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The Indomitable Force: Unveiling the Might of Warhammer 40k Space Marine Ultramarines

The Indomitable Force: Unveiling the Might of Warhammer 40k Space Marine Ultramarines

Introduction: In the vast universe of Warhammer 40,000, few names resonate as powerfully as the Ultramarines. Renowned for their unyielding loyalty, tactical prowess, and indomitable spirit, the Ultramarines stand as a bulwark against the darkness that threatens the Imperium of Man. In this comprehensive guide, we delve deep into the history, tactics, battles, and iconic figures that define this legendary chapter of Adeptus Astartes.

History and Lore:

The history of the Ultramarines stretches back to the tumultuous days of the Great Crusade, a galaxy-spanning campaign led by the Emperor of Mankind to reunite humanity under His rule. Among the twenty Primarchs created by the Emperor, Roboute Guilliman was destined to lead the XIII Legion, known as the Ultramarines, to glory. Born on the distant world of Macragge, Guilliman was discovered and raised by the Emperor, who recognized in him a strategic genius and unmatched martial prowess.

Under Guilliman's leadership, the Ultramarines swiftly rose to prominence, earning a reputation for discipline, honour, and unwavering loyalty to the Imperium. Guided by the teachings of the Codex Astartes, penned by Guilliman himself, the Ultramarines became exemplars of the Emperor's vision for the Space Marine Legions. The Codex Astartes outlined the organization, tactics, and doctrine of the Space Marines, ensuring the chapter's adaptability and resilience in the face of any threat.

During the dark days of the Horus Heresy, when the Warmaster Horus betrayed the Emperor and plunged the galaxy into civil war, the Ultramarines remained steadfast in their loyalty. Led by Guilliman, they fought valiantly against the forces of Chaos, defending the Imperium with unmatched valour. Despite suffering grievous losses, the Ultramarines emerged from the fires of betrayal as one of the few loyalist Legions to remain largely intact.

In the aftermath of the Horus Heresy, Guilliman assumed the mantle of Lord Commander of the Imperium, overseeing the reconstruction and reorganization of the shattered Imperium. His teachings, codified in the Codex Astartes, became the foundation of the Imperium's military doctrine, shaping the tactics and strategy of the Space Marines for millennia to come.

Throughout the long millennia of the Imperium's existence, the Ultramarines have remained steadfast guardians of humanity, defending the Imperium from threats both within and without. From the defence of Macragge against the Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth to the cleansing of countless worlds tainted by the forces of Chaos, the Ultramarines have proven time and again their commitment to the Emperor's vision of unity and order in the galaxy. With their noble deeds and unyielding resolve, the Ultramarines stand as shining beacons of hope in the grim darkness of the far future.

Tactics in the Tabletop Game:

On the tabletop battlefield, the Ultramarines employ a highly adaptable and flexible strategy rooted in the teachings of the Codex Astartes. Their tactical doctrine emphasizes combined arms warfare, leveraging a diverse array of units to achieve victory. At the heart of their strategy is the ability to rapidly assess and react to changing battlefield conditions, allowing them to seize the initiative and dictate the flow of battle.

One of the key strengths of the Ultramarines is their Chapter Tactic, known as "Theoretical Strategist." This tactic grants them the ability to fall back from close combat and still shoot during the shooting phase. This ability represents the Ultramarines' disciplined retreats and counterattacks, allowing them to maintain board control and deny their opponents easy targets.

The flexibility afforded by "Theoretical Strategist" enables Ultramarines players to adapt their tactics to suit the situation at hand. Whether launching lightning-fast assaults with Assault Marines, holding the line with Tactical Squads, or delivering devastating long-range firepower with Devastator Squads, the Ultramarines can tailor their strategy to counter any threat with surgical precision.

In addition to their Chapter Tactic, Ultramarines players can also make use of a variety of stratagems, warlord traits, and relics to further enhance their tactical flexibility. Stratagems such as "Veterans of the Long War" and "Fury of the First" provide powerful offensive options, while relics like the "Sanctic Halo" and "Standard of the Emperor Ascendant" offer potent defensive buffs.

Overall, the Ultramarines excel in their ability to adapt and react to the ever-changing battlefield conditions. Whether launching lightning-fast assaults, holding the line against overwhelming odds, or delivering punishing firepower from afar, the Ultramarines stand as paragons of strategic brilliance and martial prowess on the tabletop battlefield.

Historic Battles:

The Ultramarines have participated in numerous pivotal battles throughout the galaxy's history. The Defence of Macragge against Hive Fleet Behemoth, led by the Tyranid Hive Mind, stands as one of their most famous engagements. Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, the Ultramarines, alongside the Ultramar Defence Auxilia and the Adeptus Mechanicus, managed to repel the Tyranid invasion, thanks in part to the brilliant leadership of Marneus Calgar, the Chapter Master at the time.


The Ultramarines face a multitude of adversaries, from the relentless Tyranids to the chaotic forces of the Warp. Chief among their enemies are the Traitor Legions, particularly the Word Bearers, who harbour a deep-seated hatred for Guilliman and his sons. Other notable foes include the Orks, whose love of battle and sheer brutality make them a perpetual thorn in the Ultramarines' side, and the Necrons, ancient beings bent on reclaiming the galaxy they once ruled.


The Ultramarines boast a wide array of specialized units, each tailored for specific battlefield roles. Tactical Marines form the backbone of their forces, providing flexible firepower and adaptability. Assault Marines excel in close-quarters combat, utilizing jump packs to rapidly engage and disengage the enemy. Devastator Squads deliver devastating long-range firepower, while Terminators provide unmatched resilience and firepower in the heart of battle.

Ultramarine Heroes:

Within the ranks of the Ultramarines, a pantheon of legendary heroes has emerged, each embodying the chapter's noble virtues and indomitable spirit. Chief among them is the Primarch Roboute Guilliman, whose strategic genius and unwavering resolve continue to guide his sons to victory. Guilliman's leadership during the Horus Heresy and his subsequent resurrection in the 41st millennium have cemented his status as a living legend within the Imperium.

Captain Cato Sicarius stands as one of the most renowned heroes of the Ultramarines, his name whispered in awe and fear across the battlefields of the galaxy. A master of both strategy and martial prowess, Sicarius has led the Ultramarines to countless victories against impossible odds. His daring exploits and unyielding determination serve as an inspiration to all who serve alongside him.

Sergeant Telion, the venerable master of the Ultramarines' Scout Company, embodies the precision and discipline for which the chapter is renowned. With his keen eye and steady hand, Telion has dispatched countless enemies from the shadows, his marksmanship unmatched by any other. Though his demeanour may be gruff and taciturn, his loyalty to the Emperor and the Ultramarines is beyond question.

Chaplain Cassius, the grim and stoic spiritual leader of the Ultramarines, inspires his brothers with his unwavering faith and unyielding courage. A veteran of countless battles, Cassius has faced the horrors of the galaxy with steadfast resolve, his faith in the Emperor serving as a beacon of hope amidst the darkness. Though his words may be few, his presence on the battlefield is enough to rally even the most disheartened warriors to victory.

These are but a few of the countless heroes who have risen to prominence within the ranks of the Ultramarines, their deeds immortalized in the annals of history. Whether leading their brothers into battle, striking fear into the hearts of their enemies, or inspiring hope in the hearts of humanity, the heroes of the Ultramarines stand as shining beacons of courage and honour in the grim darkness of the far future.

Pros and Cons in the Tabletop Game:


  • Flexibility: The Ultramarines' versatile tactics and units allow players to adapt to a variety of situations.
  • Board Control: The Chapter Tactics' ability to fall back and shoot enables players to maintain board control and dictate the flow of battle.
  • Iconic Characters: The Ultramarines boast a wealth of iconic characters and heroes, each with their own unique abilities and strategies.


  • Predictability: The reliance on standard tactics may sometimes lead to predictability, making it easier for opponents to counter their strategies.
  • Lack of Specialized Abilities: Compared to other chapters, the Ultramarines lack specialized abilities that provide unique advantages in certain matchups, requiring players to rely more on skill and strategy to secure victory.

Paint Colours and Scheme:

To achieve the iconic blue and gold colour scheme of the Ultramarines, painters typically start with a base coat of Macragge Blue for the armour. This is then highlighted with layers of Calgar Blue and edge-highlighted with Ultramarines Blue to add depth and definition to the armour panels. Gold accents, such as trim and insignia, are typically painted with Retributor Armor, highlighted with Liberator Gold and Stormhost Silver to create a rich, regal finish.


In conclusion, the Ultramarines represent the pinnacle of Adeptus Astartes warfare, their indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve serving as a beacon of hope in the grim darkness of the far future. Whether you're a veteran commander seeking new challenges or a novice aspirant eager to carve out your own legend, the Ultramarines offer a wealth of opportunities for players of all skill levels. So, gather your forces, don the colours of Macragge, and prepare to defend the Imperium against the encroaching darkness. For in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, there is only war, and the Ultramarines stand ready to face whatever horrors the galaxy may hold.

If you are interested in building a Space Marine Ultramarines army but you don't have the time to paint them yourself, then check out our current collection of painted Ultramarines on our store 

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