BREAKING NEWS: New Space Marine Reivers Revealed!

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I was on the fence about Primaris Space Marines. I felt the Intercessors looked good, but somewhat dull. I thought the Inceptors looked like flying nuns with wimples flying out the back.

Reivers... I think I could happily build an army around these guys. Or maybe even an entire army out of them

I'm actually going to hold fire on a full rules analysis. Judging from the new equipment reveals, I think these are going to be one of the best units in the Space Marine arsenal. I want to give them a proper going over... with maths!

What we have revealed today:

Grav Chutes
Having pinched an idea from the Grey Knights, the above Reiver has added some bits to his power pack which allow him to fly... ish. We don't know what these do beyond giving new deployment options, but it's hardly a stretch to assume this is some kind of deep strike wargear.

Grappling Hooks Hard to say what these will do, but they'll either allow the Reivers to ignore terrain, or they'll do the cool Khar…

Warhammer 40K, Mathhammer: Who're the best Assault Marines?

Blood Angels. Next question.


Ha, no. In fact Blood Angels are not the great assault army they're fluffed out to be. They're certainly a little more assault than most, and the Death Company leave a mark wherever they go. However, with the removal of Assault Marines as troops, the majority of the army is red coloured Space Marine.


But don't take my word for it. let's do some maths to find out who the best Assault Marines are!


The Experiment

We need to clarify what is actually meant by 'the best Assault Marines'. For the purpose of this little study, we're going to take Assault Marine as meaning jump pack equipped Marine with 2 close combat weapons. We're going to exclude the special units out there, such as Vanguard Vets and Death Company, as we're only going to be looking at the actual Assault Squad, as laid down by the Codex Astartes and adjusted on a chapter to chapter basis.
We're also going to have to set some conditions in which to run this study, so that we can give each Chapter Tactic a fair comparison. For this study we'll be invesitagating how each Chapter does in Assault, and essentially just comparing how well they act on the charge. It's a simple fact that, Skyclaws aside, after the charge all Assault Marines are equal in terms of wound output, and so the only place where the are different is in the first round of combat.
So, here are my controlled variables:
  • Each unit has moved 12-inches in the movement phase.
  • Charges are assumed to have passed.
  • No losses due to over watch.
  • No HQ units or Special characters.
  • Only Inquisitor load-out: Bolt pistol and Chainsword
  • Units of 5 men
  • Fighting WS 4
Before we lump them all together as 'standard' marines there are a few honourable mentions, whose chapter Tactics would make them good but for different reasons other than assault.

The Differently Good


Salamander assault squads with dual flamers, re-rolling wounds, can cause a great deal of devastation. The sergeant can also equip a free master-crafted krak grenade for more work against tougher targets. In a similar vein, Imperial Fist squads have a slightly better round of shooting before the assault.


White Scars and Iron Hands also do well but in special ways. The Iron Hands are tougher, thanks to their 6+ Feel No Pain. The White Scars have a chance to Hit and Run out of combat for another, point blank charge.


The above are all interesting tactics, even though they don't support the primary role of the Assault squad: bashing heads in with chainswords. The only other Chapter Tactic to mention would be the Black Templars. Under the conditions of the experiment, they would not receive the RAGE special rule, as they would not take the needed casualty to gain it. In fairness, losing a Marine would only make their charge marginally better than the standard marine squad. This advantage ramps up dramatically if you have a 10 man squad losing one guy, so make sure you field full squads when using the angry sons of Dorn!

The Best of the Best


So now we have 5 possible units in Power Armour: The Blood Angels, the Ravenguard, Skyclaws, Standard assault marines (Nearly every other chapter), and Ultramarines under the Assault Doctrine.


The Blood Angels get their Furious Charge and Red Thirst, meaning that they will be striking first and at a higher strength. They will always have the edge against Monstrous creatures, and are one of the few Marines able to punch a Wraithknight to Death. They also have an easier time against armour.


The Ravenguard are able to use their jump packs in movement and assault, meaning they always get their Hammer of Wraths. Not only that, but they will re-roll their Wound rolls on these... and remember HoW auto-hits!


The Space Wolf Skyclaws, whilst losing out on WS, get an extra attack over the other Marines. Due to the way the Weapon Skill table works, this is not really a disadvantage until they enemy starts hitting back.


The Ultramarines get their re-roll thanks to the Assault Doctrine for one turn. Whilst it is only one turn, unless you're White Scars you're unlikely to get more than one charge off per game, so it's not as much of a disadvantage as you might think. I'll be adding the far more often used Tactical Doctrine, so we can see their 'normal' operating behaviour.


So with all that out of the way, here's the results:


Unit Price Average charge range Strength on charge ModelCount Hits
Blood Angels 85 7 5 5 7.5
Ravenguard 85 8.5 4 5 7.5
Skyclaws 75 7 4 5 10
Normal 85 7 4 5 7.5
Assault Doctrine 85 7 4 5 11.25
Tac Doctrine 85 7 4 5 8.75


And those hits against various Toughness's.


Hammer of Wrath wounds Normal wounds
Unit 3 4 5 6 7 8 3 4 5 6 7 8
Blood Angels 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.25 5 3.75 2.5 1.25 1.25
Ravenguard 4.444444 3.75 2.777778 1.527778 1.527778 0 5 3.75 2.5 1.25 1.25 0
Skyclaws 0 0 0 0 0 0 6.666667 5 3.333333 1.666667 1.666667 0
Normal 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 3.75 2.5 1.25 1.25 0
Assault Doctrine 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.5 5.625 3.75 1.875 1.875 0
Tac Doctrine 0 0 0 0 0 0 5.833333 4.375 2.916667 1.458333 1.458333 0


And here's the total wounds with averages:


Total
Unit 3 4 5 6 7 8 Average Points/wound
Blood Angels 6.25 5 3.75 2.5 1.25 1.25 3.333333 25.5
Ravenguard 9.444444 7.5 5.277778 2.777778 2.777778 0 4.62963 18.36
Skyclaws 6.666667 5 3.333333 1.666667 1.666667 0 3.055556 24.54545
Normal 5 3.75 2.5 1.25 1.25 0 2.291667 37.09091
Assault Doctrine 7.5 5.625 3.75 1.875 1.875 0 3.4375 24.72727
Tac Doctrine 5.833333 4.375 2.916667 1.458333 1.458333 0 2.673611 31.79221


So... rather embarrassingly for the Bangles, they're not the top dog Assault Marines! In fact they're not even in second place, losing out to both the Ravenguard and the Ultramarines on Assault Doctrine! Sanguinius weeps for his legion, no doubt.


The Skyclaws, despite being mere neophytes in power armour, have shown their mettle. Their rage allows them to out-perform the more experienced battle-brothers of other chapters, and they're not far off the vaunted skill of the Blood Angels. They even edge them out in terms of points/wound, making them slightly more efficient (where Toughness is concerned).


However, the runaway winners of this experiment are the Ravenguard. Those Hammer of Wraths make a great deal of difference to their wound out-put and the fact they can still use their 12-inch movement means they have a much broader threat range. Not only that, but they can re-reroll a charge die for that extra distance.


On a strategic level, they're also more likely to survive the first turn than the Blood Angels, having Shrouded on Turn 1 giving them a much needed cover boost against typical anti-marine weapons.

The final insult, the salt rubbed into the wounds of the Blood Angels is this: Ravenguard have access to Objective Secured Assault Marines via the Demi-Company. The Blood Angels can never get this.


This is, of course, all just maths in specific situations. Blood Angels are still better against Toughness 8, and if they get their Hammers of Wrath, then they are equal to the Ravenguard. We also did not consider the wounding potential of Salamander flamers or the defensiveness of the Iron Hands.


But hopefully now you can get inspired by the Ravenguard, a criminally under-used chapter. Whilst their Chapter tactic may sound weak compared to others, you can see how devastating it can be compared to other chapters. Apply this to their Vanguard Veteran formations and you have a very strong combat army.


Or... take the Skyhammer Annihilation Force and get half their chapter tactic with Hit and Run, Feel no Pain, Assault Doctrine, or re-roll wound flamers, and assault from Deep Strike.


Poor Ravenguard.







Thanks for reading.

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