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Warhammer 40K: Has GW Unveiled The Weakest Looking Marines Ever?

4 Minute Read
Jan 31 2023

The new Space Marines Desolation Squad looks … well, they could be better.

Last week was LVO. This event is a cornerstone of the gaming calendar. Not only is it a major tournament (and convention in general) but GW normally uses it to show off some upcoming releases. This year was no different, with them show casing the new Marine Strike Force Agastus. And I have to say it’s aptly named because it left me aghastus. The showcase of the force is the new Desolation Marines. These guys might be the weakest Marine designs we’ve ever seen. Let’s take a look at why.

The Looks

Just right off the bat these guys look silly AF. Oh the base models are fine. It’s just a normal Primaris Marine. However they’ve all got just a really massive oversized sensor on their backpack which kind of makes it look unbalanced and ungainly. But that’s just the beginning. Of course the really poor design are their guns. I mean… what even is this? This looks like a child’s toy gun. It’s a rocket launcher with another rocket launcher taped on it. And then yet another one taped on to that one.  This thing is a mess. Also is that a belt fed mini rocket launcher? I’m not sure that’s how those work. This thing is just bonkers – designwise.

All of that is also still loaded onto a pistol grip as well. I know Marine armor has good self-stablizing functions but this seems kind of insane. The gun is literally about the size of the guy carrying it. No hydraulic arms to offset the load, or absorb the recoil. Honestly nothing I can say about it can compare to the pictures.

 This Makes Marines Look Silly, Not Stern

The response to the Desolation Squad online has not been very good. The vast majority of people seeing them think they look bad. They have garnered a ton of memes comparing them to cartoons and toys. And that’s a fair comparison. This looks like a child’s toy solider. 40K as a setting may be satirical and shouldn’t be taken all that serious, but model wise it stays serious. The Desolation Marines look far more suited to GI-JOE toys then Warhammer 40,000. That’s not a good thing.


I talked last week about how the bottomless Rogal Dorn made the company look like they were cutting corners. Well the Desolation Squad are at least complete models. However I believe their weak design cheapens the Primaris line.

It Could Have Been Better

What’s really crazy is that these could have been a lot better with just a few simple changes. Like… why are they not in Gravis armor? That heavy armor seems perfect for a squad designed to be carrying around big massive guns. Just switching to that would’ve helped tremendously, as the Marines would look bulkier and more stable compared to their guns. Then how about just make the rocket they are carrying one rocket launcher, or maybe a cool dual one. Scale it down and make it semi-realistic. Take the light rockets(?) from the underslung portion and make them shoulder mounted like Aggressors.

In fact the Aggressors are a really good starting point for the entire concept of the Desolation Squad. For years fans have been speculating that when Classic Devastators were replaced, GW would make a unit variant of Aggressors with oversized long-ranged weapons. It would also keep in line with the existing Primaris range and give the army a brutal hulking heavy weapon infantry option. I have no idea why the decision was made to base the new unit on the Intercessor design instead.

Or if you wanted to keep them in regular armor you could. I get that GW wants a Primaris version of the Devastators. But just for the Emperor’s sake give them normal high tech looking guns. You can find hundreds of sci-fi examples in video game FPSs out there. At the end of the day, the unit badly needs a weapon redesign, and I can’t imagine will be a fan favorite.  Unless of course, they receive bonkers rules.


Let us know what you think about these new Desolation Marines, down in the comments!

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