Whites Scars Tactics and List Idea Continued

Hey everyone, Reecius here on a continued Space Marine tactical bender! We’re continuing to talk about White Scars and another list that has been working for us, and which will hopefully inspire you. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles.

If you want to read the first part of this article which breaks down all of the various strengths and weaknesses of the White Scars, click here.

So, after more testing and fun playing White Scars, who I really think are a great army to play and don’t get the love they deserve. Here’s the list we’ve had some success with and why.

Unit Force Org Cost # Total Weapons Cost # Total Total
Battalion  White Scars       Command Points 3     691
Captain on Bike HQ 98 1 98 Thunder Hammer 22 1 22
0 Storm Shield 15 1 15
0 Twin Bolter 2 1 2
Lieutenant with Jump Pack HQ 78 1 78 Power Axe 5 1 5
0 Master Crafted Bolter 3 1 3
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Scouts Troops 11 5 55 0
Assault Squad Fast 16 5 80 Plasma Pistols 7 3 21
Assault Squad Fast 16 5 80 Plasma Pistols 7 3 21
Assault Squad Fast 16 5 80 Plasma Pistols 7 3 21
Battalion  White Scars       Command Points 3     467
Captain with Jump Pack HQ 93 1 93 Master Crafted Bolter 3 1 3
Lieutenant with Jump Pack HQ 78 1 78 Power Axe 5 1 5
0 Master Crafted Bolter 3 1 3
Intercessors Troops 18 5 90 Bolt Rifle 0 5 0
0 Power Sword 4 1 4
0 Auxiliary Grenade 1 1 1
Intercessors Troops 18 5 90 Bolt Rifle 0 5 0
0 Power Sword 4 1 4
0 Auxiliary Grenade 1 1 1
Intercessors Troops 18 5 90 Bolt Rifle 0 5 0
0 Power Sword 4 1 4
0 Auxiliary Grenade 1 1 1
Battalion  White Scars       Command Points 3     839
Captain with Jump Pack HQ 93 1 93 Combi-melta 19 1 19
0 Thunder Hammer 22 1 22
Librarian with Jump Pack HQ 116 1 116 Force Sword 12 1 12
Tactical Squad Troops 13 5 65 Heavy Bolter 10 1 10
Tactical Squad Troops 13 5 65 Heavy Bolter 10 1 10
Tactical Squad Troops 13 5 65 Missile Launcher 25 1 25
Thunderfire Cannon Heavy 55 1 55 0
Thunderfire Gunner 26 1 26 Servo-arm 12 2 24
0 Flamer 9 1 9
0 Plasma Cutter 7 1 7
Vanguard Veterans w/ J.Packs Elites 18 6 108 0
Vanguard Veterans w/ J.Packs Elites 18 6 108 0
Totals     80 1723       274 1997
Command Points: 12       Detachments: 3

So what makes it work? What we’ve found is that one of the real key strengths of the Space Marines are their characters.  This list leans in to them quite a bit, giving you a lot of hitting power in them. You’ve got 3 Captains, all of whom have different and effective kit. The Biker Captain does what he does as explained in this article. What makes him extra awesome in a White Scars army though, is their stratagem Born in the Saddle allowing him to move+advance+shoot+charge if he wants to. That is very strong, and allows him to go 20″ and still charge. Plus, the ability to leave combat and still charge is incredible. Per usual, you go with the Shield Eternal on him and typically make him the Warlord with the Iron Resolve Warlord Trait.

The Captain with the T.Hammer and Combi-melta hits just as hard but doesn’t have the defense. The Combi-melta is a nice touch on the Captain due to how incredibly accurate it is and on a model that can jump in and out of combat and still shoot and charge due to being White Scars, you get a lot of bang for your buck with him. The Captain with the Chainsword swaps it out for the Teeth of Terra which makes him a cheap and effective melee character with a lot of attacks. This compliments his Master-crafted Bolter which is a surprisingly good weapon! the Libarian provides your Smite defense with Psychic Fortress and can boost characters with abilities like Might of Heroes or go for Null Zone where needed.

The Lieutenants provide multiple re-roll 1’s to wound bubbles to compliment the re-rolls 1’s to hit from the Captains. They are also decent melee combatants and per usual, they all move fluidly in and out of combat, disrupting enemy movement and shooting.

You see the standard issue troops in this list which I have explained at length, previously. Scouts for screening, creating space and grabbing forward objectives. Tactical Squads for holding rear objectives and boxing out your deployment zone and using the Hellfire Rounds and Flakk Missile strat. Intercessors whom we’ve found to work really well with White Scars, advance and take objectives in the mid-field. They’re good at mid-range firefights and surprisingly good in assault. With the ability to slip out and still charge another unit, they make good use of the White Scars CTs and are tough enough to hold mid-field if not being focused on which your characters and assault elements should be able to help with. With 3 Battalions you also get a solid 12 CP which helps a ton for making best use of Space Marine strats.

And as explained previously the Assault Marines and Vanguard Vets provide both an escort for the Characters and additional means to gum up your opponent, freely engaging units in combat but able to leave and still shoot and charge thereafter. The Assault Marines also pack in 9 Plasma Pistols between them which with the re-rolls of 1 to hit and wound the Characters provide, can deal a lot of damage on the drop or as they flow through the enemy army. Vanguard Vets with double Chainswords throw out a ton of attacks and help to plow through screen units that you cannot simply move over. And of course, lastly the Thunderfire Cannon for leveraging the Tremor Shells strat which is simply too good not to take.

This list has been surprisingly effective. While it has its weaknesses, it is super fun to play and very mobile. As you have 10 units to deep-strike and 11 on the table, you can put a ton of them in reserves if you want to. Although often, I find you do it only if you need to such as when facing a tough alpha strike shooting army. You want to apply pressure, using the Assault Marines and Vanguard Vets to screen the Characters who will do most of the damage in your list. Keeping in mind that your best asset is the ability to charge, engage multiple units in melee to deny them a shooting phase and interfere with their movement, then leave and go deeper into enemy lines to do it again and take out key enemy units. It is very useful when you get the hang of it. You just need to be mindful that you don’t have a lot of disposable bodies and your assault elements can start to fold quickly. However, when you bring it all together correctly you have a crazy slippery army that can deny your opponent multiple shooting phases and stop them from executing their own plans while your objective scoring elements win the mission.

Mostly though, the list is just fun! What do you all think?


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About Reecius

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15 Responses to “Whites Scars Tactics and List Idea Continued”

  1. Jimmy J December 30, 2017 6:56 am #

    A White Scars list with only one bike! Heresy 🙂

    • Wayniac December 31, 2017 4:30 am #

      Honestly I’m no longer surprised about these type of lists. This mindset doesn’t care about the fluff or background material, it’s just looking to take the crunch and make the most out of it. It’s not bad, per se, but it feels like a completely different game sometimes.

      • Jim Griffith December 31, 2017 6:23 pm #

        So, what you are saying is all factions in the game that are known for being good with a specific unit type must have that unit type? Maybe all battlefield roles simply do not require them. I know I wouldn’t bring bikes to a heavy jungle world. Or a lava world. Common sense would prevail more than fluff requirements.

      • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:15 pm #

        Well, to be fair, a White Scars army doesn’t have to be made of bikes. They have all types of units represented in their Chapter. However, this is a list that tries to capture the hit and run feel of the Scars but also use their special rules to good effect, too. Unfortunately, their rules really benefit Jump Troops more than bikes.

  2. Schmuvness December 30, 2017 6:58 am #

    Again, thx alot for sharing your thoughts on SM Tactics.

    I feel like the combination of a yesterdays Salamanders article and todays WS article good result in the best and most flexible list.

    On the last bigger tournament I’ve been to, i played that combination with a Salamanders gunline with the banner and mobile White scars to clear the way and occupy my opponent. I used one 9 man squad of scout bikes though to use the born in the saddle startagem on them. When you actually start the game you can clear away a big amount of your opponents screening units but if you go second those bikers just get blown off the table. Because of this i always try to use units that dont have to start on the table to do this. BA Death Company or Crimson Fists Inceptors are great for this job. The problem with WS Double Chainsword Vangaurds imo is, that they don’t have that assued charge when dropping in from reserves. Also Eldar/Ymbari just kill you outright. There is nothing much you can do. Eldar can do everything that Marines can do but just way more cost efficient.

    I feel like Marines benefit greatly from going first, to this end i think it’s good idea to cut back on ones drops by including transports. Maybe those Salamanders Flamer units in Rhinos/Razorbacks can actually work to clear screens, but they also can use their flamers earliest in round two, when you go first, go up the table, use smokelaunchers, and then disembark and use the flamers. All the while hoping that your transport survive your opponents round. Maybe include some Dreadnoughts or other high Toughness targets to overload your opponents antitank weaponry. I’m quite unsure how to tackle this atm.

    I also feel like the new (and improved) Character Rule puts a dent in Sm Tactics. Screening your Characters in now much more difficult. Where a unit of obliterators f.e. killed one character per round beforehand, they now kill 2-3.

    • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:18 pm #

      Yeah, the big Scout Biker squad with their Strat is super good! I like that combo, too. It is largely first turn dependent though, as you noted.

      And yes, you are right, you have to be very careful with your Characters, now.

      I find if you have decent terrain going second isn’t as big of a deal, but I also play Lias competitively allowing me to keep critical units off of the table turn 1.

  3. Michael Corr December 30, 2017 11:35 am #

    Great stuff! I’ll need to try and apply some of these tips to my own White Scars army. Looks like I need to get some more Scouts painted up!

    • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:15 pm #

      If you’re playing pure Marines you really need Scouts to make them work.

  4. Banglesprout December 30, 2017 2:55 pm #

    Cheers Reese, really love the space marine articles, lots of inspiring ideas to play with!

    The thing I love about White Scars is their chapter tactic not only shapes your list building, but also gives you unique options during the game, I think it might be my favourite for that reason! Ultramarines are similar in that sense, but I don’t feel their effect is as pronounced.

    Contrast with Salamanders – their chapter tactics shape list building but in game just improve existing capabilities. I kinda think Imperial Fists are in a similar position, but I feel like their chapter tactics have the least impact on list building. Do you think there’s anything interesting you can do with them?

    • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:23 pm #

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed the article =)

      White Scars do have a lot of fun stuff you can do in game.

      Imperial Fists I think do struggle a bit but it depends on your meta. We use loads of terrain so the ignores cover ability is actually solid. But yeah, you can do some fun stuff they have some combos in there.

  5. Indy December 31, 2017 7:57 pm #

    It’s an interesting and effective list to be sure. Vanguard vets with plasma and LC’s are one the surprisingly dirtiest (in a good way!) units in the White Scars armory. Shoot, charge, jump over (Fall Back, but forward…), shoot + charge again is dirty.

    It’s just a shame that bike units in general are so poor for THE army that should have downright terrifying bikers (Ravenwing are different).

    • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:24 pm #

      Yeah, Frankie prefers Power Axe/P.Pistol on the Vanguard and finds them to be solid.

  6. KingCro January 1, 2018 6:41 pm #

    I always love and keep loving these space marine articles! Keep them coming because I learn awesome knew stuff every time!

    I’m starting a new Primaris marine chapter to follow along with your Primaris project (love that idea BTW) and making them my own chapter like you guys so I can swap chapter tactics but with these awesome articles I think I may have to expand the chapter into normal marines so i can experiment with white scars, and salamanders too!

    Keep up the awesome work as always!

    • Reecius January 2, 2018 4:25 pm #

      Glad they’ve been helpful for you =)

      I wish you success with that Primaris army.

  7. Thybil May 30, 2018 3:31 am #

    Hey Reecius,

    At first many thanks for your great articles around white scars.

    What are your thoughts to your presented lists after the FAQ?

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