Monday, 27 March 2017

Rise of the Primarch Review: Part 3- Forces of the Ultramarines

The third part of my Rise of the Primarch review looks at the new rules for Ultramarines in the book; new warlord traits, Relics and formations.

Warlord Traits
The third Gathering Storm book presents a new warlord traits table for Ultramarines army. 

Noble Visage- This provides your warlord with a 12" re-roll bubble for morale, pinning and fear tests. A nice bonus that works on all armies of the imperium faction. 

Warden of Ultramar- Warlord gains Counter-Attack. This could be useful on a combat-centric unit.

Paragon of War- Warlord gains Preferred Enemy. Given the number of re-rolls available to Ultramarines, getting more re-rolls to wound will boost their damage output further. 

Master of Strategy- Add 4 to seize the initiative roll. This is awesome, seizing on a 2+ is a game changer and will be a big boost if you get this. Allowing your opponent to set up first, countering their deployment and having a very good chance of seizing will give you a great boost in your games, 

Master of Tactics- Allows you to discard a Tactical Objective card at the start of your turn and draw another. This is a big boost in maelstrom missions and should help significantly increase your score in these games. 

Adept of the Codex- Warlord and units within 6" get Split Fire. This could be useful in certain situations, but counting on this at the list building stage is not worth it, so it may have limited uses in your game. 

Overall, a decent set of traits. Master of Strategy and Master of Tactics seem solid to me. I think that most of the warlord traits from Codex Space Marines are just as good, if not better.

Relics of Ultramar
The Rise of the Primarch also introduces a new set of Relics for Ultramarines armies, some of which are pretty solid.

Tarentian Cloak- This gives the bearer Eternal Warrior and It Will Not Die. If you arm your character with this and a Storm Shield, it costs the same as the Shield Eternal, and is a better option in my opinion. I would take IWND over Adamantium Will any day. In a Command Squad with an Apothecary, this will boost the durability of a Chapter Master.

Helm of Censure- Bearer gets Preferred Enemy. Against Chaos Space Marines, the bearer re-rolls all failed to hit and to wound rolls. Pretty decent, but a bit expensive at 30 pts, but useful in the right unit.

Sanctic Halo- For Captains only, gives the bearer Adamantium Will and Feel No Pain. For the cost of a power weapon, this is a decent option for low points games or if you have few points to spare, but there are better Relics available.

Soldier's Blade- An AP2 power weapon for 20 pts. This is a very solid relic. There are few AP2 weapons that strike at initiative in the game, so this is a real bargain. If you can match it with some strength boosting psychic powers, this will be very powerful.

The Standard of Macragge Inviolate- Friendly Ultramarine units within 12" gain +1 Ld. The bearer and his unit get +1 attack. In addition, when a friendly Ultramarines infantry model within 6" is killed, on a 5+ the model gets to make an out of sequence shooting attack in the movement, psychic or shooting phase. In the assault phase, it can make a pile in and attack.
The Ld and attack bonuses are great for the banner, but the psuedo-Soulblaze the banner provides could be very useful. Wulfen are pretty brutal in combat, so applying to other units is a huge boost. I have an amusing image of an Ultramarine with a Plasma Gun killing himself with it, then getting to fire again. The banner is expensive at 60 pts and is limited to Honour Guard only. However, in the right army this could be very useful.

Vengeance of Ultramar- A poisoned 2+, assault 4 Bolter. A decent ranged weapon, but a little too expensive at 20 pts. The worst of the relics in the list, I think.

Overall, a decent set of Relics. The Tarentian Cloak and Soldier's Blade are the stand outs for me.

The book introduces two new formations for the Ultramarines forces to use.

Victrix Guard
This formation consists of Captain Sicarius, 1 unit of Honour Guard and 4 units of Sternguard and/or Vanguard Veterans. No unit can take a dedicated transport or start the game in a transport.

The special rules give all units +1 WS and BS. In addition, when a unit in the formation is within 3" of Roboute Guilliman, he can make a Look Out, Sir roll as if he was part of the unit.

This is a pretty solid formation to take along with Roboute Guilliman. Getting BS5 on Sternguard is solid, considering their weapons options, added to the re-rolls available to the Ultramarines. Beinfgable to get Look Out, Sirs for Guilliman is awesome, greatly boosting his durability. I don't think you would take this formation without Guilliman too often.

The minimum costs of the formation with Guilliman is 990 pts, so is most of an army. I don't think Vanguard Veterans are the best choice. Guilliman and the Honour Guard are on foot, so getting them to combat will take a good few turns. I think Sternguard will work better. Along with Guilliman's warlord buffs, they will be hitting on a 2+ re-rollable when within 12" of him.

Victrix Strike Force Detachment
The Victrix Strike Force is a new detachment choice available to the Ultramarines. It has essentally the same choices as the Gladius Strike force, but with different benefits.

It is made up of 1+ Core choices. which can be the Battle Demi-Company or Strike Force Ultra. The Battle Demi-Company is definitely the stronger choice, as Strike Force Ultra is far too expensive and populated with Terminators.

The rest of the detachment features most of the options available in the Gladius, in addition to the Victrix Guard formation.

The Command Benefits include the standard warlord trait re-roll for the traits in the book. Also, all non-vehicle units get Objective Secured. In addition, you get to enact all three Doctrines a further time, and can enact any combination of doctrines in your turn, rather than just one per turn.

While not as strong as the Gladius in the competitive scene due to the lack of free transports, it makes a nice alternative to it. Objective Secured on all non-vehicle infantry is pretty solid, and a game winner in many situations.
Coupled with Guilliman, this would give you three uses of each Doctrine and allow you to use multiple Doctrines in one turn. That is a solid volume of re-rolls for any army to have.

I think the Rise of the Primarch gives some solid new ways to play an Ultramarines army that should add some new flavour to the force. Nothing too overpowered, just some great choices to try.

1 comment:

  1. Ultramarines have gotten a lot better fluff lately but still not sure I would want to play them yet.