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Warhammer 40K: Codex Space Marines Overview

4 Minute Read
Oct 6 2020

We’ve got the codex in hand – it’s time to talk about the new Space Marine Codex for 9th edition!

The day we’ve all been waiting for is here. We have the codex in the studio and we’re taking a tour of the new book and format for Codex Space Marines 9th Edition!

Meet The New Codex

We’re not going to go over the codex page by page here and talk about each and every change. There are lots of little tweaks and changes that we will cover in future articles because there are just too many to note at once. We’re going to stick to high-level stuff for now and talk big picture changes.

For starters, this book is 208 pages and is a hard back book. It’s by far the largest and most unit-dense book we’ve ever had for the Space Marines. What does that mean? Well, it’s got entries for every unit that has been announced and released for the Space Marines thus far. All the Primaris stuff is finally in one spot – from Assault Intercessors, to the Vanguard Phobos units, to yet-to-be-released models like the Storm Speeder and Gladiator. It’s a massive unit list. And it still includes all your favorite Classic Marines in the book, too!

“We ain’t going anywhere.”

So, just based on that along, you should know the book is big. This will probably be the biggest Codex of the edition by a wide margin. And we’re just talking about number of Datasheets – we haven’t even gotten to the OTHER rules. And yes, there are a LOT of those, too.

You’ve probably seen the massive list of FAQs that are out along with the big list of Chapter Tactics and such. You may have even wondered what this means for the previous supplements and future books. The biggest change overall is that all Space Marines will use this codex as a reference from here on out (or until we get another new Space Marine codex). If you’re the most Ultra Ultramarine or the most deviant Space Wolf – you’re using this book. It’s got your Chapter Tactic in it and all the new Primaris Unit rules and weapon/wargear rules you’ll need.


We’re going to assume that the future books will have chapter specific units and rules inside the covers. It makes sense. One of the things we noticed that was actually missing from the book were all the Chapter Specific special characters. There isn’t a Guilliman or a Dante in this book, just FYI. So you’re still going to need your current supplements if you want to run the Primarch of the Ultramarines.

If you wanted to create your own Successor Chapter there are rules for that inside the covers as well. Character Upgrades to various member of the Chapter Command are also included (Chapter Ancient, Chapter Champion, Chief Apothecary, Master of Sanctity, Master of the Forge, Chief Librarian, and Chapter Master). There are new formats for all the stuff you’d expect as well:

  • Stratagems
  • Warlord Traits
  • Litanies of Battle
  • Psychic Disciplines (Standard and Vanguard powers included)
  • Chapter Relics

There are also a ton of new rules to build a Crusade Army with all those extra rules in the book. This codex feels like a one stop shop for all things Space marines – and that makes total sense.

This book is also one of the best laid out in terms of ease of use. Essentially the front half is your typical lore and background and the back half is rules and datasheets. It’s easy to navigate and simple to find stuff. It also just looks visually less busy when you’re looking for rules – at least it did to me and I’m battling multiple codexes and editions bouncing around in my head. If you’re a new player you’ve got it made.


The book also has a ton of amazing art. I don’t want to sell that short. While the rules sections are “clean” in the areas where GW did decide to take it to 11 with the art, they totally did! The full page spreads are really something to look at.

We’re going to be talking about this book and the Necron Codex for the next week and that’s when we’ll get into the nitty-gritty. But for now, know that the new Space Marine Codex is impressive and if you’re playing 40k, you’re probably going to want to buy it.

And don’t forget about the code in the back!


What are you most excited about for the new Space Marine Codex?

Author: Adam Harrison
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