40K Deep Thought: The Other Chapter Tactics

We’ve seen the Ultramarines rules, what does that mean for the other major chapters?

Codex Space Marines is just around the corner and we’ve seen what the Ultramarines are bringing.

Here’s the Ultramarines chapter tactics:

Codex discipline offers both good rules and fits with the fluff – I approve! Which leads to the bigger questions:

Who Else Gets Chapter Tactics?

What Should the Be?

Who Is Worthy?

Clearly every 1st Founding chapter should have rules, and any chapter who ever had a codex or minis can be grandfathered in.

  • Iron Hands
  • White Scars
  • Imperial Fists
  • Raven Guard
  • Salamanders
  • Dark Angels*
  • Blood Angels*
  • Space Wolves*
  • Black Templars
  • Crimson Fists

*These guys will get their own codex, so we will ignore them from this point forward.

What Should They Get?

Right off the bat, we’ve seen many of these guys already get special rules in past books. So I think we have the general guidelines.

  • Iron Hands – Something dealing with durability, or firepower.
  • White Scars – A movement or assault benefit, a hit & run equivalent for 8th.
  • Imperial Fists – Bolter Drill shooting bonuses, or something involving fortifications.
  • Raven Guard – Stealth and covert ops. Cover or deployment bonuses. Maybe snipers.
  • Salamanders – Flamer benefits, or master crafted weapons.
  • Black Templars – Anti psyker buffs or charge/fight-phase bonuses.
  • Crimson Fists – I got nothing – something anti-Ork?

Wishful Thinking

There are some intriguing chapters that have either been the subject of Black Library novels, or are just cool, that I hope get rules one day.

  • Carcharodons (Space Sharks) Just read – they are cool.
  • Iron Snakes – Dan Abnett did these guys right.
  • Exorcists – There something not right about this chapter and the Inquisition is involved. This is their chapter cry: “a slow, chilling chant in a number of dark languages, mixed with Litanies in High GothicTotally Loyal!
  • Scythes of the Emperor – Almost wiped out by the Tyranids and fully restored by Primaris reinforcements. I bet they are looking for payback.

~ What do you think the new chapters rules will look like and what chapters really deserve rules in the first place?

  • Nyyppä

    The real question is what are legions going to get. If ultras got something that good and almost certainly the rest of the chapters get something on that level, then what are the actual veterans of the Heresy going to get to compensate? CSM is again plainly inferior to SM in every way (the fact checking is now made easy, so do it). Somehow they are going to have to make the field level again if they want to make any vanilla vs. emo games worth playing.

    • Lowkey2342

      I hope Alpha Legion gets something similar to the infiltrate they got from Traitor Legions, that mechanic along with their color scheme and not being committed to a single god are why I picked them. I’m getting killed by Space Wolves because I can’t get through all the storm shields before they get into close combat. Some cultists with infiltrate would provide a nice, cheap speed bump.

      • Nyyppä

        Well, if the old book can be looked at as a omen for things to come my WB will give rerolls to everything to ultras while getting the yet again useless possessed as troops.

        I hope that they get something worthwhile done this time.

        • __

          Yeah I didn’t think it was possible, but they somehow managed to make possessed worse. My word bearers are gonna probably be shelved in place of pure daemons, as their legion specific rules are most likely going to be as good as simply a re-roll for the daemonic ritual rule 🙁

          • Nyyppä

            This. The summoning system is so damn random it’s impossible to use effectively as a tactic. Also the possessed lack a wound from their stat line and even then they would be so and so. The elements for fluffy WB are there, but the mechanics just are not.

    • Karru

      I don’t have high hopes. GW unfortunately still shows that it has major bias going on and that they do not really care about overall balance and Chaos that much. The best bit is that they release all these cool new models for them but then they release extremely bland and weak rules for them. It isn’t hard to write good and balanced Chaos rules, but for GW it seems to be impossible.

      • Nyyppä

        That is really annoying. That and the chaos tax that is still very much a thing.

        • alberto alderighi

          ahhhh and here i wanteed all of you NOW was 7th so bad —>no

          are alwaysw faction codex bad ???? YES

          SO why we left 7 ed which was starting to be balanced for 8th? because all ppl are stupid

          ->correct answer

          Why not 7.5 with fix to vehicle + nerf to MC , better point system and nerf /fix to physic

          BUT NO we had to get a complete rewamp just when te games starteded be balanced.

          And all those ppl so HAPPY for a 8th ed

          CLAP CLAP …… 90% of gw customers are retards…..

          • Horus84cmd


          • highwind

            He gave input… You just didnt seem to understand it.

            Instead of writing a completely new and dumbed down ruleset (with nearly as many flaws as the old one), GW could have adjusted 7th ed rules and balance and would probably have a better (and tactically much deeper) game than they have now…

          • Horus84cmd

            Oh I understood the little rant and rave above. All very churlish and bitter. Yet, what do you say to someone who views “90% of GW customers as retards (sic)” simply for enjoying the product that has been release.

          • Nyyppä

            Well, 8th is genuinely better as a game. Your suggestions would have not fixed the last edition.

            People liking a game that is not just about netlisting and you disagreeing with them does not make the other people retards.

          • lunahula .

            It does if you are a fanatic. The mindset of someone whos opinion or view cannot be changed.

            Right or wrong however if the majority are not for your idea, you should at least accept it’s a battle you have already lost.

          • Nyyppä

            That and maybe try the game at least. I find that most naysayers are just refusing to touch the new gameplay.

          • Ryan Hall

            Talking about my ex again?

  • Crevab

    Exorcists are an Inquisition pet project and likely successors of the Grey Knights. Yes, they’re loyal

    • Nyyppä

      GK is not a chapter. Not like UM or BT are.

      • Depends on how you define a Chapter. They’re designated 666, they’re officially part of the Second Founding. They simply do not have standard Primarch geneseed, don’t act within the normal framework and are often commandeered by the Ordo Malleus.

        The Exorcists are said to be a Thirteenth Founding descendent of the Grey Knights, although the lack of background on them doesn’t make it 100% certain; there’s a short story stating it as such, but not a novel or Codex, basically.

  • Crevab

    Forgeworld had a lot of alternate Chapter tactics and characters in the Badab War books. Maybe they’ll throw another update out there? Please?

    • NikosanPrime

      That would be my hope.

      Also I hope that after the Mentor Legion got a reprint of their original rules in the Index Astartes: Apocrypha book that that will mean that they might just get some love in the new rules. Here’s hoping.

    • Mongoose

      As someone who plays Carcharodons I totally approve of this message. I would love to get my chapter tactics back.

    • Paul Raymond

      I seem to remember a pdf on the FW site that gave Chapter Tactics to their guys. Hoping we see that return before the mythical new Imperial Armour announced a few years back comes out. Come on FW, give me a reason to give these guys some reinforcements.

  • Zreat mi Legenderi

    Ultramarines… All the time GW telling that they are the chapter that follows the Codex Astartes 100%. The chapter born from the Primarch who wrote the book. An example for all other chapters who follow Codex Astartes…. But, as always, GW rules and options for this chapter go far from that background. Some editions ago, they were best bikers than Raven Wing! Where the fidelity to Cosex Astartes is? A lot of units out of Codex Astartes organization scheme, a lot more equipment than other first founding chapters… sometimes as good as other chapters in their specializations… and now… they may fall back and shoot? Which rules will be given to Raven Guard, then? It was not enough to have +1 leadership? Where not the stubborn chapter the DAngels? Why do noGW gives them benefits from respecting Codex Astartes organization? It is really too hard to do it? Cheaper rhinos or benefits for 10 marines units shooting or defending, maybe more distance for objective control purposes…. But no…. they must be stronger, smarter, faster, harder, and best at everithing than other chapters. I hate this chapter. It was the one with lower personality at the beggining, the most standard… But is still seems to be the most loved one for GW. Even more that Space Wolves… (another absurditty. What when Inquisition or ANYONE sees the fangs, hair and MUTATIONS? GW has a lot of histories about people burnt alive for be just suspicious pf heresy… but it seems they are untouchable). I like this game but I cannot believe that rules designers are always doing rules far from the backgrounds they write! It is really too hard to try fitting both concepts, working on it 8 hours a day?????? I can do that for each faction in a couple of days, and I m sure almost all of you may do it. Why they do not???

    • Horus84cmd

      Feel better now? Really don’t get level of hyperbole…its only plastic toy soldiers…


    • alberto alderighi

      ye exatly im sure everyone could do better than this , this is why you get tired and you leave the hobby at some point cuz is just that bad.

    • Aura1

      Well, the new fluff has Guilliman pointing out that the Codex was meant to evolve and he’s rewritten portions of it. The Ultramarines were always disciplined so the current rule fits the fluff that’s been established in novels, background rulebooks and the HH tabletop.

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      Eldar and T’au do it better tho, because they don’t lose accuracy and reavers can charge after.

    • highwind

      How does “following the Codex Astrates to 100%” contradict to “being better bikers than Ravenwing”?

      Falling back and shooting is something which requires high tactical discipline and is therefore quite fitting for Ultramarines… In fact I find it more fitting for Ultramarines than the basically same rule for White Scars in the last edition.

      And how do you know that they dont get any bonus from obeying the Codex Astrates to 100% (like using 10 marines in a tactical) from their specific formations?

  • Tigirus

    My hope is that since most units have access to re-roll’s of 1’s to hit thanks to captains, Imperial Fists will get their close-range bolter drill from sentinels of terra. Getting to re-roll bolters at half range would be amazing for intercessors.

    • highwind

      Whats the point in getting the same special rule from different sources?

      If they get something like “bolter drill” it better be something special instead oft the same rule they can easily get Form captains… Like adding two (instead of one) shots when firing bolters withing 12″

      • Tigirus

        That’s exactly what I said.

        Since they get re-rolls of 1 from captains they should get the variant from sentinels of terra which gave them re-rolls to all failed hits when at half range.

        • Fraser1191

          That would be cool. Cause then you can have your captain shadow some devs or something

        • highwind

          I meant that even with the old sentinels of terra rule it would still be “overlapping” with the captains rule (=> the captains aura is wasted when they fire at half range), which I find suboptimal and therefore would prefer something completely different… like
          additional shots when in half range
          making an additional hit on a roll of 6+
          being able to fire the Bolter as a heavy 2 weapon
          etc… something that synergized with aura bubbles from characters and not (partially) replaces them.

  • Karru

    To be perfectly honest, I would love to see the old 4th edition “Make-your-own-Chapter” return. Have the Chapter rules like normally for the “main chapters” and then at the end of the book, give players the option to make their own chapter with their own rules following a similar formula to the one in the 4th edition Codex.

    • Fergie0044

      I seem to recall the Kharadron Overlords had something like this in their battletome? Like pre-set bonus for specific sky-ports but also the option to mix and match your own? Would eb very cool to see something similar for 40k, although a nightmare to balance.

  • helter266

    so, realistically, what are we looking here is something like +1 cover for raven guard? maybe some form outflank? I can’t wait to see what my ravens will get 😀

    • Karru

      The finger would be my guess. 😀

      For real though, I can see them getting something similar to what they had now where they gain +1 Cover on the first turn unless they move and bonuses to their Jump Packers. I doubt they will get any sort of Outflank because GW already expects that Raven Guard is nothing but Assault Marines so they have Deep Strike to use.

      • helter266

        Looking at formations from 7th, they were assault marines and scouts all over the place… sooo maybe some little bonus for scouts also? One can hope, right? 😀

        • Karru

          I would kill for a rule that allows Assault Marines to DS closer than 9″ from the enemy if you have Scouts close enough to the target.

          • highwind

            probably wont happen…

      • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

        More likely free redeployment moves for all your Infantry that aren’t in reserve.

    • Crevab

      A rule that says a unit deployed near an infiltrated Shrike may also infiltrate. Forgetting that the unit has already deployed, thus making it useless

      • Nyyppä

        Well, if you just set them up near Shrike (that has infiltrated) then you are doing it right.

        • highwind

          Shirke cant infiltrate xD

          • Nyyppä

            Oh ffs. 😀

    • Mr_Pickles

      what about a rule that allows you to put more then normal amount of units in reserve? since deep-strike doesn’t scatter and units can be placed commonly 9″ away from an opponent… that would be nice to see for Raven Guard or Night Lords.

  • Horus84cmd

    In the twitch stream on Friday it was mentioned that successor chapters follow their founding chapter when it comes to these new “Codex Disciplines”. The better question is will successor chapters get additional stratagems and relics.

    • NNextremNN

      Doing this for all first founding chapters would already be a lot. FW will surly make one for their chapters. Maybe GW does some for selected special chapters like Black Templars and maybe some others the rest can can chose which they gonna copy.

      • Horus84cmd

        Not from what was mentioned in the stream. Different tactics are going to be dealt with, by the sound of things, via stratagems. So, using your example Black Templars will use the Imperial Fist Chapter Tactics, but their specific stratagems will play focus on the more assault, crusader nature of them.

  • Bradley Macduff

    it will be the ones we already had, the core legion chapters (ravenguard, white scars, iron hands, imp fists, ultramarines, salamanders), the black templar as there in too deep to not do that much. the only person in any limbo is the crimson fists. who could be replaced but its doubtful. a more likely scenario is that we will simply go back to the 8 armies of marines weve always had.

  • Sparowl


    You mean the successors to the Ultramarines? They’ll just use the Ultramarine rules, so they can use their Primarch. They can’t really get anything else special on top of that, or they’d be better then Ultramarines, and everyone know Ultramarines are the best.

    So it looks like we’re done here. Codex: Ultramarines will round out the 40k universe, then GW can move on to writing the joke codexes that allow Ultramarine players to truly know their superiority.

    • alberto alderighi

      ehi could be worse think if a bounch of clown jumping all over the table could beat ya to death…. oh wait…..8th eldar index yup

  • pokemastercube .

    we can expect FW to give some additional chapters their tatics.

    as for BT, i would also say move the land raider crusader to dedicated transport from heavy support

    • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

      And give up a no-brainer Battalion compulsory Heavy slot? No way.

  • Levi Lambert

    I want to see some black dragon rules. Those guys are cool AF

  • Marios Kontopyrgos

    Make your own chapter rules would be the best for GW. Easier to please everyone. Just make a good balancing system. Like have 2 lists. A major trait and a minor trait list and have people pick one of each. Hell if you wanted you could put points/power level or command points cost for each trait so that it balances. Dont think its happening though

  • Horus84cmd

    Finding the amount of nerd panic amusing. People bemoaning “SM get all the cool”, “OH, look sm are so over powered” “boo hiss Ultramarines are being treated as favourites” “Chaos will no doubt be shafted” “Waaaa….waaa…waaa”. SM is the first codex. So what? Its not a surprise.

    Come on! This is the first codex for a fresh new edition. At least wait until your codex is released to start griping; which no doubt people will do even if their codex is a perfectly good one.

    • Zhan

      While i agree that some people are panicing too much. I dont have much sympathy for comments like these either.

      I mean how can you not understand that some people are fustrated that there armies will have to wait 6+ months to be on equal terms again? which was the entire reason they brought the 8th edition to us.

      • Horus84cmd

        Its incredibly unrealistic and inane to expect a FULL codex’s for every army from day one. For starters that was never going to happen from a logistical and production point. It was never going to happen from a marketing and sales point of view either – you don’t splurge everything at once to generate maximum sales 8th was brought to us because 7th had runs its course, as like 6th, 5th etc… before it; Don’t be naive, going from edition to edition has never been about magically balancing to the game – 8th is no different.

        8th has certainly narrowed that with the Index’s allowing everyone to play straight away, but that had to be done as the 8th rules set is built on a completely different design philosophy; REMEBER the same thing happen from 2nd to 3rd, when the rule book contained unit entries for all the armies.

        • Zhan

          they could have at least released several codexes at once instead of favouring SM first.

          And/or they could have implemented a point cost for using rules.
          After all they stated that 8th edition = no more free stuff

          • Horus84cmd

            They are doing several. We’re get 10! 10! codex’s before x-mas. That has never happen in the history of GW. Thats 10 books within 6 months of the release of 8th. The first four will be: Space Marines; followed by Deathguard; followed by Chaos Space Marines or Grey Knights. The other 6 are yet to be announced.

            Did they state no more “free stuff”? When did they state that? Please show me a link to an article or video it was in. As I am pretty sure they have not said that and that is a assumption from the gaming community. Things are hardly free either: relics will cost points; stratagems cost CP, which have been generated paid for via the way you build your army around detachments; to gain access to Chapter Discipline, then you can’t take things in a detachment from other armies or you lose it. There are “cost” for everything, not in points per-sae, but cost non the less.

          • Zhan

            Yes, somewhere in time others will get their codex noone has stated here that their armies are forgotten.

            They can make a codex for everyone at launch of the 8th. But suggesting to launch a more detailed one for several armies at the same time is somehow impossible!
            Not even mentioning the fact that some army specific rules will be better/ more usefull than others.

            Honestly your entire attitude about peoples concern about this basicly comes down to:
            Haha, Sucks to be you and should have played something else. Which is not constructive in any way,shape or form.

          • Horus84cmd

            Oh sigh…….and moaning about the realities of industry and retail marketing/sales is also also constructive, eh?

            Tis the way of the world. You can’t have everything at once so someones got to wait. Enjoy playing now with what you’ve got or perhaps be inspired start a new army using one of the ones that has a codex if you feel that left out. Worrying whether an armies rule is going to better than anothers is entire circumspect until said codex’s has landed; it’s entire rhetorical with no basis in fact. We don’t know what each army is going to look like until it out. So there really is not a huge amount gained from harping on about it. Once other books are out, then there is basis for a debate to be had.

          • Zhan

            Personally i think the SM range is only doing that much better than others because of attention GW gives it but that is another matter.

            As for the discussion: army X is better than Y. While you are correct that it’s pointless to discuss who will be better before the rules are out.

            It is however not that unthinkable that some rules are going to better than others. In fact it will be unavoidable unless everyone gets the exact same ruleset. Adding point cost in my opinion could offset this somewhat.

            This would have made a ultramarine list a bit more expensive but could still play with their awesome new rules. And then in the long run would allow GW to make rules cheaper or more costly depending on their usefullness

          • Horus84cmd

            There is really not a whole of gained from having to pay an extra point or two. If every army is going to gain, as codex’s are released, special army/faction rules, stratagems and relics, then as every army is given them and have point or two extra then we return to the status quo in relative points levels.

            For the sake of the time it take GW to roll out codex it’s redundant and waste of time in the grand scheme of the game. Even more so as GW have made it clear they will tweak points as they get feedback, and these point tweaks are going to be published a regular book, ala AoS’s ‘Generals Handbook’, called ‘Chapter Approved’. So if something turns out to be over/under costed as lots of people play, it will get adjusted.

        • NNextremNN

          They could of course have made the Index books complete with chapter tactics and such things that’s what 1 maybe 2 pages per faction? Maybe another one for relics or at least general relics. But then people wouldn’t have to buy the Index and the Codex later which for some factions will be much later and in the meantime all they can do is look jealously at the first codex factions.

          • Horus84cmd

            I’m sure they maybe could have done, but then the index’s get bigger and bigger and bumps up the price. Which for what is, ostensibly, a get you by product (probably with a shelf life of, what, a couple of years?) would not be ideal. Especially, when GW already knew they were pumping out 10 full codex’s in 6 months. Heck, GW already know the pace of the release for every codex (albeit roughly). For all we as end user know GW plan to release 10 books every 6 months. Which would mean in 18ths every book would be done.

          • NNextremNN

            A dozen pages wouldn’t have skyrocketed the price or size of the index books. 10 Codicies until xmas seems impressive but I think it’s just okay in consideration they have overthrown anything and left many people hanging. They could have solved this with free rules but they don’t wanna go that route.

            And now think about the people who get the last new codex. They have 10 -12 months during which they can look at all other factions getting new “special” faction rules, which they had in the past and all others got in the meantime while all they have is an half done index book.

          • Horus84cmd

            Tis the way of the world. Can’t have everything at once so someones got to wait. Enjoy playing now with what you’ve got or perhaps be inspired start a new army using one of the ones that has a codex if you feel that left out. Not a huge amount gained from harping on about because, in this instance, its not going to change.

      • highwind

        How can all those people you are speaking of not understand in first place that even “now” (before the first codex hits the shelves) nothing is “equal”?…

        People are acting like everything is super-duper-balanced with the indices (although obviously it is not!) and the first codex will instantly overpower that single faction by a huge amount

        Realistic view is: (vanilla) Space Marines are currently one of the weaker faction and could very well use a real codex to be more viable

  • James Arnoldi

    Please, do not give Crimson Fists something that only works against one army!

    -A Crimson Fists player

    • James Arnoldi

      Maybe something anti-infantry….

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    BT should get free Denials, rerolls against units that hurt them, and rerolls to Charge.

    • highwind

      rather “advance and charge” than “reroll charge”… its more “crusader style” 😉

  • mafiacheese

    ::cough::Blood Ravens::cough::

    • dinodoc

      You! Yes, you! I like the cut of your gib.

    • NNextremNN

      I really hope they get some chapter tactics too if not from GW then from FW they seem to show an increased interest again lately.

  • Michael Lee

    No love for Rainbow Warriors? Haha.