Category Archives: Warhammer 40k

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Space Marine Librarian Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Librarian in terminator Armour

The Warhammer 40000 universe is full of beings with strange psychic powers. These are not dissimilar to the magic powers of the Age of Sigmar game, but a bit toned down. In AoS wizards are a ‘must have’, in WH40k they are a ‘nice to have’. In the Space Marine army these psykers are called Librarians.

Librarians are not super fighters in close combat. Their stats are similar to veteran sergeants rather than the Space Marine Captains or Chaplains. This means that you do not want to throw them in to close combat. Librarians work better as close support troops. Keep them near the action, but slightly back.

Space Marine Librarians and Psychic Powers

Space Marine Librarians are better than most as they can manifest 2 psychic powers each per turn. Remember that in point matched games you can only manifest any given psychic power once per turn for your whole army. If you have several Psykers think about which psyker will use which power. The exception to this once per turn rule is the Smite psychic power.

Space Marine Librarians come with psychic hoods as standard. These help the Librarian to Deny the Witch by adding +1 to his Deny the Witch rolls. This is not a massive bonus, however worth having.

There is a selection of 6 Librarian Psychic powers found on page 202 ‘Librarius Disciplne’. The psychic powers are:

  • Veil of Time: Can speed up Advancing and Charging units.
  • Might of Heroes: Buffs up a nearby model’s Strength, Toughness, and Attacks. This can be the Librarian himself.
  • Psychic Scourge: Use to target nearby enemy with low leadership to cause a mortal wound or three.
  • Fury of the Ancients: Causes mortal wounds to all enemy models in a straight line for a random distance. To be used when you are in a tight spot!
  • Psychic Fortress: Nearby unit automatically passes Moral Tests and saved Mortal Wounds from a psychic power on 4+.
  • Null Zone: Negates invulnerable save for all nearby enemy and nearby psykers have a hard time casting psychic powers.

Labrarian’s Armour

Like the Space Marine Captain, the Librarian can take a number of different armour options. Power armoured Librarians can be given a bike or jump packs too. Choose a configuration that will allow them to keep up with the forward troops. Giving then a bodyguard of Veteran Space Marines could be a good idea if you have the points spare. Librarians do not get an invulnerable save.

Librarian Weapons

This Librarian comes with a force stave and a bolt pistol. If you are playing your Librarian as a close support I would suggest upgrading the bolt pistol to a boltgun or a Combi-weapon. This will make the Librarian more useful in the shooting phase too.


Space Marine Captain Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Captain in Terminator Armour

The Space Marine Captain is the natural leader for a Space Marine army.  Captains come with different types of armour and can be mounted on Bikes, or even have jump packs.

Space Marine Captains are probably the best fighters in a Space Marine army. Both with shooting weapons and in the fight phase. On top of this they usually have abilities that bolster nearby friendly units. Captains can be tooled up with different weapons to fit your style of play.

Space Marine Captain Ability: Rites of Battle

Captains usually have the Ability called ‘Rights of Battle’. This ability allows you to re-roll to-hit rolls of 1 in the shooting phase and in the fight phase. If a near by unit gets to roll to hit in any other phase, say as a result of a psychic power, then they get to re-roll 1’s then too. Also remember that the Captain is always within 6″ of himself, soi he gets to benefit from this ability too!

This ability obviously is a greater benefit if you have more units within 6″. These units need to be friendly and from the same Space Marine Chapter, but if you are playing a multi-player game, they can be controlled by another friendly player. Remember that only 1 model has to be in range, and this can be vertically as well as on the same level. Also remember that tanks are units too.

The ‘Rights of Battle’ ability means that Captains are most useful when they are in the middle of the battle. Have them well supported with other units and get them to where you are going to be making the greatest number of hit rolls! Also remember that you can have two or more Captains in your army. You do not get extra bonuses for them being together. Spread out your Captains so that they will benefit the greatest number of units.

Space Marine Captain Armour

There are several entries in the Codex Asteres for the Captain. The main difference between them is the armour they where. The choices are basic power armour, terminator armour, ancient Cataphractii armour, and basic armour with a motorbike.

A captain in power armour is the cheapest option as far as power points goes. He has an ‘Iron Halo’ force field device that gives him a 4+ invulnerable save, so this armour is still formidable.

Captains in Power Armour have the greatest range of weapons available. this gives you the best chance to adapt the Captain to your play style. Do you want more fire power? If you do upgrade his bolt gun to a combi-bolter or storm bolter. Do you want more close combat strike power in the fight phase? If you do, have a look at the melee weapons available.

Captains in Power Armour can also be upgraded with jump-packs or a motorbike. Either of these options gives your Captain greater speed. You can use this speed to jump around the table re-enforcing your tactical units or to launch a lightning strike at a vulnerable point to swing the game. Be careful though! If your Captain is caught in the open he will be a sitting duck for and enemy shooting!

Adding a Jump-pack costs an extra 2 power points but gives the captain the Fly key word. This has the unexpected bonus of allowing him to assault aircraft. Yes, if they are in range your Captain can leap up and strike aircraft in mid flight. Armed with a power fist he could do quite a bit of damage too! Truly this is the closest you are going to get to Iron Man in a Space Marine army! (though the Tau HQ is worth a look too)

Upgraded with a Bike, the Captain gains extra fire power and an extra point of toughness. Be aware though that bikes can not clime buildings. This means that bikes are better on larger open boards than city fight scenarios.

Terminator armour is thick and heavy. This means that the captain has a better chance of saving (2+ basic), and he still gets the Iron Halo ( 4+ invulnerable save) . In addition to this he can take the heavier Storm Bolter that gives him a massive 45 shots at close range and 2 shots and 24″. The Terminator armour also allows him to teleport in to the battle. He can not teleport out again though (until after the battle), so make sure he arrives in the right place. Once he’s there he is on foot ( or riding in a Land Raider if you have one). The down side is that the Terminator Captain costs more points and is a bit slower.However if he is backed up with a terminator squad you get a detachments that are really good in close quarter combat and fire fights!

Cataphractii armour is an ancient form of Terminator Armour worn by Space Marine in Warhammer 30000. It is like Terminator armour. Created using techniques now lost in the depths of time the Cataphractii armour has the best saves of all. With a 2+ basic save and a 3+ invulnerable save this armour is the tops! As it is terminator armour you still get the teleport strike ability mighty weapons. The downside in points cost again and that this armour is even slower than Terminator Armour. With Cataphractii armour if you advance you have to half the distance rolled ( so on a roll of 5 you can go 2.5″) .

Primaris Captain Tactics

Primaris Space Marines are the new kids on the block for the 8th Edition of Warhammer 40k. The story line goes that they have been developed in secret waiting for the Space Marine Primarks to return. Much like the Clones of Star Wars. in gaming terms the Primaris Marines are what the Space Marines should have  been. The classic models are not much bigger than an Imperial Guard, but in the fiction and fluff they are meant to be 7 or 8 feet tall. The small classic marines are a throw back to time when Games Workshop was run on a less professional basis (Rough Trader, or Warhammer 40 1st edition). Over time the sculpting skills have improved at GW and models have slowly been re-sized to a proper scale ( first where the Orks, then Rhinos and Land Raiders and now the Marines). After using the classic models for 25 years I am still getting use to the new larger marines, but for new starter to the game I would highly recommend starting with the Primaris Marines.

In game terms the Primaris Captain fairs very well against the classic Space Marine Captain. The Primaris Captain is one power point more but you get better weapons and one ext4ra attack in close combat (hitting on 2+ and re-rolling 1’s!).

I would highly recommend upgrading the Primaris Captain to have a power sword. He will is very useful in a fight so giving him the best tools for the job is well with the extra points in a points matched game. In a power lever matched game there’s no additional points cost for the upgrade so do it!

The Primaris Captain gets the Iron Halo force field and the ‘Rights of Battle’ ability like the classic Space Marine Captain, so what I wrote about these for the classic Captain applies here too!

Primaris Captain in Gravis Armour

Instead if protecting your Primaris Captain in the traditional Power Armour, you can choose to have him wear the new Gravis armour. The Gravis armour costs one power point more than the Power armour and reduces the Captains movement to 5″ basic. what it dose offer though is 1 point extra toughness and access to more close combat weapons. I(f your style is to have your Captain lead from the front, then it is worth the upgrade!


Dark Angel Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Edition

Warhammer 40000 Dark Angle Space Marine Deathwing Knight

In this section we will have a look at the Warhammer 40000 Dark Angel army, the successor chapters and how to win more games using them.

To use the information in this section you will need the main Warhammer 4000 Rule Book and the 2017 Codex: Dark Angles or regular access to them.

Introduction to the Dark Angels

Ok, let’s get something out of the way up-front. Even though the Dark Angel army looks like the generic Adeptus Astartes Ultra Marine army, they are not the same and have quite a different style of play. If you play your Dark Angle army in the way that you play standard Space Marines, you will loose!

The next major point is that the Dark Angel army is not one army, but three. There in the Battle Line army with your tactical Space Marines, there is the Ravenwing with the fast strike force units, and there is the Deathwing with the Terminator armoured close combat troops. To win games you will need all three, and you will need then in the right balance.

In the 2017 Codex: Dark Angels you can find the army specific rules starting on page 134.

Dark Angle Chapter Tactics

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel in pre-heresy colours

On page 134 of the Codex: Dark Angles we are introduced to the Dark Angel Chapter Tactics. These are two special rules that you can use if you have a detachment that is battle forged and only contains Dark Angel units. You can find the rules for battle forged detachments in the main rule book on page 240. Basically the Chapter Tactics are rewards for playing a well formed detachment using only Dark Angles ( or successor chapters ). If you can create a battle forged army then the extra rules certainly may it worth while!

Defenders of Humanity

This is a special rule that we have seen (by other names in all the 8th edition codexes. In 7th ed this rule was called objective secured and worked in a similar way. Basically it means that it is easier to capture and hold objectives if you have a Dark Angle only detachment. Not all battle have objectives and objective marker, but since their introduction in the 7th edition of WH40k they are very popular as they force the game to be more dynamic. Before objective marker player use to just form barricaded battle lines and shoot at each other from a distance.

With this rule if you have a TROOPS unit contesting an objective you will win it even if your opponent has more models contesting that objective. As most armies that you will face will be battle forged too this rule does tend to cancel it’s self out. However if you are not playing a battle forged detachment you will be at a disadvantage.

Notice that this ability only effects TROOPS units, not HQ, ELITE, HEAVY SUPPORT, FAST ATTACK, or any other unit type. For the Space Marines it means that it’s effect is limited to Tactical Squads, Intercessor Squads, and Scout Squads. So if you are contesting an objective and you have one Tactical Squad in 3″ of the marker, and your opponent has three ELITE Terminator Squad and a HQ Captain there, you still will the objective even though you seem to be outnumbered!

The Defenders of Humanity special rule boosts the value of TROOPS units way above the actual points cost. If winning games is what you are after, you need to see that you need to place the TROOPS units at the centre of your strategy. In a Space Marine army you will be helped with the ‘Combat Squads’ special rule and Dedicated Transport units. More about those later!

Grim Resolve

This is a uniquely Dark Angel special rule. The Grim Resolve special rule has two parts. The first represents the Dark Angel superb defensive fire control, and the second part represents the legendary Dark Angle stubbornness.

Strict Fire Discipline

Dark Angel Battle Forged Detachments can re-roll 1’s to hit in the shooting phase, if they did not move in the previous movement phase. As I understand it, coming in from reserves counts as moving, so new arrivals do not get this bonus when they arrive.

This bonus is slightly different from the Company Masters ‘Rights of Battle’ special rule. The Rights of Battle allow re-rolls of 1 for units withing 6″ of the Master, and works in the Fight phase as well as the Shooting and Overwatch phases. The Rights of Battle also works even the unit has moved. The Strict Fire Discipline only affects Infantry, Bike, and Dreadnought.

The effect of the Strict Fire Discipline is that it encourages your Battle Line troops to get in to position fast and stay there. The result of this special rule is that stationary units will hit 7 out of 9 times. This is up from 6 out of 9 for standard Space Marines. This is great except that Tactical Objective based games favour armies that are more fluid. The way around this is to have units who’s objective is to hold the line and some units that will go forth and grab objectives under the covering fire provided and some units that specialise in close combat. Enter the Ravenwing and Deathwing!

Dark Angle Stratagems

On page 135 of the 2017 Codex: Dark Angels you can find 26 stratagems for the Dark Angel army. This a good number of stratagems for a single army.

Battle Line Dark Angel Units

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault WaeponsYou won’t find references to Battle Line Units in the Codex. Battle Line Units is a phrase I use to identify the rank and file units of the 3rd to 9th Companies. The battle line units will be the core your army.

In the Battle Line section you will find most of the Dark Angle units. Dark Angel Battle Line Units include:

  • Azrael: Leader of the Dark Angels: Lots of toys including a combo-bolted and an area effect 4++ force field.
  • Belial: Head of Deathwing: A terminator armour clad character that boosts nearby Deathwing units to hit rolls.
  • Asmodai: Named chaplain character with lots of toys. He is a member of Deathwing too.
  • Interrogator-Chaplain in power or terminator armour: Beefed up Chaplin. What to use Asmodai if you do not want a named character. Also a Deathwing member.
  • Chaplain, Primaris Chaplain: Your basic chaplain. Not part of Deathwing.
  • Ezekiel: Named librarian character. Part of Deathwing and has lots of close combat toys.
  • Librarian, Primaris Librarian: Basic librarian with Deathwing rules.
  • Master in Power, Cataphractii, or Terminator armour: Senior Dark Angle leaders. Members of Deathwing.
  • Master in Primaris or Gravis armour: Senior Primaris leader, but not a member of Deathwing.
  • Lieutenants, Primaris Lieutenants: The de-facto standard leader for Dark Angel armies.
  • Techmarine: The go to guy to get your tanks fixed. His Servo arm gives an extra Power Fist attack in close combat.
  • Tactical Squads: The all round tactical units that should be at the hart of every Dark Angel force.
  • Intercessor Squads: Bolt Rifle only marines with Primaris armour.
  • Scout Squads, Scout Bike Squads: Light armored that can sneak forward. Scout bikes are where you go if you want two wheels without Ravenwing.
  • Apothecary, Primaris Apothecary: Medic! These characters where part of the command squad. Now they are independent Elite units.
  • Chapter Ancients, Ancients in Primaris armour: The armies Battle Standard Bearer (BSB). Was part of the command squad but is now are independent Elite characters. One last push lads!
  • Company Champion: Veteran Dark Angel with a really big sword and shield. Good in close combat. Useless in a fire fight.
  • Company Veterans: The Elite version of the Tactical Squad. This unit can be tooled up with heavy and special weapons. With careful configuration, these guys are very useful.
  • Dreadnoughts, Venerable Dreadnought, Redemptor Dreadnought: Big walking machines. Can be given big guns or close combat weapons. A mix of each normally works out best.
  • Devastator Squads: Marines with big guns. These units are designed to take the high ground and shoot at anything that moves!
  • Hell blaster Squads
  • Predator
  • Stalkers, Hunters, and Whirlwinds
  • Land Raider, Crusader, Redeemer and Repulsor
  • Stromraven Gunship

Deathwing Dark Angel Units

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Deathwing Squad

Dark Angel Deathwing Terminator Squad

Deathwing Terminator armoured units can be tactical, backed up with Land Raiders they can even be fast, however they are too expensive to field in enough number to win games. For this reason they are best used as close combat troops, and as close combat troops they are awesome!

Dark Angel Deathwing Units include:

  • Masters in Terminator or Cataphractii Armour
  • Chaplains and Interrogator Chaplains in Terminator Armour
  • Librarians in Terminator Armour
  • Deathwing Apothecary
  • Deathwing Ancient
  • Deathwing Champion
  • Deathwing Terminator Squads
  • Deathwing Knights
  • Deathwing Cataphractii Terminator Squads
  • Deathwing Tartaros Terminator Squads

Venerable Dreadnoughts use to be Deathwing too, but this seems to have been dropped.

Ravenwing Dark Angel Units

When there is a need for speed the Dark Angles go to the Ravenwing. Like the Deathwing the Ravenwing could operate as an independent army, and on a large open battle field they would work well. However in the more close confines of the regular wh40k battle table the Ravenwing need to call upon the regular battle line and Deathwing units to go where they can not (up stairs!).

  • Sammael on Corvex or Sableclaw: Fast moving leader of Ravenwing: Boosts to hit for both Ravenwing and other Dark Angles nearby.
  • Ravenwing Talon Master
  • Ravenwing Apothecary
  • Ravenwing Ancient
  • Ravenwing Champion
  • Ravenwing Bike Squad
  • Ravenwing Attack Bike Squad
  • Ravenwing Land Speeders
  • Ravenwing Darkshroud
  • Ravenwing Land Speeder Vengeance
  • Ravenwing Black Knights
  • Ravenwing Dark Tallon
  • Nephilim Jetfighter

Dark Angle Codex Released

Warhammer 40000 Dark Angle Space Marine Deathwing Knight

The new Dark Angle Codex has been released just in time for Christmas!

Since the release of Warhammer 40000 8th Edition Games Workshop have been pumping out the Codex army rule books. Now it is the turn of one of my favourite armies, the Dark Angle Space Marines.

In the codex you get the usual fluff and backstories about the army.

“Codex: Dark Angels contains a wealth of background and rules – the definitive book for Dark Angels collectors. Within, you’ll find:

– The First Legion: the origins of the Dark Angels – one of the most famously secretive Chapters – their homeworld, and the dark stain on their history that motivates their crusade of vengeance;
– A guide to the Dark Angels’ Chapter organisation, with an explanation of their constant, obsessive hunt for the Fallen, along with their heraldries and Chapter markings;
– An overview of the Ravenwing and the Deathwing, specialist companies unique to the Dark Angels;
– Detailed colour schemes and heraldries of 8 successor Chapters: Angels of Redemption, Angels of Absolution, Angels of Vengeance, Blades of Vengeance, Consecrators, Disciples of Caliban, Angels of Defiance, and Guardians of the Covenant;
– In the Name of Absolution: a timeline of significant events and battles in the history of the Dark Angels;
– Background and details on each character and unit available to a Blood Angels [Dark Angel] army;
– A showcase of beautifully painted Citadel miniatures, with example armies featuring everything from individual images of models to battle scenes on terrain.”  – WarhammerDigital.Com

Here at we are far more interested in the gaming side of the hobby so:

“Everything you need to get a Dark Angels army primed for games of Warhammer 40,000 is in here:

– 76 datasheets containing rules for every Dark Angels unit and miniature;
– Army abilities reflecting the Dark Angels’ methods of war on the tabletop;
– Armoury of the Rock: wargear both ranged and close-combat for use by Dark Angels armies;
– Points values for all miniatures, weapons and wargear for use in Matched Play games;
– Angels of Death: rules for Battle-forged armies, including:
– 6 unique Warlord Traits available for any Dark Angels commander;
– 26 unique Stratagems;
– Relics of Caliban: a selection of 6 rare weapons and artefacts unique to Dark Angels armies;
– Interromancy Discipline: 6 psychic powers available to any Dark Angels model with the Psyker keyword;
– 6 unique Tactical Objectives.” – WarhammerDigital.Com

With the latest Dark Angle Codex the Dark Angles are getting access to all the classic Dark Angle units like the Deathwing and Ravenwing plus the new Gravis Armoured units that we saw in the Index: Imperium 1. On top of this we see that some of the nice generic Space Marine toys have been made available like the Stormraven Gunships and the Stalker & Hunter battle tanks.

There are a lot of good things found withing the pages of the Dark Angel Codex, and I am exited to see how the changes pan out and how effective the Dark Angles are against the other WH40k armies now that they are armed with their own codex.


Tyranid Hive Tyrant and Swarmlord Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrans and Tyrant Guard

The hive Tyrant is the Classic Tyranid HQ choice, and for good reason too. It is a monstrous creature, with great assault and shooting skill. The Tyrant is a synapse creature and in more resent incarnations, can fly too!

In later rule changes in the 5th edition of the rules the Tyranid Hive Tyranid was seen as such a threat that a ‘shoot the big ones’ was added where shooty armies could shoot at the Synapse Creatures even if they where hiding behind other units.In the 8th edition this has changed so that you can shoot at Characters with 10+ wounds even if they are not the closest visible model. At least the Tyranids are now playing on an even playing field with the other armies with Monstrous HQ units (Daemon Princes & etc).

Different Hive Tyrant Roles

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant can fulfil different roles in your army mainly depending on how it is configured.

Because of the flexible nature of the Hive Tyrant, you may wish to magnetise the arms and weapons. If your Hive Tyrant is pre-built, do not worry. There is no such thing as a bad Hive Tyrant. Just adapt your play style to the model you have.

Wings or no wings?

Wings add speed to your Hive Tyrant. This means that you will be able to use it’s many skills over a greater area. Wings however come at a big point cost! So are they worth the cost?

Tyranid Hive Tyrant Psychic Powers

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is a psyker, and a powerful one at that. Casting two psychic power on your turn and dispelling one in the opponents psychic phase, this creature does make sparks fly!

Tyranid Swarmlord Tactics

When a standard Tyranid Hive Tyrant  just isn’t big enough, then you can call on the Tyranid Swarmlord.  These have wings as standard!


Tyranid Carnifex, Screamer Killer, and Thorneback Tactics in WH40k 8th ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Carnifex Generations

How to use the Tyranid Carnifex to maximum efficiency in a Warhammer 40000 8th edition game!

“It was horrible! Over the hill crest this lumbering giant of a creature appeared. It had four massive talons and the thickest bone armour. I wanted to get a pot shot of it but the smaller creatures where reaching the lines and threatening to rip our heads off. Just then Captain Barrak appeared in the Leman Russ Invincible. Invincible fired it’s Lascannon at the hulking creature and missed, then the battle cannon roared. That hit knocking the creature to the ground but the creature just got up again. We thought it was dead when it let out this terrible scream. Not so. The scream was the creature bringing up a phlegm like ball of plasma which it hurled at us on the front line. I was lucky and the plasma ball hit further down the line. Burning though cloth and armour with equal ease the poor souls that it hit where burn alive. Sentencing a disruption in the line the hulking creature then raced for Invincible at a pace that defied gravity. Leaping in the air it through itself on to Invincible. At the same time the mighty talons ripped though the tanks armour like a hot knife through butter. Invincible’s armour gave a metallic screech as it twisted and contorted under the creatures massive strength. Then as a last cry of defiance invincible exploded killing the Captain and creature in one nightmare fireball.”

The Tyranid Carnifex is one of the Iconic models in the Tyranid army. You can have three per brood, but watch the points!.

The Tyranid Carnifex and the Hive Mind

The Carnifex is subject to Instinctive Behaviour. This is less if an issue than it was.

The Tyranid Carnifex Leadership is not particularly high at Ld6. The main use of Leadership is to see if any models run off in the moral phase. One tactic here is to place the Tyranid Carnifex in front of your Tyranid Hive Tyrant. This gives the Tyranid Hive Tyrant some solid cover, and it allows you have a solid core for your Tyranid army that you can surround with your smaller Tyranid creatures.

Tyranid Carnifex Special Rules

The Tyranid Carnifex comes with a few special rules. They are easy to handle, but worth knowing that they are there!

Monstrous Brood

Different generations of Carnifex models side by side. See how she has grown!

You can have up to 3 Carnifex in a brood as one unit choice. Although Carnifex Brood models need to start near the other Carnifex of that brood they seem to get bored of each other quickly and can wander off in different directions in the first movement phase.

The reason you may want a brood of Carnifexes is to reduce the number of unit slots used in your Detachments. This only matters in really large games or ones where you are restricted to the number and types of Detachments available.

Carnifex split up at the start of your first turn. This means that if your opponent gets first turn they will have to kill all the models of rhe brood to get first blood. After your first turn only one Carnifex to get first blood!

Living Battering Ram

If a Carnifex gets to charge in to assault then it does a whole ball of damage! First as you charged in you should get to strike first. Second, you get to inflict a mortal wound on a 4+. Thirdly you get +1 to your hits that round so only a 3+ needed.

This special rule means that Close Combat only Carnifex are back in the running. This is specially true if you are Hive Fleet Kracken.

Tyranid Carnifex Strength and Weapons

The Carnifex has a number of weapon choices that you can choose from. What weapon choices you take will depend on the opponent that you are facing. The three popular configurations ( in no particular order) are close combat specialists, heavy weapons platforms, or close support fire platforms with some close combat ability.

Scything Talons

The default weapons on the Carnifex is two sets of Scything Talons. These are close combat weapons, so if you stay with the basic options you will need to make sure that your Carnifex will get in to close combat range on a regular basis, and early enough in the game to be worth the points.

The Scything talons cause 3 damage and can re-roll hit rolls of 1. With this weapon you will want to target models with more than one wound. Tanks are the traditional targets for Carnifexes, but characters make a good target (meal) too.

If you have two sets of scything talons you get an extra attack. This makes having two scything talons very popular. This is so popular that we have a special unit entry in the Tyranid Codex, the Screamer Killer!

Monstrous Crushing Claws

The Crushing Claws upgrade gives you more bite in your close combat attacks. the downside is that they hit less often.  As this is a close combat upgrade, it’s value is determined by the number of times that you get in to close combat.


The Deathspitter is similar to the Deathspitter that the smaller Tyranid creatures get, however the Carnifex gets twin-linked Deathspitters. This is just as well as the Carnifex’s BS3 score means that you will only hit 50% of the time. The re-roll will mean that instead of expecting 1.5 hits per turn you can expect 2.25 hits ( ie about 2 per turn and 3 hits about every 4 turns you shoot).

If you take two sets of Deathspiters then this rate of hits will double, but you loose your close combat weapons.

The strength and AP of a Deathspitter is not over awesome either. Basically they are 18″ heavy bolters. The usual opinion is – don’t bother!

Adrenal Glands

Adrenal Glands allows the Carnifex to move an extra inch when it advances or charges. This does not sound much, but these extra inches do add up. .

Note: that you can still only declare a charge 12″ away from your target even though, with a good dice roll, you can get a 13″ charge in.

You can not advance and shoot heavy weapons. If you are configuring your Carnifex to be a heavy weapons platform with two Monstrous Bio-Weapons, then you will want to avoid this upgrade. If you are going for a close combat only Carnifex then this upgrade is a must!

Toxin Sacs

Toxin Sacs allows you to have a 1 in 6 chance of causing one additional damage if you wound on a 6+ in the Fight Phase.  This means that shooting weapons do not benefit from this upgrade, so heavy weapon Carnifex can forget about it! As for close combat ‘Fexes then have a think about what targets you are planning on tackling. If you are taking on one or 2 wound targets, or even characters then an additional wound will be very little bonus. It’s only when you are expecting to take on a few Monstrous Creatures or Tanks that the upgrade may start to pay for it’s self. On this whole it’s not likely to pay for it’s self.

Tyranid Carnifex Screamer Killer Tactics

New in the 2017 Codex is a new breed of Carnifex – The Screamer Killer!

Gramps is back! When I say that the Screamer killer is a new unit, rally it is a throw back to the original metal Carnifex. The original Carnifex had 2 pairs of monstrous scything talons and had a screaming vomit shooting attack.

The Screamer killer has two forms of attack, the Monstrous Scything Talons and the Bio-plasmic Scream. This combination means that it makes a great close support creature.

Tyranid Thorneback Tactics

Tyranid Thornbacks are a specialist Carnifex found at Forge World. At forge world they are called Stone Crusher Carnifex and come with Crusher Claws. Another option would be to create your own Thorneback with a bit of modelling.

Thornebacks are designed to be close combat troops, however you can upgrade then to have shooting weapons too. The value of upgrading is questionable. Shooting weapons are assault weapons so you can be used between assaults. In my mind though, if you want a multi-purpose Carnifex ( and these can be very effective) I would suggest going for a basic Carnifex with close combat and assault weapons.

Stonecrusher Carnifex Tactics

The Stone Crusher Carnifex is a Forge World model and has rules for WH40k 8th edition printed in the Forge Worlds Imperial Armour Index: Xenos.

The Stonecrusher Carnifex is a close combat specialist. It can be upgraded to have Bio-plasma (12″ Assauld D3, S7). The Bio-plasma can be useful to soften up troop as you charge in or as a over watch weapon if some on charges you, otherwise you only need to focus on the charge and fight phase with this one!

As the Stonecrusher Carnifex is such a close combat specialist you will need to get it (her?) in to combat as soon as possible. With this in mind you may want to team the Stonecrusher with a Tyrannocyte to get it in to the thick of combat fast!

Tyranid Old One Eye Tactics

So you want a Carnifex HQ character? No problem! Here comes Old One Eye…


Chaos Daemons of Khorne Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

The symbol of Chaos

Khorne is the most popular chaos god with players. Khorne is the god of war and the Daemons of Khorne are frenzied close combat killers. The other aspect of Khorne, and it’s followers is that there are no Khorne psykers.

Khorne units are all about the fight phase, how to get there with the least amount of damage to your self and how to do the most most damage to the enemy once you are there! To get to the enemy in one piece requires speed and use of cover. Causing the greatest damage requires choosing the right weapon for the target, or the right target for the weapon! Also hit the weakest points of the enemy’s army with force.

Daemons of Khorne units work well with Tzeentch units. The Tzeentch can provide psychic long range fire support that Khorne units are usually short of.

Unstoppable Ferocity

Unstoppable Ferocity is an ability that most Daemons of Khorne units have. If a unit has this ability then when they charge in to combat, get charged, or perform a heroic intervention, they get +1 strength and +1 attack until the end of that turn.

Khorne Daemon Prince Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

A Warhammer Chaos Prince with Wings.

Note: The Errata has changed the Daemon Prince’s wounds from 10 to 8.

The Daemon Prince can come in a verity of configurations. If you get a chance have a look at the options available before you build the model. This will give you the chance to configure the model to fit in with your play style. You can see from the attached image that I prefer to have my Daemon Prince with wings. This allows him to deep strike and zip around the table using the maximum damage.

Khorne Daemon Prince Abilities

With a Daemon Prince you must select a Chaos God alignment. If you choose to align with Khorne then you get the Unstoppable Ferocity ability too.

Khorne Daemon princes are not psychers. They get the Might over Magic ability instead. This increases their attack characteristic by 1, so a total of 4 basic attacks.

Khorne Daemon Prince Weapons and Upgrades

Ok, the first big question is wings or no wings. Having wings on your Daemon Prince adds speed. As I mentioned above, speed is one of the main ways you can get in to assault less damaged. With wings the Daemon Prince goes from 8″ per turn to 12″. If you are playing a power level matched game then there are not points increase for having wings, so it’s a no brainer, add the wings if you can! In Point matched games the wings adds 24 points. This still seems cheap for the extra speed, and highly recommended!

Unusually for Daemon units, the Chaos Prince gets a shooting option with the ‘Warp Bolter’. A Daemon Prince may have this is it was a Space Marine that has been blessed with Daemon Prince form. Even though the Khorne Daemon Prince is thought as a close combat creature having some ranged fire power is very useful. You can do over-watch if anyone is daft enough to charge you!

Khorne Karanak Tactics

Karanak is a names HQ unit for the Chaos Daemons of Khorne army. He is a 3 headed Flesh Hound with souped up stats.

Karanak is designed to by a character assassin. He is quite fast with a 10″ move and has the 5+ daemonic invulnerable saves. These are good but his real skills can be found in the special abilities he has.

Karanak’s Brass Collar

Karanak wears a brass collar (well 3 I suppose). The brass collar disrupts psykers in the area. In the WH40 8th ed this is represented by his ability to deny 2 psychic powers each enemy turn. This is not a game changing ability, but it does help even the odds when playing against a psychic heavy army.

Pray of the Blood God

This ability allows you to pick an enemy character at the start of the game, Each time Karanak attacks that character you can re-roll 1’s to hit and wound. This means that just about all of your attacks will strike home with a -2 AP and 2 damage. It’s a mighty hero that can survive multiple round with this guy!

The rules do not say that you have to reveal Karanak’s target to the enemy. However, I do recommend writing it down at the start of the game. This means that you can prove you did not change your target part way through the game!

Karanak has a power level of 6. This means that using the Daemonic Ritual he can be summoned on 2 dice about half the time, and easily if you risk rolling 3 dice.

Khorne Soul Grinder Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Daemon Soul Grinder found in WH40k, 8th ed, and Age of Sigmar

Chaos Demon Soul Grinder

Where as most of the Chaos Daemon army was transported from the Fantasy Battles game in to 40k, the Soul Grinder was designed for 40k and been fudged in to Fantasy Battles and Age of Sigmar games. Because of this the Soul Grinder may be the most familiar of the Chaos Daemon choices to an existing 40k player.

With the Soul Grinder you must choose a Chaos God to align to. In this section we will be looking at the Soul Grinder with Daemons of Khorne alignment.

The Soul Grinder is a walker usually armed with both close combat weapons and ranged weapons.

Soul Grinder Weapons and Upgrades

The default weapons that the Soul Grinder comes with is an ‘Iron Claw’ power fist and a Harvester Cannon.


Incoming… Tyranid Codex is here! – New for Warhammer 40k 8th Edition.

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Trygon

Games Workshop are certainly pumping out the Codex releases this year, and the next one is the Tyranid Codex!

As regular readers of his site the Tyranids are one of my favourite armies and there has been no secrete about my excitement at seeing the ‘Nids coming back in from the cold as far as rule updates are concerned. I have to say that the last few Codex let the Tyranids down.

The Warhammer Community site had been releasing sneak previews of the Tyranid Codex best bits, and now it’s been released, and it is fantastic!

Tyranids have been slumbering on the GW shelves for many years because of the weak codex releases. The last really good Tyranid Codex  was for the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40000. In that release you could virtually make your own Tyranid strains by mixing and matching bio upgrades.

The format of the Tyranid Codex follows the format of the WH40k 8th edition Codexes released so far. Kinks from the Index: rule books have been straightened out, new mission objectives have been created, plus other nice bits like command abilities and special upgrades.

What I really like is the addition of special rules for four different Hive Fleet types. Each of these Hive Fleets have unique special rules. This means that you can play Nid’s with different ‘flavours’. It just makes gaming more interesting. As all the models appear in all the different branches you can pick and chose with set of special rules you want to use before the game begins.

I highly recommend this release of the Tyranid Codex weather you are a new Tyranid player or a veteran.


Chaos Daemon Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Warhammer Chaos Lord with Wings

point The Chaos Daemon army is not quite like other armies in the Warhammer 40k universe. This is because the Chaos Daemon army was designed for the Warhammer Fantasy game ( now replaced by Age of Sigmar  ) and ported across to 40k.

The Chaos Daemon army plays quite differently to other 40k armies. This is mainly due to the numerous special rules. The addition of these rules also make the army difficult to play. I would suggest that the Daemon army is not a good one for beginners, but a great one for advanced payers that fancy a challenge!

This page has been written for the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rules and Index: Chaos army list.

General Chaos Daemon Tactics

The symbol of ChaosOften the best was to use the Chaos Daemon army is to use it as an attachment to a Warhammer Chaos Marine army. What the Chaos Daemon units bring to the Chaos Marine is psychic powers, monstrous creatures and close combat units. The number of deep striking units are useful for snatching objectives or take out key enemy units.

Chaos Daemons come in four flavours one for each of the chaos gods; Khorne, Nurgle, Tzeentch, and Slannesh. So what do you get if you use them all together? Utter Chaos!

If you are keeping with a pure Daemon army, but include faction from all the Chaos Gods then you will not be short of Characters or close combat units. Where you will need to apply some thought is to the heavy support and fast attack sections.

You need Fast Attack units to spearhead assaults and grab objectives. Look to the Tzeentch units that can fly, and the Slannesh units that are quick on their feet.

Chaos Daemon Special Rules

The Chaos Daemon army come with a number of special rules. These rules are quite different from other Warhammer 40k armies.

Daemonic Ritual

As I mentioned above, one of the joys of running a Daemon army alongside a Chaos Space Marine one is that your characters can summon daemons on to the battle field. Now be warned, this is not without it’s difficulties and risks. Also if you are playing a points matched game the points cost for the summoned daemons comes out of your reserve points. However it is great fun to do and highly recommended.

You can only summon units that have the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability. The Chaos Space Marine has four units listed, in the Index: Chaos you can find many more units (most of them).

All Chaos Characters can perform rhw Daemonic. Ritual. This includes both Chaos Space Marine characters and Chaos Daemon characters.


All units with this ability (most of them) get a 5+ invulnerable save. This is very useful because their regular save is usually awful!

The Four Gods of Chaos

The symbol of ChaosIf you are familiar with the Chaos Space Marines you will have come across the four chaos gods; Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle, and Tzeentch. With the Chaos Marine army the use the chaos god’s traits is optional. There are enough unaligned choices available to create a undivided army. With the Chaos Daemon army you will need to be totally conversant with the chaos gods traits.

Each of these four gods have their own characteristics. These characteristic are passed on to the gods followers.

Chaos Undivided

If you are a Chaos Space Marine player you will be use to units that are aligned to no single Chaos God. This does not happen in the Chaos Daemon army. That is except for the Daemon Prince Be’lakor, the first Daemon. Word has it that some time after Be’lakor was created he used his un-aligned nature to play one chaos god against another. Learning from their mistake, all future Daemons where aligned to a single Chaos God.

Daemon Prince Be’lakor Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsBe’lakor is a HQ character.

Games Workshop do not do a model for Be’lakor but as he is a Daemon Prince with a daemon blade and Malefic Talons. This means that you can take a generic Daemon Prince and state that you are using it as Be’lakor.

Daemons of Tzeentch Tactics

Herald of Tzeench for the Chaos Daemon Age of Sigmar GameThe daemons of Tzeentch give up brute force for magic and trickery. In Warhammer 40k magic is represented by psychic powers. Tzeentch units use these psychic powers as ranged weapons. Unlike the daemons that follow other chaos gods, many of the Tzeentch troop units can use magic to manifest psychic powers too. The downside though is that Tzeentch units are generally poor at close combat.

Tzeentch units work well with Khorne units that can act as body guards to the more vulnerable Tzeentch units.

Ephemeral Form

Tzeentch daemons are even less grounded in the real world than other daemons. To show this is the game they get +1 to their invulnerable saves. As most daemons get +5 save this means that you only need +4 to shrug off most hits. This is a save though so it does not work against mortal wounds.

Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch

Games Workshop Age of Sigmar Chaos Exalted flamer of TzeentchThe Exalted Flamer of Tzeentch is a cheap elite choice for a daemon army. This means that can fill you required elite slots and you do get points to spend on the rest of the army. This specially important in low point games.

Exalted Flamers have 3 options during the shooting phase.

Games Workshop do not do an Exalted Flamer model on it’s own. You can find an Exalted Flamer in the ‘Herald of Tzeentch on Flaming Chariot’ box that if you do not place on the flaming chariot, can be placed on a regular base.

Daemons of Nurgle Tactics

Nurgle units are the second most popular chaos units. Nurgle specialises in diseases and poisons. The Nurgle units tend to be tough but a bit slower than  other units.

Nurgle units work well with Slaanesh units that have the speed that the Nurgle units don’t have.

Disgustingly Resilient

The creatures of Nurgle are disgustingly resilient. Their slimy hides cause many blows and shots to slip off where the would have bitten less viscus targets. To show this in the game Nurgle units with this rule get to roll a D6 for each wound not saved and on a roll of a 5 or 6 that 1 wound is ignored. As this is not a save it works for mortal wounds too.

Nurgle Psychic Powers

Nurgle psychic powers are all about disease. The ‘stream of corruption’ has a short 7″ range but can dish out D6 mortal wounds to larger (10+ models).

Daemons of Slaanesh Tactics

Slaanesh units are focused of speed and the excess of pleasure. This means that they are fast but fragile. Slaanesh units also have access to a number of psychoactive drugs and narcotics.

Slaanesh units work well with Nurgle units that have the toughness that the Slaanesh units don’t have.

Quicksilver Swiftness

Slaanesh daemons hunger for speed and excitement. Units with this ability always fight first in the fight phase. If there are other units in this fight phase with the same special rule, or have charged that turn, then you take turns fighting with those units before fighting with all the others.

This ability tends to mean that you get to get your strikes in first. If you out number your opponent it is reasonable to expect to wipe out the enemy unit before they can react. So with this in mind you want to hit first and hit hard. Focus your assaults and choose targets that cannot call on support.


Incoming! New Imperial Guard Codex arrives this weekend

Warhammer 40000 Imperial Guard Company Commander and Cammand Squad

Warhammer 40000 Imperial Guard Company Commander and Cammand SquadYes! A new Imperial Guard Codex is imminent, and it’s looking like it will be a cracker.

The Codex releases are coming out thick and fast for Warhammer 40k 8th edition from Games Workshop. In this Codex we are expecting new rules for the Imperial Guard regiments. It is expected that the different regiments of renown are getting special rules. This will add colour and diversity to the Guard army. Notes about the Catachan and Mordian armies have been added to the Community website’s already. Other regiments will have notes posted during the week.