New Space Marine Codex – Chapter Tactics

By: Kitbasha Jay

So we’ve been taking a journey this week into the 8th edition Space Marine Codex. There is all kinds of leaks floating around online and this writer thought it would be awesome if it was all nice and organized. So Monday we talked about the new Stratagems. Tuesday we took a look at the Relics. Today we take a look at the Chapter Tactics.

Chapter Tactics have always been a nice flavourful addition to the Space Marine ruleset. It has always allowed Space Marine players to create armies that reflect the personalities of their respective Chapter. In many editions of the game there has been a set of army wide rules that come into effect when you play a specific Chapter on the table.

In the past these rules have generally been army wide. This time they’re doing something a little different. It seems in the new book Chapter Tactics will only be available to Infantry, Bikes and Dreadnoughts. So nothing to help your Space Marine Vehicles I guess. Either way, these Chapter Tactics will, for the most part, affect the bulk of your army. These will be inserted in the (Chapter) spot on the keyword list.

Ultramarines Codex Discipline

Add 1 to Leadership for all Ultramarine Models with this tactic. Units with this tactic can Fall Back and shoot in the same turn they Fall Back, but if they do they must subtract 1 from their to hit rolls in the Shooting Phase.

This is an awesome advantage on your basic troops. Also makes Dreadnoughts with shooty load outs much more versatile. Plus if you get your bikes into a combat and realize they don’t want to be there anymore, then back off and shoot the enemy to death. Sounds perfect for Ultramarines and Vanilla Marine players.

Raven Guard Shadow Masters

Your opponent must subtract 1 from to hit rolls when shooting at Raven Guard unit with this tactic if they are more than 12″ away.

Basically what used to be called stealth in the last edition. This reflects the Raven Guard’s personality perfectly. Apearing from the Shadows by surprise. This combined with the Stratagems we talked about on Monday could make it so that you can deploy a Devastator Squad in a nice position at any point during the game and they will be hard to take down. Or give your deep striking assault squads a little more survivability until they are ready to take on the enemy. Sounds cool to me.

White Scars Lightening Assault

Add 2″ to all advance distances. Units with this tactic can still charge in a turn in which they Fell Back.

Fall back and charge is huge. This means that White Scars bike units will be gross since they can leave a combat they don’t like and then just charge something else. Or just keep charging the same unit if that’s your cup of tea. Also adding 2″ to their advance moves can get your units some serious ground coverage. Once again, perfectly reflective of the personality of the White Scars.

Iron Hands The Flesh is Weak

Each time a unit loses a wound with this tactic roll a die on a 6 the damage is ignored and remove the wound.

Similar to the last edition. All Iron Hands used to have a 6+ Feel No Pain. That’s exactly what this is. Which is pretty cool that every marine, bike, and dreadnought in the army gets it. Even without an Apothecary or anything. Bomb!

Imperial Fists Siege Masters

Enemy units do not receive the benefit of cover from shooting attacks from units with this Tactic. Re-roll any failed to Wound rolls against attacks targeting a Building.

This is an iffy one for me. It seems in this new edition cover means very little anyway. It really just protects you from small arms fire. Not like it was in the last edition with cover saves everywhere. Ignores cover was much better then than it is now. This tactic reflects the personality of the Imperial Fists perfectly. Especially since it also means that they are pro at taking out fortifications that people will bring in their lists. The truth is I don’t know anyone who does in my meta. So as much as this Tactic is perfect for the personality of the Imperial Fists I can’t see it being universally good. At least not as good as the other chapters. However, it does seem that these tactics will be available to Imperial Fist Successors as well. Such as the Crimson Fists for example.

Black Templars Righteous Zeal

You can re-roll failed charge rolls for units with this Tactic

Even though the Black Templars are also an Imperial Fists successor, their way of operating is quite different. They’ve always been portrayed as bloodthirsty witch hunters in the past. This Tactic reflects that quite well. In fact a fully mechanized Black Templar army could be a nasty second turn assault army with this rule.

Salamanders Master Artisans

You can re-roll a single failed to hit roll and a single to wound roll each time a unit with this tactic shoots or fights.

This could be awesome when your units don’t have their characters nearby to buff them. All Space Marine armies have access to characters like captains that allow re-rolls to hit and chaplains that allow re-rolls to wound. However, if your units are caught without these characters nearby this is a good rule to have in a pinch. Also it means you may not need to have so many of these characters around. Could be a good one.

So as you can see Games Workshop has done a pretty good job of representing the personality of the famous Space Marine Chapters. I’m sure, in time, people will find the nasty ways to combine these rules with the new rules for the Characters and combine them with the Stratagems and Relics to make some ridiculously competitive combinations. Either way it should make all those still Loyal to the Emperor of Mankind happy to know that all their favourite chapters still have special rules.

Until our next encounter!

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