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How to Play Ultramarines in Warhammer 40K 9th Edition

4 Minute Read
Jun 3 2022

Today let’s take a look at some basics of how to play and get started with Warhammer 40k Ultramarines. The blue chip standard!

The Ultramarines are a proud and traditional Chapter of the Adeptus Astartes. As one of the First Founding Chapters, the Ultramarines have a lack of distinct character from their Primarch, Roboute Guilliman. On the tabletop, the chapter fights with coordinated tactics and combined arms.

Below we offer some tips on how to play the army and get started with the army.

Who Are The Ultramarines?

Ultramarines codex


The Ultramarines, originally known as the War-Born, were the XIII Legion of the original twenty Space Marine Legions. This loyalist Legion was later re-organized and divided into Chapters according to the Codex Astartes. Their Primarch is Roboute Guilliman, whose leadership, not to mention his authorship of the Codex Astartes, were instrumental in humanity’s survival following the Horus Heresy. Because their Primarch wrote the text that defines a Space Marine Chapter, the Ultramarines follow this Codex strictly. Their only deviation being the recent formation of the Tyrannic War Veterans, comprised entirely of veterans of battles with the Tyranids. The Ultramarines are possibly the most important Imperial organization on the Eastern Fringe.

After the Horus Heresy, Roboute Guilliman set himself to create the Codex Astartes. It would define the tactics and organization of all Space Marines, from battlefield strategies to squad markings. Most important of these changes was the division of the Legions into 1,000-strong Chapters. One of the Chapters would retain the heraldry of the original Legion, but the others would be given a new name and symbol. In doing so, Guilliman hoped to divide the power of the Space Marines. To ensure that a civil war on the scale of the Heresy could never occur again.

Why Play Ultramarines

Ultramarines Intercessors

The Ultramarines bring everything we should expect from a Space Marine chapter, that’s it. They also have some great characters and units, unique to their chapter.

Strengths of the Army

  • Versatility.
  • Special characters.
  • Ubiquitousness.

Weakness of the Army

  • Like most marines, an elite army with relatively few bodies.
  • Ultramarines get grief for being better than everyone (they are pretty sure that’s the reason!)

Ultramarines Chapter Master Marneus Calgar

Ultramarines Signature Rules

The army has a number of special rules. But the key ones to remember are:

  • Codex Discipline – The Ultramarines Chapter Tactic gives an army wide +1 Leadership and the ability to shoot after falling back from combat.
  • Scions of Guilliman – This allows weapons to move/shoot without penalty when the Tactical Doctrine is active.

Ultramarines entire chapterThe Ultramarines Firstborn Chapter from a lost era.

What to Buy

The Ultramarines are a Supplemental Codex, being an offshoot of the Space Marines faction. The army can consist of many units taken from both books, giving you a huge amount of variety. To play the army you will need BOTH Codex: Ultramarines, and Codex: Space Marines  (both  of  which  have  Ultramarines  on  the  cover).codex space marines

Key Faction Units To Know

The army has the immense Space Marine unit roster of well over a hundred units. Knowing what units to take makes use of the Chapter’s rules can be tricky. Here are some suggestions to get you off on the right track.

1. Marneus Calgar

The Chapter Master of the Ultramarines Chapter. Marneus Calgar is a prodigious commander, producing a huge amount of Command Points. He also brings all the great auras any other Chapter Master does, while also packing a wallop.

2. Tyrannic War Veterans

These Veteran Firstborn Marines are totally unique to the Ultramarines and do solid work against Tyranids.


3. Heavy Intercessors

Heavy Intercessors are a great solid line Troop for an Ultramarines force.

4. Suppressor Squad

A quick and mobile firebase which benefits from the Scions of Guilliman rule. They are normally unused by other chapters, but can do work for the Ultramarines.

5. Roboute Guilliman


The lone fieldable Loyalist Primarch is available to the Ultramarines, so that is noteworthy. He’s a beast in melee and offers potent auras for the army.


Sample Starter Army

Patrol Detachment


HQ:  Captain with Master-crafted Heavy Bolt Rifle. 1 Model. He is equipped with:  master-crafted heavy bolt rifle; master-crafted power sword; frag grenades; krak grenades.-   105 pts

Troop:  Primaris Heavy Intercessors. Five Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; executor bolt rifle; frag grenades; krak grenades.-  140 pts

Troop:  Primaris Heavy Intercessors. Five Models. Every model is equipped with: bolt pistol; executor bolt rifle; frag grenades; krak grenades.-  140 pts

Heavy Support: Firestrike Servo-turret. One Model. Every model is equipped with: twin accelerator autocannon.- 90 pts

Total:  475 pts.

For Ultramar!

Author: Allen Campbell
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