Hey everybody! Hopefully someone is still watching this thread (or would just like to chime in, the more the merrier really!)...
I'm sure you're all aware of Primaris Astartes by now. I figured I'd commit to writing all (or at least, as many as possible) of the thought swirling in my head at the moment. I realise there are threads dedicated to it and its impact on the hobby, but none of those threads are going to deal with how exactly these new Astartes (both their rules AND their models) will affect my Space Marines.
So let's talk about this.
I think the new models are fantastic. They look amazing, I like every aspect of them (except for their uniformity; I suspect this will be addressed as the line grows). I also think that anyone who thinks the Primaris Astartes aren't going to replace current Space Marines from a business perspective is being willfully naive. There will come a time when our current models will no longer be available, and you'll have to resort to eBay and the grey market if you want to find them. And that's fine.
Trust me, it took a lot to even say that to myself. But it is fine. We're getting beautiful new models, and all good things come to an end. We'll celebrate the passing of the current line, and we'll occasionally surprise someone by showing up with drop pods full of old Sternguard (remember when we only had basic Veteran squads?)
The fluff isn't great. It's not bad either. It just is, and it's not the most heavy-handed shoehorning I've come across in this shared universe of ours. And frankly, I think having 'new' Astartes is fine. The (potential) conflict between the old guard and the new hotness can be interesting, though I won't be going down this path. My Sentinels? Well, they weren't around for the Great Crusade. They venerate their Primarch as much as any other Chapter does, but the only Sentinel to ever interact with him was probably the very first Chapter Master, and only briefly at that. They're more attached to the Imperium they know than any grandiose vision the Emperor may have had for mankind. But more importantly, the parallels between the advent of the Astartes Primaris and the actual early history of the Sentinels is fortuitous. What history? Yeah, okay, you got me, it doesn't exist outside of a Google doc that I haven't actually touched in a while (and even that is in notated form). But I did write an early history of the Sentinels, and it involved a Warp anomaly and a Company stranded for decades, away from support and allies. They eventually rejoined the Chapter (or rather, the Chapter finally managed to get back to them), and the Chapter as a whole has since been defined by this separation-followed-by-reunion.
That's what the Sentinels are going to see when Guilliman comes around with the Primaris Astartes. Brothers they may have never met before, but brothers nonetheless. They may have less experience (a lot less, in fact), but that doesn't matter. All that matters is their commitment to fighting the good fight, their willingness to lay their lives on the line for the Imperium and the Chapter. Of course the Sentinels will be suspicious at first. Of course there will be a period of turmoil as the Chapter tries to figure out what to do with the Primaris Astartes (a blatant parallel to my own mindset right now). But at the end of the day, new replaces old. Such is the way of things.
Rules-wise, the Primaris Astartes are just slightly tougher, slightly punchier Marines. Still close enough to the basic Marine that I have no issue incorporating them into my existing lists (other than the Intercessor squad being a tad boring). Though the 'bolt rifle' is clearly Cawl pulling a lowest-bidder move in throwing Kraken rounds into boltguns and slapping a new sticker on the side. I already have an idea to use the Intercessor Sergeant's profile to represent a heroic Veteran leading a squad of the new warriors (those of you who remember the most basic statline of the Force Commander from 3rd edition will know that this profile is very similar).
So what does all this mean for the Sentinels? For now, not much. Lance Company is still gong to be bike-heavy. 20+ bikes, if I manage to get through them all (pics to come this week! I have unfortunately been really busy and - less fortunately - drained by work). The Skyhammer Annihilation Force that I was planning to make a part of the Company is likely changing to something else completely (luckily, one of the Assault squads I put together for this formation has no Company markings and are thus free to be used somewhere else). Most importantly, I'm leaving some room in the plan for Primaris bike squads (which I hope we will see sooner rather than later).
Anyway, thanks for reading! Leave your thoughts on... well, any of the above, really. I don't mind. I can almost guarantee some good ideas will come from the conversation.