocannon shots with +1 S) for mulching infantry, the Hellfire Plasma Carronade (5 overcharged plasma gunshots which deal 3 damage each but cause mortal wounds on a 1) as the generalist option, and the Arachnus Lascannon Battery (2 S10 AP-4 D6 Damage shots that deal an extra mortal wound on 6s) for taking out vehicles, and also chest-mounted heavy bolters/heavy flamers. Don't bother upgrading to heavy flamers. While auto-hits are good, the Deredeo should be as far away as possible. 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 or an Atomantic Pavaise to give everyone within 6" of itself a 5+ invulnerable save. The latter works great with Devastators or other long-ranged units that can help support the Deredeo's firepower.
    • 8th edition is kind of a mixed bag for the Deredeo. While 8 shots at BS2+/3+ on the move with the Anvillus sure are great, the 12" range reduction is very painful, especially for the plasma carronade. 24" max means it will be in range of most weapons in addition to the risk of losing wounds which is very probable at 5 shots per turn. So it is advised to have a reroll/repair character nearby should you go for the plasma option.
    • 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.
  • Deimos Pattern Relic Predator: Take a Predator, give it an extra wound, and slap a Plasma Destroyer on it as its turret weapon, and you have one of these tanks. The Plasma Destroyer itself can't be overcharged, but with the same number of shots as the basic Predator Autocannon and 2 Damage, it doesn't really need to be. While it can swap out the plasma destroyer for the standard Predator guns, that's a waste of its options. Instead, you should use its unique options: the Conversion Beam cannon to make it a hard-hitting artillery unit, the Magna-Melta for close-range anti-vehicle firepower, and the Infernus cannon for a double dose of heavy flamer goodness.
    • The c-beam isn't bad if you can keep your target at least 24" away. 72", heavy 1, S6, AP-3, Dd3, 2d6 S6 auto-hits if you cause a wound. A pretty solid addition to a gunline, since the infantry can provide a deep-strike and charging buffer. Best utilized against light-vehicles and smaller monsters due to 2d6 auto-hits. Its real downside is that it's heavy 1. You get one-shot. Just the one. Uno. Ein. So try and make sure it's plonked next to a Captain, or have a CP or two set aside to re-roll.
    • Plasma Destroyers fill in the usual plasma niche, but better. 36", S7, AP-3, D2, and does NOT cause a mortal wound. A good counterpart to the autocannons anti-light vehicle, this gun specializes in anti-heavy infantry. In that vein, the range gells with sponson heavy bolters, but can also pair well with sponson lascannons if you're going after monsters.
    • The magna-melta is garbage (24", Heavy d3, S10, AP-4, Dd6, melta rule), and it's 70pts. Hard pass, grab the twin las for vehicle busting. The infernus cannon (8", heavy 2d6, S5, AP-1, D2, auto-hits), isn't much better at its role of infantry killing at 45pts. Predator autocannons or plasma destroyer will do much better at that role, especially since you don't have to spend at least two turns getting in range. Either grab a Baal Predator or a Hellhound if you want Imperial firepower.
  • Relic Javelin Attack Speeder: The poor Deodorant Tanks got a huge nerf in 8th edition. For the most part, these fulfill the same role as before, that of a Heavy Land Speeder. But they lost the twin-linked rule on their Missile Launchers(WTF). They even lost their trademark Outflank ability. Overall this turned what was already a mediocre relic slot item, at best, into a shitty tool that's worse off than a generic land speeder.
    • IS it garbage? for 160 points you get 9 wounds on a T6 platform with a 3+ save and FLY, also including a handy rule: "Gravatic Augur Haze" that imposes a -1 modifier on all shooting attacks from 8" or more. This layout has 2 lascannons and a heavy bolter. That is 1 less heavy bolter than a Predator and arguably more survivable, plus it doesn't have a damage chart. With Raven Guard enhanced chapter tactics these should be able to get an additional +1 cover save while you comfortable fly around the backfield. Frankly, you could do worse, 3 of these will be 480 points with 6 lascannons and will be very hard to remove, all the while they constantly provide dedicated fire that can maneuver very well.
  • Relic Sicaran Battle Tank: The Sicaran has transitioned smoothly into 8th ed, retaining its status a high-speed menace. With a big 14" move, T7, 14 wounds, and 3+ Save it falls in between a Predator and a Land Raider in terms of size and durability. It's armed with a nasty twin accelerator autocannon which has a couple of neat tricks. It fires at 48" Assault 8 S7 AP-1 D2, suffers no penalties to its hit rolls when attacking flyers, and a to-wound roll of 6 increases the AP of that hit to -3. It's also armed with a single Heavy Bolter and can grab 2 sponson-mounted Heavy Bolters or 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons, a hunter-killer missile, and a pintle-mounted Storm, Bolter, if you crave more dakka. The Sicaran is a useful anti-air unit in a pinch and is well known for its ability to counter skimmers. Make good use of the Assault rule on its main gun by zipping around and firing while advancing. Thanks to Chapter Approved the Sicaran now only costs 165 points without sponsons.
  • Relic Sicaran Venator Tank Destroyer: 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 S12 AP-4 D6 damage hits (all 3 of them), it'll have all its shooting rolls reduced by 1 for the turn, which can make life very difficult for vehicles like Executioners or Tau vehicles with Ion Cannons. Additionally, it doesn't get penalties for moving and firing its heavy weapons.
  • Relic Sicaran Punisher Assault Tank: A new flavor of Sicaran, its draw is the Punisher Rotary Cannon- 18 Heavy Bolter shots guaranteed to make any hordes within 36" hate life. And if you don't move that turn, it re-rolls all to-hit rolls of 1. Enjoy making Orks and Tyranids cry.
  • Relic Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank: Another Sicaran variant, this one is armed with a rotary missile launcher. Though 24" is a bit short-ranged for a vehicle weapon, it's still Heavy 2d6 with S5 AP-2 D1. And not only does it negate cover saves, it also deals an extra mortal wound to INFANTRY units on a 6+ to wound. If you're forced to fight an extra large horde, it can switch its weapon profile to Heavy 4d6 at the expense of not being able to fire its missiles until after the end of the next turn. As a result, taking the heavy bolters/lascannons and the storm bolter is a good idea to ensure it doesn't render itself defenseless after a missile massacre.
  • Relic Sicaran Omega Tank Destroyer: Yet another member of the Sicaran family. Its Omega Plasma Array has two modes; in its normal mode, it acts like a Heavy 6 plasma gun, and when supercharged it becomes Heavy 3 S9 AP-3 3 D and inflicts an extra mortal wound on a 6 to wound, but loses d3 wounds if it rolls a 1 to hit. Unfortunately, its range is no better than that of the Arcus, which is far better at wiping out infantry of all types due to the sheer number of cover-ignoring shots it can fire. The range issue is even worse when trying to use it against vehicles, since it'll be in lascannon/plasma cannon range long before it can shoot back and the -1 to hit from moving is going to make it a lot more likely to blow itself up (and even if it survives, it'll still be overshadowed by the Venator). Overall, it's not bad, but not quite good enough when compared to its competition.
  • Relic Whirlwind Scorpius: The Scorpius is set apart from the basic Whirlwind by its Scorpius Launcher (and its occupation of an Elites slot, not a Heavy one) - while it has only half the range of either of the Whirlwind's rocket types, 3d3 S6 AP-2 D2 shots is still plenty to threaten hordes and light vehicles alike. And as an added bonus, it can fire twice in a shooting phase if the Scorpius hasn't moved in the movement phase.

Index Units[edit]

  • Apothecary on Bike: Same rules as Apothecary, except for the price of a Lascannon, you get +1T and +1W, and he's now faster than a Rhino to zip around to where he's needed most. Gets a twin boltgun with the bike for a little dakka.
  • Company Ancient on Bike: Gets the same added durability and speed upgrade as an Apothecary on a bike. His aura still only affects Infantry, not bikes.
    • Always take a bike. With the new 60mm x 35mm bike bases, your aura increases from about 6.5" from the center of the model to about 7.75", giving you more than a 15" diameter bubble of bonus actions.
  • Company Champion on Bike: Same as above, with the bike's +1T, +1W, M14, and twin bolter. Costs a truly staggering 94 points, so best avoided.
  • Imperial Space Marine: Now a character rather than just something you can substitute any Space Marine model for, which is good because he's gotten much nastier since last edition. Compared to an average Tactical, he's gained 3 extra wounds, 2 more attacks, and one extra Ld point. But it's his disintegrator combi-gun and disintegrator pistol you should watch out for. They're only 18" Rapid Fire 1 and 9" Pistol 1 (respectively), but with S5, AP-3, and d6 damage (basically a higher damage combi-grav and grav pistol) they have the potential to fuck up a lot of units if it manages to wound them. He is frustrating to use against T6+ Monsters and Vehicles, but against T5 models and less he's a straight thug killer.
  • Company Veterans on Bikes: Similar to their footslogging counterparts, but with an extra wound and point of toughness per model. Keep in mind that they can only intercept hits for Biker Characters, so if none of your Captains/Chaplains/Librarians are on bikes, they won't be able to bodyguard. It's challenging to justify the points cost here, since you pay 9 more points per bike than a Bike Squad, and don't get additional special weapons access until the 4th unit member, but this is just about the only way to field melee-focused bikes, if you have some sort of weird desire for that. 5 Company Veterans on Bikes each with a Stormbolter can lead to this single unit putting out 40 bolter shots at half range. A tactical squad at half range is 10 shots for 65pts, 6.5 points per bolt fired. A Scout Bike Squad at half range with a Storm Bolter Sergeant is 22 shots for 77 pts, 3.5 points per bolt fired. Meanwhile the Company Veterans on Bikes with Stormbolters comes to 4.75 points a bolter shot.
    • Running two smaller 2 or 3 man squads instead of one larger squad has some tradeoffs. With more small squads, you get more sergeants (i.e. more melee attacks), make multi shot weapons less effective, and make it more likely for your opponent to overcommit when shooting them, since there are fewer guys for the shots to spill to. However, smaller squads make it easier for the opponent to pick off the guy he wants, for the same reason. Small squads are also fully immune to morale, but that's not much worry for a bigger squad anyway.
  • Legion of the Damned
    • Damned Legionnaires: (index) Tough, a deep striking infantry unit. They can be armed with a plasma gun, flamer or a melta along with a heavy flamer or multimelta. The sergeant gets access to a shortened list of the usual sergeant weapons. The built-in 3++ invuln keeps the Legion of the Damned on the table longer than other Power Armour infantry units. Heavy Flamers and Flamers are great, but on the turn, the LotD unit arrives, it must be 9" away, and the flamers cannot shoot. For this reason, LotD is maximized with plasma or melta weapons on the alpha strike. Two squads of LotD can really hurt powerful tanks with two melta weapons in each squad. The flamer heavy loadout is best for objective camping early in the game, as the LotD can grab useful points via their deepstrike turn one.
    • Legion of the Damned can be taken alongside any Imperium army in a Vanguard detachment despite said detachment not having any HQ units in it. However, the detachment will not grant extra CP.
    • Unfortunately the LotD are one of the most point inefficient units in 8th edition, which is a shame considering their bitchin' models. Only ever use these guys in a fun environment, as competitive ones will laugh at these guys.
      • Despite this, some viable strategies include dropping them in an objective in cover. Also you might as well give the Sergeant both a storm bolter and a bolter for some hilarious rapid fire 3 on a basic dude.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

  • Rhino: 10 Wounds and a 3+ make the old METAL BOXES harder to crack open than ever before, and it comes with a mean new trick- at the start of the turn, you roll a d6, and on a 6+ the Rhino restores a lost wound. It might not seem like much, but it can make the difference between moving 12" and 6" if it moves you back a step on the damage table. Also now having 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. A breakthrough star of 8th
  • 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.
      • Twin Heavy Bolter: 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.
      • Twin Assault Cannon: 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.
      • Twin Lascannon: 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.
      • Twin Heavy Flamer: (Index Only) The Marine's knockoff Immolator, it really suffers from the pathetic 8" 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.
      • Lascannon and Twin Plasmagun: (Index Only) 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.
      • Multi-Melta: (Forge World) 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 top 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 (D6 bolter shots at 18") and a Heavy Bolter that it can swap for a Multi-Melta, Heavy Flamer, or Assault Cannon.
    • 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 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.
    • it is been FAQ'ed that the opened doors count as part of the Models, soo it can also be used to make a sizable anti-deepstrike zone, before it’s shot of 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".
  • Repulsor: The Primaris flying landraider, 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 has the FLY keyword with all of it's dis-/advantages. Take it with a squad of 8 Reivers, 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 rule (-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 Canons 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. Do note that in terms of points effectiveness the Twin Heavy Bolter is better than the Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, though.
  • Impulsor: The inbred spawn of a Razorback and a Repulsor. Has 1 more wound than a Rhino and can be upgraded with a 4++, but lacks Self-Repair and Smoke Launchers. Comes stock with two Storm Bolters with the option of taking Ironhail Heavy Stubber and swapping the storm bolters for fragstorm grenade launchers. 14" movement and FLY, 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 but can't carry JUMP PACK or GRAVIS models, so it's only good for moving MSU squads.
    • Passengers can't charge after it's special disembark, so it's no help for assault armies.
    • So, what is it good for? Hellblasters. Whack 5 of them and a Captain into this Primaris pick up and enjoy your 38" rapid-fire threat range.
    • It can take the following upgrades:
      • Shield Dome: A 4++ 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 CC ASAP).
      • Ironhail Skytalon Array: The cheapest addon. Two more heavy stubbers that get +1 to hit and to wound if they target a flyer, and -1 if they target anything else, which probably translates to BS5 since it lacks Power of the Machine Spirit. Only use if you expect to be up to your armpits in flying enemies or to spend that last 5 points.
      • Bellicatus Missile Launcher: 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.
      • Orbital Comms Array: The orbital bombardment you know and love from the Damocles Rhino and 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. That 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.

Forge World[edit]

  • Lucius Pattern Dreadnought Drop Pod: It's a drop pod...for dreadnoughts. A good, relatively cheap option for delivering dreads right into multi-melta range and the ONLY option for deep striking Leviathans and Deredeos at all. (Why you would deep strike a Deredeo is a mystery, but you do you)
    • 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.
  • Infernum Pattern Razorback: A Razorback with a Multi-Melta. Might be tricky to get it into melta range in one piece, but on the other hand, it's a Dedicated Transport with a Multi-Melta.
  • Termite Assault Drill: It's neither a drop pod or a rhino, but something of both. Like a drop pod, the Termite can be deployed at the end of a movement phase 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. Not to mention the melta cutter is so short-range its only real use is to fight back if it happens to be caught in melee. So why bother? Well, the termite has some neat little things going for it. First is the transport capacity. At 12 standard marines(Not terminator, jump pack, or primaris) this little drill is quite the metal box. Add in that deployment and who cares if this thing only moves 8 inches a turn. Even better is the Breaching terror special rule with gives enemy units with 12 inches a mortal wound. 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 meh, though the increase in the movement has helped make the weapon somewhat more viable. Volkite chargers are iffy. They have more range and damage than the flamer but have a negative 1 to hit on the move. Honestly, the Storm Bolters are your best bet. The termite also has a decent melee game, 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.

Flyers[edit]

  • Stormhawk Interceptor: The Anti-Flying Flyer. Gets a +1 to hit any target with the Fly keyword, to mitigate the penalty for moving and firing heavy weapons. Comes stock with 2 Assault Cannons, 2 Heavy Bolters, and an Icarus Stormcannon. The bolters can be swapped with Skyhammers for more anti-flying or a Typhoon against ground targets, while the Icarus can be swapped for an anti-vehicle laser. Cannot hover, unfortunately, but does get to re-roll any 1's for saves and has the normal Hard to Hit.
    • A good choice if you are going up against Tau or Dark Eldar, due to the prevalence of Fly. Especially the Icarus/skyhammer combo as it lets you hit anything with Fly on a 2+; with the drawback of hitting everything else only on a 5+.
  • Stormtalon Gunship: The Anti-Ground Flyer. The 'Talon has undergone a few noticeable changes in this edition. You can hover, of course, but standing still is probably not what you want to do with it. The other change comes from the assault cannon. The weapon now vomits out three times as many shots, but lost much for AP and lost rending completely. This makes it better at clearing infantry than the light vehicles it had been targeting previously. Compared to the last edition, it's much tougher but easier to hit. Also technically your cheapest flier, making it good for building Air Wings.
    • Note that the Interceptor on the Stormtalon is different than the Interceptor on the Stormhawk. The 'Talon gets +1 to hit anything WITHOUT the Fly keyword. Most likely a typo has been renamed Strafing Run in the Codex.
    • If you hover you can fire at ground targets at BS2+, assuming you don't move and have taken no more than 4 wounds (Or you are back to normal 3+ after falling into middle damage bracket, which at that point might as well stay in hover and get the most out of your flyer before it gets toasted). This is actually really damn good, in later turns. having the ability to get a few solid rounds fo shooting makes a big difference. Be sure to play your talons cautiously, as the assault cannon requires you to get within range of enemy Dakka. This flyers true potential can only be achieved by treating it very gently.
    • Also note that, for the usual GW rules-fuckery reasons, the Strafing Run special rule completely invalidates the second half of the Skyhammer Missile Launcher's rules. Skyhammer Missile Launchers gain +1 to hit against units with FLY and -1 to hit against units WITHOUT FLY...but Strafing Run gives a +1 to hit against units WITHOUT FLY. Resulting in a net result of only +1 against FLYing units.
  • Stormraven Gunship: A flying Land Raider and one of the most effective units marines have. 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. It's also a bit cheaper than a Land Raider, depending on what you arm it with. In addition to the -1 to hit it, it has the new normal flyer rules. Comes stock with a twin assault cannon, twin heavy bolter, and two Stormstrike launchers (72" heavy 1 S8 AP-3 3 damage) that's 20 shots a turn. Can swap the assault cannon for a twin lascannon or twin heavy plasma (that only causes 1 mortal wound for a 1 to hit when supercharged instead of straight killing it). Can swap the heavy bolter for a twin multi-melta or typhoon missile launcher. 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, so it can shoot heavy weapons on the move at no penalty. 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.
    • Point cost was further increased for both the bird and the weapons in the CA.
    • 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 it's 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.

Forge World[edit]

  • Fire Raptor Assault Gunship: Your replacement for the Storm Raven after Chapter Approved, and absolutely vital for dealing with hordes; srsly this shits dice. With T7, 16 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 from only fire raptors.
    • Note: Chapter Approved 2018 dropped its base points cost all the way down to 240 - 10 less than the original cost of 250 in the index. This is good news, especially after the ridiculously big increase it experienced courtesy of the April FAQ last year.
    • BE CAREFUL! 420 points is a lot for something with T7 and a 36" range. Use psychic powers and litanies or other such tactics to increase the survivability of this flyer, and always bring a techmarine. I guarantee you this model will garner the attention of nearly all of your opponents ranged options as soon as the dice start rolling.
  • Storm Eagle Attack Gunship: 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).
    • Storm Eagle Attack Gunship- ROC Pattern (Minotaurs): Expensive as hell, beautiful brick'o'hate. Lord Asterion Moloc demanded extra marine-murder with wings, and the beast was born. Sporting 8 krak missile shots (at D2 each), 4 lascannon shots and option to take twin HBolter\MMelta or some MORE krak missiles, the grizzly brick of flying hate actually has more dakka\point when compared to devastators (2 missile squads 1 lascannon squad). Add power of da machine spirit, 16 wounds and T7 and you can feel the power of the charging flying bull. sort of.
  • Caestus Assault Ram: 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 Interceptor: 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, 11 wounds and a 3+ save. It's armed with 2 Twin Lascannons as well as a Xiphon Missile Battery - Heavy 3 S6 AP-2 D3. It also adds 1 to all hit rolls when targeting units with the "FLY" keyword thus negating the effects of "Hard to Hit" and since a lot of units with "FLY" don't have the "Hard to Hit" bonus it will hit them on a 2+. With a huge 50" move and 4 lascannon and 3 missile shots, it'll put some major hurt on flyers and ground targets alike.
    • 220 points (as of CA2018) 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]

Lots of points reductions here, notably on bikes of all shapes and sizes, making them very useful fast and tough units. Assault Marines may also see use with codex 8.5.

  • Assault Squad: Can do some decent damage since in 8th mass is better than elite. Flamers (like all flamers in 8th) have good potential, but if you let them deep strike they can`t use the flamers because of the 9 inch room you have to leave to the next unit. Plasma pistols are nice to kill units with high T, but just do one damage if not overcharged. Take melta bombs and / or an Eviscerator for your anti-vehicular needs (now that melta bombs are thrown instead of used in cc, taking both on the sergeant isn't the worst idea in the world). Even just dropping a couple of stock five man squads in front of an opponent gives him something he has to deal with lest his shooty units get tied up, but be cautious of counter charges - you'll lose. Assault Squads should basically never be taken in 8th unless you aim for them to be a "cheap" distraction, Vanguard cost only 2 more points and both superior and much more flexible due to wargear choices.
    • The best melee weapon loadout for your sergeant never includes a power fist, because a thunder hammer does half again the damage for a third again the points, but be wary of buying expensive options - a pair of chainswords is free and often the best bang for your buck, all told, since it lets you attack 4 times. In fact, of all of the possible melee loadouts, the easiest way to always bring the most efficient loadout to bear, without memorizing which weapons are best against which enemy statlines, is a pair of chainswords (or a single chainsword, if carrying a pistol) against single-wound targets and a thunder hammer and chainsword (or just the hammer, if carrying a pistol) against multi-wound ones. Thanks to Chapter Approved, Eviscerators cost 11 points, half of what they used to, but the jump to -4 AP probably isn't worth 2 points (and giving up the pistol to boot); their only selling point is that you can give one to a standard marine rather than the sergeant.
    • Don't bring a grav-pistol; it's not useful against enough targets compared to the cheaper plasma pistol, particularly if you're willing to overcharge the thing (which you should be, when you need to).
    • Even meltabombs and plasma pistols will basically never be better than simply having brought Inceptors to the party, in terms of ranged combat.
    • Now that every vehicle acts as an Assault Vehicle, taking a 10 men squad (or better, two 5-men squad) and putting them in a Rhino isn't the worst idea in the world. Although for 20 more points you can literally double the melee output with double chainsword vanguard vets, so there's that.
  • Inceptor Squad: The deadly offspring of a Devastator Squad and a Seraphim Squad that can be taken in squads of 3-6. The mortal wound caused by their pseudo-HoW might look good on paper (on a 6+ does it though?), but when you only have a few models in the unit and no melee weapons melee may not be the most efficient use of them. Instead, take a page from the Seraphim's book and use your improved maneuverability to fire off strafing runs, courtesy of your Assault Bolters - effectively Assault 3 Heavy Bolters. They can also take 18" assault plasma cannons to wipe out MEQs/TEQS and put more hurt on vehicles now, because that shit was easy to make into two hand-held guns apparently. Like Assault Marines with Jump Packs, Inceptors have the FLY keyword, with all the strengths and weaknesses that entails. (On the other hand, that does mean you can be a very good distraction if you force an enemy flyer into melee...)
    • Conversely, assaulting with this unit can be a strategic choice. Charging a unit that is weak in melee will allow the Inceptors to avoid getting shot or tie up the enemy unit for the next turn. Since the Inceptors have the FLY keyword, they can disengage next turn with no penalty and resume shooting. This is a tactical decision and will vary greatly depending on the enemy army.
    • A note on their melee capability: because their squad size is so small, the fact that their sergeant does not pay additional points for his +1A has a great opportunity to shine. More importantly, mortal wounds can be used to bypass otherwise durable targets. Nine min-sized Assault Squads with Jump Packs cost as much as five Inceptor Squads; the number of attacks in each is 99 and 35 + 2.5 mortal wounds (when charging), respectively. Doing the math for you, that means the Inceptors deal more damage per point on the charge against any target which is either T8+ and Sv 2 or Sv 3 (such as a Land Raider), or T5+ and Sv 2. Neither unit will do well in those situations, so you should avoid it, but it's worth noting. Against anything in the game, you're way better off with the Inceptor's guns.
    • The best chapter tactics for these guys will generally be White Scars or Iron Hands; Ultramarines tactics are close to entirely worthless on them, they fire too many shots to make good use of Salamanders, Imperial Fists tactics are rather shabby on anybody, and Raven Guard tactics will work just fine, but you'll usually be engaging at close enough ranges that the enemy will easily be able to circumvent them. Crimson Fists is nothing to sniff at, as +1 to hit if the target is 8 man at minimum size is nasty, especially with plasma.
      • Imperial Fists bolter-Inceptors are worth another look as of the second Codex, if only for the sheer number of potential two-hit shots these bastards crank out and functional AP-2 when firing into cover.
  • Suppressor Squad: Three-man squad only, functionally a long-ranged version of an Inceptor since they come with AP-2 autocannons. Can FLY and Deep Strike but lack the Inceptor's T5 or mortal-wounds-when-charging. They can, however, chuck out smoke grenades, and if they make a kill in the shooting phase, that unit cannot fire overwatch in your charge phase. This unit is all but purpose built to wreck Tau face, allowing you to shut down their obnoxious For the Greater Good rule and flood their gunlines with Assault Marines, Terminators and melee Dreads, as the Emperor fully fucking intended.
    • Although the 48” range would seem to make them long range fire support, combine them with White Scars or the “charge after falling back” successor Chapter Tactics and send them into close combat to get the most out of them. Fall back, shoot thanks to FLY, have the sarge pop smoke, charge back in Overwatch-free, take advantage of Shock Assault, and then let the enemy fight back at -1 to hit.
  • Attack Bike Squad: 37 points for a heavy bolter or 49 points for a multi-melta is now VERY CHEAP, but you can't advance and shoot any of your guns, and moving will give the heavy weapon a penalty, so this is usually not a great choice, but the heavy bolter option is noteworthy for making this the cheapest in-Chapter option you have for Fast Attack, if you're looking to fill out a detachment. The full weapons complement of one is the heavy weapon, a twin bolter, 2 bolt pistols (which can't be swapped for chainswords, unlike with standard Bikes), 2 frag grenades, and 6 krak grenades, not that you can throw more than 1 grenade anyway, so the only thing to make sure you're aware of here is the second pistol, should that come up.
    • White Scars players could put the Multi Melta load out to good use as they can move and shoot without penalty.
  • Bike Squad: For 2 points more than a Scout Bike, you drop from M16 to M14, and lose some weapons - no shotguns, and you have to choose between the pistol and the chainsword, instead of taking both - but you improve from a 4+ save to a 3+ save, and up to two non-Sergeants (minimum unit is Sergeant + 2 non-Sergeants) can take a Special Weapon instead of that pistol or chainsword. The tl;dr here is that the only reason to take this squad is triple melta; you can see below for a discussion of the other choices. 134 points will get you your choice of 3 S8 shots at 26" (with melta-damage at 20"), 2 of which will hit, or 1.5 hitting at 32" and 26", respectively. That isn't remotely as efficient as lascannon Devastators, but those aren't as good as getting onto or holding an objective. Don't take the Attack Bike if you can help it; losing Morale immunity isn't a big deal, but as just mentioned, the primary reason to take bikes is for the mobility, and Attack Bikes hate moving. tl;dr: Take only if you want relatively mobile but durable melta.
    • The first, most obvious choice is Storm Bolters for the Sergeant; if you do that, you're looking at 83 points for 18 S4 shots at 12" or 8 S4 shots at 24" (counting bolt pistols), while T5 and 2W. More points effeceint than Company Veterans on Bikes with all Storm Bolters. Keep in mind Storm Bolters are not on the Special Weapons List. You can't shoot pistols alongside other weapons. This makes taking Flamers the slightly stronger option, giving every model more opportunities to wound while at closer range.
    • The next most obvious choice is Flamers, which is a significant mistake; due to the bolter taxes involved, a triple Flamer squad trying to use their speed and auto-Advancing to get into Flamer range will find itself delivering fewer S4 shots for far more points than a Scout Bike squad. Without Advancing, you'll manage to out-shoot the Scout Bikes, but still by nowhere near enough to justify the cost.
    • Finally, grav and plasma are fairly obviously bad - grav costs more than plasma for less damage against most targets you can be bothered shooting, and plasma is particularly a poor choice on models you've already paid a premium on for durability.
  • Land Speeders: Land speeders are now, for all intents and purposes, slightly bigger, faster, and more heavily armed attack bikes. The key difference here is that land speeders have the fly keyword, which means if they do manage to survive the melee combat they'll occasionally find themselves in, they can just move out and shoot as normal (albeit with the penalty for moving with heavy weapons). This also makes them excellent at tarpitting gunlines. Missile launchers got great (although overcosted) in this edition, which makes the Typhoon a very solid option, but be cautious as these are also expensive, and whilst the land speeder is very resilient to small arms fire, a good shot from a dedicated anti tank weapon will see it explode rather swiftly. Benefits from the Big Guns Never Tire and Skilled Riders stratagems to mitigate the surivability and accuracy issues.
    • An interesting loadout for SALAMANDERS is a unit of 3 land speeders kitted out with 6 heavy flamers, as they're one of the units that benefit the most from the Flamecraft stratagem.
  • Scout Bike Squad: Scout bikes got very interesting this edition, especially with the new Bolter Discipline rule! They lost scout but gained a second wound and a lot of firepower. Every rider comes loaded for bear, with a twin bolter, combat knife (chainsword), shotgun, and bolt pistol, plus the usual grenades - every non-heavy weapon available to ground pounder Scouts. This makes for 4 S4 shots at 24", and 6 at 12", two of which become S5 at 6". Up to 3 non-Sergeants can swap the twin bolter for a grenade launcher. But at the ludicrous cost of 9 pointsa and thanks to the Bolter Discipline, it become pretty useless: stay well away(unless you plan to Exclusively advance). More interestingly, the Sergeant can drop his Pistol for a Storm Bolter. For only 2 points, he could single-handedly deliver 8 S4 shots at 24", without taking his shotgun into account. It goes without saying you should always, always do that, fielding these guys MSU style.
    • tl;dr: each 71 point 3-bike squad has a basic threat range of 16 S4 shots up to 40", 22 up to 28", and, outside of debuffs, is utterly immune to morale. One of the best delivery methods you have for a lot of S4 hits happening right now, on a reasonably durable, very mobile platform. A great choice.

Forge World[edit]

  • 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 anything 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 an Ork (BS5+ from the movement penalty) the turn you arrive...but you're also shooting like an Ork.
  • Land Speeder Tempest: A tiny drop in movement (well, sort of; see below) from the vanilla type, but has better T and Ld (not that the latter usually matters). Each one is equipped with an Assault Cannon and two Tempest Salvo Launchers (36" Heavy 1d3 S6 AP-3 D2; at only 10 points each, drastically better as a pair than a Typhoon Missile Launcher against anything at all, but the Tempest itself is a good deal more expensive than a vanilla). When Advancing, they must move between 20" and 35"; they also impose a -1 to hit against them in the next Shooting phase and prevents units without the FLY keyword from charging (or being charged by) them.
    • Relative movement: These guys don't have Anti-grav Upwash, so a unit of 3 of them is 5" slower than a unit of 3 vanillas, rather than 1", when not Advancing. When Advancing, they are much faster, regardless of unit size, since they can go their choice of 20-35" (no need to roll), instead of 16-21 for a small unit or 21-26 for a large unit of vanillas. Unfortunately, there's no option to take Assault weapons on them of any stripe.
  • Tarantula Air Defense Battery: As below, but stuck with S8 AP-2 D3 D anti-air missiles that get +1 to hit against flyers and -1 against everything else. MUST target the nearest enemy flyer, and otherwise the nearest enemy non-flyer, but you were probably already planning to do that when you took this unit.
  • Tarantula Sentry Guns: Whoooo boy, these suckers got a huge buff in 8th edition. They ended up gaining a whopping +1 BS, along with Toughness 5 and 4 wounds, which makes them fairly sturdy for a 10 point/PL3 model. They are hit automatically in CC, but still shoot while an enemy is within 1", and that enemy can still be shot at by everyone else. The only really significant downside is that they can't move (and yet are somehow still fast attack) and can't deep strike, so they'll sit in your deployment zone the entire game. Tarantulas can be equipped with the following loadouts:
    • Twin Heavy Bolters: These are the default weapons. Good against infantry, but comes with the caveat that it MUST target the nearest INFANTRY model, or else the nearest non-INFANTRY. A steal at 17 points, but restrictive. Due to the large model footprint, relatively high resilience and low cost, it is useful to deny deep strike in a larger area while always contributing shots into the midfield. Also fairly useful as a speedbump - it is easy to block larger areas for non-Fly units, and anyone in CC with them is still a valid target for everyone, including the tarantula itself.
    • Twin Assault Cannons: Hands down the best option. Tarantulas with dual assault cannons lose their targeting restrictions entirely, and gain a whopping 12 shots each. These can be a goddamn steal for what they do, and can be considered practically mandatory. Like the THB option, cheaper than two of the base gun at only 35 points.
      • Mathhammer: It costs 37 points to field 6 shots at S5 AP-1 D1 restricted and 55 points to field 12 shots at S6 AP-1 D1 unrestricted, which means the latter would be the better choice even if you didn't also gain the benefit of lifting the restriction. This is so good you even beat the AM version of these things, which cost 34 points for the THB variant. That being said, keep in mind these boys can't move and range will be important, meaning the heavy bolter can still have a place in your plans.
    • Twin Lascannons: The other default, good against tanks. Also comes with a restriction that it MUST target the nearest enemy non-INFANTRY, or else the nearest INFANTRY. Notably not a steal, since you pay the same cost two lascannons would cost (50 points), but still good.
    • Multi-melta: Same deal as the lascannons, but mathematically worse (carrying two guns is better than carrying one). However, it does unlock your targeting restrictions, so a multi-melta equipped tarantula can fire at anything you want. Very expensive at 37 points for the total loadout (relatively so, you're still getting a multi-melta on a very durable platform for the price of one and a half intercessors).
      • Mathhammer: The Twin Lascannons have twice the rate of fire and twice the range as the Multimelta, at 60 points rather than 37, with similar performance against the same targets for the rest of the statline, but the targeting restrictions on them can be quite aggravating, since they will happily target things like BEASTS or SWARMS that you don't care about. As for the Multi-Melta, 47 points is two points more than the Assault Cannon variant and you generally won't get into Melta range since you'd have to rely on the enemy to do it for you, so it's only better against medium and heavy vehicles, who are generally fast and/or well-armed enough to deal with turrets handily, which is why neither heavy option is remotely as compelling as the twin assault cannons.

Heavy Support[edit]

  • Devastator Squad: Due to everyone getting Split Fire, you can feel free to mix and match weapons however you like; that said, it's still a good idea to use weapons with similar ranges in case you need to focus your shots on a single opponent. Be sure to keep whoever has the best gun less than 3" from the Sergeant, since his Signum will let that guy hit on a 2+. Finally, the Armorium Cherub has received a big buff- you can use it once per game to effectively give one model in the squad a second shooting phase. Needless to say, you should always take the cherub.
    • Combine the Cherub and Signum. On turn 1, use the Signum on a key gun (eg, lascannon), and then use the Cherub to get the extra shot. RaW, the signum will apply for the whole phase, meaning 2 powerful shots at BS2+.
    • These guys will outperform their Centurion cousins (see below) for points per wound, but won't take nearly as much damage, of course; even before the cherub and assuming the sergeant just sits around like a dork, a full 5-man 4-lascannon squad will be more efficient at killing Land Raiders, even after moving. This is less brutal for competing against hordes, because hurricane bolters are insanely cheap, as opposed to badly overcosted like Centurion Missile Launchers, to the point that horde-hunting Centurions on the move will outperform Heavy Bolter Devastators on the move, although the Centurions go back to being less efficient if the regular Devastators hold still.
    • Due to the changes to how Deep Striking works, Devastators with Multi-meltas can best fill the suicide melta role formerly taken by Sternguard Veterans. You'll take a -1 to hit since it counts as moving when you deploy via the drop pod, but the Signum will cancel that out entirely on one of them. Again, the Armorium Cherub will ensure you can make the most of it.
    • Note that the devastator sergeant has unique wargear alternatives in that he can replace his boltgun with two new weapons. This allows him to uniquely field three bolt pistols, or probably more commonly a storm bolter, chainsword and bolt pistol.
    • Devastators make prime candidates for occupying an Imperial Bunker. For only 100 pts you can give your squad the durability of a Leman Russ (T8, 12W, 3+ sv). Magnificent when paired with a squad full of lascannons.
  • 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 terrains (like forests), can go to the second floor of buildings, etc. This unit can be the cornerstone of an army, synergizing well with Chapter Ancient, Apothecary, Chapter Master, and Primaris Lieutenant models. 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 4" movement, which is not a big problem thanks to their long/medium range. With their Sergeant's Omniscope they ignore cover saves, 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. Even with their stat, buffed a little by the new codex (+1 W and A), and Shock Assault, they don’t have any melee weapon. Yeah, 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!
    • The Sergeant's Omniscope become useless with the Imperial Fists Chapter Tactic. That let you combat squad a 6 men Centurion unit without the fear to lose any bonus.
    • You can give each one of them the weapons you want, and you can shoot at different targets with each weapon, but it's usually much better to make them specialists at some specific task. It pays to think well what weapon payload you want to give them:
      • Heavy bolters/Hurricane bolters: The one for killing hordes, and the cheapest one (210 pts). Sitting on 12 bolt and 6 heavy bolt shots, 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 12 bolt and 6 heavy bolt shots without penalty, even after moving.
        • This load-out suffers from comparison with the new and shiny Aggressor Squad. They cost half as much and can shoot twice when standing still. However, the base firepower of a Centurions is objectively better than an Aggressor, even if he is not as mobile.
          • Note that Aggressors are an Elite choice. The competition being tough in that slot, Bolt Centurions could be a really good substitute.
      • Lascannons/Missile launchers: 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.
        • This is the most expensive load out at 330 points; which almost gets you two quad las predators with 20 points short, or 6 points less than two twin lascannons Contemptor Mortis Dreads, or the same amount for two 5-man lascannons devastator squad. If you really want to take this loadout, you better have a plan. A good one.
      • Grav Cannons/Missile Launchers: The narrowest focused of the load-outs. Grav Cannons are Heayy 4 S5 AP -3 1 Damage weapons, but they get D3 Damage instead against units with 3+ armour. Because of the low Strength, this is only useful against highly armoured multi-wound infantry (TEQs, Primaris 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.
        • This is the mid-range load out at 240 points; which puts you short 50 points for two 5-man devastator squads with double grab cannon/launcher each.
    • As we can see, it's an impressive unit with compelling abilities... but dear lord, it's expensive. There are other options which 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.
  • Hellblaster Squad: 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) - more than enough to wipe out any TEQs they encounter. 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.
    • The Plasma Incinerators comes in two more variants; a Heavy 1 with 36" and S8/9 that costs 2 points more than the standard option, and a 24" Assault 2 with S6/7 that costs 1 point more.
      • The Rapid Fire (standard) version is definitely the best in general, costing the fewest points for the most output against the most targets, 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 more points for less strength, but better rate of fire in the 16-24" range, and you can fire it after advancing, so you could also consider it to have 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 version costs you more points for worse rate of fire (although you can move and shoot with it out to 36-42" range if you want), but enough Strength 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 2 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.
    • Null Zone is particularly deadly if there's a group or two of Hellblasters in range of the Librarian's unfortunate targets, considering their AP-4. This player can attest that one Null Zone was enough to put down three Shield Captains with the aid of Hellblasters and additional anti-armour tools.
  • Eliminator Squad: The Primaris scalpel compared to the Primaris sledgehammer that is the Hellblasters. They have the same +2-for-being-in-cover camo-cloaks that Scouts get, and they can take either an anti-tank las fusil or a bolt sniper rifle that gets three different ammo options to use: Executioners for standard character sniping, Mortis because fuck your stealth units (ignores line of sight and cover), and Hyperfrag for overwatch (AP0, D1, but are Heavy D3). All ammo types can target characters without them needing to be the closest units. Alternatively, gear them up with 36" Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3 las fusils, and let them harass enemy armour from cover. The Sarge can use his trademark pointy finger and give his other two mates a +1 to hits and wounds in the shooting phase, though he cannot himself shoot a weapon when he uses his telescope. Nifty when his bolt carbine is out of range and very helpful for nabbing mortal wounds and wounding things tougher than T5.
    • Sniper: At only 72 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.
      • The Mortis Rounds allow for Eliminators to effectively shoot through all-terrain much like Tyranid Hive Guard. Eliminators can be completely within cover and simply fire through the battlefield to effectively threaten and kill enemy characters and other units. While this disallows the use of the more damaging Executioner Rounds, it does allow Eliminators to engage from cover and out of LoS with essentially no risk to the unit.
      • Comparing these to Scout Marines equipped with sniper rifles is really an apples vs. oranges debate as one is a troop choice and the other is a dedicated anti-character support unit.
    • Anti tank:The las fusil is a relatively cheap way to get almost-lascannons on the field, but note that of all their weapon options, this is the one conspicuously lacking the ability to target Characters who aren't the closest unit. Taking this really does convert them from being a Scout Sniper replacement to being a Devastator replacement.
    • The optional Instigator Bolt Carbine for your Sergeant trades heavier firepower for the ability to scoot out of charge range immediately after firing Overwatch (which is to say, before the enemy can actually get their melee attacks in), letting you kite melee units across the board when your sniper perch eventually get overrun. And, unlike a regular Fall Back maneuver, they'll still be able to attack without penalty in their next shooting phase since they're not technically in combat yet. Also, despite the relatively limited range and firepower (24" Assault 1 S4 AP-1 D2), it can still freely target characters just like the Sniper Bolt Rifle, for what it's worth.
  • Thunderfire Cannon:The Thunderfire Cannon has one of the best stratagems, and has found away back into for marine players for reasons beyond its 4D3 shots or Str 5 hits. With 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 Advancement or Charge ranges, then follow up with the Suppression Fire to slow down two units with 3CPs. This can cause traffic jams, failed charges, and slow the deployment of enemy forces. Based on stats and points cost, the TFC is second to the Whirlwind. With all the taxes that a TFC has to take -- paying for the Techmarine, gun and TFC chassis separately -- the TFC manages to cost more than the cheapest Whirlwind variant while having one less Strength. Ignores line of sight and has 5 feet of range, but costs half again as much as just taking Heavy Bolter Devastators. If the Techmarine gunners wander too far from the guns, they're considered destroyed.
    • At only 93 points (CA2018) the Thunderfire Cannon is more attractive than ever - consider buddying up with a dreadnought or tank to get the most out of your Techmarine.
    • Alternative Point: Thunderfire cannons may have lost some power, but they have gained survivability. They are effectively a self-sustaining Heavy Support choice: as a VEHICLE, the Techmarine Gunner will automatically repair D3 wounds on it per turn, but as a CHARACTER he cannot be targeted separately unless he is the closest target. 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 a 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 plasma cutter and flamer while still shooting the TFC. In a pinch, the TFC could even soak up overwatch, and the techmarine's 2A servo arms and 3A base mop up single targets.
      • When comparing it to the whirlwind, the difference in strength actually doesn't matter against T4 enemies (Though the Whirlwind can switch to Vengeance missiles for S7 killiness) Also, where the whirlwind does 2-12 shots, averaging 7, with diminishing accuracy as it takes wounds; The Thunderfire is more likely to get hits in thanks to more dice, doing between 4-12 shots, averaging 8 with no drop in accuracy and its ability to self-heal.
    • One thing to keep in mind is that the TFC's Techmarine has a slightly different version of Blessing of the Omnissiah. By the way it's worded, this version isn't limited to one repair per vehicle that the other is.
    • The Thunderfire Cannon alongside its Stratagem punches way above its weight class. Berzerkers coming in, move 6", charge 12", for a max of 18", would be reduced to move 3", charge max of 6". Without using the Stratagem the TFC is less efficient than Whirlwind.
    • Always remember that the Techmarine is loaded with guns himself. If you're paying for them, you may as well be shooting them. And, when you compare the fire output to a whirlwind, the numbers shift in the cannon's favor when the TP is within 8".
  • Predator: Predators now get their own special autocannon profile; it seems like the predator can turn into a monster. For just ten points less than a twin lascannon, you drop to 2 less strength and AP for 2 more shots on average, and guaranteed 3 damage, rather than rolling with an average of 3.5. I don't know how an autocannon can paste Nobs easier than a demolisher cannon (maybe because the demolisher is relying on the indirect blast and shrapnel from its huge but inaccurate shells, while the predator is relying on direct hits that explode Nob torsos like watermelons) but we'll just have to take it. Roll it with an Autocannon and side-mounted lascannons for a versatile (but expensive) fuck machine.
    • 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.
    • Two Laserbacks with Hunter Killer missiles and Stormbolters costs 246 points, while a 4 Lascannon Predator with Hunter Killer missile and Stormbolter costs 210 points. The Predator allows for less drops per 4 lascannons.
    • Lost its signature stratagem for better wounds and damage, which sucks.
  • 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.
    • Linebreaker stratagem is gone, but the DC is now a straight D6 shots, so thats an improvement at least.
    • 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). 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 (432 pts bone stock) distraction carnifex ally.
  • 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, so the latter choice results in a 9% more expensive tank overall while dealing more damage to anything with at least 2 wounds or 2+ saves.
    • The Vengeance launcher is functionally a twin autocannon that paid 1 point for both +24" (*1.5) range and the ability to fire outside of LOS; the Castellan launcher is more like an assault cannon that paid 4 points for +1 shot but +1 AP and lots more range, with non-LOS targeting. The net result is that which is better is strictly a question of wounds - Castellan is better against 1-wound models, while Vengeance is better against 2+.
  • Hunter: No longer explicitly AA, this weapon delivers a high strength hit equal to a lascannon, re-rolling missed hits whether the model is flying or not.
    • While not an efficient damage dealer, this model is a steal for its points. Exact same base cost as a Predator while making the leap from T7 to T8, and getting a free 5' range lascannon that can reroll hits. Won't spit out as much damage as your other Heavy Support options, but incredibly reliable.
  • Stalker: Has two AA guns. Now a very flexible gun, it gets +1 to hit against flying things, while suffering a -1 to hit versus non-fliers. 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 very popular early in 8th and this is a good anti-air vehicle. It is fairly productive in other roles as well, providing a 48" range and 2 Damage with 6 shots at plasma strength and a Heavy Bolter's AP. The poor AP is mitigated by the Damage done per shot. 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- six hits, six wounds, six failed saves- you do twelve damage. You are better off on average firing just about anything else at its intended target. Three shots can get through reliably, but most Flyers are T7, meaning the majority of the time 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 two or zero damage the majority of the time. They have a better time shooting down hoverbikes and Jump Pack infantry. Almost any major HS option can do its job better. Avoid.
  • Land Raider: Now that the vanilla Land Raider isn't forced to fire all its guns at the same target, it's gone from schizophrenic to an effective all-rounder. For example, you can use its lascannons to pop a vehicle and then follow up with the heavy bolters to wipe out an infantry squad. This is assisted further by the new Power of the Machine Spirit, which lets it ignore the normal penalties for moving and firing heavy weapons. 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. Enjoying another price drop!
  • Land Raider Crusader: 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 Frag Assault Launchers also help in regards to transporting and supporting its cargo, since it causes d3 mortal wounds on a 4+ if it finishes a charge within 1" of an opponent. 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!
  • Land Raider Redeemer: 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. 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 to put your Land Raider in the open.
    • Bear in mind that the Land Raider has one enormous Achilles heel - it can't fall back and shoot. If even a single model makes it into combat with your Raider then it instantly becomes a lame duck during your next shooting phase. This can make assault-oriented Raiders like the Redeemer and Crusader especially vulnerable. However as of the 8.5e codex, flamestorm cannons have a range of 12", so anything wanting to hold it up in combat will definitely have to face 2D6 automatic hits at a pretty respectable strength, AP and damage.
  • Repulsor Executioner: Jury's out on this on. 6 Capacity with some big guns. 284/293 Base depending on the gun, +12 points with the two options. Steep price, but it fires the main gun twice (when you move 0-under half current M Value). One is a Heavy 2 72" Monster at S10 AP -4 3-6 damage on a D6 cannon and the other is what you'd expect from plasma, but with D6 shots and starts at S8 AP -4 (pumping up to S9). 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 AP-1 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.
    • Properly supported, this thing can annihilate swathes of the enemy army. A Captain (better yet, a Chapter Master) and Lieutenant will never be a bad idea. And if you bring two of them, they can quickly turn the tides of conflict. However, it is a major investment in points and dollars. You need to maximize your opportunities to get the most out of it. If you can, then an Executioner or two is the sort of heavy fire support the army craves. If you can't... Well, Marines are used to losing in 8th anyway-Don't be stupid, get the Lieutenant and bring a Techmarine!!!!
    • 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 which 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. Its slow-moving double shooting rule is perfect for sitting behind a wall of aggressors marching up the board as both units extract maximum firepower potential from hardy buffing characters.
    • These vehicles are a perfect fit for the Iron hands chapter and successors, reroll 1's without a captain, take the relic for -1 damage vs all your Repulsors at once heal 6 + d3 wounds a turn with 6+++ or even 5+++, 5+ overwatch or 4+ for 1cp in addition to your innate -2 to charges makes charging an iron hands Repulsor a terrifying prospect.

Forge World[edit]

  • Whirlwind Hyperios: 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 D3 D isn't something to take lightly.
  • Rapier Carrier: A dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire, which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers or act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (added in the FAQ). Now coming stock with a 12-shot quad bolter at 3/4 of what you pay for a devastator squad armed with same, on a fairly sturdy chassis. 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.
    • Quad Heavy Bolters are terrible, costing more than 2 twin heavy bolters for the same guns...or... you can ask yourself what kind of platforms let you take twin heavy bolters and ask yourself if the cost is worth it.
    • The average damage from a laser destroyer is less than its weight in lascannons - 183.33% of the damage for 240% of the price; the difference in strength will never matter against practical targets, while the improvement to AP will come up and won't make up the difference. If you're using the Salamanders chapter tactics and like to focus on single enemy units before moving to another enemy unit the laser destroyer can do a good job while letting your characters help other units.
    • As a result, hands down your best bet is always going to be the Quad Launcher.
      • In thunderfire mode this will, for 45 points, outdo two lascannons for 50 points, as losing a point each in strength and AP is more than made up for in doubling its attacks, and the difference in damage is not only slight, it also deals predictable damage, making it invaluable in many contexts, such as shooting Quantum Shielding... witt the new space marines combat doctrine you regain 1AP during the devastator Turn, yeah take this.
    • In shatter mode, this will shoot randomly from 1.3 to 4 of heavy bolter shots, for an average total of 8 shots, losing a point of AP in exchange for indirect targeting and improved range. This is inferior to the Quad Heavy Bolter option, so you should regard it as a bonus to the high strengh mode, rather than a good gun in its own right, and take this gun for the purpose of killing off enemy heavies, not massacring enemy lights.
    • They have half of the survivability perk of the Thunderfire, as the Rapier is a vehicle and SM Gunners are functionally Characters without a keyword (can't be targeted unless the closest model). If you take a full battery of Rapiers, strongly consider also taking a Techmarine to repair them or putting a Thunderfire Cannon in the gunline.
  • Mortis Dreadnought: 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.
    • For the classic twin autocannon rifleman setup, this slightly edges out a regular dread. Since Chapter Approved dropped the price of twin autocannons for Forge World but not Codex/Index units, a Mortis comes out 1 point cheaper with the same stats. It's the only gun the normal dread can double up on, and it's only 1 point difference, so if you're going autocannons, it's just a matter of whether you need it to fill an Elite or Heavy Support slot.
  • Contemptor Mortis Dreadnought: Better than the standard Mortis in every way, from the BS 2+ to the 5++. Apart from that, it can do everything the regular Mortis can, only better.
    • Since the v1.1 FAQ/Update, Contemptor Mortis' can once again take Cyclone Missile Launchers. The downside is, like their Terminator counterparts, they're still 50 fucking points for either Heavy 2D3 S4 AP0 D1 OR Heavy 2 S8 AP-2 D6D. With this in mind, however, it could be decent now that EVERYTHING has Split-Fire, and you're no longer hitting Flyers on 6s, but only 3+(!!) with at least 6W or more. Churn out some dakka with your two Kheres Assault Cannons (which, keep in mind, can ALSO fire at two different targets, as they are considered 'two identical weapons', and then slam a couple of Krak missiles at a Flyer that screams overhead. Or a tank, I guess, if that's your thing.
  • Siege Dreadnought: 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.
  • Relic Leviathan Dreadnought: 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 Strength and Toughness of 8, with a 2+/4++ saves line, and a whopping 14 wounds. In addition, it actually received a fairly decent points decrease in 8th edition, having dropped in cost by 50 whole points even after all wargear is accounted for. A few things were lost though, as the Leviathan no longer has his frag-launchers (but it did get its hunter-killer missiles back in the FAQ) but in exchange, his whole loadout has gotten huge buffs.
    • It has two Heavy Flamers which can't be swapped out for anything, and two Leviathan Siege Claws (Sx2 AP-3 D3 Re-roll failed wounds against Infantry) with in-built meltaguns stock.
      • The Claws can be swapped out (without losing the meltaguns) for Drills, which up the AP and D to -4 and 4, but you stop re-rolling failed wounds against Infantry.
      • The Claws can also be swapped out along with their meltaguns (at the cost of -1A for each one you swap out) for:
        • Cyclonic Melta Lance: 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).
          • Note that this actually has worse AP than the Bombard (although it will usually only matter against Land Raiders and the like, as against any Invuln save at all or a 3+ save or worse they'll tend to equal out), with better rate of fire against 4 or fewer model units and worse damage against Monster/Vehicle/Titanic models but better damage otherwise. A Leviathan with 2x Bombards costs 339, while with 2x Lances it costs 359 (including Heavy Flamers), which means that against a Land Raider, the Lances are only better inside melta range. The Lance will do better against vehicles where the difference in AP doesn't matter, regardless of range (such as any 3+ vehicle, or a 2+ vehicle with an invuln), provided the target unit has 4 or fewer models. It will also do better against infantry units of 4 or fewer models, but as soon as the target unit has 5 or more models in it, the Bombard will simply take over.
            • 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: Has a whopping 10 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 one 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.
          • 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.
        • Grav-Flux Bombard: Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 1d3 shots and gains an additional 1d3 shots for every 5 models present in the target unit, which means the Leviathan can get a whopping 11d3 shots when targeting a mob of Conscripts, or 22d3 if equipped with two of these. 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 (5, rather than 2) against Vehicles, Buildings, and Titanics, making it more useful than the Lance in many cases.
          • A pair of these is the way to go for horde scrubbing - 2d3 shots every 5 models in the target means you average 4 shots for every 5 targets. The gun is only 18" and you'll take a BS penalty (typically down to 3+) for moving and shooting with it, taking you to 3 1/3 and 2 2/3 hits for every 5 targets, respectively. At S9 AP-5 D2, usually one wound per target is all it will take; assuming you're up against T4 or less without an invuln save, you're looking at 2 7/9 or 2 2/9 (after moving) dead for every 5 models in the target, or around 50% casualties. Hopefully, Morale will do the rest of the work for you, or you can just bring two of these things.
  • Deimos Vindicator Laser Destroyer: This thing brings to the battlefield the unique Laser Volley Cannon, which is a 2 shots Lascannon with a few twists: they only have a range of 36" instead of 48, they do a fixed 3 damage (so a little less than the average you do with 1D6) and can be overcharged to go to S10 AP-5 with a fixed 6 damage. The trade-off is that if they shoot that way, they take 3 mortal wounds on each roll of 1. If it does not move, however, it can shoot twice, but not in overcharged mode. 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.
  • Relic Land Raider Proteus: 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. (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, though it too reduces the Proteus' transport capacity.
  • Land Raider Helios: 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.
  • Land Raider Prometheus: 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.
  • Land Raider Achilles: The rage-inducing and expensive Achilles is back in a big way in 8th ed. T8 with 19 wounds, a 2+ save, and a 4++ 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 Multi-Meltas (Heavy 2). 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 (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 355 points there is no reason not to take three of these!!!!

Fortifications[edit]

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: 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 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 occured 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.

Lords of War[edit]

Ultramarines[edit]

Index[edit]
  • Land Raider Terminus Ultra: Not sure why exactly this was moved to Lords of War since its statline is still no different from the other Land Raiders, but it will do a spectacular job of wrecking vehicles thanks to its 8 (!) lascannon shots per turn. 3 to hit rolls of 1 in one turn will cause you to take 6 mortal wounds, but the chances of that are so small that it's unlikely to be an issue. Even if it does happen, it won't be enough to decrease your base stats until you drop to 8 wounds or below, and with the toughness and armour save that comes with being a Land Raider variant that's probably not going to be an issue. Just be sure to watch out for massed infantry- for this reason you should probably take a storm bolter over the multi-melta since any vehicle close enough to be in melta range is going to become a smoldering wreck either way.
    • As of Chapter Approved, the Terminus Ultra is now available to chapters other than Ultramarines as well - but only in open play! And only for 600 pts.!!

Forge World[edit]

Forgeworld FAQ[1] updates the relic rule for LoW, effectively you can get one with no pre-requisites but further ones will still require the 'non-relic' tax. On the other hand, who would even need to bring 4 Lords of War into anything short of the biggest Apocalypse games?. Beware as they are all overpriced, thank daddy GW for that and should never be taken outside of fun games

  • Relic Spartan Assault Tank: 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 8 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.
  • Relic Typhon Heavy Siege Tank: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, boasting BS3+, S8, T9(!), W22, and a 2+ Save. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-5 3D shots at 24" or 48" if it holds still. Losing the enormous blast template from the previous edition, the Dreadhammer can now put 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. 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 (except for it's Dreadhammer siege cannon, which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Cerberus Heavy Tank Destroyer: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted on a Spartan chassis, boasting BS3+, S8, T9, W22, and a 2+ Save. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out Heavy 3 S14 AP-4 3+D6D shots at 72", and causes a -1 to-hit penalty to the shooting attacks of vehicles wounded by this weapon. 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. 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 (except for it's Heavy neutron pulse array which must target other units). Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It has PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty, and it makes a respectable 8 attacks with it's Crushing tracks (decreasing to 6, and then D3 as it takes damage) at WS5+ S8 AP-2 DD3 in melee. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 5+ thanks to its Unstable Reactor), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Relic Fellblade Superheavy Tank: 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+, S9, T9, W26, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 2D shots and allow rerolls for the number of shots when targeting a unit with more than 5 models. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 6D 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 9 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S9 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. 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. Its only real weakness is a lack on 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 T9 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 100" range. Consider bringing the Fire Angels’ special character, Captain Tarnus Vale, to give it a 6++ (the other is to bring a Dorito Dreadnought with Atomantic Pavaise to give the Fellblade a 5++; this is more expensive than taking Vale but chances are you’re not worried about points (or money) if you’re taking a Fellblade) and casting Might of Heroes on it for T10 shenanigans. 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.
    • Highly amusingly, in another proof of Forge World being inept at copy-pasting their own units' rules between their indices, the chaos fellblade costs 20 points less and their HE shells only do 1 damage instead of the 2 yours do.
  • Relic Falchion Superheavy Tank Destroyer: 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 2D6 S16 AP-5 D2D6 (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. It also sports a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers, despite the fact the guns don't actually exist on the model. As per an email from forge world, "it's a copy and pastes error from the Fellblade that hasn't been fixed in an official errata"... yet. Just stick them on with bluetac or something as you're paying the points for them. 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.
  • Relic Mastodon Super-heavy Siege Transport: 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.
    • Up to 2 of the following: RHINO, RAZORBACK, INFERNUM RAZORBACK, PREDATOR, DEIMOS PREDATOR, WHIRLWIND, WHIRLWIND HYPERIOS, HUNTER, STALKER, DAMOCLES, VINDICATOR, VINDICATOR DESTROYER, WHIRLWIND SCORPIUS.
      • 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 (651... not too bad) 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.
  • 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.

Chapters[edit]

Ultramarines[edit]

Smurfpauldron.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, courage and honor will yet win the day.

First among equals, the Ultramarines set the standard for everyone else, and are paragons of strategy. Appropriate, since their Primarch wrote the Codex Astartes.
On the tabletop, their tactical flexibility is represented by them having a special named character for everything and abilities to change the current Combat Doctrine. RG is the infiltration chapter and IH the vehicle one? Well screw them, we got Telion and Chronus, alongside Roboute Guilliman himself. Where the first casualty of any battle is the plan of attack, Ultramarine tactics are shielded by their inability to be tied up or tarpitted, and they can get extra CP to circumvent Space Marine's trademark thirst for CP.
If you want your marines to always fight on your terms, then march for Macragge and you shall know no fear.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Codex Discipline: +1 to their Leadership characteristic. They also can fall back and still shoot, with a -1 modifier to hit.
    • Ld9 makes 4-man units (like bikers) immune to morale, and makes the serge of a 5-man unit flee only after two consecutive 6s.
    • Fall Back's main purposes are to give the rest of your army a clear shot. Now nobody can tarpit you. Plus, close-range weapons get easier to use: anything with a flamer will be able to use it with impunity - get close, fire, charge/be charged and trigger Shock Assault, fall back, and flame again. Land Raider Redeemers will be unstoppable engines of destruction.
  • Combat Doctrine - Scions of Guilliman: During the Tactical Doctrine, models can move and count as stationary as long as they didn't also fell back or advance during that movement phase. Not only does this mean Relentless from infantry to tanks, but it also means you always get bolter discipline from turn 2 until you trigger the Assault Doctrine, where you'll be in close range anyways.
    • Used with the right units, this Doctrine is absolutely BRUTAL. Aggressors, Inceptors, Hellblasters, and to a lesser extent anyone with Heavy weapons (although those might be better served by going with the Iron Hands) will all be at their full potency at all times, not caring about their movements. A command ball of hate using Cassius (for +1 to hit and wound rolls), Marneus Calgar/any captain, and a lieutenant gives you a mobile death squad built almost entirely on small arms, hitting on 2+s, wounding on 5+s on minimum.
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Adept of the Codex: When you spend a Command Point to use a Stratagem, roll a 5+ to get it refunded. Versatile, always active (as long as he's on the field and not inside a transport), and gives you more freedom when using Stratagems; it's one of the best traits you can get. Calgar starts with this one.
    • The rules limit CP regain to 1 per battle round, but "WT: +5CP" is still damn useful, even more so with the bonus CP handed out by Calgar.
  2. Master of Strategy: Once per battle round, select an Ultramarines unit within 6" of the warlord. Until the end of the battle round, whenever models of that unit attack the Tactical Doctrine is considered to be active (this does not stop either of the other two Doctrines being active, so you can have two active at once this way). Librarian Tigurius and Telion have this as their trait.
    • Their best doctrine one turn ahead of schedule. Also when your army (but not your warlord) is committed to the Assault.
  3. Calm Under Fire: Friendly Ultramarines models-in-units (so, units) within 6" of the warlord ignore the -1 to hit penalty to shooting when they fall back. More like Calm Under Melee. Sergeant Chronus come with this.
  4. Paragon of War: This warlord's unmodified wound rolls of 6s (ranged and melee) inflict mortal wounds in addition to all other damage. Balanced, offensive champion-type warlord. Captain Sicarius starts with this one.
  5. Nobility Made Manifest: 6" Aura of Heroic Interventions for friendly Ultramarine Infantry and Bikers. For The Greater Imperium. Guilliman starts with this one. The loss of Adept of the Codex hurts a bit, but you can always just pay 1cp to give another character Adept of the Codex, and that one out of Guilliman's 3 bonus ones will pay for itself.
    • If you mess with one, you mess with all. It achieves an immune effect by preventing your opponents from eliminating units one by one in melee, and stops them from surrounding a single friendly unit and taking hostages.
  6. Warden of Maccrage: This warlord's heroic interventions are 6" long. Why? Chaplain Cassius has this one.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

Relics are now split into two categories. Relics of Macragge may only be taken by Ultramarines (unless you use a stratagem). Special-Issue Wargear can be taken by Ultramarines and their successor chapters.

Relics of Macragge[edit]
  • Armour of John Konor: Terminator model only. 4++, halve damage rounding up. Calgar's clothes, for when you want yet another beatstick or cannot afford papa smurf himself.
  • Helm of Censure: Aeonid Thiel's helmet that started the tradition of serges wearing red hats. The bearer can re-roll 1 hit roll of 1 and 1 wound roll of 1 per attack (which usually means all hit and wound rolls get it - it's like having a captain and a lieutenant nearby). When attacking Heretic astartes or Adeptus Astartes, add 1 to both hit rolls and wound rolls in addition (damn).
    • While a librarian benefits lots (WS3+, Power Axe), the boost also affecting ranged combat and not replacing any weapon means a Captain's Combi-plasma/melta wounds a CSM Predator on a 2+, and can even shoot both profiles at BS2+ (although this will have worse performance than safely overcharging just the plasma profile).
  • The Sanctic Halo: Captain or Chapter Master only (in all his forms, including Primaris). Gives him a 3++ and can deny one power per turn like a Psyker. Fantastic for the warlord himself, as his most important job is staying alive so you can use Adept of the Codex. Denying psychic powers is also extremely useful since so many of them allow a Psyker to target a character and inflict mortal wounds that bypass their saves. Plus, you won't need to give up your ranged weapon for the Storm Shield, which is nice. Better than the Armour Indomitus to give your Gravis Captain a 3++ on his already sturdy frame.
  • Soldier's Blade: S+1 AP-4 D2 sword. Available to characters with either a power sword, master-crafted power sword, or, most importantly, a combat blade, making it one of the few melee relics for Phobos Characters. Otherwise, don't bother - the Burning Blade is better.
  • Standard of Maccrage Inviolate: Ancient only, +1A to friendly UM units within 6" of the bearer. Friendly UM units within 12" also autopass morale tests. To be carried by your deathstar's banner bearer.
  • Tarentian Cloak: The bearer has 5++, and regains D3 wounds at the start of the movement phase.
  • Vengeance of Ultramar: Rapid Fire 4(!) Storm bolter that re-rolls wound rolls against non-vehicles. Best when used by a Termie captain.
Special-Issue wargear[edit]
  • Adamantine Mantle: Fnp5+++. "Not dying" is good for everyone, but (smash) captains/Primaris are the ones with the most wounds to proc it with.
  • Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Most useful for Lieutenants and Librarians, who lack invulns.
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Hellfury bolts: You can choose the bolt weapon it's used on to make only one attack, but it inflicts 1MW if it hits (and the shooting sequence ends).
  • 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!
  • Reliquary of Vengeance: Once per battle (at the start of the fight phase), friendly chapter units within 6" of the bearer gain +1A.
  • Seal of Oath: Designate an enemy before the first turn begins. The bearer has a 6" aura of re-rolling all hits and wounds against That Guy, failed or not.
  • Sunwrath Pistol: Cawl's plasma pistol of safe supercharge. But it's Pistol 2, so that's a double improvement.

Stratagems[edit]

Ultramarine Stratagems can be divided into four broad categories: Offense, Defense, Utility, and Universal

  • Offense: Ultramarines have several stratagems that increase accuracy or AP (usually through the manipulation of Doctrines)
    • Avenge the Fallen (1 CP): Use this stratagem when an Ultramarines unit from your army is destroyed by an attack made by an enemy unit. Until the end of the battle, when resolving an attack made by an Ultramarines unit from your army against that enemy unit, re-roll hit rolls of 1.
    • Martial Precision (1 CP): Before resolving an attack made by an Ultramarines model from your army in your shooting phase. When resolving that attack do not make a hit roll it automatically scores a hit. Note that it only applies to a single attack made by any weapon, so don't go thinking that you can have a Captain automatically hit with all of his Thunder Hammer strikes. Use this against Eldar and other opponents who stack ridiculous amounts of -1 to hit.
    • Sons of Guilliman (1 CP): Use this stratagem when an Ultramarines Infantry or Ultramarines Biker from your army is chosen for the Shooting or Fighting phase. If that unit has a Troops Battlefield Role, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made by that unit, you can reroll a hit roll. Otherwise until the end of that phase, when resolving an attack made by that unit, you can reroll a hit roll of 1.
    • Vengeance for Calth (1 CP): Use when an Ultramarines unit from your army is chosen to fight in the Fight phase. Until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon in that unit against a Word Bearers unit, you can reroll the hit and wound roll. Potent, if you can find one of the three people playing Word Bearers that is.
    • Tactical Expertise (2 CP, Single Use): Can be used at the start of any movement phase when the Tactical Doctrine is active; all Ultramarines whose Rapid Fire or Assault weapon makes an unmodified wound roll of 6 before the next battle round has the attack's AP improved by 1 (e.g. AP0 becomes AP-1).
    • Cycle of War (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of the battle round if an Ultramarines Warlord from your army is on the battlefield and the Assault Doctrine was active during the previous battle round. The current active doctrine is changed so that the Devastator Doctrine is now active. When there's nobody left in assault range, pop this, move up your heavy weapons and perhaps pop a grenade or two - and more importantly, get a second chance to switch to the Tactical Doctrine.
    • Squad Doctrine (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the start of your Movement Phase; select an Ultramarines Infantry or Ultramarines Biker unit from your army, and then select the Devastator, Tactical, or Assault Doctrine. Until the start of your next Movement phase, that unit gains the bonus of that combat doctrine instead.
  • Defense:
    • Defensive Focus (2 CP): Use this stratagem if an Ultramarines unit from your army is chosen as a target of a charge. Select up to three Ultramarines units that are more than 1" away from any enemy units and within 6" away from the targeted unit. The selected units fire Overwatch at the charging unit as if they were targets of the charge. For the Greater Macragge!
      • Something something Eliminator sergeants with Instigator carbines moving after shooting overwatch. The complete opposite would be to use this near a 'Nobility Made Manifest' warlord to further reinforce the immune response effect.
    • Fall Back and Re-Engage (1/2 CP): Use this stratagem when an Ultramarines unit from your army falls back. That unit can shoot and charge this turn. If that unit has the Codex Discipline Chapter Tactic (which it does unless it's in a Superheavy Aux Detachment or a Servitor... or any Ultramarines Successor Chapter, or a mixed-Chapter detachment), the hit roll penalty for falling back and shooting does not apply for that unit this turn and this strat only costs 1CP instead of 2.
  • Utility:
    • Courage and Honour! (1 CP): At the start of the Morale phase, add 1 to the Leadership characteristic of Ultramarines models from your army until the end of the phase.
    • Inspiring Command (1 CP): Use at the start of the Shooting or Fight phase. Select one Ultramarines Chapter Master, Ultramarines Captain, or Ultramarines Lieutenant model from your army. Until the end of that phase, the range of that model's aura abilities is increased by 3".
    • Rapid Deployment (2 CP): Used at the start of the battle round before the first turn begins, select up to three Ultramarines from your army on the battlefield. Remove them from the battlefield and set them up again as described in the Deployment section of the mission (if both players can do this, roll off to see who redeploys first).
    • Tactical Insight (2 CP): Use this stratagem after generating your Tactical Objectives. If your Ultramarines Warlord from your army is on the battlefield. Immediately discard your Tactical Objectives and generate new ones. You can only use this once per battle and if the mission has Tactical Objectives.
  • Universal: All Chapters Supplements include some variation of the following three stratagems.
    • Exemplar of the Chapter (1 CP, Single use): Use this stratagem after you nominate an Ultramarines model that is not a named character to be your Warlord. You can generate one additional Warlord Trait for them from the Ultramarines Warlord Traits table. Each Warlord Trait in your army must be unique. Give him Adept of the Codex if they didn't have it already; that'll make this Stratagem pay for itself. Finally, a reason to have a warlord other than Calgar or a named character.
    • Honoured by Macragge (1 CP, Single Use): After nominating a warlord from an UM successor chapter, you may give one of their characters a Relic of Macragge instead of one from the main SM codex or a Special Issue wargear.
    • Honoured Sergeant (1 CP): Before the battle, select one Ultramarines model that has the word "Sergeant" in their profile. They may take a Master-crafted weapon/Digital weapon/Hellfury Bolts/Sunwrath pistol, even though they are not a Character. All relics must be different.
      • While a Devastator sergeant can shoot Hellfury at BS2+, an Incursor one ignores all modifiers to hit and an Eliminator/Scout Sniper one can shoot it at characters. The other 3 special issues are close combat oriented. Also, while it looks cool, don't give a Sunwrath to the Hellblaster sarge, he'd be wasting his squad's range on a just-in-case relic. Nobody stops you from giving this to a Assault Centurion Seargant, four strenght 10 siege drills in the face for 4 damage.

Psychic Discipline - Indomitus[edit]

Indomitus is a mixed bag of situational powers. They consist of the two mortal wound generators (standard across all Chapter specific supplements), one self-buff, one enemy debuff, and two general utility powers. None of these are strong enough to build an entire strategy around, but could provide help in the right circumstance. Pretty middle of the road, but that is to be expected from the Ultramarines.

  1. Precognition: W5. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, this psyker has a 5+ invuln and, when resolving an attack made against this psyker, subtract 1 from the hit roll.
  2. Scryer's Gaze: W7. If your army is Battle Forged you can immediately gain 1 CP. If you choose not to, once this turn, when resolving an attack made by a model from a friendly Ultramarines unit while its unit is within 18" of this psyker, you can re-roll the hit, wound, or damage roll.
  3. Telepathic Assault: W7. Select one enemy unit within 24" of and visible to the psyker. Roll 2D6 and add 2 to the result; that unit suffers 1 mortal wound for each point by which the total exceeds the highest Leadership characteristic of models in that unit.
  4. Storm of the Emperor's Wrath: W6. Select the nearest enemy unit within 18" of and visible to the psyker. Roll a D6 for each model in the unit; for each 6, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
  5. Psychic Shackles: W6. Select one enemy unit within 18" of and visible to this psyker. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, halve the move characteristic (rounding up) of models in that unit, and when a charge or advance roll is made for that unit, subrtact 1 from that roll. A unit cannot be affected by both this and the Tenebrous Curse psychic power at the same time, but nothing is stopping you from locking down two different units.
  6. Empyric Channelling: W5. Select one other friendly Ultramarines Librarian within 12" of this psyker. Until the end of this Psychic phase, when a Psychic test is taken by the target, add 2 to the total, and the target does not suffer Perils of the Warp on a roll of double 1 or double 6.

Specialist Detachment - Victrix Guard[edit]

Captains of all flavours (note this doesn't include Calgar), ancients (all flavours), Honour guards, victrix honour guards, vanguard vets & sternguard vets gain the VICTRIX GUARD keyword, for when you want to bring the very elite, the exemplars among exemplars. But not termies, they aren't vet enough apparently. And fluff aside, this is the only formation specialist detachment that can bring deepstriking melee squads with actual AP, aka Vanguard Vets.
This is a MELEE formation; Sternguards were included only because their serge looks cool next to Calgar. Thanks, sarge!

  • Consider a basic Vanguard Detachment of Captain w/ Twin Lightning Claws (with the Imperium's Sword trait), Ancient w/ Bolt Pistol and two basic Vanguard Vet squads, with the Sergeant's replacing their Chainswords with Lightning Claws. This will give you 12 Bolt Pistol attacks, 12 Lightning Claw attacks, and 27 Basic attacks, the later upped to 15 and 36 if the Ancient is given the Relic Banner. All for just over 300 points.
    • If you need a transport, a Land Raider Redeemer works, though it is expensive, almost doubling the cost.
  • One use of this detachment is to make your smash captain rival the blood angels; Fight Like Demigods buffs your hit rolls to a 2+ rerolling, Warden of Ultramar makes your wound rolls better than even slamminigus for a turn and Strike First can be a nasty and unexpected counterattack. This tactic costs a lot of CP but is worth it when some random captain tears apart an imperial knight.

Stratagems

  • Fight Like Demigods (1CP): At the start of the Fight phase, pick a VICTRIX GUARD unit within 6" of a VICTRIX GUARD CAPTAIN. That unit's attacks get +1 to hit until the end of the phase.
    • Great with unwieldy Thunder Hammers and Power Fists, as they will remain WS3+ whilst enjoying the Captain's rerolls (instead of becoming coin-flip WS4+ and needing a Chaplain). Even with regular power weapons, becoming WS2+ for a single CP (that you can regain) is a good deal.
  • Strike First, for Ultramar! (3CP): At the end of the opponent's Charge phase, pick a VICTRIX GUARD unit that was charged or made a Heroic Intervention. They get to pile in and fight right away as if it was the Fight phase AND can fight normally in the actual Fight phase as well.
    • The BEST melee stratagem of them all. Now nothing at all can prevent the chosen unit from fighting, as it attacks even before those units with the "fights first" ability, and even before the enemy can use 'Counter-Offensive'. It's a Counter Offensive Counter Offensive that lets you fight twice, and that'd usually cost 2+3 CP, but the poster boys just have to be better than you.

Warlord Trait

  • Warden of Ultramar: Once per battle, in the Fight phase, you can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made by friendly VICTRIX GUARD units within 6" of this Warlord. Useful if you didn't bring or, more commonly, couldn't AFFORD to bring a Lieutenant along. Useless on Twin Claw Vanguards.

Special Units[edit]

HQ

  • Marneus Calgar: Papa Smurf, now back in the HQ slot. His Armour of Antilochus grants a 4+ invulnerable save and halves all damage he receives (rounded up, so he's not immune to 1 damage weapons). The Bolter part of the Gauntlets of Ultramar aren't too bad since they deal 2 damage and have AP-1, but you will ignore both them and his relic blade because in melee they act like Power Fists without the -1 to hit. As is the case for all Chapter Master characters, he grants re-rolls for all to-hit rolls for units within 6". He can also deep strike, and having him as your Warlord in a Battle-forged army grants 2 bonus Command Points. While both his stats and buffing abilities pale by comparison to Guilliman, he can fill a similar role if you want to save the points and/or the Lord of War slot.
    • Marneus Calgar in Artificer Armour: (index) Papa Smurf, before Swarmlord ate his arms, his legs, and half of his face. One less wound, no halved damage, and no ability to deep strike, and now, since the Codex sets Calgar in the Armour of Antilochus at 200 points, 35 points cheaper than the version in Artificer armour, you have no reason to ever take him in this form unless you're re-creating the battle at the Cold-Steel Ridge or something. Or you desperately need him to fit into a Rhino or Razorback.
    • Marneus Calgar in the Armour of Heraclus: It has finally happened. Papa Smurf has become the super-NuMarine. He now gets +1T thanks to his Gravis armour, as well as +1W and +1A from being Primaris, and he even gets to keep his 2+/4++ along with the halved damage. This makes him even more powerful than he ever was, although being a Primaris does mean that if he wants to actually get into combat he'll either need to footslog or pay for a Repulsor.
      • Something for consideration: Calgar, with the right supports, is actually a deadlier fighter in melee than Guilliman is. For starters, while Guilliman can feel the pain from larger foes and their absurd damage, Marneus can, for the most part, walk out less damaged and more annoying thanks to the halved damage. Assuming all damage is multi-wound rather than 1 damage, Calgar technically has 16 wounds, versus Guilliman's 9. In addition, while Guilliman can resurrect with D6 wounds, Calgar can receive near-constant healing through an Apothecary as he is an <INFANTRY> rather than a <MONSTER> (what, you thought Apothecaries can understand the anatomy of pseudo-demigods?). Excluding the cost of a Librarian and Victrix Guard (since Guilliman can benefit from those too) and you can have a better beatstick than Guilliman (though you do lose his super-aura). The only main weakness of Calgar in this regard is that he has slightly less toughness and strength (you ARE using Might of Heroes through Calgar's Librarian, aren't you?) than Guilliman, and he's stuck with D3 damage for his fists. TL,DR: Calgar is far cheaper for a super tough HQ and can benefit from other buffs where Guilliman can not. Calgar can certainly buff your army, but Guilliman does it better. However, Guilliman delivers more melee offense overall and functions better in situations devoid of support.
      • Somebody is really overestimating Calgar here. Against incoming attacks that are 2 damage, D3 damage, 3 damage, and D6 damage respectively, Calgar essentially has 16, 12, 12 and 14 wounds respectively (the results of D3 damage halved rounding up are 1, 1 and 2 and so D3 damage weapons average 1.333 damage against him). Now this is impressive, but the kinds of things you’re talking about fighting will usually force him to use his invulnerable save, which is a 4+, and so his effective hp is actually 32, 24, 24 and 28. Guilliman has 9 wounds on a 3++, so his effective hp is 27 in all scenarios, so the differences are actually minor against the bigger damage weapons without accounting for his revive ability, but between rerolling wounds and D3 mortal wounds on 6+ his melee output is potent enough to deal 7.778 wounds to Calgar in a single fight phase, ie basically killing him on average. How much damage can Calgar accomplish against Guilliman, or Calgar himself (Abaddon)? 2.6 wounds in both cases, 3.02 and 3.78 with the might of heroes. You may notice by this point that you’re paying half the points for less than half the melee power even with psyker support (at least in this case, but I think this is a decent benchmark). Add in that Calgar’s halve-damage durability is completely negated by things like the mortal wounds from snipers, and well...
  • Captain Sicarius: No longer able to give 10 leadership to his whole detachment, or let a rhino tac squad infiltrate. But he is a bit cheaper now, and his power sword can do D3 mortal wounds if you roll a 6 to wound. He also can grant a squad Defenders of Humanity for a round. Overall, he is roughly the same if not slightly better in terms of melee, but can surprise an enemy via (for example) giving his Terminator retinue ObSec. The best thing about him is that, at 110 pts, he's pretty cheap. He's alright for his price, though his special ability does require some forethought.
  • Chief Librarian Tigurius: Got beefy now, with only a 3+ save, no invuln, yet 5W and 4 attacks. He's still rather vulnerable, but can kick and punch almost as well as a Captain thanks to becoming a Primaris Marine. He does have a pretty nifty ability, however, as he can inflict a -1 penalty to all hit rolls against him or a friendly Ultramarine unit within 6" each turn, which helps him or any screening unit to survive. Can also be used on a unit holding an objective to increase its survivability, on a flyer for a -2 to hit for maximum trolling, and so on; this ability has quite a few interesting tactical applications. Is equipped with his rod, a power stave that gives +3 to strength, but you don't want him in close combat anyway, unless facing extremely weak close combat opponents. His mortal wound production from Smite helps against high wound models and hordes. His hood now adds +1 to psychic tests and denial on top of the re-rolls.
    • He can re-roll failed Psychic Tests (but not successful ones, even if they Perils), so his expected damage from Smite is 2.09, rather than 1.79, assuming he can live through Perils, which he can always do with his starting health. His Primaris version is better, and can re-roll any Psychic test, so you can re-roll double 6s to avoid Perils.
      • He knows 3 Librarius (or Indomitus) powers and Smite, and can cast and deny 2 powers per turn. In general, non-Primaris Tigurius' odds of casting a power (assuming he lives through Perils) are:
        • Smite: 97.22%
        • Veil of Time: 92.28%
        • Might of Heroes: 92.28%
        • Scourge: 92.28%
        • Fury of the Ancients: 82.64%
        • Psychic Fortress: 97.22%
        • Null Zone: 82.64%
      • Primaris Tigurius is even better; he gets +1 to cast rolls. His odds on WC5 to WC8 are:
        • 5: 99.31% (Smite, Psychic Fortress, Precognition, Empyric Channelling)
          • Because his +1 will make Smite roll higher more often, his Smite output is higher; because he can also re-roll successful Psychic tests, you can fish for bigger Smites - if you re-roll all rolls of 9 or less (remember, you get 1d6 mortal wounds on 10s with this guy), your average will be 2.319 mortal wounds. If you only re-roll 3s and 2s, since you'll succeed at the cast on 4s, your average will be 2.257.
        • 6: 97.22% (Veil of Time, Might of Heroes, Scourge, Storm of the Emperor's Wrath, Psychic Shackles)
        • 7: 92.28% (Scryer's Gaze, Telepathic Assault, Fury of the Ancients, Null Zone)
  • Chaplain Cassius: He grants a mortal wound against enemy units that kill an Ultramarines model within 6" on a 6+. 3+ Marines die often, so with big numbers in your army Cassius has some punch and hurts the enemy in their phase. Combine with a Company Ancient and Apothecary to make the marine shoot as he dies, confer a mortal wound, and be brought back to life to shoot the next turn.
    • With the new codex and the Ultramarines Supplement, Cassius provides two Litanies for your marines. Using the +1 to hit and +1 to wound litanies can give squads that can generally hit on 2s, and a minimum wounding of 5s.
  • Sergeant Telion: Telion makes Scout Snipers better. He is armed with a better Sniper Rifle, and Scouts within 3" add 1 to their roll to hit. Telion hits on a 2+, and also has the Ultramarine and Scout keyword. Rolls of one always fail, but modifiers are diminished by his buff to himself.
  • Sergeant Chronus: Sadly, you still can't take Chronus in the Terminus Ultra (you can now with the new codex) or FW vehicles, which is a real shame since he can not only repair the tank he's riding in but also fixes its BS to 2+. This might not seem like much of a buff at first, but keep in mind that this overrides the BS decrease that the damage tables would normally force- not only will it be hitting on a 2+, it'll continue to do so even at the point it would normally be hitting on a 5+! Like in 7th edition, he becomes an infantry unit if his tank is destroyed, but a lackluster statline and bad selection of wargear mean that Chronus on foot is little more than an extra kill point for the enemy.
    • Depending on whether you want him to fill a Heavy slot or not as well as an HQ slot, the two vehicles he's commonly considered best in are a quadruple lascannon predator or a double assault cannon razorback. In either case, remember that he's not a character until he disembarks, and you want his vehicle to have as many guns as possible, so always take a storm bolter and strongly consider a hunter-killer missile.
    • Originally, vehicles he can command was very specific; but the new Codex has the following keywords as available rides: LAND RAIDER, RHINO, RAZORBACK, WHIRLWIND, PREDATOR, VINDICATOR. Sadly, no REPULSOR, SICARAN, MASTODON, ASTRAEUS, FELLBLADE or SPARTAN, but this still means he can command a Whirlwind Scorpius, a Land Raider Achilles or a Relic Predator. Or if you want to live dangerously, a Vindicator Laser Destroyer or a Terminus Ultra.
    • Chronus and Telion are dirt cheap (65 for Telion, 30 for Chronus, although that's on top of the tank he rides), so they will be a great help to fill compulsory HQ slots for bigger detachments. This is a huge boon for Ultramarine players, as this will help get more command points and recycle them thanks to their warlord trait. Throw in cheap Scout Squads for the troop tax (and to make sure Telion is used to his full potential) and you're good to go for a Battalion.

Forgeworld Successor Chapters Characters
Remember you don't necessarily need to pick Inheritors of the Primarch to be Ultramarine successors and use this supplement.

Fire Angels

  • Captain Tarnus Vale: Captain. Provides a 6+ invuln to nearby vehicles, but isn't riding a bike or using a jump pack, so he'll never keep up with his charges unless he’s in a transport or said charges are artillery tanks, such as a Fellblade or Whirlwind. But, he does have a power axe that has D2, and an 8" pistol 3 plasma pistol. Not to mention lots of vehicles sit in a parking lot. Like are you really gonna be zipping that predator up the field?

Successor Tactics: The Fire Angels are notable for for their strict adherence to the Codex, so Inheritors of the Primarch is a perfect fit for them. Alternatively, if you want to build around Vale's Vehicle buffs and build a parking lot type army, tank boosting Tactics like Master Artisans and Scions of the Forge are good options.

Fire Hawks

  • Knight-Captain Elam Courbray: Captain. The only Forge World character in this list who showed up with a Jump Pack, with the highest Move stat (and the guy in second place, Hecaton Aiakos, can't be your Warlord, although Lias Issodon is the guy in third place). However, because how DARE you tell him what to do when he comes in from reserve, he teleports in like a boss, rather than falling from the sky like a pleb. Also, he will always try to attack Characters within 1" of him, even if you'd rather he attacked someone else, because, again, FUCK YOU.
    • You're better off taking a regular captain with a jump pack bolt pistol and a relic blade. You're paying 18 points more to get to reroll wounds on your Suser AP-2 D1d3 sword (worse than the relic blade at S+2 AP-3 D1d3, which is more likely to wound on the first roll given it makes the captain S6). That's all he has over the normal jump pack captain. That and the 'has to hit characters if possible within 1"' thing. Which is actually a handicap.

Successor Tactics: While Courbray is nothing you'd build an army around and not a whole lot is known about the Fire Hawk's specialisation, they present a fluffy option for creating a more fleshed out Legion of the Damned. No options for universal FNP or Deep Striking, but general durability boosters like Indomitable, Stalwart, Stealthy (fluff it as the smoke rising off them giving them cover!) Or Warded are fine choices, and Fearsome Aspect is quite appropriate.

Howling Griffons

  • Chaplain Dreadnought Titus: Exactly the same as a normal chaplain dread, but his FNP equivalent is a 5+, not a 6+, and he has fixed weaponry in an assault cannon, heavy flamer, and big ol' smashy fist. He's worth taking if you're playing Howling Griffons and already planned on taking a Chaplain Dreadnought, but otherwise unremarkable.

Successor Tactics: Griffons are known for their tactical flexibility and good sense, so most any blend of Tactics could be made to work. Titus himself, similarly, is just a solid all-rounder, though Chaplain Dreads inherently encourage a more melee focused playstyle. A good pick for remaining fast and loose with what sort of army you want to bring.

Marines Errant

  • Lieutenant Commander Anton Narvaez: Captain. Used to be he was a little worse stats-wise than a captain (since he's not a captain) but had more interesting (if weird) wargear. Now he's just as good as a regular captain stat-wise, but his wargear got even weirder and even better. He comes with a power sword that on a 6+ to wound does a mortal wound instead (weird), an assault d3 plasma gun with 1 less ap that can't supercharge (weirder) and the Actinic Halo which gives him a 2++ save that is better than his power armour save UNTIL you take an unsaved wound at which points it stops working and only gives a near useless 6++ (legendarily weird). He honestly makes a decently shooty captain who has a decent buff (he provides the captain buff of rerolling 1s to hit, not the lieutenant buff to wounding) and is good for an all-rounder and doesn't cost much at all, use your command point rerolls on his invulnerable save to keep him alive all game and outside of mortal wounds he'll be exceptionally tanky... especially for a dude who's just supposed to be a ship captain.

Successor Tactics: Close range board actions are not well represented on the tabletop outside of Killteam, but we can make it work. Assault is the name of the game here, so Hungry for Battle and Rapid Assault are no brainers.

Novamarines

  • Captain Mordaci Blaylock: Terminator captain, with a D3 chainfist, a relic storm bolter S5 AP-2, and grants a 6+ FNP to all Novamarines Infantry within 6".

Successor Tactics: Another Codex hardliner, so Inheritors of the Primarch is probably ypur go-to here. Just as well, Braylock is brutal in close range where he can support similarly built units.

Elite:

  • Chapter Ancient: Split off from the Honour Guard, he's the same as a Company Ancient, but exclusive to Ultramarines and comes with a 2+ save and a power sword instead of the pistol (which he can't exchange). He also has a 9" banner range instead of 6", just in case you wanted him to reach out and touch farther units to let them fight or shoot one last time.
  • Chapter Champion: Despite the name, the Codex Chapter Champion isn't unique, so one Ultramarines Chapter can have multiple of him. He has the same mandatory Heroic Intervention and re-roll against CHARACTERs as a Company Champion but has +1A and Sv, and different wargear. His Codex entry carries a Power Sword and Champion's Blade (as well as a bolt pistol and grenades), meaning he costs 64 points, so you're paying 10 points over a Company Champion to go from 3+/5++ to 2+ and from A3 S4 AP-3 D2 to A4 S4 AP-3 D1 + A1 S4 AP-2 D1; as you may have just noticed, this means, even before the points difference, your output is going down against anything with 2 or more wounds. Accordingly, you're better off with a Company Champion, even though the Chapter Champion can use the Index to swap his Champion's Blade for a Bolter (which is drastically better on him) or his power sword for something else, simply because the master-crafted power sword on the Company Champion is so efficient and because 2+ isn't that much better than 3+/5++. The closest you're going to get for competition is the Thunder Hammer/Bolter combo, which is 81 points for A4 WS3+ (rerolling 1s to hit characters) S8 AP-3 D3, which will murder most things more efficiently than the Company Champion will, but only once delivered, and you can't give him a Jump Pack - that's a serious points investment over solving the same problem with Thunder Hammer Vanguard Vets, who can just get to the problem with their Jump Packs.
    • Both Champions have buffs that overlap Chaplains/Captains/Chapter Masters, so plan accordingly - if you're bringing the buffs in from elsewhere, neither is remotely as compelling as TH/SS Company or Vanguard Veterans.
      • This has all changed now. The Chapter Champion gets a Mastercrafted Power Sword and some quite substantial buffs now. Firstly, he has 5 attacks on his profile, which is more than even a Captain. Secondly, all attacks in close combat are at -1 to hit him. Combined with a 2+ save he's looking very survivable. Against characters, he also gets a whole host of special rules that will range from okay to downright scary! A 6" Heroic Intervention is okay to reach a character but re-roll hits and wounds against a character is amazing.

Give this guy the Burning Blade and The Imperium's Sword Warlord Trait and enjoy wounding T4 on 2s with AP-5 and D2. You can even shark vehicles with him since he has 7 attacks on the charge at S8. I'd even use him to finish a Knight character and laugh about it!

  • Honour Guard: They seem underwhelming at first since there're only two models per unit and they have only one more wound compared to the Company Veterans. However, they only cost a minimum of 50 points plus gear (see below) for the entire unit. They possess a 2+ save, which, paired with their W2, is the primary reason to take them - they're worse in melee than Company Vets - and because of their unit size, have no worries about morale tests. Like the Company Veterans, they can intercept wounds for CHARACTERs, so they're good to have around in melee. Remember that you can stick several units into a single transport, so there is nothing stopping you from sticking 8 2-man units of Honour Guard into a single Land Raider Crusader.
    • Codex Honour Guard has a mandatory Power Axe, but Index Honour Guard can take a Sword, Maul, or Relic Blade, so per the FAQ, the Index "wins", letting you take 50 points Sword Guard for bubble wrap/ablative wounds. For any weapon from Power Sword, Maul, or Axe, an Honour Guard costs the same as a Company Vet with a Storm Shield, meaning the choice is W2/2+ or W1/3+/3++; the former is cheaper per wound, which means your bodyguard lasts longer, but the latter is more durable against the majority of potential incoming fire, due to the abundance of higher damage and armour penetrating guns out there. Note also that both units are functionally immune to morale, but the Company Vets hit harder in melee - the Honour Guard unit is 4 attacks, while the Company Vets are 5. Relic Blades are garbage, doubling the cost of the Honour Guard carrying them; Company Vets with Thunder Hammers will outperform them any day.
  • Tyrannic War Veterans: Sternguard Vets, minus the weapons options and with the ability to re-roll all failed rolls to hit or wound TYRANID units. Situational, but since the bugs have gotten significant buffs it might be useful. The unit consists of 4 models, so can be cheaper in total than Sternguard, and make odd arrangements in transportation more viable.
    • As a strange side note, remember that these models have STERNGUARD VETERAN SQUAD as a keyword. This means they not only can benefit from Masterful Marksmanship but also bonuses from being in the Victrix Guard Specialist detachment. Further, with their Special Issue Bolters, you can see them as a way to extend a Sternguard allowance from just 3 squads to 6. Why you would do that is beyond comprehension.
  • Victrix Honour Guard: Primaris Honour Guard, with both upsides and downsides. Standard 1 wound and ABOVE standard +2 attacks (normally Primaris get +1), but also kitted out with power swords (losing the superior power axes of the base unit) and storm shields (losing both the bolters and bolt pistols of the base unit), and can perform Heroic Interventions. If they're in the same detachment as Marneus Calgar, they don't take up a slot. The net result, even after paying 5 more points per model, is that you gain a lot of durability and slight mobility, as well as an overall gain to melee output (doubling the unit's total attacks more than compensates for the inferior melee weapon), in exchange for a sharp reduction in ranged output - in fact, if you want your chapter tactic to apply to them, all you can do is have the unit throw a single grenade, as opposed to the base unit, which has a pair of bolters.

Lord of War

  • Roboute Guilliman:The most effective unit in the Astartes Codex, even with his whopping 350 point cost. He possesses an impressive statline: WS and BS are both 2+, 8" movement, S6, T6, 6A and has 9 wounds and if he is killed he comes back on a roll of 4+ with D6 wounds. Has the character keyword so can't be shot at unless he's the closest model or by snipers. Shooting wise he uses the Hand of Dominion which is 24" rapid fire 3 S6 AP-1 Dmg 2, which is good but it's CC where you want Girlyman. In close combat he can either use the Hand of Dominion a Sx2 AP-3 Dmg 3 power fist or use the motherfucking Emperor's Sword at S+2 AP-4 Dmg 3 that on a roll of a 6 causes D3 mortal wounds on top of the 3 damage he already caused. In close combat he is one of the best characters in 8th, on top of that lucky rolls can lead to him dishing out a lot of extra damage through mortal wounds. All of that is nice, however, where Guilliman truly shines is his buffs to the rest of the army. Any keyword Imperium unit within 12" adds 1 to advances and charges, re-roll hits of 1 and can re-roll failed morale tests. As the Primarch of the Ultramarines, he gives any Ultramarines units within 6" re-rolls of any hit roll, and wound rolls of 1 as well. Guilliman himself is affected by his own aura, allowing him to add 1 to charges and advances as well as re roll hits and 1s to wound. If all that wasn't enough if your army is battleforged you get 3 extra CP. He does everything you'd want a warlord to do, basically. The main reasons not to take him are points cost, wanting a different LOW, or not wanting to be seen as That Guy.
    • Be aware that since he has the Monster keyword for some odd reason, he tends to interact strangely with several other rules (e.g. taking Transports). Watch for anything that affects Monster units and be prepared to footslog.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

Tactics[edit]

Imperial Fists[edit]

Imperial Fists Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only vigilance eternal.

The Imperial Fists are paragons of bolt marksmanship and peerles urban fighters and siege specialists.
On the tabletop, this is represented by their bonuses to shooting (especially the ubiquitous bolter), and mastery of cover use, improving theirs while ignoring their enemies'. Success not out of tricks or outlandish tactics, just shooting like a supersoldier is supposed to.
If you want to marines whose boltguns actually matter, then play as the Sentinels of Terra and offer your enemies no quarter.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Siege Masters: Enemy units do not receive "the benefit of cover" against attacks made by models with this tactic. If the attack was with a bolt weapon, an unmodified 6 to hit scores an additional hit.
    • It makes anti-infantry weapons more effective now that cover affects everyone. Not only cover-relying campers like Rangers and Scouts, but also those armies that get "the benefit of cover in the open", where similar things like Deathwatch Dragonfire rounds are specified as NOT working against. This lets Imperial Fists entrench themselves while their opponents cannot, either levelling the playing field when storming enemies in cover, or stacking it in your favour when you have a cover of your own (Bolter Discipline Intercessors).
  • Combat Doctrine - :
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Architect of War: Imperial Fist units both within 6" of the warlord and in cover get an extra +1 to their saves vs AP-1 weapons, akin to Lucius dogma or Armageddon vehicles. This makes Heavy Bolters, Assault Cannons, and quite a few other anti-infantry weapons lose their ability to negate cover bonuses, enabling your army to still benefit from cover while you deny your enemy's.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  1. The Spartean: Replaces a bolt pistol. Makes it Pistol 2 AP-1 2D with the ability to target Characters like snipers do. Boooo!

Stratagems[edit]

Psychic Discipline[edit]

Specialist Detachment - Siegebreaker Cohort[edit]

It benefits Captains, Centurions, Dreadnoughts, and Vindicators.

Stratagems

  • Seismic Devastation (1CP): Activate at the start of any Shooting or Fight phase; each time your SIEGEBREAKER COHORT units make a wound roll of 6+ against a VEHICLE or BUILDING, you deal an additional mortal wound to enemy model.
    • This is the actual reason you're using this detachment - if you're not bringing a bunch of trio of Vindicators, Dreadnoughts, or/AND Centurions, why even bother? In fact, read it as "Centurions deal MW to vehicles on a 6+", because that's the real use: you're not shooting at nonexistent buildings, Vindicators are busy spamming Linebreaker on infantry, and a single Dreadnought simply doesn't have the ludicrous rate of fire Centurions have (six Hurricane Cents = ~16 MW! 20 with Bolter Drill!). Enables your anti-infantry Centurions to also kill a Leman Russ now.
      • Assault Centurions with flamers deal a bit more wounds, but they have to be within 8" of the enemy instead of 24", so hard pass. Bolter Discipline, baby!
  • Structural Demolition (1CP): When your SIEGEBREAKER COHORT units destroy a building, enemy models embarked on it roll 2d6 when exciting instead of d6.
    • Kinda lame to be honest, considering that very few players actually take Fortifications in their lists. In fact, this kinda gives them more of a reason to not use them, and some things like Altars of Khorne don't even have a wounds stat. Don't expect to use it very often.

Warlord Trait

  • Indomitable: If your Warlord did not move in your previous Movement phase, all IMPERIAL FISTS INFANTRY units within 6" auto-pass morale tests and count as being in cover. I.e. Cover in the open, The Trait, ltd.
    • Your units can move and still get the bonus if a single one has a toe in the aura, but bring infantry with long ranged guns. Do note you're NOT restricted to Siegebreaker Cohort units like other detachments are: Intercessors, Hellblasters, Sternguard Vets, Devastators, Centurion Devastators. Make the Captain a Primaris for their 36" Stalker Bolt Rifle. Or deploy your Primaris Vanguards in the optimal position regardless of whether or not it has cover (Phobos captains are still captains). Especially good for your Camo Cloak dudes.
    • Double Dip warlord traits! Architect of War will make your dudes retain their 2+ saves in the open (while ignoring enemy cover). Units that have a 1+ save in cover (Centurions, Terminators, Eliminators) don't get as big a benefit from Architect of War - it only comes up against weapons that are both AP-1 and ignore the bonus to cover saves; you can boost them with Storm of Fire instead, which is a very slight benefit, but better than nothing.
      • Since your Centurions also don't get a chapter tactic (seeing as they have an omniscope already), consider taking something with more dakka, like Aggressors.

Artifact

  • The Eye of Hypnoth: Re-roll 1s to wound from shooting attacks made by friendly SIEGEBREAKER COHORT units within 6" of the bearer. Lieutenant aura for a select squad, but you do save 60pts.

Special Units[edit]

HQ

  • Captain Lysander: Lysander is a better TH/SS Terminator Captain; the Fist of Dorn being a S10 Thunder Hammer without the -1 to hit penalty, making up for the actual IF relic pistol. If you have T5 enemies, Lysander's the guy you schedule them a play date with. He also gives +1Ld to nearby Fists, as if Space Marines cared about Leadership (you'd think it'd help Psychic Scourge, but that's a shitty power). Do you know how to use a TH/SS Termie Captain? Then you know all there is to know about Lysander strategy.

Forgeworld Successor Chapters Characters
Remember you don't necessarily need to pick Inheritors of the Primarch to be Imperial Fists successors and use this supplement.
Executioners

  • High Chaplain Thulsa Kane: Chaplain with +2 W and A, and dodgy - enemies have to subtract 1 when hitting him in melee. Has a 6" aura that grants an additional attack for models that roll an unmodified 6 To Hit, in addition to the being able to use 2 Litanies and having the standard Spiritual Leader rule that other chaplains have. His melee weapon, Lifetaker, is a S+2 power sword with D2, which becomes D4 if the target is a character. Also has a plasma pistol with an extra shot. Though he's an impressive beatstick that buffs the melee capabilities of everyone around him, his main issue is mobility since he cannot take a jump pack.

Successor Tactics: Imperial Fists tactics are trash for Executioners; their endgame is assault and Thulsa Kane helps them do that well. This guy is an awesome force multiplier when combined with the "Whirlwind of Rage" successor trait and some high attack volume units (like Vanguards with double Chainswords). Every 6 to hit generates an extra attack AND scores an additional hit. And while those extra attacks cannot generate any more attacks, they DO generate additional hits on consecutive 6s! Add his natural Chaplain ability to reroll failed hits and you literally drown your enemy in to wound rolls. Put him in a Drop Pod and make sure to take "Hungry for Battle" as your second trait so he and his company actually arrive in melee after deep striking (though you wouldn't be able to use litanies that turn).
The new primaris Incursor squad can take this to another level with their paired combat blades scoring an additional hit on a 6. Combine it with Gene Wrought Might (1CP) to Auto Wound on a hit roll of 6. Thulsa can then also use 2 litanies per turn, so Exhortation of Rage means 6s generate an additional attack and Litany of Hate to reroll any hit roll that isn't a 6. If your fighting heretic astartes, pop Death to the Traitors (1CP) while your at it. All up, each six we roll then explodes into 3 auto-wounds and 9 additional attacks that can also roll 6s to get a further 3 auto-wounds (but no more additional attacks). Why 9 additional attacks? Due to how the FAQ clarified that additonal hits on a 6 also count as rolls of 6, each of them will therfore proc 3 additional attacks in the above scenario.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

Tactics[edit]

Black Templars[edit]

Black Templars Livery.png
In the grim darkness of the far future, there will be only war. Actual quote by Sigismund, he called it first.

The Great Crusade never ended for these guys. Instead of being confined to a sector like most chapters, the Black Templar fleet fights the enemies of mankind wherever they are.
On the tabletop, these guys are the no-nonsense marines. Not the best melee combat Chapter, they are more garnered to get there. There's the enemy, take the fight to it and kill it. Shrug off their psychic cheats, bolter and chainsword will carry out the day. What deals more damage than just shooting? Shooting AND fighting, and you can chain the two better than most. So good at it that even charging right out of orbit can be a tactic - skip movement and psychic phases, shooting and fighting is where it's at.
Are all orks dead? Has chaos been defeated? Then chain your weapons to your gauntlets and take the fight to them. No pity, no remorse, no fear!

Special Rules

  • The Lost Librarius: Adeptus Astartes Psykers cannot be from the Black Templars Chapter, if you needed reminding. Doesn't affect non-Templar Psykers in allied detachments.
  • Chapter Tactics - Righteous Zeal: Units with this tactic can re-roll failed charge rolls, either one or both dice. They also get a 5+ save vs mortal wounds.
    • What kills tries to counter TH/SS? Mortal Wounds SPAM, come from psychic powers or more mundane sources. Well now your TH/SS are 2+/3++/5+++, simple as.
    • Imperial 'Ere We Go! Simple yet effective, this and Shock Attack are your incentives for melee. With an individual 56.9% of making the charge, a massed deepstrike is less of a coinflip ― the probability of at least one of two units making a 9" charge is 0.569+(1-0.569)*0.569 = 81.4%. And you have a ton such units: Anything Jump Pack, Reivers, Terminators; Cataphractii's transport issue is all but solved! Even melee Dreadnoughts will improve, as it makes charges vastly more reliable. But MSU everything: one of two 5-man units making the charge is better than 10 dudes standing around doing nothing. It also doubles the grenades they can use (especially Reiver Shock Grenades), and the unit left behind can prevent any characters that didn't make the charge from being sniped when the others do get into melee.
      • Ofc it's not restricted to a melee drop: a Rhino rush works too, and the Assault Doctrine doesn't work until turn 3. Just doing the math so you don't need to cogitate it mid-charge.
  • Combat Doctrine - :
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Oathkeeper: Warlord can do 6" Heroic Interventions. Eh, it's ok. You certainly don't want your warlord to leave his squad unsupported when they get charged, but you should be the one who charges anyway.
  • Relics
  1. The Crusader's Helm: Increase the range of any abilities on his datasheet by 3". An extended aura range will help buff multiple units at once, which works nicely with Crusader spam.
  • Stratagems:

Specialist Detachment - Sword Brethren: High Marshall Helbrecht, the Emperor's Champion, Company Champion (but not Chapter Champion) , Captains (all flavours) & Company Veterans in this detachment gain the SWORD BRETHREN keyword, so you can do a mighty crusade! Neither Grimaldus nor Vanguard Vets are affected, btw.

  • This is the ONLY specialist detachment that affects a Chapter Master, a named one at that, as well as the Emperor's Champion unique character. Named characters still can't take this detachment's warlord trait, though.
  • You can use it on Company Veterans on Bikes, since they too have the Company veterans keyword, same as the Captain on Bike...buuut they are overcosted. Even more so than before, as in CA2018 they retained their old price while everything else got a discount.

Stratagems With your regular Oathkeeper WT and Abhor the Witch stratagem, you can now use the Four Vows of the Black Templars :D!

  • Uphold the Honour of the Emperor (1CP): At the start of the Fight phase, pick a SWORD BRETHREN unit. Roll a D6 each time one of the models in that unit loses a wound, on a 5+ that model does not lose that wound.
    • Melee only, not only does it protect the unit from damage, but it also allows Company Vets to tank a wound that the Captain already tried to save, suffer a mortal wound and then save it.
  • Suffer Not the Unclean to Live (2CP): At the start of the Fight phase, pick a SWORD BRETHREN unit. All models in the unit get an extra attack and may reroll failed wound rolls.

Warlord Trait

  • Master Swordsman: +1A. Each time your warlord rolls an unmodified 6 to hit in the fight phase, the attack inflicts 2 hits instead of 1. Come my foes, get closer. I shall teach you to fear the Emperor!
    • Regular Captain WS2+ 4A+1 wielding a Thunder Hammer hitting a T4 4++ enemy becomes 5*(4/6+4/36)*(5/6)*(1/2)*(3)+5*(1/6+1/36)*(5/6)*(1/2)*(3) = 6.07 unsaved wounds. You can add the Teeth of Terra to get more attacks, and swap the hammer for a Relic Blade to combine it with Grimaldus and unleash a hurricane of attacks.

Artifact

  • The Holy Orb: The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch finally returns. Once per battle, in your Shooting phase you can choose for the bearer to throw the Holy Orb instead of making a normal shooting attack. If you do so, pick a visible enemy unit within 6" of the bearer and roll a D6 for every 10 models in that unit (rounding up). For each roll of 2+ that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Eh.

Special Units

HQ

  • High Marshal Helbrecht: The big boss of the Black Templars. All Black Templar units around him reroll all to hit rolls and Black Templar MODELS gain +1 strength — and Str 5 is a sweet spot in this edition. So when this guy rolls up in a Land Raider Crusader and then charges you with his strength 5 rerolling to hit homeboys...you're dead. End of discussion. He himself is no slouch in combat, roasting things with a combi melta, and gains d3 attacks on the charge using what is effectively a Relic Blade.
    • It almost goes without saying, but this makes Power Swords and Lightning Claws the superior weapon vs MEQ, and Power Axes wound on 2+ vs GEQ. He also makes Power Fists S10, but only Plague Marines or Land Raiders would notice, so leave those TH/SS at home, and use the increased space for Ancients and Apothecaries instead.
  • Emperor's Champion: This guy will brutally murder any enemy character, living up to Sigismund's legacy with a plethora of rules to wreck heroes. Well, kinda; he can't kill a generic Captain on his own. While he's certainly got a hate boner against Characters, hurling with five Str7 AP-3 D1d3 attacks that reroll hits and wounds the Champion does 4.3 unsaved wounds on a regular Captain, but the latter's Thunder Hammer inflicts 3.88W on the Champion, who has 1 less wound than him. You could argue the Emperor's Champion hits above his points cost, but a Captain with Thunder Hammer costs only +20pts, aka the Hammer's cost, is good against everything at the same time he boosts your army. Meanwhile, the Emperor's Champion is only effective against characters and monsters. Not to mention the Chad-Captain is FAR more customizable and can deepstrike to put that rerollable BT charge range to good use, while the Virgin Champion has to commute inside a vehicle or walk like a pleb.
    • While both models in that example would end up killing each other because neither of them exists in a bubble, it is precisely in accounting for your retinue where the Captain's re-roll aura makes him surpass the Emperor's Champion, as the Captain's retinue would receive a boost while the Champion's doesn't. If you are going to boost him use Helbrecht — he turns him Str8 against characters (wounding on 2+), while his Chapter Master aura overrides the Captain's.
  • Chaplain Grimaldus: THE guy for Black Templar's Black Tide lists. He has the usual Chaplain auras, but his real value is his unique Unmatched Zeal rule boosting nearby Black Templar units, giving them another attack on a roll to hit of 6+ (plus the reroll). A great addition for any unit in a LR Crusader. He's also got a plasma pistol (but be careful) and can bring relic-bearing Cenobyte Servitors to help your Crusader blobs (should you run them as such), though the Servitors aren't characters like he is. His Litanies of Hate overlap with Helbrecht's Chapter Master aura, so try and spread them apart.

Troops

  • Crusader Squad:* The guys who make Tacticals irrelevant for BT. There are basically two ways to run Crusader Squads, and it's not regarding melee or shooting, but squad size. Also, keep in mind you can have more Neophytes than Initiates now:
    • The first is abusing MSU as they can bring both a Special AND Heavy weapon (plus Sergeant Combi) in a 5-man squad, 50% more than Tacticals, meaning 6 upgraded guns in a Rhino, or 3 in a Razorback. The same goes for melee, as both the Sarge and 1 Initiate can buy a Power Weapon/Fist, while the others get Chainswords — that's better than shitty Assault Squad Eviscerators, from a Troop Choice (with Defenders of Humanity). Good punch for a unit their size, meaning you can push this basic unit into the offensive instead of being mere Battalion tax.
    • The second way is to use Templar blobs as a way to use the new casualty allocation rules to your benefit: You can use the 3+ armoured Initiates to protect Neophytes from small arms fire, while the cheaper Neos can be used to eat lascannon fire and morale casualties — Scouts are your most cost-effective source of ranged fire, but they lack the Crusader's marines to tank hits from them. A Crusader squad's size makes it vulnerable to morale as much as it makes it benefit more from unit boosts. Chaplains (especially Grimaldus) help their morale at the same time they increase their lethality. So do Captains(Helbrecht)/Lieutenants/Ancients, and the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant/Rites of War Warlords make them immune to morale, so 20-man Crusader squads love them, as they can't fit inside most transports.

Elite

  • Cenobyte Servitors: Cenobyte Servitors are a 3 man unit that makes all Black Templar units in 12" auto pass morale test and with the unit costing less than most weapons, only the fact it's an elite slot may stop you from taking them. Or, making you to take them to unlock a Vanguard Detachment, or Brigade Detachmnent, or an extra transport to your army. T3, a 4+ save, and non-Character means that if they can be seen, they can be targeted, and removed with minimal fire, so be on the lookout of giving up First Blood to your opponent. If you're bringing them, hide them behind a Rhino.

Tactics:

Raven Guard[edit]

Raven Guards Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, death comes from the shadow.

Thematically, these guys are THE specialist of covert operations and rapid deployment, striking their enemies before they can react.
On the tabletop, these guys are well-suited to picking off characters, either from long range sniping, mass Jump Pack assaults, or smash captains flipping entire units by themselves, and either way they're tricky to actually land a hit on. Thanks to a wealth of deployment and redeployment options, they will constantly be moving in to attack from multiple directions, and they are one of the few chapters that can reliably deliver Primaris units into close quarters without relying on transports.
If you like to be sneaky and Beakies, search no more! By the way, there is a Raven Guard behind you...

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Shadow Masters: Your units get the benefit of cover if they're being shot beyond 12". If they're not vehicles and happen to already be in actual cover, enemies must also subtract 1 from their hit rolls.
    • Of help to long-range attackers of all types, from Scout Snipers to ranged Dreads. One of the best chapter tactics available, as is basically good on everything, from units that can pick off opponents from afar to melee units that need to cover long distances to reach their intended targets, preventing them from being shot up quite as badly.
    • While it's a nerf from the old -1 to hit (it being restricted to far-away cover), a 2+ save still helps, and your vehicles get cover in the open: hard to destroy -1 to hit (Smoke launchers) 2+ Rhinos (Shadow Masters) without also getting within 12" of them. It's also worth noting that Vanguard Primaris means that there are now many more units with Camo Cloaks, as opposed to just Scouts, and they'll all enjoy that +2 to saves at 12". Looks like Salamanders won't have a monopoly on infantry that can ignore AP-1.
  • Combat Doctrine - Surgical Strikes: While the Tactical Doctrine is active, all your models add +1 to hit and wound rolls when targeting a character. Unlike most doctrines, this isn't restricting you to any particular method of fighting, so your Intercessors can benefit from it just as much as your Reivers, though the latter won't get that AP bump to their knives. Naturally, sniper Scouts and Eliminators in particular will appreciate these bonuses, triggering Mortal Wounds on a wound roll of 5+.
    • This rule is an absolute nightmare for opponents running large, monstrous characters. Knights with relics, Greater Daemons, Hive Tyrants, Mortarion, and Magnus were already fire magnets, and this makes the situation far worse for them.
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Shadowmaster: The enemy can't fire overwatch against your warlord, enabling him to make the charge first, selflessly (and safely) screening his retinue from overwatch. Works on any kind of warlord...but it's obviously better on those who reroll charge ranges, like Shrike or a Jump Pack Captain with the Raven's Fury.
  2. Master of Ambush: At the start of the first battle round, but before the first turn begins, remove your warlord and 1 infantry unit and place them anywhere on the battlefield more than 9" away from the enemies deployment zone. 6 Aggressors??!
  3. Swift and Deadly: Friendly Raven Guard units withink 6" of the warlord can be chosen to charge even if they advanced.
  4. Master of Vigilance: When resolving an attack made by a melee weapon by this warlord, an unmodified hit roll of 6 inflicts a mortal wound in addition to any other damage.
  5. Feigned Flight: When this warlord falls back, they can move across models and terrain as if they weren't there. In addition the warlord may shoot and charge in a turn that they fell back.
  6. Echo of the Ravenspire: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, the warlord can vanish into the gloom if they are more than 6" away from any other models. When it does, remove it from the battlefield and set up the warlord again at the end of your next movement phase anywhere on the table that is more than 9" away from enemy models.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

Relics are now split into two categories. Relics of Ravenspire may only be taken by Raven Guard (unless you use a stratagem). Special-Issue Wargear can be taken by Raven Guard and their successor chapters

Relics of the Ravenspire[edit]
  • The Ebonclaws: Replaces Lighting Claws. SU AP-3 D1d3 A+1, re-rolls wounds.
  • The Armour of Shadows: Treat AP-1 attacks against the wearer as AP0. In addition, an unmodified hit roll against them of 1, 2, or 3 always fails (i.e. it's harder for elite units to hit you, but worse melee units won't notice). Watch as your opponent's WS2+ smash unit hits as well as a guardsman.
  • The Raven Skull of Korvaad: Once per turn, you can re-roll a hit roll, wound roll, or damage roll. In addition, if the model carrying this relic is destroyed by an enemy unit, you can add 1 to the hit rolls of any Raven Guard unit targeting that enemy unit for the rest of the game.
  • Raven's Fury: Jump Pack model only. Can charge even after advancing, and re-rolls failed charge rolls. It also inflicts a mortal wound on its charge target on a 4+. While its extra speed might be ignored so your other Jump Infantry can keep up, and Champions don't have access to them, it is of great help to a Silent Stalker RG Warlord to get that charge.
  • Ex Tenebris: Replaces a mastercrafted bolt stalker rifle, mastercrafted occulis bolt carbine, or mastercrafted instigator bolt carbine. Replaces the profile with 36" Assault 3 S4 AP-2 D2, it can target enemy characters even if they are not the closest, and it adds 1 to its hit rolls and ignores cover.
  • Oppressor's End: Replaces a combat knife with S+1 AP-2 D2 A+1. Against an enemy character, the damage improves to 3.
Special-Issue wargear[edit]
  • Adamantine Mantle: Fnp5+++. "Not dying" is good for everyone, but (smash) captains/Primaris are the ones with the most wounds to proc it with.
  • Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Most useful for Lieutenants and Librarians, who lack invulns.
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • 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!
  • Shadow Master Cloak: 3+ invuln save while they're wholly on a terrain feature.
  • Silentus Pistol: Models with a bolt pistol or heavy bolt pistol only, replaces it for a pistol 2 strength 5 ap-2 damage 2. It can target a character even without it being the closest and can add 1 to the hit roll.
  • Korvidari Bolts: Select one bolter weapon from Codex Space Marines that model is equipped with, when that model is chosen to shoot you can fire a Korvidari bolt. The model's ranged weapon's range is increased by 6" and can target units that are not visible, but only one attack can be made with the weapon.
  • Shard of Isstvan: Plus 1 attack and when a morale test is taken for a chapter unit within 6", the test is automatically passed.

Stratagems[edit]

Raven Guard Stratagems can be divided into four broad categories; Mobility, Offense, Disruption/survival, and universal.

  • Mobility: If White Scars are the masters of speed, Raven Guard are the masters of deployment.
    • Infiltrators (1 CP): At the start of the first battle round, but before the first turn begins choose an infantry unit and move them. As long as you finish more than 9" from enemy models. Each unit can only be selected for this once per battle. As your turn hasn't begun you can use this multiple times on different units.
      • Works well with Speeder units like Transports, tanks, and Jump Packs.
    • Strike from the Shadows (1 CP): Lets you place a Raven Guard Infantry unit in ambush, allowing them to deep strike.
    • Strike from the Skies (1 CP): Start of the Charge phase. One Raven Guard Jump Pack unit can charge even if they advanced and adds 1 to the charge rolls.
    • The Raven's Blade (1 CP): Allows you to reroll charge rolls against one enemy unit, but it does not work if you attempt to charge multiple units.
    • False Flight (2 CP): One Raven Guard unit can now shoot and charge after they fall back. There's plenty of utility here, from making a fighting retreat to double-dipping on any charge bonuses you get.
  • Offense: Compared to other chapters, the Raven Guard have only a few Stratagems that enhance their damage output, and they are either limited to once per turn or very narrow in scope.
    • Lay Low the tyrants (1 CP): use during the melee phase. pick a Raven Guard infantry or biker unit. When they resolve a melee attack against a character that is not a vehicle or a non-vehicle unit with a model that has 4 or more wounds, add 1 to the wound roll. Stacks with surgical strikes, giving you +2 to wound against enemy characters.
    • Vengeance of Istvaan V (1 CP): A Raven Guard unit can reroll all attack rolls in melee when targeting a Word Bearer, Iron Warrior, Alpha Legion, or Night Lord unit. Avenge the Drop Site Massacre.
    • Ambushing Fire (2 CP): Use at the start of your moving phase if the tactical doctrine is active. Until the end of the next battle round, All Raven Guard units shooting rapid fire and assault weapons in your army improve their AP by 1 on an unmodified wound roll of 6. Can only be used once per battle.
  • Disruption/survival:While most armies have stratagems aimed at utility or defense, the Raven Guard emphasize disrupting your opponent's plans and making it harder for them to use stratagems, target your units, and take/score objectives.
    • Stranglehold (2 CP): Use during the first turn of the game to screw over your opponent's stratagems. You must have Raven Guard Scouts or Phobos units in your army. roll 1d6 each time an opponent spends a command point on a stratagem. on a 5+, the opponent must spend an additional command point or the stratagem is countered and cannot be used again this round. Only works during the first turn.
    • See but remain unseen (1 CP): Use this stratagem at the end of your turn. Select one Raven Guard unit that did not make any attacks. Subtract 1 from any hit rolls that target them. You could possibly be a dick and use this on transports working as meat shields for your army, your not gonna miss a few WS 6+ attacks or less than 10 Storm Bolter shots. Works especially well if you position your units such that your opponent must engage the transport.
    • Decapitating Blow (2 CP): Use when you kill the enemy warlord with a Raven Guard unit. For the rest of the game, enemy units are at -1 leadership.
    • Deadly Price (1 CP): Use at the end of your turn to boobytrap an objective. If an enemy unit tries to take it, roll a d6. on a 2-4, they take d3 mortal wounds. on a 5+, they take 3 mortal wounds instead. Can't be used on the same objective more than once per battle.
    • Force their Hand (1 CP): Tactical objective shenanigans. Force your opponent to discard a tactical objective and draw a new one. You need to have a bike or infantry unit on a objective in your opponent's deployment zone to use this. A lot of hoops to jump through to make this work.
  • Universal: All Chapters Supplements include some variation of the following three stratagems.
    • Masters of the Trifold Path (1 CP): Non-named characters can generate a second warlord trait. No duplicates. once per battle
    • Favored of the Ravenspire (1 CP):A Raven Guard Sergeant can take certain relics
    • Token of Brotherhood (1 CP): the standard successor relic sharing stratagem.

Psychic Discipline - Umbramancy[edit]

As a discipline, Umbramancy focuses on shadows, disruption, and making your solo-operators more deadly. Its two mortal wound powers are somewhat weak, but the rest of the powers are fairly solid, if somewhat limited by targeting restrictions. Two of the powers (Umbral Form and Spectral Blade) only affect your librarians themselves, while a third (Shadowstep) only affects characters, and the last (Enveloping Darkness) can only affect a single enemy unit. Nevertheless, there are several combos that present themselves (The Abyss + Spectral Blade),(Spectral Blade + Umbral Form), (Shadowstep + Enveloping Darkness/The Abyss/Smite).

  1. Umbral Form: Warp Charge 5. The psyker gains a 4++ Invulnerable save.
  2. Enveloping Darkness: Warp Charge 7. One visible enemy unit within 18" cannot fire Overwatch and subtracts one from their hit rolls.
  3. Spectral Blade: Warp Charge 5. Until the start of the next psychic phase, the psyker's strength is equal to their leadership. In addition, they have AP-4 when resolving an attack against a unit with a lower leadership. In most cases, this will make your librarian Strength 9, and you can guarantee the AP bonus by using one of the numerous leadership penalty sources available (suddenly, Fear Made Manifest gets better as a warlord trait).
  4. Shadowstep: Warp Charge 7. One Raven Guard Character within 18" of your librarian redeploys wherever he wishes while 9" away from the enemy.
  5. The Abyss: Warp Charge 6. Select one visible enemy unit within 18". Roll 3d6; for each each roll of 4+, the target takes a mortal wound. If any models are destroyed, then the unit suffers a -1 penalty to their leadership for the rest of the turn.
  6. The Darkness Within: Warp Charge 6. Select up to 3 enemy units within 18"; roll 1d6 for each unit. On a 4+, they take a mortal wound. If you rolled a 10 or higher on the psychic test, add 1 to the d6 rolls.

Special Units[edit]

  • Kayvaan Shrike: He's had a promotion, and now has the Chapter Master special rule. His stat-line still reeks of his old Captain status, not to mention his 5 wounds and only 5 attacks including both his lightning claws. He grants fellow Raven Guard models re-rolls to their charge distance, so he pairs very well with any sort of risk engaging CC alpha strike army. With him alongside your forces, you have a very good chance of getting a charge off even when 9 inches away. If you like using Vanguard Vets and jump packs, Kayvaan is the HQ for your army. He can deep strike more than 9 inches first turn. A 9" charge should go off 28% of the time, but with the re-roll that rises to 48%. Keep that in mind when building an alpha-strike CC army, you'll need more than 2 units charging to reliably get a charge off. His CC attacks now do D3 damage and have the same AP as a power sword, rather than normal lightning claws. Overall he's gotten buffed considerably and his rules (chapter master, re-roll charge, and improved melee potential) makes him a character worth investing in, and all of this for just 150. 150 points for 1st turn charges, Yes, please.
    • Chances of at least one unit successfully charging 9" with re-roll buff, with 1 unit charging: 48%; 2 units: 73%; 3 units: 86%; 4 units: 93%.
    • I've even seen entire Raven Guard armies revolve around using Shrike's Winged Deliverance ability, and players do a mass deep strike; as shown above, the more units you choose to charge the more chances you have of making it with at least one squad.
      • Since your deep strikers need "anchor" units - for every deep striking unit, you need a unit to start the game on the table - you should be in the market for cheap anchors if you're planning this. Currently the cheapest anchor available, period, seems to be Inquisitorial Acolytes (8 points per unit, uses an Elite slot); within Space Marines, Space Wolf cyberwolves are 15 points each, and Fast Attack; within your own chapter, Forge World Space Marine Tarantulas cost 24 apiece (and use a Fast Attack slot). Unfortunately, since you're not Blood Angels, you can't issue jump packs to some otherwise sweet choices, like Company Veterans. Oh, well.
  • Currently, the best way to field him is to use a backfield IG detachment as a CP battery (preferably with a bunch of mortars), infiltrate him and the majority of your Marines using Strike from the Shadows, then use one or two Deep Striking jump pack units to address problem spots later in the game.
  • Primaris Kayvaan Shrike:He’s been spoiled as a vanguard chapter master. He’s finally got a gun (even though it’s a pistol), still has the Raven's Talons, the jump pack, and that fuck-ugly emo hairstyle. He now lets you re-roll all hit rolls as per the Chapter Master rules revision. His gun, Blackout, is an 18" AP-2 D2 bolt pistol that can target characters and do mortal wounds on 6+ like the usual snipe rifle. In addition, he now has 6 wounds and a 14" move. Combine all that with Winged Deliverance, and...hoo boy.
  • Shadow Captain Korvydae: This guy was dropped from the game in a FAQ; instead, you're told to use the model to represent a generic Captain.
    • Good model for a Raven's Fury/thunder hammer Captain. They make decent character assassins, as the sheer speed at which they can close with a target can catch people off guard.

Forgeworld Successor Chapters Characters
Remember you don't necessarily need to pick Inheritors of the Primarch to be Raven Guard successors and use this supplement.

Raptors

  • Lias Issodon: Chapter Master. Lias is the king of Infiltration Fuckery. When he infiltrates (at the end of any Movement Phase, thus it supplements Strike from the Shadows), he can take up to three RAPTORS INFANTRY units with him (barring TERMINATORS, PRIMARIS and CENTURIONS, but now allowing jump-pack Marines). Surprise, motherfuckers! He has a 6" aura that adds +1" to all move, advance, charge, and fall back moves (making his base movement 8"), on top of his Chapter Master 6" aura of rerolls to hit. His weapon Malice is a 30" Assault 3 S5 AP-4 D1d3 murdermachine with ignores cover, which he can fire after retreating from melee with Hit & Run. In addition to all of this, Lias essentially has a 0+ save while sitting in any cover (though of course save rolls of 1 always fail, this is more to troll enemies who try to negate cover saves). Plus he has a master-crafted power sword, just in case he needs to run interference to protect your ambushers from small opportunistic chargers. Storm of Fire is the preferred Warlord Trait, as he'll largely be hanging out with other shooters.
    • Potential ambushers to think about are Devastators, Sternguard, or Company Veterans (never waste this ability on units that already have the means to deep strike via cheapish Jump Packs!). Remember he can also buff Inceptors and Cataphractii Terminators, as they can deep strike next to him without his rule, and any Primaris units you infiltrate with Strike from the Shadows.
    • Raptors seem to be gaining in popularity. Using this dude takes caution and practice, but if done right you can route your enemy in spectacular fashion.

Successor Tactics: Inheritors of the Primarch works just fine for them, and are perhaps even better built for them than their parent chapter! Inheritors is also absolute cheese on Issodon’s deepstrike force (put them down in cover and you have a group of 15 lascannon-toting Devastators who reroll all failed hits, with -1 to hit and a 2+ save, along with Issodon’s 0+ and -1 to hit). If you feel like mixing it up, however, Tactics like Preferred Enemy, Long-ranged Marksmen, and, of course, Stealthy are all fluffy and effective picks.

Space Sharks

  • Tyberos the Red Wake: Chapter Master. An unholy, terrifying murder machine whose melee damage went through the roof in this edition. Comes with 2 weapons: Hunger and Slake. Hunger is a chainfist that does a flat 3 damage (one better than the normal), and Slake is a lightning claw that does 2 damage while still getting the re-roll to wound. He grants all Carcharodons models within 6" +1S including himself, he also gives all Carcharodons units within 6" re-roll to hits (including shooting). His statline is almost identical to that of a Terminator Captain but Tyberos has 5 attacks instead of 4, 1 more strength due to his buff and 1 less BS. Tyberos excels at fighting small units composed of models with multiple wounds and HQs due to his damage output. Keep an assault unit of some sort alongside him and together they should destroy any MEQ or TEQ unit with absolute ease. While VERY expensive Thunder Hammer armed Vanguard or Assault Termies become more effective at killing high toughness units when alongside Tyberos. ((The S10 they get from Tyberos' buff combined with the Thunder Hammers means they'll go from wounding T8 and T9 units on 4+ and 5+ respectively to wounding them on a 3+ and 3+ respectively (this means they can wound even a Knight or Warhound Titan on a 3+). A squad of 5 will put out 11 AP-3 Dmg 3 Strength 10 hits that can cause a maximum of 33 damage and they get to re-roll misses due to Tyberos. That's a potential of 48 damage in a single fight phase between them and Tyberos using Hunger (15 from Tyberos 33 from the hammer unit.
    • If Tyberos is your warlord, you should really be pumping everything you can into his attacks - his hitting power is strong, but his overall volume of attacks quite low by comparison. To start with, give him The Imperium’s Sword for +1A on the charge, which compliments his existing +1A from Shock Assault. Cast Might of Heroes on him for another +1A, giving him eight attacks at S10 ap-4 dmg3. Finally, drop the Whirlwind of Rage successor trait and keep a Lieutenant nearby, and watch your sweet little bundle of death chew through an Imperial Knight every turn.
    • Since sharkboy has no ranged weapons at all, not even a bolt pistol, any turn where he isn’t wrecking face in cc is a waste of his substantial 205 points cost - so absolutely invest in a transport to get him up the board as quickly as possible. Bonus points if you play the Jaws theme while disembarking.

Successor Tactics: Whirlwind of Rage is an absolute must here, Tyberos benefits too damn much from it. Great choices for your second Tactic include Hunger for Battle, to get into melee ASAP, or Tactical Withdrawal, to keep Shock Assault up and working for you. Fearsome Aspect is a fluffy, if not as brutal option.


Tactics:[edit]

Salamanders[edit]

Salamanders Chapter Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future there is a bounty of back breaking hugs for all. And fire. Lots and lots of fire.

Thematically, these guys are the true saviours of mankind, as while everyone else is running around hitting/stabbing each other with various weapons, the Salamanders are the warrior angels who are protecting the civilians, infrastructure, and all the other things that make a society a society. And also setting the enemies of the Emperor on fire.
On the tabletop, these Bros acts much like a jack of all trades with them being able to both hit and wound a little better than most and being able to ignore -1 AP means they have a little more staying power.
Vulkan lives!

Special Rules

  • Chapter Tactics - Forged in Battle: A unit with this tactic can re-roll a single to hit roll and a single wound roll each time it shoots or fights (including overwatch). Your units treat AP-1 attacks as if they were AP0, meaning things like heavy bolters will be a minimal threat.
    • Especially useful to all vehicles, characters, MSU and strong single-shot weapons like Lascannons and Meltas. Assuming you hit and wound on 3+, that one shot goes from 44% to wound to over 70% (saves not calculated). While it reduces your dependence on Captains and Lieutenants (allowing you to focus on the other HQs) it also helps them with those 2s, statistically similar to a Chapter Master, which the Salamanders lack unless they spend valuable CP on the Stratagem. Especially Vulkan He'Stan, who is like a Chapter Master only to melta and a Captain to everything else - now the sergeants of melta squads use can reroll for themselves.
    • AP-1 weaponry is the most efficient AP in the game in terms of availability and potential threat against your infantry. Ignoring it is hugely beneficial to your survival, armoured or otherwise.
  • Combat Doctrine -
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Anvil of Strength: The Warlord gets +2 to his Strength characteristic (so it happens BEFORE 2x), enabling Power Fists, Thunder Hammers and Boltstorm Gauntlets to hit at Str12. This also allows Relic blades to strike at S8 like a power fist without the -1 modifier.
  • Relics
  1. The Salamander's Mantle: A straight up +1 Toughness. While notable for pushing Gravis and Biker Captains up to T6, a TH/SS Terminator Captain will appreciate it, as the Mantle makes him more resilient than the Shield Eternal against attacks with Str 5-8, which is most melee weapons. Be the envy of Nurgle armies everywhere.
    • Yes, you can give it to an Land Raider Excelsior to make them difficult to bring down even with meltas...but come on. Nope, new codex says no relics on vehicles.
  • Stratagems:

Special Units

  • Vulkan He'Stan: Has a Captain's statline, with a 2+ save and a 3+ invuln. Comes with Heavy Flamer, and Relic Blade, and Storm Shield equivalent gear. He has the Captain Rites of Battle ability to let you re-roll hits of 1 for Salamanders units within 6", and his Forgefather ability lets all Salamanders models within 6" reroll any failed hits and wounds with flame or melta in the name, and with his own Gauntlet of the Forge (note that this affects vehicles and melta-bombs too now, but it doesn't affect the bolter part of combi-weapons). Great for tagging along with Sternguard or Company Vets in a Rhino or Drop Pod. Vulkan standing with a 5-man devastator squad, armed with 4 Multi-Meltas and a Combi-Flamer, is extremely productive, both for shooting hordes and high toughness targets. The forgefather rule made him a more support oriented HQ as his melee is mediocre compared to other named characters worth a similar amount of points (namely Shrike or Lysander). He got used to being an immovable object in 7th (2+,3++,5+++(FnP)) but in 8th all you need to do to is fail one 3+ invulnerable save and you take multiple wounds, or get saddled with Mortal Wounds he can't save against. Still, take him if you are a Salamanders player because his rules aren't by any means bad - and his model is awesome.
    • As long as he's your warlord, he also hits with a solid S8 thanks to the 8.5 Salamanders Warlord Trait.
    • Alternate take: Vulkan He'Stan riding along with either a squad of Assault Centurions in a Land Raider Redeemer or a squad of Aggressors with Flamestorm Gauntlets can be quite effective. Proper positioning will allow re-rolls to hit and to wound on both Land Raider Flamestorm Cannons, the Land Raider's Multi-Melta and on all 6 of the flamers that you've definitely taken on your Assault Centurions, all preceding a devastating charge. The Aggressors will similarly benefit, whether it's from the 4d6 flamer shots they get if they stay still or the 2d6 they unleash as they move into melee range.
    • Vulkan is insanely good backing up Cyclonic Melta Leviathans, or, keeping it lighter, standard-issue multi-melta/heavy flamer dreads, where he will buff the guns all the way, and they can use Salamanders tactics if they need to in melee.
  • Captain Pellas Mir'san (Forgeworld): He has the statline of a Captain in Terminator Armour, except with a 6" move instead of 5" and without the transport restrictions of being a terminator, but no Teleport Strike (dude, he's clearly in Artificer armour, not Terminator). He comes with a combi-flamer, Cinder Edge (functionally identical to a force sword), and Steelsilver, which lets you make an additional attack at S4 AP0 D1 against every model within 1". Those attacks are made after his Cinder Edge attacks are resolved and before you consolidate, so it can be a super chainsword or useless depending on what his regular attacks leave behind. He gets the normal Captain Iron Halo for a 4++ and Rites of battle to re-roll 1s to hit within 6". He also gets 2 more attacks when he's within 2" of any enemy Characters. All this for a few points less than a similarly equipped Terminator Captain. He really wants to be in close combat chopping heads to maximize his usefulness. Probably plays best running with Vanguard or Company Vets kitted for close combat, but he'll likely need a transport to get to where you want him as he has no deep strike options on his own.
  • Bray'arth Ashmantle (Forgeworld): He's now even more indestructible than before, being a Character with T9, W8, a 2+/5++, and a 4+ to ignore lost wounds, he's not going down easily. He's also dead killy up close. His two Dreadfire heavy flamers can put out some serious hurt with S6, AP-2 and 3 damage a pop at 8" range. In close combat, his claws have him swinging 4 times at S16, AP-4, and D6 damage, and if you are locked in with someone during the shooting phase, his Burning Wrath is now a 2D6 shot auto hitting S4 pistol with a 2" range. On the downsides: In an edition of HQs buffing your other units, he does nothing to improve nearby Salamanders. He can only be your Warlord if there are no other HQ units, so you'll limit yourself to a smaller number of command points if you want to use him to deny your opponent Slay the Warlord. He can't cause any harm until he gets within 8", so you either buy him a transport or have him be a walking 14" threat bubble. This all comes for the hefty price of 400 pts (more if you buy a Dreadnought Drop Pod or Stormraven for him to ride in).
    • It's worth noting that he is a CHARACTER and hits almost as hard as a Volcano Cannon in close combat. The amount of panic he'll cause walking towards your opponent with a few cheap screening units in front of him (or even a few Rhinos) is well worth the price tag, as is the satisfaction when he finally hits the opponent's gunline and all hell breaks loose. On a side note if you can get your enemy to charge him on overwatch he is likely to butcher MEQ or even TEQs with his dreadfire flamers
  • Harath Shen (Forgeworld): As a Master Apothecary, Harath deploys to the field armed with more than just a Narthecium. He has the same statline as a normal Apothecary, barring Leadership 9. He is armed with a Power Sabre, which is identical to a Master-Crafted Power Sword (Str: User, AP -3, 2 Damage) and Bloodfire, a Plasma Pistol with nothing special (except for causing a mortal wound rather than slaying the bearer). His Master of Chirurgery rule carries over from his 7th edition iteration, it's similar to the Apothecary's ability but the rolls are passed on a 3+ instead of a 4+, and Harath can heal D3+1 Wounds instead of D3. All of this will set you back 75 Points, as opposed to an Apothecary's 72 Points for the same loadout (although it's worth noting that an Apothecary doesn't have access to weapon options). Which means you pay 3 points for his increased medical abilities and the payment of an HQ tax, if you were looking for that. Overall, he's a support Character who can increase the survivability of your Salamanders, but can also do some damage in combat if absolutely necessary; just keep him away from enemy Characters.

Tactics:

White Scars[edit]

White Scars Livery.png
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only the hunt unending.

Thematically, they're the archetypical steppe nomads but turned into a post-human military force. These guys are the ones if you want your warrior-monks asian instead of western
On the tabletop these guys are the fast, melee marines, with the speed to keep up the pace, strong bikes to keep up the pressure, and the rules for relentless punishing assault. Your units will be as fast as genestealers without being as frail as them. Furthermore, their charge is devastating and their rules turn ongoing combats into repeated charges.
If you want your army to hit as fast and hard as a lightning bolt, then ride with the White Scars and unleash the storm.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Lightning Assault: Units with this tactic can charge even if they advanced or fell back. Furthermore, their Bikers don't suffer the penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons (Attack Bikes) or advancing and firing assault weapons (Scout Bikes, and a single special gun in a unit of three bikes). Land Speeders and Boltguns still eat dirt.
    • Advance + Charge is huuuuge. Not talking about infantry's effective 3d6" charge range, no. This is for 12" Rhinos that end up with a 22.5" average charge threat range, whose cargo can then disembark, shoot after the rhino falls back, then charge overwatch-free when the rhino charges back in. This is for turboboosting bikers of 27.5" threat range and Attack Bikes which don't need to stay put in order to have a good chance of hitting something.
    • Charging after falling back is especially useful to units that proc Mortal Wounds on a charge, like Inceptors and your own Deadly Hunter Warlord (and Ironclad Dreadnoughts and Assault Centurions), on top of triggering Shock Assault and guaranteeing your units hit first. It also allows ranged support to help a unit from afar before it charges back into the fray. Even better when you have a Rhino to absorb overwatch.
    • By letting them re-engage after falling back, Assault Marines and Vanguard Vets no longer sacrifice their melee phase in order to throw a Melta Bomb, and 8E has no restriction on charging disembarked models or units different to those the unit fired at. Makes White Scars field some of the best Jump Pack Infantry among SM.
  • Combat Doctrine - Devastating Charge: While the Assault Doctrine is active, melee attacks performed by a unit that charged or performed a Heroic Intervention deal 1 more damage. If this triggers, you'll have already activated Shock Assault, so even a simple chainsword will be able to shred most two-wound infantry.
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Deadly Hunter: Each time he successfully charges, roll a D6. On a 4+, the enemy unit takes a mortal wound. And his Chapter Tactic allows him to charge after falling back, triggering the mortal wound again and again and again.
  2. Chogorian Storm: +1d3A when he makes a charge or heroic intervention, aka WS' Smash Captain.
  3. Trophy Taker: Whenever this warlord successfully kills a character, he gains +1A until the end of the battle. Kor'sarro Khan comes with this. Skulls for the Golden Throne!
  4. Master Rider: Biker warlord only. Reroll charges, -1 to be hit if he advanced.
  5. Hunter's Instincts: +1 to wound and hit vs vehicles and monsters.
  6. Master of Snares: On a 4+ enemies that cannot fly can't fall back.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

Relics of Chogoris[edit]
  • Mantle of the Stormseer: Psykers only. The bearer adds +1 when attempting to manifest the Stormspeaker discipline.
  • Hunter's Eye: One WS unit within 6" of the bearer gains Ignore Cover.
  • Banner of the Eagle: Ancient only. +1S to friendly WS units within 6".
  • Wrath of the Heavens: Biker model gets a Jump Bike. Movement characteristic becomes 16" and basically can advance as if it had FLY.
  • Scimitar of the Great Kahn: Replaces a power sword/MC power sword/relic blade. +1S AP-3 2D. Unmodified wound rolls of 6s do Damage 4 (D5 during the Assault doctrine wtf!).
  • Plume of the Plainsrunner: 6" Aura of +1 to Infantry advance AND charge rolls.
  • Glaive of Vengeance: Kahn spear that is always Str X2 AP-3 D1d3, even if it didn't charge.
Special-Issue wargear[edit]
  • Adamantine Mantle: Fnp5+. "Not dying" is good for everyone, but (smash) captains/Primaris are the ones with the most wounds to proc it with.
  • Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Most useful for Lieutenants and Librarians, who lack invulns.
  • Master-crafted weapon: +1D to a weapon, and it now considered a relic (so now some WTs no longer affect it and such). 5D Thunder Hammer!!
  • Digital weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound. Yet another source of MW for a Deadly Hunter warlord.
  • Equis-Pattern Bolt Pistol: Upgrades a bolt or, interestingly, a Heavy Bolt pistol to full brrrt Pistol 5 S4 AP-1. Your infantry can advance and charge, but pistols can't advance and shoot. They can, however, shoot into melee and supplement your already potent assaults.
  • Headtaker's Trophies: -1Ld to enemies within 6" of the bearer. Very spooky with just a mere couple Reivers.
  • Stormwrath's Bolts: Pocket autocannon. You can choose the bolt weapon it's being used on to make only one attack at S7 AP-1. If the target is a monster, it also gains D1d6.
  • Cyber-Eagle Helm: Models in units-within-6" (so, units) hit Overwatch on 5 and 6.

Stratagems[edit]

White Scar Stratagems can be divided into four categories; movement, offense, durability/utility, and universal.

  • Movement: As befits their reputation for lightning warfare, the White Scars have an impressive number of movement related stratagems. These revolve around getting your units where you want them to be, whether that means in melee combat, onto an objective, or out of a transport.
    • Wind-swift (2 CP): Select one unit that has just moved, and move it again. Can't advance if it had already advanced, can't shoot, charge or use psychic powers either. Can be useful if you need an aura ability like an Ancient's or Chaplain's right fucking now.
    • Lightning debarkation (1 CP): A transport that doesn't have the Flyer Battle Role can disembark its cargo after it has already moved, though they cannot charge that turn. Aka pay 1CP to give a transport the Impulsor's rule.
    • Fierce rivalries (1 CP): Your first charge that phase rolls the best 2 of 3d6. Game on, Blood Angels.
    • Strike for the heart (2 CP): One of your WS can consolidate D3+3", or D6+6" if every model in that unit has a move characteristic of at least 10". Not only can you hit hard and fast, you can also drag nearby squads into the melee.
    • Encirclement (1CP): During deployment, set up a unit outflank instead of on the battlefield. At the end of one of your movement phases, that unit can arrive within 6" of a battlefield's edge and more than 9" away from enemy models.
  • Offense: These stratagems allow you to hit harder or ignore penalties to your shooting from advancing or falling back
    • Butchered quarry (1 CP): When an enemy falls back from a WS Infantry or Biker unit (that isn't within 1" of yet another enemy unit), your squad makes one attack with a melee weapon at the falling back unit. If they yet live, your squad can follow them 3", as long as that move doesn't take them within 1" of another enemy unit.
    • Hunter's Fusillade (1 CP): When a unit advances, their Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons can be fired as if they were Assault (keep in mind Rapid Fire 1 becomes Assault 1).
    • Born in the saddle (1 CP): A biker can advance and shoot.
    • Feinting withdrawal (1CP): A unit that falls back can still shoot.
    • Chogorian thunderbolts (1 CP): When one of your squads finishes a charge move, for each model in your squad select one enemy unit within 1" of that model. Roll a d6 and inflict 1MW on that unit on a 6. Doesn't say you can't select the same squad many times.
    • The eternal hunt (2CP, Single Use): Use this strat at the start of the movement phase if the Assault doctrine is active. Until the start of the next battle round, Pistols and melee weapons gain yet -1AP on unmodified wound rolls of 6.
  • Survival/utility: While the White Scars are extremely fast and deadly, they have a limited number of stratagems that focus on defense or utility options.
    • Ride Hard, Ride Fast (1 CP): Use it on a unit that just advanced. Enemies shooting at it get -1 to hit until the start of your next movement phase. Unstoppable -2 to hit Smoke Launcher'd transport.
    • Quarry of the Khan (1 CP): If your WS warlord is on the field when you first generate a Tactical Objective, this strat guarantees your it is Kingslayer, which your warlord is good at.
    • A mighty trophy (1 CP): Use it when a WS kills the enemy warlord with a melee weapon. Your White Scars now autopass morale tests.
  • Universal: All Chapters Supplements include some variation of the following three stratagems.
    • Khan's Champion (1 CP): Give one of your "sergeant"s a Master-crafted weapon/Digital weapon/Headtaker's trophies/Stormwrath bolts. Remember all relics in your army must be different and handed to different characters.
      • Stormwrath bolts restrict the weapon to "make a single shot with this stats", but it DOESN'T change a profile's rules: an Eliminator Sergeant can snipe characters with Stormwrath bolts with +2 to hit that ignore cover/inflict a MW on a 6+ to wound. Unsure an Armorium Cherub could reload a Devastator sergeant's boltgun, but his Signum would give him BS2+.
      • The other three SI wargear are melee-oriented; a Master-crafted power weapon or Digital weapon for Vanguard Vet/Primaris sarges. A Reiver with Headtaker's trophies, however, can inflict -2Ld on his own.
    • Tempered by wisdom (1CP, Single Use): You can generate a second warlord trait for one of your WS characters that isn't a named character, from the White Scars Warlord Trait table. All warlord traits must be different.
    • Gift of the Khans (1CP, Single Use): After nominating a WS Successor character as your warlord, you can give one Relic of Chogoris to one of your WS Successor characters instead of giving them a relic from the regular SM codex or a Special Issue wargear.

Psychic Discipline - Stormspeaker[edit]

Stormspeaker contains several standout powers that can combo together to spectacular effect. The discipline relies on lashing your opponent with blasts of wind and lightning, shielding your units from enemy fire, and speeding your units into the enemy's lines while hampering the ability of their units to advance and charge.

  • Blasting gale (WC7): Targets enemy unit with 18". Target cannot advance and rolls one fewer dice for charges. Stacks with Tenebrous Curse, too!
    • This can be a bit tricky to use and requires a good understanding of your opponents move values. Very good for handicapping units that rely on the ability to charge after advancing.
  • Lightning call (WC7): The closest enemy unit within 18" takes d3 mortal wounds. Then roll a dice. On a 4+, deal one additional mortal wound. rinse and repeat until you fail, with the target going up by one each time (5+ on the second roll, 6+ on the third)
  • Ride the wind (WC6): +2" advance and charge. Due to the psychic phase happening after the movement phase, it will be rare to get use out of this power in both phases. If your opponent tries to fall back, you can hopefully catch them thanks to the bonus from the advance rolls (provided the unit isn't shot off the table first)
    • This is a very solid power that works well with a wide array of White Scar units thanks to the Chapter Tactic. Great for helping deep striking units make that 9" charge.
  • Storm-wreathed (WC6): Enemy units cannot fire overwatch. In addition, roll a dice for each model that charged and got within 1" of an enemy. On a 6, it causes a mortal wound.
    • The Mortal Wounds are a nice bonus if they happen, but the real benefit is the ability to turn off overwatch, especially if your are facing auto hitting weapons like flamers.
  • Spirit of chogoris (WC6) Enemy unit has -1 leadership and -1 on hit rolls. This is yet another solid power. Combine with Ride Hard, Ride Fast for an additional -1 to hit penalty.
  • Eye of the Storm (WC6): Roll a d6 for each enemy unit within 12". Add 1 if the enemy has fly. On a 4+, cause a mortal wound.

Special Units[edit]

  • Khan on Bike: Cannot be customized, but his Khan's Spear (S:User AP-3 D1d3) becomes StrX2 when he charges or makes a heroic intervention (but not when charged unlike Shock Assault), akin to a non-unwieldy Power Fist on the charge. Cannot take a Storm Shield, but his Buckler improves his armour save by 1 against melee weapons.
  • Kor'sarro Khan: Grants +1 Str to his chapter's units that charged that turn. On-foot units with mid-strength weapons like Vanguard Veterans with Power Axes and Lightning Claws assault terminators get the most benefit. His buff to Str is by Unit, so large units of Assault Marines can carry his buff wide. Their resultant Str 5 is productive. Wide, stringy assault units strung out before multiple enemy units, like three tanks, are great. They charge one of the enemy units and then use their pile in to get within 1" of the other units. On a turn, they charge they can only target the unit they charged. The next turn, those enemy units are locked in melee, and unable to shoot.
    • Kor'sarro Khan on Moondrakkan (White Scars): On bikes he naturally pairs with melee high-speed assaulty units. His buff applies to all WHITE SCARS, so the marines he travels well with are the many Infantry Fast Attack options. Jump Pack Assault, Veteran Vanguard. and Bike Squads with Chainswords carry his force multiplier far and fast, and the last one is a perfect fit for the Born in the Saddle Stratagem. Do note, he can only have a bike if taken from the Index. Yes it is fucking stupid that you need the Index to field the only Bike-Chapter character on an actual bike.
    • Primaris Kor'sarro Khan: Sure he's got improved stats, a cyber-hawk that deals a mortal wound on a 4+ in the shooting phase and Moonfang's now S+2, but the real deal is that his new "+1 to wound rolls for melee weapons" aura is better than Biker Kor'Sarro's old +1 to Str on the charge. Wounding MEQ on a 2+, that's like a non-unwieldy power fist too.
      • Whats the catch? Figure a way to get him to melee. No bike, can't use a drop pod. A Repulsor is expensive and prone to being a fire magnet. Impulsors might work but they can't carry Aggressors, and their meanest occupants are Vet Intercessors and Reivers. Vanguard Vets, Deep striking terminators, and Bikers can catch up to him, but not vice versa, so you either commit with a Repulsor or you give him glorified tactical as a retinue.
      • Alternate opinion: Vet intercessors have 4 attacks a piece with 5 attacks on a thunder hammer sergeant that can be mastercrafted up to damage 5 in assault doct that can swing twice. The real downside is that he only provides a re-roll 1's bubble that can't be upgraded to a chapter master re-roll all bubble because he is named.

Forgeworld Successor Chapters Characters
Remember you don't necessarily need to pick Inheritors of the Primarch to be White Scars successors and use this supplement.
Mantis Warriors

  • Ahazra Redth: Librarian; can ignore his first Perils of the game, has a 5++ and a force sword that deals flat D2.

Successor Tactics: Guerrilla tactics are much benefited by Inheritors of the Primarch here, and the White Scar's Tactic is generally superior in every aspect then any combination of Successor tactics when coming to that end. That being said, if you are trying to squeeze every bit out of Ahazra you can, Knowledge is Power can help preserve his "ignore first Perils" bit around for as long as possible.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

  • Rapid Redeployment: Pick an objective marker more than 18" away from your army (if none are available, use the one furthest away). Gain 1 CP if you control it at the end of your turn.
  • Run Them Down: Score 1 CP if you destroyed at least one unit with a White Scars unit that advanced this turn.
  • Mounted Assault: Score. 1 VP of you destroyed an enemy unit with a Biker or Land Speeder model, d3 VP if you destroyed at least 3 this way.
  • Feigned Retreat: Score 1 VP if one of your units fell back this turn.
  • The Clean Kill: Pick an enemy unit (if possible, it needs to be one that has not lost any wounds yet). d3 VP if you kill it by the end of the turn, but if it hasn't been killed by then this objective is automatically discarded.
  • Claim Their Heads: Score 1 VP for each enemy Character killed by a melee attack this turn, up to a maximum of 3. If one of them was the Warlord, you get an extra d3 VP.

Tactics[edit]

  • Primaris Devastating Charge and Lightning Assault makes Primaris close combat vible.
    • Incursors - With the Gene-Wrought might Stratagem, on the charge every 6 to hit is 2 automatic wounds at D2 -1 AP.
    • Inceptors - completely disposable source of mortal wounds. Run a unit of 6 with assault bolters. shred infantry, mortal wounds, tarpit, repeat. also, Strike for the heart makes these guys tarpit 6+d6 when consolidating
    • Reivers - these guys are only 16 points each, running deep striking horde & a Phobos Librarian with Temporal Corridor or Ride the Wind power.
  • Bikes: White Scars signature and have a lot of abilities revolving around it. Bikes are one of the fasted units, being able to Advance 20" + 2d6" to charge. Scouts can fire and advance, while Spacmarines are more durable.
  • Speed of the foot: on foot your ground troops can cover 6" + d6" + 2d6".
  • Assault Terminators: With the proper support, White Scars have probably the fastest terminators in the game. A terminator librarian with the Plume of the Plain Runner Relic and the Ride the Wind Power will let your assault terminators make a charge on a 6+. Activate the Fierce Rivalries stratagem, and now they need a 6+ on 3d6. If that was not enough, you can use Fury of the First to make them hit harder. Even if your opponent falls back, your terminators can still advance and catch them, making up for one of their traditional weaknesses.

Iron Hands[edit]

Iron Hands Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, the Flesh is Weak.

Thematically, these guys are more machine than man Astartes. Having a strong affinity with machines. With calculated Rage, they are unyielding, precise, and show no mercy.
On the tabletop, these guys are one of the most durable chapters for infantry and vehicles and have a strong affinity with heavy weapons and tanks. Makes you feel like Deathguard with everything having Feel no pain, and vehicles stats take more wounds to degrade, shooting down charges with a accuracy, and as an added bonus they're experts at wielding heavy weapons of all types.
If you like big guns and bigger tanks, the Iron Hands is the Chapter for you..

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - The Flesh is Weak: 6+++ Feel No Pain: roll a die when a model with this tactic loses a wound; on a 6+ that wound is ignored. This doesn't work with supercharged plasma since that slays models without wounding them(except the ones mounted on vehicles - spam those plasma redemtors). Overwatch hits on 5 and 6, regardless of modifiers, and models with a damage table are considered to have double the number of wounds. So not only is Steel Strong, but it's also reliable.
    • Being more difficult to kill is an obvious bonus to your Warlord, but unlike Guilliman, who is classified as a Monster, your <chapter> infantry Captain can be healed by an Apothecary. And then you add the Shield Eternal...yes, it's Smashfucker all over again.
    • Stronger than it first appears, because there is an interaction with units of multiple multi-wound models and weapons that deal more than 1 damage. After failing your save, you are allowed to roll for each lost wound individually. For example, a unit of 2 wound models being attacked by a D2 weapon is approximately 35% more durable. This is because if you save either one of the lost wounds (27.78% chance to resist exactly 1; 30.56% chance to resist at least 1) it takes a whole second shot to even try to kill that model, thanks to damage not spilling over.
      • This improvement is still best on 1-wound model units - the interaction above means it's not as worse on multi-wound as it first appears, and Iron Hands have some kickass Primaris units, but the ability is generally more noticeable the fewer wounds the model with it has remaining.
      • While your boost to survivability is around 20% to the RG's 25%, yours isn't situational, and even works in the melee Shock Assault urges you to be.
    • Vehicles also get a noticeable boost from this. Even before you account for the FnP effect, the slower rate of stat loss from damage will keep your tanks and dreads at full effectiveness for much longer than vehicles of other Chapters.
  • Combat Doctrine - Calculated Fury: Whilst the Devastator Doctrine is active, models with this ability do not suffer the penalty for moving and firing Heavy weapons. In addition, when resolving an attack made with a Heavy weapon by a model with this ability, re-roll hit rolls of 1.
    • Like Scions of Gulliman, but instead of making Bolter Discipline easier to trigger you'll have heavy weapons that tear through armor saves with minimal difficulty and don't need babysitting. Load up on vehicles, Devastators, and Hellblasters with Heavy Plasma Incinerators (AP-5 anybody?) to spew out all the dakka.
    • Also frees up your Captains to focus on supporting your choppier units while also allowing those heavy weapon users to reposition without sacrificing accuracy. Since the Devastator Doctrine is active from turn 1 onwards, you don't have to wait for it to kick in.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. All Flesh Is Weakness: 5+++ FNP.
  2. The Will of Iron: Can deny a psychic power. If they can already deny, they can deny one more.
  3. Adept of the Omnissiah: Can repair vehicles like a techmarine, but only repair 1 wound. If you can already do this, you repair +1 wound.
  4. Merciless Logic: The Warlord's 6+ to hit in either shooting or melee procs an extra attack with the same weapon, essentially multiplying his attacks by 7/6. Primaris Captains and the Teeth of Terra make good use of it, as they naturally have more attacks with which to proc the extra ones. For shooting, Biker and Terminator Captains have better chances, as they have two ranged weapons.
  5. Student of History: When consolidating, the Warlord can move up to 6" and doesn't need to move towards the nearest enemy. Malkaan Feirros has this as his warlord trait, and boy does it work well with him.
    • Great on smash captains if you want more mobility rather than hitting things, lets him run from enemy swings or engage a bubble-wrapped character.
  6. Target Protocols: In the shooting phase, pick a friendly Iron Hands unit within 6" of the Warlord. They can re-roll one hit, one wound, and one damage roll that phase. Good for ensuring that forgeworld death titan cannon destroys something.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

Relics of Medusa[edit]
  • The Axe of Medusa: Replaces a power axe. Gives it +3S, AP-3, and D3. Used to be a weak ass relic blade. Now it's actually an interesting alternative to the Burning Blade. For non-primaris only, primaris haven't earned the right to swing axes yet.
  • Aegis Ferrum: Primaris Model only. +1 Toughness, and the model takes 1 less damage (to a minimum of 1).
  • The Mindforge: Force Sword, Axe, or Stave. Your force powerfist of choice! Sx2 AP-3 D1d3, essentially a force powerfist. You get the hint that they want you to take non-captain characters?
  • Betrayer's Bane: Replaces a Combi-Melta. The Melta part becomes Assault 2. Yay. You will probably never take this.
  • The Ironstone: If the bearer is within 3" of a friendly Iron Hands vehicle when it is attacked, the vehicle takes 1 less damage (minimum of 1). Another method of keeping the damage tables from getting to you never hurts. Give it to a techmarine and the vehicles he sticks near will never die.
    • Pretty much invalidates a lot of the meta anti-tank like heavy burst cannons and Gatling cannon knights; cluster vehicles around the bearer for maximum effect.
  • Tempered Helm: Roll a d6 for every command point spent whenever you use a stratagem. On a 5+, the command point is refunded. Only 1 command point can be refunded in this way per battle round.
  • The Gorgon's Chain: 4++ Invulnerable Save, and equipped model has -1 to be wounded against ranged attacks. Can't be wounded on anything worse than a 3+. Sadly nerfed from its 7th edition incarnation, but now Smashfucker has a few new toys to play with above such as the Aegis Ferrum or the Iron Stone.
Special Issue Wargear[edit]

The first four relics in the Special Issue Wargear section are copy-pastes for each Supplement, then there's a selection of unique mini-relics.

  • Adamantium Mantle: 5+ Feel No Pain. You have a Warlord trait that does the same thing. Even with Paragon of Iron to give a different character a 5+++, should the Warlord really be taking relics from the Special Issue wargear section instead of diving for the actual Chapter relics?
  • Artificer Armor: 2+/5++. Excellent on Lieutenants and Librarians who don't get invulnerable saves to start. Or, throw it on a Sergeant with Scion of the Forge.
  • Master-crafted Weapon: +1 to the damage characteristic of one of the bearer's weapons, which is then considered a relic. D4 Thunderhammer baby!
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Automedicae Bionics: Heal 1d3 wounds at the start of the turn. Actually a decent pick!
  • Teeth of Mars: Replaces a chainsword, SU AP-2 D2 A+1. Becomes Sx2 AP-2 D2 A+1 when resolving attacks against vehicles.
  • Haywire Bolts: Affects a bolt weapon. It can only do 1 shot, but when targeting a vehicle on a 1-3 nothing happens, a 4 or 5 does d3 mortal wounds, and a 6 results in a flat 3 mortal wounds. Can be useful for chipping off the last few wounds from a vehicle. You know, in case your Heavy Weapons under the Devastator Doctrine somehow didn't finish the job.
  • Dataspike: Roll 2 dice and drop the lowest result when healing vehicles.

Stratagems[edit]

Iron Hand Stratagems can be divided into four categories; offense, defense, utility, and universal

  • Offense: Iron hands have stratagems that improve accuracy and create bonus attacks or AP on rolls of 6.
    • Engine Purge (2cp): Use at the start of your movement phase if devastator doctrine is active. Until start of the next battle round, When resolving an attack made with heavy or grenade weapon by an iron hands model in your ARMY, an unmodified 6+ to wound increases the AP of that attack by 1.
    • Mercy is Weakness (1 CP): Choose after a unit decides to shoot or fight. Select an enemy unit and until the end of that phase every Iron Hands model that attacks this unit does exploding attacks on wound rolls of a 6. Enjoy.
    • Methodical Firepower (1 CP): If dev doctrine isn't active, pick a unit. Now it is for this unit. Why did you ever leave devastator doctrine?
    • The Gorgon's Rage (1 CP): Fight phase. Until end of the phase for that unit add one to the hit role. If vs. emperor's children, enjoy an additional +1 to wound.
    • Vengeance for Istvaan 5 (1 CP): Reroll stuff in fight phase vs Word Bearers, Alpha Legion, and Night Lords. Guess there's a 50% chance or whatever you run into it with chaos.
    • Wrathful Machine Spirit (2 CP): Used in shooting or fight when a vehicle is chosen to fight. Can reroll hit rolls for that phase. Nice.
  • Defense: Iron Hands have an impressive number of defensive related stratagems to keep your important characters, vehicles, and units alive.
    • Cogitated Martyrdom (1 CP): Use at the start of enemies shooting phase. An infantry unit can intercept wounds as if they had savior protocol for characters within 3". On a 2+, take a MW on the infantry unit. Enjoy treating Intercessors as drones. Particularly useful as your characters will be high priority targets for your opponent like the new iron farther or anyone with the ironstone. Maybe a use for servitors.
    • Machine Empathy (1 CP): After a Techmarine heals a vehicle, he can use his healing ability again (and target the same vehicle). Remember, our vehicles' wounds count as double for the purposes of their bracket, so even a single repaired wound can bump up a damaged vehicle. Now, imagine the potential to heal 6 damage on a tank. Yes, please!
    • Optimal Repulsion Doctrines (1cp): A unit during your opponents charge phase, enjoy 5+ overwatch. If you're Iron Hands and not a successor, enjoy 4+. If you use this on a unit next to a chapter master then you'll have 3/4 shots hitting in overwatch, brutal.
    • Reject the Flesh, Embrace the Machine (1cp): Use strat in any phase when an iron hands infantry unit in your army is chosen as a target for an attack. FNP on 5+, +1 if it's a WL with All Flesh is Weakness. He gets a 4+.
  • Utility: While most Chapters have narrowly focused utility Stratagems, the Iron Hands have the advantage of having some of the most generally useful options.
    • March of the Ancients (1 CP): After nominating a warlord, select a single Dreadnought in your army. That Dreadnought gains the Character keyword, and adds 1 to its attack and Leadership characteristics. Don't nominate a redemptor or 10+ wound dread, since they'll be able to get sniped by lascannons. Enjoy having a Venerable Dreadnought Rifleman who has the protection of being a character! Or, finally be able to screen that Ironclad Dreadnought as it runs up with the Seismic Hammer and Chainfist, appreciating the extra attack!
    • Mnemonic Auto-Savant (2 CP): If your WL is on the battlefield upon completing a tactical objective, do not discard it. You can use it again in the subsequent round. Nice.
    • Paragon of Iron (1 CP): Pick a non-named character in your army who is not the warlord. That character can generate a single warlord trait from the Iron Hands WLT table, however only the chosen Warlord counts for the purposes of Slay the Warlord and other relevant victory points.
    • Souls of Iron (1 CP): Deny on 4+ within 24" of an Iron Hands unit.
  • Universal: All Chapter Supplements get some variation of the following three stratagems.
    • Bequeathed by the Iron Council (1 CP): Iron Hands relics for successors. Yay!!!
    • Paragon of Iron (1 CP): Bonus warlord trait for your non-named character warlord. Must be from Iron Hands. The usual supplement special.
    • Scions of the Forge (1 CP): Your sergeant gets toys! Yay! Special issue wargear to sergeants.

Psychic Discipline - Technomancy[edit]

Technomany is a support discipline that centers around buffing your vehicles and wargear while cursing your opponent's. A heavily-mechanized army will gain the most benefit from this school, but if you are looking to create an Iron Hands version of Mephiston, you are out of luck. Two of the powers (Blessing of the Machine God and Reforge) can only target your vehicles, while two of the mortal wound generating powers (Machine Flense and Fury of Medusa) need to target enemy vehicles to get the full effect (or any effect in the case of Machine Flense). Fortunately, the last two powers (Objuration Mechanicum and Psysteel Armour) are both pretty good without having to target vehicles.

  1. Blessing of the Machine God (WC5): Grants +1 to hit for a friendly Iron Hands vehicle unit within 12". You need to get at least an 8 on the psychic test to use this on Titanic units, so have a CP to burn if you want to buff that Fellblade or Astraeus.
  2. Objuration Mechanicum (WC7): If manifested, select one visible enemy unit within 18". When that unit rolls 1s to shoot or fight, it takes a mortal wound. Enjoy self immolating aggressors, Tau Fire Warriors, and Chaos Havocs with the miniguns.
  3. Fury of Medusa (WC6): Select an enemy model within 18". Draw a line 1mm wide between the psyker and target. For every unit the line crosses, roll 1d6, adding 2 for vehicles; the unit takes a mortal wound on a 4 or 5, and 1d3 mortal wounds on a 6.
  4. Psysteel Armour (WC6): Select an Iron Hands unit within 12" of psyker. Add 1 to non-invulnerable saving throws for it.
  5. Reforge (WC5): Heal D3 lost wounds on a vehicle within 3".
  6. Machine Flense (WC6): Select a visible enemy vehicle unit within 18". It takes 1d3 mortal wounds. Then select an enemy unit within 6" of that vehicle (meaning the original target must still be on the table). Roll 1d6 for each mortal wound the original target suffered. On a 3+, the secondary target takes a mortal wound.

Special Units[edit]

  • HQ
    • Malkaan Feirros: The Iron Hands' first named character is a Gravis Captain. Stat-wise he's like a Gravis Captain with 7 wounds, 5 attacks, a 2+ save, and a 5+ FNP instead of the Chapter's 6+ FNP, and offense-wise his Gorgon's Wrath is an AP-2 D2 Heavy Bolter, and his Harrowhand is a S+3 AP-2 D2 axe. Naturally you want him for his buffing abilities, as awesome as his punch and durability may be. He gives all Iron Hands units within 6" a 5+ Invulnerable save, remember Feirros can explicitly buff vehicles which is something other invuln aura givers such as Azrael can't do. He's also a superior techmarine (which should be obvious being the Master of the Forge and whatnot) and repairs a flat 3 wounds to vehicles instead of d3 wounds. He also has a Signum Array that gives a friendly unit within 3" BS2+ at the start of the shooting phase (if applied to vehicles, it overrides their damage bracket), so he acts like a versatile Devastator Sarge on top of that. 2+/5++ Land Raiders hitting on 2+ and restoring 3 wounds a turn, anyone? Feirros is shaping up to be a blue chip unit in Iron Hands detachments, provided he doesn't cost over 200 points like a certain spiritual liege and...oh my god what he's only 110 points. Blue chip status confirmed.
  • Forgeworld Successor Chapters Characters
    • Remember, you don't necessarily need to pick Inheritors of the Primarch to be an Iron Hands successor and use this supplement.
    • Sons of Medusa
      • Vaylund Cal: Chapter Master/Techmarine. If you ever wanted to see the mechanized fusion of a Techmarine with a Chapter Master, this is the motherfucker for you. Sporting a monstrous statline of S5 (doubled with his Medusan Hammer and Servo-Arms) and an enviable T6, he'll be hard to take down. Also makes an excellent anchor for a firing line, because he gives both a re-roll bubble AND can repair vehicles. His price was dropped to 173, making him a clear pick over a tech marine with an upgraded captain. While slightly less flexible, it will save you a few points along with three command points.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

Tactics[edit]

Crimson Fists[edit]

Crimson Fists Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, the sons of Rynn will always rise from the ashes against the enemy of mankind.

Thematically, these guys are Red And Blue - as the very first Space Marines and the poster boys of Rogue Trader, the primary colours - red and blue (with yellow for gunfire and explosions) - were cheap and striking to print in colour (in 1987 anyway). They’re generally cool guys and renowned for their stubbornness and tenacity, and knack at surviving pretty much anything.
On the tabletop, these guys are good at blending hordes with their shot multipliers and sustained fire output - very important in 8th, aka the Horde Edition. They perform better when outnumbered and in small squads, and their Intercessors and Tacticals aren’t as useless as other Chapters - nice and fluffy. Stand firm against the numberless hordes of evil and outlive the savagest and most brutal the galaxy has to offer. Drown xenos and heretic alike in the righteous inferno of sacred boltgun fire.

Special Rules

  • Chapter Tactics - No Matter the Odds: Add 1 to hit rolls for a unit targeting another unit (in either the shooting or fight phase) that has at 5 more models than the attacking unit has (e.g. a unit of 5 models gets +1 against any unit of 10 models or more). When using a Vehicle to attack, that model itself counts as 5 models, so you only get it on units of 10 or more, not 2. Vehicles and Dreadnoughts you attack still count as 1 - in fact, this tactic can't come up against any target unit with only 1 model in it. Additionally, for attacks with a bolt weapon, an unmodified 6 to hit scores an additional hit.
    • Bear in mind that units may be bigger than you were assuming, because "cosmetic" models usually count as unit members. For example, a Devastator Squad's Armorium Cherub makes it 1 bigger while the Cherub lives. Contrariwise, Azrael's helm bearer doesn't count as a unit member, so there's no way to trigger this tactic if you want to hardcore murder the Dark Angels Chapter Master.
    • This actually makes Crimson Fists one of the best anti horde army as they’ll most often be half or less than a normal unit of boyz or gaunts. Aggressors, Inceptors, and Centurions have base unit sizes of 3, which means they still get the bonus to hit even against damaged enemy squads. Furthermore, the way this tactic is worded benefits your own wounded units, as they'll be more easily outnumbered. Crimson Characters won't suffer penalties to their power fists when bitch-slapping the enemy masses.
    • The +1 makes Bolter Drill get additional shots on a 5+ instead of only 6+, but not those with the chapter tactic. Furthermore, this also means safe supercharged plasma, which can matter against massed T4 enemies like Ork Boyz or Necron Warriors. Always load up your characters with combi plasma. As long as they're shooting units of more than 2 models they'll have safe overcharged plasma for killing primaris or TEQ models. If you're shooting at hordes, the +1 will let you fire both sides of the combi weapon without penalty.
  • Combat Doctrine - :
  • Warlord Traits
  1. Tenacious Opponent: If there are at least 10 enemy models within 6" of your warlord in the fight phase, he gains D3 extra attacks. The man rises to the situation. Stacks well with the Fist of Vengeance.
  2. Refuse to Die: Unlike Robutte Girlyman you don’t need magical armour given to you by Cawl and some filthy heretical Eldar. Once your warlord loses his last wound, roll a d6, and on a 4+ he comes back with 1d3 wounds remaining as close as possible to your original position and at least 1” away from enemy models.
  3. Stoic Defender: All Crimson Fist Infantry, Bikers, and Dreadnoughts have the Defenders of Humanity (Objective Secured) rule within 6” of your warlord, and any unit that already had that rule (your Troops) count as double their model count (5 tacticals count as 10 when determining models securing an objective), so you can steal objectives even if you're outnumbered by guardsmen. Especially hilarious when it's a sudden deepstriking ObSec captain stealing it away from non-troop enemies.
  • Relics
  1. The Fist of Vengeance: Replaces a Power Fist, giving it consistent 3 Damage with no penalty to hit; a flat improvement over the Thunder Hammer at Power Fist price. Especially on your Tenacious WS2+ Captain Warlord, making him able to kill the Emperor's Champion if he goes first. On his own, without his WT's, Kantor's or a Lieutenant's assistance. And now Primaris Captains can take a Power Fist. And then you use Honour Thy Chapter...
  2. Duty's Burden: Replaces a Bolt Rifle, Master-Crafted Auto Bolter, or Master-Crafted Stalker Bolter, with 36” Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-2 D2. Yeah, it’s like a Master-Crafted Stalker Bolter, Auto Bolter, and Bolt Rifle fused together that took some steroids. Seriously, if you have a captain guarding your back lines, give him this so he can blow anything’s head off that gets too close.
  • Stratagems:

Specialist Detachment - Liberator Strike Force: Primaris Characters (Ancient, Apothecary, Captain, Chaplain, Librarian & Lieutenant), Intercessor squads, Reiver squads & Hellblaster squads in that detachment gain the liberator strike force keyword. The other side of the coin where it comes to Primaris detachments. It mentions all those squads, but the real stars here are the Hellblasters, as it is a ranged detachment.

Stratagems

  • Heroes of Rynn's World (1CP): Use at the start of the shooting phase and pick a LIBERATOR STRIKE FORCE unit. All unmodified hit rolls of 6 count as 2 hits instead of 1.
    • A few extra shots isn't much, so use it on Hellblasters to make it count. It's +1 to +3 dead guys on a 5-man squad firing two shots, depending on the enemy and buff auras nearby.
  • Paragons of Dorn (1 CP): At the end of your opponent's shooting phase pick a LIBERATOR STRIKE FORCE unit that was targeted this phase, they can then fire as if it were their shooting phase. Annoying because you have to get shot first.
    • Again your Hellblasters will destroy anything that doesn't kill them. Add an Ancient and an Apothecary so that actual casualties don't go to waste.

Warlord Trait

  • Expert Instructor: Re-roll hit rolls of 1 for friendly LIBERATOR STRIKE FORCE units within 9" of your warlord.
    • While it's basically a "Black Templar's Crusader's Helm for Primaris units", it finds excellent value on a Lieutenant Field Commander for the double aura.

Artifact

  • The Vengeful Arbiter: 12" Pistol 2 S5 AP-1 D2, and successful hit rolls cause more shots at the same target (additional shots can't generate further hit rolls). Boo, relic pistol.
    • It goes with the ranged theme, functionally giving your character a 12" D2 Heavy Bolter as a pistol. Then again, 12" is but the prelude to melee, and your other relic is basically a Thunder Hammer without unwieldy - one of the best relics in the codex in fact, and one of the few a Primaris Captain can use.

Special Units

  • Pedro Kantor (Crimson Fists): More focused this edition than in the last several; he no longer benefits Sternguard especially, nor especially torments Orks, Pedro Kantor is a CC killing machine in 8E. His Oath of Rynn special rule is now a buff to give +1A to all friendly Crimson Fists models within 6", while 'Chapter Master' affects whole units within that range. And it's great not having to pay CP to get full rerolls. For his price and relatively small footprint, he can make a huge impact in any melee.
    • He's excellent when paired with -1 To Hit escorts, like TH/SS Termies/Vets or Aggressors. Add a Lieutenant and you'll be rerolling everything. Being a footslogger, however, you'll need to find him a way to the front line, but at the very least he's got an Assault 4 AP-1 Bolter to jog across the board. Especially with those resilient Primaris, their 2 base attacks and their Assault weapons, who may not be riding Repulsors because you don't give in to GW's shilling.
    • Kantor, being a 'Chapter Master' also lends himself to gun lines. His +1A helps your Marines punch back when onrushing hordes inevitably reach the Marines, Primaris hitting as if they were Vets with chainswords.
    • Unless you really care about the Siegebreaker Cohort detachment or the shitty relic pistol, consider using Crimson Fists instead of Imperial Fists.

Tactics:

Emperor’s Spears[edit]

Emperor's Spears Livery.jpg
Defenders of Elara's Veil and not much like their Ultramarine parents.

Thematically, these guys are blue. Light blue. With tattoos.
On the tabletop, these guys are good at fighting in melee once they get there. Beside that they have nothong else. Thier Chapter Tactice is better Version than the one Founding chapters can get.
If only primaris could have power spears!

Special Rules

  • Chapter Tactics - Redden The Earth: New from the Limited edition book “Spear of the Emperor”, members of this chapter score an extra hit for every UNMODIFIED 6 rolled to hit in the fight phase.
    • Extra hits (which are better than mere extra attacks) are always nifty, be they Reiver stabs or Thunder Hammer strikes. Chaplains become extra useful. Not much here, since your successor chapter can use the same ability plus a second successor trait.
  • Combat Doctrine - :
  • Warlord Traits
  • Relics:
  • Stratagems:

Tactics:

Blood Ravens[edit]

Blood Ravens Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, there will be GIFTS!

Thematically, these guys are the ones made famous by being the stars of the Dawn of War games.
On the tabletop, these guys focus on the use of psychic powers supplemented by resistance against S8+ weapons and a potent Chapter Master character in the form of Gabriel Angelos.
When there is no time to be lost, trust in your Battle Brothers of the Blood Ravens!.

Special Rules

  • Chapter Tactics - Relentless Seekers: Successor tactics before they came out. Models with this Chapter Tactic cannot be wounded on unmodified rolls of 1 and 2, even if they would normally be wounded on a 2+. Furthermore, Librarians reroll 1s for DtW and casting psychic powers.
    • Nothing wounds on a 1, but Plasma, Melta, and Thunder Hammers' S8 will be wasted on your marines now. A counterpoint to the Blood Angels' Red Thirst, supplemented by a small but welcome boost for Librarians to help them manifest/deny more effectively.
    • reminder: these came out before Successor chapter rule was a thing, so there is no commentary that forces you to not pick other tactics like in codex 8.0.
  • Combat Doctrine - : None
  • Warlord Traits None
  • Relics
  1. Purgatorus: Has been found in the reliquary of multiple chapters before the Blood Ravens were "gifted" it until every chapter got their own Purgatorus. To reiterate, Replaces a Bolt pistol or Heavy Bolt pistol, and bumps its stats 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.
  • Stratagems:
    • Blood Ravens - Chief Librarian (1 CP): A Blood Ravens Librarian knows an extra power from their chosen discipline and an extra Deny the Witch. Good against Psyker heavy armies as along with the Blood Ravens tactic, you can deny more of their warp fuckery and with a higher chance of success, but like Tome of Malcador knowing an extra power isn't the same as casting an extra power. More useful if applied to a Vanguard Librarian so you can use more Obscuration goodies.
  • Special Units
    • Named Characters:
      • Gabriel Angelos: That's right, Gabe's finally made his official debut on the tabletop, sporting his Dawn of War III look and coming with some updated rules in July's White Dwarf. (sadly, the C.S.Goto-style acrobatic feats he displays in the game do not get represented in the rules). THE TERMIE FLIP IS BACK BABY, in the form of an ability: Leap into the Fray - upon successful charge a roll of 4+ deals d3 MWs. He's a Chapter Master in Tartaros Terminator Armour and an Iron Halo, so he has a 2+/4++ save along with 6" movement and the ability to teleport onto the battlefield. His Warlord Trait is Rites of War.
        • As for goodies, he comes with his signature Daemon Hammer, Godsplitter, allowing him to choose one of the following 2 profiles in combat: Mighty Strikes is a standard Thunder Hammer statline, with the addition of dealing an additional Mortal Wound whenever you roll a 6+ on the wound roll. The second profile, Sweeping Blows, grants Gabe +3 attacks on top of his 5 base, at str+2 ap-1 d1 without the -1 penalty to hit, for your GEQ killing needs. Additionally, he has an improved version of Chapter Master that allows rerolls for ALL hit rolls, even successful ones. Compared to his previous Forge World rules, he, unfortunately, lost his access to grenades.
        • Naturally, he's best off rolling with other Tartaros Terminators; not only can they keep up with him more effectively than the standard or Cataphractii versions, but they can also be kitted out both to aid him in melee fights and to provide him with the covering fire he needs.
        • At 185 points, he can be a bit hard to fit into smaller lists.

Tactics:

Tactics and Strategy[edit]

Modifiers to Dice Rolls[edit]

The Space Marines have many modifiers to die rolls. It's worth your while to commit these to memory. You can take your normal expected out come and multiply it by these multipliers to get your expected outcome. Start with 10 Sternguard, 20 shots into 30 Orks. On their own, we have 20 shots * 4/6 BS * 3/6 To Wound * 6/6 no armour save for 7 wounds (rounded up).

  • Reroll Ones: multiplier of 7/6
  • Chapter Master Rerolls: for BS3+ models, a multiplier of 8/6. This amounts to taking the normal expected total (6/6 of the total) and expecting two more die faces out of it (6 + 2)/6. This strategy applies to reroll failed wounds too, imagine you wound on a 4+. The multiplier is (6 + 3)/6. Reroll Wounds, to Wound of 6+? Multiplier of 11/6.
  • Exploding Dice: The multiplier can be summarized as, take the sum of normally expected results and multiply it by the number of faces + 1 for each exploding face, and divide by the number of faces ie 6. So, Exploding on 6+s means a multiplier of 7/6, and exploding on 5+s means a multiplier of 8/6. [There is a difference between exploding attacks and exploding hits - exploding attacks (where you have to roll for the new attack) is a 7/6 multiplier (equivalent to reroll ones), but exploding hits (which do not need a new roll, e.g. Imperial Fists Chapter Tactic) is a 5/4 modifier (equivalent to a +1)].
  • +1 to the Die Roll: count the normal number of faces that succeed, divide the normal sum of successes by that count; multiply that by the new number of faces that succeed. Example: Str 4 VS T3, 4 faces normally wound, now 5 faces wound, the multiplier is 5/4.

Chaining all these buffs together for an example we have the 10 Sterngaurd shooting, buffed by Pedro Kantor, a Lieutenant, Bolter Drill and Masterful Marksmen VS 30 Orks: 20 shots * 4/6 BS * 3/6 to wound * 6/6 no armour save * 7/6 lieutenant reroll * 8/6 Kantor reroll * 8/6 Bolter Drill * 4/3 Masterful Marksmen's +1 to Wound * 5/4 from +1 to Hit (No Matter The Odds) comes to 24 unsaved Wounds(it's 20*5/6*7/6*2/3*7/6*4/3=20,16 wounds, not 24, i guess the error is on that +1 to hit and it's interactions with rerolls, since if you hit on twos you don't reroll twos).

Command Points[edit]

The first and most helpful thing to remember in 8e is 'use your command points!' These are some great die roles to use your Command Point Reroll on: an Apothecary's resurrection roll is tremendous. An important Armour Save for example a 2+ on a buff giver, but remember you cannot reroll the number of victory points you earn from a tactical objective (you only collect victory points at the end of your turn, not in any particular phase). In the shooting phase, re-rolling wounds done by a D6 wounds weapon, or the number of shots fired by a D6 shots weapon, are usually the most optimal dice to reroll. Generally speaking, the more variance a dice has, the more efficient a reroll gets. Re-rolling a crappy D6 roll is always better than re-rolling a D3. You should also be aware of the wide variety of potent Space Marine-unique Stratagems out there and plan out which ones you want to use accordingly; for example, a tank-heavy Iron Hands list would be best served with the Killshot, Armour of Contempt, and Machine Empathy Stratagems.

This is especially important for Ultramarines, as two of their special characters (Roboute Guilliman and Marneus Calgar) grant bonus Command Points just for being the Warlord in a Battle-Forged army. Additionally, their unique WT gives them a chance to recycle their CP so you can use even more Stratagems.

Army Building[edit]

Overall[edit]

The Meta is bound to change as codices are released and tournaments are played, but there are a few essential things you need to know when building an army.

  • Anti-armour weapons: The opportunities for fielding lots of big units like vehicles and monsters means that you should be prepared to face a lot of high toughness, good armour save, lots of wounds models. The fact that these models have lots of wounds means you need to put a lot of effort into destroying them. When building an army, make sure you have enough high strength weapons that deal multiple damage. Lascannons and melta weapons are a priority for taking out vehicles, and you will need a lot of either. Hammernators or Dreadnoughts are the close combat variation, but note that most vehicles can move a lot faster than Hammernators, so getting that assault in may be difficult. Just 6 lascannons in 1500 points is NOT ENOUGH anti-tank weaponry. Most vehicles are T7, with some of the harder ones being T8, so Strength 8 weapons are a minimum or else you're wounding on 4+ or 5+. In the case of lighter vehicles, overcharging Hellblasters are an effective alternative to melta weapons, with their increased range and rapid fire ability (at least for the basic Plasma Incinerator) compensating for their comparatively low damage per shot.
  • Tactical Flexibility: From lots of games played it seems to be the go-to option for marines. MSU squads of 5 will minimize the effects of morale while giving more flexibility in terms of board control, more (free) Sergeants and usually more Special/Heavy/Melee weapons. If you're set on fielding 10-men squads for fewer drops during the Deployment Phase, or you change your mind during the game, you can also use a stratagem to split a squad in half.
  • Anti-infantry: This edition favors large hordes of cheap models, with bolter discipline even your basic marines can devastate hordes at long range, but you'll need to be sure to load up on anti infantry weapons like Assault Cannons, Heavy Bolters and such. Flamers are also pretty good in Overwatch if you expect to be fighting in close quarters, but their random shot count and lack of AP can be an issue if the dice aren't on your side. Also remember you can't Drop Pod and flame anymore unless you're running a custom chapter with Long Range Marksmen.

Mixing Imperium Units[edit]

8th Edition has evolved into a meta that favors cheap hordes and incredibly durable weapons platforms like Imperial Knights and Primarchs. One approach to the problems marines have in 8th Edition is to use units outside of Marines in an allied detachment, as cheap Guardsmen/Skitarii Brigades can easily be brought alongside Astartes detachments. In fact, many players will go for a different imperial army and blend in some Marines; just remember that they can't be in the same detachment despite sharing the Imperium keyword. Use allies to cover your weaknesses, but be aware that you will sacrifice the benefits of Combat Doctrines unless the other detachments are also drawn from Codex: Space Marines.

Specific Mixes[edit]
Librarian Soup[edit]

Psychic powers of different names count as different powers, no matter how identical the effect, and you can make a detachment based on the adeptus astartes keyword - if you do this with a Supreme Command detachment, you can mix and match librarians as you like. Taking powers with stackable effects can help you focus down something you really need neutralized, while redundant effects mean you won't sweat failing a cast as much. For example, you can take this:

  • Any Phobos Librarian: Hallucination, Tenebrous Curse
    • Don't take a Phobos Rune Priest - they cost 2 points more for no reason.
  • Dark Angels Librarian: Aversion, Mind Wipe
  • Space Wolves Librari Rune Priest: Jaws of the World Wolf, Tempest's Wrath
  • Ultramarines (or Successor) Librarian: Psychic Shackles, Telepathic Assault
  • White Scars (or Successor) Librarian: Blasting Gale, Spirits of Chogoris

Then you can do this:

  1. Spirits of Chogoris
  2. Aversion+Tempest's Wrath, in either order
  3. Hallucination+Mind Wipe; the one you cast second is more likely to succeed, so cast Hallucination first if there's a specific model (like a Knight) you want crippled permanently, or Mind Wipe first (on the target unit's sergeant equivalent, probably) if you care more about crippling a larger unit temporarily.
  4. Telepathic Assault, now that the target is suffering -1 to -5 Leadership.
  5. Try Tenebrous Curse if you can, because it's Psychic Shackles but better on valid targets. If your preferred target has fly, toss this somewhere else.
  6. Psychic Shackles the original target if it's not Cursed, otherwise throw it on something else.
  7. Jaws of the World Wolf - if the target is a vehicle, like a Knight, you'll have to switch off to Smite. If either of the above powers hit the target, it has half Move, roughly doubling the effectiveness of Jaws.
  8. Blasting Gale

This results in a pile of mortal wounds and a lot of penalties to leadership, movement, and both ranged and melee hit rolls - great for crippling any big, expensive deathstar unit your opponent was relying on.

Character Buffing[edit]

For those of us that want a pure marine army it is important to double up on your force multipliers at every opportunity. The Troop Tax is no more; it is replaced with the HQ tax. Use your HQs to their maximum. And while HQs and the Lord of War Guilliman improve your hitting and wounding, units inside the elite slot have created a new dynamic for Marines. The Marine Formula -- a Unit and it's accompanying support Unit, goes for all the non-character models.

  • Apothecaries and Ancients are must-takes in infantry heavy Space Marine armies. Ancients enable out of turn shooting from models you'd otherwise be removing from play, and help reduce the toll of Alpha Strikes; getting shot off the board Turn 1 is a thing, and Ancients help you recoup some of your losses by returning fire as models die. Apothecaries can then bring those dead heroes back to the table or heal up the ones who survived the fusillade of fire.
  • Build around your Warlord! HQs like Kantor, Shrike, Vulkan, and Khan can drastically change your army's peak efficiency. Using Vulkan around loads of Melta toting marines is more efficient than Kantor around the same loadout. Conversely, Kantor with dedicated heavy assault troops (Assault Centurions, Assault Terminators with Thunder Hammers, Vanguard Veterans with Thunder Hammers, etc.) can take out a Knight in one turn of CC. Without Kantor, they only accomplish 50% of the damage.
  • Another popular combination is a Captain (ideally upgraded to Chapter Master if you can spare the CP) and Lieutenant; the Captain allows hit re-rolls of 1 while the Lieutenant allows wound re-rolls of 1. Hellblasters and Devastators in particular really benefit from being inside these auras. Chapter Masters and Lieutenants are essential for getting accurate firepower; other armies lack accuracy but make up for it with volume of fire. Marines will usually have a low model count and so need each shot to work.

Sergeant Equipment[edit]

Most of your regular Infantry and Bikers have a Sergeant that takes items from the Sergeant Equipment List. This includes your Tactical/Scout/Assault/Devastator Squads, your Company/Vanguard/Sternguard Veterans, and your Bike Squads and Company Veterans on Bikes. If you don't have specific wargear in mind, ALWAYS take a Storm Bolter and Chainsword instead of leaving them with their default options. This 2-point upgrade adds the same amount of dakka as an entire 13-point Tactical Marine/11-point Scout.

  • Veteran Sergeants all have 3 attacks, so investing in a nice melee weapon is often worth the points, even if you don't intend to use them in assaults. A 16-point Thunder Hammer presents a very serious threat to pretty much any multi-wound model, be it Infantry, Monster, or Vehicle. Taking a Thunder Hammer in this instance is as much about limiting your opponent's options as it is about directly inflicting losses, though landing even a single blow will more than make your points back if you pick the right target (putting it on an Intercessor Sarge helps here since they get one more attack than the other types).
    • Saying that, remember that most power weapons are only 4 points in 8th. So when low on points left, consider a Power Sword or something like that to cut through armour if you find yourself in combat.

Transport Tips[edit]

  • Razor Rush: Razorbacks hauling troops are way better in 8e than they were in 7e, and in 7e they were free. The unit inside the Razorback should do something complimentary to the Razorback, while maintaining a similar weapons range. If inside a Laserback, consider a Plasma Tactical Squad. A Razorback with Heavy Flamers would benefit from a Melta/combi-melta tactical squad, or even an Assault squad to offer a bit of melee counterpunch. In this MSU approach, it is better to diversify your squads. So while one can bring Devastators with 4 Multimeltas inside a Razorback (5 if you're using FW's Infernus Razorback to take another multi-melta), that Razorback is going to draw too much attention and those Devs are likely to be stranded.
  • Two Drop Pop: -- No longer as relevant after Chapter Approved. Land Raiders carrying slews of units can easily be arranged into an army with only two drops. Use that to get +1 to the roll to go first on an army that was built assuming first turn. It's never a smart move to compromise your army's effectiveness just to attempt to get first turn. Beware 1-drop Tau Manta armies (not because of their tactics, but because anyone who actually owns a Manta should be considered mentally unstable). The Meta has shifted dramatically to Beta Strike armies. Lias Issodon, Drop Pods, Jump Pack Marines, Terminators, Reivers all have built in Deep Striking on their Data Sheets, keeping units off the table until you deploy them later in the game. Deploying later in the game keeps units safe from gun fire, so you can guarantee your units get to shoot.
  • STEEL REHN Revisited: The ability to deep strike on the first turn in Matched Play using Drop Pods is a significant boost to the Space Marines' offensive ability. We shouldn't need to go into detail about what this means for you, but needless to say it lets you take the fight to the enemy much sooner than most armies can.

Command Points and You[edit]

If you are gonna go for an all-marine army with CPs, it's gonna be hard to balance multi purpose, jack-of-all-whatchamacallsits with specialized elites, HS, Fast attack and HQs in brigades and battalions. Dodging the Troop Tax is viable with the Outrider, Spearhead and Vanguard detachments, but doesn't give as many command points, and CPs are like Psykers, they may do a little, or they may wreck your shit, and it's good to have a few just in case.

  • You can build a Space Marine Army around 6 troop choices and burning Command Points. You'd likely need to go cheap on Fast Attack units. In this approach every turn you should use Hellfire Shells, Flakk Missiles and Expert Marksmen. If your model dies, but gets one last shot off with an Ancient, use the Flakk Missile and Hellfire stratagem for Mortal Wounds in your opponent's turn. Use Scouts to control how your enemy deep strikes, and use Tacticals to zone off your Deployment Zone. With a large pool of Devastators in your Deployment zone rerolling because of Lieutenants and Captains, when the onrushing hordes reach your army use characters to defend them, and use Honor The Chapter for a game winning Counter Charge by your heroic character. Use the Standard of Emperor Ascendant to maximize this shooting. Because this build takes up a lot of points and few/no vehicles consider using Assault Weapons on your Tactical Marines so they can Advance every turn. If you prefer this playstyle you should really consider allying with some Imperial Guard/Admech since they provide CPs and infantry screens for far cheaper.
    • If you would rather stay with a pure Marine army, consider playing as Ultramarines; two of their best characters grant free CP just by being the Warlord, and one of their unique WTs offers them a way to recycle CPs.

Getting Around Smite Spam[edit]

Space Marines are unusually vulnerable to Smite Spam armies, because Marines pay a premium for 3+ Armour and T4, yet all of that armour and toughness is useless against Smite. For that reason, it is good to sneak a Black Templar/Inquisition unit or two into a list to use their Stratagem. A Culexus Assassin is a major component to consider from the wider Imperium armies; a Culexus can be used to suppress the first turn of Smites. Fortunately, following the changes to how Smite works you aren't likely to see Smite spamming outside of Thousand Sons and Grey Knights armies nowadays. Still, there are many pseudo-smite or other useful powers that can be stopped. The Black Templars' CT and the Warded successor tactic are also an option. A 5+ against mortal wounds isn't great- but it's free, always active, doesn't require a Librarian to trigger, and also works on other sources of Mortal Wounds.

On Primaris Marines[edit]

As these are the primary new toys given to Space Marines, a bit of caution should be taken when using them, especially when considering making an Ultima Founding Chapter, or using chapters who have been heavily supplemented by these new Chadmarines. The first and absolutely most important thing is that these guys are specialized to an extent that is jarring in comparison to other units in the codex. Almost every Primaris unit is a one trick pony, being very good at one role and struggling to do anything else:

  • For the most part, the characters take their roles deathly seriously, having no options that deviate from their purpose (if they even get options, that is- many of them don't even have that). They also have far fewer ways of accessing a 2+ save, so they have to be more careful around weapons whose AP is -2 or better. On the other hand, their profiles are a flat upgrade over an identically equipped normal character and they can be very nasty in close combat.
  • Aggressors are short-ranged shooting DISTRACTION CARNIFEXES that particularly rip apart light to medium infantry from short to mid-range and hit hard in melee, but their guns have to rely on the sheer quantity of the shots they put out against anything with a Toughness score greater than 5 and are sluggish enough to be at risk of getting blasted away before they get into the 18" range that most of their weaponry uses.
  • Reivers are ranged or melee harassers with a powerful grenade capable of disrupting enemy units, some powerful deployment methods, and the potential to cause the worst problems for morale, but fare poorly against anything with morale boosts (or morale immunity, either inherently or due to small unit sizes) or armour saves above a 5+.
  • Inceptors rely on their ability to deep strike and gun down their preferred prey (light infantry for Assault Bolters, everything else for Plasma Exterminators) but also suffer from range issues on top of poor melee ability, Suppressors combine the Inceptor's mobility with a long-range weapon whose secondary ability is ideal for softening up a unit you want to charge, but their autocannons aren't so hot against vehicles and they have subpar melee as well.
  • Infiltrators and Incursors are expensive and not that good against heavily armoured foes, but they are superb for quickly taking and holding objectives. Both can infiltrated and use smoke grenades to be hard to hit. The Infiltrators can bring in a mini-apothecary or count as being in range of a Phobos Captain/Lt.'s aura even if the Captain providing it is on the opposite side of the board, all while having a decent chance to wound even high-toughness units. The Incursors, on the other hand, are slightly better in melee, ignore cover with their guns, and ignore debuffs to hit in the shooting phase while also providing a source of mortal wounds from their haywire mines.
  • Eliminators can serve one of two functions. They can either pick off high-value infantry and characters even without a clear line of sight, or they can blast vehicles from afar with what's basically a shorter-ranged but more reliable lascannon. Either way, they can infiltrated to move into optimal positions and are a bitch to hurt with shooting when in cover. While they too are weak in melee the sergeant's optional instigator bolt carbine can act as a panic button if they're ever charged.
  • Hellblasters and Intercessors are the exceptions that prove the rule, with the former acting as a solid MEQ/TEQ-killer that can also double as improvised anti-vehicle if needed and the latter being a more expensive but resilient Troops choice that's great at holding down backfield objectives.
  • Though the Repulsor does somewhat open them up to versatility, it pays significantly for multi-tasking and is often best for clearing out hordes; the Repulsor Executioner is its vehicle-killing cousin that shares the double-shooting trick of the IG's Leman Russ tanks. The Impulsor, on the other hand, has less transport capacity and can't carry Aggressors or Gravis-armoured characters, but it's much cheaper and can be equipped for either greater resilience or for extra firepower. The Assault Vehicle option also opens up potential for some techniques that don't work with other transports.

These guys are truly Aspect Marines and should be treated as such, even in a full army of the true scaled bastards.

How to infiltrate[edit]

With the release of Phobos Armour, Marines have a lot of Vanguard options. Here is how to not be shot off the board.

Unless you're sure you can get the first turn, standing in the open exactly 9" from the enemy for a charge is not advisable. Always grab cover and LoS blocking positions when you can; Infiltrators can grant a large deepstrike denial aura, but if focused down while in the open, they become inefficient bullet magnets.

Army Composition[edit]

Deciding on what units to take generally comes down to what you want your force to accomplish on the tabletop. One school of thought is to avoid having too many various “types” of marines in one force, instead focusing on using lots of similar profiles in order to force opponents to attack units using suboptimal weapons. Using very little vehicles and lots of Infantry “wastes” your opponents anti-tank shots, for example. Or by having lots of heavy infantry and armour means that the small arms fire directed at you will be less effective. Other schools emphasize the modular nature of Space Marines and prioritize the taking of multiple styles of Marine units in order to more effectively deal with various threats. These two schools are extremes, and good list building most likely lands somewhere in the middle.

  • The goal of making an army themed around a specific profile type is to reduce the effectiveness of your opponents shooting- an all-infantry army being more effective against anti-tank weapons is an obvious example, but similar principles apply to things like multi-wound attacks being overkill against single-wound units. However, this idea has one catastrophic flaw which should always be kept in mind: when the opponent is able to counter your chosen style and you don't have any units not of that style, they will counter you hard. Try to figure out what your enemy will be likely to use ahead of time so you don't pay for putting all your eggs in one basket!
    • All scouts is one type. Or all Power Armour-traditional. Go all Primaris or all-regular Marine, do not mix. You want to either be all 2 wound models or all 1 wound models. The 1 wound models would all suck were it not for the awesome veterans: Sternguard kill things; Vanguard with 2 chainswords (4 attacks) that's a lot of attacks that does add up well; Company Champions can carry 1 stormbolter and 1 chainsword for 18 points and intercept wounds meant for the characters. Even Tacticals have the advantage of being a cheap source of heavy+special weapons, if nothing else.
  • The T5 family is all bikes, Inceptors and Aggressors. They'll be able to take a beating and things like Pedro Kantor+Aggressors are a powerful combo, but Bikes and Gravis-armoured Primaris Marines don't synergize very well with each other and you might end up leaving half your army behind if you don't pay extra for Repulsors (and it has to be Repulsors, Impulsors don't carry Gravis-armoured units).

Matchups and Counterplay[edit]

This is where matchups and counter-play is discussed. Feel free to add what tactics and strategies have worked against specific armies in your own personal experience. For simplicity's sake, let's assume that these are mono-lists and are not relying on allies (AKA Soup).

Imperium[edit]

  • Space Marines:You already know what's good since it's been discussed at length in the articles above. Make sure you account for their Chapter Tactics, as they may cause them to follow a very different playstyle than your own army despite having the exact same units available to them.
  • Blood Angels: The following 5 armies (lovingly referred to as other flavors of power armour) are mostly just your units mixed with some unique units and different chapter tactics. For Blood Angels, avoid melee if possible because they essentially get +1 to wound in the first round of combat. They often field lots of jump-pack infantry. Best known for their smash-captains, who rain terror down on battlefields everywhere- bring weapons that gain bonuses against things with the Fly keyword.
  • Dark Angels: They're the shooty emo catholic marines who are secretly traitors hunting down loyal Dark Angels that they refer to as the Fallen THE MOST LOYAL SERVANTS OF THE EMPEROR. Their Chapter Tactic makes them almost immune to morale, plus they re-roll 1s to hit if they stand still. They are less reliant on generic characters such as Chaplains and their Masters (the equivalent of Captains), but they do gravitate toward named characters a lot more. Their Chapter Master Azrael gives a 4+ Invulnerable save to all non-vehicle units within 6" of him, making him particularly annoying against weapons that rely on high AP in order to do damage. Their specialty is in Plasma, Biker Squads, and Terminator squads. Their most famous stratagem, "Weapons of the Dark Age", boosts the damage of all Plasma weaponry a chosen unit fields by 1. It is frequently paired with their Chapter Master Azrael leading a maxed-out squad of Hellblasters toting the Heavy Plasma Incinerators for devastating effect. Their Ravenwing units have a stratagem that lets them advance and still shoot and charge normally, letting them have a 4+ Invulnerable save against ranged attacks, and allow them to bring their assault Plasma Talons to bear. Deathwing Terminators are fearless, and can drop 2cps to shoot the moment they arrive from reserves in order to clear a screen and allow other deep-striking units to close in on you. The Darkshroud, another commonly seen unit, gives an aura of -1 to hit and can advance in order to get the 4+ Jink save like other Ravenwing units. Counter the Azrael-Darkshroud-Hellblaster-WotDA castle with Transhuman physiology to protect against the plasma, and bypass the Darkshroud's 4+ Invuln with the Flakk Missile and Hellfire Shells stratagem to whittle it down and drop it.
  • Space Wolves: Like Blood Angels they are also a melee-centric army, with +1 to hit instead of +1 to wound. They focus more on running instead of jump-packing. This addition they gravitate towards weapons like power fists with a -1 to hit. Units of wolves and Thunderwolf cavalry are common to see. They are still Space marines and have a range of Shooting vehicles, flying landraiders and better devastators to fill in range. Their units of wolves provide nice chaff units. Outside of Thunderwolf and Wulfen spam, there's not a lot to see here.
  • Deathwatch: They're more elite Space Marines, who essentially have Sternguard Veterans as a troop choice and can gain bonuses against everything in a specific FOC slot. More importantly, they kept the Special Issue Ammunition that your veterans lost, which applies to all Bolter weaponry (minus Heavy Bolters and the Incinerator Heavy Bolters (Infernus Heavy Bolters)) fielded by their infantry and bike models.. They can mix Terminators, Assault Marines, and Bikers into said squads too, which is a funny gimmick. Their Watch Masters act like Chapter Masters, so be wary of an Intercessor blob with 5 hidden heavy hellblasters spitting out Hellfire rounds and S9 overcharged shots. They can deep-strike their entire army like Grey Knights, so a good screen and the Auspex Scan on a key unit of your choice should do well. Their Veterans like to hide Storm Shields in their squads to tank the odd Plasma gun or high-AP weapon shot, but with the new combat doctrines forcing a shit-ton of Bolter saves will hurt them, just as much as it does to your own units with Storm Shields. The Corvus is an overcosted flier just like your Storm Raven, a few Lascannons and multi-meltas will do you well. Again, using Transhuman Physiology against a unit's hellfire rounds will do you good, mitigating the 2+ to wound non-vehicle units.
  • Grey Knights: Oh look, it's one of two armies that you can actually realistically outnumber (Knights are a third army you can outnumber, but they're tonka-tough). Let's be real: Grey Knights are long past the glory days of 5th Edition. Their equivalent units are either overcosted compared to yours or just flat-out suck, maybe with a few exceptions. Grand Masters in Dreadknights are one example, and the Chapter Master equivalent Kaldor Draigo is another one for the obvious reason. They can pull off decent alpha-strikes, but use Scout Squads and Infiltrators to zone out their deep strike bubbles and/or Auspex scan a unit of your choice. If you have access to Vanguard Primaris units, a couple combat squads of Infiltrators can not only block a Strike Squad out of Rapid Fire range, but also lock his entire army out of charge range. After that, it should be easy pickings as Grey Knights lack cost efficient means of mobility. Their interceptors are way too expensive for what they do and Stormravens are a major point sink that a few good lascannon and/or meltagun shots can swiftly take care of, so if you can hold onto the skies you should be in good shape.
  • Imperial Guard: Don't let their weak statlines fool you. Guard are VERY tough to deal with this edition. Between dirt-cheap infantry, extremely weapon-dense deep striking units like scion command squads, and absurdly good for their cost tanks, Guard can take an enormous beating and deal one out in turn. We'll point out the linchpin - Officers! Snipe out those low-wound characters to neuter the enemy chain of command and his infantry will suddenly be a LOT less impressive. Take a squad or two of Sniper Scouts or Eliminators. Vehicles to beware include the Leman Russ if it has the Conqueror Battle Cannon and the Executioner Plasma Cannon, Hellhounds, and any artillery vehicle. Now with the new codex and supplements (and the power creep that follows), we have LOTS of potential ways to counter the Guard's shenanigans, turnabout is fair play from their horrific index cheese. The Devastator Doctrine makes a mockery of guard tanks on turn 1, moreso if you're using Imperial Fists. The Tactical Doctrine will help you shred guard squads a bit easier (the guard player can't issue orders if there's nobody TO issue an order to), and the Assault Doctrine should be considered as a mop-up action. Consider taking Raven Guard Eliminators, and on turn 2 pop the tactical doctrine so you can snipe officers on 2+ (stick a Phobos Captain next to them to re-roll those pesky 1s), and deal mortal wounds on 5+. If you decide to wall-bang them with the Executioner Rounds you'll at least wound them on a 2+ and force saves. Thunderfire Cannons can shoot twice with the Suppressing Fire stratagem, enabling it to mulch 2 guard units in a turn (preferably any fragile Heavy Weapon Squad). A squad of 5 Reivers with combat knives and taking advantage of Shock Assault will throw out 21 attacks while lowering the Guard’s already weak Ld, wiping out entire 10-model squads in a single combat + morale.
  • Adeptus Mechanicus: The weird middle-child between you and the Imperial Guard, Adeptus Mechanicus' can elect to run modestly cheap Skitarii-focused armies or eschew the tin men for the Cult Mechanicus tank-like Kataphrons. Either way, most AdMech players will likely be running their squads MSU style to get around their poor leadership. Weapons like Heavy Bolters strike a nice medium for ripping through most of their infantry, though you'll definitely want to pack a few Lascannons to handle any Dunecrawlers or Kastelan Robots. Other than the knights, not a single admech unit has t8, they also practically have no rapid fire weaponry and awful but universal invuls, making meltas a more or less perfect way to deal with most if not all their units. Don't underestimate the basic Skitarii though, their Arquebus sniper rifles and Plasma Calivers can easily chew through your marines if they get the chance, but thankfully they fall quickly if given any attention, which could be worth it anyway, considering that and their weapons cost a small fortune compared to other GEQ like units. Be aware that most admech armies have more than enough s6+ weaponry to chew through your marines, cover or not, if they dont have a better target, so bring vehicles to distract and counter the heavier elements while you play for objectives. Also, be careful when deploying and go for the second turn, they can and will happily kill or strand your marines and lighter vehicles if you are the first to break cover.
  • Adeptus Ministorum: If you see someone using sisters at a tournament, be VERY afraid - sisters are one of, if not the, weakest armies in the current meta, so if you see someone using them in competitive play, they’re either insane or a tactical genius to rival Creed. This may change when if the new codex comes out, but for now if you face sisters take Centurions and any other mass-bolter fire unit.
  • Adeptus Custodes:You will outnumber these golden boys, big time, but they are tough as nails and hit like a sock with a halfbrick. Best known for their jetbikes, which have hilarious amounts of firepower and are lethal in melee for good measure. Do not engage in combat if you can help it and bring as many sources of Mortal Wounds as you can.
  • Imperial Knights: Remember, Imperial Knights seem intimidating and are armed to the teeth, but they lack board control. If you have the second player turn, pop the Prepared Positions stratagem and watch as all your vehicles and infantry have 4+ saves against the Knights' Battlecannons! It's better than a 5 or 6+ save, after all. Lascannon spam, deep striking squads full of Meltaguns, or Chainfist Terminators can deal with Imperial Knights fairly well. As a general rule, Imperial Knights prefer their titanic feet attacks in melee compared to their arm weapons, aside from the Gallant variants. Best advice: play to the mission! Your best bet is to win on objective points, as most armies don't have the firepower to take down an army of knights. You can, however, wear them down enough to make them much less of a threat.
    • The basic Knight Paladin is armed with a Rapid Fire Battlecannon and the Reaper Chainsword, with two Stubbers. It's versatile, but a simple 2d6 Battlecannon shots is not quite as devastating as you think compared to its cost. The Imperial guard get 2d6 battlecannon shots on one battle tank that stands still, for 1/3 the cost of a Knight Paladin!
    • The Knight Errant trades its RFBC for a Thermal Cannon that is half the range, but absolute cancer to vehicles and multi-wound models.
    • The Knight Warden has a Thunderstrike Gauntlet and a RFBC base that can be exchanged for the Avenger Gatling Cannon, a 12 shot beast capable of reliably deleting your infantry units.
    • The Knight Crusader is the dakka knight, it has a Thermal Cannon (that can be swapped for a RFBC) and the Gatling Cannon.
    • The addition of Armiger Knights makes things a bit more challenging as they can offer a bit more board control for the Knights at the expense of durability. The Armiger Helverins are superior to Autocannon Predators every day of the week, and Armiger Warglaives that get too close will wreck vehicles and heavy infantry in short order.
    • The Dominus Knight variants are perhaps the biggest challenge. Both variants have weaker Battle cannons, and Shieldbreaker Missiles that can target characters, even out of LoS, for 2CPs. The infamous Dominus Castellan has a mini Volcano Cannon and a Plasma Decimator, it is capable of one-shotting two Land Raider equivalent vehicles per turn. Apologies Knight Crusader, THIS is the Dakka knight. The Dominus Valiant has a fuck-huge Harpoon that does a flat 10 damage and an additional d3 mortal wounds to a model that somehow survived the initial shot (Full strength Land Raider or Storm Raven). It also has a gigantic flamethrower for crowd control. The problem with the Valiant is that its weapons aside from the Shield Breaker missiles are so short ranged that you'll have a fairly easy time throwing enough meltagun shots and drowning it in mass bolter fire at it to destroy it. The same cannot be said for the long ranged Castellan who will try and play the keep away game.

Chaos[edit]

  • Chaos Space Marines: Some matchups will play out like a mirror match depending on the Legion traits, but Chaos Space marines have a better combination of USRs, as Death to the False Emperor will come into effect more often than ATSKNF. Like you, they have the shock assault and Bolter Discipline rules, making World Eaters armies horrifying on the charge.
  • Chaos Daemons: They often come in four flavors. Khorne Daemons hit like freight trains on the charge with all of their characters granting re-rolls on failed charges, and by paying command points to get Banners of Blood, they will often make their charges out of deep strike. Their shooting is a joke and basic Bloodletters are surprisingly fragile at T3, but a Khorne player worth their salt will make sure to lock you down to prevent you from capitalizing on it. Nurgle is obscenely tough to kill with the Disgustingly Resilient rule but like the Death Guard it's fucking slow. Slaanesh is fragile, but they are very fast and you will likely be staring turn 1 charges in the face if you don't back your shit up as far back as possible. Tzeentch is arguably the easiest to deal with as they are only good at range, and your ranged abilities will exceed theirs. Just remember to take librarians to deny some of their smites. Thunderfire Cannons and anything with an Assault Cannon will do well to hack up their infantry, and good lord deal with any greater daemons before they get close otherwise you're fucked, no other way to put it. Iron Hands and Ultramarine Chapter Tactics will do you well here, overwatching on a 5+ combined with a 6+ shrug will let you weather the storm, and Guilliman's aura will make a Daemon player (or any opponent, really)cry.
  • Death Guard: Mortal Wound spam out the ass, lots of rerollable wounds, and Disgustingly Resilient making their units extra-hardy. Fun times abound! They have the stronger Chaos Primarch, Mortarion. Morty is also known as that guy who absorbs all your fire even when he doesn't have any buffs to support him before ramming his rusted, STD-infested scythe up your army's gaping sphincter. Good thing they're slow as shit. Use that to your advantage.
  • Thousand Sons: They have the weaker Chaos Primarch, Magnus the Red, although "weaker" should still not be misinterpreted as being the same as "weak". Remembering that soup lists are not to be discussed, Thousand Sons are an army that relies on their psychic phase more than any other aside from Daemons and Grey Knights, and they've got access to way more powers than either of those. Their Tzaangors can create a nasty suicide unit by either moving forward with Warp Time, or deep striking in front of you and then charging.
  • Renegade Knights: See Imperial Knights above. They share a lot of traits with them, but favor melee to a greater extent and can mix and match weapon types to a degree.
  • Renegades and Heretics (FW): This will play out much like a Guard match, but the difference is they still have access to morale-immunity on their hordes of renegades. Take Scout Snipers and assassinate their Enforcers like you would a Company Commander/Commissar!

Xenos[edit]

  • Tau: Tau vs. Marine matchups exist in a weird space as Tau are both devastating at range, and a pain in the ass to charge with their bonuses to overwatch. At the same time, space marine armies (regardless of composition) are strongly middle-range armies. Part of surviving tau is closing in with the enemy with multiple units to force the split of overwatch. Youre not going to outshoot them, and while you should beat them in close combat, you're not a close combat army either. While they have indirect fire options, a huge part of their mechanics rely on line of sight, so cover becomes remarkably important. Tau guns are strong but are usually wielded as BS4+, so anything with minuses to-hit (like Raven Guard units) will fare well against Tau. Ensure to remove supporting drones with bolters before shooting your lascannons at the battlesuits, or your shots will likely be wasted. Sniping buffing characters like Fireblades and Ethereals will make your life easier. Most importantly, Tau often castle up to make the most of their synergies. If they do, don't try take them head-on, instead just play the mission and win on victory points!
  • Craftworld Eldar: Classic Eldar are known for two things: psychic powers and hyper-specialized units. Use a few snipers or psykers of your own to shut down or prevent Farseers/Warlocks from supporting their units or debuffing/smiting yours. This will cripple the Craftworlders significantly, as many of their units will begin to struggle against MEQ without their buffs helping them work around their otherwise garbage GEQ statlines. As for units like their aspect warriors, simply take advantage of their weaknesses; Howling Banshees, Striking Scorpions and Fire Dragons are practically helpless at range, while units like Dark Reapers, Swooping Hawks and Shadow Spectres are considerably easier in melee. Wraith units might have devastating firepower and can still easily throw down in a fist fight, but all variants are generally slow and have very limited ranges on their weapons. If you lack heavier firepower to simply punch through their armour and toughness, you can still kite them with relative ease and whittle them down.
  • Dark Eldar: This faction is a bit special in that their codex more or less divides itself into three armies so here's an entry for each.
    • Kabals: Death of a thousand cuts. Most of their units will whittle you down with splinter fire since your T 4 doesn't mean a thing to them, and they have a startling lack of multi damage weapons outside of Dark Lances and the like making Primaris units quite useful as short of disintegrators they don't have any cost effective solution to bringing them down. Moreover their infantry fold under bolt fire like guardsmen and are quite afraid of it; luckily Venoms also crumple easily under massed bolter fire, Raiders and Ravagers are slightly tougher but will quickly fall apart under heavier firepower however. That being said, do not underestimate the speed or cost-effective anti-tank their vehicles can bring.
    • Wych Cults: One of the two combat heavy sides to the DE with terrific invuln saves in combat, avoid melee if you can even with your own dedicated CQC units as they will get bogged down pretty quickly and your more ranged units will either be killed or mauled quite badly. However, the good news is outside of combat they're essentially useless and like the one above massed bolt fire will work wonders, even against their transports, and Assault Cannons are just their worst nightmare. Be prepared to fall back as often as you'll be able to open up their units to your fire, but hey, you're the Imperium: when is Guns O' Clock not the solution?
    • Covens: The other combat heavy side that relies on being obscenely tough. Everyone gets an invulnerable save, be it close combat or at range.
  • Harlequins: Death of a thousand honks . . . wait. In all seriousness though these lot are FAST, like insanely fast, like genestealer fast! Okay maybe not that fast, but still they well be in your lines turn 2 at the latest. Unfortunately for you they can and will shred Marines faster than you can blink so avoid melee like the plague. Good news is even though they all have a 4++ or better they're still T 3 so massed bolters will wipe out whole units at a time. Bad news is they'll make sure they have transports, which have 4++ and a -1 to hit so taking them down quick will be a challenge, mortal wounds will bypass those well enough or a well positioned librarian with Nullzone can lead to you wiping out most of their army in one go.
  • Ynnari: This particular faction of space elves can be a bit tricky to plan for, but invariably the weakest of the them all. The bad news is they are already tailormade to fuck you up as MSU is their preferred targets, the good news is they're a semi decent close combat army at best so the usual tactics apply. To really shut them down however it's best to bring some psychic denial to stop the new hotness for them Unbind Souls their version of Doom that'll only apply in combat, which means librarians or Black Templars. Next to worry about is their few key strategems which can make any of their characters get back up on a 4+, or the two separate ones they have to give reroll to wound against your units. Be warned you'll probably be facing dual battalions which means lots of elves, hope you brought your bolters.
  • Tyranids: Avoid melee if possible, especially with Genestealers. Razorbacks with Assault cannons can rip some holes in their number quite good. Any multi-wound weapon can work wonders if you remember to take a buffer for rerolling misses. Ultramarines have it a bit easier due to Chapter Tactics that lets them shoot even when backing away and Guilliman's aura is exactly what you need. Iron Hands are also going to have it a bit easier since they overwatch on 5s and 6s, and their vehicles and troops are slightly tougher than the average marine. Don't bother with Librarians unless you believe in the Heart of the Dices because Shadow of the Warp and Psychic Scream dislikes you for even trying, or take one if you want to try to screw their psychic checks, but fully expect him to be useless half of the time. As always if there's any 10+ wound synapse creature, kill them first and break the horde.
  • Genestealer Cults: Imperial Guard with Tyranid flavor, or Tyranid with Imperial Guard flavor? In all seriousness, deepstriking Genestealers with armoured support to back it up sounds like a very daunting prospect. As with Nids, avoid melee with anything that has a Rending Claw, Rock cutters/saws, or power hammers if possible. Remember to zone out ambushing units with Scouts. If you're planning on mixing in the new Primaris Vanguard units, remember that Infiltrators and the Phobos Captain can deny deep strikes within 12", making them and scouts your best friends against GSC by pushing them out of charge range. Ultramarines or Imperial Fists work well because the smurfs can fall back and still shoot, and the Fists can ignore cover (which a GSC player worth their salt would spring for). Unfortunately if you're reliant on offensive Librarians for damage, a single Magus will make you cry by giving all GSC units within 6" of it a free Deny the Witch. If that wasn't enough, Jackal Alphuses and Sanctuses will then proceed to heap the pain on characters with their Silencer sniper rifles (AP-1, d3 damage and forces perils on psykers that lose a wound to the shot). Kelermorphs are also bonkers since even if they don't have the relic pistol Oppressor's Bane they will snipe a non-screened Librarian, Chaplain, or Lieutenant with ease.
  • Necrons: You shouldn't really need any help killing Necrons, but just in case: play for keeps and don't leave half-eaten units around. If you fail to wipe a unit, Reanimation Protocol will see a bunch of their slain models return (funnily enough, losses to morale do not count). Necron Wraiths and Lychguard with sword and board have especially good invulnerable saves, but a speedy Librarian build (Terminator, Index Bike, Jump Pack) with the Null Zone psychic power will make a mockery of them. The really solid unit Necrons have are Destroyers.
  • Orks: You shouldn't really need any help killing Orks, but just in case: the most important thing is target prioritizing. Take a lot of infantry mulching guns and unload into the massive units of Ork Boyz your opponent brought, and focus your anti-armour guns on popping their transport open. If you have any dedicated melee units of your own, don't rush into combat; that's playing right into the Ork players hand. Hold them back and let your guns soften the enemy up before intercepting them when they get too close. Also, keep in mind that 'ere We Go! allows orks to pull of charges from a surprising distance, so don't let that catch you off guard. Finally, if you must go toe-to-toe with a Warboss, make sure your character has a Storm Shield: Warbosses hit like a freight train and the Ork player can use the stratagem Orks is never defeated to guarantee that the boss gets a chance to fight.


Warhammer 40,000 Tactics Articles
General Tactics
Imperium
Chaos
Eldar
Necrons
Orks
Tau
Tyranids