Space Marines Preview: New Units

In today’s Space Marines preview, we’re looking at the new units, new wargear and new abilities in the new codex (that’s a lot of ‘news’), from las fusils and haywire mines to the awesome fourth part of the Angels of Death ability – Combat Doctrines. We’ve got a lot to cover, so without further ado, let’s get cracking…

This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.

First up, let’s look at some of the BRAND-NEW UNITS that will be making their debut in the codex!

Incursor Squad

This squad is an alternative build from the multipart Infiltrator kit (we’ll have more on the cool new stuff for them a bit later). In addition to being armed with occulus bolt carbines that rob the enemy of cover, Incursors are equipped with awesome multi-spectrum arrays that prevent them from suffering any negative modifiers when using ranged weapons. If you want a unit that can drive an enemy unit from cover with punishingly accurate volleys at rapid-fire range from the outset of the battle, you’ll want yourself an Incursor Squad (or several).

Aeldari Rangers will soon learn to fear Incursors, for cameleoline cloaks will offer no protection against such guided bolter fire! As if that wasn’t cool enough, Incursors are also armed with paired combat blades that give them an extra edge in combat.

Like their Infiltrator battle-brothers, Incursors carry smoke grenades and can set up in concealed positions, but the squad is also equipped with a haywire mine that can be planted mid-battle. Once primed, the first enemy unit to move within 3″ of the haywire mine risks suffering D3 mortal wounds (or D3+1 if it’s a Vehicle) before the mine is then removed. By fielding a number of small units, you can lay enough haywire mines to make it near-suicidal to approach – it’s ‘Area Denial 101’ and Incursors are, without a doubt, some of its finest practitioners!

If you fancy being more unapologetically aggressive than sneaky (we’re talking a fist-to-the-jaw level of aggression here), our next entry has a number of ways to help.


An Impulsor is a fantastic all-round support vehicle. In addition to a huge variety of weapon options and other handy upgrades, it’s also a nifty transport option for your Primaris Space Marines, able to bear six models (perfect for shifting a squad of five and an accompanying Character) safely to battle within its armoured hull. If you need to race forward and claim an objective, an Impulsor is the perfect delivery system thanks to its Assault Vehicle ability.

To better protect its valuable cargo, an Impulsor can be equipped with a shield dome for a 4+ invulnerable save. But this is more than just a transport vehicle – instead of a shield dome, you can take an ironhail skytalon array for some solid anti-air firepower, or a bellicatus missile array for a choice of three missile warheads (frag, krak and Icarus). Alternatively, equipping your Impulsor with an orbital comms array enables you to call down some seriously heavy fire support in the form of an orbital bombardment!

With all of these options from just one vehicle, we’ve got a feeling that Impulsors are going to be popular options among Space Marines armies in the very near future. Speaking of popularity, next up is everyone’s soon-to-be favourite gunfighting war machine of death!

Invictor Tactical Warsuit

An Invictor Tactical Warsuit is, in essence, a Redemptor Dreadnought that has been stripped back and redesigned with lighter, sound-dampening materials for use on covert operations. Why is this cool? Because their design makes them so stealthy that they can even set up in a concealed forward position like the Infiltrators and Incursors! In addition to a hard-hitting Invictor fist, the warsuit is armed with a powerful primary weapon in the form of flame-throwing incendium cannon and a twin ironhail autocannon with which it can unleash your choice of fiery or high-velocity death.

Of course, we couldn’t talk about the Invictor Tactical Warsuit without mentioning the pistolised heavy bolter strapped to its hip. The warsuit’s pilot can use its Invictor fist to draw and fire it, even at point-blank range! How cool is that?!

On that note, a number of you have been asking whether or not you can assemble the Invictor Tactical Warsuit with the heavy bolter clutched in its fist. Well, we can happily confirm that you can!

That’s not all! With new multipart plastic kits to call upon, the Infiltrators and Eliminators will soon have access to powerful new wargear options (by which we mean a selection of new and interesting ways to deliver grievous death to the Emperor’s enemies). Let’s take a look…

Infiltrator Squad

As before, Infiltrators are able to set up in no man’s land with their Concealed Positions ability and use their omni-scramblers to keep enemy reinforcements at bay – a huge advantage when it comes to maintaining control of the battlefield. However, instead of assembling one of your Infiltrators as a Helix Adept, you can equip one of your squad with an Infiltrator comms array.

This handy bit of kit lets them concentrate on the merciless destruction of the enemy without having to worry about the proximity of a Phobos Captain and Phobos Lieutenant for their handy aura abilities – perfect for when you’re sneaking around behind enemy lines.

Finally, we’ve got the squad with such a choice of awesome ammunition it would make a Vindicare Assassin’s synskin turn green with envy…

Eliminator Squad

Primaris Space Marines wearing camo cloaks and armed with 8-foot-long guns – what’s not to love? These deadly marksmen can now target enemy Characters with all three of their bolt sniper rifles’ ammo types (executioner, hyperfrag and mortis rounds), and their ammo profiles have been ramped up – for starters, they’re now all Strength 5!

Alternatively, you can assemble your Eliminators with las fusils, which are the first dedicated anti-tank weapons for your Primaris infantry. A couple of so-armed units will reduce even the toughest vehicles to molten slag in short order – they’re called ‘Eliminators’ for good reason!

The Eliminator Sergeant can also play one of two crucial roles in the squad. The Guided Aim ability enables him to forgo his own shooting to add 1 to the hit and wound rolls of the Eliminators under his command – making sure those crucial kill-shots get the best chance of success.

Meanwhile, a Sergeant equipped with an instigator bolt carbine is perfect for luring your enemies into a trap (the hearts of a thousand Raven Guard players just skipped a beat). All you need to do is place your ‘hapless’ Eliminators in charge range of an enemy unit, and when your foe has committed, simply withdraw (after firing Overwatch for good measure). Your opponent’s unit will be left exposed, ready to gun down or counter-charge at your leisure while your Eliminators mock (and shoot) them from a safe distance!

Non-codex Chapters

So, with all this exciting news of new units, we’re going to take a moment just to explore how the new codex affects Space Marine Chapters of the First Founding who are not strictly codex-compliant – specifically the Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Dark Angels. Don’t worry, if you like your Space Marines chisel-jawed and handsome, hairy and scary or robed, we’ve got you covered. In addition to the bespoke units featured in their respective codexes, these Chapters will also have access to the new units from Codex: Space Marines as follows:

Blood Angels, Space Wolves and Dark Angels:

  • Captain in Phobos Armour
  • Librarian in Phobos Armour
  • Lieutenant in Phobos Armour
  • Eliminator Squad
  • Incursor Squad
  • Infiltrator Squad
  • Suppressor Squad
  • Invictor Tactical Warsuit
  • Impulsor
  • Primaris Repulsor Executioner

The full datasheets and matched play points values for each of these units will soon be available as a free PDF download for each of these Chapters, along with the rules for the Shock Assault ability.* Essentially, if you collect one of these Chapters, you can still pick up Codex: Space Marines for all the expanded lore, background and aforementioned datasheets, but you don’t need it to add the new units to your collection and use them in battle – your codex is still fully functional!

Believe it or not, there’s still more! We’ve been keeping one last part of the new Angels of Death ability up our sleeves… until now!

Angels of Death: Combat Doctrines

Combat Doctrines represent the structured way in which adherents of the Codex Astartes overcome any adversary. First of all, they bombard their enemies from afar with heavy weaponry, then they advance on their positions while delivering punishing volleys of bolter fire, before charging in to crush whatever’s left in brutal melee.

Veterans of previous editions may remember that the Ultramarines had a form of this ability a number of years back. Now, it doesn’t just apply to them, but to all of the Chapters (and any successor Chapters you’ve created) that use the rules from Codex: Space Marines. Here’s how it works…

Your Space Marines will begin the battle with the Devastator Doctrine active. At the start of any of your turns (after the first), you can choose to change from the Devastator Doctrine to the Tactical Doctrine, and again on a later turn, from the Tactical Doctrine to the Assault Doctrine. Once you’ve changed doctrines, you can’t go back – your Space Marines are already committed –but your current doctrine will remain active for the remainder of the battle unless changed. Here are the benefits you can look forward to while each doctrine is active – suffice it to say that your opponent’s saving throws are in for a shock!

That is loads to look forward to. Even so, you may have noticed that we didn’t cover the incredible new miniatures for Kor’sarro Khan and Chief Librarian Tigurius – after all, with both having crossed the Rubicon Primaris, they’re more powerful than ever.

Well, fear not, as we’ll be taking a look at both of these mighty heroes over the next few days as we investigate each of their Chapters’ codex supplements. On that note, if you want to match the prescient foresight of Tigurius, sign up to our newsletter to ensure you’re always up to speed on all the latest Warhammer information!

* The Deathwatch and Grey Knights will also be gaining the Shock Assault ability – and in the case of the Deathwatch, access to the Primaris Repulsor Executioner – in their own updates at the same time!


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



About Reecius

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

37 Responses to “Space Marines Preview: New Units”

  1. Avatar
    JackNimble August 7, 2019 9:08 am #

    10 Intercessor Veterans with 40 ap -2 shots, then charging with 40 ap -2 attacks!? Yes please. This might just be what we need to make primaris/phobos armies viable. Having your whole army deploy mid board in rapid fire range, and the units that can’t getting out of impulsors on tun 1 to be there anyway? What a great day to serve the emperor.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 7, 2019 11:09 am #

      You only get the benefit of 1 doctrine at a time just FYI.

  2. Avatar
    Blight1 August 7, 2019 9:26 am #

    I know that space marines weren’t top performers at tournaments but this seems like too many buffs. You’re looking at cheaper warp bolters for the entire army.
    Chaos and xenos better get a hell of an upgrade to deal with this.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 7, 2019 11:10 am #

      There’s more yet to come, they are even more powerful than this indicates.

    • Avatar
      Ty August 7, 2019 12:03 pm #

      When you’re the worst army in the game it takes a lot of buffs to reach average.

      • Reecius
        Reecius August 7, 2019 12:17 pm #

        Well, not quite the worst but lower tier for sure.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy August 7, 2019 7:40 pm #

        It’s funny, then, that Grey Knights have seen hardly any improvements at all.

  3. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr August 7, 2019 9:29 am #

    Wow! These look incredible. A transport you can disembark from after it moves with a 4+ invulnerable?!? Yes, please!

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 7, 2019 11:10 am #

      Yeah, Marine players’ day has come.

  4. Avatar
    Xerxus August 7, 2019 10:40 am #

    This is a lot to take in. I think Eliminators are looking tasty but not as OP as they might seem at first glance. They need to stay in cover, and while Covering Fire will be a nuisance I don’t think they beat out scouts or infiltrators in a screening role. Being Heavy Support instead of a Troop choice is too big of a drawback. The pts cost of Las-Fusils will determine their fate.

  5. Avatar
    NinetyNineNo August 7, 2019 11:13 am #

    Who else is ready for Marine vs Marine? Cause we’re gonna be seeing a lot of that.

  6. Avatar
    Ishagu August 7, 2019 11:24 am #

    A new Golden Age has begun.

    Praise Guilliman, Praise the Emperor.

    The tears of salty Chaos players have coalesced into a new Chaos God of infinite complaining.
    I jest, I jest

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 7, 2019 11:27 am #


      • Michael Corr
        Michael Corr August 7, 2019 11:37 am #

        Too much awesomeness. I fully expect that the next post will herald the return of the Gladius Strike Force. All of your Repulsors and Impulsors are now free! I’m sure everyone would be fine with that.

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 7, 2019 11:53 am #

          Lol, nothing like that, haha.

        • Avatar
          ghostvalley August 7, 2019 11:56 am #

          You may not be far off! 😉

          I am struggling to even put it all together. So many units and combinations. Every option i put together seems better than the last.

  7. Avatar
    ghostvalley August 7, 2019 11:33 am #

    Black Templars with Assault Doctrine seems by me

  8. Avatar
    Dakkath August 7, 2019 11:52 am #

    “Assault Vehicle”
    “cannot be chosen to charge”
    does not compute

  9. Avatar
    Duz_ August 7, 2019 12:15 pm #

    Holy crap! Marines gonna be everywhere!

  10. Avatar
    Alamo Melt August 7, 2019 6:35 pm #

    I trust the play testers and the process that have molded 8th edition so far, and I generally try to avoid “woe is me” and bitching before trying, and points and CP costs haven’t been announced so I should probably chill. But it’s the internet so – on…uh, screen… I’m not seeing how an army like Harlequins are going to put up a worthwhile fight against generalist Marines, who seem to have way better tools for close combat. I mean, I guess they can be a jet-bike only army, but that’s sad.

    Ynnari was turned into a drunken-wager army (don’t get me wrong, the old Ynnari needed to go away), so I’d love to hear from Ynnari advocates like Cavalier how games against new Marines have gone.

    It seems like power armor generalists were having trouble against the most efficient, tortured lists of specialist armies so have been buffed to the point that only the tortured point efficient specialist armies can cope with the buffed powered armer generalists. I’d love it if those with more knowledge will reassure me that I’m wrong.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 7, 2019 6:38 pm #

      Here’s the thing, generally speaking Marines die just like they always have. Their offense has gone WAY up. The hit like a truck. But for the most part, they still die pretty easily. So, if you’re like most Aedlari armies, you cut through them like a scythe but now, they can hit you just as hard. So, you need to prepare for that.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy August 7, 2019 7:43 pm #

        Telling Harlequins “but Marines are pretty fragile” is kinda next level.

        • Michael Corr
          Michael Corr August 7, 2019 11:25 pm #

          It may just be my regular Harlequin opponent has hot dice, but I never find them to be that fragile. He never seems to fail an invulnerable save before his units get into combat and wreck face.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy August 8, 2019 1:07 am

            A basic Space Marine is 12pts and takes approximately nine Bolter shots to kill, on average.

            A basic Harlequin is 13pts and takes approximately four Bolter shots to kill, on average.

            Which is to say, a Space Marine is more than twice as hard to kill compared to a Harlequin using basic weapons, a disparity that is only magnified if you run the numbers for Lasguns or if the unit is getting a cover save (both of which are extremely common.)

            Your experience may be that your friend never fails saves, but I suspect that if we were to ask him about the matter he would tell you about innumerable times he declared a charge, lost four models to overwatch, failed to kill anything in the ensuing combat, and then had the enemy sack-beat the one remaining elf to death without trouble.

          • Avatar
            Alamo Melt August 8, 2019 3:19 am

            My experience with that on the clown side is the Solitare that survives all game stands out for years as example of broken BS, while the 15 troupers that melted in one round are forgotten before the next turn begins.

            I really don’t mean to sound so sour, the new marines look amazing and seem like the new options will diversify and enrich the game, which is great.

            At least pure Harlequins can look down on pure Grey Knights for a while longer 😉

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr August 8, 2019 3:59 am

            Absolutely, I’m not saying that Harlequins are tough or top tier, it’s just my experience against them is that they are pretty durable thanks to their invulnerable save.

            It’s probably mostly down to the transports, -1 or -2 to hit and a 4+ invulnerable makes them really frustrating when your lascannons and missiles keep bouncing off them.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy August 8, 2019 7:42 am

            Harlequin _transports_ are, in fact, reasonably durable, although I wouldn’t say exceptionally so. The combination of -1 to hit and 4++ does mean that they shrug off a lot of anti-tank weapons, though the wide variety of S6-7 multidamage weapons (such as Autocannons, Avenger Gattling, etc) are pretty devastating to them.

            (The secret is not to use Lascannons or Missile Launchers, because those guns are usually bad this edition.)

          • Avatar
            WestRider August 8, 2019 11:04 am

            I think the element that’s getting lost here is that Mike has mostly been playing DeathWatch in 8th, who have essentially no access to the guns that are really good against the Harlequin Transports.

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr August 8, 2019 2:05 pm

            Haha! Very true! Harlequins are a tough match up for Deathwatch, as they render much of the SIA useless and the transports negate the Mission Tactics too.

  11. Avatar
    Matthew Ehlinger August 7, 2019 8:49 pm #

    This exactly. As a mono-harlequin player I have enough trouble as is against my friends and their all primaris lists just cause of weight of dice with bolters. Now they have so many more tools than they did before, and I feel saying, “it’s ok. Space marines are fragile” is… kinda a kick in the teeth. Just not really sure how Haywire bikes, Boats with melee and fusion and a bunch of characters are gonna turn that tide.

  12. Avatar
    ChrisS August 8, 2019 2:29 am #

    I wonder how this fits in to the bigger GW roadmap….. presumably they will continue working their way around all the other factions (necrons, tyranids, etc…etc)?

    Wasn’t there a rumour of another Vigilus style book for Xenos?

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy August 8, 2019 9:54 pm #

      Yes, undoubtedly Games Workshop will pay just as much attention to the other factions as they do to Space Mar- HAHAHAHAHAHAHAA, oh geez. Sorry, couldn’t hold it together for that one.

      • Avatar
        Anggul August 9, 2019 4:18 am #

        What makes me even saltier is that space marines are getting tech that does all of these things like whole troop squads ignoring cover and hit modifiers, and transports with invulnerable saves, but apparently all of the far more technologically advanced factions haven’t figured any of this stuff out already.

      • Avatar
        ChrisS August 9, 2019 3:13 pm #

        Well….. GW want to make money, they do that by selling more models, surely it costs them very little to make the rules for a faction competitive… then they sell more models for that faction. For example I’ve seen it suggested that they did exactly that with kill team – making unpopular models in 40k attractive in kill team by giving them good rules – so they sold more models.

        So once the fuss over the new SM codexes subsides… what next?

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy August 9, 2019 10:41 pm #

          What next? More Space Marines, that’s what next. Every decision is to justify making more Space Marines.

          Marines are underpowered? Give ’em more units and better rules, that’ll fix the problem.

          Marines are overpowered? Well, that’s only natural, they sell the best, so of course GW gives them more units and better rules.

          No matter what your starting point is, the answer in GW’s mind is “make more Space Marines.”

        • Avatar
          Anggul August 10, 2019 1:44 pm #

          Good rules for factions is good.

          Constantly making even more and more models and rules for one faction while everyone else still has models from second edition is utterly absurd.

  13. Avatar
    ChrisS August 10, 2019 5:55 am #


    Funny thing is Warhammer World is just down the road from us and you’d never get that impression from wandering around there; the exhibition, the shops and the games tables are all packed with different factions.

Leave a Reply