40K Teaser: Inside Codex Space Marines

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What to expect when you’re expecting Codex Space Marines.

Got some breaking news for you this morning–GW’s given us all a quick peek at Codex Space Marines, detailing some of the units and other information you can find within. So congratulations! It’s a Codex!

via Warhammer Community

This is the complete guide to your army, with 104 pages of background, covering the long and storied history of the Adeptus Astartes and the distinct traditions of the First Founding Chapters and their Successors. There’s also new background focused on the Primaris Marines and the Ultima Founding, from Chapters brought back from the brink of destruction like the Crimson Fists to new heroes like the Rift Stalkers. There’s detailed livery to inspire your own paint schemes, as well as a breakdown of squad and company markings, from those of the more Codex compliant Chapters like the Ultramarines to the unique battle-iconography of the Black Templars.

And just as a refresher, some fun things we know, Primaris marines have three extra organs that help make them harder, better, faster, stronger–the steel within (supermetals coiled around sinew), the magnificat amplifier (a half functional organ that makes all the other organs better, basically the biotech equivalent of a management consultant who helps leverage your core synergies and everyone in the office just hates them and are sick of hearing ‘work smarter not harder’), and the Belisarian furnace (a last ditch boost for a dying Primaris).

Here are the Primaris organs on their annual team building retreat.

The codex is packed with new units, too. We can’t tell you about all of these yet, but we can guarantee you’ll see everything from Dark Imperium, our new Primaris Space Marine heroes, the Reivers, the Repulsor and the colossal Redemptor Dreadnought. There are also all the characters and units you know and love, including Chapter-specific special characters that will unlock yet more avenues for army building and themed forces. Again, Space Marine players will have a very powerful and complex force at their disposal, with some truly terrifying combinations available to those who make the maximum use of Primaris and non-Primaris units; one of our favourites is combining Reivers with High Marshal Helbrecht and Chaplain Grimaldus to create a savage assault army capable of striking the fear of the Emperor into the heart of the most obstinate heretic. All in all, there are 85 datasheets in the book – the codex is almost the size of the Warhammer 40,000 book.

Yup, that’s right. Space Marines are so cool their book is basically another edition of 8th edition. Which, given what we’ve seen of the new rules and units, isn’t that far off. Space Marines definitely pull ahead of the game right now.

Of course, a Space Marine army wouldn’t be a Space Marine army without the legacy of its Primarch; these are represented in Codex: Space Marines with Chapter Tactics for (deep breath now) the Ultramarines, the White Scars, the Imperial Fists, the Black Templars, the Salamanders, the Raven Guard and the Iron Hands. These have been changed a little from what you may be used to, and for the better – we’ve been able to make the Chapter Tactics very powerful and very flexible, but your army will need to be battle-forged to use them. Previous Chapter Tactics generally focused around specific units and weapons like Salamanders with flamers or Imperial Fists with bolter-armed Tactical Squads, but this time around, they’ll be benefitting every unit and every army build; the strength of the Space Marines is diversity, after all.

As we’ve seen, even Dreadnoughts get to use the swanky new Chapter Tactics, like the Ultramarine’s ability to disengage from close combat and still shoot. This can be devastating in the right hands–no doubt the other chair tactics will be equally as cheaty powerful and suited to their respective chapters’ idiom.

With Stratagems, you’ll be able to build armoured columns, focus on your heroes or master the Fight phase. These are paired with 14 Warlord Traits – 6 for any Space Marine army and 8 for the different Chapters. Particularly shrewd readers will notice that’s one more than there should be – that’s because the Crimson Fists, while using the Chapter Tactics of the Imperial Fists, have their own Warlord Trait and Relic.

I like the precedent this sets. A new Warlord trait for something firmly rooted in-fiction, it’s a good way to reflect the unfolding narrative even in tabletop play. Who knows what else we’ll see come out of this.

We’ve already seen some of the specific stratagems, including the ability to upgrade a captain to a chapter master. And there are 26 all in all, including some new iteration of Linebreaker Bombardment and Tremor Shells for the Thunder Cannon. Many of these new stratagems will give a boost to specific units. So if you’re paying against Space Marines, prepare to see new ways of getting killed every time your opponent spends a CP.

One last little tidbit–look at these new faces hiding in the crowd:

That is one stylish Poxwalker about to get missiled and minigunned to heck by those swanky looking Primaris.

These guys look cool–but it took me longer than it should have to realize the gray native in the upper right was just a statue. Probably my favorite model in the spread, though.

Codex: Space Marines will be available for pre-order next week.


  • Navaren

    I am loving that primaris chaplain’s crozius. So elegant.

  • Thomas

    Not a fan of Primaris, but that Chaplain looks cool.

    That said, I’m just waiting for Death Guard. I get that Marines have to be their first codex, but I’m gutted that DG are the 4th. They’re one of the starter box factions and they’re having to wait for ages!

    • Gorsameth

      Do we know they are 4th for sure? We know 4 of the 10 codexes, and they were shown in an order but is there any reason to not think that order was mostly random?

      • Thomas

        “Codex: Space Marines will be swiftly followed by the Grey Knights and Chaos Space Marines with Death Guard not far behind.”

        Seems pretty unambiguous to me, but I’ll happily be proved wrong. I just want Plague Terminators 🙁

        • Randy Randalman

          But that means less than two months. We’re getting 2 codices per month through December. Besides, Nurgle has a much bigger release, model-wise, than Marines or Grey Knights, and will need more time to get the stores and shipping ready.

          • Cergorach

            I suspect that the GK release will be a Codex with a Start Collecting! box and maybe a plastic Brother Captain. A very small release.

            I hope that CSM will get a little more then just a Codex, I hope:

            Plastic Obliterators/Mutilators
            Plastic Havocs (Sold out at the moment in the EU)
            Plastic Abaddon
            Plastic Warpsmith

            I really hope that the SM release is not just Primaris, but we also need:

            Plastic Techmarine
            Plastic Servitors
            Plastic Thunderfire Cannon

          • Thomas

            A basic, MPPK Chaos Marine kit is literally my number one ask. With the baroque aesthetic of the newer stuff like Kharn, Rubricae and the Dark Vengeance Chosen

        • Gorsameth

          Hm yeah looks that way.
          Oh well, the codex will come quick, one roughly every 2 weeks if they want to get 10 out in time for christmas.

    • NNextremNN

      You think Death Guard have to wait for ages??? Just imagine you play one of the factions that doesn’t get a Codex until next year.

  • CloakingDonkey

    So it says every Intercessor carries “some variation of bolt rifle, the standard version of which has longer range and better AP than a bolter”

    So that does make me think that they won’t get heavy weapon upgrades and truly be one weapon squads but will have different variations of bolt rifles such as all auto bolt rifle squads?

    Sounds ok but that kind of means the standard ones from DI are actually worthless. Sad.

    • Gorsameth

      Why does other weapon options existing make the ‘basic’ version worthless?

      • CloakingDonkey

        Because 5 dudes with bolt rifles are trash unless they’re half of what they cost in the indexes/DI listing… And I mean trash as in, I’d rather field guardsmen.

        • Gorsameth

          Other options existing has no bearing on how bad the basic model is. If you consider 5 dudes with bolt rifles useless then they will be useless regardless of if 5 guys with ‘auto bolt rifles’ exist.

          • CloakingDonkey

            My hope was that they’d be able to go to 10 man and get upgrades. Maybe not exactly like tacticals but get a handful of those backpack missile pods or some such.

          • Gorsameth

            We know they can go to 10 from the Stream friday and Reiver look to have weapon upgrades with their grappling guns. Might be the same for Intercessors.

        • Heinz Fiction

          Considering that Guardsmen are among the most efficient units in this edition that doesn’t say much…

          • CloakingDonkey

            thanks GW for destroying all the good memes ._.

      • AircoolUK

        Most of the DI Inter’s have targeters on their rifles, I wonder if they’ll actually be an option?

    • ReverendTiberiusJackhammer

      There’s also the sniper-y Stalker variant kicking around, so it may be a choice between standard rapidfire fellas and more static sniper lads.

      • CloakingDonkey

        oh that’s a good point actually, one of the DI squads has all sniper scopey bolt rifles. Hmm.

        Oh well I’m sure I’ll be able to model some extra sniper scopes or auto bolt rifle drums for the gimp squad 😛

    • GWELLS

      From what this implies, the weapon options of Intercessors will probably lean toward the anti-infantry but will have different options to do so. So perhaps something like a sniper boltrifle, maybe an AP -3 assualt 1 variant to take on heavy infantry. And maybe an Rapid-fire 2 variant to take on mass infantry or something like that.

    • Sure

      They may get a non-mastercrafted version of the Primaris Lieutenant’s assault boltgun.

      • CloakingDonkey

        yeah that’s the auto bolt rifle i was talking about

  • Carey_Mahoney

    That chaplain looks boss!

    Though a bit reminiscent of Skeletor from the live-action He-Man movie. But only a little.

  • Luca Lacchini

    The Chaplain looks cool, as do the Gravis guys with shoulder missile launchers and… two boltstorm gauntlets? Oh sweet avenging Emperor!
    Not so hyped about the new plasma-toting Inceptors, though.

    • Fraser1191

      Yeah I assume those plasma weapons cost more than the assault bolter. So these guys are gonna be costly

  • ZeeLobby

    Chaplain reminds me of Reaper.

  • ieyke

    Plasma Inceptors with armored helmets? Awesome.

  • tylran

    Can’t wait to paint that Apotechary. Love the Chaplain with the hood. Also new “Terminators” are quite nice. Gonna pick up a squad of plasma inceptors as well. =) So far I’m liking the Primaris releases.

  • AircoolUK

    Those drop visors are pretty cool.

    • orionburn

      Would be cool if they get some sort of bonus so they don’t melt their faces off with a supercharged shot of plasma goodness 😀

  • Kevin Maloney

    So does anyone see any non-Primaris Marines in these pics? At all?

    • ZeroOne

      Yep. There is a devastator squad behind the Librarian and Apothecary. There is also a Tactical squad behind RG.

      • Thomas

        They also seem quite fond of sticking Flyers in the pictures with Primaris, and they’re all piloted by normal marines.

    • Drpx

      They’re in the back. And short.

    • NNextremNN

      Devastator Squad behind at top of the stairs behind and Librarian between the Statue versions of the Masters of the Chapter which are also old models.
      A tactical Squad between The apothecary and Guilliman behind the Intercessors.
      A Land Raider behind the Inteceptors and Redemptor.
      A Stromhawk above the ancient and the Librarian.

      Look closer before you complain 😉

  • Horus84cmd

    All looks pretty sweet to me. The plasma Interceptors seem suitably epic, as do the Gravis-Armour-esk dudes. Chaplain looks cool with the split robes and the Apothecary appears very characterful too. Exciting stuff.

  • orionburn

    Me: $35 for a Primaris Librarian is way overpriced. No way am I paying that.

    Also me: $35 for that Chaplain is a bargain! Give me 12 of them!!!

    • CloakingDonkey

      It’s totally different, shut up, YOU’RE NOT MY MOTHER! 😛

  • mhtsaropinigitakis

    are those the new termies? meh!

    • Aura1

      No, it’s just an uparmoured variant of Mk X – same as the Reivers are a downarmoured variant of Mk X. Primaris Terminators might be a ways off yet to give adjustment time.

  • Iconoc1ast

    Chaplain! Apothecary!! Plasma Interceptors!!!!! Please have plasma Aggressors too…..

  • Fraser1191

    So the codex is gonna have around 13 new entries as opposed to the index. Counting everything up till blood angels

    Primaris apothecary and Chaplin
    Repulsor tank

    Thats 6. I wonder what the other stuff will be?

    • highwind

      The current Index contains 69 datasheets plus the chapter specific units/characters

  • Spacefrisian

    Aaaah a fashionable chaplain, nope dont like it.

  • 301stFeinminsterArmoured

    Plasma-ceptors look awesome.

  • pokemastercube .

    and the long wait till blood angles happens……..

  • NNextremNN

    Those small statues are the Space Marine Masters of the Chapter: https://www.games-workshop.com/en-GB/Space-Marine-Masters-of-the-Chapter

  • Dumbcow1

    my body is ready for some Templar love…for the first time in….how many years? =P