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Warhammer 40K: Fielding Movie Marines In 9th Edition

5 Minute Read
Apr 08

Let’s take a look at how you can field “Movie Marines” in 9th Edition Warhammer 40,000.

Movie Marines are by now a classic idea. They are in essence the answer to the questions “what if you could field Marines that lived up to their fluff?” Over the years people have tried various ways of fielding them. A couple of years ago I even looked at the concept and wrote up some lists using legal 8th Editions rules. Today I figured I’d take another look at the army and how to field it in 9th Edition.

What Are Movie Marines?

Movie Marines is a term created for Marines that act more like they do in the fluff or like action heroes from a movie. Way back when, in I think the 300th issue of White Dwarf, Games Workshop actually published some just for fun rules for this list. Over time others have toyed with updating these rules. The basic idea is to take a 10 man Marine squad and make it an army on its own, powerful enough to fight a whole 2000 pt army. Just like in the fluff.

These guys had souped-up weapons, crazy stats, and a pile of special rules. Each one was a killing machine. Together the squad was supposed to kick butt, spout one-liners and generally fight the war on their own. It’s a great idea and one that has captivated players for years.

How To Field them In 9th

The lists I came up with in 8th Edition revolved around taking 10 Captains and making them total badasses. However, that move isn’t possible in 9th, which has much more restrictive options for taking both Captains and HQs in general. That means I needed to look for some elite characters to fill out slots. Luckily the Marine book not only has plenty but the new Chapter Command options lets you upgrade some to be even better. The idea here is to build a ten-man Marine squad using all characters. Rather than basing it directly on something like a Tactical Squad I decided to base it on your sort of archetypical movie squad. Let’s take a look.

The List

For this basic list I’ve gone with classic Ultramarines but you could use any Chapter. Arguably Dark Angels would be the best option. Here is what we’ve got.

The Leader- Captain w/Jumpack, Thunderhammer, Stormsheild, Chapter Master Upgrade, Warlord- Rites of War- 18o Pts


The Sniper- Captain In Phobos Armour – 95 pts

The Medic – Primaris Apothecary, Chief Apothcary, Exemplar of the Chapter: Selfless Healer- 95 pts

The Close Combat Specialist – Company Champion w/ Chapter Champion – 70 pts

The Religious One – Judiciar- 85 pts

The Overly Patriotic One – Primaris Ancient, Chapter Ancient 100 pts

The Scout – Lieutenant in Reiver Armour 75 pts.

The Weapons Guy- Lieutenant w/ Combi-melta, power sword – 80 pts


The Redshirts/Fireteam- 2x Primaris Lieutenants – 150 pts

The Ride- 1x Thunderhawk Gunship 800 pts

The Backup – 

5x Tactical Squad – 90 pts

5x Tactical Squad – 90 pts

Drop Pod 70 pts

All of this clocks in at 1980 pts and fits into two Patrol Detachment and a Super heavy Auxiliary Detachment. I’ve picked a couple of Warlord traits but those could be played around with. I also haven’t assigned any relics as there are a ton of cool options and you can use them to make any of the characters cooler as you see fit. With 20 pts floating around you’ve also got a little flexibility, with options like giving one of the Primaris LTs the Bladeguard treatment.

Playing The List

So the idea here is to take the 10 characters as our “squad”. Now the interesting thing about the Thunderhawk is that it’s one of the few units in the game that can transport both Primaris and non-Primaris models. Because of this you can put the whole squad in the Thunderhawk and do a pretty cool aerial insertion thing. Or of course, set them up on foot and use the Thunderhawk for support. The Thunderhawk gives the list some real firepower and your characters can go around messing things up on the ground. I picked the Rites of War warlord train to give you really any models with Obsec. 


Of course this list has more than 10 Marines in it. In order to make it legal and all fit I had to throw in a couple of cheap Tactical Squads and I gave them a Droppod. Thematically I think there are two ways to use them. The first is to bring them in as the “Backup”. Having backup arrive in the nick of time is a pretty standard movie trope that I think keeps the theme. Having said back up suck and all die, leaving the heroes to have to do the job on their own is also pretty standard and likely to happen here. Of course, if you are a purist your other option is just to never deploy the droppod and keep them in orbit. Act like they don’t exist and fight on with your squad. Either way, I don’t think this army will ever be “good” but I do think it could be a LOT of fun.

Let us know how you would field Movie Marines in 9th, down in the comments! 


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