Warhammer 40K is everywhere these days, popping up in all manner of video games, books and merchandise to spread the glory of the Emperor of mankind. Or demand a few skulls and some of your internal crimson for the Blood God if you happen to be a fan of Chaos. The franchise got its start way back in 1987, spinning out of the more medieval Warhammer tabletop game and settling in a dark future where everyone was gunning for humanity.
The greatest protector of our species in these turbulent times? The legendary Space Marines, hulking combinations of divine DNA and intimidating armour that could push back any threat thrown at them when a chapter of these mighty soldiers were organised and ready for battle. Over three decades, the look and design of the Space Marines has remained pretty much constant, as the Warhammer 40K veterans have survived treachery from within their own ranks and risen from the loss of many a Primarch who was slain in battle or lost to the forces of Chaos.
This year marks a major change for the franchise however, as the eighth edition of the tabletop game introduces a new faction of Space Marines to the fold. In Warhammer 40K: Dark Imperium, the Primaris Space Marines hit the fields of battle, wielding “perfected” weapons and an augmented redesign of their technological and biological systems.
“For the past 10,000 years, the galaxy has been defended by the awesome might of the Adeptus Astartes – warriors whose origins date back to the gene-forging of the Space Marine Legions on ancient Terra, before even the Great Crusade and the Horus Heresy that followed it,” Games Workshop wrote on their community page.
genetically altered from their brethren to be bigger, stronger and faster
Over the millennia, some have tried to emulate the process of creating Space Marines, both for good and evil, but none have managed to equal the genius of the Emperor’s finished creation.
For ten millennia, Archmagos Dominus Belisarius Cawl has been working on a task set for him by the Primarch Roboute Guilliman: a new legion of warriors. Now, though the Imperium is poised on the brink of annihilation, his task is complete…
The Primaris Space Marine is a new breed of hero for this, the darkest age in the Imperium’s history. These new warriors are the next step in the evolution of the Emperor’s Angels of Death – genetically altered from their brethren to be bigger, stronger and faster – timely reinforcements to the Imperium’s armies as their enemies close in for the kill.
These enhanced Space Marines will be clad in Mark X Tacticus armour, which Games Workshop described as “a suit that combines the most effective elements of ancestral Horus Heresy patterns of plate with more recent developments in power armour technology”.
He carries into battle a bolt rifle: the archetypal firearm of Space Marines, re-engineered, re-crafted and perfected.
At the dawn of the Indomitus Crusade, these phenomenal new warriors join Guilliman as he fights to liberate the scattered bastions of the Imperium. Some, Guilliman has forged into new Space Marine Chapters, whole brotherhoods comprised only of these new warriors. Others he has offered to the existing Space Marine Chapters. Many Chapter Masters have welcomed their Primaris brethren into their ranks, accepting the new reinforcements gladly. Others, though, view these new creations with suspicion or outright hostility, claiming that the Emperor’s work should not have been meddled with.
Though they are a step removed from their brothers, the Primaris Space Marines still bear the gene-seed of their Primarchs, and some dissenting voices worry how this new type of warrior will react with the known genetic quirks and flaws of some of the more unusual Chapters…
With the current champion of Chaos Undivided Abaddon still at large, the Space Marines will need these reinforcements as a new breed of Chaos Space Marines have also been vomited out of the Eye of Terror. Hailing from the Death Guard, these traitors have been hanging around Nurgle for too long. “Plague Marines [are] the archetypal unit of the XIV Legion swollen with the raw power of decay,” Games Workshop explained.
These form of the core of any Death Guard force. Nurgle fans will also be pleased to see a shambling plague host represented by the repugnant and varied Poxwalkers, each draped in scraps of clothing from their former lives. There is a new vehicle on offer too — the Foetid Bloat-drone, a floating Daemon Engine that hunts its prey with a malign intelligence.
This is just the tip of the spear that Games Workshop is thrusting forward with, as Warhammer 40K prepares for its biggest year yet. I’m just happy to see that the Space Marines are once again the biggest badasses around. If you’re into the Warhammer 40K scene, you can expect to see these new updates pop up around the middle of June.
If you’ve got no idea just what the hell I’ve been waffling on about for the last 820 words, then here’s a brief primer on the Warhammer 40K series. It’s like Game of Thrones meets Star Wars.
Last Updated: June 1, 2017