The Marines have the most Troops in the game, but which ones should you use in your army?
With the ignominious kick down of Scouts to Elites, the Space Marines are left with merely six choices, more than any other army. Today we’ll go over then and rank them from the best to the worst. Now note that “worst” is a misnomer as all of these CORE units have their uses, and many can be more useful in themed armies built around their particular skills.
#1 Intercessor Squad
20pts apiece. The new gold standard for Space Marine lists. The standard Intercessor is a solid and affordable unit. It gives good durability, excellent firepower options, has good transports, lots of Stratagems like Rapid Fire to increase their effectiveness, are ok in melee, and their Sergeant has solid upgrade options, including that all-important Thunderhammer. If you select Intercessors, you will never get caught totally off guard and can fight your way out of the vast majority of situations. Imperial Fists, Dark Angels, and Ultramarines will be all over these dudes.
#2 Assault Intercessor Squad
19pts apiece. The melee-focused alternatives to Intercessors.These guys will hit like a ton of bricks with all their attacks and have access to the Honour the Chapter stratagem. They are also durable, have decent transport options, and solid Sergeant upgrades. Look for this to be the go-to choice for those chapters who will emphasize getting stuck in. I can see Blood Angels, Space Wolves, White Scars, and the like making excellent use of these units.
#3 Infiltrator Squad
24pts apiece. The cunning and subtle player’s choice. They aren’t bringing the over firepower or melee ability to the table as the other choices, but they are just as durable. These guys deploy forward and have those handy Omni-scrambling to keep all reinforcements 12″ away. In 9th, a handful of these minimum sized squads can do wonders to help you manage the objective and VP game. They are pricier than the above two units, but what you are paying for is offset by not needing any transports or needing to huff it over to you where you need to be. While I don’t see entire armies of Infiltrators, almost any force can make good use of 1-2 of them. Sneaky Chapters, like the Raven Guard or the Dark Angels, who won’t be moving the unit much, can give them some extra buffs with their Chapter Tactics.
#4 Heavy Intercessor Squad
28pts apiece. New heavy infantry of the Primaris army. These are kind of similar to standard Terminators in a way. The slowest of the lot with 5″ movement and zero melee upgrade options, the Heavy Intercessors are here to shoot. That said, they are incredibly durable with W3, and their firepower is unmatched in the Troops section. You take these guys to bolster your backline and blaze away. Killing squads of three wound models is a real pain, especially when they are holding back, and the army has other units moving up into your face. You can use the stratagem Unyielding in the Face of the Foe to increase their save to 2+. You are paying a premium price for these guys, but they may be worth it an army built around their strengths. Just be cautious as you can get these guys in a melee jam if you are not careful. Chapters like the Dark Angels, Imperial Fists, and Salamanders can buff their shooting while the Iron Hands can make them a nightmare to kill.
#5 Tactical Squad
18pts apiece. The budget choice of the bunch, taking the place of where Scouts have been for the past 3 editions. Tacticals aren’t the worst choice in Troops, and there are literally millions of these already out there in the world. These are basically the JV version of Intercessors. They are just as durable but have more weapon options, and the Sergeant is a swiss army knife of customizability. You are hampered by a lack of strategems to help them compared to their Primaris brothers, and they are far less effective in melee. Still, if you desire the ability to customize your squads, or bring some heavy weapons mixed into your troops, or heck just have 100 of them painted up and ready to play, you can get solid utility from the unit. But be warned, they are no longer the stars of the show.
#6 Incursor Squad
21pts apiece. Oh, Incursors; the new black sheep of the family. Let’s be honest; the unit isn’t bad, not at all. It’s just the Reivers of Troops. It’s an oddball unit that has corner case abilities and is overshadowed by their more useful brothers. The Multi-Spectrum Array and Occulus bolt Carbine make their shooting more effective, but their weapon itself isn’t particularly deadly. The Haywire mine is a corner case and not going to move the needle much, while their melee ability is average. They do deploy forward, so you get the same objective and VP pluses as with Infiltrators. They are just a smidge more expensive than Intercessors and less than Infiltrators and seem to lose the value proposition versus either of them in almost every case. If you really love the cool visors, hey, go for it. If the rule of cool isn’t your thing, go with one of those two other choices.
Which Troops will you be using in your army?