40k Close Assault Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Space Marine unit with jet packs

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Assault Squad

Close Assault is where the two armies clash in hand to hand fighting. In this section we will look at the tactics that can be applied in Close Combat.

As with most of the Warhammer 40k game, the sooner you plan for an event the better it will turn out. Here is a plan of action.

In the army list design phase, design your army to have the right size of assault squad or squads, with the best weapons for the job.

In the game, split the enemy up so you attack small numbers troops with large squads.

Make use of assault weapons as you assault. The assault weapon type will not slow you down, and may thin out the target unit. One exception to this would be if there is a danger that you take out all the target unit. If you do this, you have nothing to assault, and may be left stranded in the open.

Assault in a formation that will give the best results.

Have an exit plan. Where are the assault squads going if they with the assault?

What Makes A Good Assault Squad?

There are certain characteristics that make up a good assault squad. In this section we will look at what they are.


Speed is an important factor in Assault Squad design. This can be split in to two parts, the Movement distance and the Assault distance.

If your squad can move across the table quickly then your opponent will have less chances to shoot at them. I include Infiltration and Deep Strike in this bracket.

Warhammer 40k Tyranid GargoyleA squad that has good Assault distance will not be as effective as a squad that has a good Movement distance. This is because you only use the Assault distance when you are in assault range. For example Tyranid Gargoyles (12″ move + Fleet of Wing + 6″ assault) will normally get in to combat before Tyranid Horagaunts (6″ Move + Fleet of Foot + 12″ Assault). Please note that a 12″ assault range ( plus your normal movement) is usually enough to ‘leap over’ rapid fire and flamer ‘kill zones’.


Ok, you could jump in to a close assault unarmed, but as we are on a tactics website, we’ll look at the smart options.

Assault Weapons

Before you close in on the enemy you should have one chance to fire your close assault weapons. Different armies have different assault weapons, some armies like the Tyranids only have assault weapons. When always have your opponent in mind choosing your assault weapons.

Close Combat Weapons

Power weapons are good for heavy armoured foot troops (ie. Space marines), Power fists are good for big tough targets.

Heavy Weapons

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Deathwing SquadYes, some Close assault troops come with heavy weapons. This makes this type of assault squad a very flexible unit.

Assaulting to Enemy to reduce your casualties

When you assault the enemy you will want to do maximum damage to them and the minimum damage to yourself. This can be achieved by picking the right target, and picking the right angle to assault from.

Choosing the right assault target

The best targets to choose for an assault are those units that have a lower initiative value that you do.

Assaulting from the Right Angle.

By assaulting in to the flank of the target unit you will find that you can get more hits in than the target unit can reply with.


Remember that units in assault can not fire overwatch. This means that if you are going to assault with two units, then assault with the unit that can take the heat first ( tough armour, big units etc ), and follow up with your other elite units.


Warhammer 40k Missions for WH40k 7th Ed

In this section we will have a look at the missions printed in the Warhammer 40k Rulebook. The Warhammer 40k Rulebook comes with 36 missions. There are 12 different mission types, and 3 different Deployment Maps.

It is well worth studying the Warhammer 40k Rulebook missions. If you play at a Wargame convections then these are the mission you will be playing 95% of the time.

These missions appear in the hard cover Warhammer 40k Rulebook, and the cut down 40k Rulebook that comes with the starter box set. The mission rule start at page 129.

The Deployment Maps

There are three deployment maps in the rule book, The Dawn of War, Hammer and Anvil, and Vanguard.

The Dawn of War that deploys along the long edge. This will give you the widest deployment area and the shortest maximum distance between deployed armies.

Hammer and Anvil that deploys along the short table edge ( so no different if you are playing on a square table ). However is is possible for a defensive army to set up on the back table edge. This will create a larger distance between the two deployed armies. This is great if you want to create a static gun line as assaulting armies will need to travel further to attack you.

Vanguard Strike that deploys from corner to corner. Small defensive armies can really pull back in to the corners, however larger armies will quickly run out of deployment space. If you can not deploy units when you set up your army then they will be held in reserve. This means that you will not be at full strength on turn 1 and may put you at an disadvantage.

Out of all the Deployment Maps in a convention you normally play along the long edge as it is easier for Wargame conventions where you may have rows of tables.

Maelstrom Of War Missions

The 2nd 6 missions use the Tactical  Objectives list. You can find this list on p137 of the rule book. Personally I like what Games Workshop have done here as it has given the players a reason to get off the gun lines and move around the board.

The best way to play a 40k game with the Tactical Objectives is to purchase the Tactical Objectives card pack from GW. One pack per player works best. One pack between platers works nearly as well.

If you do not have the means to get the Tactical Objectives cards, or you left home without them, you can roll against the D66 table on the rule book. The down side of this is that you could roll for the same objective twice or more ( so re-roll). Another option would be to use a pack of playing cards, remove the aces and face cards and assign an objective to each card. This work specially well if you are just tying out the use of Tactical Objectives in a game before you invest in the GW printed cards.

Playing Card – Result – Type

The following list is for personal use only. All right belong to Games Workshop.

2  – Secure Objective 1 – Capture & Control
3  – Secure Objective 2 – Capture & Control
4  – Secure Objective 3 – Capture & Control
5  – Secure Objective 4 – Capture & Control
6  – Secure Objective 5 – Capture & Control
7  – Secure Objective 6 – Capture & Control
8  – Secure Objective 1 – Take & Hold
9  – Secure Objective 2 – Take & Hold
10 – Secure Objective 3 – Take & Hold

2  – Secure Objective 4 – Take & Hold
3  – Secure Objective 5 – Take & Hold
4  – Secure Objective 6 – Take & Hold
5  – Secure Objective 1 – Storm & Defend
6  – Secure Objective 2 – Storm & Defend
7  – Secure Objective 3 – Storm & Defend
8  – Secure Objective 4 – Storm & Defend
9  – Secure Objective 5 – Storm & Defend
10 – Secure Objective 6 – Storm & Defend

2  – Recon – Seize Ground
3  – Behind Enemy Lines – Seize Ground
4  – Hold The Line – Seize Ground
5  – Ascendency – Seize Ground
6  – Supremacy – Seize Ground
7  – Domination – Seize Ground
8  – Overwhelming Firepower – Purge
9  – Blood and Guts – Purge
10 – No Prisoners – Purge

2  – Hungry for Glory – Purge
3  – Psychological Warfare – Purge
4  – Harness the Warp – Purge
5  – Kingslayer – Annihilation
6  – Witch Hunter – Annihilation
7  – Scour the Skies – Annihilation
8  – Assassinate – Annihilation
9  – Demolitions – Annihilation
10 – Big Game Hunter – Annihilation

Strategic Markers and Objectives

The Meastrom of war makes extensive use of Strategic Markers. these are tokens that are placed on the gaming table. As these are usually placed on the gaming table after you have set out the terrain, and before the players decide on deployment type, it is recommended that the objectives are placed around the centre of the battlefield. This will give you the best chance of snatching objectives as required regardless of deployment type, or which side you end up with.

Ifyou do find that the objective markers are being placed in the centre of the gaming table, then this changes the dynamics of the game considerably, this is because the center of the table becomes much more valuable and it becomes more important to design army lists that can capture, control and hold central objectives.

House Rules

In the 7th edition of Warhammer 40000, just about any unit can hold objectives. In earlier versions of the Rulebook only Troop choices could hold objectives. Only allowing Troop choice units objectives created a need for much more rounded ( less cheesy ) armies. If you are setting rules for up coming games, then I highly recommend keeping the ‘only Troops can hold objectives ( unless the units special rules say otherwise)’ rule.

The Dark Vengeance Box Set Missions

Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box set

The Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance starter box set

In the Dark Vengeance box set there are two missions to get new players in to the game.

These are smaller missions using a limited set of the models from the Dark Vengeance box set to help new players get use to the Warhammer 40000 rules. Despite the smaller scale of the missions, the two Dark Vengeance Missions are still challenging. The also include solo play options that help if you are practising using the Warhammer 40k rules on your own.

I have also added an additional scenario ‘ Secure the Helbrute ‘ written by myself in the same style as the two Dark Vengeance box set missions.



Dark Angel Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In The Dark Angels are a dark and forbidding Chapter of the Emporium. They where the first chapter to be created and they have a terrible secret that they absolutely must hide. A result of this the Dark Angels display traits not seen in other chapters. The main one is their  legendary stubbornness.

When you face a Dark Angel force you know that they will fight to the last man. This army is perfect for the more calculating clinical player. Because of this the Dark Angels are considered as boring by the more flamboyant players. Do not be put off by this, if you keep an even head then you will win more games than all the other chapters put together.

The Dark Angel codex is the complete rules to use the Dark Angel Space Marine army. You need the main rule book, but it is not an add-on to the main Space Marine Codex as it has been in the past.

If you are playing a Dark Angel Space Marine army on a regular basis I highly recommend getting the printed version of the Codex. It is far easier to zip back and forth through printed pages then it is to use bookmarks in an e-reader.

Coming Soon: More Dark Angel Formations

General Dark Angel Tactics

An army is not just a collection of individual units. To get the best results you will need to know how to use different combinations of units, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and how the use them together to build an unstoppable force.

Codex Overview

The 2015 Codex sees the Dark Angel units presented as datasheets. This means that more of the spacial rules are presented on the same page as the points cost and stats. The Data Sheet pages also come with a dramatic picture of the unit and a block of background about that unit too. This makes building army list so much easier!

A big change in the army formation is that Command Squads are nor separate Elite choices. This means that you could take multiple command squads, and that HQ units can now move out of the command squad during the game. Do not let this fool you though. The Dark Angel chapter more than any other Space Marine chapter rely on the Space Marine Tactical units as the core of the army.

The Hunt For The Fallen

WH40k Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

The Chaos Space Marine, and Fallen Dark Angel Cypher

The Dark Angels feature in new Warhammer 40k box set along with a Chaos Space Marine army. It is no surprise then that the new Dark Angel Codex includes a number of special rules that give  you an advantage if you are fighting a Chaos Space Marine army. The most obvious of these is that most of the HQ have the Preferred Enemy ( Chaos Space Marines ) special rule.

Legendary Stubbornness

Warhammer 40k Space Marine

Warhammer 40000 Tactical Space Marine in Dark Angel colours.

Dark Angel Space Marines have always been famous for their stubbornness. In the 2015 Codex you will find that most units have the ‘Grim Resolve’ special rule. This rule gives the Dark Angels the Stubborn special rule in addition to the ‘ They Know No Fear ‘ special rule. The bonus of this stubbornness is that the Dark Angels will fight to the last man. This means that the Dark Angel Space Marine will kill more of the enemy per model than the other Space Marine Chapters will. This is specially noticeable if you use the Combat Squads option for you Tactical squads. When you are using Combat squads, the units are reduced to 5 men units. When you have smaller units that the Dark Angle Stubbornness really starts to show. However the downside is that they will not back down from close combat even when there is no hope of winning.

The Grim Resolve special rule also gives the Dark Angel units twice the chance of hitting when firing Overwatch. This is great when you are bracing for and assault.

One key issue with the Dark Angel special rules is that you need to get to the objectives before your opponent and brace for the counter assault. The best ways to do this is to deep strike in, or zip forward on bikes or in Rhinos. It’s usually all rights sending a small force forward as long as you can get some reserves there in 1 or 2 turns.

Also buy: Discount Space Marine Dark Angel Supplies from Element Games


Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

The Space Marines have a selection of Heavy Support choices. Many of the tanks are found in this section.

The Dark Angel Army has historically done very well as a heavy support heavy army as the stubbornness of the army works well with the stand and shoot nature of heavy weapons. This may be a tactic that you will want to consider.

Devastator Squad

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Devastator SquadDevastator Squads are squads of Tactical Space Marines that have specialised in the use of heavy weapons. You can have up to four heavy weapons in a squad.

Cheapest Heavy Support Choice for Beginners

If you are just starting to collect a Space Marine Army, or you are collecting on a budget, then the Devastator Squad is the cheapest option ( in cash terms).

Weapon Choices

The Devastator Squads can take a selection of heavy weapons. These can be four of the same weapon, or a mix of weapons.

Devastators with no Heavy Weapons

Yes you can have a devastator squad with no heavy weapons! This may be useful if the want to field more troops that the standard six troop choices will allow (also see command squads and assault squads with no back packs).

In the past you take turns placing squads, and heavy support squads where placed first. It this situation a cheap heavy weapon squad could be placed forward so the opponent had to start 12″ to 24″ further back. This gives you a better ‘Kill Zone’ against horde & close combat armies.

Heavy Bolter

The Heavy bolter is a good weapon against troops and light vehicles (Skimmers and Armour 10 ). It has three shots per shooting phase, so you would expect two to hit. It’s relatively long range means that you can place your Devastator at the back of the table, some where they have a good line of sight.


The Multi-Melta is a great tank busting weapon. It works well on big tough creatures too.

The Multi-Melta is a relatively short ranged weapon, so you will want to set up your Devastators closer to the enemy, or load them in to a Razorback and move to a statistic location to set-up a trap for the enemy.

Missile Launcher

The Space Marine Missile Launcher is a great multi-purpose weapon. It can fire Frag missiles at soft troops, especially if they are grouped up ( Orks, Guard, etc), or it can fire Krack missiles that can kill tough

Plasma Cannon

Plasma Cannons are excellent anti-marine and Chaos Space Marine killers, with an AP2 it knocks out Terminator Armour too. It works better if the marines are bunched up, so do what you can to pen them in to a small area.


Lascannons are the most powerful weapon available to the Space Marine Devastator Squads. Its’ the most expensive (in points cost ) too.

Lascannons have a range of 48″ so you can keep them well back, in cover if you can. Yes I know the space Marines have 3+ armour save, but a bit of cover will help against al those AP 1,2,& 3 weapons.

The Lascannon is S9 so it will cut through T14 tank armour glancing on a 5 and penetrating on a 6. Lighter armour will be cut through more easily.

Thunderfire Cannon

The Thunderfire Cannon is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. It comes as a Techmarine gun platform set and works like with the artillery rules when shot at.

The Thunderfire Cannon has a choice of four rounds it can fire each turn. Remember that you can only fire one type of round per turn, but you may pick and choose which type of round you fire each turn, you have enough of each type of ammunition to last the whole battle.

The Thunderfire has a very long range but it needs line of sight. Its best to place in on a hill at the back of the table.

The Thunderfire fires four rounds per turn. Using the v5 blast marker hit rules you should expect to cover a fair area with blast markers.

Surface Detonation

This is the normal round to fire. It has the highest strength and AP value.

Air burst

The Air burst round has a lower strength but ignores cover saves. Use this against troops with a low armour value. Guards and Tyranids hiding in cover make good targets. Don’t bother using it against tougher armoured troops, like Space Marine Scouts, as their armour save will be better than the cover save!

Subterranean Blast

This ammunition has the lowest strength but a nice affect against vehicles.

Land Raider Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderThe Land Raider is an iconic Space Marine tank. It is very tough. With armour 14 all round it is a hard nut to crack, even in close combat.

Land Raider Special Rules

The Land Raider has a number of special rules that you will want to be familiar with.

Machine Spirit

This special rule allows the tank to do basic operations if the crew are busy or stunned.

Assault Vehicle

The Land Raider is one of the few vehicles that you can disembark and assault from in the same turn. The idea is that you drive straight up to the enemy, protecting your specialist close assault troops all the way, and then they can leap out and assault without being shot at.

Modelling Tip

Build your Land Raider with the weapons on the forward side access points. This will give you and extra 4″ range and also give you the greatest range of embarking / disembarking points for your troops.

Land Raider Crusader

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderThe Land Raider Crusader swaps lighter weapons for extra troop space and some useful frag grenade launchers. The Crusader has lost some of it’s value now the normal Land Raider can carry 6 Terminators ( one squad plus a HQ character).

Land Raider Redeemer

The Land Raider Redeemer is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. It has the same transport capacity as the standard Land Raider, but it is armed with the fearsome “Firestorm Cannon”. The Firestorm cannon is a S6 template weapon, so the Redeemer works best in close combat situation. To help with this the Land Raider Redeemer keeps the Frag Grenade launchers and the twin linked Assault Cannons of the Land Crusader. Together these improvements make the Land Raider Redeemer the best choice for an assault vehicle.


Warhanner 40k Space Marine VindicatorThe Predator is the Space Marines multi-purpose tank. It can be armed for anti-tank (and big things). This was called a Predator Annihilator. The Predator can also be armed to mow down hoards of troops. This was called a Predator Destructor. It is possible to mixed weapon to do a bit of each. This would have been a Predator Annihilator or Destructor depending on the main weapon.

Predator with anti-tank weapons

The Predator can be armed with twin linked Lascannons on the turret and Lascannons on the sponsons. This makes the Predator a very good tank hunter. It is pretty good monstrous creature killer too.

Predator with anti-troop weapons

A Predator armed with turret mounted autocannons, and heavy bolter sponsons can produce a lot of S4 and S5 fire power.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine WhirlwindThe Space Marine Whirlwind is the long range artillery option for the Space Marine army. It is fairly cheap in points cost, but for an ordnance weapon the Whirlwind has quite a short maximum range of 48″ (and 12″ minimum range).

The Whirlwind has an option of two different ammunition types, the Vengeance missile and the Castellan missile. Both of these use the larger ordinance blast template, can be fired without line of sight, and can cause pinning. This means that you are fairly sure to hit even if the missile scatters.

Vengeance Missile

This is the normal missile fired. It is S5 so works OK against troops, but not well against vehicles.

Castellan Missiles

The Whirlwind Castellan missiles are weaker than the Vengeance missile but they ignore cover. Only bother with them if the enemy has light armour. Imperial Guard and Tyranids in cover generally make good targets.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine VindicatorThe Space Marine Vindicator is armed with the Demolisher Cannon. This is a 24″ ordinance weapon. This makes the Vindicator quite a short range compared to the other tanks. This is made up for by the demolisher’s high strength. The Vindicator does work well in semi-densely covered battle tables (city fight and jungle fight etc.).


Space Marine Fast Attack Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Fars Attack Tactics

In this section we will look at the Space Marine Fast Attack choices

The idea of the Fast Attack options is to get there fast! But get where?

Attack Weak Spots

The main advantage of fast attack squads, is that they can out run most other troops, and most vehicles. This means that Fast Attack squads are gear at attacking heavy weapon squads and sweeping behind tanks to hit their week points.

Support your Front Line Troops

By keeping your fast attack slight behind the front line troops, they are in a good position to counter attack. This works best when your tactics are holding a gun line.

Hold Strategic Points

Some times there is a strategic point in No-mans land that, if taken, will give the holder a great deal of leverage. Fast attack units are great at dashing forward to these strategic points, and holding them until heaver, slower, units can back them up.


Sometimes you have to waive a piece of bait if front of the enemy to get them to move in to a bigger trap. Fast attack units are great at this because they are high value units, that are often away from the main force, and (in a way that is good for you) they are able to get out of trouble as quick as they got in to in the first place!

Assault Squad Tactics

Space Marine unit with jet packsThe Assault Squad has what it takes to be the perfect Fast Attack option. They are fast, flexible, armed close combat weapons.

Assault Squads usually come with Jetpacks. However you can elect to drop the Jetpacks and load your Assault Squads in to Rhinos instead.

Special Rule: Deep Strike

Assault Squads with Jetpacks have the Deep Strike special rule. This means that you can bring them in as reserves and drop them in to the thick of the battle.

Remember that Deep Striking units can not assault on the turn that they turn up. This means that if you land them in the wrong place they could get a lot of incoming fire before they have a chance to assault, so be careful!

Vanguard Veteran Squad

The Veteran squads are very similar to the Space Marine Assault Squads, but made from squads of veterans.

Land Speeder Squadron Tactics

As we have seen, fast attack troops do not have the luxury of heavy weapons. Special weapons sometimes do not have enough punch. It the situations where fast troops need heavy weapon support, the Land Speeder has the speed and punch to back them up.

Land Speeder Storm Tactics

The Land Speeder Storm is the ‘Black Hawk’ of the Space Marines. Designed to get your special ops troops in to strategic locations. This could be any of the roles above.

The Special ops troops in this case are 5 Space Marine Scouts. This means that you not have enough mussel to tack on an army, but you will have the speed and equipment to do assassination runs if an enemy General is caught out in the open!

Space Marine Bike Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Bike SquadSpace Marine Bike Squads have three thing going in there favour, they are fast, they are though, and they have fire power. Space Marine Bike Squads are expensive though. This means that you will not have many of them available, and this means that you will need to plan how to use them for maximum effect.

Space Marine Bikes work well in games where there is a lot of space in the table. Apocalypse games on big tables with a moderate number of models is a good example of this. The space allows the Space Marine Bike Squads to move about at speed.

Space Marine Biker Squad Special Rules

Space Marine Bike Squads have the usual ‘And they shall know no fear’, ‘Chapter Tactics’, and ‘Combat Squads’. Also because they are unit type ‘Bike’ they have the Bike special rules too:

  • Bikes can move 12″ in the movement phase
  • Plus 1 to toughness
  • 3D6″ fallback moves
  • Hammer of Wrath
  • Jink
  • Relentless
  • Very Bulky
  • Turbo Boost

Attack Bike Squad Tactics

Space Marine Attack Bike Squads are noticeably more expensive than a regular bike squads, but they carry a lot more fire power.

As the main weapon is has a longer range you do not need to get so close to the action. A better choice would be to hold back and move around seeking any vulnerabilities that may open up as the game flows. For example has the HQ character or heavy support units left themselves exposed from one angle? Has a tactical location been abandoned unexpectedly? If you see situations like this, this could be a good time for the Attack bike to jump in and give a kidney punch that could swing the game.

Attack Bike Strengths and Weapons

The Space Marine Attack Bike has two shooting weapons, a twin-linked bolter and a heavy weapon. The heavy weapon can be either a Heavy Bolter, or a Multi-Melter. You will need to pick which weapon you are going to use before you pick your army list, and probably when you decide how to build the model.

Scout Bike Squad Tactics

Instead of scaling up a bike squad to be an Attack Bikes, you can down scale them to be Space Marine Scout Bike Squads. For the cheaper points cost, you loose a degree of fire power accuracy, and weapon skill. You do gain the scouts ability to infiltrate and scout.


Space Marine Troop Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

In this section we will look at the Space Marine Troop choices and their tactics.

With the Space Marine army it looks like you are short changed when it comes to troop choices. Most Space Marine Chapters have two Space Marine troop choices, the Tactical units, and the Scout units. Where as if you are taking a Black Templars army then this drops down two just one option, the Black Templars tactical unit.

Is it a problem that there are so few options? In my mind there is not. The reason for this is that the Tactical Squad is tactical! Tactical means that they can adapt to just about any situation.  You can read all about the weapon options and the best way to tool up your squads to beat any foe!

Space Marine Tactical Squad Tactics

A WH40k Space Marine Tactical Squad

A Warhammer 40k Space Marine Tactical squad

The Space Marine Tactical Squad is the basic troop of the Space Marine army. It is made up of 5 to 10 Space Marines. Ten Space Marines is the optimal number as this allows you to have heavy and special weapons in the squad, and allows you to use the ‘Combat Squads’ special rule.

The 2015 Space Marine Codex has been released. For the Space Marine Troop units this means greater access to Gravgun special weapons and Gravcannon heavy weapons.


Space Marine Tactical Squad come with power armour, frag & krak grenades, bolt pistol and a bolt gun as standard. You do not have to pay any extra points to get these options. This is one way that the new Codex Space Marines makes life easier, and the Space Marines a few points cheaper than in the previous Codex’s

Space Marine Boltgun

The Boltgun (or bolter) is a good standard weapon. It has a 24″ range strength 4 and AP5. This means that a standard marine can take down most tanks by shooting at the rear armour.

Space Marine Bolt Pistol

The Bolt Pistol is not normally shown on the Space Marine model but it is important that you remember that you have it. If you are assaulting, The bolt pistol is a 12″ assault 1 weapon. This allows you a pot shot at the target before you get in to close combat.

Number per Squad

You can have between 5 and 10 Marines per squad. So what is the best number of Marines to have in squad?

The case for a 5 man Tactical Squad

5 is the minimum number of Space Marines you have in a quad. This means that it is the cheapest option. Two 5 man squads fulfil your minimum troop choices. This is a bit more expensive in points than two Space Marine Scout squads, but you will find that tactical squads are much more flexible. Cheap troops squads means that you have more points to spend on HQ or Heavy Support choices to create a specialized (cheesier) army list.

A 5 man Space Marine Tactical Squad with a tooled up Sargent make for an effective assault squad. Add a Razorback to give the squad some extra speed and fire power.

The case for a 6 man Tactical Squad

If you play tournament rules, you get victory points for reducing a squad to below half strength. If you have a five man squad, that is achieved by killing three models. With a six man squad, four Space Marines will have to die to get the points. Other than this all the benefits of a 5 man squad apply.

The case for 7 to 9 man Tactical Squads

Extra Space Marines in the squad adds resilience to the squad. I think that the extra points would be better spent on having two 5 men squads or one 10 man squad.

The case for 10 man Tactical Squads

The 10 man Space Marine Tactical Squad is by far the most flexible squad formation. It not only gives you access to heavy and assault weapons, but you get to use the Combat Squads special rule too.

Combat Squad Tactics

Space Marine Tactical Squads can split up in to ‘tactical squads’. This means that you can split your 10 man Space Marine Tactical squads in to two 5 man units. A common usage for this is to have the heavy weapon and 4 other Space Marines in one unit, and have the Sargent, armed with close combat weapons, a Space Marine armed with an assault weapon, and two other Space Marines in a second unit.

The bonus of splitting the squad like this is that you have two units that now have a definite roles, one as a heavy weapons team, and one as an assault team. The downside of splitting the Tactical Squad like this is that both teams are now quite small. Smaller units, it is easier to kill off.

Tactical Squad Transport Options

Tactics often require that the right troops are in the right location when you need them. Giving your troops transport will mean that you can ferry them around the table quicker and capture those all important objectives.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rhino troop transporter.

The Space Marine Rhino is the most basic and cheapest of the transport options. At 35 points for a 10 man APC ( armoured personnel carrier ) it is a steal. Usually to keep the points cost down I keep the upgrades down to a minimum too. Usually this means that I only add a plintal mounted storm bolter ( so it has two storm bolters ), and nothing else.

The Rhino is so basic that is comes with a ‘ Repair ‘ special rule. This means that if you do not shoot there is a 1 in 6 chance that it can recover from a immobilized damage. This does not happen often as the Rhinos are usually destroyed before they get a chance to recover, but when it does work, it is very useful!


If you have a 5 man squad, the Razorback offers some close support as well as troop transportation. It is not so good if you like to keep to 10 man squads though. However if you have a 5 man squad ( using up points? ) or if you like to split your squads in to 5 man combat squads. then the Razorback could be well worth considering.

Space Marine Drop Pod

Space Marine Drop Pods are making a big come back in the 7th edition of Warhammer 40000. The need to move around the table quickly to claim tactical objectives that change through the game means that being able to start in the right place gives the Space Marines a significant advantage.

Space Marine Land Raider

Tactical Squads can have a Land Raider as a transport option, however this is usually over kill. Keep the Land Raiders for the Terminator assault squads that can make best use of the Assault Vehicle feature of the Land Raider.

Scout Squads

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Scout Squad

Space Marine Scout Squad with bolters and sniper rifles.

Space Marine Scouts are trainee Tactical Space Marines. As such they are cheaper in points, have less access to weapons, and don’t have such good stats or armour.  They do have some good skills though, they light armour means that they can infiltrate and slip through terrain easier.

 Space Marine Scouts are usually used in one of two roles, either as light assault troops, or as more heavily armed troops used to hold a position. The role you choose for them will depend on the mission and the terrain. Again, the more you know about the match ahead of time the better.

Light Assault Troops

Armed with close combat weapons (replace bolter with 2nd close combat weapon), Space Marine Scouts make very good assault squads.

Hold the Ground

Using the infiltrate rule, Space Marine Scouts are very good at being placed ahead of the main battle lines to hold a strategic location. This may be a marker or a building with a good line of sight etc.

If you want to have the scouts holding the ground then you want to arm them with heavy weapons, bolters, and/or sniper rifles, depending on the opponent.

Special Rules

Space Marine Scouts have special rules, so you get infiltrate and flanking special rules. These have been covered in the section above.

Crusader Unit

If you are thinking of taking a Black Templars army then you only have the Crusader Unit as a troop choice. However the Crusader Unit is very flexible. The reason for this is that you can mix cheaper (10 point ) scout / Neophyte with squads of full Space Marines ( Initiates ). The main benefit is that you can lace the Neophytes at the front, soaking up wounds, leaving your more expensive troops to like for later in the battle.

Another big bonus is that you can have a heavy weapon  +and+ a special weapon in a 5 man squad. That’s a lot of firepower in a small space!

If you want to add Crusader units to your army then just paint standard tactical and scout marines in Black Templar colours.



Space Marine Elite Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Space Marine Dreadnought Tactics

There are a great number of Space Marine Elite choices that you can pick from. This is not a major problem for an unbound army, but if you want to keep to a battle forged army list you will only have 3 Elite slots available to you. This means that in a battle forged army you will need to be decisive about your plans and which units will best fulfil those objectives.

Space Marine Command Squads

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Command Squad

Space Marine Command Squad

Having your hero out on his own presents a great target for your opponent. A better option is to buy a Command Squad for him. These are veteran space marines that have been detailed to be a bodyguard for your expensive HQ characters.

Previously you could only get a Command Squad as an upgrade for an independent character, and once you did this the character ceased to be independent and had to stick with the command squad for the rest of the game. With the 2015 Space Marine Codex the Command Squad has become an Elite unit, which makes way for many more interesting options ( 3 Command Squads in a battle forged army?).

Command squads Space Marines have a number of weapon and special upgrade options, like apothecaries and standard bearers. Have a think about the role you have in mind for your Command Squads, like close combat experts, or as close support for your troops. When you have decided on a role tool up your Command Squad with that role in mind. The advantage of a command squad is that they have access to a number of special weapons. This means that you can configure them for specific roles.

Command Squads can take a Drop Pod, Rhino or Razor back as an additional transport too. Having a troop carrier will make your command squad much more flexible. You could also consider using a Land Raider as a troop transporter too.

Space Marine Honour Guard

Space Marine Honour Guards use to be the preserve of the The Chapter Master. Now they can be found in the Space Marine Elite section.

The Space Marines of the Honour Guard have similar stats as the regular Command Squad and veteran marines. The difference is that they have better weapons, 1 point better leadership and Artificer armour. This makes the veterans tough nuts to crack.

Even though the Honour Guard superficially look like a Command Squad in fancy dress, the Honour Guard does have a different role in the Space Marine army. The difference can best be seen in what the Honour Guard lack that the Command Squads have. These include special character ‘Apothecary’ and the Honour Guards do not have access to special weapons like meltas and flamers. Also the Honour Guard has to have a Chapter Champion where a Champion is optional in the Command Squads.

If you are looking to take a Honour Guard then you will be advised to take some transport. This will allow us to get your mega-expensive unit to the optimum place on the table quicker. Unlike the Command Squads, the Honour Guards have access to Land Raiders as dedicated transport. This will allow then to use the Assault Vehicle special rules of the Land Raider. The can charge up to your target in the Land Raider and then jump out and assault in the same turn.

One of the Honour Guard will be the Chapter Champion. The Chapter Champion has a special rule where they have to attack a character during close combat. However if there are two characters you can pick the which character you wish to assault. My advice would be to pick on the weakest as this should reduce the number of return attacks.

One of the Honour Guard can also have the Chapter Banner. This is recommended for the benefits that it bestows on the Honour Guard unit and other friendly units in the area. This does mean that will benefit you if you have your Honour Guard in the centre of any units that have a lower leadership. With the new 6th & 7th Edition rules and aligned forces, this could be low leadership Imperial Guard units.

Space Marine Terminators Tactics

40k-Space-Marine-Terminator-Cyclone-100Space Marine Terminator are designed for close proximity fighting. They first appeared in the Space Hulk games where their thicker armour and assault weapons where a great advantage in the space ship corridors. The Space Marine Terminators still excel in these conditions. They are not fast, you need to load them it to Space Marine Land Raiders if you want to ferry them about. Smaller troop transporters will just not be big enough for the job.

The Space Marine Terminators armour is some of the toughest armour in the game. You should be careful of those rare AP1 and AP2 weapons. These will cause you to fall back on the fairly weak invulnerable saves.

Space Marine Terminator Weapons

Space Marine Terminators are armed with general purpose close quarter fighting weapons, the Storm Bolter and Power fist. Upgrades to heavy weapons is available.

The Stormbolter is a medium ranged assault weapon. This means that you can close in on your opponents and be shooting along the way. You can not run and shoot at the same time, but you can shoot and assault in the same turn. You will need to decide between shooting and running each turn.

The Power Fist is the default Terminator close combat weapon. It (almost) always strikes last at initiative 1, but when it wounds you will instant kill most creatures. This is because the Power Fist doubles the Space Marines strength to S8, enough to instant kill most mortals.

The Sergeant gets a Power Sword instead of a Power Fist. This means that he will strike in the usual initiative order. The Power Sword is AP3 ( 6th edition rules ), so the tougher Power Armour and bigger creatures are good targets. Place him toe to toe with and power weapon character. Terminator is a bit vulnerable to power weapons, and you may have a change to kill the character before they do damage to the squad.

One Space Marine Terminator heavy weapon upgrades is the Heavy Flamer. A Heavy Flamer is a good weapon to choose if you are fighting in close cover like jungle fighting, or City Fight rules.

Heavy Flamers are S5. This means that you will wound other Space Marines on a 3+ and Imperial Guard and Eldar are wounded on a 2+.

The Assault Cannon is a great weapon for the Space Marine Terminators. It can fire four rounds per turn which is good against horde armies, specially with the Space Marines Ballistic skill, and it’s a rendering weapon so it has a chance to crack open tanks and hard targets too. Assault Cannons only have a 24″ range, but considering that Space Marine Terminators work better in built up areas, this is not a problem.

Cyclone Missile Launchers add a bit of long range fire power to the Space Marine Terminators. It’s stats are the same as a regular Marine missile launcher. The Cyclone Missile launcher fires the same Frag and Krak missiles too, so you should be familiar with them. The one difference is that the Cyclone missile launcher can be fired in the same turn as the Space Marine Terminator’s Storm Bolter. This is a bonus against lighter targets.

Where Can I Get Space Marine Terminator Models?

There are a number of options available when it comes to adding Terminator Squads at the moment. The first is the basic Terminator box. This will give you all the bits you need to build a 5 man squad. Alternatively there is the Horus Heresy Warhammer 30k Terminators too. In the WH40k fluff there are plenty examples of older armour still being used in the new age.

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squad Tactics

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squads are more specialised variant of the usual Space Marine Terminator Squad. They give up their shooting ability for more specialised close combat weapons.

Terminator Assault Squads are armed with either Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, or a pair of Lightning Claws. As the squads description suggests, these are close assault weapons so you will want to get in to combat as soon as possible.

Space Marine Terminator Assault Squad Weapons

Lightning Claws are great at chopping through hordes of smaller creatures. Because you get a pair of Lightning Claws you still get the 2nd weapon attack bonus, and the Terminators strike at their normal initiative order.

Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields are the tools of choice against larger foe. The shields will protect your Terminators from high AP attacks while the Thunder Hammers stun the enemy so they do not strike back next turn.

Space Marine Sternguard Veteran Squad Tactics

The Space Marine Sternguard Veteran Squad is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. The Space Marine Sternguard by their name show that they are designed to be rear guard troops. The classic use of rearguards is to protect the army from sneaky attacks from the rear, and to hold strategic ground to allow the rest of the army escape if they need to run. The Space Marine Sternguard are designed to bolster the regular Space Marines.

Sternguard as Heavy Weapon Troops

The Space Marine Sternguard make an excellent addition to a shooty Space Marine army or an assault army that want some support at the rear. Up to two Space Marine Sternguard can upgrade to heavy weapons. This is an expensive alternative to the regular Devastator squads, but provides option if all your heavy support slots have been filled.

Sternguard as Shock Troops

All the Space Marine Sternguard are veterans. This means that they have the extra leadership and attack that veterans get. These veteran skills added to the special ammunition available to them means that you can have 5 to 10 Space Marine Sternguard that can pack a surprising punch in the shooting phase and then can follow it up with a decent close combat attack.

Space Marine Dreadnought Tactics

Space Marine Dreadnought TacticsThe Space Marine Dreadnoughts are part man and part vehicle. The are classed as ‘Walkers’ in the Warhammer 40k rules.Being a hybrid of man and machine the Space Marine Dreadnought brings the best of both. It has an armour value so anti-tank weapons are needed to damage it, but it has a weapon skill value so it can fight in close combat. The Dreadnought can have carry heavy weapons too, and like a vehicle in can move and shoot in the same turn. The Dreadnought can also assault in the same turn it moved and fired.

The Space Marine Dreadnought moves in the same way foot troops do so it will move 6″ in the movement phase, and needs to take difficult terrain tests. The Dreadnought is too big to fit into any transport vehicle, this makes it a lot slower at moving around the table. Plan where you are going to need the Dreadnought when you set up. If you are playing on a large table, think about having a drop pod to deep strike the Dreadnought to a strategic location.

Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought

Space Marine Venerable Dreadnoughts are the oldest of the Space Marine Dreadnoughts. In game terms they are very similar. The difference is that the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought gets an extra point of BS & WS, and the ‘venerable’ special rule. These upgrades cost an extra 60points. Worth it? I’ll let you decide.

The extra BS skill will allow the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought to hit on 2’s (or 5 times out of 6). This means that all the ranged  weapons are better value for the points. The extra WS point will aide any close combat fights against WS4 & WS5 opponents. If you normally fight other Space Marines or Chaos Space Marines you could find this useful. If you normally fight WS3 opponents (Guard & etc), then this upgrade will have no effect. The “Venerable” special rule gives the Space Marine Venerable Dreadnought some extra survivability. The ability to re-roll 5’s & 6’s on the damage table will frustrate your opponent!

Ironclad Dreadnought

A new addition to the Space Marine Dreadnought ‘family’ is the Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought.

The Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought has been designed to fight in built up areas. It comes with two close combat weapons by default, with attached special weapons. This is a formidable combination that gives you an extra close combat attack. The down side is if you don’t get in to combat then the Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought could end up a waste of points.

You can replace the Seismic Hammer with a Chain Sword. The Chain Sword will cut through tank armour much easier with an extra D6 penetration, but causes less damage when you do glance or penetrate. Because of this I recommend the Chain Sword when facing tougher tanks.

If you want some shooty weapons on your Space Marine Ironclad Dreadnought then you can replace the standard close combat arm with hurricane bolters. Hurricane bolters are mid range weapons (same range as a bolter), but can lay down a lot of twin linked bolter fire per turn. This is great against swarm armies (Orks, Tyranids, Guard & etc).

Legion of the Dammed Squad

The Legion of the Damned are not like other Space Marines, they are not part of a known chapter, and can be added to any chapter’s army list. You do not have to attach them as using the attachment rules.

The 2nd difference with the Legion of the Damned is that they always Deep Strike in to the game. What is more is that they get to re-roll the scatter dice if yo wish. This means that yo have a 4 in 6 chance of rolling a ‘ hit ‘ on the scatter dice. What is not clear is if you get to re-roll the scatter distance dice too. If you can, this can be used to improve the Deep Strike accuracy too.

Ok now we know who they are, and how they arrive, the question is ‘ what are they good for? ‘. The answer to this can be found in their spacial rules. The first clue is that their bolters fire cover ignoring bolter shots, the next is that they are slow and purposeful, and the last clue is the 3+ invulnerable saves they get.

So what can you use the Legion of the Damned squads for? Well my suggestion would be as a squad to route out dug in tough to shift units, or as a hit squad armed with melta weapons to take out tanks or monstrous creatures placed behind the front line. The Flaming projectiles are great for camo cloaked snipers that have gone to ground behind Ageas lines. The slow and purposeful rule lets them advance and fire heavy weapons, and the 3+ invulnerable save will keep them alive a bit longer against returned incoming fire and counter assaults.

It you do use the Damned Legionnaires deep behind the enemy lines then you will be best taking a full squad of 10. This will give you an effective force even if you do not have other units to provide support. Just don’t bite off more that you can chew. Aim for smaller targets. This will give you more return from your squads points cost.

Slow and Purposeful

The Legion of the Damned have the ‘ Slow and Purposeful ‘ rule, however in the 6th edition this does not mean that your units are slow, it just means that they cannot run or shoot using Over-watch. What you can do though is move up to 6” during the movement phase and still shoot heavy weapons in the shooting phase, and still assault in the assault phase. Used correctly this means that your Legionnaires are quite fast moving heavy weapons teams. Option Weapon Upgrades

So what is the best spacial weapon to take? Again this will depend on your opponent. The usual choice will be either the Flamer, for Larger numbers of smaller troops tucked in to cover, or the Meltagun, for taking out tanks and monstrous creatures.

In a similar way to the the heavy weapon choices are usually the Heavy flamer or the Mult-melta. Sometimes the Missile launcher is an option if you are expecting a lot or enemy air support, however you will probably find that Devastator Squads or other heavy support options are a better bet for this.

The last weapon upgrade option is the Veteran Sargent. For these a Combi-weapon and melee weapon combination is popular.

Flaming Projectiles

Ok, now we know that you can move with some pace around the battle field, you may want to review the Flaming Projectiles special rule again. To summarise all ranged attacks ignore cover. This is usually seen as bolter shots, it covers all shooting weapons ( so not flamers, which get this rule any way, or close combat weapons that do not need this rule). Use this rule correctly and it will really rattle your enemy!

Causes Fear

The Legion of the Damned causes fear. This is a special rule that can be useful in close combat by reducing the the opponent initiative to 1 if they loose a leadership test. However I find that this is not as useful as it sounds. This is because in Warhammer 40k the leadership of most units tends to be quite high, and those that have a lower leadership score usually have a way of avoiding leadership tests, for example Tyranid Gaunts that are fearless within Hive Mind influence, or Orks that can mob up to improve their leadership, and any units that are left to the mercies of fear usually have a lower initiative score than the Legionnaires anyway, so this rule has little or no effect.

Where Can I Get Legion Of The Dammed Models?

The best option for getting Legion of the Dammed models is the Games Workshop website. Another option is that Element Games have 3rd party Space Marine like heads and backpacks. These can be used to create exotic Legion of the Dammed style Space Marines.


Space Marine HQ Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Chaplain Asmodai

If you are creating a standard ‘Battle Forged’ army you will need a HQ squad. Even if you a creating an unordered army list then you will find that adding a HQ choice or two will add extra skills to your army that you will find very useful.

In this section we will look at the Head Quarter choices available to the Space Marine army.

It is highly recommended to have at least one Space Marine HQ unit for each game you play. There are very occasional times where you may come across low point scenarios where you do not need a HQ, but for the most part you can guarantee that you need one. As you will be needing a HQ unit for virtually every, it is highly recommended that you get to know the few HQ choices that you have available in detail.

As usual you will need the Space marine Codex and a copy of the core rules.

Where are the command squads?

Command Squads are now in the Elite units section. This does mean that your HQ  characters are not shackled to the command squads any more and can ‘squad hop’ just as independent characters should.

Special Characters

The Space Marine Codex includes a selection of named characters. These are usually associated with specific chapters. If a Character has a ‘Chapter Tactics’ special rule then he really can only be included in a force with units from that chapter, or successor chapters. For really large games you can field forces from different armies. This does give you the chance to field forces from different Space Marine Chapters at the same time too.

Special Characters can be quite dominating in a game. It is polite to agree to use named characters before including one in your army list. This is usually done when you are discussing how many points to play. It could be a good idea to have two army rosters to hand, one with Special Characters, and one without. This will give you the flexibility of which army list to use at short notice.

Marneus Calgar Tactics

Marneus Calgar is the chapter master of the Ultramarine Space Marines. He is also the most expensive character in the Space Marine Codex. This is because he has a lot of extra special rules. Make sure you know all his extra rules so you get the full value from him. Because the points cost of Marneus Calgar is so high you will want to be careful about using him in smaller games. Remember to make sure that you have enough points to create a rounded army.

Marneus Calgar is a good ‘well rounded’ character. He has a good shooting weapon and a high ballistic skill to make use of it, and can call an orbital strike once in the game. Marneus Calgar also is useful in close combat. he has an extra attack over the normal chapter master and his two power fists give him an extra attack. Remember that the power fists will not make use of his high initiative.

Strength and Weapons

Marneus Calgar is the chapter master of the Ultramarines. This means that he gets the pick of the Ultramarine’s wargear. What he chose was the “Gauntlets of Ultramar”. These are a pair of Power Fists that use to strike at I5 but do not have the ‘Unwieldy’ special rule so they strike at Marneus’ I5 and not I1. The Gauntlets also have storm bolter like ranged weapons built in. These have the same stats as a storm bolter except that they are AP2.

Assault vs Space Marine:

4 attacks * (3/6 to hit) (5/6 to wound) No saves *14/275 = 4×0.5×5÷6×14÷275 = 0.0848484848485

So After 12 rounds of assault ( say 6 in your turn and 6 in your opponents turn ), Marneus breaks even points wise. However if he takes on larger targets then his score works out better.

Shooting vs Marine:

2*shots, 5/6 hit, 3/6 wound, no saves *14 point per marine /275 points per Marneus = 2×5÷6×0.5×14÷275 =0.04242

This means that it would take 20+ rounds of shooting basic Space Marines for you to get your point value back. Which again just shows that Marneus is designed to take on bigger targets!

Armour and Special Rules

By default Marneus Calgar comes with Artificer Armour Power Armour. This is because the older models of Marneus came this way, and as I have a model like this I am glad that Games Workshop still write rules for older models even when they don’t have to. It means that collectors are more confident that they can purchase models with the confidence that they will be useful for years to come.

Newer versions of Marneus Calgar come with Terminator Armour, this Venerable armour gives all the Terminator Armour benefits plus Marneus can make Sweeping Advances and includes a teleport homer so in further rounds Terminators can drop in on Calgar’s position without fear of scattering.

As I mentioned above Marneus has a number of special rules that you would be advised get to know ( or write on a small card ) when you use him.

God of War and Warlord Traits

Marneus Calgar has to select his Warlord traits from the Space Marine Warlord traits. However you can just pick the trait you want. There’s no need to roll. This is great because you can decide which trait you want when you are building your army list, and adapt your strategy to match.

Chapter Tactics – Ultramarines

Marneus Calgar can evoke one extra Combat Doctrine (Warrgh!)  per game if he is your Warlord (and who would take him and not have him as your Warlord?). This is great as it gives your Ultramarines an extra bonus just as you need it!  The trick is remembering you have this to call on in the thick of the battle.

Eternal Warrior

This is the universal special rule that makes a character immune to instant death. This means that if Marneus is hit by S8, S9, or S10 weapon, then he only takes one wound, instead of dieing instantly like other characters would. Some weapons have a ‘ Cause instant death ‘ clause too. This special rule means that he only takes one wound at a time from these weapons too.

Orbital Bombardment

When the big guns are not big enough, drop some death for space!

Captain Cato Sicarius

Captain Sicarius is the Ultramarine character in charge of the Ultramarine 2nd company, but please remember that you can include him in other Ultramarine succession army lists by just saying that this model is like Captain Sicarius ( & pay the points ).

Captain Sicarius is a good 2nd choice as a leader for your Ultramarine army. He is notably cheaper in points than Marneus Calgar, and this is because he does not have as many special rules or equipment that Marneus does.

Strength and Weapons

Captain Sicarius gets a basic plasma pistol and a Chapter Relic sword. From this you can see that Sicarius is meant to be in the thick of the close assaults. The sword ‘Talassarian Tempest Blade’ allows Sicarius to swap all his usual attacks for a single Coup de Grace attack. You may want to do this if you are in a challenge against a tougher, multi-wound opponent. Using this attack is a risk as you may miss. However it is attacks like this that are the memorable part of the larger game!

Toughness and Special Rules

Captain Sicarius has a suit of armour that is a chapter relic. Also even though is does not mention it specifically, we can see from the stats line that the armour is 2+ save artificer armour. The ‘ Mantle of the Suzerian’ also gives him a Feel No Pain extra save if the 2+ armour does not save him. Like most named characters Captain Sicarius also gets an Iron Halo. This gives him a 4+ invulnerable save against anti-tank and power weapons. Remember that this save is backed up with the Feel No Pain (5+) save too.

Warlord Trait

If you take Captain Sicarius for your Warlord then he automatically gets the ‘Rites of War’ trait. If Captain Sicarius is your Warlord then this trait gives all your Space Marines in the same Ld10 as long as Captain Sicarius is alive. This is a massive advantage because it also means that if you have Space Marines from other chapters they are covered too! Also as you do not need to roll for this trait you know what you will be getting as soon as you put your army roster together.

Chief Librarian Tigurius

Chief Librarian Tigurius is the highest ranking Librarian of the Ultramarine’s army. He is L3 psyker so with the improvements to the 6th & 7th edition of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook this is a very useful ability.

You can use Tigurius as your general, but remember that as he is a Librarian Tigurius is not as skilled at close combat as other name captains. As you will want Tigurius to throw as many psychic bolts at your enemy as possible, the best location for him will be 12″ to 24″ from the enemy, but not in close combat. This means that you may want to team him up with a close support fire squad. You may want this squad armed with mental or flamer weapons.

Strength and Weapons

Tigurius stats line is ok, but not amazing. I would suggest that you will want to make sure that Tigurius has some backup, like a command squad if he is likely to get into close combat.

As for weapons Librarian Tigurius gets a useful, Master Crafted force weapon. This weapon also has the concussive and Soul Blaze special rule making it a big threat to multi-wound opponents.  Remember that this weapon is a force weapon, so it will take a psychic point, and a psychic test to get it to work.

Tigurius does get a bolt pistol too. This is useful as a 2nd weapon to give you an extra attack in close combat, or as a backup weapon as you can fire off some psychic force in the psychic phase and still shoot in the shooting phase.

Armour and Special Rules

Chief Librarian Tigurius only gets basic 3+ Power Armour with no Invulnerable saves, and no options to upgrade to better armour. This means that you will need to attach him to a squad, either a Command Squad, or a basic tactical squad, to soak up some incoming fire that is sure to come his way.

As Tigurius is a Librarian, he is automatically a Psyker. I have add notes about this a the start of this article. Tigurius also gets a special psychic hood. This allows Tigurius to attempt to nullify and psychic attacks in his area. Also his hood is a chapter relic that allows him to re-roll psychic tests, and this means that you are virtually guaranteed to pass all the psychic tests he will take.

Tigurius also gets a ‘ Master of Prescience’ special rule. This allows your units in this detachment to re-roll Reserve rolls. This in turn means that you have much more control over when your reserves arrive. So if you have a number of reserve units, you will want Tigurius in play from the first turn. This special rule also allows Tigurius to re-roll when generating psychic powers. This means that you are much more likely to get powers that you want.

How do I get a Tigurius Model?

Games Workshop does not make a specific Tigurius model at this time. The best option is to get the  Space Marine Heroes box and do a little modelling on the Librarian model.

Chaplain Cassius Tactics

Chaplain Cassius is the chief Chaplain of the Ultramarines. He has a deep hatred of Tyranids. Because of this hatred Chaplain Cassius has the Preferred Enemy (Tyranids) special rule. This makes Cassius a natural choice for a HQ unit if you know that you will be facing a Tyranid Army Apart from the couple of additional special rules and Chaplain Cassius’s unique weapon, the main difference between Cassius and a regular Chaplain is that Cassius is T6. Add this to his 4+ invulnerable save (sometimes written as 4++), then you see that Cassius is a very tough cookie. For example lasguns and bolters will need 6’s to wound and nothing can cause instant death. Even a melta gun at close range only has a 50% chance of wounding, and that is a weapon that is designed to take out the toughest of tanks.

Chaplain Cassius’s weapons and toughness

Chaplain Cassius has the standard Crozius Arcanum as his close combat weapon. This is a standard power maul. This means that close combat attacks work out at S6 AP4. This is great for close combat with many of the Tyranid Monstrous creatures as they tend to be T6 and the smaller creatures tend to be AP5 so they will not get a save from this weapon.

Chaplain Cassius has a master crafted combi-bolter too. The Master Crafted rule means that he gets to re-roll one miss each turn. As Cassius has a BS4 score this means that the first shot hits 28 in 36 times, or 7 in 9 times (77.78%). This is great as this bolter shoots poison (2+) rounds, so you can expect to take a wound off a Monstrous Tyranid from 24″ each round.

Ultramarine’s Chapter Tactics

Chaplain Cassius gets the Ultramarine’s Chapter Tactics. This means that his shooting skills improve further as he can re-roll 1’s to hit, and re-roll snap shots, including those at flying creatures. If If you are going after a flying creature then you will want to fire at it from Cassius’s squad first as you have a good chance of grounding the creature making it an easier target for other units.

While we are on Chapter Tactics remember that all Ultramarine’s can re-roll assault charge range. This means that you can be a bit more bold when you are picking a fight.

Chaplain Cassius and Close Combat

Space Marine Chaplains are at their best in close combat. Chaplain Cassius is no exception. He does not have a 2nd close combat weapon like other Space Marine Chaplains so he does not get the extra attack, but this is not a major loss.

You are advised to team him up with a close combat squad. Either a tactical squad, Veteran Squad with close combat weapons or a Command Squad, depending on how many points you have to spend.

Captain Darnath Lysander

Imperial Fist 1st Company Captain is a natural HQ choice if you are creating an Imperial Fist army list.

Strength and Weapons

Captain Lysander comes armed with a Chapter Relic Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield.

Toughness and Special Rules

Captain Lysander comes with Terminator Armour, a Storm Shield and an Iron Halo. With all this you wander if he needs the Eternal Warrior special rule, but it’s there if you need it!

Where can I get a Captain Lysander Model?

At the moment you can only get the Captain Lysander model from the Games Workshop website here. However you can create your own Captain Lysander by modelling a Terminator Captain with a Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield. The best option  is to get the terminator command squad box and use your modelling skills on the Terminator Captain included. You get 5 other Terminators in the box to make a Terminator Command Squad too!

Shadow Captain Kayvaan Shrike

Captain Shrike is the Company Captain of the Raven Guard 3rd Company. His main difference from the other named characters is that he comes with a Jump Pack and a pair of Chapter Relic Power Claws.

Forgefather Vulkan He’stan


Kor’sarro Khan

The White Scare chapter is based on the Mongle tribes that dominated the Russian plains. Space Marine bikes have replaced horses, but speed over the open plain still holds the key to the key to this chapters use.

Space Marine Captain & Chapter Master Tactics

If you do not want a named character ( or the mission rules exclude named characters), then including a Space Marine Captain or chapter Master to lead your army is a good idea. When creating a battle forged army list a Captain or Chapter Master is the first thing I add to the roster.

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel Company MasterThe Chapter Master is the most senior and most skilful Space Marine of the whole  chapter. Note that even though the Space Marine Codex does not limit you to one Space Marine Chapter Master, if you want to keep faithful to the story line then you should not have more than one Chapter Master one the table per Chapter. This could be bent with a bit of creative storytelling ( a chapter master thrown back in time due to a ripple in warp travel or similar, like how often does Dr Who meet himself?).

A Captain is usually the head of a Space Marine Company. Captains now have very similar stats and special rules to the Chapter Masters, but cost 40 points less.

Strength and Weapons

As the Captains / Chapter Master are the most senior of the Space Marine Chapter, they have access to all the armoury weapons. This is with the exception of any heavy weapons. This means that you can configure the Captain / Chapter Master for a number of close combat or medium ranged fire support roles.

The most popular configuration is to have a close combat weapon and a medium ranged shooting weapon. This will give you the most flexibility during the game. One one weapon to avoid is the Power fist. The Power fist always hits at Initiative 1. This means that you can not use the Captain’s / Chapter Master’s high Initiative score.

As mentioned already the Captains / Chapter Master do not have a heavy weapon option, however a Chapter Master (and not a Captain)  does get a special rule ‘ Orbital Bombardment’. This is a one shot weapon can hit any target in line of sight with a S10 small template. As this can only called if the Chapter Master does not move during the movement phase, it may be best to use this option near the start of the game when the Chapter Master has a good view of the table.

Toughness and Special Rules

The Captains and Chapter Masters come with an iron halo as standard. This means that he get a 4+ invulnerable save as well as any armour save his armour may provide. This is usually 3+ that the Power Armour provides, but upgrading to Artificer armour or Terminator armour is usual and recommend. Remember that the Space Marine Chapter Master can also be given a Space Marine bike too. This will give the Chapter Master extra toughness too.

Space Marine Librarian Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Terminator Librarian

Space Marine Librarian Psyker in Terminator Armour.

The Space Marine Librarian is the psychic of the Space Marine army. This is helps the Space Marines in two ways. First the Librarian can use his power to strike at the enemy. The second way is that the Librarian can use his skills to nullify the enemies powers.

The psychic powers section of the Warhammer 40k game have been extended in the 6th & 7th Editions of the rules. This means that the Librarian has a big a bigger role these days than he has since the 2nd edition of the Warhammer 40k rules.

Librarians are Level 1 Psykers by default. It is often worth upgrading them to a L2 Psyker. The Space Marine Librarian can choose from the 6 main disciplines. My suggestion would be to get to know one discipline well before exploring the other ones. It is far better to be an expert on a few skills than to be unsure of a larger number of skills!

Space Marine Chaplain Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Chaplain on Space Marine Bike

Warhammer 40k Chaplin on Bike.

The Space Marine Chaplain is the defender of the faith. They often are chosen as a second HQ choice, but they can lead the army.

Chaplains are good close combat characters. This does not mean that they can take on a whole army on their own, but it does mean that they can add extra punch to and assault unit.

If you are going to add your Chaplain to an assault unit it does make sense to give him similar transport to the unit he is joining. You will see that the picture insert here shows a Chaplain on a bike. This is because my Chaplain supports my bike unit. This confirmation would be not use if I wanted support to my jump pack troops. This in turn means that planning ahead is very important. So if you have a game plan before you turn up to a battle, this is one area where that forward planning will pay dividends!

Also buy: Discount Space Marine Heroes including Chaplin on Foot from Element Games


40k-Space-Marine-Tech-Marine-150Techmarines can be useful if you have a tank heavy army. They are not bad in a close combat fight either.

During the shooting phase the Techmarine can attempt to do some repairs on a tank that they are touching. This means that the best place for your Techmarine in the middle of your tanks and APC’s ( Armoured Personnel Carriers ).


Servitors come in two flavours, ones with close combat weapons that can help the Techmarine fix tanks, and those that have heavy weapons attached that give the Techmarine  squad some long ranges punch.


Chaos Space Marine Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

Spread Chaos and Mayhem across the Galaxy!

The Chaos Space Marine Army are warped and twisted versions of the Imperial Space Marines. Seduced by favours and powers that the Chaos powers promise. In this section we will have a look at the Chaos Marine Army and the Chaos tactics.

To make sense of these notes or to play a Chaos Space Marine you will need a copy of the main Warhammer 40k rules and a copy of the Chaos Space Marine Codex.

The new 2012 Codex: Chaos Space Marines has been released, and these pages have been updated to reflect the new codes and the 7th Edition of the Warhammer 40000 Rule Book.

General Chaos Space Marine Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine has a number of options and special rules. With an army this complex it is a good idea to get some over all tactics.

Chaos Space Marines and the 7th Edition

The 7th edition of the Warhammer 40k rules have favoured the Chaos Space Marines. The Maelstrom of War missions are forcing the gun line armies to come out from behind their bunkers and give close combat armies like the Chaos Space Marines a chance. Another strong area that the Chaos Marines can take advantage of is the use of psychic powers.

Marks of Chaos

Across many of the Chaos Space Marine units you will see that you can take different Mark of Chaos upgrades. These upgrades are not prices of equipment, but skills bestowed from the Chaos god that the Chaos Space Marines follow. In many cases you do not have to take a Mark of Chaos. They are totally optional. However they do not come free. Each mark will have a points cost associated with it, and you can only have a maximum of one mark per unit. If you are new to Warhammer 40k then I would suggest that you leave the Mark of Chaos skills for now and revisit them after you have played a few games.

If you are looking to use these upgrades in your army list make sure that you know what benefits the Mark of Chaos give your units and choose a Mark that fits in with your over all game tactics.

A suggestion that may help here is to write out the units details on a 4×3 index card, using one card per unit, so that you can refer to the units stats and skills quickly during the game. This will mean that you will be more likely to remember any special rules the units have and this in turn will mean that you will not be waiting points on upgrades that you do not use.

One thing that you do need to be aware of is that characters with one mark of chaos can not join a unit with a different mark. So for example a Tzeench Chaos Lord can not join a unit of Khorne Berserks. This is important because it limits the ability of a character to hide it a unit of troops if the units have the ‘wrong mark of chaos’.

Get up close and personal

There is no doubt about it. The Chaos Space Marines are configured to be a close combat army. What you will be looking to do is get in to close combat as quickly as possible. However remember that some of the armies out there are even better at close combat than you are, so having a plan that can adapt will be the best option.

No Command Squads

One difference between the Chaos HQ choices and the Imperial Space Marine HQ choices is that the Chaos HQ units do not get command squads and transport options. Banner bearers are replaced by personal banners that the Chaos HQ can take. The apothecary is missing though, so I hope you are not needing first aid!

Chaos Marine Unit Specific Tactics

In the following sections you can find tactics for specific Chaos Marine units.


Tau Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Tau Fire WarriorThe Tau are the new army in the galaxy. Bristling with high tech weaponry the Tau are fast and hard hitting.

To use these pages you will need the new 2013 Tau Codex and the Main Warhammer 40k rulebook. If you do not have these yourself, you will need regular access to them.

General Tau Tactics

There are some tactics that are useful for several different units or need to be considered for the whole army.

Good In Low Point Games

Became the basic Tau weapon is so good,  you do not need as much heavy support in low point games ( under 1000 points ). This has been highlighted in the latest Kill Team box set where Tau are pitted against Space Marines.

Use your Drones

The Tau drones are a very useful addition to a unit. You will find that most units can have additional drones attached. In the 2013 Tau Codex the range of drones available have been expanded. Have a look at each type and play with the combinations to find a mix that works for you.

The Tau Gun Line

Warhammer 40k Tau Gun DronesThe Tau troops have a great standard ranged weapon, but they are very weak when it comes to close combat. For this reason the best tactic is usually to hold back and gun down the enemy as they approach.

For an effective gun line you will want to set up where you have a good line of sight to where the enemy may come from, and hopefully a nice open ‘ Kill Zone ‘ between the enemy and yourself.

Arrange the units so that they can give each other supporting fire. Wiping out whole units at a time will mean that there will be fewer attacking units in the long run. This means that you will want to focus your fire on key enemy units with several of your units in the same round.

If the enemy have a number of template ranges weapons be careful to hide behind cover if you can, and not to bunch up too tightly.

Supporting Fire

Supporting Fire is a new rule that applies to most of the Tau army and allows units to offer supporting overwatch fire to other units in 6″. As the many Tau units can take Counterfire Defence System upgrades ( Tau Codex P68 ) that allow them to overwatch using BS5, this can offer a devastating amout of fire upon charging


Another example of Tau technology is the markerlight system. These are fired in the same way as regular shooting weapons, but they do not cause damage themselves. Instead they allow other models with bigger weapons to hit more effectively, for example increasing the shooters BS, or adding ‘ ignore cover ‘ for that turn to weapons that
would otherwise allow a cover save.