Saturday 29 April 2017

On the imminence of Ultramarines

The rumour mill has started spitting out specifics for the 8th edition starter set. Obviously, this is just a rumour so get your salt out but the reported contents are as follows:

Death Guard
Chaos Lord
Plague Marines
Blight Drone(s?)

2x Tactical Squads
Assault Squad
Devastator Squad

Price point is rumour to be £80 and its pretty good value even if I doubt that the Blight Drone or Drones will be the full size of the Forge World ones (though they will be a damn sight easier to build...). I'm certainly setting aside some money for one on the strength of the Death Guard alone, an army I have wanted for years but find the Forge World versions unbuildable.

The Ultramarines, though...

Now, its not like I dislike Ultramarines, I'm actually rather fond of them and Know No Fear remains my favourite Horus Heresy novel. The problem I have, assuming like the Dark Angels in Dark Vengeance they have embossed heraldry, I don't think its a good idea to have them in the starter set. Or, rather, I don't think its a good idea to have both armies in a starter set be a specific sub-faction rather than generic models.

Take Assault On Black Reach, still my favourite 40k starter set and where are my multi-part plastic Deffkotpas, GW? In that set you had generic Space Marines usable for any sub-faction of vanilla Space Marines, Dark Angels and Blood Angels, plus Orks that you could use as the foundation for any build of Ork army you wished. Even Dark Vengeance, with its very specifically Dark Angels Space Marines, had a completely generic Chaos Marine force and where are my multi-part plastic Cultists and Chosen, GW?

This set gives us two specific sub-factions: Plague Marines and Ultramarines. Having one or both armies be generic was genuinely a usability issue, it provided the player with an economic start to numerous armies. My Dark Vengeance Chaos Marines were Night Lords, my Black Reach Orks were Freebooterz and the Space Marines they came with were, at various times by the grace of brown Dettol, Exorcists, Black Templars and Guardians of the Covenant.

Unless I'm wrong about embossed heraldry, I will have Ultramarines who only be Ultramarines which is one sub-faction amongst dozens in the Space Marine background. Still, I might have a use for them since my Mechanicus come from Ultramar and if not there's always eBay. 

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