Marneus Augustus Calgar: Also known as The Notorious M.A.C, The MAC Daddy, Manliest Cattleguard, Pimp Daddy Calgar, and Papa Smurf.
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. 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. Now fitted with bionic replacements, he is more machine 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 dual-wielded Necron Pylons while the Ultramarines were retaking Damnos (before you ask, Phil Kelly wrote this, surprisingly).
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.
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 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, which Papa Smurf has assumed means he might be replaced in the future. 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 the whole mess.
On the Tabletop
|Marneus Calgar (Armor of Antilochus):||250||5||2+||2+||4||4||7||5||9||2+/4++|
|Marneus Calgar (Artificer Armor):||235||6||2+||2+||4||4||6||5||9||2+/4++|
First, you have to notice that Calgar has two profiles, because he has two minis. Only one "Marneus Calgar" is allowed per army, though, so do not start imagining heretic cloning technology here. There is a 1PL/15 points difference between the two. So what do you get for roughly the cost of a naked Marine? Not much you'd think?
- You get +1HP. Given the high damage weapons that 8th have, this could make a difference. Besides, coupled with next point...
- You halve (rounded up) all damages done to Calgar. This is huge. Imagine you take a lucky lascannon shot in the face. Calgar take 6 damages. In artificer armor, he is outright dead. In his Armor of Antilochus, he still has 4 wounds left, can be healed by an Apothecary, whack faces and so on. While not exactly making like a 14 wounds characters (because of the rounding up), 10 or 11 effective wounds taken before bringing him down seems like a nice estimate. And he does not get a degrading statline or the ability to be shot at if not the closest model, because he is still a less than 10 W model. All in one, this ability is huge to keep him alive.
- He can use Teleport Strike. It's always a nice option to have, especially given the fact that you now choose when deepstriking units arrive, so you can send him with a Terminator retinue or whatever you fancy.
- The mini. The old artificer armor mini is... Old. The "new" one is gorgeous. This will not win many fights, but it's still a bit of satisfaction.
- He loses 1 inch of movement. Well, that seems to be a fair trade-off, even though Calgar is clearly a mêlée oriented chracter.
- He does NOT lose Frag and Krak grenades since no iteration has them. I guess even if he is able to hold a crystal glass of wine with extreme delicacy in his gauntlets, throwing a grenade has become a little complicated. He's getting old.
Whichever you choose is up to you, but, pro-tip: always take him in the Armor of Antilochus. ALWAYS. I cannot fathom a scenario were you'd prefer the other one, especially at such a small cost.
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. Keep in mind however, that rolls happens before modifiers, so you will not be able to reroll a 3 on a miniature with a heavy weapon that has moved, because it not technically a fail before taking the modifier into account. Keep in mind too that it also works for vehicles, not just infantry and bikes... The aura also affects him.
Taking him in a Battle-Forged army, you automatically gain 2 Command Points, allowing two more reroll, one extra disruption of the combat phase or anything you'll fancy.
Gear-wise, he comes with the fabled Gauntlets of Ultramar, legendary relics taken from 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 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, -3AP and D3 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 2+ rerollable to hit, almost guaranteeing all 5 attacks will always connect. Because, yes, he is so good with them he does not take the usual -1 to hit with that kind of weapons.
They can also shoot with what is basically a master-crafted Storm Bolter, gaining -1AP and 2 wounds instead of one. 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.
He replaced his old power sword with a relic blade for more pimp. While this might since 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, since they are no more "a pair". So he can can still wack her face with 5 rerollable S6 -3AP D3W attacks, which is almost as good.
In a nutshell, Calgar is like a budget Guilliman, solid in close combat, able to take pot shots with debatable 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. The real question is, with Guilliman doing everything better for only 5PL/110 points more, is Calgar worth it?