"Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people", that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations."
- — Peter F. Drucker
"Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war."
- — Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus
"The storm rages. The sleeper awakes. Hope rises in the fire of war."
- — Our spiritual liege has returned!
Roboute Guilliman ("Row-BOOT-ay" "GILL-uh-man" ɹəʊ-buːt-eɪ ɡɪl-ə-mæn) is the Primarch of the Ultramarines and quite possibly the single most skub-inspiring person in the setting, thanks to him being depicted as a total ungodly Mary Sue in retrospective sources, but being depicted as quite likable and level headed in others. The dislike for him is often based more around his legacy and the reception (or lack there of) of a certain infamous book, although he did have a cold, imperious streak to his personality that occasionally caused friction between his brothers and himself, most famously being partially responsible for being one of the factors that turned Lorgar to chaos, in addition to Alpharius. Maybe. It's hard to tell.
Unlike most worlds that the other Primarchs landed on, Macragge was a pretty great place to live. Guilliman was found by a politician while they were on a hunting trip. Konor Guilliman, the man who took him in, was a pretty cool dude, he advocated helping the common man and reforms that would make the world a meritocracy. These were a major influence on Roboute and stayed with him throughout his life. It also says something that Konor's seneschal, Tarasha Euten, was effectively Guilliman's surrogate mother, making him one of the only Primarchs to have a conventional family, a fact that twisted Konrad Curze's nipples to no end (which goes double when she tells him to go fuck himself).
One day while Roboute was coming back after fighting the Macragge's version of the Gauls, he found his home in disarray. Konor was the victim of some Roman politics. The other co-ruler, Gallan, was pissed off at all these reforms and so just sent his army to rape, pillage and burn. Seeing his once peaceful home burning, neighbors looting and killing each other; left the second major impact on Roboute and the most likely source of why he was always so anal about keeping things in order.
After gutting Gallan and restoring order, Roboute worked to make his father's dream a reality. This was the third major impact on his life: though he claimed that Gallan's death was justice, Guilliman came to realize that it was in fact vengeance, and worked to master his emotional self-control. By the time the Emperor reached Macragge, Roboute had ruled for five years and turned the world into a place where you had to earn your place, not just be born, like what his father wanted.
Great Crusade and Horus Heresy
Guilliman put to use his skills as a tactician and strategist to fight in his Father's crusade, preferring to form battle plans rather than actually participate in the fighting himself though he still did his fair share of Xeno-killing. In the hopes of passing down some of his strategic expertise, he worked very hard to turn the Ultramarines into an army of thinkers. His primary rule as a commander was "Information is victory", emphasizing that Space Marines needed theoretical knowledge and practical experience, in other words, a sound understanding of the tactical situation and a means to achieve their objective. Given that battle plans proved to be the first casualty, Guilliman soon realized that he would need to refine his own strategies even as he codified them, lest they fall apart in the chaos of warfare. In spite of that, with over 250,000 legionaries, he managed to achieve compliance on the highest number of worlds during the Great Crusade, but was surpassed in military victories not only by the Luna Wolves, but by Space Wolves and Dark Angels as well. Meaning he was either a good diplomat or his crusade encountered much more peaceful human societies not being mutants than average one. Or both. Guilliman also made a point to turn conquered planets into model military worlds, and the Ultramarines would not leave until a modern Planetary Defence Force was established. He really should've been put jointly in charge of administration post-Ullanor, which would've made premature, excessive taxation of newly integrated worlds a lot easier to avoid (and therefore fewer worlds would have joined Horus' rebellion). Or probably not: after all, Guilliman didn't change a thing on Nuceria, a beautiful feudal world of charming people enjoying slaves and pit fights and slaves fighting in pits (not to say they were fucking responsible for the mess Angron turned into) after incorporating it in his empire. It was of no concern to Roboute; the only thing he cared about were resources and taxes arriving in time. So while central worlds of Ultramar prospered, provinces were much shittier places to live, up to the point where some populaces didn't know who Guilliman was (and I'm not making it up, Lion spits this information in Roboute's face in "Unremembered Empire").
When civil war broke out, Guilliman was tricked into taking most of his Legion to Calth for a joint Ultramarines/Word Bearers engagement. While most of his Chapter Masters believed it was just Horus flexing his muscles, Guilliman realized it was partly political: when the Emperor of Mankind rebuked Lorgar Aurelian for spreading the Lectitio Divinatatus, he ordered the Ultramarines to burn Monarchia, capital city of Khur, as an example of what would happen to those who continued to defy the Imperial Truth. Guilliman carried out his orders and didn't show Lorgar any sympathy, but privately confided to some of his officers his discomfort in doing so, feeling that the total humiliation would irreparably damage relations between the XIII and XVII Legions. Guilliman saw this as a chance to mend fences and forge friendships the old fashioned way: by getting Space Marines to kill Orks. Unfortunately, Horus and Lorgar used the Calth muster to kill nearly half the Legion in a surprise attack. When he found out Lorgar's treachery he personally declared to hunt Lorgar down and kill him, only to be attacked by some sort of Daemonic proxy and voided onto his flagship. Guilliman did what any other pissed off Primarch would do: go on a rampage against Word Bearers trying to board the Macragge's Honour by punching them to death. In near vacuum. Without a helmet. For half an hour. (Dan Abnett is still pretty proud of that scene). After the Battle of Calth, Guilliman had to contend with the Shadow Crusade, as Lorgar and Angron razed 26 of Ultramar's worlds with their main fleet, and who knows how many with the splinter fleets.
After seeing off the Shadow Crusade, Guilliman acted on the assumption that due to being unable to know if the greater Imperium or the Emperor survived, he would need to act on the worst-case scenario that they had both fallen. Consequently, if his father could not be saved, His ideals would be, and so he set up a new government called Imperium Secundus, a second Imperium of Man which would reject Horus's alliance with Chaos. Although potentially traitorous, Guilliman's motives at least appeared sincere, he made a big hoohah about not taking the throne himself, since he would look like a Tyrant if he did. Fortunately/Unfortunately, The Lion arrived at Macragge and didn't like where it was heading. Neither brother trusted the other with the job of ruling the next Imperium, so Sanguinius got the job only to settle the matter between the two and was declared regent of the Imperium in the Emperor's absence, only for the whole thing to be abandoned when Guilliman learned to his horror that the Emperor wasn't dead and that his whole plan was little more than a pointless waste of time. It continues to be a source of shame to him even in the present time.
Whatever his intentions, Guilliman led over one hundred thousand Ultramarines to Terra with the Dark Angels and the Space Wolves, intent on helping the Blood Angels, Imperial Fists, and White Scars currently defending Terra. Learning about this and knowing that he could not sustain the assault on the planet anymore once the bulk of the loyalist forces came into the fight, Horus lowered the void shields upon the Vengeful Spirit in an all-or-nothing gambit to win the war by killing the Emprah in a duel. Alas, Guilliman and his reinforcements arrived too late to stop the traitors (who despite the death of Horus still mostly held space around the planet) from retreating to their ships and flee from Terra. This and his own feeling that said lateness could have been prevented had he made for Terra sooner only motivated him harder to kick the Scouring off, where those traitors that wouldn't or couldn't make their way to the Eye of Terror were hunted down and cleansed, planet by planet. Guilliman also pushed for his reforms in that time, which led to considerable divergences of opinions; but in the end everyone seemingly agreed and went "Okay, let's do this Codex thing!" (only for several chapters to begin either partially or completely ignoring said Codex or only giving the idea lip service when Guilliman had his attention elsewhere. No, Bobby, your example doesn't rub off on others just because!) Not much later, Guilliman got himself stabbed in the neck by Fulgrim in an absurdly one-sided duel; the resulting poisoning had him sitting on a stasis throne for the better part of 10,000 years (I know; somehow the poison was more of a big deal than the actual stab wound in his fucking neck).
41st millennium / Gathering Storm
- We shall give the humans a demigod. A king reborn with a deathly blade. - Prince Yriel.
As we know, after being poisoned by Fulgrim, Guilliman was put into stasis. A popular rumor was that he was slowly healing, though that would be impossible in stasis. Eventually, after a kiss from Yvraine and a nice mechadendrite massage from Cawl, he feels better. He plays a major role in the third Gathering Storm book. That's right; Guilliman is back! And in plastic! Somebody call Fulgrim, he'll be pissed! (Spoiler alert: he is really, really pissed. So is Mortarion. Magnus had a chuckle though. And of course, our Spiritual Liege probably 'enjoyed himself' after hearing this news)
Also, it seems that Saint Celestine and Inquisitor Greyfax have convinced Roboute to tolerate the Ecclesiarchy (for now anyway). Suffice to say, he was NOT pleased with the whole space Catholicism thing that had been going on while he was asleep (More specifically, those fundamentalists that tried to role play as a certain Vandire, and him having personal issues between himself and the Emperor), though after a bit of time, learning about its more level-headed members and knowing its use he works the Imperial Faith into one of his speeches, even though it leaves a bad taste in his mouth.
Essentially, after Roboute was resurrected, he goes full-blown Saitama and proceeds to wipe out an entire horde of veteran chaos marines with his manly man-fists, without taking a single scratch (there is a scene where he one-punches a Chaos Terminator through a bronze and marble column), then he immediately took command of the local imperial forces and used his tactical genius to inspire the combined forces of Chaos to simultaneously shit themselves. Within a month, Guilliman weeds out the entire invading Chaos force on Macragge in a series of battles and heroic duels worthy of any primarch. Once Macragge is liberated, Guilliman then looked to liberate the rest of the Macragge system, this time with help from the Primogenitor Chapters, the Dark Angels, Space Wolves, White Scars, a Sisters of Battle army, the remaining Black Templars, more Guardsmen, a ship containing an entire Knight Household, an entire Imperial Navy battlegroup, and the Mechanicus with an entire Titan Legion backing them. He also declares the independent sovereignty of the five hundred worlds null and void, assuming direct control over his former territories. There was no kill like overkill.
During his coronation as uber-boss of Ultramar, a fragment of Fulgrim possessing a planetary governor infiltrated the many, many pilgrims and dignitaries who had shown up to verify the Primarch's resurrection, and offered him a golden wreath to wear. The wreath was cursed to show Guilliman all his potential glories and lead him to the embrace of Slaanesh. When he saw through the deception and ordered the infiltrator slain, Fulgrim promised that Guilliman would never take any satisfaction from his victories ever again. Which kind of reinforces the notion that Fulgrim is beyond Butthurt that he did not kill Papa Smurf.
Later, Nurgle inflicted a plague on Ultramar called The Sorrows/Weeping Plague that spread via insects and caused its victims' eyes to rot out. However, the only known cure for the disease was to be admitted to the presence of Guilliman himself. Realising that it was a devious trick to play on the Primarch's compassion and contain Guilliman in Ultramar, he declared that he would not repeat the mistake of defending his own realm while the rest of he galaxy burned and needed to go to Terra for the Greater Good of the Imperium, and left his Apothecaries to try and find a cure.
After Robby G has finished his job in ousting Chaos from Ultramar, the Ynnari bid their farewell, as they have other psychic mumbo-jumbo to do elsewhere. Roboute and Yvraine said their goodbyes, Roboute said that he is in debt to Yvraine for bringing him back to life and Yvraine telling Roboute to stay safe. Although in all honesty the respect between the two is interesting, because it shows two historically opposed forces allying rather civilly to work towards a common goal, showing that Geedubs might be going a bit old-school with this, having the (somewhat) less evil factions uniting against chaos, tempering the Grimderp of the setting with a little pragmatism, and who better to do that than Mr. Practicality and and the world's most morally flexible Eldar?
It is known that while heading to Terra on Macragge's Honour, the Thousand Sons transport him into the Maelstrom, where a warband of Red Corsairs and daemons led by Kairos Fateweaver attack him and his allies. Kairos manages to "bind Guilliman in chains of his own guilt, anger, and disappointment" (kinky) and toss him into a cell on a Blackstone Fortress (clinky), which the Red Corsairs apparently got from Abbadon as a gift in exchange for their loyalty. However, his relief comes in the form of none other than Cypher who has been led to Guilliman by the Harlequins and a bunch of Khornate daemons led by Skarbrand assaulting the Blackstone Fortress when Kairos insisted on keeping Guilliman alive for future plans. Cypher makes a deal with Guilliman, freeing him and the crusader army from bondage and offering the Fallen Angels' support in exchange for a free pass to Terra and the Imperial Throne Room to fulfill his destiny. After fighting their way through an army of daemons and escaping through the webway, they are pursued by the Thousand Sons but fight their way through to Luna and continue the battle on Terra's doorstep, and eventually Guilliman winds up having a duel with Magnus himself. Guilliman looks to be losing the fight until he gets saved by the Sisters of Silence, supported by the Imperial Fists and the Adeptus Custodes, who drop in to save the day. When he finally arrives on Terra, Guilliman has a sudden, dreadful epiphany after seeing Cypher's sword and then proceeds to retcon his deal by getting Cypher arrested by the Custodians before he could see the Emperor (though Cypher, being Cypher, immediately escapes, but is shown to have a particular bad case of butthurt, first time in 40k history!). Given how honorable Guilliman is, it must be something bad if he would resort to backing out on his word.
Guilliman then gets an audience with the Emperor behind closed doors. To his pleasant surprise, the Emperor was still alive and able to communicate after ten thousand years. To his much less pleasant surprise, he found out Big. E no longer even cared about pretending to be remotely human in his current state, and that he, like all his 'brothers' Primarchs, had merely been tools in His big plan. Big.E loved mankind as a whole but never individuals, not even his so-called "sons"; and that kinda rankled. What exactly passed between Emps and Bobby, only they know but it was presumably along the lines of: "Roboute, I know that last time you went Empire Building I got really mad at you and all, but uh... I sorta need you to do some Empire Building again." to which Guilliman agreed. When he emerges back out of the throne room, he would only say he got all the enlightenment he needed and then declares himself Lord Commander of the Imperium (his old job) before forcibly deposing some High Lords he doesn't like and replacing them; and ordering them to start getting shit done to restore the Imperium.
Whilst his deposing of some of the High Lords may seem unnecessary given the desperate/fragile state of the Imperium, do take note that Guilliman is a meritocrat and an administrator first and foremost, so if anyone can save the Administratum and the Imperial Senate, it's him. Thus him rearranging the High Lords is perfectly in character as the High Lords have been repeatedly established as being almost entirely self-serving individuals who are incompetent at best and utterly uninterested in anything other than expanding their personal power at worst - in short, everything Guilliman is not. If anything, it would be even more out of character for Guilliman to just look the other way given their (lack of) overall performance.
To stem the tide of traitors, xenos, and Chaos, Roboute Guilliman declared the Indomitus Crusade against the enemies of the Imperium. In order to accomplish this, he unveiled the Primaris Marines, a project 10,000 years in the making to create a superior Space Marine. Between battles, he's also begun to revise the Codex Astartes and compose a (relatively) accurate history of the Imperium of Man, founding a new division of the Adeptus Terra to act as historians (much to the Inquisition's annoyance- and yes, quite a few Inquisitors would say 'no' to a Primarch even if he is the regent of the Imperium). The Crusade lasted about a century; and while it was able to drive the forces of Chaos away from some of their new holdings, even Guilliman knew that it was only enough to stabilize the Imperium in its current state. Mr. 13 Failures might have failed to get to Terra as he planned, but he still got a nasty blow in and Guilliman knows it.
The Dark Imperium novel has portrayed him as having become far more cynical over the events of the Indomitus Crusade, in no small part due to frequently butting heads with the Inquisition and the nobility, who see Guilliman's push for reforms as a threat to their personal power. While he still believes in the Emperor's ideals, his belief in the Imperial Truth has been shaken; though he knows the Emperor is not quite human any longer, he has noted that even if Emps is a god; something as cold and ruthlessly callous as him doesn't deserve worship in the first place. According to Guilliman, when he met with the Emperor, the latter treated him as little more than a favorite tool that had only just been recovered for a highly urgent job, as opposed to being the last of his loyal sons. On the flip side, though, even the realization that Emps never loved his "sons" (The ultimate reason Horus broke and started the whole heresy Clusterfuck) did not break him. Emps might not love him as a son, but that doesn't mean his ideals aren't worth fighting for and Guilliman intends to do it right this time!
As of now, Big Bobby G is splitting his time between his history work, preventing the Imperium's appalling situation from getting worse by pointing a power-armored finger in the right direction, and applying power-armored boot to asses where needed. He's also busy writing the Codex Imperialis which is basically the Codex Astartes on civil society and good governance. The compilation of the Imperium's history is just one part of the new Codex which he intends to fix the semi-functioning clusterfuck that is the Imperial bureaucracy. He hopes that if (or when) he dies for good, his successors will use it for guidance rather than going with the head-up-ass approach they've taken in the past.
Despite his dislike of the Emperor's detachment from humanity, he has is begun to realize that circumstances forced the Emperor to take his autocratic stance- and that he may very well end up becoming a dictator himself too. While for the time being he still hopes to preserve his ideals in the face of the grimdark galaxy he lives in, he has accepted that if push comes to shove he may need to give them up for the sake of humanity's survival.
A fun fact is that he is also quite creeped out at the whole 'turn-a-baby-into-a-flying-cyborg' thing going around in the AdMech and Ecclesiarchy. He also gave up trying to correct the myths about him and his fellow Primarchs after 80 years or so, because people kept repeating then anyway.
Roboute Guilliman is a mix of the classical patrician and the archetypal virtuous politician. He's studied, efficient, extremely intelligent even when compared to his own demigod brothers, and morally resolute. He values merit and results over birth or flattery, and he emphasizes in his troops that information is victory, that a sound grasp of theory and a strong ability for the practical is necessary in resolving all problems. He's also rather tolerant of different moods and mentalities, so long as they still serve the Imperium's goals. The barbarous overtones of the Space Wolves, the standoffish eccentricities of the White Scars, even quiet religious practices on his own world, these things never bothered him. After all, the Ultramarines had clearly demonstrated the superior merit of their ways, and those ways would rub off on the more eccentric factions of the Imperium over time, right?
Call it faith and trust, call it arrogance and presumption, but Guilliman genuinely believed that he controlled the most disciplined, civilized peoples and armies within the Imperium and he thought his way was best. But contrary to what many think of him he didn't go out of his way to force his ways on others, he simply made all his writings and tactics available to all his brothers, and told his men to be at their best when fighting alongside the other factions. He only ever criticized or scolded when the circumstances seemed extreme, such as Alpharius's unnecessary targeting of enemy civilian populations to damage morale, or Perturabo's wasteful decimation of his own legion. This attitude was likely the reason Guilliman was passed over for the role of Warmaster, as he didn't get along well with many of his brothers, counting only Rogal Dorn, Sanguinius, Horus, Ferrus Manus, and Vulkan as friends, though he did have a sincere admiration and respect for Leman Russ and Jaghatai Khan. He also saw a potential for common ground with Lorgar, but that potential was never explored because of... Reasons.
Guilliman was also an organizational savant almost unmatched in all the galaxy. He was known to calculate logistical information and strategies far faster than the Mechanicum's best logic engines, planning out entire planetary invasions in his mind in moments, a feat only matched by his brother the Lion. Though many of his brothers were godly tacticians (Corax managed to wrong-foot him a couple of times, for instance), Guilliman uniquely focused on what came after a war: how the world could be used, improved, colonized, uplifted, integrated and becoming a full-fledged supporting member of the Imperium and the Great Crusade instead of being left a war-torn ruin. Guilliman insisted on ensuring that any populated world the Ultramarines took was left with working infrastructure, an able and trained PDF, and a decent quality of life for civilian populations. Something that his brothers (save for Lorgar) paid little to no attention to; and it came back to bite the Imperium in the ass later.
This cold calculation often bled into his personal life however. The best example of this might be his dealings with Lorgar. After the Ultramarines were used by the Emperor to sanction the Word Bearers, Guilliman privately admitted to some of his officers that he sincerely regretted that it had happened that way, being uncomfortable censuring his brother that way, and fearing that the damage in relations it caused between the XIII and the XVII would be permanent. After all, there was much potential for kinship between Lorgar and Guilliman, and their legions. What legions were more devoted to the Emperor than those two? Which brothers thought most of the future, of what comes after the conquest? The sudden void of lost potential between the legions was tragic. So what did Guilliman do? Did he seek out his brother later to make amends? Did he have a quiet meeting with his brother to confess his discomfort and seek reconciliation? Send a nice gift basket perhaps? No. Guilliman set up a formal, impersonal meeting between the two of them, alongside their captains, retinues, and aides. Forty. Years. Later. By that time it was much too late.
Though above his genius, above his skills as an administrator and a statesman, Guilliman's most noteworthy characteristic is probably being one of the few well adjusted, sensible people in the entire freaking galaxy. He encouraged his sons to diversify their interests in combat, not to art or fine crafts, but to governance and law, city planning and infrastructure. He was a pragmatist, and was well aware of the need for his legion to be useful outside of war, knowing full well what would have to happen to some legions when the wars had ended. Guilliman was also one of the few Primarchs who didn't really see the Emperor as his father, paying lip service to the idea, but being the first to state how shitty the Emperor was at raising kids, and he never fully forgave the Emperor for using him and his Legion as a tool to humiliate Lorgar. He understood how to run an empire, how to inspire loyalty and how to temper the flawed nature of humanity with organisation and discipline. The Emperor's greatest failing was always a lack of understanding in the people he ruled, a flaw that few saw in him, save perhaps for Malcador the Sigillite and Guilliman.
Ultimately we get a picture of a man who's charismatic, but impersonal. Brilliantly intelligent, but often blinded by arrogance and faith. Meritocratic and receptive to the common man, but often cold and distant. A good general and warrior, but above that he was a statesman and a leader. If Horus is a conqueror at heart, if Lorgar is a demagogue, If Magnus is a scholar or teacher, Guilliman is an administrator or politician, a man whose concern is less the glories and bloodshed of war, and more the administrative work that follows.
After his long nap he seems frustrated with the new (old) Imperium and shaken by his meeting with the Emperor, but that good 'ole Ultramarine spirit is still with him, so he got up, stretched his limbs, and went to town for an ass whooping. A few of his actions thus far are imminently noteworthy. He dissolved the independent sovereignty of any worlds that were historically part of Ultramar, has started catering to the Imperial Creed in one of his speeches, is openly cooperating with xenos witches, and essentially taking the role of Emperor 2.0. That's not to say that any of those choices are wrong or unnecessary, but they're all notable because they show that Guilliman is now more inclined to sudden, imperious action where once he might have used diplomacy; however, this may be a result of having to singlehandedly salvage the entire Imperium even as it fights against his attempts at reform. Overall, Guilliman is disillusioned with his "dad", disgusted by the Ecclesiarchy, disappointed with the state of the Imperium as a whole but still wiling to step into the breach and help humanity elevate itself. His faith in the Emperor has been badly shaken but his sense of duty and faith in humanity is as strong as ever.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
- Sun Tzu
Guilliman is mostly hated by the community at large because of Mattards Codex: Space Marines. However, it is worth stating that Guilliman was probably one of the most important figures holding the Imperium together after the Horus Heresy. He's one of the few Primarchs to realize that the Emperor's ideals were more important than the man himself, which is something that Malcador kept preaching.
He was also among the best Primarchs when it came to logistics and organization, though Perturabo was probably better, but Guilliman wasn't an antisocial autistic weirdo, so there's that), which is pretty much one of the only reasons why the Imperium of Man didn't collapse after the Horus Heresy. He was able to train and equip more than twice as many Marines during the Great Crusade than any other Legion, and he wrote the Codex Astartes (still the standard for Space Marine tactics). He is credited with reorganizing the entire governmental and administrative system of the Imperium of Man (yes, the reorganized Administratum ended up running the galaxy into the ground, but the fact that it's still running at all is a good sign).
However as the Horus Heresy series continues, it is revealed that it was actually Malcador the Sigillite who had been creating the foundations for the later Imperium. In fact it is continuously being hinted that Guilliman positioned himself to take over the Imperium after the fall of the Emperor, being almost explicitly stated in Vengeful Spirit. whether through good intentions or through sinister means has yet to be revealed. Funnily enough Kor Phaeron, who hated his guts, identified him as the Primarch best suited to succeed his dad, though given the source, that may well be intended as an insult. Despite this, Guilliman claimed that he had no desire to be Emperor and promised his brothers that if the otherwise impassable Ruinstorm abated, he would immediately send his fleet to Terra. That said, the Blood Angels managed to get back to Terra somehow, despite being on the wrong side of it, so it's unknown just how difficult it was to get back.
Unfortunately, thanks to 10,000 years of propaganda and exaggeration (and Matt Ward's Codex: Space Marines), Guilliman is absolutely perfect in every way and treated as second only to the Emperor through the entire Imperium. This is incorrect, considering that Sebastian Thor is actually the main Imperial saint, and Sanguinius is the primarch most beloved by the common men of the Imperium. Regardless, Guilliman is pretty high on the list and the only Primarch whose body
is was on public display Lenin style. This "better than thou" shit is sad and quite paradoxical, since Guilliman himself genuinely recognized some Primarchs were better than him as leaders. He has sometimes been portrayed as petty or jealous of his brother Primarchs but also intelligent enough to acknowledge his own errors when proved wrong. Far from the "perfect in every aspect" figure Matt Ward promoted, the HH Guilliman is actually a man with a lot of very human weaknesses but possessing the humility to admit them as flaws he must deal with.
Astelan, while a prisoner of the Dark Angels goes into detail explaining how Guilliman was purportedly the "greatest" of the Primarchs, but only in the context of what the Emperor intended for them. Astelan describes that Guilliman was "not the most able-minded, nor as charismatic, and not as physically adept" and was the inferior of Horus in every respect. Although Astelan was also a traitor and a fallen angel, so his word is hardly reliable. His greatness came from the fact that Guilliman never once wavered in dedication and service and created his Space Marines to be incorruptible. Guilliman and his Ultramarines were the perfect sons, not necessarily perfect soldiers. It's also worthy of note that much like Rogal Dorn and Lion El'Jonson, Guilliman was a possible candidate for the position of warmaster, but was rejected for the same reasons they were: he didn't get along with many of his brothers.
However, contrary to that, He also did a lot of tricky things in Horus Heresy, like that whole Imperium Secundus thing, and it's popularly theorized that he was bitter that he never got to be Warmaster, which despite his claims that he had no desire to become Emperor, when he appointed the High Lords of Terra he nominated himself for the seat of Lord Commander of the Imperium which was essentially "Warmaster" in all but name, and the titular commander of the entirety of the Imperium's armed forces. So claiming that no man should have the power of a Legion, then place himself at the top of the chain of command for all of the Chapters that his remaining brothers were left with was a bit hypocritical.
Or was it?
It's quite likely that Guilliman's actions in creating the Imperium Secundus, and his later actions during the reformation of the Imperium, are a reference to the Roman practice of [Dictatorship]. A roman dictator was more or less what we think of as a modern dictator, with one key exception. The dictator was given absolute executive and military power over Rome and her holdings in times of crisis, when the gridlock and beaurocratic red tape of roman society got in the way of doing what needed to be done. But as strange as it sounds to our modern minds, dictators were elected to their position, and without exception in all the history of Rome every dictator willingly stepped down and returned power to the senate.It's highly likely that Guilliman's actions after the emperor's death are a reference to this practice: he set aside the normal moral and legal rules restricting him so that he could restructure the imperium. Despite the fact that he was in the perfect position to assume power over the entire imperium, he relinquished power to the Council of Terra after some sense of stability had returned. This is further supported by how heavily his legion leans on Roman culture, and how much Guilliman himself draws on the famous generals of Rome (Julius and Augustus Caesar, Cininatus, etc).
So with that being said, he was no more flawless than the other Primarchs; Even during the Great Crusade, while he was considered to be one of the greatest strategists in the entire Imperium, he was defeated in combat simulations by Corax of the Raven Guard, having to be specifically taught that there is no fixed dividing line between non-combatants and soldiers when people are defending their homes; that under-strength units should not be ruled out as ineffective; and that small units of adaptable troops can be wielded with just as much effect as larger battalions and chapters. Furthermore, Guilliman stuck closely to his tried and true methods, refusing to give credit to what he considered "unconventional" tactics, pissing off many other Primarchs, most notably Alpharius. Even though he would later be shown by his own men how effective such unconventional guerrilla tactics would be and would include then in his codex.
Therefore while some people insist he was the Primarch with the greatest mental capacity and adaptability, he was apparently incapable of lateral thinking and would fail to see the flaws in his methods until explicitly shown the error of his ways. This certainly indicates that he was definitely not the primarch with the greatest mental capacity or adaptability. Alpharius, Perturabo, and Magnus come to mind or even Corax or the Lion whos Legion literally did it all. )Also, though the Codex Astartes undoubtedly did a lot of good things like making sure each chapter could feasibly fight under most conditions no matter their heritage or preference, forcing all of his brothers to split their Legions into Chapters risked a second galactic civil war.
Additionally, although it isn't (entirely) his fault, Guilliman is usually blamed for turning the Ultramarines into such faggots. The Codex is now basically treated as infallible by the Ultramarines (at least the more faggot-y ones; there's at least some who take it with a grain of salt and realize where its strengths and weaknesses lie). even though he specifically said that the Codex Astartes should not be treated as a bible to be followed unerringly... Except for the organizational parts, which he forced on his brothers as part of the post-Heresy reforms and were upheld by the High Lords of Terra as a means of keeping the Astartes in check.
Recently he's been increasingly entrusted to the care of the Mighty Dan Abnett and his faggot level is dropping rapidly. Now, Guilliman isn't portrayed as a power armored Sun Tzu, but as a logistical genius, planning planetary conquest in a way that would leave said worlds in a state that could quickly be returned to order and Imperial rule. His high number of compliant worlds is a direct product of this, helped by his Legion's innate tendency towards discipline, hierarchy and monomaniacal fixation on whatever their objective might be. Abnett also doesn't make him a "master of all trades". The Khan is better at scouting operations, Russ is better at killing other Marines, Sanguinius has better people skills, etc. Abnett's Guilliman is a great builder and administrator, better than any other Primarch, but not better than Your Dudes at what they're defined by.
This adherence toward a rigid chain of command did end up becoming a double-edged sword later on, since when Guilliman was put into stasis the Ultramarines still tried to follow him (thanks to him being the at the top of the chain) and as such started to forget that the Codex Astartes was only meant to be a guideline, as opposed to a definitive text. More importantly, they slowly lost their ability to adapt to new situations, which was their most famed of traits, until the Tyrannic Wars illustrated the need to improvise new strategies when old ones failed them.
Once upon a time, thanks to the rabid fanboying of Matt Ward, most of /tg/ hated him, but many of them have since come around. Still expect people to bitch endlessly about how he was an absolute narrow-minded hypocritical jerk, but don't feel bad about it.
Ironically enough, Guilliman has something the Imperium needs even more desperately than new technologies and peace: managerial skills, among the primarchs Guilliman was the only one who actually seemed to be bright enough to understand and strongly insist that no empire, no matter how militarily powerful, could withstand without a good administration, keeping the fiscal balance positive and ensuring the population, not just the armies, have a decent enough standard of living and supply lines, it speaks something of most of the denizens of 4chan that so few of them have ever pointed out this simple fact.
On a side note, he likes Shakespeare's work.
Suddenly, Forge World!
When Tempest came out, it significantly downplayed his flaws, though not as much as knee-jerk reactions made people fear. In Tempest Guilliman is "held by some as a paragon among the Emperor's sons", and that he "is as much a statesman as he is an indefatigable warrior." He's also as just as great a strategist, in addition to being very level-headed, one of the smartest and most analytical, constantly basing new and better designs off of existing materials, as well as refining battle plans thanks to having a mind that calmly and coldly allows him to analyze everything around him and wonder how various things like his marines, his armour and his weapons could all be improved. He observes what other Primarchs do with their warriors and tries to make them better in his own creations, in doing so (specifically copying Perturabo's Siege Tyrants in the rules) they say he's "proving himself once again the master of all of the myriad disciplines of war." Or at least trying to. This is further evidenced by his rules below where he's good at buffing his army, but not to the degree of Alpharius or Perturabo while as a warrior in a straight-up fight he only loses to Horus, Leman Russ, and Fulgrim(not counting psychic interference or Primarchs with a bit of momentum behind them).
In addition, Guilliman's Ultramarines during the Horus Heresy were one of the most disciplined of all the Legions, as well as by far the most numerous, the ones who prized intelligence above all to help them formulate the best battle plan, and with the best training/recruitment (rivaled only by the I Legion, whose training was faster but overall must have been less efficient in some way given the much greater number of Ultramarines) not to mention being familiar with the less eccentric legions MO's and able to pull them off without any problems which had a lot to do with their rigid chain of command. The Imperial Fists were known for their interlocked shield walls, the Iron Hands for their steadiness under fire, the Iron Warriors for their willingness to accept casualties, the Salamanders for their courage in the face of overwhelming odds, and you can bet the Ultras learned from these aspects of all their ways of warfare. This isn't to say that the Ultramarines could do anything any other legion could do, but rather to say that they were *almost* as capable at any given task as any of their brother legions, which granted them much greater flexibility than most other legions. For example, if the World Eaters got into a campaign where the enemy could consistently avoid getting into melee, they'd be fucked. If the Night Lords got into battle with a fearless enemy, they'd be at a disadvantage. Ditto with the Alpha legion and a smarter opponent, the Iron Warriors and an especially mobile opponent, etc. Due to the Ultramarine's discipline, diverse training, and expert planning, they ended up having a level of tactical flexibility matched only by a few other armies. In any case, in Tempest Horus considers the Ultramarines were considered the greatest single military threat to Horus's rebellion. The books outright state that if the Ultramarines were aware of Horus' rebellion they and their Auxilia would be able to make the 500 worlds a bastion that by itself, would be able to weather the entire heresy and challenge Horus for control of the eastern half of the Galaxy, even before the Traitor Legions took massive losses on Isstvaan III.
A more generous explanation could be that since the books were written after the Heresy in-universe, it could just be a case of "history is written by the winners" kicking in again, since (rather thankfully) "Everything is canon, not everything is true." Or maybe Matt was secretly brought back for that particular book, which would go quite a long way in explaining all of the Smurf wanking in it. It's likely we'll have to wait until the follow-up book on the Shadow Crusade to determine which of those it is. This doesn't entirely go against 40k's history however, while saying the smurfs and their auxiliaries could take on all of the traitor legions at full strength is undoubtedly complete horseshit, Ultramar was always considered to have been one of the greatest threats to Horus' rebellion and was the prime reason that the Battle of Calth took place; to get them all in one place and hit them with a surprise attack, and then pin the Ultramarines in place for the duration of the Heresy. The same applies to Guilliman, who has always been considered to have been one of the most intelligent and adaptable of Primarchs, as well as being gifted with his own brilliance.
Thankfully Guilliman still retains some flaws. First that being he has little in the way of a creative spark. He made Perturabo's Tyrant Siege Terminators better, but he'd never have made them on his own. He made his own versions of power weapons that were far better than regular power weapons as they were more precise/lethal when in trained hands, yet he could only do that after studying countless designs of regular power weapons. Even his own armour is artificer armour that he improved in various ways.
Second, you have his often blind faith in the assumption that his and therefore Ultramarine nobility and camaraderie will rub off on to other, less forward thinking legions, which was a direct contributor to his massive losses at the utterly disastrous Battle of Calth. Know No Fear makes a point to show numerous times that there were signs and hints all over the place of what was going to happen, right after the book makes a point to show Guilliman's incredible observational skills, almost outright stating that he really should have picked up on the disparate details. Instead, Guilliman ignored those signs, and practically delivered his legion to Lorgar on a silver platter, deliberately setting troop arrangements so that his men intermingled with the Urizen's. He thought that spending time together at the muster and again later, killing orks would be a bonding experience that would help the legions grow closer. It didn't, and not only did it not help, his troops being where they were gave the word Bearers a MASSIVE advantage. Lets be clear, there were 100,000 Ultramarine casualties in the first twelve hours. 145,000 were either killed or permanently combat non-effective by the end of the battle. Considering the total XIII Legion strength prior to the slaughter was just above 250,000, versus the 50,000 XVII legion casualties, with the Word Bearers removing 60% of the Ultramarines in exchange for 40% of their own. Consider that a force with superior wargear (that the Warmaster made sure his traitors had) striking from ambush against a force that's out of position, deliberately striking at the Ultramarine's command structure, something they're quite weak to, with ALL THOSE ADVANTAGES, the Word Bearers only got a 3 to 1 casualty ratio, though the Ultramarines stellar performance under the circumstances did little to soothe the loss of almost 150,000 marines and millions of army Auxilia. It is perhaps no surprise that Imperial history records that Guilliman completely lost his temper and cool at Lorgar when the treachery was realized (insert max troll face here), perhaps this was what allowed him to survive immediately afterwards the near vacuum outside a ship for 11 hours without his helmet?
Furthermore, the Space Wolves are confirmed in Inferno to react more quckly to unexpected problems than Legions more "reliant on highly coordinated planning," which might as well call out the Ultras by name. This is shown on the tabletop with a rule that lets the opponent wrong-foot the Ultramarine army if the UM warlord is killed.
On the other side (and that is a good point) Guilliman and the Ultramarines are not as "noblebright" in Tempest as they can be in other pieces of background. While he promotes meritocracy and progress and refuses to waste any life, Roboute is always described as cold and logical, obsessed with efficiency, and not a kind of crusading philanthropist. FW's Guilliman is first and foremost a statesman and a warlord willing to make the most effective system possible, and Tempest implies he used a kind of political police of his own (the Vigil Opertii) to silence any opposition in Ultramar. Just like the Imperium does. The only difference with the other Primarchs is Guilliman cannot deny HE is responsible for all the authoritarian shit happening in HIS private empire. Feel free to think what you want about Guilliman being OP or a Mary Sue, FW still made him more grimdark than before, even if he remains a nice dude by 30k standards.
True to his legion, Roboute Guilliman is fairly average as far as Primarchs go, both in terms of his stats and his points cost, but it's the rules and equipment you really want him for. He and any unit he joins can re-roll failed charge distances, and the Concussive special rule doesn't do shit against him. All Ultramarines in play gain +1 to Ld while he's in play and he also makes Invictarus Suzerains and Legion Terminators troops as long as he's the warlord. Preternatural Strategy can force opponents to re-roll successful attempts at Seize the Initiative while also granting all units from one entry in the Ultramarines army list Implacable Advance, Interceptor, or Tank Hunters if they don't have it already, and by that they do mean entry, not just one unit, so if you selected Legion Predator Strike Armour Squadron to have Tank Hunters then every Legion Predator Strike Armour Squadron in your army will gain the rule. It also buffs his WS by 1 for each round of combat within a challenge after the first one (e.g. he becomes WS8 on the second round and so on), although it resets back to 7 after the challenge is over or if his opponent swaps out for somebody else via something like Glorius Intervention. Finally, Unyielding Will negates all negative leadership modifiers and allows him to re-roll failed Deny the Witch tests. (Funnily enough, this actually makes him a decent counter for Lorgar's psychic faggotry, though it won't help him deny Lorgars' blessings.)
Guilliman's Armor of Reason gives him a 2+/4++ and the ability to re-roll the first invulnerable save he fails in each phase. (Not per turn, per phase.). As for his weapons, he can choose one of two melee weapons to use in any given assault phase: the Gladius Incandor (a Paragon Blade with Shred) and the Hand of Dominion (a S10 AP1 Power Fist with Concussion). Both of them are Specialist weapons, so regardless of which one he picks he still gets an extra attack. Finally, his gun is the Arbitrator, a S6 AP3 combi-bolter with Assault 2 and Rending- which he might as well have left at home for how often it fires it as he has a Cognis Signum to use instead (+1 BS to a unit instead of firing a weapon himself). Overall, he gives out a nice variety of buffs and can really hold his own in a fight while being one of the best tactician characters in the game.
Due to his low mobility and vulnerability to tarpits, he's unlikely to make his points back by killing something expensive. That said, +1 Ld is a reasonably strong bonus, and the insurance against seizing is good insurance against things going Not as planned. Also, the sky is the limit with the unit entry buff. Tank Hunting Support Squads or Heavy Weapon Squads sound good to you? How about Rapiers? A Cognis Signum is always nice to have. Capping all this off is that you can run a basically tax-free list by taking the severely broken Suzerains as troops.
Don't forget, this is all for only 125 points more than M.A.C. daddy, further proof of 30k superiority.
30K Roboute Guilliman VS Other 30K Primarchs
Primarch fighting, while fun to see, isn't a very competitive thing to do as it'll usually tie up both Primarchs for the entire game without either of them dying. With that in mind this section is all about how Roboute Guilliman fares against other Primarchs mathhammer wise. Please note that all the various abilities, with the exception of Blind, are taken into account (Blind is ignored because it is just too random and unreliable to come into play) and the match-ups assume the Primarchs are the only ones involved in the fighting, so various abilities like Angron's "The Butcher's Nails" and Rampage do not provide any bonuses. Also do note that Preternatural Strategy is taken into account (obviously) so prepare to see even more mathhammer than for the other Primarchs.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Horus
- Horus will use his Talon of Horus (rerollable 3+ is better than flat 2+, and Disabling Strike can counter the slow-burn effect of Preternatural Strategy) and hits 4 times, wounds 3.555 times, 1.778 after saves, then 1.564 for the Armour of Reason and IWND will take that down to 1.231 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times (Gladius), 0.74 wounds after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407.
- Guilliman loses this fight (Quite appropriately).
- Note: Due to the nature of the fight this match doesn't take into account Preternatural Strategy (Because it is balanced by Disabling Strike). Also do note that after the first few wounds inflicted from Horus, Guilliman will have his S significantly reduced and the Gladius Incandor will become useless. However, Disabling Strike doesn't affect the Hand of Dominion, so Guilliman will still wound Horus on a 2+.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Angron
- Angron Round 1: Angron has Hatred, so on the first turn he will hits 5.333 times, wounds 4.444 times, 2.222 after saves, 2.008 after Armour of Reason re-roll and IWND take it down to 1.675.
- Angron Round 2: Angron hits 4 times, wounds 3.333 times, 1.667 times after saves, 1.453 after re-roll and IWND will take that down to 1.12 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Angron Round 3 and thereafter: Angron hits 3 times, wounds 2.5 times, 1.25 after saves and 1.036 after the re-roll. Then IWND take it down to 0.703.
- Guilliman Round 1/2/3: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.926 times after saves and FNP, and IWND will take that down to 0.59 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 4 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 1.234 times after saves and FNP, and IWND will take that down to 0.9 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Unsurprisingly, Guilliman loses this fight in 6 rounds, dying directly before he's able to kill Angron as even though he has an extra wound on Angron, he takes too much damage.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Fulgrim
- Fulgrim Round 1: hits 4.861 times (Fireblade is MC), wounds 3.601 times (Child of Terra Warlord Trait), 1.801 times after the Invuln, 1.582 after the Armour of Reason and IWND will take that down to 1.249 at the start of the next turn.
- Fulgrim Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.714 times, wounds 2.889 times, 1.445 times after the Invuln, 1.226 after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.893 at the start of the next turn.
- Concussed Fulgrim (cannot happen earlier than round 3): Hits 2.708 times, wounds 2.106 times, 1.053 times after the invuln, 0.845 after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.56 wounds.
- Guilliman with Gladius Incandor Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.74 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman with Gladius Incandor Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 0.988 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.654 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman with Hand of Dominion Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 0.694 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.361 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman with Hand of Dominion Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.777 times, 0.926 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.593 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- An unsurprising loss for Guilliman. If Guilliman chooses to use the Gladius Incandor, Fulgrim will out-damage him in the long run, and if he chooses to concuss Fulgrim, Fulgrim temporarily loses his extra attacks, but Guilliman cannot put out enough damage to keep Fulgrim concussed, meaning Fulgrim gets back up to his normal initiative, gains his extra attacks back, and beats down Guilliman.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Mortarion
- Mortarion hits 2.5 times, wounds 1.666, 0,833 after saves, 0.625 wounds after Armor of Reason, and after IWND it becomes 0.292 wounds.
- Guilliman Round 1: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 1.042 after saves, and IWND take it down to 0.486.
- Guilliman Round 2 and after: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.777 times, 1.388 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.833.
- Easy win for Guilliman.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Ferrus
- Ferrus: hits 2.5 times (Forgebreaker and Servo-Harm), wounds 2.083 times, 1.042 after the Invuln, 0.834 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.501 at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 1: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times (Hand), 0.694 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.361 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.778 times, 0.926 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.593 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman wins this fight.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Konrad Curze
- Curze Round 1: hits 4 times, wounds 3 times, 1.5 times after the Invuln, 1.286 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.953 at the start of the next turn.
- Curze Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3 times, wounds 2.25 times, 1.125 times after the Invuln, 0.911 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.578 at the start of the next turn
- Guilliman Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 1.481 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.148 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman easily wins this fight.
- Note: Konrad could attempt to even the odds with Hit and Run, negating Preternatural Strategy while gaining the +1 attack for the charge (and sniping some wounds with his knives), but so long as Guilliman uses his power fist by the second round of combat Curze will be locked to initiative 1 and will be dead before it's guaranteed he'll be able to leave combat.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Vulkan
- Vulkan hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.833 times after saves, 0.633 times after Armour of Reason and IWND will take that down to 0.3.
- Guilliman Round 1: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 0.694 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.139 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.778 times, 0.926 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.37 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- A long as fuck fight, but Guilliman takes the win 'cause he does marginally more damage.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Lorgar
- Lorgar hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.083 times, 1.042 times after the Invuln, 0.834 after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.501.
- Guilliman Round 1: hits 2.778 times, wounds 1.85 times, 0.926 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.593 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 1.48 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.15 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Even with forcing Guilliman to re-roll 5's and 6's for the first round Lorgar will still lose.
- Note: this doesn't take into account Psychic Powers and with Precognition on Lorgar will easily win. Guilliman's rerollable DtW doesn't do shit, as it only works against witchfires and maledictions, while Lorgar's most powerful spells are blessings.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Perturabo
- Perturabo Round 1: hits 2.667 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 times after the Invuln, 0.911 times after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.578.
- Perturabo Round 2 and thereafter: hits 2 times, wounds 1.667 times, 0.833 times after the Invuln, 0.633 after Armour of Reason and IWND will take that down to 0.3.
- Guilliman Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 0.74 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.407 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 0.988 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.654 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Again, Guilliman wins pretty safely. Starting to see a trend here.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Alpharius
- Alpharius hits 2.917 times and wounds 1.702 times (Remember he has Preferred Enemy), 0.851 wounds after the Invuln, 0.643 after Armour of Reason and IWND will take that down to 0.31 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 1: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 1.482 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.148 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman wins really easily, as the damage Alpharius does is almost irrelevant, thus making the claim that he personally killed the lord of the Alpha Legion actually believable...
- Roboute Guilliman VS Rogal Dorn
- Dorn Round 1: hits 2.666 times, wounds 2 times, 1 time after the Invuln, 0.8 wounds after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.467 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Dorn Round 2 and thereafter: hits 2 times, wounds 1.5 times, 0.75 wounds after the Invuln, 0.55 after the re-roll and IWND will take that down to 0.217 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 1/2: hits 2.5 times, wounds 2.222 times, 1.111 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 0.778 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 3 and thereafter: hits 3.333 times, wounds 2.963 times, 1.482 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.148 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman easily wins this fight, taking a lot less damage and dishing out more.
- Note: Dorn doesn't use Sundering Blow because he would actually cause less damage with it.
- Roboute Guilliman VS Corvus Corax
- Corvus hits 4 times (Scourge)/3 times (Shadow-walk), wounds 3 times (Scourge)/2.25 times (Shadow-walk), causing 1.5 wounds (Scourge)/1.125 wounds (Shadow-walk) after the Invuln which drop down to 1.286 (Scourge)/0.911 (Shadow-walk) and IWND will take that down to 0.953 (Scourge)/0.578 (Shadow-walk) wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman Round 1: 2.5/1.666 times, wounds 2.0833/1.389 times, 1.389/0.926 wounds after saves and 1.055/0.593 wounds after IWND.
- Guilliman Round 2 and thereafter: hits 3.333/2.5 times, wounds 2.963/2.083 times, 1.975/1.389 times after saves and IWND will take that down to 1.642/1.055 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Guilliman easily wins this fight
- Note: Like Curze, Corax could try to use Hit and Run to even the odds, having even more bonus than Curze thanks to his uber-Furious Charge, but unlike Curze it wouldn't work for too long as the second time they fight (whether Corax charges or Guilliman catches him) Guilliman will have him concussed (He's using his fist for a reason) for the rest of the fight and will kill him before Corax can escape again, thus making the strategy not viable against Papa Smurf.
- Roboute Guilliman vs. Leman Russ
- Leman Round 1 & 2 (using the Axe of Helwinter): Hits 4.886 times, wounds 4.071 times, 2.035 after the Invuln, 1.817 after the re-roll with IWND taking that down to 1.484 at the start of the next turn.
- Leman Round 3 and on (using the Axe of Helwinter): Hits 3.719 times, wounds 3.099 times, 1.55 after the Invuln, 1.331 after the re-roll with IWND taking that down to 0.998 at the start of the next turn.
- Roboute Round 1 and Round 4+ (using the Hand of Dominion): Hits 1.667 times, wounds 1.389 times, 0.695 wounds after saves, and IWND will take that down to 0.362 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Roboute Round 2 & 3: Hits 0.833, wounds 0.694 times, 0.3472 wounds after saves, and IWND will take that down to 0.014 wounds at the start of the next turn.
- Result: It's not even a challenge. Leman Russ kills Rowboat Girlyman almost effortlessly. What do you expect from trying to go up against The Emperor's Executioner(of primarchs). That furry fucker was designed from the ground up to kill every primarch in the entire game.
- TL;DR version: Surprisingly, despite being one the best army buffers amongst Primarchs and his generally not outstanding (for a Primarch) stats, Guilliman is actually a beast in 1 on 1 fights if they drag on long enough, beating all but the most specialised Primarchs and mathematically losing only to Horus, Angron, Fulgrim and Leman Russ. Truth is that he's very well balanced with a choice of good weapons for offense, a decent defense and an extra ability that benefits both. He loses when his more balls out brothers just dump damage on him but when he has the chance to let his strategy impact the fight he'll typically win. He'll likely fall down the rankings some more when Sanguinius and the Lion step onto the field but with his army buffs he'll remain a great choice.
"Why do I still live? What more do you want from me? I gave everything I had to you, to them. Look what they have made of our dream. This bloated, rotten carcass of an empire is driven not by reason and hope, but by fear, hate and ignorance. Better that we had all burned in the fire of Horus' ambition than lived to see this."
― Guilliman is back, and he wants to know what the fuck went so wrong with the Imperium.
The first Primarch to come back to 40K, self-proclaimed Lord Commander of the Imperium, clad in the Armour of Fate, a present from Cawl that keeps him alive on and off the battlefield. He wields his old gauntlet, the Hand of Dominion, with his "Bolter" (a gun that would put any Heavy Bolter to shame) now underslung and carries no less than the Emperor's sword.
Encompassing the Ultramarines philosophy, Guilliman is a jack of all trades, but he's no master-of-none: what he does he does it very well.
With 9 wounds, he is just below the threshold allowing enemy units to target him if not the closest unit, even if he is a towering monster. With T6 and and 2+/3++, he's really hard to bring down with small arms fire (a successful Bolter shot only has 5% chance to wound him successfully, a Lasgun 2.7%, and this is without taking into account accuracy) and his high invulnerable save allows him to tank stronger shots. Don't except him to handle a Volcano Cannon, though. If he eventually goes down, he comes back on a 4+ with D6 wounds, but unlike in 7th, this can only be done once per battle, even if the roll is failed. On small point games, you can use him as a fire magnet, at higher point you can be sure your opponent will do whatever is in his power to bring him down, so shield him accordingly. This will not be a waste as surrounding units will greatly be enhanced by his auras. As a Character he does benefits from the Honor Guard's protection, so you can mimic the "old" Victrix guard.
While away from the enemy, Guilliman can pump 3 S6 AP-1 W2 shots 24 inches away (6 at 12). This will bring pain to light infantry and can inflict serious damage to multi-wound weak-save units such as Tyranid Warriors, but the -1 AP will not allow him to do more than token damages to heavily armored foes, so don't waste your shots on 2+ enemies or tanks. With his 2+ BS, rerolling all failed shots AND wound rolls thanks to the XIII Primarch's rule, most of the shoots will hit their target (84% of the time at rapid fire range) and if you choose your target wisely, most will wound too.
Guilliman will hit with the same accuracy and re-rolls in close combat, where he really shines. He can choose to split his 6 attacks between the Emperor's sword, striking at S8 AP-4 3 D with a chance on a to-wound roll of 6 to inflict an additional D3 mortal wounds, or S12 AP-3 3 D if he uses the Hand of Dominion. Most of the time, you'll be using the Sword as up to T4 he wounds on a 2+, and up to T7 on a 3+, and you'll benefit from the higher AP and the chance to deal extra mortal wounds. Keep the Gauntlet for T8 and more, where the 4+ and 5+ start to kick in. At T7 (or T8), you'll need to factor in the armor save of the target, and of course his capacity to reroll failed wound. I let you do number crunching, you lazy hog. Coupled with his high armor saves, almost nothing in the game short of Knights will beat him in close combat one on one, though he'll die a horrible death to squads of TH/SS Terminators and such. He is also not that great against hordes with morale boosts, as he has lost his Sweeping Strike ability, so make sure your other troops clean the path to help him focus on high value targets.
But as impressive as his martial skills are, Guilliman is depicted in the fluff as first and foremost a tactician, and he has the special rules to back this up.
First, in a battleforged army, he gives 3 additional command points, which is huge, allowing to rack up easily 10+ command points even in small points games.
Second, he allows all Imperium units (not Ultramarines, Imperium as a whole) within 12 inches to:
- Advance 1" further
- Charge 1" further
- Reroll ALL hit rolls of 1
- Reroll failed morale tests (although potentially ending with a worst result, so use at your own risk).
As the Ultramarines special snowflake, he also has a 6" bubble that allows a re-roll for all failed rolls to hit AND wound , which, has explained above, also applies to him.
He has one major flaw, though, he cannot ride any transport, as he's classified as a Monster and not an infantry unit for some reason, not even in a Mastodon, a Thunderhawk or a Stormhawk. Maybe he wasn't too keen on being dragged in the air, hanging on the Dreadnought grapple. That would have been quite a sight. He has no option to deepstrike either, so he's doomed to footslog, even though his high movement of 8 mitigate this a little. On the bright side on things, you can't buff your army while in a transport, so you didn't want to put him in a metal bawks anyway.
TL;DR: Guilliman is a monstrosity and point for point one the best unit in the game, being at the same time resilient, fast, deadly in close combat, no slouch in shooting and a nice force multiplier for any Imperial Force.
In terms of the model, per GW's typical modus operandi lately, it's absurdly overdesigned to make things difficult for the recasters and chinamen of the world, showing that despite GW's consumer friendly steps as of late, pulling in money always comes above common sense or consistency. However, this sort of this type of over designing does happen to favor the filthy heretic, as there have been plenty of bitchin conversions by chaos players, lopping off his head, replacing it with an appropriately sized ugly chaos faction head of their choosing, filing off the Smurf iconography, and then painting it with whatever grungy/fabulous colour scheme that looks passable, and presto! You now have yourself a possessed/empowered/favoured Chaos Lord!
Roboute has so many nicknames that, if we're being honest, they deserve their own section at this point. His many nicknames include but are no means limited to: Rowboat Girlyman, Robust Girlyman, Roman Gorillaman, Rawbutt Girlyman, Robobutt Gigatan, Rampant Gullytan, Robot Gigglytan, Raw-Rigged Ginger-Fan, Robot Gulliver, Robo Git, Robust Gilligan, Robit Ghillie Suit, Reboot Gigabyte, Robert Gullible, Roboot Girlymayne, Robot Gorillaman, Robooty Guillotine, Roman Gogillian, Rusty the Gullible, R. Gooliman Esq. Rowyourboat Downthestreamlyman (and any and every combination of the above), Really Gay, Julius Caesar in SPESS, Big Blue Daddy, Papa Ultra Smurf, Big Bobby G, Space Marine Jame Bond or High Lord Douchebag and Ward's Ever Chosen Robart, and Bobby G.
|The Primarchs of the Space Marine Legions|
| Loyalist |
Corvus Corax - Ferrus Manus - Jaghatai Khan
Lion El'Jonson - Leman Russ - Roboute Guilliman
Rogal Dorn - Sanguinius - Vulkan
| Traitor |
Alpharius/Omegon - Angron - Fulgrim
Horus - Konrad Curze/Night Haunter - Lorgar
Magnus the Red - Mortarion - Perturabo