Hellblasters are Primaris Marines specializing in utilizing plasma weapons to personally ass rape any heretical scum in their sights. In following GW's tradition of creating names that are either too pretentious or too similarly confusing, the Hellblaster is no exception. You would think they would come up with a more badass name like 'Annihilator' or 'Destroyer', but nope we have to pick Hellblaster of all names.
Bitching aside, Hellblasters are specialized towards anti-armor and anti-infantry. Think of them as the Primaris version of the Devastator Space Marine Squad. The nature of Hellblasters is to hark back to the single-armament specialisms of the Space Marine Legions, these squads are nonetheless strategically versatile. The Plasma Incinerators carried by Hellblasters are light enough to be fired on the move, while still retaining the stopping power to drop a rampaging Hive Tyrant or Battlewagon with sustained fire.
The only limiting factor on the usefulness of these squads is the comparative scarcity – and potential instability – of their weapons. As such, Hellblaster Squads comprise the finest marksmen each company can provide, and will only resort to supercharging their Plasma Incinerators in truly dire circumstances. They are not afraid to do so, however, and more than one squad has martyred itself in battle, turning the tide at the cost of their own immolation. Yet for every warrior to suffer such a fiery death, there is another that obliterates its foes amidst searing tempests of star-born fury.
As expected, Hellblasters have a immense hardon for plasma weapons. All Hellblasters wear the standard issue Mark X Tacticus Power Armour like their Intercessor brethren and are all equipped with the Mark III Belisarius Pattern Plasma Incinerator. Of course they can be armed with the more Dakka version of the Plasma Incinerator called the Assault Plasma Incinerator, or if you want to turn the enemy tanks into molten sludge in one shot, you can have them equipped with the Heavy Plasma Incinerator. You can also give the sarge a Plasma Pistol and a CQC weapon just in case things get hot in the battlefield.
9th Edition has arrived, and unfortunately a few heavy indirect nerfs have hampered the Hellblasters' viability. Reduced access to reroll auras and changes to how +1 modifiers work with Gets Hot make overcharging a much riskier proposition, while the additional wound granted to the firstborn makes doing so much more necessary if they're to be points-efficient. Worse, the introduction of Eradicators means that they're no longer the go-to Primaris vehicle hunters, and changes and points drops for Grav-Cannons mean that a unit of Devastators are not only cheaper, but actually better at hunting enemy marines while freeing up aura rerolls for use elsewhere.
They are rough analogues to the Orks Flash Gitz in that they are strong but overpriced, other troops do the Hellblaster's jobs better and more efficiently, and like all plasma they require a significant investment of points in nearby supporting units. At minimum, they need a Captain/Chapter Master so they can safely overcharge, and you really want a Lieutenant to give them that re-rollable 2+ wounding against T4 infantry. You'll then probably want a Librarian to remove invulnerable saves since most things they'll want to shoot will have an invulnerable save, and if you want to put them in a box on turn 1 so they can't be shot straight off the board you'll have to go for the Impulsor, since they're too snobby to ride firstborn transports. All of this comes at a very steep investment in points and ties up two of your limited buff auras, so consider your options carefully.
Their Plasma Incinerators come in three variants, all of which are the same price as on:
- Your stock Plasma Incinerators work basically the same as the classic Plasma Gun, with AP-4 and an extra 6" of range. Unfortunately, in this edition they're comfortably your worst choice; they need to be shooting in Rapid Fire range to have remotely efficient, and you don't want a unit this expensive so close to the enemy. They're also the ones which most desperately need to overcharge, which is far riskier in 9th.
- The Assault Plasma Incinerators lack Rapid Fire, are S6-7 and have their range reduced to 24", but Assault 3 makes them more reliable when not in rapid fire range and the decreased strength doesn't have much effect in practice due to how wounding works. Because of this they're extremely efficient at mopping up single-wound MEQs, and are probably the best way to use Hellblasters in 9th.
- The Heavy Plasma Incinerators on the other hand are 36" range and S8-9, but are Heavy 1, which makes their use far more situational due to the accuracy nerf from firing on the move and lower average number of shots compared to a Plasma Cannon. 2-3 damage does give them some utility though, as they're the only way to safely one-shot enemy marines and can overcharge to mop up Terminators or Gravis-armoured units.
For those of you running Dark Angels, a circle of these boys is where you will probably end up hiding Azrael. A big squad of different deadly plasma will attract enemy firepower to match their own, so a big invuln save will help keep them from turning into a point sink, and their two wounds apiece will keep him from getting focused down. Don't forget to use Weapons From the Dark Age, which will make a supercharged Plasma Incinerator capable of insta-killing tough infantry like Paladins and make it far more potent against vehicles.
|Forces of the Primaris Marines|
|Command:||Helix Adept - Judiciar - Primaris Ancient - Primaris Apothecary |
Primaris Captain - Primaris Chaplain - Primaris Librarian - Primaris Lieutenant
Primaris Techmarine - Vanguard Librarian - Vanguard Lieutenant
|Troops:||Aggressor - Bladeguard Veteran - Eliminator - Eradicator - Hellblaster |
Inceptor - Incursor - Infiltrator - Intercessor - Reiver - Suppressor
|Vehicles:||Gladiator Tank - Impulsor - Invictor Tactical Warsuit - Invader ATV |
Primaris Outriders - Redemptor Dreadnought - Repulsor Tank - Storm Speeder
|Super Heavies:||Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank|
|Spacecraft:||Space Marine Landing Craft|