Space Marines Reviews: HQs Part 8: Captain Lysander


Captain Kill em all himself, Lysander is up for review! As always, check out the tactics corner for more tactics articles and battle reports!

Lysander is a stud. He is designed to go toe to toe with anything in the galaxy, take a punch, and then smack their nuts off with his Hammer of Awesomesauce. Last edition he lived up to his reputation, how does he hold up now?

Lysander is a tough as nails captain of the Imperial Fists 1st company, and survivor of the tortures of the Imperial Fists’ nemesis legion: The Iron Warriors. He’s a man on a mission: kill every Iron Warrior in the galaxy and let the Emperor sort them out after!


Lysander is first and last a combat character. He is designed to stand his ground in the face of Greater Daemons, Xenos and scum of all type and come out the victor. Secondarily, he provides a short range leadership buff which is nice, but make no mistake, he is built for battle. He’s gone up in points since his previous incarnation, 30pts over 2 Thunderfire Cannons, but hey, he was pretty criminally under-priced last edition. The only limitation you have to work around with big man, is his slow speed.


  • 2+/5++
  • 4++
  • 3++ (Take that, Vindicaire! 3 invuls for you, sucka!)
  • Fist of Mother F*U^#’N Dorn! Aka: The Beast Stick. Strength 10, Ap 1, Concussive, Master-crafted, unwieldly. Boom! Can’t ask for much more than that.

Special Rules:

  • IC
  • Imperial Fists
  • Warlord: Champion of Humanity. Can win you the game but who accepts a potentially game losing challenge, to Lysander no less, if they can avoid it? Good, but one of those abilities that will only rarely do anything for you.
  • Icon of Obstinacy: Imperial Fists within 12″ re-roll failed Morale and Pinning tests.


Lysander is not difficult to use. At all. You point him at the enemy, and let him go. He has a Captain stat line with 4 wounds, and his hammer of widow making is brutally good. Even with his points increase, he is still one of the lowest priced heavy hitting characters in the game. When I say that, I mean EW, 4 wound, very durable combat characters (2+/3++) that hit hard.

The only real question when running him is how do you intend to get him stuck in? The old trusty Land Raider is never a bad choice (unless you play in a very melta heavy meta) and he with Thunder Hammer, Storm Shield Termies are one of the most powerful combat units you can put on the table, susceptible only to hordes of light infantry where they will go down to weight of numbers. But, in this meta of Gundams all over the place, Lysander and Hammernators will stomp the crap out of Riptides, Daemon Princes, Draigo, Greater Daemons and Wraithknights like its nothing. The only combat characters you really need to be wary of are things that have a high number of AP 2 attacks such as a Daemon Prince with a Daemon Weapon, Abbadon, or a MC with Warp Speed, etc. Or, characters with special rules that can bypass your defense such as Swarmlord.

A Drop Pod is also a viable option. It delivers Lysander and a unit of your choice into the guts of the enemy formation. Now, be wary of the limitations that come along with this strategy. Once placed, the unit is largely static. You have to drop them in a good spot. Also, be sure to drop them somewhere you can support them as even Lysander can’t take focused fire for long. That said, he with Sternguard, Honor Guard (although you would need a Chapter Master to unlock them–but he AND a pimped out Chapter Master would be a scary unit!), a Command Squad, even an Assault Squad or Tactical Squad in a pod is a great choice. Also be wary of giving up First Blood on your turn to interceptor fire vs. the Drop Pod. Happens to me all the time, unfortunately.

Losing Bolter Drill the way it was in the last book stinks as he with Sternguard were punishing, but getting a watered down version of it army wide plus the bonus to devastators more than makes up for it. Which, coincidentally, is a solid list for Imperial Fists. Lysander with a powerful, mobile assault unit to counter attack or press the assault, backed up with powerful shooting units to hold your backfield, and more efficient Tacticals and Scouts to take objectives.

You can also Deep Strike him if needs be, although this would be the least optimal strategy, IMO. Too much risk involved for what will likely be your Warlord. Unless you absolutely need to do it or you have a Teleport Homer (or something similar) I would pass on this option, myself. That said, he with some Tactical Termies in the backfield would be OK, if you wanted to go that route. Just be prepared to lose or play without a huge chunk of your army on a bad scatter or to poor reserve rolls.

Lastly, go old school and just foot slog him up the table. Not glorious or flashy but it can work. Typically, you want to increase the speed of a model like this as a savvy opponent is not going to give you a charge if he can help it (although you can use this for area denial tactics), and Lysander is not earning his pay if he isn’t smacking people around with his hammer. Every turn he isn’t in combat is typically not a good turn.

As a final note on deployment and movement with Lysander (or models like him) I like to build options into my list. Leave room in a Drop pod for him, room in a Land Raider, maybe a unit that can outflank that he can join to, etc. This gives you the greatest amount of flexibility in putting this unit where you need it.

That’s really all there is to the guy: he is extremely straight forward. He doesn’t do a lot, but what he does is done very well! Determine how you are going to deliver him into the enemy and then smile as he brings the Emperor’s justice to the various scum of the universe.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

15 Responses to “Space Marines Reviews: HQs Part 8: Captain Lysander”

  1. Pascal Roggen September 21, 2013 11:29 am

    you missed his 5++ from termy armour;P…..Toughest cat in the Galaxy!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 22, 2013 7:00 pm

      Haha, true! 3 Invul saves!

  2. Black Blow Fly September 21, 2013 3:43 pm

    I wish he had four base attacks but other than that he is the man hands down.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 22, 2013 6:45 pm

      He is a bad ass.

  3. Siphen September 21, 2013 9:56 pm

    Great review! The strength 10 AP 1 Master-Crafted weapon really makes him a beast, but I think it should be mentioned that he’s no longer the end-all be-all combat character in the book.
    For just a slightly higher cost (~15 points more), you can make something along the lines of: Chapter Master + The Shield Eternal + Artificer Armor + Bike + Power Fist.
    15 points for:
    Relentless Orbital Bombardment
    12″ movement + turbo-boost (And Hammer of Wrath and TL Boltgun)
    +1 Attack
    +1 Toughness
    +1 to Deny the Witch
    You can run units down.
    You can go for a better Warlord Trait.
    You’re not locked into Imperial Fists (not that they’re bad).

    It’s certainly not strictly better, but I don’t think Lysander is ALWAYS the go-to guy if you want to win a fight.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 22, 2013 6:47 pm

      Very good points. And yeah, I should have mentioned that he does compete with the Chapter Master who is pretty comparable.

  4. michael September 21, 2013 10:12 pm

    HE ID SOOO GOOOOD! I just used him in a game against Pascal and his Daemons( I just deployed in the middle of my deplyoment zone foot slogging style). Lysander and his unit of Hammernators crushed his hounds. Killed them all including Fatewaver over 5 rounds of combat! I want to take him and a unit of scouts as allies to my Blood Blood Angels, then take libby in termie armor( take prescience), a unit of blood angels termies and a priest in termie armor…awesome sauce!My marines will have feel no pain and furious charge and the whole unit will have rerolls to hit. So delicious

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 22, 2013 6:48 pm

      That would be a brutal deathstar!

  5. Terminator October 5, 2013 1:47 am

    Great article! Any advice how to build a 1500 point list around him? With hammernators and a Land Raider, that’s half your points! My favorite unit in the game though.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 5, 2013 9:13 am

      It is half your points but that is how I would run him almost every time! After that, take all cheap scoring and support units like Scouts, Tacticals, Thunderfires and Storm Talons.

  6. Terminator October 8, 2013 12:22 pm

    I’m thrilled with the idea of running a Lysander/Hammernator/Raider death star in my 1500 point army. Could you be more specific on what exactly you would try to fit in the rest of the list? I’m really interested in your recommendation.

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 8, 2013 12:49 pm

      No problem. I would run the following:

      Hammernators x 5
      LRC: M.Melta

      Tactical Marines x 10: Melta, M.Launcher, Rhino
      Tactical Marines x 10: Flamer, M.Launcher, Rhino

      Stormtalon: Skyhammer
      Stormtalon: Skyhammer

      Devastators x 6: M.Launcher x 4
      Devastators x 6: P.Cannon x 4


      That gives you tough scoring units that are flexible, can combat squad if you need, barrage weaponry, AA, a hammer unit for assault, mobility, and nice firepower. I think it gives you a little of everything.

  7. Terminator October 8, 2013 2:18 pm

    Cool! Thanks! Great ideas. What would you cut for 1500?

    • Reecius
      Reecius October 8, 2013 3:46 pm

      I answered your post above this one =)

  8. Alex November 13, 2013 7:45 pm

    Keep in mind he lost bolster defenses. That with the loss of bolter drill (you don’t need Lysander for it) AND an extra 30 pts is hard to swallow