5 Primaris Units We Need for a Standalone Army

The Primaris are the future of the Space Marines – but GW needs to fill some holes in their range.

Primaris Marines are where the Space Marines are going.  They have injected a lot of excitement into the game and advanced the plot in huge ways.  GW is going out of their way to talk about Primaris only chapters and while it’s a cool idea in concept – it’s not quite there on the tabletop.

The Primaris range has lot of holes in their range where their little brothers fill the gap.  I think that we are in a “hybrid era” where the Primaris range can’t stand on it’s own, but I bet in the future we will reach a time where it will.

Here is what I think the Primaris need:

This – but chainfists…

An Assault Unit

Traditional marines have everything from Vanguard Veterans, to Assault Termys, to Centurions, to Assault Marines. The Primaris have zilch. I think the obvious choice is a new assault focussed version of Agressors with powerfists/chainfists.  It’s an easy upgrade and gets the job done.  They could be backed up with a variant of Inceptors with dual power weapons.


Hit it with a shrink-ray and you’re good to go!

A Light Transport

The Repulsor is a Land Raider Equivalent and to be honest is to big to carry the 5 man Primaris squads often fielded by players.  What the Primaris need is a Rhino/Razorback equivalent. I would envision pretty much a Repulsor scaled down about 40% with the optional turret.   Throwing on some sponsons give you a floaty Predator equivalent.


He’s going to be sad…


Yes, and you know exactly what they should look like. Scale up the existing marine bike to take a Primaris, cut off the tires and put the repulsor plates down there.  It’s almost like envisioning a narrow one-man landspeeder… I’d be ALL OVER squads of those!

Plenty of space for improvement…


You can’t have a primaris only chapter without at least one flyer. I think GW should go with this as the opportunity to do the Stormraven right.  Just redo it with a chunky rear fuselage, ditch the goofy top-turret and wobbly landing gear. Then add on Repulsor plates on the undercarriage and some heavy firepower under the wings. Probably should carry 6-12 Primaris infantry.

Like this kit – but a Primaris


The final cherry on top – should be a handful of Primaris named Characters. I think the best way to do this is a Primaris version of the old Captain kit – with lots of weapon and wargear options. Then make rules for a handful of famed Captains and Masters from the new Primaris only chapters.  You can use the kit to build any of them.

~ Then it’s just waiting for the new Primaris Codex.

  • Agressors gauntlets have the same profile as power fist in melee…

    Why get off their ranged weapon just to have pure melee agressors ?!?

    • Jukka Vuorisalo

      Same question would be, why give terminators storm bolter because they have power fist….

      • storm bolter is not attached to the powerfist, slightly different form agressors gauntlets.

    • bfmusashi

      Because if you staple something onto the powerfist it becomes a better weapon! This is why lightning claws and chainfists work.

      • It works with units that have a good mobility.
        Without a repulsor, aggressors don’t have that mobility.

        • NNextremNN

          What about inceptors with chainfists and lightning claws?

  • Atogrim

    Beside the fact that there IS a assault version of the Agressor….the Agressor…which IS armed with powerfists…i agree with the rest.

  • Simon Chatterley

    “5 Primaris Units we Need for a Standalone army, numbers 4 and 5 will shock you!”

    Fixed the title for you 😉

    • Atogrim

      LoL, ouch. The burn.

  • Vayle

    need more flamers, my salamanders want more flamers

    • fenrisful2

      They should ask tzeentch 😉

    • Dragon2928

      I’ve been using Flamecraft on assault centurions with great success… 🙂

  • fenrisful2

    Assault unit, really?
    -What about Reivers and agressors, that not enough?
    Light transport: Primaris Rhino already exist, right?
    Jetbikes: just replace the 2-man bike with a primaris dude.
    Flyers: More metal bawkses, fair enough.
    Characters: Isn’t that exactly what the primarchs are?

    • Kiskatona

      The Primaris Rhino is not a Primaris transport. It’s a special command rhino and it can’t carry Primaris Marines. It’s like a Warhammer World exclusive thing.

    • DtLS

      The primaris rhino isn’t a rhino for transporting primaris marines, it’s a command rhino.
      Primaris need a jump pack assault unit, not a unit that’s dependent on your ability to buy an expensive(real world money, not as in points) transport vehicle for them in addition to buying the squad itself.

      • euansmith

        Replacing transports with some jump packs or grav packs or teleport packs or some other form of man portable speed booster could be neat as it could reinforce the Elite Special Forces focus of the Primaris; maybe even equip Primaris Sergeants with Portal Guns.

    • In the facts, Reivers and agressors ar not assault units, but elite units.

      • Aurion Shidhe

        I’m not quite understanding this comment. What does being an elite unit have to do with whether you’re an assault unit? Does this mean that my Terminator Assault Squad is not, truly, an assault squad? What about Vanguard Vets with Jump Pack Assault? Centurion Assault Squad? Are you only talking about Primaris elite units? If so, then I’m slowly catching up.

        You are correct that Reivers and Aggressors don’t have the word Assault in their names. Fenrisful2 (and the author) seem to be lamenting the dearth of close support squads for Primaris marines. But the Reivers are supposedly close support. And one could argue that flamer aggressors are close support as well, despite the codex calling them fire support. The codex also says they are used to spearhead an advance. So maybe the Primaris aren’t really sure what they’re for.

        the closest thing the Primaris have to an old school “assault squad” are the Inceptor Squads. The codex call them “close support” but I really think they are mobile fire support squads,

    • GravesDisease

      It’s like you are being willfully contrarian. Why is this?

    • Bootneck

      Primaris Rhino has nothing to do with Primaris marines.
      Its a WHW excusive product which predates the release of Primaris marines and it cannot carry them either – it just shares the same name.

  • spla5hmummy

    I think we could use a repulsor kit with none of the weapons at a drastically cheaper cost. The size isn’t an issue, it needs to be big because the rhino was always too small to carry 10 marines.

    • Snord

      I disagree. I think the Repulsor is a proper Marine transport, while the Rhino has never made sense. Repulsors have too many small weapons, it’s true – their plethora of guns and launchers is a bit ridiculous, really – but the idea of a transport than can also operate as a tank (although not a specialised one) makes sense for Marines. Far more sense than a lightly armed and armoured box. So I agree that there should also be a smaller Primaris transport, although I would still want it to be fairly well armed.

      • generalchaos34

        I agree with your statement, you want your heavy shock troops in a well armed and mobile transport, what primaris needs are the one thing they have needed from day one, and also the most iconic, and for some reason they still show in promotional material, DROP PODS

  • Fergie0044

    No – what they need is a FAST assault unit. Like a version of Inceptors but with short range pistol type weapons or flamers and some sort of power weapon.

    • Orblivion

      Inceptors with power weapons would be lovely.

      • Matt_from_Colorado

        Chainswords and power weapons!

        • orionburn III

          Power chainswords held with a power fist with lightning claws!

          • Shaun Reid

            And Blackjack and Hookers

          • orionburn III

            What to do, what to do. One 300 dollar hookerbot or 300 one dollar hookerbots?

  • MarcoT

    Some speed would be nice, but other than that I’m quite happy as they are. Maybe for variety a second infantry fire support unit, just plasma is a bit limited.

  • bad mood

    Yesterday on BolS: Why Elder need to get on to the dying so we have only one Eldar model range.
    Today on BolS: Why we need even more Marines.
    Tomorrow on BolS: Why every Loyal and Chaos Marine Faction needs their own Primaris standalone equivalent.
    In 5 years on BolS: Thankgiving thread 8th edtion: I’m glad for the Xenos factions we had back then, before they squatted them all in 10th.

    • orionburn III


  • Tushan

    Plus reasonably priced intercessors, the 18p garbage is just that..garbage despite its whooooopping 2p reduction.

    • autonoise

      I disagree, compared to a standard marine you get an extra wound, an extra attack and a standard loadout weapon that has -1 AP. Plus the auto include Aux Grenade launcher for 1pt. 18 points is about right.

      • Tushan

        I dont think so. You get ZERO flexibility, only one single role from one single range, no melee weapon, no combi bolter, no assault weapon, no heavy weapon, no cheap transport of any kind, n o t h i n g!

        • autonoise

          I dont think they only have one role, but taking your point about lack of flexibility for loadout – this is true, but taking what you do get on face value, (2wounds, 2 attacks, -1AP (or -2 with a different loadout) plus the special weapon equivalent aux grenade launcher for D3 wounds, I still maintain 18pts is about right.

          • Bootneck

            They might be about right in points, but they are worse than regular marines as they suffer the same problem any multi wound unit does.

            Vs regular marines you take 1 guy off from Plasma etc but vs Primaris your effectively taking off 2 regular marines – as that extra wound counts for nothing.

            There only superior vs small arms fire.

            I love it when people rock up with Primaris as it means they’ve wasted lots of points which i can easily remove.

          • autonoise

            A five man intercessor squad with aux grenade launcher (special weapon) sets you back 91pts. A 5 man tactical squad with a special weapon is (depending on which weapon you select) about 80pts. I think those extra 11pts are worth it for double wounds, double attacks and weapons with -1AP.

          • Bootneck

            That’s the thing though – I wouldn’t pick either of those units. Scouts have more utility and potentially better save than the other two and tactically more viable.

            Going back to 5 intercessors (91) VS 10 tictacs (130), output is roughly the same (I wouldn’t class the aux as a special weapon as its only 1 grenade), but what you are paying for is the difference in wounding. VS small arms fire the intercessors fair exactly the same but any multi wound weaponry and they suddenly become very bad.

            You go for losing one 13pts tictac to effectively two guys, the way the wounds work means combat effectiveness degrades much quicker for intercessors.

            Assuming your taking hits for multi wound weapons = 9 tictac vs 4 intercessors, 8 tictacs vs 3 intercessors etc.

            That’s what those extra points are worth – splitting up your wound pool.

            I play against SM regularly and I never bother shooting them with chaff small arms unless I have nothing else. Its too easy to remove points with – 2sv or greater weapons which often cause 2 or more wounds.

            SM’s are an elite force which mean the whole force organisation tends to let them down by forcing them to pick mediocre units to tick boxes.

            In 8th I tend to ignore the battalion detachments in favour of vanguard/spearhead/outrider which lets me pick the more elite and deadly units and thus cut down on points wasted on ineffective units – which fire small arms.

            SM get chewed by cheap throwaway patrol detachments; something like Tempestus Scions, 2 plasma guns, 1 plasma pistol and two hotshot lasguns (78pts)

            Deepstike down and blast your 91 point unit off the table.

          • Tushan

            2W is a joke, the game is drenched in rending and multiple wound weapons. Cheaper 1W marines that can get “real” heavy weapons instead of a lame grenade launcher or get two assault weapons (combi) and never loose those paid for extra wounds to all the weapons that laugh at them.

            With 2 assault weapons you dont need to stand still at your special bolter range doing nothing else and with a real heavy weapon they can even kill tanks.

        • The Sgt has access to Power sword and the aux grenade launcher is in fact a special weapon. The only problem is they don’t have access to a cheap transport. 18 pts looks about right.

          • Tushan

            Both of which pretty much are jokes.

            Then the special bolters suck on top, you pay far to much for to few shots. The -1 rend is not worth it.

          • What is exactly what you want for a 10 wounds 3+ F4 R4 objective grabber troop unit with weapons with -1 AP and 30″, 11 attacks in CaC, 3 of them with -3 AP, and less than 100 points as cherry (95)?

          • Tushan

            To be worth their points for the lame that they manage to do.

            You pay 180p for 10 bolter shots, meaning 7 hits, 3.5 wounds.

            Meaning your oh so well priced 180p of marines just killed a whooping 22-ish points of opponent MEQ or orks and they cant do ANYTHING else.

            Congratulations, your primaris marines just made their points back after 8 turns of uninterrupted shooting from a safe space at the best possible targets in the open.

            ..and you call this reasonably priced.

          • They aren’t meant to kill stuff. They are there to grab objectives and withstand damage. I find them better than normal marines for that role.

            For the above reason, don’t buy 10 of them, use squads of 5. Take 3 and you get 3 CP to spend on your heavy hitters. 30 wounds 3+ for holding objectives for a meager 285 pts.

          • Tushan

            Oh right, they are SO good that they arent even supposed to kill things, just sit on their stationary asses on objectives and hope they last the game.

            How silly of me not to realize this.

          • They aren’t meant to kill stuff. The are there to grab objectives and withstand damage. Take 3 units of 5 and for 285 points you get 30 3+ objective grabbing wounds AND 3 CP to spend on your heavy hitters during battle.

            You can even equip them with the assault bolt rifles for double damage.

          • autonoise

            I’m with you here, I think they are a good sub 100pt troop.

        • Apocryphus

          I think that’s actually the point of the unit/Primaris. Everyone is so obsessed with the idea of phasing out all old marines and making them all Primaris when GW stated that they were meant to be auxiliary units to compliment the Space Marine range, not replace it.

          • I_am_Alpharius

            Its not that you’re wrong per sae. It’s the naivety in believing that the that is not longer term goal of the introduction of Primaris Marine range; simply because GW have currently stated that standard Space Marines are not being replaced and are ‘units that fill the gaps in the current range’

            Whether is 2 years or 5 (I’d imagine the latter, if not longer), the slow phase out of standard SM range will happen. There is no way GW would straight up say that is the plan from the offset. This will be the for a number of reasons, not least, because SM are the flagship range of models and they can’t just delete a range like that out of existence; as it would leave a immense financial black hole, with nothing to fill it that they are confident would sell.

          • Apocryphus

            Time will tell, I suppose, but I just don’t think that’s the future of SM. I don’t mind if that’s naive, and honestly I couldn’t care less if it does happen, but I don’t see Primaris as a sign that old marines are going away. To me it’s just a new gimmick to get people excited about the army again and that’s that. What I see is a 50/50 ratio of Primaris to old marines in the future while Primaris infantry stays specialized like they are now and old marines are more general purpose.

  • autonoise

    Agressors are already a good melee unit, apart from they are super slow and cannot deepstrike. I would suggest a better option for melee would be Inceptors with close combat weapons and flamers or pistols. An inceptor with the flamer gauntlets the Agressors carry would be a must have.
    A light transport seems sensible, fast moving with a capacity of 5 intercessors or 3 Grav armour would be nice, as would an affordable flyer, not sure jetbikes are a must have though.
    I think a more customisable HQ would be great, the Captain in Grav, Librarian and Lieutenant have such limited wargear options at the moment. Named characters are more difficult, As a Crimson Fist player Id prefer a new Pedro Kantor model that didnt look ridiculously small next to the primaris than introducing a new character for the chapter.
    The one thing you miss is a heavy weapon alternative. Hellblasters are good, but there is no D6 damage weapon available to Primaris outside of the Repulsor. If we could have some Grav or Lascannon that a Primaris could carry I think we would be set.

    • Tushan

      Aggressors are NOT a dedicated melee unit. You pay through the nose for a bunch of shooting..that you already get in droves elsewhere and for what? 2 lousy pfist attacks with a crap armour save (T5 is worth less then 2+) and no inv save?

      They also need a transport in order to even act as a melee unit, no jump option, no cheap transport option, etc.

      • autonoise

        You seem to have completely missed my point, the article suggested an assault Aggressor, I said they are already good in melee, so an assault version of Aggressors isn’t needed. I then went on to say a close combate Inceptor squad would be a better assault option. Also how are powerfists lousy?

  • orionburn III

    I’d like to see a Dev type squad of Primaris with some new weapons to break the norm of las, plasma, missiles, etc. Also a CC version of Inceptors.

  • Dave Bacon

    Just commenting to let everyone know there are two “g’s” in aggressors.

  • I_am_Alpharius

    WAIT! You’re telling me the units ‘types’ that Primaris Marines might need are the ‘types’ of units they are currently missing? I’m shocked…. http://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/88ccd9a3053b2c6eadf5727358b849a75581bb5dd7d81a36d22c66fd2b37fdc3.gif

  • Gorsameth

    Assault Aggressors?
    Assault Centurions weren’t worthless enough for you?

    Primaris have an assault unit. Their called Reivers.

    • For the rules, aggressors and reivers are elites and not assault units 😉

      • Munn

        ‘Assault’ isn’t a unit distinction, you’re thinking of Fast Attack.

  • quentin dumont

    Yesterday on BolS: Why Elder need to get on to the dying so we have only one Eldar model range.Today on BolS: Why we need even more Marines.Tomorrow on BolS: Why every Loyal and Chaos Marine Faction needs their own Primaris standalone equivalent.In 5 years on BolS: Thankgiving thread 8th edtion: I’m glad for the Xenos factions we had back then, before they squatted them all in 10th

  • GravesDisease

    The unit primaris drastically lacks are solid anti-armour options. Currently the way todo it is either via hellblasters or by repulsor, but neither are dedicated nor efficient points wise.

    I really like hellblasters, i even take them to tournaments, but they require support and far less simple than a devastator squad in cover. As primaris are supposed to be “better marines”, it would make sense for them to have a heavy weapons platform on gravis armoured marines, to fill that gap of dependable long range shooting which the intercessors are pretty good at.

    The repulsor platform has legs, metaphorically speaking, I think the primaris line could do with a MBT based on this chassis. The las talon is a good support weapon but does more often than not put you into melta or charging range (even with the gravitic plates debuff). Having a long range gunboat which can reposition easily (with the fly and PotMS rules) would help in allowing the army to be more nuanced than high powered short-range shooting (a niche filled by eldar and tau).

  • Dax

    I also think the need another heavy weapons unit that can take something that other then plasma. Also the repulsor would be so much better if they just made the capacity 12 IMO.

  • Kabal1te

    Primaris need a lot more than this. A fast assault unit. Sorry, reivers but I don’t care you get more attacks with your knife. It is still just a knife. A longer ranged heavy support unit. Hell blasters are ok but Las devistators have their role too. Versatile support units like veterans wouldn’t hurt either.

    In truth though none of this matters. As the fluff states normal marines can be upgraded to primaris marines. I expect we will see primaris versions of everything normal marine. Primaris tactical squads and primaris assault squads and the like are just a matter of time as is primaris upgraded versions of the existing characters and vehicles.

    • Munn

      Name one marine that was explicitly mentioned to have been upgraded to primaris.

      • Kabal1te

        Given that there are only 4 named primaris space marines in cannon that I am aware of, I can’t… yet. But it is only a matter of time.

        • Orblivion

          I would think named characters will almost certainly get the upgrade, because killing off those characters would anger a lot of people. However, given Dante’s current role as of the end of Devastation of Baal you’d think he would be the perfect candidate for the upgrade and yet he still didn’t get it.

          • Aurion Shidhe

            That’s because Dante is perfect as he is. He sparkles in the sunlight!

  • Diagoras

    So what you’re saying is, essentially, that we need normal marines to be made entirely redundant so we can phase them out completely?

    • Kabal1te

      That is likely the long term goal GW has in mind. It would shock me if they didn’t.

  • Jonathon Runge

    What they really need is better background lore. The lore behind Cawl and the Primaris Marines lacks the internal flaw that sets back every other faction in 40k. The design of the Primaris marines lacks cohesion with the rest of the setting; often seeming like imitations from other properties. The in universe reactions seem rather muted and even the backing of a primarch should not prevent direct conflict from Imperial forces as even primarchs have committed heresy, and often more so than any other mortals.

    Cawl and the Primaris Marines should be at the center of an Imperial civil war as he tries to gain control of the Empire and the Mechanicus; mirroring the Age of Apostasy. He should be able to weaken and influence Guilliman through the suit. Clues of his intent should be uncovered by the Inquisition’s study of the Primaris hypno indoctrination protocol. Cawl could be an unwitting pawn of the Dragon of Mars in its attempt to take over the Imperium and use it to wage war against the Necron and everyone else. A cult of biotransference could build around the belief that it’s members are becoming machine spirits.

    • Mr.Gold

      that would be sooo much better than the current story…

    • frank

      Not that the lore is great but this story sounds so generic.

      • Jonathon Runge

        https://youtu.be/ZDU40eUcTj0 40k is about cyclical conflicts and tragedies viewed with a grim dark humor. It is the repetitive nature of success and failure that creates a sense of nihilism on the macro scale while also leaving room for limited and meaningful success for the individual characters. Even the Emperor and the Gods are doomed to repeat their failures.

        • frank

          True but new cannon is the only thing that gives these characters enough rope to hang themselves with. Not a primaris fan myself and if they keep the bright future filled story for too long its bad but need hope to effectively be able to crush it.

  • LordKrungharr

    They also need a giant drop pod dammit.

  • Urban Bungledorph

    “*too big to carry..” -Emperor of Mankind

  • euansmith

    Primaris won’t have a ghost of a chance with this stand alone complex.

    • Jonathon Runge

      They might get a second gig.

  • Steven Barnes

    Another meh article. What if a faction was created that didn’t have the answers for everything? What if there was a potential weakness that they didn’t have direct counter for?
    Isn’t that what really separates all the different factions from each other? Why play with against another army if they have the exact same units?

    Slow news day?

  • professorkylan

    Primaris sized Land Speeder Storms. Chunkify them up a bit, job’s a good’un. Keeps the aesthetic and adds a useful tool to the arsenal.

    • autonoise

      I like this idea!

  • Dragon2928

    Until they get a cheap-ish variant of the Rhino, I can’t find a place for these guys in my lists. That is the #1 thing they need.