BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K: Reviving The Primaris Reivers

4 Minute Read
Sep 25 2018

When the Primaris Marines hit the scene there was a lot of excitement about the possibilities they would bring to the Space Marines. Most of the units have found their place in the army now – except the Reivers. Does any even use them?

The Primaris Reivers have become the red-headed step child of the Primaris Marines. They don’t really have a place compared to other units and they take up an Elite Slot which can be a pretty competitive slot already. These “Terror Troops” don’t really pack the Close Combat Punch to rival dedicated assault troops, they don’t have the long range firepower to really stand out, and they can’t even sit on an objective better than a Scout Squad.

So how can GW tweak them to make them viable on the tabletop? We’ve got some suggestions…But first, let’s take a look at their rules:

On paper, they don’t seem that terrible. But compared within the context of the entire Space Marine book – they don’t really stand out either. They aren’t significantly cheaper than a Standard Primaris Intercessor. They aren’t super fast either – sure the Grapnel Launchers are cool, but that really only matters if you’re playing with a TON of tall buildings or if you want to out-flank. But they also have Grav-chutes which sort of fill the same role. And Terror Troops…-1 Leadership comes up once in a blue moon if we’re honest.

But there is some potential there. So let’s go back to the drawing board and see if we can tweak this unit to make it a bit more appealing. We’ve got a list of suggestions and while it would be great if they got ALL of them, that might be a bit overkill. Then again, Reivers kind of need it…

Make Them A Troop Choice

This seems pretty self-explanatory. It’s also the most obvious and easiest fix. Reivers are Primaris Scout Marines and Scouts are Troops. Take them out of the overcrowded Elite slot and make them a Troop. It’s not like Space Marines are drowning Troop Choices either – I’d welcome the option to take them as Troops!

Buff Their Close Combat Prowess

Here’s where we start to get into some controversial waters. Again, on paper, they should be pretty good here. They have 2 attacks base and with Combat Knives they get an additional attack. PLUS if you factor in their pistols, they get to shoot in close combat, effectively giving them an additional attack. That’s 4 attacks! So what’s the problem? Plain and simple: Their AP Sucks.


The Heavy bolt pistol does pack a -1, but that’s only 1 attack. These guys would have a rough time taking on a squad of Tactical Marines. A simple fix would be to bump up their AP on their Combat Knives. Maybe rename them to “Reiver Combat Blades” and give them a super deadly -3 AP. Suddenly that unit is REALLY scary in close combat. 3 attacks at Str 4 with a -3 AP? Yeah, even Terminators would have to take them seriously now.

At least they have those Shock Grenades so they can get into combat without getting shot at…except only one model can throw a grenade because reasons…

Put The Terror Back In Terror Troops

Terror Troops needs a complete overhaul. What if instead of modifying an enemies leadership, it did something no one else can do in the game? Here at BoLS we came up with an idea that we think would really make the Reivers worth taking. If none of the other changes happen, this one is the one we REALLY want. Terror Troops should be re-worked so that it removes “Objective Secured” (or whatever the enemy equivalent rule) from an enemy unit while the Reivers are within 6″ of them.

Think about it – these guys are supposed to be terrifying! If they get within range of an objective, no enemy units can claim it as long as they are around. That would make a HUGE impact on objective based missions. It would also paint a giant target on the backs on the Reivers – but that’s kind of the point. Making them useful also makes them a threat that has to be dealt with. That makes them worth taking.




Alright BoLS Readers – time to put on your Jr. Game Designer Hats. How would you make the Reivers “worth” taking in the Space Marine Army? Let us know you suggestions in the comments!

  • Do You Know How to Kill Team? - FTN