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How to Play White Scars in Warhammer 40K

5 Minute Read
Jan 19 2024

Today let’s take a look at some basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k White Scars Space Marines.

The White Scars are a swift and naturally skilled Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. As one of the First Founding Chapters, the White Scars have a distinct flavor shaped by their Primarch, Jaghatai, the Great Khan. On the tabletop, they are quick and tactically reactive.

Below we offer some tips on how to play the army and get started with the army.

Who Are The White Scars?

The White Scars were the V Legion of the original twenty Space Marine Legions of the First Founding. Their Primarch is Jaghatai Khan. During the Horus Heresy the chapter remained loyal to the Emperor, after which they reorganized and split into several Chapters during the Second Founding. Drawing on the nomadic savagery of their homeworld, the White Scars practice a highly mobile method of warfare. They tear into their enemies with lightning-quick attacks, vanishing before a response can be made. Despite being characterized as barbarians, the White Scars are a highly cultured Chapter. Poetry is among their most respected and ancient traditions.

The Chapter organization of the White Scars reflects their home world’s tribal culture; for example, Librarians are called Stormseers. White Scars recruit from a single planet, Mundus Planus. The steppes of the world are inhabited by feuding tribes, from which are chosen the best and most promising young warriors, regardless of tribe. Once a warrior becomes a White Scar, loyalty to his tribe is replaced by loyalty to the Chapter and the Emperor.

Why Play White Scars

The White Scars bring everything we should expect from a Space Marine chapter and also have a cool character in Kor’sarro Khan and an excellent, striking color scheme.

Strengths of the Army

  • Space Marine flexibility and wide unit selection.
  • Great rules emphasize mobility and close combat.

Weakness of the Army

  • If built with Bikes (as intended), it will have relatively few bodies.
  • They have nothing special to emphasize shooting.

White Scars Rules

Space Marine Army Rules

  • Oath of Moment: This powerful rule allows you to target an enemy unit in the Command Phase and give your entire army re-rolls against it.


Stormlance Task Force

  • RulesLightning Assault lets you Advance/Fall Back and still Charge, the classic White Scars trait.
  • Enhancements: There are some nice ones here, but I really like Fury of the Storm for a crazy charging combat character on a Bike.
  • Stratagems: There are a couple of movement-based ones and a couple of damage buffing ones, plus the Eldar-like Ride Hard, Ride Fast.


What to Buy

The White Scars are no longer a Supplemental Codex. The army consists of a few unique units and a particularly suitable Detachment. To play the army you only need Codex: Space Marines.

Key White Scars Units To Know

The army has a few unique units within the immense Space Marine roster. Knowing what units to take can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to get you off on the right track.

1. Kor’sarro Khan


A unique White Scars Primaris Captain. Kor’sarro Khan has an excellent  ability, giving Lance to his units  close combat and Assault weapons. This combines well with an elite, short-ranged, and powerful assault shooting unit.

2. Outrider Squad

The Primaris Biker unit is fast and active. Outriders can engage quickly with Turbo-boost and engage or short-ranged firefights, pumping out bolter rounds, or charging in, especially with the support of an attached character, like the next chap.

3. Primaris Chaplain on Bike

Another great, fast combat support piece that is good on the charge. A Primaris Chaplain on Bike will make Outrider charges hurt even more.

4. Bike Squad

Bike Squads are a great way to fill out numbers while staying fast and hard-hitting. They can have special weapons such as meltaguns that can threaten even heavy targets such as tanks.


Sample Starter Army


Kor’sarro Khan. 1 Model. He is equipped with:  bolt pistol; Moonfang


Intercessor Squad. Five Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; bolt rifle; close combat weapon.

Other Units

Primaris Outriders. Three Models. Every model is equipped with: heavy bolt pistol; twin bolt rifle; Astartes chainsword.


Primaris Outriders. Three Models. Every model is equipped with: heavy bolt pistol; twin bolt rifle; Astartes chainsword.

Scout Squad. Five Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; boltgun; close combat weapon

Impulsor. It is equipped with: two stormbolters, shield dome.

Total:  ~500 pts.


White Scars by Forge World

They have some sweet FW kits too!


How to Play White Scars

White Scars, like all Space Marines, are an elite, low-body force. This effect is multiplied in White Scars, where you will often want to pay the premium to get all those excellent Biker units. White Scars get great benefits out of making the charge, and have rules to make it easier. They can charge even after advancing or retreating, meaning it should be easier to keep an active bonus.

For the Khan and the Emperor!

Author: Allen Campbell
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