Reecius’ Top 10 Space Marine Changes

Here’s my top 10 changes for Space Marines for the base Space Marines Codex!

The new Marine Dex is a HUGE boost for Space Marine players. This is the biggest and most flavorful codex I’ve ever seen, packed with powerful combos. There’s a lot to take in so I decided to give you my top 10 changes in the base Codex to give you an idea of what to expect and help taking in all of this information a bit easier. So, let’s do it!

  • 10.) More Relic Options and more Relics in an army! There are now twice as many Relic options for generic Marines which when combined with the relics in each Chapter Supplement, you’re spoiled for choice as a marine player. And many of them have been tuned up such as the excellent Teeth of Terra which is now a flat +3 attacks, Str+1, AP-2, 2 Damage. That means a Smash Captain with the relic has a whopping 8 attacks on the charge! And there are many more like this that have gotten buffs to make them more appealing. Plus, thanks to the Relics of the Chapter strat, you can take as many Relics as you want for 1CP a pop! Still only 1 per Character but that is awesome. On top of this, the Chapter supplements also have Special-Issue Wargear which add even more options, some of which can be given to Sargents in units thanks to the Honoured Sargeant strat (although, those are technically not in the Core dex but hey, it’s on topic!).

  • 9.) More Strats! Marine players now have a plethora of starts to choose from during games. Between the 4 pages of them in the Dex and the additional 2 pages per supplement, you’ve got twice as many tactical options as you did previously and many of them are incredibly good, or are old favorites that have been tuned up. For example, Honour the Chapter, which previously only worked on Infantry or Bikers, now works on any unit. Bobby G, hoooo! Chapter Master is now only 2CP, etc. One of my favorites is Hero of the Chapter which for 1CP gives you another Warlord Trait on a Character who’s not your Warlord. As there are so many new Warlord Trait choices in that department now this adds loads of customization to your army. Another great one is Gravitic Amplification, which for 1CP lets you re-roll Grav-cannon wound and damage rolls! That should get your Grav Centurions off of the shelf in a hurry.

  • 8.) Litanies of Battle: Chaplains get a face lift in the Marine dex with these abilities for Chaplains, some of which are very strong. Catechism of Fire for example, gives a unit within 6″ of the Chaplain +1 to wound in the Shooting Phase if they shoot at the closest enemy unit. Recitation of Focus gives a unit within 6″ +1 to hit in shooting, etc. You can also just turn your Chaplain into a beatstick with Mantra of Strength which gives him +1 strength, melee damage and attacks. Combined with all of the other buffs available, you can make a fearsome Chaplain. This breathes new life into Chaplains who haven’t been seeing the table top much in recent years.

  • 7.) More unit options: we’ve gotten a slew of new options for units from the Invictor Warsuit, the Repulsor Executioner, to the Incursor Squads, we’ve got a host of new ways to play our army. Many units also have more or altered wargear options now such as Thunder Hammers for Intercessor sarges, or a host of new weapon options for units like Eliminators giving even more variety.

  • 6.) Null Zone has gone from a “hail marry, maybe it works once in a blue moon” to a tier 1 psychic threat. The subtle change to Warp Charge 7 and it effecting units, not models combined with the various ways Marines have to deliver a psyker into the thick of an opponent’s lines and you can absolutely devastate key units. As someone that has won multiple games on the power of old Null Zone, the impact the new version can have when played correctly (and a little luck) is game winning.

  • 5.) Reduced points for many underused units such as Centurions, Phobos units, Land Raiders, etc. to make them more appealing and get some table time!

  • 4.) Increased stats on units or wargear that in many cases were struggling. Centurions and Aggressors both got +1 attack and wound (as did some other characters) and are now VERY appealing units sure to get table time outside of a few niche lists. Centurions are straight mean now, and in some Chapters are going to be terrifying units. But the bump to 4 wounds particularly puts them out of reach of flat 3 damage weapons and the bonus attack on their profile and from Shock Assault makes Assault Centurions vastly better. Aggressors likewise are so much more appealing and will be a cornerstone unit in many Chapters, particularly with the Chapter buffs they can get. Plus, Drop Pods now being able to ignore Tactical Reserves is HUGE. These just went from never seen to mega popular in a hurry. Some wargear got better as well, such as Auto Bolt Rifle which is now Assault 3, or the Stalker Bolt Rifle which is now Damage 2. These subtle alterations add up to big changes.

  • 3.) Angels of Death: you now get a massive boost for playing Marines! ATSKNF, Bolter Discipline, Shock Assault (+1 attack when you charge, are charged or heroically intervene) and if your army is entirely Space Marines, you also get Combat Doctrines which are very powerful, granting increased AP to weapons. In the Devastator Doctrine you get an additional -1 AP to Heavy and Grenade weapons, in the Tactical Doctrine you get an additional -1 AP for Rapid Fire and Assault weapons and in the Assault Doctrine you gain the bonus for melee and Pistol weapons. This really cranks up the lethality of Marines. It gets even better if you are purely one chapter but even just this level of the rule is massively useful.

  • 2.) Chapter Tactics and Angels of Death working on Vehicles! It’s been a long time coming and now that we have the ability to apply Chapter Tactics to Marine vehicles they are vastly improved, which combined with +1 attack on the charge for things like Dreads, and increased AP for vehicles plus all of the various other buffs the Chapters provide for going pure, we’re going to see an entirely new dimension of list building options become available to Marine players.

  • 1.) Buffed Chapter Tactics: Space Marines and CSM were pretty lacking in this department generally speaking, and now the Marine version at least are most assuredly not. Every Chapter got a bonus to their Chapter Tactics, and are much more appealing.

What are your favorite changes to the new Marine dex so far? Did you have any questions about specific units, items, etc.?

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About Reecius

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

23 Responses to “Reecius’ Top 10 Space Marine Changes”

  1. Kristjan Blondal August 14, 2019 4:38 pm #

    Bobby G and all the changes to him, still scratching my head if it was a nerf or a boost to him as force multiplier. I feel with his new warlord trait + the right units like Vanguard Vets and the honor guard with a 6″ heroic intervention changes the strategy of how to play Ultramarines hugely and i am super excited to try to pull of a moving castle with Bobby which is deadly in shooting and assault.

    One favor if you could , can you do a follow up article were you rate units for slot taxes. Say if i want to build a brigade or battalion. What to pick and what is worth it with the right traits.

    Would be super interesting for SM players.

    With love!

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 14, 2019 4:49 pm #

      Yeah, that’s a great idea for an article, I can do that.

      And now that G-man can swing twice in combat due to the change to Honour the Chapter, he’s become so much scarier but like you said, the nerf to his re-roll wound arua is a big deal. I see him now played as a beat stick first and foremost, and a force multiplier second. I also think we will see Calgar a lot more, now.

  2. Kristjan Blondal August 14, 2019 4:42 pm #

    Want to correct myself the heroic intervention is only 3″.

  3. NinetyNineNo August 14, 2019 5:17 pm #

    I’m not sold on the Litanies, much like the Dark Apostle prayers. Going off on a 3+ is enough of an issue with their reliability (though one that’s easily compensated for by the power and variety of their effects), but triggering at the start of the round means they’re incompatible with deep striking or transports since they need to be on the table. I wonder if GW knows about this, because it’s a huge blow to their usability.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 14, 2019 6:22 pm #

      Yeah, the 3+ is a bit rough but many core psychic powers have worse odds to get off. The real kicker for me is only one prayer. If you got two, it would be more appealing.

      The beginning of the turn thing has pros and cons. Defensive powers are awesome with it as it doesn’t matter who goes first but most of the Marine powers are offensive in nature.

      The selling point for me at least is the low cost of the unit and the fact that they’re reasonably durable, hit pretty hard and the powers cannot be stopped via DtW and such which when you calculate that into the equation, many popular powers have much lower odds of getting off.

  4. JimV August 14, 2019 5:17 pm #

    CSM traits are still bad not sure what you mean

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 14, 2019 5:53 pm #

      I didn’t say they weren’t?

      Ah wait, I can see you read it that way. Edited it a tad for clarity.

      • JimV August 14, 2019 6:20 pm #

        I was secretly hoping you were hinting at an upcoming buff to CSM traits.

        • abusepuppy August 14, 2019 8:46 pm #

          But they did the updated CSM book, that made them worse! What more could you want?

  5. Generalissimo_Fred August 15, 2019 6:24 am #

    Kill shot gone. No Bobby full rerolls to wound. Repulsors up 30pts. Did you nerf my army the next day or wait until you got to the mainland? Ha, Ha! I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I’m ok with all the changes and I know you had nothing to do with them…… it was Mike Brandt!!!! 🙂

    Repulsors were a little cheap for what they did. That was a good points increase. Bobby losing full rerolls to wound was also good, especially with a drop in points. All this means is he won’t overpower str 5-6 weapons like he did before. However he is still great with high strength weapons. Marines can spam those the most in vanguard assault units. Lots of powerfists and thunderhammers rerolling all hits and 1’s to wound. I think the Vitrix Guard detachment from Vigilus, the one that lets Vanguard strike first, out of sequence, gets a big boost from a cheaper Bobby. Kill shot gone? I’m not sure about that one. Maybe it comes back in a chapter codex supplement. It’s not like kill shot was tearing up the game.

    I had been looking for a way out of Bobby G and the Repulsors for a while and this new book definitely gives me a way out, in a good way. I look forward to putting true Crimson Fists on the table.

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 15, 2019 7:23 am #

      Haha, yeah, I don’t know why Kill Shot got taken out, honestly. A bit weird as it was so popular. And the Bobby G thing was found to be needed with how hard Marines hit now.

      However, I think when you see what Iron Hands can do for a vehicle army, you won’t be feeling bad at all, haha. I think you’ll still be able to blow me off of the table like you did in Hawaii!

      And I agree, G-man will be more useful in an assault role now than as a force multiplier and counter-charge unit.

  6. Danny McDevitt August 15, 2019 10:52 am #

    I’m really glad to see that you have subtlety nerfed Tau by helping to make Space Marines better. I applaud your efforts, Reece.

    You didn’t even mention the 5 damage Thunderhammer dude! I can’t wait to see all these supplements coming out; White Scars and Ultramarines are great, and only one of those if from an interesting chapter (sorry Pablo). This summer/fall is an exciting time to be a marine player!

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 15, 2019 11:13 am #

      Lol, Reecio strikes again!

      Yeah, I was going to do a write-up on White Scars and Ultramarines and well, every Chapter as they came out. White Scars can hit so hard in melee it’s just annoying that they can’t do it until turn 3.

      • Danny McDevitt August 15, 2019 1:59 pm #

        True that, but luckily you can just hide dudes with camo cloaks on the table until T3 hopefully and come in like gang-busters*. Agree though, a lot of the action could be over by then.

        *not necessarily the same as the ITC secondary of the same name

        • Reecius
          Reecius August 15, 2019 2:13 pm #

          Yeah, I mean, they’re really good in general and you can save a hammer-punch unit for turn 3 out of reserves and give them +3″ to charge to take advantage of it but it is a bit of a bummer =/

  7. BK August 15, 2019 1:28 pm #

    ….So….Would you blame CSM players to revert back to 7th ed and use their CSM as SM because it does normal marines justice (or at least more) then the current CSM book (where your normal chaos marine sucks)?! ^^

  8. Dotification August 15, 2019 10:18 pm #

    For Iron Hands, “when a model with this tactic loses a wound, on a 6+ that wound is not lost”–does that also include Mortal Wounds, or would they spell it out/mention it specifically if it did?

    Also, that effect (still) does not stack with similar effects like “Unyielding Ancient” on Venerable Dreads??

    Sorry, I haven’t played in a while, but I’m looking forward to fielding a pure Marines force & not having it underwhelm me so . . .

    • WestRider August 16, 2019 7:04 am #

      These have actually been standardized pretty thoroughly by this point. Yes, it works on Mortal Wounds. No, it does not stack with other similar abilities.

  9. Anggul August 16, 2019 12:08 am #

    I’m mainly interested in classic marines. The doctrines are certainly going to help with my idealised army of tactical, assault, devastators, and some terminators which previously is more of a fluffy dream than a solid army.

    Are there any big helping points beyond doctrines for these?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 16, 2019 9:04 am #

      Yeah, lots of stuff. For example, there’s a strat that gives Terminators +1 to hit, etc. Minimarines are still quite good.

  10. Feanor August 17, 2019 3:47 pm #

    So the point cost changes are pretty drastic for many of the units, but I read the errata and they don’t seem to apply to any of the non-Codex Astartes chapters. For example Assault Marines are now 15 points with a jump pack, but in Codex Blood Angels they are still 16. Will the new point costs apply as well? Will we see a new codex for Blood Angels, Dark Angels, and Space Wolves? Or at least an update to the points in the new Chapter Approved? Or do you guys think the new point costs won’t apply to those chapters?

    • Reecius
      Reecius August 18, 2019 7:00 pm #

      Chapter Approved is where you see points changes typically.

  11. CaptainDad August 18, 2019 1:56 pm #

    Can someone help me out with a question? How does unlocking stratagems work now? If you take a Space Marine detachment do you still unlock chapter specific stratagems? With Doctrines they’ve obviously made mono builds viable, but with psychic powers and the change for Chaplains I still think mixing Chapters is doable, but how that could work will depend on what stratagems you can use.

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