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Goatboy’s 40K: Surviving the Marine Meta

6 Minute Read
Nov 04

Goatboy here with what I’ve learned by fighting the new marines to keep your army alive!

I’m here again after surviving the SoCal open.  I lost my voice, killed a bunch of marines, and even lost to a wonderful Marine player named Ruben.  I learned a lot after playing them three times and think they are pretty dang mean.  The armies I saw were still not the monsters will end up seeing as the codex keeps living and breathing.  Of course, we might see something come down the pipeline in Chapter Approved but I wouldn’t hold my breath.  Let’s go over some of the things that scared the crap out of me.

Fear the Assault Centurions

Assault Centurions are the real deal.  They are just monsters in the armies that utilize some sort of movement or deployment shenanigans.  I know we didn’t spend a ton of time on White Scars but I get the feeling these guys are going to be rough to deal with. While their extra rule activates on a later doctrine – they really don’t need the rule to work. All their movement tricks, speed, and stratagems are all just activated if they decide to be a White Scars or a Successor chapter.

I get the feeling the Marine soups we’ll see will utilize the power of this army, and the Raven Guard, to create a batch of no overwatch monsters that hit you so hard turn one and then have friends coming in turn two or three. These dang mini dread knights pack so much firepower, as well as close combat nonsense, they might need to get a points update.  They are friggin’ cheap!

White Scars – A Sleeper Hit

Speaking of the White Scars, they might be a boring supplement, but they are mighty.  They are so fast, and with their damage bonuses they become friggin’ deadly.  I can see some armies folding to a fast force that won’t leave you alone. If you see Magic Box terrain on the table and are playing White Scars – then just know they are going to be popping in and out of that magic box and punching you in the dingus every time you get to close to that haunted house of pain.

Executioners – Not So Bad

The Executioners I played against with my Knights did not do nearly the amount of damage everyone feared. Game one I played against a nice gent named Stephen Box from the UK. I happened to go first, and three Thermal Knights turned his Executioners to slag.  The next time I played versus some Iron Hands – the player feared my damage output as I set up just a bit farther away than needed to pull within range of all his guns.  This left me sitting fairly pretty as I survived those laser shots and returned fire by killing one of them and getting a little too close and personal.  Overall I didn’t feel nearly as fearful of the tanks. I think they can be easily gunned down by the same thing people bring to gun down Knights.

Aggressors – Maybe…

I saw some Aggressors show up and find them interesting.  They shoot a crap ton of bullets out if they get within range, and all their doctrine abilities are churning. I do feel like the game doesn’t need that many shots shooting, rerolling to hit, and then rerolling ones to wound.  It takes a good deal of time to throw out the bullets, and there are times you just pick up a unit instead of forcing all those rolls and then having to try and save as much as you can. It’s one of these things that feels off in 40k right now as too many things shoot, reroll to hit, and then again try to pull a wound out of a stone.  It’s probably why people in AoS feel their game works better as the dice mechanics do not having a ton of rerolling action, which means bad dice stay bad dice instead of trying to reroll into good dice and getting double layers of bad dice.


The only weird scouts I played against were the Eliminators, and I think they show a lot of usefulness in the game.  The fact they can just sit somewhere, throw out firepower, and take up a good deal of room is annoying.  The random shots that pour too can easily put holes in your loved HQ’s, and that isn’t too much fun. Of course, Ahriman has been showing up too much of the time – makes you wonder if he got cloned or something.  Still, they seem good, and thankfully the good ones can be found in Shadowspear or the new Space Marine get started box.

Dark Vengeance + Shadowspear = AWESOME

Speaking of that – it’s pretty interesting to start a Space Marine army because you can easily get one side of the Dark Vengeance box, then mix in the half of Shadow Spear, and finally throw in a box or two of something else and you got one hell of an army.  Not too bad if you want to start something marine-like. Just remember to either paint them black or at least a weird color so you can successor chapter your way to victory.


Speaking of painting – there was a lot of not well painted Marine armies out there at the recent major events. You can tell the players are chasing the meta as we saw a lot of basic three color paint jobs on the tabletop or armies that mismatched as everyone tried to dig up their old sets of Assault Centurions.  I know it gets hard to paint all your models, but it can be disheartening to watching your army die to barely painted plastic. Come on, folks!

The Future of Astartes?

I expect Marines to start to utilize some of the new stuff in the coming months.  I bet there is some use from the Impulsor coming as well as the new Salamanders.  I hear chatter there will be a FAQ to try and fix some of the Stratagem issues we might see with the Green marines.  I don’t know how I feel about nerfing it – more so just want a better set of rules to make the strats feel more fluffy.  I am sure I will be sad if I see an Aggressor snap-fit sarge come at me, flame the crap out of my Knight, and watch it fall to slag.

Right now I am still planning on doing a Raven Guard army based on a thought fn going for different units to create a more interesting playstyle.  It will help me play a bit better as well and not just rely on the best of the best.  From there I, think I will be starting an AOS army finally with the Ogors coming out.  I love all those big monsters and having a Nidzilla style list amuses me.  Plus it will replenish some Chaos knight bits I like to use like the crazy Horns and other nonsense I won’t use on all the monsters.

~What tricks and nuggets of battlefield wisdom are you using to survive the Marine Apocalypse?

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