16 Jun 20

Faction Focus: Space Marines

In the first instalment of our new Faction Focus series, we introduced the Necrons and revealed how they’ll be shaping up in the new edition. Well, today, it’s the turn of their rivals in the glorious Indomitus boxed set – the Space Marines. This time, we’re joined by playtester Tony Kopach, who’ll be offering some insight into wielding the mighty Adeptus Astartes in battle in the new edition.

Who Are They?

The Space Marines are the Emperor’s Finest – the greatest hope for the survival of Mankind in an era of endless war. Each of them is a genetically engineered superhuman trained to deal death in every aspect of warfare. They are clad in nigh-inviolable plate armour and armed with the finest wargear available to Mankind, and through their deeds in battle does the Emperor mete out his vengeance upon the enemies of the Imperium.

How They Play in the New Edition

For this bit, we’ll hand you over to Tony Kopach. As a stalwart member of Team USA and with countless tournament victories to his name, it’s fair to say you’re in safe hands with Tony! Read on to learn more about how the existing Space Marines rules can be applied in the new edition to get the most bang for your boltgun…


Tony: Hey everyone! Today I’m going to be discussing some of the changes our favourite Angels of Death can look forward to in the new edition! Space Marines are already one of the most powerful armies right now, with a large tool kit of available units, Stratagems and supplements to take advantage of. In the new edition, these options have only grown!

Thanks to the Big Guns Never Tire rule, all of our vehicles will be able to shoot accurately on the move and even in combat. This means all of our armoured walkers such as Invictor Tactical Warsuits and Redemptor Dreadnoughts immediately get a boost in power too. Another change that Space Marines benefit from is the addition of Blast weapons, as they have access to some of the best artillery in the game in the Thunderfire Cannon and Whirlwind Scorpius. With the guarantee of firing the maximum number of shots against larger enemy units, your Space Marines shouldn’t be outnumbered for long!

An important thing to remember is that with the next generation of missions in the new edition, you can select secondary objectives that your army is more suited to achieving. By using the revamped terrain rules to limit the number of enemy units that can shoot at your army, you can focus on pouring your efforts into achieving the objectives. This strategy works very effectively with Space Marines, as they can use their speed, flexibility and hitting power to apply maximum force to specific areas of the battlefield.

When I’m playing Space Marines, I like to take the have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too approach as much as possible (who doesn’t, honestly?). What this means on the tabletop is maximizing the amount of damage I can do to my opponent while limiting their ability to do hurt me in return. I accomplish this by using a combination of artillery, reserve units (using the new Strategic Reserves rules or otherwise keeping them protected) and terrain. It’s easier than ever to hide units behind buildings, helping to keep troops safe and ensuring they get great use out of weapons that ignore line of sight. Meanwhile, reserve units offer flexible deployment and the ability to deliver damage right where they’re needed.

I will take the moment to say though, that this is just one way to play Space Marines. As I mentioned earlier, they’re blessed with an incredibly large range of models, as well as many different codexes and supplements to choose from. Depending on the play style you enjoy and the Chapter that you choose, your in-game approach will vary. I hope you all enjoy getting your Space Marines on the table in the new edition! 

Key Units

As an army of highly elite warriors supported by a powerful and highly flexible vehicle pool, Space Marines can be customised to excel in any style of warfare. Here are some of Tony’s top picks for the new edition.

Thunderfire Cannon

 

Tony: As you can probably already tell by now, I enjoy blasting my opponents away with a great deal of firepower. Given that, a Spearhead Detachment of Heavy Support units will frequently find its way into my lists. Among my favourites is the Thunderfire Cannon, and with the free Command point you receive at the start of each turn, you’ll be able to keep your opponent’s best unit pinned down every turn with Tremor Shells!

Devastators (in Drop Pod)

Tony: Among the hardest-hitting units to have available to you in reserve is a squad of Devastators armed with grav-cannons in a Drop Pod. By making use of the Gravatic Amplification Stratagem, there’s not much that they can’t eliminate in a single volley, and they can drop from orbit right where you need them.

Primaris Lieutenant

Tony: I would be remiss to not also include at least one Primaris Lieutenant to provide a generous helping of re-rolls* to the army. It truly is the cherry on top of our Space Marines cake, and no army of theirs is complete without one! Whether you prefer to keep them near your shootiest units armed with a master-crafted stalker bolt rifle or kit them out for melee combat using the new Primaris Lieutenant from Indomitus (complete with awesome neo-volkite pistol), there’s one for every occasion!

Thanks, Tony! Are your Space Marines ready for war, or are you looking to add a new unit or two to your collection in readiness for the new edition? Maybe you’re just chomping at the bit to get hold of Indomitus to pick up a whole load of reinforcements, or using it to start a new strike force of Adeptus Astartes? Let us know on the Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page, Instagram and on Twitter using #New40K.


* Specifically, wound rolls of 1 in the case of Primaris Lieutenants.