Beginner's Guide: Ultramarine Tactics


Today’s article is all about the Ultramarine Tactics! One of the most, if not THE most known faction, of Warhammer 40,000. You are beginning in the grim universe of Warhammer 40K? You are searching for a new cool project? Read further and you’ll find everything you need to know on how to start with the faction that has its face and colors everywhere on boxes in your Warhammer product supplier.

Who are the Ultramarines

The Ultramarines have a lot of nicknames on the internet that are meant to be derivative but don’t be fooled. The Ultramarines are the most composed chapter of the Space Marines. The sons of the Primarch Guilliman, have seen 3 different evolutions in the 40K universe. One in the Horus Heresy, one after the near-death of Guilliman and one after Guilliman was brought back from his near-death experience.

In the Horus Heresy, we see them as the sons of one of the greatest tacticians that ever lived. More than that, they succeed at conquering, pacifying, and organizing 500 planets and establish an empire never seen before. These worlds are evolved, productive, politically active, and full of life. Possibly the best place to be as a human. All that thanks to the Ultramarine tactics and their father.

After a giant war against his fallen brother Fulgrim, Guilliman is hurt by a legendary weapon that puts his life in jeopardy and is put in stasis. For the first time, the Ultramarines must follow their father’s teaching without his great mind to balance things out. Thankfully the Ultramarines are not only warriors. They are philosophers in the art of war.

Ultramarine tactics balance two philosophies when making decisions: the theoretical and the practical. That’s what makes Ultramarine tactics stand apart from the other chapters. Their plans are well thought out in 2 levels by minds that see the world around them in these 2 angles. Thanks to that, they adapt like no one else can. The loss of their father and leader is a big burden but they handled it like they handle anything else with courage and honor.

Now the 40K universe is taking by storm because the favored son has come back to life after years and years in stasis. With Guilliman back from the metaphorical grave and the unleashing of the Primaris Marines, a project 10,000 years in the making, the Ultramarines see their numbers swell without any loss in their way of war. If not for the devotion, the sacrifice and the adaptability and tactical acumen of the Ultramarines, there probably wouldn’t be an Imperium as we know it.

Ultramarine Tactics Play Style

As I mentioned before Ultramarines adapt. It’s all about balance. Think of war in the same way they do. In theory, what can you do? What can your opponent do? What could be the objective? In what scenario of war are you gonna be thrust in?

Then on the table, you move on to the practical part. In practice, is your gameplan still feasible? Ultramarines are not stubborn. They are courageous but the goal is always to win the war, not just the fight they are in right now. Always think ahead.

Your Ultramarines have the same stats as all other Space Marines: 3+ armor save. 4 in Strength and Toughness and even 2 wounds if you go the primaris route.

Look at your army as a toolbox. Pick out the best tools for the best jobs while thinking of a backup plan. Therefore, every unit is useful in the hands of a son of Guilliman. It’s more a matter of how and when that tool can be helpful.

They have access to a Chapter Master, Marneus Calgar, who is super strong and boosts his legion. One of the best Psyker, Tigurius. Most importantly, the Primarch himself, Guilliman. Yes, you have access to the demigod himself!

One of their rules makes them able to shoot their guns if they have moved as if they remained stationary. Small mathematical bonuses that can look subtle but basically make you able to shoot your guns at full efficiency without sacrificing movement.

They also have an artifact for Captains that makes them able to disrupt psychic powers and have a 3+ invulnerable save. They even have access to some units like the Tyrannic War Veterans that have bonuses against their legendary enemies: the Tyranids.

Army list:

++ Patrol Detachment  (Imperium – Space Marines) [50 PL, 939pts] ++

+ Configuration +

**Chapter Selection**: Ultramarines

+ No Force Org Slot +

Victrix Honour Guard [3 PL, 70pts]

. Victrix Honour Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword, Storm shield

. Victrix Honour Guard: Frag & Krak grenades, Power sword, Storm shield

+ HQ +

Marneus Calgar [11 PL, 200pts]: Gauntlets of Ultramar

Primaris Lieutenants [4 PL, 69pts]

. Primaris Lieutenant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades, Master-crafted auto bolt rifle

+ Troops +

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 85pts]: Bolt rifle

. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

. Intercessor Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

Intercessor Squad [5 PL, 85pts]: Bolt rifle

. 4x Intercessor: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

. Intercessor Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

+ Elite +

Aggressor Squad [5 PL, 111pts]: 2x Aggressor, Aggressor Sergeant

. Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets/Fragstorm Grenade Launcher: Auto Boltstorm Gauntlets, Fragstorm Grenade Launcher

+ Fast Attack +

Inceptor Squad [7 PL, 123pts]: Assault bolter x2, 2x Inceptor, Inceptor Sergeant

+ Heavy Support +

Eliminator Squad [4 PL, 72pts]

. Eliminator Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Bolt sniper rifle, Camo cloak, Frag & Krak grenades

. 2x Eliminator with Bolt Sniper: 2x Bolt pistol, 2x Bolt sniper rifle, 2x Camo cloak, 2x Frag & Krak grenades

Hellblaster Squad [8 PL, 165pts]: Plasma incinerator

. 4x Hellblaster: 4x Bolt pistol, 4x Frag & Krak grenades

. Hellblaster Sergeant: Bolt pistol, Frag & Krak grenades

++ Total: [47 PL, 869pts] ++

Ultramarine tactics and strategies

First and foremost, we tried to keep it as low budget as possible and to not repeat more than 2 times the same unit. The philosophy we used to build this list is the following:

-Small budget

-Cool models

-Diversity of models to paint and not get bored

-Flexibility for future purchases and adaptation to grow your army later

To give you an idea, this list needs you to buy a starter set of Dark Imperium (160$ US), Marneus Calgar (55$), Eliminators (50$), Aggressors (50$) and bonus you have your rulebook and a Death Guard army to sell or keep for a future project or awesome corpses on your base to show your superiority.

The list we’ve just come up with is a way for you to have a taste of pretty much everything. Your basic troops of Intercessors are key so don’t underestimate them. Move around and shoot enemies but always keep in mind the objectives.

Your eliminators are made to stay afar and snipe key elements of the enemy. With their camo cloak, they will be very tough to put down. If your enemy gets tired of getting sniped and shoots at them, it gives you a bit of time to breathe because, in cover, they are REALLY tough to kill.

Your Inceptor descends from orbit just to rain down death on the enemy and you are going to love rolling all these dice. The key here is to also build up the tension towards your friend while you shake the dice in your hand. You’ll see him/her sweat while trying to keep their composure. Being able to drop them 9’’ away from the enemy makes for good decoy, good killer surprise, and good objective grabbers.

Your Helblasters are there for armored targets. They are key to making holes in heavy defenses so use them well. Same thing for the Aggressors. They are not particularly great against heavy armored targets, but the amount of dice is gonna be a repeat of your Inceptor but with a walking unit.

More importantly, your HQ’s, Marneus Calgar and Lieutenant are made to support your units where a hole appears in your plan. Don’t keep them too far in the back, especially Marneus and his Victrix Honour Guards, because they bring great bonuses to your units like the reroll hits and wounds that a Chapter Master gives. More importantly, he is a killing machine in close combat. Few heroes can stand toe to toe with him. 8 wounds, 6 attacks, 2+ armor save and 4+ invulnerable… His famous power fists artefact…. Trust me, you are going to love punching holes in tanks and in heretics!

Ultramarine Tactics Conclusion

The reputation of these guys precedes them for a reason. They have one of the easiest color schemes to paint, a lot of books written on them, they make the best out of every unit as much as possible with their way of war and they have access to a lot of characters.

I’ll repeat it again just in case you forgot about it…. They have a PRIMARCH!!! If you like the idea of seeing war in 2 different angles, adaptation, and doing the work while walking beside a demigod, this army is for you.

This is how you get a free army list designed for you!

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