Monday, November 23, 2015

Horus Heresy Review: Roboute Guilliman

Background.
Thanks to the Black Library books, we now know that the Primarch of the Ultramarines should have his name pronounced as Roe-BOO-Tay Gill-Uh-Man. Beyond that, Tempest gives the 30k overview of the primarch that much has already been written about. Surprisingly to me, he got a little bit more grim-dark than how he has been portrayed in 40k. Specifically, he is noted to have run a kind of secret police to ensure the 500 worlds were loyal. Sure, he was intelligent, and conquered many worlds (second only to the Sons of Horus) and left them easy targets for the iterators to install the Imperial Truth in.

Strengths.
On the tabletop, Guilliman is both a force multiplier, and a character that can handle himself in one-on-one combat situations.

For the former, he increases all of his sons Ld values by one notch whilst providing any unit he joins with some valuable bonuses. This alone argues that Guilliman should have a command squad (or equivalent) around him.

He is able to mess around with the opposition in a comparable (but not as complete) way as Alpharius is capable of. This includes the forcing of seize the initiative rolls to be re-rolled. He can grant a a single unit entry in his detachment one of implacable advance, interceptor or tank hunters. Clearly this can be a great boon for his army and I would strongly council having options for each of these choices that does not already possess it (e.g., lascannon equipped heavy support squads for either tank hunting or interceptor (similarly for all predator units); dreadnoughts other than mortis ones for interceptor, and so forth). I think this is a great boon that needs careful planning about what units will come on to the board with this primarch.

Should he need it, he actively learns during combat and increases his WS by one every round after the first up to WS=10 after the fourth round. This will re-set though if someone else challenges him. On top of this, he never suffers negative Ld modifiers due to deny the witch. Hence he's capable of standing up to even Lorgar. But perhaps not Lorgar plus blessings.

For his one-on-one combat he has 2+/4+ armour to rival both Vulkan and Perturabo. This allows him to re-roll the first failed invulnerable save in each phase (not turn: phase!). For weapons, he has two specialist ones: a paragon blade that shreds up enemies and has murderous strike, coupled with a concussive "hand of dominion" for S10 AP1.

Unlike some of his brother, he also has a ranged weapon in the form of "The arbiter". Although only 18 inch range, it does have a valuable AP3. Pity it is not AP2 to be fair though. Hence I can see him loaning his BS to an attached unit thanks to his Cognis Signum.

Weaknesses.
Although he can handle himself in a fight, he is vulnerable to swarms due to his low number of attacks. Hence the only way to play him is as part of a bigger unit. He needs his sons around him and this is arguably going to be something like an Invictarus squad (which along with terminators, he makes count as troops).

Overall.
His is certainly worth his points cost. In many ways he is an analogue of Alpharius (which may explain why they didn't get along). Alpharius does the army buffing much better, but Guilliman does the individual combat much better.

Take him as part of a large squad and deploy him accordingly. Use the Cognis Signum to help with shooting. Aim to take out any and everything short of Horus embedded in a unit of Justaerin Terminators.

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