Space Marines. Whenever Space Marines aren’t on screen, all the other factions should be asking “Where’s Space Marines?”
Still the game’s protagonists and most popular faction, Space Marines have by far the largest collection of datasheets of any faction in the game, and that’s before you start counting the allied datasheets they can add. This means Space Marines also have more point values to look at, more units they can field, and more options they can build with in a given list. In this article we’ll be taking a look at the points for the various Space Marine factions and talking about how those shape the faction and lists.
Before we dive in we’d like to thank Games Workshop for providing us with a preview copy of the Munitorum Field Manual.
If you’re looking for a high-level overview of the Munitorum Field Manual, check it out here.
Space Marines have more units than any faction in the game, and that gives them a shit ton of options when it comes to building armies. The one thing they lack, however, is truly cheap units: The cheapest Space Marine unit is 55 points, which is the cost for either a unit of Servitors or a number of character options (who will mostly want a Bodyguard to attach to). That said, Imperial Agents can help you out there – Exaction Squads are only 35 points, while Voidsmen-at-Arms run 40.
- 10 Desolators (240) is incredible value. Still. Great. Small units are great too. Maybe someone should have taken a second look at these things.
- 6 Outriders (230), an Invader ATV (80), and a Chaplain on Bike (80) comes out to 390 points for the unit. Live the dream.
- Gladiator Lancer (145), Storm Speeder Hailstrike (120), Land Speeder (80) This combo is wildly effective and cheap.
- Regular Repulsors look incredible at their new price tag, just shy of 200pts.
- All the “gun tank” stuff is nice and cheap – Predator Annihilators are a cool 135, Whirlwinds a mere 125. Even the Firestrike Servo-Turret is a mere 80pts and effective for its cost.
- Characters are all priced to move, so we think you’ll want to squeeze lots of them into your units.
- Infantry tend to be slightly cheaper than previous editions, but not by as much – though don’t sleep on Eradicators at just 95pts for 3
- Sternguard whip, 110 for five is nice.
Wings: I have been prodded to the front to talk about Space Marines. Space Marines look pretty good – their stuff in general is cheap enough that you have a lot of flexibility in how you assemble your lists, and there are a few standouts that seem extremely aggressively costed. The regular Repulsor is incredibly real at the price you now pay, so look for those going on a rampage, and everyone else is going to very quickly learn to hate 120pt Desolation Squads. The net output of all this is that there are some very strong Marine lists you can build, and being able to beat a “good” Gladius Task Force list is basically the minimum threshold for excelling in the early stages of the metagame.
The Blood Angels characters are aggressively priced – your big three of Commander Dante, Lemartes, and Mephiston are 135, 135, and 120 respectively for great packages who add a lot of value to their units (and bring some decent punch themselves). In part that seems to reflect that they need those Bodyguard units to be effective on the table, because the Lone Operative Sanguinor is much pricer at 160pts – though his unique ability to arrive where he’s needed, strong statline, and tankiness between his basic defences and the Lone Operative rule make him very much worth the price.
The Dreadnoughts all look pretty pricy – a Death Company Dreadnought at 195pts doesn’t feel like it’s going to turn too many heads next to a Redemptor or Brutalis, and even the cheaper Furioso is 160. The Librarian might be worth 185, if you can figure out a role for him.
There’s two very different stories for the Blood Angels’ archetypal flying melee squads. Flying Death Company come in at a very cost-effective 155 for 5/310 for 10 – 31ppm sounds like a lot, but they still have their diverse range of gear so you can give them a lot of equipment for that price. Sanguinary Guard on the other hand are 43ppm – a full unit is 430pts! – and one of their two defensive abilities only works if the Warlord is attached to them. If you’re taking them at all then yeah sure you are going to do that – but you might not want a second squad of them at that cost with that limitation. The gear thing is a slightly different consideration on them, too, because you can throw inferno pistols all over the place, but it’s not like the weapons cost before (except the power fist – which now is 1 per 5). These could have probably been fine at 40ppm instead of 43 – or maybe I am just being a downer, who knows?
The sleeper hit here might be Death Company Intercessors, who are 90pts for 5 or 180pts for 10 – i.e. identical to other Intercessors. You lose Shock Assault or the ability to secure objectives, but gain the 6+ Feel No Pain, Hit re-rolls from Black Rage, and the Visions of Heresy ability for a free Overwatch or Heroic Intervention – the latter potentially especially great for them. If you want Intercessors of any kind in your list, and you don’t need them to hang out with Mephiston, then the Death Company version may well be worth a look.
Liam: The impact here is straightforward – your characters are great, and attractively cheap. The units they pair with aren’t necessarily quite so cheap – Dante and 10 Sanguinary Guard is a 565pt unit, which is chunky – but the costs are favourable enough that you should be able to get that good Blood Angels flavour into your army and still have enough points left for other units to do that whole “playing the mission” deal.
Also, if you’re playing BA, just assume your real points level is 1840 because the other 160 are reserved for the Sanguinor – that guy is the first name on the team sheet, which isn’t bad for a Warp spirit who shows up once or twice per century.
All of the Dark Angel core characters come in at very approachable price points. Asmodai, 70. The duelist Belial? 100. Ezekiel?! 80. Lazarus?! 80. All these guys are great for their price points, and all bring something pretty great. The most expensive of the basic leaders, Azrael and Sammael also come in at comfortable price points. Azrael is able to bring his special leadership skills to the table at a comfortable 120 points, and Sammey brings Assault Doctrine to a single unit for 145. Not too bad overall. All of these guys have uses and I love that. The beloved Talonmaster comes in at an easy 115, and the Deathwing Strike master sits at 90.
The command squads have approachable points as well. Ravenwing Command Squads coming in at 145 for the three leaders, or 290 with the extra bullet catchers. The Deathwing command squad is a 5 to 10 unit, and are pricey. 215 for five, or 430 for ten. Now, this is in line with other terminator units, as the normal Deathwing terminator unit tops out at 410.
Now for some unit costs that might make your toes curl a little. Deathwing knights, coming in at a powerful 235 for five, and 470 for ten. 47 points a guy for -1AP weapons that do 3 damage. Now, we all know you aren’t paying for the weapons, but the -1 damage. Which is understandable, it’s a pretty heavy price to pay for this block of terminators.
Gunum: When we take these points into account, as well as the points that we’ve seen in Space Marines, we see a pretty competitively priced army. Dark Angels show us something that’s going to be really great in a leadership and command structure that has approachable costs. Even our enhancements top out at 25 points, allowing us to build all sorts of lists and focus even on a theme if we would like. I think this is as good, if not better than I had thought with the price points, And I’m really excited to see if we can make some nice even 2000 point lists, because every single one I tend to make is 1995
Wait a minute, I forget to mention somebody? Oh yeah! Black Knights. Ravenwing Black Knights are 60 points cheaper than the Ravenwing Command Squad, sitting at 230 points. They still provide a lot of tools for a leadership group that can join their unit, with anti-vehicle being a big deal in this edition. Their plasma, paired with a chaplain on a bike, suddenly becomes a scary, Devastating Wounds weapon. And I do think, at 115 points for three of these guys, there is a reason to put them in almost all of our Dark Angels lists.
There was someone else?
Oh yeah. The Lion.
The Lion is amazing right now. His rules are incredible, His tax collection skills are unstoppable, and he is coming for you. He wants to be in the front lines, applying his debuff to everyone. He wants to be near tanky units so that he can benefit from his Lone Operative, and he will get to where he needs to go with his incredible defensive buffs. When we look at someone like Angron, who is over 400 points and is able to come back from the dead, we are presented with the durability of the Lion. He comes in at 380 points, and with that cost I believe is almost an auto-take in any list that wants to take Dark Angels. Look for him, everywhere.
- They made Templars pay for their multi-meltas, the scoundrels. In all seriousness, maybe 5pts too much in most cases.
- Everything else whips though, Epic Heroes are priced to move.
- Primaris Crusaders provide either the most cost-effective way to stack volume melee attacks at their lower size, or the largest Primaris unit you can field at the larger.
- Regular Crusaders, unlike Tactical Squads, go down to five models but still get a heavy and special weapon, making them cheap and cheerful backfield units at 75pts.
- Sword Brethren at 150pts for five look real nasty now – a bit more of a glass cannon than some similar units, but some of the highest killing power for the cost across Marines.
Wings: Most of this is good news,with basically the only sad point being that you do pay quote few points for the privilege of sticking a multi-melta on every tank, and you might sometimes not want to. Right now you can technically just choose to take the normal datasheet in a Gladius Task Force, but that’s not something I expect to stick around that long.
All the special Infantry and Characters though? Absolutely banging. There looks to be a real place for Crusader units in a variety of configurations, and Sword Brethren feel like they’re potentially quite spicy, especially if you decide to go all-in and stack Grimaldus and a Castellan with them for maximum blending and a 5+ Feel no Pain. If you’re taking Templars now it definitely is because you want to do cool stuff with the extra squad options and the Characters, not just spamming cheap melta hulls, but the options they have available genuinely are unique and cool for that purpose.
- Big Kill teams are extremely favourably priced.
- Small Kill teams are not, so it’s go big or go home.
- Veterans and Terminators both don’t pay too much for their extra wargear, so are legit.
- Artemis is ultra-pushed at 75pts
- Hefty Enhancement price tags.
Wings: The Deathwatch reign of terror isn’t going to be as bad as it could have been, but the points costs here still leave the faction looking incredibly good, as long as you want to go for big kill teams. The pricing on these is slightly weird, with no real acknowledgement that five-model teams are just worse versions of the equivalent regular unit (they tend to cost much more), but at full size when you get to turn them into nightmarish, fully loaded death stars they look incredible – there’s no price difference based on what models you take. Proteus Teams aren’t cheap, but are still about as nasty as you can make an infantry shooting brick across the whole game, and well worth it, while Indomitor Teams look very attractive as a secondary centrepiece. The Spectrus Team also goes up in estimation because it’s very cheap for what it is, helping the utility role it fulfils look feasible.
It doesn’t stop there either – Veterans and Terminators are both fabulously well priced in their five-model sizes, and Watch Captain Artemis probably ends up as a staple at 75pts. About the only mild downsides are that the Watch Master is pretty expensive (you’ll still take one, but it’s actually fairly priced) and that Enhancements are broadly correctly costed for how splashy they are. When “damn, they remembered to make the good stuff cost points” is about the worst thing we can say, you know you’re in for a good ride.
- Thunderwolf Cavalry are priced to move at 100pts for 3
- Logan on foot looks like a great value-add for 140
- Hounds of Morkai are looking pretty hot.
- Everything else… yeah.
Liam: Jonk got so mad he passed out instead of writing about Space Wolves, and well, yeah. If you were looking at the index and thinking hey, maybe points will save us – the costs here aren’t terrible, exactly, but the new iteration of Wulfen at 100pts for 5? Yeah.
Wings: I think the various wolf-riding characters (and honestly, the characters in general) are pretty attractively costed, so if you’re building wolves you’re building around herohammer. Being able to take fives of Grey Hunters is useful for list tinkering, and the last one to call out is Hounds of Morkai, who are basically just massively better Reivers who end up looking pretty spicy – they’re basically useful on rate, and extremely dangerous to enemy Psykers, a good combination.
One down, three to go – stay tuned for Imperium, Chaos and Xenos.
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