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Kill Team Deep Dive : Space Marine Intercessors

Weapons - Strategic Ploys - Tactical Ploys - Equipment

Space Marines are the poster boys for Games Workshops Warhammer 40000's universe. They always have, and probably always will be, the army that will get the most attention from players and game developers.

So with Marines only able to really take one Squad in the new Kill Team 2021 which team is going to suit your style of play?

After trying out several teams in different missions here at rootstem we have a made a mini guide to what different play style these teams can give kill team players.

With space marines having so many choices we will be breaking this down into several parts so keep an eye out on rootstem.co.uk for more deep dives.

So here we go, with Space Marine Intercessors.


Standard Intercessors come with a choice of Auto bolt rifle, Bolt Rifle and Heavy bolt rifle while the Sergeant has a choice of different ranged and melee weapons. All the Bolt weapons here have the same damage values and attacks, so choice is mainly down to how you want to use them tactually. Here is a break down of the bolt weapons.

  • Auto Bolt Rifle : With the game not having ranges there isn't much choice between this and the standard Bolt Rifle. It has 4 shots needing 3's to hit and with the ceaseless special rule can re-rolls 1's. This allows a good percentage of hits, in fact the re-roll 1's shifts the chances of getting all 4 hits from 20% up to 35% and shifts the chances of getting 3 hits out of the 4 from 60% to 80%. If you were going against other Space marines and you got 3 hits you would have a 70% chance of doing at least 1 lot of damage (3wounds) if no crits are generated and the opponent is not in cover. In fact the chances of getting a crit is just over 55% with the 4 attacks with opposing marines having a 45% of saving it.

  • Bolt Rilfe : The standard armament for Primaris space marines the bolt rifle has the special ability of P1. This means that if you get a crit your opponent will be rolling 1 less defence dice. Having a 60% chance of getting 3 hits and 20% chance of getting 4 hits it does mean it has a lower hit success rate as, with a 50% chance of getting 1 crit. Going against apposing space marines if no crits were hit and you got 2 hits you would have a 25% chance of getting a hit through. However, if you got 3 hits, with 1 crit you have a 50% chance of getting two lots of wounding hits through. Doing at least 6 points of damage with 1 hit pretty much guaranteed to get through due to the AP.

  • Heavy Bolt Rifle : This weapon has pretty much the same percentages as the Bolt Rifle, but guarantees the AP1. Meaning that damage is not based on crits but general hits. 3 hits means that if even a opposing marine rolls all of its saves of 3+ damage will still go through due to the reduction in defence dice. A downside with this weapon is the heavy trait. This mean that they cannot move to be able to do a shoot action. Which with the game being an objective based game can severely limit that amount of shooting this weapon will put out.

As a personal preference the bolt rifle is a fav. The chance of making it like a heavy bolt rifle (about a 50% chance with 4 shots) and not having limited movement gives this load out greater flexibility and allows for better tactical choices.

Sergeant Choices

With an absence of points value you can pretty much take whatever loadout you want for your kill team leader. Melee wise you would never just have Fists. You need to take a power weapon at least, personal preference is a Power fist. The brutal special rule means if you can get a charge off you going to get quite a few guaranteed hits with your opponent not having much in the way of stopping them getting through. Also don't bother with a bolt pistol, its a bolt rifle with limited range.


Strategic Ploys

Most strategic ploys for Space Marines work with Intercessors, you will find yourself pretty much using Bolter Discipline continuously as with the extra action points you can seriously lay down some firepower. You may activate Shock Assault in later turns but if you can get some terrain advantages Bolter Discipline is pretty much a guaranteed selection.


Tactical Ploys


Intercessor models has got access to half of the current tactical ploys available for Space Marines. Transhuman and only in Death will be the ones you will action most. They shall know no fear is situational depending on which army you are going against, especially as it stops Stun which is not on that many weapons.



The choices for this Kill Team type feels very limited. The grenade launcher is a good one but limited to 1 per team. You may feel that Auspex is a good choice but its got a 3inch range, so you are looking at nearly being in combat with the opponent anyway, and Purity seal is pretty useless in my personal opinion.

Suspensor Systems are good to limit the heavy rule but at 3ep each you cant equip a whole team.

If I'm honest we ended up just giving all the marines Frag Grenades, especially against most troop types.

And that's it for this post. I will be looking into the other units and letting you guys know what I think of other units in this game.

Thanks for reading.

Check out our Kill Team Playlist on our YouTube channel here


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