40K Lore: Space Marine Scouts


Today we delve deep into Space Marine Scouts – the humble and deadly beginnings of an Adeptus Astartes!


Training and Deployment

Every Marine belonging to a Codex chapter begins his combat life as a Scout. Over a period of several months, under the tutelage of a Sergeant, the Scout learns the use of all the weapons at the disposal of the Adeptus Astartes, and becomes skilled at every aspect of war.

As part of a Scout Squad, a Scout enters combat for the first time as a skirmisher, or an infiltrator. Relying on stealth rather than brute force, Scouts slip behind enemy lines, gather intelligence, destroy strategic targets, and capture or assassinate key enemy commanders, then fade away before the enemy has had a chance to react. Because of their speed and stealth, Scout Squads are often assigned to boarding actions against Tyranid Hive Ships, or to search-and-destroy missions against key synapse creatures that direct the rest of the Hive Mind. For these missions, their armament often includes Heavy Bolters loaded with Hellfire rounds. During the final stage of their training, Scouts are trained in the use of Bikes, performing a faster-moving version of the reconnaissance and skirmish roles they fulfill on foot.

Off the battlefield, the scouts train and learn under the tutelage of a veteran Sergeant, taking to heart the lessons and skills that will one day see them elevated to the rank of a full battle brother. A Scout receives his final implant, the Black Carapace, when he is deemed ready to join the Chapter as a full Battle-Brother – the implant marks him as a full Marine and allows him to interface with his suit of power armour.



Scouts are fitted with Scout Armour, a type of carapace armour which protects most of their body with rigid plates, but is lighter and less confining that a full suit of power armour. Scouts also frequently wear Camo Cloaks, which enable them to imitate almost any terrain.

A Scout squad will be equipped according to its designated tactical role. Those who fight alongside Tactical squads will likely be armed with Bolters and Shotguns. Scout squads specializing in close combat would be equipped with Bolt Pistols and close combat weapons. Scouts serving as long range fire support would carry Sniper Rifles and either Missile Launchers or Heavy Bolters. Scouts are also frequently equipped with Frag or Krak Grenades and an Auspex for information gathering. They may be equipped with Astartes Combat Webbing in order to effectively carry their gear, and may also carry specialized or exotic equipment like grapnels or grav chutes.


Scout Bike Squads are frequently equipped with Cluster Mines, Grenade Launchers, and a Locator Beacon.

wallpaper-eye-of-vengeance wallpaper Black Library

Noteworthy Scouts

Learn More of Space Marine Scouts



Anyone else getting ready for the Lost Patrol Board Game? Get your Scouts ready for WAR!


  • Anti-Gravity

    Anyone else despise the overuse of mohawks/ponytails in GW art?

    We get it, the majority of the GW staff are longhaired deathrock metal lovers, but I doubt Astartes are vain enough – and they’re definitely not social enough – that they’d actually consciously follow trends in hairstyles lmao. It’s been toned down in recent years, thank God for that. 😀

    Willing to bet 99% of Space Marines would just be buzzing their tops, anything else is a liability during battle and non-functional.

    • Severius_Tolluck

      I concur. I hate top knots and mohawks on models. I usually cut them off.

    • ahem. the picture describes world eater scouts (BTW, haven’t scouts’ existence in the horus heresy era been retconned ?), hardly the most civilized beings in the universe. plus the mohawk/heavy metal hairdoes theme is only present in a few marines models, in the catachan imperial guard, and…ehh…that’s it for 40K. Oh, and the old goliath gangers. It’s justified as far as the Space wolves and Chaos marines are concerned, and the short mohawk sported by Catachans is rather utilitarian than stylish.

      Also, don’t forget the blood angels. they don’t do mohawks, but they love long, blond hairs, because they’re vampires. and angels. and modelled after greek/roman warriors.

      • Anti-Gravity

        The Emperor’s personal Custodes guard have mohawks in their artwork too, it’s ridiculous.

        Right so you listed tons of different factions/groups that have mohawks. That’s WAY more than it would ever be seen irl statistically, it’s purposely pitched often in the 40K art because the artists all think it looks super-cool and intimidating when it just looks dumb and doesn’t fit in with ascetic lifestyles that some of these wearers have – namely Space Marines and Custodes.

        • wait. tons of space marines chapter come from barbaric worlds or “techno-feudal” worlds. they don’t give a cr@p about functionality (or else they’d wear their helmets). The fact that some chapters/factions wear traditionnal warrior hairdo from their original planet in battle even as space marines is plausible. Custoes are recruted from earth, is my memory is correct, which at the time of the great crusade, has just come out of a techno-barbaric middle age like period. Fun fact: no army in the real middle ages had any kind of hair regulations. that and the fact that some chapters come from highly barbaric planets, like the space wolves or the white scars, doesn’t make the “weird” hair abnormal. Mainly because your standard of normal is “occidental middle class worker hairdo”. Sorry to tell you some people in the world don’t share the stereotype, but have one of their own.

          Plus good luck trying to applying common sense and “real life” to science fantasy, chum.

    • euansmith

      Space Marine Scout Level: Winning

    • PrimoFederalist

      Dude, you’ve never been around military guys, have you? If it were allowed, there’d be a TON of buzzed mohawks.

    • Arthfael

      This was from the 80s. 40k started with a much more punky aesthetic than it currently has. This still somehow translates to more recent art.

      • cyril scordia

        Commander rick ashley of the blood raven (dow 2)

    • Neil Rodger
  • dinodoc

    Steve Blum means Cyrus wins the Scout sweepstakes.

  • Richard Mitchell

    One of my favorite units to play when I used to 40k. There is just so much story between each aspiring SM before they are no longer human.

    • euansmith

      Cheap and often surprisingly nasty in fight.

  • Simon Chatterley

    A lot of negativity given to how mankind will cut his hair in 38000 years time.

    Only 2 decades ago the mullet was still a thing so I reckon 38 millennia might make Mohawks cool

    • memitchell

      You only have to look as far into the future as Mad Max and Judge Dredd. 40K Reflects what pop culture thinks future dystopian societies will look like.

      • Adam Murray

        By that time a Mohawk might be a posh haircut used by high status people.

  • Satyan Patel

    The only people with Mohawks these days that I see are children. I actually remember growing up in England (late 70s / early 80s) and wow the punks (as they called themselves) really had them going.