Warhammer 40k Codex Supplement: Ultramarines Review

Alongside the new Codex: Space Marines two supplements are being released and this is the first one. It’s the Ultramarines. The forces of Roboute Guilliman himself. Let’s get into it.
Ultramarines Abilities
The Ultramarines gain access to all the normal Angels of Death abilities. But also have an extra one of their own. Ultramarines and Successor chapters of them can use the Scions of Guilliman ability. This ability makes it so that when the Tactical Doctrine is active they can fire in the shooting phase as if they had remained stationary. This is huge as your entire force can move and still use Bolter Discipline. Or any heavy weapons users suffer no penalties for moving and firing. Although they will miss out on the extra AP for it.
Successor Chapters of the Ultramarines have access to all the same things as the core army. But with abilities they replace all instances of Ultramarines with their chapter name. Also to gain access to a Relic of Macragge they have to take the Honored by Maccragge stratagem, more on that later.
Ultramarine Units
There are a couple units in the Ultramarines that gained a few new abilities. First up is the Chapter Ancient which has his Banner ability as a 9” aura as opposed to 6”.
The other is the Chapter Champion. His base profile is still mostly the same except he now has 5 attacks. The real difference is all the extra abilities. Honor or Death has been split, the ability now allows Heroic Intervention at 6” if it is against a Character. The other half is now called Superlative Duelist which allows re-rolls against characters on hits and wounds. The Champion also has Martial Superiority which makes him fight first always. Unless an enemy charged, then the activations alternate. The Skillful Parry ability gives a -1 to be hit in melee. All these abilities make the Chapter Champion a terrifying character killer. Which is suiting of a guy running around with two swords in a universe where lasers exist.
The new unit coming to the supplement is Tyrannic War Veterans. Okay technically they’re not new, but they are back and they mean business. They are pretty standard Primaris Marines but they have a special issue boltgun that has 30” range and an AP of -2. Plus their Bane of Tyranids ability gives you rerolls to hit and wound against Tyranids. These guys will definitely mess up some Tyranid hoards, and anything with low toughness and a 3+ save.
Warlord Traits
The Ultramarines get their own set of 6 Warlord traits. Although if you liked the original one it still is one of the 6 options. Master of Strategy allows you to pick one unit within 6” and make them act as if the Tactical Doctrine is active. Which also will mean that the Scions of Guilliman is also active. Calm under Fire gets rid of the -1 to hit when falling back, which is pretty good. Paragon of War cause a 6 to wound to cause a mortal wound in addition, decent for a damage dealer. Nobility Made Manifest allows infantry and Bikes to heroically intervene. Warden of Macragge allows heroic intervention at 6”.
Relics of Macragge
The Ultramarines have been around for quite some time and have gained lots of unique tools. But some are better than others. Like the Standard of Macragge Inviolate which gives +1 attacks to units within 6” of the Ancient. Also within 12” units pass morale tests. The Helm of Censure allows a re-roll of one on both hits and wounds. In addition if the model is fighting other Astartes units it gets +1 to hit and wound. So for all those purgers out there, this will make your character real good, especially if he’s a Chapter Champion. The final relic is the Vengeance of Ultramar. This is a storm bolter with rapid fire 4 and rerolls to wound against anything but a vehicle. Whoever wields this weapon will be pumping out an entire squads worth of fire by themselves.
Special-Issue Wargear
The Ultramarines also have access to additional relics that are seen on their person. These relics are usable by Successor Chapters without a Stratagem. Of these on a couple stand out. The Reliquary of Vengeance can be used once per battle. When used add 1 to Attacks of models within 6” for that phase. Seal of Oath allows you to pick one unit before the battle begins and all units within 6” can re-roll hit and wound rolls against the chosen enemy unit. The Sunwrath Pistol is a permanently overcharged plasma pistol that has two shots. It will pack a serious punch plus it doesn’t explode.
The Codex Supplement comes with 16 strategems but I’m going to highlight some of the standouts here. First up is Cycle of War which allows the player to switch from the Assault Doctrine to the Devastator Doctrine for 1 CP. When combined with Stratagems from the base codex Ultramarines are able to switch to almost whatever they want. Defensive Focus allows Ultramarines to use For the Greater Good with up to 3 units for 2CP. Squad Doctrines for 1 CP allows a player to select an Infantry or Biker Unit and give it any Combat Doctrine they want. Honored by Macragge allows a successor Chapter to take a relic from the Relics of Macragge list for 1 CP.
Indomitus Discipline
The Psykers of the Ultramarines also have their own Discipline they can use. The Indomitus Discipline is all about tearing apart the enemy, gaining insight into the future or combining their psychic powers.
They can use powers like Precognition to gain a 5+ Invulnerable save and -1 to be hit. But the Psykers can also deal mortal wounds to the enemy by either using Telepathic Assault or Storm of the Emperor’s Wrath. They can even combine their powers with Empyric Channeling to add two to another Librarian’s test and not suffer Perils of the Warp. They also can allow rerolls of hit, wounds or damages and slow the movement of the enemy. All these abilities beg the use of multiple Librarians on the field so you can lay down some serious buffs or debuffs. But also team up to get that one big power off.
In Conclusion
The Codex Supplement: Ultramarines has a lot of great abilities and wargear to make the perfect midrange army. With the Chapter’s emphasis on the Tactical Doctrine it is built for unrelenting waves of Infantry or Bikers to pound the enemy lines. They certainly will make a fearsome force at the game table.
As always, A big thanks to Games Workshop for the images provided for this article.
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