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Hammerfall Bunker + Primaris Techmarine Inbound

Space Marines

The last Games Workshop releases for the week are a pair of Space Marine boxes. First we’ll take a look at the stalwart Hammerfall Bunker. Afterwards we’ll follow up with the new, mightier Primaris Techmarine. If you missed our earlier articles for Necrons please look at the Ophydian Destroyers and combined article for the Convergence of Dominion, Void Dragon, and Monolith.

Hammerfall Bunker

The new Hammerfall Bunker occupys a strange spot in the fast moving Space Marine Codex. While tough and covered with guns, the Bunker lacks any movement or melee capability. Like the Firestrike Turret, it does have a use, but you’ll have to decide if its the tool you need.

Defensively, the Hammerfall lags just behind the venerable Land Raider. They share the same Toughness of 8, but the Hammerfall only has 14 Wounds and a 3+ Save. This is still better than most other Space Marine vehicles, especially the Toughness 7 Rhino and variants. However, the lack of movement hurts defensively. The bunker cannot redeploy when anti-tank units get a bead on it.

Offensively, the Hammerfall brings an souped-up missile system to the battle. Superfrag missiles strike 2D6 times with a Strength of 6 and Blast. The other option, Superkrak missiles get two shots at Strength 10 and deal 6 damage. The AP is somewhat lackluster, but hits will wound unless your dice are really bad.

The second weapon system mounted on the Hammerfall are the arrays. Available as 24″ heavy bolters or 12″ heavy flamers, the arrays look deceptively weak with a limited number of attacks. However, the Defensive Array ability lets them attack every eligible unit. Multiple Small Unit forces should expect a pounding as they approach.

Hammerfall Bunker Battlefield Role

What do you do with the Hammerfall Bunker? The fortification lacks any reserve or forward deployment ability, so it must set up in your deployment zone. Once set up, it may not move either. Choose a spot carefully and early (due to the model’s large footprint) where you can maximize your missiles line of sight and have plenty of open ground for your defensive arrays. Ideally, you’ll set up between two or more objectives which are in or near your deployment zone. After that, engage priority targets with your missiles and hose down anything that comes “close”.

Close in this case is subject to interpretation. The heavy bolters fire on targets within a four FOOT circle centered on the bunker. The heavy flamers have a two FOOT circle and always hit. Choose your weapons based on your expected terrain density and you’ll have a great time.

Space Marine Hammerfall Bunker box art

Primaris Techmarine

The Primaris version of the Techmarine competes the lineup of classic HQ archtypes. He shares identical statistics with the stock Techmarine, except for a gain of one Wound and one Attack for ten more points. The weapon suite of the Primaris, however, makes him a much more capable combatant at range and melee.

At range, the Forge bolter doubles the range of the plasma cutter and deals more or the same damage without endangering the techmarine. As the range closes, the Primaris adds his grav pistol while still shooting with the Forge bolter. While the standard techmarine can take items off the pistol and combi-weapon list, he will rapidly outpoint the Primaris.

In melee, the Primaris Techmarine continues to out preform his predecessor. While both marines carry identical Omnissian power axes and Servo-arms, our Primaris includes a set of Mechadendrites as stock. Mechadendrites aren’t as strong as the other weapons, but they add two additional attacks whenever the bearer fights. Again, the standard techmarine may upgrade their axe with a one choice from the Melee weapon list. And again, his points jump up for that privalaege.

Primaris Techmarine Battlefield Role

So the question to ask ourselves is what do we want either Techmarine to do? For all my writing of weapons and damage, the Techmarine isn’t primarily a combatant, he’s support for your Chapter’s tanks and artillery. Keep him close, Blessings of the Omnissiah repairs a D3 wounds per turn and Awakening the Machine Spirit adds one to a vehicle hitting with any attack.

Now, with a fast moving Space Marine force, the Techmarine may be supporting your Dreadnaughts and Landraiders close to the frontline. Or he may find himself as the only counter attacker near your backfield Whirlwind. Combat ability is more appropriate now. As I’ve pointed out above, the old Techmarine may be more capable, but at a greater cost in points. Stick with the Primaris for a stronger multi-capable character.

Don’t forget, either Techmarine is upgradeable to the Master of the Forge with a better axe and maxed results for Blessings of the Omnissiah. Additionally, the Master of the Forge’s Warlord aura effects Dreadnaughts increasing Strength and Attacks. Just the thing if you want to play Scions of Mars

Space Marines Primaris Techmarine box art

If you’ve enjoyed this article or have any dissenting opinions, let me know in the comments. I’d especially like to know how the Hammerfall works in practice.

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