I already talked about the Primarch himself and today I want to break down the rest of the book with a quick once over. Overall I am pretty happy with the releases as most of the new rules seem “good” but not insanely good. I think the Eldar “extra” powers might be a bit too much but without seeing what 8th edition is going to bring us it is really hard to truly judge. Still will give it my best shot.
The Primarch himself – Roboute Guilliman: B+
This guy seems interesting and the real issue is that he needs a specific army around himself to work. This isn’t like Magnus – who can take on specific armies himself and instead needs support to get the most out of him. Basically you need a ton of Space Marine bodies to encircle, surround, and utilize his bubbles of warlord goodness to get working right. Still I think he fits well and will end up showing up – most likely after 8th edition rolls out and we see how GW wants us to play the game.
This guy didn’t change at all beyond losing the friendship he used to have the the Khorne Daemonkin. I think he is still a bit too expensive and would rather see him at 150 but he does have a ton of neat rules. Still this is one of the few ways to get Hit and Run in a lot of CSM units and other “Imperial” Friends.
Grand Master Voldus: B-
This guy seems cool but it only seems to work if you set him up as your Warlord. I do think there could be some fun Cleansing Flames list that utilize him, Draigo, some GK libbies and ways to teleport around the table top. Still he is pretty dang expensive and should have gotten Eternal Warrior stuck on him to make it worthwhile.
The Fallen: C
So these guys feel like expensive Chosen without the benefits of their “Fallen Legion”. Yes they have a ton of options but we all know massed options don’t make a good unit, it is the initial rules and abilities that make the unit strong. Right now they just seem way to expensive when you compare them to other “expensive” troop options like the Deathwatch or Grey Knights.
Victrix Strike Force Detachment: A-
Here is the big “Ultramarine” detachment to try and rival the Gladius. I think in a lot of ways it is better and depending on how 8th shakes out might be the stronger one. I suspect Formations will get some kind of “tax” on them to remove some of the “free” nature of their rules. It seemed to work for Age of Sigmar so anything that did well there should cycle back into 40k at some point. I think the extra rules are great as giving Objective Secured to your other non vehicle options is extremely powerful. It makes the 10th Company Strike force very tempting as it feels less like a tax and now something extremely important to the idea of a Marine Horde list. This one has every good Formation and gives you a way to throw the Primarch in easily with an extra command squad in case you want to get frisky with a run and gun Captian or two. Getting an extra set of Doctrines is also extremely powerful and mixing that with the ability to burn 2 at the same time could be neat. Just remember that Ultramarines are basically rerolling all 1’s most of the time.
Fallen Champions: C
Like the review above – too expensive would just ignore it unless you want to play them for fluff reasons.
Bulwark of Purity: C
These seems very expensive and a bit unwieldy to be decent. I think just using the Nemesis strike force detachment will end up working better for you then this formation. Though it is cute for fluff and narrative games where you are fighting versus Daemons.
Victrix Guard: B-
This is an expensive formation. I do like how you can Look out sir for Roboute but at 3″ it feels a little bit to close to home. Plus this isn’t cheapo marines – this is Sternguard and Honor Guard walking around with him so it isn’t cheap. I do think it could be fun to try it out as you can load out with a ton of different weapon types and abuse having BS 5 on most of the unit. This could be really neat with the most expensive flag in the game as well.
The only one you really worry about is the ability to get a 2+ to seize the initiative. Sure if you get that you are pretty much telegraphing how you are going to play with your opponent but it is neat you can do it. Mix in Coteaz to gain that reroll 2+ and see if you can profit. The split fire Warlord trait could be fun too if you have a specific set up Devastators and other fun things. If Warlord Traits are no longer random in nature in 8th then we could see some fun things come about but until then you are either having them locked in or rolling from the main Rulebook.
Overall I think the Wargear is back to being strong. The last few few books had ok Wargear but this one at least feels special on most of the pieces. This isn’t as good as some of the Chaos Space Marine stuff but that book needs a ton of help so having good wargear works out.
Tarentian Cloak: A+ – Hey did you need another awesome Eternal Warrior Character to help Roboute out with like a command squad or two? Maybe on Bikes? Maybe have some Powerfists or something? This is a great addition for the Ultramarines. Adding IWND is just icing on the cake as well.
Helm of Censure: C – Doesn’t it seem pretty expensive for Preferred Enemy and Hatred CSM?
Sanctic Halo: A – This one seems pretty good too as FNP and Admantium Will are not bad powers. It is kinda crazy how cheap it is too.
Soldiers Blade: B – Seems a bit expensive for a fancy power sword but still not too bad to get some much needed AP 2.
The Standard of Macragge Inviolate: B+ – It is pretty expensive but it could be really awesome in a list full of foot Marines, guns, and more guns. It does feel like it would cause a lot of timing issues but being able to shoot out of turn seems pretty powerful.
Vengeance of Ultramar: C – Hey every Marine faction has to have an expensive bolter that isn’t worth it? Welp here you go. It is neat it shoots 4 times but it shouldn’t be as expensive as it is. Heck this should just be the cost of 2 Meltabombs and call it a day.
Overall this book doesn’t give a ton of new options to a lot of armies. It really fleshes out the Ultramarines but feel like there was a waste in not adding some kind of Grey Knight Battleforce as they are part of the story. I am buying the book as it continues the story I have had a ton of fun with but unless you are an Ultramarine player this book might not be everything you need it to be. I am hoping we get a kick butt Grand Alliance of Chaos jerks in whatever “finished” storyline is coming on the heels of 8th.
~What do you think of the book? Did GW close out the Gathering Storm series well?