New Space Marine Codex – Stratagems

By: Kitbasha Jay

Today we’re going to take a little look at the new upcoming Space Marine Codex in more detail. Specifically we will focus on the Stratagems available to Space Marines. There is a lot that we can expect for our Space Marine armies.

This excites us here at Encounter Wargaming not only because we get awesome new rules for everyone’s favourite army, it also gives us a template for future releases. Hopefully this is an example of the kind of treatment all armies will receive in the future. The versatility of the new rules is just starting to show.

Space Marine Stratagems

So without further ado let’s take a look at the new Strategems available to all our lovely Space Marine players.

Generic Stratagems

Relic of the Chapter: 1 or 3 Command Points

Spend 1 or 3 CP to get extra Relic or two extra relics cannot be duplicate and cannot be given to the same character.

This is actually absolutely amazing and you’ll see why tomorrow when we go into the new Chapter Relics in more detail. Until then just trust me that this could change the tides of battle during a game.

Orbital Bombardment: 3 Command Points

If a Space Marine Warlord does not move or shoot, he picks a point on the battlefield and a bombardment it hits units within D6 inches of that point. The units take D3 Mortal Wounds on a 4+…5+ for Characters.

This is very similar to what Chapter Masters used to do in the last few editions. The great thing about this one is that it’s not only on Chapter Masters anymore. Any Adeptus Astartes Warlord can use it.

Hellfire Shells: 1 Command Point

A heavy bolter can fire one shot instead of 3 but it causes D3 Mortal Wounds.

For that moment when your Heavy Bolter is staring a Warlord in the face.

Wisdom of the Ancients: 1 Command Point

At the start of any phase all units with 6″ of a Dreadnought Re-roll 1s to hit.

This makes a Dreadnought heavy armies really robust. Re-rolling ones was the job of a Captain. Now your Dreadnoughts can do it too.

Auspex Scan: 2 Command Points

After an opponent sets up on the Battlefield within 12″ of a Infantry unit you can immediately shoot at the enemy unit with a -1 to hit penalty.

This is an interesting one. This could put a quick stop to any infiltrating or deep striking stuff that gets set up 9″ away. Got an annoying unit of Kommandos drop into your back lines? Spend 2 Command Points and shoot ’em dead.

Tactical Flexibility: 1 Command Point

Split any unit 10-man Infantry unit with the Combat Squads ability into 2 5-man units.

Ever feel like you couldn’t decide whether it was a good idea Combat Squading a unit or not when you deploy them? Well for 1 Command Point you can change your mind.

Flakk Missile: 1 Command Point

A single missile launcher shot causes D3 Mortal wounds to Flying units if the shot hits and the shot has +1 to hit units with Fly.

This is pretty awesome for those armies that have little to no defence from flyers. For a single command point you have a much better chance of taking that annoying Heldrake out of the air for good.

Death to the Traitors: 1 Command Point

To hit rolls of 6 in the fight phase get an extra attack against Chaos Space Marines

Basically the Death to the False Emperor rule in reverse. Basically giving Chaos a taste of their own medicine.

Only In Death Does Duty End: 2 Command Points

When a Character dies Shoot or Attack one last time. (all attacks & shots)

Effectively making your character a Noise Marine. Not sure it’s worth 2 Command Points considering how powerful some of the 1 Command Point stratagems are. But it could still make the difference in a Warlord on Warlord combat.

Armour of Contempt: 1 Command Point

For an entire phase ignore mortal wounds on +5.

We’ve all felt helpless when we get someone inflicting Mortal Wounds left, right an center. This one will definitely come in handy. Great deal for 1 Command Point.

Chapter Specific Strategems

Scions of Gulliman: 1 Command Point

Pick one infantry or Ultramarine biker unit to re-roll to hits of 1 for the rest of phase. Tactical and Intercessor units can re-roll all to hit.

This one appears to be an Ultramarine Stategem. For only 1 Command Point it seems like a pretty sweet deal to me. You’ll see when we go over Chapter Tactics later this week that this can be paired with other Ultramarine rules to make sure that annoying unit of orks that assaulted you gets shot dead.

Born in the Saddle: 1 Command Point

A White Scar Bike unit can shoot and charge after Advancing.

Another Chapter specific Stratagem. Combined with Chapter Tactics I can see White Scars armies being really tricky to pin down. As already said above, we will be taking a look at Chapter Tactics later in the week. You will really see the synergies here and how have a specific Chapter is going to be to your advantage.

Abhor the Witch: 1 Command Point

When an enemy Psyker casts a power within 14″ of a Black Templars unit they can negate the power on a 4+.

Another Chapter specific one. This time Black Templars. For one command point that could make sure that the enemy doesn’t wipe out that important objective holding unit with Smite before reinforcement arrive. Pretty cool.

Flamecraft: 1 Command Point

A Salamanders unit gets +1 to wound with flamers.

Sounds like another Chapter specific. This one really reflects the personality of the Salamanders. As if Flamers weren’t good enough in this new edition already.

Strike from the Shadows: 1 Command Point

A Ravenguard Infantry unit can deploy in reserves and before the game begins they can be deployed 9″ away from an enemy.

This is a very flavourful stratagem for the Ravenguard. Totally worth a Command Point. Used properly I can see this Stratagem being a real pain in the butt.

Machine Empathy: 1 Command Point

An Iron Hands Vehicle can ignore heavy weapon penalty, or advancing with Assault weapons for one Shooting Phase.

Another flavourful addition to the list of Stratagems. We are really beginning to see the personalities of the Chapters coming out in these rules. This is the perfect Stratagem for Iron Hands Players. Can’t wait to see how this will mesh with their Chapter Tactics.

Bolter Drill: 1 Command Point

Imperial Fist Infantry equiped with Bolters get an extra shot if they roll 6+ to hit. This applies to all varieties of Bolt Weapons.

This will make Imperial Fists armies amazing. For only 1 Command point their boaters become a weaker Tesla. Badass!

Unit Specific Strategems

Linebreaker: 1 Command Point
Your Vindicators can pick a point within 24″. Every unit within 3″ takes 3D3 mortal wounds on a 4+ (3+ on 10 or more models; 5+ for character).

This mimics the old Linebreaker Formation. Now that there’s no templates in 40k we were thinking that the old days of having 3 Vindicators giving you an Apocalypse template were over. Guess again. 3D3 Moral wounds per unit. Yikes!

Kill Shot: 1 Command Point

Predators get +1 to wound and +1 damage vs Vehicles/Monsters.

This will make a group of Predators something to be truly feared. Already in the new edition have we seen Lascannons come to the forefront. They make an awesome solution to any vehicle or large monster. This Stratagem just made those Lascannon Preds that everyone put on the shelf years ago something to be truly reckoned with. So much for my Gorkanaut.

Chapter Master: 2 Command Points

Change a Captain in to a Chapter Master replace re-roll 1s to hit with Re-roll all misses to hit.

Like are you serious? Seriously? In the middle of a game I can turn a Captain into a Chapter Master. This is starting to get a little nuts.

Cluster Mines: 1 Command Point

When Scout Bikers Fall Back they can select enemy unit 1″ away and it suffers D3 Mortal Wounds on 2+

So basically they drive backward and launch mines at the enemy. That’s pretty badass if you ask me. This makes Scout Bikes really good. D3 Mortal Wounds is a pain in the ass for only 1 Command Point.

Emphyic Channeling: 1 Command Point

Used at start of Psychic phase Psyker can cast an additional spell if within in 6″ of two other same chapter psykers at +2 to casting.

Welcome back Librarius Conclave. Nuff said.

Dataline Telemetry: 1 Command Point

If a land speeder is within 12″ of a whirldwind’s target the whirlwind hits automatically

Another Formation from he last edition. Only this time I suppose it could be used on any Land Speeder or Whirlwind. Sadly it can only be used on 1 Whirlwind a turn but it would still do a great job at making sure those shots count.

Masterful Marksmanship: 1 Command Point

Use this Strategem when a Sternguard Veteran Squad is selected to attack in the Shooting Phase. Add 1 to all wound rolls made for that unit’s special issue Boltgun attacks in that phase.

As if special issue ammunition wasn’t good enough. For 1 Command Point you can make sure that Sternguard unit does what you sent them out to do.

Honor the Chapter: 3 Command Points

At the end of the fight phase one Biker or Infantry can Fight again.

Another Stratagem that will make White Scars armies awesome. Even if it’s not White Scars Specific. Either way it makes small units of bikes a lot scarier in combat.

Temor Shells: 1 Command Point

A Thunderfire Cannon can take a -1 to hit penalty to make any unit hit by it go to half its Move, Advance, Charge distance. Doesn’t work on Titanic or Fly models.

This could be very useful on that fast unit that’s been running circles around your marines all game. Or to slow down a unit you know is going to charge you next turn. This could make Thunderfire Cannons a great addition to all Space Marine armies.

So that’s my take on the new Space Marine Stratagems. Tomorrow we’ll dive deeper into the new Space Marine Codex with a look at the new relics. It’s an exciting time to be a Space Marine player. Maybe it’s about time this writer dusts off his Space Marines and gives them a go. Or I can just wait for all the other awesome Codeces they’ve promised us over the next few months. If this is any indication of what’s to come, we at Encounter Wargaming can’t wait to see the upcoming releases.

Until our next encounter!


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