BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

40K FAQ: Space Marine Universal Changes

4 Minute Read
Apr 30 2019

There are a lot of Space Marines running around and the FAQ had some tweaks to every single one of them – here’s what you need to know.

With the BIG FAQ (or April Update 2019) everyone’s codex got a review and tweak. Some changes were pretty tiny. Others were game changing. For the boys in Power Armor, everything seemed to repeat itself. So we’re going to talk about all the universal changes for the Space Marines.

Bolter Discipline

We’ve got to start off with the biggest change which we talked about already. The new Bolter Discipline is now a rule you’re going to have to learn and use from here on out. While the final form does mean that Storm Ravens and Land Raider Crusaders (and a few other vehicles) are no longer impacted by this rule, it does a fair job of making your basic Marines with Bolters better. Conversely, this also has the negative application of making the Bolt Rifle of the Primaris the clear winner vs the other options. But let’s move on.

Note: Sorry Deathwatch, apparently your special ammo doesn’t work with your years of training and experience with Bolters:

Drop Pod Assault

Oh Drop Pods, how the mighty have fallen. This change isn’t going to cause Drop Pods to suddenly become the new meta – however, this does clear up a lot of the arguments folks could have around the Drop Pod. For one, this clarifies that the doors are going to count as lowered or raised – you can’t change that in the middle of the battle. But the first part of the rule is perhaps an even thornier issue. Measuring all distances to and from ANY part of the model (including doors).

This has come up in the past and it used to be a bigger deal when “Deepstriking” was more random (and dangerous). But being able to deploy from the open doors means you have a pretty large footprint. Aside from deployment shenanigans, the REAL power here is that you can use Drop Pods to block off charges and things – effectively acting as a funnel. Hey, if those doors count as part of the model and your opponent can’t end a move within 1″ of an enemy model, well, you get the idea.


Having said that – we here at BoLS still don’t believe we’re going to see the return of the Drop Pod Army. At least not until Primaris can ride in them, too. Or they get a major points cut. Yeah, definitely a major points cut.

Hellfire And Flakk Shells

Apparently this was a big enough deal that GW FAQ’d it and copy/pasted this ruling in every codex with Space Marines. These attacks just cause D3 mortal wounds when they successfully hit – you don’t also get to continue with the normal attack sequence. Part of me thinks “well ya, that’s what it says” and part of me thinks “actually, it would be nice if they did the rest of their damage, too.” However, I’m all for keeping this one simple and this ruling does just that.

And They Shall Know No Fear…From The FAQ

This seems like another pretty obvious change, but I suppose it needed to be clarified. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time a leadership check on a unit with ATSKNF actually mattered. Is leadership still a thing in the game? Anyhow, this rule does state that the number added due to the Morale test is not a modifier. Cool.

Primaris Power Fists


This applies to all Space Marines that can take the Intercessor Squad or their equivalent now (ie, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Space Wolves). It’s officially official – the Sergeant can take a Power Fist. Go forth and punch things.

Predators And Killshot

This was another universal change that applies to any Marines that had Predators or Predator variants. The Killshot Stratagems ONLY applies to models using the Predator Datasheet. Sorry Baal and Deimos Pattern Relic Predators, we know you have the keyword Predator, but you don’t count! Also, if you were running multiple Predators so that you could USE Killshotwhy?! There is a reason Predators are sad.

That’s pretty much it for the “Universal” Space Marine changes. Now, if you are playing Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Grey Knights, Deathwatch, or Space Wolves, you’re still going to want to double check your FAQ for any additional changes. There wasn’t really anything Earth-shattering in the FAQs for them, but your army may have been impacted anyways.



  • Streaming: Tabletop Hour Episode 49 - Slaanesh, Ynnari, & Looncurse