Phil Kelly says not to worry, Marines players, your Space Marines aren’t going away.
Phil Kelly sat down with NurgleRob and the two spent an hour or so talking about the upcoming Codex. The biggest takeaway from the whole conversation is that Primaris Marines definitely aren’t replacing normal marines, but they are a big deal in the new edition. I guess half of the internet is worried their tiny little Space Marines are going to disappear, because if you watched the chat on the livestream, just about every other comment was someone dead certain that the folks at GW would be phasing out normal marines just as soon as possible. There were wild theories like all of the chapters activating some kind of “Primaris Protocol” and turning all of their guys into Primaris, or there being some kind of purge going on and that’s what the Indomitus Crusade is all about.
I don’t think either of those things is true–and suspect some people may just be salty because the Primaris are the new hotness right now, what with their releases being the prominent ones right now. But they’re the big new “thing” in the 40k world right now. Literally new, which is something almost unprecedented for the Imperium, which heretofore couldn’t see a new release without it having been around for hundreds of years just hanging out off-camera, over there.
That’s one of the things that Kelly was the most excited about. He talked about how this is an interesting time for the Imperium, because they have all of these new Marines–of both varieties–joining the forces of the Imperium. And while the Primaris are definitely engineered to be better, faster, stronger, they aren’t as experienced as the existing Chapters. Some of the most experienced Primaris have been fighting for decades–which is awful quaint. Cute even, when compared to the hundred years or so that the greenest Tactical Marine’s been fighting for.
We did learn some interesting background info about the Primaris though! They’ve been fighting in simulations designed by the Adeptus Mechanicus, which is an incredible mental image.
*NOW HUMAN, YOU WILL FACE THE CHALLENGE OF FORTRAN*
No wonder some of the Chapters are leery of the new guys. I would be too if I knew they were being tutored by crazy priests who have replaced their brains with computers.
We also learned that the Primaris have three extra Primaris Organs that differentiate them from their smaller, kawaii brethren. They are:
Sinew Coils: These are reinforced coil-cables made of durable supermetals that are capable of contracting with incredible strength, making Primaris stronger and tougher than others. Even outside of their power armor, swinging a sword at a Primaris might just bounce off his muscles because of these coil cables.
Magnificat Amplifier: Kelly mentioned that this was only half of what it’s supposed to be–and that it’s meant to magnify the effects of all of the other genetically engineered organs that float around in the Primaris. So every Primaris gets more bang for his genetic buck.
Belisarian Furnace: This one is a last-chance fail-safe kind of thing. Kelly described it as activating when a Primaris was on death’s door, giving them a great burst of super-adrenaline (not the actual term), but helping to keep them alive even at great cost, so that a Primaris can take out as many of the enemy as possible, even while dying, which should make for some amazing last stands.
There was also mention of the First Founding Chapters getting some serious love in the new codex. So Salamanders will play like Salamanders, for instance. And White Scars will charge in as much as they can (Phil’s favorite tactic). Other than that, there wasn’t too much news–aside from the reveal of two of the upcoming stratagems. Kelly said we’ll see stratagems that give the Marines more character, including the return of some old favorites, like the Killshot Stratagem (a remnant of the formation) and the Linebreaker Stratagem.
Now we don’t know what the new ones will be like–but old school Killshot relied on having three or more Predators and gave them monster and tank hunters, which gave them plus one to armor penetration and let them reroll to wound. So maybe in the new edition the Stratagem models the +1 armor penetration could be reflected as either extra AP (though that might be too powerful), or it could also be reflected in an increase to damage. Or maybe they get to reroll to wound for the turn. I imagine, since Kelly mentioned it was inspired by the old rule, it still takes three or more Predators, so stock up on those vehicles.
Similarly Linebreaker squadrons specialized in destroying fortifications, especially in urban areas, and were all about the Vindicators. Like with Killshot, it required a squadron of three or more Vindicators, but they would pulverize through enemy fortifications with the apocalypse blast template. So maybe the Linebreaker Stratagem gives you extra hits–we’ve seen rules that have increased shots against units of 10+ models, I could see the Stratagem increasing the number of shots like that for a turn. Especially if it’s requiring a minimum number of vindicators. And while I doubt they’ll include the “On a 4+ remove terrain in the template” bit as well (templates don’t exist anymore), I think it’d be neat to see something like that.
Both of these are interesting because they represent a strategy based around a unit (or grouping), which is another way that the rules and the fluff come into alignment. So I wonder what other Stratagems we’ll see–especially since they talked about the Chapters getting their own Stratagems. So, doubtless we’ll see something that makes the Salamanders flame even harder.
In the meantime, rest assured that the Space Marines definitely aren’t going away.