Do You Still Field Space Marine Terminators?

Space Marines Tactical Terminators

Is there still a role for Terminators in a 6th Edition Space Marines army? Do you still field them with the new Warhammer 40K 6th Edition Space Marines Codex? If yes, how?

#1 – Space Marines Terminators in 6th Edition

It is one of the curiosities of Warhammer 40K 6th Edition that Terminators somehow got both better and worse at the same time.

  • Better, because they can now laugh at a lot of close combat weapons (e.g power swords) that used to scare them.
  • Worse, because there seems to be a lot more AP2 shooting out and about – even before Space Marines showed up with grav weapons.
  • Better, because Deep-Striking is more valuable these days with “no deployment” armies gone.
  • Worse, because Assault Terminators were always outshining their Tactical cousins, but assault has been (slightly) nerfed.

#2 – Terminators in the new Space Marines Codex

The new Space Marines Codex clearly didn’t show Space Marine Terminators much lovin’.

  • All the fancy grav weapons went to the Power-Armoured Marines (who got cheaper as well).
  • The Space Marines Centurions - at least in the shooty version – now lay claim to the 2+ firepower throne with T5 and more a lot more weapons all round.
  • Assault Terminators have to pay an extra 5 pts. for the Hammer & Shield combo (since the Blood Angels Codex, that has been standard and was to be expected).
  • Even Captain Shrike refuses to sneak about with Terminators these days.

#3 – What To Do With Space Marine Terminators?

Even with all these things said, it would be hard to argue that Space Marines Terminators are bad.

They still rock 2+/5++, can deep-strike if they want to, and have access to a lot of (classic) good weaponry, from cyclone launchers to thunder hammers.

Is that good enough? As most Space Marine players tend to have a solid collection of Terminators, lets give this one a whirl.

  • Would you still field Terminators in 6th Edition with the new Space Marines Codex (not Deathwing, or Loganwing, etc… just plain Space Marines)?
  • If so, Assault Terminators or Tactical Terminators?
  • What role would you assign them to? Deathstar? Line-breaker? Mop-up crew in reserve?
  • What Chapter Tactics work best for Space Marines with a Terminator squad or two?

Leave a comment!


Image: Golden Demon-winning Space Marine Terminators painted by Jess Hodges.


I am Zweischneid. Wargame Addict. Hopeless painter and founder of Pins of War. I hope you enjoyed this article. Don't forget to share your favourite miniature pictures and wargaming videos at
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  • Suijin

    Khan or Raven Guard can get them scout if you put an IC with them.

    They do get pretty cheap weapons and/or storm shield, but Legion of the damned also now get a standard 3++ for potentially cheaper.

    I think they are basically stuck in the they aren’t bad but also aren’t particularly good = about average, and people are looking for the new shiny or the best of the codex.

  • James_33

    According to the fluff, Terminator armor was designed for close quarters fighting. Appropriately enough, Terminators do fine in 6th as long as you minimize their time in the open. With a Land Raider transport, they’re protected from plasma weapons or the small arms fire that eventually whittles them down. Once they get into close combat (which is easier to do with the Ultramarines Assault Doctrine), the relatively small number of AP2 close combat weapons works to their advantage.

    Because they don’t last long out in the open, I’m reluctant to use Tactical Terminators and much prefer Assault Terminators.

  • Jeff

    I still use them for DS armed with Lightning claws or Hammer and Shield.

  • Vaša Magnificencia

    Speaking of chaos sm, i usualy play 1 or 2 squads of three terminators with combi plasmas and claws, for deepstriking behind enemy lines to deal with their longrange heavy sup. If they sucseed, they are linebreaker.

  • NagaBaboon

    I’ve always found it hard to justify their cost without taking a land raider, but then that makes them even harder to justify the cost of. Because of that, unless the armies built around them, I’ve always found them difficult to fit into a list.

    Am I being cynical to suggest the reason GW has not made them a more desirable unit is because they know everyone does already have a bunch of them?

    • Zweischneid

      Perhaps a bit too cynical. They were popular before (at least the Assault versions), to the point they even increased the Storm Shields (already as far back as Blood Angels)

      They did, however, fall to a “no new kit”, “no new rules” stasis I believe.

      I think it would’ve been fun to, say, allow them to take a single grav-cannon instead of the assault-cannon / missiles. I doubt it would suddenly make Tac Terminators the new competitive-must-have, but it would’ve been a nice addition to the rest of the grav weapon theme.

      But it also would’ve required people to kit-bash from the Centurion kit (or, the horror, third-party producers), so they kinda erred in favour of not changing a thing (until the day a new Terminator kit gets released in .. dunno .. 2019).

      Which is a pity.

      • NagaBaboon

        Yeah it would have been interesting to see grav cannons on Termies, but I also can’t help but feel the fact that grav cannons are a totally exclusive Centurion weapon might well be part of their sales strategy. I suppose they can take grav combi’s (I think, I don’t have the codex to hand) and if so they would always fire 3 shots even if they’d moved. Incidentally I hate that I’ve started jumping on the GW conspiracy theory band wagon but there’s so much around it’s hard not to from time to time.

        I think Tactical Termies would be more viable if they could take 2 heavy weapons in a standard 5 man squad, I don’t think that would be overpowered considering their cost

        • Zweischneid

          No. No combi weapons either.

          Just the plain old 1-in-5 Heavy Flamer/Assault Cannon/Cyclone and options for Chainfist for all (xept the Sergeant).

  • Thunderlions

    I use my Assault termies as a Death Star and linebreaker unit, combining them with a Chaplain/Calgar in a stormraven to fly up the board and rampage around in the back field. It works quite well, as they are able to chew up almost anything, and don’t suffer as much from plasma and melta.

  • Sharpie

    A 5++ is just too weak. If a unit with plasma blinks at them they’re boned. If you took a Captain/Chapter Master with eternal shield sat at the front of the unit maybe they’d be worth it, there’s also opportunity if you make the CM with Arty armour and take Raven Guard, because then he confers the scout to them, even in an LR.

    Optimum weapon choice would be assault cannon, and although it would be a bit overkill a HF might be good for wiping entrenched scoring.

  • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

    I’m certainly going to try out Legion of the Damned as an alternative backfield disruption/contesting unit. Accurate Deep Strike plus cover ignoring Plasma Cannon sounds good and a 3++ to protect them while they are in their clumped up deep strike formation after firing.

    • Zweischneid

      Funny how LotD are the new hotness these days. Didn’t they always have a 3++?

      At least in 5th Edition they did.

      • Knight_of_Infinite_Resignation

        its the drop in price and ignores cover that makes them attractive. They are a great backfield disruption unit now.

        • Zweischneid

          Guess so.

          I’ve been thinking of doing a LotD article the last two days or so,trying to figure out the difference. Funny how it small changes could work for something like LotD, but not Termies.

  • Omnia Incendunt

    I have so many terminators i kind of HAVE to find a roll for them. I’m currently enjoying a Salamanders army, my goal with the list is to have an entire force of Bullet Magnets (if Everything is a bullet magnet – then Nothing is) I use 10 TH/SS terminators purely as my main “shoot me, shoot me” squad my opponent must either waste fire on them or regret it later. I do have 10 tactical terms (2 flamers) sadly they don’t see much action. I’d like to experiment with pairing them up with vehicles (vindicators probably) the tactical termies relative lack of inv save would draw Ap2 fire away from the nearby vehicle(s). Realistically i see this tactic either not working at all or only working once or twice, because it needs a heavy to pure “devastator” flank to deploy it against.