The Dark Fortress

Utility HQs:
the Librarian and Techmarine

6th Edition

Note: This tactica is now old and needs an update. Many facts will not be correct for current game. However the general gist is pitched right.

Guest writer Kruno takes a look at two of the DAs HQ options with a view to using them individually or both as a force-multiplying tag team.

Now that the 6th edition Codex is out, the first Space Marine Chapter finally got a codex it deserves, after years of waiting. With that, many players are wanting to use some of the HQ options that where often overlooked in the previous Codex.

This article explores options for fielding a cheap, support character for smaller games and larger games alike. The characters presented are meant to be cheap and effective, part of a toolbox to be used with more than one unit in any single game/list.

Hang in there, we have a long way to go…


DA Librarians have changed. In the 4th edition Codex they cost a lot of points and had only two psychic powers.

Stats and options

Librarian has a statline of a Veteran Sergeant, with +1 WS, W and LD. For roughly the price of a minimal tactical squad, he gets a force weapon, psychic hood, bolt pistol and grenades. He may take items from the Armoury categories of items available to characters.

He is a Level 1 psyker, and for a 50% increase in cost, you can upgrade him to Level 2.

His disciplines are Divination, Telepathy, Pyromancy and Telekinesis.

Librarians are members of the Inner Circle, meaning they are Fearless and hate Chaos Space Marines.

Battlefield role

This character can fulfill several roles:

  • Lead character
  • Monstrous creature hunter
  • Cheap support character
  • Escort character
1. Lead character

Librarian is a good character that can lead an army on his own. That army will have Tactical squads and scouts for troops, as Librarian does not unlock Deathwing or Ravenwing as troops. He needs to be able to support his army and take on challenges.

Mastery Level 2, Space Marine bike, auspex, infravisor, digital weapons, conversion field, combi-weapon. (Chapter relics might be useful, but you're already paying for the force weapon).
165 points

Such a character is not cheap in pts, but is very powerful and has more options then meets the eye.

He is a kind of a VP denial character, as he doesn't go down easly — which is expected at such price ranges.

What to do and which squad to join. Some simple tricks to use.

Attach to a squad of bikes which uses scouts move (especially when going first) to reach within 12 inches of the enemy to use auspex on an enemy unit and bring its cover save down by 1. Bikes use their flamers/plasma/melta and do further damage. The rest of the army joins in. Classic sucker punch! (if it's night fight, squads further away might need infravisor from another character — like a Techmarine but later on that).

Attach to a Devastator/Tactical squad. Use Divination primary power to give re-rolls and use night visor to negate night fight. Take that Necrons! He stays with the unit for a turn or two, then uses his bike to move to the front lines.

Use Divination primary power to give re-rolls to various units. Some examples include — Predator Destructor, Tactical squad near Standard of Devastation (30+ shots with re-roll AND heavy weapons), a squadron of Land Speeders (with assault cannons and heavy bolters they get more then decent against fliers), Devastators with flakk missiles or plasma cannons.

Attach to a unit of Dark Knights and help them out in assault.

2. Monstrous creature hunter
Standard force weapon (a sword is preferred), Space Marine bike, Divination, digital weapons.
95 points

Ravenwing Black Knights should be in on this. Their grenades reduce T of target on hit (with help from Prescience), plasma shots, rending attacks and Librarian himself can spell doom for most MCs.

Conversion field is a great defensive item here — if the Libby saves, everyone around him must pass an I test or go blind. Knights must test too but they get a re-roll.

This is a risky move, as the Librarian has only two attacks. Still, between the shooting of Knights, re-rolls on all misses (in every phase) and charge attack plus digital weapons (all with a force weapon) — there's a good chance it'll pay off.

All and all, an expensive but very potent character.

3. Cheap support character
Terminator armour, infravisor, combi-melta, melta bombs.
111 points

A budget Librarian, perfect for a second HQ. Pick Divination always. Plays the same support role as his bossy version above. He might win you some challenges.

Use with care. Very cheap.

4. Escort character

Librarian that escorts a powerhouse unit should pick the same wargear as the unit he joins. Go terminator armour when escorting Deathwing, or take a Bike when joining Dark Knights/Ravenwing.

Auspex and infravisor are a must. If upgraded to Mastery Level 2 (and there's little reason not to) take Divination and Telephathy.

Power field generator is a very useful item in this case. Terminators and bikes love 4++. With careful positioning, vehicles can claim the field's benefits.

A perfect example of this character's role is the following:

Librarian with Power field generator and a combi-melta in the middle of a unit of 6 bikes. Bikes keep a circle formation around the character (which is not a part of the unit). Near them, a Land Radier crusader with a Deathwing Command squad inside, carrying a Standard of Devastation.

Land raider, bikes and Librarain have 4++.

They fire 48 re-rollable bolter shots combined. If the bikes get charged, Librarian will not be engaged, and if the bikes hold — the enemy is open to a counter attack by Terminators.

If the bikes loose and get away, they auto re-group — and the enemy will get fired upon AGAIN, and then charged by terminators.

In this case, Forebonding power is pure gold on the bikes.

Those where basic loadouts for a Librarian in a typical Dark Angels list. He is a good toolbox character with many roles. Keep him cheap, as DA HQ's are not really cc powerhouses to begin with (that's why we have terminators after all). I field him all the time, and encourage everyone to try him (or 2) out.


Techmarines are not really HQs, as to get a Techmarine, you need to take another character first. Doesn't take up a FOC slot though, which is good.

Supporting troops, dreadnoughts and tanks is what he is best at. Later on that, first thing's first — stats.

  • Think of him as a Sergeant, with a 2+ save and several special rules
  • Independent Character (can join squads, has Look Out Sir etc)
  • Blessing of the Omnissaiah (repairs vehicles)
  • Bolster Defenses (+1 to cover of a single terrain piece)
  • Wargear is pretty standard, and he has a servo-arm

He, like other IC's can take all the ranged, melee and special items from the wargear section. Servo-arm can be upgraded to the much more useful servo-harness.

Two basic loadouts:

  • 1. Servo-harness Techamrine
  • 2. Servo-arm Techamrine

1. Servo-harness Techmarine

The coolest model ever! Repairs hull points, immobilised vehicles, or destroyed weapons on vehicles on a 4+. Any vehicle-heavy list will benefit by having him.

Techmarine with servo harness (includes a plasma cutter and a flamer), infravisor, power field generator (otpional), Space Marine bike (looks even cooler!).

Stuff to do, and who to do it with

Joins a unit of bikes and gives them 4++ (see Support Librarian above) and can help out with a shot here and there (has a flamer after all).

Helldrake giving your tacticals or AA devastators trouble? — join Techmarine and enjoy the 4++.

Ride behind a vehicle-any vehicle, even a flier!

Dark Knights riding around with a 4++, yes!

Feel free to accept challenges against characters that lack AP3 extra T and two power fist attacks — they DO get the 4++ too but at least they won't win.

Attach to any unit that would need to ignore night fight.

Scouts give him all their special rules, and he gives them 4++ on top of everything else. Imagine scouts with cammo cloaks in a 4+ cover terrain (with +1 from cloaks for a total of 3+) AND 4++ …and they have snipers.

Company Veterans with 5 flamer in a drop pod… and techmarine with a 6th to boot.

Large unit of Terminators with storm bolters…

Three Vindicators side by side followed by techmarine, pure poetry!

Join any squad in a transport of any kind — and repair it from the inside.

Bolster defenses

This ability makes Aegis Defense Line pretty redundant! If you have a nice, big terrain piece on your side of the table… guess what? it just became 4+ cover, just like an Aegis Defence Line.

The Aegis is different though as it can be stretched to cover a lot of ground. However, barrage falling or troops deep striking behind it can ignore its effects.

Bolster defences, however cannot be ignored. A dreadnought or two in such a terrain piece are very hard to shift. Tanks gain less protection from it as they are typically large and hard to hide but we have the power field generator for that.

2. Servo-arm Techmarine

Serves more or less the same purpose as the harness version, but for less points. Does look a lot less cool though.

Equip with power field generator and infravisor. Bike is again, optional.

Can bolster the defenses and support squads any vehicles but is worse at repairing stuff.


A unit of up to 4 servitors (sporting Imperial Guardsmen stats) with servo arms, heavy bolters, multi-meltas or plasma cannons. This is an interesting idea, but the choices are full of paradoxes.

They better not loose the Techmarine leading them as they might suffer from mind lock.

If you pick servo arms, they repair stuff like no other… but can't get a dedicated transport. Might be useful to repair a battery of Dreadnoughts for instance.

Picking heavy bolters costs points. A Predator Destructor with heavy bolters costs less and gains more from Techmarine's power field. Poor Servitors.

Plasma cannons are another goofy choice. 120 points for four servitors with plasma cannons. BS one less then a marine, save worse then a marine. Here's the punchline — you can get 5 Devastators(!) with 4 plasma cannons for only 10 points more!!! Not only are they superior in everything, you also get a Sarge with a signum.


That completes our Utility HQ section. Both Librarian and Techmarine are good choices if used with a plan in mind. They serve different roles: Librarian being an offensive and Techmarine a defensive type of character. Armies that include them both are highly recommended, as they are more flexible in their natures.

In larger games (1850 and up) having one of our more expensive named characters and both a cheap Librarian and Techmarine is also an option (as techmarine doesn't use up an HQ slot). That quickly leads to whole formations having 4++ power field saves.


Kruno Kovacevic

About the author

Kruno Kovacevic is a 40k veteran. He started wargaming back in 2001. Over the course of the years, Dark Eldar, Space Wolves, Tyranids, Chaos, Eldar and Space Marines have been his armies of choice. Currently playing Orks and Dark Angels. Tournaments are not his greatest interest in the hobby: believing that any army can do well in a tournament if the player leading it has extraordinary skill and a decent share of luck on his side. This he can prove from personal experience with every tournament attended finishing within the top five out of 20-32 players.


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