3 June 2015 | Forbidden Stars

Humanity's Finest Warriors

Preview the Ultramarines Faction in Forbidden Stars

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“We commend our souls to the Emperor. Let the story of our sacrifice burn across history like a shooting star. For death and for glory – for the Ultramarines!”
   –Lucian Ventris, Ultramarines’ Terminator Sergeant. Codex Space Marines 

Among the stars of the Herakon Cluster are invaluable ancient relics, lost vaults of archeotech, and untold billions of humans who have endured millennia without the Emperor’s protection. Now a passage between the Herakon Cluster and the rest of the galaxy has opened, allowing not only Imperial troops, but terrible armies of Chaos, Eldar, and Orks to occupy countless unclaimed worlds. As the commander of the Ultramarines, you must defend the Herakon Cluster from the vicious onslaught of invading xenos and bring the sector’s planets into the safe dominion of the Imperium. 

Today’s preview of Forbidden Stars surveys the steadfast armoured units, technologically peerless vehicles, and massive interstellar ships of the Ultramarines armies within the Herakon Cluster. You’ll learn about the devastating tactics of their strike forces and how the faction’s unfaltering faith in the Emperor manifests as military excellence. 

We’ve also added the Learn to Play and Rules Reference books to the support section of the Forbidden Stars minisite. Download them today and make your plans for war! 

Mobile Fortresses

The Ultramarines enter the Herakon Cluster with a complement of four units of Scouts, one unit of Space Marines, and a Strike Cruiser to quickly convey troops to battle. Together, these units are adept at invading planets and eliminating enemy units during skirmishes early in the game. You also begin with a factory, so you can arm new units and manufacture more vehicles for your war machine. The Space Marines’ ancient and systematic organization, backed by the Imperium’s might, enables you to enhance your armies more efficiently and easily than any other faction. Whenever you issue a dominate order (discussed in our second preview), you can spend one materiel to transform a unit of young, lightly-armed Scouts into fully-fledged Space Marines, or to outfit your Space Marines with adamantium-plated Land Raiders.

Among the most destructive machines in the Space Marines’ arsenal, Land Raiders are impervious to most enemy weapons and impressively armed. These mobile fortresses excel at smashing through enemy lines in order to disgorge battle-hungry Space Marines deep in the heart of the foe's formations.

What Land Raiders accomplish on the ground, Battle Barges achieve in the void. These heavily armoured ships are designed for executing Orbital Strikes and breaching planetary defenses. But the most powerful unit the Ultramarines can deploy in Forbidden Stars is the colosssal Warlord Titan, whose mere appearance on the field inspires other Ultramarines towards incredible feats of valour. Once you send Land Raiders and Warlord Titans into battle, very little can prevent you from securing planets for the Imperium and claiming your objectives. 

For the Emperor

An Ultramarine’s selfless dedication to his fellow troops, to the Emperor, and to Macragge fuels him beyond what his gene-seed and power armour can provide. That dedication enables every unit of Ultramarines to withstand enemy firepower and rally at the last minute in the direst circumstances. The Ultramarines’ Combat cards of Forbidden Stars translate this unflinching bravery into powerful battlefield tactics. Show No Fear keeps your units from being routed during an execution round. With a Bastion, Space Marine, or Strike Cruiser fighting, you can also spend an to rally every unit you have in the fight. Thus the valour of a single unit, or even a single warrior, inspires other Ultramarines in the fight.

Similarly, with Break the Line, you can spend three  and gain a  or for each you spend, transforming your troops' discipline and faith into exactly the defensive or offensive tools you need that moment. If a Land Raider or Battle Barge is in action, you can even discard one of your opponent's faceup combat cards, robbing him of firepower, rendering his tactics fruitless. 

But nothing outshines the Emperor’s Glory. It is one of the most powerful cards you can play as commander of the Ultramarines, giving you two icons, two , and two more dice. With a Warlord Titan or Battle Barge in the fray, it enables you to rally all of your units. Then, you may convert any number of your dice into . Emperor’s Glory will grant you overwhelming force in any execution round. By playing it in a battle’s third and final execution, just before morale is counted to determine a victor, you could deftly, abruptly snatch victory out from your enemies’ grasp. 

Weapons of Terror and Surprise

Orks may be known for their numbers, and Eldar for their speed, but only the Space Marines’ Drop Pods lethally unite those two strengths. Drop Pods are a magnificent weapon of terror and surprise, able to shoot a squad of Space Marines down through a planet’s atmosphere straight towards their foe. These iconic missiles can be used two ways in Forbidden Stars: as a ruthless follow-up to an Orbital Strike or a surprise tactic to play in the middle of battle. The Drop Pod Assault combat card is a fundamental tactical tool, inexpensive and valuable for both preliminary skirmishes and decisive final battles. It adds one  , one  , and a die to your combat results, but even more importantly, invites you to spend an to take a Scouts or Space Marines unit from anywhere in the Herakon Cluster and send them plummeting directly into the fighting. 

You can also equip your armies with the Drop Pod order upgrade . This card grants you the singular ability to spend two during an Orbital Strike to place a free Space Marine unit on the targeted world. Once your Battle Barges and Strike Cruisers have finished their fiery assault, the Space Marines emerge from their Drop Pod and attack, dealing immediate and terrible destruction to the weakened and vulnerable enemy.  

Show No Fear

The once-lost worlds of the Herakon Cluster offer you the chance to perform deeds of unprecedented battlefield glory in the service of the Imperium. Strengthened by their training and faith in the Emperor, armoured and armed with wargear forged through forgotten science, the Ultramarines are humanity’s greatest hope for victory in the brutal wars of Forbidden Stars

Protect the Herakon Cluster’s profound wealth and numberless human lives. Pre-order your copy of Forbidden Stars today!

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