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40K Editorial: Do We Need Another Primarch?

4 Minute Read
Mar 14 2017

With Guilliman and Magnus back, do we even need another Primarch?

There has been a lot of speculation on the returning Primarchs to 40k. So far we’ve gotten Magnus and Guilliman. Both of them have some really amazing models and rules to match. Now it seems that fans from every founding legion are hoping for their Primarch to return next. Everyone is speculating on who’s coming back and the discussion has been pretty engaging so far. But, with all that speculation there is one question question that very few people seem to be asking: Do we even NEED them?

Every race has always had a “leader” figure – a “Face” so to speak for the race.

  • Chaos has Abaddon
  • The Orks have Ghazghkull
  • The Eldar have Eldrad (and now the Yncarne)
  • Tau have Farsight
  • Tyranids have The Swarmlord

…and so on, but the Imperium, specifically the Space Marines have never really had a “Face” – Calgar is arguably the closest. However, because of the structure of the chapters not ever Marine player even identifies with him as the “Face” of the Marines (looking at you Space Wolves, Blood Angels, Dark Angels, Grey Knights…well, you get the idea).

Now that Guilliman is back, he’s supposed to be a rallying figure for the Imperium – so if that’s the case having more Primarchs will just muddy the waters. You’ll end up with a “Chaos” situation where there are Sub-factions trying to be the “Face” of the faction – and model wise, Abaddon just doesn’t compete with The Lord of Change, Magnus, or even the Bloodthirster model theses days.

Yes, this is an excuse to post this picture again. I want a new Abaddon model!


So do we really need that same thing to happen to the Imperium? Do we really need 21 flavors of Primarchs to match the Baskin Robbins-like flavors of Space Marines? Perhaps…but at what point is it just so overwhelming that it crosses that line and it just becomes redundant. Given the fact that Guilliman also has the Emperor’s Sword, does that mean all of the other Primarchs will need to have a piece of the Emperor to be viewed as a legitimate Primarch? How much wargear did the Emperor even leave for this children to fight over – there can’t be a lot left!

I Know You Can…But Should You?

Games Workshop has the power to bring all the Primarchs back – they literally can do whatever they want. However, just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should. Besides, doesn’t anyone else remember what happened the last time a Primarch was left in charge of the Imperium…


Heresy. It was Heresy.

I mean, I get it – I think everyone wants their Primarch to come back because, let’s be honest, that’s a pretty big stinking deal! I have a Blood Angels Army that’s been on the shelf for awhile but if I got a Sanguinius model you can bet your socks I’d pull them out for a spin (but he’s dead – and I know that). But think of the mental gymnastics and retcons that would happen for Sanguinius to even come back – and think of all the other lore that would have to basically be flushed to make room for it. That, in my opinion, is not worth it.


Lore-crushing aside, think about the implications for the rules side of things. Guilliman got some pretty bonkers rules and he was the first loyalist to come back. Magnus also has some pretty insane rules. So how much “crazy” are you willing to put-up with when there are Primarchs from all the other chapters running around? “But they are showing up in 30k, what’s the big deal?” That’s true! But ask a Heresy-Era player and they will tell you, things are different on their side of the time-stream. Having a Primarch works for them – will 40k players be so lucky?

Corrax Lives….

Sometimes pumping the brakes for a little restraint isn’t a bad thing. With Gathering Storm wrapped-up we have seen the building blocks for a pretty big shift in the 40k universe. At this point, I’m pretty sure other Primarchs are coming back and it’s only a matter of time. My hope is that the ones that do come back are “revived” in such a way that makes sense and respects the established lore but still leave room for growth. I don’t think GW wants to “Nuke the Old World” with the 40k lore – they learned a lesson in that – but they do want to carve out some new stories and advance the plot. Not everyone is looking forward to the change, but it’s coming – are you prepared?


So what do you think? Is MOAR PRIMARCH MOAR AWESOME? Or is it getting to be too much?

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