Space Marine Review: HQ: Lieutenant

Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of the newest addition to the Space Marine chain of command, the Lieutenant. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.


The Lieutenant is a new addition to the Space Marine army for 8th edition and has already proven himself to be a very popular character to take in the army. While he has an average statline for a Space Marine character, he provides a really nice to wound buff for nearby units, making him a great supporting character to have in many situations. Each Lieutenant costs 63 points for the base model and you can take up to two Lieutenants in the one HQ slot.


  • Chainsword
  • Master-crafted Boltgun- 24″, Rapid Fire 1, S4, AP-1, 2 damage.
  • Frag and Krak Grenades
  • My replace his Master-crafted Boltgun with an item from the Pistols, Combi-weapons or Melee Weapons list.
  • May replace his Chainsword with an item from the Melee weapons list.
  • May take a Jump Pack


  • And They Shall Know No Fear
  • Tactical Precision- You can re-roll all to wound rolls of a 1 for friendly <Chapter> units within 6″ of a Lieutenant.
  • Company Heroes- During deployment, all models from this unit are set up at the same time, though they do not need to be set up in unit coherency. From that point onwards, each Lieutenant is treated as a separate unit.
  • Fly (if equipped with a Jump Pack)
  • Jump Pack Assault- During deployment, if he has a Jump Pack, the Lieutenant may be set up high in the skies. At the end of any of your movement phases he can assault from above, set him up anywhere on the battlefield that is at least 9″ away from an enemy unit.
  • Keywords- Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, <Chapter>, Character, Infantry, Lieutenants.


The Lieutenant has a pretty standard statline for a Space Marine Character, similar to that of a Chaplain or Librarian. He has WS 2+, BS 3+, strength and toughness 4, four wounds, 3 attacks, Ld 8 and a 3+ save. In addition to the rules for targeting characters, he has some decent durability if you make sure he is not the closest target or throw him at a unit that will easily kill him.

The Master-crafted Boltgun is actually a really nice weapon to have on the Lieutenant and one that I would probably stick with in most situations. The -1 AP is great, but the 2 damage per shot makes this weapon worthwhile. This allows the Lieutenant to target multi-wound models and potentially take them down in a single shot if you get lucky. He can be upgraded to take a Combi-weapon, which is nice and can be useful depending on what role you want him to perform on the battlefield.

The Lieutenant can also be quite potent in combat, with WS 2+ and three attacks. Arming him with a Melee weapon is not such a bad option if he is likely to be seeing combat. The basic Chainsword is great, giving him four attacks and a useful option for taking on lightly-armoured infantry units. Giving him a Power Sword (or other power weapon) helps to deal with more heavily-armoured threats to your army. A Power Fist is also a fantastic option, meaning the Lieutenant will be wounding most targets on a 2+ re-rollable.

While his shooting and combat potential can be impressive, the real reason you take the Lieutenant is for the Tactical Precision buff. Getting re-rolls of 1 to wound for units within 6″ can really boost their damage potential, especially when combined with To Hit re-rolls from another nearby character (Captain or Chaplain).

My favourite way to run the Lieutenant is as the basic model supporting a unit of Devastators and other nearby units on my backline. This is a nice cheap HQ choice to add to the army and provides a lot of benefits. A unit of Devastators with Missile Launchers or Lascannons greatly benefit from a nearby Lieutenant, allowing you to re-roll roughly half your failed wounds against a wide range of opponents. This helps to make this expensive squad even more effective at taking out enemy armour. In fact, Devastators armed with any Heavy Weapons will benefit from the Lieutenant boosting their damage output. Given the range of the re-roll bubble, it is easy to get the benefit for a number of units such as a Tactical Squad, Sniper Scouts or a nearby Space Marine Tank.

If you want to boost your combat potential, the Lieutenant makes a great boost to a combat unit such as Assault Marines or Vanguard Veterans. A regular opponent runs a unit of Vanguard Veterans with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields in a Rhino, supported by Pedro Kantor and a Lieutenant armed with a Power Fist. The Vanguard Veterans get re-rolls to hit from Pedro Kantor and will generally be wounding on a 2+ re-rollable thanks to the Lieutenant. There is very little that will stand up to that sort of punishment in combat.

The Lieutenant also makes a great addition to a unit of Sternguard Veterans. Given the potent firepower output of this Veteran unit, the use of the Masterful Marksmanship Stratagem means you can have the situation where the Sternguard are wounding on a 3+ and re-rolling to wound rolls of 1, greatly boosting their damage output and making a mess of most units that they will target.

Another benefit of the Lieutenant is that it is one of the cheapest HQ units available to the Space Marine army (only a Techmarine with a Chainsword is cheaper), meaning it is a great choice for filling the compulsory HQ choice in a number of Detachments to allow you to gain access to more command points.

Chapter Tactics

The application of a number of the Chapter Tactics also serve to boost the abilities of the Lieutenant.

The Ultramarines Chapter Tactic helps to get the Lieutenant out of combat, while still firing effectively with his Master-crafted Boltgun or a combi-weapon.

White Scars can also be a useful Chapter Tactic if you are accompanying an assault unit. This allows the Lieutenant to fall back from combat and allow other enemy units to shoot the target, then charge back in for some more damage output. If you are using a Lieutenant to support an assault force, a Jump Pack and Thunder Hammer/Power Fist make great wargear options for him.

An Imperial Fists Lieutenant can make great use of ignoring cover save bonuses when combined with his Master-crafted Boltgun, making it more likely to take out armoured threats thanks to the additional -1 AP.

Again, the Black Templars Chapter Tactics benefit a Lieutenant armed for combat. The Lieutenant makes a great addition to a Black Templars army, where his re-roll bubble will help to boost your combat potential of your units.

Salamanders Chapter Tactics are great for a Lieutenant supporting a gunline army. He can boost the damage output of his Master-crafted Bolter each turn or go for a combi-weapon for a bit more punch.

Raven Guard is also great for a gunline Lieutenant. A Lieutenant in cover that is at -1 to hit and has a 2+ save will be difficult for many opponents to shift without some form of potent sniper weaponry.

Iron Hands Chapter Tactics will be useful for helping to keep the Lieutenant alive for longer, giving you more benefit from your Tactical Precision bubble.


I think that the Lieutenant is a great new addition to the Space Marine army, providing a great buff to nearby units and really helping with their damage output. He can also be upgraded to provide quite a useful melee threat for your backline units, able to counterattack a number of enemy threats and cause some damage.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

10 Responses to “Space Marine Review: HQ: Lieutenant”

  1. Anon October 27, 2017 8:46 am #

    Hi Michael, informative read as always. What’s your take on the Lieutenant not having a bike as an option? Capts do, libs do. Surely fluff-wise it makes sense, especially for White Scars at least?

    • Michael Corr October 27, 2017 11:32 am #

      Thanks Anon, glad you liked it. I’m disappointed the codex lost almost all of the bike-mounted character options, especially as I had a lot of the options for my White Scars army.
      Also, not sure the Librarian has the bike option anymore in the codex, only the Captain retains it. Not certain, as I don’t have the codex to hand.

      I think you can still use the index options, but for how long?

      • Nicholas Morgan October 27, 2017 2:47 pm #

        You can still use the bike options from the index. For things that are did not make it into the codex from the index you are still allowed to use them but you won’t see any further updates for them such as points adjustments and the like.

  2. Stratigo October 27, 2017 11:12 am #

    Correct me if I am wrong (and I hope not since I run my lts this way), but I think you can replace the master crafted bolter for a chainsword for 3 less points

    • Reecius October 27, 2017 11:15 am #

      But the Master Crafted Bolter is awesome!

    • Michael Corr October 27, 2017 11:34 am #

      Yeah, makes him a bit cheaper, but as Reece says, the MC bolter is awesome. You could swap it out, but I think it’s nice for the Lieutenant for have some ranged offensive options.

      • Desc440 October 28, 2017 1:29 pm #

        Prefer the Stormbolter, personnaly. Better against everything that is not multiwound and is cheaper to boot!

  3. Threllen October 27, 2017 2:14 pm #

    II’m sure I’ll get some flak for “wanting CSM to be a carbon-copy of loyalists,” but as a CSM player I would much prefer something like this over the current Exalted Champion. I don’t think the champ is a bad model per se, but he’s much more limited. Lieutenant can work great in a ranged army, a melee army, or an army that does a little bit of both. Re-rolling *all* wounds for the champ is amazing when you actually get to combat but you have to wait until then and it also pigeon-holes him into supporting only a single style of play.

    Of course the fact he’s limited to just his two feet and no jump packs or bikes makes things even tougher for someone who is supposed to get right up in your enemy’s face to support melee…

  4. WestRider October 27, 2017 5:21 pm #

    I use him in my Raven Guard with a Jump Pack and a Chainsword (almost always the Teeth of Terra) to accompany Shrike, an Assault Squad, and some Vanguard Vets. That lot just blenderizes stuff, and they’re fast enough that it’s hard for them to get stranded too far away to contribute to the battle.

  5. Kingsley October 27, 2017 7:16 pm #

    I personally like to replace the Master-Crafted Bolter with a Storm Bolter. Not only does this save a point, it performs better against most one wound models like the basic cultists, Guardsmen, etc. that people seem to be running a lot this edition.

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