Space Marine Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Space Marines! The legions of the Adeptus Astartes – the Angels of Death (and remember that these are the good guys!), the defenders of mankind (ignoring the Imperial Guard, the Inquisition and all). These are the guys that will save the galaxy from the clutches of Chaos (just as long as they don’t succumb to Chaos themselves)!

Space Marine are easy to play in Warhammer 40k,and you don’t need many of them to make up an army. This means that they are very popular as a first army for new players. Easy to play doesn’t mean weak either! Space Marines are definitely the army to beat. If you win a game against them then you know that you have done well!

Space Marines come in many verities, some are different enough to have their own Codex. Examples are Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Space Wolfs. However there are many Space Marine chapters that follow the standard rules for Space Marines as set down by the Ultramarines, or close enough to use the standard rules with minor tweaks. These are called the.’Codex Space Marines’. Codex Space Marines include, but are not limited to; Ultramarines, Imperial Fists, Salamanders, White Scars, Raven Guard, Iron Hands, Crimson Fists, and Black Templars. In this section we will look at the Codex Marine, their rules and tactics you can use when playing Space Marines in Warhammer 40k 8th edition games.

To make use of these pages you will need to own, or have regular access to the main Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book and the Codex: Space Marines additional rules.

General Space Marine Tactics

Space Marines are generally very tactical units. By that I mean that units are able to fulfil several roles on the battlefield. They have good armour, good shooting weapons, and are capable of fighting hand to hand. Equipped with an armoured personal carrier (Rhino or Razorback) they can act as fast blitzkrieg / shock troops too. To aid this multi role you will find that most Space Marines are armed with long ranged shooting weapons (Bolters), short ranged Bolt Pistols, and hand to hand Chain Swords.

Common Ability: They Know No Fear

'They Know No Fear'Many Space Marine units have a common ‘They Know No Fear’ ability. this lets these units re-roll moral tests. This is most useful in the Moral Phase as it can mean that you loose less troops to failed moral checks. However be aware that there are other times when moral checks are needed. An example is when you are on the receiving end of some psychic power.

Battle-forged Detachment Abilities:

To encourage you to create ‘well formed’ detachments you get extra special rules that will help you to win. ‘Well formed’ means detachments that contain only Space Marines, and conform to the ‘battle forged’ formation structures found in the main rule book. For the ‘Defender of Humanity’ Spacial rule you can have a mixed bag of Chapters in your detachment, but for the ‘Chapter Tactics’ special rules you have to have just one chapter present.

Defenders of Humanity

Capturing objectives, or markers on the table makes up an important part of winning most 8th edition games. To capture a marker you usually have to have more models contesting a marker than your opponent does. With this special rule you can grab the objective with a single TROOPS unit regardless of how many enemy units are there. Note that all the other codexes released so far give other armies well formed the same special rule. If both players have units with this special rule contesting an objective you go back to counting the number of models in those units. The player with the most models with this ability wins it.

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, Scout Squads, and Crusader 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!

Space Marine Chapter Tactics

To add flavour to the Space Marine chapters, different chapters have been given some special rules that fit the back stories of those chapters. In game terms it allows you to have a look at the different chapters and see which special rules fit your style of play and adopt that Chapter, or a made up successor chapter.

  • Ultramarines: Codex Discipline. Ultramarines add one to leadership characteristic and you can shoot even if you Fall Back.
  • White Scars: Lightning Assault. White Scars can add 2″ to advance moves, ands can charge the same turn they fell back.
  • Imperial Fists: Siege Masters. Imperial Fists ignore cover saving throws and can re-roll failed wounds when targeting buildings.
  • Black Templars: Righteous Zeal.Black Templars can re-roll failed charge rolls.
  • Salamanders: Master Artisans. Salamander units can re-roll one failed wound in the shooting or fight phases.
  • Raven Guard: Shadow Masters. When shooting at Raven Guard from 12″ or more, the opponant must subtract 1 from the hit rolls
  • Iron Hands: The Flesh is Weak. Iron Guyard ignore wounds on a 6.

Space Marine HQ Tactics

Every army needs a leader to lead it to great victories! Well mostly, as in Warhammer 40000 you can get away with not having a leader for your army, but it is a good idea! If you do take a leader, you will find them in the HQ section.

You can take several HQ units in one army if you wish. If you do then you will want to nominate one of them as your general. It is usual to choose the biggest and strongest character as your general, but the choice is yours!

Space Marine HQ Units include:

Chapter Relics

Chapter Relics are free upgrades that you can give to a Space Marine Character if your Warlord is a Space Marine. Note that you can not upgrade a ‘Named Character’. The character could be, and usually is your warlord himself. You can find a full list of the relics and their special rules on page 200 of the Codex: Space Marines.

Space Marine Troop Tactics

5 man Dark Angel Squad with Assault WaeponsThe core of any Warhammer 40K army should be the Troop units. You should have enough troop units to make sure that you do not get out numbered.

The Space Marines have 3 main options . The Tactical Squad, the Scout Squad and the new Primaries Marine Intercessor Squads. Black Templar marines get the Crusader Squad, but not the Tactical and Scout Squads.

As mentioned above with the Defenders of Humanity special rule troop units have a much bigger role in the game.

  • Tactical Squads: The core of the Space Marine army. A Tactical Squad can do it all. It can capture objectives, give a good fight in close combat, and take on monstrous creatures with bolters, meltas and heavy weapons.
  • Intercessor Squads: Get use to S4 bolter weapons! Armed with the 30″ bolt rifle this unit can lay down a lot of fire over a good distance. Look to the upgrades to make this unit more tactical. Primarice Marines also get an extra wound and extra attack in the fight phase.
  • Scout Squads: Trainee Space Marines. Used to infiltrate and grab objectives before the first turn. However lightly armoured so die quicker. Scouts can be armed with close combat or heavy weapons.
  • Crusader Squad: Special Black Templar troop unit. This squad mixes both scouts (Neophytes) and tactical marines (Initiates). Crusader squads are very flexible in thier configuration and can have up to 20 Marines in a unit.

Space Marine Elite Tactics

Warhammer 40000 Space Marine Terminator SquadThe Space Marine army has a number of Elite unit choices. It is very tempting to dive in and have a lot of elite units in your army. However beware! Elite units  cost points. If you have too many then you will find that you do not have enough points for Troop units and become out numbered very quickly. You may want to keep to two or three Elite units in a 2000 point game.

  • Primaris, Chapter, Company Ancient: Banner carrier Character for the army. Use to be part of the command squad. Has extra wounds and minimal wargear upgrades. His banner does improve the leadership for nearby Marines from the same Chapter.
  • Chapter Champion: Close combat specialist character. Comes with a big sword but no shooting weapons. Get him in to combat quickly and often.
  • Honour Guard
  • Apothercary, Primaris Apothercary
  • Company Champion
  • Company Verterans
  • Seritors
  • Reiver Squad
  • Aggressor Squad
  • Terminator Squads, Cataphractii Terminator Squad
  • Terminator Assault Squad
  • Tartaros Terminator Squad
  • Vanguard Vertran Squad
  • Sternguard Veteran Squad
  • Dreadnought, Ironclad, Venerable, Contemptor, Redemptor Dreadnought
  • Centurion Assault Squad

Space Marine Fast Attack Tactics

Space Marine unit with jet packs

Fast attack units do what they say on the tin. They move around the table quickly adding support to stricken units or strike at an enemy’s weak spot. Fast attack can be useful for grabbing objectives if there aren’t any enemy troop units around.

Make sure that your Fast Attack units have support. They can make easy targets if they rush up the board unsupported.

  • Bike Squad
  • Assault Squad
  • Land Speeders
  • Attack Bike Squad

Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics

The game is not all about rushing forward and killing the enemy. Having a good back line too.

  • Devastator Squad
  • Centurion Devastator Squad
  • Hellblaster Squad
  • Thunderfire Cannon
  • Hunter, Stalker, Tanks
  • Whirlwind Tank
  • Predator Tank
  • Vindicator Tank
  • Land Raider, Land Raider Crusader, Land Raider Redeemer Tank

Space Marine Dedicated Transport Tactics

  • Rhino, Razorback Tanks: Rhinos are great for getting 10 man Tactical Squads around the table quickly. Razorbacks Transport 6 but has a big gun to support the troops too. Razorbacks are good for zipping Honour Guard and Veterans, or 5 man Tactics Squads around with a spare space for a Character to ride along!
  • Drop Pod
  • Land Speeder Storm
  • Repulsor Tank

Space Maine Flyer Tactics

  • Stormhawlk Interceptor, Gunship
  • Stormtalon Gunship

Space Marine Lords of War Tactics

Lords of War are extremely powerful units that can unbalance smaller games. For this reason Lords of war are usually banned from games under 30000 points.

  • Roboute Guilliman

Chaos Space Marine Tactics for Warhammer 40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

In the age of the Great Heresy a full half measure of the Space Marine armies where corrupted by Chaos these corrupted Space Marines becomes the Heretic Astartes, or Chaos Space Marines!

On this page we will have a look at the Chaos Space Marines and their tactics.

Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines

There are two rule books available with the rules for Chaos Space Marines. These are the ‘Index: Chaos’ rule book and the ‘Codex Chaos Space Marines’ rule book, so which do you get? Well the Index: Chaos was released right after the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book was released as a stop gap. This rule book allowed players to get going while the full Codex was being lined up for release. The Codex Chaps Space Marines has all the unit rules but also adds rules for special equipment, stratagems, and mission objectives. If you have the choice I highly recommend going for the Codex!

So what are the Data Cards and do you need them?

If you look at the Chaos Space Marine Essentials on the Games Workshop or re-sellers web sites you may see Chaos Space Marine Data Cards for sale. Data cards are packs of playing card sized cards with the most used rules from the Codex: Chaos Space Marine on them. For example the psychic powers, command point stratagems, Chaos Space Marine themed mission objectives. You do not get the rules for Chaos Space Marine units. For those you need the Index: Chaos or Codex Chaos Space Marines.

General Chaos Space Marine Tactics

The Chaos Space Marines are not just your vanilla Marines in spiky suits. There are a number of differences that make a huge difference to how they play.

Many players that are new to the Chaos Space Marines see the army as a close combat specific army. The reason for this is that there are a lot of close combat units available, specially for the popular Khorne themed army ( see Marks of Chaos below ).

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsRemember that the Chaos Space Marines are only half of the Chaos army. Much like the Imperium Space Marines have the Imperial Guard to back they up, the Chaos Space Marines have the Chaos Daemons as easy allies too. The link between these two forces in so strong that you can see some of the Daemon units slip in to the Chaos Space Marine too. If you are building a CSM army I highly recommend giving the Daemon army list a look over too.

Marks of Chaos

There are four Gods of Chaos. Khorne who loves violence for its own sake. Tzeentch who loves to trick, lie and confound. Nurgle loves decay, rot, and purification. Slaanesh loves sensory excess, pleasures of the flesh, exquisite pain, drugs and rock and roll!

Some Marines do not follow a single Chaos God, but Chaos in its raw form,. These Marines are said to follow Chaos Undivided.

Each Chaos Space Marine Legion follows one of the four Chaos Gods or Chaos Undivided. If you want to mix and match units with different marks of Chaos then you will need to have multiple factions.

Chaos Space Marine Abilities

On page 116 the Chaos Space Marine Codex introduces a couple of abilities that are shared between many of the Chaos Space Marine units. Also on page 155 additional Legion specific abilities are added.

Death The False Emperor

Most units in the Chaos Space Marine army get an additional ability called ‘Death To The False Emperor ‘. This reflects the Chaos Marine belief that the Imperial Emperor is not the saviour of human kind and needs to be removed through revolution.

How this ability works is that in the fight phase, and when targeting Imperial units (Space Marines, Guard, and friends), units with this ability get to have a bonus attack for each hit roll of 6 (before any modification). Note that bonus attacks cannot generate more bonus attacks. Also note also that these bonus attacks need to hit, wound, and etc. Also note that these attacks can be target a different unit from the initial attacks.

Note that this ability only works in the fight phase, but both fight phases. So you need to get into the fight!

Daemonic Ritual

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of Tzeentch.. or how to get some reserves on the table fast!

How this ability works is that on a turn where any characters has not moved or arrived on the table in the movement phase, those characters can each summon a unit of daemons with the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability.

When you look at the army lists you will find that there are only four units that can be summoned ( but the rule has been left open for possible expansion ). The units are Khorne Bloodletters, Tzeentch Horrors (mixed units of Pink, Blue and Brimstone Horrors), Nurgle Plaugebearers, and Slaanesh Daemonettes.

There are limitations on what can be summoned, and as usual with the Chaos armies, if the summoning goes wrong there are consequences! First off you can only summon units that match the Character Chaos alignment. This means that Nurgle characters can only summon Nurgle Plaugebearers. Note that unaligned characters can summon any of the four daemonic units. This may be a factor when you choose the alliance for your character.

Units summoned using this ability does count as reserved and can only be brought in if you have enough reserve points. If you are not playing a point matched game, feel free to summon as many units as you like!

How you summon daemon units work like this. At the end of the movement phase pick your first character. Roll 3D6. Select a unit of Daemons who’s power level is equal or less that the dice total. As the average of 3D6 is 10.5 this should not be a problem. Place the unit of Daemons within 12″ of the character and beyond 9″ of and enemy units. You can repeat this process for any other Character that has not moved that turn.

Now here is what can go wrong. If you roll a double on your 3D6 roll then the character suffers a mortal wound. This should happen 1 in 12 times. However if you roll a triple then the character suffers D3 wounds. This should happen once in 216 times. I am expecting that the triple roll damage replaces the double roll damage and is not accumulative because in a triple you will always find 2 doubles!

Chaos Space Marine Stratagems

8th edition Warhammer 40000 introduced Stratagems and published 3 basic ones in the rule book. You can sometimes get extra stratagems at part of some missions, but in the Chaos Space Marine codex you get another 24 tailor made Stratagems! I feel like a kiddie in a sweet shop!

Chaos Space Marine Data Cards

Warhammer 40k 8th ed Chaos Space Marine Data CardsOne issue I have with the number of Stratagems / Special Chaos Space Marine Mission Objectives and Psychic powers is that I loose track of them, special during an intense game. I find this happens more often when using the e-book versions on the codex, but does happen when using the paper Codex too. Yes this is a memory issue and not a fault with the game. My advice in the past has been to focus on using one or two Stratagems or powers until you get use to them and expand from there. However these days there is another option, the Data Cards.

The Data Cards are a pack of playing card sized cards that have the special Mission Objectives, Stratagems and Psychic powers for that army, printed one per card. For an army like the Chaos Space Marines that adds up to a big pack of cards! 73 cards in total. Now these cards do come at an extra cost and are not essential to playing Chaos Space Marines like the codex is, but if you are playing Chaos Marines on a regular basis, or a member of a club that shares rulebooks & etc, then they are very useful!

The best way to use the cards is to split them in to 3 piles. Place the Stratagems you will use in one pile, the mission objectives in a second pile, and the psychic cards that you will use ( if any ) in a 3rd pile. These cards will act as a reminder to use these option and as a quick reference to their  rules.

It is a pity that the Chaos Space Marine units don’t have a similar card deck, say in A5 size. This would would make it easy to have just the information for the units that you are fielding to hand without having to flick from page to page to page to page in the Codex or on a tablet. The bes5t option I have found so far is to screen grab the pages from the eBooks for the units I am using and print them off. You could just photocopy pages from a paper Codex (for your use only!). The quality may not be great, but it does speed up the game!

Chaos Space Marine HQ Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordEvery army needs a leader and this is where you will find the Chaos Marine leaders. Chaos HQ tend to be better at close combat fighting. They also have abilities that empower the troops around them.

The HQ section is also where you find the Chaos Psykers. Psykers use the power of the warp to Smite your foe directly and/or use their power to empower your troops too. You will note that there are no Khorne psykers. This is because the god of Khorne places brute force above all else.

Chaos Space Marine Psychic Powers

Soul Steal SpellAll the Chaos Psykers know the Smite Psychic power from the core rules. Most of them know two other power too. These Chaos Marine powers can be found on page 161 of the Chaos Codex.

There are nine Psychic power to choose from. Six in the main ‘Dark Heretics Discipline’ list and then one each for the 3 Chaos alliances that can have psykers. You can either just select which additional power your Psyker will have or roll for a random one. Obviously you would usually just select the power that best suits your play style and will help the most against whichever opposing army you are playing against that game. Usually you will be able to choose your power after you know which army you will be facing, and hopefully after you have seem the models on the table. There may be time when you agree to roll for your psykers power. You only want to do this if the opposition has more psykers that you, or because you have negotiated some other bonus for yourself!

Abaddon The Despoiler Tactics

Traditionally the biggest, badest, Heretic Space Marine. Armed with a nasty power fist with built in storm bolter, and a Daemon blade and wearing master crafted Terminator Armour.

Hopefully Games Workshop will release a new Abaddon model soon. The current one is out of scale with the new Chaos Terminators!

Cypher Tactics

Cypher by name, an enigma by nature! Even though Cypher appears in the Chaos Space Marine Codex, Cypher  and the Fallen are not a Chaos units. They are Imperium that fight with the Chaos Armies!

Cypher is a master pistolelio! Master Crafted bolt pistol in one hand and plasma pistol in the other he can blaze away with both weapons even if he has advanced or fallen back! A slippery character indeed!

Cypher is quite keen in close combat, but not fantastic. If you get in to close combat you will need to back him up with some close combat troops too.

Cyphers Ability: No-One’s Puppet

The Errata for the Codex Chaos Space Marines added an ability for Cypher that stops him from performing a Daemonic Ritual even though he has the ‘Chaos’ and ‘Character’ keywords.

Chaos Lord Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine LordThe Chaos Lord is the standard Chaos Space Marine HQ choice. He can come on foot, on a bike, in terminator armour or with exotic transport like a Juggernaut of Khorne or Disc of Tzeentch.

The Chaos Lord is designed to be in the thick of the action, backed up with some good men. Load the Lord and his men in to a Rhino or Land Raider and charge in to the enemy front line!

Chaos Lord Abilities

Death to the False Emperor

Chaos Dark Apostle Tactics

The Dark Apostles are the Chaos Space Marine version of a Chaplin. He fulfils a similar role too. In the Fight Phase nearby friendly units of the same Legion can re-roll missed hits. This means that his main strength in in close assault surrounded by his mates! A popular tactic is to have a Dark Apostle in with the Chaos Lord and his posse.

Chaos Daemon Prince Tactics

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsIf the Chaos Gods are pleased enough with a Chaos Lord they can get promoted to being a Daemon Prince.

Daemon Princes are more Daemons than mortal, and as such take on many of the features of the Chaos Daemon army. The Daemonic 5+ save is an example of this.

Daemon Princes must take on an allegiance of one of the 4 Chaos Gods. You are not allowed to have an unaligned Prince. It is most usual to take on the allegiance that matches the rest of your Chaos Marine army.

Chaos Daemon Prince Psychic Powers

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Tzeentch, Nurgle, or Slaanesh, then he is a psyker too. As a psyker he will have the Smite psychic power plus one from the Chaos Space Marine psychic power list.

Might Over Magic Ability

If your Daemon Prince is aligned with Khorne then you will not have any psychic powers, but don’t worry! you will get the ‘Might over Magic’ ability instead. This ability gives you one extra attack in close combat.

Chaos Daemon Prince and Wings

The Daemon Prince has the option to have wings. If you have.already built your Daemon Prince, this option may be moot. However if you are about to build your Daemon Prince, or if you have magnetised your Daemon Prince so that add or remove the wings at will, you will want to know if wings are worth the points!

If you are playing open games or games using Power Points, then there’s no additional points for adding wings, so do it! If you are playing points matched games then the wings adds 24 points to the model. For these additional points the movement speed goes up to 12″ a turn and you get the Fly keyword.

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine SorcererSorcerers are the Psychics of the Chaos Space Marine army. This does not mean that they are no use in a fight!

Chaos Space Marine Sorcerers are closely linked to the power of Chaos that is the source of all psychic powers in the Warhammer 40k universe. Because of this they can cast two psychic powers in each of your psychic phases. Each Sorcerer can pick two powers from the Dark Heretics Discipline list.

Get Familiar With You Familiar!

In Warhammer 40k Chaos Familiars are not places on the board as models like Age of Sigmar, however they can be found in the Chaos Space Marine Stratagems (page 159). For 1CP Chaos Space Marine Psyker can swap on of his psychic powers for a different one. You can pick any of the powers from the Dark Hereticus discipline list. This is really useful if you started out with one psychic power for a specific job and halfway through the battle you find that it is no longer useful. In this case you can just call on your familiar and swap that power for one that will be useful here on in. Note that when you swap your power you keep the new one for the rest of the battle. Well unless you use this stratagem again later in the battle!

Where are the Khorne Sorcerers?

The Chaos God Khorne despises magic / psychic trickery. For this reason there are no Khorne Psykers. If you need one you will need to co-opt one that has a different Chaos alliance.


Space Marine Techmarines are not beyond the corrupting influence of Chaos. These corrupted Techmarines are called Warpsmiths.

The main use of the Warpsmith is to repair vehicles that have received damage during the game. The Warpsmith needs to be within 1″ of the vehicle at the end of the vehicle to repair it.

If you have two Warpsmiths there’s no point keeping them close together. A vehicle can only have one Warpsmith attend to repairs per turn, so if you spread them out you can repair two vehicles a turn.

Not got a vehicle to repair? Then how about jinxing an enemy vehicle? If the Warpsmith is within 18″ of an enemy vehicle, on a roll of 2+ on 1D6 he can inflict a mortal wound on the vehicle.

Warpsmith’s are available from the Games Workshop as a web store exclusive. There may be some available on eBay & similar.

Chaos Space Marine Troop Tactics

Chaos Space Marines have two troop choices, Chaos Space Marines and Chaos Cultists! This is not a great selection, but they are very flexible. With a bit of imagination the two unit choices will fulfil most needs.

Chaos Space Marine Tactics

Chaos Space Marines are the backbone of the Chaos Marine army. They can be configured for close combat fighting or more general / tactical role. The tactical role is where the Space Marine units excel. They can lay down withering fire clearing objectives or defending objectives, or fight at close quarter fighting.

Chaos Cultist Tactics

Chaos Cultists are the gun fodder of the Chaos army. Their stats are similar  to the Imperial Guard trooper, but costing only 3 power points for a unit of 10, you don’t expect much!

So if Cultists are so cheap, why take them? Well even cheap troops with a lot of shots can cause damage, even to Imperial Knights and Meknoughts! Otherwise you arm them with close combat weapons. This gives you an expendable close combat unit. Use this unit to defend tactical objectives, or as a moving shield for Characters or elite units.

For every 5 models in a unit you can take a Heavy Stubber or flamer. If you are planning to use your as a defensive force, load them up with Heavy Stubbers. Place them high and they will be able to give covering fire for advancing units. Assaulting units are best tooled up with flames. You can take a pot shot with these in the shooting phase before piling in for the fight. Assaulting units also find flamers useful if they are about to receive a counter assault.

Khorne Bloodletters Tactics

Tzeentch Horrors Tactics

Age of Sigmar chaos Blue Horrors of TzeentchAaagh! You kill one and two smaller ones pop-up, and they can throw Smite bolts around too!

Tzeentch horrors are tricky things. First off they come in 3 sizes and in the Chaos Space Marine Codex, you can have all 3 types in one unit. Also they are psykers. for simplicity the whole unit is treated as on psyker. Don’t expect a 30 model unit of Horrors chucking out 30 Smite bolts! Even so, having psykers as a troop choice will sent your foe in to utter panic. This is specially true now that psychic powers have been beefed up in 8th edition 40k. If that was not enough, Pink Horrors have 18″ A2 shooting attacks too.

Nurgle Plaugebearers Tactics

Slaanesh Daemonettes Tactics

Chaos Space Marine Elite Tactics

The Chaos Space Marine army has nine different elite choices. This could tempt you spend most of your points on Elite units. Avoid this temptation! You need a good volume of troop units and just a small number of Elite units.

Chaos Terminator Tactics

Warhammer 40k Chaos Space Marine TerminatorsChaos Terminators are veteran Space Marines in super though Terminator Armour. This armour gives the Terminators a 2+ basic save and a 5+ invulnerable save.

Terminators are classically used to weed out opposition from fortified positions. Their Teleport Strike allows them to get close to the enemy, and with a change of charging in on the turn they arrive. Their tough armour means that they can take on numerically superior units for several rounds, and their weapons will rip through tanks and monstrous creatures alike!

Khorne Bezerkers

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space MarineKhorne Bezerkers are Elite Chaos Space Marines that have dedicated themselves to the Chaos God Khorne. The Chaos God Khorne is the god of war, and wanton destruction for it’s own end. They go in to a frenzy in battle, specially if you call them ‘bunny ears’!

Khorne Bezerkers are close combat specialists. To aid this role they have +1 strength and +1 attack over the basic Chaos Space Marine. However there is more! If the Bezerker had a chain axe they get an additional attack ( that’s 3, and 4 for the Champion). On top of this they have an ability ‘Blood for the Blood  God’ which effectively doubles the number of attacks Bezerker gets.

Khorne Bezerkers cannot take heavy weapons. You can arm your Bezerker Champion with a Bolter or Combi-Weapon from the Champions equipment list, but this is a waste. This means that your Bezerkers will be armed with short ranges pistols and close combat weapons. This means that Khorne Bezerker tactics is easy, get them in to the fight and keep them fighting for as many rounds as possible!

Khorne Bezerker Ability – Death to the False Emperor

Khorne Bezerkers get the ‘Death to the False Emperor’ special rule. This rule allows the Bezerkers to get a bonus attacks each time they hit, if they target and hit Imperial units and hit on a roll of a 6.



Missions and Mission Tactics for Warhammer 40000 8th Ed

Warhammer 40000 8th edition Dark Imperium Rookbook

In this section we will be looking at the different missions you can find for Warhammer 40000 and mission tactics that will help you win more games.

The core of Warhammer 40000 is the game mission. This is what gives you the details of what you need to do to win a specific specific game. You can create missions yourself, and Games Workshop will publish missions in future army Codex and rule extensions, however the missions that you are likely to be playing most often are the ones published in the rule book. If you get familiar with the rule book missions then you will win more games!

In the 8th Edition rule book there are 5 different sections of missions starting at page 186. One thing you can not complain about is the lack of missions in this release! Each section of missions do get more complicated as you progress through the rules. If you are new to Warhammer 40k I recommend that you start with the ‘Only War’ missions on page 187 or the ‘War Without End’ missions on page 191.

Only War Mission Tactics

On page 187 you can find the Only War missions. At first look this page looks like there is just one mission, but on closer inspection there is a table where you roll to select one of three missions.

Each of the missions on this page use objective markers. You can use anything as an objective markers. Dice are popular, or coins work well. If you play WH40k regularly then creating terrain pieces numbered one to six looks better on the table.

The missions use objective markers, but do not mention how many to set up. I suggest that for small games up to 1000 points 4 markers work well, standard games of 1000 to 3000 points, 6 markets are recommended, and larger games need 8 markers, and the table space to place them!



Psychic Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

Soul Steal Spell

In Warhammer 40k there is no magic like you find in the Age of Sigma game. What you have instead psychic powers.

Psychic powers can only be manifested by special individuals called psykers (duh!). All psykers can manifest a psychic power called smite.

These note are written with the expectation that you have the Warhammer 40000 8th edition rule book, or you have regular access to one.

Chance of Manifesting Psychic Powers

To cast a psychic power you need to roll 2D6 and get a result equal or higher than the power level of the power. You need to pick the power before you roll, so you need to ballance the chance of success with the result you need. If two powers will give you the result you want, for example the death of a character, then use the power that will be easiest to invoke.


FireballAll psykers get the Smite psychic power, so you need to get familiar with it. Even if you have no psykers you are likely to be on the receiving end of it.

Smite has a psychic level of 5. This means that it is easy to cast. However the psyker needs to be within 18″ of the target, which is well within counter assault range. This short range means that your psykers will need some body guards.

With Smite you can only target the nearest visible enemy unit. If you are in 1″ of the enemy then this should be easy. If you are touching 2 or more units you can choose which of these units you want to smite.  If you are further away you may want to use the movement phase to get in position to Smite your preferred target.

If you get the Smite power off then it causes D3 mortal wounds to the target enemy unit and if you rolled 10+ then you get D6 mortal wounds. Mortal wounds carry over, so this can, and often does, remove several models from the target unit. The best target units are those with only a few wounds ( or only a few left) that have high save and invulnerable saves. Terminator Squads or Characters are my favourite targets.

Deny The Witch

The main use of psykers is to cause damage to your enemy or strengthen your army. However there is another very important role for your psykers, and that is to block successful psychic attacks from enemy psykers. This blocking action is called ‘deny the witch’.

Deny the witch rolls can be made 24″ away from the enemy psyker. Notice that this is further than the 18″ range of Smite. This means that you can keep your psyker a bit further back. Note though that other army specific psychic powers may have a longer range!

Army Specific Psychic Powers

Each army has, or will have their own Codex which include special psychic powers that are available for that army only. I will be covering these powers in the general tactics section for each army.


Warhammer 40000 8th Edition Tactics

Warhammer 40000 8th edition Dark Imperium Rookbook

The new release of WH40k is apon us! These tactics are written for the new Warhammer 40000 8th edition of the WH40k rules!

What is Warhammer 40k?

Warhammer 40000 is a table top wargame played with models, dice and rulers. It is set in a dark gothic version of the far future. In this future the human race has expanded to fill the galaxy, meeting several different races, most of whom want to kill them! However after this glorious expansion the human civilisation collapsed. In this game you join either the human race or one of the various alien races as humans try to rebuild society, mainly by beating everyone one else up!

What is Warhammer 40000 8th edition?

Game of Warhammer 40000 in playThe first release of Warhammer 40000 in 1987 was called ‘Rouge Trader’ and this was a role playing game with a bit of skirmish table top fighting thrown in. In 1993 Games Workshop took the game and re-wrote it to be a fully fledged tabletop battle game called Warhammer 40000 2nd edition (WH40k 2nd edition), and when I started playing WH40k. This became an instant hit. On the back of this game Games Workshop sold masses of models and rule books. Over the next years these rules where expanded and improved through the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th editions. Now in 2017, twenty four years later, Games Workshop have seen that the game needs a full overhaul. Much like the leap from Rouge Trader to 2nd edition, all the rule books have been thrown out and rewritten from scratch. This is the new Warhammer 40000 8th edition.

General Warhammer 40k Tactics

In  Warhammer 40k there are some tactics that are very useful no matter which army you use. In this section I will cover some of these generic tactics.  I will be presuming that you are playing Matched Play games and using the Advanced Rules. If you are playing power level matched games some of these tactics may not apply.

  • Learn The Rules. This must be the number one must do. You need to know the core rules, your armies rules,the advanced rules, the mission rules, and if possible the opponents rules too. That can be a daunting list if you are starting out. Don’t worry! You can split the task in to small, easy to do steps. Start by learning the basic rules first. Get some models on a table, roll some dice and see what happens. The model’s datasheet will give you most of what you need. When you are familiar with the core rules get gaming! There is nothing like playing a game with an opponent to have everything drop in to place quickly. As you come more proficient you will be able to mix in more advanced rules.
  • Use all Your Points! In Matched Play games you will agree on a maximum points limit for your army. There are no benefits from not using your full allocation of points. There have been many a game that has been won because an extra bit of wargear has swung the battle.
  • Get the Free Warlord Traits. When you look through the rule book and army codexes you may notice some free upgrades and abilities. The first is Warlord Traits on page 186 of the rule book. Extra Warlord traits are added in the army codexes too. You can only get Warlord Traits if you have a Character in your army, however this is recommended anyway.
  • Max out on Command Points. On Page 242 we are introduced to Command Points. Each army gets one command point just for showing up however if you organise your army in to a battle forged army formation then you can pick up loads more command points. The easiest option here is to go for Battalion Detachments. You can pick up 3 extra command points by having 5 units (two HQ and three troop units). For larger games you can have several Battalion Detachments.
  • Arcane Artefacts. These are yet more freebies hidden in the armies codexes. These are items that add even more abilities to your general. You usually only get one per army. However they are a free upgrade, so why not?
  • Any other freebies? With the army codex’e being released we can see that by opting for a faction or allegiance you can have access to aditional Stratagems, Warlord Traits and faction abilities. Generally there are no points cost to nominating a faction, so do it and get the freebies!

Armies of Warhammer 40k 8th Edition

As you may expect, after 30 years of development since the release of the original Rouge Trader version of Warhammer 40k the universe of WH40k is very developed with a number of races each with their own backgrounds and play styles. If you are new to the game you may want to browse through the different army types and discover which one is more suited to your play style and temperament.

One of the great advantages of the 8th edition reset is that no one army will have a dominance over any other. This means that you should have an equal chance of winning regardless of the army you select, and winning or losing will be dependent on your skills and not on the armies rules.

What are WH40k Imperial, Chaos, and Xenos armies?

Warhammer 40k armies fall in to 3 broad categories, Imperial – which is the human forces that follow the Imperial Emperor ( who is currently mostly dead and has been on a high tech life support machine for the last thousand years), the Chaos – human and daemons corrupted by another dimension called the realm of Chaos ( these are the basic bad guys), and Xenos – all the other races that just want to live peacefully and gorge themselves on human flesh!

Space Marines

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Warhammer 40k Dark Angel in pre-heresy colours

Space Marines are genetically enhanced humans developed to fight the enemies of the human race and bring order to the universe.

In game terms Space Marines are big, tough and well armed! The downside of the Space Marines are that they are few in number. When you are playing Marines you are saying that quality is better than quantity!

Space Marines are an excellent starter army for beginners. This is because you need fewer Space Marines models to play a game and they are good all round troops. Space Marines always included in the Warhammer 40000 starter box sets that Games Workshop release.

Space Marines come in different factions called Chapters. Each Chapter has it’s own colours and markings. Most of the Space Marines use the same rules, but there are a few exception to these rules.

You can find the rules for the Space Marines in the Index: Imperium 1 rule book.

Imperial Guard ( Astra Militarum ) and friends

Warhammer 40000 Astra Millarum Imperial Guard SquadWaging a galactic war need more troops than just a handful of super solders. This is where the massed ranks of the Astra Militarum, or Imperial Guard.

The Imperial Guard depend on large number and big guns over the skill of individual infantry men. This stand back and shoot does lead to difficulties if the enemy gets close, or if you have to go over the top of the barricades to claim objectives. To fill this gap the Imperial Guard have a number of friends to call on. These vary from Assassins, Nuns with guns, and Giant walking robots!

You can find the rules for the Astra Militarum, in the Astra Militarum Codex

Chaos Space Marines

Warhammer 40k Khorne Berzerker Chaos Space Marine

A Chaos Marine Khorne Berzerker.

In the Warhammer 40000 universe psychic powers are drawn from another dimension where evil spirits and the pure energy of chaos reside. The use of psychic powers and warp space travel has created rips in reality where this force of chaos can spill in to our reality, twisting, warping and corrupting all that it touches.

Chaos Space Marines are Space Marines that have been touched by, and succumbed to the seductive chaotic powers. These powers then warped their body and minds in to being crazed psychopaths with super human bodies and big guns!

Chaos Space Marines are basically 75% close combat specialists and 25% heavy support and support units. This means that you should be formulating plans where you can get in to combat quickly. Fast transport and loads of cover are your friends here.

You can find the rules for Chaos Space Marines in the Codex Chaos Space Marines rule book.

Chaos Daemons

Warhammer Chaos Lord with WingsWhere the Chaos Space Marines are humans that have been corrupted, Chaos Daemons are the raw stuff of chaos in corporeal form.

In game terms, the forces of Chaos Daemons are a very diverse army. All this corruption and mutation means that there is a massive variation in skills and abilities between units. The up side of this is that you are never short of interesting and wickedly devious models to play with. The downside is that you have to form this chaotic maelstrom in to a game winning army!

Summoning Chaos Daemons

Because the Chaos Daemons are made up of this ethereal energy many of them can be summoned by Chaos Characters (Daemons or Chaos Space Marines) in the middle of the battle. This makes them great re-enforcement units. Used correctly they can pop up unexpectedly catching the enemy completely off guard!

The Daemonic Ritual

To summon Daemons the Chaos Character needs to perform a ‘Daemonic Ritual’. To do this the Character needs to be on the table at the beginning of the movement phase (so not coming in via deep striking or reserves, or summoned this turn). If the Character does not move they can roll 3d6 at the end of the movement phase and bring in a Daemon Unit with a power level less than or equal to the 3d6 result. The Daemonic unit must be placed near the Character and more than 9″ away from enemy units.  This means that they may be able to assault in the assault phase!

Don’t expect summoning Daemons to be easy! first off, a Character can can only summon Daemons with the ‘Daemonic Ritual’ ability (most of them do) and the daemon needs to have the same Chaos Alliance as the character. This means that Khorne Characters can only summon Khorne Daemons and etc. The last issue is that the ritual may kill your character! When you roll the 3d6, if you roll a double then the Character suffers a mortal wound, and if you roll a triple then they suffer d3 mortal wounds! A double will happen 1 in 6 times, and a triple once in 36 times! So don’t worry about it.

You can find the rules for Chaos Daemons in the Index: Chaos rule book.

Eldar Craft Worlds

Warhammer 40k Eldar Guardians Defender SquadHere come the Space Elves!! Yes, your favourite pointy eared, hi-tech, aliens are here in Warhammer 40k too.

Eldar are mostly human friendly, but there is a good degree of mistrust and battles between humans and Eldar are as frequent as battles where they fight side by side.

In game terms Eldar are fast, nimble but fragile. With this army you will need to get various specialists working together hitting the right place at the right time, and at the same time avoiding the big guns of your enemy.

You can find the rules for the Craft World Eldar in the Codex Craftworlds rule book.


Metal Skeletons from the far past, or is that the far future? Either way they have the unnerving ability to re-animate. Will these dead things just lie down and die!

On the table Necrons are considered slower than most armies, however there are Necron units that move really, really fast. This can catch your opposition off guard. With Necrons it is essential that you know your army and all the special rules they have.

The rules for the Necrons can be found in the Index: Xenos 1 rule book.


Orks are savage green Orcs of fantasy. Armed with guns and war machines that seem to be built from scrap. These machines seem to work purely because the Orks have an absolute conviction that they should!

On the gaming table Orks are masters of close up hand to hand combat. Some are on foot, but there are post-apocalyptic trucks, and easy rider motorbikes. They are also backed up with some awesome, crazy war machines.

Orks have really benefited from 8th edition rules. In this version massed small arms fire really hurt. Big Shooters that have loads of shots, and Burners that don’t miss are great! Ork Dreadnoughts and Killa Kans have toughened up too!

The rules for the Orks can be found in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.

T’au Empire

The Tau are an Anime themed army. Their high-tech weapons give them speed and unprecedented fire power. And missiles that fire around corners!

The Tau where one of the top performing armies in the 7th edition. They may be toned down for the 8th edition but they will still be a force to be reckoned with. Speed and firepower is their stock in trade, but they do have a weakness in close combat.

You can find the rules for the Tau empire in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.


Forge World Tyranid HiraduleIs that a monster lurking in the darkness? Oh yes! Tyranids are aliens from another galaxy, totally unlike anything seen before ( unless you have seen any of the Alien’ films ), they have come to gorge on all living material, plant and animal, who’s genetic material is used to create new Tyranids and repeat the process. Tyranids are sometimes called the Great Devourer. Tyranid monsters come in all sizes from those the size of large dogs to some the size of four story buildings!

Tyranids have a very specific play style. They are mainly close assault creatures however they are brood creatures and controlled ‘node’ Tyranid creatures. Without these node creatures the lesser creatures start reverting to instinctive behaviour – and not doing what you want then to! So you need to protect your node creatures and get the the other creatures  in to close combat with the enemy without loosing too many to gun fire!

You can find the rules for Tyranids in the Index: Xenos 2 rule book.


Warhammer 40000 8th Edition nearly here!

Warhammer 40000 8th edition Dark Imperium Rookbook

The much anticipated new 8th edition of Warhammer 40000 rules are about to be released. some have managed to get copies early and there are videos on YouTube showing the box set, main rules, and additional Index Books (army codexes).

At is stands, the new rules look to be everything that Games Workshop have promised. The basic rules are going to be free. This will help new players get in to the game with the fewest obstacles. For more advanced players there will be an advanced rule book and ‘index’ books with the unit by unit rules for existing models.

As I write the new box set ( which includes the advanced rules), the Advanced Rule Book and the Index books have been made available for pre-order. Following a moth or two of solid marketing I expect that early orders for these items will be strong and if you want to ensure that you get them on release day, or soon after ( if you are mail ordering), then I highly recommend that you place an advanced order. You can order the new box set and rule books through your local Games Workshop store, or through the Games Workshop website, however if you want to buy them with a discount I would recommend buying them through a reputable online Games workshop stockiest like Element Games.

As you may expect, I will be getting my hands on the rules as soon as possible and update these pages with new tactics for the new game!


AoS Order Aelf Highborn Prince and Noble Tactics

Age of Sigmar Aelf Highborn Dragon Prince on foot

The Highborn Prince and Nobles are the leaders of the Highborn and other noble factions of the Elf / Aelf armies. in this section we will have a look at the Highborn Princes, Draconis Dragon Nobles, and several named Aelf heroes.

Why do we need a Hero?

In Age of Sigmar games you do not need to have a leader leading your army. However Heroes are the best fighters, have special/magic items that are better at killing your foe, and usually have Command Abilities that are better that the standard Inspiring Presence command ability.

Draconis and Highborn in one article?

Yes, this is a house rule around our way. The different Highborn factions are too small so we treat Highborn and Draconis as the same keyword and interchangeable. After a bit of play testing this seems to work well. If you want to take on the same house rule , great! otherwise ignore any tactics that assume that this is the case.

Aelf High Elf Prince on Griffon Tactics

If you have the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th edition box set ( Islands of Blood ), or the Spire of Dawn box set then you will have a lf Prince on Griffon.

The Griffon that the Elf Prince rides makes this a Monster and a hero. However this is an Elfish monster, sleek, elegant, and cuts like a razor. The upside of this is that the Prince on a Griffon is fast. The downside is that they will take damage quickly if they are attacked.

Griffon movement

Un-wounded the Prince and Griffon can fly 16″ a turn. This is a huge reach, but beware, this speed means that it is very easy to be caught out in the open without support. However this speed means that you can fly from one part of the table to another, supporting different units in your army or sniping at targets of opportunity. Just think ahead before you make your move!

One last note about movement is that the Griffon has a special rule when it comes to assault, the “Predatory Leap”. This rule allows you to leap 6″ when piling in. This should allow you to strike first in many assaults. Which leads us to…..

Prince on Griffon Weapons

All the prince’s weapons are combat weapons. This means that there is little advantage in holding back. He has quite a number of attacks too. 13 attacks per combat round when he is un-wounded. Most of these attacks wound 33.33% of the time, but many have -1 rend! This large number of attacks and minimal rend makes the Prince a good tool for taking on packs or swarms of smaller creatures rather than taking on Monstrous Creatures, even then the Prince will work better with assistance.

Prince on Griffon Command Ability : Glittering Charge

The Prince on Griffon makes for a good general. As such he come with an signature Command Ability “Glittering Charge” if you have the Prince as your general, and you use this ability in your command phase then near by Highborn units can re-roll either, or both charge roll dice if they charge before your next command phase. Remember that the Prince is always within 16“ of himself!

Aelf Dragon Prince Tactics

Age of Sigmar Aelf Highborn Dragon Prince on footThe Aelf Prince came as a box set of with a Dragon Prince on horse and a Dragon Prince on foot, or BSB (battle standard bearer). Game Workshop have added rules for including these models in Age of Sigma games.

If you have the downloaded the first warscroll pdf’s this model was listed as an Aelf Highborn Prince.

The Dragon Noble can be on foot or on horseback.

Dragon Nobel on Foot

The Dragon Noble on foot is armed with either a Starblade sword or a Enchanted Polearm.

Dragon Nobel on Horse

When mounted on a horse can take a Starlance instead of the Starblade or Polearm. If you are building your Dragon Prince have a think about your playing style before you stick the model together.

The Starlance has a 2″ reach so you will be able to attack the enemy over the top of any front line troops. The Starlance does wound less often (33.33% chance of wounding) but does have the -1 rend and a certain 2 damage.

Placing your Dragon Prince on a horse gives the Prince double speed at 12“ in the moment phase. The horse also gets in to the fight in the combat phase dishing out 2 attacks each with 25% chance of wounding.

As your Dragon Prince on horseback is much faster than your foot troops you will need to be careful that you don’t leave your Prince undefended. If you have other mounted troops you may want to make that unit a bodyguard for the Dragon Prince.

Dragon Prince Command Ability : Might of the Dragon

If you use this ability then the selected unit can re-roll failed hits. Remember that you can select the Dragon Prince himself. The best unit to select would be one that you are expecting to do a good deal of shooting or combat attacks. Another way to use this command ability is to choose a war machine where hitting the target delivers a large amount of damage.




AoS Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Tactics

Age of Sigmar Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Wizard Hero

Lord Barrek was in serious trouble. The Orruk Warlord in front of him was just too big and tough. He could feel the cracked bones burn as he desperately fought for his life. All of a sudden Barrek felt a surge of energy flood through his veins. A quick glance behind revealed Calif finishing one of his incantations. At the same time Barrek could feel bones in his body bind back together and flesh in the being made whole again. The Orruk Warlord was enraged with the trickery before him, his prey was becoming whole again. In a fit of anger the Warlord raised his mighty blade to smash the remaining life from Barrek. In doing so left the Warlord open for a second and Barrek took the opportunity, and his new found strength to peirce the Warlord where Barrek hoped his hart was and then twisted the blade for good measure. The Warlord let out a blood curdling cry to Gorkk. The closest Orruks turned to see their champion mortally impailed. They too echo the Warlord. Other Orruks turned to look and like a wave of sound the ripples of lamentation spread over the battlefield. As the howling became a eerie silence the Orruk turned and started to leave the battlefield. As if by a miracle the Warg was finished. The Orruks headed back to their homeland plains, and the free peoples would see another spring.

The Collegiate Arcane is the college of magic that the Free Peoples of Sigma go to if they need a Battlemage. These Battlemages protect the army from enemy wizards and to cause magic mayhem of their own!

Battlemages are not designed for close-quarter fighting. With a 6+ save most opposition will slice through their 5 wounds with ease. If it does come to the crunch you may get a lucky hit in as the Mages have a single attack with the usual 33.33% chance of hitting but comes with a -1 rend and D3 wounds! My advice though would be to keep your magic user behind a wall of warriors.

He’s My Hero!

One often overlooked feature of the Battlemage is that he is a Hero. This does not improve is usefulness directly, but some units have special bonuses if they are near a Hero, Human Hero, or Order Hero.

Look for the units with special rules that activate if you are near a hero and think about how you can use the unit and the Battlemage as a mini formation.

Battlemage Magic

With Mages, Wizards, and other magic users, the main source of usefulness comes from the spells and magic that they can wield. This is the case with the Battlemage too.

All Battlemages come with 3 spells they can cast. The first two are the standard Arcane Shield and Mystic Bolt. The Third spell comes from a list of 8 on the Battlemage warscroll and needs to be selected as you set up the model. Note that if for some reason you do not need to set up the Battlemage until partway through the game, you can see how the game is playing out before you choose your 3rd spell!

If you are playing using the rules from the Generals Handbook then you will probably be using the ‘rule of one’. This rule says that no spell can be used twice it one round, so you can not have two wizards casting Arcane Bolt in the same turn. If you have several wizards this can get limiting, Two reduce the limitation, I recommend that you give each Battlemage a different third spell.

Chain Lightning

Lightning Flash Chain Lighting is a direct damage spell that is very useful against massed units. If you can force your enemy in to a confined space then this may be the spell for you! It casts on a 6+, which is over half the time, but only just! However it will cause D3 mortal wounds to the target unit, and then there is a 1in6 chance for each other unit within 6″ of the first to cause D3 mortal wounds on them too!

So what is the best way to use this spell? First, as I mentioned, you need to herd the enemy in to a large group. You may find this spell works better if there is a lot of scenery on the table or if  you can flank the enemy so that they become concentrated  in one spot. The next step is to place your battlemage where you can cast a spell on one of the central units, preferably when your battlemage is near an Arcane scenery piece to get the +1 on your spell casting. Also having a bodyguard of warriors between the battlemage and the enemy will reduce the chance of having a counter attack on the mage! Now I know that it will be very rare that you can get all these elements in place, but the closer you get to the perfect situation the better!


Fireball Fireball does not need and introduction, it does what you expect, blasts a ball of fire at your opponent! It is also similar to Arcane Bolt when it comes to range and casting value. What is different is that Fireball is more random when it comes to damage. If you successfully cast Fireball you roll a D6 ( D3 really), on 1 or 2 the target suffers 1 mortal wound, on a roll of 3 or 4, you get to cause D3 wounds, and on a 5 or 6 to get to cause D6 wounds!

So how do you use this spell? The main tactical point is to target units that have 6 wounds or more. Smaller, weaker units may run out of wounds if you roll a 6, and that seems a wast of mortal wounds. The next point to consider is that this spell is very random. You need to roll to cast, then hope that it will not be dispelled, then roll for spell strength, and last of all roll for number of mortal wounds. This means that this spell could be very effective, or not work at all! With this in mind, try to have a backup plan. One where if the spell works really well you can take advantage of it, and on where if it goes horribly wrong you can get out of there!

Soul Steal

Soul Steal SpellThe Souls Steal spell creates a battle of bravery. Once cast both players roll a D6 and add this to their bravery scores. If the battlemage gets a higher final score then the target unit suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference between the two scores. So if you win by 3 then the target unit receives 3 mortal wounds!

Don’t worry if you loose the roll off. This spell does not backfire!

So how do you use this spell? Well the first point to note is that he battlemages bravery is 6. This is not high by any measure, so if you can increase the mage’s bravery somehow this will help. Inspiring scenery will help, as will some command abilities, and maybe spells cast by other friendly nearby mages. In the same way look for targets with lower bravery scores. Night Golblins and Trolls make good targets. In addition, friendly units near sinister scenery can reduce the bravery of enemy units around then, as can some spells too.

In summary this spell may need you to have several elements in place for it to work well. But then the organising of units for the best results is what tactics is all about!

Light Of Battle

Many time a wizard can do more to win a battle by aiding friendly units than he can by causing direct damage. This is one of those spells.

Light of Battle works in a similar way to the Inspiring Presence command ability but with a batch of bonuses. First off it has an 18″ range (over the 12″ of the Inspiring Presence ability), and the second advantage is that it gives all the other friendly units within 6″ of the target unit in the battle shock phase get +1 bravery.

Final Transmutation

This is another direct damage spell a Battlemage can cast, and it is designed for those who like to kick the opponent while they are down!

How it works is you pick a unit in 18″, roll to see if the spell works, and then pick a model in that unit as the target. Now some units are single models like heroes or monsters. However in multi-model units you can pick out the one you want to target. This may be the unit leader or banner carrier, or a multi-wound model that has already taken some wounds. Note that the mage does not need to be able to see the target model, just any model from the unit.

Once you have picked your target and made sure the spell goes off, then you roll a D6. If you roll greater that the remaining number of wounds for that model then it changes in to a golden statue & is out of the game! Note that the target does not suffer mortal wounds, so it does not get a chance save against wounds or mortal wounds!

So how do you use Final Transmutation spell? Well as I said at the top, look for wounded characters or monsters with a couple of wounds left and finish them off! Otherwise look for units that have one or two wounds per model and snipe a model out of the unit. Remember that units get +1 bravery for every 10 models, so smaller units make better targes. My favorite targets are Chaos Warriors that have 5+ saves against mortal wounds. With this spell you can pick off the units leader or banner carrier with ease!

Mystifying Miasma

Mystifying Miasma a spell that does not damage your opponent directly, but causes them to be weaker than usual. In this case if the spell is successfully cast then the target unit becomes a bit befuddled and has 1 subtracted from their to hit rolls.

So how do you use this spell? With this spell you want to target units that will be shooting or in combat this turn. The more attacks you think they will make, the better target they become. Another way to look at it is to protect a key friendly unit by reducing the incoming hits. A cannon may only have one shot, But if you can stop it from firing at your general then it may be worth trying to block the shot!


Beast man eye. This is another of those spells that helps your friends rather than kills the enemy directly. With this spell you choose a friendly unit within 18″ of the wizard and roll 6+ on 2D6 plus any bonuses. If the spell activates then the target unit gets +1 to wound in thier combat phase or phases untill your next command phase. So if your enemy gets double turn you get your combat phase and their combat phases.

So how do you use this spell? The key issue with the Wildfire spell is that it only works on friendly units in close combat, or just about to enter close combat. This may include the Battlemage himself. However as the Battlemage is not great in close combat you will want to have him protected by warriors anyway!

So have your Battlemage near the front line, but protected by warriors. Have the warriors engage in close combat, and have the Battlemage use this spell on them to give them an extra boost!


The last spell it the Battlemage spell book is Lifesurge. This spell can heal wounds of nearby units and give them a 1 in 6 chance of shrugging off wounds until your next hero phase.

This spell does not raise the dead back to life! The target model needs to be on the table when the spell is cast. As the dead are immediately removed, they will not be there to heal. In a similar way you can not heal models in reserve either!

So how do you use this spell? Well you need to have your Battlemage near a unit of multi-wound models. Heroes and monsters are usually single model multi-wound units, so they will do nicely! Also if you pick a unit that you expect will need to make several saves in the next round, all the better! Remember that the Battlemage himself is a multi-wound character and you can cast spells on yourself!


AoS Destruction Ogor Gutbusters

Age of Sigmar Destruction Gutbuster Ogors

Ogor Gutbusters are not subtle. Coming from the frozen waste lands where only the biggest and toughest survive, Ogors Gutbusters come to grab supplies and smash and bash anything and everything that gets in their way!

If you like to fight battles with monster creatures that win battles using brute force, then an Ogor Gutbusters army could be your thing!

Games Workshop have stopped selling many of these units, but they may be available through eBay.

In 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy the Gutbusters where the Ogor Kingdom army.

From a gamers point of view one great advantage of building a Ogor army is that you do not need many models to make a good sized force. It only takes 3 models to make a unit. Sure a unit of 12 works better, but compared to a unit of 30+ Orruks, that is still much easier to collect, carry and paint!

Ogor Gutbuster Butcher Tactics

Butchers are the wizards of the Ogor army. However that is not to say that Butchers are useless in a fight. Far from it! The Butchers are only slightly behind the

Ogors Brute Tactics

Age of Sigmar Destruction Gutbuster OgorsIn the Age of Sigmar Destruction Gutbuster Ogors army, Ogors Brutes are the rank and file units. They have no ranged weapons so you will want them to get stuck in to combat as soon as possible.

Ogre Brutes have 3 attacks and a 33% of wounding before saves. This means that you should expect one wound per Ogor model. However the winds of fate will mean that this will vary, but the more Ogors you have in a fight, the more the averages will even out!

Ogor Brutes have 4 wounds and a 5+ save. This means that they are not invulnerable, but they should take a battering before they are laid low!
Ogor Weapons

Ogor Brutes have two weapon options. the first is to have two clubs/blades, the second is to have one club/blade and one iron fist. A unit can have a mix of models with different weapon options.

If you take two blades then your chance of hitting increases by 1 in 12 (8.33%). With this option the chance of wounding goes up to 37.49% chance of wounding (before saves). Not a lot, but worth remembering the re-roll if you get it!

If you take the iron fist option then you do not gain any advantages during your melee round, bur you do get to hit back if you save with a roll of 6+. Remember that you may save bonuses that will help your save roll, these are added to the final dice rolls first.

Ogor Irongut Tactics

If the regular Ogors are not brutish enough, then meet the Ogor Ironguts! These are Ogors with heaver armour and double handed weapons!

Iron Guts wear basic armour and get a 4+ save because of it. That’s 50% of regular wounds saved. Adding this save to the usual 4 wounds that Ogors get and you start to see what makes this unit so tough!

Ogor Leadbelcher Tactics

Age of Sigmar Destruction Ogor LeadbelchersLeadbelchers are Ogors that have picked up a cannon from some where, loaded it with gunpowder and scrap metal and now use it as an oversized blunderbuss!

Like many of the other Ogor units there you only need a minimum of Leadbelchers in a unit. The unit does not get any special rules for being larger than this, so keeping to smaller sized units may be a good strategy!

The Leadbelcher Gun

The main feature of the Leadbelcher unit is the Leadbelcher Guns that they carry. In true Ogor fashion, these guns have no finesse! The closeted weapon that I can think of is a Blunderbuss. They have a short 12″ range, and a random number of attacks.

The Leadbelcher Gun can be used in 3 ways. The first is as a melee weapon, hitting the opponent with is like a club. Do not under estimate the effectiveness of this weapon on close combat. It has 2 attacks per model, each attack with a 33.33% chance (2 in 3 chance of wounding per model) of wounding, with -1 rend and 2 wounds! Basically these weapons can make a mess of most units!

The second is a close ranged move and fire weapon where you can fire the Leadbelcher Gun even if you have moved or you are in combat. Fired this way you get D3 attacks, each with a 33.33% chance of wounding with -1 rend and 1 wound. This means that they are less effective as a ballistic weapon (49.99% chance of wounding) then they are and close combat clubs (66.66% chance of wounding) ! Don’t give up hope though, because you have to remember that you can shoot in the combat phase too, so the chance of wounding is not either /or but the sum of the two chances to wound!

The 3rd option is as a stand and fire weapon. If you stand and fire you do not increase the, but you do increase the number of attacks from D3 to D6 per model! This doubles your chances of of wounding (before saves) which works out at 99.99% chance of wounding, or 1 wound per turn per model!

So how do you get to shoot at close range without moving? The usual best tactic is to get the enemy to come to you, preferably slowly and in small numbers at a time! This means holding an objective that they want, funnelled through a tight space and over difficult ground. The chance that you will be able to set this up each game will be slim, however the closer you get to this ideal the better!



AoS Destruction Ogor Beastclaw Raiders Tactics

Age of Sigmar Destruction Gutbuster Ogors

If you like the grunt of the Ogor Gutbusters, but want them mounted on the biggest, badest monsters you are likely to see, then the Ogor Beastclaw Raiders could be just up your street!

Beast Claw Raiders where created with Age of Sigma in mind so it is no surprise that they have their own Battle Tome, and that they fit into the Age of Sigma game easily. They are one on the Destruction alliance armies so you could add them to a Orruk army quite easily. The up side of this is that the Beast Claws will give the Orruks some heavy hitting Cavelry, and the Orruks will give the Beast Claws cheaper foot troop units that they lack.

Ogor Frostlord on Thundertusk Tactics

The biggest, badest of the Ogor Beastclaw Raiders is the Frostlord.