"A strong core of reliable and adaptable warriors that can lay down fire while advancing or holding down terrain is an invaluable aid to any tactician. In the case of strike forces bolstered by Primaris battle-brothers, this role is fulfilled by the Intercessor Squads."
- – Games Workshop
An Intercessor, who can be part of an Intercessor Squad, is the standard multirole heavy infantry unit of the Primaris Space Marines. It is NOT to be easily confused with the similarly named Inceptors which is also another type of Primaris Marines (and it’s possible that even GW got confused, since “Inceptor” actually means “new graduate,” and the Inceptors, by contrast, are veterans who can intercede via Deep Strike). Intercessors are similar in combat function to a Tactical Squad of standard Astartes or a Legion Tactical Squad of ancient Astartes Legionaries. They are by far the most common form of Primaris Marines out there during the Indomitus Crusade by the beginning of the 42nd Millennium. At its height, the Primaris Marines numbered in the tens of thousands, easily becoming a Primaris Legion, and with that many Primaris running along came with that much Intercessors as well.
As you can imagine, having a legions worth of these jacked out marines has forced the armies of Chaos to be hard on work to counter them. Fortunately for the Imperium, the Intercessors are made to adapt to situations that would have gimped most specialized chapters thanks in no small part to the revised edition of the Codex Astartes by Big Bobby G. Indeed, they have since been adopted by the Raven Guard and Imperial Fists as drop site defenders and breach suppressors, respectively.
The standard flavor of Intercessors are the most well rounded. Their jack-of-all-trades role is reflected by their armament, that being the Cawl-pattern Bolt Rifle (basically the Bolter on steroids), a Bolt Pistol, a combat knife for melee, and frag and krak grenades. Intercessors are able to swap their Bolt Rifles for an Auto Bolt Rifle, which is basically the LMG of Bolters or a Stalker Bolt Rifle, a Bolt Sniper Rifle. Additionally, much as the Marinelets may take a special/heavy weapon, one in five may take an Auxiliary Grenade Launcher which, although a squad can have up to two, doesn't let a unit throw more than one grenade per turn RAW. Luckily, this was finally fixed in 9th and even given a boost, as the Auxiliary Launcher is now an Astartes Grenade Launcher and simply an additional weapon (which means they can fire it with their main gun).
Over the course of 8th edition, Intercessor Sgts gradually received the option to take chainswords, power weapons (sans Axes), and/or hand flamers. Apparently Intercessor sergeants hid the keys to the chapter armory from all of the Primaris HQ's.
9E mixes things up by introducing Assault Intercessor squads, the result of Bobby G cribbing (more) notes from the Legion days. The basic troops get to replace their Bolt Rifles with Chainswords, and their bolt pistols with the Heavy Bolt Pistols used by Reivers (albeit closer to the classic Boltgun in appearance). The sarge can take the same options as a regular Intercessor sergeant (e.g. hand flamer, power weapons) in addition to a Plasma Pistol and Thunder Hammer.
The Mk. X Gravis-clad Heavy Intercessors act in a role akin to Devastators (of the heavy bolter flavor), carrying Heavy Bolt Rifles by default with the potential to swap them out for the shorter ranged and less powerful but faster firing Hellstorm Bolt Rifles, or the harder hitting, slower firing, and longer ranged Executor Bolt Rifles. One out of five squad members may be given either a heavy bolter or one of two heavy bolters variants corresponding with the previously mentioned HBR variations.
As mentioned, Intercessors are the equivalent of Tactical Marines. They have an extra wound and attack compared to the original Tactical Marines and a Cawl Pattern Bolt Rifle in the place of the regular bolter, which should let them last a little longer in melee and give them a better chance against light vehicles than a bare-bones Tactical Marine squad. However, they also cost more points to field and cannot equip any of the Tacticals' special or heavy weapons beyond the bolt rifle variations, so while they're better than Tacticals against infantry of most types their lack of access to anti-armor weapons causes them to struggle against heavier vehicles and similar tough targets. Ironically this makes their crunch pretty much the exact opposite of their fluff, since they're supposed to be generalists who can adapt to anything but in practice they're really only good at shooting infantry and occasionally *THUMP*ing a krack grenade towards a small monster or light vehicle. That said, the Combat Doctrines open up a lot of potential for them even before taking the second Codex's buffs to bolt rifles into account.
On the other hand, as Primaris specialists tend to be more vulnerable to heavy firepower and be fire-magnets, Intercessors with their flexibility can more reliably protect others, plug any holes that arise from specialist losses, or make themselves useful against any foe by providing covering fire until the hard-hitting second wave arrives.
|Forces of the Primaris Marines|
|Command:||Primaris Ancient - Primaris Apothecary - Primaris Captain |
Primaris Chaplain - Primaris Librarian - Primaris Lieutenant
Techpriest - Vanguard Librarian - Vanguard Lieutenant
Helix Adept - Judiciar
|Troops:||Aggressor - Eliminator - Hellblaster - Inceptor |
Infiltrator - Intercessor - Reiver - Suppressor
Bladeguard Veteran - Eradicator - Incursor
|Vehicles:||Primaris Outriders - Impulsor - Invictor Tactical Warsuit |
Redemptor Dreadnought - Repulsor Tank - Invader ATV
Gladiator Tank - Storm Speeder
|Super Heavies:||Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank|
|Spacecraft:||Space Marine Landing Craft|