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Assembling Your First Space Marine Combat Patrol

Last week we took a look a the purchases needed to start your very first Necron Combat Patrol. Well, since most of the purchases for that were starter sets, they also incl;ude everything you’ll need for a Space Marine Combat Patrol as well. Let’s go through the contents and see what we have.

Space Marine Combat Patrol – First Boxes

The Recruit and Elite editions provide us with a pair of good commanders, a fast moving objective taker, and a solid close assault backbone.

Primaris Captain with heavy bolt pistol, master-crafter power sword, relic shield, frag and krak grenades – 5 Power.
Primaris Lieutenant with neo-volkite pistol, master-crafted power sword, storm shield, frag and krak grenades – 5 Power.
10 Assault Intercessors with heavy bolt pistol, Astartes chainsword, frag and krak grenades. The squad’s Sergeant has a plasma pistol instead of the heavy bolt pistol – 10 Power or two 5 man units with 5 Power each.
3 Outriders with heavy bolt pistol, twin bolt rifle, Astartes chainsword, frag and krak grenades – 6 Power.

Unfortunately, the problem we have here is that all the models you’ve acquired have a total Power of 26, one more than the limit for your Combat Patrol. And the troublemaker is that Primaris Lieutenant, the neo-volkite pistol and storm shield boosted his power from 4 to 5.

Space Marines Gearing Up

For casual play with friends, it is easy enough to pretend he isn’t carrying that combination of gear. Replace the neo-volkite pistol, , and storm shield with a bolt pistol. He retains the master-crafted power sword. The new power is 4 for a total of 25.

However, when you take your Space Marine Combat Patrol out on the road, strangers may not be as forgiving. You’ll may decide to procure a legal Primaris Lieutenant model from your local store or second hand. Second hand models are rather common taken from the 8th edition starter and Start Collecting! sets. If you liked playing with the pistol and sword lieutenant, you can look for that. However, grabbing one armed with the bolt pistol and master-crafted auto bolt rifle gives your lieutenant a bit of ranged punch. Also, as an Assault 3 weapon, you’re able to use it easily on the move.

I would hesitate to swap any of the existing units out for different ones. The Captain’s Rites of Battle and Lieutenant’s Tactical Precision synergize well providing rerolls of 1’s to hit and to wound respectively. The Assault Intercessors form a solid block of troops. Since your commanders are armed for melee, they’ll want to stick with the Intercessors. This leaves you dropping your Outriders.

Letting go of the Outriders drops your force back down to Power 20. However, your losing the one mobile unit in your force so think carefully. If you decide to go this route, then a cheap option would be to get a second hand 5-man Tactical Squad with a heavy weapon to hold a backfield objective. Alternately, an Intercessor Squad with bolt rifles or stalker bolt rifles would do the same job, just at a higher dollar cost.

Battlefield Tactics

On the field, your force is a blunt instrument. The Assault Intercessors, Captain, and Lieutenant form a mailed fist striking upfield. Plan to successively assault enemy held objectives to deny your opponent victory points and eliminate his units.

The Outriders are a fast and powerful melee unit in their own right and also benefit from the commander’s abilities. Due to their Devastating Charge ability, they always want to be launching charges, not getting bogged down in melee. Don’t waste their mobility by moving alongside your main force. Use speed and terrain to flank the foe, either smashing a small unit or capturing an isolated objective. However, always be ready to rush back to your main body once their engaged or bog down a more powerful enemy unit so the Assault Intercessors can deal with it next turn.


Picking up the Indomitus box set while the reprint is available is a great investment for your Space Marines. Plus it contains units not yet released by Games Workshop. Let’s see how big it gets.

Indomitus – 52 Power
Primaris Captain – 5 Power
Primaris Lieutenant – 5 Power
Primaris Chaplain – 5 Power
Judicartor – 5 Power
3 Bladeguard Veterans – 5 Power
Blade Guard Ancient – 5 Power
3 Eradicators – 6 Power
10 Assault Intercessors – 10 Power
3 Outriders – 6 Power

Not only does 52 Power allow you to play Incursion level games, but the large number of 5 Power units allows you great ability to tailor your force against specific enemies in a Space Marine Combat Patrol.

I hope you find this article helpful. Leave any insights in the comments.

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