Warhammer 40,000 Faction Focus: Space Marines
They know no fear and are the Angels of Death, serving as the Emperor’s mailed fist, delivering death to the enemies of mankind. They are the most iconic faction in Warhammer 40000: Space Marines. While considered by many in the Imperium to be heroes, they are undeniably monsters to their enemies. The most popular faction in the Warhammer 40,000 universe is coming back with reinforcements, the new Primaris Space Marines.
Armies of the Adeptus Astartes are currently mostly played two ways. One is the Battle Company play style which consists of lots of Space Marines, grav cannons and (often free) vehicles. All told, it can often make them feel like a bit of a horde army. The other way is to pair them up with Space Wolves and Dark Angels to combine the numerous overlapping Universal Special Rules from Characters into a single, powerful unit.
In the new edition of Warhammer 40,000, Space Marine players will have a wealth of options for how they assemble their force. While this may mean that the builds that are currently most popular may no longer be the most efficient, it means that you can look again at the massive range of Space Marine units available, and know that all of them can find a place in your army.
Let’s start with the Centurions since these guys have been very popular since their release. They get the Centurion missile launcher, which is D3 shots at Strength 8, AP -2, which do D3 damage. They can also take two lascannons. which means these guys are terrifying against high Toughness, high Wound models. Now if hordes are what you fear, don’t worry, they can still take two heavy bolters and hurricane bolters, dishing out loads of shots every turn. These models will be extremely hard to kill with their 2+ save and 3 Wounds. And, be sure to keep an Apothecary nearby to keep these guys alive and kicking.
But, what about the question everyone has on their minds? What about grav cannons? The weapons that single-handedly changed the game in the current Warhammer 40,000? Well, I am very happy to say that grav weapons are still good, but have been mercifully toned down to a much more reasonable weapon. They now no longer relegate so many units in the game to being relatively poor choices, but they still pack a nasty punch for those of you that have these models in your collections.
Next up, let’s talk a bit about Predators. Predators haven’t been seeing much play in quite a long while. As noted above, with the abundance of grav weapons on the tables, being a vehicle was a hindrance. Luckily that is no longer the case. Predators are powerful, able to carry 4 lascannons into battle while being Toughness 7 with 11 Wounds – this vehicle is now a very scary unit. The Predator will be in your backfield raining death upon transports and elite units alike. Or, load them up with the Predator autocannon and heavy bolters, or a mix of any of those choices, as you can fire every weapon at a different target! Make sure to get these bad boys a new paint job in honour of the new edition and make some room in those army cases, cause Predators are back!
How about we talk a little bit about the famous Primarch that just came back, Roboute Guilliman? We’ve all seen his stats and he looks like a beast with his 9 Wounds and 6 Attacks. His gun also is good, being Rapid Fire 3, giving him 6 shots at half range. It is also Strength 6, AP -1 and does 2 Damage per shot – essentially an auto cannon with more shots on a platform that hits on 2s and is hard as nails to kill. He also wields the Emperor’s own sword which gives him +2 Strength and slices up enemy armour with AP -4 and 3 Damage per swing. Plus on the wound roll of a 6+, the weapon does an additional D3 mortal wounds…ouch! This guy can kill most things in the game by himself.
His new armor is pretty awesome as well, giving him a 3+ invulnerable save and allowing him to get back up of a 4+ the first time he dies. Good luck killing Roboute. He cannot have anything else going for him could he? Well, he also gives all Ultramarines within 6” of him the ability to re-roll hits and wounds. That is magnificently powerful. Guilliman is a warrior straight out of legend and will be seen on many a tabletop.
Lastly, let’s talk about the iconic Space Marine Dreadnoughts. These machines, unfortunately, have been outpaced by other units for a while now, but that is all about to change. Dreadnoughts in the new edition are Toughness 7 with 8 Wounds, which makes them a lot more resilient than before. They also have 4 Attacks that are Strength 12, AP -3 and 3 Damage each, which will put a serious hurt on any target. Their heavy flamer is excellent for overwatch and killing hordes, and the heavy weapons they can take make them scary at range as well. I anticipate a lot of twin lascannon equipped Dreadnoughts in the near (far?) future.
Dreadnaughts are no longer pushovers, and they can be scary in close combat and in shooting. Like all vehicles, they no longer have to worry about the punishing damage table rendering them worthless due to immobilisation, etc. It is a good day to be a Dreadnought…you know, despite having to be horribly injured and stuck in a walking sarcophagus.
Overall Space Marines are a very versatile army and will play more closely to their lore without the free points and character bombs. I hope you are all ready to retake the galaxy for mankind!