I’ve given the first batch of Primaris Marines some time on the tabletop. Here’s what I think.
So far we have rules for several Primaris marines in the Index Imperium 1 book, and of course in the various starter sets. The minis are great, but can rules live up the hype on the actual field of combat?
I think while the models are great, the units rules are uneven, with some stars and some duds. Let’s hit these in turn:
Captain in Gravis Armor
He’s OK, but overall the lack of access to the AMAZING Relic Blade’s S:User+2 makes me like standard Captains more. You do get that extra wound, so there’s that. Rites of Battle is great with the rerolls on “1s” to hit for nearby units, but again normal Captains get it as well for less points. If you’re just getting started and don’t have a “normal” Captain, go ahead and use the new Gravis Captain- it’s no big deal.
Quick Note: LIEUTENANTS ARE BACK – lost since Rogue Trader (see below).
Unlike Captains, I love the Tactical Precision allowing re-rolling of “1s” to wound. It’s a nice synergy with the Captain’s Rites of Battle. Being able to take 2 Lieutenants for a single FOC slot is interesting. LTs are cheap HQs and are generically useful.
I really really want to like Intercessors – but they are really overcosted right now. The Bolt rifle is cool and the 30″ range is nice, but traditional Tactical Squads are just more flexible. The Tactical’s ability to take heavy & special weapons and split fire in 8th outweighs the durability of the Intercessors. These guys remind me most of older edition of Eldar Dire Avengers before they had any flavorful special rules. Bland and mono-purpose. I think Marines can do much better for now with other troops choices. Heck even Scouts are a very flexible option.
Ok, yes they are pricy but the Plasma Incinerators are nice. It’s rare to find an entire unit firing weapons with a AP-4. If your meta has lots of heavily armoured foes, these guys can bring the pain and are a bear to bring down with their two wounds. The Overcharged shot is risky, but against certain multi-would units may be wortht he risk. Nearby Apothacaries can help mitigate the overheat losses.
I really like these guys. Despite appearances, they are really tough mobile firesupport units. Each is backing the equivalent of two short range heavy bolters. the new always when and where you want them version of deepstrike means these guys always get in at least 1 round os shooting where you need it most. The trick is getting the most out of them while shielding them from torrential return fire. Fly keeps them withdrawing and shooting you in the face even if they get charged. They are brittle, but I like em.
I like em. I think Intercessors still struggle to find a role in an army that provides better more flexible TROOPS choices, but the others have a place. Strangely as a longtime Eldar players the mono-use roles of the Primaris units is familiar. These are effectively pricier beefy W2 Aspect Warriors. I think that you will need to leverage the special abilities of their officers & HQs to get the most out of them.
Codex Space Marines – the Wildcard
The biggest takeaway from all of this is we are very, very early in 8th. When the Marine codex drops it could easily buff any or all of these units. Rumors already speak of new weapon options for all the basic Primaris units and that right there could be enough to rebalance them. There may be strategems and new wargear that present new synergies. We’ll have to wait and see.
~What do you think of the first Primaris units? Also GW get cracking on those Lieutenant Commanders; the Chapter Master’s right hand man!