Triumvirate of the Primarch Tactical Review: Roboute Guilliman

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PeteyPab has a 3-part series on each of the members of the Triumvirate of the Primarch. Today he is reviewing “Big Bobby G” himself. Roboute Guilliman. Where does he fit into the 40k meta? 

And of course, because we’ve got to keep the lights on, be sure to shoot your order in for the new Triumvirate of the Primarch at 25% off during the Pre-Order and New Release time frame or at our normal and awesome 20% off after that period of time! Send order to: or call 888-781-5120.

HE IS HERE! FINALLY! If you partake even a little bit in the 40k news verse you know that Roboute Guilliman, the Primarch of the Ultramarines was announced about a month ago, and the 40k community has been reeling ever since. The implication of first Magnus, and now Papa Smurf is too exciting to overlook. What Primarch is going to be revealed next? Will he be a loyalist or traitor? What’s going to happen in the fluff? Will all of the primarchs be as good as Magnus the red? While I can’t answer all of these questions I can dive deeper into that last one. Is Guilliman as good as his red horny-nippled flying psychic brother? In case you are curious his rules were revealed on Warhammer TV’s twitch page, and website. You can go over there if you want some of his rules. I will be covering the rest here.


Special Rules: I am going to lead off with the rules that were NOT revealed on the official site. Guilliman comes with

  • Adamantium Will
  • Chapter Tactics (Ultramarines)
  • Eternal Warrior
  • Fearless
  • Feel no Pain
  • Fleet
  • Precision Shots/Strikes
  • Preferred Enemy (Chaos)

He is the Lord commander of the Imperium, meaning all friendly armies of the imperium units in your army reroll failed morale, pinning, and fear checks. This is huge, because it basically means bringing him helps your army negate a large part of the game. Sometimes avoiding failing key morale checks in critical moments can be absolutely game winning.

As the Primarch of the XIIIth legion he gives all Ultramarines in your army an extra set of doctrines. For when you really want to use doctrines in your Gladius Strike Force for 2 straight games!

Finally, Guilliman has an unyielding will, and cannot be effected by negative leadership modifiers of any kind. Ever.

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Warlord Trait/Relics of Ultramar: 

His Warlord Trait is simple, he gets all of the command traits from the BRB. All of them. At the same time. This means within 12 inches he becomes a buff/debuff machine making any of your Armies of the Imperium models a lot more efficient.

Guilliman wields the Emperor’s Sword and the Hand of Dominion in combat. Which means he has a 3 shot strength 6 ap2 rending boltgun and a Str 10 Ap 1 sword with armorbane, concussion, soul blaze and the ability to turn 6s to D hits or automatically hit every model within 1 inch automatically.

The Armor of Fate he is wearing confers him a not so grav-friendly 2+ armor save and 3++ invuln save and gives him the ability to come back to life with d3 wounds on a 4+ at the start of your turn.

Also, I suppose this is a good time to go over his statline. He is WS 9 BS 6 S6 T6 with 6 wounds and 6 attacks. Everything a growing monstrous creature needs to smash his foes and die to stomps and grav.


Tactics: Before we get into what is the best way to use Roboute on the tabletop I want to talk about the model itself. He is a gorgeous model. Just my two cents, I really love what they did with his sword, and size. They really made him look more like the new leader of the Imperium and less like just another loyalist primarch. They also did a good job balancing the look of the model between too bulky, and dangerous looking. I am very impressed, and personally prefer this Guilliman to his smaller forgeworld counterpart.

Guilliman’s place in the 40k meta is currently uncemented. We do not have the rules yet for the third gathering storm book so we don’t know what kind of detachments Guilliman players have at their disposal. What we do know is Guilliman is slow, despite having fleet and +1 to run moves. He is also deceptively fragile without the ability to hide in a large unit, or deep strike in a drop pod. This means that despite his close combat capability Guilliman needs to spend his 350 points doing the other thing he is good at, buffing your units.

I do think he is a bit redundant with Space Marines. The reroll morale tests is cool, but honestly apart from that he gives Ultramarines 6 doctrines for a game stock. Which is usually more than enough to get the job done. Which means if you want to take Guilliman and use him to his full capability you need to take units that can take advantage of all of the buffs he provides. Two armies really stand out to me out of all of the possible combinations from Imperial soup.


No, one of them isn’t battle company. It is actually a Barkstar. For those of you who don’t know what a barkstar is click here or here for the audio free version. Basically what you do is run 30-40 Fenrisian wolves, give them a librarius conclave containing arguably the most powerful psyker in the game (Tigurius) and give your opponent a tough units to deal with. By using the idea of “Threat overload” you can buff Guilliman with psychic powers like invisibility or teleport him around to really make him a threat. In the mean time Guilliman doesn’t need to move along with the barkstar to buff them with his command trait aura. He just needs one dog to be within 12. Something that can be very easy to do.

Some key buffs Guilliman gives the wovles is rerolling 1’s to hit in close combat, and the ability to add 1 to their run and charge moves. Guilliman can also jump in their and bail the dogs out of combats that they are unlikely to win in, like Imperial knights and Wraithknights. Though, Celestine could also help out with that as well. Guilliman fulfills two roles here, he can protect and counter charge units that are in your backline, and also buffs the morale of units in your army that need to stick around. Mainly cheap obsec objective grabbers.

Another nifty trick is the ability to surround Guilliman in the barkstar to protect him from grav. Move them so that your opponent can not get into grav range. Or, if you are feeling really spicy, bait your opponent and give them enough room to shoot just one grav unit at him. He is survivable enough to survive one round of shooting from a typical grav squad, and in the mean time your opponent dropped right into the jaws of a hungry wolf unit.

The possibilities are really endless with this army, and any assault oriented army that isn’t space marines could really use the buffs Guilliman provides. In turn, Guilliman does a lot better with psychic support shoring up some of his weaknesses.


Finally, the second army. Guilliman does really well in an Imperial Guard Artillery army. He buffs conscripts, vultures, punisher tanks, artillery, and pretty much all of the guardsmen who like to stake nice and cozy in the backlines. In turn, those models can provide him with a bubble-wrap of warm bodies to keep any of the nastier shooting away from him.

Guilliman’s mobility isn’t an issue here because he needs to stay in the gunline and counter charge any units that decide to get in his grill. Deathstars may give this list an issue, but with enough barrage and high strength shots sometimes a deathstar is weakened enough so that Big Bobby G can handle it. Especially with some fearless conscript help.


Anyways, that’s it for today.

How do you plan on using the new Primarch in your 40k games? 

Also, stay tuned tomorrow for my review of Grand Master Valdus in all his Grey Knight glory, and my next episode of Chapter Tactics, which is temporarily moving to Sunday for this weekend. You don’t want to miss that episode, I am going to talk about time/clock management in competitive 40k tournaments.


About Petey Pab

Aspiring 40k analyst, tournament reporter and Ultramarines enthusiast, Petey Pab only seeks to gather more knowledge about the game of 40k and share it with as many people as he can in order to unite both hobbyists and gamers. We are, after all, two sides of the same coin.

28 Responses to “Triumvirate of the Primarch Tactical Review: Roboute Guilliman”

  1. Avatar
    Jumping monkey March 3, 2017 11:00 pm #

    Being a monsterous creature , not independent character can he join Units and use transports ?

    • Avatar
      Ishagu March 4, 2017 4:27 am #

      Nope. It’s why he’ll need psychic support.

      I’m already postulating lists built around multiple medium powered threats that would allow him to function.

      • Avatar
        Beau March 4, 2017 7:56 am #

        Good things Ultra marines have things like Tigerius that can be taken in a Conclave. World shift his ass across the tableand watch your opponent shit a brick. 350 points… pfft

        All my Daemon Princes are shitting bricks right now… they will never switch to glide mode again!

    • Avatar
      Peteypab March 4, 2017 9:01 am #

      “He is also deceptively fragile without the ability to hide in a large unit, or deep strike in a drop pod”

      in the article. Too bad.

  2. Avatar
    Alex R March 4, 2017 12:39 am #

    I hope he has deepstrike rule as that would make sense. We probes don’t have the full rules yet

    • Avatar
      Peteypab March 4, 2017 9:03 am #

      I just gave you all the rules…. He doesn’t have deep strike, I certainly would have mentioned that in the special rules section.

  3. Avatar
    Horton March 4, 2017 2:48 am #

    Wow. Thanks for the review! I think these rules in incredible! For 350, Guilliman is amazing in my opinion and fills a unique roll for Imperial Armies. Feel no pain with a 2+/3++ is really really good!

    • Avatar
      meh March 4, 2017 3:15 am #

      even with full grav devastators up his azz, RB has both 3++ & fnp, and 4+ rez

  4. Avatar
    Ishagu March 4, 2017 3:36 am #

    So on average 11″ movement with Fleet +1″ from Warlord Trait.

    10″ charge on average too, so 17″ threat range for CC.

    A cheeky invisibility will make him pretty scary. 8 Str10/D ap1 attacks hitting on 3s, re rolling 1s

    • Avatar
      Peteypab March 4, 2017 9:04 am #

      7 attacks on the charge.

  5. Avatar
    hillshire March 4, 2017 4:46 am #

    Guiliman is very powerful but not over the top. I’m indecisive about his points cost. Off hand I’ve been comparing him to an Imperial Knight. He’s more survivable and buffs his army but lacks the speed and range. And stomps. Although it could be argued his “auto hit all baddies within 1” is a circular Riverdance of stomps.

    I think making him an MC is a good decision. He’s tough enough to stand on his own while buffing your army but doesn’t become untouchable by hiding him in a command squad with an apothecary if he were an IC.

    One thing has me wondering though. According to reports, St. Celestine gave her halo to Guiliman with the side effect that her Geminae Superia died. So . . . does she get a new one and/or her Geminae return? Or maybe the halo doesn’t matter in regards to her Invulnerable save since the Invul is part of the Armor of St. Katherine? In other words, does St. Celestine still match her new rules or is she now more similar to her older rules?

    Seems rather sad if she got new best buddies for a while and then had to sacrifice them to make Guiliman more awesome. Shades of the hated Grey Knights “blood armor” incident. Which literally made no sense. If anything, covering themselves in the blood of innocents they had just killed would corrupt them, not protect them. Probably the worst writing in 40k.

    Also worth noting that after getting St. Celestine’s halo, Guiliman now has a variation of her resurrection ability. So does St. C still resurrect?

    I guess we won’t really know until the 3rd book comes out.

    Thanks for the review! I’m looking forward to reading the next ones. Particularly the Grey Knight, we know practically nothing about him.

    • Avatar
      Peteypab March 4, 2017 9:05 am #

      I doubt they are going to change the rules due to the end times fluff. That would mean Sergeant Kell can no longer be taken.


  6. Avatar
    Colin Sherlow March 4, 2017 7:10 am #

    So he has all of the brb Warlord traits.

    That is amazing. Just look at strategic alone and he is loving it. Re-roll reserves, +1 to seize. -1 to enemy reserve rolls. can make turn 1 night fight. infiltrate/outflank multiple units. Force pinning checks. Move through cover and stealth ruins.

    Command and personal are solid as well since he has all of them.
    Enemies use the lowest LD within 12 of him.
    Move through cover for friendly withing 12″.
    Friendlies re-rolling 1s to hit in shooting and assault within 12″ is great.
    Is give FNP, fearless and IWND as well. Nice!

    I like it

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy March 4, 2017 7:31 am #

      He only has the Command traits, not the other tables.

      • Avatar
        Colin Sherlow March 4, 2017 7:01 pm #

        Oh good.

    • Avatar
      Peteypab March 4, 2017 9:06 am #

      Only the command traits.

  7. Avatar
    Davis Centis March 4, 2017 7:32 am #

    Wow, that’s so awesome. I really wasn’t sure how they’d show off how great a leader he is, but giving him ALL of the Command Traits is a pretty darn good way of showing that.

  8. Avatar
    Black Blow Fly March 4, 2017 6:46 pm #

    First off he is not an MC… even GW is not taht stoopid.

    Second the suggestion to play Guillawoof shows just how stoopid gehy is 40k now. Might as well a Farseer for teh Fortune and a Carnifex too tank teh D

    • Avatar
      abusepuppy March 4, 2017 7:54 pm #

      You’re a credit to the fucking species, BBF. A blatant contrarian based on zero evidence, a homophobe, and an internet tough guy. Keep up the good work.

      • Avatar
        Vercingatorix March 4, 2017 8:14 pm #

        Don’t feed the troll.

    • Avatar
      Threllen March 5, 2017 6:39 pm #

      I mean I know you’re just a troll but if you’d like to educate yourself… here’s a link to an actual picture of his rules from the twitch livestream that *GW* did.

  9. Avatar
    John Palmer March 5, 2017 10:28 am #

    Goes into a coma for ten thousand years, wakes up and now his sword is EVEN MORE BIGGERER and instead of Murderous Strike it MAKES IMPERIAL KNIGHTS GO KABLOOEY INTO A BILLION PIECES and his renowned tactical expertise manifests itself AS ALL THE THINGS NORMAL GUYS CAN DO BUT ALL AT THE SAME TIME BECAUSE HE IS BIGGERER AND BETTERER THAN ANY OTHER ULTRAMARINE EVAR!

    I definitely prefer his 30k rules (or rather, I prefer 30k rules as a whole); as you say, he doesn’t really fit in an Ultramarines army that well.

  10. Avatar
    Jural March 5, 2017 4:03 pm #

    I think this is a spot on interpretation of the primarch. He isn’t as “turned up to 11” as Magnus, but he is half the cost. Not a single rule seems too powerful or not powerful enough based on his fluff.

    If he could just go into a drop pod I am confident he would be in top lists… as it is, still a very cool model and release, who will get work done on the table top.

  11. Avatar
    Jonathan March 5, 2017 4:56 pm #

    Not mentioned specifically: Auto hit within 1in is a nice counter to any invisible melee star….s10 will double out bikes, wolf lords etc. all day. Just position well before charge to avoid the fodder

  12. Avatar
    Threllen March 5, 2017 6:40 pm #

    He is the Lord commander of the Imperium, meaning all friendly armies of the imperium units in your army reroll failed morale, pinning, and fear checks. This is huge, because it basically means bringing him helps your army negate a large part of the game.

    I LOLed at that second sentence… so true, though. I’m still suspicious of how he himself will get much done because of his 6″ movement (just ask Tyranid MCs and wingless daemons how that works out). But his ability to buff an army is undeniable.

  13. Avatar
    Marandamir March 9, 2017 4:13 pm #

    Can someone explain why Tigurius is ‘arguably’ the most power psyker in the game? his rerolls are nice but I think Magnus has him beat hands down.

  14. Avatar
    Chris March 14, 2017 7:04 am #

    I haven’t looked closely at his rules in the book left but since I don’t have access to it right now ill ask here. How does his turning hits into S D work? Do you then roll on the D table? If so that’s not as bad as some people have said where they assume its automatically the 6 on the chart. If it just turns it to a D hit I would think you then roll on that table as well but since I don’t have the book I don’t know.

  15. Avatar
    Much March 16, 2017 9:35 am #

    Can he be taken be every army as Lord of War, or as HQ? I cannot find that (and I want for him to join Dark Angels)

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