WH40k 7th Edition Tactics

Warhammer 40k Dark Vengeance Box set

Warhammer 40000 (WH40k) is the futuristic version of popular Warhammer science fiction table top wargame. Between the two core Games Workshop games (Age of Sigmar being the other) Warhammer 40k is probably best developed. With WH40k you have rule books and army books ( codexes) that have developed over many years and a huge repository of background material..

In this section we will have a look at the tactics for the Games Workshop Warhammer 40000 table top wargame. Please remember these pages do not replace the game rules. You will need to buy (or have access to) a copy of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook to play the game. The official introduction to the game can be found at http://www.games-workshop.com

Uplate! Warhammer 40000 8th edition Comming Imminently!

Games Workshop are releasing the 8th edition of the Warhammer 40K rules. This release will be a major change. The changes will be so big that most of the existing tactics will need to be reviewed and re-witten. For the players staying with the (very solid) 7th edition rules, I will be moving these pages to the ‘other wargames’ section.

I have written this site aimed at those who have played a couple of times and own a copy of the rules and want to advance their skills. If you do not have a copy of the Warhammer 40000 Rulebook them buy one. It’s a must have item to play the game.

Some Of the 7th Edition Tactics You Can Find Here

I have slit this site in to a section with General WH40k tactics that apply to most armies, and then sections for each 40k army with specific tactics for those armies.

General Tactics for Warhammer 40000 – 7th Edition

Warhammer 40000 (WH40k) is the futuristic version of popular Warhammer science fiction table top wargame. Between the two core Games Workshop games (Age of Sigmar being the other) Warhammer 40k is probably best developed. With WH40k you have rule books and army books ( codexes) that have developed over many years and a huge repository of background material..

In this section we will have a look at the tactics for the 7th edition of Games Workshop Warhammer 40000 table top wargame. Please remember these pages do not replace the game rules. You will need to buy (or have access to) a copy of the Warhammer 40k Rulebook to play the game. The official introduction to the game can be found at http://www.games-workshop.com

Uplate! Warhammer 40000 8th edition Is Here!

Games Workshop are releasing the 8th edition of the Warhammer 40K rules. This release will be a major change. The changes will be so big that most of the existing tactics will need to be reviewed and re-witten. For the players staying with the (very solid) 7th edition rules, I will be moving these pages to the ‘other wargames’ section.

I have written this site aimed at those who have played a couple of times and own a copy of the rules and want to advance their skills. If you do not have a copy of the Warhammer 40000 Rulebook them buy one. It’s a must have item to play the game.


Tyranid Genestealer Cults Tactics for WH40k 7th Edition

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus Psyker

The Boys are back in town! Tyranid Genestealer Cults are back!

If you know me you may know that I started playing Warhammer 40k with the original Space Hulk boxed game in the mists of history so the re-appearance of Genestealer Cults brings a sense of joy. Anyway, on with the important bit, the Genestealer Cult Tactics!

As always, these notes are written with the expectation that you have access to the Codex: Genestealer Cults book and the main WH40k rules.

What are Genestealer Cults?

Before the Tyranids existed as a WH40k army Games Workshop released a board game based on 40k ( as they do from time to time ) called ‘Space Hulk’. The first variant of Space Hulk had two expansion sets. One called ‘Deathwing’ ( introducing the Dark Angel first company ) and one called ‘ Genestealer ‘ that introduced Genestealer Cults to the 40k universe. Warhammer.Wikia has a detailed page on the history the of Space Hulk game. Over time this army sported off the Tyranid army that has mainly superseded them. Now with a new boxed game ‘Over Kill’ featuring Genestealer Cultists we have a new Genestealer Cults Codex and some new models too!

In Warhammer 40K terms Genestealers Hybrids are part human and part Genestealer. As such they have close combat skills inherited from thier Genestealer parents and ballistic skills inherited from thier human parents.

Genestealer Hybrids go through several generations. With each generation the Hybrids close combat skills become weaker and thier ballistic skill improves.

General Genestealer Cult Tactics

Genestealer-AcolytesBy their nature Genestealer Cult armies are a rag tag army of gutter trash and army deserters. By the time they grow in to a force large enough to conquer planets they get observed in to the Tyranid main force. This means that the Genestealer Cultists are far better at smaller skirmish games than full Apocalypse games.

The Genestealer Cults army has a number of specCult Ambushial rules that help the Cult army in areas with lots of cover. City Fights and Jungle warfare spring to mind. If you have a chance to effect the amount of cover go for as much as possible!

Most of the Genestealer Cult units have the ability to infiltrate and the drop back in to reserves. This means that you have the ability to keep your enemy chasing shadows. The same abilities allow you to ‘steal’ objectives. Popping up to take objectives. then slipping away again. Remember that you do not have to destroy the enemy to win games.

The main weakness in the Genestealer Cult army is lack of air support and anti-aircraft weapons. The best option if you are facing air attacks is to dive for cover and hide! Option 2 is to get some missile wielding Neophytes.  These can be upgraded to have sky-fire missiles. 

Genestealer Cults Special Rules

Genestealer Cults have a number of sneaky special rules. These will help you in built up City Fight scenarios.

Cult Ambush

The Genestealer Cult Codex has a new table that you can use instead of Infiltrating or arriving from reserves in the usual fashion if you wish You do not have to use the new table (p97), you can choose when you return the unit to the table, and you can have some units returning normally and some returning using the new table. Note that if the unit is in a Goliath or Chimera then you have to return using the normal reserves rules.

The benefit of using the standard rules is that they are less open to risk. You know that the unit will be coming in on the left or right table edge and you have a 1 in 3 chance of choosing which edge they come in on too. With the new table there are 6 possibilities. As I have said elsewhere, randomness is the enemy of solid tactics.

So why use the new table? The main reason is that you can arrive much closer to your pray. There is a 2 in 6 chance that you can arrive within 9″ ( easy assault range next turn) and only 1 in 6 chance that you may arrive further away on your table edge. The best of all though is if you roll a 6 then you can return within 3″ of your pray and assault in the same turn. Do this with a large unit of Purestrain Genestealers and you can wipe out whole units before returning to the shadows (see the next special rule)

Return to the Shadows

This sneaky special rule will have your opponents chasing shadows! Not only can the Genestealer Cult units infiltrate in, but they can drop back in to reserves ready to pop up elsewhere on the table later.

To use this rule the unit must have the ‘Return to the Shadows’ special rule, not be in a vehicle and be more than 6″ away from the enemy at the start of the movement phase. This means that you will need to make sure that you are not encircled. When arriving from reserves choose targets that are on the edge of the main force, or better still, stranded from their comrades. Also watch out for traps like enemy units deep-striking behind you! 

Notice that you can not return to the shadows and reappear on the same turn. This would be too much like teleporting! As you return to the shadows in the movement phase you will not get to shoot or assault in that turn. Make sure that you use your units effectively.

Genestealer Cult HQ Tactics

The Codex: Genestealer Cults gives us four HQ options. The first is the Genestealer Patriarch, then there is the Magus. Both of these are familiar from earlier Codexes. In addition there are two new HQ tactics to this codex.

Genestealer Patriarch Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Tyranid Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord ) and Genestealers

The Genestealer Patriarch is the head of the Genestealer insurgence on a planet. As such there should only be one Patriarch in a game. However if you want to fly in the face of the background story, or if you want to create a new storyline, the rules do let you field a number of Patriarchs in a game. Be warned, there may be an amount of shouts of ‘Cheese!’ from opponents and onlookers!

Genestealer Magus Tactics

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus PsykerWith each generation the Genestealers pick the most psychic offspring to mate and create the next generation. By the forth generation a leader with full psychic powers is developed. These are the Genestealer Magus’s. They are the psychics of the Genestealer army. You may note that the Patriarch has limited psychic powers, but the Neophyte and Acolyte psykers are missing from this codex.

Genestealer Primus Tactics

The Genestealer Primus is a new addition to the Genestealer Colt army. As an army General he is cheaper than a Patriarch and a better fighter than the Magus. If you are fighting small games or you need the points elsewhere then the Primus is worth considering.

Genestealer Acolyte Iconward Tactics

The Genestealer Acolyte Iconward is an Acolyte that has proved himself worthy of the honour of carrying the cults Icon. The Iconward has stats comparable with a Space Marine Captain and has access to the Genestealer Sacred Relics if you want to spice your Iconward a bit.

Genestealer Cult Elite Tactics

Elite troops are usually more expensive in points costs than troop units. In a standard formation you are limited to 3 elite units in an army. This is so you have enough space for plenty of troop choices. In a unformed army you can have as many of whichever units you want. However having too many elite units will mean that you will be out numbered during the game. Add elite units to your army list, but I highly recommend not over doing it!

Purestrain Genestealer Tactics

40k-Tyranid-Genestealer-150Purestrain Genestealers are the original Genestealers from the Space Hulk Games. The stats in the Codex Genestealer Cults are different from the Codex Tyranids. If you are playing both army lists in the same game you will have to make sure that the different units can be visually told apart.

Purestrain Genestealers only have a 5+ save. This means that the will be ripped apart by most weapons, and the ones that do give you a save will mean that yo are saving 1 in 3 times. This means that you need to keep out of line of fire as much as possible. Hug all the cover you can. The Cult Genestealers get the Stealth special rule. This will help against most weapons.

One way  to keep out of line of fire is to get to your pray quickly. Genestealers get Infiltrate and the special Genestealer Cult special rule ‘Cult Ambush’ to start closer to the enemy, the Fleet and Move Through Cover rules should help them cover intervening ground.

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Tyranid Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord ) and Genestealers

You can have up to 20 Purestrain Genestealers in a unit. This would be expensive, but add survivability to the unit. Note that a squad of 20 stealers is difficult to hide. Have a play with squad sizes and see what works best for you.

Genestealers do not get a dedicated transport option. This does not mean tat they can not hop in to a passing empty Chimera or Truck. Hitching a ride can be a way of moving around the table faster and giving the Genestealers some much needed protection.

Genestealer Hybrid Metamorphs Tactics

Genestealer Cult Hybrid Metamorphs are a new addition to the Codex Genestealer Cults. The Metamorphs are Genestealer Acolytes with extra biomorph mutations. This does push up the points cost per model by one point. As the biomorphs are close combat based you will need to see how often you get in to assault to see if the upgrades are worth it.

Genestealer Aberrants Tactics

Genestealer Aberrant are new to the 2016 Codex Genestealer Cults too.

Genestealer are beefed up infantry units. Armed with Power Axes and Power Hammers, Aberrants they have the clout to make a dint in the toughest tank or walker. Remember that you have to get close to get the hits in.

Genestealer Cult Troop Tactics

The Genestealer Cult Codex provides a couple of troop choices. One option is a close assault focused option and one is more like a Imperial Guard squad. Both options are cheap which means that you can crate a horde army allowing you to out number the opposition.

Genestealer Acolyte Hybrids Tactics

Genestealer Hybrid NeophytesGenestealer Cult Acolyte Hybrids are second and third generation Genestealers. Second Generation Genestealers are half purestrain and half human. These creatures almost look like purestrain Genestealers but can carry weapons. Third generation hybrids look more human but may have 2 to 4 arms and a purplish tone to their skin.

With their Genestealer heritage Genestealer Acolytes are good close combat units for the points cost. their ballistic skill is 3 ( better that the BS2 that they use to be) so you do have half a chance of hitting with your autopistols, however you may want to upgrade as many Acolytes as possible with hand flamers as these hit automatically and ignore cover!

Acolytes with hand weapons get an extra attack on top of the 2 ( or 3 with Acolyte Leader). If you get the charge bonus you can get 4 ( or 5 ) rendering attacks. This means that you have a good chance of winning an assault even against more armoured foe.

So what are the best tactics for Acolyte Genestealers? As with most of the cult army, choose small units as your targets, sneak up close, wipe out the target if you can, and then run away to fight elsewhere on the battlefield later in the game.

Genestealer Neophyte Hybrids Tactics

WH40k Tyranid Genestealer Brood BrothersNeophyte Hybrids are more human than Genestealer. They have access to a wider range of weapons. The downside is that they have far more human stats. In fact the stat line is so close to an Imperial Guardsman that many use Guard models as Neophytes.

The Genestealer Cult Codex allows very flexible formation for Neophyte units. For example you can have two miner heavy weapons or one Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon. Also you can have two special weapons.

Genestealer Cult Fast Attack Tactics

Most Genestealer Cults are fast because they can disappear one turn and reappear somewhere completely different in the next turn. However this disappearing and reappearing act means that you miss some phases and opportunities to cause havoc. With fast units you can usually get around the table quickly and stay on the table the whole turn.

Think about your tactics before you draw up an army list. The less cover on the table, the more fast and heavy units you will need.

Chimera Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Chimera troop transpoterThe Genestealer Cult army is often joined by renegade Imperial Guard Units. Some of these units bring basic Guard equipment with them. For this reason it is no surprise that the Genestealer Cult army has access to a number of basic Chimera.

Chimera can move units around the table quicker than running and give some protection and offer some fire support too.

As the Genestealer Cult Chimera is like the Imperial Guard one you can deploy all the same tricks. A favourite is the ‘Mobile Pillbox’ where special weapon or heavy weapon squad members can pop the top hatch and fire their weapons on the move.

Armoured Sentinel Squad Tactics

Armoured Sentinels give the Genestealer Cult some much needed heavy weapon support. It does not have the return to the shadows special rule, so you have to be careful that you are not backed in to a corner.

As infantry units in the Genestealer Cult army are very capable at taking on softer infantry targets, I recommend tooling up your Sentinels with Lascannons, Plasma Cannons and Missile Launchers to take out larger, more armoured targets.

Scout Sentinel Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Sentinel SquadronScout Sentinels are like the Armoured Sentinel Squads but with less armour (Douh!). The upside, apart from being 5 points cheaper, is that they gain ‘Scout’ and ‘Move Through Cover’ special rules. I feel that the sneaky nature of these walkers make for a better fit with the nature of the Genestealer Cult army, so they are my preferred choice.

Like the Armoured Sentinels I recommend upgrading the weapons to take on more armoured targets.

Genestealer Cults Goliath Trucks

Out goes the limousine (do you remember them?) and in comes the Goliath Truck as transport for your Genestealers and hybrids.

Genestealer Cult Heavy Support Tactics

Some times you just need big guns! The Genestealer Cults has two heavy support options. The first is the Goliath Rock grinder, the second is the Leman Russ battle tank with a variety of weapons.

Leman Russ Battle Tank Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Leman Russ Battle TankThe Leman Russ Battle tank is a core element of the Imperial Guard army. As such it is no wonder that they are available to renegade units that defect to the Genestealer Cult. The challenge though will be to work big slow noisy behemoth in to the sneaky hit and run tactics.

Goliath Rockgrinder Tactics

In addition to the Goliath Truck the Genestealers get a Heavy Support version with extra heavy weapons and extra grinding dozer blade called the Goliath Rockgrinder.

Genestealer Cult Formations

One thing that we do have with the Genestealer Cult Codex is a good number of formations. Many of these match the boxed sets that Games Workshop sell like the formation found in the Overwatch boxed game.


Tyranid Carnifex Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Carnifex

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

The Tyranid Carnifex is one of the Iconic models in the Tyranid army. Now you can have three per brood, but the point cost has risen.

The Tyranid Carnifex and the Hive Mind

The Tyranid Carnifex Leadership is not particularly high. This means that it is risky to have the Tyranid Carnifex out side of Hive Mind zone. One tactic here is to place the Tyranid Carnifex in front of your Tyranid Hive Tyrant. This gives the Tyranid Hive Tyrant some solid cover, and it allows you have a solid core for your Tyranid army that you can surround with your smaller Tyranid creatures.

Tyranid Carnifex Special Rules

The Tyranid Carnifex comes with a few special rules.


The Tyranid Carnifex get the ‘Fearless’ special rule. This gives you some advantages if the Tyranid Carnifex strays outside of the Hive Mind controlled area.

Living Battering Ram

One of the weaknesses of the Tyranid Carnifex is that they have a low initiative score. This special rule gets the Tyranid Carnifex an even fight with a Imperial Guard trooper! Be aware that this will be negated if you have to assault over cover (So the Guardsman will still probably still strike first!)

Tyranid Carnifex Strength and Weapons

The Carnifex has a number of weapon choices that you can choose from. What weapon choices you take will depend on the opponent that you are facing. The detail for these weapons can be found on page 81 to 83 of the Tyranid

Scything Talons

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

Crushing Claws

The Crushing Claws upgrade gives you a small random number of additional close assault attacks. As this is a close combat upgrade, it’s value is determined by the number of times that you get in to close combat.


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

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

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


Stranglethorn Cannon

Heavy Venom Cannon

Carnifex Toughness Armour and Bio-morphs

Warhammer 40k Tyranid CarnifexThe Tyranid Carnifex has quite a few upgrade options. Be careful with the upgrade options. The Tyranid Carnifex are expensive in points, so upgrades need to be thought out before use.

Adrenal Glands

Frag Spines

Frag Spines count as assault grenades. This option mat be worth it is you assault over cover on a regular basis,
however I tend not to bother and accept that I will be striking last. The Carnifex’s toughness and wounds are usually high enough to take punishment before you strike back.

Toxin Sacs


The Bio-Plasma upgrade is a Biomorph rather than a weapons upgrade. Just like the spine banks. This means that you can take it in addition to the main weapons. This is good because as a Monstrous Creature the Carnifex can fire two weapons a turn.

So, is the Bio-Plasma weapon worth taking? Well for 20 points you get a short range blast weapon. This means that you can not use it for over watch, but you have to be in Assault range to use it (and it may scatter back on to you). However it is a S7 blast weapon so it is good for thinning out the opposition before you Assault. However this seems to be too smaller a return for the points cost. 


Tyranid Old One Eye Tactics

Old One Eye is a unique creature, so you can only have one in your army. Also as it is a special character, there are no options with Old One Eye. You get fixed list of Biomorphs and special rules. This means that other players that know the Tyranid rules will know exactly what this creature has, and may have some counter measure in store for you.

Old One Eye Strengths and Weapons

Old One Eye is armed with close combat weapons. This means that the best place for Old One Eye is in a fight. Actually the best fight for Old One Eye is in an assault with a tank. Even Space Marine Land Raiders will crack apart easily enough. The trick will be to get Old One Eye in to position. As Old One Eye does not have any shooing weapons, you may as well run in each shooting phase.

Old One Eye Toughness and Biomorphs

Old One Eye is a Tyranid Carnifex, so by default it has the Tyranid Carnifex toughness too. As usual this means that lasguns and bolters will wound on 6’s but S10 weapons kill not instant kill.

Berserk Rampage

Old One Eye gets a special rule called Berserk Rampage. This allows extra attacks each round. If you add this to the extra attacks that Old One Eye may get for having Crushing Claws, this means that you will have between 6 and 16 attacks on the charge, with an average of 9.25 attacks on the charge and 8 attacks after that. Also remember that Old One Eye has Scything Talons, so some of the misses may be able to be re-rolled too. Also as usual Old One Eye gets armour that is as tough as a Space Marine. This means that all the weapons that slice through Power Armour will slice through the Tyranid Bonded Exoskeleton too. There are no Invulnerable save options either. This means that you need to use what ever cover is available, even if this is only the smaller Tyranid creatures in front.

Rapid Regeneration

Old One Eye gets a special rule called Rapid Regeneration. This is like the Regeneration biomorph upgrade that you can get for a Tyranid Carnifex, but it works on 5’s and 6’s. This means that each wound will recover 1 in 3 (or 33%) of the time. Or put another way, if Old One Eye has lost 3 wounds, you could expect to see one wound re-heal.

To counter this your opponents will (or should) blast Old One Eye with every heavy weapon available to take off all the wounds off Old One Eye in one turn. This will mean that you will not get a chance to regenerate. You mission will be to see if you can duck for cover after taking a wound or two so that you can regenerate & come back fighting.

Other Old One Eye Special Rules

If all of that was not enough, Old One Eye has some other tricks up it’s sleeve / claw too.

Alpha Leader Special Rule

Old One Eye gets an interesting special rule called Alpha Leader. This is like the leadership that you find with other armies, sometime called inspiring leadership. Basically it means that Old One Eye can keep the Army together a bit better if there is no Synapse available. This in turn means that having Old One Eye on a flank instead of in the core of the Tyranid force will help you expand your area of control over a larger section of the gaming table.


Space Marine Tactics for WH40k 7th Edition

Pre-heresy Dark Angel Space Marine

Space Marines! Heroes of the Imperium and genetically modified super soldiers. However you will find that you are often outnumbered. This means that tactical cunning is imperative. read this tactica to find out how to get the most from your Space marines.

Space Marines are the easiest army for a new player to learn. They are very flexible in their tactics. For example a standard tactical team can fulfil the roles of infantry, support and assault. The downside of this flexibility is that Space Marines tend to be out numbered by enemy troops. When you play using Space Marines you are saying that quality is better than quantity!

Space Marine General Tactics looks at tactics and strategies that work for all the Space Marines Chapters. Chapters that have different codex’s may find these pages useful.


General Space Marine Advice

Due to the ‘all round’ nature of the Space Marines you should be able to adapt to use any tactics that you find on this site or elsewhere. In addition to searching this and other Warhammer sites for tactical advice. Search the net and your local library for ideas on what tactics great historical generals used in their campaigns. Alexander the Great may not have used  Lascannons but his formations are worthy of study.

Learn the Rules

I have said this in the general advice for all armies but it does need saying again:-

Get The Rule Books and Read Them!

You will need the main Warhammer 40k Rule Book, and the Codex: Space Marines for the Space Marine specific rules.

Sharing rule books with friends might work for a week or two, until you decide whether you like the game or not. After that you do need the books. If you have to decide between spending money on the rule books or on models get the books. Use Plasticine / coins / used match sticks / silver foil, to make some home made models.  If you have models with out the rules then they will just sit on a shelf looking pretty.

Tactical Squads

A WH40k Space Marine Tactical Squad Learn how to use the Space Marine Tactical Squads in your army, and everything else will fall in to place. Learn when to stand your ground, when to advance and when to retreat. If you learn these three skill with this one squad type you will win 60% to 70% of the games you play.

Keep it Simple

As a new player keep your army simple. Four tactical Squads and one HQ. choice is all that you require of the first few games.

Playing Styles

It won’t take you long to spot that different Space Marine players have different styles of playing. Some will charge forward and get in to close assault as soon as possible, others will stand as far back as possible and use their guns to whittle down the advancing enemy. Other players will use fast troops and vehicles to wage a hit-and-run style campaign, and some prefer a close ranged fire fight. In this section I will be examining different playing styles and the pros and cons of each.

Close Assault Armies

Space Marine unit with jet packsClose Assault armies are very successful. They are so successful that Games Workshop have changes the assault rules to weaken them a notch or two. The reason that they are so good is that you have two assault rounds each turn and only one shooting turn (your assault phase, and the opponents assault phase). Some of the issues that a close assault army has are speed, grouping, and cover.


With a close assault army speed is of the essence. The sooner you are in combat the sooner you will be using your killing skills. Speed can be achieved by putting jet-packs to the back of your troops, putting then in transport, or dropping them on to the battle field with drop pods and teleport.


With assaults it is much better to attack a weak defence with a much larger force. To do this you need to identify a weak spot in the defence and hit it with all your army. That requires all your army to arrive at the same time. If your troops arrive in a piece-meal fashion then your opponent will be able to hack you down before you reach critical mass.


To effective assaulting force you need to reach the target in one piece. This means that you have to avoid being shot at. Cover has several different forms. Buildings and hard cover that you can run up behind reducing the number of shots that the enemy can take at you.

Tanks can provide moving cover for the troops inside them, and any troops that follow them.

Your opponent will use cover to protect his troops. This allows him to attack first when he is assaulted, probably killing some of your troops before they can strike back. This advantage can be minimized by  taking frag grenades.

Shooty Armies

Space Marines defend a power plant in a Planetstrike gameWith all these close assault armies around, sometimes the best option is to stand back and shoot them down as they charge in.

The Best Starter Space Marine Army

The Space Marines are a great army for a player to start with when they are starting to learn to play Warhammer 40k. The question I am often asked is what type / style of army should a starting player choose, and which models should they get.

If you are just starting out here is a simple 500 point list to get you started:

Points Models


Captain with basic equipment


10 Basic Man Marine Squad with Missile Launcher, Meltagun, and Rhino with 2nd Storm Bolter fitted


10 Basic Man Marine Squad with Missile Launcher, Meltagun, and Rhino with 2nd Storm Bolter fitted

This should give you a tactically flexible force that can take on either large monstrous creature armies or armies with hordes of troops, to the same points value. It is also a good base to start from when building up your army later.

Another option is to get the Dark Vengeance starter Box Set. This box set includes a full Space Marine Tactical Unit, a Terminator Squad, a Bike Squad and two HQ characters for £65 ( retail at time of writing, internet discounts are available). The bonus is that you get a full set of Chaos baddies to fight and all the rules, rulers and dice that you need.

Space Marines Special Rules

Space Marines only have a couple of special rules. It is worth getting to know them.

They Know no Fear

This special rule represents the high level of training that a Space Marine receives and comes in three parts; passes re-group tests; re-group with less than half strength; and resisting sweeping advances.

Automatically Passes Re-group tests

Using this rule Space Marines automatically pass a re-group test . This normally happens the turn after the Space Marines failed a leadership test. Be aware that if the Space Marines do not get chance to test then they will still be fleeing. This happens if the enemy are within 6 inches of the squad at the start of our turn.

If your Space Marines pass the re-group test, then they can move & fire as normal. This gives you an option to run for cover, or fire heavy weapons.

Not Wiped Out by Sweeping Advances

This rule represents the steel hard resolve that all the Imperial Space Marines have. In game terms this rule means that your Space Marines will not be wiped by a sweeping advance. Instead they get a second to fight. This rule will not help you against overwhelming odds but it will tie up your opponents for another critical(?) turn.

Combat Doctrines

Generic Space Marine chapters ( ie, not Dark Angels, Blood Angels, or Space Wolfs, & etc. ) have Combat Doctrines. These are spacial skills different Space Marine chapters hsave. In the 2015 Space Marine Codex these doctrines gave moved to be special rules that can with the formations. This means that if you can organize your forces to use the formation then do it. The Combat Doctrines are well worth having.

Space Marine Combat Squads

Most 10 man Space Marine Squads can be split in to two 5 man squads. These are called combat squads. You get to choose if you want to split your 10 man squads in to combat squads just before you choose your Warlord Traits, This means that you will be able to see what you are facing before you decide. Don’t choose lightly because once split the squads cannot rejoin forces again this game.

Combat squads have the strength of being able to cover more ground, and you can divide your assault weapons away from your squad heavy weapon. This means that you can have a squad of 5 holding an objective with a heavy weapon while another squad of 5 can go after another objective.

The weakness of combat squads in that two small squads is frequently weaker that one large one. Your opponent can focus his efforts to wipe one small squad before swinging around to take out the other small squad,


Impereial Guard Fast Attack Tactics Updated

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Sentinal

More details have been added to the Imperial Guard Fast Attack tactics page. The Imperial Guard are not known for being a speedy army, however with the introduction of tactical objectives, even the Imperial Guard need to break cover and claim those victory points!