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Marneus Augustus Calgar: Also known as The Notorious M.A.C, The MAC Daddy, Big MAC, Manliest Cattleguard, Pimp Daddy Calgar, and Papa Smurf. And as of his latest incarnation, Primarneus Cawlgirl.
LOOK AT THEM PIMP-SLAPPIN' HANDS!
A character from the fictional Warhammer 40k universe. According to Matt Ward, 5th edition codex writer, Calgar is the spiritual liege of every Space Marine ever and is now playing second fiddle to his newly resurrected primarch. All the Space Marines look up to him (or down to him) and strive ever jovially to be more like him and his Ultramarines, but because of their laughable shortcomings, most Chapters, including the Dark Angels, White Scars, Imperial Fists, Blood Angels, Iron Hands, Salamanders, Raven Guard, Space Wolves and all their successors, will never be as good (with the possible exception of the Hammers of Dorn). It is stressed constantly in the vanilla Space Marine codex and even mentioned a bit in the Blood Angels codex. The entirety of the Imperium awaits the day the Emperor awakens so that he may proclaim Calgar the rightful heir to the Imperial throne. As a surely irrelevant side note, Matt Ward plays Ultramarines (then later Necrons).
Just who is he?
Calgar is one of the big three, the others being Dante and Logan, the three Chapter Masters the whole Imperium knows. While Dante is worshiped as a larger than life legend and Logan is beloved for being a bro to the common man, Calgar is respected for his leadership, both in battle and ruling Ultramar.
His characteristic weapons are the Gauntlets of Ultramar, which were reclaimed by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman from a Chaos Champion (Where'd he lose them in the first place?). These gauntlets allow Calgar to bash gaping holes in enemy lines, allowing his men to achieve victory for the Imperium in a joyous slaughter of the heretic forces across the galaxy. They do, however, make it extremely difficult to use restroom facilities, turn door handles, or hold small objects. They also have attached Storm Bolters on each arm. Like a baws.
Following a skirmish against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Perseus in 976.M41, Calgar lost all four limbs as well as large areas of body tissue and his left eye. Fitted with bionic replacements, he is more machine now than man
twisted and evil. So his giant, power fist, gun hands are pretty much his actual hands. Several guys have argued that he currently bears a prosthetic robotic penis. For unexplained reasons, his augmetics are inferior to Col. Straken's
An unofficial nickname for Marneus is "Papa Smurf", due to other players referring to the Ultramarines as Smurfs and Calgar being their leader. The nickname has its origin in the actual miniatures' diminutive size and the fact that they are blue. One could also point out, of course, that the average cartoon smurf is either a total dick or pants-on-head-retarded, and requires Papa Smurf's constant leadership and guidance just to function on an everyday basis. This allows us to extend the metaphor in a hilarious way. Further extending the metaphor is that he once got his shit kicked in by the Swarmlord, who has since been nicknamed Gargamel, while Roboute Gulliman (see below), who was the original Ultramarines leader, came back after a long time and, seeking to restore them to greatness, now gets the moniker of Grandpa Smurf.
As of 6th edition he is also a xenos-loving bastard, having allowed the Tau to evacuate a planet that was facing Exterminatus due to a Tyranid infestation. To be fair, though, the Tau are one of two races (the other being Eldar) who work with the Imperials at points, so this could be just a bargaining chip to be used later. He also wielded a Necron Pylon (which are several stories tall) while the Ultramarines were retaking Damnos (before you ask, Phil Kelly wrote this, surprisingly).
As of the Age of the Dark Imperium
His response to his Primarch getting back up and running things again has not been explored a great deal, although his first act was to transfer command to his Primarch in perpetuity, without any dispute or deliberation. So the guy who GW has been plugging for decades as the guy that everyone else looks up to has now taken a back seat for someone better.
It was rather awkward when Guilliman reclaimed his personal quarters. Calgar had assumed everything within to be a "great relic" from the time of the great crusade, and would often take time to bask in their radiance. However, to Guilliman, these items were just mere tools (tools that, to his perspective, he had used mere days ago) and were of no more importance than the casing on a bolter shell. To Calgar it seemed like sacrilege that Guilliman would use what he thought were ancient relics haphazardly, while Guilliman couldn't understand why Calgar would venerate what is essentially his old trash.
Guilliman does note how competent Calgar is and decides to keep him around as an advisor. When the Terran Crusade begins he leaves Calgar in command of Ultramar in his original position of Chapter Master while he's gone (which due to Guilliman's early declarations of sovereignty is now close to its original 500 worlds, rather than just eight). So assuming Guilliman stays on Terra to assume control of the Imperium, Calgar has command over one of the largest territories and collective armed forces in the galaxy.
Dark Imperium has suggested that he hasn't been taking it that well since the Indomitus Crusade, even though he's been named head of the Ultramar Tetrarchs; he seems to be one of the first in the Chapter to realize Guilliman's not the infallible savior figure the Chapter has romanticized him as, and he took Guilliman's reorganization of Ultramar's government as a veiled criticism of his own governing skills. Further complicating things is Guilliman's currently unexplained choice to begin tutoring Cato Sicarius personally. This led Papa Smurf to assume he might be replaced in the future. (It's actually because Cato reminds Bobby of another unruly Ultramarine from the Great Crusade era, Aeonid Thiel; and has nothing to do with Calgar's performance.) It's only fairly recently that he's accepted that it was arrogant of him to think his actions had anything to do with his Primarch's recent choices, and while he's not taking it out on the people of the Imperium (which he had blamed at first) he's still feeling rather guilty about letting his old accomplishments give him a swollen ego. Intriguingly, this bears quite a few parallels to the case of Luther and Lion El'Jonson as well as Horus feeling distrusted by the Emperor when he returned to Terra. With the key difference being Calgar's continued loyalty even in the face of his personal doubts. For now.
He also has undergone the procedure that turns regular marines into Primaris Marines, an agonizingly painful ordeal that left him briefly dead before his new Belisarian Furnace kicked in to bring him back. So we now have PriMarneus Calgar as an excuse to give him a new overdetailed $20 model (it actually doesn't look much more detailed than the old one). It's probably only a matter of time before the other named Chapter Masters are subjected/treated to the same; hopefully their models are as badass as Calgar's. When the process has a much reduced failure rate all Space Marines should do this. It isn't like a little thing such as agony would be enough to deter them in the slightest and being briefly dead is more like an intriguing experience than something to fear. Hell, at least one Chapter outright has dying and willing yourself back to life as both a final test and a promotion requirement. Can you imagine a million Primaris Marines with no questionable loyalties and millennia of accrued experience? Fuck YES!
The major downsides are that they can't use Terminator Armor, their tanks, or Bikes. Not good for chapters that have them as a major part of their operational doctrines. It'll be another decade until Games Workshops give Primaris Marines their own equivalents. Plus, we have no evidence of a how squad of Primaris would fare on a Space Hulk mission, where non Terminator Marines are cooked alive in their own armor by radiation - and, worse, everyone on the venture needs to be able to fit through doorways, something Primaris marines are notoriously bad at. Though that can be alleviated by slicing through bulkheads.
Anyways, during the War of Beasts Marneus Calgar was in charge of the Imperial forces on Vigilus. While he was able to just barely hold onto the planet when the Black Legion began its invasion, countless hive spires had to be destroyed to stop Chaos from taking them and Calgar himself was nearly killed in a duel with Abaddon (although the Despoiler was forced to withdraw before finishing him off due to a Hail Mary gambit involving hitting the Vengeful Spirit with vortex missiles with the help of the Eldar). He lost some fingers and Abaddon managed to cut open his chest and damage both of his hearts.
Things didn't look up, though, as Abaddon then sent a bunch of Possessed to finish the job. Calgar briefly woke up to backhand a Greater Possessed and then shoot it, before collapsing again. The Apothecaries managed to stabilize him enough so that he didn't die from his wounds. So far, the damage is a bit grim, but he's still up and commanding the Ultramarines, even if he's not on the front lines.
On the Tabletop
|Marneus Calgar (Artificer Armour):||235||6||2+||2+||4||4||6||5||9||2+/4++|
|Marneus Calgar (Armour of Antilochus):||200||5||2+||2+||4||4||7||5||9||2+/4++||Suffer Half Damage, Deep Strike|
|Marneus Calgar (Armour of Heraclus):||200||6||2+||2+||4||5||8||6||9||2+/4++||Suffer Half Damage|
It won't matter for most purposes, but remember that his Ld will go up to 10 when he gets his Chapter Tactics (there are attacks, such as some psychic powers, that will target his Ld, so it can come up). You have to notice that Calgar has three profiles, because he has three minis. Only one "Marneus Calgar" is allowed per army, though, so do not start imagining heretic cloning technology here.
Only 2 of these versions are realistically usable, however, since the one in Artificer Armour has not seen its point costs revised, and the other two versions give him the nifty ability to halve incoming damage from each attack rounding up.
In Terminator armor, he gets the ability to deep strike, and while he still suffers from the usual 5" Terminator models have, this may be the incentive to take this version - plus, he'll fit in waaaaay more transports. He also has an irrelevant Relic Blade, which you will never use, since it's always worse than or equal to his power fists that have no accuracy penalty. The only exception is incredibly exotic corner cases - right now the game only has one, when Jain Zar's Disarming Strike rolls high enough to shut down his fists.
His new Primaris Form, referred to as the Armour of Heraclus, is absurdly beefed up. With a new 8th wound, one more point of toughness, and a 6th attack, he can withstand even more punishment and deal a fair amount too, not that the Terminator version was shabby. Because the point costs are the same, the difference amounts to whether you prefer mobility or durability.
Apart from that, Calgar comes with the usual Chapter Master's ability: you can reroll all failed to hit rolls in a 6" bubble, which is a pretty nice ability to have.
Taking him in a Battle-Forged army, you automatically gain 2 Command Points, allowing two more re-rolls, one extra disruption of the combat phase, or anything else you'll fancy. As a Named Ultramarine Warlord, he has the Commander warlord trait, allowing him to recycle CP on a 5+; the two factors combined make sure you don't fall short on stratagems.
Gear-wise, he comes with the fabled Gauntlets of Ultramar, legendary relics taken by Guilliman off the corpse of a dead Chaos Space Marine. And Guilliman didn't ask for them back when he woke up, he's such a nice guy. They now count as a single weapon, and of course do not grant an additional attack since this rule disappeared in 8th (but now he has 5 base attacks, so...). Basically, they are power fists, hitting at S8, AP-3 and D1d3 damage. While a fixed damage would have been nice, they still bring the pain, and few characters in the game will be able to survive a turn of combat with Calgar, especially with a 2+ re-rollable to hit, almost guaranteeing all 5/6 attacks will always connect (their relic ability is lacking an accuracy penalty).
They can also shoot with what is basically a master-crafted Storm Bolter, gaining AP-1 and D2. Four shots in Deep Strike range and up to 12 inches, so nice to soften a target or thin down a horde a little bit.
For the two non-Primaris versions, he replaced his old power sword with a relic blade for more pimp. While this might seem useless at first, since his fists have zero drawback, powers such as Jain Zar's Disarming Strike now rob him entirely of the Gauntlets' power, as they are no longer "a pair". So he can still wack her face with 5 re-rollable S6 AP-3 D1d3 attacks, which is almost as good. The Primaris version ditched it entirely.
In a nutshell, Calgar is like a budget Guilliman, solid in close combat, able to take pot shots with reasonable efficiency, and adds to your army. He is also the most expensive Chapter Master of all (baring those with special mounts), but he has a few more aces up his sleeve. Also, he only costs 50% of what Guilliman costs and doesn't eat up a Lord of War slot so he is a really good alternative to the latter.
It's just a flesh wound. He still deals with it better than a certain armless failure.
Calgar back in ye olden days. Note the Beakie helm and PET DESK DINOSAURS! AAAAGGGGHHHH!