Ultramarines Quickie Battle Report: New Space Marines Codex for 8th edition

This is just going to be a brief overview using a list I more or less feel is pretty accurate. As I write this I don’t have the new codex in my hands but I’ve played a few games with the new rules and the Ultramarines in particular. It’s funny how the rules overall seem really decent, but there’s no one rule that stuck out as ‘broken’ or too much. It’s the cumulative effect, and perhaps best of all, the power of the common marine is perhaps re-established.

First of our lists are not the most potent. I’m testing a few things and wanted to keep some staples in my list. I’m playing against Orks in this particular battle report and I make a few decisions based on the old codex so bare with me.

The Orks used a fair amount of vehicles with those DeathRollas. I think sometimes this list variant is under played. It has a TON of bodies and with dual shock attack guns it’s always a pain to face with the T8 walkers and that HQ on the trike. His list Approximately:


Warboss on bike with relic claw


HQ on Trike

Large squad of bikes.

Trucks with boyz, a few of the bigger vehicles (T8) with Dethrollas. (one of the vehicles had Tankbustas)

Grots of course… lots of those.

2 Shock Attack guns (1 relic)

2 Flyers (one was a bomber, the other a dakka jet)

Artillery (Can’t remember the name: D3 shots, roll 2 D6 to beat toughness of target and D6 Damage.

Ultramarines… Assemble!

Ultramarines : (Indomitus Crusaders which will be redundant come the new codex.)

Assassin: (-2 CP) Vindicare


Victrix Guard

Tiggy (proxying the Primaris Variant)

Calgar + LT. w/burning Blade

Repulsor (used before points were known to increase)

Executioner Repulsor

10 x Intercessors w/Bolt Rifles

5 Scouts (one Heavy Bolter)

5 Infiltrators

9 Reivers

1 Primaris Apothecary

1 Redemptor: HoG, Heavy Flamer,

3 Suppressors

The Game was Tactical Gambit which I find to be a fun, and fairly balanced Maelstrom with the removal of 6 cards before the game. We played Dawn of War deployment.

Early Game:

My Deployment is ridiculously backed up in my zone and I don’t have first turn so I keep it very, very defensive because I know how fast he can move.

Everything sits in vehicles..and I wait….
  • As you can see I’m bunched up in the very corner in an attempt to force a long funnel of movement across the board to me.
From the Orks point of view.
  • Already at mid Table the Orks are coming in hot. Flyers, and Truks and Battle wagon in hot pursuit. Fortunately I don’t give the pesky Tank Bustas a lot of good shots, same goes for the Shock Attack gun(s).
Again this is just turn 1!
  • The Orks haven’t got a good hand for the Maelstrom and they’ve split their shooting. They Advance the Bikers with Relic Claw toting Warboss on a bike in the midst of it all. This is going to be hairy.
  • The Orks decide they will hold off on Da Jump this turn.
  • Note: Beginning of the turn I get to take advantage of “New” Tigurius and put -1 to hit on the Repulsor closest to the Orks containing my 10 Intercessors. This was huge.
  • The Orks bikes (assisted by other shooting) shoot the only target they can, the Redemptor dread! He holds but barely taking a handful of wounds but his shooting is not that great.

The moment of truth….

  • Without actually killing anything yet, the Orks slam in hard but only declare the Redemptor. My Lieutenant would Heroically Intervene (we play ITC rules on this where Ledges cannot block/prevent assault).
  • The Warboss ALSO declares an assault on the Redemptor BUT HE FAILS! Even with the reroll. This is huge because I think he maybe needed a 6-7 at the most and rolled very low both times. Still I’m heavily outnumbered.
The Redemptor flames on, but takes a pretty bad beating.
  • It’s almost over. Fists fly, the bikers hit, but since the Warboss isn’t there the amount of damage is much lower, but he is still alive until the -3 weapon hits (Claw?) All I know is I have to pass one 6+ save, and the Redemptor LIVES! Which denies the Orks First Strike. I Fail. Believe it or not I Command Point re-roll the fail and get a 6! For the Idomitus Crusade!! (I swear I never do this but the consequences were huge: 1. I give up points, 2 I can’t swing back with the Dread, 3 It let’s him roam freely in my zone with all those bikers.) A huge moment that draws groans from the disgruntled Ork player.

Ultramarines Turn 1…

  • This game was so aggressive it was hard to imagine it going much farther than turn 2 at this pace. The Ultramarines were staring a whole Ork army in the face, and their additional support was on the way.
  • The Suppressors fire at -3 AP (nice!) and the Infiltrators move up to take down some Grots, and start to annoy the Shock attack gun hiding in the backfield. By having these units spread out, it gives me a chance to get some much needed points and pull into an early lead.
  • Not much else happens for movement. The Ultramarines are still massively out numbered. In an attempt to buy some room, Calgar takes the Victrix guard into the Bikers to clean them out while Tigrius puts Might of Heroes on the other (Executioner) Repulsor.
Calgar struts his stuff.
  • Shooting is very good… a Dakka Jet goes down and lots of infantry die. A HOG takes out a Grot screen, and that gives the Vindicare the Green Light to take down a Shock Attack gun. He takes only 3 wounds off though leaving the guy with one left. A lot of shooting later, and there’s one Truck down but still a fairly healthy Battle Wagon with the Death Rolla.
  • Finally Assault comes and Calgar cleans house, freeing the Redemptor of harm with its one wound left! The Victrix move up (shown above) and just out of the picture they engage the Warboss to stop him from moving and assaulting in his turn. This costs me a Victrix guard (that Warboss is nasty), but it forces him to stay put. The 3++ storm shields are huge in maintaing a defensive position.

Orks make a hard push

  • Orks might have bounced a bit, and had some bad luck but by far the majority of their assault is about to unleash hell on the Ultramarines.
And here it is…. KEEErunch!
  • I am surprised at the shooting in this Ork turn. The -1 to hit, and the Might of Heroes is just masive. Although the Repulsors are big models the Shock attack guns can’t concentrate on one or the other, they are forced to split fire. The shots are having a tough time wounding because it needs to roll a “9” on 2D6 to wound. Shock Attack guns giveth, and they taketh away. Silly Ork tech….
  • Let’s be honest, this boils down to a massive assault phase I’ll try to summarize!
  • The DethRolla plows into the Intercessor Repulsor and that’s going to get 11 to hit rolls at 2+!!! The HQ on a Trike comes in as well, and some Ork Boys from a mob come in hot on the other flank hitting the Repulsor as well. Somehow… by the light of the Emperor the Repulsor lives! It sure was looking ugly there and the Trike really kind of stunk due to some bad rolling. The retaliation in my turn would have to be severe or I would be hemmed in the rest of the game aside from the odd unit I had scattered on the board. I did lose the Redemptor, but at least it held off for another turn.

Return of the Ultramarines….

This is a great power for clearing low leadership chaff out of close combat.
  • I am up on points and that is largely because of my Suppressors and the Infiltrators. Although they are not in the heat of the action they are getting shot at as they try to score. In this turn I move them into better spots and try to reinforce my Reserves.
  • But first thanks to the new Psychic power: Telepathic Assault and Smite the Orks are cleared out and this lets my heavily damaged Repulsor move 5″ to escape close combat. Before I do that, 10 Intercessors disembark!
Time to vacate the scene of the crime…. The Intercessors take aim.
  • This is where everything would either fall apart for the Orks, or the Ultra’s would find themselves completely boxed in.
  • The Intercessors would prepare to fire, and the Reivers would come in and try to surround the ‘survivors’ of dead Ork vehicles…
Reivers drop in. With the Tactical Doctrine in play their 2 shots each come in at -1 AP removing Tshirt saves.
  • The Shooting phase saw the Executioner double fire, and destroy a Battle Wagon and the contents would spill out…. then the Vindicare would finish off the Shock Attack gun. More bolter fire would kill off some boyz but the big moment here is with the Intercessors. Using the old/new strat of Rapid Fire, the Intercessors unleashed 40 shots splitting them between the Trike AND the Tank Bustas. It was something else…. at AP-2 and the LT around, even the Trike was vaped. The remaining Tank Bustas were assaulted by the Intercessors and with Shock Assault rules, it was a fairly one sided affair!
Intercessor Rapid Fire at AP -2 from 30″ with Scions of Guilliman is no joke.
  • With the big vehicles missing, and a lot of their content already dead, the Reivers would have the clean up job. Having 2 shots at 24 and -1 AP, I think the assault would have finished it right there, but I would fail the dual assault with the Reivers.
This sets up a counter for the Orks but the Ultrarmine core forces are largely untouched.
  • The Orks need a massive turn 3 here. They would make a bit of damage on the Repulsor, but the Intercessors would be fine. A good counter charge saw them pretty much dominate the Reivers pretty badly before they could strike. The Suppressors also got assaulted as they tried to score me a Defend Objective X.
  • Although the Orks made a counter move in that area of the board, the Ultramarines were in control. Come the Ultramarines turn the Orks would Concede giving the win to the Ultra’s.
The Counter Assault would the Orks last chance at redemption.

The Orks made a typical, violent attempt at pushing back but it was too late as this would be their only offensive capability.

Final Thoughts….

  • The new Space Marines codex is full of little nuances. I obviously don’t have the codex in hand here but what I saw extensive use of was:
  • Scions of Guilliman. This just makes your general infantry feel better, but the long term solution for Predators, Dreads, and heavy weapon infantry is quite notable.
  • Tigurius. A staple in all my lists. He’s had subtle but again, significant changes. He failed one power in the three turns. His improved Master of Prescience is quite helpful.
  • Combat Doctrines. They’re good, but not over the top. I think mostly relevant in those elite games where you need to gun down Custodes or power armour. But Scions of Guilliman added a nice piece to the Tactical Doctrine.

Thanks for checking out the Battle Report. I’ve played a few games now and am enjoying the old units that may make a comeback… Grav, Drop Pods, Centurions (both types!), etc, etc. As I write this we are about 2 days out from the new codex dropping officially!

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