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★ Iron Hands

The Iron Hands Chapter comprises ten Clan Companies, each one a hundred-strong brotherhood of warriors and a formidable army in its own right. Each possesses its own unique qualities, has its own long and proud history, and has forged for itself a different role within the Chapter though ages of war in the defence of the Imperium.

How This Supplement Works

This page details additional special rules, Warlord Traits, relics and Tactical Objectives that reflect the fighting style of an Iron Hands force. You can use this to field a Detachment or even a whole army of the Iron Hands, or one of their successor Chapters, in games of Warhammer 40,000.


BookKindEditionVersionLast update
► Angels of DeathCodex Supplement71.0April 2016

Iron Hands Detachments

Any Detachment with the Space Marines Faction can be an Iron Hands Detachment if all units in the Detachment with the Chapter Tactics special rule are drawn from the Iron Hands. An Iron Hands Detachment retains the Space Marines Faction and is treated in all ways as a Space Marines Detachment. Iron Hands Detachments may also use the following rules:

The Flesh is Weak: Non-vehicle Iron Hands models have the Feel No Pain (6+) special rule. If they have the Feel No Pain rule from another source (a narthecium, for example), they instead add 1 to the result of any Feel No Pain rolls.

Machine Empathy: Iron Hands characters and vehicles have the It Will Not Die special rule. Furthermore, Iron Hands Techmarines add 1 to their Blessing of the Omnissiah rolls.

March of the Ancients

In an Iron Hands Detachment, units of Dreadnoughts, Venerable Dreadnoughts, Ironclad Dreadnoughts and Contemptor Dreadnoughts may be taken as Heavy Support choices as well as Elites choices.

Scions of the Forge

For each HQ choice in an Iron Hands Detachment (not including other Techmarines) you may include up to three Techmarines. These selections do not use up a Force Organisation slot.

Special Rules

Severing Strike

Each time the bearer of the Axe of Medusa rolls a 6 To Hit, resolve that attack at +4 Strength instead. Any other hits are resolved at +2 Strength as normal.

Tactical Objectives

11Methodical Destruction 
12Advance and Secure 
13March of the Machines 
14Destroy the Weak 
15The Strength of Metal 
16Cold Fury 

Presented below are six Tactical Objectives to use in your games of Warhammer 40,000 that are exclusive to Iron Hands players, and reflect the emotionless and methodical style of warfare employed by the Sons of Medusa.

If your Warlord is drawn from the Iron Hands, you must replace the Capture & Control Tactical Objectives (numbers 11-16) described in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules either with the Tactical Objectives found in Codex: Space Marines, or with these Tactical Objectives. If a Warhammer 40,000 mission has the Tactical Objectives special rule, players use the normal rules for using Tactical Objectives with the following exception: when an Iron Hands player using these Tactical Objectives generates a Capture & Control objective (numbers 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 or 16), the Iron Hands player instead generates the corresponding Iron Hands Tactical Objective, as shown in the table to the right. Other Tactical Objectives (numbers 21-66) are generated normally.

Utilise optimised fire patterns to destroy your targets.
When this Tactical Objective is generated, choose three enemy units and label them ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’. Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if you completely destroyed unit 1. Score D3 Victory Points instead if you completely destroyed units 1 and 2 during the turn. If you completely destroyed all three units during your turn, score D3+3 Victory Points instead.
Your objective has been identified; converge on the target coordinates and await further instructions.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if you control the Objective Marker closest to the centre of the battlefield. If more than one Objective Marker is joint closest to the centre, your opponent chooses which you must control.
The honoured Ancients of the Chapter who have transcended their bodies of flesh shall lead us to victory.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if at least one Iron Hands Walker successfully charged an enemy unit during your turn.
The weakness of the enemy forces cannot be tolerated. Purge all trace of them from the battlefield with bolter and blade.
Score D3 Victory Points at the end of your turn if at least one enemy unit was completely destroyed in both your Shooting phase and your Assault phase.
Look upon the strength of the machine and know for certain that the flesh is weak.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if at least one model with the Machine Empathy rule regains a Wound or a Hull Point at the end of your turn, or if a model with the Blessing of the Omnissiah special rule successfully repaired a Vehicle.
The machine spirits have been roused to war — let the enemy feel their cold fury.
Score 1 Victory Point at the end of your turn if any enemy units were completely destroyed by an Iron Hands Vehicle during your turn. If three or more enemy units were completely destroyed by Iron Hands Vehicles during your turn, score D3 Victory Points instead.

Warlord Traits

When generating his Warlord Traits, an Iron Hands Warlord may choose to roll on the table below instead of on those found in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules or Codex: Space Marines.

D6Warlord Traits
1Adept of the Omnissiah
There are few, even amongst the Iron Hands, who can commune with machine spirits with greater skill than this Warlord.
Your Warlord has the Blessing of the Omnissiah special rule. If the Warlord already has this special rule, he may re-roll any failed attempts to repair a vehicle. 
2Will of Iron
Even under the most desperate circumstances, this Warlord’s courage remains as unyielding as adamantium.
Your Warlord has the Fearless special rule. 
3All Flesh is Weakness
This Warlord bears such an extraordinary amount of cybernetic enhancements that he is more machine than man.
Your Warlord has +1 on any Feel No Pain rolls he makes. 
4Student of History
Well aware of his Primarch’s failure on Isstvan V, this Warlord’s cold logic is such that he knows exactly when to fight on and when it is best to withdraw.
Your Warlord and any Iron Hands unit he joins can choose to automatically fail any Morale check they are required to make. 
5Merciless Resolve
To the Iron Hands, mercy is for the weak, and there are few finer proponents of this adage than this pitiless Warlord.
Your Warlord and all friendly Iron Hands units within 12" of him have the Crusader special rule. 
6Target Protocols
This Warlord uses his advanced augmetics to direct the fire of his battle-brothers and efficiently distribute targeting data to those around him.
Your Warlord and any Iron Hands unit he joins re-roll To Hit rolls of 1 in the Shooting phase


Fist of Medusa Strike Force

The Fist of Medusa Strike Force allows you to represent the Iron Hands and the unique strengths of their way of war. Whether you wish to assemble a mechanised strike force to crush the weakling warriors of the enemy, or field a small cadre of warriors in support of a larger force, the choices below offer a number of benefits.

The Fist of Medusa Strike Force is a special type of Detachment that can be included in any Battle-forged army. Unlike the Detachments shown in Warhammer 40,000: The Rules, it has a Force Organisation Chart whose slots are a combination of specific Formations and Army List Entries instead of Battlefield Roles. However, it still has compulsory and optional elements, as well as Restrictions and Command Benefits, just like any other Detachment.

Although units cannot normally belong to more than one Detachment, units from a Formation that is part of a Fist of Medusa Strike Force are an exception. They count as part of both their Formation and the Detachment, and have all associated Command Benefits and special rules. If your Warlord is part of a Formation or an Army List Entry that makes up part of a Fist of Medusa Strike Force, that entire Fist of Medusa Strike Force is your Primary Detachment.


 • 1 of the following:
  - Terminator Captain
  - Captain
  - Chaplain
  - Venerable Dreadnought
 • 0-1 Honour Guard
 • 0-1 Command Squad
 • 1 Chaplain
 • 1 Command Squad

 • 3-5 Librarians

 • 1 Captain or Chaplain
 • 0-1 Command Squad
 • 3 Tactical Squads
 • 1 Devastator Squad
 • 1 unit chosen from the following list: Assault Squad, Bike Squad, Attack Bike Squad, Land Speeders

 • 1 Techmarine
 • 0-3 units of Thunderfire Cannons
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Vindicators
  - Predators
  - Whirlwinds
 • 0-1 Sergeant Chronus

 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Terminator Squad
  - Terminator Assault Squad
  - Sternguard Veteran Squad
  - Vanguard Veteran Squad

 • 1 unit of Hunters
 • 1 unit of Stalkers

 • 1 unit of Land Speeders
 • 2 Stormtalon Gunships

 • 1 Tactical Squad
 • 1 unit chosen from the following:
  - Dreadnoughts
  - Venerable Dreadnoughts
  - Ironclad Dreadnoughts
  - Contemptor Dreadnoughts
 • 3-5 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Scout Squad
  - Scout Bike Squad
 • 0-1 Sergeant Telion

 • 1 unit of Whirlwinds
 • 1 unit of Land Speeders

 • 3 units chosen in any combination from the following list:
  - Land Raider
  - Land Raider Crusader
  - Land Raider Redeemer

 • 3 Tactical Squads
 • 1-3 units of Land Speeders


This Detachment must include at least one Core choice and one Auxiliary choice. It may include up to one more Core choice, up to three Command choices and any number of additional Auxiliary choices, in any combination. Only the datasheets listed here can be included in this Detachment. All units in the Detachment must be drawn from the Iron Hands Chapter.

Logical Commander: If this Detachment is your Primary Detachment, your Warlord has two Warlord Traits instead of one. This extra Warlord Trait must be generated from either the Tactical or Strategic Traits table. If you roll twice on the same table, re-roll duplicate results.

Reject the Flesh, Embrace the Machine: Models in this Detachment add 1 to any Feel No Pain rolls they make whilst they are within 12" of any Independent Character from the same Detachment.

Roused Machine Spirits: Vehicles in a Fist of Medusa Strike Force have the Power of the Machine Spirit special rule whilst within 12" of, or whilst carrying, any Independent Character from this Detachment.

Gifts of the Gorgon

The Gifts of the Gorgon are revered technological artefacts, and some have been borne into battle by the Clan Companies of the Iron Hands for millennia. Only one of each of the following relics can be chosen per army - there is only one of each of these items in the entire galaxy!

Units in an Iron Hands Detachment that can normally take items from the Chapter Relics list in Codex: Space Marines can choose to take items from the Gifts of the Gorgon list at the points cost shown instead. You can take items from both lists in the Detachment. Note that The Ironstone, The Gorgon’s Chain and The Tempered Helm do not replace one of the model’s weapons.

The Mindforge Stave 15 pts
Betrayer’s Bane 25 pts
The Axe of Medusa 25 pts
The Ironstone1 30 pts
The Tempered Helm1 35 pts
The Gorgon’s Chain1 45 pts
1 Do not replace one of the model’s weapons.

Betrayer’s Bane

This combi-weapon contains an auto-sanctified thermal generator that replenishes its fuel reserves as the battle goes on. Its case is inscribed with the name of every battlefield upon which it has slain warriors of the Emperor’s Children, and serves as a potent symbol of vengeance.

Range S AP Type
Boltgun barrel 24" 4 5 Rapid Fire, Master-crafted
Melta barrel 12" 8 1 Assault 1, Master-crafted, Melta

The Axe of Medusa

Traditionally, the Axe of Medusa has been held by the Iron Council and given to the Chapter’s chosen war leader as a badge of office. For over three centuries now, this weapon has been wielded by Kardan Stronos, and used to great effect in battle. However, when dispatching another hero of the Iron Hands on some particularly important mission, Stronos has been known to bestow the Axe of Medusa as a mark of favour and faith.

Range S AP Type
- +2 2 Melee, Master-crafted, Severing Strike, Unwieldy

Severing Strike: Each time the bearer of the Axe of Medusa rolls a 6 To Hit, resolve that attack at +4 Strength instead. Any other hits are resolved at +2 Strength as normal.

The Gorgon’s Chain

Far from being an actual, physical chain, this small augmetic module is fitted within its owner’s armour, linking through his black carapace and extending monomolecular mechadendrites into his hearts. Thus connected, it draws power from its owner to generate a potent protective field. Only as the bearer’s wounds become too great to sustain will the Gorgon’s Chain unravel.
The bearer of the Gorgon’s Chain has the following special rules, depending on how many unsaved Wounds he has suffered during the battle:

Wounds SufferedSpecial Rules
0The bearer has a 3+ invulnerable save, +1 to his Feel No Pain rolls and the Eternal Warrior special rule. 
1The bearer has a 3+ invulnerable save and the Eternal Warrior special rule. 
2The bearer has a 3+ invulnerable save
3The bearer has a 4+ invulnerable save

Each time the bearer suffers an unsaved Wound, or recovers a Wound as a result of the It Will Not Die rule, the effects of the Gorgon’s Chain change immediately; you should roll the bearer’s saves individually.

The Ironstone

The device must be mag-clamped to the gorget of the bearer, where it gathers power from his armour, gradually awakening the cluster of potent machine spirits that lurk within its coldly glowing shell. When a vehicle nearby suffers battle-damage, the Magos-class machine spirits within the Ironstone will connect to the beleaguered machine, possess its spirit and swiftly begin guiding repairs of the damage.
Friendly Iron Hands Tanks and Walkers within 6" of the bearer pass their It Will Not Die rolls on a 4+. If this roll is a 6, the Ironstone also repairs a Weapon Destroyed or Immobilised result that the vehicle suffered earlier in the battle (controlling player’s choice).

The Mindforge Stave

Crafted, with gene-keyed psychocircuitry, the Mindforge Stave possesses a rudimentary machine-spirit sentience. Through ancient techno-sorcery now long lost, the stave interfaces with those suitably endowed with both psychic mastery and cybernetic augmentation. Epistolary Lydriis was the first to take up the stave upon its discovery, and the weapon bound itself irrevocably to him. In battle, the Mindforge Stave allows the wielder to channel the might of his mind into white-hot sledgehammer blows that smash foes from their feet or crush them to pulp with a single swing.
Librarian only. Replaces model’s force weapon.

Range S AP Type
- x2 2 Melee, Concussive, Force, Unwieldy

The Tempered Helm

The savant-possessor within this helm filters incoming information and presents it in compartmentalised strategic sermons, granting a near-omnipotent level of instant battlefield cognition. The helm also permits its wearer to override vox signals and targeting augurs with their own commands, so the wearer enjoys unparalleled control over his forces.
When taking Morale tests, all friendly units within 24" of the bearer can use his Leadership characteristic instead of their own. Furthermore, nominate a single friendly unit within 12" of the bearer at the start of each of his Shooting phases. That unit can re-roll all To Hit rolls of 1 in that Shooting phase.