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Warhammer 40K: We Need To Talk About Space Marine Scouts

4 Minute Read
Oct 12 2021
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Did Games Workshop just signal the end of the classic Space Marine Scouts? Let’s rip this band-aid off and talk about Scouts.

We’ve been dancing around this subject for a bit but it’s time to dive right in to the deep end. By now you’ve probably seen the new Black Templar Army Box and if you haven’t, we’ve covered what exactly you’ll find in the box. While all the models are great and perfect for the Black Templars there was one batch of models that really made us take a moment and think about some of the implications. We’re talking about the brand new Primaris Neophytes from the Black Templars:

Otherwise known as Primaris Scouts.

Yeah –  move over Reivers.

When the Reivers first came out everyone assumed they would be the “Primaris” replacement or update to Scouts. But as time went on they didn’t really fill that role. They honestly feel a lot more like Assault Marines or they did until Primaris Assault Intercessors arrived. And before that we even had the Infiltrators! But what all of these models had in common were the new versions of Primaris Mark X armor. Sure, some wore the Phobos pattern of the Vanguard, but still – it’s Mark X Armor. They were never really true Space Marine Classic Scouts.

Until now…

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Looking at the armor these new Neophytes are wearing, it’s CLEARLY Primaris-sized Scout Armor. They even have the classic Scout Weapon options – but Primaris versions. The classic Bolt Pistol/Chainsword combo has been updated to have the new Heavy Bolt Pistol and Chainsword. Bolters and shotguns also got replaced with Primaris versions as well:

These models truly are Primaris Scouts and have thus made older, classic Space Marine Scouts obsolete. So what does this mean moving forward?

Looking Ahead

From a lore perspective this makes a lot of sense. Why would new Space Marine inductees be classic Scouts? Wouldn’t they be Primaris Marines who are going through the older steps of the Codex Astartes? So shouldn’t new recruits start as Scout Marines? This is logical for chapters who have completely adopted the Primaris Protocol. It also fits for any new Chapters that were created entirely from Primaris Marines, too.

But what about gameplay and model-wise? Well, in the past we’ve seen the Black Templars be used as the “experimental” chapter for new units that eventually get rolled out to the other Space Marine chapters. Land Raider Crusaders come to mind. Those started as Black Templar only and eventually were adopted by the rest of the Marines. Perhaps GW is doing the same thing for Primaris Scouts.

Having said that, we do need to recognize that the Neophytes in the Black Templars can’t actually be taken as a unit themselves. They are part of the Crusade Squads and fight alongside the Primaris Initiates. Does that mean Crusade Squads are going to get rolled out to other chapters? No – that’s highly doubtful. But the important part is that the MODELS are there.

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At some point in the future GW could pull the plug on classic Marine Scouts and just produce an all Primaris Scout unit. They wouldn’t need to do much in terms of rules either. Just update the weapon profiles and BOOM – new unit with new models. When will that happen? No idea! GW might just decide to continue with production of both sets. If folks are still buying them, they’ve got no reason to stop.

Honestly I can see GW producing both kits for a while. Maybe even an edition or two. But it does feel like there is a split coming. At some point the Primaris and classic Space Marine lines are just going to feel too broad to fit together in one book. With too many overlapping units or even “harder to find” classic Marine unit options out there, there’s going to be a breaking point and GW will need to break off the Marines into two distinct books. Heck, I think that would actually help to balance stuff, but that’s another topic.

This book is getting too large…

The point is these new Primaris Scout models are out in the wild now. The writing is on the wall for the classic Space Marine line of models. The might not get sent to the Warhammer Legends vault today, but you know that time is coming…It’s a matter of when and not if at this point. The days of classic Scouts are numbered.

 

Are the Primaris Scouts the final nail in the coffin? How much time do classic Marines have left?

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