Space Marine Warlord Traits, Chapter Tactics & More

New Warhammer Space Marine Warlord Traits

If you’ve followed the continuous flow of rumours coming out on the upcoming 6th Edition Space Marines Codex, you’ll possibly know by know that much of it is coming from 40KRadio, who seem to have some form of early copy / play test copy of the Codex.

If they indeed have such a document, and it is close to what the final Space Marines Codex for Warhammer 40K 6th Edition will look like, this information should be fairly accurate. The following information has been meticulously compiled from the 40KRadio podcast by Talk Wargaming.

Many thanks!

#1 – Space Marine Strikeforce

The Space Marine Strikeforce is the replacement for the Battleforce. However, it’s focused on being a kind of “starter army” box built around a theme of some kind.Every army will get one (possibly more) eventually that will be named after something relevant to that army (example: Wraithhost for Eldar).

Ok. Listening in to the actual podcast. “Strikeforce” isn’t the actual name these things will have. It’s merely a term the podcast guys used to describe the idea of a “themed battleforce” (e.g. a wraith-army themed Eldar-box for example), which rumours claim may replace the current battleforce boxes – Z.

#2 – General Information

  • 240 Points for 3 Centurions with Grav-Cannons/Grav-Amps and Hurricane Bolters (for those who hate math, that means it’s a 20 point upgrade for Grav-Cannon/Grav-Amps each).
  • Assault Centurions have Move Through Cover
  • Codex: Space Marines is largely in line with Codex: Dark Angels points wise.
  • 176 Pages in their copy of the codex (same as rumored)
  • Hunter has “Savant-Lock”. When shooting at a flyer you put a marker on it for each miss. The markers stay on the flyer until it leaves the table or is destroyed. At the beginning of every friendly shooting phase you roll for those markers. On a 5 or a 6 that missle hits.
  • Artwook is nice, and book is Space Marines more in a general form. More updated fluff, not just the rehashed fluff.
  • Some of the classic Black and White was colored, but a lot of new art too.
  • Book is in sections for each founding chapter (plus the Black Templars)) and a large number of the Successor Chapters to help players know who should be using what rules.
  • Salamanders don’t really have any successor chapters because their chapter had suffered a large number of casualties so they have a larger number of Marines in their chapter.
  • “Equivilant to Forge World background” in terms of fluff.
  • Forgeworld fluff included in the codex.

#3 – Warlord Traits

Only one Warlord Traits chart for the entire Codex.

  1. Angel of Death - Warlord and his unit have the Fear special rule.
  2. Imperium Sword - One use only. Declare that your Warlord is using this at the start of one of your assualt phases. The Warlord and his unit have the Furious Charge special rule until the end of the turn.
  3. Storm of Fire - One use only. Declare that your Warlord is using this at the start of one of your shooting phases. For the duration of that phase a single friendly unit from Codex: Space Marines within 12″ of the Warlord may re-roll any failed to-hit rolls.
  4. Rites of War - When taking morale tests friendly units from Codex: Space Marines within 12″ of the Warlord use his characteristic instead of their own.
  5. Iron Resolve - When determining your assault results add +1 to your total if the Warlord is locked in that combat.
  6. Champion of Humanity - If your Warlord causes the enemy Warlord to be removed from play in a challenge he scores D3 extra victory points in addition in the usual amount of points given for slaying the enemy Warlord in this scenario. Note that killing the enemy Warlord in a sweeping advance does not reward these extra victory points.

#4 – Chapter Tactics

  • Successor Chapters – You use whatever chapter tactics of your parent chapter. The ONLY Exception is the Black Templar.
  • Homebrew – You can pick any tactic you want and use the Special Characters of that chapter. Those characters have to use the same Chapter Tactics as the same Chapter their from.
  • Allies – “A Space Marine Detachment that has one set of Chapter Tactics MAY ally with another Space Marine Detachment with a different set of Chapter Tactics, Ultramarines and Raven Guard for example. For purposes of the Allies rules these allies are treated as being from two different codexes and are treated as Battle Brothers. Note that you may field models from two different chapters that have the same Chapter Tactics, such as Ultramarines and Praetors of Orpheus in the same detachment. These chapters are so closely affiliated that they count as a single army on the battlefield.”
  • COUNT AS: If you want to use Vulkan in a Ultramarines army you have to play use the Salamander Chapter Tactics. So you CAN do “count-as” but you lock yourself into their Chapter Tactics. In short, Special Characters are locked to their specific Chapter Tactics

Ultramarines – Combat Doctrine: This detachment can utilize each of the following combat doctrines once per game. To do so at the start of your turn you state which combat doctrine you wish to use, if any, until the start of your next turn. You can only use one combat doctrine per turn.

  • Tactical: Units in this detachment re-roll ones while shooting, unless they’re tactical marines who re-roll all failed to hit rolls in the shooting phase.
  • Assault: Units in this detachment can re-roll their charge range. Assault squads, bikes, or attack bikes instead have the fleet rule.
  • Devastator: Units in this detachment may re-rolls to-hit on snap shots, including overwatch shots, in addition models in this detachment’s Devastator squads have the relentless unless they disembarked from a transport in their movement phase.

White Scars


  • Born in the Saddle: Models in this detachment with the Bike Unit Type automatically pass Dangerous Terrain tests, and recieve a +1 to their Jink Cover Saves. In addition add 1 to their Strength when resolving their Hammer of Wrath hits.
  • Fight on the Move: Models in this Detachment have the Hit and Run Special Rule. Note that this does not include models in Terminator Armor, Devastator Centurions or Assault Centurions.

Imperial Fists


  • Bolter Drill: Models in this detachment may re-roll all to-hit rolls of 1 made with a bolt pistol, boltgun, stormbolter, heavy bolters, or combi-weapons that are firing as boltguns. This rule does not apply to Helfire, Kraken, Vengence or Dragonfire rounds.
  • Siegemasters: Models in this detachment in Devastator squads and Centurion Devastator squads have the Tank Hunter special rule and add +1 when rolling on the building damage table.

Black Templars


  • Accept Any Challenges, No Matter the Odds: When engaged in a challenge, Black Templar Characters reroll all failed to-hit rolls, and have the Rending Special Rule.
  • Crusaders: Black Templars have the Crusader and Adamantium Will Special Rules. In addition Black Templars have access to a special unit called a Crusader Squad.

Iron Hands


  • The Flesh is Weak: Models in this detachment have the Feel no Pain on a 6+ Special Rule. Note that if they benefit from more than one instance of Feel no Pain they use the best version available.
  • Machine Empathy: All vehicles and characters in this detachment have the It Will Not Die special rule even though vehicles do not have Chapter Tactic special rules. Furthermore, Techmarines and Masters of the Forge in this detachment add +1 to their Blessing of the Omnissiah rolls.



  • Flamecraft: Models in this detachment can re-roll their saving throws against wounds caused by flamer weapons as defined by the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook. Furthermore, flame weapons used by models in this detachment re-roll failed to-wound rolls and armor penetration rolls that don’t cause a glancing or a penetrating hit.
  • Master Artisan: During the army selection each character in this detachment may upgrade one of his weapons, even one they have purchased as an upgrade, to have the Mastercrafted Special Rule at no additional cost.

Raven Guard


  • Strike from the Shadows: Models in this detachment have the Scout Special Rule. In addition, on the first game turn, models in this detachment have the Stealth Special Rule. Note that units that include models with the Bulky or Very Bulky Special Rules do not benefit from either rule.
  • Wings of Deliverance: Jump Infantry Models in this detachment may use their Jump Packs in both the movement and assault phases of the same turn. Futhermore, they must re-roll all failed to-wound rolls caused by their Hammer of Wrath hits.

#5 – Thoughts?


Certainly a lot of stuff there to tinker with your Space Marine army. It is nice to have so much options and variations to play with.

On the other hand, a lot of it seem needlessly convoluted as well.

  • Two special rules to define each Chapter, rather than one?
  • The rather odd round-a-bout way in which Chapter Tactics aren’t tied to Special Characters anymore, but Special Characters are still tied to the Chapter Tactics, etc.. ?

It will probably work well, but it seems … inelegant.

The 5th Edition Space Marines Codex wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was – compared to what I am hearing here – a lot more straight-forward and intuitive for getting an army on the table.

What do you think?

Do you like what you’re hearing on the new Space Marines Codex (assuming these titbits are correct)?

Leave a comment and share your thoughts!




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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  • Rekeiji

    I like the new method. Seperating the Characters from the Chapter Tactics means I can make the Chapter I want without having to take a particular character. I don’t always want to take Vulkan with my Salamanders, especially in small games where I prefer a Librarian over a captain.

    • Zweischneid

      A lot of people would agree with you. I’ve seen loads of complaints about needing to take SC’s to unlock certain traits.

      Personally, I found it to be a good, intuitive system for a miniatures-game, because you could clearly see (!) from a specific miniature on the table, which rule would apply, where-as now the Chapter Tactics used by any given army is an information that only appears on a sheet of paper with your army list, not “on the table”.

      Either way, just because the old system was imperfect, doesn’t mean the new system will be.

      • damaddok

        But that just means tournament organizers will have to adapt slightly. Now, instead of entering “Space Marines,” you’re entering “Space Marines–Imperial Fists” or whatever, so I don’t think it will be a HUGE problem.

        Well, it’ll be an organizational headache, maybe, but most of the special rules promote one army list style over another. If you don’t have many tanks, you’re not going to find Iron Hands advantageous in most circumstances. And, as far as I know, switching army lists between rounds isn’t a very common cheating tactic.

        • Zweischneid

          No. It’s not a major inconvenience.

          It was just a way to illustrate why I found the 5th Edition approach with SCs as a kind of miniature-based WYSIWYG approach to Chapter Tactics very well done and more elegant, than the new approach.

          • Sharpie

            Unless you’re severely dyslexic or don’t ask your opponent the right questions or for his list (which you should always do in a tournament environment before a game) then no, it is not a problem at all.

            Do we have low initiative skill, Zweischneid?

          • Zweischneid


            If I ask my opponent the right questions or for his lists, we can also all play 40K with simple paper-counters or plastic pieces from Ludo.

            It’s not a problem at all.

            There still is an aesthetic quality in miniature-games-design in maximizing the amount of information you can see directly from the miniatures on the table, and minimizing the amount of information that needs to be supplied through markers, army-list-print-outs, supplementary questions, etc.. .

            The more I can get from the former, and the less I need to rely on the latter, the better the game (IMO) is designed.

          • Philip Andreev

            Well I think it would be as simple as just putting on your list that you are using Imperial fist CT the same way if I went to a fantasy tournament my list would say that my mage is using lore of metal. So I cant just change lores each game and switch to lore of light when I know I’m against vampire counts etc

          • Jon

            That’s my impression as well.. the Chapter Tactics you take must be on the list that is locked down at entry.

            There’s only so much you can represent on models, even if the rule itself is interesting and fluffy. For example, how would one really represent Veterans of the Long War?

            Thus, there are already a lot of rules and options that are “invisible” to WYSIWYG… but proper tournament organization already has rulings to prevent the potential abuse these exploits. Philip Andreev’s Warhammer Fantasy example outlines this.

            Of course, it requires tournament officials and other players to keep an eye open to catch this sort of cheating, if anyone tries to pull a fast one!

  • Sharpie

    I am very happy the Ultramarines trait is the broken auto take people said it would be, as the doctrines only last one turn.

    Also, Raven Guard having scout means footslogging Marines might actually end up being possible. I expect transports can’t scout but if they can it might revive much marines- being 42” across the board turn 1 is nothing to sniff at.

    (12” deploy, 12″ scout, ” 12 ” move, 6″ flat out)

    That would be pretty brutal against a Tau gunline.

    Or, just outflank all your Marines for free. Now that’s cool.

    Iron Hands sounds cool, White Scars sounds nice for bike armies.

    • Sharpie

      First line – *isn’t

      Stupid auto correct

  • Michael

    Insofar as I am concerned, if special characters are not tied to their chapter (I saw rumors on dakkadakka forums that you can’t even take characters in their successor chapters) then I’m happy.

  • Jack


  • Unknown Warrior

    Once the book comes out we will all see if this is all true or not. And if the iron hands one is true were going to have fun with this.

  • Nikolas J. Holt

    I only have one question:


    • Zweischneid

      Blood Angels have their own Codex, much like Dark Angels and Space Wolves, and I would think it’ll be updated in due time.

  • ValkyrieSR2

    Oh my… I’m starting to fear for my CSM for real here. Might end up falling far, far down on the list of “good” armies if GW keeps pumping out stuff that just gets more and more powerful.

    Oh well, it usually turns out okay in the end.

  • Faton Sejdija

    Oh man i like the Iron Hands Doctrine