I could start and end this post by saying Primaris Assault Marines do what Regular Assault Marines do, only better.
Would this be true?
Clearly Games Workshop is making the slow or not so slow move to Primaris Marines replacing the current Space Marines.
But this post is about getting to grips with your opponent, striking from the skies, and putting them to the bolt pistol and chain sword.
The starting point for assault marines is taking the, in my opinion for speed and deepstrike- so we are going to be upgrading them with the assault packs. There are exceptions for this- playing an all assault marine list where you have a combo of packs and assault marines in rhinos and razorbacks- this post is exploring adding assault marine units to a mixed or non dedicated marine force.
Taking them for movement allows you a 12″ range, but are we ever going to employ them on the table this way? My experience from playing, and this is naturally influenced by my local meta, is that the 40K table is SO crowded these days with models and units- often with big base sizes, that speed is not as important in 40K anymore.
It CAN be used for the win- as I do with my Saim-Hann Warhost, but it isn’t a requirement. Being able to generate lots and lots of dice is a requirement- be it in shooting or assault.
So what about the deepstrike?
I find assault marines to excel here- take a few small squad sizes, give them plasma pistols- cheaper vs. grav, and allows you to engage a variety of targets on the drop, and drop them in in your opponent’s deployment zone, or drop them in the mid field as you advance.
I use them, and see them being used as units to buy you a turn of action- you drop them and your force your opponent to deal with them for a turn- freeing the rest of your army to act for that turn.
It’s like gaining an extra turn in 40K- and this IS big since 40K is a finite turn based game.
Of course, playing a themed list where you love assault marines means you will have lots of them, but for regular games- take enough in terms of points to have them last one turn.
One turn of extra action for the rest of your army.
Other wargear upgrades, in my opinion are wasted bling- not to say they aren’t fun of course.
But assault marines are weaker in 8th, and as far as a I see have a mono-use.