Thursday, 23 March 2017

Rise of the Primarch Review: Part 2- Roboute Guilliman

Part 2 if my Rise of the Primarch review takes a look at the main man himself; Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines.

Roboute Guilliman
The Ultramarines' Primarch is a Lord of war that can be included in any Armies of the Imperium force. At 350 pts, he is pricey, but he comes with a great statline, serious combat potential and a host of special rules that make him a worthy inclusion in an army.

First off, let's look at durability. He is T6, with 6 wounds, a 2+ armour save, 3+ invulnerable save, Eternal Warrior and Feel No Pain. That is a pretty impressive list and makes him a pretty durable model. In addition, his relic armour means that when he is slain, he returns to the field with D3 wounds on a 4+.
Most units in the game are going to struggle to take him out in shooting or in combat. However, given the current state of competitive 40k, this will not be too much trouble for many units either. A couple of rounds of serious grav cannon fire will probably take him out no problem. One big disadvantage of Guilliman is that he is a monstrous creature, so no joining units to benefit from Look Out, Sir rolls (though there is a formation in the book that can fix this). So overall, Guilliman is tough, but not impossible to kill.

Combat is one area where Roboute Guilliman excels. With WS9, I6 and 6 attacks, he is going to be striking first against a large number of units and generally hitting on 3's. His relic weapons give him S10, AP1, Armourbane and Concussive. Most enemy units will easily fall before him. In addition, any 6's to hit are resolved at strength D, so odds are you will get at least one D attack each combat round, He can also exchange his attacks for a number of attacks equal to the number of models engaged within 1" of him. This gives him a powerful counter against horde units seeking to tie him up in combat. Don't forget, he also gets Hammer of Wrath and precision strikes, helping you to take out threats quickly in combat. He has fleet, helping him get into combat easier, but lacks Hit and Run, meaning he can be tied up in combat.

Guilliman has some moderate shooting ability. He has Precision Shots on a 24" S6 AP2, assault 3 Rending shots. He's not going to take out entire units, but can cause a bit of damage.

Now, special rules and army buffs is another area where Guillimn excels. All friendly Armies of the Imperium units get to re-roll failed Morale, Fear and Pinning tests while he is on the field. This is a very nice boost, helping your units to stay in the fight for longer.
On his own, Guilliman is Fearless and his Leadership cannot be negatively modified by any means and he can re-roll failed Deny the Witch rolls. Added to Adamantium Will, this gives him a better chance of denying enemy psychic powers targeting him.

As Primarch of the Ultramarines, Guilliman enables you to enact each of the Ultramarines doctrines an additional time. This is great in providing even more re-rolls for your Ultramarine army.

His warlord trait gives him ALL the Command warlord traits. This provides some great buffs to ant unit within 12" of Guilliman. All friendly units in range get to use his Ld value (of 10), get move through cover, +1" to run and charge and re-rolls of 1's to hit in shooting and combat. In addition, enemy models within 12" use their lowest Ld value. This makes keeping Guilliman near the bulk of your army a very useful tactic.

Overall, Roboute Guilliman is a solid character and great for buffing your Ultramarines army. His drawbacks are not being able to join a unit, embark in a transport vehicle and is limited to a regular 6" movement. He definitely needs a lot of support to be used effectively. Psychic support would be a great boost for him, particularly powers that allow for save re-rolls, regaining wounds and movement powers to help him get into combat.

So, what do you think of Guilliman? Will he be featured on your table?


  1. I was tempted to convert him into a demom prince or perhaps a 30k Rogal Dorn.
    Nice review though.

  2. In terms of mitigating his weaknesses in mobility and durability, here are some ideas I had:

    [1] Void Shield Generator — A Void Shield Generator can give him in essence 3 x AV12 “layers” that your enemy has to deal with before targeting Guilliman… this is especially key against Grav weapons and can really make the difference between him surviving as Alpha Strike by units with them or not.

    [2] Heavy Cover and “The Shrouding” psychic power — While he naturally has a 2+/3++, even that 3++ fails a 33% of the time against AP2/1 weaponry (again, Grav is one of the biggest culprits here). By combining Heavy Cover (4++ cover save) and Shrouding you give him a 2++ cover save, which reduces wounds inflicted by AP2/1 weapons.

    [3] “Earth Blood” and “Endurance” psychic powers — Earth Blood restores D3 wounds and gives him IWND, so if you are lucky you can bring back a maximum of 4 lost wounds in a single turn, which would go a long way to helping him survive the entire game. Endurance improves his FNP from a 5+ to a 4+, which isn’t major, but like the discussion with Shrouding above, it reduces overall damage to him by an average of 16%.

    [4] “Electrodisplacement” psychic power — Considered one of the most OP/imbalanced powers in the game right, nevertheless it can make a big difference for getting Guilliman into combat. Drop Pod a Librarian with this power next to a enemy target unit Turn 1, then cast the power to “switch” places between Guilliman and the Librarian, then charge that target enemy unit with Roboute in the Assault Phase of that same turn.

    [5] “Magnetokinesis” psychic power — While Guilliman cannot charge after using this ability, if cast successfully it does allow him to move another 18″ without needing to run (so a net of 24″ in one turn), which makes him more than able to keep up with fast-moving allied units and also immediately puts the pressure on your opponent as you threaten a Turn 2 charge with a potent MC in his phase.

    [6] “Invisibility” psychic power — This is the gold standard of powers to enhance Guilliman, I think. If you can get it off successfully on him, then he is completely immune to any Blasts or Templates, which is what most D weapons are (unless they have a lucky scatter onto him) and even against massed Grav he becomes SO much more survivable.

    [7] Lias Issodon and Infiltration — If you are willing to give up the tremendous benefits of his powerful Warlord Traits (and they are pretty major), you can take Lias Issodon as your Warlord and use his Master of Ambush WL Trait to Infiltrate Guilliman 18″ away from enemy forces, which gives him a greatly enhanced chance of moving in and, by Turn 2, catching enemy units in close combat (i.e. move 6″ and then run an average of another 5″, putting him 7″ away from your opponent by the end of the turn). While there is a big trade-off with this tactic, it can be quite effective for maximizing his potent close combat skills.

    1. Yeah, he'll really be boosted by some strong psychic support.

  3. Mmm, if I ran the XIIIth, he'd be a bit of a white elephant for me, seeing as he doesn't have much in the way of shooting, or special movement to make up for it. As a 350 point man on two legs he'll draw a lot of fire, and I can imagine many would end up using him as a meat shield for their combi-grav vets etc. And he offers SO many buffs, it might cause contentions among the more forgetful...

    Nice write-up though; concise and straightforward. Told me a lot more than his ruleset did!