Warhammer 40,000/Tactics/Space Marines (9E)

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


Why Play Space Marines[edit]

Spess Mareen.jpg

The Emperor’s finest; the Space Marines; the Angels of Death; the warriors of the Adeptus Astartes go by many names, and all spell annihilation to the enemies of Mankind. Possessing terrifying speed, strength, and resilience, the Space Marines are genetically engineered super-soldiers whose humanity has been sacrificed so that they may unflinchingly stand against those who would see the Imperium fall. They go to war clad in nigh-impenetrable armour. They wield devastating weapons such as the bolt rifle, the chainsword and the lascannon. They can speed into battle in armoured tanks and gunships, drop from the skies on grav-chutes and jump packs, or even teleport directly into their enemies’ midst. Coupled with their unshakeable resolve, the strike forces of Adeptus Astartes are the most powerful and tactically flexible in the Imperium.


  • A lot of different units. Space Marines alone got about as many new model releases in 8e as all other armies combined - a trend that doesn't appear to be slowing.
  • Easy for beginners to play. Can be customized to focus on many specific elements (e.g. Terminators, mass jump pack assaults, etc.) with generally acceptable grades of viability.
  • MEQ is taking on a whole new meaning, as the whole army is getting W2 for infantry (except Scouts), along with a corresponding points hike of ~20% per model. One reckons that First Born marines are "tougher" than then new guys, due to longer service, and earn another wound for their "toughness" (except Scouts).
  • 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.
    • You've gotten the brunt of the buffs early 9th Edition has to offer -all non-Scout Marines get an extra wound, all your chainswords got -1 AP and your guns all have some manner of improvement. Quite frankly, the upgrades feel like they're made to improve YOU. And your heretical kindred. And come to think of it, everyone else who uses your guns or is some variation of Space Marine, but the important thing is that you got them first.
  • Loads of powerful characters to choose from, many of which have potent buffs to surrounding units.
  • You'll almost always have an armour save.
  • You'll almost always hit on a 3+ natively, with easy access to rerolls.
  • 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.
  • At the end of 8th edition Space Marines were the strongest army. 9th edition space marines will most likely still be the strongest army by far, so if you really just want to win, this is the army to go with.
  • You're the first army to get a codex and the only one to get multiple in 8th edition (not to mention supplements), so you'll continuously have up-to-date rules.
  • In sum, you have excellent models with superior stateliness to begin with. This becomes dominant when you mix in more special rules than any other army.


  • So many different units that it can be difficult to determine which ones are best in a given situation.
    • Alternate opinion: As of the Codex's release, the army is so powerful that it's hard to find a wrong choice
  • 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) are somewhat lacking compared to those of other armies.
    • Primaris tanks have largely fixed this problem.
  • All the characters that used to be part of other units (e.g. Apothecary, Champion) moved to the Elites slot, which was already rather crowded.
    • The new Codex alleviates this somewhat, as taking a Company Veteran Squad allows you to include an Apothecary, Champion and Ancient (Banner Bearer) without taking up a FOC slot. Battalions also come stock with 6 Elite choices, so you are sooner going to run out of points than slots.
  • You will almost always be outnumbered and will struggle at times to claim objectives, though some Chapter tactics make use of low model counts.
  • Under the current rules, you risk being labeled that guy due to the codex's strong nature.
  • The "tacticool" look of Primaris Marines also makes you seem like the guy who got kicked out of boot camp after a week.
  • As part of the push to shove Primaris into your face regardless of consent, a majority of the stratagems are now only effective on Primaris units. A primarily firstborn army is going to have to prevail through their own grit and what few scraps GW left for them.
    • Counterpoint: firstborn marines got a bonus wound at a tiny points increase - something any other army would be ecstatic for
  • Marine players have a reputation for complaining that their steak is cooked medium-well, despite all other factions having to exist on corpse-starch.

Special Rules[edit]

Troops gain Objective secure.

  • Company Command: can only have one Captain and two Lieutenant per Detachment. Aka fuck you to homebrew chapters that have a non-Codex organisation...or even canon ones like the Space Wolves.
  • 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.
    • With the introduction of Shock Assault (See below) there is worth considering the use of some of the older tactics, back when a Tactical Marine was worth more than just a bolter. One such tactic was to put your guns in one squad and your melee in another, using the ranged weapons to soften up a target then the melee (basically a sergeant either a power weapon or fist) to finish off or better yet to tie up the target unit and finish it off (hopefully) during the opponents turn, denying them a turn at shooting and forcing them to basically waste their melee of chaff. You can also put the sarge in the ranged unit with a combi weapon for a total of 3 bolters, 2 special weapons and a heavy weapon for a makeshift dev squad.
  • Angels of Death: A rule owned by all Space Marine whatever its colour, subdivided into four. Because GW likes to keep it simple.

When taking Combat Attrition tests ignore all modifiers.

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

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

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

  • Gives the generally lackluster melee of most Primaris infantry and chainsword assault marines a little bit of a boost. Killer on units with power weapons like Terminators.
  • Also means foes have to be a bit more careful about charging at Tacticals and such to tie them up, more so if you use larger units, and that they can assist in a melee in a pinch.
  • Remember that this ability is not infantry exclusive; dreadnoughts really appreciate the extra attack, and even your transports can hit a little harder in the first round of combat (space marines bring a whole new meaning to road rage).

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 then must move through each Doctrine. 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 would prevent the SM detachment from getting this rule, but allied SM detachments are ok even from a different chapter.

  • 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 that the plethora of sniper rifles and Heavy Flamers (Incendium/Inferno/Flamestorm cannons) are Heavy Weapons. The boost to Grenades matters only to Intercessors for the most part.
    2. On the 2nd turn you 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 auto bolt rifles work wonders here.
    3. On the 3rd or 4th turn you shift to Assault Doctrine (you MUST change to assault on the 4th turn) 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.
  • 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.
  • Death from Above/Teleport Strike: Comes with a jump pack/Terminator armour. Deepstrike rules of set them to side during deployment and set them up 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Concealed Positions: Scout rules, can set them up anywhere on field 9" from enemy deployment zone or models during deployment.
  • Outflank: Like deepstrike but must be wholly within 6" of a board edge and 9" from enemy models during the Reinforcement Step.
  • Martial Legacy: Relic unit rules for certain Forge World models. If your army is battle-forged, each unit with this rule increases the cost of a detachment that includes it by 1 CP. Essentially you pay 1 CP per Martial Legacy unit in your army.

Chapter Tactics[edit]

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

  • 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 take 3.
  • A reminder that <chapter> Ultramarines is not the same faction as <regiment> Ultramarines, even if both faction keywords are "Ultramarines".

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.
    • As this still excludes you from taking named characters from that First Founding Chapter, 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.
    • Additionally, pick if you find the full benefit of the parent CT better than a combination. Notably, you can't replicate any individual Chapter Tactic as all of them have at least one unique element.
    • 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 ONLY Captain from babysitting line squads so they can focus on the big guns, but it also means you can shift your HQ towards Lieutenants, as anything with bolt weapons is effectively inside a Captain's aura. That means not only your dozen primaris bolt types, but also the hurricane and heavy bolters of vehicles you can't boost because they're not core. Keep in mind the Lt's re-roll 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: Add +1 to hit on the charge, a major step up from 8E's Heroic Intervention boost.
  • Duelists: When making melee attacks against enemy infantry or bikers, unmodified hit rolls of 6 auto-hit and auto-wound.
    • Duelists 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 chainsword 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. Take note of the combo with Incursors knives... .
  • 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 and 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.
    • Gets really crazy with the Master of the Vanguard warlord trait for +2" move and advance. Gets even crazier, borderline illegal, with Lias Issodon for +3" to move and advance.
  • Indomitable: Your units auto-pass combat attrition. 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 many morale tests, to begin with and you already ignore attrition modifiers.
  • 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. Don't take this unless you're going all Librarians for your HQ.
  • Long Range Marksmen: +3" range to all Rapid Fire and Heavy (except Flamer) ranged weapons. 27" Multimeltas! Your marines get to engage enemies from their own deployment zone, taking better advantage of Bolter Discipline.
  • Master Artisans: A unit with this tactic can re-roll a single failed to hit roll each time it shoots or fights (including overwatch). Units with a few strong weapons in small units benefit the most. Good for pretty much any unit, with the standard 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, Chaos Knights, Tyranids, Orks, or Necrons. Re-roll hit rolls of 1 with melee weapons. Half of the Deathwatch CT, but a little better since it covers some chaos armies. 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. 1/2 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 light cover when at least 18" 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 that can't usually get it any other way; 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.
    • Stoic is better than Indomitable in the instances where the unit fails by EXACTLY ONE. However, Space Marine normal leadership, and unit size mean that this happens... a bit more frequently than in other armies.
  • Tactical Withdrawal: Units with this tactic can charge after falling back. Roughly 1/3 of the White Scars' tactic. Amazing for melee oriented armies, allowing you to trigger Shock Assault whenever you want. Useful when you're using another unit to shoot their target between withdrawal and charge, and you can fall "back" from some unit in order to better position yourself for a multiple charge, tying up more units now. Nice if combined with the Hammer of Wrath stratagem for jump troops.
  • 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.
    • All mortal wounds, not just those from psychic powers; this is basically Armour of Contempt but always active, all the time and not restricted to vehicles. A character about to die can fail to save a regular wound, and pass it onto a Company Vet as a mortal wound to try to save it again. A vehicle that fails a plasma roll has a chance to not lose a wound.
    • What tries to counter TH/SS? Mortal Wounds SPAM. Well now your TH/SS are 1+/4++/5+++, simple as.
  • 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 Duelists tactic, above.
    • Unlike Duelists, 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 Duelists against targets you wound on a 3+ or less, meaning both your anti-horde and power weapons benefit. Do note that, unlike Duelists, Whirlwind only works in the first round of combat, not that anything you were fielding was planning on staying in melee for longer than that.

Masters of the Chapter[edit]

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

You can only take one of each Masters of the Chapter from each <chapter>.

Using this upgrade you can take a Chapter Master and a normal Captain in the same detachment. The Chapter Master adds 40 points, making it the most expensive master.

  • Chapter Master: During command phase, pick <chapter> Core or <chapter> Character within 6" to reroll hit rolls until next command phase.
  • Warlord Trait - Master of the Codex: During the command phase, if on the battlefield, you regain a CP on the roll of a 4+.
  • Relic - Angel Artifice: Grants a 2+ Sv, and +1 T & W. Better protection than The Armour Indomitus, T5-T6 provides crucial protection against the most common weapons: power swords, axes, hammers and fists.
  • Master of Sanctity: The chaplain knows one additional Litany and can recite an additional one each turn.
  • Warlord Trait - Wise Orator: +1 to recite Litanies and the Commanding Oratory Stratagem cost 1cp less for him to use.
  • Relic - The Emperor's Judgment: Enemies can't reroll hit, wound, or damage dice against the chaplain, and grants a 6" bubble of forcing enemies to roll 2D6, discarding the lowest, for morale tests.
  • Master of the Forge: The techmarine can automatically repair 3 wounds on vehicles instead of rolling.
  • Warlord Trait - Warden of the Ancients: 6" aura of +1S & +1A to <chapter> Dreadnoughts. If you ever wanted a Mortificator from 30k in regular 40k, now's your chance.
  • Relic - Mortis Machina: Upgraded Omnissian Power axe that is S+3 AP-2 D3, and does an additional 1 mortal wound to VEHICLES on every failed save. Useful to a Warden of the Ancients, to better fight alongside his dreadnought charges.
  • Chief Librarian: The librarian knows one more power from their chosen discipline, thus knocking out any attempts to cross-discipline a librarian. He can also deny an additional power, but still can only cast twice.
  • Warlord Trait - Psychic Mastery: +1 to psychic tests. Simple, but very effective.
  • Relic - Neural Shroud: The psychic hood's range increases to 24", incredibly good with your two denials.

He can heal infantry and bikers better- stick him around an Invader and watch him be really silly. Any heavy infantry or biker unit will benefit from him tremendously.

  • Chief Apothecary: The apothecary can use his heal ability twice per turn.
  • Warlord Trait - Selfless Healer: Heals 3 wounds instead of rolling and the Combat Revival Stratagem costs 0 CP instead of 1 CP.
    • Use the Combat Revival Stratagem twice and this trait literally pays for itself, and you get two marines back. This is on top of heal up to 6 wounds on one person (Not that there are many models with that many wounds), or up to a guaranteed 3 on each. A really bloody good trait
  • Relic - Acquittal: Replaces a bolt pistol or absolver bolt pistol. 18" Pistol 1 S5 Ap-3 D2 and auto wounds infantry on 2+ at Damage 4.
    • one shot is likely to kill a Gravis or character if you can line up the shot.

If your taking a footslogging melee blob with transports or deep strike swarm, an Ancient will improve things. a terminator Chapter Ancient can also be used to help hold your ground.

  • Chapter Ancient: During command phase, the ancient can pick a <chapter> Core unit within 6" for +1 to melee hits until next command phase.
  • Warlord Trait - Steadfast Example: Any <chapter> Core unit within 6" counts as having ObSec, which is kinda neat. If any unit already has ObSec, then the unit counts as having an additional model in regards to contesting an objective.
    • put this on a terminator Ancient when you use Hero of the Chapter to give him this trait to cement your claim on an objective.
  • Relic - Pennant of the Fallen: If a unit dies and makes a melee attack thanks to the ancient's standard, then they make two attacks instead of one.

With the <Core> and Chapter Command changes, Champions look more promising as a smashcaptain replacement assuming you can use a transport to get them to their target.

  • Chapter Champion: The champion has the most changes to them, curious considering how cheap it is to raise them. Enemies now take -1 to hit him in melee, he can re-roll all failed hit rolls against a Character and he gets A5 Ld9.
  • Warlord Trait - Martial Exemplar: Any <Chapter> Core or Character within 6" gets to re-roll their charge distances, which is the better part of the Black Templars trait without having to give up your army's dakka traits to give a few units what is often a single charge reroll in a game.
  • Relic - Blade of Triumph: Replaces the master-crafted power sword with a S+3 AP-3 D3 beast, capable of ripping apart pretty much whatever they come across.

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.

  1. Fear Made Manifest (S): Enemy units within 6" get -1 Leadership and Combat attrition tests. Can be combined with other Imperial Ld debuffs to make a leadership bomb, but even on its own, losing people on a 5+ attrition roll already means losing 1/3rd of the unit, or half of it when understrenght! Better when fighting non loyal SM armies, however, which also happen to be the most common.
  2. The Imperium's Sword (I): What Smash Captains are made of. Warlord rerolls failed charges, and gets +1S and +1A the turn he charges for heroically intervenes (in addition to Shock Assault), to break things immediately out of deepstrike. Chapters that can charge after falling back can trigger the boost over and over.
  3. Iron Resolve (I): What Smashfuckers are made of. Warlord gets +1W, and can ignore wounds on a 6. Not dying is nice, and it's better the more wounds your character has.
  4. Champion of Humanity (I): +1A when enemy Characters are within engagement range of him. When actually targetting the character in melee, add 1 to all hit and wound rolls. Turns a character using relic blades or unwieldy weapons into a top of the line duelist.
    • Remember, you don't have to attack the character, you just need to be within 1." This means if you only need another attack to clear out a stronger unit next to something like an Ethereal (pathetic Xenos trash) you can still gain at least +1A.
  5. Storm of Fire (S): Each time ANY <Chapter> Core unit within 6" rolls an unmodified 6 to wound for a shooting attack, the AP of that attack is improved by 1.
    • Stack with a Lieutenant for more chances to proc those sweet 6's. Remember it affects ANY unit, not just infantry. It gives the biggest benefits to low AP weapons with high rates of fire - that's all sorts of bolters. Remember that Doctrines cannot stack AP bonuses, so try boosting small arms during the Devastator doctrine and vice-versa.
    • Since light weapons with high rates of fire (like Heavy Bolters) are often cheaper than strong single-shot ones (like Missile Launchers), this trait can allow a detachment to pull its weight even at low point limits. Furthermore, it's easy for them to synergize with your warlord because many are infantry or transports that can accompany him. While mechanized/biker lists are shooty, Bolter Discipline means bolt-using units from this list are no longed forced to move into rapid fire range.
    • Despite Aggressors, Inceptors, shooty Dreadnoughts (Redemptor/Venerable/Deredeo), Scout Bikers, Company Veterans on Bikes (Index 1), Crusader Squads, Centurions, Sternguard Veterans, Repulsors, and Land Raiders (Crusaders/Redeemers/Prometheus[FW]) having a higher than average ranged output when compared to the rest of SM options, even regular Bolt Rifle Intercessors cut GEQ saves in half (from 6+ to nothing) with this trait, when it goes off.
  6. Rites of War (S):Friendly <CHAPTER> Core and <CHAPTER> Character units within 6" Gain Objective Secured.

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

  1. Shoot and Fade: after one <chapter> phobos unit within 6" of the warlord shoots, They can move or advance but can't charge.
    • Imperial stealthy Jump-Shoot-Jump baby! Break LoS and avoid retaliation. That way your Infiltrator/Incursor squads can keep up with your Eliminators, the first dashing in and out of LoS while the later shoot without visual contact with complete impunity.
  2. Lord of Deceit: After both sides deploy, you can remove and redeploy up to 3 <Chapter> Phobos units present on the battlefield or put them into reserve for no CP.
    • Results depend on the mental games you can play on your enemy - it's not going to be a surprise to your opponent, but being able to make corrections after your enemy's cemented his choice instead of being part of the simultaneous deployment process can be an amazing benefit, and one that Eldar pay 2CP for.
    • Bear in mind, this trait now goes off after deployment, which means you haven't yet rolled off for first turn.
  3. Master of the Vanguard: Friendly <chapter> phobos units within 6" of the warlord gain +1" to their move and Advance and Fallback and Charge rolls. Useful to Reivers or Charging out of Deepstrike, pairs well with the Chapter Tactic Hungry for Battle as well as several characters.
  4. Stealth Adept: Can't be targeted by Ranged attacks unless The closest target. Protects from snipers or if you find yourself with just one of two guys from your accompanying squad left. Often get more mileage on your Phobos Librarian trying to get off their close range power.
  5. Target Priority: Select a friendly <chapter> phobos unit within 6" in the Command phase. Until the start of your next Command phase, that unit gets +1 to hit. And he doesn't have to give up his shooting either. Now all those pointy finger models have found their worth!
    • Less helpful for Eliminators now they have BS 2+, but could be used to negate cover penalties. Doesn't affect Infiltrators' automatic wounds as they only happen on an unmodified 6.
  6. Marksman Honours: +1D to all of the warlord's guns. Doesn't apply to grenades or relics. Completely wasted on a Librarian or Lieutenant, but bumps the Phobos Captain's Instigator Bolt Carbine to an eye-watering 4 damage.


LOTS of ways to inflict Mortal Wounds here.

  • Death to the Traitors! (1 CP): When one unit is attacking a Heretic Astartes unit in the fight phase, re roll to hit rolls.
  • Honour the Chapter (2 CP): An Assault intercessor squad can fight again in the fight phase. Both of the first codexes produced for 9e have limited these 'Fights again' stratagems to a specific unit, so expect that to be the norm in the future.
  • Fury of the First (1 CP): Select a Terminator unit during either the shooting or fight phase. This unit adds +1 to their hit rolls. Now your termies won't need a chaplain to babysit them.
  • Transhuman Physiology (1/2 CP): Costs 1 CP for a unit with less than 5 models, 2 for units above 5 models. Select something with the Primaris keyword, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made against that unit, an unmodified wound roll below a 4+ always fails, irrespective of the abilities the weapon or model may have. S10 attack? Effective T10 chadmarines aw yee. Sucks that baselines no longer benefit from it but at least Redemptors can take it Nope, Redemptors are not a Primaris unit.
  • Gene Wrought Might (1 CP): When a Primaris unit from your army has chosen to fight, until the end of the phase, when resolving an attack made with a melee weapon an unmodified hit roll of 6 automatically hits and wounds.
  • Rapid Fire (2 CP): At the start of the shooting phase, pick a squad of standard or veteran Intercessors. They can shoot again. While a bit of a shame that it won't work for heavies, now it's a guarantee that their guns will fire again.
  • Unyielding in the Face of Death (1 CP): Whenever a Mk X Gravis unit is hit by a weapon with a Damage trait of 1, then they can add 1 to their saves. This won't totally blunt the high AP stuff, but it can diminish massed bolter fire.
  • Only in Death Does Duty End (2 CP): When one of your Characters who hasn't fought yet dies in the Fight phase, it can fight before being destroyed. Doesn't combo with the Banner abilities on Ancients. Makes your characters too dangerous to deal with in melee, as not even killing them prevents them from hitting back, and most of them have melee boosts on top of being already good fighters.
  • Armour of Contempt (1 CP): When one of your vehicles takes a mortal wound, for the rest of the phase, you get a 5+ to ignore mortal wounds, and can use it on the one you just took. Doesn't work on regular wounds.
  • Power of the Machine Spirit (2 CP): Select a Machine Spirit unit during command phase. Until the start of your next command phase, that unit acts as it has full wounds. Worried that your tank's about to go up in smoke? Now you can extend the middle finger to them and blast them to bits.
  • Wisdom of the Ancients (1 CP): At the start of any phase, pick a Dreadnought to turn into a 1-phase Captain or Lieutenant. Any <Chapter> Core units within 6" can reroll either hits or wounds of 1 until your next turn.
  • Commanding Oratory (2 CP): Use at the start of any phase. Your chaplain can automatically inspire with their litany, though you can't double-dip with a litany that's already been used. Notably this lets a chaplain use a litany after deep striking or disembarking. It also seems to allow him to recite a litany he doesn't know.
  • Combat Revival (1 CP): Your apothecary can automatically resurrect a single model in a <Chapter> Core or <Chapter> Biker unit at full wounds. Expect to use this a LOT more with a chief apothecary.
  • Hero of the Chapter (1 CP): One use only for Incursion sized games, two use only for Strike Force games, three use only for Onslaught sized games. Select a Character from your army that doesn't have a Warlord trait and give them one, all warlord traits must be different.
  • Relics of the Chapter (1 CP): Use before the start of the battle. One use only for Incursion sized games, two use only for Strike Force games, three use only for Onslaught sized games. You can have an extra Chapter Relic for 1 CP. You can't take two of the same relic, and all the Relics have to go to different Characters.
  • Hit-and-Run Warfare (1 CP): During the movement phase, you can have one Biker, Storm Speeder or Land Speeder unit shoot even though they fell back. Useless for Ultramarines as they are already eligible to shoot after falling back, and it doesn't negate the -1 to hit they suffer if they do.
  • Hammer of Wrath (1CP): Jump pack models within a unit that successfully end a charge move within 1" of an enemy unit cause mortal wounds on a d6 roll that exceeds enemy Toughness. Makes your big units of assault marines/VV punch much harder, but it suffers against tanks and monsters.
  • Skilled Riders (1 CP): The return of 7th edition jink rules. Use on a biker, storm speeder or land speeder unit that Advanced. Enemies targeting them take a -1 to hit them for this turn.
  • Uncompromising Fire (2 CP): An infantry unit can shoot while also accomplishing another action - really only useful with a specific objective.
  • Steady Advance (2 CP): An Infantry can make a normal move while acting as if they don't move. Absolutely necessary if you have a heavy gunline or want to max out bolter spam.
  • Adaptive Strategy (2 CP): Use if your warlord is alive, a <chapter> core unit counts as having all doctrines active until your next turn.
  • Suppression Fire (2 CP): Use in your shooting phase. When a Whirlwind hits with it's blast weapon, the target unit can't fire overwatch or set to defend and it fights last until your next turn.
  • Terror Troops (2 CP): use in command phase, until your next turn one Reiver unit has an aura that cancels enemy Objective Secured abilities. In addition, if the Reivers move within 3" of the enemy, this turn (pile in and consolidate don't count) they need to roll a 2d6; if the roll is below their Leadership score, then the enemy immediately fails any action it was attempting, often denying them VP during a mission..
  • Guerilla Tactics (1 CP): During the movement phase, a Phobos unit that's more than 6" away from any enemies can jump right back into strategic reserves instead of moving. Expect to use this a lot more with Reivers.
  • Orbital Bombardment (3 CP, Single Use): Use it in command phase if your ADEPTUS ASTARTES WARLORD is on the battlefield. Pick a spot on a battlefield. In your next Command phase, units within 6' of that spot get hit with D3 mortal wounds on a roll of 2-5+, and D6 mortal wounds on a roll of 6. For units within 3" add 1 to the roll, for characters subtract 1 from the roll. For when you really want your opponent off an objective. Note: This damage occurs in the Command phase. With Thraka and the new C'Tan having per phase damage limits, this could be way to get extra wounds on them per turn. Tremor shells can slow some units down to the point where they cannot escape the blast.
  • Auspex Scan (2 CP): At the end of the enemy's reinforcement phase select one of your Infantry units within 12" of enemy units that were set up this phase. Your unit can shoot at it. It might pay off to keep Devastators/Hellblasters around, as deepstriking Termies can survive hurried bolter fire, and this "emergency" strat can be an unforeseen expense for your relatively-small army.
  • Tremor Shells (1 CP): At the start of your shooting phase, when a Thunderfire cannon shoots, subtract 1 from the wound rolls, but as long as it hits, the target unit gets half move and subtracts 2" from advance and charge rolls on their next turn. Doesn't affect Fly or Titanic units.
  • Shock and Awe (1 CP): When a Land Speeder Storm or a unit with shock grenades shoots, you can force an enemy within 6" to take a -1 to hit to any attacks until your next turn, and be unable to shoot overwatch or Set to Defend.
  • Assault Launchers (1 CP): When a unit with assault launchers charges, an enemy within 9" either suffers d3 MWs or takes -1 attacks for the turn, as well as being unable to fire Overwatch or Set to Defend. Although the stratagem doesn't specify it, remember that the core rules state Attacks cannot be modified below 1.
  • Melta Bomb (1 CP): During the fight phase against a Vehicle, one model in a Melta Bomb unit can sacrifice their attacks to make one hit roll. If it hits, that vehicle takes 2d3 MWs. Nice little bonus for some of your Firstborn units.
  • Grav Pulse (1 CP): Only usable by units with a Repulsor Field, with one of two options: If your unit fell back, they can still shoot. If the unit is charged by an enemy, they suffer a -2 to their charge roll.
  • Hellfire Shells (1 CP): Instead of shooting normally, a Space Marine Infantry model (with a heavy bolter) rolls only once to hit. If it hits, it does D3 mortal wounds, maxing out against a monster. Try to get +BS or re-rolls and stand still so that you don't miss the shot.
  • Flakk Missile (1 CP): When a Space Marine Infantry model shoots a missile launcher at a unit with Aircraft, make a single hit roll with +1 to hit. If you hit, do 2D3 mortal wounds instead of rolling to wound. Like Hellfire Shells, Salamanders can get some extra mileage from this with the free re-roll, though it no longer seems to have a use against tau battlesuits or jump packs.
  • Smokescreen (1 CP): If a unit with a smokescreen is shot, they can pop their smoke and force the enemy targeting them to take a -1 to hit them. Useful to protect your Phobos objective holders, Tanks, and Dreadnoughts.

Psychic Powers[edit]

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.

Each chapter also has access to a second, Chapter-specific psychic discipline for extra flavor. 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, your buffing powers now specify CHAPTER instead of ADEPTUS ASTARTES, so you can no longer spread buffs across to other Chapters.

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

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

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

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

Litanies of Battle[edit]

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

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

Secondary Objectives[edit]

Being lorded as having a jack-of-all-trades roster, with each chapter being practically its own army in terms of additional tools, what secondaries you take is dependent on the list.

Purge the Enemy

- Assassinate

You have Scout and Eliminator snipers, mortal wound spam, deep strikers, and gun lines. This is doable depending on the number of enemy characters. Good on Raven Guard.

- Bring it Down

Marines have big guns and power fists in spades. Good for most shooty lists but dependent on the number of enemy tanks and monsters.

- Titan Slayers

Bring it Down but the army needs a focus on the anti-vehicle weapon rather than having them in support. Imperial Fists and Iron Hands are the best with anti-tank guns. Probably not worth taking except against Knights.

- Slay the Warlord

You should take this over Assassinate if there are too few characters for you to max it out while running a character sniping-focused list. Raven Guard is also particularly good at this.

- Codex Warfare

A tactical objective suited for your particular style of warfare. During Devastator Doctrine, you score a VP for any kills with a heavy or grenade weapon. During Tactical Doctrine, you score a VP for any kills with an assault or rapid fire weapon. During Assault Phase, you score a VP for any kills using a melee or pistol weapon. Each particular doctrine can score up to 5 VP max, meaning that this will require your army to be good at all ranges.
Librarians are not the cheapest but can cast twice per turn, possible but may not be most effective.

-Abhor the Witch

Like Assassinate but against PSYKERs. Can't bring a Librarian if you take this secondary but SM already have plenty of other buffing characters. Perfect for Black Templars.

-Mental Interrogation

Librarians have a lot of ways to get close to enemies.

-Psychic Ritual

Spend 3 turns to cast a spell? Skip, Librarians are too useful.
No Mercy, No Respite

- Thin Their Ranks

A shooting list with a plethora of big weapons can kill a lot, but this requires your opponent to run at least 150 models (or 15 tanks) to max out on.

- Attrition

You're durable and have a lot of killing power, which makes this pretty attractive. Iron hand and Dark Angles are fairly durable.

- While We Stand, We Fight

SM have a lot of expensive characters, but tanks will take priority over them and are significantly harder to keep alive, unless you only bought that Land Raider hiding in the corner as a dice box.

- First Strike

You have enough ranged firepower to score a kill turn one, but even perfectly played First Strike will deprive you of a potential 7 VPs from a secondary (since it can only score a max of 8, while most other secondaries can score the full 15).

- Oaths of Moment

Really three different objectives rolled into one. Each round you score points depending on which of the following you accomplish that turn:
  • Oath of Valour: 1 VP for killing at least one enemy Character, Vehicle, Monster unit during the turn.
  • Oath of Honour: 1 VP each round so long as your units didn't fail any morale checks and didn't fall back (making this naff for Ultramarines and White Scars that want to fallback and shoot or charge, respectively)
  • Oath of Duty: 2 VP each round as long as you have at least one unit wholly within 6" of the table centre.
Battlefield Supremacy

- Engage on All Fronts

All the deepstrikers, Scouts, and hover tanks will let you get your fingers on every board edge pretty early on.

- Linebreaker

Because of the above, this can also be accomplished early.

- Domination

As an elite army, you may not have enough troops to safely secure 2 objectives, let alone half of them.
Shadow Operations

Infantry can give up attacking (Unless you spend CP) and then survive to gain VP. Marines are a durable lot when not focused fired. Iron Hands are the most durable and White Scars and Raven Guard have the best mobility. - Raise the Banners High

A Dawn of War classic. infantry can perform an action to claim objectives and earn points for each you hold. Doable with your durability and mobility options.

-Investigate Sites

A unit can take a action to hold the center of the board. Your opponent can deny this by getting units within 6" of the center on their turn, assuming you can't then shoot them off.

- Repair Teleportation Homer

Get into the enemy's deployment zone, perform an action, then have the unit performing the action survive for an entire combat round. Sounds like a job for Terminators.

- Shock Tactics

You get 3 VP if you take any objectives that your opponent had at the start of a round and set one of your marines within range to cap it. Tricky to pull off since your opponent has to have control at the start of the battle round (so one they claimed on their turn, going first doesn't count), and you have to keep it at the end of the battle round.

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 D1.
    • 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, a 24" 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.
      • Heavy Bolt Rifle: The standard weapon for the Heavy Intercessors. An extra +1 S and 6" of range over the standard Bolt Rifle.
      • Executor Bolt Rifle: The alternate standard weapon for Heavy Intercessors. 42" Heavy 1 AP-2 D2. A bigger Stalker Bolt Rifle.
      • Hellstorm Bolt Rifle: The other alternate standard weapon for Heavy Intercessors. An Auto Bolt Rifle with S5 and the range of the regular Bolt Rifle.
    • 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.
    • Death watch Bolter: Deathwatch only
      • Staker-pattern Bolter: Deathwatch only
  • Astartes shotgun: an option on Scout models, essentially an 18" Assault 2 bolter.
  • Deathwatch shotgun:
  • 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.
  • 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 and extra range.
    • Special Issue Bolt Pistol: Reiver unique Bolt Pistol with AP-2. Nice.
    • Absolvor Bolt Pistol A handheld Heavy Bolter Pistol with the same stats, just with one 16" shot and carried by Primaris Chaplains and Apothecaries. Now D2 Fuck Yes
    • 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 D1d3, to have something to deal with harder targets.
    • Frag: Single throw with 1d6 hits at 6" with S3 AP 0. A go-to for thinning Guardsmen ranks - it's worse than a storm bolter but better than a bolter, against everything T7 or less.
    • Auxiliary Grenade Launcher: Exclusive to Intercessors, lets them lob grenades at a range of 30". As of 9e it is an Assault weapon instead of Grenade.
    • Astartes Grenade Launcher: Can replace the twin bolters on Scout bikes. Has Frag and Krak Grenade profiles at 30" Assault 1d6/1.

Special Weapons[edit]

  • Flamer: An Assault D6 S4 AP- weapon with 12" range (as of 9E) which automatically passes rolls to hit. A classic anti-horde option, at least it's cheap. Don't bother trying to auto-hit airborne units, they're too tough and armoured.
    • Hand Flamer: The Pistol D6 version, but only 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 D2 if the target has a 3+ save or better. Practically a discount Plasma gun that is only good at killing MEU and other high saves low toughness targets.
    • 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. Costs less than a Plasma Pistol for less work.
  • Meltagun: 12" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, adding 2 more damage at half range for a potential of 8 damage (5.5 on average). 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.
    • Melta Rifle: 24" Assault 1 S8 AP-4 D1d6, with the same +2D when at half range. When combined with the Eradicators special rule it basically becomes an assault Multimelta that is within half range right out of deep-strike/reserves. Oof.
      • Heavy Melta Rifle: Heavy 1 S8 AP-4 Damage D6+2/+4 at half range. Optional for Eradicator. Trade mobility for extra damages.
    • Inferno Pistol:
  • 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. No longer. 9e makes plasma overheat on unmodified 1s.
    • 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 3 Str 6/7 version of the Standard Plasma Incinerator. Easier to make it cost-effective, as it shoots double than the Standard version from 16"-24", still wounding most infantry on a 3+ but lost the ability to wound t4 on 2+.
      • Heavy Plasma Incinerator: The other end of the spectrum. 36" Heavy 1 Str 8/9 Now with +1 damage on both profiles so it can safely one shot marine on a 2+ without having to supercharge. Overcharging basically makes it a more damage consistant Lascannon that could blow up in your face.
    • 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. Generally worse in pairs than a plasma gun, because if the first shot kills you, you don't get to make the second shot, whereas a plasma gun won't kill you until after both shots.
    • Plasma Exterminator: Inceptor plasma weapon. Each Inceptor gets (2) Plasma Exterminators. Each Plasma Exterminator is Assault D3 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.
    • Particularly great at killing off gaunts as it wounds them on 2+ and they receive no armour save.
    • Probably best when mounted on iron hands storm talons and storm hawks or a Razorback of any chapter.
    • The only real weakness of this weapon is it's range so a mobile platform is advisable.
  • Grav-cannon with Grav-amp: 30" Heavy 4 Grav-gun. Akin to a heavier Heavy Bolter to deal with bigger targets.
    • Lost the Gravitic Amplification stratagem, so no more easy re-roll wounds and damage. They're now flat 2 damage vs targets with a 3+ or better, so they're more consistent at least.
    • A unit with Grav-cannons will become a serious target for your opponent so consider sticking them in a Rhino, Razorback or a Stormraven so they can't be basalisk'ed off the table turn 1.
  • Heavy Bolter: 36" Heavy 3 S5 AP-1 D2. A solid choice for taking down light infantry, if one that tends to be overshadowed at times by the assault cannon and heavy flamer. It also works as a light vehicle and heavy infantry hunter, due to the bump to damage 2.
    • Executor Heavy Bolter: A modified Heavy Bolter usable by Heavy Intercessors. 42" Heavy 2 S5 AP-2 D3. Fewer shots, but they'll outrange regular Heavy Bolters, hit harder, and be more effective against armored units. Ironically, this also makes it a valuable weapon against other Primaris Marines, which won't be one-hit killed by overcharged plasma and don't quite justify the use of anti-vehicle weaponry.
    • Hellstorm Heavy Bolter: A modified Heavy Bolter usable by Heavy Intercessors. 30" Heavy 4 S5 AP0 D2. Shorter range and less useful against armor units, but fires more shots; has potential against lightly armored hordes that would be too numerous for a regular Heavy Bolter to handle.
  • Deathwatch heavy bolter:
  • 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.
    • Deathwatch heavy Flamer:
  • 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 and the Stormhawk interceptor.
    • 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, especially when they now benefit from the blast rule. 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 S10 Ap-2 D6 missile for 5 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: 60" Heavy 3 S7 AP-1 D1d3 with +1 to hit against Aircraft unit.
    • Stormstrike Missile Launcher: 72" Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3
    • Skyspear Missile Launcher:
  • Multi-melta: A 24" Heavy 2 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 1D3 Blast effectively means the same shots as a Plasma gun, but from 36" away instead of 12" and better against infantry. You need to be careful when you supercharge, 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 on the move, due to -1BS. No longer true as 9e makes plasma overheat on unmodified 1s.
    • Heavy Plasma Cannon Found on various pattern of Dreadnought +1 damage over regular version and a mortal wound on an unmodified hit roll of 1 instead of outright kill the user.
    • Macro Plasma Incinerator The plasma cannon version of the newer Primaris incinerator weapons. 36" heavy d6 S8/9 AP -4, and D2/3. Performs well against TEQ and can threaten vehicles and monsters. More of an all-rounder weapon.
  • 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 modest AP-1, D1 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 2 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 and count as double shot 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. This weapon really enjoys the new Devastator doctrine.
  • Heavy Laser Destroyer New Primaris weapon found on the Repulsor Executioner. 72" range, Heavy 2, S12, AP-4 and D3+3 makes this a dedicated tank killer, though it is an expensive weapon.
  • Thunderfire Cannon Heavy 4D3, blast shots all at S4, AP -, and fired at 60". It's like a higher output Bolter and can fire indirectly.
  • 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 3 shot Autocannon which denies any hit INFANTRY units 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 to hit Aircraft.
    • Ironhail Skytalon Array: Don't let the bitchin' name fool you, this is just two Icarus Stubbers slapped together and including the rule that adds 1 to your hit roll against Aircraft. This is a great, cheap way to put an extra couple of wounds on those enemy birds.
  • Fragstorm grenade Launcher: Found on your Primaris Tanks. Its d6 bolter Equivalent gun uses to gun down chaff and those foolish enough to charge it.
  • Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon Found on multiple Primaris armoured platforms and puts the hurt on infantry. Heavy 12 S6, Ap-1 with 30" range.
    • Onslaught Gatling Cannon Middle ground betweend HOGC and HB, 8 shots with S5 AP-1 D1. Good against hordes.

Melee Weapons[edit]

  • 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 it to swap that bolt pistol he's not using anyway. Combat Doctrines make these invaluable for turn 3 deep strikers with AP-1 (although for them, the Bolt Pistol also gets AP-1)!
  • Chainsword: As of 9E, all chainswords get AP-1 on top of the extra attack, making them even better against lightly armored hordes while also giving them a little utility against tougher foes.
  • Paired Combat Blades: Found on Incursors and some Lieutenants. No extra attacks, but AP-1 now.
  • Eviscerator: A two-handed Chainsword with S+3 AP-4 D2 and -1 penalty to hit rolls. It competes with a power fist with Assault Marines. It is a fucking awesome double-handed chainsword, though.
  • Lightning Claws: SU AP-2, allows you re-roll to wound, and grants an extra attack for each one equipped. This will outperform all other 1 damage melee weapons against any target (except T8-9 with a 2+ or 3+, where the Power Sword wins, but why are you picking D1 weapons for those?). Your best bet for mulching single-wound hordes. Now costing 3 points per claw, 6 for the pair, these are damn good.
  • Relic Blade: Available to Honour Guard, Vanguard Veteran Sergeants, and Captains. S+3 AP-3 D2, so it's like a Force Sword or Stave but better (and strictly better than a Force Axe both in absolute terms and because it costs less). Better than a Power Fist against most infantry-sized targets. Costing as much as a Power Fist, consider whether the better accuracy is worth a 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.
  • Power Weapons: Each type of Power Weapon has its own profile now, so pick the right one for the situation. Unless you have the option for a Lightning Claw, then you should always take that instead. All Power Weapons have a damage value of 1:
    • Power Axe: S+2 AP-2. Offers a compromise between the Power Maul's brute force and the Power Sword's armour penetration.
    • Power Maul/Power Lance: S+3, 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+1 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.
  • Force Weapons: Librarian power weapons with D3 instead of just 1, with the cost baked i to the Librarian's. They lack Sx2 but have no penalty to hit. Useful if you're going to hit characters or multiwound models.
  • Chainfist: Sx2 AP-4 D1d3 which turn to flat D3 if target Vehicle. Marginally better than a Power Fist against Vehicles and other highly-armoured invuln-lacking models. Costs the same as a Power Fist, so trading the fist's reliable damage for better AP could be worth it.
  • Power Fist: Sx2 AP-3 D2. -1 penalty to hit rolls, which can be annoying. Good against everything, quite cost-effective.
  • Thunder Hammer: A Power Fist that trade 1 point of AP for an extra point of damage. The extra damage 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 typically 2x 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 D3+d3. Dread chainfists found on contemptors and ironclads are AP-4 and D2d3 which turn to flat D6 if target Vehicle.
  • Seismic 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!
    • Absolutely garbage, because anything that can take this can take a chainfist instead, and the damage boost is either exactly offset by the accuracy penalty, or the accuracy penalty is worse, depending on circumstances. Always take the dreadnought chainfist over this.


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 Relic of the Chapter Stratagem can be used for extra relics, number depending on the size of the game.

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

  • Bellicos Bolt Rifle: Replaces a master-crafted auto-bolt rifle. 24" Assault 4 S5 AP-1 D2, to support your gunline.
    • Basically, The Primarch's Wrath, but for Primaris, that doesn't need Bolter Discipline for 4 shots.
  • Benediction of Fury: Replaces a Crozius Arcanum. S+2 AP-2 D3, unmodified wound rolls of 6 do a mortal wound in addition to other damage.
    • With Mantra of Strength and the right warlord trait, your Chaplain will become as deadly as a he is in the fluff. REPENT, HERETIC! *Plonk*.
  • Ghostweave Cloak: phobos model with a camo-cloak, passes though models when moving, advance or falling back and is -1 to hit.
    • Give it to a Stealth Adept Captain to make him as difficult to kill as Remo Williams.
  • Lament: Upgrades a master-crafted stalker bolt rifle's statline to S5 AP-2 D3, and successful wounds inflict a mortal wound on top of that. Single shot, but puts the big hurt on whatever it reaches.
  • Purgatorus: Upgrades a bolt/heavy bolt and other bolt pistol to Pistol 2 S5 AP-3 D2.
    • It's a great alternative to a Plasma Pistol as it's cheaper and does more damage (2 shots) with no chance of killing the user.
  • Reliquary of Gathalamor: Enemy Psykers must subtract 1 from Psychic tests made within 18" of the bearer. In addition, if the psychic power is not successfully manifested, roll a D6. On a 4+ the Psyker that attempted to manifest that psychic power suffers D3 mortal wounds.
    • Niche, but useful to protect your units if your meta is psyker-heavy, especially if you didn't bring psykers of your own (like Black Templar).
  • Standard of the Emperor Ascendant: Ancients only. A bit different from the 8.5 codex, they've done away the 3+ for extra attacks. Now it boosts the range of the standard banner ability to 9", friendly <chapter> Core units within 9" reroll morale tests
    • This certainly changes it's uses quite drastically from the auto take it was before to something more niche. Example uses include keeping Crusader squads from suffering under morale tests.
  • Teeth of Terra: Replaces a chainsword with a better one with S+1 AP-2 D2, and 3 bonus attacks instead of just 1. Good against hordes, better against multi-wound infantry like Primaris models and most characters. (Fun fact: this weapon is exactly the same as the Alpha Legion unique Relic "Blade of the Hydra." Coincidence? I think not!)
  • The Armour Indomitus: bearer gain +1W, 2+ armour save and Once per game, before taking a save you can also activate a 3+ invulnerable save until the end of the turn, useful as a panic button if your character runs into danger.
    • Of use to anyone wearing power armour, it's worth noting this is one of the few ways to give a Primaris character a natural 2+ armour save, due to their inability to take Terminator armour.
  • The Burning Blade: Replaces a power or master-crafted power sword. S+3 AP-5 D2. Where the Teeth of Terra hits often, the Burning Blade hits HARD and nullifies all armour saves.
    • Dangerous to monster and even vehicles sized targets, it's begging to be combined with a source of +1Str/to wound so it gets to harm MEQs on a 2+.
  • The Honour Vehement: Friendly <chapter> Core units with the Shock assault ability always get the +1A instead of having to meet the criteria. So, useful for ongoing combats.
  • The Primarch's Wrath: Replaces a boltgun or master-crafted boltgun with an up-gunned storm bolter, making it 24" Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-2 D2.
    • Can be useful for those officers buffing your ranged units. Note that this relic gains the benefit from Bolter Discipline.
  • The Shield Eternal: Replaces a storm shield or combat shield, so available only to Captains, and Company Champions. Gives a 4+ invulnerable, and a 5+ Feel no Pain against Mortal Wounds. Some of the best protection you can give a Character you really want to keep alive.
  • The Vox Espiritum: Primaris only. +3" to their aura abilities (max of 9"). Excludes psychic powers. Enjoy your Black Templars hat for now, Primaris...
  • Tome of Malcador: Librarian only. He knows 1 additional power from any discipline he has access to, which isn't the same as casting 1 additional power. Depending on what discipline you're using, hard pass. It can however be used to take powers from multiple disciplines.

Crusade Additions[edit]


  • Quest of Atonement: When selected, pick a unit that has one of these Battle Scars: Loss of Reputation, Disgraced, or Mark of Shame. At the end of the battle, if that unit's melee attacks destroyed a Character with a Power Level of at least 5, the Warlord, a Monster, or a Vehicle, the unit loses the Battle Scar and gains 5 experience points.


  • Even In Death I Still Serve (1 RP): Purchase when a character from your army has acquired at least two Battle Scars. As long as your Supply Limit allows it, you may remove that character and replace it with a Dreadnought that possesses the same punt of experience points as the character. A psyker Dreadnought can only be added in this manner if the character it is replacing was also a psyker.
  • Rubicon Primaris (1 RP): If your Supply Limit allows it, select a non-Primaris character that has a Primaris equivalent (i.e. Captain, Lieutenant, Chaplain, Librarian, Apothecary, Ancient, or Techmarine) and roll a d6. On a 1, the character is removed removed from the order of battle. On a 2+, the character is replaced with the Primaris equivalent, carrying over any experience points, Battle Honors, and Battle Scars that its predecessor had. If one of those Battle Honors would be invalid (e.g. a Weapon Enhancement for a weapon the character can no longer take), it is replaced with a new one.

Battle Traits[edit]

  • Terminator Honours: Pick a model in the unit, with priority given to Sergeants or other "champion" models in units with multiple models. It gains +1 to Attacks and Leadership, and if it is not a Character it also gains an extra Wound.
  • Marksman's Honours: All models in the unit gain +1 BS.

Crusade Relics[edit]

Artificer Relics

Takeable by any Adeptus Astartes character.

  • Halo Indomitus: Grants the bearer a 4+ invuln and 4+++ against mortal wounds.
  • Adamantine Cuirass: Adds 1 to the bearer's Wounds and Toughness characteristics.
  • Astartes Teleportation Transponder: Grants the Teleport Strike ability.

Antiquity Relics

Takeable by Heroic-ranked characters, and adds an additional +1 to the character's Crusade points.

  • Paragon Blade: Replaces a power sword (master-crafted or otherwise), xenophase blade, or executioner relic blade. S+2 AP-4 D3.
  • Standard of Righteous Hatred: ANCIENT only. Units that fire as a result of the Astartes Banner ability hit on 2's, regardless of modifiers.

Legendary Relics

Takeable by Legendary-ranked characters. These add an additional +2 to the character's Crusade points and cost 1 RP to purchase.

  • Vortex Bolts: Pick a bolt weapon the model is equipped with. Once per battle, they can choose to fire vortex bolts from that weapon. When they do, make only one attack that deals D3+3 mortal wounds instead of normal damage. PSYKERS hit by this have a -1 to cast for the rest of the battle.
  • Relic of the Primarch: Once per battle, the bearer can unveil the relic in your Command phase. If they do, all <CHAPTER> models within 6" when the relic was unveiled gain an additional Attack and +1 to hit in melee until your next turn. If the bearer is slain, place an objective marker on the site of their death and immediately gain an Agenda to recover the relic. Failing to do so costs you 10 VP, but succeeding grants one unit that held the objective 3 XP.

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 one use only "give a non-warlord a warlord trait" stratagem, and Chapter Supplements have a one use only "your warlord has 2 Warlord Traits, but the second has to be from this supplement" stratagem. 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. Formerly an Intercessor-focused detachment, it is now reduced to a boost for Intercessors and Inceptors, the very first Primaris models released.


  • 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. 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. 'Stacks with the Whirlwind of Rage Successor Tactic.

Warlord Trait The real reason to consider using this detachment.

  • 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 sergeants 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.
    • Special note regarding the Iron Hands, the Father of the Future Warlord trait for Chief Apothecaries gives a 5+++ to models that are benefiting from The Flesh is Weak. Use this to give a blob of Primaris 5+++ for a single round.
    • 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!


  • 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.

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 Warhammer Legends datasheets and the latest point costs. White Scars players can thank the God-Emperor (Absolutely! Interestingly GW does some good things nowadays!)


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 bubblewrap 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 boost to M20", T5, +W1, and an additional 4 bolter shots. Sadly, all but the Captain (and now Primaris Chaplain) on bike were relegated to Warhammer Legends, 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++ is better, of course.
  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: Primaris operator with stealth training; "Concealed Positions" lets most of them keep up with infiltrators (Lieutenants get deep strike instead), and they get their own selection of Warlord Traits and Psychic powers.
    • Gravis: Bigger and better beef, offering +1T and +1W on top of a Primaris statline, with a 5" move as opposed to the Terminator Armor's deep strike and 2+ save. Very limited wargear and thus far only Captains.

Remember, all re-rolls happen before modifiers.

  • Captain: The standard all characters compare to, he can be customized to do almost any job you need him to do. Captains are simultaneously destructive and survivable, with their base 4++ Iron Halo, character status and ability to ditch one of their weapons for a Storm Shield. Additionally, his mere presence boosts your other units with his re-roll 1s to Hit aura, helping your plasma not blow up and improving the hit rate of your already fairly accurate armywide 3+.
The base captain are the most versatile of the lot. In melee, they can wieldy all 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, to terrifying effect. Alternatively, he can provide an anchor for your gunline, with his Master-crafted AP-1 D2 Boltgun or a Combi-weapon. The usual Smash Captain wears a Jump Pack to enhance his mobility, while others prefer Terminator armour to increase their resilience while still gaining a deepstrike (and fit in with the accompanying TH/SS squad). Other deceivingly fast ways of getting him in combat would be a Primaris captain with Powerfist + Plasma Pistol loadout riding a cheap Impulsor (with Intercessor Vets) or a manlet in a drop pod for Turn 1 deepstrikes.
Putting him on a bike keeps him incredibly flexible, though now he has to commit to riding that bike. Fortunately, bikes keep their twin bolters, meaning that the captain isn't totally hosed if they toss their pistol for a shield.
Unfortunately, the Cataphractii version got the axe. The terminator is a very durable wall of pain. Though they lack the heavy guns, they still have all the options for power weapons and shields. Special to this captain is the wrist-mounted grenade launcher - a far cry from a meltagun-fist or bolter-fist, but it gives a powerfist a gun.
The captain has to commit to melee or shooty, but his options for either are limited. If he goes shooty, he's stuck between his two variants of the bolt rifle. Which you take pretty much depends on you you plan on having him accompany.

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

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

The Gravis Captain has T5 and 7W, but a fixed loadout of a Boltstorm Gauntlet and Power Sword, reducing his flexibility and hampering which Relics he can take. In addition, Gravis suits cannot deepstrike and are limited to expensive Repulsor transports. However, he is perfectly suited for accompanying Aggressors and can weather high volume, low AP attacks better than other Captains.
  • You can build this beef cake up to 9 wounds, T6, with a 2+,4++,6+++ using Angel Artifice Chapter Master relic and Iron Resolve warlord trait. Imperial Fists can make an 8 wound, no FNP version that can halve all damage taken, which is tougher than Abaddon and Calgar and basically most other armies main battle tanks.
The difference between this guy and the base Gravis captain is the lack of a bolter-fist for the MC heavy bolt rifle (36" Rapid Fire 1 S5 AP-1 D2) that gives a decent bit of bite. While not able to hold its ground as well up close, his gun makes him better suited for shooting from relative safety.
The Phobos Captain is even more dedicated to the gunline; his 30" Assault 1 S4 AP-2 D3 Master-crafted Instigator bolt carbine lets him snipe characters, and his Omni-scrambler denies deepstrikes within 12", crippling alpha strikes and forcing most enemies to approach your gunlines some other way. He's got a Camo Cloak to help the few times he gets shot at, but lacks any melee options besides the basic Combat Knife unless you replace the knife with a relic.
  • Lieutenant: Remaining a strong addition at the advent of 9E, with a mini-Captain statline of WS2+ BS2+ W4 A3. Can be taken with a Jump pack, Phobos Armour or as Primaris. You can buy up to two Lieutenants per HQ slot. There's no Biker Lieutenant. Since a Lieutenant's Tactical Precision aura (re-roll 1s to wound) is mathematically equivalent to a Captain's Rites of Battle (re-roll 1s to hit), they can be used as a budget sub-commander to fill your HQ tax and boost your back field. The basic version can swap his Master-crafted boltgun for combi-weapons, but the Primaris version, with Master-crafted auto bolt rifle/stalker bolt rifle, can do more damage at range.
For melee it is the manlet version the one you want, as he can take a Jump Pack and power weapons to join a Smash Captain dropping into melee, his aura complementing the Captain's.
While this guy is considerably more limited in loadout, 9E has given a couple new options. The Indomitus boxset gave the option to slap on on a storm shield (giving you the equivalent of a 2+ save, not really one) and the neo-volkite pistol. How does this stack up? The range is a bit shorter than a bolt pistol, but it offers S5 and D2 and Deflagrate's been nerfed to just deal an additional mortal wound on a nat 6 to wound. Pretty dangerous and lacks the backfire of plasma, but it's only a matter of time to see how its value compares to the others. A very good candidate for the 'Shield Eternal' relic.
he sounds like he should be able to be deployed with other Reiver, but instead, he is actually a supporting character for other melee units. Don't have any good weapons but his usability actually comes from his -2Ld Reiver aura and the fact he can use the Terror Troops and Shock and Awe Stratagems.
  • A tagalong with an Assult Intercessors or Bladeguard when they fight go out to fight other melee fighters.
The Incursor-like lieutenant, still hobbled by using a grav-chute. The pair of knives he's equipped with no longer give exploding hits, but merely gives you AP-1 to handle light infantry.
  • Librarian: Your good old source of mortal wounds (and psychic protection). Can be taken with a Jump pack, Terminator Armour, Phobos Armour, or as Primaris. May also take a Bike; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends.
    • Are a solid buffer and a damage dealer depending on what spell he takes, of which this model knows two (plus Smite) and can cast two power per turn. And with the wide array of Chapter specific Disciplines, the number of combinations you can field as an army is both terrifying and a little overwhelming. Librarians are a lot more random in this new edition now you can't spend all warp charges on a psychic power you want to go off at all costs. They're akin to a glass cannon (by marine standards), as their Force weapons are Power weapons that inflict D3 damage but they themselves lack an invuln save by default, and receive +1 to Deny if the enemy psyker is within 12".

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

Definitely the way to go if you plan on having your libby swing that force weapon. Though you can't grab a shield without Legends, you still get a 5++ invuln and a combi-weapon out of the deal.
The most static loadout of the lot. You're going with this option if you really want to use all the benefits being a primaris has, since you can't even swap out your force sword for something else.
The only reason you should be taking Obscuration. Really, half the powers require Phobos Armour, so you might as well jump for this option if you do. The camo cloak is icing on that cake.
  • Chaplain: The guy for not-magic support magic. So, a Bardarian. Can be taken with a Jump pack, Terminator Armour, or as Primaris. May also take a Bike; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends. Litanies make this team-player work somewhat different from other characters, especially his interaction with transports and deepstrikes - a consideration unique to this HQ. Each Chaplain knows the melee Litany of Fury, their primogenitor Chapter's litany and another one of their choosing, though one of them can be upgraded to Master of Sanctity to know and chant one extra litany. Chaplains also have a 6" aura of Ld9, making morale a non-issue for marines around them. All forms are bigger and better than ever before... though your newfound Litanies require a 3+ to go off, which is a real pain in the ass when you really need some buffs to kill something before it kills you.
    • If you want the Chaplain for melee like you're used to, consider putting him in a Drop pod or Impulsor. He won't have litanies when disembarking, but those specific transports operate under similar restrictions: They are both fast, Drop Pods will arrive one turn earlier than Jump Pack and Terminator squads, and troops disembarking from an Impulsor have to wait one turn to charge. A one-two punch requires patience and the ability to take a beating before dealing damage, but can be rewarding. Chaplains are terrifying melee characters, their Crozius Arcanum hurting heavy infantry at S+1 AP-1 D2, and their litanies make them effective assault lynchpins and powerful additions to a deathstar.
    • Unlike earlier editions, Chaplains can also have a place back in your own lines, with a couple litanies boosting a unit's firepower. They aren't auras, but +1 to either hit or wound (or both) to a unit is an important boost by itself if your warlord is far away, and complements aura HQs if you are fielding a battalion or bigger.
The cheapest base model and can take a combi-weapon/pistol. Also is an option for Jumpack for Fly mobility and Deapstrikes(but need to spend a stratagem to litany if you arrive from there).
As the chaplain already has a 4++ from the rosarius, the only reason you're going to buy this is if you want that 2+ and deep strike ability (and if you plan on some Deathwing shenanigans).
The foot slogging Chaplain upgraded to Primaris and stuck with a Resolver bolt pistol (18" pistol S5 Ap-1 D2). Paying 5 points extra to be 1 wound more survivable is ok.
9E is bringing you a Primaris Chaplain on a Bike... with the bigger and better bike. If the newer bike brings everything from the Outriders; expect ~100-120 pts, 7 wounds, T5, 3+/4++ and then relics and then warlord traits and then litanies. Altogether, with the buffed Crozius Arcanum and Absolver Bolt Pistol, the Primaris Biker Chaplain is poised to be a straight up melee hammer with few equals considering his speed and durability.
  • A White Scars Primaris Biker Chaplain will get a 14" move, 6" advance, and can then charge!!!! Now, once he attacks on turn three, he can net you 7 S8, AP-3 D5 attacks with a master crafted Crozius Arcanum. (4 attacks base, +1 Angels of Death, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Emperors Sword WL Trait. S4 base, +2 Crozius, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Emperors Sword WL Trait. D2 Base, +1 Mantra of Strength Litany, +1 Master Crafted, +1 White Scars Tactic)
Sadly he has gon to legends. 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 9th, arguably the best outside of special characters. Being a Character makes this a non-Iron Hand Dreadnought that CANNOT BE SHOT AT except by snipers, who usually have pitiful AP. It has a 5++ save, 6+ FNP, Duty Eternal and invoice a linty. 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 allow you re-roll 1s to hit, which on his total 5 attacks for the charge at WS2+ is pretty good. However, you only loose the re roll 1s if you take a ranged weapon, which is usually a smarter option as he also has BS2+. 194 points get you twin lascannons, storm bolter, and a fists for a very complete package.
    • The additional changes space marines have seen make this model absurd. It now sports the litanies ability like other chaplains... Cast Mantra of Strength on itself, use its natural aura, then use the Heros of the Chapter stratagem and take the Emperors Sword warlord trait. This should give you S9 and 7 Attacks on the charge. Combined with two fists, you also get re roll hits of 1 on a 2+, all for a grand total of 7 S18 AP-3 D4 attacks. Do you know of another model that can potentially hit harder and more often than a volcano cannon for 164 points?
  • Techmarine: Vehicles may be tougher this edition, but their performance diminishes with wounds, and this guy repairs them for 1d3 Wounds a turn, no roll required! Also in the 2020 codex, Techmarines can now give a vehicle +1 to hit during the command phase (hitting on 2+).; check GW's website for Warhammer Legends.
    • Being a character, he can work in relative safety, so he doesn't need Servitors either provided you keep at least something between him and the enemy. His Bike version can happily take all the same Wargear options, along with the usual Twin Boltguns, boosted survivability and insane Movement, making him a worthy addition to a high mobility list, since a footslogger Cogboy can't repair while he's embarked.
Holds the distinction of being able to become your cheapest HQ (45pts with a chainsword), though you shouldn't pick him as a tax HQ if you're just going to have him stand around. You're playing Space Marines, it's not like you're short on vehicle options for him to keep up and running. Beyond just going as cheap as possible, he can generally can be built one of two ways, and they are sadly mutually exclusive. For a more shooty build, he can ditch his pistol for any other Pistol or Ranged weapon and replace his Servo-arm with something very useful indeed: a Conversion Beamer. This tasty bit of gear functions as a Multi-laser with only D3 shots when at close range, but turns into an Overcharged Plasma Cannon that trades 2 AP for no exploding on a roll of a 1 when over half it's rather impressive 42" range. The other path is more of a close combat monster; by taking the Servo-harness, you give yourself an extra servo-arm, a Flamer, and a Plasma Cutter, which is basically an Assault 1 Plasma Pistol, and all for only 60 points! Quite brutal, but you should generally build your Cogmarine for where he's going to be hanging out. If he'll be humping the leg of a Deredeo in your backline, take the Beamer and maybe a Storm Bolter if you have points left over. If he's going to be running around in the thick of things keeping your melee dreads from getting splattered, strongly consider the Harness, which carries all Assault weapons and you can repair even after Advancing!
Provides quite a few special guns compared to the first-gen. The forge bolter sorta lets you copy Iron Father Feirros by slapping on a heavy bolter to a servo-arm so it becomes Assault 3 and gains two bonus mechadendrite attacks (Don't expect too much, they're S+1 AP- D1). That said, they suffer the primaris issue of a static loadout, meaning that while all this and a grav-pistol on top is neat, they can't do much else about it.
  • Damocles Command RhinoForge World: Your command support Vehicle. Only one Damocles can be taken per detachment. It can transport a single CHARACTER model, generates CP each turn on a 5+, and also lets chapter units within 6" count if in range of a Captain's or Lietenient's reroll aura. You can use the Damocles as a movement buff and meat shield to footslogging firstborn, but you would want to keep it around for its large reroll bubble thanks to its size and extra CP each round.
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/Legends if not in the codex). All other units say "does not include wargear" except special characters where it says "including wargear".

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 well priced at 145 points. Still better in combat than Draigo (who's more expensive), and could even take on Abbadon/Swarmlord (not really he is A4). 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:(legends) 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 +1 to wound roll when attacking enemy CHARACTERS, this makes him a mini-me Helbrecht, although he might be tougher with his 3++. His gun is a lame Pistol 2 Ap-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:(legends) 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" for Core units to reroll one hit and wound roll when they fight 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(legends): 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 While still being a captain 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.


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. Whirlwind of Rage should be considered while FW chose Duelists + Stalwart.

  • 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 1+/4+++ 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. The spear's lasbeam is no longer single-use, meaning he can fire that sexy, sexy S8 -3 AP D3 weapon all he likes. he gives the usual Chapter Master buff 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. A foot slogging Chaplin with a Grenade launcher, power fist, and Crozius that ignores invuln saves. 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 Elites 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.

Note that being a Character he can get a trait while not being Warlord, though it would cost you CP to do so and there might be other candidates, but hey, Sword of the Imperium sounds glorious on him

    • 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: (Legends) 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 with +1D, and a combi-melta. has 95pts.

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: (Legends) Captain who can Deny the Witch. Also comes with S5, a named power fist (for that sweet S10), in the form of a sigil-etched, barbed power mace, (x2 Ap-3 Dd3 that does flat D3 to a Psyker or Daemon_, and a S6 D2 bolt pistol. Best for pounding enemies into beefsteak at melee.

Blood Ravens
Not confined to use Stalwart + Knowledge is Power turns out that was just an example of the tactics you can use as successors. Successors to whom, nobody knows, so you can do whatever you want.

  • Gabriel Angelos: That's right, Gabe's finally made his official debut on the tabletop, sporting his Dawn of War III look. (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 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.
    • 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 Relic Terminators. While utterly genericized from what once was, it at least gives you a squad that actually keeps up with Gabe and can provide some much-needed firepower.
    • At 150 points, he can be a bit hard to fit into smaller lists.

Warhammer Legends Units[edit]

This section covers HQ units that were included in Legends and an honorable mention from years long past. These units have gained the Angels of Death special rule through FAQ. Both of them have now been moved into Warhammer Legends.

  • 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.
    • Dropped by almost 100 points with it's final Datasheet in warhammer legends, it's now a fairly cheap and sturdy HQ for it's cost and the utility it's buffs provide.
    • 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.
    • As of the release of Warhammer Legends, the Land Raider Excelsior has undergone an interesting transformation, losing some of its flavour (read: cheese) while somehow simultaneously becoming a more viable pick for regular games. The 100 pt. drop in base cost, mixed with an updated combi-plasma that doesn't cause the LR to go nuclear on an off-day, means that this platform is a lot easier to justify fielding. Unfortunately, this does come at the cost of losing its status as a character, which means no relics/WT/stratagems for the poor old Excelsior anymore (sad face). Still, for only a handful more of points, you can now bring a vanilla LR with a 5++, a grav-cannon and grav-amp, and reroll 1s for itself and everyone around it. Not too shabby.
  • Techmarine on Bike: 70 points for a faster Techmarine to get your repairs where you need them quicker. May trade his servo arm for a Conversion Beamer for 20 points -- D3 shots at S6, or S8 AP-1 D2 if you're further than 21" away.
    • The Premier Shooty guy HQ for codex Space marines and in particular Imperial Fists (See Chaplain Dreadnought for Forgeworld Bullshittery). Bike, Storm bolter, a Melee weapon and a conversion beamer (Min 94 pts) allows for 8 Bolter shots at 24" and heavy d3 multilaser or an ap-1 safe overcharged plasma cannon. Factor in imp fist tactics (ignore cover and exploding 6s for bolt weapons), and imp fist devastator doctrine (ap-1 and +1D for heavy weapons) and you have a cheap mobile weapons platform. But there's more... Factoring into account that this is a character you can also make him a warlord and give him a relic. Imp fist warlord trait Siege Master gives +1 to wound vs vehicles and buildings and you can also make his conversion beamer master crafted. 8 bolter shots with ignore cover and exploding shots on 6s, and a heavy d3 master crafted conversion beamer at S8 ap-2 D4 and all shots have ignore cover and +1 to wound vehicles and buildings making even the bolter shots decent vs T7 or lower vehicles.


With the new FOCs it is possible to make a Battle Forged list without any Troops at all...but you do need them for CP. Troops are usually where one turns for numbers, as in 9E the player with the most models within 3" of an objective can claim it. You have a lot of options for troops, and they're actually decent this edition. Your basic defensive statline is MEQ with T4, 2W and a 3+ save going to 2+ in cover, making them quite durable against most enemy infantry; however, there are no shortage of weapons with S5+ and 2D like autocannons and plasma, and they're practically custom-tailored to be mulched by dark reapers, so don't get cocky.

  • Tactical Squad: CORE. No longer your default choice for Troops tax, Tacs are still viable but require more forethought with so many other options to choose from. Heavy weapons are easier to use now as they get less penalties for moving and unlimited split fire exists. This edition encourages you to take them as MSU: less morale vulnerability and multiple units can fit in the same transport. Two 5-man units fit inside a Rhino, giving two Sarges with Combis plus 2 Special/Heavy weapon guys as opposed to the three a regular 10-man squad have. Chapter Approved 2020 has increased their points significantly but they have 2 wounds so it kind of evens out.
    • When deciding between Tacs and Intercessors, you must consider their intended role as barebones they're your worst Troops choice. The ONLY advantage they have are special and heavy weapons, which got points drops this edition, so take them. Otherwise, they're far worse in shooting and melee than Intercessors for what's now basically the same points cost. If you want to bring the good dakka with plenty of bubble wrap (Salamanders take note for the rerolls!), go Tacs; if you just want cheap Troops, go Intercessors.
    • Also worth considering Tacs lose out big on strategems now, with most now only working with Primaris, so your tactical additions to tac squads are limited mostly to their heavy and special weapons. And they are technically less durable than primaris even with the extra wound (loss of Transhuman Physology, etc).
      • Tacticals make great pocket lascannon units, or can take a plasma/grav weaponry. Let them sit on objectives or hitch a ride in a transport and they can really help other more expensive units. C-Melta/Grav Cannon are still alright MC and Tank hunters, give them a transport (more expensive this edition :D) and send them to take down a MC thats only a fraction of their points.
      • 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. In addition the Flakk Missile stratagem is actually good now, +1 to hit and 2d3 Mortal wounds makes for an excellent back field AA unit.
      • One area where these guys can have a bit of an advantage is mortal wound stratagems - they all get access to Melta Bombs, and Hellfire Shells and Flakk missiles are possibilities too, all of which can kick out a surprising amount of damage on particular unit types.
    • An MSU with a heavy weapon of your Choice can camp an objective for a fairly cheap cost. Not as worthless as people say but reliant on heavy weapons to get a step above their primaris brothers. As a bonus they can be put in a razorback
  • Intercessor Squad: CORE. The bigger boys. Had become the go-to for a high damage output Troop choice with their buffs and Stratagems. Compared to Tacs you're getting an extra point of AP and 6" of range on their guns and +1A in melee for just 2 pts more per model than an 18pt Tac (when the new Codex comes), as well as more flexibility over their role with bolt rifle variants. Stalkers aren't as cost-effective and are only Heavy 1, but add an extra point of AP and D, allowing them to contribute to the fight and pick off heavy infantry even when securing the backfield objectives. And with 2 attacks each, plus a 3A sarge who can be equipped with a power sword, chainsword, power fist, or thunder hammer, they aren't defenceless 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.
    • Intercessors are usually more durable on the tabletop than they appear on paper. Unlike tactical squads, Intercessors don't have weapons which tend to draw fire from the enemy. This means your opponent will generally only fire at intercessors with anti-chaff weapons, especially if you have vehicles or other multi-wound models about. As long as the intercessors have cover, they're rolling 2+ saves on T4, with two wounds per model, which is much better than you really need to survive most anti-infantry firepower. When brawling over an objective with other skirmishers, they are easily underestimated — the extra attack means they're 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" even when on the move, allowing them to keep their cover bonus. Prime objective cover campers, as at 2W, 2+ save and -1 to hit, there are more appealing targets to be found elsewhere.
    • With improvements to various weapons (especially the Melta Weapons; doubly so for the Multi-Melta) and the additional wound on Tactical Marines, the gap between these two units has closed. Although the Tactical Marines have inferior bolters versus Intercessors, their special/heavy weapon options allow them a decent amount of versatility with the same durability. They don't hit as hard in close combat, but we're essentially comparing two butter knife attacks vs three butter knife attacks (assuming Shock Assault), though their are ways to boost Intercessors combat effectivness so the extra attack shouln't be discounted. It should also be noted that the increase in AP between 0 to 1 is a much LARGER increase in AP than 1 to 2 when Tactical Doctrine hits (except versus 5+ and 6+ targets, where you really should be aiming). Also with the new book most infantry focused strategems no longer work on baseline marines, only effecting primaris. So things like Transhuman Physiology and the Rapid Fire strategems won't work on your tacs anymore, only primaris. This likely being a divider to give primaris an edge over regular marines now that they are the same wounds. So if CP are plentiful enough primaris can still likely outperform regular tacs in most situations. Especially now that they are almost the same cost.
    • Now Auxiliary Grenade Launcher is Assault weapon instead of Grenade liked in 8e. This make them almost an auto include for 5 points each you can fire you grenade alongside your Bolt Rifle. Basically double firepower of the model equip it.
Their Bolt Rifles give them a 24"-36" threat range, where most enemies will need to move to even engage them, leaving their cover behind. The fact that they have AP-1 means that they will mow down most GEQs without trouble and even layer on a bit of hurt on most MEQs. Its only critical drawback is being Rapid Fire, so while they extra range means they're not as inflexible as regular bolters, smart opponents can still force you down to shoot inefficiently.
While they aren't as starved for mobility as other marines due to their range, Auto Bolt Rifles allow them to advance without sacrificing all their shooting, and have now been bumped up to Assault 3, making them the go-to choice for facing horde armies. This does however come with two major caveats: a 24" range, and no AP without doctrines, which you WILL curse whenever an opponent makes a lucky set of 6+ saves.
Stalker Bolt Rifles are now D2, and with AP-2, these are clearly meant to be the rifles to be used against enemy MEQ and above. With the Devastator Doctrine the rifle is AP-3, which makes even light vehicles a viable target. Fists, both Imperial and Crimson, will get good mileage out of this since they can proc even more hits, and Iron Hands can take them while still retaining their mobility.
  • Assault Intercessor Squad: CORE. Similar to the guys above, but built for melee rather than ranged combat. AP-1 chainswords mean they butcher light infantry with 4 attacks on the charge, and an 18", AP-1 bolt pistol can threaten infantry at medium range as well. The sergeant can swap his pistol for a plasma pistol or hand flamer, while being able to replace his chainsword with a power sword, thunder hammer or power fist. Black Templars and White Scars love these guys.
  • Heavy Intercessor Squad: CORE. The biggest boys, at 33 PPM!!, Gravis armour makes them very durable, and access to auto bolters means they can be deceptively quick. Though your second-worst Troops melee fighters point-for-point (and actually worse than tacs on the charge), S5 guns make for more reliable shooting versus MEQs and TEQ and doubles their damage versus T8. Not a substitute for devastators, but surprisingly capable of poking wounded heavy vehicles to death.
    • Quick comparisons: Note that the standard 5 man squad is 140 points, which is equal to 7 intercessors. Also note that you're getting 15 T5 wounds against to 14 T4 wounds; 5 S5 guns against 7 S4 guns (with identical AP and D). Against Tacticals, you're getting 16 T4 wounds for 144 points and strictly inferior guns, though with increased "flexibility" (whatever that means?).
    • At T5 and 3+ they're extremely durable and likely one of the best objective holders this edition. Most armies' S4/5 anti-chaff will bounce off, while weapons purpose-built for gibbing tacs tend to be D2 or Dd3, meaning twice the shots to bring them down and plenty of wasted wounds. Three D2 wounds will kill three normal Intercessors - but only ONE Heavy Intercessor. Sure, you could bring weapons which are S7+ and D3 but... come on, those are vehicle-killer stats, you could maybe justify pointing it at elites but are you seriously going to waste it on a TROOP choice? Between shrugging off small-arms, needing an extra shot/lucky rolls from anti-MEQ and being wasteful targets for anti-vehicle, there just isn't a points-efficient way to kill these guys for most factions.
    • S5 weapons and the ability to add one flavour of Primaris heavy bolter means they're well-suited to camping objectives, particularly as per-point they're shitty melee fighters likely to get bogged down in assault. However, don't be afraid to throw them into melee! If your opponent knows they're shitty brawlers they might not be expecting it, and their stats mean they're great for bogging down enemy units, giving your other units time and space to move.
      • Why not take other gravis units or hellblasters (which should have gravis armor)??? Everybody else has better guns, power fists, jump packs, and special rules. These are troops and are the cheapest of all heavy primaris units. For 140 points, you're getting 15 T5 infantry wounds, which is absolutely awesome! This is the option if you want an anchor unit for your army, and frankly, you can skip transports due to their range and take even more models!!! Iron Hands and Raven Guard Heavy Intercessors will be extremely efficient regarding durability as opposed to the other Gravis units.

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

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

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

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


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!


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

Cheapest base model, Comes with a bolt pistol that you can swap for a different pistol, combi-, or melee weapon. Does not take up a FOC slot if you include Company Veterans.

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 but can ride in either version of Repulsor or an Impulsor. Easily worth the 5 points for the +1W alone; the +1A and improved bolter are just icing, as you probably weren't planning on up-gunning you are Ancient anyway, and since the Ancient buff is an AOE on multiple units, very compelling overtaking a second Ancient for redundancy.

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

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

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

Can't swap out his weapons, so he's stuck with a bolt pistol and chainsword. Does not take up a FOC slot if you include Company Veterans.

Primaris Apothecary: 5 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 Champion: Another former Command Squad guy now on his own. He can't bodyguard, but he's WS2+, W4, is a character, has to make a 6" Heroic Intervention if possible, and re-rolls failed hits and wounds and has ASF against Characters. Comes with a master-crafted power sword, bolt pistol, and combat shield for a 2+/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. Does not take up a FOC slot if you include Company Veterans.
    • However, neither Company Champions nor any of the Chapter Champion variants can keep up with Thunder Hammer Company Veterans, from an offensive standpoint, so their main benefit is defensive, due to being characters. Does not take up a FOC slot if you include Company Veterans.
      • This guy is now pretty good for his points considering he is one of the few characters that can gain a re-roll to hit naturally and if taken with a company veteran squad doesn't take an Elite slot. To make this guy worthy of being called a champion though pay the extra for chapter champion, for a natural re-roll to wound, 5 attacks base and a -1 to be hit in melee.
        • If you are to give him a warlord trait and relic then champion of humanity and Blade of triumph are likely to be your best bets for character killing. 7 attacks, 1+ to hit and re-roll, S7 +1 to wound and re-roll, ap-3, D3. This will deal almost 10.5 wounds to a T6 4++ character(s) and remember that quite a few monsters are also characters.
  • Judiciar: The big scary beatstick introduced in Indomitus. The heavy relic blade is like the best part of all the power weapons: S+3, AP-3 and D2 with both a 4+ invuln against melee and a bonus mortal wound on a nat 6 to wound. Then there's the Tempormortis, that creepy hourglass. It gives the judiciar the ability to inflict Always Strikes Last on one enemy unit within 6" each Fight phase, which makes him very powerful defensively, as he can force a charging unit to fight after getting murdered by whatever it charged - and, of course, if he's close enough, he can even Heroically Intervene in to help out.
    • If your running a gun line and you want someone to silence unworthy foes who dare assault your line, this is the guy to do it
  • Scout Squad: CORE. Cheaper than marines, with the same damage output but a 4+ save and 1 wound. In an effort to curb the Scout spam meta for Marines, they are no longer troops. The Scout special rule Concealed Positions and Outflank allow 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, especially if you can keep them stationary and benefit from Bolter Discipline at the full 24". Camo Cloaks let them make better use of cover—it gives them the same resilience as Tacticals in cover (or from 12" away, if they're Raven Guard or Stealthy), but at a higher model cost. Optional Missile Launchers can combine with the Devastator Doctrine to effectively give them either a Lascannon shot or a Heavy Bolter burst on turn 1.
    • 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 a 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. Previously, you would take 15 split into 3 squads and If all were all in range you're looking at about 2-3 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 2-3 mortal wounds plus at least 2-3 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.
      • Not really anymore... These guys are more or less screens/battlefield denial units in the Elites section AND/OR frankly rather subpar snipers compared to other options now seen on 40k battlefields. Very sad.
  • Reiver Squad: CORE. With new and old units taking up the role of guardsman munchers, Reivers got revamped with Stratagems to be the Loyalist Night Lords they are described as. They have a -2Ld aura which pairs with the Terror Troops Stratagem to stop the enemy from scoring VP. Reivers come with an AP-2 bolt pistol for MEQ and a basic combat knife to blend GEQ with 4 attacks or they may swap to a 24" Assault 2 bolter for some ranged support. Either way, You're likely to grind away most unaugmented humanoids. For additional mobility, you can take Grav-chutes for deep striking or Grapnel Launchers for Outflank and Ignore Vertical movement. Both of these synergise with the Stratagem to return them to reserves during the movement phase so they can ambush another unit trying to score points your next turn.
  • Veteran Intercessor Squad: CORE. Intercessors with the veteran's additional attack and leadership. Since they're only in Tacticus armor, they can only swap between base and assault intercessor loadouts, but of course, this is an all-or-nothing deal. This contrasts with the Bladeguard, who is all-in with melee and are the cheaper choice if you just want more primaries that can benefit from veteran stratagems.
    • Kitting them for melee is a waste. For the same cost per model, you can take Vanguard Veterans with a lightning claw each that will outperform them in melee against anything. If you're going to take them, bring them as a shooting squad that has a bit of extra melee punch, not as a melee squad that's easily outclassed by better options.
    • If you're taking a primaris only force, then there are worse options for anti-horde melee. With 5 attacks each on the charge, at ap -1, they will happily blend light infantry. And the extra attack from veteran status synergises better with the assault vets than it does the shooty ones.
  • Aggressor Squad: CORE. Got nerfed very hard due to having absurd rules from the start. Still 3W Gravis armour Weapons platform with powerfist and spits out a lot of shots but no longer have special rules. they're still the middle ground between a Terminator and an Assault Centurion. Aggressors are heavy defense and Advancing soldiers, with powerful short-range dakka as they would when protecting an objective or your lines. And unlike other Primaris, they also have great close combat power with 3 powerfist attacks base! They come stock with two Flamers(40ppm) or auto boltstorm gauntlets (2x 18" Assault 3 bolters) and a frag grenade launcher(18" Assault D6 Blast bolters) for 45ppm. Despite the removal of their rules, the 40 point flame version is still damd good, and now with a 12" range the better choice.
    • Shooty and choppy, they're balanced by their inability to get around easily. All other units in your army can either deepstrike, infiltrate, fly 12", bike 14" or ride cheap transports like Rhinos, Drop Pods, and Impulsors. Aggressors may only ride ~300 pts Repulsors, so you'll have to either rely on chapter-specific gimmicks or plant them somewhere and be on the defensive.
    • Comparison to Termies and Assault Cents: They don't teleport nor do they have an invuln save, so, any resemblance to Terminators is merely a cosmetic one. Aggressors are Assault Centurions lite: lots of S4 shots, lots of wounds, T5 and nasty punches. They are more mobile and thus, easier to use. That being said, Centurions do have a 2+ save and S10 D3 drills that lack a penalty to hit. And while they need a Land Raider (preferably Redeemer), at least that fills a Heavy choice and can fit manlet characters, unlike the normal Repulsor (which is a dedicated transport) or Executioner (which is a better gunship but fits 3 Aggressors and nothing else). Terminators are getting 3 wounds, making them far more relevant again.
  • Bladeguard Veteran Squad: CORE. For whatever reason, these guys get 3 wounds a model, blame the Rubicon Primaris. These guys are pretty much the equivalent of terminators, since their shields give the vets an equivalent of a 2+ save (it's still a 3+, but you add +1 to the save roll) and master-crafted power swords like the captain. Unlike Terminators or Vanguard Veterans, these guys can't deep strike on their own, and unlike Company Veterans, can't come in in a Drop Pod (or bodyguard wounds), so it's on you to figure out how they're going to reach the fight and what they're going to do when they get there with only master-crafted power swords and heavy bolt pistols (with sergeants getting either a plasma or neo-volkite one).
    • Counter-opinion: This is one of the best units in Primaris; with the ability to output more damage than Allarus Terminators. Master-Crafted power swords are perfectly designed for killing MEQ units. And for their cost, they make a very threatening unit that an opponent will struggle to remove, even with Plasma [or equivalent] weapons, and regret not targetting if they ignore them. Prime target for some Chaplain buffs.
  • Centurion Assault Squad: With T5 and 4 wounds apiece, the choppy Space Marine in a Space Marine is a nasty piece of work in melee, especially since it can cause an HoW-like mortal wound on a 4+ with a stratagem. 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 Always deal 3 damage. 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.
  • Company Veterans: CORE. the Command Squad from earlier editions, minus the Apothecary, (Company) Champion, and Company Ancient), which are all split off as independent Characters, also they don't take up an elite slot if you have a square, and the one Veterans squad don't take up an elite slot if you have a <chapter> Captain. You can still kit between 2 and 5 of them out however you like (except no special weapons on the Sergeant - he's stuck with combi, which only matters if for some reason you wanted to bring meltaguns). They possess an improved "Look out, Sir!" rule prevents <chapter> character within 3" from being targeted by ranged weapons (as this is not Lookout, Sir!, they can't be sniped). Far and away one the best Infantry unit you can field, both offensively and defensively, per point; all of them can go special/combi weapon+storm shield, thunder hammer+storm shield, or special weapon+thunder hammer, but this cheese is happened by Elite slot limitation.
    • For the points, you should not take flamers or plasma as the combi versions cost the same.
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad: CORE. With the special ammunition gone, the sternguard now walk up the field with their beefy Special Issue Boltgun. Now the gun is free and packs 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. 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.
    • The sergeant can take a Sergeant Weapon in addition to his SIB, which you should always do - depending on your plan for the unit, a combi-flamer, combi-plasma, or storm bolter plus SIB will always outperform any other loadout he can take, because the SIB is free.
    • 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, when employing the Masterful Marksmanship stratagem. It is better universally if the target has a 2+ armour save and an invulnerable of 4++ or worse, and 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 affects nothing, while AP-2 can significantly improve wound chances. When using the stratagem, see the following table.
Masterful Marksmanship 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
  • Vanguard Veteran Squad: CORE. 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.
  • Terminator Squad: CORE. As of late, Terminators seem to be overtaken by other elites and Primaris heavy hitters. However, terminators still have a worthy role in your army and it is actually the fluffiest! Terminators really only find value when being shot out of very cheap land raiders and teleporting. Heavy shock assault troops have always been their role, now it's been streamlined into their only relevant role. Terminators still have to worry about high-AP weaponry, but since very few weapons have anything better than AP-4 they'll almost always be able to use the resulting 6+ armour save (though you could just use the 5++ instead); it's not much, but it helps. At the same time, the addition of 3 Wound to their profile also outright triples their survivability against massed small arms fire and doubles against weapons designed to kill marines. The 5" movement means they're most effective when deep striking, but footslogging can still work if your opponent's lacking in anti-armor weaponry. The heavy flamer punishes counter-charges and has the benefit of auto-hitting, but you won't be able to fire it the turn they teleport in. Storm Bolters do pour out the Dakka but Bolters aren't very productive, except when you tie in widely available buffs. The assault cannon is good for shredding lightly armoured infantry and can even pick away at light vehicles if you have nothing better to shoot at. The Cyclone Missile Launcher now arrives at a decent 32 points and vastly supplements all-rounder firepower. Teleport them onto a midfield objective, when in cover they become quite hard to shift. Deep Strike these guys 9" away from enemy meatshields, within Rapid Fire range of their Stormbolters, and launch the equivalent of 20 bolter shots. Follow up with a charge at whatever the meatshield was protecting.
    • Teleport homers work a little differently now; once per game, you can remove them during the movement phase and Set them up within your Deployment zone or within 3" of another <Chapter> unit during your next Reinforcement phase. While this is great for bringing them into an area that needs defending or be in pointing range of a target. A good way to screw with your opponents head as they have to plan around each unit of terminators Deapstriking twice per game.
    • 9th edition might be the Terminators' time to shine. 'Nators are one of the few units that have not seen any increase in points cost. When compared to all other heavy infantry available, these guys are actually quite cheap.
  • Terminator Assault Squad: CORE. Still the gold standard of heavy assault troops, especially with the extra wound they've gained. The classic Hammernator setup is still great for smashing in vehicles and heavy infantry alike while taking little damage yourself, but the -1 to hit can be a problem at times. Take a Chaplain along to mitigate the lowered hit rate (remember, though, that re-rolls occur before modifiers, so no re-rolling 3s). A set of Lightning Claws are more reliable and more effective against horde armies due to the additional attack, so it may be a better idea than before to stick with them. Assault Terminators with hammers, shields, and near a chaplain or captain can obliterate the most powerful units in 8th in a single turn. The only alternative that offers anywhere near the CC killing power of hammernators is vanguard with hammers (Hammerguard?) and while they have better movement and cost less they lack the durability of terminators having less wounds and a weaker armour save.
    • Never take these guys with only Lightning Claws, you should always include at least 1 with a hammer and shield. Why? Relic Terminators can take double claws for the exact same cost and can add a grenade harness for a bit of shooting on the side. The only advantages these guys have over Relic are the hammer/shield setup, and a teleport homer for an emergency jump out, so *use* them. <As of the new codex, Relic Termies actually cost 1 point more than normal Assault Terminators>
    • After failing to use these bad boys to their full potential for 3 games in a row, I've come to the conclusion that anything less than running them as Black Templars with a Chaplain babysitting them just isn't worth the effort or points. The 9" charge is just too much of a risk to pull off without the guaranteed re-roll, and the lack of Chaplain means these walking tanks fail to hit 50% of the time with their hammers. If you want to guarantee a KEQ kill, you need to make a successful charge with both the Terminators and the Chaplain, do not die to overwatch or return fire, then pop an Fury of the First. As mentioned before, and in the standard unit's entry, use discounted Land Raiders to place Hammernators right where you need them.
  • Relic Terminator Squad: CORE. Replaces the Tartaros and Cataphractii. Boiled down the uniqueness of two vastly different variants of terminator armour into merely a Terminator Squad with different wargear options. Relic Terminator makes them a mix of Terminators and Assault Terminators in terms of weapons. has a Reaper Autocannon instead of Assault cannon for better anti-MEU. all model can replace their powerfist with lighting Claws to be more slashy like Assault Terminators while having the anti-infantry grenade harnesses and other guns. The sarge can take a Plasma Blaster(anti-MEU) or a Volkite charger(week anti-infantry gun that inflicts MW). Relic Terminator Have a higher price but combines all the terminator weapons into one unit.
    • If you go Space Wolves, Deathwatch, or Dark Angels, then Relic Terminators are outmatched in terms of chapter exclusive units that do the same thing for a cheaper price tag. That chapter would only this unit if they really want to pay extra for a Reaper Autocannon over an Assault Cannon.
  • Servitors: Now that they can be taken independently of a Techmarine, but they don't take up a slot if your army includes him. you could use them as a cheap way of adding more plasma cannons to your force, but when not near a Techmarine, they have 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+.
    • Alternative take: If you have a Techmarine anyway, it could be worth taking them as cheap fire support that also helps fill out detachments. 4 Servitors with 2 heavy bolters is 40 points (50pts with plasma). Servitors are essentially worse, cheap, devs that use no slots. For them to be able to make back their points though, they need that boost to BS.
    • Alternative alternative take: Because these guys have the infantry keyword, they can perform actions. 30pts is a low low price for some extra VP while your actual units are doing stuff.


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

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

Weapon Options

Ranged options:

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

Melee options: Remember though, there is no bonus attack if you take two melee weapons.

  • Dreadnought combat weapon (+0pts each):
  • Dreadnought chainfist (+5pts each): Gain -1 AP and +1 damage on average over a normal DCCW. Flat 6 damage against vehicles. Overall a solid upgrade. It's a must-take for all purposes.

Built-in ranged options:

  • Storm bolter (+0pts each): take if you have a arm but don't want two spend more points.
  • Contemptor plasma blaster (+5pts each): An assault 2 plasma gun.
  • Graviton blaster (+5pts each): An assault 2 grav-gun.
  • Heavy Flamer (+5pts each): Really solid choice since your are allowed to fire ranged weapons in melee.
  • Cyclone missile launcher (+25pts): Two actual missile launchers would cost you 40pts, but have 48" range and the ability to split fire if you wanted. Not a bad idea, and better than on Terminators, as it mounts on top of the hull and doesn't replace an arm weapon.
  • Leviathan Dreadnoughts (FW): I AM THE DESTROYER OF ALL THAT EXISTS, THE ANATHEMA OF LIFE, HATRED, AND WRATH GIVEN PHYSICAL FORM, I AM THE FUCKING LEVIATHAN DREADNOUGHT. POINT ME AT ANYTHING, AND IT WILL DIE, FROM THE LOWEST OF GUARDSMEN TO THE BIGGEST OF TITANS. Ahem, enough of that nonsense! But Mr. Leviathan does have a few good points. The Leviathan Dreadnought is easily one of the deadliest single models in the entire game, barring actual Titans, packing a series of quite frighteningly powerful weapons that can make short work of virtually anything. It packs a 2+/5++ saves line and a whopping 14 wounds.
    • you can also swap the hands for:

Weapon Options

Torso: It has two Heavy Flamers can be swapped for 2 twin Volkite

May take Hunter Kill Missles.


  • Leviathan Siege Claws with Meltagun:(Sx2 AP-3 D3 and make an additional attack)
  • Siege Drills with Meltagun: (Sx2 AP-4 D2d3, bump to flat 6 against vehicles)
  • Cyclonic Melta Lance:(+20pts each) (18" Heavy D6 S9 Ap-4 Dd6 blast and melta rules)Capable of destroying a Land Raider in a single volley, while being able to shave off 15 wounds from a Knight (leaving it sufficiently weakened that it will no doubt then die to be slammed with 15 additional wounds in melee).
    • A Salamanders Leviathan paired with Vulkan is sufficiently better that, ignoring Vulkan's cost, the Lance will be better against a Land Raider outside of melta range but don't forget that the Bombard Salamanders Leviathan still gets Salamander Chapter Tactics, so if you only examine Vulkan+Leviathan in isolation, the Bombard will easily win. Against infantry spam, he usually will not improve the Lance enough to do much, but remember, the Lance is already better against very small units.
  • Storm Cannon Array: (+10pts each) (36" Heavy 8 S7 Ap-1 D2) Has a whopping 8 shots, which do 2 damage each. While not quite as horrifyingly deadly against vehicles as the Cyclone Melta, it exchanges sheer output for more reliability. This can be useful since 2-wound weapons occupy a fair niche in the current meta, for their ability to 1-shot the numerous amount of multi-wound models, without suffering from overkill. This makes it the perfect weapon for dealing with models like Terminators.
    • This is basically a seriously up-gunned heavy plasma cannon, with quintuple the usual shot volume and two worse AP in exchange for one better D, and an inability to Overcharge. Costs 5/6 the amount two of the cannons would cost you, though. It is far and away from the most efficient gun you can take against most targets of 4 models or less - it will actually out damage both the Bombard and the Lance against anything T6 or less and T7 Sv 4+ or worse, and that's assuming the target has enough wounds left that no damage gets wasted.
    • It's much simpler to look at this weapon as 4 autocannons with half the range.
    • For serious, take this gun seriously. It is far and away from the most generally useful of the lot; a pair of them will murder most anything foolish enough to get in your way.
    • A leviathan with two of these will be horrifyingly efficient at shooting down enemy flyers, stick 1 or 2 +1 to hit modifiers on this guy and you can quite reliably shoot down 2 Alaitoc flyers a turn.
  • Grav-Flux Bombard: (+0pts each) (24" Heavy 2D3 S8 Ap-3 D2 Blast and Grav rules) Now your dedicated horde killer. It deals 2d3 blast shots, This essentially means that the grav bombard is your designated weapon loadout if you expect to go up against Infantry Blobs, as it can fry an entire 50 man squad each and every turn. It also does more damage (3, rather than 2) against marines, to be a TEU killer.


  • Invictor Tactical Warsuit: The Scout Dreadnought. Dreadnought Lite—all the bulk, half the calories points. T6 and W13 help keep it on the board, and it doesn’t degrade until it’s down to 6 wounds. For firepower, it can take either an Incendium Cannon that’s basically a souped-up Heavy Flamer (12” Heavy 2d6 auto-hit S5 AP-1 D1) or a Twin Ironhail Autocannon (48” Heavy 6 S7 AP-1 D2) for shooting up heavy infantry. Backup weapons are a standard Fragstorm Grenade Launcher, a pair of Heavy Stubbers, and a Heavy Bolter. The only real way to take on vehicles (or, say, the occasional Bloodthirster) is with its Power Fist, which does 4 attacks at S14, AP-3, and D3. Finally, to get in position, it has the same Concealed Positions ability as Infiltrators and Incursors.
    • Best use of this is probably to give it the flamer option and use Concealed Positions to start it within 12” of some enemy infantry. Further, this unit packs 5 S14 Ap-3 D3 hits on the charge or when charged, and careful positioning will hamper monsters and vehicles running towards your infantry, which is just another reason to get it as close to the enemy as possible. For this reason, assume it will get destroyed turn 3. However, if you're careful, it should get a few turns of shooting and overwatch with the flame cannon and maybe a combat or two with the fist... Could do better, could do worse.
    • You could also give it the Autocannons and either leave it in your backfield for long-range fire support or use Concealed Positions to put it where it can pop shots off at targets who tried to hide and block line of sight. Autocannon synergises nicely with rest of Invictor weapons, heavy stubbers and heavy bolter having 36" range, let it contribute its firepower from affar. With the new rules for vehicles it can move and shoot without penalty.

Warhammer Legends Units[edit]

This section covers HQ units that were included in the 8th Edition Index but did not receive a new entry in the 2020 codex, and an honorable mention from years long past. These units have gained the Angels of Death special rule through FAQ. Both of them have now been moved into Warhammer Legends.

  • 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.
  • Honor Guard: Two bodyguards for your Characters. 21 points plus wargear. On a 2+, any wounds lost by your Characters turn into mortal wounds against any Honor Guard within 3". They can take boltguns AND power weapons of your choice — including relic blades if you're willing to shell out the points.
  • Legion of the Damned
    • Damned Legionnaires: 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 — and yes, they do still gain Bolter Discipline.

Dedicated Transport[edit]

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

Fast Attack[edit]

Rocket jumpers, deadly riders, and all kinds of zoomers, here you find units boasting great mobility but also lots of dakka and not just fast blades. The changes to Combat Doctrines make these units more relevant as game progression draws you to close range. Plenty of points reductions here, notably on bikes of all shapes and sizes, making them very useful fast and tough units.

  • Assault Squad: CORE. Pistol and chainsword space marines. Jump packs are optional, but to not take them is silly. For +1 pts you could take Vanguard Vets, which have 2x the base attacks and can bring power weapons to a fight. The reason you'd ever take them is numbers; now all Astartes have two wounds, making them more resilient, pared with jump packs to hold objectives.
    • They can be built akin to a special weapons squad. Access to a couple of flamers and plasma pistols restricts them to anti-infantry, though with decent close-quarters performance and great mobility. As for melee, two Eviscerator attacks on the charge aren't reliable. See them as an extension to the sarge's thunder hammer, but it's best to keep it simple and aim those chainswords at infantry.
    • Also While Assault marines can't die in your Vanguards' stead like a Devastator squad's boltgun marines can, they can be used to screen the Vanguards from overwatch and be a unit the enemy has to deal with or get their forces tied up. Arguments can be made about how Warhammer is now a shooty game, but since when did space knights with jump packs and chainswords stop being cool?
  • Inceptor Squad: CORE. What you get when an Assault Gravis marine wields a Devastator marine in each hand (Flying Aggressor Squads). With W3 T5 and lots of dakka, these guys are Space Marine Crisis suits. Armed with snub versions of the heavy bolter and plasma cannon (same stats, 18" Assault instead of 36" Heavy) they're powerful anti-infantry, and arguably better than deepstriking an equivalent Devastator squad.
    • These guys do benefit from a jump pack captain to get safer plasma cannon on each hand. Three plasma Aggressors shoot even more plasma than Hellblasters. Remember, though, that because each is dual wielding, you have to resolve their shots one weapon at a time: if the first weapon kills the wielder, the second weapon doesn't fire.
  • Suppressor Squad: CORE. Lighter Inceptors (not gravis, M12" T4 2W) with improved "Accelerator" Damage-2 autocannons that cancel enemy overwatch on every infantry unit they hit, making them good support for your melee units now that many factions overwatch on a 5+. Particularly useful against a Tau gunline as they can still overwatch with every unit nearby, without using the stratagem. They can also use the smoke Screen stratagem for -1 to be hit, just like a vehicle. Accelerator autocannons are Heavy 3, meaning they lose accuracy on the move, so pop the smoke when jumping from one piece of cover to another.
  • Attack Bike Squad: CORE. 45 points for a heavy bolter or 55 points for a multi-melta is now VERY CHEAP, but you can't advance and shoot any of your guns. The full weapons complement of one is the heavy weapon, a twin bolter, 1 bolt pistol (which can't be swapped for a chainsword, unlike with standard Bikes), frag grenades, and krak grenades, but most of these will never come up - the compulsory twin bolter means you'll never want to fire the pistol or frag grenade, and it'll be a very rare occurrence that you'll prefer 1 krak grenade to the storm bolter and the heavy weapon.
    • Frankly, anybody can use the HB load out at 45 points. A squad of 3 sets you back 135 points and gets you 12 T5 wounds, 3 HBs, and 3 twin bolters always firing full volume at 24". Surprisingly, just zoom them around the board and serve as a distraction as they chew through chaff.
    • With multi-meltas going to Heavy 2, these are now a viable alternative to Eradicators. For 15 points per model, you get an extra wound and 9" more movement. Fast Attack is also a less competitive slot for most armies, so you can take them and 3 Heavy Supports without taking another detachment.
  • Invader ATV Squad: An up-gunned and wound Attack bike squad. Armed with twin Assult Boltguns and is 80 points for the Onslaught and 85 points for the Multi-Melta version - pound for pound, go with the Onslaught version, which has better dakka than an HBolter Attack Bike. With the upgrade of the Multi-Melta however, this can act as a potentially vicious anti-tank vehicle for its cost. It has two riders, but only one of them has a bolt pistol if you didn't already need an incentive to Fall Back with this.
  • Bike Squad: CORE. At the same base cost of 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 having a pistol and a combat knife - but you improve from a 4+ save to a 3+ save, gain a wound and up to two non-Sergeants (minimum unit is Sergeant + 2 non-Sergeants) can take a Special Weapon instead of that pistol or chainsword. Option to take an Attack Bike to give the squad some extra punch, a more attractive option now 9th ed has taken away their accuracy penalty while on the move.
  • Outrider Squad: CORE. The chadmarines now have bikes. These bikes are incredibly tough at 4 wounds each, and while you can make use of the mounted twin bolt rifles to plink away, you'll also notice that you're not trapped between a pistol or chainsword like your predecessors. In fact, these bikes are made to capitalize on melee by adding two extra attacks per model when the unit charges. At 45 points a model they certainly act as a durable light infantry muncher. Each rider delivers 10 S4 AP-1 attacks if you charged whatever you shot, for 31 a turn including sarge's extra. However, without charging and/or shooting, they become somewhat of a turd and will require to fall back re-charge tricks. White Scars will do crazy shit with these guys!
  • Scout Bike Squad: CORE. Scout bikes initially seem disappointing compared to normal bikers due to the loss of durability, but the sheer number of weapons they carry can make quite an impact at close range. Every rider comes loaded for bear, with a twin bolter, combat knife, shotgun, and bolt pistol, plus the usual grenades - every non-heavy weapon available to ground pounder Scouts. For each model this means 4 S4 shots at 24", and 6 at 12". Any of them can swap the twin bolter for a grenade launcher. With the chapter approved 2020 points changes the grenade launcher is the same price as the twin bolter making it a much more reasonable upgrade. The Sergeant can drop his Pistol for a combi-weapon, either giving him access to a special weapon the rest of the squad lack or a storm bolter for even bigger S4 saturation fire. Not only that, but they keep their combat knives - they may well out-melee a bike squad due to not having to swap them out for special weapons (although they lose out on the -1AP of the new Astartes chainswords) if both units commit to dakka, as they should. On top of this, they have now gained the Outflank rule, giving you the ability to arrive on the battlefield straight into their optimal range.
  • Land Speeders: Land speeders are now, for all intents and purposes are tougher and have better maneuverability then attack bikes but with fewer guns and are more expensive. They all have an underslung Heavy bolter(anti-infantry) or Multi-Melta(anti-vehicles) a base weaponry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Heavy Support[edit]


  • Devastator Squad: CORE. 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. The Sergeant's signum will let one of them hit on a 2+. Finally, an Armourium Cherub can be taken to, once per game, give one model in the squad a second shooting phase. Needless to say, you should always take the cherub. These cover-camping queens should enjoy the extra wound more than other Firstborn.
    • Combine the cherub and signum. On turn 1, use the signum on a key gun (e.g. lascannon) and then use the cherub to get the extra shot. The signum will apply for the whole phase, meaning 2 powerful shots at BS2+.
  • Hellblaster Squad: CORE. Some pretty wicked dakka right here. Their Plasma Incinerators are 30" S7 AP-4 D1 normally, with the same boost as other plasma weapons if supercharged (+1 to S and D). Run with any character giving re-rolls to hit (e.g. any of the Captain variations) to make these things a monster/tank killer if they get into rapid-fire range. To do that, you’ll probably want to get them an Impulsor, which can get them into position on turn 1 thanks to the Assault Vehicle ability. The only other option is one of the Repulsor Tank variants, and you’re already putting too many points into these, since they're as expensive as... well, as elite marines carrying souped-up plasma weapons.
    • If you happen to be running a Primaris-only force, these guys will be one of your best anti-vehicle choices, but still not a fantastic one. Will be majorly improved by pouring a lot more points into them with Captains, Ancients, and Lieutenants, but that's a lot of extra points.
    • 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-armor tools.
    • They have gotten quite silly with the advent of the new codex, as they now have AP-5 during the Tactical Doctrine... Which is rather pointless compared to AP-4 as anything with a 2+ is likely to have an invulnerable save.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vehicles and Artillery

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

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

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

Anti-vehicle with a twin Lascannon

  • Two Laserbacks with hunter-killer missiles and storm bolters costs 260 points, while a 4 Lascannon Predator with hunter-killer missile and storm bolter costs 180 points. The Predator allows for fewer drops per 4 lascannons.
  • Vindicator: T8 and D6 S10 AP-3 and D6. It got a 2+ save against ranged attacks if you equip the siege shield, but why wouldn't you? S10 means that it will wound everything on a 3+ or better.. With T8 it's bound to shrug off a lot of fire it might soak, the best use of it is probably taking on groups of elite units or vehicles, such as large squads of terminators.
    • The Vindicator has one less wound and better ballistic skill than an Imperial Guard Leman Russ with Demolisher Cannon at 27 fewer points (although the IG Demolisher gets Grinding Advance, and benefits from Doctrines like Brutal Strength, not to mention tank orders). The stupidity of the fluff aside, they’re better against high-toughness multi-wound models, which almost every army has at least one unit of (Nobs, Wraithguard, Crisis Suits, Terminators & Primaris Marines, Ogryns), so one Vindicator can find a home in lots of local metas and is actually a cost-effective way of getting the DC on the field. Three and a Techmarine to repair in a Spearhead detachment could be a useful and relatively cost-effective (460 pts stock) distraction carnifex ally. The new codex has brought back their siege shield as an option, giving them +1 to saves against shooting attacks.
  • Whirlwind: The Whirlwind has two gun options, Castellan at 2D6 (average: 7) shots of S6, and Vengeance at 2D3 (average: 4) S7, AP-1, and D2. With the higher strength of this weapon, the hits you do get will make short work of most infantry, but the ideal purpose of wiping out cheap blob units remains out of reach. You have to choose which gun to take when you build the list, with the Vengeance launcher costing 10 points extra while dealing more damage to anything with at least 2 wounds or 2+ saves. which is better is strictly a question of wounds - Castellan is better against 1-wound models, while Vengeance is better against 2+. Combine a WHirlwind with a regular Land Speeder and you can make the Whirlwind hit on 2's.

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

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

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

  • 48 is plenty enough range to hit the majority of targets it wants to hit, and doing so outside of LOS is huge. Properly supported, it can annihilate medium and heavy infantry, while the number of shots, good AP, and reliable damage give it utility against light and medium vehicles. With Combat Doctrines, it will have AP-3 round one. Very nice vehicle.

While it's still best used against aircraft because of its +2 to hit and becomes D2 against Aircraft, Heavy 2d3 S8 AP-2 D1 isn't something to take lightly. It's basically a two-shot krak missile against airplanes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also has twin lascannons, but it brings along a Helios Launcher- a Heavy weapon that fires 2d6 autocannon-equivalent shots (Blast, +1 to hit Aircraft). A decent combo of the Whirlwind's different missile types, and it can transport 6 models too.

Losses CP support. now only a Carries 10 models with two Quad Heavy Bolters.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rapier Armoured Carrier (FW): A dirt-cheap source of heavy bolter fire(12 shots), which can also be used as a cheap counter to "light" superheavies like Knights if taken with Laser Destroyers(36" Heavy 3 S10 Ap-4 D3+3), act as artillery if you use the Quad Launchers (Shatter shells(anti-light vehicles) or Thunderfier cannon), or a big grav cannon(anti TEU). Fills out the heavy support requirements of a Spearhead detachment really nice, but keep the gunners safe or it gets auto-removed just like the Thunderfire Cannon.
  • Mortis Dreadnought (Legends): Your go-to dakka dread. It costs 5 points more than a standard dreadnought, with the exact same profile, but it brings the option to double up on weapons the regular dread can't. You can take a pair of twin bolters, autocannons, or lascannons, or a pair of regular missile launchers, assault cannons, multi-meltas, or heavy plasma cannons. All good choices for laying down firepower, with the best guns depending on what you plan to shoot and how many points you can spare.
  • Deimos Pattern Relic Predator (Legends): 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.
      • Always consider using a Relic Predator in a Salamanders force, running Infernus Cannon and 2 Heavy Flamers. For 10 points more than a Baal predator, you get 1 extra wound, the Relic Stratagem and extremely high synegry with everything Salamanders have to offer, including their Doctrine bonus (+1 to wound with flame weapons), Flamecraft to max out it's flamer shots, and Fires of Battle to deal Mortal Wounds easily. Seen as FoB only affects a single model not unit, Relic Predators are an ideal candidate for a fast moving, tough and annoying mortal wound machine that doesn't care if it gets stuck in combat cause it just burns the everliving **** out of everything it's stuck with!
  • Siege Dreadnought (Legends): This Dread specializes in short-range firepower, coming stock with an Inferno Cannon that acts like a souped-up heavy flamer (but costs more than a twin heavy flamer, for reasons) and a seismic hammer with built-in meltagun that suffers from a -1 to hit but will wreck anything that gets hit. With the ability to re-roll all to wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase when targeting a BUILDING or a unit with a movement stat of 0", its niche as a building killer should be obvious.
  • Vindicator Laser Destroyer (FW): This thing brings to the battlefield the unique Laser Volley Cannon, which is a 3 shots Lascannon with a few twists: they only have a range of 36" instead of 48, they do fix D3+d3 damage and can be overcharged to go to S10 AP-4 with a fixed 6 damage. The trade-off is that if they shoot that way, they take 1 mortal wound on each roll of 1 if it moved that turn. Also, note that it gets +1T and +1 wound compared to a predator but moves 2" less. All in one, this tank is kind of odd. It costs roughly the same as a classic predator with a full lascannon setup and can pump 4 shoots if it stands still, for an average amount of wounds slightly lower. Its overcharged mode might give you an edge on T5/T9-10 opponents or target with extremely high armour saves, so what you lose in range you get it back in versatility, at price: 2 shots against 4 and the risk of wounding yourself. Between increased durability, shorter range and movement, and varying fire modes, it is hard to draw a clear line between the Predator Annihilator and the Vindicator Laser destroyer in terms of battlefield role, but the latter being clearly less efficient while on the move, you might want to invest your money in other Forge World models.


Not often seen, Marines in 8th have tended towards static gun lines like Primarch + Devastators. Fortifications are not a serious part of any meta right now.

  • Castellum Stronghold:(legends) In case you want to play an army comprised of buildings instead of tanks and soldiers. 3 bunkers and a bigger bunker, with T9 and a total of 56 wounds (3x12 and 20). This realm of battle tile (yes, its 2' by 2') is fairly indestructible and can pack up to 5 heavy weapons, from anti-tank guns to AA or troop mulchers. The tacticus bunker has the transport space for 30 guys, and the bunkers for 12 each. Up to 15 and 10 models can shoot out of each of the bunkers. If your army doesn't fit inside completely, they can man the battlements for a cover save. And until the big bunker is destroyed all infantry, bike and dreadnoughts get a 4++ against shooting attacks while inside the stronghold. Oh, and one stratagem per turn costs 1 less CP if your warlord is embarked. Each of the small bunkers can take one of: Twin Heavy Bolter, Twin Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon, Multi-melta, Twin Assault Cannon, or Air Defence Missiles. The big bunker can take up to two of: Twin Heavy Bolter, Twin Heavy Flamer, Twin Lascannon, Multi-melta, Twin Assault Cannon, Castellum Air Defence Missiles (d3 shot krak missiles with the AA rule and the ability to fire at units it can't see), Whirlwind Castellan Launcher (2d6 frag missiles at S6 with no need for LoS), castellum battle cannon (nicked from the Leman Russ), Icarus Quad Lascannon (4 lascannon shots with the AA rule), or the pointless Communication Relay (FW meant that the -1CP to strats bonus only occurred when you took this, but they named the special rule "Command Relay" instead of "Communication Relay" so it comes as standard instead). All these guns must target the nearest enemy unit unless there's a friendly unit embarked within. At 550 points without guns this is something of an apocalypse thing.
  • Hammerfall Bunker: Although its appearance suggests it is a turret, not a bunker. Armed with a Missle launcher that fire Superkrak(Ap-2 twin-Lascannon) and SuperFrag(S6) missiles. its Eather equipped with a Heavy bolter or Heavy Flamer which can shoot everything in range and double its shot on overwatch. Heavy bolter array is better as 36" has the range to hit things while the Flamer array better protects it from overwatch but else sees less action unless parked near an objective marker the opponent needs to claim to win.
    • Its primary gun has two modes: a twin lascannon with better range and S but worse AP (so worse than a twin lascannon, in general), or a 2d6 S6 Blast weapon, meaning it always rolls 12 shots against units of size 11.
  • Tarantula Sentry Guns (FW): A 10 point reduction in the new FW book to 50pts and a number of minor tweaks. There has been a change in the targeting rules so you can choose the nearest infantry or nearest vehicle regardless of your gun (more useful for the HB variant that may want to hit a light vehicle occasionally). In edition now explodes bringing it in line with Astra militarum datasheet. The other change is that tarantulas now operate as a singular unit

Lords of War[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

  • Land Raider Terminus Ultra(Warhammer Legends): 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 Warhammer Legends, the terminus is now available to all chapters.
  • Spartan: The Spartan has always been a bigger nastier Land Raider at heart, and this edition just makes it even meaner. A relic from the Legion days, it boasts an impressive BS3+, S8, T8, W20, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS so it can move and shoot with no penalty. The Steel Behemoth rule allows it to shoot or charge after falling back, and fire its guns even if enemies are within 1" of it. Further, it only benefits from cover saves when at least half the model is obscured. It comes stock with hull-mounted Twin heavy bolters (which can be replaced with Twin heavy flamers), 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (that's a total of 8(!) lascannons), and anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. And with a WS5+ and 6 attacks, it has a better chance than most tanks of actually hitting with them. If 8 lascannons don't do the trick, they can be swapped for Laser Destroyers to give it the role of blowing superheavies to pieces; its basic profile of S12 AP-4 DD6 is nasty enough as it is, but any time it inflicts damage, you roll a d6. On a 3-5, its damage rises to 2d6, and on a 6 it becomes a staggering 3d6 damage! If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, the Spartan has an enormous 25 transport capacity, including Terminators, Jump Pack Infantry, and Centurions (but not Primaris). If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches.
  • Typhon: The Vindicator's big brother on steroids is a fierce siege engine, taking the Spartan chassis but drops the transport capacity. The Dreadhammer siege cannon taking up the entirety of the vehicle drops Heavy 2D6 S10 AP-4 D3 Blast. The Dreadhammer can put a serious hurt on vehicles and monsters with it's 2D6 high strength high AP shots. In addition to the main gun, it can grab 2 sponson-mounted Lascannons or Heavy bolters, and can also take a pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter, Heavy flamer, Multi-melta, or Storm bolter for extra dakka. Takes up the cheaper Lord of War Anti marine and other tanks tank, not minding if charging into the fry also long it can keep firing its Dreadhammer.
  • Cerberus: An insane Titan-class laser weapon mounted also based on the Spartan chassis. The Heavy neutron pulse array kicks out 48" Heavy 4 S14 AP-4 D2d6 that become D6 if it remains stationary. Is something that used to shoot at other Lord of War.
  • Fellblade: The Baneblade's exponentially meaner cousin, and the king of the battlefield. If you get first turn with a Fellblade in your army, and your positioning is good, you WILL win. Absolutely bristling with guns, it has a massively impressive statline of BS3+, S8, T8, W26, a 2+ Save. It's enormous and versatile Fellblade accelerator cannon sports two shell types: HE shells are Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-3 3D Blast shots. AE shells are Heavy 2 S14 AP-4 D6 shots that work wonders on tanks. It comes stock with a hull-mounted Twin heavy bolter (which can be replaced with a Twin heavy flamer) and 2 sponson-mounted Quad lascannons (which can be swapped for the really not that good Laser destroyers like the Spartan). Like the Baneblade it also has a hull-mounted Demolisher cannon. If you crave even more dakka you can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta. Finally, anything trying to attack it in melee will have to deal with 6 WS5+ attacks from its Crushing tracks, which are S8 AP-2 DD3. If it explodes after losing its last wound (on a roll of 6), it deals D6 Mortal Wounds to units with 2D6" inches. Its only real weakness is a lack of an invulnerable save, as dedicated anti-titanic guns like the Knight Castellan's volcano lance will completely delete it thanks to AP-5 and rerolling failed wounds against Titantic units. However, with T8 and a 2+ armour save, it's still pretty durable against most reasonable weapons, and most of the time you can outrange the insane anti-armour guns as the FAC has 72" range. Despite its cool look and amazing firepower, it can no longer compare against the regular Baneblade thanks to its default loadout costing 917 points! Consider bringing techmarines or allying in Cawl to keep it alive as long as possible.
  • Falchion: A Fellblade variant which shares the same statline and special rules but mounts the unbelievably deadly Twin volcano cannon in place of the Fellblade cannon and Demolisher cannon. The Twin volcano cannon can annihilate targets 120" away with Heavy 2D3 S14 AP-5 D6 (re-rolling wounds against Titanic units). Just like the Fellblade, it comes stock with two Quad lascannon sponsons which can be replaced with Laser destroyers. Given its ability to take the laser destroyers, and that its Volcano cannon spits out double the shots, it's objectively better at destroying superheavies than a single Shadowsword counterpart in practically every way. Which is good, because at almost triple the points you'd expect it to be. You can add a pintle-mounted Heavy bolter, Storm Bolter, Heavy flamer, or Multi-melta if you crave even more dakka. Just like the Fellblade, it got a massive points increase which led its point efficiency to drop through the floor. You can bring two Shadowswords at double the wounds to out-scale the T9/2+, the better version of the VC, and regiment rules for two hundred points less.
  • Mastodon: Have you ever wanted to transport 40 Marines at once while trashing flyers and generally being nigh-indestructible? Then the Mastodon is the LoW for you! With 30 wounds and a 5+ void shield, the Mastodon is a fucking tough nut to crack, made even more so if it somehow gets into the 6" range for its siege melta array's reroll to kick in.
  • Thunderhawk 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, T8, 30W, a 2+ Save, and PoTMS. The Thunderhawk Assault Gunship is armed with a Thunderhawk heavy cannon - 48" Heavy 2D6 S8 AP-2 D6D Blast, which can be swapped for the monstrously powerful Turbo-laser destructor - 96" Heavy 3 S16 AP-5 D6. For secondary weapons, it sports 4 Twin heavy bolters and 2 Lascannon 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 18D6 times (6D6 for every VEHICLE or MONSTER and 1D6 for other models). Each 4+ result deals a MW to the unit. The Hellstrike battery is 72" Heavy 4 S8 AP-3 D3 and +1 to hit and +D3 Damage against Aircraft. It's Hard to Hit 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, CENTURIONS, BIKES, and Mk X Gravis models. It is also one of the few vehicles that can transport both Firstborn and PRIMARIS models.
  • Thunderhawk Transporter: (legends) A Thunderhawk variant designed for airlifting tanks, this unusual vehicle shares the statline of the Thunderhawk. 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. 1 model with the LAND RAIDER or SPARTAN ASSAULT TANK keyword.
    • These vehicles act exactly like other passengers and are subject to the usual restrictions for embarking and disembarking, meaning they can detach while in Supersonic mode at the end of the movement phase. Transported vehicles can carry units at no additional transport cost to the Thunderhawk, so feel free to deep strike 25 dudes in a Spartan PLUS 15 dudes in the Thunderhawk itself. The cost of this unusual ability is the loss of ranged firepower - the Thunderhawk Transporter is armed with 'only' 4 Twin heavy bolters and a Hellstrike missile battery. It's much cheaper than the Thunderhawk Gunship, but its usefulness is somewhat questionable, cool as it may be.
  • Sokar Pattern Stormbird: Pretty much the largest flyer/transport/model Forge World offers next to titans. Damn expensive in points (1,000 after wargear) and tangible money alike, it can ferry entire demi companies onto the battlefield. Has like 8 lascannons, a host of various missiles and bombs, void shields, and a few heavy bolters here and there for flavor. Has 40 wounds, T8, a 5++ with void shields.
    • Hilariously enough this is among of the only vehicles in the entire space marine range that lets both primaris and old marines onboard at the same time. In addition, it along with the Thunderhawk are the only transports in the game that can transport Inceptors and Suppressors.
  • Astraeus: (675 - 710pts)This beast of a tank now has its rules released... and it's frankly nastier than anyone gave it credit for. 40 wounds, Toughness 8, 2+ Armour, and Power of the Machine Spirit 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, and does not care about AP value. However, it cannot protect you from MWs 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". Obviously, however, you're here for the guns and... oh boy. Its twin macro-accelerator cannon is a vicious Heavy 12 S8 AP-2 3D. Its other default weapons don't seem that threatening at first, however. The two las-rippers are 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 Plasma Eradicators, a +1 Strength, AP-4 Plasma Cannon. 90% of the time the Eradicators are the better choice as are they cheaper than Las-Rippers.
    • 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 Gravis Marines, 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 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 since it's not a Relic you don't have to pay the CP tax.
    • Chapter Tactics addendum: Iron Hands and "Scions of the Forge" successor chapter tactics mean your tank keeps it's 5 up void shields for longer, so long as they're taken in Supreme Command detachments. Enjoy that while you can, because I expect an FAQ.


Dark Angels[edit]

Dark Angels Chapter Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is no rest when the enemies of man still draw breath.

Thematically, these guys are bunch of plasma-fetishizing paranoid fucks. They are constantly on the hunt for certain hated enemies and will not rest until these foes are brought to justice at any cost. Alongside that, they are skilled in less mobile warfare. They utilize long-range lines of fire and holding fast when attacked.
On the tabletop, these guys have some really stratified tactics with the existence of the Deathwing and Ravenwing forces.

Good news, the Dark Angels supplement has been confirmed for early 2021. In the meanwhile, there is an Index Astartes FAQ-lite available on Warhammer Community that gives a few patches. What it failed to do, however, was bring everything up to parity, as all the exclusive units have exclusive rules not available anywhere else. Even if they'd otherwise qualify.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Grim Resolve: All units auto-pass their combat attrition checks, which is pretty cool. The bigger deal is that if they do not move at all during their turn (excluding any pile-ins and consolidation moves), they get to add +1 to the hit roll - note that this doesn't differentiate between melee or shooting. This definitely provides them a great boost in melee.
  • Combat Doctrine - Relentless Hunt: While the Devastator Doctrine is active, all Heavy and Rapid Fire weapons increase their range by 6", and Assault/Pistol weapons increase their range by 3". Establishes your niche as the shooty Chapter quite nicely, and it's active right away. While the range bonus to non-heavy weapon may look strange, it's plenty useful on meltaguns, which care a lot more about +3" than -1AP. As for Heavy weapons, you'll notice the +6" the most on your shortest range Heavy weapons, so Heavy Flamers (now 18"!), Incendium Cannons, Multimeltas, and so on, but since your chapter tactic has no synergy with weapons that automatically hit, and the Doctrine bonus is better on something with poor AP, perhaps the single most noticeable winner is the assault cannon (Kheres or not). Just be wary that in 9th this will at most give you a strong alpha strike in the first turn's shooting phase for what little that's worth.
    • If you play to the extra range and assuming your opponent doesn't move (which is entirely likely as they'll know your army relies on generally not moving), you'll be out of range the next turn and forced to move into range. This completely invalidates our chapter tactic forcing us to lose our reroll of 1's.
    • Following on from above this is made worse for any unit you wanted to sit still in the first place, like snipers, devastators, or objective camping intercessors/tacticals. With the nerf you probably won't bother placing them with the extra range in mind as they'll be out of range in the next turn. This means you'll just place them at their default range or not at all, especially if they're just going to cover camp. Overall the changes make you either play more aggressively or completely ignore the rule (which would indicate it already needs an update/rework) which is ironically very conflicting with the Dark Angels overall stoic gun line/ highly strategic theme and so makes our doctrine exceptionally situational and mostly useless for the single round it's active.
      • With proper support characters this can be a decent buff to your alpha strike. Combos well with the Stoic Prosecution litany, allowing short-ranged units like Aggressors and Eradicators to unleash their full firepower first turn. It can also allow your heavier firepower to tap your opponents backline, which can be invaluable for an alpha strike. Hellblasters of all types especially loves this bonus.
  • Inner Circle: Given to all Deathwing units, Ravenwing Black Knights, and several high-ranking characters, (Though all of them are exclusives) it gives several abilities if you use the Grim Resolve Chapter Tactic:
    • This unit automatically pass morale test
    • This unit is unable to Fall Back if in combat with a unit with the FALLEN keyword (fluffy, this rarely will bug you).
    • In any other cases, this unit must do a Leadership test by rolling 2D6 in order to Fall Back (unless the unit has VEICHLE, RAVENWING or CHAPTER MASTER as a keyword). Even this "malus" will rarely be a problem.
    • If this unit has the INFANTRY keyword, a wound roll of 1,2 or 3 always fail against them. And this is pure gold, making Terminator and Bladeguard (whenever they'll get this rule, now they have only Deathwing Keyword RAW, but it is just a matter of time) extremely resistant.
      • now this rule is actually useful, be prepared for a nerf whenever the supplement arrives (fortunately, not too soon).
  • Jink: if you use the Grim Resolve Chapter Tactic, Your Ravenwing units (bikers, speeders, and aircraft) all gain a 4+ invulnerable save against shooting, as long as they advance in the movement phase. Even if they make a Normal Move, they still get a 5+ invulnerable save. Remember, you can still fire assault weapons after advancing at a -1 BS penalty. Good for meltaguns, flamers, and all bikes with plasma talons.
  • Unit Restrictions: Dark Angels cannot take Sternguard or Vanguard vets for any reason. Mostly because they have company vets that fill the same role.
    • Options:
      • Primaris tacitus captains have the option to get a special issue bolt carbine instead of the base bolt rifles. Why, you ask? Because this has the punch of the stalker carbine's AP-2 while still having the dakka of an auto bolt rifle. If you're looking for a shooty captain that can leave a mark on their enemy, then you can't do better. If you're just trying to stack all the bullshit, you can also buy a power fist for melee power.
      • Primaris tacitus lieutenants can grab plasma pistols (but can no longer have both a bolt pistol and a plasma pistol as in 8E *sad*, no more mini Cypher/Moritat for you).
      • Terminator ancients can grab claws or hammer+shield so he can have some power in a fistfight.
      • Company veterans can grab shields if they don't have storm bolters.
      • If you have a Deathwing command squad, you can throw in a terminator ancient without taking up an extra slot. Neato because going Deathwing that much is gonna require them to go all-out.
    • Keywords: Captains, librarians, chaplains, bladeguard and all units in terminator armor are Deathwing. All units on land/storm speeders, bikes (excluding scout bikers, but this overrides DW for HQs on bikes) and the Invader ATVs are Ravenwing

Warlord Traits[edit]

  • Warlord Trait - Brilliant Strategist: During command phase, select one Dark Angels unit within 6" of the warlord. Until the next command phase, this unit now acts as if it's in the Devastator Doctrine (if you're in Tactical Doctrine) or the Tactical Doctrine (if you're in the Assault Doctrine) when making attacks. With the 8E errata hosing down the gaming of the doctrines, this gives you the chance to keep a key unit at peak efficiency for a bit longer. That said, it means that your WT's pretty much useless for the first turn.

Solid choices overall with Brilliant Strategist and Master of Maneuver being the stand outs.

  1. Fury of the Lion: Any time your Warlord charges, was charged, or performed a heroic intervention this turn, friendly Dark Angels within 6" add 1 to their strength for that fight phase. Not bad. Asmodai has this trait if he's your warlord.
    • Stacks with Chappy Dread's existing +1 strength aura, which is cool if the dread is your warlord. Good if you want a 'Smash-Master' with Jump Pack & TH/SS on par with a Blood Angel's smash-captain vs toughness up to 5, and 8 though 10.
  2. Courage of the First Legion: All friendly Dark Angels within 12" of the Warlord automatically pass Morale tests. Considering Morale isn't an issue at all for Dark Angels, you may give this one a pass. Ezekiel has this if he's your warlord.
    • Unless you are That Guy doing Azrael, Lieutenant, Darkshroud, Ancient, and spamming Heavy Plasma Hellblasters, Devastators, and Sniper/Heavy weapon Scouts all the way to spam Mortal Wounds and Plasma...
  3. Brilliant Strategist: Once per game, you can re-roll a single failed hit, wound, or saving throw roll, if your warlord is alive. In addition, if your army is battleforged, roll a d6 each time you use a stratagem. On a 5+, you gain a command point, one per turn. You can never go wrong with more CP. Azrael starts with this one, naturally.
  4. Huntsman: Your Warlord can fire Pistols, Assault, Rapid Fire, and Grenades (but not Heavy) at enemy characters even if they aren't the closest model. In addition, when he piles in or performs a Heroic Intervention, he can move towards the closest enemy Character instead of the closest enemy model. No hiding behind meatshields for your foes' characters now! Belial starts with this one.
    • This was almost useless, as the chances of taking out a character with the guns available is very slim. Characters have 4 or more wounds generally, and your only real options are a combi-melta or plasma talons/lion's roar relic. With needing to hit, to wound and get past invulnerable saves your chances are very slim of actually killing a character with this. Has some merit against support characters, such as apothecaries or tau ethereals.
    • Techmarines with Servo harness (for the plasma cutter) and combi-plasma (or lion's roar) can pump out 3x overcharging plasma shots at 12", and with the Relics of the Dark Age, up to 9 damage. Put him on a bike for 4 more bolter rounds. Chappy Dread can also take 2x storm bolters for 8x BS2+ shots in double tap range, up to 8 damage. Could also pair well with the Bolts of Judgement special issue wargear.
  5. Master of Maneuver: Re-roll the dice to determine how far a Dark Angels unit advances and CHARGES when they're within 6" of the Warlord. As with last edition, Sammael starts with this one. Kind of pointless on him since biker units automatically advance 6", and you're not using Sammy correctly if he's not next to Bikes and/or Land Speeders.
    • That second bonus is top notch though, as it basically turns your Dangles into Ork Boyz. Give this to a Deathwing Ancient and deepstrike in with your Deathwing Knights. Your DW Knights now have +1 Attacks and make that 9" charge roughly 47% of the time now. Since it says "reroll the dice to determine Advance/Charge distance", You can reroll 1 or both dice when Charging/Advancing, your Deathwing Terminators or even your melee Veterans can go with Sammael or your warlord with this trait to do the nasty things in close-quarter combat.
  6. Stubborn Tenacity: Roll a die each time your warlord loses a wound. Add 1 to the result if the Warlord did not move during his last movement phase. On a 6, that wound is ignored. Never take the BBB one, as this does exactly the same with a flat upgrade.

Available with the new Ritual of the Damned book, Warlords can draw from one of two new trait tables. Lay Low the Mighty and Impeccable Mobility are the standouts.

  1. Lay Low the Mighty: Deathwing units within 6" of the warlord can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons against CHARACTERS or units with a wound characteristic of 8 or more. Great for a Deathwing Deathstar as this can buff multiple units
  2. Watched: Once per battle in the psychic phase, the warlord can automatically deny a single enemy power regardless of whether or not he's in 24" denial range. Pretty good overall WT when facing psychic heavy armies like Chaos, Grey Knights and Tyranids. The unlimited range allows you to deny crucial powers like miasma of pestilence on Mortarion.
  1. Impeccable Mobility: Ravenwing Models in units within 6" of the warlord models that advanced do not suffer the penalty for advancing and firing Assault weapons. Now that is still awesome, even if it got changed up in a FAQ with barely 2 days into 9th edition and completely removed affecting heavy weapons. This isn't that big though as the original ignoring heavy weapon penalty is now ignored by everything but infantry anyway. It also means you can save the Speed of the Raven stratagem for a unit of landspeeders, attack bikes, the planes or outriders letting them get jink and use their heavy weapons just use like you did in 8th and it'll be all good.
    • Still by far and away the best warlord trait for a Ravenwing army as you can give it to a Talonmaster allowing your Black Knights and melta equipped bikes to jink and shoot. Add this all together with Sammael and an Apothecary and you're still going to be scary.
  2. Tactically Flexible: Once per battle, at the start of the Battle Round you can select a Combat Doctrine that isn't active. All Ravenwing units within 6" treat that Doctrine as the active one until the end of that Battle Round.
  3. Outrider: Warlord and one Ravenwing unit get a free 12" move after the Battle begins but before the first turn starts. You cannot come within 9" of any enemy units, naturally.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Reliquary of the Repentant: Ravenwing Biker units only. Gives a 6" aura that worsens enemy invulnerable saves by 1 (to a minimum of a 6+ so you can't just shut them off). Take against daemons or battlesuits with shield drones, anywhere else is a bit niche to consider.
  • Corvus Oculus: Talon Master only, add 6" to the range of all the talon master's guns and +1BS.
  • Standard of the Unforgiving Hunt: Ravenwing Ancient only, add 1 to the advance and charge rolls for Ravenwing units within 6" of the bearer. Like the Pennant of Remebrance it does not replace the normal banner, it just adds another aura to the ancient.
  • Blade of Burden: Deathwing Captain with a power sword only. Replaces your sword with S+2 Ap-4 D2 but a 6 to wound is 2 mortal wounds instead of normal damage.
  • Pennant of Remembrance: Deathwing Ancient only, does not replace the normal banner, instead it adds another aura to it, 5+++ for Deathwing Infantry within 6" of the ancient
  • Key of Achrabael: Deathwing only. Your guy now gets +1 to Strength and Attacks, which can make them quite the smashing beast, especially if you sprung your Interrogator-Chaplain with Mantra of Strength for double the splatting.

As of Ritual of the Damned, Dark Angels gained access to the second table of relics just like every single other chapter. Some of these are viable candidates for the extra relic stratagem. These cannot be given to named characters just like the regular relics but are also not allowed on VEHICLES. (AKA screw your Talonmaster.)

  1. Adamantine Mantle: 5+ Feel No Pain.
  2. Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Useful on a character that does not have an Invulnerable save base, such as a Lieutenant or a Librarian.
  3. Master-Crafted Weapon: Add 1 to the damage characteristic of a single weapon the relic caddy is equipped with.
  4. Digital Weapons: 1 extra attack that does a mortal wound if it scores a successful hit.
  5. Arbiter's Gaze: Model with this relic ignores negative hit roll and Ballistic Skill modifiers. In addition, the bearer fires overwatch at full ballistic skill. Now you can remember when Dark Angels were good and had this as an army-wide trait in 7th edition, before scarfing another tub of ice cream and bawling.
  6. Angel's Ambit: Increase the range of aura abilities by 3".
  7. Bolts of Judgement: Make a single shot with a bolt weapon at AP-2 and flat 3 damage that wounds on a 2+ (6s required for vehicles and monsters). I mean, you can combo this with the Hunt warlord trait to make a semi-decent sniper.


  • Evasive Assault (1 CP): During the Fight Phase, a Ravenwing Biker unit gains a 5++ Invuln save for the phase whenever they charge or get charged. Absolutely helpful since Jink won't work in melee.
  • Outnumbered but never Outmatched (1 CP): A Deathwing adds +1 to their Attack stat when fighting an enemy unit with 10+ models. You'll be needing every chance you can get to thin the herd, because your boys are expensive as hell.
  • Stand Firm (1 CP): A Deathwing Terminator unit that's subject to an attack adds +1 to their Toughness for the remainder of the phase it was triggered in. Again, you need this to maintain your termies because of how costly it is to lose one of them.
  • Full Throttle (1 CP): A Ravenwing unit can immediately advance (or move if they've already advanced) after they've already moved. This does nothing for units that want to charge, but it is very helpful for getting flamers up close and personal.
  • High-Speed Focus (1 CP): Whenever a Ravenwing unit gets shot at, this gives them a 4++ invuln save. Save this for when your bikers get hit by something serious, like lascannons or meltas.
  • Honoured by the Rock (1 CP): Your standard "grab chapter relic to a Successor Chapter" stratagem.
  • Combined Assault (2 CP): You can drop in a Desthwing unit from reserves to a spot within 6" of a Ravenwing Biker so long as the bikes haven't advanced and are more than 6" away from enemies. The termies can't make a sudden charge, but this can allow them to act as a sudden roadblock.

Psychic Discipline: Interromancy[edit]

  1. Mind Worm: WC 6. An enemy unit within 12" of the Psyker takes a mortal wound, just like that. In addition, the targeted unit is forced to fight last in the following Fight Phase and must wait until all other units have taken their turn. Not bad.
  2. Aversion: WC 6. An enemy unit within 24" must subtract 1 from all their To-Hit rolls until the next psychic phase. Stacks nicely with other penalties, like the powerfist/powerklaw, the hard-to-hit rule on your flyers, or the Darkshroud's aura, No longer stacks because 9E caps at -1, but because it debuffs an enemy instead of buffing an ally, best used to help shut down a big incoming threat.
  3. Engulfing Fear:WC 6. Doesn't do anything overt by itself. However, any enemy unit within 6" of the Psyker that takes a morale check must roll two dice and discard the lowest result, which is only slightly worse than a +1 penalty, making this power deeply underwhelming.
  4. Mind Wipe: WC 7. Choose a visible enemy model within 18" of the psyker; both players roll a d6, adding their leaderships. If you tie or your opponent beats your roll, nothing happens. If you win, that model must subtract 1 from WS, BS, and Ld for the rest of the game, which stacks with itself. Note that this affects the stat and is not a modifier, so DOES stack with Aversion or Darkshroud's aura etc, but note that with 9e, 6s always hit regardless of BS/WS and modifiers. Note that this lets you single models out of units, letting you do things like debuff just the special weapons guy in a target unit.
  5. Trephination: WC 7. Roll 2d6, add the result together; if you roll a 10 or higher add another 2 to the roll. The closest visible enemy unit to the psyker takes mortal wounds from the difference of their leadership and your roll. Mind Wipe can help you push that difference up higher for more mortal wounds, and remember that Imperial armies of all types have plenty of Ld debuffs to stack up in order to make the final difference ridiculously large, but without said help, this power won't do nearly as well as Smite.
  6. Righteous Repugnance: WC 7. Select a DARK ANGELS unit within 12" of the psyker; they now re-roll all failed hits and wounds in melee. WOW. Deathwing Knights will love you for putting this on them. Anybody carrying simple power swords becomes far more deadly; especially in squads, say like veterans of some sort? Works wonderfully with the +1S warlord trait, and it lasts until your next psychic phase.


A description goes here.

Purge the Enemy

- Assassinate: Hopefully you brought Eliminators. That is all.

- Bring it Down

- Titan Slayers

- Slay the Warlord: Like Assassinate, better hope you brought enough Sniper Rifles.


-Abhor the Witch: An auto-take if you're playing against Eldar, Grey Knights, Chaos, or Tyranids. Mediocre against almost every other faction, and useless against Tau, Custodes, Sisters of Battle/Silence, and Necrons. Just remember when building your list that you have to give up Ezekiel and any Librarians if you want to pick this secondary.

-Mental Interrogation: Fluffy, but getting your librarian safely within 18" of a character will be a bit of a challenge since most clever opponents will make sure their characters will be screened out.

-Psychic Ritual: Slightly tricky to pull off, but this will net you big money if you can pull off 3 casts in a row with that Librarian. Funnily enough the Dark Angels are masters at shutting this secondary down by simply using the Watched warlord trait to clown the enemy caster.

No Mercy, No Respite

- Thin their Ranks

- Attrition

- While We Stand, We Fight: A decent pick. Especially if you have a hard egg to crack like a Leviathan Dreadnought or the like.

- First Strike: Never take this. Your opponent will most likely throw his most fragile stuff in Strategic Reserve and/or hide behind Obscuring terrain to clown you on this one.

Battlefield Supremacy

- Engage on All Fronts

- Linebreaker

- Domination

Shadow Operations

- Raise the Banners High

-Investigate Sites

- Repair Teleportation Homer

Special Units[edit]


  • Interrogator-Chaplain: The basic Interrogator is much like before; an upgraded Chaplain. He gets an extra wound over his lower-ranked brother, and comes with the ability to always consider enemy units within 6" of him as at half-strength when doing a Combat Attrition test, which is actually a nice boost and is also 100% useless against other Space Marines. His weapon and wargear options differ, too. Firstly, he may take a Power Fist without having to swap his Bolt Pistol for it, so you can rock around with a Crozius and a Fist and a Pistol if you really want to (although this is extremely inefficient). Also, you may swap that pistol for a weapon on the melee weapons list, something regular chaplains are unable to do, though this is rather redundant unless you are looking for something very specific, like a sword or hammer, since simply adding more weapons does not grant you any more attacks; if you want to swap it, buy a better pistol.
  • Interrogator Chaplain in Terminator Armour: Your regular Chaplains cannot get Terminator Armour but your Interrogators can. That means you get a model with six wounds and a 2+/4++ save. They can only switch out their storm bolter for a combi-weapon. As this boy is made for close combat and close combat support this is of dubious usefulness but does give the option for the Lion's Roar relic.
  • Talonmaster: Lieutenants of the Ravenwing, Talonmasters fly in Land Speeders with a Twin Assault Cannon and a Twin Heavy Bolter, much like Sableclaw. In addition to the re-roll 1s to wound aura, he can pick a enemy and all friendly RAVENWING Core units ignore it's cover saves while they are within 6" to the Talonmaster. This is particularly nasty with overcharged Black Knight Plasma Talons, who are now practically guaranteed to wound and ignore saves of 4+ or worse. They are also characters, meaning that despite being vehicles, they have "Look out sir!".
    • 18 AP-1 shots ain't something to sneeze at with a max reach of 36". You'll usually skip Grim Resolve but you have Jink. If you need it you're either going for a last-turn objective grab, have the impeccable mobility trait, or screwed anyway.
    • As a character armed with a Power Sword, they can take Relics of Caliban if you want something similar to Sammael-lite. . If you go for the Attack Squadron Specialist Detachment, consider taking the Monster Slayer of Caliban; the +1 to-wound roll and your re-roll aura adds nicely up.
  • Interrogator-Chaplain on Bike: (legends) It is an Interrogator Chaplain. On a bike. Gains an extra T and W from the bike putting him back above his bike chaplain brother. However unless you want the leadership debuff, the regular bike chaplain might be better being 22 points cheaper base with only one less wound. Still better than the terminator armour equipped version and in competition with a jump pack equipped version.

Special Characters

  • Azrael: Azzy is no slouch in melee, and can slug it out with all but the best of the enemy combatants. His Sword of Secrets gets five attacks that strike on a re-rollable (see below) 2+ at S6 AP-3 D1d3, plus deals additional Mortal Wound each time any to-wound roll results in a 6+. The Lion's Wrath is an improved combi plasma with a D2 AP-1 bolter part that can be fired in both modes endlessly and at the same time, without overheating if you don't overcharge it (which you should refrain from doing anyway), only causing him a -1 to hit if you do decide to fire both; so that'll be a 3+ re-rolling 1's then thanks to his aura. he also carries a bolt pistol but that's for show only, if he's been bogged down in melee, that one S4 shot will rarely make the difference.
    • As Chapter Master, he gives his army +1 command point if they are battle forged and he is the warlord, and grants a re-roll to all Dark Angels units within 6", including himself, of course, and speaking of auras, the lion helm is still there, granting a 4++ invulnerable save to every Dark Angels infantry and biker model within 6", which is a slight change to how it used to apply to only his squadmates (and sadly does not include guardsman blobs, but you can get a lot of Tactical Marines inside a 6" bubble). Since you cannot attach him anymore, just hug him to a couple of units you need to keep safe and create a bubble of protection. As of the Codex, vehicles do not benefit from his 4++ invuln anymore. RIP the Las Predator bubble of unkillable death. Because he no longer gives as much of a benefit to vehicles anymore, this is an opportunity to take advantage of new potential strategies, such as running Azrael up the board with a squad of Hellblasters. Or Aggressors! Terminators work well, but Aggressors are perhaps the greatest "walk up the board" unit, as they can blast things with a ton of shots and still roll with power fists when its time to finish off stragglers. Finally, they can walk and shoot free of penalties, and fire twice once you find a choice position. Bring some apothecary/ancient back up and hold the center of the table with confidence!
  • Belial: He's still an excellent duelist, the Sword of Silence wounds non-vehicles on a 2+, but also grants +1 Strength which means he gets to wound those T8-T9 vehicles on a 5+. The Sword has the stats AP:-3 Damage:2 so its role has a TEQ slayer has come to the fore, and it also reduces the WS of any attacks coming his way by 1, a handy little buff considering that all those guys with Fists and Hammers already reduced their WS by another 1. Combine with Aversion on a TH/PF terminator unit, or PK toting Meganobs, and watch them trying to hit you on 6+. Belial should now really only choose the claws if he has no intention of fighting characters and needs to focus on large groups, while the Thunder Hammer should be taken if you really need the 3+ invulnerable save from the Storm Shield since it even the sword beats it for wounding potential against Toughness 5 or higher. His Storm Bolter is more of a "sidearm", firing 4 shots all the time that gives him a little bit of ranged power and Overwatch protection if someone tries to charge at him.
    • Belial also buffs his army a little bit: Dark Angels units within 6 inches re-roll to-hit rolls of 1, or all failed to-hit rolls if they're part of the Deathwing. Consider the Inner Circle strategem.
    • As of the codex, Belial no longer has access to the TH/SS or Lightning Claw combinations download the Warhammer Legends datasheets and tell your opponent that Thunder hammer is totally legal. And RAW "Parrying Blade" now affects Belial no matter what he's running — why yes, I would like to force my opponents into a -1 to hit while still rocking a 3++.
  • Sammael on Corvex: Sammael is most definitely the fastest and shootiest hero in the Dark Angels army and is a very comfortable melee combatant too. On his Jetbike he can fire off a magnificent EIGHT bolter shots every turn AND 1d3 plasma cannon shots all on rerollable 2+, meaning he can throw out the same firepower as a five-man tactical squad all by himself. In melee: he has a bolt pistol for point-blank shooting and can swing the Raven Sword five times on a rerollable 2+, which acts like a +1 strength master-crafted power sword (so S+1, AP-3, D2) that has the additional effect of increasing his strength to eight any time he charges and wounding those MEQs on a 2+. Also, for the fact of being on a jetbike, he can move 14" and gains toughness 6. Yes, he has poor old power armour but with a 4+ iron halo it's not a huge deal. Also, the Corvex is still sexy AF, so go ahead as you wish! The plasma cannon is kind of meh, since it almost always gets penalized by moving, and overcharging it on the invokes almost straight-up death.
    • Sammael on Sableclaw: A bit more expensive than the Jetbike, but comes with a lot more dakka: a twin Heavy Bolter and a Twin Assault Cannon for 6/12 shots respectively. He also still fights just as well with the Raven Sword if he gets engaged. Enemies can no longer shoot at him even if he is not the closest target, as he has 7 wounds now, and still has the 4++ invulnerable save to protect himself with. The primary issue he has is that the weapons he fires are all Heavy, so if he moves he drops down to hitting on a re-rollable 3+ (and with the FAQ to re-rolls, he can't re-roll 2's to hit when moving), and he cannot advance and shoot (unless you use the Strategem), so he doesn't have the same reach as Corvex.
      • Sammael in either form grants a re-roll failed to-hit aura to any RAVENWING unit within 6", and grants the ability to re-roll 1s to regular DARK ANGELS within 6", too. Even if you don't take much Ravenwing, he puts out so much hurt by himself and is so comparatively resilient that it might be worth taking him in any army.
    • When compared to Kor'sarro Khan, Sammael is now slightly inferior in a straight-up fight, due to Khan's double strength modifier allowing him to wound Sammael on a 3+, but Sammy's extra attack pulls him back up, so the difference between them adds up to a 0.16 wound/turn difference, assuming Khan rolls average damage. This is not a true test though, since Sammael has more than twice the shooting potential of Khan (and pretty much any other character in the game too), does better against the "average" mook, and can FLY.
    • Often overlooked but stated above, Sammael has the FLY keyword, meaning he can cruise over enemy units and to get to weaker units and fuck up enemy flyers as nearly almost all of them are T7 and below. Not to mention to fall back and unload his range arsenal on some heretics. Thanks to him flying he has some great utility that is nearly always forgotten.
  • Asmodai: As an individual, the Master of Repentance still has problems finding his place. The Blades of Reason still suck, doing D6 damage for each unsaved wound, but still only strike at S:User and AP:0, so you are better served using the Crozius, unless you are doing something crazy, like going mano-e-mano with Imperial Knights or heavy tanks, where the Crozius' strength bonus and armour penetration doesn't really matter as much, and you're fighting with luck and sheer balls, rather than anything else. Asmodai does have one trick up his sleeve in this edition: the Litanies of Hate that Chaplains usually get has been replaced with Exemplar of Hate, which still grants the reroll to-hit bubble within 6", but also grants Dark Angels within that bubble an extra attack. When coupled with his aura of dread, Asmodai acts as real force multiplier in assault, rather than doing anything useful himself.
    • The Blades of Reason no longer make you run mathhammer to answer the question "why would I ever want this?" As of the official 9th edition supplement/FAQ, Blades of Reason are now a bonus attack made at S+1 AP0 D2d3, rolled alongside his Crozus Arcanum attacks. And yes, Asmodai is still so batshit sadistic that he'll manage to torture vehicles to death, he'll just use both hands for it now.
  • Ezekiel: Even better than last edition and the same points cost as well. He no longer gives friendly Dark Angels within 6" +1 attack. Instead, if a friendly Dark Angel dies in the fight phase while they are within 6" of Ezekiel, they get to make a single attack (this is especially funny as aura abilities now target the characters who have them, so if Ezekiel dies in melee, he can go down swinging. Another good use of this power is on Deathwing Knights). He got himself a 4++, while also getting weapon upgrades. His sword, Traitor's Bane, is S+1 AP-3 D1d3, but against psykers it has +1 damage. Then his pistol, The Deliverer, got an upgrade: it's a bolt pistol with AP-1 and D2, which is not too shabby. Finally, he can cast 2 psychic powers a turn from interromancy, of which he knows 3 powers; the new powers are amazing, and he can try to deny the witch 2 times a turn. This pairs well with his psychic hood. Overall, not the psychic powerhouse that the ultramarines or space wolves have, but he is great in his own right, he is great in combat too, has an invulnerable save unlike the aforementioned (although one can get one for some points, while this guy comes stock with it) and has some sturdy psychic potential of his own.
  • Master Lazarus: While his fluff absolutely sucks is complete dog shite, Lazarus is good in melee, especially against psykers. Enmity's Edge gets five attacks that strike on 2+ and re-roll 1's at S6 AP-4 D1d3, plus re-rolling wound rolls and damage rolls against psykers. As a Master he grants re-roll to hit rolls of 1 to all DARK ANGELS units within 6", including himself, and speaking of auras, Lazarus has the Spiritsheild Helm (which is not at all a replacement in waiting for when they kill off Azrael), granting Lazarus a 4+ save against all mortal wounds and 5+ save against all mortal wounds to all DARK ANGELS models within 6" of him. A potential strategy would be to run Lazarus with Azrael, Veterans, and a Deathwing Ancient with the Pennant of Remembrance. This would provide a 4++ invulnerable save, 5+ feel no pain, then bodyguards on 2+. The Veterans can then ignore the mortal wounds on 5's. Add in Transhuman physiology or +1 toughness stratagem to Deathwing models (While he gets the inner circle rule, thankfully he doesn't get the Deathwing keyword, so he doesn't get to completely shit all over regular Masters in the rules department) for some extra durability!


  • Deathwing Terminators: Elite Terminators with the ability to customize their loadout to suit your needs. So you can have a combination of ranged guys with melee dudes and have a squad for all occasions and being Inner Circle they thankfully pass all morale checks they are required to make, so they don't have to worry about losing extra guys as a result of a poor leadership check. What's more is that even the basic guy is the same points cost as a normal "codex" terminator (33 points, 38 with the standard Bolter/Fist combo). However, they don't have the ability to deploy Teleport Homers to the battlefield and leap to it in an "emergency" as vanilla Terminators do; but the benefits available to Deathwing outweigh any lost rules from codex Terminators. They can now combat squad, so you can essentially have Terminator Assault squad and a regular Terminator squad in the same slot if you like, although any Watcher in the Dark has to be assigned to one unit or the other.
    • The changes to power weapon rules means that the Sergeant may actually want to keep his sword in this edition, rather than it being a useless hunk of crap. It is worth giving him LC to make use of his 3 attack base or giving him a TH/SS combo.
    • One dude in every five can take a heavy weapon as normal, but their list also includes the Plasma Cannon, it's okay compared to the Cyclone Missile Launcher, due to being 250% cheaper, and thanks to Grim Resolve, you have easy access to +1 to hit but does nothing to stop rolling 1s. If you have the points, then taking a Cyclone would be better since you still get a Storm Bolter too. The Assault Cannon is also a good choice as it excelling at cutting through hordes, which the rest of the squad is forced to equip itself to fight, with their storm bolters.
    • Note that by taking a 5 man Terminator Assault Squad and 5 man Terminator Squad as a Combat Squaded 10 man squad, the Terminator Squad will be able to take an additional Heavy Weapon, courtesy of the five models in the Assault Squad.
    • Deathwing Terminators can take a Watcher in the Dark, allowing them to take a Deny the Witch test once per game, rerolling the test if the enemy is a Chaos Psyker. It's pretty cheap for only 5 points and it can really be useful against armies that excel in psychic such as 'Nids or Chaos. However, it's pretty useless against armies with little to no psychic such as Tau or Necrons.
  • Deathwing Command Squad: Those same dudes written above, but with 3 main differences: Can have 2-5 models in a unit; They have the Bodyguard rule; They do not occupy a slot if a Deathwing Terminator Captain is included in the detachment. Similarly, if they are included, you can also take a Deathwing Champion and Apothecary without taking a slot.
    • This is a quite interesting unit, that with the new way of how Look Out, Sir! and Bodyguard work, they can help your characters to survive longer, even just one single model of this squad can protect them in any possible case. And if you do not use characters near them, it is still a possibility to add a small number of Terminators (they cost a little more, but obviously even a 4 men squad is cheaper than a 5 man squad, with a difference of just 2ppm).
  • Deathwing Knights: Deathwing Knights are still excellent melee specialists, being improved versions of Terminators with Shield and hammers. Their Maces of Absolution are still scary, striking at S8 AP-2 and doing THREE damage each, basically Thunder Hammers but with no drawbacks to accuracy. This means a squad of these guys can theoretically take out any high-value target in one turn of combat. The problem is a 5 man squad only produces 16 attacks like regular terminators and damage does not carry over from dead models, meaning they are liable to become swamped by hordes. What they really need is back up from external abilities that grant rerolls, dice modifiers or additional attacks. Strangely enough, compared to the last edition these badass Knights aren't effective as hordes as they use to be. Let their brothers deal with chaff and let these guys deal with the heavy stuff.
    • The Knight Master's Flail of the Unforgiven is an exception to the normal rule, excess wounds inflicted on one model do carry over to the rest of the unit, and with his base value of 3 attacks at S6 AP-3 and 2 damage, he has the potential to take out six guys all by himself; making him the guy to deal with hordes while the rest of his unit knock lumps out the biggest thing in front of them.
    • Deathwing Knights also get a Watcher in the Dark for the ability to nullify a psychic power affecting them once per game. The same tactics for the watcher apply here as well.
    • An argument could be made as to whether a squad of Knights is any better than a squad of TH/SS Terminators in the long run, now that Thunder Hammers no longer need to strike last: They both have the same basic profiles and a 2+/3++ save and hit at S8 and do three damage. A squad of Deathwing Terminators generally hits harder due to the increased armour penetration and can also customize itself to varying purposes, such as by adding a Cyclone Missile Launcher. Deathwing Knights do have the advantage of accuracy; being able to hit on 3+ and cost four points less per man (the Mace & Flails are free, so that's 35 points per man plus 2 for the storm shield for a total 37, whereas Hammernators cost 23 points per man, plus 18 for the hammer and shield for a total 41) Maces do absolutely fine against enemies with either poor regular saves or good invulnerable saves, as the increased penetration of the Hammer is lost against anything with a save of 5 or worse OR an invulnerable save of 4+ or better, so in those cases the Deathwing Knights are undoubtedly better.
    • These guys are great but do need some support from characters. An Interrogator-Chaplain will make them even more deadly with his rerolls and if you don't mind the investment, you could get a Deathwing Ancient to follow them too. All of the above can teleport in together, or you could fit them in a Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer or a Storm Raven for more mobility and firepower support.
      • Consider running a Librarian (terminator armour or otherwise) with the knights. Righteous Repugnance gives you re-roll to hit AND to wound, which is actually better than the chaplain's aura! Just remember, casting isn't guaranteed to succeed (unlike the aura, which is always on) and even if you pass, your opponent can attempt to deny the power with a psyker of their own.
    • With Ritual of the Damned, cackle like a madman when you place a Deathwing Knight squad outside of 6" of an enemy unit. Unlike the similar Grey Knight teleportation doctrine, but much like the Custode Vexillia Teleport Homer, Combined Assault makes no restriction on charging. Have fun!
  • Deathwing Champion: The 1st Company Champion is still here, and capable of cutting guys in half with that halberd of his, though his rules have turned him into a bit of an inconsistent oddball, so his focus has changed. He strikes at S7 AP-3 and does 2 damage, that S7 means he wounds T4 on a 3+ (rather than a 2+ back in 7th). He can reroll failed to-hit rolls against Characters, but his halberd grants him 3 extra attacks against a unit that contains 10 or more models, so it's as if he can't decide whether he wants to take on single opponents in honorable combat, or get stuck into bodyguards. But he's pretty good at both though.
    • Deathwing Champions are a one-per-army deal, so you can't have multiples.
    • In terms of close combat damage against lone characters, the three Champions fall pretty close to each other. The Deathwing Champion has one higher AP, but often a character has some form of invulnerable save, which will make AP less of concern beyond 3+. The deciding factor will be mainly their prices and the rest of the army; you can field almost 2 Company champs for the price of a single RW/DW champion. However, it would be a waste of a Rhino/Razorback trying to keep up with an RW HQ, and pairing the Greenwing champion in with guys in Termi-armor would just look retarded.
    • If for some reason you -really- want his 2+ to wound against MEQs again, pair him with a Chaplain Dreadnought. Be mindful of the cost, though.
    • Does face a bit of competition from other Deathwing characters (despite being a similar point price) and without actually being an HQ. The lack of any shooty weapon also hurts (admittedly shooting isn't the Deathwing's main job but a Storm Bolter couldn't have hurt to have). Additionally, the bonuses against characters look good until you realize that he hits on 2s anyway, so re-rolling hits is the same as re-rolling 1s. The same explanation for the extra AP. Weapon is basically equal to the 8th Edition Heavenfall Blade relic.
  • Deathwing Apothecary: So somehow being a member of the 1st Company makes Deathwing Apothecaries inferior. The fact that they have no melee weapon at all means these guys just suck in close combat. But that just means you aren't tempted to do anything that an apothecary shouldn't be doing in the first place, his job is to heal allies, not get stuck in with the beatsticks.
    • As with their non-termie counterpart, these guys don't take up a slot if you also have a Deathwing command squad.
    • The Deathwing Apothecary does have some advantages over other Apothecaries. While the movement is much slower, it can Deep Strike, has a more reliable Invulnerable save, and more importantly, has a 2+ save rather than a 3+. He also has a stormbolter, letting him add some ranged firepower to whatever unit he's supporting.
    • The challenge to viability is that he doesn't heal any more than a regular apothecary, yet costs more. And since the cost of the apothecary limits your inclusion of other models (because you could buy them instead), he has to heal a lot more to justify himself.
  • Ravenwing Apothecary: Again, you lack any melee weapons and are stuck with a grenade launcher or plasma talon. But keeps up to keep your bikers Heathy and resurrect the fallen.
    • If you include a unit of Black Knights, this guy doesn't take up a slot.
  • Ravenwing Champion: For when you want to kill things fast, not tanking blows. Thanks to being Ravenwing, he's not only super-fast but also possesses an invulnerable save via Jink. Seeing as he's stuck with a power sword as a weapon, you're more than capable of facing MEQ units by virtue of ripping past their armor but expect to struggle the moment you face a monster or high-Toughness enemy.
    • If you include a unit of Black Knights, this guy doesn't take up a slot. He is a once-per-army deal though.
  • Ravenwing Ancient: Because no command squad's complete without one and GW was too lazy to stat a normal biker ancient.
    • If you include a unit of Black Knights, this guy doesn't take up a slot.

Fast Attack

  • Ravenwing Black Knights: These guys are in a constant battle with the White Scars for the crown of best bikers in the Imperium - well, in the fluff, anyway; in 9E, Ultramarines are the best Codex marines at bikes, so that's the comparison that it makes sense to draw: Ultramarines bikes can Fall Back from melee and still let loose with their guns. Ravenwing Black Knights are roughly on the same level. Let's start with the bike: they come equipped with Plasma Talons, which are Assault 2 plasma guns that fire at 18" range. Being an Assault weapon means they can advance in the movement phase and still fire their weapons at -1 to hit, so no having to choose between moving fast or shooting, Black Knights can do both while also gaining the 4+ invulnerable save that Ravenwing get. In close combat, they are no slouch, either: being a form of veteran, they have two attacks each and strike with Corvus Hammers, which are S+1 AP-1 d2 weapons, so they can quite happily punch apart heavy targets up close and personal if they need to; this is on top of the fact that they also carry a bolt pistol, so where other bikers have the choice between a pistol OR a close combat weapon, Black Knights can have both and can shoot their opponent at point-blank range after tearing them apart with those pick-hammers. - Just remember, you can't advance and charge, so don't try to go TOO fast. Also, they have Meltabomb. Black Knights are also members of the Inner Circle now as well, meaning they are now completely immune to morale issues and can only be wounded better than a 4+.
    • One in three Black Knights can take a grenade launcher instead of their Plasma Talon. This has less useful, HOWEVER, there is a Stratagem that allows a Ravenwing Grenade Launcher that can cause D3 Mortal wounds to an enemy, similar to Hellfire Shells although it probably isn't worth it as the Plasma Talon is overall better. The grenades still have some utility, since Frag grenades is a d6 blast allowing you to attempt to tackle low toughness/armour hordes, while Krak does d3 damage per wound allowing you to take down big enemies even more quickly. Both grenades can also fire out to a range of 24", which is important to remember if you find yourself out of range of the plasma talons, or better yet, decide to shoot some grenades off at a different target more suitable to the weapon. As of the codex, Plasma Talons and Grenade launchers are free; built into the cost of the Black Knight.
    • This unit got a bit of a bump up as of the 9E Index Astartes, going to 40 points a model. They've also become something of a Ravenwing Command squad, though they still take up a slot of it - what they do is allow you to take a Ravenwing Apothecary, Champion, and Ancient without having to use up Elite slots.
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud: A souped-up Land Speeder, having +1T and +3W over the regular ones. Its main shlick is the Icon of old Caliban rule, which provides a -1 to-hit aura for Dark Angel units within 6" against shooting - including the Darkshroud itself. You'll pay minimum 130 points to get almost the same defensive bonus that several sub-factions get by default, but hey, it's still better than nothing. Plus it's damn fluffy. Not much in the way of offensive potential though; it comes with a stock heavy bolter, which is almost never worth upgrading to an assault cannon. Most of the time you'll want to advance for the 4++ save anyway, and since its 12" speed makes it a tad bit slower than the RW bikers, Knights, and Land Speeders it supposed to protect. Stacks nicely with other penalties of all kind (Shroud of Heroes, Aversion, Hard to Hit, advancing, moving with heavy weapons, etc), as well as other bubble-characters like Ezekiel and Asmodai for old-fashioned prefix-star shenanigans. The 'Icon of old Caliban' rule does not stack, so any -4 to-hit if you take 4 of these babies. Watch out for long-range guns that hit on fix numbers (Dark Reapers), or those who get bonus against models with the FLY keyword (Onager Dunecrawlers with the Icarus array)- your Darkshroud will be a primary target for them.
  • Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance: This is Fast Attack now. At T6 and 9 wounds this is more survivable than the basic land speeder, as anti-infantry weapons only wound it on a 5+/6+. The plasma storm battery is a Heavy D6 Plasma cannon with 2 damage (or 3 on supercharge) which you can supercharge at the risk of suffering 3 mortal wounds and burning out the weapon for the rest of the game. This is probably the one plasma weapon you want to overcharge regularly so getting some re-rolls nearby might be a good idea. Very good for hurting big multi-wound models. The Land Speeder Vengeance also lasts longer with the 8th edition vehicle changes, as its own weapon no longer has a good chance to kill itself (unless you move and supercharge it). But the Ravenwing Support Squadron shall be missed and mourned.


  • Nephilim Jetfighter: The Nephilim is still flying high after its much-needed buffs last edition, keeping most of its damage output against ground targets while gaining even more against enemy aircraft. Blacksword Missile Launchers fire a pair of S7 AP-3 D2 shots each turn, and count as D4 against enemy Aircraft. It swapped Strafing Run for Air Superiority, giving it +1 against aircraft. Of course as a member of the Ravenwing it has the ability to Jink, giving it a 5+ invuln every time it moves (it must always move) or 4+ if it advances. The Avenger Mega Bolter still chews up things with Heavy10 S5 AP-1 D2, or you could swap that for a Twin Lascannon for some vehicle hunting. All of this wrapped in a solid flyer statline with T6 and 11W with a 3+ save and Hard to Hit, which forces enemies to shoot with -1 to hit, means that the Nephilim is still a fine support unit with plenty of reach on the battlefield.
    • Additional Note: The Darkshroud can add a further -1 to hit, too bad those don't stack in 9th edition anymore.
  • Dark Talon: The Dark Talon has been tweaked once again, and is still a great source of mortal wounds. Rift Cannon is no a Heavy D3 Blast S12 weapon. It has no AP or Damage, because the target instantly takes 3 mortal wounds per successful to-wound roll. Stasis Bomb has its damage nerfed to d3 mortal wounds, but prevents anything (except Vehicles or Monsters) from falling back during its next turn. Great for screwing up T'au plans. The Dark Talon also has two Hurricane Bolters which means 24 SHOTS at close range!!! While just the standard Bolter profile they are still excellent for clearing out light infantry units, and are no longer useless against the vehicles the Dark Talon often hunts. The Hover Jet special rule will prevent the Dark Talon from flying off the board and entering reserves, allowing you to bring it back into the fight after flying off away from the fight. Now a total 210 points.
  • Stormraven Gunship FINALLY!!! Ahem... Dark Angels get access to one of the better supporting unit that Space Marines have had for a while now. Some interesting combos can be transporting plasma vets and a lieutenant for more punishment were you need it. Also Terminators can be deposited to their destinations extremely quickly, where before you could only rely on Forgeworld vehicles to do this (see the Storm Eagle below); this goes double for your new Cataphracti Terminators who really benefit from a fast transport vehicle, though surgical charges from Deathwing Knights can be devastating. Unfortunately no Inner Circle or Ravenwing rules for this vehicle, guess they can't trust the Techmarine pilot (cool little fluff bit, the Dark Angels don't trust techmarines with their secrets due to their pledge to the Omnissiah). The transport capacity; being able to transport 12 regular guys (or 6 terminator, 1 squad and 1 TA character) AND a Dreadnought meaning you can now pop that thing where you wish now, rather that it walking a long distance.
    • Weapon wise, the Twin Multi Melta is generally your better lower option. The Twin Heavy Bolter isn't that useful since more stuff gets Heavy Bolters than Multi-Meltas and compared to the Typhoon, for 4 points more, you're halving its range (no big deal for a flyer) while making its AP stronger by 2 and having a chance of higher damage. Upper wise, Assault Cannons are for taking out Infantry, Lascannons for Monsters/Vehicles and Plasma Cannons for somewhere in the middle. Supercharging them also doesn't insta-kill you, which is a nice bonus.


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, they don't suffer the penalty for advancing and firing assault weapons.
    • 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 turbo-boosting bikers of 27.5" threat range.
    • Charging after falling back is especially useful to units that proc Mortal Wounds on a charge, 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.
  • 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. This is kind of bonkers, but useless against most non-marine units. Shoot 1 wound models the first two turns, then clean house with Assault Intercessors come turn 3!

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Deadly Hunter: Each time he successfully charges, roll a D6. On a 4+, one 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.
    • competes with Chogorian Storm on Warlord depending on if your trying to save money on your melee hero if dealing with a tank or thier things a Thunder hammer can't solve that MWs can.
  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!
    • Weak compared to other traits as you have the difficult task of your melee character killing a character before gaining benefits, not to mention having to kill two to beat out other traits that give additional attack. Skip.
  4. Master Rider: Biker warlord only. Reroll charges, -1 to be hit if he advanced.
    • improves the durability of an already durable choice, especially against the pervasive snipers.
  5. Hunter's Instincts: +1 to wound and hit vs vehicles and monsters.
    • improves your smash captain's Tank and Primarch hunting capabilities. As of 9th, You do have to kill the turn you charge them, else they will kill your warlord back.
  6. Master of Snares: On a 4+ enemies stuck in can't fall back unless they contain a model with a minimum move characteristic.
    • lot of shooting infantry don't want to stay in melee with a Space marine for any amount of time. while Preventing Enemies from shooting him.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Banner of the Eagle: Ancient only. +1S to friendly White Scares Core units within 6".
    • Hard for Foot Ancients to keep them up with bikes unless you use Wind-swift or an at the right time terminator Ancient.
    • you would use this with the foot guys. this will push them to wound other marines on 3+.
  • Glaive of Vengeance: Kahn spear that is always Sx2 AP-3 D1d3, even if it didn't charge.
  • Hunter's Eye: One white scars unit within 6" of the bearer gains Ignore Cover.
    • you may still take a gun line As a melee faction or having a big gunboat, or fire a lot of bike twin bolters at a Eldar ranger , so extra Ap.
  • Mantle of the Stormseer: Psykers only. The bearer adds +1 when attempting to manifest the Stormspeaker discipline.
  • Plume of the Plainsrunner: 6" aura of +1 to White Scares Infantry advance and charge rolls.
  • Scimitar of the Great Kahn: Replaces a power sword/master-crafted power sword/relic blade. +1S AP-3 D2. Unmodified wound rolls of 6s do D4 (D5 during the Assault doctrine wtf!).
  • Wrath of the Heavens: Biker model gets a Jump Bike. Movement characteristic becomes 16" and basically can advance as if it had FLY.
  • 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.
  • Cyber-Eagle Helm: White Scares Core units within 6" hit Overwatch on 5 and 6.
  • 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 provided the shooter is in the melee, and supplement your already potent assaults, provided you don't fall back, which you usually will.
  • Headtaker's Trophies: -1Ld to enemies within 6" of the bearer. Very spooky with just a mere couple Reivers.
  • Master-crafted weapon: +1D to a weapon, and it's now considered a relic (so now some WTs no longer affect it and such). D5 Thunder Hammer!!
  • Stormwrath 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.


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

  • Wind-swift (2 CP): Select one non-Artilary White Scars unit that made a normal move or fallback, it can make an additional Advance move, but 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. Allows bikers to move 34" onto objectives or whatnot, though they will be functionally useless afterward.
  • Fierce rivalries (1 CP): Your first charge for a White Scars that phase rolls the best 2 of 3d6. Game on, Blood Angels.
  • Strike for the heart (2 CP): One of your White Scars 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, but you can also drag nearby squads into the melee.
  • 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, White Scars Pistols and melee weapons gain additional -1AP on unmodified wound rolls of 6. Getting AP-2 and 2 Damage in melee.
  • A mighty trophy (1 CP): Use it when a White Scars kills the enemy warlord with a melee weapon. Your White Scars now autopass morale tests.
  • Born in the saddle (1 CP): A White Scars Biker can advance and shoot. A large number of Bolter fire and Cover a massive amount of ground, why not.
  • Butchered Quarry (1 CP): When an enemy falls back from a White Scars 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.
  • Ride Hard, Ride Fast (1 CP): Use it on a White Scars 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.
    • Under 9th negatives to hit are capped at -1, so unless your opponent is getting bonuses to hit that you also want to counter, you're better off with just the smoke launchers. Still useful on its own.
  • Hunter's Fusillade (1 CP): When a White Scars 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)
    • Extra effective on Heavy weapon squads as you don't lose anything in the shift to Assault, they will also benefit from the Tactical Doctrine in turn 2.
  • Feinting withdrawal (1CP): A White Scars unit that falls back can still shoot.
  • Chogorian thunderbolts (1 CP): White Scars Biker 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 - true, but obviously, in matched play, it can only be used once per phase.
  • Lightning debarkation (1 CP): A White Scars 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.
  • 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. Unsure how this works in 9th?
  • Encirclement (1CP): During deployment, set up a non-artilary or Building White Scars unit in 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.
  • 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 changes 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 aren'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.

  1. Blasting gale (WC7) Maladiction: Targets an enemy unit with 18". The target cannot advance and rolls one fewer die for charges. Stacks with Tenebrous Curse, too!
    • This can be a bit tricky to use and requires a good understanding of your opponent's move values. Very good for handicapping units that rely on the ability to charge after advancing.
  2. Lightning call (WC7): Witchfire The closest enemy unit within 18" takes d3 mortal wounds. Then roll a die. 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).
  3. Ride the wind (WC6): Blessing +2" to advance and charge. Due to the psychic phase happening after the movement phase, it will be rare to get used 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.
  4. Storm-wreathed (WC6): Blessing Select a friendly unit within 12", enemy units cannot fire overwatch on it. In addition, roll a die 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.
  5. Spirit of chogoris (WC6): Maladiction 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. Can no longer stack -1 to hit rolls in 9th.
  6. Eye of the Storm (WC6): Witchfire Roll a d6 for each enemy unit within 12". Add 1 if the enemy has fly. On a 4+, cause a mortal wound.
    • A very good one for a close support librarian. Keep him out of unfavorable combat via screens, give him a jump pack for supreme positioning, and a combi weapon for some fire support and he'll make his points quickly especially in the MSU meta.

Special Units[edit]

  • Khan on Bike: Cannot be customized, but his Khan's Spear (S:+1 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.
    • if you want a 2+Sv captain with a big weapon, Khans are a better alternative and cheaper.
  • Kor'sarro Khan: For personal combat he has an eagle that plucks out 1 MW on a 4+ and his dualist blade Moonfang (5A S6 Ap-3 D3, reroll damage and wound roll against characters). his best ability is Granting +1 to wound rolls to his chapter's units that charged that turn like Blood Angles. 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 wounding is by Unit, so large units of Assault Marines can carry his buff wide. 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.
    • hats 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. With the new Bladeguard and Assault Intercessors, he gets absolutely brutal.
      • Alternate alternative: You can use the encirclement strat to put him in the reserves and deepstrike him along the edges of the map.
  • Kor'sarro Khan on Moondrakkan ((Legends)): On his discontinued bike, 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 Legends.

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: (Legends) Chief Librarian; can ignore his first Perils of the game, has a 5++.

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 than 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.


  • Jumpback: not as fast as bikes but still fairly fast when advancing and charging and ignoring terrain when moving.
  • Primaris Devastating Charge and Lightning Assault make Primaris close combat viable.
    • Assult Intercessors:
    • 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
    • Primaris Chaplain on Bike returns a legends unit to legal play. has a bigger base and keep up with advancing bikes to spread their litanies.
  • 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. Outriders are great to include.
    • making a deathstar by adding in a Chaplain, Captain, and lieutenant.
  • 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.
  • Leviathan Dreadnought: Take a Leviathan and use Encirclement. Congratulations you now have a 14 wound, 2+/4++ monster on your opponent's board edge. Shoot something and use Fierce Rivalries to all but ensure your charge. You did bring a meele weapon right?

Space Wolves[edit]

Space Wolves Chapter Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, the wolves are the fiercest predators.

Thematically, these guys are fucking furries a bunch of angry space Vikings who respect their own strength and culture rather than any book. Their way of organization is rather unorthodox but no less effective.
On the tabletop, these guys focus on the assault. Though they aren't White Scars swift or Templar strong, they have a means of tying the enemy up in combat by any means necessary and an emphasis on using melee characters. It also helps that they're good in combat.
For the All-Father and Leman Russ!

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Hunters Unleashed: Your army gets to add +1 to hit rolls when they charged, was charged, or made a Heroic Intervention that turn. Every unit also counts as a character so they can heroically intervene in any fight so long as they're within range. Yeah, they cribbed that note from the custodes of yore.
    • Similar to the Red Thirst ability that the Blood Angels have, and makes the Wolves nearly as potent in melee, with the caveat that +1 to hit is usually not nearly as good as +1 to wound. It acts as a useful way of discouraging opponents from charging your gunlines, especially if a melee-focused unit is nearby to perform a Heroic Intervention. Compared to the red thirst, it is both better and worse. More hits are always good since that influences the number of to-wound rolls. However, since you're hitting on 3+ all the time anyway, a +1 to wound is more impactful, especially against toughness 4+.
    • Obviously, of course, this makes Thunder Hammers on some 3 attack models very powerful. Also makes spammable powerfists all the better (aggressors, pack leaders, wolf guard, etc.)
  • Combat Doctrine - Savage Fury: While the Assault Doctrine is active, an unmodified roll of 6 to hit in melee will grant an additional hit.
  • Berserk Charger: On Skyclaws and Blood Claws. if the unit is benefiting from the Hunters Unleashed chapter tactic as a Space Wolf or a Successor, if the unit charges gain +1 attack(excluding Wolf Guard) which stacks with Shock Assault and Chainswords, resulting in 4 attacks per model.
  • Headstrong: Second part of Berserk Charger. if the unit doesn't have a Wolf Guard Model, it must charge the closest enemy.
    • Normal you want the Sky Claws and Blood Claws into a fight quickly, but you don't want to throw them away at the nearest distraction every time.
  • Swift Hunters: Your wolves (that is, your actual wolves and thunderwolf cavalry) Advance and charge and add 1" to Pile-in and Consolidation move.
    • let them keep up with bikes. and be the fighty unit rather than the shootyness of bikes squads. Has wolf packs and thunderwolfs move an extra 3d6"
  • Unit Restrictions: The Space Wolves cannot take the following: apothecaries (despite the fact they had them in the Heresy in addition to Wolf Priests), devastators, assault marines, tactical marines, and veterans of both marinelet flavors. All of these have a wolfier variant to pick.
    • Options:
      • Base primaris lieutenants can swap their weapons for a Special issue bolt carbine and Master-crafted power axe. The carbine gives you the best of both the stalker bolt rifle and auto bolt rifle while the axe sacrifices some AP for a stronger swing.
      • Base techmarines that don't go for the servo-harness can swap out their weapons for a tempest hammer (essentially a Thunder Hammer with +1AP and Damage.) and helfrost pistol, giving you either a small blast weapon to manage small crowds or a very powerful pistol that punches out armor and deals 3 damage.
      • Dreadnoughts may take a helfrost cannon, giving the player versatility between a small blast and a powerful shot that punches past practically anything. They can also swap their fist for a Great Wolf Claw, not really a good choice for monsters or vehicles.
      • Venerable Dreadnoughts may replace both arms for a Shield and Axe, providing a 4++ Invuln save and the choice between either a blow with power comparable to a power fist and a weaker hit that can at least guarantee hits by re-rolling to hit.
    • Keywords: Chaplains have the Wolf Priest keyword. Terminators, veterans, ancients, and lieutenants all gain the Wolf Guard keyword.

Warlord Traits[edit]

Most of These Warlord traits are selfish by nature, boosting up the ability of the badass, but also supportive later in game. Space Wolves' Sagas each have a secondary effect that expands their self-only buff into a 6" aura, which is activated when the phase end after successfully performing a Deed of Legend (DoL). What this entails depends on the Saga in question.

  1. Beastslayer: Add 1 to hit and wound rolls made against monsters and vehicles and +1 attack when within engagement range with one. Deed of Legend is to use the Warlord to slay a Monster or Vehicle, this becomes an aura that lets Core units also get +1 to wound when attacking them in melee. Note that you can trigger this with a ranged weapon, though it'd be a bit pointless because of how it chiefly works in melee. Ulrik the Slayer has this. Absolutely fabulous.
  2. Wolfkin: Gain D3 attack in the fight phase instead of 1 from Shock Assault. Deed of Legend is to a model with the Warlord with a melee attack. Harald Deathwolf and Canis Wolfborn have this, and it's one of the better choices, provided your Warlord is a melee beatstick.
    • One of the easier ways to fulfill this is to ram your Warlord into something cheap and flimsy you'd normally ignore, just to spike his body count - make sure he's very mobile if you do this, so he can catch up to the real action after he's done, or a canny opponent will kite him out of position.
  3. Warrior Born: Warlord always fights first in the Fight Phase when in engagement range of enemies. Deed of Legend is to slay an enemy Character with your Warlord to also let other Core units fight first. Ragnar Blackmane and Krom Dragongaze have this trait.
    • Don't let the ability to buff multiple units fool you - this is still the same hot garbage Always Strike First is everywhere else in 9th, because to be relevant, a buffed unit has to be charged by two or more units - otherwise, the ability never gets a chance to trigger, as your opponent can just choose the lone charging unit first. Besides, you should always be agreeing to charge, you're the Space Wolves.
  4. Hunter: +1 to advancing and charge plus Warlord can charge after Advancing or falling back. The deed of Legend is to successfully charge an enemy so Core units can also Advance/fall back/charge.
    • Not the most flashy ability, but the Deed of Legend is easy to trigger, and charging after an advance gives you more opportunities to activate Hunters Unleashed.
  5. Aura of Majesty: gains an extra 3" to all Captain, Lieutenant, chapter master, and Chaplin litanies and auras (max 9"). Deed of Legend is to be near an objective 6" or more from your deployment zone to let Core units auto-pass Morale tests. Logan Grimnar, Bjorn, and Njal Stormcaller have this.
  6. Resolve of the Bear: Gain a FnP on a 6+ and can't reroll wound and damage roll against this warlord. Deed of Legend is to lose a wound so Core units gain a 6+ FnP. Arjac Rockfist has this.
    • Better than the usual incarnation of this Warlord trait because of its ability to spread to other units. Feel No Pain is always useful, especially since wolf priests no longer possess an FNP aura.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Armor of Russ: Grants a 2+ sv, 4+ invulnerable save and forces an enemy within engagement range of the wearer to fight last in the Fight phase. No restrictions on who can take it, so give it to a Primaris since they don't normally have a way of improving their invulnerable saves. It's a good item to play on a Land Raider Excelsior. This would also be tasty on all flavors of Battle Leaders as it would grant them a much needed invulnerable save.
  • The Wulfen Stone: Friendly SPACE WOLVES Core units within 6" of the bearer reroll changes and once per battle, as a SPACE WOLVES unit gains Savage Fury and triggers it on a 5+.
  • Fireheart: Replaces a plasma Pistol and turns it into an S9 Ap-4 D3 with no worry of overheating.
  • Black Death: Once a Frost Axe extraordinaire, but now replaces any power axe. S+2 AP -2 D1, and each time the bearer fights, he makes additional d6 attacks. Makes your character a decent GEQ/MEQ eraser.
    • If you're giving this to anyone, make sure they're on a Thunderwolf. The pup's additional teeth and claw attacks mean they'll have similar targets.
  • Mountain-Breaker Helm: After the bearer finishes attacking in melee but before consolidating, you can roll a d6 on an enemy within 3". You deal d3 MWs on a 2+, and if you kill an opposing Character with this helm, you'll have fulfilled a deed of legend!
  • The Storm's Eye: Librarian only. After using your first Tempest power in a Psychic Phase, roll a d6 for every enemy unit within 12". They take a mortal wound on a 4+.
  • The Pelt of Balewolf: -1 to hit and wound by enemy melee weapons. Definitely useful if you find yourself up against any stronger foes and want a chance to survive and pull off a deed.
  • Adamantine Mantle: 5+++ FNP
  • 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). 4D Thunder Hammer isn't quite as appealing since your Relic is better, but why not put this on a Sarge with the right Stratagem?
    • is outclass by Frost weapon, but you can only use it once.
  • Digital Weapons: Make an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Morkai's Teeth Bolts: Space wolf MarkerLight. Upgrade a bolter with the ability to make one shot but allows all units to reroll wound roll of 1 for the rest of the turn against the targeted unit on a hit.
  • Wolf Tail Talisman: ignore MW on a 4+ during the Psychic phase. Protection from Psycher snipers with usefulness depending on how important your supporting character is and the meta
  • Frost weapon: Replaces all the Frost weapon options. can give a Lighting claw(single or pair), power Axe and Sword plus master crafted variants to a +1 & D and treated as a chapter relic.
  • Runic Weapon: Librarians only, give +1 to deny rolls and a force weapon gains +1S. Not only your wolf priest is Becoming more of a melee character while also denying with +2 when in Hood range.


Most of these were removed with the 9th edition space marine codex release; wait for the update for new stratagems.

  • Go for the Throat (2 CP): During a single turn where the Assault Doctrine is active, any unit that rolls a 6 to wound with a pistol or melee weapon improves their weapon's AP by -1, stacking with the AP bonus the doctrine gives them. Since this is army wide and is usable only once per game, you should be picking this so you can nail as many foes as possible.
  • Cunning of the Wolf (1 CP):You select one INFANTRY unit to gain the outflank rule. Congratulations, you got outflanking back. Enjoy watching your opponent's backline melt. For only a single command point to spend on each unit you do that for. Hell yeah! Shenanigans will ensue for armies with similar abilities (aka. Eldar, Blood Angels, Raven Guard etc.), prepare for hilarity.
  • The Emperor's Executioners (1 CP): In the Fight phase, a Space Wolf unit can reroll hit and wound rolls against Thousand Sons unit in melee.
  • Savage Strike (1/2 CP): When a Space Wolf unit is selected to fight the turn it changes, add +1 to wound for each time it fights this phase. 1cp of a unit of 5 models or less and 2 for more than 5.
  • Healing Balms: Instead of just being a full-on ability to heal like an apothecary, this gives the Wolf Priests their means to restore d3 models to the appropriate Space Wolf Infantry, Bikers or cavalry within 3". A serious nerf since Space Wolves still can't use apothecaries for actual healing or FNP.
  • Pack Hunters (1 CP): During the charge phase, pick an enemy currently engaged with a Space Wolf unit, Space Wolf Calvary and Space Wolf Beasts roll 3d6 drop one when charging that enemy, and they reroll their teeth and claw attacks against them.
  • Relentless Assault (1 CP): Lets a Space Wolf unit consolidate an extra +3" but not cumulative with other rules.
  • Cloaked by the Storm (2 CP): In the Psychic phase, when Space Wolves Psyker manifests a power From the Tempestas discipline, he imposes a -1 penalty for all ranged attacks made against Space Wolves units within 6" of it until the next psychic phase. Expensive, but now you can buff your army without actually using a buffing power.
  • Deed Worthy of a Saga (1 CP): When a character without a warlord trait fulfills a requirement listed for a saga, they gain that saga's aura for the rest of the game.
  • A Trophy Bestowed (1 CP): Lets a Space Wolf Successor take a chapter relic instead of an item from the Special issue Wargear list.
  • Thane of the Retinue (1 CP): If you have a Space Wolves Warlord, A Sergeant or Pack Leader can take an item Special issue Wargear list. Note that unlike the codex stratagem providing relics, this doesn't scale up as the game gets bigger.
  • Warrior of Legend (1 CP): Generic "another model gains a WT" stratagem, though this must be on the chapter's WT list and they gain the Sagas associated.
  • Bestial Nature (1 CP): In the command phase, you can select a Space Wolves INFANTRY, Cavalry, or Bike unit to be treated as being in the Assault phase.
  • Counter-Charge (1 CP): This allows one unit to perform a Heroic Intervention against an enemy charge, letting them move 6" to do so. This little gem is useful in protecting more vulnerable forces by throwing more durable (or disposable) forces against the enemy.
  • Keen Senses (1 CP): Use this stratagem in the shooting phase. Choose a Space Wolves INFANTRY, Cavalry, or Bike unit from your army; they suffer NO penalties to hit this phase and no penalties on charge rolls. Those Alaitoc Shadow Specters and Rangers will hate your guts. Sadly, your vehicles can no longer use this, but you can still turn your Long Fangs into Dark Reapers that can walk and dakka.
  • Runic Wards (1 CP): A Space Wolves unit within 12" of an enemy psyker can deny the witch.

Psychic Discipline: Tempestas[edit]

  1. Living Lightning (WC 6): A Witchfire spell that deals 1d3 mortal wounds to the nearest visible enemy unit within 18". then on another roll of 2+ the closest other enemy unit within 6" of the target also takes a mortal wound, D3 on a 5+.
  2. Murderous Hurricane (WS6): Malediction. Target a visible enemy within 18", until your next Psychic phase, they can't overwatch unless in terrain and can't fight until all the Space Wolves finish their rounds.
  3. Tempest's Wrath (WS6): Malediction. Until the start of your next Psychic phase, an enemy unit within 24" has -1 to hit. Copied and pasted from Aversion from the Interromancy discipline, but effectiveness beats originality.
  4. Instincts Awoken (WS6): Blessing. Until the next psychic phase, A space wolf within 18" is treated as being in Assult Doctrine until next Psychic phase, or get a stackable -1 Ap on wound rolls of 6 if already in Assult.
  5. Storm Caller (WS6): Blessing. Until the start of your next Psychic phase all Friendly Space Wolfs within 6" gain the benefit of being in light cover. A strong buff for an assault army that's particularly valuable because you can get multiple units under the bubble. Don't forget to add the Cloaked by the Storm Stratagem to buff them further!
  6. Jaws of the World Wolf(WS7): Witchfire. Pick an 18" within enemy units, Roll a D6 for each model, with +1 to rolls if the passed test on a 9+. on a 6+, inflict an MW.


If your playing a Pure Space wolf Amy, you can pick one fo the following to be one of your secondaries

Purge the Enemy

-Purge the Enemy

-Heroic Challenge

No Mercy, No Respite

- A mighty Saga

-Warrior Pride

Special Units[edit]

  • Wolf Guard: Many of your firstborn infantry can take a Wolf Guard Leader in addition to the normal pack leader. Often they are the models to give the unit the +1Ld. Comes in normal sergeant flavor or slower but bulker Terminator flavor. Either options give you effectively two sergeants that can take the appropriate weapons like power axes or combi weapons.


  • Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf: Fast, tough, and deadly. 20 points more than riding a Bike, and you lose 4 inches of movement, automatically fast Advances, and 3 additional attacks at S5 AP-1 D1. Those last are the real reason to take him over the Bike choice; they only hit as hard as basic Wulfen claws do, but they do it with the Lord's WS (2+).
    • Note that if your primary desire is combining mobility with number of attacks, Harald Deathwolf does this better, not least due to having Outflank.
  • Wolf Guard Battle Leader in Terminator Armour: Unique to the chapter. Trades jump pack mobility for better defenses. Your are expecting the opponent will be character sniping or fighting a heavy-hitting monster.
  • Wolf Guard Battle Leader on Thunderwolf: Goes along with his Wolf Lord counterpart very well. These guys together babysitting Thunderwolf Cavalry make them something like the rape machines they once were. Costs 19 points more than the Bike version does, but at BS3+, the inferior guns matter slightly less than the same choice for your Lord.

Named Characters

  • Logan Grimnar: Everybody's favorite Santa returns once more to the HQ slot but he's no less a killing machine than before. He comes equipped with terminator armour, a 4++ save, a storm bolter and a big ol' axe, and is a venerable mountain of wounds, attacks, and MANLINESS. His axe has two profiles, though neither are particularly special, being essentially a +2S force sword or a thunder hammer. Lastly, he gives a single Space Wolves Core and Character unit a re-roll to hit for the turn alongside the auras of a captain and the one given for having accomplished his deed of legend. He's still great for teleporting in to buff a big unit of deep-striking terminators, as they benefit from both of his auras.
    • Logan Grimnar on Stormrider: For 190 points now, the sled bumps his toughness to 6 and wounds to 12. With only a 10" move that degrades, this basically means he'll be staring down the barrels of your opponent's heavy weapons with no protection for a couple of turns, as he can't hide near other units. On the bright side, he does get to keep his old 2+/4++. The extra attacks from the wolves aren't going to do much to anything that isn't light infantry, but they help.
      • While on Stormrider, he no longer qualifies for his own Chapter Tactics, making him less accurate than on foot with the Thunder Hammer profile of the Axe Morkai (and don't forget, he can't re-roll hit rolls of 2 with it, even though they are misses), and reducing his Heroic Intervention distance. Even more painful, he is a Chariot, a weird term that makes him incompatible with the Healing Balms stratagem.
      • Alternative Take: Jolly Old Saint Logan can be a fairly cheap murder machine that fills out any list. Conferring a re-rolls to-hit aura to your Thunderwolves or Predator gunline, he is one of the few characters you want riding in front of your army. He soaks a decent amount of firepower with a 4++ invulnerable on 12 wounds and has a man-sized fight phase. He requires good Dakka to bring down and protects the rest of your list for at least a turn from most of the enemy's multi-wound shots. Great as a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX and provides good aura buffs to boot.
  • Njal Stormcaller: Now only available Terminator Armour, the base version got Legends'd. At 153 pts only 13 pts more than a similarly equipped Terminator Librarian but with a lot more benefits. Along with his improved statline Njal knows 3 Tempestas powers along with Smite so he can pick and choose which 2 he wants to cast with +1 on he psychic tests. He can also deny 2 enemy powers per turn with a re-roll on one of the attempts, combined with his psychic hood this gives you a damn good chance of denying an opponent's powers - this really matters with all the Smite spam out there this edition. Nightwing is even more underwhelming than last time, giving only 3 strength 3 shots, but at least Assault 3 is better than nothing. Play aggressively and drop him with another deep striking unit so he can support them, throw out Powers and shut down enemy casters.
  • Bjorn the Fell Handed: With the buffs to Dreads in 9th Bjorn may well be the most powerful non-Lord of War unit in the game right now. To start with he grants Core units within 9" re-rolls of 1's to hit (thanks to Saga of the Majesty buffing his aura). Damn near unkillable due to his T8, W8, 5+ ignore all wounds save combined with the damage reduction now given to Dreads. He packs 5 strength 12, AP -4, D1d6 attacks with re-rolls to hit and wound in combat so there's very little that won't just get splattered upon contact. With movement 8 he doesn't get around too badly either, spraying heavy weapon shots without penalty as he does so. The main drawback for all this awesome is high points cost ranging from 190 pts for basic assault cannon to 210 pts for twin lascannons. But it doesn't take a lot to get your points back with him and he'll easily clean out enemy monsters/vehicles that cost way more than he does while buffing your army in the process. Just point him towards the enemy and have fun.
    • Bjorn is more or less a discount Leviathan dread. Leviathan is slightly tougher, Bjorn hits much better in CC. He moves quicker, and will remain full power no matter how much damage he takes. Though the Leviathan brings ridiculous dakka to the table, in a comparison of shooting ability Bjorn looses out. Key in the comparison is the fact that Bjorn is a character and has 8 very tough wounds. This helps ensure that he will brutalize his opponents in CC, whereas the leviathan though equally powerful, will usually absorb a lot of enemy firepower before he gets stuck in resulting in significantly reducing damage output. Basically, if you want to kill a swarm lord in CC, Bjorn will usually be the optimal and cheaper option; whereas if you prefer bug zapping at a more comfortable 18" (a smart idea since your opponent will try and tarpit the heavies) take the Leviathan.
    • He's a good addition, especially for a non-deepstrike/outflanking army, and while he's tough, he's certainly not tough enough for this level of raving about. T8, 3+ armour, 5+ ignores lost wounds isn't too high up there. If it you're taking a detachment centered on Bjorn, do yourself a favour and take Bray'arth Ashmantle instead; T9, 2+ armour, 5+ invulnerable, and 4+ ignores lost wounds. Less damage output in close combat, but with 2d6 S6 AP-2 D3 autohitting attacks, it will even out either during overwatch or before charging. Or don’t, because that would require a seperate detachment to include a salamanders Dreadnought!!
  • Arjac Rockfist: "Mjolnir Foehammer to me!"*cough* The Anvil of Fenris has received a big promotion this edition and is now a fully-fledged Wolf Guard Battle Leader in the HQ section. In combat, he's an absolute beast with 5 Strength 10 thunder hammer attacks due to his sheer size without the usual -1 to hit penalty (although, as a Space Wolf with WS 2+, he would normally ignore the penalty anyhow), deals 3 damage with bumping up to 4 damage against characters and monsters. In addition to this, he is able to re-roll all missed hits against characters, which makes him a supreme duelist, and all for only 8 points more than a similarly equipped terminator battle leader. Still gets to throw his hammer and the Anvil Shield gives a 3++ invuln save. An absolute auto-include if you're running an army with Terminators, Thunderwolves, or Wolf Guard bikers (just remember he can't keep up with the latter two, so he'll have to deep strike in to provide his buff).
  • Ulrik the Slayer: Ulrik's a named Master of Sanctity with +1 to BS, W, and A, 9" to his Leadership-boosting ability, and the Slayer's Oath, which greatly improves his support ability provided he's managed to kill a Character or Monster (which isn't terribly likely, especially with his low mobility).
    • Even though he is footslogging, he has options to get where he is needed, and can seriously buff other units when he gets there at a better price than a Master of Sanctity.
  • Ragnar Blackmane: Primaris only now. He replaces Shock Assault with his old Berserker Rage, giving him 3 attacks when Shock Assault would trigger instead of one. Additionally, he lets nearby Space Wolves within 6" make a consolidation move of 6" instead of the usual 3". And he has a re-roll charge aura for friendly SW Core units within 6”. Get this guy in an Impulsor with either Incursors, Reivers or Veteran Intercessors (Give the Sarge something tasty) and then RIP AND TEAR, UNTIL IT IS DONE!
    • This guy is a beast, but you'll probably want an Impulsor to get him where he wants to go, along with some Bladeguard Veterans for real meatshields.
  • Krom Dragongaze: A fairly inexpensive but fluffy alternative to a regular footslogging Wolf Lord/Captain. At 90 pts he boasts an extra attack, his frost axe deals D1d3, and he reduces enemy units' morale within 3" by 1. Awesome model, and offers something different from the usual Wolf theme. Cheaper than similarly equipped Wolf Lord, making him the budget choice.
  • Harald Deathwolf: This guy, right here, cheap as chips with a captain buff, Thunderwolf, storm shield, and pretty nice melee. He can deploy 9" from enemies through pseudo-outflank to threaten a charge. What really makes this guy nuts is that he receives the ability to reduce any damage suffered by 1. So survivable, this is an 8th edition attempt at Chapter Master Smashfucker. His frost axe deals 2 wounds a pop as well and deals an extra mortal wound on a wound roll of 6, so even heavy infantry wont be safe. A few Wolf Scouts deploying behind enemy lines will protect him as well, whilst he lets them spray supercharged plasma around with his hit re-rolls. Gives extra buffs to Thunderwolf cavalry.
  • Canis Wolfborn: Dog Wolfborn has returned as a standard yet pretty overpriced Thunderwolf Battle Leader with Wolf Claws. 40pts extra gets you a +1 attack aura for Thunderwolves, Fenrisian Wolves and Cyberowolves teeth and claw attacks, a re-roll on his (and only his) charge rolls and a BS of 5+. With no invulnerable save he will get melted at the first sight of multiple wounds so you'll find a Battle Leader with TH/SS a lot more effective. In short unless you're running a bucket load of Fenrisian Wolves leave him at home.


  • Grey Hunters the tactical marines. you can give one of the guys The Wolf Standard now lets you reroll run and charge rolls of 1, significantly improving their mobility, while their chainswords make them a cut above standard Tacticals in assault (they will cost you an extra point for the chainsword but you can selectively give them out, Divinding them into bullet sponge and wolf with a weapon). Like most of your units, cowards at Ld 7 unless you pay to add a Wolf Guard Pack Leader - the stock sergeant they come with has +1A, but no +1Ld. Consider Terminator Armor on the Wolf Guard Pack Leader - it's unique if nothing else and the durability boast is good in 9th but won't be able to fit in a Razorback.
    • One of the more popular and effective ways of running these guys is a 6-man unit that includes a Wolf Guard Pack Leader with a Combi-Plasma, a marine with a Plasma Pistol, and a marine with a Plasma Gun. That's 5 Plasma shots and 6 Bolter shots on a 119 pt troops choice. Stick them in a Razorback (Assault Cannons are fun) and run them next to a Wolf Lord or Bjorn to confidently overcharge your Plasma shots. This setup allows Grey Hunters to reliably hunt MEQs, TEQs, charge weak models with Chainswords, and sit on objectives, making them one of the most versatile troop choices in the game.
  • Blood Claws instead of introduction as scouts, Space Wolves start you off as Assult marines. Brutal on the charge with an additional attack and another from their chainswords. They've gotten their "must charge if able" rule back too. All this means is that you want these guys in melee ASAP, and should consider HQs and Wulfen to buff their melee game. Costs the same per model as Grey Hunters.
    • Remember, the whole unit is a Blood Claws unit, so buffs like Lukas or Wulfen resolve against the Wolf Guard model, too.
    • You can stuff three 5 man squads (no Wolf Guard) with wolf priest into a land raider crusader. Solves troops requirements for battalions, takes up 1 model for deployment rather than 5, and altogether serves as a top-notch horde/chaff removal tool allowing other units to move about more freely. Excellent place to make use of a stalker pack if you have the CP.
    • The only edge Blood Claws have over Grey Hunters is the ability to be taken in squads of 16 (15 + Wolf Guard Pack Leader).


  • Hounds of Morkai: For whatever reason, the furries now get a special Reiver squad made to kill psykers. These guys are melee-only with Grapnels, but they can always target psykers and add +1 to their hit and damage rolls against the damned witches. Defensively, they are protected by runic totems that make them unable to be directly targeted by spells unless they're the closest unit available and have a 4++ FNP against psychic damage. In place of their Terror Troops aura, they have a new aura that inflicts a -1 penalty to casting rolls when the enemy's within 18" of them (And this doubles the penalty when within 6", a possible exception to that whole +/-1 cap). If you plan on targeting a psyker or are facing psyker-heavy forces, then you can take the Hounds as a direct counter to them.
  • Wulfen: One of the best melee units in 8th, kit them out with the giant axes and a couple of Stormshields & Thunderhammers. These guys are your choice against elites and enemy beatsticks as these guys wreck them, just don't charge hordes. Their Death Frenzy rule is insanely powerful; giving them a 5+ ignore all wounds save after armour and Invulnerable have failed them and also allows them to instantly attack again if they die in combat. They also buff your units, giving them either charge re-rolls or an extra attack. Bounding Lope allows them to advance & charge with re-rolls to failed charges as well, combined with their 7" move you'll find them getting around the board quicker than Thunderwolves a lot of the time. Combine with a Wolf Priest for an absolutely murderous unit that will molest anything and can take a bit of punishment as well.
    • Use Dark Angels stratagem the Lion and the Wolf to see what +1 WS, attack, strength and leadership can help the wulfen leader.
  • Wulfen Dreadnought: The Furioso Dreadnoughts aren't the only melee specialist dreads now. Only has a single storm bolter or heavy flamer as standard, but its paired axe and wolf claw make it a death machine in melee and it can re-roll failed charges. Going for single-wound infantry? Flamer and axe, since he gets to swing eight times with it. Going for anything else? Flamer and claw, since you re-roll failed to-wounds and always deal 3 damage in assault. Be careful about which armies you pit him against. He's not that good compared to the Forgeworld Dreadnoughts. While the axe is a more expensive Power Fist. His save isn't that great either. Save points for Murderfang or a Chaplain Dread if you want a melee monster.
    • If you take the claw and shield combination, you actually end up with two storm bolters, any of which can be swapped for a heavy flamer. If you decide on the storm bolters, remember he's only BS5+.
  • Wolf Guard: The Space Wolf equivalent of the various types of Veterans, Wolf Guard lack any sort of bodyguard ability or special weapons (with only combi options). Instead, they have a wider array of excellent melee weapons options. With chainswords being a free upgrade, Wolf Guard are more points-effective than Grey Hunters. Wolf Guard are very versatile, but be careful with going overboard; they're now 2 but didn't get a points increase.
  • Wolf Guard Terminators: Wolf Guard Terminators are interesting in that they can mix-and-match close combat and ranged loadouts, and can equip each Terminator with combi-weapons (much like Chaos Terminators). Also, they get access to all the various frost weapons, giving them an edge over their equivalents. Mixing and matching mean you can protect your assault cannon Wolf Guard with a few storm shield-wearing Wolf Guard. An alternate way to look at the Terminator Wolf guard is as an exceedingly tough dakka squad. Equip each one with a storm shield and combi-weapon, and you've got a 2+/3++, 3 wounds deepstriking unit for 4ppm less than a sternguard group in a pod. Other good choices include thunder hammer and combi-weapon (for better-combined melee and ranged output than other chapters can possibly field in their terminators), power sword, and combi-weapon (for more cost-efficient dakka than they can field), and frost sword and combi-weapon (for a compromise between the two). Note that with proper support these guys can become one of the nastiest melee units in 40k. Load them up with either wolfclaws or TH/SS then deep strike them with Arjac, Logan and a character with saga of the wolfkin and the wulfen stone then grab a lawn chair and watch them put Berzerkers to shame. Yes, this is a huge point sink for a relatively unreliable deathstar but god damn if it isn’t satisfying to watch a tau players face as your hyper buffed termies shred through their entire gunline at record speed.
  • Lukas the Trickster: Makes everyone around him less disciplined, friend or foe, including himself, not that single-model units care much about that. He has a +1D Wolf Claw and a Plasma Pistol, paired with a fairly incredible WS2+/BS3+/W4/A4, and opponents who Fight him get a -1 to hit penalty. If he's slain while Fighting, he rolls off with his opponent, and if he wins, the unit that killed him takes 1d6 mortal wounds. His best ability, and the reason to take him, is that he's like a lite version of a Wolf Guard Battle Leader - friendly Blood Claw units within 6" (once again including himself) reroll ones to wound (which his claw already does, but his pistol won't - just remember to avoid overcharging the pistol without a very good reason, as it will tend to kill him right when you need it not to). He has no great way to keep up with the bike or jump infantry versions of his buddies, so he's probably best taken with the basic footslogging troops choice, and remember, he will stack with abilities that re-roll misses, like a Wolf Lord.
    • Points: Lukas costs 110, while a footslogging Wolf Guard Battle Leader costs 60 and has a more versatile aura (and comes stock with worse gear). This means Lukas' points are paying for his personal beatstickery (the claw, the pistol, the additional Wound he has over the leader, both of his Fight phase buffs, and his universal leadership debuff, if there's a good way to assign a cost to it), which is not an efficient way to get shit done - you should be investing points in making a good murder unit and then using your buffers to apply to it. You'll usually be better off with a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, as a result - roughly half the cost, and mostly better wargear choices, like a power fist and storm bolter. And, of course, you're not constrained to footslogging one.
  • MURDERFANG: As a Character with fewer than 10 wounds, Murderfang can only be targeted with ranged weapons if he's the closest enemy. With a decent screen of infantry and good use of his Murderlust ability, getting him into close combat unharmed is almost too easy. Just don't do something stupid like charging Relic/Hellforged Contemptor or Leviathan Dreads. Graviton weaponry and their Automatic Shielding/Hellfire Reactor invul saves will give Murderfang a nice buttfucking. However, he does make a decent meat shield for your own Forge World Dreadnoughts or Bjorn. Having both of them with a Chaplain Dread so Murderfang can run interference for the two HQs is a viable strategy.
    • After playing several games with this guy, I think he makes a very good defensive anchor for your army. If your opponent is running an alpha-strike type army, hide him near an important unit and charge deep striking heavy infantry. I guarantee if your opponent hasn't seen him on the table before, they'll underestimate him. I've had him completely wipe tough beatstick units in a single round of combat on multiple occasions, and he usually makes back his points and then some. Just be careful on where you deploy him so he doesn't get caught without a screen to protect him.

Fast Attack

  • Cyberwolves: Like Fenrisian Wolves, only cheaper since you only need 1 model. Stated like a Primaris lieutenant with 10" advance and charge but Sv+4. These guys are the cheapest Fast Attack option in the game, and an absolutely phenomenal choice of anchor for your drops, and/or hiding in LOW-blocking cover on an objective in small games.
  • Fenrisian Wolves: Fast and do some damage now that they fight at AP-1, but still die to a stiff breeze. Very cheap FA chaff, although not as cheap as a Cyberwolf. They gain more leadership the more wolves you have in a unit, but it's still pretty crappy. If you want them to get into combat and do some damage you'll need a wolf priest to shepherd them, otherwise, leave them as fodder.
    • These guys are basically our only good screening option if you don't want to ally with another Imperium faction. A unit of 10 or 15 dogs is cheap and makes for a fairly decent screen to help us against smiting and mortal wound spam. Consider taking them if you have a hole to fill in your list. These guys have AWFUL leadership though, and you are very likely to lose just as many models to moral as you are to shooting, which is not what you want from a screen. Don't expect these to be as effective as a conscript conga.
  • Skyclaws: Skyclaws are essentially Blood Claws with jump packs; their shooting is sub-par (if you're going to give them special weapons, go with flamers) but their extra attack when charging gives them an edge over other versions of Assault Marines. This means they might just be worth it, especially if babysat by a jump-pack Character.
    • Skyclaws also pay the least "taxes" on getting special weapons into the squad - 2 every 5, as opposed to 1 every 3 with Swiftclaws. They should ideally be given flamers since they're not affected by their BS, and their movement stat means they'll get in range to use them.
    • The sergeant can also take a special weapon, and the wolfgaurd can take a combi. That's four flamers on a deepstriking unit that ignores cover movement penalties for 125 points. Watch your opponent kiss their GEQ blobs goodbye on turn one.
  • Thunderwolf Cavalry: Don't really have the punch they used to, and slower than bikes to boot, with fewer weapon options. The 3 extra S5, AP-1 attacks per model from the mount does help clear out light infantry, but to really bring the pain like they used to they need to be in proximity to Arjac and/or Wulfen for the bonus attacks. Having to pay 10pts per model for Storm Shields really hurts as well, on top of an already pricey unit, but if you give them a personal Wolf Priest with Jump Pack, they become a lot more survivable. Wolf Claws are an excellent way to give them very good melee output without breaking the bank like some of their other choices. The 8th codex has basically left these guys in the dust, no longer starting at STR 5, losing 2 inches of base movement, and worst of all, the rider himself (which is where all your war gear is going) only comes with 2 attacks, so your points spent are WAY less efficient than in 7th. Also, these infamous "fast" charging units are no longer fleet, so good luck getting into combat without Wulfen around. Basically, GW doesn't like people buying this model anymore for some reason. butt hurt much?

Heavy Support

  • Long Fangs: The Space Wolves version of Devastators, only older, wiser. 9th had boiled way their unique hunter rule, and now a just Devastators all with 8ld and can take a Wolf Guard with or without terminator armour as an extra weapons platform. the Wolf Guard does give extra firepower, unlikely you would spend points on melee gear, especially since you could have another shooting units that are better at melee nearby. Wolf Guard will give you extra combi-weapons or terminator guns.


  • Stormwolf: The Stormwolf is the Space Wolves equivalent of a Stormraven Gunship, only it's a bit more expensive, holds 16 models and no dreadnoughts, and has better guns. The flying refrigerator (wolf snout?) looks a bit doofy, but don't be fooled: this thing rocks. With the default lascannons/helfrost/heavy bolter loadout, the Stormwolf can handle a variety of threats with ease, and you have the option of dropping the heavy bolters for skyhammer missiles to deal with flyers or two twin multi meltas to kill the bigger stuff (although this option will cost you a whole lot of points). With it's Flyer mobility you can feel a lot more comfortable sinking points into it though as it can essentially deliver 2 Long Fang squads worth of Heavy Weapons exactly where you want on turn 1. Build your heavy support around this beast and equip it to your needs. The Stormwolf works fairly well on its own, and it might even be preferable to not put infantry inside because it's already going to be a massive target on the table, but the option is there should you want to stuff a bunch of Blood Claws or Terminators inside.
  • Stormfang Gunship: The Stormfang is extremely similar to the Stormwolf and fills pretty much the same role but with a few minor differences. The Stormfang sacrifices most of its transport capacity for a bigger version of the Helfrost Cannon, which lets it shoot once more on Focused mode and D3 more times on Dispersed mode. Dispersed mode is also D 2, unlike regular Helfrost Cannons which gives it huge wound potential against heavier infantry. Additionally, it comes with two Stormstrike missile launchers base, but it can upgrade to two lascannons instead, which you should always do so you can wound basically every vehicle in the game on a 3+. Otherwise, it's the exact same as the Stormwolf but a measly 2-10 pts more expensive depending on whether or not you took the lascannons. If you weren't planning on stuffing infantry inside then it might be worth the upgrade if you have the spare points, the extra hits can be very valuable.


  • The UPGRADE HAMMER AND ANVIL: This build simply takes leverage on increasing the number of attacks available to your units. Built around a character (probably a Wolf Lord) with wulfenstone and saga of the wolfkin, along with Arjac Rockfist and 3 units of Wolfguard. They could be outflanked, etc, or deep strike in, if terminator variant (this is the easiest to build, because Arjac is in a termi suit). This will give them +3 attacks on the charge. 15 wolf guard with 5 attacks each (8 on the Pack Leaders) with thunder hammer and storm shields will make your opponent sit up and take notice. You can add a unit of Wulfen for the saga's less aggressive cousin, giving you the same +1A it grants on the very rare turns where you neither charged nor were charged but are in melee; without the saga, the Wulfen also supply the +1A on turns you were charged. For bonus spice, take along a rune priest with the Armor of Russ; Always Strikes Last will usually let you delete anything you're in melee with before it gets to swing, even if you didn't get the charge off, and between Tempest's Wrath and Storm Caller, you should be incredibly durable.
    • Note: This can be done in a variety of combinations, too. You have about 300 points left to play with for as many dogs as you can fit in. You can have 5 units of 10-12 Fenrisian wolves, 3 thunderwolf cavalry, all with an extra attack, hammers and bites, and still have room for 4 x 5 man wolf guard units with frost axes storm shields with arjac and wolf lord all with Jet packs with 4 attacks EACH! What does the opponent shoot. The 70 wolves and cavalry running toward them using cover etc, or the turn 2 deep strike into cover of 4 units of wolf guard.
    • If you swap out Saga of the Wolfkin for Saga of the Hunter, and swap Arjac for a Wolf Guard Battle Leader on a bike, along with a Wolf Lord on a bike and a Rune Priest on a bike, you'll be able to make White Scars drool. Take along plenty of Wolf Guard on Bikes with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields; a minimum unit of them will have 16 attacks within range of the Wulfenstone, and the Saga of the Hunter (just charge with your Warlord first, to turn his trait into an aura buff) will let the entire deathstar (provided it's within 6" of the Warlord when it charges) charge after advancing, for 20" of sweet, sweet melee threat. Of course, you can keep Saga of the Wolfkin - it's harder to activate, but once it's up, you've traded threat range for quantity of attacks, which is usually going to be better, once you're in the thick of things.
  • Razor Wolves: This is an old classic, and it's now better than ever. Take a battalion with AT LEAST 4 min Grey Hunter squads and shove them all in assault cannon razorbacks. This is your core, now you can do what you want.
    • You're probably thinking that's a lot of dakka, and you're right! that's why for our HQ slots we are gonna take both a Wolf Lord and a Wolf Guard Battle Leader, put them both on bikes, take storm bolters, and run them up with your Razorbacks to re-roll ALL THE ONES. This is all going to set you back around 900pts.
  • -The Support- : This is your empty Stormwolf. Don't bother using it as a transport, it's just a gunship with some empty seats, and you don't want to park this thing to let guys out. The most efficient way to take this is with the Skyhammer missiles, which are actually cheaper than the Heavy Bolters (We have assault cannons, we don't need HB's) which give us all the anti vehicle we need at a MUCH lower price than the multi-meltas. They ARE worth the points, but your opponent WILL shoot their entire army at this thing until it goes down if you take them. Don't expect this vehicle to live to see turn 3 if you take the melta's. With the points we saved on the flyer, we can safely take a squad of Longfangs with 4 Lascannons without feeling stripped of cash. these 2 units should be all the heavy support you need and this altogether leaves you just under 180 points for a 1500 list. Anything else you add to this list pretty much depends on what points you are playing, if it's a 1500 point game, just upgrade your everything with plasma's and power weapons.
  • Fluffy List: If you prefer to goof around with big doggies than tanks and bolters, this is the list for you. Take an outrider detatchment, take Logan on his sled as your warlord, take 2 4-5 man units of thunderwolf cavalry and run them up opposite sides of the board with a group of 15 Fenrisian wolves each and then either ally with Astra Militarum or take a load of heavy support. You could take a spearhead for this with a wolf guard on thunderwolf to add to Logans aura buff or a rune priest on bike as your hq, and spam preds, long fangs, dakka dreadnaughts, stormwolfs etc. If you can bear with the awful models, Wulfen would add some value to this list. Not very competitive, but way more fun than it should be.
  • Ally with Guard: The 8th ed codex has made Astra militarum REALLY strong, and with the ability to take just heavy supports and a HQ, you can pull off some really gross stuff as allies. Take a Cadian spearhead and 3 heavy support squads with 3 lascannons each, and a company commander as your hq to order them to reroll stuff. This is gonna give you a command point and 9 lascannons for a total of 246 points. You can pretty much put this in any list and get away with it. Feel free to take a few Basilisks or a Manticore while you are at it, or buy 50 conscripts and a commissar to hold your side of the board while all your furries run into the enemy deployment.
  • Parking Lot - Wolf Edition: Same principle as the Dark Angels parking lot, but instead using Bjorn and Murderfang as your staple units, basically you take the following Characters and just hide them behind a wall of Razorbacks and Wolf Guard/Grey Hunters for high value ranged damage output and having high melee damage potential while also giving everything some great buffs: Bjorn, Murderfang, Wolf Guard Battle Leader, Rune Priest with Storm Caller, Primaris Ancient. Combine this with one or two distraction units on the flanks and target priory becomes very hard for your opponent while you are able to capitalize on a very strong ranged early game which can in theory protect your two Character Dreadnaughts long enough to get stuck into something big together and easily take down the largest of foes, even if they do go down you should hopefully be able to make very effective use of ONLY IN DEATH DOES DUTY END to take down something with you.
  • Cunning of the Wolf: Chapter Approved has given us outflanking, in the form of the 'Cunning of the Wolf' stratagem. Grey Hunters can arrive uncomfortably close to your opponents units, pour plasma into them, and then get stuck in close combat. If you get your angles right, you may even be able to target characters. 1 or 2 squads arriving in this fashion is a decent (and fluffy) addition to most armies, but it can also be good bant to build entire lists around this stratagem. Bring 3 or 4 full plasma squads like this, along with chainswords and power/frost weapons, and watch your opponent's back line melt. Use the rest of the points to compensate for your lack of anti-armour and tougher units - Stormwolfs/fangs, terminator squads, and jump-pack WGBLs synergizes well.
  • The Air Pack: Bring 3 Stormwolf's or Stormfang's, a Lord w/ Jump Pack, Battle Leader w/ Jump Pack, and Rune Priest w/ Jump pack. The Rune Priest needs to know Storm Caller and you need to spend 3 CP on Cloaked by the Storm. Advance the characters so that they can keep up with the gunships for 1-2 turns. Then move the gunships out of range or put them in hover depending on the opponent. Put some Bloodclaws or Wulfen in those Gunships to help with the assault. This requires positioning, but you can have 3 gunships with re-rolling 1's to hit and wound, with Cover and -2 to be hit. It is expensive, both in points and CP, but it is a pretty fun list, and your opponents will despair at hitting those -2 and in Cover gunships.

Imperial (& Crimson) Fists[edit]

Imperial Fists Livery.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only defiance eternal.
Stubborn to a fault, the Imperial Fists are paragons of bolt marksmanship and peerless urban fighters and siege specialists.
On the tabletop, this is represented by their bonuses to shooting and mastery of cover use. Where their enemies find no respite, the Imperial Fists dig in whilst letting loose precise bolter fusillades and crippling heavy weapons barrages. Success not out of tricks or outlandish tactics, just shooting like a supersoldier ought to.
If you want marines with fearsome firepower and wish to reduce your enemy's army to mauled infantry turn one, then play as the Sentinels of Terra and fight until the bitter end.

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 survive anything the galaxy throws at you.

Special Rules[edit]

Unlike other supplements, the Imperial Fists share theirs with their Crimson Fists successors. Crimson Fists thus have a full list of relics and stratagems (and Imperial Fists don't), but have their own chapter tactic and half a warlord trait table. They're still Fists, just with some "heroic last stand" tones.

  • Imperial Fists and Successor Chapter Tactics - Siege Masters: Enemy units do not receive "the benefit of light 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. Yellow IS shootier.
    • Exploding 6s is mathematically the same as an additional point of BS but better, since it both stacks with actual +1s to hit and doubles your Overwatch. Plus, scoring more shots than the weapon is actually capable of is always neat. This also means you suffer less from -1s to hit, including Auspex Scanner's.
    • Cover isn't the nigh-invuln it was back in 7E, but it's almost like an extra point of AP now that it 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. Especially when it makes Primaris bolter variants more relevant.
  • Crimson Fists Chapter Tactic - No Matter the Odds: Add 1 to hit rolls for a unit shooting at an enemy that has at 5 more models than the attacking unit has (e.g. a unit of 3 models gets +1 against any unit of 8 models or more). When using a Vehicle to attack, that model itself counts as 5 models, so you only get it against units of 10 or more, not 6. Vehicles and Dreadnoughts you attack still count as 1 - in fact, this tactic can't come up against any target unit with fewer than 6 models in it. Additionally, for attacks with a bolt weapon, an unmodified 6 to hit scores an additional hit.
    • Exploding 6s is mathematically the same as an additional point of BS but better, since it both stacks with actual +1s to hit and doubles your Overwatch. Plus, scoring more shots than the weapon is actually capable of is always neat. This also means you suffer less from -1s to hit, including Auspex Scanner's.
    • As if you needed an incentive to run Multiple Small Units. Keep in mind "cosmetic" models count as squad members, e.g.: an Armorium Cherub would prevent an otherwise 5-man Devastator unit to gain the bonus against a unit of 10 Guardsmen. Still, it gives Crimson Fists great anti horde capability. It works on your damaged units too as well as low count units (Company Vet pairs).
    • Aggressors, Inceptors and Centurions are perfect for the CF: they are three-man squads with a fuck ton of bolt shots.
  • Combat Doctrine - Legacy of Dorn: Heavy Weapons with a strength characteristic of 7 or more gain +1 damage when targeting Vehicles or Buildings (although good luck finding a non-vehicle building to shoot at) in the Devastator Doctrine. No nonsense, strike some of the important targets turn one at range. But only turn one, due to the changes to Combat Doctrines. Does nothing against monsters.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Siege Master: Add 1 to wound rolls against Building and Vehicle units. Great on a slam captain or anyone else that’s going to be in melee against Knights or tanks. This is Tor Garadon’s required trait.
    • The Imperial Fists can have one of the mightiest Smash Captains of them all: Combine Siege Master with The Imperium's Sword (rerolls charges, +1S +1A). Then give him a relic Thunder Hammer or the cheaper Fist of Terra and now he's wounding Knights on a 2+.
    • Fist Warlords aren't restricted to melee. Siege Masters can wound most vehicles on a 4+ with mere bolters. MC Auto Bolt Rifle > MC Stalker Bolt Rifle.
  2. Indomitable: This warlord can only be wounded on a 4+. Essentially the opposite of the above, rather than being good at killing Knights this trait makes you good at not being killed by Knights (or other Smash Captains). This is Captain Lysander’s required trait.
    • Better for T4 characters than for Gravis Captains; Gravis gives up the option of a 3++ for a T5 that would prevent them being wounded by S8 on a 2+, but this trait does away with silly maths. Only S5 Power Axes and Bolt Sniper Rifles would make a difference here.
  3. Fleetmaster: Once per battle, at the end of the Fight phase and if this warlord both remained stationary and didn't do any attacks, select a point on the battlefield and roll 1d6 for each unit within d6". On a 4+ (substracting 1 for characters), deal d3 MW to that unit. So, give up a Warlord's trait and turn to do what an Orbital Comms Impulsor does.
    • Then again, it can be combined with an Orbital Comms Impulsor and Orbital Bombardment for 3d3 MW on the enemy's formation / spam 1d3 MW across the board. Rather punishing for MSU armies.
  4. Stubborn Heroism: The warlord halves incoming damage (rounding up), but cannot fall back. Combine this with Indomitable, and take the Adamantine Mantle on a Gravis Captain for a character who isn’t going anywhere.
    • He won't die to the big stuff, but keep anti-horde measures at hand should you need them - a Terminator / Aggressor retinue can use Close-Range Bolter Fire.
  5. Architect of War: When resolving AP-1 attacks against friendly Fists within 6" of this warlord, add an additional 1 to the (armour) save roll if that unit is "recieving the benefit of cover" (meaning IW and other IF nullify this trait). Do keep in mind some cover affects melee too now. While situational, enemy Bolt Rifles and astartes chainswords start at AP-1, so it can be a common situation indeed.
  6. Hand of Dorn: If your army is battle-forged, gain D3 command points before the battle. Simple, powerful, always worth taking, even if it requires spending a command point for Sentinel of Terra.
  1. Tenacious Opponent: If there are at least 5 enemy models within 6" of your warlord in the fight phase, he gains D3 extra attacks.
    • Have him fight before killing models with other units; Eight attacks on a good roll place him among the most damaging captains. Combine it with The Imperium's Sword or Champion of Humanity to make him even deadlier.
  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 Fists Core units gain Objective Secured 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. Better than the vanilla codex version.

Relics and Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

The Fists only get four relics for themselves, as they share two slots with the Crimson Fists:

  • The Spartean: Vastly improved from SM1, it upgrades a bolt or heavy bolt pistol, making it 18" Pistol 2 AP-3 2D with the ability to target Characters like snipers do. Can be given to a Primaris character (only Captains can take power fists) to help eliminate characters.
  • Eye of Hypnoth: Imperial Fists core ranged attacks within 6" of the bearer re-roll 1s to wound. So, a limited Lieutenant reroll...but that still frees up 60-70 pts and a HQ slot for a Chaplain or Librarian. Great for a ranged Captain baby-sitting a gunline, especially since Phobos Lieutenants cannot infiltrate.
  • The Banner of Staganda: Imperial Fists Ancient only. Melee attacks made by CORE units within 6" get +1 to hit. Excellent utility for a Termie ancient deepstriking near other termies, nullifying their fists' and hammers' -1 to hit. Give them Fury of the First and you get hammers that hit on a 2+! And it's not like you don't have a named Termie captain to tag along.
  • The Bones of Orsak: Imperial Fists Librarian only. When manifesting a Geokinesis power, you can re-roll the Psychic test. Geokinesis powers are easy, but can be useful if you want to truly rely on them.

And the Crimson Fists get 2:

  • Duty's Burden: Crimson Fists exclusive, replaces a master-crafted stalker bolt rifle or master-crafted auto bolt rifle, 30" Rapid Fire 2 S5 AP-2 D2.
  • Fist of Vengeance: Crimson Fists exclusive, replaces a power fist, makes it full D3 with no penalty to hit. One of the best melee relics, especially with the thunder hammer nerfs - hits hard and cheap.

To compensate for the Fists below average number of relics, some Special-Issue items are of relic-tier quality. First of all, the standard 4 every chapter gets:

  • Adamantine Mantle: 5+++ Feel No Pain.
  • Artificer Armor: 2+/5++. As always, better on support characters that lack invulnerable saves like Lieutenants or Librarians.
  • Master-Crafted Weapon: Increase a weapon's damage by one and it counts as a relic, so it may no longer be affected by some WTs and such. Naturally, it cannot be used on weapons already named "master-crafted".
  • Digital Weapons: Gain an extra attack that deals a mortal wound if it hits.

And then the four Fist-specific ones:

  • Auric Aquila: 4++ invulnerable save, and 5+++ against mortal wounds in the Psychic phase. A better invuln, and especially good for the Librarian, as technically that'd ward against mws caused by perils of the warp.
  • Fist of Terra: Replaces a power fist, removing the penalty to hit and granting +1 attack. One of the better melee relics. Despite lacking a Thunder Hammer's guaranteed 3 Damage, the bonuses allow the wielder to effectively fight infantry whilst still being effective against bigger targets. And again, 31 damn points cheaper.
  • Gatebreaker Bolts: Gives a bolt weapon an alt-fire mode: make one hit roll that makes D3 wound rolls (allocated separately) at AP-5 D1. Since they are allocated separately, the single shot could kill three GEQ. Guess it gives characters with single-shot already master-crafted bolt weapons a bit more flexibility? The Heavy Intercessor Captain shoots it at S5 and thus has a better chance to wound MEQ than other characters' bolt rifles.
  • Warden's Cuirass: +1 Wound. Strictly inferior than the Armour Indomitus, though the only other source of +1W is the Angel Artifice exclusive to the Chapter Master.


  • Bitter Enemy (1 CP): In the Fight Phase, re-roll any Hit and Wound rolls against Iron Warriors. The fluffy stratagem everyone seems to get. If it comes up, have fun with it.
  • Bolster Defenses (1 CP, Single Use): At the start of the movement phase, select an Imperial Fists Infantry unit entirely on or within a terrain feature. As long as they remain stationary, when resolving an attack against them, add 1 to their non-invulnerable saving throw.
    • That's the wording. Notice it doesn't say "in the shooting phase", just says attack; if the enemy charges them, they get +1 to their armour save in melee - they're on YOUR turf. By using a Drop Pod, Impulsor or infiltration (Phobos) your unit can begin earlier on the enemy's ground and it becomes PROTECT THE BEACH-HEAD!
  • Sappers (1 CP): In the Shooting or Fight Phase, a unit adds +1 to Hit and Wound against a Building. No one uses buildings, and you already have Combat Doctrine if they do. But if someone brings a Noctilith Crown or a Landing Pad, and you were too busy turn one to get it, go break it.
  • Bolter Drill (2 CP): In the Shooting Phase, one Imperial Fists unit counts hit rolls of 6 with a Bolt weapon as two hits. That's three with the chapter tactic. A tad expensive, so throw it high dakka units like Aggressors, Inceptors, Centurions, Infiltrators (6s auto-wound), FW Quad-Heavy Bolter units (Fire Raptor, Land Raider Proteus, Rapier Carrier) and the like, pray for sixes, and unleash the BRRRRRT.
  • Tank Hunters (2 CP): Pick one enemy Vehicle. Until the end of the phase, a (1) Imperial Fists unit gets +1 to wound against it. Pop this when the enemy has a piece or armor that absolutely must die, and the combat doctrine just isn't enough for you (or you're trying to destroy it in melee).
    • Anti-infantry guns will wound almost any vehicle on a 4+, and Lascannons, Vindicators and Heavy/Macro Plasma Incinerators will wound almost any vehicle on a 2+.
  • Praetorian's Wrath (2 CP, Single Use): At the start of the movement phase, when the Devastator Doctrine is active, 6s to wound with heavy weapons and grenades gain an additional -1 to their AP until the next movement phase. Note that the wording here means that it applies in Overwatch.
  • The Shield Unwavering (2 CP): At the end of your turn, give an Imperial Fists Infantry unit within 3" of an objective +1 attack and +1 to (non-invulnerable)19/11/2019 FAQ saving throws until the start of your next turn. Combine with Bolster Defenses or Pain Is A Lesson when the point must be held at all costs.
  • Pain Is A Lesson (1 CP): Give a 6+++ Feel No Pain to a non-vehicle or servitor unit for a phase.
  • Close-Range Bolter Fire (2 CP): Turn a unit's Bolt weapons into Pistols for a Shooting phase. They actually gain the Pistol type, so while Storm and Hurricane Bolters miss out on the double shooting, squads can use their guns alongside their actual pistols, and they get a boost in the Assault Doctrine.
    • Everyone benefits, but who benefits more? 1) Units who would like to fall back, so that's Heavy Bolter Centurions and Devastators (and Rapier Quad Heavy Bolters because it isn't restricted to infantry). 2) Units who want to be in melee but don't want to miss out on their dakka, like Auto Bolt Rifle Intercessors and Autobolt Aggressors. Assault Bolter Inceptors also belong in one of the two.
  • Stubborn Defense (2 CP): Use at the start of the battle if your Warlord is on the battlefield. You can’t discard Storm or Defend tactical objectives, but scoring them gains you an additional victory point.
  • Clearance Protocols (2 CP): During the Shooting Phase, ten models in a unit can hurl grenades instead of one. Most noticeable on Assault marines and Vanguard Vets, who have an easier time closing the distance and aren't missing out on their guns. Still niche.

The usual extra relics and warlord traits.

  • Champion of Blades (1 CP): Give a successor chapter a Fists relic, the standard stuff.
  • Gift of the Phalanx (1 CP): Give a Sergeant a Master-crafted Weapon, Digital Weapons, the Fist of Terra, or Gatebreaker Bolts.
    • While the Fist of Terra is good and you might want that on a character, they have other relic weapons they can wield, including Thunder Hammers. A Veteran Intercessor with the fist (6A) can join those characters. An Eliminator Sergeant's Bolt Sniper Rifle delivers Gatebreaker Bolts at BS2+ S5 and each of those wound rolls will inflict a mortal wound on a 6 to wound. The Infiltrator Sergeant's Marksman Bolt Carbine makes those three wound rolls auto pass if the hit was a 6. On top of generating another hit roll, like the Fists they are.
    • Master crafting a sergeant's blade is okay, but what about a Centurion Sergeant's D2 Hurricane Bolter? It's a Fist strategy because 6s to hit generate extra hits, so statistically, it's Rapid Fire 7 D2.
  • Sentinel of Terra (1 CP): Give a non-special character Warlord an additional Warlord Trait. Combine Indomitable and Stubborn Heroism for an incredible wall.

They get two extra Stratagems, in addition to the previous ones:

  • A Hated Foe (1 CP): For one phase, a unit rerolls all wounds against Orks in either the fight or shooting phases, meaning it's not locked to melee.
  • Slay The Tyrant (1 CP): For one phase, a unit gets +1 to hit against Characters. Boosting a single sniper unit could be a bit lackluster but could be useful for units who get to target a character, especially in melee. Especially when using unwieldy weapons, or to offset enemy -1 to hit tricks.

Psychic Discipline: Geokinesis[edit]

  1. Tectonic Purge – WC6: Any enemy units that start their charge within 12″ of the psyker must subtract 2 from the result. A strong defensive buff, this trait can combine with the debuff from a Repulsor to make even a Blood Angel unit think twice about charging out of deep strike, or work alone to help keep a unit of Centurions safe. The only major downside is the enemy needing to start within 12″, meaning the Librarian needs to be near the front lines. Combine with Tremor Shells to make charges basically impossible for an enemy unit.
  2. Wrack and Ruin - WC6: One visible enemy <building or unit that's wholly in or within a terrain feature> within 18" has to roll 9d6, and for each 5+ (4+ if it's a building) they suffer a mortal wound. Hardly impressive, but it might let you blow up a Tidewall, bang up a Webway gate, or smack a few cover campers.
    • Will outperform Smite, with the caveat that its targeting is heavily restricted.
  3. Iron Inferno – WC6: Select a point on battlefield within 18″ and visible to psyker. Roll one D6 for each enemy unit within 6″ of that point, deal one mortal wound on a 4+. Better than most area of effect powers, this doesn’t suffer from a penalty to damage characters or random radius. Still, only dealing one mortal wound per unit makes this need to hit multiple units to do much, making it far from a safe take.
  4. Fortify – WC4: Restore D3 lost wounds to one Imperial Fists Infantry or Biker model within 12″. Trivially low warp charge for some healing? Sign me up. Only downside is that Apothecary resurrection happens in the movement phase, so this can’t heal a model to full and allow the Apothecary to resurrect – but it can heal up a resurrected model to full.
  5. Aspect of Stone – WC5: Add 2 to psyker’s strength and toughness until your next psychic phase. Counters the positioning vulnerability in the use of Tectonic Purge, and turns a psyker into something of a melee threat; an assault can only be delayed so much. A librarian with a power axe becomes S8 using this power.
  6. Chasm – WC6: Select a visible enemy unit that cannot Fly within 18″ of the psyker. Roll 2D6; if the result is less than the lowest Move characteristic in the unit, it takes one mortal wound; if it’s equal it takes D3; if it’s greater then it’s flat three mortal wounds. Another power that can be used to snipe out a character, this power has a 58.33% chance to do a full three mortal wounds against something with the standard six-inch movement, and of course that only increases against slower units – things like Terminators or Death Guard spring to mind.
    • Starts outperforming Smite against M5 or less. Fuck Orks.

Specialist Detachment - Imperial Fists Siegebreaker Cohort[edit]

It benefits Captains, Centurions, Dreadnoughts, and Vindicators. Note that only IMPERIAL FISTS can take this, and not any of their Successors. Easily worth paying 1CP to get access to it if you need to kill Knights or Forgeworld vehicles, despite not providing access to a relic or even warlord trait (GW FAQed it away rip).


  • Seismic Devastation (1CP): Pick one SIEGEBREAKER COHORT unit at the start of any Shooting or Fight phase. When it makes an unmodified wound roll of 6 against a VEHICLE, you deal an additional mortal wound to the enemy model.
    • Enables your anti-infantry Centurions to also kill a Leman Russ KILL KNIGHTS AND LEVIATHANS. Assault Centurions with flamers deal a bit more wounds, but they have to be within 8" of the enemy instead of 24", so, pass. Bolter Discipline, baby! Redemptor Dreads with Onslaught cannons aren't as killy as Centurions, but they're noticeably cheaper.
      • Three HB Centurions (210 pts) inflict an average of 14.7 unsaved wounds to a 14W 303 pts Leviathan (2+/4++) protected by Duty Eternal(halves damage - denies your Doctrine). That example uses the most basic of boosts: rerolls of 1s to hit and wound, provided by a nameless captain with Eye of Hypnoth (or a Lt). You could combine it with Tank Hunters and Bolter Drill stratagems on Heavy Bolter/Hurricane Bolter Centurions, for +1 to wound, 2D Heavy Bolters, 6s to hit result in 3 hits rather than 1, if you want those three Centurions to kill something like a boosted Knight.
  • 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.

Specialist Detachment - Crimson Fists Liberator Strike Force[edit]

Primaris Characters (Ancient, Apothecary, Captain, Chaplain, Librarian, and Lieutenant), Intercessor squads, Reiver squads, and 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.


  • 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.
    • Useful for a Lieutenant Field Commander for the double aura. Give the Eye of Hypnoth to the Captain, and now you have two double auras. Alternatively you can pick a Librarian or Chaplain (there's no Primaris Techmarines yet), and give them the double aura to boost a Hellblaster unit with Recitation of Focus / Tectonic Purge and Fortify.


  • 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[edit]

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.

  • 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. And the FAQ doesn't say it went down to AP-2 like other hammers. If you have T5 enemies, Lysander's the guy you schedule them a play date with. Makes nearby Fists immune to combat attrition tests, which aren't much of a concern for small units that already ignore attrition modifiers, but it's there. Do you know how to use a TH/SS Termie Captain? Then you know all there is to know about Lysander strategy.
  • Captain Tor Garadon: The original owner of the Spartean Bolt Pistol, now a named Primaris Captain in Gravis armor with +1 wound. He comes with a Grav-gun, making him pack just a bit more punch at range than the usual Gravis captain. He also has a Signum Array that gives a friendly Imperial Fists unit within 3" BS2+ at the start of the shooting phase (thus overriding a vehicle's damage bracket), which stacks nicely with his Captain's Rites of Battle aura. His Hand of Defiance isn't just an aesthetically bulky Power Fist, it's Sx3 AP-3 D3 (but still -1 to hit). Last but not least, his Siege Captain ability gives all his attacks +1 to their damage characteristic when he attacks a Vehicle or Building, so he can punch a Land Raider to death with attacks to spare or help whittle down a tank from afar. But he needs a Repulsor transport for that.
  • 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 9E. His Oath of Rynn special rule is now a buff to give +1A to all friendly Crimson Fists CORE units within 6", on top of his Chapter Master rule. 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 being firstborn he's got access to Rhinos, Raiders, and at the very least he's got an Assault 4 AP-1 Bolter to jog across the board. Do keep in mind Assault Intercessors would get +2A if you make them fight twice.
    • 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.
  • High Chaplain Thulsa Kane:(Legends) Master of Sanctity with the most awesome name, +1A, and rather dodgy with -1 to be hit in melee like a Champion, and refunds CP on a 6 each time you spend them! Furthermore, instead of the Crozius, he uses Lifetaker, a S+2 power sword with D2, which becomes D3 against characters, not unlike a Champion. And he's also got a plasma pistol with an extra shot. Though he's an impressive beatstick that buffs the melee capabilities of everyone around him, he's a footslogging firstborn, so you need to put him in a good transport, like a Drop Pod or a Land Raider.
    • 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 wound rolls. Put him in a Drop Pod and 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).
      • Even better with Incursor squads, whose Paired Combat blades score an additional hit on a 6. Combine it with Gene Wrought Might (1CP) to Auto Wound on a hit roll of 6. Exhortation of Rage means 6s generate an additional attack and Litany of Hate re-rolls any hit roll that isn't a 6. If you're fighting heretic Astartes, pop Death to the Traitors (1CP) while your at it. All up, each six we roll then explodes into 1 auto-wounds, two additional hits, and 3 additional attacks that can also roll 6s to get a further 3 auto-wounds (but no more additional attacks).

Tactical Objectives[edit]

  • Indomitable Defence: Choose three objectives, score 1vp if you control one of them, d3 if you control two, and d3+3 if you control all three.
  • Man The Walls: Score 1vp if at least three of your units are in cover or embarked.
  • Disciplined Firepower:Choose a number between one and three, if you kill that many enemy units, you score that many vp.
  • Champions Of Dorn: Score 1vp if an enemy character was killed by one of your characters.
  • Death Before Dishonour: Score 1vp if this objective has been in your hand for two turns, but it is discarded if you fall back.
  • Breach Their Defences: Score 1vp for each enemy building (lol), or unit you killed that was in/on terrain, to a maximum of three.


So you love bolters, hate vehicles, and forts trigger you despite never having seen one. What to do with all this?

  • Positioning: Shock Assault urges you to melee, your doctrine pulls you to range. But whatever you choose, you have to commit: unlike WS and UM, the stubborn Imperial Fists don't take falling back too well - Stubborn Heroism warlords wouldn't even think of it. Where other armies have stratagems to do complex feints, you simply gain true grit. You deny cover, but you're also geared to garisonning terrain features and objectives. Understand you're not fighting merely on a battlefield, but with it.
  • Attrition: Imperial Fists are balanced: they shoot well, can give the enemy a hard time closing in, and being space marines they don't suffer in melee like other armies do.
    • When the enemy is far away you can outshoot them: blow up their gunships and bastions, ignore their cover, dig in yours.
    • When the enemy comes to you, delay them: blow up their transports, omniscramble their deepstrikes, pin them with Tremor Shells, punish their charges with Fortress of Resolve overwatch, and turn them back with Repulsor fields and Tectonic purge.
    • When the enemy reaches your objectives, you can use Shield Unwavering and Bolster Defense to protect them, and Close-Range Bolter Fire when falling back isn't an option. Plus, your Banner of Staganda gives you more hitsm so you can use hard-hitting units better.

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. Not confined to a sector like other chapters, the Black Templars fight the enemies of mankind wherever they are.

On the tabletop, these guys are no-nonsense marines, geared to fight the enemy in honest melee with daring charges and skilled swordplay. There's the enemy, go kill it. Shrug off their psychic tricks, bolter and blade will carry out the day. 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. They also relao a lot on their chaplians.

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!

As it may be a while for a supplement to be made for these guys (if ever), GW released an Index Astartes FAQ-lite on Warhammer Community to tide things over.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Righteous Zeal: Units with this tactic can re-roll charge and Advance rolls. They also get a 5+++ FNP vs mortal wounds.
    • All mortal wounds, not just those from psychic powers; this is basically Armour of Contempt but always active, all the time and not restricted to vehicles. A character about to die can fail to save a regular wound, and pass it onto a Company Vet as a mortal wound to try to save it again. A vehicle that fails a plasma roll has a chance to not lose a wound. What tries to counter TH/SS? Mortal Wounds SPAM. Well now your TH/SS are 1+/4++/5+++, simple as.
    • 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. 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.
      • Of course, it's not restricted to a melee drop: a Rhino/Razor/Impulsor rush or a Land Raider Crusader boosted with Shock and Awe works too, and the Assault Doctrine isn't active until turn 3 anyways. Just doing the math so you don't need to cogitate it mid-charge.
  • Combat Doctrine - Knights of Sigismund: When the Assault Doctrine is active, units that charge/Heroically Intervene against non-Vehicles that roll an unmodified 6 to hit in melee auto-hit and auto-wound.
    • It's okay, but niche. Believe it or not, ((WS-1)*(To Wound)+(1/6)) is actually equal or better than the Blood Angels' +1A when wounding on 4+/5+/6+, since BA gain +1 attack (+25% on 2+1 A Intercessors), while you get +25%/+50%/+125% on any attacks you have. And compared to the WS, you get your bonus while they get nothing against single wound models. So, are BT better at melee than BA & WS? Hell no. Especially not compared to the BA snowflake exclusive units. This bonus also suffers from being better against only the most specific of targets: high toughness single wound models. Fight hordes and you'll wish you had +1A. Fight anything T5 and you'll see it has more than one wound, so WS do double damage to it. Not to mention it doesn't work on vehicles or when you're not charging.
    • If you're fishing for exploding 6s, remember there's Exhortation of Rage, Gene Wrought Might and Grimaldus, as well as Death to the Traitors when fighting CSM.
  • Unit Restrictions: Adeptus Astartes Psykers cannot be from the Black Templars Chapter and can't take a Chapter Champion as you already have the Emperor's Champion.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Oathkeeper: Warlord can do 6" Horizontal, 5" Vertical 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. Emperor Champion's trait.
  2. Epitome of Piety: The Warlord can deny one power in the Psychic Phase, and gains a +1 on his roll to do so. Chaplain Grimaldus' trait.
    • Just in case you need a little more protection than what Righteous Zeal provides you with.
  3. Paragon of Fury: After the warlord makes a charge move, roll 1d6 for each enemy unit within 1” of the warlord; on a 2+ that model takes a mortal wound. Ok, but you can do better.
  4. Master of Arms: The Warlord Always Fights First.
    • Black Templars don't do fall back feints, and fighting first means the enemy cannot kill you because you killed them first. Though if you can't get stuck in because you're killing everything in the charge then pick something else.
  5. Inspirational Fighter: When friendly Black Templars Core units within 6” of this warlord roll an unmodified 6 to wound for melee weapon attacks, improve the weapon’s AP by 1.
    • Biggest issue with this is that the AP boost cannot stack with the Assault Doctrine's, meaning you'll be lucky if you even manage to fight under this effect for at least one round.
  6. Front-Line Commander: Add 1 to the Advance and Charge distances of friendly Black Templars Core units within 6”. High Marshal Helbrecht's trait.
    • Remember it doesn't stack with Canticle of Hate, which doesn't affect advances and doesn't work if the user was in a transport, but does increase Pile In moves by +3". Which is like the Devout Push stratagem, but as an aura. Up to you to use a Front-Line Commander to do a turn 1 drop pod assault or be patient and wait for turn 2 with Chaplain support.

Relics and Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Ancient Breviary: Chaplain only. When you roll for a litany for the bearer, you can roll 2D6 and discard either result.
    • Equivalent to being able to re-roll, except that you can use both this and a tactical re-roll. Can give 97.55% reliability to Litany combos for a Master of Sanctity.
  • Aurillian Shroud: Once per battle at the start of the battle round, a model with this relic can activate it. If they do, until the end of the battle round, models in friendly Black Templars units have a 4++ invulnerable save while within 3” of the relic bearer.
  • Crusader's Helm: Increase the range of the model's aura abilities by 3", to a maximum of 12". Also, at the start of your Movement phase (so it doesn't work in deepstrike/transports), pick a friendly Black Templars unit with the Combat Doctrines ability within 6" of this model. Until your next Movement phase, the Assault Doctrine is active for that unit, replacing the current doctrine.
  • Skull of the Cacodominus: Once per battle, after a psychic power is manifested within 12" of the bearer, roll 1d6; on a 2+, the caster suffers 1d3 mortal wounds after the power is resolved. Alas, poor Cacodominus, I knew your psychic death screams well.
  • Sword of Judgment: Replaces a power sword or master-crafted power sword. S+1 AP-3 3D. Compared to a Thunder Hammer, hitting on a 2+ but wounding on 3+ is the same as hitting on a 3+ but wounding on a 2+.
    • Despite this using a relic slot (1CP) to do what a regular Thunder Hammer does, this relic sword costs TEN TIMES LESS points and can be wielded by Primaris characters, who can't use hammers. And Knights of Sigismund makes 6A with this relic deal similar damage to 5A with a relic hammer.
  • Witchseeker Bolts: Goes with a bolt weapon and you can shoot these instead of its normal ammo. You only get one attack, but the attack can target a PSYKER CHARACTER even if it’s not the closest model. Also, a hit on a Psyker causes an extra 1d3 mortal wounds. Put it on a Master-crafted Stalker bolt rifle for D3+1d3 to witches. So does a Master-crafted Instigator bolt carbine, but the RG FAQ confirms a Marksman's Honorus warlord does get +1D when shooting relic ammo.

Litanies of the Devout[edit]

To compensate for their lack of a Psychic Discipline, the Black Templars gain six unique Litanies for their Chaplains to use instead of the usual one. You are sooooo bringing a Master of Sanctity for them.

  1. Litany of Divine Protection: Target friendly black templars Core or Character unit within 6" gets a 5+++ FNP without being restricted to mortal wounds. Good, but suffers from not being a bubble.
  2. Psalm of Remorseless Persecution: Re-roll melee wound rolls of 1 for Black Templars Core or Character units within 6". Like having a lieutenant around, but worse.
    • Then again, the Lieutenant may be somewhere else. It would take both a Chapter Master and a Lieutenant (or Guilliman) to give the rerolls that a Master of Sanctity gives you in melee.
  3. Vow of Retribution: -2 leadership to enemy units within 6". Just don't. You're not a leadership bomb based army, and you should usually be trying to keep your chaplain near your own units more than the enemy.
    • But hear me out! Fear Made Manifest Master of Sanctity + Reiver unit. That's -5Ld on top of rerolling all melee and wounds of 1.
  4. Fires of Devotion: Target a friendly Black Templars Core or Character unit within 6". It gains +1A if it charges or makes a Heroic Intervention until the end of the turn. So, if you go first, it's not active during your enemy's half of the battle round unlike other litanies.
    • Black Templars are already great at making charges, and of course this stacks with Shock Assault. The only downside is that it's not a bubble, so you want to put it on a melee deathstar of some sort. It's much better than (and will stack with) Exhortation of Rage in practice, not that Exhortation of Rage was a great Litany to begin with. Since this one only works offensively, you want it on a faster Chaplain - the Litany does nothing when you are charged.
  5. Fervent Acclamation: +3" to aura abilities of Black Templars Core or Character units within 6" (max 9") (which applies to the chaplain, so really 9").
    • BELLOWING VOICE! Crusader Helm Captain, Vox Espiritum Lieutenant, TWELVE-INCHER Auras. Oh and it helps Helbrecht's, Grimaldus', and Cenobyte Servitor's auras too. As well as Standard bearers and the Aurillian Beviary. Positioning made simple, it allows Black Templars to footslogg like they used to.
  6. Oath of Glory: Target one friendly Black Templars Core or Character unit within 6" to always fights first that turn.
    • Terrible utility. Good for ongoing combats (which you should not count on your opponent giving you); combine it with Canticle of Hate or Devout Push to charge and get stuck in. More importantly, you can try to keep them in place with Tenacious Assault. That way, you deny your enemy their shooting phase, and you still get to fight first on their turn.


  • Devout Push (1 CP): Use at the start of the fight phase, a Infantry or Biker unit can make a 6" Pile in move.
  • Oaths of Honour (1 CP): Use during the fight phase. select one Black Templar Scout Unit that charged or was charged. They can reroll the wound roll of their melee weapons.
  • Vicious Riposte (1 CP): Use during the fight phase. Select one Black Templar infantry unit. Until the end of the phase, when they roll an unmodified save roll of 6 (Can roll even if the attack's ap would make rolling Saves pointless), their attacker suffers a mortal wound.
  • Abhor the Witch (1 CP): Roll 1d6 when an enemy psyker manifests a power within 24". roll a d6. On a 4+, the psychic power is resisted. Doesn't even have to target you, you could deny an enemy boost.
  • Crusader Relics (1 CP): Differently from other Sergeant (or "Sword Brother") Relics stratagems, you can hand out only three: Witchseeker bolts (better when fired by a Primaris character's Master-crafted gun), Sword of Judgement (better wielded by someone with more WS and Attacks), and the Skull of the Cacodominus, which merely needs to be held. Your choice.
  • Tenacious Assault (2 CP): roll a d6 when an enemy infantry unit tries to fall back from your Black Templar infantry. On a 2+, they can't fall back. What the Emperor ties up in melee, let no man separate!.
  • The Emperor's Will (1 CP): Use when a Black Templar Infantry Unit advances. They can still shoot pistols and charge that turn.
  • Shock and Awe (1 CP): When an Black Templar infantry unit disembarks from a Land Raider Crusader, they become immune to Overwatch and force attacks against them to be made at -1 to hit. Take big Crusader units geared for melee to exploit the Crusader's improved transport capacity, since this only affects one unit at a time.
    • Alongside Devout Push they are basically the only reason to use Crusader squads, since you cannot pile in onto anything you didn't declare a charge against, and Shock & Awe cancels any overwatch. Ferry a 15-man Crusader unit into range, declare a charge against the target and everyone around it, and not even Tau can prevent you from tying up anything nearby.

Specialist Detachment - Sword Brethren[edit]

High Marshall Helbrecht, the Emperor's Champion, Company Champion, Captains (all flavours) and Company Veterans in this detachment gain the SWORD BRETHREN keyword, so you can do a mighty crusade! Neither Grimaldus, Crusader squads, Terminator squads 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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[edit]


  • High Marshal Helbrecht: The big boss of the Black Templars. In addition to being a chapter master, all Black Templar core units 6" around him 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 with chainswords...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 swords wound on 2+ vs GEQ. He also makes Power Fists S9, but only tanks would notice, so leave those TH/SS at home, and use the increased space for an Ancient and Apothecaries instead.
  • Emperor's Champion: This guy will brutally murder any enemy character, SM2.0, and PA:F&F making him live up to Sigismund's legacy. This guy is basically a better Chapter Champion, is better equipped, and is an an HQ slot instead of being in the overpopulated Elites slot (unless you take a command squad). He can hand out punishment as well as take it: With 5A base, +1A on the charge, +1A +1S vs Characters wielding what is basically a Relic Blade (S+3 AP-3 D2), and re-rolling hits and wounds against characters. He hits above his points cost. Like the Chapter Champion he is, he inflicts a -1 to be hit penalty in melee, but with a 2+/4++ base where the regular version would need to spend 1CP for the relic armour.
    • Monsters are the closest the champion has to a weak spot, as his offensive boosts pretty much evaporate the moment he runs into a Carnifex or Maulerfiend.
    • Being entirely dedicated to be a beatstick, he needs support, most notably a transport. Furthermore, his retinue will need support because he lacks an aura himself, and you both lack Librarians and cannot use Litanies out of a transport without spending a CP. Helbrecht is a great choice since he turns him Str9 against characters, and also helps him get to melee. These two characters would make any transport a high-value target, so either put him in a one that is hard to kill (Land Raider (Crusader) / Stormraven), one that cannot be intercepted (Drop Pod) or just put him in a separate Rhino.
  • Chaplain Grimaldus: THE guy for Black Templar's Black Tide lists, now a Master of Sanctity in all but name with two litanies (but only Ld9). Unmatched Zeal is basically the Exhortation of Rage litany (unmodified 6s generate an additional attack with that weapon (which can miss)) but in aura mode, so it always affects Black Templar Core within 6" instead of only a single unit a turn after disembarking. Furthermore, he can deny one power, meaning he gets two Deny the Witch rolls at +1 when he's the warlord. Suffer not the witch!
    • He's got a plasma pistol you should never supercharge, but now he wields the Artificer Crozius (S+2 AP-2 D2). So, if you bring Helbrecht and use Mantra of Strength, you could have 4 S8 D3 WS2+ attacks, which is basically a Thunder Hammer without unwieldy. Since that'd prevent him from using Litanies of the Devout, you could have his second litany be either Canticle of Hate to consolidate into everyone, or Exhortation of Rage (stacks with Unmatched Zeal, but for a single unit). Fervent Acclamation helps with the lot of auras you can bring, but since the other litanies are okish you can have some other Chaplain sing it, if you want to.


  • Crusader Squad: Got improved in the 2020 index. You have a unit of tactical marines that can also take up Scouts as cheap meat shields and now also let the unit use the Smoke screens. Going melee any Initiates can swap their bolter for an Astarts chainswords for free, and one of them can take a power weapon/fist/SPecal/or heavy weapon. Neophytes (scouts) can replace their bolter for either a shotgun or knife. When there are at least as many Initiates (marines) as Neophytes (scouts), the latter can re-roll 1s to hit in melee. Now they need to number 10 members to get both a Special and Heavy (or power) weapon.
    • Crusader squads only make sense (barely) when taken at 11-20 size and boosted with stratagems or litanies that target a single unit. changes to morals don't affect large units as much as smaller ones but blast weapons are now a thing. 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 makes them immune to morale, so 20-man Crusader squads love them, as they can't fit inside most transports.
    • On the opposite side they can actually be extremely useful in low point games even taken as five-man squads! Give the captain and an Initiate power fists, pop two squads inside a drop pod and watch them tear apart the usual single tank most players bring to a 500 point army. The chainswords are even useful for either causing some chaos from the rear after their job is done or slicing through the cannon fodder your opponent uses to separate your squads from their targets (gretchin anyone?). Basically, they're useless when taken on foot unless in huge numbers, but if you focus on mobility and need that sweet Battalion CP they can cause a surprising amount of pain with all your melee bonuses.


  • Cenobyte Servitors: Provide FnP 4+ for Mortal Wounds to Black Templar units within 6". They're cheap and don't take an Elites slot if you also took Grimaldus, but they're frail and not characters, meaning they can be easily removed. Furthermore, Black Templars already have a natural FnP 5+ vs MW so, if you use them, avoid giving up First Blood and hide them behind a Rhino.
    • Or just have them as decorative non-models, like Azrael's Helmet bearer.


"I have slain many enemies, and won many battles and I tell you there is no great secret to success in war, no subtle trick of strategy that has saved my foes -- I seek out the enemy, attack as soon as I am able and with all the force at my command, rend his soldiers and smash his fortresses, leave only corpses behind me and then move on -- thus my Primarch has taught me, and I find his wisdom has proved worthy on a hundred battlefields" -- t. Kharn the Betrayer Bloody

  • MSU Spam: Black Templars aren't the best melee chapter (especially not when BA and WS exist), but they can reliably get lots of models stuck in, even right out of a deepstrike, which for other armies would need CP and special tricks to accomplish. Multiple small units mean more rolls and more sarges, but be sure to support them, with ranged weapons clearing keepaway units and dealing with targets your melee could struggle with, like vehicles. Keep near LoS blockers and use Suppressors/stratagems to deny what little overwatch/set to defend your enemy can use, so you can tie them up while you keep those crusaders coming!
  • Termie deepstrike charge: The ONE thing BT can do that other chapters struggle with is getting terminators into melee fast and reliably without paying for Land Raiders; others can get +1 or +2 to charge, but not a reroll. And you can get +1 or +2 with a Front-Line Commander or Wise Oratory Canticle of Hate, from a Captain or Chaplain you have to bring anyways, to alleviate the -1 to hit from the termies' weapons.

Blood Angels & Flesh Tearers[edit]

Blood Angels Pauldron.jpeg
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is always a risk of becoming blinded by rage.

Thematically, these guys are a bunch of poncy space vampires who constantly battle their own genetic curses. These curses turn out to be their greatest strengths, as they become genuine monsters made to Rip and Tear.
On the tabletop, these guys go pretty deep for both melee and speed. While they aren't bike-crazed like the White Scars, they have a stratagem that can make all their tanks faster on top of their bonus to charge distance. In melee, their chapter tactics make them hurt harder - especially if you decide to grab the Death Company.
If you plan on getting the first blow before the enemy, the Blood Angels are the best choice.

Flesh Tearers Livery2.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, blind anger can be a powerful tool.

Thematically, these guys are the edgier and far more violent version of the Blood Angels. While their founders sought to uphold their nobility in the field of battle, these guys aren't as inclined to keep to the stylishness.
On the tabletop, these guys go pretty deep for both melee and speed. While they aren't bike-crazed like the White Scars, they have a stratagem that can make all their tanks faster. In melee, their chapter tactics make them hurt much harder - especially if you decide to grab the Death Company.
If you hunger for ripping and tearing huge guts, pick the Flesh Tearers

The Blood Angels codex supplement has been confirmed to be released early 2021 but in the meantime, GW's released a Index Astartes FAQ-lite to at least make the transition a little easier.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - The Red Thirst: Add +1 to all charge and advance rolls. When a unit charges, gets charged, or make a heroic intervention, they can add +1 to their wound roll for the turn.
    • This makes your lot a bit zippier and choppier than most marines. This stacked with shock assault means that your guys will absolutely be able to lay on the hurt without hesitation.
  • Chapter Tactics - Fury Within: When a unit rolls a 6 to wound in melee, the AP of their hit improves by 1. When a unit charges, gets charged, or makes a heroic intervention, they can add +1 to their wound roll for the turn.
    • Compared to the BA, this makes you far more vicious in a fight. Now that even chainswords can mulch light infantry, you can bet your ass that you'll find more uses with basic weapons as you reduce power armor into shreds, especially since it now stacks with Assault Doctrine.
  • Combat Doctrine - Savage Echoes: While the Assault Doctrine is active, add 1 to the Attacks of models that charged, were charged, or Heroically Intervened. Yes, this does stack with Black Rage and Shock Assault, so your Death Companies will be able to spit out a disproportionately high number of attacks for their unit size. Don't forget the regular marines: Scouts, assault troopers, and intercessors are rocking 4 attacks, 3 on tacticals. Makes for some added punch in the later stages of games when your scrapping over objectives with smaller squads and/or a single sergeant.
    • Turn 3 charges are absurd this time around. Hang back in LR crusaders or use Jump Packs and let loose turn three; frankly, it's like 7th when trying to add up and account for all the modifiers and +1s your marines will be under, but when you get it right, you will crush everything. If you're not tabled by turn 3, your deep strikers will utterly change the game if you combo everything perfectly.
  • Black Rage: Your death company rules. These guys can never fall back, gain another attack when charging or heroically intervening and have a 6+ FNP save. However, they are incapable of doing any other actions, meaning they're of no use in a more objective-focused game.
    • In addition to the exclusive units, you can also consign a captain and two lieutenants to the black rage by spending a few points/1 PL. Doing so will give them all the benefits of doing so as well as a particular new feature called a Death Vision.
  • Options:
    • Adds Inferno pistols, and hand flamers to pistol list
    • adds heavily Flamer to heavy weapons list.
    • Ausslt squad can replace up to two flamers for Plasmaguns or Meltaguns.

Death Visions Each Death Company Character can opt to trigger a certain vision of Sanguinius' final moments, granting them a particular boost once per game.

  • On the Bridge of the Vengeful Spirit: Triggered if your "hero" sees an enemy Infantry Character or Monster Character. They gain an extra attack for every 5 enemy models within 6" of them and they can re-roll any bad hit rolls, turning them into a blender.

Warlord Trait[edit]

A solid 4 or 5/6 of our Warlord Traits are superb, and even our worst one is not egregiously bad. As is tradition, named characters have their traits statically assigned.

  • Speed of the Primarch: If the warlord is engaged at the start of the fight phase, they go first. Of course, you don't want to be stuck in battle because you have nothing that boosts your warlord outside of doctrines. However, this might let you smash an enemy before they can hit back.
    • Pretty nice if you choose to build a Blood Angels MURDERWINGS with Black Rage. You do have the relic jump pack and plenty of ways to increase attacks and make them explode.
    • Mephiston has this trait.
  • Artisan of War: Your warlord gains one of the following special-issue items: Adamantine Mantle, Artificer Armour, Master-Crafted Weapon, Digital Weapons. The fact that this stacks with any other relic is quite helpful, like combining the pinions with a MC weapon.
  • Soulwarden: You can attempt to Deny the Witch with your Warlord; if they already can, you can do it an additional time. One of the better options, simulating the Ultramarines relic (which is one of the best in their Codex), and providing potentially a lot of battlefield support against psyker heavy armies.
    • Astorath and Lemartes have this trait.
  • Heroic Bearing: All friendly BLOOD ANGELS units withing 6" autopass morale tests. Absolutely phenomenal if you have a large Death Company ball you want to keep on the table without relying on Astorath.
    • Dante and the Sanguinor have this trait.
  • Gift of Foresight: FnP 6+++, re-rolling 1s. If your Warlord has the Black Rage, increase the FnP to a 5+++ re-rolling 1s, but the Black Rage doesn't provide another FnP on top of that. Definitely has its uses, like on a Librarian Dreadnought you want to make sure won't die. Want to stack bodies on a budget? Take a captain with a power sword, give him this warlord trait, Death Visions of Sanguinius stratagem before the battle, and Red Rampage before he charges... that's 78 points and two command points and you have 7-9 attacks, WS2+ re-rolling 1s, S4/+1 to wound, and AP-3 with a 4++ and 5+++. Want one of the best HQs in the game? Chapter Master Slamguinius has heard your prayers! Copy that stratagem setup but with a Jump Pack Captain with a Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield and the Angel's Wings relic so he can charge without getting overwatched and re-roll his charge if he fails; this durable, hard-hitting jerk will thus lock a unit in combat, allowing your nearby assaulty unit to also charge without getting overwatched, because they're already engaged. Then, because he's got a jump pack, he won't be stuck walking after the turn he charges.fuck it. Might as well cast Unleash Rage for 7-9 attacks - did you bring a Librarian buddy? Now have fun remembering this process.
    • Corbulo has this trait.
  • Selfless Valour: Your Warlord can heroically intervene at 6″ instead of 3″. Not great, but not worthless, as you can set up for a quick one-two punch from your bodyguard and then your Warlord.
    • Both versions of Tycho have this trait.
    • Honestly if you're really looking to do this go play space wolves, you're more likely slamming your warlord into charges than being on the receiving end
  1. Merciless Butcher: Gabriel Seth has this. If the warlord is in combat with 5+ models within 3", then he gets +d3 additional attacks. Pretty much a necessity if you decide to go knee-deep in guardsmen or gaunts. Don't expect to get much from this one unless you face mob armies. Makes a damn good secondary warlord -- Hurl this guy at a horde with 5 bone stock DC and the fancy relic chainsword and you WILL see blood spilt. Let your main warlord perform his standard duties and survive the game.
  2. Of Wrath and Rage: Every 6+ to hit in melee grants you a bonus attack with the weapon you used. The fact that it needs a die roll of 6 to trigger it makes it harder to pull off, but when you do it's gonna be worth it.
  3. Cretacian Born: No Overwatch on the Warlord. Kind of situational, it helps against Tau and a few other units, but it is nowhere as strong as it was last edition. Hurl him at the enemy and multi charge gun lines to nullify any deterrent your other units might normally worry about. This trait gets stronger at the same rate the enemy's overwatch potential grows.

Relics and Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Decimator: Replaces a master-crafted auto-bolt rifle and bumps you up to S5, AP-2, D2, and you don’t take a penalty to hit when Advancing and firing.
  • Wrath of Baal: Sanguinary Ancient only. Add +2" to the Move of friendly Blood Angels Jump Pack Core units within 6” at the beginning of the movement phase.
  • Biomantic Sarcophagus: For a Librarian Dreadnought. Adds 6” to the range of the model’s psychic powers and once per turn, when you take a psychic or deny the witch test with this model, you can re-roll one of the dice. Possibly the best relic of Blood of Baal, as the value of all the re-rolls can really add up.
  • Figure of Death: Replaces a Crozius with one that’s S+1, AP-2 D2 and when you make a successful wound roll the target unit gets -2 to its Ld for the rest of the turn.
  • Gleaming Pinions: Replaces a jump pack. The bearer can charge in a turn in which it fell back, and it gets +1 to its charge distances. This allows you to reactivate all of your charge bonuses, allowing SS Captains to keep swinging at full potential each turn. This is great because such a Captain can receive 3 or possibly more attacks on the charge depending on how you build them up.
    • Consider this for a Smash Captain instead of Angel's Wing, since if you use Death Visions on him, he can be buffed by Lemartes and re-roll charges that way, and the Pinions will ensure he'll get his +2 bonus attacks for charging every time.
  • Icon of the Angel: Grants a 6" aura, granting ALL of your units to re-roll charges. Just the thing you need for a unit built on killing on the charge.

A quick Note on Blood Angel Successors: If your Warlord is from a Successor Chapter, you are limited in what relics you can take. You can choose from among the Special Issue Wargear included below or use the Honored by Baal stratagem.

  • Adamantine Mantle: When this model loses a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, the wound isn’t lost. Not that great in an army with access to so many rolls to negate wounds.
  • Artificer Armour: Gives a model a 2+ save and a 5+ invulnerable save. This can allow your characters to survive much more, especially librarians which need to sacrifice a cast to get an invuln. Best put on a model with a decent amount of wounds but no invuln, such as Primaris Librarians/Lieutenants.
  • Quake Bolts: The Blood Angels special bolter ammo. Give this to someone and you can choose to shoot with these bolts instead when firing a bolt weapon. When you shoot with these, make only one attack, but if you hit, the target is “felled” until the end of the turn and the attack continues. When you attack a felled unit in melee, add 1 to the hit roll.
    • Good to amplify the damage dealt by your melee units, especially if said units bring hammers or fists. The higher your chances to hit the better so slapping it on a character with nice BS or access to rerolls makes it do more work. Notice you can only make 1 attack per shooting phase with these so you won't get better result by slapping them on a character with a storm bolter.
    • Did you know that bolt pistols are the greatest pistols? These unique rounds are proof. On a captain these will help you get another 1 or 2 hits with a power fist.
  • Master-Crafted Weapon: Give a weapon +1 damage and it’s considered to be a Relic of Baal. Now you can have an Artisan War TH and a Master Crafted TH on two captains!!! Both attacking the same unit!!! on the same turn!!!! All at D4!!!!!!
  • Digital Weapons: When you fight, you make 1 extra attack using the “close combat weapon profile” and if you hit, you score a mortal wound. Meh. Not terrible but your charcters are pretty much renown for how hard they punch sruff: it's better to invest relics in durability, supporting other troops or making charges easier.
  • Fleshrender Grenades: Replaces frag grenades with some that are type Grenade 3, S5, AP-3 2 Damage and the target doesn’t get the benefit of cover. More like Terminator-render grenades.
  • Icon of the Angel: When you make charge rolls for friendly Blood Angels/successors within 3” of this model, you can re-roll any of the dice. Seriously?! Fuck YES!! You can take this and have Lemartes off with other DC and have a multi directional charge all with re-rolls.
  • Severer of Threads: Replaces a chainsword with a slightly deadlier chainsword with S+1 AP-1. The big draw is the +d3 additional attacks, which is quite crazy. On top of this, if you use fight an Infantry unit and score a 6+ to wound, you also deal a mortal wound on top of everything else. If nothing else, this makes it very economical to grab. Combined with the Warlord Traits Merciless Butcher or Of Wrath and Rage this can allow a Captain or Primaris Captain to potentially put out a hilariously frightening number of attacks.
  • Sorrow's Genesis: Replaces Narthecium. This super-Narthecium lets your Sanguinary Priest rez a model on a 2+ and restore up to 3 wounds, making it amazing for a primaris force.


Blood Angels[edit]
  • Refusal to Die (1 CP): Use in any phase after the Death Company are targeted with an attack. Until the end of the phase, when they take a wound, roll a D6; on a 5+, that wound isn’t lost. You can only use this once per turn. Return to previous levels of refusing to feel pain. You can even use it on Slamguinius if you chose Artisan of War over Gift of Foresight, but still want to weather some blows.
  • Angel's Sacrifice (1 CP): Nominate one Blood Angels character (barring Librarian Dreads) during the fight phase. Anyone within engagement range with this character now must attack your designated martyr. This can prove to be particularly useful if you grabbed a Termie or Gravis captain to tank the blows.
  • Visions of Sanguinius (1 CP): Use when a Deach Company character is chosen to fight. They can now trigger a second Death Vision if they already used one before or trigger two simultaneous death visions at the same time.
  • Honoured by Baal (1 CP): Lets you give a Blood Angels relic to a successor. A copypaste in form, if not in name.

  • Unbridled Ardour (3 CP): Use in the enemy's Charge phase to let a Blood Angels unit Heroically Intervene 6" by 5" as though it were a character. Don't forget this, makes your army very good at sitting back and unleashing very potent counter-charges.
  • Explosive Judgment (1 CP): Use in the shooting phase to give a unit of Sanguinary Guard re-rolls to wound with Angelus boltguns for a phase and their targets don’t get the benefit of cover. Helps keep the squad cheap by temporarily upgrading the cheapest guns.
Flesh Tearers[edit]
  • Aggressive Onslaught (1 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Select one Flesh Tearers Infantry during the fight phase and give them 6" pile-in distance. Quite helpful as this will guarantee that all your troops are in the heat of battle rather than standing around gormlessly and getting shot. 15 man DC will use this often and to great affect.
  • Savage Destruction (2 CP): Flesh Tearers only. Target one enemy unit during the fight phase. Every time you kill a model in that unit, that kill counts as two for the sake of morale. If you already have an edge over the enemy, this might just let you wipe them entirely.

  • Armoury of Baal (1/3 CP): The “extra Relics” stratagem. Your relics are all solid choices (well, aside from the Archangel's Shard), so the 3 CP version may actually be a good choice this time.
  • Behold the Golden Host (1 CP): Used after a Blood Angels unit with a Death Mask is set up on the battlefield; until the start of your next turn, the range of their Death Mask ability is increased to 12″. Very situational, but can be a real threat. Best used if you have some units in close combat or shooting that are guaranteed to make a good amount of damage. Deep strike a unit of Sanguinary Guard and activate this Stratagem to make the following Morale Tests extra painful for several units at once.
  • Death Visions of Sanguinius (1 CP): Use when mustering your army. Select any non-Primaris generic Captain, Chaplain, or Lieutenant; they gain the Death Company keyword and the Black Rage ability that comes with it. This can be a nice way to make your character even more killy and durable by giving him the Black Rage bonuses.
    • Combine with gift of foresight warlord trait, and you have 5+++ rerolling 1s.
  • Descent of Angels (2 CP): Used in the Charge phase for a Blood Angels Jump Pack unit that has been set up on the battlefield that turn. They roll 3D6 for their charge instead of 2D6. This is an ability that is not to be taken lightly. Getting off charges the turn you arrive from deep strike is key, you can figuratively break your opponents with well timed charges. Now, keep in mind, this doesn't apply to terminators, who also can't benefit from Lemartes' re-roll for charges, so sanguinary guard/vanguards/death company are your focus. Keep the terminators in a land raider.
    • This brings your odds of pulling off a deep strike charge up to 74%, but you can't use this stratagem on multiple units in the same phase; Lemartes can help fix this for Death Company, bringing your odds up to 93.28%. Combine with Upon Wings of Fire, below, for maximum shenanigans.
    • Also makes it much easier to launch a long distance charge. So, if you brought a 15 man squad of death company, you can potentially tie up whole portions of your opponents army by simply getting one model stuck in
  • Forlorn Fury (2 CP): Used before the first Battle Round, but after the game begins; a unit of Death Company Infantry may move and advance as if it were the Movement phase. A Round 0 move will work wonders in getting them into charging distance. Especially useful for a Jump Pack unit, meaning 13-18" extra movement in turn 0.
    • 2 Command points is taxing indeed, so use this strategy as a backup plan. Leaving a single MSU unit of DC with a hammer or two, maybe swords but preferably completely stock, will keep your opponent honest and will give you the easy option of a quick kill. Can also clog up choke points on the battlefield and/or tie up important footslogging blobs allowing your own army room to position. Consider the unit entirely expendable as chaplains/Lemartes can't tag along but this stratagem can surprise people.
  • Lucifer-Pattern Engines (1 CP): Use this stratagem after declaring an advance with a Blood Angels Vehicle (other than a Dreadnought or a vehicle that can Fly). Increase its movement by 6″, rather than rolling. If the unit is a Baal Predator, increase their movement by 6+D6″. Would be a lot better if you had more ground vehicles with assault weapons, since it turns a vehicle into a temporary bike.
    • Why hello Relic Sicaran...did you know red ones go faster? *primes red spray paint*
  • Red Rampage (1 CP): Used in the fight phase to give a Blood Angels Character that charged in the charge phase 1d3 additional attacks for the duration of the fight phase. Given that charging will cause Red Thirst to kick in, this means your character will be able to throw out even more attacks that wound on nothing worse than a 5+, but it's obviously best on characters that hit a lot already.
    • Mephiston with Quickening and this adds 2d3 extra s10 ap-3 d3 damage attacks that wound everything up to toughness 9 on 2s...holy shit it won't matter if there can be only one, there's gonna be nothing left!
    • Anyone in your HQ section will enjoy this for 1 CP, even the techmarines riding next to your BAAL predators. This is part of the combo which allows Jump Pack characters to kill greater demons!
  • Strike of the Archangels (2 CP): On the turn you set up a Blood Angels Terminator, it can re-roll all failed rolls to hit. A bit pricey for 2 CP, because either you are taking a shooty unit of Terminators to make guaranteed use of this Stratagem (meaning you're burning a lot of CP on mostly storm bolters, and not using your chapter tactic), or hitty ones, and due to the difficulties you'll have getting your Terminators to pull off a charge, one has to ask why you're not employing a Terminator Ancient or Chaplain instead. Because it costs 2 CP, not really worth it to buff a single character, either. Seemingly replaced by Fury of the First with PA (not Pennsylvania).
  • Upon Wings of Fire (2 CP): Use in the movement phase before moving a Blood Angels unit with a jump pack. You can remove it from the battlefield and deep strike it elsewhere, with the typical limitations. Awesome, because this gives you so much flexibility! Reacting to an enemy deep striking unit? Done. Shifting over to a critical objective in the last moment? Done. Redistributing buffs? Done. Astorath can trigger his Mass of Doom, then redeploy to give his other bonuses to another group of units. The only limit is your imagination when you soar UPON WINGS OF FIRE.
  • Vengeance for Sanguinius (1 CP): Used in the Fight phase when one of your units fights a Heretic Astartes. For each hit roll of a 6+, you generate one additional attack. If fighting against Black Legion units, you generate additional attacks on a 4+. The extra attacks cannot also trigger extra attacks.
    • Hilariously and fittingly, this includes Abbadon. That armless failure can't catch a break.
    • Combine this with Astorath's Mass of Doom to generate the attacks on 5+ and 3+, respectively, provided you aren't using Power Fists or Thunder Hammers.
      • Conversely, never combine this with a unit of hammers or fists without the Mass against not-Black Legion; you'll be incapable of rolling the 6s you need.
  • Visage of the Damned (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase on a Blood Angels unit that has the Death Mask ability. Until the end of the phase, units that attack that unit get -1 to hit. This is important! This gives Sang Guard much needed durability. Also makes Dante even more dangerous than he was.
  • Death on the Wind (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase. Pick a Sanguinary Guard unit. Until the end of the phase, when you resolve an attack for a model in that unit, damage results of 1 become 2s. They are wielding some of the greatest power weapons ever forged, after all.
  • Chalice Overflowing (1 CP): Use in your Movement phase to let a Sanguinary Priest use his Narthecium ability an extra time and you can double up targeting a unit with Narthecium in a turn. Pourin out the good stuff for the fallen homies. Aggressors will never die, bring the banner to ensure!

Psychic Discipline: Sanguinary[edit]

This contains 2 worse-than-Smite Mortal Wounds powers, 2 buffs for a target Blood Angels unit within 12", and 2 buffs that are self-only, meaning you shouldn't ever need more than one librarian for buffing and one for being its own beatstick.

  1. Quickening: WC 7. Add 3 to the advance and charge rolls made by the Psyker, and make d3 additional attacks in the fight phase, until your next psychic phase. Remember, psychic is after movement, so this won't make you advance faster until the following turn; accordingly, a lot more useful for buffing a charge you're about to make, but still of somewhat limited use, since it's self only. Cast this and Wings on your librarian dreadnought and watch him zoom across the board to smack something. Highlander references optional. Never forget the attacks!!!!
  2. Unleash Rage: WC 6. Select a Blood Angels unit within 12", and they gain +1 Attack. Oh joy! Better with larger squads. Extra cheesy now with the new Shock Assault special rule - Death Company with chainswords will chuck out 7 attacks each on the charge. A 15 man blob of DC kitted out like this will churn out 90 attacks in a single round of combat. Who says we can’t deal with hordes? You won’t even need to fire your pistols.
  3. Shield of Sanguinius: WC 6. Select a Blood Angels unit within 12" and gift them a 5++ until the next Psychic Phase. Death Company with 5++? Yes, please! Also useful on any and all vehicles; Librarian Dreadnoughts especially benefit from an decent invuln.
  4. Blood Boil: WC 6. Select an enemy unit within 6" and roll 2d6, comparing against the highest toughness value in the unit. If the roll exceeds that value, the unit suffers 1d3 mortal wounds. If the total is more than double, the mortal wounds become an automatic 3. Like most non-Smite powers, significantly worse than Smite in the vast majority of cases, especially since its ultra short range means you generally can't use it to murder something Smite would ignore; after accounting for its worse chance to be cast, this only beats Smite against T2 or T1 targets, although it's only slightly worse against T3.
  5. Blood Lance: WC 6: Select a visible enemy model within 12". Draw a line between the psyker and the model. Roll a d6 for each model (friend or foe) the line crosses; on a 5+, the model's unit suffers a mortal wound. This can potentially hit a unit multiple times, so it's best used on hordes with lots of models in them. Don't forget, you can draw the line from any part of your base to any part of the target's, so draw from opposite sides to maximize coverage, as a general rule. Because the line is defined as between the two models, and it seems unlikely the power is intended to hurt the caster, this can't hurt the target; because it is harder to cast than Smite, you need to draw the line over at least 8 models to probably do at least as well as Smite would have done, although 7 models isn't drastically worse than Smite.
  6. Wings of Sanguinius: WC 5. Praise the Angel, it is back! The psyker can immediately move as if it were your movement phase, but his Move characteristic is also increased to 12" (this is RAW, so it's not clear what happens if his Move was already greater than 12; since you don't have access to librarian bikers, this is unlikely to come up) and he gains the fly keyword until the start of your next Psychic phase (this also means he can shoot if he Fell Back in his Movement phase, of course, since he'll have fly in the Shooting phase). In addition, whilst this power is in effect, you can re-roll failed charge rolls for the psyker. Awesome, now your flying Librarian Dreadnoughts are actual flyers! Just watch out for those anti-air weapons, though. Combining this with a jump pack librarian will allow you to deep strike in, then move within 3" of the opponent for an inferno pistol shot, then charging with near perfect odds. Remember to cast Unleash Rage before hand along with Red Rampage CT for 4 + D3 attacks. Don't even bother with quickening. You can even load up on other Gimmicks such as the Angels Wing relic, Slamguinius Build, and Descent of Angels to maximize charging and killing potential.


A description goes here.

Purge the Enemy

- Assassinate

- Bring it Down

- Titan Slayers

- Slay the Warlord


-Abhor the Witch

-Mental Interrogation

-Psychic Ritual

No Mercy, No Respite

- Thin their Ranks

- Attrition

- While We Stand, We Fight

- First Strike

Battlefield Supremacy

- Engage on All Fronts

- Linebreaker

- Domination

Shadow Operations

- Raise the Banners High

-Investigate Sites

- Repair Teleportation Homer

Special Units[edit]


  • Librarian Dreadnought: Our super special dreadnoughts have definitely seen an improvement. He was mostly spared from the 9th edition point increases and is at 150 points for storm bolter, or 155 with melta, 155 with flamer, this unit is extremely good, and in direct competition with Mephiston. Their stats are the same as every other dreadnought barring their character keyword, making them hard to shoot, since they have W8 like your other basic dreads. Their force halberd means they will be hitting at S10 AP-4 D3; coupled with the Red Thirst, you'll never actually use that Furioso Fist you had to pay for, so it's a good thing the Halberd is free. Has the same psyker stats as your other unnamed librarians, even the psychic hood. The Storm Bolter is an okay choice, but the Meltagun will hit on a 4+ on the Advance, if you were rushing into position to cast, while the Heavy Flamer is best for using Wings of Sanguinius to Fall Back and Shoot. Sadly, can't drop his smoke launchers for a magna grapple, no matter how entertaining it would be. This model can be your warlord, and makes a FINE candidate for Artisan of War when applied to the Force Halberd. Doing this reduces the need for the awesome yet constraining combos you see below, allowing you to use them anyway, or apply powers and CP elsewhere. Regardless though, much like Slamguinius, Smashnought will pulverize literally anything without an invuln save; it all depends on whether you want to dish out 6-8 wounds or 12 or more. Finally, remember returning fire... Once the dread hacks apart its first victim, its a safe bet to assume some big guns are going to wind up pointing in his direction and he will likely be out of his character bubble. Perhaps not the best warlord? As a character with only 8 wounds, the Librarian Dreadnought can only be shot at in the Shooting phase if it is the closest unit.Since he has the CHARACTER keyword, use the Red Rampage Stratagem on this guy should successfully charge into melee for and extra D3 attacks. It will please you. When equipped with a meltagun, this guy becomes a brutally effective monster hunter. Consider: smite in the psychic phase, melta in the shooting phase, then charge and finish off what's left with the halberd. This guy is one of your prime candidates for Quickening+Wings of Sanguinius, giving you a net movement speed of 12", then a re-rollable charge with +3" to boost, then getting into melee with an unbelievably good melee weapon for typically 5 attacks; the only other Librarian you can field with a melee weapon on par with that Force Halberd is Mephiston. However, with no invulnerable save, don't be surprised when this thing disappears after a couple of effortless swings from any melee weapon that does multiple damage with AP-3 or better.
    • Biomantic Sarcophagus is a must-take with this guy. The amount of free re-rolls makes a huge difference.
    • Fun thought experiment with this guy with the new Space Marines codex. Make him a Chief Librarian, take the Psychic Mastery warlord trait for +1 for psychic tests, take Biomantic Sarcophagus for 1 free reroll on the psychic test, and take the psychic powers Veil of Time, Might of Heroes and Null Zone. Most major characters wont survive 1 round of combat with him. With MOH and Null zone this beast will have 6(7 starting turn three) attacks at Str14 3 D with no invulnerable saves allowed, then add in his extra halberd attack for an extra D3+3 D.
  • Sanguinary Priest: Your standard unit modifier and helpful in all situations to any BA unit. Rather reworked in 9th edition, and will perform differently with certain units. Comes with a bolt pistol, chainsword, frag and krak grenades. Most of his extra weapon options, as well as his biker version, have been moved to Legends, sadly. Blood of Baal returns his Jump Pack option though (which is highly overpriced at 25pts), or you can throw him into a Stormraven if he shows up without it. During the Command Phase, allows a single Core or Character unit within 6" to utilize the assault doctrine regardless of whichever doctrine is currently in play. like other apothecaries, CANNOT bring a fallen model back to life but can restore d3 wounds to a living model and provides a 3" 6+ FNP for infantry and biker units. Works well with more expensive models like Terminators and Sanguinary Guard, keeping their health up as they make their way towards the enemy.
    • Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack (Index/Blood of Baal): 12" movement, JUMP PACK, and FLY, and Jump Pack Assault, for 25 more points. Pairs well with Sanguinary Guard, Vanguard Vets, Death Company, etc. The codex doesn't feature the option to equip with a jump pack, so refer to the index/Blood of Baal for this one.
    • Sanguinary Priest on Bike (Legends): 14" movement, +1 T and W, and ability to Turbo-boost (and a compulsory Storm Bolter) compared to normal priest - as well as becoming a BIKER - for 25 more points. Sanguinary Priests, both regular and biker varieties, work amazingly with units armed with Power Swords. S5 AP-3 is a nasty profile that can put wounds on most things reliably, particularly since you will reliably have the Red Thirst up - you'll wound T4 or less on 2s! The +1S is particularly nice because, per the Designer's Commentary, Strength buffs happen before a melee weapon's Strength is calculated - so e.g. Power Fists and Thunder Hammers go to S10. The synergy with Red Thirst is strange because Red Thirst is a flat +1 to wound but +1 or even +2S only sometimes helps - for example, Blood Angels Thunder Hammers will wound T6 on 2s without the Priest's help - but you'll still get better results combining the priest with multiplicative melee weapons, for a net +2.

Special Characters

  • Astorath: Master of Sanctitywith Jump pack. His axe is now S+2 AP-3 and flat 3 damages. He has basic Chaplain aura and an additional one that made death company fearless. Mass of Doom got some change in 9e. First it is not one use anymore. Second now it is a litany which if inspiring, select a Blood Angel Core or Blood Angel Character within 6" of him. Roll 1D6. On a 1, a model in that unit is destroyed and the rest gain 1+ to all hit rolls made in the fight phase. On a 2-5, is the same as above minus destroy a model. On a 6, same as above but the unit also gains a 4++ invuln until your next command phase. So, just before your big 15 man death company charges, you can probably give them 2+ re-rollable attacks for maximum rape, and you only kill one of them with odds 1/6. Combine this with Librarians, Sanguinary Priests, and Ancients to get the maximum bang for your berserker buck.
    • Mass of Doom is no joke. Whatever Astorath says takes your Death Company WAY beyond enraged. Enjoy your renewed title as the premier alpha strike combo. Combined with the Red Thirst, your DC will become incredibly efficient in melee armed with power swords [which are now cheap as chips]. Against other MEQ, you're hitting and wounding on 2s and 3s with re-rolls and AP-3. With a priest or sanguinor (who also has deep strike), the buffs just keep building and building and building... there is really no comparison. Be careful, though, as you're going to wind up the same way as many iterations before, completely butchering the first target and getting left alone and likely facing lots of retributive firepower the next turn. Go play ultramarines if you want to be cool, calm, and collected.
    • While you can use Mass of Doom on your {{W40kKeyword|Character},} it is risky as you can lose said Character on a roll of 1 since the rule say one model in that unit is destroyed (and Characters have one model per unit). Ask yourself if +1 to hit roll in fight phase is worth 1/6 chance to loss said Character.
    • Unfortunately Astorath is shadowed by Lemartes ability. The ability to re-roll charges is too crucial for a Death Company list and its just too expensive and redundant to realistically run them both. Unless you're re-enacting the Diamor campaign. FOR SANGUINIUS!
    • Double unfortunately, Litanies need to be used in your command phase, but the deep strike happens at the end of the movement phase, so you can't use it on a unit that is deep striking this turn, nor can you use it while deep striking Astorath himself.
  • Brother Corbulo: Corbulo is a Chief Apothecary/Sanguinary Priest with some cool wargear. 25 points buys you the standard lack of ability to choose different wargear for a named character, but +1 BS with his Bolt Pistol and Grenades, +1W, and his melee gains +1S and -1AP due to him gaining +1A but swapping out his chainsword for Heaven's Teeth, resulting in no net change to attack volume. His Blood Chalice grants ALL Core and Character units within 6" the ability to use Assault doctrine regardless of which phase you are in. He has LOST the far seeing eye ability, however he can use the combat restoratives ability twice (not a big deal actually, as he just heals units twice instead of having a gimmick).
    • Like Mephiston and Tycho, this dude prefers to rock and roll without a jump pack.
    • Makes a fine support unit for Aggressors. Makes them tougher, hit harder, and hit more often. Aggressors are well suited to foot slogging so no worry over transportation issues.
  • Captain Tycho: Tycho changed a bit with the codex. Like usual, he is a captain with a master-crafted boltgun like other captains, but it has a meltagun strapped to it, and he has a 2+ save and doesn't like orks, gaining +1S and +1D against them. He also got back Dead Man's Hand for Melee purposes: S User AP-3 D1, which is a weaker power sword.
    • Like his psycho version, his greatest advantage is a low points cost, paired with a durability upgrade; actually building him from a Captain is impossible, but his melee weapon is approximately as good as a chainsword (it's worse against anything with low saves but High Toughness like Bladeguard or Aberrants), and his ranged weapon is indisputably better than a combi-melta (a Captain with a Combi-Melta will run you 2 more points than Tycho), so if you were going to field a footslogging combi-melta no-melee-upgrades Captain, this is the way to go, but why would you do that? His severe lack of mobility fails to impress.
    • Tycho the Lost: Edgy Tycho now doesn't help his friends. His re-roll aura no longer works for any non-DC units, but gains the Black Rage for a 6+++ and +1A on the charge, and drops 25 points in cost - but why would you do that? If your goal is paying HQ taxes cheaply, you can take a Sanguinary Priest for 1 point less, a Techmarine for 8 points less, or a Lieutenant for 10 points less, all of whom provide actual utility - and the Black Rage doesn't really impress on a model carrying a weapon that shabby. With the red thirst, black rage, and AP-2, he will surprise you. If you assault the same model you shot with your melta gun in the shooting phase you stand a good chance of killing it, unless it's a vehicle or MC of course. In that case, let your boys in black prove why they brought thunder hammers into the equation.
    • Tycho the lost is a bargain no matter how you add things up; the problem is his questionable purpose in a BA army. Don’t use him as a frontline HQ or melee powerhouse, load him in a stormraven and place him behind your enemy or in an inconvenient position. He will take dedicated effort for your opponent to remove him and will hamper their main effort. He’s great at snatching far off objectives. Also does a great job of preying on vehicles or other weaker units. He’s also a great distraction. Get creative with him.
  • Chief Librarian Mephiston: The only named Primaris character for BA's, Mephiston is similar to last edition, with 6 Wounds and 5s for S, T, and A instead of 6s like the days of yore (or 4s for a standard librarian), but he makes up for it in other ways. His Sanguine Sword is now a Power Fist (Dd3) with no to-hit penalty; his other benefits include M7 (although he has no jump pack), BS2+ with his Plasma Pistol, a 2+ save, a 5+++ FNP, Denying 2 powers instead of 1, and knowing 3 powers instead of 2, but that last is particularly lackluster, as he can still only cast 2; you'll probably want to take Unleash Rage (or Quickening, if you want him to buff himself better since THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE MEPHISTON!), Shield of Sanguinius, and Wings of Sanguinius on him, then only cast the third power when you really need to get him into position. All of those benefits will cost you 80 points over a normal Librarian, or 75 more than a Primaris Librarian (which has the same W and A as him).
    • Mephiston has an excellent statline, lots of melee power, can buff himself and/or others well, and is priced decently. He makes a good HQ (although his warlord trait is lackluster). His only weaknesses are no way to generate anything better than a 5++, allowing basic power swords to hurt him, and no means to deep strike with other choppy units. Otherwise, he can perform any HQ role quite well. He's in direct competition with a librarian dreadnought, given how much of his special character oomph was directed into making him beatstickier.
    • Chief Librarian Mephiston (Legends): The now-outdated, non-Primaris version of Mephiston. Not much point taking him even if allowed, as the new Mephiston is better, unless you want to put him in an older transport.
  • Commander Dante: Despite being the "I'm too old for this shit" character, Dante is still a beatstick. Coming in with the classic wargear of The Axe Mortalis (S+3 AP-3 D2) and an Inferno Pistol, 2+, 4++, and a jump pack, Dante hasn't really changed much, but does have W6 and A6. A lucky lascannon can still kill him, but he is a whole bunch tougher against small or even medium arms fire. Dante loses out on his cool tactical and jump pack warlord rules and now has the standard Chapter Master re-roll command option which is... alright, yet still retains Rites of Battle. But you're not taking him for those, you're taking him for the 6 inch bubble of giving morale rolls the middle finger from his built in Warlord Trait - meaning that whoever you select as his bodyguard won't break for shit - although it's worth noting you can put that trait on any unnamed Warlord you like. Since he's the fucking big cheese #1 space marine of all the Imperium, he can perform a single Heroic Deed free of charge per battle, and gains an additional CP if he is your warlord. Further, his Death Mask of Sanguinius is so terrifying, every attack roll against this model is reduced by 1, not just melee swings.
    • Unleash Rage and Red rampage. 10 Attacks (or more). Nice
    • For vanguards and assault marines, this is great, but since the most commonly used Dante bodyguard, Sanguinary Guard, get re-rolls to hit within 6" of your warlord already, this is kind of shit, so you probably don't want to take them - instead, take Company Veterans with Jump Packs, for the same job, or don't make Dante your Warlord. Interestingly, now the Guard can keep their re-rolls and you can give it to someone else, not bad!!!
      • This boy is 175 as of 9th edition! He is not and should not be used like Calgar, Abbadon, a hive tyrant, an Avatar, etc. Dante's main draw is his exceptional alpha strike potential. For best results, consider not deep striking him. Instead work up the board normally using your character status as protection, or jump out of a stormraven. You need to damage your opponent as much as possible in one turn, that means getting very close in the movement phase, inferno pistol in shooting phase, successful charge in assault phase with those juicy 6 attacks and ideally red rampage for D3 more. Lower their damage bracket so they cant strike back as hard. If everything goes as planned, he is a top notch character assassin. Otherwise, Dante just doesn't have the staying power of other models in his weight class.
    • Take a vanguard detachment with Dante and back him up with three standard dreads packing lascannons w/ fist/storm bolter (heavy flamer if you must). March them up the board, they will take a beating and will protect Dante, likewise they will throw out a lot of dakka thanks to re-roll all hits. Once you get close Dante can jump ahead, or swing around to slay the most opportune target, and dreads will dish out some hurt with all their re roll fists hits.
    • Alternatively, he's a great buff for a gun-line. Have him sit back with several lascannons and pop enemy vehicles, re-rolling all misses, and let Lemartes and DC charge in and wipe out everything else.
    • Commander Dante Update : Some Interesting new changes for the old guy.
      • Axe Mortalis is now the Burning Blade but with worse AP
      • His death mask gives everyone attacking him a -1 hit modifier.
      • Lord Regent of the Imperium Nihilus 1 additional Command point if he's your Warlord and your army is Battle-forged.
      • In addition all Blood Angels Core units within 6" of him re-roll hit rolls of 1, and in the command phase you can nominate one Blood Angels Core or Blood Angels Character unit, and they can re-roll hits.
  • Lemartes: Lemartes is still the mad-capped berserker that we all know and love, with some differences in this edition. Gone is his crazy approach to getting wounded and getting angrier, but his wounds have gone from 2 to 4, and his base attacks are a respectable 4 on top of all the goodies provided by Black Rage. As Death Company are no longer fearless (disappointing), you do have the option to use Lemartes’ Leadership of 9 (immunity until 4 models drop) if within 6”, should your crazy marines need to take a leadership test; note that Lemartes can't buff non-Death Company, unlike Astorath or normal Chaplains. The best thing here, though, is that Lemartes allows re-rolls of failed charges for Death Company, on top of providing them with one of three litanies (which, again, he can't provide to non-Death Company). Quite handy when Jump Pack assaults will be at least 9” away to start with. At 110 points, this Death Company deep strike bomber is a bargain.
  • The Sanguinor: Our special snowflake is now a very pointy snowflake. Basically a copy of Dante for 30 points less now, with -1 wound (he is affected by his own aura, so his attacks match Dante's unless they're together, in which case Dante pulls ahead by 1), but his weapon is AP-4 vs Dante's AP-3 and S+2, and he retains his aura of fervour, granting +1 attack to BA infantry units within 6" (unfortunately doesn't stack with savage echoes/shock assault but in the 2nd turns of combat you get the +1A. Sadly doesn't grant re-rolling misses, making him better at buffing melee but worse at buffing ranged), making him a natural fit with Sanguinary Guard/Jump Company Veterans/Vanguard Veterans as warlord. He may also fall back from combat and still charge that turn, and is wearing a Death Mask. All this for noticeably less than Dante. So yeah, if you want a slightly less tough, more/differently buffy guy, pick the Sanguinor; otherwise, if you want a more focused killer, Dante is your man.
    • Pretty solid warlord, and will make power fist sanguinary guard quite gnarly. A better take over Dante unless you really want an inferno pistol and/or improved 1v1 combat ability
    • He does very well with Sanguinary guard... but also makes death company alarmingly good.
    • Don't forget to throw his grenades, its not like they will kill much, but i`d be a shame to waste his awesome ballistic skill.
    • As of the codex update Oct'20 the Sanguinor got the ability to heriocally intervene while being in reserve of the battlefield! Holy Shite this is insane... for the moments when a melee unit charges you or an enemy character intervenes you can then pop the Sanguinor out of nowhere in melee contact and he counts as having interneved himself!!! This ability is simply awesome as it puts so much pressure on the opponent as he has to always think of our golden avenging angel of wrath too! And the Sanguinor can use this to position himself wherever he wants, at the back of an enemy unit for example. Horde units probably won't care, but any fancy units beware of charging BA!!!

Successor Chapters The Blood Angels are a passionately violent bunch, their successors are borderline lunatics whose leaders bring amazing aura abilities combined with very potent characters.

  • Gabriel Seth (Flesh Tearers): Gabriel is a Captain with +1W and +1A and the new Chapter Master ability of selecting one Flesh Tearers Core unit or CHARACTER and allowing them to re-roll all failed hits (which doesn't matter for 2+ models, but is twice as good for 3+ models); his melee weapon is a Thunder Hammer with +1WS (that is, no inaccuracy penalty, but only AP-2), and he carries a Bolt Pistol. His aura also lets Flesh Tearers CORE units within 6” to re-roll 1s. Whirlwind of Gore has been reworked and now states that at the end of the fight phase, if Seth is within engagement range of any enemy units, he may fight again. This pushes his output up to a potential 12 attacks (14 if in assault doctrine, Sup Kharne think your fucking badass??????). Lord of Slaughter has also been reworked. It is now a 6” aura that says CORE Flesh Tearers units who roll 6’s to wound with a melee attack do an additional point of damage. He also received a point increase up to 160. Rip and Tear! No seriously, this guy is very good now. Take him alongside Chainsword armed Vets or Death Company and maximize their D1 attacks like the White Scars. Functionally, Flesh Tearers with Seth now gain more A, better AP, better S, and more D. Every component of an assault weapon is increased.
  • Malakim Phoros (Lamenters, Forgeworld): 115 Points for a +1W & A Captain and re-roll wounds, with a relic blade equivalent and 12" inferno pistol?????? THAT. IS. DAMN. GOOD. The Lamenters shit days are over with these guy. Simply plant him next to all the dakka you can muster and let rip! Perhaps not as scary as his 7th edition stats, the Lord of Ruin still dishes out the pain with the best of them. His pistol, Catechist, is still a 12" Inferno Pistol, and his Glaive of Lamentation is a Power Fist with -1S -1AP, which is practically speaking better without a Sanguinary Priest on hand, due to the Red Thirst; with one, you're actually at -2S relative to the Fist, which is a bit more noticeable, but nothing to get worked up over. His special rule, "The Lord of Ruin", turns him into a super-Lieutenant, allowing all Lamenters infantry, dreadnoughts, and bikers (i.e. all of your Red Thirst units) within 6" of him to re-roll all failed wound rolls, which is drastically better than re-rolling all failed hits, in practice. Due to how well the Red Thirst already buffs your melee wounding, if you use Malakim to buff melee wounding as well, you'll want to bring weaker but cheaper melee weapons, like power swords - he won't really help your Thunder Hammers more than a Lieutenant would, but your Power Sword infantry will go from wounding Land Raiders 58.33% of the time with both a Priest and Lieutenant on hand to 75% of the time with Phoros and a Priest - and they cost a lot less. Combine him with a Captain on anything that has a 2+ to hit to functionally achieve re-rolling all failed hits and all failed wounds, or for melee, with a Chaplain or Terminator Ancient.
    • There are basically two good ways to use Malakim.
      • You can stuff him in a Stormraven to speed him up; his buff won't help anyone until he gets out, but you can more easily get him where he needs to go this way.
        • This is the only practical way to get him to buff melee combat; the best fellow buffer he can have for that is generally a Sanguinary Priest for +1S. A Librarian for Unleash Rage can also help, but buffs a single target, rather than employing an aura, on top of being able to fail the buff. You should put a Dread on board and as many Company Veterans as you can, but, of course, be aware that melee units that can't FLY may have trouble deleting units that can only be charged by models with FLY; instead, since Phoros and the Priest are both auras, you may want to dump them somewhere, then deep strike in many small units of Jump melee troops to try and ensure charges get through. If you want more room on board for more chargers, remember Priests, Librarians, and Captains can all take Jump Packs, and get to where they need to be themselves.
        • You can also field this ranged style (see below), or mix the two; Sanguinary Guard can FLY, carry both a melee weapon and a gun, and, near Phoros, re-roll all failed hits and wounds; give them plasma pistols, a Company Ancient, and a Sanguinary Priest, then combine the lot of it near something you want dead for deeply satisfactory plasma spam. Not remotely as good with inferno pistols, due to short range and Malakim being slow, or angelus bolters, which have the range, but are insanely overcosted.
      • You can, instead, just walk him up the field, like how Codex Marines field Guilliman. This is clearly best with ranged; since Phoros can't buff most vehicles, you're looking to field Devastators, Hellblasters, and dakka Dreads (especially Leviathan Dreads), essentially. Note that this is perfectly fieldable on a Stormraven - you can stuff Phoros, 2 Heavy Flamer Devastators squads, and a Leviathan Dreadnought on a Stormraven, with room to spare for an additional buffer if you want one on board. You can't stuff Hellblasters on one, so for them, make sure you bring a Company Ancient to let them shoot twice when they die, and a Priest is still a good idea to stand them back up, on top of the Captain you'll definitely want.
    • Since we're already using Forgeworld, remember that we can make use of Chaplain Dreadnoughts. The +1S buff from the Chaplain Dread stacks with the +1S from a Sanguinary Priest, which stacks with any x2 melee weapon for a net +4S on top of the weapon's buff (i.e. net +8, or S12, for all of those S4 guys you were bringing); between that and the Red Thirst, you can easily get Malakim up to wounding Land Raiders on a 2+ (he'll be at S9), and your S12 punchers will wound even the incredibly rare T9 and T10 targets out there on a 2+.
      • Potentially Hilarious Idea: Put Malakim in a Vanguard Detachment with 3 Furioso Dreads armed with Heavy Flamers and Frag Cannons for self-contained 9D6 auto-hits, re-rolling wounds. Really who even needs Chapter Master?
        • You guys are looking at things the wrong way. Phoros and Aggressors (a full vanguard with 3 squads should suffice, maxed out even better!) are a match made in heaven. His very unique wounds re roll works better and better as volume increases. 6 mans squads of aggressors can pump 100 or more shots a turn, assuming 2/3s of those hit, re rolling the wounds allows you to engage anything from T4 to T8 and up. Basically, aggressors work wonders on hordes by themselves. Throw in re rolls to wounds and they can take on any target. Plus you have power fists to finish off T8... Aggressors like to hug cover and let the enemy come to them, a perfect match since Phoros is only 1" faster. Phoros makes a great unit (Aggressors are easily one of the best if not the best infantry in all of the Astartes codex) phenomenal.


  • Sanguinary Ancient: A single Sanguinary Guard character holding a banner that grants +1 Ld and re-rolling of wound rolls of 1 in the Fight phase to all nearby Blood Angels. You have to ask yourself one question, "Is it viable for me to spend 125 points for a character that allows me to re-roll wound rolls of one and buffs my leadership, and gives the option for 5+++ fnp with the relic banner, resulting in that whoever he is with becoming more killy and more durable?" With right tools, this is a massive force multiplier, more so than jump lieutenant and jump ancient combined in a single package. This thing is meant to join with priests and what have you to make horribly dangerous armies that use the synergy of BA to the logical limitations that are offered.
    • Unfortunately, this unit is probably no longer worth taking in 9th due to the massive price hike. For the price of one of these guys, you could take 4 more Sanguinary Guard models.
  • Death Company: Now blessed with 2W, Death Company function as your high output melee assaulters. 22 (25 w/jump pack)points get you 4 attacks on the charge and a 6+ FNP along with the Black Rage keyword, though with LD 7 and full squads of 15. They can all take (should take) bolt pistols or plasma/inferno pistols alongside fists and power weapons. For the heavy hitting duties they can also take two handed thunder hammers, out swinging hammernators. Keeping chainswords and adding Savage Echoes brings you up to 6 attacks, which will be at a minimum of AP-1 along with your typical +1 to wound from Red Thirst. However, for all this offense they are fairly vulnerable compared to other elites choices and require dedicated HQ support as they will remain LD7. They have lost some of the durability and fearlessness compared to previous editions, but they are by no means any less deadly. DC now seem to rely on support more than before specifically for morale. This does make some sense fluff-wise, mainly because these guys would be counter-productive and simply a hazard on the battle field without proper guidance.
    • Tried and true play styles will still work: Sanguinary Priests can get your units' weapons into Assault Doctrine turn 1 or 2, and Chaplains can buff with litanies. Remember that, unless taking a Thunder Hammer, you can instead swap your Bolt Pistol for any of the available Power Weapons. Keep your chainsword! Hand flamers are no longer a great option at 5 points, but remember a bolter is also a free upgrade to your bolt pistol. Jump packs are always a good idea as these boys gain bonuses only when charging (or being charged) and you need maneuverability for that charge. However, you may forgo equipping them with jump packs in order to save points. Try a 5 man squad with a Chaplain in Razorback. Altogether these three can take on any foe and will last fairly long with the right weapons loadout. Thunder Hammers on these guys is incredible, and will reliably injure absolutely anything.
    • DC and Lemartes will win you games. Don't puss around though... Take 15 with bolt pistols and as many power weapons/fists/hammers as you can afford. Remember the jet packs and all of this gets re-rolls on charges. I'm telling you little can stand up against them. Of course, deep striking 15 guys can get cumbersome due to screens and other soft ass bullshit requiring you to place your models roughly 12" away sometimes, but that's why you have the Descent of Angels stratagem for 3D6" re-rolled fucking charges baby. Blood Angels have always been the kings of deep strike assault, let it be known, and let our wrath go unquestioned.
    • Compared to Vanguard and Company veterans, who are your main competition, for one point you gain 1A and 6+++ though you become LD7. This makes DC your deathball super unit rocking up with HQs. All of your other elites with the exception of Sang Guard are perfectly fine working independently in smaller skirmishes.
    • DC, like Chaos Berserkers, have to worry about overkill. When you can generate 90 total attacks, you may find that most of the attacks are completely wasted. Try multi-charging, though be sure to mitigate overwatch whenever possible.
  • Death Company Intercessors: Apparently, Primaris Marines CAN fall to the Black Rage. Thanks a lot, Cawl. Essentially Intercessors that trade Combat Squads for the Black Rage. They also lose their Sergeant, but one marine in the squad can be equipped like one, ditching their rifle for a Chainsword or Hand Flamer and adding a Chainsword, Power Sword, Power Fist or Thunder Hammer (no double Chainsword). These guys are now a much better deal than in 8th - they now have 3 attacks base, and all can swap their bolt rifle for a heavy bolt pistol and Astartes chainsword. This brings them to SIX AP-1 attacks each on the charge, and even more if you can get to Assault Doctrine (super easy with an attending Sanguinary Priest). They are less mobile than regular Death Company with jump packs, but they hit even harder if you can get them into position.
    • You could stick 8 in a Repulsor with a Sanguinary Priest and Ancient. That's 16 wounds all with a 6+++ chance to dodge any D2 weapon hits, plus up to 56 attacks on the charge including Assault Doctrine plus usual BA enhancements (Red Thirst, Savage Echoes, etc). Certainly a big overall combo, but should work well centered on the board taking on the brunt of your opponent while everyone else gets into position for charges.
    • DC now have a stratagem to up their FNP to 5+++, which on a 2 wound 24 point model, becomes pretty damn tanky.
  • Sanguinary Guard: The latest iteration of Sanguinary Guard have are 30 points in their cheapest form, which amounts to 120 points stock. They posses 2W, 3A, a 2+ save, and jump packs along with free Angelus Boltguns and access to power fists and force weapon equivalents. They are now genuinely cheaper and more cost effect than Terminators and only lack a 5++ and access to heavy weapons, Thunder Hammers, or Storm Shields. This places them into a niche role as a mid-weight, fast paced anti TEQs hunting squad ideally working in unison with your warlord. Vets and DC should form the bulk of your assaulting forces, Terminators and Aggressors serve as your heavy hitters, Sang Guard are your elite scalpels meant to take on other elite/scalpel type units in ruthless deep strike assaults.
    • Sanguinary Guard have been simplified as far as options go. Each model is 30 points with an Encarmine Sword or Axe, or +5 points for a Power Fist. Axes shine against T5 (especially turn 3), swords are the generalist option, Fists are great for T7 and up. Next they each take an Angelus Boltgun for free AP-1 shots, or Plasma/Inferno pistols for 5 points for D2 or DD6 shots if you prefer.
    • Heirs of Azkaellon is the real the game-changer for these guys - i.e. they don't need a Chaplain or Captain (or Chapter Master) to help them with a +1to hit if they're near your Warlord, so you can build a Sanguinary Guard list around assuming you haven't got one, because they get +1 to hit rolls while near your Warlord. Combined with a Jump Lieutenant and a Jump Sanguinary Priest, for example, either of whom can be the Warlord proper, they'll practically speaking have full re-rolls to hit and wound in melee with power fists, and have full re-rolls to hit with re-rolling 1s to wound with their Inferno Pistols.
      • Fists and Inferno Pistols is 40 points a model, and frankly with Heirs of Azkaellon is one of the best TEQ busting units you can ask for, just remember the unit's effectiveness will drastically suffer if you ever leave the buffs of your warlord.
    • The boltguns might serve you if you try to fly them across the board instead of deep-striking, since the extra wound and save make them more durable than most choices. With a jump-pack Librarian to unleash their rage you might have a stronger unit than you think.
      • Their Death Mask leadership debuff is now traded for "Angelic Visage" and makes them -1 to hit in combat at all times. Excellent ability that will really help these guys stay alive.
  • Sanguinary Novitiate (Apothecary with optional Jump Pack): Now a Character running on his own. Doesn't give out Feel No Pain, but if he's within 3" of a same chapter Infantry/Biker unit at the end of the Movement phase, he can heal D3 wounds on one 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. Combine with a Company Ancient to make a trade in death, although you might prefer the proper priest, both for the +1S and to help pay an HQ tax. You should definitely shell out the 5 points for the Jump Pack if you take a Novitiate, though - his healing happens at the end of Movement, regardless of whether he moved and/or advanced, so he's far, far better with doubled movement so you can get him where he needs to be to heal.
  • Furioso Dreadnought: Although a 2+ to hit would be nice, as well as more than T7 toughness to differentiate from all other dreads (these guys were front armor 13 before...) typical frag cannon loadout is still somewhat viable. Frag cannons are now 2D3 Heavy, Blast. Combined with S7 the frag cannon can engage hordes, multi wound models, and light vehicles equally well. Pair with a heavy flamer and make sure to assault with your giant fist to guarantee entire squads get removed each turn.
    • Magna-Grapple got reworked into making you roll 2d6 whenever an enemy Vehicle tries to fall back from your assault - if you beat that model's Strength value, you trap them. While not as obvious for normal furiosos as it is for your DC ones, these still remain a good way to tie up a tank.
    • The Furioso is perhaps the most flexible unit in the game for Blood Angels, especially considering his 6" move and can be transported in a damn stormraven. This unit can move quickly and reliably, can bring both anti horde and tank dakka, and can do work in the shooting and fight phases, plus it is decently tough. Also possibly our best support unit. As mentioned it can shoot many different targets, move around quickly, carry many types of weapons, resist damage, and lend much needed heavy hitting melee support. Jack of all trades units are typically underwhelming, Furiosos, on the other hand, are genuinely dangerous all throughout the game and combine shooting and melee potential without sacrificing either.
  • Death Company Dreadnought: Your normal Furioso but angry. 2 fists/talons and black rage on a very durable frame. Now bumped down to a 6" move it still has a good charge roll. IF these guys do get Shock Assault, they are gonna demand serious attention with 8 attacks when maxed out!
    • Magna-Grapple got reworked into making you roll 2d6 whenever an enemy Vehicle tries to fall back from your assault - if you beat that model's Strength value, you trap them. This makes them incredibly potent anti-vehicle weapons.
    • A hidden gem here. At its cheapest they are 130 points (135 with heavy flamer). Kept at your front lines they should be rushed headlong at the biggest, nastiest enemy you can find and expect them to put in work with 7 attacks on the charge, and +1 to wound. The interesting part is their ability to survive a decent round of shooting when you combine smoke launchers, Duty Eternal ability, and black rage 6+++ making the run up the board bearable. They should work well in pairs, being well priced and requiring your opponent to devote a majority of his shooting at them or else they will hurt his units.
    • You can stick these monsters into drop pods, and charge in! Now combine that with 8 attacks (on turn 3) at S12, +1 to wound, AP-4, D3, re rolls to wound with talons!! An expensive and late game play, but this load out can easily deal deal 15-21 wounds to anything without an invuln save, allowing you to smash most tanks and monsters easily. You can also drop them in turn 1 or 2, for 1 less attack and AP, but should still kill 1 medium tank/monster in a single assault. Expendable, durable, deadly... Exactly like the fluff and downright awesome!!

Heavy Support

  • Baal Predator: You thought Twin-Linked Assault Cannons were good before, now get ready for 12 shots! The dakka loadout of AC and heavy bolters now spits out 18 shots a turn. The flame cannon got buffed and now has a range of 18". Overcharged engines are now better advancing, but you want to be shooting, so eh. Make no mistake this tank is FAST and likely faster than what your opponent expects.


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 Death Guard with everything having Feel no pain, Damage reduction, and vehicle stats take more wounds to degrade, experts at wielding heavy weapons of all types, and as an added bonus Optimizes gunfire and sword swing for both Cyborgs and tanks.
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 redemptors). Also, 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 kick-ass 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.
      • The boost's benefit also varies with Wounds, as GW tends to use the same algorithm to build all of your degradation tables. By and large, this reduces the tendency of wounds to be useless - for example, ordinarily going from W13 to W14 is not useful, because the extra wound happens in the middle band of the degradation table, compared to going from W10 to W11, where the extra wound happens in the top band. Under Iron Hands, both wounds show up on top. The effect is particularly noticeable on W11 and W15, and at its absolute worst when Wounds is a power of 2 - your W16 Land Raiders will get the least benefit from this compared to most other things you can field.
  • Combat Doctrine - Calculated Fury: Whilst the Devastator Doctrine is active (First round only), 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.
    • not the so good as was in early 8th, but still useful start to your game. Your still going to need Captains for after the First turn. The first turn is when everyone is hidden from everyone else, so ignoring the heavy weapon -1 for infantry to move into position is good. With changes of Core, Getting back rerolling 1s to hit on vehicles is strong even though it's during the battle round with the least amount of visible target(benefits most units with Fly or don't care about line of sight).

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 unmodified 6 (not 6+) to hit with any attack procs an extra attack with the same weapon, which can't proc this again
    • 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 while the techmarine babysits it.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

None of these relics can be assigned to vehicles.

  • Aegis Ferrum: Primaris Model only. +1 Toughness, and the model takes 1 less damage (to a minimum of 1).
  • 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.
  • Betrayer's Bane: Replaces a Combi-Melta. The Melta part becomes Assault 2. Yay. You will probably never take this.
  • 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.
  • Ironstone: At the start of the battle round, select one friendly Iron Hands vehicle unit within 3" of the bearer of this relic. Until the start of the next battle round, when resolving attacks made against that unit, if the bearer is within 3" of that unit, you can reduce any damage suffered by 1 (minimum of 1 and not accumulative).
    • 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. Sadly this no longer stacks with Duty Eternal.
  • 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?
  • Tempered Helm: Roll 1d6 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 (no limit on stratagems used outside of a battle round, i.e. before the battle begins).
    • Per the September 2019 FAQ, you can't use this to refund command points before the battle begins

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.
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Master-crafted Weapon: +1 to the damage characteristic of one of the bearer's weapons, which is then considered a relic. D4 Thunderhammer baby!
  • Automedicae Bionics: Heal 1d3 wounds at the start of the turn. Actually a decent pick!
  • Dataspike: Roll 2 dice and drop the lowest result when healing vehicles. Generally speaking, this will turn 1d3 healing from average 2 to average 2.44, changes the odds of rolling at least 2 from 2/3 to 8/9, and changes the odds of rolling 3 from 3/9 to 5/9, in terms of your ability to repair a target enough to change wound brackets.
  • Haywire Bolts: Affects a bolt weapon. It can only do 1 shot, but when targeting a vehicle, an unmodified wound roll of 4 or 5 does d3 mortal wounds, and a 6 results in a flat 3 mortal wounds, in addition to normal damage. 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.
    • The additional damage is both mortal and additive, so the effect is more noticeable on a weapon with poor AP and D to begin with, and it happens on a 4 or 5 even if the shot failed to wound, so also more noticeable on low S, and for obvious reasons, you want to take it on a 1-shot weapon to begin with. Nothing else matters per se, so e.g. it'll have the same impact on a weapon of any range. More noticeable maybe, but no more effective. It's actually most efficient on a single shot weapon as you don't lose any of your initial firepower.
    • Could be interesting on a Primaris Lieutenant with a stalker bolt rifle. Or a sergeant armed with the same if you want to use the stratagem.
  • Teeth of Mars: Replaces a chainsword, SU AP-2 D2 A+1; becomes Sx2 AP-2 D2 A+1 when resolving attacks against vehicles.


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

  • 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 wounds twice on unmodified wound rolls of 6. Enjoy.
  • Vengeance for Istvaan V (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase, when choosing an Iron Hands unit to fight. Re-roll hit rolls vs Alpha Legion, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, and Word Bearers.
  • Wrathful Machine Spirit (2 CP): Used in the shooting or fight phase when a vehicle is chosen to shoot or fight; it can re-roll hit rolls for that phase. Went from a no to a yes with the 9th codex, let Iron Hand remember the fun of rerolling dice on a gun platform.
  • Reject the Flesh, Return to Monke Embrace the Machine (1 CP): Use in any phase when an Iron Hands infantry unit in your army is chosen as a target for an attack. FNP on 5+++. If it's a Warlord with All Flesh is Weakness, he gets a 4+++.
  • Engine Purge (2 CP): Use at the start of your movement phase if the devastator doctrine is active. Until the 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.
  • The Gorgon's Rage (1 CP): Use in the Fight phase, when choosing an Iron Hands unit to fight. Until the end of the phase, that unit adds +1 to melee hit rolls. If the target is emperor's children, enjoy an additional +1 to wound.
  • Optimal Repulsion Doctrines (2 CP): A unit during your opponents charge phase enjoys 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.
  • Machine Empathy (1 CP): After a Techmarine heals a vehicle, that model can use that ability again. 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 to a better bracket. While it's inconvenient that it only allows you to repair two different vehicles rather than double heal one, it'd definitely help if you're seeing these tanks/dreads taking a beating.
  • Methodical Firepower (1 CP): If the devastator doctrine isn't active, pick a unit. Now it is for this unit. No need to say how good this is on units with heavy weapons.
  • Souls of Iron (2 CP): Deny on 4+ within 24" of an Iron Hands unit.
  • 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.
  • March of the Ancients (1 CP): Once per battle, 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. Beware that Dreadnoughts with 10 or more wounds can still be targeted, and Cogitated Martyrdom now doesn't protect vehicles. Still 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!
    • 9th has also added contemptor dreadnoughts to the list with the Relic version included.
  • Scions of the Forge (1 CP): Your sergeant gets toys! Yay! Special issue wargear to sergeants (chosen from m-c weapon, digital weapons, Teeth of Mars, and Haywire Bolts).
  • 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. Must be from the chapter's list. The usual supplement special.
  • Cogitated Martyrdom (1 CP): Use at the start of an enemy shooting phase. An Iron Hands infantry unit can intercept attacks before rolling FNP for non-vehicle Iron Hands characters within 3". On a 2+, take a MW on the infantry unit.
    • Enjoy treating Intercessors as drones, especially the heavy ones. Particularly useful as your characters will be high priority targets for your opponent like the new iron father or anyone with the ironstone. Maybe use it for servitors. This lets you shove some poor sod in front of the Sniper-lascannon aiming for your characters.

Psychic Discipline: Technomancy[edit]

Technomancy 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) Blessing: Grants +1 to hit for a friendly Iron Hands vehicle unit within 12", like a Techmarine but with more range. You need to get at least an 8 on the psychic test to use this on Titanic units, so better take the repairman if you want to buff that Fellblade or Astraeus.
  2. Objuration Mechanicum (WC7) Malediction: If manifested, select one visible enemy unit within 18". When that unit rolls unmodified 1s to shoot, it takes a mortal wound after it finishes the gun in question. Enjoy self-immolating aggressors, Tau Fire Warriors, and Chaos Havocs with miniguns.
    • While the actual output of this weapon depends on the number of shots the target unit makes, and penalties to hit won't affect it (although if the target has to re-roll hits, that absolutely may), one of the big values is forcing your opponent to decide if shooting with the unit is worth the mortal wounds it will suffer. It also has better scaling the more guns the unit uses to make those shots since a given gun gets all of its shots before any mortal wounds happen, but mortal wounds will happen between guns.
      • Without any relevant buffs, the number of shots the target has to make to suffer at least as much as Smite would have - bearing in mind that this happens after it shoots, not before, as it would with Smite - is 19, so anything with at least that many shots - such as a Leman Russ Punisher, or 5 models within 12" with Storm Bolters, or what have you - will die to this power faster, with, again, the caveat that the mortal wounds won't happen until after each gun fires.
    • Point at plasma wielding squads for double the fun, now a roll of 1 on an overcharge will both kill the gunner and drop a mortal wound on one of its buddies. If you really want to cheese it, get something to force -1 to hit modifiers on your unfortunate victims and your opponent will just plain give up on shooting with them (it won't help this power hurt them, of course).
  3. Fury of Medusa (WC6) Witchfire: Select an enemy model within 18". Draw a line 1mm wide between the psyker and target. For every enemy unit the line crosses, including the target model's, roll 1d6, adding 2 for vehicles; the unit takes a mortal wound on a 4 or 5, and 1d3 mortal wounds on a 6.
    • This needs to cross 4 non-vehicle units, 2 vehicle units, or 1 vehicle and 2 non-vehicle, in order to outperform Smite.
  4. Psysteel Armour (WC6) Blessing: Select an Iron Hands unit within 12" of the psyker. Add 1 to non-invulnerable saving throws for it.
    • plus softcover, easy way to put a unit or vehicle at a +1SV
  5. Reforge (WC5) Blessing: Heal D3 lost wounds on a vehicle within 3".
    • This turns your Librarian into a much more expensive and much less reliable Techmarine, and you don't even get a range benefit.
  6. Machine Flense (WC6) Witchfire: Select a visible enemy vehicle unit within 18". It takes 1d3 mortal wounds. Then select an enemy unit that was within 6" of that vehicle and visible to it when the power was manifested (meaning the original target need not 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.
    • After the cast, this will on average deal 2 mortal wounds to the target and 4/3 mortal wounds to the secondary target, meaning that this power actually does do more mortal wounds than Smite (1.79 for Smite, 1.44 to the target, 0.96 to the secondary target, 2.41 total mortal wounds dealt by this power, taking cast odds into account), assuming no bonuses to the cast are available.

Special Units[edit]

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.

  • HQ
    • Malkaan Feirros: The Iron Hands' first named character and is a Primaris Techmarine Master of the Forge. 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 INFANTRY units (FAQ) within 6" a 5+ Invulnerable save. 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 (or 6W with Machine Empathy strat). He also has a Signum Array that gives a friendly unit within 3" +1 to hit with Ranged weapon at the start of the shooting phase, Practaly BS+2 on marines.
  • HQ
    • Vaylund Cal(Legends): 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. Also makes an excellent anchor for a Dreadnoughts, because he gives both a re-roll bubble, +1 to hit AND can repair vehicles. His price was dropped to 165, making him a clear pick over a tech marine with an upgraded captain. While slightly less flexible, it will save you a few points.
    • if you want to go Dreadnought Crazy, also brings a Cheif Techmarine with March of the ancients Warlord trait, and may also include a lieutenant and Chaplain for cheesy time with friends.

Tactical Objectives[edit]

  1. Methodical Destruction: When this Tactical Objective is generated, select up to three enemy units on the battlefield. Score 1 victory point for each of those units that was destroyed as a result of an attack made with a ranged weapon by an IRON HANDS unit from your army this turn. Score D3+3 victory points instead if all three units were destroyed in the same phase.
  2. Advance and Secure: Score 1 victory point if you control the objective marker closest to the centre of the battlefield at the end of your turn (if several objective markers are equally close to the centre, you achieve this Tactical Objective if you control any of those objective markers at the end of your turn).
  3. March of the Machines: Score 1 victory point if an IRON HANDS DREADNOUGHT from your army either finished an Advance move or charge move wholly within the enemy’s deployment zone this turn.
  4. Destroy the Weak:Score D3 victory points if at least one enemy unit was destroyed as a result of an attack made by any IRON HANDS models from your army during both the Shooting phase and the Fight phase of this turn.
  5. The Strength of Metal: Whilst this Tactical Objective is active, keep a tally of how many times IRON HANDS models from your army would lose a wound that is subsequently not lost (e.g. due to the The Flesh is Weak Chapter Tactic or the Artificer Bionics ability). Score 1 victory point if this Tactical Objective is still active when the tally reaches 10.
  6. Cold Fury: Score 1 victory point if any enemy units were destroyed as a result of an attack made by an IRON HANDS VEHICLE model from your army this turn. Score D3 victory points instead if three or more enemy units were destroyed as a result of an attack made by an IRON HANDS VEHICLE model this turn.


In the month following the release of their codex supplement but before the October FAQ nerf, the Iron Hands enjoyed an unprecedented level of popularity and brokenness. An article on Warhammer site Goonhammer reported a winrate of 71% overall in 234 qualifying games, far higher than any other faction had enjoyed since the launch of 8th edition. This helps to explain why, on October 17 of 2019, an initial, rather anemic FAQ was amended within hours to include a number of changes to try and get ahead of the situation. As a result of these nerfs, the tactical situational for the Iron Hands is in something of a transitional state. It remains to be seen if the changes will have their intended effect. In the mean time, here is a brief list of several of the most popular units from before the nerfs.

  • Stormhawk interceptors, Stormtalon Gunships, and Stormraven Gunships: A popular choice on several competitive lists. All three flyers pair well with the Iron Hands Chapter tactics, and units like the Stormhawk and stormtalon, which have heavy weapons but not power of the machine spirit, benefit greatly from both the Devastator doctrine and the chapter doctrine.
  • Thunderfire Cannons: Another popular competitive choice and almost an auto-take in an Iron Hands army thanks to the interaction between Devastator doctrine and the Chapter doctrine.
  • Repulsor Executioners: Initially broken as fuck due to the interaction between Feirros and the Ironstone. Now far less so thanks to the nerfs to both units, but still solid for all the expected reasons.

Ultramarines & Silver Templars (White Dwarf 456)[edit]


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. From being able to form a moving gunline that isn't hard countered by melee, or fighting like a collection of champions, the Ultramarines have an answer for every situation. 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.

Silver Templars Armorial.png

In the grim darkness of the far future, focus and fury shall bring down all foes.
The poster boys of Primaris-only chapters, the Silver Templars value martial prowess, fighting through the enemy so their champions can engage the enemy leaders. Naturally they are an UM successor despite being, you know, Templars.
By doubling down on the knightly themes, the Silver Templars show how a successor chapter isn't required to be the same thing as their primogenitor just with another color (just like other, darker templars). They accomplish this with rules that promote comitting to a direct fight instead of using feints to fall back from it, bringing down infantry and fighting with increased tactical precision.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Ultramarines Chapter Tactics - Codex Discipline: +1 to their Leadership characteristic (making 4-man units immune to morale). They also can fall back and still shoot, with a -1 modifier to hit.
    • 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 since it isn't affected by the -1 to hit anyway - get close, fire, charge/be charged and trigger Shock Assault, fall back, and flame again. It also gives your vehicles more flexibility, as they are no longer required to shoot only at the squad they're in melee with; better shoot your Blast guns at -1BS than not at all.
  • Silver Templars Chapter Tactics - The Bond Martial: Your models' melee attacks auto-Wound Infantry and Biker units on unmodified To-Hit rolls of 6, and each of your units can re-roll a single To-Hit roll in each Shooting and Fight Phase.
    • This makes the most difference against high-Toughness not-quite Monster units, like Ogryns and Wraithguard.
  • Combat Doctrine - Scions of Guilliman: During the Tactical Doctrine, models can move and count as stationary as long as they didn't also fall back or advance during that movement phase. Not only does this mean Relentless from infantry to tanks (Relentless Vindicators & Flyers!), but it also means you always get bolter discipline during turns 2-3, until you reach the Assault Doctrine, where you'll be in close range anyways.
    • Eradicators will be able to shoot twice on the move! Repulsor Executioners will be able to shoot twice without giving up on their role as transports! An Executioner could transport Eradicator for a turn 2 fiery capture of the objective point.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  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 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.
  1. Accomplished Duellist: Your Warlord may fight first if they start within Engagement Range of any enemy units during the Fight Phase, and they can re-roll To-Wound in melee if they performed a Charge or a Heroic Intervention.
    • Striking first's always nice, re-rolling To-Wound's just the icing on the cake.
  2. Precision Commander: One Silver Templars Primaris Core unit, within 6" of your Warlord during your Command Phase, can re-roll a single To-Hit and To-Wound roll in each Shooting and Fight Phase until your next Command Phase.
    • Gives a chosen squad even more re-rolls, for when you absolutely positively need something taken down. Ideal on a devastator squad but also works on a melee squad with a melta and a power hammer or fist.
  3. Spiritual Synergy: A single non-Relic weapon your Warlord carries inflicts 1 Mortal Wound on an unmodified To-Wound roll of 6 as well as regular Damage.
    • No limitations, so this can go on anything. Make your Combi-Plasma or Combi-Melta the bane of everything.

Relics & Special-Issue Wargear[edit]

Relics are now split into three 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. and the Silver Templars get their own relics.

  • 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.
  • The Standard of Maccrage Inviolate: Ancient only, +1A to friendly Ultramarine Core and Character 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.
    • This can be vicious with the Paragon of War Warlord Trait. Almost guarantees at least ONE mortal wound. Also consider this build on a bike captain with the extra bolter shots... 12 dice at 24"

And the Silver Templars get 2:

  • Banner of Echos: Silver Templars exclusive, Primaris Ancient only. Usable once per battle during your Command Phase, gives all friendly Silver Templars Primaris Core units within 6" of the bearer +1A until your next Command Phase.
    • Goes well with assault-oriented units obviously, and gels with both their Stratagems for some potent combos.
  • 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 for Ultramarine Core and Characters 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.


Bland but reliable, Ultramarine stratagems are Tau-like in that they're focused towards shooting, teamwork and avoiding melee. Guess it's an Eastern Fringe thing. They can be divided into four broad categories: Offense, Defense, Utility, and Character Upgrades.

  • Martial Precision (1 CP): Use this stratagem before resolving an attack made by an Ultramarines model from your army in your shooting phase, 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. Can be good with a Las Fusil eliminator to make sure that one 3D shot really lands.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • May mean the difference between losing an expensive model and keeping it around. More efficient when used on Chaplain.
  • 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).
  • 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" (Max 9").
  • 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. If the game is going to last at least six turns, that is. Essentially single-use, probably not worth it now that games are five turns exactly (though it may still find use if you want to hit Assault in turn three, then pop back to Devastator the turn afterwards).
  • 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).
    • Can be combined with the Lord of Deceit Vanguard Warlord Trait and redeploy your entire army. No need to go that far, but having a second chance at deployment after your enemy already committed to it can disrupt their plans even before the game begins.
  • 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 actually has the Codex Discipline Chapter Tactic (it could be a successor), 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.
  • 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" of 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. In which case, something something Aggressor double Overwatch. Notice how deadly it is to charge an Ultramarines gunline?
  • 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.
  • Tactical Insight (2 CP, Single Use): 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.
  • 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 more than 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 an Assault Centurion Sergeant, four strength 10 siege drills in the face for 4 damage.

They get two extra Stratagems, in addition to the previous ones:

  • The Swordsman's Strike (1 CP/ 2 CP): If a Silver Templars Primaris Core unit's making an attack against a Character unit during the Shooting or Fight Phase, they all get +1 to hit. The cost of this Stratagem varies depending on the number of models in the selected unit, 5 or less cost 1 CP, 6 or more cost 2 CP.
    • This basically turns a squad of your choice into Snipers-lite, except it also works in melee. Space Marines hitting on 2+'s bad news in everyones' books.
  • Claim Runes (1 CP): If a Silver Templars Primaris unit starts within Engagement Range of an enemy unit that outnumbers it during the Fight Phase, they all get +1S and -1AP with whatever weapons they're swinging!
    • Space Marines are pretty much always outnumbered, so this's a reliable one. It can be used to buff a regular squad, or make Powerfists, Thunderhammers, and Chainfists even nastier. Perfect for Lightning Claw units ('Nators/Veterans) who are knee deep in hordes, or, melee tank hunters attempting some T8 or T9.

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 (WC5): Blessing 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 (WC7): Blessing 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 within 18" of this psyker, you can re-roll the hit, wound, or damage roll.
  3. Telepathic Assault (WC7): Witchfire Select one visible enemy unit within 24" of 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. You aren't gonna destroy a unit of Necron Warriors, but if you roll well everything leadership 6 and lower are gonna get fucked. Tried using it on an Ork player once, but he says Mob Rule counteracts it. (Ork player input: Mob rule explicitly states that the Ld Characteristic is REPLACED by any of the listed methods. They were correct. Do not cast this on boyz or units that are boyz-adjacent)
  4. Storm of the Emperor's Wrath (WC6): Witchfire Select the nearest visible enemy unit within 18" of the psyker. Roll a D6 for each model in the unit; for each 6, that unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
  5. Psychic Shackles (WC6): Malediction Select one visible enemy unit within 18" of 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, subtract 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. Also doesn't seem to say you can't use this and tremor shells, something to bear in mind.
  6. Empyric Channeling (WC5): Blessing 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...but it might soon due to the masters of the Chapter rules), ancients (all flavours), Honour guards, victrix honour guards, vanguard vets & sternguard vets (including Tyrannic War Veterans) 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! Note that only ULTRAMARINES can take this, and not any of their Successors.

  • 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.


  • 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, however, power sword vets become very dangerous.

Special Units[edit]

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


  • Marneus Calgar: Papa Smurf, nuff said. He now gets +1T thanks to his Gravis armour without the -1 to movement like the majority of Gravis units, 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.
    • 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 Antilochus: (index) 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.
      • 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: His power sword can do D3 mortal wounds if you roll a 6 to wound. His artisan plasma pistol now gets the benefit of overcharging without any risk of hurting him. 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. He's alright for his price, though his special ability does require some forethought, especially since 9th really favors capturing objectives.
  • 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. But with marines all getting 2 wounds, this ability will see a little less use.
    • 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 a Repulsor or certain 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.
    • The vehicle Chronus commands gets the character keyword. While that might not by itself stop him from getting shot, (all the vehicles he can ride have 10 wounds or more,) it does mean he can use Company Veterans, Honor Guard and Victrix Guard to deflect shots and stay operational for very long.
    • 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 relatively cheap HQ's (although with Chronus 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.


  • Chapter Ancient: Split off from the Honour Guard, he's the same as a Company Chapter Ancient, but exclusive to Ultramarines and comes with a 2+ save and a power sword for 10pts cheaper.
  • 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 75 points, so you're paying 5 points less then a Company Champion to go from 3+/5++ to 2+ and from S5 AP-3 D2 to S5 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 the 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: (Legends) 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.
    • legonds can take Power Axe, Sword, Maul, or Relic Blade, 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.
  • Victrix Honour Guard: Primaris Honour Guard and Company Veterans, with both upsides and downsides. Standard 1 wound and ABOVE standard for 3 wounds, 4 attacks (normally Primaris get +1), hitting with 5 S5 Ap-3 power swords attacks, has storm shields, 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 durabilities 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 380 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. His 9 wounds mean enemies have to observe the Look Out, Sir! rule and also takes cover behind a constant 2+, 3++. 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 as Sx2 AP-3 Dmg 4 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. With the new monster and vehicle rules, he can now also fire his bolter while in the engagement range. 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 Core and Ultramarines Character 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.
    • With 9th if you bring Guilliman he has to be your warlord with his new Avenging Son rule, which is fine because you get those three extra command points on top of him refunding one of your detachments by being a Supreme Command Detachment, for a max of a whopping 15 command points in a 2k point game.

Fire Angels

  • Captain Tarnus Vale: (Legends) Captain. Provides a 6+ invuln to nearby Fire Angels 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. Works better with Dreadnoughts for the rerolls. He does have a power sword 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 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: (Legends) Captain. The only Forge World character in this list who showed up with a Jump Pack and a special power Sword D2 that reroll wound rolls. 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 S:+1 AP-2 D2 sword (worse than the relic blade at S+3 AP-3 D2, 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.

Successor Tactics: While Courbray is nothing you'd build an army around and not a whole lot is known about the Fire Hawk's specialization, 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 like the smoke rising off them giving them cover!) Or Warded is fine choices, and Fearsome Aspect is quite appropriate.

Howling Griffons

  • Chaplain Dreadnought Titus: (Legends) 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 encourages 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: (Legends) Captain. has interesting (if weird) wargear. He comes with a power sword that on a 6s to wound does a addtional mortal wound, an assault d3 S7 Ap-2 D1, and the Actinic Halo which gives him a 3++ save UNTIL you take an unsaved wound at which points it stops working and only gives a 4++. 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.


  • Captain Mordaci Blaylock: (Legends) 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 your go-to here. Just as well, Braylock is brutal in close range where he can support similarly built units.

Tactical Objectives[edit]


  • Ulta build: Lends itself as a Jack-of-trades army, being decent both shooting and fighting. Pure Ultramarines does lend itself more to a moving gunline list, ignoring penalties for moving and falling back, and some improved shooting stratagems, along with some Heroic intervention, mass overwatch, and QCC characters and abilities. kind of lend itself likes a T'au/Kroot list that would not fall apart if they do get into melee as we are dealing with marines bodies instead of the more-pansy smurfs. They slightly better control over the combat doctrines has a preference for having units in the Tactical doctrine, with heavy weapons also benefiting, along with Eraticatore, and several Forge world tanks gaining extra shots despite moving. A single detachment of Ultramarines or their secceosrs can support many builds with a mix of man desperately different units.


Salamanders Chapter Livery.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, the flame of hope burns still.

Where other astartes shun their humanity, the Salamanders are the marines closest to mankind, and all the stronger because of it. To them war is not just fire, but the anvil where they are tested and reforged; power not for glory's sake, but to protect the Imperium.
On the tabletop, these guys are sheer strenght. Their artificer gear makes them deadlier and hardier both, enabling them to survive closing the distance, where they can use their rules to inflict monstrous damage.
If you want to bring utter devastation at close range, then join the Salamanders into the fires of battle, unto the anvil of war.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Forged in Battle: A unit with this tactic can re-roll a single wound roll each time it shoots or fights (including overwatch). Your units treat AP-1 attacks as if they were AP0, reducing the very real threat of 2D heavy bolters and autocannons.
    • Still useful on all units, but less so with the loss of the to-hit reroll. As before, keep squads MSU, as it disproportionately benefits single hits spread out across your army. Still, it complements Lieutenant auras.
      • Most useful on weapons with lower strength that instead focus on AP and/or Damage to get work done, or that don't roll to hit, like Eliminator Mortis rounds and flamers.
  • Combat Doctrine - Promethean Cult: While the Tactical Doctrine is active, all flame and melta weapons gain +1 to wound. Honestly, did you expect anything else? Remember when GW said their rules wouldn't be summarized as "spam X"? Yeah, spam those.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Anvil of Strength: The Warlord gets +2 to his Strength characteristic (which happens AFTER 2x in 9th), enabling Power Fists, Thunder Hammers and Boltstorm Gauntlets to hit at Str10. This also allows Relic blades to strike at S8 like a power fist without the -1 modifier. Vulkan He'stan takes this.
  2. Miraculous Constitution: The Warlord gets a 6+++ FNP and regains 1 wound at the start of your movement phase. Vulkan lives! Compared to Iron Resolve, Miraculous Constitution yields more than one wound over time, assuming the enemy isn't murdering him in a single turn (Abbadon, Swarmlord, Thunder Hammers, etc..).
  3. Never Give Up: At the start of the battle round, pick a unit within 6" of the Warlord to gain Objective Secured for that round. Now strictly worse than Rites of War, but you can take this on a second character to have two floating ObSec threats.
  4. Forge Master: The Warlord gets +2 Toughness, meaning S8 no longer wounds him on 2+. With T6 (or 7 on Gravis/Bike characters), power swords wound only on 5+, and with relics like the Salamander's Mantle or the Angel Artifice (effective T8!) it'll now take anti-tank weapons to bring down this Warlord.
  5. Lord of Fire: Friendly units within 6" of the Warlord re-roll the number of attacks they make with flame weapons. Adrax takes this one.
  6. Patient and Determined: Once per shooting AND/OR fight phase, one of the Warlord's attacks automatically hit. Can make a thunder hammer more reliable, and more hits are always nice. Because of your likely native re-roll aura and a Salamander re-roll, you are very likely to get the overwhelming majority of your hits in. Also useful for making a safe auto-hitting shot with a Supercharged Plasma Pistol.

Relics and Special Issue Wargear[edit]

  • Drake-Smiter: Replaces a Thunder Hammer. Doesn't lose the -1 to hit, but does get AP-4 and becomes 6(!) D on a 6 to wound. Forged in Battle can help you fish for that 6.
  • Helm of Drakos: Primaris only. Gives +1W and enemy units within 6" get -1LD. Thoroughly meh. The Mantle is a better defensive relic, and unless you're going all-in on Leadership debuffs, it's not worth it. That said, a Primaris Librarian with Draconic Aspect and the Fear Made Manifest trait can have an aura of -4LD in 6". If you're playing a Fearsome Aspect successor, you can bump that to -5LD in 3". Some Reivers nearby can bump that to a potential -6LD, then -7LD with Standard of the Emperor Ascendant, and make anything run in terror if your opponent forgets how to solve the problem with CP.
  • Nocturne's Vengeance: Replaces a combi-flamer. Both parts get -1AP and 2D with the flamer jumping to 12" range. It's a master-crafted combi-flamer that works out of deep strike to cook up the enemy well.
  • Salamander's Mantle: Now re-worked to be even better. It gives a straight -1 to wound the bearer. Combo with the Forge Master trait, and now anything up to S11 (S13 for Gravis/Bikes) wounds on no better than a 4+.
  • Tome of Velcona: A Librarian knows an additional power from the Promethean discipline (even if he took Librarius or Obscuration powers). More importantly, he gets +1 to Psychic tests for Promethean powers. Casting all your powers on a 5+ is nice.
  • Vulkan's Sigil: The character gets +1A, and once per game during the Fight phase, the bearer and all Salamanders Core units get +1A for that phase (bringing the bearer to +2A).
  • Wrath of Prometheus: Replaces a boltgun or master-crafted boltgun. No additional shots, but it gets +6" range, +1S, -2AP, and D3.
  • 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). 4D Thunder Hammer isn't quite as appealing since your Relic is better, but why not put this on a Sarge with the right Stratagem?
  • Digital Weapons: Make an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Obsidian Aquila: Friendly Salamander Core models within 6" get a 6+++ FNP. You now have a bubble of marines more durable than Iron Hands.
  • Promethean Plate: Wound rolls of 1, 2, or 3 always fail against this model. For when you've already got a model with the Mantle and want a second durable character to hang around. Can really neuter a lot of the deadlier melee attacks in the game.
  • Dragonrage Bolts: When firing a bolt weapon this model has, only make one attack, but if it hits you get 1d6 wound rolls, ignore cover, and -1AP. Turns a bolter into a long-range almost-flamer. Notably does not count as a flame weapon, so you don't get the +1 to wound from Promethean Cult.
  • Drakeblade: Replaces a power sword, master-crafted power sword, or combat knife. It's S+1 -4 AP, D2, and deals 1 mortal wound on an unmodified 6 to wound. Something for the Phobos characters to replace their crappy combat knife with.


  • Flamecraft (2 CP): In the shooting phase, a unit's flame weapons will always fire its maximum number of shots.
    • Good for a Land Raider Redeemer, flamer Aggressors, combi-flamer Sternguard, and Assault Centurions. Still great if less efficient on Invictors and Land Speeders with dual Heavy Flamers and on Bray'arth Ashmantle.
  • The Crucible of Battle (1 CP): In the shooting or fight phase, a Salamander Core or Salamander Character unit gets +1 to wound for that phase.
    • Veterans of the Long War for the pyro-marines. Works well with the Promethean Cult, and if you want to sink more CP into it, you can toss in Flamecraft for max shot flamers that wound marines on 2+.
  • Strength of the Primarch (1CP): Pick a unit at the start of the fight phase. They get +1S and any unmodified wound rolls of 6 do double damage. Almost custom made for bearers of relic blades (and actual relic blades) such as Captains, Judiciars, and the Chapter Champion, and can be combined with Anvil of Strenght to have two characters wounding marines on 2+ without a hit penalty.
    • More niche than Crucible most of the time, but you can use them together to potentially get +2 to wound and deadly 6's. Imagine this on Bray'arth when it goes off. Absolutely crazy on Thunder Hammers. One lucky '6' and the warlord is gone! Just three lucky '6s' and so too is that Landraider!
  • Rites of Vulkan (2 CP): At the start of the movement phase while in the Tactical doctrine, for the rest of that battle round, all Rapid Fire or Assault weapons in your army get an additional -1AP on natural 6's to wound. Only once per battle.
  • Vengeance for Isstvan V (1 CP): When facing Word Bearers, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, or Alpha Legion in the fight phase, one unit can re-roll all hit rolls.
    • Very situational, but fluffy and still strong.
  • Stand Your Ground (1 CP): When a Salamanders non-Servitor Infantry unit that didn't advance in your last Movement phase is picked as the target of an attack, they get +1 to their armour saves against D1 weapons for the rest of the phase.
    • Like "Unyielding in the face of death", but not restricted to Gravis, and can be stacked or spammed alongside it. With that and marines becoming 2W, guess small arms can eat dirt this edition.
  • Rise From the Ashes (2 CP): When a Salamanders Character dies, roll a 4+ and they pop back up with 1 wound remaining. Only once per character per game.
    • Opponent manages to take down your Warlord? Snipe the Techmarine playing Self Sacrifice meatshield? Get a lucky shot on your Smash Captain? Hit the undo button on that shit.
  • The Fires of Battle (1 CP): In the shooting phase or when firing overwatch, when a model is firing a flame weapon or melta, any unmodified 4+ to wound does a mortal wound in addition to normal damage (to a max of three Mortal Wounds). Only works for 1 weapon shot by 1 model, so no Aggressor MW spam for you.
  • Despite the Odds (1 CP): At the end of a turn where you didn't score any Tactical Objectives, if your Warlord is still on the table, generate a new Tactical Objective.
  • Immolation Protocols (1 CP): Turn all of one unit's flame weapons into Pistols for one shooting phase. Not a bad way of saving a shooty flame unit from melee.
  • Self Sacrifice (2 CP): Use at the start of the opponent's shooting phase and pick a Salamanders Infantry unit in your army that has more than five models and then one other unit that is wholly within 6". For the rest of the phase, your opponent cannot shoot the unit that is being shielded as long as they are wholly within 6" of the unit that is protecting them unless they are the closest unit. The unit that is doing the body blocking can't be hidden from shooting by psychic powers or other trickery. Best way to protect your assets like tanks or heavy weapon teams by putting a cheap troop unit in front of it.
    • It can outright steal target priority from your enemy - you take fire on your terms: let the bodyguard unit be in cover for a 2+ (or 1+!) save. Furthermore, while the unit must be eligible to be fired at, it doesn't say it cannot be under a -1 to be hit, such as Smokescreen Infiltrators, who are also keeping deepstrikers 12" away, or a unit blessed with Fire Shield or even Psychic fortress.
  • Born Protectors (2 CP): When a Salamanders unit is charged, pick another Salamanders unit within 12". That can fire overwatch in addition to the charged unit, and if the charge is successful, they can Heroically Intervene 2D6", but only towards that charging unit.
    • Tau Overwatch plus a Heroic Intervention? Fantastic, if situational. Can deter certain charges and anything that can change how your opponent plays have a place. This and Self Sacrifice make it tempting to take Salamanders as an ally detachment in any imperial army to protect your stuff.
  • Relentless Determination (1 CP): At the end of the Movement phase, pick one unit that did not advance or Fall back. It counts as stationary, and if it has a damage table, it counts as having double wounds to see which row of the table you use.
  • Exemplar of the Promethean Creed (1 CP): Your Warlord gets a second Warlord trait. Doesn't work on named characters or someone you gave a trait to with Hero of the Chapter. Lots of fun and interesting combos here.
  • Master Artisans (1 CP): Give a Sergeant a Master-Crafted weapon, Digital Weapons, the Drakeblade, or Dragonrage Bolts
  • Trust of Prometheus (1 CP): Give a successor a Salamanders relic

Psychic Discipline: Promethean[edit]

  1. Flaming Blast (WC6): Witchfire Pick a spot within 24" that the psyker can see. Each unit within 3" of that spot takes a mortal wound on a 4+. Could be useful for pinging the last wound off of a character if your Eliminators don't finish it off, or singeing several units that are all clumped up, but Smite is probably better most of the time.
  2. Fire Shield (WC6): Blessing A unit within 18" imposes -1 to hit against ranged attacks and -1 to charge distances.
  3. Burning Hands (WC6): Blessing Until your next Psychic phase, when the psyker is attacking with the base CCW, any hits cause a mortal wound instead of rolling to wound. If you plan to get your Librarian into close combat against something with a good invlun maybe, but you've already got a force weapon.
  4. Drakeskin (WC6): Blessing Pick a unit with 12" to get +1T until the next Psychic phase. Between this and Fire Shield, a Salamanders Librarian can make one target significantly more durable turn after turn.
  5. Fury of Nocturne (WC6): Witchfire Pick a visible enemy unit within 18" and roll 2D6. If you roll higher than their highest toughness, they take D3 mortal wounds. Worse chance of causing damage than Smite, but you can pick the target. Could be useful for sniping low T characters.
  6. Draconic Aspect (WC6): Blessing Until your next Psychic phase, all enemy units with 12" get -2LD. Potentially makes for a decent leadership bomb if combo'd with the Helm of Drakos and the Fearsome Aspect tactic and/or Fear made manifest trait.

Special Units[edit]

  • 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 a Salamanders CORE or Salamanders CHARACTER unit 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 his 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. Only Aggressors are CORE and they lost their ability to shoot twice. Still, at least we can have him sit back and support the Levia-
    • He'stan 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. Leviathan Dreadnoughts are no longer CORE and cannot benefit from his aura. Regular and Contemptor Dreadnoughts will still benefit from his buffs to Melta and Flame, however.
  • Adrax Agatone: A Primaris Captain with a hand flamer that acts more like a stronger flamer (12" range and AP-1) and a D4 Thunder Hammer. His cloak reduces all incoming damage by 1, and his Unto the Anvil aura adds 1 to all wound rolls for melee weapons when Shock Assault is triggered. Obviously, he works nicely with Flamestorm Aggressors, especially when he's Warlord so they can re-roll how many hits those Aggressors make.
  • Pellas Mir'san (Legends): A captain. He comes with a combi-flamer, Cinder Edge (a D3 force sword), and Steelsilver, which lets you make an additional attack at S4 AP0 D1 equal to every model within Engagement Range. He also gets 2 more attacks when he's within the Engagement Range of any enemy Characters. 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.
    • The Imperium’s Sword give Pellas more general melee ability by raising him to strength 5 and 6 attacks on the charge (8 if you get close to an enemy character) as well as a reroll for charge distances.
    • Alternatively, Champion of Humanity makes him an even better character hunter. He keeps the 8 attacks on the charge but gains a +1 on wound rolls, which can be further combined with Crucible of Battle for a +2 to wound.
    • The Salamander-specific Warlord Traits are, sadly, not quite as good as the base rulebook, but could have their uses. Anvil of Strength and Forge Master can both keep you alive longer and may be worth it depending on what you are fighting.
  • Bray'arth Ashmantle (Forgeworld): No longer indestructible with T7, W8, a 2+/5++, and a now a 5+ to ignore lost wounds. His two Dreadfire heavy flamers range have increased to 12", while damage has been reduced to 2. In close combat, his claws have him swinging 4 times at S16, AP-4, and 4 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. Curiously enough the rule that used to prevent him from being your Warlord is now gone, although that comes alongside Forge World's questionable decision to make every character have the same Warlord trait (Inspiring Leader). He can't cause any harm until he gets within 12", so you either buy him a transport or have him be a walking 14" threat bubble. This all comes for the significantly reduced (but still chunky) price of 220 points (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 MEQs with his dreadfire flamers. As a Salamanders Character, he may also benefit from He'Stan's Forgefather ability.
    • With his reduced Toughness and Feel no Pain, more than ever he will be relying on units screening him as he gets into punching distance. His Dreadfire Claws will reliably tear T8 vehicles to pieces.
      • The Salamander Chapter Tactic and the updated Duty Eternal ability will also help with his compromised durability. Using Fire Shield Psychic power can help reduce incoming shots, Drakeskin to increase his toughness, or Might of Heroes to grant him an Extra point of Strength, Toughness and Attack.
      • Only in Death Does Duty End will let him fight even if your opponent manages to take him down while Rise from the Ashes will let him potentially get back up and keep fighting. Just have a techmarine nearby to patch him up.
      • Obviously, Ashmantle is a prime target for Flamecraft if you can get him close enough to use his Dreadfire Heavy Flamers, but that’s not all. Immolation Protocols pairs well with his Burning Wrath pistol attacks should any opponent be foolish enough to try and stick around in melee, and Born Protectors will discourage countercharges. Then there is The Crucible of Battle...
  • Harath Shen (Legends): As a Chief 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 Master-Crafted Power Sword and Bloodfire, a Plasma Pistol with 2 shots and +1 Damage. All of this will set you back 120 Points. 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.

Tactical Objectives[edit]


  • Real Deal MSU: Take 2 battalions, each with 3 tac squads armed with a single Lascannon. Salamanders trait gives each Lascannon crucial re rolls for hits and wounds, making these 6 Lascannons typically all the anti-armor you will need. Fills out battalions nicely, and leaves plenty of room for anti-horde and whatever heavy hitter Elites/HQs you desire to polish off any other pockets of durability your opponent has. This forces your opponent to usually shoot their anti-armor at 12 point tactical marines (because they're camping back in cover and ignore ap-1 requiring big guns to shoot them), thus helping reduce the barrage your armor and heavy infantry will receive. This may also force your opponent to surge forward into walls of flame weapons.
  • In keeping with the small unit size benefit, look at squads of Eliminators and/or Eradicators. Your re-roll ability allows units that rely on a few powerful shots to do their job. Eliminators hit 88% of the time and wound MEQ 88% of the time with re-rolls. Eradicators don't double their shots- they fire twice, meaning each set of three melta shots at gets their re-rolls. Statistically, with your re-rolls, there are very few pieces of armor in the game that won't be living in abject fear of a Salamander Eradicator squad.

Raven Guard[edit]

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

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 want your marines to get the jump on the enemy then keep quiet, and stalk the shadows with the Ravens.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Chapter Tactics - Shadow Masters: Your units get the benefit of light cover if they're being shot beyond 18". If they're INFANTRY and happen to be entirely on or within a terrain feature (not just receiving cover), they benefit from dense cover in addition.
    • 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. It's also worth noting that Vanguard Primaris means that there are now more units with Camo Cloaks, as opposed to just Scouts, and they'll all enjoy that +2 to saves at 18". Turns out that Salamanders don'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...though you can snipe a character earlier than you can reach it in melee. 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.
    • Melee you say? A librarian in Phobos armor, Lias Issodon, any model/unit with jump packs or terminator armor can get within 9" of a character by turn 2. If you went first (which you should be with low model count army and RG) Surgical Strikes can be activated turn two, right when your model's jump into melee. When using lias Issodon, Hungry for Battle tactic, or Master of the Vanguard WL trait you can net up to +3" to charges. This is a complex and risky combo, but you can soften up any characters with turn 1 snipers and then decapitate them with turn 2 deep strike charges. The best part is that you don't have to build around this combo, as you can opt out of melee or simply sit back and rely on shooting for a few rounds depending on terrain or any screens you cant clear, such is the versatility of RG. Keep your opponent guessing!!!

Warlord Traits[edit]

  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. Do keep in mind characters with auras that benefit the charge should charge last, or their retinues would no longer benefit from them...like Shrike's. (questionable now since overwatch is a once use ability, but T'au are a thing)
  2. Master of Ambush: At the start of the first battle round, but before the first turn begins, remove your warlord and 1 non-Centurion infantry unit and place them anywhere on the battlefield more than 9" away from the enemies deployment zone. 6 Aggressors??! Note that it allows a Chaplain to infiltrate together with Scouts, Vanguard Primaris units, and other Vanguard HQs without spending a CP.
  3. Swift and Deadly: Friendly Raven Guard units within 6" of the warlord can be chosen to charge even if they advanced. Jump Packs? No, lets try bikes!
  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 reinforcement step of you next move phase. Anywhere on the table that is more than 9" away from enemy models. Excellent on a Terminator or Gravis Smash Captain. This the new named character warlord trait that Shrike get now.

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

  • 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 Ebonclaws: Replaces Lighting Claws. SU AP-3 D1d3 A+1, re-rolls wounds.
  • Ex Tenebris: Replaces a mastercrafted stalker bolt 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. Was made by Corax and supposed to be given to Konrad Curze. Probably would have helped his shooting. Consider putting this on a Primaris Captain who's supporting your backline to snipe characters, or even better, a Primaris Lieutenant (+1 to hit increasing him to 2+ to hit) since he's cheaper and his buffs stack with the Phobos Captain, who also has a sniper rifle. Since it's a relic, it sadly does not stack with the Marksman's Honors trait.
    • The +1 to hit bonus stacks with the Combat Doctrine, allowing even a Lieutenant to ignore a -1 to hit penalty on other sneaky characters. So it's wasted on a Captain.
  • Oppressor's End: Replaces a combat knife with S+1 AP-2 D1 A+1. Against an enemy character, the damage improves to 3. Not shabby, but the only HQs that can this are the Phobos Captain and Lieutenant... and they'd probably rather take Ex Tenebris.
  • 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. Kind of begs for martyrs, which should be easy to find with Templars, but this does have its uses regardless.
  • 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 Shadowmaster RG Warlord to get that 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.
  • 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!
  • 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. Great on a Phobos Captain, as he only gets one shot anyways, or an Eliminator sarge to always use the best ammo despite being out of LoS.
  • Shadow Master Cloak: 3++ invuln save while completely within a terrain feature. Good on Lieutenants and Librarians for the same reason as Artificer Armour, the choice depends entirely on the availability of terrain.
  • Silentus Pistol: Models with a bolt pistol or heavy bolt pistol only, replaces it for a pistol 2 S5 AP-2 D2. It can target a character even without it being the closest and can add 1 to the hit roll.
    • Since it doesn't fully synergize with the Combat Doctrine (it gets the to hit and to wound bonuses but not the AP bonus), it works better on a Successor Chapter.
  • Shard of Isstvan: +1 attack, and when a morale test is taken for a chapter unit within 6", the test is automatically passed.


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

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.
    • Best utilized on Jump Infantry, though as Concealed Positions also happens before the first turn, it can also be used to reposition an infiltrating unit.
  • 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 all charge rolls against one enemy unit. Useful for removing an important enemy unit by charging several of your melee units into it simultaneously.
  • 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.

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. ”Come on you fucking pansies! Fight us face-to-face! For Corax! For Brothers lost! CHARGE!!!”- Master of Shadows Kayvaan Shrike, battle for Hope’s Pyre against Word Bearers.
  • Ambushing Fire (2 CP): Use at the start of your moving phase if the Tactical Doctrine is active. Until the beginning 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.

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, you're 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. Also makes an Infantry unit in terrain with Smoke Grenades ridiculously survivable at -3 to hit (>12").
  • 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.

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), (Spectral Blade + Enveloping Darkness + a unit of Reivers).

  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. Basically a psychic Shock Grenade, which stacks.
  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. Once again, it can be used to send a Chaplain to support infiltrated Marines, or to teleport around a Terminator or Gravis Smash Captain.
  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]

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.

  • 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 sniper rifle. In addition, he now has 6 wounds and a 14" move. Combine all that with Winged Deliverance (re-roll charges for units within 6"), and... hoo boy. With the changes to the Infiltrator Comms Array, he now allows them to benefit.
  • Lias Issodon(Legends): Chapter Master. Lias is the king of Infiltration Fuckery. He has a 6" aura that adds +1" to all move, advance, charge, and fall back moves to all Raptors Core. His weapon Malice is a 30" Assault 3 S5 AP-4 D1d3 murdermachine with ignores cover for save, which he can fire after retreating from melee with Hit & Run. In addition to all of this, Lias essentially has a 1+ save while sitting in any cover. 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.
    • now longer give 3 unit infantrntration ability. He is better used as a sniper character that runs alongside Footslogers with Chainswords.
    • Consider taking 3 sternguard Veteran squads. With Lias's rules and the Hungry for Battle tactic, your getting +2 to charges. Rumor has it they are getting another wound, meaning you can hurl anywhere from 30 to 60 wounds at your enemy and potentially 90 attacks... AFTER... you blast them with special issue boltguns and/or special weapons. This is all you need to bog down your opponent for the opening turns and eliminate their infantry. Take 1-3 more Chaplain Dreads with lascannons (who use recitation of focus) and sniper scouts/tacticals (filling out battalions) to kick back in cover (using stealthy as your other tactic) and shoot anything else that is big. Don't make Lias your warlord, give that to someone else who is tucked away, but give him Hero of the Chapter stratagem with Storm of Fire, or, Champion of Humanity and attempt to kill their warlord with 6 attacks at AP-3 D2 +1 to hit/wound. This is honestly lazyman style SM as your just hurling bodies at the enemy like a damn Ork while everyone else claims objectives, survives and shoots things (not like an Ork).
      • You can reverse this tactic as well by hurling Tacticals into the fray first while Sternguards remain back and shoot out of cover. This gets you less wounds down the board with less attacks, Though Sternguards can take more special/heavy weapons and have longer-ranged boltguns. Sending Tacticals first allows you to sacrifice cheaper models while a better unit hangs back. However, Sternguards, or even Vanguards, can deliver far more punch and will survive longer.

Successor Tactics: Inheritors of the Primarch works just fine for them, and are perhaps even better built for them than their parent chapter! Inheritors are 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. Consider that the Hungry For Battle Trait, combined with the Master of the Vanguard Warlord Trait and Lias Issodon's built-in +1 to charge can give your reserve force a respectable 6" charge out of deepstrike, season with Raven's Blade for a re-roll to taste.

  • Tyberos the Red Wake: Chapter Master. An unholy, terrifying murder machine whose melee damage went through the roof in this edition. Comes with Hunger and Slake. Chainfist/Power Claw combo, 6 S7 Ap-4 D2 attacks that re-roll wounds. He grants all Carcharodons core and Characters units within 6" +1S including himself. Tyberos excels at fighting other marines 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 complements his existing +1A from Shock Assault. Cast Might of Heroes on him for another +1A and +1S, giving him eight attacks at S12 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 cool points if you play his favorite song 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.


Objective Defense: The Ravens can defend an objective simply because of how difficult it is to hit them. You can take things to an extreme with just a couple vanguard troops: keep them close and have a squad use their smoke bombs (and thus not shoot) and use See But Remain Unseen. Next, have a Phobos Librarian use Shrouding on the other squad to force the enemy to target the -3 to hit squad. That's an auto-miss on BS4+. And Deadly Price stacks with Incursor mines, meaning your units can barely be shot at, and anyone who wants to contest the objective is greeted by a flurry of mortal wounds. On top of now being too close to Incursors. Happy haunting!

Aggressor Rush: The First Axiom of Victory is to be other than where the enemy desires you to be. Your enemy doesn't want Aggressors near his lines, or defending the objectives he placed. The First Axiom of Stealth is to be other than where the enemy believes you to be. Your enemy believes Chaplains cannot move quickly without giving up their litanies. 10,000 years later, Corax's tennets remain true. Risky, but devastating when your enemy isn't prepared to meet & greet six Aggressors buffed by a Chaplain. Add support to it, like a couple of Invictors, and your enemy simply won't be able to take care of your stealth ball of hate fast enough. The enemy HAS to move back to avoid the charge, and that more than 5" (Aggressor move) + 7" (average charge) = 12". Congrats, your mere presence FORCED the enemy back and gave you cover in the open (>12") to top it all!


DW Shoulder Pad final.jpg
In the grim darkness of the far future, there must be vigilance without end.

Peerless xenos hunters, the Deathwatch is the space marine MIB. Veterans drawn from across every chapter, they are geared to combat the alien menace even more so than their by-comparison-ordinary fellow superhumans, using Specialized Weapons And Tactics seen nowhere else.
On the tabletop, these guys are THE special forces space marines. While they have rules tailor made to fuck with xenos armies, they can fight any enemy by designating entire target-types for quick elimination, and their kill teams include diverse unit types and weapons with multiple profiles to give them the flexibility to tackle any situation.
If you want your marines to be tactical operators then join the Deathwatch vigil and suffer not the alien to live.

Special Rules[edit]

  • Unit Restrictions: First things first, the Deathwatch is not really a codex compliant chapter, and thus cannot take:
    • Assault squads
    • Firstborn bikes
    • Devastators
    • Scouts
    • Sternguard vets
  • Exclusive options: While jarring, do note they have their own versions of those, as well as things only they get:
    • Firstborn Captains, Veteran and Veteran Biker sergeants can use Xenophase blades, necronish powerblades that can rip through armor and invulnerable saves alike.
    • Vanguard Veterans can take Heavy Thunder Hammers, which have additional +1 AP and Damage, paying a little extra to become like relic hammers of old, but without actually using relic requisition.
    • Heavy Flamers are added to the heavy weapon list.
    • Hand Flamers and Inferno pistols added to the Pistol list.
  • Chapter Tactics - Xenos Hunters: The Deathwatch chapter tactic. Reroll melee hit rolls of 1 against Tyranids, Aeldari, Necrons or T'au Empire units. After deployment, pick a battlefield role (Troops, Fast Attack, Elites, Heavy Support, HQ, Flyers, or Lords of War), all units re-roll 1s to wound against anything belonging to that battlefield role (i.e. against all enemy HQs, or all enemy Troops, or all enemy Heavy Support, etc).
    • Rerolls are good, even if they would overlap with the captain and lieutenant's (which you now get). This also means you can pick a Chaplain and Librarian as your HQs and you'd still have rerolls, helps you circumvent the Rule of One for Captains, and if you really need to, Dreadnoughts can be made to provide aura buffs from time to time as well.
  • Combat Doctrine - Mission Tactics: Unlike the vanilla Marines, the Deathwatch can choose which doctrine to use each turn, but each one has a limited number of uses: 1 for Devastator, 2 for Tactical, 3 for Assault.
    • Helps you be less predictable, though you're still going to open with a ranged doctrine and switch to melee later in game.
  • Warlord Trait - Vigilance Incarnate: During command phase, select one Deathwatch unit within 6" of the warlord and select a battlefield role. Until the next command phase, this unit can now re-roll wound rolls of 1 against enemy units with this particular role. Great utility, as you may want a heavy weapons unit target vehicles while the rest of your army's small arms attack enemy troops.

Special Issue Ammunition[edit]

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

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

  • Dragonfire Bolts: Each time an attack is made with a weapon firing this ammo, the target does not receive the benefits of cover against that attack. Better than the old "+1 to hit when shooting at a unit in cover", can be the best one when the enemy stacks multiple cover bonuses, like both heavy and light cover.
  • Hellfire Rounds: Nerfed into uselessness, now it's mere +1 to the wound roll against anything without the Vehicle or Titanic keyword. Better the bigger and tougher the enemy is...but that also means the target is armoured and has multiple wounds, where other munitions work better. In fact, it's the best one against T8 single wound non-vehicle targets.
  • Kraken Bolts: +3" range if the affected weapon is a pistol, +6" range otherwise. Improve the AP by one. The new workhorse, the latest FAQ doesn't say anything about a maximum AP and says this is cumulative with the Armour Penetration bonus conferred by the Combat Doctrines ability. But they'll be used only against 4+ saves at best because of...
  • Vengeance Rounds: +1D. The marine killers, the best against multi-wound models regardless of their toughness, since it's always +100% damage, where other munitions give variable +(25-100)%, depending on roll factors.

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

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

Sadly the Storm Bolter no longer can shoot SIA without using a stratagem or relic, which is, alongside the hellfire ammo nerf, the worst hit for the veterans this edition. The closest thing to that is going to be veteran bikes with twin boltguns (which have the same profile), but with the loss of the Hellfire ammo, the spam strategy is less viable, (which honestly is a good thing).

Kill Team Specialisms[edit]

As an added incentive for using Kill Teams, you can also spend points/PR to give them an upgrade. Only one unit in your army can have one such upgrade, though Kill Team Cassius doesn't block another Kill Team from picking Aquila. This lets you reroll a wound roll of 1 against a certain battlefield role, upgraded to re-roll all wound rolls if you also select this role for the Chapter Tactic (or if you switch/add a role using WT/Strats?).

  • Aquila: After picking a battlefield role for chapter tactic, this unit can pick yet another role to target. There are many ways to pick extra or different targets, this is a way to do it with points instead of CP or WT. Makes a unit good against enough targets, so your characters can babysit someone else. Rerolls-wise, unless they target the same battlefield role, the other specialisms function like an Aquila team too.
  • Venator: Fast attack and Flyers.
  • Malleus: Heavy Support, Lord of War, Dedicated transports. The hardest targets.
  • Dominatus: Elite. Helps kill not just deathstars, but also support characters, who are usually Elites.
  • Furor: Troops, by definition the most numerous role. Keep in mind their units are usually big enough for Blast weapons to be effective against them.
  • Purgatus: HQ. And you just got Deathwatch Eliminators. May consider them, as they don't get SIA.

Warlord Traits[edit]

  1. Vigilance Incarnate: each command phase, pick a battlefield role, Deathwatch CORE units within 6" reroll wound rolls of 1 against those units. Watch Captain Artemis gets this trait. This is quite a save as this lets you double-dip a bit with your chapter tactics.
  2. Paragon of their Chapter: Pick Chapter Warlord Trait from Codex Space Marines (you can't pick one from a supplement). Note you have to pick one from the chapter your character is modeled from (unless he's a Blackshield). Successor chapters must choose the WT of their parent chapter.
    • White Scars - Deadly Hunter: When the Warlord makes a charge move, choose one enemy unit within 1" and roll a D6. It suffers a Mortal Wound on a 2+.
    • Space Wolves - Beastslayer: Extra attack and +1 wound and hit when fighting a monster or Vehicle. Use a S8 weapon to wound most infantry and even vehicles on a 2+.
    • Imperial Fists - Architect of War: Nearby core in cover treat AP-1 attacks as AP0. Lessens the effect of common AP-1 multi damage weapons. The only AURA guy.
    • Crimson Fists - Refuse to Die: Come back to life on a 4+ with D3 wounds.
    • Black Templars - Oathkeeper: 6" heroic intervention. Not being left out is good, I guess.
    • Blood Angels - Speed of the Primarch: Always fight first. And you're the faction with Heavy Thunder Hammers and invuln-ignoring swords.
    • Flesh Tearers - Merciless Butcher: +1d3 attacks if 5 or more enemy models within 3" of the Warlord.
    • Iron Hands - Adept of the Omnissiah: Repair vehicles like a Techmarine or add +1 to any recovery rolls if you're already one.
    • Ultramarines - Adept of the codex: Refund 1 CP on 5+. You always need more CP.
    • Salamander - Anvil of Strength: +2S. You're fighting T3 mortals and you want to reach S6 or you took a Relic Blade and want to wound MEQ on 2+. That's about it.
    • Raven Guard - Echo of the Ravenspire: Once per game remove the WL from the board at the end of your movement phase and deepstrike him at the end of your next one. Lets your warlord keep up with your Spectrus team when they do their own "Guerilla Tactics" teleport.
    • Dark Angels - Brilliant Strategist: Select one friendly unit within 6" of the Warlord. Until the next Command phase, that unit counts as being in the Devastator Doctrine if the Tactical Doctrine is active for your army, or in the Tactical Doctrine of the Assault Doctrine is active for your army.
  3. Nowhere to Hide: Select an enemy unit at the start of each Shooting phase. That unit cannot claim cover against attacks made by deathwatch core units within 6" of the Warlord. Keep him near your guns that don't get Dragonfire bolts, or stack their effects with other ammo.
  4. Optimised Priority: deathwatch core and character units within 6" of the Warlord can shoot without their Action failing. Aura of free "Uncompromising fire", so you can get VP without giving up special bolt fire.
  5. Castellan of the Black Vault: The Warlord can take one of the following in addition to any other relics: Master-crafted weapon, Artificer Armour, Adamantine Mantle, Banebolts of Eryxia, special issue ammunition cache. Can be useful now that relics are limited by army size, and even allows you to take two relics on the same character.
  6. The Ties that bind us: deathwatch core units within 6" of the Warlord re-roll morale checks. In addition in command phase pick one deathwatch core unit within 6" of the warlord to gain Objective Secured; if it already has it, each model in that unit is treated as two models for the purpose of deciding who controls the objective.


  • Beacon Angelis: Once per battle, if the bearer did not arrive from reserves, at the end of your movement phase, you can teleport a Deathwatch Infantry or Biker unit from any point on the battlefield or from reserve to within 6" of the bearer and more than 9" from enemy models.
  • Dominus Aegis: A buffed shield. +1 to armour saves and all friendly Deathwatch Core and Deathwatch Character models within 6" gain a 5+ invulnerable save.
  • The Osseus Key: Watch Master only. Enemy vehicles get -1 to hit and -1 to attack if they are within 12" of him.
  • Thief of Secrets: Ap-4 Power Sword that ignores invulnerable saves and is D2 against the alien races (Tau, Tyranids, Orks, Necrons, or Aeldari). A master-crafted Xenophase blade would be D2 against everything, but this can give a Xenophase blade to those who can't take it.
  • Tome of Ectoclades: Once per battle, during the command phase pick an enemy datasheet, all Deathwatch Core within 6" reroll wounds against units of that datasheet until your next command phase. Easier than using multiple specialisms, WT and stratagems to give full wound rerolls to multiple units to kill a single, but crucial, enemy model.
  • Adamantine Mantle: FnP 5+. "Not dying" is good for everyone, but better the more wounds you start with.
  • Master-crafted Weapon: +1D to a weapon, and it now considered a relic (so now some WTs no longer affect it and such). 5D Heavy Thunder Hammer! If used on a weapon with multiple profiles (like combi-weapons and the Vigil Spear) it affects both profiles. It also makes a bolt weapon reach 2D without using Vengeance rounds, so you can combine it with other effects.
  • Digital Weapons: Do an additional attack when the model fights. If it hits, the target suffers a mortal wound.
  • Artificer Armour: 2+/5++. Most useful for Lieutenants and Librarians, who lack invulns.
  • The Blackweave Shroud: In case you really need to tank things up and don't expect high AP, you can grab this. The bearer adds +1 to their Toughness and a 4+ FNP against any Mortal Wounds, protecting against S5 (power swords) and S8 (power fists, melta, plasma), as well as psychic nonsense. Watch masters with their innate 2+ armour save are pretty fond of this relic.
  • Spear of the First Vigil: Upgraded Vigil Spear with +1S and flat 3 damage. Becomes killer S8 in the hands of a Salamanders Paragon.
  • The soul fortress: Librarian only. 24" Hood and can ignore all modifiers for a psychic test.
  • Banebolts of Eryxia: Let a bolt weapon fire a single shot with S6 Ap-2 D3.
  • Vhorkhan-pattern Auspicaction: Deathwatch Core units within 6" gain +1 to hit against enemies with fly.
  • Artificer Bolt Cache: A bolt weapon gains special issue ammunition.
  • Eye of Abiding: The bearer can ignore any and all modifiers to hit, wound, WS, and BS, and the enemy can't use invuln saves against attacks on a 6 to wound.


  • Death to the Alien! (1 CP): Used when a DEATHWATCH unit is selected to fight. Gain +1 attack when in engagement range with a Tyranid, Aeldari, Ork, Necrons, or T'au Empire.
  • Pregnostication Volley (2 CP): Anti-Eldar. When a Deathwatch unit shoots at a Aeldari, ignore any Hit and Balistics modifiers. Suffer no Eldar tricks (except in melee), and can also be used to destroy their Aircraft.
  • Synaptic Severance (2 CP): Anti-Tyranid. until the end of the phase, a DEATHWATCH unit auto wounds on hit rolls of 6 against Tyranid Synapse units.
  • Adaptive Tactics (2 CP): Single Use. In the command phase, if you have a Watch Master on the battlefield, you can change the battlefield role for Xeno Hunters.
  • Atoment through Honour (1 CP): During opponent's change phase, a Deathwatch unit with a black shield can heroically intervene.
  • Sanction of the Black Vault (1 CP): Single use. A Sergeant can take Artificer armour, Master-crafted weapon, Digital weapon, Banebolts of Eryxia, or the Artificer bolt cache. An Eliminator Sergeant can aim BS2+ Banebolts at characters, and the Artificer Bolt Cache can increase a Centurion Sergeant's Hurricane bolter beyond merely master crafting it.
  • A Vigil Unmatched (1 CP): Single use. Give a DEATHWATCH character warlord an additional Deathwatch warlord trait. We've seen this before.
  • Brotherhood of Veterans (2 CP): For the turn, a DEATHWATCH unit can Replace Xeno Hunters with another Chapter or successor tactic. So versatile, it's not so much about how to use it but with whom and when, as by definition they buff common situations. That said, you do have the deathwatch-specific scenario of "I want to SHOOT a lot of Special Issue BOLTS" come up frequently. Hard to afford using it every turn unless you had CP regain from a Watch Master or an Ultramarines Paragon of their Chapter.
  • Disruptive Launch (1 CP): A DEATHWATCH unit with a jump pack model can shoot when they fall back.
  • Relentless Assault (1 CP): A DEATHWATCH unit with a Biker model can fall back and charge. Particularly handy since bikes are otherwise hampered by unit cohesion rules.
  • Priority Doctrine Adoption (1 CP): If running a pure DEATHWATCH army. A DEATHWATCH unit can benefit form a different combat doctrine.
  • Teleportarium (1 CP): You can set a DEATHWATCH INFANTRY unit, DEATHWATCH Biker or DEATHWATCH DREADNOUGHT in a Teleportarium chamber instead of placing it on the battlefield. Single use, two for Strike Force games, three for Onslaught sized games. PRIMARIS DEEPSTRIKE! And Centurions too.
  • Overkill (1 CP): Anti-Necron. After fighting or shooting at a Necron unit, that unit suffers -1 to reanimation protocols rolls made for those attacks. Can be used when shooting at them from long range too now.
  • Stem the Green Tide (2 CP): Anti-Ork. Use when a Ork unit changes a Deathwatch unit, they can fire overwatch and they take a -2" to charge roll if you kill a model. High-risk high reward: reducing enemy charge ranges is always useful, but you have to hit the orks in overwatch first, let alone kill them. Useful if you have a Captain nearby, but still a gambit against armored things like Mega-armoured Nobz. Useless if the ork charges with the transport first.
  • Targeting Scramblers (1 CP): Anti-Tau. Use after an enemy T'au unit has resolved all attacks in the shooting phase agenst a Deathwatch unit, remove all markerlight tokens from it.
  • Shroud Field (2 CP): During the first battle round, Corvis Blackstars can't be targeted with shooting unless it's the closest target. Most people deploy their anti-air batteries in the back, forcing them to target your Blackstar at -1 to hit.
  • Clavis (1 CP): During fight phase, Select a vehicle within 1" of a Watch Master. The Vehicle suffers D3 mortal wounds and it fights last. Good for dealing that last bit of damage to destroy it or bring it down a wound bracket, and then letting your guys beat it up before it can retaliate. Useful against Dreadnoughts and Daemon machines, but it does expose your Watch Master.
  • Special Issue Loadout (2 CP): During your shooting phase, one Deathwatch infantry's bolt weapons (except sniper rifles) gains Special issue ammunition but their type is changed to Heavy 1 until the end of the phase. Most useful to your Intercessor's and Heavy Intercessor's heavy bolt rifles. Full 3D Troop guns, marine creep must be nasty to other factions tbh.

Psychic Discipline: Xenopurge[edit]

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


If your playing a Pure Deathwatch Army, you can pick one fo the following to be one of your secondaries

Battlefield Supremacy

-The Long Vigil

Purge the Enemy

-Cull Order

Shadow Operations

-Cripple Stronghold

No Mercy, No Respite

- Suffer Not the Alien

Special Units[edit]


  • Watch Master: Your 'Chapter Master', with natural 2+ save on top of his usual stats, including the ability to give full rerolls to a single unit in the command phasecan they take master of the codex?. A contrast in a flexible force, is wargear is fixed to the Vigil Spear, his clavis became a stratagem, and most importantly he's restricted to walking, so he needs a transport to put that spear to use.

Named Characters

  • Watch Captain Artemis: Hailing from the days of Inquisitor, Artemis is our only special character. Regular Watch Captain but also has Unstoppable Champion (FnP 6+). He's armed with the Hellfire Extremis (a Combi-Flamer whose flamer bit wounds non-vehicles on a 2+), a Master-Crafted Power Sword, and a Stasis Bomb, which is a one-off grenade that does D6 mortal wounds on a hit... which can no longer blow up in his face, which one of the few good changes GW made to Deathwatch this edition. An interesting alternative to a standard Watch Captain, but he is pricey at 105 points with all of his special gear. Make that Stasis Bomb count! Use your Command Re-roll if you get a mere 1 on the mortal damage.
    • In terms of cost, a Captain with Power Sword and Combi-flamer is 86 points to Artemis's 105. You're paying 14 points for a 6+ FNP, a 2+ anti-not-a-vehicle flamer upgrade, and a fuck-you grenade. I'd say it's worth it, but only if you want that kind of kit - Artemis is good for killing infantry and exactly one tough thing up close, and he doesn't have a jump pack to get him in range with his more effective weapons. He's only useful if you can get him up the table. Put him in a Corvus Blackstar with a squad of Veterans outfitted with close-range weapons and he'll pay for himself quickly by one-shotting an enemy HQ.
  • Chaplain Cassius: Took a time machine and now back in Deathwatch. Merely a chaplain with a Deathwatch bolt pistol, an Upgraded Crozius, and +1 on litany rolls.
  • Codicier Natorian: Named Librarian, with a -4 Dd3 force sword and get +1 to cast Smite and Witchfire psychic powers. You're effectively paying 10 points for +1 WS, a slightly better sword, and the small buff to casting. Problem is he doesn't have an invulnerable save, so it'd probably be a better idea to keep him out of melee.


  • Veteran Squad: Not the actual kill team, just the Vets, the best if what you want is to keep it simple, praise Emps and pass the Special Ammunition. They have nice Leadership values and 2 attacks base, and come stock with Power Swords and bolters with Special Ammunition. Up to four of them can take heavy weapons (pretty much overwriting the absence of both the Sternguard and Devastator squads), any of them can take heavy thunder hammers, one of them can be a Blackshield, and the sergeant can pick up a combat shield if he didn't swap a weapon for a storm shield. While for melee they have the same limitations of a footslogging squad, you do have some neat transports, like the Blackstar.
    • They get some cool multi-use Deathwatch weapons. Stalker-patter boltgun is an improved Deathwatch bolter with -2AP and D2. The Deathwatch shotgun has a S5 mode, -1Ap D2 mode, or 8" FLamer mode. Deathwatch Frag cannon fires 12" 2d3 D1 Blast krak shots or is a 24" D2 Autocannon. Infernus Heavy Bolter is if you turned a heavy bolter and heavy flamer into a combi weapon.
    • Storm bolters, sadly, no longer have special-issue ammo. However, they are your most cost effective source of sheer dakka, and with Bolt Discipline that's four shots per marine. Same as bikers, without SIA but for less cost.
    • Black Shield: Now they can take a heavy thunder hammer, and they do have an extra attack over their Veteran friends. He also gets an additional +1 A if he is armed with two melee weapons. If you just thought about adding Two lightning claws in order to get +3 attacks, with re-rollable wound rolls for a total of 6 attacks, and 7 attacks on the charge... congrats. you're not the only one.

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

  • Fun thing: if you combat squad a unit, with RAW, they still count as troop choices so they have Objective secure. Extra level of eliteness when your bikes and Jumpacks get priority on objectives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Kill team Cassius: A fixed setup of an Aquila Kill-Team specialism (Sergeant w/ bolter, one vet w/ plasma pistol+power sword, one vet w/ bolter+chainsword, one vet w/ a combi-melta, one vet w/ a frag cannon, biker with bolter+power sword, terminator with heavy flamer+power fist with meltagun strapped on, one vanguard w/ lightning claws and another vet w/ chainsword+hand flamer). While it doesn't have anything standout, it does benefit from the terminator's teleport homer and auto-passes any morale checks.
  • FORTIS KILL TEAM: The Primaris Killteam. Intercessor Squads mixed with other Primaris units to form Fortis Kill-Teams. they no longer have SIA, so you have to use them like normal Primaris units but the fact that individual models can individually pick which version of their weapon they want and add models from more expensive to give a balance of more power while cutting costs or create two unique 5-man squads for different jobs using only 1 troop slot. Take 5 Intercessors, then add other flavors of Primaris Marines to match the role you have in mind for them:

The shooty core of the team. Your going to have 4 of them plus a Sergeant and, unlike the base squad, you're free to give any bolt rifle to any intercessor without forcing the rest of them to follow suit. The sarge has become better in melee with access to buffed chainswords, power swords, hand flamers, and thunder hammers.

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

Pay extra for a bike ridden by a primaris. Has extra durability and makes more attacks. This gives the entire team the bike's Devastating Charge rule, but only for as long as the biker remains alive.

    • If you take 5 your can combat squad them to have an Outriders squad bigger than 3. and if so they will also have priority on objectives because they still count as troops.

Does not add any extra rules of its own. It does, however, add a lot of extra firepowers, and the Hellblaster definitely benefits from being in a unit full of models far more expendable than itself. This is particularly helpful if you plan on camping an objective, as you can exploit their status as Troops in order to just blast enemies with plasma.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • Deathwatch Terminator Squad: Sitting at 33 points per model, like Assault terminators, yet has the same loudout flexabily like a relic squad but more so. making the squad very adaptable. Starts at 5 models, but up to three models can take assault cannon, heavy flamer, Plasma Cannon, or cyclone missile launcher with a storm bolter. They can also rock TH&SS, which is something to consider, even in mixed units, like a damage sponge.
    • Also note you can tinker around with normal power weapons to save on points or focus on hordes.
    • Deathwatch Terminators can become one of the most versatile units, even by Deathwatch standards. A 5 man squad can be, for example, 1 TH/SS, 1 Assault Cannon, 1 Heavy Flamer, 1 Storm Bolter and Cyclone Missile Launcher, 1 Sergeant with Storm Bolter, and close combat weapon of choice. And if you have the points left, all of the last 4 guys can take an additional Melta on their Power Fists. This gives them many different weapons and options for their Storm Bolters due to SIA, and they are no slouches in close combat. They simply do everything.
    • Stick to the basics, much like veterans. Take storm bolters and power swords for a cheaper unit that can hurt hordes at both range and melee, fists if you plan to fight multi-wound units.

Fast Attack

  • Veteran Bike Squad: Their twin boltguns have lost access to Special Issue Ammunition and they lost the teleport homer, because GW's balancing department is run by idiots. Where they shine, however, is close quarters. Each can take chainswords or power weapons.
    • Something worth noting is that they gained an attack bike for their troubles... yeah no don't take this unless you like theming; these guys are not worth their points to just add a multi-melta or heavy bolter on wheels


  • Corvus Blackstar: With a cost reduction and some new rules, the Blackstar is a solid choice for getting your marines around in style. A hover-jet stealth bomber, it's quick with a massive 45" move, has some good weapons, and can carry 12 models of various types, with terminators and jump pack models counting for 2 and bikers 3. Watch as it comes out of fucking nowhere and drops a melee kill team into your opponent's backfield, unleashes a blistering firestorm on another unit, AND bombs some bitches it flew over for good measure. It is armed with Twin Assault Cannons which cause havoc for blobs, while it's 2 Stormstrike missile launchers are a serious threat to vehicles with 72" Heavy 1 S8 AP-3 D3. The cannons can be swapped for Twin Lascannons and the missiles for Blackstar Rocket Launchers. The rockets are decent at taking out flyers, but that's about it. The Blackstar can also take a Hurricane Bolter (a Rapid Fire 6 Boltgun)which is cheap as chips and shits dice, an Auspex Array (which lets you re-roll 1s against non-flyers) and the Infernum Halo-launcher; ‘If an enemy unit that can Fly targets a supersonic model with an infernum halo-launcher in the Shooting phase, your opponent must subtract 1 from the subsequent hit rolls.’ The Blackstar also rocks a delightful Blackstar Cluster launcher, which lets you bomb a unit you flew over. For every model in the unit (up to 10), roll a die and, on a 6, that unit takes a mortal wound. It's very useful as a transport and as a support unit to cover your guys on the ground.
    • Compared to the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does have its drawbacks as, unlike the Storm Raven, the Blackstar does not have Power of the Machine Spirit, meaning that all of its Heavy Weapons suffer a -1 to-hit penalty when it's on the move. Additionally, the Blackstar cannot transport Dreadnoughts.
    • Make note that this model cannot transport PRIMARIS models. Because bikers and terminators fit but the new marines don't


Tactics and Strategy[edit]

Army Building[edit]

Army Composition[edit]

Balance cool minis and Your Dudes with an answer to "how do I kill Russes, termies and gaunts?". Especially, how do you plan on killing those dudes wielding marine-killing D2/D1d3 weapons. Answer these questions first, then you can begin thinking about what you want to bring to the table.

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!

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).

Finally, think about your own play styles and how you prefer to command an army. It is important to determine before hand how you intend to play the game and generate an army fittingly. Marines have by far the most expansive and complex codex which means we have units for every situation. Once you master yourself you must master the codex, as again, Marines have an incredibly diverse and complex ruleset, and you need to understand each action you can take in each stage of the game. After you have done these two steps, you can finally chose a Chapter Tactic. Marines can march right into close combat, kite enemies in mid range gunfights, and hold firm at range with powerful heavy weaponry all equally well.

Picking your chapter[edit]

As there as so main chapters there is a section going over which ones are better at what things. Many chapters can do similar things and get the same buffs on a single unit but the true difference is which chapter abilities are individual, Auras, or army-wide.

  • Ultramarines: Lends itself as a Jack-of-trades army, being decent both shooting and fighting. Pure Ultramarines does lend itself more to a moving gunline list, ignoring penalties for moving and falling back, and some improved shooting stratagems, along with some Heroic intervention, mass Overwatch, and CQC characters and abilities. Think of it as a T'au/Kroot list that wouldn't fall apart if they got into melee as we are dealing with marines bodies instead of those pansy Blueberries. They have slightly better control over combat doctrines with a preference for the Tactical doctrine, with heavy weapons also benefiting along with Eradicators, and several Forge world tanks gaining extra shots despite moving. A single detachment of Ultramarines or one of their successors can support many builds with a mix of different units.
    • Silver Templars:
  • Iron Hands: Has an affinity with Vehicles, durability, and some bonus to attack roll in melee and shooting. Iron Hands are the chapter that keeps their vehicles operating at max capacity for a long time, even giving back the shooting bonus that was enjoyed before the 9th codex. In addition, Iron Hands are well suited for protecting their characters, Dreadnoughts, and come with some extra Deny the Witches. Whether it's from vehicles or infantry attacking stratagems for improved firing and chainsword lines.
  • Imperial Fists:
  • Crimson Fists:
  • Raven Guard:
  • Salamanders:
  • Deathwatch:
  • White Scars: has a need for speed, with most of their ability focusing on movement, ignoring the downsides of advancing, getting into combat quickly. White Scars are about covering as much ground as you can and then start cycle charging. Although there is an emphasis on bikes, it also works with jump packs and transports. Most Bike units should be able to reach enemies by at least turn 2, but after that, all melee weapons can have 2 damage which works out for when engaging Vehicles and MEU.
  • Blood Angels:
  • Dark Angels:
  • Space Wolves:
  • Black Templars:

Bringing Allies[edit]

In general, you use allies to cover your weaknesses, such as the marine's usual lack of hordes or particularly heavy vehicles by bringing in guard, skitarii, or knights, but be aware that you will sacrifice the HUGE benefits of Combat Doctrines unless the other detachments are also drawn from Codex: Space Marines- and even if they are, you'll lose your Chapter-specific Combat Doctrine boost if its Chapter Tactics are different. Adding this to not only the CP cost of taking an allied detachment but also the sheer variety of options you have as the posterboys, there's almost no reason to bring anything other than an inquisitor (with their risk-free, no downside but costly ways of being brought) in your marine list.

Specific Mixes[edit]

Specific combinations are mainly dependent on your chapter trait but there are some combo's that are great for any army some examples are shown below:

  • Grav-Bomb, stick some grav-cannon devastators or grav-centurions in a razorback, stormraven or rhino with a captain. Yeet it up the board ideally keeping out of LOS or at least partially obscured, then drop off your devastators or centurions in cover somewhere just in range of a nasty enemy unit ideally a centrepiece unit with a high armour save (at least 3+). Then drop the 1cp stratagem to re-roll all wounds and damage rolls for the unit and if your using devastators use the armorium cherub too. That's 4 shots each at strength 5 AP -3, hitting on 3+ rerolling 1's and re-rolling all wounds and damage rolls. Usually this is enough to make targeting your devastators a priority for your opponent and in all likelihood they're going to take heavy casualties but the unit will have easily made back its points by then and seriously disrupted your opponents army.
    • If you're Iron hands or a successor then you can move these guys without any penalty to hit and re-roll 1's without a captain so that's something to consider, only works in the devastator doctrine though.
    • Effective against hordes as well so this combo is still good against swarm lists and those army's will have a hard time dislodging your guy's from a ruin.
  • Captain and hellblasters, pretty self explanatory stick a bare bones captain near a 10 man squad of hellblasters and fire on overcharged with only a 1 in 36 chance of dying each time you fire, generally works best if you use a impulsor as this allows you to move a fair distance BEFORE DISEMBARKING to shoot with no penalty to hit, if you're within 15" then that's 20 shots at s8 AP-4 which is enough to cripple or kill almost anything without an invulnerable save.
    • Although this unit is a serious threat to your opponent it's unlikely to be killed off early, an impulsor's fairly tough anyway if you give it the shield dome equipment and hide it behind a wall it becomes incredibly difficult to remove turn 1. Not to mention that if you have the right threat saturation in your army then your opponent is unlikely to shoot this thing anyway.
  • Aggressor auspex scan, when playing against an opponent like daemons, orks or tyranids it's pretty common to have a swarm of infantry pop up to charge you out of deepstrike, ordinarily this can be a real problem as many of the units available to these armies have ways of getting a very easy charge. This trick's for just such a situation. When you deploy your units leave a nice gap behind your lines where an enemy infantry unit could deepstrike just in range of your agressors ideally a unit of six that hasn't moved, when your opponent tries to deepstrike his infantry play the 1CP stratagem to shoot all your aggressors at his guys TWICE at a -1 penalty, (you should have a chapter master in range anyway so that's not too big a deal) even with a 5 man aggressor unit you should annihilate any light infantry that tries to deepstrike for just 1 cp.
    • With iron hands chapter tactic then you can pretty much get the same effect on normal overwatch, for 1CP you overwatch on a 4+, 75% accuracy near a chapter master.
  • Aggressor Bombs. Can be done with any chapter really, even Forge World offshoots and codex deviants like BA, DA, SW, and DW. Take 6 along with and apothecary and ancient. Find some way of providing a FNP or Invulnerable save and plant them in cover. Makes for an extremely durable T5, 18 wound unit that can shoot/fight whenever it looses models and can regain slain models. Finally, it creates a roughly 3 dead zone on the board, as enemy units that get near it will be zapped with upwards of 100 Bolter shots. Finally, you can another two squads for another 36 T5 wounds. Finally all of these models come with 3 attacks base and powerfists...

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.

  • 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, even on your opponent's turn 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 are best described as a trap, unless you're looking to fill out slots for detachments. the inability to revive heroes, the bad odds at returning lost models, and the loss of the once cool 5+ FnP in earlier editions is down right heartbreaking. maybe with the Chief Apothecary upgrade they could have a use, but in general avoid them.
  • 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 complementary 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 multi-meltas 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.
    • Non-Ultramarines watch out. While spammable, Razorbacks aren't disposable. It can be infuriating to not be able to use a twin assault cannon because an enemy managed to touch the transport. Protect your boxes! 9e vehicle rules mean that twin assault cannon will always shred the canon fodder that locks it!
  • 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 youplease do, this is a tactics page, but needless to say it lets you take the fight to the enemy much sooner than most armies can. Seriously though, this can get a bit stupid, this writer has killed entire 2500 point armies in two turns by stuffing the entire army in drop pods, suffering something like 6 models as casualtiesHow?. Yes, 6 MODELS, not units. Whilst this is ridiculous and broken, it does limit you to non-bulky infantry. You will lack termies, Dreads, or any large vehicles, so play with caution. Of course you could just bring some cheap backfill units, like artillery (Whirlwind anyone?lmao) to counter this issue. Advised only to be done when you really, really need to win or teach someone a lesson. You will lose friends, you have been warned.

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.
  • As hinted at above, allying with Guard/Admech for CPs is significantly less viable than it once was, with marines losing many of their faction specific rules if they soup another faction in. Also, with all the buff they've received, marines can make a low CP list work much more easily than they once could, to the point where its just not worth it to lose combat doctrines to get allies and CPs.
  • If you're struggling with CP and you would (obviously) rather stay with a pure Marine army, consider trying 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.

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.
  • Eradicators are essentially Fire Dragons with a Primaris's stats. You might not have a Wave Serpent to get them deployed cheaply, but they're much more likely to survive footslogging anyway. With the extra shot they get from focusing on one target, they're most effective against lone vehicles and superheavies.
  • Outriders and Invader ATVs are your Bikers and Assault Bikes. Use them in the same way you would use their Firstborn equivalents, though kitting them out for melee might be wise given that Primaris have no other fast choppy units.
  • 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. The two new Intercessor variants give them added roles as your main melee unit and a source of long range anti-infantry firepower which doubles as counter to light vehicles, respectively.
  • Bladeguard Veterans are the closest thing you have to Assault Terminators. On the one hand, without Thunder Hammers they don't do quite as much damage and their invuln is only a 4++, but on the other hand they have a 2+ armor save (unlike the majority of Primaris infantry) and can still shoot things. It also helps that they don't have the reduced mobility of a (non-Tartaros) Terminator and work well with an Impulsor transport.
  • 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 Gravis-armoured units like Aggressors, 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.
  • The Gladiator is your answer to the Predator, with three different modes to use depending on what you need it to do: generalist/long range anti-vehicle, short range anti-vehicle, and anti-infantry. Same goes for the Storm Speeder, which also fills your anti-aircraft role in its Thunderstrike configuration.

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

Using Tactical Marines[edit]

Tactical marines are now 2W 1A, meaning their Primaris counter parts will outdo them in melee. Tactical marines however posses a wide range of.. tactical flexibility.. by being able to take up to three specialized weapons in a squad of 10. They are often used MSU with a single heavy or special weapon selected for a single purpose. The Sarge will less often be seen taking a close combat weapon to aid in melee, or combi-weapon to directly supplement the squads heavy/special weapon(s). They are also now our cheapest troop choice and the only ones able to take dedicated ranged anti-tank weaponry. Common loadouts and play styles:

  • Pocket Lascannons: 5 with a lascannon to hold objectives, damage vehicles, and remain stationary in the backfield, ideally in cover.
  • Rhino Rush: 10 with either melta, or flame weapons. Used to move directly towards the enemy and engage tanks or infantry with a hardy 20 wound unit, plus the effectively disposable Rhino. They can take the new multi-melta and two melta guns (one combi) or two flame weapons and a melee weapon. This option doesn't lean on supporting units as much as the Razorback rush.
  • Razorback Rush: Usually a plasma gun/cannon and combi-plasma or grav gun/cannon and combi-grav set up with 5 marines. Next the Razorback with probably use Twin Lascannons or Assault Cannons, and the two units will hunt units in tandem. This option allows an accompanying Captain or Chaplain to aid the ranged weaponry and protect against plasma overheating.
  • Razorback Harass: A 6 man squad with potentially flame weapons or non at all riding in a Razorback with twin Heavy Flamers or Assault Cannons. This allows for a fast, relatively cheap unit to put pressure on an enemy flank at close to mid range, backed by an infantry unit for any prevailing melees and/or the seizure of objectives.

In the end, the humble tactical squad should not be the lynchpin of your army. It should, however, perform a specific task that affords your primary units the ability to maneuver into position and dealing crippling damage. Tactical squads can also be used to supplement, not supplant, another more specialized unit in your army where the situation deems necessary. Finally, they are our cheapest source of troops for contesting objectives.

Imperial Fear bomb[edit]

with so many ld modifiers you can stack penalty from different detachments to stacking up to like -15Ld. Obviously you don't need that much spooky (but of course can be hilarious when used correctly), especially not against things like Orks, but already -4Ld renders Plague Marines as cowardly as Conscripts, and models that flee don't proc FnP-equivalents. Best used by a Fearsome Aspect chapter so you don't have to commit like 5 units to a single enemy. Of almost no use against the bunch of Eldar morale immunities out there...but ironically among imperial, 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.

  • with 9th changes, Fear bombs are less effective. No longer a unit is destined to die during the moral phase after only a portion is killed. Fear bombs only need to stack enough penalty for the moral test to proc as a means of killing additional models instead of a guaranteed wipe.
  • Here's a list of the Imperial units that stack with Fear Made Manifest:
  • Adeptus Astartes (-5Ld): Besides the Fearsome Aspect chapter trait (-1Ld), Fear Made Manifest Warlord trait (-1Ld), Reivers (-2Ld) and can deepstrike. Being Phobos, they also work alongside a Hallucination Phobos Librarian (-1Ld), who can infiltrate. Master of Sancatry's The Emperor's Judgment (roll 2d6 for moral). These sources of debuffs can quickly arrive wherever you need them.
    • Black Templars (-2Ld): Chaplain Vow of Retribution.
    • White Scars (-2Ld): Spirits of Chogoris, Headtaker's trophies relic.
    • Raven Guard (-2Ld): Decapitating Blow, The Abyss.
    • Salamander (-3Ld): Helm of Drakos, Draconic Aspect.
  • 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.

March of the Dreadnoughts[edit]

With the introduction of Core keyword, a lot of vehicles parking lot list are now dead, but there is one vehicle that has Core, Dreadnoughts. With the improved Techmarines and able to still interact with all the buff heroes, in additional to duty eternal being built-in, Dreadnoughts look to be a powerful attack platform at close and long ranges.

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).


  • Space Marines:
  • Blood Angels:
  • Dark Angels:
  • Space Wolves:
  • Deathwatch:
  • Grey Knights:
  • Imperial Guard:
  • Adeptus Mechanicus:
  • Adeptus Ministorum:
  • Adeptus Custodes:
  • Imperial Knights:


  • 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. Magnus is also known as the guy who dies in 1 turn of shooting even if he receives all of the defensive buffs first. However, "weaker" should still not be misinterpreted as being the same as "weak", because he can still rip and tear with the best of them. Thousand Sons are an army that relies on their psychic phase more than anyone 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!


  • 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: These guys have seen better days. In general, you won't have much difficulty killing their infantry; a universal T3 with an average 4+ save at best won't protect them from even your most basic weaponry. Even their elite melee-dedicated aspect warriors, like Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions, will struggle to deal damage to any of your infantry (even your unspecialized tactical marines will very likely win in combat against them). Craftworld infantry might be faster than your marines, but you'll be able to start picking them apart long before they can get close enough to try to return the favor. The only few units you'll need to keep half a tab on are their psykers, wraith units and vehicles. Psykers are the bread and butter of an eldar army; if you shut them down with your own psykers or simply snipe them early on, the eldar army's cohesion and combat effectiveness will crumble. Wraith units are tough even by marine standards and are capable of doing immense damage to infantry and vehicle alike, but they are slow and have very limited range. Keep your distance and use high strength, multi-wound weaponry (like plasma) to quickly burn them down. Lastly, their vehicles function like literal glass cannons. They can do staggering damage if they get the first shot on you, but they'll crumble into dust if you fire a multi-melta shot or two at them. TL;DR, thank the eldar player both for giving you his aspect warriors and for the win. ALWAYS KILL DARK REAPERS, they have 48" 2 shot D2 weapons which all of your infantry are vulnerable to,
  • 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. Quick, but not as fast as the Wyches, so finishing them off with well placed charges can be effective. They can also bring a fair amount of beefy monsters and can harm your Primaris marines a fair bit more reliably. The best way to beat their invuln saves is by swamping them in Bolter fire which doesn't care about armor.
  • 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 will 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: Almost an automatic win for you if you have a competent list. Kill off synapse and any significant firepower they may bring. Rub salt in the wound with your plethora of sniper weapons. You truly do not need help here.
  • 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:
  • 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 off 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. Orks are a volume army (both in T4 wounds and S4 attacks)... snipers picking off key buffing characters and the Warboss can cripple them.