Space Marine Scouts in 40k
A squad of Scouts is a great addition to any force, providing backfield objective holding capability. They are very durable in cover thanks to the Camo Cloaks upgrade and can be tough to shift with Defenders of Humanity.
They also provide an effective barrier to any deep striking units, delaying their arrival into the game by a turn or two.
The neophyte marines of the Scout Squad wear lighter carapace armour than that of their older brother marines. This allows them to move more quickly and be more flexible when it comes to advancing towards their targets. Scouts also wear camo cloaks which can be useful for hiding their movement in dense terrain such as a swamp.
Scouts can carry bolt pistols, frag and krak grenades and a combat knife. Those that are used for long range support may be fitted with sniper rifles or missile launchers.[1e] Those that serve as screening units can be equipped with a pair of grapnels or even grav chutes for stealthy insertion into the enemy deployment zone.
One of the best uses for a unit of scouts is to deploy them just out of charge range of a static gunline army in the first turn. This can prevent them from assaulting your more expensive units and can also force the enemy to target them for fear of having their cheaper troops taken out by heavy firepower in the following turns.
The most important part of a scout is their weaponry. They come equipped with bolt pistols and can be upgraded to sniper rifles. This gives them reasonable ranged firepower and allows the player to build a scout unit that can survive most infantry based assaults.
If the player wants to give their scouts more durability they can arm them with camo cloaks, this increases their save by 1 and also gives them -1 to hit when enemy models shoot at them from behind cover. This can be an invaluable protection for the unit, especially when they are using their Chapter Tactics to re-roll charge distances and are trying to get forward.
Scouts can also use their Chapter Tactics to gain some more offensive buffs; Ultramarines re-roll all 1’s on their bolter weapons and Imperial Fists allow the sergeant to equip them with a melee weapon which couples best with a combat knife. In addition White Scars scouts have Hit and Run and can re-roll advance moves.
While the default load out for Scouts is a sniper rifle based unit with Camo Cloaks that is capable of doing some decent damage in close combat, this is not the only way to play them. They can also be kitted out with bolt pistols and combat knives for some light generalist firepower or even with a power weapon for some more direct and brutal assaults.
This coupled with the Chapter Tactics for the Raven Guard (And They Shall Know No Fear) which boosts their Leadership value to stop morale from becoming too much of an issue is a good combo for a cheap and versatile scoring unit.
Another option is to deploy them in the deployment zone and use Concealed Positions to make sure they are out of Rapid Fire range before your opponent can bring in his deep strike units – this will mean that their expensive screening units are the ones that have to take up the defensive role for him and that may shut down his firepower for an entire turn!
The Scout Squad has gone from being a decent unit to an almost essential component of many competitive Space Marine armies. It is a great way to fill out the Troops requirement for some detachments and it has a number of special rules that make it an amazing backfield unit with insane potential for board control. Being untargetable outside of 12″ gives you incredible backfield protection from enemy units and the Camo Cloaks give them a nice durability boost when defending objectives or shooting enemy models.
They can also be equipped with a range of weaponry to suit your needs. A mix of sniper rifles for light generalist firepower and camo cloaks to confound prying eyes makes for a cheap, pretty durable scoring unit. If you’re looking to grab objectives, then a load out of scouts with melee weapons is the way to go.