"Tank: So what do you need? Besides a miracle."
"Neo: Guns. Lots of guns."
- – The Matrix
These big motherfuckers are Chaos Space Marines who have been infected with the so-called "Obliterator Virus," which basically turns them into a giant ass walking Daemonic Engine of Mass Rape. It's a large walking blob of Termie armour, daemonically enhanced killing machine, and guns ...BIG guns.
The first Obliterator was created when the Iron Warrior Volk was possessed by Sa'a'ram, a daemon of Khorne that claimed to have been born when the first mortal built a weapon with the intention to kill. The virus itself was rare case of brotherly cooperation between Perturabo and Mortarion. Speaking of Perturabo, it's all but stated in 40k fluff that his daemon prince form is basically an obliterator but bigger and with more guns.
Obliterators are rare (usually) and very sought after, due to their complete ability to butcher everyone and every thing within a 5 mile radius. The process of becoming an obliterator is, as with everything 40k, horrifically Grimdark. At first you don't feel much different. Your accuracy starts improving and your weapons of choice feel better in your hands, so much so you ask yourself, why would I ever put them down? Soon after you are given the answer - YOU CAN'T.
Things start to get a bit freaky as you absorb your first weapon and begin to produce ammo for it. Hope you were comfortable in your armour too, as now it's part of you! Flesh melds with plasteel and joints remake themselves where the virus pleases, then whatever sanity the chaos marine may have still had is (usually) lost as they find their mouth is now a meltagun barrel. The metal they get infused with turns them durable as fuck, (Wolverine anyone?) although very slow, but they have teleporters so it's all good.
The Iron Warriors have a shit ton of these guys, as they willingly undergo the transformation, for the legion has mastered and improved upon the virus, making it a much more controlled transformation where the end result is slightly less of an insane fleshy mess; a few obliterators even hold the rank of Warsmith, like Idriss Krendl. You can now spew that Dakka as a true Iron Warrior would. Many of these obliterators were once the legions techpriests and warsmiths, who spend most of their time building dinobots and other such mechanical-daemon monstrosities Though judging from BL, some Grand Companies would rather lock their Obliterators in a vault rather than leave them free to do crazy shit.
For years they had the dubious (and shared, with Mutilators) honour of being the ugliest models in the Chaos line, though that's to be expected when you've got a ton of clunky machinery directly underneath your skin. It wasn't until 2019 where they finally hit the gym and got SWOLE, with the brand new minis towering over their previous incarnation, and with far more Dakka spewing out of them!
Oblits were first introduced to 40K back in the early days of third edition. The basics were already in place at that point, being the large profusion of heavy and special weapons otherwise on a terminator's profile, including saves and weapon portability. When first introduced they could not charge or otherwise engage in an assault but otherwise had power fists along with their projectile weapons for some security in close combat.
Oblits were outrageously more dangerous in the 3.5 edition Codex due to their S/T5! However, their toughness got FAQ'd down to 4(5) (meaning at the time no immunity to instant death S8) and although they didn't have a plasma cannon or multi-melta, they had access to heavy bolters and frag missiles. Obliterators gained infamy through the notoriously broken Iron Warriors list that spammed them and used Basilisks to decimate anything thrown at them before it could even shoot back. It's no exaggeration that these guys were among the reasons that the 3rd edition codex was considered to be so overpowered that GW had to release 4th ed codex to balance it.
4th and 5th
Shuffling back into an HS slot, Obliterators were probably the most used heavy support choice in the Chaos Space Marines 4th and 5th edition Codex, and with good reason. During each shooting phase, they have a choice of using a twin-linked Flamer, a Heavy Flamer a twin-linked Plasma Gun, a Plasma Cannon, a twin-linked Meltagun, a Multi-Melta or a Lascannon, meaning it matters not what the enemy is, they have a means of dealing with it. They also have Powerfists and a 2+ armor save (plus a 5+ Invul) and 2 wounds, though since they can only be fielded in groups of three at the most, it's best to keep them out of melee, since you want them free to shoot at enemies.
Their drawbacks are that aside from an extra wound, their statline is the same as a regular Chaos Marine's, meaning they can be hit with Instant Death from a number of heavy weapons. Like
Terminators Thousand Sons, they also have Slow and Purposeful, so it can be a problem getting them where you need them. Also, all Obliterators in a unit have to fire the same weapon, no mixing and matching, so make sure you know what weapon you want to use.
6th and 7th
The 6th edition book, while trying adjust units to avoid the problems where the 4th edition had some units that were so good it was pointless to use anything else, actually gave some improvements to the Obliterators. They can now be given Marks of Chaos, and they can finally use Assault Cannons (though rending took a hit). The only drawback they gained was that they can't use the same weapon two turns in a row, which isn't all that big a deal, especially since they have some overlapping weapons (Use a plasma cannon one turn, and then TL plasma guns to clean up the next). Though improvements to other units does mean that now they do actually have some competition in the shooting area.
This edition has had a number of changes to the unit over time. Most notably, the ability to select basically any gun ever is replaced with a generic 'Fleshmetal Gun' that has randomized Strength, AP and Damage. A S between 7 and 9 is fine, 24 inch range is fine, but their damage is a randomized D3, but Multi-meltas and Lascannons -- the weapons they really want to use -- are randomized damage D6 with better AP. The release of the Chaos Space Marines codex buffed them slightly by changing the Fleshmetal Weapons from Assault 2 to Assault 4, doubling their firepower at no additional points cost. Also, their weapon damage is generated before they shoot along with the rest of their random stats, meaning that if you get Damage 3, the entire unit will have Damage 3 shots. That's 36 potential wounds right there.
Even bigger, the CSM Daemonkin book transformed them once more granting them stat bonuses (like T5 and 4 wounds), boosting Fleshmetal guns to Assault 6 and giving them an S+1 AP-1 DD3 close combat weapon. Additionally, they can get buffs from a Master of Possession or Greater Possessed if you're in a pinch. And best of all, they got these kick-ass new models!
We thought we saw the pinnacle of awesome - we had yet to know their true power. For 9th edition, oblits get powerfists without the -1 to hit and their fleshmetal guns get 3 profiles where volume of shots are inversely proportional to strength, damage and AP. Coupled with their allegedly unchanged profile, this sounds very promising indeed.
So ive caught the obliterator virus, what now?
Me, a local havoc, in the skullfuckers warband couldnt believe my luck last week, someone left a perfectly good plasma gun just lying around, they said that plasma gun was riddled it had an s.t.d(some type of demon) I of course didn’t use protection because im a big bad havoc in the skullfuckers warband. Guess what we do to our victims?
march 20th, .998 m41 Had "the talk" with the demonic spirit inside the plasma gun that he MAY have the obliterator virus. apparentley its been with a lot of users over the millenia, a lot I should get myself tested just to be safe.
march 21st, .998 m41 Right now I feel fine, slight itch on my skin(and in my soul) The apothecary says it’s nothing serious, to take two of these and call him in the morning. (he gave me 2 bolter rounds what the hell am I supposed to do with these!?)
march 24th, .998 m41 Went down to the shooting range the other day, I hit every target moving, even the slaves who reset the target sheets, this being a murderous traitor is much easier than I remember for some reason, also note to self need to get more iron in my diet...litterally
march 25th .998 m41 Got bigger, felt itchier, kinda worried I tried calling my local apothecary last week on the voxphone only for my hand to merge with the phone, now I get to make long distance phone calls and have buttons on my face!
march 26th .998 m41 Skin has bad rash on it now, kinda metalic Breakfast wasn’t much better, I tried making some toast, brother dickius tried putting my hand in the toaster, now I AM the toaster! I shot bread at that motherfucker all day! I also assimilated the waffle iron and some whisks now im some kind of terrifying breakfast machine.
march 27th .998 m41 Skin has wires growing out of it now and magnets wont stop sticking to it People say I hide the remote on the voxcaster I told them I haven’t seen it since It melted into my hands! On the plus side we only need one remote for 20 different appliances, me! talk about convenient
march 28th-ish? Had a sudden craving for batterys the other day, like energizer 40,000 just snacking on em all day long. Warpsmith wasn’t too happy was that his plasma generator in the fridge? Should have left a note on it.
march 29th .998 m41 Dickus decided to glue a bunch of power tools to my armor while I was sleeping, drills, buzz saws, chainswords, etc, now im stuck with them, I look like Edward scissorhands fucked a blender!
march 30th .998m41 Woke up bigger, cant fit in rhino tank or wear size 12 power armor anymore…feel sad...
march 31st .998m41 Will whoever is making those beeping noises when I enter the room please stop, their not funny, oh wait that’s me since I assimilated a forklift, now I look like a cosplayer doing the mech from aliens. Just because im 8 metric tonnes of man, machine and demon doesn’t mean I don’t have feelings.
april 2nd .998m41 Doors too small on ship, need bigger spaceship
april 4th 998m41 Went down to firing range the other day. When did all the guns get so tiny? Started assimilating Some autocannons,a heavy bolter and a multi melta, now I can shoot lasers out of my face....yay
april 8th?? 998m41 Me-eat teleporter- warpsmith angry
april 19th? 998m41 Use warpsmith's teleporter, life good, warpsmith fight back, KILL WARPSMITH WITH LAZER EYE VISION! Warpsmith gone…think about warpsmith…regret..
febtober 2nd? obliterator assimilate dish washer, shoot plates and foam at loyalist scum, life good