Codex: Space Marines – Weapons and Wargear Updates

The Warhammer-community team bring us an update on some of the common weapons in 9th ed 40k and how they’re changing!

The biggest and best-ever edition of Codex: Space Marines is on its way soon – you saw The Codex Show on Saturday, right? One of the biggest changes is that some of their most commonly used weapons are receiving upgraded profiles that are truly worthy of their potency in the lore.

However, it’s not just the Adeptus Astartes who will benefit from all of the shiny new rules found within the next codex. These changes will also be rolled out to all other factions that utilise the same wargear* – even xenos races such as the T’au Empire and Aeldari – at the same time the codex is launched!

Today, we’re showcasing a selection of these new weapon profiles, as well as highlighting some of the units that will likely benefit the most from the changes. Let’s take a look.

Flame Weapons

Flamers are ubiquitous weapons for many factions due to their simple construction and ease of use – after all, you literally can’t miss! With an increase to the maximum range, flamer-wielding units that can reach the heart of the battle, or arrive from Strategic Reserves, will have the ability to torch their enemies on the same turn they appear!


Of course, flamers also serve as popular auxiliary attachments for combi-weapons, and they get a boost to their range too. Any unit that can field multiple combi-flamers will soon be able to make their fiery presence felt from a greater distance, even if they teleported or otherwise appeared directly into the fray. What’s more, it also conveniently matches the boltgun’s half-range for some additional rapid-fire death!


Hand flamers may be smaller in design, but will still spew forth a wall of fire when the trigger is pulled! As such, even hand flamers will be receiving an improved range. We suspect that the subtle influence of a Genestealer Cult may have been involved, as hand flamer-toting squads of Acolytes will certainty be effective when emerging from Cult Ambush!


Finally, the heavy flamer will also be launching its fiery payload further than ever before, making units that are armed with multiple such weapons more formidable (and perfect candidates for the Overwatch Stratagem). This also means that a Baal Predator’s heavy flamers and flamestorm cannon now share the same range for some red-hot barbecue action!


Melta Weapons

Two tank-busting (or, more specifically, tank-melting) stalwarts of the Imperial arsenal are also due for a boost – this time in hitting power. First up is the multi-melta, which we previewed in The Codex Show. In addition to firing an additional shot (it does have two barrels, after all), the multi-melta’s modified ability makes for a more consistent damage output at close range – and it can even inflict up to 8 wounds!


The new ability applies to combi-meltas, meltaguns, and inferno pistols too, so if your units favour bringing down monstrous beasts or armoured behemoths at close range, you’re in for a treat.


Heavy Bolters

These weapons don’t mess around, as they fire fist-sized, high explosive, armour-piercing ammunition. The destructive power of these upscaled boltgun rounds is about to be fully represented with an improved Damage characteristic.


Hunter-killer Missiles

These one-shot missile launchers are common upgrades on vehicles across the Imperium, from APCs to front-line battle tanks. Rather than matching the profile of a krak missile, like before, hunter-killers are getting a significant boost in Strength to help them truly live up to their name.


Melee Weapons

The new Assault Intercessors datasheet introduced the notion of Astartes chainswords, which featured a beefed-up profile of AP -1. The oversized chainblades carried by the Adeptus Astartes are considerably larger, broader, and heavier than those designed to be wielded by a human, so it’s only right that they make more of a destructive impact. As such, all Adeptus Astartes and Heretic Astartes chainswords will benefit from the new profile accordingly.


Thanks to the potent energy field running the length of their blades, power weapons are especially effective at cutting down armoured opponents. Yet they do more than shear through armour – they carve through muscle and bone with equal impunity! As such, power swords, power axes, and power mauls are receiving a Strength bonus to emphasise this devastating effect.


Storm Shields

It’s an easy thing to die on the battlefields of the 41st Millennium, so if you want to stay alive a little longer, bring a storm shield with you! Rather than a 3+ invulnerable save, all storm shields will instead offer a 4+ invulnerable save as well as a buff to the bearer’s armour. After all, it only makes sense that heavily armoured Terminators carrying storm shields should be all but impervious to incoming fire compared to their power-armoured battle-brothers. In fact, they’ll effectively start off with a 1+ save (though an unmodified roll of 1 always fails), so you’ll need to hit them with -2 AP to even make a difference!


With so many weapons getting better, Codex: Space Marines is really going to change the game, whether you collect an army of Adeptus Astartes or not. As always, we’ll be revealing more over the coming days and weeks as we draw closer to the new book’s launch, so sign up to our newsletter to make sure you’re always up to speed with all the latest news. In the meantime, let us know which upgraded weapons you’re looking forward to using most on our Warhammer 40,000 Facebook page.

* With updates to many more weapons due alongside future codexes for more exotic, army-specific wargear.


About Reecius

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

22 Responses to “Codex: Space Marines – Weapons and Wargear Updates”

  1. Reecius
    Reecius September 14, 2020 8:56 am #

    Mmmmmmm, Vanguard Vets with a 2+/4++ and 2 wounds….

    • Avatar
      NinetyNineNo September 14, 2020 9:58 am #

      On one hand, sword + shield vets are now legit which is great since it’s the objective coolest loadout. On the other, raising the floor for the strongest army with codices for non-Marines being four months away seems like it might have some repercussions. Hopefully I’m just fearmongering.

      Oh and sword+board Custodians are gonna be obnoxiously difficult to shit, which is fun.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 14, 2020 11:44 am #

        Marines are getting better in some ways and worse in others. I am not sure how it will settle out in the overall power structure but I think they will still be at the top of the heap for a while. Time will tell though, and regardless, it will be fun to mix things up!

        • Avatar
          NinetyNineNo September 15, 2020 5:53 am #

          Not trying to be inflammatory or anything, but how are they getting worse? So far the only things I’ve seen that are even slight nerfs are the toned down Master of Sanctiy (hopefully heralding nerfs for the other Chapter Command upgrades) and I think some leaks for the Salamander CT? Everything else is a moderate to huge buff.

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 15, 2020 6:05 am

            I can’t spill the beans yet but you will see when the book comes out. I still think they will be top tier but it will be different armies of marines (slightly different at any rate). You will see lots more mini marines, IMO.

  2. Avatar
    Dakkath September 14, 2020 11:25 am #

    Welp, I was already considering triple flamer as the only way to efficiently run my crisis squads, and now I’d say I have confirmation. Don’t even need the extended range custom sept trait to fire them out of the drop.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 14, 2020 11:47 am #

      Yeah, Flamers are going to have a renaissance for sure. I was thinking the same thing for my Catachans.

  3. Avatar
    AlamoMelt September 14, 2020 1:07 pm #

    Did they clear up the nonsense about 1+ saves only failing on unmodified 1s because of rounding rules?

    • Avatar
      Dakkath September 14, 2020 3:17 pm #

      Judging by the paragraph on storm shields, either the answer is yes or they’re not aware of it and we’ll have to wait for the codex marines faq.

    • Avatar
      Office Waaagh! September 14, 2020 3:44 pm #

      They changed it to be +1 to the save dice roll rather than +1 to the save characteristic, the problem only arises due to an interaction with the order of operations for modifying characteristics as far as I understood it. The wording above avoids the problem. So short answer, yeah they cleared it up.

    • Avatar
      NinetyNineNo September 15, 2020 5:54 am #

      Yes and no — the interaction is still there, they’ve just removed any way to trigger it.

  4. Avatar
    abusepuppy September 14, 2020 6:04 pm #

    Honestly pretty rude of them to repost my article without permission like this.

    • Avatar
      Chad September 14, 2020 6:31 pm #

      Yeah, as a Nids player it certainly feels just like your article.

    • Avatar
      Jace September 15, 2020 1:45 am #

      Best part is yet to come.

      Elder of all varieties now have “Aeldari Power sword” instead. Still strength user 👍

      • Avatar
        Spera September 15, 2020 3:28 am #

        Well they did mentioned eldar, banshes especially, so that will probably will not be case. But there are still many xenos weapons that are not imperial-equivalent, but have their own wacky profiles and those will have to probably wait for codexes.

        • Avatar
          abusepuppy September 15, 2020 6:42 pm #

          Which is to say, we won’t get anything this year because they’re too busy making Space Marines, and we won’t get anything in the first half of next year, because they’re too busy making- yes, you guessed it, Space Marines.

    • Avatar
      kaixaukyr September 15, 2020 6:59 am #

      in fairness, heavy intercessors would have been too on the nose for your article

    • Avatar
      AngryPanda September 15, 2020 8:48 am #

      It isn’t a great sign that they moved beyond parody.

    • Avatar
      Pyrothem September 15, 2020 10:48 am #

      You used GW Copyright words so they own everything you wrote and will ever write in the future.

      These rules are all laid out in Section 4, Subsec A23, Line 344.

      You have no one to blame but yourself Abuse.

      • Avatar
        abusepuppy September 15, 2020 6:43 pm #

        Ah, but now they’ve fallen into my trap because most of what I wrote was My Little Pony/Pink Floyd/Disney crossover pedo slashfiction, and now they are gonna get sent to Ultraprison.

  5. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr September 15, 2020 3:31 am #

    If Frag Cannons go up to 12″ as well, my Deathwatch are going to be very happy!

  6. Avatar
    Speedboss Gaz September 16, 2020 4:30 am #

    It’s really cool how well GW are looking after non necron Xenos players. I particularly love getting no weapon updates while almost every Imperium and Chaos Faction enjoys huge buffs. Particularly when one of my factions has received a whopping 0 models in 6 years, to 126 space marine kits. Thanks GW. I can see you really care about your entire playerbase.

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