Space Marine Scout
Scouts are the new recruits of a Space Marine chapter who have advanced far enough in the early stages of their training and biological transformation to take part in battle with the rest of the Chapter.
More lightly armed and armoured than full Battle brothers, their role is to range ahead of the main Space Marine force, preparing the way for the main advance by infiltrating enemy lines, sabotaging and gathering intelligence — causing as much chaos and disruption as possible.[1a]
Training and Deployment
Every Marine belonging to a Codex chapter begins his combat life as a Scout. Over a period of several months, under the tutelage of a Sergeant, the Scout learns the use of all the weapons at the disposal of the Adeptus Astartes, and becomes skilled at every aspect of war[1a].
As part of a Scout Squad, a Scout enters combat for the first time as a skirmisher, or an infiltrator. Relying on stealth rather than brute force, Scouts slip behind enemy lines, gather intelligence, destroy strategic targets, and capture or assassinate key enemy commanders, then fade away before the enemy has had a chance to react[1a]. Because of their speed and stealth, Scout Squads are often assigned to boarding actions against Tyranid Hive Ships, or to search-and-destroy missions against key synapse creatures that direct the rest of the Hive Mind. For these missions, their armament often includes Heavy Bolters loaded with Hellfire rounds[1a]. During the final stage of their training, Scouts are trained in the use of Bikes, performing a faster-moving version of the reconnaissance and skirmish roles they fulfill on foot[1b].
Off the battlefield, the scouts train and learn under the tutelage of a veteran Sergeant, taking to heart the lessons and skills that will one day see them elevated to the rank of a full battle brother. A Scout receives his final implant, the Black Carapace, when he is deemed ready to join the Chapter as a full Battle-Brother — the implant marks him as a full Marine and allows him to interface with his suit of power armour[Needs Citation].
As set out in the Codex Astartes, neophyte Marines are to be organised into the chapter's 10th Company, composed entirely of Scouts[1a][1d]. However some chapters ignore these teachings. The Wolf Scouts of the Space Wolves, for example, are not neophytes, but instead experienced battle brothers who are loners by temperament, unsuited for the camraderie typical to a Wolf Pack
Likewise, the Black Templars have no specific company for scouts. Instead, each neophyte is apprenticed to a full Battle-brother (known as an Initiate) and accompanies his squad into combat.[Needs Citation]
Scouts are fitted with Scout Armour, a type of carapace armour which protects most of their body with rigid plates, but is lighter and less confining that a full suit of power armour[1e]. Scouts also frequently wear Camo Cloaks, which enable them to imitate almost any terrain[1f].
A Scout squad will be equipped according to its designated tactical role. Those who fight alongside Tactical squads will likely be armed with Bolters and Shotguns. Scout squads specialising in close combat would be equipped with Bolt Pistols and close combat weapons. Scouts serving as long range fire support would carry Sniper Rifles and either Missile Launchers or Heavy Bolters[1g]. Scouts are also frequently equipped with Frag or Krak Grenades and an Auspex for information gathering[Needs Citation]. They may be equipped with Astartes Combat Webbing in order to effectively carry their gear, and may also carry specialised or exotic equipment like grapnels or grav chutes[Needs Citation].
- 1: Codex: Space Marines (5th Edition)
- 2: Codex: Ultramarines, [Needs Citation]
- 3: Codex: Space Wolves (5th Edition), pg. 27
- 4: Imperial Armour Volume Eight - Raid on Kastorel-Novem, pg. 106
- Codex: Space Marines (3rd Edition), pg. 11, paragraph 4