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Primaris Space Marines Analysis

Captured from the Video

Well, we probably all knew this was coming (and I'm going to have to bin an article I was writing about the new Starter Box Set too because of it). True Scale Space Marines are here, fixing some of the questions I had about the Space Marine Data sheets.
A summary of what we know:
  • Taller
  • Better/Newer Armour
  • Better Guns (Range 30, Strength 4, AP -1, Rapid Fire)
What we can guess:
  • Some kind of Re-roll 1s on armour saves
  • An extra Wound
  • More strength?
Let's be honest here... they are a replacement. I can't of been the only one scratching my head over how bland the Space Marine and bolter data sheets were:

The lack of rend on the Boltgun was particularly stark, something fixed for the Primaris Space Marines standard rifle. The single wound I found particularly shocking for the 40K poster boys, considering even Ork 'Ard boys in Age of Sigmar get 2.
Now we know why.

Some concerning words for those who collect less popular chapters:

Many Chapter Masters have welcomed their Primaris brethren into their ranks, accepting the new reinforcements gladly. Others, though, view these new creations with suspicion or outright hostility, claiming that the Emperor’s work should not have been meddled with.

Whilst maybe some hope for the Space Wolves:

Can I field a whole army of Primaris Marines?

You totally can. From a background point of view, some Chapters, especially those decimated in the events of the Gathering Storm, now have entire companies of these new warriors. Others have incorporated squads of Primaris Space Marines into existing Battle Companies. And perhaps most excitingly, Guilliman has founded some entirely new Chapters out of these new Space Marines.

As the FAQ suggests, there will be a grace period where Old Marines will still have supported rules, but I wouldn't expect that to last. A quick look at the proposed Starter Box Set from a leaked picture hints that they won't be in there...

From Bell of Lost Souls
 I was curious as to why the Tactical squads and Assault squad in the middle had odd numbers (and why the Jump Pack silhouette was different), but we can safely say that the New Marines will be the only feature of this box. Multiples of 5 are out, and multiples of 3 are in, as can be seen by the following screen shot from the new video:

Again, from the Video

 9 of the newbies nestled amongst their shorter predecessors.

The recurring message is that these are reinforcements, and not replacements. I understand the sentiment, but I doubt it will be long before the Old Marines get replaced. So it begs this question... why?

It's not uncommon for Marines to get bigger over time. Here's a quick snap shot of three generations, from Second Edition to Dark Vengeance era to last of the Old Marines.

Note that the older two are on taller bases...

You can see they're getting bigger over time, and no one has really cared. But unlike those iterations, the Primaris has a very different silhouette. It's now what is known as a True Scale Marine, something that actually fits the fluff. As such, the shoulder pads don't look quite so bulky compared to the body. The legs aren't quite so stocky.

It's actually changed an awful lot of the miniature. It would be silly to suggest that this is merely an updated model, and would look ridiculous in existing armies.

And here's the problem... existing armies.

When Age of Sigmar launched, a lot of models became defunct and unsupported. Bretonnian players and Tomb Kings understand what I'm talking about. Games Workshop could hardly have missed the outcry that came from 'squatting' those factions in the move to Age of Sigmar, and certainly would not be willing to risk that again.

For Warhammer Fantasy Battle there was no real flag ship faction, or at least nothing like the Space Marines. You could argue that everyone started of with High Elves at some point, but there was no particular faction that could be identified as the head honcho... at least until the Stormcast Eternals came out (hence the need for Ground Marines in the first place).

Contrast that to 40K. Everyone has Space Marines. Everyone. Even that guy with all the Harlequins.

Could you imagine to sheer rage that would come with declaring all those models to be redundant? The pure amount of nerd fury would create an Eye of Terror itself, and would undoubtedly cause the real word birth of Khorne.

This is a soft reboot of Space Marines, a gentle phasing out of the old for the new. The New Marines will even be getting their own Dreadnoughts, quite a feat for reinforcements that don't have any battle honours yet.

Is this bad?

Of course not, don't be ridiculous. Not even the most die hard collector complains about new models, and these are what Space Marines should be anyway. What we have here is just a good way of tiding you over into the new era of Big Marines. You can still use your old models along side the new, and eventually you'll put your 7th Edition Tacticals on the shelf along with your 2nd Edition ones.

Whilst my tone at the beginning may have been a little cynical, it's merely a reaction to the marketing. It's generally a good idea.

One teeny, tiny problem though...

Guilliman be blessed, these guys are rad! When can I get them?

That's going to ruffle some feathers... and it has got my rebellious side all fired up. And there's even hints at how this procedure is going to mess with other Chapters' gene-seed.

Like Blood Angels and Space Wolves. If you collect either the vampires or werewolves, I would be afraid. Perhaps even the Salamanders may turn into actual dragons. Who knows?

Certainly a lot to digest. Until next time!

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