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The Ultramarines are famed as the archetypal codex chapter - they invented the codex astartes and are meant to exemplify it in every way.
I can't see why the living embodiment of the standard space marine organisation gets 2 (cout 'em!) non standard units that no other chapters (not even codex chapters - ultramarines only!) can have. Since when are Tyrannic war vets and Honor guard part of the standard make-up of a chapter? The codex astartes never said, "battle companies - 6 tactical squads, 2 assault, 2 devastator, oh and some T.W.V.s if you like". These units just don;t fit - Ultramarines DO NOT FOLLOW the rules that they forced upon the other space marines all those years ago - they are just NOT as codex as they think! Their fluff tries to justify this ("No chapter shall reject Guilliman's sacred tome, oh, exept us when we have really great need") but at the end of the day this is hypocrisy.
To me, Ultra's are just another non codex chapter like B.A.s, S.W.s and the like.
On a side note, this pandering from GW towards the Ultras is why I dislike them - in the olden days of 2nd edition they got loads of stuff that other chapters could get (even standard equipment like auto launchers on termy armour, for goodness sake!).
There is actually fluff reguarding why they have a specialised tyranid hunter units. Now, I dont know the ins and outs bust IIRC its basically that during the Tyranic invasion the Ultramarines were low on men and had to either a) send the same squads in over and over again (thus they specialised) or b) simply sit back and let the nids in.
Calgar disliked having specialist units because it went against his codex astartes, but it was ultimatly a sacrifice he had to make.
As to honour guard and marines being alone in that respect... meh, thay aint really divergent from codex astartes. In essence all they are are a command squad thats souped up a little bit. Blood angels / ultreamarines have an honour guard squad, and all other chapters have command squads. Both command / honor perform the same function, they both have a standar bearer, both have a veteren sarg, both have the company champion etc...
If you buy the new white dwarf you would find the reason why the Tyrannic War Vets were added. This is something that was done after the Battle of Maccrage when the entire first company was wiped out. The Ultramarines retrained and to ensure they could fight the Tyranids to the best, they decided to employ Tyrranic War Veterans who are really just ordinary Space Marines who fight mostly Tyranids and have become good at it. This is quite justified as the Ultramarines are one of the main chapters fighting the Tyranid threat. The Ultramarines also acknowledge that they have done this and have gone against the teachings of the codex.
But wouldnt you agree that something written ages ago would need to be updated ever so slightly. Space marines chapters, even those which strictly adhere to the codex, must adapt to the changing universe. Hence since Ultramarines fight Tyranids, it makes sense that they have some kind of specialist.
As for your last comment, UM will always have people who dislike them because of many reasons:
There colour scheme
There lack of rules (ie boring)
and now you dislike them because they have special rules???
Doesnt make sense.
Ultramarines Second Company
Great point. I never really thought about it but you're absolutely right. GW's self-proclaimed most vanilla codex chapter is also one of it's most deviant...Oh, the irony! GW has always for as long as I can remember catered to a few chosen chapters (UMs, BAs, SWs, BTs, DAs, etc.) and forget about others (CFs, WSs, etc.) TWVs I think are particularly cheesy as they are only offered to UMs, are equipped with uber-cheesy hellfire rounds and can use krak grenades as CCWs...give me a break! On the other hand, I have no problem with the Honor Guard but feel it should be a more general concept that could be incorporated by any SM Chapter. I don't dislike UMs per se (actually their are a lot of aspects of them I do like) it's just that they are so obviously the "favored" sons of GW that it just makes me ill.
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The ultra marines had to go against the codex astartes because the tyranids were to big a threat. (Battle for Macgragge) But it still took Marneus calgar ages to decide (See new codex)
As for why only Ultramarines have them its because they're on the eastern fringe.
Anyways, T.W.V. are just tac squads but they have some extra bits on the edges which you can have anyway when you buy a Daethwatch killteam. You should really try to read the new WD it explains everything.
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And the almighty Dice God said to his followers "Thou shalt not speak ye words "anything but a one" For thou whoever'st speaketh this blasphemy will be cursed with thy rolls being of one".
I have read the codex and all white dwarfs (dwarves?) to date. I accept the reasons that there was a great need to get double hard marines in the chapter again - hence T.W.vets. My point is that the Ultra's believe (and force others to believe) that a codex configured chapter can handle anything. The point is that they are ready to chuck their beliefs if they are in need but frown at others doing the same.
In game terms, you have to accept that a chapter made with the trait rules is significantly less divergant from the codex than the Ultras because of their unique unit types.
nid war vets are hardly different from normal vets. And lets be honest the more you fight something, the better you will be at fighting it.
they had a huge debate (in the fluff anyways) about whether to accept nid war vets as standard organisation, and eventually they were accepted.
you have to realise that nids weren't even discovered when the codex was written so obviously a few changes had to be made.
And honour guard aren't divergent...they are perfectly codex. An honour guard of the best warriors protecting their leader...that is in the codex astartes...so why not have it in the game?
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Actually.. the thing which annoys me is that, gamewise, considering the ridiculous number of points a deathwatch kill team can set you back, Tyranic Vets are much better than the Deathwatch. They have some really useful skills which hadn't been dreamed up when the deathwatch were (Damn GW for rereleasing the rules without actually updating anything!)Originally Posted by Zed
And with 'Trust your Battle Brothers' even a regular codex marine can be more 'skilled' than a deathwatch marine for fewer points. The only thing which stands out is the special ammo.
The unique ultramarine units are just slight variations on the codex' different roles, adapted to give the chapter some culture. What's wrong with that?
The honour guard is basically a command squad..
Tyranic Vets are just veteran squads trained by Cassius, who happen to be better at fighting tyranids than anything else because most of them have spent their lives doing so.
Even so, there was some debate (in the fluff) about it.
But heck, anything which makes the ultramarines less of the vanilla chapter is fine by me.
To expand on this:Originally Posted by Carnage
The Codex is not a single body of work, it is a tactical, strategic, and logistical compilation. It is in a constant state of flux and is regularly updated. Once something is entered into the codex it is pretty much canon, but is not intended to be the be-all-and-end-all. One could consider the Calgar's decision (made after hearing the comments for and against of the entire chapter, individually, one after the other) to allow the creation of the TWV as a standing formation to be an addition to the Codex, and as such the UM haven't deviated from it at all.
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Very True. I believe the Salamanders also have an Honour Guard. And anyway all the Honour Guard are, is a bunch of First company space marines tooled up with chapter relics.Originally Posted by Carnage
Also, in the WD article they debated for ages and Calgar wanted every one in the entire chapter to have a say in the decision.
Very Democratic of him.