Codex: Space Marines Overview

Hey everyone, Reecius here to give an overview of the new Space Marines Codex! You can also pre-order this product from Frontline Gaming in their web-cart at a discount, too.

8th edition is now REALLY here with the drop of the first Codex! This gives players a taste of what the game will be like as it matures, and when combined with the fact that Games Workshop isn’t afraid to use FAQs to correct course, this is shaping up to be a great edition. This article is meant to give you an overview and preview of the new Space Marines codex!

Big Picture

What we’ve got with the Space Marines Codex is a complete faction package as opposed to the “get you by” rules we got in the indexes. I hope that now the bigger picture of the game’s complexity and cool combos are going to become apparent to players. While spam will always be appealing for simple mathematical reasons (points efficiency and redundancy) the introduction of very cool Stratagems (which each codex will be getting, as GW has already said!) add a lot of flavor and cool combos that incentivize you to take larger units in order to maximize these buffs. As you can only use them once per phase, it makes sense to optimize for a larger unit to get the most impact.

An example of this is one of my favorite units in the dex, Sternguard (who now are 18pts all in with Special Issue Boltguns!) who have access to the Masterful Marksmanship stratagem which for 1 Command Point adds +1 to their wound rolls when shooting Special Issue Boltguns. That means you are typically wounding infantry on a 3+ or 2+, and most vehicles on a 4+! With a -2 Ap, and buffs from support characters, this will do some real work on almost any target. Combined with their base 2 attacks and cheaper sarge weapons such as Power Fists (now only 12 points!) and base 3 attacks on them, you have a solid all around unit that comes in at a reasonable price point. Combo in a character like Pedro Kantor and a Lieutenant for a cool, themed detachment that also performs quite well. There are lots of opportunities for these types of  fun, characterful and powerful combos in the book!

And the Chapter Tactics are very cool! Folks are focusing on them but they’re only part of the picture. You gain these benefits in a Space Marines Detachment only if every unit in it has the same <Chapter> keyword.

  • Ultramarines: +1 Ld and can Fall Back from combat and still shoot with a -1 penalty.
    • This is REALLY good! Especially with all of the aura buffs to reroll hits. Not being tied down in melee is crazy useful for units like Devastators, etc.
  • White Scars: +2″ to advance moves and can still Charge after a Fall Back move.
    • Not many people are talking about this one but it is SUPER good! The bonus to advancing is fantastic for winning games and being able to Charge after falling back makes them slippery devils, especially when combined with units that have the Fly keyword, who can leave combat and still shoot and charge.
  • Imperial/Crimson Fists: Ignores cover and reroll failed wound rolls when targeting buildings.
    • A lot of folks are poo pooing these Chapter Tactics but Ignores Cover basically grants all of your shooting a bonus AP when targeting enemy units in cover…that’s pretty dang good! However, they are less flashy than some of the other Chapter Tactics and I think players will look to the other benefits these Chapters get to compensate.
  • Iron Hands: 6+ “Feel no Pain” save.
  • Black Templars: Reroll failed charge rolls.
    • These are also getting some negative press but a melee oriented army that gets dramatically improved odds to get in to melee? Yes please!
  • Salamanders: Reroll one failed hit and wound roll each time a Salamanders unit shoots or fights.
    • This is obviously sooooo good!
  • Raven Guard: -1 to hit units with these Chapter Tactics if being fired on from over 12″ away.
    • These are extremely good Chapter Tactics and will certainly be seeing a lot of play.

Defenders of Humanity

This rule is a game changer and will shake up list building quite a bit. It is basically what we knew as Objective Secured, previously. Troops in a Space Marines Detachment control an objective even if they are outnumbered unless the enemy in range of the same objective has a similar rule (HINT, HINT!) in which case it goes back to number of models. You also only gain these benefit if you have a Space Marines Detachment, which is defined as one wherein all units have the same <Chapter> keyword. This is why we kept hammering the new ITC WYSIWYG rules! Your opponent has to be able to clearly tell what detachments are what Chapter.

While this certainly doesn’t make you have to choose troops units it certainly incentivizes you to do so as you also gain easier access to more Command Points through the Battalion and Brigade detachments. In testing, we had some great results with Tactical Marine heavy armies using the Ultramarines Chapter Tactics and some of their amazing characters like Sicarius and Guilliman. Tons of Command Points, tons of Objective control, tons of bodies and the ability to leave combat and still shoot! Not bad at all.


Twenty Six unique stratagems for the Space Marines….nice! These add so much to an army in regards to not only power but flavor. As stated above, there are Stratagems unique to certain units like Sternguard, but also for other units as well such as Thunderfire Cannons such as the Tremor Cannon stratagem which makes them -1 to wound but targets hit halve their move, advance and charge distances. WOW! That can seriously screw up your opponent’s plans for only 1 CP.

Many of these Stratagems give you awesome utility or hearken back to things that used to be in the game such as the Killshot Stratagem that grants 3 Predators within 6″ of one another +1 to wound and damage vs. Vehicles and Monsters. Some are generic in application but incredibly powerful such as Honour the Chapter, allowing a unit to fight a second time in the fight phase for 3 CP. This is crazy good when you are in position to really hammer your opponent with a powerful melee unit, or to blow through a screen unit then tear into a juicy unit behind it! Anyone that has used or faced Berzerkers can attest to how good this can be.

Many of them benefit not only units but specific Chapters of Space Marines! These bring a lot of flavor to the game.

  • Ultramarines: 1 CPreroll rolls of 1 for a unit of Infantry or Bikers in the shoot or fight phase. Reroll all misses for Tactical or Intercessor Squads.
  • White Scars: 1 CP, a Bikers unit can Advance and still shoot and charge.
    • Pretty cool when combined with their automatic 8″ Advance! An almost assured first turn charge or ability to race across the table to take an objective.
  • Black Templars: 1 CP, use to gain a 4+ to Deny the Witch within 24″.
  • Imperial Fists: 1 CP, “Bolt” weapons can fire another shot on a hit roll of a 6+.
  • Iron Hands: 1 CP, a vehicle ignores the penalty for moving and shooting a heavy weapon or for advancing and shooting assault weapons.
  • Salamanders: 1 CP, +1 to wound for Flame weapons.
    • This ability is BRUTAL! You will melt entire units with it.
  • Raven Guard: 1 CP, “infiltrate” a Raven Guard Infantry unit during deployment but before the game begins, 9″ away from enemy units.
    • This is particularly powerful and my favorite Chapter specific Stratagem. 

Warlord Traits

There are a host of new Warlord Traits which grant a wide variety of benefits from ignoring Leadership to bonus AP on to hit rolls of 6 in the shooting phase. There are also Chapter Specific Warlord Traits which further add flavor to them.

  • Ultramarines: Any CP spent to use a Stratagem is refunded on a 5+.
    • Ultramarines win big again with this one!
  • White Scars: A 4+ to inflict a Mortal Wound when your warlord finishes a charge move within 1″ of an enemy unit.
  • Black Templars: 6″ range for heroic Intervention.
  • Imperial Fists: +1 to cover saves vs. AP -1 weapons for units within 6″ of your Warlord.
  • Crimson Fists: +D3 attacks for your Warlord if there are 10+ models within 6″ of him.
  • Iron Hands: Walord generates another attack for each 6+ to hit.
  • Salamanders: +1 Strength to your Warlord.
  • Raven Guard: Enemy units cannot fire Overwatch against your Warlord.
    • Wow, Raven Guard hitting a home run, again! This is a great ability especially in the context of their other abilities. 


In addition to all of the above, there are also awesome Artefacts, too! The way these work in 8th ed, is they are “free” upgrades (very similar to AoS) but the model often has to already have a similar piece of kit in order to take it. So, you sometimes end up paying points for the Artefact in a roundabout way. There are many that you already know and love such as the Shield Eternal (replaces a Storm Shield, halves damage suffered by the bearer), the Teeth of Terra, The Burning Blade, etc.

The absolute best, IMO, is the Standard of the Emperor Ascendant. It packs more benefits that any artifact should! It grants you a 3+ for models dying to attack one more time before kicking the bucket, a 6″ fearless aura and a -1 enemy Ld debuff, too! In practice I stick this bad boy in with some shooting units and they are just brutally good. Again, there are Chapter specific artefacts, too.

  • Ultramarines: 3++ save and Deny the Witch.
  • White Scars: +1 to cast Smite for White Scars psyker.
  • Black Templars: Helm granting +3″ range to Aura abilities.
    • This is a great Artefact for Black Templars.
  • Imperial Fists: Bolt Pistol that has 2 shots, is Strength 4, AP -1 and 2 Damage.
  • Crimson Fists: Power Fist that does a flat 3 damage with no to hit penalty.
    • This is a solid choice on the now cheaper Power Fist.
  • Iron Hands: +2 Strength Axe, -3 AP, 2 Damage.
  • Salamanders: +1 toughness to the bearer.
  • Raven Guard: Jump Pack granting Advance and Charge and rerolls for failed charges.
    • WOW! Great artefact especially when combined with the Raven Guard Warlord Trait stopping Overwatch.

New Psychic Powers

There are also some very cool new psychic powers available to Space Marine Librarians as well! Some of these are very situational but as you choose them pre-game knowing their uses is very vanulable to the canny Space Marine player.

  • Psychic Scourge: Mastery Level 6, opposed leadership roll within 18″, if the Librarian ties the enemy takes a Mortal Wound, if they fail they take D3.
  • Fury of the Ancients: Mastery Level 7, 3d6″ line, enemy units under it take a Mortal Wound.
  • Psychic Fortress: Mastery Level 5, friendly Space Marine unit auto passes morale and has a 4+ to stop Mortal Wounds caused by Psychic Powers.

And that is just the beginning. There are new units, points adjustments, and much, much more to discuss in the Space Marines codex which we will dig in to with time! Also, many players have been asking about units that are changed, missing or have different wargear in the Codex and the answer is yes, some units are straight up gone (Librarian on a Bike) and some have different wargear options.

What are you most excited about with the new Codex? Which Chapter Tactics do you like best?

Also, be sure to grab your LVO Tickets if you have not! Registration broke records this year and many events are already filling up!


About Reecius

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

110 Responses to “Codex: Space Marines Overview”

  1. ChrisG
    Ahkris July 25, 2017 2:17 pm #

    The strategems are looking like they will add tons to the game. So far having more than ~6CP has felt like a bit of a waste but i can definately see trying to get 12 in the future with all these additional options. Cant wait for the death guard codex to see what GW does there.

    Awesome writeup, cant wait to see where 8th goes!

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 25, 2017 2:25 pm #

      Yeah, Stratagems really do add a LOT to the game. Very fun. And glad you enjoyed the article =)

      • Avatar
        Ytook July 25, 2017 2:41 pm #

        Really wasn’t expecting 26 unique ones! Marines will likely get more than most but that’s still super exciting going forward.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 25, 2017 2:45 pm #

          GW already stated that every Codex was getting 26 Stratagems at Warhammer fest =)

          • Avatar
            Ytook July 25, 2017 4:14 pm

            Oh cool! Completely missed that 😛

  2. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 25, 2017 3:08 pm #

    Problem is..there are far faaar to few command points to go. Getting 9 in a friendly under 2h game is impossible and having 6 is simply put inadequate for a fun game where you plan on relying on cp strategies somewhat.

    Take a chapter master and a relic and you are basically all out of command points to use to fun-up the game with.

    Sorry but armies should start with more then 3 measly cp by default.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 25, 2017 3:27 pm #

      Franky and I find that 6 +/- 1 is fine. You don’t use all of them in a game, of course, you build a list that wants to use a few then you have a few generic ones you call on when needed.

      For example, I have a list that uses the Sternguard stratagem every game, but often only once or twice as the Sternguard are then often in melee. I then sometimes use the the extra Artefact but not often, only if it makes sense for that game.

      If you want more CP, there are lots of ways to get them. But, in most of my armies, I find that roughly 6 is fine. My Raptors have 9 and some games i don’t even use them all!

  3. Avatar
    Duz_ July 25, 2017 3:30 pm #

    So RG can’t deploy more than one unit for their strategem? The community site made it sound like you could do multiple?
    Does the rule of 1 apply seeing as its before the game?

    • Avatar
      Joshua July 25, 2017 3:58 pm #

      I would also like to know this too. I took the same reading away from the community article.

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 25, 2017 6:16 pm #

      Straight from the rulebook on stratagems in matched play:

      “This does not affect stratagems that are not used during a phase, such as those used ‘before the battle begins.’ “

      • Avatar
        Joshua July 25, 2017 6:27 pm #

        Ah thanks threllen!

  4. Avatar
    Blight July 25, 2017 3:31 pm #

    Reece please just tell me that Word Bearers are good. Need that codex out now.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 25, 2017 3:38 pm #

      My lips are sealed, sorry =(

      But, I think CSM players in general will be VERY pleased. I know I am!

      • Avatar
        Blight July 25, 2017 3:44 pm #

        They fix obliterators and bring back marks of chaos then I will be ecstatic. Index list is great. With the added fluff of a codex plus a few minor fixes it will be the best chaos has ever been.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 25, 2017 3:55 pm #

          Well, I cannot divulge any specifics but I think you will be quite pleased =)

          • Avatar
            punchymango July 25, 2017 8:52 pm

            As long as my Noise Marines stay playable, I’ll be a happy camper.

            I’ve been waiting a long time, and I really like this shooty generalist incarnation of them.

        • Avatar
          Threllen July 25, 2017 6:17 pm #

          RIP Obliterators. That abortion of a weapon they gave them is very disappointing.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 25, 2017 6:26 pm

            Well, I’d advise waiting until you see the codex before writing them (or any unit) off 🙂

          • Avatar
            Blight July 25, 2017 8:04 pm

            Would love for them to go back to having multiple weapon options instead of a random mid range weapon. Also miss the power fists they are modeled with.
            Though if they even just gave them two fleshmetal guns it would be a huge improvement.
            Hoping what fixes them isn’t just a stratagem.

          • Avatar
            Threllen July 26, 2017 5:56 am

            I don’t *want* to write them off. I just think their current iteration is trash. Same points they were before except they lost every cool customized gun to be replaced with a short range meh gun. Lost their ability to get T5 or increase their invul save. And lost their powerfists. Plus with the changes to the AP system and multiple damage they are much, much easier to kill.

            Makes me sad because I loved using them so much last edition. Especially because, as an Iron Warriors player, the Traitor Legions book gave me so much more reason to use them. I really do hope they do something to fundamentally change them when the codex comes out. And that doesn’t mean just slapping a stratagem or legion tactic on them. Something other than a 2 shot gun that relies on 3 random rolls would be a good start.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 26, 2017 10:01 am

            Yeah, I feel you. I had a similar reaction the first time I saw the rules. But, again, hold out for the Codex. It may not be exactly what you want but I think you will like them.

          • Avatar
            Jural July 26, 2017 10:23 am

            Mutilators are arguably worse, lol!

            The problem with both units is that whatever you want them to do, terminators now do it better and cheaper. I’m interested to see how they can add any improvement to the stat line and abilities that they have right now. Seems like either the points would need to go down, the weapons get better, or some other improvement before they would be fieldable.

          • Avatar
            Threllen July 27, 2017 11:47 am

            Personally I think their weapons are holding them back the most. Take Obliterators for example…

            For their points I have no idea what I’m getting. If I roll all 1s on the D3 then I’m looking at guys that basically just have a 1 damage version of an autocannon that requires me to suicide deep strike in if I want to be in range. Even the best possible scenario (all 3s) I’m basically shooting one lascannon. It has two shots but because the damage is only D3 it essentially adds up to the same damage one lascannon would have. Not that lascannons or autocannons are bad weapons but A) they have much, much longer range than Obliterators have and B) *I actually know what I’m getting myself into*.

            If I know I have autocannons and I have the choice between targetting MEQs and tanks maybe I just go for the MEQs. If I know I have lascannons then maybe I go for the tanks instead. The problem with Obliterators is I have no freaking clue what my weapon is going to look like until I fire it. So I have no idea if I should be going for that landraider or if I should just go for something easier to kill.

            The beauty of Obliterators in 7th was I have a swiss army knife of a weapon where I got to choose my own profile and tailor my choice to the opponent I’m facing. Just imagine if last edition I had to declare my target and then roll a D6 to see what I’m firing with. So I might be firing with a flamer or I might be firing with a lascannon. That’s basically what this edition is forcing you to do.

      • Avatar
        OnboardG1 July 25, 2017 11:51 pm #

        As an 8th Legion player I’m happy to hear that Reece is happy 😛

      • Avatar
        Nogle July 26, 2017 4:01 am #

        I bet they won’t do it, but I was thinking of the best thing for world eater armies. All world eaters should be able to replace bolt pistol or chainswords with chainaxes. Just like khorne berzerker and in 30k

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 26, 2017 10:05 am #

          That would be cool but we will have to wait and see what happens =)

  5. Avatar
    Aidan July 25, 2017 4:33 pm #

    It really makes me sad that codex creep is a thing again. It was so nice to have all index armies released together, but now some armies will just continue to slip in power while waiting for codex’s. Still waiting for my 7th ed Tyranid codex 🙁

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 25, 2017 5:03 pm #

      What if the codexes are relatively equal, but just haven’t all come out, yet? 🙂

      • Avatar
        Jural July 25, 2017 5:14 pm #

        then the smart thing is to get the complaining in now, right?

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 25, 2017 5:22 pm #

          Lol, that does seem to be the default strategy of the internet :-p

          • Avatar
            Aidan July 25, 2017 6:47 pm

            I was more meaning that the codecs could be balanced against the indexes. Then there wouldnt be codex creep. it just needs to be balanced via points. right?
            Surely you can see that codex creep is a bad thing for competitive play and that 6-12 months of some armies becoming more effective while others dont is not good.
            There is better balance in the indexes then there has been for some time so new codecs just need to be appropriately pointed.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 25, 2017 7:58 pm

            I see your point but that only makes sense if the game never gains any layers from index to codex which would be a big lost opportunity, imo. I love what the codexes bring to the game with flavorful and characterful rules and combos, etc. I do not want a static game. I’m willing to accept some imbalances for a dynamic, responsive game.

          • Avatar
            rvd1ofakind July 25, 2017 7:14 pm

            Well he meant unpopular armies will get weaker and weaker as they will only get their codexes by like the end of next year.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 25, 2017 7:55 pm

            Eh, time will tell. GW has a plan with this edition, and I assume they likewise have a plan to deal with the lag time from codex A to codex Z.

          • Avatar
            Aidan July 25, 2017 7:58 pm

            Yes to be fair to Reecius I didnt articulate it well. Codex creep refers to each codex being more powerful then the one before it. I was meaning an inbalance between codexes and indexes.

      • Avatar
        Dakkath July 25, 2017 8:04 pm #

        Well then until the other dexes come out, space marines got cheaper across the board as well as gaining all the new options.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 25, 2017 8:54 pm #

          Yes, but the alternative is no marines get cheaper and better? Things are happening incrementally, and we already know we’ll get 10 codexes this year, lol. Don’t think folks will have to wait too long 🙂

          • Avatar
            Aidan July 25, 2017 9:19 pm

            Hopefully a generals handbook approach means that armies will have a chance to have points assessed each year.
            A year is a long time to wait though. The simple answer is to make points costs relative to the Existing game not the Future game.

            It feels to me a bit like when formations were released in 7th and one by one armies got free stuff.

            For example: at the moment Purestrain Genestealers are a few points more expensive then Tyranid Genestealers due to the cult ambush ability. Same model, more points because of an additional ability.

            Why not make Space marines 2 more points due to Objective secured ability. etc.

            Balance via points with the current game being the benchmark.

            Also, thanks for engaging in constructive discussion Reecius. I watch all the signals on the frontline and you always have good balanced views.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 26, 2017 10:08 am

            Hey dude, happy to engage! I wish I had more time to chat on the blog, I enjoy talking to everyone.

            I see the point but what if instead we just gave everyone ObSec (under certain limitations, of course) to encourage everyone to use Troops? That is easier than adjusting points for every troop unit as they come out and get OSec or not, you know? I would be willing to bet GW sees these imbalances and has a plan to address it.

  6. Avatar
    Kartr_Kana July 25, 2017 9:40 pm #

    Librarian on a Bike datasheet is still in the Index. According the the Warhammer-Community page we’ll continue to use the Index for units that didn’t make it into the Codex. So unless the Codex specifically states that Librarians on Bikes is now illegal, all you have to do is use the datasheet from the Index.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 10:14 am #

      Yes, I confirmed this as well, you can mix them! Nice, so your units won’t get relegated to the shelf with the release of the dex.

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 2:20 pm #

        Can’t use ‘dex any more Reece because now we have InDEX and CoDEX 😛

  7. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 25, 2017 11:23 pm #

    Lets hope chaos marines will follow the SM codex in that it gets fluffy gameplay for its legion cults and follows the quite nice pace set by the SM with overall toned down choices that still offer a wide selection of paths to go. No broken cheese a´la 7th with insane psychic powers or units or outright broken rule twistings.

    ..but I still maintain (encouraged by the point adjustments made in the SM codex that pretty spot on reflected what I have been pointing out all along) that we are given to few command points with all the options presented in the new codex(es).

    Think about it, if you want to fun-up your standard game you take a relic extra, a chapter master maybe and then you have one or two times to use your chapter specific strategem, one melee turn breaker and one charge or psychic reroll dice and that´s it! No playing around with flakk missiles, mortal wounding heavy bolters etc, you are basically forced to use one or two out of the box fun things and then sit on your ass waiting to use that crucial charge reroll dice and that´s it!

    Cmmon Reece, you know I´m right, it would truly be more fun if you had like 2 points to have fun with trying a wider range of all strategems and other things per turn other then a relic, charge breaker and then hamster away the whole game with your last pathetic point in case your psycher perils or something.

    Think of it this way..
    Who will EVER use fun things like auspex scans or data links (yes, whirlwinds are STILL the most useless piece of crap in the entire game IF its weapon systems are priced the same as in the imp index) or other small gems like these is you are forced to keep saving the few points you have for those REALLY crucial strategems you might be forced to use?
    Wouldnt it be more fun to actually have enough to be able to be more creative and swing it a little?

    What is your take on this?

    • Avatar
      Alex July 26, 2017 1:24 am #

      You roll out the chaptermaster and orbital bombardment only when you bring a brigade. The GW rules are properly thought through, imho.

      Actually, I don’t want to stratagem spam in my games at all. It’s difficult enough to remember what each enemy unit in each codex can do. Being properly cautious of 26 strategems per codex in addition now seems like it’s going to be a pain in the rear end.

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 4:46 pm #

        You bring a Chapter Master any time you spam Devastators/Shooting army.

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 26, 2017 6:04 am #

      Gee… it’s almost like GW is actively encouraging players to take *balanced* lists by forcing them to take batallions/brigades in order to get enough command points to do cool stuff…

      Who would have thought that? 😉

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 26, 2017 9:52 am #

        They’re definitely give you incentives to do it.

        • Avatar
          Jural July 26, 2017 10:27 am #

          The indexes certainly don’t! But we hope the Codexes will.

          I’m more worried about Tyranid- If they start making “Leviathan” and “Behemoth” be like chapters, I’ll doubtlessly find I have painted for one scenario and want the rules for the other 8)

      • Avatar
        Don Tomaso July 26, 2017 12:19 pm #

        The problem is that if you want to have a little bit more fun and actually USE some of aaaall those new strategems you need that 9cp detatchment.

        This is impossible unless you and your friend both have the models and time to throw away at a super big and long game.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 26, 2017 1:17 pm #

          Eh, just depends. You don’t have to use them all in one game, you know? Try different ones in different games with different lists.

        • Avatar
          Threllen July 26, 2017 2:14 pm #

          I don’t think the intention of the stratagem system was to let you use all 26 in a single game.

          Stratagems are *supposed* to be a finite resource that brings balance between spammy lists and balanced lists. Which means they can’t just give them away like candy. If GW gives us so many command points that anyone has access to everything they want then it kind of invalidates the whole point…

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 10:14 am #

      From the perspective you bring, of using them for fun and thematic purposes, sure it would be cool to have more. But, you also have to consider some of the bananas combos possible with stratagems that will take some time to surface, it is good to keep it reined in a bit.

      The Chapter Master upgrade is there for say, Custom Chapters, Iron Hands or White Scars player who otherwise don’t have access to a CM. It’s not going to get a lot of use, IMO. It’s more for folks who modeled up a super rad CM of their own.

      Auspex Scan is CRAZY good, lol, that will get used all the time. It gives you overwatch vs. some of the super powerful units coming in from reserves. Very, very useful. The Whirlwind isn’t bad at all, and the ability to make them autohit is very powerful, IMO. But hey, YMMV.

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 5:39 pm #

        Reece I think the CM is one of the best Command Point uses.
        1) It’s 3CPs that you benefit from as long as the model is alive, potentially all game.

        2) If you don’t want to use a specific Chapter’s warlord traits, but you want the Strategems/Tactics you can build your own CM. Especially since that and psychic powers are the only things you can change in your list between rounds in a tournament.

        3) Keeping in mind the other two, you can build a cheap as chips captain and spend those points on more firepower instead of paying for Shrike/Kantor.

        4) Since you choose to use it before the battle starts, if you wanted to forgo the CM re-rolls because you think you need more CPs for other strategems, you could chose to leave the captain a captain.

        So yeah, I think it’s one of the most efficient and flexible options.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 26, 2017 7:01 pm #

          Good points. You’re coming at it from a different angle than I did for sure.

          • Avatar
            Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 8:09 pm

            I was pretty torn at first, but I tried it with my latest list. Replacing Pedro with a cheap Captain/CM kinda sucks if the gunline gets into combat, but it is enough points to bring a Tactical Squad to increase the number of screen units.

            This gunline has destroyed everything it’s faced. Games have been essentially over by Turn 3. It’s NUTS!

            My big question for you/GW, can my Mailled Fists (Imperial Fists successors) use the Imperial Fists Warlord trait? Because the rulebook reads like only the Chapter named in the Warlord trait can use it.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 27, 2017 6:28 am

            In that instance yeah, I’d say use all the Imperial Fists goodies as your basically playing Imperial Fists of a different color. No big deal. Just don’t mix in say, Pedro Kantor or what have you.

          • Avatar
            Kartr_Kana July 27, 2017 9:11 am

            That’s what I figured. Thanks Reece! Storm of Fire is Soooooo GoooooD! 😀

  8. Avatar
    Horton July 26, 2017 3:26 am #

    Great article! 8th is great!!!!

  9. Avatar
    Micah July 26, 2017 5:40 am #

    So Reecius, is it true that it is no longer possible to take veterans on Bikes then? Even though there is an index page for them? Is it no longer possible to take an apothecary on Bike or Tech Marine?

    If that is the case I feel betrayed by GW for sure, saying “don’t worry all your existing models are valid”.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 10:02 am #

      Ah, yeah, they are not in the Codex but GW said you could use both the Index and the Codex but have to use the most recent version of any datasheet.

      • Avatar
        Micah July 27, 2017 2:05 pm #

        So Reecius, are you saying that because there is no data sheet in the Codex for “veterans on bikes” like there is in the index, that it would be legal to use them for example?

        Like in the index there are two data sheets, Kahn and Kahn on a Bike, does that mean the Khan on a bike is still valid, that they just didn’t update his data sheet, therefor didn’t include it?

        I get that GW said that codex trumps existing data sheets, but Indexes are still valid if they are not replaced in the Codex.

        I really just want to know, can I still use Kahn, veterans, librarians, and apothecaries on Bikes? Since they are all in indexes and NOT in Codexes as listed on Bikes.

        Please help. Thanks!

  10. Anvil
    Anvil July 26, 2017 6:19 am #

    Looking forward to the new codex 🙂 Can’t wait to see what neat combos people will come up with. Vulkan He’stan with 2 multi-melta devastator squads have been working very well so far for me, but I’m thinking of adding an Ancient with the Relic banner for them advancing up the field.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 9:51 am #

      Vulkan is a BOSS. Salamanders are very, very good.

  11. Avatar
    David July 26, 2017 8:58 am #

    Sadly, it seems to be Codex Ultramarines and Friends.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 9:50 am #

      Not so. They are definitely early winners, no doubt, and will probably be the most popular CTs, but the others all have lots to offer.

    • Avatar
      Jural July 26, 2017 1:16 pm #

      Really? I thought White Scars and Raven Guard both have some ridiculous abilities.

      Heck, every devastator squad should be Raven Guard if you are camping in your backfield. Maybe a reason to not take a predator? 😉

      • Avatar
        David July 26, 2017 6:55 pm #

        I do think Raven Guard and Salamanders are powerful. They’re the friends. I can’t see Iron Hands or especially White Scars being that good. Maybe I’m missing something. Ultras though with Bobby G’s bonus command points and the getting CPs back on 5+ takes them over the top. I actually think that otherwise Raven Guard and Salamanders are the best.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 27, 2017 6:29 am #

          Ultramarines I think clearly got the most benefits going for them but White Scars are pretty bad ass if you build the right list, imo. They have a lot of cool combos going on.

          • Avatar
            David July 27, 2017 7:33 am

            Now I’m intrigued. Looks like I need to think through the White Scars uses better.

    • Avatar
      Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 5:44 pm #

      I’m really enjoying my Imperial Fists CTs and Pedro’s re-rolls with a Devastator heavy list. It’s …. SO GOOOooooooD! 😉

  12. Avatar
    Alex July 26, 2017 9:35 am #

    I have a question though: will tourneys be “use the newest army list” or “bring either index or codex army list” or “you may only bring the latest datasheet entry for a given model” (aka company veterans can be mixed with codex units)?

    • Avatar
      J July 26, 2017 10:42 am #

      Why would they ggo out if their way to arbitrarily remove legal models from play???

      • Avatar
        Threllen July 26, 2017 11:06 am #

        I don’t think his question is about ‘arbitrarily removing’ certain models. I think it’s more related to whether you’re allowed to use older rules for a model or the most updated rules. In the past when the new edition of a codex came out you generally couldn’t use rules from the old codex in tournaments. Indexes make it a bit trickier because technically the index itself is still valid even if it has an older profile for a certain unit.

        My gut reaction would be that you can only use an index model if there aren’t updated versions of it in the codex (GW already explained this was legal in cases like riflemen dreads who are in the index and not the codex) but you can’t do it if the model is actually in the codex. Otherwise that just leads to gamesmanship where you pick-and-choose which profile of a model you want to use based on whether it was better in an older publication or a newer one.

        • Reecius
          Reecius July 26, 2017 1:17 pm #

          That is what GW is saying: use the most recent rules for a unit.

          • Avatar
            Alex July 26, 2017 1:43 pm

            …which leaves Bike Veterans in a bad place, unfortunately.

          • Reecius
            Reecius July 26, 2017 3:33 pm

            You can still use them. I don’t think it’s so bad, personally.

          • Avatar
            Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 6:08 pm

            They’re not necessarily bad rules wise, but “legally.” the fact that they only exist in the Index means that if a T/O or organization (like ITC) rules that only units in Codex’s are legal for tournament play, anything that’s only the Index get’s tossed out.

            That and having to bring an Index and Codex (and any other supplements) to run your army, or even build your army will make it more time consuming and confusing to build/play/verify, increasing incentive for T/Os to rule “codex only.”

        • Avatar
          Venkarel July 28, 2017 9:57 am #

          They have allowed two different versions of datasheet in the past, Iron Priests is the one that pops to mind.

    • Reecius
      Reecius July 26, 2017 11:04 am #

      No, GW confirmed that you can use the newest version of a datasheet and the newest prices for wargear.

  13. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 26, 2017 12:23 pm #

    My first question regarding new units in the codex is primaris heavy bolter jump marines vs primaris plasma ump marines.

    There seems to be to little role differences between them to ever take the plasma versions.

    Vs weak hordes the HB squad is far better, vs strong hordes (T4) the HBs are far better,
    vs MEQ both are equally good, vs T5 the plasma is insignificantly better.

    It is only vs T6 and vehicles (T7) that the plasma squad is better and even then it is not by very much.

    I see only a suicide option with overheat used in a way that kills of your models for a dead vehicle in return to be the big difference.

    Am I missing something?

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 26, 2017 12:38 pm #

      Plasma is not for killing hordes. It’s for killing units with high toughness or strong armor saves. The exact opposite of what a heavy bolter is good for.

      Also, little secret with plasma: you want to overcharge it at every opportunity. Standard plasma isn’t that good compared to a lot of other weapons. Only when it is overcharged does it get really good.

      Now, generally overcharging your unit is suicide because the volume of shots means someone will probably die. Which is why plasma is best when used in conjunction with someone who grants re-rolls of 1. Which basically every single captain-type model gives. Reduces each shot from a 1/6 chance of implosion to 1/36. In my mind that’s a pretty reasonable tradeoff for a relatively deadly profile.

      • Avatar
        Jural July 26, 2017 1:14 pm #

        If you get an aura that lets you re-roll hits, with overcharged plasma it is smart to sometimes let those 2s stand… You really need a good risk/reward strategy

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 6:10 pm #

        Pair the Plasma Inceptors with a Jump Captain and then 3CPs to upgrade him to a Chapter Master…?

  14. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 26, 2017 1:40 pm #

    Thing is.. plasma jump marines pretty much always outmove its footslogging reroll aura that is often needed stationary to boost all those foot units with massed shots and/pr heavy weapons.

    You also didnt address my take on the benefits vs both units, the plasma is ONLY better vs T6-7 and not by much whereas the HBs are better in all other intances being tied vs MEQ.

    Thus if unit A is better vs 8 out of 10 possible opponent units vs unit B then why should I ever take unit B?

    The plasma jump marines must get a lot more situations where it is superior to the HB version then it is now.

    Even hellblasters cover what the jump plasmas do most of the times so why take them in the first place with this in mind plus the fact that overall the HB jumpers are SO much better?.

    Sure, I dont know about the point costs and if the plasma jumpers are half the cost of the HB jumpers then I understand it but something tells me that in the usual gw idiocy of pricing the wrong units through the roof the plasma jumpers will probably cost more then its much better HB equivalent.

    • Avatar
      Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 6:19 pm #

      “Heavy Bolter” Inceptors are better against T4 models and any models that have 2+ wounds or anything with a good save.

      Shoot a HB at a TEQ or PEQ (Primaris Equivalent) and it takes twice as many failed saves (3+ and 4+ if they’re out of cover, 2+ and 4+ if they’re in cover) as shooting with an overcharged plasma. Plus plasma will negate PEQ saves and force TEQs to take their invulns. Plus HB is useless against vehicles while overcharged plasma can easily bring a standard T7 vehicle to it’s middle bracket in 1 turn of shooting.

      Plus a Jump Captain with a Combi-plasma is only 108 points and moves 12″ (Inceptors only move 10″). So he can easily keep up the Inceptors and if you’re taking 2 other fast attack, he’s a fairly cheap HQ option for an Outrider detachment. Or if you’re taking a Battalion he’s a fairly cheap second HQ to fulfill the requirements.

      • Avatar
        Kartr_Kana July 26, 2017 6:20 pm #

        ^“Heavy Bolter” Inceptors are better against T4 models and Plasma Inceptors are better against any models that have 2+ wounds or anything with a good save.

    • Avatar
      Venkarel July 28, 2017 10:02 am #

      Most of the vehicles in the game are T6 or T7, a few are T8 (or T5). Overcharge is obviously better against T8 – T6. So even though it seems to be a narrow band it actually encompasses many of the models they a designed to kill.

  15. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 26, 2017 9:47 pm #

    That same jump captain will thus not make your gun line reroll.
    I see no captains being wasted in babysitting jump plasmas when devastators, cents and hellblasters need that way more.

    Otherwise partially true. Against 2+ save T4 the plasma is better but insignificantly so. Bear in mind what I said about vast majority of opponent units you will be facing. This game is still unfortunately not flooded with terminator models since termies still suck. The most common things will be MEQ (HB ties with plasma) and various hordes (HB is far better).

    A full HB vs plasma jump squad shooting at terminators:
    5.3 damage caused by HBs
    7 damage caused by plasmas.

    Hardly something to cheer about considering how many more units will suffer more from BH shooting then from plasma shooting.

    As for vehicles you are exaggerating. A full jump quad of HBs will cause 4 damage on a rhino.
    A full plasma squad will cause 6.8. As I said, better but hardly significantly better considering how vastly outnumbered your targets of opportunity out there will favour the HB jump marines.

    Now I do not know the point values of HB vs plasma jumpers but “assuming” plasma will cost more or even have the same cost are these slightly better outcomes favoring plasma against vastly lower number of opposing target units justifying the choice to ever take the plasma squad over the HB ditto?

    If the plasma squad will cost significantly lower point values then this discussion is pretty moot as you will pay less for a crappier squad with far less benefits then its HB version.
    Lets wait and see..

    • Avatar
      AbusePuppy July 26, 2017 10:11 pm #

      It is worth noting that Plasma is a lot better against Terminators and similar models, which includes Primaris Marines sitting in cover. 2+ saves aren’t going to be that rare anymore, nor are multiwound models.

      I think you’re right that the Bolters are gonna be the right call almost all the time, but Plasma isn’t _completely_ invalid. It’s still a hell of a lot better than Tau plasma. >.>

      • Avatar
        Alex July 27, 2017 1:05 am #

        In 8th ed, you really want to deepstrike Terminators into cover as well, if you can get it. In fact, the enemy would be well advised to place his units to deny them that, if possible.

        Apart from that, I send my Pedro Kantor midfield via Droppod (yes, Droppod) with GravDevs (-1 to hit but rerollable so it’s still good), Ancient, Apothecary and accompanied by 2 5-man Tactical Terminator squads and a Jumppack Librarian. Some pretty terrible units there, going by Pablo, but within Kantor bubble and supported by forward Scouts (either infiltrating on foot or embarked on LSS, depending on deployment needs) and a unit of Bikers(Company Veterans I can dictate where the center of battle will be and straight-up overload it the turn I come down. Ideally, the deepstrikers erase whatever is near them while the mobile ground units interdict/block any threads beyond that first layer. They need to make good use of LOS blockers though in turn 1.

        Also it really tends to recreate these Crimson Fists’ last stand moments with Kantor surrounded by the Apothecary and Ancient (now with relic banner) and all those Terminators. Fun times!

      • Reecius
        Reecius July 27, 2017 6:26 am #

        Plasma is crazy good, I pack it in to most of my competetive lists.

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 27, 2017 5:49 am #

      Yes, the heavy bolter is a much better generalist weapon. It’s better against hordes and most anything with a poor save. But you’re taking Inceptors for one reason and that’s to provide a harassment tool in the opponent’s backline where you shoot something and then charge it.

      If you want to harass weak units – go for the heavy bolters. If you make your list knowing you want to harass vehicles or tough units then plasma is the way to go.

    • Avatar
      Kartr_Kana July 27, 2017 9:09 am #

      There’s no restriction on how many Captains you can take, so take another one for the gunline and upgrade him to CM.

      3 Inceptors with 6 HB shots each is 18 Shots. Hitting on 3s you’ll get 12 hits. Wounding on 3s you’ll get 8 wounds. Terminators in cover will fail 1.3 saves wounding 1 Terminator, but not killing. Terminators out of cover will fail 2.6 saves killing 1 Terminator and maybe wounding a second.

      3 Inceptors with 2D3 shots each is 6D3 or approximately 12 shots. Hitting on 3s they’ll get 8 hits with two 1s, wounding on 2s (overcharged) they’ll get 6.7 wounds. Terminators in cover will get a 4+ save saving 3-4 which will also kill 3-4 models. Terminators out of cover will save twice and you’ll wipe out an entire squad of 5. Terminators with Storm Shields will fail 2.3 saves and you’ll kill 2 models maybe 3… if you’re lucky.

      12 HB hits against a Rhino will be 4 wounds which the Rhino will save 2. 8 hits with overcharged plasma will cause 5.3 wounds which the Rhino will save maybe 1, which will cause between 8 damage (bringing it to the lowest bracket) or kill it outright.

      Overcharged Plasma is insanely good against 2 wound model units and multi-wound single model units. Toss in a cheap jumppack captain and you can pretty much run them overcharged to hunt vehicles/monsters and 2 wound model units. 2 Squads and 1 of Jump assault Marines with Shrike and suddenly you have an extra CP and they re-roll everything.

  16. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 27, 2017 9:30 am #

    “Apart from that, I send my Pedro Kantor midfield via Droppod (yes, Droppod) ”

    I lolled 🙂
    Drop pod..the most un-seen vehicle in the entire game (maybe except for the whirlwind then, *ahem*)

    Yes jump plasmas will kill way more terminators but then they sacrafice themselves for it and terminators are pretty rare since they still suck being overpriced into absurdity with some of them basically not even having special weapon upgrades (I´m looking at you psycannon..better to take a stormbolter then waste points on this piece of s..t weapon upgrade).

    Sure, overcharged plasma is very good vs a lot of opposing units but I see this as a something that you have to pay tax for in the form of a babysitting captain OR points for in the way of self-killed models.
    Besides, for every odd terminator unit out there there will be 10 other enemy unit that the HB kills better so the point remains, why waste points taking the plasma version when it is more situational then the HB version?

    Talking super good weapons I can say the HB is even better then the plasmagun if you pay the price of 1cp for it using hellfire shells.

    I challenge you to show me a better unit vs anything in the game then HB cents. Not plasma but humble heavy bolters, in this example on cent platforms.

    Take a squad of 6, stick them in a ruin maybe with an apot behind and you delete anything you point at every turn of the game with no 100 point babysitter present needed. Want that enemy landraider gone then pay 1cp and all of a sudden you are dealing 16 mortal wounds to it in between deleting hordes or other infantry units.

    Btw speaking of plasma.. Anyone noticed that ork “plasma” guns are better then the imperial ditto? They only deal a mortal wound om overheat instead of killing multi wound models outright. Feels very very wrong to me.

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 27, 2017 9:51 am #

      Umm… those numbers are absurdly out of proportion.

      1. 6 cents worth of HB won’t “delete every unit off the map in one turn.”
      2. That’s not how the stratagem works. You pick *one model* that is firing with *one heavy bolter* and that one HB does D3 mortal wounds if it hits. You can’t use one single command point on a squad of 6 HB cents and every single one of them deals mortal wounds. That would be ridiculous.

      • Avatar
        Threllen July 27, 2017 10:10 am #

        Not to mention you’re now bringing in a 500+ pt squad into the discussion of what are likely ~100 inceptor squads (I’m not actually sure how much they cost). Of course that squad is going to kill a lot more. And they may not need a “babysitter” but they’re also 5x as expensive off the bat so you could afford a lot of babysitters for that price.

  17. Avatar
    Adam Vollrath July 27, 2017 11:43 am #

    Can other Astartes units use the new wargear prices? Specifically, can Deathwing Terminators pay the cheaper prices for power fists and thunder hammers? (8 fewer points per model is all they need to be viable!)

    Unfortunately the Ravenwing model costs probably won’t come down until Dark Angels get their codex or the Chapter Approved thing, unless GW has something really surprising.

  18. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 27, 2017 3:31 pm #

    “1. 6 cents worth of HB won’t “delete every unit off the map in one turn.”
    2. That’s not how the stratagem works. You pick *one model* that is firing with *one heavy bolter* and that one HB does D3 mortal wounds if it hits. You can’t use one single command point on a squad of 6 HB cents and every single one of them deals mortal wounds. That would be ridiculous.”

    In that case I read it wrong (still dont have the codex in hand). I hope you are right and the strategem is for “one” HB in a unit and not all of a units HBs or else this strategem would truly be absurd.

    • Avatar
      Threllen July 27, 2017 5:16 pm #

      I can confirm 100% that I’ve read the rule myself and it very much says you choose a *model* that is about to use *a* heavy bolter and that HB does D3 mortal wounds if it hits. It does not affect multiple HB on a single model nor does it affect multiple models in a unit.

  19. Avatar
    GeekmasterK July 27, 2017 3:33 pm #

    @Reece. I know that GW said that Dark Angels, Blood Angels, and Space Wolves can use the profiles, units, and points costs in this codex for the units they share. The only things they don’t get are stratagems, chapter tactics, warlord traits, etc. I assume this applies to the ITC as well?

  20. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 27, 2017 3:34 pm #

    A sm unit attacks with “a” heavy bolter. Maybe this needs to be faqed. It doesnt say “one” heavy bolter so what happens for a dev squad with 4 HBs?

  21. Avatar
    Don Tomaso July 27, 2017 5:58 pm #

    Oh well, codex leek.. (if true) seems the plasma jumpers cost 43% more then the HB jumpers despite their extremely situational so called advantages and cents priced out of ever being taken. Geedub goes full point cost retard again, whats new?

  22. Avatar
    Micah July 27, 2017 7:21 pm #

    Can ANYONE please explain if we can actually use Veterans on Bikes Now, or Apothecaries on Bike etc. I realize that we HAVE to use the new data sheets whenever they are updated. But Games workshop did say you could still use indexes if they dint update models you had. So, does that mean we can still run these bike characters and vets? Also, KAHN ON BIKE is listed in index, but not codex, it is a different data sheet, so does that mean you can still take Kahn on Moondraken? I can not seem to get a clear answer out of anyone, and seeming that its a large investment on my end I really need to know. Thanks in advance anyone.

    • Avatar
      GeekmasterK July 28, 2017 8:08 am #

      My understanding is that you can use the bike characters and veterans from the index. Basically, anything from the index that didn’t show up in the codex uses the index entry. This includes Khan on Moondrakken.

      • Avatar
        Micah July 28, 2017 10:32 am #

        Thank you GeekmsterK that is how I read it as well.

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