I have heard enough about “Blue Scars” and have decided to show the world what the boys in blue can do with all the tools available to them! For more great articles visit the Tactics Corner.
First up today we have the big daddy himself, the Lord of Macragge, Marneus Calgar. In the fluff he is the noble and wise leader of the Ultramarines, and has lead the people of Ultramar through one disaster after another and is in part, the reason why Ultramar is the prime tourist destination in the 41st millenium. Guilliman would be proud.
Using Marneus Calgar in your army is not cheap. Standing at a whopping 275 points big ol’ papa smurf is someone you MUST build your army around. Due to his large ego, and insatiable desire for Tactical Squads to buff he also does not work well with other expensive independant characters (sorry deathstars). If you love force multiplication and lots of marines in Rhinos, Calgar is the man for you.
- Power Sword (I swear there is a use for this!)
- Frag/Krak Grenades
- Iron Halo
- Orbital Strike
- The Armor Antilochus: For 10 points you can grab him a suit of terminator armor that replaces your grenades, does not prevent sweeping advances, and comes with a teleport homer for terminator deep strike shenanigans!
- The Gauntlets of Ultramar: Two power fists that swing at initiative, are NOT specialist weapons, and can be combined to fire an assault 2 strength 4 ap 2 storm bolter round!
- And They Shall Know No Fear
- Chapter Tactics (Ultramarines)
- Eternal Warrior
- Independant Character
- God of War: Instead of rolling for 3 space marine warlord traits and picking one, it just now lets you pick the one you want.
- Master Tactician: If Calgar is your warlord you may choose to enact a single combat doctrine of any type once per game. This affects all Ultramarines models in your army (Note it does not actually specify that the models have to have the chapter tactics special rule)
Tactics: There are two very important things to note about Calgar’s kit before you decide to use him in an army. The first, is that he is actually not as durable as you would expect. He is still only toughness 4 with a 4++ and only eternal warrior to protect him from being instant killed. The second, is that he is very good at getting into close combat and winning in a pinch. He can not truly stand up to any other beatstick close combat monsters in the game and with his durability, and price tag you really don’t want him dying in a challenge to Abaddon, or just about any other roided out Khorne model.
Calgar’s main strengths are in his ability to make the units around you better. You need to capitalize on his ability to get you any warlord trait in the space marine book, and build your army around that. I prefer personally Storm of Fire for the ability to give a unit rending every turn, Imperium’s sword for 6 strength 10 initiative 5 power fist attacks on the charge, and Rites of War, because giving every marine in your Gladius Strike Force leadership 10 is under rated and Calgar is the best model with access to guarunteed Rites of War (sorry Cato, and Grimaldus).
Since Calgar already provides an extra doctrine, and Ultramarines come with a single one of each you essentially always have the buffs of a Gladius Strike Force, without the auxiliary taxes and useless free transports (A true Ultramarine only needs courage and honor to defeat his enemies!). I also think that taking Ultramarines in a Gladius is redundant since that gives you 7 full turns of doctrines and realistically you only need them on 3-4 turns.
Everything about Calgar screams threat overload and that is exactly the kind of army you need to put him in. Something along the lines of a CAD containing obsec tactical squads in drop pods with various special weapons, some devastator centurions in an empty fast attack pod, a 1st company task force to take advantage of all those rerolls and possibly the storm of fire warlord trait, (Sternguard with rending ignores cover eh John?), and maybe a skyhammer annihilation force to lock down key shooting units. What these three detachments give you is a versatility that is unmatched by any other space marine chapter. You have access to grav, mobility, alpha strikes, melta, null-deploying, obsec, MSU, and so much more. Calgar ties the entire army together with a consistent 3 turns of rerollable shooting as well as a warlord trait tailored to help you kill certain threats or achieve a goal. It certainly isn’t easy finding the perfect combination of wargear and model count to fit your playstyle but remember, you are working with a futuristic god of war, the least you could do is crack open a book and pretend to read some rules while you look at pretty pictures.
- His terminator armor allows him to fire his orbital bombardment and move, however he loses frag grenades, so will only be able to swing at initiative one with his sword
- You can actually use his power sword instead of his fists if you don’t want to win combat that turn. This is an option many khorne players wish they had because sometimes getting yourself tied up in combat can prevent you from getting shot
- Though I don’t think it is intended that way, RAW you could use his single chapter tactic on a pivotal turn to give drop pods, forgeworld vehicles, and other random space marine goodies a reroll of 1 to hit.
- Without terminator armor you can fit him into a devastator centurion squad in a drop pod and still be able to shoot with his orbital bombardment due to slow and purposeful and “twin-link” it if you use the devastator doctrine! Value!
- If you roll on the strategic warlord trait table and get Calgar infilitrate you can infiltrate him and then run a Nemesis Strike Force grey knights detachment to have a squad of grey knights terminators, paladins, or even Draigo potentially come on the board turn 1 deep strike within 6′ of Calgar (provided he bought his armor with the teleport homer in it) without scattering, and you now have a potent deathstar that you infiltrated onto the board.
Are you looking to start an Ultramarines army of your own? I purchased a lot of my Ultramarine models secondhand for dirt cheap and have usually found that everyone knows how to paint a basic, quality level Ultramarine scheme. Check out our store! I think there is still some Ultramarine themed Skyhammer units left.