Primaris Space Marines: Gaming

There’s a new type of Space Marine on the block: the Primaris. When the new edition of Warhammer 40,000 lands, how will they play in the game? Let’s take a look at their rules to see what we can expect on the battlefield from the galaxy’s newest super-humans.

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities to classic Space Marines: 3+ save, bolters (albeit, up-gunned a bit), and the usual frag/krak grenade loadout. There are some definite differences though.

2 wounds puts Intercessors somewhere between your typical power armoured Space Marine and a Terminator in terms of survivability. Compared to a Tactical Squad Space Marine, who only has a single wound, an Intercessor will last twice as long against small arms fire but will die just as quickly to heavy weapons. Terminators have the same number of wounds as a Primaris Marine, but their better armour and invulnerable save means that they will last longer against all types of weapons.

That bolt rifle is pretty cool too. This is the iconic bolter armament of the Space Marines with a bit more kick. It has additional range and armour piercing punch over a standard bolt gun, meaning Intercessors will do well in a shoot-out against most current Warhammer 40,000 Troops units, and thanks to the new Strength vs Toughness system, they can even start to menace lighter vehicles, wounding any vehicle smaller than a Gorkanaut on 5’s and reducing its save by 1.

That said, like the Legions of the Great Crusade, they don’t have options for heavy or assault weapons within the squad, so there are still situations where a Tactical Squad will be better suited – bringing lascannons, flamers or other specialist weapons with them for greater tactical flexibility.

Though not melee specialists, the Intercessor’s two attacks makes them pretty handy in a fight. In close combat, they can also use their bolt pistols to fire point-blank into enemy units in the shooting phase. The enemy will need dedicated assault troops or lots of bodies to overwhelm a Primaris Space Marine up close.

You can see on the datasheet too, that you can select a  as a faction keyword. That means you can add Primaris Space Marines to your Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Iron Hands, Rainbow Warriors, or any other Codex Chapter you like, even one of your own invention.

Of course, all this comes at a price. Intercessors cost a fair few more points than a Tactical Marine; an army composed entirely of Primaris Marines will be a fairly compact, but utterly lethal and elite force. You can expect these guys to make a big impact on any game in which they make an appearance.

And remember, the Intercessor is just one type of Primaris Space Marine that Guilliman ordered up from Mars to defend the galaxy. We’ll have news on a few others very soon…

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