"We go where we wilt. We slay who we wilt. Let the Emperor judge the righteousness of our deeds."

— Sergeant D'Kestrel, 1st Company, Raven Guard
WS Assault vs Necrons

A White Scars Vanguard Veteran squad fighting against Tyranids

A Vanguard Veteran is a Veteran Space Marine of the elite 1st Company in Codex Astartes-compliant Chapters who specialises in close combat. Every member of the 1st Company is proficient in all manner of close assault weaponry. They carve apart their victims with humming Power Weapons, tear them asunder with mighty Power Fists, and gun them down with Bolt and Plasma Pistols.

These 1st Company combatants attack suddenly and without warning, drawing upon their centuries of battlefield experience to know precisely where to strike. War engines shudder to a halt, wracked with fiery explosions; elite warriors are overrun, outfought in blistering split-second duels. These elite warriors stands as a living exemplar of the ideals and purpose of the Chapter. Often referred to as a Captain's "Iron Fist," Vanguard Veterans are constantly in motion. Even as the last foe falls, the Vanguard Veterans are already charging towards their next victims, for their heroic duty is never done.

UM Vanguard Vet Sqd

An Ultramarines Vanguard Veteran Squad charges into the fray

A Vanguard Veteran Squad is formed from those Space Marines of the Chapter's 1st Company who have completely immersed themselves in the art of close-quarters combat. Most of them have served lengthy rotations in the Chapters' Assault Squads prior to their promotion, and their skills with Chainsword and Combat Knife have been honed and tested in the crucible of bloody melee on a thousand war-torn worlds.

It is said that, were a Vanguard Veteran armed only with his fists and his wits, he would still best dozens of foes, and when armed with the Bolt Pistol and Chainsword of his trade, the same Veteran could face ten times that number and emerge victorious. With the vaunted weaponry of the Chapter's Armoury at their disposal, Vanguard Veterans take to the fray armed and ready to reap like a bloody whirlwind through entire armies.

These weapons are each ancient and revered heirlooms. It is an enormous privilege for a Space Marine to wield such an instrument of destruction in battle. It is of little surprise, therefore, that a Vanguard Veteran fights all the harder with such weapons in hand, not merely to survive the deadly cut and thrust of combat, but to honour both his battle gear's Machine Spirits and the memories of every hero who wielded the same relics in past wars.

Whilst they can be deployed at the forefront of an assault, most Chapters employ their Vanguard Veterans as rapid-response forces, using Jump Packs or Rhinos to reposition and apply crucial pressure to an already over-taxed enemy defence, or to reinforce overmatched allies. Vanguard Veterans are famed for arriving at the time and place where their onslaught can make the most difference to a battle.

Vanguard Veterans use speed itself as a weapon, to strike at the foe wherever he least expects; this was the way of war for jump troops in the ancient days of the Space Marine Legions, and it still serves well today. Such duty is arduous and never-ending, and Vanguard Veteran Squads are often referred to as a Captain's "iron fist." They are constantly in motion: as soon as one foe is annihilated, fresh orders dispatch the Vanguard Veterans to another corner of the battlefield, there to apply their murderous skill in the Emperor's name.


BA 1st Co. Veteran

A Blood Angels Chapter Vanguard Veteran in Terminator Armour

Of all the fighting formations that make up a Codex-compliant Space Marine Chapter, it is the 1st Company which is most feared. For an Astartes to join the 1st Company is for him to have won renown on battlefields uncounted and to have earned the respect of his Battle-Brothers through deeds of blood and honour. Most such Veterans have served as Sergeants elsewhere in the Chapter-- sometimes for centuries -- before being accepted into the 1st Company, but a notable few are elevated after performing insane acts of heroism.

Every member of the 1st Company is proficient in all manner of Astartes weaponry and stands as a living exemplar of the ideals and purpose of the Chapter. With such status comes the right to select weapons of choice from the Chapter's Armoury and, as a result, Veteran Squads are much less rigid in composition and doctrine than other Space Marine formations. They are often equipped and ordered to undertake highly specialised missions that can prove to be force multipliers, such as slaying an Ork Warboss and his bodyguard of Nobs or preventing a wave of Aeldari Aspect Warriors from joining the main body of an enemy Aeldari force.

Vanguard Squads are formed from those members of the 1st Company that completely immerse themselves in the art of close-quarter combat. Most have completed lengthy service rotations in their Chapter's Assault Squad, their skills tested and honed in the crucible of bloody melee on a hundred worlds.

Power Swords, Plasma Pistols and Power Fists are all common sights in Vanguard Veteran Squads, and Thunder Hammers, Lightning Claws and rarer weaponry are also employed as the engagement requires. These weapons are not employed lightly, for they are without exception all ancient and revered artefacts of the Chapter.

A Vanguard Veteran who returns from the field of battle without his armament is subject to the Chapter's gruelling rites of penance. Whilst they can be deployed at the forefront of an assault, most Chapters employ their Vanguard Veterans as rapid-response forces, using Jump Pack or Rhino transport to apply crucial pressure to an already over-taxed enemy defence, or to reinforce overmatched allies. Often referred to as a Space Marine Captain's "Iron Fist," Vanguard Veterans are constantly in motion.

Unit Composition

Dedicated Transport

If they do not select Jump Packs, the unit may select one of the following for a dedicated troop transport:


BA Assault

Blood Angels Vanguard Veteran with Jump Pack, Plasma Pistol and Chainsword

Optional Vanguard Veteran Wargear

May replace Bolt Pistol and/or Chainsword with one of the following:

Optional Wargear, Veteran Sergeant Only


  • Codex: Space Marines (7th Edition), pp. 99-100, 319-321
  • Codex: Space Marines (6th Edition), pp. 86-87, 170
  • Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition), pp. 62-63, 139

Space Marine Forces
Chapter Command Chapter MasterMaster of the KeepMaster of SanctityChief LibrarianMaster of the ApothecarionMaster of the ForgeMaster of the WatchMaster of the FleetMaster of the ArsenalMaster of the MarchesMaster of the RitesMaster of RelicsChief VictuallerLord ExecutionerMaster of RecruitsMaster of ReconnaissanceMaster of the SignalChapter AncientPrimaris AncientChapter ChampionHonour Guard
Company Command Command SquadReclusiam Command SquadCaptainPrimaris CaptainLieutenantPrimaris LieutenantCompany AncientCompany Champion
Specialists Librarian (EpistolaryCodicierLexicaniumPrimaris LibrarianVanguard Librarian) • Chaplain (ReclusiarchPrimaris Chaplain) • Apothecary (Primaris ApothecaryHelix Adept) • Techmarine
Veteran Squads Veteran Marines (Sternguard VeteranVanguard Veteran) • Terminator SquadTerminator Assault Squad
Battleline Squads Tactical SquadIntercessor SquadInfiltrator Squad
Close Support Squads Assault SquadInceptor SquadReiver SquadIncursor SquadSuppressor SquadBike SquadCenturion Assault Squad
Fire Support Squads Aggressor SquadDevastator SquadHellblaster SquadEliminator SquadCenturion Devastator Squad
Neophyte Squads Scout SquadScout Bike Squad
Light Vehicles Assault BikeAttack BikeScout BikeLand Speeder (Land Speeder StormLand Speeder TempestLand Speeder TornadoLand Speeder TyphoonLand Speeder VengeanceLand Speeder ProteusDarkshroud)
Combat Walkers Dreadnought (Castraferrum DreadnoughtSiege DreadnoughtHellfire DreadnoughtIronclad DreadnoughtVenerable DreadnoughtMortis DreadnoughtChaplain DreadnoughtLibrarian DreadnoughtFurioso DreadnoughtDeath Company DreadnoughtRedemptor DreadnoughtWulfen DreadnoughtDoomglaive Dreadnought) • Nemesis DreadknightInvictor Tactical Warsuit
Armoured Personnel Carriers RhinoRazorbackDamocles Command RhinoRhino PrimarisRhino AdvancerImpulsor
Main Battle Tanks Predator Destructor (Predator AnnihilatorBaal Predator) • Land Raider (Land Raider PhobosLand Raider CrusaderLand Raider RedeemerLand Raider AchillesLand Raider PrometheusLand Raider Terminus UltraLand Raider AresLand Raider ExcelsiorLand Raider Wrath of MjalnarLand Raider Angel InfernusLand Raider Solemnus AggressorLand Raider Anvilarum) • Deimos Vindicator Laser DestroyerRepulsorRepulsor ExecutionerAstraeus
Artillery WhirlwindVindicatorStalkerHunterWhirlwind HyperiosLand Raider HeliosThunderfire Cannon
Aircraft StormtalonThunderhawkThunderhawk TransporterShadowhawkStormravenStorm EagleFire RaptorStormhawk InterceptorCaestus Assault RamDark TalonNephilim JetfighterStormfangStormwolfCorvus BlackstarOverlordDrop Pod
Rare or Retired Vehicles Contemptor Pattern DreadnoughtDeredeo Pattern DreadnoughtCerberus Heavy Tank DestroyerLeviathan DreadnoughtJavelin Attack SpeederJetbikeDeimos PredatorDeimos RhinoSabre Tank HunterLand Raider ProteusMark IIb Land Raider PhobosSicaran Battle TankSicaran VenatorSicaran Punisher Assault TankSicaran Arcus Strike TankSicaran Omega Tank DestroyerSpartan Assault TankTyphon Heavy Siege TankFellbladeFalchionMastodonDeimos Whirlwind ScorpiusXiphon Pattern InterceptorStormbirdKharybdis Assault Claw
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