Primaris Space Marines

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Look out Chaos, there's a new kid on the block.

"They were forged for Mankind's darkest hour, and that hour is upon us."

Roboute Guilliman

"In a galaxy wreathed in darkness, we must be the light."

– Unnamed Primaris Officer

"Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!"

Marshal Senior Princep Stacker Pentecost, from the movie Pacific Rim Collegia Titanica

True-Scale Space Marines Primaris Space Marines (also known as Primaris Marines, Ultra-Ultramarines, Space Space Marines, Primarines, NuMarines, Chadmarines, The Greater-est of them all, Adeptus Restartes, Gigglymarines, Super Space Marines, Biglymarines, Big League Marines, Space-marine Space-marine Space-Marines, 8thmarines, Bigmars, Spacesigmarines, Guillimarines, Special Snowflake Marines, Primarysues, Ultra-Ultrasmurfs, Skubmarines, Marines II: Electric Boogaloo, Tonka-Marines, Nobmarines, the Replacements and the New Kids) are the next step forward in Space Marine evolution, not counting the Raptor Supermarines made by Corax during the Horus Heresy before Alpharius spiked the gene-tech with Daemon Blood.

Big Bobby G got together with Belisarius Cawl because each heard the other liked Space Marines, so they put more Astartes in their Astartes, and the end result was this next generation of the Emperor's fearless defenders of humanity. They are bigger, stronger, tougher and maybe smarter than all that have come before them (big "maybe", though).

Buckle up boys, it's about to get hot and skubby in here.

History and Background[edit]

Shortly after the conclusion of the Horus Heresy, Guilliman predicted that another major Chaos attack on the Imperium might come at some point in the future. Though the Space Marines had proven themselves worthy defenders of Mankind, the Primarch foresaw that there might be a time where even they would struggle against the onslaught of the Ruinous Powers - because Roboute himself broke Legions in chapters, and those tend to have problems fighting Black Crusades against hundreds of thousands CSM (the reason why Dorn declined Codex Astartes at first, being one of the few after the Scouring to suppose the Traitor Legions may be back one day). But nowadays it turns out Guilliman knew about it as well - which makes the whole situation awkward to say the least.

Ahem, in a frankly extreme show of just as planned (though Guilliman probably didn't plan to be made Fulgrim's bitch), our Spiritual Liege gained the aid of Archmagos Belisarius Cawl and began a program to create a new, superior form of Space Marines in secret over the next ten millennia. To assist him, Guilliman gave Cawl a relic called the Sangprimus Portum- a device containing the purest samples of each Primarch's genetic material that outstripped even the gene-seed in its potency.

Even after he was poisoned by Fulgrim, Guilliman's plan continued without anybody learning about it, and by the time of his revival, Primaris Marines were ready to be unveiled to the Imperium - the only thing needed was a sanction from the Primarch himself.

In conjunction with the Ultima Founding, there are now going to be entirely new chapters composed just of Primaris Marines as well, with some taking over the fortress-monasteries of extinct chapters. In addition many chapters devastated by recent conflicts are also being reinforced by the Primaris joining their ranks. Some to the point that they essentially become Primaris chapters with the original marines becoming a minority in the ranks.

Standard marines can also be "transformed" into Primaris Marines. The first revealed to have gone through with this procedure was Marneus Calgar. However, the process, dubbed the "Rubicon Primaris" is also agonizing even by Space Marine standards, very difficult (the description of it we have for when Marneus Calgar went through it has his entire body sliced open and briefly killed him in the process- they had to jump-start his heart to revive him afterwards), and according to Cawl himself it has a 61.6% chance of failure until Cawl had enough data to refine the process. By and large, it's indisputably easier to make new Primaris from scratch rather than convert old marines, so expect the procedure to be mostly restricted to special characters with the necessary plot armor to survive it.

The introduction of the Primaris marines and the Rubicon Primaris has been controversially received by the current space marine chapters across the Imperium, with opinions ranging from enthusiastic to full-on hostility - Guilliman himself has referred to the Primaris as "Cawl's blasphemous hordes", not because he himself is distasteful of them (quite the opposite, in fact), but as a reference to how controversial their implementation has been to the wider Imperium. Some claim that the Primaris would be the end of many chapters' traditions and character (which isn’t meta at all) and is against what the Emperor intended for the Astartes. Others claim they will breathe new life into many struggling chapters and an ailing Imperium.

New Stuff[edit]

  • The basic Primaris Marine is encased in Mark X Tacticus Armour. Basically, it's the best of all the suits that came before it, wrapped up into one convenient package; no Beakie schnozz (note: Shrike’s new armor has a Beakie helmet, and the Raven Guard upgrade kit includes one as well), but it's got that sweet Maximus style vox grill. As usual, mechanically this is entirely cosmetic.
    • We don't talk about Mark IX Power Armour.
    • Bigger, tougher Primaris Marines wear Mark X Gravis Armour. As of 8E, this translates to +1T and +1W. Shiny. Comes with bodybuilder belly armour.
    • Reivers and Vanguard Primaris Marines wear Mark X Phobos Armour, sleeker-looking, with crocs, capris, and skull-faced helmets for the Reivers. The other guys have helmets somewhat similar to the Mark VII Armor.
    • Suppressors wear Mark X Omnis Armor, which combines elements of the Tacitus Armor and the Inceptor's version of the Gravis Armor.
  • They wield the Mark II Cawl-pattern Bolt rifle as their standard firearm. Apparently a "perfected" version of the ubiquitous bolter, it does have an improved statline - 30" Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP-1 D1 - which appears to be a boltgun with an extended barrel.
    • Its statline is one AP worse than the new "Special Issue Boltgun" Sternguard carry, but their big selling point is some combination of being cheaper/easier to manufacture and using more readily available/cheaper/easier to manufacture ammunition, reflected in their points cost - bolt rifles are the same gun for 3 points cheaper in 8E.
    • At least two variants of Bolt Rifle exist- the Auto Bolt Rifle, which has lower AP and shorter ranges but offers greater mobility and rate of fire due to being Assault 3, and the Stalker Bolt Rifle, a Heavy 1 sniper variant with superior range and one extra point of AP and damage.
  • An enhanced gene-seed, which was created by combining the purified genetic material of the Loyalist Primarchs with parts of the Custodes creation process (as they don't have gene-seed) that adds 3 more organs to the existing 19. It's also worth noting that Cawl did something to make the Primaris Marines physically incapable of turning traitor. Guilliman's internal monologue in Dark Imperium reveals that he considers it an impossibility for Primarines to turn, unlike "the old breed". Even though he is against the use of genes from the traitor legions despite the extreme heroics of the loyalists of those legions. Which is seriously a dick move (but probably won't stop Cawl either way). This has interesting implications about whether or not the Primaris marines truly have free will, assuming that they truly are unable to fall to Chaos- it is just as likely that they haven't been active long enough for any corruption to take hold yet. The book War of Secrets heavily implies they have some kind of innate Chaos resistance, being immune to a psychic plague that infested other Space Marines.
    • The new organs are:
      • Sinew Coils, which turn the Primaris Marines into Inspector Gadget....okay, we may be joking here, but it's basically metallic coils wrapped around the Marine's tendons and ligaments that can contract with extreme force.
        • This is particularly interesting, as it's not actually a living organ, and hence is presumably not developed from gene-seed at all (Actually, in the book "Dark Imperium: Plague War" Guy Haley describes them as a "network of supplementary muscles unique to the Primaris Marines". So maybe they are a real organic implant and not a bionic one. Who knows because, for example, the Dark Imperium books also contradicts the 8th Edition Codices about the original primaris haven't been recruited from the original legiones homeworlds. So what we could have here is just another classic case of author messing up the fluff again as it is described as metallic in most other publications).
      • The Magnificat, which just sets the rest of the superhuman organs into overdrive (and is itself part of a super-organ dubbed the Immortis Gland intended for Primarchs, though the information needed to complete it is lost), as well as producing additional growth hormone.
      • Belisarian Furnace (because Cawl gets a robo-boner for naming things after himself), essentially a 'last-stand' organ, which gives a Primaris Marine a supercharged adrenaline rush near death while triggering rapid tissue and bone regeneration. This presumably explains the additional Wound they have.
        • The organ also happens to be essential in the implementation of the Rubicon Primaris. The current procedure apparently kills the patient for a short while and the organs healing abilities is essential in reviving the patient post operation (at least that is what occured in Marneus Calgars case) assuming that they come back alive at all.

Potential Problems[edit]

  • Primaris marines were made from all extant Loyalist genelines, and thanks to the material made available to Belisarius Cawl through the Sangprimus Portum, show little to none of the idiosyncrasies that usually mark the bloodlines of Russ and Sanguinius. Not only that, but according to an (admittedly biased) in-universe source, there's only a .001% chance of genetic deviation per generation, which means that the Primaris genestock are incredibly stable as well. Interestingly, thanks to Cawl's work Chapters that have lost organs through the centuries (like the Imperial Fists) or have malfunctioning organs (like the Raven Guard) all of a sudden have a complete set of organs thanks to the influx of new Primaris blood.
    • This means of course that Chapters like the Space Wolves, who due to the same quirks of their genetics were unable to have successors, can now have them, without fear of them devolving into Wulfen in one generation (though they can still be affected by its bestial rage). Despite this stability, some people (see Gabriel Seth) aren't too happy at this flagrant tinkering with the Emperor's work. Despite the fact the Primarchs and Astartes were created by teams of gene-smiths and the Emperor acted more like a project leader than personal inventor. The memories from one of the major head guys of said projects and creator of the black carapace, Ezekiel Sedayne, got grafted into cawl's brain. So everything should be fine... right? What could go wrong?
    • It's worth noting that in the Kill Team Focus: The Adeptus Astartes, Black Dragons Reivers with bone mutations are mentioned. Maybe this is due to the purposeful mutation farming by the Black Dragons, or maybe the mutation rate is higher than Daddy Cawl cares to admit. That said, it's been 100 years since the Ultima Founding, and chapters can, presumably, create their own Primaris Marines, not to mention the AdMech were the ones who (unintentionally) gave them their specific mutation in the first place, so maybe Cawl's fucking around with them or he purposefully gave their Primaris the same mutation. Wouldn't be the first time an engineer went "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" They might also have been Marines who followed in Calgar's footsteps and became Primaris.
    • The update to the Blood Angels confirms this, with the appearance of Death Company Intercessors. We know Dante's going to be disappointed at that, for sure, though Gabe will probably be smug at this.
  • Cawl’s work isn’t always perfect, and his arrogance gives him a tendency to overreach. This is exemplified in Alpha Primus, the first and prototype Primaris Marine, who seems to be Cawl’s heretical attempt at making his own Primarch (see the Magnificat, above), or at least something on roughly the same power level. He’s so giant that he towers over even other Primaris, is an extremely powerful psyker, and is described as “more gifted” than any other Astartes... He also exists in a constant state of pain, both physical and mental, which gives him a personality that Marvin the Paranoid Android would find tedious, and he’s nominally considered a failure. He even has a stitched-together face to reinforce the parallels with Frankenstein’s Monster (the original, highly intelligent but extremely emo one). Cawl ended up keeping him around as a servant and bodyguard. Whether the Primaris as a whole will eventually turn out to be a more subtle example of Cawl’s overreach is an open question.
  • Despite being bigger and stronger than "regular" Astartes, what the Primaris initially lacked was actual battlefield experience (a fact bemoaned by Captain Felix of the Ultramarines in Dark Imperium to have been the cause of most of the initial losses to the Primaris). While this has been mostly been offset by the long and hard Indomitus Crusade campaign, even after a hundred-odd years of war the average Primaris marine is looked upon as a relative greenhorn by regular Astartes veterans. They have a lot to prove to their adopted Chapters as a result.
    • We get little hints of this having to prove themselves goodness in the Dark Angels codex. A group of Hellblasters are half put off, half inspired by the strictness of their primogenitor. After the squad gets trapped in a hive city for days fighting off enemies, they rack up so many kills even Belial can't help but smile.
  • The Dark Angel example above illustrates another problem: how well will the new Primaris Marines get along with their chapter? The Dark Angels are an extreme example given their issues UNSWERVING LOYALTY TO THE IMPERIUM, but other chapters may have their own problems getting the first couple batches of Primaris marines to get with the traditions and cultures of their chapters. The Space Wolves were mentioned as being similar, as some of the Wolf Lords initially questioned the worth of those not born on Fenris to be called sons of Leman Russ, despite the Legion’s recruitment practices prior to finding its Primarch and their extensive achievments during that period. In spite of their misgivings and claims that Guilliman was using them to dilute their traditions, Logan Grimnar ordered that they be integrated into the packs; however, rivalries between Primaris Space Wolves and their shorter counterparts are still common. At least papa wolf doesn’t take shit and accepts whatever helps protect humanity.
    • As the Primaris have no Terminators (Aggressors are debatable) or Biker units or any real equivalents. (Yet, if GW thought that far ahead.) I.e. Hellblasters and Inceptors can be deployed in place of Sternguard and Vanguard Veterans in other chapters. With the exception of Primaris Librarians, induction into the Inner Circle or the upper ranks of the Ravenwing is unlikely, at least until some time passes. Or in fluff they might end up being added without specialized vehicles and the size issue could he handwaived. There are also rumors of Primaris getting actual Terminators and Bikers "soon". Though it's best to take them with a grain of salt as they've been around since Primaris Marines were announced for Dark Angels.
  • Chaos will be interested in the Primaris Marines. The Chaos Gods are not happy with the existence of the Primaris Marines, and are creating some warp charged warriors to counter them (enhanced Chosen, perhaps). Fabulous Bill became obsessed with "perfecting" the Primaris Marines from the moment he first encountered them and has already begun trying to kidnap Primaris Marines for dissection. They've supposedly been made resistant to Chaos influence, but "resistant" doesn't mean "immune" by a long shot, since they still have a soul. In fact a Noxious Blightbringer is able to effect them in Dark Imperium, successfully hurting and trying to get them to turn. And come to think of it, the cover image of 8th Edition does seem to partially show a Plague Marine in Tacitus armor...
    • The discovery that Cawl wanted to use Traitor Legion gene-seed as well as the gene-seed of the missing legions to make Primaris Marines doesn't help the matter; Guilliman refused to let him do so, but he has a feeling Cawl will try it anyway with predictable results.
      • Cawl claims that it was only due to the influence of the traitorous Primarchs that their Legions fell to Chaos. While this may be true, attempting to test that theory would almost certainly be an extremely bad idea.
      • The reasons as to why the the Lost Legions were purged so thoroughly were apparently so unthinkably horrible (so much that even after his rebellion had begun, Horus was still unwilling to break the vow he made to never speak of the Missing Primarchs) that Cawl trying to use their DNA might bite him in the ass even harder than for using gene-seed from the Traitor Primarchs.
  • While barely explored in-universe so far, the various alien races in the setting may also take exception to or dangerous interest in the Primaris Marines.Urien Rakarth has expressed interest in them in spite of what he calls Guilliman's "lack of imagination", and has requested his Haemonculi bring as many to him as possible; more unnervingly, he has expressed that he will be saving his best oubliette for the Primarch if he ever wished to "learn from the master". It would be equally unsurprising if a certain spider-legged robot mad scientist also wanted to collect a few Primaris specimens. The rest of the alien races, fortunately, are much less interested in genetic modification and would be more likely to view them as being more or less like any other Space Marine, although at least one Ork Mekboy came up with the idea of creating more potent bullets to deal with "da big beakies". As of the Ork codex, Mad Dok Grotsnik (You know, the guy who CREATED GHAZGHKULL) has kidnapped a bunch of Silver Skulls Primaris marines for unknown purposes. So that bodes well.
  • The book "War of Secrets" has the Primaris Marines of the Dark Angels (and by implication, all Primaris Marines of Terran stock) heavily influenced by the culture of Mars: they call the Emperor the Omnissiah, reverently call their creator 'Pater Cawl', and swear to the glory of "chapter, Terra and Mars". This raises the question of if they are more loyal to the Adeptus Mechanicus than the Imperium or even their own Chapter. Indeed, in the book its one of the main reasons the Dark Angels don't trust them.
  • Despite the Primaris widely being seen as, and intended to be, the replacements for standard Astartes, and most Chapters having the means and technology to create Primaris Space Marines of their own, many still choose to continue creating standard Space Marines as well for their more flexible and readily available equipment and combat doctrines (not to mention being able to drive all the space marine vehicles that the Primaris are apparently too cool for). Outside of full Primaris chapters, the newmarines are gonna have to just get used to being supplementary. Not that this is surprising- only so much gene-seed is produced, and nobody's dumb enough to just throw it out.
    • While the Rubicon Primaris can convert existing Astartes into Primaris, the process is life-threatening, complex, and prone to failure due to lack of refinement. On top of all that, it has caused a fair degree of friction in itself, with some Marines welcoming the possibility for all Astartes to become Primaris and others whispering of possible refusal or even open revolt if the transformation was made compulsory, although given how risky the procedure is, this probably isn't an overt concern.

Forces of the Primaris Marines[edit]

"Lord Commander, the batch 3789-Alpha is missing! Just after the visit of..." "I know."

Primaris Marines don't get to select from a variety of equipment loadouts, but the equipment they do carry is designed by Cawl, who is shockingly competent, so they usually outgun their non-Primaris equivalents who tried to choose an otherwise identical loadout; this forces them to depend on other units to support them to fill in any gaps (much like Eldar Aspect Warriors). They enjoy, as of 8E, +1W and +1A relative to a regular marine, making them more durable and a lot more dangerous in melee combat. Some of them wear Mark X Gravis Armour, for another +1T (and another wound as of the 8.5e codex).

  • Primaris Captain: Primaris Captains are the analogues of Space Marine Captains. They are decked out in the new Gravis Armor which somehow manages to be even MOAR egg-shaped than a Squat Hearthguard. They're armed with a mini-Gauntlet of Ultramar/Hand of Dominion (I.E. a three-shot bolt pistol built into a power fist) and a master-crafted power sword. Others use the Mark X Tacitus power armor and wield a power sword and their choice of Stalker Boltgun or Auto Bolt Rifle. There's also a plasma pistol and power fist model exclusive to Games Workshop stores celebrating their anniversaries. As of the Shadowspear Boxed Set, he can now be equipped with Phobos Armor (and presumably a Cameoline Cloak) for some sneaky breeki action.
  • Primaris Librarian: Just what it sounds like. Has a fancy-looking Force Sword.
    • Vanguard Librarian: A variant used by the Vanguard Primaris Marines. Has a camo-robe, just in case an 8 foot tall lightning-flinging, power armoured wizard needs to be subtle. Or maybe he's cosplaying as a Dark Angel, we don't know. In either case, he has a different set of powers that focus on making his allies even sneakier.
  • Primaris Chaplain: Self-explanatory; they wear black robes as though they're aping on the Interrogator-Chaplains. In battle, they wear an Iron Halo and carry a Crozius Arcanum alongside a specialized Absolver Bolt Pistol. To double down on the skull motif, their breastplate looks like a ribcage.
  • Primaris Lieutenants: The Primaris Lieutenants are somewhere between a Captain and a Sergeant in rank, and are often the most experienced of a Primaris Squad. Their role is to take command of demi-companies when the Captain is absent, freeing Chaplains and Librarians to focus on their own specialties. Lieutenants are differentiated from their fellow marines by a red-on-white stripe on their helms. Some of them can be helmetless which often showcase an extreme amount of Hair-esy. They can either use a power sword or a master-crafted automatic version of the Bolt Rifle (shorter range and worse ap, but better rate of fire at long range, fireable after Advancing, and more damage per shot from being master-crafted).
    • Vanguard Lieutenant: Lieutenants of the Vanguard Primaris swap out their bolt rifles for an occulus bolt carbine that helps them pick off enemies from far away, and while they only use a basic combat knife they're surprisingly good with it. They can also deep strike via grav-chute like the Reivers.
  • Primaris Ancients: Primaris Marines dubbed honorable enough to have the privilege of carrying the Standard's Banner. Identifiable by their white helmets (although that could change depending on the Chapter), they are in no way related to another dude-clad-in-power-armor-wearing-a-white-helmet-that-also-comes-with-the-same-name-from-a-certain-WH40K-game. At least until he's been upgraded. In case you were wondering, "Ancient" is a corruption of the rank of "Ensign" which was a term for an army's flagbearer in the Middle Ages, so it has nothing to do with how old the Marine in question actually is.
  • Primaris Apothecary: A specialization of Primaris Marine first seen in artwork and promo photos, and now has rules and a model. Their left bracer appears to have a screen on it for monitoring lifesigns, and they have a pistol with a reductor built into it for geneseed removal (and the occasional puncturing of enemy skulls). The Narthecium attached to a cyberdong mechadendrite on the Apothecary's back.
  • Primaris Techmarine: One of them acts as the pintle gunner for the Repulsor Tank. That's about all we know.
  • Reivers: Reivers are Space Marines created from the gene-seed of Sly Marbo. Think Catachan Jungle Fighters in Power Armor. It's time to piss yourselves, traitorous scum. Reivers are the only true close-combat specialist Infantry for the Primaris and are pretty good at it overall. Compared to Intercessors they have a Combat Knife for another attack and an improved Bolt Pistol with greater Armour Penetration, and the ability to negatively effect enemy morale. They can be equipped for more ranged combat but that is not why you take them. They have Deep-Strike option like everyone else, but also a new grappling hook that allows them to both outflank and jump-up ruins like they're nothing. But arguably their biggest trump-card is their special grenade that causes effected units to lose both their overwatch and minus one to shooting. While not the most devastating CC unit in the game they make excellent back-field harassers and synergize wonderfully with the rest of your army with their ability to cripple enemy gun-lines.
  • Aggressors: Aggressors are basically Primaris Terminators mixed in with Centurions, but with a 3+ save. They have an even more specialized Gravis armor, and either an automatic version of the Primaris Captain's Boltstorm Gauntlet paired with shoulder-mounted grenade launchers or a flamer-equipped version of said gauntlet dubbed the Flamestorm gauntlet. Regardless of what they're equipped with, they specialize in close-range firepower that obliterates light infantry.
  • Intercessors: Intercessors are the standard SUPER bolter Marines, having most in common with a bare-bones tactical squad as they're armed with Primaris versions of the same things (such as their super bolters and Mk X armour). Compared to tacticals, they perform better in melee and have greater armour penetration on their basic weapons along with being more survivable, making them effective in a wider variety of situations. This is both a strength and a weakness, as while they may be bigger Jacks of all trades, they're even worse masters of nothing. Compared to Tacticals they have fewer weapon and transport options and only one type of heavy weapon choice. This might be part of the reason that other Primaris Marines are more specialized: to compensate/synergize. As Primaris specialists may be more vulnerable to heavy firepower and be fire-magnets, Intercessors with their flexibility they can more reliably protect other more valuable units and plug any holes that arise from specialist losses, or make themselves useful against any foe until the hard-hitting second wave arrives (being the most versatile as far as Primaris Marines go).
  • Inceptors: Inceptors are the Assault Marines equivalent drop troops of the Primaris Marines and are equipped with a new pattern of Jump Packs, two Assault Bolters, which are basically sawn off Heavy Bolters, a pair of hand-portable Plasma Cannons, and a pair of absolutely ridiculous-looking shoe-shovels. Unlike Assault Squads, the Inceptors' focus is on firepower and a pseudo Hammer of Wrath. This makes them closer in role to Assault Bikes as a fast moving strafing unit and harasser. They lack melee weapons of any kind; this doesn't mean they can't fight in melee, as their sheer weight allows them to crush their enemies to death, and they still have the statline of "normal" Primaris marines along with being even tougher to hurt, making them not completely useless in a scrap. Don't get it in your head that their melee ability is "good", though, or even decent, and only engage in melee if you have to; they do far better blowing things into tiny pieces.
  • Hellblasters: Hellblasters are Primaris Marines who make Flash Gitz green(er) with envy. They use Plasma Incinerators, enhanced Plasma Guns with longer range and armor piercing ability. Aside from that, there's nothing special about them as compared to "regular" Primaris marines. Very expensive and vulnerable to strong weapons, but they fuck up TEQs and can pose a threat to vehicles if they can get into Rapid Fire range, though outside of said range it's not as suicidal to unload a charged volley, so they can threaten vehicles there, too. Also, with the changes to how cover works, they are terrifying against cover campers. With how big a fire magnet these guys are, if you get these guys close to an expensive or dangerous vehicle or multiwound TEQs feel free to HELLBLAST them into oblivion in a suicide barrage. (That is, IF they're at risk of being wiped out or swarmed.)
  • Primaris Redemptor Dreadnought: For no matter how great and glorious they may be, in the grim future even they are not immortal. Though how enough of these brand spanking-new Space Marines were curbstomped just enough to warrant Dreadnought status, we'll (probably) never know (hundreds of thousands of Primaris fighting in the over a century long indomitus crusade may be the answer). Times be desperate, yo. Probably because they're so hard to kill that just about all of them that couldn't be saved are made dread-ful.
  • Repulsor: The Repulsor is the standard transport and/or tank (nobody's entirely sure yet) of the Primaris Marines. Which is good for them, because they can't go inside standard Space Marine transports, including ones that can hold Terminators, Centurions, and (in 30k) even fucking Primarchs. There must be some mysterious force surpassing even the Emperor blocking the door - which also blocks the door on this thing if you try to convince a non-Primaris to go inside. Being a floating Metal Box, it might be considered the spiritual successor to the Grav-Rhino, if you covered said Grav-Rhino with missile pods everywhere, including on its rear and sides, put twin-linked lascannon in the front hull, and gave it what looks like a heavy stubber as a coaxial gun to go with the turret lascannon and pintle-mounted Gatling gun.
    • Repulsor Executioner: Now the Repulsor is an ACTUAL battle tank, and is incredibly well kitted out.
  • Overlord: The Overlord is the Primaris-exclusive dropship used to support the bigger frames of the Primaris Marines. You would think the Thunderhawk would be big enough for them, but it seems they are too special to share the same vehicle with their smaller brothers. Anyways, the Overlord is noticeable for one thing. It is ECKS BAWKS HUEG, making a Thunderhawk look like a Stormtalon in comparison. In terms of specs, it is the Corvus Blackstar on steroids. Seriously, it has powerful quintuple engines and twinned hulls thick enough to permit insertion from orbit, like Thunderhawks or Stormbirds, and like Blackstars, Overlords possess twin transport bays with their own assault doors, but they're considerably bigger (they can carry up to 40 of your Chadmarines) and even more blessed with advanced technologies like fucking energy shields (Guess Cawl kind of 'borrowed' some of that sweet ass energy shields from the pointy-eared gitz). Additionally, the Overlord is equipped with anti-munitions cannons, wing-mounted Desolator Lascannons, nose-mounted Melta Cannons and Heavy Bolters fixed on its lower wing surfaces. This thing is pretty much a flying Titan or an Imperial Manta.
  • Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank: Surely the result of a grudging 3-way between a Mastodon, a Sicaran, and a somewhat reluctant Repulsor, the Astraeus is the first Primaris super-heavy tank (implying there will be more variants on the way) and looking to be an utter beast on the tabletop - it's armed with Land Raider style frontal Heavy Bolter mount, two front angled sponsons for Las-Rippers or Plasma Eradicators, topped with a turret mounted dual Macro-Accelerator Cannon. Given how expensive it is to field a decently kitted repulsor, it remains to be seen how viable it will be to concentrate so many points into one vehicle.

Vanguard Space Marines[edit]

Apparently Guilliman and Cawl swapped notes with Sigmar when it came to organizing the Primaris forces. The Primaris of the Vanguard Space Marines are geared mainly towards guerilla warfare and infiltration; most of them wear the Phobos pattern armor Reivers wear, since it offers improved mobility with no loss of protection (leading to the obvious question of why anyone wears the base Tacticus pattern). The only exception is the Suppressor, who wears Omnis pattern armor, which is effectively the Phobos version of Gravis armor, because Primaris marines are so bad at using standard jump packs.

  • Vanguard Captains: The final evolution of the Scout Marine. Armed with a sniper rifle, beard, moustache and a few party tricks, most of which are shared with the scout.
  • Vanguard Lieutenants: A melee heavy Lt. with an improved boltgun and the same deepstrike ability the rest of the vanguard has.
  • Vanguard Librarians: A stealth librarian specializing in buffs. Only Vanguard HQ worth a damn.
  • Helix Adepts: Because GW loves repeating themselves here's a retro Apothecary who remembers that it's smarter to stay in a unit than to stand alone as an elite. Same skills as normal medic but a more limited target pool.
  • Eliminators: Essentially power-armored sniper scouts equipped with exotic ammunition, or if you want to be a smart ass Primaris Sternguard with Scout Gear. Their Bolt weapons look like oversized G36s.
  • Infiltrators: These appear to be the equivalents of the Intercessors, at least in the sense of being the standard Bolter-wielders. They appear to be using some kind of scoped Bolt Carbine variant and smoke grenades.
  • Incursors: An alternate build for Infiltrators that specialize in hitting dug in or concealed enemies with the aid of multi-spectrum arrays and occulus bolt carbines.
  • Suppressors: What you get when you cross an Inceptor with a Devastator. Those big autocannons are sure to make the Scourges jealous. Totally not based on the Zakus from Gundam.
  • Impulsor: A light transport and support vehicle for Vanguard marines that can outfitted for a variety of roles including orbital bombardment spotter.
  • Invictor Tactical Warsuit: A stripped down Redemptor Dreadnought with its sarcophagus removed and replaced with a cockpit, sound dampening technology, and a giant removable heavy bolter sidearm.

On the Tabletop[edit]

Crunch wise, Primaris Space Marines are about as physically dangerous as Space Marines are already supposed to be fluff-wise, so they get an additional Attack and an additional Wound; weapons which deal additional Wounds seem to be fairly common now, so while it might not be a big improvement it can still be helpful. However, they also have exclusive access to shiny new toys from Cawl, including a "basically Kraken" Bolter with +6" range and -1 AP, a Plasma gun with +6" range and -4 AP, and half-range one-handed Assault Heavy Bolters and Plasma Cannons. That they dual-wield. With jump packs. Defensively, so far only they have access to Gravis armor, which grants +1 Toughness (and even then only the Captain, Aggressors, and Inceptors can use it). Finally, their squads don't mix weapon types, with all members carrying the same loadout; whether this will be a benefit or a downside relative to "standard" marines being able to carry a mixed loadout remains to be seen with the other new rules in 8th, such as the ability of any squad to split its fire across multiple targets.

Most of the Primaris units so far also cost nearly twice as many points as their older counterparts and have unit sizes no larger than a 5 10 model maximum (including the Serge). This strongly suggests they will be more useful as a supplement to standard Marine forces than they might be as outright replacements; they're far too inflexible and expensive to be fielded effectively on their own, and their lack of melee specialists and access to weaponry with a range greater than 36" is a glaring flaw (for now) as well. And while their movement is no worse than any other Marine, for reasons that totally aren't financial in origin they can't take any transports usable by standard Marines. Not Rhinos, not Drop Pods, not Land Raiders, not even the motherfucking Mastodon. They can use the Thunderhawk, but odds are you're not going to have room for it in your standard 2000 points game, and even then, it has to be carrying only Primaris Marines (and in that case, it still can't carry too many). They have a special transport called a Repulsor (which is a grav tank), which somehow can't carry non-Primaris, but besides that they have no choice but to go footslogging.

However, single-model units can be astonishingly efficient - the most extreme case is the Primaris Librarian, who has a static, unchangeable loadout, but costs the exact same as a non-Primaris Librarian with the same loadout (a bolt pistol and Force Sword).

Primaris armies can seem deceptively small, however, they have an incredible wound density. This makes your basic squads like Intercessors far more point efficient than Tactical Marines (since in 8th edition Tac Marines just kind of completely suck eggs), and are the better option when it comes to holding down homefield objectives. They're also by far some of the best bolter infantry available, with a number of advantages over basic Sternguard (though lacking access to combi-weapons). Other squads such as Hellblasters vs Devastators, Aggressors vs Terminators, etc. are less clear-cut, but overall the Primaris squads are more than able to carry their own weight, providing value in their role, sacrificing a little bit of flexibility for durability but not quite enough to make them Eldar-level cripples outside their niche.

Currently the Primaris are considered to be much more of a shooty army than a punchy one. They can handle themselves in melee yes, and aggressors and rievers can dish it out in CQC, but they currently lack ultraheavy weight facepunchers like Assault Terminators, Killsaw Meganobz or Bikernobz, Necron Wraiths, Melee Warriors and 'Fexes, Wraithblades and so on. They can handle the chaff in close combat but lack true top tier facepunchers. The majority of their shooting is also within the 4-7 strength range and virtually all of it is within the 12-36 inch range bracket due to their extreme focus on infantry. They're a little awkward to use as a standalone army at the moment since they currently have a fraction of the unit choices available to more established armies, but entirely usable to newbies and old pros alike and are a generally very forgiving army where while there's not a whole lot of units and load-outs to choose from, everything's role is pretty immediately obvious at a glance.

It is very unlikely that this will remain the case indefinitely as their model range is almost certain to expand dramatically over the years with goodies like fliers, vehicles, walkers, new guns, melee units, bikes and all that neat stuff but keep in mind that as of right now they're an army meant to dominate infantry gunfights, not win artillery duels, go about tank jousting, bomb things from the stratosphere, zoom around objectives in bikes or transports, or punch things in the face. That being said, they'll shred shit up in short to mid ranged infantry gunfights and have enough other options to handle other targets without feeling hopeless. The other benefit of course, is that this is an army that is very young and have the spotlight shining on them and are guaranteed to only get more options in the near future until they can finally rival the bewildering array of toys the OG Space Marines can field.

Of course the downside to that is that none of us are exactly sure how future content will change up the Primaris as an army as they're still finding their character as a faction so it's difficult to plan around that and you'll almost definitely find yourself needing to get at least some of the future models. Looking at the patterns of stormcast eternal releases over in Age of Sigmar seems to be a somewhat decent guide to what the future might hold though.

Rules Datasheets[edit]

Gallery[edit]

Miniatures[edit]

Pictures[edit]

Assorted[edit]

Forces of the Primaris Marines
Command: Primaris Ancient - Primaris Apothecary - Primaris Captain
Primaris Chaplain - Primaris Librarian - Primaris Lieutenant
Vanguard Librarian - Vanguard Lieutenant - Helix Adept
Troops: Aggressor - Eliminator - Hellblaster - Inceptor - Incursor
Infiltrator - Intercessor - Reiver - Suppressor
Vehicles: Impulsor - Invictor Tactical Warsuit
Redemptor Dreadnought - Repulsor Tank
Super Heavies: Astraeus Super-Heavy Tank
Flyers: Overlord
Allies: Space Marines