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40K: The Defenders of Humanity

4 Minute Read
Jul 22
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The Space Marines are getting a new version of Objective Secured – Come take a look at the Defenders of Humanity!

Codex Adeptus Astartes Space Marines is up for Pre-Order this week from Games Workshop and will be available in stores next weekend. We’ve got our hands on an advanced copy and will be rolling out our coverage all week but while we prep all that I wanted to give you a sneak peek at one of the rules we haven’t seen brought up yet: Defenders of Humanity.

For those of you who are veterans of the game you might recall a similar ability called “Objective Secured” from previous editions of Warhammer 40,000. Well it’s back – in all but name. This time around it only applies to the Troops of Space Marines however – no mention of their Transports reaping the benefits of being “Objective Secured” now.

Defenders of Humanity is an extremely powerful ability for players who are using missions with Objective Markers. If your unit does not have a similar ability you’ll need to completely wipe out a Space Marine Troop choice before it gives up the Objective, no matter how many bodies you out number them by. Otherwise they will still score the Objective – no ties here!

Now this brings up the question as to what is a “Space Marine Troop” choice. It’s really simple as there are only 3 Marine Troops (or 4 if you’re playing Black Templars). Tactical Squads, Scout Squads, and Intercessor Squads. (I’m leaving out Crusade Squads for Black Templars – but this ability also applies to them).

Tactical Squads

The Tactical Squad has been a mainstay for Space Marines since…well pretty much forever. In 8th they haven’t changed a ton and are still a solid core choice as the backbone of any fighting force. when you take 10 of them in a unit you get a special weapon, a heavy weapon a Sergeant and the ability to combat squad into two 5-man squads (great for objective grabbing). If you can manage to get them into cover while they are holding an objective they have a pretty solid 2+ save. Plus – they are Space Marines! they can hold their ground vs most other troops in the game in a 1v1 setting.

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Scout Squads

Again, another staple unit for the Space Marines. Traditionally cheaper than Tactical Marines, they come with lighter armor, advanced deployment options, a wider variety of weapons and are still Marines in just about all other regards. Their Camo Cloaks also give them a +2 save modifier when they are in cover meaning they are just as tough to dig out of cover as their Powered Armored brothers. They make for yet another solid choice for an advanced objective taker or a deadly long range threat to hold your own objectives. (Toss 10 Scout Snipers in a building on your board edge with your objective inside and pick off enemy characters – add a missile launcher for some added boom.)

Intercessor Squad

Intercessors are the new (literal) poster-boys for 8th Edition Warhammer 40k. These new Primaris Marines are basically a condensed version of a Tactical Squad because you can only take 5 per unit. Think about it, both units have the same number of wounds (10 total) and the same number of attacks in close combat (11 base). Intercessors get an extra 6″ range with their Bolt Rifles and can Rapid Fire at 15″ where as Tactical Marines have more shots at up to 24″ and start rapid firing at 12″ – but other than that these units preform very similar roles. Intercessors are also more expensive per model and as you start to take losses they drop in combat effectiveness.

However, if you take a full unit they end up being roughly 100 points which is pretty cheap! That’s not a bad way to get a full strength, objective taking unit on the tabletop.

For most Space Marine players, those are the 3 options you’ll have if you want to take advantage of the Defenders of Humanity special rule. All there have their pros and cons and now with their ability to be “Objectve Secured” again, their value on the table top just went up in my mind. Of course that means they probably went up a few ticks on the target priority list as well – double if you’re playing a game with escalating objectives…

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So what do you think of the Defenders of Humanity? How about the Space Marine Troop options?

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