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Red Scorpions Terminator[9]
The Crux Terminatus

Terminators are Firstborn[12] Space Marine Veterans wearing the powerful Tactical Dreadnought Armour, more commonly referred to as Terminator Armour. In most Codex Chapters they are members of the elite 1st Company of a Space Marine Chapter.


Within a typical Space Marine Chapter, only the members of the 1st Company have full access to the rare and extremely resilient Terminator Armour. Each suit is treated as an important relic and seen as a physical representation of the Chapter's fighting spirit.[1]

The most revered part of each suit of armour is the Crux Terminatus, a cross-shaped badge placed on the left shoulder plate. According to legend, the Crux Terminatus worn by Terminator captains contains a shard of the armour the Emperor wore at the height of the Horus Heresy. To a Terminator, the loss of his Crux is unthinkable.[5a]

All suits have built in teleportation devices which allow them to deploy anywhere via deep strike, although more often they are deployed using Land Raiders. Squads consist of a Terminator sergeant and between 4 and 9 Terminators.[5a]

Terminator Squad

Ultramarines Terminator Squad

Terminator Squads fight with the standard armament of a storm bolter for ranged combat and a power fist or chainfist for close combat. The storm bolter can be swapped for an assault cannon, heavy flamer, or shoulder-mounted cyclone missile launcher.[5a]

Terminator Assault Squad

Ultramarines Assault Terminator Squad

Terminator Assault Squads are oriented toward close combat. To maximise their effectiveness, they swap their standard armament for a pair of Lightning Claws, or a thunder hammer and storm shield.[5f] They often battle in close quarters, such as spaceship boarding actions or in the lower levels of a hive.[3]

Terminator Command Squad

Terminator Command Squad[15]

Essentially a Space Marine Command Squad equipped with Terminator Armour, a Terminator Command Squad squad consists of one terminator sergeant and three to nine terminators. The terminator sergeant is armed with a power weapon and storm bolter and the rest are armed with power fists and storm bolters. Some swap their storm bolters for assault cannons, heavy flamers or Cyclone Missile Launchers and their power fists for chainfists, especially when boarding actions are carried out.[2]

Cataphractii Terminator Squad

Ultramarines Cataphractii Terminator Squad

A heavier variant of the Tactical Dreadnought Armour, Cataphractii armour is a relic from the Great Crusade, able to weather almost any form of attack. The price for this resilience is a lack of mobility; and it is for this reason that many Chapters eventually replaced it. Even so, many examples of this ancient armour reside in the armouries of the Adeptus Astartes, ready to be called upon in times of need. The members of these squad use antiquated weaponries like Combi-Bolters and grenade harness, but also more common weapons like power fists, Chainfists, Lightening claws, heavy flamer and power swords.[10]

Tartaros Terminator Squad

Ultramarines Tartaros Terminator Squad

Perhaps the most advanced form is the Terminator Armour is the Tartaros pattern, allowing for greater mobility than other examples of Terminator armour with no loss in durability or protection. Like other squads clad in ancient Terminator armour, the members of this squad are armed with combi-bolters and power fists, but have also access to Lightning claws, Chainfists, Reaper Autocannons, Plasma Blasters, heavy flamer, grenade harness and Volkite Charger.[11]

Chapter Variations

Dark Angels

The Dark Angels' 1st company is known as the Deathwing and is composed entirely of Terminator Squads. Unlike a traditional Codex Chapter, which distinguishes between Tactical and Assault roles, each Deathwing Terminator Squad is armed with a custom combination of heavy, close combat or ranged weaponry, depending on the squad's role on the battlefield. Membership in the Deathwing also confers access to some of the chapter's most closely guarded secrets. There are no Veteran Squads in the Deathwing.[6]

Space Wolves

The Wolf Guards of the Space Wolves are the retinue of a Wolf Lord, the equivalent of a Codex Chapter's Command Squad or Honour Guard. Wolf Guards have access to terminator armour, but unlike other chapters, they only wear it when the tactical situation so demands; the Space Wolves do not support a number of permanent Terminator Squads.[7]

Each Wolf Guard can also take command of a main Battle-Brother squad. Wolf Guard in this case also retain their Terminator armour.[5b]


The Salamanders chapter uses an altered version of the Codex Astartes, with 12 squads in each company rather than the standard 10, including up to 120 Veterans or Terminators, known as the Fire Drakes.[4]

Grey Knights

Unlike any other Space Marine force, the Grey Knight chapter is unique in that nearly its entire chapter can be outfitted in Terminator armour when required. Terminators of the Grey Knights use Storm Bolters and their preference of a Nemesis Force Weapon. Some may replace their storm bolter to be equipped with Incinerators, Psycannons or Psilencers instead. Furthermore, they also make use of psychic powers as is characteristic of their chapter.[8]

Chaos Terminators

Main article: Chaos Terminators

Terminators in service of the Traitor Legions turned renegade thousands of years ago and have had a long time to hone their skills, making them some of the most deadly troops in the galaxy.[Needs Citation]

Major Terminator Deployments

Terminators are the veteran units of the army and are used only in the most dire circumstances.

Two of these involved the Ultramarines First Company during the First Tyrannic War and the following Second Tyrannic War. In the first war, the entire First Company was wiped out defending Macragge and during the second a company of over twenty Terminators stormed the centre of the Tyranid invasion on Ichar IV, eventually killing all of the Tyranids on the planet.[Needs Citation]


All Miniatures

See also