The first of the banner bearers and I think the banner with the best rules. The banner in question is the Archangel Standard, which give a leadership bonus but more importantly gives re-rolls to hit in the fight phase. Drop this guy in with a bunch of assault terminators or even vanguards and watch things die. If I was taking terminators, then I would take this guy but alas, i'm not taking terminators in this force and so I shall not be taking this unit either.
The Company Ancient is the banner bearer, the guardian of the colours. The Company version carries the Astartes Banner, which gives the option for marines who are killed to fire or fight one last time. While this ability can be strong, especially when combined with certain units, its also unreliable, requiring a 4+ dice roll to do so. This means that some games it will do very little but in others it will be vital. I would prefer it to have a little more reliability to the ability but it is a good option to have and is not overly expensive. My real gripe with the unit is its in ability to take more than one weapon, I get that he's holding the banner but I don't see why he cant have a pistol and a combat weapon? I have a model for this in my collection, although he only has one arm at the moment, having had his pistol arm removed and I will play him at some point, probably when I get my other devastator squad finished. Overall, I think this is a unit that should be considered but just be careful what units you put him near, as he does better with some than others.
Well, here is the first of the Primaris entries and the first I shall skip over with just a brief analysis. This model is an exact copy of the standard ancient above, except its Primaris stat line. If your playing Primaris marines, take this version, if not, take the Company Ancient. I'll be taking the Company Ancient.
The Champion to me is a bit of a funny unit. It seems to be a hang over from the 7th edition command squad and doesn't seem to have a proper purpose. Its not really a combat monster, with only a couple of attacks and his weapon is nothing special, just a slightly better power sword. He has no special rules that make up for any of this, only the ability to make heroic interventions and re-roll hits against characters. Personally I don't think he is worth taking, as he really doesn't bring anything special and despite the fact I have two, one with a jump pack, I don't see myself fielding them very often at all.
A lesser version of the Sanguinary Priest but still just as useful. While he doesn't have the Blood Chalice, he does have Narthecium, which is always good. Stick him in with an important unit, such as vanguard vets or Sanguinary guard and help them to stay alive a bit longer. Granted, the ability is triggered on a 4+, so it can be a little hit and miss but just like the Ancient, put them with the right units and they can work wonders. The only downside to this unit is the removal of the jump pack as an option from the codex. This limits there mobility significantly, meaning that they will struggle to keep up with many of the units who could really use there abilities. I have a couple of these in my collection, although I don't field them as often as I probably should.
The Sanguaniary ancient is pretty much like a all ancient. It gives out various bonus' to units around including the standard leadership bonus. In this case it also give re-roll to wound, the same as the Lieutenant. If you like the Sanguainary guard then take this guy, but I really don't see the point of this guy, you might as well take a Lieutenant, as you only get a slightly better save and give out a -1 leadership bubble. Personally I'll be taking a Lieutenant.
This is the Primaris version of the Sanguinary Novitiate and follows alone the same lines as all the rest of the Primaris models. It has the Primaris stat line as standard and on this occasion carries Narthecium, following the same rules as the Priest and Novitiate and yet again, if your running Primaris marines, take this version, if like me your not, take the Priest or Novitiate.
So now we come to the big boys, the Dreads. This is the standard dread, which follows the standard marine dread common to all the marine forces. Its had some what of a resurgence in 8th and sees to be a good solid unit to take. It has some impressive stats and can dish out a fair bit of punishment but I just don't have any love for them. For me, they don't fit the feel of my army and so I wont be taking any but if your running a more gunline army, definitely consider these.
The first of the Blood Angles pattern dreadnoughts. These are subtly different from the normal dread in that they can be equipped with different weapons. The frag cannon is basically a super flamer and will decimate light infantry like almost nothing else (except an assault cannon) and the Blood Talons and Furioso Fists will wreck most things in close combat. This is one of the only dreads I would run, most likely with either two fists or two talons. As it is though, I don't own the model and I'm not planning on getting one either.
Death Company Dreadnought
The second Blood Angles dread and the one that is probably the most iconic. While I like this unit for it fluff, on the table top it really isn't much different from the Furioso, with the exception that you cant take the frag cannon. Of the two versions, this is the better. The frag cannon is good at short range, but if your going to be at that range, you want fists or talons, and with the extra special rules this thing has, this is the better close combat vehicle. Given the choice of this or the Furioso, then I would be running one of these, probably with fists and getting up close and personal with every thing I could.
The Contemptor is a relic of ages gone by and by that I mean the Horus Heresy. While there is no doubt that this is a good dread, better maybe that all the others apart from the very newest version, it still doesn't do enough to make me want to take it over the two Blood Angles only versions. A good unit but if your going for good units over fluff, then you'd take the next unit.
The Primaris dread and one that is just as over the top, in there one-up-manship, as the rest of the Primaris marines. As this counts as a Primaris unit, I would be fielding one anytime soon but there is no doubt that this is a very good unit. It has a number of good weapons, in the form of the gatling cannons and plasma guns but it looks ridiculous. Really, if your looking to take a dreadnought, then this is the obvious choice, as its better armed, tougher and stronger then all the rest, its also quite a bit more expensive. I wont be taking one but definitely should be considered if you do want a new dread.