Who’d you rather – Marines Gunline

There’s not a lot I like more on the battlefield than a good old fashion power armored gunline.  If you are like me, rejoice, as the Astartes gunline is quite strong right now!  The real question is which is better, the boys in green or the boys in blue?

Who’d you rather is a series of article comparing a few options in a similar style.  Is one clearly better, is one only better at certain things, or do both maybe just plain suck?  Hopefully never option 3.

This week, we’ll look at the 2 most popular Space Marines gunlines, the Ultramarines and the Dark Angels.

Here  are both lists, roughly 2000 points in each and quite similar.



  • Techmarine/Captain
  • 2x Sniper Scouts
  • 3x Devastators with Rockets
  • 5x Razorbacks with Assault Canons


  • Comissar Lord
  • Bunch of AM Conscripts

Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachement

  • Robert Guiliman

Dark Angels


  • Azrael
  • St-Celestine ( or whatever 2nd HQ, Celestine seems solid )
  • 3x Sniper Scouts
  • 3x Missile Devastators
  • 6x Razorbacks
  • Darkshroud
  • Culexus Assassin

Overall Idea:

These lists are both roughly the same thing:  Get a couple of heavy hitters in the shooting phase, Snipers and Razorbacks in this case, give them a bunch of re-rolls and prevent some return fire.

The trade:

Ultramarines offer more firepower, because Robert is a beast by himslef, and because he allows the gun line to re-roll to wound rolls.

Dark Angels offer resilience, in the form of a Darkshroud or 2, getting -1 to hit your precious firepower is nothing to sneeze at.

What’s behind door number 3:

A third alternative would be Raven Guards.  The pros is that the RG have the Dark Shroud’s ability as a chapter tactic from ennemies 12″ away.  This way, you don’t end up losing your ace in the hole to ennemy shooting.  They also benefit from the fancy codex stuff, like relics and stratagems.

The downside is that they are slightly harder to mix in with the non-space marines, as if you want a Culexus or Imperial Guards, they need to fill their own detachment, and you usually end up short on Command Points.

Here’s a template for a RG list:

RG Spearhead

  • Shrike
  • 2 Sniper Scouts
  • 4 Devastators with Missiles
  • 6 Razorbacks


  • St-Celestine
  • Comissar
  • Conscripts

Whatever option you chose, always remember the number one rule of playing a gunline:  make a lot of pew pew pew sounds.

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