Chapter Tactics #135: Identifying the Tools Each 40k List Needs to Beat the New Space Marines

Chapter Tactics is a 40k podcast which focuses on promoting better tactical play and situational awareness across all variations of the game. Today Pablo, Brandon Grant, Skari, and Sean identify the key units and weaknesses in the new Space marine armies and discuss some key strategies any army can use to beat the new Space Marines.

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Show Notes:


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

18 Responses to “Chapter Tactics #135: Identifying the Tools Each 40k List Needs to Beat the New Space Marines”

  1. Kristjan Blondal November 5, 2019 8:38 am #

    You guys should invest in happy pills.

    Some of the casters enthusiasm is crazy!

  2. AlamoMelt November 5, 2019 10:38 am #

    I like that Brandon pulled the meandering back a couple times.

  3. Bel November 5, 2019 2:00 pm #

    I was thinking Shining Spears will be good against Assault Centurions but the fact that no one mentioned them when asked if Eldar/Drukhari has anything to deal with them is now making me second guess.

    • abusepuppy November 5, 2019 9:36 pm #

      We actually did in passing, but never got to talk about the Craftworlds part of it in detail. The biggest hitches are that you A, have to get the charge off and B, can’t get into magic boxes with them. Those are solveable obstacles, but they are still obstacles.

      • Martin November 6, 2019 4:53 am #

        Do you think that GW will faq the 2++ save for the exarch? I’ve heard that they don’t like 2++ (which I can understand).

        • Zweischneid November 6, 2019 6:57 am #

          Maybe. But it requires a spell to go off.

          2++ as a result of a 3++ and a spell or strat does exist in a few places. Eldrad. Necron Wraiths. Etc.. Not super-common, but also not unheard of.

          They also appear to be bringing back some classics. E.g. Raven Guard Feigned Flight for example gives you exactly the 0″ Smash-Captain charge from Deepstrike (with the right terrain), which they spend over a year tinkering with the fly rule to get rid of, lol.

          If the new Marines are indeed “the new power level” and not just some weird, cruel joke, 2++ saves all around wouldn’t surprise me.

        • abusepuppy November 6, 2019 7:43 am #

          I would be very surprised if they did not. GW does not like 2++ saves that aren’t conditional or have some sort of fail state, and especially not ones that are rerollable. As 7th Edition showed, it is _extremely_ powerful and makes the game very noninteractive for the player on the receiving end.

  4. Zweischneid November 6, 2019 12:36 am #

    Re: GSC

    Deepstriking Aberrants into the middle of the board and making the Marines come to you doesn’t work. Thunderfire Cannons do kill Aberrants very efficiently, hitting on 2s, wounding on 3s, with a 6+ save left at best if you aren’t going vs. IF. Hell, the Vigilus-Wyvern was a rough match-up for GSC even before Marines hit the scene.

    Also note GW nerfed Lurk in the Shadows/Cloud of Flies to no longer being able to deny out-of-LoS shooting from targeting you.

    And if you go for triple Aberrant muscle beach, you probably have no Rocksaws, Demo-Bikes, etc.. of note.

    And while Aberrants trying to take out Transhuman Cents is rough, Aberrants trying to get to Repulsors or Iron Hand Flyers is even harders. Not to mention that even Scouts and things like Intercessors will still kill a painful amount of Aberrants if you try to soft-charge and wrap them.

    All the Marine-match-ups are atrocious for GSC, despite most Marine players not even bothering with things like Infiltrators. There’s a reason GSC dropped from a mid-50s win-% to just barely a 40% or so since Marines arrived (even after just the Ultramarines/White Scars release, before IH, Marines won over 60% vs. GSC).

    GSC has effectively been Ynnari’d

    • abusepuppy November 6, 2019 7:45 am #

      I would tend to agree- I feel like the Cents are just gonna do a LOT of damage to you and you’re gonna struggle to kill them in return with the Aberrants. You’ll wear them down, and with 3×10 if everything goes right you’ll probably take out all of the Cents… but, as you say, there’s no other real offense in the list and at that point the SM player is still rolling around with their Thunderfires and Scouts to hunt your infantry, etc.

      It may be the “best” build, as Brandon says, but I don’t think it’s anything resembling a good army overall.

  5. alcorps November 6, 2019 3:00 am #

    I don’t know if you touched on it, but it would be good to know which ITC secondaries a Xenos army should be taking against marines.
    Headhunter seems possible, but marine characters are still pretty tough. Also there might not be enough vehicles or big units (that are easy to kill) to make Big Game Hunter and Marked For Death viable.

    • abusepuppy November 6, 2019 7:50 am #

      That depends a ton on what kind of Marines you’re facing (e.g. Iron Hands gunline, Iron Hands airforce, White Scars assault, etc, etc.) Marines do tend to rely heavily on characters, but whehter or not you have the tools to take them out can vary. Likewise, whether you have the units to control the center of the board (Recon), wait for the endgame (Ground Control), rack up easy kills (Butcher’s Bill), or other possible options will vary wildly between lists.

      Marines are too diverse an option to really make any concrete statements about as a whole. It would be like asking the inverse- “I’m going to play against a xenos army, which secondaries should I take?” A good choice against Tau might be a terrible choice against Necrons.

      • alcorps November 6, 2019 10:09 am #

        True, the question is a bit too open ended.
        Another approach would be to look at each secondary and ask if it’s easier or harder than a common opponent (which is subject to local meta…).
        -Is Headhunter against marines easier or harder than against Plaguebearer/TS?
        -Is Marked for Death against marines easier or harder than against GSC 30 abs?
        And so on. But really this is still too open ended.

        I guess the question could be rephrased as “what obvious secondaries should I actually avoid, because marines are to tough or to killy?”

        The point being that marines look a lot tougher than any other race; getting headhunter is almost always going to be harder than against AM, getting Gangbusters against Cents is harder than against X unit.
        So you might want to rethink those choices rather than risk getting stuck at 2/4 mission points.

        • abusepuppy November 7, 2019 1:55 am #

          I think that’s a lot more answerable of a question. Obviously there will still be exceptions to all of these, but speaking generally:

          -Headhunter is viable because they run multiple characters that want to move forward to maintain auras, Kingslayer less so because they are not generally reliant on a single linchpin character.

          -Gangbusters is often good because you will need to kill Centurions to have a chance, and one full squad will get you max points.

          -Butcher’s Bill can be good if you have ways to clean up the small Scout squads they often field (with indirect fire or with assault elements), but generally is a bit risky.

          -Recon is dangerous due to the reach of Centurions. However, it may be more viable than trying to kill things, especially if you have reserves.

          -Engineers will rarely work due to Thunderfires.

          -Old School is typically a trap.

  6. ChrisS November 6, 2019 8:04 pm #

    Got all excited by the promise of suggestions for helping tyranids…….. then nothing, just the usual GSC stuff. Wasn’t someone doing ok at SoCal with a load of HVC toting carnifexes? Come on there must be something? Anything?

    • abusepuppy November 7, 2019 1:57 am #

      Pablo was unfortunately _very_ focused on GSC, but I don’t think Tyranids are much better off and may even be worse. Genestealers are still decent or good, depending on the army, and Exocrines/Tyrannofexes can do some work… but they all die very, very easily to the firepower that Marines put out, so you’re banking heavily on getting the alpha strike in order to win.

      • Petey Pab November 7, 2019 4:16 pm #

        I did try to move the direction towards Tyranids and the Forces of the hive mind faction in general, though the co-hosts as well focused on GSC because they are the easier faction to talk about.

        I wish we had enough time in every episode to deep dive into every faction but that simply can’t happen.

        If you want to do well with pure tyranids you’re going to have to bring some of their better units. Genestealers, Hive Guard, broodlords, etc.

        Another thing I think that could go 4-2 consistently are things like carnifex spam. Carnifexes aren’t vehicles, pass the heavy bolter test at T6, and can generally mince Space Marines.

        You will have a terrible game against Flyers, specifically Eldar Flyers, and some Space Marine armies will still annihilate you. But for something like Ravenguard Imperial Fists, or White Scars, if you wrap correctly and play to the mission I could see the list doing ok.

  7. Will November 7, 2019 6:29 am #

    What about transcripts from podcasts?

  8. rvd1ofakind November 8, 2019 5:15 am #

    I’ve never wanted to play IG. But damn, having Brandon Grant as a resource alone makes me want to start collecting them. His advice is always so clear and enlightening.

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