The Q2 2024 Warhammer 40K Balance Update – Space Marines

After nearly three months, it’s time for another quarterly update for Warhammer 40,000 and this time it’s just points. Today’s points update gives us updated points for every faction in the game, though as usual some have been touched more than others. There’s a ton to go through and evaluate and as usual, we have rundowns of everything that changed and what it means for your army and your games. 

In this article, we’re talking about the changes to the Space Marines and their related factions. 

Before we dive in, we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with an advance copy of the Q2 Munitorum Points Manual for review purposes.

Codex Space Marines

The Space Marines are in a weird spot. Ostensibly the game should be designed and balanced around space marines as the game’s most popular and core faction, but they tend to be all over the place depending on how you run them and which units/detachment you’re using.

Status: It Depends, But Losers on Aggregate


  • Assault Intercessors with Jump Packs – 5 to 80
  • Brutalis Dreadnought  -15 to 160
  • Eliminators +10 to 85
  • Hellblasters -10 to 115
  • Incursor Squad -5 to 80
  • Stormraven Gunship +20 to 260
  • Tactical Squad -20 to 140
  • Terminator Assault Squad -10 to 185
  • Terminator Squad -10 to 175
  • Vindicator -15 to 175
  • Adept of the Omnissiah +10
  • Master of Machine War +10


Wings: There’s a strand throughout this update of trying to boost basic Infantry and dial back top hulls a bit, and that’s very visible here, but for Marines that probably doesn’t do that much to help, and significantly hurts the best Ironstorm Spearhead lists. 5pts off Jump Intercessors is neat, as these see play as a utility unit across a lot of builds, but the rest of the buffs here are either niche or still mediocre. A unit of ten Hellblasters did turn up as an alternative option for a Calgar Infiltrate brick in some of the Ultravanguard builds, so maybe that’ll get a bit more of a workout, and it is possible that -20pts on a full unit is enough to get them to a viable place, as they could be potent in Firestorm as well. A few other units on this list get mildly more plausible (particularly Vindicators, which see use in a few places already, and are closer to good on rate now), but this still feels like a set of changes heavily hampered by having to account for non-compliant Chapters reaching into the core

Gunum: We are entering Wet, Hot Hellblaster Summer. I have a feeling we will see these guys in Impulsors supporting Ironstorm lists and running around casually in Dark Angels lists. ABC, Baby! *Always be charging*

What’s Next

There has been a reduction in Ironstorm Spearhead usage, and honestly, there is an even greater flight towards the extra help the non-compliant chapters give you. If you’re pure Marines, Ultravanguard or Firestorm remain your premium options, presumably giving Hellblasters a bit more of a look.

Black Templars

Black Templars have been among the stronger space marine variants, owing to their ability to make a real mess of things in melee and also their ability to just throw extra multi-meltas on their vehicles.

Status: Loser


  • Black Templar Gladiator Tanks – +5 to 160 for Reapers and Valiant. The Lancer to 170.
  • Black Templar Impulsor – +5 to 90
  • Crusader Squad +10 to 85
  • Primaris Sword Brethren +10 to 150


Gunum: Look. Getting free multi-meltas was lame; everyone knew that, including Black Templars players. Now they’ve got to pay for them. 

What’s Next

Nothing. Lists stay the same. I might have to cut a henchmen unit. It’ll be fine. 

Blood Angels

Also on the “better side” of Space Marines, Blood Angels had just begun to start showing up more in event top fours on the strength of some solid datasheets and some solid tricks like the Sanguinor’s not-quite-intervention.

Status: Some wins, overall loss. Let’s just say it’s a wash. 


  • Chief Librarian Mephiston -10 to 100
  • Death Company Dreadnought -20 to 145
  • Death Company Intercessors -10 to 75
  • Death Company Marines +10 to 125
  • Death Company Marines with Jump Packs +10 to 140
  • Lemartes +10 to 120
  • Sanguinary Guard -20 to 155
  • Sanguinary Priest +10 to 90
  • Sanguinary Priest with Jump Pack +10 to 100


Gunum: There are some pretty substantial changes for Blood Angels players here. They are showing up in conjunction with the increase of the Storm Ravens points, units like Death Company Marines and DC with Jump packs, and Blood Angels lists will start hunting a little for savings elsewhere. Sanguinary Guard dropping -20 is a pretty exciting change, as moving them down to 155 suddenly makes their 31-point models easier to stomach. Their profile is kind of interesting when you think of costs. They are jump-pack infantry with 2+’s, meaning things like cover + armor of contempt can make them extra durable. Sadly, they are still just T4, 2-wound space marines, and a well-placed Land Raider redeemer or Tyranofax will give them an impossible time. Finally, the drop of points for the Death Company Dread should not be ignored. This force of nature can get pretty crazy if an opponent isn’t prepared, and with a price drop of 20 points, I can see a world where two start to sneak their way into many lists.

Finally, I think it’s essential to mention that Assault Intercessors with Jump Packs also dropped 5 points. They will become pretty staples if you’re not already using them. All of the above benefit from the Sons of Sanguinius detachment, and you will see some significant usage here.

Curie: Sanguinary Guard still suck for their points; change my mind. Death Company probably got hit harder here than necessary, but they are still in an excellent position.

Gunum: God, are they bad.

What’s Next

Most of the top lists were running Jump Pack Intercessors and Death Company. Hopefully, these small point changes will even out so that our Sons detachments can continue to smash faces and deliver sweet-sweet mortal wounds. 

Dark Angels

The Dark Angels were done dirty by their Codex Supplement, being forced to wait on the release of points which kind of sucked across the board. This time around it looks like Games Workshop is reversing course on some key units.

Status: Winner, though our Codex is still challenging. 


  • Deathwing Knights -20 for 5 to 215
  • Deathwing Terminator Squad -10 for 5 to 180
  • Inner Circle Companions -15 to 90
  • Lion El’Jonson -50 to 300


Gunum: GeeDubs is trying to do something for the unforgiven, and I think they have here. Unfortunately, Iron Angels still exist, and they did nothing to help us move away from that build other than making Storm Ravens cost as much as a Land Raider Redeemer. Deathwing Knights going down to 215 is probably too many points, but -1 damage terminators are still -1 damage terminators! So maybe? Deathwing Terminators go down as well, clearly to encourage us to take their super-powerful Plasma Cannons that we have to pay 5 points extra for over normal terminators.

The Inner Circle Companions dropping -15 gets them to where we thought they would be in the first place: competing with Bladeguard and Company Heroes as an option for some of our characters. Mind you, they still are -1 weapons with nothing for ranged options. The issues with their datasheet are still there, but at least we won’t feel too bad taking them now. 

“But Gunum,” I hear you cry out, dear reader, “What about the Lion! He has to be playable at 300 now, right?” I am resigned to tell you that he is ~

Not. At least, not yet.

Let’s be honest. Though the cost of the Lion has always been a real issue when we sneak him into the list, his datasheet being butchered by some machinations of Cypher is still the real issue. The loss of the -1 to be wounded, losing the damage on his sweep attack, and also being a monster continue to be nonstarters for him in a serious list. His anti-stratagem aura is still rad, and his primary attacks at four damage can still ruin some fools. This cost is probably an accurate representation of his old datasheet, and I don’t know what to do with this new one. 

What’s Next

The current top “Dark Angels” lists will see the cost of their Storm Ravens go up.

For anyone who isn’t playing Ironstorm Dark Angels, who I’m claiming as my new Outer Circle until nature corrects away from giant tanks and back to terminators, we will live in a world of the Lion running alongside his appropriately costed Deathwing Knights and thrive


The Deathwatch are currently one of the game’s worst factions, having never recovered from some of those early edition balance changes.

Status: Loser


No changes.


Wings: Why? Deathwatch are one of the absolute worst factions in the game, throwing them at least a minor bone seems like a no-brainer. 

TheChirurgeon: RIP Deathwatch. I will continue to leave you on my shelf. This one makes me pretty sad. I’m not sure Deathwatch should have really been a fully-supported army of space marines, but as long as they are they deserve better than the treatment they’ve received.

What’s Next

They won’t change, insofar as they still mostly won’t exist. I guess that one guy who 4-1ed with them might add some Hellblasters.

Space Wolves

TheChirurgeon: Space Wolves armies have begun to show some strong results, based in part on the concept of taking a shitload of Wulfen and Thunderwolf Calvary to just body opponents.

Status: Winner


  • Wolf Guard Terminators -10 to 185
  • Wolf Scouts -10 to 75


Wings: What really matters here are the notes which aren’t being played – no change to Wulfen or ThunderCav feels wild, and potentially positions Space Wolf Stormlance as one of the best builds in the meta to be. I’d argue that list is vying with Thousand Sons to be the strongest build from the previous metagame that didn’t take any hits, and has a real shot at the top spot going forward.

Gunum: Max Thunderwolves supported by max Brutalis Dreads will be a mainstay for this army in Stormlance. It’s just a real problem that not enough people are on right now.

What’s Next

Awooo, Mr. Bond. Awooooo.

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