With Warhammer 40k 10th Edition just around the corner, Games Workshop started to reveal some titbits of each faction’s changes coming up. Of course, the first on the list were the Space Marines, as they are the most recognizable force of the 41st Millenium as well as one of the parties in the Leviathan Starter Box. There are some interesting changes for our favourite Astartes, so let’s get right into the Space Marines Faction Focus!
Faction Rules from the Warhammer 40k Space Marines Faction Focus
The new Edition of Warhammer 40k will divide the factions into Detachments, rather than individual Chapters for Space Marines, Septs for T’au or Leagues for the Leagues of Votann. The first detachment showcased for our boys in blue is the Gladius Task Force Detachment, which somes with it’s own rule: Combat Doctrines.
With Combat Doctrines, players can pick one of three powerful Doctrines at the start of their Command Phases, which buffs all their Adeptus Astartes units. Devastator Doctrine let’s units shoot in the same turn they Advanced, meaning your Marines can bolt through the map while still dealing damage to enemies. Tactical Doctrine is the opposite of Devastator, as units can shoot in the same turn they Fell Back, so you don’t have to resort to pistols if your opponent manages to get in engagement range of your units. Assault Doctrine is the most aggressive of the three, as it lets your units declare a Charge in the same turn they Advanced.
Doctrine can only be used once per game, which means that you have to choose the right time carefully – whether that be in the first round for a cheeky charge or in the last, where you need to get away from your enemies to deliver the killshot.
Combat Doctrines are especially devastating in conjunction with the Oath of Moment Army Rule for Space Marines, which lets you choose an enemy unit in your Command Phase, and during that turn, your Astartes can reroll the Hit and Wound rolls against that one unit.
Unit Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Space Marines Faction Focus
The first unit showcased in the Faction Focus is the Land Raider, which got some impressive buffs. Its toughness went up to 12, which let’s you protect it’s 16 wounds much better, and as with the other vehicles shown, it doesn’t bracket until it has 5 or less wounds remaining. It has some devastating weapons such as the one-shot Hunter-killer Missile and the Godhammer Lascannons, which can lay down some devastating damage at a whopping 48” range. It also has the new (or returning, rather) ability Assault Ramp, which let’s embarked units disembark after it Moved, and even let’s them declare a Charge after they joined the fray. The Landraider has a capacity of 12 Adeptus Astartes Infantry models, with Jump Pack, Terminator, Gravis or Wulfen units taking up 2 spaces, while Centurions take up 3 spots inside the tank. Overall, the Land Raider seems like an incredible unit, with it's 12 Toughness, 2+ Save and 16 Wounds making it very hard to wipe off the battlefield.
Of course, Games Workshop had to show the new rules for the Lord Commander of the Imperium himself, Rouboute Guilliman. Guilliman also got an increased Toughness, while he received an extra Wound as well, making him tougher all around. Both his melee and ranged weapons got stronger as well, with increased Strengt and range with Hand of Dominion. He also received some abilities akin to the Combat Doctrines, meaning he can choose and ability out of three in the Command Phase, which we can keep for the rest of the turn. His first ability is an Aura called Primarch of the XIII, which gives +1 Objective Control to Adeptus Astarter units 6” of him, while also letting them reroll the Battle-shock and Leadership test they take.
Master of Battle lets you select a second target for Oath of Moment – but you have to destroy the first target in order to get the full rerolls to Hit and Wound against the second enemy unit. This makes it that you don’t have to “waste” the Army Rule on a unit that’s almost wiped, and can carry the debuffs over. The third Author of the Codex ability of the Avenging Son is Supreme Strategist, which let’s a friendly Astartes unit within 12” use a Stratagem for 0CP – even one that has been used this phase, meaning you can double up on your best Stratagems. He also kept his Armour of Fate ability, and keeps the Lone Operative ability even if he has Astartes units around him.
Weapon Spotlights of the Warhammer 40k Space Marines Faction Focus
Along with the Rules and Units, we got some early looks on two weapons of the Space Marine faction. The Heavy Onslaught Gatling Cannon, primarily found on Redemptor Dreadnoughts will have decreased Range and lost it’s AP, but gained the Devastating Wounds ability, which means that on unmodified 6’s to hit, it deals Mortal Wounds instead of regular damage to enemies – which helps Dreadnoughts chew through its targets more easily.
The other gun which GW showed was the Repulsor Executioner’s Heavy Laser Destroyer, which still has immense Range, AP and Damage, but got increased Strength from 12 to 16 in order to be able to deal with the increased Toughness in the next edition of Warhammer 40k.
Stratagem Spotlight of the Warhammer 40k Space Marines Faction Focus
We also got a new Stratagem for the Gladius Taks Force – or rather, one that will be coming with us to the 10th Edition. Only in Death Does Duty End still let’s models in a unit fight even if they are destroyed, but after the Fight Phase, their duty ends, and they can rest knowing they died serving the God Emperor. However, it shows the new form of Stratagems yet again, which embodies the “simplified, not simple” philosophy of GW coming into the next Edition.
Along with the gameplay changes, Space Marines will also receive a new book with 10th Edition called Leviathan by Darius Hinks, which follows Lieutenant Castamon and the 1st Company of the Ultramarines in their fight against the deadly Tyranids.
Overall, the Space Marines are looking mighty fine in the 10th Edition of Warhammer 40k – and we only saw a fraction of the faction. The Angels of Death remained an all-rounder in terms of what they can do on the ever-changing battlefield, so it’s up to the player what they decide to do with the Emperor’s Finest.