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Space Marine Heavy Support Tactics

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

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Vindicator

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


Devastator Squad

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Devastator Squad Devastator Squads are squads of Tactical Space Marines that have specialised in the use of heavy weapons. You can have up to four heavy weapons in a squad.

Cheapest Heavy Support Choice for Beginners

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

Weapon Choices

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

Devastators with no Heavy Weapons

Yes you can have a devastator squad with no heavy weapons! This may be useful if the want to field more troops that the standard six troop choices will allow (also see command squads and assault squads with no back packs).
In the past you take turns placing squads, and heavy support squads where placed first. It this situation a cheap heavy weapon squad could be placed forward so the opponent had to start 12" to 24" further back. This gives you a better 'Kill Zone' against horde & close combat armies.

Heavy Bolter

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


The Multi-Melta is a great tank busting weapon. It works well on big tough creatures too.
The Multi-Melta is a relatively short ranged weapon, so you will want to set up your Devastators closer to the enemy, or load them in to a Razorback and move to a statistic location to set-up a trap for the enemy.

Missile Launcher

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

Plasma Cannon

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


Lascannons are the most powerful weapon available to the Space Marine Devastator Squads. Its' the most expensive (in points cost ) too.
Lascannons have a range of 48" so you can keep them well back, in cover if you can. Yes I know the space Marines have 3+ armour save, but a bit of cover will help against al those AP 1,2,& 3 weapons.
The Lascannon is S9 so it will cut through T14 tank armour glancing on a 5 and penetrating on a 6. Lighter armour will be cut through more easily.

Thunderfire Cannon

The Thunderfire Cannon is a new addition to the 2008 Space Marine Codex. It comes as a Techmarine gun platform set and works like with the artillery rules when shot at.
The Thunderfire Cannon has a choice of four rounds it can fire each turn. Remember that you can only fire one type of round per turn, but you may pick and choose which type of round you fire each turn, you have enough of each type of ammunition to last the whole battle.
The Thunderfire has a very long range but it needs line of sight. Its best to place in on a hill at the back of the table.

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

Surface Detonation

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

Air burst

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

Subterranean Blast

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

Land Raider Tactics

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Land Raider

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

Land Raider Special Rules

Machine Spirit

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

Assault Vehicle

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

Modelling Tip

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

Land Raider Crusader

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Land Raider Crusader

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

Land Raider Redeemer

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


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

Predator with anti-tank weapons

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

Predator with anti-troop weapons

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


Warhammer 40k Space Marine Whirlwind

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

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

Vengeance Missile

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

Castellan Missiles

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


Warhammer 40k Space Marine Vindicator

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