40k Space Marine Stratagem Review 

I wanted to just put something down about my thoughts on the new space marine stratagems for 40k as there seems to be loads of them which was very confusing at first. Also I wanted to separate them out into the ‘good’ ones people will use and the ‘rest’. If you don’t know what a Stratagem is then you need to be picking up the 40k rule book on page 242 and take a quick read. 
So what Stratagems are good?

Relics of the Chapter

Brilliant in that you can choose how many command points you put into it in order to grab whatever Relics you want for that game. I can see myself using this every game so every character has some form of Relic as it benefits them during the whole game and often in your opponents turn too (save rolls for example). This will be top of my pile.


Auspex Scan

Keep this one handy as it allows an infantry unit to fire automatically if your opponent. Sets up reinforcements within 12 inches. It is highly situational but can see it being used in most games due to the sheer number of units and armies who can deploy reinforcements now.


Wisdom of the Ancients

Gives your dreadnought a trait from your captain to reroll hit rolls of 1 to all units within 6 inches. Can be used for both shooting and combat and also benefit the dreadnought itself. Won’t always be useful but worth keeping the card handy when needed.


Honour the Chapter

Now this is expensive at 3CP but I think this could be very powerful. It allows an infantry or biker unit to fight a second time in the fight phase. If you have a dedicated combat unit or the enemy unit is down to the odd wound and your turn is next and you want to free that unit up to charge something else then use this. It is the only 3CP ability I think might be worth the cost.


Chapter Specific

Most of these are decent but all depends on your chapter and play style and army list so I can’t comment too much on them.
Rule book

The other good stratagems are actually the rule book 3 for me which bring the most benefit to your army. The rest of the marine ones are either too situational, too expensive or require your army list to be too tailored just to use them. Make sure you memorise these 3 and use them when needed.

What Stratagems are just bad?

The following ones I just can’t see being used or require so much tailoring to your army list (as most games will be 2000 points) that I just can’t see the point. Obviously I am not a masterful tactician so may have missed something obvious but I can’t see me ever using these.
Chapter Master

Ok it changes your captain buff from rerolls of 1 to hit into reroll all misses but most marines are 3+ and elites are 2+ anyway. In addition it costs 3 command points and most games you’ll only have 3-7 so that’s half of them gone. You can tailor your chapter master to be surrounded either by a dedicated shooting unit or combat unit but that’s a LOT of points and CP just to get a small benefit.


Linebreaker and Killshot and Empyric Channelling

These only cost 1CP to use but it’s the fact you need to have 3 Vindicators, 3 Predators or 3 Librarians in your list and then you have to keep them close together. This means you spend a lot of points and vastly reduce your tactical flexibility in terms of deployment, battlefield coverage, etc just to potentially use these Stratagems. Now I can see the benefit but the negatives to me far outweigh any odd benefit here.

What Stratagems are just weird?

There are some others which I can’t see myself ever using and could be useful but just seem a bit too situational. These are on the maybe list for now.

Orbital Bombardment

It costs 3CP which is expensive and then it only has a D6 inch range…..and then it only works on a unit 50% of the time (4+)…..and then it only does D3 wounds. Yes there will be those games it snipes loads of characters and units but most games it will do nothing but drain your command points.


Cluster Mines

This is brilliant….if it affected all bike units. To only effect Scout Bike units means it is very situational not just for making sure you have that unit but they need to have survived at least 1 round of combat and those two things are never gonna happen!

Datalink Telemetry

Turn one (maybe two) this is great! And allows the land speeder to move around cover to see new units for the whirlwind to attack….but only if they stay within 12 inches of each other. My biggest concern again it forces your army list to include certain units but also negatively impacts the land speeder from actually using its speed to cause problems to your opponent.

As for the rest I can see games where they can be powerful but can also see myself never using them at all during 8th edition. The ones I have listed above in ‘good’ I can see being used in every game and I only expect to have no more than 7 command points in most games. This is obviously just my own ideas and impressions and is swayed by my own play style but would love to hear what other people think?

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