Choosing Your Primaris Heavy Support
Just as heavy artillery is known as the god of war, your heavy support choices dominate the battlefield with superior firepower. Among the Primaris, each member of a squad carries a powerful and deadly weapon. For many, their combined shooting deletes vehicles or entire units from play in one phase. Other remove characters (leaders, heroes, and specialists) from the board even when surrounded by friendly models. This is the closest you’ll get to a god of war without breaking out a Primarch.
Your decisions for filling Detachment slots with Primaris Heavy Support infantry aren’t nearly as complicated as they were in previous articles. Each of the units deals sledgehammer blows to your opponent’s force. It comes down to the targets you want to destroy and how much you’re willing to pay. Just remember to protect your Primaris Heavy Support units. Your opponent knows how they’ll hammer him and they’ll want to do it to you first.
Looking very much like Intercessors, Hellblasters trade their bolt rifles for a pure armament of plasma. Heavily armored targets, from infantry to vehicles and monsters fear their -4 AP rating. Regular 3+ saves and worse just don’t get one against a Hellblaster hit. Also, like Intercessors, their plasma rifles come in three varieties each with advantages and flaws.
Assault plasma incinerators have the lowest Strength, at 6, but may fire 3 times and are assault weapons. They even have a 24 inch range, putting them on par with most small arms in the game. A great pick for mobile units fighting heavy infantry or light vehicles.
Regular plasma incinerators are rapid fire and are Strength 7. Squads equipped with this weapon have some mobility and shooting, but cannot do so when Advancing. They have an extended range, engaging units at 30 inches. They’re best for units you’ll swap between moving and holding ground.
Finally, the heavy plasma incinerator fires at heavy 1, but has an 8 Strength and 2 Damage before supercharging. You won’t want to move the squad much since it reduces accuracy. Like other heavy fire weapons you’ll want to keep them in spots with good long fire lanes to make the most of your shooting. Their 36 inch range gives them a commanding presence on open boards and makes them a priority target for your opponent.
Now, despite everything I’ve said, Hellblasters aren’t very popular. They are very expensive and tempt you to supercharge those incinerators. While supercharging increases Strength and Damage, especially for the heavy plasma incinerator, it always carries the chance of eliminating one of your expensive models. If planning to supercharge, keep your Captain, and his Rites of Battle reroll, nearby.
Phobos armored Primaris Maries with camo cloaks sneak in everywhere, and once again they spring an ambush. Your squad is very small, limited to three Primaris marines. Their camo cloaks will help keep them in play, but they need to keep way back from the enemy. For weapons, Eliminators carry multi-role bolt sniper rifles or las fusils.
The bolt sniper rifle negates the Look Out, Sir rule, giving you free reign to single out enemy characters. The rifle also uses a variety of rounds making this a versatile weapon. Executioner rounds ignore cover and add 1 to your to-hit rolls, effectively negating the penalty for moving.. Hyperfrag rounds permit you to engage larger units with 3 attacks each against any unit with 6 or more models. Finally, the mortis round gives improved AP, Damage, and scores mortal wounds on a 6 to-hit. Altogether a nice, rounded package.
On the other hand, the las fusil has all the subtety of a brick to the head. Each shot comes with a deadly profile, Strength 8, AP -3, and 3 Damage. They provide solid firepower against heavy infantry, vehicles, and monsters for a Phobos-themed force.
The last point of consideration is your Sergeant’s optional weapon. Instead of one of the above weapons he can carry an instigator bolt carbine. While shorter ranged and less powerful than your other options, it has one outstanding property, Covering Fire. After the unit shoots, not your Sergeant, the Eliminator Squad may conduct a normal move. In other words, you can move away from enemies or into better firing positions. Is that worth 1/3 of your firepower? Probably not, but it captures the feel of a running gunfight. I like that.
At the moment, Eliminatorss are only found in Start Collecting! Vanguard Space Marines.
Hellblasters aspire to joining this squad. Damage equal to or superior to supercharged plasma without the risk. All you have to do is get closer. See, Eradicators carry melta or heavy melta rifles, ie 24 inch melta guns. Like all meltas, these are Strength 8 with -4 AP and a D6 Damage. The regular melta rifle is the standard assault 1. The heavy melta rifle, however, is heavy 1, but gets a +2 to damage. Both rifles score an additional 2 Damage when at half range!
While the squad is absolute murder to single targets, their Total Obliteration ability, may rip apart a whole squad of Terminators, Tyranid Warriors, and similar heavy infantry. As long as the Eradicators did not advance, they may select a unit. Models in this squad fire twice at that unit, but only that unit. Considering how many shots you’ll be putting on that target it really isn’t a restriction. Their is no kill like overkill!
Sadly, Eradicators are only available as part of Indomitus at this time. They did not appear in the Recruit, Elite, or Command editions, so I’m hoping for a release this year.
Entries in this series
To Be Published
Motor Pool, Primaris Tanks and Transports