Gives you access to Combat Doctrines. Your goal when playing Ultramarines is to further enable Combat Doctrines. The two most powerful Doctrines are Tactical and Devastator, so, spam Tactical Marines (in Drop Pods) in your Troops slots, and take however many Devastator units you want.
Pretty much anything you want, since that's the Ultramarines' whole deal. Given that the two strongest Doctrines are both Shooting-related, you don't want to take units that already have Twin-Linked weapons because that's wasting potential, that means generally avoiding
Bikes, most Dreadnought Weapons and Centurion Assault Squads. Centurion Devastators have Twin-Linked weapons, sure, but they can be upgraded to Grav-Cannons, which don't normally get re-rolls To Hit, and Centurion Devastators are really strong, since they're affected by the boosted Devastator Doctrine while they're at it. Scouts with Sniper Rifles also benefit somewhat from Combat Doctrines, since re-rolls To Hit can turn into Precision Shots, and, generally speaking, the more Hits you get, the more chances you have to Rend.
Plasma Pistols are bad, he didn't bring a Storm Shield, and he doesn't even have a real Relic Blade. The only thing Sicarius brought that was correct, was Artificer Armour. He makes exactly one Tactical Squad in your army slightly better. Is that enough to justify him? At 175 Points? No.
Chief Librarian Tigurius:
Librarian with 3 Wounds. Re-rolls to get his Powers, re-rolls Psychic Tests, too! Re-rolling his Psychic Tests alone makes him one of the best Psykers in the game, even if he is 'only' ML3, and he lets you re-roll Reserves from his Detachment, which is good, if you're playing with more than one Drop Pod (which you should be), and
he comes stock with the best Warlord Trait in the book. If you're playing Ultramarines, you want to be taking him.
He's cheap and hard to kill, and Fearless. If you're playing under 750 Points, he's a fairly good pick for Warlord. However, in a 'real', game, he's not very good.
If he's an HQ choice, he really should be a Captain. Still, at 50 Points, coming stock with the best Warlord Trait, he is easily
one of the best Warlord picks in low point games. Standard Terrain, plus Stealth and a Camo Cloak should give him a 2+ Cover Save nearly all the time, so, he doesn't have 2+ Armour, and he doesn't have 3 Wounds, which gets around the two most annoying rules in low point games, and he's 50 Points
, with the best Force Multiplying Warlord Trait
! He's cheap. He's effective. Yeah, he can only join Scout units, but, in low point games, you shouldn't really be overlooking Scouts anyway.
One Tank in your army gains BS5, IWND and is immune to Crew Shaken and Stunned. If you're in a low points/restricted meta, and want to take him in a Razorback, don't. Take Telion instead.
Lord of War
Marneus Calgar: Choose your Warlord Trait - FNP, everytime. Chapter Master with Eternal Warrior and an AP2 Ranged weapon is fairly strong. While he does have a Power Sword, it's pretty pointless 'cause his Gauntlets aren't even Unwieldy. If you choose to put him in the Armour of Antilochus, he loses his Frag Grenades, but now he can shoot his Orbital while on the move so you don't lose a turn of Movement - or first turn Shooting. He also lets you use a single extra Doctrine once per game (Tactical, it should always be Tactical), and that's really good, too. Overall, Calgar isn't the strongest Chapter Master. But, he does have Eternal Warrior (and FNP), and he does have CT (Ultramarines) so he doesn't cancel out your Combat Doctrines.
Is an Ultramarine Chapter Master on a Bike with a Thunder Hammer stronger than Calgar? Kind of actually 'Yes.' Which is all the more unsettling because as a Lord of War, if you want to take Calgar, you have to take another HQ choice anyway. Why not just take a Chapter Master on a Bike (totally not Calgar), another HQ that you had to get anyway (a Librarian), and save your Lord of War slot for a sweet, sweet Thunderhawk or other Forge World Tank?
Stupidly, GW didn't put any restrictions on Chapter Masters, so it's entirely possible to field Calgar/Pedro/Helbrecht and another Chapter Master in the same Detachment, which is dumb. But, that's what you get when you have an unrestricted game.
Skilled Rider is decent and all White Scars models gain the Hit & Run
special rule, which is one of the best special rules in the game. Just remember that having two different Chapter Tactica in the same unit gives neither. So make sure to Ally in models that don't
have the Chapter Tactics rule if you want to keep your H&R. So Allying a White Scars Librarian (for that Telepathy boost) into a Guard Blob is totally legit - make repeat Charge moves into the same unit. That is, if you're not in the mood for the cheaper Sororitas Allies and picking up Saint Celestine. But, you're Codex Marines, with all the other options in your book that Sisters don't have...Plus, Marine models are more accessible.
Bikes, seems simple enough.
The Gladius Strike Force under White Scars is also very good, since the only practical way to run the Formation is by playing MSU, and, generally, being MSU is kind of bad. Being White Scars gives all of your units Hit & Run
, which is great, especially since you'll have six Tactical Squads, and being the Gladius gives you Combat Doctrines anyway, even when you're not Ultramarines, so you're models are offensively better, and much stronger in Assault (by virtue of not being in it).
His Warlord Trait is being a Company Standard, which isn't strong. But, also, when he's your Warlord, all Bikes, Rhinos and Razorbacks have the Scout
special rule, which is strong, since this rule is not
tied to Chapter Tactics, and can be spread across multiple Chapters, however, Kor'sarro still has to be the Warlord. If
he is the Warlord, if he kills your opponent's Warlord, he gains extra VPs, however, that should never really happen because your opponent should know about this rule, and/or should have 2+ Armour. Not a strong Warlord at all, but he gives everything in your army Scout
, and that's why you take him. Especially in the Gladius Strike Force, where all your Razorbacks are free. Also remember that this Scout is not
tied to Chapter Tactics, which means you'll always get Scout, even when you have Allied Space Marines in the same unit.
Re-roll all To Hit rolls of '1' when firing Bolt weapons. Pretty much every single model that you put down is going to have a Bolt-weapon on it, which puts your standard models (Tactical Marines and Scouts) a slight cut above every other Chapter. All models with Bolt-weapons are essentially under a Combat Doctrine all the time, which is pretty good. The other half of CT (Imperial Fists) gives your Devastator units the Tank Hunters
special rule, which is exceptionally useful for dealing with Imperial Knights and other AV13+ models.
Sternguard models firing Vengeance Rounds, where re-rolling those 1s is vital to not having your own units die in your
turn - especially when Rapid Firing. Tank Hunting Devastators mean that every Heavy Weapon that you take that isn't
on a Devastator is kind of a waste - don't waste points on your Tactical Marines if you could be spending those same points on Devastators instead. Which generally means taking Scouts. Taking Scouts is also good because their cheapness can offset the expensiveness of your Sternguard. When it comes to your Centurion/ Devastators, remember that Grav-Cannons don't make Armour Penetration rolls and so don't benefit from Tank Hunters
, so, that's disappointing, but, Grav-weapons are for dealing with Monstrous Creatures, so, it's not like Tank Hunters is going to help you in that regard anyway.
Space Marine Bikes already come with Twin-Linked Boltguns, and don't benefit from being Imperial Fists at all.
2+/3++, 4 Wounds and Eternal Warrior, and his Warlord Trait is FNP. For when you absolutely don't want to give up your Warlord VP. If Lysander is your Warlord, his hidden Trait is turning himself into a Company Standard, which is kind of useful. Sort of. Marines can't be Swept, it doesn't really make a difference. Lysander also carries a S10 Thunder Hammer, which is great for Instant Death-ing other T5 models, and especially useful for cancelling out opposing FNP. So, not only is Lysander super tough, but he also lays a solid beat down on the return hits when it comes to the Initiative 1 step. Speaking of; Inside a unit of Centurions, Lysander becomes T5 (majority Toughness, even in Challenges), which makes him even harder
to kill, but, although Centurions with Grav-Cannons are wasting their Tank Hunter
potential, what they're doing, is throwing out Concussive in the Shooting Phase, so that when Lysander Charges, his opponents are striking at the same time he is - and after the Centurions, for whatever that's worth - so Lysander should always be able to bring the Hammer down.
A Crimson Fist in name only, he currently serves as the Chapter Master of the Imperial Fists. His Warlord Trait is FNP, and he has no hidden Trait at all, so, if you want to run Lysander and Pedro in the same Detachment, you can, since Lysander has the same Trait, and then counts as a Company Standard. All Sternguard in Pedro's Detachment gain Objective Secured, which is exceptionally strong, given Imperial Fist Chapter Tactics, in addition, all
models in his Detachment gain Preferred Enemy (Orks)
, which doesn't matter, but, what's more, is that all models in Pedro's Detachment, within 12" of him, gain +1 Attack. That means, when Lysander (as Warlord) and Pedro are in the same unit, the Chapter Master and his First Captain become Back-to-Back Badasses
, and they become a Chapter Banner unto themselves.
As with all Chapter Masters, Pedro benefits from joining Centurions, which hand out Slow & Purposeful
, so that Pedro can fire his Orbital while on the move. Even moreso, Imperial Fist Centurion Devastators grant Pedro Tank Hunters
, which stacks with Ordnance
, and, then, because it's a unit of Centurions, Lysander joins the unit, too.
Pedro + Chapter Banner + Standard of the Emperor Ascendant; All of these stack for +3 Attacks to each model. It's a fun trick, but don't expect it to work more than once.
If you must
play 'Crimson Fists', remember that amazing Warlord Trait Table that Crimson Fists have? Well, Pedro's best ability (ObSec Sternguard) is not tied to Pedro being the Warlord, so, if you do
want to roll on that sweet table (i.e: Chapter Master, Bike, Shield Eternal), do so.
You don't get Librarians, and in return you get Adamantium Will - not a good trade. Righteous Zeal
is not strong. Yes, you get Rage and Counter-Attack, but at the cost of losing models, which is basically equivalent, so you're not actually gaining anything in the long run. You're kind of mitigating your losses, and is a totally reactive rule. If you have the first turn, your opponent isn't shooting you, and you get no bonuses. Ultimately, very weak, because it relies on your opponent doing what you want them to do, which they shouldn't be.
Crusader Squads and Assault Squads; Get those 'hidden' Eviserators and Power Axes more attacks with Rage. There's also a benefit to taking Assault Terminators, where, since they aren't shooting, they do actually kind of benefit from Crusader, but, then again, Terminators can't Sweep, so they're only benefiting from 'half' of the Crusader rule.
High Marshal Helbrecht:
He gives his unit Furious Charge, and gains +D3 attacks when he Charges. When he gets
Charged, he is significantly less good. Not even including the fact that his weapon is only AP3. Once per game, all Black Templars on your side of the board, in all Detachments, gain Hatred and Fleet. That's...Not strong. If
your opponent has given your units Rage, fine, it's really good. Unfortunately, Black Templars don't really have the free Shroud (& Stealth) like Raven Guard to get them into combat in the first place...
The Emperor's Champion:
A very, very
strong 'Challenge model', even moreso if you make him your Warlord and roll on the Black Templars' table. But, that means that you have a 2-Wound model for your Warlord. A good Warlord in low points, but he has a 2+ Save, and makes people cry about having to take Plasma weapons, because building a proper list is hard, or something.
His Warlord Trait is dumb, because he's a Chaplain with a Fearless aura... So don't make him your Warlord? He has a Master-Crafted Plasma Pistol, which is excusable, since he's not paying points to blow himself up, and he has IWND just in case he does. Ultimately, this guy exists because Black Templars are not Raven Guard; Everyone within 6" of his Servitors gains FNP, which actually is a very
wide circle if you spread them out enough, but, also, everyone within 6" of Grimaldus, specifically, is also Fearless. So, when you inevitably get shot at, sure, you get Rage. But Rage is useless if you're Falling Back and can't Charge. Grimaldus is a lot like He'stan is to Salamanders. No Black Templars army of reasonable size should be leaving home without Grimaldus. Helbrecht, you can probably leave if you want to. But Grimaldus is so important to not having your army dead.
The special Troops unit for Black Templars, they can take a minimum 70 Point 'Tactical Squad' and take a Heavy and Special Weapon for a minimum investment. Basically, this means Missile Launcher/Lascannon and Plasma Gun. Weirdly, Black Templars actually make the best Parking Lot army, that is, if Parking Lots weren't dead. If you want to make a Melee squad, you can throw in a Meltagun, and Power Axe, and then, unlike Tactical Marines, a Power Weapon on your Character model might actually be worth it, here. Since with the extra non-Character Power Axe that can't be Challenged out, you can actually do things with the Rage that you might get, and then you can pick up Neophytes with Shotguns, which are ever so slightly better than Combat Blades.
Last; Objective Secured Land Raiders. Don't bring a Land Raider unless you're bringing three.
All your non-Vehicle models gain FNP (6+), or +1 FNP if they already have it. Not strong at all, since FNP can be ignored by a host of options across many armies, and natural FNP is only found on one unit in the book. FNP makes your models marginally better defensively, and that's good on your Scoring units, but largely ignorable on every other unit that doesn't sit on an Objective. You can fairly safely ignore the bonus to Techmarines, since Techmarines aren't good.
Warlord models benefit a lot by having IWND, especially in addition to The Shield Eternal. Also, Ironclad Dreadnoughts benefit a lot
by having IWND, since they're AV13, and that's the meta, and since everyone is already trying their best to destroy AV13 Vehicles, you can make it ever so slightly harder. In addition, the models that benefit most from FNP (even if it's not great) are those with high Toughness; Bikes and Centurions. Leaning heavily on Centurions because they have two Wounds each, which means that Centurion Sergeants are actually better than most other Chapters'.
Command Squads in Iron Hands are basically mandatory, since they're the only unit in the book with natural FNP, and, in addition, can be given Bikes for the T5 that strongly enables FNP to be even more useful.
The Librarius Conclave is very strong under Iron Hands, since it's a Formation of just
Characters, which means that they all have IWND, and then putting them on Bikes gives them T5, and then all the ICs join the Command Squad to grab that sweet FNP (4+). Another option is giving them all Terminator Armour and Storm Shields, but that means running them on foot, and not giving them T5, and it also means running the Command Squad on foot, so you don't get Relentless Grav-Guns. But, Plasma Guns'll still work fine, and the FNP boost means it's less bad when they blow up when you Rapid Fire.
"If Centurions are good, and Ironclads are good, what about the Centurion Siegebreaker Cohort?" ...Hnng...To begin with, the CSC is bad, because Centurion Assault Squads are bad. Minimum investment in Centurions is around 350 Points, plus two Drop Pods that you need from elsewhere, while the Ironclad can take a Dedicated Drop Pod. The biggest problem, is still the fact that if you have Centurion Assault Squads, you haven't
built them as Centurion Devastators, and there's no way around it.
, using Allies, is where the CSC shines. Using a Flesh Tearers Strike Force (Exterminatus
), you have more than enough Fast slots to spare two Drop Pods for some Centurion units, but, in addition, Blood Angels don't have
Centurion Devastators, so you don't lose the opportunity cost, and
if you're building that type of army, your three Elite slots are already filled with AV13 Furioso Dreadnoughts, and the CSC gives you another
AV13 Dreadnought. Furthermore, Blood Angels get Sanguinary Priests, and the FNP applies to any unit that they join, enter Chapter Tactics (Iron Hands), and now you have Centurions with FNP (4+), and that's pretty good.
Space Wolves are not a good option, Wolf Priests will only be boosted to FNP (5+), and Preferred Enemy doesn't quite matter because Centurion Assault weapons are already Twin-Linked.
Gain FNP (4+) against Flamer weapons from the rulebook. It's a fairly sub-par rule, all your models have 3/4+ saves anyway, and any Template weapon that will
kill you, isn't in the rulebook, and outside the purview of this rule. Re-rolling To Wound with Template weapons is strong with Heavy Flamers, and makes regular Flamers slightly less terrible, because if your opponent is going to get their 4+ save anyway, you may as well make 'em roll as many dice as possible to get those averages up. Also, Salamanders' Characters can Master-Craft one weapon (chosen during list creation).
Your Scouts in 4+ Armour now have a save against Heavy Flamers, so that's a load off your mind. But, Heavy Flamers can only be found on two units (that benefit from Chapter Tactics); Sternguard and Ironclad Dreadnoughts, both of which are competing for the same Elites slots. So, that's annoying. You'll probably want to stick with Sternguard, since they're Infantry, and wont stick out in your list. But, if you're going to take three Ironclads, then go for it.
2+/3++, and his Warlord Trait is FNP. Solid. He also brought a Relic Blade with Digital Weapons, which isn't AP2, so that's dumb. He also has a Heavy Flamer which is currently a very in-demand weapon. His 'hidden' Warlord Trait, is that he makes all Melta weapons in his Detachment Master-Crafted. His rule even makes Combi-Meltas firing as Boltguns Master-Crafted, too, however, this rule does not
apply to Special Issue Ammunition
, because SIA is fired instead
of a Boltgun - that's why Imperial Fists have to make a special sentence for it. In any case, due to his hidden Trait, and how strong Melta weapons are, no Salamanders army above 1250 should be without He'Stan. He's just that good at force multiplying.
All models that don't
start the game in a Vehicle (i.e; No Drop Pods) get Shrouded on Turn 1, and you get +1 to Night Fight, which stacks with Shroud. It's not the strongest, but it's functional, since you always get Shroud, which means you can build your army list for Assault and not get shot off the board immediately in the opening turn, and by Turn 2 rolls around, you can Charge. Defensively, it's also strong, as it provides protection against your opponent's
first-turn alpha strikes. If you're interested in playing Raven Guard, you want to be capitalising hard on that first turn.
Techmarines for Bolster Defenses, Scouts with Camo Cloaks (including 10th Company Task Force), and Bikes which Jink. Bikes can be taken as Troops, which leaves your Fast slots open for Assault Marines if that's your bag. Raven Guard Jump Infantry can use their Jump Packs twice in the same turn, which, coupled with their free Shroud, is great for getting your Assault force into position for a Turn 2 Charge - if that's what you want to do. Ultimately, Raven Guard are for when you want to field an Assault-based, Vehicle-less force.
If you are going to play Raven Guard, it's very helpful to have a Thunderfire Cannon in your collection, not only does it pack Bolster Defenses for you, but it also carries a S5, Ignores Cover weapon, which is good for you, since you want
Night Fight to happen, but that's basically giving your opponent
free Stealth as well, and that sucks. Thunderfire Cannons, being S5, will remove a lot of models, even if the shots are only AP6. Secondly, an Ironclad Dreadnought with Heavy Flamers is the same; Yes, it loses the free Shroud by being in a Drop Pod, but, since it's a Vehicle, a Raven Guard Dreadnought wouldn't get it anyway. Besides, you always
want at least one Drop Pod in your army, and while Raven Guard Drop Pods suffer (because you don't want any of your units starting the game inside a Vehicle), at least you can make the most out of it. Although, that said, Smoke Launchers is Shrouded.
Using your Jump Pack twice is not
the same as Fleet, and is therefore passed onto units, which is great for Allying a Raven Guard into other Jump Infantry units that don't have Chapter Tactics - like Blood Angels.
Shadow Captain Shrike:
His Warlord Trait is Fear.
Otherwise he has a pair of Master-Crafted Lightning Claws, and he hands out Stealth
to any unit he joins, which stacks with free Shroud, whether Night Fighting is up or not. Shrike has no hidden Trait, so if you want to take him just to hand out Stealth
to a unit, and then take an actually good Warlord like something on a Bike, then you can do that. Shrike hands out Stealth to the Bike unit, making Jink even better, with free Shroud.
The reason that Shrike works, is because he joins a unit before
Deployment, so, he joins a unit of Jump Infantry, and hands them Infiltrate, per the rules. So, if you're absolutely dead-set on Infiltrating a Melee unit (you can't Charge on the first turn), Shrike lets you put a unit of Vanguard in the middle of the board. You should probably also flood the board with Scouts so your opponent doesn't just pick out the sore thumb.