The rule of cool is the motto of many die hard 40k fans, and something I admire greatly. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could rule WITH cool? Let’s look at ways we can maximize the value we get out of a unit, by evaluating how to get the most VP out of them.
It has been great to see all the discussion generated from my last article, Earning More Than “Your Points Back”. As many of you have said there are a lot of different factors that play into a units effectiveness on the battlefield, so I wanted to highlight some things I consider when trying to squeeze as much efficiency out of a unit as possible.
This article is not the be all end all of ways to use a unit, but rather a snapshot of making sure you are looking at a unit from all angles. It is my hope that in following me through this exercise, you can start to do the same for other hidden gems and units you just love to see on the table. So let’s take a look at one of the coolest units of all time the Primaris Reiver.
Reivers have the standard primaris stat line, and can either be armed with and assault 2 bolter or combat knives. They also have heavy bolt pistols that come with some AP and have a few other interesting wargear options. Shock grenades inflict hit penalties and remove the overwatch capability of infantry and for a small point investment, grav-chutes let them deepstrike, while grapnel launchers give them an outflank maneuver and the ability to ignore terrain. Finally they are terror troops, which can stack up to a -3 LD penalty to enemy units.
There’s no one thing about Reivers that stands out as amazing, and maybe this is why I find them so fascinating to use. We must remember that everything boils down to how a unit can gain or deny VP.
Offensively Reivers are pretty limited. While they can absolutely mulch light infantry, their offensive punch falls flat against anything with 4+ armor or better. Doctrines help them immensely in this area, but until my Space Wolves get access to the extra AP they will continue to have slap fights with other marines.
While they may lack a versatile killing potential they are very useful for seizing ground, letting other characters and elite units do the heavy lifting. At 18 points per model with either a grav-chute or grapnel launcher, they are the cheapest and fastest way to get primaris units into advanced position. Your thunderhammer wielding juggernaut HQ choice has much more room to breathe when you can bring in more primaris bodies to screen. They are also exceptionally good at killing screens to free up your elites to hit the juicer targets.
This is where Reivers truly shine, and is ultimately where most hidden gem units go overlooked.
Reivers are amazing backfield objective bullies. Having a squad or two of Reivers prevents your opponents from being able to place lone troops onto objectives in the backfield unsupported. This is huge! Stealing backfield objectives not only denies your opponent points, but can also swing hold more into your favor as well. Reivers are worth their price tag alone if they can accomplish this mission for you! Even forcing your opponent to commit more to a point than they otherwise would want to can be worth it.
Reiver’s are also great at bullying engineers. At worse they can tie them in combat, forcing them to fight or forcing them off the objective, either way they will deny the point. When it comes to combat, people prefer to buy 5.56 ammo online as it is easier to avail these days.
A squad of five Reivers is cheap enough and durable enough with its primaries stat line, to get into your enemies lines and cause problems. Your opponent will have to devout more than small arms to deal with them, especially if they can dig themselves into cover. If not they can tie up heavy weapon squads, tanks, disrupt movement, etc.
Reivers also have the phobos keyword so they can have some fun interractions with some of the Vanguard Psychic powers. Shrouding is incredibly powerful, peventing your opponent from shooting at them unless they are the closest unit. This can be amazing for holding side objectives while your main army spearheads the opponent, or if your army regularly has Impulsors running around in the enemy lines. Temporal Corridor is also a nice way to get them where to be as they can advance and still fire with carbines, and grapnel launchers can let them move freely through terrain.
And while the LD debuff is very niche in the morale phase, its use is growing in other abilities and psychic powers. Hallucination can throw -1 to hit on enemy units, with the Reiver leadership debuff making it much more likely. Five of the new Inquisitor psychic powers have abilities that trigger based off the opponents leadership value.
Shock grenades are also an amazing tool to have. Preventing infantry from overwatching can be incredibly powerful vs the ever rampant centurions or big units of cultists near Abandon. People also forget that it incurs a -1 to hit penalty in combat so is also great for throwing on an enemy smash captain to blunt the fight on death or interrupt. Hit a unit of aggressors with shock grenades, tempest wrath (-1 to hit), and hallucination (-1 to hit), and suddenly those aggressors can hit your smash captain with their fists.
Deepstrike is a very powerful option, and something I think you will see moving more going forward. With the meta becoming so lethal, being able to keep units alive until the midgame will help maintain board control. This becomes even more of an enticing option as tools to reliably charge from deepstrike become more available. I am waiting for someone to pick up on White Scar or Blood Angel Reivers. Imagine 30 white scar Reivers, 2×10 carbine squads that get combat squaded and come down turn 2 under tactical doctrine, blasting away screens and hitting from odd side angles. Then moving up to shock grenade and assault with a large 10 man unit with combat knives. With a Chaplain nearby they will have a 7” charge on 3D6 taking the highest and can also be given reroll wounds in close combat. That’s 41 S4 AP-1 D2 attacks, that is very hard for anything to survive and is even harder to stop from happening. Not only is it crippling when the attacks come in, but it cripples your opponents maneuverability turns 1 and 2 as well.
Now It’s Your Turn
What hidden gem units do you use? How do you get the most VP or deny the most VP with them? What is the best unit out there that no one is using? We at GDFC want to hear from you! Leave us a reply below, follow us on our social accounts, or join in on the conversation on Discord.
is a founding member of Grim Dark Filthy Casuals, Content Director, Editor, Author, Coach and Chief Dad Joke Officer