Chapter Focus: The Imperial Fists, Crimson Fists and Black Templars

The Imperial Fists and their successors are renowned and feared across the Imperium, and while they may differ in tactics they are all stubborn, indomitable warriors, infused with bitter pride and martial prowess. The Imperial Fists are masters of the close-ranged firefight, making maximum use of bolt weaponry, while the Black Templars are zealous crusaders famed for their fighting spirit and expertise in melee combat. The Crimson Fists, too, are renowned warriors, having escaped destruction at the hands of the Orks through sheer tenacity and recently been given a new lease on life thanks to reinforcements from the Ultima Founding.

The Imperial Fists Chapter Tactic allows them to ignore cover with their shooting attacks; this is an incredibly powerful bonus that’ll be punishing for enemy tanks and infantry alike. There’s no hiding from the masters of siegecraft! This Chapter Tactic benefits infantry, bikers and Dreadnoughts, and you’ll be free to build your own Imperial Fists however you choose, whether you’re using massed Tactical Marines or taking advantage of your Devastators. Naturally, the Imperial Fists are a great Chapter if you want to focus on using bolt weapons – their unique Stratagem, Bolter Drill, allows for you to drown enemies in devastatingly accurate fusillades of bolter fire, while even their unique relic, The Spartean, is a bolt pistol. 

Finally, your Imperial Fists will be indomitable in defense thanks to their unique Warlord Trait:

Crimson Fists armies use the bolter-based and cover-ignoring tactics of their brethren, but have a few distinguishing features that make them worthy of a closer look. Firstly, Pedro Kantor is back, and is a superb force multiplier, offering his brethren additional attacks and rerolls to hit – Emperor protect anyone who tries to charge a gunline with him in it.

Perhaps one of the most exciting additions to the Crimson Fists is a literal Crimson Fist to equip your characters with. Combined with their Warlord Trait, which allows an outnumbered general to increase his number of attacks, this is going to be a fun and thematic addition to your army.

In stark contrast to their brethren, the Black Templars are an assault army first and foremost. Every unit with the Black Templars Chapter Tactics can re-roll failed charges; this is an enormous bonus, and one that will make the Black Templars one of the most powerful assault armies not just for the Space Marines but in the entire game. Deep-strikers like Assault Terminators and Inceptors, in particular, are going to be very dangerous in the Black Templars army. As well as the new units, Black Templars retain access to old favourites like the Crusader Squad and the Emperor’s Champion, and there are some great combinations to be unlocked by combining characters like High Marshal Helbrecht with new assault units like the Reivers.

While the Black Templars have no Psykers of their own, their unique Stratagem, Abhor the Witch, allows Black Templars units to negate psychic powers through sheer force of will – this doesn’t just apply to the shooting powers but to auras and support powers too. The Black Templars are a distinctive and powerful force, and one that’ll be able to make great use of the new codex.

The Imperial Fists and their Successors are the Chapters you’ll want to pick if you like facing your enemy head on, whether you’re cutting them down at range with hails of fire or charging to meet them in brutal melee. You’ll be able to bring powerful Chapter Tactics to your games very, very soon – Codex: Space Marines is available to pre-order tomorrow, alongside the Redemptor Dreadnought and some other new units we can’t wait to show you.

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