Space Marines are getting a range boost to their trusty Bolters – good for them! But Intercessor’s Bolter Options are still going to be better across the board. And Stratagems help.
With 30″ Bolters on the way, Classic Marines are getting a new lease on life in 40k. It’s a good thing for them! The range bump and 2 wounds puts them more inline with Primaris Marines. Now the question is are they on par with Bolt Rifles and their variants? They are certainly closer – until you look at the stratagems.
We have compared Intercessors Bolt Rifles against each other before. The three options (Bolt Rifles, Auto Bolt Rifles, and Stalker Bolt Rifles) all have their own role to fill now and each one has an ideal engagement band. When you compare them to Bolters, each one is better in different ways as well. Bolt Rifles have an extra -1 AP over Bolters. Auto Bolt Rifles, have a 24″ range but are Assault 3, and this have more shots and you can make-up the range difference by advancing. And Stalkers, while they are Heavy 1, are AP-2 and each shot does 2 damage.
So even on a case-by-case basis, old school Bolters are out performed by the new Bolt Rifle variants in some way. “But you can take special weapons and heavy weapons in a Tactical Squad!” Yes, you can – and now you’re actually more expensive than a Primaris Intercessor Squad. And you still don’t have the extra Attack per model so you’re going to struggle with close combat. Congratulations.
Stratagems – The Final Nail In The Coffin
Now we get to the final blow in the battle of the bolters: Stratagems. Did everyone forget about the Intercessor Squad specific stratagems? I mean, I know it’s easy to lose track of stratagems because there are like a million now, but c’mon – these are one Primaris Intercessors keep in their back pocket and whip out when they need to eliminate a target completely.
The Bolt Rifle – Rapid Fire/Stead Advance Combo
These two stratagems will run you a total of 3 CPs. That investment can net you a unit that can move 6″ and fire 30″ away with 40 shots at AP -1. (Or AP -2 if the Tactical Doctrine is active. We didn’t forget about the Doctrines, but they also apply to Bolters so we’re trying to keep things even here.) I don’t care what you are in the game, 40 shots with an AP -1 is going to cause you some pain.
The Auto Bolt Rifle – Boltstorm
This one is also pretty straight forward. A 10-man Intercessor Squad with Auto Bolt Rifles can pump out 30 shots on the move. But at half-range (12″) they don’t even need to roll to hit. And again, with Tactical Doctrine, those shots are also AP -1. This can be a hammer of a hit. And if you’re feeling real “assaulty,” you can follow that up a charge and get the benefit of Shock Assault, too.
Staker Bolt Rifle – Target Sighted
Not only will Stalker Bolt Rifles wreck a regular Marines day, when the Devastator Doctrine is up (which, ya know, is turn 1) these guns have another -1 AP, making them a whopping AP -3. If you’re in range of them, they will ventilate a target. Plus, thanks to Target Sighted, enemy characters are FAR from safe. Enjoy those mortal wounds on top of all those AP -3, D2 Damage saves enemy characters.
Intercessors might not have a heavy weapon or special weapon – but they have some stratagems that make it so they don’t really need them. Oh and the Sergeant has access to a Thunder Hammer. Cause, ya know – Hammer time.
Good thing you’ve got all those CP to spend now, right?