created : almost 3 years ago

Space Marines 9th edition codex review : All you need to know !

Tags : warhammer 40000 space marines 9th rules bloat

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Hello everyone !!

This is it! the Big tome of Space Marines power is going on pre-orders today! . For this edition, all SM chapters are depending on this book! One book to rules them all. Still don't expect special chapter units in this book. For these, you'll have to wait for a FAQ or an expansion.
The book itself is hardcover, 208 pages of very good quality as usual! The rules layout is different than usual and I see an effort made in this department! in that regard, the Space Marines codex look a lot like a D&D book. I think it's a big improvement.

That's it for the small talk, the review today is going to focus on the change and the new stuff in the codex in a synthetic way.
There are soooo many units and rules its kind of daunting!

New Concept

In the codex a new keyword have been introduced : "Core" most of the buff wether be an aura, spychic power, trait or relic only Affect Core units or sometime Characters.
Who is CORE? it's easier to say who is not: Characters, vehicle, Centurion, the new Buggy, artillery, bunker. Dreadnought are core but the invictor is not.

Detachement Abilites :

If you play a Space Marines Detachment you have these rules :

-Troops are obj sec
-Company command: 1 captain +2 lieutenant in each detachement
-Chapter tactics, every unit get them (tank, heroes...), some where shown by gw :

9th space marines rules and review
9th space marines rules and review
9th space marines rules and review

Chapter Specific traits

White scars : No change
Imperial Fist : No change
Crimson Fist : No change
Black Templars : Reroll run and charge but lost the "one or both dice" segment.
Flesh Tearers : No change from PA
Iron Hands: no change
Ultramarines: no change
Salamanders: same
Raven Guard:
9th space marines codex changes review

9th space marines codex changes review

Your own chapter Min/Max!

Off course you can create your own chapter if you prefer by mixing 2 rules from the list :

9th space marines codex changes review
9th space marines codex changes review

Chapter Command :

It's all new stuff you can upgrade your character to specific roles in the chapter paying some points. Consult the table below for the price:

9th space marines codex changes review

Chapter Master :
The CM aura is no more, it's now single target buff within 6"
Doesn't count as captain so you can take a captain as well.

Master of Sanctity :
Know 1 extra litany
Can recite one extra

Very cool warlord trait: +1 to cast litany, -1cp for Oratory stratagem!
Master of sanctity is a very nice upgrade.

Master of the forge :
Repair for 3 instead of 1d3.
Warlord trait : +1S & +1A to dread within 6" (weird)

Chief Librarian :
know one extra spell and dispel one more time (no one extra casting)
Warlord trait: +1 to casting.

Chief apo :
Can heal twice!
Warlord trait: heal for 3 instead of 1d3, Combat revival Stratagem cost 0 now!
Super strong upgrade!

Chapter Ancient :
Chapter banner give +1A to a core unit within 6!
Warlord trait: unit within 6" get obj sec or count for 1 extra if they already have.
Relic Banner: Make 2 attacks instead of one when a space Marines die in the aura.

Chapter Champion :
-minus 1 to hit him in melee
-reroll wound vs Characters
-get flat 5 attacks and LD9!

Warlord trait: Core and Characters reroll charge.
Relic : Blade of Thriumph : s+3 ap3 d3 (neat !)

Warlord Traits :

6 traits for Phobos warlord (I only mention the traits that have changed):
Lord of Deceit: changed to 3 units going into Strategic Reserve .
Stealth Adept: Changed, must be closed eligible target to shoot at him.
Target Priority: +3" range on the power.

6 for other marines :
Fear made manifest: also grant -1 to attrition test.
Storm of fire: -From 6 to hit to 6 to wounds (small nerf)
-Rites of War: Give objective secured to units within 6" (core and character)>

13 extra for each Chapters + Dw
At the time of the review, I don't know how the old stuff from PA and Chapter dex is affected, replaced, added ...
9th space marines codex changes review

Stratagems :

Nice colour layout, remind me of D&D 4th editions layout!
9th space marines codex changes review

I didn't found any rules regarding the different stratagem categories, so it's only a layout thing for now. But maybe for later ?

Battle Tactic Stratagem

Death to the traitors: reroll to hit in melee now
Honour the Chapter: -1cp but only Assault Intercessor (WTF ?)
Fury of the first: no change
Transhuman Physiologie: Only affect Primaris, cost only 1 if 5 or fewer models
Rapid-fire: Buffed, added veteran intercessor, changed: Shoot again instead of rapid-fire +1
Gene Wrought Might: No change
Unyielding in the face of the foe: Look new to me, 1 cp, use in any phase when Gravis unit is targeted by an attack, +1 to save roll if the attack is damage 1 ...

Epic Deed Strat

Only in death does Duty end: Huge nerf, only in fight phase and only if target SM unit didn't fight.
Armour of contempt: No change
Power of the Machine Spirit: New strat, 2cp, use in command phase on a tank with Machine spirit keywords (old Machine Spirit unit). Until the start of the next command phase count as full life!
Wisdom fo the Ancients: Small change, give one dread the captain or lieutenant aura. excluding DC and Wulfen dread.
Commanding Oratory: New, 2cp, use at the start of any phase but command phase, auto pas one Chaplain prayer. (Master Chaplain use it for 1cp)
ombat Revival:C 1cp, target one Apo that heal a close (3") inf or biker unit. One destroyed is back with full life!

Requisition Stratagem

Relic of the Chapter: Give a Relic can be used 2 times at 2000 points or 3 times at 3k
Hero of the Chapter: same as Relic but for warlord trait.

Strategic Ploy Stratagem

Hit and run warfare: new I think, 1cp, speeders and bikers can fall back and shoot.
Hammer of wrath: Changed, went from 5+ to beat enemy toughness to deal 1 MW. (buff against T4 & T3, same vs T5, nerf vs the rest)
Skilled riders: Nerfed but cost 1cp, -1 to hit until end of the phase.
Uncompromising Fire: new, 2cp can shoot and do an "action" (for the scenario)
Steady Advance: buffed, price upped to 2cp but affect one inf for all-purpose, not just bolter. (WOW neat)
Adaptive Strategy: new, 2cp, one core unit is affected by all doctrine! (neat)
Suppression Fire: Changed a lot, 1cp affect only WW now, if a hit is scored with a blast weapon, can't overwatch, set defend and fight last. UNTIL the start of your next turn! (not bad)
Terror troops: new, 2cp, one reiver unit gain an aura that removes object within 3'' and try to disrupt enemy taking actions.
Guerilla Tactics new: 1cp, when a Phobos move it can go into strategic reserve...(neat) not within 6" of enemy
Orbital Bombardment : changed : 1d3 on 2+, 1d6 on 6+, -1 vs char, +1 within 3".

Wargear stratagem

Auspex Scan: buffed, lost the minus one to hit
Tremors Shell: small nerf, charge roll debuff is now -2 (instead of halves).unchanged for mov
Shock and Awe: changed to include LS storm and can't "set to defend"
Assault Launcher: new, 1cp use at the start of charge phase, one assault launcher within 9" of the enemy. Enemy chooses to brace (take 1d3 MW) or cover, can't OW or set defence and -1 attack characteristics.
Melta bomb: 1cp, make one attack, if hit, 2d3 MW.
Grav pulse: 1cp, repulsor field keyword needed, use in mov phase to fallback and shoot or in charge phase to remove 2 from charge range. (note that repulsor lost the basic -2 charge range)
Hellfire SHell: same but if a monster is a target it deals 3 MW instead of 1d3
Flakk Missile: Buffed, dmg is 2d3 now
Smokescreen: replace smoke launcher rule, if you have the keywords you can spend 1 cp for -1 hit for all the phase


Indomitus armour: buffed +1 wounds and lost inf or bike restriction
shield eternal: Like the new storm shield (4+ inv, +1 to SV) and 5+ FNP
Standard of the emperor Ascendant: Ancient only, NERFed (hard), lost the -1 ld debuff and auto pass became reroll ld test. (ouch)
Teeth of Terra: no change
Primarch Wrath: buffed ap-2 now
Burning Blade: No change
Purgatorus: buffed, range 18" now and pistol 3
Reliquary of Hathalamor: no change
Bellicosa Bolt rifle: No change
Lament: no change
Ghostweave Cloak: buffed, minus 1 to hit bearer and can move through other units.
Tome of Malcador: no change
Benediction of Fury: no change
Honour vehement: no change
Vox Espiritum: Works on litany now (i guess)

Psychic Discipline :

Librarius :

Fury of the Ancients: minus 1 to cast, +6" range
Might of heroes: No change
Null zone: No change
Veil of time: No change
sychic Scourge:P No Change
Psychic Fortress: Changed, self aura, CV 6, within 6" units gain a 5+ invulnerable save. Holy shit!

Obscuration Dis:

Hallucination: Buffed, spell debuff is now -1 ld and -1 to hit. (neat)
Shrouding: Small buff, even during overwatch it must be the closest eligible target.
Soul sight: No change
Mind raid: No change
Tenebrous Curse: Nerfed, harder to cast (+1) and the reduce charge debuff is only -2 now.
Temporal Corridor: nerfed hard, easier to cast -2, range 6" now (was 3"), the unit can move or advance but the unit can't fight or shoot .....(woaaa)

Litanies of Battle :

Litany of Hate: Affect only core and character
Litany of Faith: Affect only core and character
Catechisme of fire: Affect only core and character
Exhortation of Rage: Affect only core and character and bonus became +1 to wounds.
Mantra of Strength: No change
Recitation of focus: Affect only core and character
Canticle of Hate: Affect only core and character

So tanks are excluded from litany, but dreads are still core!
Sadly Centurions are not Core as well, nor Characters...

SECONDARY Objectives : /

9th space marines codex changes review
9th space marines codex changes review
9th space marines codex changes review

Units ,Weapons & Points modification

Points change are based on the one inside the APP vs the one inside the codex. There is a new point layout in the book. I love it personally!
Weapons points are different on each Datasheet. A lot of equipment got a discount for example : Thunder Hammer are ranging from 20 to 12 now.

9th space marines codex changes review

Don't forget that some weapons were buffed :

boltstorm Gauntlet is now pistol 3 instead of assault 6.
Multi Melta is heavy2
Heavy Bolter is DMG2
Chainsword is ap -1
power sword are S+1 (master crafted and not)
Relic blade is S3
Th is Ap-2 now
PF is dmg 2
Lightning Claw is +1 attack for each claw

Captain: +5 at 85 but Chainsword free.
Captain in Gravis Armor: +10 but free sword now.
Captain in Phobos Armor: +2points but cloaks included.

Ok, you can see a trend. Now I will only note models with actual change.

Characters :

Captain in Terminator Armor: -25 pts for the TH
Captain on bike: -10 points because of Chainsword is free, Thunder Hammer -20pts
Captain with Heavy bolt rifle: 105
lieutenant: -5 pts because of free Chainsword, thunder armour -20, LC -5 for double
lieutenant in reiver armour: 75pts (cheaper but kept weak knives)
Primaris Captain: around the same price as ranged weapons are included.
Primaris Chaplain on bike: 115 pts no options. 7 wounds !!!!
Primaris Techmarines : 80pts
Techmarines: 70pts but stuff included

Troops Change


Assault Intercessor: Same price but sergeant options are listed!
Plasma pistol, hand flamer, power fist, power sword, thunder Hammer

Heavy intercessor: 28pts +10 for Heavy bolter

Infiltrator : +2pts
Intercessor : Thunder Hammer +5
Tactical squad : +3pts (but +1w)

Elites Change :

Ancient in terminator armour: Same price because of free power fist.
Apothecary: +20pts datasheet changed a lot (healing power)
9th space marines codex changes review

Bladeguard Veteran: Plasma & Volkite options added!
Centurion assault squad: No change but they don't have Core keywords
Company Champion : +2pts
Company Veteran: +3 pts (but get the second wounds) -3 points on the TH at 12pts a piece!

All dreadnought gets a new power: Duty eternal, -1damage from weapons minimum 1. They are also CORE!

Contemptor : -5pts
Normal dread: +7 pts
Invictor -10 pts but not core
Ironclad: at 135 now with equipment, options only cost +5 (should be the same)
Primaris Apoticarus: +20pts (new healing power)
Redemptor at 175 equipped, an option with Icarus or Gatling at +5pts each.
Reiver: no change but terror troops is minus 2 now.
Relic Terminator Squad: -5pts, it's the new Cataphract entries, they got the +1wound but lost the 4+inv (+5)....still at 34pts they are ok
Scout: Elite, 1 wound 14 points...bye-bye
Agressor Lost second shot if not moving
Sternguard: +3pts and the extra wound (very neat !!!)
Terminator assault squad: got the extra wounds, the price stays the same at 33 but that's for Th+shield. Teleport homer changed to goes into strategic reserve.
Terminator Squad: +2 points, +1wound,
Vanguard veteran: same price but lose Jp, +2 pts per JP, get a second wound, Heavy Thunder Hammer deal flat 4! sarge get relic blade.
Venerable dreadnought: +7 points
Veteran Intercessor: They are a unit now, 22pts per model, one extra attack.

Fast Attack

Assault squad : BA lost melta gun (unless faq), 18pts +2jp, +1 wound
Attack bike: Price didn't change, still 4wounds but both Heavy bolter (now dmg2) and Multi Melta (2 shots) got buffed.
Bike : +1 wounds, +5pts.
Invader : 80pts +5for MM , NOT CORE !
Land Speeder: not point change but they removed assault cannon and flamer option from the basic speeder.
Land speeder Tornadoes: 75pts (assault cannon and Heavy bolter included) +5pts for extra assault cannon, +10 for Multi Melta.
LS typhoons: 110 pts equipped with the Typhoon launcher and HB, +10 if you want Multi Melta instead of HB.

StormSpeeder : (the new primaris flying model)
-Hailstrike: 150
9th space marines codex changes review

-Thunderstrike: 170
9th space marines codex changes review

-Hammerstrike: 175
9th space marines codex changes review


Note: All repulsor tank lost Fly keyword and the -2 charge rule (it's now a Stratagem)

Centurion devastator squad: Not core.
Devastator : 3+ pts +1 wound
Eliminator : +2 pts, +1BS (Eliminator are now 2+).
Eradicator squad : Heavy melta rifle +5 and multi melta +10 options

Firestrike Servo Turrets : 90 pts options for 40pts for las talon.
9th space marines codex changes review

Gladiator :
-Lancer : 200pts
9th space marines codex changes review

-Reaper : 230pts
9th space marines codex changes review

-Valiant : 250pts
9th space marines codex changes review

Hellblaster: No point change, new weapons stat :
9th space marines codex changes review

Land raider: 285 Equipment Included.
Land raider crusader: 285 Equipment Included.
Land Raider Redeemer: 285 Equipment Included.

Predator : twin lascanon +10pts

Repulsor: 315 pts equipment included
Repulsor Exec: 355 pts. Aquilon Optics nerfed, it's now a +1 to hit and not a second shot.

Thunderfire Canon : -10 pts , gun nerfed -1s, lost 1ap (ouch), Also not core
Vindicator: Same cost, Siege shield option added, +1 armour roll.

Whirlwind -5pts


Drop pod : +2pts
Impulsor : +4pts, Shield is 5+ now/
Rhino: +2 pts


No change but basic config are now with the cheapest options.

Hammerfall Bunker 175pts


Inside the book you have a code you can add to the app and get the book in the app.
I added the book in the app but they are not showing yet.
ps : While writing this review the app crasher 30+ times on my phoneS


Yea that's a big book for sure but I think it's a good one. The layout is really nice, it cover all the Space Marines for the 9th, it should make room for some Xenos love.
That said, I think it's too much, there are too many references in the Codex. They should split or squat the old Marines (maybe not everything but the basic stuff should go...).
The numbers of limitation on transport rules are dumb and make no sense. Now that we have Heavy Intercessor they could have made a real intercessor kit with the heavy & special weapons and let them go in rhino. Same for drop pod, land raider, Jump Pack for Mk10 marines. I guess it's a money thing, space marines represent such a large part of the sell that it's very hard to touch them and you end up in this Bloat situation...
At first (a few years back) i was hyped by the primaries I would have preferred them to just be a model upgrade in the fluff and added a few units here and there. Right now it really feels that there is 2 army in the book...

That's it for me !

If you want pre order the new 40k stuff check Element games


Specific Questions ? ask in comment.